The Mad Whale (2017) Movie Script

Call me Ishmael.
Whenever it is a dark,
drizzly November in my soul,
and it requires
a strong moral principle
to prevent me from
stepping into the streets
and methodically knocking
people's hats off,
I account it high time
to get to sea as soon as I can.
Wherefore it is
I should take it into my head
to go on a whaling voyage,
doubtless it forms part of
the grand program of Providence
that was drawn up
a long time ago.
They came to see me?
I am Ahab!
Chief among my motives
is the great whale himself.
Such a portentous
and mysterious monster
rouses all my curiosity
and sways me to my wish.
I stuffed a shirt or two
into my old carpetbag,
tuck it under my arm
and start for Nantucket.
What? Who are you?
No, no, no, stop!
Please, please, no, let me...
Who are you?
What is happening?
What's happening? No!
- Please, stop, stop!
- Mother.
- Let me go!
- Mother!
Let me go! Rebecca!
- Rebecca!
- Mother!
Tobias, what is happening?
- Her coat.
- Mother!
- Rebecca!
- Mother.
- Rebecca!
- Rebecca! Rebecca, please!
It's time for bed.
Wait, what is happening?
What's happening?
Let me go!
Please! Please stop!
I have a daughter!
Put it on.
In the bed.
It is a dismal night.
Bitingly cold.
I know no one in the place.
Not far from the docks,
I come upon an out-hanging light
and a sign over a door.
Good evening.
Do you perchance have a room
available for the night?
Alas, my house is full.
Not a bed unoccupied.
But you ain't got
no objections
to sharing a harpooner's
blanket, have ye?
I suppose
you are going a-whaling,
so you'd better get used
to that sort of thing.
I never like to sleep
two in a bed,
but rather than wander about a
strange town on so bitter night,
I reckon I'll put up with half
of any decent man's blanket.
Come on, I'll show ya
to your room.
He'll be here afore long.
He's a decent enough chap
and pays regular.
Make yourself comfortable.
Good night to ye.
Good morning,
Mrs. Wallace.
I am Miss Stokes,
the head matron.
Please. I have a daughter.
She's 8 years old.
- You are sick.
- No, I'm not sick.
I'm not sick, I'm not sick.
Please let me talk to a doctor.
You need to stop
the dramatics.
This institution respects
obedient women
who participate in treatment.
Those are the women
who have daughters.
You've made a mess
of your breakfast.
You'll have to go hungry.
Cheer up.
This is a place of healing.
Thank you, Clyde.
You have a pleasant day
at the madhouse, Doctor.
How many times
must I tell you, Clyde?
We must call it hospital.
Welcome to the snake pit.
I don't belong here.
Neither do I, dearie.
I'm old and an inconvenience,
but I ain't mad.
Yeah, let's do it!
Fuck! Shit!
Shut your filthy mouth!
- The board is waiting.
- Yes.
- How do I look?
- Marvelous.
- Is the chairman there?
- Of course he is.
Do you remember your speech?
Uh, Moby Dick...
Melvin's masterwork
of obsession...
- Madness.
- And madness upon the sea.
It is this story, gentleman...
that I propose
to bring to life here,
with our patients
playing the roles.
A play?
A theatrical production?
A technique pioneered by
Dr. Jacoby at Doublehill.
And used with great success.
The theater provides
a means of self-explanation
and self-knowledge.
Is that not what we strive
to provide for our patients?
We are here to treat
these poor souls,
not to set them prancing
about like chimpanzees.
Oars and harpoons
in the hands of lunatics.
We'll give them prop weapons,
of course.
Dr. Calhoun,
I agreed to employ you here
as a favor to your father,
who assured me
that your perverse fascination
with the theater was behind you.
Yet you sit here before us
asking to put on a play.
I confess my love
for the theater is unabated,
but I come to you now
as a man of medicine.
My only concern is
the welfare of my patients.
I realize I am new here.
But I've been around
long enough to recognize
that the old methods...
isolation, ice-therapy,
they do not work.
we could try it
on the female inmates.
They may be more docile.
Gentleman, all of the roles
in Moby Dick are for men.
Who gives a damn?
It's women or nothing.
I think a play is a fine idea.
They mean to discourage you.
They shan't.
Let's begin casting.
Ah, Bernadette!
Bernadette, take your time
and then whenever
you're ready, begin.
Call me Ishmael.
Whenever it is a damp, drizzly November...
Wonderful, Bernadette!
Thank you.
Ah, Freda, yes!
Take your time, okay?
Call me...
I can't read.
Kara, Kara.
Be gentle with her!
Be gentle!
Come here. Let me see it.
I just want to see it.
Maybe we should
take a break.
Perhaps she could be
our Queequeg?
I don't know.
Queequeg is called a savage,
but he's really
one of the more intelligent...
Trust me on this, Matron.
I'm sorry.
I don't think I know you.
Yes, you.
Do you read?
Call me Ishmael.
Whenever it is a damp,
drizzly November in my soul,
and it requires a strong
moral principle
to prevent me from
stepping into the street
and methodically knocking
people's hats off,
then I account it high time
to get to sea as soon as I can.
You are new, Miss...
Mrs. Wallace.
Isabel Wallace.
She was committed last night
by her husband, a minister.
Well, Mrs. Wallace,
I'm Dr. Benjamin Calhoun.
Isn't it exciting?
I've always wanted
to be an actress.
Is it always like this?
We get a bit of sugar
on Sundays.
Not hungry, Mrs. Wallace?
Farm animals eat better.
You should be thankful
you get anything at all.
Thank you, Matron.
Dr. Calhoun wants to see you.
So I have some exciting news.
I have cast you
in the role of Ishmael.
Have you acted before?
I lead the church choir.
Well, splendid!
Perhaps your experiences there
will aid us in...
I'm not mad.
Well, let's see.
I have your file right here.
"Isabel Wallace.
committed at the request
of Reverend Tobias Wallace."
No, Mrs. Wall...
Good heavens.
This is the work of my husband.
He's an angry, wrathful man.
Now there must be something
to prove my sanity.
Some kind of test...
You have been found insane,
committed by the authorities.
What if I wrote letters?
I have friends
at the Ladies' Society.
- My church, who can intercede...
- Mrs. Wallace, it is very...
I have a daughter.
She is eight years old,
and she's alone with him.
There must be
something you can do.
Yes. I will make inquiries.
Don't think that you can
improve your situation
by batting your eyes
at the doctors, Mrs. Wallace.
You'll soon learn
who's really in charge.
Can I climb in with you?
I'm so cold,
I can't even feel my own body.
Come. Lie with me.
I don't feel that well tonight.
You will fulfill
your wifely duty.
Okay, this is the part
where Ishmael meets Queequeg.
There is a heavy footfall
in the passage.
Holding a lantern,
a tall dark figure
enters the room.
Kara, you are Queequeg.
That is your cue. Enter.
Good. Uh...
What a sight.
Such a face.
Dark and tattooed in squares,
his hair tied up
in a scalp-knot.
We'll get your makeup later.
A strange object
dangles from his hand.
Matron, if you can get Kara
a prop please.
Let's do that.
It is a shrunken human head.
Give it.
Queequeg extinguishes the light
and springs into bed.
You spring into bed.
Oh! Ow!
Okay, okay, Kara, Kara,
not so rough.
You want to see who she is.
Very gentle.
Okay, okay, Kara?
I want to show you
what I'm talking about.
Get up.
Thank you. Good, good.
I'm going to grab this from you.
I'll give it back.
All right, so to bed,
and I'm going...
Oh, I'm terribly sorry.
I didn't mean to upset you.
I'm fine.
Very well.
Well, this is
make-believe, ladies.
Okay, um...
Uh, who the devil are you?
Speaketh! Tell me!
Who are you?!
Angel, save me! Landlord!
You did not tell me
my bedmate was a savage.
Queequeg wouldn't harm
a hair of your head.
That's a shrunken head?
He brought a lot of embalmed
heads from the South Seas.
As curios, you know.
- Queequeg!
- Yeah?
This man sleepy.
You, you sabbee?
Me sabbee plenty.
You gettee in.
Thank you, landlord.
You may go.
Yes, uh, so at that moment,
you will get into bed with Kara.
Kara, get in bed.
You will get in bed
next to Ishmael.
Well, I think we're
making real progress.
Oh, my God.
Dr. Calhoun,
I can rehearse with her.
That would be lovely.
Thank you, Isabel.
They took
her beautiful clothes away
and dressed her
in an old gray smock.
Just look at
the proud princess now!
They laughed as they led her into the kitchen.
Let's get to bed, okay?
I'll read you some more
All right, darling, sleep well.
Sweet dreams, okay?
- I love you.
- Love you.
Why is she awake?
It's my fault.
I lost track of time.
Let's get to bed.
How are things proceeding
with Kara?
- Quite well.
- Good.
No! Don't do that!
It's a feature of her condition.
She devours all sorts
of awful things.
Kara, look at your mouth.
You're a mess.
Come on, sit, sit.
Come. Come sit.
Why don't we face
each other here?
Are you ready to play the scene
for Dr. Calhoun?
We'll play the scene
where we become friends.
Were you shaving
with the harpoon?
Queequeg is a comely looking
I find myself
mysteriously drawn to him.
I see a lofty bearing,
a simple honest heart,
and in his dark eyes,
a spirit that would dare
a thousand devils.
Queequeg, what say you
to a social smoke?
Oh, um, use my pipe.
We are now bosom friends
and resolve to ship
aboard the same vessel.
Quite good, quite good.
- She's come so far.
- Mm-hmm.
She's a really
sweet girl
and eager to please once she
knows what's expected of her.
Well, Isabel, um...
I was giving your situation
a great deal of thought,
and if you pen a letter
to the Ladies' Society,
I'll do my best
to see it delivered.
Thank you.
Thank you, Dr. Calhoun.
No! No!
Kara, don't eat the goldfish!
The anchor is up,
the sail is set,
and the short northern day
merges into night,
as we blindly plunge like fate
into the lone Atlantic.
Our captain's name is Ahab.
He's lost his leg to a whale
on his previous voyage.
For several days,
no sign has been seen of him
above hatches.
He stays in his cabin.
Whosoever of ye
raises me a white-headed whale...
Mary, louder, please.
I can barely hear you.
A crooked jaw
and three holes!
That's a bit too loud.
Why don't we try
for a happy medium.
Mary, show some respect.
I didn't know she'd do that.
It's not your fault, Matron,
but I am beginning to despair.
Without an Ahab,
we have no play.
Well, there is
one other possibility.
Why the devil
didn't you tell me?
She's considered dangerous.
I thought you said her last
incident was a year ago.
Because she's been
in isolation since.
She nearly bit off
a nurse's finger.
Then we'll have to wear gloves.
Miss Price, I'm Dr. Calhoun.
I'm here to inform you
of a new therapy of my design.
I saw you at Edward Fry's
Opera House.
As Lady Macbeth,
you mesmerized me.
We're doing a play.
Melville's Moby Dick.
I want you to be my Ahab.
Goodbye, Miss Price.
Beatrice Price.
Have you lost all sense?
We have her in isolation
for a reason.
She is violent.
The misdeeds these women
committed in former lives
ought not weigh
against them here.
Beatrice Price is a murderess
and a sexual deviant.
Allowing her access
to these women
would be like loosing
a fox in a henhouse.
I'll take full responsibility.
I have no doubt
my therapy will aid her.
Wait, wait, wait.
Beatrice Price.
On stage, please.
Act one, scene five.
Miss Price, you are reading
for the role of Captain Ahab.
I'll be holding your script.
I don't need a damn script.
On such a day,
one as sweet as this,
I struck my first whale.
A boy harpooner of 18,
40 years ago.
Forty years of constant whaling.
Forty years
of privation, peril.
Storm time on the pitiless seas.
For 40 years has Ahab
forsaken peaceful land
to make war
on the horrors of the deep.
Then the madness.
The frenzy.
The boiling blood
and the smoking brow
with which,
for a thousand lowerings,
has Ahab furiously...
and foamingly chased his prey
more demon than man.
Aye, what a forty years' fool
has old Ahab been.
I hope for your sake,
you can control her.
If there's a slip-up,
I'll have you fired.
At last Ahab stands before us
with a crucifixion in his face.
A grand, ungodly God-like man,
he lives in this world
as the last grizzly bears
live in settled Missouri.
His grim aspect
affects me powerfully,
as does the barbaric white leg
in which he stands.
What do ye do
when ye see a whale?
Sing out for him!
And what do ye next?
Lower away and after him!
And what song do ye pull to?
A dead whale
or a stove boat!
Do you see this Spanish
ounce of gold, men?
Aye, Captain!
Oh, my, she is quite good.
I insisted
she be in the play.
A wrinkled brow,
a crooked law,
and three holes
in his starboard fluke.
He... shall have
this gold doubloon.
Captain Ahab,
is this white whale
the one they call
Moby Dick?
Aye. It was Moby Dick
that dismasted me.
Sliced off my leg
like a mower reaps
a blade of grass in the field.
This is what ye ship for, men.
To chase Moby Dick
over all sides of the Earth,
until the white whale
spouts black blood.
Ye harpooners,
flank me with your lances.
Cross them here before me.
Death to Moby Dick!
Death to Moby Dick!
God hunt us all if we do not
hunt him to his death.
It's such a relief being
out of that straightjacket.
Such a bother not being able to
scratch your nose or reach...
the important bits.
Mind if I borrow some thread?
Some thread, I said.
Much obliged.
You're a quiet little mouse.
Married to a minister,
they tell me.
Now how does a minister's wife
end up in an ungodly place
like this?
- You'd have to ask my husband.
- Oh?
And what story would he tell,
a cold bed?
Quiet little church mouse
like you,
an iceberg has better chance
of pleasing a husband.
Is there anything moving
under the sea,
or is it frozen
down there as well?
Every minister I ever met
had a horny pecker.
They just wrap
a white collar around it.
I could teach you...
about passion.
Thaw the iceberg, as it were.
Get off of me,
you foul woman!
Is that the best you've got?
You're a whaler now.
Curse like one.
Call me a bitch, a whore.
Whore! Bitch!
That's the idea!
- Fuck! Cocksucker!
- Fuck! Cocksucker!
- Shit!
- That's how sailors talk.
What else do they have to do
on those long voyages,
eh, church mouse?
That's enough out of you two!
The chief mate of the Pequod
is Starbuck,
a native of Nantucket,
a staid, steadfast man.
Why the long face, Starbuck?
I am game for
his crooked jaw, Captain,
if it fairly comes in
the way of our business.
But I came to hunt whales,
not my commander's...
What's the matter, Starbuck?
You are pathetic.
"My commander's vengeance
on a dumb brute
that simply smote thee
from blind instinct."
- Come on, Silla.
- I can't work with this.
Are we to believe
this whelping thing
is first mate of the Pequod?
You will work with whoever
Dr. Calhoun tells you to work.
No, she is right.
Ahab needs a Starbuck,
a seadog.
But you see, Miss Price,
I have a very limited
talent pool here.
What about her?
She looks like she has balls.
No, no, Matron Stokes
is not an actress,
and she has a job to do.
Let her finish the scene
with me.
I did some acting in school.
I am game...
I am game for his crooked jaw,
if it fairly come in the way
of our business.
But I came to hunt whales,
not my commander's vengeance
on a dumb brute
that simply smote thee
from blindest instinct.
Dumb brute?
He has left innumerable
fatalities in his wake.
I see in him not only
outrageous strength,
but intelligent,
inscrutable malice.
God keep us all.
Let's keep going,
keep going.
Horrible old man.
My soul is overmatched
by a madman.
Starbuck thinks me mad.
But I am demonic.
I am madness maddened.
I plainly see
my miserable office,
to obey, rebelling.
And I must help him
to his impious end.
Ye great gods,
come see if ye can swerve me.
Ye cannot swerve me!
My path to my fixed purpose
is laid with iron rails,
whereon my soul
is grooved to run.
I'd strike the sun
if it insulted me.
Yet there is hope.
Time and the tide flow wide,
and the hated whale has the
round, watery globe to swim in.
I like it.
Are you willing, Matron?
Anything I can do
to help, Doctor.
Prettying yourself up
for your private rehearsal?
You're pretty enough for me,
church mouse.
Let me through.
Couldn't hurt
your hopes of a release,
if you open your legs
for him.
He doesn't see me that way.
Oh, my, my, my.
How cloistered you've been.
Come, come.
I promise to be good.
I've seen the way
he looks at you.
Lick your lips.
Now rub them together.
A bit less ruined,
don't you think?
A bit.
And Cinderella
shall go to ball.
That's my daughter's
favorite story.
Mine too.
I guess this makes me
the fairy godmother.
You came from far away
My dear, my dear
You came from far away
My dear, my dear
Please sit.
Uh, before we begin,
I'd like to tell you
I sent your missive
to Mrs. Van Dyke
of the Ladies' Society
and enclosed your letter
to Rebecca.
Thank you, Dr. Calhoun. I...
I had almost given up hope.
Please, when it's just us,
you can call me Benjamin.
And it is I who should be
thanking you.
Your work here
has been exemplary.
It's been exhilarating.
Oh, it is, isn't it?
Blindly plunging like fate
into the lone Atlantic.
My first love
was always the theater.
When I was a boy,
my mother would say,
you're going to be a thespian."
She would take me
to the theater every week.
So I dropped out
of medical school,
much to my father's chagrin.
You became a doctor, after all.
my mother...
she took her own life.
She was troubled.
Suffered from hysteria.
So I was compelled
to take up medical school again
with a focus on lunacy.
But I feel trapped.
I do.
Just like you.
It isn't the same.
Oh, no, of course not.
No, it isn't.
I'm sorry.
Well, let's get to work.
The whale hunt, I believe.
You're a good man, Benjamin.
From here.
The boat tears on.
The vast swells
of the omnipotent sea.
The surging, hollow roar
they make.
Without the script.
The brief suspended agony
as the boat tips
on the knife-edge of the waves
that threaten
to cut us in two.
The sudden profound dip.
The headlong sled-like slide
down the other side.
No raw recruit
marching for the first time
into the fever heat
of his first battle
has felt stronger emotions
than the man who,
for the first time,
finds himself
in the churned circle
- of the hunted sperm whale.
- Sperm whale.
Thar she blows!
There she blows
on the lee-beam!
Pull, my fine hearts! Pull!
Break your backs!
Sing out!
A dead whale
or a stove boat!
Snap your oars,
every mother's son of ye!
Yes! Feel the surging waves!
I want to see sweat!
Deidre, I want you to...
Bodies in motion.
Bodies in motion.
The devil fetch ye,
you dogs.
Pull, will ye?
Long and strong!
Keep rowing! Come on, ladies!
We're on a boat!
- Keep rowing! Keep on going!
- Looky-loo!
There's his hump!
Aim for his eye!
Give it to him!
All of a sudden, a gush of
scalding liquid shoots up.
Something rolls
like an earthquake beneath us.
We are tossed into the
curdling cream of the squall.
In, in, in, in!
You're flailing
in the ocean, ladies!
The waves
are washing over you.
The waves are washing over you!
All right, come on,
everybody up.
Ishmael, you've got
a certain little glow.
You've gone and done it,
haven't you?
You naughty little church mouse.
You mustn't say a thing.
We should keep this
between us.
Oh, there you are.
How are you this morning?
Perfectly well.
And you?
Ahab ferociously studies his
charts and plans his course.
In the east, you will be my
That is where I shall
wreak my revenge.
That's your cue, Starbuck.
The oil in the hold
is leaking, sir.
We must heave to
and repair.
And spend a week
tinkering with old gaskets?
But we could waste more oil
in one day
than we make good
in a full year.
What does Ahab care?
On deck.
Does thou dare contradict me?
Nay, sir.
I do but entreat thee.
There is but one God
that lords over the Earth
and one captain
that lords over the Pequod.
On deck!
Thou hast outraged me.
Thou hast outraged me, sir.
And for that, I ask thee
not to beware of Starbuck.
Thou wouldst but laugh.
But let Ahab beware of Ahab.
Beware of thyself, old man.
Hold on. It's okay.
Keep going.
Keep the intensity.
There is one God.
Eh, Starbuck?
Yes! All right.
Now let her go.
Beatrice, stop at once!
- All right, all right.
- Beatrice!
All right.
All right.
Well, that certainly
was visceral.
She almost killed me.
If I wanted to kill you,
you would be dead.
You said you wanted
to be in the play.
Then be in the play!
It seems to me
what you really want
is Calhoun's cock
in your quim.
But guess what.
Ishmael beat you to it.
That is enough nonsense
out of you, Beatrice!
- Benjamin.
- Huh?
What's going on between
you and that Wallace woman?
Absolutely nothing.
Then what was
Price talking about?
Another attempt to needle you.
Come now, Phoebe,
you mustn't let her upset you.
You know I would never
consort with a patient.
Phoebe, I need you
on my side.
Without you, this entire
enterprise collapses.
Are you with me?
- Of course I am.
- Oh, good.
You and me, yes?
What the devil
is she doing in here?
I don't know.
Kara, no, no.
I'm not telling you
another thing.
You announced it
in front of everybody.
I let my anger
get the best of me.
Kara, spit it out.
That's not food.
Spit it.
Kara, Kara, come here.
Look at me.
Give me your hand.
Okay, everyone.
There's a storm blowing
A storm blowing
You lied to me.
What's that?
- This is not the time.
- I trusted you.
Isabel, you have to be calm.
You didn't send them,
and you promised to help me.
You promised to help me,
and I believed you.
We can discuss this
at another time.
No, I need to see my daughter,
and this was going to get me
to see my daughter.
You will see your daughter,
I promise.
All you care about
is this absurd play!
- Stop now.
- You lied to me.
You lied to me!
You're delusional.
- I'm not delusional.
- You are.
I'm not mad!
I don't belong here!
- Orderlies!
- You know that!
- I don't belong here!
- Restrain her!
No! No, please!
I'm not mad! I'm not mad!
Please! No!
No! Let me go!
I want my daughter! Please!
Quite the little hellcat,
aren't we?
Can you guess what I found...
tucked beneath a pillow?
You're reading this
to our daughter?
This Cinderella?
Bring me my cane.
You bring this blasphemy
into my house?
A minister's house?
For a minister's daughter?
Your feet, dear wife.
The ship... tears on.
Say it.
The ship tears on,
leaving such a furrow in the sea
as when a plowshare...
You will say it.
One way or another.
I hate that it's come to this.
You've left me no choice.
Say the lines.
Rejoin the cast.
If you continue to defy me,
I will be forced to...
Very well.
Say the lines, Isabel.
Go to hell.
Nurse Helga, put Mrs. Wallace
back in isolation.
Heart, soul, body, lungs,
and life is Ahab bound.
Damn me, thou actest right,
My God.
You only have a few lines,
and you can't do better
than that?
You know, you begged me to be
in this play, remember?
I've told you a thousand times,
cue pickup.
Are you still foggy
on what that means?
No, sir.
Then why I am left waiting
for your lines to begin?
Do you know what happens while
you're gearing up for your cue?
The energy is dropping out
of the performance!
- Stupid bitch.
- Shh!
Say your lines.
Live in the game
and die in it.
He would've
shot me once.
Powder in the pan.
Strange. These hands have
handled so many deadly lances,
yet now they shake.
Shall this crazed old man
be tamely suffered to drag...
to drag a whole ship's company
down to doom with him?
There he is sleeping.
I but still alive
and soon awake.
- Do you see what she's doing?
- Stay in the moment.
He's supposed to be sleeping.
Stupid, stupid bitch!
I cannot withstand thee then,
old man.
Not reasoning, not entreaty
will thou harken to.
Fuck you, bitch!
I may yet survive to hug my wife
and child again.
Stupid, stupid bitch!
Great God, where art thou?
Shall I?
Oh, Moby Dick!
I have you in my clutches
at last.
All right.
That was good, Matron,
except when you let her
distract you.
You accuse me
of being distracted,
and then you work
to distract me!
All right.
Beatrice Price.
Benjamin Calhoun.
Was that how you rehearsed
at the Orpheum?
We didn't have matrons
or orderlies at the Orpheum.
When there's a crowd,
you know I'll perform.
When there's a crowd?
Should I start directing
when there's a crowd?
Oh, no, by all means,
start directing
whenever you feel the urge.
I direct.
Lest you forget,
we are in a loony bin,
and your cast
is comprised of madwomen.
You're a joke.
The whole play's a joke.
- Benjamin?
- Hmm?
I dared to hope.
But I swear, they're threatening
to tear my heart out.
Just a few drops
to help me relax, Phoebe.
That's all.
They don't appreciate
what you're doing.
Your experiment will change
the study of lunacy forever.
What are you doing?
I am giving you a foot rub.
When I was a little girl,
and my daddy came home
from the lumberyards,
I would give him
a foot rub every night.
So I'm something of an expert.
But I don't need a foot rub.
Oh, my.
Oh, that's nice.
What would I do without you?
You're the only one
I can rely on.
You'd make do, I suppose.
Well, I try and try,
and they subvert me
at every turn.
Do they mean
to humiliate me?
Oh, my.
You didn't do that
for your father.
I didn't do this either.
Hello, Isabel.
I've invited your husband
to see you on opening night.
To see the progress
you have made.
He'll never come here.
On the contrary.
Your situation is
the talk of his congregation.
He knows he cannot ignore it
much longer, no.
He's bringing Rebecca.
Look. She was traumatized
by your arrest.
I told him to see you
on stage happy, healthy
will set her mind at ease.
Help her move forward.
Will you be my Ishmael again?
All right, Isabel,
whenever you're ready.
My pagan companion
and fast bosom-friend, Queequeg,
has been seized
with a fever.
Poor Queequeg.
He quietly lays in his hammock.
The rolling sea
seems to be gently rocking him
to his final rest.
- An awe seizes...
- Kara.
Stop that.
You're supposed to be
Go on.
An awe seizes over me
as I sit by this waning savage
to the drawing near Death,
which alike levels all.
What is it you think we're doing
here, Deirdre?
Playing some sort of game?
Dressing up like sailormen
and pretending
to chase a whale?
You move like frightened women.
Have none of you coiled rope
Let me show you.
I want manly strength.
You see that?
Manly strength.
I want manly strength,
not girlish prancing.
Let me see it again.
Are you stupid
as you are crazy?
Orderly, deal with her.
Take her.
I was watching male patients
on work detail the other day,
hauling casks and crates.
They moved
with such easy strength,
such innate virility.
I see not a whit of that
in our cast.
You have been making
a noble effort, Phoebe.
Price is good
when she decides to be.
But you cannot rid yourselves
of your cursed femininity.
Well, we're just women.
Perhaps that's the problem.
They're putting
men's blood in us.
She's seizing!
She's seizing!
Get her feet!
I'm an actor.
You cast me as a man,
and I'll give you a man.
You cast me as a sea captain,
and I'll give you a sea captain.
You cast me as Ahab,
and by God,
I will give you Ahab
without the benefit
of his blood.
Get off!
Off! Get off!
Put her in the chair.
Is everything all right?
Everything's fine.
We lost a patient.
No procedure
is without its risks.
Matron Stokes, you will
be receiving the blood treatment
like the rest of patients.
- What?
- If you want to be in my cast,
you will behave like a man.
Dr. Calhoun, you overstep.
I am the head matron
at this facility,
not one of your patients,
and I will not be receiving
any sort of treatment.
I am truly disappointed.
I thought you were
committed to this.
But now I can see
you're just as weak as them.
All right, let's begin with
the Queequeg scene, shall we?
All right, I realize
that we've lost Kara.
It's unfortunate.
We will have to recast.
All right, Mrs. Wallace,
I've changed the dialogue
for Queequeg to narration.
Your treatment killed her.
Come now!
There is no connection,
all right?
She's prone to seizures.
- Where's Beatrice?
- She's not in this scene.
Griselda, would you mind
filling in for Kara for today?
Let's get you in here.
There you go.
Queequeg told me it is the
custom of his race
to stretch out
a dead warrior in a canoe
and let him float away.
He shudders at the thought
of being buried in his hammock,
as is the custom at sea.
Wait, please.
I'm not feeling
your sorrow, Isabel.
Surely this is
an opportunity for you
to channel your feelings
for Kara, you know?
You're thinking too much.
Don't think.
Feel. Feel.
Carry on.
He recalls that he has seen
dead sailors in Nantucket
laid to rest in canoes.
He means coffins.
And he desires one for himself.
If I may...
you're watching your friend
slowly waste away.
How does it make you feel?
There's something
burning inside.
How much does it hurt?
A lot.
A lot.
Show me a lot.
The ship's carpenter took
his measure and went to work.
Now the last nail
has been driven.
Queequeg entreats to be lifted
into his final bed,
along with his harpoon.
Are those tears?
Ishmael is a man!
You understand?
Men do not show their grief
in that manner!
Blast it, women! I mean,
do we need another transfusion?
Is that what we want?
Do you want
another transfusion, huh?
Show me some masculinity
like Phoebe!
That's what I need!
Now, now...
some of you sailors
will lift up Queequeg
into his lovely coffin
that I've had made,
but for now, Griselda, let's get
you in the coffin, come on.
- I'd rather not.
- No, no, no, it's okay.
It's nonsense.
This is just make-believe.
There it is. Wonderful.
Manly strength.
Manly strength. Go.
Isabel, come down,
say your lines.
Come down and say your lines!
Queequeg is placed
in the coffin.
He lies without moving,
his arms crossed over
his breast...
Out here, out here.
while the coffin lid
is placed over him,
- and the sails...
- Ah!
Our Ahab has returned to us.
Are you ready to return
to the fold, Beatrice?
One condition.
You get Edward Fry...
to attend,
and I'll perform.
I would love Edward Fry
to come.
But how do you expect me
to do that?
Just mention my name.
Mr. Fry?
Excuse me, sir.
Please stay back.
Can I speak to Mr. Fry?
Mr. Fry's a busy man.
Please move along.
Yeah! Yeah!
Mr. Fry, good evening, sir.
My name is Dr. Benjamin Calhoun.
I'd like to talk to you
about a theatrical endeavor.
Excuse me!
- Not tonight, all right?
- I would like to have a word.
- Jeremy.
- Yeah?
- A wager on Lizzy.
- Of course.
To lose.
Very good, sir.
- If I could have a moment...
- I don't think so.
- It's just a...
- Listen, nothing tonight, okay?
Of course, yes, yes, yes.
I am mounting a play
at the asylum where I work.
Mr. Fry does not...
Would you get your hands
off of me?
Ow! Ow!
I have Beatrice Price!
You have Beatrice Price?
On stage?
All right, Isabel,
please give us the lines
that describe
Queequeg's resurrection.
Queequeg suddenly rallies
and is half-well within a day.
He leaps to his feet,
stretches his arms and legs, yawns
and finds himself fit for a
He begins to use his coffin
as a sea chest.
Here they are.
Dr. Calhoun, everyone.
A distinguished guest.
Come here.
Let me look at you.
You left me here.
Beatrice, I tried,
but you committed murder.
We saved your life
by declaring you insane.
Mr. Fry.
Good to see you, sir.
Please don't let me interrupt.
Oh, yes. We were just about
to start rehearsing
the "Captain, my captain" scene.
Uh, Isabel,
whenever you are ready.
The ship tears on,
leaving such a furrow
in the sea
as when a ploughshare
churns up a field.
Stand close to me,
me look into a human eye.
It Is better
than to gaze upon God.
I can see my wife and child
in thine eye.
Captain, my captain,
noble soul,
grand old heart after all.
What cruel,
remorseless emperor commands me
that against
all natural longings,
I so keep pushing recklessly,
making me ready to do
what in my own natural heart
I durst not dare?
Is Ahab, Ahab?
Is it I, God, or who
that lifts this arm?
Do you have any comments,
Mr. Fry?
No, not at all,
but I'd appreciate a moment
alone with Miss Price.
Well, however we can
accommodate you.
Would everyone except Beatrice
please clear the room?
I'd like you to meet
Mrs. Isabel Wallace.
She has all the makings
of a true actress.
Mrs. Wallace, I'm charmed.
Yes, Mrs. Wallace
has been doing remarkable.
I've really been
working with her.
Call me Isabel.
Would you care to join us?
- Doctor.
- Yes?
We'll fetch you shortly.
You wish for me to leave
as well?
Come, come, Calhoun.
Let the artists have a moment.
Yes, of course.
Benjamin, please,
get ahold of yourself.
Do you have any idea
what this could mean?
Listen, I admit I was
skeptical at first,
but Edward Fry?
The famous theatrical
impresario in the flesh.
Do you have any idea
how many wealthy patrons?
New York, Boston,
he has them in his pocket.
With his support,
we could reach new donors,
wealthy sponsors.
Benjamin, please,
it could lead to advanced
equipment, facilities.
You must do everything you can
to keep his interest,
do you hear me?
It's been too long.
God knows what they are
getting up to in there.
Benjamin no!
Dr. Calhoun.
The women were just
telling me all about you.
Please have a seat.
What you are doing here...
is bold.
By accident, I suspect,
as I doubt alone
you had the vision
to cast all the roles
with women.
this play has the potential
to be sensual,
transcendent even.
With two radiant women
at its core,
all good fortune to you.
So I've decided to offer
my patronage.
That means an audience,
and potential funding
for future endeavors.
I will host the performance
at my own Palace Theater.
Oh, Mr. Fry, that would be...
there are some conditions.
First, Beatrice will
take over all staging,
and choreography.
Oh, uhh, that sounds
like you mean
for her to direct
the entire play.
Yes, that's right!
But we'll still use your fine
The only reason
Beatrice Price isn't recognized
as one of the great
directors of our time
is that the world of theater
is plagued by envy-ridden
Now, Mr. Fry, with all due resp...
I'm not finished.
Monomania seized him.
Isn't that what Melville
wrote about Ahab?
You have lost your way,
Dr. Calhoun.
Now the only way to succeed
is to turn over your play
to surer hands.
Dr. Withers, I trust
there are no objections.
None whatsoever.
Jeremy will come every day
to ensure that things proceed
as I've describe.
I'll expect regular reports.
Good day, ladies,
and good luck.
You women!
Where is your loyalty?
Transcendent? Provocative?
I wrote this!
Surely, Mr. Melville
deserves some of the credit.
You're still in, aren't you?
I'm still in.
Of course.
It's my only way
of seeing Rebecca..
But then what?
She sees me on stage
with madwomen, the play ends,
she goes home,
and I'm still trapped here.
This play could be our way out.
We have to leave the grounds
to perform.
I'm orchestrating
all the action.
All eyes will be
turned toward the stage.
We escape?
Edward will support us,
provide us
with means of departure.
What about Rebecca?
I can't leave her with him.
We can figure that out too.
I never told anyone
why my husband put me here.
Every year,
Tobias buys a brand-new cane.
He tests them on me.
Always in places nobody sees.
You wouldn't dare.
Hit me in the face,
you coward.
Strike me where
everyone can see.
- Stop it!
- No!
- Stop it!
- Do it! Do it!
Hit me in the face!
Do it!
You're not mad.
Your husband is.
Just like mine was.
We did what we had to do.
Happens all too often.
Artists, visionaries
die unknown.
Benjamin Calhoun.
It's women
or nothing.
Who's there?
All you care about
is this absurd play.
we're just women.
Whosoever of ye raises me
a white-headed whale...
You're a joke.
The whole play is a joke.
We are in a loony bin
and your cast
is comprised of madwomen.
You're dead, whale.
From hell's heart,
I stab at thee.
Mr. Melville deserves
some of the credit too.
As dawn broke,
Ahab could be seen
staring out at sea.
Oh, what a lovely day.
A fair day could not dawn
upon the world.
Here's a thought.
What if Ahab
had time to think?
But Ahab never thinks.
He only feels.
Feels, feels!
To think would be audacity.
God only has that right
and privilege.
Our poor hearts throb
and our poor brains
beat too much for that.
There she blows!
With a hump like a snow hill!
'Tis Moby Dick!
Did none of you see it first?
I saw him
the same instant you did!
- Ready the boats!
- There she breaches!
Wondrous phenomenon!
Rising with utmost velocity
from the furthest depths,
the whale booms his entire bulk
into the pure element of air.
Do you feel brave,
my hearties?
Brave as fearless fire!
Keep pulling!
Lower those boats!
In Jesus' name,
no more of this!
It is worse than
devil's madness!
Never wilt thou capture
Moby Dick.
Yea, I'll ten times girdle
the unmeasured
globe and dive
straight through it,
but I'll slay him yet.
Shall we keep chasing
this murderous fish
till we be dragged to
the infernal bottom of the sea?
Some men die at ebb tide,
some at low water,
some at the full of the flood.
Shake hands with me, man!
O captain, my captain.
noble heart, go not.
One and... Steady.
Okay, now my rowers,
on my count.
It's to the one and two
and one and right and...
Yes! It's looking good, ladies.
Are you ready, Matron?
The boats dart forward
to attack.
All paddles plying
with rippling swiftness.
Look out! Keep thou keenest eye
on the boat
and mark well the whale.
They are nearing their foe.
The entire dazzling hump
is distinctly visible,
and the glistening shadow
of the broad, milky forehead
of the unsuspecting prey.
And... nice.
Not perfect,
but maybe we can use that.
I like it.
And, um, Mr. Starbuck,
if you please.
Through the serene tranquil,
tropical sea,
the glorious white moves on...
What are you doing?
Those are Ishmael's lines.
Why is Starbuck telling it?
Ishmael is busy
on a whaling boat.
Mr. Starbuck is standing
on the Pequod, watching.
It makes sense.
Fry suggested
you choreograph the action.
He didn't say you could
rewrite my script
and massacre Melville.
The script is set.
Matron Stokes?
I think it's a huge improvement.
Please, sir,
why don't you have a seat
and allow the ladies
to work, huh?
Through the serene tranquilities
of the tropical sea,
the glorified white whale
moves on.
Slow, graceful.
Love it. Very feminine.
This is a travesty.
The whale is male.
The sailors are male.
There is no room in the story
for femininity.
You're destroying everything!
Sir, I should hate
to report to Mr. Fry
that you held up rehearsals.
Thank you.
More lines for me.
Okay, from the beginning,
I have news from Mr. Fry.
One of his vessels will be
sailing from New Bedford soon.
He has delayed its departure.
Um, okay, everybody ready?
We open in three days.
From the top!
They come expecting
a freak show,
but we shall show them
a theatrical spectacle.
A grand adventure!
We have weathered
many storms together.
Our voyage beset with perils
from within...
and without.
But we have persevered!
A dead whale or a stove boat.
A dead whale or a stove boat!
Yes, Doctor, we have it.
We're as ready
as we'll ever be.
Okay, let's get you all
He's the maddest one
out of all of us.
Oh, Isabel.
If I may, uh...
I know it's been rocky
between us of late.
But I, I feel
we had something special,
and I'd like to get back to that
when this is over.
So for my next production,
I want you to be
my Cleopatra.
Welcome. Please, please
take your seats.
Ha ha!
There you are, Calhoun.
- This is amazing.
- It's great to have you.
Thank you.
Please take your seat. Yes, yes.
It's great to be here.
Beatrice? Beatrice.
I don't think I can do it.
Relax, Everything is arranged.
I don't want to hear another
word out of that pretty mouth
until I hear you say,
"Call me, Ishmael."
Hello, young lady.
This your first time
in the theater?
Yes, sir.
We do not frequent
these types of events.
- We're churchgoing folk.
- Ah.
Well, the theater is my church.
It's like magic.
You'll see.
Oh, my God.
What is this
that shoots through me?
All my past
has somehow grown dim.
Is my journey's end coming?
The grand god reveals himself!
Aye! Reach your last
to the sun, Moby Dick!
Thy hour and thy harpoon
are at hand!
For hate's sake,
I spit my last breath at thee!
From hell's heart,
I stab at thee!
The spear is darted!
Ahab's line runs foul.
It's caught around his neck!
The whale wheels around,
bears down the Pequod's
advancing prow.
All is set. Mr. Fry's carriage
awaits in the back alley.
I'm going to go check
on Rebecca again.
Think you can escape now, huh?
Don't you know?
They all think you're mad.
You'll never leave.
No, no, no.
You're going to stay here
with me until you die.
Let go of her!
The whale!
My God, stand by me now!
Water pours from
the breach in our side.
We are doomed.
I did it.
I did it.
You can still go.
Isabel, help me.
Isabel, grab his leg.
- Arms on three.
- Okay.
Ready? One, two...
You're supposed to be
on stage. Go.
Go. Finish the play.
Isabel, if you don't go now,
they'll know something's wrong.
The drama is done.
Why then does one step forth?
Because one did survive
the wreck.
- Take the coffin. Steady.
- All the crew, were carried out of sight
- Go, go.
- to the depths of the ocean.
Floating on the margin
and in sight of the wreck,
I was slowly drawn
towards the vortex.
Queequeg's coffin!
I grasped onto it...
and was buoyed up by that coffin
for one day and one night.
On the second day,
a sail drew near
and picked me up at last.
Then the great shroud of the sea
rolled on...
as it has rolled on
for 5,000 years.
Enjoy your moment.
You earned it.
Mother! Mother!
Rebecca! Come here!
- No!
- Mother! Mother!
Let the girl
be with her mother.
Beatrice! Isabel!
Hey! Hey, get back here!
I did it! I killed him!
He deserved to die!
Hey, hey!
- To arms, ladies!
- Yes!
Rebecca! Rebecca!
Where is he?
Rebecca, I said get back...
Cocksucker! Cunt!
Let go!
Beatrice, what have you done?
To the docks.
Mr. Fry's boat.
Thank you.
I got to die on stage.
Oh, Beatrice.
Where are we going, Mother?
Out to sea,
like the men in the play.
Will there be a whale?
I doubt it.
Everyone says you're mad.
Are you?
Look at me.
When everyone says something,
it doesn't always make it true.
I don't think you're mad.