The Bookshop (2017) Movie Script

NARRATOR: She told me once:
"When we read a story,
we inhabit it;
the covers of the books
are like a roof and four walls:
a house."
She, more than anything else
in the world,
loved the moment
when you've finished a book
and the story keeps playing
like the most vivid dream
in your head.
NARRATOR: And after that,
she loved taking long walks
to clear her mind
of all the emotions and feelins
the book had started within her.
That very morning,
after hazy years
of reading, walking
and mourning
the death of her husband,
Florence Green woke up,
knowing exactly
what she wanted to do.
She was going to open a bookshop
in the little village
where she had ended up living.
MR KEBLE: I am convinced
this new bookshop will be
everything you say it is,
Mrs. Green.
But, of course, for now
I can give you
no definite commitment
on behalf of the bank.
The decision
does not depend upon me.
And I have your honest assurance
that you've had ample experience
in the trade?
I learned the trade
very thoroughly
when I was a girl,
and I don't believe it's changed
greatly since then.
And more importantly, I know...
I love reading.
Well, it would do little harm
to let you know
one or two things.
Consider them words of advice,
if you prefer.
This is the way I...
NARRATOR: She had a great heart,
and enormous patience.
But not even these two virtues
were strong enough
to bear the grandiloquent
and patronizing tones
of Mr. Keble,
the Hardborough banker,
whom everyone called
Mr. Potatohead behind his back.
MR. KEBLE: I should tell you
that there are those who beliee
there are other possible uses
for the Old House.
Though of course there's always
the possibility of a resale...
But I've no intention
of reselling, Mr. Keble.
Not in the slightest.
What else do people think
the Old House could be used for?
Why have they
done nothing about it
in the past seven years?
There were birds nesting in it,
half the tiles were off the roof
and it stank of rats.
Wouldn't it be better
to fill the place with books
for people to look at?
I read before going to sleep,
and usually drift off
to the Land of Nod
by about the third page.
So you see?
Don't you realize
how useful books can be?
Feeling lonely
On a Sunday afternoon
Waving my old dreams
NARRATOR: The weather in this part of
the world was totally unpredictable.
Sometimes all four seasons
could be present
in a single morning.
The sun is in the sky
That sunny day she left the bak
feeling angry, proud,
impatient, and terribly alive.
She was going
to pursue her dream
and nobody,
not even Mr. Potatohead,
was going to stop her.
MR. RAVEN: Hello, Mrs. Green,
are you busy?
FLORENCE: Hello, Mr. Raven.
Not at the moment, why?
MR. RAVEN: Can I, uh,
throw the rope to you?
Yes, of course!
MR. RAVEN: Watch out!
It's very slippery,
that's how Ethan broke his leg
yesterday but I'm well aware...
that you are a woman
who don't frighten easily.
FLORENCE: How do you know that?
Rumor has it that you're about
to open a bookshop here.
Why do you feel
it's something daring?
The only person here
who reads is Mr. Brundish.
And I don't think
he's gonna be
leaving home
to be your customer.
I think I saw him yesterday
on the hill.
Well, caught a glimpse of him,
I imagine
you had a long conversation.
Oh yes, never stopped talking!
[CHUCKLES] Farewell.
Good luck, Mrs. Green!
Do you not read, Mr. Raven?
I don't.
Books leave me exhausted.
Real life is enough for me.
Mister Brundish lived alone
in the oldest house
in Hardborough.
He didn't particularly like
his own company,
but after long years of battle
he had reached
a lasting truce with himself.
He adored books
with the same passion
with which he detested
his fellow men.
He often cherished the fantasy
that the volumes he devoured
from morning to night
hadn't been written by
human beings,
but had appeared
through spontaneous generation.
There was nothing
that bothered him more
than the portraits of writers
often included
in certain editions.
It's not red.
It's a... very deep maroon,
or a... rust.
Anyway, how is the Old House?
Hmm? How are you coping?
Well, Sam Wilkins was in, and fixed
the bath, and tiled the roof
and repaired the cistern
as best as he could, anyway.
That place is...
like an old fossil.
Even the straw is 500 years old.
- All right. Arms up!
You are still
gonna move in there, aren't you?
I spent my first night there
last night.
What? So soon?
I told everyone to watch out.
But nobody actually thought you
were gonna move into the Old House,
- what with the damp and all.
- Oh, yes, I know they didn't,
but it was fine.
A bit creepy in the night,
but that's...
because I'm not used to it yet,
I suppose.
I should think the wood in an old
house like that creaks everywhere.
I'm afraid red
isn't really for me.
And it doesn't look very good
on me from behind, but...
if I stand against the wall
most of the time I'm there...
- Too red, don't you think?
- It's not...
[WHISPERING] It's not red.
It's a very deep maroon.
- You'll get used to it, in time.
Need a bit of jewelry.
- Make it stand out.
- Yes. Yes.
- Are you sure?
- Well, of course I'm sure.
It's not every day that
the General and Mrs. Gamart
- invite you to a party, is it?
- No.
- Oh, stop agonizing!
You look...
Anyway, when you get there, you won't
have to worry about how you look.
No one'll mind you.
You'll probably know
all the guests, anyhow.
I... I'm Florence Green.
I'm the one
opening the little bookshop.
That's it, of course!
Got it right away! [CHUCKLES]
Ah! Of course!
Violet was very interested
in that matter. Mm...
She wanted one of
those conversations of hers...
...with you about the bookshop.
She's rather caught up
right now,
but I believe she wishes
to talk to you later.
GENERAL: So, uh...
What sort of stuff are you going
to have in your shop?
Well, um... [CLEARS THROAT]
- Basically books.
- Mmm.
They don't publish many books
of poetry these days, do they?
I... I don't see too many about.
Well, I... I shall have
some poetry, of course,
but it doesn't sell
quite so well as other things,
like novels and essays.
It... It'll take me some time
to find out
what kind of stock
I'll be bringing in...
GENERAL: Of course. Mmm.
For the moment
I've mainly ordered classics,
Thackeray, Dickens, Keats...
That sort of thing.
"It is easy to be dead.
Say only this...
they are dead."
Do you know who wrote that?
I'm... I'm so sorry, I don't.
I know who you are.
You must be Mrs. Green.
And I know who you are,
of course, Mr. North.
- Ah-ha!
Though I... I've never had an
invitation to The Stead before,
- I expect you come here often.
- Oh, yes.
I do get invited
[WHISPERS] frequently.
Oh, thank you.
You're very kind.
Ooh, Not very.
Here you go.
You live on your own, don't you?
You've just moved
into the Old House.
All by yourself?
War widow.
I know.
Have you never thought of
marrying again?
The problem is
I was very happily married.
How odd.
I was always
under the impression
that it is precisely
when a woman is widowed
that she starts to get happy.
Are you sure you've received the
proper advice to run a business?
I've never met you
before now, Mr. North,
but I assume,
because of your work,
you would be someone
who would appreciate
having a bookshop
in Hardborough.
I am sure you know writers
at the BBC,
and... and thinkers,
and so forth.
And I trust they come down here
from time to time
see you, and get some fresh air.
If they did come...
I wouldn't quite know
what to do with them.
I mean, writers will go anywhere
where there is free drink.
- I'm not so sure about thinkers.
Anyway, I think that Kattie,
my so-called girlfriend,
would look after them.
Well, at any rate,
you must both come to my shop.
I shall rely on you.
On no account.
would you like some canapes?
Why are you wearing red?
Red's a color that
only looks good on housemaids
out on their day off.
It's not red, it's a...
It's a deep maroon.
My dear lady.
Florence, isn't it?
I have been wanting to speak
to you since you arrived,
but my guests seem to have
nothing better to do
than steer me away from
my priorities.
Thank you so much for coming!
- Thanks... for inviting me.
- It's such a pleasure!
It's such a lovely party,
Everyone is talking
about your new venture.
You have such a great nose
for business!
- Well, yes, but it's...
- Bruno!
Have you been introduced
to my husband?
Come and tell Mrs. [STAMMERS]
- Miss...
- Green. delighted we are
to see her.
And to think
we've all been praying
for a good bookshop
in our little town,
haven't we, Bruno?
Of course, my dear.
There's no harm in praying.
Things would probably go
much better
if we all prayed more.
Just one thing, Mrs. Green,
and a very small one at that.
You haven't actually moved
into the Old House, have you?
Yes, I've been there
over a week.
But there's no water.
Sam Wilkins connected the pipes
for me.
Don't forget, Violet, you've been
in London a good deal lately,
and you haven't been able
to control everything.
Why shouldn't I have moved in?
I believe I can spare you
many disappointments,
and maybe even a bit of money.
I... In fact, I hope to help you.
There are other much more
appropriate locations
in Hardborough,
especially for a bookshop.
I'm afraid we are all so used
to seeing the Old House empty
that we've procrastinated
year after year...
You have practically
showed us all up
by being in such a hurry,
Mrs. Green.
But the fact is that many of us
are not at all convinced
by the sudden transformation
of the Old House into a shop.
Many of us believe
it should be a kind of...
local arts center.
Fine, Violet,
you could pray for that also.
Chamber music in summer,
lectures in winter...
There is simply no other old
house that has the right...
I've been negotiating this sale
for over six months, so...
You see, it's hard for me
to believe
there's anyone left in Hardborough
who doesn't know about it.
In fact, I'm sure they all know.
And we have one great advantage,
it would be a shame to just...
throw it away,
which is that now we have
exactly the right person
to take charge of the matter... I
mean to take charge of the Center.
You do understand, don't you?
Why don't you think it over
for a bit?
- Ah! Sonia!
- Mrs. Gamart...
How wonderful you look!
NARRATOR: Her feet
and head ached
and she regretted having taken
the seamstress's advice
as to the color of her dress.
That was all.
Not for one moment did she thik
about the consequences
that her modest act of inhabiting
Old House would bring upon her.
You look radiant.
Isn't that Lord Gosfield?
My word! What a guest list
this evening, Violet.
Thank you.
- Lord Gosfield.
- How do you do?
How difficult it has been to try
to reach you this evening!
I hope Bruno has told you about
our new Hardborough Center...
- ...for music and the arts?
We were just talking about it.
Mrs. Green!
- Hello.
- Mr. Deben.
- Good morning.
- I'm glad I caught you.
- How are you?
- Very well, thanks. Very well.
Um, I wanted to ask you
about my shop.
I want to speak to you
about my shop. Um...
- It's up for auction.
- Yes.
Not until April.
Could be later, still...
Um... Well, the fact is, I...
I'd much prefer to reach
a private agreement before that.
As you've expressed a certain
interest in the property
and since you are not going
to remain in the Old House...
Well, I trust that you'll
appreciate that I'm too busy
to pay attention
to any rumors I hear.
Well, it stands to reason you'll be
making an offer on other premises.
There's been a misunderstanding,
Mr. Deben, but...
Yes, but it doesn't matter
in the slightest, and I, um...
I... I should like to be able
to help you.
Mrs. Gamart was, um...
kind enough to tell me about
her idea for an arts center.
From which, I am sure,
every one of us
living here in Hardborough
would benefit.
And I believe she is the one who
was searching about for premises,
and what could be better than
your fish shop?
Yeah... I see.
You've been extremely kind.
- Thank you for your help.
- You're welcome, Mr. Deben.
- Well, good morning.
- Yeah. Thank you, Mrs. Green.
NARRATOR: Florence had managed
to live life thus far
by pretending that human beings
were not divided
into exterminators
and exterminated,
with the former at any moment
MILO: Ah-ha!
I... I didn't know if you'd
be down in London or...
London? No, I'm here.
Well, I think I am.
- Yeah.
Um... Nescaf?
Oh, I... I've never tried it.
I have heard of it, but I...
I'm told it's not made
with boiling water.
- Yeah.
This is all
much too small for you.
Oh, I know, I know.
You know? I'm glad
that you've, uh, dropped in.
No one else compels me
to face the truth.
Well, that's fortunate, because
I've come to ask you a question.
When Mrs. Gamart was talking
at her party
about the ideal person
to run an arts center,
it was you, of course,
that she had in mind, wasn't it?
It wasn't me.
Sorry. Violet's party?
Did she expect me just to move
out of my house
and, probably, for that matter,
out of the town altogether
assuming that you would come
to the Old House to...
[SCOFFS] manage everything?
If she'd been referring me,
I doubt very much that she would
have used the word "manage".
Do you fancy Nescaf or...
No. No, neither, thank you.
- Are you sure?
- Yes.
- Do you mind if I...?
- Oh, no, please.
I should probably get going.
Are you? Really?
Yes. Thank you anyway.
Well, it's, um...
It's lovely to see you.
from what I've heard,
and practically by chance,
you were starting to think twie
about the whole
bookshop operation.
then you've heard wrong,
Mr. Thornton.
I am here to demand
that all unresolved matters
be resolved
as quickly as possible,
so that I might set up the
bookshop without further delay.
- But I... I was told that you...
- What?
That I'd be leaving
the Old House,
which is, by the way,
my only home?
There are many other vacant
properties in Hardborough
and, as it happens, I have a list of
some of the more out of the way ones.
I expect no further delays,
Mr. Thornton.
Please have all pending papers
sent to me.
And once again, I am
ever so grateful for your help.
Go with the flow
of the river
But if I shiver
Just take me in your arms
Show me the steps
of the mambo
But if I stumble
Just take me in your arms
And if I get sentimental
Darling, be gentle
Just take me in your arms
Don't want to hear
about marriage
No horses and carriage
Just turn off the light
and kiss me goodnight
There's a whole world
to discover
My precious lover
Just take me in your arms
Is there something
I can help you with, boys?
- We are Sea Scouts, ma'am.
- Yes, so I see.
And just what is it
that you are doing here?
Mr. Raven told us
to stop around.
What would you like us to do?
Well, I want all the bookshelves
put up in there.
Do you think
you can manage that?
How many hand drills can you get
us, ma'am?
How long have you been waiting
here, in the pouring rain?
If I can find the keys...
- Okay, hurry up!
NARRATOR: When Mrs. Green opened the
first box of books she had ordered,
all the problems and obstacles of
those past few days simply vanished.
With each edition, the faces
and the words of Mrs. Gamart,
the banker,
her lawyer,
and Milo North
all faded away.
And for a moment,
she felt that her late husband,
whom she had loved so dearly,
- was with her once again.
And this was her happiest momet
in the bookshop.
Very, uh, lonely job, yours.
Oh. Sorry about the waders.
I don't feel
in the least bit lonely.
That shelf in there is a fifth
of an inch crooked.
And that plastering
looks hideous.
You can let them know
the next time you see them.
No. No, it all looks wonderful,
Mr. Raven.
I couldn't be happier with
the work the boys have done,
- honestly.
Is that you, Wally?
Were your ears burning?
What are you doing here, boy?
I've a message for Mrs. Green.
- From whom?
- From Mr. Brundish, Mr. Raven.
He just came out of Holt House
and handed you a note?
No, he leaned out of the window
and told me to go and give this
to Mrs. Green.
I don't see how
this can be for me.
I've never spoken
to Mr. Brundish, ever.
I can't believe
he even knows my name.
And whenever I run into him
on the headland
he always goes off like a shot,
as if he's just seen a ghost!
I'm certain
he'll know who you are.
He finds out about everything
that happens in town.
I don't know how he does it.
Don't you worry about
the envelope's black edges?
He ordered those envelopes
back around 1919,
when they were all returning
from the First War, and...
Mrs. Brundish died...
during their honeymoon.
Oh, yes. How did she die?
She was drowned...
crossing the marshes.
She had gone to pick
some blackberries
to bake a pie for Mr. Brundish.
"Dear Madam..."
I would like to wish you well.
Back in
my great grandfather's day,
there was a bookseller
in the High Street,
who, if my memory
serves me correctly,
knocked out one of his customers
with a desk pad
when he became annoying.
There'd been some delay
in the arrival
of the latest instalment
of a new novel, I believe...
I believe it was
Dombey and Son.
As of that day,
no one has plucked up
courage enough to sell books
in this forsaken coin
of the world.
This is a great honor you do us.
I should undoubtedly visit your
shop one day if I ever went out,
but nowadays I rather make
a point of never doing that.
In spite of everything,
should you deem
some literary novelty worthy,
please, don't hesitate
to send it to me.
In the case of biographies,
it's better, I find,
if they are about good people,
whereas novels are much more interesting
if they are about nasty people.
Please have the same boy who delivered
this letter bring them to me
with a note, obviously,
indicating their price.
"...Edmund Brundish".
My first customer.
Come round later and I'll give
you a package for Mr. Brundish.
Thank you, Mrs. Green.
You'll probably need
a bright young helper
in the afternoons,
in case it gets busy.
I was thinking of
one of the Gipping girls.
Mrs. Gipping is more or less
up to date on the matter,
and I thought about asking her which of
her daughters might suit you the best.
I think her youngest, Christine,
is the cleverest,
but she probably wouldn't
give her up to you
for that precise reason.
Good afternoon, Mr. Thornton.
Thank you.
Fahrenheit 451.
What kind of book is this?
You're Christine Gipping,
aren't you?
I would have thought
your older sister would...
My elder sister
spends all her time
with Charlie Cutts.
In fact, on my way over here,
I saw their bikes hidden under fallen
leaves, over by the crossroads.
You won't have any trouble
like that with me, though.
Those things aren't happening
to me yet.
And I find boys to be repulsive.
And what about
your other sister?
She spends all her time at home,
minding Margaret and Peter.
They're the little ones.
You mustn't think I don't want
to consider you for the job.
It's just that you don't really
look old enough...
or strong enough.
That's hard to say
after first glance.
You look old,
but you don't look strong.
It's all the same anyway.
We're all available.
But my elder sister will be
absent from work half the time
and the middle one
won't show up.
Just a warning.
And I should also let you know
I don't like reading.
I like Geography and Maths.
I'll come round this afternoon and
discuss things with your mother.
And don't worry,
I won't force you to read.
As you wish.
All she'll is that I can work every day
after school, and all day Saturday.
And you can't pay me less than twelve
shillings and six pence a week.
Oh, and to tell me to shut up if
I speak too much.
What about your homework?
I can do that when I get home,
after tea.
FLORENCE: I like your cardigan.
Did you knit that yourself?
It looks like it would've been
very difficult.
It was in the magazine
Women's Issue,
but the instructions were
for short sleeves.
You have no children,
Mrs. Green?
- Should I have?
- I don't know.
People always say life's passed
by women who have no children.
There aren't enough cards
on display.
Shall I put some more out?
They really should be ordered into
romance and nature, or something.
Um, is this what
you call romance?
- FLORENCE: Oh, my God.
What are these?
I haven't even see them before.
Those sales reps really don't
know what they're sending you!
We've got to throw them away.
I'm sure there's a few people
in this village
who wouldn't mind getting these
posted through their letterbox!
[CHUCKLES] You're right.
- What...?
- Stop looking at them!
You'll be corrupted!
- Where's the bin?
- Don't throw them in the bin!
FLORENCE: Come on,
have a cup of tea.
PETER: Why's Christine so late?
Because she's been working
for this lady.
Because she has a shop
full of books
for people to read.
I don't know.
Good afternoon, Mrs. Gipping.
Come in, Mrs. Green.
- Let's have a talk.
I'm not sure if Christine has already
spoken to you about the 12 shillings.
Yes. Yes, yes, she did.
"Dear Madam,
Spare yourself the trouble
of sending more books of poetry
or spuriously
complicated novels.
at your earliest convenience,
send more books by
Ray Bradbury.
Yours respectfully,
Edmund Brundish."
NARRATOR: Very soon, Mrs. Green's
business began to thrive.
Her days were fully occupied
from morning to night.
And for a short time she forgot about
everything concerning Mrs. Gamart
and her plans to turn Old House
into an arts center.
- Good morning, Mrs. Green.
- Hello, Wally.
Thank you for doing me
this favor.
Here you are.
Would you like to come on
an outing, Christine?
I can't, we've got a new stock
arriving tomorrow.
Okay, then.
Wouldn't you like
to go on an outing?
No. I like Wally, but...
Yes, I know. You did tell me
you find boys repulsive.
But, believe me...
you'll get over it.
Yeah, I suppose.
It's just that I prefer
to be here,
in the bookshop, with you.
It's fun working here.
Even if I don't like reading.
Mrs. Green,
they're dirtying the cards.
We must let them browse.
It's part of the tradition
of a bookshop.
Yes, but they leave everything in
such a mess, and don't buy anything!
MAN: Miss?
Mr. North. What a surprise.
MILO: Hmm...
It seems Violet isn't going
to get her own way.
- Has she stopped by here yet?
- We haven't been open very long.
She will.
She'll appear, eventually.
She's far too much self-respect
not to.
Ah! I'm sure she is simply dying
of curiosity.
- She'll be quite welcome.
- Are you making any money, yet?
Not yet.
You really need something
like this.
This is volume one.
Is there a volume two?
Yes, but I've, um,
lent it to someone,
or left it somewhere.
You should keep them together,
as a set.
Have you read it?
Is it any good?
It'll make you rich, Florence.
Yes but, is it any good? I only stock good
novels. They don't move fast, you know?
According to Graham Greene,
it is a master piece.
Although there are those
who think otherwise.
FLORENCE: Thank you
for suggesting it, I...
sometimes feel the need of
good advice. You're very kind.
You're always
making that mistake.
Until next time.
We have the blue one at home.
It has Westminster Abbey on it.
But it goes all the way
round the tin.
I'll put the heater on.
Mum says those paraffin heaters
aren't very safe.
They're not dangerous, as long as you
remember to clean them out properly
and don't pour the liquid
in from both sides at once.
You must never do that, ever,
do you hear me?
I like this old tray. You could
leave it to me in your will.
I don't think I really want to start
thinking about my will just yet.
But when I do
I'll try to remember that.
You will? Are you sure?
Is the tray from Japan?
No, it's...
Chinese lacquer.
My grandfather brought it back
from Nanking.
- He was a great traveler.
I don't think they even make lacquer
like this in China anymore.
Thank you.
I was wondering if you'd like me to help
you with your school work or something?
- We could read things together, maybe, or...
- There's nothing to read.
They give you some pictures and say:
"Which one is the odd one out?"
Or they give some numbers
like, um...
...eight, five, eleven,
nine, twenty-two and sixteen,
and you have to say
which one comes next.
Can't begin to know
which one came next.
- You're not cold, are you?
That Milo is a ferret.
He smiles just like a ferret.
I wish he'd just go to hell.
[GIGGLING] Stop it, Christine!
You're too nice.
He's a nasty piece of work.
When I'm older I'm gonna try
and be like him.
It's much more practical.
I know you don't like reading,
but there's a book I'm afraid
you must read.
CHRISTINE: What's it about?
It is about...
good pirates and evil children.
Promise me you'll just
at least just...
open it one day.
Well, if you let me have the
Chinese tray in your will,
I can try.
"Dear Mr. Brundish.
Enclosed you will find a copy of a
novel that has just been published:
I must confess
my bewilderment with it.
I would like to know your sincere opinion
of it and ask for a bit of advice:
do you think it is a suitable
book to be sold in my bookshop?
Yours sincerely, Florence Green.
If you do not like the book,
there's no need to pay for it."
Stop it!
Stop it! I surrender!
Hello, Mrs. Gipping.
Is everything alright?
I thought you should know
as soon as possible.
Mr. Brundish has asked me to deliver
him a fruit cake on Sunday.
And he has also asked me
to ask you
if you would like to stop by Holt
House for tea that same afternoon.
This Sunday?
Why, yes.
Yes, all right, I...
Yes, I'll send him a note. Thank
you for the message, Mrs. Gipping.
I've never delivered a cake
to Mr. Brundish before.
I hope this doesn't become
a habit.
Mrs. Green! Is it true?
Are you having tea at Holt House
this Sunday?
- Yes, Mrs. Keble, it is true.
- Oh!
Is there something I should know
before I go there?
- Mrs. Green.
- Mrs. Deben, how's Mr. Deben?
Still having trouble finding
a buyer for the fish shop,
- I gather?
- Poor thing.
I bet the General and Mrs. Gamart
are seething about the matter.
They've never been invited to
Holt House, you know.
Oh, no, yes, I've heard.
So, Holt House for tea, eh?
He so jealously
guards his privacy
after the tragic death of
his beloved wife.
[CLEARS THROAT] Well, I sell him
some books, and, um...
ask for advice
about the bookshop.
- Did you, now?
- Oh, right.
- Well...
Well, I should get back there,
I suppose.
- Well, it's tipping down, innit?
- Cats and dogs!
- Good afternoon.
- [SIGHS] Good afternoon.
"Advice about the bookshop"?
What does she need advice for?
- FLORENCE: Hello?
Mr. Brundish?
Come into the dining room.
You asked me a question.
Yes, I did.
About a new novel.
You were thoughtful enough
to ask me a serious question,
thinking I would be impartial.
You undoubtedly thought I was
quite alone in the world.
Never! I did not
for one second...
I imagine you've been told all
kinds of things about me.
- All bad.
- No.
I am a widower, I'm sure
you've been told.
I imagine you've also been told
that my wife died
whilst gathering blackberries
to make me a pie,
which is the latest version
going around town.
Well, uh,
none that have been
circulating are true.
- She didn't drown?
- No.
In the sixth month
of our marriage,
we both, having been
best of friends,
decided that
a friendly separation
would be for the best.
She lives in London.
I haven't seen her for 45 years,
but according to my information,
she's still in very good health.
Although apparently...
she's put on quite
a lot of weight.
She always loved sweets,
although I can ever remember her
baking a cake in her life.
I suppose for the people of
Hardborough it is more picturesque
to imagine Holt House inhabited
by a mourning widower.
As you already know, literature
has done a lot of damage.
Those damned Bronte sisters,
for example,
by whom you have not included
a single copy
in those packages to me,
for which I am ever so grateful.
I imagined you would have read
them already.
One of the Gipping girls,
the third one,
lends you a hand in your shop,
I believe.
And that is all the assistance
you have at your disposal.
I have a bookkeeper who comes in
from time to time, and...
then there's my solicitor.
Tom Thornton. You won't get
very far with that one.
I can't say I'm very fond of
Mr. Thornton.
You know, Mr. Brundish,
there is a certain responsibility
about trying to run a bookshop.
I imagine there is.
Especially if not everyone
approves of it.
There are certain people,
who are rather put out
by your bookshop.
Mrs. Green,
I refer to Violet Gamart,
who had other plans
for the Old House,
and who now, it seems, has taken
further offence to something.
I'm sure that she...
- means well.
Means well? Violet Gamart?
That harpy?
What she wants is an...
arts center.
Now I ask you, what the hell does this
damned village need with an arts center?
And how could art have a center?
But she's got it into her head
that it does,
and that's the reason she wants to get
rid of you, and she won't stop...
until she does.
She can't do that.
It's my bookshop. It's my home.
People like Violet Gamart...
have made me
what I am, Mrs. Green.
Thanks to her connections
and acquaintances,
Mrs. Gamart is a very powerful
woman, does that not concern you?
May I get back to the reason
for my visit?
I am thinking of making
a first order of Lolita...
of 250 copies, which would be
a considerable risk.
Of course I'm not consulting you in a
business sense, that would quite wrong.
All I want to know
before I put in the order
is whether you think
it is a good book,
and whether you think it is right
that I should sell it in Hardborough.
I do not attach as much
importance as you do, I dare say,
to the notions of
right and wrong.
I have read Lolita,
as you asked me to.
It is a good book,
and therefore I think you should try and
sell it to the people of Hardborough.
They won't understand it,
but that's all for the best.
makes the mind lazy.
Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Brundish.
Well, I've given you my opinion.
Let me tell you what it is
I admire
about human beings.
What I value most
is the one virtue they share
with gods and animals,
and which I will therefore no
longer refer to as a virtue.
I mean...
And you, Mrs. Green...
possess that quality
in abundance.
I would like...
I would like to help.
You make me believe...
once more, in things...
things I thought forgotten.
Thank you for the tea, Mr. Brundish.
Everything was delicious.
Well, please...
come again when you wish.
And good luck with, um...
Yes, thank you.
I mustn't let myself worry. "Where
there's life, there's hope."
God! What a horrifying thought.
Thank you...
for your advice, Mr. Brundish.
My pleasure.
Do you think Dandelion Wine
will be coming soon?
I must say I can't thank you enough
for introducing me to Ray Bradbury.
I'll have Wally bring it round.
Or maybe I will bring it...
to you.
I would like that very much.
CHRISTINE: We've never had
so many of the same one before.
Such a long one!
This book is already famous,
Everybody has heard of it.
Though I don't suppose they ever expected
to be able to buy it here in Hardborough.
What they won't expect is to find
two hundred and fifty copies.
You've really lost your head
over this one.
"4th of September, 1959:
Dear Mrs. Green,
I have in my possession a letter
from John Drury & Co..."
" representatives of Mrs.
Violet Gamart of The Stead,
to the effect that the current
state of your window display
is attracting rather
undesirable attention
from both potential
and actual customers.
Their client likewise assures
that she feels
personally affronted
by the fact that she, in her
position as Justice of the Peace
and Chairman of numerous committees,
list enclosed herewith,
must carry out her shopping
FLORENCE: "Dear Mr. Thornton,
You have been my solicitor now
for several years,
which allows me to infer that
'acting for me'
means 'acting energetically
on my behalf.'
Have you even seen the window
display for yourself?"
"Dear Mrs. Green,
in response to your missive of
the 5th of September,
I have attempted
on two occasions
to approach your shop window,
but found it impossible.
People from all around..."
- Understood?
- WALLY: Yes, Mrs. Green.
FLORENCE: "Dear Mr. Thornton,
What exactly
is your advice, then?
Yours truly, Florence Green."
MR. THORNTON: "I think we should
eliminate the agglomeration.
Stop your customers
from assembling
in the narrowest part
of the High Street
before any formal complaint
is made.
And I also think
we should put an end
to the sale of this banal and
sensationalistic novel by V. Nabokov
that has given rise
to so many complaints."
WALLY: Yes, Mrs. Green.
FLORENCE: "Dear Mr. Thornton,
a good book is the precious
distillation of a master's spirit,
embalmed and preserved for the purpose
of achieving a life beyond life,
which is why it is undoubtedly
a necessary commodity.
Yours sincerely,
Florence Green."
MR. THORNTON: "Dear Madam.
With regard to your request
for an express prohibition
Mrs. Florence Green..."
with regard to your request..."
"...we regret to inform you that,
after having been duly advised...
It would be best
to drop this matter,
as the reported crowds seem to have
been curbed by the local police."
MR. THORNTON: "My deepest,
deepest apologies, Mrs. Gamart".
KATTIE: Why won't you
come to London?
[MILO GROANS] I can't think of
anything worse than living in London!
You know how I feel
about people.
I mean, look at this,
look at this!
- It's absolutely stunning!
- Well, I'm not staying here.
MILO: What do you mean
you're not staying...
Where are you going?
Oh, for goodness sake!
Do you have to just
keep storming off like a...?
KATTIE: I'm just sick
of people like Violet!
- MILO: What?
- KATTIE: I can't take it anymore, Milo!
MILO: Wait. Just be careful,
otherwise you're gonna slip!
Hold on. Wait!
What on earth are you doing
sitting there, Florence?
I... I don't know why
I go out for walks.
Walks are for pensioners,
and I should get to work.
Is there room on that step
for me?
- Oh, yes, of course.
- I'm Kattie, Mrs. Green.
- Florence.
- Milo's told me so much about you.
Kattie wouldn't believe that there
were any nice spots in Hardborough,
so I brought her out here
to see for herself.
And what is it that you do
at the BBC, Kattie?
- I work for the RPD...
- Oh.
Recorded Programs Department.
Monitoring expenses...
Not exactly exciting.
We've just been for lunch
with Violet Gamart.
We gave her a chance to not
disapprove of us.
Mrs. Gamart was very kind.
Well, not really.
- I don't like kind people.
Yeah, except for Florence.
Don't flatter me.
I get the feeling that you work
less and less every day.
Don't forget the BBC
is a Corporation,
and that your salary is paid for
with public funding.
Kattie deals with that.
She is in charge of
my expenses sheet.
[MILO SIGHS] Well...
Are you not cold, my darling?
Perhaps it's time we ought to
tootle off back to our humble abode
and leave Florence alone,
lost in her thoughts.
I think I'll stay here
a little longer.
As long as
I'm not bothering you.
No, not at all.
Milo told me you're a widow.
Yes. Yes, I am.
"A Widow".
Such a strange, dark word,
don't you think?
My husband died, um...
sixteen years ago.
How did you meet?
We met at a bookshop, actually.
In London.
We were in love
from the first moment,
We had to organize the, um...
Organize and classify the poetry
section together at Muller's.
He used to read aloud to me
every night.
Pepys and George Eliot,
and Thackeray...
"Never give a lady
a restive horse".
We loved that one.
We were very happy...
Busy doing a million things
and... Nothing.
And then the war came.
But I still have his letters,
all his letters, and I...
I can still...
hear his voice in my head
when I read them.
Milo didn't do you justice when
he described you to me.
[LAUGHS] Oh, dear.
Spare me from Milo's appraisal,
I don't think I want to know
what he thinks of me.
I still don't know
what he thinks of me.
Or if he feels something for me.
Or, for that matter, if he feels
anything at all.
I guess that's part of
his thing.
Keeping you guessing
all the time.
You know what they say:
with that kind of man,
you'll never know whether
he's hiding
a rich inner world, or...
absolutely nothing.
He will never read aloud to me.
LIONEL: Aunt Vi!
So your bill is already having
its third reading. Excellent!
And I have you to thank for
all your inspiration, Aunt Vi.
Whatever do you mean?
The idea came to me
during your party last spring.
Your wonderful campaign in
favor of an arts center
could become a reality
with a bill like this.
And other communities could
benefit as well from...
such as yourself.
Well, I've only done
what I felt was right.
The Access to Places
of Public Value Bill
will make sure that town councils can
acquire their historic properties
by compulsory purchase
for public use.
- Isn't it wonderful?
- Oh,
I'm sure your father is smiling
down on us from heaven
with great pride at this very
I'm so glad we arranged
to meet today, of all days.
Precisely when the bill
has been approved.
Do you fancy fish for lunch?
I know a wonderful place
around the corner.
I'm afraid living in Hardborough puts
you off eating fish anywhere else.
It's so fresh down there!
It's so true.
A spot of tea, then?
Then I shall continue
with what I was doing.
I have a sick friend
who needs my attention.
You're such a wonderful
and generous woman, Aunt Vi.
TRAILL: Carry on with your work.
Heads down.
[SHUSHING] Eyes down.
Keep... On with your work.
No need to get up, children.
I'm the Inspector.
- No, you're not.
I'm sorry, I...
I don't believe I know you.
Mrs. Traill.
The name is Sheppard.
If you would be so kind,
you may examine my certificate
from the Ministry
of Education Authority,
which authorizes me,
under the Shops Act of 1950,
to visit any school where
I have cause to believe
that there are children studying
who also engage in
some sort of work.
I can assure you
they'd all love to have a job,
but outside of family businesses
and newspaper deliveries,
you tell me what else
awaits them out there.
And by the way,
I don't remember you ever
visiting here before.
Well, due to staff shortages, our
visits are not quite as frequent
as we would like them to be.
So who suggested
you come this time?
There is only one who
has a steady job after school.
Christine Gipping,
who works regularly.
At the Old House bookshop.
Stand up, Christine.
- WOMAN: If you'll excuse me.
This is the girl.
Miss, would you mind
coming with me?
Good day.
Good day.
I don't want you to think
I hold anything against you.
The law is the law.
That's the main thing
I came to say.
Experience is important.
The dropouts all say they won't hire us
without experience, but where can we get it?
But we always tell Christine
that if she needs references
she only has to come to you.
Yes, of course.
All she has to do is ask.
Christine's a wonderful girl,
Mrs. Gipping, and I'm...
very, very, very fond of her.
But now she'll have an opportunity
to concentrate on her studies.
She doesn't want to give up
earning money.
No, of course not, but...
I suppose after what happened
at the school, it's...
Well, we've been
looking round a bit.
And we hope they'll be hiring her to
work on Saturdays at the new bookshop.
New bookshop?
Yes, they will open very soon,
you know, in Deben's.
The fish shop.
- I had no idea.
You really must keep an eye on
the competition, Mrs. Green.
You'll give Christine those
references, won't you?
NARRATOR: She had no way
of knowing this,
but the new bookshop was not
an enterprise like her own,
but an investment,
by the simple-minded
Lord Gosfield,
on the advice of the General
and Mrs. Gamart.
- Thank you for coming, Mrs. Green.
- No need to thank me, Mr. Keble.
Do you realize how
very little working capital
- you have at present?
- Yes.
It's rather difficult
not to notice.
I'd dare say things have taken
quite a dip
in your business of late,
haven't they?
But I thought
you might like to know
there's a possible buyer
for your shop.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Keble...
The shop is not for sale.
Message received.
Thank you for coming.
It has been
an incalculable help.
I really shall miss you.
I don't want to go, you know?
I don't want to work
in that other bookshop.
My mother, she simply doesn't
No, please.
You mustn't worry about that.
How can I not worry?
You can't run this place
by yourself.
And no one in this village
will help you.
No, I...
I shall manage, absolutely.
I... I shall manage.
I do hope you'll come by
from time to time,
in the evenings, and...
I won't have the time.
Yes. No.
No, of course you'll be...
You'll be busy.
I... I've got something for you.
Now you won't have to wait
until my funeral.
You're so kind, Mrs. Green.
You're so bloody kind!
Good afternoon, Florence...
Mrs. Green.
Mr. Brundish.
How are things coming along,
down there?
I... I think you know
as well as I do, don't you?
Indeed, I do know. Some of it.
What do you intend to do?
Is there anything I can do?
EDMUND: Carry on.
That's what I was going to do.
- Florence...
I would very much like to have met
you at another time in my life.
In another life, altogether.
But I'm going to do what...
small thing is in my power
to help you.
[SNIFFS] Mr. Brundish, it's...
It's very warming to hear
and I...
so appreciate. I, um...
You mustn't...
- There's nothing you...
- I...
I will have a word with her.
I will talk to that woman.
She might just listen.
She might...
put an end to this loathsome
You'd really do that?
Come out of your seclusion
for me?
Indeed I will.
I don't know that it shall be
of much use, but I'm willing.
I could just put a bullet
through her, but...
...I'm not sure that would be
to your liking.
I don't know how to ever
thank you. That's...
That's the most, um...
noble gesture...
anyone has ever made for me.
You work too hard, Florence.
I try to concentrate.
Please, put these down.
They've only just come in
and I haven't checked them yet.
Surely you have to succeed
if you give everything you have.
I can't see why.
Everyone gives everything
they have, eventually.
We all die.
Dying is hardly success.
You're too young
to bother about dying.
I believe Kattie might snuff it.
She wastes so much energy.
How is Kattie?
No idea.
As a matter of fact,
she's left me.
She's, uh... She's gone to live
with someone else.
In Wantage.
He works in the World Service.
I'm opening my heart to you.
We are having a special moment,
aren't we?
I expect you've told everyone else
in Hardborough who'd listen to you.
But it affects you particularly,
because I'll have so much more
free time as of now.
I'll be able to work here,
part time, as your assistant.
I guess you must miss
that little girl.
Christine learned a great deal
while she was here,
and she was extremely nice
with the customers.
Not as nice as I can be.
So, um...
How much can you pay me?
I gave Christine twelve
shillings and six pence a week,
and I don't feel able to offer any
more than that at the moment.
If you're interested in the job,
you may come by
in the afternoons
for a few weeks and try it out.
Trial period.
But please only remember
I didn't offer you the job.
- You asked yourself.
- Has anyone ever told you
you have
a marvelous pair of ankles?
FLORENCE: Oh, do shut up.
Go home!
"Shower down thy love,
O burning bright!
For one night or the other night
Will come the Gardener in white,
and Gathered flowers are dead."
You'd better watch out,
Mr. North.
What unpleasant expressions
they teach you in that school!
I didn't come here
to see people of...
your sort.
Why, um...?
Why are you not helping
Mrs. Green anymore?
She misses you.
She's got you, hasn't she?
You're always in and out.
They say they won't let her keep
the bookshop.
"They say"? Who say? You say?
You know very well who.
They have other plans
for the Old House.
Why do you even care,
you little shrimp?
They say she can't keep it,
they'll go after her.
They'll take her to court.
She'll have to swear
to tell truth,
the whole truth
and nothing but the truth.
Hm. Well, we must hope that
it doesn't come to that.
I never had time to sit around
when I was her assistant.
No wonder. You're a child.
MILO: Or a woman.
Neither of them have any idea
how to relax.
You'd just better watch out.
I've come to get this.
It belongs to my mum.
Thank you.
Give me a moment.
What a pleasant surprise,
Mr. Brundish.
Um, please, have a seat.
Thank you.
I have come to ask you
I don't know if this is
the proper way to do so,
but I can't think of
a better one.
If you're not in the mood
for questions,
you should say so now.
Would you like some tea?
I... I don't want your tea.
I want you to leave
Florence Green alone.
- Did she ask you to come see me?
- Certainly not.
She's simply a woman who wants
to keep a bookshop.
If Mrs. Green has reason
to complain,
I suppose she should
turn to a solicitor.
Though I believe she's rather given
to changing her legal advisors.
The bookshop is draughty, impossible
to mortgage a second time,
and, from what I've heard, damp.
Leave her alone. The woman has
done nothing to you.
Has it not occurred to you,
as someone who must be
extremely concerned
about the welfare
and the future of this place,
that a building of such historical
interest could be put to a better use?
Old age is not the same thing
as historical interest.
Otherwise you and I would be far
more interesting than we are.
I repeat, I want you to leave my
friend Florence Green alone.
Well it appears your friend has failed
to take the law into consideration,
something which I have observed
on several occasions.
If that is the case, I can have
nothing to say in the matter.
The law will have to take
its course.
Are you referring to a law that
didn't exist a year ago,
and that Parliament approved
behind our backs?
I'm talking about an order for
compulsory purchase.
Or an eviction,
which is the proper term.
Did you put your precious nephew
up to drafting that bill?
I won't deny my nephew's bill
may affect the bookshop,
as it is essential the premises must
have remained empty for five years.
That would undoubtedly apply
to the Old House.
But there are so many regulations
to be considered, Mr. Brundish.
Ordinary mortals like myself,
and of course like you,
would hardly know
where to begin.
I am in politics,
and subsequently,
am fairly familiar with
but this goes way beyond me.
We wouldn't even know how to find
the right person to write to.
Madam, I know perfectly well
who to write to.
Over the past years, if I hadn't
made it my business to know,
I would have lost several
hundred acres of marshes,
some farming land and two
pumping mills.
This is why I am certain that,
if nothing has been done so far,
we can still form a common front
against them.
We can certainly think of ways
of making the move easier,
if it is actually made.
There are still plenty of other
places to let
in larger towns than
That's not what I'm talking...
You should be talking about
what I am talking about!
I wish I could do
something more.
I assume, then,
that you intend to do nothing.
But you mustn't speak to me
that way, Mr. Brundish.
You don't realize
what you are saying.
You seem to think
I'm an outrageous person.
Is that it?
I can't answer that question
"yes" or "no."
I suspect that by "outrageous" you
mean "unexpectedly offensive."
And the truth is that you have
been fairly offensive, but also...
repulsive, Mrs. Gamart.
That is, you have behaved
exactly as I expected.
Good afternoon, General.
You wouldn't like a book,
would you?
Not exactly. Um...
I just came to say...
A good man has left us.
[CLEARS THROAT] I believe...
you knew Edmund Brundish
quite well, did you not?
I feel as though I did, but...
Well I never crossed words
with him at all.
He was in the first mess,
of course.
But not in the Suffolks.
He signed up for the Air Force,
I believe.
He wanted to fly.
How odd.
It was also odd that he came
to see us that very morning.
He wanted to speak to your wife,
I imagine.
Yes, you're quite right.
Violet told me all about it.
He made a great effort
to go see her...
to congratulate her on her idea.
I'm referring to
the arts center.
Hm. I'm sorry I...
didn't get a chance to
speak to him.
I must say, I would never
have imagined him
being interested in art.
But, well...
A good man has left us. Hm.
Anyone could suffer an attack
like that, if you, uh...
If you think about it. Hm.
You mustn't be late
for your lunch party, General.
Leave my house
and don't ever come back.
And please...
don't you or your wife
ever again malign
a man who had more dignity...
and compassion,
than either of you will have
in your entire...
Don't ever say his name again.
And forget mine.
But she...
- Violet...
- Leave!
So it seems that
I have been evicted
by the city of Flintmarket.
As we mentioned during
our last phone conversation,
it seems there is
a new Parliament bill
l which allows
Flintmarket Council
to take over ownership
of the Old House.
And I should like to know,
if I may,
where the Council obtained
the funds necessary
to throw me out.
SOLICITOR 1: They apparently
found a benefactor.
SOLICITOR 2: What concerns me
is if the Old House is
considered to be
habitable or not.
If it turns out that it is unfit
for human habitation,
or indeed subsidence
is threatened...
Well, then it will be impossible
to demand compensation.
You won't see a penny.
I'm inhabiting it,
and I'm still human.
It's not even as damp
as all that.
In the summer it's really quite
dry, and in midwinter it's...
Here is an inspection
of the cellars,
according to which,
the property is standing
in half an inch of water.
Sorry, wh...
What inspection? I...
I wasn't informed of any
inspection, I don't think.
Apparently on several occasions
when you were absent
from the property,
an expert in masonry
and plastering,
a Mr. John Gipping,
was sent by the council to inspect the
condition of the walls and the cellars.
John Gipping?
Christine's father?
We assume he entered peaceably.
I don't remember
letting him in myself.
SOLICITOR 2: Oh, your assistant,
Mr. Milo North.
Everyone will assume
he acted as your servant,
and was following
your instructions.
Have you any...
- No.
- SOLICITOR 1: What leaves us in a difficult position
is the fact that Mr. North has
also signed a statement,
according to which,
the level of dampness
in the property
has affected his health,
making him unable to accept
any type of ordinary employment.
There is no why.
They asked me persistently,
so, you know... [CHUCKLES]
I just simply thought...
I'd best do it.
Oh, if you're looking for
a new assistant,
I understand
Christine is available.
She, uh... She's no longer
working at the new bookshop.
She tried to sell Lolita
to... to the vicar!
CHRISTINE: Mrs. Green!
Mrs. Green!
- Christine.
- Mrs. Green.
Mrs. Green.
Mrs. Green...
NARRATOR: For years to come,
I will remember
how she tried to smile
looking at the book
I had in my hands.
Then, she realized
what I had done.
She had fulfilled the dream
and they'd snatched it
away from her.
But what she possessed deep down
was something no one
could ever take away from her:
her courage.
And it was that courage
and her passion for books
that she bequeathed to me,
along with the Chinese lacquerd
How right she was when she said
that no one ever feels alone
in a bookshop.
Feeling lonely
On a Sunday afternoon
Waving my old dreams
Weeping softly
While the meadows
are in bloom
And the sun
Is in the sky
Never mind the breeze
On the lemon trees
Never mind
the yellow daffodils
People stroll along
Humming simple songs
I wonder why
I'm still here, oh
Feeling lonely
On a Sunday afternoon
Craving for a lonely guy
Oh, Jesus
What a fool am I
For feeling lonely
Every Sunday