Legend of Lizzie Borden, The (1975) Movie Script

Doctor Bowen, please!
Is he coming?
He's not at home.
Good morning, Lizzie
I've just been out shopping.
The stores are like ovens.
Lizzie, what is it?
Oh, Miss Churchill, do come in.
Someone has killed father.
In the sitting room.
You see? I'm... I'm glad you're here, Alice.
I came as soon as Bridget told me.
It's going to be all right.
Everything's going to be all right.
It's going to be all right.
He's been dead less than half an hour.
Where's your sister, Lizzie?
She's visiting the Braunagels
in Fairhaven.
I'll call at once,
I'll ask my wife to send a telegram.
Thank you, Dr. Bowen.
You must try with me.
Will you like it like that?
Come on. All right.
Almost. There you are.
I haven't seen your stepmother, Lizzie.
Is Abby out?
Yes, but I thought I heard her come back.
She's probably in her room.
Nobody is back, miss Lizzie.
I looked when I fetched the sheets.
Then try up front.
She must be in the spare room.
- Yes, Miss Lizzie.
- Oh, Maggie, do as I say.
I'm not going up there alone!
Oh, come along, Bridget,
I'll go with you. Come on!
You must get some rest.
What is it?
Well, why did you send me the telegram?
- What was it?
- She... She's up there!
Thank you.
Good day, Miss Borden.
Miss Emma?
I'm sorry, Emma, but I must.
It's all right.
It's okay, Julien.
I'll stay as long as you need me.
Thank you.
She's in her room.
Did you... Kill father?
No, Emma.
I did not.
No more, Emma, please, no more.
Lizzie, doctor Bowen says...
But I can't think, I can't think.
What is that he's giving me?
It's just something to quieten your nerves.
But I m-, I must think, I must.
- Hush...
- Papa..
Somebody killed father. Why?
You must put all that out of your mind now.
You never should have gone away, Emma.
I know, I know, dear.
But I'm back now.
What are we going to do, Em?
I've always looked after you, haven't I?
Just like I promised mother.
Yes, Em. Well, then.
You see?
Everything is going to be all right.
You... Just go to sleep now.
Yes, Em.
Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Dear God in heaven, forgive us our sins.
Dear God in heaven...
Excuse me.
Couldn't wear black.
At least veils.
Not even a tear.
It was a terrible ordeal.
Miss Borden.
A word with you, sir.
Who are you?
Can't you see I'm busy?
I'm the city marshall, I tell you,
we have instructions for you.
- Instructions?
- After the family has left the graveside,
both bodies have to be taken
to a receiving tomb
- where the heads have to be removed.
- Removed?
And shipped to Edward Wood, professor of
forensic medicine at Harvard University.
On whose order, may I ask?
His honor, the mayor.
Naturally, the sisters are not to be told.
As you were saying, Mister Mayor?
I have a request to make of the family.
Please remain inside the house
for a few days,
it will be better for all concerned.
Why, is someone here suspected?
I want to know the truth.
- Lizzie, please, don't... Don't upset yourself.
- I want to know the truth, Emma.
Well, miss Borden, as much
as I regret to tell you, yes,
you are suspected.
We... Tried to keep it from her
as long as we could.
I'm ready to go now.
Oh, that won't be necessary.
If you're disturbed by the crowds out there,
just notify the officer in the yard.
Then I'm to be a prisoner in my own home?
You shall have all the protection
the police department can afford.
Well, we shan't trouble you any further.
Naturally, we want to do
all we can to help in this matter.
There will, of course, be an inquest,
closed to the public, if you prefer.
Whatever you wish.
My name is Bridget Sullivan.
I'm 26 years old and unmarried.
How were you adressed
in the Borden household?
I was sometimes called Maggie,
but only by miss Emma and miss Lizzie.
How long were you in Mister Borden's employ?
Two years and nine months
at the time of his death.
And did the Bordens keep
any other domestic servants?
Well, sometimes a young man came from
the farm to chop wood,
but he hasn't been round
since last winter.
Then you and miss Borden were the only
persons in the house
the morning of the slayings?
- Aside from the victims.
- Yes, sir.
Now, miss Sullivan, can you describe
the events of that morning
from the time you arose?
It was very hot that day, I...
I... I felt a sort of a dull
headache as I got up.
It must have been the mutton broth
from the night before.
Mutton broth?
Yes, sir.
- We'd had it for five days running.
- I see.
And was Miss Borden also sick that morning?
Not at all.
She seemed to have enough to eat.
Good morning, Mister Borden.
There is that Johnny cakes
or cookies for breakfast.
Which shall it be?
Johnny cakes and cookies.
No appetite for your indigestible
Irish stuff this morning.
Any more of that mutton and broth?
Yes, sir, but I suspect
it's gone off in this heat.
Really wants to be choked out,
it's not fit for human consumption.
Well, it's not, want not, serve it!
Meany old skinflint!
Watch your tongue.
I've heard you calling him it often enough.
Still, it's not your place.
After I served themselves breakfast,
I commenced to wash up.
That's when Mr. Borden left for downtown.
You locked the door after him?
Yes, sir, I locked it.
Mr. Borden was very strict about that.
When I finished my dishes,
I took them into the dining room.
Mrs. Borden was there, dusting.
- Where is father?
- Went downtown.
He left while you were upstairs.
Oh, Bridget, get your pail and some water.
I want the windows washed.
Today, Mrs. Borden?
It's awful hot.
Inside and outside, both,
they're intolerably dirty.
Please, Mrs. Borden...
Look, I'm feeling poorly today.
Couldn't it wait, perhaps?
Stinking milk cow!
I went down into the cellar and got a pail
and a brush and went outdoors.
I started to work on the north
side of the house.
Maggie, are you going to be
out there long?
Yes, but you needn't lock the door
unless you want to.
I can get fresh water from the barn.
After a while,
Mrs. Kellysberg came to the fence
and I went over to talk to her.
Then I went back to me work.
There's a lot of windows in that house
and I had to go to the barn
three or four times for fresh water.
During all that time, I...
Did not see anybody come to the house
until Mr. Borden came home.
Is there any mail?
Not for you.
Where is Abby?
She had a note and went out.
Did she say where?
Someone in town was sick, I think.
Would you like to take a nap
before dinner?
After I've read my paper.
There's a cheap sale of dress goods
at Sergeant's this afternoon.
Eight cents a yard.
- Aye, I'm going to have some.
But not today in this heat.
I feel too ill.
Why don't you finish those windows later?
You can rest before the new meal.
I think I'll do just that.
Then I went upstairs to my room and
lay down without taking off any of my clothing.
I heard the City Hall clock
start to strike eleven.
I must have been there
three or four minutes,
I never went to sleep at all.
The next thing I heard was miss Lizzie
hollering: "Maggie, Maggie!"
Up to the time miss Lizzie Borden
told her father
about the note which reportedly
came for her stepmother,
had you heard anything about it from anyone?
- No, sir, I never had.
- Thank you.
No further questions, your honor.
The witness is released
unconditionally, without bail.
She's leaving us, Lizzie.
Lizzie Borden to the stand, please.
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth
and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
I do.
Please be seated.
You may begin, Mr. District Attorney.
Will you please give the
court your full name?
- Lizzie Andrew Borden.
- Is it Lizzie or Elizabeth?
- Lizzie. - You were so christened?
- I was so christened.
- What is your age, please?
- 32.
- Your mother is not living. - No, sir, she died
when I was two and half years old.
- What was your father's age?
- He would be 70 next month.
He was a successful businessman.
He's very successful, yes, sir.
Started as a mortician, I understand,
and branched out into real estate banking.
That is correct.
Do you have an idea
how much your father was worth?
- No, sir. - Do you ever know
of your father making a will?
No, sir.
Did he ever mention
the subject of wills to you?
He did not.
Had you been on pleasant terms
with your stepmother?
- Oh, yes, sir.
- Cordial?
That depends on one's idea of cordiality.
According to your idea of cordiality?
We were friendly, very friendly.
Why did you leave off calling her mother?
Because I wanted to.
That's the best reason you can give?
I have no other anwswer.
In what other respect was your relationship
with her not that of mother and daughter
aside from your not calling her mother?
She had never been a mother
to me in many ways.
I always went to my sister, because she was older
and had to care of me
after my mother died.
Now, tell me Miss Borden,
on the morning of the murders,
did you get your own breakfast?
I... Did not have any breakfast.
I did not feel as though I wanted any.
Sick of the same mutton broth?
It was the heat.
Oh... Would you repeat the question?
We are trying to establish if you are certain
you were upstairs
when your father came to the house
on his return.
I think I was.
Now, you remember, miss Borden,
you told me you were downstairs,
not upstairs,
when your father came home.
You've forgotten, perhaps?
I don't know what I said.
I've answered so many questions
and I'm so confused.
I don't know one thing from another.
I'm telling you as best I know.
I have no one to counsel me.
There's no need for counsel.
This is only a coroner's inquest,
not a trial.
You may continue, Mr. Knowlton.
Which is your recollection now?
Were you downstairs or upstairs when
the bell rang and your father came home?
I think I was downstairs in the kitchen.
You think.
Miss Borden, we have been over this
a dozen times and each time a new version.
Now how will you have it?
I don't know!
I don't even know what your name is.
I... I think as nearly as I know
I think I was downstairs.
When did you last see your stepmother?
When she went up to change
the bed in the spare room.
And you never saw or heard her afterwards
until you discovered your father's body?
A period of approximately
one and a half hours.
- No, sir. - Did you have any knowledge
of her leaving the house?
She said she had a note. Someone was sick.
Did she tell you where she was going?
No, sir.
- Did she tell you where the note was from?
- No, sir.
- Did you ever see the note?
- No, sir.
- Do you know where the note is now?
- No, sir.
How long was your father in the house
before you found him killed?
I don't know exactly,
because I had to go out to the barn.
I don't think he could have been home
more than 15 or 20 minutes.
And what were you doing in the barn
all this time?
I needed some lead for a sinker.
Did you say a sinker?
Yes, sir. I...
I was going to Maryland on Monday,
to fish.
I needed a sinker.
And that's all you did?
- Look for sinkers?
- Yes, sir, in the loft.
You think that would take you
15 or 20 minutes?
I ate some pears up there.
I asked you to tell me all you did.
I told you all I did.
I ate my pears.
You stood there, eating your pears,
doing nothing.
I was looking out of the window.
Stood there, looking out of the
window, eating your pears.
- I should think so.
- How many pears did you eat?
Three, I think.
Now, can you tell us, Miss Borden, why
it took you 10 minutes to eat 3 pears?
I do not do things in a hurry.
No further question, your honor.
It would be a pleasure for this magistrate
and it would doubtless bring
much sympathy, if he could say,
Lizzie, I adjudge you probably not guilty,
you may go home.
But let us suppose for just...
a single moment
that this is a man before me.
Suppose it was a man who was found
in the vicinity of the murders
and it was he who'd discovered
Mr. Borden's body?
Suppose the only account
he could give of himself here
was unreasonable, contradictory?
Would there be any question
what would be done with such a man?
Painful as it may be, there is
but one thing to be done.
It is the judgement of this court
that you are found
probably guilty and your ordeal committed
to a weighty action of the superior court.
- Better?
- Yes, thank you.
Please, forgive me. But I now must ask you
a very disturbing question
and I want you to give me
a simple yes or no answer.
Did you kill your father and Abby?
As your family lawyer, I must hear
it from your own lips, I'm sorry.
I am innocent.
That's all I need to know.
Now, Mr. Jennings, you
must tell me what can I expect.
I'm doing everything in my power.
The truth!
You have an obligation to tell me.
All right.
The worst:
death by hanging.
But it needn't come to that.
Miss Lizzie, Lizzie...
What is it, Lizzie?
What is it?
Matron! Send for Dr. Bowen!
Matron, matron...
Mister Jennings has given me
his solemn assurance
that everything humanly possible
is being done for your defense.
He's finally retained
Mr. George Robinson to assist.
Must have been all of the
newspaper publicity that attracted him.
A former governor is going to defend you.
Must have cost a pretty penny!
I've decided to pay for
half of everything myself.
I can't let you do that, Em,
because it would ruin us.
Even if it takes every last cent
of my inheritance.
Mr. Jennings said that it might
take months to bring me to trial.
I don't know if I stand it
in this place that long.
I'll be with you, Lizzie.
Em, we're alone now.
We have no one.
We still have each other.
Seems we've always been alone.
Poor Lizzie...
Somehow I...
It's always been harder for you,
hasn't it?
Why do things need to be
so cruel with me, Em?
District Attorney Knowlton...
The newspapers...
They call me a sphinx of coldness.
Why do they want
to hurt me like that?
Poor Lizzie...
I don't think they mean to.
It's just that you're... Special.
And special people have always
been misunderstood. You know that.
Oh, Em.
I don't want to be special!
I know, Lizzie. I know.
... And good night,
may thy slumber bedight...
It's perfect!
I knew you wanted something special.
You got the whole ensemble?
Read it!
Lizzie, we must have gone over this
a hundred times!
Then we'll go over it
the hundred and oneth.
Well, there's your new hat,
the navy blue bangling dress...
No, we said the black, remember?
The one with the legging button sleeves.
Yes, I'm sorry, I forgot.
And your little broach...
The one for posies. It's in the top
back drawer of my chiffonier.
Oh, and don't forget my six buttoned
black kick gloves. I want them.
Mr. Julian Ralph, of the New York Sun,
he'll be here for an interview
Oh, gracious! I completely forgot!
Give me a moment, will you?
You don't mind, do you, Em?
I understand your father's estate
came to more than a quarter million dollars.
Only slightly.
All these months of legal expenses
are fast eating it away.
Now, the point is one can't help wondering
why a family of the Borden means
couldn't enjoy even
the simplest convenience of a bathroom.
I'm sure your father could afford
more than just a basement letrine.
But he wanted to give us all bathrooms,
we begged him not to.
You see, we had intented to move very shortly
to a more fashionable location on the hill.
It seemed a...
an expensive extravagance
for such temporary conveniences.
My father was a kind and
considerate man, Mr. Ralph.
Such stories about him
are a vicious slander.
You're a most unusual woman, miss Borden,
difficult to penetrate.
What is it like, for a lady of your
station, of your sensibilities,
to be here in prison?
The... um... The hardest thing for me
to stand is the night,
when there is no light.
They will not even allow me
a candle to read by.
To sit here all the evenings
in the dark is very hard.
There is one thing that hurts me very much.
They say I don't show any grief.
Certainly, I don't in public.
I never did reveal my feelings
and I cannot change my nature now.
They say I don't cry.
They should see me when I'm alone.
Yet district Attorney Knowlton
urges us to believe
that miss Borden is capable
of any cold blooded deed,
even the murder of her father
and his wife.
Mr. Knowlton goes so far as to call her
a sphinx of coldness,
not even moved to wear mourning
out of respect.
But Miss Borden explains it so simply,
so honestly.
"There was not a moment when I could think
of such things as hat or dress.
Something was talking to me all the time
about the murders
and asking me questions."
And here's the part that really galls.
"If people would only do me justice,
that is all I ask.
But it seems as if every word
I utter is distorted
and such a false construction placed on it
that I am bewildered.
There was not a trace of anger in her tone,
simply a pitiful expression."
Rubbish! Cheap feminist sentimentality!
I told you public sentiment
would be on her side.
Lizzie Borden is a Sunday school teacher,
Hosea, a devoted worker
a temperance Christian aid
and foreign missioner.
She is held in high esteem in this
community. Very high esteem.
Mr. Mayor, that woman is a murderess.
I hope you can prove that, Hosea.
Well, better be on our way.
Can't miss the opening session.
- Coming, Mrs. Knowles? - I'll be
along shortly, your honor. You two go ahead.
- It's not too late to pull out, Hosea.
- No, sir.
Every time I see this case
being tried in the press like this
I'm more determined than ever
to see miss Lizzie Borden
tried and convicted in the courts.
Well? Who are they?
Oh, Lizzie... The crowds...
You cannot imagine...
I said the six button black gloves.
- Oh, but... Oh, dear, I'm sorry, in my haste...
- How can you be so witless?
- Well, I'll go back and fetch them.
- Never mind, never mind, there isn't time.
Sometimes I think you actually want
to see me hanged.
That's a very cruel thing to say, Lizzie.
Oh, Em, I'm sorry.
It's time. They'll not wait any longer.
- What a floor!
- I suppose you can't blame 'em.
We haven't had a good witch hunt
in this state since Salem!
Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye!
All rise!
All persons having anything to do
before the honourable justices
Basin, Bludgeton, jury or the
superior court for criminal business
now sitting at Bristol, draw near.
Give your attention and you shall be heard.
God save the commonwealth
of Massachusetts.
Be seated.
Now, tell us, miss Sullivan, did you ever
have any trouble there in the Borden family?
No, sir.
Pleasant place to live?
Yes, sir, I liked it
And, for all you know,
they liked you.
I suppose so.
Well, you never saw anything out of the way?
No, sir.
Never saw any conflict in the family?
No, sir.
Never saw anything that leads to
any quarreling or anything of that kind?
No, sir.
Then Maggie is lying!
I swear to you, father:
I did not take the money from your desk.
That is God's truth!
What does she know about the truth?
Always making things up, imagining things!
Lizzie, you know I have protected you,
I have excused you, I have paid your fines,
I've prayed for your soul,
I've endured it, the shame and
humiliation, as a father and a Christian.
But this is the limit, when you
steal from your own father.
If I did, and I most certaily did not,
would it be any wonder?
Well, you talk of shame.
What of mine when I'm forced to walk down
the street year after year in the same old dresses?
Listen to her! Spoiled rotten she is!
The way we live!
Well, we can't even entertain properly.
Entertain, indeed!
Who would you invite in this house?
Lord, how I hate this house!
No baths, no modern conveniences...
Did you know that we are
laughing stocks, father?
It's true.
Behind your back, people
snigger and call you skinflint.
That will be enough!
I don't understand you, girl.
You and I were always so close.
Specially close.
Yes, father.
Then... Then why do you
behave like this?
I'm suffocating. Father, look at me,
I'm 32 and practically a prisoner
in this ugly old house.
But you're perfectly free
to come and go as you like!
And how far would I get on the... On the paltry
$200 allowance you allow me each year?
Emma seems to manage.
I notice that didn't keep her from going
on the grand tour of Europe two summers ago.
And you'll never get over that,
will you, Mrs. Borden?
Well, that money was mine.
Every penny, mine.
If you chose to squander
your mother's inheritance,
you'd have no one to blame but yourself.
- Half of Emma's, to boot!
- Don't forget that!
I'm sure you won't let him!
And making Emma sleep in
that crap, stuffy room,
while her royal highness
gets the big, airy one all to herself!
I never could abide small, dark places,
even as a child.
Emma knows that.
She wanted me to have the big bedroom.
Didn't you, Em?
Oh, we know all about you and your way,
princess Lizzie.
We know how you twist arms and
throw tantrums just to get your way.
If I were not a lady,
I should twist your arm, Mrs. Borden,
right out of its side!
I will have no more of this!
I have warned you repeatedly, Lizzie.
One way or another, you will learn
not to bite the hand that feeds you,
if I have to cut you off!
You may step down.
Call Dr. Bowen to the stand, please.
Dr. C. Bray Bowen to the stand, please.
Dr. Bowen,
can you describe what miss Borden
had on that morning?
I wouldn't know, sir.
A sort of drab... nameless color,
a sort of a morning calico, I should guess.
- You say it was drab?
- I merely mean to say that the dress was not...
- Answer the question!
- If you just wait a minute...
No, answer the question:
did it appear to you to be
a drab coloured dress?
I am telling you, sir, I don't know.
I didn't intend to try to describe
a woman's dress at the inquest,
and I do not intend to now.
Well, perhaps you can at least tell us
if it was this dress.
Your honor's rarely!
This is the Government's own witness!
I am merely trying to establish whether
or not the witness knows
what the accused was wearing
minutes after the last murder
and if he, a man of medicine,
observed any blood on her.
The witness may answer the question.
I should think it was not that dress.
Your witness.
Now, Dr. Bowen,
going back to the time,
shortly after the discovery
of the second body,
were you summoned to Mrs. Lizzie's bedside
to administer any medicine?
Yes, sir. Miss Russell
came to fetch me upstairs.
I gave Lizzie a preparation called
to quieten her nervous excitement
and headache.
And did you subsequently administer
any other medicines of that kind?
- Yes, sir, sulphate of morphine.
- In what dosis?
One eighth of a gram.
However, I doubled that the next day.
And how long did she continue
having the morphine?
All the time she was in the jailhouse.
In other words, she was receiving regular injections
of morphine all the time.
After her arrest, through the hearing
- and while confined in the jailhouse.
- Yes, sir.
Tell me, Doctor Bowen,
does not morphine, given in double doses,
somewhat affect the memory,
change and alter the view of things
doesn't it muddle the thinking,
confuse the mind?
Yes, sir.
It does cause hallucinations.
So that anyone giving testimony
while under its influence
might tend to seem contradictory,
to give conflicting story?
Yes, sir.
When did you stop giving her this drug?
I've not stopped.
She's still receiving it.
Thank you, doctor Bowen.
That will be all.
No further questions, your honor.
You mentioned that miss Borden paid a visit to
your home on the evening before the murders.
That is correct.
Can you tell us the purpose of that visit?
Lizzie was very troubled.
She said that she couldn't help but feel
that something sinister was going to happen.
- Sinister?
Yes. She said that her father was
having trouble with his business associates
and that she was afraid that
someone was going to do harm to him.
She told me that the barn
had already been broken into
and all of her pet pigeons had been killed
I tried to reassure her that it must have
been some of the local boys, out of mischief.
But Lizzie felt sure that it wasn't.
No, papa, no, please.
Papa, please, please, no.
Not the pigeons, papa, please!
Why? Why?
All the beautiful birds. Why?
Those young whippersnappers!
Try and steal any more of my pigeons
and see what they find!
- They were mine!
- Yours? Let me remind you, girl,
everything on this place belongs to me.
What's mine is mine
and I will dispose of it as I see fit!
Papa, they were mine!
I tried to set her mind at rest,
but Lizzie confided in me
that even the house had been
broken into in broad daylight,
when she and Emma
and Bridget were at home.
And as she left, she said that she
wished she could sleep with one eye open,
for fear that they would
come in the night
and burn the house down
over the family's head.
And all this the very night
before the murders.
Was miss Borden accustomed to
making such nocturnal visits to you?
Only on rare occasion.
And this was certainly
a most rare occasion.
Now, miss Russell, can you tell us please
about the incident which took place
the day after the funerals, while
you were still staying at the Borden house?
An incident involving a certain
Bedford Court dress?
That was on Sunday.
Miss Lizzie, miss Emma
and I had breakfast together.
Bridget was not at home.
I went up to the bedroom
and then when I came down
I saw Lizzie standing there
with the dress in her hands.
Lizzie, what are you going to do?
I'm going to burn this old thing,
it's covered with paint.
Lizzie, I wouldn't do that where people
can see me, in broad daylight.
Lizzie, there's a policeman in the yard.
That is probably the worst thing
you could have done.
What if they ask us about that dress?
Why did you let me do it?
Why didn't you tell me?
Thank you, Miss Russell.
No more questions, your honor.
Your witness.
No questions.
Witness may step down, please.
The woman's a fool,
she needn't testify to that.
She's a Christian woman, sir,
it is the truth.
Nonetheless, my dear, we shall nip
this in the bud at once. Fear not.
May it please your honors, at this time
we should like to recall the dressmaker,
- Mrs. Mary Raymond.
- Mary Raymond to the stand.
Yes, I made a Bedford Court dress for Lizzie
in about April of last year.
Now, Mrs. Raymond, will you please tell
the court what became of that dress
on the very day that you completed
the final fitting at Miss Borden's home?
Well, yes, the men were painting
the upstairs hall and landing.
When Lizzie rushed out to show
her new dress to her sister,
she brushed against the fresh paint.
The dress was ruined, of course.
Of course.
No further questions, thank you.
Now, Mr. Hilliard, can you tell us
if this was the hatchet
you found in the box behind
the chimney in the Borden cellar?
It... Looks like it.
The handle was broken like this?
Yes, sir, broken up close like that.
Did you observe anything peculiar about
the break in the handle at that time?
- I did. It was a fresh break, a new break.
- Thank you.
No more questions, your honor.
What can I do for you today, miss Lizzie?
Oh, I... I'm afraid I got some
paint stains on a perfectly new dress.
I would like to buy some nafta with which
to remove them, do you carry it?
Certainly, I'll fetch you some.
I imagine a pint will do.
Oh, yes, that's perfect, thank you.
Please send the bill.
Good day.
Good day.
- Miss Borden took something.
- What?
I couldn't quite see,
but I'm sure she took something.
- Doesn't matter.
- Why didn't you stop her?
No need. All that Borden owes, he pays.
All the merchants up and down the street
tack a little something
onto the bill when it so happens.
Miss Borden asked to buy
ten cents' worth of Prussic acid.
Naturally, I informed her we did not sell
Prussic acid unless by a physician's prescription.
And what did she say to that?
She said she'd bought it
several times before.
So I says, "Well, my good lady,
not from me.
Prussic acid is a very
dangerous thing to handle."
Did she tell you why she wanted
such a lethal poison?
I understood her to say she
wanted to clean a sealskin cape.
Order in this court!
Your honors, I must protest
the use of such testimony.
It's part of the defendant's
inquest testimony.
It is perfectly admissible,
I am trying to prove prior intent.
Your honors, may we have a ruling
on the admissibility
of my client's testimony at the inquest?
It was taken at a time
when she was under arrest
and denied counsel.
Will you both please
approach the bench?
Every bit of her inquest testimony,
because that fool judge Blaisdell
denied her proper counsel.
Terrible! Terrible!
I built my entire case on her inquest
testimony, now I've got nothing!
What about Miss Russell's testimony?
That was most damaging!
Wasn't it odd that she should come forward
and around like that?
Conscience was troubling her, my dear.
Seems she neglected to mention
the dress burning incident
when the police first questioned her.
Great struck of luck!
Personally, I don't believe
it was that dress.
Lizzie Borden wouldn't
have been such a fool.
Which leaves me still wondering
what did she wear.
Nonetheless, I'm sure that the case
you've made so far
will stand on its own merits, Hosea.
Not if Robinson keeps
getting our witnesses
to discredit their own testimony.
He's a shrewd devil,
our ex-governor!
I trust you have more cards
up your sleeve, Hosea.
I needn't remind you
how much is at stake here.
Well, one perhaps, and it
had better be a trump card.
On August 10th last,
at the Harvard Medical School,
where I'm professor of chemistry,
I received the evidence there exhibited.
Briefly, Dr. Wood, can you tell us
the results of your examinations?
The hair on that hatchet, for example?
It did not match the samples of hair
from either victim.
It is animal hair, probably cow's hair.
Now, what about this dress?
Did you not find minute traces of blood
on the skirts?
Yes, but certainly not
from either of the victims.
Now, how do you explain that?
They are undoubtedly menstrual
blood from the defendant herself.
Let me ask you, doctor,
if this hatchet could have been used
and then cleansed so as
to remove any trace of blood.
No, not by a quick washing,
as you would suggest it.
And it would be nearly impossible
to wash blood off that broken end.
This is dreadful!
There was no time to go
over Dr. Wood's testimony.
He just got in from Boston an hour ago.
No more questions.
Your witness.
In other words, doctor Wood,
assuming the assailant wore the
same clothing during both murders,
he most probably would have been splattered
with blood from head to foot, is that right?
- In my opinion, yes.
- And yet every witness has testified
that the accused showed no signs
whatsoever of blood upon her clothing
just moments after the last murder.
Thank you, your honours,
no further questions.
Don't make me laugh.
Don't make me laugh.
Don't make me laugh.
Don't make me laugh.
You know as well as I they'd turn me
out in the cold if anything happened to you.
- What more can I do?
- You can draw up another will.
Put everything in my name.
Let me see to their needs.
It's little enough to protect
your poor defenceless widow.
Don't rush things, woman,
I'm not dead yet.
I'll not be turned out into the streets
to starve like a stray dog.
She'd live off our old fat for years!
- You owe me that much!
- All right! All right!
I'll see my lawyer next week.
Now, I had please get some rest!
I'll see her dead first!
You can spend the rest of your life
begging crumbs off that old sow, not I.
Lizzie! Please!
You always frighten me when
you get like this.
He must never make a new will.
I'm going to visit the Braunagels
in Fairhaven.
I'll leave tomorrow.
Yes. Yes, you go to Fairhaven.
Call Dr. Draper to the stand, please.
Doctor Frank Draper to the stand.
Were you able to determine the size
of the cutting edge of the murder weapon
from any of the wounds, doctor Draper?
Not from Mrs. Borden's skull,
but I was able to effect a conclusion
from Mr. Borden's skull.
In that case, though I deeply regret it,
I shall have to ask your colleague,
Dr. Wood, to produce the skull in question.
Now, Doctor Draper, if you please,
try to fit that hatchet into the wound.
Order in the court!
Order in the court!
This court will be adjourned
till nine o'clock tomorrow morning.
My dear, I have told you repeatedly
I have no stomach for undercooked meat.
Let me get you something else.
Well, never mind.
Lost my appetite, anyway. Just some coffee.
I shall be glad when this trial is over.
It's beginning to tell on you.
It's not a trial, it's a sideshow.
That woman actually believes she can get
off scotfree by hiding behind her skirts.
What else has she?
I'm sorry, Hosea.
It's just that it seems to me
that you men have only
yourselves to blame if...
if women hide behind their
femininity as a last defence.
After all, you cast us in this role.
You look upon your womanhood
as a role, my dear?
It's not always a convenient part to play.
I've never heard you talk like this.
Next, you'll be asking for the vote.
I gather you sympathize with this murderess.
She has not as yet
been found guilty, Hosea.
But you do sympathise with her.
Certainly, not with her deeds,
but perhaps with her motives.
Her motives? Now, what
would you know about her motives?
I should think a great deal, Hosea.
You have no idea how unbearingly heavy
these skirts can be at times.
When did you next see the
Bedford Court dress?
Sunday morning.
I was washing dishes and...
I turned and saw my sister
Lizzie at the stove.
And she had the dress in her hands.
She said, "I think I'll burn
this old dress up."
And I said, "Yes, why don't you?"
or something like that.
Was Miss Russell present at the time?
Yes, sir, and she said afterwards
that it was the worst thing
Lizzie could have done.
And, of course, we knew
that she was right, but...
It just didn't occur to us
until that moment.
Did your father wear a ring,
miss Emma, upon his finger?
Yes, sir, he did.
Was or was not that the only
article of jewelry he wore?
The only article.
From whom did he receive the ring?
From my sister Lizzie, many years ago.
Previously to his wearing it,
had she worn it?
Yes, sir, it was her favourite.
Did he wear it constantly after that?
He looked so old.
Your witness...
Were the relations between you and Lizzie
and your stepmother cordial?
Between my sister and Mrs. Borden,
they were.
When did she cease calling her mother?
I don't remember, I...
But it was some time ago.
But prior to that,
she had called her mother.
Yes, sir, from childhood.
Mrs. Borden says you're
not to work till late, papa.
I want you to call her
mother, Lizzie.
She's not my mother.
My mother's dead.
You're still having those bad
dreams about your mother?
Oh, that was a long time ago!
Besides, death is nothing
to be afraid of, Lizzie.
That's nothing more than
a long, peaceful, repose.
Remember "Sleeping Beauty"?
Well, then, look. All right?
You see, how serene she looks?
Feel. Feel the flesh.
Smooth and cool to the touch.
Oh, Lizzie, you mustn't be afraid.
Gentlemen of the jury, let me remind
you of those touching words.
The eyes that cannot weep
are the saddest eyes of all.
Andrew Borden went to his grave,
wearing upon his hand
a pledge of love and faith,
the ring that belonged
to his little girl.
To find her guilty, you must
believe her to be a fiend.
Does she look it?
Lizzie Andrew Borden:
It is your privilege to add any word which
you may desire to say in person to the jury.
I am innocent. I leave it to
my counsel to speak for me.
They're coming in!
They're coming in!
The jury is coming in!
Lizzie Andrew Borden:
put up your right hand.
Foreman, look upon the prisoner.
Prisoner, look upon the foreman.
What say you, mister foreman?
Is the prisoner at the bar guilty
or not guilty?
Are you going to be out there long?
Yes, but you needn't lock the door
unless you want to,
I can get fresh water
from the barn.
Where's Bridget?
Upstairs in her room, taking a nap
before the new meal...
You're a strange girl, Lizzie.
One minute as hard and
cold as a gravestone,
the next as loving
as any father could wish.
Now, what goes in
that mind of yours?
Guess I'll never know.
What say you, mister foreman?
Is the prisoner at the bar guilty or not guilty?
Not guilty.
Lizzie Andrew Borden...
Lizzie Andrew Borden...
The court orders that you be discharged
of this endictment
and go thereof without delay.
Now, Miss Borden... How does it feel
to be a free woman again?
Em? Emma?
Oh, it's over, Em!
We've won!
Dinner will be ready soon. Now,
why don't you make yourself comfortable?
Don't you hear me?
We are free! At last we're really free!
Nothing, to prepare a meal
now that there are only
the two of us.
Emma, sometimes I don't
understand you.
I'm only going to ask you this once more
and then I shall never mention it
again as long as I live.
Did you kill father?
Lizzie Borden took an axe.
Gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
gave her father forty-one.
Lizzie Borden took an axe...
Ear transcribed and subtitled by pyrgoi