Edge of the World, The (1937) Movie Script

Sing in hope and sing we merrily
Ho-ro, chasing the breeze
Through this pure
and cruel experience
Ho-ro, chasing the breeze
The waves on yonder shore
Have come, have come from
the far-off seas
Rising, turning, waves are churning
Ho-ro, chasing the breeze
Rising, turning, waves are churning
Ho-ro, chasing the breeze
Stand by, we're putting in.
Mr Graham, sir, I would not advise
more than a temporary visit.
Oh, I think we'll risk it.
It looks deserted.
Yes. Funny, doesn't say anything
about it here.
Your book was right
when it was published, Mr Graham.
But you were wrong when you said
nothing changes on these islands.
There's not a living soul now
on Hirta.
The sea birds were its first owners
and now the sea birds
have it for their own again.
Hirta's the old name for the island,
isn't it?
(Mr Graham) Do you know
what it means, Andrew?
It means... death.
Got it.
Send the boat back!
(Faint voice) Andrew Gray...
Does it mean gone over there?
Many died that way, hunting for eggs
or after the sheep.
Sooner or later a rope frayed
or a foot slipped.
It became a word for death
on the island.
- It's a nasty-Iooking place.
- Aye. It is.
- What's wrong, Andrew?
- The hills of Scotland.
It's a rare thing
to see them from Hirta.
- The old men used to say...
- What?
That it meant bad luck
to see the hills.
And it's true.
I've only seen them once before.
There were three of us then...
It's the Sabbath today.
And a fine summer morning.
Ten years ago, you'd have seen all
the folk on their way to the kirk.
The men in black,
and the women neat and bonny,
and young John Eisbister
standing by the gate.
The bell would be ringing.
(Bell continues to ring)
- You better hurry!
- Aye! I will, I will!
There, Mother.
The sunshine
will do your rheumatism good.
And you'll hear the singing fine.
We'll sing extra loud, Grandmother.
At least, Father and I will.
I canna answer for Robbie.
I could drown your treble before I
left and I still have the same lungs.
And the same good opinion
of yourself!
(Bell continues to ring)
- Good morning, John.
- Morning, Robbie.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
You needna grin all over your face
every time you see Andrew Gray.
Morning, Andrew.
See the bonny dress Robbie's brought
me? All the way back from Aberdeen!
- Oh-ho. Silk.
- Aye. Makes me feel awful sinful.
If you talk like that,
I'll take it back.
You try and get it!
Will you sit by me in the kirk, Ruth?
And me in a silk dress?
Do you not think people will talk?
- Good morning, Peter.
- Good morning, James.
I'm glad to see that Robbie's back.
We'll need his help with the fishing.
I was thinking he'd be more useful
with the sheep running.
As postmaster
and captain of the boat,
I have a better eye
to our finances than you.
I would remind ye I am responsible
to the laird for the sheep.
I need no reminder. I found the
market for our tweeds in Edinburgh.
- Nobody's denying it, man.
- And as the elder of the kirk...
You may have noticed, James Gray,
that the bell has stopped ringing,
and you're delaying us all with this
godless discussion on the Sabbath.
...the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Let us worship the Lord by singing
to his praise in Psalm number 23.
Tune: Wiltshire.
The Lord's my shepherd
I'll not want
He makes me down to lie.
- (Tuning fork hums)
- La, la... la-la.
(AII sing) The Lord's my shepherd
I'll not want
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green he leadeth me
The quiet waters by.
In pastures green
He leadeth me
The quiet waters by
"He said, Thus saith the Lord,
Because the Syrians have said,
the Lord is God of the hills,
but he is not God of the valleys,
therefore will I deliver all this
great multitude into thine hands
and ye shall know
that I am the Lord."
I Kings 20:28.
Brethren, let not the heathen
shame you.
The Syrians had already been defeated
in battle
by such an imperial force
of Israelites whom they despised
that they thought there was
something supernatural about it
and ascribed their defeat
to the God of Israel.
Now, if the Lord has brought
prosperity to you
or if you have enjoyed success
in Christian service,
take heed that you do not
lift up your head on high.
For, kindred,
the tendency of the human heart
towards pride is very strong,
but we must always remember
that we are nothing more than tools
in the hands of the Lord.
We have been nothing more than
the scythes in the hands of God
if we reap the corn,
nothing more than the nets
if we have brought the fish to shore.
So, let us learn from the sins...
Sin is limiting the power
of the gospel.
Some of us, at certain times,
have been inclined
to limit the power of the gospel
by supposing
that only certain sinners...
...by supposing that only certain
sinners obtain the grace of God.
Grand sermon, John.
One hour and 15 minutes. Let them
beat that in Edinburgh if they can.
And mind ye,
every sentence sound theology.
We'll check the lists and load
the boats after the Sabbath's over.
Aye. It's high tide
an hour after midnight.
Aye, that's, er, very convenient.
Away you go
and take a walk wi' Ruth.
And remember it's the Sabbath.
Behind me, Satan.
Oh, Robbie, is she really sweet?
She is, Ruth.
Then I dinna feel so bad
about Andrew.
You know, I've been feeling
awful guilty
and all the time you've been
stealing a march on me.
Polly Manson.
Mmm. I don't know
whether I like it or not.
Whether you do or you don't,
she's gonna be your sister-in-law.
And tomorrow, Father'll know it.
When parliament meets tomorrow,
I'm going to speak out.
- He'll be awful angry.
- I'm not a child any more.
There are others who think like me,
James Gray for one.
- Andrew doesn't.
- Oh, Andrew.
And what's wrong with Andrew?
There'll be a deal wrong with
his neck if he doesna take care.
Tell him to get down!
Get down! You're frightening Ruth!
That was a sudden idea.
It looked like it.
In the old days, you had to show
your courage to win a wife.
I said to myself "Andrew, my lad,
you're as good as they are
and Ruth has got to be sure of you."
Remember it's the Sabbath!
That's what Father said,
and I'm no likely to forget it.
But if a man can't
put his arm round his girl
without John Knox
turning in his grave,
then the world's full of sinners.
Here's good luck for us.
We don't need any.
What were you two talking about?
- You.
- Oh? That's natural enough.
Oh, you're not the only one.
Robbie's got a bonnet full of bees.
You're one, I'm the other,
but the busiest of the lot
is the girl from Norway.
Robbie! I'm glad.
Why don't you bring her over?
I'm not bringing her back to Hirta,
now or ever.
But I hope you and she and Ruth will
be good friends and... neighbours.
- What do you mean?
- Just that.
- I like plain speech.
- Then you'll have it.
- You're leaving the island?
- Aye.
- Short-handed as we are?
- Aye.
- Does anybody know?
- Only you two.
- When are you going to tell Peter?
- Tomorrow.
- The boat parliament?
- Aye.
Ah, Robbie, man,
you've gone over to the other side.
Before I went away,
I would have said the same as you.
But the world's changed,
it's bigger, it's easier to get at.
Before, we were no worse off
than anyone else.
Now we're living in an old world.
I've got a turn for machinery,
I can do things with it.
Why should I give it up?
What can Polly and I hope for
if I drag her back here?
Ah, Robbie, you're too clever for me.
You go your way and I'll go mine.
- Aye, but can't you see...
- That's final.
If you want to run away because
the work's too hard, or your fancy...
- Leave her out of it!
- I'd be glad to.
I'm as good a man as you. I could
always beat you on the cliffs.
- You're a stone lighter.
- Oh, that's nothing.
Do you see Wester Hoevdi?
To climb Wester Hoevdi without a rope
was another of the old trials.
Well, what do you say?
- (Andrew) Shall we make it a race?
- Aye.
The hills of Scotland.
I forbid it. A mad race like this
can settle nothing.
I'll not speak here of the defiance
in which I've been set by my own son.
I want you to speak of it.
This affects every man on the island.
You keep silent.
The boy's right, Peter Manson.
We're dealing with a question each
one of us has got to face squarely.
It's your homes, your families
and your future lives.
- Am I no right?
- (Murmurs of assent)
I'm no trying to read my elders any
lesson. A man must think for himself.
For hundreds of years now,
this parliament has met
every working morn.
But in a thousand years,
it's never faced the problem we face.
Year by year,
the population's shrinking.
Look what happened to Mingulay
and St Kilda,
islands barren now
that once supported people.
What happened in the Hebrides
will happen here.
You canna fight against it,
you canna stop it.
As I see it, it's...
it's every man for himself.
That's all I have to say.
And I came back here to say it.
Well, as you all know, I'm no
great hand at public speaking.
Except in kirk, John!
Thank you, James. Even then, it takes
me a week to make up my sermons.
But Robbie here makes out
a very good case.
And he says we can't fight it.
Can't fight? You mean
you won't fight, some of ye!
Look out there.
Trawlers sweeping the sea
wi' their nets,
loading their boats wi' fish
that belong to us island men,
ruining the new spawn
wi' their damned otter boards.
Three-mile limit.
What does it mean to them?
A dint in the head with a lump of
coal is all you get if you warn them.
What's the good of it?
Restrictions, that's what we want,
that's what we'll pray for.
The damn fools are ruining
their own game, as well as ours.
They've swept the shore
as bare as this hand,
you have to steam further out,
that means more coal,
then where's the profit?
Fight. Man, I've fought them
and the like all my life.
I've kept a roof over my croft,
brought my children up decently.
And then to have you, Robbie,
tell me it's each man for himself,
and act as though you spoke
for half the island,
when you're not two days back from
working for the boats that ruined us!
Three months' work
and 63 to show for it!
Shillings is what I'd be showing
if I'd stayed on Hirta.
- Och, you're no son o' mine!
- Don't take it so hard, Peter, man.
The boy's just said
what had to be said.
Men we must have,
and where are we going to get them?
Oh, this tale o' Robbie's has been
in my mind for a long while.
Now, if we was to petition
the Government,
there's little doubt we'd get free
transportation and a grant o' land.
I would remind you, James Gray,
that that is for the laird to decide.
And it's within my province...
We'll respect everybody.
This seems a simple enough matter.
We've agreed to race to the top,
and race we will.
Let the man who gets there first
have the way of it.
If parliament sat for a thousand
years, they wouldn't decide better.
Well, it may be so, Andrew,
but I don't approve.
No, it's too risky.
- Do you no think so, Peter?
- I can see no objection.
Well, then, down to the boats.
Come on, then.
- Peter.
- What is it?
You're letting the two boys
risk certain death.
A word from you would stop this race.
I've climbed the Hoevdi three times.
- But with a rope.
- Aye.
Don't go, either of you!
It's a mad way to settle it!
- It's the only way!
- Can't you discuss it?
- We tried that.
- It's no good, Ruth.
You'll both be killed.
I felt it when we saw
the mountains in the sky.
And the sun went in the clouds.
I'll lose you both!
And yesterday I was so happy.
- There's nae time to waste.
- Heave away, there!
All together!
I can't stop them, Granny.
They're going to climb.
They won't listen to me.
Have you chosen your route yet?
Aye. Up the east side, then straight
along, up by the channel.
The old way we went egg hunting.
Remember there's no rope this time.
I'm no likely to forget.
I'm for the south face,
then over the Devil's Elbow.
- Longer, but I'll make better time.
- You'll have to.
- It's a grand treat for the folk.
- Are you ready?
When you get to the burn
take the right channel.
The left's shorter but it's no good,
you'd never get back. Don't forget.
They're both good lads
and they're doing fine.
Good lad, Andrew!
He's out of the Devil's Elbow!
Robbie's taking the left channel!
It's no possible!
I can't...
Father! That's enough!
James and Andrew of Burns,
I bid you to the funeral
of Robbie Manson, tomorrow, at 12.
We will come.
Jessie and Jean of Grisengarth.
I bid you to prepare for the funeral
of Robbie Manson, tomorrow, at 12.
Magnus of Quenester.
I bid you to prepare for the funeral
of Robbie Manson, tomorrow, at 12.
I bid you to the funeral
of Robbie Manson,
tomorrow, at 12.
Tomorrow, at 12...
Tomorrow, at 12...
(Faint) Tomorrow, at 12...
(Glen Lyon Lament)
O, waly up the bank
Waly down the brae
Waly by yon riverside
We were wont to gae
Hovan, hovan, hovan eerie
Hovan, hovan, O
Hovan, hovan, hovan eerie
Hovan, hovan, O
Hovan, hovan, hovan eerie
Hovan, hovan, O
Hovan, hovan, hovan eerie
Hovan, hovan, O
(Islanders whoop)
(Sheep bleat)
I love you, Andrew.
I love you, Ruth.
Father's a hard man to understand.
- A hard man, you mean.
- No worse than you all are.
You said yourself he won't hear
my name spoken since Robbie died.
- You canna blame him for that.
- No?
Will I speak to him?
He'll never let us marry... now.
But we don't need his permission.
Do we?
You know we do.
And if he won't give it?
Then we'll just have to wait.
I've waited long enough.
We're too few to bear a grudge long.
Not a day passes that I don't
cross your path or you mine.
Do you and your father
want to drive me off the island?
Do you think
I don't care about Robbie?
Do you think I'd forget that he was
your twin brother and my best friend?
We were to be married today, Ruth.
- (Sobs)
- Maybe you've forgotten that.
Oh, Ruth, I'm sorry.
(Sound of boat approaching)
- James.
- Aye?
You'll be speaking to him?
About Peter and Andrew Gray?
Aye, I will that.
- Is the laird there?
- I canna see him.
That's him.
Aye. And he was only 24, poor laddie.
Very hard on Peter to lose them both.
Aye. And he's not the sort of man
to share his troubles with people.
166 yards of wheat.
600 pounds of wool.
The boy and the girl
both feel it very deeply.
It's always worse
for those that are left.
Well, with the exception
of the jerseys, that'll be all.
I'll away in and finish my reports.
It's three months are gone and nobody
can do anything with the man.
I'm thinking that for as long
as he sees me every day,
he can't help hating me
for what I've done.
There's no reasoning with him.
I'm best out of the way.
But she'll only do as he wishes.
It's natural enough.
She's all he's got left.
I'll see what I can do.
You won't move him.
I've been talking to your son, James.
He's anxious to go with me
to the mainland.
But that's just...
Oh, aye.
Thought the lad had that on his mind.
He'll be a sad loss to the island.
I've always helped you
in every way I can.
You have that, Mr Dunbar.
But if all your young people leave,
you'll find it hard to carry on.
It'll be a thousand pities
if Andrew goes.
He's worth two of any ordinary men.
I make the total
the same as yourself, James.
Excuse me, Mr Dunbar,
I have the sheep to see to.
Aye, it's all right, it's all there.
Here, mind that box, they're eggs.
Take care of yourself, son.
Goodbye, Laird.
Not much heft in them yet, John.
It's the salt spray that blows over
early in the year.
It'll be a poor harvest.
It will.
And the peat's giving out.
I'm back to my old workings now.
And we canna do without the peat.
Nah. The plain fact is,
Robbie was right, poor boy.
We'll win through this winter
but never another.
Peter'll just have to face the facts.
You know, James, someone'll
just have to speak to Peter.
Have you any idea where he is?
He'll be away after the sheep
on the cliffs.
Is this true?
Andrew Gray's child?
Yes. And you can't take that from me.
Poor lassie.
Poor wee lassie.
(Dream Angus)
Can ye no hush your weepin', oh?
A' the wee lambs are sleepin', oh
Birdies are nestlin',
nestlin' thegether
Dream Angus is hirplin'
o'er the heather
Dreams to sell, fine dreams to sell
Angus is here wi' dreams to sell
Hush ye, my baby,
and sleep without fear
Dream Angus has
brought you a dream, my dear
List' to the curlew cryin', oh
Fainter the echoes dyin', oh
Even the birds
and beasties are sleepin'
But my bonny bairn
is weepin', weepin'
Dreams to sell, fine dreams to sell
Angus is here wi' dreams to sell
He'll be here with the summer,
my dear.
Aye, we'll soon be able to send
the letters out now.
If only I could tell him now.
- Looks empty in the evenings.
- Yes.
- Looking for work?
- I might be.
- I need a hand.
- You do?
Aye. Two pound a week and share.
- Where's your boat, Skipper?
- Over yonder by Victoria Pier.
Well, do you want the job?
Not on a damn trawler!
- Oh, particular, are you, lad?
- Whom I work for.
Oh, well, then I'll no keep you.
One of them'll be picked up.
Aye, if they're not blown
too far south.
Nah. This wind'll take them
right among the fishing fleet.
Harbour Master, have you seen
Skipper McFee anywhere?
McFee? Oh, aye.
That's his boat o'er yonder.
Have ye a full crew?
I'm looking for you, lad.
- Andrew Gray, isn't it?
- Yes.
- From Hirta?
- Yes.
Robbie Manson was my engineer.
- Robbie?!
- Aye, a good boy.
He was.
I'm glad to meet one of his folks,
so to speak.
I'm glad I met you, Skipper.
- I've a letter for you.
- You have?
Aye. One of these little mail boats.
I picked him up last Wednesday
off Sunborough Head.
- Where is it?
- Back at the "damn trawler".
(Both chuckle)
- From a lassie?
- Yeah.
- She'll be looking for ye.
- Aye.
It's too far to swim, lad.
We're leaving tonight.
Do you still feel particular?
Cos there's no reason why
we shouldna shoot trawl off Hirta.
(Waves crash)
(Wind whistles)
(Seagulls caw)
She canna breathe.
Would it be the croup?
We don't know.
If only we'd got a bigger boat,
we could get to the mainland.
(Softly) Aye.
This gale may blow for a week.
- Can you make out her name?
- No, I canna see it.
You must be brave, Ruth.
It's diphtheria.
Then there's only one chance.
I haven't the skill
to do an operation.
If only we'd got the wireless,
we could send for help.
Is there no hope at all?
None if we can't get her to a doctor.
Away up and get Ruth and the wean.
This way, Doctor.
Here's your bag, Doctor. Up there.
Fetch a kettle of boiling water!
- A kettle of boiling water.
- A kettle of boiling water, quick.
- I have it here.
- That's great, man.
I've got you both safe now,
and you're not going back.
They'll all be on by noon.
What are we going to do
about the cats?
I'm afraid
we'll just have to leave them.
I suppose they'll manage
to make a living in the cliffs.
It's the poor dogs I'm worried about.
They're no good as sheepdogs.
Who's to pay for taking them?
Aye, and then there's the licences.
They'd better be drowned.
Maybe when we get to the mainland
somebody might buy them.
Are you willing to risk that
out of your own pocket? For I'm not.
James, man, I'm away up the Kame.
One of they daft collectors offered
me five pounds for a guillemot's egg.
I know just where it is.
Come on, come on! Here!
Here, James Andrew!
Here, man.
Tie up this dog.
Tell them to drown him
with the others.
(Dog barks)
Oh, Peter!
(Dog barks)
Oh, Peter!
(Dog barks)
Come here, lad!
- Peter!
- (Echoes) Peter!
- Peter Manson!
- (Echoes) Peter Manson!
(Chasing The Breeze)
Sing in hope,
let's find the breeze
Ho-ro, chasing the breeze
Ho-ro, chasing the breeze
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