Little Murders (1971) Movie Script

- [Woman Humming]
- [Man Outside] Hey.
[People Chattering Outside]
[Motor Rewing Outside]
What you doing in the street?
- [Man Shouts, Indistinct]
- [Man #2] I can't hear you. What?
[Man #3]
He's taking pictures. Did you hear that?
What do you want a picture for? Huh?
- [Man #4] I'm a photographer.
- [Man #2] Aphotographer?
[Loud Marching Band
On Radio]
[Man #3] Hey, he looks like a big photographer.
[Man #2] Wipe that smile off your face.
[Chattering Continues]
[Man #2]
Hey, you think you're a tough guy, right?
[Ringing Continues]
[Heavy Breathing On Phone]
[Chattering Continues]
- [Man #2] For what?
- [Man #4] My camera.
Your camera. Why?
[Man #3]
You have a lot of fun with it.
[Man] Take our picture.
[Man #3]
Be careful with his camera.
[Man #2] Hey. Take my picture, will you, man?
[Ringing Continues]
- Hello.
- Patsy, this is Lester.
- Hello, Lester.
- I thought it only fair to tell you...
I'm getting married.
I think that's
a very good idea, Lester.
I won't do it if you don't think
I should.
I want you very much
to get married, Lester.
Can I come over tonight
and talk to you about it?
- No, Lester.
- Tomorrow night?
I have to get off now, Lester.
Come on! Do something!
- [Man #2] How about your camera now?
- Stand there like a lump!
- [Man #3]Jesus Christ. What a fruit.
- [Man] He's a fruit, man.
- [Man #3] Faggot.
- [Man] Faggot.
[Man] Look at that son of a bitch!
Look at him!
Look at him! He's a big fag! Get him!
Fag! Go on! Get him, man!
- Come on, faggy. Come on. Do something.
- How about you camera now?
Grab his camera. What is it, baby?
Come on! Do something!
[Men Yelling Outside]
[Man Cackling]
Get him! Oh! Oh!
[Man #2]
What are you laughing at?
- What are you laughing at?
- You think that's funny? Come on.
- You want more?
- Come on. Do something.
You're gonna get worked over.
[Man] Come on, pal.
We're gonna hurt your camera.
- We're gonna take your camera.
- Come on! [Laughs]
- Yeah! Come on!
- [Man #2] Talk to us, man. Talk!
- Hey, you guys. Stop it down there.
- Come on!
Hey. I'm gonna call the police.
Stop it. Hey!
Hey! Come on.
Stand up and fight.
- Get him.
- You're a big fag!
- You fruit!
- Come on!
- Pick him up! Pick him up!
- [Dial Tone Humming]
[Busy Signal Beeping]
[Line Ringing]
You're not a man, you're a faggot!
[Yelling Continues]
Police emergency. Sergeant Kershner.
One moment.
[Yelling Continues]
[Loud Whirring]
[Yelling Continues]
- [Yelling]
- Hey! Hey!
Who do you think you are?
You're beating up on innocent people!
How do you expect anybody to sleep?
[All Yelling]
- Let go of my purse! Come on! Ow!
- [Humming]
Stop it! Hey!
Give that back to me!
Stop it! Now, listen!
Stop! Ow!
[Patsy] No!
You... You degenerates!
Stop! That's not funny!
Ow! Stop that! Ow! No!
Let go! Stop it!
Give me back my purse!
- [Continues]
- Come on.
Who do you think you are?
What kind of a man are you? [Huffing]
L... I should have let them
break your neck.
Now, look at me.
Look at me. Listen.
What do you think...
Are you a man or...
That was absolutely
the most spineless...
A-Are you a man?
I don't know what you are.
I don't know.
I don't know. I don't know.
You shouldn't have done that.
They were getting tired. You got them mad.
- You shouldn't have.
- Listen.
They were killing you!
You wa...
Why didn't you help me?
You could have defended me. I defended you.
Don't you think you should have at least tried?
People help each other all the time.
Isn't that what life is all about?
I don't know why you want
to make a big thing out of it.
Those guys in the park, they said,
"Hey, fat-face, what are you staring at?"
If I told them I wasn't staring at them,
they would have beat me up for being a liar.
If I told them I was staring at them
because I wanted to take their picture...
then they'd beat me up
for being a cop.
So I told them I was staring at them
because they looked familiar...
and they beat me up
for being a fag!
There's no way of talking someone out of
beating you up if that's what he wants to do.
And you-you just let them?
I want to do what I want to do, lady,
not what they want me to do.
Listen, no... no one behaves
like that. That... l...
l... l... I ought to
break your neck.
You should be
ashamed of yourself. Listen.
Are you really so down on people,
or are you just being fashionable?
These are beautiful.
Really. Just beautiful.
It's sort of a collage effect,
isn't it?
And they're all...
They're all...
- Hmm. What do you do for pleasure?
- This.
Oh, I don't mean work.
I mean, this is important...
but, uh, I mean, if all you ever do
is take pictures of...
you know,
this sort of picture...
I mean, isn't that awfully limited?
For example, I do interiors.
Now, I like it. I even love it.
But I'd go bats if I had to
go home and do interiors...
and go on my vacation
and do interiors...
and interiors was all
that was ever on my mind.
I mean, that's death.
No wonder you're depressed.
I'm not depressed.
this is it.
This is all that you do.
You don't ski?
You don't play tennis?
- Ping-Pong?
- [Scoffs]
Oh, you must have some fun.
[Clears Throat]
Hello there.
Hello there.
Testing. One, two, three. Testing.
Talk to me. Sing. Do something.
- [Snores]
- [Chuckles]
- You want to drive for a while?
- I hate cars.
You don't have to do anything
you don't want to do.
- Except have fun.
- You'll get used to it.
[Man Singing In Spanish]
What do you mean you don't dance?
You dance very well.
I didn't know this was dancing.
Admit it. You're having fun.
You're a terrific girl, Patsy.
I don't know if you know that.
I think you were fantastic...
on the tennis court this afternoon.
Admit it. You're having fun.
You're having the time of your life.
- Tonight.
- Well, that's something.
This must be the first time in your life
you're having the time of your life.
- Why not?
- I don't feel like it.
Well, I didn't mean to
force myself on you.
You're a terrific girl.
I really mean that.
I'll tell you when I feel like it.
Do you know how I wake up every morning
of my life? With a smile on my face.
And for the rest of the day I come up
against an unending series of...
of challenges to wipe
that smile off my face.
The breather calls. Ex-boyfriends
call to tell me they're getting married.
Someone tries to break into the
apartment while I'm getting dressed.
There's a drunk asleep
in the elevator.
Three minutes after I'm out
in the street, my camel coat turns brown.
The subway stalls. A man standing next
to me presses his body against mine.
The up elevator jams.
Rumors start buzzing around the office
that we're about to be automated.
The down elevator jams.
The air on Lexington Avenue is... is purple.
And all the taxis are off duty.
A man on the bus tries to pick me up.
Another man follows me home.
I walk in the door, and the breather's
on the phone.
Isn't that enough to wipe the smile
off anybody's face?
Well, it doesn't wipe it off mine.
Because for every bad thing,
there are two... No, four good things.
There are... There are friends
and a wonderful job...
and tennis,
traveling and skiing...
staying up all night
to watch the sun rise...
flying your own airplane,
horseback riding.
Alfred, I think
I'm falling in love with you.
I said, " I think
I'm falling in love with you."
Alfred, are you
falling in love with me?
I don't know what love is!
- Do you think I'm aggressive?
- I don't mind.
- Do you think I'm too aggressive?
- I like it.
Somebody has to be aggressive.
- Do you like me?
- I think you're terrific.
- Are you attracted to me?
- Come on, Patsy.
Do you want to
make love to me?
- Hey, you're pretty aggressive.
- [Groans]
Your life is in my hands.
- [Chuckles]
- I trust you.
Oh, Alfred, do you really?
- I nearly trust you.
- "Nearly"?
I nearly do.
I really nearly do.
Oh, Alfred!
[Alfred's Voice]
I really nearly trust you!
I nearly... I nearly really...
Patsy, I really, nearly trust you.
[Patsy's Voice]
Oh, Alfred!
- Listen, we don't have to if you don't want to.
- [Muzak]
- No, I want to.
- Are you sure you want to?
No, I think I want to.
[Phone Ringing]
[Heavy Breathing On Phone]
You're not smiling.
I'll do the kitchen over
in butcher board.
I can get seconds on dishes
in the Village.
Sheets and towels,
Macy's or Bloomingdale's.
A dining room table,
chairs, dressers, a sofa...
we'll go to auctions
over the weekend.
Broadlooms I can pick up
cheap at a wholesaler's.
Oh, bring your photofloods over
from the studio until I find lamps.
I'll have a carpenter in on Monday
to put up a work area, a darkroom...
and you'll need your own closet.
A king-size bed, Sloane's will deliver
in 10 days. In two weeks we'll get married.
Oh, Alfred, I'm so happy.
- I'll bet he's a fag.
- He'll be a fine boy.
I know it in my bones.
What the hell is
the air conditioner on for?
- It's 50 outside.
- It drowns out the traffic.
Well, it's all right
when we don't have guests.
Want people to think we're crazy?
- [Makes Kiss Sound]
- Carol, you're not gonna get that poor boy drunk.
That poor boy
wants to marry my Patsy.
And don't call me Carol.
I hate that name.
I told you never to
call me that name.
You deliberately do that to annoy me.
Call me dear!
- You're gonna love them.
- [Sighs]
- It's not my kind of situation.
- Shh.
I can't stand families.
Now, be good.
- I really want to go home.
- Shh!
I really hate families.
What was the name of that interior decorator
she went to Europe with?
- Howard. He was delicate.
- Swish.
And that actor... the one she went
camping up in Maine with.
Roger. He was very muscular.
Swish. And the musician and
the stockbroker and theJewish novelist.
Oh, they're not like that.
Swish, swish, swish, swish.
I can spot them a mile away.
She draws them like flies.
She's got too much stuff.
Too much stuff.
You wait. You'll see.
This new one, what's his name?
- [Man] Alfred.
- A swish name if I ever heard one.
Are you reading again?
Lesbians of Venus.
Is this what I spent 10,000 a year
on graduate school for?
- Get dressed.
- You lost my place!
- [Doorbell Rings]
- Ooh!
- Patsy, Patsy, Patsy, Patsy.
- Patsy.
- Patsy.
- Oh, my baby girl.
- Oh, Mama!
- [Carol Yelling]
Patsy, Patsy, Patsy!
- You look wonderful.
- Patsy!
- Oh, my daddy! Oh!
- [Yelling]
[Chattering Excitedly]
[Carol Laughing]
Hey, everybody.
This is Alfred.
Hey, Alfred.
- [All Chattering]
- My baby brother!
[Both Laughing]
Oh, you're so cute.
I could just eat you alive.
Let your hair grow crazy.
- [Laughing]
- Alfred, have you ever seen such a madhouse?
Will you cut it out?
He's in the house three minutes...
and you're already
putting him on the spot.
Alfred, have you ever seen
anything like this in your life, huh?
Oh, you're just so handsome.
I can't get over it.
I've always had this mad thing
for my kid brother.
Kenny's the comedian around here.
[Patsy Laughing]
Well, what's your pleasure,
young fella?
Mother, what have you
done to this room?
Oh, nothing special.
A little bit of this, a little bit of that.
[Carol] If you would bother
to come home more often.
- Uh...
- [Mother] I don't like your looks.
What's the matter with her looks?
She looks like a million dollars.
You got black rings under your eyes.
- Mother, that's eyeliner.
- Uh-huh.
Makes you look exhausted.
- I like it.
- [Mother] Always together.
Do you have the slightest idea
what you're talking about?
- She looks like a million dollars.
- I know.
It's what they're wearing today.
I'm out of step as usual.
What's your pleasure, young fella?
- Why didn't you wear your other outfit?
- What other outfit?
- Will you stop criticizing?
- What other outfit, Mother?
Well, I can't be expected to remember
everything. It isn't as if you still lived here.
Hey, Al. You wanna see
Patsy's old room?
Alfred, Kenny. And he's not
interested in that.
- I bet he is. Want to?
- Maybe later.
- Why should I care?
- Look, he doesn't want to.
Will you stop acting silly?
Well, what's your pleasure,
young fella?
- If I can have a...
- Alfred. Alfred.
Can I shake your hand?
My mother always told us...
you can tell a lot about a person
by the way he shakes hands.
Mmm, you got a good handshake.
- You better watch out, Patsy.
I'll steal your boyfriend.
- [Chuckles]
I'm only joking.
- [All Laughing]
- Oh, Lord.
[Mother] Alfred...
Is there something
the matter with your face?
Is there?
Oh, it's just the usual
assortment ofbruises, Mother.
What sort of talk is that?
- Modern talk?
- Well, Alfred's always getting beat up.
- Oh, I don't get hurt.
- What?
- I don't get hurt.
- You don't get hurt?
Your face is a mass of bruises.
Look at the boy, Carol.
- His face is a mass of bruises.
- I have asked you never to call me that name.
- I hate that name, "Carol."
- Well, I have to call you something, dear.
Well, I don't care what you call me!
Just don't call me Carol!
Call him Harriet!
Oh, you're not being funny, Kenny.
I love your name. I know
lots of men named Carol.
- [Chuckles] Sure. Name one.
- Um...
- Carol...
- Chessman.
King Carol of Romania.
That's right. I am a King Carol.
That's right.
Ha, ha, ha!
What's your pleasure, young fella?
I want to know...
why Alfred gets into these fights.
- [Slapping Alfred's Knee]
- I don't think that's the least bit funny.
Ask him.
Well, there's a lot of little people
who like to start fights with big people.
They, uh...
They hit me... hit...
and they, uh, see
I'm not gonna fall down.
They get tired, and they go away.
It's hardly worth talking about.
So much tension.
Rush, rush, rush.
My mother taught me
to take dainty, little steps.
She'd kill me if she could
see the stride on Patsy.
Well, um, uh, tell me something.
Well, um, uh, tell me something.
Don't you defend yourself?
Well, I ask them
not to hit my cameras.
They're very good about that.
It's surprising.
Well, uh, why don't you fight back?
- I don't want to.
- Jesus Christ. You're not a pacifist.
- Daddy.
- An "apathist."
- So you just stand there?
- It doesn't hurt.
Getting your face beat in doesn't hurt?
Not if you daydream.
I daydream all through it
about my work.
I imagine myself standing
there in the same spot...
clicking off roll after roll of film...
humming to myself with pleasure.
I hum to myself when I work.
There are times
that I actually think...
I'm doing what
I'm only dreaming I'm doing.
Muggers tend to get very depressed...
when you hum all the while
they're beating you up.
It's not something
l-I choose to do, mind you.
- It's one of those things you learn to live with.
- This guy's a riot.
Well, uh, tell me, h-h-how do
you get into these things?
- You... You must do something to get them mad.
- [Mouths Word]
Well, goddamn it,
you're getting me mad.
Aren't they adorable?
What did I tell you about him, hmm?
Didn't I predict?
- I think he's very sweet.
- Oh-ho-ho. That's a sure sign.
You think they're all sweet.
Well, I'll be damned if I let myself stand by...
and let a woman fight
my battles for me.
Ooh, they don't make frontier fighters
like my father anymore.
Let me see how tough you are.
See if you can break my grip.
Come on, Patsy. Cut it out.
Patsy, I don't want to hurt you. Patsy.
- [Chuckles]
- Patsy. [Chuckles]
Who's my big baby girl, eh?
Who, who, who?
I wish you had as much brains
as you have brawn.
- You don't like him, do you, Daddy?
- Don't put words in my mouth.
- Then you do like him.
- I want to know more about
him before I make up my mind.
- Not to like him.
- Don't bully me, young lady.
- You know I don't like it when you bully me.
- You love it when I bully you.
[Both Chuckle]
You're too fast for the old man.
But I know a thing or two.
Never settle for less.
- Daddy, I'm not.
- Don't undersell yourself.
Hey, when have I ever
undersold myself?
The right man will come along.
Daddy, I'm 27. The right men were
all married five years ago.
You don't know what you're talking about.
You're very popular.
Mmm. Sure.
When they want a woman...
they can collapse without shame
in front of, they come to me.
Well, why not?
You're trusted.
Oh, to meet a man who is ashamed
to collapse in front of me.
I'm tired of
being Mother Earth.
Alfred's the only man I know
who isn't waiting for me to save him.
You know how that makes me feel?
God help me, I've got to save him.
Come and get it.
I always said that
to my children at mealtime.
I've always found it
a charming family tradition.
I always say...
Come and get it
To my children.
I dream of the day
when I can hear Patsy say...
Come and get it
To her children.
Kenny, come and get it.
- Or do you need a special invitation?
- In a minute.
Not in a minute, young man.
Right now.
It's kind of stuffy in here, Alfred.
Do you want to open the window
like a good fellow? No, dear. I asked Alfred.
It's all right.
It's perfectly all right.
Son of a bitch!
Son of a bitch refused to open.
- Excuse me.
- [Mutters]
Thank you, Alfred.
You see, I had my reasons.
- Well, I loosened it.
- He loosened it. [Chuckling]
That's a riot!
[Kenny Laughing]
All right, smart guy. You open it.
Well, come on.
You're the smart one around here.
Let's see you open it.
I spent the whole day cooking.
Can't we eat now...
and open and close
windows later?
- This won't take a second.
Well, are you gonna try...
- [Laughing]
Or are you just gonna sit there and laugh
at the earnest efforts of your betters, huh?
[Mocking Laughter]
Uh, window.
[Imitating Carol]
Son of a bitch! Son of a bitch.
[High-pitched Voice]
- [All Chuckling]
- You're not so smart now, are you?
[Mocks Laughter]
Oh, you don't know what a pleasure it
is to have my family all together like this.
Did you know that in last year's
big power failure...
some people stood in the subways in
total darkness for as long as four hours...
without bringing their newspapers...
Kenny, come back here.
Without bringing their newspapers down
from in front of their faces?
Be nice if someone else around here would
think of lighting the candles once in a while.
I'm the watchdog around here, Alfred.
- I can imagine what Patsy
must have told you about me.
- [Electricity Crackling]
- [Carol Grunts]
- [Slurping]
- [Patsy] Great soup, Mom.
- [Dishes Clinking]
You're a photographer,
Alfred, so I thought you'd be interested...
in seeing these pictures
of Patsy's dead brother, Steve.
- [Sighs]
- He looks very handsome in his swimsuit.
He won five Gold Cups.
- He was four years older than Patsy.
- Nine years older than me.
He looks very handsome
in his baseball uniform.
He only pitched no-hitters.
Thank you for letting me see them.
This one was taken after he came home
from the war a hero.
He looks very handsome
in his uniform.
- What do the double bars signify?
- He was a captain... a hero.
He bombed Korea.
When his country called on him
to serve again, he bombed Vietnam.
A brilliant future in electronics.
Not an enemy in the world. Who ever would
have thought he'd be shot down in his tracks...
on the corner of 97 th Street
and Amsterdam Avenue?
But I won't bore you
with our tragedy.
Damn it, Mother! Must we go through
this every time I bring a man home for dinner?
Patsy's done it again.
Boy, I'd be killed
if I ever talked like that.
And that's for basketball,
and that's for bowling.
And that's for basketball,
and that's for bowling.
And... that's for tennis.
She's as strong as an ox.
When we were kids,
we used to wrestle all the time.
- I always lost.
- Are you still with us?
- That's me with Steve.
- And me.
They still don't have
any idea who did it, eh?
Oh, it's all right.
It's perfectly all right.
The boys down at homicide have worked long
and hard and imaginatively on this case.
Many have become
close and personal friends.
I didn't mean to
take your time, Alfred.
Knowing you were a photographer,
I thought you'd be interested.
Exactly what sort of work
do you do?
Oh, it's sort of complicated. You don't...
You don't really want to know.
You may as well.
Well, I began as a commercial photographer.
Well, you began as a painter.
Oh, l... I was a bad painter.
Says you.
Jesus Christ!
Will you let the boy finish?
I began as
a commercial photographer...
and was doing
sort of well at it.
"Sort of well"?
You should see his portfolio.
He's had work in Holiday,
Esquire, The New Yorker, Vogue.
- Vogue?
- Whoo! Whoo!
It's an overrated business.
But after a couple of years
of doing sort of well at it...
uh, things began to go wrong.
I began losing my people.
Somehow I got...
my heads chopped off...
or out of focus...
or terrible expressions on my models.
I'd have them examining
a client's product like this.
Like that.
[Chuckles] A face...
Would be... really. The agencies
began to wonder if I didn't have...
- some editorial motive in mind.
- [Loud Rumble]
Which was not true.
But once they planted the idea...
Oh, I didn't mean to interrupt, dear.
How far better it is to strike a match
than curse the darkness.
My mother always told us that.
Go on, dear.
Well, my career suffered, but there
was nothing I could do about it.
You see, the harder I tried
to straighten out...
the fuzzier my people got...
and the clearer my objects.
Soon my people disappeared entirely.
They just somehow never came out.
But the objects I was shooting...
brilliantly clear.
So I began to do
a lot of catalog work.
Pictures of medical instruments...
things like that. It was boring...
but it kept me alive.
I suppose... the real break...
came with the S.C.M. Show.
They had me shoot 30
of their new models.
They hired a gallery
and put on a computer show.
120 color pictures of computers.
It got some very strange notices...
the upshot of which was that the advertising
business went thing-crazy...
and I became commercial again.
You must be extremely talented.
I got sick of it.
Where the hell are standards?
That's what I kept asking myself.
I mean, those people
will take anything.
Hell, if I give them a picture of shit,
they'd probably give me an award for it.
- Language, young man.
- So that's what I do now.
- What?
- Take pictures of shit.
Language. Language.
This is my house.
Oh, I don't mean to offend you,
Mrs. Newquist.
I've been shooting shit for over a year,
and I've already won half a dozen awards.
- Awards?
- Yeah.
And Harper's Bazaar
wants me to do its spring issue.
- Whoo! Whoo!
- Knock it off.
Well, that's a very
respectable publication.
It all sounds very impressive.
The news.
[Coughing Continues]
[Man On TV] Who just got the master plan
of legislation that must be acted upon...
but others want to fight
for their pet bills.
[Man #2]
No, we didn't expect to have an agreement.
- We made progress.
- Well, I have to get up early.
[Man #2]
By mid-October is open to question.
Don't go, unless you feel you must.
[Man] The weather bureau says of the
storm she packs 75-mile-an-hour winds...
- south of New Orleans.
- [Ringing]
Texas, Louisiana.
[Ringing Continues]
The situation is still critical.
- Hello.
- [Heavy Breathing On Phone]
Look, I don't know who you are, but you're
not dealing with helpless women now.
You people.
You young people today!
Destroy! Destroy!
When are you gonna
find time to build?
In my days we couldn't afford
telephones to breathe in.
You ought to get down
on your hands and knees and be grateful.
Why isn't anybody grateful?
[Chatter On Two-Way Radio]
I don't know what to do with you. You're
the toughest reclamation job I've ever had.
I know. Look, maybe you should
just retire on your laurels, Patsy.
I mean, you've reformed
five fags in a row.
- Why press your luck with a nihilist?
- Because you're wrong.
Every age has its problems, and people
somehow manage to be happy.
I'm sorry. I don't mean to bully you.
Yes, I do mean to bully you.
Alfred, if everything is so hopeless,
well, why do anything?
- Okay.
- Why get married?
Well, you said you wanted to.
- I find this a very unpleasant conversation.
- [Siren Wailing]
Patsy, let's not turn this into a critical conversation
because you're not getting your way.
- I'm for getting married.
- Oh, thanks.
Oh. So this is
a critical conversation.
He doesn't know how to fight.
That's why I'm not winning.
Damn it, Alfred. Aren't you willing
to battle over anything... even me?
Damn it, Alfred. Aren't you willing
to battle over anything... even me?
- There isn't much point, is there?
- Well, at least say you love me.
- I don't know...
- "I'm not sure I know what love is."
Okay, buster, you've had it.
I'm gonna marry you...
make you give me a house,
entrap you into half a dozen children...
and seduce you
into a life so... so...
So remorselessly satisfying...
that within two years,
under my management...
you will come to me with a camera
full of baby pictures...
saying life can be beautiful.
And ugly.
More often U-G-L-Y.
You're gonna give me
a piano to sing around...
and a fireplace to lie in front of...
and each and every Christmas we are going
to send out personalized Christmas cards...
with a group family portrait on the front,
taken by Alfred Chamberlain.
Mother, Daddy? Alfred and I
are getting married next week.
You got yourself a fine young man.
And so accomplished.
We'll have to let Dr. Paterson
know right away.
- Who?
- The minister, dopey.
Mrs. Newquist.
Mrs. Newquist, listen.
When you speak to the minister,
you better tell him...
we don't want any mention
of God in the ceremony.
- What?
- I'm gonna have him arrested!
No God in the ceremony, hmm?
Getting a lot of turndowns,
aren't you?
Surprising, isn't it, how the name of God
is still respected in this town.
Your father and me go back
a long ways, young lady.
He's done me a lot of favors.
Got me tickets to shows.
I'd like to help him out.
My mother... thank God
she's not alive today...
landed in this country
65 years ago.
Four infants in her arms.
Kissed the sidewalk the minute she got
off the boat, she was so happy to be here...
to be out of Russia alive...
across the ocean alive.
More dead than alive,
if you want to know the truth.
Sixteen days in the steerage,
15 people got consumption...
five died!
My father... thank God
he's not alive today...
came over two years earlier...
67 years ago.
Worked like a son of a bitch
to earn our passage.
Pardon my French.
You don't want God in the ceremony,
so you're probably familiar with it.
My father worked 14 hours a day
in a sweatshop on lower Broadway.
Number 315. Our first apartment
was a five-flight walk-up...
four-and-a-half room
cold-water flat...
with the bathtub in the kitchen
and the toilet down the hall.
142 Hester Street.
Three families used the toilet...
an Italian family,
a colored family...
a Jewish family.
Three families with different faiths.
But one thing each of those families
had in common.
They had in common the sacrifices
they had to make to get where they were.
What they had in common
was... persecution!
So they weren't so glib about God.
God was in my mother's
every conversation.
How she got her family
out of Russia, thank God, in one piece.
About the pogroms, the steerage.
About those that didn't make it.
Got sick and died.
Who could they ask for help?
If not God, then who?
The Great Society?
The department of welfare?
Travelers Aid?
This city was a... a concretejungle
to the families that came here.
They had to carve homes
and lives out of concrete.
Cold concrete.
You think they didn't call on God,
those poor, suffering greenhorns?
You see this suit I'm wearing?
Expensive? Custom-made.
My father... thank God
he's not alive today...
worked 16 hours a day
in a shop on Broome Street.
And his artistry for a 10th
of what you pay today...
makes meat loaf
out of this suit.
145-147 Broome Street.
So tired, so broken in spirit...
that when he climbed
the six flights of stairs each night...
to the three-room, unheated flat...
the five of us were crowded in...
171 Attorney Street...
that he did not have
the strength to eat.
The man did not have
the strength to eat!
Turning thinner...
and yellower by the day.
For lack of what?
A well-balanced diet?
Too much cholesterol?
Too many carbohydrates
and starchy substances in his blood?
Not on your sweet life.
For lack of everything!
What was God to my father?
I'll tell ya. Sit down. I'm not finished.
I'll tell ya
what God was to my father.
God got my father up those
six-and-a-half flights of stairs...
not counting the stoop...
every night!
God got my mother worn gray
from lying to her children...
about a better tomorrow
she didn't believe in.
Up every morning with enough
of the failing strength...
that finally deserted her last year
at Miami Beach at the age of 91...
to face another day
of hopelessness and despair.
3134 Biscayne Boulevard.
And you tell me you don't want him
in the ceremony!
Look at these hands.
The hands of a judge?
The hands of a professional man?
Not on your sweet life.
The hands of a worker!
I worked!
These hands toiled
from the time I was nine.
Strike that. Seven.
Every morning up at 5:00...
dressing in the pitch black to run down
seven flights of stairs, 13 steps a flight...
I'll never forget them... to run
five blocks to the Washington market...
unpacking crates
for 75 cents a week.
A dollar if I worked
on Sundays. Maybe.
Where was my God then?
Where, on those
bitter cold mornings...
with my hands so blue with frostbite
they looked like ladies' gloves...
was God?
Here. In my heart.
Where he was, has been
and will always be...
till the day they carry me feetfirst
out of this courtroom.
Knock wood.
God grants it soon.
My first murder trial...
Where you going? I'm not finished.
- You're not gonna marry us.
- I'm not finished.
Don't be a smart punk.
You're a know-it-all
wise-guy punk, aren't ya?
I've seen your kind.
You'll come up before me again!
[Big Band On Radio]
You were never married before?
Your parents, they're alive?
I think so.
You think so?
Where do they live?
Chicago, I guess.
You think, you guess.
What kind of answers are these?
I haven't kept up contact.
They know you're getting married?
Look, Alfred.
Patsy's mother is very upset.
I'm upset. I don't say
I believe in God.
The question is wide open. But with me
it's not a matter of belief in God.
It's a matter of belief
in institutions.
I'm a great believer in institutions.
Bitterness is a...
bad way to start a marriage.
Patsy's not bitter.
I'm not bitter.
I'm bitter. If you don't believe in God,
why do you care if they use his name?
I'm a lousy debater,
Mr. Newquist.
- Nervous, son?
- Nah.
- "Nah" what?
- No, I'm not nervous, Mr. Newquist.
Why don't you call me Dad?
- I didn't call my own father "Dad."
- What did you call him?
I didn't call him anything.
The occasion never came up.
Look, couldn't you
concede me one "Dad"?
I mean, not all the time,
but, you know, once in a while.
- "Hello, Dad." "Hiya, Dad."
- Daddy.
"Do you want
some tobacco, Dad?"
For Christ's sake,
I want an answer!
[Tolling Continues]
[All Yelling]
[Yelling Continues]
I'm the father of the bride.
You don't understand.
I'm the father
of the bride. Patsy.
- I'll never, never forgive you.
- Oh.
He's a world-famous
photographer, you know.
He does collages for Harper's Bazaar.
- This is Alfred, who's stealing my little girl away.
- Hello.
- I'm here.
- Oh, Lester.
And I'm willing to
forgive and forget.
There are no atheists in foxholes
these days, huh, Reverend?
They've all gone into
the ministry, eh?
Ethical Culture told them they didn't
have to have God in the ceremony...
but they had to have
Ethical Culture in the ceremony.
Your father-in-law wants me to mention
the Deity in the ceremony.
He wants me to sneak it in.
He's offered me a lot of money to do it.
I don't know
what to tell you, Henry.
Well, if it's all right with you...
I'd like to take the money
and not mention the Deity.
First Existential can use the money.
I haven't made up my mind.
I might go into teaching.
I absolutely deplore your views...
but I respect your right
to have them.
What I really want to do
is direct films.
Well, the first year at least,
we'll live at my place.
I gave him $2,500.
They looked everywhere. Even the state
of New York has God in the ceremony.
I gave him $2,500.
No, my family isn't here.
I gave him $2,500.
I plan to go on working
into my eighth month.
No, my family is not here.
I gave him $2,500.
[Clears Throat]
No, my family's not here.
It's wonderful to marry a tall man.
So many complications when you marry
a person shorter than yourself.
I gave him $2,500.
- [Reverend] May we proceed?
- [Phone Ringing]
- May we proceed?
- [Heavy Breathing]
- Fags!
- May we proceed?
- You want me to have them?
- Will you take them?
Shh, shh, shh.
You all know why we're here.
There's often so much sham
about this business of marriage.
Everyone accepts it. Ritual.
That's why I was so heartened when Alfred
asked me to perform this ceremony.
He has certain beliefs,
which I assume you all know.
He is an atheist, which is perfectly
all right. Really it is.
I happen not to be, but inasmuch
as this ceremony connotes...
an abandonment of ritual...
in the search for truth...
I agreed to perform it.
First, let me state to you, Alfred...
and to you, Patricia...
that of the 200 marriages
that I have performed...
all but seven have failed.
So the odds are not good.
We don't like to admit it,
especially at the wedding ceremony...
but it's in the back
of all our minds, isn't it?
How long will it last?
We all think that, don't we?
We don't like to bring it out in the open,
but we all think that.
Well, I say, why not bring it out
in the open?
Why does one decide to marry?
Social pressure?
Boredom? Loneliness?
Sexual appeasement?
I won't put any of these reasons down.
Each in its own way is adequate.
Each is all right.
Last year I married a musician who wanted
to get married in order to stop masturbating.
Please, don't be startled.
I'm not putting him down.
That marriage did not work.
But the man tried.
He is now separated,
still masturbating...
but he is at peace
with himself...
because he tried society's way.
So, you see, it was not a mistake.
It turned out all right.
Now, just last month I married
a novelist to a painter.
Everyone at the wedding ceremony was under
the influence of an hallucinogenic drug.
The drug quickened
our mental responses...
slowed our physical responses...
and the whole ceremony
took two days to perform.
Never have the words had
such meaning.
Now, that marriage should last.
Still, if it does not,
well, that'll be all right.
For don't you see, any step
that one takes is useful, is positive...
has to be positive
because it's a part of life.
Even the negation of the previously
taken step is positive.
That too is a part of life.
And in this light... and only in this light...
should marriage be viewed
as a small, single step.
If it works, fine.
If it fails, fine.
Look elsewhere for satisfaction.
To more marriages, fine.
As many as one wants. Fine.
To homosexuality? Fine.
To drug addiction?
I will not put it down. Each of these
is an answer for somebody.
For Alfred,
today's answer is Patricia.
For Patricia,
today's answer is Alfred.
I will not put them down for that.
So what I implore you both...
Patricia and Alfred...
to dwell on while I ask you these questions
required by the state of New York to...
legally bind you...
sinister phrase, that...
is that not only are the legal questions
I ask you meaningless...
but so too are the inner questions that
you ask yourselves meaningless.
Feeling one's partner
does not matter.
Sexual disappointment
does not matter.
Nothing can hurt if you do not see it
as being hurtful.
Nothing can destroy if you do not
see it as destructive.
It is all part of life...
part of what we are.
So now, Alfred...
Y"Do you take Patricia to be
your lawfully wedded wife...
to love..."whatever that means...
Y"to honor...
to keep her in sickness, in health,
in prosperity and adversity..."
What nonsense!
"Forsaking all others..."
What a shocking invasion of privacy.
Rephrase that to more sensibly say...
"If you choose to have affairs, then you
won't feel guilty about them."
"As long as you both shall live..."
Or as long as you're not
tired of one another.
- Yeah.
- And, Patsy...
Y"Do you take Alfred to be
your lawfully wedded husband, to love..."
That harmful word again. Could not one
more wisely say..."communicate"?
"To honor..." I suppose by that it means you
won't cut his balls off, but some men like that.
Y"To obey..."
Well, my first glance at you told me
you were not the type to obey.
So I went to my thesaurus, and I came back
with these alternatives.
"To show devotion, to be loyal...
to show fealty, to answer the helm,
to be pliant."
General enough, I think, and still leave
plenty of room to dominate.
"In sickness, in health..." and all the rest
of that gobbledygook...
Y"so long as you both shall live?"
[Grunting Softly]
[Mumbles Quickly]
I do.
Alfred and Patsy...
I know now that whatever you do...
will be all right.
To Patsy's father, Carol Newquist...
I've never heard that name on a man
before, but I'm sure it's all right.
I ask you, sir, feel no guilt...
over the $250 check you gave me
to mention the Deity in the ceremony.
What you have done is all right. It's part
of what you are, part of what we all are.
And I beg you not to be overly perturbed when
I do not mention the Deity in the ceremony.
Betrayal, too, is all right.
It too is part of what we all are.
And to Patsy's brother,
Kenneth Newquist...
with whom I had the pleasure
of a private chat...
I beg you feel no shame.
Homosexuality is all right.
Really it is.
It's perfectly all right.
Son of a bitch!
Oh, it's all right.
Really, it's all right.
- [All Yelling]
- Hitting people is all right.
- [Kenny Yelling]
- Police! Police!
It's all right.
It's all part of life.
Really, it's all right.
[All Yelling]
Police! Police!
Faggot! Faggot!
- All right.
- Faggot!
It's all right.
Really, it's all right.
- What?
- Hi!
Mother's hysterical,
Daddy's collapsed...
and Kenny's disappeared
with my wardrobe!
I hope you're satisfied
with your day's work!
I thought it was a very nice ceremony.
A little hokey...
Alfred! What's gonna become of us
if you go on this way? Weren't you there?
I want to know when and what
in God's name you use for feelings!
- I feel!
- You don't feel!
- Have it your way.
- Ah! There you go again. You won't fight.
But you knew I wouldn't fight
before you married me.
If you don't fight,
you don't feel!
If you don't feel,
you don't love!
- I don't know what love is.
- [Frustrated Groan]
[Phone Ringing]
- [Heavy Breathing]
- [Screams]
- And where were you going?
- I thought it was over.
I'm glad you're back, Patsy.
Oh! Kissing you
is like kissing white bread.
What is it with you, Alfred?
I've never had a man do this to me before.
It isn't just pain you don't feel.
You don't feel pleasure.
- I do feel pleasure.
- About what?
- A lot of things.
- Name one.
- My work.
- Oh, name another.
- Sleeping.
- Work and sleeping. Oh, that's just great.
- What about sex?
- Makes you sleep better.
Alfred! Do you mean
half the things you say?
You must feel something.
Jesus Christ!
- Alfred, why did you marry me?
- You're comfortable.
I am not comfortable!
If you knew anything about me, you would
know that I am not comfortable.
- Do you know why I married you?
- I'm comfortable.
I married you because
I wanted to mold you.
I love the man I wanted to mold you into,
but you're not even there.
How can I mold you
when you're not there?
Come back here. Alfred.
I don't wanna hurt you.
I want to change you.
I want to make you see
that there is some value in life...
that there is some beauty,
some tenderness...
some things worth reacting to,
some things worth feeling.
What do you want out of life?
Just survival?
And to take pictures.
Of shit?
It's not enough!
- Here.
- What's that? A summons?
It's a questionnaire. Here.
- I'm sending you to Chicago.
You're gonna see your parents.
- Patsy.
You're gonna ask them these questions...
these questions on this questionnaire.
- What do you mean? Like, was
I a happy or unhappy child?
- That's very good.
- Was I breast-fed or bottle-fed?
- Oh, excellent.
- What are you trying to prove?
- You are going to record their
answers to these questions.
You're gonna record every word
that's said. Do you understand?
And then you are going to bring
the whole thing back to me in here.
And we are going to learn why you are the way
you are instead of the way you have to be.
- I'm not going.
- You're fighting.
I'm not fighting
and I'm not going.
Christ, Alfred!
I wanna be married
to a big, strong, vital...
virile, self-assured man...
that I can protect
and take care of.
Alfred, you're the first man
I've ever gone to bed with...
where I didn't feel he was a lot more
likely to get pregnant than I was!
You've got to let me mold you.
Please let me mold you!
Oh, you've got me begging.
You've got me whining
and begging and crying.
I've never behaved like this
in my life.
Alfred, do you have any idea
how many people in this town...
worship me?
Maybe that's the attraction.
You don't worship me.
Alfred, you've got to change.
I'm not saying that I'm any better
or stronger than you are.
It's just that we...
you and I have
different temperaments.
And my temperament is better
and stronger than yours! You're a wall!
You... You don't fight.
You hardly even listen. Dear God,
will somebody please explain to me...
why I think you're so beautiful?
[Phone Ringing]
- Hello?
- [Heavy Breathing]
Leave me alone! What do you want
out of me? Will you please leave me alone?
She can't talk now!
It's all shit.
How come I never noticed before?
- Patsy.
- You were right.
I'm just dense.
I'm the one who doesn't feel.
Come on, Patsy.
- No more reason for anything.
- Come on. Cut it out.
The only true feeling
is no feeling.
It's the only way to survive.
You were 100% right.
- Hold my hand.
- I feel weak.
Alfred, we can't both feel weak
at the same time.
You're beginning to
get me nervous, Patsy.
You're right.
I'm wrong.
Everything's the way you say.
You sit.
You get old.
You die.
[Airplane Passing By]
- [Woman] Who is it, Tubby?
- It's Alfred.
- Alfred who?
- Alfred Chamberlain.
My Alfred Chamberlain?
Tom Wolfe said
you can't go home again.
But I doubt if he meant that literally.
It was more likely a metaphor.
But he didn't come from Chicago.
North Carolina, Georgia, something like that.
Wolfe wasn't a racist, though.
I don't think he was.
An anti-Semite, I think, but not a racist.
Faulkner, though,
well, the character of Dilsey.
Brilliant, I think.
But today they probably
call her a handkerchief head.
Boo, here's the prodigal son.
Well, what a surprise, Alfred.
I mean, I wish you would have
told us you were coming.
- We would have invited some young people over.
- Hello.
Oh, now, I must remember
what you drink.
- A martini, isn't it?
- I didn't drink when I lived here.
Oh, you have to have my martinis.
I am the best martini maker in the Midwest.
Everybody says so...
Harriet and Hank and...
Aren't we lucky that
we didn't go out tonight?
I mean, there's a new David Smith show
on at the museum.
Do young people
like David Smith?
We were supposed to go with Norm and Edie,
but I was in the middle of a Vonnegut.
Young people adore Vonnegut.
- I could still get a hold of Norm.
- I don't wanna go.
Ooh, there's a Visconti movie on.
And Arthur raves about it.
We could go to the late show.
The new Hopper is
at the three-penny cinema.
I don't wanna go to the movies.
Oh, you put on
some weight, Alfred.
But then you were 17 when you left.
Well, what have you been up to?
Well, I went to college,
and now I'm a photographer.
Oh. Cartier-Bresson...
and Man Ray are the only
photographers I know.
- I'll have to brush up.
- [Chuckles]
- Did you like college?
- No.
Do you like photography?
Oh, yeah.
Well, it's important for young people
to like what they do.
Also, I'm sort of married.
Well, I'll be darned.
- Peace.
- Brotherhood.
I often wondered whether
you were married or not.
Doesn't Boo make
a good martini?
The trick is in the vermouth.
Look, I don't wanna take
a lot of your time.
Patsy, my wife, worked out
a questionnaire...
a series of questions
about my childhood.
It's supposed to help me.
See, I don't remember
very much before I was 19.
- Well, Alfred, I don't mind answering questions...
- Nor do I.
If it'll help you, but I don't know
if I wanna be recorded.
Well, preserved for posterity.
I mean, do you really need that thing?
We could talk much more openly without it.
I need it. It'll help me.
Justice Holmes, I think it was,
hated wiretapping.
- I could look that up if you like.
- I might forget what you say.
Young people are just
so lazy about taking notes.
Well, I have nothing to say
that I mind being quoted on.
- It's the idea.
- It's the F.B.I.
I need it!
Was I a happy or an unhappy child?
- What is one to say?
- Well, every child has anxiety.
I mean, we're just not willing
to accept anxiety anymore.
Freud... I think it was Freud...
dates all anxiety back to the birth trauma.
Rank too.
- Was I breast-fed or bottle-fed?
- Sullivan.
Sullivan writes about
the significance of powerlessness.
Sullivan writes about
the significance of powerlessness.
It's years since
I've looked at Sullivan.
Doesn't Sullivan also
have something to say...
it could be Adler,
but I think it's Sullivan...
about the dynamism of apathy?
Dynamism of apathy.
That's a wonderful phrase.
The magical power of the cry.
You see, what Sullivan is saying
is that the cry brings help...
which leads to the correction
of the condition which led to the cry.
Was I difficult to toilet train?
- Uh, Klein.
- Klein speaks of the coupling
of early Oedipus wishes...
with the fear of castration.
The child's desire
to possess the mother's feces.
I mean, it's the anal-sadistic stage.
Ah. Sphincter-morality.
Ferenczi's phrase.
- Was I subject to temper tantrums?
- Uh...
"A tendency in boys to express
excessive aggression..."
"Originates in his fear
of castration."
"And coincides with the boy's protest
against the feminine role...
"rooted also in his...
Dread ofhis mother..."
Y"Who he intends to rob
ofhis father's penis."
Was I a good or bad eater?
Uh, food.
I don't remember.
I don't remember.
Did I relate well to other children?
- I don't remember.
- I don't remember.
[Clears Throat]
When did I first exhibit signs of alienation?
- I don't remember.
- I don't remember.
- I don't remember.
- I don't remember.
- I don't remember.
- I don't remember.
In college the government couldn't decide
whether I was a security risk or not.
I used to protest a little then.
So they decided to put
a mail check on me.
Every day the mail
would come later and later.
Corners torn.
Never sealed correctly.
I was more of an activist then.
So I decided to fight fire with fire.
I began writing letters
to the guy who was reading my mail.
I addressed them to myself.
But inside they went
something like...
"Dear sir...
"I'm not that different from you.
"All men are brothers.
"Tomorrow, instead of reading
my mail in that dark, dusty hall...
why not bring it upstairs so
we can check it out together."
I never got an answer.
So I wrote another letter.
"Dear sir...
"There are no heroes, no villains...
"no good guys, no bad guys.
"The world's more
complicated than that.
Come on upstairs where we can open
a couple of beers and talk it all out."
Again, no answer.
So I wrote...
"Dear sir...
"I've been thinking too much
of my own problems...
"too little of yours.
"Yours can't be a happy task,
reading another man's mail.
"It's dull, it's unimaginative...
"it's a job... and let's not mince words...
for a hack.
"Yet I wonder...
"can this be the way
you see yourself?
"Do you see yourself as a hack?
"Do you see yourself
as the office slob?
"Have you ever wondered why they
stuck you with this particular job...
instead of others
who have less seniority?"
That letter never
got delivered to me.
So then I wrote...
"Dear friend...
"Just a note to advise.
"You may retain my letters
as long as you deem fit.
"Study them, reread them,
think them out.
"Who back at the home office
is out to get you?
"Who, at this very moment...
"is sitting at your desk...
"reading your mail?
I don't say this to be cruel, but because
I'm the only one left you can trust."
No answer.
But the next day, a man saying he was
from the telephone company showed up...
no complaint had been made...
to check my telephone.
Shaky hands...
bloodshot eyes.
And as he dismembered
my telephone...
he said...
"Look, what nobody understands...
"is that everybody's
got his job to do.
"I got my job.
"In this case,
it's preparing telephones.
"I like it or I don't like it...
"but it's my job.
"If I had another job,
say with the F.B. I...
"or someplace putting in
a wiretap, for example...
"or maybe even reading a guy's mail...
"like it or don't like it,
it would be my job.
Does anybody got the right
to destroy a man for doing his job?"
I wrote one more letter...
expressing my deep satisfaction
that we had at last made contact...
and informing him that the next time
he came, say to read the meter...
I had valuable information...
photostats, recordings,
names and dates...
about the conspiracy against him.
That letter showed up
a week after I mailed it.
It was torn in half and clumsily glued
together again.
In the margin on the bottom
in large, shaky letters...
was written the word, "Please."
I wasn't bothered again.
It was after this
that I began to wonder.
If they're that...
why bother to fight back?
It's very dangerous.
It's dangerous
to challenge a system...
unless you're completely at peace...
with the thought that you're not gonna
miss it when it collapses.
Patsy, you can't be
the one to change.
I'm the one
who has to... change.
Alfred, what are you
talking about?
When I first met you...
I remember thinking to myself...
this is the most formidable
person I've ever met.
I don't stand a chance.
I'll try to stay the way I am.
I'll try desperately,
but I don't stand a chance.
It's only a matter of time, Patsy.
Very soon I'll be different.
I'll be able to look at...
a half-empty glass of water and say...
"My God, this glass isn't half-empty.
This glass is half-full."
Patsy, I'm the one who has to change.
You're not the one who has to change.
You see what happens
when you start...
fooling around with the rules?
It begins with weddings,
and it ends with...
Well, there's no telling where it ends.
There are reasons
for doing things the old way.
Don't look for trouble
and trouble won't look for you.
I'm not saying there aren't problems.
But you have to fight.
You're going to fight,
starting now. Is that right?
And you're going to feel,
starting right now. Is that right?
I don't want a nod.
I want an answer.
Say, "Yes, Patsy."
- Yes, Patsy.
- Yes, Patsy, what?
Yes, Patsy, I'm gonna feel.
Starting when?
Starting as soon as I can manage it.
Starting when?
Starting now.
And what's your first feeling?
- It's sort of distant.
- Don't be ashamed of it.
It's worship.
- Of God?
- Of you.
You're doing just fine.
[Door Opening]
[Door Opens]
[Door Closes]
Did you tell 'em silver
for the bedroom?
It was either silver,
brown or black.
- There's still not much of a selection in steel.
- Make it brown then.
- Not in my bedroom.
- It's my bedroom too.
I told you I didn't
want them in my room!
They have to be put in every room, Kenny.
It says so in the building code.
- They block out all the light!
- What light?
That's what shutters are for, dear.
It's for your own good.
Don't I have any rights
around here?
- You'll love them when you get used to them.
- [Stammering]
[Drill Whirring]
That noise!
What a mess they make. I remember when
workmen were neat, quiet, mannerly.
I brought you some tea.
- Will you do me a favor and cut it out.
- I was only trying to help.
Come on, Alfred.
Come on.
Here. Come on.
You're doing fine. Go ahead.
Uh-uh. Don't gulp.
Take it easy now, huh?
Nice and easy, Alfred.
Big deal. Big deal.
Will you get out ofhere, goddamn it!
Big deal. Big deal.
You little son of a bitch.
Christ, I hope it's only a phase.
Come on, Alfred.
Come on.
It's always darkest
before the dawn.
Alfred, I paid an unexpected call on
police headquarters this afternoon.
Keep this under your hat, huh?
I had a 15-minute talk
with Lieutenant Practice.
Busy as hell, but he found
15 minutes to talk to me.
He's convinced they're closing in
on the conspiracy.
Three hundred and forty-five
unsolved murders in six months.
I feel sorry for those poor bastards.
I don't understand
anything anymore, Alfred.
[Sighs] You know how I get
through the day, Alfred?
In planned segments.
I get up in the morning
and I think...
okay, a sniper didn't
get me for breakfast.
Let's see if I can take my morning walk
without being mugged.
Okay, I finished my walk.
Let's see if I can make it
back home without getting a brick...
dropped on my head
from the top of a building.
Okay, I'm safe in the lobby.
Let's see if I can make it up in the elevator
without getting a knife in my ribs.
Okay, I made it to the hall.
Let's see if I can walk in
and not find burglars in the hallway.
Okay, I made it to the hall.
Let's see if I can walk
into my living room...
and not find the rest
of my family dead.
This goddamn city.
- What happened?
- They shot a hole in my shopping bag.
- You could have been killed!
- I get shot at every day.
We all do, Carol.
Don't make more of it than it is.
I ran into that nice
Lieutenant Practice in the lobby.
- He looked simply awful.
- [Doorbell Buzzing]
I invited him up for coffee as soon as
he finishes investigating the new murder.
- Who got it this time?
- I don't know. It was in the other wing.
- Thank God.
- Kenny!
I've got a leaking shopping bag!
- [Carol] Lock the door, goddamn it!
- [Kenny] I opened it!
[Phone Ringing]
- Hello?
- [Heavy Breathing]
Haven't you read
the newspapers lately?
You don't have to call anymore.
Patsy's dead.
- Hello?
- [Man] I don't know what to say.
I'm terribly sorry. But what can we do?
The world's gone crazy.
I should have been a girl.
Girls have it easy.
They're better at studying.
They're not forced to play ball.
They don't have to have a job.
I really could've handled it.
- And you, outside.
- [Whimpering]
That's the crop, Lieutenant.
[Carol] Alfred, look who decided
to pay us a visit. Lieutenant Practice.
Can I have a glass of milk, please,
Mrs. Newquist...
and a cookie?
Of course, dear.
Jesus Christ, I'm depressed.
There's gotta be some logical explanation
to this whole business.
You've got nothing to be ashamed of.
Don't worry. You'll figure it out.
Listen, I really came by to return this.
I don't know what got into me this afternoon.
- I gave it to you. Keep it.
- I can't hang onto a $250 check.
I know your heart was
in the right place, Mr. Newberg...
but it's not gonna help us find
your son's murderer any quicker.
It's Newquist, and it's
daughter this time. Keep it.
- Never know when you can use it.
- Here, drink this. You'll feel better.
Carol, are you giving
money away again?
Every time we pass a policeman,
he hands him five dollars.
Well, I want the boys on the beat to know
that someone still has faith in them.
Oh, boy.
I wasn't like this
six months ago, was I?
Wasn't I a lot more self-confident?
Jesus Christ, the way I used to
walk in on the scene of a crime.
Like I owned the goddamn world.
Can I have a little scotch in that milk, please?
- Oh, sure.
- A piece of cheese on that cookie?
- Oh, sure.
- There's gonna be a shake-up, you know.
When there's 345 murders
and none of'em get solved...
somebody's gotta be elected fall guy.
How about a piece of ice
like a good fella?
Somewhere there's a logical pattern
to this whole business. There has to be.
I didn't ask for butter
on that cookie, just cheese. Thank you.
And those goddamn vigilante groups...
black against white, white against black.
Whatever became
of human dignity?
For Christ sakes! Only one piece of ice?
Let's get it right, huh?
What kind of cheese is that?
Sharp cheddar?
You should know by now with my stomach
I can't take sharp cheddar.
Goddamn it!
Will you shape up?
Sooner or later there's a pattern.
Sooner or later everything falls into place.
I believe that.
If I didn't believe that...
I wouldn't wanna wake up tomorrow
morning and see the sunrise.
Goddamn it! Is this what I asked for?
I want some cooperation!
Every crime has its own pattern
of logic. Everything has an order.
If we cannot find that order,
it's not because it doesn't exist...
but because we have incorrectly examined
s-s-some vital piece of evidence.
Let us examine the evidence.
Number one:
In the past six months, there have been
345 homicides committed in this city.
The victims have ranged
various-s-sly in age...
sex, social status and-and color.
Number two: In none of these homicides
have we been able to find the motive.
Number three: Consequently,
all 345 homicides remain unsolved.
So much for the evidence.
A subtle pattern begins to emerge.
What is this pattern?
What is it that these 345 homicides...
have-have-have, uh-uh-uh...
have in common?
They... They have in common three things:
A: They have nothing in common:
B: They have no motive:
And C: They remain unsolved.
Now when a case does not gel, it is often not
because we lack the necessary facts...
but because we've observed
those facts incorrectly.
Following normal routine,
we look for a cause.
Had we looked for effect, we would
have found our answer that much sooner.
What is the effect
of 345 unsolved homicides?
The effect is...
Lack of faith
in law enforcement personnel.
That is our motive.
The pattern is complete.
We are involved here
in a far-reaching c-c-conspiracy...
to undermine our most basic beliefs
and sacred institutions.
Who's behind this conspiracy? Once again,
ask the question, who has the most to gain?
People in high places.
Their names would astound you.
People in low places.
Concealing their activities...
beneath the cloak of poverty.
People in all walks of life...
left wing and right wing...
black and white,
students and scholars.
A conspiracy of such
ominous proportion...
that we will never, never
know the whole story...
and we'll never be able
to reveal all the facts.
We are readying mass arrests.
I'm gonna see that you people
get every possible break.
If there's any i-i-information
you'd like to contribute at this time...
it would be held
in s-s-strictest confidence.
I strongly advise against any of you
trying to leave town.
[Alarm Ringing]
[Alarm Stops]
What's left?
What's there left?
I'm a reasonable man.
Just explain to me...
what have I left to believe in?
Oh, I swear to God,
the tide is rising.
Two hundred and fifty dollars.
Give me, give me, give me.
We need honest cops!
People just aren't being
protected anymore!
We need a revival of honor and trust.
We need the army!
We need a giant fence around every block in
the city... an electronically-charged fence!
And anyone who wants
to leave the block has to get a pass...
and a haircut and can't talk
with a filthy mouth.
We need respect
for a man's reputation!
TV cameras. That's what
we need... TV cameras...
in every building lobby, in every elevator,
in every apartment, in every room.
Public servants
who are public servants!
And if they catch you doing
anything funny, to yourself or anyone...
they break the door down
and beat the shit out of you!
A return to common sense.
We have to have lobotomies for anyone
who earns less than 10,000 a year.
I don't like it, but it's an emergency.
Our side needs weapons too.
Is it fair that their side
has all the weapons?
We have to protect ourselves
and steel ourselves.
It's freedom I'm talking about,
goddamn it! Freedom!
[Gasps] There. There's a fox loose
in the chicken coop.
Kill him! Kill him!
I want my freedom.
Ah, you gotta get me my freedom!
[Door Opens]
[Door Closes]
[No Audible Dialogue]
Aren't they beautiful.
Look, Carol, they're flowers.
When I was 12 and a half, my mother and
father used to cart the whole pack of us...
out to the country and we would
picnic near the flowers.
There were so many more flowers
in those days.
We'd pick every last one.
Bring them all back to the city.
No one else does the cleaning up
around here except me.
[Imitates Rifle Shot]
Use it.
What do I wanna use it for?
I've only been in analysis four months.
I never used one of these in my life.
- Neither have I.
- Well, why'd you get it?
It was on sale.
[Imitates Rifle Shot]
It's not loaded.
Well, why didn't you load it?
- Don't know how.
- Hey.
You know, the army
rejected me four times.
The fifth time they said if I came
around again they'd have me arrested.
[Imitating Humphrey Bogart]
"Nomenclature. Trigger Housing Group.
"To load, hold the weapon by the forearm
of the stock with the left hand.
"Open the bolt.
With right hand...
insert up to five cartridges
into the receiver of the magazine."
It's yours.
It's okay.
- [Rifle Shot]
- [Gasps]
- [Alfred Shouting]
- I got him!
I got him!
- Go ahead.
- Go ahead, Kenny.
Commotion On Street]
- [Shouts]
- It's not fair!
Let him alone!
Give him another shot!
- Dad!
- Take another shot.
All right, you bitch, you.
- [Rifle Shot]
- Son of a bitch!
Cocksucker! You got him!
Oh, my boy! My boy. Alfred.
Come on. You go.
[Cocking Rifle]
[Glass Shatters]
[Chattering, Commotion Continue]
You know who I think you got?
Lieutenant Practice!
[All Cheering]
Did you see that?
[All Chattering At Once]
- A fine Newquist!
- It'll take more than one shot
to get me, let me tell you!
Oh, Alfred! You done it!
- [Carol] Son of a bitch!
- [Chattering Continues]
- [Carol] Beautiful!
- Come and get it.
Did you see that? Right back!
We're gonna fight!
I'm telling you,
we're gonna fight.
We're gonna fight.
We're gonna fight.
[Sirens Wailing]
King Kong.
We did it.
Oh, I'm so hungry.
[All Chattering At Once]
[Wailing Continues]
Where's my chow?
It's gold. It's gold,
I say. It's gold.
I feel good!
Let me tell you that!
- Mom, it's delicious!
- Tell her! Tell her!
[All Chattering At Once]
Watch your fucking language.
Your mother's here.
Watch your fucking language.
Your mother's here.
It's the Fourth ofJuly.
That's what it is, the Fourth ofJuly.
Give me some silverware!
- Watch your manners, you shit, you.
- I'm watching my manners.
- [Wailing Continues]
- There's a thing in my soup.
What's the matter with you?
- Give me some more chili.
- Have some more chili.
[Chattering Fades]
Oh, you don't know how good it is
to hear my family laughing again.
You know, for a while there
I was really worried.