Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic (1975) Movie Script

Come on, America
The time is now
The place to be is right where you are
'Cause everywhere you go
Everything that you see
Belongs to you and it belongs to me
There are
approximately 1/2 million preteen
and teenage alcoholics
in this country today,
and the number is growing.
Three out of every four
teenagers do some drinking.
One out of 20 has a
serious drinking problem.
One in 10 will become an alcoholic.
You can go where you wanna go
Do what you wanna do
See what you wanna see
Courey's will be there
Alcohol-related arrests
of young people have increased
700% in the past four years.
It may take an adult 15
years to become an alcoholic.
It takes a teenager 15 months.
So go where you wanna go
Be what you wanna be
Happiness is Courey's Beer.
You find them in schools,
on the beach, in your own home.
This is Sarah Travis.
She's 15 years old.
She's an alcoholic
How ya doing, Sarah?
Not so good, how 'bout you?
Oh okay.
Oh, it's so wonderful
to bring to him that way.
Yeah, it is.
- Wouldn't you say so?
- Sarah, how do you
like your new school?
- It's okay.
- I'll bet you're making
- tons of new friends.
- How 'bout you get us
a couple of fresh ones, will ya, honey?
- Hi, honey.
- You're so cute.
How ya doing in school, huh?
- He's cute.
- You know, JoAnne,
she looks like you.
Hey, how does it feel
to be a grandmother, huh?
Fine, since Liz Taylor
made it fashionable.
Yeah but Liz Taylor didn't let herself
become a babysitter, right?
- Right.
- Well, that was her loss.
Nancy can leave him with us
anytime she wants to.
She has your smile.
It's he not her.
That's he.
Hey, look at this little boy.
Mom, Mom I think he needs changing.
Can I change him?
Do you want to honey?
He's my nephew, isn't he?
I'll bet you're as glad to
be out of there as I am, huh?
Did they ask you the same
dumb questions they asked me?
How do you like your new school?
Nice girl like you must
be dating lots of boys.
I mean, how would they
like it if I asked them
if they were having any
good love affairs lately?
Well, I promise you,
when you grow up I'll never ask you
how you like your new school.
Sarah, Matt wants to
introduce you to Mr. Peterson.
See what I mean?
Oh honey, come on, please
try to make a good impression.
You know how important this is to Matt.
Sarah, Sarah, honey,
I don't think you've met Mr. Peterson.
You know, his son goes to
the same high school as you.
Ray, Ray Peterson, have you met him?
I don't think so.
Well, you will, but you
gotta watch out for him.
I know he's my son
but I still feel it's my duty to warn you.
He, uh, well, you know,
comes on a little strong with the girls,
but he's a nice kid.
I don't want to think anything of it.
You know, he doesn't smoke
dope, doesn't eat pills.
Oh, I'll get that.
Oh Matt, you finished with that?
Well, how about it, Sarah?
Shall I, shall I give
Ray your phone number?
Well, actually, Mr. Peterson,
I don't really like blind dates.
I'm sure Ray doesn't either.
Mm, okay, can I at
least buy you a drink?
You can have a drink,
because I made Matt a vice president.
She could have a drink
to help celebrate Matt
becoming vice president,
- can't she?
- Sure.
She can have anything she wants,
as long as it's ginger ale.
Well, mother knows best,
so ginger ale, it's gonna be.
Here we go, a little of that right there,
and a little somethin' to
help the medicine go down.
Bob, where are you goin'?
I want to ask you about that,
I want to ask you about
that airport contract.
You must hate nights like this.
Like what?
These parties, you know,
serving all these people.
No, it's not so bad
Come on.
It's not my favorite
way to spend an evening,
but like the man says,
that's what I'm paid for.
Go out and earn some money.
- Thanks, baby.
- Okay.
Sarah, is that all you're
eating for breakfast?
Oh, Matt, that must have
been some terrific party.
You know, I think we went
through two cases of scotch.
Here, this'll help.
And this.
Sarah, isn't this the day you try out
- for the glee club?
- Mm-hmm.
Did you pick
out what you're gonna sing?
Not yet.
Did you see your boss?
Did you see old
million-dollar Peterson trying
to make it out to his
silver-gray limousine.
What about you
Mrs. What's-Her-Name?
What about her?
That lady holds her
liquor like a broken glass.
Too bad she
doesn't have your hollow leg.
No, impressed.
I've never seen a man drink
so much and still be able
to do 40 push-ups before bed.
Come on, Marilyn, hurry up!
Hey, come on,
come on, get in here.
Come on, Marilyn, look,
you're gonna make us late.
Come on, get with it!
Oh, look, Marilyn, come on already.
Come on, we've gotta hit the road.
You'll be fine, love.
You'll like it here.
You just wait and see.
I sure hope so.
Now go on to school, baby.
Okay, bye.
And so I beg you
Let it be me
- Hey, she's really good.
- She's all right.
- Okay.
- That's fine, Judy, great.
That's very good.
Now you know, glee club
meets Tuesdays and Thursdays
at noon, okay?
- Oh sure.
- All right.
Let's see, Sarah Travis is next.
Uh, Sarah Travis, is she here?
Well, if you're not ready, Sarah,
we can come back to you.
No, I'm ready.
- Could you hold these?
- Mm-hmm.
Okay, thank you.
- Here you go.
- Oh thank you, Lisa.
Stayed in bed all morning
just to pass the time
There's something wrong here
There can be no denying
One of us is changing or maybe we
Could you start again, please?
Thank you for trying out, Sarah.
Um, Harriet Bernstein is next.
If I could just try once more.
Oh you do that,
but you come back and see
us next semester, okay?
Harriet Bernstein.
All right.
When I fall in love
It will be forever
For I'll never
You coming in or not?
Hello, Richard Travis's room, please.
But he's got to be there.
Can you ring the lobby?
But he's got to be around.
No, no messages.
Hi, I've got a delivery for Mrs. Hodges.
Oh, I'll take it.
What is it?
I'm sorry, pal.
I can't leave it with you.
It's booze.
- Oh.
- Is your mom home?
Yeah, come on in.
She's in the shower.
Delivery from the liquor store, Mom!
What do we do, huh?
She said leave it on
the dining room table.
The money's in there.
Okay, that's $8.73 with the tax.
Well, if he's not in his room,
can you try the restaurant, please?
I know it's a long distance call,
but you can take it out of my allowance.
Oh honey, you know that's not necessary.
You can call your
father, anytime you want.
But you can't expect him
to come all the way back
from San Francisco just because...
He'll come.
Even if he does, then what?
Well, maybe he can arrange it,
so I can go back to my old school.
Why would you want to go
back to the old school anyway?
You weren't so happy there.
Could you try the lobby then, please?
It's important.
You were always complaining.
Have you forgotten so soon?
Honey, listen, maybe if
you tried to talk to Matt.
I don't want to talk to Matt.
I want to talk to my father.
Why do you treat Matt
as if he doesn't exist?
He tries to be nice to you.
He's trying to make a life for us.
It's me Sarah.
Wait hold on a minute.
Daddy, how are you?
Hello, I'm home!
Hi, hon.
Ugh, now what kind of a face is that
to greet a vice president?
- Anything wrong?
- No, not really.
Hi, Matt.
Oh, have you two been
sniping at each other again?
Sarah, honey, I just hate
to see you set yourself up
for a disappointment, that's all.
I know, Mom, but you're wrong.
He's coming, day after
tomorrow, just to see me,
just like I knew he would.
My daddy's coming.
I guess things aren't as
bad as I thought they'd be.
Yeah, from the way you
sounded on the telephone,
I thought I was gonna find a
little puddle of salty tears.
Oh, are you mad at me,
Dad, I mean, you know,
for dragging you all the
way down here for nothing?
Where'd you ever get
the idea you're nothing?
Honey, you're one of the most
important things in the world,
I mean, you and your sister
and of course my grandson.
Aren't you supposed to
be in classes, today?
You're not cutting, are you?
What are you doin' away from work?
You do still have a job, don't ya?
Ah, it's bright.
Is this bright?
You do still have a job, don't ya?
Well, not exactly, no.
- No, not exactly.
- Aw, Dad.
Come on, grab me a beer
before you start sounding
like your mother.
Out on the street?
There you go.
I'll use this.
Dump that, will you?
So there I was walking across
the San Gabriel River Bridge,
and I stopped right in the middle of it,
and I said, Richard, what
the hell are you doing
with your life?
You're dragging your
aspirations up and down a state.
You're selling art
supplies to other people
for them to use.
You see, that's what gets me, sweetheart.
I got a lot of talent, I mean, a lot more
than those kids coming out of art school.
I mean, it wasn't my fault I
had responsibilities, you know.
I had to get a straight job.
I don't want you to blame your mother.
Now, I'm not doing that, now.
So there I was, standing in
the middle of the bridge,
and I said it myself, Richard,
what what would happen?
What would be the
earth-shaking consequences
if you took the sample
case and just threw it
as far as you could?
You didn't.
You did?
- Yeah.
- Daddy!
Well, that's one
of the reasons I don't work there anymore.
What are you gonna do now?
Hmm, well, I'll tell
ya what I'd like to do.
Go to Oregon?
Perfect time for it.
Oh for both of us.
I'd love it.
Get a little place out
in the backwoods somewhere,
lay in some canvas and some decent oils
and maybe get a horse
- for you or something.
- Oh Daddy,
- you could just paint all day.
- Mm-hmm.
You wouldn't worry about delivery dates
- or sales quotas.
- Sounds pretty good, huh?
Aw, Daddy, let's do it.
Let's just pack up and leave.
What about your mother?
She seems to think I have a
corrupting influence on you.
You think, for a moment,
she'd give up custody.
I guess not.
We'll do it, honey.
Soon, one day soon, really, I promise.
Hey, hey, listen.
Hold it.
In the meantime,
I want you to go and get yourself one
of the nicest outfits you can find.
I want you to really
look good at that party.
But Daddy, this is $50.
You don't even have a job.
Ah, come on, don't worry about that.
I already got something better lined up.
Let's take a look in here.
- I don't, Daddy!
- Yeah, yeah!
Third largest art supply
house in the state,
I'm gonna be a district manager.
How about this now?
Hey, this is it, huh?
Look at this!
Well, I don't know.
It's not so cute.
Why don't we look around?
Oh come on, now what are fathers for?
How often do I get to see you anyhow?
Oh Daddy, I love you!
I love you, too, baby.
Who you going
out with tonight, Sarah?
Just a guy.
Not just a guy at all.
He happens to be vice
president of the junior class
and captain of the swimming team.
How'd you know that?
Oh, his mother may
have mentioned it to me.
Is that how you got
fixed up with him, Sarah,
through his mother?
No, he called and asked me.
Wait, I didn't know you knew his mother.
Oh, I've met her a couple of times.
Well, you never told me that.
Didn't I?
Mom, you didn't happen to mention
to her anything about Ken taking me out
or anything like that, did you?
Oh, no, why would I
do a thing like that?
I mean, I did mention that we have kids'
about the same age,
and wouldn't it be nice
- if sometime they...
- Oh I knew it!
I knew he wouldn't be interested in me.
Sarah, stop that.
Well, how could you do
a thing like that to me.
I was only trying to help.
We're new in the neighborhood,
and you don't know many of the kids,
and the situation just sort of came up.
You mean you made it come up.
Sarah, I have never tried to stop you
from making your own friends.
I did this for you.
Can't you appreciate that?
No, and I'm not going.
Look, I've had it.
I'm just gonna lock myself in a room,
and when he comes, you can just tell him...
Tell him what?
Sarah, I have gone to a lot
of trouble to arrange this.
If you embarrass me, so help me, I'll...
Now look, you stay there, young lady.
Sarah, listen now, honey.
Mom went to a lot of trouble for this.
- Yes.
- Mrs. Hodges, is Sarah ready?
- You must be Ken.
- Yes, ma'am.
Well, come on in.
Sarah will be ready in a minute.
You'll have a good time, anyway,
so why don't you just go, okay?
- Come on.
- Oh, hi.
Well, we better get going.
Have a good time, you two.
Good night, Mom.
That's a nice truck you have, Ken.
- Oh, thanks.
- You're welcome.
You got a nice mom.
I'm sorry for gettin'
you dragged into this.
Forget it.
Listen, you can drop me
in a movie if you'd like.
Hey, it's okay.
Come on, we'll have fun, anyhow.
How's the, uh, mercy date going?
You, uh, want to dance with me?
You know I do.
Just, just wouldn't be fair to her.
Oh yeah, right,
never interfere with a, uh, social worker
in the pursuance of his duty.
Ken, we got things to do.
- Hey, Charlie, over here!
- Hey, hey, dingbat!
Weren't you at the glee
club try-outs, the other day?
Shame you didn't make it.
Are you looking for Ken?
No, no, I'm not.
Excuse me.
Hey, Sarah, where ya goin'?
- I'm gonna go home.
- Go home?
What, how're you gonna get there?
Take a bus or something.
Hey, come on, look,
we can have a good time, okay, come on.
All right.
Hey, Ken, how ya doing?
Hey, Ray.
Hey, fix her one, too, will ya?
Hey, look, Ken, if my
dad catches on to this...
Cool out, Ray, she's my date, okay?
Well, maybe I shouldn't.
Oh come on, just one, it wont hurt you.
That's all we're gonna have.
Okay, just one.
All right!
Hey, Ed, have you seen Sarah?
No, she was right behind me when I left.
You preach the word of God
This man of God like no one has seen
'Cause on Sundays, babies cryin'
And farmers dozed and
winter's breeze above you
But no one
There you are.
A year of Sundays
- Hey, what are you doin?
- Hey, we can watch.
No, Billy's playing.
- All right!
- Yes!
Uh, hey, Sarah Travis,
I think Billy's playing your song.
Did you arrange it for me?
How sweet.
Well, why don't you go join in?
I'm sure he wouldn't mind.
I think I will.
Stayed in bed all morning
just to pass the time
There's something wrong here
There can be no denying
One of us is changing
Or maybe we just stop tryin'
And it's too late, baby
Now it's too late
Though, we really did try to make it
Something inside has died
And I can't hide, and
I just can't fake it
Oh no, no, no, no, no, no
Hey, Sarah, that was really far out.
- Hey, that was great!
- All right!
Hey, Sarah, that was really nice.
Hey, where you going now?
I have to put this away.
I think I'll stay a while.
Well, all right.
I'm gonna eat some more.
Why don't you eat something?
Sarah, you're not getting high, are you?
I'm fine.
Maybe I shouldn't have
given you anything to drink.
I'm fine.
If you don't eat,
how are you gonna grow
up to be big and strong?
Raquel Welch always ate
all her potato salad.
I mean, if you don't
get all your vitamins,
how are you gonna ride
your bicycle to school?
It's too, is it late?
It's so late.
- Come on.
- Bye!
- Hey, Ken, is that you?
- Yes, sir.
Oh, what's the trouble?
Oh nothing, nothing.
It's just Sarah's not feeling too well.
Now come on, do you, do you have a key?
Oh I don't know.
Well, let me see here.
Oh hi, Mom.
Hi, Dad.
This is Ken.
- He's got a horse.
- Sarah!
Look, it's my fault.
Some of the kids got to drinking a little,
and I, well, I convinced Sarah to...
To go along with the crowd.
- Oh we sure did.
- Yes, ma'am.
All right, son,
you run along.
I think you've done enough damage
- for one night.
- Yes, sir.
Oh bye!
Mr. Hodges!
Get yourself in the house.
- Whoops.
- Off to bed
with you, Miss.
We'll talk about this in the morning.
She okay?
I don't know why she's not throwing up.
It worries me that that
girl's so easily led.
So she had little to drink?
At least she's not into drugs.
Thank God for that.
Good morning.
Oh, did I miss breakfast?
Oh, what time is it, anyway?
- Whew!
- I didn't think
you'd be hungry, this morning.
Oh, I'm starved.
There's no bacon left, huh?
Oh, about last night?
Guess you're not too
pleased about it, huh?
Should we be?
15 years old and you come home
from a party roaring drunk.
I wasn't drunk.
I had a few drinks, that's all.
Of all the places
to pull a stunt like that, the Petersons!
You have embarrassed us.
You've made a fool of yourself
at Matt's boss's house.
We agreed I'd handle it.
Look, Sarah,
I know I'm not your father.
And I've never tried to
take his place, have I?
But I think I have to
take some responsibility
for handling discipline around here.
Now it seems to me that
any boy that gives liquor
to a fifteen-year-old is
not the kind of boy for you.
What makes you think
it was all his fault?
Well, if it wasn't his fault,
then whose fault was it?
Did he give you the liquor, or didn't he?
Don't you think your
mother's entitled to an answer?
All right, then.
I think the punishment in this case,
if it's to have any meaning at all,
should give you time to
think about what you've done.
So I'm gonna keep you in
the house for two weeks.
No going out, no seeing
your friends after school,
no movies on the weekend.
If that seems unfair to
you, I'd like you to say so.
Is the trial over?
Am I excused?
He's not my father!
He's just somebody you sleep with!
You almost got me.
Come on out.
I can't.
I'm grounded for two weeks.
You're kidding.
That's kinda heavy, isn't it?
Half the kids at that
party went home loaded.
Well, my mom didn't
think it was too cute.
I guess it wouldn't help
if I talked to her, would it?
Let's just say, right now,
she'd rather went out
with the Zodiac Killer.
Well, that's too bad.
Well, I was hoping we could go meet Daisy.
My horse.
Are you sure you can't get out on parole?
Maybe if I called Matt.
He's my stepfather.
Oh, right, we've met.
And apologized to Matt and Mom
and promised to never do it again.
Well, would that be so tough?
Do you really want me to?
Come on,
come on, Daisy, come on.
She's old, about 11.
That's why I got her so cheap.
Of course, the best part of it is
she's got a lot of good stuff in her,
and she loves me.
I guess you love her, too.
Well, we're not engaged or anything.
Aw, come on, don't be embarrassed.
I think it's great that you
care about somethin' that much.
Let's go for a ride.
Oh wait a minute, I've
never been on a horse before.
I've never even patted one,
well, except for a
pony, when I was little.
Hey, come on, come on.
Are you comin' up, or
do I have to get a rope?
What do I do?
Put your foot in the stirrup.
- All right.
- Hand on the pummel.
And I'll give you a good yank.
Come on!
There you go.
Ch go slow.
Come on, come on then!
Come on, Daisy, come on!
Hey, Sarah.
I gotta tell you the truth.
When my mom first got on me to call you,
I wasn't altogether pleased.
You know what I mean?
I don't know, at school,
you seem so out of it.
That's not what I mean.
That's okay.
I guess I sort of was.
But that party, you came on singing
and really super.
You're different, Sarah,
different from what I expected
and a lot different from
the girls around here.
I guess I,
I guess I just like that.
Hey, here comes Sarah.
Hey, Sarah, how's it going?
- Hey, Sarah!
- Hey, Sarah,
- how you doing?
- That's a pretty coat.
You know, you really
sang super, Saturday night.
You really tied one on.
- Thanks.
- Boy, I bet your parents
really raised hell when you got home.
They sure did, but I
talked them out of it.
Oh wow, how'd you do that?
Well, I reminded them
of the times I've seen them like that.
What do you mean?
- Drunk.
- And it worked?
It sure did.
- Wow.
- Wow.
I'm really gonna have
to try that sometime.
You do, 'cause it worked, man.
See you guys later.
- See you later, Sarah.
- Buh-bye.
Oh no.
Why're you stopping?
Look who's here, it's your mom's car.
Oh, okay, I'll get out then.
- You're so...
- I'm home!
Well, then who took it?
Just tell me that.
If you didn't take it, who did?
I don't know, Mrs. Hodges.
You asked why I,
you asked why I'm letting you go.
Now that's why.
Please, let's not make
this any more painful
than it has to be.
I never touched the liquor Mrs. Hodges.
Mom, see, it's all a mistake.
It's no mistake.
My husband says the liquor's been watered.
Now you can't fool a real
scotch drinker about that,
and there's been no one else
around here to get into it.
Well then, what would it matter
if we gave her another chance?
I'm sorry, Margaret.
We won't be needing your
services any longer.
Now I have to meet Matt for dinner.
There's some chicken in the
refrigerator for you, honey.
We'll be back later.
Bye, Sarah.
Bye, honey!
How much is that?
I'll just wait till
your mother comes out
if you don't mind.
Oh, no, I don't mind.
Of course, my mother's one
of the longest shower-takers
in Western civilization.
We're trying to get her
in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Well, that's one of the
advantages of being the boss.
I've got all the time in the world.
Look, mister,
I'll tell you the truth.
My mother's not here.
Yeah, I know.
Well, see, it was my father's birth...
Uh, look, if you tell her,
I'm gonna get in a lot of trouble.
Look, if I left this stuff here,
I could get in a lot of trouble.
I could lose my license.
I'm sorry.
I guess I didn't think about that.
Yeah, what time do you
expect your mother back?
Mister, please.
Please, mister.
All right.
I'll let you get away
with this, just this once,
but if you ever try
anything like this again,
- so help me, I'll...
- I won't.
I promise.
Oh by the way,
you better turn off the shower.
What, you takin'
to drinking cologne now?
You taking up spying on people?
Could I taste that?
You a cop or somethin'?
You sure turned on to
that stuff pretty fast.
With this party Saturday night,
are we gonna drive
- or take Daisy?
- Hey, Sarah, look,
you got me a little worried.
Don't you think that drinking in school,
I mean, right in the open,
isn't that a little dumb?
Aren't you a little square?
I mean, go out on the lunch court,
half the thermoses smell of booze.
So it's not such a major crime.
I don't care.
I don't care about that.
I only, I don't like
seeing you do it, okay?
Remember, you're the
one that got me started.
Am I?
Aw, Kenny, I'm sorry.
You don't want me to do it anymore,
so I won't, okay?
Hey, Sarah, better get over
to the counselor's office.
The guidance counselor wants to see you.
- What for?
- I don't know,
but you better hurry
up and get over there.
Your mom's waiting for ya.
- My mother?
- Yeah, good luck.
- Will you call me?
- Sure.
- Bye.
- It's okay.
I think you know what
the problem is, Sarah.
You've been cutting classes.
I told Mrs. Farrell
there's been a mistake
and that you'd clear it up.
Um, well, last week, I, I had to go
to the library, a few times,
to finish a report on overpopulation.
And then, well, I got my period,
so I went to lie down in a
friend's car for a while.
Why didn't you go to the nurse's office?
I guess I should've.
Mom, it's all a mistake,
and it only happened a few times.
Tell her you said it was okay.
Mrs. Hodges, is this your signature
on these absent excuses?
Mom, don't you remember when you told me
to write those out for you?
Uh, Sarah, it's almost
time for your class.
Why don't you go now?
Your mother and I will try
to sort this out, okay?
Go on, go on.
You've made your point.
Now it's up to me, isn't it?
She refuses to strip for gym.
She seems distracted.
She has mediocre grades.
She just does enough to get by.
Now Sarah is a girl with a
high IQ and a lot of potential.
Something's wrong.
It's a new school situation.
I saw her records from the last school.
I'll have my husband talk to her
as soon as he gets home, tonight.
I don't quite think that's the answer.
She has trouble fitting
in with the other kids.
Her moods are erratic.
She seems depressed, sometimes.
Well, she's a teenager.
It's one of the prerogatives of that age.
I used to get depressed if
I got a pimple on my chin.
Mrs. Hodges, last year we had a teenager
who was depressed about
a slight case of acne.
He hanged himself.
Well, there must have been
something else wrong with him.
Not necessarily.
I mean, some kids just handle
things better than others.
His parents just thought
it was a passing phase.
Mrs. Hodges, perhaps,
some professional counseling might help.
I don't think so.
Mrs. Hodges, the records show
you were recently remarried,
- two years ago, and...
- That's right
And do the records also show
the kind of man I married.
My husband is decent and hardworking.
He cares for Sarah.
He tries to be a positive influence
- on her.
- Mrs. Hodges,
- I didn't mean to...
- Has anybody bothered
to put into the records
that I have managed somehow
to raise another daughter
who is happily married
and has a new baby and
never tried to hang herself.
I don't know what it is about you people.
You've got to believe that every kid
from a divorced home is a candidate
for nine years on a psychiatrist's couch.
That's it, isn't it?
Well, maybe if the school did its job,
maybe if you made learning
a little more interesting,
got rid of some of the
distractions, maybe if you did that,
instead of passing out
the dime-store psychology,
every time you have a
simple discipline problem...
I am not trying to be a
dime-store psychologist.
Well, even if you don't,
my husband knows how to
handle that sort of thing.
Oh he loves it!
He should.
His aunt mad it for him in prison.
Oh, I'd say you got off easy.
They're letting you go to
the beach party, aren't they?
Who you going with?
Oh just some of the kids.
No special boy?
Not really.
Hey, come on, what are big sisters for?
Well, is he cute?
Is he tall?
He's just the most super
guy in school, that's all.
Can you believe somebody like
that'd be interested in me?
Oh why shouldn't he be?
Got three days?
I'll list all the reasons.
I'm just surprised Mom
hasn't mentioned it to me.
Oh, well, um, mom hasn't met him yet.
Doesn't he come by the
house to pick you up?
Well, he, he doesn't live nearby.
He goes to a different school.
You said he goes to your school.
Oh, did I?
Sarah, you're not
talking about that creep
who got you drunk that
night, Ken What's-His-Name?
He's not a creep.
Oh Sarah!
He's not like that at all, honest.
It wasn't this fault, anyway.
You're not gonna tell Mom, are you?
What our big sisters for, you said.
Promise you won't tell?
- Promise?
- All right, Sarah, I promise.
I think I'd better go.
But why can't you just tell mom about it?
Why can't you be straight with her?
She'll understand.
No, she won't.
She never has.
Seems all I ever do is
manage to embarrass her.
Sometimes I don't even think
she likes me very much.
I swear you sound more
like Daddy every day.
Yeah, well, now I'm
beginning to understand
what he had to live through.
What about her?
What about what she had to live through?
Believe me, Sarah, you
just weren't old enough
to know what was going on between them.
Yes, I was.
She made him a, a salesman!
He was a dreamer!
And she tried to make him into a husband.
Is that so wrong?
She's a little scared of lights.
I'm gonna walk her across.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Thank you.
Hey, you guys!
Special treat, tonight, sports fans!
Don't drop it, I only got one.
Count of three, one...
Let's go!
Give it over here!
- Get the wine!
- Get it open!
- Hey, what are they doing?
- Huh?
- What are they doing?
- Oh, that's Ray's
famous watermelon trick.
He plugs up the side of the thing
and pours in about a
quart and a half of gin.
- No kidding?
- No kidding.
Let's go!
Hey, what's happening?
Hey, how you doing?
You guys are up.
Let's do it!
Hey, Sarah, slow down.
Leave a little for the rest of us orphans.
Come on.
- Hey!
- How ya doin'?
Hey, Sarah.
Sarah, come here.
I want to talk to you, come on.
- Yeah, go on.
- Come on, let's drink it!
Aren't you going
at it a little heavy?
Do you have
to get on my back, too?
I get enough at home from my mother.
Why do you have to lie?
I never expected that from you, Sarah.
Lie? About what?
About drinking, about
that I got you started,
letting me take the
blame that first night.
Oh, that.
Yeah, that.
You don't drink like a beginner, Sarah.
Well, I'm glad you know.
It's been a real hassle on me.
But if my mother ever found out...
Look, I don't care
about taking the blame.
You don't?
I care about you.
I care that you seem to need that stuff.
Oh come on, you make me sound
like some major alcoholic freak.
Look, I don't see purple
cockroaches climbing the walls.
Look, I take a drink
every once in a while,
'cause it makes me feel good,
makes all those hassles about my parents
and the stuff in school go
down just a little bit easier.
But why do you have to
drink when you're with me?
I don't have to drink.
I can quit anytime I feel like it.
I just don't feel like it.
Well, let's go back to the fire.
Let's not.
Why not?
I'll stop if you want me to.
We pay that service enough money.
You think they'd keep it clean.
Oh they're all that way.
You know that.
Hey, honey, as soon as I finish this,
your mother and I going for a swim.
You want to join us?
Oh no, I can't I'm gonna go babysitting.
Hey, what are you gonna do
with all that money you're makin'?
I don't know.
Listen, there's a sale
on TV sets at Gordon's.
I'd be willing to match what you've got.
Would you like a new
color set for your room?
- Really?
- Uh-huh.
Okay, talk about it later.
Oh, that must be for me.
Oh Sarah, I almost forgot.
Your father called and
asked me to tell you
that he's sorry but he
can't make it this weekend.
Well look, honey, I thought that you
and Matt and I could
do something together.
He's probably got a good reason.
Wait, it's probably that new job,
that new job has been waiting for.
He's gonna be a district manager!
Perfect, bye, Mom.
Bye, Matt!
- Hi, Mr. Tyler.
- Hi, honey.
Sorry, I'm late.
Do you think I can have a
friend over to study tonight?
- Oh, I don't see why not.
- Thanks.
The other night at the beach party...
Well, well, it was kinda special to me.
It was for me too.
No, I mean like, well, like I've never,
well, you know what I mean.
Well, me neither.
That's what I thought.
Why aren't we going together?
We're just not.
Then why don't we?
I thought the guy was supposed
to ask the girl that.
I haven't had a drink since the party.
Is that all you could say, good?
You said you weren't a booze freak.
I believe you.
Then why didn't you
call me till last night?
Sarah, look, come on,
if I don't get at least B in chemistry,
I can kiss veterinary college goodbye,
so let's just do our homework, okay?
I love you.
Do you love me?
Do you?
That's a little strong, isn't it?
We've only known each other a few weeks.
Not if you feel it.
I like things the way they are.
It's been good so far.
Why do you wanna push?
I like you, Sarah.
I maybe even like you
more than any other girl,
but that doesn't mean that we...
What other girl?
Well, you know.
No, I don't know.
Have you been seeing other girls?
Well, some.
I haven't been seein' other guys!
We never had that kind
of understanding, Sarah.
Who, Marilyn?
Have you been seeing Marilyn?
Hey, I don't need this.
Oh, I should've known
you were just using me.
Oh, now look what you've done.
Hey, look, I think I'd better go, okay?
I think that's a great idea.
Come on, baby.
Go back to your stupid Marilyn
and tell her what a fool I've been.
Come on.
Kenny, come back!
I didn't mean it!
Now what am I gonna do?
All right, I'll get your bottle.
No, he's got to be
there, just let it ring.
No, just a little longer, please.
No, he's gotta be there, just let it ring.
Just let it ring!
Oh Daddy!
Oh Eric.
Thirsty, huh?
What, you forget the house keys?
No, I have the car keys.
I thought you took the house keys
- when you took the car keys.
- Oh honey!
It's okay.
Sarah will let us in.
- Sarah!
- Sarah!
- Sarah, what is it?
- Sarah!
What's the matter?
Hey, Sarah!
It's all right, honey.
It's all right, honey.
Yeah, shh, shh, shh.
What is it?
Okay, okay, shh.
What is it?
Oh, baby, don't cry.
Shh, shh, shh.
- Sarah, wake up!
- What is it?
- Mr. Tyler...
- Sarah, get up now!
Sarah, what got into you?
How could you have been so irresponsible?
You're just lucky Fred Tyler
didn't call the police.
Do you know that?
This is going to be all
over the neighborhood.
It's gonna be all over Matt's office.
Just what was in your
mind when you decided
to pull such a stupid stunt?
Answer me.
Don't you have anything to say?
Oh I think I'm gonna be sick.
I hope you get so hung over you'll be
in bed for a week.
Then maybe that'll give you something
to think about next time.
You sit there.
Did he get drunk, too?
- Who?
- You know who,
that Ken character
and don't bother telling me
you haven't been seeing him,
because I know otherwise.
Did Nancy tell you that?
- She promised.
- Never mind who told me.
It was for your own good.
I told you last week what
had to be done, JoAnne.
Now do you agree with me?
What has to be done?
Who you calling?
His parents.
Matt's going to tell
them to keep that son
of theirs away from my daughter,
that he's got her drinking
and God knows what else.
You can't.
Ken has nothing to do with my drinking.
Sarah, don't try to protect him.
It won't work.
Do you remember after
the Christmas party
when I was real sick
and the doctor said over stomach flu?
And when you fired Margaret
for getting into the liquor?
Who do you think really drank it?
Mom, listen to me.
I've been drinking for
nearly two years now,
almost every day.
I've snuck booze from the house.
And I've stolen it from liquor stores.
I've even taken money from your purse.
Who knows?
Probably would've drunk rubbing alcohol
if I couldn't get my
hands on anything else.
You're lying.
I don't know.
You don't have much faith in
shrinks, do you, Mrs. Hodges?
- Well, I...
- No, no, that's all right.
That's all right.
Some days, I have doubts of my own.
Now would you tell me again please.
Why did you come?
The guidance counselor
at Sarah's school thought
that there might be
something wrong with Sarah.
And well, I'm ready to admit that now,
some sort of behavior problem.
Sarah tells you she's been
drinking almost every day
for nearly two years, and you
call it a behavior problem?
Well, she wasn't picked up out
of some Skid Row bar, you know.
I mean, she's only 15.
You want to tell me she's
an alcoholic or something?
That's not my judgment to make.
Well, then who's gonna decide?
- Sara?
- That's right.
Seems to me, a fifteen-year-old
who drinks every day has a lot to say
that nobody is listening to.
Believe me, Doctor, I've listened.
Have you heard?
Kids develop alcohol
problems like anybody else,
because they're troubled
or lonely or frightened.
Booze helps them to live,
to face social situations,
to get through the day, and it works,
for a while, and then it stops working,
because alcohol is a mean and sneaky drug.
First, it giveth.
Then it taketh away.
And one day, you know,
it's gonna kill you.
What can we do?
We can get Sarah's father down here.
The four of us can go to
work on this thing together.
I wouldn't count on getting him here.
Well, try, it's important.
There's something important
that Sarah has to do,
on her own.
She'll do it.
Now, Sarah, if we're gonna
accomplish anything, Sarah,
you have got to get off the booze.
It sets up a wall between us.
She's not going to be
doing any more drinking.
- I'll see to that.
- Not you, Mrs. Hodges.
What about you?
Aren't you going to help?
Of course, I will,
but the first step has
got to be Sarah's alone.
Now I'm sure both of you have heard
about Alcoholics Anonymous.
Oh no, I'm sorry.
That's where I draw the line.
Then you know about AA.
Sure, bunch of boozers
somebody scraped up,
out of the gutter.
She goes there she'll
learn more about drinking
than she ever knew before.
I wouldn't worry
about that, Mrs. Hodges.
We're a country of whiskey-heads.
Sarah gets permission to
drink every time she sees you
and your husband hoist that
old five o'clock pick-me-up.
You're not going to lay
that on me, Dr. Kittredge.
I'm not even sure I did the
right thing in coming here.
I mean, I bring you a child
with emotional problems,
and you try to make her out
to be some kind of wino.
And before you'll admit
that she might have a drinking problem,
you'd sooner see her as crazy, right,
some kind of a head case?
Mrs. Hodges, it's not
anything to be ashamed of.
Sarah, I think we better go.
I think it's time Sarah
started thinking for herself.
Sarah, I'd like to talk to
you alone for a few minutes.
How do you feel about that?
I'll stay.
I'll wait outside.
Well what?
Do you think you're an alcoholic?
No, no, I'm not.
Hmm, all right.
Do you believe me?
Well, it doesn't
matter what I believe in.
Something you have to know about yourself.
Oh, then I guess I won't
be coming back here anymore.
Suit yourself.
If I was a, well, I'm not,
but if I was, how could I tell?
Well, you cross the
kind of imaginary line.
You begin doing things
that are destructive
to yourself and the people around you.
When you recognize that, then you know.
Well, I don't do any of those things,
and I can quit drinking whenever I like.
Do you ever get the
shakes, Sarah, cold sweats?
Do you ever feel like
you can't get out of bed
and face the day without
getting a little booze,
you know, just an eye-opener?
Did you have a drink today
before you came here?
Sarah, would you like to show me
that you can stop drinking for good,
never take another swallow?
The creep gave me that piece of paper,
wants me to go to some
cruddy old AA meeting.
If you want to
know the truth, Sarah,
I don't think it's such a bad idea.
Aw, gee, I'm just
surrounded by traitors.
Sarah, if you're not an alcoholic,
what are you afraid of
going to a meeting for?
Why should I, just to please him, hmm?
How about to please me?
Hey, here's a new face.
Hi, I'm Bobby.
Am I in the right place?
If you're looking for
the AA meeting, you are.
I thought maybe it was a
school dance or somethin'.
You got a name?
Come on, Sarah, I'll put
you in touch with a doughnut.
Hey, don't hog the punch.
Here's your doughnut.
Oh, thank you.
Uh, Carol.
Carol, this is Sarah.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Uh, see that she gets
properly nourished.
I got to get my head
together for this ordeal.
Pretty smart little kid, isn't he?
Mm, he sure is.
He'll be starting high school next year.
- You're kidding.
- Mm-mm.
Uh, you don't want that doughnut?
Mm, no.
Okay, then how about
some coffee or punch?
Punch, please.
Your first meeting?
Mm-hmm, and my last.
Yeah, I remember the first
day I came through those doors.
I said to myself, this
place is a leper colony,
and I'm no leper.
- Want some?
- Mm, no, thanks.
What I am is an alcoholic.
What I'm not is an alcoholic.
Then congratulations, Sarah.
That makes you one of the lucky ones.
Look, if I was, I'd say so, huh.
Sure, nothing hard about
admitting your hooked,
except then you gotta give up the booze.
And Lord knows no dedicated,
hardworking alcoholic wants to do that.
I wouldn't know about that, right?
The trouble is I didn't
admit it soon enough.
See, I was drunk, one night,
and I was driving my
brother's car, and oh he,
you didn't come here to
listen to drunk stories.
Okay, everybody, let's settle down,
grab a chair, relax.
You're not really like
them, a little kid like you?
We have a birthday tonight.
We're celebrating one year
of a new life and sobriety.
Bobby R.
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday, dear Bobby
Happy birthday to you
Keep coming back
Hi, my name is Bobby R.
Hi, Bobby R.
And I'm an alcoholic.
I want to thank everybody for the cake.
I couldn't have gotten it without you,
your help and your patience
and your understanding.
I want to thank you for the hardest year
of my life and the best.
I want to thank you for my life.
I may be only 11, but
my liver thinks it's 60.
See, I started drinking, ooh,
about the time I started to walk.
My brothers would bet
me to sipping pop wine,
just for the fun of seeing
the little kid get sloshed.
By the time I was 9,
I'm bringing milk laced
with scotch to school in my thermos.
But I wasn't the only
kid doing that, either.
Some days half the class would be smashed,
and the school would never know it.
They were too busy sniffing
around the bathrooms for pot smoke.
I found the hardest part
of being a drunk was the lying,
lying to everybody,
my folks, your friends,
even lying to yourself.
You'd figured they wouldn't
have cared, my folks.
After all, they thought
it was kind of funny,
little kid begging sips of beer
and when I snitched Uncle
Mike's cocktail glass
and hid in the closet with it.
But when I came to them and said,
Mom, Dad, guess what, I'm an alcoholic,
they didn't think that was so amusing,
for they'd rather I'd
had been anything else,
a cat burglar, a communist.
It was hard for me to admit it to myself.
But it wasn't their problem anymore.
It was mine.
And I had to kick and
crawl and puke my way
to the place where I can finally admit it
and lose enough friends and
do badly enough in school
and get so damn disgusted
with myself and hate myself,
where I can finally look
in the mirror and say,
face it, man, you're an alcoholic,
and if you don't get some
help, you're gonna die.
Hope we see you again.
Horseback with a bunch
- of people.
- Oh come on, Richard!
I never get to see her.
You slip 100
bucks into her purse,
and then you're off to San Francisco,
but you leave the problems behind,
- with me.
- Yeah, I have seen
what a terrific job you've
been doing with her.
Oh, I suppose
you could've done better.
Yeah, I think I could.
I'm not forgetting how you
turned Nancy against me.
Nancy did not need any help from me.
She was old enough to remember
how it was when you were around.
Yeah, and what about Sarah?
I give my baby to you and what's-his-name,
and you make her so damned
unhappy she starts boozing
before she's old enough
to give up paper dolls.
Oh no, you don't.
You're not gonna blame
me for that, Richard.
I'm not the one who filled her head
with all those beer bottle dreams
about painting in the Oregon woods.
What the hell
would you know about dreams?
The only dream you ever had
was locking some poor slob
into a nine-hour slot,
so you could sit around
until noon, in your housecoat.
How would you know how
long I ever sat around?
You were never there long enough
- to find out.
- All right, all right,
come on now, let's take it easy, okay.
Hey, Sarah, you got anything
to say about all this?
You've got a voice, you
know, an equal voice.
That's what family therapy is all about.
Okay, let's try it this way.
What would you say to your folks
if you could get them to listen
to you, for once, really listen?
Mom, what I wish is...
Come on.
Mom, I wish that you and
dad wouldn't fight so much,
and that you still loved each other,
most, that we were still all together.
Honey, you know that's impossible.
Well, then,
I wish you'd love me for what I am,
not expect me to be Nancy
or somebody I'm not.
Daddy, Daddy, I love you,
and I want to come live with you now.
Oh Sarah, you know your
mother'd never go for that.
Yes, I will.
You will what?
I'll let her go with you, Richard.
Obviously, I haven't done
a very good job with Sarah.
I thought I did.
I tried.
Don't tell me.
Tell her.
Sarah, I do love you,
the best way I know how,
but maybe some kind of a
change would be better for you.
So I give you my permission
to go live with your father.
Mr. Travis.
Oh sweetheart, uh,
you know how much I
want you to be with me.
I mean, you know that.
But, ah, yeah, I'm on the
road almost all the time.
I live out of a suitcase.
Now what kind of life
would that be for you, hmm?
And don't you really think it'd be better
for, for a girl to live with her mother.
I mean, that seems much more natural.
And I can hardly take care of myself,
much less the 15-year-old girl.
You can certainly understand
that, can't you, hmm?
Can't you?
Well, what's everybody looking at?
It wasn't my idea to come here, you know.
You want somebody to hang the blame on.
I can understand that.
Well, it's not gonna be me.
You're not gonna embarrass me
in front of my little girl.
No way.
You're gonna have to find
somebody else to hang it on.
Okay, just hold it.
What do you think you're gonna do with?
- Nothing.
- Oh, nothing?
I was gonna buy it from you.
You were gonna pay for
this, right, with money?
And you think I'm gonna sell it
to you, your age, right?
Listen, I want to tell ya.
I want ya out of here, and
I don't want ya coming back
or I'm gonna call the police.
Do you understand that?
Yeah, I understand.
- Ooh, I'll get.
- All right.
- Hand him your coins.
- There's a brown.
So we got, uh, two six-packs,
of bottle of Tingles,
some Cameron Castle
and three potato chips.
- Right.
- Baked potatoes?
Okay, that'll be a 10%
charge for the ID, also.
- Get out of here.
- No way!
Hey, do you think you could
buy me a fifth of vodka?
I've got the money here.
Uh, no, I, I don't think so.
I'll do anything you want, please.
How's that again, baby?
I'll do anything that you want.
Say, how 'bout a slug
- of that?
- Can't hold it, huh?
Hey, come on, I paid, too.
Let me have some.
Right, you did.
Here you go, Sarah.
- Oh!
- Don't spill
- that stuff, man.
- Come on.
What, over here, over here.
Come on!
Hey, come on, you guys, this is not funny!
Hey, Sarah, woo!
- Whoa, don't spill it!
- Come on!
One more time!
- Come on, please!
- The baby wants her bottle.
- Hey, just stop!
- Let her have it, huh?
- Come on, come on, come on.
- Come on!
- I want it.
- She's crying.
You promised!
You promised!
That's right.
You made some promises too, you know.
All right,
friends, step right up.
The name of the game's Spin the Bottle.
Winner gets the first go around.
- Hey!
- Hey!
- There, there.
- That's our man.
No, man, I don't think so, come on.
It's just the game, let
her have her bottle,
- let's go.
- What's the matter?
You're gonna hurt the
little lady's feelings.
Hey, come on, Rog, he's right.
Just lay off her.
Yeah, come on, man, we
don't need this stuff, huh.
Well, I guess
I win the Kewpie doll.
What do you know?
Oh Sarah, you forgot your bottle.
I got your message at the airport.
- Now where's she gone, huh?
- I don't know.
- She's just gone.
- How long,
- how long has she been gone?
- All day!
Matt's talking to the police again now.
They don't have anything to report yet.
Come on in, Richard.
Okay, thank you.
Come on.
Now hang in there, Daisy.
I'm gonna tell Mom I'm gonna
feed you before we eat.
Hey, Mom, Mom!
Oh why?
Why doesn't nobody like me, Daisy?
Come on, Daisy!
Come on!
Come on, Daisy!
Treat a kid like a neurotic,
she starts acting like one.
She ran away because you rejected her.
I rejected her?
You're the one who rejected her.
You're the one who said you didn't care
whether she stayed or left.
You have about as much sensitivity
- as a...
- As a what?
Take it easy, JoAnne, here.
Come on, Richard.
We're all rational adults here.
Sarah will be all right.
Here, have some of this.
It'll help.
Thanks, I'll pass.
No chance, buddy.
Hey, come on, just a chance.
That's all I want, just a chance.
Son, come with me.
- Look, I'm gonna have to...
- Hey.
You gotta do something, please.
Look, don't want the
horse to suffer, do ya?
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Ken.
I killed Daisy.
Ken, look at me.
I'm sorry I'm alive.
Hey, hey, you, come back here!
I'll get her.
Clean this traffic up.
Please, please.
Now, now, are you gonna lock me up?
What for, Sarah?
Come on, come on, you're not crazy.
What am I then?
Everything I do is wrong.
I'm just not, just not a normal person.
I hurt the people I love.
I destroy everything I touch.
You've crossed
that imaginary line, remember?
You're just beginning to recognize it.
I killed Ken's horse.
That's right, you did.
He may never forgive me for it.
He may not.
I picked up a guy for a bottle of booze.
Well, that's something you're gonna have
to forgive yourself for.
I feel so sick.
Why, why was I even put in the world
if I have to feel so rotten all the time.
Do something!
Help me!
I can't.
What kind of doctor are you?
Look, you have a choice, Sarah.
You can sink into the bottom
of a bottle and drown,
or you can climb out.
Now I can't make that choice for you.
I can't badger you or frighten
you or coax you into it.
No amount of therapy or love
or gin and tonic is gonna make you do it.
You have to do it alone.
But I can't do it alone.
All you have to do is
it take the first step.
After that, there'll
be people to help you.
I'll help you.
Come on, come on.
You won't!
You know the word, Sarah.
I can't say them for you.
I can't believe them for you.
You're no doctor!
You're just mean, and you're ugly,
and you like to watch people suffer.
Now just get out here.
All right.
There's some people
outside waiting for you.
Get out!
I know.
It must have been awful for you, honey.
But things are going to be different
from now on you, you'll see.
And the first thing we have
to do is just all forget
this ever happened.
Come on.
Hello, honey.
Kl, I don't know what came over me'
in that therapy session.
I, I got kinda rattled, I guess.
But if my little girl wants to come up
and live with me in San Francisco,
well, when I get that job nailed
down, in a couple of weeks,
we'll talk about it.
Mom, Dad,
it won't work the old way,
because, well,
it's what I am.
I'm an alcoholic.
Sarah, don't be foolish.
Well, honey, we, we all got problems.
We can talk 'em out.
I'm an alcoholic.
You've only got
to take the first step.
After that, there'll
be people to help you.