Touched by Love (1980) - full transcript

A young nurse becomes determined to reach an unresponsive teenage cerebral palsy patient by encouraging her to write to her favorite rock singer, Elvis Presley.


I once met a girl.

Karen was her name.

We were drawn to each other...

and to Elvis.

Life will never be the same.



Wait a minute.

Wait a minute.



You're Lena, right?

That's what I thought.

These all you got?

Let me help you
with these things.

Thank you.

Yeah, you're just in time
for a birthday party.


All the kids want to meet you.
That's nice.

am I ever glad to see you.

You are? Why?

Well, two more hands,
two more legs.

It's tough
getting help here.

Oh, oh, I'm sorry.
Excuse me.

My name's Don Fielder.
I'm one of the doctors.

Just a title,
don't let that spook you.

We all do everything
around here, you know?

Well, I'm Lena Canada.

Yeah, I know.
I think you know that.

Oh, yeah.
Let me see.

College dropout,

no training, no credentials.

But, uh, we need you.


So once again,
the Brown House Bullets

have destroyed
the Brown House Turtles

by a score of 72 to nothing.

Fifty-nine to 58.

Fifty-nine to 58.

Fifty-nine to 58.

Fifty-nine to 58.

Fifty-nine to 58.
Fifty-nine to--

What was the score, Lou?

Louie says 72 to nothing,

which is as good
as 59 to 58.

What difference does it make?
You lost and we won.

Right, Louie?

Boo! Boo!
Fifty-nine to 58.

All right,
all right, all right.

We all know,
the Brown House Bullets won.

Now calm down, we're gonna play
another game in a minute.

Now that's Margaret.

She's some kind
of special lady.

This little guy there with
the big tongue, that's Tony.


You're too skinny.
Hey, hey.

She is not.

Are you visiting somebody?


Uh, I'm Lena.
Your new aide.

You're mine.

Yours and everybody's.

You're mine.
He doesn't care.

Are you going flirty, buddy?



You decent?

Yeah, but don't let that
discourage you.

Oh, what'd you say, kid?

We got your roommate here.

Amy, this is Lena.
Lena, this is Amy.

No. No. Wrong bed.

Just what I needed,

You sure you didn't get
the wrong address?

Hope not.

Um, before you settle in,
let me warn you.

The beds are lumpy,
the hours are long

and I can talk a blue streak
in my sleep.

You can talk a blue streak
any time.

Why don't you stop drooling?

Beneath all this beauty,

I sense a thick layer

of solid character
and good judgment,

which should leave you
right where you were

when she arrived.


he's a first-rate doctor

and not the worst port
you could find in a bad storm.

Well, she has good taste.

And so what about you?

I don't know.
What about me?

I'd never figured you
for a career as a nurse's aide.


it's not exactly a career.

This is my first job.

A little anxious.

Well, don't be.
You'll be just fine.

Come on, I'm gonna take you down
to the party. Come on.

Go ahead.
I'll be down in a sec.

Oh, can I leave these here?

Oh, bye.




All right, lunchtime.

Come on, let's go.

Topper, Nancy'll bring Louis.

Louis is as close to what
some people call a "vegetable"

as we've got.

But Topper adores him,

talks to him all the time,
plays with him,

tells him his secrets.

Sort of an imaginary
Like that.

I had one. His name was Herman.
He lived under my bed.

You'll fit right in here.

Come on, I know Dr. Bell
wants to talk to you.

What about her?

Tony, you'll bring Karen,
won't you?

You bet.


Hi. Take these seats, Monica.

There's Dr. Bell.
You're gonna love her.

You know, she did all of this.

You probably
don't remember any names yet,

but Jimmy walks
and talks with braces.

Vince is locked in a body
that just doesn't work at all.

He's doing wonderfully.

Once he discovered
the typewriter, he just bloomed.

That's the main thing
you have to know.

They have to talk,
in any way that they can.

Gestures, sign language,

Words, if they can.

And you must talk to them.

I will.
I mean, I'll try.

I know you will.

That's all there is
to nurse's aide training.

Just work like a lunatic
around here.

Now I'll show you the therapy.

They hate it.

Most are quite bright.
They're just locked in.

Except for Topper.

He's more than bright.
He's a genius.

What are you mad about, Topper?

Oh, I don't know.

I guess Louis
just gets to me sometimes.

That's all.

Our kids all come
from different backgrounds.

Rich, poor,
accepted, abandoned.

Lena, why don't you
sit there?


Do you think Matty
will still feed us?

Let's see now,
you know Tony and Don.


This is Vickie.
Have you met Vickie?


And this is Monica.


That's Louis.

Louie says hello.
And of course, you know Topper.

And that's Karen.
Have you met Karen?

Well, no.
Well, we saw each other.

We really didn't say hello.

Honest, she can answer you.

What are we having?


Um, he's doing his math.

Yes, I know.
He told me.



Come here.

Right here.

One, two, three,
four, five, six.

You're so strong.

I am not.
Yes, you are.

But you're lazy.



Do you like it here, Lena?

Yes, yes, I do.



What is it about working
at Brown House that you like?

I like helping.

And having people need me.

Is that selfish of me?

Not at all.

We all want to feel needed.

The sad thing is not everyone
is willing to admit it.

You're gonna do just fine.


No toe holds.


All right, one, two...


Okay, Louis, it's your move.

Say, you're really out to win,
aren't you?

Off the mat.
You're off the mat.

That's three.
Your move again.


"So the three bears came home

"and they found
all their porridge gone.

"Mama bear said,
'Who's eaten my porridge?'

And the papa bear said,
'Who has eaten my porridge?'"

Jason, do you like porridge?

I hate it.

I hate it!

Oh, you do,
but you like thumbs, huh?

All right,
who wants some candy?

Oh, can I have some, please?
CHILDREN: Me, me, me, me!

All right, that's enough.

Hi, Jason.

Don't fall on the legs now.

Anybody here
interested in candy?

Oh, me, me.
Yeah, time out.

Yeah, yeah.
I bet.

There you go.


You. You've been a good boy,
you get some too.

Oh, thank you.
How about you?

Is that for me?
Thank you.

Here you go.

How about you?



Maybe we could drive into town
on Sunday.

Raise a little hell.


Can you believe that we are
spending our peak years

in this zoo?

After 20,
your muscle tension goes.

And then it's downhill
for the rest of your life.


That include your brain?

You're such a wimp.

How long has Karen been here?

She's been here
since I came here.

So many of these kids

are bounced around
from home to home.

She have a setback
or something?

No. She's just like Louie.
She's part of the furniture.

Listen, let's just not talk
about the kids

after we put them to bed.

I mean, otherwise,
we're gonna go nuts.


I'm just too tired to sleep.

I'm gonna see
if Matty left some coffee.

Matty always leaves coffee.
And you don't need it.

Why don't you just loosen up,
talk to me?

What are you doing here?

Same as you, I guess.

Well, you guessed wrong.

'Cause I made a mistake
I figured I'd catch a doctor.

Oh, that was a mistake.

No, that's not why I'm here.



Mm, I'll get it.

I knew you'd say that.

Now don't you eat this.

It's called sublimation.
Food instead of men.


You got all tangled there.


There you go.

Go to sleep.



Karen's mother was young.
She couldn't deal with it.

She signed papers
days after Karen was born,

just gave her up.

She's been here two years.

I don't know
what happened to Karen.

She can't tell us.

No, she won't tell us.

But I've seen it.

The green painted walls,
white-coated bodies,

terminal apathy.

I've seen a look on her face

when she thinks
that nobody is watching her.

A look of concentration

and intelligence.

You mean that look
of staring into space?

No, no.

It's not just staring
into space.

There was concentration.

I think you're seeing something
you want to see.

Karen turned in on herself.

She turned her back
on the whole world

as if she knew her heart
was quite literally breaking.

I'm afraid it's hopeless.

I'd like to give it a try.

We all tried.
Even the children.

They gave up too.

We spent more time with Karen

than any of the children
and nothing.

There's no change at all.

I'd still like to try.

I may sound heartless,

I think
there are other children here

who will respond better
and be helped by it.


Let me try.

In my time off.

I don't want you
to get attached.

Are you saying I can't work
with her, Dr. Bell?

I mean,
on my own time?

I'm just warning you.

She'll break your heart.

Oh, it's beautiful.

I've never been here before.
Have you been here?

It's very warm today.

Are you too warm?

Do you think the blanket's
too warm?

I really believe
that kings and queens

and knights of armor
came at night.

I'd work all day, turning an old
stump into a castle for them.

And I'd make the the hallways
out of moss.

And I'd get the best quartz
from the bottom of the lake.

Or actually,
we can use pebbles and sticks.

Oh, and leaves
for the bedchambers. Let's see.

Wouldn't that be sweet
for the bedchamber?

Well, okay.

Where do you think the bed
chamber should be? Here?

I think that's a pretty good

How does it look?
You think they'll like it?

I mean, if they were real,
do you think they'd like it?


Well, anyway,
it's time for us to get back.

At another day,
we'll make it gorgeous.

You'll see.

You like it here, don't you?

We'll come back.

♪ Old MacDonald had a farm ♪

♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪

♪ And on his farm
He had some chicks ♪

♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪

♪ With a oink, oink here
And a oink, oink there ♪

♪ Here an oink, there an oink
Everywhere an oink, oink ♪

♪ Old MacDonald had a farm ♪

♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪

♪ And on his farm
He had some cow ♪

♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪

♪ With a moo, moo here
And a moo, moo there ♪

♪ Got a oink, oink here
And a oink, oink there ♪

♪ Old MacDonald had a farm ♪

♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪

And look how beautiful
they came.

Doesn't it look beautiful,

I wish you could help me.

Well, one day.

I wonder if they liked it.

Well, if they didn't,
they can just go

make one of their own.

Do you know
what's over there?

Huh? Just beyond
that mountain there?

Strawtown's over there.

It's a little town,
right on the river

and, oh,
it's very pretty.

The river, I mean,
and wide.

And in the winter
it all freezes over.

We'll go there someday.
I'll ask Dr. Bell

if we can take a drive in my car
and I'll show you the river.

And we can go into Strawtown.
There's some stores.

And you can buy things
like magazines and records.

And then there's a movie

Amy, Tony and I went there
for a movie one night

after you were all asleep.

It was something
with Peter Sellers.

He was very funny.

Well, I guess I'd better
get you back

before the weather changes again
and we get stuck out here.

We'd have to call a tow truck.

Wheelchair and lost soul
stuck in the mud.

Just eat it.

I hate it.

Oh, please.

Come on.

Now open up.
Open up real wide.

That's a boy.
That's a boy.

What? All right,
you get out of here now.

Come on, you're going out.
You get out of here.

And you come back
when you find some manners.

It just ain't my day.

Well, let me tell you something.

Right this minute,
I think I'd...

I think I'd like to be holed up
in a lab somewhere

with just a bunch of mice.

I know the feeling sometimes.

I wish I could--
Oh, I don't know.

It's crazy.

I can't find the manners.

You can't find what?
I can't find any manners.

You can't find any manners?

Give me a big kiss.
Give me a big kiss.

Give me a big hug.

When Robert and Sammy
got to Minot, North Dakota,

they were so tired

they could barely lift
their tails.

When they left the basement
of Brown House,

they had no idea
how big the world was.

They'd been in that boxcar
for days,

going thousands of miles.

Going thousands of miles...

and there they are
in this dumb little town

and they can't get
a motel room.

Nobody takes mice willingly.

I talk and talk,
don't I?

I must sound really stupid.




It's Lena.

Come on in.

That's beautiful.

Sit down.

Why don't you paint
during the day,

when there's light?

There's no time.

Lena, the other children
are starting to complain.

About me?

About you and Karen.

Jason thinks it's his fault
that you don't love him anymore.

Oh, it's not. I--

Monica says you promised
to help her with a book report.

Oh, I'm sorry.
I forgot.

You're creating a lot
of resentment.

It won't happen again.

That's right, it won't.

What I'm about to say is not
a spur-of-the-moment decision.

I've thought about it,
wrestled with it,

and tossed over it
more nights than you'd believe.

The long and the short of it
is simply this.

I'm going to make arrangements
to have Karen transferred

to a hospital.


I don't understand.


To make room for some child
who might make it all the way

with our help.
It's as simple as that.

Well, that's not fair.
You haven't given her a chance.

She's not on trial, Lena.

I'm sorry.
I didn't mean it that way.

Of course you did.

Because you believe in miracles
or hope for them.

Well, I don't.
I can't.

Not in Karen's case.

This may sound harsh

but at best,
her time is limited.

You can't be sure.

I can make a very educated

we are not omnipotent.

We can't stave off
the inevitable.

So we just write her off?

It's late
and we're both rather tired.

I'm sorry.

It's just that...

It's just so damned unfair.

Can you tell me how soon?

A few days, a week.


Hey, Lena, don't kill him.

We need him.
He's our last volunteer.

It's Karen.
I wanna shake her.

I wanna hit her.

Yeah, I know the feeling, kid.

You don't hit
a wounded little bird.

You cup your hands around it.
You give it love.

She won't let me.

Well, Robbi would.
Vickie would. Jason would.

I have to reach Karen!

I have to reach Karen.

It's so goddamn selfish.

What am I trying to prove?
What a great therapist I am?

Is she a challenge to me?

You know, Lena, you sound like
you could use a day off.

A lot of good that would do.

You know, Dr. Bell started
Brown House for selfish reasons.

Sure, Tony.
Yes, she did.

She had a son just like Louie.

He died in a state institution.

Well, there wasn't anyplace
like this around at the time.

Being selfish, it sort of
insures your commitment

above and beyond
the call of duty.

You follow me?
I mean, it's not a bad thing.

Go ahead, take a day off.

I'll tell the queen bee.


It's all right.

Just don't kill
my little friend there, huh?


And then you have to do it
in 10 seconds.

Now watch.
I'm gonna walk it for you.

Here we go. This way.
There are only two colors.

Oh, hi there.
Two colors.

This way.
Come on, Jody, this way.

And that's it.
Okay, let's start.

Topper, you ready? Go!

Come on, let's go.




Hello, Karen.

Talk to me.

Please talk to me.







Lena, that's my name.




What do you think about the
stairways hazelnuts or berries?

Eat them.

Oh, the squirrels.

Oh, you're right.

Well, I don't feel
like fighting them.

How about you?
Come on, wanna fight?

Come on. Come on.

No? You're lazy.

How are you
gonna beat up Monica

the next time
she gives you a hard time, hmm?


Come on, come on.

That's it, come on,
get it up.

Oh, you're getting so strong.


Come on, do it again.
Come on. Come on.

One, two, three.



me the...


Tell you what?


Ice? Ice cream?

I'm sorry.
I'm a real dummy, remember?

Mm-hmm. Go on, be patient.

Say it slowly.





Oh, the mice.

Oh, the mice.

How could I forget
about the mice?


where were we?


Right, right. Jail.

Well, they got
into a slot machine in Vegas

and rigged it.

And then they lied
to the bartender.

They put on some hats
and ties,

and said
that they weren't mice at all.

They were just pink rabbits
and he was just seeing things.


You did it, you did it.

Now then,
let's try this again.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.


the rest.
Oh, no.

I'm not gonna tell you the rest.
You tell me the rest.

Fuzzy Wuzzy...

Now, now, now,
you're forgetting to relax.


Now forget about the words.

Think about something you like.


What are you thinking about?

Well, keep on hearing it.

Now try it again.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.

Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.

Fuzzy Wuzzy...

wasn't fuzzy...

was he?


♪ Your lovin' teddy bear ♪

♪ Put a chain around my neck ♪

♪ And lead me anywhere ♪

♪ Oh, let me be
Your teddy bear ♪

♪ I don't wanna be a tiger ♪

♪ 'Cause tigers play
Too rough ♪

♪ I don't wanna be a lion ♪

♪ 'Cause lions ain't the kind
You love enough ♪

♪ Just wanna be
Your teddy bear ♪

♪ Put a chain around my neck ♪

♪ And lead me anywhere ♪

♪ Oh, let me be
Your teddy bear ♪

♪ Baby, let me be
Around you every night ♪

♪ Run your fingers
Through my hair ♪

♪ And cuddle me real tight ♪

♪ Oh, let me be
Your teddy bear ♪

♪ I don't wanna be a tiger ♪

♪ 'Cause tigers play
Too rough ♪

♪ I don't wanna be a lion ♪

♪ 'Cause lions ain't the kind
You love enough ♪

♪ Oh, let me be
Your teddy bear ♪

♪ Put a chain around my neck
And lead me anywhere ♪

♪ Oh, let me be ♪

♪ Oh, let him be ♪

♪ Your teddy bear ♪

♪ Oh, let me be ♪

♪ Oh, let him be ♪

♪ Your teddy bear ♪

There we go.

There we go.
There we go.

See you later.
You got it? Okay.

Bye. Don't eat too much
ice cream.



Take care.

Take care.

Okay, take it easy.

There we go. There we go.

Have a good day now.


Bye-bye, Louis.

I'll be back after lunch

and I'll tell you
all about it.

don't hit anyone.

And don't tell any lies.

Maybe I can get us

Maybe I can get us a bike.

Bye, Louis.

Next time
you got to learn...

Oh, wow.

Hey, Karen, look what I got.

You're bushed, huh?


It stands to reason.
Been a rough day.

Hey, look, I'm gonna
take Louie for a walk.

You wanna come along?

Maybe in a while. Karen?


The boss says no.

See you later.

You wanna work
on your mask?

I don't care.

It's right inside.

Let's go work on it.

What are you thinking about?


Oh, come on.

I know you better than that.

You keeping secrets from me?
No, nothing.

Okay, don't tell me then.
I won't be able to sleep.

But don't worry about it.

I won't be able to eat either.

I'll just wither away,
but don't worry about it.

Let me see it.

I hate it!
It's ugly, like me.

You are not. Whatever--
I am.

I wanna be pretty.

Monica's pretty.
So are you.

Don't lie.
You're not supposed to lie.

I am not lying.

I'm here.

I'm always here.

You're not my mom.

I wish I were.

Do you know her?

No. I don't know her.

I hate her.

You don't know.

Maybe she's really nice.

She could visit.


She could.

My mother doesn't come
to visit me.

I guess we all have to learn

to make it on our own
at some point.

I hate her.
I don't want her.

You don't even know her.
I don't care.

I don't want her.
I don't want to see her.

I want a mother
who visits and can play.

And can do the things
a mother is supposed to do.


Hey, I've got an idea.

You stay right here.

I'll be back.

You happy?

Yeah, I'm happy. You happy?



In here?


Here we go.

Thank you.
You're welcome.

What? Licorice?

Bubble gum?

What kind?

I didn't know
you liked bubble gum.

Do you like bubble gum?

But you want bubble gum?

You hate bubble gum,
but you want bubble gum?

Typical woman.


Okay, how many?


Too much?


Can you hold these, please?
We may want something else.

All right,
what else do you hate?

Oh, I hate them too.
Let's buy them.

How about you, Tony?
That looks all right.

That one?


Any others, hmm?

♪ Love me tender ♪

I'll take this.

You got enough cash on you?
Yeah, I'm fine.

because I'm just about broke.

♪ I'll be yours ♪

♪ Through all the years ♪

♪ Till the end of time ♪

Look at her face, Tony.

♪ Love me tender ♪

She's really lovely.

♪ Love me true ♪

♪ All my dreams fulfilled ♪

Hey, you want one?

You sure?

No, thank you.

♪ Love me tender ♪

♪ Love me long ♪

You know, Karen,

you've become
a beautiful young lady.

So have you.

Oh, come on.

♪ For it's there ♪

♪ That I belong ♪

The Beatles.

Kirk Douglas.

What did you do
with all your gum?

Saving it for Monica.

She'll trade me.

Trade you what?



Listen, I think
you'd better get to sleep soon.



Come here, Jason.
Don't run away from me.

You trying to get away from--
Oh, you're so fast.

Come here.
I'm gonna get you.

All right, I gotcha.
I gotcha.

I tricked you.
Yeah, you tricked me,

you little pain
in the ass.

Oh, what do you say?

I just-- I was just trying
to get him into bed here.

Their parents, they really
get them hyper, you know?

They do get under your skin,
don't they?

Yeah, well,
I wouldn't go that far.


Uh, nothing. Nothing.

Are you sure?

Yeah, nothing. Really.

I'm not much into religion,

but if I were,

I'd certainly have a lot
of questions to ask.

Of whom?

Whoever put all this beauty
out here

and all that misery
in there--

Watch it, Amy.
You're starting to get profound.

Listen, roomie,


I may not be the heaviest
thinker you've ever met,

but I do have
my thoughtful moments.

Sex is not a total

You could have fooled me.

On the other hand,

I'm not ready to commit
to a life of celibacy either.

Speaking of which,
I suppose you know

that Don has developed a healthy
case of the sighs over you.

Oh, sure.
What's such a big surprise?

You know,
you're a nice-looking lady

with a lot going for you

It's an unbeatable combination.

If I were a man,
you'd certainly get my vote.

I'd better check on Karen.
She's had a big day.

There you go,
running for cover again.

Don't you find
it's nippy out here?

Why don't you stop
ducking issues?

You know what you need,
what you ought to have,

is a kid of your own.

Forget that one.

That is if you can ever
figure out how to go about it.

She's gonna die, you know.

Don't say that.

It's lousy,
but it's true, Lena.

A lot of CP's
never reach puberty.

They've got heart problems.

They've got complications.
Oh, you know that.

Yeah, well, a lot of them
lead a full life.

And that, my friend,
is called denial.


Karen, what's wrong?



Tell me what's wrong?



What are you doing?
It's cold out here.

Waiting for Lena.
You wanna wait?

See you, I'm cold.


What's that?

A present. Come on.

For who?

It's Louis' bike,
all folded up.

Come on.

Don't tease.
It's for me.

Maybe. Or maybe not.

Get in.

I never got a present before.


You know, when you try too hard,

the words don't come.


Why did you give me this?

I just wanted
to give you a present.

Why this?

Well, you like music
and I always liked him.

I mean, his singing.

Damn it, Karen.

I can't lie to you.

I never really thought much
of him before

until last night,
until I saw you crying

and holding his picture.

Holding his picture
and crying.

Then it hit me.

Maybe there's someone
who means a lot to you

that I didn't know about.

I mean, someone very special
to you.

I wasn't sure and I didn't know
how to ask you.

I thought maybe you didn't
want me to know about it.

But, Karen,
I love you so much.

And if this person
means something to you,

I'd like to make you happy
and give you one of his records.

I wasn't going to ask you

I wasn't going to tell anybody
about it.

I just simply
wanted to make you happy.

I never meant to upset you.
I am sorry, really, I am sorry.



Did you mean what you said?

You love me?

Do you really have to ask?

I mean, really?

Yes, I do. Really.

You wanna know something?

If you want to tell me.


he's so alive.

I love him.

And he's sad too.


I could never move
like that.


I know.
But you can do so much.

Not that.

I know.

Karen, do you do you
wanna listen to it?

Come on.




I really can't.



I'll pretend.


Is that what you
used to think about?

About lots of things.

About him.

You promise me
you won't tell anyone?

Scout's honor, cross my heart,
hope to die.

'Cause they'd laugh.

I don't think they would.

A lot of times people don't
understand how we feel, Karen.

There. Do you want to play
around the castle, hmm?

Come on.

We could turn it
into Graceland.

What's that?
Where he lives.


Come on.
One, two three.

Steps go here. And...


And the table inside.

Where? Here?

All right.
Make them nice.

Mother's room.


Mother's room.

Bought it for her
when he got rich.

She used to clean
people's houses.

It's a castle,

but he doesn't like fancy stuff.

How do you know all that?


In the playroom.


He's good.

Really nice.


God let him have everything.

That doesn't always mean--


Hey, hey.

Hey, hey.

Keep going, Tony.

Hey, hey.


Come on, keep moving.
Don't get lazy now.

Hey, hey.


Watch out, you.

Get up, get up!

You know Louie doesn't
understand of what's going on.

I don't care
if he understands or not.

He understands enough
for him.

Yes, that's true.

But you're gonna be missing him,
I'm afraid,

more than he's capable
of missing you.

Don't you wanna come home
with us, darling?


Can Louie come and live
with us, Mom?

We couldn't take care of him.

I'd take care of him.
I do now.

It's not practical, Topper.

He needs a whole team
to take care of him.

You know that.

I'm not saying that you
haven't done most of it.

Come on.


Could Topper come and visit
Louie from time to time?

Oh, I'll bring him
as often as possible.

Perhaps Louis could come
to visit us from time to time.

Bye-bye, Louie-Blooie.

Don't take any wooden nickels
while I'm gone.


Baby, what's the matter?

What's the matter?

Slowly. Come on. Relax.
Take a deep breath.

Topper's leaving Louis.

You're gonna leave me.

No, not me. Not ever. No.

Everybody always leaves.





How's it going?

Oh, she's taking you, huh?


Louie said he wanted
to listen too.

Is that all right with you?

It's your move.

What are you thinking about?

I wonder what he's doing...

right now.

We can find out.


We can write to him
and ask him.

I can't write.
You can type it.



I have to write it.


Make your move.

That's the way, Ralph.

Good shot.

Oh, my heavens.
You're gonna serve this time.

That's it, good shot, Robin.

Good. Yeah, yeah,
that's it. Thank you.

He'll know my letters
are special.

He'll get it
in the morning.

It's special.

If I can write better.

If not,
he won't know anything.

Keep practicing.
It's looking good.

No, it's not.

Turn the page.

Have you thought about
what you're going to say?

That's all I think about.

Wanna play?
I'm the doctor.

Steven's the nurse.

Not now.
I'm writing.


Not to me.


Well, at least take your pill.

What's wrong with her?


It's my pretty pill.

I take one every day.

Gee, it looks swell.

It's not fair, I need one.

I do.

You sure this address is right?

It's the one
in all the magazines.


It'll take three days,

maybe a week to answer.

But what if he's just too busy?

You know how hard he works.

He's making movies and cutting
records and all those things.

I know, he's busy.

But when he reads my letter,
he'll care.

I just don't want you
to get too upset--

He'll answer,
you'll see.

You worry too much.

Yeah, I know.
But it's an old habit.

I'm getting better.

Yeah, it's open.

Hey, come in.

We needed a break.

I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to interrupt you.

I just had a question
for both of you.

Don't be silly.
Really, we're bleary-eyed.

We've been updating
every chart.

Sit down.

Now ask us 10 questions.
Just one.

I don't want to overtax
my mind.

Sunday's visitors' day again

and I want-- Well, I'd like
to take Karen to a movie.

She's never been to one
and I thought...

I thought I'd better check.
I mean, medically.

I don't see any--

I don't see any reason
why not.

Terrific. Thanks.
I just wanted to make sure.

Lena, as a matter of fact,

we just finished
doing Karen's chart here.

And it's amazing
what you've done.

Karen's done it.

Her muscle reactions,

she's gone way past any kind
of medical predictions.

She's lived way past
any medical predictions,

with that heart of hers.

It's all right, okay?

I know I have to remember
the reality.

We really can't predict, Lena.

Look at Karen.

Six months ago, we'd never
have thought it possible

and look at Monica,
she wants to be a doctor.

I think she will be.

Well, I've decided to let
the future take care of itself.

The present seems quite enough.


I can't wait.

I hope he jiggles
and wiggles

and shakes all over
the place.


♪ Ready, ready, ready
I'm ready ♪

♪ Ready, ready, ready ♪

♪ I'm ready, ready, ready
To rock 'n' roll ♪

♪ Gonna kick off my shoes
Roll up my faded jeans ♪

♪ Rock 'n' roll, baby
Pour on the steam ♪

♪ Shuffle to the left
Shuffle to the right ♪

♪ Gonna rock 'n' roll
Till the early, early night ♪

♪ Ready, ready, ready
I'm ready ♪

♪ Ready, ready, ready
I'm ready ♪

♪ Ready, ready, ready ♪

♪ I'm ready, ready, ready
To rock 'n' roll ♪



♪ Love me tender ♪

♪ Love me sweet ♪

♪ Never let me go ♪

♪ You have made ♪

♪ My life complete ♪

♪ And I love you so ♪

♪ Love me tender ♪

♪ Love me true ♪

♪ All my dreams
Fulfilled ♪

I have to tell him
about the movie

and maybe the other letter.


I think you're tired.

That only happens
when you're tired.

I have to.

It hasn't been
that long since--

It's been too long.

Can we mail this early?


Monica's mad at you.


She thinks you're keeping
secrets from her.

You know,
with your screen closed.

What'll I tell her?
I don't know.

You're better at things
like that than me.


Tell her--
Tell her the truth.

Tell her I have a pen pal,
and he's a secret.

She likes secrets.

Okay, I'll try that.

Stop pretty soon, okay?
It's late.

Karen said she's got a pen pal
and that he's a secret.

Hey, she said you like secrets

and that you'd understand.

I like my secrets.

Oh, Monica,
I know the feeling.

Tell her she forgot her pill.


Do you want me to give it
to her?





Waiting makes it worse,
you know?

I can't help it.

must've gone wrong.

It's all those people.

Which people?

The secretaries,

bodyguards, people.

Maybe somebody else

got my letter.

I know he would have answered.

Boy, it's coming down.

Anything for us?

You can take a look,
but I didn't see anything.

Maybe it's still there, though.

I'm gonna get out
of this coat.

Excuse me.

Come here.
Come right over here.


Nothing for you, kid.

Well, I think Miss Karen here
has a real nasty cold.

So you're gonna have to stay
in bed for a couple of days.

Keep warm for me.
Will you do that?

Hot tea and chicken soup.

Nobody's come up
with anything better.

You want me to read to you?

Or do you want me to go on
about the story about the mice?

Are you okay?

What's the matter?


Come on,
we can talk about it.

I don't want to talk.

Are you thinking about--

Karen, please don't shut me out.

Come on,
we can talk about it.

Are you hurting anywhere?

No, I'm tired.

I wanna go to sleep.

Please let him answer.

Hot stuff, aren't you?

You can't even send
a goddamn postcard.

Every day she just sits
and waits for that letter.

It's never going to come.

Well, Lena, for Pete sakes,
where were you the whole time?

Why didn't you try
stopping her?

Stop her?

I encouraged her.

It was my idea.

I mean,
what did you expect?

A little compassion.
I don't know.

I just wanted to bring a little
happiness into her life.

Damn it!

The point is,
I should have known better.

It was stupid
and destructive.

Every day the disappointment
becomes more painful.

So every day she withdraws
that much more within herself.

My God, she's practically
regressed back to the point

where we first started.

Not to mention
that now she resents me.

I don't believe that.

Well, she has every right.

You may have made a mistake
but you didn't commit a crime.

Yeah, well, it's debatable.

Where you going?


It's freezing outside.
You'll catch pneumonia.


It's snowing, Karen.

I picked up the mail.

There's a letter for you,


Lena, get the oxygen.

It's all right, Karen.
Take it easy.


That's good, Karen.
That's good.


Just a little more.

There you go.
Just a minute.

Is she all right?

I think so.

Where's the letter?

Take it easy, Karen.

Now you help me, sit up here.
That's a girl.

I told you it would come.

You worry too much.

Yeah, I know.
But I'm getting better.

It's like a dream.

It's a long story.

It's a letter from my friend.

And he really is
my friend.

I'm glad you got a letter
from your friend, Karen.

Keep an eye on her.
I'll be right back.


It's not long.
Do you want to hear it?

Do I want to hear it?
What a question.

Come on up.

There. Okay.

"Dear Karen.

"Forgive my handwriting.

"It's a mess.

"I always seem
to be in a hurry.

"Forgive me, too,

"for not writing sooner.

"There is so much mail

"that I don't always get
a chance

"to read it all.

"I'm real sorry.

"Will you give me

"a chance

"to make it up to you?

"I really want to be

"your friend.

"I want to hear

"all about you.

"What do you look like?

"What do you like to do?

"What do you like
to play?

"I'm glad you like
my music.

"I'm sending you

"a special address

"so your letters

"will come straight to me.

"Write back soon.

Your friend, Elvis."


"Dear Elvis. Thank you.

"I knew we'd be friends
one day.

"Forgive my handwriting.

"I like you so much.

"You asked me to tell you
about me.

"I've got cerebral palsy,

"so I can't walk.

"But I have a motor chair.

"I don't think
I'm pretty.

"I hope you won't mind.

"I'm really happy
that you wrote.

Love, Karen."


Hey, all right.

Where's the card?
The card?

There it is, there it is.
There it is.

I'll get you there yet.

I got you there.

Okay, letters.

I can mail it.

You sure?
It's awfully high.

You think all that exercise
went for nothing?

Okay. Well, let me
fix you.

Get you a little closer.
Hold on.

Okay, there you go.

It's up, but it's frozen.

Okay, off we go.

"Dear Elvis, I really mean it.

"If you're too busy
or too tired,

"don't bother to write.

"I'll just keep writing.

"Tony's going to take
a picture of me.

"I'll send it to you.

"Do you think I should
cut my hair?

Love again, Karen."

"I'm glad you think
I'm pretty.

"I won't cut my hair.

"I've been thinking a lot
about what I could send you.

"Tony took some pictures
and I'm going to send you one.

"It isn't much, but I wanted
to give you something.

"You've sent me
so many presents.

"Thank you for the card.

"Just write when you can.

I'd love for you to come
and see me."

You writing your friend?

Uh-huh. Come in.

Do you suppose your friend
might have a friend

I could write to?

I don't know.
I can ask.

What do you want for Christmas?

I have everything I want.

I'll think of something.
Good night.

Night. Sleep tight.

There. Uh-huh.

It looks weird.

If you're not going to help,

just keep your opinions
to yourself.

"Dear Karen.

"I loved your drawings.

"And I've got
a secret friend too.

"She is supposed
to inspire me.

"She's a pretty pink
teddy bear.

"But she gets lost.

"So if you see her
wandering around,

"please keep an eye on her
for me.

"Her name's Karen too.

Love Elvis."

"I've looked all over the woods

"and I can't find Karen,
the other Karen.

"I think you made her up.

"You wouldn't have
a pink teddy bear.

"But I like it that you like
to make things up too.

"I do it a lot.

"My friend, Monica,
wants to know

if you have a friend
she can write to."

Onward. Okay.

Look what just came.
Special delivery.

Don't just sit there, open it.

Come on, pull, pull.


I'm exhausted.

Good night.

Good night.
Love you.

Don't stay up too late.


I love you too.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.