Krotkaya (1960) Movie Script

"Lenfilm" studio
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Meek One
(a fantastic story)
St. Petersburg.
The capital.
Hardly any other place
could influence a man's soul
in such dark, harsh and
mysterious ways... St. Petersburg does it.
Pawnbroker's - 5th floor
Now, see for yourselves
what is happening in those
big black dusky houses
of St. Petersburg.
Look closer.
And see for yourselves - what
kind of life this is.
I'll leave you here for a
moment, I won't be long.
I'll only make arrangements about our
passports and departure.
Is anything wrong, Madam, my dear?
It's alright, Lukeria.
You can go.
Are you happy, Madam?
Well, Master should've apologized
a long time ago
Thank God it's all over now.
Yes, Lukeria.
Go away.
(german accent)
Hey boy, vat's goink on down zere?
A woman has jumped
out of the window!
Here, Mister!
Too late.
Too late.
I've named my story "fantastic",
while I consider it to be
realistic to the utmost.
The "fantastic" part is in the
form of the story,
where the man constantly
speaks to himself.
It's her fault!
It's her fault.
I wanted her to kneel before me,
for all my sufferings.
And I was well worth it!
That was my plan!
But I must be missing
something here...
something I didn't take
into account...
I'll tell it all, like I understand it...
..That's the horror of it, that
I understand it all!
I'll just put it in order.
That was not the first time
she came to me
she needed money to pay
for the ads in newspapers.
And she hardly could,
at the time.
Nobody will take things like this,
as you might have already noticed.
Even Mauzer won't.
I could give you money for it,
only as a favor.
Two rubles.
Only as a favor.
Two rubles is not enough.
Could you take a look... at this?
You'd better remove the mounting,
and take the icon with you.
Or, you know... doesn't feel like...
Can you do that?
Well, it's not like I'm not allowed to,
but maybe you wanted to...
Go on, remove it.
forget the removing part, I'm going
to put it over there in the icon case,
and you, you'll get
10 rubles for it.
I don't need ten.
Give me five rubles,
I'll pay off by all means.
Don't you want a ten?
The icon's worth it.
Forget about your pride,
I've been in your shoes, I know
how hard it could be.
And now you see me in
this kind of work
only because of all the
things I've been through.
So is that your revenge?
You see, I'm...
Part of that power which does...
constantly strive to do evil,
and constantly does good.
Wait, that lines...
I heard it somewhere...
In such words Mephistopheles
introduces himself to Faust.
Did you read "Faust"?
- Not really...
- So you didn't.
You should.
But don't think that I try to pose
as Mephistopheles
to cover up my line of work.
A pawnbroker is a pawnbroker.
That is true.
You're strange...
I didn't want to say anything...
...of the kind.
Of course there's a good deed
in any kind of work.
I'm not talking about
myself, mind you...
As for me, I'm doing nothing
except for evil.
Then I decided to test her
one more time.
Here, listen.
"Young lady, orphan, will work
as a governess for small children
In case the employer is
an elderly widower,
she could also help
with the housework.
See? That was published
this morning.
By the evening she must've
already found a job.
That's a good advertisement.
You're right, one can do good
on any kind of work.
On any kind.
Oh yes, I remember that day...
When she came out...
I made up my mind
once and for all.
She's still hoping to
find a place, Master.
Asks her aunt for a little
time to think.
They gave her that "little", and
looks like it's running out today.
- Lukeria, is Madam at home?
- Where else would she be?
To hell with you, old fool!
- Is that him?
- Yes, Master, he's a local grocer.
He's outlived two wives,
God bless them.
Now he has put an eye on her.
They're going to sell her, Master.
Listen here, Lukeria.
Go up there and tell her
that I'm here,
and I would like a word
with her, most urgent.
Master, are you really?..
She's been a slave for her
aunts for three years.
...scrubbing floors...
They used to beat her.
Reproached her for the food.
Later she told me all in details.
Don't be surprised.
I am a frank man, as you
might have noticed,
I've studied thoroughly
everything about you.
I will consider it an honor,
a fortune...
An honor? A fortune?
Wait, don't rush
with the answer.
You may misinterpret my intentions.
These are exactly "Honor" and "Fortune".
With your "yes" you'll bless me.
Yes, that is so.
I am not really talented,
nor am I clever,
or maybe even kind.
I'm a cheap egoist.
- Why are you saying all this? Don't!
- No, I will.
I will.
You must believe that with your "yes"
it is me who gains, not you.
My income is not great, but I promise
you'll never be hungry.
But no dresses, dances, theaters,
nothing of the kind.
Maybe later, when I'm
closer to my goals.
When you're a pawnbroker,
you have only one goal.
You'll learn about it later.
I am waiting for your answer.
Give me a second.
Is she really deciding between me
and that merchant?
No, I wasn't afraid that
she would decline,
I knew the grocer was even
more repulsive than me,
and that I'm in the role of
liberator, I knew all that!
Oh, the lowness is truly what a man
understands best of all!
So, what will be your answer?
I'm very grateful.
God will repay you, Master,
for taking her.
Only don't tell her what I said.
She's meek, but proud.
Proud, huh?
A proud one...
Proud ones are especially
good, when...
...when you no longer doubt
your power over them.
Taking her in my house, I wanted
absolute respect, authority.
What's that for?
I don't keep dogs or servants,
and in my line of work this
is necessary for protection.
On all her joys and raptures
I answered with cold indifference
That was my plan!
She saw quickly the difference in us...
...and the mystery in me.
The mystery - that's what
I counted on!
Two months had passed.
How do I start here, it's
very difficult to...
Whenever you start making excuses,
it gets even more difficult.
You see, young ones despise
money, for instance.
I immediately started talking
about money.
I emphasized that topic,
to such extent, that she became
more and more silent.
When you were my fiancee,
I told you,
that the cost of our living, meaning
food for you, me and Lukeria,
is one ruble per day,
not more.
Then I raised it myself
on 30 kopecks.
Same goes for the theater.
I said we couldn't afford it, but
now it's allowed once a month.
Good, exspensive seats.
You must be satisfied.
What's funny?
I can live without theater,
save us some money.
Well, you can't make a fortune
without saving,
I need to get thirty thousand
in three years.
Yes, you heard me! I deserve it!
I started this business, only to...
Why, why should I even
make excuses in front of her?
Could she even understand my
excuses, my sufferings?
Some day she'll get it
by herself,
and she'll appreciate it
twice as much.
- I came here, thinking that
you may be interested in hearing
the details of your husband's
life before marriage.
Not here, of course... in a more
suitable place.
Shame on you! How
can you even talk like that?
Keeping in mind our
previous relations,
I do hope you will no longer dare
come into my house!
If you please.
You're right. Your house is not a
pleasant place for meetings.
I'd rather meet somewhere else.
All the best, Ma'am.
How low, how disgusting!
You think I didn't love her?
Everybody would tell you,
that I loved her!
You see, there goes the biting
irony of this situation...
Because I did, I really did
love her!
why am I even talking about it?
The point here is...
That I ramble on and on, but
can't quite get it together.
How did it all start?
Yes, that's how.
One... four... nine... seven...
Now that will do.
Thirty rubles.
Okay. It's a present, from
my deceased husband.
The last thing I have
in memory of him.
Could you take all these,
instead of the locket?
No. They are worthless.
- Please keep it in safe, I'll pay off!
- By all means.
I'll keep it during one month,
starting from today,
After that, you can't claim
any rights on it.
Stay here.
I can't.
I just can't leave here the last
thing that's dear to me.
Take it.
But you do need money,
what are you going to do?
I'll try to pawn any of these...
Noone will take them,
believe me.
I'll try anyway.
Give it here.
Take it, go on.
- How can I thank you?
- Please go.
- Go.
- Thank you so much.
Thank you.
The money, that you spent
so generously, were mine!
Mine, do you understand? Cheap
generosity is always easy.
Is that what you seek?
How about the difficult option?
The inglorious one,
when you're slandered,
when everyone sees
the scoundrel in you,
while you're more honest than
anyone else on earth?
Try that heroic deed
for a change.
No? You won't?
And me, I've been
doing it all my life.
When I invited you into my house,
I hoped you'll understand all that,
and make it a rule to...
So you hoped to buy
my respect, my love?
No, sir. You can't buy that.
From now on you take no part
in my occupation.
Where's she going?
- Is she with you?
- No, she's not here.
That's strange.
- And all these days...
- I haven't seen her for a long time.
I don't get it.
I told her not to leave the
house without me.
It's your own fault.
Serves you right.
I'm asking you...
find out what you can
and tell me.
I'll give it a try, Mister.
I'll be back later.
Is that true you were kicked
out of your regiment?
For cowardice, for declining a duel?
- Kicked out as a coward?
- Yes, that's how they named it.
So that's who you are, a coward!
To rise agains their tyranny,
takes much more courage than
fighting on any duel.
So it's true that you wandered around
the city for three years, like a tramp?
Begging for coins, sleeping
under the bridge?
Yes, that's true.
In my life I had a great deal
of shame and hardships
- But that's in the past.
- Yes, now you're a big man.
A financier.
- Is that a hint?
- Whatever you like.
Everyone talks badly
about the pawnbroker.
So what? What of it?
I must have reasons of my own.
And yet you didn't tell me that
before the marriage.
Yes, I didn't tell her. I kept
my mouth shut.
Why was I silent?
I was, like any proud man would be!
She's heard the
disgraceful gossip
and thinks that she knows
all about me.
But the innermost secret
I kept to myself.
You see,
that was an incident
which has been bothering me every
hour, every minute of my life.
To put it shortly...
It started in the theater, I went
out during the intermission.
Have you heard?
Captain Bezumcev is making
a scandal upstairs in the bar.
Bezumcev who? Which regiment?
Ah, he's one of these.
Why don't you bring your
brother-officer to reason?
We're in public area, after all.
- I have seen nothing reprehensible.
- Nothing? It seems like he's drunk!
It only seems so.
We thank you for upholding the
honor of our regiment.
The whole city's talking about us.
He should be nominated
for an award.
Allow me, gentlemen.
You did witness the guardsmen
talking about Cap. Bezumcev didn't you?
Why didn't you stop them?
Why should I? It's his and Bezumcev's
own business to discuss.
- I see.
- No it's not!
This concerns each and
every one of us!
You've brought shame on us, in front
of other officers and everyone!
Will you cut it out?
You don't seem to care about
the regiment's honor.
The regiment's honor is fine.
Gentlemen, that's foolish, you're
making a problem out of nothing.
The honor of our officers
is not "nothing"!
You're just a coward!
Calm down, gentlemen.
It think it's not too late
for our staff-captain
to clear our name
by demanding satisfaction from
the officer in question.
You're offering me a duel?
I won't submit to your
narrow-minded tyranny!
- I won't fight!
- Then we demand that you leave
our regiment immediately!
I resigned and left my regiment.
I was penniless...
and all alone on the streets.
I lost my courage and willpower.
I was thrown away...
thrown away and forgotten.
And nobody knows that.
Closing time!
Shut the doors,
turn off the light.
I was offended, for life,
For my noble impulse
towards people.
So let it be shame, let it
be disgrace.
Let it be sin.
The worse - the better.
And that's what I chose.
But where did she
learn all that?
Turns out, it is all Yulia Samsonovna,
our former acquaintance.
A widow, lives upstairs.
That's where your wife
spends time nowadays.
Your former colleague
is involved too,
an officer by the name Efymovych.
He's a good friend of hers.
They're having a date tonight.
If you wish, I can arrange that you'll
hear every word of their rendez-vous.
- That'll do.
- Yes, but...
The colonel's wife would
want her share too, so...
So Efymovych told her...
...and she's having a date with him.
...your spouse was
shivering with fear.
He's not worthy of such charming,
such intelligent,
such courageous woman as you.
Ah, yes, courageous.
To dare go on date with you takes
a lot of courage, is that what you say?
You're right, though.
Please go on.
You promised to prove me, that
my husband is a coward
and a disreputable man. Until now, I've
been hearing lies and nothing more.
- I don't believe you.
- If you don't, how come
you've taken a risk of
granting me this date?
Don't look at me like that.
Only affected and spontaneous
hatred towards me
could trick her into
a date like this.
- What can I do for you?
- Don't you dare!
- You won't!
- I'll do anything!
- Don't!
- Let me kiss at least your dress!
- Don't you dare touch me, I'll scream!
Oh, I wouldn't go against
the sacred bonds of marriage.
Take her away.
For your information, although
a decent man shouldn't fight with you,
only out of respect
for your lady
I'm at your disposal.
If you dare, of course.
Hear that?
I've been a witness of
a long fight between
a noble generous woman
and a lecherous dumb society lion.
We walked in silence.
And, remembering what
has just happened,
I saw it more and more clearly,
that poor thing
was just hesitant,
eager to insult me.
Why did I decide to meet
my death calmly, you ask me?
I ask you, why would I
want to live,
when my dearest thing
raises a revolver on me?
Moreover, I realized that this
situation was a fight,
a matter of life and death.
A battle fought by a yesterday's
coward, despised by his comrades.
Only the knowledge
that I've seen her,
that I know everything and
that I'm waiting silently,
could prevent her from shooting.
By going through this,
this revolver,
I took vengeance on the whole
of my dark past.
I won! And she was defeated,
once and for all!
We've been looking after her
day and night during her illness.
I couldn't imagine,
I couldn't even assume that she would
die without knowing the whole truth.
What a nice day.
Lukeria, my dear, could
you bring me some water?
But keep quiet.
When she started feeling better,
I tried to keep myself out of sight,
secretly looking at her.
Strange, though, that all the time
I couldn't catch her eye.
I kept repeating to myself:
"Hold on, wait! She'll give up first."
That thought was irresistible.
A fatal, dreadful mist
in front of my eyes.
(folk song)
She's singing, while I'm
in the house?
Has she forgotten about
me, or what?
To the Green bridge!
That's for the trouble.
I saw it! I did see it clearly!
Let's talk.
You know...
I tormented you!
Enough, calm down.
I'll shut down this damned office!
I hated it all my life, I suffered
and made you suffer too!
Please don't, calm
down, I beg you!
I love you.
I love you.
I'm a criminal.
I know this. This crime has been
torturing me the whole winter.
- And it still does.
- Don't say that!
Let's forget about this.
I wanted to love you.
I was seeking love.
- But now we're strangers.
- Let's forget this nightmare.
We'll leave! To the seashore!
In Boulogne!
You'll feel much better, you'll
forget it all!
You are so generous.
I appreciate what you've
done for me so much.
I'll be your faithful wife.
I will respect you, you hear? Respect.
And I thought you'd
leave me be.
I won't ask you anything.
Pay no attention to me.
I'll take you to Boulogne.
Right now.
I'll leave you here for a
moment, I won't be long.
I'll only make arrangements about our
passports and departure.
And this happened today.
Some hours ago.
I don't get it,
how did she jump out?
If only I came back
five minutes earlier!
She was too pure, too honest,
too innocent.
"And I thought you'd leave me be"...
...that's what she said before.
She was scared of my
love, that's what.
She asked herself seriously:
accept it or not? -
she couldn't bear the question
and preferred to die.
Now I see it.
For ever,
with no return.
I see that she despised me.
Only recently...
she walked...
she talked...
What a pity.
Five minutes.
Only five minutes late.
And now again,
these empty rooms.
Why on earth...
did I leave her?
Our passports.
What a misfortune.
Again I'm alone.
With my pawnshop.
I no longer work here, Mister.
As soon as they
bury her, I'll leave.
You ruined her, for good.
Now I can't let Lukeria go.
She know everything.
She's going to tell me
all about her.
Look, the pendulum doesn't care.
It regrets nothing.
It just keeps on ticking:
too late... too late... too late...
I ruined her.
That's what.
Doesn't hear.
What for?
Why did she die?
Oh, I understand it.
And yet this question stays with me,
like a thorn in the head.
What question?
The answer is on the table, and
you talk about questions!
Madness... madness...
"Love thy neighbor."
Who said it?
Whose precept is this?
To hell with your life!
With your faith!
Judge me any way you want!
I won't admit a thing!
The judge will say,
"Silence, officer!"
And I'll scream: "What kind of powers
do you have to make me obey?!"
How come the inertness ruined
what was most precious?
That inertness!
They say, "Is anybody out there alive?
I scream: "Is anybody out there alive?"
Noone answers.
People are alone on earth...
What a pity.
No, really.
What am I going to do,
after they carry her away?
What am I going to do?
The flow of his memories finally
led him to the truth.
This meek self-destructive soul
evokes different thoughts,
about past things being not
as simple as they seem,
and makes you wonder whether or not
you were the very cause of them.
Dark story that was.
One of those dark, painful stories,
which are so often lost and forgotten
in the streets of the enormous city
under heavy St. Petersburg sky.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The end.