The Fabelmans (2022) - full transcript

Growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, young Sammy Fabelman aspires to become a filmmaker as he reaches adolescence, but soon discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of films can help him see the truth.

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Mommy and Daddy will
be right next to you.

The lights will go down.

There may be some organ
music as the curtain opens.

Don't be scared.

It'll be dark in
there, you said.

- I don't want to go in.
- But it's fun.

All week, you've
been so excited.

Your first ever movie.

- And the people are gigantic.
- What people?

You said the people in
the movie are gigantic.

Oh, because of the
big screen they're on,



but they're not real, uh, right?

- They're like dreams.
- Dreams are scary.

Some dreams are, but this
is gonna be a nice dream.

About a circus and clowns
and acrobats and, um...

You want to know how it works?

There's a big machine
called a projector.

Inside, there's a
big bright light,

and it projects photographs

- of-of clowns and acrobats.
- And elephants.

-Uh, "projecting" means it sends them out.
-Happy things.

Happy things like light
from a huge flashlight.

But these photographs move
past the light really fast.

24 photos in every second.

Now, in your brain,



each photograph stays for
about a 15th of a second.

That's called
persistence of vision.

The photographs move past

faster than your brain
can let go of them,

and that's how the movie
projector tricks us

into believing that motionless
pictures are moving.

A motion picture.

Movies are dreams, doll,
that you never forget.

You just wait and see.

When it's over,
you're gonna have

the biggest, sloppiest
smile on your face.

They're letting us in.

Wait till the engines pass.

Unlock the door.

Pass it down.

- What's that?
- Second section.

Angel. She's on that train.

So what? We got the dough.
Let's get out of here.

Lights. I must turn the
lights down the track.

You crazy lunkhead.
Give me that wheel.

We are going to...
Down the track!

The train! Stop the train!

Stop the train!

Stop! Can't you see the lights?!

Stop!

First section! Hold it!

Angel! Angel!

What was your favorite part?

Sammy, what do you
want for Hanukkah?

I told you this
wasn't a good idea,

what with all of his
A-N-X-I-E-T-I-E-S.

Kids his age have big
I-M-A-G-I-N-A-T-I-O-N-S.

No fair spelling
out the long words.

The lights change
how everything looks.

It's hard to find our house.

Ours is the dark
house with no lights.

That's what I want for Hanukkah.

- What?
- Christmas lights!

Sorry, dolly.

Jews don't get Christmas lights.

Eight nights of candlelight.

♪ Who could ask for
anything more? ♪

♪ Who could ask for
anything more? ♪

Can I sleep with
the oscilloscope?

Get going. We got
to burn rubber.

- What's that?
- Second section.

Angel. She's on that train.

The lights.

I must turn the
lights down the track.

Stop the train!

Stop the train!

-Angel!

Mommy! Mommy!

I know what I want for Hanukkah!

I know what I want for Hanukkah!

Hanukkah!

Thank you!

Sammy.

- Oh, my God.
- Whoa.

I'm so excited.

♪ Down by the station
early in the morning ♪

♪ See the little
pufferbellies all in a row ♪

♪ See the stationmaster
pull the little handle ♪

♪ Puff, puff, toot, toot ♪

♪ Off they go ♪

♪ Down by the station
early in the morning ♪

♪ See the shiny train
cars all in a row ♪

♪ Waiting to get hitched up
and go on their adventure ♪

♪ Puff, puff, toot, toot ♪

♪ Off they go. ♪

Okay, so the outside grounds,
the middle conducts the power,

and these two metal
wheels under the engine

complete the circuit.

So, new, Mr. Engineer?

RCA gave you a raise?

That is one expensive
trolley car.

It's not a trolley car.
It's a Lionel train.

No raises for the
computer guys this year.

Next year, maybe.

Your moonlighting
son is paying for it

by filling up my
house with broken TVs.

Repair work, that's how.

Oy, careful he doesn't
electrocute himself.

- Hold on.
- You're okay.

You're not taking that fancy
train to Florida without me.

Hey, look.

She's down on the floor.

Who's gonna help her up?

Who says I'm getting up?

I'm going to Miami
on the Sammy Limited.

Go ahead.

Ooh.

I precisely engineer toys.

You can play with them

when you've learned to
treat them with respect.

I do respect them. I love them.

I know you do, but you
can't just love something.

You also have to take
care of it, right?

Maybe we can play together
with them this weekend.

But I need to see them crash.

I don't understand.

Why does he need
to see them crash?

It's late.

You don't want to
shut your light?

Mm. In a minute.

I'm still wide-awake.

You see these descending notes?

That's called a lament bass.

You should play it on the
radio on that arts program.

-Oh.
-They keep asking you to go back.

I don't have time for that. Mm.

Well, we can hire a sitter.

Who can afford that? Forget it.

That was another life.

That was two kids ago.

You know what I miss
most about the piano?

Surrendering to the score.

Knowing Bach is
gonna tell you how...

First this note,
then this chord,

then you open your hand, you
stretch down an octave...

Making a little world you
can be safe and happy in.

Thank you.

That's why he needs
to watch them crash.

He's trying to get some
kind of control over it.

Sammy?

We're going to use
Daddy's camera to film it.

Only crash the train once, okay?

Then, after we get
the film developed,

you can watch it
crash over and over

till it's not so scary anymore.

And your real train
won't ever get broken.

One more thing, dolly.

Let's not tell your father.

It'll be our secret movie,
just yours and mine.

- Okay?
- Okay.

Sorry I'm late.

I picked up Ms.
Moynahan's Motorola.

There's no room left
in the workshop.

- Where should I put it?
- The living room, I guess?

Okay.

Hey, uh, sorry I'm late.
I picked up Mrs. Fabelman.

Where should I put her?

Ow! Ow, ow, ow.

- Did the mail come?
- It's on the table.

Cossack.

- This is brisket?
- My movie!

Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.

After supper.

The amount of magnetism
is increased by

how magnetically permeable
the core material is.

The tricky thing is how
permeable we can make it.

Am I supposed to be
following any of this?

You know what a magnetic
field is, right?

Uh, yeah. Well,
sure. I mean, it...

Sammy, do you know what
a magnetic field is?

- Can I be excused?
- Nope.

But I need to,
just for a minute.

- What's so urgent?
- Honey.

This tastes funny, Burt.

It tastes funny
on a plastic fork.

- Ma.
- Is she saving the silverware

for when the
Eisenhowers drop by?

The problem is we're
using vacuum tubes,

not transistors,
and magnetic cores

- to try to access memory...
- 35,000 magnetic cores.

Hey, Sam, you know on
your father's camera

when the film runs out?

When that happens,
what do you do?

- Load more film.
- The same with computers.

You have to load more tape, and
that slows everything down...

Mitz, the chopped liver
was beyond belief.

Load it with data,

and instead of changing
tapes every ten seconds,

this new machine
he's engineering...

- The BIZMAC!
- The BIZMAC!

It can search for information

through all these tapes at once.

You never need to
change any of them.

It'll be ten times faster.

I love Burt's brain.

Especially when you're around
to explain what's in it.

Mom, I have to go upstairs now.

Not until you've
finished eating.

He cleaned his plate.

No, he didn't.

Sammy.

Hey, Natalie, I think there's
something under your plate.

- Sammy.
- No, there isn't.

Lift it up and check.

I saw it moving.

Licorice.

If there's anything
I'm a sucker for,

it's licorice.

Uncle Bennie, that
was so disgusting!

- No, no!
- Natalie, he is not your uncle.

Also, he is not that funny.

Oh, "uncle" is a
term of affection.

Natalie, he's not related.

He's only always here
because he works for my son.

He's only always here
because he's my best friend.

And deep down inside
you, Mrs. Fabelman,

admit it, I'm your friend, too.

Deep down inside of me
is none of your business.

Sid Caesar's on tonight.

Help me.

- Natalie, get that corner.
- What?

Get the corner. Get the corner.

Can I help you take it out?

Sammy.

I had to crash it a
whole lot of times,

- but the train never got hurt.
- Golly.

I thought that was The
Greatest Show on Earth.

Oh, more, more,
more, more, more.

Head back. Open.

- Ah.
- Candy corn in.

Say, "Ah."

Head back.

Ketchup. Okay.

Scream like it hurts.

Pull it!

Sammy!

Oh.

Take off the blindfolds.

Sammy?

Reggie, Natalie, come
downstairs pronto.

Your father has an announcement.

General Electric
wants to hire me

because of what I did on BIZMAC.

They want to use my electronic
library system to...

Well, I-I don't think
they have any notion

of what I can do with it.

And I'll make more money.

Is Uncle Bennie coming, too?

Well, D-Daddy and me haven't
had a chance to think

- about Uncle Bennie, but...
- Bennie, no. He lives here.

Burt.

I'll miss your
Uncle Bennie, too,

but Phoenix is a real neat city.

It's on the rise.

They've only just hired me.
I've got no pull there yet.

I can't ask General Electric

to hire somebody
else on my say-so.

- That's not how it works.
- Don't ask them.

Do it yourself. They're
hiring you to manage.

Managers hire. Hire Bennie.

Uh, who's watching... Sammy!

He's got to make a name
for himself at RCA.

- Come here. Come here.
- That's what I did.

He'll stay in New Jersey,

get out from under
my shadow and then...

- He needs you, Burt.
- There's a tornado outside!

Yeah, well, there's
a bigger one in here.

Honestly, honestly, Burt,
sometimes I want to shake you.

You're-you're gonna leave him
behind with just a-a shrug?

Mommy! Mommy!
Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!

"We'll see ya later."

And once we're gone, who will
he have left in New Jersey?

You have an opportunity
to help your best friend.

- Mommy, look!
- Mommy! Mommy!

- Honestly, wake up.
- Mom! Mom!

-What?!
-Look! There's a tornado outside.

- I'm scared.
- Just go.

Wow! Ah!

Oh!

You weren't kidding!

How close is it?

Why does the sky look orange?

Come on!

Come on. Let's go see.

- Get in, get in!
- Get in!

Mitz? Where are you going?

Mitz, where are...

Hey!

Where are you going?

Mitz!

Mitzi!

Where is it?

I can't see it anymore.

Up ahead somewhere.
We'll find it.

Mom, it's there. It's there!

Is this s-safe?

Of course it's safe.
I'm your mother.

Mom, stop!

Everything happens for a reason.

Everything happens for a reason.

Everything happens for a reason.

Say it with me.

Everything happens for a reason.

Everything happens for a reason.

Everything happens for a reason.

Everything happens for a reason.

♪ Take me back to dream again ♪

♪ By a campfire on the trail ♪

♪ By a campfire on the trail ♪

♪ When day is done ♪

♪ Let me smell that chaparral ♪

I think there's something
dead in the road.

♪ Let me join my saddle pals ♪

♪ By a campfire on the trail ♪

♪ When day is done... ♪

Reggie, wave in the camera.

♪ Let me smell that chaparral ♪

♪ Let me join my saddle pals ♪

♪ By a campfire on the trail ♪

♪ When day is done ♪

♪ I'll make my bed and rest ♪

♪ Beneath the western sky ♪

♪ And tell the moon... ♪

- Ooh, look.
- There it is!

There it is. Wow.

Whoa!

Let me out. I want to take
a shot of him pulling in.

- No!
- No, I have to pee now!

Me, too! Now! No!

♪ He and I will always be ♪

♪ By a campfire
on the trail... ♪

No! I have to pee!

- Keep coming.
- No!

Keep coming, Dad.
You're doing great.

And...

Stop.

Freeze.

- Where's the lunch box?
- Wow.

Where's the lunch box?! Hurry!

Guys, look at the
monster Sammy caught.

I got the babies.

- Sal found babies.
- Look at that.

Sammy, Dean, come on.

There's a huge nest right there.

- Come on, guys.
- A big one, Sammy.

- Oh, God.
- Oh!

It's a whole herd of 'em.

Scorpions come in nests.

No, actually, it's
a bed of scorpions.

No, it's a nest.

The baby scorpions are
called "scorplings."

They're twice as venomous.

That's-that's why
the lab pays more.

There's got to be
like 50 of 'em.

Well, how much is the
laboratory gonna pay for them?

50 cents per baby.

- That's 25 bucks!
- We're rich.

Well, what are we gonna buy?

12 dollars even.

Well, it's the merit badge
for photography, not movies.

The manual says you got to tell
a story with still pictures.

Yeah, but all a movie
is is still pictures.

You just put a bunch of
them together and they move.

Okay, but what kind of
movie are we making?

Ooh. Sammy, look.
It's Janet Benedict.

Hey, go on and talk
to her. I dare you.

He already talked to her.

- No way.
- Like hell.

No way. He actually
spoke to her?

He did. He did. He
walked right up to her.

- And he...
- You went up to Janet Benedict?

- What did you say to her?
- Nothing.

Oh, come on. Tell them
what happened, Sammy.

Nothing happened.

Something happened. Come on.

Could be the same one.

"Overland." Say, I think
it is the same one.

Well, I declare.

So, uh,

Sammy kind of sidewinds
his way in her direction.

And he's trying to, um...
he-he's trying to work up

the nerve to say something
slick and smooth like,

- "Hey, Jan, baby."
- No, I wasn't.

You're making this up.

But-but he sees that Janet's
got something on her nose.

So now he's thinking, "Cool.

Here's my excuse to go
up and talk to her."

So he goes and he says,
"Hey, uh, sorry, Janet.

It-it looks like you have a
little smudge on your nose."

- Shut up, Hark.
- But it wasn't a smudge.

- It looked like a smudge.
- And it wasn't little.

Hark, shut up!

It was a booger!

A big, fat,

Janet Benedict booger.

It was huge.

Hey, Sammy.

Stand and deliver.

What kind of movie
are we gonna make?

Stand and deliver.

No, keep screaming.
Keep screaming.

I need more dust. Dad, can
you grab the sandwich board?

No, no. God, no,
no more dust. No.

Reggie, stop coughing!

-I'm coughing because there's dust.
-Okay.

-More dust, fellas.
-Natalie, say, "Please don't kill me."

- All right.
- Reggie, stop coughing.

You're being dramatic.

Mr. Fabelman, you're getting
dirt inside my stagecoach.

Don't you want me
to be dramatic?

- Don't look into the camera.
- Well, we'll clean it out.

Guys, stop looking
into the camera.

- I can't use any of this.
- Dad!

Fake.

Totally fake.

You hear it?

She has got to cut those
goddamn fingernails

before she goes on
live television.

I have to perform this tomorrow.

It's a difficult piece.

It's a very big deal for me.

All I asked was for you to
keep your big traps shut

and listen to my
dress rehearsal.

Sorry, Mitz. It's wonderful.

You hear how the
rising arpeggios

lift up the sad notes?

It's in F minor, but your
mom makes it sound so alive.

She makes it sound like
she's playing a typewriter.

Oh, no.

Not this again.

Do you hear it? Am I clicking?

I concentrate on
your playing, but...

Bu... Oh, great. But what?

But people can
hear it in Tucson.

Maybe I've gotten used to it.

Maybe GE should make

rubber tips for fingernails.

All right, Mitzi Fabelman.

Time to face the music.

Oh, boy.

You stay away from
me with those things.

- It's Beethoven, damn it.
- No, no, no!

- It is not Morse code. Come on.
- No! Stop! Stop! Stop it!

He has a point,
though, especially with

the polydirectional
ribbon microphones

they have on television stage...

Come on. You married her.

Dad, don't.

Do it. Do it. Do
it. Do it. Do it!

I will scratch you.
Don't think I won't!

Do you think Arthur Rubinstein

had fingernails?

- Horowitz? Schnabel?
- Do not think about it.

- Kempff?
- No, no, no.

- Liberace.
- No, no, no, no.

- Not my nails.
- Come on, Fabelman.

Show her who's
General Electric's

- product design manager.
- No, my beautiful nails.

I paid a buck 50 at the
beauty parlor for these.

Oh, no.

One, two, three.

Get off of me, Delilah.

- Delilah?
- Okay, the fun's over.

I'll do the rest myself.

Oh.

Oh, great.

Just great. Well,
that decides it.

I'm gonna play the program
from memory tomorrow.

No sheet music, short nails,
like a real performing artist.

Did you drop your gun?

Come on.

That's me.

Real scary, Sheriff.

Whoa.

Whoa.

H-How'd you do that?

How'd you do that?

Whoa!

Go, Sammy!

It's kind of like
what I do, isn't it,

what a movie director does?

- It is?
- I figure out

what my division
needs to accomplish,

then I work out how my
guys are gonna get it done.

Yeah, it is. Yeah, sort of.

How'd you make it look like
the guns were really firing?

I did it with pins.

Pins.

Yeah, I poked holes
in the film with pins.

- Sammy.
- Yeah.

Thinking like an engineer.

Watch the road, Dad.

Sammy, watch the road.

I can't edit without
an editing machine.

I have to be able to
cut and splice, and I...

Let's revisit it after
the camping trip.

It's three hours to
the national forest.

If you get your license, you
can help with the driving.

Okay.

"You are approaching
a railroad crossing

"with no warning devices
and limited visibility.

The speed limit is..."

See, the thing is, though,
about my new movie,

is that it's just...

It's about World
War II, your war.

It's gonna be, like,
out of this world.

I'm shooting on a Bolex H8.

Finally, I can use
double run film.

You know, that's six minutes

without having to
change the reel.

How much did you spend
to rent this camera?

20 bucks. But I
used my own money.

You don't have to...

And this movie
editor gizmo costs?

It's a Mansfield eight
millimeter movie editor.

How much?

- 80 bucks.
- Doggone it, Sammy!

A hundred dollars for a hobby?

It's not a hobby, Dad.

If you spent half the time
on algebra that you spend on

- these movies, you could get...
- Algebra? I hate algebra.

Why are you...

It's completely pointless.

Not if you want to make
something, it's not pointless.

Gee, Sammy, when I was a
boy, I always used to think,

-"Somebody figured out how to make this."
-Yeah.

- This car...
- Uh-huh.

That rearview mirror,
that directional signal.

I want to make movies, though.

I mean something real.

Not imaginary.

Something someone
can actually use.

Like a driver's license.

I'm gonna vomit,
Sammy! I'm gonna vomit!

Sammy, please pull over.

She's gonna puke all over me.

Go slower. You are
the worst driver.

You're gonna break the car.

We're on a back road going
three miles per hour.

- Calm down.
- You're doing great, doll.

You're doing very well.

Okay, watch out.
Puddle up ahead.

So we've got three

that are strong and still green
inside, so they don't burn.

Bright green means that
they're still alive

and that they carry moisture.

And the reason that we use
the shape of the triangle

is that when these
three points connect,

if we find the center
of gravitational force,

it creates almost
perfect balance.

-Whew. Oh.
-Because I'm Tutti, and you're Frutti.

So who else are you
gonna listen to?

♪ A wop bop b-luma,
b-lop bam bom. ♪

Okay.

The pyramids, right?

- Guys, come on!
- I mean, the history

behind this shape...

- Ah. Oh!
- Is pretty in...

Is pretty incredible.

Oh, hello!

- Uh...
- Hi!

Wait. Let me try it...

- Let me try it like this.
- Okay, one more time.

- Yeah, after one more time.
- Okay.

- Ready?
- Hey.

Girls, I'm gonna start the fire!

- Three, two, one!
- Okay. Really big, really big!

Go! Whoa!

I thought it was gonna break.

Oh. It's-it's happening!

You almost broke it in half.

♪ Kleenex-ica, Windex-ica ♪

♪ She's sexy-ca, oh, boy ♪

♪ Pneumonia,
dyslexia, leukemia ♪

♪ Oy, oy, oy, oy ♪

♪ Ah, Leningrad,
then Petrograd ♪

♪ I'm sorry, Dad, I lied,
I snatched the keys ♪

♪ And stole the car and
took it for a ride ♪

♪ You take it back ♪

- ♪ You're giving me a... ♪
- Heart attack!

We'll take a schvitz
and have a...

- Shmitz.
- And eat some...

Schnitzelpitz.

- And drink slivovitz.
- And we'll lose our wits.

- And we'll get the shits!
- And have...

Whoa!

♪ We live in Arizon-ia ♪

-♪ Where nothing can
be grown-ia ♪ -Wait.

♪ The land is dry and stony-a ♪

- ♪ And we can eat bologn-ia ♪
- Exactly!

♪ Hyen-ica, hyen-ica,
hyen-ica, hiya ♪

♪ Hyena, eat some
pita, eat some pita ♪

♪ Hyena, eat some pizza,
eat some pita... ♪

They're gonna know
that kind of FPU

is not for industrial
process control,

and it will raise every
red flag there is.

- How many bits?
- Float64.

64 bits?

Sixty... You are nuts.

And time-sharing
for 11 operators?

They're gonna know this
is a business machine

we're building, and we're
all gonna get fired.

No.

Yes!

GE doesn't build
business computers.

We do heavy industry processing.

You got that straight
from the CEO.

Ralph Cordiner is
gonna skin you alive.

Once Bank of America buys
in, this will be profitable,

and that's Mr. Cordiner's
job, making money.

My job is getting Raytheon

to deliver 10,000
germanium transistors

that meet our
tolerance standards.

And your job is to get
the cabling diagrams

to Pitney Bowes so
when the time comes,

we have a sorter to hook
up to the mainframe.

Well, maybe Pitney
Bowes will hire me

after you get us
both canned from GE.

Isn't it worth getting canned

for the chance to build a
machine that can do all that?

It's worth it to you, maybe!

Sure as the Lord made
little green apples,

California, here you come.

IBM is waiting.

Are we moving to California?

- You are, any day now.
- No, no, no.

What?

IBM's asking, and that's
flattering, but...

- Flattering?
- Flattering!

Every guy in computer
would give his matzo balls

to get an offer.

You'll be in California

building double-precision
auxiliary units with an FP64.

I'm gonna be left
schvitzing in Arizona

- making 40-watt light bulbs.
- Hold your horses.

-Congruence? Come on.
-I told your mom it'll be up to her.

I'm not uprooting us
again unless she says yes.

Why would Mamaleh ever leave
all of this for California?

We have the Grand Canyon.

They have the San Andreas Fault.

Mamaleh says...

I will never leave Arizona,

and Arizona will never leave me.

Kids, avert your eyes.

- Hey, man.
- Hmm?

- Shouldn't you be filming this?
- Not enough light.

GE, living better electrically!

Mom?

Mom, everyone can see
through your dress. Um...

Reggie, get out of the way.

Dad, can you please stop this?

- Come. Sit.
- No.

Bennie, don't look!

Oh! You're all nuts!

My mama's such a good mama.

I love you so much.

I'm right here.

I'm right here with you.

I'm holding your hand.

Can you feel that, Mama?

I just gave you a squeeze.

I love you, Mama.

Ma.

Mommy?

She opened her eyes.

Nurse.

Mommy, I'm here.
Here. I'm right here.

I'm right here, Mama.

Mommy, look at me.

Mommy, can you hear?

Oh.

Oh, oh...

It's a Mansfield eight
millimeter movie editor.

That's what you wanted, right?

Oh, my God.

Uh, now I need a
favor in return.

Okay. Okay, okay, okay.

Here's the favor.

Yeah.

I want you to make a
camping trip movie.

Uh, you can learn

how the editing machine
works while you do this.

It'll make your mom feel better.

Yeah.

That last night when she
danced in the headlights,

that'd be great.

Get to it tomorrow, okay?

Um, tomorrow's when
we start shooting.

Escape to Nowhere.

We're shooting all weekend, Dad.

- I can't.
- Shoot it next weekend.

We've got like 40 guys
coming to be in the movie.

I'll-I'll w-work on all the
camping trip stuff on Monday.

I'm asking you to do this
now for your mom. She's...

Yeah, and I said that I will,
just not tomorrow, please.

Don't be selfish. She
just lost her mother.

That's more important
than your hobby.

Dad, can you stop
calling it a hobby?

It'll cheer her
up, watching this.

- It's something we can do to...
- Her mom just died.

How is that gonna cheer her up?

Because you made it for her.

Uh, something's not right.

I don't know what else to do.

Can you help me?

Hello.

Mitzi. Mitzi.

Mama?

Somebody's coming.

Mama?

M-Mama. What...

- Mama. Mam...
- You mustn't let him in.

- You mustn't let him in.
- Mama, I-I can't hear you.

I am scared.

You mustn't let
him in the house.

Mama, please. I...

Do not let him in.

- Do not let him in the house.
- What? No, I can't...

Wh-Who's coming?

Don't open the door.

Mama.

Mommy, don't go.

Don't go yet.

You're having a bad dream.

This is a lot of food, Mom.

Well, I'm upset.

Oh, my God. That crazy dream.

I can't get it out of my head.

Uh, last night, I dreamed
I got a call from my mama.

And she wanted to warn me.

- That's silly. Grandma died.
- About what?

Well, something's coming.

She wants me to batten
down the hatches.

We're never going to be
able to eat all of this.

Who is that?

It's Uncle Boris.

Hmm?

Uncle who?

Mom?

That's who she meant!

My... That's my-my
mama's brother!

Oh, he scared the crap out
of her when they were kids!

Don't let him in!

You were in the circus?

Mama said you were
the lion tamer.

No, not at first.

At first, it was, "Podgorny,
pound in the tent pegs.

Podgorny, muck out
the pachyderms."

And then, one night,
the big cat act,

he comes down with the
flu bug, so it was, uh,

"Boris Podgorny,
in with the lions."

He's lying, right?

- No, he's telling you a story.
- Know what it's like, huh?

Pain in the ass, sisters.

- That's rude.
- He said "ass"!

I know.

But when did you start
working in the movies?

1927.

1927... that was
The Jazz Singer.

That's the year that
talkies started.

Yeah, sure, talkies. But me, no.

I started with, um,
Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Not a talkie.

It was Harry Pollard.

He acted for Selig Polyscope.

He, uh, married Maggie
what's-her-name.

- Mm-hmm.
- He directed Uncle Tom.

Lift up your plate.

So, Pollard needed help
with the bloodhounds.

So, my pal Fleischaker was
a big name in dog acts.

Poodles, mainly.

But, "Sure," Fleischaker
says to Pollard.

"Yeah. Bloodhounds, poodles,
what's the difference?"

Ooh.

So, he went.

But, uh, by this
time, uh, Fleischaker,

he had it up to here
with the Jew-haters.

There was a lot of that
kind in the circuses.

Not many Jews,
lots of Jew-haters.

- Right.
- But the movies...

Oy vavoy!

Fleischaker writes to
me, "Boris," he writes.

"Boris," he writes,

"Hollywood is heimish, heimishe.

I'm in a minyan with Douglas
Fairbanks and Ricardo Cortez."

- Whoa.
- "Come to Hollywood."

So, I went.

Your wife, she don't
like doing the dishes?

Uh, piano hands.

Ah, fershteyn.

So, you like the movies,
huh, Mr. Pitselshas?

Okay, so the sergeant, he
comes over the hill here,

and I'm gonna go below him,
so we see him and the sky.

And so we don't
see what he sees,

but we do see that
he's really...

Okay, so he's, like, almost
losing his mind, right?

-Mm-hmm.
-'Cause what he is seeing is totally terrible.

And then, I'm gonna turn the
camera so that we see it.

It's just in another
notebook. Hang on.

If that's the movie, uh...

you could show me instead
of describing me to death.

No, that's just our
stupid camping trip.

My dad's...

He wants me to put this
camping film together

so it'll cheer up Mom.

Because her heart is broken.

Because her mama iz toyt.

But you, Mr. Director,
you don't want to do this,

what your daddy tells you,

because you want to make
your war picture, huh?

Yeah, yeah.

Believe me, Sammy boy, I get it.

Family, art.

It'll tear you in two.

You hear that?

Oh, yeah. My mom's
practicing. She's always...

Sha. You talk too much. Listen.

When she was a kid, already
she played like that.

She should have been a
concert piano player.

Little Rubinstein, she was.

She could have played...

You name it, she could
have played there.

And she...

Once, I visited her and Tina
and Menashe in Cincinnati,

and she says to me she wants
to be a great piano artist.

But she didn't do it.

Yeah, she's really good.
You know, she played on TV.

TV? Feh!

She could have played at
Musikverein in Vienna.

You see, what she
got in her heart

is what you got, what I got.

Art.

Like me. Like you, I think.

We're junkies, and
art is our drug.

Family, we love.

But art, we're meshuga for art.

You think I wanted to leave my
sisters, my mama and my papa,

and go stick my stupid
head in the mouth of lions?

Put-Putting your head in-in
a lion's mouth is art?

No. Sticking your head in the
mouths of lions was balls.

Making sure the lion don't
eat my head, that is art.

You see, Tini, she
didn't say to Mitzi,

"Go do what you gotta."

I mean, she was a good person,
my sister, but she was scared.

Scared for your mother.

-She should have safety in the family.
-Uh...

So Mitzi, she gave it all up.

Ow! Wh...

I want you should
remember how that hurt.

Because when they say all this,
when they say, "What you do?

"Oh, that's cute. It's a hobby.

It's like stamps or
butterfly collecting,"

you feel your face,
how it feels now.

Yeah, you almost pulled it off.

So you remember your Uncle Boris

and what he's telling you.

Because you're going to
join the circus, I can tell.

You can't hardly wait.

You want to be in the big top.

You'll shovel elephant
shit until they say,

"Okay, Sammy, now ride
the goddamn elephant."

Oh, you love those people, huh?

Your sisters, your mama,
your papa. Except...

Except this.

This, I think you
love a little more.

No, I don't.

Yeah.

Oh, hey. Run all
you want, boychick,

but you know I ain't
whistling Dixie here.

You'll make your movies,
and you will do your art.

And you'll remember how it hurt.

So you know what I'm saying?

Art will give you crowns in
heaven and laurels on earth.

But...

it'll tear your heart
out and leave you lonely.

You'll be a shanda
for your loved ones.

An exile in the desert.

A gypsy.

Art is no game.

Art is dangerous
as a lion's mouth.

It'll bite your head off.

Look at me.

Look at me.

Is it a wonder that Tini, she
wanted nothing to do with me?

With me, with...

Oh, Tini.

Oh, Tini! Oh, Tini.

I...

Stop, stop! Stop it!

What, you never saw
nobody grieving before?

Let's go to sleep, bubbala.

Uh, you can sleep in the
bed. I have my sleeping bag.

I'm sitting shiva for my sister.

I sleep on the floor.

Y-You want to sleep
on the floor, too?

She was your grandma.

Tear your clothes.
Sleep on the floor.

Good night.

- Say "bye-bye."
- Bye-bye.

Bye-bye.

I don't know what Mama
was so worried about.

It was a nice visit.

Yuck.

Whoa!

Oh!

Aw.

This is the life.

Only you can prevent
forest fires.

Mm.

Oh.

It's so beautiful,
what you made, dolly.

You really see me.

Hey, man. How about that, huh?

Hey, Sammy, that was real neat.

Die, Amerikaner!

Move! Move! Fall backwards!

Whoa!

Attacke!

Ah! Cover!

Krauts, they're everywhere!

There's too many of them!

Turn.

Cut!

Great. Now, um...

Okay, come here. Come here.

Um, you're standing
here a minute,

looking down at
what just happened.

- A whole minute?
- I'll give you a signal

when I want you to start to
move, okay? So you're just...

Like, you mean I
should count to 60?

- What? No. No, no, no, no.
- Like, one Mississippi,

two Mississippi, and then move?

Don't-don't count to 60.

You just got to...

S-S-So... So you're
all like-like-like,

"Oh, my God."

Like, "All my men,
they're all...

they're all dead. All my
men, they're-they're..."

So you want me to,
like, act and stuff.

Well... yeah.

-Like I'm-I'm sort of sad or something?
-Right.

- Um, that's the whole point.
- 'Cause my whole platoon...

R-Right, right. Your platoon.

Your... Your men!

They've been wiped out.

These guys, they're your family.

Your family's being,

like, murdered,

and it's your fault.

You did this to them, and you...

I-I thought it was
the Nazis that...

Okay, yeah, but it was
you who gave the order

to go down into the
Valley of Death.

- Okay? You decided.
- Mm-hmm.

Nobody else. You could've...

Mm-hmm.

You could've
protected them. Okay?

'Cause they trusted
you, and they loved you.

Mm-hmm.

Now you're just
looking at this...

at this thing that you've done,

and... you can't
save them anymore.

Because they're all dead.

- Wow, that's, uh...
- Yeah.

Real gung ho.

Okay. Okay.

- You good?
- Lock and load.

Yeah. Yeah. Lock
and load. All right.

Good.

Uh, Sammy?

How far are you
gonna let him walk?

Cut!

Hey, that's a cut, Angelo!

- Angelo!
- Angelo!

Come back! Come back!

- He said, "Cut!"
- Angelo, hey! -Angelo!

Bravo!

Bravo!

Sammy!

Oh, dolly!

You're not a civilian anymore.

That movie, my God.

It was...

Hi, Mrs. Fabelman.

Mr. DeMille.

Come here.

- Hey, there he is.
- Congratulations, young man.

- Congratulations.
- Hey. Hey, hey.

I guess you based it on
your dad's war stories, huh?

Sort of. You know,
but he doesn't like

- to talk about it, so...
- No, I understand.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Dad, Mom's getting
a ride with Bennie.

She'll see us at home.

Hey, that last scene with the...

Why do you like blood so much?

And are you ever
gonna make a movie

with parts for girls again?

- Yeah.
- Make a career...

-What?
-With girls, you know, like,

because all the men stare off
into the distance all the time,

maybe a girl could save the day.

Okay, what are the five steps
to save a drowning person?

All right, one is you
swim behind the person

so they don't grab you.

Two, you throw your
arm across his chest.

- Or her chest.
- Three.

Not Sammy. He's too
scared of girls' boobies.

Three, you swim on your
back with the victim

on your chest, using your
free arm to paddle yourself.

And speaking of boobies,
if you ever get any,

we'll have a party. Um...

And at the party, we'll
give her the booby prize.

Ha-ha. What's four?

Um...

Crap.

Bring the victim to land, dummy.

- Mm.
- Then five?

Call the undertaker.

This is serious business.

I got to know all of this to
get the lifesaving merit badge.

More kids die in
swimming accidents

than in any other
kind of accident.

Sorry. I'm sorry.

Not everything is a big joke.

Okay, okay. So what's
step number five?

It's just... You
laugh at everything,

even when nothing's funny.

You always have to be
the center of attention.

Eat. And don't talk
with your mouth full.

I'm not eating this crud
before a swimming test.

You can get cramps in the
water if you eat before,

and you can drown
from getting cramps!

Stop shouting at her!

Sammy Fabelman, goddamn it!

For weeks now,

it has been nothing but
disrespect from you!

Disrespect?!

Why are you being such
a little shit to me?!

Damn it to hell,
I am your mother!

I wish you weren't!

Oh. Let me see.

Oh, my God.

Oh, what have I done?

Talk to me.

Oh, Sammy, please talk to me.

Tell me what's happening.

Do you have any idea
how much I love you?

Don't go.

Mom.

Mom.

I won't tell.

I won't tell. I won't.

I won't tell.

I won't.

Sure about this?

Mm-hmm.

There you go.
Bought and paid for.

Oh. Just a second.
It's in the back.

Stocking up on Kodak
before the big move?

N-No, I'm...

Smart. Film's cheaper
here than in California.

I bet everything's
more expensive there.

You're losing your
steadiest customer.

Him and his whole family,
they're moving west.

He just sold me his camera.

Oh, yeah? How come?

Says he's finished.

Sorry about the wait, Mr. Loewy.

We had to order it special.

You bought a camera?

It's for you!

I know how much you loved
using it for your war picture,

so I figured you ought
to have one of your own.

It's, um, a "bon voyage,"
"see you later, alligator,"

"I believe in you" present
from your uncle Bennie.

Because it's from me?

This move? Huh?

This is your dad's
glory-hallelujah moment.

And, oy vavoy, Sammy, does
that guy ever deserve it.

All the way back
when, back at RCA,

he knew what computing
was gonna be about

before practically
anybody else knew it.

And IBM?

That's where guys like
Burt are figuring out

how to use what he's made to...

They're gonna change
the whole goddamn world,

so this was the right decision.

For all sorts of reasons.

Yeah, so I'm happy for you.

You know I am.

But I'm gonna miss you.

All of you, a lot.

You think whatever bad things
you want about me, kiddo,

but you stop making movies,

it'll break your mother's heart.

You will break her
heart, I mean it.

She doesn't deserve
that, not from anybody,

least of all from you.

I'll give you 35 bucks for it.

You drive a hard bargain, kid.

I'm still done making
movies, though.

Everybody makes
movies in California.

Hey!

Keep the change.

♪ I met him on a Monday
and my heart stood still ♪

♪ Da doo ron ron
ron, da doo ron ron ♪

♪ Somebody told me that
his name was Bill ♪

♪ Da doo ron ron ron,
da doo ron ron... ♪

When will the new
house be finished?

A few months, in the spring.

Can I have my own room?

Everybody gets their own room.

- Yay!
- Yes!

I just remembered, last
night, I had a funny dream.

What was it?

I-I can't believe
I dreamed this.

Uh, uh, uh, Bennie and me
were having an argument,

and I hauled off and socked
him right in the nose.

♪ Yes, my oh my ♪

♪ And when he walked me home ♪

♪ Da doo ron ron ron, da... ♪

What's wrong?

Is Mommy carsick?

Let's just give
her a little time.

Bennie and me, we never...

we never...

I would never let it get as
far as I imagine you think.

Oh, I never imagined
any of that.

You think Dad knows?

I don't... I don't mean...

I don't mean, "Did
you tell him?"

I know you didn't.

But...

But you think he has an inkling?

I've almost told
him so many times.

I'll say, "Burt,
there's something

I've got to tell you."

Then he looks at me
like he can't conceive

that anything could
be wrong between us,

so instead, I say,
"Burt, we got ants."

Or, "Burt, could you
climb on the roof

and turn the antenna so
I can watch channel 5?"

Which, of course, he does.

I can't fight with your father.

He kills with such kindness.

I'm mean to him,
he buys me a dress.

From Saks.

Mom, when I showed
you what I filmed,

I never meant for any
of this to happen.

Oh... mmm.

Guilt is a wasted emotion.

Hmm.

What's gonna happen now?

I'm gonna be your mom.

I'm gonna be the girls' mom.

Despite my countless faults,

I'm not ruining
everything for everyone.

I'm gonna not be selfish.

Burt Fabelman is the
kindest, smartest, wisest,

most patient, most decent,

most understanding man there is,

and I'm gonna stay
married to him.

It's only a rental.

The new house will be ready

faster than you can
say "Jack Robinson."

Jack Robinson.

And we're still here.

Just tell me if
you're going to mope

for the rest of your life

or if it's something
you plan to outgrow.

Bug off.

You're, like, going for
the misery merit badge,

you and Mom with
your long faces.

She can't even get out of
bed to make breakfast and...

Okay, new rule, guys.

Um, when we walk to
school in the morning,

let's just leave all
the Fabelman mishegoss

behind us in the Fabelmans'
moldy old rental house.

So, for eight hours a
day, let's be normal kids

in an ordinary,
normal school, okay?

Some glue on your
hand or something.

- Too easy.
- That's what I'm telling you.

It's like we got parachuted

into the land of the
giant sequoia people.

All right.

Excuse me. Excuse me.

Up over! Nice dig.

Atta Johnson.

- I got it. I got it.
- Get it up. Get it up.

- Oh!
- Set, set, set, set.

- Hit it.
- Take it.

I got it.

Way to get up!

Nice.

Nice. Attababy, Logan.

Do it again. Go again.

Come on, boys.

Good work, guys.

Keep the intensity. Keep moving.

Rotate. Nice, Jake.

Good job, Chris.

Fabelman, it won't hurt you.

It's a volleyball,
not a cannonball.

Okay. Let's go. Serve.

Go!

Attababy!

That's good reactions.

Let's move. Let's...

Oh, my God, I am so sorry.
I didn't... Oh, my...

I'm gonna murder you,
you piece of shit!

Hey, Chad.

Cool it.

I am... I did not
mean to do that.

- Are you okay? I'm...
- That really hurt, asshole.

Watch your mouth, Logan.

Go fetch the ball.

Sure, yeah.

- Let's go.
- Mm-hmm.

Hey, new kid.

What's your name?

Sam.

Sam what?

Fabelman.

Told you he's a kike.

He doesn't like Jews.

Nobody likes Jews.

Except other Jews, right?

So, Bagelman...

No, that's not my name.

- Don't call me that.
- So...

you gave my best friend
a concussion, Bagelman.

- No, I didn't. Leave me alone.
- Hey.

Don't argue with me.

A serious concussion.

So, how do we make you pay?

How about this? We...

You're drinking
from the fountain.

You never hear me come up
from behind you, and bam!

I shatter your front
teeth all over the spigot.

Hey, look at me.

He's demented, like, medically.

So watch out for yourself.

Close the door!

- Mom got a monkey.
- Why'd you get a monkey?

'Cause I needed to laugh.

Oh, help me with this.

The directions don't
make any sense.

Careful. Careful.

Get down!

I'll get a banana.

Save the curtains.
They're rented.

Oh.

Uh, hello.

Who are you?

He's mine.

What are we gonna call him?

Bennie. His name's Bennie.

I don't want to see
a psychiatrist, Burt.

You're scaring the kids.

You're sleeping all day.

I miss the desert.

I miss dry heat.

You haven't even
unwrapped the piano.

You aren't cooking or
shopping or unpacking.

Psychiatrists help you know

why you're feeling something.

They can't help you feel
something different.

You're behaving like
when your mother died,

like you're in mourning,
but nobody's died.

Okay.

So I'll call the
monkey some other name.

IBM's out of his league, Mitz.

Bennie was... He...

is my best friend.

But they don't need him.

This is what I know.

I don't need him, either.

Bennie wasn't your friend.

But you knew he was mine.

What does that mean?

Logan, I'm really,
really missing you.

Hey!

Who's there?

Who's there?

Bagelman, yo.

I left you a little
snack in your locker.

Did you like it?

Guess he wasn't hungry.

Uh, he said... he said it was...

- What'd you call it, Chad?
- Kosher.

- Kosher.
- Knock it off, moron!

We talked about this.

All right.

Come on. We'll be
late for practice.

So, what is this?
Are you Jewish?

Well...

Holy crap. He's got
the hots so bad,

he can't even talk to her.

No, I don't.

Apologize to her.

For what?

For making goo-goo eyes at
her, for drooling at her.

I wasn't drooling at her.

Then apologize to her
for killing Christ.

Why are you encouraging him?

Go on.

Apologize to her for
killing our Lord.

Ugh. Don't go.

- Come watch me run.
- No, thanks.

- I'm not in the mood now.
- Oh, please.

I run better when you are there.

Apologize to her, you
Christ-killing son of a bitch!

I'm going home.

Go on and say sorry.

You're getting me in
trouble with my girl.

You know, obviously, since
I'm not 2,000 years old

and have never been to
Rome, I'm not apologizing.

But hey, you know, maybe,
uh, your boyfriend should

apologize to you for
making out in the stairwell

half an hour ago
with some redhead.

He-he's lying. He's...
I-I didn't do that.

I swear.

You told me you were
finished with her.

Logan, you lied to me!

Claudia.

Whoa...

You made a mistake.
Listen to me.

You made a mistake.

- You're gonna fix it.
- Bash his head in!

Shut up, Chad, goddamn it!

Tomorrow, you're gonna
find her first thing,

and you're gonna tell
her you were lying.

Say-say you were, um, scared.

Say-say whatever you got
to say, but you tell her

it wasn't true and you
did not see me doing that.

Or I swear, I will hurt you

worse than you've
ever been hurt.

You get me?

Nod to show you dig
what I'm saying.

He won't tell me who did this.

Ask him who did this.

Tell your father who did
this, and he will drive

to that little shit's
house, and he will beat

- the living crap out of him.
- Is your nose broken?

No, of course it's not broken.
You think I'd be sitting here

- if his nose was broken?
- Who hit you?

What do you care who it was?

It's not like you'll
do anything about it.

Tell me what happened first.

What happened is I hate it here,

and what happened is you
brought us here because...

Because I got a better
job, so we moved.

You don't even
care where you are.

You get to go to work, and
that could be in Iceland.

You're working with
your goddamn machines,

so you get to be happy while
the rest of us are mis...

- Just, come on.
- Don't.

Well, but you-you're
bleeding on the carpet.

It's a rental house.

Do you even notice how
much we hate it here,

where we're practically the
only Jewish people for miles

and everything is awful?

Do you even care that
this is your fault...

Everything that's
happening now...

Just because you
ran away from home

and took all of us with you?!

I came here so I could
work ten times harder

with ten times the
responsibility,

which seems to have
escaped everybody,

s-so I could build
us a nice home and...

Could everyone settle?
I want to say something.

No, no. You didn't come
here to build houses.

You didn't come here
to work. You ran away.

I think you have something
to say to me, Sammy!

And if I'm right about that,

then get it off your chest
and say it to my face!

I started therapy.

Anyways,

what I really wanted
to say is that,

about yesterday, what
I told you was...

it wasn't true, and I lied,

and I'm sorry.

But why?

- What did I ever do to you?
- Oh, no, no.

- It wasn't about you.
- Because that, like, really,

- really wasn't cool, you know?
- No, I didn't mean to hurt...

- I didn't mean to hurt you.
- Because I really love Logan.

Yeah, she cried herself to sleep

thinking he cheated on her.

You ought to be more considerate

of other people's feelings.

Okay, but Logan told me
to say I killed Christ.

- That wasn't Logan.
- What?

- That was Chad.
- Why would he do that?

Logan laughed. He
thought it was hilarious.

He's Jewish.

You don't say.

Yeah, I mean, since the
day I was circumcised.

So, how'd you know
she was a redhead?

- Oh, my God.
- Hmm?

He was making out
with Renee Reynolds?

- If you were lying...
- Mm-hmm?

How'd you know her hair color?

Uh...

Does it hurt?

So, you don't believe in Jesus?

Monica's, like,
totally hot on Jesus.

I can't imagine my
life without him.

Well, we've managed
for like 5,000 years,

so I guess it's possible.

Maybe we could...

I don't know, get
together and pray on it.

What, like, you and me?

We can ask him to
come into your heart

and, you know, see what happens.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure.

I mean...

What? Like, that would be,
like, when? Like, today?

It's a lot, huh?

It's sort of a shrine almost.

A shrine to guys.

L-Lots of guys.

They're sexy.

I guess.

I mean, not Jesus.

Jesus is sexy.

Isn't that, like,
a sin or something?

I don't know.

He came to us as a man.

A handsome young man.

He could've come as
a girl or an old man

or someone with leprosy, but...

Nobody knows what he
really looked like.

Probably, he looked like you.

Oh, because... because he was...

Jewish.

A handsome Jewish boy.

Just like you.

Let's pray.

Close your eyes.

Lord, I'm here with
my friend Sammy...

Sam.

I'm here with my
good friend Sam,

who's Jewish, and
he's a nice boy.

Lord Jesus, he's good and brave,

and he's funny, Lord, and...

and I like him.

Relax.

Ask.

Ask him to come into you.

Ask him to enter you.

Um...

hi there, Jesus.

It's me, Sam Fabelman.

If you're real, show me

- a sign or something, and...
- No, wait. You can't...

You can't ask Jesus to
do tricks to impress you.

You have to be humble.

You have to beg
him to. I'll do it.

I'm gonna beg the Holy
Spirit to come into me.

I'm gonna draw the
Spirit in with my breath.

Spirit, come into me!

Please, Holy Spirit!

I'm begging you,
sweet Holy Father,

for the sake of my friend Sammy.

Sam.

Come into us, Jesus!

Hear our prayer!

Open your mouth.

Open your mouth and take the
spirit of Christ into you.

Monica, Sammy, I made snacks.

We're coming!

- Oh...
- Tomorrow after school,

want to meet out back
behind the bleachers?

- Yeah.
- Cool.

We can pray some more.

When I was a girl
and I felt sad,

I'd go to the zoo and
I'd watch the monkeys.

They made you laugh?

Yeah, yeah, the monkeyshines.

Oh, but there was
more to it than that.

It was...

They understand what
we've done to them,

with the cages and
the people pointing.

We share that with them,

the truth of how
cruel people are.

But if you watch
them for long enough,

you can tell they know stuff
we can't begin to imagine.

Important stuff.

And they're not
gonna let us in on it

'cause it belongs to them.

It's their own monkey business.

Theirs. It's not ours. It's...

Oh, I don't know.

Self-possession.

Right.

They belong to themselves.

If it belongs to itself,

let it go back to
where it came from.

Anyway, that's how
come I got a monkey.

And a therapist.

He throws his poop.

The therapist?

No, the monkey.

That's why I'm
staying in a hotel.

You don't have to. We
have plenty of room.

My rabbi in New Jersey says

a monkey in the
house isn't kosher.

That's why we're not
going to eat him.

Did you schedule him
for his polio vaccine?

- They can get polio?
- Pass the peas.

Well, they're susceptible
to pretty much everything

- humans are, so yes.
- He hates going to the vet.

You see, Monica, in this family,

it's the scientists
versus the artists.

Sammy's on my team.

Takes after me, except
he's got real talent.

Mom.

And he's completely
terrible at science.

Mm. And algebra.

And sports.

- Will you please stop?
- He showed me his camera.

Is he good at kissing?

- I'll tell you later.
- Shut up!

-He sleeps with a camera under his pillow.
-No, I don't.

But he refuses to
actually shoot anything.

He should shoot Ditch Day.

-Mm. Mm-mm.
-They still don't have a photographer.

- You could volunteer.
- What's Ditch Day?

It doesn't matter.
I'm not going.

Something seniors get to
do at the end of the year.

They let us pretend like
we're ditching school,

and we all take buses to
Santa Cruz Main Beach.

You have to go! Everyone goes.

My dad will lend you his camera.

It's super fancy.

Costs like a thousand dollars.

It's called, like, a... an
"Air" something. I forget.

- Wait, not an Arriflex.
- Right.

Your dad owns a 16
millimeter Arriflex?

Wow. Wow, okay. So, 16
millimeter on stock...

See, usually it's the teacher
who shoots the Ditch Day movie,

-and it's a big joke.
-That's two minutes, 45 seconds a roll.

At ten bucks a roll, for a
whole day, that would be,

- like, insanely expensive.
- I owe you a graduation check.

My dad will get the
school to pay for it.

And I need to rent a 16
millimeter editing machine,

and I have no idea
how much that costs,

- so it's not gonna work.
- My dad will rent one for you.

Uh, we can rent it,
whatever it costs, right?

Burt.

Uh, what's wrong
with your Bolex?

You could afford to be
a little encouraging.

About what?

About him making movies again.

Well, I didn't say that.
I'm just talking...

- Maybe he's moved on.
- On from what?

He hasn't picked up his
camera once since we got here.

He'll be going to
college this September.

Maybe his feelings
about it have changed.

He's growing up. I'm
enthusiastic about that.

Filming is what he loves.

- I don't think him...
- Oh, Jesus Christ. I'm sorry.

Guys, can we please just
stop talking about me?

I'd think that you,
more than anyone,

should have some
understanding of what a...

Let's go to your
place or something.

Maybe your dad can
show me the camera.

- A vocation, a-a calling is.
- All right. All right.

We'll rent him the equipment.

He hates the beach.

That's why he doesn't
want to go to Ditch Day.

But it's not your calling.

Is that why you
can't, uh, respect it?

I have respect for everything

- he works hard doing.
- He's afraid.

He's scared if he does, those
guys will beat him up again.

What? No, I'm not. I never
said that I was scared of them.

- You don't, though.
- You got beat up?

You always dismiss what
he does, what anyone does,

that's playful or imaginative
as a pastime or a hobby.

You already won, Mitz.

I surrendered. I'm
not taking the bait.

Can you guys please
just cut it out?

- Oh, who's baiting who?
- You're embarrassing me.

I said I'd take him for his
polio shot the first five times

- you asked me, didn't I?
- Well, you say you will,

but I guess you don't
mean it, so I ask again

- and again and again.
- He's scared of shots.

He's scared of the doctor.

I am taking the goddamn
monkey to the vet, okay?

Probably needs a tranquilizer

with all this yelling.

Can you ask your dad about
borrowing the camera?

He'll say yes.

Thank you.

I'm filming Ditch Day.

I think it's a great idea.

♪ Goodbye, cruel world ♪

♪ Goodbye, cruel world ♪

♪ Oh, goodbye, cruel world ♪

♪ I'm off to join the circus ♪

♪ Gonna be a
brokenhearted clown ♪

♪ Paint my face with a
good-for-nothin' smile ♪

♪ 'Cause a mean, fickle woman ♪

♪ Turned my whole
world upside down ♪

- Nice!
- ♪ Goodbye, cruel world ♪

♪ Farewell to love ♪

♪ I'm off to join the circus ♪

- Go, go, go, go, go!
- ♪ Gotta find ♪

♪ A way to hide my tears ♪

♪ Then I'll have them
rollin' in the aisle ♪

♪ And I'll forget that woman ♪

♪ If it takes a hundred years ♪

♪ Goodbye, cruel world ♪

♪ Whoa-oh-oh, step right up
and take a look at a fool ♪

♪ He has got a heart
as stubborn as a mule ♪

♪ Come on, everybody,
he is good for a laugh ♪

♪ And no one could tell his
heart is broken in half ♪

♪ Well, the joke's on me ♪

♪ I'm off to join the circus ♪

♪ Oh, Mr. Barnum,
save a place for me ♪

♪ Shoot me out of a
cannon, I don't care ♪

♪ Let the people point
at me and stare ♪

♪ I'll tell the
world that woman ♪

♪ Wherever she may be ♪

♪ That mean, fickle woman ♪

♪ Made a cryin'
clown out of me ♪

♪ Goodbye, cruel world ♪

♪ Goodbye, cruel world ♪

♪ Goodbye, cruel world. ♪

Don't be scared.

Your mom misses
Phoenix too much.

Tell them the truth.

And I can't leave.

This is where my work is.

I have to...

That's crazy.

You... you can't ruin everything

because you miss one place

and you're stuck someplace else.

I miss Bennie too much.

So?

We all miss him.

This is a different
kind of missing.

Because what?

You love Bennie?

Don't you love Daddy?

Sure she does.

- Of course I love Dad.
- And I love Mom.

Then why is this all
of a sudden happening?!

Stay together.

You love each other,
and you love us,

and we don't want this.

We don't want to have
to move back and forth

and not live with both of you.

We can't. Dad, we can't.

You're always so mean to him!

That's why you're
getting divorced!

It's because of you!

Don't blame your mom.

This wasn't her
idea. It was mine.

- Don't-don't say that.
- No, it wasn't.

She just said it was because
of Bennie, so stop lying!

Both of you, stop lying!

I'm giving your mom a chance

to go back to, uh,
Phoenix to live...

♪ A pretty woman makes
her husband look small ♪

♪ And very often
causes his downfall ♪

♪ As soon as he marries
her, then she starts ♪

♪ To do the things that
will break his heart ♪

♪ But if you make an
ugly woman your wife... ♪

I don't understand
how you can go back

to your beach blanket
movie after that.

We're different, I guess.

Is she gonna marry Bennie?

If she wants to, she will.

God, she's the most selfish
person in the world.

It must've been hard
for her, married to a...

a genius.

Dad worships Mom.

Okay.

But maybe it's hard being
worshipped by someone

you know you'll
never be as good as

or ever do anything as good as.

She...

She laughs at Bennie's jokes...

but Dad's always been
her best audience.

Come on.

She'll be fine.

She'll tell herself everything
happens for a reason.

She'll make excuses
like she always does.

You're way more
selfish than her.

That's why you're angry at her.

It's because she's scared,

just like you, Sammy.

Out of everyone in
this out-of-control,

falling-apart family,

the one who's most
like Mitzi is you.

Wait.

Look, before I show this
to the whole school,

could you please
watch it with me?

♪ He's a soft-spoken guy ♪

♪ Do-lang, do-lang, do-lang ♪

♪ Also seems kinda shy ♪

♪ Do-lang, do-lang, do-lang ♪

♪ Makes me wonder if I ♪

♪ Do-lang, do-lang, do-lang ♪

♪ Should even give him a try ♪

♪ Do-lang, do-lang, do-lang ♪

♪ But then I know he can't shy ♪

♪ He can't shy away forever ♪

♪ And I'm gonna make him mine ♪

♪ If it takes me forever... ♪

Hold your breath!

Here.

Oh, wow.

Did you find Jesus?

In a jewelry store.

♪ If you see me walking
down the street ♪

♪ And I start to cry
each time we meet ♪

♪ Walk on by ♪

♪ Walk on by ♪

♪ Make believe that you
don't see the tears... ♪

Hey, man, look who's here.

Hey! Let's get
this party started!

Let the festivities begin.

♪ 'Cause each time
I see you... ♪

So, in September,
when I move to L.A.,

I'm gonna try and get
work in a movie studio.

Thought you were
going to college.

Could you...

Would you ever consider
coming with me?

I'm going to Texas A&M.

You know that.

Yes, I do.

But I thought...

maybe you should change
your mind, because...

Because what?

- Because I love you.
- Ow!

- Sammy!
- Oh, sorry!

Sorry, sorry, sorry.

That's not possible.

What?

N-No, it is.

Monica, I love you.

That's impossible. Sammy...

Sam.

We only started dating like...

♪ Walk on by... ♪

Everything was so normal before.

Why are you acting so...

No, because
nothing's normal now.

They're getting a divorce.

What are you talking about?

My mom and dad,
they're splitting up.

♪ The tears and the
sadness you gave me... ♪

Jesus Christ! This is prom!

You can't just blurt something
out like that at prom!

Wait.

♪ Don't ♪

♪ Stop... ♪

Monica!

Look, that's-that's got
nothing to do with us, okay?

-I'm not...
-That's not why I said that I love you.

- I don't know why I...
- I'm not gonna change

my whole life and
move to Hollywood

because your parents are
having marital difficulties.

♪ Walk on by ♪

♪ Walk on by ♪

You can get a refund. I
hardly wore it at all.

♪ Foolish pride, that's
all that I have... ♪

Are you breaking up with me?

Not at prom, but of
course, eventually.

I'm gonna pray on it.

And I'm gonna pray really,
really hard for you

because you're such a
fun boy to kiss, but...

Thank you. Thank you.

Wonderful. Wonderful.

Let's thank our band
for that great music.

Sometimes we just can't
fix things, Sam...

and all we can do is suffer.

Now we're gonna take a
little break from the dancing

for a very special moment
for the class of 1964.

Um, Mr. Samuel
Fabelman, where are you?

Where is he?

Okay.

Bagelman!

Bagelman!

Okay, everybody.

Face this way. Grab a chair.

Let's all get close
to the screen.

Right up front. Very good.

Mr. Fabelman, this
is your big moment.

We're ready to watch your
Technicolor masterpiece,

"Ditch Day 1964."

And as they say way down south
in Hollywoodland, "lights..."

Uh, "lights, camera, action!"

♪ If you wanna be happy
for the rest of your life ♪

♪ Never make a pretty
woman your wife ♪

♪ So for my personal
point of view ♪

♪ Get an ugly girl
to marry you ♪

♪ If you wanna be happy ♪

♪ For the rest of your life ♪

♪ Never make a pretty
woman your wife ♪

♪ So for my personal
point of view ♪

♪ Get an ugly girl
to marry you ♪

♪ A pretty woman makes
her husband look small ♪

♪ And very often
causes his downfall ♪

♪ As soon as he marries
her, then she starts ♪

♪ To do the things ♪

♪ That will break his heart ♪

♪ But if you make an
ugly woman your wife ♪

♪ You'll be happy for
the rest of your life ♪

♪ An ugly woman
cooks meals on time ♪

♪ She'll always give
you peace of mind ♪

♪ If you wanna be happy ♪

♪ For the rest of your life ♪

♪ Never make a pretty
woman your wife ♪

♪ So for my personal
point of view ♪

♪ Get an ugly girl
to marry you ♪

♪ I'll take an
ugly one anytime ♪

♪ Don't let your friends
say you have no taste ♪

♪ Go ahead and marry anyway ♪

♪ Though her face is ugly,
her eyes don't match ♪

♪ Take it from me,
she's a better catch ♪

♪ If you wanna be happy
for the rest of your life ♪

♪ Never make a pretty
woman your wife ♪

♪ So for my personal
point of view ♪

♪ Get an ugly girl
to marry you ♪

- ♪ Say, man ♪
- ♪ Hey, baby ♪

♪ I saw your wife
the other day... ♪

- Oh, no!
- ♪ Every limbo boy and girl ♪

♪ All around the limbo world ♪

♪ Gonna do the limbo rock ♪

♪ All around the limbo clock ♪

♪ Jack be limbo, Jack be quick ♪

♪ Jack go under limbo stick ♪

♪ All around the limbo clock ♪

♪ Hey, let's do the limbo rock ♪

♪ Limbo lower now ♪

♪ Limbo lower now ♪

♪ How low can you go? ♪

♪ First you spread ♪

- Aw.
- ♪ Your limbo feet ♪

♪ Then you move to limbo beat ♪

♪ Limbo ankle, limbo knee ♪

♪ Bend back like a limbo tree ♪

♪ Jack be limbo, Jack be quick ♪

♪ Jack go under limbo stick ♪

♪ All around the limbo clock ♪

♪ Hey, let's do the limbo rock ♪

♪ La, la, la, la-la, la-la ♪

♪ La, la... ♪

Whoo! Let's go! Come on!

No, no, no, no, no.

Logan, you were so
incredible up there.

It was amazing.

Why'd you do that?

What?

Why'd you make me
look like that?

- In the film?
- Yes, in the film!

Oh, shit! Shit.

What's the matter with you?

I've been a... a
total asshole to you.

- I broke your nose, and then...
- You didn't break my nose.

-Then you go and make me look like-like that.
-You almost...

- You didn't break it.
- What's wrong with you?

Logan, all I did was hold the
camera, and it saw what it saw.

Oh, bullshit! Fabelman,
you made me look like...

like this golden kind of thing.

-Yeah?
-And Claudia, she just kissed me.

- Mazel tov.
- In front of the whole school.

-Okay, great.
-I treat her shittier than I treat you,

- and now she wants to...
- You're welcome, man. Jesus...

No, no. Don't...
Don't go. Don't go.

I want to know why you did that.

I don't know. I ought to
have my head examined.

Am I supposed to feel bad now

about all that
shit we did to you?

Do you feel bad
about all that shit?

That's none of your
goddamn business!

-'Cause you should feel bad about...
-Oh, right!

That's why you did it. You want
me to feel like crap about...

I wanted you to be nice
to me for five minutes!

Or I did it to make
my movie better.

I don't know why.

You are the biggest jerk I've
ever met in my entire life.

I have a monkey at home
that's smarter than you!

You dumb, anti-Semitic asshole!

I made you look
like you could fly.

But I can't fly.

I can outrun any guy
in Santa Clara County,

and I worked real
hard to do that.

But you... you make me feel
like I'm some kind of failure

or a phony or... or
like I'm supposed to be

some guy I'm never gonna
be, not even in my dreams.

You took that guy,
whoever he is,

wherever you got him from,
and you put him up there

on that screen and
told everyone...

everyone that that's me.

And that's not me.
That's... It's...

Goddamn it. Goddamn it.

Jesus, it wasn't supposed
to make you upset.

I didn't mean to freak
you out. I didn't mean...

Who cares what you meant?

Fabelman!

Oh, shit.

You liar! You backstabbing liar!

I'm gonna beat your...

You totally bought it,
his whole snow job.

You ate it up. You moron.

Logan, you are so
conceited and dumb.

Is something about to happen?

You like living
dangerously, Fabelman.

No, I don't. I
really, really don't.

Yes, you do.

But you tell anybody
about me getting, um...

upset, that would be a mistake.

Our secret.

Okay?

Definitely.

Unless I make a movie about it.

Which I'm never ever gonna do.

You never...

What's it like?

It kind of shows you how
out of control everything is

and how y-you're not
in charge of anything.

A-And how it doesn't matter.

I better not.

In my head, everything's
already out of control.

You're full of shit.

I got to split.
Claudia's waiting for me.

Life's nothing like
the movies, Fabelman.

Maybe not.

But hey, in the end...

you got the girl.

Must have been some night.

Did Monica like the corsage?

- Yeah.
- Well, I told you she would.

That time when I hit you...

In-in Phoenix, when I...

Oh, God. You remember.

Not really.

Oh, for the love of
God, it's not like

I spent my whole
life hitting you.

Once. I hit you once.

It should've been memorable.

Before the swimming test.

Yes, before the swimming test!

Yes. Well, I-I...

I s-slapped you on your back...

as hard as I could. I
screwed up your tryouts,

and you-you couldn't
get your merit badge,

and then you couldn't
make Eagle Scout.

- Ma, I made Eagle Scout.
- And I...

- It wasn't a big deal.
- Well, I left a goddamn mark

on your skin in the
sh-shape of my hand.

And I need you to say you
forgive me for doing that.

- Well, okay. I forgive you.
- Because... Because...

- Because you're my kid.
- Mom, I forgive you.

And-and-and my kids
mean more to me than...

- Mom, I forgive you.
- Anything else on the Earth.

- I forgive you.
- Because...

Please, please. Because how am
I ever gonna forgive myself?

- I can't.
- Mom, I-I-I...

I forgive you.

The eggs are burning.

Oh, God.

I'm doing this thing.

And I-I don't know if
it's the right thing,

but it's a life-and-death
thing for me.

And I'm sorry,
but everybody else

is gonna have to hang
on for dear life.

And somehow,

we will survive this, all of us.

Even your father, who I
adore with all my heart.

He deserves so much better
than what I'm doing, but...

but Bennie needs me, dolly.

And I need him.

So much so that without him,

I'm turning into
someone I don't know

and none of you will
know me anymore.

I'll just be that hateful person

who did that terrible
thing to your back.

And yes, this is the most
selfish thing I have ever done,

but I've got to do this
now because, Sammy...

you do what your heart
says you have to,

'cause you don't owe
anyone your life.

Not even me.

Oh... Are they ruined?

I-I-I can make some more.

Oh, no, no, no.

I like 'em burnt.

So, Monica dumped me.

She did?

Yeah, after I told
her about the divorce.

Huh?

Probably shouldn't have
asked her to marry me.

- You did not.
- Oh, but...

Oh. You did?

- In so many words.
- Poor girl.

Dad?

Hey, Dad, I'm home.

Sammy?

I think I'm having
a heart attack.

Come here.

It's a panic attack.
Your mother gets them.

-What did you do when she'd get them?
-I made her tea.

Okay.

Plus, you're exhausted.

You don't sleep.

I hear you walking
around all night

or typing those letters,

and the three hours'
drive to the college

- every day and back, it's...
- Oh, no, no, no.

I can't go back to that dorm.

Maybe your roommate
settled down.

He voted for Goldwater.

I can't go back.

Dad...

I don't know...

what to do anymore.

I don't want to disappoint you,

and I promised that
I'd stick it out,

but two years is like
forever, and I hate school.

Like, a lot.

And I want to get work
on a movie or a TV show,

so I send out all those letters,

but nobody ever writes back.

And my life is just
going by so fast,

but it's not getting anywhere.

Concentrate on sipping.
It'll calm you down.

Here. Uh...

You can go through the mail
while I get the soup hot.

It's from Mom.

It's just a bunch
of goofy photos

from some kind of block party.

Dad?

Dad, what's...

Oh, Dad, I didn't mean to...

If you hate school
so much, don't go.

But... Dad, we need...

I don't know. I
would like you to

because this film
thing... I don't know.

Maybe I should have put
my foot down about it

years ago, but...

I know you're gonna
work like the dickens

on whatever you wind up doing

because you're a chip
off the old block.

We're never not going to
know each other, Sammy.

How do you know that?

You and Mom don't anymore.

Yes, we do.

We always will.

I know it because...

we've gone too far in our story

to actually say "the end."

Uh, you missed
something in the mail.

Good news?

They've ordered 32 half hours,

Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS,
starting September 17th.

We already have six
shows in the can.

It's like Stalag 17
or The Great Escape,

- except it's funnier.
- Mm.

And it's for television.

- And it's funny.
- Yeah.

Or at least I pray to
God that it's funny.

Hogan's Heroes...
That's the title.

What do you think?

- Pretty catchy, right?
- Catchy. Yeah.

And if all goes well,

I might be able to offer
you something next season.

Maybe assisting an
assistant to an assistant.

You don't want to
be in TV anyway.

Um, your letter said as much.

By the way, I love this letter.

- Oh.
- I used to write a whole bunch

of these letters
when I was your age.

You want to make
movies. Am I right?

Well, yeah. Yes, I do.

But look, I'm just
happy to start anywhere,

and-and that doesn't...

You know who you need to meet?

I mean, not for a job,
'cause he doesn't do that.

How would you like to meet

the greatest film
director who ever lived?

And he's right across the hall.

Come on.

Wait here a minute.

Um, this is Nona.

Nona's gonna look after you.

Um, he's not here. He's...

- He's at lunch.
- Right.

- You want to wait?
- Yeah, he'll wait.

Sit.

Good luck.

Could be hours.

All right, kid, you
got five minutes.

Probably one. Stand up.

Hey. L-Lose the tie.

You'll stand a better chance.

They tell me you want
to be a picture maker.

Um, yes, sir, I do.

Why?

This business,
it'll rip you apart.

W-Well...

Mr. Ford, I...

So, what do you
know about art, kid?

I-I love your movies so much.

No. Art.

See that painting over there?

Uh, yeah. I mean yes.

Yes, I do see it.

Walk over to it.

Well, what's in it? Describe it.

Oh, okay. Um...

So, there are two guys,

and they're on horseback,

and they're looking
for something.

So maybe they're scouting...

No. No.

Where's the horizon?

The-the horizon?

- Where is it?
- Yeah, it's at the bottom.

That's right.

Walk over to this painting.

Well?

Right, okay. So, there
are five cowboys.

-You know, they could be Indian...
-No, no, no, no, no!

Where's the goddamn horizon?

Um, it's-it's there.

- Where?
- At the top of the painting.

All right, get over here.

Now, remember this.

When the horizon's
at the bottom,

it's interesting.

When the horizon's at the top,

it's interesting.

When the horizon's
in the middle,

it's boring as shit.

Now, good luck to you.

And get the fuck
out of my office!

Okay.

Thank you.

My pleasure.