Broken Lullaby (1932) Movie Script

This is a day of joy and happiness for all of us.
Let us be thankful that peace has come.
Peace. Let us look to our tomorrows
and forget our yesterdays.
Peace on earth to men of goodwill.
Father, help me.
I can't get away from his eyes!
I killed a man.
I am waiting for your confession, my son.
Father, I wasn't born to be a murderer.
I was a musician,
I played in an orchestra, first violin.
Oh, I used to be so happy!
My whole life was devoted to music.
I wanted to bring beauty to this world.
And I brought... murder.
There's no music left.
Nothing in my ears,
but the sound of a dying man.
You killed a man.
Why did you kill?
Why? Why? I don't know.
For no reason, for no reason at all
And he didn't even raise a hand
to defend himself
He just looked at me,
looked at me...
I opened his coat
I found more letters.
They were in German.
I could read them.
They make German boys learn French
and French boys learn German
and when we grow up
they make us kill each other.
Walter Holderlin, 22 years old.
Fallsburgenbahn, Berg Street, number 64.
The man I killed.
My son,
the agony of your soul
is quite unnecessary.
You may go forth cleared
in a conscience without a stain.
You are free from crime
Oh, father,
how could I have done it?
You have done nothing but your duty.
Duty to kill!
Duty to kill!
Is this the only answer
I can get in the house of God?
I give you absolution.
Not only for your sins,
but for your blasphemy.
Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis
in nomine Patris, et Filii
et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
I came here to find peace
and you haven't given it to me.
She lost her Son.
And she forgave the murderers.
And God will help you, my boy.
Come with me.
Come, my son.
Son! Son!
Yes, he was somebody's son.
He had a mother, too.
You must forget, you must calm down.
You think his mother,
if I came to her on my knees...
Quiet, boy, quiet, quiet. you think she could forgive me?
Why, of course she could,
but now you must forget.
Father, I know his name,
I know where he comes from.
I could go there!
We'll talk about that tomorrow.
No, no, Father,
I'm going to his country!
Yes, yes...
I'll see his people.
Yes, yes...
Father, you think I'm mad. Am I?
Nine million people got slaughtered,
and they're already talking about another war
and the next time there'll be ninety million
and the world calls that sane.
Well, then I want to be insane.
I killed one man,
Walter Holderlin,
and I can't escape.
And God knows I'm not a madman!
Go there, my boy,
to his country.
Go to his people.
God is with you.
Now, Fritz, you be a good boy.
Behave yourself. No more fighting.
I didn't want to fight him. He was bigger than me.
But what shall I do,
when he calls me a Frenchman?
Then you give him a good...
No, no, don't do it, don't do it, Fritz.
Hold yourself in,
and save it up for a real Frenchman.
You understand?
No, father
You will, my son, you will.
Goodbye, young man.
But nobody's gonna call me a Frenchman!
Great boy, he'll do.
I hope so.
How do you do, Frulein Elsa?
Herr Schultz,
how many times have I told you?
Don't scold me, Frulein Elsa,
I didn't come here to see you.
I want to consult the doctor.
I'm a sick man, very sick!
Heart trouble.
Well, Herr Schultz, what's your trouble?
Doctor Holderlin,
I'm afraid I have to disappoint you.
I'm not a sick man.
On the contrary,
I wouldn't be here if I weren't
in perfect physical condition.
Doctor Holderlin, I came here to talk with you about Elsa.
I, I don't...
I know.
A delicate matter, doctor.
We must trace the facts.
What are the facts?
She was a young girl,
she was engaged to a young man
who died bravely on the field of battle.
May I take this opportunity
to express my heartfelt sympathies?
Your son was a hero, a hero.
But I'm sure this is the reason
that must be extremly painful.
Let's not discuss it, please
Quite right, let's not talk about it,
let's forget it.
War is over, life must go on.
To make a long story short,
I wish to marry Elsa.
Is she in love with you?
Considering my business and social standing
I hardly think there will be
any objection from the young lady...
Did you say something, doctor Holderlin?
Not yet.
And, doctor, let me assure you:
I'll do everything that I can
to help you forget the load... loss of...
What was the name of your son?
What a coincidence!
My name's Walter too.
You are absolutely right, Herr Schultz.
Life must go on.
That's exactly what Walter said
before he left.
Now remember the date
given in his last letter.
Elsa, promise me this:
if anything should happen to me,
if I thought your happiness would be ruined,
then indeed death would be better.
Very touching.
I know exactly how you feel.
No, you don't.
If you did, Herr Schultz,
you wouldn't be here.
I wonder if I can have a minute with Frau Holderlin.
Don't you dare!
Herr Schultz, leave those two people alone.
Leave me alone.
Leave the four of us alone.
Goodbye, Herr Schultz.
I only want to be with him a few moments.
He was so young. So young.
A fine boy.
He would have been twenty today.
Doesn't seem possible.
How time flies!
It only seems like yesterday
since I put 17 candles on his birthday cake.
He was such a tall boy!
Nearly six feet.
But he was such a puppy!
Prancing round, always falling over things.
And always hungry.
It's a wonderful thing
to watch a growing boy eat.
How he liked cinnamon cake!
How did you know?
He was always around my kitchen
Saturdays when I baked.
He never told me.
He loved it.
How do you make cinnamon cake?
Well, you take a cup of flour
and a half a cup of shortening
and a dash of baking powder
and two cups of sugar...
Two? Ah... I always use one.
Oh, well...
I'll know better next time.
Don't cry anymore, my dear.
They must be somewhere,
our boys,
and I'm sure they can see us.
I don't think they'd like us
to be crying all the time.
We must learn not to weep
and to love what we have left.
There are so many years ahead of us.
Father, you had a hard day today?
No, no, no. Wonderful day.
Everything was fine. Great day.
Marvelous soup.
You know?
I think good times are coming back again.
Why, the whole town
is beginning to look different!
You should see the things in the shops now!
Why, yes, you'd hardly believe
there was ever a war!
That's the truth, isn't it?
Good evening
Want to see the doctor?
Someone to see the doctor.
I told him, "The doctor is having dinner".
You shouldn't send pople away
I didn't. I just said,
"The doctor is having dinner".
However, I said,
"I can talk with the doctor, and, maybe..."
but he said, "No".
He'll come back some other time.
Coming here to see the doctor
and then doesn't want to see the doctor.
Seemed to be rather relieved.
A Frenchman.
He's been here before.
I got suspicious of him,
so I talked to him.
You know what he did?
He gave me a tip!
Ten francs. French money!
Doctor Holderlin?
Yes, yes, come in.
Come in, come in, sit down!
Doctor, doctor, I don't know how I...
Just a moment, please!
Be seated.
Paul Renard.
Paul Renard.
Hotel Gstehaus.
Ah, a stranger here, huh?
Where are you from?
A Frenchman?
Yes, I am.
It can't be possible!
Let me look at...
It's hard to realise,
a Frenchman sitting here under my own roof.
Get out!
Get out of my house!
No, I came here to see you
and I'm going to see you.
You have to listen to me,
you must!
Oh, France is talking, huh!
Victorious France
dictating, giving orders.
Doctor, hear me out.
You must understand!
Understand? There can be
no understanding between you and me.
Millions of dead lie between us,
a dead world.
You were a soldier
for three years
and you're alive.
You killed Germans
The French killed him.
To me, every Frenchman is the murderer of my son!
What can I do for you?
Oh, pardon me!
She was there.
I just came from the grave of your son.
From my son's grave?
I am Walter's mother.
Welcome to our home.
Let me look at you.
A Frenchman...
...putting flowers on my son's grave.
Thank you for the flowers.
You knew Walter?
You met him in France?
In Paris. And you didn't forget him.
I can't forget him.
God bless you.
Please forgive me,
for here I am in the house where he lived.
His father, his mother, his...
His fiance.
His fiance.
I came here to talk about him
and now, oh God,
it's so difficult...
You don't know what it means to us
to have you here.
It's just as if you'd brought
Walter back again.
Tell us about him, all about him.
-Yes, everything you know.
Everything you have done, please!
How did you meet him?
When did you see him last?
Yes, tell us all about
the last time you saw him.
When I saw him the last time...
He was happy?
He was very happy!
It was in Paris?
Yes, Paris.
We went out together.
Two friends.
We went out together.
We had a great time.
Oh, a wonderful time!
What an evening!
You made them very happy.
Me, too.
I'm glad my coming was not a mistake.
Oh, no, no!
It was inspiration
as it only had been given to you by God.
And you made it feel alive again.
Auf Wiedersehen!
You... You like that dress?
Yes, Herr Bresslauer, I like it very much.
Well, you're wrong,
that dress is for a brunette.
Here is a dress for you.
Listen, I'll tell you a secret:
Remember, you must not
repeat this to a soul.
It's a French model.
It's really very pretty.
Made for you!
I haven't sold you a dress
and a long mile further I've never seen.
It's about time you get one
Let me tell you: a young girl
should keep up mit the style.
It's bad to be left behind.
This dress is good for two years
because it's already two years ahead of the style
Come in and slip it on.
No thanks, I haven't any time today.
I'll tell you what I'll do:
seeing that's you, I make a special price.
Take it away for 2, 95, 50.
Some other time, Herr Bresslauer.
Did you really see it, Frau Stein?
With my own eyes, Frau Klein!
Good morning!
Good morning!
After you, Frulein Anna.
We're in no hurry, thank you.
Five lamb chops, please.
What do you say? Five?
Yes, five.
And tomorrow we shall want pig's trotters,
also for five.
Yes, Frulein Anna.
And if you think you'll get one word out of me
about that Frenchman, you're mistaken.
Not a word!
What Frenchman!
You know very well what Frenchman.
The one who's in love with Frulein Elsa.
He, in love?
He doesn't know it, but he is.
I'll be back in a minute.
Me too!
Frau Weber!
Frau Schmidt!
Frau Oberkischler!
Frau Kugel!
Adolf, look!
I can hardly believe it's Wednesday already.
No, Paul, it's Thursday.
How the days go!
I love this little town.
I wish you could stay here.
Is there very much
you're missing at home?
No, nothing.
Yes, Paul?
Prosit, gentlemen!
Prosit! Prosit! Prosit!
Now, gentlemen,
if I walk in Paris, on the boulevards,
I expect to see Frenchmen,
naturally, and plenty of them.
In fact, too many!
-Prosit, Herr Krause!
-Prosit, Herr Schultz!
Prosit, gentlemen!
Prosit! Prosit!
But... when I walk on a German street
in a German city
under a German sky...
Pardon me, there is no more gulash,
Herr Schultz!
No gulash? Impossible!
Why do you print it for,
if you don't mean it?
There is enough of our country
occupied by Poland's soldiers
Who knows if they'll ever leave?
Why don't let our free cities alone?
Well? Bring me sauerbraten...
Yes, sir.
and a juicy beef.
Gentlemen, let us face the facts:
Sauerbraten for Herr Schultz,
plenty of fat!
Who is this Frenchman?
That's what I'd like to know!
What's his business here?
I may as well tell you.
I've come to the conclusion
he's a spy
The porter told me
that he has in his room a violin case.
Locked. He never opens it.
Doesn't surprise me at all,
not at all.
Now, gentlemen, let me ask you one little question:
what is in this violin case?
What can be in a violin case?
Maybe a violin.
There you are.
That's what's wrong with us.
Always trusting, believing anybody.
A Frenchman comes along with a violin case.
Locked, mind you.
And we take it for granted
it contains a violin.
We never learn.
Well, my friends, good morning.
Good morning
Same round table.
Same chairs.
Same old friends.
And Herr Schultz.
Nine beers, please.
None for me, please.
All right, eight beers.
Better make it seven, doctor.
One beer, please.
Yes, sir.
I hope I'm not intruding.
Not at all, doctor.
Very glad to have you here.
In fact, we were just thinking about you.
Oh, well, I'm not sorry that I came, then.
Why don't you bring your friends along?
You mean my friend?
Well, maybe I will.
He came here from France to put flowers on my son's grave.
He is my guest.
My wife likes him.
Elsa likes him.
And I love him.
Well, there's only one thing left:
let's sing the Marsellaise.
I haven't done any singing, Herr Schultz,
since my son died.
And who killed him?
And my son?
And my son?
And my two sons?
No one here can tell me
the meaning of death
or the meaning of hatred.
I've drunk deep of both of them
And so, I tell you, have the French.
Who sent that young man out to kill Germans?
And who sent my boy
and your boy, and your boy,
and your two boys?
Who gave them bullets and gas and bayonets?
We, the fathers!
Here and on the other side!
We are too old to fight,
but we're not too old to hate.
We're responsible!
when thousands of other
men's sons were killed
we called it victory,
and celebrated with beer.
And when thousands of our sons were killed
they called it victory and celebrated with wine.
Fathers, drink to the death of sons!
Ah! My heart isn't
with you any longer, old men!
My heart's with the young.
Dead and living.
Everywhere, anywhere.
I stood in front of this hotel
when my son marched by
He was going to his death
and I cheered.
Excuse me.
You were a friend of Walter Holderlin's,
weren't you?
May I introduce myself?
Schultz is my name.
You're from Paris, aren't you?
I am.
Going back soon?
I don't know.
Oh, want to stay here.
Of course.
I guess Paris is a great city.
Lots of fun there.
Pretty girls, eh?
But then I guess there's nothing wrong with our girls.
Listen, you're not having such a bad time here.
How about it?
If you say one more word...
Yes, sir?
My bill, please, I'm checking out.
Yes, sir. Right away.
Has Paul come?
Now, father, will you lie down?
I'll tell you when he comes.
You've had a very exciting day.
Aha. Yes. I told them.
What time is it?
Have you ever stopped to think
that someday Paul may leave us?
I know. I know.
But when I first met you
you were living in Dresden,
now you're living in Fallsburg.
Are you going to lie down or aren't you?
Good afternoon, Herr Paul!
Good afternoon.
How are you, my boy?
How are you?
Let go of your coat.
Yes, father?
Pretty, eh?
I'm very happy.
Yes, Paul?
I'm going away.
You're going away?
I came to say goodbye.
You're going away?
Yes, mother?
That's what worries me
-Fix the mind... -Thank you, mother.
-...Now is the next thing.
What is it, Paul?
Tell me.
I have to go to Paris.
But... But you're coming back.
Look at me, Paul.
Now... Tell me.
I don't belong here.
Go on.
The whole town will tell you.
Elsa, I've got to go.
I have no right to be here.
Who has it better than you?
I love you, Paul.
No! Elsa, it can't be.
You don't know what you're saying.
And you love me too. And you know it.
God help me. It's true.
What are you afraid of?
I'm not afraid.
My conscience is clear
I'm willing to face everybody.
I'll walk up the streets
with you, arm in arm.
Let them open their windows and doors.
Let them look!
I'll tell them:
"Yes, we love each other.
Yes, the war is over".
Yes, the war is over
and he's dead,
buried under the ground,
and I'm alive in his house
and in love with his...
And what of it?
Dearest Elsa,
this is his last letter.
It was written the day...
The day he died.
the 22nd of October.
It was found on his body.
He wrote it to me,
but he meant it for both of us.
Here I am in the trenches.
Any moment an attack might begin.
I have a revolver, a gun,
a bayonet and a hand grenade.
But, before God, I don't know why.
Whom am I going to kill and for what?
For two years I lived in Paris
and I loved the French
and now I am told to kill them.
The noise is getting awful.
How much longer will I live?
And when I die, who will benefit by it?
Elsa, promise me this:
if anything should happen to me, Elsa,
if I thought your happiness would be ruined,
then indeed death would be better.
Don't show this letter to father and mother,
it might frighten them.
Maybe it will never reach you, anyway.
The noise is getting worse,
you can't imagine,
the French have opened up,
it's going to be a terrific battle,
but they can't kill everybody.
Some of us will be left, maybe...
Maybe I'll be lucky,
I can't write anymore.
The earth is shaking.
Auf Wiedersehen.
Auf Wiedersehen!
You read this letter before!
When? Where?
I read it,
I read it in the trenches.
Who are you?
Answer me!
I didn't know who he was.
He was a German soldier,
I was a French soldier.
There was an attack...
You? You?
I killed him.
Now may I go?
Why did you come here?
What did you want from us?
Forgiveness, mercy...
I wanted to confess, but I couldn't.
Why did you stay here?
Why didn't you go away the next day,
the day after that?
Mrs. Holderlin, there's something
that I want to say to you.
Yes, Paul?
I'll say it for him.
Sit down, mother.
For three years you've suffered.
There's been nothing for you
but grief and emptiness
but mother, it's over, it's over now.
That is what Paul wanted to tell you.
His life, too, was shattered by the war,
he had nothing to live for
and then... he came here...
like a blessing.
And you, mother,
you opened your doors wide,
you took him into your arms
and he... he returned your embrace.
Mother, you smiled again.
He took you out of hell into heaven
and he's not going to drop you back again.
No, mother!
Paul loves you.
Paul is going to stay here.
Father, father!
They must never know the truth.
They must never guess it.
Let me go, Elsa
Run away, kill yourself, that's easy
and leave them behind with two sons to forget.
Well, I won't let you!
You are not going to kill Walter a second time.
You're going to live for them.
Live? Here in this house?
Face them every day?
You've got to do it!
And you'll be here looking at me, keeping me.
Oh, I don't mind it and neither do you.
It's them we have to think of.
My son...
You mustn't be afraid to make it happy.
Take it, my boy.