Change of Habit (1969) Script

It is written.

"Go out into the world and proclaim the good news to all creation."

Let us pray now for three members of our order... who leave us this day to carry on our work beyond these walls.

We ask you, oh Lord, to watch over Sister Michelle... and those two of Your servants whom she has chosen to accompany her.

We ask you to guard over Sister Barbara.

Thank you.

Look with favor, too, upon Sister Irene.

May You bless their efforts and grant them the strength and patience...

To carry out Your will.

And may they find, through Your divine mission and sacrifice, a continuing source of dedication and inspiration.

♪ If you're in old habits set in your old ways ♪

♪ Changes are a-coming

♪ 'Cause these are changin' days ♪

♪ And if your head is in the sand ♪

♪ While things are goin' on

♪ What you need

♪ What you need

♪ What you need is a change of habit ♪

♪ Now if you're in the habit

♪ To let your temper fly

♪ When you talk with people

♪ Who don't see eye to eye

♪ And if you don't believe that there's a newer world ahead ♪

♪ What you need

♪ What you need

♪ What you need is a change of habit ♪

♪ A change of habit

♪ A change of outlook

♪ A change of heart

♪ You'll be all right

♪ The halls of darkness have doors that open ♪

♪ It's never late to see the light ♪

♪ So if you're in the habit

♪ Of putting people down

♪ Just because they're different ♪

♪ From the wrong side of town

♪ Oh, don't count on any medals, son ♪

♪ They're pinning none on you

♪ What you need

♪ What you need

♪ What you need is a change of habit ♪

♪ A change of habit

♪ A change of outlook a change of heart ♪

♪ You'll be all right the halls of darkness ♪

♪ Have doors that open

♪ It's never late

♪ To see the light

Hey, girls!

On this street, I stop the traffic!

Get out of here!

♪ Stop, look and listen, baby

♪ That's my philosophy

♪ It's called rubberneckin', baby ♪

♪ But that's all right with me

♪ Stop, look and listen, baby

♪ That's my philosophy

♪ It's called rubberneckin', baby ♪

♪ But that's all right with me

♪ Some people say I'm wastin' time ♪

♪ They don't really know

♪ I like what I see, I see what I like, yeah ♪

♪ Give me such a oh, hey, hey, hey ♪

♪ The first thing in the morning ♪

♪ The last thing at night

♪ I look, stare everywhere

♪ And I see everything in sight hey, hey, hey, stop ♪

♪ Stop

♪ Look and listen, baby

♪ That's my philosophy

♪ Yes, it is now

♪ It's called rubberneckin', baby ♪

♪ But that's all right with me

♪ It's all right

♪ People say I'm wastin' time, yeah ♪

♪ But I don't really care

♪ I see what I like I like what I see, yeah ♪

♪ And it gives me such a ohh, ohh, ohh, ohh ♪ I must have said a million Hail Marys to get out of a neighborhood just like this.

I suddenly realize how safe I felt in my habit.

We argued that out before.

It's just a symbol of authority, like a policeman's uniform.

Yeah, well, you never see a policeman getting mugged.

We're gonna live the way other people live and dress the way they do.

For once in our religious lives, we're not going to be different.

There's a lot to be said for being different.

Don't you see, we can't be identified with the old order.

If we're gonna reach these people, we've got be accepted first as women, then as nuns.

Yeah, well, I think we're about to be accepted as women.

Just ignore them.

Excuse us.

You want a little help?

You want a little help?

Wrong neighborhood.

♪ Sittin' on the back porch all by myself ♪

♪ Along came Mary Jane

♪ I'm with somebody else hey, hey, hey ♪

♪ Stop, look and listen, baby

♪ That's my philosophy

♪ It's called rubberneckin', baby ♪

♪ That's all right with me yeah, yeah, yeah, hey ♪

♪ Some people say I'm wastin' time ♪

♪ They don't really know

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh

♪ I like what I see I see what I like, yeah ♪ Music to exercise evil spirits by.


Anytime you are, Sister Michelle.

♪ The last thing at night Oh.

If we don't want these people to know we're nuns...

I think we better stop calling each other "Sister."

Right, Michelle.

♪ Stop, look and listen, baby

♪ That's my philosophy

♪ Yes, it is now

♪ It's called rubberneckin', baby ♪

♪ But that's all right with me

♪ It's all right

♪ People say I'm wastin' time, yeah ♪

♪ But I don't really care

♪ It's called rubberneckin', baby ♪

♪ That's all right with me Yeah, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, baby

The door's open, ladies.


Will you hold this, please?

You just got to know the combination, that's all.

Thank you.

Thank you, sir. You've been very helpful.

But I think we can manage now.

I'm sorry, but the office is closed.

But we have to see the doctor.

Hey, Doc? Doc?

You left us hangin' in the middle of our thing, man.

Fake it for about 32 bars, I'll be right back.

You're the doctor?

You don't look like a doctor.

Well, man doesn't live by bread alone, especially the kind of bread you make in a free clinic.

John Carpenter, M.D. Just like the sign says.

Which one of you is in trouble?

I beg your pardon?

Look, I know the whole story.

You don't want to go to your family doctor uptown... so you figure you'd come here and get everything straightened out, right?

We were sent here.

You came to the wrong place.

'Cause I won't do any more for you than I would any other kid who finds herself in the same fix.

Whichever one of you is the lucky girl, follow me.

I'll give you some vitamin pills and a diet sheet.

Just try not to gain too much weight, especially in the first three months.

All three of you?

Uh, just out of curiosity, was it the same guy?

Doctor, we were sent here by the Catholic Action Committee.

Look, don't try to con me, honey.

We were given to understand that you were desperately in need of nurses.

That's my problem.

It's got nothing to do with you chicks.

We are the nurses they sent.

I am a psychiatric social worker with a degree in speech therapy.

Sis... Barbara is a laboratory technician.

Irene is a R.N. with a degree in public health.

Great. Just great.

I ask for three hard-nosed nurses and they send me Park Avenue debutantes.

Which end of Park Avenue do you figure I'm from, Doctor?

The last three nurses who worked here couldn't take it.

Two of them got raped.

One even against her will.

We are very hard-nosed.

Cute. But not hard enough.

You'll never make it in this neighborhood, ladies.


Well, Doctor, you don't exactly sound as if you were born and bred here.

I'm from Shelby County, Tennessee.

Obviously not on a diplomatic mission.

Honey, diplomacy starts and ends here at the point of a switchblade knife.

Why don't you go back uptown, ladies?

We are here and we are going to stay here for two months which is the length of our assignment.

Okay. Okay.

Have you got a place to stay?

We understand that Father Gibbons... the local parish has arranged for an apartment.

Okay, we start work at 8 o'clock sharp.

See you then, all right?

All right.

Oh, ladies, what are your names?

Oh, I'm Michelle.

This is Irene and Barbara.

Last names?


You do have last names, don't you?

Oh, yes.

It's Gallagher.


Nice Irish boy meets pretty French girl and what happens happens, huh?

Yeah. Barbara?




Okay, ladies, that will be all.

See you tomorrow morning.


Weirdos, man. Weirdos.

Just get out of our way.

Washington Street is our turf, see?

We have no designs on anything on Washington Street.

Now, if you'll excuse us.

Saints preserve us, it's a rumble.

There we are.

You get out of here, all of ya!

I'll call the precinct.

Good afternoon.

Talk about the wages of sin.

Will you look at the duds on them.

Oh, we're not what you think we are.

Sure, and they're calling themselves "massosies" now.

I read it in the Enquirer.

We don't want any monkey business around here, I'm warning ya.

We have friends at the precinct.

We want to be friends too.

Call Father Gibbons.

He'll want to know what's coming into his parish now.

And tell him one of em's black as the ace of spades.


I think our neighbors are Catholic.

Yes. It's too bad they're not Christian.

What a mess.

What a rotten mess.

Well, furniture would help.

We'll check that out with Father Gibbons when we go to evening prayers.

In the meantime, let's get this place next to godliness.

It's only 7:00.

This church keeps banker's hours.

All right.

All right, I'm coming.

I'm coming!

You don't have to knock the door down.

Father Gibbons?

Come in. Come in.

Well, what is it? An accident?

I don't fancy giving a conditional absolution on a long ride in an ambulance.

And having to pay my own way back from the hospital in a taxi.

It's nothing like that, Father.

What then?

We wanted to come into the church to pray.


So it's you?

The secret agents from the Little Sisters of Mary.

Well, uh, in a manner of speaking, yes.

You might say we're on a secret mission.

I don't like underground nuns who wear bobbed hair and silk stockings.

Oh, but they're nylon, Father.

Thank you.

Father, we're here to help.

For 43 years, I've managed without you.

The bishop told me to let you come into the parish and find a place for you to live.

But don't expect anything else from me.

Well, we'd like to pray.

Very well.

I keep the doors locked.

I'm not about to roll out the red carpet for every thief in the neighborhood to come in and steal our candlesticks... and anything else you can't nail down.

They've already made off with one of the Stations of the Cross.

Now, when you've finished, you'll find your own way out.

Thank you, Father.

Father Gibbons?

May I suggest you put away the candlesticks unlock the doors and make it easier for those who wish to pray to our Lord?

Flapper skirts on a bride of Christ.

I've been ordered by the bishop to countenance.

But I warn you, Sister, I'll have none of your arrogant lip.

You think it's twins?

I think it's the Green Bay Packers, that's what I think it is.

Good morning.

Oh, good morning, ladies.

Back this way, please.

Where's Miss Teenage America?

She gone back to mother already?

The Catholic Action Committee is sending us some secondhand furniture.

Barbara's gone to wait for it.

She'll be here just as soon as she can.

It'll be a relief to sleep in a bed again.

Hmm? Yeah.

You'll take care of the house calls.

You'll work with me here in the office, all right?

Yes, Doctor.

Now, about the house calls...

You probably won't be able to make 'em all in one day.

I'll make them.

I've shorted you on drugs.

I don't want you getting rolled for narcotics.

Doctor, I was born in a place like this.

I know where it's at.

Fine. Just don't push your luck, huh?

I got a patient for you.

What's she doing here?

She sure doesn't act like she enjoys it.

She knows it's her duty.

Forcing yourself to like misery?

That's her bag, huh?

A girl like that should get married and raise a whole bunch of kids.

Turn her hang-ups into something worthwhile.

In fact, uh, I'd prescribe that for all three of you.

You said you had a patient.

In my office.

Don't you run off. I'll be right with you.

Mr. Hernandez, Julio, this is Miss Gallagher.

How do you do? Hello.

Stand up.

Miss Gallagher's a speech therapist.

I want her to talk to Julio.

What good is to talk? He no talk back.


What's the matter with you?

He's got trouble, miss.

Trouble in school, trouble on the streets, all because he don't talk good.

Do they have a remedial speech program at the school?

What school?

He comes from the school with the high wall... bars on the window, that kind of school.

I n-n-no g-g-go back.

You shut up!

You don't talk until you talk good.

You just listen!


Maybe I can help you.

Maybe we can correct your speech problem.

W-W-Why... do I... do-do it?

T-T-Tell me.

He talk like a dummy, but he ain't no dummy.

Mr. Hernandez, we're not gonna get anyplace until you let Julio speak for himself.


That's sharp.

It feels... good.

I feel good.

I... talk... better.

Julio, put it down.

You heard the lady.

Drop it or I'll smash your teeth in.

Julio, please.

For me.

You see, he knows what's good for him.

Julio, I'd like to see you tomorrow afternoon at 4:00.

All right?

All... right.

I'll bring him.

Alone, doctor Carpenter.

Alone, Mr. Hernandez.


It gets a little messy down here.

I thought you handled that very well, Miss Gallagher.

Well, you certainly have a way with a compliment, doctor.

It's Southern charm, we call it.

He seems to be taking it very well.


Well, you don't feel very much when you're on the stuff.




Hi. Listen, the furniture came but the men just dumped it on the sidewalk... and drove off before I could stop them.

Just a minute. It's Barbara.

The furniture arrived and she needs some help getting it into the apartment.

Look, I got patients stacked up out there like jet planes over International Airport.

So I can tell Barbara what to do with her furniture.

Dr. Carpenter suggests that you rely on your own resources to solve this problem.

Ay, mama!


She's a beauty.

The hussy.


I have to get this furniture moved downstairs...

And I need a man.

Oh, good.

All I have is 40 dollars.

But I'll get more. I'll get the other 20.

Now, you borrow 50, you owe 60, you pay back 40.

Now you owe 30.

I'll pay it back. Friday, for sure.

I'm not worried. I got good collateral... your arms, your legs, your wife and your kids.

It's very heavy.

You think we're some kind of faggots?

I beg your pardon?

Everybody says it's how she was born deaf.

Well, there's no sign of any physical damage.

She doesn't respond.

Has she ever tried to speak?

I heard her whistle once.

People learn to whistle by imitating the sound.

But you got to be able to hear to do that.

Maybe she can hear.

Is Amanda your daughter?

My sister's kid.

She just come and dumped her on me a couple of years ago.

She-She never wanted the kid in the first place.

I think she's autistic.


Nah. She don't even lift up a crayon.

No. Autistic.

Sometimes, when a child's rejected very early in life, they crawl inside themselves and shut out the whole world as if they're trying to punish the rest of us along with themselves.


Hey. Hey.

Hey, baby, look at me. Come on, come on, look at me.

You see how she resists any kind of contact.

It's typical of autistic frustration.

Well, she never likes anyone to pick her up or hold her.

First, I want to make sure she's not deaf.

I think she ought to see a specialist.

You're the doctor.

Hey, we got it all moved in, chula.

I don't know how to thank you.

Sure you do.

Hey, we're gonna have a party, huh?

Hey, Tito!

No, gentlemen, really. I have work to do.

Hey, you got some wine?

And I will get the first dance.

No, no. I am the first.

Oh, no, gentlemen. I really think you better go.

After the party, eh?

No. No, now, please.

You heard the lady. Out!

Yeah, sure, we go.

Thank you very much, sir.

A girl with a shape like yours can do better than two-bit winos.

I'm The Banker.

Who gave you permission to set up shop in my territory?

The Catholic Action Committee.

Well, nowadays, everybody's got a piece of the action.

Did you stick something in your eye, Tomas?


Somebody put their fist into his eye.

Yeah, but I hit him good first.

I don't let nobody call my sister a dirty, stinking bitch.

She ain't dirty.

Well, you better let Desiree fight her own battles, because she ain't lost one yet, pal.

Hey, Doc, could I see you a second?

I, uh, have a problem.

Okay. Put two drops in your eye every four hours.

And you better put a patch on the champ's eye.

Yes, Doctor.


Oh, Doc.

I have such a pain in my left chest.

Your left chest? Now wait a minute.

Mm-hmm. A construction. A what?

A construction. I swear it on my mother's grave.

Your mother's alive.

So, it could be something serious.

All right. I better not take any chances.


Um... yeah, right here.

And it hurts when you breathe, right?

Yeah, yeah, it hurts.


A very interesting case.

Well, what is it?

You know, you're lucky you came to me when you did.

Oh, Doc, I was only kidding.


I don't know how to tell you this, kid.

But-But you've got to do something.

There's nothing I can do.

You mean, I ain't gonna get over it?

Oh, you'll get over it.

Well, what's wrong?

It's called Septum Decimises.

Huh? What's that?

That means that you're 17 years old.

Uh, Doctor?

Mrs. Rodriguez is here.

Uh, that's all, Camille.

Yeah, for now.



Doctor, I think you better get over here right away.

Yeah. Okay.

You can stop the oxygen, Irene.

Is she...

No, she's breathing very well on her own now.

But it was touch-and-go for a while.

Did you call the ambulance, Michelle?

It's on its way.

Good. You go back to the clinic with me.

We've done all we can do here.

Irene, you better stay until the ambulance gets here.

Hey, Doc.

You call that specialist yet?

He's supposed to get back to me by the end of the week.

Miss Parker?


I want to see Amanda in my office late Friday afternoon.


Whatever you say, Doc.

You bring order and organization into my life and you're gonna ruin everything.

How are things at the hospital?

Oh, just fine.

Miss Kempton goes home today.

Oh. You really saved her life. You were absolutely wonderful.

You were pretty good yourself, for a religious fanatic.

Well, I'll, uh...

I'll have Irene put her on the visiting list for tomorrow, Doctor.

We have a rule around here.

Any nurse that lasts out a full week... gets to call the doctor by his first name.

Well, I'll try to remember that, John.

And we celebrate by having a drink.

Oh, we don't drink.

We don't drink?

Well, uh, what I mean is... a little wine, occasionally.

We... I...

What I mean is I... I, uh, don't drink.

Well, if a nurse doesn't drink, then we usually have dinner.

Yes, I'll bet you do. But there's no chance.

We're going to try to shame the landlord into painting the apartment.

You're gonna have to stop throwing yourself at me like this or people will start talking.

Oh, by the way, you were right about Amanda.

She is autistic, she's not deaf, 'cause I heard her whistle.

Well, I can start working with her right away.

I'll have to gain her confidence.

Show her love and affection.

There are new techniques that get results a lot faster.

You mean rage reduction?

I'd rather try patience and love.

I hope we got that much time.

Y-You f-forgot me.

No, of course not, Julio. Just go into the office.

I'll be right with you.

You'll be all right?

We'll be fine.

It's too bad about dinner.

I was even gonna pick up the check.

So much?


Oh, that's sheer highway robbery.

You ought to take out a license to steal, mister.

Butt out, kid.

You are a walking social injustice.

Every week I try to save money come Feast of Juan de Cheguez so I can buy gifts for the little ones.

San Juan de Cheguez?

Hey, isn't he the patron saint of Caribbean fisherman?

Oh, you know him? Yeah.

Oh, in Puerto Rico, we have big fiesta parade in the streets, bless the boats.

Here, they do nothing but try to steal from you.

You're holding up the line.

Wait a minute.

She gave you a ten dollar bill.

Oh, gracias. Muchas gracias, senorita.

Oh, for the Feast of San Juan de Cheguez.

Oh, muchas gracias.


Noodle ring again, huh?

Mm-hmm. Noodle ring again.

Got it! Yeech!

Uh, if you don't like my noodle ring... you should have accepted Dr. Carpenter's invitation to dinner.

I would have. That'll be five Hail Marys.

Nuns and men don't mix.

Oh, I think he's cute.


Honest. He's groovy.


Evening, ladies.


Brown paper bags.

I could hear the muscatel bottles rattle.

All right, out of the way, girls, unless you want to get painted.

Luis, Raoul, start moving the furniture away from the walls.

Chino, you'll mix the paint.

I know your landlord.

He doesn't shame so easily.

It's too bad Chino and the rest of the boys couldn't stay for dinner.

Maybe they're not partial to noodle ring like I am.

Tell me, as a doctor would you diagnose what's happening today, the riots, the student unrest, as not really the death throes of an old order but the birth pains of a new one?

I didn't know I was making a house call.

Oh, well, I mean, don't we all, each in our own way, have to man the barricades?

At the Ajax Market?

Um, if we're all finished?

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We give Thee thanks, Almighty God, for all Thy benefits which we have received from Thy bounty through Christ, our Lord, amen.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I hear it's good for the digestion.

It is.

'Fiesta San Juan de Cheguez.

August 3, 4:00 to whatever.

Free food, soft drinks.

Support your local patron saint. What is that?

Well, we're sponsoring it next Saturday.

I'm against this.

I think we're here to do a job, not get involved.

Well, I'm for it.

It'll make an awful lot of people very happy.

And happy people are closer to God.

Look, I don't get it.

What are you, nurses or missionaries?

I think you should drop the whole thing.

The hospital can't handle the usual casualties on Saturday night.

Oh, look, Chino forgot his guitar.

Won't he need this?

He could always steal another one.


Do you think there'll be trouble?

Trouble? At the fiesta?

You know how it is on a Saturday night down here.

You get everybody together... blowing out their skulls, and all the old hates come out.

And you may wind up with World War III on your hands.

Oh, please don't say that. It's important to us.


Go ahead and have your party for old Sam Chavez.

But if you really want to get to know some of the kids around here, why don't you come down to the park on a Saturday afternoon when we play touch football?


Let me show you how to do this.

Put these three fingers right here, honey.

Like that.

Go ahead.

That's right.

Now this one right here.

Very good. Now these three here.


These three right here.

Now you got a complete chord change.

Now, see, go back to this one.



Now back to this one.

Disgusting movie.

You were right making that man give us our money back.

When you see pictures like that, you realize what a great force for good Irene Dunne was.

Say, I didn't know you could do that.

At this hour.

It's got to be an orgy.

Hey, this is fun.

Father Gibbons will certainly want to hear about this.

I'm not ready. I'm not ready.

Ah, come on. Come on.

That was really terrific.

Um, give me a hand. Let's get these pictures up.

I'll help.

That's okay. We can do it ourselves.

Thank you.


I'm better in the kitchen anyway.

What do you know? We're finally alone.

John, uh, please don't.

I get the feeling there's a message here.

Like maybe there's somebody else?

You, you could say that, yes.

Message received. Good night, Michelle.

Why don't you join the Y.M.C.A.?

You'd save us both a lot of wear and tear if you'd learn to duck every once in a while, okay?

Okay, Miss Parker.

Come on. Mandy.

Barbara, take over for a while.

I don't want to be disturbed unless it's an emergency.

Do you see that? Put it right there in that hole.

Come on, darling, take it.

Take it. Put it in your hand.

That's a girl. Now put it right...

Ah. Mm-hmm. Let's try that one more time.

Put it right here.

Come on, put it... No, no, no. No. Put it...

All right, Amanda, let's try again.

Put it right... there.

Amanda, put it there.

You can do it. Come on. You're doing it.

Come on, baby.

Good girl, Amanda. Very good...

It's not gonna work, Michelle.

I don't expect to make too much progress at first.

She's resisting you.

She's hiding behind a wall of anger.

It's not gonna work. I'll take over.

We'll try rage reduction.

Take her doll away from her.

No, Amanda. No more toys, baby.

You got to learn to start loving people.

I'm gonna hold you till you get rid of all your hate.

Get as mad as you can.

Then you can start to give love and take love.

Try to get away from me, baby.

Try and get away.

I love you, Amanda.

Don't you like when people love you?

Come on. I want to see you get as mad as you can get.

Get all that hate out of you.

Miss Gallagher?

He won't hurt her.

Let's see how mad you can get, baby.

Oh, um, I'm sorry.

The doctor's tied up right now.

I come back tomorrow.

Get mad.

Come on, let it out.

It's Amanda. I can take over here.

Why don't you go in and help them?


I love you, Amanda. I love you.

Love you, baby. Is that as mad as you can get?


Get as mad as you can get.

Hold her feet. It's okay.

We're not gonna hurt her.

Come on, show us how mad you can get.

Get mad.

I love you, Amanda.

Come on, fight.

You can do better than that for somebody who loves you.

Is that as mad as you can get?

Come on, that's a girl.

Good girl.

Come on, Miss Parker, we'll wait outside.

Look at me. Look at me.

Get good and mad, Amanda.

Get mad.

Love you. I love you, Amanda.

Is that the best you can do for somebody who loves you?

We love you, Amanda.

Come on, that's it. Fight. Get mad, Amanda.

Come on, show us how mad you can get.

Get as mad as you can, Amanda.

Come on, you can do better than that.

Let it out.

Yell. That a girl. Let it all out.

We love you, baby.

Let it go.

Come on, baby. Get mad.


Big girl. You can talk, Amanda.

Mad. Mad. Mad.

That's a girl. Say it louder. Mad!


Very good.

Say it as loud as you can, mad!


Oh, Amanda, we love you.

Love you. Love you.







Love you.

Love you.

Love you.

Love you.

Yes, that's a big girl. Big girl.

Big girl.

Big girl.


Yes, sweetheart. Yes.

Okay, Amanda I want you to show them how you can get real good and mad, like a big girl.

I want you to hit my hand as hard as you can.

Come on, you can do better than that.

Hit it hard.

Good, baby. Hit it again. Very good.

Hit it again.

Good. Good, baby. Hit it again, one more time.

Good girl. That's a big girl.

You gonna give me a hug?

You wanna go home?






You did it. We did it.

Um... excuse me.

Those two trees are the goals at that end, these two trees are the goals down here.

Trash cans are out of bounds. Two hands below the waist.

You understand the rules?

In the words of the master, fake it for 32 bars.

Let's go.

Hey, where's Irene?

She has too many house calls to make.

Here we go.

I fell. You understand? I fell.

You've been beaten.

I'll have to report this to the police.

No! They will kill him.

Who will kill him?

The Banker. You don't know how...

You listen to me now.

You fix my ribs, you give me pills.

This your job.

Anything else, we all get hurt.

You'll have to keep him in bed.

He cannot go to work in this condition.

He has to.

They will come back for the money on payday.

Cool it. Junk ain't our bag, sister.

Hey, brother, she don't want to be our sister.

If you'll excuse me, I have calls to make.

They'll wait. We gotta know where you stand.

I'm a nurse. That's where I stand.

There's no room down here for innocent bystanders.

You're either part of the problem or you're part of the solution.

We've got a feeling you're neither.

Well, I'm a Negro. I think that's pretty obvious.

Now where you been, sister?

We ain't Negroes, we're black.

Not her.

She's just been dipped in maple syrup.

Don't talk to me about being black.

I've been black all my life. So I don't want to hear that.

Everything but the soul. You copped out.

I never have. I've done my part.

For you. Not for us.

See, you're locked in with those ofay chicks.

Well, you can't have it both ways.

Get it together or get out.

You're too pretty not to stay pretty.

Hike! Cut back, Carlos!

Touchdown! Atta way, Carlos!

Oh, you should have had it. You should have had it.

Oh, no! I'm sorry!

Where'd you learn to pass like that, kid?

I had five brothers.

They taught you? No, I taught them.

Oh. We gotta kick off.


Okay, gang, let's go. Here we go.

Block their defensive tackle coming in this time.

If he tries to get past me, Pffft... I cut him.

Cool it. Fifteen-yard penalty.

Illegal use of knives.

Now look, you guys block, and you go short right over the line.

Okay, break!

Red dog that passer!

Okay, down Set.

All right, go team. Come on!


You blindsided me.

Oh, I'm sorry. I'm a little overtrained, kid.

Okay, the Slum Bowl Game is now part of sports history.

So how about an ice cream cone, huh?

Oh, I'd love it.

Hey, let's find Amanda. She loves ice cream.


A few hours on a Sunday afternoon, and then back to Washington Street.

Washington Street.

It sounds as if it should have elm trees... and frame houses with big white pillars in front.

What brought you to the clinic?

A sergeant in my outfit in the army named Cal Edwards.

He was from Washington Street.

You don't want to hear about it, do you?

Cal Edwards.

He's not one of our patients, is he?

He was killed on the other side of the world.

Where's the ice cream stand?

He must have been a very good friend of yours.

He saved my life once.

So I figured I owed him and Washington Street a few of the years he gave me.

Anyway, I learned more here than I would in the suburbs giving out diet pills and vitamin shots.

Say it, Amanda. Go on, say it.

Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream.

Good girl. Let's get some.

Up we go, baby. That's a girl.

Amanda wants strawberry.

Make that two.

And for the missus?

Uh... chocolate.

Here you go, kiddo.

What do you say?


Good. Very good.

That'll be 30 cents.

Amanda, how about a nice, big smile?

A little smile?

How about a grin?

This calls for a special kind of magic.

♪ Now once it was told to me

♪ We're born with the magic key ♪

♪ It opens the door to miracles of spring ♪ Smile, Amanda.

♪ It takes you to wishing wells ♪

♪ To ice cream and carousels

♪ And yet this magic key won't unlock a thing ♪

♪ Unless you have a happy

♪ You have a happy

♪ Mm, have a happy

♪ Warm smilin' face

♪ Now start believin'

♪ In believin'

♪ Let your address

♪ Be Sunshine Place

♪ There's love and there's joy untold ♪

♪ Much more than your heart can hold ♪

♪ It's there like the ring you grab on a merry-go-round ♪

♪ The world isn't half as gray

♪ With friends on a rainy day ♪

♪ But people keep away when you wear a frown ♪

♪ You've got to have a happy

♪ Yeah, have a happy

♪ Have a happy

♪ Warm, smilin' face

♪ Mm, start believin'

♪ In believin'

♪ Let your address

♪ Be Sunshine Place

♪ Let your address

♪ Be Sunshine Place

♪ Let your address

♪ Be Sunshine Place

Hey, Julio!

Well now, why do you suppose he ran off like that?

Julio's a boy with big problems.

It's his stuttering.

It makes him feel inadequate.

But I am making headway with him.

You take away his stuttering, you're gonna find he has a deeper problem.

I don't think you want any part of that.

Oh, thank you.

Maybe you're wrong about Julio.

You were wrong about Amanda.

I hope so.

There's one thing I'm not wrong about, Michelle.

The other night when I put my arms around you, it was no accident.

It was intentional.

And I learned something from it.

'Cause you didn't quite level with me.

There isn't anyone else.

Thanks for an absolutely marvelous day.

Now you know how the other half plays.

Well, me for the sack.

And me for the sack cloth and the ashes.


I've got to talk to somebody.

Oh, you're not going all the way uptown to the convent at this hour.


We have a church right here in the neighborhood.

Father Gibbons?

He will burn you at the stake.

Ah, not exactly an apostle of the Ecumenical Movement.

Ah, no. More The Inquisition.

But still a Priest.

I'd better get changed.

A lovely supper, ladies.

I'll look for you at early Mass.

Father Gibbons, I'm so glad I ran into you.

Ah, we were playing touch football in the park.

Notre Dame. French, for Our Lady.

Well, I don't think Our Lady would be very proud to claim you now.

Father, we've done nothing to be ashamed of.

Men in your rooms.

Late parties.

Profane music until all hours.

Forsaking the habit was one thing, but now you're not even dressed like females.

Father! I've had enough of you.

I want you out of my Parish.

Oh, please don't say that.

I'll have none of your arguments.

I've called Bishop Finley and we're seeing him at 11:00 on Monday morning.

If you feel you can make a case for your conduct, do it then.

Goodnight, Sisters.

Hello. I was lookin' for you.

I can't help you, Banker. I'm not a veterinarian.


Now, you shook down the manager of the Ajax Market.

That's not so funny.

You stay away from my clientele.

You stay away from my clinic.

I got clientele in your clinic.

You ask that nurse who's working for you.

Good morning, Doctor.

Good morning.

I'm going to help you out with the early customers.

Michelle and Barbara had to go uptown.

Some kind of meeting?

Umm. Some kind of meeting is right.

What business do you have with The Banker?

A hundred dollars worth.

It's my contribution to the Feast of San Juan de Cheguez.

You can't borrow money from The Banker.

Oh? I thought it was practically a neighborhood tradition.

Ah... so is knife fighting and joy popping.

Well, I have a week to pay him back.

Until the Fiesta.

Let's 'see, six to five.

That's a hundred and twenty for the hundred, and if the borrower doesn't pay back, The Banker usually breaks a leg or a head.

You're really askin' for trouble, Irene.

Yes, I am.

I have no intention of paying him back.

You don't understand.

No, it's you who don't understand, Doctor Carpenter.

You see, I've decided Barbara's right.

We have to get involved.

I've been running from reality.

Ah, come on.

A nurse is usually up to her ears in reality.

No. I have to face it.

I have used my vocation to get away from all the things I've ever known.

Doctor, do you know what it is to be really poor?

I mean, hungry? Frightened?

To be black?

I've been all those things except black.

When little white girls were playing with dolls and wearing party dresses, I was dodging drunks in dark hallways, praying I could get away from the stench of the ghetto.

So I could be somebody, not...

Not 'just another nigger in the streets.

Good morning.

Oh. Miss Parker, Amanda.

Just have a seat in the waiting room.

I'll be with you in a minute.

Irene, it's not my place to tell anybody when to fish or cut bait.

But let's hope it doesn't turn out to be fish or get your throat cut.

They shame the other fine Sisters of the cloth who know their place.

Our place is where we're needed.

How we dress is unimportant.

You're no longer needed in my parish.

Something is needed in your parish, Father Gibbons.

There are new methods, innovations, for instance: you might try bringing more people back into the church by having a Mass in Spanish.

Or a folk Mass.

Don't instruct me, Sister.

I've preached more sermons in my time than you'll ever hear.

Yes, I'm sure we can always count on you to tell it like it was, Father.

I apologize to you for that, Father.

I approved this project in the first place because we all realize that we need new methods, new forms to reach this generation.

But some of the incidents that Father Gibbons has been describing to me...

But no one knows we're nuns, Your Excellency.

You know, Sister Barbara.

Tell the Commissioner that I can see him at 2:00 this afternoon.

Yes, sir.

I realize it was a great risk sending them out to mix with the world.

And not have them mixed up by it.

Inexperienced people who get emotionally involved can often do more harm than good.

Among our first lessons is the importance of order, discipline.

Not license and wantonness.

I want them out of my parish and I want this... this festival they've dreamed up, cancelled.

The whole neighborhood's been sharpenin' their switch knives and polishing their brass knuckles for the past two weeks.

Maybe we should consider cancelling this celebration before it endangers the whole project.

We can't do that, Your Excellency.

These people are counting on celebrating the Feast Day of San Juan de Cheguez, we must not disappoint them.

All right, Sister. You can go ahead with it.

If you'll excuse me, Your Excellency.

You're excused, Father Gibbons.

San Juan de Cheguez.


I doubt he ever drove a single snake out of Puerto Rico.

Thank you, Your Excellency.

Thank you.

I do think, however, that the Sisters must resume wearing their habits.

I can't think of one good reason.

Well, may I give you two?

First: None of us wants to embarrass the church.

Equally important, wearing your habits guarantees you a certain amount of personal safety.

After all, the church doesn't need martyrs in wholesale lots.

But there's so much we haven't accomplished yet as women.

It's either that, or you return to the convent.

Thank you, Your Excellency.

Mother Joseph.

Mother Joseph.


For the love of heaven you've got to see this.

Good morning, ladies.

They're nuns.

Saints preserve us, they are nuns.

Wild parties, pagan music, men at all hours.

Whatever they done, they must've had good cause.

Good morning, Desiree.


If you like I have a dress you might want to wear to the Fiesta tonight.

Yeah. Sure. Okay.

We can hardly wait.

We're really gonna blow this block apart.

As a favor to us, I fervently hope that you don't do that.

And I was worried about you and the Doc.

Yes, well, then, if you'd like to come over this afternoon.

Ah, Sisters, why don't you go on to the Clinic without me.

Please tell Dr. Carpenter I'll be there as soon as I can.

I have a rendezvous with destiny at the Ajax Market.

Sister Barbara!

I know, order and discipline, Well, I'm being wilfully disobedient.

That is called doing your own thing.

Are you sure you don't want me to go to the Clinic with you?

No. No.

You've got your calls to make.

Dollar seventeen.

For you, Sister, eighty-five cents.


Well, thank you, sir.

You're welcome.

Oh, it's you.


Oh, you're early, good.

John, I want to talk to you.

We got those polio shots today.

We'll have kids comin' out of the woodwork.

John, please.

You've got to be kiddin'.

I'm a member of the Order of the Little Sisters of Mary.

We were only going to be here for two months.

John, please say something.

I'll be damned!

I'm sorry.

We would've gone away and you and I would never have seen each other again.

You could've told me, you know.

I couldn't.

It was an experiment.

We weren't to tell anyone that we were nuns.

Even after you saw I was gettin' hung up on you?

That was wrong for both of us.

I took vows.

Didn't you take a vow of honesty?


Excuse me, please.

Thank you. Excuse me. Excuse me.

Thank you. Ah, pardon me, please.

Thank you.

Get the fire hoses and the police dogs, we are not moving.

We are here to end the discriminatory practices in the Ajax Market.

I don't employ obsolete tactics to deal with a contemporary situation.

Um-huh. Do you hear him threatening her?

He asked her how her legs felt.

Call in your goons.

Fire your tear gas bombs.

In a potentially violent confrontation, it's imperative that law enforcement officials should conduct themselves with calm and understanding.

Club us.

Load us into that paddy wagon, out there, and we will bear our scars proudly.

The only scars you'll bear will be splinters, Sister Barbara.

A law officer should always remember to keep his own good humor even in the face of vituperative comment and obscenity.

Dirty Establishment Fink.

I destroyed property.

I fermented a riot.

I demand to be arrested.

You're not gonna get your wish.

Well, where are the reporters and the television cameras?

I want to be dragged out by my heels.

If you care to come by the Station House, we might discuss environmental social pressures and how they affect present day society.

Oh, police brutality! Come on. Let's go.

Who's there?

I bring back statue.

Stay where you are.


Dirty little thief!

Come back.

Thief. Robber. Vandal.

You want mustard?

All right, two with mustard.


Everything's quiet, so far.

No sign of the Hernandez kid, Julio.

When you find him, try to take him quietly.

Yes, Sir.

Hello, John.

I'm glad you decided to come tonight, John.


Well, what do you think of our party?

I can feel the lid rattling.

When it blows, you're gonna need a doctor.

Hello, Amanda.

I've been looking all over for you.

Hello, Miss Parker.


Are you having a good time?

I think you've been having hot dogs.

I see a little mustard here and there.

Isn't it just terrific?

I never thought we'd get this many people.

The magic combination.

Sam Chevez and free booze.

Alcohol? Where did that come from?

I got an idea.

Oh, I see. I see.

Mother Joseph.

Oh, I'm so glad you could come.

Well, the fishing catch of Puerto Rico should reach record proportions this year.

This is Amanda.

She's a little shy with strangers.

Sometimes she likes her puppet to do the talking for her.

Hello, dear.

And what is your name?

My name is Irene.

When little white girls was playing with dolls I was praying I could be somebody.

And not just another nigger in the street.

Oh, dear.

You borrowed money, I want it back.

You're not gonna get it.

You have made a donation.

Now, look here, Sister, whatever it is you are your time's up.

I've declared a moratorium on that debt.

A moratorium for the whole neighborhood.

You'd better cool it, Irene.

Butt out.

Stop the music.

Stop the music.

In honor of San Juan de Cheguez, all debts to the Banker are hereby cancelled.

You sure do like trouble, Irene.

She's gonna get it.

What are you gonna do?

Beat up the whole neighborhood?

Break a hundred arms, a thousand legs?

Lucky for you you're wearing that gunny sack, dinge.

Well, don't let that stop you.

You keep talkin', it won't.

Go ahead. Beat up a Nun.

Great public relations you...

You small time gorilla.

Right along the barricades, there.

Along the barricades.

Cool it.

Stay put until I call you.

Nobody sent for the fuzz, man.

We're just naturally interested in any kind of trouble.

There ain't no trouble here, man.

You got my gilt-edged, triple-bonded guarantee, Lieutenant.

I'll settle for that.

Excuse me.

All right, come man. Now, cool it, everybody.

Cool it. Let's have a good time.

Come on, break it up.

Go on, dance. Have fun.

Start the music.

Ah, I'd like to thank you.

We help our own, Sister.

Are you all right? Yes, I'm quite all right.

Sister Michelle, I'd like all of you to make arrangements to return to the Convent.

Tomorrow will be soon enough.

But Mother Joseph, the worst is over.

Or yet to come.

Hey, Sister.


How do you like what I did to that dress you gave me?

I, I made what they call a few alterations.

And everybody said I looked like a real lady.

I mean, like...

Thanks, Sister.

Sister Barbara, Bishop Finley told us to wear our Habits or else...


I guess I've chosen "or else."

I'm going uptown to tell Mother Joseph.

I would have told her earlier but...

I didn't... I didn't want to spoil the party.


Sister Michelle, I am too limited as a nun.

Everything in life has limitations.

I know. I know.

But I want to pick my own.

I want to grow up in my own way.

We'll miss you.

I'll be back.

I may be giving up the religious life, but I'm not giving up the fight.

I've organized a Political Advancement Committee right here in the neighborhood.

And we have our first meeting tomorrow morning.

Look. We've scored two victories today, already.

The Ajax Market and The Banker.

And now's no time to stop.

You are too much.

Put that down.


Knife make me... big man.

I want to help you.

Bring statue back for you.

Priest want to put me in jail.

Go to the police. Give yourself up.

No go back.

I'll explain to them.

You not my friend.

No more. You lied.

You make a fool of me.


I show what kind of man I am.


Julio. Please.




Oh, God.

It was appropriate, wasn't it?

Delivering a baby on this special night.

Well, I come from a long line of people who believe in getting married, having kids, raising a family.

Our church believes in that, too.

Not for Nuns.

Julio, please. No.

No, please.

That's Michelle.

Call the police. Quick.

Shut up. I kill you.

John, don't hurt him.

Are you all right?

I tried.

I tried.

It's okay, honey.

It's all over now.

It's okay.

Sometimes making a decision can be terribly painful.

I should've come to you sooner, Mother Joseph.

Well, you need time to explore your own feelings.

You've got to choose the kind of love you want.

Physical love or the love you can find only through prayer.

From my own experience, I can tell you, that nothing is more painful than no decision.

I'm finding that out.

Well, perhaps an outside stimulus will help you.

Dr. Carpenter is here to see you.

Hello, John.


It's been a long time.

A long time.

How is Julio?

Father Gibbons is coming out of the Middle Ages.

He's not gonna press charges.

And Julio is under psychiatric care.

I'm so glad.

When he gets out of the hospital he's still gonna need a speech therapist.

You'll find someone.

Look, I don't know if I'm breaking any rules about being here or not.

Oh, of course not, John.

Or do you have a rule against the way I feel about you.

Well, the fact that I'm a Nun doesn't stop me from being a woman, and it doesn't change the way I feel about you.

On the way up here, I had it all figured out.

I was just gonna lay all my cards on the table.

But this place can slow you down.

You know what I mean?

I wish there were an easy answer.

Would you be committing a... a sin if you were to leave here and get married?

In marriage, you love God through one person.

As a Nun, I made a commitment to love God through all people.

But this place is not a prison.

You can get a release, you know.

But in leaving, in marriage, I'd be giving up the freedom to dedicate myself to people who need me desperately.

Let's try to find a way, Michelle.

I thought I'd found my way until I met you.

Things are different now. You said that yourself.

Because I love you.

And no matter what I do, I'll still love you, even if I stay in the Order.

Nothing's gonna change that.

If you stay in the Order?

John, I know it's not fair not to give you an answer, but I honestly don't know if I can.

Why don't you try?

John, I...

I have to go. Please!

Believe it or not, I'm still down here on Washington Street.

I'm working everyday with my group.

And are we way out!

It's from Barbara.

What's an 'infrastructural sphere of mechanistic behaviorism'?

Do you think she's a Communist?

Oh, no, no.

Well, whatever it is, she's happy with it.

You seem happy, too.

Peace, Sister. It's wonderful.

So I've heard.

You are never gonna be able to fish or cut bait until you see that young man again.

Shall we go?

Go where?

Where do all good little Nuns go on Sunday?

To church.

♪ Come praise the lord for he is good ♪

♪ Come join in love and brotherhood ♪

♪ We'll hear the "word"

♪ And bring our gifts of bread and wine ♪

♪ And we'll be blessed beneath this sign ♪

♪ So let us

♪ Pray together

♪ Pray together

♪ Pray with one mighty voice

♪ And let us

♪ Sing together

♪ Sing together

♪ Pray and we'll rejoice

♪ We'll rejoice

♪ When strangers reach out for your hand ♪

♪ For your hand

♪ Respond to them and understand ♪

♪ Havin' the faith to understand ♪ He moves in mysterious ways.

♪ Outside the gate

♪ We'll calm the storm

♪ With faith in Him we won't be late ♪

♪ Never late

♪ So let us

♪ Pray together

♪ Pray together I don't know what it's all about.

Give me the old days when you could go to Mass and not think about a blessed thing.

♪ And let us

♪ Sing together

♪ Sing together

♪ Pray and we'll rejoice

♪ We'll rejoice

♪ We'll rejoice

♪ The love of God is on our side ♪

♪ Love is on our side

♪ We have the strength to move the tide ♪

♪ We'll move the tide

♪ The world was saved

♪ So there'll be peace and love for all ♪

♪ Love for all

♪ And we must hear our brothers' call ♪

♪ So let us

♪ Pray together

♪ Pray together

♪ Pray with one mighty voice

♪ Let us

♪ Sing together

♪ Sing together

♪ Pray and we'll rejoice

♪ We'll rejoice

♪ With love

♪ Love for all to the Lord

♪ We'll rejoice

♪ Love for all to the Lord

♪ We'll rejoice

♪ With love for all to the Lord ♪

♪ We'll rejoice

♪ For the Lord