Look Back in Anger (1959) Script









Hey, don't let the heat out, boyo!

HE SIGHS I didn't expect to find you here. What happened?

Her dad caught us in the parlour.

"Her dad caught us in the parlour." You need lessons, son.

Sally's a nice girl, though.

Nice and common.

Common as dirt, like me.

My dear wife spent the evening writing home.


DRURY: Here, boy! Ohh!

Come in, Arnold!

CLIFF: Morning, Miss Drury.

DRURY: Oh, you naughty dog.

That stupid boy's got them all soaked, Mr Lewis.

That's mine, I think, Mr Lewis.

Sorry. Ta, Miss Drury.

A little read before church.


I'll pluck your ears off.

Jimmy, I'm trying to better myself. Now, let me get on with it.

You horrible man. Come on, give it here!

Jimmy, come on, gimme that paper.

Give it to him, for heaven's sake. Jimmy, I can't think.

She can't think.

You've never thought in years, have you?


CLIFF: Why don't you leave all that and sit down for a bit?

You look tired.

Oh, I won't be much longer.

Yeah. She's a beautiful girl, isn't she?

That's what they all tell me.


Wrap it up, will you?

Stop ringing those bells!

There's somebody going mad in here!

I don't want to hear them! Oh, stop shouting.

Miss Drury will be up in a minute.

I don't give a damn for Miss Drury!

In any case, she's probably in church by now swinging on those bloody bells.

Why sneer at people who go to church?

Listen, that nice old gentlewoman doesn't fool me even if she takes in you two.

She's a foul-minded robber.

She bleeds us white for this place as it is.

What about mummy?

How does mummy spend her day of rest?

We usually go...

"Thank you, dear vicar, for the nice, cosy sermon.

And then she tramples off over better men's graves home to an orgy of curry.

Mummy and daddy.

And brother Nigel if he's up from town.

You know her brother Nigel? No, I don't.

Well, you've never heard so many well-bred commonplaces come from beneath the same bowler hat.

The platitude from outer space. That's brother Nigel.

CLIFF: Why don't you dry up, boyo?

Wouldn't you say that was her private property?

I like to know when I'm being betrayed.

Letters from her mother.

Letters in which I'm not mentioned, because my name is just a dirty word.


JIMMY: And what does she do?

She writes long letters back to mummy and doesn't mention me at all because my name is just a dirty word to her, too.

The little woman's family.

God help me, I'll go out of my mind if he doesn't stop in a minute.

Why don't you?

That would be something, anyway.

Oh, don't let the Marquess of Queensberry manner fool you.

They'll kick you in the groin while you're handing your hat to the maid.

Jimmy, please don't go on.

They're either militant, like her mummy and daddy militant, arrogant, and full of malice or else they're vague, like Nigel... and her.

Nigel and Alison.

They're what they sound like sycophantic, phlegmatic, and pusillanimous.

CLIFF: Big words.

Would you like to hear what they mean? No, no, no, not interested.

Soapy, Stodgy and Dim.

Sounds like a music hall. Ladies and gentlemen, those old favourites your friends and mine, soapy, stodgy, and dim.

Bringing quips and strips for you for we may be guilty, darling, but we're both insane as well.

Ladies and gentlemen as I was coming to the theatre tonight, a man comes up to me and he says Here! Have you seen nobody?

Have I seen who? Have you seen nobody?

Of course I haven't seen nobody, kindly don't waste my time.

Ladies and gentlemen, a little recitation entitled

"She was only a gravedigger's daughter but she loved lying under the sod."

Are you quite sure you haven't seen nobody?

Of course I haven't seen nobody. Will you kindly go away?

Can't you see I'm trying to entertain this lady here?

The lady pusillanimous.

SHE SIGHS I can't find nobody anywhere. See. Oh, chuck it. Chuck it.

Well, then, shall we dance?

Ya da da ya dum?

Come here often, do you? LAUGHS Only in the mating season.

All right. Very funny. Very funny.

Let me go! Not until you apologize for being nasty to everyone.

Do you think bosoms will be in or out this year, my dear?

Your teeth will be out in a minute!

We'll see about that!

Look out, for heaven's sake!

This place gets more like a zoo every day.

Ah, proper coward, he is. See?


CLIFF: Are you all right? ALISON: Well, does it look like it?

She's burned her arm.

I'm sorry.

Get out.

You think I did it on purpose? Clear out of my sight!

DOOR CLOSES Here, come and sit down, eh?


Now, let's have a look.


Ooh. That's gonna be painful.

What shall I do with it?

Oh, it's nothing much. A bit of soap on it will do.

There's some in the kitchen.

Oh, god.

Here. Now, give us your arm.

I'm gonna do it ever so gently.


That better?

You're a brave girl. Oh, I don't feel very brave.

I really don't care for...

I don't think I can take much more.

I think I feel rather sick.

All over now.

SHE BLOWS ON HER BURN I don't think I could live on my own again, in spite of everything.

Pretty rough and pretty ordinary, really. I...

I'd seem worse on my own.

And you get fond of people, too.

Worse luck.

I don't think I want anything more to do with love.

Not anymore, I can't take it on.

Yeah? You're too young to start giving up.

Too young and too lovely.

Ohh. Hmm.

I keep looking back as far as I remember and I can't think what it was like to feel young... really young.

Jimmy said the same thing to me the other day and I... pretended not to be listening because I thought it would hurt him, I suppose... but I knew just what he meant.

Oh, I suppose it would have been so easy to say

"Oh, yes, darling, I... I know what you mean. I know how you're feeling."

It's those easy things that seem to be so impossible with us.

CLIFF: I'm wondering how much longer I can go on... watching you two tearing the insides out of each other.

You wouldn't seriously think of leaving us?

What is it, lovely?

I'm frightened.

Good morning, Roger.

'Morning, Mike. Hello, Jim.

'Morning, Ted.

Hello, lad.

How's things?



I got the lot here, boyo.

Humbugs, mint lumps, jelly babies

14 pounds of jelly babies.

What do you want to get all those for?

Kids have got a craze on. They'd better have.

'Morning, Mr Hurst.

Hello, Porter.

JIMMY: 'Morning, Hurst.

What's this?

You know the regulations. All food stuffs 18 inches off the ground.

He was just unloading.

These sweets is human food.

I could have your license for that.

Porter... easy, isn't it?

I should be more careful in future, if I was you... not so cocky.

Comrade Hurst... commissar of the Kinley Urban District Council.

I'd like to kick him in the teeth.

KID: Hey, mister! Yes?

Mister, six pen' worth of jelly babies, please.

I'll have three pen' worth. Two pen', please.

JIMMY: You see, Cliff, you gotta study the market.


Oh, do come 'ere.

I hope she didn't make a mess of your nice coat.

No, it's all right.

How old is she?

Only 15 months.

But she's that big- Next, please!

KID: Are you going in, miss?

BABY KEEPS CRYING She doesn't take to 'er, eh?

Funny how they know about people.

Just relax a minute, I'll put something on that burn.

How did you do it?

On the iron. I was careless.

Does your husband know about the baby?


In the next few months, you're going to depend a great deal on his help and consideration.

What's his profession?

He has a sweet stall in the market.

I thought you told me once he was a university graduate.


is it too late, I mean, to... do anything?

I didn't hear that question.

I'm sorry.

I hope you won't ask it again of anyone.

Or try to do anything foolish.

I'm getting hungry.

Ah, you're a bloody pig.

I'm not a pig. I just like food, that's all.

Like it? You're like a sexual maniac only, with you, it's food.

You'll end up in the News of the World boyo, you wait.

"James Porter, age 25, was bound over last week

"after pleading guilty to interfering

"with a small cabbage and two tins of beans.

"The accused said he hadn't been feeling well for some time

"and had been having blackouts."

Hey, there's Ma Tanner. Ma!

Ohh, Jimmy, lad.

It's good to see you.

You look wonderful, Ma.

Hello, son. How are you?

Keepin' well? Yes, quite. Thanks.

Ohh. Oh, you have got it nice.

You approve? Yes.

Does you justice? You bet.

How long do you got, ma? Well, I'm only up for the day.

I came up to see me old man's grave. Well, let's go and have a drink.

Oh, can you leave? Yeah, and a bite to eat.

He's hungry.

All right.

He's runnin' off with me.

You want to watch him.

Who's the old girl, there?

She was his landlady set him up in this stall.

Oh, aye?

Chin-chin. Cheers.

Aaah. Aaaah.

Oh, I do love a port and lemon...

Proper charlady's tipple, isn't it?

Well, how's everything going, Jim?

The stall is doing fine. I know that, son.

You'll have paid me off soon and I shall be able to retire to the south of France.

I owe you a lot, Ma.

You don't owe me nothing, son.

You know sometimes I've wondered whether I did the right thing.

TANNER: Oh, look who's here.

We was just talking about you.

How are you, dear?

Jimmy, I-I wanted to talk to you.

'ere, let me get you a little something.

No, thank you. No, no, no, it's my turn now.

Your hubby's been doing the honours up to now.

Come on, dear. It'll buck you up. I don't want a drink, really.


Well, perhaps-

Give her a pink gin.

Right, a pink gin.

That's what she's used to.

Jimmy- You're right on form, aren't you?

Look down your nose at her again and I'll- I-I just couldn't bear to be touched.

You made that perfectly plain.

ALISON: Did I? Oh, I-I'm sorry.

She's only here for a few hours.

Why don't you go ahead and really spoil them for her?

TANNER: Ta, dear.

Here. Thanks.

What about you, ma? not taking anything?

No, better not. This'll do me.

TANNER SIGHS Cheers. Cheers.

I was just going to have a look at me husband's grave make sure it's been kept nice. ALISON: Oh.

You know, if you don't keep your eye on things people pinch the flower vases and the grass grows all over the place.

I wouldn't like him to think I neglected him.

ALISON: That's quite a walk to the cemetery up that steep hill.

Yes, especially with my feet, dear.

Blimey, look at the time. I'd better be goin' along. Good thing you reminded me.

There's no need to go yet, Ma.

There's plenty of time. But I've got to buy me flowers yet and I promised my sister I wouldn't be late back.

You sit still, dear, and finish your drink.

Well, I've- She's signing the pledge, Ma. oh, wise girl.

I wish I'd done that years ago. This way, ma.



Now, who's got nice flowers?

I'll get 'em for ya, Ma. No, I got to buy 'em.

All right.


I'll see you in a minute, Ma.

I went to the doctor this morning.

So I see.

Did you tell him what happened?

But I-I didn't go- Did you tell him I did it deliberately.

"I'm terrified of him, doctor.

"Can't you think of a nice, quiet asylum where we can safely lock him up?"

But it needs two doctors to certify a person.

Better get another before that heals up.

What is it, lovely? Nothing.

I said, "what is it?"

You see I'm pregnant.

Two choc ices, please.

We don't sell them. Try-try down there.

Oh, thank you.

Have you told Jimmy yet?

I tried to just now.

Hey, lovely, you've got to tell him.


Oh, you've done wonders with it, son.

Now, what's the time?

You've got plenty of time yet.

Oh, we had lots of fun, him and me bein' alive, you know just bein' alive.

That's enough for an old girl like me chewin' the cud and havin' a nip of what you fancy.

Wouldn't do if we was all like that, would it, mate, eh?

Would it, mate?


What do you really want, Jimmy?



TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS There, now, it's going to rain.

Look at me keeping you out here in all this.

I am sorry.


Ha ha. He was quite happy in his own little way, you know.

He was doing what he wanted.

Mind you, I don't reckon he'd ever been a Henry Irving but you know what I mean.


Yes, that will be perfectly all right.

Yes, come along in about half an hour.

See you.

Thank you, Miss Drury. Don't thank me.

If Mr Lewis doesn't mind giving up his room.

Oh, no. It's all right by me.

But no one seems to care about Poor Arnold's supper, do they, darling?

Come along.

That was good of you, Cliff.

Aw, forget it, darling.

Always wanted to sleep on the landing.

Who is this Helena?

Oh, Helena Charles. She's an old friend.

She's going to be working at the theatre for the next couple of weeks.

Actress, is she?

Yes. So, when she telephoned, I...

I needed someone to talk to.

Do you understand, Cliff?

All right, darling.

Hey, lovely, does Jimmy know this Helena?

Yes. He hates her.

WHISTLE BLOWS I took up a lot of your time.

Goodbye, Ma. Goodbye.

Take care. Goodbye, son. Goodbye.


Oh, can you manage. Fine.

I better shift the ladies, I suppose.

I mean, if she's a bit proper.

Thank you.


How's it feeling now?

Oh, it's all right. It-it wasn't anything.

I'm sorry.

There's no need. I mean it.

I know.

I did do it on purpose.


There's hardly a moment when I'm not watching and wanting you.

Nearly two years of being in the same room with you and I still can't stop my sweat breaking out when I see you doing something as ordinary as... leaning over an ironing board.

Trouble is... trouble is you get used to people.

Even their trivialities become indispensable to you.


And a little mysterious.

I think I must have a lot of old stock.

And nobody wants it.

What shall we do tonight?

What would you like to do?

Drink? No, I know what I'd like to do now.

Well, you'll have to wait till the proper time.

There's no such thing

Jimmy- You're very beautiful.


Beautiful great-eyed squirrel. SHE LAUGHS Hoarding, nut-munching squirrel with highly-polished, gleaming fur and an ostrich feather of a tail. Whee!

How I envy you.

And you're a jolly, super bear- a super, marvellous bear!

Bears and squirrels are marvellous.

Eee! Eee! Marvellous and cute.

What the hell's that?

That's a dance squirrels do when they're happy.

What makes you think that you are happy?


Jimmy? Mm-hmm You know, there was something I was meaning to tell you.

Alison. ALISON: What is it?

Your friend... she's arrived.


Oh. What friend?

Helena Charles. I... I meant to explain.

She... she telephoned.

She's going to play at the theatre next week.

JIMMY: I see.

She said, "Can I come over?"

And you said, "My husband, Jimmy

"if you'll pardon my using such a dirty word

"will be delighted to see you.

"He'll kick your teeth in!"

I asked her to stay. JIMMY: You did what?

Well, she couldn't find anywhere else to stay.

That I don't believe. So I said she could come here until she fixes somewhere else. Did you tell her to wear her armour?

She's going to need it. Why don't you shut up, please?

Oh, my dear wife you have so much to learn.

If only something... something would happen to waken you from your beauty sleep.

If you could have a child... and it would die.

Let it grow.

Let a recognizable human face emerge from this little mass of India rubber and wrinkles.

Oh, please, if only I could see you face that.

You know I've never had the great pleasure of lovemaking when I didn't desire it myself.

Oh, it's not that she doesn't have her own kind of passion, she does.

She just devours me whole every time as if I was so me over-large rabbit.

And then lies back, like a puffed-out python to sleep it off.

That's me, that bulge around the navel there.

It's me, if you're wondering what it is.

You'd think this indigestible mass would stir up some kind of tremor from those distended, overfed tripes, but not her!

She'll go on sleeping and devouring until there's nothing left of me!


Good evening. Evening, Miss Charles.

Did you manage all right?

I'm quite enjoying it.

I don't think I shall ever get used to having go down to the bathroom every time I want water for something.

Oh, it is primitive, isn't it?

Mmm. Oh, God I wish he'd lose that damned trumpet.

Well, I imagine it's for my benefit.

Miss Drury will ask us to go soon. I know she will. Listen to him.

Do you know she was actually taking that dog into the bathroom?

I think she was going to bathe it. Oh, you mean Arnold.

TRUMPET STOPS Oh, that's better.

Does he drink?


Oh, he's... he's not an alcoholic, if that's what you mean.


It's almost as if he wanted to kill someone with it and me, in particular.

Never seen such hatred in somebody's eyes before.

It's slightly horrifying.

These go here? Mmm.


Oddly exciting.

Tell me... Hmm?

HELENA: Why did you?

Marry him?

Oh, there must be about six different answers.

I met him at a party.

He'd come there on his bicycle and there was oil all over his jacket.

It had been such a lovely day.

Everything about him seemed to burn.

His face, the edges of his hair glistened and his eyes were so blue and full of the sun.

So you took him on.

There never seemed to be any choice.

Did he love you?


A howl of outrage went up from my family.

Well, you can see their point.

And that did it.

He made up his mind to marry me went into battle with the axe swinging round his head frail and so full of fire.

I've never seen anything like it.

A knight in shining armour.

Except that his armour really didn't shine very much.

TAPPING NOISES Oh, God, now he's started her up.

Mr Porter! Mr Porter!

Arnold's having a heart attack!

Hey, boyo!

Stuff that flamin' thing away somewhere, will you?

You like it, all right.

Anybody who doesn't like jazz has no real feeling for music or for people.


See what I mean?

You know, I... I thought of the title of a new song.

It's called, um...

"You can quit hanging around my counter, Mildred

"'cause you'll find my position is closed."

Good? Very good.

Glad you like it.

If I can slip in a religious angle it might be a big hit.

Don't you think so?

Why do you try so hard to be unpleasant? What's that?

Do you have to be so offensive?


You think I'm being offensive? Now?

She underestimates me, doesn't she?

I think you're a very tiresome young man.

"Oh, dear, oh, dear, my wife's friends.

"Pass Lady Bracknell the cucumber sandwiches."

I'm going out to the jazz club. You want to come?

Ok. Chris barber's second night.

What about you? You want to come?

ALISON: I'm going out with Helena.

That's not a direction. That's an affliction.

SHE SIGHS I feel so tired.

I dread him coming into the room.

Listen, darling, you've got to tell him.

Either he learns to behave like everyone else or- Or?

Or you've got to get out of this menagerie.

He doesn't know what love or anything else means.

You see that bear and that squirrel?

Well, that's him, and that's me.

You mean to tell me he's a bit fey as well as everything else?

Oh, there's nothing fey about Jimmy.

It's the one way we have of escaping from everything.

A sort of a silly symphony for people who can't bear the pain of being human beings any longer.

JAZZ MUSIC PLAYS Won't it work?

Only if you blow it, dear.

Why don't you get in there and liven things up a bit?

And yet, the funny thing is I think I can understand, for instance, how Alison's daddy felt when he came back from India.

The old Edwardian brigade made their brief little world look pretty tempting.

APPLAUSE High summer, long days in the sun slim volumes of verse bright ideas bright uniform.


HE SIGHS A romantic picture.

Phony, too, of course. It must have rained sometimes.


I must say, it's pretty dreary living in the American age unless, of course, you're an American.

Perhaps all our children will be Americans.

That's a thought, isn't it?

I said, "that's a thought!"

Jimmy... forget about Helena.

She's only trying to help.

That unmarried mother superior.

JIMMY: Black-hearted, evil-minded, and vicious.


Oh, you've done it all. I shouldn't have let you.


You've got to take care of yourself now. Shh.

Everything seems very different with you here now.

Does it? Before, I was on my own.

Now you've got me. Yes.

You're not sorry you asked me to stay?

ALISON: No, of course not.

Cheer up, boyo.

You look like a laxative commercial... before.

Up early today, aren't we?

I wanted to get everything done before I had to go to rehearsal.

Alison mustn't tire herself.

Looking after one man is enough, but two is quite an undertaking.

Oh, Cliff looks after himself.

Well, I can't say I've noticed it.

Let's put you in your place, you Welsh trash.

Are you, uh... are you a good actress?

Oh, really.

Since we're going to be stuck with you for two solid weeks I only hope it's worthwhile, that it adds to the sum of human happiness.

My egg's hard. Is yours?

CLIFF: I haven't seen yet. Can't cook, either, can you?

What's this, uh... what's this play of yours called?

"The Forgotten Heart."

"The Forgotten Heart." Oh, yes.

Yes, I remember.

"A penetrating examination of love

"and personal relationships."

Ran for two years in the west end.

Could you do that?

The bloke who wrote that was never in a woman's bedroom... not even his mother's when she found out the truth about him.

Coming to rehearsal this morning, Alison?

Well, I've got things to do.

They'll keep. All right.

What are you two plotting? Don't you think we've had enough of the heavy villain?

Are you going to let yourself be taken in by this saint in Dior's clothing?

Shall I tell you the simple truth about her?

She is... a cow.

I wouldn't mind that so much, but she's in danger of becoming a sacred cow, as well.

Oh, Cliff...

I'll help you wash up before I go.

HE WHISTLES Your slip is showing, dear.

DOOR SLAMS SHUT BOTH SIGH Behold the ball that Ben Hogan lost.

Hello. Good morning. My name is Johnny Kapoor.

My name is Jimmy Porter. This is Cliff Lewis.


Nice market here.

I applied for a license.

Let's see your stock.

They'll sell at these prices?


Cheap stuff, eh?

Where'd you get it.

From a warehouse.


It is not stolen.

There's your license. Fill it in.

And just keep your nose clean, that's all.

I've got my eye on some of you smart boys.

That's right, eh, Porter?

Oh, one of these days- CLIFF: Boyo...

Let's see what you've got here. Look, Jimmy, what about this red shirt?

Match your eyes. Ha, ha.

Hello, Cliff.

Hello, lovely.

Can I have some money, Jimmy?

What for?

I'm meeting Helena for lunch. Well, let her pay.

Don't make me feel like a pauper.

I want you to meet a new friend of mine, this is Mr Kapoor. My wife.

Her family spent many years in India grew to love the country and the people.

Oh, then I am most delighted.

How do you do?

You two should have a lot to talk about sometime.

Oh, yes, perhaps.

Still the master race.

Here. Take, ah... take memsahib out for tiffin.

How about this one, then?

Cliff, how's your heart this morning?

What do you mean?

You fancy watching dame Helena flog herself to death Well, yes.

Let's go.

Take sight of my pitch, for me, will you? Yes, sir.

CLIFF: See you, Johnny.

MAN: Look at this, then. Hey, hey, come and look at this.

Real cheap.

JOHNNY: Do you want to buy?

There are other stalls here, same line of business.

"But you sit in that great, beautiful, impossible house of yours in Somerset

"buried in your Trollope."

Who wrote this filthy thing?

Jimmy, what are you here for? Shh.

"But, Ann, I've tried to understand.

"We could be doing something useful together, Ann.

"Won't you come back?"

Go on, Annie girl, have a go.

Oh, Jimmy, please don't interrupt again. Shh.

"You'd better go, Henry."

"Goodbye, Ann."

"Goodbye... Henry."


Ah, ladies and gentlemen, as I was on my way to the theatre tonight, passing the stage door a man comes up to me- I say, I say, I say, here.

Have you seen nobody? Have I seen who-

Have you seen- What's going on? Who are you?

Don't waste my time. Ladies and gentlemen, a little recitation entitled

"She was only a monkey's daughter

"but my, how she handled her nuts." Thank you.

She was only a monkey's- Will you kindly go away?

I can't find nobody anywhere and I'm supposed to give him this case.

Nobody? Yes.

Jimmy, get out of here!

You was to come here and give this case-

INDISTINCT ARGUMENT Now let me get this straight, sonny boy when you say nobody came, nobody, nobody came.

No. No. Let me get this straight, sonny boy when you say nobody came, nobody, nobody, came.


SHOUTS Hello, there!

Who's that down there? Nobody.

Then give him his bloody case.

Who do you think you're-

I'll deal with this. What do you mean by this?

Who are you? Well, I'm her landlord, guv.

No! Yeah, she promised us an audition.

She said, "come along-" It isn't true!

Is he your landlord?

No. Yeah. I-I'm staying with them.

Now, keep out of this.

Instead of paying rent, she promised an audition.

Joke over, boyo, let's go. No, of course, if you want to pay rent after all, I mean, it's up to you.

I know they don't pay you much in this place but fair is fair.

It's not funny any more, eh?

No, no.

No, no.

I demand my right! I want my lolly!

As a member of the delinquent classes I want my money!

Get away.

You impertinent little phoney.

Messing in people's lives and you don't know what any of it's about.

For your own sake, don't ever do that again.

I've no public-school scruples about hitting girls.

If you slap my face, by God, I'll lay you out.

You would. You're the type.

You bet I'm the type.

I'm the type that detests physical violence.

Jimmy, come out of it, quick, eh?

Jimmy, hey!

One of these days, I may write a book about us all.

It's all here, and it'll be written in flames a mile high and it won't be recollected in tranquillity, either picking daffodils with Auntie Wordsworth it'll be written in fire and blood.

JIMMY: My blood.


Going out?

That's right.

On a Sunday evening in this town?

Where on earth have you got to go?

She's coming with me to church.

You're doing what?

When I think of what I did what I had to endure-

Oh, yes, we all know what you did for me.

You rescued me from the clutches of my family and all my friends.

From the clutches of mummy, at least

you know, mummy and I took one quick look at each other and from then on, the age of chivalry was dead.

Don't let's brawl, boyo. It won't do any good.

Why not?

It's the only thing left I'm any good at. Jimmy boy.

There is nothing, no limit, to what the middle-class mother will do in the holy crusade against ruffians like me.

She's probably in that cistern by now, taking down every word we say.

Can you hear me, mother?

Just about fit her in there.

You're an old cow, and you ought to be dead!

Shut up! You've no right to talk about her mother like that.

I've every right, haven't I?

She's an old cow, and she should be dead.


Well, what's the matter with you?

Why don't you spring to her defence? Jimmy, don't.

If someone said that about me, she'd react soon enough.

She'd spring into her well-known lethargy and say nothing.

Well, now... and what's the matter with you.

I just feel quite sick, that's all sick with contempt and loathing.


We'd better go. I'll get my things.

What are you trying to do to me?

Trying to twist my arm off with your silence?

I've given you... I've given you just everything.

You... you Judas. You phlegm.

She's taking you with her, and you're so bloody wet, you let her do it.


All I want is a little peace.


She wants peace.

One of us is crazy... mean and stupid and crazy.

Which is it? Is it me?

Standing like an hysterical girl, hardly able to get my words out?

Or is it her, sitting there, putting on her shoes to go out with that... that... aah!

One of these days, you may want to come back.

I want to be there that day.

I want to stand up in your tears and splash about in them and sing.

I want to be there when you grovel.

I want to be there, I want to watch it. I want the front seat.

I want to be there when you... when your face is rubbed in the mud.

There's nothing else I can hope for. There's nothing else I want any more.

There's a call for you downstairs.

Well... it can't be anything good, can it?

What is it?

God, what's the matter with him now?

It's as if you've done him wrong...

and you just sit there and do nothing!

That's right. I just sit here.

What sort of a man are you?

I'm not the district commissioner, you know.

Listen, Helena this has always been a battlefield and I'm pretty certain that if I hadn't been here everything would have been over between these two long ago.

I love these two people very much and I pity all of us.

I don't understand you or him or any of it.

Listen, Allison I'm going to call your father Huh? I'm going to ask him to come up and fetch you home I see.

Now, you'll go when he comes for you, won't you Yes, I'll go.

I expect he should be here by 4:00.

Perhaps, after you've gone...

Jimmy will come to his senses and face up to things.

Well, come on. We'll be late if we don't hurry.


What is it?

Ma Tanner.

She's had a stroke.

Oh, I'm sorry.

How bad is she?


They didn't say much.

I think she's dying.

Oh, dear.

You ever seen anybody die?

No, I haven't.

For 12 months, I watched my father die when I was ten years old.

He'd come back from the war in Spain, you see.

All my mother could think was that she was married to somebody who was on the... on the wrong side in all things.

Perhaps she pitied him.

I was the only one who cared.

Hour upon hour, I...

sat in that little room.

And he would talk, you know.

Pour out all that was left of his life to a small, frightened boy who could barely understand half of what he said.

All I could feel was... was the despair and the bitterness the sweet, sickly smell of a dying man.

See, I...

I learned at an early age what it is to be angry... angry.


The train leaves in half an hour.

You're coming with me, aren't you?


I, um...

I need you to come with me.

Let's go.

I, ah, I-I brought you these.


Too... many... port... and lemon.

INDISTINCT WHIMPERS You're not supposed to talk, you know.

SHE MUMBLES You've... got... to do... things.

That's what you're...

...made for.



don't... let... yourself down.

Nurse. Nurse. Come quick! Quick!

Don't... let yourself... down.

SHE MOANS NURSE: Wait outside, please.

NURSE: Staff nurse.

Hell. Hell, hell, hell!


CAR HORN SOUNDS Know what he said about mummy?

He said she was an overfed overprivileged, old cow.

I see.

And what did he say about me?

He doesn't seem to mind you so much.

In fact, I think he rather likes you.

"Poor old daddy."

It's just one of those sturdy, old plants left over from the Edwardian wilderness that can't understand why the sun isn't shining anymore.

Why did you ever have to meet this young man?

Oh, daddy, please don't put me on trial now.

I've been on trial every day and night of my life for the past two years.

But why should he have married you, feeling as he did about everything?

Perhaps it was revenge.

But why you- my daughter?

Perhaps I am a... what is it?

"An old plant left over from the Edwardian wilderness."


I think the last time the sun shone was when that dirty little train steamed out of that crowded, suffocating Indian station and the battalion band playing for all it was worth.

I knew in my heart it was all over then.


You're hurt because everything is changed and Jimmy's hurt because everything is the same.

Something's gone wrong somewhere, hasn't it?

It looks like it, my dear.

SHE SOBS This is a big step you're taking.

Is it really what you want?

Oh, I'm so sorry.

I-I was going to come and help you pack, but, uh... well, it looks as though you've done it all.

Thank you. Well, Helena, we may as well go.

Alison's mother will be worried, I know.

She's not very well.

I'm so sorry. I hope I didn't upset her with my telephone call Oh, no. We were very grateful that you did.

Do be careful of of the second step. Thank you.

Helena, what about your case?

Oh, she isn't coming with us she's still playing at the theatre.

Can't get into my new digs till tomorrow. Oh, I see.

Hello, Cliff.

Hello, lovely.

Daddy, this is Cliff.

How do you do, Cliff?

How do you do, sir?

Well, I... I'd better put this in the car.

Goodbye, Cliff Goodbye, sir.

Oh, look. They're coming

So you're really going then?

Really going, Cliff.

Should think Jimmy'll be back pretty soon.

You won't wait?


Who's going to tell him?

Don't you think you ought to tell him yourself?

Bit conventional, isn't it?

I'm a conventional girl.

This place is gonna be really cockeyed now, you know that?

Oh, please, Cliff.

Look after him for me, please.


Take care of yourself. Thanks for everything Oh, darling, now, careful.

Goodbye. Don't worry about anything at all. Everything'll be fine.

I hope you're right, that's all.

What do you mean I'm right?

TYRES SQUEAL Damned fool!

You stupid clown!

Jimmy. What?

It was Jimmy.

VENDOR SHOUTS It's him, all right.

Here. You give it to him.

He's all yours. Oh, no, Cliff, no.

And I hope he rams it up your nostrils!

Cliff! Cliff!


One of those, is it?

How could she be so bloody wet?

Deep loving need of me... she couldn't say, "rotten swine, I hate your guts.

"I'm going away, and I hope you rot."

What are you doing here, anyway?

You'd better keep out of my sight, or I'll... I'll kick your head in.

If you'd stop thinking about yourself for just one moment I'll tell you something I think you ought to know.

Your wife is going to have a baby.

Well, doesn't that mean anything?

Even to you?

If you'll permit me to interrupt your... female wisdom... there's something perhaps you ought to know.

I don't care.

I don't care if she's going to have a baby.

I don't care if it has two heads.

Well, do I disgust you?

Go on. Slap my face.

I've just come back from seeing somebody I love very much go through the sordid process of dying.

And you expect me to be overcome with awe because some stupid, cruel girl is going to have a baby?

Well, now the performance is over.

Now, you leave me alone, and get out you evil-minded little virgin!



The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the love of god and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with us all evermore. Amen.



Kill the lights. That's all.


Thank you, darling.


How was it?

It was a funeral

no flowers no word

no sign.

What do you mean?

I mean Alison.

The injustice of it is almost perfect.

The wrong people going hungry the wrong people...

being loved.

The wrong people dying.

I shan't be long.


Ugh. Why does one spend half of Sunday reading the newspapers?

Have you read about the grotesque and evil practices going on in the Midlands?

About the what?

"And last week, a well-known debutante

"related how, during an evil orgy at Market Harborough, "she killed and drank the blood of a white cockerel."

CLIFF LAUGHS I bet Fortnum's are doing a roaring trade in sacrificial cocks.

Sounds madly depraved.

Yes. Terribly "us", isn't it?

Ever go in for that kind of thing? Not lately.

Oh, it sounds like your cup of tea...

Cup of, uh, blood, I should say.

Well, we could try it if you like.

Yes, for a start, we could roast him over the gas fire.

After all, the whole point of a sacrifice is that you get rid of something you never really had any use for.

You'd make an admirable sacrifice.

Afterwards, we could have a... a loving cup of his blood.

Can't say I fancy it much. I've seen it.

It's like tomato sauce-ever so common.

Now, yours would be much better, wouldn't it?

Sort of a pale Cambridge blue.

What are you laughing at?

Nothing. I never used to be sure when he was being serious or when he wasn't.

I don't think he knows himself half the time.

When in doubt, mark it down as an insult.

Hey, I thought of the title of a new song today.

It's called, "My mother's in the madhouse

"that's why I'm in love with you."

Come on, maestro. Take it away. Aw.

Now, there's a certain little lady now, you all know who I mean she may have been to Roedean.

# But to me, uh, she's still a queen

# Someday, I'm going to marry her

# When times are not so bad

# Her mother doesn't care for me

# So I'll have to ask her dad

# Two, three, four

# Don't be afraid to sleep with your sweetheart

# Just because she's better than you

# Those forgotten middle classes

# May have fallen on their... noses

# But a girl who's true blue

# Will still have something left for you

# The angels up above

# Will know that you're in love

# So don't be afraid to sleep with your sweetheart

# Because she's better than you

# They call me Sydney! Just because she's better than you #

INDISTINCT INSULTS Hey, be careful now.

I'll show you terrible destruction!

HELENA: Jimmy!

Oh. Oh, my writing case.

I'm sending some of her things on.

"My dear Alison

"I hope that what I wrote before didn't hurt you too much.

"I know now it is true, in spite of myself.

"In spite of myself...

"I do love him."

She was a jolly, super puppy weren't you, Dinah?

She's 15.

We ought to have her put down.

Nonsense, my dear. There's nothing the matter with her.

All she needs is a walk.

Feel like coming?

Better not. I don't want to upset Dr Blair.

He seemed happier the last time you saw him.

I think so.

The usual... lecture about taking care of myself but I don't think they'll be any more trouble.

He's been kicking like mad today.


Yes, I always say "he".

I wonder if it will be like its father.

Would mummy hate it?

You know I've often thought your mother went too far over Jimmy.

But you didn't approve of him.

Of course not.

It's just that...

I think you take after me, my dear.

You like to sit on the fence because it's comfortable and more peaceful.

Sitting on the fence...

I married him, didn't I?


They're cough drops, you know, Not a... not a miracle drug.

And you're no flaming faith healer, either. Heh.

SHE LAUGHS Jimmy, can I have a bit of money to finish shopping?

But of course. Business slack today?

There's nothing much doing. Want to go to the pictures?

Well, Cliff will look after the shop. Won't you, Cliff?

Why not?

All right.

Meet you there in, uh, in ten minutes?

They wouldn't take these jelly babies back, you know?

Got too many.

The kids had a craze on. Yeah.

You don't like Helena, do you.

You didn't seem very keen yourself once.

It's not the same, is it?

Of course it isn't the same, you idiot.

Today's meal is always different from yesterday's.

The last woman is never the same as the one before.

WOMAN: Inspector!

Nylons, he calls them. Look at that, inspector.

There's no foot in it. Never has been.

Inspector, I have not seen this lady before.

These are not my nylons.

I warned you, my lad.

JOHNNY: Please, inspector.

Give me your license. Hey, just a minute.

Shut up, you. Let's hear what he's gotta say.

Keep out of this! Let's hear his side!

Are you sure you bought them from him?

Yes. When?

When did you buy them?

Two weeks ago, market day.

Two weeks ago? But I was sick that time. Do you remember?

What's he trying to say.

That he wasn't here to sell them.

Look it up in your record book. Go on.


Well, if it wasn't him, it was one of his friends.

They're all the same.

Here. Take it.

Stupid clod.

Letting him walk all over him like that.

What do you want?

Penny ranger bar, mister.

Thank you.


I don't think I shall stay here much longer.

Why not?


I don't know.

The sweet stall's all right but I'd like to try something else.

Well, you're highly educated and it suits you, but I need something a bit better.

Well, it's your business, I s'pose.

And another thing... be easier for Helena, just the two of you.

You'd better go, hadn't you?

She'll be waiting.

Yeah, you're right.

I'll, uh, I'll come back later to help you clear up.

We'll talk about it then.



Anything wrong?

Cliff tells me he's leaving us.

Yes, I know. He told me last night.

Oh, did he?

I always seem to be at the end of the queue when they're passing out information.

Sorry he's going.

Mmm. So am I.

He's sloppy and irritating, but he's got a big heart.

You can forgive somebody almost anything for that.


I love you.

Perhaps you do.

HE SIGHS Perhaps it means something to have your... general lie back in your arms even though he's heartily sick of the whole campaign... tired and hungry and dry.

HE SIGHS Oh, Helena... don't let anything go wrong. Oh, my darling.

You're either with me or against me. I've always wanted you, alw-


BOTH SIGH Tell Her Majesty to send a gunboat.

HE MAKES TRUMPET SOUNDS Look, if you don't want to watch the film, don't spoil it for those that do.

Shh. Don't like this country why the hell don't they get out?

Think I will.

Good. Hmm.


God, Jimmy, what's going to become of us, eh?

I don't know.

Do you know what Alison once said?

You were born out of your time.

I think I know what she means.

Sometimes I think you feel you're still in the middle of the French revolution.

Oh, Jimmy, can't you give up that damn sweet stall and do something else?

Such as?

I don't know. There are so many things that you could do.

Such as being a literary gent?

Porter, the lion of the pen club?

Laughing Porter, the TV panellist?

Lord Porter, leaving number ten?

The personality cult of Porter.

Let's examine it, that glittering, meteoric cause.

While the rest of the world is blown to bits about us what's the only thing that matters?

Me! Me! Me!


Hello, there.

What's the matter with you?

It's Kapoor.

He's been chucked out of the market.

We've got to fight them. Pinch-bottom Hurst, the town clerk the mayor himself-the whole fascist gang.

Why? There are plenty of other towns.

Damn it, man, don't you want to see justice done?

I am most interested in justice but I am not in the habit of expecting it to apply to me.

Now, listen, Hurst got you on a pure technicality.

He tried this afternoon and failed and-


Go on. What did Hurst do?

You took his license away from him without any real reason.

Ever since he landed here, he's been at the sticky end of your personal spite.

Now, listen, sir. I watched it!

Before you make a bigger fool of yourself there's something you ought to know.

This time, it was their complaint.

Some of your friends there.

They informed on him?

That's right.

Why? What's the idea?

You don't want him here. What's he done?

Seen his prices, son? We've got to eat.

You're lucky, lad. He might have sold sweets.



Mr Hurst, come and have a drink with us.

What'll you have? You'll have a short?


I should move on now. As I said, goodbye.

What made you come to this bloody country, anyway?

I came, because in India I was an outcast- an untouchable.

Any idea what you're gonna do?


Not much.

Sounds just like you.

Shouldn't think you'll last five minutes without me to explain the score to you.

CLIFF CHUCKLES Right, shouldn't think so.

You're such a scruffy beast.

I bet some respectable little madame will... gobble you up in six months, marry you, send you to work and you'll end up clean as a new pin.


I'm stupid enough for that, too.

HE SIGHS I seem to spend my life saying goodbye.

My feet hurt.

Try washing your socks.

Here's your train.

You know... funny thing is... you've been loyal, generous, a good friend.

I'm quite prepared to see you go off and make a home for your own and... all because I want... I want something... something from that girl which I... I know in my heart she's incapable of giving.

You're worth half a dozen Helenas to me, you know that?

If you were in my place, you'd do the same thing, wouldn't you? Right?

Here, Cliff.

Oh, thanks, Helena, very decent of you.


WHISTLE BLOWS Bye-bye, Cliff.

Write now and again, and not just dirty postcards, eh?

Heh. Give Miss Drury a kick somehow, eh?


Goodbye, Cliff. Bye-bye, Cliff.

Darling, what do you say we get out of this business and start from scratch? What do you say? I'd say that's wonderful.

Come on, we'll do that. Let's go and have a drink.

We'll get pleasantly tiddly, then I'll take you home and make such love to you you'll forget about anything at all

Why not champagne?

British railways special cuvee.

Two double scotch, please.


Friend of yours to see you.

Watch where you're going.

Miss, do you want these drinks?

Oh, yes.

Ten shillings. Ta.

I think this is what you need, what we both need.


How long have you been here?

I don't know, an hour or two.

I must be mad, coming here like this I'm sorry, Helena.

So many times, I managed to stop myself coming here right at the last minute.

Even today, when I got on the train, I...

I panicked. I felt like a criminal.

I told myself that when... when I got here, I'd turn round and go straight back.

Alison, what's happened?

I lost the child.

I feel so ashamed.

Helena, don't bring out the book of rules.

You're his wife, aren't you?

Please don't make me feel like a blackmailer.

Whatever made me come here I never intended to make a breach between you and Jimmy.

You must believe that.

Oh, I believe it, all right.

That's why everything seems more wrong and terrible than ever.

You talk as though you'd swindled him out of me.

You talk as though he were a book you pass to whoever wants it for five minutes You loved him, didn't you?

You wrote and told me.

And it was true.

Helena, it's no use.

You must go back to him.

I'll be all right.

I'll catch the next train.

Kitty, have the next one with us.

Oh, go away. And your friend.

Alison, I don't like to leave you like this.

I'll be all right. Goodbye.


Alison, are you...

You didn't have a return ticket.

I forgot. I meant to get one.

Alison, it's all over.



I'm leaving.

I've just come to get my things.

I see.

She's persuaded you this time?

Not at all.

She's been very ill, Jimmy. She's lost-

My child, too, you know.

I suppose none of this could ever really have worked.

But I do love you, Jimmy.

I shall never love anyone as I've loved you...

But I can't go on.

I can't take part in all this suffering.

I can't.

It's no good fooling about with love, you know.

You can't fall into it like a soft job without dirtying up your hands.

It takes muscle and guts.

If you can't bear the thought of messing up your nice, tidy soul you'd better give up the whole idea of life and become a saint because you'll never make it as a human being.

HE SIGHS It's either this world

or the next.



I, uh...

I didn't know about the baby.

I don't exactly relish the idea of pain and suffering, but...

it wasn't my first loss, you know.

It was mine.

Remember that time we first met... at that grisly party?

You didn't really notice me at all.

I couldn't take my eyes off you all evening.

You seemed to have such a... such a wonderful relaxation of spirit.

I knew that was what I wanted.

Then after we were married, I discovered it wasn't relaxation, after all.

To relax, you've got to sweat your guts out first.

You, you... you never had a hair out of place or a bead of sweat anywhere.


HE SIGHS I know I'm a lost cause but I thought if you loved me it didn't really matter.

It does matter!

I was wrong.

I don't want to be neutral.

I want to be a lost cause.

Don't you understand?

It's gone-that helpless human being inside my body.

I thought it was so safe and secure in there but it's lost.

All I wanted was to die.

I was in pain and all I could think of was you and what I'd lost.

I thought if... if only he could see me now so ugly and stupid and ridiculous.

I thought "this is what he's wanted from me

"this is what he wants to splash about in.

"I'm in the fire, and I'm burning

"and all I want is to die.

"It's cost him his child and any others I might have had."

No, don't.

No, pl-please don't. I... I can't...


No, don't. Please. Please.

You'll be all right.

You'll be all right.

We'll be together in our bear's cave our squirrel's drey and we'll live on honey and nuts- lots and lots of nuts.

You'll keep those big eyes on my fur and help me to keep my claws in order because I'm a bit of a soppy, scruffy sort of bear.

And I'll see that you keep that sleek, bushy tail gleaming as it should, because you're...

...you're a very beautiful squirrel.

But you know, you're none too bright, either, so we'll have to be careful.

Cruel steel traps everywhere just waiting for rather mad, slightly satanic very timid little bears.


Poor squirrels. WHISTLE BLOWS

Poor bears.

Poor, poor bears.