Baby Doll (1956) Movie Script

[instrumental music]
- Paul Weevo!
- Yes, sir.
- Can you hear me?
- Yes, sir, Mr. Archie.
Archie: Can you find the holes?
- Yes, sir. Lots of them.
Well, make sure
you get the big ones.
Paul: Yes, sir.
Uncle Pleasant,
ain't you got nothing to do?
Not a thing.
- Ain't you going to help him?
- I'm retired.
Baby Doll.
[dog whining]
Shh, shh, shh, shh.
[soft grinding]
Archie Lee, you're a mess.
Do you know
what they call such people?
Peeping Toms!
Archie: This is my house!
[dogs barking]
And there's no name
for a woman that sleeps
in a baby's crib
to stay away from her husband?
Now I'm gonna plug up the hole
in that wall with chewing gum.
And if I ever catch you
pokin' a... a knife
through it again
to peek at me in my sleep,
I'm movin'
into the Cotton King Hotel.
And would you, please,
keep your filthy old dogs
off my furniture?
Archie: Let me talk with you.
- Now, listen, I wanna have...
- Spare your breath.
Save it to drum up some business
for your broken-down cotton gin.
And close that door
so I can get into my clothes.
Go on,
just get into your clothes...
Not till you get
on the other side
of that door
and close it between us.
Today is the fifth day
of November,
the sixth day of November,
and the day after that
is November 7.
And you know what day that is,
don't you?
November 7
is your 20th birthday.
[music box playing] Ain't that
sweet of you to remember?
Where's my birthday present?
Oh, you'll get
your birthday present.
Providing you haven't forgotten
the agreement between us,
which comes due on that day.
Oh, the agreement?
Yeah, uh-huh, the agreement.
Which you swore on a Bible
to keep your side of.
Providin' you kept yours.
Have I ever laid hands on you
since we've been...
Yeah, as often as possible
and gotten slapped off...
Have I? Have I?
Have I ever, ever, ever
once forced myself on you
as your husband by law?
Or don't the law mean
nothing to you?
How about your side
of the agreement?
You talked big, mighty big
when you was courting me,
You told my daddy
you was gonna put me
in the grandest house
in the county.
Well, I put you in Tiger Tail.
I bought it and I put you in it.
And Tiger Tail is the grandest
house in the county.
Yeah, you put me in Tiger Tail,
the biggest old wreck
of a place in the whole delta.
You told my daddy
you was gonna restore this place
exactly like it was when the
Dobines owned it, only better.
"Make a show place," you said.
Yeah, a freak show.
I've got a boy on the roof
right now.
I've got my man on the roof now.
Can't you hear the hammer
on the roof?
Is that a hammer? Why, I thought
that was a king-size termite.
Doggone, if you ain't
the most ungrateful little...
I have mortgaged myself
to satisfy your demands.
You told a mouthful of lies
to my daddy in order to get me.
Get you? I ain't got you yet.
Oh, and you ain't about to
Now I'm telling you that
if the Ideal Pay As You Go Plan
Furniture Company removes
those five complete sets
of furniture from this house,
then that agreement
you just spoke about
is automatically cancelled.
And now would you kindly
go back in your own room?
I'm gonna get me a good-payin'
job while I'm in town today.
Just in case. Just in case.
Admirin' yourself in the mirror.
You just look at yourself.
You're not exactly
a young girl's dream come true,
Archie Lee Meighan.
There was an old witch
named Granny Crow.
Wherever she spit,
no grass would grow.
That old witch must have spit
right on the top of your head,
Archie Lee. [laughs]
Thank you, thank you.
You're not a woman.
You're a woman not grown,
therefore I'll make allowances.
[telephone rings]
- [woman screaming]
- [laughs]
Aunt Rose Comfort screams
every time that phone rings.
Oh, why does she do
a fool thing like that for?
She says
phone ringing scares her.
Aunt Rose, why don't you
answer the phone?
Archie: Aunt Rose!
- My word.
[ringing continues] Aunt Rose!
Aunt Rose Comfort!
Aunt Rose Comfort,
why don't you answer?
I can't catch my breath,
Archie Lee.
Phone give me such a fright.
Answer it!
Hello? This is Miss Rose Comfort
McCorkle speaking.
No, the lady of the house
is Mrs. Archie Lee Meighan,
daughter of my brother
who passed away...
Now they don't wanna know that.
Now who is it talking?
- And what do they want?
- I don't hear very well.
Would you, please,
speak a little louder?
Oh, the Ideal Pay As You Go
- Yeah...
- Give me that phone.
Archie: Now what is this, boy?
Yeah. Today?
Oh, no, you've got to give me
a little more time.
Well, you see, I've had a little
setback in business lately...
Well, the Syndicate Plantation
built their own cotton gin
and I've lost their trade.
Well, it's gonna take me
a little more time
to recover from that.
Then take it out!
Take it out, out, out!
You'll never get
my business again. No, never!
Oh, Archie Lee honey, you all
aren't gonna lose your fine...
Would you shut up
and get on back in that kitchen?
And don't you speak a word
that you heard on this phone,
if you heard a word, to my wife.
Don't holler no more
in this house.
Don't cackle no more.
I guarantee, I'll pack you up.
I'll pack you up
and haul you off
to that county home at Sunset.
What did you say, Archie Lee?
You say something to me,
Archie Lee?
- I said shoot!
- Oh.
What made her holler this time?
How do I know what made
that old woman holler this time
or last time
or the next time she hollers?
Last time she hollered
was 'cause
you throwed somethin' at her.
What did I ever throw
at Aunt Rose Comfort?
A glass of water and for singing
church hymns in the kitchen.
Water? Why, this much water.
I barely sprinkled her with it.
Archie: She don't hear nothing.
Baby: I know. [laughs]
Archie: Well, you...
Well, you gotta do something
to get the old woman's
attention, don't you?
Baby: Yeah. [laughs]
Archie: Huh? [laughs]
Baby: Hey, hey, put me down.
Get your...
Archie: [laughs]
Baby: Get your... get your...
Baby: Get your hands off me!
Archie: Oh!
Baby: Take them off!
Archie: Oh!
[Baby screams]
I'm... I'm moving
to the Cotton King Hotel
the very next time
you try to break our agreement,
the very next time.
Baby Doll!
Baby Doll!
Oh, you come on down here if
you're going into town with me.
I gotta be at the doctor's
ten minutes ago.
[blows horn]
Baby Doll!
If you're so impatient,
just go ahead without me.
Just go ahead!
I've got plenty of ways
of getting downtown without you.
That's the truth. [laughs]
You come on!
[instrumental music]
You get your cotton-picking tail
down here.
Take your time.
- Morning, Sam.
- Ma'am.
[car starts]
Well, what are you waiting for?
Oh, now come on,
get into the car.
I will get into the backseat
of that scatter boat
when you get out and walk around
and open the door for me
like a gentleman.
Well, you're gonna wait
a long time
if that's what
you're waiting for.
Well, I declare, my father
would turn over in his grave.
I never once saw your father
get out and open the car door
for any woman and especially
not your waddle-legged mother.
Now get on in!
Archie: Hey, Sid! Come here!
- Hey, Sid, come here.
- Ughh.
- What are we stoppin' here for?
- What are you doing here?
Well, Vacarro's got me working
for him now.
For him? You're working for him?
What else could I do? Syndicate
shut my gin down tight.
- What's going on?
- Oh, it's a party.
A celebration of some kind.
Why shouldn't the Syndicate
It's got every last bit
of business in the county.
Including every last bit
of what I used to get
and every last bit
of what you used to get.
He's got an up-to-date gin,
not like that old pile of junk
you got.
When are we gettin' out of here?
[instrumental music]
Would you mind moving your arm?
Happy anniversary.
She's sure growed up.
I am just as fond
of Aunt Rose Comfort as you are,
but I'm in no position
to feed and...
Now look here, bigshot,
the day that Aunt Rose Comfort
is unwelcome under your roof,
then her and me both
is moving out.
Well, now she can't cook,
she can't take care...
Well, if you don't like
Aunt Rose Comfort's cookin',
then get me a regular servant.
You don't think
that I am gonna cook
for a big fat old thing
like you.
- Quit saying fat old...
- Then you get young and thin.
- And I'll quit saying fat old...
- Alright.
But I am serving you notice.
If that old woman breaks down
and dies on my place,
I ain't gonna get stuck
with the funeral expenses.
I'll have her burned up.
Cremated is what they call it.
I'll pack her ashes
in an old Coca-Cola bottle
and I'll pitch that bottle
into Tiger Tail bayou.
Mr. Meighan, you are late
for your appointment.
Doctor's gonna see you, anyway.
I don't know why.
Oh, hey.
Well, hi.
Are you the dentist?
Yes, ma'am,
I'm... I'm the dentist.
Oh. [chuckles]
Well, I was scoutin' around
for a job
and I noticed your sign
and I thought
I might help you out.
What are you doing, John?
Well, there was a boy in here
just a little while ago,
beat me at playing checkers, and
I still can't figure out why.
Well, uh,
what do... what do you do?
Can you type?
[chuckles] No.
No, I don't do no typin',
but, um...
Well, I print a real good hand.
I... I don't know
whether we can use that though.
You're awful young
to be a dentist.
Yeah, I'm just...
I'm just getting started.
Oh. [chuckles]
Well, what's the matter
with you?
- I haven't been myself, John.
- In what way?
Well, you know, Archie Lee,
you're not an old man,
but you're not a young man
either no more.
That's the truth. That's
the truth, John. That's no lie.
- How long you been married now?
- Just about a year now.
Baby: [chuckles] Well...
She's pretty though.
Yeah, I guess so, hmm.
- Youth, huh? [chuckles]
- [chuckles]
[Baby laughs]
John: You've been under
some kind of
a strain though, ain't you?
No, no, I... no strain at all.
- You look mighty nervous to me.
Baby: [laughs]
I'm not nervous.
[both chuckling]
Well, uh,
you'd have to know typin'.
- Mm.
- It's typin'.
- Awfully nice talkin' to you.
- Yes, ma'am.
Mr. Meighan, come back in here.
Doctor's gonna give you
a prescription.
John: Archie Lee,
all I think you need
is some kind of a little
harmless sedative.
Now you take this down
to old man Hogg
and tell him to fill it for you
and you take it
according to directions.
Here you are.
Don't forget your sweater.
It's not gonna help
what's wrong with you one bit.
- How you doing, Archie?
- He knows what he's doing.
Baby: I'm ready to go now.
I spent just about
the whole day
sitting on Main Street.
Why didn't you bring me
a double dip?
[men laughing]
How long are we
just gonna sit here?
I gotta wait
for my prescription.
- I'm bored.
- What the Sam Hill is so funny?
Even the Chinamen.
You know, people know
the situation between us.
Yesterday on Front Street,
a man called out to me and said,
"Hey, Archie Lee, has your wife
outgrowed the crib yet?"
Three or four others
haw-hawed at me.
- Public humiliation.
- Hmm.
Private humiliation
is just as painful.
There's no torture on earth
to equal the torture
which a cold woman
inflicts on a man.
There's no torture
to compare with it.
What I've done
is staked out a lot in hell.
A lot with a rotten house on it
and five complete sets
of furniture not paid for.
What you done is bit off
more than you could chew.
[truck honks]
Archie Lee,
is that our furniture?
No, no, no, it isn't. No.
Archie Lee,
they're taking away our stuff.
What are you
just standing there for?
Baby Doll, I gotta wait
down here for my prescription.
- Your prescription? Mr. Hannum!
- Look out now.
- Mr. Hannum!
- Come here.
[indistinct shouting]
Let's get on home
before they get the rest of it.
- Well, I'm going. Don't you...
- Baby Doll!
- You better go get her?
- Yeah, I guess I better.
- What would you do?
- Get tough with her.
Yeah, easy to say. Come on.
Man 1: Look out,
here comes trouble.
[indistinct shouting]
- What about those people, boss?
- Just keep loading the truck.
Get out of my chair!
Get out of my chair!
- Go on, get out! Get off!
- Baby Doll.
- They have all my furniture!
- Baby Doll, honey.
Are you crazy?
That's my mama's lamp.
- Honey. Honey!
- Let it go!
Man 1: She better not
hit me again.
Baby: Hey, you put that back!
I thought I heard something
rattling around in there.
- Baby Doll.
- Leave me alone in here.
I don't wanna be
in the same room with a man
that would make me live
in a house with no furniture.
Oh, honey.
My daddy would turn over
in his grave
if he knew...
Baby Doll, if your daddy
turned in his grave
as often as you say
he turned in his grave,
that old man
would plow up the graveyard.
Now look at your Aunt Rose.
Look, she's out there
picking roses in the yard
as if nothing at all
happened in here.
I'm moving
to the Cotton King Hotel.
I am moving
to the Cotton King Hotel.
I'm gonna get me
a good-payin' job.
The manager
of the Cotton King Hotel
helped carry my daddy's coffin.
- He'll give me one.
- Thank you, ma'am.
Now what sort of work
do you think you could do?
I could curl hair
in a beauty parlor.
Ha-ha, I reckon
that I could, uh, be a hostess.
Man 1: Second floor's
all clear now.
Smile at people
coming in a place.
- What place?
- Any place.
I could be a, uh, cashier.
Oh, now you can't count change.
Well, I could, uh,
pass out menus
or programs or something.
- Say hello to people.
- Oh, now, Baby Doll...
Well, I can say hello.
Sign here.
Oh, Cotton King?
This is Mrs. Meighan.
I wanna reserve a room
for tomorrow mornin'.
And I want to register
under my maiden name
which is
Baby Doll Carson McCorkle.
My daddy
was T.C. Carson McCorkle.
He died last summer
when I got married.
And he was a very close
personal friend
of the manager
of Cotton King Hotel.
You know.
What's his name?
[instrumental music]
Archie Lee,
look at these flowers.
Poems of nature.
Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm.
[hen clucking]
When we gonna gin out
some more cotton, Mr. Archie?
Oh, dear.
Oh, my.
[dramatic music]
[indistinct chatter]
Man 2: That's the stoutest
brandy water
to ever wet my whistle.
It must have come right out
of Tiger Tail bayou.
Young man, Mr. Vacarro,
this is a mighty fine party
you are throwing here tonight
in honor of your first
anniversary as the manager
of the Syndicate Plantation
and Gin.
Just a minute there, sonny,
hold it down.
I got a little something
I ought to get off my chest.
Don't forget your point.
- Us good neighbors appreciate...
Silva: Oh, just a second, son.
Silva: Gentlemen,
an announcement.
There'll be a fish fry
Saturday night.
Catfish, hush puppies, dancin',
bring your ladies.
Oh, you go right on, sir.
I just want you to know
that us good neighbors
appreciate your achievement
in bringing in
the biggest cotton crop
that ever was picked
on this blessed soil
of Tiger Tail county.
Hey, senator,
my old dad once said,
"Blessed is he
who has nothing to say
and cannot be persuaded
to say it."
Couple of boys there
don't look too happy with it.
They got no reason to be.
You put them out of business.
Man, they got
plenty good liquor over yonder.
I'll drink my own.
Man 2: Now when you first
came here,
I'll admit that us old-timers
were a bit standoffish.
We didn't know you
all that well at first.
a thing is profitable to some
is unprofitable to others.
As the fella says, one man's
meat is another man's poison.
We all know that some folks here
have suffered financially
due in some measure
to this man's success
with his Syndicate Plantation,
but as a whole,
the community stands
to reap a nice fat profit.
Hey, senator, next time
run on a Republican ticket.
We'll get the nigger vote
out for you.
- Silva! Mr. Silva!
- Fire!
- Mr. Silva!
- Silva! Mr. Silva!
[dramatic music]
[indistinct shouting]
- Silva! Mr. Silva!
- Silva!
Move the wagons! Move them!
Get that cotton moving! Rock!
Rock, get the cotton moving!
Get those wagons out!
Mr. Silva, where are you?
[men clamoring]
[indistinct shouting]
[coughs] Kerosene can.
[baby crying]
Alright, marshal,
what you gonna do about
finding the man
that burned down my gin?
Well, what makes you so sure
your gin was set fire to?
Oh, look around.
Did you ever see
so many happy faces?
It looks like
a rich man's funeral
with all his relations
I'd hate to have to prove that.
I'd hate to have to depend
on you to prove it.
Man 3: I can't honestly imagine.
If it's a case of arson,
who done it?
Every poor man
you put out of business
was right there in that gin
when the fire broke out.
One wasn't.
I know of one that wasn't.
Boy, namin' names that sounds
suspicious is risky business.
I didn't name a name.
But looks like
whoever did it
forgot to take this with him.
Marshal, as your deputy,
I'll take this can
and I'll examine it
very carefully.
See if there's any basis
for thinking
it was used for starting a fire.
I had to run through fire
to get this can
and I mean to keep it.
Lock it in the pickup truck.
Hey, Gina, sing us a song.
I shall not
I shall not be moved
I shall not
I shall not be moved
like a tree
That's planted by the water
I shall not be moved...
Hey, what you gonna do
about ginning out
the rest of your cotton?
I'll truck it over to Sunset.
Collins will gin it out for me.
Collins got his own cotton
to gin, fella.
Well, then I'll truck it over
to Bolivar county.
Ain't nobody around here's
gonna gin it out for me.
I shall not be moved
Every route go higher?
Rock: Silva!
[men clamoring]
- Rock!
- Get off...
Rock, no, no,
it's... it's me, Rock.
- Oh, they got the can, boss.
- What? What?
- Who? Who?
- I don't know.
It was somebody.
Jumped me from the rear.
Just stay back, stay back.
Boy, take the advice
of an old-timer
who was born and raised
in this county.
Knows every nigger,
every hound dog
every toadstool
and every tree stump
for 50 miles around here.
My advice is for you not to make
any more reckless charges.
Of course,
you being a foreigner,
you already got strike one
and strike two...
I want no advice, no law
and no court in this county.
I come from a very old country
where it's tradition
for each man
to make his own justice.
Like bootlegged liquor,
private, in secret.
there was corruption there too.
And if justice was executed,
it was executed
by each man himself, alone.
I mean biblical justice.
Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.
Let's go, Rock.
[instrumental music]
Don't notice this. I got to.
I hadn't noticed a thing.
Silva: Which one did it, Rock?
You know.
They were all there in the shed,
all except one.
The one who wasn't there,
I figured he did it.
Well, he's the one
who's gonna gin out my cotton.
Get her up.
The furniture's
coming back today.
- Have mercy.
- Come on, get, get.
Don't say a word.
A little bird already told me
that you'd be bringing
those wagons full of cotton
straight to my door
and I want you to know
that you're a very lucky fella.
How come?
I mean that I'm in a position
to hold back the other orders
and give you a priority.
Well, come on.
Come on, get out of that truck.
- And have some coffee with me.
- What's your price?
Now you remember my price.
It hasn't changed.
How about your equipment?
That hasn't changed either?
A1 shape, always was.
Now you ought to remember that.
I remember you needing a new
saw cylinder. You got one?
Well, I... I can't find one
on the market
to equal the old one yet.
Come on, come on,
have some coffee with me.
We're all ready for you.
I guess when you saw my gin
burnin' down last night,
you must have figured you might
get a good deal of business
thrown your way in the morning.
You wanna know something?
I'm always glad
to know something
when there's something to know.
I never did see
that fire of yours last night.
No, sir. No, sir.
Come on. Come on in my house
and have some coffee.
Now, you, you come too.
Come on, come on, man.
No, sir, I never did see
that fire of yours last night.
We hit the sack
right after supper
and I didn't know until
breakfast time this morning
that your cotton gin
burned down.
Oh, Baby Doll, come out here.
Come here. Come here, Baby Doll.
I want you to come right
over here and meet Mr. Vacarro
from the Syndicate Plantation.
Say, what's your first name,
- Silva.
- How do you spell it?
Capital S-I-L-V-A.
Sure enough?
Like a silver linin'?
Well, every cloud has got
a silver linin'. [chuckles]
Oh, what's that from, the Bible?
No, the Mother Goose book.
That name sounds foreign.
Silva: It is, Mrs. Meighan.
I'm known as the wop that runs
the Syndicate Plantation.
Don't call yourself names.
Let the other folks
call you names.
Well, you sure
are a lucky fella, Silva.
Gold or even nickel-plated.
Oh, you sure are lucky
that I could take a job on
of your size right now.
You see,
you're my closest neighbor
and I believe
in the good neighbor policy.
You do me a good turn and I do
you a good turn, Mr. Vacarro.
Tit for tat and tat for tit
is the policy we live on.
Yes, sir.
Aunt Rose. Aunt Rose Comfort.
Oh, Baby Doll. Baby Doll.
Baby, get your daddy's
old maid sister to bring out
a fresh pot of coffee
for Mr. Vacarro.
- Get her yourself?
- Honey.
Honey, honey, honey. [chuckles]
Now I want you
to entertain these gentlemen.
Oh, look.
Look, look, look, look.
Oh, look at her blush. Look.
Look at her blush.
Oh, this is my Baby.
Oh, this is my little girl.
Every precious ounce of her
is mine.
Bluh-bluh. Muah. [laughs]
Aunt Rose! Aunt Rose Comfort!
Excuse my yawn.
We was up awful late last night.
So you're a wop?
No, I'm a Sicilian,
Mrs. Meighan.
A very ancient people.
- Shis.
- No, Sis. Sicilian.
I'm from Corpus Christi.
Oh, how unusual.
Archie: Honey, at noon,
I want you to take Mr. Vacarro
in town to the Cotton King Hotel
for a chicken dinner.
Sign my name.
You know, it's only when
bad luck hits you, Mr. Vacarro,
that you find out
who your friends are
and I mean to prove it.
Baby Doll,
I want you to entertain
this gentleman in the house.
It's a good neighbor policy.
Tit for tat and tat for tit
as they say.
You do me a good turn
and I do you a good turn
some time in the future,
that's right.
Come on now.
Come on, Baby Doll. Come on.
Now make those wagons move now.
Get them rollin'.
Can't make nobody comfortable
in that house.
Like if you can find a chair
to sit down on.
You want coffee?
No, just a cool drink of water.
Thank you, ma'am.
Oh, well,
the house water runs warm.
But if you got the energy to
work that old pump over there,
you can get yourself
a nice cool drink
from that there cistern.
I got energy to burn.
Dump their garbage in the yard.
Ignorance and indulgence
and stink.
I thought that young Mrs.
Meighan smelled pretty good.
You keep your nose
to the cotton.
Sometimes water comes,
sometimes it don't.
Silva: Well, this time it will.
Bring me a drink of that
nice cool well water, please.
"So you're a wop?"
I don't have the strength
anymore in my arm that I used to
to draw water out of that well.
Would you like
a cool drink of water?
How do you do?
I'm Aunt Rose Comfort McCorkle.
My brother
was Baby Doll's daddy,
Mr. T.C. Carson McCorkle.
I've been visiting here
since, uh...
Well, just now I can't remember
just when it was since.
I hope you don't mind
drinking out of a gourd.
Oh. Thank you.
[imitates hen clucking]
Excuse me, please.
That old hen Fuss
has got back
in my kitchen again.
Why, I could think of worse ways
to spend an afternoon
delivering cool well water
to Mrs. Meighan.
[bell ringing]
You stay with the cotton,
you hear?
Go on, stay with the cotton.
There's such a difference
in water.
You wouldn't think so,
but there certainly is.
I take it you've not had
this place long, Mrs. Meighan.
No, we ain't had it long.
Don't you have garbage
collectors on Tiger Tail Road?
Oh, well, well,
it costs a little bit extra
for them to come out here
and Archie Lee...
Oh, I don't know.
I almost give up sometimes.
Did I understand you to say
you've got a bunch
of unfurnished rooms
in this house?
Five complete sets of furniture
hauled away
by the Ideal Pay As You Go Plan
Furniture Company.
When did this misfortune
fall upon you?
Ain't that awful? Yesterday.
Both of us had misfortunes
on the same day.
Baby: Hmm?
- You lost your furniture.
- My cotton gin burned down.
- Oh, yeah.
- Quite a coincidence.
- What's that?
I said it was a coincidence
of misfortune.
Oh, well, sure.
I mean, what can you do with
a bunch of unfurnished rooms?
Well, we could play
hide and seek.
Not me. I'm not athletic.
Yeah, well, when I arrived
in this county
to take over the management
of the Syndicate Plantation,
this house was empty.
- I was told it was haunted.
- Oh, yeah, it was haunted.
That's why Archie Lee got it
for almost nothin'.
Sometimes I don't know
where to go or what to do.
Well, that's not uncommon.
People enter this world
without instruction.
- Hmm?
- I said...
Is that your breakfast,
Mrs. Meighan?
I said people come into this
world without instruction
of where to go or what to do.
So they wander a little
and then go away.
Drift for a while
and then vanish.
And so make room for newcomers.
Old-goers, newcomers.
Going and coming,
back and forth.
Rush, rush.
Permanent, nothing.
Anything living...
that lasts long enough
to take it serious...
What's this?
This is that old Pierce-Arrow
car, belong to Mrs. Dobine,
the lady that used to own
this house and haunts it now.
Where to, madam?
Oh, we're gonna play chauffeur.
Yeah, goodbye now.
Hey, drive me along the river
with all the windows open
to cool me off.
The chauffeur
sits in the front seat.
The front seat's got no cushion.
Baby: Oh, yeah.
Come on, men!
Get on your big feet, let's go!
- Come on!
- Oh, let's gin some cotton.
Archie: Look out, men!
Get on those big feet.
Let's get in here.
Oh, let's cut some cotton.
It's hard to find a place to sit
since the Ideal Pay As You Go
Plan Furniture Company
lost patience,
to sit in comfort...
It's hard to sit in comfort
when the Ideal
Pay As You Go Plan people
lose their patience...
and your gin burns down.
[inhales deeply]
- Would you move your leg?
- But it's cool here.
Comfortable to sit in.
- What's this here?
- That's my charm bracelet.
My daddy gave it to me.
Them's the Ten Commandments.
- And these here?
- My birthdays.
How many charming birthdays
have you had?
[chuckles] As many as there are
charms on the bracelet.
- Do you mind if I...
- Count them.
[counting in foreign language]
Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen,
eighteen, nineteen.
That's all.
I'll be 20 tomorrow.
Tomorrow is election day
and my birthday
and the day that
Mr. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
was elected for his first term.
It's a great day for the country
for both reasons.
Oh, he was a man to respect.
Well, you're a lady to respect,
Mrs. Meighan.
Me? No.
I never got past
the fourth grade.
Why'd you quit?
Well, I had a great deal
of trouble with long division.
The teacher would send me up
to the blackboard
to work on a problem
in long division
and I would go up
to the blackboard,
lean my head against it
and just cry and cry and cry.
Would you move your leg?
Do you wanna move my leg?
Yeah, otherwise I can't get out.
I would just cry
and cry and cry.
Well, finally,
I left school and...
Oh, a girl without education
is a girl without edu...
Mr. Vacarro?
Just picking up
a few pecan nuts.
Oh, excuse me.
Excuse me, Mr. Vacarro,
but I wouldn't dream
of eating a nut which a man
had cracked in his mouth.
You've got many refinements.
Thank you.
Now I don't think you need worry
about your failure
at long division.
After all,
you got through short division.
Short division's
all a lady ought to be
called on to cope with.
[chuckles] Yeah.
Well, I ought to be
going in now.
But [exhales] I get so depressed
going through
all them empty rooms.
All the rooms empty?
All except for the nursery
and the kitchen.
The stuff in them rooms
is paid for.
You have a child in the nursery?
Me? No.
I sleep in the nursery myself.
I let the slats down
on the crib.
Why do you sleep in the nursery?
Mr. Vacarro,
that's a personal question.
[sighs] Well, I ought to be
going in now.
But you know, there are rooms
in that house
that I never been in.
Like, for instance, the attic.
You know that most of the time
I'm scared
to go in that house by myself.
You take like last night
when the fire broke out.
I sat here for hours
and hours and hours
waiting for Archie Lee
to come home
because I was scared
of going in the house by myself.
Well, it must have been scary
without your husband
to look out for you.
Oh, I'm telling you.
The fire broke out
and lit up the whole sky
with crazy shadows.
And we didn't have a Coke
in the house.
Oh, I was mad at Archie Lee.
You were mad at Mr. Meighan.
What about?
He went off and left me
without a Coke in the house.
Went off and left...
Without a Coke, did he?
Yes, he did. He certainly did.
And he didn't get back until way
after the fire had broken out.
And I had got smoke in my eyes,
in my nose, in my throat. Ooh.
Oh, I was in such a worn out
nervous condition, I cried.
Finally, I took
two teaspoons of paregoric.
Sounds like you passed
a very uncomfortable night.
[sighs] Oh, sounds like?
Ooh, it was.
So Mr. Meighan, you say,
disappeared after supper.
You say
Mr. Meighan left the house
for a while after supper?
Oh, yeah, for a moment.
Just for a moment, huh?
How long a moment?
What are you driving at,
Mr. Vacarro?
Driving at?
Yes, you're looking at me
so funny.
How long a moment
did he disappear for,
can you remember, Mrs. Meighan?
Oh, what difference
does it make?
I mean,
what does it matter to you...
Why should you mind my asking?
You make it sound like
I'm on trial for somethin'.
Don't you like to pretend
like you're a witness?
Witness of what, Mr. Vacarro?
Oh, say, for instance,
a case of arson.
What's arson?
The willful destruction
of property by fire.
- Oh.
- What?
Well, about... about my husband
leavin' after supper,
I can explain that.
- Can you?
- Oh, sure, I can.
Well, good.
Now how can you explain it?
What's the matter, Mrs. Meighan?
Can't you collect your thoughts?
Your mind's a blank
on the subject, hmm?
You find it impossible
to remember
just what your husband
disappeared for after supper?
You can't imagine
what kind of errand he went on,
can you? Can you?
But when he returned,
well, let's see,
the fire had just broken out
at the Syndicate Plantation.
Mr. Vacarro, I can't imagine
what you could possibly be
drivin' at.
You're a very unsatisfactory
witness, Mrs. Meighan.
Well, should we drop
the subject?
- Oh, I sure do wish you would.
- Well, sure.
There's no use crying
over a burned down gin.
Besides, like your husband says,
this world is built
on the principle of tit for tat.
What do you mean by that?
Nothing specific.
- Do you mind if I...
- What?
Sit down?
Is it strong enough
to support us both?
Well, I hope.
Now let's swing a little, huh?
You seem all tense.
Motion relaxes people.
It's like a cradle.
A cradle relaxes a baby.
They call you Baby, don't they?
Oh, that's sort of a nickname.
Well, in a swing, you can relax
just like in a cradle.
Well, I... I don't like to swing.
It shakes me up.
Besides, I'm relaxed enough
as much as necessary.
Oh, no, you're not.
Your nerves are all tied up,
- Well, you make me nervous.
- Just swinging with you?
- No, not just that.
- What else then?
All them questions
you asked me about the fire.
I was only enquiring
about your husband.
About his leaving the house
after supper.
But there's no reason
why I should have to
explain things to you.
Should we just relax?
Would you move over
and make a little room?
Is that enough room for you?
It's enough for me.
How about you?
It was a lovely remark
your husband made.
The good neighbor policy,
I mean.
"You do me a good turn
and I do you one."
That was the way he put it.
- There now.
- Thanks.
There's a lot of fine cotton
lint floating around in the air.
I know there is.
It bothers my sinus.
Well, you're a very delicate
woman, Mrs. Meighan.
Delicate? Me?
There isn't much of you,
but what there is is choice.
- Delectable, I might say.
- Hmm?
You're fine-fibered...
and smooth.
Mr. Vacarro, our conversation
certainly is taking
a personal turn.
You make me think of cotton.
No fabric or cloth,
not even satin or silk cloth...
and no kind of fiber,
not even a cotton fiber...
has the absolute delicacy
of your skin.
Well, what should I say?
Thanks or something?
No, you just smile,
Mrs. Meighan.
You've got an attractive smile.
- Dimples.
- No.
Oh, yes, you do.
Come on now,
smile, Mrs. Meighan.
There, you see, you do,
you do have them.
Don't touch me.
Please don't touch me.
- I don't like to be touched.
- Well, why do you giggle?
[exhales] Because
you make me feel
kind of hysterical, Mr. Vacarro.
- I do?
- Mr. Vacarro.
I... I think I'll go
and make us some lemonade.
What did you do that for?
I don't wanna be deprived
of the pleasure of your company.
Not yet.
Oh, Mr. Vacarro, you certainly
are getting familiar.
Don't you have any
fun-loving spirit about you?
Well, this isn't fun.
Well, why do you giggle then,
- Because I'm ticklish.
- You're ticklish?
Don't be so skittish.
A... alright, I'll get up then.
Go on.
I feel so weak.
[heavy breathing]
Oh, my head is fuzzy.
- Fuzzy?
- Hmm.
Fuzzy and buzzy.
My head is swinging round.
Must have been that swinging
that done it.
- Is there something on my arm?
- No.
Oh, then...
- Cut it out, it feels funny.
- How does it feel?
Oh, it feels funny
all up and down.
Quit switchin' me, will you?
I'm just shooing the flies off.
Oh, well,
they don't hurt nothin'.
Now cut it out
or I'm gonna call.
Well, call who?
[panting] Boy on the road.
Well, go on, call then.
- Boy!
- [laughs]
Can't you call any louder, hmm?
- I feel so...
- Can't you call any louder?
I... I feel so funny. What's...
- What's the matter with me?
- You're just relaxing.
Give in. Now stop fighting it.
Oh, I'm not...
I'm not fighting it,
but it's... it's you
and your suspicions
about... about my... my husband...
Suspicions? Suspicions such as?
- That he burned down your gin.
- Well?
- Well, he didn't.
- Didn't he?
No, he didn't.
He... he... he didn't.
I'm going in the house now.
You believe in ghosts,
Mrs. Meighan?
I do.
I believe in the presence
of evil spirits.
What evil spirits
you talking about?
Spirits of violence and cunning,
malevolence, cruelty,
treachery, destruction.
Them's just
human characteristics.
The evil spirits
that haunt the human heart
and take possession of it
and spread from one human heart
to another human heart,
the way a fire goes springing
from leaf to leaf
and branch to branch in a tree
till the forest is all aflame
with it.
You just got fire on the brain.
I see it as more than it seems
to be on the surface.
I saw it last night
as an explosion
of those evil spirits.
I fought it, I ran into it,
beating it and stamping it,
shouting a curse of God at it.
They dragged me out,
I was defeated.
When I came to
lying on the ground,
the fire had won the battle
and all around
was a ring of human figures.
I looked up,
they were illuminated.
Their eyes, their teeth
were shinin' like this.
- Yeah, like this.
- No, don't... don't...
- Like this.
- Please don't scare me.
The faces I saw were grinning.
And then I knew,
I knew the fire
was not accidental.
And you know
it was not accidental too.
It was an expression,
a manifestation
of the need to destroy.
That's why I say
I believe in ghosts,
in haunted places,
in places haunted by the people
that occupy them
with hearts overrun by demons
of hate and destruction.
I believe his place,
this house, is haunted.
Aunt Rose! Aunt Rose Comfort!
This house is haunted.
I think I'm going
around the backdoor
and make us some lemonade.
Archie Lee.
- Archie Lee, huh?
Baby: Archie Lee.
[speaking in foreign language]
Yeah, let's go
and see Archie Lee now.
[dramatic music]
Archie Lee.
- What's going on up there?
- Contraption broke down.
Man 4: And you better stay away
from Mr. Archie.
He's fit to be tied.
Archie: It's stuck.
Come on, give me the wrench.
Come on,
give me the wrench, man. Give...
Archie Lee,
I got something to tell you...
- What are you doing here?
- You big slob.
- What are you doing here?
- You... you left me over there.
Didn't I tell you
never to cross over to this gin
when niggers are workin' here?
Baby: You know
what you left me with...
How's progress, Mr. Meighan?
Fine, fine, great, great.
Personally, I can't hear the gin
runnin' at all.
- What's holdin' up?
- Nothin'.
- Rock?
- His saw cylinder is busted.
It figures. Meighan,
I inspected your equipment
before I put in my own.
And I put up my own cotton gin
because this equipment
was rotten.
- Take it easy...
- Was rotten, still is rotten.
Now it's a quarter past 2:00
by my watch.
You got a lot of wagons
out on the runway.
- Listen, you Italians...
- Never mind about we Italians!
You better get yourself
a new saw cylinder, see,
and get this contraption
runnin' again.
And if you can't get one
in town, you go to Rosedale.
And if you can't get one
in Rosedale,
you better get across the river
somehow and keep going
right on to Little Rock,
but you have to...
One more crack out of you
and the only cotton you'll see
will be in a drugstore.
Now you better haul, brother.
He'll... he'll go to Rosedale.
- I got something to say to...
- Please, I ain't...
Oh, I ain't got time.
Bigshot! Bigshot! Bigshot!
Now this gin...
Boy, he's getting her again.
Yeah, we got a saw cylinder
like this in our commissary.
Sure enough.
Go get it and bring it here
and get Hank to help you
put it in and get this
contraption runnin' again.
He's not gonna get
a new one in town.
If he has to go
across the river,
don't wait for him.
I'll leave the pickup truck
with you.
Stay close to the house.
Stay there till I come out.
[car engine revving]
Hey, Archie. Archie Lee!
Archie Lee!
Oh, d... don't touch me.
Please don't touch me.
- Woohoo!
- Aunt Rose. [sobs]
Aunt Rose Comfort.
Gotta go and see
a mighty sick friend
in county hospital.
You might as well shout
at the moon as that old woman.
You don't want her to go?
Well, she's got no business
leavin' me alone here.
But she has a passion
for chocolate candy though.
She watches the newspapers
just like a hawk
to see if anybody she knows
is registered
at the county hospital.
- At the hospital?
- Yeah.
They... they pass out candy
to the patients
at the county hospital,
you know.
Friends and... and relatives
send them flowers and candy.
Aunt Rose Comfort
goes to visit them
and eats up
all their chocolate candy.
You know, [chuckles]
last week an old lady friend
of Aunt Rose Comfort's
was dyin' at the county hospital
and Aunt Rose Comfort
went to visit her
and ate up
all her chocolate candy.
All of it?
Right while the old woman
was dyin', she ate it up.
Oh, I like old people.
They're crazy.
- Mrs. Meighan?
- Hmm.
Do you mind if I ask you
a... personal question?
What, Mr. Vacarro?
Are you really married
to Mr. Meighan?
Oh, Mr. Vacarro,
that is a personal question.
All questions are more or less
personal, Mrs. Meighan.
[sighs] See...
[clears throat] When I...
When I got married,
well, I wasn't ready
for marriage yet.
I was only 18.
But my daddy
was practically on his deathbed
and he wanted to see me
took care of before he died.
And old Archie Lee
had been hanging around
like a sick dog
for quite some time.
And the boys around here
are a sorry lot.
You know, they ask you
to the movies
and take you out
to the old stone quarry instead.
You've gotta get out of the car
and throw stones at them.
Oh, I've had some experiences
here with boys
that would just curl your hair
if I told you.
The experiences
which I've had with boys.
[sighs] Oh, but...
old Archie Lee,
you know, he was an older fella.
Well, his business was better
in those days.
Mm, he was ginnin' out
lots of cotton.
That's before you put up
your cotton gin, you remember?
- Yeah, I remember.
- Hmm.
Well, I told my daddy that
I wasn't ready for marriage
my daddy told Archie Lee
that I wasn't ready for it
and Archie Lee promised my daddy
that he would wait
until I was ready.
Then the marriage was postponed.
Oh, no, not the weddin'.
[chuckles] We had the weddin'.
My daddy gave me away.
Yeah, but you said
Archie Lee waited?
Yeah, after the weddin',
he waited.
For what?
For me to be ready for marriage.
How long did he have to wait?
Oh, he's still waitin'.
We had an agreement though.
I mean, I told him that
on my 20th birthday,
I'd be ready.
- That's tomorrow.
- Mm-hmm.
And, uh, I... will you be ready?
[sighs] Well, that all depends.
What on?
Whether or not
the furniture comes back.
I guess.
Your husband sweats
more than any man I know
and now I can understand why.
Well, let's see.
Well, I declare.
I'm sorry. I...
[laughs] There.
Now you wait right here.
I'm gonna make lemonade
and serve it on the porch.
- Yes, ma'am, right here.
- You wait right there.
Now you wait right there.
Yes, ma'am, I'll wait.
Yes, ma'am.
I will stay right here.
Yes, ma'am.
[instrumental music]
[dog barks]
Oh, I'm gonna get me
a Frigidaire one of these days.
[chuckles] Stupid old thing.
Forgot to light the stove.
[music continues]
[piano note]
[instrumental music]
[dog barks]
Mr. Vacarro.
Oh, my goodness.
We'll be having lemonade
in a minute now.
Silva: Hey, how did you get
that pretty dress all wet?
[dog barks]
What a mess.
[music continues]
Mr. Vacarro,
now you wait right there.
Archie Lee, is that you?
Needs something.
[music continues]
Mama mia.
[dogs whimper]
[dogs whimper]
[speaks in foreign language]
[Smiley Lewis singing
"Shame Shame Shame"]
Shame shame shame on you...
Giddy-up, giddy-up!
Shame shame
shame on you Miss Roxy
Shame shame
shame on what you've done
You made me sweat and talk
till I was skin and bones
You cause your lovers grief
oh look at me now
Shame shame
shame on you Miss Roxy
Shame shame
shame on you Miss Roxy
Who's in there?
Shame shame
shame on what you've done
Shame shame
shame on what you've done?
Get out of my house...
[music continues]
[indistinct chatter]
[blows trumpet]
Mr. Vacarro, I know that's you
and you're making me
very nervous.
Silva: Aah!
Ooh, ooh.
Oh, yeah, I'll get you!
[music continues]
- [screams]
- Ooh, ah, oh.
Help, help, help, help!
Oh. [laughing]
[both laughing]
[dramatic music]
[bangs on door] Open, sesame!
- Game's over, I quit.
- No.
No, you gotta keep playing
hide and seek till you're it.
Now, Mr. Vacarro, would you,
please, go back downstairs
so that I can unlock this door
and come out?
This attic
is in awful weak condition.
You... you want me to call
the fire department to come here
with a net to catch you
when you fall through?
Oh, no, there wouldn't be time.
No, I don't suppose
they'd get here on time.
Any more than they did
last night
when they come
to put out the fire
that burned down my gin.
- Oh.
- Hmm? [raps on door]
I'll tell you what I'm gonna do.
Now, I'm gonna slip a pencil
and paper under this door
and all I want
is your signature on the paper.
What paper?
Oh, you might call it
an affidavit
legally stating that
Archie Lee Meighan
burned down the Syndicate gin.
[screams] Mr. Vacarro,
this floor... this floor's
about to give... give out
right under me.
It will just take a minute.
Well, what do you say?
Well, you just leave it
right there
and I'll be happy to sign it
and send it to you.
Ha! Hey, Mrs. Meighan,
I'm a Sicilian.
You know, we're a very old race
of people, an ancient race,
and ancient races
are untrustful races by nature.
Now either you're gonna
sign this piece of paper
or I'm gonna break
this door down. Huh?
- [gasps]
- Do you hear me?
I gather you don't believe me.
Now you're either gonna agree
to sign this thing...
or I'm coming out here
and my additional weight...
[crying] What am I gonna do?
You're gonna do what I tell you.
[crying] No, don't hurt me.
Please stop.
I'll do anything, only hurry.
- What do you want me to do?
- You will write your name.
Ugh, muah.
[instrumental music]
Go ahead.
You can come out now.
Need my descending footsteps
on the stairs?
Need my descending footsteps
on the...
Oh, Mr. Vacarro!
You hear my descending footsteps
on the stairs?
Mr. Vacarro.
Mr. Vacarro.
Okay, you're home free
and so am I. Bye-bye.
Oh, wait a minute, Mr. Vacarro.
Where are you goin'?
Back to my little gray
Quonset home in the West
to take a peaceful siesta.
But I want to, uh...
I want to, uh...
Is that all that you wanted...
for me to confess that
Archie Lee burned down your gin?
What else did you imagine,
Mrs. Meighan?
[clouds rumbling]
Mrs. Meighan...
You're a child, Mrs. Meighan.
That's why we played
the game of hide and seek.
It's a game for children.
[thunder crashing]
Well, you don't have to go
all the way home to take a nap.
You could take a nap here.
I mean, it's gonna rain anyhow.
All the furniture's been removed
from the house.
Not the stuff in the nursery.
There's a small bed in there,
a crib.
You could curl up...
and let the slats down.
I'll be happy
to accept the invitation.
[instrumental music]
[thunder crashing]
Come on up and sing me to sleep.
My daddy would turn over
in his grave.
[thunder crashing]
[rain pattering]
[instrumental music]
- Sorry.
- Oh, come on, now, now.
I'm good for it.
You know, I'm good for it.
- Now I'll take my...
- No credit.
I'll take it somewhere else
if you don't want it!
Look, listen, my daddy's watch.
- Cash.
- Here.
The letters of his name
instead of numbers, huh?
I'm gonna leave this watch
here with you.
- Cash.
- Give it him and get out!
Thank you, sir.
I'm m... much obliged to you,
[engine whirring]
Oh, now will you get
this thing going? Come on now.
- Come on now, will you?
- Shut up.
Man 5: We're going
as fast as we can.
[machine whirring]
Hey, you all must have done
some mighty fast repairs.
No repairs.
Put in a new saw cylinder.
Yeah, from where?
Boss and I had one at our place.
Well, how come I wasn't let in
on this bit of information
before I lit out of here?
I just about killed myself
getting that.
Where is that wop Vacarro?
I wanna get some explanation
of this. Vacarro!
Well, where is he?
- You seen the boss man, Norm?
- No, sir.
- You seen the boss man, Moose?
- No, sir. [laughs]
Where are my men?
Oh, I sent them home.
I mean, they're useless.
Well, you keep operating.
Rock: Hey!
You know,
this isn't a bad old gin.
Know the man done gone
Know the man done gone
back to New Orleans
Now baby please don't go
Baby please don't go
Baby please don't go
Baby please don't go
Baby please don't go
not back to Rolling Fork
Because I treat you
like a doll?
Hey, anybody living here?
Anybody still living
in this house?
Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!
It's Archie Lee.
[indistinct mumbling]
What happened here?
I said what happened here?
The plaster broke in the attic.
Well, how? How did...
- How did that happen?
- How does anything happen?
It just happens.
Archie: Ain't I told you
not to slop around here
in a slip?
Ain't I told you not
to slop around here in a slip?
Supper almost ready now.
[dishes clatter]
Archie: Well, the breakage alone
in that kitchen
would ruin a well-to-do man.
Now you go on up
and get some decent clothes on
and then come back down here.
You know, there's a new bureau
in Washington DC.
It's called the UW Bureau.
You know what UW stands for?
It stands for useless women!
They got secret plans
to put the...
to lock them all up
and shoot them.
That's what. [chuckles]
Shoot them.
Now you heard me.
I said shoot them.
How about men
that's destructive?
Ain't they got some plan
to round up destructive men
and shoot them?
What destructive men
you talking about?
Men that blows things up
and burns things down
'cause they're too evil
and too stupid
to get along otherwise.
'Cause their competition
is too much for them
so they turn criminal.
They do things like arson.
The willful destruction
of property by fire.
Who said that to you?
Hey, look what's up there
on the porch. [laughter]
Put up the porchlight.
There's men on the road...
Never mind now. Who...
Who said arson to you, huh?
Who spoke of this...
This willful destruction?
Why, you never knew them words.
Who said them to ya?
[men laughing]
Sometimes, bigshot,
you don't seem to give me credit
for very much intelligence
at all.
I've been to school in my life,
and I'm a magazine reader.
[men laughing]
[wolf whistle]
Who gave that whistle?
Which of you give a wolf whistle
at my wife, huh?
You just stay on that side
of that fence, you hear?
Right on that side over there!
[bottle shatters]
Archie: Men
from the Syndicate Plantation,
white and black mixed,
headed for Tiger Tail bayou
with straw gigs
and rubber boots on.
I just hope
they turn downstream.
I just hope they trespass
across my property.
I hope they dare.
I'll blast them out of the bayou
with a shotgun.
Small dogs have a loud bark.
Well, no one's gonna insult
no woman of mine.
You take a lot for granted
when you say mine.
I came to you today
for protection
and what did I get?
Slapped. Sent home.
Now I'm tellin' you
that the agreement between us
is over.
You darn tootin' it's over.
In just three hours,
three hours,
the terms of our agreement
will be settled for good.
- Don't count on it.
- Sharp at midnight.
Too much has happened here
Well, my credit
is wide open again.
And so is the jailhouse door
if the truth comes out.
Are you threatenin' me
with black...
Heigh-ho, Silva!
Archie Lee, Mr. Vacarro says
that he might not put up
a new cotton gin
but might let you gin out
his cotton for him all the time.
Ain't you pleased about that?
He's gonna come tomorrow
with lots more cotton.
And while you're ginnin' it out,
he's gonna have me
entertain him.
Make lemonade for him.
And it's gonna go on and on.
Maybe even till next fall.
It's the good neighbor policy
in practice.
Baby: Oh! [screams]
[wind blowing]
How long you been on the place?
All this unusually
long fall afternoon,
I've imposed
on your hospitality.
Where you been here?
Taking a nap
on your only remainin' bed.
The crib in the nursery
with the slats let down.
Something sad about it,
know what I mean?
Sad about what?
An unoccupied nursery in a house
and all the other rooms empty.
That's no problem of yours.
The good neighbor policy
makes your problems mine
and vice-versa.
Supper ready, children.
Well, didn't you all hear us
called in to supper?
You're gonna eat here tonight?
Oh, Mrs. Meighan asked me
to stay for supper.
But I told her I better
get to hear the invitation
from the head of the house
before I'd feel free
to accept it.
So what do you say?
Stay for supper.
Well, you'll have to take
pot luck.
I wouldn't be putting you out?
Oh. Excuse me,
I better get into my clothes.
Oh, yeah, you better.
[instrumental music]
Did I understand you to say
that, uh...
you wouldn't build a new gin
but would leave your business
to me?
- If that's agreeable with you...
- I don't know about that.
Well, I've got to consider
the matter.
Financing is involved,
such as new equipment and...
Let's go in and eat now.
I got a pain in the belly.
I got...
I got a sort of... heartburn.
Hey! One more place
at the table.
Mr. Vacarro
from the Syndicate Plantation
is staying for supper.
I had no idea
company was expected.
Now just let me change...
Another place
is all that's called for.
- Have you been here all day?
- Huh?
Have you been in the house
all afternoon
or did you ride out
to the county hospital
to eat
some more chocolate candy?
Yes, I visited a friend
in the hospital.
Then you were out while I...
I worked
like the hammers of hell!
I come home to find the
attic floor has fell through,
my wife bad-tempered
and insultin',
and a supper of hog slops!
I suppose you've got...
Sit down. I've gotta
make me a phone call.
Hello. I want the Bright Spot,
Miss Hopkins.
Give me the Bright Spot.
I can't think of the number.
Now you give it to me, you hear?
Hello, Bright Spot?
He's on the phone
about somethin'.
If I was you,
I wouldn't hang around...
I've got the ace of spades
in my pocket
and I'm gonna get his autograph
on it too.
Oh, don't count
on the law of court.
Justice here is deaf and blind
as that old woman.
I do my own justice.
Get Eddie, Bill, Boots, Rhodes,
anyone of them.
I'm advising you,
go while he's on the phone.
You don't know his friends.
They're... they're awful.
I've seen them.
I find you different
this evenin' in some way.
Never mind that.
Just go
while he's still on the phone.
Grown up suddenly.
I feel cool and rested
for the first time in my life.
That's the way I feel.
Rested and cool.
Now there's no place
he can run to in this county.
Hmm. Well, you can say
that again, boy. [chuckles]
Yeah. Mm-hmm.
[heavy breathing]
If you can't leave the place,
then you send someone.
But you send someone
to find him, you hear me?
I'll call you back.
Poems of nature. If I had...
Never mind the poems of nature.
Goodbye. I'll call you later.
Rose: If I'd only known
company was expected.
- Put some food on the table.
- Just take a minute.
We ain't gonna wait no minute.
Bring out some food!
Is that what they call
a... a Mona Lisa smile
you got on you, puss?
Put some food on the table!
Don't pick on Aunt Rose Comfort.
Archie: I'm gonna have a talk
with that old woman
right here tonight.
She's outstayed her welcome.
What a pretty blue ribbon you're
wearing tonight, Mrs. Meighan.
Why, thank you, Mr. Vacarro.
There's so many shades of blue.
What particular shade is that?
It's just baby blue.
Brings out the blue
of your eyes.
- Food!
Rose: Immediately, this instant.
This sweater
was part of my trousseau.
I got all my trousseau
at various department stores
in Memphis
where my daddy was known.
- What is this stuff? Grass?
Baby: It's greens.
Don't you know greens
when you see them?
Big department stores
on Main Street...
This stuff is greens?
Rose: Archie Lee
dotes on greens.
Rose: Don't you, Archie Lee?
- No, I don't.
You don't?
You don't dote on greens?
Well, somebody did.
Somebody probably did
sometime, somewhere,
but that don't mean it was me.
Eat your greens, bigshot.
Greens put iron in the blood.
I thought
Archie Lee doted on greens.
All these likes and dislikes
are hard to keep straight
in your head,
but Archie Lee
is easy to cook for.
Take this slop off the table.
I'll cook you
some eggs Birmingham.
These greens didn't cook enough.
I played a fool trick
with my stove.
I... I forgot to light it.
When I went out to the store,
I left my greens on the stove.
I thought they were boilin'.
When I came home, I discovered
my stove wasn't lit.
Why do you say my stove?
Why is everything
mine, mine, mine...
Archie Lee,
I think you've been drinkin'.
You stay out of this.
Sit down, Aunt Rose.
- What was that, Archie Lee?
- Sit down.
Sit down.
I'm gonna ask you a question.
What sort of plans
have you made?
What plans, Archie Lee?
What sort of plans do you mean?
Plans for the future.
Archie Lee,
I don't think this discussion
is necessary
in front of company.
Mrs. Meighan, when someone feels
uncomfortable over somethin',
it often happens
he takes out his annoyance
on some completely
innocent person.
Now, Aunt Rose,
you've been here since August.
That's a mighty long stay.
And it's my honest opinion
that you're in need of a rest.
You've been cooking around here
and cooking around there
for how long now?
How long you been cooking around
people's houses?
[quavers] I helped out
my relatives, my folks,
whenever they needed me.
I was always invited,
sometimes begged to come.
When babies was expected
or somebody was sick,
they called for Aunt Rose
and Aunt Rose was always ready.
Nobody ever had to put me out.
Will you gentlemen excuse me
from the dinner table? I...
I'll run up and pack.
Miss Rose Comfort, wait.
I'll drive you home.
I don't have nowhere to go.
Yes, you do. I need a cook.
I'm tired of my own cooking
and I'm anxious to try those
eggs Birmingham you mentioned.
Is it a deal?
Oh, sure, it's a deal,
Aunt Rose.
Mr. Vacarro
will be very good to you.
And you never can tell
about things in the future.
Yeah. I'm gonna pack my things.
Baby please don't go
Don't go...?
Is there anything else
around here
you wanna take away with you,
Mr. Vacarro?
[sighs] Well, is there?
Why, yes, Archie Lee.
Mr. Vacarro noticed
that the house
was just full of furniture
and he'd like to borrow
about five complete sets of it.
[Silva inhales deeply]
Silva: Mmm.
Colored folks
call this pot liquor.
[laughs] Oh.
Baby: I love pot liquor.
Silva: Hmm?
I'm crazy about pot liquor.
Baby: Mmm. [laughs]
Silva: Mmm. Mmm.
Silva: It's good.
Baby: Mmm, is it good?
- Mm-mmm.
- Mmm.
- Good.
- That's good. Mmm.
[laughs] That old hen
was comin' in
like she'd been invited
to supper.
- [laughs]
- Quack, quack, quack, quack.
[all laughing]
[imitates a hen]
You listen to me!
Now you all listen to me.
Now you quit giving those
filthy looks back and forth
and listen to me.
Why, you think I'm deaf,
dumb and blind or something,
do you?
Well, you're mistook.
Oh, brother.
Oh, brother,
but you're much, much mistook.
I know.
I know, I guess
I look like a... a... a...
- [laughs]
- I guess I look like a...
What do you guess
you look like, Archie Lee?
Yes, some sweet,
little, innocent
baby doll of a wife, huh?
Oh, not ready for marriage, huh?
Oh, no, not ready for marriage,
but plenty ready
to go out with him and...
Wait a minute now.
I see how it's funny.
It sure is funny, isn't it, huh?
There's one little teensy-weensy
thing that you've overlooked.
I got position.
I got position in this county
where I was born and brought up.
- Stop it!
- I hold a respected position!
Lifelong member of every
organization in the delta!
On my side are friends!
business associates and social.
You see what I mean, huh?
You ain't got that advantage,
have you, mister?
Well, have you, huh? Have you?
Come on, speak up. Huh?
Ain't you a dago or somethin'?
Excuse me.
I mean Italian or somethin'...
I'm not a doctor, but I was
a medical corps in the navy.
You've got
a very unhealthy look.
And call an ambulance...
I don't even
have to make a phone call.
I can handle the situation
What situation do you mean?
Situation which I come home
to find here under my roof!
Oh, look here now.
Oh, I'm not such a...
Such a marble-missing old fool
I couldn't size it up.
I sized it up the minute
I seen you were still
on this place and her...
Oh, her,
her with that sly smile on her
and you with yours on you.
Well, I know how to wipe off
both those sly smiles...
You know, and I know,
and I know that you know
that I know
that you set fire
to my cotton gin last night.
You burned down
the Syndicate gin
and I got here in my hand
a signed affidavit,
a paper signed by a witness
whose testimony will hold up
even in the law courts
of Tiger Tail county.
That's what I come here for
and that's all I got.
Whatever else you... you suspect,
well, you're mistaken.
Isn't that so, Mrs. Meighan?
Isn't your husband
mistaken in thinkin'
I got anything out of this place
but this signed affidavit
which was the purpose
of my all-afternoon call?
I'm foreign, Meighan,
but not revengeful.
At least
not more than is rightful.
Now we got a workable
good neighbor policy between us.
It might work out.
I think it deserves a try.
Now as to the other side of the
situation which I won't mention,
well, all I can say is
a certain attraction exists.
Mutually, I believe.
I needed a little shut-eye
after last night's excitement
and I have a faint recollection
of being sung to by someone.
A lullaby song that was sweet
and the touch of cool fingers.
- You think I'm gonna...
- But that's all, absolutely.
- You think I'm gonna put up...
- With this situation?
You went to a whole lot
of risk and trouble
to get my business back.
- Cool.
- Now don't you want it?
- Yeah, cool.
- It's up to you, Archie Lee.
- Oh, very cool.
- It's up to you.
- You just fixed your wagon.
- Yeah.
With this smart talk,
oh, you just fixed your wagon.
I'm gonna wipe that grin off
your greasy wop face for good.
Oh, you just... you watch.
Is my wop face greasy,
Mrs. Meighan?
[dramatic music]
[Baby screams]
That's the last time
you're ever gonna lay
your hands on me,
you stinking stinker!
You stinking stinker. Stinker!
Look out, Silva!
Rock, where are you?
Where are you, Vacarro?
Where are you?
[dramatic music]
Where you hiding, wop?
Oh, if you're under there,
you ain't getting out.
[pigs squeal]
My husband's got a gun
and I just don't... [gunshots]
[dogs barking]
Hey, wop!
Oh, you yellow-bellied wop.
Get that gun!
Get that gun away from him!
[bell tolling]
Help! Help!
[indistinct shouting]
Archie: Get away from me!
Get... get away!
Where are you, Vacarro?
[softly] Right here, neighbor.
Ah! Oh, there you are.
Oh. Oh, it's you.
Excuse me.
- Silva.
Silva: Psst. Psst. Here.
Archie: Where are you?
Silva: Here.
Archie: Where are you, Vacarro?
Silva: Come on.
- Oh, oh, oh, ow, ow.
[indistinct shouting]
- Woohoo!
Archie: Baby Doll!
Archie: Where are you, Vacarro?
Where are you, Vacarro?
Come on out!
Come on out, Vacarro!
[gunshot] Ah! Now you put
that gun of yours away.
[sobs] Baby Doll!
Baby Doll.
Baby Doll.
Baby Doll.
Oh, Vacarro, where...
Where are you, you... you wop?
Doll.[ sobs]
Baby Doll.
Oh, my Baby Doll. [sobs]
[sobs] No, no, no, no.
No, no, no, no.
Baby Doll.
I'm ready. All ready to go.
Now who is that?
What's the matter, Sandy?
Is something wrong?
Tomorrow's election day
and I'm running for town marshal
for the 25th time
and I want your vote.
- You got my vote, Sandy.
- Let me see you gun, fella.
- I...
- Come on, let's see your gun.
Archie: Yeah, doggone, man,
you're too old
for a job like that.
I'm 20 years younger than you
and I wouldn't run for a job
like that.
You know that age is a factor
calls for recognition.
I hope you recognize the fact
it calls for recognition.
You know...
a man grows old suddenly,
not gradual.
Just all of a sudden, he's old.
Hey, now wait a minute,
where are you guys taking me?
You're acting as though
I'm under arrest or somethin'.
- Well, you've been shootin'...
- There he is.
Oh, no. No!
Get off me. Get off me.
[indistinct shouting]
Baby: Hey, how about me?
Put the handcuffs on him.
Okay. Okay.
Put me in that... that
stinking black calaboose.
I ain't a white man?
No, I ain't a white man
so throw me in.
But don't you leave
my Baby Doll here with him.
Don't you leave him here
with her.
Sandy, listen,
you're a married man.
You understand how I feel.
Don't you, Sandy?
Please, as... as one white man
to another,
just for tonight,
don't leave him on the place.
Just tonight, Sandy.
- [chuckles]
- Oh.
I've scratched my leg
on the bark of that tree.
Vacarro, come here.
Excuse me.
Silva: Now what you got
on your mind?
Man 3: Listen, fella,
we ain't got nothin'
to hold that old boy on.
He's been shootin' up
his yard a little,
but he tells us a varmint's
been catchin' his chickens.
His chickens?
I've got a signed confession
by a material witness
that amounts to an affidavit.
Not till it's witnessed
by others and Photostated.
Man 3: We'll have it witnessed
and photographed...
Silva: I don't need
anything from you.
I don't want anything from you.
I'm going to the county sheriff.
Rock: Here, Silva.
But, hey, Silva, how about me?
I'll be coming back tomorrow
with lots more cotton!
I'll be back tomorrow
with lots more cotton!
[indistinct singing]
- Well, he's gone.
- What happens now?
Well, he sure enough got hisself
a signed confession
from your wife.
Now we're gonna have to go
through this thing
for appearance's sake.
I don't mean that. I mean...
what happens tomorrow?
Well, the town marshal
has no control over tomorrow.
[melancholic music]
[clock chiming]
Today is my Baby Doll's
Your friend forgot me.
Well, Archie Lee, it looks like
the celebration is over.
Let's go.
Baby: He's coming back tomorrow
with more cotton.
Rose: He's coming back?
Oh, well, let's go in now.
[chuckles] We got nothin' to do,
but wait for tomorrow...
and see if we are remembered...
or forgotten.
Oh, my. Oh, my.
[instrumental music]