None But the Lonely Heart (1944) Script

[instrumental music]

[music continues]

[music continues]

[instrumental music]

Wait. What's this, what's this tonight?

Memorial services.

Armistice day tomorrow, you know.

Stay there, Nipper.

[instrumental music]

It might be my son.


Might be my old man.




[male narrator] When Ernie Mott humble citizen of the city of London saw for the first time the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior he little realized that he, Ernie Mott might someday soon become the Unknown Warrior of a Second World War.

Yes, someday soon, he might become a glowing legend for happy boys and girls living a life he merely dreamed about.

High destiny for quiet Ernie Mott who quarreled, hungered, loved, and was loved.

Well, this is his story, the story of Ernie Mott who searched for a free, a beautiful, and noble life in the second quarter of the 20th century.

[music continues]

[bells jingle]

[bells jingle]

[door opens]

Ernie, grub's ready!

Don't be all year about it or you'll have to fight the birds for it.

I'll be there in a minute, ma!

Oh, yes, yes.


Don't you think pork sausage too good for the beast?

Here, come on.

Nothin' too good for that dog, ma.

Part of myself, he is.

Don't like him, do you?

Where you been, Ernie?

Oh, knockin' about. I've been up north, all over the shop.

What's up?


Oh, you're standing there, looking as if I jabbed you with your own hatpin or something.

What did you come back home for, son?

Miss me?

Can't say I did, ma.

You know me, ducky. Tramp of the universe.

Anything in the shop needs mending, ma?

None that need your help, Ernie, sweets.

Besides, it's Sunday.

Painting? Polishing?

Doing a spot of gardening?

I mean to do my best by you, ma love.

Happy couple, aren't we?

A bit of proper respect is what's needed.

I get no more from you than I got from that father of yours.

And that's that.

That's that. So you got your choice.

What choice?

Stay or get out.

Take hold here and do a man's job or don't come back.

Stay put, so I don't have to keep frettin' my fat about you.

What call have you, anyway to go wanderin'

'round the country year in and year out like a breath of homeless wind?

Don't I treat you right or what?


I'll be off in the mornin'.

[clock chimes]

[bells jingle]

[instrumental music]

How is it, Ernie boy? Home for a time?

How'd you know I was back, ma?

I live so close, I can fairly hear you change your mind.

Nice music you've got on your wireless.

Don't know what I'd do without it.

The piano needs tuning, too. Mm.

I'll stop in and have a look at it around teatime.

So long, ma. Thanks, Ernie.

Hello, Dad. Hey, when are you mending that window?

Catch me mucking around with a window, Ern boy.

Life's too short.

You're a man after my own heart, you are, Dad.

[Aggie] 'Ern!'

See ya.

[train whistles]

Been home long?

Bring yourself in for a cup of tea.

Me basket's full of breakfast.

Come in anyway, Ern.

Practicing? It's a living.

And it pays to keep your tools sharp.

Good to be back.

Nicest drawing room in the neighborhood, this, eh.

It's yours whenever you want it.

Have to take you with it, do I, Aggie?

Do you want me to move out?

♪ He's the boy for me ♪

♪ I'm the girl for him ♪

♪ He's my lump of toffee cake and pudding ♪♪

You're the biggest fool I ever met, Aggie.


Black as the ace, I am. Don't you know it yet?

Matter of fact, ma gave me the ultimatum today

"Stay put or stay out," she says.

What are you going to do about it?




[bells toll]

[instrumental music]

[Ernie] 'You're a little flat there, Aggie.'

What's the music called?

'"None but the lonely heart."'


No, Russian.


Oh, well..

[Aggie] 'See you tonight?'

Right. 'About 9:00?'

All alike, you women.

I don't go on no timetables like a train.

I'm Ernie Mott, citizen of the great smoke and I don't stay put!

I understand.

Do you?

Of course.

Well, then maybe I'll see you tonight.


Maybe I will.

Or maybe I won't. Who gave you that?

What? The dimple in your chin.

A present from me pa.

Bye, Aggie. Bye, Ernie boy.

Watch 'er, Peggy. Hello.

[children clamoring]

Hi, Elsie.

Hello. Hi, Ernie.

What's comin' off? Sunday, or ain't it?

Nobody home, nobody home!

But it's me, Dad. Ernie Mott!

Oh! For you..

I ain't seen you in three months, have I?

You're blocking the door, Dad.

Miss me, did ya?

Had your postcard from up north.

Don't let any grass grow under your feet, do ya?

Dad, how do we go for some smokes today?

I'm so broke, I'm two halves.

What, again?

Think it grows on trees, do you?

Oh, now, Dad, You're not giving me the boot, are ya?

What cigars you got?

May we feed the fishes?


Oh, the way those kids carry on, Ern.

Cigars, Dad.

Oh, cigars?

Well, I got a very doubtful stock of them.

Can't make out what happens to things lately.

I got an old Burma cheroot somewhere.

Got more respect for me guts, I have.

Give us a large Rigby's.

Can't sell cigarettes on Sunday, you know, Ern.

Who said anything about selling?

[chuckles] A large Rigby's it is.

Ah, gent.

Proper lovely to be alive and have friends like you, Dad.

Remembering you in my will, I am.

Don't think I'll live to see the day, do you?

How's your ma? Who ma?

Oh, she goes on like an engine.

The Tower of London don't do no better.

Bye, Dad. Drop in again, Ern.

[piano music]

[indistinct chatter]

[male #1] 'Here, come on here, folks! Here, walk up! Walk up!'

'Here you are. Three for a penny! Come along here.'


'Here he is, gents.'

'The best shot of the district'

'and learned here.'

Here you are. Have a packet, sir.

Hold me dog, please, mate?

Show 'em how it's done. Alright, alright.

Stand back. Let the man see the rabbit.

Now, gents, watch the fur fly!

Quiet, please, while the shots is took.


[laughs] There we are!

Eight shots, eight shots. And all where they should be.

Right in the black hole of Calcutta!

I told you he was, and this is him!

Here you are, governor. Here are your fags.

And good luck to ya!

Thanks for holdin' me dog.

Oh, hello. Haven't I seen you before?

Here. Here's a present for you. You know..

[music stops]

Don't like music?

Out of tune.

I'm Mordinoy. Jim Mordinoy.

Am I supposed to know you?

Thought as how you might.

Ever fight your pup?


What about the piano?

What about it?

Well, do I tune it, or do I don't?

Costs you only half a bar.

Well, life's easier than that.

Take a quid, and leave the piano undisturbed.

Now, why would I take your quid?

Just to be a pal.


Hmm. What's that I smell on you, hair oil?

You know, I can't understand why a man of your talents wears them rags.

Clothes are a lot of blinkin' excitement about nothing most of the time.

As to what you call My "rags," they are the uniform of my independence.

[Jim] 'Clothed in your perfect pitch, you are, I suppose.'

'Now you understand me, Mr. Mordinoy.'

Life is a piece of meat when you know how.

What's most of 'em floatin' around in here, eh?

Victims. Hurry, worry, and scurry to make a bit of brass.

Right? Right.

Now, what's your kind, Mr. Mordinoy?

Willful and deceitful. Take what you want.

Right? Right.

So, that's what it's all about. Be a victim or be a thug.

I suppose you don't want to be neither. Like me.

Not the hare, and not the hound. Then what?

[Ada] 'Then what?'

[Ernie] 'Who's talkin' to you?'

Hey, who's the piece of pastry in the jersey?

Ada Brantline.

[clicks tongue]

Fair blinds you with science, don't she?

She don't like the rough stuff.

Have to box clever there.

Yes, I suppose you would.

Change, please, miss.

You're new here, aren't you?

Hey, who's this Mordinoy?

Run the place now, does he?

Wouldn't dirty his hands on it.

Now, what's he doing here?

It happens that gentlemen come in to converse with me.

Now, kindly move on.

How do I get in your good books, Ada?

'There we are!' 'Very good, sir!'

Lovely fingernails.

What's up? Don't you know when your health is good?

Wished I was a painter.

And you'd do what?

Well, what does a painter do?

In this book..

...a painter does some very strange things.

Calls it art, too, he does.

You an artist? Me? Phew.

Tune pianos, that's me.

Play the piano by ear, polish furniture shoot rodents with a rifle.

Are there bugs in your house?

Send for Ernie Mott.

I know how to medicate dogs and cats.

Excellent at repairing clocks and other delicate machinery.

I invent inventions!

What you invent?

Oh, well..

I see.

I happen to be working on my greatest invention at the present time.

A human animal which don't look for a master.

Ain't easy.

Listen. Come closer.

I like that kind of talk.

You do?

Sounds barmy as the muffin man, but I like it.

Well, it brings up just one question, Ada, dear.

What? What time you get off?

Half 6:00, 'round the back.

Thank you.

Change, miss.

[dramatic music]



Thank you, sir.

Charitable sort, you are.

Oh, that?

Friend of mine. Knew him when.

When what? When he was a man.

Old Ike Weber, a friend of my ma's, told me this.

"As I was out walking

"I saw in the distance what seemed an animal.

"Come up closer, and see it was a man.

Come still closer, and see it was my brother."



[instrumental music]

Quiet as mice, ain't we?

What you lookin' at?

Tell us.

Tired, ain't you?

Always tired.

My feet's just about wore off.

Let's go. Nice strong cup of tea for two.

What's the dog doing here?

I don't go out with dogs, you know.

Alright. I'll drop him off on the way.

Come on.

Kissing you like that the first meeting.

Never done a thing like that before in my whole life.

[Ernie] 'Lucky me.'

Lucky you.

Well, now...five red beetles on the end of your fingers.

Look at that.


G sharp. The pitch of that.

Perfect pitch, that's me.

G sharp.

Not one in a million has that, didn't you know?

Very unusual person, didn't you know?

Are you?

Well, of course, and all I wanna do is put my arms around you and hold you tight and murder anyone who'd say a blind word to you.

Interesting program, but what's it get me?

[Ernie] 'Only trouble.'

[instrumental music]

Why don't you put that hat on?

I don't want to spoil me hair.

Meetin' someone?

It's late. Later than I thought.

Time is not of the essence with me.

No place to go, and goin' there tomorrow.

I don't pretend to know what that means.

Never see me happy home again.

Fight like cats with ma, I do.

Told her off today. So, it's the end.

She don't know they milk the cow that stands still.

She wants me in that silly, dusty business of hers squeezing pennies out of paupers, huh!

No, thanks. No, thank you.

[music continues]

You mean, you're leaving London in the morning?

Can't think of any reason not to, can you?

Invitin' me in? No.

My aunt and uncle's asleep in the back.

I'd like to smash you one with this!


I feel like I know you a whole lifetime, Ada, dear.

Do you want to see me cry?

No. Then say goodbye, and go away.

[music continues]

No sense to this, is there?

You're leaving to London in the morning.

Just wasting our time, that's all.

You're a stranger. I meet you, suddenly.

You ever been in love, Ern?

I mean, you make me feel 12 years old again.

I don't know why.

You're the only man I've met in a million years who gives me this slightest sort of feeling.

Say goodbye now, and that's the end of it.

I'll drop by the funfair tomorrow.


Goodnight, Ada. Goodbye, young boy.

In the end, you wouldn't give me what I need.

Confidence is what a woman needs.

Confidence? Yes.

Good thing, then, you won't see me again.

Black as the ace, I am, Ada girl.

No future in me for anyone like you.

No confidence.

Goodnight, Ada.



No question, Mrs. Mott.

It's worth every penny you ask, irregardless.

I'll send by Mr. Lesser for it this afternoon.

It goes in my private collection.

Where could I find the heart to sell such an object?

Good enough, Ike..

...if you can afford it.

Maybe your son would like to clean the mechanism.

He's got real talent for such things.

I see your mind is somewhere else today.

Still the same old trouble?

He won't stay home?

Proud as the queen's carriage, he is and independent.

He's leaving home for good today.

Uh, excuse me for mentioning it.

But why don't I talk to him?

You've got to help me, Ike.

[Ike] 'But of course, irregardless.'

I'm, uh, ill.

What your wife up and died of.


Might happen sooner than I think.

Thinking out loud.

It would be very fine if you had him with you for..

...for the next few months.

You need sleep and special considerations.

That's impossible with him walking around the country.

Why don't you tell him?

No, but, Mrs. Mott, isn't it possible that maybe you exaggerate his feelings?

[bells jingling]

I brought Joey 'round again.

[bells jingling]

What are them pills for?

Yeast tablets.

I don't think they'd do you any good, do you?

At least as much as you do.

See, that's what I mean.

Never an hour of peace between us.

I reckon the stork brought you the wrong sort of son.

I wouldn't be surprised.

[Ernie] 'You'll never get me to stay here'

'and run this shop!'

'Not if the sky fell.'

I'm not in the business of sweating pennies out of the devils poorer than me self.

Not if they dragged me home here with both me legs cut off!

I'd crawl out in the street again, I would.

Someday you'll know I'm your only friend.

Less said, the better.

Eat your breakfast.

Goodbye! Nipper.

I'll drop you a postcard from the seaside.

[bells jingling]

[instrumental music]

Where you off to? Rehearsals.

Had your breakfast?

I'm goin' up to Tate's.

Tate's! Tsk, tsk, tsk.

I'm sick of this street.

I've smelled it for almost five times seven years. Hm!

Quick, let a wind come and blow it all to pieces.

Well, I'm leaving for good now.

Miss me, will you?

Well, it's nothing to do with me mind if you quarrel with your ma.

Yes. I'll miss you.

Marry you quick if I had the chance.

What about money?

Money talks, they say.

All it ever said to me was "Goodbye."

Support me, would you?

If you wanted me to.

Think you can handle me, Aggie?

I know how to handle you. Not handle you at all.

Leave you be.

Never been so tempted in all me born days.

Think about it.

You know the address.

Oh, I'm late. I've got to hurry.

Goodbye, Ernie.

♪ The gray dawn is breaking ♪ Bye, Aggie.

♪ The horn of the hunter is heard ♪♪ Nipper, you stay there.

A big fourpenny bit, and two of chips.

Looking very prosperous there, Len new fixtures and all.

Yes, I got mine.

Looks as if it's all in your teeth.

[clicking tongue]

Ain't it time you stayed home and settled down in business for yourself, son?

Me? Hmm...if that's what you happen to want.

It's safe, that's what it

Well, if it isn't Ike Weber what brings you to the neighborhood?

And how is Mr. Mott today?

What an honor, Mr. Mott.

Come down for some of Tate's famous chips, did you?

Mm-hmm. Everything with a kiss.

I'm glad I ran into you. Are you?

I need two pounds' worth of clock repairs.

I'm on me way to Liverpool, Ike.


Don't they use money in Liverpool anymore?

A gent!

Ah, ancient history.

"To Edward from Mary, with love."

You know, Ike..

...give me good old quiet machinery anytime.

She wants a quid on this, an old lady.

Give it to her, an old lady, Mr. Lesser.

Everything with a kiss.

Clocks. Clocks. Tick-tock.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

Did you ever realize your mother was once upon a time maybe the most beautiful woman in the east end of London?

In the old days, I mean.

What about it?

Excuse me if I put a flea in your ear.

Your mother is a very sick woman.

You owe me two pounds, Ike.

Pay it. I'll be on me way.

[snapping fingers]

[dramatic music]

What is it she's got, a pain for her no-good son?

Your mother is not a superficial woman, Mr. Mott.

When she gets ill, she gets ill.

What is it? Cancer.

[music continues]

I recommend you're not to say a word to her.

Everything with a kiss.

[dramatic music]

Mm. Hmph.

What are you laughing about, son?

Are you laughing? Huh?

I thought I heard you laughing.

Seems like I saw you before.

Wasn't it the other night in Westminster?

What's your name, son?

Ernie Mott.

As the bacon said to the egg

"So pleased to meet you."

Henry Twite's, my name.

Ernest Verdun Mott.

That's mine, if you want it all.

And how did you come by a rare, old title like that?

Me father.

He rolled up there at Verdun in the last war.

A friend of mine put something in my ear and I can't get it out.

Buzz, buzz, buzz.

Been drinking, have you?

Lor Lummey, you got it bad.

I know all about trouble, I do.

Son of my bosom, that's what you are.

Son of your nothing.

I'm a lone wolf, barking in a corner..

...plain disgusted with a world I never made and don't want none of.

There's the river, boy. Help yourself.

Don't like water neither, I see.

Ah, that's different, that is.

Sweating like that on a night like this you'll catch your death of double pneumonia.

Come along with me to a place where it's warm and dry.

Give you a chance to rub down a bit.

[piano music]

[Ernie] Here we are, Dad. Dad. Oh, Dad.

Echo! Echo! Echo!

I'll see you soon again.

[Ernie] Echo!

What for, Dad? Echo..

Maybe help you to get more adjusted to your environment.

Now, wait.

Why not help my environment get more adjusted to me?

Follow that?

Buzz, buzz, buzz. Verdun, you're drunk.

You are. Oh, I am that, Dad.

Echo! Echo! Echo!

♪ Oh starry night ♪

[Ernie whistling]

♪ Oh starry night ♪

♪ Dee dee dee dee ♪

♪ Deedle-dee di ♪♪ Oh, well. Say good night.

See you soon.

And me feet killing me.

Goodnight, Dad.

Night, Verdun.

Echo, echo, echo.

Buzz, buzz, buzz.

[instrumental music]

[bells jingling]

[music continues]

[inhales sharply]

Changed my mind.

Home to stay.

Less said, the better.

[music continues]

[door closed]


Knock off on that pipin', Ernie boy.

Get up to ma Tate's, and get some grub.

Spirit of the morning, ma.

Here's you and here's me all in one piece in working order.

Ta-ra-ching! Well, ain't I lovely?

Proper dream, you are.

All blistered up from weeks of work.

I'm gonna need some more green paint for that sign.

Pick it up at Pa Pretty john’s.


Hey, where are you off to?

Off to the White chapel Road, do a bit of business.

Don't know how long I'll be.

Take charge of the shop.

See how you go.

Makes me proud. You think I can do that, ma love.


Slosh you one.

Ain't so long since I was washing out your baby napkins.

Come on, Nipper. Well, you takin' Nipper?

Why not? Cradled him, didn't I?


...put that in your pocket.

See how you like it.


Right. Slosh you one.

[bells jingling]

Oh, hello, ma.

How's your poor old feet, ma?



I think I'll hang her up in my room.

'What for?' 'Reminds me of a person.'

Reminds me of a Christmas goose.

Here, take this with you.

Hop it now, up to your room.

What is it, ma?

There's gonna be sausage and mash for supper.

So, don't be late comin' down.

[instrumental music]


Makes me give at the knees, this surprise of yours.

Glad you like it, son.

Supper's nearly ready.

[serene music]

Sit down and have your supper, son.

Wish you'd walk past Fish and Chips.

Let that Mrs. Tate see you.

Not to mention dear Ma Fadden and her plaster-haired Alf.

[chuckles] Surprise 'em all, won't I?

Surprises me most.

Just like your father did on his best days, that is.

Did you love my old man?

Love is not for the poor, son.

No time for it.



I expect you to do something for me tonight.


Stroll around a bit with me. We could see a film.

The two and four penny seats. Go on, sauce.

Don't you try any of them larks on me.

I'm old enough to be your mother.

[both laughing]

Come on, ma. Do it.

Couldn't do it, son. Why not?

Too rich for my blood.

Besides, sleep's a blessed thing.


What's wrong, ma? Something hurt you?

Nothing of the sort. What gave you that idea?

Got a funny story right on the tip of me tongue.

About a little man in the park.

Get them yeast tablets up on the mantelpiece.

Tummy ache.

[heavy breathing]

What about that funny story, son?

Oh, yeah.

Uh, well, this little man is in the park, see? He..

That's peculiar. It slipped my mind now.

Ache all gone? Nothin' to it.

Sausage ain't right for delicate appetites.

Go on. You-you cook 'em a treat, ma.

Worst cook in London town.

Don't you try butterin' me up on my cookin'.

If it's a pound you want to have a good time you'll find it up there under the vase.

That's it, ma.

Seen right through me, you did.

Off you go, then.

Tomorrow's Sunday, so don't matter how late you come back, only don't wake me.

Well, uh, well, I'm off, ma.

Have a good time, boy. Thanks, ma.

Hey, hey, your hat's on crooked.

[instrumental music]

[bells jingling]

[Ernie] 'Quiet as a little mouse.'

Listen, Ernie.

I'm sorry you've come back.


Rolled an ice-cold pickle jar down my back, you did.

You mean that, Ada?

You're not serious.

I'm not an apple, you know to take a bite of and throw away.

I thought about it for five weeks whether or not to see you again.

That's serious.

'What are you lookin' at, Ada?'

'See a parade goin' by?' Yes.

Maybe a whole bloomin' parade of troubles.

You can't fight it out out here, you know.

There's places for such things.

Best find one.

[bells jingling]

Who's that?

Me, Mrs. Mott. Millie Wilson.

'Alone are you?'

You're drunk? No.

Give it up, I did. Give it up.

Ma Snowden sent me.

She got herself half a dozen feather pillows soft enough for aristocracy.

Never slept on, neither.

Where'd they come from?

Usual place? Yes.

You know, I don't handle stolen goods, Millie?

She'd sell them cheap, she would, dearie, Mrs. Mott.

[Mrs. Mott] 'No.'

Three or four fine woolen blankets too dearie, Mrs. Mott.



Quiet. Sorry, Mrs. Mott.

[bells jingling]

[clock chiming]

[instrumental music]

Now, be a good boy, Ernie, and say good night.

What a way you have of making simple things difficult.

Think so?

Suppose a certain party don't happen to like me seeing you?

Who would that be? Jim Mordinoy.

Mordinoy, the flash boy?

How has he crept into your young scientific life?

Didn't say he had, did I?

There's about 20 good kisses left in me but he'll never get one.

Told him so?

More than once.

Then that's that.

According to whose book?

Ernie Mott's.

I'd blind him out of two eyes quick as see him.

Here's hoping you don't try.

Now, say good night, Ernie, and let's forget it all.

We alright for next Wednesday night?

Take me dancing?

Anything you like, Ada.

Here's five beetles on it.

[music continues]

Give over, boy. You'll mash me to a pulp.

Wednesday, half nine, then. That's it.


Okey-doke, Aggie. It's a friend.

Oh, what are you doing out this late at night?

Bit of fresh air.

Tall tonight. The high-heeled shoes.

I've just finished playing at a club dinner.

You know, what they're like.

A lot of men smoking their annual cigars and getting tight and showing off.

I get sick of it.

I thought you'd forgotten me.

Ah, not at all.

Want some coffee?

No, thanks, Aggie.

You're a fortune teller, Aggie?

So what?

I'm on the fringes of a great romance.

What'll I do?

Have it.

But it's not you, Aggie.

That's no news, is it?

I know you like it honest.

[Aggie] 'Don't often meet a cavalier this late at night.'

But it ain't fair to you, these sort of meetings.

Oh, really, Ern, you're a fool.

Moody, you're clever, you're human, but you're a fool.

Why, you're trying to tell me that you love another girl isn't that it?

I've known for weeks why you're home to stay.

No, that isn't why, Aggie.

Well, then, why?

Me ma's ill.

Last card in the pack, it looks.

All roads lead to ma this year.

What we start talkin' about?

Nothing that won't keep.

I better make a move.

I get an idea of a sudden she don't sleep every night.

Mind the step.

Wait a minute, Ernie.

Don't worry for me.

I'm here if you need me.

I can't help my own nature.

If I love you, it's something I can't help and something that I need.

People are what they are and love what they love and I don't see any sense in trying to be something else.

I wouldn't trade it for a box at the opera the thing I feel for you.

And you can't change it, or take it away from me.

So, there you are, Mr. Jack-in-the-box.

Now cross over and sleep well.


You don't think it's worth more, Ike?

To my mind, no, Mrs. Mott.


[Ike humming]

It adds up just under 200 pounds.

The piano not included.

It's very disappointing.

You expected it to be more?

That's nothing.

It would go through his generous hands in a year.

Look at him out there.

Never know it was the same boy, would you?

There's such things as prayers being answered, you know?


The places of the world are empty and the human heart is everything.

Oh, that's a speech. Mm-hm.

Well, I'll go.

Thank you, Ike. You're a sport.

Any time, Mrs. Mott.

The pleasure to serve you, irregardless.

[bells jingling]

[instrumental music]


Ah, me, Verdun boy! How are ya?

[Ernie] 'Fine.'

How's your ma and your other relatives?

What do you got there, two ton of coal?

Selling fruit around the pubs at the moment.

Doing a rare old trade and all.

That your ma playing peekaboo in there?

Call her out. A person of me own generation.

Ma, want you to meet an old friend of mine.

Henry Twite.

Asked how I was, did you?

Well, can't grumble. Been better, been worse.

Alright with you, me old china?

Ain't bad, Mr. Twite. Could be better.

This is from your hopeful heir sent by a dutiful son who's looking after his ma while she's still here to be looked after.

You buy these for me, son? Hmm.

Looks like you made a hit there, son.

Yeah, looks like I did. Thanks.

Box of doll's eyes. Hm?

Found 'em in a shipment.

Hey, hey. Where are you off to?

Why don't you stay and have a cup of tea?

No, meet me almost any night at Tiger's Place.

Give me a leg up. Alright.

Can't dally with friendship when making a living's in the air, you know?

Oh-oh, I should say so. Come on.

[instrumental music]

Lovely man, that. Oh-oh, I should say so.

Never had anything like that give me.

Some people don't even tune a piano for me when it's promised.

Anyone so thoughtless ought to have their bottom spanked, ma.

I'll be over in a minute. Just have to get me machinery.

Nice man, that Twite.

Best of the best.

Had a quiet sniff, did you?

Let's change the subject or I'll howl, I will.

Promised to tune Ma Chalmers' piano.

[bells jingles]

Someone in the shop.

[music continues]

[both laughing]

What you think you're doing with my Millie Wilson?

Your Millie Wilson? Doing what?

Three or four nights ago, you set the dog on her.

You're as daft as she is.

Come here, Millie.

Didn't you say she set the dog on you?

Yes, she did. That one. The white one. Him.

Wish I had, that's what. 'Wish you had.'

That's the trouble with you, Mother Mott.

Don't you Mother Mott me, Jane Snowden.

Two ticks, I'll put you both in the gutter.

If you raise your voice to me.

I can see that you don't realize what's involved here.

'Not three or four'

'but five hundred pounds.'

'And just for selling stolen goods.'

What's the income of your shop compared with sums like that?

Shopliftin', that's plain. Save your breath.

[Jane] 'No it ain't.'

'Me and me friends do the lifting.'

'You just do the selling.'

That's just like walking through an orchard picking apples.

What's wrong about that?

No bid. No bid, Mrs. Snowden.

You tire me out, you do.

Well, I've nothing more to say.

I shan't waste me time.

There's Ma Mott, I says.

Let her make enough, I says to live out her life in peace..

...and maybe leave a bit for her boy, I says.

'Good old Mother Mott, I says.'

'There's the gratitude, Millie. Called a thief.'

Something for the book, that's what it is.

But I've got nothing more to say.

But if you happen to change your mind.. know where I'll be.

Five hundred pounds, I says.

Not less.

[bells jingling]

[instrumental music]

Like me, Ernie?

A bit.

I have three reasons why I don't care for this dancing.

One, I don't dance good enough.

Two, it's too hot.

And three, what's Mordinoy doing here?

He owns this place.

What makes that tie the lamb's tail?

Want to stop?

Suits me.

[music continues]

Now, don't you think I know three's a crowd?

He sort of invited himself. He's not important.

I can hardly keep my hands off him.

Listen, 20 boys here would carve you up like a side of beef if he so much as said the word.

Don't be so romantic, Ernie, dear.

Save it for me.

The evening's young, don't forget.

Sit down now, shall we?


How about me, Ada? Do I get the next one?

[Ada] 'Let's get me breath. Think I'm made of?'

[Jim] 'Couldn't give it a name.'

'But I'll find out one of these days.'

[Ada] 'Kids himself something cruel.'

I love the way those saxes come out.

Sort of in kid gloves.

Just loud enough to be heard.

I wish I could live out my time like this.

[Jim] 'Perfect pitch don't hear a word you're saying, battler.'

What's this stuff called?

[both laughing]

[crows applauding]

What's funny?

I thought everybody over 16 knew champagne when he felt it in his gizzard.

I won't be 16 until next March.

You're well developed for a boy.

I don't want no quarrels here.

Quarrels? Mott likes me. He won't fight with me.

Don't you, Mott? Don't you like me?

Why should I like a mug like you?

Half a spoonful of lemonade and he's bandy-legged.

That's what I like about you, Mott, your attitude.

'It'll kill you or make you.'

By the way, Ada. I bought the funfair today.

[instrumental music]

Ada, I've been waiting years for this.

How about a turn or two?

I'm sorry, Mr. Mordinoy.

Mr. Mordinoy don't mind, Sid.

How's your ma doing in that shop of hers?

Who told you about that?

Oh, it interested me to find out.


You're a cut above the usual article that floats around.

Only a cut?

There's that attitude again.

Ada is interested in you, it seems.

Nothing special.

And I'm interested in Ada, very special.

[music continues]

I'm going to do something for you, Mott.

Like to stuff your pockets?

You know, where Ermington Street is?

Tattamy's garage?

I'm there any morning.

You've got talents and imagination.

Work hard for me, and you'll start at 50 pounds a week.

Breaking whose neck?

Don't you think your being rude?

[music continues]

I've been after Ada too long to lose her for even a second.

She knows it.

Now, you know it.

But she won't wear you, seems like.

Ada was always a bit giddy.

I recall a couple of weekends at Brighton years ago.

We shared adjoining rooms until we--

Now, look here. What's the matter with you?

What are you interrupting me for?

Huh. I remember it used to give me a special sort of pleasure to choose her clothes.

Now, wait a minute!

You're young and excitable, Mott.

Sit down.

Ada is Mrs. Mordinoy.




Wait a minute.

[man laughs]

Mrs. Mordinoy?

Used to be me name.

What'd you want? Me whole life history in a flash?

Might have told me it was a family quarrel.

'Cause it isn't.

Be two years next month we're divorced.

Won't wash, Ada ducks.

What won't wash?

Less said, the better.

Quick's the word, then.

There's the door.

Morning, ma. Morning, son.


What happened to you last night?

Hit by a train, head-on collision.

Half the wheels still spinning in me head.

Oh, my! Sheep's heart again?

Are we that poor to be eating the insides of sheeps and cows day in, day out?

Millions are worse off, son.

Poor, putrid millions.

[male #2] 'What's the price of this one, Mrs. Mott?'

Percy Floom and Flo, lookin' over some weddin' stuff on his day off.

[bells jingling]

Make a lovely match, they will.

Yes, to start a fire.

Proper case, ain't she?

Nice sensible head on her, for all that.

He'll have a happy life.

Blinking idiots, the pair of 'em.

Gettin' married.

I'd like to see a nipper or two of yours before I get took off.

Shan't be here always, you know.

You'll have this shop for your own.

You're all fixed up for a home.

Why don't you look around?

Had too many looks around.

And what an ugly, unsanitary life it is.

Needn't be. But it is.

Lots of love in you, Ernie.

Wants an object...something to lavish it on.

What's wrong with you,ma? You’re an object.

For Keats, please.

Which book, nipper?

Boot club. Boot club?

Keats, Keats, Keats..

Savin' up for a pair of boots, are ya?

Yes, sir, Mr. Mott.

That makes two and thrupence so far, right?

How long does it take to save for the boots?

Twenty-seven weeks, sir.

Your ma always goes three and a tanner on him and you know it!

Sorry, but I can't pay you more than what the book says.

Then you can take it or leave it, you and your ma!


[female #1] 'So, you're throwin' me out, are ya?'

No, no. I'm not throwing you out.

I just can't give you more than half a crown for it, that's all.

Then, I'll take it.

But I'll tell your ma on you. You wait!

No feelings, no nothin', you young blokes!

No matter to you what we has to go through, does it?

Here's your money.



Hey, lovey?

Speak to your mum, ducks! Speak to her, boy!

Here, Ern. You reckon he's alright, do you, Ern?


[dramatic music]


Here, old girl. Here, old girl!

Take half a crown.

Here's Joey.


What's up now? Pinched somethin', has she?

[intense music]

Peace! That's what I'm looking for!

I want peace!

With happy hearts..

...and straight bones, without dirt and distress!

Surprises ya, don't it? Peace!

That's what us millions want.

Without having to snatch it from the smaller dogs.

Peace to be not a hound and not a hare.

But peace with pride to have a decent human life..

...with all the trimmings.

[Mrs. Mott] 'Won't find nothin' like that in this world.'

'Not inourtime, son.'

No way to beat it, boy.

There's a way..

Travel with the hounds.

Where you off to?

A walk around.

Nipper.. Leave Nipper here.


[instrumental music]

[intense music]

Open it.

I don't want no more trouble in my life, Ern.

I've had a big packet of it in my time.

No more, Ern. Not from you and not from Jim.

I'm leaving here as soon as I find another job.

I was feeling as if I'd just started living.

Were you?

I ought to hate you, didn't I?

But I don't.

Want to come in half a minute?

Want me to?

There's something that I'd like you to see.

Very mysterious, the room of the girl you love.


Yes...that's my kiddie.

The little girl of all my dreams.

What a wallop you give me, Ada.

Put your face up half a mo'.

Put your arms around me.

Aren't you happy to see me?

Yes, you make me very happy.

But I have to tell you..

I'm thinking of going in with Mordinoy.

I want to get some money. I don't know how to get it sooner.

Really, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry I ever see you.

You'll do time. He'll see you will, Jim will.

I'm sorry I ever see you.

My eye, what a girl.

Don't she ever get tired of saying goodbye?

[music box plays softly] That's right.

Wake my kiddie.


You got any sense in you?

I could murder you myself.

What would you want me for? Be your girl? Your wife?

The next week, be poking you bananas through the bars?

I see your point, Ada. But I'll never let you go.

No, you don't. You don't touch me ever again.

No, you don't.

Ada, girl, don't die on me.

What can I lose if I do a job or two for him?


Do you hear that? Me.

Listen, Ernie Mott.

The world I want can be as small as this one room but I have to know it's here tomorrow,too.

Yes, I'm as old-fashioned as sealing wax.

I believe every girl should be married.

But it wants a solid base..

...not policemen and being slashed about, see?

Tile baths and all, silks and jewels..

That's why I left him.

Now, I'll only start crying, so give over now.

Say goodbye.

I'll say goodnight.

Goodnight, Ada?

[mellow music]

Where you goin', happy face?

Here to see Mr. Mordinoy.


Oh, Jim! A customer here.

Oh, Mott.

Now, this is the lad I was telling you about.. of Mott.

Ernie, boy, this is Slush Atley.

Hello. How she go, Ernie boy?

And Cosh Simmons.

He never shakes hands.

Is Ernie a buyer, Jim, or joining the Riding Academy?

Joining the academy.

He's going to learn a thing or two off of you, I hope.

Or maybe teach you something.

[chuckles] You can never tell with Mott.

Then, 7 o'clock tomorrow morning, Ernie boy.

We don't keep gentlemen's hours here.

Okey-doke. Well..

Better come on and see what's goin' on around here, Ernie.

Alright. How's Ada?

Don't see her too often, Mr. Mordin--

[Slush] 'This way, Mott.'

But nothing won't never take the place of ice, it seems to me.

I would say the same, ma.

Well, I've never seen nothing to beat this.

Never on land or sea!

Makes its own ice! Why, that's magic!

Money belongs in the bank, don't it, ma?

In the bank, that's what. That's where you want it.

Sticking it up on a wall or on your back won't get you nowhere. Heh-heh.

You'll catch it, my lad, if you go buying me any presents.

Oh.. Come on, son.

Good evening, Mrs. Mott.

[chuckles] Jealous.

She's jealous!

Clara Tate's a copyrighted nuisance.

Just the smell of her is a meal.


How's my daughter? Splitting headache.

Oh, why don't you go out in the air and sit with Ike?

I'll bring you out a glass of stout.

Hey, where's Nipper? Put upstairs for the night.

[plays the record]

Happy, ma?

Where'd the money come from, bought all this?

Money? Where does money come from, ma?

You earn it, you steal it you find it, someone leaves it to you.

Find yours under a tree?

That's it, ma.

[Mrs. Mott] 'Hope you won't find anymore,son.'

[clock bell tolling]

Workin' for Jim now, ain't you?

Down at the club last night.

Doing what?

Can I trust you now?

Do you want me to shout?

[sighs] Bash me one and get it over with.

I'll shout if you want me to.

Bash me proper, so I don't never wake up again.

God help us, I don't know what we're in for, you and me.

Don't you see I love you?

But don't you see you can't eat your cake and have it too.

It's me or him.

And if it's me, we got to go away.

Oh, why go away? What about him?

He watched me from the balcony office all the afternoon.

Called me in at suppertime, yelling away like one o'clock.

I've never seen him like that before.. Jealous!

On and on, like a piece of music.

I owe your kiddie a toy. What about him?

He pops a few raisins in his mouth and has us done away with.

Oh, Ada, dear, quiet down. You talk so wild.

I won't be wild somewhere far away.

And the sooner we went, the better.

I'd have my kiddie, you'd have me. We'd have a future.

Ada, girl... Rome wasn't built in a day.

It's yes or no, Ernie Mott. No two ways about it.

What worries you? My kiddie?

I can leave her with my aunt.

No, it's not your kiddie, Ada.

It's my ma.

She's been took queer. She's very ill.

I couldn't leave her.

That's the end, then. No.

Give me time to use my brain and look about.

What's the use of that?


Look, it's my birthday tonight.

Just give me a bit of time for a gift.

See me home, then.

I'm freezing here.


Just give me time to think.

Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid.

[dramatic music]

He'll want three cars, Cosh boy.

Done. Where's Mott, Jim?

Don't he go with us? That's right. Where is Mott?

I miss anything?

Buy yourself an alarm clock, Mott.

Cosh likes everything in order.

Punctuality is the essence of our business.

See you all later.

It's skins tonight.

Belnic's Fur Shop in the Brompton Road.

Meet here at six. Okey-doke.

Better stroll up there and have a look in daylight.


[engine revving]

Something in your eye, Mott?

What? Something you wanted to say?

Me? No, not a thing at the moment.

Oh, cigarette?

Never smoke in the afternoon, thank you.

Present from me ma.

Mm, platinum?

Silver, she said.


Your ma knows what's what.

[engine revving]

As a matter of fact, something I did want to say.

A friend of mine's in trouble.

Coppers? Girl.

He loves a girl and she loves him.

All happy, then.

No, that's the trouble.

A third party there, acting like a dog in the manger.

The girl don't like him..

...but he's a big boy and he's promised to make enough trouble for my friend to start a business.

What's your friend's name?

Name of Ernie. Oh, like you.

What's the big boy's name?

Name of Jim, like you.

Well, if your friend's as good-looking as you..

...what's he want to get married for?

Waste of time, ain't it?

'Jim?' What's up, Taz?

I pawned a ruby ring last week and I went there to get it, and they say the police took it.

Why? Stolen property, they said.

Is it?

How could it be?

My married sister gave it to me last year.

The old lark. It's been worked before.

Tell Slush to warm up a car. And get Cosh.

Oh, thanks, Jim. That's great.

Can't treat the family like that, can they, Mott?

We'll have to go there and show 'em.

Don't figure you want me to go along, do you?

But ain't you one of the family anymore?

[bell dings]

Now, then. What's the matter?

What's your game, you slimy stink?

What did I do?

Where's my friend's ruby ring?

Here's the ticket, here's the money.

Now, go and get it.

[male #3] 'Oh, the ring.'

'I give you my solemn oath, the police took it.'

My Mr. Lesser told you the truth.

The ring was stolen property.

You're a dirty, connivering, ignorant crook.

Nip over the back, Taz. You too, Cosh.

Have a look around.

Go with them, Mott.

[Jim] 'Well, Mott, don't take all day.'

Come on, take it, take it!

Here you are.

My fee for coming.

Coo, look at these beautiful watch chains!

Locked! The key's what's needed here.

[Taz] 'See anything of my ring yet, Mott?'

Hmm? No, I don't.

I wish my brother was here. He's missin' all the fun!

Had to wallop the old bloke.

Here it is! Ask me brother knocker.

The very one me sister gave me.

Lucky boy found his ring.

Oh, come in very handy for the Sunday collection, this will.

Let's go.

'He found it, Jim.' 'Yes? Let's see.'

The very one me married sister gave me.


Your married sister's got her taste, Taz boy.

Listen, you, didn't you say the ring was gone?

Your boy lies.

Now, stop that stupidity and leave my shop.



This one who's still standing, what do we do with him, Cosh?

I'll show you, Jim.

Oh, my brother's missin' all this.

Watch this, Mott. Style's everything.

Old Cosh'll learn ya, won't you, Cosh?

Someone's in line to get his head tore off!

Now, who's next? Who wants it next?

Stay where you are, Cosh.

Now, let's get out of here.

Listen, yikyak..

'Open your mouth about this, and I'll fix you right.'

'And your families, too.'


[engine revving]

What happened in there, Mott?

Sort of turned your stomach, did it?

Think how you'd feel if it was someone like your friend's girl.

Washing your hands again?

Tenth time you've done it tonight.

[mellow music]

Going for a stroll?

Might. Why?

Wish you'd post this for me. To Ike Weber.

Ike? Don't forget, now.

I want him to price a lovely antique piece for me.

I shan't forget, ma.

[knock on door]

Don't know who that could be.

[instrumental music]

Come in.

You're in trouble, son.

Mordinoy's right-hand man is after you.

Marsh Banks heard it downtown at Collis's place.

Some sort of plan to slash you about..

You and some girl.

Who's the girl?

Name of Brantline. Ada Brantline.

Can't say I know the name.

Former Mrs. Mordinoy. Stone the crystal..

Tell you what, Dad..

You wait up at the tunnel.

Just half a mo'. As you say so.

[bells jingle]

Friend of mine, ma.

Needs some advice on treating his dog's ears.

'Spaniel.' Be home late?

'Can't say, ma.'

So long.


Take Nipper with you.

Bye, ma. Hey.

[bells jingles]

Out of tune. Agonizing.

Jim would like to see you, Mott.

You and Miss Brantline up in his office.

Who else is up there besides Jim?

Oh, most of us are on our way to the Lucky Seven Club.

Expect some trouble there, we all with Bert Mark's boys.

Don't forget Jim.

Almost slipped my mind.

Count you as one of the most sensible boys that ever put foot inside a shoe.

Be careful.

Wait around the back, Dad. Won't be too long.

Very agonizing, love.


Come in.

I think you asked to see me, Mordinoy.

Fascinating symbols.

You can't beat a machine.

How's the girl, battler?

Been trying to make this girl nervous for years.

Nigh on impossible, seems.

I don't want to sit down.

Now, why would you want to make her nervous?

I'm a machine, Mott. I ain't human.

You can't beat me.

[Jim] 'Believe in astrology, Mott?'

No. Neither do I.

But in April 1912, the Titanic sank.

Me own father was on her, polishing brass.

And an old lady told him it'd sink.

Claimed she had read it in the stars.

Comin' back to you..

I'll sink you worse than any Titanic..

...if you don't stop seein' Ada.

See that in the stars?

[Jim] 'I seen it in me mirror.'

An old lady told me something once.

Know some funny stories, tell them to yourself.

[Jim] 'But what about Ada?'

What about her? The holiday's over.

For both of ya.

I don't want you two meeting again, see?

That's the way. Appeal to me.

I might be persuaded. I'm a reasonable man.

[telephone rings]


Well, don't raise the dust, Rossie.

I'll be down in the club in 20 minutes.

You understand me, don't you?

Go to the films if it's love you're looking for.

Personally, I don't believe in it.

What do you believe in?

Nothing. Simple, ain't it?

Nothing in the whole wide world.

And don't appeal to me. I won'tbe persuaded.

First thing in the morning, we're taking out the marriage license.

Are we?

I wonder what the weatherman promises for tomorrow?

Likely, rain. Followed by suicide in bed.

Let's get out of here.



Nothing stirring out here, not a mouse.

Dad, I'd like you to meet the future Mrs. Ernest Verdun Mott.

So this is the future Mrs. EVM.

Well...stone the crystal palace.

I'm for it.

Stay right here.

It wants a cab, don't it? I should say so.

[no audio]

Don't be nervous, beetles.

Up to your knees in dreams, aren't you?

We're starting off tomorrow with five or six pounds and a sunny personality.

Are we?

Supposin' I went off with Jim?

What a thing to say.

Supposin' I flew off to the North Pole?

I don't know what I'm saying anymore.

Ernie, dear, why don't we go away somewhere.

Just the two of us? Please?

[Dad] 'Verdun.'

Right, Dad.

Ernie, please.

Couldn't do it, Ada.

Get in there, Nipper.

Now, you go with Ada.

Nothing will harm you while the dog's with you.

Dad, you go with her, too, would you?

Pleasure. Where you off to?

Something to be said to Mordinoy couldn't be said in front of ladies.

Every time you kiss me, it gets deeper.

Does it?

See you in the morning.

[instrumental music]

How many cartridges did you want?

Eight or ten will be enough.

Lend us your newspaper. Yeah.

Careful going out.

Leave it to me.

Oh, Mott?

Ah, the brothers Jones. Good evening.

No offense about anything, I hope.

Nice car. Steal it?

Picked it up in Newman Street.

We're on our way down to the club.

Uh-huh. Meeting Jim down there?

Yes. Bags of sport down there tonight.

I'm in the mood for sport tonight.

Don't you want to sit in the front?

I'll be more comfortable back here.

Been a long day, ain't it?

That's just what I was thinking.

Watch the red light, Taz.

[car horn blares]

[tires screeching]

Coppers up, Taz! Right behind us!

You're crazy. He's right. It's a police car.

[tires screech]

[crowd screaming]

[horn honking]

[tires screeching]

Spread 'em, Taz! Don't spare the horses!

Any bets I can't lose them inside five minutes?

[tires screeching]

The tunnel's comin'.

[horn honking]

Car 73, pull over.

I can't get any more out of it.

Me foot's flat on the floor now.

All traffic stop immediately. This is a police car.

You ain't lost them, Taz!

I'll wear my granny's hat if I can't.

We're gaining on them, Taz!

They got too much weight with them!

[Taz] 'We might do it yet.'

[tires screech]

[horn blares]

You done them again. Proper stone cold, you have.

They always lose out in the stretch.

I've noticed it before, I have.


[tires screeching]


Get the rear door open.

[indistinct chattering]

Here, you! You hurt?

Come on out. I want all of you.

I got him.

Hold onto him!

Get me brother out. He's hurt.

[male #4] 'Come on. Step lively. Step lively!'

Get me brother out! Come on..

He's in there! He's hurt!

[Slush] 'Get me brother out!'

'He's in there! He's hurt!'

Get me brother out!

[fire blazing]

Get off of the petrol, the tank's catching on fire!

Please, get him out!

'Please let me get him!'

Let me get him! Please!

Let me get him! Quiet, knocker!

Please! Quiet. Quiet.

I'm sorry. Somebody had to do that.

Come on. Bring him along.

Come on.

E Flat.

Well, what have we here?

None of your cheap, nasty silver or gold, eh?


Just the bare platinum.

'You still wouldn't care to say a word or two?'

'Either of you?'

A little postcard.

Not posted.

'Addressed to I. Weber, Esquire.'

'Well, we'll soon find out who you are, my lad.'

Lucas, ring up this Mr. Weber.

I'll talk to him.

Yes, sir.


Ike...paid the bail, did you?

I shan't forget you, nor will ma.

Everything with a kiss.

How's Mr. Lesser? In the hospital.

I stood your bail for 100 pounds.

You'll have to be at Bow Street in the court day after tomorrow, 9:15.

Listen, Mr. Mott..'re frying yourself in your own fat.

Do you realize that?

You'll need a few quid for incidentals.

One's enough. Thanks again.

And no matter what anyone says..

...your mother is a wonderful woman.

No sign of him yet?


Who's going to tell him, me or you?

Don't know.

Stale as an old debt, they are.

Try these, then.

They're just as worse. My eyes tell me.

Me whole stock ain't stale, is it?

Dessay it is.

Here he is now! Ern! Ernie!

Come in son, come in.

What's this? A gathering of the clan? Nipper.

Where you been all night?

Why? Ma worried about me?

We been in a right stew about you, all of us we have.

Friend of yours back here dropped in, I...don't know why.

'Eating through me stock'

'like a flock of mice on wheels, he is.'

Off with your wet coat. There, let's have you.

Just brought the dog back here, Verdun.

Your ma's gone out for a bit.

Where have you been, Ern?

Oh, just seeing how the other half lives.

Where'd she go?

Nice egg and a sausage left over if you care to take it.

Where did ma go, Aggie?

Where is she? 'Sit down, son?'

Put your feet up.

What happened?

What happened?

Well...I'm in bed, and a..

"And a" what?

A copper comes along and gets me out.. go down your house with him.

So down I goes, and there's a dozen of them there.

Dozen who? Coppers.

Your ma's just sitting there letting them have the run of the house.

She can't explain your... cigarette case, where it's from.

And they find some other stuff.

What stuff?

Stuff dragged out of cupboards.

What about ma?

Your ma told me to tell you, "don't worry, see?"

"Don't worry, see?" Yes, but, where is she?

They took her in with Mrs. Snowden and the others.

Poor girls.

Done me nails four times today.

Biggest shoplifting gang this side of the river a copper said.

They got her inside, you mean?


[sighs] Life is a queer little man.

[instrumental music]

There's a smell to these sort of places.

An official sort of smell.

Follow him. He'll take you down there.

You've got ten minutes.

Be here when you come back, Verdun boy.

Hey, what's this?

Why, your old girl's in the hospital here.

Don't you know that?

She is?

Uh, the sister will tell you everything, I expect.

How much time do they give her?

It might be tonight... might be a week.

Mrs. Mott?

Here's your son to see you.

Just ten minutes...'cause you mustn't upset yourself.

How's me daughter?

Hello, Ernie. Where you come from?

[Ernie] 'Just thought I'd pop in, have a look at you.'

Raining out?

Wet as water.

[snaps fingers]

See Ike this morning?


What I can't understand, ma, is what are you in here for?

What's the matter with you?

Tired out.

Machinery rundown, you know?

If you get into any trouble, see Ike.

Been a good friend to me.

Well, don't be in here long, ma.

I'm gonna get married, don't forget.

That's right.

Find a nice girl to look after you.

A good girl.

Yes, ma. 'Something steady.'

Nothing cheap..

...with a head on her shoulders.

Love me, son?

Disgraced you.

Disgraced me, ma? No, ma.

No disgrace to me, ma.

This is your son, Ernie Mott..

...the boy who needs you, loves you, wants you!


Outside now.

[melancholic music]


I'll be back tomorrow, ma.

Be quiet and get a good night's sleep.


[men laughing]

I see in the paper that a man in Putney has a dog that brings home a tennis ball each day.

I wonder where he gets it.

What you thinking, Verdun boy?

I'd best be off to Ada's.

She's expecting me and she'll be worried.

Got a nice toy for her kiddie here.

She gave me that to give to you last night.

Ada did.

Read it, Dad.

"Dear, Ernie Mott..

"I just couldn't face it for your sake and mine..

"...I'm going back with Jim.

"The only other choice is to make our bed in the river

"and that is something I could not face.

"I tried to do different, but it's best this way all around.

"I hope and pray you will forgive and forget, Ernie Mott.

"Sincerely, Ada Brantline.

P.S. Please excuse paper."

[music box chiming]

Stand back.

Let the man see the rabbit.

[instrumental music]

Hm...stopped raining.

What are you thinking, Verdun boy?

I'm dreaming, Dad.

Dreaming the better man.

What a go. What a rum go it is.

Where's that clean human life the books tell us about?

When's the world coming out of its midnight?

When does the human soul get off his knees?

[Dad] 'I'm too old, Verdun, to tell you that.'

[airplanes droning]

Something shuddering in the air these days.

Ever notice it, son?

Yes, I have, Dad.

Sometimes late at night, I hear it.

A shuddering echo.

And I hear it say, "Wake up!"

"The world needs happiness!"

[Dad] 'Well, the world finds something if it needs it bad enough.'

But sometimes, it takes a war.

So, if there's a better world to be made.. young ones will have to make it.

That's it, Dad.

One thing's left.

I can see it plain as London town.

Fight with the men who'll fight for a human way of life.

I should say so.

[mellow music]

Me feet killing me.'s where I leave you.

Leave me?

You will never leave me, you lopsided old muggins.

Well, see you sooner.

How sooner?

Who knows?

It's all written in the book.

Bye, Dad.

[music continues]

[instrumental music]

[music continues]

[instrumental music]