The Holdovers (2023) Movie Script


the opening word: O...
Here we go. One, two, three.
Very good.
Remember, the text is first.
"In the beginning was the Word."
So the text is what
you're concentrating on.
Make it part of the music.
-Let's all breathe in.
-(students inhale)
-Breathe out.
-(students exhale)
Excellent. Now, let's hear
the opening chord.
Good. Middle voices,
a little bit more.
Higher voices are excellent.
Bass, a little more breath.
Try again.
Okay, let's run the first verse.
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep
and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears
Of all the years
Are met in thee
Really great.
Especially that T at the end.
All together.
Very, very good.
("Silver Joy" by Damien Jurado
Let me sleep
In the slumber
of the morning
(laughter, indistinct chatter)
There's nowhere I need to be
And my dreams
still are calling
Lay your troubles
on the ground
No need to worry
about them now
Daylight shaking
through the trees
Do not disturb me
Let me be
And if you need
a place to land
Come down when you are weary
No more clouds to put away
-In the slumber of the...
-(song stops abruptly)
(classical music playing)
(grunts, chuckles)
(sighs, snickers)
Lazy, vulgar,
rancid little Philistines.
-(knocking at door)
Mr. Hunham?
I'm busy right now.
Uh, Dr. Woodrup
asked to see you.
What does he want?
Uh, I think it's
about Christmas break.
I'll see him presently.
What's that?
Christmas cookies.
I made them for the faculty.
Well, not all the faculty.
-Anyway, these are for you.
-Oh. (chuckles)
("Time Has Come Today" by
The Chambers Brothers playing)
Time has come today
(lively chatter)
Young hearts
can go their way
Can't put it off another day
I don't care what others say
They think we don't
listen anyway
Time has come today
What are you doing
with women's underwear?
It's the same swimsuit
James Bond wears
in On Her Majesty's
Secret Service.
It can't get more masculine
than that.
Why don't you just wear cutoffs?
Because I'm going to St. Kitts.
I'm not going to be
the only dickhead
on the beach wearing cutoffs.
Oh. Look out, everyone.
Tully's going to St. Kitts.
They still look like panties.
You're right, Crandall.
You caught me.
They're your mother's panties.
Tell her thanks
for the good times!
Hey, Tully.
Hey, where are my cigarettes?
Your cigarettes?
You stole my fucking cigarettes.
I resent
that baseless accusation.
Cut the shit.
I have no cigarettes now.
And Briggs says you suddenly
had five of them
to trade for a skin mag.
I don't indulge in pornography.
I get enough of the real thing.
Especially with Crandall's mom!
Hey, Kountze.
Ten dollars for this?
Looks more like a nickel bag.
Don't buy that, Harriman.
He's ripping you off.
-Plus, it's ditch weed.
-Fuck you, Tully.
This shit's premium weed,
all right?
And unlike you, I'm stuck here.
It's got to last me
through Christmas.
Take pity on him, Harriman.
He's a poor little Christmas
orphan with nowhere to go.
Little Christmas orphan
needs his pot and porn.
Ten minutes, ladies.
Ten minutes.
("Silver Joy" by Damien Jurado
(quiet chatter)
Let me sleep
In the slumber of tomorrow
There's nowhere
we need to be
That will not be there after
(lively, indistinct chatter)
Daylight shaking
through the trees
Do not disturb me
Let me be
Keep me with you
on the ground
All of my worries
behind me now
And be sure to wake me when
Eternity begins.
(indistinct chatter continues)
I can't believe
you got out of it.
Luck of the Irish.
I thought this was your year.
It was.
I told Woodrup
my mother has lupus.
Does she?
I don't know. Probably.
We don't talk
about those things.
So, who got stuck with it?
Who do you think?
That poor walleyed bastard.
(pen scratching on paper)
Rmy Martin. Louis XIII.
Christmas gift from
the Board of Trustees.
Oh, how generous of them.
Thank you again
for doing this, Hunham.
I wouldn't have asked
if it weren't an emergency.
Oh, Mr. Endicott's mother,
What a tragedy.
It's not as though you had plans
to leave campus anyway.
And, of course, there's a nice
little bonus in it for you.
Well... (sighs) "Non nobis
solum nati sumus," I suppose.
"Not for ourselves alone
are we born."
I'm guessing that's Cicero.
Cicero, yes.
(chuckling): Very good, Hardy.
You remembered.
There'll be just four boys
holding over this year.
Oh, yes. I know
a couple of these reprobates.
Let's be a little more elastic
in our assessment, shall we?
It's hard enough for them to be
away from home on the holidays.
Latitude is the last thing
these boys need.
Paul, at your core,
you're an excellent teacher,
but your approach to the
students is rather traditional.
This school was founded in 1797.
I thought tradition
was our stock in trade.
-Then let's call it hidebound.
You know, unwavering,
resistant to...
Yes, yes, yes, I know
what "hidebound" means.
Uh, I get it.
You're still angry
that I failed Jordan Osgood.
Senator Osgood was very upset
when Princeton rescinded
Jordan's acceptance, yes.
And I've continued to
have to deal with the fallout.
Hardy, are we really supposed
to let these boys just skate by
as long as Daddy builds
a new gymnasium?
Of course not.
That's not who we are.
But we can't be ignorant
to politics.
That boy is too dumb
to pour piss out of a boot.
A genuine troglodyte.
Jesus Christ, Paul.
He was a legacy and the son
of one of our biggest donors.
Ever think his dad
might be expecting
a little consideration
for his dollar?
And he got it -- a first-class
education for his son.
Oh, come on, Hardy.
As Dr. Greene used to say,
"Our one true purpose
is to produce young men
of good character."
I don't care what
Dr. Greene used to say.
"And we cannot sacrifice
our integrity
on the altar
of their entitlement."
I'm just trying to instill
basic academic discipline.
That's my job. Isn't it yours?
It was.
Until I became headmaster
and saw that it's not so simple
to keep the damn school afloat.
I begged you, begged you
to give the kid a C minus.
There are instructors here
who will do that.
I am not one of them.
Here's the manual
and a full set of keys.
Everything you need to know
is in there.
Your only task is to ensure
the boys' absolute safety
and good condition.
And at least pretend to be
a human being.
It's Christmas.
(bells jingling)

Fuck this half-day bullshit.
Where the hell is Walleye?
He's probably jerking off
in the Cobb salad.
-Why would he do that?
-Because he's Walleye.
Who knows what
that foul-smelling freak does?
But you went straight
to the Cobb salad.
I mean, do you know something?
Because I eat that Cobb salad.
Salve, gentlemen.
Your final exams.
(Paul clears throat)
(whistling Wagner's
"Ride of the Valkyries")
(whistling stops)
I can tell by your faces
that many of you
are shocked at the outcome.
I, on the other hand, am not,
because I have had
the misfortune
of teaching you this semester.
And even with
my ocular limitations,
I witnessed firsthand
your glazed,
uncomprehending expressions.
Sir, I don't understand.
That's glaringly apparent.
No, it's... (sighs)
I can't fail this class.
Oh, don't sell yourself short,
Mr. Kountze.
I truly believe that you can.
I'm supposed to go to Cornell.
Please, sir.
My dad's going to flip out.
(students murmuring)
All right. All right.
Uh, in the spirit of the season,
I suppose the most
constructive way
of dealing with
your shortcomings
is to offer a makeup exam.
You'll all get a second run
at this after break.
(students sighing, murmuring)
Of course, it will not
be the same exam.
You will now be responsible
for new material as well.
(students groaning, murmuring)
Your grade will be
an average of the two.
Please open your books
to chapter six.
The Peloponnesian War,
You've already met Pericles.
Now prepare yourselves
to meet Demosthenes.
No offense, sir,
but is this really
the best time to be starting
a new chapter?
I mean, we all appreciate the,
uh, makeup exam gesture,
but our families are here.
You know, most teachers
have already canceled class.
We have chapel in 40 minutes,
then we're out of here.
-Mm. -I mean,
our heads are elsewhere.
And where exactly
is your head, Mr. Tully?
Um, I don't know.
St. Kitts. (chuckles)
Yes, indeed.
I see you've brought
your valise.
Spot-on, sir.
It's just that it's been
a really exhausting semester.
Getting into new material now
right before break?
Honestly, it's a little absurd.
Well, I would hate to be absurd.
So let's just scuttle
the whole thing, shall we,
and let the original
grades stand.
(students groaning, murmuring)
Uh, excuse me, sir.
I think, uh, we all liked
the first option better.
What'd you say the guy's
name was? Uh, Demosthe-who?
Of course, I still expect you
to be familiar with chapter six
upon your return,
so pack those textbooks, boys.
And if displeased,
take it up with
your champion -- Mr. Tully.
"Ride of the Valkyries")
(students murmuring)
I got us out early, didn't I?
(church organ playing)
Born thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a king
Born to reign in us forever
Now thy gracious
kingdom bring.
Please be seated.
Welcome, Barton students,
faculty and parents.
I know you're all anxious
to start the holidays.
I can see the boys
shifting in their seats.
-But before we release you
to your bountiful tables
and the blessings of family,
let us pray for those
less fortunate than we.
Let us remember the poor
and the helpless,
the cold, the hungry
and the oppressed.
Extra reading over vacation
and no makeup test?
Are you fucking kidding me?
Nice work, anus.
Can you not talk, please?
I'm trying to pray.
You better pray
I don't catch you alone,
because I will full-on
nut-punch you.
Tone it down.
-Jesus can hear you.
-PRIEST: ...and all those
who know not
the loving kindness of God.
Sorry to hear about
your mother, Endicott.
Oh. Yes.
Thank you.
Yeah. We're all pulling for her.
...and your grace.
And finally, let us pray
for the soul of Curtis Lamb,
Barton class of 1969.
Just this year,
Curtis gave his life valiantly
in the service of his country.
And let us once again extend
our deepest condolences
to one of the most cherished
members of the Barton family,
his mother Mary.
Mary, we remember Curtis
as such an outstanding
and promising young man,
and we know this holiday season
will be especially difficult
without him.
Please know that we
accompany you in your grief.
May the all-powerful God
who protected Abraham
when he left his native land
protect all our brave soldiers
until they are delivered
safely home to us.
We ask this through
Christ our Lord.
I wish you all
a very Merry Christmas.
Or, as the case may be,
a very Happy Hanukkah.
(light laughter)
(organ playing
"Joy to the World")
(quiet chatter)
DR. WOODRUP: Congressman,
Merry Christmas to you.
(overlapping chatter,
Christmas greetings)
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Merry Christmas.
Hey. Good to see you.
Nice to see you.
Merry Christmas.
(chatter continues)
Angus Tully.
You have a phone call.
You're telling me this now?
JUDY (over phone):
Sweetheart, listen.
I know it's last minute,
and I am...
I'm absolutely heartbroken,
but could you please
see your way
to staying at school over break
just this once?
Stanley has been working
so hard,
and-and we've had no time
for a honeymoon.
You guys have been married
since July.
You've had all these months.
Something's always come up.
I know it's a lot to ask,
but you know
how lonely I've been.
I've been lonely too.
And what about Boston?
You promised on the way
we'd spend some time in Boston.
Angus, listen to me.
This is our new family, okay?
I know you miss your father--
I do, too--
but there's someone new
in my life.
It's just this once, darling.
We'll be together
at spring break,
and we'll have the whole summer.
Fuck the summer,
and fuck Stanley.
Are you kidding me?
I'm just supposed to stay here?
(Judy sighs)
Mom, please don't do this.
I suspect that, like me,
this is not how you wanted
to spend your holidays,
but such are
the vicissitudes of life.
And as Barton men,
we learn to confront
our challenges
with heads held high
and with a spirit
of courage and good fellowship.
Uh, in strict accordance
with the dictates
of the manual, of course.
Mr. Tully,
are you joining us as well?
What happened to St. Kitts?
Something came up.
(suitcase thuds loudly on floor)
(Paul clears throat)
So, for the next two weeks,
we will be following
a standard school schedule...
Sir? Uh, sir, we're on vacation.
...which means we will be
taking our meals together,
and you will observe
regular hours of study.
Study? Are you kidding me?
The Peloponnesian War awaits,
Mr. Kountze.
You and Mr. Tully.
The rest of you can get a jump
on the next semester.
It'll pay off. You'll see.
We're already holding over,
and now we're being
punished for it?
You will be afforded
limited windows for recreation
and supervised
physical activity.
The gym's not even open yet.
Yeah, they've only lacquered
half the floor.
Fresh air will do you good.
It's like 15 degrees outside.
And the Romans bathed naked
in the freezing Tiber.
Adversity builds character,
Mr. Tully.
Uh, speaking of which,
the school will be cutting heat
to dormitories
and faculty housing,
so we'll all be bunking
in the infirmary.
Oh, God. Geez.
("Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht
(Silent Night)" playing)
This is the most bullshit ever.
If we have to stay,
why'd we have to draw Walleye?
JASON: Uh, you know
he used to be a student, right?
Yeah, that's why he knows
how to inflict
maximum pain on us,
the sadistic fuck.
At least we didn't draw Decker.
He'd be perving all over us.
Hey, guys, hold up for a second.
Want one?
No. I got something else.
Give me that.
Hey, don't smoke that out here.
I don't want to get busted
by Walleye.
Don't be such a pussy.
ANGUS: I'm not a pussy.
I just don't want
to end up at Fork Union
paying for your mistake.
Teddy Kountze.
Jason Smith.
Yeah, I know who you are.
Want to hit this?
Uh, yeah.
You got a great arm, man.
Yeah, well, it's just football.
So, how'd you get stuck
holding over?
I'm supposed to be skiing
with my folks up at Haystack,
but my dad put his foot down,
said I can't come home
unless I cut my hair.
(scoffs) So why don't you
just cut your hair?
Civil disobedience, man.
Yeah, right.
JASON: No, he's cool.
It's just a battle of wills.
Still, I was kind of hoping
he'd cave first,
because the powder up at
Haystack is so sweet right now.
What about you, Mr. Moto?
Why are you here?
Uh, no. Uh, my name is Ye-Joon.
Uh, my family is in Korea,
and they think it's too far
for me to travel alone.
I figured it was because your
rickshaw was broken. (laughs)
Uh, what-what's a rickshaw?
-You're an asshole, Kountze.
Your mind's a cesspool
and a shallow one at that.
Who's the asshole, Tully?
You're the one
who blew up history.
What's your story, man?
Alex Ollerman.
I'm here because my parents
are on a mission in Paraguay.
We're LDS.
Mormons, right?
Don't you guys wear some kind
of like magic underwear?
That's a common misconception.
Actually, it's called
a temple garment,
and we're only supposed
to wear it when we...
Hey, what's up with the townies?
Hey, what are you doing
with our Christmas tree?
The school sold it back to us.
Scotch pine, still fresh.
MAN 2: Yeah, we're going to
put it back on the lot.
We do it every year.
This is the most bullshit ever.
Hello, Mary. (sighs)
Mr. Hunham.
I heard you got stuck with
babysitting duty this year.
How'd you manage that?
Oh, I don't know.
I suppose I failed someone
who richly deserved it.
Oh, the Osgood kid?
Yeah, he was a real asshole.
Rich and dumb.
Popular combination around here.
It's a plague.
Uh, and you?
You'll be here, too?
All by my lonesome.
My little sister Peggy
and her husband invited me
to go visit them at Roxbury,
but I feel like it's too soon.
Like Curtis will think
that I'm abandoning him.
You know, this is the last place
that my baby and I
were together,
-not including the bus station.
Well, I look forward
to your fine cooking.
Oh, no, no. Don't do that.
All we've got is
whatever is in that walk-in.
No new deliveries till January.
You mind if I, um...
-You want some of that?
-All right.
-(chuckles) Thank you.
(Paul clears throat)
-You know this is a necessity.
-Oh, yes.
(jingle playing over radio)
Top 100 of the year.
Now 17.
Yeah, by Shocking Blue,
it's called "Venus."
("Venus" by Shocking Blue
A goddess on
a mountaintop...
-Where's my photo?
-What photo?
I think you know what photo,
and you stole it.
I resent that
baseless accusation.
Give me my goddamn picture.
Hey, what's your problem, Tully?
You homesick?
Huh? Gonna cry?
Little boy misses his mommy?
Fuck you, Kountze.
Why are you even here, anyway?
Where's your family?
We're renovating our house,
all right?
It's all torn up.
They're storing the tools
and stuff in my room.
That's what they told you?
It's winter, idiot.
Nobody renovates their house
in the winter.
Your parents don't
want you around
because you're a fucking
insecure sociopath.
Hey, take it easy, guys.
A what?
I mean, who'd want you
for a son?
That's why you grind everybody,
because deep down
you know you're an asshole.
Plus, academically,
you're a disaster.
I mean, if I were your parents,
I'd never want you home again.
The only tool in your room
is you.
(yells, grunts)
(grunting, muttering)
-Come on! Come on!
-JASON: Hey, hey, hey!
All right, all right.
Break it up. Break it up.
Break it up.
They weren't fighting.
I see.
And who started it --
the not fighting?
Hmm? Mr. Tully,
perhaps you could shed
some light on the subject.
Mr. Kountze?
Mr. Smith?
Mr. Ollerman?
Mr. Park?
All right, then, uh, we'll
do it like the Roman legions.
Absent a confession,
one man's sin
is every man's suffering.
For every minute
the truth is withheld,
you will all receive
a detention.
And I thought all the Nazis
were hiding in Argentina.
Stifle it, Tully.
Now, uh, in the first
of said detentions,
you will clean the library,
top to bottom.
Scraping the underside
of the desks,
which are caked
with snot and gum
and all manner of ancient,
unspeakable proteins.
Ah, on your hands and knees,
down in the dust,
breathing in the dead skin
of generations of students
and desiccated
cockroach assholes.
It was Kountze!
(Alex panting)
Kountze started it.
Bravo, Mr. Ollerman.
(quiet, indistinct chatter)
(light laughter)
Thank you, Mary.
Didn't we already
have this for lunch?
And it was crappy then.
Consider yourselves lucky.
During the Third Punic campaign,
149 to 146 BC,
the Romans laid siege
to Carthage
for three entire years.
-(door opens)
-By the time it ended,
the Carthaginians
were reduced to eating sand
and drinking their own urine.
Hence the term "punitive."
Uh... (sniffs) Mary?
Maybe you would, uh...
maybe you would care to join us?
No, I'm all right. Thank you.
(door opens and closes)
I mean, I know she's sad
about her son and everything,
but still, she's getting paid
to do a job,
and she should do it well,
But I guess, no matter
how bad a cook she is,
now they can never fire her.
Will you shut up!
You have no idea what
that woman has been thr...
You know, Mr. Kountze,
for most people,
life is like a henhouse ladder.
Shitty and short.
You were born lucky.
Maybe someday, you entitled
little degenerates
will appreciate that.
If you don't,
I feel sorry for you
and we will have failed
to do our jobs.
Now, eat.
God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all
from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy
And joy
O tidings of...
That's right.
(cheering and applause over TV)
Next question
for five points, girls.
What are the dimensions
of the car you drive most?
And that means width by length.
The dimensions of the car
you drive most. Jerry?
JERRY (over TV):
It's pretty long.
Oh, let's see.
Maybe, uh, 8 by 80?
(laughter over TV)
EUBANKS: What's the name
of your car, Union Pacific?
(Paul clears throat)
-Oh, good evening.
-Good evening.
What's this?
You don't know
The Newlywed Game?
-No. -What planet
have you been living on?
I don't really watch television.
It's a show where
they ask couples questions
to see how well
they know each other.
That sounds like
courting disaster.
Yeah, that's
the whole damn point.
Sit down.
Come on.
Broaden your horizons.
This is a rerun from July.
Which is why they're playing
for Weber barbecues
and picnic utensils.
-PAUL: Fascinating.
-MARY: Mm-hmm.
EUBANKS: If we ever take
separate vacations,
I am sending my wife to blank...
-Oh. Thank you.
(chatter continues over TV)
So, how are the boys?
Broken in body and spirit.
Okay, well, it is the holidays,
so, you know, go easy on them.
Oh, please.
They've had it easy
their whole lives.
You don't know that.
Did you?
Besides, everybody should be
with their people on Christmas.
-WOMAN: Hawaii, probably.
-EUBANKS: Hawaii. All right.
He says he's gonna send you
to Santa Ana
and he's going to Las Vegas.
MAN: Nobody can watch you
in Siberia.
Where are you going?
-To Vegas.
-Las Vegas?
-(audience murmurs, laughs)
Those two are going to get
a divorce.
How do you know?
I recognize that look
of stale disappointment.
-She hates him.
How long were you married?
I was engaged
to Curtis's father.
-Mm. -But he died
before I gave birth.
He worked in the shipyard.
And one day, they was
carrying this big, uh,
cargo pallet,
and the cable snapped.
Hit him right across the head.
They were good men.
Both of them.
And neither of them
made it to 25.
My baby wasn't even 20.
I'm so sorry.
I took this job
when Curtis was small
because I wanted to ensure
that he was going to have
a good education.
-You know he flourished here.
-Yes. No, he was a great kid.
-I had him one semester.
Very insightful.
Mm-hmm. He hated you.
He said you were a real asshole.
Well, uh, like I said...
sharp kid. Insightful.
He had his heart set
on Swarthmore.
And he had the grades,
but I didn't have the money.
Even with financial aid,
it wasn't enough.
So, when he got called up
and no student deferment,
off he went.
Do you know what he said to me?
He said,
"Hey, Ma, look at the upside.
When I get discharged, I can go
to college on the GI Bill."
And here we are.
With my Curtis
in the cold ground
and those boys
safe and warm in their beds.
It's like you said.
How'd you say it?
"Life is like
a henhouse ladder."
-(Paul chuckles)
-That's right.
I can hear everything
you're saying from the kitchen.
Especially that Kountze kid.
Crown prince of all
the little assholes.
-MAN (over TV): It's zero.
Zero. She said it is zero!
Couple number one,
Mike and Sherry McCray,
you are our grand prize winner!
(applause, cheering over TV)
All right, you fetid layabouts.
It's daylight in the swamp!
(students groaning)
("Carol of the Drum
(Little Drummer Boy)" playing)
Speed, gentlemen.
Without sufficient exercise,
the body devours itself.
That's it!
Our finest gifts we bring,
pa-rum pum pum pum
(sniffs, coughs)
To lay before the King,
pa-rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum
So to honor him,
pa-rum pum pum pum
When we come
Baby Jesus...
What about your car?
We can take it, go somewhere.
Boston, maybe?
Nah, we'd get in
so much trouble.
Face it. We're stuck.
If we just had some way
to get out of here.
-Just split.
Well, you could put a chopper
down right in the quad.
A helicopter, dumbass.
His old man's the CEO
of Pratt & Whitney.
Yeah, he's got his own bird.
He takes it from Stamford
to the city every morning.
Lands it right in the backyard.
The pilot's name is Wild Bill.
-Wild Bill?
He flew up to Haystack with it.
Took the presents
and everything, minus me.
Flying with presents,
like Santa Claus.
Just like Santa Claus.
Oh, let's go, let's go!
You know, if I were back home
right now in Provo,
it'd be really warm inside.
And my mom, she'd be making me
baked apples,
and the whole house would smell
like cinnamon and brown sugar.
That sounds so nice.
(Teddy grunting)
(laughs) That's what you get
for ratting me out,
you little Mormon!
-(grunts, laughs)
-ALEX: What?
Let's go!
What's Fork Union?
Uh, before, you said you don't
want to end up at Fork Union.
It's a military academy
in Virginia.
That's where I'm going if I get
kicked out of school again.
How many schools
have you been kicked out of?
That's why I'm still a junior.
-Give or take a semester.
-ALEX: It's gone!
My glove's gone.
Twisted fucker orphaned
that glove on purpose.
Left you with one so the loss
would sting that much more.

(deep, shuddering breath)

You all right?
(voice shaking):
I had a nightmare.
I get nightmares too.
I'm always falling or drowning.
I had an accident.
Yeah, you did.
Shh. Stop crying.
If they hear you,
they'll crucify you.
Which would be ironic
since you're Buddhist.
I know this is
an excellent school,
and my brothers went here,
but I miss my family,
and I have no friends.
Yeah, well,
friends are overrated.
I'll help you hide the sheets
in the morning, all right?
In the meantime, find a dry spot
and try to get some sleep.
Thank you.
Fucking asparagus.
(clearing throat)
Are you kidding me?
It's only 11:00,
and he's already lit.
I can smell the whiskey on him.
Can you blame him?
It's freezing in here.
It's fucking Greenland in here.
(helicopter whirring
in distance)
What the hell is that?
(whirring continues)
I knew it!
He finally caved,
the big softie.
Hey, any of you guys
like to ski?

Thank you.
Goodbye, now.
(chatter continues indistinctly)

Well, good news, gentlemen.
I was able to reach Dr. Woodrup
and your parents.
Uh, most of them, anyway.
Try calling again.
Just one more time, please.
There's no point.
The front desk says
they're not answering.
He says they're away
on some excursion.
I'm as disappointed as you are,
if not more so.
I could have been spending
the rest of my vacation
reading mystery novels.
Maybe they're back now.
Just call again, please.
Happy holidays.
Same to you.
Take care, Tully.
I guess that just
leaves you, huh?
Be sure to do all your homework.
Oh, almost forgot.
I found that picture
you were looking for.
Merry Christmas, Mr. Tully.
(Teddy laughing)
Bye, Angus.

(indistinct chatter)
(Paul sighs)
Well, let's make the best
of it, shall we?
WOMAN (over TV):
Oh, I suppose, um,
-Stan Laurel, maybe, because...
-EUBANKS: Stan Laurel.
All right. Your husband said
his favorite silent movie star
is Rudolph Valentino.
-Oh. He is good.
-MAN: Well, yeah.
(laughter over TV)
(Paul chuckles)
EUBANKS: The last of our
five-point questions, girls...
How about you?
You ever been married?
(scoffs, chuckles)
No. I did get close once.
Right after college.
We came to our senses.
This is not exactly a face
forged for romance, Mary.
Yeah, and the...
And, you know...
I don't know.
I like being alone.
I've always found myself drawn
to the aesthetic.
Like a monk.
The forgoing
of sensual pleasures
for the achievement
of spiritual goals.
-Spiritual goals?
What spiritual goals
are we talking about?
You go to church?
-Mm, only when required.
When's the last time
you even left campus?
-I go into town all the time.
For groceries
and various errands
-and appointments.
(sighs, stammers)
Okay, yes,
I don't leave campus often.
I don't really feel the need.
Let me ask you something.
If you could go anywhere
on Earth, where would you go?
Greece, Italy,
Egypt, Peru, Carthage.
Tunisia now, of course.
In college, I started
a monograph on Carthage.
I'd like to finish that someday.
(sighs) A monograph is
like a book, o-only shorter.
I know what a monograph is.
Why not just write a book?
I'm not sure I have
an entire book in me.
You can't even dream
a whole dream, can you?
(grunting softly)
Monet, Manet, Picasso.
(passes gas)
(takes deep breath)
(Paul snoring)
("Crying, Laughing, Loving,
Lying" by Labi Siffre playing)
Crying never did nobody
no good no how
That's why I
I don't cry
Laughing sometimes does
somebody some good somehow
That's why I
I'm laughing now
That's why I
I'm laughing now.
(song ends)
(takes deep breath)
(Paul clears throat)
I have a surprise.
Uh, these were a gift to me,
and I would like to share them
with both of you.
Look at them.
Look at all the festive shapes.
Snowflakes and gingerbread men.
A tree.
A little mitten. (chuckles)
Mmm. (chuckles)
May I go to the bathroom, sir?
You may.
Well, I'm trying.
If you don't have a single room,
uh, I'll take a junior suite
or the equivalent.
I fully understand
it's the holidays,
but it's kind of an emergency.
Mm-hmm. Yeah, sure.
Mr. Tully, what are you doing?
Uh, no, no credit card.
I'll pay cash
or traveler's checks.
I didn't say
you could use the phone.
Okay, I see.
Is there anywhere else
you could recommend?
Maybe downtown or...
-Was that a hotel?
-None of your business.
It is absolutely my business.
I'm looking after you.
Looking after me? Really?
-Like what? Like my warden?
Like my butler?
There's nobody here, okay?
Just us two losers
and a grieving mom.
So let's cut the shit.
You stay out of my way,
and I'll stay out of yours.
-That's a detention.
You just earned yourself
a detention, sir.
Now, get back here!
Being here with you is already
one big fucking detention!
Son of a bitch,
that's another detention!
("Deck the Halls" by
The Swingle Singers playing)
Mr. Tully!
I don't know what you're
playing at, Mr. Tully,
but you are courting disaster!
Without exercise,
the body devours itself.
You are careening
towards suspension!
(panting heavily)
Don't even think about it,
Mr. Tully.
You are a hair's breadth
from suspension.
I'll wash my hands of you,
you hear me?
Wash my hands.
Stop right there.
You know the gym is
strictly off-limits.
This is your Rubicon.
Do not cross the Rubicon.
Alea jacta est.
(Angus screaming)
Oh, fuck! Ow!
Jesus, Mr. Hunham! Fuck!
Hurry up! Hurry!
I am hurrying!
I was on thin ice already.
If Woodrup finds out,
the facts won't matter.
-He'll make it my fault.
-It is your fault!
You were supposed to be
looking after me.
I told you to stop.
You said you washed
your hands of me.
No, I meant it metaphorically!
Of course you meant it
What were you going to do,
actually go and wash your hands?
This is the end.
They'll inform the school
who will inform your parents,
and then it's curtains.
You're gonna get me fired.
You. (scoffs)
I'm the one
that might lose an arm,
and all you can think about
is yourself.
NURSE: If you could
fill this out, please.
Admissions and insurance.
(Paul sighs)
Excuse me.
Is there any way we could skip
this whole insurance thing?
It's just standard procedure.
I understand, but look, um,
we were over at Squantz Pond
playing hockey,
and I slipped on the ice.
Angus, what are you doing?
My mom told him not to take me,
but I made him.
My folks are divorced.
We don't get to see each other
very often.
She'll be mad as a hornet
if she finds out.
Okay, that's your business,
but we just have
certain protocols.
-Yeah. Protocols.
I never get to see my dad.
It was my fault. All mine.
I don't want to get him
in any trouble.
I don't want her dragging you
into court again.
We can skip the insurance thing.
We can pay cash.
Right, Dad?
DOCTOR: So the good news is
nothing's broken,
but you did dislocate
your shoulder pretty badly.
What does that mean?
Well, that means that your arm
has popped out of the socket.
And we just need
to pop it back in.
I'm going to have you lie down.
-Nice and easy.
-Is this going to hurt?
-Any more than it does now?
Not if you relax.
The key is just to relax
as best as you can.
(Angus continues groaning)
Deep breaths. Deep breaths.
(rapid, shuddering breaths)
On the count of three.
One, two, three.
(yelling in pain)
-(joint pops)
(Angus screams)
Barton men don't do that.
Do what?
Barton men don't lie.
Yeah, well, I had momentum.
We have this prescription.
Percodan. Okay.
Uh, give me a couple minutes.
Thank you.
Look, you said, if Woodrup
finds out, you're screwed,
so now he won't find out.
What happens
if your parents inquire?
(scoffs) Never gonna happen.
Trust me.
Okay, then.
This all remains entre nous.
Got it? You know
what entre nous means?
Oui, monsieur.
Now you owe me.
Owe you?
Oh, do not try to leverage me,
Mr. Tully.
All I'm looking for
is a little thank-you
that I did something nice
for you.
That's all.
("No Matter What" by Badfinger
ANGUS: Think I'll start
with a beer. How about you?
Don't be ridiculous, Mr. Tully.
Get your cheeseburger.
-They've got Miller High Life.
-The champagne of beers.
Okay, you ready to order? Oh!
Miss Crane.
As I live and breathe.
what are you doing here?
Oh. Hi, guys.
Yeah, I always pick up
a little extra work
over Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Well, um, this is Mr. Tully.
Oh, sure. I know you.
Angus Tully.
We met outside
Dr. Woodrup's office.
I was wrongly accused
of blowing up a toilet.
I didn't know about
the wrongly part.
Um, he'll have a cheeseburger.
And a Miller High Life, please.
Uh, no, you will not.
Where do you stand on
Miller High Life, Miss Crane?
Well, like they say,
it's the champagne of beers.
-And she's a professional.
-PAUL: Okay.
MISS CRANE (laughs):
Okay, one cheeseburger.
-And a Coke.
I will have a cheeseburger
as well.
MISS CRANE (chuckles):
Two cheeseburgers.
-And a Jim Beam on the rocks.
-Oh. Okay.
Okay. You got it, guys.
Thank you.
Ouch. You two have chemistry.
That's the Percodan talking.
I don't know,
seeing her like this,
I think she's pretty attractive.
Listen, you hormonal vulgarian,
that woman deserves
your respect,
not your erotic speculation.
Well, may I at least
go to the bathroom?
-(Paul sighs)
You mean the pay phone?
A Coke...
-and a double Jim.
I charged you for a single.
-Thank you.
So, how'd you get stuck
holding over?
I thought it was
Mr. Endicott's year.
(chuckles) No, I know.
Uh, I'm being punished.
Yeah, Dr. Woodrup is, um...
A pompous ass
with a dictator complex?
(both chuckle)
Oops. Um...
Uh, what I meant to say was, uh,
well, he's a lovely
compassionate educator
-with a really groovy beard.
-(both laugh)
Yeah. You know, I've had
a lot of former students
ascend to positions
of authority.
He's the only one
I've ever had to report to.
-He was your student?
-Oh, yes.
My first year teaching,
and he was an asshole even then.
(both laugh)
Well, listen, if you and Angus
are really all alone up there,
I'm having a little
Christmas Eve party.
In case, you know,
you guys want to stop by.
("Knock Three Times" by
Tony Orlando & Dawn playing)
Oh, my sweetness
(three drumbeats)
Means you'll meet me
in the hallway
Twice on the pipe
Means you ain't gonna show
If you look out
your window tonight...
Sorry, kid. Next game's taken.
But I just put a dime down.
I don't care.
My buddy's up next.
That's not how it works.
That's how it works in here.
Why don't you go shoot
the other fucking machine?
Because I don't want to shoot
the other fucking machine.
-I want to use this one.
Thanks for fucking up my mojo.
Hey, Kenny, you're up.
I put my dime down. I'm up next.
What was that?
Hey, sport, my eyes are up here.
Look at this fucking kid.
Spoiled little fucking
Barton boy.
Yeah, he's a fancy
little prick, isn't he?
You know what?
You can just take my dime.
You want me to take your dime?
Like it's, uh...
like it's charity?
No. What I meant was...
we could play together.
Yeah, you could be my left arm.
The fuck did you just say to me?
-Mr. Hunham?
Mm, yes?
-Mr. Hunham, can we go, please?
Uh, I've just been called
a fancy little prick.
-Hey! Why'd you run off?
-We should go.
We were just talking to you.
Don't they teach you manners
at that school?
-No, no, no. No, no.
-MISS CRANE: Kenneth!
Kenneth, leave him alone.
They just came in for some food.
Kenneth. Kenneth.
Is that right?
Uh, I don't doubt he did
something to offend you.
It's his specialty.
Now, perhaps I can purchase you
gentlemen something to imbibe
and we could let whatever
this unfortunate incident is
go the way of the dodo.
The what?
The dodo. It's an extinct bird.
What he's trying to say is
he'd like to buy you guys
a beer.
-Yeah, yeah. Okay.
-PAUL: Great.
Yeah, yeah. I'll have a Miller.
Champagne of beers.
Why'd you buy those guys beers?
They're assholes.
That's one way to look at it.
How many boys do you know
have had their hands blown off?
Barton boys don't go to Vietnam.
No, they go to Yale
or Dartmouth or Cornell,
whether they deserve to or not.
-Except for Curtis Lamb.
-Except for Curtis Lamb.
Were you ever in the military?
Yes. I tried to enlist in '41,
but was rejected.
I have to get in over there.
They made me an air raid warden.
Gave me a whistle
and everything. (chuckles)
Helmet, armband.
Before we get going,
can I be candid with you?
You smell.
Like fish.
And it's really noticeable
towards the end of the day.
I can even smell it
on your coat.
-Mind if I crack the window?
Means my body can't break down
That's the smell.
And, uh, yes,
more toward the end of the day.
-Your whole life?
No wonder you're afraid
of women.
I am not afraid of women.
-Jesus H. Christ.
I shouldn't have said anything.
Dr. Gertler says I don't always
give consideration
to my audience.
Ah. And who is Dr. Gertler?
-My shrink.
Has Dr. Gertler ever tried
a good, swift kick in the ass?
(Angus scoffs)
Okay, all right, now your turn.
-Go ahead.
-Tell me something about me.
-Something negative.
-Something negative about you?
Sure. Just one thing.
Just one?
MARY: Why'd you two
miss dinner last night?
Oh, we went into town on some,
uh, school-related business.
And you couldn't call?
Good morning, everybody.
-Hi, Danny.
-Good morning.
You can go on in
and fix yourself a plate.
Mm, I just saw something funny.
I walked into the gym,
and someone had vomited
in there.
You don't say. I don't know
anything about that.
Yeah. Me, neither.
No, uh, I'll look into that
right away.
Thank you.
Mm-hmm. I see how it is.

-(bucket thuds on floor)
-(Angus scoffs)
You're out your mind.
(breathing sharply)
I appreciate you pitching in.
No, no, I should be
thanking you.
This is very therapeutic.
Try it when you're stuck
serving 300 little shits,
and all they do is complain.
Then you tell me
how therapeutic it is.
-Well, fair enough.
Speaking of.
Oh, brownies?
God, yes. I want all of these.
Ah-ah. Just take one.
The rest is for
the Christmas party tonight.
What Christmas party?
There's a Christmas party?
Yeah, at Miss Crane's house.
I'm only going to go
for a little bit.
Show my face
and say I was there.
You know, Miss Crane said
she invited you too.
-I want to go to the party.
-(Paul stammers)
She didn't mean it.
We were just making small talk.
If you don't want to go,
don't go.
-I'll take him.
-(Paul scoffs)
Mary can take me.
No, that's not how it works.
You're under my supervision.
Okay, maybe it's fine
for you to sit around here
and read books all day,
but I'm losing my goddamn mind.
-MARY: Hey!
Watch your mouth, young man.
Not on Christmas Eve.
You see?
I can't trust him
in a social situation.
Mr. Hunham,
if you're too chickenshit
to go to this party,
then just say that.
-But don't fuck it up
for the little asshole. -Mm.
What's wrong with you?
It's just a party.
-What are you afraid of?
-(sighs) I don't know.
Shit. Now you got me nervous.
("White Christmas"
by The Swingle Singers playing)

(lively chatter)
("Jingle Bells" by Herb Alpert
& The Tijuana Brass playing)
-Oh, hi.
-Oh, hi.
-Oh, you made it. Welcome.
-(chuckles) Yes.
Hi. Aw.
I am so glad you're here.
We're happy to be here.
Where should I put these?
Um, oh. (chuckles)
Those, I'll be putting
on my bedside table.
Oh! You're a wicked woman.
-You have no idea.
Certainly a lot of people here.
(sighs) Yeah, yeah.
Some family, friends from town.
-Only you guys from work.
-That's my mom on the couch.
-PAUL: Mm-hmm.
Uh, that's my sister Kathy
and her son Marvin.
Oh, and that's my friend Tom.
He owns the men's clothing store
-on Bolen Street.
-PAUL: Of course.
Yeah, and his son.
(chatter and music fade)
(music box playing
"Away in a Manger")
This is Angus Tully.
He's one of our students
at Barton.
This is my niece Elise.
"Niece Elise." Nice.
And this is Mr. Hunham.
He's one of our finest teachers.
-PAUL: Oh.
-MISS CRANE: History, right?
Uh, ancient civilizations.
Ah. (chuckles)
And this is Mary Lamb.
She is the manager
of the cafeteria.
-ELISE: Cool.
Hi. (chuckles)
Um, hey, why don't you
take Angus
down into the basement?
Introduce him
to our family tradition.
Come on.
Okay, and, uh, why don't I
get you guys some drinks?
-Uh, Jim Beam for you, right?
Okay, and what about you, Mary?
-Uh, I'll take a whiskey.
(kids chattering)
He's the jolly little fellow
called Santa Claus
Who'll be around
on Christmas Eve night
He's a chubby little fellow
with a long white beard
And he comes
from far away...
ANGUS: This is what
you wanted to show me?
I grew up playing down here
during my aunt's parties.
I think it's kind of cool.
There's a purity to it.
I mean, every child
is an artist.
The problem is remaining
an artist when we grow up.
Picasso said that.
Picasso's cool.
Yeah, I saw Guernica once.
-You know, the-the big mural?
-With the horse?
Yeah, I know Guernica.
You really saw it?
Yeah. At The Museum
of Modern Art in New York.
It's huge.
My dad took me.
Merry Christmas
("Silent Night" by
The Temptations playing)
-To each one of you
-To all of you
Silent night
Holy night...
There you go.
Hey, how you doing, hmm?
-I'm doing all right.
They put me
in charge of the music.
Who put you in charge
of the music?
I did.
-(both laugh)
-You so crazy.
Oh. I got you something.
-No, Danny.
-Yeah, go ahead.
You didn't have to do all this.
I don't have to do anything
but pay taxes and die.
I wanted to. Here.
Holy infant
so tender and mild...
This is lovely.
-Thank you.
-You're welcome.
But, Danny,
I didn't get you anything.
Yes, you did.
You got me that beautiful smile.
(Danny chuckling)
-There it is.
-(Mary chuckles)
There it is.
-Merry Christmas.
-Merry Christmas.
(kids chattering)
Am I doing this right?
There's no right or wrong.
I wish my mom would marry
Santa Claus
Then I know
he would always stay
And we could always play
with the toys...
Are you trying to look
down my shirt?
You know, I'm not gonna do this
if you're not gonna
take it seriously.
I am taking it seriously.
As seriously as one can take
finger painting.
You're not.
You missed this whole area
right here.
And it would always be
Like Christmas
every day for me.
Oh. (chuckles)
-Mistletoe. (laughs)
Oh, yes, of course,
that's-that's why. Right.
-(both laughing)
You know, it's interesting.
Aeneas, uh, carried mistletoe
with him
when he descended
into Hades, uh,
in search of his father.
Oh. Huh.
Anyway, uh, I like your tree.
It's very space-age.
Oh! I bought it to commemorate
the moon landing.
-Really? Oh. Oh.
(Miss Crane sighs)
So, where's your family
this Christmas?
Nowhere. I'm an only child.
Uh, my mother died
when I was young.
And your father?
Let's just say I left home
when I was 15.
-You ran away?
-I got a scholarship to Barton.
And from there, I went to
college and never looked back.
-Oh, but you did a little.
I mean, you came back here.
Feels kind of like home. Yes.
And I guess I thought
I could make a difference.
I mean, I used to think I could
prepare them for the world
-even a little.
Provide standards and grounding
like Dr. Greene always
drilled into us.
But, uh, the world doesn't
make sense anymore.
I mean, it's on fire.
The rich don't give a shit.
Poor kids are cannon fodder.
Integrity is a punch line.
Trust is just a name on a bank.
(Miss Crane chuckles softly)
look, if that's all true,
then now is when they most need
someone like you.
(record scratching, skipping)
("When Winter Comes" by Artie
Shaw & His Orchestra playing)
Danny, did you know that
Curtis used to love Artie Shaw?
You know,
we used to dance to this.
What teenage kid you know
listens to Artie Shaw?
You're killing me.
Can't you play something
a little hipper?
Don't touch that goddamn record.
DANNY: Hey, wait. Hey, M-Mary,
come on, just sit down.
-MARY: Oh, I'm okay.
-DANNY: All right.
-No, Danny, I'm okay.
-I-I know. Please.
-Okay, but I said I'm okay.
And I'll be fine
in the summer
But then I gotta have you
to cuddle up to
When winter comes.

Go get me another drink.
So, are you planning
anything special for tomorrow?
No. Why? Are you having, um...
Oh, no, no. I just...
I thought maybe you were doing
something special for Angus.
("It's the Most Wonderful Time
of the Year" playing)
-You should.
Help preserve some of the magic.
I mean, he may be a little
difficult, but he's still...
-he's just a kid.
Life catches up to them so fast.
Them. Ha.
You're a very sweet person,
Miss Crane.
-So are you.
-When you want to be.
And it's Lydia.
Lydia. (chuckles)
(door opens)
-Excuse me for a minute.
There'll be
much mistletoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When loved ones are near
It's the most wonderful time
Of the year...
Mr. Hunham? Mr. Hunham,
could you come with me, please?
Yeah. What is it?
Come on. I'm serious.
-Come on.
There'll be scary
ghost stories
-(Mary sobbing)
-And tales of the glories
Of Christmases
long, long ago...
You all right?
Just leave me alone.
You want me to take you home?
Back off! Back off.
There'll be
much mistletoeing
And hearts
will be glowing...
(song continues muffled
in distance)
(Mary sniffling, crying)
He's gone.
I was right.
This is why I hate parties.
That was a disaster.
Total disaster.
Speak for yourself.
I was having fun.
Let's take Mary home,
make sure she's okay,
and we'll come back.
-Out of the question.
-Come on.
Would you give me a break?
I was hitting it off with Elise.
Oh. (chuckles) The niece?
Are you kidding me?
This poor woman is bereft,
and all you can think about
is some silly girl.
-Unbelievable. -I don't need
you feeling sorry for me.
See? I'm just saying,
this was the first good thing
that came with being
in this prison with you.
Need I remind you
that it is not my fault
that you are stuck here?
Do you think I want
to be babysitting you?
Oh, no, no, I was praying to
the god I don't even believe in
that your mother
would pick up the phone
or your father would arrive
in a helicopter or a submarine
or a flying fucking saucer
to take you...
My father's dead.
I thought your father...
That's just some rich guy
my mom married.
Give me your keys.
It's unlocked.
You don't tell a boy that's
been left behind at Christmas
that you're aching
to cut him loose.
That nobody wants him.
What the fuck is wrong with you?
Let's go. I'm cold.
(grunts softly)
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep
and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets
The everlasting light...
(car door closes)
-Merry Christmas.
-Merry Christmas.
What can I do for you, chief?
I'm looking for a tree.
Well, you came
to the right place.
Big fire sale on all
remaining inventory.
Mr. Tully.
Mr. Tully?
Mr. Tully.
Uh, Angus Tully!
(radio playing indistinctly)
(Paul sighs)
-Good morning.
-Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas, of course.
How are you?
Well, I've got a case
of the cocktail flu.
-Yeah. Have you seen the boy?
where the hell can he be?
Mr. Tully?
(piano playing)
-(door bangs shut)
-(playing stops)
-Merry Christmas.
-Merry Christmas.
Where the hell have you been?
I don't know. Just here.
Come on.
I have something to show you.

No ornaments?
Oh, I'm sure we can round up
some ornaments somewhere.
Uh, now...
this is for you.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
For my money, it's like
the Bible, the Koran
and the Bhagavad Gita
all rolled up into one.
And the best part is
not one mention of God.
-ANGUS: Okay.
And Mary.
This is for you.
So you just get this
for everybody?
-(Paul chuckling)
-Now, how'd you guess?
-How indeed?
Oh, and...
this came in the mail for you.

(Paul sighs)
Thank you, Mary.
That was just lovely.
Is that an actual compliment?
-Oh, come on.
-(Mary laughs)
You know,
I don't think I've ever had
a real family Christmas
like this before.
Christmas dinner,
I mean family-style.
Out of the oven
and all the trimmings.
My mom always just orders in
from Delmonico's.
(Angus and Paul chuckle)
Well, she's got the right idea.
Next year I'm ordering in
from Delmonico's.
Anyway, thank you, Mary.
You're welcome.
I'd like to propose a toast.
To my two unlikely companions
on this snowy island
and to our absent friends
and family.
And I realize that none of us
is here because he wants to be.
So if there's any way
that I could make the holidays
a little cheerier
for either one of you,
just say the word.
I want to go to Boston.
Boston? Why?
Why not?
I want a real Christmas.
I want to go ice-skating.
I want to see
a real Christmas tree
with real ornaments,
not that stupid thing.
-You said it was nice.
-MARY: It is nice.
Come on, let's get out of here.
I want a real holiday.
We're not going to Boston.
It's out of the question.
You told the boy "anything,"
so take the kid to Boston.
Mary, we're not allowed
to leave campus
or the immediate environs.
(sighs heavily)
I suppose we could call it
a field trip.
Uh, field trips would fall
under the ambit
of additional academic pursuits.
There's even a fund set aside
for additional
academic pursuits.
I'll go pack. (laughs)
I'm gonna need you
to take me to Roxbury.
Mm-hmm. All right.

-(no dialogue)

-MARY (sighs): Here we are.
-PAUL: Hmm.
Boy, that's an awful lot
of stairs.
-Probably icy too.
Mr. Tully.
Right. Um...
Mary, can I help you
with your bags?
Yes, please.
-PAUL: Hmm.
-(trunk closes)
Hey, be careful with the box.
You know, you're more than
welcome to a room at the hotel.
We've got the money.
Are you out of your mind?
I need a break from you two
and all your damn bickering.
Besides, I'm looking forward
to visiting my little sister.
She's pregnant.
Oh, that's wonderful.
-Mr. Hunham. Mr. Hunham.
-Oh, I'm sorry.
My hands sweat.
It's hyperhidrosis. Sorry.
-ANGUS: Hey, Mary!
One more flight up.
One more flight up.
So, you two are
going to be all right?
Yes, the little monster
will be well under control.
-PEGGY: Mary!
Bye, Mary.
Uh-uh. Where are you going?
-I was...
-You're not done yet.
You have to help me up there.
-Yeah, sure thing.
-Come on.
(kids chattering playfully
(opens drawer)

(chuckles softly)
(Mary sighs softly)
(laughter, indistinct chatter)
(indistinct chatter continues)

(siren wailing in distance)
Hey there, handsome.
You got a cigarette?
Nope. Sorry, I smoke a pipe.
How about a date, then?
You want a date?
No, thank you.
-Oh, come on.
Let's go somewhere warm.
Go ahead.
-I can wait here.
-WOMAN: See?
He can wait here,
read some books.
He doesn't mind if daddy gets
a little candy cane.
Thank you, but I never really
liked candy canes.
Plus, I'm prediabetic.
You know, if you do want
a little candy cane,
I won't tell anyone.
Mr. Tully, for most people,
sex is 99% friction
and one percent goodwill.
Call me old-fashioned,
but I place value
on physical intimacy.
So should you.
You've never had sex, have you?
Believe it or not, Mr. Tully,
there was a time
when the fire in my loins
burned white hot.
You're full of shit.
No, the details
would curl your toes.
Okay, we're finally getting
to the good stuff.
Let's hear.
Maybe when you're eighteen.
Curl your toes!

Are we almost done?
PAUL: What's your hurry?
I thought you liked antiquity.
(chuckles) In class, maybe,
but I never think about it
unless I need to.
Ah. Ah, well, here.
What do you see?
I don't know.
A bunch of pottery.
Mm. Look at that one.
-Candy cane.
-(laughs): Yes.
There's nothing new
in human experience, Mr. Tully.
Each generation thinks
it invented debauchery
or suffering or rebellion,
but man's every impulse
and appetite
from the disgusting
to the sublime
is on display right here
all around you.
So, before you dismiss something
as boring or irrelevant,
if you truly want to understand
the present or yourself,
you must begin in the past.
You see, history is not simply
the study of the past.
It is an explanation
of the present.
See, when you say it that way
and throw in some pornography,
it's a lot easier to understand.
You should try doing more of
that in class and less yelling.
You know, most of the kids
dislike you.
Pretty much hate you.
Teachers too.
You know that, right?
("The Wind" by Cat Stevens
(chuckles softly)
I listen to the wind,
to the wind of my soul
Where I'll end up, well,
I think only God really knows
I've sat upon
the setting sun
But never, never,
never, never
I never wanted water once
No, never, never, never
I never wanted water once
No, never, never, never.
(quiet, indistinct chatter)
Paul Hunham! Is that you?
It's Hugh.
Hugh Cavanaugh.
Ah, yes. Of course.
Wow. Hugh Cavanaugh.
Oh, how are you, Hugh?
Oh, God, what's it been,
30 years? Um...
Um, this-this is, uh...
this is my wife Karen.
Honey, this is Paul Hunham.
-We went to Harvard together.
-Hi, Paul.
Yes, we did. Yes, we did.
Uh, wow.
Uh, what have you
been up to, Hugh?
-Uh, still in the area?
-HUGH: Oh, yes. Yes.
I-I'm still in Boston.
He just got tenure. Statistics.
-Oh, Karen.
-He won't blow his own horn.
-I have to blow it for him.
-Okay. Well, uh,
what about you, Paul?
Oh, still teaching.
We have that in common.
Uh, history, ancient history.
-That's great.
-PAUL: Yes.
That's great. Where?
Oh, um, abroad, mostly.
On fellowships,
privately funded fellowships.
and private academies.
Mostly fellowships, you know.
I'm currently posted
in, um, Antwerp.
Uh, just back here
for the holidays.
Ah. So, uh, is this your son?
-Well, um...
-I'm his nephew, Leonard.
Nice to meet you, Leonard.
And he's writing a book
right now.
Um, tell him about your book,
Uncle Paul.
My book.
It's not a book, really.
Uh, more of a monograph.
-It's nothing special.
-Don't be so modest.
It's about, uh, cameras, right?
Ancient cameras?
-PAUL: Yes.
No, what he means, of course,
is the camera obscura.
You know, the optical
and astronomical tool
that dates back to the time
of, um, Anaxagoras.
Tell him the title, Uncle Paul.
He's not interested, Leonard.
Sure, I am.
Light and Magic
in the Ancient World.
Okay, well, um...
Paul, I'm just so glad
you landed on your feet.
You look swell.
You too. So swell.
And, uh, we'll keep an eye out
for your book.
-Won't we, honey?
-Merry Christmas, Paul.
-Merry Christmas.
-Bye, Leonard.
-Merry Christmas.
What the fuck just happened?
I thought Barton men don't lie.
Don't get me wrong,
that was fun,
but you just lied
through your teeth.
What I say during
a private conversation
is none of your
goddamn business.
You are not to judge me.
It wasn't
a private conversation.
-The wife and I were there.
-And I helped you.
-(Paul laughs)
Why did he ask
if you landed on your feet?
What is this, Nuremberg?
-You're the hard-ass
constantly telling everybody
not to lie
and going on and on
about the honor code.
There was an incident
when I was at Harvard
with my roommate.
He accused me of copying
from his senior thesis.
-Well, did you?
-No, he stole from me.
But that blue-blooded prick's
had allies on the faculty.
I mean, their last name is on
a library, for Christ's sake.
So he accused me in order
to sanitize his treachery
and, uh, they threw me out.
Wait, so you got kicked out
of Harvard for cheating?
No, I got kicked out of Harvard
for hitting him.
-(Paul chuckles)
-You hit him?
What, like punched him out?
No, I hit him with a car. Ah.
You got kicked out of Harvard
for hitting a guy with a car?
By accident.
Pint of Jim Beam, please.
But he broke three ribs,
which was technically his fault
because he shouldn't have been
in the road.
Two dollars, please.
-Also, he shat himself.
-(cash register bell dings)
Which was the greater indignity.
Here you go, killer.
(cash register drawer closes)
ANGUS: So Mr. Hunham
never even graduated college?
-PAUL: Mm.
-Holy shit.
You didn't finish up
somewhere else? Who else knows?
Well, Dr. Greene knew.
Only Dr. Greene.
He always believed in me,
so he gave me a job.
Adjunct faculty,
zero respect and even less pay.
So nobody batted an eye,
and I've been at the school
ever since.
Are you ashamed
at how things turned out?
Not at all.
I'm proud of my work.
I love history. I love Barton.
Barton is my life.
I don't know what I would do
without Barton.
Why'd you lie to that guy?
Because I knew he'd relish
the fact that I'm a washout
and never left
my own high school,
and he'd probably repeat
that story
to everybody we used to know,
so I figured he's not entitled
to my story.
I am.
Yeah. Yeah, fuck that guy.
Yeah, exactly. Fuck that guy.
"Statistics." (scoffs)
But, now, you'll keep
this quiet, right?
No one is to know.
I mean no one, Angus.
Entre nous, sir.
Entre nous.
"Ancient cameras."
Where the hell
did you come up with that?
Just trying to keep you
on your toes, sir.
Get up, kid.
It's daylight in the swamp.
I ordered breakfast.
Great. (sighs)
Oh, you dropped something.
(Paul grunts)
Uh, those are my vitamins.
Yeah, it's just, uh,
something I'm supposed to take
for low energy.
You mean depression?
Is that rye toast?
How'd you know I like rye toast?

(busy chatter)
All right. This way.

(pins clatter)
Let go lightly.
-You're too rigid.
(pins clatter)
-(Paul laughs)
-You're welcome.
-Not bad.
You're a pretty good
teacher, kid.
Too bad everybody dislikes you.
Pretty much hates you.
But you must know that, right?
Touch, sir. Touch.
-By the way...
...what eye do you aim with,
You know, I've been
meaning to ask.
When we're talking,
which one should I look at?
Sometimes I look at one,
but then I think I'm wrong,
so I look at the other.
Yes, everybody does that.
So, which eye is it?
(lively chatter)
People don't understand.
This isn't tenpin.
No, this is much harder.
All these tenpin assholes
coming in here
like they're slumming it.
-The hell with them.
Yeah. Fuck 'em.
Excuse me.
Here's something
I bet you didn't know.
Your uniform, festive as it is,
is historically inaccurate.
Saint Nicholas of Myra
was actually
a fourth-century Greek Bishop
from what is now Turkey.
So, uh, a robe and sandals
would be closer to the mark.
Yeah, but I guess that would be
impractical given the weather
and all the silly but lucrative
mythology about Santa
and elves and reindeer
and chimneys and whatnot.
(chuckles) What can you do?
As Democritus said,
"O ksmos alloosis,
o vos yplipsis."
"World is decay.
Life is perception."
My son.
To see you again causes
my heart to soar like a hawk.
I brought you this present.
Is this the hat I used to own?
-(Paul chuckles)
-Except grown softer...
You know,
this is not only amusing,
uh, but for a movie,
it's a fairly accurate depiction
of life among the Cheyenne.
-Fuck off.
(in movie):
I saw you in a dream.
-I'm gonna go use the bathroom.
(in movie):
You were drinking from a spring
that came from
the long nose of an animal.
I did not recognize the animal.
Alongside his nose,
he grew two horns.
(movie continues playing
(in movie):
...and smoked on this matter,
and my decision is...
Little Big Man has returned.
(cheering, whooping in movie)
(quiet chatter)
Hey! Hey!
No. Out.
Get out.
I just need to do something.
I was going to come back.
Or meet you at the hotel.
It won't take long.
It's nothing bad.
Just get out,
you conniving little shit.
Were you planning this
the whole time?
Just counting the minutes
until I turned my back?
I wasn't running away.
There's just something
I need to do
before we go back to school.
You could come with me.
Just come with me, okay?
Come with you where?
To see my dad.
Your dad?
That's what this is about?
Why didn't you just ask me?
Because, of course,
we can visit a cemetery.

Excuse me. Hi.
I'm here to see Thomas Tully.

Right in here.
Over here.
Look who's here to see you.
Hi, Dad.
Hello, sweetheart.
You want to go sit down
for a little?
Oh. Come on.
Be seated right here.
There you go. All right.
I missed you.
I've missed you a lot.
A whole lot.
You know, I'm still at school.
At Barton.
And it's, uh...
it's Christmastime now,
so I thought
you might like a visit.
Guess what. I'm...
I'm actually keeping
my grades up.
I-I consistently get
the highest grades in the class
in ancient civ.
I'm... I'm pretty much
third or fourth in precalc.
And I'm in the chess club too.
But I don't really like
the other kids.
(chuckles softly)
And in the spring,
I think I want to try tennis.
Just JV,
and probably only doubles,
if the coach could just forget
about my, uh...
Anyway, it's not important.
I, uh... I have to tell you
I think they're putting
something in my food.

He used to be fine.
He was better than fine.
He was great.
He was my dad.
Then about four years ago, he...
started acting strange.
Erratic, forgetful,
saying all this weird shit.
My mom took him
to a bunch of doctors,
and they put him on medication.
But that just made it worse.
He got more confused.
Then he got angry.
And then he got...
That was it.
That was the last straw.
They put him away.
And she divorced him...
without him even realizing it.
That's why she wants
a whole new life.
And it's easy to just stash me
away in boarding school.
Like half of us
are just stashed away there.
And I get it.
She never has to look at me.
Because maybe when
she looks at me, she...
-she sees him.
-No, no, no, no, no.
That can't be true.
She... You're her son.
Maybe she's right.
I can't keep it together.
I lie. I steal.
I piss people off.
I don't have any friends,
real friends.
I'll probably get kicked out
of Barton too.
And when I do,
it'll be my own fault.
Get sent to Fork Union
and maybe to you-know-where.
And nobody will care.
The funny thing is...
I wanted to see him so bad
this whole time.
But I also didn't, you know?
Because I'm afraid
that's what's going to happen
to me one day.
No, Angus, Angus.
Angus, listen.
You're not your father.
How do you know?
Because no one is
his own father.
I'm not my dad.
No matter how hard he tried
to beat that idea into me.
I find the world a bitter
and complicated place,
and it seems to feel
the same way about me.
I think you and I
have this in common.
But don't get me wrong,
you have your challenges.
You're erratic and belligerent
and a gigantic
pain in the balls,
but you're not your father.
You're your own man.
Man, no. You're just a kid.
You're just beginning.
And you're smart.
You've got time
to turn things around.
Yes, I know
the Greeks had the idea
that, uh, the steps you take
to avoid your fate
are the very steps
that lead you to it,
but that's just
a literary conceit.
In real life, your history
does not have to dictate
your destiny...
Oh. There's Mary.
Can you not tell Mary
or anybody? Uh...
Entre nous. This whole
goddamned trip is entre nous.
-Stand up.
Stand up for the lady, you boor.
You cretin.
-ANGUS: Mary.
-PAUL: Well, hello.
Hi. Sorry I'm late.
PAUL: Oh, we're just happy
to see you.
-(Mary chuckles)
-(Paul grunts)
Madame, the menu.
Oh. Thank you.
Hello, ma'am. Would you like
a cocktail to start?
Oh, no,
I'll just take a cup of tea.
Oh, come on. Have a cocktail.
No, no, no.
A cup of tea is fine.
I've eaten already.
And you gentlemen,
did you save room for dessert?
-PAUL: Hmm.
-Hey, what's that?
That's our signature dessert.
-Cherries jubilee.
-PAUL: Mmm.
-That sounds great.
-(Paul chuckles)
Bring the young vandal here
cherries jubilee.
I'm afraid I can't.
The dish contains brandy.
Same deal with
the bananas Foster.
-Yeah, but doesn't the alcohol
just burn off? -PAUL: Mm.
WAITRESS: It's still
against the rules, ma'am.
I'll order the cherries
jubilee. We can share it.
Mm. I can't allow that, either.
Can we say it's his birthday?
It's my birthday.
Well, happy birthday, young man.
Let's get you a slice of cake
or some other
age-appropriate dessert.
Christ on a crutch.
What kind of a fascist hash
foundry are you running here?
Uh, excuse me, ma'am. Do you,
by chance, have cherries?
And do you have ice cream?
-MARY: Fantastic.
Can we please get cherries
and ice cream to go?
And the check.
Right away.
And a little James Beam.
All right. Go ahead.
Ooh. (laughs)
Presto. Cherries jubilee.
-Shouldn't it just go out?
-Oh, shit. Shit.
-How much alcohol
did you put on there? -Oh!
It's hot. It's very hot.
-(Mary squeals)

HOST (on TV):
But now just listen to them.
They see the ball and...
MARY: Man, I sure do wish
we had some noisemakers.
I've got a noisemaker.
Where the hell did you get that?
I don't know. Found it.
Well, you're not
deploying that in here.
You know, you weren't
this uptight in Boston.
-MARY: Oh.
-(Paul chuckles)
Danny, where do you stand
on indoor fireworks?
About as far away as I can.
-That's very wise.
-HOST: Ten, nine...
Oh, we're gonna miss it.
Come on.
-Up on your feet.
-...eight, seven...
Up on your feet.
Up on your feet.
-...six, five, four...
-Five, four...
Three, two, one.
-Happy New Year!
-Happy New Year!
Should old acquaintance
be forgot...
(Paul clears throat)
(quiet muttering)
Congratulations, Mr. Tully.
-Congratulations, Danny.
-Thank you.
Mary, congratulations.
Now, as I say, we're not
deploying this in here.
No. We're going to light
this sucker off in the kitchen.
-(Angus chuckles)
-All right. Come.
-Come, come, come.
-Come on, man.
-For real?
-This is coming with me.
For auld lang syne
My dear
For auld lang syne.
(explosion booms)

(song ends)
("In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"
by Allman Brothers Band plays)
(indistinct chatter)
There's too much paprika.
Why'd you put in
all that paprika?
Follow the recipe.
Now you have to add in
another cup of water.
What's wrong with you?
Come on, ladies!
(indistinct chatter)
Hey, Kountze.
Does... does it hurt?
Fuck yeah, it hurts.
Glare off the slopes, man,
burned me to a crisp.
(Angus laughs)
You think that's funny, Tully?
No, man.
Just glad you had
a good vacation.
Welcome back,
you snarling Visigoths.
I trust you all enjoyed
a refreshing holiday.
-Oh, hello, Mr. Kountze.
-(song fades)
Or should I say Icarus?
Fly a little too close
to the sun, did we?
Uh, all right.
Now, along with
your skiing and swimming,
I hope you found time
to enlighten yourselves
about the Peloponnesian War
and its implications for today.
Just to check, we're going
to start with a short pop quiz
-on the reading...
-(students groaning)
...before we retake the final
from last semester.
Omnia ex scrineis
praeter stilum.
(students groaning, murmuring)

Excuse me, Mr. Hunham?
Oh, Miss Crane.
Lydia. Uh, come in.
Happy New Year.
Oh, same to you. Happy New Year.
Forgive me. I'm a clod.
I never called to thank you
for inviting
the boy and me to your party.
And Mary.
It meant a lot.
Oh, you're so welcome.
It was fun.
Um, Dr. Woodrup is asking
to see you.
He says it's urgent.
(quiet chatter)
DR. WOODRUP: Mr. Hunham, meet
Judy and Stanley Clotfelter.
Angus Tully's mother and father.
Good morning.
They've brought something
very important to my attention.
We understand you took Angus
to Boston over the holidays.
I explained to Mr. Clotfelter
that you went on a field trip
for academic reasons.
That's right.
A field trip?
Yes. Uh, as per my instructions
in the manual,
it fell within the ambit
of my responsibility.
Well, if it was a school trip,
then how do you explain this?
The people at the sanitarium
confiscated it
from my ex-husband.
Angus had given it to him.
My mom and Stanley are here.
Lydia told me.
I think I'm going to get
kicked out.
That means military school.
JUDY: Angus knows he's not
supposed to visit his father.
He suffers from
debilitating mental illness.
Paranoid schizophrenia,
early-onset dementia.
And Angus's visit created
an expectation.
Now Tom wants to come home,
which is...
clearly impossible.
They tried to tell him,
and he just...
He got violent. He tried
to brain one of the orderlies
with this goddamned thing.
You people know the boy has
a discipline problem.
Paul, the Clotfelters want
to withdraw Angus from Barton
and enroll him
at Fork Union Military Academy.
STANLEY: Set him straight
once and for all.
He could do a lot worse
than a career in the military.
Look, Angus has defied me
lots of times
about a lot of things,
including this.
So, however he manipulated
your sympathies
or slipped the leash,
just tell us.
It was my idea.

No, uh, uh, he didn't, uh,
trick me or slip the leash.
No, I took him
to see his father.
In fact, I convinced him
to do so.
This is a family matter,
and you had no right
to interfere.
-I don't give a shit.
-JUDY (gasping): What?
-DR. WOODRUP: Hunham.
-I said I don't give a shit.
You two were unreachable.
He was all alone at Christmas.
I thought the kid
should see his father.
Do you understand
what you've done?
I have to move Tom now.
It was hard even finding
a facility that would take him,
and now I have to move him.
And that is deeply unfortunate,
but why compound the misery
by ruining the boy?
I have just spent
two solid weeks with him.
He is a pain in the ass, sure,
but he's also very smart.
Brilliant, I don't know,
but very smart.
You must know that.
He's got enormous potential.
It would be devastating
if you pulled him out now.
(door opens)
You did this to yourself,
Hunham, not me.
-I want you to remember that.
Hardy, I have known you
since you were a boy,
so I think I have
the requisite experience
and insight to aver that
you are and always have been
penis cancer in human form.
It's this one.
This is the one
you should look at.
Angus, step inside, please.
("Ombra mai fu" from
Handel's opera Serse playing)
(knocking at door)
I missed you at breakfast.
I was, uh... I was busy.
So did you decide
where you're going to go?
Yes and no.
Um, first, I'm going
to stash my stuff
at a friend's in Syracuse,
and then...
I don't know.
Maybe I'll start in Carthage.
I was hoping you were
going to say that.
(Paul sighs)
For your monograph.
I don't know, Mary.
There's a lot
of empty pages in here.
Yeah, well,
that's your problem, man.
-All you got to do
is write one word after another.
Can't be that hard, can it?
What about you?
What about me what?
Oh, no, I'm not going anywhere.
I'm not like you.
I like having a job.
(Paul chuckling)
Plus, I'm saving up for college.
My sister's baby.
Ah. (chuckles)
What is the word from Penny?
Only that if it's a boy...
...his middle name
is going to be Curtis.

(distant chatter)
(whistle blowing in distance)
TEDDY: I heard he got booted
for eating feces.
Apparently he got caught
in the locker room.
Hand in the commode,
burgling turds.
That's not what I heard.
What did you hear?
Doesn't matter.
Either way, he's history.
Fucker taught history,
now is history.
Right, Tully?
(sniffs, sighs)
Oh, hi.
Look, uh...
I don't know what you said
to my mom and Stanley,
Woodrup, but...
all I know is
I'm not getting kicked out
and, uh, you got fired.
Well, I just told the truth.
Barton man.
Barton man.
(school bell ringing)
Fifth period.
You know, it's, uh...
it's only PE.
-(Paul chuckles)
-Maybe I could skip.
We could head over
to The Winning Ticket.
-Grab a burger and a beer.
Ah. Miller High Life, no doubt.
You never give up, do you?
Well, they already fired you,
so I figured
it was worth a shot.
Your logic is flawless,
but, uh, no.
Keep your head up, all right?

You can do this.
Yeah, I was gonna tell you
the same thing.
See ya.
See ya.

("Crying, Laughing, Loving,
Lying" by Labi Siffre playing)
Crying never did nobody
no good no how
That's why I
I don't cry
That's why I
I don't cry
Laughing sometimes does
somebody some good somehow
That's why I
I'm laughing now
That's why I
I'm laughing now
Loving never did me
No good no how
No how
That's why I
Can't love you now
That's why I
Can't love you now
Lying never did nobody
no good no how
No how
So why am I
Lying now?
So why am I
Lying now?
(song ends)

(music ends)