Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Script

We want Pollitt! Brick Pollitt!

We want Pollitt! Brick Pollitt!


Don't you do that.

I'm warning you, Trixie.

Gooper, can't you stop that child of yours from putting her hot little hands in the ice cream?

Trixie!

Couldn't you at least wash your hands before you did that?

Maggie, you stop that!

Maggie, how could you do that to a child?

Like this, honey.

Gooper, did you see what she did? Huh?

I told her to wash her hands first. Oh!

One of those no-neck monsters hit me with some ice cream.

Now, why did you call Gooper's kiddies no-neck monsters?

Because your brother's children got no necks, that's why.

Oh.

At least, none visible.

Their fat little heads sit on their fat little bodies without a bit of connection.

That's too bad.

Specially 'cause you can't wring their necks if they've not got any necks to wring.

Isn't that right, honey?

Trixie, come on.

Here we are!

Come on, Buster, Sonny.

Come on. Everybody in the car now. We're all going to go.

Did you ever hear so many dogs' names tacked on to children?

Think of it. They've got five monsters and number six coming up.

Grab the whole bunch down here like animals to display at a county fair.

It's so obvious, it's disgusting. Well, it's obvious what they're up to.

What are they up to, Maggie?

I'll tell you what they're up to, boy of mine.

They're up to cutting you out of your father's estate.

Everybody knows Big Daddy's dying of...

Oh, I ought to send Sister Woman a bill for a new pair of stockings.

Do we? Do we what?

Know that Big Daddy is dying of...

Don't you believe it?

You'll know soon enough.

Suppose he is?

There's some things you got to face, baby.

There's some things in this world you've simply got to face.

Why did they have Big Daddy in that horrible old clinic for six weeks?

If the examination didn't show anything then why'd Brother Man bring his whole screaming tribe down here in this sticky heat?

And why so many allusions to you and Rainbow Hill?

You know what Rainbow Hill is?

It's a place that's famous for treating famous alcoholics and dope fiends.

I'm not famous, Maggie. No.

And you don't take dope.

Otherwise you'd be a perfect candidate for Rainbow Hill.

That's where Brother Man's going to tell Big Daddy to ship you.

Over my dead body.

Rainbow Hill.

And if they get you out of the way, brother Gooper gets ahold of the estate and signs all the checks, and cuts off our credit whenever he wants.

How would you like that, baby?

You're doing just about everything you can to aid and abet them in grabbing control after Big Daddy...

Well, you are.

Quitting work, devoting yourself to the occupation of drinking.

Breaking your ankle last night on the high school athletic field.

Brick?

We got one thing on our side.

No, two things. Are my seams straight?

Big Daddy dotes on you, honey.

He just can't stand Brother Man and Brother Man's wife, that monster of fertility. She's downright odious to him. I can tell.

Just like I can tell he likes me.

That's the second thing we got on our side.

He likes me.

The way he looks me up and down, over.

He's still got an eye for girls. That kind of talk is disgusting.

Anybody ever tell you you were a back-aching Puritan, Brick?

I think it's mighty fine the way that old fellow on the doorstep of death still takes in my shape with what I consider deserved appreciation.

You know, that brother Gooper of yours still cherishes the illusion he took a giant step up the social ladder when he married Mae Flynn of the no-neck Memphis Flynns.

Because she was Queen of the Cotton Carnival.

Oh, I can just see Gooper falling for Her Majesty.

Sitting on that brass throne, riding on that tacky float down Main Street.

Smiling and bowing and blowing kisses to all the trash on the street.

You know what happened to her?

No, what happened to her, Maggie?

Somebody spat tobacco juice in her face. That's right.

Some drunk at the Hotel Gayoso leaned out the window and said, "Hey, Queenie. Hey, there, Queenie."

Sister Mae looked up and smiled and waved, and that drunk shot a squirt of tobacco juice... right in her face.

Why are you looking at me like that?

Like what, Maggie? Like you were just looking.

I wasn't conscious of looking at you, Maggie.

I was conscious of it.

If you were thinking the same thing I was...

No, Maggie. Why not?

Will you please keep your voice down? No!

I know you better than you think.

I've seen that look before and I know what it used to mean.

And it still means the same thing now. You're not the same woman now, Maggie.

Oh, don't you think I know that?

Don't you think I know... Know what, Maggie?

That I've gone through this horrible transformation.

I've become hard and frantic and cruel.

You planning on meeting Big Daddy's plane?

Oh, Brick.

I get so lonely. Everybody gets that.

Living with somebody you love can be lonelier than living entirely alone when the one you love doesn't love you.

You can't even stand drinking out of the same glass, can you?

Would you like to live alone, Maggie? No!

No, I wouldn't.

Why can't you lose your good looks, Brick?

Most drinking men lose theirs. Why can't you?

I think you've even gotten better-looking since you went on the bottle.

You were such a wonderful lover. You'll be late!

You were so exciting to be in love with. Mostly, I guess, because you were...

If I thought you'd never, never make love to me again,

I'd find me the longest, sharpest knife I could and I'd stick it straight into my heart.

I'd do that.

Oh, Brick, how long does this have to go on, this punishment?

Haven't I served my term? Can't I apply for a pardon?

Lady, that finishing-school voice of yours sounds like you was running upstairs to tell somebody the house was on fire.

Is it any wonder?

You know what I feel like?

I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof.

Then jump off the roof, Maggie. Jump off it.

Now, cats jump off roofs and they land uninjured. Do it. Jump.

Jump where? Into what? Take a lover.

I don't deserve that.

I can't see any man but you.

Even with my eyes closed, I just see you.

Why can't you get ugly, Brick?

Why can't you please get fat or ugly or something, so I can stand it?

You'll make out fine. Your kind always does.

Oh, I'm more determined than you think. I'll win all right.

Win what?

What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?

Just staying on it, I guess.

Long as she can.

Calm down. Not now. Now wait a minute. Not yet.

Where are the flowers, darling? Aren't you putting it on a little thick?

Get ready now.

Mama, she didn't bring anything for Big Daddy.

Pretty seedy-looking flowers for Big Daddy, don't you think, Gooper?

I picked them myself.

Looks like she picked them off somebody's grave.

Now you stop talking about graves when we don't know whether Big Daddy's going to live or die.

Get ready.

Hi. Hello, Mae.

Hello, children.

Don't they look great?

Kiss me.

Mae, darling. You look wonderful.

Kiss your grandmother.

Oh, darling Big Daddy.

You look fine, Big Daddy. Just fine.

Doc, you want to tell them the news?

The exploratory operation proved there's nothing wrong with Big Daddy.

Nothing at all!

Just a little old spastic colon. And that's all.

That's great news. Isn't that great news?

That's the best birthday present of all.

Where's Brick?

Uncle Brick got drunk and broke his leg.

How? What's that?

Yeah. Seems he got drunk again and tried to jump the hurdles at 3:00 in the morning.

That poor boy thinks he's still a great, big athlete.

Couldn't keep it out of the local paper.

AP got a hold of it, too.

Yeah, and UP, and, thanks to your professional legal advice, every other "P."

Let's go home.

Don't you want to ride with the children, honey?

No!

He is his sassy old self again, all right.

Be quiet, woman!

Hush up!

Welcome home, Captain Pollitt.

I'm going to live, Maggie. I'm going to live.

You know, they had me real scared.

You know, I've wasted so much time.

You know, I've got a million different kinds of feelings left in me.

And I want to use them. I'm going to use them all.


Why did you and Brick suddenly decide to drive up from New Orleans?

For your birthday, what else?

I had a birthday last year and the year before. Didn't see you then.

You know how Brick is sometimes.

Maybe he thought he was coming to my funeral instead of my birthday.

Why, Brick loves you. He does.

But does he love you?

What do you want? Proof?

If I was married to you three years, you'd have the living proof.

You'd have three kids already and the fourth in the oven.

We love you out of sight We love you in the morning We love you in the night Get me out of this. I want to talk to Brick.

Big Daddy

He wants some more ice, Miss Margaret.

We love you in the morning We love you in the night We love you when we're with you And we love you out of sight

Big Momma, too

Brick. I got news, honey. Big news.

Big Daddy's gonna live.

That's right, he's a well man.

That's what Big Momma said and Doc Baugh was right there with them.

You should've seen Mae and Gooper's face.

Ha. They almost dropped dead from shock themselves.

He's all right? Feeling like 40. Talking like 20.

Then we can drive back to New Orleans tonight.

I'm taking no chances on moving you. I won't break.

Or letting them poison Big Daddy's mind against you.

I just want you to get dressed and come on down to Big Daddy's birthday party.

First thing Big Daddy asked about was you...

Big Daddy. Now what makes him so big?

His big heart, his big belly, or his big money?

The heat has made you cross. Mmm-hmm. Give me my crutch.

Why don't you put on your nice silk pajamas, honey, and come on down to the party?

There's a lovely cool breeze.

Give me my crutch, Maggie.

Lean on me, baby.

Mmm, you got a nice smell about you.

Was your bath water cool? No.

I know something to make you feel cool and fresh.

Alcohol rub.

Cologne.

No, thanks. We'd smell alike. Like a couple of cats in the heat.

It's cool on the lawn.

I am not going down there, Maggie. Not for you and not for Big Daddy.

At least you can give him this present that I remembered to buy for you. For his birthday.

At least you can write a few words on this card.

You write something, Maggie.

It's got to be your handwriting. It's your present. It's got to be your handwriting.

I didn't get him a present. What's the difference?

If there's no difference, you write the card.

And have him know you didn't remember his birthday?

I didn't remember!

You don't have to prove it to him!

Just write, "Love, Brick" for heaven's sakes.

No. You've got to.

I don't have to do anything I don't want to.

You keep forgetting the conditions on which I agreed to stay on living with you!

I'm not living with you. We occupy the same cage, that's all.

You know, that's the first time you've raised your voice in a long time.

A crack in the stone wall?

I think that's a fine sign. Mighty fine.

Now what did you do that for, Maggie?

To give us a little privacy for a while.

Don't make a fool of yourself, Maggie.

I don't mind making a fool of myself over you.

I mind. I feel embarrassed for you. Feel embarrassed!

But I can't live on this way.

You agreed to accept that condition! I know I did, but I can't.

Let go, Maggie.

Let go, Maggie!

Son!

We got the most wonderful news about Big Daddy.

What's this door locked for?

You don't think there's robbers in the house?

Uh, Brick's getting dressed, Big Momma. He's still getting dressed.

So, it won't be the first time I've seen Brick not dressed.

Come on. Open this door.

Brick, honey. Sweetheart, how's your leg feel?

Come on out of there, son. I want to give you the news about Big Daddy.

I told him already.

I just hate locked doors in the house.

I know you do, but people got to have some moments of privacy, don't they?

No, ma'am, not in my house.

What'd you took this off for, honey? That looked so sweet on you.

Not sweet enough for Big Daddy's birthday party.

Out! Out! Out!

Out, you little monster!

Mae and Gooper are so touchy about their children.

You hardly even dare suggest there's any room for improvement.

Brick, hurry on out!

Oh, shoot, Maggie, you just don't like children.

Why, that's not true. I adore them. Well brought up.

Why don't you have some then? And bring them up well.

Instead of all the time picking on Gooper and Mae's?

Hey, Big Momma! You and Betsy got to go.

They're waiting downstairs to say goodbye.

Be right down in a jiffy. Tell them to hold their horses.

Where's Brick?

Oh.

Big Momma, what you said about having children, it's still kind of a secret, but...

Huh?

Oh, shoot, Maggie. Stop playing so dumb.

I mean, is he still drinking this stuff much?

Oh! He may have had a little highball. Don't laugh about it.

Some single men stop drinking when they get married. Others start.

Brick never touched liquor before... That's not fair!

Fair or not fair, I want to ask you a question. One question.

Do you make Brick happy?

Well?

Why don't you ask if he makes me happy? I know...

It works both ways.

Something ain't right. You're childless and my son drinks.

We're leaving, Big Momma. I'm coming!

When a marriage goes on the rocks, the rocks are there, right there.

Goodbye, Ida.

I'm coming.

That's not fair.

All right, I'm coming.

Is Brick here?

I thought I'd check his ankle.

Is it giving him much pain, Maggie?

Oh, you know how Brick is, Doc. He hardly ever complains.

Even when he had that awful back injury in football.

Brick.

Brick's birthday present for Big Daddy.

I think they're fixing to sit down to table.

Oh...

You forgot to write out the card, honey.

Hmm?

Thanks, Doc.

Can I get you something cool, Doc? Thanks.

How's the ankle?

Itches some.

Funny, that's the same leg you tore a muscle in the... What was it?

'Bama State. Yeah.

Twenty-one to... Nothing.

You miss football, don't you?

Hurt much when you put weight on it? Some.

Yeah, you were quite a team, you and Skipper.

What is it, Doc?

You didn't leave that party just to come up here and discuss my health.

That's right.

I already heard the good news about... It's bad news.

It's what we expected.

It's malignant and it's terminal. He hasn't a chance.

But Maggie said, and Big Momma... Lies.

I lied to them.

And I lied to him, too.

Professional ethics.

Gooper?

I told him the truth coming in from the airfield.

He's going to die?

He's gonna die.

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam To shine for him each day What kind of truth is that?

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam To shine for Him each day In every way try to please Him At home, at school, at play A sunbeam, a sunbeam Jesus wants me for a sunbeam A sunbeam, a sunbeam I'll be a sunbeam for Him Amen.

Did you like the singing, Big Daddy? Pass the black-eyed peas.

Just look at Big Daddy eat. Ain't it something to thank your stars for?

They've been practicing just for you. Tell them to sit down and eat.

Children, come on. Over there.

Yeah. Over there.

Look here. Telegrams.

Hundreds of telegrams from every corner of this great state.

Wishing you happy birthday.

You want me to read them? No.

One from the Governor, United States Senator...

It must be getting on to election time, hey, Deacon?

Let's remember, we're all lambs in the same pasture.

Everybody here, including Big Daddy, owes thanks to those in high places who...

Gave us nothing.

Every scrap on this table was raised right here on this place, Deacon.

I made a pastureland out of this place when it was nothing but a swamp.

And it was done with the help of God, and not any governor.

Amen.

Boom, boom and it makes me crazy Great balls of fire! Surprise!

What are they up to now? It's all just part of the entertainment.

Don't they get any intermission? That's funny.

That's very funny.

He don't mean it, Sister Woman.

He loves children. Of course he does.

Will you put some honey on this?

They're all Pollitts, I'm proud to say, every one of them.

And I know that Big Daddy's just as proud as we are, knowing there's a whole dynasty of his flesh and blood waiting to take over.

Why, that's no way to talk. What way?

"Take over." When we all know... I just meant...

...Big Daddy's going to live to be at least 100.

I'll drink to that. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

To Big Daddy.

In the name of every man, woman, and child in this here county, in the name of the church board, the school board, the board of trustees, felicitations on your 65th birthday.

Brick, honey, I brought you something to eat.

I'm not hungry.

What's that supposed to mean? We're leaving.

We can't. I can.

They're bringing the whole party up here to you.

If you won't drive me, I'll get one of the boys to do it.

You just can't walk out on Big Daddy's birthday party.

Don't you care nothing about him? Get out of my way, Maggie.

Get out of my way, Maggie.

You got no cause to dislike him.

Do I dislike him?

It's obvious to everybody. Especially to him.

What's he ever done to you? What?

Why do you hate him so much? What's he ever done to you?

Nothing.

What was Doc Baugh doing up here?

What did he...

That's right, Big Daddy is going to die.

I don't believe that.

Doc Baugh wouldn't lie to Big Daddy. Wouldn't he, Maggie?

Oh...

Poor Big Daddy.

I'm fond of him. I'm genuinely fond of that old man.

I really am, you know.

Oh, when he finds out...

I wouldn't want to be the one to tell him.

That's why you want to go now.

Yeah, that's why I want to leave now.

You got to do this for me, Maggie. Please.

And leave the field to Gooper and that wife of his? No, sir.

Let's face facts, baby.

You're a drinker, and that takes money. I don't want his money.

You're ready to settle for ten-cent beer?

'Cause that's just what Gooper will dole out to you when they freeze you out.

They got a plan, baby.

Oh, you should've heard them laying it on to Big Daddy. A mile a minute.

Big Momma's already on their side.

You're a drinker and I'm childless.

We got to beat that plan, we just got to.

I've been so disgustingly poor all my life.

That's the truth, Brick.

Have you, Maggie?

You don't know what it's like to have to suck up to people you can't stand just 'cause they have money.

You don't know what it's like never having any clothes.

That dress I married you in was a hand-me-down from a snotty rich cousin I hated.

You can be young without money.

But you can't be old without it.

Where did I fail you?

Where did I make my mistake?

Make that your last drink until after the party.

Please, honey?

I think I made my mistake when I tried to tell you about Skipper.

That's where I made my fatal error. Maggie.

I never should have confessed... Now you shut up about Skipper.

I mean it. You got to shut up about Skipper!

The laws of silence won't work about that.

Not about Skipper and us.

It's like locking the door on the fire in hopes of forgetting the house is burning.

Hey, everybody!

But not looking at a fire doesn't put it out.

This time I'm going to finish. That night in the hotel room, Skipper and I... I don't want to hear about it.

Why won't you face the truth just once?

About Skipper, about me, about yourself?

Hey, everybody! Brick, honey.

Are you going to bring that party up here or not?

Kit and caboodle, son.

That won't do any good. I'm going to say this, and I don't care if it's in front of them.

Maggie.

Do you want me to hit you with this crutch?

You're still blaming me for Skipper's death?

Don't you know that I could kill you with this crutch?

Good lord, man, do you think I'd care if you did?

Skipper and I had a friendship. Now why won't you let it alone!

It's got to be told. I don't want to hear it!

It's got to be told and you never let me tell it. I love you.

And that's worth fighting for. Not Skipper.

Skipper was no good. Maggie.

Maybe I'm no good either. Nobody's good.

But, Brick, Skipper is dead!

And I'm alive! Maggie.

Maggie The Cat is alive! I'm alive!

Why are you afraid of the truth? Truth!

Little girl, somebody ought to teach you to knock before you open a door.

Otherwise, people might think that you're lacking in good breeding.

What's Uncle Brick doing on the floor?

I tried to kill your Aunt Maggie.

But I failed.

And I fell. Little girl, would you hand me my crutch, please?

What were you jumping high hurdles for?

Because I used to jump them, and people like to do what they used to do, after they've stopped being able to do it.

That's right. And that's your answer.

Now go away, little girl.

Stop that, you little no-neck monster!

You're just jealous 'cause you can't have babies!

You see?

Mae and Gooper gloat over us being childless,

even in front of their little no-neck monsters.

Brick...

I went to a doctor in Memphis. A gynecologist.

He says there's no reason why we can't have a child whenever we want.

Brick?

Are you listening? Yes, Maggie, I hear you.

But how in hell on earth do you imagine you're going to have a child by a man who cannot stand you?

That, boy of mine, is a problem I'll just have to work out.

Here comes the party, here we come!

Here comes that birthday party!

That's nice.

You should have seen the preacher's face when I told him I got him a stained-glass memorial window.

He like to bust out crying.

Who did you get to give you that window, Deacon?

Clyde Fletcher's widow, a great, generous woman of fine character.

Somebody ought to give our churches a cooling system.

Yes sirree, Bob. Exactly my own thought.

Let's see, they've had the typhoid shots and the tetanus shots, diphtheria shots, hepatitis shots, polio shots.

Uh, Gooper. Huh?

Gooper, honey, what all have the kiddies been shot for?

Everything but stealing chickens, I guess.

Very funny.

Well, it does get hot out there, you know.

Well, Brick?

Congratulations, Big Daddy, on your birthday.

Bull. Do you know what Gus Hanna's family gave in his memory?

A complete new stone parish house with a basketball court...

Deacon! Hmm?

What's all this talk about memorial stained-glass windows?

Figuring on somebody kicking over around here? Is that it?

How about some nice music to start the party off with?

Turn that damn thing off!

Where's my Brick?

Where's my precious baby? Sorry, turn it back on.

How's your leg feel, honey?

Your hand was made to hold something better than that. Put that liquor down.

Look at old Brick. He's putting it down. Turn that off!

How about a birthday kiss, honey?

Hey, everybody, you know, the first time Big Daddy kissed me, I fainted.

It's a fact. Ain't that so, honey?

You all know how he proposed to me? I was four months swole with Gooper, and Big Daddy said, "That's my kid, ain't it?"

It was kind of funny. I never had a beau until I met your father. He said, "I want that kid. I need him.

"He ain't going to have nobody else's name but mine. Let's get the preacher.

"That's what marriage is for. Family."

Children were mighty important to Big Daddy, even then.

Ida, will you stop that yammering?

Oh, that's just his manner of talking. He don't mean it.

I been his one and only lover, haven't I, sweetheart?

Ida, will you keep quiet?

Children, come on.

Here comes Big Daddy's birthday!

Big Daddy's a jolly good fellow Big Daddy's a jolly good fellow Big Daddy's a jolly good fellow And so is Big Momma, too And so is Big Momma, too And so is Big Momma, too Big Daddy's a jolly good fellow And so is Big Momma, too

Ida, what the hell's the matter with you? Oh, she's just so happy, Big Daddy.

I'm so happy. I just got to cry or something.

Oh, Brick, Big Daddy's 100% healthy.

Uh, Brick, honey, aren't you going to give Big Daddy his birthday present?

Big Daddy.

Big Daddy, you got to open your birthday present.

Open it up yourself. I want to talk to Brick.

Hey, Brick, come over here.

Hey, Brick, Big Daddy's calling you.

Big Momma, take them out for me.

It's a cashmere robe. You sound surprised, Maggie.

I've never seen a cashmere robe before. That's funny.

What's so funny about it?

All my family ever had was family. Ha!

Quiet!

You bought it yourself last Saturday. I said quiet!

I know, 'cause the salesgirl that sold it to you waited on me and she told me about it.

Sister Woman... Quiet!

...Stork and the Grim Reaper, running neck and neck.

Deacon! Hmm?

I hope I'm not butting in on more talk about memorial stained-glass windows, am I, Deacon?

Not at all. Yes, say, Deacon.

What do you get out of all this charity work, anyway?

I happen to love humanity. That's my reward.

And if humanity loves you back enough, you might get elected councilman or mayor or something, hey, Deacon?

Now don't start picking on Deacon.

That's all right. I was just about... Good night, Deacon.

Exactly what I was about to say.

I better be going before it starts raining.

Good night, everybody. Bless you all, each and every one in this place.

Brick.

They tell me that you was indulging in some athletics last night.

I was trying to, yes, sir. At 3:00 in the morning?

What were you doing out there on the high school athletic field at 3:00 in the morning?

Jumping the hurdles. I was running and jumping the hurdles.

They got too high for me now.

Because you were drunk.

Sober, I would not have tried to jump even the low ones.

Big Daddy, it's time to blow out the candles on your birthday.

A toast to Big Daddy Pollitt on his 65th birthday.

To the biggest cotton planter...

I told you to stop it now, quit this bull.

I won't allow you to talk this way, not even on your birthday.

I'll talk like I want to on my birthday or any other rotten day of the year.

If anybody around here don't like it, they know what they can do about it.

I know you don't mean that. You don't know nothing. You never did.

You don't mean that. Oh, yes, I do mean it.

I've put up with a lot of bull around here because I thought I was dying.

That's when you started taking over.

Your loud voice and your old busy body butting in here, there and everywhere.

Sashaying around here, making a big noise like a boss.

I'm the only boss around here.

I built this place with no help from you.

And I'll run this place till the day I die.

Now, is that plain to you, Ida? Is that perfectly clear to you?

I ain't going to die.

Ain't nothing wrong with me, but a spastic colon!

Made spastic, I reckon, by all the lies and liars I've had to put up with around here.

And all the hypocrisy I've had to live with these 40 years I've lived with you.

Now, blow out them candles.

Go on. Blow out them candles on that stupid cake.

Oh, Big Daddy, in all these years, you never believed I loved you.

And I did.

I did so much.

I did love you.

I even loved your hate and your hardness.

Big Daddy should make plans. If he should die before...

Excuse me.

Brick.

Hey, son!

I was calling Brick.

I was just delivering him to you, Big Daddy.

What'd you do that for? Do what?

Wipe off her kiss?

Did I?

That woman of yours got a better shape on her than Gooper's got on his.

Is that the only difference you've noticed, Big Daddy?

Difference in shape's pretty important, boy.

But in a way, they're a lot alike. How's that?

They don't look peaceful. How's that?

They're a couple of cats.

They're sitting on the middle of a big piece of land, you know, 28,000 acres.

That's a lot of land.

And they're both squaring off, each determined to knock off a bigger piece whenever you let go.

Yeah. Well, I got a surprise for them babies.

I ain't gonna let go for a long time yet, if that's what they're waiting for.

That's right, Big Daddy, you just set tight and let them scratch each other's eyes out.

You bet your life.

That Gooper's wife, she's a good breeder. You'll have to admit she's fertile.

Five head of them already and more coming.

Yep, number six coming.

Six nothing, she'll probably drop a litter next time.

Are you stuck out there or something?

Daddy, I was just passing by. You was just sneaking and spying.

Do I have to lock all the doors around here to have a private conversation?

Big Daddy, why do you want to hurt those that really love you?

Bull!

I'm gonna move you and Gooper out of that room.

It's none of your business what goes on in here between Brick and Maggie.

I hate sneaking and spying. It makes me puke!

They listen, do they? Yeah, they listen.

They run and tell Big Momma everything they hear.

They say Maggie sleeps on the bed and you sleep on the sofa.

Is that true or not?

If you don't like Maggie, get rid of her.

What're you doing over there now? Freshening up my drink.

You know you got a real liquor problem? Yes, sir, I know.

Is that why you quit your job, sports-announcing, because of liquor?

I guess so. Yes, sir, that's it.

Don't guess about it, son. It's too important.

So, you quit?

Was that some kind of a disappointment? I don't know. Do you?

I'm asking you. How should I know if you don't?

Son, do you think a shot of that whiskey would injure my spastic condition?

No, sir.

It might do it some good.

The sky is open again, boy. It's open. That's the way to feel.

I can breathe.

All my life, I've been like a doubled-up fist, pounding and smashing and driving.

But now I'm going to take things easy with them.

You know what I'm contemplating? What's that, sir?

Pleasure.

I'll tell you something, boy, I still have a feeling for women, and I'm 65.

That's mighty remarkable, Big Daddy. Remarkable?

Admirable.

It's not only remarkable and admirable, it's downright satisfying.

I'm going to have me a ball. A ball, huh?

I'm gonna pick me a choice woman, and I'm going to smother her in minks and choke her with diamonds.

I'm going to be happy.

Why are you so restless? You got ants in your britches?

Yes, sir. Why?

Something hasn't happened yet. What's that?

A click in my head. Did you say, "click"?

Yes, sir. The click in my head that makes me feel peaceful.

Boy, sometimes you worry me.

It's like a switch, clicking off in my head.

Turns the hot light off and the cool one on, and all of a sudden, there's peace.

You're a real alcoholic.

That is the truth.

Yes, sir, I am an alcoholic. So, if you'll just excuse me.

No, I won't excuse you! I'm waiting for that click!

I don't get it unless I'm all alone, I'm talking to no one, when there's absolute quiet!

You'll hear plenty of that in the grave soon enough.

But right now we're going to sit down and talk this over.

This talk is like all the others. It gets nowhere and it's painful!

All right, let it be painful.

I can crawl on one foot and I can hop if I have to.

If you're not careful, you're gonna crawl right out of this family, and have to hustle your drinks on skid row.

Yeah, that will come, too.

No, it won't.

Now that I'm straightened out, I'm gonna straighten you out.

Sit down!

It's no use. We talk in circles. We have nothing to say to each other!

Where are you going? To get me another bottle.

No, you're not, you drunken whelp.

What're you all shouting like that for? I just can't stand it!

Get out of here! Leave us alone!

Why do you drink? Go on.

You better know why you drink, or give up drinking.

Give me my crutch. Why do you drink?

Now, look, I stepped on that foot and I'm in pain.

Good!

At least you're not too numb with liquor to feel pain.

Now, why do you drink? Give me my crutch.

Tell me first.

No, give me a drink first and I'll tell you.

Tell me first.

First you got to tell me! All right! Disgust!

Disgust with what? You strike a hard bargain.

Boy, do you want liquor that bad? Yes, sir, I want liquor that bad.

Now tell me what are you disgusted with?

Mendacity. You know what that is? It's lies and liars.

Who's been lying to you? Maggie? Your wife's been lying to you?

No. Not one lie, not one person. The whole thing.

What's the matter? You got a headache? No, I'm just trying...

You're just trying to concentrate, but you can't.

'Cause your brain is soaked with liquor. Wet brain!

Mendacity!

What do you know about mendacity? I could write a book on it.

It's your sister calling from Memphis. To hell with her!

Gooper, get out of there.

Go on. Close the door after you.

Mendacity!

Look at all the lies that I got to put up with. Pretenses, hypocrisy.

Pretending like I care for Big Momma.

I haven't been able to stand that woman in 40 years.

Church. It bores me. But I go.

And all those swindling lodges, social clubs, and money-grabbing auxiliaries that's got me on their number-one-sucker list.

Boy, I've lived with mendacity. Now why can't you live with it?

You've got to live with it. There's nothing to live with but mendacity.

Is there?

Oh, yes, sir, you can live with this.

That's not living.

That's a-dodging away from life. I want to dodge away from it.

Then, son, why don't you kill yourself? Because I like to drink.

I can't talk to you. I'm sorry.

You expect me to turn over 28,000 acres of the richest land this side of the Valley Nile to a fool on a bottle?

No, sir.

I like you, son, but why should I subsidize worthless behavior, rot, corruption?

Turn it over to Gooper and Mae.

I can't stand Gooper and Mae and those five screaming monkeys.

Now, I don't have to turn it over to any of you.

To this day, I ain't made no will. Now I don't have to, the pressure's off.

I can just wait and see if you pull yourself together or if you don't.

That's right.

I'm not kidding. No, sir, I know you're not kidding.

You mean, you don't care? No, sir, I don't care.

Will you tell Lacey to drive me to the station?

Now wait a minute. Or I'll drive myself.

I'm going home tonight. Now!

This is your home. Is it? Since when?

Let's don't leave it like this.

Like all them other talks we've had.

We always seem to talk around things.

Seem to leave things unsaid and unspoken.

But now we've got to talk straight. No, sir, it's too late for talk.

Why? What are you disgusted about?

Because you can't play football anymore, is that it?

Because you lost your job, sports-announcing? I'll get it back for you.

What? Sit in a glass box watching games that I can't play?

Describing what I can't do while other players do it?

Filling my Coke with bourbon so I can stand it?

Is that what you're gonna get back for me?

I think you're passing the buck.

You know many drinking men?

I've known a goodly number of that species.

Could any of them tell you why they drank?

You're passing the buck.

You're passing the buck to things like disgust and mendacity.

If you've got to use that kind of language about a thing, it's 90-proof bull and I ain't buying any!

Oh, you started drinking with your friend Skipper's death.

Now that's the truth, ain't that?

What are you suggesting?

Nothing. But... But what?

Come on, say what's on your mind. Say it!

Why are you so excited? Go ahead, say it!

What are you shouting like that for?

Skipper and I were friends. Can you understand that?

Gooper and Mae said that Skipper was...

Skipper is the only thing that I've got left to believe in!

And you are dragging it through the gutter!

Now just a minute!

You are making it shameful and filthy, you...

Give me your hand.

I don't want your hand. The hell with all lies and liars.

Didn't you ever look up to anybody? Anybody at all in your whole life?

Didn't you ever believe in anything, anybody?

No, sir. I guess you didn't.

Nothing and nobody excepting Big Daddy himself.

You and Skipper played football together.

Made a few touchdowns. Does that make him God Almighty?

I could depend on him.

On the football field? Anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

I could depend on him.

You sure of that? Yes, sir. Sure.

Bull!

Why did your big strong man fall apart?

Why did Skipper crack up?

All right.

You're asking for it, we're going to have that talk.

That straight true talk.

It's too late to stop it now. Can you say it without a drink?

But I haven't heard that click yet. That mechanical click.

You need a lot of crutches, don't you? Clicks? Whiskey?

What else you need? Skipper?

He was a crutch for you, too, wasn't he? Yes, sir.

He was someone for me to lean on, in school and out of it.

How did Maggie take this great and true friendship?

Ask her.

I'm asking you. No.

You want to know why Skipper cracked up? Ask Maggie The Cat.

What did she do?

Chase him out of the 11th story window of that Chicago hotel?

Did that little, bitty girl shove your big hero out all by herself?

Why?

What was going on between Skipper and Maggie?

Ask her.

Maggie? In here. Can I be of assistance, Big Daddy?

Trixie's ready to play the piano for you, Big Daddy.

Go ahead, Trixie, play.

What was going on between you and Skipper?

Well, you see, Big Daddy...

Well?

Oh, come on, Maggie.

Now, you wanted to talk truth upstairs. Go ahead.

Come on, now, Big Daddy wants to know. Go ahead, tell him.

Skipper didn't like me.

Why, Maggie? Why didn't Skipper like you?

You know he was against us getting married.

Why, Maggie?

Because it meant less freedom for you. Freedom to do what, Maggie?

Freedom to run from town to town.

Planes, trains, always running.

Football practice, dirty stories. Nobody forced you to come along with us.

I didn't expect to spend my honeymoon in the locker room with the boys.

Since when did the smell of a man ever injure your sensitive feelings?

Football, baby.

The idea of football smelled.

Especially the notions of a professional team.

Why, he didn't need any team of his own.

He could've gotten a spot on any pro team in the country.

You organized your own team on account of Skipper.

You're a liar!

On account he wasn't good enough to make it on his own.

Professional football, Maggie, is a business.

Not a social club, a business.

Oh, you mean the business of making money?

Yeah, money! The stuff that your dreams are made of.

Why, the Dixie Stars never made a nickel.

Not from the first day to the last.

It wasn't the money, it was the cheers.

He lapped them up.

Oh, the cheers didn't mean anything to me.

But they meant something to you, didn't they?

Because they shut you out and that's what you hated, being shut out.

Not by the crowds, baby, by you.

By the man I worshiped. That's why I hated Skipper.

You hated him so much, that you got him drunk and went to bed with him.

Well, is that true?

Oh, Big Daddy, you don't think I ravished a football hero?

Skipper was drunk. So are you most of the time.

I don't seem to make out so well with you.

Are you trying to say that nothing happened between you and Skipper?

You know what happened. I don't know what happened!

I don't know, Maggie. I wasn't there.

I couldn't play that Sunday. I wasn't in Chicago.

I was in the hospital. But Skipper played.

Oh, he played, all right.

He played his first professional game without Brick.

Tell Big Daddy what happened. Go on, go ahead, tell him.

You're a sports announcer.

Give us a running account of the all-American bust.

Tell Big Daddy how many times Skipper fumbled, and stumbled and fell apart.

On offensive he was useless. On defensive he was a coward.

And it was all over.

Chicago 47, Dixie Stars 0.

Bad breaks. An off day. No.

No, baby.

Without you, Skipper was nothing.

Outside, big, tough, confident.

Inside, pure jelly.

You saw the game on TV. You saw what happened.

But I didn't see what happened in Skipper's hotel room.

That little episode was not on TV.

Go ahead, tell Big Daddy why you were in Skipper's room.

He was sick. Sick with drink.

He wouldn't come out. He'd busted some furniture, and the hotel manager said to stop him before he called the police.

So, I went to his room.

I scratched on his door and begged him to let me in.

He was half crazy.

Violent and screaming one minute, and weak and crying the next.

And all the time scared stiff about you.

So, I said to him, maybe it was time we forgot about football, maybe he ought to get a job and let me and Brick alone.

I thought he'd hit me.

He walked toward me with a funny sort of smile on his face.

Then he did the strangest thing. He kissed me.

That was the first time he'd ever touched me.

And then I knew what I was going to do.

I'd get rid of Skipper.

I'd show Brick that their deep, true friendship was a big lie.

I'd prove it by showing that Skipper would make love to the wife of his best friend.

He didn't need any coaxing. He was more than willing.

He even seemed to have the same idea.

You're just trying to whitewash it. I'm not!

I was trying to win back my husband.

It didn't matter how. I would've done anything. Even that.

But at the last second, I got panicky.

Supposing I lost you instead?

Supposing you'd hate me instead of Skipper?

So, I ran.

Nothing happened!

I've tried to tell him 100 times, but he won't let me.

Nothing happened! Hallelujah, Saint Maggie.

I wanted to get rid of Skipper.

But not if it meant losing you.

He blames me for Skipper's death.

Maybe I got rid of Skipper.

Skipper won out, anyway.

I didn't get rid of him at all.

Isn't it an awful joke, honey?

I lost you, anyway.

You didn't talk to him again before he... No.

But Brick did. How do you know they talked?

Skipper told me. When?

When they put his poor broken body in the ambulance.

I rode with him to the hospital.

The whole time, he kept on saying, "Why did Brick hang up on me, why?"

Why, Brick?

Brick, where are you going?

Home.

You can't drive. You're drunk.

Not yet, Big Daddy. Not yet. Now give me that bottle.

What are you running away from?

Why did you hang up on Skipper when he called you?

Answer me.

What did he say? Was it about him and Maggie?

He said they'd made love. And you believed him?

Yes.

Then why haven't you thrown her out?

Something's missing here. Now, why did Skipper kill himself?

Because somebody let him down.

I let him down.

When he called that night,

I couldn't make much sense out of...

But there was one thing that was sure.

Skipper was scared.

Scared.

About what happened that day on the football field, that I'd blame him, scared that I'd walk out on him.

Skipper afraid, I couldn't believe that.

I mean, inside, he was real, deep-down scared.

And he broke like a rotten stick.

He started crying...

"I need you."

He kept babbling, "Help me."

Me help him?

How does one drowning man help another drowning man?

So, you hung up on him.

And then that phone started to ring again.

And it rang and it rang and it wouldn't stop ringing.

And I lay in that hospital bed.

I was unable to move or run from that sound and still, it kept ringing louder and louder.

And the sound of that was like Skipper screaming for help.

And I couldn't pick it up.

So, that's when he killed himself?

Yeah.

Because I let him down.

So, that disgust with mendacity is really disgust with myself.

And when I hear that click in my head, I don't hear the sound of that phone ringing anymore.

And I can stop thinking. I'm ashamed, Big Daddy!

That's why I'm a drunk. When I'm drunk, I can stand myself.

But it's always there in the morning, ain't it? The truth?

And it's here right now.

You're just feeling sorry for yourself. That's all it is, self-pity!

You didn't kill Skipper. He killed himself.

You and Skipper and millions like you, are living in a kids' world, playing games, touchdowns, no worries, no responsibilities.

Life ain't no damn football game. Life ain't just a bunch of high spots.

You're a 30-year-old kid. Soon you'll be a 50-year-old kid pretending you hearing cheers when there ain't any.

Dreaming and drinking your life away.

Heroes in the real world live 24 hours a day, not just two hours in a game.

Mendacity! You won't...

You won't live with mendacity, but you're an expert at it.

The truth is pain and sweat, paying bills and making love to a woman that you don't love anymore.

The truth is dreams that don't come true, and nobody prints your name in the paper till you die.

Now, here.

The truth is you never growed up.

Grownups don't hang up on friends. Get away from the car.

They don't hang up on their wives.

They don't hang up on life. Would you just please let go?

Now that's the truth and that's what you can't face.

Can you face the truth? Try me.

Sure, somebody else's truth.

Bull. You're running again. Yeah, I am running.

Running from lies. Lies like birthday congratulations and many happy returns of the day when there won't be any and...

Please, let me go home.

What did you say? I don't remember.

Many happy returns when there won't be any?

Forget it.

Now, please, just let me go home. Leave the place to Gooper and Mae.

Leave the place. Who said I was going to leave the place or anything?

I'll outlive you. I'll bury you.

I'll buy your coffin. That's right, Big Daddy, many happy returns.

They were lying, weren't they, son?

About that report from the clinic?

This pain keeps grabbing me.

It's death.

Ain't it?

Answer me! The truth!

You said it yourself, Big Daddy. Mendacity is a system we live in.


Brick.

Brick, wait!


Look at us, Maggie. Look at us.

The great Pollitt Enterprises stuck in the...

I hurt him, Maggie.

I hurt him really bad.

What's the matter? What's happened?

Why is Big Daddy... We got to talk to you, Big Momma.

Mae, get Dr. Baugh! Where is he?

I don't know, just find him. Brick.

Doc. Doc! I wouldn't go down to him right now, Ida.

Sweetheart!

Big Daddy, can you hear me?

Sweetheart, what are you doing?

I'm coming down.

No need to, Ida. We'll be coming up in a minute.

Oh...

If that pain gets too bad, this is morphine and a syringe.

The instructions are written out.

It's no use pretending anymore.

When that pain hits, it'll hit hard.

Make it easy on yourself.

Here.

You better take off those wet clothes.

Why? You afraid I might catch cold and die?

Why can't I go down to him? Well, he's, uh...

Well, his stomach's upset, Ida.

Well, all he needs is a peppermint.

It's time we had that little talk, Doc.

It's gonna be painful. Painful things can't always be avoided.

So I've noticed, but there are times when you...

Yes, sir, I think it's time we all had our little talk.

What talk are you all talking about?

Doc, what were Brick and Big Daddy fighting about out in the rain?

We didn't discuss it.

What's he doing in the cellar all alone?

Why can't Big Momma go and see him? You heard why.

'Cause he's got the stomach upset. It's made him irritable.

When old couples been together as long as me and Big Daddy, they get irritable with each other from too much devotion.

Isn't that so?

Of course that's so.

He loves his family.

He loves to have them around him, but it's a strain on his nerves.

He wasn't himself. I could tell he was all worked up.

It's the party and the excitement and all.

He's probably just a little wore out, that's all.

Did you notice how he ate? He ate like a P-I-G hog.

I hope he don't regret it.

Who? Big Daddy?

Why, he helped himself twice to Hopping John.

He just loves Hopping John. We had a real country dinner.

And candied yams.

That man put away enough to stuff a field hand.

I just hope he don't have to pay for it later on.

What? What's that?

Gooper say he hopes Big Daddy...

Oh, shoot. Gooper says. Gooper says.

There ain't nothing wrong with Big Daddy but nerves.

Ain't that so, Maggie?

He's as sound as a dollar. And now he knows he is.

And that's why he ate such a supper. He had a load off his mind, knowing he wasn't doomed to what he thought he was doomed to.

Now, nothing's going to hurt Big Daddy.

We just won't allow anything to happen to him.

Doc. Come here, Doc!

I don't need any doctor.

He's got something to tell you about Big Daddy.

I want Brick.

He'll be down directly.

Sticky rain always makes me sick.

Give me something to wash this tablet down with.

What's wrong here? You've all got such long faces.

Brick, Big Momma needs you. They'll tell her without me.

Oh, please, Brick.

I just can't stand the way that Mae and Gooper are...

Are what? Trying to grab off this place for themselves?

Well, let them have it all.

And if you want to fight for a piece of the old man's carcass, why, you go right ahead, but you're gonna do it without me.

All right, I deserve that. But not this time. This time you're wrong.

What I can't stand is not losing this place. It's Big Momma.

I know what it's like to lose somebody you love.

Careful, Maggie, your claws are showing.

Mae, close that door. Don't close that door.

Let a little air circulate.

I just don't think we ought to run the risk of Big Daddy hearing a word of this discussion.

What discussion of what?

Maggie, Brick... Now, now, Big Momma...

There ain't gonna be a word said in this house of Big Daddy Pollitt's, that he can't hear if he wants to. Brick, where are you?

Where do you think he is? Gone to pieces, that's where.

Doc, ain't there some kind of cure for drinkers?

Brick don't need no cures. Of course he don't.

Give him time. He'll lap up all the whiskey in the state. That'll cure him.

Stop that kind of talk.

Big Daddy takes a drink now and then. I don't trust a man who don't drink.

Good for you.

Mae, sit down, hold Big Momma's hand while we talk.

What are you all surrounding me for? I don't need you to hold my hand.

You all crazy? You calm yourself, sweetheart.

You calm yourself yourself, Sister Woman!

How am I going to calm myself with everyone staring at me as if big drops of blood had broken out on my face?

What's all this about, huh? What?

Doc. Sit down, Mae.

Big Momma wants to know the complete truth about the report we got from the clinic.

Truth!

Everybody keeps hollering about the truth.

Well, the truth is as dirty as lies!

Is there something I don't know, Doc? Well, Ida...

I want to know!

Somebody must be lying. Come and sit down, Momma, please.

I want to know about my husband.

He had the most thorough examination ever given at the Ofenheim Clinic.

It's one of the best clinics in the country.

It's the best in the country, bar none.

They were 99.9% sure before they even started.

Right, Doc?

Sure of what?

Not now. The test was positive!

Mae, shut up.

It's hopeless, Ida. He knows it, too.

Hopeless?

Now, now, darling. You had to know.

Why didn't they cut it out of him, huh?

It's gone past the knife, Ida. He's dying, Big Momma.

You get away from me, Mae. Get away from me.

I want Brick. Where's my Brick? Where's my only son?

Brick! Momma, please.

I'm your son, too. Gooper's your firstborn.

Now, listen to me! No!

Ida, he'll be having some pain. Gooper and I think...

Oh, Mae, shut up.

You want to see him suffer? No.

Then he's got to be started on morphine. No.

Nobody's going to give my husband morphine. No.

No.

Why don't you give her a while to adjust herself to the idea?

It's Maggie's who's upsetting her. Hey, Doc, instead of a needle, haven't you maybe got a pill to make the pain disappear?

Sometimes I wish I had a pill to make people disappear.

Thanks for everything, Doc, we sure do appreciate...

Does Brick know?

You know, honey,

we was never a very happy family.

I mean, there wasn't much joy in this house.

It wasn't Big Daddy's fault. I mean, it was just...

You know how some homes are happy homes, but...

I thought coming home from the clinic this morning, now we'll be happy here.

You and Brick will come and live with us, and you'll have your children in this house, and we'll help each other be happy.

Nothing's ever the way you plan, is it?

Margaret, honey, you got to help Brick.

Make him pull himself together. You see, if he's gonna take hold of things...

Take hold of what things?

The place.

Big Momma, you've had a shock. Yes, we've all had a shock.

Let's be realistic. Big Daddy would never be foolish enough.

He'd never be foolish enough to put this place in irresponsible hands!

He ain't putting this place in anybody's hands.

My husband is not going to die!

Now, I want you to get that in your heads. Both of you.

We're hoping just as much as you are. We intend to pray for him.

But I'm not gonna let you persuade Big Daddy to leave this place...

Gooper is your firstborn!

He always had to carry a bigger load of the responsibilities than Brick.

Brick never carried a thing in his life, but a football or a highball.

Mae, will you let me talk? Please? Yes, of course.

All right.

A 28,000 acre plantation is a mighty big thing to run.

Almost single-handed.

You had your law practice in Memphis. When did you ever run this place?

Oh, Momma, let's be fair.

Ever since Big Daddy's health started failing him, Gooper has worked like a fool to keep this place up.

Gooper won't admit it. He never thought of it as a duty.

Mae!

Big Daddy don't even know half of what he owns.

The point is, I'm not gonna see this place run into the ground by a drunken ex-football hero.

You shut up about my husband! You shut up!

He has no right to slander...

I got the right to discuss my own brother with members of my own family, which don't include you.

Now, why don't you go up there and drink with Brick.

If the conquering hero hasn't passed out already.

He may have to pass up the Sugar Bowl this year.

Or was it the Rose Bowl he made his famous run in?

It was the Punch Bowl, honey.

The cut-glass punch bowl. That's right.

I always get that boy's bowls mixed up.

Oh, I have never seen such malice toward a brother.

What about his malice toward Gooper?

He can't even stand being in the same room with me.

Can I help you, Mr. Brick? No, thank you, Lacey.

Where's my father? He's in the cellar.

And he's alone. And he's...

Thank you, Lacey.

This is a deliberate campaign to ruin Brick.

He doesn't need any help.

For the most disgusting and sordid reasons on earth. Avarice.

Avarice and greed!

Oh, no, Margaret, darling, don't cry. Don't cry.

Well, that takes the cake. Mae.

Who are the tears for?

Brick? Big Daddy?

Or are they for yourself? Mae.

Are you crying 'cause you're childless? You know why she's got no kids?

Ask her big, beautiful husband. Mae!

You just won't let me do this the nice way, will you? All right.

You always said I never loved Big Daddy. How would you know?

How would he know? Did he ever let anybody love him?

For him it was always Brick, always.

From the day he was born, he was always partial to Brick. Why?

Big Daddy wanted me to become a lawyer. I became a lawyer.

He said, "Get married." I got married.

He said, "Have kids." I had kids.

He said, "Live in Memphis." I lived in Memphis.

Whatever he said do, I did, all right.

I don't give a damn whether Big Daddy likes me or don't like me, or did or never did or will or will never.

I've appealed for common decency and fair play.

Now I'm telling you.

I intend to protect my interests.

I'm not a corporation lawyer for nothing. Mae.

Go get my briefcase out of our bedroom. Yes, hon.

Oh...

It was... I...

It was the Cotton Bowl, Sister Woman.

Pa?


Pa?

Give me your hand. I don't want your hand.


No.

But the Doc told... It's my pain.

That makes it my business.

I thought you went and hid yourself. What do you want?

I came to apologize. Yeah?

What for, telling me the truth?

There must be a dozen reasons. Save them.

I hate apologies. Especially for the truth.

Whatever you did, don't apologize for it. Just don't do it again.

If you didn't do it, start doing it.

Start by getting me a cigar out of that coat.

You think you ought... Get me the cigar, boy!

It's all wet from the rain.

You're all wet yourself. It's a lousy joke, but it's true.

Modern science.

Get me that...

That robe.

There's a bottle in that desk. I don't want a drink.

Well, I do. I want a drink.

I've got a million "clicks" in my guts.

Knives sharpening themselves.

You know about "clicks," don't you, boy?

So, you bought me a birthday present?

No, sir, Maggie bought it.

Got good taste, that girl. In some things, yes, sir.

But not in men.

Nice soft material.

And this is my soft birthday.

Not my gold or my silver. This is my soft birthday.

Here's to my last birthday.

Aren't you drinking to that?

Clickety-click.

You know what I'm going to do before I die?

I'm going to open up all these boxes.

Will you look at this stuff?

Bought most of it when I took your mother to Europe on that Cook's tour.

Never had such a lousy time in my life.

Now that Europe is nothing but a great big auction.

Bunch of old worn-out places, a great, big fire sale, the whole rotten thing.

And Big Momma went wild in it.

Boy! She just bought and bought.

Sure is lucky I'm a rich man. Yes, sirree, it sure is lucky.

Got any idea what I'm worth, son? Ask Gooper. He knows.

He knows to the penny unless I miss my guess.

Close on $10 million in cash and blue-chip stocks, besides 28,000 acres of the richest land this side of the Valley Nile.

Well, that is pretty rich to be.

There's one thing you can't buy in a Europe fire sale, or any other market on earth.

That's your life.

Can't buy back your life when it's finished.

No, sir, nobody can do that.

Feeling sorry for me or for you?

For you, Papa.

That's good. Because you're going to miss me, boy.

Why'd you let Ma buy all this stuff?

The human animal is a beast that eventually has to die.

If he's got money, he buys and he buys.

The reason why he buys everything he can is because of a crazy hope that one of the things he buys will be life everlasting, which it never can be.

I suddenly noticed that you don't call me Big Daddy anymore.

If you needed a Big Daddy, why didn't you come to me?

You wanted somebody to lean on, why Skipper? Why not me? I'm your father.

I'm Big Daddy, me. Why didn't you come to your kinfolk, to people that love you?

You don't know what love means. To you it's just another four-letter word.

You got a mighty short memory.

What was it that you wanted that I didn't buy for you?

You can't buy love!

You bought yourself a million dollars worth of junk!

Look at it, does it love you?

Who'd you think I bought it for, me? It's yours.

The place, the money, every rotten thing yours!

I don't want things!

But we drew this, uh...

I said we drew this up with the advice... Get out of the way.

Get out of my way. We're settling this first.

I don't want to see it. It's a plan. A preliminary.

Waste!

Worthless!

Worthless!

Worthless.


Don't, son.

Please, don't cry, boy. No.

That's funny.

I never saw you cry before. How is that? Didn't you ever cry as a kid?

Can't you understand? I never wanted your place or your money or...

I don't want to own anything.

All I wanted was a father, not a boss.

I wanted you to love me.

I did and I do. No.

Not me, and not Gooper, and not even Momma.

That's a lie. I did love her. I'd give her everything, anything...

Things. Papa, you gave her things.

A house, a trip to Europe, all this junk.

Some jewelry. Things you gave her. Things, Papa, not love.

I gave her an empire, boy.

I've seen you out there on your empire with the men who run it for you. You don't know their names, or if they've got kids, or if they're happy.

You've never looked into their faces.

What are faces? You don't build an empire by remembering faces.

Next week, I'm gonna start building that textile plant.

I'll not only grow my own cotton, I'll weave it and I'll market it.

I'll tell you, boy, in a year or two years from now...

Yeah.

The men who build empires die, and empires die, too.

No, it won't.

That's why I've got you and Gooper. Look at Gooper.

Look at what he's become. Is that what you wanted him to be?

And look at me.

You put it very well indeed. I'm a 30-year-old kid.

And pretty soon, I'm going to be a 50-year-old kid.

I don't know what to believe in.

What's the good of living if you've got nothing to...

There's got to be some purpose in life, some meaning.

Look at me, for the sake of God, look at me, before it's too late!

For once in your life, look at me as I really am.

Look at me!

I'm a failure. I'm a drunk.

On my own in the open market, I'm not worth the price of a decent burial.

You and Gooper and the rest of you blaming me for everything, huh?

No, Papa. Nobody, just a...

We've known each other all my life and we're strangers.

You own 28,000 acres of the richest... You own $10 million.

You own a wife and two children. You own us, but you don't love us.

In my own way... No, sir.

You don't even like people.

You wanted Gooper to have kids. You want me to have kids. Why?

'Cause I want a part of me to keep on living.

I won't have it end with the grave.

Look!

This is what my father left me.

A lousy old suitcase.

And on the inside was nothing.

Nothing but his uniform from the Spanish-American War.

This was his legacy to me. Nothing at all!

And I built this place from nothing.

And that's all he left you?

Yeah, he was a hobo.

Best-known tramp on the boxcar circuit.

He worked once in a while as a field hand, and I'd tag along.

Sat on my bare bottom in the dirt, waiting for him.

Outside of hunger, first thing I could remember is shame.

I was ashamed of that miserable, old tramp.

I was riding boxcars when I was nine years old, something you never had to do.

And you'll never have to bury me either, like I did him.

I buried him in a meadow alongside a railroad track.

We was running to catch a freight and his heart gave out.

You know something?

That lousy old tramp died laughing. Laughing at what?

Himself, I guess. An old hobo tramp.

Not a nickel in his jeans, you know. No future, no past.

Or maybe he was laughing because he was happy.

Happy at having you with him.

He took you everywhere and he kept you with him.

I don't want to talk about that.

Yeah, I loved him.

I reckon I never loved anything as much as that lousy old tramp.

And you say he left you nothing but a suitcase?

With a uniform in it from the Spanish-American War?

And some memories.

And love.

Did I tell you all those stories about my old man?

Yeah, about 50 times.

It's only a plan to protect the biggest estate in the Delta from irresponsibility. Momma, you got to sign.

Maggie, where is it?

What, Momma? What the doctor left to make his pain easier.

Brick's down there with him. Brick will help Big Daddy.

Help him? How?

By running a 100-yard dash? Oh, shut up, Mae.

Maybe he'll cheer Big Daddy up by kicking a couple of field goals.

One more crack, Queenie, just one, and I will not only spit in your eye, but I will punch it black and blue.

Now hold on a minute.

I'm not gonna listen to anymore slander... Mae was only saying...

I know what she's saying and I know exactly what she meant.

The only world that Brick knows is a world that he...

It's not a world he made.

Ladies.

No. Why won't you take it?

It'll kill the pain that's all. It'll kill the senses, too.

When you've got pain, at least you know you're alive.

It's easing somewhat now.

When you got pain, it's better to judge yourself than a lot of things.

I'm not going to stupefy myself with that stuff.

I want to think clear.

I want to see everything and I want to feel everything.

Then I won't mind going.

I've got the guts to die.

What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?

I don't know.

We can try.

Could start by helping each other up these stairs.

Yes, sir.

The least you can do is read them.

You put those papers away before I tear them up.

I don't know what's in them. I don't want to know what's in them.

I'm talking in Big Daddy's language now.

I'm his wife, not his widow. I'm still his wife.

Yeah. But what I got here... He's explained it's just a plan.

Plan. Basis. What I say to your plan is...

Maggie, what is it Big Daddy says when he's disgusted?

He says "bull" when he's disgusted.

That's right. I say "bull," too, like Big Daddy.

Coarse language don't seem called for to me.

Bull!

Something in me is deeply outraged by all this kind of talk.

Then stop talking like your father was dead. And me along with him.

What about her? She wants her share, too.

As far as Brick is concerned, nobody's going to take nothing.

Not till Big Daddy lets go, and maybe just possibly, not even then.

No, Momma, not even then.

Hello, Bucky Boy. Oh!

Looks like the wind took some liberties with this place.

Evening, Captain. Evening, Captain.

Storm cross over the river? Gone to Arkansas, Captain.

Rain do some good, Captain?

Some good I reckon.

Some good.

The least you can do is read them.

You put those papers away before I tear them up.

I don't know what's in them. I don't want to know what's in them.

Well, can I come in?

The storm done any damage, Big Daddy?

What storm you talking about? The one on the outside, or that hullabaloo I heard going on in here?

Uh, excuse me, sir.

Heard some mighty loud talking.

Sounded like something important being discussed. What's the pow-wow about?

Nothing, Big Daddy. Nothing at all.

What's in them important-looking documents you got there, Gooper?

These, sir? Nothing. Nothing much anything at all.

Then what are you and Sister Woman scurrying and scrounging around for?

Looks like a whole lot of nothing to me.

What's that smell in this room?

Didn't you notice it, Brick?

Didn't you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?

Yes, sir, I think I did.

Ain't nothing more powerful than the odor of mendacity.

Didn't you notice it, Gooper? What, sir?

What about you, Sister Woman?

Didn't you notice an unpleasant smell of mendacity in this room?

Big Daddy, I don't even know what that is.

You can smell it. It smells like death.

What's the matter with that woman over there?

Hey, what's-your-name. What's the matter with you?

She just had a slight dizzy spell.

You better watch that, Big Momma. A stroke's a bad way to go.

Look, Momma, he's wearing Brick's birthday present.

I haven't given you my present, yet, but I will now.

I have an announcement to make. What kind of an announcement?

An announcement of life beginning.

A child is coming, sired by Brick out of Maggie The Cat.

I have Brick's child in my body.

And that is my present to you.

Ever in your born days ever hear such a bald-faced lie?

Shut up.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Yes, indeed, this girl has life in her body.

And that's no lie.

Gooper, I want my lawyer in the morning. My lawyer.

Brick. Yes, Big Daddy?

I'm going out to look this place over before I give it up.

The place and the people on it.

Ida.

You want to come along with me?

Brick, what, eh...

What were you and Big Daddy talking about down there?

Us. Me, too?

Yeah, you, too. You ripped him apart. Your own brother.

You believe that, Gooper?

No. Well, I do!

Keep still.

A family crisis brings out the best and the worst in every member of the family.

That's the truth.

Amen.

You want to talk about the truth? You're not pregnant.

Be still, Mae. She made it up.

I said, shut up. Don't you try to kid us, Maggie.

Mae.

She's not kidding you.

How can she have a child by you, when you won't even...

Will you keep quiet?

We occupy the next room. The walls between aren't soundproof.

We hear the nightly pleading and the nightly refusals.

Sister Woman, not everybody makes as much noise about love as you do.

Brick, I never thought that you would stoop to her level.

You heard what Big Daddy said, "That girl's got life in her body."

That's a lie! No.

No. No, truth is something desperate. And Maggie's got it.

Believe me, it is desperate. And she has got it.

Why don't you say something, honey?

All right, honey. Shut up!

Maggie.

Yes? Come on up here.

Yes, sir!

Yeah. That girl's got life in her, all right.

Thank you for keeping still.

For backing me up in my lie.

Oh, Maggie.

We are through with lies and liars in this house.

Lock the door.