A Father's Choice (2000) Script

Time.

8.8.

It's not dark yet.

Let's run a couple more.

How's that knee holding up?

Uh, it's pretty good.

It's a young man's game.

George, I'm looking for a sponsor...

Someone who will pay my dues and entry fees and some of my expenses.

If you do, I'll wear your name on my shirt.

I'll make appearances at the car dealerships and, uh, in your restaurants.

What do you say?

You look real good with that rope out there, Mac but this here's your backyard.

It ain't no P.R.C.A. Rodeo.

I know.

I'll tell you what-- you get yourself into the pacheco at the end of the summer-- ranch hands' rodeo-- you do well there and we'll talk business.

Deal?

Deal.

Thanks, George. That a boy.

Mom, how about this one?

Let's see.

"This film contains scenes of violence, nudity and strong language."

Not for children under 18, especially Chris McClain.

Good-bye, Brad Pitt.

Mom,species.

Isn't that where she turns into that...?

Yeah.

And kills those...?

Yeah.

Mom.

Oh, here we are,sound of music.

Don't you like us anymore?

You have a strange sense of humor, mom.

Very strange.

I was kidding.

I was kidding.


(dog barking)

Someone forgot to let Leo out.

I let him out before we left.

You must have dreamed you did.

Can you get him, Kel?

I got him before we left.

You know, I swear I changed that light...

Saturday or Sunday.

I know I changed it.

I'm sure I did.

Woman: Chris, read it in the house.

(gunshots)

Don't move.

Mom?!

Help!

Help!

Man 1: You hear from the hospital?

Man 2: Mother died in front of the house.

Fiance's still alive.

They took two bullets out.

Witnesses?

Just the girl.

Is there a motive here?

Cash, credit cards, jewelry-- shooter left it all.

The girls know about their mother?

They know.

C.P.S. is on the way.

The shooter spoke to her.

She told me after it happened.

We were waiting for the police.

What did he say?

He said, "don't move."

Chris.

We want to catch whoever did this.

So if there's anything you can tell us.

If he was white or black.

How tall he was.

What he was wearing.

It would really help.

That's okay.

You don't have to answer right now.

All right.

For now, you're going to stay with Child Protective Services but we contacted your family in Chicago.

Uh, Miller.

Gayle Miller?

Aunt Gayle.

And your father in Beckett.

We're tracking him down.

He doesn't have a phone.

Yeah.

He moves around a lot.

What's he do?

He's a cowboy.

(country rock music playing)

Any time you want to have another go just call me.

Yeah, okay.

Now, I'd be interested in maybe some other players.

(music continues)


That's got to be him.

Charlie McClain?

Detective Ross.

This is detective Cortez.

Thanks for coming down.

Glad you found it okay.

Where are the children?

They're with child protective services-- probably on their way to court by now.

You can't just have them, Charlie.

They're in protective custody.

You have to go before the judge.

Charlie: Who did this?

That's what we're trying to find out.

How'd you get along with the ex-wife?

We didn't talk the last couple of years.

Did you know she was getting married again?

Yeah, I heard.

You didn't get to see your kids much, did you?

I mean, even before she got hooked up with kallen.

No.

Only going to get worse after she married him.

I was 400 miles from here when this happened...

Shooting pool in a bar with some friends.

Now, I know you boys are just doing your job...

But do it on someone else, will you?

Okay, I know he's printing the front door.

All right.

I got everything on the second floor.

I'll head out.

Okay.


You're Charlie?

I'm Anna--

Mr. Kallen's housekeeper.

I'm very sorry.

Jesse was so kind-- such a good mother.

You recognize that necklace?

I gave it to her.

Take it.

No, I don't think I should.

Oh, she would've wanted you to have it.

Please.

I won't tell anyone.


Charlie McClain.

I'm their father.

Lisa everson.

Child Protective Services.

I'll see if we're on schedule.

Hey.

Hi.

I can't believe how much you've grown.

I'm so sorry about what happened.

Aunt Gayle's coming, too.

All right, Ms. Everson.

There's been no arrest, your honor and it's important to get the girls out of town for their own safety.

Thank you.

All right.

Girls...

Listen up, please.

This court looks after your safety and welfare.

If we can we try to keep the family together because we believe it's in your best interest.

So, Mr. McClain I am going to give you your girls but in light of Mrs. Miller's petition I'm granting you temporary custody.

Now, you'll be assigned a counselor from the Department of Family Services in Beckett.

And in three months' time, you'll appear before the Beckett County Superior Court.

Now, if the counselor's reports are positive and, of course, if the girls wantto stay with you, they will.

If not...

The court will make other arrangements.

Now, is that clear, sir?

Uh, yes, ma'am.

All right. Next case, please.

Okay.

This is your truck?

Yep.

She's got 400,000 miles on her.

Okay.

Come on.

(horn honks)

What are you doing, Charlie?

You never wanted to be a father to those kids.

You wouldn't even know how to go about it.

It's just not fair to the girls.

I'm not going to let you have them.

(limousine engine starting)

Second-hand smoke kills, you know.

(coughing)

Yeah, well, i'm trying to quit.


Hey, girls, this is it.

Come on out.

Hey, Carl.

Good-looking girls, Mac.

Thanks.

Carl: Reckon it's going to take some getting used to.

Reckon so.

Still think you should stay at my place till we know it's safe here. Yeah, well...

We been all over the ranch; I'll leave one of my boys here for a while.

Carl, now, I don't... That's just the way it's going to be.

(cows mooing)

Come on...

Girls, this is sheriff DeWitt.

This is Kelly, and this is Chris.

Nice to meet you both.

I'll come by later and check on you.

Okay, thanks a lot.

(whistling)

(dogs barking)

Come on! Come on!

That's it!

This is Denver and that's Dallas.

Come on in.

Let's get you settled.

(car engine starts)

(cows mooing)

This is it?

Yep.

It's so small.

Yeah, well...

You get used to it.

There's no TV?

Nope.

(scoffs): I don't believe this.

I'll tell you what.

You take the bed.

I'll take the couch.

Stay off the bed.

No,you take the bed.

We'll sleep in Chicago.

(sighs)

Mr. McClain?

I'm Susan Shaw.

I'm a counselor with the Department of Family Services.

Where are the girls?

(sighs)

Inside.

How are they?

All right, considering.

The youngest, Chris, is still pretty shook up.

She saw it happen.

I can't believe she's dead.

I'm sorry.

I can only imagine how hard this is for you.

That's my card.

Counseling is a condition of your custody so you need to come into my office as soon as possible.

I've scheduled 10:00 tomorrow morning.

We'll meet twice a week.

Call me anytime if you have questions.

Other than that, good luck.

Now that they're here you have to start being their father again.

Yeah, well...

How the hell do I do that?

(birds chirping)

(Chris whimpering)

(screaming)

Kelly: It's okay, it's okay, Chris.

It's okay, Chris.

(Chris sobbing)

Kelly?

Kelly: Don't cry.

(Chris sobbing)

Kelly: It's okay.

Don't cry.

It's okay. It's okay.

Don't worry. You're safe.

Is she okay?

She'll be fine.

Come on.

You want me to get a glass of water or something?

No.

It's okay.

Come on.

Come on.

Charlie: From now on I got to get the first shower in the morning.

Kelly: I can't hear you!

Charlie: It only takes me five minutes.

What'd you say?

I got to get to work in the morning.

It only takes me five...

What is this?

Laundry.

Dirty laundry does not go on my Allman Brothers records.

It has to be washed.

And who is supposed to wash it?

Don't know how.

You put it in the sink you put it in some water and soap, wash it and hang it up to dry, okay?

(frustrated sigh)

Okay, this is driving me crazy.

Mom braids it.

Okay...

We'll braid it.

That's a ponytail not a braid.


(dog barking)

Woman: Where's my cowboy?

I'm over here.

Charlie McClain.

You back to work already?

Yes, ma'am.

I'm going to owe you for the week?

Cash money.

Where's your girls?

Inside.

Kelly!

Chris!

Come on out!

There's someone I want you to meet.

Hello.

I'm Dotty Clayton...

And this is my ranch.

Which one of you is Kelly?

I am.

I know your father don't have no soda or junk food in the house but I've got a fridge full of root beer and boxes of candy bars and you just come around whenever you like and help yourselves.

Oh, Dotty's going to take real good care of you.

All right?

Take it easy, girls.

Things ain't never as bad as they seem right off.

Come on, get up there.

Get up.


I can't believe mom lived like this.

I can't believe we're living like this.

Hey, cow. Hey, cow.

Hey, hey.

It's going to be a long day.

I've had worse.

Well, that was just the first truck.

Oh, no. More trucks?

Oh, you're talking now.

When the last cow is done and it's, oh, somewhere way after dark you're going to want to fall down on a bed and sleep for three days.

Since you brought that up...

That part about falling down in a bed.

Oh, here it comes-- anytime a cowboy starts a sentence with, "since you brought that up" you know you're in for a world of trouble.

I need to build a new bedroom for the girls.

The bunkhouse has a bedroom.

Yep, that's right, and I want it back.

The girls need to have their own room.

We're opposite sexes.

We can't be barging in on each other.

Oh, and who's supposed to pay for all this new construction?

Well, I don't have any money.

And, Lou, he doesn't even know what money is.

He's right about that, boss.

I guess that means you.

Are they inside?

Yeah.

They didn't want to come out.

How's my little one?

Uh, she's still pretty shook up.

I don't know if it's because, uh...

She's scared the guy who shot Jesse's going to come after her or because she saw the whole thing.

Or both.

Oh, hell, man go on, build it.

Just get it right.

Make it pretty, huh?

Pretty.

Okay?

Yep.

Hey! Come on, cow!

Hey, hey!

Kelly: I don't want to talk about my feelings again.

What do you want to talk about?

We have to go shopping.

We've already been through this.

No, we haven't.

You said that we can't leave the ranch and that was it.

Carl doesn't want you girls walking around town.

It's not fair.

Well, not everything is.

We need to go to a drug store.

For what?

Tampax soap, shampoo toothpaste.

I don't want to use your cruddy stuff and neither does Chris.

And besides, we have nothing to wear.

Okay.

I know you and your sister are trying to get used to the way things...

The way things are suck...

Dad.

"The way things are suck, dad."

They're not cowboys.

They're girls from Los Angeles.

Well, they're part of my life now.

Well, then, your life has to change perhaps.

Did Carl reach you?

About what?

Ross and Cortez.

They picked up a guy for questioning and held him for a few days.

But it wasn't him.

Also, Kallen's going to live.

Well, that's good.

He sends his condolences and wishes the girls good luck.

He say anything about their things?

He said he'd have them packed up and shipped in the fall.

He's sending them to me or to Gayle?

Where do you want it sent?


Oh, give me a break.

We have to buy our clothes in there?

I do.

There she is.

Okay.

Hello.

Hello.

Hello.

Gayle Miller called my office.

She called judge Morgan, too.

She's looking for a local attorney who does custody cases.

She's determined to get the girls.

If I'm going to help, I need history on this.

Gayle, uh...

She was always trying to break us up right from the start.

But, Jess, she didn't care.

She was always bucking the family.

So you married anyway?

We were in love.

Nobody was going to break us apart, not even Gayle.

Mac, that...

Let me see that.

You can't wear this; I can see through it.

So? No!

Um, Jesse and Gayle-- how'd they grow up?

What was their upbringing? They grew up in Pasadena.

There was a lot of money.

Their father was a banker.

And I was, uh, I was a real step down for the family as far Gayle was concerned.

But she married wisely?

Oh, yeah.

Some big surgeon in Chicago.

He runs a hospital there.

They have two kids, big house in the suburbs-- another one in Florida.

Now she wants the girls.

Yeah. I guess she doesn't think I'll make much of a father either.

Where's Chris?

I don't know.

Chris?

Chris?

Chris?

Chris?

(door opening)

Where the hell...?

Is this okay?

Yeah.

Looks real nice, darling.

Charlie: Now, this pretty girl is named Georgia.

We've roped a lot of calves together.

In fact, she's the mother of the colt I'm riding right now.

She's pregnant.

She's having a rough go of it.

We've got the vet watching her.

We're just going to have to keep our fingers crossed.

Come on-- let's get her cleaned up and fed.

Then I'm teaching you two how to ride.

Did mom ride?

All the time.

She never rode with us...

Never even talked about it.

How'd you meet?

Your mother never told you?

We never asked.

How did we meet?

Well...

I'd just finished this rodeo up in Tucson and...

I decided to kick back for a few days before heading up north.

Your mother, she'd, uh, she'd left home.

She had to work as a waitress in this burger joint I just happened to walk into.

Can you imagine your mother as a waitress?

Oh...

She was a bright light in a dark room.

And we fell head-over-heels in love.

And in the beginning, she loved this life-- the rodeos and the traveling and...

And then we got married and then you were born.

It got harder for your mother living on the road ten months of the year and when Chris came along it seemed tough to stay together.

She wanted more for you girls.

Hell, I wanted more for you, too.

We just seemed to drift further and further apart.

We ended up going our separate ways.

You let us go.

I just did the best I thought I could.

It wasn't good enough.


We're working as hard as we can to find the man who killed your mother...

But we need your help now.

You're the only one who saw it happen.

Try to remember.

It was dark.

The dog was barking in the backyard.

(barking)

The light by the front of the house was out.

Your sister went to get the dog.

Your mother and Mr. Kallen were walking towards the house.

A man jumped out of the shadows.

He had a gun; He shot your mother and Mr. Kallen.

You saw him shoot her.

He turned to you. No.

He said, "don't move."

Don't move.

Kelly: Mom?!

Help!

He looked at you, didn't he, Chris?

You were getting out of the car and he looked right at you.

Easy.

(crying )

Help us, chris.

Tell US what he looked like.

Come on. You saw him, Chris.

All right, that's enough.

What did he look like?

I said that's enough.

It's all right.

We weren't trying to upset her.

Well, you did.

Listen, Kallen didn't see the shooter.

He didn't see anything. He can't help us.

As far as I.D.ing the killer, it's up to Chris.

You don't have any other leads, do you?

We're working on it.

We've been asking around about Kallen.

He doesn't have a whole lot of friends in the concrete business.

He backed out of a big contract-- cost the union a couple hundred jobs.

Lots of bad blood on both sides.

Looks like your ex-wife was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Come on.

Okay, keep one leg on each side and your mind in the middle.

That's all there is to it.

Why are you doing this?

I just want to get things back to normal.

Nothing is normal anymore.

You live on a ranch, you ought to know how to ride.

Now put your foot in the stirrup and swing your leg over.

I didn't see anyone.

What?

I didn't see anyone.

By the time I got there, he was gone.

Not now, Kel.

Why can't she tell them anything?

She just can't.

He looked right at her.

Get on the horse. She saw him!

Get on the damn horse.

Why can't she go first?!

She's been through a hell of a lot.

It didn't just happen to her!

Kelly...

She was my mother, too!

Come back here.

Where the hell are you going?

Come back here.

I hate this! I hate you!

I hate you!

Oh, you hate this?

You think I like seeing some damn shrink two times a week?

You hate this.

I wash your clothes; I clean up after you.

I have to listen to you complain every damn day!

Huh?

I gotta listen to you complain every damn day!

"I hate you."

Oh, that's great.

Chris: There's no Sheriff tonight.

Where's dad?

Who cares?

What if he never comes back?

He'll come back. He has to.

What if he doesn't?

Where are we going to go?

Who cares?

Anywhere.

I want to go home.

(up-tempo country music playing)

I been, uh, watching you all night.

You're Charlie McClain, ain't you?

I roped against you once up in Oklahoma City.

Name's Macey.

Kyle Macey.

Remember me?

You kicked my ass.

Told you it was him.

Got off rodes a couple of years ago.

Couldn't take it anymore.

Heard he was going to try some kind of comeback but don't look like it to me.

He's just a sorry-ass, has-been.

He ain't never coming back.

Let it go, Mac.

Not today.

Macey: Come on, Mac.

I said, not today.


Hey, sue.

Hey!

Let's go.

No, no. I got to go home.

Charlie, you're not going home.

You're going to jail.

No. No!

You don't understand; I got to go home.

(door closes)

I got to take a shower.

Kelly: We have a meeting with Susan in half an hour.

Do you want to tell the girls where you were last night?

Mac?

I went to a bar.

I got into a fight, and, uh...

I spent the night in jail.

Kelly?

I want to go back to L.A.

I want to talk to my friends.

We don't even have a phone.

I don't want to live here with him.

It doesn't matter.

At the end of the summer he won't be our father anyway.

Hey.

I will always be your father.

You don't know anything about being a father.

Chris, do you feel the same way as Kelly?

Our mother is dead and we have to live with him.

How do you think we're feeling?

What happened to you isn't fair and it's very, very complicated.

You have to grieve your mother's death while trying to build a life with your father.

Forget it.

My life is gone.

Yeah, well, so is mine.

I need a smoke.

(scoffs)

Okay.

You got into a fight.

You spent the night in jail.

The girls had no idea where you were and no way to reach you.

How did you think they'd react?

The guy had it coming and there was supposed to be a cop watching them.

Carl had to pull him away and besides, that's not the point.

It's not Carl's responsibility to take care of your daughters. It's yours.

You have to do better than this.

That's what temporary custody is all about.

Well, maybe it's too hard, and I can't do it.

You were the one who told me that the girls needed somebody they could talk to about things somebody they'd be comfortable talking to.

Well, it's not me, and it's not ever going to be.

Put down in your report that at the end of the summer, those girls go back to Chicago.

That's sad.

Do you know why?

You're not just losing the girls to Gayle.

You're losing the chance to be their father.

You are giving up a life you can never have without them.

Jesse is dead.

You're all they have and they need you.

Please do not give up on this.

You've never been to a rodeo, have you?

No.

Calf's in the shoot.

You're on the horse in the box...

And then...

The gate opens and...

Bang.

Of course, in a rodeo, the damn calf's jumping around like a rabbit.

Chris: Hey! It's something to see.

(panting)

What's the matter?

It's Georgia.

Come on!

Kelly, come on!

(dogs barking)

(grunting)

(Georgia whinnying)

(whinnying continues)

Okay, girl.

It's okay.

Okay, girl.

I'm going to help you.

Yeah, that's a good girl.

I'm going to help you.

I'm going to help you now.

It's okay, girl.

All right, girls, come on.

I need your help.

Okay.

Okay, girl.

Just go up there by her head.

Okay.

That's it, Georgia.

We're going to help you.

It's okay. It's okay. Whoa.

That's a girl.

It's okay, girl.

(whinnying)

She's getting weaker.

Come on, girl.

Don't you give up on me now.

Okay.

Come on, Georgia.

You got to push.

(whinnies)

Okay, girl.

Come on.

You got to push.

Okay, come on, Georgia.

Come on, Georgia!

(Charlie grunting)

Come on!

Come on, Georgia!

Come on.

That a girl. That a girl.

Come on, Georgia, one more!

(grunting)

Come on, that a girl.

That a girl.

Come on, Georgia, one more.

(foal whinnying) That a girl.

Okay, come on.

That a girl.

That a girl. Come on.

Come on. Come on.

Come on, that a girl. That a girl.

That a girl. Okay.

All right, girls, come over here and help me now.

Go over there and get some hay.

We got to clean her up.

That's it. (foal whinnying)

(dogs whining)

(dogs barking)

Okay, now, I want you to rub her all over.

Come on, clean her up.

It's not going to bite you.

That's it, that's it, come on.

Clean her up. Rub her all over.

That's it. Let her feel you.

Let her smell you.

Then she'll be good.

She'll let people touch her.

Okay, now, she's going to need someone special to feed her.

Almost every hour, someone's going to have to look after her.

Okay, you think you can do that, Chris?

Okay. You want that job?

Yeah.

Okay. She's going to be your responsibility.

Okay, that's it.

Isn't she beautiful?

(whistling)

Hi, Susan.

Hi, Deb.

Charlie McClain stopped by this morning.

Yeah, I have a session with him today.

He wants to reschedule it.

He's, um, putting in a phone for the girls.

Oh. Uh, did he say when?

He said he'd call you.

He was covered with dirt, right off the ranch.

Well, you know, a lot of guys say that they're cowboys but he's the real thing.

The first time I saw him at his house I thought he was Gary Cooper.

Gary Cooper.

Very interesting.

Deb... please.

He's a client.

I'm not getting personally involved with him.

I'm not saying that you are.

No, but you were thinking it.

Really, Susan.

Aren't you?

(laughs)

Okay.

Okay, everything four foot and down is Chris.

Everything four foot and up is you, Kelly.

I'll get the ceiling when I'm done with the phone.

Is it going to work?

It should.

Dotty put in a line a long time ago.

I just never used it.

Where'd you learn how to do all this?

In the army.

Did some carpentry, plumbing, electric a little bit of everything.

Girls, the room's not going to paint itself.

Um, we've never painted a room before.

Okay.

It's not that hard.

Put a little paint on the brush and then you put the paint on the wall.

That's all there is to it.

Let's go... Oh, not so much.

Uh, try to get just the tip, okay?

Like that.

We'll coat the corners first, then the edges and then we'll come back and do the middle.

Just like this.

Okay?

You know, when I was a little boy my mother hired some local kids to paint the house during the summer.

She told me I had to help them.

I didn't know what I was doing.

But by the end of the summer I could paint a whole room by myself.

Here, you try.

Oh, that's good, Kelly.

That's really good.

So how much did your mom pay you?

Nothing.

It was one of those, uh, paint-the-house- and-I'll-let-you-live deals.

Sort of like this?

Sort of.

Is the phone done yet?

Oh, the phone.

Let's see.

Just put the Jack in.

You try it.

(dial tone drones)

Now you don't have any boyfriends I don't know about, do you?

Only in Hawaii.

Oh, great.

(dogs barking)

Oh, hell.

I was going to call you.

I know.

What are you doing here?

We brought pictures.

Maybe it'll help her remember.

We'll try to do a sketch this time.

No.

What?

I said, no.

The shooter's still out there, Mac. I know.

What if he comes looking?

He can't find her here.

We don't know that for sure.

You don't know anything for sure.

Mac -- They're doing everything they possibly can.

We got six guys on it everyday.

We run anything that smells like a lead.

We canvassed the neighborhood.

Then canvassed it again and then again.

We questioned everyone who knew your ex-wife whoever knew Kallen.

And you're still stuck in the chute.

Whoever it was could have shot her right there at the house if he'd wanted to.

I'm not going to put her through this again.

She's had a hard enough time dealing with it as it is.

She has to put this behind her and move on.

I will keep my eyes out.

God help the son of a bitch if he ever shows up here.

Mr. McClain, you're interfering with a murder investigation.

And you'reinterfering with our lives.

Carl, I want you and the deputies off the ranch.

Hey, Mac...

I appreciate what you've done, but you can go back to L.A. now.

We're done here.

It's over.


8.2 seconds.


This is really something, Charlie.

What are you doing here?

Visiting.

Talking with my nieces.

What do you want?

I just wanted to see the girls make sure they're all right.

They're fine.

I want you to leave.

I am so sorry, girls.

If I'd had any idea of the circumstances that you...

I'm asking you to leave.

I'll be in touch.

This is David Winston a local attorney I have on retainer.

I thought we should see for ourselves what kind of life you've made for Kelly and Chris before we speak to the judge.

What are you talking about?

We've petitioned the Beckett Superior Court and the judge has agreed to see us in his chambers next week.

Why are you doing this, Gayle?

Because I have to.

Because you're not going to change.

You never changed for Jesse.

All those promises...

And you didn't change.

You're going to end up hurting those girls just like you did my sister.

And I will not allow that to happen again.

This isn't about the girls.

You just hate me.

Look at this.

Look how they're living.

I can give them everything, Charlie.

What can you give them?

Was it good to see your aunt Gayle?

Like old times.

I was asking the girls.

Kelly?

Yeah, I guess.

Do you ever go to visit her in Chicago and see your cousins, Chris?

Yeah.

They came to L.A. a few times...

And we'd go out for dinner.

Come on, Chris.

Do you understand why she's here, Chris?

Do you?

She doesn't want us to live here anymore.

That's right.

She doesn't want you to stay at the ranch for the rest of the summer.

She wants to take you to Chicago right away and then that's where you'll live.

For good?

For good.


She can't even wait until the summer's over.

I don't think it's in her nature to wait for anything she wants.

This isn't good for them.

And it's worse for Chris.

It's hard enough for her to deal with her mother's death without being moved halfway across the damn country.

Is she going to come out of this?

Yes.

When?

When she's ready.

If she doesn't talk about it then she feels she's protected from it somehow.

It'll last until something triggers an emotional catharsis and then everything will come out.

In the meantime...

It would help her if you were able to express your own feelings a bit better.

Feelings about what?

About Jesse...

About what happened with you and the girls.

I'm not very good at that.

I try, I get all...

It takes practice.

Are they still out there?

Yep.

I don't believe this.

You ever talk to him anymore?

Not for years.

I don't think we ever talked.

I have no idea why we got married.

I was young.

It didn't last long.

It ended badly, and that's that.

You seeing anybody now?

No, not at all.

So why aren't you seeing anybody?

You mean, why aren't I dating or why aren't I in a relationship?

Both.

I'm not dating 'cause I don't have the time.

I can't leave my job at the office.

People don't suffer between 9:00 and 5:00.

No, they don't.

And I'm not in a relationship because...

The relationships I've been in haven't worked for me.

You haven't met the right man.

No...

Not yet.

And if you did?

Then I'd go out with him.

On a date...

Or a relationship?

Both.

Anymore questions?

Yeah.

Do you know how to do a French braid?

Yeah.

It's easy. I'll show you.

Take this hair.

Okay?

Make it three pieces here.

Were you any good?

Oh, I had a few good years.

Your daddy won rodeos in Houston and Cheyenne and plenty of other places.

He was a P.R.C.A. Champ three years in a row.

What's P.R.C.A.?

Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association.

What's that for?

This is a score line-- gives the calf a head start.

I can't leave the box till the calves cross this line.

If I do, I break that barrier, and that's a ten-second penalty.

Then I might as well pack up and head home.

Now the clock is going to start when I cross that barrier and it stops when I throw up my hands.

Now...

Ever see a man go from zero to 30 miles per hour in one second?

Hang on.

Charlie: What's the time?

8.2 seconds.

Well, Pacheco's a small arena...

Kind of like Poway.

I did a 7.9 at Poway once.

Got to do a lot better at Pacheco.

What's Pacheco?

A ranch hands' rodeo, local cowboys.

Your daddy does well there we're going to sit down and talk business.

What do you mean?

Your daddy's looking for a sponsor.

A sponsor for what?

Get back into the rodeo.

Costs a lot of money to live on the road these days-- motels, restaurants.

Got to drive your horse across country keep him fed and healthy.

And the P.R.C.A. fees well, they ain't cheap. Must be $450 by now.

And that's per rodeo.

Then they got dues on top of that.

You never said anything about going back to the rodeo.

Kelly!

That was before you came here.

So now what? We go on the road?

We live in motels all year long?

This is my life.

It's what I do.

It's not just you anymore!

What if I don't want to live like that?!

(frustrated scream)

Mom sure didn't.


Judge: There are three weeks until the final custody hearing.

Yes, your honor but Mrs. Miller's nieces are in immediate jeopardy living with Mr. McClain.

How so?

He was drunk in a bar, started a fight and spent the night in jail, your honor.

Winston: The school year starts in a month.

Mr. McClain has made no arrangements whatsoever for the girls' education.

He hasn't spoken to a single teacher, hasn't even shown the girls the school they'd be attending.

What school would they be attending, Mr. McClain?

Miller: I have preregistered the girls in the finest prep school in Illinois.

Orientation is the first week in September, your honor.

There's still plenty of time to get the girls into the Beckett public school system, your honor.

What is it you and Mrs. Miller want, Mr. Winston?

Well, we'd like you to make a ruling on the custody issue now, your honor.

The ruling's already been made.

Oh, we don't think it's wise to wait three more weeks.

Ms. Shaw?

All my reports recommend that Mr. McClain be allowed to finish the summer with his daughters.

The girls need a secure and stable home as soon as possible.

Mr. McClain has already shown he's not able to provide that for them.

Susan: He is a first-time single parent, your honor.

Winston: Mrs. Miller is ready, willing, and able to step in.

No one has yet determined that that will be necessary, Mr. Winston.

All right, that's enough.

I'll give you an answer by the end of the day.

(mooing)


Morgan said you can keep the girls for the summer.

He felt it was too short a time to warrant pulling them and to overrule the L.A. court.

But he has some serious considerations about the girls and about you.

Yeah, well...

Join the club.

It's not good, Mac.

I don't know what's going to happen to you in September.

He could give the girls to Gayle.

So, uh, what you're saying is is that I really only have three weeks left with them.

I'm sorry.

There's nothing to be sorry about.

I wouldn't have gotten this far without you.


You're up early this morning.

Yeah.

The colt's looking real good.

You've done a good job.

I'm proud of you.

You know what?

I think your Mama would be proud of you, too.

You know, when I asked your mom to marry me...

I didn't have a whole lot of money.

I couldn't buy her one of those big diamonds or anything.

But there was this Indian and he had a little store over in Merced.

In the window, he had the most beautiful turquoise necklace you've ever seen.

And your mom saw it one day.

She told me how much she liked it.

She asked me to get it.

And I did.

So I went back and I got it for her and I gave it to her...

The day I asked her to marry me.

And I was thinking...

I think this necklace would look as beautiful on you as it did on her.

I want you to have it.

What's the matter?

What's the matter, honey?

It was so dark.

He was in the shadows.

It's all right.

It's all right.

I couldn't see his face.

I know.

And I keep looking to see his face but I never can.

I-I never can.

It's all right.

It's all right.

It's all my fault.

I-I didn't do anything.

It's all my fault!

No, it's not.

There was nothing you could do.

There was nothing you could do.

I didn't scream.

I didn't run for help.

I just stood there.

Oh, it's okay.

I just stood there.

No, it's okay.

It's okay.

Do you think he'll win?

If he does, I'm going to have to find myself a new cowboy.

I don't like when things change.

Nobody does, honey.

But they change anyway.

Mm-hmm.

You got all the phone numbers you need right there on the counter.

You shouldn't go.

Dotty said she'd make you dinner but you're on your own for breakfast and lunch.

Chris needs you here.

She'll be fine.

Just make sure that she feeds the dogs and looks after the colt.

She's only ten.

And don't let the dishes pile up.

It's best if you do them as you go along.

What if she's not fine?

Well, then you take care of her.

I don't want to take care of her.

I don't want to be her mother.

I'm a kid.

I'm supposed to be a kid!

Kelly, calm down, all right?

Calm down.

You don't care about me.

You act like you care because you have to.

You never cared.

You... never....

That's not true.

Yes. Yes, it is true.

Do you think I'd be living here if mom was still alive?

You never even thought about us at all.


What's that?

Letters-- for you and Chris.


"Kelly...

"I just saw your Thanksgiving play

"and wanted to tell you that you were the prettiest pilgrim on the stage."

You were about eight years old.

I saw the show; I watched the whole thing from the back.

You wore a blue dress.

And you sang "God Bless America."

I didn't know you were there.

Yeah, well...

There's a lot of things you don't know about.

Why didn't you ever mail these?

I didn't think you'd read them.

Now, you can say whatever you want about me.

It's probably all true.

But don't you say I didn't think about you.

There's little Davy Johnson. Look at this guy.

Five years of age and look at this clown-- He's got him.

And what a ride. There's Davy.

He completed his ride in the opening of the Mutton Busting.

Way to go, Davy!

The crowd loves you. You betcha.

Gerald Smith.

Well-known cowboy around these parts.

He's drawn thunderbolt.

Here he comes.

The chute's open, and Thunderbolt comes up high.

Look at that.

Just keep hanging on, Gerald.

Eight seconds into the ride.

Hold on. Here comes the side door.

I think he made it-- eight seconds.

There's the steer and here comes Frankie.

Look at this. He's got him down.

Yes, and under five seconds.

And he's up next, and here he comes.

The long rope is up.

He's got that little doggie.

Down he goes.

Now comes the roping...

Look at that.

He's under ten seconds.

That's official, folks.

Defending Champion Carl Collins in 9.4.

Okay, Mac, you're up.

The time to beat is 9.4.

Time to beat's an eight.

Now, as you well know, this is a big return for Charlie.

He's fighting his way back from injuries for the past few years.

It's sure good to see Mac's back.

This roping event is usually the domain of those young bucks.

Ready, Mac?

Go get them, Charlie.

Hey, you've got him, cowboy.

Grab him up... looking good!

Yay!

Man: 7.9.

Charlie McClain's comeback time, folks-- an amazing 7.9 seconds.

Mac is back.

Mac is back-- I like that, it's catchy.

Here you go.

How's your knee?

Pretty good.

That was a good run, Mac.

It was a damn good run.

I'll drop by Dotty's this week.

We got business to discuss.

That a boy.

Congratulations.

I didn't know you were here.

I didn't want to make you nervous.

What's going on?

My sponsor wants me to sign a contract this week.

Tell me something.

What kind of a father do you think I am?

I think you're a father who loves his daughters more than anything.

Is that enough?

Wasn't it enough for you with your father?

My father died when I was three.

I never knew him.

I never had a chance to learn from him.

They were just babies.

I was afraid I'd let them down.

I still feel that way.

I would imagine it's the most intimidating thing that you'll ever do but... I think...

You've got what it takes.

You think there's any chance I'll get them?

I think it's a long shot.

I talked to my accountant and we're getting things all set up.

After Salinas, we're going to swing through Nevada then down to Arizona...

Cross over through new Mexico up Colorado and into Wyoming and that should bring us into the Fall.

Then we'll have a few weeks to do some promotion.

We'll start at my place in Modesto.

We'll make it a big deal, uh... Sign some autographs.

We'll give away some rodeo tickets and...

Mac, are you with me here?

I've changed my mind, George.

You said it was a young man's game anyway.

I reckon it is.

Mac...

Thanks.

Thank you.

Good luck.

So when do you leave?

I'm not.

I turned him down.

But you wanted to be in the rodeo.

I thought I did.

But then I remembered how lonely it gets on the road.

I'd be coming back to that house and it'd be dark and quiet.

Of course, it'd be clean.

And there wouldn't be any laundry lying on my records.

But I'd always be wondering where my girls were at.

I'd always be wondering.

You want to be with us?

What's the matter, Kelly?

What if we have to go with Gayle?


(crying)

Daddy...

I-I promise I won't complain anymore.


(crying): I'm s-sorry.

It's all right.

It'll be all right.

It's okay.

I got it for you, folks.

Thank you.

Hey.

How you doing?

Well, I think we've been better, huh?

Yeah.

Feel ready?

Kelly.

Chris.

Good to see you.

Charlie.

Hello.

Let's go.

Your Honor, my sister and I were very close.

I've known Kelly and Chris since they were born.

In my custody, they would live in a stable financially secure family environment.

Mr. McClain's history as an absentee father is well-documented.

That's not the question here.

The question is, what is at stake for the girls?

And, your honor their best interest is having them live with me.

Thank you.

I have serious concerns about you, Mr. McClain.

You've being unwilling to change your life for so many years, how can I be certain that you're ready to change it now?

Girls, do you have anything you'd like to say?

Um...

It's been really hard for us since our mom died...

And...

It's been a long time since we knew our dad.

And if we go back now...

I just think it'd be really sad.

That's all.

Do you feel the same way as your sister?

My father loved the rodeo his entire life.

He had a chance to do it again.

Uh, you didn't know that.

And... he turned it down.

He decided that he loved us more.

I want to stay with him your honor.

I really want to live with my dad.

Mr. McClain Would you like to say anything?

I've, uh, I've made some mistakes, your honor.

I'm sorry about that.

But I know what I want now.

Do you?

Yes, sir.

These are my girls.

I'm their father.

We're a family.

That's what I want.

And I have never felt that more than I feel it right now.

Now, I've been told that, uh...

They need me.

And, uh...

I'll be there for them.

It's also the other way around, too.

I need them.

So, uh...

Please...

Please, your Honor...

Let me be their father.

Ms. Shaw.

(clears throat)

Your office stays in close contact with these families following decision?

Yes, your honor, we certainly do.

Okay.

Mr. McClain...

I hereby grant you full and final custody of your daughters.

(laughs)

Kelly: Yes.

Thank you, sir.

You're welcome.

Thank you.

(laughing)

Thank you.

You're welcome.

Thank you, Susan.

Oh, you're welcome.

Thank you, Ms. Shaw.

Thank you.

I may need some help with these two from time to time someone to talk to.

I'd like that.

Okay.

Come on.

Let's go home.

How about Saturday night?

Sure.

Let's go! I'm going to have you two riding and roping better than me within two weeks.

Oh, you got it! Yes!

(shrieking)

Are you okay?