With Honors (1994) Movie Script

It's 7.:00 a.m., children, and you're listening
to Radio-Free Harvard...
...on a chilly November morning.
You're at the greatest university on Earth,
and you know what?
You're in over your head. You're drowning.
Especially you seniors.
Only 150 days before your thesis is due
and the powers that be decide...
...whether you're destined
for greatness or mediocrity.
I know what you're thinking.
Do I really belong here?
Probably not. But don't give in.
Don't give up.
Arise, fair Harvard.
You too can rule the world.
You just have to crush everyone else first.
A little crushing music, Maestro.
All right guys, let's go!
You can do it. Keep going!
Keep up the pace! Nice and neat!
Ignore him!
Move it! Let's go!
Very funny, Monty!
Now, here's something to crow about.
I've got a great cock, don't I?
You see, last night,
a Radcliffe sophomore saw a ghost...
...looking remarkably like Walt Whitman
in Widener Library.
America's greatest poet
haunting the stacks, eh.
The Cliffie is undergoing intense debriefing
by the English department.
They better hurry.
Weather tells us that 10 inches of
the white shroud is scheduled for tonight.
I'm Everett Calloway.
Now you hear me. Now you....
Your father called
and wants you to call him back.
What's up with Father?
Marrying my sister, perhaps.
He mumbled something
about your being overdrawn...
I thought he was a patriot.
Doesn't he believe in deficit spending.
Lord Montague!
You're looking very grim and formal
this morning.
You trying to pass for a Yalie?
I've got a meeting with Pitkannan.
Oh, no. Not about the thesis!
- Feeling confident?
- Feeling nauseous.
This one here.
Oh, God.
I know her. I've been with her.
First paragraph, Mr. Kessler.
Let's hear it.
''Chapter 1.''
From memory.
Yes, sir!
I don't know whether that denotes
hard work, or...
...unseemly vanity.
Stand up!
Stand up?
I like a substantial target.
''Chapter 1.
''The Bottomless Well of Need.
''The noble and ambitious assumption
of the government of the United States...
''...is that the needs of a diverse population
can be fulfilled.
''The dream of a melting pot has become
a cauldron of inflexible minorities...
''...and the hopelessly unemployable.
''The solution is to leave the complexities
of modern government...
''...to the political expert.
''And to rethink our naive faith
in the wisdom of the people.''
A good beginning.
Leave your chapter.
And if the rest of your thesis is
as intelligent as you are...
...you are certain to graduate
summa cum laude...
...and that will be the beginning...
...of a brilliant career.
Thank you, Professor Pitkannan.
Do you think Helga is
a voluptuous Saint-Emilion...
...or a buttery Chardonnay?
You mean, Helga with the coils.
Works over at Kinko Copy?
That's her. What do you think.
What do I think?
Bud Light.
That's not funny.
I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't
demoralize my crew.
Face it, you're just not a leader of men.
- Very funny.
- Then be a model.
- How'd it go?
- How'd what go.
The big meeting
with the god of your idolatry.
With Pitkannan?
It went great.
Can't you stay?
The best never rest.
- I hate him.
- He is a tad compulsive.
He has to be.
Harvard's not his inheritance.
It's true.
Harvard doesn't have any standards left.
They let in anyone who's bright.
I'm worried about him.
Poor guy's the pet of a Nobel Laureate.
Pitkannan spends more time
on Nightline than in lecture.
He's a celebrity, not an intellectual.
He'll still get Monty into graduate school
and set him up for life.
For life.
Sounds like a death sentence.
What the hell was that?
Your hard drive is fried.
I got ten chapters printed.
You've done ten chapters already?
I'm going to get Xeroxes.
- Wait until morning.
- It's my only copy.
Are you afraid someone will steal it?
I can't take any chances. This is my life.
I know you worked really hard,
but it's not your life, Monty.
- I'm going with him!
- Good!
Monty, wait up!
I didn't ask you to tag along.
You're welcome, you bastard!
Face it, Courtney,
you can't keep up with me.
Monty, are you okay?
What're you doing?
God. It's down there.
In the boiler room?
I got to get into Widener.
Widener is closed. Wait till the morning.
I can't wait till morning!
You're hurt.
Would you like my help getting in?
Since you asked so nicely....
Come on.
- Through the front door?
- Yes, through the front. I know the guard.
Hi, Chuck.
Courtney. It's kind of late. You okay?
Yeah. I was here earlier
and I think I misplaced my wallet.
I was wondering if anyone turned it in?
I don't remember
anybody bringing in a wallet but...
...let me take a look.
I found a hat here and...
...a scarf...
...and a banana.
What color was that wallet?
It was green. Alligator green.
Alligator green. That's kind of spiffy.
Calm down!
It's mine!
That's all I want. It's important.
It belongs to me.
Finders keepers, losers weepers.
Don't you knock before coming
into someone's home?
- It's not worth anything.
- Why do you want it then?
How much?
- How much?
- Yeah, how much?
- Got a check.
- Is it a certified check.
How about a six-month CD?
You got one of those.
I need something I can chew.
Okay. You want food?
I'll bring you some. Then you give me that.
What size underpants you wear?
Excuse me?
I could use a new pair of underpants.
I'll bring you underpants.
Just don't burn any more pages.
I'll bring you underpants
and you'll give me my thesis.
Your thesis?
Is that what this piece of shit's
supposed to be?
- What's it supposed to be on, Harvard?
- Government.
I didn't recognize you! You're Dan Quayle!
You came back to finish your education.
Okay, Harvard. You study government,
so this should be easy.
You want something, I need something.
Go get me a glazed doughnut.
A glazed doughnut?
Make sure the glaze is not all broke.
And your underpants?
What about my underpants?
Clean underpants too! That's right!
- Great. Glazed doughnut--
- Pristine, glazed doughnut.
Pristine, glazed doughnut
and underpants. Okay?
What do I get?
Well, for each thing you get,
I'll give you one page.
- A chapter?
- No.
A page is a thing!
A chapter is a whole lot of things.
There are 88 pages in that thesis.
There are 83 pages now.
Looks I like I found a way to live
through the winter, Harvard.
I hope you got it. I just went through
two years of Lost and Found.
You didn't get it.
All right, all right.
Let's get you to the infirmary.
Glaze is almost perfect.
There's no point.
- Who are you calling?
- University cops.
No, let's negotiate.
How much cash do we have?
He can't eat money.
Doesn't money buy food?
Helga, you're brilliant!
I love you.
He's probably schizophrenic.
Most homeless are schizophrenics.
I have $50.
I can't pay you back soon.
I'll call my esteemed father.
If I can convince him
the money's not for me, maybe I...
You don't understand.
This guy could be using my thesis
for toilet paper, or eating it.
He has no respect for himself,
much less for what I'm struggling to do.
He liked tormenting me.
You should've seen the look on his face.
He wants me to fail.
Pitkannan advised Rapp's thesis last year.
He dropped him because
he didn't have a rough draft.
Oh, God!
You need rest. We'll get a fresh doughnut
in the morning.
I won't wait on this--
He doesn't know you.
I'm sure he doesn't want you to fail.
Just reason with him.
Just deal with him like a human being.
I know he's a human being. I smelled him.
He's a worthless, stinky, filthy,
useless human being.
Hello, Security?
Watch your step.
You bunch of scavengers!
Thanks for the doughnut, you little stoolie!
Come on.
Hey, Monty, is that him?
He's a little old man.
Officer, it isn't here! Now, where is it?
It's not down there and it's not on him.
You have violated
Cambridge city ordinances...
...and are charged with public intoxication
and/or vagrancy...
...and/or panhandling. If you plead guilty...
...please sit down.
If you plead not guilty, take a step forward.
Simon B. Wilder, Judge.
As a taxpayer, I'd like to request
a trial by jury.
And when was the last time
you paid taxes?
Three times this last week.
- You paid taxes three times?
- Yes, sir.
There's a federal, state
and county tax on wine.
Mr. Wilder...
...the court concedes
you have paid various taxes...
...nevertheless a jury trial is not called for.
Charges of public drunkenness,
trespassing and vagrancy stand.
- How do you plead?
- Not guilty.
You were found living in a furnace room
under Harvard's Widener Library.
With all due respect, sir,
Harvard University is a land-grant school.
I was living on public grounds.
I'll drop the trespassing charge...
...but you tested as being drunk
at the time of your arrest.
At the time of my arrest,
I was neither driving an automobile...
...or operating heavy farm equipment.
I was sitting alone, reading.
I'm well past drinking age.
If I take a little drink to kill the winter chill,
it's certainly not a crime.
If it were, every fan at a Harvard-Yale
football game would be behind bars. Come on!
Be careful, Mr. Wilder.
You're coming dangerously close
to contempt of court.
I'll drop the charges of public intoxication.
Thank you. You're a gentleman
and a scholar.
I knew once we got to know each other,
we'd hit it off.
When I heard that phony accent,
I thought he'd be an asshole.
It goes to show--
That's it Mr. Wilder!
I'm holding you in contempt.
Fifty dollars or 50 days!
You'll hear from Alan Dershowitz.
See how you do with him!
Your Honor...
...may I pay the fine?
Are you related to Mr. Wilder?
I'm a Harvard student.
I'm writing my senior thesis and
...I need Mr. Wilder's help.
Bailiff, this young man will pay the fine...
...provided he gets Mr. Wilder
out of my sight!
Next case, please.
Don't ask him for a glazed doughnut.
Excuse me, Miss.
Can I borrow your quarter?
I'd like to get the morning paper.
Thank you, sweetheart.
You know what the greatest nation
in the world is? Dont you?
I hope it's the U.S.A.
It's do-nation.
There you go.
That's for being so generous.
Would you like a couple more for your friends?
No, one's fine. Thanks.
Thank you. Bye, sweetheart.
Mr. Wilder, I have a business proposition.
Buy the Boston Herald over here.
Only 25 cents.
Get your paper over here!
Only 25 cents!
Read all about it!
Clarence Thomas wins appointment!
Moves in on top of hill.
- I'll take one.
- There you go, Miss.
- Let me check that out.
- Twenty-five cents.
- Solid.
- It's on Page 5.
I bailed you out.
I think that entitles me to a conversation.
Read all about it!
Harvard student dies in freak accident!
Crushed by giant ego!
I'll take the rest. Here's $5.
What do you see when you look at me?
What do you see?
A man.
No, you see a piece of shit.
I see a man who needs a home.
I had a home.
I had a warm place to sleep.
Seventeen bathrooms
and eight miles of books.
I had a goddamn palace.
Do you know why I need a home?
'Cause of you.
'Cause when you looked at me,
you didn't see a man.
What's that?
A house.
I prefer that.
It's full.
It's the best I can do.
My roommate, Boz, cracked up
two months ago and quit school.
This is his stuff!
Where is he now?
Bali? I've been there. Merchant Marines.
Swab the decks and see the world.
Just don't breathe in the engine room.
Well, all this comfort can be yours
for just one senior thesis.
For each night's lodging...
...one page.
Mr. Wilder, I don't think you understand.
This is nine months of my work.
I need all the pages now.
Just give me everything
and you can stay until spring.
I give you my word.
Your word, Harvard. Surely ye jest.
Did you forget about our original deal?
One thing for one thing.
Get a little creative,
you'll have me out of here in no time at all.
By the way...
...I'll need something decent to read.
I'll get anything you want from the library.
I was reading Germinal by Zola
until I was so rudely interrupted.
You'll have it by tomorrow.
Boy, oh, boy.
- Where are you going?
- I got to get dinner.
My roommates are cooking dinner.
I'll get you some.
Wait a minute. What are they having?
What are they having?
Hello, Speedy.
How was your day?
That good.
- Check that for you.
- Mr. One-Crutch Man.
- The doctor told you to use both crutches?
- I only need one.
Don't tell me you're even afraid
to depend on inanimate objects.
Anyone mind if I have seconds.
I'll kick in extra for groceries.
You still owe for last week.
I'm good for it, Jeff.
Can you get the door, please?
You dining on the terrace this evening?
This meet your standards?
When do I get my page?
If you eat now, I get my page now.
If you had an insurance policy,
would you carry it around?
You're being very unreasonable.
How do I know you didn't burn it?
Do you think I'm an idiot?
No, Harvard.
I think you're a loser.
Tomorrow then. 'Bye.
What if my parents pull
one of their surprise visits?
My mom would have a heart attack.
I mean....
Wouldn't it have been more considerate
if you had asked Jeff's mother first?
Don't lecture me about consideration.
You keep a rooster in the house.
My cock is a lot cleaner than your bum.
You're comparing cocks and bums.
Is this inside macho talk.
The rooster happens to be
the centerpiece of my radio show.
The bum is the centerpiece of my life.
The bum is my summa cum laude.
Does anyone have a razor?
My legs are turning into Christmas trees.
Come on, we're all guys here.
What's the occasion?
I got a date. Promised Jonathan
I'd make up with him again.
Jonathan? The Face.
He's not just a pretty face,
he's also a great body.
Can we just not talk about sex right now?
You forgot to take your girlfriend home
this morning...
...so I took the air out
and put her in the closet.
Take my blade.
Remember, if you tire of The Face...
...Helga's got a brother.
How's the view?
This won't work.
Look, I've been working on this
since junior year.
I'm not going to just start again
because a bum is holding it hostage.
He'll get it tonight and I'll talk him
into giving me the whole thing.
Yeah, you've done a great job so far.
- I thought you said he wants a home.
- Look, I'll handle it.
Okay? Okay, Jeff?
I'll have him out in a couple of days.
Just cut me some slack.
Keep an eye on him.
Go get her, Monty. Go get her.
We should call your mother.
He'll freeze in that wreck.
I got extra blankets. Go give them to him.
- I don't want him to be too comfortable.
- He could die.
No such luck.
You're not really like this, are you?
Please tell me this hard-hearted jerk
isn't you.
Give up on me.
I'm tired of disappointing you!
Then do it out of self-interest.
You want to be a diplomat, right.
Secretary of state.
Even Pitkannan would offer a hostile power
a few blankets to establish good will.
Don't cut yourself.
I never wanted to be a razor so bad
in my life!
It's your namesake's work.
Somebody spotted you in the library.
Thought you were Walt Whitman's ghost.
Van's actually mine, you know.
I loaned my ex-roommate a fortune
And he fled to Bali.
And I got the van.
Why don't you sell it?
- The engine doesn't run.
- So fix it.
- Want me to do it?
- Oh, sure.
- You a mechanic?
- No.
I'm a Zen Buddhist,
but that's close enough.
How many bottles of that wine
will you give me if I fix it?
To get this thing running.
Nine, but that's my final offer.
Didn't you used to run a savings and loan?
No, you're thinking of my father.
Look, you want a little something
in advance?
Boy, oh, boy. You must be one
of the great minds of your generation.
You got a corky screw?
Hey, boy, here we go.
For lodgings and meals
and two extra for the blanket.
Thanks. Thanks a lot...
...but the blanket was just...
...good will.
I'll carry your books.
What'll that cost me?
- It's for the blanket.
- You didn't ask for it...
...so the blanket doesn't count.
I appreciated it, okay?
Would you appreciate it
if I carry your books?
Boy, oh, boy, we're in business.
Come on, boy.
Keep it up, Hoppy. Let's go.
- Here we are, back where you found me.
- Don't remind me.
I wonder what it's like to read upstairs.
Bet the light is better.
Germinal, right?
This library is like a church, isn't it?
When you were in church, did you wonder
what other people are praying for?
Did someone die? Was someone just born?
Library's like that for me.
Sir, you can't stay in here.
It's okay. He's with me.
He's part of my research project.
I beg your pardon.
Women, ain't they perfect?
Not always.
Yes, they are. They're perfect.
Don't matter if they're skinny, fat,
blonde or blue.
If a woman is willing to give you her love...
...it's the greatest gift in the world.
Makes you taller, smarter.
Makes your teeth shine.
Boy, oh, boy. Women are perfect.
- Keep your voice low.
- Perfect joy and perfect ache.
Joy when you first see
and get to know them...
...ache when you leave them.
Joy, ache. Joy-ache.
Joy-ache. Joy-ache....
If you keep your voice low,
then you wouldn't attract attention.
I'll give you two pages for a bath.
Okay. Let me get some work done.
Why'd you say I was a loser?
The pot calling the kettle black.
I'm not a loser, Harvard.
I'm a quitter.
You try too hard.
Winners forget they're in a race.
They just love to run.
''Mine eyes have seen the glory
''Of the coming of the Lord
''He has loosened up the panties
''Of the little whore next door
''His truth is marching on''
Okay. He cannot stay, so get him out.
Water doesn't cost anything.
I'll buy you more bubble bath.
I am not taking a bath in there.
Did you give him a key?
I spent the day with him. He's harmless.
He likes to read. He likes to talk,
once you get him going.
I cannot take this right now.
I can't. I just can't.
I'm not going to make Med School.
I'm at Harvard, I'm not going to make
Med School. Can you believe that?
I've got one page of my thesis.
What. I heard you printing last week.
It sounded like you had 50 or 60 pages.
I printed out blanks.
I didn't want you guys to know.
And I thought I was wound tight.
Just get him out.
I cannot work with him around.
What if my mom comes? She will.
She'll check on me.
Calm down. This is scary.
You're sounding like Boz.
- I'm nothing like Boz.
- Who's like Boz?
Boz. I thought Boz was in Bali, by golly.
He's wearing my robe!
And it smells terrific.
I left clothes out for you.
I only came down for a beer.
I can't get dressed without one.
Little quirk I got.
This is totally out of control.
What's wrong. Did you wake up
on the wrong side of the bed?
Is this a lover's quarrel?
Maybe I should leave.
We're not lovers, we're roommates
and we respect each other's space.
You respect each other's empty air?
That's very profound for Harvard students.
Let's go.
My robe!
If that's how you feel about it,
don't you wear any of my things!
Just keep it.
I think there's entirely too much bickering
in this house.
I don't know if I can live here!
I hope my summer place is ready soon.
Then you'll probably miss me
and don't come begging.
I know. I have a plan.
I'm taking him to Social Security.
I'll get him disability benefits, all right?
I expect you to clean the bathtub.
Simon Wilder!
Who is Simon Wilder?
He is!
He is!
Cut it out! He is!
- Are you Simon Wilder?
- I used to be.
Date of birth. When were you born?
When the moon was full,
I was abandoned by my mommy.
I was raised by a she-wolf
in a Wyoming cave.
Come on. This'll get you money.
You need money.
I don't. You do.
I'll ask again.
Do you have evidence of birth?
I'm sitting here, ain't I?
What do you think I happened by,
spontaneous combustion?
He's not cooperating.
- What state were you born in?
- Infancy.
I'm trying to help.
You see this face, lady.
Memorize it. Some day
this boy's going to save the world.
I'm sorry. If he's uncooperative,
there's nothing I can do.
I guess that's why you work here.
Can I have one of these muffins?
I'm sorry. No.
Can't even get a muffin.
How're you going to get cash?
What're you doing.
If you're in line for muffins,
you're wasting your time.
They're not giving any out.
What are you doing? We made a deal!
I kept my part of it. I went in, didn't I?
What difference does it make if the money
comes from me or the government?
The difference is I got a grievance
against the government.
It's your money. You paid into the system.
You said you worked. Sailor, lumberjack,
short-order cook. Or was that bullshit.
There you go. Excuse me.
Well, are we going to the movie, or what?
A deal is a deal, Harvard.
Can I borrow some condoms?
No, but you can have some.
An endurance test.
More like a pop quiz.
Oh, Courtney! Have a good night.
Good night, Monty.
Are you expecting an invasion?
I don't want to be murdered in my bed.
Your bed is the one place
you're totally safe.
Are you going to watch him all night?
Locking your girlfriend in.
Good night, little ones.
Give me some books.
I'm perfectly capable
of carrying my own books, thank you.
Chapter 2.
I read it.
That stuff is coming out the wrong end.
I'm sorry you didn't like it.
This isn't just some term paper,
this is my life!
- Your life is a bunch of papers?
- I know it sounds pathetic...
...but my dream is to get into government
and help people.
You think those ideas will help people?
It's a bunch of pessimistic junk!
That's not going to help.
That's giving up!
The best professor here happens to think
that this has promise.
His opinion, not yours!
That's my life!
Wait a minute, Harvard.
Let me show you my life.
There it is. That's my life.
I got this one on a beach in Bali.
Best night's sleep I ever had.
You remember one night of sleep?
The last good one I had.
What's this shiny white one?
Yeah, that one.
A woman.
Who was she?
The one.
The one true love.
How about that. You're a romantic.
All quitters are romantic, Harvard.
Each stone tells a story
that I want to remember.
All I do is hold them in my hands
and rub them.
And, abracadabra, I'm back there.
Give me your books.
Tell me about the woman.
- I can't.
- Why not?
I'm not holding the stone.
Let's sit down. There's a bench.
I actually come here sometimes
when the weather's warm.
Beautiful, ain't it?
I got a friend sleeps on that bench
over there.
I like to study outside.
What happened to you?
Didn't your father ever play ball with you?
Let's go, if we want to eat.
Relax, take a breather.
You didn't answer my question.
Didn't he ever play with you?
My past isn't part of our deal.
Excuse me.
You still don't think I'm human, do you?
There's nothing to tell.
My father left when I was 5.
He left my mother to live with
another woman and he had kids with her.
When I got into Harvard he wrote
and told me how proud he was of me...
...and he was sorry
he couldn't help with tuition.
That was the last time I heard from him,
'cause he died.
My mom's terrific!
Uncle Bill took me to Little League.
Piece of cake.
Doesn't sound too tough. Was it?
What about you?
How long were you
in the Merchant Marine?
None of your goddamn business.
- Where were you before Harvard?
- Princeton.
I was hanging out with Al Einstein!
I kind of inspired him!
He got stuck on some formula
so I told him!
''You got a steady job, your wife loves you,
don't make yourself crazy.
''Everything's relative.''
There you are, Mr. Fuel Pump,
good as new.
Just in time. Breakfast.
There you go, boy. One page.
What is this?
Roughage. It's good for you.
It's good for a horse.
Give me that page back. Here!
Eat up, Simon. Got a big surprise for you.
Our founding fathers...
...or to be politically correct...
...our founding parents...
...designed the Constitution
to prevent the presidency...
...from becoming another form of tyranny...
...an elected king.
Did they succeed?
I smell an ambush.
Miss Moore...
...do you have an answer?
The president is not an elected king.
Could the president of the United States...
...without consulting those he governs...
...more or less destroy the entire world?
I guess he could.
You guess he could.
Could Julius Caesar have done that?
Could Napoleon?
Could Adolf Hitler?
But they tried to.
Aren't you making a false analogy?
Oh, this is my lucky day.
I ask a question
and I get a question in response.
You do belong in government, my dear.
Sit down, please.
Does anyone have an answer for me,
instead of a quiz?
Don't be a hero, boy.
Mr. Kessler, your thoughts.
The president can't bomb without reason.
He has a reason. He thinks we need
more parking spaces.
The point is, can he destroy the world?
Not without Congress.
Mr. Kessler, after four years of Harvard...
...has it escaped your attention...
...that the president can make war
for 90 days without consulting Congress.
That's right.
Thank you very much.
At least I'm going to pass this course.
Sit down, please.
My question still stands.
What is the particular genius
of the Constitution?
- Nice try, General Custer.
- Shut up!
I told you not to get up there.
- I told you not to be a hero.
- You promised to be quiet.
- I told you not to stand up.
- You can't talk. This is a lecture.
You, sir!!
Who, me?
Yes, do you have an opinion on this.
Are you a student in this class?
Are you a guest?
No, I'm a bum.
There are no bums.
There are only the ''financially challenged.''
No, I'm a bum.
But bear in mind, I'm a Harvard bum.
You must be the logical result
of an open admissions policy.
No, sir, my presence here...
...is a logical result of the search
for edible garbage.
You're here for the garbage?
That's right.
Colleges produce a lot of garbage.
And Harvard produces more than most.
What wit.
Inspired, no doubt, by...
...Wild Turkey.
You ask for charity...
...pleading that society has failed you
and you need help.
But, actually, you're quite capable
and what you really want is...
...alcoholic bliss.
I'd rather drink rubbing alcohol
than listen to you, if that's what you mean.
And according to the 21st Amendment,
you can drink anything you want.
Which door do I leave from.
At Harvard, we don't end our sentences
with prepositions.
Well, in that case,
which door do I leave from, asshole.
What democratic eloquence!
You asked the question, sir.
Let me answer it.
The genius of the Constitution is
that it can always be changed.
The genius of the Constitution...
...is that it makes no permanent rule
other than its faith...
...in the wisdom of ordinary people
to govern themselves.
Faith in the wisdom of the people...
...is exactly what makes the Constitution
incomplete and crude.
No, sir. Our founding parents were
pompous, middle-aged white farmers...
...but they were also great men...
...because they knew one thing
that all great men should know!
That they didn't know everything.
They knew they'd make mistakes,
but they left a way to correct them.
They didn't think of themselves as leaders.
They wanted a government
of citizens, not royalty.
A government of listeners, not lecturers.
A government that could change,
not stand still.
The president isn't an elected king,
no matter how many bombs he can drop...
...because the crude Constitution
doesn't trust him.
He's a servant of the people.
He's a bum, okay, Mr. Pitkannan.
He's just a bum.
The only bliss he's searching for is...
and justice!
I'm sorry, sir.
Hey, Simon, are you okay? What can I do?
I'm fine.
Now that I've taught at Harvard, boy...
...it's all downhill from here.
Do you think Debby is a seductive
Pinot Noir, or a nutty Cabernet?
Debby. What happened to Helga?
I love them both.
When'll you realize women are more
than just fermented grape juice?
When'll you realize men are more
than just pieces of meat?
The day I become a vegetarian.
Listen, it's supposed to go
below zero tonight.
Is it okay if he sleeps in the cellar tonight?
- Sure.
- No problem.
No problem.
There's a big problem.
I am sick of paying my share of....
Paying extra to live with a rooster
and a bum, while I want to study.
Bring him inside the house and I leave.
Me and my share of the rent.
Then leave.
I'm serious.
Are you going to cover my rent?
I'd love to help you out, but I'm broke.
My old man cut me off.
Not that I ever want to see Jeff leave.
- No problem.
- Just take one portion, okay? Just one.
You shit!
- He's a human being.
- Don't give me that!
You just want your thesis.
You care about him.
Take him to a shelter!
Jesus Christ!
- I'm just practicing.
- It's not a funny joke.
Who said it was a joke?
Where's the blanket I gave you?
I loaned it to a friend.
In this cold?
What are friends for?
I'll get you another one.
I wish this thing's heater worked.
Me too. Then my life would be perfect.
...I'll double my normal payment...
...for a little spot in the cellar.
The cellar's flooded and....
I'd put you in the living room
but Jeff's parents might come over tonight.
Sure, I know.
I know.
What are you thinking?
I'm thinking, ''Why am n here
and he's out there. ''
I've never seen you like this.
You look like you're
about to burst into tears.
Don't hold your breath.
''You lied again, Harvard. Deal's off.''
Separation anxiety from your cast.
I thought it'd go a lot quicker with it off,
but I can't concentrate!
I can't print out. I can't even read!
I'll never get this done.
It's not your problem.
Really. What is my problem.
You miss him!
Don't be ridiculous.
Stupid bird!!
Good morning. Are you awake?
Everett, come and get your rooster!
Close your eyes.
All right, no peeking.
Nope. No peeking.
Open your eyes.
Merry Christmas.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Merry Christmas.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
Gorky, I want you to take good care
of Lord Montague...
...while we're away on Christmas break.
Are you sleepy?
Let's just tuck you in there.
Now, give me a kiss. Come on.
Give me a kiss goodbye. Shit!
Oh, my God.
I really hate this rooster.
Merry Christmas.
How's the ankle?
So, I guess you'll be racing me soon.
I don't think I'll ever really catch up to you.
Court, come on, let's go.
Bye, Monty.
Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!
I'll be right there.
Why don't you come home with me?
See the Big Apple.
Let my four brothers beat you up.
I don't think I'd be good company.
I know that.
It's just that the maid has off
for the holidays and...
...we could use someone to do
a little light cleaning.
Nothing big!
Some floor-to-ceiling windows
that should sparkle for the holidays.
What about your boyfriend?
Isn't three a crowd?
The Face?
He won't be there. I don't bring sex home.
Right, I forgot.
Listen, I'd love to make
your windows sparkle, but...
...I gotta work.
Courtney, come on!
If anything changes,
just give me a call, okay?
Merry Christmas!
Hi, Mom. It's me. I'm fine.
I'm really disappointed too.
I've just got too much work to do.
It's too expensive.
No, Mom.
I'll call you on Christmas morning, okay?
I love you.
Do you love me, Gorky?
Are you and Everett sleeping together?
I thought so.
I'm talking to a chicken.
Are you Harvard?
- That's my blanket.
- It's Simon's.
He gave it to me for keeping this safe.
I'm to give this to you and a message.
But first he said you'd give me
something to eat.
Said it shouldn't be roughage.
Come on in.
Have a seat.
I was having a sandwich.
Ham and cheese, okay?
With mustard.
So, what's the message?
Don't you want this?
Simon said you think Christ died for this!
Just leave it on the table.
So, what's his message?
I gotta get this right.
Now this is Simon Wilder's message here.
''You shall no longer take things
at second or third hand.
''Nor look through the eyes of the dead.
''Nor feed on the specters in books.
''You shall not look through my eyes either,
or take things from me.
''You shall listen to all sides...
''...and filter them from yourself.''
That's it.
I did it perfect.
Why didn't he come himself? Is he okay?
He's fine.
Where is he?
He doesn't want to see you.
I don't want to bother him but...
...I want to make sure
that he has some place to stay.
As long as you understand,
he doesn't want to see you.
I'm supposed to say
he's at St. Peter's church shelter.
Is that a good shelter?
Yeah. It's just great.
Well, good.
Hello. Where's the men's shelter?
Shelter? Here?
There's no shelter here.
- You sure?
- I've worked here 32 years. I should know.
Closest thing to a shelter around here
is over there in the alley.
Thank you.
Leave that alone!
- What do you think you're doing?
- I'm taking you to the hospital.
- No, no hospital. No hospitals!
- You're sick.
Listen, you've got to promise me.
No matter what happens...
...no hospitals.
Simon, you're sick!
No lies!
Just promise.
Promise, damn it!!
Okay, I promise.
All right!
You're awake.
Eat up!
You are seeing a doctor this afternoon.
Is this your room?
No, this is Boz's room. But...
...it's your room now.
What's this for?
The door.
You can come and go as you please.
No wild parties. I got work to do.
My lungs, Harvard.
But I'll be okay in a couple of days.
Was it smoking. Is that what happened.
Smoking? No.
It was in the shipyards in Baltimore,
and it was on the merchant ship too.
We breathed it when we were
building them and when sailed in them.
And they knew it.
They also knew that it would take
20 years to kill you.
That's why you quit.
My lungs quit.
I didn't quit!
I couldn't work.
They fired me.
Try and get some rest.
Wait a second.
You got your thesis back now,
so what's our deal.
We don't need a deal.
We have to have a deal, Harvard.
I gotta pay my own way.
How'll you manage that?
Don't you know anything
about government at all, boy.
I'm entitled to disability benefits!
I think it's about time I kissed and made up
with my good old Uncle Sammy.
Thanks, Harvard.
I assume your father told you
about his condition.
He's not my father. He's a friend.
He said asbestos did it to him!
That's right.
Mr. Wilder was exposed many years ago.
The lungs can't expel the fibers and...
...he's in the final stages.
You mean, it isn't treatable at all.
There's no treatment at any stage.
Basically, the lungs can't take in air.
Often the patient succumbs
to pneumonia...
...or the strain on the heart causes
cardiac arrest.
There's really nothing to do but wait.
I'm sorry.
Harvard! Dinner's served!
Get it down here, boy!
I can't believe it.
What? It's a miracle I can cook. It's easy.
All you gotta do is talk a little Frenchy
while you do it.
I could use a good meal
before I get back to work.
Back to work. It's New Year's Eve.
Who do you think you are, Dick Clark?
Besides, didn't I give you back your thesis?
You should be finished by now.
I'm starting over.
- You tossed it?
- Yeah, I threw it out.
The whole thing?
Yeah, gone.
Boy, oh, boy. Eat up.
- Want to hear what the new one's on.
- Nope.
''Behold I do not give lectures
or a little charity.
''When I give, I give myself.''
This is great!
You must be feeling better.
You went out and shopped.
I didn't go out.
I eat what's handy. It wasn't hard.
Except for the plucking.
Happy New Year, Harvard!
Holy shit!
You think so? Looks like the regular
garden variety to me.
Where are you going? Shut the door!
Big baby? Now he'll probably
tell everybody.
- He's in the bathroom.
- Hi! When did you get back?
- What the hell is he doing in there?
- Taking a dump.
Bingo. That boy didn't go
to Harvard for nothing.
Honey, I'm home!
He goes right now!
Peace, children.
Mr. Wilder, how nice to see you.
I'm sorry, Jeff, but...
...he's our new Boz.
That's me, Boz.
I just flew in from Bali.
Boz, my long-lost brother!
Where's your tan, man?
We've been through this.
He gets money from Social Security.
He can pay for rent and food.
That's right.
I have the full backing and faith
of the United States government.
''God loves Americans''
You're telling me you want to live
with this guy? This guy's a psychotic.
Will you stop singing?
Sing a song every day,
keep your voices high and gay.
If everybody sings a song,
never will the world go wrong.
All right, so you can't carry a tune,
but can you cook?
Can I cook?
Does Madonna take her clothes off?
Do Hussein and Ghadaffi pull
each other's taffy?
Yes! But I don't do windows.
- You got Fridays.
- I'm in.
- I will not put up with this!
- Then don't.
Mr. Wilder will cover your rent.
Get out of my way, Jeff.
She's right, you big baby.
I have a complaint.
Boy, oh, boy. Let me help you with this.
My van still isn't fixed!
That's because I ran out of wine.
Oh, my God, he didn't even flush!
It's the Ides of March.
And to celebrate, we have a guest.
Is it Whitman's ghost.
Is it the slayer of Dragon Pitkannan?
No, it's...
The bum of the month!
You're a widely traveled man, an expert on
how to live comfortably away from home.
Would you say Harvard is
your favorite spot?
No way Jos!
What's your favorite spot?
My favorite place...
...is a leper colony in Molokai.
- A leper colony?
- In Molokai.
Because I was the most
handsome guy there.
Jeff, maybe Molokas
where you should go.
Is that French toast?
I love French toast.
Even if it's made by my hands?
Still interested.
Done just right!
You put your socks in the oven?
Sure. Two hundred and fifty degrees
for five minutes.
I like my toes toasty warm.
You sure you don't want some?
Not now.
Little squeamish for somebody
who's going to become a doctor.
I'm not squeamish.
What kind of doctor are you going to be?
- Gynecologist.
- That's good.
Only way you'll ever get a young,
sweet thing to drop her drawers for you.
What are you, the Casanova of Skid Row?
You know why you hate me so much.
Cause I look the way you feel.
Why do you think the kids
tease you all the time?
They're jealous that I'm so handsome.
Pitkannan's going to implode.
You're attacking his whole belief system.
This has none of his pessimism!
''Advances in communication
and technology will eventually allow...
''...the United States to accomplish
its dream of pure democracy.''
That's right. Interactive cable's going
to save the world.
All I have to do is prove it.
It's crazy. It's great, I love it.
The only problem is I don't know
how I'll finish it in four weeks!
Maybe he'll give you an extension.
Department policy. If I don't have it
in on time, I don't graduate with honors.
You can do it.
You have confidence in me?
No criticism?
Well, maybe one.
You're perfect.
Well, I'd better let you get back to work.
We don't want you graduating
without honors.
Goodbye, Gorky.
Hello, Bessie!
This is Everett Calloway,
waking you up on a beautiful Sunday.
New pajamas?
You look great!
A regular fashion plate.
Studying up to write mine!
I'm copying you, Harvard.
Study first and then write.
Some of these things are really depressing.
Look at this guy, Barney Milstein.
The one with the three tacks.
''Barney Milstein...
''...age 79. Died Saturday.
''No survivors. No services.''
How could he die?
He didn't live!
I want you to read mine.
Just what I got so far, anyway.
I ain't feeling too good, Harvard.
I need your opinion now.
''Simon Wilder!
Born! Portland, Maine, 1942.
''Son of Hank and Anna.
''Married, 1962 to Lisa Thworston.
''Fathered one son in 1963.
''Left wife and son in 1963
to join the Merchant Marine.''
That's as far as I got.
What do you think?
I think that you should put things
in your obituary that you're proud of.
I thought it was supposed to be facts.
You had a wife and a son,
and you left them?
And you never came back?
It's not something I'm proud of, Harvard.
That's comforting.
I mean...don't you want to see him?
Do you think he'd forgive me?
Eat your breakfast.
What'd your father do to you
that was so bad?
What did he do?
He abandoned my mother.
I've got news for you.
When it comes to relationships,
everybody's a used-car salesman.
Is that your philosophy?
Don't trust anyone.
No, you've got to trust people.
But you can't believe in the warranty.
That's cute, Simon.
Really cute bullshit.
You'd be surprised...
...how different the view is on the way out
than on the way in.
Can I shut this off?
I have two invites to the Lynx.
This card will admit you and a guest
to the greatest bash of the year.
For you and The Face, I presume.
That means I'll have to make up
with him again.
Is he upstairs?
Do you have the Lynx? Great!
I'm sorry, I just couldn't worm
another one out of them.
For you, Lord Montague.
That's okay, Monty's a monk.
He'll take me as his date.
Sorry, Jeff. I've already got a date.
You do?
I'm taking Simon!
So, I guess I'll take you.
What about The Face?
He can fend for himself.
What are you gonna wear on your date?
I don't know because my evening gown
hasn't come back from the cleaners yet.
Honey, hasn't anyone told you?
Lynx is a pajama party!
Boy, oh, boy!
Did anybody ever tell you
you look just like Marilyn?
- Monroe?
- No. Schwartz.
Her father owns a deli where we get
this knockwurst that's the best.
- That's a boy who knows how to wear silk.
- He's covering a tragic birthmark.
Are you Whitman's ghost?
''You'll hardly know who I am
or what I mean.''
Listen, you shouldn't be with me.
Why? Am I cramping your style?
Look at her, she's beautiful.
You have good taste.
Yeah, you're in love with her.
So what?
''So what? ''
- So what?
- ''So what? ''
It's everything.
Not to her, it isn't!
So prove her wrong.
In four years I haven't been able to get her
to admit she's wrong about anything.
That proves she loves you.
What are you waiting for?
''To drive free, to love free!
''To court destruction with taunts.
''To feed the remainder of life
with one hour...
''...of fullness and freedom.
''One brief hour...
''...of madness and joy.''
Would you like to dance?
Maybe you shouldn't.
Let's not go overboard
with this staying alive junk.
Yes, I would. Just a minute!
Don't let her be a regret.
It's worse than being a loser.
- What's your name?
- Marty.
- What's your major, Marty?
- French.
Leave me alone!
Forget it!
No, I won't forget it. What do you mean?
Let go of me!
- What are you doing?
- I'm ending our friendship.
Wake up!
Where're you going?
What's wrong?
What's wrong?
Do you think there's a hell?
We've got to get him to the hospital.
I promised him!
I didn't want to be alone.
I'll go get you some water.
Could you....
Would you...
...sit here for a while.
Come on, you always bounce back.
When I was a kid I had a dog.
Funny-looking thing.
Orange hair, big ears...
...skinny body.
Used to love to chase cars.
He got run over three times.
He never really got hurt.
He'd go hide under the couch
for a couple of days.
When he came out he'd go right back
to chasing cars again.
Eventually he got old and sick.
God, was he ugly.
Towards the end...
...he went off into the woods to die alone.
He laid on a pile of leaves, perfectly still.
You couldn't move him.
If you tried to touch him, he'd snap at you.
Here you go!
I'm scared.
I'm here.
...if I get through tonight...
...would you drive me someplace
Yeah, sure.
Yeah, tomorrow.
Tomorrow's fine.
I want to see my son.
Just once.
- Did he hand in his thesis?
- I don't know.
- It's due today.
- He knows.
Everett, let's go!
Finished my thesis.
It's not great, but it's done.
So, what about yours?
Did you hand it in already?
I'm not done.
I've got to type up a bibliography.
- How are you going to finish it?
- I guess I won't.
Did Pitkannan give you an extension?
Can I come?
Turn it around.
Turn it the other way.
No, the other way.
Hello, Mr. Wilder.
My name's Monty Kessler.
I'm a student at Harvard.
I guess it was about...
...three months ago I met your father.
He's in the van. He wants to see you.
I don't have a father.
Please. He's very ill.
He just wants to see you.
I don't want to see him.
He's dying.
Please, just walk over
for a couple of minutes. Say hello.
Let him look at you.
Then we'll go and you'll never
have to see him again.
Is there something you want from me?
I just wanted to look at you.
Have a look.
Seen enough?
You look good.
I'm your father.
You don't look like much.
I was wrong.
And I'm sorry.
Yeah, you were wrong.
I don't care about you being sorry.
I don't care about you.
Who is that man?
It's nobody, baby.
It's nobody.
Stop the car!
Stop the car here!
Right here, stop!
He's taking a leak, right.
The dog....
Get back in the van!
Get back!
You're not a dog.
''I am of old and young
''Of the foolish as much as the wise
''Regardless of others
''Ever regardful of others
''Maternal as well as paternal
''A child, as well as a man
''Stuffed with the stuff that is coarse
''And stuffed with the stuff that is fine
''One of the nation of many nations
''The smallest the same
and the largest the same....
''I depart as air
''I shake my white locks
at the runaway sun
''I effuse my flesh in eddies
and drift it in lacy jags.
''I bequeath myself to the dirt
to grow from the grass I love
''If you want me again
look for me under your boot soles.
''You will hardly know who I am
or what I mean
''But I shall be good health to you
''And filter and fiber your blood.
''Failing to fetch me at first
keep encouraged
''Missing me one place search another
''I stop somewhere waiting for you.''
Oh, God!
Simon wrote his own obituary...
...and he asked me to read it.
''Simon B. Wilder bit it on Wednesday.
''He saw the world out of the porthole
of a leaky freighter...
''...was a collector of memories...
''...and interrupted a lecture at Harvard.
''In 50 years on Earth,
he did only one thing he regretted.
''He's survived by his family!
''Jeff Hawkes...
''...who always remembers to flush.
''Everett Calloway,
who knows how to use words.
''Courtney Blumenthal...
''...who is strong...
''...and also knows how to love.
''And Montgomery Kessler...
''...who will graduate life with honor...
''...and without regret.''
Mr. Kessler.
A thesis advisor, I have always presumed,
is supposed to give advice.
Especially on the idea of the thesis.
I'm sorry, sir. I meant you no disrespect.
But I changed it because I had to write
about something I really believed in.
Your new idea is...
Naive is a kind word!
Foolishly optimistic might be
more the truth.
Are you withdrawing as my advisor.
No, I'm not withdrawing my endorsement.
I don't agree with what your brain
has produced but I...
...I admire its independence.
Not many people agree
with my ideas either.
I do regret that, because of your lateness...
...you have no chance
to graduate with honors.
Thank you, sir, for being a true mentor.
Good luck, Monty.
Sherry Kendrigan, Economics.
Anastasia Kinnsman, magna cum laude,
Romance Languages.
Christine Kerwein, magna cum laude,
Montgomery Kessler, Government.
Robert Keiswetter, summa cum laude,
Ladies and gentlemen...
...the class of 1994!