Footloose (1984) Script

♪ I gotta cut loose, footloose ♪

♪ Kick off your Sunday shoes ♪

♪ Please, Louise ♪

♪ Pull me off of my knees ♪

♪ Jack, get back ♪

♪ C'mon before we crack ♪

♪ Lose your blues ♪

♪ Everybody cut footloose ♪

♪ You're playin' so cool ♪

♪ Obeying every rule ♪

♪ Dig way down in your heart ♪

♪ You're burning, yearning for some ♪

♪ Somebody to tell you ♪

♪ That life ain't passing you by ♪

♪ I'm trying to tell you ♪

♪ It will if you don't even try ♪

♪ You can fly if you'd only cut loose, footloose ♪

♪ Kick off your Sunday shoes ♪

♪ Oowhee, Marie ♪

♪ Shake it, shake it for me ♪

♪ Whoa, Milo ♪

♪ C'mon, c'mon let go ♪

♪ Lose your blues ♪

♪ Everybody cut footloose ♪

♪ You got to turn it around ♪

♪ And put your feet on the ground ♪

♪ Now take ahold of your soul ♪

♪ I'm turning it loose, footloose ♪

And he is testing us.

Every, every day, our Lord is testing us.

If he wasn't testing us... how would you account... for the sorry state of our society... for the crimes... that plague the big cities of this country... when he could sweep this pestilence from the face of the earth... with one mighty gesture of his hand?

If our Lord wasn't testing us, how would you account... for the proliferation these days... of this obscene rock and roll music... with its gospel of easy sexuality... and relaxed morality?

If our Lord wasn't testing us, why, he could take all... these pornographic books and albums... and turn them into one big fiery cinder like that!

But how would that make us stronger for him?

One of these days, my Lord is going to come to me... and ask me for an explanation... for the lives of each and every one of you.

What am I going to tell him on that day?

That I was busy? That I was tired?

That I was bored?

No! I can never let up!

I welcome his test.

I welcome this challenge from my Lord... so that one day I can deliver all of you unto his hands.

And when that day dawns...

I don't want to have to do any explaining!

I don't want to be missing... from your lives!

Praise the Lord in singing... hymn number 397...

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

♪ What a friend ♪

♪ We have in Jesus ♪

♪ All our sins and griefs to bear ♪ I will. You have a good week now. Bye.

Mrs. McCormack, your sister has us so excited about you coming.

Thank you. Did you meet my wife, Vi?

No. How do you do? How nice to meet you.

This is my son, Ren. Hello, Ren.

Would you excuse me? Daddy?

Oh, Ariel, will you come and meet the McCormacks?

The stunning new gentleman.

This is Mrs. McCormack and her son. Is it Ren?


Ren's going to be new at the high school tomorrow.

Hi. Hi.

Daddy, Me, Edna, Wendy Jo, and Rusty are going for a soda at the Hi-Spot. Okay?

Ariel, remember you have school tomorrow.

I'll be home for supper.

God, is he excellent!

What, the new kid? He's all right.

Are you blind? He is gorgeous!

So, have you seen the new high school? No, I haven't.

Oh my god, I almost forgot. Cindy Addis had her baby.

What was it? Who told you?

My mother spoke to her mother. Is she coming back for graduation?

I don't feel a bit sorry for her.

You can't buy a diaphragm through the mail. I'm serious.

Did she decide who the father was?

There's no question. It was Duane Capps.

Wait a minute! I've been going with Duane Capps. He'd never have the time.

How long does it take, Wendy Jo?

Ladies and gentlemen, moving up behind us... you'll notice the incredible barf-mobile.

Come on!

Hi, girls. Goin' my way?

You lonely tonight?

You want a race, you got a race! What, that piece of junk?

Step on it! I am steppin' on it!

Come on! No guts, huh?

In back of us, buddy! Take this, Rusty.

Come on! You chicken!

Come on, take you all on, girl. Come on! Come on, Chuck!

What are you doing? Come on!

Edna, slow down okay, please.

Throw it, honey. Throw it.

Stop it!

I'll get closer.

You can do it. Keep coming!

Ariel, will you stop it? Now!

Stop showing off! It's not funny! You're gonna kill yourself!

Look, please be careful!

He's testing us! He's testing us!

Ariel, watch out, there's a truck!

Get in the car!

Shit! Get in the truck!

Get in the car!

Be careful!

Come on! Get in!

Get in!

Jesus, we should never have let her done that.

Have you met any of your teachers? No, I haven't had a chance.

They've only been here eight hours.

I took care of that last week. Registered him and everything.

I made you some of those Toll House squares I promised.

Lulu, you taste one of these, you'll burn your recipe.

Reverend, we have a little problem.

I heard the English teacher is planning to teach that book.

Slaughterhouse Five. Isn't that an awful name?

That's a great book.

Slaughterhouse Five.

It's, it's a classic.

Do you read much?

In another town it's a classic. In any town.

Tom Sawyer is a classic.

That's fine. Ethel, have some more ham.

You sure Ren doesn't want something?

We're both a little tired from the move.

I'm gonna take Ren a potato.

Amy, come back and sit down. I'm sure your cousin's fine.

It's a shock to the system, moving out here from the big city.

What if he's starving? Amy, you are so lame.

Sarah! Amy, eat!

I can't sit still! I'm so excited you're both here!

You sure you're not too tired?

No. Ren did most of the driving.

If you ask me, Ren is a total fox.

Where did you hear that?

See how television and those kinds of books influence children?

What the hell's the problem?

Chuck Cranston, are you crazy? You're sick!

Ariel, here's your sweater. Ariel, I could kill you!

You almost did.

That's what you get for sniffing spray starch.

After he graduated, they drained his brain.

Edna, you gettin' fries? You can't have any.

Wendy Jo!


Bring me Edna's fries.

Oh, sure!

Where are you going?

What are you doing? Smuggled tapes.

You be careful with that.

Your daddy hears you playin' it, he'll bust your butt.

He put his hands all over!

Your mother didn't think you had any money with you.

Yeah, Mom?

You about ready to go?

You gonna wear that tie?


I think you might want to dress down for now.

Why? I like the tie.

September, when you go to college, you can dress like David Bowie.

Come on, let's go.

Why don't you comb your hair?

Shit, mister, where are you goin'?

You're supposed to look. Sorry.

Where'd you learn how to drive? Stay on the right side.

I like that hat. They sell men's clothes where you got that?

Willard, come on.

What's your name? Ren.

My name's Willard. Hewitt.

Glad to meet ya. How ya doin'?

All right. I'll see you around. All right.

I swear, one of these days...

That tie is fabulous!

I mean it. It's fabulous. Don't let anyone tell you any different.


Very good.

Girl, you are on!

Chicago, wow, man. Must be wild, like the Naked City.

Ah, fish.

I'll tell ya, you're gonna bounce off the goddamn walls here.

What do you do there?

Oh, I don't know. Same thing you do here. What do you do here?

Lot of this. Yeah, that too.

I'll tell you, there was this place called the Blue Heaven.

It was great. Had to steal IDs to get in, but it was incredible.

It was like a huge underground circus, you know.

Hot pink neon climbin' up the walls. And astro music.

And millions of girls, like from the university mostly.

If we could get one to dance, just one, then that was it.

We'd get out on the floor and we'd really start to smoke.

We'd start cuttin' in, and these girls would stop.

And they'd look. They'd look how?

You know, they'd start to warm up a little. Right?

Pretty soon, they'd start buying us beers.

They're buying you guys beers? Oh, yeah.

Ah, shit.

Wait. There was this one.

This was the best. Ginger.

Listen. We started dancing, right?

Slow dancing, like we're stuck to each other.

Eventually it's obvious to me that she wants to do more than dance.

Right? So we left the place.

On the way to the car, she's already got her tongue in my ear.

We get to the car.

She says we can't go to her place 'cause of her roommate, right?

But she says, "Hey, that's no problem."

She's got seats in the car that recline back. All the way back.

If you know what I'm saying. All the way?

Would I shit you? Right?

She rips my shirt open. She's clawing my chest.

She's biting my neck, and I'm trying to get over the stick shift...

'cause we're goin' like a freight train now.

All of a sudden, she starts screaming at the top of her lungs...

"Oh, God! Oh, God! Don't stop! Make Ginger pop!"

Oh, shit, really?

But we did dance.

We danced our asses off.

Willard, how could you let our new student eat this food?

Don't eat this. We have delicious homemade food.

Come on over. It's so good. Come on, Willard.

Oh, chicken!

Come on, come on. Good boy. Bring your friend.

You won't get any of that here. What's that?

Dancing. There's no dancing. That's right.

Why? It's illegal.

Jump back!

It's true.

Has been for five or six years. Why?

Go ahead, tell him.

It started when kids got killed in a car wreck.

Whole town went bananas, blaming it on the music, liquor and dancing.

Now they're just convinced it's all a sin.

Who's convinced?

Whole damn town.

You really can't dance here, man? I can't believe that.

It's true. This isn't the only place either. You'd be surprised.

Places upstate you can't dance.

Places in Kansas and Arkansas. All over the place.

My cousin lives in Montana, and ya can't dance where she lives either.

Yeah? She ever get busted for bopping?

I don't know. I never asked her.

You rich?

No. Why?

'Cause I don't think I ever bought a tape before.

Get serious! This place is too weird.

Don't you ever listen to the radio?

No. We got one radio at home, but it's never on.

You like Men at Work? Which men?

Men at Work. Where do they work?

They're a music group. What do they call themselves?

Oh, no. What about the Police? What about 'em?

Have you heard them? No, but I seen 'em.

In concert? No, behind you.

What? Oh, shit!

Step out of the car. Could you tell me the problem?

Just step out of the car, please.

Jim, these plates are Illinois. So?

You got a license?


Hey, I just bought that.

Playing it kinda loud. There a law against loud music?

Watch that attitude, boy! This way I don't have to take you in.

Twenty-five dollars. They wouldn't even let me off with a warning.

You can't talk to our police the way you talk to big city police.

But I wasn't doing anything. Yeah, sure.

Sarah, hush.

There was this bunch of kids snuck over the state line... to see some rock and roll group... and they were stopped on their way back into town by the police.

They were on church and school probation for weeks!

You better watch your step around here, young man.


I'm sorry about the other night at the drive-in, about the music.

I was surprised.


I don't know what came over me.

I can't always be with you. I can't always look out for you.

What's the music?

Oh, it's... I think it's Haydn. Chamber pieces.

And that kind of music's okay?

It's uplifting. It doesn't confuse people's minds and bodies.

I don't...


I see.

Tell your mother to go on to bed. I still have a lot of work.

I will.

What is it?

Good night. Good night, hon.

Grab my books.

Let me in.

How you doin'?

You the new kid?

I'm talking to you. Where'd your tie go?

I thought only pansies wore neckties.

Oh, yeah? See that? I thought only assholes used the word pansy.

He got you on that one! Shut up!

Son of a bitch is gonna pay for that!

Either you got jumbo coconut balls, or you're really pretty stupid.

Who was that douche bag? He's a weasel, but watch your back.

Can you operate a palette jack? Uh-uh.

How 'bout a bag closer? Uh-uh.

Where are you from? Chicago.

You're not stupid, are you?

You trying to piss me off?

Boy, a lot of folks are gonna give you problems right off... because you're an outsider.

You're dangerous. They're always gonna worry about ya.

Screw 'em. And this is only one little corner of the world.

Start Thursday?

Sounds okay.

Oh, hi, Ariel.

Chuck Cranston wants to see you.

Meet him the back of his daddy's field tomorrow...


What happens tomorrow at 5:30?

You'll have to show up to find out. And if I don't?

People will know you're scared.

Anyway, Chuck will find you.

You want that?

You're backing up!

Hey, yo!

How come he sent you?

I volunteered.

McCormack, where the hell are you?

You know her?

So she tells me... that I pissed Chuck off, right?

So he wants to see me. Then she walks away.

He figured you were gonna chicken and never... Impressive.

Kinda out of it.

I had to go to work last year.

You still move it.

You better watch that. Ariel's gonna tell her pop and you're gonna burn.

What's her story? Is she really tough or what?

She's just trying to make people forget she's a preacher's kid.

That why she hangs out with Chuck? Maybe.

People think she's a hell-raiser. Is she?

I think she's been kissed a lot.

You'd never guess your daddy's a fire chief.

You'd never guess your daddy's a minister. Red Boots.

My daddy hates me wearing these boots.

And you love that, don't you?

What are you gonna do when I go away to college?

Why do you wanna do that, honey?

Just 'cause. I'm cut out for more than this small town.

You're as small town as they come.

A chicken race with tractors?

How hard could it be? Just like a car. It's easy.

Just like driving a sports car. Nothing could be simpler.

Oh, hell, Ren, just remember to stay calm.

Calm? I've never driven a tractor before.

It's easy. Look. This is your clutch, your gas, your brake.

You start off, you just shift it into high.

Don't worry about your one, two, three, four. Just put it into third.

Once you get going, slam it into fourth.

That's your emergency brake. These operate your bucket.

I'll bet he's scared shitless, and he turns out in ten seconds.

Chuck, you sure you're up to this?

Whose side are you on anyway, honey?

You had a lot to smoke.

Don't tell me I had enough to smoke.

I didn't say you had enough. I said you had a lot to smoke.

Don't tell me that either!

Why don't you go tell dog-face we're ready to go! Yeah!

Just remember he's chicken shit. Hang in there. You'll be great!

Just hope to God he pulls out. I don't wanna split his face open.

Cool it, Tarzan! Give him hell, Ren!

How did I get myself into this?

Hey, Woody, come here.

Listen, has anybody ever died doing this?

Just once.

Hey, Ren! Hey, sport!

When this hat flies in the air, you better have your butt in gear.

Come on, Ren! Go! Go!

Let's see what you're made of!

Come on, sucker!

Chuck, move it!

You wanna go up, huh?

There you go.

Oh, you wanna go down.

Kick his ass!

That's it! Jump, you chicken!

Sit down!

What are you doing? Trying to kill me?

You stupid idiot!

Get off!

Turn out!

Oh, shit!

Help! He tried to kill me.

Excuse me. Thank you.

I don't believe this town.


Tell me.

He has team practice every day until 4:00.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays he's at the Beamis Mill till 6:00.

You already knew that.

He hasn't dated since he's been in town.

And late Friday nights, by the light of the full moon... he breaks into churchyards and bites the heads off live chickens.

Come on, what is it? Chuck?

I never did think he had all his dogs barking anyway.

Besides, what is wrong about getting a little psyched over Ren?

He's cute. He's from out of town.

Don't tell me that doesn't curl your toes. I know you too well.

You want out of here so bad, you probably memorize bus schedules.

And you don't?

Hey, asshole.

Interested in some really good shit?

Rich, you sly little shit. You just made a whole sentence.

Don't get smart-ass!

I've been watching you. I know you're not stupid.

And I got a friend here who can help you out from time to time.

No, thanks. I got my own sources. I'm getting into hog tranquilizers...

We'll just call this a sample, and you know where you can get more.

Rich, I don't want your shit. Why don't I just take it?

You're taking chances being new in this school.

I gotta show you something. Wait! This is tea!

Would I do that with a real joint? You know what an ounce goes for?

I'm gonna get you.

You wait.

The Reverend was right about you.

A bunch of kids was raising hell at Burlington Cranston's property.

Tore up the fields, turned over a tractor.

Today someone suggested to me there's been... some trouble at the high school, I think it was drugs.

You wouldn't know about that? What did you say? I can't hear you.

He said, "No." Amy.

I said, "No, sir."

You know, whenever we used to call your folks in Chicago...

I don't think there was any trouble, was there?

I don't know what to make of it.

People are pointing your direction. What did they say?

What I've been telling you about the trouble and drugs.

You seem to be having trouble since you moved here. And I figured...

You figured where there's smoke, there's fire, right?

Usually works like that.

Look, you know I would never try to take the place of your father.

Well, there's no chance of that.

Uh-oh, he's taking the car.

Big time!

What are you doing here?


I thought I was alone.

Not in this town. There's eyes everywhere.

How come you don't like me? What makes you think I don't?

You never talk to me at school. You never look at me.

Maybe because if I did, your boyfriend would remove my lungs.

Chuck Cranston doesn't own me.

He likes to act like he does, but he doesn't.

Do you wanna kiss me?


What is this someday shit?

I get the feeling you've been kissed a lot.

I'm afraid I'd suffer by comparison.

You don't think much of me, do you?

You think I'm small town?

I think Bomont's a small town.

I'm going away.

I've already applied to colleges.

I applied to colleges my father doesn't know I applied to.

He's gonna come after me, but I'm gonna be gone.

Wanna see something?


We call it "The Yearbook."

It started four or five years ago, I guess.

It's stuff we're not supposed to read.

This is all out of books?

Most of it. Some songs, magazines.

Some poems that get made up.

"I'll sing to you of silver swans, of kingdoms and carillons."

"I'll sing of bodies intertwined underneath an innocent sky."

You wrote that?

It's not even one of my best.

It's all right.

Wait a minute. You hear that?

What? The train. You hear it?

Sometimes after football games we come out here.

Just a few of us. And we stand here.

Then when the train comes, we make out like crazy.

Oh, yeah?

Most of the time we just stand and scream.


Yeah. I saw it in a movie. Real loud from here.

Don't screw around.

Come on.

Come on, I'll take you home.

It's late. Yeah.

It's hard to impose a curfew on the young people in my congregation... that I can't even enforce in my own home.

Have you been drinking? No.

Were you smoking something? No!

I wasn't stealing, gambling, dancing... or reading books I'm not supposed to.

I am late!

Who were you with?

Ren McCormack.

I don't want you to see him. Why?

I've heard he's a troublemaker.

Just 'cause he hasn't lived in this town for 20 years... doesn't make him a troublemaker!

I don't know what I'm gonna do with you.

There ain't nothing to do with me, Daddy.

Like it or not, this is it. It doesn't get much better.

What the hell happened? Why'd you get kicked off the team?

Because somebody's got it in for me.

Coach found out I brought Ariel home late, so I'm a troublemaker.

That's not why I'm off the team. No, no.

I'm off’ cause they don't have funds for one more gymnast, but thank you.

I'm busting my balls trying to fit in and every door slams in my face.

Hey, McCormack! Sorry to hear you got caught.

Don't fool around with the preacher's daughter!

How does anybody live in this town?

You know what it is? You got an attitude problem.

I got an attitude problem? I'm not the only one who's noticed.

We're not living in the goddamn Middle Ages. We got TV, Family Feud.

We're not stuck in Leave It to Beaver land here.

Well, I haven't noticed a wet T-shirt contest in town yet.

I haven't either, but I'm waiting patiently.

I tell you what I'd like to do.

Glue a Playboy centerfold inside each of Reverend Moore's hymnals.

Yeah, you know what else we could do?

We could start one of your nightclubs right in the church.

That's it. That's it, man.

What's it?

A dance.

What? A dance!

We could have a dance! You know, a dance?

You know what I mean! Dance! Dance! You're gonna get me angry!

Gonna turn this town upside down!

Stop it!

I was down in Denver last year... for about a week at a Bible convention.

And the whole time I was there, people would come up... and ask me, "Reverend, how can you live in such a small town..." so far away from the hustle and bustle of the 20th century?"

I'd say to them, "You'd never ask me that..." if you could just once, just for one minute... experience the feeling of family that comes from knowing... that all of our lives are tied up with each of us.

That we feel all the same joys... the same sorrows, and that we care.

"Each and every one of us cares for the other."

I told them...

"I just feel closer to my Lord out there."

And I feel closer... and safer with my people... and I think they feel closer to me.

The Lord smiles on us out there.

"And that's why I'm staying."

Why don't you have some cake?

Roger, the town council has no intention of bowing... to wishes of a small group of students.

Eleanor and I are absolutely certain that this boy is organizing a dance.

We're not gonna have any dance. We let some punk push us around... it won't be long before every community standard is violated.

Boy, are they in a tizzy! Ariel, get in the car!

Got the whole council going! There's a meeting I won't miss.

Where are you taking us? Over the state line.

I want you to see what you've been missing.

I know you're not gonna let Willard fight, right?

I don't fight. Right, and I don't breathe.

Are you gonna dance? I drink better than I dance.

Come on!

I'll watch you guys, see if you can show me something new.

We didn't come all this way just to sit it out.

I'll be out there. Don't worry. I'm just gonna grab a beer.

Come on, don't be an asshole! They're waiting to dance with us.

I can't dance.

You what?

I can't dance.

At all.

All right. All right.

Buy him a beer. Take my jacket.

What's the matter? My feet have been hurting.

They weren't hurting in the car. I wanna dance.

I wanna get a beer.

Waitress, let me have another beer.

I can't help myself!

Hey, I came with that girl.

Doesn't look like you're leaving with her.

Hey, I guess you didn't hear me the first time.

No fights. You don't even know him. Why don't you flake off?

No fights.

When was the last time you seen your dick, partner?

Rusty, he was fighting to save your honor.

It's too late. I don't fight.

Your dance gonna be like this one? Everything but the fight.

Forget it.

Ow! Come on!

Up on the roof, oh, yeah.

One hundred proof, oh, yea.

Ain't that fine, oh, yeah.

You cherry slime, oh, yeah.

Oh, what?

Oh, yea.

I hate this bridge. Gives me the creeps.

How come?

You've heard this one. The infamous Crosby Bridge accident.

You've heard it. No.

You're missing out! 'Bout five years ago... these kids were playing highway tag and they were drunk.

One car hits the other one, and they both go over the bridge. Dead.

That's when they started passing laws against booze... against dancing and drinking.

I don't know.

My father had a field day.

Your father? Why?

My older brother was one who got killed.

You should've seen Bobby.

He was like Warren Beatty, only taller. Wasn't he?

My father went off the deep end.

He decided we all needed saving, no matter what.

He's gonna personally save this this pissant town and deliver it... to heaven with his daughter sitting like a cherry on top of it.

I called over to Rusty's last night.

I don't understand why you feel it necessary to lie to me.

I don't know why you find it necessary to check up on me.

I'm concerned about your well-being, that's all.

How come when I'm home you're never as interested in what I do or say... as you are when I walk out that door?

Wham! Suddenly you wanna know everything!

I don't like this outburst... any more than I like not knowing where you were!

Shaw, don't you think we could wait on this?

No, I don't. I'm sick and tired of you coming in on her side!

She'll have to start answering for herself.

I don't know why. You don't listen to me any more than you do her.

I've never hit anyone in my life.

We're losing her, Vi.

Don't you see that? No.

I see you chasing after her, and I see her running from you.

She's become so willful and obstinate.

She's like her father.

The two of you were so wonderful once.

You had so much to talk about.

I was almost jealous.

It's not as if we don't talk.

It's just that... sometimes people run out of things to say.


It's 20 years now I've been a minister's wife.

And I've been quiet, supportive, unobtrusive and... after 20 years I still think you're a wonderful preacher.

You can lift a congregation up so high... they have to look down to see heaven.

But it's the one-to-one where you need a little work.

We could really use your support. My mother wouldn't approve.

But we're not talking about a free-for-all.

It won't be a drunken brawl. It's just a dance.

Just give it some thought. Okay? Sleep on it.

Just think about it. Okay, thanks. See you later.

Sounds great to me.

How you doin'? Need any help, just let me know.

You got it.

Chuck has heard something that's upset him real good.

I want you to tell me it ain't so, Mr. Chicago Big Shot.

He heard you're gonna try and throw a dance at school. A senior dance.

And he figured only a dumb sonbitch faggot would try that.

Is that what you're trying?

He sure the hell is!

Excuse me, girls. Come out, Ren.

You guys stay right there.

Is he really gonna get us a dance?

Yep. Ain't ya?

It's about time, McCormack. I'll be there.


Don't you have any better manners? Didn't your mama teach you better?

You treat animals like that?

How's it feel? Don't feel too good now, does it?

What are you talking about? You'll have to fight city hall.

What do you mean I gotta fight city hall?

'Cause there's a town council.

It's made up of seven people.

Shaw Moore's one of 'em. Burlington Cranston is another.

Personally, I don't like that lousy son of a bitch.

They meet every third Thursday of the month.

Something you want in this town, you'll have to talk to them.

You're gonna get really creamed.

Geez. I'm not so good with words.

Keep thinking like that, man, and you are gonna get creamed.

Woody doesn't know a dance from a dipstick.

And you do? You do, huh? Which way is your left?

Huh? Willard, which way is your left?

He don't know his left foot from his right foot.

I'll tell you something. If I gotta get up in front of that council... you gotta learn to dance.

What is this, Roger? I don't know this book.

I hope you wouldn't.

Reverend Moore, Mrs. Evans is calling about that dance at school.

Would you tell her I'll call her back after Junior Bible?

What were you saying?

This was found in one of the athletic lockers at school.

A book like this should be burned.

We should go to the library and remove this corruption.

There's no sense blowing it up into something that it isn't.

Hello! Careful.

Come on, Max.

I'll set up, Vi.

I think it's quite obvious what it is.

It's not quite so obvious how I should handle it.

Reverend, if you'll excuse my saying so... when we got rid of that young English teacher at the school... we didn't get any support from you.

Because I didn't think we had any grounds for his dismissal.

Around here, it caused a lot of folks some worry.

A lot of folks worry a little too much.

Doesn't take much time for corruption to take root.

How long is that, Roger?

About as long as it takes compassion to die?

Do I get a cookie? No!

Did you drink all the milk? Yeah!

I wanted to talk to you. You don't have to tell me nothin'.

I know why you don't call me.

I wanted to tell you myself.

I know why you don't want to see me anymore.

I'm not stupid!

I'm not blind.

It's McCormack, ain't it?

You're just dying to screw McCormack, aren't you? Aren't you?

You're so stupid!


Think I don't see you looking at him like some bitch in heat?

You'll wrap those skinny legs around anybody.

Shut up!

Is that what I get? Huh?

I treated you decent!


Put that down! Don't even think about that.

Jesus! You think about it!

Stop it, Chuck!

'Bout through with you anyway.

I'm sorry you have to see me like this.

I'll be okay. I'll sneak in at home. I'll be fine.

Do I look okay? You'll pull through.

Thanks for coming for me.

I don't understand.

There's nothing to understand.

It's for taking on my father.

Wait a minute. I got no beef with him.

No, wait. This is my fight, it's with the town, not with one guy.

You don't get to turn my fight into a "screw you" to your old man.

Hey, look...


Maybe you shouldn't try so hard to forget your brother... or to try to make your father forget him, you know?

It's not that easy. I know.

Do I still get the box?

Gimme the box.


Think you might ever kiss me?

Harvey and Bernie were here for a long time.

They still talking about that dance?


What did you decide to do? It's not gonna happen.

That's one more thing Ariel is not going to forgive me for, but...

Can you step out of the way enough to realize she's doing this for you?


I don't see that.

I just know that when kids dance together... they become sexually irresponsible.

I can't take the chance...

What's so funny?

You talk like that's the only thing that gets them excited.

Don't you remember when we used to look at each other and get excited?

It's just the same with them.

You're not gonna put their eyes out.

None of this is gonna undo one stupid accident.

I'm responsible for the spiritual life of this community.

Shaw, you can't be a father to everybody.

You can't do that.

I thought that at least you believed in me.

I never stopped.

Be at the town council meeting tomorrow night.

Only fairies dance.

I'll lay you flat, Ariel.

Support Ren McCormack at the council meeting tomorrow night.

You can make a difference!

I'm calling to remind you to come to the town council meeting.


Still hurt? Naw.


Nervous? No. Uh-uh.

Look, I...


Yeah, I'm nervous.

I don't know what I'm gonna say to the council.

There's only seven of them, right?

Who else is gonna be there? Everybody.

Take a deep breath. You ready?

What is it? The Holy Bible?

Ah, this is great.

This is great! What...

How'd you know where to find all this?

Are you kidding?

I wanna tell you something.


Come on.

What the hell is that?

Oh, my God! Amy? What is it?

"Burn in hell"? This says, "Burn in hell."

Ren, what the hell is going on? Somebody's trying to make a point.

Do you see now?

You don't wave flags here without people taking shots at them.

This is not the first time.

My business was off, but people are taking business away from me.

Your aunt's gotten ugly phone calls and today your mother lost her job.

Mom, is that true?

Mr. Collins said he heard things about you.

He thought I ought to stay home and be a proper mother.

What did you say? I told him to shove it.

Damn it, Ethel, this is serious.

There's other jobs! Where?

Shouldn't you call the police? I don't know if it'll do any good.

I'll get Jim Earlhaus over here. Will you stop?

Now will you stop?

I don't understand this town.

It's like something's choking everybody... only they don't know they're choking.

Let me ask you something. Why this dance in this town?

Let me ask you something. Why this dance in this town?

It's not just about a dance. Not anymore.

I know. That's what I mean.

I watch you, I see.

You're not gonna understand this. Try me.

When Dad first threatened to leave, I thought it was because of me.

I thought it was something that I wasn't doing right.

And I figured there was something I could do to make it like it was... and then he'd want to stay, you know.

But when he left just like that...

I realized that everything I'd done hoping that he'd stay... everything I'd done, it didn't mean shit.

Didn't matter.

And I felt like, "What difference does it make?"

But now...

Now I'm thinking...

I could really do something, you know.

I could really do something for me this time, you know...

otherwise I'm just gonna disappear.

All right, Virginia, that ends the discussion on this issue.

So the price of a dog license will go from $3.50 to $4.50.

A licensed pet is a happy one.

That takes care of old business. Burlington?

Thank you, Virginia. It was real good.

Now we can consider any new business.

Excuse me.

Before we begin, I want to remind all you kids... we're conducting an official meeting.

We're not gonna tolerate any disturbances.

The floor is now open for any new business.

My name is Ren McCormack and I would like to move on behalf... of most of the senior class of Bomont High School that the law... against public dancing within the town limits of Bomont be abolished.

Mr. Chairman, could I address myself to this?

You bet.

Even if this was not a law... which it is...

I'm afraid I would have difficulty endorsing an enterprise... which is as fraught with genuine peril... as I believe this one to be.

Besides liquor and drugs, which seem to accompany such an event... the thing that distresses me even more, Ren... is the spiritual corruption that can be involved.

These dances and this kind of music can be destructive.

And, Ren, I'm afraid you're gonna find... that most of the people in our community will agree with me.

I do.

That's all I have to say. A vote is in order on the motion.

Will all those opposed... Excuse me, I...

I would like to say something. Please sit down.

This is outrageous!

If you think that we're... Eleanor, sit down.

I think Mr. McCormack has a right to be heard.

I just wanted to say a few words about this motion... so that you wouldn't think that we were... encouraging destruction with this idea.

"From the oldest of times, people danced for a number of reasons."

They danced in prayer... or so that their crops would be plentiful... or so their hunt would be good.

And they danced to stay physically fit... and show their community spirit.

"And they danced to celebrate."

And that is the dancing we're talking about.

Aren't we told in Psalm 149?

"Praise ye the Lord."

Sing unto the Lord a new song.

"Let them praise his name in the dance."


And it was King David...

King David, who we read about in Samuel.

And what did David do?

What did David do? What did David do?

"David danced before the Lord with all his might... leaping and dancing before the Lord."

Leaping and dancing.

Ecclesiastes assures us...

that there is a time for every purpose under heaven.

A time to laugh... and a time to weep.

A time to mourn... and there is a time to dance.

And there was a time for this law, but not anymore.

See, this is our time to dance.

It is our way of celebrating life.

It's the way it was in the beginning.

It's the way it's always been. It's the way it should be now.

You know you were railroaded, don't you? Huh?

When are you gonna wake up and smell the coffee?

Shaw Moore walked into that meeting with votes already in his pocket.

You didn't have a prayer. Bad pun, Andy.

What are you gonna do now?

It's over.

What if it ain't?

What if you have your dance in Bayson?

No. The whole point was to do something here in Bomont.

Bayson's, what, thirty miles away?

Not where it runs up to these tracks it ain't.

I figure if the Bomont fire trucks can't cross these tracks... neither can the long arm of the law.

What about the long arm of Reverend Moore?

Remember he said if you could find a way to convince him... it wouldn't be a spiritual corruption, he'd think about it.

So? Make him think about it.

"And I beheld and heard an angel flying..." through the midst of heaven saying with a loud voice:

"Woe, woe, woe... to the inhabiters of the earth."

And I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth... and the angel was given the key... to the bottomless pit.

And he opened the bottomless pit... and there arose a smoke out of the pit as smoke of a great furnace.

"And the sun and air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit."


I used to get such a kick watching you work up your sermons.

And now? It's different.

I see the stage. I see costumes. It's show business, isn't it?

Well... it's the only way I know to reach people's emotions.

I haven't heard from you for a while.

When was it? Thursday?

I was angry, you were angry.

I was not. Yes, you were.

If you weren't, you would've asked me what was wrong. You knew.

Ariel, I cannot let this dance happen.

Ren McCormack made a lot of people stop and think.

I object to that kind of music, and I think you know why.

Because people fornicate to it. I never said that.

That's what you told the church board. That was not meant for your ears!

When do my ears get old enough, Daddy? When do you stop protecting me?

I'm no saint, you know!

It is my duty to look after the spiritual growth of you...

I'm not even a virgin.

Don't you talk like that in here! Why not?

Isn't this where I'm supposed to confess my sins to my preacher? In church!

I ask to be forgiven. Am I? Oh, forgive me, deliver me!

Don't do that in here. You know better where to draw the line!

Thank heavens you're here. People are calling.

They're over at the library.

Roger! Eleanor! What are you doing?

We decided these books...

Who's we? Whose authority are you acting on?

Hold it everybody! Listen to me!

When did you all decide to sit in judgment?

Who elected you to be the saviors of everybody's souls in Beaumont?

We have a perfect right to determine what our children...

When you've burned all of these, what are you gonna do then?

Chris, take these out of here.

Satan is not in these books.

He's in here!

He's in your hearts.

Go on home, all of you.

Go and sit in judgment on yourselves.

And, Roger, go home.

Eleanor, come on.

Go home now, both of you.

Sometimes things don't make any sense.

If you could explain to me my father maybe I could explain your son.

But it doesn't make any sense.

Look, I gotta go.

Listen, I know you're gonna do what you gotta do... but thanks for listening.

Thank you for...

Well, thank you.

That was your friend Ren.

He came here to ask me if he could take you to a senior prom.

I'm running out of answers.

I know how hard it is for you.

I'm know I'm not making it easier.

I just don't know that I believe in everything you believe in...

but I believe in you.

I'm standing up here before you today...

with a very troubled heart.

You see, my friends...

You see, my friends...

I've always insisted on... taking responsibility for your lives.

But, I'm really... like a first-time parent... who makes mistakes... and tries to learn from them.

And like that parent...

I find myself at that moment when I have to decide.

Do I hold on... or do I trust you to yourselves?

Let go and hope that you've understood... at least some of my lessons.

If we don't start trusting our children... how will they ever become trustworthy?

I'm told that the senior class at the high school... has got use of the warehouse in Bayson... for the purpose of putting on a senior dance.

Please... join me to pray to the Lord... to guide them in their endeavors.


You look very nice. Oh, no.

Yes, you do. Yes, you look very nice.

Yes, you do. You look wonderful.

You think? Yeah. Mm-hmm.

You can't very well go to a prom without a corsage.

Oh, Mom.

This is gorgeous!

Where do you think I should... Here's a wrist thing.

Oh, Mom, you really didn't have to.

I didn't.

Don't go on to him about it because he'll only deny it.

I was gonna come up and get... I was... gonna come up and get you.

What's the matter?

You're beautiful.


I mean it.

You are beautiful.

Come on.

Thank you.

Let's take a closer look. No. She'll think I'm checking up.

No. She won't even know we're here. Come on.

You're the last folks I expected to see around here tonight.

Good evening, Andy. Hi, Andy.

Reverend, you done a good thing here.

I'm still not sure it was the right thing.

Comes close.


What is it?

It's just the two of us again.

Shaw? What?

We're almost dancing.

Hi, Rusty. Hi.

Hello, Willard.

You promised you won't fight.

Don't you look sweet.

What do you want? I've got business with McCormack.

Cool it, all right. No fights tonight, okay?

Hey, no fights, fellas.

Sure, Willard.

All right.

Cute. No fights, Willard.

Damn, man! I told you. I promised Rusty no fights tonight.

Let me go, goddamn it!

Oh, Willard! What do you want me to do, Rusty?

Kill the son of a bitch! Help, somebody!

Chuck! Hey, it's Mr. Dance Fever.

You're a goddamn hero when it's five to one.

Ren, get up! Beat the shit out of him!


You're gonna dance now.

All right!

Hey, handsome. Great dance, man.

Fighter heroes!

I thought you guys were actually gonna fight or something.

You're great.

Hey, what's this I see? I thought this was a party.

Let's dance!