A Simple Twist of Fate (1994) Script

# ...frosty morning, past three o'clock #

# Good morrow, masters all #

# Born is a baby, gentle as may be #

# Son of the eternal, Father tomorrow #

# Past three o'clock and a cold, frosty morning #

# Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters, all #

# Past three o'clock #

# And a cool, frosty morning #

# Past three o'clock, good morrow, masters, all #

# Seraph quire singeth, angel bell ringeth hark now they... #

# And past three o'clock and a cold frosty morning, past three o'clock... #

Is she here yet? No, not yet. Calm down, Dad.

So, what do you hoping for, boy or girl? I don't want to know, I'm old fashioned.

Then why's she coming down to tell you? I don't wanna know, but I'm dying to know.

Elaine is here, Michael.

At the office? I think so.

Uh... I might have some news for you tomorrow, kids. Oh, uh... released!

Whoa, hold up. Look, here, this is for the kid.

What is it? It's an ounce of solid gold.

The kid's not even born yet and you want him to go into banking!

Yep, I have an Idea.

You see, by the time kid gets to be 21, this'll be worth so much... that he can, buy a car with it, or pay for a college education.

That's the beauty of it. That's sweet of you, Tommy, thanks.

See, it's always there for you when you need it.

Well, well, well, what's it gonna be? A little Matthew?

Great name, gotta admit that's my choice was say:

Matt, cowardly and nervous, just like his dad!

Oh, wait, what if it's a girl? Mathilda!

Your choice. I... I could get used to it. Uh, Sweet Mathilda of the Lowlands!

I know it's your mother's name, but have you considered changing mother's to Karine or...

What's the matter? Are you all right? Mmm.

Is the baby all right? Mmm, yes.

What is this?

It's a test I had done.

A genetic test. Why would you have that done?

I had a reason.


It's not yours, Michael.

She's not yours.

Well... this'll be nice in the memory box, won't it?

The boogeyman! Oh, come on!

Oh, that is... that is nice work. Cut a check, Tom.

Feel the top.


Well, there he goes again.

Every week, just like clockwork. It's not our business.

Where? Hmm.

Must be payday. Leave him alone.

I met this school teacher guy who knew him about five years ago.

Said he had a personality.

Well, the hell, I guess he hocked it over at Mrs Simon's store, Ain't got one now.

Nice coin, huh? I wasn't kidding about the grade.

I think you should get it.

What do you think of this?

It's not gonna be around here long.

Once the weather balloon people get wind of this, they're gonna be down off the ceiling.

I guess the weather balloon people are a lot like the moose head collectors in that respect.


Oh, hell, never mind, I don't understand half of thing you're talking about anyway.

Hey, Mom. There you are.

Will you watch the store for me a minute? OK.

Hey, Come here. Go ahead.

There's a guy on line with some B.U. Walking Liberties. They got potential.

And I think, he's in California, so you wouldn't have no sales tax.

I'm not interested in silver.

Sorry, just getting some quotes.

You can do all that from there?

Oh, I could flush the Vatican toilet if I wanted.

Silver's good, why just gold?

It's always there for you when you need it. I'll take the coin. Thank you, Mrs Simon.

You could call me April after five years!

Son of a bitch, Joe, where's my lucky scratcher?

When I hit this thing, there's gonna be some changes made around here!

Yeah, you're gonna build a library!

Why not?

Gimme $20. I wanna continue my lucky streak.

How long has that lucky streak been going on, Tanny?

Since birth, boys... since birth.

This McCann guy, he uh, pays y'all rent, don't he?

So I guess you know what goes on up there, right?

You know, Jodie down at the bank, she says uh, McCann ain't got no bank account, never even cashes a cheque.

I think he keeps it at home. Good for him.

I keep mine at Morgan Stanley and dole it out to my big brother when I see fit.

Daddy's plan, not mine. If it were up to me, I'd give it all to him right now.

Hey now, there we go! Gimme five bucks, my man!

Alright, Bryce brings the ball from the outside.

Whoa, there's a tremendous hit down the field.

That ball's got to have carried, what, 100 yards, probably.

Both teams move down towards the goal. 0-0 in the first chucker.

Newland scores! Another goal for John Newland.

Soon to be our representative in Washington, if his money means anything at all.

And you can tell them that if they vote for me, not only do I promise world peace, but I'll fix all the pot holes in Stuart Street!

Your brother is so great.

Come on. Come on!

You looked good out there. You mean campaigning or polo playing?

If we're going to put party money behind you, we want to know if that time comes, you are clean.

What about... your brother?

He was a little... embarrassing after your state campaign.

We all know that brothers don't lose elections, don't we?

Can you control him? Always.

Do me a favour, don't tell any jokes. They don't mix with politics.

I will be decidedly... unfunny.

Still need me a bit, don't ya?

I'll be going out tonight afterwards, so... may I please use your car? No.

Predictable answer out of the way.

I said no. Take the Plymouth. Right.

"Say, girls, wanna ride in my '66 Plymouth?"No, I don't think so.

You'll be as high as a kite by 10:00, you won't even know which car you are in, And neither will the trash that you're with.

You get sober and now you think you're Jesus, is that it?

Wonderful daddy's boy!

You wouldn't be so wonderful if everybody knew what I knew, would you?

Now, you listen to me! If I lose, you lose!

Go get drunk, get stoned, get laid, just do it in a Plymouth!

You hear me?

What's up, Bobby?

You goin' in there, man? Where is she? Where is she?

Pennies from heaven.

Pennies is right.

Tell him we need more.

Tell him his little girl needs more.

I do tell him, but it doesn't help.

Hey, don't take that. It's all I've got! I'll bring it back.

I promise. The two of you deserve a lot more than all this, you know.

What he wants is to keep you high so you'll be quiet.

Son of a bitch.

Invest it wisely.

That ought to warm your heart, Daddy.

# Just save your dying soul #

# Baby, please give me one more chance #

# I'll do anything for you #

# Baby, please give me one more chance #

# I'll do anything for you #

# You're old enough to know... #

# that every thing shines like gold #

# You're old enough to know... # Slow down!

Shit! Jesus! God!

Dammit! Shut up!

Shut up!


Geez, what a night!

Oh, my God!


Well, well, Mr McCann...


Nothing over here, sir.

How about down there? We'll check it.

Nothing. We're goin' up on the ridge!

Yeah, I got that over there. It's clear.

There was a stranger in town last week hanging round the bar.

We'll check him out, but I think it's someone who knew the area, that were disappeared.

Have you... er... have you got insurance?

Mr Newland, just a couple of questions. What about your brother's disappearance?

Why, Nancy Lambert, so uh... how did y'all vote?

Over here! Well, I just couldn't make up my mind.

Any truth your brother's run off to South America?

Any information on Tanny? Mr Newland

The police were saying that after the accident, Tanny left her for dead.

I've left that out of the story for now.

Then he stumbles on McCann's house, robbed him and left town, and he's probably uninjured because of the driver's side air bag, and there wasn't any blood around McCann's house, plus he made a pretty quick getaway. He wasn't quick so.

So, he must've been okay. Tanny wouldn't hurt himself, as you know, Cal. He just likes to hurt others.

# When I take my sugar to tea #

# I'm a rowdy-dowdy, that's me... #

Oh, hello, Judge Marcus. I'm Nancy Lambert. Oh, you know my name?

I studied Jones vs Dobson in college. You made our little town a big one.

Thank you, my dear.

Oh, hello, Dr Roberts. How are you?

Fine, thank you. Hello. Good evening.

# We forget about our cares #

# Rubbing elbows at the Ritz with those millionaires... #

Where is the money man?


That's your father.

Do you wanna see your father? Baby.

He'd like that, wouldn't he?

What's he doing tonight, honey? What's your daddy doing tonight?

He's forgot about you.

He shouldn't have forgot about his little girl.

Daddy shouldn't have forgot his little girl.

You wanna see your father?

Are you enjoying the party? Yes.


Come on, baby.


Come here, sweetie.

Aah! Geez! Oh! God! Ohh! Aah!


"Mommy"? Boy, are you off.


Stay! Stay... sit!


# ...Say Louie, Louie whoa, baby # She doesn't see the guy or see anything.

Does anyone know this child? What's this all about, McCann?

I want the doctor. The doctor's here, isn't he?

Yeah, but let's not ruin the party. Let me take it upstairs and we could get doctor...

There's a woman lying in the snow outside my house.

She's dead, I think.

Somebody get the doctor.

Mrs Simon, could you take care of the child?

I'll get the truck.

It's okay. It's okay.

Take us to the spot.

I'll catch a ride with you.

Sure. It's all right. It's all right.

Shh. It's all right. Okay. Shh.

Heroin user.

That kid is probably damaged goods.

Do you know who she is?

I've never seen her before in my life.

Give us some room, guys.

Anyone want a mint?

You're not damaged goods, are you, kid?

Oh, she likes you the most.

I think we should get her over to Elderfield, let the welfare department take care of her.

Where would she end up? No way of knowing.

Far away most likely. She's alone and I'm alone.

What do you mean?

She... came to replace my money, you know.

What if I kept her? You mean, uh, kept her here in town?

Just be yourself.

I don't have a self.

You live alone? I am divorced.

Do you think you'd make a good father?

Yes, I do.

Do you own any property? No.

I did, though. I... I had it stolen. I mean, uh, it was stolen from me.

"I had it stolen" sounds like I asked someone to steal it, of course.

I didn't, uh, had it taken. Uh... you know.

Are you a homosexual? Not that I know of.

I mean, uh, you know, uh... I'm not. I just don't have any interest in that uh... area.

He is.

How could you, a single man, take care of this child?

Well uh... I would uh, I wake up... and then I would... uh take care of the child and then I would uh, go to bed.

What about when you have to go to work?

I wouldn't go to work. I... I work at home. I wouldn't have to leave. I make furniture.

In fact, I could offer you both a nice armoire.

For... for... forgive me.

It's not that easy to raise a child. Well, nothing is easy.

Uh, look, I'm not very good at interviews so you have to overlook everything you see in front of you right now.

Much the same way when you're served a bowl of Jell-O... it might not look so appetizing all quivering in a bowl, but it actually tastes quite good.

If you gave me this child, I'm sure that if you came back in a year, you would be very impressed.

I... I believe this child belongs with me.

She... walked into my house.

Ah, here's John.

Hello. Mr Newland, I think we should discuss the McCann adoption.

That shouldn't be a problem, if we can't fix that, we can't fix anything.

Well, well, shall we go upstairs?

Fine. Certainly. Let's go on up.

Hello, Mamma!

Hey, I talked to Dr Roberts and I said, "How did this happen?"

And he said, "Don't ask." So I didn't.

I think I'm a quasi-foster parent with a twist of the arm, it was favour outside the system!

Finally, corruption for the good guy.

I still have tons of Lawrence's baby stuff if you need it.

Hey, hey, hey, you've gotta test that on your wrist.

Why? Aaaah! Aaaah! Geez! God! Aaah! That's why.

What about a name for her?

I want to call her Mathilda.

I will give you the deed to my house not to call her Mathilda.

She's gonna have to spell it all the time, people will call her Tilly. No, no, no, no.

Yeah, I know, but it's what I've decided.

If anyone calls her Tilly, you'll gonna have to kill them.

Hey... Mathilda. Hi.


Oh, my Lord.

There we go.

If you don't mind my saying so, this is the first time, I've seen you buy something for someone else.

This is for me.

Why? I was kidding.

Another first, if you don't mind me saying so.

Two cents.



Gotta move back around here on the other side.

Hello, Michael.

Now, let's see.

If I were your age, what would I like to eat?

What about... baby food?

Oh! That sounds delicious! And... I have some.

You know, what better time of life than your age to enjoy baby food?

Because somehow, as one gets older, one loses one's taste for unsalted mashed carrots.

Although I understand that many of the finer restaurants in Paris, are now serving unsalted mashed carrots.

So, we'll just give you this little taste. Here it is. just a little taste.

Doesn't that look good? Hmm? Open up just a little bit.

Hey, hey, look at me. I'm eating it.

I'll make you some oatmeal.

# Mathilda #

# Mathilda #

# Mathilda, you take-a my money and run Venezuela! #

# Once again now! Mathilda... #

# Oh, baby, baby, baby! Mathilda! #

# Ma-thilda you take-a my money and run Venezuela! #

Hey, you.




Mathilda! Mathilda!

You think that's hilarious? Yeah!

You think that's hilarious?

Well, you're naughty, naughty, naughty! But you're nice, nice, nice.

Oh, he'll be back, baby.

I need something that'll to amuse a three-year-old.

How about my pay cheque.

Very funny.

You've had this weather balloon a long time. How much is it?

A 100 bucks?

Would you take five? Sold!

Where can I get gas?

Diner, across the street.

There we go! Up, up and away!

Hello, Mathilda!

Hey! Hey, Lawrence, come here!

Come here! Wave goodbye, just in case.

Ho! Nice day for a swim. Nice day for a swim!


Here I come, here I come!

My turn now! You had your turn!

Hey, Mathilda! Whoa! Hi, Mathilda!

We're coming in for a perfect four-pointer!

Whew! Whew! That one hurt!

Whoa! Go, Tilly!

All right. Okay. Okay.

What's the matter?

All right.

Oh, you're heavy.




Esther, I don't think we...

I don't think we have enough salmon. Why don't we send for some more?

I'm sure we have enough, Mrs Newland. You've got six guests and two large salmon.

I think you'll have leftovers you'll be eating for a week.

Call a doctor! Somebody call a doctor!

We can try again.


And think... think of the fun we'll have, hmm?

I'm sorry.

I don't want you ever to say that to me again, you hear me?

You will have a child.

We will.


Mathilda! Tilda, honey!



You're killing me! You're killing me!

They gotta get a fence around this place, or someone's gonna fall in!

We're coming down, we're coming down. We're coming down... ohh!

There you go! There you go!

Don't do that to Daddy any more. Don't do it to Daddy.


You just have to punish her, otherwise she'll never learn.

I can't do that. You have to. It's your duty.

Well, I can't spank her. Nobody says you have to spank her.

What do I do? Behead her teddy bear? I'd have to report you for that.

No! Well, what should I do?

Well, with Lawrence, I used to put him in the corner for an hour.

Don't do it. Look what it's done to me.

I did it!

# Twinkle, twinkle little star #

# How I wonder what you are #

OK, you are free.

All right, we're all done. Now, what do you want to do today?


No, no, no, this is school! - Nooo! This is school.

Just think, you'll finally meet someone younger than me.

Are you her father? Well, uh...

She adopted me, yeah. No! Noooo!

Could I talk to you a minute? Nooo! Nooo!

All right, class, it is used for many different things.

You use it to write on... and draw on. What is it?

Cory. Paper.

Very good!

You get your degree yet, Mr McCann?

Don't... twist... the puppy's... head.


What's going on? Mouse burial. We found a dead mouse.

You like, uh... you like horses?

How did your mouse die?

It was run over by a car. That's why we're burying it in a pizza box.

Oh, I see.

I'm kidding.

Oh, I see.

Cat got it. Nobody's fault really, just one of those things.

Well... have a nice burial.

We're trying, but it's hard.

Bye. Bye.

# Red is the rose #

# That in the garden grows #

# Fair is the lily #

# Of the valley #

# Clear is the water #

# That flows in my garden #

# But my love is better than any #

# Down by the garden... #

What's the matter?

Well, come on. What's the matter?

I can write really small.

Huh? What do you mean?

What is it?

It's the 23rd Psalm. Holy smokes!

I guess "why?" would be inappropriate. Cool, huh?

Are you suffering from ennui? Huh?

Come on.

# Oomba ooga oomba ooga #

# Oomba ooga oomba ooga # # On the bank, of the river #

# Stood Running Bear, young Indian brave #

# On the other side of the river #

# Stood his lovely Indian maid #

# Little White Dove was-a her name #

# Such a lovely sight to see #

# But their tribes fought with each other #

# So their love could never be #

# Running Bear dove in the water #

# Little White Dove did the same #

# And they swam up to each other #

# Through the swirling stream they came #

# As their hands touched and their lips met #

# The raging river pulled them down #

# Now they'll always be together #

# In that happy hunting ground #

# Running Bear loved Little White Dove #

# With a love that couldn't die! # # Oomba ooga, oomba ooga oomba ooga #


Whew! Yeah.

Dad, we gotta get out more.

Come on, hit the ball. You got a baseball bat there, not a rolling pin. Go do cookery!

Come on, sissy, you can't play baseball! Don't waste our time.

Come on, strike 'er out! Come on, Pierce! She can't hit, she's a girl.

Yes! Hit it!

Strike! All right, strike one! Yeah!

Boy, are we losing! Shut up, Janet!

Go get in a cooking class!

She's a sissy! Come on, hurry up and get it over with.

Strike two! Come on, Mathilda!

Lawrence is crazy about her, he tries to talk to her.

She just ignores him and she won't give him the time of day.

I don't think she's thinking about that stuff yet.

Here we go, girl!

Go back! You're going the wrong way! You're supposed to go the other way! Dang!

You go this way, not that way!


Yes, Mathilda! Yes, Mathilda! We lost, we lost, we lost!

Good game, kid. Good spectatoring, Pops.

I gotta take this piece of furniture up to the Newlands tomorrow.

So I'll be gone early. Could I go?

You know, I'm dying to see inside. I heard they have gold salt shakers!

Hey, just because our salt shakers are linoleum...

It's no reason to put 'em down. And they have a butler!

Yeah, and he's English too. Here's what happens:

Mrs Newland rings a little bell, and the butler come and says, "Tea, sir? Tea?"

Yeah, you can go if you want. Thanks, Pop!

Oh, let me go with you, please! Come on, I wanna go there so...

Now we're gonna let them manipulate Fred, swap his vote later down the line on the tax credit.

I want a yes vote from you, right? Right.

You're gonna get a call from that son of a bitch Bloggs... about your vote on the farm thing.

Play along, say anything. Then you'll flip-flop at the last minute.

He won't have enough votes if you wait late enough.

By the way, John... we're having diffculty getting permission to divert water... from the quarry for your project. No, you're not.

Yes, we are.

No, you don't understand. We are not. Not if you want the yes vote.

Let's bring two more sections up! just two more?

Yes, go for it. All right.

We're going to divert the water from the... from the quarry here.

Let it go down through the valley to form a lake.

And then we're gonna sell the property around it for development.

But you know, there's a beautiful spot just right here that I thought would be a real nice place for you and me to... to build a little house.

So we can go live next to a bunch of ducks?


You gotta snap out of this. You're sleepwalking.

Mr McCann is here with the delivery. Thank you, Esther.

Hello, Michael.

Hi. Hi, Mathilda.

Hello, Mrs Newland.

I hope you don't mind me bringing her.

She's never been up here before. Oh, no, it's no problem at all.

Mathilda, would you like to come in?

Thank you, Mrs Newland.

I'll get the drawers. Come on.

Now, are you thirsty? No, Ma'am.


That's by Andrew Wyatt! Yes, it is.

Have you seen this picture here?

That's the way the house used to look in the old days.

You see that man there? That's my grandfather.

And that little boy beside him, that's my father.

Dad, books on horses!

Easy. Got it. I got it.

That's great. Thank you.

Would you like to see the real horses? Yes, sir!

If it's not too much trouble. No, of course it's not.

Tea, sir?

Up we go. Oh!

Dad, look!

Now, you gotta be sitting absolutely straight.

Yeah, hold onto the reins tigh. OK.

There she comes! Annie Oakley!

I'm gonna go get the camera. Fastest gal on a horse this town's ever seen.

Michael... she is having such a great time out there. She has a real passion for horses.

I... I was thinking, Michael, of inviting her up here for some lessons, if that's OK with you?

I think, she'd love that. Can I tell her?

Be my guest, and... thank you.

Dad, it's time! OK, take off.

Remind me to cut that hole bigger.

You... are... done. Let's see. Yes!

That looks good, with all that food coming out of your mouth, that looks good!

Look at me, Mr Newland!

I'm sorry.

Sorry for what? I'm sorry I couldn't give you what you want.

When you look at her, I know how you feel.

Sorry I couldn't give you this.

Look, Nancy, it's all done.

No, it's not.

We can still have a family. Why don't you think about adopting?

This isn't something I want to discuss now.

OK? Don't turn away. Excuse us, please!

Yes, ma'am.

Adopted children, they... they become your own children.

Look at the Greens.

Look at Michael McCann.

Michael McCann has her because of me. I know!

You helped him. Why you won't help yourself, I'll never know!

That's not what I mean, Nancy.

Michael McCann has her... because of me.

Come on, we gotta go faster, come on.

What are you saying?

Are you saying Mathilda is your daughter?

I thought I could be strong.

Just having her in the house, I...

Look, Nancy, the woman who died in the snow was her mother... and... Yeah, I thought it was strange... how you seemed so close to Mathilda. Now I understand it's not so strange at all.

Nancy! Don't.




Did you have fun?

I did.

Do you like it here? I love it.


Well... bye. Bye.

There have been times that I have wanted to leave.

After we lost the second child, I thought I was bringing you too much pain.

But then I thought if you had someone else... they might bring you children but pain in some other way.

If I had told anybody back then, I would have been ruined politically.

And if I had told you...

I know that you would not have stayed with me.

If you had taken her, she would have known me as her mother!

And you... you would have been happier with me!

Our lives would have been more like we thought they would be!

I see it all now...

...ten years too late.


I chose the wrong door.

You are her natural father.

You are her father!


See, what you are doing is very good. just keep asking her over as much as possible.

Let her get used to first-class.

Have you given it any thought?

This is how we can get every Joe six-pack behind us.

They all want to win the lottery and this kid can.

She goes from beggar to princess, we'll even have McCann believing it.

So all our money may finally have some use.

Hey, how're you doing? Hi.

You, uh... you ready to ride? Oh, yeah.


Now, which of these three guys do you like the best?

The grey one. The grey one. Well... you can have him.

Huh? He's yours.

Holy smokes!

And you can... you can come up here any time you want, You can ride him anytime you want, and you can call him whatever you want.

Do you have a name you'd like to call him?


I'll have to do some research, but... Sparkle immediately comes to mind.

You can call him Flipper if you want, he's yours.

Oh, by the way, uh... I think maybe we should keep... keep this to ourselves.

How come? Oh, just keep it as our secret.

Why? OK, you can tell your dad if you want, but... he mightn't like it. Parents can be kinda funny about things like this.



Hey, just in time for nachos. I'm full.

I think we should talk.

Already I don't like it.

I just think that maybe... you shouldn't go up to the Newlands so much.

Why? Well... you live here... and... it's... you know, you can overstay your welcome.

But they invite me. I know, I know.

But sometimes it is possible to abuse a situation... without really realising it.

I wanna go. It's not hurting anyone. Not so much or so often!

I'm going! Well, sometimes... you can't have everything you want.

Now, just don't be greedy! Look who's talking!

What do you mean?

Judy's dad said that you were a miser. That you loved money.

You loved it so much you kept it in your own house so you could look at it!

And that's why it was stolen because you wouldn't put it in the bank like everybody else!

All right, you're not going up there anymore. I am!

No, you're not! Yes, I am!

You couldn't have written it better yourself.

I did write it myself.

That's good.

She's definitely good. She's fine.

She's good. Real good.

She flubbed it 'cause she's in a bad mood. She hates me right now, but she'll get over it.

Oh, sure, five, six years, a little therapy, Prozac shaped like Flintstones, she'll get over it.

She doesn't mean it.

You know what?

I think she's being scouted. You see this guy?

He's been around. I think he's some kind a sports scout.

And he is coming this way.

That your daughter? Quite a little talent, isn't she?

You're Michael McCann? And I represent her.

You are served.


That's funny. I thought I was the victim of my own greed and ambition.

You are not getting her!

I think you would really want what is best for her!

You are not getting her!

She is my child. That is profoundly unchangeable.

If you love her so much... then why did you turn your back on her ten years ago?

It's inevitable! Inevitable! Now, you can fight this or you can accept it, but there is no way she won't prefer her real father and this family!

You might want her now, but it's me she's been calling Daddy... ever since she could say the word!

Oh, God!

Hello, Mathilda.

Mr Newland is my real father?

Yes, he is.

Would you like to come and live here with us, Mathilda?

I don't know what I'm supposed to say!

When you turn a gift away from your door, it... uh... it goes to the one that takes it in.


Where was my mother buried?

I don't know. We never knew where she was taken.

Why not?

I was afraid. I was afraid that... they might find a relative or your father, or someone who might take you away from me.

One day I'd like to know where she is.

We could do that. Mrs Simon can find anything on her computer.

Just a minute.

This... uh... was your mother's and you should have it.

I mean, it's you and her, isn't it?

You're my parents.

You and Mom, not the Newlands!

Uh, I'll fix you a drink... Uh, you know... make you some juice.

Do you know what it means that, he's your real father?

Do you... you know, understand how babies are made?

This fairy tale story of a little match girl... who discovered she's a princess.

Let's get some opinions.

Well, now, how's can he supposed to take care of her like them?

I mean, she can still see him. It's just that she'll be living in a better house.

Kinda like me and my ex-husband.

Okay, so that's six for and four against.

To cast your vote dial 8-10-REALDAD.

This is WAPB. We bring you other people's business.

Mrs Latham, you currently are the principal and teacher at Gardner's School where...

Mathilda Newland attends, are you not? Yes.

Mathilda Newland? He's just trying to get your goat.

Speaking as a teacher, do you think this child has the potential to attend a college of the prestige of Harvard or Yale?

Mathilda has unlimited potential.

Do you know what it costs to attend Harvard or Yale?

Lots, I suppose.

Wait till he gets me up there.

No further questions, Your Honor. Thinks he's getting little Aunt Mildred... of antic shop.

You may step down. What he's getting is Aunt Attila the Hun!

The court calls Mrs April Simon.

Please raise your right hand.

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are giving Mom... shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

You bet your boots.

And, he's a great father. He's caring. He thinks of nothing but that child.

Mm-hmm. Uh-huh.

And he's not your typical great father. He is original, he is... he is creative.

He's very unconventional. Unconventional? How?

What? You said he was unconventional.

How he was unconventional?

Well, um... when... when Mathilda was a toddler, in order to keep an eye on her, he used to tie her up with a red ribbon.

We thought it was hilarious. What? Tie her up?

Not "tie her up," no. Just tie her to a table leg or something so he could watch her.

Ah. Tie her to a table leg?

Why, could the ribbon have become entangled round her neck, no?

No, it was tied around here.

Not exactly the latest in parenting Mrs Simon?

No, But that's my point... Perhaps... you can tell us other things that Mr McCann does that are... different?

Yes. He has educated Mathilda in his own way.

When she was learning to read, he told her not to read the book from the school, but instead read the books that he gave her. Adult books.

He wouldn't let her read the school books?

Because she didn't want to read the schoolbooks.

So, he let her read adult books?

Yes, right. No, not "adult" books!

May I be excused, please?

Thank you, Mrs Simon. That's all.

I'm sorry! It's OK.

Mrs Simon, you're not done yet. Ah, shit!

Excuse me.

No questions. I don't blame you.


Oh! Thank you, sir. Thank you.

And thank you.


To Stone Lake!

Stone Lake! Stone Lake!

Well, that'll sure quench your thirst!

Can I talk to you? I would like nothing more.

Who are you?

That's the best question anybody has thought to ask me... since whole this thing started.

I'm your real father. Not the best father, I know that.

Not as good a father as Michael has been to you up till now, but I know I that I can be.

See, I made a mistake a long time ago, which I will regret for the rest of my life.

That's why I'm fighting for you.

I know you think I'm hateful, but I gotta take that chance.

What was my mother like?

Your mother loved you, Mathilda.

And I love you, too.

How did you treat my mother?

I treated her as best I could. I never hurt her.

I respected her.

We just weren't meant for each other, that's all.

But she took drugs.

You've heard how bad that can be, hmm? Mmm.

Do you think that...

...you could ever... live here?


Mr Newland, will you read the signature at the bottom of this hospital admittance form paediatric ward for Miss Marsha Swanson?

Marsha Swanson.

Uh, Mr Henry Swanson. Who is Henry Swanson?

I am. I mean, I signed this paper using a different name.

That is your handwriting? Yes, it is.

I came to an arrangement with the mother to pay her a monthly sum of money and this would be our secret.

And she agreed? Yes, she did.

And why did she agree?

Because she was a drug addict. And you? What were you?

I was young, foolish and, uh... I was afraid.

Looking back now, you see how foolish you were?

Yes, I do.

No further questions. Your witness. Mr Newland... the night the child walked into Mr McCann's house, you were there, you were not?

Yes, I was. And yet you said nothing?

I felt the child needed... Mr Newland, please... just answer the question. You said nothing, am I right?


And by failing to claim your daughter then, that moment, you neither asserted your parental rights nor fulfilled your parental responsibility.

Objection. Assumes facts not of evidence.

Sustained. I'll rephrase, Your Honor.

Mr Newland, you did not act as though you were the father? You did not comfort her or hold her?

Things a father might do. No.

So, at that time, your feelings for your future wife and career, dictated your actions more than your feelings for your child.

Yes, but since that time, I have made sure she was safe in this community where I could watch over her... and make sure that she was taken care of.

Well, you're breaking our hearts!

Why did you see the mother secretly?

I think it's obvious.

Obvious to you, maybe, Mr Newland, but why don't you tell us.

Because I felt that at the time, she was not someone I was... proud to be seen with.

Because you were in politics? Yes.

Better to lie to the public? No, that's not... it's not what I meant.

Look, I made a mistake, I admit that!

You admit it because you have to admit it to look like a man with remorse, Mr Newland.

Is that why you were trying to pay her off? To get this embarrassment out of your life?

She was out of control! Addicts do not care about anybody but themselves!

Thank you, Mr Newland.

The witness may step down.

Call Michael McCann to the stand.

Ah, yes, I hit it! I get to keep it.

Haven't we done enough of these little girl stories?

Our only hope is that the two dads murder each other.

May I ask what you earn a year?

Around $15,000.

How did you plan to send her to school, or did you?

There are scholarships. I can borrow.

I've always been there for her in the past, and I believe I can be there for her when that time comes.

You believe. I have a belief too, Mr McCann.

I believe that if this child were the responsibility of Mr Newland, she would without a doubt attend the best schools, without a doubt, be able to travel the world, without a doubt, be given the opportunities this chid deserves!

I object, Your Honor! Where's the question? Sustained. Get to the verb.

You feel that John Newland abandoned his child, don't you?


See, that sounds terrible, the way you put it, when you leave out the details, the... circumstances.

I admit it sounds bad, when you leave out the details.

You were married once, weren't you?


And you left that marriage while your wife was pregnant.

Sh... she... Please answer the question only.

There were special circumstances... Answer yes or no!



In fairness, Mr McCann, there were circumstances that made you guiltless when you abandoned that child.

Just as there are circumstances in Mr Newland's case, that would make any reasonable person understand why he did what he did.

That is why we have to understand what kind of a man John Newland was that time.

And it makes me wonder... what kind of a man you were then.

Mr McCann, I'm going to say some words.

And if you feel that these words inaccurately describe you at various times in your life, please stop me.








Were you lonely enough to seize a child to ease your selfish pain?

Lonely enough to bend the law, to collaborate in stopping the natural process of finding a suitable home for this child?

I wonder how much you were in on this deception.

Objection! I've finished, Your Honour!

So is he. The witness may step down.

Hi, Mathilda.


How are you? Not so good.

How is your horse?

How's Sparkle?

I don't know.

Will you tell us how you got Sparkle?

Mr Newland gave him to me.

And you accepted it? Yes.

Did you tell your dad? No.

So you had a secret gift from Mr Newland your real father, that you didn't tell Mr McCann?


So, you might say you had a special relationship with your real father that you were... afraid to tell Mr McCann about?

I wasn't afraid.

But you didn't tell him about the horse that was your real dad's gift?


Thank you, Mathilda.

I have no further questions, Your Honour.

How do you like being called Mathilda Newland?

It's not me.

What do you like to be called? Mathilda McCann!

Would you point to the man that you think of as your father.

And what is Mr Newland to you?

I used to think of him as a nice man.

What do you think of him now?

As someone who's trying to take me away from my father.

How would you feel, Mathilda, if you were separated... from your father?

I... I...

I could never be separated from him! He's the one who has taken care of me!

He's the one who has inspired me!

And now that I'm entering my years of womanhood...

I'm going to need his guidance more than ever.

I could never be anything without my loving Daddy!

Poor child!

I wanna be an actress!


You'd better go to school.

Too good, Pops, you and me!

You and me.

I didn't tell you about the horse.

I should have, but I wanted it.

I know you did.

There's a problem, though. What's that?

I still want it.

I got a headache!

And so you should!

I can't believe I have to give it to that... son of a bitch!

Oh, Marcus, baloney! You'd sell your mother for cat food.


Do something right for once. Oh, I can't go against Newland.

There's too much, goin' way back, father to father... now son to son.

How can I ask her to live in squalor?

And I can't give her to McCann, not without a powerful reason.

A powerful reason.

The court will come to order.

I have come to a decision. But first, I would to explain my thinking, Perhaps you'll understand what a difficult decision it was.

We have a man, who has raised a child as if she were his own.

Generously and lovingly.

The child has turned out to be well brought up, not something easy to do in today's world.

I would like to explain to you what it was that tipped the balance.

That something was not concerning the happiness of child.

That's impossible to quantify.

I'm very clearly directed to look at the welfare of the child, which can be very coldly calculated in terms of money.

She will need money for her education for her protection as an adult.

Hey, hey, hey! Hey, come back here!

It would be irresponsible of me to deny this child her natural claim to the wealth which is offered to her.

If it were... otherwise so, believe me, not only would I be inclined to go the other way, but my heart would want it that way.

What is going on out there? Young man. Wait. Hey! Hey! Wait! Wait.

Come here, boy!

Come here!

Well, let's go see what this is. Court is recessed for one hour.

All rise. The hell with that. Let's go.

Apparently, we were waiting for a verdict, when an occurrence happened in the courtroom.

A young... as a matter of fact, here he is. Uh, young man...

Over here, Judge.

What's going on? What's happening?

Everybody's rushing around.

Oh, careful.



Thought he was in Rio or someplace in South America.

Poor guy must've just fallen in.

As a judge, I'm always interested in the exact moment when someone's argument falls apart.

McCann's got his gold back.

Sorry about what happened to your brother, Mr Newland.

Thank you.


I'll see you around.

Yeah, we get a few folks like you each year, looking for someone.

Everybody's looking for someone.

This is the last place they look.

That's for sure.

The last place they look.

Right over there, folks.