Summer and Smoke (1961) Movie Script

Woo! Woo!
Ha ha ha ha!
What'll we do now, Johnny?
Let's go over to the cemetery.
No. That's too scary.
Let's tip over
Mr. Roberts' outhouse.
Can't no more.
He's got it nailed down.
Oh, hello, Alma.
Let's go to Mrs. Schmidt's.
She always gives
apples on Halloween.
Can we ask Alma?
That priss? She's no fun.
You go on. I'll see you later.
She's got a crush
on you, Johnny.
Hello, preacher's daughter.
I've been looking for you.
You have?
Why'd you put them
handkerchiefs on my desk?
You have a bad cold.
Your nose has been running.
Then don't look at me.
I like to look at you.
I don't want them.
Do you know the name
of the angel?
What name?
Eternity. It's carved
there under the water.
Doesn't it give you
the cold shivers?
Well, it did me.
Because you're
the preacher's daughter.
Eternity? What does it mean?
It's something
that goes on and on.
When life and death
and everything else.
Is all through with.
Aw, there's no such thing.
Oh, but there is.
It's what people's souls live in.
When they leave their bodies.
My name is Alma.
Alma is Spanish for soul.
Did you know that?
My dad's got a chart
of the human body.
In his office.
It shows everything,
all your insides.
He wants me to become
a doctor like him.
I think that's wonderful.
Give me one of
them handkerchiefs.
Is my face clean enough now?
Yes. Beautiful.
I said beautiful.
Well, let's kiss each other.
Come on. Let's just try it.
Ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha!
Mother, are you ready?
[Giggle] [knock on door]
Oh, Mother. It's evening.
You know you won't
be needing your parasol.
I'm terribly nervous.
Please be good tonight.
If I can't have
my parasol, I won't go.
That's that, and final.
Alma, will you hurry?
All right, you can
bring your parasol,
Only don't do
anything tonight, please.
We'll have to go without her.
I could do nothing
with her all day.
I wish I didn't have to go.
It's a civic duty you've
performed many times.
Singing in public terrifies me.
We should have left
10 minutes ago.
Da da da da
Da da da da da da da
Mother, please.
Punctuality is the
politeness of princes.
We're missing the skyrockets.
Tardiness is a discourtesy.
Did you answer
the missionary's letter?
I answered
the missionary's letter.
Father, please don't.
I am really terribly nervous.
I heard you practice today...
[Music playing]
And now, ladies and gentlemen,
Miss Alma Winemiller,
the Nightingale of the Delta,
Singing la Golondrina.
Where now so swiftly flies
The timid swallow
What distant region
Seeks her tireless wing
To reach it safe.
[Engine chugging]
What guidance
does she follow?
When darkness hides...
Look who's back.
Bright as a silver dollar.
Hi, Dusty, Pearl.
How'd you do
in the floating crap game?
Floated with it
to Vicksburg, then sank.
You should have been home.
From medical school
weeks ago, Johnny.
I took the long, sweet route,
Baltimore to Memphis,
Vicksburg to New Orleans.
You ain't changed.
Why, neither has anything else.
Miss Alma still
singing la Golondrina.
You home for good, Johnny?
For good? If I know Johnny,
He's back here for bad.
I'll stay a while
before I make up my mind.
See you.
...And well I know
'Tis sad
From home
My heart is beating so,
It seemed to be in my throat.
While I was singing.
Was it noticeable, Father?
You sang extremely well, Alma.
The words flew out of
my mind, blind panic.
Where's the ice cream man?
There isn't any ice cream man.
On the way home,
Mr. Doremus and I.
Will stop by the drugstore.
I promised to meet Roger
by the angel fountain.
Yes, well, we'll just
run along now.
Come on, Mother. Come on.
Evening, Mrs. Winemiller.
Strawberry, Alma.
Chocolate and strawberry mixed.
Oh, yes, yes.
Chocolate and vanilla.
Not vanilla!
Chocolate and strawberry!
Mother, you're
attracting attention.
Come on. Come on.
Miss Alma.
I do declare. I thought
you were dead, sir.
Now, Miss Alma,
I know you saw me.
Why are you running away?
I'm most definitely
not running away.
I have a rendezvous to keep.
Sounds intriguing. Who with?
Roger Doremus.
Uh-huh. I, uh, liked your solo.
I'm so glad that you approve.
I'd really begun to think
you'd forgotten me.
Oh, I could never do that.
I promised to write.
And keep you abreast
of events here at home.
I did. You never answered.
I was busy.
Are you home for the summer?
Summer isn't
the pleasantest time.
To renew an acquaintance
with Glorious Hill.
The gulf wind
has failed us this year,
Disappointed us
dreadfully this summer.
Are you planning
to stay here and take over.
Some of your father's
medical practice?
I haven't made up my mind.
Well, your father tells me.
You've finished your
studies in bacteriology.
Isn't that something
you do with a microscope?
Well, partly.
To be a doctor.
Oh, my.
And deal with those mysteries.
I think it's almost religious.
I didn't know you were awed.
By the medical profession.
I'm your father's
greatest admirer,
As well as his patient.
It's comforting to know
he's right next door.
Why? Do you have fits?
Fits? Oh, no.
But sometimes I do feel...
Yes. And he reassures you.
Ah, but only temporarily.
I suspect you need more
than temporary reassurance.
Shall I tell you frankly?
Oh, please.
You have a doppelganger,
Miss Alma,
And that doppelganger
is badly irritated.
I have an irritated
Oh, my goodness.
How awful that sounds.
What is it?
It's none of my business.
You're not my patient.
That's downright wicked of you.
To say I have something
so awful-sounding.
And then not tell me what it is.
It means there's another person.
Trapped inside you, Miss Alma,
Another self,
And that self is
crying out to be freed.
Oh, but of course,
You're... you're
teasing me, aren't you?
Who is that?
I'm surprised
that you don't know.
Her name is Rosa Zacharias.
Her father's the new owner.
Of the gambling casino
on Moon Lake.
She smiled at you.
I hope that you have
a strong character.
Solid rock.
They say
the pyrotechnical display.
Is going to be brilliant.
Hmm? The fireworks.
[Fireworks exploding]
There goes the first skyrocket.
Oh, look at it burst
into a million stars!
Are you cold?
Why, no. No. Why?
You're trembling.
Oh, am I? Ha ha ha! Well. Hmm.
Why do you laugh that way?
What way?
Ha ha ha! That way.
I do declare. You haven't
changed in the slightest.
It used to delight you
to embarrass me,
And it still does.
Maybe I shouldn't tell you,
But I heard an imitation
of you at a party.
Imitation? Of what?
You singing at a wedding.
Oh, now you're upset.
No, no, I'm not upset.
I'm just mystified.
Don't you know.
You have the reputation
for putting on airs?
I have no idea to what
you are referring.
Well, for instance,
uh, that accent.
And this fancy way of talking.
What way?
Uh, pyrotechnical display.
Instead of fireworks...
That sort of thing.
I do wish Roger would get here.
Who gave this imitation.
At this party you speak of?
She wouldn't want that told.
It was a she, then.
A man wouldn't do it.
A lady wouldn't, either.
Oh... I didn't think.
It would make you so angry.
I wouldn't have mentioned it.
I'm not angry,
just mystified and amazed.
As I always am
by unprovoked malice.
These people
who call me affected.
And give unkind
imitations of me...
I wonder if they
ever stop to think.
That my circumstances.
Have been somewhat
different from theirs.
My father and I have
a certain cross to bear.
What cross?
Living next door to us,
You should know what cross.
Oh, you mean your mother?
She had her breakdown.
When I was still in high school.
And since that time,
I've had to manage the rectory.
And take over the social
and household duties.
That would ordinarily
belong to a minister's wife,
Not his daughter.
All you need.
Is to go out with young people.
I'm afraid that you and I
move in different circles.
And have different tastes.
If I was as
outspoken as you are,
Which is sometimes
an excuse for being rude,
I might ask you this...
What do you think
everyone says about you?
When your father
is patiently waiting.
For you to come home,
You have been seen in
certain neighboring cities,
Carrying on drunk, drunk and
disorderly like some stupid child!
Miss Alma.
Most of us have no choice
but to lead useless lives,
But you have a gift
for scientific research,
A chance to serve humanity
and relieve suffering.
And what do you do?
Conducting yourself like
some overgrown schoolboy.
Who wants to be
the wildest fellow in town.
You, a gifted young doctor,
magna cum laude.
I call it a desecration.
Miss Alma. Miss Alma.
You do talk up
a storm, don't you?
You followed me here uninvited.
To tease me
like when I was a child.
You wanted to
embarrass me and hurt me.
You've succeeded. I was hurt.
I made a fool of myself.
So let me go!
Miss Alma. Miss Alma.
Miss Alma, you're
attracting attention.
Don't you know I like you?
I don't believe that.
I wouldn't go to the trouble.
Of teasing you if I didn't.
[Fireworks exploding]
There goes a nice one.
Two, three, four, five, six.
That's all. No, seven.
Oh. Oh, dear.
How about going for a ride?
In your automobile?
I don't mean in a buggy.
Would you observe
the speed limit?
Strictly, with you, Miss Alma.
When? Tonight?
I'd be happy to, John.
Wear a hat with a plume!
I haven't got
a hat with a plume!
Well, get one!
Here, Thomas,
let me give you a hand.
Mighty nice to have
you back, Dr. John.
This house gets lonely,
just him and me.
Nice to see you, too.
John! Come here!
Hello, Dad.
You were due home 10 days ago.
I'm sorry, Dad.
News of your actions
preceded you.
I don't know what people said...
Stop smiling!
There isn't any room in
the medical profession.
Or in my house.
For wastrels,
drunkards, and lechers.
I married late in life.
I brought over 500
children into this world.
Before I had my own.
It looks like I've given myself.
The rottenest one of them all.
Anything else?
Thomas, you can stop
unpacking that car.
You can stay at
the Alhambra hotel.
I've phoned about a room.
If that's the way you want it.
Yes, sir?
You can take his bags
up to his room.
Yes, sir.
Thank you, Father.
Better let me fix
your bed, Dr. John.
That long trip... you
could use some sleep.
Now, don't you
go prescribing, Thomas.
I'm the doctor,
and I think the patient.
Could use a little excitement.
John Buchanan.
Sure I didn't wake you, did I?
Fact is, uh, I'd like
to see more of you.
I thought maybe we could
stir up a little excitement.
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Is it a legitimate game?
You got yourself a customer.
[John laughing]
Ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha!
It's one hell of a world, Johnny.
That's a fact.
A lady can't have some fun.
Without starting
tongues wagging.
Well, let them wag.
I shouldn't have left Memphis,
But I wanted my kid to grow
up in a nice little town.
The ante, gentlemen,
is two bits.
It's a pleasure getting
to know you, Sally.
I've heard a lot about you.
Heard what?
That you've brought good cheer.
And relaxed pastimes
into our fair city.
You're known as the Merry
Widow of Glorious Hill.
All in all, it looks like.
It's going to be a
very pleasant summer.
Pleasant? You watch
yourself, Rosa.
Seems you got
a tiger by the tail.
Mm. He's a tiger, all right.
You're the one
who can tame him. Ha ha!
Rosa, honey,
fetch me another beer.
You want another drink, Johnny?
I'm doing fine.
What I do want is...
Top of the stairs, handsome.
Second door down.
Let's go now. Let's go
to Moon Lake Casino.
Cash me in.
Oh, I'm sorry. I, uh...
Why, Dr. Johnny,
don't look so shocked.
You in search of
the little boys' room?
Uh, well, yes.
This isn't it.
It's down the hall.
Thank you.
You don't remember me, do you?
I'm Nellie Ewell.
I met you at your
father's office one day.
Oh, yes. I remember.
You, uh, live here?
Mrs. Ewell's my mother.
Sweet 16.
I'm 17, Dr. Johnny.
Mother keeps me
very well sheltered.
Why... I really
shouldn't tell you.
Oh, it's all right.
I'm past 16, too.
Well, she wouldn't answer
certain questions I'd asked,
So I had to go to your father.
What kind of questions
were they?
About the facts. What facts?
The facts of life, naturally.
Oh, and, uh, did he answer them?
Well, he gave me this,
But it's too full of long words.
Have you looked them up?
You know how dictionaries are.
You look up one word.
It gives you another.
You look up that word.
It gives you the word
you looked up first.
I'd much prefer it if...
If what?
If you'd explain it to me.
Uh... what is it that's
troubling you, Nellie?
I don't know. I get
these funny feelings.
Where and when?
Here. When I'm
with boys sometimes.
Oh? Not really boys.
Men. Especially if
they're handsome.
I don't know. It's a feeling.
Tell me everything, Dr. Johnny.
I, uh, think you'd
better drop by the office.
Anytime you like, Nellie.
Well, I wondered
what had happened.
What are you doing here?
Nellie, get to sleep now.
It's not what you think.
He was looking for the
little boys' room.
And found the little
girl's instead.
Okay, okay, Mrs. Ewell.
Go on to sleep now.
All right, Mama.
You ought to be
ashamed of yourself.
What are you so proud about?
That's a very nice girl.
And she'll stay that way.
Not here, she won't,
With bums and drunks
hanging around.
You should talk.
And I will.
Why don't you send her
to a boarding school?
Boarding school?
Different environment.
Give the kid a break.
[Girl singing arpeggio]
Oh, Miss Alma, it's ever too hot.
To sing today.
Patience, Betty Lou.
Patience and perseverance.
Now, let's try again.
[Singing arpeggio]
That's fine, Betty Lou.
Now let's try a scale.
[Singing scale]
[Telephone ringing]
Mr. Gillam? Yes?
Yes. You're sure?
Betty Lou, that's all for today.
I'll see you on Monday.
All right. Good-bye, Miss Alma.
Mr. Gillam,
I believe the hat is here.
Yes, I think so.
Oh, would you do that, please?
I'll... I'll stop by tomorrow.
Yes, thank you.
Yes, Alma, what is it?
That was Mr. Gillam
on the telephone.
She took a hat this time.
He pretended not to notice.
In order to save us
the embarrassment,
So we'll have to
pay for it... $14.
Mother, I have a
thousand things to do,
So would you go out and sit
quietly in the garden?
All right.
Bring out the picture
puzzle for me...
Very well, Mother.
Come along.
Look who's there.
The boy you spy on.
Mother, hush.
Hello, cavalier!
Mrs. Winemiller, Miss Alma.
Why did you call him that?
Because he's dashing.
Because he looks as though
he should carry a sword,
Fight duels,
Sweep ladies off their feet,
The pieces don't fit.
The pieces don't fit!
Here, Mother.
Now be good.
Please be good.
How are you, stranger?
I'm pretty well, Miss Alma.
How are you doing?
Surviving. Just surviving.
Isn't it fearful?
Well, you seem
unusually laconic.
Or perhaps I should say.
More than usually laconic.
I had a big night last
night, Miss Alma.
I'm just recovering from it.
Give me a hand, will you please?
Thank you.
I should drench you.
Why, Miss Alma?
On the 4th of July,
You said that you
would take me riding.
In this magnificent automobile.
All these afternoons
I have been patiently waiting.
And hoping that you would
remember that promise.
What are you trying to say?
Just reprimanding you, sir.
Castigating you
verbally, as it were.
Well, what about, Miss Alma?
It is customary for neighbors.
To call on each other
from time to time.
That's mighty sweet
of you, Miss Alma,
But the preacher don't like
me, and that's a fact.
But I am inviting you.
I told you in one of my letters.
About our little cultural group.
We are the last spark of
civilization in Glorious Hill.
I... we would like very much.
If you could come.
Sure. I'll do that sometime.
We're having readings
and refreshments.
Well, for the others,
But for you, sir,
I would even produce.
A bottle of apricot brandy.
Apricot brandy?
Please come.
What time? 8:00.
I'll be there.
Miss Alma!
Well, I will
see you then... John.
It's a date, Miss Alma.
[Door opens]
Hello, Nellie.
Oh, Miss Alma.
Your lesson
isn't this afternoon.
I'm so excited. I have
to tell somebody.
Tell what?
I'm going away to school...
To a private school.
Why, Nellie.
Isn't it the
wonderfullest thing?
And all because of him.
Well, you know how it
is about my mother.
She brings home
traveling salesmen.
To drink and play poker...
All of them looking like pigs.
Well, the other
night he was there.
Somehow, the first
thing you know,
He was in my room,
And I was asking him
about the facts of life,
And then he told mother I
should be in boarding school.
And now it's all arranged.
The facts of life?
Well, if a doctor doesn't
know, who would?
John Buchanan?
Dr. Johnny.
Was with your mother?
He wasn't her beau.
He had a girl with him.
Mother had somebody else.
Who did he have?
Some loud thing
with a "Z" in her name.
Rosa Zacharias?
That was it. They didn't stay.
She dragged him off to
the Moon Lake Casino.
Her papa owns it.
Nellie, dear, I appreciate
your dropping by.
To tell me your news,
But if you don't mind, I...
I'm afraid I have
things to do now.
Nellie, please don't
have him catch us spying.
Ha ha ha!
Show Nellie how you spy on him.
She stands behind the curtain.
And peeks round it.
Be still!
Alma's in love! Alma's in love!
Nellie, please go.
Yes, Miss Alma.
If ever I hear you say
such a thing again,
It will be the last straw.
Do you understand?
Spy! Spy!
Yes, you understand.
You act childish, but you
have a devil in you.
God will punish you!
I will punish you, too.
I will take your
cigarettes away from you.
No more ice cream, either.
I am tired of your malice.
I am tired of your malice.
And your self-indulgence.
Won't listen!
Won't listen!
Will listen!
People wonder why
I am tied down here.
They pity me.
They think of me as
an old maid already,
In spite of the fact
that I'm young,
Still young.
And it's you.
It's you.
You have taken
my youth away from me.
Oh, I wouldn't say that...
I'd try not to even think it...
If you were just kind.
I am kind. I am kind.
I could spread out
my life like a rug.
For you to step on,
and you'd step on it,
Which is what
you have always done.
Now you dare lie about me.
In front of that girl.
You do spy on him.
You do spy on him.
Back it goes!
It goes now!
Fight! Fight! Stop it!
Go upstairs!
I said go upstairs.
What happened, Alma?
I'm sorry, Father.
I behaved badly.
Over a hat...
With a plume.
[Knock on door]
Good night, Father.
Going out again?
Yes, sir.
I don't suppose
I could persuade you.
To stay home this evening.
I have an engagement.
Indeed. Engagement.
With the tramps of Moon Lake?
Not exactly.
Well, I'm relieved you
have the courtesy.
To spare me the exact details.
Well, the, uh, details.
Might surprise you, Father.
I'm too old for surprises, John.
I'm meeting a few
friends in town.
At 8:00 I'm paying a
call at the rectory.
On Miss Alma.
Well, well.
All right?
John, son.
Yes, sir?
I'm going to Lyon tomorrow.
We've had a fresh
outbreak of the epidemic.
They need me.
There are other doctors.
They need me, son,
And they could use
a good bacteriologist.
At the moment, I'm a
doctor on leave...
On leave from ice packs,
quinine, and bedpans.
Well, I wish I could
persuade you...
But you can't force-grow a man.
No, sir, that's
something you can't do.
If it'll help,
I'll handle your practice
while you're gone.
I don't think they'd trust you.
I've already invited Dr. Hodges.
Then good night, sir.
Roll the dice, Johnny!
Here we go.
Last one, fellows.
You can't leave!
All right. All right.
Shoot those dice.
Roll them. Come on.
Pass me the bottle.
I'll take two.
I move that the minutes
be adopted.
All in favor?
Aye. Aye.
So be it.
Well, inasmuch as our
specially invited guest.
Has failed to render
himself visible,
I suggest we begin.
Hear, hear.
This is the moment.
We have all so breathlessly
been awaiting...
Cynthia Thornton's
historical romance.
It's entitled
A Most Sacred Trust.
"Chapter one. Pale blue
spring hung gossamery.
"Over the fair, flowering,
dappled fields of Tuscany.
"Were one to patiently
close the eyes,
"One might imagine satyrs.
"Dancing through
the spring green woods.
And blowing the pipes of Pan..."
Come on!
Shoot those dice!
Honest, fellows, I'm going.
I've got a date.
You can't go home now!
Come on,
give us a chance to win.
We're moving the game.
To the Moon Lake Casino.
"Never, cried the
weaver to the landlord.
I will leave this place
where I was born..."
[Telephone rings]
"Ere I'll submit
to your scheme."
Oh, yes, I see.
You are visiting a patient.
I understand.
Oh, no, it really
doesn't matter.
It really doesn't matter at all.
[Crowd yelling]
[Crowd cheers]
Me debes cien, Pepe.
That's 100 you owe me.
Cien? Estas loco. Cincuenta.
You're lying. The bet was $100.
Deselo a mi Johnny!
Quitate de aqui!
Ohh! Shh!
Yay! Yay!
Hey! Get him out of there!
He cut you bad, Johnny?
I get a doctor.
No, I can take
care of it myself.
Come on, Rosa.
[Vehicle approaching]
Why is it, Rosa,
Whenever we're together,
I wind up with
a belt or a bruise?
You gamble too much.
Is that why?
Why is it that
whenever we make love,
You never make love without
biting or scratching.
Or leaving a little blood on me?
Because I know I can't hold you,
And maybe I'm angry.
You're doing
a better job of holding me.
Than anyone else has.
For how long, Johnny?
One summer?
Unless maybe I trap you.
[Knock on door]
I better answer that.
Before they wake up my old man.
You're hurt!
Shh. It's nothing.
What do you want?
I want to see your father.
Come into the office.
One minute.
Go home, Rosa. I have a patient.
I will wait.
I'll see you tomorrow.
The patient that you
had to call on?
I want to see your father.
It's late. He's asleep.
I'm afraid that I
will have to see him.
What's the trouble?
I can't...
That you, John?
What's going on down there?
Nothing much, Dad.
Somebody got cut in a fight.
I better come down.
Don't bother, dad.
I patched him up.
Just seeing him out.
All right, please, what is it?
Do you think that
I would come here.
At 2:00 in the morning.
If I were not seriously ill?
There's no telling what you'd do.
In a state of hysteria.
[Turns on faucet]
Here. Take this, Miss Alma.
What is it?
Just a couple of
little white tablets.
Dissolved in water.
What kind of tablets?
You don't trust me?
I trusted you
earlier this evening.
Oh, I...
Well, there was a mix-up, and...
I seem to be all to pieces.
I don't know why.
Drink this down, Miss Alma.
It will make you sleep.
I... I wasn't able to sleep.
And you felt panicky?
Yes, I... I felt walled in.
You started hearing your heart?
Yes, like a drum.
And it scared you?
Yes, it always does.
I don't think
I'm going to be able.
To get through the summer.
You'll get through
it, Miss Alma.
One day will come after another.
And one night will
come after another.
Until sooner or later,
The summer will be
all over with.
Then it will be fall,
And you'll be saying,
"I don't see how I'm going
to get through the fall."
A deep breath.
A little.
Soon you'll be much better.
Miss Alma...
Did you know that time.
Is one side of the four-dimensional
continuum we're caught in?
Did you know that the
Magellanic clouds.
Are 100,000 light years
away from the earth?
Well, that's something
to think about.
When you start worrying.
About your heart, Miss Alma...
That little red fist
that keeps knocking.
Against that big black door.
Stop worrying about
your heart, Miss Alma.
But sometimes I...
I don't know.
All right, let's check it.
Unbutton your blouse.
Your blouse.
Here. Let me.
Little pearl buttons.
Hold your breath.
What did you hear?
Just a little voice saying,
"Miss Alma's lonesome."
Insult upon insult.
If your idea
of helping a patient.
Is to ridicule
and insult them...
It's the last time.
Miss Alma.
I humiliated you tonight.
It really didn't matter.
No, I did.
And it was stupid and cruel.
And you know,
So many times over the years
I've looked across
through that window.
And wondered if it would
be worth trying...
You and me.
And you...
You decided it wasn't?
I didn't decide
anything, Miss Alma.
Tablets working now?
Yes, I feel drowsy.
I'm beginning to feel like...
Like a water lily...
On a Chinese lagoon.
I'll walk you out.
This way, Miss Alma.
Oh, they do work.
[Clock chiming]
I must go now.
I'll call for you
Saturday night at 8:00.
Keep this box of
tablets, Miss Alma,
But watch how you take them.
Never more than one
or two at a time.
Didn't you say something
else a moment ago?
I said I'd call for you.
At the rectory Saturday night.
This time I'll be there.
[Playing flamenco music]
She's punishing me, Miss Alma.
She's jealous of you.
Well, she has no reason to be.
How's the arm, Johnny?
Just fine, Papa.
Miss Alma,
I'd like you to meet
Papa Zacharias.
How do you do?
Okay, hello.
Very nice.
Rosa, she's...
Whew! Boy, is she mad with you.
[Crowd yelling]
You watch the
fights, eh, Johnny?
Miss Alma, come.
Watch the birdie.
Take me out of here!
Take me out!
What have you got there?
Those sleeping tablets
I gave you?
Yes. I need one.
I nearly died back there.
I wish you'd let me.
You want to turn into a dope
fiend taking this stuff?
They're only for emergencies.
I didn't think such
exhibitions were legal.
This is Moon Lake, Miss Alma,
Where anything goes.
And you are a frequent patron?
I'd say constant.
I'm hunting an elusive
bird, Miss Alma.
The bluebird of satisfaction.
Well, what other kind is there?
Well, I will answer that
question by asking you one.
Have you ever seen
a gothic cathedral?
What about it?
How everything reaches up.
How everything
seems to be straining.
For something out of the reach.
Of stone or human fingers.
Have you ever
thought to look up, John?
Look up.
Who was it who said
that beautiful thing,
All of us are in the gutter,
But some of us are
looking at the stars?
Mr. Oscar Wilde.
Well, regardless of who
said it, it's still true.
It's no fun.
Holding hands with
gloves on, Miss Alma.
Are you in tune
with the stars tonight?
I feel in contact with them.
What about people?
You know... man.
Are you ever
in contact with man?
I've made an effort with some.
Roger Doremus,
one or two others.
What went wrong?
My heart wasn't in it.
A silence would fall between us.
We'd try to talk. Neither
of us made a go of it.
Silence would fall?
Yes. He'd look at his watch.
We'd know the undertaking
had come to a close.
You'd call it quits?
Quits is what we
would call it, yes.
One or two times I was
rather sorry about it.
You do have serious
feelings of that kind?
Doesn't everybody... sometimes?
Some women are cold.
Some women are
what is called frigid.
Do I give that impression?
But under the surface,
You have a lot of excitement,
More than any other
woman I've ever met,
So much that you have to carry.
Those sleeping tablets with you.
The question is why?
Miss Alma...
Miss Alma.
Miss Alma.
Not "Miss" anymore.
Just Alma.
"Miss" suits you
better, Miss Alma.
I really shouldn't be here.
Is it so difficult
to forget that...
You're a preacher's daughter?
A minister's daughter.
Is no different from
any other young lady.
Who wishes to remember
that she is a lady.
There are other things.
Between a man and a woman
besides respect.
Did you know that, Miss Alma?
There's such a thing
as conjugal relations.
Thank you for telling
me that so frankly.
Some women surrender to the
desires of their husbands.
Out of a sense of duty,
Sheer duty.
Go through life
never knowing what a...
What a beautiful, wonderful,
Exciting thing it can be.
But love is what
you bring to it.
There are some people.
Who just bring their bodies,
But there are some people...
There are some women, John,
Who can bring their
hearts to it, also,
Who can bring their souls to it.
Souls again?
Your name is Alma.
Alma is Spanish for soul.
Sometime, I'd like to show you.
A chart of the human anatomy...
And maybe you can show me.
Where that beautiful
soul is located.
You're trembling.
I can't help it.
Oh, no.
Oh, no!
Miss Alma, please.
Miss Alma.
Miss Alma!
Miss Alma!
Is that what you
brought me here for?
Is it?
Did you in your
wildest imagination.
Think that...
Think that I would...
Let me go...
You... you animal!
Why are you so afraid
of your own emotions?
I want to go home.
I want to go home.
All right, go!
Charming, Miss Winemiller.
Oh, thank you.
Well, I must say they
did enjoy your song.
Oh, they just tolerated it,
But they did enjoy your
family slides of the Orient.
I enjoyed seeing
them again myself.
Your mother
looked different then.
It seemed strange seeing her
in her hunting costume.
What was she hunting?
Heaven knows, but
she found Father.
She met your father
on an Oriental tour?
On the boat coming
back from India.
He had dysentery,
and she had the mumps.
They were introduced
in the infirmary.
Oh. Oh, how wildly romantic.
[Flamenco music playing]
Hey, for me, huh?
No. For Johnny.
Nothing too good
for Johnny, huh?
No creas nada!
Miss Alma,
Mr. Hutcheson tells me
I'm highly thought of
at the Delta Planters Bank.
And that I am
in line for promotion.
You're the sort of young man.
Who should do splendidly.
In the banking profession.
We're not getting any younger.
Do we have to be
left high and dry?
Do we?
Miss Alma, do you know
what I'm trying to say?
Oh, I think so, Roger,
But if you don't mind,
I'm terribly tired.
Might we continue our
conversation another day?
Of course. Of course.
Good night, Roger.
Good night.
Uh... how long
is that to continue?
I'm sure it's no affair of mine.
Dr. Buchanan would never
permit such goings-on.
Good night, Roger.
Good night.
Golly Moses!
I hope you're not
waiting up on my account.
Who could sleep with that
Roman orgy next door?
Let me give you some
news to take to bed.
He had the nerve to ask me
to perform the ceremony.
Young Buchanan.
Came in here drunk, waving
a marriage license.
"Very valuable," he says.
"In payment of 3,000
lost at poker.
"How about it,
Preacher?" he says.
"Got a job for you
in the morning."
He's going to marry
the Zacharias girl.
"You'll vacate
these premises," I said.
"I'd sooner drink brimstone
than sanctify such a union."
He laughed and said.
Any justice of the peace
could do as good a job.
And that he'd come to me
out of sentiment!
[Door opens]
[Door closes]
I would like to speak
to Dr. John Buchanan.
At the fever clinic in Lyon.
Has anyone ever slipped downhill.
As fast as I have this summer?
Like a greased pig.
Yet every evening...
I put on a clean white suit.
I have a dozen...
Six in the closet
and six in the wash.
And when I shave in the morning,
There isn't a sign of depravity
in my face.
Yet all summer
I've sat around here like this,
Remembering the last night,
Anticipating the next one.
Why does your father.
Want me for a son-in-law?
I want you. I.
I want you!
Why do you?
Because I was born
in the palmetto country.
And grew up in a one-room
house with a dirt floor.
We all slept in that room...
Five of us and three geese.
Sometimes in the night
I would hear sounds.
That passed for love.
I would think how dirty
it was, those sounds,
And having to sleep
on a dirt floor.
And smelling bad because
there wasn't any bathtub.
What has that got to do...
With me wanting you?
You're tall...
but you smell good.
You're quiet... so quiet...
But when you
hold me in your arms.
And make love to me...
Ah, y que.
Something might
go wrong tonight,
And I'll wind up.
With some dark little
friend of Papa's.
Nothing's going to happen.
I'm on that greased slide,
and you're part of it,
Part of the whole plan,
don't you see?
Rosa, Rosa! Donde esta?
Si. Que quieres, papa?
Ah, here they are!
Here they are.
I throw a fiesta for my baby,
She disappear, huh?
Ven, ven.
Juanito, tu, tambien, eh?
Here they are!
I find them! I find them!
The little lovebirds!
Hey, hey, hey!
You're a lucky man, Johnny!
You see? Sky the limit!
Here is for my little baby girl.
Here, take it! Come on, take it!
Anything papa got, she can have.
She want a husband... Marido.
All right,
papa get her that, too!
Hey, hey, hey! Shh.
You see these gold bead?
When my Rosa was little girl,
She see these
in the store window.
She want them.
Well, I got no money.
I feel bad.
The next morning,
I go to the store,
And I say, "Please, mister",
I want gold beads
for my little girl."
He look at me. He say,
"You want gold bead?
Show me your money."
"All right.
"My money? Here is my money.
"Here is my money.
Now give me the gold beads!"
Ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha!
I learned my lesson!
Now I have money,
But I still have my gun.
Anything Johnny wants
or Rosita wants or I want,
I'm going to get
with this or with this.
Vamos a tomar un trago.
Come on, we drink, huh?
Uh, I... I thought
it was Johnny.
You're Johnny's father, huh?
I'm Rosa Zacharias.
I know. What's going
on in my house?
Johnny's giving a party.
Because we're
both leaving today.
I hope you like the idea,
But if you don't,
it doesn't matter.
Because we like the idea.
Sky's the limit!
Get your swine out of my house.
No, no, no!
Get your swine out of my house!
[Glass breaking]
"The wind bloweth
where it listeth,
"And thou hearest
the sound thereof.
"But canst not tell
whence it cometh.
"And whither it goeth.
"So is every one
that is born of the spirit.
"O God, to whom
all hearts are open,
To whom no secrets are..."
Tell your father to quit it.
I don't want that worn-out
magic he's spouting.
That mumbo jumbo
won't cure peritonitis.
You'll have to
go up and see him.
He doesn't want me.
This happened because
of his devotion to you.
It happened because
some meddlesome fool.
Called him back here last night.
Who was it did that?
I did.
I called him when I learned.
What you were planning to do.
I told him to come.
You brought him
back here to be shot?
Put the blame on your weakness.
My weakness?
Sometimes a tragedy.
Will make a weak person strong.
More platitudes.
You white-blooded spinster.
You so-right people.
Pious, pompous mumblers,
and preachers' daughters.
All muffled up
in worn-out magic.
Call me anything, but
don't let your father.
Hear your drunken shouting.
Come here.
Look at something.
I've seen that.
You talk about weakness.
You think you're stuffed
with rose leaves?
Look at it! It may help you!
How can you behave this way.
With your father dying?
Be quiet!
You could feel some shame.
Now, listen to
the anatomy lecture.
This is the brain...
Which is hungry for truth.
And doesn't get much.
But keeps on feeling hungry.
This middle is the belly,
Which is hungry for food.
And here, hungry for love.
Because it is
sometimes lonesome.
I've fed all three,
As much of all three
as I wanted or could.
You've fed none! Nothing!
Well, maybe your belly a little,
But love or truth...
Nothing but
hand-me-down notions,
Attitudes, poses!
You can go now.
The anatomy lecture's over.
So that is your high
conception of human desires?
What you have here is not
the anatomy of a beast,
But a man,
And I reject your opinion
of what love is.
And the truth you believe
the brain to be seeking.
There's something
not on that chart.
The part that Alma's
Spanish for?
Yes... the soul.
It's not on the anatomy chart,
But it's there just the same.
It's somewhere not seen,
but there,
And it is that that I
loved you with, John.
Yes. Did love you with, John.
Did nearly die of
when you hurt me.
I'm glad you ran away from me.
That night at the casino.
If I'd have made love to you,
I'd have felt guilty...
Guilty of desecration.
Yes. Isn't that funny?
I'm more afraid of your soul.
Than you're afraid of my body.
Dr. John is asking for you.
He'd like you to sing for him.
Go and sing to him, Miss Alma.
Every time
I feel the spirit
Moving in my heart
I will pray
Every time
I feel the spirit
Moving in my heart
I will pray
All around me
Looked so fine
Asked the Lord
If all was mine
Every time
I feel the spirit
Moving in my heart
I will pray
Every time
I feel the spirit
Moving in my heart
I will p-pray.
You are my seed...
My posterity...
All that I leave on this earth.
Damn you.
Dad, don't.
Let no man curse his posterity.
Son... uh...
He's dead.
Dead of good works.
Dead of a meddling
telephone call.
Dead by the hand of
a hysterical old maid.
Terrified of
the animal in herself.
Unable to bear
the animal in others.
He's dead.
[Door slams]
Hello, Miss Alma.
Mama says I can start
singing lessons again.
Oh, I've... I've
discontinued teaching, dear.
You see, I haven't
been very well.
Suppose I return next week?
Oh, I don't think so.
All right, Miss Alma,
But get well soon, hear?
Alma, why don't you get dressed?
It hurts me to see you
sitting around like this.
Day in, day out like an invalid.
There's nothing wrong with you.
You may have had
a disappointment,
But don't act as if the
world had come to an end.
Well, I made the beds,
washed the breakfast dishes.
I phoned the market,
sent the laundry out,
Peeled the potatoes,
shelled the peas...
And set the table for lunch.
What more do you want?
Either get dressed
or stay in your room.
At night you get dressed, yes.
Last night, I heard
you slipping out.
At 2:00 in the morning.
That wasn't the first time.
I don't sleep well.
I have to walk
before I'm able to sleep.
What will I tell people
who ask about you?
Tell them that I have changed.
And you're waiting
to see in what way.
Are you going to stay
like this indefinitely?
No, not indefinitely,
But you may wish that I had.
Frank, you'll be
leaving us soon.
That's right, doctor.
Hello, Mrs. Anderson.
How do you feel?
I'm still here.
I'm glad.
You're over the crisis.
You're going to be well.
Mother, I thought it was agreed.
That you weren't
going to leave this house.
Without letting us know
where you were going.
They met him with a band.
The mayor made a long speech.
Everybody cheered.
He's on his way home now.
Who? Whom do you mean?
The boy next door.
The one you
always used to spy on.
Is that true, Father?
Haven't you looked at the paper?
Oh, no. No. Not lately.
These people are
like grasshoppers.
Just as liable to jump
one way as another.
He finished the work
his father started,
Stamped out the fever,
gotten all the glory.
That's how it is in this world.
Years of devotion
overlooked, forgotten.
[Band playing]
Alma's in love.
Alma's in love.
[Knock on door]
Hello, Dr. Johnny.
Well, Nellie Ewell.
High heels, feathers, and paint.
Paint? That's excitement.
Over what?
Everything. You. Didn't
you see me in the square?
I waved my arm off.
I'm home from school now.
I finished it, you know.
Well, well.
Here's that nasty book
you gave me.
When I was pretending
ignorance of such things.
A girl past 17 can be
just so sheltered,
Even with a mother like mine.
I am sorry we never
had that talk, though.
I'm sorry, too.
I might have learned something.
Want a peppermint?
They make your mouth sweet.
I always take one when
I hope to be kissed.
Why, I might
take you up on that.
Did they teach you
such tricks at school?
No. Elegant education
frowns on love.
You're using a long word.
It's not a long word.
Only four letters.
I don't even have to look it up.
Yes. Well,
run along now, Nellie,
Before we both get into trouble.
I'm not afraid.
Well, I am. Run
along now, Nellie.
Oh, all right.
I'm going... but I'll be back.
[Door closes]
[Rings doorbell]
Hello, Reverend.
What do you want?
I've come to pay my
respects to Miss Alma.
My daughter's indisposed.
Uh, perhaps I can
come back later.
Alma's not at home
to you, Buchanan.
Not now and at no future date.
We had harsh words
before I left.
I've come back to tell her.
That something important
she said is true,
That she's right.
I'll convey that to her.
I'd like to tell her myself.
Good day, sir.
Was that John's voice?
That was John's voice.
What did he want?
He wanted to tell me he was back.
And was setting up practice
if we need a doctor.
Did he ask about me?
We're certainly having
a cold Christmas season.
Cold but wonderful.
Here you are.
Well, this takes care.
Of almost all my
Christmas shopping.
Probably think of something
I forgot when I get home.
We'll be open till 9:00.
Thank you.
Hello, Twyla.
Oh, Nellie, merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
Oh, Miss Alma!
Miss Alma, it's good to see you.
Why, Nellie. Nellie Ewell.
I tried to see you, but
they said you were sick.
Not sick. Just not well.
My, you are grown up, Nellie.
It's just my clothes.
I pick my own clothes now.
Your voice is grown up, too.
They taught me diction.
I'm learning to talk like you.
Long A's and everything...
Can't, bath, laugh.
Yesterday I slipped.
I said I laughed and laughed.
Until I nearly died laughing.
Johnny was so amused at me.
Your next-door neighbor
Dr. Johnny,
Somebody whose feelings
you've hurt very badly,
Somebody who says you've
refused to see him.
Did he say that?
Yes, he did.
Oh, but I thought he
didn't want to see me.
Of course, I've seen nobody.
For the last several months.
The wind is penetrating
this afternoon.
Gosh. I almost forgot your
present for Christmas.
Open it. Now?
Please. So prettily wrapped.
Since it was for you,
I did a dainty job of it.
I'll save this sprig of holly.
I'll pin it on you.
Yes. Do.
What an exquisite handkerchief.
It's from Maison Blanche.
Smell it.
Sachet of roses.
Well... I can't tell you how...
How touched and pleased I am.
Read the card.
"Joyous Noel to Alma..."
From John"?
I was helping him
wrap presents last night.
When we came to yours,
We started talking about you.
You mean, he spoke well of me?
Well of?
We raved, simply raved.
He told me the influence
you had on him.
He told me about you last summer.
When he was so mixed up.
And how you were responsible.
For his pulling himself together.
After his father was killed.
He regards you
as an angel, Miss Alma.
This is the only angel
in Glorious Hill,
And her body is stone,
And her blood is mineral water.
Run along now, Nellie,
And deliver
your Christmas presents.
Wait till I've told you
the wonderfullest thing.
Nellie, good-bye.
Good-bye, Miss Alma.
[Knock on door]
No greeting?
No greeting at all?
Hello, Miss Alma.
It's rather late to tell
you how happy I am.
And how proud of you, John.
I feel almost as your
father might have if...
And are you happy now, John?
I've settled with life.
On fairly acceptable terms.
Isn't that all a
reasonable person can ask?
I think he can
ask for much more.
I think he can ask
for the coming true.
Of his most improbable dreams.
It's best not to ask
for too much.
Oh, I disagree.
I say ask for all.
And, of course,
be prepared to get nothing.
You know, I haven't been well.
Your father told me.
For a while, I felt as
though I were going to die.
When did you have that feeling?
August, September.
Soon after you left.
But now the gulf wind.
Has blown that feeling away.
Like a cloud of smoke.
I know now that I am not dying.
It isn't going to
turn out to be...
Quite that simple.
Have you been anxious
about your heart again?
And now the stethoscope.
Why don't you say anything?
What can I say, Miss Alma?
Oh, you've gone back.
To calling me Miss Alma again.
We never really
got past that point.
Yes, we did.
We were so close we
almost breathed together.
Did you think that?
I knew it.
Is it impossible now?
I don't think
I know what you mean.
Please, be honest with me.
I once said no.
You may remember the time,
With all that demented
howling from the cockfight,
But the girl who said no,
She doesn't exist anymore.
She died last summer,
Suffocated from the smoke,
Something on fire inside of her,
And she doesn't live now,
But she left me
her ring, you see?
And she said to me,
When she slipped
this ring on my finger,
"Remember. I died empty-handed,
So make sure that your hands
have something in them."
And I said, "What about pride?"
And she said,
"Forget about pride.
"Whenever it stands.
Between you
and what you must have."
And I said...
"But what if he
doesn't want me?"
I don't know what she said then.
I don't know whether she
said anything at all.
Her lips stopped moving.
I think...
she stopped breathing.
You've won the argument.
What argument?
About the chart.
It shows we're not a
package of rose leaves.
I've come around to
your way of thinking.
Something else is there,
An immaterial something,
Thin as smoke.
It can't be seen,
It can't be shown,
But it's there, just the same.
Are you speaking of
a spiritual relationship?
I don't want to be talked to.
As though I were some
incurably sick patient.
That you have to comfort.
I wasn't trying...
I'm glad you've come around.
To my way of thinking,
But don't try to deceive me.
I've come here to speak
on equal terms.
It's no longer a secret
that I love you.
It never was.
I have loved you.
As long ago as our childhood,
When I used to hear your
friends calling your name.
"Johnny, Johnny."
Oh, how it went through me.
Just to hear your name called.
It had begun that early,
this affliction of love,
And it's never
let go of me since.
But kept on growing
until at last.
It's overwhelmed
and possessed me.
Tell me, how did I fail?
Why didn't it happen between us?
How can two people
come so close and no closer?
Whenever we've gotten together,
Those three or four times...
As few as that?
We seem to be trying
to find something.
In each other.
It wasn't body hunger,
Although I acted as if I thought.
It might be that one night.
I know.
It wasn't the physical you.
That I really wanted.
You've told me.
You didn't have that to give.
Not at that time!
You had something else to give.
You couldn't name it,
And I couldn't recognize it.
I thought it was
a puritanical ice.
That glittered like flame.
Now I believe it was flame,
Mistaken for ice.
I still don't understand it...
But I know it was there,
Just as I know that your
eyes and your voice.
Are the two most
beautiful things
I've ever known,
And also the warmest,
Although they don't
seem to be set.
In your body at all.
You talk as though my... my body.
Had ceased to exist
for you, John,
In spite of the fact.
That you just counted my pulse.
The tables have turned.
The tables have turned
with a vengeance.
Ha ha ha!
I've come around
to your old way of thinking,
You, to mine,
Like two people who
call on each other.
On the same day.
Each finds the other gone out,
And the door locked,
And no one to answer the bell.
I came here this afternoon.
To tell you that
your being a gentleman.
Isn't important to me anymore.
You're telling me that
I must remain a lady.
The tables have turned
with a vengeance.
The air in here smells of ether.
It's making me dizzy.
Do you remember.
Those little white tablets
you once gave me?
I've used them all up,
And I would like some more.
I'll write the
prescription for you.
I've been all over town,
Just shouting, shouting!
Hello, Miss Alma!
Shouting what?
Glad tidings.
We weren't going to
tell anyone yet.
I couldn't stop myself.
Oh, Miss Alma,
Has he told you?
Oh, how stupid of me, Nellie.
I should have guessed.
This was the present
I couldn't tell you about.
What a lovely, lovely solitaire.
But that's such
a wrong name for it.
Solitaire means single.
This means two.
It's just...
Just blinding, Nellie.
It hurts my eyes.
We're having a Christmas party.
To announce the engagement.
We'll talk later.
Miss Alma has an appointment.
I must go.
Don't forget your prescription.
It's on the desk.
Johnny. Let go of me, Johnny.
You're hugging me so tight
I can't breathe.
Miss Alma?
You know you've got to
sing at the wedding.
The very first Sunday in spring.
Pardon me.
The water is cool.
Did you say something to me?
I said the water was cool.
Yes, ma'am, it sure is.
It's nice and cool.
Glorious Hill is known
for its artesian springs.
I declare.
Are you a stranger in town?
I'm a traveling salesman.
You're younger than
most of them are,
And not so fat.
Well, I'm just starting out.
And the Delta is your territory?
Yes, ma'am.
From Peabody Lobby to
Catfish Row in Vicksburg.
The life of a traveling
salesman is interesting,
But lonely.
You're sure right about that.
Hotel bedrooms are lonely.
All rooms are lonely when
there's only one person.
You tired?
No. No, I just took
a pill to calm my nerves.
What are you nervous about?
I won an argument
this afternoon.
That's nothing to
get nervous about.
You ought to get nervous
if you lost one.
It wasn't an argument
I wanted to win.
I'm nervous, too.
Oh, really? Why?
Well, this is my
first selling job...
Well, I'm kind of scared.
Of not making good, I guess.
Well, you must take
one of my tablets.
Sh-shall I?
Please take one.
Yes, ma'am.
Yes, ma'am, I shall.
You'd be surprised how
infinitely merciful they are.
Thanks, angel.
Won't you sit down?
Thank you.
My name is Alma.
That is Spanish for soul.
What's yours?
Well, mine's Archie Kramer.
Mucho gusto,
as they say in Spain.
Usted habla Espanol, senor?
Un poquito usted habla
Espanol, senorita.
Uh, me tambien, un poquito.
Sometimes un poquito's
just about a-plenty.
Ha ha ha!
What is there to do in this town.
After dark?
This town? Not much.
But there are resorts
on the lake.
That offer all kinds
of after-dark entertainment.
Oh, yeah?
There's one called
Moon Lake Casino.
It's under new management now,
But I don't suppose.
Its character has changed much.
Just what was its character?
Gay. Very gay, Mr. Kramer.
Dancing and gambling,
And lots of vino rosso.
What in hell are we
sitting here for?
Como no, senor?
Just tell me where
we can get a taxi.
Down by the corner.
Well, let's go.