The Shout (1978) - full transcript

Bored while officiating a cricket match at a psychiatric hospital, Crossley tells Graves (a visitor) the tale of a mysterious stranger (also named Crossley) who invades the lives and home of a local musician and his wife. The stranger claims knowledge of real magic, which he uses to displace his host and dominate his wife. The musician must find a way to combat Crossley and his seemingly implacable powers. Graves doubts Crossley's claim that the story is true, and begins to believe that Crossley is actually one of the patients.

- Where is he?
- In the dining room.


Excuse me.

Don't try to look up my skirt.

God Almighty!

I thought we were going out
finger painting this afternoon.


The old cow.

Bloody hell! The cows were
here before me.

Seems to be all right today.

Here we go. Look at that.

More to the right.

Turn more to the right!

- More to the right.
- More, more... to the right.

- More to the right.
- More more to the right.

Hey, Robert.

Glad you found your way.

The instructions were perfect.

The village couldn't raise a team,
so you're the scorer.

Why's that?

I think they're afraid
of our fast bowls.

Glad I'm scoring.

I think you'll have a
very interesting time

You have a rather...
extraordinary companion.

- Companion?
- Yes, the other scorer.

He's the most intelligent man
in the place. I'll introduce you.

Dave just give them a
bit of practice!

His name's Charles Crossley.
He's incredibly well read.

Claims to have travelled
all over the world.

A type of genius mechanic.

Keeps my old bike spinning along.

- Your old motorbike?
- Yeah.

- And why is he here?
- He's not entirely normal.

What's normal?

- See that tree over there?
- Yes?

That's normal.

Over there.

That's mad...

Get your body behind it!

Unfortunately, he believes
that his soul is...

shattered into four pieces.


- Yes, doctor.
- I'd like to introduce you to Robert.

- How do you do.
- How do you do.

He's your opposite number
for this afternoon.

Will you see that he gets
a pencil and what-not.


- Good luck.
- OK.

Come inside.

I rather like the doctor.

Without a doubt, the most
intelligent man in the place.

Well educated, well read, travelled, etc.

Isn't that what he said?

More or less.



We're fielding!

Did he say that tree was mad?


He's very repetitive.

How many patients have you
got playing on your team?

I think, five.

The rest are all outsiders or
members of the staff.

That one over there
is John Blake.

He'll probably open the bowling.

Played for England a couple of times.

He's likely to bowl straight
at the batsman's head.

He's not really insane.

He's just magnificently bad-tempered.

One two three.

Four in the slips.

And the doctor isn't a
bad player, of course.

Where are the umpires?

Come on, girls!

Although he's not a startlingly
innovative thinker.

But he indulges me, and
I'm grateful because

I'm interested in his subject...

And because I can read German
and French and he can't...

I can generally stay ahead of him.

Does he resent the competition?
You studying his subject.

No. It's not really
competition, is it?

God helps those that help themselves.

Does He not?


What's that umpire signalling?

Four leg bars, I think.

Anyway, I like to keep him happy.
I make up dreams for him.

I fill them with every significant
symbol I can find.

Fathers, snakes...

apple pies.

Does he suspect you?

Anyway, I find it...
quite amusing.


There you are.

Sorry, did you say something?

That man had a wife who loved him.

A rare phenomenon, wouldn't you say?


And what happened to her?

He lost her.

I could tell you the rest
of the story if you like.

Think you can listen and
score at the same time?

- I'm sure I can.
- We can make things easy for ourselves.

You could keep both scores,
and I could tell the story...

and at the fall of each wicket...

I could copy down what you've written.

You're very well organized, Mr Crossley.

Every word of what I'm
going to tell you is true.

Though I tell it in a different way,
it's always the same story.

It's always the same story, but I...
I change the sequence of events...

and I vary the climaxes...

a little, because I like to keep it alive.

You see, I like to keep it alive.

Have you ever walked
the sand dunes?

- What an extraordinary dream.
- Terrible dream!

I saw a man in the sand dunes.

Actually, it was around here.

Running and...

He had a... tailcoat.

A sort of... old admiral's uniform.

Come on, girl, it's freezing!

He had something in his hand...

That's funny, where's the... buckle?

Rachel come on!


These jeans are so tight.

I've lost the buckle off my shoe.

Perhaps you can match it?



Did I tell you I was playing
the organ tomorrow?

Yes, you did.

Do you want to come?

I don't know.

Come on, Buzz! Here boy.


You're going to be late, love.


- Church.
- Oh, Jesus!

- Are you coming?
- No, you're too late.

Hello, Harry. Going to church today?


Bye bye, Ha"?-

In the name of the Father, the
Son, the Holy Ghost, amen.

We find ourselves living
in disturbing times.

The foundations of our
society are not firm.

We're like a rudderless ship.

No direction.

No one has any conviction any more.

You see, we don't believe...


We are in a period of moral starvation.

And it is in times like these
that our faith in Jesus

Christ is the only thing
we have to hold on to.

We must believe again...

You see, I...

Bloody kids!

- Did you enjoy the sermon?
- What? it was very good.


I've always found it hard
to believe that the soul...

is imprisoned in the body
until death liberates it.

Don't you think that in periods
of spiritual starvation...

that the soul might take
refuge in a tree...

a stone?

Come, I'll walk with
you, and talk some more.

No, I'm afraid I can't because
my wife's waiting for me at home.

Are you all right?

I've been on a walking holiday
for a few days.

I see.

Sorry I bothered you with that...

...theological discussion.
Your wife must be worried about you.

Uh... it's-well my...

bicycle broke down.

Oh, yes.

Do you mind if I invite
myself to lunch?

We can continue our discussion.

And I haven't eaten for
two days, you see.

Really? Well... in that case,
...certainly, yes, of course...

Yes, and we'll continue our discussion
over something to eat.

- You're Mister...'?
- Crossley.

Charles Crossley.


Hello, love.
What happened?

I'm sorry I'm late,
darling, but... uh...

Oh, this is... Mr Crossley.
He's come for lunch.

Mr Crossley, this is
my wife, Rachel.

How nice! I think there should always be
people in the house for Sunday lunch.

I must admit I invited myself.

You generally have to do that with Anthony,
he just expects people to arrive.

Whether they've been
invited or not.

That's rubbish.

Were there many in church?

The usual crew of stalwarts.

How was the sermon?

- Well...
- Standard Christian dogma.

Religions all have to answer
the same question.

- What?
- Has the human a soul?

And if he has...

Where does he keep it?

Has the Vicar any idea?

His belief is based
on speculation.

Well, you can't base it
on anything else, can you?

Anyway, we've had this
discussion before.

Anthony, ask Mr Crossley if he'd
like a glass of wine.


I'd like a glass of water, please.

That's very easy.

Is there anywhere I can wash
my hands before lunch?

Yes, there's a bathroom.

- Upstairs.
- Thank you.

Where did you find him?

He found me, and he came
to me at the end of the

service and started
chattering about the sermon.

It's a bit overdone.

So is Mr Crossley.

Please, sit down.

It's easier if you help yourself.

Of course.

Please! You must be hungrier than that
if you haven't eaten for two days.

You must be starving.

I've been without food for much
longer than two days.

- Recently?
- No, not recently.

But, why?

I was travelling in the
Australian outback.

Food there was often
in short supply.

How long were you living there?

18 years and in all that time
I never saw a white man.

18 years?

Did you have an aboriginal wife?

Yes, I did.



No children.

None that survived, anyway.

Under their law...

Either parent has the right to kill their
offspring within a few weeks of birth.

Always I chose to exercise that right.

I killed them because I knew that one day I
would leave, and I knew that when I left...

I would want to leave nothing behind.

Does that shock you, that I admit
to the killing of my children?

Since... Anthony and I...

have not managed to have children...

Do you think you'll go back?

I'm sorry if I've upset
your wife.



The killing of one's children is the only
natural death in aboriginal society.

They believe that every other death is
the result of either violence...

or some malevolent sorcery.

Sorcery? Yes, well, I've heard of the
pointing bones that they use to kill with.

Yes, that's the most common type
of death magic.

Is it effective?

I've seen a man die three
days after learning

that a bone has been
pointing at him.

And who pointed the bone?

A magician he had wronged.

Such a man could creep up behind
you as you lay asleep...

And dip his hands into
the small of your back.

Remove your kidneys.

Peel off the fat that
surrounds them.

And replace them without a scar.

Death would be sure to follow...

Two or three days.

Interesting idea.

Once there was no rain for a whole year.

The chief magician had been sent for.

He was...

He was a genuinely terrifying figure.

Often parading in...

in an old 18th century naval
type officer's tailcoat.

He had...

cut his body with a sharp stone.

Where would he get hold of the tailcoat?

I'm sorry I'm spoiling the lunch...

I suffer from migraines...

- Can I lie down somewhere, please?
- There's a sofa in the sitting room.

There's a spare room, he'll
be more comfortable there.

Move the chair, darling.

It's to the left of the bathroom.

I don't like your friend much?

- Hardly my friend.
- Anyway, say goodnight to him.

- I am going to bed.
- Already?


- Anything wrong?
- No.

- Oh, sorry.
- Come in.

You... you said that he...

cut himself with a stone.

He floated feathers in the
air, to represent clouds.

Then he took a sharp stone and cut...

deep around his waist.

Blood flowed like a waterfall.

Then he tucked his fingers
into the wound...

dragged at his flesh, tearing
it up across his chest...

like a snake discarding his skin.

It began to rain at that very moment.

And it rained for four days.

I presume you believe in
the power of that magic.

Oh, yes. I believe in its power.

It's there.

If a man is convinced he's going to die,
he simply slips away...

and dies.

- Mr Crossley.
- Don't patronize me with that tone please!

That magician in the tailcoat
gave me a terrible power over my enemies.

He taught me the use of the terror shout.

It took me 18 years to perfect it.

Now I can kill with it.



Yes, all right. I find this very
interesting, but I think...

I think that two days without food have
affected your mind quite badly.

You haven't the imagination to understand
anything outside your own experience.

I've heard your music.

It's nothing.

It's empty-

Yes, well if there's anything
you need before you leave...

I shall be downstairs.


I'd very much like to hear
your shout, Mr Crossley.

I'm on my way now.

Perhaps you'd like to
walk with me for a bit.

Come on.

Come here girl, come here.

If I shouted for you now, you would die.

As would your wife...

and anyone else around here.

I don't believe in that shout
of yours, Mr Crossley.

I'll stay tonight...

In the morning we can walk on the dunes.

There'll be no one about.

Well, it's fine with me.

You'd be wise to bring some wax or
cotton wool to stop up your ears.

I want to be able to hear it.

I have heard some sounds
in my time, you know.

It will kill you, then.


We should be off.

Yes, well, I... won't be a second.

- I'll wait for you outside.
- Fine.

Hold on there, I've got a stitch.

Put your fingers to your ears when you
want me to stop, not before I begin.

These could do with some,
good new welts sir.

Make sure that I get some
beeswax and some hemp in.

I'm not a shoe maker!

I'm a musician!

What a wonderful smell.

- How are you this morning?
- Well.

I'm sorry Anthony left
you this morning, he...

- He got back all right, didn't he'?
- Yes, just wasn't feeling well.

- Are these cooked enough for you?
- A little more, please.

Will you watch them?
I think I'll go and see how Anthony is.

I think he may be asleep.

Well, I shan't wake him if he is.

So you took my advice.

How wise of you.

I thought perhaps I might help you.

In the garden...

or with whatever tasks you
feel you can't escape.

- Feeling any better?
- What's Crossley doing?

Mending the bike.

- I'm going to the village.
- When's he leaving?

I don't think he is.

Can't you get rid of him somehow?

He's perfectly harmless.

I don't give a damn how harmless you
think he is, I just want him to go...

Just tell him that he's
overstayed his welcome!

Thank you.

I'm no master mechanic, but it
should get you home all right.

It's very sweet of you to
take so much trouble

How long will you be?

A couple of hours.
Hour and a half, maybe.


Go carefully.

That was a... splendid delivery.

- Out!
- How was that?

How was that?

You garden is wild.

A virgin forest.

I like it this way.

I shall not change it.

I didn't mean that you should.

I think that Anthony
is jealous of you.

Are you happily married?


What about you'?

Could I have some sugar, please?

Marriage in an
aboriginal society...

is different to what it is here.

Oh, yes, it's true.

If a young man wants a
girl for his wife...

He steals some trivial
possession from her...

Casts a spell over it...

and then she finds
him irresistible.

And does it last?

Until death.

Or until the husband leaves...

Or until he deliberately
relaxes the magic.

I'm so glad you felt well
enough to come down.

Just thought I'd go for
a short walk.

In the direction of the village?

- Why?
- My sandal needs mending.

Why didn't you take it
in this morning?

Because I had other
things to do.

I'm not sure that I'm going
to be going that far.

If I get it for you, you might
just make the effort.

- When's he leaving?
- In a month for all I care.

He's got your buckle. I've
seen him playing with it.

Why don't you ask him for it?


Because I'm just going to buy
another one, that's why!

Look, if he's got the buckle he
probably wants to keep it.

- Don't be ridiculous, Rachel!
- Go on with you!

Go upstairs to my room.

You're lucky to find
me open today.

I had a terrible turn
this morning.

Worst thing that ever
happened in my life...

Like someone was pounding me.

And that noise, like a
terrible music.

I was in bed, you know.

I had this feeling all over me.

Like ripples under my skin.

As though someone was skinning
me from the inside.

It was like a hand inside me,
it was pulling on my kidneys...

and my soul. Then as suddenly
as it'd come, it stopped.

You know where I was?

You know where I was?
You know where I was?

In the corner, and that
music had stopped.

Look, do you think you could...
you could fix some...

steel tips, the leather heel
type with the...

Look! Why don't I do it?
You can go home, you know.


Steel tips... leather...

Rachel! Thank you...

You're a fabulous dog.
Come here.

- Let's get on with the game.
- No!

Out! Out! Out!

The umpire's decision is final.

It's the... weather.
Thunderstorm weather.

It makes everyone here behave
more irregularly...

than usual.

Darling, would you run
me a bath?

- Is he up yet?
- I don't know.

He's gone.

- He's gone?
- Gone.

- Where's he gone to?
- I didn't ask him.

Anybody there?

- Good morning, Vicar.
- Hello, Mr Fielding.

I'm hereto ask you
a small favour.

Yes, what's that?
- Harry, the shepherd died suddenly.

- And the organist is still away.
- Harry died?

We need someone to play at the
funeral service, at four.

- When did he die?
- Yesterday morning.

They found him on the dunes.

Yes, in that case, of course...

I'm sorry to talk to
you like this.

It's all right. Goodbye.

It's probably Crossley's

I don't know why you let
him bother you so much.

I didn't realize that...

we were expecting you.


Sit down.

How long do you think
you'll be able to stay?

Months, rather than days.

And when I finish
eating, Anthony...

Rachel and I are going to bed.

So you'd better make
yourself scarce.

- What?
- You heard me.

Rachel, what's he
talking about'?

You heard him.

For God's sake, Rachel!

Get out of here, Anthony.
Or I'll shout your bloody ears off.

There we go!
I'll find you!

What's the matter?

Is there something wrong?

I may need you.
I may need you.

I may need you...


Someone's threatening me.
Someone's trying to kill me!

Someone is trying to kill me...

There's not a soul about!

You bitch!

Tell them I'll kill them!

Go on! Tell them I'll kill them!
Tell them...

they'll be dead
unless they leave!

Dead! I'll have to shout!

I'll have to shout them dead!

Got you, you bastard!

Charles Crossley! I have a
warrant for your arrest.

For the murder of your children.

Nobody moves!
I'll shout you dead!

That's what the shout is like!

Only a thousand times worse!

It's true! Everybody
will tell you it's true!

I was a Christian!
I was!

Hold your positions,
it's only a shower.

Anthony shattered my soul.

And now...

I'm alive, but I'm not. I'm dead.

Nonsense, you're still Crossley!

The shout. Only
you have it!

Go back to your room at once.


I won't go back to my room...

you bloody little tyrant!

Get back into the house, all of you!

Leave me alone, or I'll shout you
dead! I'll shout you dead!

If you don't let me go, I'll shout!

- Where is he?
- In the dining room.