Happy Years, The (1950) Movie Script

Mr. Stover.
This little story
about your son.
I gave you the facts
and told you
to write it honestly.
But this isn't the way
i wrote it, sir.
Please listen.
"John h. Stover, younger
son of samuel stover sr.,
"last night left for miss
wandell's select academy
"for young ladies
and gentlemen.
"John was last monday
"from the public schools
of chester county
by unanimous vote
of the school board."
That's the way
i rewrote what you wrote.
Bert, mrs. Stover and i
are ashamed and humiliated.
We wish it could have been hushed up,
but everybody would
find out,
and i don't want
them saying
i kept it out
of the papers
because it was
my own son.
Bert: Hello.
Oh, yes.
Mrs. Stover
calling you, sir.
Hello, maude.
Samuel, come home
right away.
It's mrs. Cameron.
She's going to
put john in prison.
All right, maude.
I'll come at once.
Samuel stover, your son has robbed me
of a blue ribbon in
next week's horse show.
Please, mrs. Cameron,
if someone has been
surreptitiously riding
any of your prize horses-
my beautiful, white,
five-gaited gelding bucephalus.
Well, what's the matter
with b-b-bucephalus?
Well, why do you suspect
john of this?
The jones hardware store will tell you
that yesterday
at 3:30,
john purchased two
quarts of green paint,
which he charged
to my account.
Bert: Hello.
Oh, yes.
Mr. Stover, your little
girl is on the phone.
Hello, tootsie.
I love you, darling,
but i'm awfully busy
right now, so you-
but mom wants you.
John's been expelled
from miss wandell's academy,
and sambo's come home
from yale about it.
Hello, sambo.
What is it, and how did the
news reach yale university?
There was an explosion
at the academy,
and it blew out
the sides of the building,
and it could have
killed everybody.
The police say
that john did it.
I brought him home.
Dad, we'll never have a moment's peace
unless you do
something drastic
about that young
heathen right now.
In the last two years, we've
lost half our friends and...
oh, no, samuel.
Not reform school, please.
Why not
reform school?
Of course, there is one
private school i know of,
a school with a fine
tradition among its students
that manages to turn pretty
nearly any young heathen
into a good christian.
It did
when i went there.
Lawrenceville, dad?
Oh, no.
I won't stand
for that.
Lawrenceville has
a fine curriculum,
an understanding
we went all through that a year ago.
I've got a reputation at lawrenceville.
Maude, what do you say?
Sam, your father means
what he says
about reform school.
All right.
but i'll bet
the faculty
won't let him stay there long enough
for the splendid tradition
to do him any good.
That we'll find out.
Bring john here.
This isn't
your fault, dear.
Maybe i've failed
with john.
You've had
the patience of job.
Well, if lawrenceville doesn't work,
i'll have
job's boils, too.
Samuel: Great godfrey, maude!
Look at that child's
And all the money
i spent on him.
Samuel stover, 5 minutes
after he puts on a new suit,
it looks like something out of a ragbag.
This isn't
a new suit.
This is the coat
of one suit
and the pants
of another.
The other coat and pants
were burnt in the explosion.
Did you deliberately
set off that explosion
and blow out the wall
of the academy building?
It could have happened
to anybody.
What could have
happened to anybody?
One of the boys
in chemistry class
said you couldn't
make dynamite
without using
special machinery.
He was wrong.
Was anybody hurt?
A teacher got
her coat blown off,
but it was a warm night, and
what was she doing wearing a coat?
the day you left
for that academy,
a delightful peace and quiet
descended on this community-
by george,
no, it didn't!
John stover,
did you paint mrs.
Cameron's white horse green?
I did the horse
a favor.
Well, the flies were
bothering him something awful,
so i painted him green,
the same color
as the grass,
so the flies
couldn't see him.
That's the most outrageous
thing i ever heard of!
No, it isn't.
I stayed there an hour
after i painted him green.
The flies didn't
bother him at all.
John, we're
sending you
to the lawrenceville
That ought to be
very interesting.
When do i leave?
Here's the lawrenceville
stage, my little man.
Man: Whoa!
Hey, there,
young sporting life,
you bound
for lawrenceville?
John: Yeah.
Well, tuck yourself
in back there.
Thanks. I'll
cuddle here.
Want to look over the
way you handle the reins,
see if i approve
your driving.
Don't look at me like that, old sport.
I've driven
real coaches-
16 horses and all that sort of thing.
Now, what did they expel
you for at your last school?
Who said they
expelled me?
All right. What did
they fire you for?
Fired me for trying
to kill a gambler.
I drew a knife
on him.
He'd have been done
for, too, the coward,
if they hadn't
hauled me off.
Oh, me. Thrilling state
of affairs.
I saw red,
everything red!
What had this gambler
done to you?
He insulted
my mother.
Your mother?
She's dead.
You don't mean it.
A long time ago.
She died in a shipwreck to save me.
Held my head
above the water.
I was
the only one saved.
And your father,
is he alive?
Yes, but we don't
speak of him.
Oh, pardon me.
Painful memory,
of course.
Who is this
old buck anyway?
Oh, he comes back and
forth every now and then.
Traveling salesman,
What's your line
of goods, old sport?
Uh, books.
Say, can't you get any
speed out of these nags?
Whoa! Whoa!
Yeah, boys, go!
Come on,
you silly nags!
Whoa! Stop that!
Come on! Faster!
Come on,
you silly nags!
Get going!
Stop that, please.
Get those horses
over here.
Give me those reins.
Give me those.
Whoa! Whoa!
Whoa! Whoa!
Whoa! Whoa!
Easy now.
What in blazes
are you trying to do,
you young anarchist?
You ought to be driving
a couple of cows.
Driver: Whoa.
Well, there it is.
Looks kind of quiet.
I'll put some ginger
into it.
Which house are you
headed for?
The green house.
Driver: Whoa, whoa!
Well, here it is,
young sporting life,
the green house.
That awful, old stone blockhouse affair?
Why, it's not even
on the campus.
It's still got a warm
bunch of indians in it.
Uh, fare, please.
John: Well, old sport,
tata, good luck.
Hope you sell out
your line.
Don't forget
about the ginger.
Sock it to them.
Why, old cocky wax,
put this in your pipe and smoke it.
I'm gonna own
this school.
No old clothes today,
nothing to sell.
No rags, no bottles,
no bones.
Boy: He doesn't
want to buy.
He wants to sell us
patent removable
underwear, i think.
I'm the new boy.
The what?
The new boy?
Can't be.
New boys
always say "sir"
and take off
their hats politely.
Please, i am.
Can you prove it?
Please, i have
a letter.
My aunt's cat's pants!
It is the new boy!
your name?
What's your
full name?
John humperdink stover, sir.
Say it again.
Say it for me.
Can't have that.
From now on,
your name is dink.
Yes, sir.
Why did they
fire you?
Well, they fired me
for, uh...
for bringing a couple of
rattlesnakes into the school.
Send him up.
He belongs to me.
Dink, this is
the coffee colored angel-
mr. Channing
to you, dink.
Make a bow.
Take your hat off!
Keep your heels
And this is
the white mountain canary-
mr. Denton to you.
And now mr. Baxter,
addressed as cheyenne
only after a half a century
of intimacy.
Bow, dink.
And this is
poler beekstein.
He's only a genius.
He doesn't count.
And my name is
mr. Mccarty.
The pet name is tough,
tough mccarty,
and i don't like
the way you been bowing,
so do it over again
to everybody
with a lot more politeness.
The new man.
Well, stover,
how are you?
My name is
butsey white-
mr. White to you,
I'm most particular.
How do you do,
mr. White?
That's your kennel.
The bath's
down the corridor.
What did they
fire you for?
Uh... they fired me
for kissing a teacher.
There's a little too much
airy persiflage
going on around here.
You've got a lot
to learn, young fella.
Mr. White?
I brought some
things along.
I thought they might
help decorate the room.
What did they
fire you for?
Uh, they fired me-
you, stover, turn up
at 4:00 for baseball.
I don't play baseball.
You're the ninth man
in the house,
and the green is
playing the cleve.
has to play.
the gymnasium bell.
coming up.
They got to get
to classes
the bell stops.
We're out
of bounds now.
Meaning me,
i'm out of bounds?
Mmm, the first day,
you can do as you like.
Come in.
You are new here, huh?
Yes, sir.
Stover, green house.
The green, huh?
Sew your shirt
on your back,
or they'll have it off
while you're putting it
in your coat.
Oh, i don't know.
I'm a pretty cute
proposition myself.
If any of those
smart alecks think
they can put one
over on-
all clear, al?
All clear
on the potomac.
I'm dodging
education today.
Al, serve up a nice,
creamy strawberry jigger.
Oh, i can see you expect
the cash first, huh?
What's a jigger?
Al: Shad, here's stover.
Just came.
Stover, this is
the tennessee shad.
My boy, i'd gladly
give up
all my hard-earned wealth to be you,
your first jigger.
Al, serve up
a nice, creamy
double strawberry
on me.
No, i'll pay
for us both.
Wouldn't think
of it.
I'm not
the lowdown sort
who'd take advantage
of a newcomer.
Mr. And mrs. Conover's
Pancakes and maple syrup
on a strictly cash basis.
Mr. Shad, couldn't i
buy you some pancakes?
On a warm day
like this?
Fella named
guzzler wilkens
ate 26 of those pancakes
in one sitting
one day
about 5 years ago.
That's the official
world's record.
26 pancakes?
That's not so many.
Well, if any boy
can eat 32 in one sitting,
conover will serve
free pancakes
to the whole school
all that day.
Now, dink, let's see
what i can do for you.
Have you got a crockery
toilet set for your room?
Doesn't that come
with the room?
Oh, dink.
Nobody ever uses the one
the school furnishes,
and especially a
ripsnorting sport like you
will want a special souvenir toilet set.
You know, dink, sock
missoula might sell you one
if i put in
a good word for you.
Well, there's
the school.
That's our chapel.
Next come
the circle houses-
the cleve,
the griswold.
There's the woodhull.
That's the dickinson house,
where sock missoula lives.
Next-door's my house,
the kennedy.
A wonderful house.
Good crowd.
You know, my boy,
it's really too bad
you're stuck off there
in the green,
but just wait till
that green house gang
sees your souvenir
special toilet set.
Every piece different,
guaranteed nothing like
it in the whole world.
Butsey: Hurry up, dink.
Butsey: Hey, stover,
you're up.
Bang it
on the nose.
Don't worry
about the pitcher.
He's as wild
as a wet hen.
Just get your fast out and hurry.
Dink, here's
your chance
to square yourself
with the house.
On the second pitch,
tough mccarty's
gonna steal second,
so you step
into that ball
and hit it
Come on. Knock
the whole bat!
Come on.
Knock it in.
Knock it home.
Let's go, dink.
Smash it!
Get on base,
This guy
can't pitch, dink!
Wait him out!
Don't be afraid
of that pitcher.
All right, stover, let's
get a piece of that apple!
Come on, dink.
Get a hit!
Umpire: Ball one!
Butsey: Why didn't you
let it hit you?
You little wimp.
You'd have been
on base.
That's as good
as a hit.
Come on, stover.
Stand up and hit it.
Come on,
nick, old boy.
Chop this guy down.
Shoot a fast one
right through him.
Don't be afraid
of that pitcher.
Just bang
those fast ones.
Remember what
we told you.
Spank one, dink!
Don't forget, dink.
Tough mccarty's
on first.
Umpire: Strike one!
Umpire: You're out!
What's the matter
with you?
Why didn't you take
a swing at it?
Go on home
to your mother!
Can't you play ball?
Doesn't know
Get under it, stover!
Catch it, dink.
Easy out.
Green team: Aww!
Get that bum out!
Let us in,
you traitor!
Let us in!
Open up,
you traitor!
You quitter, you.
You coward!
Come on out!
I'm coming in.
If you lay
a hand on me,
i'll rip the hide
off you.
Keep back!
Put that bat down,
do you hear me?
Don't you
come through.
I'm coming through,
and you don't-
you're a coward.
You're not worth
wasting my time on.
Just wait till
i catch you alone!
Personally, i'll get you
tomorrow for this.
Butsey: Come on,
open up.
You're safe.
Butsey: You're
a fine specimen.
Why didn't you
let them in?
Let them in?
Why not?
What do you think
they'd have
done to you?
Gee, i never
thought of that.
Rats! They might have
tied you down on the bed.
Nothing but a little
easy mussing up.
That's all
you'd have got.
Then it would have
been over with.
Now you got to
square yourself.
Mr. White,
i bought something
wonderful for the room.
Turn your back,
and i'll open it.
mr. White, look.
Oh, no!
Oh, take it away!
Take it away!
Take it away!
Cover it up!
The souvenir special.
So shad and sock missoula
got you.
Why, nobody's fallen
for that old gag
in 10 years.
You certainly are the
prize sucker of all time.
I guess they
put one over on me,
but you wait
till i get them.
What you got
to worry about
is the angel and the
canary getting you... alone.
Here you are-latin.
This is the old roman-
the one nasty you want
to stand in with.
And remember,
the old roman's
a bug on syntax,
especially the gerund
and the gerundive.
Boy: Hey,
the teacher!
The teacher!
Well, gentlemen...
splendid spring weather.
Shall we have a few
moments' indulgence
on such delicate matters
as syntax?
Mr. Channing.
Page 63.
First line, third word.
Gerund or gerundive?
Gerund, sir.
Too bad. Too bad.
Third line,
fifth word.
Gerund or gerundive?
Gerun... dive.
Poor channing didn't
stick to his system.
I meant gerund.
Absolutely, sir.
It's the gerund.
It was the gerundive,
No feeling
of confidence today?
Well, has anyone done
the advanced translation?
Don't all rise at once.
It's the spring weather.
Too sunny.
Everyone exhausted.
Let's start alphabetically.
The as.
Let's see. Adams.
No, uh, baxter.
The ss? Sergeant.
Not prepared?
I thought so.
Ah, who is this
in the ss?
A new delegate
to this congress
of scintillating
Yes, sir.
What is the name?
John humperdink stover.
John humperdink stover.
Ah, yes. Stover.
Yes. The name
is familiar.
we met before?
Well, stover, come
a little nearer.
A little
embarrassed, stover?
Dear me, i shouldn't
have thought that of you.
There, there.
Just a little joke
between us two.
Just a little
confidential joke.
Now, of course,
this should be
a splendid opportunity
for stover to give us
a beautiful translation
of julius caesar.
Please, sir
- of course, stover.
No requirements for your
first day in class, of course.
You may sit down.
Gentlemen, we have
another minute.
I have, in the course
of my experience as a teacher,
had to deal
with imbeciles.
Had to deal
with near idiots.
But for sheer
monumental asininity,
i have never met the equal
of this aggregation.
You may go.
Hey. Hey, dink.
What's this confidential
joke business
between you
and the old roman?
I can't tell you,
It involves
a woman's good name,
but he'll be my deadly
unforgiving enemy
as long as i'm
in lawrenceville.
Fifth line,
fourth word.
Must i give you
a definition?
What's that?
It's the white mountain canary
chasing dink stover again.
Get up,
you big sissy.
Here comes
dink again.
Who's after him
this time?
This time, it's the coffee
colored angel chasing him.
I'll be darned!
Darned if it isn't
dink chasing the angel.
The dink!
Well, i'll be
The white mountain canary.
to pieces.
by a horse.
Cheyenne: Canary,
what hit you?
I caught him.
Hey, look!
So you thought
i was afraid.
You thought
i was a coward.
Well, i'll show you
if i'm afraid of you...
any of you...
you big bullies!
Cheyenne: Break it up.
Break it up. Come on.
Poler: Keep him away. Let's
act like gentlemen, tough.
John: Come on. Get off.
Cheyenne: As president
of the sporting club-
an organization devoted
to the scientific healing
of animosities-
i announce
that this matter
will be settled
between you as gentlemen.
Who'll be
dink's second?
Go on, any of you.
I'll be his second.
He licked me
I don't want
any second.
Look, dink.
Tough doesn't want
to fight you now.
He'll give you a fight
anytime you want...
when you're fresh.
I don't want
to wait.
I just want
to get at him.
poler: What length
rounds do you want?
I don't want
any rounds!
I want to fight him!
You have to go through
with it, tough.
Don't hurt
the little varmint
any more
than you have to.
Confound this
little lunatic.
I can't stand here
getting pounded all day.
I'll have to hit him!
Coming to?
Put her here, dink.
You're dead game.
I won't shake
hands with you
or with any of you.
I hate you all!
As for you,
tough mccarty,
i'll fight you
again now,
or i'll fight you
again tomorrow,
and i'll fight you
until i lick you,
you big bully.
As president of the green house, stover,
i'm giving you
your last chance.
Apologize to tough mccarty like a man.
I won't.
Then, stover,
i'm placing you
on a ban of
From this
moment on,
you're being put
in coventry.
Nobody will
speak to you.
Nobody will notice
your existence.
Go ahead and see if i
care, you gang of muckers.
Funny. Thought i heard
a strange voice.
Guess not.
Yes, butsey.
Something did sound like a
strange voice, but it couldn't be.
There's nobody here
but us.
Oh, stover.
Why did you cut
your classes
this entire
last week?
You had my various
messages, of course,
that i wanted
to see you.
I don't want
to see anybody.
Stover, i pity you.
Going back to that lonely
empty home of yours.
A home with only
the tragic memory
of a mother
who died at sea
and a father who
no one talks about.
Any place would be
better than this,
where a boy don't
get a square deal.
Listen. I'm not
coming back
to lawrenceville
in the fall.
I'm going
to reform school,
where i'll meet a
better class of people.
Hello, john.
Hello, tootsie.
You idiotic boy.
Why didn't you telegraph
when you're arriving?
What's the use?
I'm here.
Who let you put your hair
up on top of your head?
I'm nearly 15.
Oh, come on.
John, i'm awful glad
to see you.
Let's stop fighting
this summer.
All right, tootsie, but see
that you don't begin on me.
I won't.
I suppose
you're hard-up.
Here. Does $5.00
help any?
What trouble you want
me to get you out of?
Nothing at all,
you funny kid.
How was lawrenceville?
Where's dad
and mom?
I've got something to
tell them right away.
on the beach.
Sambo: Well,
you young rascal.
Hello, sam bones.
Pretty strong suit
of clothes, bub.
Ah, but never mind. I've worn
worse when i was your age.
Hey, anything left
in this month's allowance?
7 cents.
Could you use
this ten-spot?
Gee, sam bones.
All right. All right.
What's the use of having
an older brother
if he can't do you
some good?
Hey, how was
Quite a school, huh?
Sambo: I didn't think
you'd last a week.
Maude: Johnny!
Samuel: Maude, he's too
old to be called johnny.
John, how are you,
my boy?
John, i know what
traveling is,
but, really,
your clothes.
Oh, come now,
Let the boy
be himself.
If he wants
to dress that way,
it's his affair.
Now, you've got
all summer to relax
and have
a good time.
I'm not gonna
mention school
until next
Oh, tootsie said you had
something on your mind.
I know.
Take this $20.
When you go back
to lawrenceville,
i'm gonna raise
your allowance.
Thanks, dad,
and we won't mention
school all summer.
Come on, maude.
Let's get on
those bathing suits.
John: Sundays.
My aunt's cat's pants.
No tennis.
No baseball.
No fishing.
Boy: No picnics.
Well, since we're all
dressed up,
why don't we call on girls?
Girls! Puffy, what's
gotten into you?
Say, i got an idea.
It's a wonderful gag
i learned up in lawrenceville.
Now, first, we pick out
the girl here at the beach
that we don't like
the most.
All: Connie brown.
John: Connie brown.
Miss connie.
Miss connie, a gentleman
is calling on you.
Wouldn't give
his name.
Show him right in.
Miss brown,
i am john h. Stover.
I've come to call.
I'm-i'm delighted,
mr. Stover.
Won't you sit down?
Thank you. I will.
I trust your mother
and father are well?
They're fine.
And your sister?
Oh, she's fine, too.
Have you seen
miss maude adams
in her new play
this season?
I have.
I like maude adams.
Maid: Miss connie.
There's another gentleman
calling on you.
He wouldn't
give his name.
Oh, show him in.
Miss brown,
i am fred maither.
I have come to call.
I'm so glad.
Won't you sit down?
Thank you. I will.
Miss brown, i trust your
mother and father are well?
they're fine.
And your sister?
Oh, yes.
She's fine.
Have you seen
miss maude adams
in her new play
this season?
Why... yes.
I have.
I like maude adams.
Maid: Miss connie.
There's another
show him in.
Miss brown, i am
harvey broker.
I have come to call.
Won't you sit down?
Thank you.
I trust your mother
and father are well?
L- oh, yes.
they're fine.
Maid: Miss connie.
I like maude adams.
I like
maude adams.
I like maude adams.
I like
maude adams.
I like maude adams.
I like
maude adams.
Maid: Shall i show
this one in, too?
Miss brown,
i am edward ellis.
I have come to call.
Aah! Aah!
She was prancing
like a horse.
Did you see
her eyes?
Stover, that's
the greatest idea
since the invention
of the safety pin.
Let's get out
of here
before her folks
come home.
We'll play it on a
different girl every sunday.
Won't connie tip off
the other girls?
Don't you know
anything about women?
Who we play it on
next sunday?
Next sunday, my cousin emily, please!
I can't stand her.
Watch that-
i saw maude adams 5 times.
I saw maude adams
5 times.
I saw maude adams 5 times.
I saw maude adams
5 times.
I saw maude adams
5 times.
I saw maude adams 5 times.
Boy: Oh, boy,
did she go down!
Miss dolly.
There's a young gentleman
who wants to see you.
He won't give
his name.
Show him right in.
Miss travers,
i am john h. Stover.
I have come to call.
Of course, mr. Stover.
Nice of you.
Won't you sit down?
How did you like
I trust your mother
and father are well?
Oh, they're
Isn't lawrenceville
a wonderful school?
I went to the lawrenceville
prom last spring.
And your sister?
Perfectly grand.
But the boys
at lawrenceville.
The tennessee shad is the
best dancer i ever met.
And george mccarty.
Tough mccarty?
He really is tough,
but in the nicest
way, of course.
That's why he's
going to be captain
of the kennedy house
football team this fall.
My hero.
Never mind, margaret.
Boys, which would
you rather do?
Come in
one at a time
and play
your little joke
or all come in
at once
and have ice cream
and chocolate cake?
bring it on.
Dolly: Too bad tough mccarty isn't here.
He likes ice cream.
All flavors.
Well, excuse me.
Dolly: Gentlemen,
help yourselves.
Man: Well, see you
next summer, mrs. Stover.
When's dad coming back
from the village?
I got to see him.
Oh, any time, john.
Sambo: Anything i can
do for you, mother?
No, no, dear.
Don't bother me.
Sambo: Well, kid.
The summer's over.
You'll be back at
lawrenceville tomorrow.
How do you feel
about it now? Good?
Go away, sam bones.
Dad and i had
a little confab
about you
and the school.
I got something to say
to dad about that, too.
Now-now, wait
a minute, kid.
I heard something about what you
went through at lawrenceville.
Oh, you did, did you?
It's a great
school, kid,
but after all,
you're my brother,
and, well,
maybe the going was
too rough for you.
Maybe the boys gave you
too hard a ride.
Some of those boys are a
lot bigger than you are,
and some of them
are tougher, too.
I know.
So, kid, if-
well, if you don't want to
go back to lawrenceville,
i can guarantee
to make dad understand.
Sam bones,
i'm going back
to lawrenceville for-
for one reason:
To beat the stuffings
out of a guy
by the name
of tough mccarty.
Hey, now, wait
a minute, kid.
That's not
the right spirit.
If you go back
like that,
you'll get into more
trouble than you did before.
You bet your life
i will.
Welcome to
the kennedy house.
You're mr. Stover,
aren't you?
Mr. Hopkins said
be sure and see him
soon as you come in.
Mr. Hopkins?
Yes, the old roman.
He's the housemaster
here, you know.
Oh, well, i thought you weren't
coming back to lawrenceville.
It is stover, isn't it?
John humperdink stover?
Yes... sir.
Well, it must be
our food you prefer
to that
at reform school-
our hot dogs,
our pancakes.
It's the jiggers.
I like jiggers.
Stover, i'm very pleased
to have you here
at the kennedy house.
Well, sure you are.
You arranged it
that way.
I propose to pay
special attention
to your-your gerunds
and gerundives.
Do you know with whom
you're rooming this term?
Tough mccarty?
Dear me, no.
Mccarty rooms alone.
I am putting you in
with the tennessee shad,
second floor, front.
Is that all, sir?
For the moment... john.
If it isn't
the rinky-dink himself.
Well, here we are
again, dink.
Same old grind,
same old slaves,
nothing fit to eat,
stuck in the old mud hole.
I'll take a walk
around for an hour
and let you
get unpacked.
I don't want to get
in your way.
Hey, wait a minute.
I'll take that.
You're the fella down
at the green last year,
tried to fight
the whole school.
Look here, youngster.
My name is
joshua montgomery smeed,
but they call me
"the great big man."
Great big man?
You look
a little embarrassed.
That's because i'm
trying to be impressive.
Mr. Stover, you're going
to get in wrong again.
What in thunder-
you are, mr. Stover.
You are.
You can't forget what
everybody else has forgotten.
Forget what?
What happened last term.
The-the unpleasantness.
You've still
got it on your mind.
You're brooding over it.
I like your nerve.
Everybody else
has forgotten it.
It never happened.
one of us now,
but you can't
be one of us
if you don't want
to be one of us.
You make an awful lot
of noise, great big man.
How did you happen to come
to a school like this?
On account of
my being an orphan,
and my father went to
yale with the old roman.
I'm very intelligent
for my age,
but outside of that,
i'm just a total loss
for the house.
Sorry for the way i acted
a couple of minutes ago.
That's better, dink.
And about that
crockery set-
i guess i had it
coming to me.
Dink, you and i will slip
it over on somebody else.
All you got
to remember, dink,
is that you're
on the inside now-
with everybody.
Everybody except
tough mccarty.
Oh, dink, tough
isn't a bad guy.
He won't-
tough and i are
gonna fight it out
when the right time comes.
Tough knows it,
and i know it.
Well, dink,
if it's a feud,
then that's your private
affair with tough.
Hopkins: Well aware,
that this first
two weeks of school
has been the hardest,
i trust my despairing
change of policy
will bear fruit
from now on.
Uh, to the blackboard,
so that the object lesson
be more apparent.
what easy,
graceful gesture
did i last week promise
this mass of mediocrity?
We were each to make
our own selection
of any 200 words
to translate, sir.
Well, mccarty,
it's time to put your
classmates to shame.
I chose the part
when they arrived
at the spot,
caesar began his speech
by relating the benefits
upon ariovistus
by himself
and by the senate.
The senate had called
him king and friend
and had sent gifts-
with a-
a m-a most, uh,
lavish hand.
This privilege
was usually granted
in consideration of-
of, uh-
of, uh-
of, uh-
of the senate
and, with no just
cause of claim,
had obtained
the rewards in question
by the favor
and generosity
of caesar
and of the senate.
splendid, mccarty.
We'll excuse you.
Hopkins: I only wanted
to show the others
what's possible to a
reasonably normal intelligence.
such rapt attention
deserves reward.
Translate your oral
selection for us, please.
Please, mr. Hopkins,
i chose the exactly
same passage.
Isn't that
extraordinary, now?
Well, stover,
try and lend it
a new charm.
What's wrong,
Haven't translated?
Oh, yes, sir.
What's the matter,
Well, sir, i'm afraid
the unusual circumstances
have made me
a little embarrassed.
Well, stover,
is something
you must learn
to overcome.
I will, sir.
I'll try, sir,
but i don't think the
conditions are favorable.
I don't think this
is quite regular, sir.
I've always taken
interest in my studies,
and i don't see why
i should be made
to sacrifice
a good mark.
Nevertheless, stover,
i shall allow you
to recite.
Then, sir, i have
nothing to say except...
not prepared.
I am not
unprepared, stover.
I do have
something to say.
Remain after class
and hear it.
Hopkins: Stover,
this morning,
i noted your name
among those volunteering
to come out
for the kennedy house
football team.
May i remind you that
it can be my privilege
to forbid all
athletic activities
to any student whose
scholastic standing
is unsatisfactory?
Is that all, sir?
That's all.
Except, stover,
i presume you know
that mccarty
is the captain
of the kennedy team.
You bet i know.
But perhaps you don't
know that this year,
i myself will coach
the kennedy team,
and, speaking purely
as the coach,
i am suffused
with curiosity
as to whether or not
we shall see you
on the football field
next saturday.
Man: Hike.
Hopkins: All right,
line up there.
i promised your father
not to let you
play football
until you were 18.
However, i'm going to give you
a very important responsibility,
to revive and restore such of
our kennedy house gladiators
as may temporarily succumb
to the enemy's onslaught.
Over there
with the team.
Hopkins: Ah, you, smith,
you, catlett,
you, jordan-
over there with the team.
Now the rest of you
will be the scrub.
Line up there
in the midfield.
Not you, stover.
Stover, how much
do you weigh?
145, about.
About 105.
How much football
have you played?
I haven't
played any.
I'll assign you to help
with the water bucket.
I won't do it.
You can't play football
on nothing but nerve.
You can if you got
enough of it.
I know i'm not heavy enough
to play on the house team,
but you can always use
another guy on the scrub
to take
the banging around.
Give me a chance,
won't you?
I told you to help out
with the water bucket,
didn't i?
Well, i've
changed my mind.
Get over there
with the scrubs...
for today, anyway.
Jones, mccully...
very good.
Your turn, stover.
here's a fellow who
thinks all you need
in this game is nerve.
Let's see
what he's got.
Let go! Let go!
Here, stover.
it's all over.
Let go!
Missed him
the first time.
Give me another chance. I'll get him.
Want to take it
again, mccarty?
Oh, of course, sir.
This is
a real pleasure.
Stover, if you had
any sense at all,
you'd know that when
you tackle a bigger man,
you've got to hit him
harder then he hits you.
That's enough for today, stover.
The fact is, we're so
short of good material,
i may have to keep you on the scrub.
Off the field.
Boys: hear of this
pleasant twilight hour
when all
our tasks are o'er
we gather on memorial steps
to sing our songs once more
we're glorious men
and our name is fair...
ah, dink, i know
it's too bad
you're a little light
for the house team,
but next year-
i wouldn't play
on the house team
if i weighed
200 pounds!
The scrub for me,
where now and then
it's legal
to take a crack
at tough mccarty.
Well, then, you'd
better get to work
on the gerund
and the gerundive,
or the old roman's gonna
throw you right off the scrub
and back
into private life.
I'll have that all
worked out tomorrow.
I have an important
with that intimate
expert on latin,
the great big man.
John: How'd you
like to help me
put something over
on the old roman?
Would it be something completely
ethical and above board?
l- i'm sorry,
but i don't think
i'd care to.
Look, great big man,
let's go back and have
that double jigger,
and i'll tell you
the whole story.
No. L-i don't want
a double jigger.
You see, i just
had 5 double jiggers,
and i'm still hungry,
but i haven't got
any more money.
You just had
5 double jiggers?
One day, i ate 5 double
jiggers and 14 doughnuts,
and i was
still hungry.
How'd you like
to go down in history?
How'd you like to leave
a mark on this school
that would bring honor
to the name of-of-
joshua montgomery smeed.
I'd like that
very much.
With your brains, you could
do something important for me,
but first, with my
brains and your appetite,
i could do something
very important for you.
Conover: Oh.
Oh, welcome, boys.
John: Mr. Conover,
we're going after
the pancake record.
Well, where's your eating champion?
Well, i was
expecting something
about the size
of a buffalo.
If this little boy
can eat 32 pancakes,
i'll make them
all day free
for the whole
First, where's my
money, in case you lose?
Ah, wait a minute,
You know, if we win,
i get my watch back.
If you win.
Start out
with 6 pancakes.
Look, big man.
"Guzzler wilkins.
March 1891."
26 pancakes.
Remember, big man,
you're going into battle
for the honor
of the whole school.
I'm ready.
watch the pancakes.
Watch the dimensions
Regulation size,
you know.
Shad: I guarantee
that everything
will be fair
and above board.
6 pancakes coming up.
6 it is!
Not so fast, smeed.
Take your time.
They're a little
too hot.
they're too hot.
the temperature
as well as the dimension. 6 more!
Shad: 6 it is!
John: 6 and 6
are 12.
This boy is starving.
Sure, he is.
He's eating way back
into last week.
He hasn't been
allowed a morsel
for 10 days.
6 more coming up!
24 and 6 make 30!
Conover: 30 pancakes are an awful lot.
The danger is-
angel: Aw, shut up, conover.
Butsey: Don't listen
to him, big man.
Canary: He's only trying
to get you nervous.
Gee, what a man.
Where does he put it?
I'm a little dry.
Cheyenne: Give him some water.
Angel: Water,
you fools.
Butsey: Water will
swell up the pancakes.
Shad: No water.
John: Quiet! What is it, big man?
I'm all right,
but i'd like just
a drop of syrup now.
Shad: I'll get him
his syrup!
Conover: No. No.
No syrup.
No more hot cakes.
I don't want him
to die on my hands.
Remember, guzzler wilkins collapsed,
and we had to work over him for an hour.
John: Shut up,
That's an old gig.
Get out!
Let's try 6 more.
Wait a minute.
You only need two more.
That makes the 32.
If i say i can eat 6,
i can eat 6.
6 more, shad.
Shad: 6 more
coming up.
6 and 30
makes 36.
36 pancakes?
3 more.
Shad: 3 more
coming up.
John: 36 and 3
make 39!
You go ahead and make a great record.
John: 42 and 3
make 45.
Look, big man.
Don't get rash.
I'll stop when
i'm ready to stop.
Bring more now,
one at a time!
49 and 1 make 50!
Holy cats!
That's all.
John: 49 pancakes!
49 pancakes!
John: Quiet!
Quiet, everybody!
The winner and the new
world's champion
wishes to say
If i've done something
for the school,
could i now please
have a...
nice nickname?
I don't like being called
"the great big man."
Of course you can
have a nickname!
I got-
i hereby christen you
"hungry smeed."
Hungry smeed!
Shad: Hooray!
Shad: Pancakes,
All: We want pancakes!
Pancakes, pancakes!
We want pancakes!
Pancakes, pancakes,
We want pancakes!
John: Free pancakes!
Free pancakes
for the whole school!
Free pancakes!
Free pancakes!
Hopkins: Gentlemen,
we played two games
so far this season,
and frankly, the kennedy
house is ashamed of us.
You're not together.
You're not playing
like a team.
Private grudges,
personal rivalries,
disastrous morale.
Now, next week, we're playing
our traditional rivals,
the dickinson house.
Oh, i don't expect you
to beat dickinson,
but we're gonna make our
house cheer for us again.
We're going to show
that if we can't win,
we can go down fighting,
beaten in points, but
undefeated in spirit.
All right. Line up.
i'm moving you
to right tackle
on the scrub today.
See if you can
raise some spirit
in the house
left tackle.
Left tackle?
Why, that's
tough mccarty!
Red, give the ball
to the scrub.
Let's see if you got
any nerve today, mccarty.
Stover, ordinarily,
i'm a nice, social guy,
but today, i'm gonna
squash you like a fly.
Get off the field.
get over here.
Stover, do you know
why i took you out?
For slugging.
Oh, no, not at all.
I took you out
because you forgot
you were playing
You think you're only here
to indulge a personal enmity.
I got mad.
it's all right
to get mad
in a football game.
Get mad.
Get fighting mad,
but get cold mad.
Don't lose your temper.
Know what you're doing.
Now get back
on the field,
although this is probably
your last game of football,
all depending
upon your performance
in the classroom
Hopkins: It must be
the weather...
the cool autumn
But despite
the thermal handicaps,
could i hope to find
at least one man
who'll risk his destiny
in a tussle
with the tantalizing
twins of syntax,
the gerund
and the gerundive?
John: I'd be
willing to try, sir.
My marks haven't been
very high lately,
and, well, i'd like
to improve them.
Ah, the ginger boy-
Inspired, no doubt, by his
temporary football success...
on the kennedy house
scrub, of course.
Well, stover,
third line,
third word-
gerund or gerundive?
Is it possible?
Do miracles
still happen?
Fifth line,
eighth word-
or gerundive?
Gerundive, sir.
Very fortunate.
Next line,
second word-
or gerundive?
A gerund, sir.
Hmm. Dear me.
Uh, bring your book
to the desk, stover.
Everything proper.
No illegal markings.
Apologies, stover.
Profuse ones.
I'm quite upset.
Now, stover.
One more such success,
and i'll give you
a perfect mark
for the next week-
a highly unlikely
Fifth line, third word.
Gerund or gerundive,
Gerundive, sir.
Well, dink, the old roman
had circles under his eyes.
He won't sleep tonight.
Well, he's been dying to
flunk me out of football,
but at last
i got him buffaloed.
Hopkins: Having in mind
the extraordinary performance
last week by mr. Stover,
i venture a suspicion-
a complimentary suspicion-
that requires him
to recite again.
if you please.
Fifth chapter,
first line, fourth word.
Gerund or gerundive?
You hesitate, stover?
Your erstwhile erudition
was merely a flash in the pan?
Too bad.
I should regret removing you
from football glory,
even on the house scrub, the very
day before the dickinson game.
Quite disgraceful,
eh, stover?
Quite right.
By mere chance,
of course.
Same chapter,
fourth line,
third word.
Have i lived to see it?
Next page.
Fourth line, fifth word.
Forgive my astonishment.
You think you can
keep this up, stover?
I'll try, sir.
A miracle
has come to pass.
Sit down, stover.
Obviously, the gerund
and gerundive-
the scylla and charibdes
of prosody-
have no longer
any terrors for you.
A sudden change in
the weather, no doubt.
Hey, dink.
What i want to know
was, how did you do it
with hungry smeed
absent from class?
Shad, i've spent
so much time
with hungry smeed
that i've learned the
gerund and the gerundive.
Referee: Dickinson's ball
on their own 25-yard line.
First down,
5 yards to go.
Boy: Get ready.
22, 27, 38.
Referee: All right. Pileup.
Dickinson's ball
on their own 33.
First down, 5 yards to go.
Boy: Get set. 38, 42.
Referee: First down,
5 yards to go.
Boy: Get set. 38, 42, 27.
Who are you going
to put in now, sir?
Well, first,
he's a fighter,
and your team
isn't fighting.
Second, i believe the boy has
a genuine instinct for football.
I hope you're
right, sir.
Stover, i'm going to put
you in at left end next half.
You're not-
you're not gonna
put me in.
What's the matter?
Getting scared?
Oh, no, sir.
It just seems awful
you haven't got anybody
better than me to put in.
You're going to be
better than you know how.
Stover, there are all sorts
of things you can do now.
You can charge in
like a bull
and kill yourself off
in 10 minutes.
That won't do.
Or you can go in
for grandstand plays
and be carried
off the field.
Now, that won't
do either.
Now, you've got
to stay in the game
and help us keep dickinson
from scoring again.
Yes, sir.
Say, stover.
You and i
have formed up
a sort of a feud,
haven't we?
We have.
Let's forget about it,
just for this game, huh?
All right.
Of course, we're still
gonna fight it out
when the time comes.
You bet your life
we are.
Referee: All right.
All right.
Break it up. Let's go.
Dickinson's ball
on their own 42.
First down, 5 yards to go.
Get set.
48, 42, 36.
Referee: Dickinson's ball
on the kennedy's 40.
Second down, 2 yards to go.
Get set.
That back.
He's a tough one.
You take him low.
I'll take him high.
32, 36.
Referee: Dickinson's ball
on the kennedy 30-yard line.
Third down, 6 inches to go.
Tough, this time,
let me see
if i can open it up.
See if you
can get through.
Boy: Get ready.
22, 27.
Uh, what's the matter?
What's the matter?
What's the-
just a little wind knocked
out. That's all, kid.
All right.
Referee: Dickinson's ball
on the kennedy 22.
First down, 5 yards to go.
Boy: Get set. 42, 48.
Come on now.
Come on!
Let's go, fellas.
Let's hold them.
Come on now.
How much more time,
One minute more.
We'll hold them now.
We're all fighting.
Referee: Dickinson's ball
on the kennedy 16-yard line.
First down, 5 yards to go.
Boy: Get set. 48, 52, 36.
You can last,
can't you, dink?
You bet i can,
Let's hold them,
dink, old boy.
They mustn't score.
They won't.
Referee: Dickinson's ball
on the kennedy 8.
First down,
5 yards to go.
Boy: Get set.
38, 42, 27.
Referee: Dickinson's ball
on the kennedy one-foot line.
First down, goal to go.
Tough, hold them.
Hold them, tough.
Boy: Get set.
48, 52, 36.
They didn't make it!
They didn't make it!
Boy: We got it!
Tough: Come on, fellas.
Let's give them a cheer.
Together: 1, 2, 3...
Rah rah rah!
Dickinson! Yay!
now evening with
twilight has fallen
and the birds
to their nests are all gone
we gather around
in the gloaming
and raise up our voices
in song
tough: Who's that?
It's me-
dink stover.
I came down here...
well, just to feel
how i felt again.
So did i.
You know, tough, they
tell me we held them
4 times inside
the 10-yard line.
4 times, old boy.
It's funny. I don't
remember but two.
Guess i was groggy.
You didn't act
like it.
Well, i was, though.
You pulled me through.
Oh, rats.
No, you did.
How many of us tackled that
fellow on the last play?
The whole bunch.
Hey, dink.
Let's get down.
You know, like we did
on those last plays.
You can last,
can't you, dink?
You bet i can,
Hic! Uh.
Tough, hold them.
Hold them, tough.
Tough, i guess there won't be
any fight between you and me now.
No. Not now.
What did we get
a grudge for, anyway?
I don't know.
I always liked
you, dink,
but you wouldn't
have it.
I was a mean
little varmint.
It's a wonderful school,
You bet it is.
Say, dink.
Next year,
you and i will be
whipping the new little
varmints into shape ourselves.
I'm going to see that all the
kids in my house walk a chalk line.
Boys: ... with all our hearts
and souls
not basking in the plaudits
of the house, gentlemen?
Not posing heroic in the
dazzling limelight of fame?
Such modesty
astounds me.
Stover, could you descend from
olympus a moment and indulge me?
Wait for me up
in the room, tough.
I'll only be
a couple of seconds.
i have some
disagreeable news.
As your housemaster, in
my hands have been placed
the immediate fate of your
career at this institution.
There has been
an official complaint
from the headmaster about
your academic standings.
That must please
you, sir.
You've been my enemy ever
since that first day when...
if i remember rightly, i referred
to you as "old cocky wax."
I recall, stover.
for you, therefore,
the head of
this institution
has asked me to decide
whether or not
you remain within
our present confines.
Go ahead, mr. Hopkins.
Have me fired.
You've made up your mind,
too, so fire me.
Oh, no, stover.
You shall make up
my mind.
At 8:00
tomorrow evening,
here in this room, i shall
give you a special examination.
A written examination.
That wouldn't include, of
course, any gerunds or gerundives.
Oh, dear me. No.
Selected translation passages
from those past classes-
when you were
All i can say is i
have no other alternative
than to bow
before your tyranny.
What happened, dink?
Just when everything's
working out all right,
the old roman's gonna wreck
my career at lawrenceville.
Oh, no.
He can't do that now.
We'll stop-
it's no use.
He's been after me,
and now he's got me.
No, he hasn't.
I'll get the shad.
We'll form a committee.
Don't you move
from that spot
till i get back here
with the riot squad.
The senate... had named-
had called!
A different thing
Had called...
him king and friend.
Oh, what's the use,
I can't catch up on 6
weeks' lessons in 24 hours.
Shad: How's
it going, folks?
It isn't going.
I feared so.
Gentlemen, we come
not to take your money,
but to do you good.
Tough: Listen, dink.
At 8:00 tonight, you're
going into that examination
practically padded
with little pieces
of paper covered
with the right word.
Tut-tut. Mccarty,
such crude language.
Mr. Stover.
You know the big water
cooler in the hall?
We'll wait until you're
in the roman's study
long enough to read the
assignment he gives you.
What will happen
then, dink,
will give you a chance
to refresh your memory.
And if you haven't brought
the right answers with you,
hungry smeed, the midget
thinking machine here,
will be outside
the window.
All right.
Now, dink.
You enter
the old roman's study
with dignity
and self-possession.
Blithely, you take
from his hand the paper
containing the dreaded
latin mysteries.
You study it...
Then you hear a crash.
The old roman runs
from his study
in hysterical haste.
Quick, smeed.
Try him out.
What's the first
exposition written?
Suppose it's "the campaign
against ariovistus."
"Caesar crosses rhine."
Oh, no. That's
"destruction of the gauls."
Here's "caesar
crosses the rhine."
"Victory of the romans
in the naval engagement."
That's one of the old
buzzard's prime pets.
Next to my heart.
Hey, it's one minute
to 8:00.
We don't want to whip him
into a rage by being late.
Good evening, john.
Sit here.
I sincerely hope you're
able to translate these.
Oh, thank you, sir.
Uh, take your time,
Please, mr. Hopkins.
Could i have
the window open?
I'm a little warm.
I can imagine.
Perspiring to the bone,
no doubt.
Thank you, sir.
Well, good luck, john.
I'll leave you alone
with your problems.
Hungry: Dink.
He's gone out.
We're in clover.
Sure. He went out,
to put me on my honor,
so i can't try
any funny business.
It's a dirty,
low-down trick.
If this isn't
the limit, hungry.
All this stuff
he gave me,
i've been over
with you.
I know it all.
If i translate it now
with him out of the room,
the old rhinoceros
will think i cribbed it.
Tut. The last straw.
Honor is involved.
Go away, hungry.
Leave me alone.
All right, stover.
All through?
Hand me your paper.
Well, john.
I think this will just about
keep you in lawrenceville.
Tough, i didn't write
down one line,
and still he told me
i'd stay in school.
My aunt's cat's pants.
Guess i've been
all wrong about him.
How so?
Well, if the old roman
hasn't been my deadly enemy,
then i'm all mixed up.
Did you talk
to him about this?
No. I was
too confused and-
now i don't know
how to do it.
Jump right in and tackle
him around the knees.
I think i will.
Come in.
Ah, it's you, john.
Yes, sir. It's me.
Uh. Come in.
Sit down.
Well, john.
Mr. Hopkins, i've come
to have it out with you.
I'm glad you have, john.
Have you really been
standing behind me?
On my side all the time?
Well, that expresses
it, perhaps.
Why, sir, i thought
you were down on me,
had it in for me
from the very first.
From our first meeting?
Perhaps you didn't credit me with
having a sense of humor, john.
Mr. Hopkins,
i want to apologize.
Thank you.
What made you
stand by me, sir?
John, this is a truth
unwise to publish abroad.
A boy whose energy must
explode periodically,
often disastrously,
he's the one who eventually
may become the most worthwhile.
You mean it's not always the
one with the highest marks?
We of the faculty can only
paint your memory with facts
that are like the writing in the sands.
The real things
that are learned
are those
that you teach us.
Watching as we do the
ever-recurrent miracle of humanity-
the struggling birth
of the man
out of the dirtied,
hopeless cocoon of the boy.
Now, john.
Let me say this.
You're going to be
a leader in this school.
That will be a great
The younger boys will
all look up to you,
copying you.
You'll be setting
the standards.
Set manly ones.
I'll try, sir.
And help to straighten out
some of the younger fellows.
Yes, sir.
There's little
pee-wee norris.
A little serious talk-
you know, a word dropped that
will keep him out of trouble.
I know what you mean.
I'll try it on him.
Then there's burbecker.
He's just
a little fresh.
good stuff in him.
And then, john,
there's one boy-
a bright boy,
full of energy,
a good mind.
But he needs
to be taken in hand
with a little kindness.
Who, sir?
Jiggs belfont.
Jiggs belfont?
Oh, you're wrong
there, sir.
That kid's hopeless.
Nothing would do
him any good.
Why, he's a thoroughgoing,
out-and-out little varmint.
You mean, sir,
uh, like i was?
Goodness gracious!
If it isn't
lord tom le veerdevere.
Clara, my dear girl,
spare me
the juvenile humors.
Can this be the grimy little
brat i used to have for a brother?
Tell me, please.
Where's the more mature
portion of the family?
They're out on the-
they're out
on the porch.
Thank you, clara.
There's a small spot
of dirt on your face.
When are you gonna
grow up?
Hello, folks.
Nice to be home.
Just look
at him, samuel.
I'm looking.
I'm seeing things.
Oh, now, mother.
You, too, dad.
Don't act as if i've
been away for years.
Sit down.
Tell me how you are.
What are the prospects
for a fine summer season?
Splendid. Splendid.
It's wonderful
seeing you.
Have a cigar.
What am i saying?
You don't smoke,
do you?
No, dad.
Kid stuff.
Where did you get
that sporty necktie?
Tasty little thing,
isn't it, sam bones?
Well, maude.
I prayed to the good lord,
but i never thought
my prayers
would be answered
like this.
Say, jack, are you gonna have
a summer here at the beach!
I never saw such a flock
of pretty young girls
in all my life.
Frankly, sam bones, girls
can be a pain in the neck.
Maude: Oh, john,
i forgot.
I want you
to meet...
You remember
my son john?
You remember
dolly travers.
No. I don't think i've
ever met miss travers.
You didn't hurt
yourself, did you?
Not a bit.