Lonelyhearts (1958) Movie Script

Hello, Mrs Shrike.
Good evening, Adam.
- How are you?
Fine. Sit down.
- Thank you, no.
Oh, I forgot. Charlie.
A ginger ale, please.
On the rocks.
Did you ever try Cinzano?
It isn't strong.
But it is enough to relax you.
It's embarrassing.
I think I'm allergic to alcohol.
Every so often I do try to
drink, but it makes me sick.
As a matter of fact it
always makes me sick.
I don't know.
God must have had a careless worker on
the assembly line when I came through.
Perhaps the most careful one.
Thank you.
No job yet?
To tell you the truth,
I haven't been looking.
I figure once I meet your husband.
I'll land a job on The Chronicle
and that's what I really want.
How many nights have you waited?
Not many actually.
I don't know. I haven't counted.
But I know also your
husband is a very busy man.
Well, as I explained, he ..
Puts the paper to bed late and sometimes
if he's tired, he goes directly home.
I imagine.
How is your girl?
She's fine. Fine.
Justy is patient, like me.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
Charlie, a double of the usual
stomach-lining destroyer.
Hello Florence, my love.
Bill, this is the young
man I told you about.
Oh yes.
How do you do, sir.
The name intrigues me. Sit down.
Thank you.
I'm glad to meet you.
A social judgement you may
in the immediate future reappraise.
How do you know you're glad to meet me?
Well, I've ..
I've been trying to meet you for days.
Later on, I may not
be glad I met you, but ..
As of this minute, I'm glad to meet you.
Florence tells me you are a writer.
I would like to be.
How did you meet Mrs Shrike?
Well I knew Delahantys was
quite a hangout for newspaper men.
And ..
The Chronicle being
only a few blocks away ..
I had come before to your office to try
and see you. And I couldn't get in.
So I decided I was just going to
stay right here until I met you.
Go on.
Well, Mrs Shrike was here and ..
I guess she must have decided
I looked like a lonely lost soul.
We started to talk and she was
good enough to say that ..
She would introduce me to you.
My wife likes lonely young men.
Oh, Bill.
She does. I don't know them. You're
the first I've met. - Stop, Bill.
Your wife is a charming and lovely lady.
She has been very kind.
A spirited defence, Adam.
So, you want to write for The Chronicle?
- Yes, sir.
Write me something.
I beg your pardon?
- You want to write, go ahead.
Let's hear you write.
Hmm .. now?
- Certainly.
I may be gone tomorrow.
Victim of a heart attack, a haemorrhage.
A careless truck driver,
and open manhole.
So now is the time. Go ahead.
So, you're a slow writer.
That's not good for newspaper work.
Maybe you'd rather be a delivery
boy instead of a writer?
First, the headline.
"Editor meets new staff member."
"New writer meets test."
The story.
"William Shrike, the feature
editor of The Chronicle."
"Last night met his new staff member."
"In the pungent atmosphere of the
local news hawk's pub, Delahantys."
"Mr Shrike was at first sardonic."
"And unimpressed with the
personality of his new reporter."
"In an effort to test his mettle,
he even went to the lengths."
"Of insulting his wife."
"The young man."
"Anxious to get his assignment."
"Resisted his impulse to hit Mr Shrike."
"And instead sat it out."
"Mr Shrike."
"Obviously touched by the
young man's ambition."
"And amused at his lack of courage."
"Decided to hire him."
"For The Chronicle staff."
Alright, defender of the faith.
On your way.
Goodnight, Mrs Shrike.
I'm sorry.
- I do thank you.
Young man, may I instruct you to report
to The Chronicle tomorrow morning at 11?
I think I have something in mind
for a man of your noble nature.
Not the rack?
Be on time.
Good evening.
I think he can write.
Oh, you do?
Well in that case you're
entitled to a reward.
What will it be?
May I have another Cinzano?
For value received?
Hello, Adam.
- Hello Mr Sargeant.
Hi, Adam. Want some popcorn?
No thanks.
Come on, get in. It's a wonderful movie.
- Look, dear. I want to talk to you.
You come in, or Justy you go out.
Why don't you ask me what's new.
- What's new?
I'm glad you asked me that.
- Did you get it?
Well ..
You are talking ..
To the newest member of the staff ..
Of The Chronicle.
What's the salary?
What's .. what's the salary?
What do you mean, what's the salary?
I bring you important news and
you ask me what's the salary.
I suppose they'll pay you something.
I doubt it.
I don't know.
Some guild minimum I guess.
Let's get a Coke.
Apparently you have three choices.
Orange, orange or orange.
What do you think
they'll have you doing?
Well at first, some ..
Dreary kind of work, I suppose.
But you learn. And ..
In time, a by-line.
And then.
A chance to write what
you want to write about.
How many ways are
there to say "I love you"?
You taste good like an
orange drink should.
Enter, light of my life.
Repository of my golden youth.
Stop making fun of me.
I'm not making fun of you.
I speak the truth.
Have your delicate ears
grown cold to truth?
Through you my love, I see my youth.
So I cherish you.
Want some milk?
- Milk.
Is your stomach dissolving in alcohol?
I'll tender it.
Stop talking to me that way.
Stop humiliating me! Stop!
Why don't you finish it off?
But in God's name tell me it's
over but don't do this to me.
May I speak?
You haven't answered my question.
If you can't forgive me why do we go on?
Because I too am a mourner.
An incorrigible mourner
who sits at the grave.
You mourn too, Florence.
You are my wife but also the
widow of our early romance.
You wear your gay plumage hoping
one day for the resurrection ..
So that you may greet it with
the freshness of a bride.
And what do you hope for?
For just one day when I can forget
the picture of a young wife who ..
That was ten years ago.
Ten years.
What's the normal sentence for adultery?
I was alone.
I was drunk.
You had betrayed me so many times.
Evening the score.
It wasn't that.
What's that boy's name?
Adam what?
I don't know.
He told me but I have forgotten.
I've only seen him at Delahantys.
I believe you.
I believe him too.
He has the fortress-like look of virtue.
He wouldn't touch another man's wife.
Not yet.
Oh .. Bill.
You are about to tell me that I'm ..
I was about to tell you for
the hundredth time, I'm sorry.
For the hundredth time I was hoping we
could find our way back together again.
I've had my milk.
May I go to bed?
You know.
Your reflexes are constant.
A dirty glass must be washed.
A young ambitious man ..
Must be helped.
And your reflexes?
Young ambitious man must be a fraud.
Good .. has to be bad.
I know these good men.
He's been good because there's
been no incentive to be bad.
I am intimate with the type.
Goodnight, Bill.
Have I offended you?
Sleep, dwell upon thy breast.
For I shall not.
Hi, Gates.
I hate raining weather.
There you are.
I hate 'em.
Just hate 'em.
My wife.
This paper which is run like the
gazette I broke in on thirty years ago.
I think I hate you too, Goldsmith.
Shrike is on the way up.
And finally, I hate bosses.
Not The Chronicle corporation.
They are just a formless
grey mass to me.
I mean bosses who are
real flesh and blood.
Honest to Betsy, thoroughgoing swine
like our illustrious Mr William Shrike.
A bad night, huh?
- Lousy.
I went out to catch the colored
production of Othello.
Got caught in the rain.
Got home to find ..
Jenny sound asleep and
I couldn't write a line.
Give me a lead.
Last night I saw a production of
Shakespeare's Othello at the university.
It stunk.
How are you occupying your time?
We were talking.
What were the subjects in discourse?
Nuclear fission. Upcoming elections?
Modern American literature or your work?
But what I was going to
talk about and I will now.
Is the "Miss Lonelyhearts" column.
You'd like to do it?
- I would.
It seems to me that such
a column could be matured.
But you're needed for the movie reviews.
The amateur theatricals.
The Groundhog-Day story.
Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Features, interviews. You're invaluable.
You are as important to this
department as my tonsils.
Which I lost some forty years ago.
How can you hate a guy like that?
What makes a man?
Why don't I go in there and tell
him he stabbed me in the belly.
Why don't I hit him?
Why don't I kick him?
I don't know, Ned.
I stopped being a philosopher long ago.
I work for a living.
Let's go the Chinese place for lunch.
Good morning.
The lie of your life.
It's a fearful morning.
Thank you, no.
- Take off your coat.
Well, now to business.
Many of the readers of
this newspaper write to us.
With no encouragement.
Hopeful that among us there
are seers, prophets and angels.
Who can answer questions
which they sign:
So this newspaper, although
conservative and shop-worn.
Has given long consideration to the idea
of instituting a certain feature column.
This column will be called ..
"Miss Lonelyhearts".
It will run six days a week.
And will average a thousand words a day.
Miss Lonelyhearts?
It will solicit such letters and
will give advice on all matters.
Except physical illness.
Mental disturbances
however, will be its meat.
And you are an authority on the subject.
Well .. no. No, I'm not.
I have just said you are.
I have read some of the usual
books like Freud on memory, but ..
Oh, none of that modern junkerony.
Use he psalms.
The entire panoply of organised magic.
Am I to be the religious editor?
You are not hired yet,
William Randolph Hearst.
What's bothering you?
Mr Shrike ..
I don't ..
I don't really think that I'm
the man you want for this job.
I'm not asking you to split
the sky with this column.
If, as Miss Lonelyhearts, you
feel the need to pass a miracle.
Be casual.
Am I fair?
Am I unreasonable?
Will our hero spurn his chance to learn
the exciting trade of newspaper man?
Now, I guess he won't.
Alright, my neophyte.
Come on. I will deliver you.
Remain seated, gentlemen.
We can observe the amenities later on.
This is Adam.
Adam what?
- Adam White.
Adam White.
These slick writers are
the bulwark of my staff.
Ned Gates, a playwright of promise.
A broken promise.
And Goldsmith, Frank.
Mr White is going to write
the Lonelyhearts column.
You will use the available desk.
And a typewriter will be
sent to you. Come on.
I'll see you later, fellahs.
Not fellows. Men.
These colleagues of yours demand the
accolade "men". They may not deserve it.
But they demand it.
Here is a darling.
"I am a girl on the other side of 30."
"And for 11 years I've kept company
with a man who promised to marry me."
This kid was stubborn.
It seems she got stuck with a trousseau,
furniture and the rent on her apartment.
Because this joker ups and runs off to
Vegas with a waitress from a drive-in.
Now she asks:
"What shall I do? I'm single and have
no-one. What should I tell my friends?"
"That I threw him over? Help me.
Truly yours. Sick of it all."
Simple. Simple.
Tell her to grab the
owner of the drive-in.
This one is signed "Deeply Concerned".
That means she is single
and 4 months pregnant.
"My son has just been .."
"Elected Sergeant in
the United States Army."
"Now he will not take advice from me."
"He is young and needs a mother's help."
"Even if he is a Sergeant."
"How do I make him listen
to me? Sincerely, Curious."
All the little mother has to do is join
the army and be elected a Lieutenant.
Look, White.
I wanted your job. I didn't get it.
I'm trying to finish a column.
So shut up.
I'm sorry.
He's a hater, like Shrike.
Gates, I'm sorry you lost out but
I didn't want this particular job.
I would have tried to
make the column mature.
Tell these people to stop whining.
They've got to cope with life.
What if you can't?
Only one answer to a customer.
What's in that one? Divorce, suicide?
Deviated septum?
She can't see.
Take this one.
"Papa says that maybe
it's a punishment."
"For something I did .."
"Or for one of his sins."
"I don't remember anything bad .."
"I did except once when
I broke my mother's mirror."
"I was seven."
"Sometimes I feel I should
end it all. What can I do?"
"Sincerely yours. So Unhappy."
And they are all like that.
First you laugh at them and then ..
I can't now. I can't.
Isn't there another
job in the newspaper?
Apparently not. I asked around. No.
Do the best you can.
Be so good at it that he'll have
to give you a better assignment.
Look at me.
I started as a file clerk and in
two years I became a secretary.
I don't think it's quite the same.
But how can you quit
before you get started?
Don't take those letters so seriously.
Dear, if someone is in
trouble, how can you not?
Anybody who writes his troubles to a
newspaper feels too sorry for himself.
Sure. But they still
might be in trouble.
Adam, dear.
You are a man of honor so I presume
you are not working to impress me.
As a matter of fact, that is
the one reason I am working.
I haven't seen you at Delahantys.
I haven't missed you but my wife has.
The usual rubbish from the rabble?
Your first week here,
Miss Lonelyhearts ..
You knocked out a column
and 2 dozen answers a day.
The next week it took a little longer.
Today you come in at 10 and you're still
laboring over a measly thousand words.
Well, it takes time.
Perhaps you're falling
in love with your work?
Beware of this selfishness
that we hypocritically call love.
Unfortunately, I believe in love.
Also, kindness?
Love and kindness.
Man is good.
Well listen, little boy blue.
You'd better take a bath and wash
off that Eau de Cologne. It smells.
When I was in my teens, I was
captain of a football team.
A leader man. Giant size.
Salt of the earth.
Then one day I broke my ankle.
For weeks, boys and girls came to ring
my hands and autograph the plaster cast.
And then the doctor said ..
You'll never play again.
So long, Charlie.
Nobody said it but it
was as if they had.
So long, Shrike.
Go take a dead pill.
More of the same.
I was editor of the paper when I was
30 and everybody was so pleasant.
But when I was ushered out of my job one
fine day along with the autumn harvest.
I was surrounded by
a whole herd of nothing.
There were no warm hands.
Just the cold finger of indifference.
So search on my friend through these,
your mewling and puking years.
You can save a fortune in minutes, hours
and days if you listen to father Shrike.
The encyclopaedia on heels.
Mister Shrike.
I think you are guilty of a sin.
Giant sized.
You're cynical.
What kind of world would it be if
everyone were created in your image?
Save you slop for the slobs.
You want another man
for this job, get him.
An ultimatum?
Well knock it off, muscles.
You've got just one hour until deadline.
Turn down that noise some.
I haven't been good company for nobody.
Especially you.
Men never know about girls.
But they do try.
- But they don't know.
A girl starts thinking about boys
when she's four, maybe five.
Boys don't think about
girls so early in life.
All they have are frogs, tree climbing.
Stone kicking, cowboys and Indians.
They do?
Then when a girl gets to
be thirteen or fourteen.
Well, she gets the idea they
have some sort of interest.
They have?
They're still more interested in ..
Baseball and basketball and football
and all those other games ..
Except the one you want to play.
And then suddenly, you're old enough
and so are they and they're after you.
They're after you?
But now, you want
marriage and they want ..
Something else.
Then if you're lucky you get a proposal.
Maybe even a ring.
Days go by and you don't see him.
When you do, he tells you ..
You are locked out of part of his world.
His work and worry world.
How is the program?
- Oh it's keen. Real keen.
I want to know what you are
doing and what you are thinking.
Is that wrong?
No darling, it's not wrong.
Like today, I got a letter.
From a girl.
She's sixteen.
She's never been out with a boy.
And probably .. will never be.
She was in a fire and her
nose was burned away.
She has no nose.
That's awful.
Adam, darling.
You can't involve yourself with the
problems of the whole world.
You feel you have to help everybody.
What do you mean?
What kind of crazy world is it, where
if you help somebody you're an oddball?
Is it a sin to feel?
- Adam.
Is "do-gooder" a dirty name?
Why should it be?
You have far too many brothers.
Adam, I don't want to get you angry.
Why are you getting so upset?
How much more is there?
- I don't know. I was asleep.
Well you ought to quit.
Pa, the boys have school tomorrow.
Please Adam, don't let
yourself get so involved.
You're right. You're right.
You're right. You're right.
Absolutely right.
Well, what can I do?
I'll just plain go to Shrike and
I'll ask him for a different job.
And if he say no.
Well, let him fire me.
I'll be there is a million jobs
you can do on that newspaper.
See you tomorrow?
Yes, sure.
Same place.
You leaving, Adam?
Yes. Goodnight.
So long.
Educational TV.
Don't forget.
You can do anything.
Good evening.
- Sit down. Join us.
Hello, Adam.
What brings you to this damp sanctuary?
Would you rather ..?
Would you rather talk tomorrow?
Nothing should wait until tomorrow.
But by then our world diplomats may have
so carefully have managed our affairs ..
That we may be all
disappearing in atomic clouds.
You don't think that the odds
are we'll still be here tomorrow?
Hope springs eternal.
But the stockpiles grow,
and the bombs get bigger.
And the trigger fingers get more jumpy.
And two billion souls don't know
what's going on in the world and ..
Couldn't care less.
Isn't it possible for a lot of people
to put their voices together and ..
And let out some kind
of roar of protest?
Listen, muscles.
Vox Populi.
The "voice of the people"
is, in the main, a grunt.
Or a faint moan.
Public affairs is not ..
The subject of my visit exactly.
Oh. Then you are here on ..
Serious business?
To me, yes.
I would like a different job.
Do you have a respectable reason?
It's a nightmare.
I don't enjoy writing Miss Lonelyhearts.
Adam, speaking of nightmares.
My father was President
of The United States.
He required a clear reason for letting
his cabinet officers off the hook.
That's why I had to remain a
Secretary of State for over 30 years.
A reason, Adam.
A reason.
My father.
Was Chief Chief, of the Apache Indians.
Dreams are the pillars
that hold up our lives.
Letters that have come to Lonelyhearts
have taught me not to laugh at dreams.
Not to laugh at the sick
who want to be well.
Or .. the single who want to be married.
I can't laugh at them.
Also, I can't help them.
And if I can't help I am twisting
the arm of all the broken ..
Bewildered ..
Desperate, despairing, sick of it all.
I would rather ignore
them than lie to them.
I would rather be dead
than laugh at them.
Your tears shake me to the quick.
And you my Knight Exemplar are a fraud.
You talk of doing good.
And at your first chance
to ply your trade ..
You run like a scared surgeon at his
first sight of an open abdomen.
For a while, you were to me a heavenly
image of a non-existent good Samaritan.
Well you'll have to continue
Samaritanizing as you're out of a job.
You are breaking my heart.
I'll see you in the morning.
That's what he may be doing.
Breaking your heart.
He's a fake.
A scribbling punk trying to play
the part of goody-two-shoes.
He's steal my fillings when
I lie dead on the street.
Then why keep him?
Because I enjoy seeing you
betray their promises.
It lights up all the numbers
on my pinball machine.
Any other questions?
I'm going home.
- Florence.
Before you go.
Why do wives cheat on their husbands?
Purely academic.
Do you want a simple answer?
That would please me.
They cheat because they're tramps.
You've said the magic word.
We can go home now.
Oh excuse me sir, if you don't mind.
Yes, ma'am?
I've seen that young man
that was with you someplace.
Well now.
Well, I ..
If I may be so bold, could
you tell me who he is?
He is employed by The Chronicle.
As the writer of the famous
"Miss Lonelyhearts" column.
Lonelyhearts, huh?
- Do you have a problem?
Oh no. No, it's ..
It's just information. Thank you.
I am a fountain of information.
What do you do?
- Stop it, Fay.
This ain't no What's My Line.
Sorry. Excuse me.
Good evening.
What were you wanting to know for? Why
you always asking strangers questions?
People are strangers
only until you talk to them.
Next time, we don't come here.
It costs too much.
Whatever you say, Pat.
"Whatever you say, Pat".
You drive me crazy, Fay.
Just plain nuts.
Whatever you say, Pat.
We'll make the holiday
section a good one.
You tell the Chamber of Commerce
that we endorse vacations.
Spearmint or Juicy Fruit?
My questions normally aren't so bland.
I know.
Neither are my apologies
when I make them.
When I asked you here I
thought I'd be through earlier.
I'm busier than I thought I would be.
I'll wait at Delahantys.
I won't be much longer but I gave the
Chamber of Commerce my solemn word.
I'll wait.
I'll be there.
Sealed with a kiss.
Edna .. tell Adam White
I want to see him.
Yes. He showed up for work this morning.
In case you were wondering.
I wasn't.
He didn't have a choice.
Must you?
Must I what?
Must you make him stay on Lonelyhearts?
How goes it, etcetera?
If I appeared abrupt and rude
last night it was because I was.
Please don't be sullen.
I respect anger, bitterness ..
I wasn't ..
Impatience, even insolence.
But sullenness irritates me.
My mind was on something else.
I just finished a letter of resignation.
Then I tore it up.
Why that pleases me.
I'd rather you not resign.
Not until I know what makes you tick.
I'm not a watch.
You are being pragmatic, Adam.
Sit down.
I'm not talking of the ..
Wondrous jungle under the skin of men.
The jungle of veins.
Weed-like entrails.
Gray lungs.
Golden intestines and
red and yellow organs.
No. I'm talking of that
bird called "the soul".
Which lives there.
And which all men pursue.
Catholic, Protestant, Hebrew, Buddhist.
That's my question, Adam.
Do you have such a bird?
How is its state of health?
What my friend, consumes you?
Hunger. I haven't had lunch.
- Waiter.
All these jokers who write columns
of advice, of aid and comfort.
The easy-answer kids with the baskets
of bull who finally harpoon themselves.
They begin to play God.
They walk up and down the earth with
the Ten Commandments in one hand ..
And lightning and thunder in the other.
You are a little of the
young side to play the role.
Mr Shrike, what exactly
is eating at you?
When I am in the mood to confide.
I will write a letter to
you signed: "Perplexed".
Then you can tell me.
A good try.
You can't use your wrist.
They got to sail, flat.
If you use your wrist, they won't.
Keep your eyes on the master.
Hey, that's great.
Like Cinerama.
Nothing to it.
Alright, now I'll do it.
Boys, pick up the cards.
I suppose you will be doing
this for the next five hours?
Miss Sargeant.
Just because you haven't mastered this
rare feat of prestidigitation is no ..
The usual feat of prestidigit .. oh!
She's a lousy sport.
You want to play dominoes?
Adam. We have so
little time to be together.
Here we are on a perfectly
good Saturday night.
Those crazy brothers of mine and
my silly father get you playing games.
It's a long night, dear.
And tomorrow?
I kept looking forward to tomorrow.
Sunday and all.
Now you have to go away.
We'll have lots of Sundays together.
And I promise you
I'll be back for supper.
What do you have to do?
I will be away five whole hours.
Where are you going?
Justy, dear.
I don't know.
Yes, I will tell you. I must.
You see.
I have this here blond stashed
away in this here house ..
I am so possessive.
I like it.
I'm selfish.
Tell me, why do you love me?
Why ..?
I love you?
I love you because you love me.
And because you want me.
And because you're warm and soft.
In all the wrong places.
Am I waxing too poetical?
Where do you have to go, Sunday?
Where do have to go?
Well, I promised.
I said I would go to my old orphanage.
I said I'd go and I must go.
Oh, why didn't you tell me?
I didn't tell you because.
This business of being an orphan.
That's the silliest
thing you've ever said.
Adam, darling.
I'll be your family.
Let me know your every thought.
I love you.
Hi, Pa.
Hello, Adam.
They checked it.
That is something about baseball.
You might like it.
You still trying to be a writer?
I guess you make a dollar
at it now and then, huh?
Now and then.
One of these days maybe
you'll write a book.
"My father is a jailbird",
by Adam Lassiter.
How's that?
You feel okay, Pa?
You still working in that
so-called "wood-shop"?
No, they got me in the laundry now.
Clean work.
You are not exactly
a regular letter-writer.
I've been working a bit and ..
You know how it is.
I knew I was going to see you.
And I don't know, time passes.
Yeah, I understand.
I hate writing letters.
Nothing to say.
After 25 years in the same place.
Nothing is new.
I ain't been sleeping good, lately.
That dream is starting to
come back at me again.
Your mother is there in bed.
Don't, don't. Don't go over it again.
It always starts the same way.
Your mother is in bed.
I come through the door. She sees me.
A man starts moving out of the bed.
And I raise the gun and I start firing.
Again and again.
The red spots start showing up on him.
And I keep on firing. I can't stop.
And they don't say nothing to me.
They deserved killing.
I knew about it for a couple of months.
I hunted them down and when I
caught them I did it and did it good.
I was right.
Wasn't I?
You pass judgment on me.
You spend a few bucks
to ease your conscience.
Then you come here and
pass judgment on me.
I don't. I don't.
I don't think I pass judgment.
You were just a kid.
Still full of love and notions
bout your mother.
She was nothing but a lousy tramp.
And that's the truth.
Is it a funny book?
I don't know. They said it was.
They said it was funny.
Not your type, I guess?
Well, I was told it was funny anyway.
Well, thanks for the book.
Hard candy and the hankies.
When you coming again?
Soon, huh?
You mean, a couple of months?
No, sooner probably.
Don't strain yourself.
You're too skinny.
I'm in good shape.
I bet you'd like to spit in my eye.
You never tell me what you think.
You hate me for killing your
mother but you never say it.
I ..
Couldn't hate you.
Well .. so long.
See you in the funnies.
So long, Pa.
No, I've never seen any
production of The Doll's House.
Yes, I know the play.
What's the argument about?
No, Ibsen meant that Nora was
a symbol for all womankind.
Slamming the door on the inhibited past.
You're welcome.
A guy just won a bet from his wife.
He wouldn't tell me what it was.
A beehive.
Wait until I've finished the game.
You can go now. You are
checkmate the next move.
One thing you got to say for me,
I'm not only a good loser ..
But a steady one.
You know, I've spent the last 15 minutes
of my life studying your column.
"In this harsh and anxious
world of the atom bomb .."
"We cannot play the game of
glib and clichd answers."
"Your brother's problem can't
be solved by the heart alone."
"You must look for aid from
those who can look into his mind."
"May I suggest that you consult
a reputable psychiatrist."
Do you really mean this?
Why not?
Your readers will dwindle away.
You are supposed to be the oracle.
I do not grieve over
your lost readership.
But only over the fact that they
might stop reading The Chronicle.
Have they dwindled?
As yet we've no performance chart on you
but you've hardly set this city aflame.
What would say is wrong with my answer?
Almost everything.
This lady who writes of her brother
wants to be told she is doing right.
Brother is naughty.
He should be sent to church.
And failing that, off to the Polizei.
Why complicate her life?
And where does the get $25 an hour for
the couch sessions with the Professor?
Clinics. It wouldn't cost her a cent.
The line is a block long.
If the line is long enough
there will be more doctors.
Must be important.
You'll probably find that
she hates her brother.
And wants to get the stupid
jerk out of the house.
Well, let's see. I could write.
And advise her to kill herself.
A good suggestion.
But it might affect our circulation.
I'm against it for purely
commercial reasons.
Well, maybe I could figure out ..
A form letter. Which we could
mimeograph and send to all of them.
It would serve.
- Adam.
The people who write
these letters are fakers.
Like the rest of the human race.
Cast your eye on our own
daily bulletin of man's doings.
Despair, deceit, duplicity, debasement.
Recorded in headlines from
Moscow to Minneapolis.
From Caracas to California.
Let's take a look at the big 10.
I take it you don't mean
the football conference?
I am referring to those inviolate Ten
Commandments that we are meant to obey.
We would stop trade and commerce
if we lived up to the 1st, 8th and 10th.
"No other Gods."
"Don't steal."
"Don't covet."
We would see no buildings
housing the aged and criminals ..
If the 5th, 6th and 9th were followed.
That is: "Honor Ma and Pa".
"No killing."
"No false witness."
The quest for the Buck, Rouble
and Franc takes care of number 2.
The graven image.
Who doesn't take The
Lord's name in vain?
And how many guys play golf
or see a ballgame on Sunday?
Thereby wrecking
3 and 4 on the hit parade.
And that leaves number 7.
Big 7.
And if all the adulterers would fess up.
They would cross lucky 7
off the book forever.
People are animals.
Face it.
Alright. Find out.
Call up this one.
Or this one. Or this one.
What's that tale of misery?
Well .. he's hungry, out of work.
And sick.
Probably some boozer.
What else is on the record of grief?
Well, the usual.
Some lady married to a cripple.
She asks for help like the others.
Help for what?
I can think of 4 other vulgar
ways of phrasing her need.
I bet if you put your mind to it you can
think up about 15 other vulgar ways.
Take any one out of this stack.
Meet one of your amateur
authors face-to-face.
Or don't you dare?
[ Telephone ]
Yes, this is Mrs Doyle.
Oh. Extremely nice of you to call.
Well, I know I asked you to,
but I didn't know if you would.
That's what I'd appreciate.
To talk to you.
Well. No I couldn't here, because ..
My husband. See.
No, I wouldn't like to go ..
Down to the office?
I'd be too embarrassed.
I thought maybe if you had a
place and your wife wouldn't ..
Oh, I don't know. I just thought
maybe you might be married.
Yes, well.
Yes, even just for a few minutes.
I'd appreciate it.
The address?
Thank you.
Thank you, sir.
[ Door knocks ]
Mr Lonelyhearts?
Come in.
When I got up here I almost
decided not to see you.
Well, I mean ..
Does it look right?
Me being a married woman.
Even if I wasn't.
Well, I tell you what, why
don't you sit here. And ..
I'll get this chair.
And I'll sit here.
And we'll leave the door open.
I knew you were a general.
I knew from the way you write.
And your voice on the phone.
I think voices are a true test
of character. Don't you?
I'm not too sure. I heard
a singer on the radio once.
A beautiful voice.
He wound up in Sing Sing.
Naturally, I'm sure
there are exceptions.
I'll sit here.
You are a very decent man to
let me tell you my worries.
I'm ashamed.
Mrs Doyle, if you would rather not ..
No, no. I've got to talk to somebody.
It's about my husband.
I've been married over eleven years.
I wouldn't want anybody else to hear.
Excuse me. Could I close the door?
- Certainly.
It's a nervous habit I have.
Always thinking people are listening.
Are you afraid of something?
In a way.
My husband is a cripple.
He was hurt in the
war he told me, but ..
After we'd been married three
years he said that was a lie.
That he fell working in the shipyards.
I said I didn't mind because ..
In a way, that was
like being in the war.
Making planes and ships.
It's helping to win the war.
Yes, it is.
I love him very much, my Pat.
After a while.
He didn't ..
Seem to be able to ..
Love me.
Gosh. This is hard to tell you about.
Yes, yes. I know.
We went to the doctor
and the doctor says ..
It happens like that sometimes.
To men after an accident
like it happened to my Pat.
For seven years it's been a ..
Marriage in name only,
as the saying goes.
I ..
I can't leave him.
But I'm young ..
Don't laugh at me, please.
- I'm not.
I'm not laughing at you.
I couldn't laugh at you.
For seven years I've been
good and decent, trying to ..
Trying to ..
Handle the cards that was
dealt me, as the saying goes.
But ..
Sometimes at night
after he goes to sleep ..
I lay there crying.
And trying to think of a way out.
Don't. Don't cry.
I don't want to but I can't help it.
You're the first person I've talked to.
Sometimes I feel like I want to die.
I just want to die.
Don't. Don't. That's no answer.
No, no. I don't really want to die.
I want to live.
I'm full of life but I ..
I feel like I am dying inside.
Tell me what to do.
I don't know. I don't know.
I don't know.
What has happened
to you is, I realise ..
Softly, just once.
Let me feel your lips.
You are a gentle .. man.
I'll walk the rest of the way.
It's just around the corner.
When am I going to see you again?
You want to, don't you?
Mrs Doyle.
In a couple of days, after you've
thought about it, you call me up.
I want to see you.
Very much.
Well, say something nice to me.
A goodbye kiss, maybe?
You're not a very appreciative fellow.
Love 'em and leave 'em. Is that it?
Mrs Doyle, I didn't call you.
Alright. What did you call me up for?
Who are you kidding?
Listen. You wanted a sad
story, you heard a sad story.
You also wanted some
action and so did I.
You're right.
- You're damned right I'm right.
A dame like that once cost me
a door window. Where to?
Any place, any place.
Some bar, someplace.
Right. There is a bar round the corner.
My missus been in?
- Not today she ain't.
Say, if I'm wrong ..
Aren't you the fellow
I saw at Delahantys?
It could be.
Yeah. I think you're the one.
You are a writer for The Chronicle, no?
Yes, I am.
Let me buy you a
fresh one. Joe, doubles.
I want you to do me a favor.
I've a reason to think that my
wife wrote a letter to the paper.
To whoever writes that column.
You know the one I mean?
You got to try and do this for me.
But understand one thing.
I love my wife.
She is strange.
When I say she's strange I don't mean
she's crazy or a thing like that, but ..
Well, we got our problems.
I think a man and a woman ought to be
able to figure out their own problems ..
Without going to outsiders
for help or anything.
I agree with you.
All this is on me because
you're doing me a favor.
My name is "Doyle".
Pat Doyle.
When a man ain't sure of
his wife it eats him up alive.
I knew she was no saint when
I married her. I wasn't myself.
But I was willing to let bygones
be bygones, you know.
I think she makes up stories about me.
I've got to know what she says.
That's why I want that letter.
The ..
The letter itself.
Have the two of you ever ..?
We can't even talk.
Two people afraid to talk to each other.
Afraid of what they are going to say.
So we talk talk.
We meet some place and drink.
And if we get drunk
enough it's like old times.
And we forget how it is now.
Mr Doyle, I don't ..
Think actually I could
be of any help to you.
You could get the guy on the paper who
writes the column to get you the letter.
Well, that's ..
My wife's name is Fay. Fay Doyle.
No, no. I'll pay for the drinks.
Excuse me, has Mr White come home?
Oh, I am sorry.
Please .. ask him to call Justy.
He can whistle up a storm
before I'll call him again.
He's irresponsible,
thoughtless and mean.
You eat like a couple of pigs.
- We're growing adolescents.
You'll both grow up to be full-fledged
men who fall in love with girls ..
And never all call them and be
careless and they'll grow to hate you.
Well, there goes my love life.
- I'll get that.
Do you want me to call the hospital?
- Pa, don't be so morbid.
He's too mean to get hurt. I hate him.
Yes, Pa?
If you hate him so much,
why are you crying?
I am not crying!
Hey Justy, get the milk while
you're in there, will you.
Could I have .. a double Scotch.
I've been having a Scotch.
Sorry you missed your business.
Well, you'll have it from now on.
Soda or water?
White, I'm no authority on this subject
but that's no way to handle the spirits.
Well, well, well.
What and whom have we here?
I wondered where you were.
One of our associates has learned
he is going to be a father.
The expense account can stand
a small dinner. You're invited.
That's great. What night?
My experience in this subject tells
me that you're practically stoned.
You are a genius.
Forgive me.
You are cold sober.
You were right.
People are fakes and frauds.
And you know what?
I lead the parade.
You made a phone call.
I did?
Also, I had a visitor.
A lady who needed help?
So she said.
But she didn't.
And now your conscience
grips you with an iron hand?
And that's why I'm drinking.
To release the iron grip.
The road to hell.
One more for the road?
First, you ought to
say hello to the boys.
Gates is the future parent
you ought to congratulate.
I know all about marriage. I know.
Your new-found intelligence
is brimming over now.
Come on.
Your attention.
Our new and brilliant associate,
Miss Lonelyhearts.
And what happy assignment
has he been on?
Adam .. Adam is not drunk.
He's emancipated.
I'd like to drink a toast.
I'd like to drink a toast.
To the father.
I figured you were one
day off schedule, so ..
I wrote your column for you.
It lacks your compassion, Adam.
But it will serve.
Anyone can do it. Anyone.
Even I can do it.
Anyone can do it.
That's a fact. I'll prove it.
Hey, Jerry.
- Yeah?
I'm a man that's 59 and ..
- You look it.
I suffer from a bad heart.
And my wife died last year and
my children are all married.
They won't take care of me. They
want me to go to an old folk's home.
What should I do? Concerned.
Volunteer to serve your country.
Be the first man into space!
All answers must be approved
by Miss Lonelyhearts.
Hey, smelly! Here is one for you.
I'm a girl.
And I'm 17 years old
and my father is dead.
And my mother and me live with my uncle.
And he don't love me like an
uncle. If you know what I mean.
Shall I tell my mother?
Of course! Maybe she likes her uncle.
I don't know. Maybe the uncle's rich and
you're breaking up a real love affair.
Shut up!
What's wrong with him?
Is he sick?
Adam doesn't like your answers.
Those people don't deserve
to be laughed at.
Leave their miserable
miseries in their letters.
Speaking of misery. There was one ..
Shut up.
Listen, Miss Lonelyhearts.
This is a free society.
So, this joker ..
You crazy, silly son of a bitch.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
Forgive me.
What's the matter with Adam?
- He's drunk.
He never drinks.
- Nevertheless, he's crocked.
Where is he going?
- To try to find forgiveness.
What for?
Florence, the fortress has crumbled.
The walls have been breached.
Adultery, violence and
drunkenness have won the day.
He'll hurt himself.
- No, nothing ever happens to drunks.
Come on, let's have a drink.
Sort of a victory celebration.
I wonder where our toy gladiator
will rest his drunken brow?
Say, there is a lady on the
phone named Justy Sargeant.
She's been calling all
night for Adam White.
She says that you'd know where he is.
I didn't want to tell her
that he was potted.
You give her this message.
You tell her Mr White is not available.
He has gone to perdition.
Perdition, Nebraska.
Would you tell her that ..
No-one knows where he can be reached.
Come on, dear.
Don't look so sad.
Now that he's broken the ice,
he might even make a pass at you.
Did I wake you?
How did you get in here?
The super.
I told him I was from the committee.
What committee?
- He didn't ask.
"Committee" seemed official enough.
Careful. It's hot.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Two days and two nights
you haven't called.
Where you been?
I didn't call .. because ..
Because I was ashamed to call you.
Because I got drunk.
I got stupid drunk.
I hit a man.
And I wanted to hurt him.
And ..
Not only that.
A woman?
That first night?
To this day?
That's what I thought.
And I hated you.
I felt numb.
I didn't see you.
I didn't hear from you.
They said at the paper you were sick.
And I waited.
When I came in.
You looked so much like a little boy.
I felt sorry for you.
The numbness began to go.
I'm going to cry again.
[ Door knocks ]
Who is it?
Your boss.
Come in.
A Lonelyhearts contributor?
Mr Shrike, this is my
friend Justy Sargeant.
I regret the bad guess.
I was concerned so I dropped by.
Obviously an inconvenience.
I am going.
Will I see you tonight?
I'm going out tonight.
Pa, the boys and me.
Tomorrow, maybe?
I hope you feel better. Mr Shrike.
Go away.
Well, it's not the farm
or the South Seas.
How about "art".
Be an artist or a writer?
When you are cold, warm yourself
before the flaming tints of the masters.
Michelangelo, Titian, Raphael.
When you're hungry.
Nourish yourself on spiritual food
served by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.
Tell society to keep its call-girls
and press studs with oranges.
You're at home in your
garret with Hi-Fi sound ..
And Shakespeare's plays in one volume.
Former boss.
I don't want the South Seas.
And I don't want the soil.
And I don't want art in a garret.
What is it you do want?
I never want to hit another
man and I do not ..
Want to lose my temper ever again.
My gut aches.
I don't want to run away
to an island or any ..
Place else because I know I can
never run away from myself.
All I want to do.
Is heal the wound that I gave to myself.
Before it festers.
Leave me alone.
Justy, can I talk with you?
I told you, I thought I
was going to be busy.
I would wish ..
To talk with you before I leave.
Where are you going?
Could we meet?
Tomorrow is Saturday. Come for lunch.
I would like to talk with you alone.
If it's not raining, maybe we
could go out to the country?
May I take you home?
My father is downstairs. He'll take me.
Oh, do you want more tea?
No thank you.
Let me. I'll take it.
No litter bugs, us.
My dear.
I want to talk to you.
I must talk to you.
Knowing the details won't help.
Sit down, please.
I lied to you and I want you to know.
You lied the other day?
Oh ..
I've been lying to you for a long time.
My real name is not White.
It's Lassiter.
My mother and father were
not killed in a train wreck.
My father is alive.
In prison.
He found my mother.
In bed with another man
and he killed them both.
I was three years old.
When I was fifteen.
The head of the orphanage told
me what had happened and ..
Where my father was.
They took me to see him.
And that's all of it.
Except for one more thing.
The last time I lied to
you was about Sunday.
I said I was going to the orphanage.
I wasn't.
I was going to see my father in prison.
But one thing.
I never lied to you about
how much I love you.
I keep .. I keep wanting
to say I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
But I don't know if that is
too little to say or too much.
Please take me home.
Here you are.
What a catch.
A little lower now.
Oh, too high. I'm sorry.
That was good.
Hi, Adam.
Hi, Adam.
- Hi.
Come on, let's go in the yard.
How are you?
- Fine, thank you.
Thanks for the use of the car.
Goodbye, Adam.
What's going on, Justy?
He's going away, Pa.
Has anybody ever tried ..
To figure out how many
tears you cry in a lifetime?
Which kind do you mean?
Happy or sad ones?
I mean the sad ones, Pop.
Mr White!
Thank you. I'll be right there.
Yes. This is Adam White.
See, I got your name from
somebody on the paper.
They wouldn't give me the number.
You know how they are.
I wanted to see you again.
After all, we're friends now forever.
As the saying goes.
And, well it isn't as if I'd
call up any man. Just you.
You're young and sweet.
Please honey, I want to see you so bad.
He don't matter.
Listen. Don't give me that ..
How dare you call me up
and talk to me like that!
Don't you dare say those things!
The things he said to me.
- Shut up.
Who was it?
What difference does it make?
- A lot!
Who as it?
Pat, you're hurting my hand.
Is that better?
Have you had Harvey Kettle round?
I got to know.
- You're drunk.
You are crazy drunk. I know.
Crazy enough to kill you.
Tell me.
Tell me!
Come on, you hit me again.
You hit me once more and
I'll run this through you.
You're not so tough anymore, huh?
What's the matter?
You ain't man enough to?
You ain't man enough for anything.
And you ain't pushing me around.
Not ever. Ever again.
And you want to know
who it was? I'll tell you.
It was that kid on the paper.
He's young and he's
strong and I like him.
And what are you going to do about it?
You lousy cripple.
You lousy cripple!
I can't blame him for changing his name.
But what's all this about bad blood?
I think he feels there is ..
Something wrong in him.
Because of what his mother did.
And his father.
That's silly.
Just plain silly.
There's no reason at all why a father's
sins should be paid for by his son.
Adam has always seemed to
be a very decent man to me.
What did you finally say to him?
I'm ashamed of what I didn't say.
I'm ashamed of what I was thinking.
- Were you?
Adam did lie.
But if you can't forgive him.
How is he ever going to forgive himself?
Where did Adam say he was going?
I don't know.
Pa, I don't know.
I only know that wherever he
goes I want to be with him.
But .. I'd go running now if it
wasn't for you and the boys.
Someday the boys and me
are going to have to manage.
You were meant to be a man's wife.
Not a nurse to two kids or
a caretaker to your old man.
See, there is a separate bank account.
For you.
Three thousand dollars.
It's a start for you .. and Adam.
If he's your man, you go find him.
Excuse me, has Mr White ..
Adam White been here tonight?
Yeah. He was over there
talking to Mrs Shrike.
Excuse me. Are you Mrs Shrike?
I'm Justy Sargeant and I ..
- Oh.
Adam has told me about you.
I'm trying to find Adam.
Do you know where he is?
He was here looking for my husband.
He just left for the office.
I'm sure you'll find him there.
Thank you, Mrs Shrike.
I'm glad you're looking for Adam.
I hope he'll give me a second ..
Wouldn't it be awful if he didn't
give me a second chance.
He will.
Some women have to run
after their second chance.
Have to sit and wait.
Don't wait.
Thank you, Mrs Shrike.
I came to say goodbye.
I like you, Goldsmith.
Yeah, I could tell.
Any bills? Any doctor bills?
If you've got to pay, I'd like to pay.
Forget it.
Well, I wish you the best.
Yeah, good luck.
- So long.
Let's hear from you, huh?
- Yes.
This is really farewell, my friend?
Where you away to, pilgrim?
I have no idea.
A wiser man?
I hope so.
So long.
Did any of my lessons take root?
I do know that I can't stay here.
A man of fibre.
Forgive me.
I'm glad.
Your closing check.
I included today.
Magnanimous, I thought.
Are you going off on this crusade or
whatever it is Adam is engaged upon?
Whatever it is.
A moment, Miss Lonelyhearts.
We are closed for the weekend, friend.
- No jokes, mister.
You got no gun there.
That's a gun alright.
Mr Doyle.
I'm Miss Lonelyhearts.
I guess you thought I was pretty funny
when we was drinking together.
Shooting a man is very much
against the law. - Shut up.
Why did you follow her?
I met her because ..
She asked to see me.
I asked her to stay.
She stayed.
I wanted her to stay.
What did she tell you about me?
Come on, tell me.
She told me only what you know.
How do you know it was the truth?
I don't.
Only you two would know.
What are you going to do with me?
Let you go home.
You won't see her anymore?
Mr Shrike.
To Miss Lonelyhearts.
Some time ago I met a young man.
Who was full of bright promise.
I waited for the promise to
meet up with the facts of life.
A meeting took place.
My young friend surprised me however.
By bending with the wind.
Rather than breaking.
Now, he's about to leave ..
What, on the whole has been a ..
Pleasant association.
Can you suggest any way I
can persuade him to stay?
Without humbling myself.
Dear Perplexed.
Regrettably, I have no
suggestion to make.
Perhaps your friend has need ..
To test what he has learned
in his brief associaton with you.
Perhaps, he too is sorry to go.
Sincerely, Miss Lonelyhearts.
Hal and farewell.
Goodbye, Mr Shrike.
- Goodbye. - Oh.
Your wife is waiting for
you at Delahantys.
T-G o