Nomads (1986) Script


Yeah. Okay, I'll be right down.

Dr. Onaman. Calling Dr. Onaman.

Dr. Benway. Calling Dr. Benway.

Cops pulled him off the beach fifty, twenty minutes ago.

Took 4 of us to get him on the bed. Strung way out.

We can't even get eye contact. It's like he thinks we're not even here.

His clothes were blood-soaked... I mean soaked.

Cleaned him up. Found a couple of lacerations, but what are the rest... Is that French?

Sounds like it, but he's too fast for me.

His pupils are constricted, pressure's up, motor stuff's right.

I'm sure it's PCP, but I don't know. I can't get a needle into him to check.

Now, if I try to sedate him, it could be a real mess.

Look, I know you're new, and I'm sorry to put you on the spot.

But if I sedate him without a neurology, okay, my ass...

Your ass is secure, dear, okay?

Just go and see if you can find someone who speaks French.

Oh, and maybe a priest. He's probably catholic.

Well, what happened to you, then?

We stopped him going across the park by the palisades.

By the time we...

Get back! Get back down there! Stop. He'll tear his wrists.

Do me a favor and wait outside. Outside, please.

You, too. A.J. A.J.

But somebody's got to... Outside, okay?

Boy, you've been in quite a scrape, haven't you?

Quite a scrape.

What happened to you, hmm?

What happened?

It's okay.

It's okay.

It's okay.

It's okay.

It's okay.

It's okay.

Are you all right? Look out. Coming through.

Anyone else?

Call for Dr. Rodriguez right away!

Be careful. Be careful.

Gently, please. Gently.

I guess he got me. Jesus Christ, he's dead.

Makes tonight look like... nursery school.

I'll pass, thanks. This weekend I've got a date with my apartment.

Don't ever try and move and work at the same time.

Well, that is what wives are for.


You gonna miss the east?

Well, there are a lot of university people, but...

But what?

I don't know. I suppose they were more my husband's friends than mine.

At some level, this going-west business appeals to me.

Swab that, please, nurse.

Oh, you know what I do miss, though?


It's so barren. You get the feeling that every last bush has been installed.

It's like Disneyland or something.

Well, people don't realize that this is a city built on a desert.

Just try to think of it as extended parking for the beach.

What? Ow!

Hold on. Just a couple more, we'll be through.


On these hours, who gets to go to the beach?

Last one. There we go.

Do you want it dressed? Leave it uncovered.

How long have you been on duty?


32 hours. 4 more to go.

All right. That's it, then.

And you have had enough excitement for one night.

So, I want you to go home, get some sleep, and those are surgeon's orders.

Besides, you're too old for this career stuff.

You should be home taking kids to get their teeth straightened.

See that, nurse? See that?

They turn 30 and everything is sex, sex, sex.

Listen, you need a tetanus booster? All right. Then get out of here and go home.

Good night, doctor. Go.

Good night. Thanks. Good night.

I'll catch you later.

What'd he say, anyway?


The guy who jumped you. What'd he say?



That's a pity. Last thing a man says is supposed to be significant.

This is Dr. Collins' office. I'll try you at the hospital.

Hello, Mrs., uh...

Dr. Flax, this is Mr. Hendricks from the telephone company.

We'll have an installer in your area tomorrow afternoon...

What are you doing?

I thought it was funny, too. No sense of humor.

This son of a bitch gets out of his car... looks about 14 years old, and he's got a beer belly already... gets out of his car carrying a tire iron.

No kidding. Honest.

What'd you do?

Got the hell out of there. What the fuck else?

But, fuck, man, there are more crazy, meshugina lunatics running around...

What did you do at Radcliffe, major in sailors?

I wish.

You know your nutcase from last night?

Well, the lab report came back this morning.

No drugs.

Adrenal residue enough to frizz a horse, but no dope.

I wonder what happened to him.

Looked like some creep off the beach, right?


The man was an anthropologist from UCLA.

Spoke half a dozen languages, lived all over the world, and was, apparently, a very famous individual.


What kind of people did he study, anyway?

I don't know.

This morning in Richter's office, I got a look at his wife.

She's this elegant-looking redhead. Just the opposite of what he looked like.

And the crazy thing about it is they've only been in the country a week.

Well, I got a minute flat to get to 7. Walk in backwards.

I tried that. I promised I'd actually be there this time. Eileen.

Hey. Hey, quit it.

Hmm? Your lip.

If you don't quit chewing on it, it'll look like your ear.

Hey, Eileen, are you okay?

Oh, sure.

Cassie, what does, um...

N'y sont pas... sont des innois mean?


Shit. N'y sont pas...

They are not there. They are...

Sont des innois. Sont des innois.

Sounds like a place. I don't know. Why?

Dr. Wayne, please call the operator.

...walking right now is the best thing for you.

Tomorrow I want to hear that you've been... right...

Dr. Stafford's on in the morning.

Do you want me to order a repeat EEG for her?


The carpet's fine. I like the color.


The old carpet was yellow, but the owners didn't...

Doctor, I think we skipped...


The owner was only here for a little while, but they did a good deal to the house.

There's so many things. For instance, the old carpet was yellow, and it didn't clean very well, so they put in all new ones.

The house is only 4 blocks from the beach.

And, of course, there's plenty of storage space.

Obviously, I tried to convince the owners to stay here long enough to sell instead of rent, but apparently his transfer was pretty sudden, and they just upped and left.

What do you think, huh?

I admit that science is not my strong suit, but anthropology... that's bones and tombs and things.

No, no, no, no, no, no. Nothing so dramatic.

My work is cultural. I...

Je l'adore!

At least it's warm, eh?

I, uh...

I mostly watch people.

Oh! But I thought you were teaching here this fall.

Uh, yes, I'm afraid that is so. Oh, listen to him.

The first civilized place we live in years, and already he's bored.

Goddamn freaks.

I'm fine. I'm fine, I'm fine! Leave me alone! I'm fine! Stop it!

Stop it! I'm fine.

Just fine.

What's he gotten into?

Da da da da da! I got the material.

Ah, hold it, hold it, hold it.

I got the material, but you will have to help me with the...

Comment dit?

Trigle de rideau? Curtain rod.

Ah! Curtain rod. Curtain rod. Curtain rod.

I forget English faster than I learn, huh?

It will come. It will come. Alors. Tell me.

Which one do you like best, huh? This one?

Ah... On you or the living room?

For the living room, this. For when we live in the land rover, this.

Oh, no. Cochon.

Ooh. I forgot about her.


Johnny? Mm-hmm?

You are not really bored, are you? Huh?

Pas du tout. Pas du tout. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm looking forward to water we did not have to carry.

I am looking forward to working 5-hour days.

I am going to get food in supermarket wrapped in plastic.

I am going to get hamburger commes les Americains.

Alors, maintenant, je suis americain, eh?

Americain. Americain.



Mr. America. Mm-hmm. Oui.

Which one of these is you? Hmm? Where did you get that, Niki?

Give me that photograph! Niki! Come here!

No! No. Niki! Give me the photograph.

No. No. No. Niki. Come. Come, come.

Come on, Niki...

We will mount it over the mantelpiece commes les Americains!

Give it, give it, give it, give it!

No! Give it, give it!

Your mother give it to me a long time ago.

It was in storage.

We had never a mantle to put it on.

I have given you a hard life, hey?


No more.

No more.

Oh! No, no, no, no! We will be unpacking until October!

I can't wait till October! You won't have to.

Ah, come. We have a new house. We should pretend we are just married, eh?

Don't give me presents, huh?

When we first marry, you were following seal hunters, and when you come home, you smell like them.

I don't smell like them now, eh? No, no, no.

I don't smell like them now. Tell me I don't smell like them now.

Did you bring the last two box, the dishes?

Ah, tout de suite. Tout de suite. Yes. Allez, allez. Oh, I will get them.

No, no, no. It's not necessary. I will go. I will go. I'm going.

My love.

I'm going. I'm going.

What are you doing?

We've got a hemorrhage here.

Niki, go upstairs, please. Go upstairs. Go. Niki, go, now, please.

"...Surprise thief."

"Parents find mutilated bodies of children."

"Parents who had moved here to begin a new life

"returned to find that life... seeping into..."

Mon dieu. La Maison les attire.

What? La Maison les attire.

They're attracted to the house.

What the hell is she talking about?

You're right. It's worse.

Judy, darling, would you see if you can dig me up the night service number for data general, please?

All right, what do you got, fellas?

Well, there's no evidence of trauma.

But I think we wanna run another series in the morning.

Come on, come on, come on. What's going on?

It's fakacht, that's all. We're getting screwy numbers.

We gotta get the techies in there and rip it apart.

Talk to me, Ted. Come on.

Well, the first time through was faint and only showed autonomic functions.

Then we started getting cortical propagation!

I don't understand. Well, neither do we.

But this is the brain function of a person who's wide awake.

Look, just get Mrs. Lachman or whatever her name is...

Active. Hearing. Seeing. Walking around talking to people.

You knew she just did say something in there, and it was in French. And?

And the crazy who jumped her the other night was a Frenchman.

So... she had a run-in with a crazy. I mean, this city is full of crazies, guys.

They pull four bodies a day just off the freeways.

Listen to me. I'm gonna tell you what we're gonna do.

We're gonna put her in a room for the night, we're gonna fix the eco, we're gonna run some tests...

What is funny about it?

There are some very strange people in this world.

What is that?

It is nothing. It is nothing at all. I promise.

Hey, hey, hey. Come now. Come, come, come, come.

Huh? Don't worry about it all. I will repaint it in the morning.

What are you going to do about it? What should I do, eh?

Call the police and say children have painted my door, come quickly?

I'm going to bed. Would you care to join me?

I don't think it was children.

Well, children come in all shapes and sizes.

What kind of people would do that, huh?

I don't know.

I don't know.

Come. Let's go to bed, huh?

Is the door locked? Yes, the door is locked, and the back door is locked, and the drawbridge, it is raised for the night.

Now... if you want to worry, you can do it in the morning.

Tonight there are more important things to think about.

Is it October so soon?

Oui. Nearly November.

Les feuilles tombent.

The leaves... are falling...

Yes... every little...

Et des vents froids soufflent...

And the cold winds blow... Are blowing.

Et bientot, de grandes hampes de glace se leveront...

And soon great shafts of ice will...

Ooh! I like ice.

Bitch. Je n'suis pas une bitch.

Je serais une bourgeoise.

I am going to be madame Pommier, wife du professeur, avec le suntan.

And you should take care... Hey, where are you going?

I'm, uh... I'm going to get a glass of wine.

Ooh, get me one, too. Of course.

Johnny? Oui?

Tout va bien?

I'll be right back. I'll be right back. Don't worry.

What kind of people?

I'm going out.


I can see that.

I won't be long. I'm just going to go down the street.

Oui, oui.

What are you after?


Uh... nothing. Something, something. I don't know. I'm not sure.

We'll talk later, okay? I really won't be long. I promise.



Keep the door locked. Oui. Allez. Merci. Allez!




What do you mean, she's gone?

I came in to check her and she wasn't in the bed and I thought... maybe she was in the bathroom. I only left 40 fuckin' minutes ago!

Doctor, please. We put her across from the nursing station deliberately.

We've searched the floor, we've got the security people going through the rest of the building.

It's only a matter of time before we find her.

There's no way she could've gotten out of here without one of us seeing.

Hey, stop!



Salaud! Tu said depuis combien du temps?

Stop. Stop, stop, stop!

Hush, hush!

Quest-que c'est ca? Celles le libre?

Yes, I know about them. That's why I went out.

I wanted to know what kind of people...

Will you stop?

Will you stop?

Yes, I know about them!

And yes, I didn't tell you because I wanted to know what kind of people could think of a murder as some sort of shrine.

Will you listen to me?

I spent 30 hours following people who do not live anyplace.

√ącoute moi? Do not work anyplace.

I called the government, the state, their vehicle, it is not registered.

Why do you tell me this? Don't you understand?

They're nomads.

What? Nomads. Nomads, yes.

Like all of them. Like every place we've lived for the last 10 years.

Here? Yes, here, now. In this city.

In the middle of a modern city.

They go from one party to the next, one restaurant, one gas station, one motel.

These people live in parking lots!

In 30 hours, they did not stop moving. Don't you understand what I'm saying?

And I didn't...

I didn't call you and I didn't tell you because I didn't want to frighten you.

I should have called.

There was no reason.

Forgive me. Please, forgive me.

Forgive me. I'm very tired.

Very tired.

None of this may mean anything.

None of it at all.

I may have simply...

But I may have found people who are living outside.

Outside any structure.

They do not participate. No exchanges, no constraints.

They resort to violence at no provocation, and they get away with it.

It is as if to the official world they did not exist.

I don't know. I don't know.

You are a crazy man. Huh.

You know that?

I was so worried about you.

You look awful.

Awful. Awful.

Why do you push yourself so hard, huh?

You have not done this in a long time.

There is a roll of film I must see.


Phone's ringing.

She told me she was a doctor. How am I supposed to know?

She is a doctor.

Yeah, hello? Hi, I'm sorry...

Oh, Christ, she's got a machine! Hey, hey! Find the fucking machine!

Don't hang up, okay? Hang on!

I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Wait for the beep.

Yeah, hello? Hi, Eileen, I got the stuff...

No, no, no, this isn't Eileen. This is a friend who's been look...

Um, Eileen isn't in at the moment. Can I take a message?

Sorry, she called me... You spoke to her?

Mm-hmm. She called yesterday.

She asked about something and I wanted to get back to her.

Have you got a pencil? Yeah, uh, go ahead.

Okay, tell her that des innois is not a place, at least not one we could find, and no one around here seemed to think it had anything to do with anthropology.

There was, however... Eileen asked you about this?

Mm-hmm. There was, however, an eskimo word... Inuat...

It's pretty farfetched, but... Oh, look, I'm sorry, I shouldn't impose all this on you. Have Eileen call me at area...

No, no, no! Where are you? Are you here?

Pardon me? Where are you? Are you out here?

I'm in Boston, why? Um...

Look, just tell me, I'll get the gist of it for her. Do you mind?

No, uh...

It's apparently some sort of nomad myth. It has to do with wandering in the desert.

I thought you said it was eskimo. Well, it's all the same.

Nomads live in deserts, whether it's a desert of ice or sand or whatever... doesn't make any difference.

Apparently, the eskimos spend a good deal of time wandering on the ice....

Looks like she's been packing. ...and the Inuat...

There's another one over here.

Look, why don't you look in the bathroom and see if her toiletries are still there?

I'm sorry, did you say... I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.

Oh, nothing, I'm sorry. Um... and the inuat were...

Well, they were supposedly hostile spirits.

According to the myth, they were capable of assuming human form.

They, uh... here, wait a second.

Uh, "thought to inhabit places of past calamity.

"They brought disaster and madness to any humans who fell in with them.

"Only a myth, of course, but observers well into the 20th century

"marked how cautiously older eskimo approached strangers on the ice."


That's all we could find, I'm afraid.

I don't know if that answers her question or not.

Well, anyway, be sure and tell her we all miss her, and if she gets tired of all that sunshine, she's welcome back, all right?

Yeah. I'll tell her.

N'y sont pas.

Sont des inuat.

They're not there.

They're inuat.

Did Charlie say anything? No.


Ugh! Crap.

It's crap, crap, crap. Double crap.

Middle of the night listening to bullshit nonsense.

It's not my own life. Honest to God, Jesus.


Ca doit s'expliquer.

Ca doit s'expliquer. Il le faute.

Crazy son of a bitch!

I have a light here if you prefer.

They've shut off the power at this end of the building, I'm afraid.

It's only a small savings, of course.

But then again, in my case it's also...

a small sacrifice.

I keep this lantern for visitors.

However, there've been few of those of late.

Oh, forgive me, please. I, uh...

Forgive me for being so rude. I... I did not think that, uh...

You'll be forgiven for thinking the building abandoned.

Ah, yes. Yes, I... Yes, I did.

The handyman has, like so much of the world, grown somewhat lax.

It wasn't always like this, of course.

But now with only me here, why, I suppose it's a small matter.

You are... you are here alone?

Oh, I'll be following the others, eventually.

For now, I have been left here to look after things, as it were.

Though I'm not certain they saw the humor in it.

Oh, dear, now I'm being rude.

You may call me Bertril.

How do you do? Ah, I'm...

Mr. Pommier, yes.

Won't you have tea?

I haven't any lemon. But...

I trust that's all right.

They're usually so regular about sending the boy around with groceries.

I can't imagine what happened.


But perhaps I've got the days muddled again.

Oh, not that way, Mr. Pommier.

In here, if you will. You know about them, don't you?

There are places with pasts, Pommier.

Places with secrets.

Things... collect.

You just looked too closely.

Most people are luckier.

They never know that a certain percentage of what they see... is not there.

But the problem now is not what you know, it's what they know.



They know about you.

Go away, Pommier.

Leave your house and change your job. Go and hide yourself.

You can still survive this, but you must not try to fight them.

Listen to me. If you've never run from anything in your life, run from this.

They're leading you into another world. They're not real. They can't do anything.

They brought you here, Pommier.

What was this place? What happened here? You must leave now.

Don't pursue this.

It won't end with you, you know.

Go, do as I say.

For the sakes of those you'll lead them to.

Un cauchemar, un cauchemar, un cauchemar, un cauchemar.

I'm dreaming.

I'm dreaming. I'm dreaming.

Just dreaming. I'm just dreaming.

Very bad, very bad.

Tired... just tired.


What are you looking at?

You come up here late last night.

You seemed very ill.

You also seemed to know a lot about my husband.

What is it? I'm... embarrassed.

You sleep on the couch.

You were with, um... my husband when he's dead, no?

I am Veronique Pommier.

I know your name, Niki. I know your name! I know, I've seen!

No, no, rest calm. You're just tired.

Why don't we go out today, huh, and be like tourists?

Ca serait pas mal, no?

No! No, I don't want to go! Don't make me go! Don't leave me! No!

Ooh, la... It goes forever.

No! I don't want to go! Please stay away from me.

Please! Please!

Go where? Where don't you want to go?

He tried to tell me something and I couldn't understand.

He screamed...

His whole memory is in my head and I...

I don't understand. I don't know what he wants.

They're... hounding him, and I don't know what he wants.

Who? Who is doing that?

He thinks they're inuat.

That is what he meant.

How do you know this?

I was so frightened last night.

You were shaking.

Did you ever have a dream and not know when it started?

The old man on Atavak used to tell a tale of the dangers of travelling far, of hunting alone on the ice.

How one might no longer know what was... real.

We are so very far from home, you know.

All of us.

We have wandered so very far from home.

Please, stop.

It is not important. I was tired, eh?

I was tired, very tired.

I was stupid and went two days without sleep, hmm?

C'est fini, tout fini.

We should talk about our new life, eh?

Our bourgeois life in this civilized place.

Talk of things we planned, huh?

There'll be time enough for that.


Oui, oui.


You're wrong, you know.

He cares more for you than anything in the world.

Did Jean-Charles have any history of emotional problems?

No! Please.

Mais non. Please, anything.

Was there anything in his family? No.

Was he taking drugs? No.


Was there any radical change in his diet?

Hamburgers wrapped in plastic.

Did my husband lose his sanity?

I think so.

He's hallucinating.

Was hallucinating.


Oh, thank God, you are there.

Are you all right?

I think so.

We've been going out of our minds here. We even had the cops out.

Eileen, I went to your apartment last night, and some guy on the phone laid some weird rap on me about people who weren't really people?

Well, it spooked the shit out of me. Who the fuck was it anyway?

Oh, a friend, a friend back east.

What was that stuff about?

I'm not sure. It doesn't matter now anyway.

We'll talk.

Well, it scared the fuck out of me.

Listen, I've got the address and I'm gonna come pick you up.



I said I'm gonna come pick you up.

Oh, Cassie, I'm not sure you should.

Bullshit. I'll be there in a few minutes.


What did he do then?

You don't know?

You were on the tower and you looked at him and you said, "qu'est ce que tu as?"

And he was shaking... what did you do then?

We left that place very fast.

He took me to a hotel and told me to stay there.

And keep the door locked until he come back.

But he never come back.


The next day I come here and... everything is so strange.

I find two suitcases.

One was on the bed there... and the other was... the other one was there.


He was running.

He was taking the old woman's advice and he was running but something wouldn't let him... get away, wouldn't let him out.

Oh, Niki, what if he wasn't... Wasn't what?

What if he wasn't insane?

No, thanks. I don't want any.

No, look, I mean it. I don't want any, so go bug somebody else, okay?

Listen, sweetheart, I said I don't want any flowers so move your butt.


Hey, get out of my fucking car!

Get the fuck out of my car!

No! We've got to get out of here now.

If they knew about Jean-Charles, they know about us.

And we shouldn't be here.

Either of us.

You know where everything is. Depeches toi... il n'y a plus de temps.

You can't come back here.



But we've got to get out of here now.


Oh! Leave it, leave it, go.

Who are these people?

Who are these people?

Who are they?

Oh, God. You see them, too.

Operator, I need the police. The address is...

Up this way!

Help me! Help me!

Help me!



You saw what happened to Jean-Charles, no?

Tell me.

Are you sure?


But they'll be back.

Come on.

Okay, let go, let go.

Tell me.

Don't stop.

No matter what you see, don't stop.

Don't stop! Don't stop!