Children's Hour, The (1961) Movie Script

You girls take the
napkins and the plates.
Out of there. Come on,
go find your mom.
Aunt Lily!
Aunt Lily!
- Would you help me here, please?
- It's not exactly my line, Martha.
- Thank you.
- But all right.
There we are.
Grandma, I'm so glad you came.
I could hardly sleep last night,
waiting to see you today.
- Mrs. Tilford, will you excuse me, please?
- Yes, surely.
Your new dress looks
lovely on you, Mary.
- And I must say, you look nice and healthy.
- Healthy?
The way they make you slave around here, I'm
lucky I don't have gray hair and rickets!
- It's all for your own good.
- Everything I hate always is.
Anyway, I'm glad you're here.
- How do you do, Miss Dobie?
- Fine, Miss Wright.
- What do you think of our school?
- I rather like it. And you?
I may be hasty, but I
think it's here to stay.
I think we'll have two or
three new pupils next term.
Martha, it's almost
too good to believe.
Let's not stand here and gloat.
You should have a kitchen helper.
It's just too much to teach all
day, then cook, wash the dishes.
Aunt Lily, 10 minutes is a
long time for one glass.
I do not aim for speed, Martha.
I aim for perfection in life.
Will you try to perfect a few more?
If you'll excuse me, I have
one of my headaches.
I think I'd better go to my room and
prepare for tomorrow's classes.
- Good night.
- Good night.
Sleep well, Aunt Lily, and knit
up the raveled sleeve of care.
You know that if I could support her in
any other way, I wouldn't have her here.
She worries you too much. One day,
we'll have enough money to...
Money! I forgot to tell you.
I did the bills, and we're
$90 ahead this month!
- Ahead? I can't believe it!
- It's not much, but it's the first time.
Out of the red, into the black.
- Finally!
- What'll we do with it?
- Save it.
- You need clothes.
- What about you?
- I'm a skirt-and-blouse character.
We're always in style.
But you're not.
You're Fifth Avenue.
Rue de la Paix.
- You need to be kept up.
- Yes, like an old battle monument.
I'm serious.
I remember how you used
to dress in college.
The first time I ever saw you,
running across the quadrangle,
your hair flying.
At the time, I was running
from a chemistry professor.
I remember thinking,
"What a pretty girl."
Time for lights out.
Your turn to crack the whip.
I'll finish up here.
- Hurry back, and we'll take a walk.
- All right, I'd like that.
- All right, girls.
- Already?
Miss Wright, my new ring, it's gone.
I can't find it anywhere.
Don't worry about it.
We'll look for it tomorrow.
All right, bedtime.
Lights out, everyone.
Go ahead and sing.
A woman who sings while she
works is a happy woman.
Who said that?
Joseph Cardin, M.D.
You ever hear of him?
No. Ethical doctors
don't advertise.
Ethical doctors starve.
I thought you were at the
hospital Sunday nights.
I was. I traded with Dr. Mallory.
Sunday for Wednesday?
It's an even swap. They
both have 24 hours.
Why don't you just crawl
in and browse around?
- You know what I did this morning?
- What?
I delivered my 100th baby.
- How many children do you want, Martha?
- I already have 20.
- Where's Karen?
- Putting them to bed.
That's good practice.
Why don't you pay tuition? Then you
could eat three meals a day here.
Martha, you've been a little
sharp with me lately.
Have I?
Maybe it's me.
Maybe it is.
- Where did you get this book, Mary?
- Hurry up. I've read this page twice!
Okay, turn it.
Double wow!
She's headed this way.
How peaceful.
Everybody's studying.
Where's Catherine?
That'll be all for
today, Catherine.
That's last year's
history book, Mary.
I feel funny inside.
I don't know what I'm doing.
- I've got pains.
- Pains?
- I've had them all day.
- Where?
- Anything I can get you for pains "around"?
- I think I'd better call my grandmother.
Perhaps sleep is the best
thing tonight, Mary.
Tomorrow I'll call Dr. Cardin
and ask him about your pains.
All right?
Catherine, your harness.
Off to sleep, everybody.
Good night.
- Good night, Miss Wright.
- Good night.
"Dr. Cardin" this,
"Dr. Cardin" that.
She always drags him
into the conversation.
After all, she's in love with him.
Then why doesn't she marry him?
I heard him ask her that same
thing once. Downstairs.
I brought your coat. Are you ready?
Look who's here.
- Look who's here!
- Who's here?
You! It's Sunday. What happened?
I killed all the patients and
emptied the joint just for kicks.
Come on.
- But...
- Come on, Martha.
- I'm too tired for two girls.
- Martha and I were going for a walk.
Then go.
You go, Karen. I'm tired.
I have papers to correct.
See you later, Martha.
- Want to go to a movie?
- Nope.
- Walk by the lake?
- Nope.
Have a beer?
Hate beer.
What do you want to do?
Let's try something we've
never done before,
like getting married.
Even after we're married we'll be
saying the same things every night.
- Movies, a walk by the lake...
- I wouldn't like to think that.
No, I wouldn't.
It'd be nice to sit by ourselves
in our own room and...
Read a book.
Read a book?
"Miss Wright, is that what you'll
be doing after you're married?
"Reading books?"
What's the matter with you, Joe?
Same thing that was the matter with
me last week, last month, last year.
You know why we had to wait.
I couldn't leave Martha until...
"...until the school was
on its feet." Yes, I know.
I've never heard you
talk this way before.
Why are you angry tonight?
I don't know.
Why don't you know?
Why don't you know?
People feel the way
they feel, that's all.
I feel lonely, and I feel tired
and I'm sick of plans
for the future.
- Do you feel in love?
- Other people's children.
- I asked you, do you feel in love?
- Don't be cute.
What I'm trying to ask you,
only you talk so much, is...
Can we have a baby
12 months from now?
All right, kid. You got a date.
How I love you.
Love you. Love you. Love you.
Joe and I decided tonight.
We're going to be married two
weeks after school lets out.
So soon!
It doesn't seem so soon to Joe.
No, I suppose it doesn't.
Wouldn't it be nice to have the
wedding right here at the school?
The garden will be in full
bloom and the roses out.
We could put up a
candstriped awning.
And then good-bye,
Wright-Dobie school.
My marriage isn't going to make
any difference to the school.
It will, Karen. You know
it will. It can't help it.
You keep saying things like that.
We've talked about all this before.
You know Joe isn't asking me to give
it up, and I'm not going to leave.
No, of course not. I don't know
what I could be thinking of.
I don't understand you!
It's been so hard
building this place up.
Just when we're getting on our feet you're
ready to let it all go right to hell!
Martha, for God's sake, do you
expect me to give up my marriage?
No, of course not.
I'm sorry, Karen.
I don't know how I
could be so selfish.
Please, forgive me.
I already have.
It's been a long day. We
both need some sleep.
Yes, you're right.
Who has the cooking
detail for breakfast?
I do.
you know, don't you, that I
only want the best for you?
I know.
"This proves me base,
"if she first meet
the curled Antony
"he'll make demands of
her, and spend that kiss
- "which is my heaven..."
- Evelyn. Evelyn.
Can't you imagine yourself as
Cleopatra talking to an asp?
"This knot intrinsicate
"of life at once untie.
"Poor venomous fool.
- "Be angry, and dispatch..."
- Mary!
Why, Mary, are you just arriving
for your elocution class?
If you take no interest
in your work, then...
I went to get these flowers
for you, Mrs. Mortar.
You told us you loved flowers. And I
walked so far to get them for you.
That was very thoughtful
of you, Mary.
I suppose I'll have to
forgive you this time.
Thoughtfulness and
courtesy mean breeding
and breeding is an excellent thing.
I think you should write
that down, all of you.
We wrote it down last week.
- Put them in a vase for me, Mary.
- Yes, ma'am.
Good afternoon, Miss Wright.
Evelyn has just been
reading Cleopatra for us.
That's nice.
Mary just brought me a
gift of some flowers.
- Where did you get them, Mary?
- She picked them, especially for me.
Where did you get them, Mary?
Down near the lake.
I see.
That'll be all, girls. Thank you.
- Mary?
- I have to get my biology book for...
I'd rather you waited.
It wasn't necessary to go down
to the lake for those flowers.
There was a bunch exactly like these
in the trash barrels this morning.
What a nasty thing to do!
What a nasty thing.
Come and sit down.
Mary, why do you do these things?
Why do you lie to us so often?
I'm not lying.
If you have to do things to let off steam or
for adventure, come and tell us about it.
Tell us the truth. I promise
you, we'll try to understand.
I picked the flowers
down near the lake.
All right, you leave me no choice.
You'll have to be punished.
Take your recreation periods alone.
No field hockey, no swimming
and do not leave the school grounds
for any reason whatsoever.
- Saturday, too'?
- Saturday, too.
But the boat races are Saturday,
and you said I could go.
The boat races were a
privilege which you've lost.
I'll tell my grandmother how...
- Go upstairs.
- I'll tell her how you treat me.
Go upstairs, Mary!
I don't feel well.
I've got a pain.
It hurts here.
I've never had it before!
My heart! It's
stopping or something!
I can't breathe! I can't!
I can't!
It's nothing.
You'd better telephone Joe
and ask him to come over.
All right.
- What happened? Did she fall?
- No. I was disciplining her and...
- And you finally hit her?
- No, of course not.
- She just seems to have fainted.
- Maybe it's a heart attack.
Now, I think the feet should
be higher than the head.
- Try it here.
- Where?
- Here. Here.
- There?
Yes, there, a most important spot.
Yes, indeed.
When Delia Lambert had a
heart attack in Buffalo
right on the stage,
that was the spot.
- Did this Delia survive?
- Yes. I saved her.
How's her pulse?
The pulse is very bad.
I'm afraid she's slipping away.
There's no heartbeat at all.
We'll need a specialist.
Perhaps you, Doctor, would
condescend to take over?
Heart attacks are
nothing to play with.
- Never played with one in my life.
- As the child's teacher, I...
Mrs. Mortar, please.
I was practically put
out of the room.
So you don't resent your aunt
being snubbed and humiliated?
- Aunt Lily.
- Karen is rude to me, and you know it.
Karen is very kind to you. And
what's even harder, very patient.
Patient with me?
When I've worked my fingers
to the bone for both of you.
Yes, to the bone, to the very bone!
Aunt Lily...
You've talked about going back
to New York for a long time now.
It's been years. I'll never
live to play on Broadway again.
But you will, Aunt Lily, you will.
You can go back to New York.
You want to get rid of me?
I'm trying to give you something
you've always wanted.
You keep talking about the theater
and the great opportunities in
television that you're missing.
Turning me out.
Nice, grateful girls.
- How can anybody deal with you?
- Please, do not raise your voice.
I shall write to my agent. When
they have a suitable part for me...
I don't think we
should wait that long.
I'll give you what little
money we have now.
You think I'd take your money?
I'd rather scrub floors first.
You'll change your mind
after the first floor.
I should have known by this
time that the wise thing to do
was to stay out of your way
when he's in the house.
When who's in the house?
Don't think you're
fooling me, young lady.
Any day that he's in the
house is a bad day.
Now, look...
Let's give it up. I'm tired. I've
been working since 6:00 this morning.
I know what I know.
You can't stand them being together,
and you're taking it out on me.
God knows what you'll
do when they marry.
- Jealous, jealous...
- Aunt Lily.
You've always had a jealous,
possessive nature even as a child.
If you had a friend, you'd be
upset if she liked anybody else.
And that's what's happening now.
And it's unnatural. It's just
as unnatural as it can be.
The sooner you get out of here, the better.
You are making me sick.
And I won't stand for you any longer.
I want you to leave tomorrow, no delays.
What are you doing down here?
- We just came to...
- I was going up...
- I was going upstairs.
- We just came down to see how Mary was.
I think you came down
to listen deliberately.
We didn't mean to.
Eavesdropping is something that
nice young ladies just don't do.
You wait outside in the hall.
I'll talk to you later.
You should not be around children.
When you're at your best,
you're not for tender ears.
So now it's my fault, is it?
You'd better look to yourself
and not continue to blame
me for everything.
What's the matter with the duchess?
Rehearsing an exit in case
she finds the right play.
- How's Mary?
- Strong as a mule.
I don't know who's teaching
fainting here, but she flunked.
We've about reached the end
of our rope with that child.
Someone should talk to
Mrs. Tilford about Mary.
- You wouldn't be electing me, would you?
- She's your aunt.
Yes, but I'm not writing the
Tilfords into the marriage contract.
Incidentally, did Karen tell
you she finally set a date?
She told me, incidentally.
- What's the matter, Martha?
- Nothing.
I think there is.
I don't know what's bothering you.
I always thought you approved of me.
You must know how fond I am of you.
If it's the school you're
worried about, don't.
- Karen knows I have...
- Damn you! Leave me alone!
Stop consoling me, or...
patronizing me, or feeling sorry for
me, or whatever it is you're doing.
Leave me alone!
The angel child is just
coming back to life.
Her roommates were busily
eavesdropping at the door
when Aunt Lily and I were
yelling at each other.
I think we should separate
those girls from Mary.
Yes. She's a bad influence.
- I have a class waiting. They're outside.
- I'll take care of it.
All right, girls,
you may go in now.
How does it feel to be
back from the grave?
- Did you meet any interesting people?
- It's my heart, and it hurts.
You like that story, don't you?
- I want to see my grandmother.
- We're awfully sorry, Miss Wright.
I'm sorry, too. You never
used to do things like that.
I'm afraid we're going to
have to separate you girls.
Peggy, move into
Helen Burton's room,
and Mary, change rooms
with Rosalie Wells.
- Miss Wright.
- And it's just because I had a pain.
You're always being mean to me.
I'm always getting
punished, picked on,
blamed for everything
that happens around here!
Tell Rosalie.
Are you leaving?
Not until I get paid.
- Good-bye, teacher.
- Good-bye, Doctor.
Now, go on. Why did Dobie
want to get rid of Mortar?
Dr. Cardin and Miss Wright
are going to get married.
- Everybody knows that. Stupid!
- But everybody doesn't know
that Miss Dobie doesn't
want them to get married.
- How do you like that?
- Why doesn't she?
I don't know, but Mortar
said that Dobie was jealous
and that she was like that
when she was a little girl
and she never wanted anybody
to like Miss Wright
and that was unnatural.
Boy, did Dobie get sore at that.
What did she mean by unnatural?
"Un" for "not." Not natural.
Then genius here dropped her book.
- What are you doing?
- My bracelet.
I still can't find it.
I don't like that Mary
Tilford coming in here.
- Come here, Sylvester. We're moving.
- Peggy says she blows her nose all night.
- I need $2.
- I don't have it.
You have $2.75. Get it for me.
No, I won't get it for you.
Get it for me.
- I won't!
- Get it for me!
- Let go of my hand!
- Get it for me!
What are you making
all this fuss about?
I shall get one of my headaches.
I'm very upset today, with
all my packing and moving
and I cannot stand this noise.
Isn't that Helen Burton's
bracelet, the one that was lost?
No, ma'am.
It's Rosalie's bracelet.
You dropped it.
In my day, children were
seen and not heard.
Try and be ladies.
Now will you get me the money?
Keep the change.
I'm sorry, grandma.
I didn't mean to
hurt your feelings.
Forgive me?
What made you act that
way, run away like that?
I told you.
- I'm scared of them.
- Nonsense!
- They've got something against me.
- I don't believe that.
They're always punishing me for
anything they can think of.
You imagine it.
Miss Wright and Miss Dobie
are nice young women
and good teachers.
You don't know anything
about them. I do.
I know lots of things.
Like what happened yesterday.
What happened yesterday?
- I can't tell you.
- Why?
- Because you're going to take their part.
- Very well, then.
It was all about Miss
Dobie and Mrs. Mortar.
They were having a terrible argument,
and Peggy and Evelyn heard them
and Miss Dobie found out.
That's why they're making
us change our rooms.
What's wrong with that?
They don't like to have us near them.
They've got secrets or something.
There's nothing wrong with
people having secrets.
But these were funny secrets.
Peggy and Evelyn heard Mrs. Mortar
say that she knew what was going on.
And they were talking
about all sorts of things
about Miss Wright and
cousin Joe getting married
and how Miss Dobie was jealous.
And boy, did Dobie
get sore at that.
I don't wish to hear anymore
of this ugly gossip.
Besides, I don't believe this talk of
jealousy between Miss Dobie and Miss Wright.
But I didn't say she was
jealous of Miss Wright.
I said that Mrs. Mortar said
that Miss Dobie was
jealous of cousin Joe.
I don't understand.
Neither do I.
But Mrs. Mortar said
that it was unnatural
for a woman to feel that way.
I'm just telling you what she said.
Mrs. Mortar said that
Miss Dobie was like that
even when she was a little
girl, that it was unnatural.
Stop using that silly word.
That's the word she used.
Then they got mad at each other
and Miss Dobie told Mrs. Mortar
to get out of the house.
- That probably wasn't the reason at all.
- I bet it was.
Because, honestly, Miss Dobie
does get mean and cranky
every time cousin Joe comes.
And yesterday I heard her
say to him, "Damn you."
You've picked up some very
fine words, haven't you?
But that's just the word she used.
One time, Miss Dobie
was in her room late.
It's right near ours.
And Miss Wright goes in
there almost every night
and stays late.
That's why they want to get
rid of us. Of me, I mean.
Because we hear things.
That's why they're making
us move our rooms.
I've heard other things, too.
Plenty of other things.
Strange, funny noises.
- And we've seen things, too.
- What things?
- Bad things. I can't tell you.
- You're annoying me very much.
If you have anything
to say, say it.
I mean, I can't say it out loud.
I've got to whisper it.
- Why must you whisper it?
- I don't know. I've just got to.
Mary, do you know
what you're saying?
Stop the car, John.
Stop the car, John!
Just a moment.
It's true.
You wait right here.
MY goodness!
Good morning, Mrs. Tilford.
I've come here to see Miss
Wright or Miss Dobie.
They're in class. I never carried
a suitcase before in my life.
Oh, dear.
I'll wait.
I guess I'd better cram
these things into this bag.
My theater maid usually
does the packing for me.
What must I look like?
I gave up a very important role in
Morning Sunshine just to teach here.
And now my niece has dismissed me.
Dismissed, after a year
of backbreaking work.
I sacrificed my youth for her
but I'm sure you
know all about that,
and ingratitude,
and the sting of the wasp.
Do you suppose I could get one of
those coats in that other bag?
Mrs. Mortar...
I've been told you used a strange
word in connection with your niece.
I've heard that you feel
there's something unnatural...
Something unnatural? Why, the
whole thing's unnatural.
You would think that a healthy
woman her age would have a husband
or at least an admirer but she
hasn't, and she never has had.
Young men who liked her,
yes, but not for long,
because she has no interest
in them, only the school
and Karen Wright.
Mrs. Tilford, at 28, do you spend your
life with other people's children
no new clothes, working every
night, nothing to look forward to
but a summer vacation
with Karen Wright?
And now that Karen's getting married,
Martha's in a frenzy of bad temper
and she's taking it out on me.
Friendship between women, yes.
Nobody's had more friends than I.
But not this insane devotion.
I'm forgetting
something, my umbrella.
I left it in the closet.
Perhaps it's all for the best.
It was bound to happen
sooner or later.
I couldn't have stood
it much longer.
Here it is. Anyway, one
shouldn't be away too long
from his true profession.
My make-up case. I left it
upstairs. I'll be right back.
- Drive back to the house, John.
- Yes, ma'am.
- I don't have to go back today?
- No.
This week?
No, Mary, you don't
have to go back.
You're the nicest, sweetest
grandmother in the whole wide world.
John, please stop at
Mrs. Anderson's house.
Catherine, will you
please continue?
Rosalie, will you come
outside with me a moment?
Go ahead, Catherine.
Rosalie, your mother
has sent us a message
that you're to pack a bag and
spend the night at the Tilfords'.
- John will drive you.
- Why?
I'm sure it's nothing to
be upset about, dear.
Your mother's been
away and very likely
just wants to see you as
soon as she gets back.
John's outside. Don't
keep him waiting.
Yes, Miss Dobie.
I'm going to ask it, too. Why?
First Mary doesn't come
back. Now Rosalie?
I don't know. I just don't...
Another car's coming.
Rosalie Wells is here to
spend the night with you.
- What?
- Till her mother comes for her.
- You mean, she's going to sleep here?
- If you don't keep her awake all night.
How do I know the crazy things
that are going on in this house?
All right, come on in, Rosalie.
- Have you had your bath, dear?
- Yes, ma'am, this morning.
Better have another. I'll be
in later to make up your bed.
And if you need anything,
you just let me know.
But, Mrs. Walton, there must
be a reason. You don't...
- Mrs. Vincent, won't you please tell us...
- Come along, now.
She hung up.
- Did you get Joe?
- No. I tried twice. He's out on a call.
- Miss Janet.
- Are we coming back, Miss Dobie?
I don't know, dear.
All the girls leaving,
it's all so funny.
Come along. Your mother
wants you to hurry.
- Didn't Mrs. Webb leave us a message?
- Yes, ma'am.
She said have Janet's trunk
packed, and I'll pick it up.
- That's all she told you?
- Yes, ma'am, that's all.
Mr. Burton, don't you...
What is happening here?
Has everyone gone insane?
- I'm awfully sorry to leave, Miss Wright.
- Come on, Helen.
- We're sorry, too, Helen.
- Thank you. Good-bye.
Go on out to the car, Helen.
How much do I owe you for
the rest of the term?
We don't want your money, Mr. Burton.
We want to know why all this is happening.
If you don't know, I don't know.
You mean, you're taking your child out
of school and you don't know why?
It'd be better if you
talk to Helen's mother.
It's not the kind of thing
I want to talk about!
Mr. Burton!
Mr. Burton, you've got to tell us.
What would you say if I told you that
I knew why you were leaving school?
You're always pretending
you know everything.
You and your silly secrets.
Suppose I told someone it all happened
because you told me something.
I don't know anything to tell you.
That's not what I
told my grandmother.
Why, Mary Tilford.
I didn't tell you anything.
I'm going right down to your grandmother
and tell her I didn't tell you anything...
Whatever it is.
You're just trying
to get me into...
Why don't you go?
Wait a minute. I'll come with you.
- What for?
- I want to tell her all about this.
- What about it?
- Just that you stole it from Helen Burton.
I never did any such
thing. I borrowed it.
And I was going to put it back as
soon as I'd worn it to the movies.
I never meant to keep it.
I was putting it back yesterday
when you made me drop it.
And who do you think
will believe that?
And if I told my grandmother
she'd tell your parents and
everybody at the school
and the police, of course,
that you're a thief!
And you'd be put in a school
for delinquent girls.
Mary, don't tell anybody!
Please, don't tell!
Whatever you ask, I do.
Wild horses couldn't drag
the secret out of me now.
- Thank you, Mary.
- As long as you do what I say.
Want to join my sorority?
Yes, I think so.
Put your hand on your heart,
and take the oath of allegiance.
"I, Rosalie Wells,
"am now a member of
the inner circle."
I, Rosalie Wells,
am now a member of
the inner circle.
"I will never betray
a sister member."
I will never betray
a sister member.
- Hello, Amelia.
- Good evening, Joseph.
How are you?
We're getting the results of
the mating season about now.
Did I take you away from a patient?
No. I was just finishing
at the hospital.
I told you that on the phone.
Yes, of course.
How is the hospital?
- How is it getting on?
- Just the same.
Not enough money, badly equipped.
Amelia, you didn't call me here
to talk about the hospital.
What's the matter?
Aren't you feeling well?
If I only knew how to start.
Start at the easiest place.
It's a very hard thing to say.
Hard for you to say to me?
Did you know they dismissed Mrs. Mortar
from the Wright-Dobie school?
They did? Good. It's about time.
Don't you think it odd they
wanted so much to get rid
of that silly, harmless woman?
Lily Mortar is not a harmless woman,
though God knows she's silly enough.
She's a selfish old bore.
If you're feeling sorry for
her, you're wasting your time.
- You didn't call me to talk about that.
- Joe.
No, something else.
You've been engaged to Karen
Wright for a long time, haven't you?
Two years.
She doesn't seem to be
able to make up her mind.
It wasn't that so much
as it was the school.
- It was a tough job getting it on its feet.
- And there's Miss Dobie.
Yes. Anyway, it's all settled.
You can buy the wedding present.
It's official.
Well? No congratulations?
You must not marry Karen.
Why must I...
What are you talking about?
Why must I not marry Karen?
Because there's something
very wrong with Karen.
And there's something
very wrong with you
for thinking you can
talk to me this way.
I know what I'm talking about.
Who's that?
- Mrs. Tilford, is she in?
- I won't have them here.
- What are you talking about?
- I won't have them here!
Then you don't want me here either!
Darling, what is this?
- What did she do it for?
- What are you doing to us?
- I don't think you should have come here.
- What is all this?
- Hasn't she told you?
- Nobody has told me anything.
What's the matter, Karen? Martha?
Did anything happen at the school?
There is no school anymore.
The children have been
taken by their parents.
We couldn't find out.
Nobody would tell us.
Finally Mr. Burton told us.
- Told you what?
- That...
That Martha and I...
That Martha and I have been lovers.
Mrs. Tilford told them.
- Did you tell them that?
- Yes.
- Are you sick?
- You know I'm not sick.
Then what did you do it for?
Because it's true.
You think it's true, then?
- You crazy, crazy old woman!
- You mean, you did say it?
- You knew what you were saying?
- I don't think you should have come here.
I shall not call you names, and I
won't allow you to call me names.
And I don't want to talk about
it with you, now or ever.
What is she talking about?
What does she mean?
Where did you get this idea?
This can't do any of us any good.
Can't do any of us any good?
Listen, this is our lives
you're playing with.
Our lives!
That's very serious business for us.
Can you understand that?
Yes, I can understand that. And I
can understand a great deal more.
You've been playing with a
lot of children's lives.
That's why I had to stop you.
I know how serious this is for you,
how serious it is for all of us.
I don't think you do know.
You came to find out if
I'd made the charge.
You found out. I made it.
Let's end it there.
I don't want you in this house.
I'm deeply sorry this had
to be done to you, Joseph.
- Amelia, you've done a terrible thing.
- I've done what I had to do.
You know I wouldn't have
acted until I was sure.
What they are is possibly
their own business.
But it becomes a great deal more than
that when children are concerned.
But it's not true!
It's just not true, not
one single word of it!
We're standing here defending
ourselves against what?
Against nothing. Against a
lie, a great, awful lie.
I'm sorry. I can't believe that.
Don't get the idea we'll
let you whisper this lie.
You made it, and you'll
come out with it.
We'll make you shriek it.
And you'll do it in a courtroom.
Tomorrow, Mrs. Tilford, you'll
have a libel suit on your hands.
Don't do that, Miss Dobie.
- It frightens you, doesn't it?
- Yes.
I'm frightened for you,
because I know it will bring
you nothing but pain.
It was wrong of you to
brazen it out here tonight.
It would be criminally foolish for
you to brazen it out in public.
It's already quite
public, Mrs. Tilford.
Five hours ago, we had our
lives decently to ourselves.
Now we have nothing left but
the dirt you made of us.
The dirt you made for yourselves!
This thing is your own.
Go away with it.
I don't understand it.
I don't want any part of it.
Take it out of here.
Clean your house, Joseph, and
in time, count yourself lucky.
You have understood nothing.
These are my friends.
When we clean house, the three
of us will clean it together.
Maybe we should clean your
house for you, Mrs. Tilford.
Where's Mary?
Under no circumstances.
I wouldn't allow that.
That's where you really got it.
How could you believe a child
saying something as awful as that?
And how could a child that age
even know about such things?
She could hardly invent them.
She's a bad girl, your Mary.
She always has been.
I'll have no more of this.
All I wanted to do was
get those children away.
That's been done.
You've been in my
house long enough.
Get out!
The wicked very young.
The wicked very old.
Let's go home.
When three people come to you
with their lives spread out on a
table for you to cut to pieces
the only honest thing you can do
is give them one last
chance to come out alive.
We want that last chance. If you're
honest, you'll give it to us.
Sit down, dear.
I'd like to tell you something.
Everybody lies all the time.
Sometimes they have to,
sometimes they don't.
I've told lies for a lot of
different reasons myself, but...
There was rarely a time when,
if I'd had a second chance
I wouldn't have taken back
the lie and told the truth.
I'm telling you this because I'm
about to ask you a question.
Before you answer the question
I want to tell you that
if you've made a mistake
you must take this
chance and say so.
You won't be punished.
- Do you understand all that?
- Yes, cousin Joe.
Were you telling your grandmother
the truth, the exact truth
about Miss Wright and Miss Dobie?
Yes, cousin Joe.
We're not through, Amelia.
Why don't you like Miss
Wright and Miss Dobie, Mary?
I do like them. They
just don't like me.
They're always punishing
me for everything.
- Why do you think they do that?
- Because they're...
Tell your grandmother
why you were punished.
Because Peggy and Evelyn heard
things and they took it out on me.
- That's not true!
- Heard what, Mary?
Mrs. Mortar told Miss Dobie there
was something funny about her.
She said she had a funny
feeling about Miss Wright.
Mrs. Mortar said that was unnatural.
That's why we got punished, just because...
That is not the reason
they were punished.
My aunt is a stupid woman.
What she said was unpleasant,
but it was only said to annoy me.
It meant nothing more than that!
What do you think Mrs.
Mortar meant by all that?
Stop it.
I don't know, but all the
girls would talk about it.
When Miss Wright visited Miss
Dobie's room late at night.
And funny things did happen.
We'd stay awake and listen, and
we'd hear strange, funny noises.
- I'd get frightened.
- Be still!
No, you don't want her still now. What
else did you hear? What did you see?
I don't know.
- They were just things.
- What things?
- I don't know.
- She doesn't know?
- I saw plenty of things.
- What?
One night they were in
Miss Dobie's room late.
And I looked through the keyhole,
and they were kissing and...
Like what I told you.
That child is...
Ask her how she could see us again.
I was leaning down by the keyhole.
There's no keyhole on my door.
There is no keyhole on my door!
It wasn't her room, Grandma.
It was Miss Wright's room!
How did you know anybody
was in her room?
I told you. We heard them.
Everybody heard them!
My room is at the other end of the house.
It's impossible to hear anything from there.
What is this?
Why did you say you saw
through the keyhole?
I'm so mixed up! Everybody's
yelling at me at one time!
I did see them! I did see them!
Mary, I want the truth.
Whatever it is, Mary.
We're finished here. We've
cleaned your house.
- Let's go home.
- Wait.
Please, wait. Stop crying.
I want the truth.
All right.
It was Rosalie who saw them.
She told us all about it.
I only said it was me so I wouldn't
have to tattle on Rosalie.
You ask Rosalie.
She said it was when
the door was open.
And she told us all about it.
Get Rosalie.
Yes, ma'am.
You deserve whatever
you get, Mrs. Tilford.
I don't know anymore.
Maybe it's what I do deserve.
Mary says there's been a lot
of talk at school lately
about Miss Wright and Miss Dobie.
Is that true?
I don't know what you mean.
That things have been
said among you girls.
What things?
What was the talk about?
Don't be frightened.
I don't know what she
means, Miss Wright.
Mary has told her grandmother
that certain things at school
have been puzzling you
girls, you in particular.
Arithmetic puzzles me.
- I guess I'm just not very good at...
- No. That's not what she meant.
Mary said that you told her
that you saw certain...
certain things happen between Miss
Dobie and myself late at night.
Once when the door was open,
you saw us together in my room.
Oh, Miss Wright,
I didn't. I didn't.
- I never said any such thing.
- Mary!
Yes, you did, too.
You told us about what you saw.
I remember...
It was the day that Helen
Burton's bracelet...
I never did!
The day Helen Burton's
bracelet was stolen.
And no one knew who did it.
Don't you remember?
Helen said that if her
mother found out who did it
she would call the police,
and have the thief put in jail.
Rosalie, there's no need to cry.
You must help us by
telling the truth.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
I told Mary! What
Mary said was true!
I said it! I said it! I said it!
It's cold in here.
What time is it?
I don't know.
I was hoping it was
time for my bath.
Take it early today.
I couldn't do that.
I look forward all
day to that bath.
Makes me feel important to know
there's one thing I have to do.
Kind of a date with something.
Let's go out.
Take a walk.
What if we see somebody?
What if we do?
Come on.
We'll go tomorrow.
No, we won't.
There's our friend.
I knocked on the kitchen
door, but nobody answered.
You said that last week.
All right. Thank you. Good-bye.
Stop it!
I've got eight fingers, see?
And two heads! I'm a freak!
Martha, what are we
doing here like this?
It's as if we're in a nightmare
and can't seem to wake up.
You'll be getting married soon.
Everything will be all right then.
It'll be a good day
and a happy one for me, too.
What's wrong?
There's nothing wrong.
It's just that I don't know
what I'm thinking anymore.
That about sums up my
official duty, Dr. Cardin.
I don't have to tell you how much
we've valued having you here.
You also know this
hospital is kept going
by people who are meddlesome
as well as generous.
- Thanks for the speech.
- Joe!
Everybody here knows that
you're not guilty of anything.
It's a matter of association.
I feel sure that if you were
to sever your relationship
with these two young women...
I'm sorry.
I don't believe it.
And here I am!
Hello! Hello! Hello!
May I come in?
My old chair.
It's very good to see you both.
How is everything?
Everything's fine.
How are you?
A little tired.
- It's been a long trip.
- Of course.
Is there anything I can get you?
You know, I would like a cup
of tea, but don't you bother.
It's no bother, no bother at all.
Why, Martha...
You know, I think...
Where have you been?
- Now, there's your temper again.
- Answer me!
I've been on tour, you knew that.
Mostly one-night stands,
although we did have one
ghastly week in Detroit.
But the theater's changed.
There's no question of it.
They simply will not accept
a serious play on the road.
Isn't that interesting?
Is it a trend? Will it pass?
I don't know. I really
just don't know.
I was interviewed in San Francisco
and, I said, quite frankly...
I said that perhaps a whole
culture is changing.
It's possible, you know.
You think so? A whole culture.
My, we'd be so interested
to hear about it.
- Why didn't you answer our telegrams?
- I told you, I was moving around.
How did you manage to
get out of the summons?
What difference does it
all make now, anyway?
Karen is quite right. Let's
let bygones be bygones.
Why did you refuse to come
back here and testify for us?
I didn't refuse. I was on tour.
That's a moral obligation.
I couldn't just leave.
The curtain must go up.
For goodness sakes,
let's not go on like this.
- My trunk's at the station.
- Things have changed here, Mrs. Mortar.
I don't suppose you've
heard about it...
Although it's been in every
newspaper in the country.
How we lost a suit for slander
against a woman named Tilford
who accused us of having
had what the judge called,
"Sinful sexual knowledge
of one another",
based on remarks made by one
Lily Mortar against her niece.
But, my dear...
A large part of the defense's
case rested on the telling fact
that Mrs. Mortar would
not appear in court
to confirm, explain,
or deny those remarks.
She had a moral obligation
to the theater.
It wouldn't have done any good
for us all to get mixed up in
this unpleasant notoriety.
But I do see it your way.
And now that I'm here,
I'm going to stand shoulder
to shoulder with you.
There's an 8:00 train. Get on it.
All my grown life, I've been
something for you to pick dry.
Now get out and don't come back.
How can you talk to me like that?
Because I hate you.
I've always hated you.
God will punish you for that.
He's doing all right.
I'll wait upstairs
until train time.
You'll be sorry one day for
what you've said to me.
Look who's here. A few
weeks late, aren't you?
So it's you. I call that loyal.
A lot of men wouldn't
still be here.
- You're a very lucky girl, Karen.
- Get out of here!
Why did she come back?
She's broke.
Stop it.
She's not worth all that.
We'll give her some money
and get rid of her.
- Why'd you do that?
- Do what?
Turn away from me.
I didn't turn away from you.
I was putting out a cigarette.
We sit around here much
longer, we'll all go mad.
So we're not going to sit around.
- I sold my place this morning to Foster.
- You can't do that!
We're getting married this week.
You have two days to pack
and close the place.
- Thursday we'll be in the car...
- You can't leave here. I won't let you...
It's all done. I found a good
place that needs a doctor.
It's farm country. It'll
be tough at first.
But we'll live cheaply. There will
be plenty for all three of us.
Joe, I'm not going with you.
But thank you, from the
bottom of my heart.
You're coming with us.
We want you to come.
It's going to be good,
starting fresh in a new place.
You don't want to go.
No. I don't want to go.
This was my place,
where I wanted to be.
And you don't want to go. You
wanted to stay here, too.
We can't stay, so to hell with it. We're
going to a place where we can live.
Joe's right.
But I'm not going with you. It's
better for all of us if I don't go.
Stop talking nonsense.
You're coming with us.
Later on, you can leave if you want to,
when you have something to leave for.
All right?
All right.
I think I'll cook us a dinner.
A departure dinner, whatever
that is. Something fancy.
I've done this to you.
I've taken away
everything you wanted.
Stop talking that way.
There are a lot of people in
this world who have bad trouble.
We happen to be three
of those people.
We could sit around the rest of our
lives and live on that trouble
and we'd get to where
we'd have nothing else,
because we wanted nothing else.
We're going to put the
whole business behind us.
There'll be no more talk about what
could have been or should have been.
I'm sorry.
I'll be all right as soon
as we get out of here.
Joe, I want a baby.
I want to have a baby.
Maybe in a year or so. We
won't have enough money now.
But I don't want to wait a year. You
said you wanted children right away.
Why have you changed?
We can't go on like this!
Everything I say is made
to mean something else.
Yes, every word has a new meaning.
Child, love...
Friend, woman.
There aren't many
safe words anymore.
Even marriage doesn't have
the same meaning anymore.
It does to me, and it
should to you, if...
If what?
If you won't try to
take the past with us.
Wherever we go, that'll
be with us a long time.
We can't move away from that.
A new place, a new room
won't fix that for us.
It won't work.
What won't work?
The two of us, together.
Stop talking like that. You'll
begin to believe it soon.
Tell me. Tell me what
you want to know.
- I don't know what you're talking about.
- Yes, you do.
We've both known for a long time.
Say it now. Ask it now!
I have nothing to ask.
All right, is it? Was it ever?
No, Martha and I never
touched each other.
It's all right, darling.
I'm glad you asked.
My God! What's happened to me?
I'm sorry, darling. I didn't mean
to ask that. I never believed...
I know.
Of course you didn't, but after
a while, you weren't sure
and then you began to wonder.
You've been a good, loyal friend.
Don't be ashamed of what you felt.
All right, good or bad, I've
asked, you've answered.
That's all.
Let's go ahead now.
You believe me?
Of course I believe you.
Maybe you do.
But I'd never know whether you did.
And your saying it
again won't do it.
It doesn't matter anymore
whether you believe me.
All I know is, I'd be
frightened that you didn't.
That's the way it would be.
We'd be haunted by it.
Things would never, ever be
right between us like that.
You know that.
- Darling, I didn't know what I was asking.
- Don't be sorry. You can't help it.
It would have been a miracle if the
poison hadn't reached you, too.
But go away for a while.
Go away from me and love and pity,
and all the things
that mess people up.
Go away by yourself
and I will, too.
And after a while, I'll know.
And you'll know, and
then we'll see.
- Please.
- There's nothing for me to know.
- A few weeks won't make any difference.
- Please!
I don't want to go!
Go now, darling.
What will you do?
I'll be all right.
Go now, darling.
If it's what you want.
It is.
I'll be coming back.
I'll be coming back soon.
I don't think so.
Oh, God!
Hold still!
You're as nervous as a cat.
What's the matter with you?
- I couldn't sleep well last night.
- Going to a new school, I understand.
You'll like Elmhurst. Doris
Tanner thinks it's wonderful.
Doris Tanner just likes horses.
That's all they do
at Elmhurst, ride.
It has a very high rating,
and you'll make new friends.
You won't be moping around,
like you did all summer.
What's all this?
My compact! I've been
looking everywhere...
And whose ring is this?
This scarf and gloves?
"Happy birthday, Helen."
She made me do it!
She made me do it!
Don't believe her! She's just
trying to blame it on me...
Be still!
Come here.
I'm all right.
Cooking always makes
me feel better.
I suppose we'll have to feed the
duchess. Even vultures have to eat.
I baked a cake.
And you know what?
I found a bottle of wine.
We'll have a good dinner.
Where's Joe?
A patient? Will he be
back in time for dinner?
Then we'll wait dinner for him.
What's the matter?
He won't be back anymore.
You mean, he won't be
back anymore tonight.
He won't be back at all.
What happened?
Karen, what happened?
He thought...
it was true.
I don't believe it.
I don't believe it!
- What kind of talk is that? I don't believe it.
- All right!
Didn't you tell him? For God's sake,
didn't you tell him it wasn't true?
He didn't believe you?
I guess he believed me.
Then what have you done?
I don't understand.
What do you mean, you
guess he believed you?
I don't want to talk
about it. It's over.
Lord, I wanted that
for you so much!
What's happened to us?
Whatever happened
go back to Joe.
- It's too much for you this way.
- Stop talking about it.
Let's pack and get out of here.
Let's take the train tomorrow.
The train to where?
I don't know. There must
be someplace we can go.
I don't know where it is.
They'd know about us.
We've been famous.
But this isn't a new sin
they say we've done.
Other people haven't
been destroyed by it.
They're the people
who believe in it,
who want it.
Who've chosen it for themselves.
We aren't like that.
That must be very different.
We don't love each other.
We've been close to each other.
Of course, I've loved
you like a friend,
the way thousands of women
feel about other women.
I'm cold.
You were a dear friend who
was loved, that's all.
Certainly there can be
nothing wrong with that.
It's perfectly natural that
I should be fond of you.
We've known each other since we were
17, and I always thought that...
Why are you saying all of this?
Because I do love you.
Of course. I love you, too.
maybe I love you the way
they said I love you.
I don't know.
Listen to me!
I have loved you the way they said!
There's always been
something wrong.
Always, just as long
as I can remember.
But I never knew what it was
until all this happened.
Stop it.
Stop this crazy talk!
You're afraid of hearing it,
but I'm more afraid than you.
- I won't listen to you.
- No! You've got to know.
I've got to tell you. I can't
keep it to myself any longer.
I'm guilty!
You're guilty of nothing!
I've been telling myself that
since the night I heard
the child say it.
I lie in bed night after night,
praying that it isn't true.
But I know about it now.
It's there.
I don't know how, I don't know why.
But I did love you.
I do love you!
I resented your plans to marry
maybe because I wanted you.
Maybe I've wanted you
all these years.
I couldn't call it by name before,
but maybe it's been there
since I first knew you.
But it's not the truth.
Not a word of it is true.
We've never thought of
each other that way.
No, of course you didn't.
But who's to say I didn't?
I never felt that way
about anybody but you.
I've never loved a man.
I never knew why before.
Maybe it's that.
You're tired and worn out.
It's funny.
It's all mixed up.
There's something in you, and you
don't know anything about it
because you don't know it's there.
And then suddenly
one night, a little girl
gets bored and tells a lie.
And there, for the
first time, you see it
and you say to yourself, "Did
she see it? Did she sense it?"
But it could have been any lie!
She was looking for anything to...
But why this lie?
She found the lie with
the ounce of truth.
Don't you see?
I can't stand to have you touch me!
I can't stand to
have you look at me!
It's all my fault!
I've ruined your life,
and I've ruined my own.
I swear I didn't know it!
I didn't mean it!
I feel so damn sick and dirty,
I can't stand it anymore!
I have something to say to you.
Let me come in.
You must hear me.
Mary and Rosalie Wells have
admitted the whole thing was a lie.
I have more to tell you.
I tried to call Joe. He
wouldn't answer my call.
But I've spoken to Judge Potter.
He'll hold a hearing and
reverse the court decision.
There'll be a public apology and
an explanation in the papers.
The damage suit, of course,
will be paid to you in full.
And anymore that you'll be
kind enough to take from me.
So you've come here to
relieve your conscience.
A public apology and money paid,
and you can rest your head again.
Don't rest it! You've
come to the wrong place!
There's nothing we want
from you, Mrs. Tilford.
There's no relief that
can be bought for me.
I didn't come here for that.
I swear to God, I didn't.
There must be something I can do.
Please, help me!
Help you?
Please go, Mrs. Tilford.
We don't want you here!
I'm going away someplace
to begin again.
Will you come with me?
We can find work now.
Thank you.
Let's talk about it tomorrow.
I want to go to sleep.
Karen, is Martha with you?
Her door is locked.
I don't understand.
"The Lord bless you and keep you
"and make His face
to shine upon you
"and give you peace.
"Both now and evermore."
Goodbye, Martha.
I'll miss you with all my heart.