Straight Story, The (1999) Movie Script

The Straight Story
-Hey, Rose.|-Hey, Dorothy.
I'm gonna go over there.
We're waitin'.
Alvin! Alvin Straight!
Rose left a couple of hours ago.
Did you hear me hollerin' for|Rose? I wasn't lookin' for Rose.
-- I haven't seen Alvin today.|- Did I ask?
Straight, you're late!
-Come in, Bud.|- What the hell, Alvin?!
Where the hell are you?|I can't see a thing.
Over here, Bud. Watch your step.
What the hell's going on here?
What are you doin'|layin' on the floor? You nuts?
Supposed to be down|at Davmar's one hour ago.
What's going on?
-Oh, my God!|-Hey, Dorothy.
-What's the number for 911?|-Let the phone down, Dorothy.
What you doin'? I'll call the bar|and tell 'em we're not comin'.
Are you crazy?|We have a stricken man here.
-Are you stricken, Alvin?|-Dorothy! Put the phone down!
Dad, what's all the yellin'?
Wh-what...uh,|have you done to my dad?
Oh, for cry eye!
-Are you OK, Dad?|-I just need a little help gettin' up, honey.
I'm goin' to Davmar's.|I'll be right back.
OK, Bud.
-I'm not goin'.|-Dad...
-I'm not goin'.|-You promised me, Dad.
OK, Mr Straight, you need to take off all your closes|except your underwear and put this robe on.
Just bring me the doctor.
You like birds.
I build...uh, birdhouses...|uh, for bluebirds.
Oh, that's nice.
Yeah, it's Pete...uh, Pete sells my...|uh, the Ace Hardware.
-I'll look for them next time.|-Yeah?
No operation.
This morning you fall and can't|get up, that's your hips, Alvin.
-And you'll need a walker now.|-No walker.
Fine, a second cane, then.
You say you're having trouble seeing.|That could be a diabetes-related problem.
-I'd like to run some tests.|-No tests and no X-rays.
Well, I see and hear that you smoke.|My guess is you're in the early stages of emphysema.
And Alvin, you have circulation problems|and I'm worried about your diet.
If you don't make some changes quickly,|there will be some serious consequences.
-It has a... a red roof.|-Another pretty one, Rose.
-I want to...uh, paint the...uh, next one blue.|-That's a good idea.
What ...uh, did the doctor say?
He said|I was gonna live to be 100.
I think I'll go|and mow the lawn.
-Uh, I can ...uh, cut it for you, Dad.|-I got it, sweetheart.
God darn!
No, we'll...|we won't be mowin' today.
Storm's comin' in.
I love a lightnin' storm.
Uh, me too, Dad.
This is... is Rose.
Yeah... Yeah... Uh-huh.
Lyle? Oh, no...
OK... right... right...
I'll tell him.
Yeah... OK...
Uh, that was...Bobby.
Uncle Lyle...had a...
..a stroke.
No, Bobby,|he... he didn't say much.
Uh, they've both... uh, been so... uh, stubborn.
No, no,|it was longer, I remember.
It was...uh, July, uh, 7th,|19...88, uh, Bobby.
Bobby, I always...remember the dates.
I don't know...uh,|what he'll do.
Rose, darlin'?
Rose, I'm gonna go back on the road.
I've gotta go see Lyle.
But, Dad...
How are you...?
Well, I...haven't quite|got that figured yet.
One, your eyes are bad.|That's why you don't... uh, drive your car.
Uh, two, Uncle Lyle...|uh, lives in...uh, Wisconsin,
which is...uh, 317 miles away.
You would have to...uh,|stay all Des Moines.
Then there's no...|uh, Zion.
Three, you can hardly...uh, stand...|for two minutes...
And when you...uh, do stand up...| the sound you make...
when you...stand.
Uh, four, uh,|you are...uh, 73 years old...
You were...uh, born|when, uh, Calvin...uh, Coolidge
was president...of America.
Uh, you are...|uh, 73 years old, Dad.
And...I cannot drive you there.
Rose, darlin', I'm not dead yet.
Uh, what are we...|uh, building, Dad?
-Havin' a party?|-Oh, jeez,... I love...uh, parties.
Oh, me too.
And so...where's it at?
-Where's what at?|-Your...uh, party.
I'm not havin' a party.|I thought YOU were havin' a party.
-I am? -Well, yeah.|Look at all that Braunschweiger.
Oh, yeah,|it's a lot of Braunschweiger.
It's...uh, for my dad,uh, for his...his trip.|Uh, my dad... he's going to...uh, Wisconsin.
I...asked him how|he's...uh, going to get there...
Uh...but he...|uh, won't say nothing.
-Wisconsin? That is a real party state.|-Yeah.
I...uh, hate... uh, Braun...uh...schweiger.|Yeah.
Alvin, you've got three|five-gallon cans there.
What do you need|so much gas for, Alvin?
Sig, you're one nosey|son of a gun.
You got that right.
I wanna buy that.
-What?|-The grabber.
Oh, jeez, Alvin.|That's MY grabber, Alvin.
Oh, jeez, Alvin. I don't...|I...I do have two of them...
I think five dollars is right.
That's a darn good grabber,|Alvin.
-I...I...|- Well?
They're hard to come by, Alvin. It's gonna take me |two months to get another one on order.
-Jeez, Alvin, ten dollars.|-Ring her up.
-What do you need that grabber for, Alvin?|-Grabbin'.
Oh, jeez, Dad. Oh, jeez, Dad.
Listen to that|old grain elevator.
It's...uh, harvest time.
Uh, that...uh, trailer is too|h-heavy for...for that. It's a lawn mower.
You're going to... drive a...|a lawn mower to another state?
Rosie, I've...|I've gotta go see Lyle.
And I...I've gotta make|this trip on my own.
I know you understand.
I guess so.
Look up at the sky, Rosie.
The sky is sure full|of stars tonight.
Crimenetto, it's Alvin|and he's driving his lawn mower.
Alvin! What are you settin' out|to do here? For cry eye, Alvin!
Alvin, you're gonna get blown|right off the road, that's what I'm afraid!
He'll never make it|past The Grotto.
The Grotto.|8 km
I'm havin'|a little engine trouble.
What the heck is that|you're driving there?
It's a Rehds. Could you|give me a lift into town?
Yeah, to The Grotto. This|is the Sun Ray Tour. Get in.
- I'll get you help there.|- I'd appreciate that.
My Edward loved|his riding mower.
Hey, come here, hurry.
Hurry up.
Poor Alvin.
So the a...pick-up,|he brought my dad back., I must've been|at the beauty shop.
What kinda pick-up?
A Ford.
-But what's your dad doin' with that gun?|-I don't know.
I gave you that old Rehds|last time, right?
That you did.
You tradin' in that Rehds today?
No, I don't believe I will.
Pete told me you used that rider|in a real interestin' way.. You still plannin' to do that?
Still plannin it, Tom.
I know not to talk you out of|somethin' you set your mind to,
but Alvin, you've always|struck me as smart.
Well, that's appreciated.
Until now.
-What year?|-'66.
Has Kohler engine. We've used it for parts|but I always replace them.
The guts are good. It's got the old transmission.|Nothing fancy.
- Is it a good machine?|- It's good machine.
Tom, I got $325.|That's a fact.
That's sounds good to me, Alvin.|Let's go settle up with Alice.
One more thing, sometime you can find out | about these old machines, if you know who run 'em.
-Do you know who owned it?|-You bet... Me.
All right.
I couldn't get a ride.
Are you hungry?
Whaddaya got?
Weeners. Wanna try one?
Here's a good stick for you.
What a hunk of junk.
Eat your dinner, missy.
So, long you been|out on the road?
Well, I been travellin'|most of my life.
- Where you from?|- Laurens.
Got a wife back there? Kids?
My wife, Francis delivered|14 babies. Seven of 'em made it.
My daughter,|Rose lives with me.
Francis died in '81.
Where's your family?
Are you runnin' away?
How far along are ya?
Five months.
Well, I'm headin'|to see my brother Lyle.
I said I'm goin' to see|my brother Lyle in Mount Zion.
- Where's that?|- Wisconsin.
Oh...|- Just across the state line.
Cheddar Heads.
Aren't those the dumbest things you ever seen|somebody stick on their head?
I hear that's|a real party place - Wisconsin.
Guess I'll never|get to find out.
There's a blanket in the trailer.|Why don't you go get it?
My family hates me.
They'll really hate me|when they find out.
- You didn't tell 'em?|- No.
No one knows.|Not even my boyfriend.
Well, they may be mad, but I don't think they're|mad enough to wanna lose you.
or your little problem.
I don't know about that.
Well, of course, neither do I, but...
a warm bed and a roof sounds a might better than...
... eatin' a hot dog on a stick with an old geezer|that's travellin' on a lawn mower.
My daughter Rose is...
Some people call her|a little bit slow but she's not.
She's got a mind|like a bear trap for facts.
She keeps everything|organised around the house.
She was a real good mom.| She had four kids.
One night, somebody else|was watchin' the kids and there was a fire.
Her second boy|got burned real bad.
Rose had nothin'|to do with it but, ah...
..on account of the way Rose is,|the State figured she
wasn't competent to take care of them kids | and they took 'em all away from her.
There isn't a day goes by that|she don't pine for them kids.
When my kids were real little,|I used to play a game with 'em.
I'd give each one of 'em a stick and| - one for each one of 'em -
then I'd say ''you break that.''|'Course they could, real easy.
Then I'd say ''tie them sticks in|a bundle and try to break that''.
'Course they couldn't.
Then I'd say ''that bundle - that's family.''
Why don't you sleep|in the trailer?
This chair's just fine|for me tonight.
No, I'll be fine|sleepin' out here.
Lookin' at the stars|helps me think.
Thank you.
What that?
What the hell?
- Doin' good.
Hey, Irene.
-You don't think about gettin' old when you're young.|-You shouldn't.
Must be something good|about gettin' old.
Well, I can't imagine anything|good about being blind and lame| at the same time, but...
still at my age, I've seen about all|that life has to dish out.
I know to separate the wheat from the chaff|and let the small stuff fall away.
Let's go, man.
So, ah...what's the worst part|about being old, Alvin?
The worst part of being old is|rememberin' when you was young.
Can I help you, lady?
No, you can't help me.|No one can help me.
I've tried driving with my lights on,|I've tried sounding my horn! I scream,
I roll the window down and bang on the door|and play Public Enemy real loud!
I've prayed to St Francis|of Assisi, St Christopher too! What the heck!
I've tried everything and still|every week I hit at least one deer!
I have hit 13 deer in seven|weeks driving down this road!
And I HAVE to drive|down this road
every day, 40 miles to work and back.
I HAVE to drive to work|and I HAVE to drive home!
Where do they come from?
Oh...he's dead.
And I LOVE deer.
Well, they sure picked the right|place to practise a burn on.
That Rumelthanger place|was an eyesore.
What do you suppose...?
Is that a lawn mower?
Mister, you OK?
Jeez, mister, you're lucky|she didn't roll on you.
I guess the belt broke.
I wouldn't be surprised. You don't have|brakes on that trailer, right?
I worked for John Deere for 30 years, and I can tell|you shouldn't be hauling a rig behind a mower.
At least not down|a hill like that.
I'm Danny Riordan.
Alvin Straight.
Alvin, let's get you and this rig off the road|and see what the damage is.
Let's get this off the road.| Sure you're OK?
You OK? Everything all right?|I'm going back to the exercise.
Thanks. Appreciate it.
Well,...let's|take a look at this mower.
- This is what '65, '66?|- '66.
Well,...tell you right now, Alvin,| you won't be going anywhere tonight.
Aside from your, ah, drive belt being busted,|you got transmission problems.
- Where you headed?|- Mount Zion.
Mount Zion, Wisconsin?|Past Prairie du Chien?
- That's 60 more miles of hills.|- That's across the Mississippi.
- What's in Mount Zion, Alvin?|- My brother lives there.
- Why didn't you take your car?|- I'm not licensed.
- Couldn't he visit?|- He's had a bad stroke.
- Where are you coming from?|- Back a piece.
West Union?
-- Hawkeye?|- Nope.
Well, not New Hampton?|You haven't come that far.
You've come a long ways, haven't you?
Yeah, I have. Laurens, Iowa.
- Laurens?!|- That's west of The Grotto.
- How long have you been on the road?|- What's the date?
October eighth.
Five weeks. I left Laurens|on the fifth of September.
- You been bunkin' in that?|- That's my rollin' home.
- Where you been settin' up camp?|- In the fields. I pull off.
I don't travel at night.
Haven't you been scared, being alone?| There are weird people everywhere.
Well, ma'am, I fought|in the trenches in World War II.
Why should I be scared|of an Iowa cornfield?
Well, um... till we get|this mower fixed,...
why don't you...ah, bivouac in our yard here?|There's a bathroom in the garage you can use.
Well, that's|awful generous of you
and I'm sure my machine here|is agreeable to that too.
Sure wanna thank you folks|for helping me today.
There's a lot of rain forecast.|Sure don't want to get stuck in that trailer?
I...I do a little woodwork.|I thought you'd like a few fish.
My daughter does woodwork.|She makes birdhouses.
Oh, that's nice.
- You finished there?|- I believe I am.
- I'm in need of a phone.|- Sure. Come in.
I wanna call my daughter|about my recent travels.
Sure. Come in.
If it's all the same with you,|do you have a cordless phone?
- Door's wide open, come...|- I can call from out here.
Here you go.
You're welcome to sit in the kitchen.| We can leave, if you're lookin' for privacy.
Out here's fine.|Is the area code still 712 here?
No, Alvin.|That hill rolled you into 319.
You need to dial one|and your area code.
-'Hello?'|- Rose?
Uh, I' glad to hear you.
It's gonna cost him a bundle to fix that mower.| I don't think he's got that kinda money.
I wouldn't drive that thing to Excelsior.|It's a lawn mower, for God's sake.
Uh, your social security cheque?|'s here, Dad.
Rose, can you send me my cheque?
Uh, yeah.
He's damn lucky he made it down that hill.|- He could've died easily. - Yeah.
He's none too strong.| Did you see how he has to walk with the canes?
OK, OK, Dad, OK.
I...I have a pencil, Dad.
The hills just get worse|the closer you get to the Mississippi.
Go ahead and drive him, honey.| Mount Zion can't be half a day. It's fine.
You're a good man,|Danny Riordan.
And that's why I married you,|despite what my mother said.
I miss you, Dad.
- I love you, Rosie.|- I love you too, Dad.
-Uh, bye, Dad
- What are you cookin' there, Alvin?|- Oh, I'm makin' my Mexican coffee.
- Ah. Mind if I join you?|- Get you a chair... that iron one there.
You'll be a guest|in your own back yard.
Amm, I talked to the Olsen|twins, and,
ah...they estimate it'll cost around 250 dollars|to get your mower fixed.
Well, that's twice what it oughta be,|I guess it's cos they're twins, huh?
I'd be happy to drive you the|rest of the way to Mount Zion.
Be a nice Sunday drive.
We enjoy crossin' the river,|especially now with the trees in colour.
Well, I appreciate that, but...|I wanna finish this one my own way.
Try this.
Thank you.
Well, you know, Alvin, there's a lotta hills|bigger than Clairmont's between here and Zion.
Even if you get that mower runnin' again,|it may still break down.
Well, you're a kind man|talkin' to a stubborn man.
I still wanna finish this|the way I started.
Hi, Verlyn.
How the heck you doin'?|- Fine.
Well...they gave you|a plate of her brownies.
How's that for timing?
Janet makes the best brownies...
... in Lafayette county.
She won prizes every year|at the county fair. yourself.|- Thank you.
Mmm...I've been doin' errands and I'm heading for a beer.|I thought you'd like to join me.
Well, I don't drink any more, but...|I'm always up for a change of scenery.
Well, come on.
Well, I'm ridin' a little higher|and a little faster.
Except when you came down|that hill.
I picked up a mournful taste|for liquor in France.
When I came back,|I couldn't drink enough of it.
I wasn't worth a stick|of stove wood...
I was mean.
A preacher helped me put some distance|between me and the bottle.
And he helped me see... the reason I was drinkin',|I was seein' all them things here,
that I'd seen over there.
Lots of men came back drinkin' hard.
Well...everyone|tryin' to forget.
I can see it|in a man right away.
There was one time...
... when we just...
... Were waiting for|the first warm meal in ten days.
We...thought|we'd seen the worst.
We hadn't had|much trouble from the air.
I was on the rise...
... with the quartermaster,|workin' on more coffee for me and my buddies.
A stray Fokker|came over the treetops...
and dropped|an incendiary on the mess tent.
All my buddies...
The Kraut banked right in front|of me on that hill...
and now I can...|see the...Swastika.
That is one thing|that I can't shake loose...
All my buddies faces|are still young.
And the thing is, the more years|I have, the more they've lost.
And it's not always buddies faces that I see,|sometime they're German faces.
Near the end we were shootin'|moon-faced boys.
I was a sniper.
Where I grew up, you learned|how to shoot to hunt food.
They'd post me up front.|Darn near ahead of the lines.
And I'd sit...forever.
It's an amazing thing what you|can see while you're sittin'.
I'd look for the officers, the
radio guys or artillery spotter.
Sometime I'd spot|a gun nest by the smoke
... and I'd fire into it.
Sometime it was just|a movement in the woods.
We had a scout,
a little fella, name of Katz.
He was a Polish boy|from Milwaukee.
He'd always take recon|and he was darn good at it.
We went by his word and he saved|our skin many a time.
He was a little fella...
We'd broken|out of the hedgerows...
We were makin'|a run across the open
and we come upon a woods.
We started drawin' fire.
I took my usual position...
and I saw somethin' movin',|real slow like.
I waited ten minutes,|it moved again and I shot.
The movement stopped.
The next day|we found Katz...head shot.
He'd been workin'|his way back toward our lines.
Everyone in the unit thought|a German sniper had taken him...
Everyone, all these years.
Everyone but me.
See, Harald...brainiac...
Got the mower assembly free with|this here little old wrench...
You said it wouldn't work.|I'd say it worked pretty good.
Wouldn't you?
So help me slide her out.|We can get settled up.
Uh...I got parts and labour|that add up to $247.80.
Well, I'd say that's a little heavy for light work.|Don't you think?
I've got an old man's eyes,|but, ah... I'm noticin' some new tyre here.
Well, now...ah, we got those off a resell,|but the treads are good!
Well, friend, are you chargin'|me for good or for new?
Ahh...we can make|an adjustment there.
Well, I think the adjustment|should be about thirty dollars.
Is that what|your pencil's sayin'?
And, ah...about the labour...
I appreciate that you boys have|done some real time on this...
of course, a man's gotta ask|when he's workin' with twins -
especially a bickerin' pair -
-how much workin' was fightin'?|-He got that right.
Shut up, Danny.
If I was to judge by this joyous|affair I saw today,
I would calculate maybe 20|per cent taken off the labour.
Anything else, mister?
Well, I'm not from these parts,|but where I come from,
I would say that that was a|little rich for Iowa oil.
Take the oil, no charge.
Well, that's a splendid offer|and I do appreciate it.
What's the tally?
Hundred and eighty even?
Thanks to you boys, I'm gonna|get this rig back on the road.
I've drove it all the way across Iowa|and I'm hopin' it holds on till I get to Wisconsin.
My brother lives there.|I haven't seen him in ten years.
There's no one knows your life better|than a brother that's near your age.
He knows who and what you are|better than anyone on Earth.
My brother and I said some...|unforgivable things the last time we met,
but, I'm tryin' to put that behind me.
And this trip is a hard|swallow... of my pride,
I just hope I'm not too late.
A brother's a brother.
Well,... Guess I'll be turnin' in.
I'll, ah...see you in the|morning, then, before you go.
I'm gonna leave awful early.
I wanna thank you for your|kindness to a stranger.
It's been a genuine pleasure|havin' you here, Alvin.
Write to us, sometime.
I will.
I noticed your campfire.
I brought you some dinner...|Mashed potatoes, meat loaf.
Well, thank you kindly.|I've had my dinner, but...
-...would you join me for a while?|-Sure.
Thank you.
-I hope you don't mind me trespassin'.|-Oh, no, not at all.
Made a fine choice. You're camped next to|one of the oldest cemeteries in the Midwest.
French Catholic trappers.
-The Marquette party?|-Two of his men.
I couldn't help but notice|the rather unusual mode of transport.
Well, you're not the first|person to notice that, Padre.
My eyes are bad. I can't drive.
I don't like someone else drivin' the bus,|and I need to get to my brother's.
Fair enough. Where is he?
Well, he's so close, I can practically feel him.|Mount Zion.
-What's his name?|-Lyle Straight.
Is he that fella that came in|with a stroke some weeks ago?
Thats right. Do you know him?
I work at the hospital in Boscobel.|I remember him comin' in.
Caught my attention|because...he lives in my parish.
-Well, he's a Baptist.|-Oh, I believe he told me that.
Told me a few things,|matter of fact, but...
he didn't|mention having a brother.
Well, neither one of us has had|a brother for quite some time.
So, you saw him?|Is he all right?
I only saw him that once and|I haven't heard anything more.
Well, Lyle and I grew up|as close as brothers could be.
We were raised on a farm|in Moorhead, Minnesota.
We worked hard.
My mom and dad darn near killed themselves|tryin' to make that farm work.
And me and Lyle would|make games out of our chores.
We'd dream up somethin'|about racin' and wagerin'
do anything to keep our mind off the cold.|Lord, it was cold.
He and I used|to sleep out in the yard
every summer night,|if it wasn't pourin'.
Nine months of winter,|we couldn't get enough summer.
We'd bunk down|when the sun went down.
We'd talk to each other|until we went to sleep.
We'd talk about the stars...
...and whether there might be|somebody else like us out in space,...
...places we wanted to go and...
it made our trials seem smaller.
Yeah, we pretty much talked|each other through growin' up.
Oh, whatever happened|between you two?
Story as old as the Bible.|Cain and Abel.
Anger, vanity.
You mix that together|with liquor, and...
you've got two brothers who|haven't spoken in ten years.
Well, whatever it was|that made me and Lyle so mad...
don't matter any more.
I wanna make peace.|I wanna sit with him,
look up at the stars... like we used to do
so long ago.
I say ''Amen'' to that.
I haven't had a drink in a lot of years.|Now I'm gonna have me a cold beer.
What flavour?
What does|a Miller's Lite taste like?
There you go.
-How's it taste?|- It's good.
-Keep the change.|- Thank you.
It's an interesting rig you got|outside. Get up the hill OK?
That hill and 200 more|just like it.
- How far did ya come?|- From Iowa.
I'm headed|for Lyle Straight's place.
Iowa! My God,|you must be thirsty.
- Another beer?|- This will do me fine.
I wonder could you point me to Lyle's place?| I haven't seen him in an awful long time.
Well, you just...ah,|cross 61 here, on ''W'',
Take ''W'' on down to Weed Road|and then on to Remington Road.
On your right|will be Lyle's place.
If he's there that is.
-How you doin'...?|-Not too good.
This thing's just tired.
Is there anything|I can do to help you?
-Well, I don't know. It just quit on me.|-Why don't you try her again?
I'm headin' to Lyle Straight's place.
Sit down, Alvin.
Did you ride that thing all|the way out here to see me?
I did, Lyle.