Desire Under the Elms (1958) Movie Script

That's where your father
hides his money. It belongs to you.
- Say it.
- It belongs to me.
This farm would have been nothing
without my land.
He only married me for the land.
He needed a woman to look after
his home when his other wife died.
Killed her the same way he's killing me.
- He worked her darn to death.
- Ma, don't say that.
You're not gonna die.
When I'm gone, and you're old enough,
take your rights.
He'll never die, that old man,
he'll live longer than the mountains.
You'll have to fight for what is yours,
don't depend on your stepbrothers.
Remember where the stone is,
and when you need money, take it.
Everything here is yours.
You promise?
You promise to remember, Eben?
I promise.
Say it. "Everything here is mine
and some day I'll take it."
Everything here is mine
and some day I'll take it.
We must go back. You mark the place.
Gonna stand there moonin' all day?
She's been dead for years.
You and your brothers
have gotta get home to dinner.
In the prime of your youth
and I can work you into the ground.
The snow's off the mountains
and the buds are out.
Spring, and I'm feelin' damned.
Damned like an old bare hickory branch
fit only for burnin'.
I'm gonna learn
God's message to me in the spring,
like the prophets done.
Now you get back to work, all of you.
Crazy. Crazy as a loon.
"God's message in the spring."
I know what he feels,
the trouble in his blood.
You aiming to leave us too?
No, I'm never gonna leave here.
I don't wanna wander.
I wanna walk in my own fields,
smell the blossoms on my fruit trees.
I wanna bring a woman here and say,
"This is the work of my own bare hands."
You move stones, brother.
Let Pa hear the crazy calls.
One's enough for one family.
Get to work.
There's plenty of stones to clear.
I don't know when, but I'll be back.
No matter how long I'm gone,
don't get any ideas that I'm dead.
I've sworn to live to 100 and I'll do it,
if only to spite you. And you.
All of you, now, get back to work.
Let's go, boy.
There he goes. Reckon he's drunk?
He ain't drunk.
Just smart.
Riding off, leaving us here,
piling stone on stone, year in, year out.
Making stone walls
so he can fence us in.
Maybe it ain't a bad idea,
getting away from here.
- Where would you go?
- California.
There's gold in California, fields of gold.
A fortune lying on the ground,
waiting to be picked.
- You'll never get to the gold fields.
- Don't be so sure.
- Where would you get the money?
- We could walk.
Walkin' ain't new to us.
Put our steps end to end,
we'd be on the moon.
You won't ever go, Peter.
You neither, Sim.
You just wait for your share
of the farm, thinking he'll die soon.
- Two-thirds is ours.
- We've a right.
You haven't any right.
She wasn't your mother.
It was her farm, he stole it. He'd have
a little rump of land without her.
She's dead now and it's my farm.
You tell Pa when he comes back.
I bet you he laughs.
For the first time in his life.
What have you got against us?
There's something.
Year after year, I've seen it in your eyes.
Why didn't you stand between him
and my mother all those years,
to repay the kindness she done you?
- There was always work to be done.
- We never had time to meddle.
Boats leave out of Boston every week
for the Golden Gate.
When Pa comes back,
ask him for the passage money.
I'll bet he laughs
for the second time in his life.
Six weeks already.
No word from the old mule.
Real peaceful, ain't it?
- Maybe he's dead.
- It ain't that peaceful.
Goin' for a walk?
Nice night for a walk.
Gonna be a full moon.
What direction might a young fella go
on a night of full moon?
Can't hardly guess, unless
it was the road to the widow's house.
Eben? Don't seem possible.
He's all dressed up.
You gotta take that into account.
All dressed up, all right,
ain't no doubt about that.
Won't be the first time
a young fella found himself
all dressed up in front of Min's door.
Wouldn't be the last time, either.
- I'll go where I wanna go.
- Sure. No need to feel touchy.
You got plenty
of good company afore you.
- Right in the family.
- All the generations.
Animals. A pair of laughing hyenas.
I want nothing to do with you.
Where have you been? I waited.
- Celebrating in town.
- Celebrating what?
It's a private celebration.
Some news I heard.
- It's been a big night for news.
- You're drunk.
Don't you want to come in?
You're soft and warm and pretty.
Don't let's stand here talking like this.
Come on in.
That's what I came to tell you.
I'm never coming here any more.
You've been good to me, Min,
but I'm through.
- I'm through taking what's left over.
- What are you talking about?
What's come over you?
- It's me. Get up.
- What'd you do that for?
I got news for you.
I'm the bearer of glad tidings.
- Can't you wait till we get our sleep?
- It's sun-up.
Don't you wanna hear it?
He's gone and married again.
- Pa?
- He's got himself hitched.
- What?
- To an Italian woman, 25 years old.
- And pretty, they say.
- Who said?
It's a lie. You're drunk.
They're making fun of you.
I wasn't drunk till after I heard.
The whole village knows.
She was a waitress
in a hotel in New Dover.
- Married!
- He did it to spite us.
Everything'll go to her now.
- 25-year-old... greenhorn.
- I hope she's a she-devil.
I hope she makes Pa
wish he was dead, in hell.
"I'm gonna learn God's message
to me in the spring," he says.
Go thou and chase yourself a woman.
The stinkin' old hypocrite.
- Well, it's done.
- It's done us.
It's done us.
There's gold in California.
If we stay here...
Just what I was thinking.
Might as well do it first as last.
- Let's leave this morning.
- Suits me.
- You must like walking.
- Lend us wings and we'll fly.
You'd like riding on a boat better,
wouldn't you?
- If you sign this paper, you can.
- What?
This is something I got in writing
in case you wanna go.
What's it say?
It says that for $300 to each of you,
you agree that your shares in the farm
are sold over to me.
$600. Where'd you get
that kind of money, anyway?
I found out where the old man hid it.
Ma showed me. It's her money.
Where's it hid?
- Where you'd never find it.
- What do you know about that?
If you've got so much money,
why not go yourself?
I'm never gonna leave here.
I'm gonna get what's mine,
if it takes forever.
Well, is it a deal?
- I don't know.
- Me neither.
If he's got hitched again,
we'd be selling Eben
something we'd never get anyhow.
Are you gonna sign?
Pa and his new bride
will be here any time now.
Let's see the colour
of the old skinflint's money.
Twenty-dollar gold pieces. Thirty of them.
- Six hundred dollars.
- Now sign.
- Thanks.
- Thanks for the ride.
We'll send you
a lump of gold for Christmas.
We ought to stay and see the bride,
make sure Eben ain't lyin'.
Till he comes, let's not do a lick of work.
Let's eat, sleep and drink liquor,
and let the farm go to blazes!
We earned a rest.
We're aiming to be lilies of the field.
We toil not and neither do we spin.
Sole owner until he comes,
and sole hand, too.
The cows are bellowing.
You'd better hustle to the milking.
- You'd better get to work.
- It's Ma's farm again. It's mine now.
I'd work my hands off
for a farm that's mine.
He's like his Pa. Hard and crazy.
- Dead spittin' image.
- Let dog eat dog.
This is solid comfort, for once.
- Get the jug, let's have a drink.
- Good idea.
To the she-devil.
Well, here we are, Anna. Home.
Home. Com' bella.
It's hard to believe it's really mine.
Yours? It's mine.
Well, ours.
It's been Ionesome too long.
A home's got to have a woman.
A woman's got to have a home.
Now, where is everyone?
Nobody out, workin' or nothin'?
Where are you?
- Why ain't you working?
- Waiting to welcome you home.
Give you our parting curse
and see what our new ma looks like.
- Well, this is her, boys.
- I see her.
Howdy. Ma.
I go look at my house.
Her house?
Eben's inside.
Better not tell him it's your house.
I will tell Eben what must be told.
Needn't pay any heed to Eben.
He's a fool.
Soft and simple like his ma.
What? He's a chip of you, spittin' image.
Hard and bitter as a hickory tree.
Dog'll eat dog. He'll eat you, old man.
You get to work.
So that's our new ma?
Where'd you dig her up?
Put her in with the other sows.
What's come over you? Are you drunk?
We're free of you
and this whole damned farm.
We're off to the California gold fields.
You can take this place and burn it.
- Bury it, for all we care.
- We're free as Indians.
- Lucky we don't scalp you.
- Burn the barn, kill the stock.
Drag your woman
by the hair into the woods.
Lust! Lust for gold!
The sinful gold of California.
It's drove you mad.
Want some gold, you old sinner?
- We'll be voyaging on the sea.
- Living free.
- I'll have you in the asylum.
- Goodbye, skinflint!
- You old bloodsucker, goodbye!
- Go, before I horsewhip you.
Let's let some air in the parlour.
One, two, three...
If I get my hands on you,
I'll break your bones!
- What're you doing with the gate?
- We hereby abolish all gates.
We'll take it with us for luck
and set it sailing free down some river.
Ephraim, are they gone now, for good?
We see them no more?
This is nice.
This bedroom, the pretty bed,
it's my room?
Si. Yes, Ephraim.
They must have poisoned the stock
or something.
Blankets. They are musty. Grey.
They need sun.
You Eben?
I'm Anna. I wanted so much to meet you.
Maybe you help me?
Your father told me a lot about you.
Don't mind him. He's an old man.
It's nature. The old man
leaning down hard on the young one.
In Naples, where I come from,
I've seen fathers
draw knives against their sons,
when the sons grow old enough
to stand against them.
There will be no knives here, Eben.
I don't like to play-act mother to you.
You... You're too big and strong for that.
If possible, I want to be friends with you.
Maybe with me for a friend
you'll like living here better.
I know how to make it
easy for you with him.
He's ready to do pretty near anything
to please the young wife.
Get one thing straight.
I'm not making any bargains.
Not with you, not with him,
not with anybody.
All right. I'll prepare myself
to have you against me in the beginning.
I don't blame you. I'd feel the same.
If a young girl came,
took my mother's place...
You're not taking my mother's place.
Understand, please.
I've come a long way.
I've had a hard life.
Some time, when you're ready,
I'll tell you. I need a home.
Is that a crime, to need a home?
Why else would I marry an old man?
- I'll tell him you said that.
- I'll say you're lying.
And he will drive you off this place.
Understand one thing.
The lady of the house arrived today,
for good.
This is my farm, my home.
Inside is my kitchen.
I put out these blankets
and I sleep on them myself at night.
And upstairs is my bedroom.
And my bed.
I am not bad, Eben,
except against an enemy.
I have to fight in my life,
or else I'll get nothing.
You and me, let us be friends.
- We're going to be a long time together.
- We could never be friends.
I'll go wash my dishes now.
- Stop that! Stop it, I said.
- Ephraim!
- I'm trying to make it nice.
- Put everything back, close the shutters.
Do what you want with the rest
but this room stays the way it was,
door closed. Understand?
- It's so cold and dusty.
- It stays that way.
This was Eben's mother's room.
She was weak, she was no good for me.
This is where she hid,
taught him to read, sang him songs.
Taught him everlasting rebellion.
It's a woman's room.
I never was welcome in it.
When she died, I closed it for good.
It's not going to be open now.
Is that plain enough?
There are plenty of other rooms,
now stay in 'em.
What are you cackling about?
- You.
- What about me?
You're all shiny for Sunday
like a prize bull at the fair.
I'll put flowers in your hair.
- You're not so beautiful.
- You don't mean that.
Ever since I came here
you've been fighting nature,
trying to tell yourself I'm not pretty.
Isn't the sun strong and hot?
Burning into the earth.
Making things to grow.
Burning inside of you.
I'm from a country
that knows about the sun.
I have the sun inside me.
You're from here, from these stony hills.
But you know about the sun, too.
The people who live with the sun
know that they cannot win against it.
Nature will beat you.
You might as well
confess to it now as later.
If Pa heard you, he'd beat you.
You've made such a dreamy idiot
out of the old devil.
Isn't it easier for you
with him changed and soft?
No. I'll still fight him and you too.
I'm on to you.
You're aiming to take everything.
You can't own me.
- Eben.
- What do you want?
- Eben! Where are you going?
- Just down the road a spell.
- To the village?
- Maybe.
To see that woman, I suppose.
What's her name?
What woman?
The village is full of women.
You know the one I mean. The widow.
Oh, Min. Yes, I might drop in on her.
Sunday afternoon's
a good time for visiting.
- Why do you waste time on her?
- You said it, didn't you?
- Can't beat nature.
- She's ugly and old.
- Some say she's prettier than you.
- Every no-good drunk.
Maybe. But she's better than you.
She owns up to what she does.
- Do not compare me with her.
- She don't steal what's mine.
- Yours! You mean my farm.
- The farm you sold yourself for.
Look. Simeon and Peter signed
their shares over to me, all legal.
You'll never see
even a stone belong to you.
Go to the village.
Go to your fat, ugly, old...
Go on, say it. You know the word.
Get out.
I'll get your father to drive you away.
You're only living here
because I let you. Go!
- I hate the sight of you.
- And I hate the sight of you.
- You and Eben quarrelling again?
- No.
- You were talking mighty loud.
- If you heard us, why ask?
- I didn't hear what you said.
- It was nothing.
- That Eben's a strange one.
- He's exactly like you.
You think so, Anna?
Eben and me,
we've always fought and fought.
I could never bear him.
He's so soft, like his ma.
- He's about as soft as you are.
- Maybe I've been too hard on him.
You're getting soft,
that's what he was saying.
Eben was saying?
He'd better not do anything to try me
or he'll soon discover how soft I am.
- Pretty, ain't it?
- I do not see anything pretty.
The sky. It feels like
a warm meadow up there.
Are you planning to buy up
over the farm too?
I'd like to own my place up there.
I'm gettin' old, Anna. Ripe on the bough.
It's always Ionesome cold in the house,
even when it's boilin' hot outside,
haven't you noticed?
Better down in the barn,
the smell from the hay,
the warmth from the animals.
That's the only place
I don't seem to feel the cold.
I suppose it's old age
creepin' up on my bones.
You're not dead yet.
No, I'm not. Not by a long sight.
I'm sound and as tough as hickory.
But after three score and ten,
the Lord warns us to prepare.
That's why Eben
keeps coming into my head.
Now that his sinful brothers
have gone on the path to hell,
there's nobody left but Eben.
And me? Am I not left?
Why you like Eben so much?
Why you say nothing about me?
Am I your lawful wife or not?
Yes, you are.
So you plan to leave the farm to Eben?
Leave? I'm not giving it to anyone.
When you go, what do you plan to do?
Bury it with you?
I guess not.
But if I could, I would.
In my dying hour,
I'd set it afire and watch it burn.
This house, every ear of corn,
every tree, to the last blade of hay.
I'd sit and know it was all dying with me.
No one else
would ever own what was mine.
- Except I'd turn my animals free.
- And me?
- You'd be turned free, too.
- That's what I get for marrying you?
Turn kind to Eben who hates you,
and talk of turning me out.
- Now, I...
- Let me tell you about Eben.
He's with that woman in the village.
I tried to stop him
disgracing you and me.
He's a sinner, natural-born.
It's lust eatin' his heart.
And his lust for me?
Can you find excuses for that?
Lust for you?
What do you think
we were quarrelling about?
I'll kill him. I'll blow his soft brains
to the top of them elm trees.
- By heaven I will!
- Listen, it was not anything bad.
It was just a boy fooling,
not anything serious.
Just joking and teasing.
- Then why did you say "lust"?
- It sounded worse than I meant.
Sometimes American words
get confused in my head.
I was angry, I thought
you were leaving him the farm...
I'll horsewhip him off the place.
No, you wouldn't drive him off.
Who would help you on the farm?
There's something in what you say.
You got a head on your shoulders.
We'll let him stay.
I oughtn't to get so angry
at that young calf.
But what son of mine
will keep on here after me?
Simeon and Peter have gone to hell.
Eben's following.
Three sons,
and not one of them's worth nothin'.
Who'll keep on here after me?
- There's me.
- You're a woman.
I'm your wife.
That's not me.
A son is me, mine, my blood.
Mine ought to get mine.
Then it's still mine.
Even though I'm six feet
under the ground, you see?
I see.
Maybe the Lord will give us a son.
A son, to you and to me?
Yes. You are a strong man yet.
It's not impossible, is it?
Why do you stare like that?
Have you never thought it before?
I've been thinking of it all the time,
ever since the first day I came here.
Yes, and I've been praying
it would happen, too.
You've been praying, for a son for us?
- I want a son.
- It would be the blessing of God.
There'd be nothing I wouldn't do for you.
You'd only have to ask.
Anything you'd a mind to.
Will you leave the farm to me then?
To me and to your son?
I'd do anything you ask. I swear it.
May I be everlastingly damned if I don't.
Listen, Anna.
When I first came here
50 years ago, I was just 20.
But the strongest and the hardest 20
anybody ever saw.
Ten times as strong
and fifty times as hard as Eben.
This place was nothin' but stones.
Folks laughed
but they didn't know what I knowed.
When you can make corn sprout
out of stones, God's living in you.
They weren't strong.
They reckoned God was easy.
But God's hard. God's in the stones.
"Build my church on a rock,
out of stones, I'll be in them."
That's what he meant to Peter. Stones.
I picked them up
and piled them into walls.
You can read the years of my life
out there in them walls.
They were Ionesome years.
I took two wives and they both died
without knowing me.
They left me three sons
and I was Ionelier than ever.
I lived with the boys,
but they hated me because I was hard.
I hated them because they were soft.
They were the sons of my body,
but never of my spirit.
In the spring, the call came.
The voice of God
crying in my wilderness.
And I sought you and I found you.
Are you any the wiser
for all I've told you?
- Maybe.
- You don't know nothin'.
And you never will.
If you don't have a son to redeem you...
You will have a son, I promise you.
A son of your body.
A son of your spirit too.
How can you promise?
Maybe I have second sight.
Maybe I can foretell the future.
I believe maybe you can.
It's cold in this house.
It's uneasy.
There's something poking about
in the dark corners.
- Where are you going?
- I'm going out to tend to my animals.
I won't be back till late, till I've finished.
You shouldn't, Eben.
I can make you happy.
- I don't want to be happy with you.
- Why do you lie?
I hate the sight of you.
Well... I kissed you anyway.
And you kissed back.
And your lips were burning.
If you hate me, why did you kiss me?
Why were your lips burning?
It's like poison on them.
You're no good. You're not a man.
You're what your father says, nothing.
What did you come in here for,
if I'm good for nothing?
Did you think I was in love with you?
Don't be proud.
You're here, you're young.
I'm tired of old men.
It's as simple as that.
Get out of my room.
This is my room
and you're only hired help.
Get out of here before I kill you.
I'm not afraid.
You want me, don't you?
Yes, you do.
And you are like your father.
He will never kill what he wants.
Look at your eyes, they are burning up.
Look at your lips. They're trembling
and longing to kiss me.
I'm going to make this house my own.
One room is not mine yet.
But it's going to be mine now.
Will you come courting me
in the parlour, Mr Cabot?
I will expect you before long, Eben.
Eben, I sit here so frightened
you will not come.
I'm a bad woman, I lie to you.
I tell you it is because you're here,
because I'm tired of old men.
It isn't true, Eben, it isn't true. I love you.
For so long I've wanted to say that.
Now I can say to you.
I love you.
And I love you, Anna. Now I can say it.
I've been dying for want of you
since you came.
This is the first time in my life
I have ever been happy.
- Sure they won't fall out?
- You won't lose 'em.
I'll be back before dark.
What's the matter, old boy?
A couple of nails will put that right.
Ever since my mother died,
I've had to hide what I am,
what I'm like, from everybody,
to protect myself.
Now you are here to protect me.
I will, Anna.
You loved your mother molto,
very much, didn't you?
My mother died when I was small,
far away from here.
Poor... In a village where men
walked slow with weariness,
and the animals cried with hunger.
I've had a hard life.
Now you will help me forget it,
won't you?
I'll help you.
Years of trouble.
A servant in the homes of others.
Then, in the port of Naples,
I met a seaman off an American ship.
He said he loved me
and that he was the captain of a ship.
We were married
and I thought that finally I was free.
Only it happened
he was not the captain of any ship.
And he did not love me.
My baby died,
one day while I was serving dinner
in a hotel for railroad men.
My husband left me and went west.
And after a while
I got a letter that he'd died, too.
I was glad, thinking,
"Now I'm free for once."
Then I found that I was free, yes.
To work in the homes of others.
And do the work of others.
I almost gave up hope
of ever doing my own work,
in my own home,
and having my own land.
Such beautiful land.
And my own home.
One day, this'll be our home.
We'll have nothing to hide.
We'll come in and out
of the front door openly.
We are going to be lucky, you and me,
for the rest of our lives.
He's back!
I'll get a hammer and nails, we'll be
back on the road in five minutes.
Where did I put that nail box?
Maybe I...
There it is.
Must be gettin' old and forgetful.
There we are, boy, good as new.
See? I told you.
We are going to be lucky
for the rest of our lives.
What are you smilin' at?
What's funny so early in the morning?
Nothing, I just feel light of heart.
Don't waste the morning feeling light
of heart. There's work to be done.
- More coffee?
- Thank you.
- So, you feel light of heart?
- Yes, and you know why.
My heart, too, is light.
- I miss you so all day.
- And I miss you, too.
- Do not forget me.
- I won't.
- Stargazing in daylight?
- It's pretty, ain't it?
- It's a pretty farm.
- I mean the sky.
Your eyes can't see that far.
Feelin' chipper.
Where'd you steal the liquor?
It ain't liquor, it's just life.
Look, you and me are quits.
Let's shake hands.
What's come over you?
Don't then. Probably just as well.
- Let's get to work.
- You bossin' me now, you calf?
Yeah, see how you like it.
That's a born fool.
You promised me a son
and you gave me a son.
Give thanks to the Lord.
Pray and give thanks.
Leave me alone, Ephraim.
I jumped aboard the Liza ship
and travelled on the sea
And every time I thought of home
I wished it wasn't me
Oh, California,
that's the land for me
I'm back from California
with my washbowl on my knee
How much longer do we have to go?
Don't be impatient.
We'll be there right after dark.
Why did we have to traipse up here?
- Why not stay in New York?
- We've plenty of time there.
We had to come and show the old mule
how good we done.
It'll cut 20 years off his life.
I can't wait to see his face
when he sees us.
A dutiful son's gotta
introduce his wife to his father.
After all, he introduced
his wife to us, didn't he?
He sure did.
- Do you think he'll like us?
- Like you? He'll love you.
He's the lovin'est old man
this side of hell.
The lovin'est.
Why stop here?
I wanna pick up
some of the local news.
Might be a good idea
to see what's been happening.
- Who is it?
- Min, it's an old, old friend.
Sim! Well, look at you!
Come on in.
That was a woman opened that door.
I wouldn't be a mite surprised if it was.
- I'm not so sure I like this.
- Me neither.
Don't worry.
Since we discovered gold,
our taste in ladies has changed.
Real nice to see you again,
and thanks for the news.
- What you grinning about?
- We're just in time for the party.
- What party?
- A christening at our house.
- A christening? Who of?
- Our brother. A new brother.
They're singing, dancing and celebrating.
First time Pa offered anyone a drink.
Glad we ain't gonna miss it.
- How old do you say your father is?
- Seventy-somethin'.
- He just had himself a new baby?
- Yep, a son.
Well. I gotta meet that man.
- What's going on in that house is plain.
- What do you mean?
The boy, he's the father.
- Do you know where Eben is?
- No, I haven't seen him in ages.
Since you've come, it seems
he spends most of his time at home.
That's the way I heard it.
- What d'you say we wet our whistles?
- Suits me.
- Do you know where Eben is?
- I bet I do.
He's at the church,
offering prayers of thanks.
What for?
Because, unto him...
...a brother is born.
Why don't you dance? I asked you
here to eat, drink and be merry.
There you all sit,
cackling like a bunch of wet hens.
Swilled liquor and guzzled food,
haven't you?
Then dance for me.
Ain't that fair and square?
We're waitin' for Eben.
To hell with Eben, I got me a new son.
You needn't laugh at Eben.
He's my blood, even if he's a fool.
He's better than any of you.
- Can do as good a day's work as me.
- He sure can!
Laugh, you idiots. But you're right.
He can work day and night if need be.
Ain't many can touch you, Ephraim.
A son at 76. That's a real man for you.
I'm only 68 and I couldn't do it.
I'd never expect weakness from you.
- Never reckoned you had it in you.
- I got a lot in me.
A lot that folks don't know about.
Well, I'll be...
Simeon and Peter.
Hiya, folks.
- Hiya, Pa.
- Howdy, Pa.
Where'd you get them clothes?
Look like a circus.
These are the latest things
in San Francisco.
- Won't you shake our hands?
- Why not?
Today I'd shake any man's hand,
even my own sons'.
Where'd you pick them up?
Are they the latest thing too?
Let me make the introductions
nice and proper.
This is my wife, Florence.
- Well, I'll be...
- This one's mine, Lucinda.
Marryin' critters like that
in San Francisco? Must be some town.
- Very pleased to meet you.
- Especially on this happy day.
- It is a happy day, ain't it?
- We heard the news. Congratulations.
Have a cigar.
I finally got me a son
who'll be worth something as a man.
He won't be wearing
yellow shoes like them, neither.
I guarantee he won't be leaving the land,
chasing after sinful, easy gold
and sinful, easy...
Oh, now, Pa.
We're only here a little while.
We have to look at a New York mansion.
- Save the sermons for Eben.
- Yeah, where is he?
Ain't he included in this celebration?
Anna, go tell Eben
his worthless brothers are here
with two worthless women.
Tell him to come and say hello.
Bring the boy.
I want to introduce him to his
brothers while they're still rich.
Next time he sees them
they won't have a penny,
they'll be whining and grovelling
for a meal and a place to sleep.
- Don't worry about us.
- Ain't he a funny man?
I don't hold with ladies drinkin',
but I guess you're not ladies.
- To our brother.
- I'll drink to that.
What are you standing around for?
Fiddle up.
Are you an ornament?
Ain't this a celebration?
Then grease your elbow and get to it.
Here goes.
Come on! Get in there and dance.
What's the matter with you?
Come on, dance!
What are you here for?
- He looks like you.
- Does he? I can't tell.
I don't like pretending what's
mine is his. I've done it all my life.
Eben, we're doing the best we can.
We've got to wait.
They want you to come down.
Your brothers are here.
I saw them, dressed up like monkeys
with their fancy women.
Aren't you going to say hello?
They're only staying a while.
I don't want to see them.
I bought them out. Let them stay away.
What will I tell them? I have to go back.
Tell them you couldn't find me.
I can't stand it with the fiddle-playing
and the laughing.
Don't be afraid. I love you.
I won't let any harm come to you.
Go it, boys. Go it, girls.
Go it!
Out of my way. You're a bunch of cows.
- I'll show you dancing.
- Go it, Ephraim!
Look at me! 76 if I'm a day.
I'd invite you to my 100th birthday,
only you'll all be dead by then.
I'm the only man in the county.
I'm an Indian!
I killed Indians before you were born,
and scalped them too.
Ten eyes for an eye, that's my motto.
I took vengeance on 'em!
Look, I can kick
the branches off the trees.
Well, I beat you. I beat you all.
I told you he was a lovin' old man.
You all right?
- I don't know.
- Put your hat on.
The father, the new father.
- What a family!
- Keep your hands off me.
- The old boy sure can dance.
- He sure can dance.
- But... know what I heard?
- What?
Where's Anna?
She came and watched you dance
and she went in again.
Maybe I shouldn't have danced.
What are you guffawing about?
It's your fault.
She remembers the way you behaved
the day she came.
Why are you here
with your fancy women?
- Get off my land.
- Now, Pa...
Don't "Pa" me. I don't recognise you.
You're buzzards at a feast.
Get out of here.
I won't stay any place
where I'm not welcome.
- Come on, Lucinda.
- Fancy women, our wives?
- Why for two cents, I'd tell...
- Keep quiet, Sim.
We got revenge enough.
We don't need any more.
Come on.
If thy right eye offend thee,
pluck it out and cast it from thee.
If thy right hand offend thee,
cut if off and cast it from thee.
Why are you all so quiet?
Go ahead, fiddle up.
Even the music can't drive it out.
There's something dark
in the corners of this house.
There's no peace and no rest.
- Where you going?
- I'll be back.
I'm going to the barn to rest a spell.
The party's young yet and there's
plenty of liquor in the keg.
No sense in spoiling it all
because the old fool's out of breath.
- Here you are.
- Yeah.
- Your brothers were here.
- I saw.
Why didn't you say hello
to the prodigal sons?
Maybe they'd have given you a nugget
of gold and let you see their wives.
- I'm quits with them.
- Me too. I drove 'em off.
Might be a good thing
to put on your tombstone.
"Here lies Ephraim Cabot.
He drove everybody off."
You can put worse things
on tombstones.
Come up to the dance.
They're asking for you.
- Yeah? Let 'em ask.
- Pretty girls up there.
- I don't care.
- You ought to marry one soon.
- I'm not marrying anybody.
- Might earn a share of a farm.
The way you did?
Your mother's folks
aimed to steal from me.
That's not what I heard.
- It don't matter. I got me a farm.
- Where?
- Here.
- You have, have you?
- That's a good one.
- You'll see.
Yeah, I'll see. So will you.
- Why are you laughing?
- You.
Your farm? If you weren't a donkey
you'd know you'll never own it.
Especially now that he's born.
I'll live to 100 and fool you all.
He'll be grown by then.
Think you can get around that?
It'll be Anna's too.
She's not like the others,
she's hard like me.
She'll be too much for you.
She wants the farm.
She was afraid of you.
She said you were trying to make
love to her, win her over to your side.
- You're lying. Anna never said that.
- She did.
I said, "I'll blow his brains out."
She said, "That don't make sense.
Who'll help you farm?"
Then she said we ought to have a son.
I said, "If we do,
you can have anything I own."
She said, "I want Eben cut off
so this farm'll be mine when you die."
That's what happened. The farm's hers.
You know what's yours?
The dust in the road.
Gonna laugh now?
I'll kill her.
Let go, you'll kill him.
I wasn't aiming to kill him.
He's not worth hanging for.
Look where he ended up
by thinking his father was easy.
By God's will, I ain't easy.
Him upstairs I'll raise to be like me.
I'm going back to sing
and dance and celebrate.
I don't think there's more mischief in him.
But if he gets pesky, I'll turn him
across my knee and spank him.
- Get away from me!
- It's me, Anna. Don't you know me?
- I know you now.
- What's happened to you?
- You look as if you hated me.
- You're black and rotten.
You don't know what you're saying.
Nothing but a stinking bunch of lies,
every word you ever told me.
- Telling me you loved me.
- I do. It wasn't a lie.
You made a fool out of me.
You wanted a son
so he'd give you my farm.
I got the dust in the road.
Must be a devil in you, to be bad as that.
- He told you.
- It's true, ain't it?
There's no sense lying any more.
Eben, you have to listen.
It was long ago, before we touched.
You hated me.
I said it to get revenge on you.
I wish you were dead
and I was dead, too.
- But I'll get my revenge now.
- Don't.
- Forgive me.
- I'll get square with you both.
I'll tell him the truth about his son
and leave you to poison each other.
- You won't leave me. You can't.
- Can't I?
I'll get rich like my brothers and
come back and fight him for the farm.
I'll kick you both out to beg,
and your son, to starve and die.
- He's your son.
- I'm sorry he was born.
I wish he'd die this minute.
I wish I'd never set eyes on him.
He's changed everything.
Eben, answer me a question.
Did you believe I loved you
before he came?
Yeah, like a dumb ox.
- You don't believe me any more?
- No.
- Did you really love me before?
- Yes, and I thought you loved me.
- And you don't love me now?
- I hate you.
You're truly going to leave me
on account of his being born?
I'm going in the morning.
Well, if that's what his coming
has done to me,
killing your love, taking you away,
the only good thing I ever had,
then I hate him, too,
even if I am his mother.
Lies. You love him.
He'll steal the farm for you.
The farm doesn't mean anything
to me any more, it's you.
Lying to me, getting me to love you,
telling me you love me.
Just to have a son
to steal 60 acres of dirt for you.
I do love you. I'll prove it to you.
No matter how much I love him.
Don't lie any more. I'm deaf to you.
I'm not seeing you again. Goodbye.
Eben, wait.
I want to tell you...
If I could make it up,
like he'd never come between us,
if I could prove to you
I wasn't scheming to steal anything,
so everything
would be the same between us,
if I could do it,
you'd love me again, wouldn't you?
You'd kiss me,
you'd never leave me, would you?
I guess not.
But you're not God. You can't change it.
Remember you've promised.
Maybe I can take back
one thing that God has done.
I'm gonna dance now.
Pa says there's pretty girls out there.
I'll prove to you.
I'll prove I love you better
than anything else in the world.
I did it. I've proved I love you
better than anything.
You can't ever doubt me any more.
- Whatever you've done, it's no good.
- Don't say that.
I need you to kiss me after
what I've done, say you love me.
I've decided I won't tell Pa anything.
He'd just take it out on the baby
and he's not to blame for us.
- He's mine. I'll be back to claim him.
- You don't have to go now.
There's nothing to come between us,
after what I've done.
Why? What have you done?
I killed him.
You killed him?
Serves him right.
I've got to do something quick
to make it look like an accident.
When he was drunk...
I can prove by everybody
who was here how drunk he was...
Not him.
That's what I should have done.
I should have killed him instead.
Why didn't you tell me?
Instead? What do you mean?
Not him.
The baby?
Oh, God!
I put a pillow over his face.
- I didn't want to do it.
- No, he was mine.
I loved him, but I loved you more.
You were going away, I'd never
see you again, never kiss you again.
You said you hated me for having him.
You said you hated him
and wished he was dead.
If it wasn't for him, everything
would be the same between us.
I never said that.
I never dreamed you'd...
I'd kill myself before
I hurt one finger of his hand.
Don't look at me like that.
Not after what I've done for you,
for us, so we can be happy again.
I see your game.
The same old sneaking trick.
Wanting to blame me
for the murder you did.
- Eben!
- Don't touch me! You're poison.
How could you murder a baby?
You gave your soul to hell.
You wanted to steal
the last thing you'd left me.
You couldn't stand it.
You killed him for being mine.
I'll tell the sheriff everything.
They'll lock you up.
Then I'll sing "I'm off to California,
fields of gold in the West..."
I'm going for the sheriff.
I never want to see you again.
I love you, Eben, I love you!
I don't care what you do,
if you will only love me again.
I haven't slept so late in 50 years.
Sun must be up an hour.
Must have been
the dancin' and the liquor.
Must be gettin' old.
I hope Eben's out working.
You might have woken me up.
Got breakfast cooked?
Feelin' weak?
Maybe you ought to lie down.
Your son's gonna be needin' you soon.
He'll have an appetite,
the way he's sleepin'.
- He'll never wake up.
- Takes after me this morning.
- He's dead.
- What?
- I killed him.
- Are you drunk? Crazy?
I killed him. Go up and see
if you don't believe me.
Why did you do it? Why?
I asked you, why did you do it?
Why did you kill my son?
Don't touch me! He wasn't yours.
Think I'd have a son by you?
I hate you, always have.
I should have murdered you,
if I'd any sense.
I hate you.
I loved Eben from the start.
It was Eben's son, not yours.
So, that was it.
That's what I felt in this house, skulking
around the corners, while you lied.
And now he's dead. I felt his heart.
Don't cry. Don't.
You've got to be like stone,
like the rock of judgement.
If he was Eben's, I'm glad he's gone.
Maybe I suspected something all along.
I felt there was something unnatural.
You keepin' me away
like I was a stranger.
The house got Ionesome cold.
Drivin' me down to the barn,
to the beasts of the field.
I must have suspected somethin'.
You didn't fool me.
Not altogether, anyway.
I'm too old a bird.
So, you wish you'd murdered me
instead of him, do you?
I'll live to be 100. I'll live to see you hung.
I'll deliver you up
to the judgement of God and the law.
I'll go and get the sheriff now.
You don't have to. Eben's gone for him.
- Eben's gone for the sheriff?
- Yes.
To tell against you?
Well, I'm thankful for him
saving me the trouble.
He should have been my son.
You should have loved me.
I'm a man.
If you'd loved me, I'd have never
told any sheriff, no matter what.
There is more to it
than you could ever understand.
For your sake, I hope there is.
God almighty.
- Forgive me.
- Eben.
I love you. Forgive me.
I forgive you all the sins in hell
for saying that.
I got to thinking of you,
of how much I loved you.
I knew then that I still loved you
and that I always would.
I ran across the fields
and through the woods.
- We still might have time to run away.
- I can't.
I have to take my punishment,
pay for my sin.
- Then I'll share it.
- No.
- I gave you the idea. I wished him dead.
- It was me alone.
I'm as guilty as you. We both did wrong,
now it's my murder, too.
I'll tell the sheriff. I'll say we planned it
and he'll believe me.
It'll all seem true to them.
And it is true, I did help you somehow.
I don't want you to suffer.
I've got to pay for my part of this.
Whatever happens, I'll share it with you.
Prison, death, hell, anything.
I won't let you. I can't, Eben.
You can't help yourself.
For once, I've got you beat.
I'm not beat as long as I've got you.
Here you are in this room.
You make a slick pair of murderers.
You both ought to be hung
on the same limb and left there to rot.
A warning to old fools like me
to bear their Ionesomeness alone.
And to young fools like you
to hobble their lust.
It's gonna be Ionesomer now
than ever it was before.
I'm gettin' old and bitter, Lord.
They've come for you.
This way, Jim.
Here they are.
I lied to you this morning.
I helped her. Take me too.
Take 'em both.
That's pretty good for you.
You're harder than
I thought you knew how to be.
Well, I've got to round up the stock.
Well, we'd better start.
It's a dandy farm, there's no denyin' that.
Wished it was mine. Come on, Seth.