House of Usher (1960) Movie Script

The House of Usher
- Sir?
- I should like to see Miss Usher.
I'm afraid that's not possible, sir.
Miss Usher is confined to her bed.
- She is ill?
- Yes, sir.
- Is it serious?
- Sir?
My name is Philip Winthrop.
Miss Usher and I are engaged
to be married.
I cannot admit you, sir.
You cannot?
- By whose order?
- Mr. Roderick, her brother.
- He has expressly forbidden...
- Well then I should speak to him.
I insist you announce me.
Yes, sir. You're our guest.
Come in.
Your coat, sir.
If you'd just follow me.
Yes? What is it?
Your boots, sir.
- What about them?
- Do you mind... taking them off?
Taking them off? What on earth for?
I am sure Mr. Roderick will explain
it to you, sir.
A strange request.
This is the first time I've
ever been...
If you'd care to put these on, sir.
Thank you
And if we may go now...
This way, sir.
What is the meaning of this?
I... This is Mr. Winthrop, sir.
How dare you admit anyone
into this house.
I insisted, sir. I felt I had
the right.
Well, we can't talk out here.
Please, come in.
- I gather you know who I am.
- If you'd please...
Mr. Winthrop... softly.
An affliction of the hearing.
Sound of any exaggerated degree...
...cut into my brain like knives.
My apologies.
I'm afraid you are going
to leave, Mr. Winthrop.
I've come to see Madeline.
That is quite impossible
She is confined to her bed.
Mr. Usher, your sister and I
are betrothed.
- It was a mistake.
- I don't believe that.
Please, don't argue with me, sir.
You must leave this house now.
It is not a healthy place for
you to be.
Mr. Usher...
I have ridden all the way
from Boston to see Madeline...
- ...and I do not intend to
leave without seeing her. Now, if...
- Philip!
Madeline, in Heaven's name,
you must return to your bed.
You came all the way just
to see me?
Yes, to see you.
Madeline, I must insist.
- We shall talk later, Philip.
- Mr. Winthrop is leaving.
- Leaving?
- I'm not leaving.
He must stay, Roderick.
Please, let him stay,
Very well, he will stay.
Now, for pity's sake,
return to your bed
What happened?
I think your fireplace needs
the screen.
Does it?
I was just admiring this
painting here.
- Is it your own work?
- It is.
And... you also play this lute.
I do.
Mr. Winthrop, are you actually
planning to marry my sister?
Mr. Usher...
...during the time we spent
together in Boston...
it never occurred to me...
And I dare say to
Madeline neither...
...That we were not
destined to each other.
When she left me she said to me:
"I will love you forever".
Does it seem so incredible
that I would want to marry her?
If you only knew how incredible.
And I suppose this vision...
...includes children?
God willing...
God willing?
If you knew the nightmare you
are picturing for me, sir...
- Nightmare?
- That's what I said.
Why shouldn't Madeline marry
and have children?
Because the Usher line
is tainted, Mr. Winthrop.
- Tainted, sir?
- You saw Madeline and you see me.
We are dying, Mr. Winthrop.
As you saw her today she is
and she will remain...
Believe me, sir... I bear you
no malice.
Were things otherwise...
...I should welcome to our
family joyously.
But under the circumstances it
is quite impossible.
But why do you assume that... are dying?
There are many reasons.
Pray, give me one then.
Madeline and I are like figures
of fine glass.
The slightest touch and we
may shatter.
Both of us suffer from a morbid
acuteness of the senses.
Mine is the worst, for having existed
along and the both of us are inflicted with it.
Any sort of food...
...more exotic than
the most pallid mashes...
...unendurable to my
taste buds.
Any sort of garment other
than the softest... agony to my flesh.
My eyes are tormented by all...
but the faintest illumination.
All these assail me constantly... I've said...
the sounds of any degree whatsoever
inspire me with terror.
That's why your servant asked me
to remove my boots.
Yes. And even so I could hear you
Every footstep. Every rustle
of your clothes.
I could hear your horse approaching.
Hear the clatter of the hoofs
across the courtyard.
Your knock!
The grating of the door bolt was
like a sword struck to my ears.
I can hear the scratch of the
rat claws within the stone wall.
Mr. Winthrop, three quarters
of my family...
...have fallen into madness.
And in their madness they have
acquired a superhuman strength... that it took the power
of many to subdue them.
Do you not exaggerate, sir.
Perhaps there have been in your
family certain...
...peculiarities of temperament, but...
Peculiarities of temperament?
How diplomatically you put it!
Peculiarities of temperament.
Would you permit me to light a candle
so that...?
I think you had better leave, Mr. Winthrop.
I think you need some light in this
house, Mr. Usher.
Two pale drops of fire...
...clattering in the vast, consuming,
My sister and myself.
Shortly they will burn no more.
She cannot leave this house, Mr. Winthrop.
Believe that or not as you will, but she
cannot leave it.
For her own sake as well as yours, will you
leave now, please.
No, I will not.
Very well.
Bristol will show you to a room.
I warned you, sir.
Whatever consequences may follow your
refusal to leave,
are upon you alone.
Supper, Mr. Winthrop.
- I'll be down directly.
- Very good, sir.
- What is that noise?
- What happened?
- Is it Mr. Winthrop?
- Philip!.
- I'm all right, Madeline.
- What happened?
- I'm not sure.
- Philip, you'd better leave this place.
Please leave! It isn't safe for you.
Darling, I'm all right.
I'm not leaving you, Madeline.
- Mr. Winthrop?
- No, thank you.
My dear?
You haven't touched the thing, Madeline.
Don't you think...
...that crack in the wall should be
For future generations of Ushers?
For Madeline's safety.
It was probably the trembling of
the house which caused...
that chandelier to fall.
Do you really think so?
Have you a better explanation?
While I was riding here, I noticed a
singular lack of vegetation in the area.
Is there something wrong with
the soil?
The soil?
Yes, of course.
- Roderick, please.
- As you will.
- How do things go in Boston, Philip?
- Everyone asks for you.
Do they?
We miss you, Madeline.
We all miss you.
And you composed it yourself?
May we have another?
I'm afraid Madeline must retire now.
But I am not tired .
Very well.
Good night, brother.
Good night, my dear.
Good night, Philip.
Good night.
I suggest we retire too, Mr. Winthrop.
I trust that you will be prepared
to leave tomorrow morning.
If you wish...
But if I do...
...I won't be alone.
I intend to see that...
- Oh, Philip
- Darling.
I'm sorry I frightened you.
I did not want your brother to hear.
Philip, I missed you.
I love you.
Madeline, I swear to you, tomorrow
you leave this place with me.
- If only I could.
- You will, you will.
You don't understand.
But you've never seen the heart
of this horrible house.
Darling, once you're with me you'll
wake up from this... this nightmare!
Good night, sir.
Mr. Usher, perhaps you fail to understand...
Good night, sir.
You cannot order my life, Roderick.
Is it so easy for you to forget, Madeline?
- My life is my own.
- Is it?
- I think that...
- Is it, Madeline?
You hate me so much you want to keep
me a prisoner here?
Hate you?
Oh, my dear, hate you?
Don't you know that I love you more than
anything in the world?
Can't you see it's my love for you makes
me act as I do.
You cannot leave here, Madeline.
You know what would happen if you did,
you know that.
- I know what you've told me.
- Oh, my dear.
Do not delude yourself, I beg of you,
do not delude yourself.
- Sir...
- I shall stay with her.
In the name of God, would you not
understand! Leave my sister be.
Mr. Usher, I mean to take her from this
house tomorrow.
I will not argue with you.
Will you leave, please?
We'll be all right, Madeline.
Don't touch her!
You mustn't wake her, sir.
The shock could be very harmful.
- How did she get here?
- Se walks in her sleep, sir.
And then she comes here?
She is obsessed by thoughts of death.
Poor child!
How long has she been doing this?
Ever since her return from Boston, sir.
I'll just take her to her room.
- No, I...
- No!
You might awaken her, sir.
Better let me.
I've done it before.
- Good morning, Bristol.
- Good morning, sir.
Has Miss Madeline had her breakfast yet?
Oh, no, sir.
Good, then I'd like to take
her breakfast straight to her.
Very well, sir. Of course, she does not
eat very much usually
Well then we will see that she
does eat.
- Yes sir...
- All right, let's see what we have here...
bread, that's good...
Milk? A little fruit?
Why, I'll take it to her, sir.
- No, I'll do it.
- Yes, sir.
- Oh, how about some eggs?
No, sir. I think perhaps a little gruel.
It's the most she has ever eaten
in the morning.
- Gruel?
- Yes, sir.
Oh, yes, her sense of taste.
- Well, all right then, hot gruel
...for both of us.
- Yes, sir.
How long have you been with
the Ushers, Bristol?
Sixty years, sir.
- Sixty years?
- Ever since I was a boy.
Why then this is as much your house
as it is Mr. Roderick's.
And Miss Madeline, sir.
Not after today.
I'm taking her to Boston with me.
We'll see.
How long has that been going on?
So long I'm hardly aware of it any more.
It's just the settling of the house.
That settling can cause this entire
structure to collapse.
- And that doesn't worry you?
- Oh, no, sir.
If the house dies, I shall die with it.
Be careful, sir. It was about to hit you.
It could cause a nasty burn.
It's that fissure that causes the
entire house to shake.
Yes, sir.
Who is it?
Your breakfast, Miss Usher.
Hot gruel and... hot gruel.
It's so dark in here I can barely see you.
No sunlight.
There'll be sunlight where we leave.
Now... good morning.
Good morning.
If he comes in now don't be afraid.
He won't come in. He has to take drugs
to sleep
Oh, I'm sorry.
Well now...
We'll fill you with hot gruel in good share!
You're so sweet to me.
Nothing too good for future
Mrs. Winthrop.
- Mrs. Winthrop?
- Open your mouth.
I'm not hungry.
Madeline, I have no scrawny woman I my
home, now open your mouth.
Come on.
Madeline, get ready to leave.
- I want to, Philip.
- Then you will.
- I can't.
- Why?
Because very soon I shall be dead.
I forbid you to say that ever again.
- It is true, Philip.
- It is not true, Madeline.
You're full of life.
Look at me, Philip. Do I look full of life?
I remember you as you were in Boston.
Do you remember? You were exuberant.
You were filled with the joy of living.
And so you'll be again when you leave
here and become my wife.
I wish you could understand.
Let me understand, Madeline, let me
so that I can help you.
Perhaps you shall feel differently
after you see.
- Where are we going?
- You'll see.
Careful, darling.
- You don't want to go in there.
- I want you to see.
Put your weight against it.
The all our... Ushers.
It's the lack of air in here.
It's the air itself.
Nothing can survive that long.
My great-grandfather.
His wife.
My grandfather.
My grandmother.
My father.
My mother.
This is monstrous!
Whose idea was this?
Your dear brother's?
There is one for him too.
Does that absolve him?
It waits for me.
No, it does not.
They all wait for me.
Madeline, Madeline,
you must stop this.
Can't you see what you are doing to yourself?
You don't understand.
I understand, but you must leave
the dead to themselves.
Madeline, come away with me now.
What have you done?
Give her to me.
- Thank you. See to the crypt, will you?
- Yes.
Well, are you content now,
Mr. Winthrop?
It is not I who forced her to
live in the cemetery.
Do you think that I
wish her harm?
I think you still do not understand.
And I think it's time that you did.
The tarn is very deep.
One of the Usher women drowned
herself in it.
She was never found.
I dare say it's deep enough
to swallow this house entire.
I'm waiting, Mr. Usher.
Last night you asked me about the
singular aridity...
...of the land around this house.
Once this land was fertile,
farms abounded.
Earth yielded her riches
at harvest time.
There were trees and plant life,
flowers. Fields of grain.
There was great beauty here.
At that time this water was
clear and fresh.
Swans glided upon its crystal surface.
Animals came to its bank,
trustingly, to drink.
But this was long before my time.
Why do you tell me these things?
And then something crept across the
land and blacked it.
The trees lost their foliage.
The flowers languished and died.
Shrubs grew brown and shrivelled.
The grain fields perished.
And the lakes and ponds became black
and stagnant.
And the land withered as
before a plague.
A plague?
Yes, Mr. Winthrop, a plague of evil.
Anthony Usher,
thief, usurer...
...merchant of flesh...
Bernard Usher. Swindler, forger.
Jewel thief. Drug addict.
Francis Usher...
professional assassin.
Vivian Usher. Blackmailer...
...harlot, murderess.
She died in a madhouse.
Captain David Usher...
...smuggler, slave trader...
mass murderer.
Mr. Usher, I don't see that this has
anything to do with Madeline and myself.
I don't believe in the sins
of the fathers being...
...visited upon the children.
You do not, Sir?
The house of Usher seems to
you, then, normal?
The house, Sir, is neither normal
nor abnormal.
It's only a house.
You are very wrong, Mr. Winthrop.
This house is centuries old.
It was brought here from England.
And with it every evil
rooted in its stones.
You really believe this?
Evil is not just a word.
It is reality. Like any living thing... can be created and was created
by these people.
The history of the Ushers... a history of
savage degradations.
First in England, and then in
New England.
And always in this house.
Always in this house.
Born of evil which feels,
it is no illusion.
For hundreds of years,
foul thoughts...
...and foul deeds have been
committed within its walls.
The house itself is evil now.
No, I... I cannot believe this.
But you must.
For Madeline's sake, you must.
Most of all, does this evil
reside in her.
And this is your dreadful secret?
Mr. Winthrop...
Do you think those coals jumping
from the fire out to you...
...were an accident?
Do you think that chandelier
falling was an accident?
Do you think that falling casket
was an accident?
- Are you trying to tell me that
the house made those things happen?
- Yes.
No, Sir, that's ridiculous,
but even if it were true...
...even if this house were
full of evil...
Madeline is not.
Not for all of your talk are you.
You cannot take my sister
out of this house.
If she were to wed and bear children...
...the Usher evil would spread
and you, malignant cancer ...
- You are mad, I will not listen to you.
- She will.
No, I will not!
I'll tell you what's evil in
this house, Sir. You!
I will not let your sicken fancies...
...destroy Madeline's life.
She leaves with me today.
Who is it?
We're leaving. Now.
Madeline, you have no other choice.
If you remain here, this
house will destroy you.
Then, you know.
I know that your brother's poisoned
you with his absurdities.
This entire atmosphere of sickness
and disillusion is his doing.
Oh Madeline, believe me, there's nothing
wrong with you that...
...leaving this house won't cure.
Do you love me?
- You know I do.
- Then leave with me now.
I will.
Well, pack just a few belongings.
I'll get my things ready.
- How we go?
- You'll ride with me.
Later on we get coach to Boston.
Oh, Philip, can it truly be?
Darling, within an hour, within
an hour we'll be away form here.
I love you.
I love you.
Pack, quickly!
No, I will not let it happen
any longer.
Now please let me go.
I don't care what you say!
You can't keep me.
- And I will go.
No, I will not let you.
Please let me go.
- I say I will!
- Madeline!
I must leave, Roderick.
Please let me.
I don't care what you say.
- There's nothing you can say
to me, Roderick.
- Madeline, open the door.
What have you done to her?
Yes, she is dead.
I told you she could never
leave this house.
- What did you do to her?
- I didn't touch her.
You killed her!
There's no mark on her. You are
the one who killed her.
I told you she was not well,
and yet you persisted.
Her heart cannot withstand the
strain you put upon her.
That's no matter now.
At least she has been spared the
agony of trying to escape.
One candle left to burn now...
...before the darkness comes.
At least...
...she has found peace now.
Has she?
Why do you say that?
Because I do not believe that
for the Ushers...
...there is peace hereafter.
Is there no end to your horrors?
No, non whatever.
For they are not mine alone.
Mere passage from the flesh cannot
undo centuries of evil.
There can be no peace without penalty.
Then you wanted her to die.
- Wanted?
- Yes!
I did not wish her death.
I only knew it was inevitable... my death is inevitable.
Our blight must be removed
from this earth.
What lies beyond is something
else again.
Must you close it now?
She must take her place below
with the rest of the Ushers.
One last look.
I cannot bear to look at her.
- I'll carry her with you.
- Bristol and I can manage.
I would rather if you don't mind.
I'll carry her.
I just wanted to say goodbye.
Shall I prepare some breakfast
before you leave, Sir?
- No, thank you.
- Some coffee, then?
- Yes, a little bit.
- Very good, sir.
- Shall I serve it in the...?
- No, no, I'll take it here.
You look tired, Sir.
I don't suppose any of us
slept much last night.
No, Sir.
- Bristol.
- Yes?
Do you think it was my coming
that caused Miss Madeline to...?
Oh, no Sir, not at all.
- Miss Madeline was not well.
- Her brother thinks I killed her.
It's just that he is highly
overwrought, Sir.
- Yes, thank you for the coffee.
- Your welcome, Sir.
Don't recriminate yourself, Mr. Winthrop.
Miss Madeline's passing was not your fault.
She was very weak, poor child.
It was...the Usher blood.
There's been such a history of illness
in the family.
Both with heart ailments, nervous
diseases, catalep...
And the like, Sir.
Miss Madeline was...
- What did you say?
- Sir?
- You s27,005 -- 00:55:29,608
- You s
Was Madeline subject to
cataleptic trances?
- Oh no Sir, not Miss Madeline.
- The truth! Was she?
No Sir!
That's why Mr. Usher wanted to
put her in the crypt so soon.
Oh, no Mr. Winthrop.
Oh my god!
No, you are wrong, Sir!
You're wrong!
Mr. Winthrop!
- Leave her in peace, Sir.
- Peace?
Leave her in peace, Sir.
Don't Sir! I beg of you.
- Where is she?
- I don't know, Sir.
- Tell me!
- I don't know, I swear I don't know.
I thought she was here.
You knew she was alive.
- I wasn't sure, Sir.
- You weren't sure?
What do you wish?
Where is she?
So you know.
You cannot find her.
- Tell me where she is.
- In a secret place.
- For the last time...
- Go on, you will be doing me
a very great favour.
- Where is she?
- Don't touch me!
- Where is she?
- Don't touch me!
- Where is she?
- Dead.
You lie! You buried her alive!
I did...but she is dead now.
- I swear it.
- You swear it?
- You buried your own sister alive?
- But I had to do it.
Can't you understand that?
She was doomed!
Where is she?
Where is she?
- Where is the secret place?
- Secret?
- Bristol, you must know.
- I know nothing, Sir.
I'll find her.
- Sir, was it necessary to...
- You know that it was.
Please, Sir. Try to get some rest.
- I've got to find her.
- But it's too late, Sir.
- No!
- Please, Sir. Please.
- She is alive.
- Try to get some rest.
I know she is...she is alive.
Still here?
I suggest you leave, Mr. Winthrop.
No? Then perish with us.
The old house crumbles...
Perhaps this storm will finish it.
You have murdered your sister,
Mr. Usher...
...and I intend to see that
you hang for it.
Do you?
Arrange it quickly, then.
If only I could kill you myself.
- Yes, if only you could.
- Yes.
Why did you do it?
I told you.
You will never understand...
...this so logical mind as yours
I have committed to murder.
If you only knew the agonies
I have spared you in the world.
If you only knew the agonies
I have endured in your behalf.
Did you know...?
Do you know that I could hear
every sound she made?
That I heard her breathing
in her casket?
Heard her first gasps as she awoke?
Her first scream of terror?
Did you know that I could hear
the scratching of her fingernails...
...on the casket lid?
You are mad!
Be gone!
- What?
- Nothing, I rave.
You said, "Be done!",
what did you mean?
- Is she still alive?
- No.
- Is she? Is she?
- Yes!
Yes, even now I hear her.
- No...
- Yes...alive.
Can you not hear her voice?
Where? In the name of god, where?
Below. Twisting...
...scratching at the lid with
bloody fingernails.
Staring, screaming, wild with fury,
the strength of madness in her.
Can you not hear her voice?
She calls my name...
Where is she?
- Give me this.
- Wait.
Don't go down there.
Let her die.
She has the madness.
Mr. Winthrop, please.
- Leave her, Sir.
- Leave her?
But you may never find her.
The house is honeycombed with
secret passages.
She could be anywhere, Sir.
- I'll find her.
- But she is mad, Sir.
Please, Mr. Winthrop, you must leave.
- Where is she?
- Outside walls began to crack.
- Where has she gone?
- I don't know. I beg of you, please.
The whole house may at any moment...
There was no other way.
There was no other way...
"and the deep and dark tarn
closed silently over...
...the fragments of the House of Usher".