No Down Payment (1957) Script

No Down Payment

(blows whistle)

(organ playing)

-BOY: You want to make a bet on that? -GIRL: Yeah!

I’ll bet you $2.00.

(scoffs) That’s not a lot of money.

GIRL: I bet you $5,000.

(blows whistle)

Oh, David.

(church bell chiming)

-Daddy! Daddy! -DAD: Hi.

-Daddy’s going to hell when he dies. -He will not.

He’s going to hell and burn up ’cause he won’t go to church.

-GIRL: Daddy’ll go to heaven. -BOY: Not if he doesn’t go to church.

-GIRL: I’m gonna tell Daddy on you. -BOY: Go ahead and tell.


Mother, isn’t Daddy going to hell when he dies?

Run along in the backyard, Harmon.

Come on, Sandra. You go with Harmon.

Must you wash your car on Sunday morning where everyone can see?

Can’t you wait until church is over?

Honey, this is our own driveway. I’m not washing it in front of the church.

It’s the same thing.

Okay. Next Sunday I’ll wait till the afternoon.

Well, let’s go in and have some lunch.


Hey, Betty? Come here. Somebody’s moving in.


BETTY: Welcome to Sunrise Hills.

Why, hello.

Hi. I’m Betty Kreitzer. l’m Jean Martin. This is my husband, David.

-Hi. -Herman. Everybody calls me Herm.

-How you doing, Herm? -Fine.

Well, how do you like your new house?

Oh, we’re very excited about it.

Well, just a little bit nervous, you know.

It’s quite a responsibility.

Oh, that’s all right.

Nobody in this development is allowed to own a house they can afford.

We’re having a barbecue tonight. Would you join us?

You’re sure we wouldn’t be putting you out?

No. I’ll just throw a couple extra steaks on the fire.

Why don’t you drop in around 7:00.

We’re gonna have some drinks first, and you’ll have a chance to meet the other neighbors.

-Thanks. -Listen, David.

Can’t I help you carry some of this stuff in?

Oh, no. Thanks, Herm. We’ll manage all right.

-Well, we’ll see you later, then. -DAV|D: Yeah.

Well, if there is anything you do need, just give a yell.

Thanks again.

-See you later, Isabelle. -Okay, Betty.

Right down there.

-Is this where you want it, honey? -Mm-hmm. Right here.


-All right. -Yeah.

(woman giggling)



Have you got to go to the station today?


Everybody else got a five-day week. You got a seven.

In the army it was seven days a week, 24 hours around the clock.

This is a snap.

Yeah, but it means we can’t go anyplace.

I’ve spent too many years in too many places.

Got to buckle— Got to buckle down in one spot.

It’s the only way to make good.

-You got to go right this minute? -Well, I should.

Do you always do everything you should?

You want me to be a success, don’t you? Hmm?

-You already are with me. -Oh, baby.

I got to get to work.

(western playing on TV)

Your lunch is on the table, Mike.

Mommy, I want to watch TV.

Please, Mikey. Mama’s fixed you—

-No, I want to see TV. -After lunch.

Why don’t you give him his lunch in here?

Because Dr. Greenspun says that’s a bad habit.

Hmm. Why don’t you get Dr. Greenspun to come over here and feed him?

(turns on TV)

(whistles) Isabelle, can you spare some butter?

Sure, Betty. It’s in the refrigerator.

-Hiya, Betty. -Hiya, cowboy. (kisses)

-Hi, Jerry. -Hi.

Please, Jerry, it’s only the afternoon.

I got a rough day ahead of me, honey.

But it doesn’t look right.

Betty knows it’s only medicinal.

Look, do you have to start now?

You’ve got a whole day’s work ahead of you.

Isabelle, is this all right?

-Yeah. -Thanks a lot.

-Betty. -Hmm?

I can’t seem to get Mikey to eat his lunch.

Mikey? (clears throat)

How’d you like to have lunch with us?

I want to see TV.

Well, now, look, right after lunch, there’s a great western on TV with cowboys and Indians, and you can sit and watch it with Sandra and Harmon, huh?

-Okay, Mommy? -Okay, Mikey.

I’ll bring him back around 2:00, okay?

Thanks, Betty. Bye, Mikey.

Bye, Mommy.

I got to be on my way, honey.

I wish you didn’t have to work on Sunday.

I wish I didn’t have to work, period.

Don’t be late for Herman’s barbecue, huh?

I won’t.

(music playing on stereo)

Getting awful hard to buy the right kind of charcoal for real good barbecue.

Fifteen hundred barbecues here, and probably half of ’em are broiling steaks tonight.

-Let’s play another game. -Yeah.

-Let’s play another game. -Okay. All right.

Leola sure has a way with kids.

Yeah, she’s just a big kid herself.

When are you gonna start a family of your own?

Soon as I get that chief of police appointment.

Troy, you know, that’s not much of a job.

We’re only going to have a five-man force.

I don’t know, Herm.

Sunrise Hills is gonna be a city on its own someday.

You got a great future with a big company.

You know, you got a real future.

You ought to think about that.

You ought to think about that before giving it up.

No, I don’t like being an organization man.

I like to make my own decisions.

-Hi! -DAVID: Hi.

Come on in. Come on in.

David. Jean.

Listen, I want you to meet Troy Boone.

Troy, this is Jean and David Martin.

-Hello. -Hi, Troy.

How do you do? Leola!

I want you to meet the Martins.

-That’s my wife, Leola. -Hey.

-Hello. -Hi.

Troy here runs that big service station in Sunrise Hills.

Oh, yeah.

-Dave, huh? -Uh-huh.

Well, you drop by sometime, Dave. I’ll give you a credit card.

Well, thanks, lwill. We went by this morning.

-That’s really quite a layout. -Thank you.

Troy runs that place like it was a marine outpost on Guadalcanal.

I got a bunch of good boys.

Two of ’em served with me all through the Marianas campaign.

This guy has got enough medals to open a hock shop.

You ought to see his garage.

It looks like a museum of the Japanese war.

Yeah, the worst day of my life was putting on civilian clothes.

Where’d you see action, Dave?

Uh, my outfit never left the States.

Oh? Where was you stationed?

Los Alamos.

Dave there invented the atom bomb, didn’t you know?

I only worked on the computations. I didn’t really know what they were for.

-Oh, no kidding? -Mm-hmm.

-Well, what you working on now, Dave? -Electronics.

What kind?

Oh, it’s called automation.

We’re developing a machine that’ll do the work of about 500 men.

You figure you can get a machine that’ll do most everything, huh?

Not quite everything.

HERMAN: We oughta had one of those machines on two Jima.

We could’ve sat in front of TV and watched the war go by.

Oh, uh, Isabelle, I want you to meet Jean and David Martin.

-|sabe||e Flagg. -Hello, Isabelle.

Theyjust moved in today.

Oh, just the two of you?

So far, but we’re hoping.

This is a great place to raise children.

-Can I help you, Betty? -Sure. You can help set the table.

Come on. Let me get you guys a real drink. Come on.

-Hey, how are the martinis over here? -They’re doing great.


One great thing about it is that we’ve all got so much in common.

We’re all about the same age. We all have nice homes.

All our husbands are doing very well.

Jerry and I kicked across half of this country before we found the spot that we wanted to settle in, and we think Sunrise Hills is just the living end.

(tires screech)

(horn honks)

(car door slams)


JERRY: Baby!

-(chuckles) Jerry. -Baby.

Hiya, doll.

What’s cooking?

Looks like you’re already half-broiled.

Had to get the customer tanked up so he wouldn’t hear the engine knocks.

Mm-hmm. Well, you’re smeared with lipstick, doll.

She thought I went along with the car. What could I do? I had to be friendly.



What do you say, Betty? How about a scotch?

Try a beer.

I’m agreeable if you are.



Hi, Daddy.


What do you say, Daisy Mae?

How’s Li’l Abner?

You know something, Jerry? You ought to be in vaudeville.

Ain’t you heard, honey? Vaudeville’s dead.

-That’s what I mean. -Arrgh!

Hey, Troy.

Listen, when are you gonna break down and buy that station wagon Leola’s been drooling for?

Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve been saving up my Green Stamps.

What are you gonna do? This used car business is shot.

I’m gonna get me in something else.

Jerry, with your gift of gab, you could sell anything.

I can’t sell you.

I’m an oddball.

I don’t like to buy on time.

What are you gonna do?

If everybody was like you, we’d all be running around barefoot and shooting squirrels for our dinner.

Think that’s bad?

On me it don’t look good.

I got bunions.

Well, well, well, well, well. You must be slumming.

Hi. I’m Dave Martin. This is my wife, Jean.

-How do you do, Jean? -Hello.

Jerry Flagg.

David, want to buy yourself a good used car?

No money down, nothing to lose.

Just change your name, go away, hide, quit yourjob, and the finance company will never know where you are.

By golly, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.

-How you folks doing? -Fine.

How’s the barbecue coming?

Great. I got a good, even fire going now.

How’s the world treating honest John?

Sensational. But it’ll improve.

Oh, I don’t know. It looks to me like everybody around here is living a pretty wonderful life.

Yeah, I don’t have any worries that money won’t cure.

Oh, I don’t think any of us are going to be millionaires.

-We’re all living well. -Sure.

We’re only 25 years in debt, that’s all.

That’s beside the point.

You know, 20 years ago, none of us could have afforded a house like this.

I think we were born at the right time.

Well, when I finished grammar school, my family was on relief.

My old man was in a ditch for the WPA.

I had to work nights to get through high school.

I got a job with the Chicago Tool Company.

Bang, right away the next year, I get drafted.

I don’t call that being born at the right time.

Well, we were all caught in the war, but we’re here now, and everybody’s doing great.

That’s right. You’re doing great, Herm.

Only you don’t know it. You’re fat as a pig.

Well, I guess we do have more security than our parents ever had.

When I was a kid, I used to think that cold beans poured over stale bread was real good eating.

Now I’ve got job security, life insurance, health insurance, government bonds, steak every night for dinner when I want it.

There’s not many guys who really have to sweat to get a decent living.

Not anymore. Not in the States.

Can you fix my radio, Dad?

-The battery shot again? -| just put in a new one.

Maybe I can help you with it.

Help yourself.

Why won’t it play?

Well, this is a transistor radio, and, you know, it has some circuits in it very much like the kind I’ve been working on.

I think maybe they’re just out of alignment.

How does a little thing like that work?

Well, there’s a crystal of germanium there that comes into contact with a very fine wire, and that collects the electrons.

Then the flow is controlled by radio impulses.

-JERRY: Do you understand that? -Mm-mmm.

-(radio plays) -There you are.

That’s a very nice radio.

-Excuse me. -Gee, thanks.

Can’t let all this good music go to waste.

Thanks, Troy.

Not at all, ma’am.

We’re gonna eat in a little while, Jerry.

I feel lousy. lneedit

Well, now, don’t look so sad, doll.

You’ll get wrinkles.

I want to help you, and I don’t know how.

Just take care of Mike.

Maybe he’ll get on a quiz show, win $64,000, and all our troubles will be over.

-You’ll ruin your health drinking so much. -Mm-mmm. Not me.

I’m strictly a social drinker.

Well, now, don’t look at me like I’m an alcoholic.

I’ve been keeping track of the amount of liquor that you consume.

I’ve checked it with Dr. Greenspun.

He says if you keep it up, you will be an alcoholic.

And what does the good doctor recommend, that I join A.A.?

Dr. Greenspun says there’s only one way to quit: that’s completely and forever.

But I like to drink.

It does things for me. It makes me feel like I’m somebody.

You don’t want to take that away from me.

I’m losing you, Jerry. I know it.


No such luck, doll. You’re stuck with me.

I want to help you.

I’m sick of myself, doll.

Well, then tell me what to do.

What can I do?

You can pray I get a good break.

Please be serious, Jerry.

You’re getting on my nerves, Isabelle.

Leave me alone.

-Please, Jerry. -Leave me alone.

You don’t want any help.

All you want to do is drink and chase after every tramp in town.

Well, you keep it up, and you won’t have me to come back to!

Well, I know a place where old Jerry Flagg can lay his head any day.

Mommy! Mommy!


What are you all looking at?

None of you ever fight with your wives?

Here’s to Sunrise Hills, the place for better living for young lovers.

Okay, come on, everybody.

Come on. Chow time.

Come on, Jerry. Get a plate.


Boo. (laughs)

-Herm. -Hmm?

Please, Herm.

Herm, not here.

Honey, if not here, where, huh?

Honey, listen, I’ve got to finish cleaning all this up.

Come on, you can do that tomorrow.

-Hey, Betty— -No, no, it’s late.

No, it’s never too late.

You know that. (chuckles)


Herm, you’re drunk.

Oh, no, I’m not drunk.

No, honey, I can’t— I can’t leave all this beer and the martinis and the bourbon and scotch, and all this stuff go to waste.

I can’t do that.

You know, I’ve got to finish this stuff up. (laughs)

Now I’m positive you’re drunk.

I’m not so drunk that I don’t know I got the sweetest, best-Iookin’, desirable wife in this Sunrise Hills.

Do you know what I mean?

Yes, darling. I know what you mean.

All right.

Hey, listen.

-Herm. -What?

Please put the glass down.


(glass hits fioor)

Jerry was certainly loaded tonight, wasn’t he?

Oh, he was just acting smart.

I don’t know why I didn’t cut in instead of waiting for Troy.

Well, they’re all a very friendly bunch.

You have a knack for making friends.

How do you like our new neighbors?

If tonight’s a sample, it’s going to be very lively here.

I must admit I liked it.

Well, you were certainly in the middle of it.

Well, Troy didn’t have to interfere. I could have handled Jerry.

And I couldn’t?

(chuckles) Idiot.

How are things at the plant?

Oh, they could be better.

What’s the matter, David?

Oh, it’s Verdun.

He’s on my tail again to leave the lab and go into sales.

Well, why not? There’s more money in the sales department.

Now, look, Jean, we’ve been all through that before.

But, David, we could use the extra money.

I’m an engineer, not a salesman.

David, what is bothering you?

Good night, Jean.


-Honey, you’re gonna wear yourself out. -42...

Gotta keep in shape. 43...

-Aw, you know you got a nice figure. -45...

Yours ain’t bad. 46...

-Thank you. -You’re welcome. 47...


You know, I like David and Jean. They’re nice.

They won’t live here long. 49...

Why not?

50. (grunts)

(sighs) They’re the lucky ones.

Everything comes easy for people like that.

Maybe they deserve it.

They’re both college graduates.

You smoke too much.


Add up both our educations, we can’t even get a high school diploma.

Hey, maybe we ought to go to night school.

We got something they don’t teach in school.

Right now, I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.

It’s better than night school.

You tell ’em, honey.

I stutter.

(car horns honking)

Morning, Dad!

Hi, Mike.

Why’d you sleep in the car all night?

Shouldn’t you be in school by now?

The bus didn’t come yet.

Are you gonna buy me that bike you promised?

You’ll be riding it after dinner.

A bicycle costs a lot of money, Mike.

He said he’d get it today. Didn’t you?

I cross my heart, Mike.

(bus horn honks)

Bye, Dad.

Bye, Mom!

Bye, Mike.


-(door closes) -Aw, honey.

I’m really gonna get on it today and knock off some nice, fat commissions.

You’ll see.

What can I bring you tonight, baby?

You don’t have to bring me anything, Jerry.


I’m sorry about last night.

I just had one too many.

Then why do you do it?

I don’t know.

I do it for a charge when I’ve had a bad day.

I’ve had a lot of bad days.

Then why stay on a used car lot? You could get with a new car agency.

Yeah, and have a straight salary and small commissions?

That’s no good.

You’d have a steady paycheck.

Yeah, for the rest of my life.

This way, I got a chance to make a killing.

Remember the week, doll, I knocked down over 800 bucks?

How long has it been since then? You’ve brought home nothing.

Can’t you do like Herman and Troy?

They’re company men. They’ve got no ambition.

Twenty years from now they’ll still be peddling hardware and pumping gas.

-Maybe get a 10-buck raise. -But their future’s secure.

They can live without worrying about where their next dollar is coming from.

And they’re gonna grow old living here in Sunrise Hills.

Doll, this is just a stopover for us.

Someday we’re gonna move to a fine neighborhood where important people live.

I know it. I got it in me.

I believe in you, Jerry.

I won’t let you down.

I’ll see you tonight, dear.

All right.



Good morning.

Well, it looks like a nice day.

Yes, it does.

Well, I come home for lunch.

Anything I can get for you at that store?

Oh, I got a list a mile long. I gotta do it myself.

If it gets too heavy to carry, drop by the station.

I’ll have one of the boys drive you home.

-Thanks. I’ll manage. -You’re welcome.


Hey, we’re all out of bacon. ls sausage okay?

(shuts mixer off)

(laughs) Place is a mess.

It sort of gets away from me every time I cook a meal.

You forgot to plug in the coffee again.

Oh, no. Well, I guess I’m just not myself today.

-Hey. -Hmm?

You know what let’s do?

Let’s just pick up and go on a vacation someplace.

You nuts?

Well, honey, I haven’t been out of this house hardly since we moved in.

Got my future here.

I can’t go bouncing around like a gypsy on a vacation and jeopardize my whole career.

All the boys in the station get a couple of weeks off.

I don’t know why you can’t.

City council’s meeting this week with my chief of police appointment.

I gotta be here.

Didn’t you serve long enough in uniform?

What do you want to be a cop for?

(chuckles) Chief of police ain’t just a cop.

It’s an important job.

Mm-hmm. When you get busy down at the station, I get kind of lonesome sitting here all by myself.

Why don’t you make friends, like with Jean?

You could learn a lot from her.

What’d Jean want to waste her time with me for?

Then develop a hobby. Find something you want to do.

I know what I want to do.

What’s that?

Be a mother.

We can have a kid.

When can we?

Just as soon as I get that chief of police appointment.

You mean that, Troy? You’re not just saying it?

I don’t lie, Leola.

I wish we could have kept our kid.

If you wanted that kid so bad, why’d you give it away?

Now, look, when I followed you to San Francisco, I didn’t ask you to marry me.

All I wanted was enough moneyjust— just to pay the hospital bills.

One hundred dollars, that’s all I needed, and I could have kept my baby.

They couldn’t have give that kid away unless’n you signed them papers.

I know the law.

Now, who was it told you to sign them papers? Who?

Well, where were you?

Where were you when the baby was born?

Its own father never even bothered to show up!

I did try to get that baby back. I tried.

I went to the hospital, but some other couple already adopted it.

They wouldn’t tell me who.


It’s the law.

Come on and have your breakfast.

No, I’m— I’m late for the station.

You gonna be home for lunch?

No, I’ll grab a sandwich out.

Someday... I’ll make you proud, Leola.

(voice breaks) Real proud.


Hi. Just dropped by to see if you’d like to go shopping.

Well, thank you. It’s my— my day to clean the house.

Uh, but how about some pancakes?

Well, Ijust had breakfast with David.

Well, then, how about some coffee?

Sure. I’ll keep you company.

-Jean. -Hmm?

Could I ask you something?

Sure. What?

Every time I start to say or do anything, it always comes out wrong, but...

Do you think I’m just a good-natured slob?

Oh, who told you that?

Well, all the men think so.

Jerry Flagg’s been on the make for me ever since the very beginning.

Well, Jerry got out of line with me, too, last night.

Yeah, but you see, he was loaded. With me, he acts that way when he’s sober.

Well, what’s wrong with being attractive?

Nothing, the way you are.

But men don’t go around grabbing at you.

No, they usually take off their hats first, but it’s all leading up to the same thing.


It’s just that I never cared about any man except Troy, and Ijust want to hold on to him.

Now, who’s taking him away from you?

Somebody like you could.

David’s not just my husband.

I happen to be in love with him.

There | go again, saying the wrong thing.

Here, have some more coffee.

Hey, Mark.

Listen, I got a great idea for today.

How about you letting me have a little advance?

Let’s try to move a couple of cars today, huh, Jerry?

I got to have 30 bucks in a hurry. I promised my kid a new bike today.

You forget you’re into me for 200 now?

I’m going for coffee. Bring you some?

No, thanks.


Yeah, Jerry.

How about letting me have a couple of thou until Sunday?

Sure. Want it now?

Can I help you folks?

-We’re just looking. -Take your time.

We don’t believe in high pressure on this lot.

Sure is a beauty, isn’t she?

Why don’t you get in, put your hands on the wheel?

I don’t believe I caught you folks’ name.

Burnett, mister and missus.

This is the most powerful motor on the road.

Nothing can pass you in this car.

We’re not buying, just looking.

How’d you like to drive this car out now?

Right now, with nothing down and no payments for 60 days.

How’d you like that?

Is your old car paid for?

All paid for.

I think I can let you have 450, $500 on that.

How much is this car?

You can afford to pay $62.11 a month, can’t you?

Why, sure, we can.

But how much is the car?

3,395 new, and this baby’s just as good as new.

You can have it for... 2,795.

Uh-uh. I couldn’t spend that much money.

You got to think of it as an investment, Mr. Burnett.

It’s like buying a home, you know?

What matters is, are you getting top value for your dollar?

And this car represents top value.

We can pay 62.11 a month, Paul.

Where are you employed, Mr. Burnett?

Little John’s hamburger place.

I’m a short-order cook.

My wife works there, too.

How long have you held this position?

Three months. I quit my otherjob becau— That’s all right. As long as you’re gainfully employed, I can work out all the details with the finance company.

Why don’t you step into the office?

Come on, Liz.

Say, just to make it look good for the boss, can you make a token payment?

-How much? -Oh, $50.

I ain’t got 50.


What do you have, Liz?

Just the 20 you gave me this morning.

$30 will do. You got 10?

Mmm, just about.

You mentioned a finance company.

What’ll their charges be?

6%, same as a bank.

Nothing more?

A few minor charges, but they’ll be absorbed in your monthly payments.

Nothing to worry about.

Can we drive it out today?

Soon as you sign the papers.

-Hi, Jean. -Hello, Herman.

Oh, let me take that for you.

-No, I’m just gonna catch a cab, so— -Say, listen, let me try something on you.

Now, does this display make you want to buy something?

Yes. It’s just great.

Good. That’s all I want to know.

-See you later, Herman. -I’II see you.

(bell rings)

-Hello. -Hi.

Would it be too much trouble dropping these off at my house?

I’ll drive you.

No, it’s all right. I can walk. It’s just the bundles.

I’m going home anyway. Ed, get my car ready.

-ED: Yes, sir. -Would you like a Coke?

No, thanks.

Nice place.

Yeah, well, it’s, uh— it’s a living, but it ain’t what I want.

Oh, no, of course.

You want to be chief of the police department, don’t you?

Why, it seems such a thankless job.

Oh, I don’t know.

Too many drunks driving, too many stickups, too many punks shoving good people off the sidewalk.

I hate to see things like that.

Was it different in Tennessee?

Oh, a lot.

Each man knows what’s his and keeps to it.

Used to walk an extra mile to school every morning, ’cause the fellow that owned the farm next to ours wouldn’t give my old man permission for us to cross a small patch of land.

Sound like a hick to you, don’t I?

No. I think you’ll make a wonderful police chief, Troy.

Well, I guarantee you’ll be able to sleep nights with your doors open.

Come on. Hop in the car.


Don’t you guys goof off. I’ll be right back.

You all right?

All right.

(bell rings)

Mama, look!

I see it.

-Christmas in July, Mike! -Daddy!

When the old man makes you a promise, he keeps it.

It’s all yours, boy.

Gee, thanks!

It’s bought and paid for.

-Hey, watch yourself! -I will, Daddy.

Where did you get the money?

Honey, I had a great morning.

Very good, Mike.

I took the afternoon off to celebrate with you.


What do you say we throw a wingding for the neighbors tonight?

Jerry, we can’t afford that.

I told you I had a great morning.

I feel like sharing my good luck with everybody in Sunrise Hills, but since I’m a sound, practical man, why, uh, let’s just have the neighbors in, huh?

Did you get the commission?

No. But they signed the papers, and Markham’s good for it.

A party costs a lot of money, even a small one.

Come on, doll, let’s have some laughs. You and I will have a good time, huh?

Well, if we’re gonna have a party, I have to do some shopping.

That’s my baby. Live it up.

We’re in the money, doll.

Look, Dad! No hands!

Very— Watch yourself. Very good.

Thanks, Troy. I can manage now.


Thanks again.



Come on in, lko.

-Can you spare a minute, Herm? -Sure. How’s the family?

Oh, fine. Just fine.

You know, Betty keeps talking about this, uh— What do you call that dish your wife fixed the other night?

When are you gonna invite us to dinner again?

Well, that’s just the problem, Herm.

We’re gonna have to move.

It takes me an hour and a half to drive in, hour and a half to get back home.

Three hours traveling a day doesn’t leave me much time for my family.

You ought to move closer in.

You got a permanentjob here. You know that.

We found the place we want.

We put in our application six weeks ago, but nothing has happened.

Well, you have them check with me on your credit rating.

It’s not our credit that’s holding it up, Herm.

Where’s the house?

Here. Sunrise Hills.

Oh, yeah?

Look, I know they don’t sell except to white families.

Yeah. I think that’s so, yeah.

But maybe you could help.

You live here. You’re manager of the store.

You’re on the city council.

I don’t carry that kind of weight.

Listen, aren’t there other nice places? You know, someplace— Yeah, lots of nice places, but I don’t know of any I can get in.

My wife’s after me.

Since I work here in the Sunrise Hills Shopping Center, she feels that we should live here. lko, I’d like to have you for a neighbor. You know that.

But these subdividers, how do I sell them on the idea?

Everyone here has a lot of respect for you, Herm.

If you can get some of them to speak up, maybe they’d sell me a house. lko, aren’t there any other houses, in some neighborhood where they’re not gonna kick up such a fuss?

Now, wouldn’t that be wiser?

I earn my money, Herman.

I’ve got a right to live in the house that I can afford.

I’m a GI.

I qualify under the same bill, like all you Gl’s here.

Times are changing, lko. In another few years, we could— In another few years, my little kids will be big kids, Herm.

I want them to have the good things now when they need it. lko, you know I feel the same.

Are you going to help me?

Well, l-let me think about it.

Can I tell my wife that you might help?

No, you can’t tell your wife I might help.

I don’t want you to lie to your wife.

You mean you won’t even try?

No, I didn’t say that.

What are you saying, Herm?

I’d like to know.

I’m saying just what I said a moment ago— that l— l— I got to think about it.

I’m sorry, lko.

Sure, Herman.


HERMAN: Iko’s the best man I’ve got in the whole store.

He built that window display on his own time— nights, Sundays.

He never asked me a cent for it.

We do a bigger gross on garden supplies than any of the other branch stores.

Now, if a man is good enough to work in Sunrise Hills, he ought to be good enough to live here.

I like lko.

I like his wife. I like his children.

But is it up to us, Herm?

Honey, that’s what everybody says. Well, who is it up to?

The subdividers have a right to put restrictions in there, dear.

No, they don’t. Oh, no, they don’t.

The Supreme Court has held that these restrictions are pure discrimination and void.

Well, so they’ll find some other excuse not to sell him a house.

Now, you know that, Herm.

Listen, I got this idea, Betty. l was thinking— I was thinking if we got up a delegation of homeowners and went to see the subdividers— Who would you get?

Oh, the Martins. I’m sure the Martins would see it our way.

Well, they’re about the only ones.

The Boones, the Flaggs, they’d never agree to it.

No, not right now, no, but they might if we worked on them.

Are you sure you’re prepared to ask Troy and Jerry to have a Japanese for a neighbor?

Are you sure you’re prepared for it yourself?


how can you call yourself a good Christian and speak like that?

Herm, that has nothing to do with it. There are other things to consider.

What do you mean, the devaluation of our property?

We have a responsibility to our children, to our neighbors.

What are they going to say?

Honey, maybe if you went over to see this Reverend Norton that you’re always raving about.

Now, here’s a chance for this guy to do some real good.

Don’t you bring the church into this.

What good is the church if it can’t teach a person to lend a helping hand to some human being that really deserves it?

What else is the church for?

Well, how would you understand? You never go.

Yeah, maybe your fine reverend does something for lko, and I might see some reason to go.

You want to strike a bargain with God before you even believe in him?

Well, God doesn’t do business that way.

Well, if God only does business in his own store, then this boy’s gonna keep washing his car on Sunday!

All right, if you feel so strongly about it, then you do something about it yourself, but don’t you yell at me, and don’t you yell at the church, because I know you’re just as worried about this whole thing as I am!

(turns on TV)

(western playing on TV)

Come on, Betty. Let’s go over to the Flaggs’, to the party.

I’m sorry, Herm. I’m just not up to it.


Betty, please go with me.

Come on. I can’t stick around the house any longer.

Come on. Please go with me, honey.

Come on.

Well, I’ll go and check on the children, and you run along first, Herm.

I’ll meet you at the party.


Verdun was after me again today to handle that Cagle deal.

Is it so hard to handle?

Well, not for Verdun, it isn’t.

All he has to do is sit in the office and avoid the unpleasant part of it.

You mean a lot of people will be fired if Cagle puts in automation?

That’s right.

But, David, that’s not your responsibility.

Maybe not.

All I have to do is convince myself I’ll be happy if he has 500 people fired.

Well, if you don’t sell your machine to him, somebody else will.

You know, I’m a good electronics engineer.

Next year, I’ll be a little bit better.

But that’s not enough for you, is it?

Darling, there’s nothing wrong with being an engineer.

It’s just that I think you could be so much more important.

I like what I’m doing right now.

I don’t want to settle for that.

We should have excitement and change and things to look fonNard to.

What kind of excitement?

Like when you were 18 and the phone kept ringing?

You got singing telegrams and guys came around six deep, and I had to wait in line?

I liked those times.

I like thinking about them.

-I was young and pretty and— -Well, you’re still young and pretty.

You never tell me.

Look, I married you.

I live with you.

And I love you.

I suppose you think I’m vain.

I’m not clever. I can’t do anything special.

It’s just that I’m attractive and I hang on to it.

Mm-mmm. You push it.

What if I do?

l-l’m sorry, David. I didn’t mean that.

If you trying to scare me, okay.

I’m scared.

I just don’t want to lose you, Jean.

Oh, darling, a man’s just got to take one look at me to know who I belong to.

ISABELLE: David! Jean!

Come on over!

Come on. The party’s starting.

Have you got a date tonight?

Oh, uh, incidentally, I accepted that selling assignment.

I’m leaving for San Francisco in the morning.

Oh! (chuckles)

I believe in money!

I believe in money and livin’ it up.

You show me a man who has no money, and I’ll show you a poor man!

Ha ha ha ha.

No, what this country needs is easy credit.

No man should have to pay cash for anything.

No money down is the secret of prosperity. That’s what I think.

Hi! Come on in! Give the party some class.

No, if only the banks would loosen up, then every man could have everything he wants now, not when he’s old and washed up.

Now! When he’s young and washed up!

Another funnyjoke. Just made it up off the top of my own head.

What do you say we have some music? Okay. I’ll turn it on.

From now on, the customer I concentrate on is the man who is flat broke, because, to him, money don’t mean nothing!

-(swing playing) -Hey, Dave, may I have the pleasure of dancing with your wife?

This time, I’m sober.


Hey, Dave, you rock?

Yeah, well, I’m a little bit rusty.

Well, come on, let’s oil it up.

J” / saw her jivin’ 2‘0 the dn've—in rock J” J’ / took one look 1’

1’ My heart went knock-knock—knock .f’

J” / blinked my lights and honked my horn J”

1’ But she kept rock/n ’ and a—ro/lin ’ on .f’

1’ She kept on jivin’ to the drive-in rock .I’

-f The drive-in rock, the drive-in rock J’ -(|aughs)

J’ It really makes the drive-in rock .I’ J’ You pick your chick, you drop your dime J’ J’ You have yourself a crazy smhg/h’ time .I’

(doorbell buzzes)


.f’ To show m y pipes ain’t stock 1’ J’ / let her die and flipped the keys to lock 1’

J’ The carhop said, What’s yours tonight? 1’ J’And / said, baby, baby, that’s all nyht .f’

.I’ I’ll eat inside and dig the drive-in rock .I’

J” The drive-in rock, the drive-in rock J’

1’ It really makes the drive-in rock .I’

.I'l walked nyht in, but I’m no fool J’ J’ / took my time with baby and played it cool 1’

Come on in. Join the party.

I’m not alone.


You got me in a fine jam today.

What’s the beef?

Mr. Burnett showed his boss that contract on the car you sold him.

Thirty-eight percent carrying charges.

I told you 100 times, I don’t deal with these cutthroat finance outfits.

Mike, look, the guy couldn’t make a decent down payment.

I had to find somebody to pick up his paper.

You know, no bank would.

Now, look, I’m no gypsy.

Ijust opened here in Sunrise Hills, and I’m not gonna have you ruin my reputation for one lousy sale.

Don’t get your pressure up.

We’ll get this whole thing straightened out, Mr. Burnett.

Why don’t you come down to the lot tomorrow morning, say about 10:00— Oh, no. No, We’re straightening this out right now.

I want you to give him his money back.

Now? How can I get it back now? I don’t have it now.

Mr. Burnett’s a reasonable man. He knows we’re good for it.

We’re not leaving this house till you give him back his money.

I’ll write you out a check, then.

I want the cash. I don’t want to be chasing you for a bum check.

Well, I’ll see what I can scrape up.

And take it easy, will you? I got company inside here.

(music playing)

(car door slams, engine starts)

-(tires screech) -(car drives away)

I’m sorry I had to disturb you in your home, Mrs. Flagg.

I understand.

I have $30 I can give you now.

The rest I’ll see you get later.

I want you to know that your husband didn’t do anything dishonest.

He— Well, he was just pushing too hard.

Good night, Mr. Markham.

Good night.

-|sabelle? -Jerryjust drove off.

I think I know what bar he went to. Will you go with me?

(chuckles) Isabelle, he’s okay.

I can’t get him to come back home by myself.

Oh, all right.

I’ll go with you.

-Betty? -Yeah?

Honey, I’m gonna drive Isabelle. I’ll see you later.

BETTY: All right.

Is anything the matter?

Oh, no, no, honey. I wasjust gonna go over and check the kids.

What you lookin’ for?

Well, I was looking for the ice.

(humming “Funeral March”)


Oh. Cold.

What’s the matter?

I’m kind of dizzy.

Must have been something I “et.”

-Got a cigarette? -Mm.

Why don’t you try a little coffee?

Who wants to sober up?


You light it for me.

(swishes drink)


Is that what they do in South Carolina?


-Thank you. -Mm-hmm.

I like you.

You’re a nice guy.

Thank you.

And I’m not saying that because I’m on the make either.

I like you ’cause you’re a nice guy, and that’s all.

Why don’t you, uh, knock off that drinking the rest of the night?

What for?

Troy likes to see me drunk.

Yeah, he really does.

See, Troy likes to lecture people.

He likes to tell them what to do and how to do it.

You know, he even tells me how to make love.

Oh, honey, come on, we’re grown-ups.

Anything wrong about talking about making love?

No. No.

It’s just that I don’t think I’d like to have Jean going around the neighborhood telling about us, that’s all.


Well, that’s okay.

I’m ignorant and...

I can say anything I want to and nobody pays any attention.

-Where you goin’? -l’ll be right back.


Come on over, Dave.

Troy’s garage is a regular museum.

Oh, you don’t want to go over there.

He’s just showing off all his old war mementos.

You don’t want to see a lot of swords and flags.

Oh, I don’t know.

I thought it might be interesting.

What’s the matter, Dave? Don’t you trust your wife?

Okay, I trust my husband, too.

Come on. Let’s have a drink.

(glasses clinking)

Most of the guys bought their stuff in the PX.

But everything in this room, I— I picked up, actually, myself, in an actual combat area.

Everything you see.

Now, that— that I got off a— a little Jap colonel at Luzon.

He was a nervy little guy.

We blew up his bunker with a bazooka.

He come runnin’ out stark naked with this sword.


I tried to take him prisoner.

And did you?

One thing I can’t stand, it’s a poor rifieman.

I’ve seen a lot of guys empty their carbine at a man and still leave him kicking.

You want it?

Keep it.

No, I’d— I’d rather not, thank you, Troy.

Well, I bet you don’t remember the war.

The big war, I mean.

I should think you’d want to forget those experiences.

Only the civilians want to forget the war.

The guys that actually lived it, they got it tattooed right here.

If I didn’t have my memories, I’d crawl into my car and turn on the exhaust pipe.

You think it makes me feel like a man greasin’ cars and cleanin’ toilets in gas stations?

You don’t mean that, Troy.

You don’t know me.

No, maybe I don’t.

Only last night I was telling David what a safe feeling it was having you as our— our next-door neighbor.

And now?

Wait a second.

Don’t you go walkin’ out of here like I just shined your shoes and you give me a dime.

That’s uncalled for.

I got my pride, lady.

Maybe that’s all I got, but I’m hanging on to it.

You become offended too easily, Troy.

You— You shouldn’t.

It’s— It’s immature.

I don’t mind being told off by you.

You got a way of doing it that’s nice.

You ever teach school?

No. Why?

You remind me of a school ma’am I once had.

I was a big, rough kid, and I used to give her a bad time.

She was always as sweet as Juneberryjuice.

Sure remind me of her.

Same color hair.

Same soft eyes, too.

You trying to sweet-talk me, Troy?

Yes, ma’am.

You’re not a school kid any longer and I’m not your teacher.

So, anyway, so this went on, and finally I was sitting there in the middle of the bed, buck naked—

(laughs) painting my toenails, my brother walks in with 16 Boy Scouts!


Oh, their faces!

Oh. Oh, God.

That was the nice thing about being a member of a large family— you sure never got lonesome.

See, my mother had eight kids.

She had five girls and three boys.

Well, I had another little brother, but he died when he was little.

That was funny.

His name was Jody.

He— He died of, uh— what do you call it— pneumonia.

You know, just think, today he could’ve— he could’ve taken one shot of penicillin, he would have gotten over it like a cold.

But we didn’t have any medicine in the house.

We didn’t even have any aspirin.

All we had was sulfur and molasses.


That’s terrible.


Did he tell you how he won the war?

You’re stinko again.

Ooh, I do love a refined man who uses elegant words like “stinko.” You better put it to bed.

Now, look, this is not your house, and I am a guest here, and so you can’t boss me around.


Hey, no, no, no, no. Come on.

You can’t go. Come on, stay. Sit down.

Come on, now, be a good kid.

Could you stop acting like a policeman?

Besides, we gotta wait for Jerry.

You comin’, or do I carry you?

Oh, that’s right.

You just go right ahead and show the Martins what a big, tough guy you are.

You know, when I told Troy before we were married that I was pregnant— wham— he knocked me down.

Didn’t you, big guy? Hmm?

Finish your drink and then we’ll go home, hmm?

Okay, let’s all have a drink. Come on.

Right now. We’ll all have a drink.

Well, what’s the matter, ain’t I good enough to drink with?

All right.

I might as well be bad now, ’cause I’m sure gonna get punished when I get home.

I’m thirsty.

Now, you come right here to your old Aunt Leola and we’ll give you a drink of water.

I want a Coke.

I’ll get it for you, Mike.

I want it in a bottle.


Isn’t he cute?

Mmm! Such a cute kid, isn’t he?

You know, mine would have been about this age.


If I wanna talk about my baby, I’m gonna talk about him.


Jean, would you tell me something?

Do you think if people adopt a baby, they can love him just as much as if he was theirs?

Of course.

DAVID: Come on, Mike.

I mean— I don’t mean if he’s an orphan, but I mean, if they know that’s he’s got a mother and father who just didn’t care anything about him?

Why don’t you just go outside and yell it to the whole neighborhood?

I just want to see him. I don’t want to talk to him.

Ijust want to see him once.

Can we go now?


Oh, but I want my baby!


Will you excuse us, please?

I want my baby!

I’ll stay with Mike till Isabelle gets back.

I’ll stay with you.

(car drives up)

(dog barking)

(car door closes)

(footsteps approaching)

JERRY: Doll?

-Hi. How are you? -Fine.

-How’s Mike? -He’s fine, too.

-Are you hungry? -No, no, not a bit.


I couldn’t come home. I was feeling so punk.

Ijust hung around a few hotel lobbies.

They were empty, and... got me feeling so jumpy, I just kept walking.

I sat down on a fireplug.

Don’t you know, a squad car came along and they told me to move on.

-Mm-hmm. -Well, that really got me.

I told them they weren’t talking to some wino.

-Do you need that? -No.No.

And they can put you in jail just for sitting on a fireplug.

So I moved on.

But I thought it all out.

And all our troubles boil down to one thing.


Money. How to get a bundle of it.

Well, you can’t do it by working for it, that’s for sure.

And if you break the law, it’s only gonna wind you up behind bars.

That’s for sure, too.

So I kept walking, kept thinking, and all of a sudden, the idea hit me.

I’m going to organize a buyers’ service for used cars.

I’ll start out with ads in all the papers.

All it costs to become a member of my group is one dollar.

Just pin a dollar to a letter and mail it to me.

For that one buck, I’ll tip ’em off on how much they should pay for the model they want, and I’ll even tell them where to go to get it.

I’ll give them the lowdown on what to look out for in a used car, and I’ll tell them how the finance companies put the gyp on them.

Now, that— that’s a lot of valuable information for a buck, right?

All I’ll need to start out with is just a few people, then the idea will grow just like a chain letter.

People will tell their friends, and they’ll tell their friends.

Honey, I figure there’s over two million used cars sold every year right here in California alone.

If only 10% of these become members, that’s $200,000 right there.

Why, I’ll have to open an office.

I’ll have to have a lot of girls to open the letters that come in.

And then I’ll be able to branch out.

I’ll have offices in every one of the 48 states.

Then when I’ve got one million members, that’s one million dollars, just to begin with, and that’s only the beginning.

Come to bed, Jerry.

With an organization like that, I’ll be able to manufacture my own car.

I’ll have one million members just to start out with.

They’ll be able to order their cars direct from me at factory price, and all I’ll take for them is the one single dollar annual membership fee.

That’ll save them $1,000 apiece on a car!

I’m gonna call it the Flagg car.

Isn’t that a great name for a car? The Flagg car?

It’s a great name for a car.

Doll, all our worries are over, and from here we’re just in clover.

Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

What’s the matter?

I’m through with you, Jerry. Right here and now, I’m through with you.

-Yes! Yes! -No,no.

-Just tell me what to do, Isabelle. -You’re supposed to know what to do.

-l’ve had nothing but bad luck here. -Stop blaming it on bad luck!

-Well, then what is it? -Get a job! Any kind of a job.

Be a milkman or a laundryman or go to work in a factory where you can bring a paycheck home every week!

You’re never gonna make a million, so stop dreaming about it!

You’re just another guy like I’m just another housewife.

Nothing big or wonderful is ever gonna happen to us.

I stopped pretending when Mikey was born. Why can’t you?

When I married you, I made you a promise that someday you would have the finest.

Every man makes that promise to every girl when they get married.

Sure, I wanted it to come true, but that’s not the reason I married you.

If I can forget about it, why do you have to hang on?

Because I believe in myself even if you don’t.

I’m not gonna give up just when the going gets rough.

I know I can break through. I got it in me. I can feel it.

And a man can’t be wrong about how he feels.

And Jerry Flagg is not just an ordinary man.

There are not millions like me.

And you’re not just an ordinary housewife.

You’re Jerry Flagg’s wife, and that’s going to mean something.

My kid is not gonna grow up and have to tell his friends that his father works in a factory or he’s a milkman.

No, sir. No, sir!

Daddy, what’s the matter?

Don’t you have school tomorrow, boy?

You should be in bed.

Daddy’s gonna take good care of you.

You’re gonna get back to bed, get back to sleep so you’ll be healthy and strong.

You want to do good in school, don’t you?

Sure, you do.

Be a big, strong guy?

And then if some guy starts acting wise around you, you’ll be able to take care of yourself.

When you can take care of yourself, you’ll be a big man, respected.

People will look up to you.

Everybody will say, “There goes Mikey Flagg, a big man in every way.”

(sobbing quietly)

(vehicles passing)

(car horn honks)

(horn honking)


Man, you look like the chief of police already.

You don’t need a new uniform.

Yeah, all it needs is a couple of gold braid stripes.

Hey, uh, who’s the company putting in as the new station manager?


You’re kidding.

I picked you and they okayed you.

Thanks, Troy.

Wait a second, Troy.

This is the first time I ever heard about this college degree requirement.

Believe— What does a college degree have to do with what kind of chief of police I’d be?

Didn’t I try to get them to change it?

I tried to get them to take a vote on it, Troy.

When I turned in my application for this job, I said I only had a grammar school education.

I didn’t lie about it.

Then why did this council meet to throw this college stuff in my face?

We didn’t look at that application until this afternoon.

If one of us guys would get paid for working on the council— Where were those guys when I was crawling on my belly through Guam and Guadalcanal?

If it wasn’t for guys like me, Sunrise Hills would be a Japanese rice field today.

Listen, Troy, there’s hardly any difference in pay between the chief’s job and a regular officer.

We’re gonna have a five-man force, so that thing is just a title anyway.

Let me go in there and recommend you for an officer’s position.

I know when I’ve been given the short end of the stick.

You’re trying to talk me out of it. It won’t do you no good.

-I’m trying to talk some sense into you. -Well, you can’t, mister!

Let’s go have a drink then. Come on, let me buy you a drink.

I only drink with my friends.

(western playing on TV)

-Hi. -Hi, Daddy.



What kept you so long? I had dinner ready an hour ago.

The council turned down Troy’s application.

Not enough education.

Pretty soon, a guy’s gonna have to have a master’s degree to clean toilets.

He was so sure he’d get it.

So was I.

Wasn’t there anything you could do?

I tried, honey, but that charter reads black and white.

Let’s eat.

He had no right getting sore at me.

Well, he counted on you.

I did all I could.

Well, then, what are you so worked up about?

Well, Troy’s my friend.

lko’s wife called me this morning.

Iko hasn’t spoken to me since yesterday.

She asked me again.

And she said not to say anything about it to lko.

Why do they have to call us?

Well, I guess they don’t have anybody else to turn to.

It’s murder down at the store. lko’s right. I know that guy is right.

He’s driving me crazy, but what do we do?

Stick our necks out again like with Troy?

Wind up having Iko hate us when it doesn’t work out?

It won’t be easy, but it think we’ll feel a whole lot better.

Do you know what we’re letting ourselves in for?

Itjust seems right to me.

Well, I’m glad to see this hasn’t spoiled your appetite.

(brakes screech)

(rock and roll playing)

J” / blinked my lights, / honked my horn J”

1’ But she kept rockin ’ and rol/in ’ on .f’

1’ She kept on jivin’ to the drive-in rock .I’

J” The drive-in rock, the drive-in rock J’

1’ It really makes the drive-in rock— .I’

(turns off music)

Give me a drink.

Get out of those clothes. We ain’t goin’ nowhere.

You didn’t get the appointment?

That’s okay. I didn’t want you to be a cop anyway.

Well, honey, it’s a jerk town, and you’re too good for that job.

Come on. Come on, let’s go out and have some dinner, huh?

How could I get mixed up with such a dumb broad?

Okay, so I’m a dumb broad. Let’s go out and have some fun.

Didn’t I ask you to get me a drink when I come in?


Here’s to us— still the best people on the block.

Common dirt.

Common Tennessee dirt.

And it shows.

Honey, do you have to beat yourself down like that?

I think I’m gonna reenlist in the army.

You’ll get over that by the morning.

Maybe we ought to go back home.

I still got 40 acres there.

Will you get out of that dress? How many times I gotta tell you?

Honey, in an hour you’re gonna want to go out to dinner, and I’ll just have to change all over again.

Where’d you get that outfit?

You’ve seen this before. It ain’t new.

Do you have to show everything you got?

Does it make you feel better to beat me down?

It’s about time you and me had a showdown.

About what? What have I done?

You think I’m pretty stupid, don’t you? Hmm?

You think all this time I swallowed that fish story of yours about that kid being mine?

Listen, Troy, I said I wouldn’t say anything about that again.

Now, don’t start in on me.

(footsteps depart)

I wanna talk about it.

You think I’d have give away that kid if I thought it was my own flesh and blood?

I think you could’ve done worse. I think you could’ve killed it.

That’s one reason why I gave it away.

I ought to break your neck for that.

Why don’t you try it?

It’s busted. I told them to come and fix it.

Now it’s busted.

Was that kick worth $100?

I’ll break everything and anything in this house if I feel like it.

I paid for it.

It’s mine!

All mine.

Will you please don’t drink anymore?

Let’s go out to dinner, please?

-You want to go out to dinner so bad? -Yes, I do.

Well, you just go ahead. Have yourself a good time. Here.

Pick yourself up some jerk like Jerry Flagg and have yourself a ball.

Take the car!

I don’t want you pinched for walkin’ the streets.



Oh, Troy.

I just dropped in to say hello.

Oh. Where’s Leola?

Out celebratin’.

Oh. Well, you’ll have to forgive me now, Troy. I’m busy.

You could offer me a drink.

No, we— we have no liquor in the house.

You gonna throw me out?

No, I’m not gonna throw you out. You’re leaving.

-In a minute. -Now.

You hate me that bad?

No, I don’t hate you. It’s— It’s just that I don’t entertain men while my husband’s out of town.

I ain’t askin’ to be entertained. I just want someone to talk to.

-You have a wife. -She walked out on me.

-Please go, Troy. -In a minute.

You afraid of me?

No, l-l’m not afraid of you.

I’m disappointed. I— I thought you were a gentleman.

Ain’t nothin’. No more ain’t nothin’.

Good night, Troy.


No, please don’t.

No, no. No, please don’t.



Oh, Betty!




Jean, it’s all right. Shh.


It’s all right.


Jean, what is it?

What’s the matter, dear?


What about Troy?

He— He— He came to the house.

He forced me to— (sobbing)

BETTY: Who are you calling?

-The police. Who else? -No!No!No!No!

-Operator, get me the police. -Don’t call the police!

I want David! I just want David!

All right, Jean.

Where is David staying in San Fran— Where is David staying in San Francisco?

At— At— At the St. Francis, I think.

HERMAN: All right, all right, I’ll get him.

Jean, dear, don’t you think I ought to call your doctor?

No, no, no, no! Ijust want David.

I don’t want a doctor. the St. Francis Hotel. -He’s calling David, dear.

That’s right. Shh.

-Daddy, what’s the matter? -Go to bed.

-I’m hungry. -Sandra, Sandra, run along to bed.

Didn’t your mother tell you to go to bed? Go to bed.

I’m hungry.

Sandra, do you hear me? Now, go along. Go on.

Oh? Uh...

No, operator, you can just cancel that call.

Thank you very much.

He checked out. Is he flying back? David flying back, Jean?

Jean. Jean, darling, is he flying back?

He went by train.

HERMAN: Then he won’t be back till early this morning.

What’s the matter with Jean?

All right, come on. Right on up.

Come on.

Jean, darling, come along.

There we go. There we go.

-I want David. -Yes, dear.

I want David. Please get me David.

(car door closes)

What’s the matter, Herm?

Leola, is Troy at home?

Yeah, I guess so.

I just left ’cause he was in kind of an ugly mood

’cause he didn’t get that job.

I know.

Is anything wrong?

It’s nothin’ that won’t wait.

You sure?

Yeah, it’s nothin’.

Good night, Leola.

Good night, Herm.



I don’t know what to do.

Last night, I could’ve killed Troy.

And this morning, I don’t know.

Other men have disappointments. They don’t become animals like Troy.

Something’s gotta be done about him.

Oh, I think that should be up to David and Jean.

David and Jean.

Jerry and Isabelle.

Troy and Leola.

You and me.

I guess owning a house and a deep freeze is not the whole answer.

What’s wrong, Herm?

Whatever it is, it makes us afraid to help lko.

It makes Jerry afraid he’s not gonna make it.

It makes Troy afraid he’s gonna be a nobody unless he’s wearin’ some kind of a uniform.

Afraid. Afraid.

Now, if we can find out what that is, I think we got the answer.

Herm, are we any better or any worse off than— than anybody on this block?

Honey, you and I are what the insurance statistics call average.

Good morning.

-BETTY: Oh, morning, honey. -HERMAN: Good morning. l-l think I’ll go home now. David should be home soon.

Is there anything I can do for you?

No, thanks.

Now, listen, if you need me for anything at all today, you just call me at the store, okay?

-Bye, Betty. -Good-bye, honey.

-Want some coffee? -No, Betty.

I want to be there when David arrives. l— I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all you’ve done.

Oh, Jean, you don’t have to thank me for anything.

-JERRY: Hey, Herm. -Yeah?

-Hey, you got a minute, Herm? -Sure.

Listen, I’m in a kind of a bind.

Isabelle’s threatening to take the kid and leave me.

-Jerry, I can’t spare you too much. -No, no. I don’t want a loan.

I want a job.

Doin’ what?

Well, I’m a pretty fair salesman.

Jerry, we only pay 85 bucks a week.

-l’ll take it. -No commission.

I’ll take it.

Level with me. How long you think you’re gonna stick on this job?

Well, I— I can’t fox a good friend like you, Herm.

As soon as Isabelle cools down and as soon as I run into a hot proposition, well, I— But while I’m with ya, I’ll give ya a fair shake for your money.

If you could stick with us a couple of years, you’d have a real future.

The company’s opening up a lot of branch stores.

-They need new managers. -No,no.

I just can’t see myself stuck behind a counter all my life.

-Okay, hop in. I’ll show you around. -Okay, boss.

(door opens, closes)

(footsteps approaching)

DAVID: Oh, hi, honey.

Oh, what a trip.

Hey, how about getting a little breakfast ready?

I’ve gotta change and get back to the office.

What a session I had with Cagle.

You know, he turned me down twice cold?

Well, Ijust kept hammering away at him.

I don’t know what got into me, but the minute I stepped into that office, it became a matter of life and death for me to make that sale.

The odd part was that my heart wasn’t really in it.

Neither was Cagle’s.

Ooh, what a nightmare.

It was just like watching a car, seeing it coming towards you, and not being able to get out of the way.

We knew how that meeting was gonna end before it ever started.

It does convince me, all right.

I’m getting out of sales and going back to the lab.

From here on, I’ll make ’em and let old Verdun sell ’em.

David, something happened last night.

What’s that, honey?

I can’t tell you if you won’t listen.

Oh, I’m listening.

Well, turn it off!

(shaver turns off)

While I was alone last night, Troy forced his way in here.

He was drunk, and he—

I stayed all night at Betty’s.

She said to tell you first before doing anything.

Oh, David.

-David! -I’m gonna go see Troy.

Oh, darling, what good will it do now?

It’ll do me good.




-l’ll break it. -(groans)

You want me to break it?

Your wife told you about last night, huh?

Well, that’s only half the story. Why didn’t you ask me?

I could’ve told ya I didn’t do anything she didn’t want done.

How about the night she come to this garage?

I didn’t have to drag her here.

And how about the time she come to the filling station with a bag full of groceries and asked me to drive her home?

I don’t run a cab service!

That’s the trouble with you college guys. You think you got it all made.

You think that once you put a ring on her finger, you can keep a woman and hold her forever.

Well, you can’t hold a woman forever just admiring your brains.

You better get hep to yourself, mister.

I might be the first, but I ain’t gonna be the last person she’s gonna run to.


Now, you wanna go off your rocker, you go ahead.

You buy a gun and shoot me.

That’ll get rid of both of us and give little Jeanie a clear field to play tag day.

Liar! Liar!

I’m no good for you.

David, how could we go on?

How can we go on living together in this house and— and acting as if nothing had happened when it did?

-It did! -Jeanie!

Listen to me, darling.

Violence comes into a lot of people’s lives.

You can get hit by a runaway truck.

You can get caught in a fire, but that doesn’t change you.

You don’t feel defiled by it. You don’t feel ashamed by it.

You just face it with the people who love you.

David, I’ll never ever be able to forget what happened, and neither will you.

Darling, listen to me.

I love you.

No reservations. No qualifications.

Now, you’ve gotta know that, and you’ve gotta lean on it and depend on it.

Oh, I want to.

Whatever’s gonna hit us is gonna hit both of us.

Oh, thank you.

Oh, thank God for you.

lfl did, I did. lfl didn’t, I didn’t.

You’re still holding that first time against me, ain’t you? I was drunk then. l was drunk! I don’t remember! Haven’t you ever been drunk?

Troy! Troy, would you please just answer me one thing?

-All I wanna know is was it Jean’s fault. -I was drunk. I was drunk. Drunk!

Look, Troy, I don’t care how mean you get to me, but if you start fooling around with other women, I’m not gonna take that.

-You hear me? I’m not gonna take it! -We’re gonna get out of here, Leola.

We’re gonna go back home, back to Tennessee.

-Troy, stop it! -That’s what we’re gonna do.

Troy, look, would you tell me what happened?

You start packin’, honey.

You start packin’, and I’ll go finish the car.

-Troy! -Start packin’!

(door slams)


Troy, I’m not going with you.

You ain’t meanin’ that, Leola.

I never wanna see you again as long as I live.

Baby, look, I told you it wasn’t my fault.

-Troy, please. -It wasn’t my fault, I told you.

I’ll go inside and change clothes. I’ll get cleaned up.

-We’ll talk this all over. -Troy, don’t, please.

You can’t walk out on me ’cause I’m your husband.

-Leola, you can’t walk out on a husband. -You walked out on me for good last night.

But I’ll make it up to you, baby. I’ll make it up to you.

Please don’t. I need you. I need you, Leola.

I love you. You can’t leave me.

Don’t ever leave me!

-(sobs) -(grunts)



-Leola! -(screams) Troy!

(screaming) Help me! Help me!

Help! Help me!


Help him!

Call an ambulance!




Help. Help, please.



LEOLA: I’m sorry.


(organ playing)

REVEREND: I’m glad you were able to come today.

It’s a great pleasure to have you.

Thank you. I enjoyed your sermon.

Short, just about right for me.

My daddy won’t go to hell now, will he?

No, son, of course not. (chuckles)