Mrs. Soffel (1984) - full transcript

Peter Soffel is the stuffy warden of a remote American prison around the turn of the century. His wife, Kate, finds herself attracted to prisoner Ed Biddle. She abandons her husband and ...

My sweet Jesus, we pray once more
for Ed and Jack Biddle.

Hear my plea for Your lost lambs, Father...

...suffering injustice
at the hands of evil, unrighteous men.

Give those boys strength, Jesus.

Show them mercy.

Fill their hearts with the hope
that only You can give, dear Jesus.

You know their innocence.

If there is a way, if it is Your will... not let them die.

They do not deserve to die, Jesus.

Dear Father, hear my plea
for Your lost lambs.

Go back to bed now. All of you!

Go on.

Get back to bed, Clarence.

Go on.


I dreamt that I was lost in a snowstorm.

I couldn't breathe.

Somebody pulled me out to a clear spot.

Lord, Kate.

Poor Peter.

I wear you out.

Oh, no.


- Here, drink this. It'll help you sleep.
- Peter?

I know what the dream means.

I'm gonna get better.

God was telling me
He's not gonna let me die.


Drink this now. Go on.

Drink this. It'll help you sleep.
Go on, now.

Express! Biddles' appeal today!
Morning Express!

Thank you, lad.

Here we go, ladies. Move it along, please.

All right, Mrs. Fitzgerald, please.

Kids, get out of the street.

Free the Biddles! Free the Biddles!
Free the Biddles!

I'm sorry, Jessie.
I asked, and they said no.

I just want to see him.

I know you do. Sorry.

Let's go over there.


Excuse me, sir. I made this for Ed.

No, I can't. It's against the rules.

- Tell him it's from Leota Yoeders.
- Please give this to Jack.

- Just for us, please!
- I'm sorry, I can't.

Please, sir?

Good morning, pinhead!

- Thank you!
- Bloody kids!

No, I'll never shoot another!

Clarence Soffel, you've been so bad!

- Please don't kill me!
- I'll take you away to Murderers' Row...

...and lock you up forever and ever.

I'll never shoot anyone again! Please!

Let's hope that the Governor
will see it our way.

Clarence! Scat!

Hurry! Hurry!

Sorry, boys. Really sorry.
We did the best we could.

You got the two of us hanged
for the one murder. That's a neat trick.

- Thanks.
- Come on, boys.

Hey, fellows,
don't forget to send us your bill.

Margaret, Eddie, Clarence.

I heard you were playing in an area
where you're not allowed.

And now, you're late for school.
Is that right?

Three little criminals.

Do you understand how hard
your sister works to take care of you...

...and me and your poor mama?

And when you do something
that's disruptive and wrong... have to be punished, don't you?

- Yes, sir.
- Yes, sir.

Answer Papa, Margaret.

I'm thinking.

I think the sentence can be suspended
this time. Court is dismissed.


- Mama, you're up! Are you better?
- Yes, I'm better. I'm all better.

- What are you doing out of bed?
- I'm all well.

- Daddy suspended us from our punishment.
- Did he really?

Irene, tell Maggie to fetch the doctor.

No, Peter, he never knew
what was wrong with me.

- I don't see what he can do.
- How can anyone be ill for three months...

...and suddenly get up one morning
and be fine? It doesn't make sense.

Please, Peter.

I don't need to see the doctor.

Everyone better get off to school then.
Come on.

They're late already.

Come on, lamebrain.

Who appointed you warden?

You hush up.

Good afternoon.

Good afternoon.


- It's good to have you back, Mrs. Soffel.
- Would you like a Bible?

I've been getting sick of all these boys
and their ugly faces.

It never changes, does it, George?

No, ma'am, I suppose not.

Why don't you come up here
and visit with me, cutie?

You hush up!

Good afternoon.

Why, Lenny,
I thought you left us last September.

They can always find something to blame
on an honest fellow like me.

You'll be pleased to hear I went to church
four times when I was out.

It doesn't look like it did you much good.

I need a quarter from you, George,
for the pool.

You get on with your work.

He gives me the willies.
Betting on when somebody's gonna hang.

Mrs. Soffel.

- Hello.
- Thanks.

- Thank you.
- Thanks.

Leave 'em be. They ain't hurting nothing.

Warden Soffel believes a man's cell
reflects a man's moral character.

We haven't got any moral character.
We're murderers.

Ain't that right, Jackie?

Does your brother always fight your battles
for you, Jackie?

Get in there! Go on!

You're dead.

I hear it's the other way around, Eddie.

Stand back from the door for inspection.

- Ed!
- Mrs. Soffel! Jesus!


Stop it!

Stop it!

Get up!

- Mrs. Soffel, you're bleeding! You're hurt.
- No, no!

It's his blood.



Leave him be, you bastards!

You'd better give me your arm.
You look a little pale.

No, thank you, Mr. Reynolds.

Here, wipe your face. Go on, go on.

- Go on.
- Thank you.

Mrs. Soffel. Warden Soffel's wife.

You started it!

- We've got four more cells down there!
- Never mind, Jack.

A couple of hungry days
will do Eddie's soul good.

Where'd you get that scar on your face,
Mr. Biddle?

When they arrested me and Jack.

They shot you?

No, ma'am, I shot myself.

I meant to kill myself.
Don't you read the papers?

Well, I'm very sorry.

- What are you sorry for?
- Would you like a Bible, Mr. Biddle?

What are you sorry for?
'Cause we're gonna hang?


Don't you think murderers
ought to be hanged?

I don't believe in hanging. Take it.

You want a Bible, Jack?

No. I want a smoke.

No, thank you, ma'am.

We're gonna die,
but we're not that desperate.

Mrs. Soffel, the warden says to put him in.

Well, Jack, at least I won't have to listen
to you snore tonight.

That's right.

Mrs. Soffel?

What kind of flower would you say that is,
right there?

I don't know.

Would you say that that's a violet?

I think it's a violet, don't you?


I think so, too.

George said you met the Biddles today.
Don't you think Ed's handsome?

Not especially.

There's the supper bell, finally.


What is all this?

That's Ed. That's Jack.

And that's Ed's girl, Jessie.
She's an actress.

This is the pretty book Grandma gave you.
You were meant to press flowers in it.

I'm making a record of all the injustice
the Biddles have suffered.

- They don't belong in prison.
- They do, if they killed somebody.

Mama, Ed and Jack are innocent.

It was their partner
who shot the grocer in the head.

A jury found them guilty, sweetheart.

And after considering and asking...
Are you listening?

Are you listening?

And asking the Lord for guidance...

...the judge gave them their sentence.

But, Mama, the Biddles committed
90 robberies in 90 days...

...and never hurt one citizen.

- Doman's a dope addict.
- That's enough!

Come on, Margaret. Go to bed.

It's a wonder you don't have nightmares.
Do you know that?

I do. I dream about the boys.

I'm afraid Papa will have a curse
on his head for hanging them.

Go on, come on, go on.

- Let me tell you one more thing.
- No.

No, I want you to be quiet and go to sleep.

They had to pick the grocer's brain
off the wall.

You've got one big imagination
that will get you into a lot of trouble.

Yes, I'm afraid the devil is winning
the battle for my soul.

Then I think you better say your prayers.

"Through the river and into the fire
Little girls go when they expire"

"Father in heaven...

" night draws near...

"...I beseech Thee to hear
my humble prayer.

"Keep me ever from doing wrong.

"Keep me safe, keep me strong.

"And keep me a Christian
my whole life long.


- Good night.
- Good night.

Are you gonna go to sleep?

All right.

- I love you.
- I love you, too.

Good night.

Good night, Peter.


I was just...

now that you're feeling better...

...if you'll be continuing
to use your own room?

I think I better for now.

It was just a question.

Left, left...

...left. Farther apart, Johnny.

Two in a row? That what you want to see?

I'll give you a cigar.

Watch now, brother.

Come on, lads. Push up.



Just take two out of the cart, Agnes.
I think that's all we'll need for now.

How about a blanket, Mr. Biddle?
The cold's getting fierce now.

Thank you, ma'am.

Mr. Biddle?

I'll just leave it here. Ready, Agnes?

Why don't you peddle that
to somebody stupid enough to believe it?

What did you give it to me for, anyway?

I thought God's word
might have been some comfort to you.

"And behold a pale horse...

"...and his name that sat on him
was Death...

"...and Hell followed with him; they were
given power over the earth, to kill...

"...with sword, and with hunger,
and with death."

That sounded pretty good, Ed.
Maybe you should've been a preacher.

Did you mean to put the fear of God in me?

No, and I wouldn't have suggested starting
with the Revelation.

I usually suggest
something more soothing for prisoners.

Do you?

Yes, I do.

There's a very lovely section in Luke.

Will you read it to me?


"Blessed are ye that hunger now:
for ye shall be filled.

"Blessed are ye that weep now:
for ye shall laugh."

This is one of my favorite parts.

"Blessed are ye...

"...when men shall hate you...

"...and when they shall separate you
from their company...

"...and reproach you...

"...and cast out your name as evil."

Don't people treat you
and your brother like that, Mr. Biddle?

- Leave me out of it.
- Mrs. Soffel.

It's nearly my dinner hour.

Why don't you run along, Agnes.
I'll be right there.

"Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy...

"...for, behold,
your reward is great in heaven."

What's my reward?

Your heavenly reward.

God makes you miserable in this life,
so he can make you happy in the next?

- Is that it?
- No.

I think it means that when you suffer,
don't give up hope.

- Hope to go to heaven?
- Yes.

Can you see me up there, floating around
on a cloud, playing my harp for the saints?

- You want to go to heaven, Jack?
- Don't know. You know anybody there?

I picture heaven as a place of peace.

- Death would be peace.
- No. Death is nothing.

Why would God give us this short life with
all its troubles and not a better one after?

- 'Cause he doesn't care.
- God cares.

God cares even for you.

Even for a dirty killer like me?

That isn't what I meant.

Do you think I'm a killer, Mrs. Soffel?

Are you, Mr. Biddle?


Are you a killer?

In my heart...

...I am.

I want nothing more
than to send the filthy liar...

...that put us in here, to his heaven.

So I suppose I am a murderer... my heart.

Ain't l, Kate?

If you truly want to commit murder,
then, yes...

...I think you are a murderer in your heart.

Then I guess I'm not worth saving.

Mrs. Soffel?

I'm not.

I'm not a murderer.


So they come up here to put out the fire.

Then we grab them, and we get their keys.

What if they don't come?

I mean, what if they just let us burn?


What are you writing now, our wills?




Where would you be now...

...if you hadn't met up with me and Walter?

Go to sleep.

I told them you were innocent.

And they believed Walter.

Didn't I try?

Yeah, I know you did.

I can't die until I make it up to you.

Stop talking about dying!

You're always talking like if...

Just go to sleep.

I'm not gonna let 'em hang you.

Believe me?

Little brother?


Well, do you believe me, Jack?


Sure, I believe you.


What is it, Irene?

You left the heater burning in the parlor.
I turned it down.

Thank you.

Did you just get home?

Billy walked me from fellowship meeting.

- Good night.
- Has Billy heard from his school?

Well, no, not yet. But he's bound to get in.

It's turning into quite a romance
between the two of you.

It's not a "romance," Mama.

I plan to marry Billy.

Well, we'll have a lot of time
to think about that.

He's giving me an engagement ring
for Christmas.

Papa knows.

You're barely 16.

And you were 1 7 when you married Papa.

Good night, Mama.

You shouldn't sit by the window,
you'll catch cold.

My goodness, I think it's nearly frozen stiff.

- I know, but it smells musty. Lordy be.
- Let's take it inside.

- Hope I didn't startle you.
- No.

That's a pretty dress you got on.

Back, Mr. Biddle!

You'll come and read to me again,
won't you?

I come to the prison
every Tuesday and Thursday.

Maggie, the rug beater.


"You may ask why, in spite of all hope,
do we maintain our innocence?

"Every intelligent mother in Pittsburgh
knows the reason.

"Because it is true."

Job's friends are arguing
that if God has made Job suffer so much...

...he must be guilty of some great sin
because God doesn't punish the innocent.

God punishes the innocent all the time.
Why is that, Kate?

- God means to test our love for him.
- By torturing us?

I know that innocent people suffer.

I've been walking through the prison
for years...

- So you know all about it.
- I know enough.

You don't know
what it means to be in here.

So don't pretend that you do.

At any rate, nobody is completely innocent.

We all sin.

God punishes you for your sins,
doesn't he, Kate?

I think you suffer.

I don't come here
to discuss my sins with you.

There's a vision that I have...

...of them...

...taking us out to hang.

And they take Jack up first... I have to watch.

That was a very good letter you wrote.


Maybe you'll hear from the Governor soon.

You'll make a prayer?

- Shall we do this again?
- Do you like it?

One, two, three...

- One, two, and...
- Three!

What happened, Mama?

I don't know.

Come on, everybody, let's go around.
Clarence, stop that.

Please, come on. Margaret, come along.
Let's hurry. Come on.

Good news, boys.

You wrote this?

That's right.

Would you read it to me?


Don't laugh.

"Just a little violet
From across the way

"Came to cheer a prisoner
In his cell one day

"Just a little flower
Sent by a loving hand

"Has a kindly meaning
That true hearts understand

"Just a little violet
Plucked with tender care

"God has smiled upon it
And the sender fair

"And soon that little token

"Wrapped in hands so neat
Rests quietly within a grave

"O'er which a heart that's true does beat"

- Why would you write that for me?
- What makes you think I did?

Take it. In exchange
for what you gave to me.

A man at the Gazette gets 50 cents
for one of those.

What will your lawyers do now, Ed?

They're through with us.

- I think I should go now.
- God didn't answer your prayer, did he?

- My prayer?
- Didn't you pray for us?


Then tell me,
why does God want us to die?

- Tell me the reason why.
- I can't do that.

'Cause me and Jack are innocent as snow.

- You know that.
- How can I know that?

'Cause you know me and I'm telling you.

- No! I have to go.
- You nearly had me saved.

- Let go of me, Ed!
- What are you doing?

What do you want from me?
What do you come over here for?

- I'll call the guard if you don't let go of me!
- Give me your hand!

Press there!

You feel how strong my neck is?

- We aim to break out of here.
- Goddamn you, Ed, you're crazy.

- Are you gonna tell on us?
- Oh, God!

God? God won't hear you.
You're not in church now.

I'm sorry.


You're our only friend and I've hurt you.


Dear Father, please forgive me.

Forgive me for being such a terrible sinner.

I'm so ashamed, dear Father.
Please help and guide me.

Give me the strength
to overcome these thoughts.

I know I'm weak. Forgive me for...


- Mr. Kelly.
- Good morning, ma'am.

Good morning.

She ain't been to see you for five days,
has she?

She won't tell on us, I promise.

What do you think you're doing?

What do you think you're doing?

"My husband and I are dedicated
to the reform of criminals.

"But capital punishment
does not allow reform or mercy...

"...and no chance to right
a miscarriage of justice."

My God, Kate! The Governor?

"I join other Christian men and women
in this great city...

" urging you to grant the Biddles' case
an official review."

- Have you lost your senses?
- You didn't write it.

I did. I signed it.

Quite a few people have written.

They are not married to the warden
of the Allegheny County Prison!

- Do you need to see the doctor?
- No!

Because that's how you are acting!

Do you want me to lose my job?

- Do you?
- No.

Maybe you need a rest.

Perhaps Mother could come to visit.

Or you could go to her,
or you could go to your sister's.


Do you think I'm unbalanced?

Do you?


If you won't go,
I forbid you to visit the prisoners!

Not now!

You're unable to separate your duties
from your sympathies.

It's not sympathy! I think it's wrong!

That is not for you to decide!

All right. All right.

Write to Elsie or your mother.
Wherever you want to send me.

Let's go in to supper.


"God is great, God is good.
Let us thank him for our food. Amen."


Good evening, Warden. Going out tonight?




- Wait, just a second.
- We have to go to the Row!

- Hurry!
- Mrs. Soffel, please! I could lose my job!

Please, George, please hurry, there's a fire!

- What?
- There's a fire!


McGarey! There's a fire!

Help! Fire! Fire!

Holy Christ!

Get him out!

Help him!

Get him out!

Help him!

Stop it! Help him, George!

Help him!

- George, I can't get it open!
- All right, now take it easy.

Get him out!

Open the door!


- You should've let me die.
- Hush, don't talk.

I thought you abandoned us.

You should've let me die.

I won't.

You trust her?

You trust me?

How's she gonna help us?

God will provide a way.

God? Now you believe in God?

She does.

This is my damage report.
Check it over and I'll sign it.

And if anyone asks, I was out. That's all.

I thought you were going to Elsie's
this morning.

It seems to me
if we're going to hang people...

...we can at least give God
an opportunity to save their souls.

I agree with you.
That's why we have a prison chaplain.

Go home, Kate.

Mr. McNeil.

All I did was read to a few desperate men
and save your prison from burning down.

Is that so unreasonable?

All right.

But Mr. Biddle will have to remain
in solitary for a while.

If you and God don't object.

"Believe to the saving of the soul."
Now I'm going to read...

...Chapter 1 1. Hebrews, Chapter 1 1.

"Now faith is the substance
of things hoped for...

"...the evidence of things not seen."

Would somebody like to read
the next verse?

Alice, you read the next verse.

"For by it the elders..."


"...obtained a good report.

"Through faith we..."

- "Understand."
- "...understand...

"...that the worlds were framed
by the word of God...

" that things which are seen...

"...were not made of things..."

My dear Kate:

When the sun came up this morning...

...I felt very good, like a man reborn.

You are a living flower filled with light...

...and I'm a dying one.

But you are willing to share
your light with me.

By now they have put me in the hole.

But do not come. We must be careful.

I knew a man in Ohio pen
who sawed through the bars on his cell.

He held them in place with candle wax... no one knew...

...until he flew the coop.

Jack and me could do the same...

...if we had saws.

If you agree to this...

...hold your hand over your heart
wherever you are, and pledge to do it.

Wherever I am, I will hear your pledge.

Heaven shines on you, my Katie.

Your Ed.

They brought you out?

Gave me a bath.

Are you all right?

Now I am.

I got what you wanted.

I hope we can continue our Bible lessons.

Yes, ma'am.

I'd like to start with a selection
from 1 Corinthians...

...Chapter 13, verses 1 through 4.

It's in my boots.

Come close.

Watch the door, Jack.

Read your Bible.

"Though I speak with the tongues
of men and of angels...

"...and have not charity,
I am become as sounding brass...


"...a tinkling cymbal.

"And though I have the gift of prophecy...

"...and understand all mysteries...

"...and all knowledge,
and though I have all faith...

" that I could remove mountains...

"...and have not charity...

"...I am nothing."

Clarence, wait.

Good. One.



What are you doing?

There's two oranges missing
from the larder. Eddie?


Clarence. Thank you very much.

Thank you, Clarence.

Let's start again at the beginning,
Margaret. All right?

One and two.

Sorry. One and two. Good.


"They shall cease;
whether there be knowledge...

" shall vanish away.

"And now abideth faith, hope...

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity,
these three.

"But the greatest of these is charity."



One, two, three. Lights!

Come on down!

- Can we play with the train, Papa?
- Yes, all right, but you be very careful.

All right. Now, let's slow it down.
Push the other way. That's it.

Can I have a try, Papa?

I know, it scared you.
It's a fast train, isn't it?

- Can I try?
- Yes, all right, in a minute.

Now not too fast around the curb.

A little speed. That a boy!

- I want to play.
- You're gonna have to share the train.

- It's my turn.
- Let Eddie have a turn.

- Stop it. They're my controls!
- Papa said I could have the controls.

My dear?

Why don't we sit over here?

Irene, may I see your ring?

Show your cousin the ring, my dear.

Here it is. Isn't it beautiful?

- Isn't it a lovely stone?
- Billy chose it for me.

Look at the piano.

"Peace on the earth, good will to men

"From heaven's all gracious King!

"The world in solemn stillness lay

"To hear the angels sing

"Still through..."

Number three.

I told the warden
that you two have been so good...

...we should move you back to your own
cells as soon as they'd been fixed.


Old Jimmy's been looking out for you.

We appreciate it.

- Ma'am.
- Mr. McGarey.

"Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen..."

- Hide those as soon as you can.
- I will.

'Bye, Jack.


I checked the schedule.
There's only two guards on duty tonight.

You better go.

Go on, go.


No, wait.

- Aren't you gonna ask her? Ask her!
- Ask me what?

Last night we decided we need a gun.

No, no guns.

- Talk to her!
- I'm not going to bring you a gun, Ed.

All right.

I'm asking you. If you care anything...

Don't you think I know why you flirt
with me and why you hold my hand?

You think you can sweet-talk me
into anything?

I did, didn't I?

I want you to know,
I'm not one of those schoolgirls...

...who stand outside crying all over you!

Then why don't you tell on us?
Why don't you call the guard?


Goddamn it, call a guard!

Shut up!

Dear Father... they are about to leave
this world, Father...

...grant them the courage
to face Thy judgement.

Help them to accept
Thy love and forgiveness.

- Guide them to the kingdom...
- You're crazy.

You act like nobody will get killed.

Tomorrow we could be dead. Not you.


Come on, Jack.

- Let go of her!
- You can both go to hell!

You think you know me, do you?

- Give me the bar!
- Do you think you know me?

- No.
- Shut up!

Here's your dinner, boys.

Come along, let's hurry.
It'll be nice to visit Aunt Elsie.

You'll play with Jeannie
and I'll see you in a few days. Eddie...

...I want you to let Clarence sit next to you
in the cab. Now give me a kiss.

Clarence, put your hat on.
Give me a kiss goodbye.

- 'Bye. Margaret, I'll miss you.
- 'Bye, Mama.

Irene, hurry up! Aunt Elsie's waiting!

I'm going to the New Year's dance
with Billy tomorrow.

I'm not asking. I am telling you to hurry.

Well, I want to ask Papa.

Read all about it! Biddles hang tomorrow.

Biddles hang tomorrow!

I'm glad you sent the children away,
for tomorrow.

Elsie will have a houseful.

- How is it?
- Fine.

Quite fine.

- When will Maggie be back?
- In the morning.

Do you know...

...the other day a woman stopped me
in the street to tell me that I was... good as a murderer?

As if I were the judge,
the jury and the executioner all in one.

"I just do my duty, ma'am," I said to her.

"Whatever the courts...

"...and jail board...

"...and the Governor lay down, you see,
I have to carry out."

All I know is those boys are guilty
and deserve to die.

Do you think we could go someplace?

Away from the prison?
I need to get away for a month?

You and me?

We could leave the children with Elsie
and go off on our own someplace.

- I don't have any time...
- Take me someplace. Just for a month.

Or maybe a few weeks, and I promise,
when we come back...

...l'm going to be a good mother
and a good wife...

...and I'll never get sick again.
Peter, please?

- I know it's a hard life here...
- No, it's not that.

But it is a good position.

We won't be here forever.

If you can just be patient.





What are you doing?

Stop fighting and just give me your leg!

Quiet night?

- That's a pretty picture.
- Every man should have a hobby.

Get up!

Get him off me!

He's heavy.

Come on, help me. Push.

- Now is your chance. You've got to go, Ed!
- With you.

Ed, we've got to go.

- Come on. Come with me.
- No, I can't.

Ed, come on!



Come with me.

Jessie? Aren't you coming to work today?

No, I'm not coming in today.
Just go ahead without me.

All right. We'll see you tomorrow.

I could use a map of some kind
to plan out where we're going.

We're in good shape. Don't you worry.

How's she gonna travel with you?

Look at her. Look at her shoes.

- She's just gonna hold you back.
- She's right.

Did we break out of prison
just to get caught?

Lost your faith in me, Jack?

- No.
- 'Cause that's how it sounds.

Jack, you ought to go out on your own
and save yourself.

- What's the use of getting killed over her?
- Shut up, Jessie!

Thank you, sir.
We'll pay you back if we can.

I am proud to do it. I wish I could
help you gentlemen out some more.

I tried to see you in prison
and they wouldn't let me.

I would have done anything.

I'm sorry, Jess.

Put these on.

Maybe you should abandon me.


Maybe you should abandon me.

The point was to get you free.
You and Jack.

- You want to go back?
- I don't know.

Right about now my children
are gonna know that I'm gone.

If you want to go back, I'll take you back.

Jessie is right.
How can you travel with me?

Why'd you come with us
if you don't know?

Look at her! You're gonna go with her?
Look at what she's done!

- No! I want my babies.
- Ed, let her go.

- Let me out!
- Babies? You want your babies?

Will you shut up!

I'm sorry.

I'm so sorry.

Are we going or ain't we?

I hear they broke out and killed a guard,
then they climbed over the wall.

Excuse me, please.

Ed was vicious.

He clubbed me, how many times was it?
Maybe 15, 20 times?

- And I don't understand it.
- No, sir, I don't...

Buck! The Biddles can't stay caught.
Looks like you're going after them again.

It'll be the last time, believe me.

"Edward and John Biddle...

"...prisoners in the B range
of the Allegheny County Prison...

"...escaped this morning
at approximately 5:00 a.m.

"Apparently having sawed
through the bars of their cells...

"...and overtaking two guards,
who were not seriously hurt.

"At the moment, there are no clues
to the killers' whereabouts.

"Detective Buck McGovern, who...

" you all know, arrested the Biddles
last spring, will head the search.

"A reward of $5,000 is offered."

Has your wife been located, Warden?

What has she got to do with it?

My wife, Mrs. Soffel,
is missing at the moment.

But we expect to hear very soon
from her sister in Mount Washington...

...where I suspect
she has joined our children.

She's starting to slow down.

We must be coming into Perrysville.

If we get separated,
we'll have to meet there.

- Now, remember what I told you.
- Yes.

- What?
- Push out, away from the train.

I'll be right there to catch you.

Come on.

All right, Kate. Come on.

- All right, just a minute.
- All right, ma'am. You've just got to jump.

Come on.

All right, Jack. You go ahead.
You go first.

Now, Kate! Now!

Now, ma'am.

Mother of Christ! Go ahead, jump. Go on.


Go ahead. Ready?

That a girl!


I'm sorry, I thought you were my husband.

It's me.

Scared her by accident.

My wife. My wife.
We just got married today.

It don't serve you to lose your man
the day you marry him.

New brides tend to be skittish.
You take care of her.

- Yes, sir. You bet I will.
- Good luck, and a happy New Year to you.

- Happy New Year.
- Happy New Year.

Happy New Year!

Jack, would you care to kiss the bride?

For heaven's sake, why don't you go tell
the whole countryside we're here?

Read this.

They're paying $5,000
to the man who kills us.

We just won't let anyone
collect that reward, will we, Ed?

Better get those boots off.

Do you think we could build a fire?
It's so cold.

We've only been on the road
a couple of hours.

I saw a coal bin out the back.
Think you could get some coal?

Are you listening to me?

Maybe you just ought to try listening
to me for a change!

Don't you think you better take that off?

I've worn it 18 years.

Come on!

My God!

"John and Edward Biddle,
under the sentence of death...

"...escaped from county jail this morning
under most sensational circumstances.

"They're believed to have been assisted
by the wife of Warden Peter Soffel..."

Oh, my God!

It's so exciting!

"...with whom they made off
during the night.

"It is believed Mrs. Soffel is now alone...

"...for criminals as desperate as the Biddles
will not burden themselves with her."

I hope Mama's not alone.
I hope she is with the Biddles.

No, you don't, Margaret.

Don't you know what this means
if she's with them?

She can never come home again.
Papa won't allow it.

Not if she's with that Ed Biddle right now.

That's not true!

I hope they've killed Mama.

I hope she's dead.


I wasn't sure if it was going to be you,
or the police.

Do you think I'd desert you?

I wasn't sure.

I spent most of my life in prison, Kate...

...and sometimes, I just...

...forget how to act with people.

Well, you're not in prison now, Ed.

Coming with us?

Oh, Ed!

All aboard!

- Let's hurry.
- Hurry where?

- Yes, where?
- North, to Canada.



Tickets, please.


He came out of nowhere!

Jack, you go and hitch up the horses.

Ed, see if he's hurt. Only, be careful!

Sit down, easy.

How is he?

I know you.

He's fine! You go wait
in the sled with Jack!

I'll be right there, Kate. Go on!

You trailed us from Perrysville?

Yes, sir. I borrowed a horse.

You know who I am?


You tell anyone you saw us?

- Not a soul.
- Sure?

Yes, sir. The Pittsburgh police, they...

You can't ever beat it, can you?


Nothing. I'm sorry.

- It's all right.
- Got a smoke?

- Mind if I take one for my brother?
- No.

Thank you.

You wanted to catch us? For the money?

Well, money, and to be the man
who got the Biddles.


...l'm gonna knock you out...

...but don't make any noise
like you're hurt or nothing.

- Don't make a sound, you understand?
- Yes, sir.

Now don't worry. I know what I'm doing.

- You out?
- Almost.

Hang on, I'll try again.

We're safe.
He didn't tell anybody he saw us.

Let's go.

Giddap there!

Bless and keep these men, Father,
in the righteousness...

...of their mission to hunt down
the killers of innocent men...

Amen, Reverend! That's enough.
Get your guns and ammunition, men!

- Sheriff Hoon!
- What do these women want?

They want to ride with the posse
to ensure no one hurts the Biddles.

You get out of here!
Get back home where you belong!

Pardon me, sir.

Hello there. You lost?

No, sir. I'm traveling with my wife
and my brother here.

If you could spare some blankets
or some food, I'd buy them from you.

You better get that woman
in the house right away.

Yes, sir.

You've got no business taking your wife
out on a day like today.

We got relatives expecting us up North.

Got an uncle in Erie. He's awful sick.

- Erie?
- Yes, sir.

You've got a good piece of traveling
to get to Erie.

About how far, sir?

Well, we're due west of Butler.

I'd say it's 100 miles from Butler to Erie.

Here she comes now!

- How you feeling?
- Better.

It's beautiful here, isn't it?

- But maybe we should hurry, Ed.
- There's no rush.

That dress fits, don't it?

- You better keep it.
- I couldn't, really.

It belonged to my oldest girl, Charlotte...

...when she was young.
Now she's had five babies...

...and she's big as a barn.

Keep it.

And you're welcome to stay
as long as you're able.

I put a fire in the back bedroom, upstairs.

You can go up there and lie down.

Have a rest.

It's up to my brother.

Well, I suppose we all could use a rest.


- Thank you very much.
- You're welcome, dear.

Thank you. Thank you, John.

Would you like to read the paper?

Mr. Stevenson don't seem to read no more.

Our grandnephew, Harry,
reads to him sometimes.

So you ain't read the news
the last couple of days?

No. Harry ain't been over.

- I'll read it to you.
- Would you?

- Yeah.
- Thanks!

How late is it?

I don't know the time.

Past noon?


You know one thing I never did?

- Smoke a pipe.
- Me, neither.

Maybe if I had some kind of regular life,
I'd have smoked one.

- How does it look?
- Fine.

Maybe I'll smoke one
when we get our farm.

Come keep me warm, Ed.
It's like the snow's inside of my skin.

You know something I'd tell my children
if they ever felt scared?

- I am not scared.
- I know, of course you're not.

- What would you tell your kids?
- Something sweet, I bet.

I'd say...

Do you want to hear it?

I'd say, "Look up at the sky...

" or night, 'cause in the sky
you can see the sun.

"And at night,
you can see the moon and the stars.

"And these are God's eyes...

"...proof that he's always above you...

"...watching over you, protecting you."

- And they'd believe that?
- I did.

I suppose God won't protect me anymore,
will he, Ed?

'Cause of me?

'Cause of me.

- We'll protect each other, all right?
- All right.

Put your hands on me. I'm so cold.

I didn't see anybody I didn't know.

You notice when people
come by the store?

I certainly do.

We're looking for two men and a woman.

The two men in their mid 20s,
and the woman, 35...

Now, wait a minute now,
I think I did see them.

- When was this?
- Earlier this morning.

- Driving a sled?
- Yeah, they was.

Could you tell how old they were?

The fellows was all bundled up.
Pretty hard to tell. She must've been...

...30, 35 maybe.

- Driving two horses?
- Yeah. Cutters.

Any idea which direction they were going?


- All those things they said I did.
- What?

The murder...

What they'll hang me and Jack for.

No, Ed, don't talk.


How do you prove you love someone?

Prove it?

If there was some way
that they could get you away from me...

- Lf they get us?
- Yeah.

Will they?

There's one thing that you have to know.

Jack never killed anybody.

That's why I have to die.

God's abandoned us. You said that.


So if you'll forgive me...'ll be all right.

Yes. I forgive you, Ed.

Don't you let them take me alive, Ed.

Promise me. Promise me, Ed.

I won't, I promise.
I won't let them take you.

The police is out, Aunt!

The police is out!

Harry, we had company for dinner.

Mr. Wright and his brother...

...and his sweet wife.

Poor thing!

Aunt! That was the Biddles!

- What Biddles?
- The killers the police are looking for.

I bet you gave dinner to the Biddles.

They're here yet, Harry!


You a Biddle?
The police is looking for you.

Mr. Watson! Call the officers back!

We've got to go.

Get me the Prospect police!
Yes, ma'am, the police!

My poor husband
is in that house with them.

You men take some guns
and go in after those boys!

You go yourself, Mrs. Stevenson.
I ain't getting killed!

Here they come.

Get back!

See that? You better stand back!

We're two desperate fugitives,
and she's ruthless and insane.

- Sorry, mister, and thanks a lot.
- Goodbye!

- And good luck to you young folks!
- So long.

'Bye! 'Bye!


I didn't hear no shot, Buck.

- Turn them around, John.
- What? Back the way we came?


- Hey, Ed?
- Yeah.

They got bears in Canada?

- I suppose they do. Do they, Kate?
- I imagine so.

- What about polar bears?
- Yeah?

I'd give anything to see a polar bear.

Ed! Look over there!

- Ed, what do I do?
- Just keep on driving, Jack.

Giddap, there!



Tell me what to do, Kate.

I want you to keep your promise, Ed.

I can't go back.

Ed, I want you to do it. Do it, Ed.

You know I love you, don't you, Kate?

Say you love me. Say you love me, too.

I do. I love you.

I never meant to hurt you, Kate.

Yes! Yes!

They're coming straight for us.

Hold them steady, John.

Ed! Come on. Get up!

Turn those horses out!

Hold your fire!

Hold your fire!

Hold it!

Hold it!

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, Jack.

Let me die. Let me die.

Leave them be, Buck.
They can't hurt nobody no more.

Holy God in heaven!

It's the woman!
She's been shot, but she's alive!

There's someone here for you, Mrs. Soffel.

I don't want to see that preacher.
I don't need his prayers.

It's not the preacher.

Papa doesn't know I'm here.
Billy brought me.

I look so awful.

Oh, Irene, do you hate me?

Don't you have a brush?

They won't give me one. I'm so dangerous.

Billy and I got married, Mama.

I wanted to tell you.

Your change.

Ice cream!

Becky, can I have some?

Mrs. Soffel.

Good morning, Mrs. Soffel.

Let me introduce
the Superintendent of Prisons...

...Mr. Coates...

...and the District Attorney, Mr. Robinson.

You know, ma'am, you once ruined
an important program of mine.

I had a pass
to see the Biddles hanged last winter.

I was really looking forward to it.

I'm ready to go in now.

At least it's not as cold now.

Spring has come early this year.

Last year we had to wait a long time
for spring. Remember?


I was sick last spring.

I hope you'll be comfortable
while you're here.


...thank you.

"Just a little violet
From across the way

"Came to cheer a prisoner
In his cell one day

"Just a little flower
Sent by a loving hand

"Has a kindly meaning
That true hearts understand

"Just a little flower
Plucked with loving care

"God has smiled upon it
And the sender fair

"And soon that little token
Wrapped in hands so neat

"Rests quietly within a grave

"O'er which a heart that's true does beat"

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