M. Butterfly (1993) Script

EXPENSE REPORTS FROM INTELLIGENCE.

I DON'T BELIEVE IT.

DID THEY GIVE YOU ANY TROUBLE?

NO, NOT AT ALL.

OH.

"DOCUMENTATION ATTACHED."

WELL, I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER.

SO, HOW ARE YOU SETTLING IN?

OH, FINE. FINE.

THE APARTMENT'S A BIT EARNEST AND SOVIETIC, BUT IT'S VERY COMFORTABLE.

WE ALL HAVE THE SAME FURNITURE, YOU KNOW.

IT COMES FROM ONE SMALL FACTORY IN CLERMONT-FERRAND.

THINGS CERTAINLY ARE DIFFERENT HERE.

YOU FIND IT DIFFERENT FROM YOUR DAYS WITH RENAULT?

WELL, YES, I DO.

[LAUGHS]

YOU KNOW, NEVER MIND THE LICENSE TO KILL, THOSE BOYS CERTAINLY HAVE A LICENSE TO SPEND MONEY.

AT LEAST IT BREAKS THE ROUTINE.

OH, I STARTED ON TRANSPORTATION.

57 WINDSHIELD-WIPER BLADES IN THE PAST SIX MONTHS.

WHAT ARE THEY DRIVING THROUGH, SULFURIC ACID?

I EXPECT IT'S ALL THE LOCALS SPITTING ON THE WINDSCREENS.

OH, MY GOD.

IS IT THE SWEDISH OR THE SWISS EMBASSY THAT'S HOLDING THIS LITTLE SOIREE?

I THINK IT'S THE SWISS.

NO, YOU'RE RIGHT. IT'S DEFINITELY THE SWEDISH.

WELL, THEN, WE'RE OVER HERE.

WHAT ARE THEY PLANNING TO INFLICT ON US TONIGHT?

NOT THOSE CHINESE ACROBATS AGAIN.

THERE'S A LIMIT TO HOW MANY TIMES I CAN WATCH A MAN TRYING TO GET HIS LEG AROUND THE BACK OF HIS NECK.

OH, FRAU BADEN SAID THERE'S GOING TO BE AN OPERA PERFORMANCE.

IS THERE SOME DIVA PASSING THROUGH TOWN?

NO. IT'S A LOCAL SINGER.

WE'RE GOING TO HEAR EXCERPTS FROM MADAMA BUTTERFLY.

I'M EMBARRASSED TO ADMIT I'VE NEVER SEEN MADAME BUTTERFLY.

REALLY?

MMM. DON'T TELL ANYONE, THOUGH.

I'VE GOT ONE OR TWO PEOPLE AROUND HERE THINKING I'M PROFOUNDLY CULTURED.

[SINGING IN ITALIAN]


SHE WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH AN AMERICAN SAILOR--

A BIG MISTAKE.

WHY IS THAT?

HE WILL MARRY HER, BUT HE'S NOT SERIOUS.

HER AMERICAN SAILOR HAS NOW LEFT HER.

HE'S NOT COMING BACK.


MADEMOISELLE'S SONG IS VERY STRIKING, YES, BUT SHE SIMPLY HAS NO VOICE.

DO YOU REALLY THINK SO?

THERE SHE IS. EXCUSE ME.

WONDERFUL PERFORMANCE, MADEMOISELLE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I REALLY ENJOYED IT.

SHE'S SIMPLY WONDERFUL, ISN'T SHE?

MADEMOISELLE SONG.

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL PERFORMANCE.

THANK YOU.

I'VE ALWAYS SEEN OPERA SINGERS AS OVERWEIGHT LADIES IN TOO MUCH BAD MAKEUP.

BAD MAKEUP IS NOT UNIQUE TO THE WEST.

I'VE NEVER SEEN A PERFORMANCE AS CONVINCING AS YOURS.

CONVINCING?

MEANING AS A JAPANESE WOMAN?

DID YOU KNOW THE JAPANESE USED THOUSANDS OF OUR PEOPLE FOR MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS DURING THE WAR?

BUT I GATHER SUCH AN IRONY IS LOST ON YOU.

NO. WHAT--

WH-WHAT I MEANT WAS...

YOU MADE ME SEE THE BEAUTY OF THE STORY, OF HER DEATH.

IT'S--IT'S PURE SACRIFICE.

HE'S NOT WORTHY OF IT, BUT WHAT COULD SHE DO?

SHE LOVES HIM SO MUCH.

IT'S VERY...BEAUTIFUL.

WELL, YES...

TO A WESTERNER.

I BEG YOUR PARDON?

IT'S ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE FANTASIES, ISN'T IT?

THE SUBMISSIVE ORIENTAL WOMAN AND THE CRUEL WHITE MAN.

WELL, I DON'T THINK SO.

CONSIDER IT THIS WAY.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF A BLONDE CHEERLEADER FELL IN LOVE WITH A SHORT JAPANESE BUSINESSMAN?

HE MARRIES HER AND THEN GOES HOME FOR THREE YEARS, DURING WHICH TIME SHE PRAYS TO HIS PICTURE AND TURNS DOWN MARRIAGE FROM A YOUNG KENNEDY.

WHEN SHE LEARNS HER HUSBAND HAS REMARRIED, SHE KILLS HERSELF.

NOW, I BELIEVE YOU WOULD CONSIDER THIS GIRL TO BE A DERANGED IDIOT.

CORRECT?

BUT BECAUSE IT'S AN ORIENTAL WHO KILLS HERSELF FOR A WESTERNER, YOU FIND IT BEAUTIFUL.

YES...

WELL, I SEE YOUR POINT.

THE POINT IS IT'S THE MUSIC, NOT THE STORY, MONSIEUR...

GALLIMARD.

RENE GALLIMARD.

IF YOU WISH TO SEE SOME GREAT THEATER, COME TO THE BEIJING OPERA SOMETIME.

FURTHER YOUR EDUCATION.

[APPLAUSE]

YOU KNOW, THE CHINESE...

ARE AN INCREDIBLY ARROGANT PEOPLE.

THEY WARNED US IN PARIS ABOUT IT, REMEMBER?

[SNIFFLES]

THERE'S A SWITCH--

THE PARISIANS CALLING THE CHINESE ARROGANT.

THERE'S NO USE FUSSING ABOUT IT.

WHENEVER I SEE ONE OF THEM BLOWING HIS NOSE ONTO THE PAVEMENT, I ALWAYS REMEMBER WHAT MY FATHER SAID.

"EAST IS EAST, "AND WEST IS WEST, AND NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET."

WELL, I FEEL MUCH BETTER.

OH.

SO, TELL ME, DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO MEET LARS HAMMER'S NEW WIFE?

OH, NO.

SHE'S THE ONE REALLY RUNNING THAT EMBASSY THESE DAYS.

SORRY.

I HEAR SHE'S QUITE HOMELY.

I LEFT EARLY.

OH, DEAR.

ARE YOU COMING DOWN WITH THIS COLD, TOO?

NO. I'M FINE.

IT'S JUST...

WELL...

IT'S SILLY, BUT...

I MET...

A CHINESE EQUIVALENT OF A DIVA.

SHE'S A SINGER WITH THE PEKING OPERA.

OH, WHERE THEY SING LIKE CATS WAILING?

SHE SANG THE DEATH SCENE FROM MADAME BUTTERFLY.

IT'S A FUNNY THING ABOUT CHINESE--

IT SOUNDS MORE LIKE SINGING WHEN THEY'RE JUST SPEAKING NORMALLY.

DO YOU KNOW THE CHINESE HATE MADAME BUTTERFLY?

SHE HATED IT, BUT SHE PERFORMED IT ANYWAY?

THEY HATE IT BECAUSE THE WHITE MAN GETS THE GIRL.

SOUR GRAPES IF YOU ASK ME.

WHY CAN'T THEY JUST SEE IT AS A PIECE OF BEAUTIFUL MUSIC?

[HUMMING]


THANK YOU.


[THRUMMING]


NI HAO.

UM...

UH...

THEATER.

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

UM...OPERA.

[HUMMING]

OH, THANK YOU.

[TRADITIONAL CHINESE MUSIC PLAYS]


[HUMMING]


[SPEAKING IN SING-SONG]


[KNOCK KNOCK]

MONSIEUR GALLIMARD.

COME IN.

YOU KNEW I WAS IN THE AUDIENCE.

IT WAS EASY TO SPOT YOU.

SO, YOU ARE AN ADVENTUROUS IMPERIALIST.

WELL, I THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TO...

CONTINUE MY EDUCATION.

CONGRATULATIONS.

IT ONLY TOOK YOU THREE WEEKS.

I'VE BEEN BUSY.

WELL, EDUCATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN UNDERVALUED IN THE WEST, HASN'T IT?

I WOULDN'T SAY THAT.

OF COURSE YOU WOULDN'T.

AFTER ALL, HOW CAN YOU OBJECTIVELY JUDGE YOUR OWN VALUES?

I THINK IT'S POSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE A LITTLE DISTANCE.

DO YOU?

BE A GENTLEMAN, WILL YOU, AND LIGHT MY CIGARETTE.


THE ORIENTAL WOMAN HAS ALWAYS HELD A CERTAIN FASCINATION FOR YOU CAUCASIAN MEN.

IS THAT NOT TRUE?

YES, BUT THAT FASCINATION IS IMPERIALIST...

OR SO YOU TOLD ME.

YES, IT IS ALWAYS IMPERIALIST, BUT SOMETIMES...

SOMETIMES IT IS ALSO MUTUAL.

THIS IS MY HOME.

COME ANOTHER TIME, AND WE WILL CONTINUE THE PROCESS OF EDUCATION.

BUT...


[HUMMING]


NI HAO.

NI HAO.

WHAT...

WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

OH.

SHI SHI.

[BICYCLE BELL RINGS]


[MOANS]

I HAD THE MOST AMAZING DREAM.

I'M SURPRISED YOU HAD THE TIME TO DREAM AT ALL.

WHEN DID YOU GET IN LAST NIGHT, ANYWAY?

UH, I WENT TO THE...

UH, KOENIGS'.

OH, YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE WHEN THEY GET IN A NEW SHIPMENT OF BEER.

MMM.

I SHAN'T GO BACK THERE IN A HURRY.


NI HAO.

UM...

SONG LILING.

[SPEAKING CHINESE]


THAT IS MY FATHER.

IT WAS VERY GOOD THAT HE DID NOT LIVE TO SEE THE REVOLUTION.

THEY WOULD, NO DOUBT, HAVE MADE HIM KNEEL ON BROKEN GLASS.

NOT THAT HE DIDN'T DESERVE SUCH A PUNISHMENT, BUT HE WAS MY FATHER.

I WOULD HAVE HATED TO SEE IT HAPPEN.

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

THERE IS AN ELEMENT OF DANGER TO YOUR PRESENCE.

YOU MUST KNOW THAT.

IT DOESN'T CONCERN ME.

IT DOESN'T CONCERN ME, EITHER.

WELL, PERHAPS...

I AM SLIGHTLY AFRAID OF SCANDAL.

WHAT ARE WE DOING THAT'S SCANDALOUS?

I'M ENTERTAINING YOU IN MY PARLOR.

WHERE I COME FROM, THAT WOULD HARDLY BE CONSTRUED AS...

YOU COME FROM FRANCE.

FRANCE IS A COUNTRY LIVING IN THE MODERN ERA, PERHAPS EVEN AHEAD OF IT.

CHINA IS A NATION WHOSE SOUL IS FIRMLY ROOTED

2,000 YEARS IN THE PAST.

WHAT I DO, EVEN POURING THE TEA FOR YOU NOW...

IT HAS IMPLICATIONS.

PLEASE GO.

PLEASE...

MONSIEUR GALLIMARD.

I NEVER INVITED A MAN TO MY HOME BEFORE.

THE FORWARDNESS OF MY ACTIONS MAKES MY SKIN BURN.


PLEASE.

GO NOW.

IF I GO NOW...

WHAT ASSURANCE WILL YOU HAVE THAT I'LL EVER RETURN?

YOU ARE CRUEL.


HONEY?

SHALL WE SKIP THE FRISCHES' PARTY?

YOU MISTAKE THE WHOLE SITUATION.

DON'T BORE ME WITH POLITICAL TALK.

IT'S MOST IMPORTANT THAT YOU DON'T WORRY ABOUT THIS.

ME WORRY?

THE CHINESE MASSES HAVE ACCEPTED COMMUNISM, BUT THEY'RE USED TO FOLLOWING THEIR WARLORDS.

IT WOULD NEVER WORK...

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME EVEN THINKING ABOUT FRAU BADEN.

THAT WOMAN'S BUILT LIKE THE FORBIDDEN CITY.

EVERYONE CAN LOOK...

BUT NO ONE GETS INSIDE.

HA HA HA!HA HA HA!

I'M SORRY. AM I DISTURBING SOMETHING?

LISTEN...

WE HAVE TO SAY WE'RE NOT AT ALL PLEASED WITH THE WAY YOU'VE BEEN SENDING BACK OUR EXPENSES FOR FURTHER DOCUMENTATION.

OH, WELL, I'M SORRY TO HEAR THAT...

BECAUSE I FOUND TWO MORE QUESTIONABLE ITEMS TONIGHT.

IS THERE SOMETHING YOU'RE TRYING TO PROVE?

IT'S NOT A CASE OF TRYING TO PROVE ANYTHING.

I'M JUST DOING MY JOB.

I MEAN, IF YOU REALLY THOUGHT YOU COULD GET AWAY WITH YOUR INDISCRETIONS FOREVER, WELL, THEN, YOU WERE MISTAKEN.

YOU LISTEN TO ME. YOU'RE NOBODY.

YOU'RE WORSE THAN NOBODY.

YOU'RE AN ACCOUNTANT.

HEH HEH HEH.

MMM.

IF YOU'RE NOT CAREFUL, WE'LL BREAK ALL YOUR PENCILS IN HALF.

HA HA HA!

HA HA HA!

[UTENSIL DROPS]

HA HA HA!

YOU DID?

YES.

IS HE A CHOIRMASTER?

NO.

HE WASN'T?

NO. WE WERE LIVING FOR A WHILE IN INDIA.

PUNJAB?

HOW DID YOU KNOW?

I'VE BEEN TO CEYLON.

CHINA'S QUITE A TRANSITION, ISN'T IT?

DO YOU MISS PARIS AS MUCH AS I DO?

TRUTHFULLY, I DON'T EVEN HAVE THE TIME.

OH, WE'RE STILL UNPACKING.

I HAVE THINGS TO DO.

IT'S REALLY, REALLY VERY DIFFERENT.

I'M STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT, YOU KNOW, WHAT THE...

[SONG] DID WE FIGHT?

I DO NOT KNOW.

IS THE OPERA NO LONGER OF INTEREST TO YOU?

PLEASE COME BACK.

MY AUDIENCES MISS THE WHITE DEVIL IN THEIR MIDST.

IT HAS BEEN SIX WEEKS SINCE WE LAST MET, AND STILL I HAVE NOT HEARD FROM YOU.

SOMETIMES I HATE YOU.

SOMETIMES I HATE MYSELF...

BUT ALWAYS...

I SEEM TO MISS YOU.

YOUR RUDENESS IS BEYOND BELIEF.

DON'T BOTHER TO CALL.

I'LL HAVE YOU TURNED AWAY AT THE DOOR.

RENE!

RENE...

I THINK WE'VE LOCATED THAT DIVERSION WE WERE--

I AM OUT OF WORDS.

I CAN HIDE BEHIND DIGNITY NO LONGER.

WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?

I HAVE ALREADY GIVEN YOU MY SHAME.

IF YOU'RE SO CERTAIN I'M OVERSTEPPING MY BOUNDS, THEN FINE.

TAKE IT UP WITH AMBASSADOR TOULON, FOR ALL I CARE.

FUNNY. I ALREADY HAVE.

MONSIEUR GALLIMARD.

THE AMBASSADOR HAS BEEN TRYING TO LOCATE YOU FOR THE PAST HALF HOUR.

THE AMBASSADOR?

LOOK, GALLIMARD...

THERE'S NOT MUCH TO SAY.

I'VE LIKED YOU FROM THE DAY YOU ARRIVED.

YOU WERE NO LEADER, BUT YOU WERE TIDY AND EFFICIENT.

THANK YOU.

DON'T JUMP THE GUN.

BUT OVER THESE PAST FEW MONTHS--

I DON'T KNOW HOW IT'S HAPPENED--

YOU'VE BECOME THIS NEW, AGGRESSIVE, OVERCONFIDENT THING.

THE REPORTS I'VE BEEN GETTING ON YOU...

WELL, SIR, I--I'VE...

WELL, I TAKE MY JOB, UH, I--I TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.

WELL, WELL.

YOU SEE...

OUR NEEDS HERE IN CHINA ARE CHANGING.

IT'S STILL AN EMBARRASSMENT THAT WE LOST INDOCHINA.

WE'RE GOING TO BE DOING A LOT MORE INTELLIGENCE GATHERING IN THE FUTURE.

SOME PEOPLE...

ARE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO GO.

VICE-CONSUL LeBON IS BEING TRANSFERRED, AS IS MOST OF HIS STAFF.

SIR, AHEM, IF THERE'S, UM...

BUT NOT YOU.

NOT ME?

SCARED YOU?

MMM. I THINK I DID.

CHEER UP, GALLIMARD.

I WANT YOU TO REPLACE LeBON AS VICE-CONSUL.

UH...

I NEED A NEW MAN TO COORDINATE A REVAMPED INTELLIGENCE DIVISION.

PARIS IS DEMANDING SOMETHING MORE THAN THE SAME OLD PHOTOS SHOWING CHINESE CADRES SCREWING PEASANT GIRLS IN THE RICE PADDIES, AND IF ANYONE CAN SHAKE THOSE BOYS UP, IT'S YOU.

YOU ALREADY HAVE.

SO...

CONGRATULATIONS, GALLIMARD.

THANK YOU, SIR.

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

MADEMOISELLE SONG?

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

ARE YOU MAD...

COMING HERE AT THIS HOUR?

I'VE BEEN PROMOTED TO VICE-CONSUL.

WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN TO ME?

I CAME TONIGHT FOR AN ANSWER.

ARE YOU MY BUTTERFLY?

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?

ARE YOU MY BUTTERFLY?

DON'T YOU KNOW ALREADY?

I WANT YOU TO SAY IT.

I DON'T WANT TO SAY IT.

I DO KNOW ONE THING.

"I HAVE ALREADY GIVEN YOU MY SHAME."

DON'T.

IT'S ENOUGH THAT I EVEN WROTE YOU.

IF YOU ADMIT THAT, WHY NOT ANSWER MY QUESTION?

I DON'T WANT TO.

ARE YOU MY BUTTERFLY?

I WANT HONESTY...

NO FALSENESS BETWEEN US.

NO FALSE PRIDE.

YES.

I AM YOUR BUTTERFLY.

RENE, PLEASE.

GENTLY.

I'VE NEVER...

NEVER?

RENE...

PLEASE LET ME KEEP MY CLOTHES ON.

IT ALL FRIGHTENS ME.

MODESTY IS SO IMPORTANT TO THE CHINESE.

MY LITTLE TREASURE.

I DON'T WANT TO BE CRUEL.

I WANT TO TEACH YOU.

GENTLY.

KNOW NOW THAT WE EMBARK ON THE MOST FORBIDDEN OF LOVES.

OH, I'M SO AFRAID OF MY DESTINY.

THERE IS NO DESTINY...

EXCEPT THE ONE WE MAKE FOR OURSELVES.


YOU THINK BECAUSE WE LIVE IN HOUSES WITH ELECTRICITY THAT WE ARE SUDDENLY WESTERNERS?

THE CHINESE ARE AN ANCIENT PEOPLE.

WE CLING TO THE OLD WAYS OF LIFE...

AND LOVE.

THOUGH INEXPERIENCED...

I'M NOT IGNORANT.

THEY TEACH US THINGS...

OUR MOTHERS...

ABOUT PLEASING A MAN.


[KNOCK ON DOOR]

[DOOR OPENS]


CLEARLY, I HAVE A GREAT DEAL TO LEARN.

SHOULD YOU REFUSE TO HELP ME LEARN IT, OF COURSE, WE'LL BE CONSTANTLY AT ODDS WITH ONE ANOTHER.

BUT I WOULD ASK YOU, PLEASE, TO BEAR ONE THING IN MIND.

OUR WORLD IS CHANGING.

WE FRENCH LOST OUR WAR IN INDOCHINA BECAUSE WE FAILED TO LEARN ABOUT THE PEOPLE WE SOUGHT TO LEAD.

IT'S NATURAL, THEREFORE...

CORRECT, EVEN...

UH, THAT THEY SHOULD RESENT US.

HOW COULD THEY DO OTHERWISE WHEN WE REFUSE TO TREAT THEM LIKE FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS?


RENE...

THERE IS A MYSTERY...

YOU MUST CLARIFY FOR ME.

WHAT MYSTERY?

WITH YOUR PICK OF WESTERN WOMEN...

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE A POOR CHINESE WITH A CHEST LIKE A BOY?

NOT LIKE A BOY...

LIKE A GIRL...

LIKE...

A YOUNG, INNOCENT SCHOOLGIRL...

WAITING FOR HER LESSONS.

THERE'S AN OLD CHINESE PROVERB WHICH SAYS, "TO WASTE TEACHING ON A GIRL IS JUST LIKE TOSSING RICE INTO THE WIND."

THE CHINESE MEN...

THEY KEEP WOMEN DOWN.

WHAT? EVEN IN THE NEW SOCIETY?

IN THE NEW SOCIETY, WE ARE ALL KEPT IGNORANT EQUALLY.

THAT'S ONE OF THE EXCITING THINGS ABOUT LOVING A WESTERN MAN.

I KNOW YOU'RE NOT THREATENED BY YOUR SLAVE'S EDUCATION.

MMM. CERTAINLY NOT.

ESPECIALLY WHEN MY SLAVE HAS SO MUCH TO TEACH ME.

TOMORROW AFTERNOON AT 1700 HOURS, WE WILL DETONATE SIX ATOM BOMBS OVER THE FORBIDDEN CITY.

THAT'S THE LAST OF THE BUGS.

THAT SHOULD GIVE THOSE REDS A THING OR TWO TO WORRY ABOUT.

THANK YOU.

YOU REMEMBER THE AMERICANS, DON'T YOU?

SINCE THEY DON'T HAVE AN EMBASSY HERE, THEY'VE ASKED US TO BE THEIR EYES AND EARS.

SAY LYNDON JOHNSON SIGNED AN ORDER TO BOMB NORTH VIETNAM, LAOS.

HOW WOULD THE CHINESE REACT?

WELL, THEY'D SQUAWK, BUT, YOU KNOW, IN THEIR HEARTS, THE CHINESE DON'T EVEN LIKE HO CHI MINH.

UH-HUH.

DEEP DOWN...

THEY'RE ATTRACTED TO US.

THEY FIND OUR WAYS...

EXCITING.

OF COURSE, THEY'D NEVER ADMIT IT, BUT THE ORIENTAL WILL ALWAYS SUBMIT TO THE GREATER FORCE.

SO IF THE AMERICANS DEMONSTRATE THE WILL TO WIN, THE VIETNAMESE-- MARK MY WORDS--

THEY WILL WELCOME THEM INTO A...

A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL UNION.

YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT?

SIR, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, YOU DON'T REALLY THINK THOSE LITTLE MEN COULD HAVE BEATEN US WITHOUT OUR UNCONSCIOUS CONSENT, DO YOU?

THERE ARE FEWER THINGS I UNDERSTAND THAN I CARE TO ADMIT.

THAT'S WHY I HAVE MEN LIKE YOU.

I'LL NOTE YOUR OPINIONS IN MY REPORT.

THE AMERICANS ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR HOW WELCOME THEY ARE.

YES, WELL. DID I MENTION TO YOU...

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

COMRADE CHIN.

FORGIVE ME. I DIDN'T EXPECT YOU.

TRASH.

DECADENT TRASH.

HE'S BEGUN TO TELL ME ABOUT VIETNAM.

THE AMERICANS PLAN TO INCREASE TROOP STRENGTH TO 170,000 SOLDIERS WITH 120,000 MILITIA AND 11,000 ADVISORS.

DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND HOW DEGRADING THOSE IMAGES ARE TO WOMEN?

AND WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BEHAVE THIS WAY WHEN HE'S NOT EVEN HERE?

COMRADE...

IN ORDER TO BETTER SERVE THE GREAT PROLETARIAN STATE, I PRACTICE MY DECEPTION AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.

I DESPISE THIS COSTUME, YET, FOR THE SAKE OF OUR GREAT HELMSMAN, I WILL ENDURE IT ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER BOURGEOIS WESTERN PERVERSIONS.

I AM NOT CONVINCED THAT THIS WILL BE ENOUGH TO REDEEM YOU IN THE EYES OF THE PARTY.

I'M TRYING MY BEST TO BECOME SOMEBODY ELSE.


[HORN HONKS]

SO I SAY TO THE AMERICANS, DIEM MUST GO.

I MEAN, THE U.S. WANTS TO BE RESPECTED BY THE VIETNAMESE, AND THERE THEY ARE PROPPING UP THIS SEMINARIAN NONENTITY AS A PRESIDENT, A MAN WHOSE ONLY CLAIM TO FAME IS HIS SISTER-IN-LAW...

A WOMAN WHO IMPOSES FANATICAL MORAL ORDER CAMPAIGNS.

THE ORIENTAL WOMAN...

WELL, SHE'S GOOD.

SHE'S VERY, VERY, VERY GOOD, BUT WHEN SHE'S BAD, SHE'S CHRISTIAN.

HA HA HA!

STILL PLAYING THE MISSIONARY ARE YOU, GALLIMARD...

OR ARE THERE OTHER POSITIONS THAT INTEREST YOU AS WELL?

YOU SEEM AWFULLY SHY, GALLIMARD.

DON'T SAY THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT YOU ARE DOING THIS.

WELL, YOU COULD CALL IT MY FIRST EXTRA-EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR.

I CALLED ROOM SERVICE FOR A BOTTLE OF WINE, BUT I THINK THEY PROBABLY...

DON'T YOU THINK WE'VE HAD ENOUGH TO DRINK FOR TONIGHT?

WELL...

YOU LOOK...

EXACTLY AS I IMAGINED YOU WOULD UNDER YOUR CLOTHES.

WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?

SO...

COME AND GET IT.

[KNOCKING ON DOOR]

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

[KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK]

[KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK]


BEEN DRINKING.

I'VE MISSED YOU.

YOU DON'T EXPECT ME TO GIVE UP MY CAREER FOR YOU?

OF COURSE NOT.

I AM YOUR SLAVE.

SLAVE.

YOU TOSS WORDS LIKE THAT AROUND AS IF YOU REALLY MEANT THEM.

BUT I DO.

LET'S TEST THIS OBEDIENCE OF YOURS.

TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF.

COME ON.

I'M A MAN.

I WANT TO SEE YOU NAKED.

BUT I THOUGHT YOU UNDERSTOOD MY MODESTY.

I THOUGHT YOU RESPECTED MY SHAME.

YOU GAVE ME YOUR SHAME SOME TIME AGO.

IT IS JUST LIKE A WHITE DEVIL TO USE IT AGAINST ME.

WHITE DEVIL? SO...

I'M NO LONGER YOUR LORD AND MASTER?

SO YOUR OBEDIENCE HAS LIMITS, I SEE.

WHY ARE YOU TREATING ME LIKE THIS?

BECAUSE ALL THIS RUBBISH ABOUT ME BEING FAITHFUL...

AND GOOD TO YOU, AND...

I'M NOT...

WHAT YOU THINK I AM.

EVEN THE SOFTEST SKIN...

BECOMES LIKE LEATHER...

TO A MAN WHO'S TOUCHED IT TOO OFTEN.

I CONFESS...

I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO STOP IT.

I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO CHANGE MY BODY INTO THE BODY OF ANOTHER.

COME.

STRIP ME.

OUR LOVE...

IN YOUR HANDS.

I'M HELPLESS BEFORE YOU.

RENE...

I'M PREGNANT.

WHAT?

I'M PREGNANT.

OH...

BUTTERFLY.

I'VE BETRAYED YOU IN SO MANY WAYS...

BUT I'LL LOVE YOU...

AND I'LL RESCUE YOU, AND SAVE YOU...

AND...

PROTECT YOU AND...

YOU HAVE...

TONIGHT...

MY BEAUTIFUL MASTER.

BELIEVE ME...

YOU HAVE SAVED MY LIFE.


[SPEAKING CHINESE]

[SPEAKING CHINESE]


I WISH I WERE COMING WITH YOU.

DREAM OF ME AND OF YOUR SON.

I WILL RETURN WITH HIM FROM MY PARENTS' VILLAGE WHEN HE IS 3 MONTHS OLD, AS IS OUR CUSTOM.

I'VE TOLD YOU I'LL BE PERFECTLY HAPPY WITH A DAUGHTER.

[WHISTLE BLOWS]

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

I AM CERTAIN...

IT WILL BE A SON.


I NEED A BABY...

A CHINESE BABY WITH BLOND HAIR.

THIS IS WONDERFUL TALK.

YOU REALLY ARE MAD.

TRADING BABIES.

THE MINISTRY WILL NEVER APPROVE SUCH A THING.

FINE.

YOU TELL THE MINISTRY WE CAN NO LONGER PROVIDE ANY MORE INFORMATION ON AMERICAN TROOP MOVEMENTS IN VIETNAM.

I HAVE DONE MY BEST.

TELL THEM YOU PERSONALLY HAVE DECIDED THE REVOLUTION IS NOT WORTH ANY MORE SACRIFICE.

I'LL WAIT HERE.

WE WILL STRUGGLE WITH THIS IN COMMITTEE.

COMRADE...

WHY IN BEIJING OPERA ARE WOMEN'S ROLES TRADITIONALLY PLAYED BY MEN?

I DON'T KNOW.

MOST PROBABLY A REMNANT OF THE REACTIONARY AND PATRIARCHAL SOCIAL STRUCTURE.

NO...

IT'S BECAUSE ONLY A MAN KNOWS HOW A WOMAN IS SUPPOSED TO ACT.

[SINGING IN CHINESE]

[SHOUTING]

[SHOUTING]


[HONKING]

[HONKING]


[SPEAKING CHINESE]

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

[SINGING IN CHINESE]


IN SHORT, GENTLEMEN, THE REPORT STRESSES THAT--

AHEM...

"THE FANATICAL STUDENT MOVEMENT

"KNOWN AS THE RED GUARD

"HAS EMERGED AS A GENUINELY POTENT

"REACTIONARY POLITICAL FORCE

"WHICH WILL SEIZE UPON ANY EXCUSE

"TO JUSTIFY THE EXPULSION

"OF ALL FOREIGNERS FROM CHINA.

"IT IS THEREFORE INCUMBENT

"UPON ALL WESTERN DIPLOMATIC PERSONNEL TO MAINTAIN THE LOWEST POSSIBLE PROFILE."

GACHOT, THAT MEANS NO MORE DIM SUM IN FUXINGMEN DISTRICT.

[CHUCKLING]

[SPEAKING CHINESE]


RENE...

BUTTERFLY.

I PROMISED YOU A SON.

YOU SEE?

YOUR SON.

LOOK.

OH, MY GOD.

HE'S SO BEAUTIFUL.

OH, BUTTERFLY.

WHAT YOU'VE DONE FOR ME.

I'VE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS OVER AND OVER WHILE YOU WERE AWAY.

I SWORE TO GOD THAT IF YOU CAME BACK SAFELY, I'D NEVER LET YOU GO AGAIN.

I WANT YOU TO MARRY ME, BUTTERFLY.

I WANT US TO LIVE TOGETHER.

I WANT TO TAKE YOU TO PARIS.

I CAN'T MARRY YOU, RENE.

I'LL DIVORCE MY WIFE.

I CAN GET YOU OUT OF CHINA.

I CAN'T.

WHY?

I'M SO SORRY.

THE RED GUARDS NOW SAY ALL ARTISTS ARE CRIMINALS.

I HAD TO BEG THEM FOR JUST A FEW MOMENTS.

PROMISE ME...

NEVER FORGET...

WHAT OUR LOVE HAS BROUGHT TO LIFE.

BUTTERFLY...

RENE...

WHATEVER HAPPENS...

THE DAYS I SPENT WITH YOU WERE THE ONLY DAYS I EVER TRULY EXISTED.

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

NOT IF YOU EXAMINE THEM CAREFULLY.

I DON'T THINK IT'S LIKELY TO HAPPEN AT ALL.

DON'T YOU?

DON'T YOU REALLY?

MORNING.

MORNING.

BACK TO THE ABACUS.

IT'S NOTHING PERSONAL.

I'M BEING SENT HOME BECAUSE I WAS WRONG ABOUT THE AMERICAN WAR.

OF COURSE NOT.

WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE AMERICANS.

WE CARE ABOUT YOUR MIND, THE QUALITY OF YOUR ANALYSIS.

ALL RIGHT.

YOU SAID CHINA WOULD OPEN UP TO WESTERN TRADE.

THE ONLY THING THEY'RE LIKELY TO TRADE OUT THERE ARE WESTERN HEADS.

AND, YES, YOU SAID THE AMERICANS WOULD SUCCEED IN VIETNAM.

YOU WERE KIDDING, RIGHT?

[DOOR SLAMS]


[GEESE HONKING]


[SPEAKING CHINESE]

YOU ARE ALL HERE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DIG INTO THE FLINTY SOIL OF CHINA AND DISCOVER ITS REVOLUTIONARY FUTURE.

WE SHALL TEACH YOU HOW TO DIG.

YOU ARE ALL HERE BECAUSE YOU ARE ARTISTS, WRITERS, AND INTELLECTUALS AND THEREFORE ARE THE ENEMIES OF THE GREAT CULTURAL REVOLUTION.

WE SHALL REHABILITATE YOU AND TEACH YOU HOW TO SERVE THE REVOLUTION.

YOU ARE ALL HERE BECAUSE YOU HAVE ALIENATED YOURSELVES FROM THE PEOPLE.

WE SHALL REDEEM YOU AND SEND YOU BACK TO SERVE THE NEW SOCIETY WHICH YOU HAVE ABANDONED.

YOU ARE ALL HERE BECAUSE YOU REPRESENT THE FOUR Os--

OLD THOUGHT...

OLD CULTURE...

OLD CUSTOMS...

AND OLD HABITS.

HARD LABOR WILL CLEANSE YOU OF THESE EVILS AND TRANSFORM YOU INTO CITIZENS OF THE FUTURE.

YOU SHALL NOW MEDITATE AS YOU WORK, ON TODAY'S QUOTATION FROM CHAIRMAN MAO...

[SINGING ARIA FROM MADAME BUTTERFLY]


WHEN I LEFT CHINA, EVERYTHING...

FELL APART.

I LIVE ALONE NOW.

ONE MORE ROUND FOR MY FRIEND.

[COUGHS]

NO, IN CHINA, IT WAS DIFFERENT.

I WAS DIFFERENT.

WHY, SURE.

YOU WERE WHITE.

[CHUCKLING]

NO, IT WAS HER.

IT WAS HER.

GOD DAMN IT.

IT MUST BE THOSE FUCKING STUDENTS AGAIN.

TALK ABOUT CHINA.

I'LL BET IF YOU GO OUT THAT DOOR, YOU'LL THINK YOU'RE IN BEIJING.

EVERY DAMNED LEFTIST STUDENT IN PARIS HAS MAO'S LITTLE RED BOOK IN HIS HAND AND A RED FIRECRACKER UP HIS ASS.

THEY'RE ALL PLAYING AT BEING CHINESE COMMUNISTS WITH LILY-WHITE SKIN.

[CHANTING IN FRENCH]


[DOORBELL RINGS]

[RING]


RENE...

BUTTERFLY?

PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

AFTER ALL THESE YEARS.

I HAVE NO RIGHT TO EVEN HOPE THAT...

YOU MAY REMEMBER.

BUTTERFLY.

I KNEW YOU'D COME.

BUT WHERE'S YOUR WIFE?

SHE'S HERE.

SHE'S RIGHT HERE IN MY ARMS.


MONSIEUR GALLIMARD, I AM HENRI ETANCELIN, OF DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

WOULD YOU PLEASE COME WITH US?


THAT WAS 1968 WHEN I ARRIVED IN PARIS.

FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS, I LIVED A VERY COMFORTABLE LIFE.

I DID SOME DEMONSTRATIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY AS PART OF MY CULTURAL EXCHANGE COVER.

AND THE SPYING?

NOT MUCH AT FIRST.

RENE HAD LOST ALL HIS HIGH-LEVEL CONTACTS.

THE CHINESE INTELLIGENCE WASN'T TOO HAPPY WITH PARKING TICKET STATISTICS.

FINALLY, AT MY URGING, RENE GOT A JOB AS A COURIER, CARRYING SENSITIVE GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS.

DID HE UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU PLANNED TO DO WITH THE DOCUMENTS?

I TOLD HIM THE CHINESE WERE HOLDING OUR SON, AND THEY EXPECTED A FEW FAVORS BEFORE WE WOULD BE ALLOWED TO SEE HIM.

HE CRIED AND SAID NOTHING.

THEN ONE DAY, HE RETURNED WITH HIS FIRST DIPLOMATIC POUCH.

IN HIS OWN SMALL WAY, RENE WAS THE PERFECT FATHER.

YOUR WITNESS.

THE PROSECUTION CLAIMS MONSIEUR GALLIMARD WAS FULLY AWARE OF THE IMPLICATIONS OF HIS ESPIONAGE ACTIVITIES.

IS THIS YOUR OPINION, MONSIEUR SONG?

I HAVE NO OPINIONS.

LET'S APPROACH THE MATTER FROM ANOTHER ANGLE.

WAS MONSIEUR GALLIMARD AWARE OF OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP, SAY THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A MAN?

WELL, HE NEVER SAW ME COMPLETELY NAKED...

EVER.

BUT, SURELY, HE MUST HAVE...

HOW SHALL I PUT THIS?

PUT IT HOWEVER YOU LIKE.

IN ALL OUR YEARS TOGETHER, RENE NEVER EXPLORED MY BODY.

MONSIEUR SONG, PLEASE.

IN ALL YOUR YEARS TOGETHER, HE NEVER EVEN...ONCE?

HE WAS VERY RESPONSIVE TO MY ANCIENT ORIENTAL WAYS OF LOVE...

ALL OF WHICH I INVENTED MYSELF JUST FOR HIM.

YOU HAVEN'T REALLY ANSWERED THE QUESTION.

DID HE KNOW YOU WERE A MAN?

YOU KNOW, YOUR HONOR...

I NEVER ASKED.

[HONKING]


WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

ARE YOU MY BUTTERFLY?

YOU STILL ADORE ME, DON'T YOU?

YOU STILL WANT ME...

EVEN IN A SUIT AND A TIE.

YOU'RE NOT...

YOU'RE NOTHING...

YOU'RE NOTHING LIKE MY BUTTERFLY.

ARE YOU SO SURE?

COME HERE...

MY LITTLE ONE.

I'M NOT YOUR LITTLE ONE.

AH, MY MISTAKE.

I AM YOUR LITTLE ONE.

CORRECT?

WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

HELPING YOU TO SEE THROUGH MY ACT.

STOP DOING THAT.

THAT'S WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED.

WELL, I... I DON'T WANT IT NOW.

STOP!

STOP!


LOOK AT ME.

LOOK AT YOU.

[HYSTERICAL SOBS]

I FAIL TO SEE WHAT'S SO FUNNY.

WELL, YOU NEVER HAD MUCH OF A SENSE OF HUMOR, DID YOU?

I JUST THINK IT'S...

[SIGHS]

RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY THAT I'VE WASTED...

ALL THIS TIME...

ON JUST A MAN.

I'M NOT JUST A MAN.


DON'T YOU REMEMBER THAT THEATER IN CHINA...

WHERE WE MET SO MANY YEARS AGO...

THE PLACE WHERE YOU GAVE ME YOUR HEART?

THE SKIN I REMEMBER...

THE CURVE OF HER CHEEK...

THE SOFTNESS OF HER MOUTH.

I AM YOUR BUTTERFLY.

UNDER THE ROBES, BENEATH EVERYTHING...

THERE WAS ALWAYS ME.

TELL ME...

YOU ADORE ME.

HOW COULD YOU...

WHO UNDERSTOOD ME SO WELL...

MAKE SUCH A MISTAKE?

YOU'VE SHOWN ME YOUR TRUE SELF.

WHAT I LOVED WAS THE LIE.

A PERFECT LIE...

HAS BEEN DESTROYED.

YOU NEVER REALLY LOVED ME.

I'M A MAN...

WHO LOVED A WOMAN...

CREATED BY A MAN.

ANYTHING ELSE...

SIMPLY FALLS SHORT.

[SOBS]


SPECIAL DELIVERY.

PAY THE POSTMAN.

BIG PERFORMANCE FOR YOU TONIGHT, GALLIMARD.

HMM.

THE BIGGEST OF MY CAREER.

[APPLAUSE]

YOU KNOW ME, YES?

[LAUGHTER] [LAUGHTER]

WHY?

BECAUSE I'M A CELEBRITY.

I MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH.

[LAUGHTER] [LAUGHTER]

I MADE ALL OF FRANCE LAUGH...

BUT, REALLY, IF YOU'D UNDERSTOOD...

YOU WOULDN'T LAUGH AT ALL.

QUITE THE CONTRARY.

MEN LIKE YOU SHOULD BE BEATING DOWN MY DOOR, BEGGING TO LEARN MY SECRETS.

FOR I, RENE GALLIMARD...

HAVE KNOWN...

AND BEEN LOVED BY THE PERFECT WOMAN.


[ARIA FROM MADAME BUTTERFLY PLAYS]

THERE IS A VISION OF THE ORIENT THAT I HAVE...

OF SLENDER WOMEN...

IN CHEONGSAMS AND KIMONOS...

WHO DIE FOR THE LOVE OF UNWORTHY FOREIGN DEVILS, WHO ARE BORN AND RAISED TO BE PERFECT WOMEN...

WHO TAKE WHATEVER PUNISHMENT WE GIVE THEM AND SPRING BACK...

STRENGTHENED BY LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY.

IT'S A VISION THAT HAS BECOME MY LIFE.

MY MISTAKE WAS SIMPLE...

AND ABSOLUTE.

THE MAN I LOVED WAS NOT WORTHY.

HE DIDN'T DESERVE EVEN A SECOND GLANCE...

AND INSTEAD...

I GAVE HIM MY LOVE...

ALL OF MY LOVE.


LOVE WARPED MY JUDGMENT...

BLINDED MY EYES...

SO THAT NOW...

WHEN I LOOK INTO THE MIRROR...

I SEE NOTHING BUT...

[INHALES DEEPLY]

I HAVE A VISION...

OF THE ORIENT...

THAT DEEP WITHIN HER ALMOND EYES...

THERE ARE STILL WOMEN...

WOMEN WILLING TO SACRIFICE THEMSELVES FOR THE LOVE OF A MAN...

EVEN A MAN WHOSE LOVE IS...

COMPLETELY WITHOUT WORTH.

DEATH WITH HONOR IS BETTER THAN LIFE WITH DISHONOR.

SO...

AT LAST...

IN A PRISON...

FAR FROM CHINA, I HAVE FOUND HER.

MY NAME...

IS RENE GALLIMARD...

ALSO KNOWN...

AS MADAME BUTTERFLY.

[APPLAUSE]


CAPTIONING MADE POSSIBLE BY WARNER BROS.

CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY THE NATIONAL CAPTIONING INSTITUTE, INC.

CAPTIONS COPYRIGHT 1993 THE GEFFEN FILM COMPANY