O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) Script



Get a break, boss?

No break...


Pick up that hammer there, boy.

Yes, sir, boss.


Come on, get it! Go!



Say... any of you boys smithies?

Or if not smithies per se... were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts...

Aah! Before straitened circumstances... forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Jesus! Can't I count on you people?

Sorry, Everett.

Well, all right.

If we take off through that bayou...

Wait a minute.

Who elected you leader of this outfit?

Well, Pete, I figured it should be the one... with the capacity for abstract thought.

But if that ain't the consensus view... then hell, let's put it to a vote.

Suits me!

I'm votin' for yours truly.

Well, I'm votin' for yours truly, too.

Okay. I'm with you fellas.

Mind if we join you, old-timer?

Join me, m' son.

Join me.

You work for the rail road, grandpa?

I work for no man.

Got a name, do you?

I have no name.

Well, that right there may be the reason... you've had difficulty finding gainful employment.

You see, in the mart of competitive commerce...

You seek a great fortune... you three who are now in chains.

You will find a fortune... though it will not be the fortune you seek.

But first...

First you must travel... a long and difficult road... a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm.

You shall see thangs... wonderful to tell.

You shall see a... a cow... on the roof of a cotton house. Ha.

And, oh, so many startlements.

I cannot tell you how long this road shall be... but fear not the obstacles in your path... for fate has... vouchsafed your reward.

Though the road may wind... yea, your hearts grow weary... still shall ye follow them... even unto your salvation.

No, the treasure's still there, boys, believe me.

But how'd he know about the treasure?

I don't know, Delmar.

The blind are reputed to possess sensitivities... compensating for their lack of sight... even to the point of developing paranormal... psychic powers.

Now, clearly, seeing in the future... would fall neatly into that category.

It's not so surprising. Then... that an organism deprived of its earthly vision...

He said we wouldn't get it.

He said we wouldn't get the treasure we seek... on account of our obstacles.

What the hell does he know?

He's an ignorant old man.

Jesus, Pete. I told you I buried it myself.

If your cousin still has this here horse farm... and a forge and some shoein' impedimenta... to restore liberty of movement...

Hold it right there!

You men from the bank?

You Wash's boy?

Yes, sir. Daddy told me...

I'm to shoot who's ever from the bank.

Well, we ain't from the bank, young feller.

Yes, sir. I'm also supposed... to shoot folks servin' papers.

We ain't got no papers. Neither.

I nicked the census man.

Now, there's a good boy.

Is-Is your daddy about?

Hello, Pete.

Who are your friends?

Pleased to make your acquaintance...

Mr. Hogwallop.

My name's Ulysses Everett McGill and...

And I'm Delmar O'Donnel.

How you been, Wash?

Been what, 12, 13 years?


I expect you want them chains knocked off.

They foreclosed on Cousin Vester.

He hanged hisself a year come May.

And Uncle Ratliff?

The anthrax took most of his cows.

The rest don't milk.

He lost a boy to mumps.

Where's Cora, Cousin Wash?

Couldn't say.

Mrs. Hogwallop up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T.

She must have been lookin' for answers.


Good riddance, as far as I'm concerned.

I do miss her cooking, though.

This stew's awful good.

You think so?

I slaughtered this horse last Tuesday.

I'm afraid she's startin' to turn.

Well, that winds up tonight's...

Pass the Biscuits Pappy O'Daniel Flour Hour.

This is Pappy O'Daniel... hopin' you folks been enjoyin' that good old-timey music.

And remember... when you're fixin' to fry up some flapjacks... or bake a mess of biscuits... use cool, clear water... and good, pure Pappy O'Daniel flour.

Well, guess I'll be turnin' in.

Say, uh, Cousin Wash...

I suppose it'd be the, uh, acme of foolishness... to inquire if you had a hair net.

We got a bunch in yon bureau.

Mrs. Hogwallop's, as a matter of fact.

Help yourself.

I won't be needing 'em.

All right, boys!

Unh. How's my hair?

It's the authorities!

We got you surrounded.

Damn. We're in a tight spot.

Just come on out and grabbin' air!

And don't try nothin' fancy.

Your situation is pretty nigh hopeless.

Damn! We're in a tight spot!

What in the Sam Hill?

Pete's cousin turned us in for the bounty.

What the hell are you saying?

Wash is kin!

Sorry, Pete!

I know we're kin, but they got this depression on.

I got to do for me and mine.

I'm gonna kill you...

Judas Iscariot Hogwallop!

- You miserable, horse-eatin' son of a-

Damn! We're in a tight spot!

Damn his eyes!

Pa always said, "Never trust a Hogwallop."

Come and get us, coppers!

You boys is leavin' us no choice... but to smoke you out.

Damn! We're in a tight spot.

Light her up!

Hold up, boys!

Ain't you ever heard of negotiatin'?

Bet we could talk this thing out.

I hate fire!

You lousy, low-down, yellow-bellied goat-

Pete, we got to speak with one voice here.

Careful with that fire, now, boys!

Light the loft, son.


I hate fire!

Gapped-toothed. Carpetbaggin', motherless spawn of hell!

Step back. Damn it. Look out.

Holy St. Christopher!

Get away from that vehicle, chaps!

She's liquid fire!

Take cover, boys! That ain't popcorn!

Let's get the hell out of here!

Scatter, boys!

Goddamn it!

Get in, boys!

I'm gonna R-U-N-N-O-F-T!

Come on, boys, come on! Come on!

What are you doing here?

You ought to be in bed, clump snatcher.

You ain't the boss of me!

You candy-butted. Car-thievin' so-and-so's!

I curse your name!

Go back home and mind your pa!

What's the damn problem?

I can get the part from Bristol.

It'll take 2 weeks. Here's your pomade.

Two weeks?

That don't do me no good.

Nearest Ford auto man's Bristol.

Hold on, now. I don't want this pomade.

I want Dapper Dan.

I don't carry Dapper Dan. I carry Fop.

Well, I don't want Fop, goddamn it!

I'm a Dapper Dan man!

Watch your language, young fella.

This is a public market.

Now, if you want Dapper Dan, I can order it for you.

Have it in a couple of weeks.

Well, ain't this place a geographical oddity.

2 weeks from everywhere.

Forget it.

Just a dozen hair nets.

Well, didn't look like a one-horse town... but try finding a decent hair jelly.

Gopher, Everett?

And no transmission belt for 2 weeks neither.

Huh? They dam that river on the 21 st.

Today is the 17th.

Don't I know it.

We got but 4 days to get to that treasure.

After that, it'll be at the bottom of a lake.

We ain't gonna make it walkin'.

That's right.

Gopher, Everett?

But the old tactician has got a plan.

For the transportation, that is.

I don't know how I'm gonna keep my coiffure in order.

How's this a plan? How we gonna get a car?

Sell that. I figure you can only have... painful association for Wash.

"To Washington Bartholomew Hogwallop."

From his lovin' Cora.

"Amor Fidel... is."

It was in his bureau.

I reckon it'll fetch us enough cash... for a good used auto voiture... and a little leftover besides.

Whoo! You got some light fingers, Everett.


You miserable little snake.

You stole from my kin!

Who was fixin' to betray us.

You didn't know that at the time.

So I borrowed it till I did know.

That don't make no sense!

Pete, it's a fool who looks for logic... in the chambers of the human heart.

What the hell is that singing?

Appears to be some kind of a... congregation.

Care for some gopher?

No, thank you, Delmar.

A third of a gopher would only arouse my appetite... without beddin' her back down.

Oh, you can have the whole thing.

Me and Pete already had one.

We ran across a whole gopher village.

Well, I guess hard times flush the chumps.

Everybody's lookin' for answers.

Where the hell's he going?

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Well, I'll be a son of a bitch.

Delmar's been saved.

Well, that's it, boys. I been redeemed.

The preacher done washed away... all my sins and transgressions.

It's the straight and narrow from here on out.

And heaven everlasting's my reward.

Delmar, what are you talkin' about?

We got bigger fish to fry.

The preacher said all my sins is washed away... including that Piggly Wiggly I knocked over in Yazoo.

I thought you said you was innocent of those charges.

Well, I was lyin'.

And the preacher said... that that sin's been washed away, too.

Neither God, nor man's got nothin' on me now.

Come on in, boys. The water is fine.

Come on, boy. There, boy.

Good doggy.

All right, boys, we got the scent.

The preacher said it absolved us.

For him. Not for the law.

I'm surprised at you, Pete.

I gave you credit for more brains than Delmar.

But there was witnesses seen us redeemed.

That's not the issue, Delmar.

Even if it did put you square with the Lord... the state of Mississippi's a little more hard-nosed.

You should have joined us, Everett.

It couldn't have hurt none.

Hell, at least it would have washed away... the stink of that pomade.

Joining you two ignorant fools... in a ridiculous superstition...

Thank you, anyway.

And I like the smell of my hair treatment.

The pleasin' odor's half the point.


You two are just dumber than a bag of hammers.

Well, I guess you're just my cross to bear.

Pull over, Everett.

Let's give that colored boy a lift.

You folks going past Tishomingo?

Sure, hop in.

How you doin', son? Name's Everett.

These two soggy sons of bitches... are Pete and Delmar.

Keep your fingers away from Pete's mouth.

He ain't had nothing to eat for 13 years... except prison food, gopher, and a little greasy horse.

Thanks for the lift, sir.

My name's Tommy. Tommy Johnson.

How you doin', Tommy?

Say, I haven't seen a house out here for miles.

What are you doin' out in the middle of nowhere?

Well, I had to be at that there crossroads last midnight.

Sell my soul to the devil.

Well, ain't it a small world?

Spiritually speakin'.

Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved.

I guess I'm the only one that remains unaffiliated.

This ain't no laughin' matter, Everett.

What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy?

Well, he taught me to play this here guitar real good.

Oh, son... for that you traded your everlasting soul?

Well, I wasn't usin' it.

I've always wondered. What's the devil look like?

Well, of course, there are all manner... of lesser imps and demons, Pete... but the great Satan hisself... is red and scaly with a bifurcated tail... and he carries a hay fork.

Oh, no. No, sir.

He's white. As white as you folks.

With empty eyes and a big. Hollow voice.

He loved to travel around with a mean old hound.

That's right.

And he told you to go to Tishomingo?

Well, no, sir. Why, that was my idea.

I heard there's a man down there.

He pays folks money to sing into his can.

They say he pays extra... if'n you play real good.

Tishomingo, huh?

How much he pay?

All right. Boys, follow my lead.


Who's the honcho around here?

I am. Who are you?

Well, sir, I'm Jordan Rivers... and these here are the Soggy Bottom Boys... out of Cottonelia, Mississippi.

Songs of salvation to salve the soul.

Uh, we hear that you pay good money... to sing into a can.

Well, that all depends.

You boys do Negro songs?

Um... well, uh, sir, we are Negroes.

All except for our accomp-our accomp...

Uh, the fella that plays the guitar.

Yeah, well. I don't record Negro songs.

No, I'm lookin' for some old-timey material.

You see, people can't seem to get enough of it... since we started broadcasting it... on The Pappy O'Daniel Flour Hour... so thank you for stopping by. But...

Sir, uh, the Soggy Bottom Boys... have been steeped in old-timey material.

Heck, we're silly with it, ain't we, boys?

That's right.

That's right. We ain't really Negroes.

All except for our accompanist.

Whoo! Hot damn. Son!

I believe you did sell your soul to the devil!


Boy, that was some mighty fine a-pickin' and a-singin'.

I'll tell you what.

Ahem. You come on in here, you...

You sign these papers here.

I'm gonna give you $10 apiece.

Uh, uh, okay, sir, but Mert and, uh, uh...

Aloysious'll just have to sign Xs.

Only 4 of us can write.

That'd be fine.

Ha ha!


Hey, mister, I don't mean... to be tellin' tales out of school... but there's a fella in there who'll pay you $10... if you sing into his can.

I'm not here to make a record. You dumb cracker.

They broadcast me out on the radio.

That's Governor Menelaus...

"Pass the Biscuits" Pappy O'Daniel.

And he'd sure appreciate it if you ate his farina... and voted him a second term.

Finest governor we ever had in Mississippi.

In any state.

Oh, Lord, yes. Every parish or precinct.

He was makin' the bigger point.

Well, ain't you gonna press the flesh, Pappy?

Do a little politicking?

I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch.

You don't tell your pappy how to court the electorate.

We ain't one-at-a-timin' here.

We're mass communicatin'!

Oh, yes. That's a powerful new force.


Shake a leg, Junior.

Thank God your mammy died givin' birth.

If she'd have seen you, she'd have died of shame.

Well, hi there! How you doin'?

Let's bed down here for the night.

Yeah, it stinks in that old barn.

Suits me.

Pretty soon it'll be nothin' but featherbeds and silk sheets.

Million dollars.


500,000 each.

400, Delmar.

Pete, what are you gonna do... with your share of the treasure?

Go out west somewhere.

Open a fine restaurant.

I'm gonna be the maitre d'.

Greet all the swells.

Go to work every day in a bow tie... tuxedo.

And all the staff say "Yes, sir" and...

"No, sir..." and "In a jiffy, Pete."

And all my meals for free.

What about you, Delmar?

What are you gonna do with your share of that dough?

I'm gonna visit them foreclosin' son of a guns... down at the Indianola Savings and Loan.

Slap that money on the barrel head... and buy back the family farm.

You ain't no kind of man if you ain't got land.

What about you, Everett?

What you have in mind... when you stole it in the first place?

I... didn't have no plan.

Well, that hardly sound like you.

All right, boys! It's the authorities!

Your situation is purty nigh hopeless!

Damn. They found our car.

We ain't got the time... and nary the inclination... to chat with you boys any further.

Damn. We got to skedaddle.

I left my pomade in the car.

Maybe I can creep up.

Don't be a fool, Everett.

We got to R-U-N-N-O-F-T.

Where's Tommy?

Already lit out.

Scared out of his wits.

Let's go!

Well, hell, it ain't square one.

Ain't no one gonna pick up...

3 filthy, unshaved hitchhikers.

And one of them a know-it-all... who can't keep his trap shut.

Pete, the personal rancor reflected in that remark...

I don't intend to dignify with comment.

But I would like to address your general attitude... of hopeless negativism.

Consider the lilies of the goddamn field.

Or, hell, take a look at Delmar here... as your paradigm of hope.

Yeah. Look at me.

Now, you may call it an unreasoning optimism.

You may call it obtuse... but the plain and simple fact is that we got close to...

3 days before they...

dam that river.

Is this a road to Itta Bena?

Uh... Itta Bena?

Itta Bena?

Isn't that... Isn't that, uh...

Stay on this here road.

Nah, that ain't right.

I was thinking of. uh...

Take this road...

Nah, nah, nah. That ain't right.

It seems to me there's a road- cow road that used to lead all the way...

Well, most of the way.

That ain't right, either.

Hop on in while you give it a think.

Right. Delmar.

Any of you boys know your way... around a Walther P.P.K.?

Well, see, that's where we can't help you.

I don't believe it's in Mississippi.

Friend, some of your folding money has come unstowed.

Just stuff it down that sack there, will you?

You boys aren't bad men, I take it?

Well, it's funny you should ask.

I was bad till yesterday... but me and Pete here been saved.

I'm Delmar, and that there is Everett.

George Nelson.

It's a pleasure.

Grab the tiller, will you, buddy?

Hand me that chopper. Ha ha ha ha!

Say, what line of work you in, George?

Ha ha ha ha!

Come and get me, coppers!

You flatfooted, lame-brained, soft-ass sons of bitches!

Ah ha ha ha ha!

No one can catch me!

I'm George Nelson!

I'm bigger than any John, live or limp!

I'm 101/2 feet tall!


I hate cows worse than coppers!

Oh, George. Not the livestock.

Come on, you miserable, salaried sons of bitches!

Come and get me!

Come on, boys, we're going for the record.

3 banks in 2 hours!

Okay. Folks, hold the applause and drop your drawers.

I'm George Nelson... and I'm here to sack the city Itta Bena!

He's a live wire, though. Ain't he?

All the money in a bag.

What are you lookin' at, grandpa?

Pardon me, George... you got a plan for gettin' out of here?

Sure, boys.

Here's my plan. Ha ha ha ha!

They ain't never seen ordnance like this!

Thank you, folks.

And remember, Jesus saves... but George Nelson withdraws! Ha ha ha ha!

Go fix the auto voiture, Pete.

Is that Babyface Nelson?

Who said that?

What ignorant, lowdown, slanderizin' son of a bitch said that?

My name is George Nelson. Get me?

She didn't mean nothin' by it, George.

George Nelson!

Not Babyface!

You remember!

And you tell your friends!

I'm George Nelson.

Born to raise hell.

Well, that was some fun. Now, wasn't it, George?


Almost makes me wished I hadn't have been saved.

Jacking up banks.

I can see how a fella'd derive a whole lot of pleasure... and satisfaction out of it.

It's okay.

Hoo, dawgies!


I'm takin' off.

You boys might as well... keep my... share of the riches.

Well, where are you going, George?

I don't know.

Who cares?

Now, what do you suppose is eatin' George?

Well, Delmar... they say that with the thrill-seeking personality...

What goes up must come down.

On top of the world one minute, haunted by meekness the next.

Yes, sir, it's as if our old friend, George... is a alley cat and his own damn humors... are swingin' him by the tail.

I wouldn't worry, Delmar.

He'll be back on top again.

I don't think we've seen the last of George Nelson.

Don't be saps for Pappy.

Homer Stokes for governor.

Let's sweep this state clean.

Vote for Stokes, brother.

Aw, shh shh. Hang on!

I'm gonna slap one on here.

Folks, here's my cousin Ezra's niece...

Eudora from out of Greenwood, doin' a little number... with her cousin Tom-Tom... which I predict you gonna enjoy thoroughly.

Now, what can I do you for, Mr. French?

How can I lay ahold of them Soggy Bottom Boys?

Soggy Bottom.

I don't precisely recollect them.

They cut a record in here a few days ago... with an old-timey harmony thing... with a guitar accompany-accompany...

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember them.

Colored fellas, I believe.

Yes, sir, they a fine bunch of boys.

They sang into yonder can, then skedaddled.

Well, that record... is just goin' through the goddamn roof.

They playin' it as far away as Mobile.


Whole damn state's goin' apey.

Well, it was a powerful air.

Hot damn. We got to find them boys... and sign 'em to a big fat contract.

Hell's bells, Mr. Lund, if we don't... the goddamn competition will.

Oh, mercy, yes, we got to beat that competition.

Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Delmar. Over here.

Do you have the Soggy Bottom Boys... performing "Man of Constant Sorrow"?

No, ma'am. We got a new shipment in yesterday.

Sorry, but we just can't keep 'em on our shelves.

How are you?

Delmar, come on. Go. Go.

Shut up, Delmar.

Uhh! Ohh!

Pull over! Pull over!

Guess old Pete's got the itch.

Howdy do, ladies?

Name of Pete.

Ain't you gonna introduce us, Pete?

I don't know their names.

I seen 'em first!

Ladies, my name is Ulysses Everett McGill... and, well, you three ladies are about the... the prettiest...

water lilies, uh...

Corn liquor.


My hair!

Look at this.


Where the heck are you?


We ain't got time for hide-and-seek!

Now, we ain't got time for your shenanigans!

Sweet Jesus, Everett.

They left his heart.

Aah! Aah!

What the-Delmar, what the heck's got into you?

Can't you see it, Everett?

Them sirens did this to Pete.

They loved him up... and turned him into a... horny toad.


Pete! Pete!


Pete, it's me-Delmar.

It's me-Delmar.


Delmar, what the...

What are we gonna do?

I'm not sure that's Pete.

Of course it's Pete. Look at him.

We got to find some kind of... wizard can change him back.

I'm just not sure that's Pete.

You can't display a toad... in a fine restaurant like this.

Why, the good folks here'd go right off their feed.

Hey. I just don't think it's right... keeping him under wraps... like we was ashamed of him.

Well, if it is Pete, I am ashamed of him.

The way I see it, he got what he deserved.

Fornicating with some whore of Babylon.

These things don't happen for no reason, Delmar.

It's obviously some kind of judgment on Pete's character.

Well, the two of us was fixin' to fornicate.

You're gonna have to excuse my rusticated friend... unaccustomed as he is to city manners.


I guess we'll have ourselves... a couple of steaks... and some, uh, gratine potatoes... and wash it down with some of your finest bubbly wine.

Oh, and I don't suppose you have any...

Maybe the chef could prepare...

Just bring us a couple of leaves of raw cabbage.

Yes, sir.

Thank you.

That kind of barnyard language...

I don't believe I've seen you boys around here before.

Allow me to introduce myself.

Name of Daniel Teague... known in these precincts as Big Dan Teague...

Or to those who are pressed for time-

Big Dan tout court!

How you doin', Big Dan?

My name's Ulysses Everett McGill.

This is my associate Delmar O'Donnel.

I detect, like me... you're endowed with the gift of gab.

I flatter myself that such is the case.

In my line of work, it's plumb necessary.

The one thing you don't want... is air in the conversation.

Once again we find ourselves in agreement.

What kind of work you do, Big Dan?

Sales, Mr. McGill. Sales! And what do I sell?

The truth, every blessed word of it.

From Genesis on down to Revelations.

That's right, the Word of God... which, let me tell you, there is damn good money in... during these times of woe and want.

People are lookin' for answers... and Big Dan sells the only book that's got 'em.

And what do you do... you and your, uh, tongue-tied friend?

We, uh... we're adventurers, sir.

Currently pursuing a certain opportunity... but we're open to others as well.

I like your style, young man... so I'm gonna propose you a proposition.

You cover my bill, so I don't have to run back upstairs... get your waitress to wrap your dinner picnic-style...

And we shall retire to more private environs... where I will tell you how there are vast amounts of money... to be made in the service of God almighty.

Well, why not? If nothin' else...

I can use some civilized conversation.

Don't forget your shoe box, friend.


Goddamn campaign is languishin'!

We need a shot in the arm.

You hear me, boys? In the goddamn arm!

Election held tomorrow... that son of bitch Stokes would win it in a walk!

Well, he's the reform candidate, Daddy.


A lot of people like that reform.

Maybe we should get us some.

I'll reform you, you soft-headed son of a bitch.

How we gonna run reform when we're the damn incumbent?

Is that the best idea you boys can come up with?


Weepin' Jesus on the cross.

That's it!

You may as well start drafting my concession speech right now.

Okay. Pappy.

I'm just making a point. You stupid son of a bitch.

Give me back that hat! Hurry up!

Pappy's just makin' a point.

Shut up!

Thank you, boys, for throwing in that fricassee.

I'm a man of large appetites... and even with lunch under my belt...

I was feeling a mite peckish.

It's our pleasure, Big Dan.

Thank you as well for the conversational hiatus.

I generally refrain from speech during gustation.

There are those who attempt both at the same time.

I find it coarse and vulgar.

Where were we?

Making money in the Lord's service.

You don't say much. Friend, but when you do... it's to the point and I salute you for it.

Yes, Bible sales.

Now, the trade is not a complicated one.

There are but 2 things to learn...

One being where to find a wholesaler... the Word of God in bulk, as it were.

Two-how to recognize your customer.

Who are you dealing with?

It's an exercise in psychology, so to speak.

And it is that which I propose... to give you a lesson in right now.

Why, I like to think I'm a pretty astute observer... of the human scene, too, Big Dan.

No doubt, brother.

I figured as much back at the restaurant.

That's why I invited you all out here... for this advanced tutorial.


What's going on, Big Dan?

It's all about the money, boys!

That's it!

Gol... durned... money!

I don't get it, Big Dan.


I just take your show cards.


And whatever you got in the hole.

What the... there ain't nothin' but a damn toad.

No, you don't understand.

That's Pete.


You know these things give you warts?

End of lesson.

So long, boys. Hee hee hee.

See you in the funny papers.

Y'all seen the end of Big Dan Teague.

Where are they?

Talk, you unreconstructed whelp of a whore!

Where they headed?


Your screams ain't gonna save your flesh...


Only your tongue is, boy. Where they headed?


Lump, I.O.

Sweet summer rain.

Like God's own mercy.

Your two friends have abandoned you, Pete.

They don't seem to care about your hide.


Stairway to heaven.

We shall all meet by-and-by.

Goddamn it!

God forgive me!


Believe me. Delmar, he would have wanted us to press on.

Pete, rest his soul... was one sour ass son of a bitch... and not given to acts of pointless sentimentality.

It just don't seem right... digging up that treasure without him.

Maybe it's for the best he was squished.

Why, he... was barely a sentient being and... well, as soon as we get ourselves cleaned up... and we get a little smellum in our hair... why, we're gonna feel 100% better about ourselves... and about... life in general.

Must be near Parchman Farm.

Sorry sons of bitches.

Seems like a year ago we busted off the farm.

Pete got a brother?

Not that I'm aware.

Heat must be getting to me.

That was wonderful. That sure was.


Now, I know the Sunnysiders would agree with me... when I say the great state of Mississippi... cannot afford 4 more years of Pappy O'Daniel!

4 more years of cronyism!

Nepotism! Rascalism!

Of service to the interests!

Now, the choice, she's a clear 'un.

Pappy O'Daniel, slave of the interests.

Homer Stokes, servant of the little man.

Ain't that right, little fella?

He ain't lyin'!

Ladies and gentlemen. The little man has admonished me... to grasp the broom of reform... and sweep this state clean!

It's gonna be, "Back to the flour mill, Pappy!"

The interests can take care of themselves!" come Tuesday... we're gonna sweep the rascals out!

Clean government is yours for the asking!

Folks, now the little Wharvey gals!

Wharvey gals?

Did he just say little Wharvey gals?

Come here, girls.

What y'all gonna sing for us?

"In the highways."

Goddamn it all!

You know them gals, Everett?

Hey, girls!

Daddy! Daddy!

Ha ha ha!

Daddy? He ain't our daddy.

Hell, I ain't. What's this Wharvey gals?

Your name's McGill.

No, sir. Not since you got hit by that train.

What are you talking about? I wasn't hit by any train.

Mama says you was hit by a train.

Blooey! Nothin' left.

Just a grease spot on the L & N.

Damn it, I wasn't hit by any train!

That's why Mama's got us back to Wharvey.

That's her maiden name.

You got a maiden name, Daddy?

No, Daddy don't have a maiden name. See...

That's your misfortune.

That's right, and now Mama's got a new beau.

He's a suitor.

Yeah, I heard about that.

Mama says he's bona fide.


He give her a ring?

Yes, sir. A big 'un.

Gotta gem. Mama checked it.

It's bona fide.

He's a suitor.

What's his name?

Vernon T. Waldrip.

Uncle Vernon.

Till tomorrow.

Then he's gonna be Daddy.

I am the only daddy you got.

I am the damn paterfamilias.

But you ain't bona fide.

Where's your mama?

She's at the five-and-dime.

Buying nipples.


Hello, sugar! Ha ha!

How's my little girl?


Who the hell's that?

Starla Wharvey.

Starla McGill, you mean.

How come you never told me about her?

'Cause you was hit by a train.

That's another thing.

Why are you telling our gals I was hit by a train?

Lots of respectable people been hit by trains.

Judge Hobby over in Cookville was hit by a train.

What was I supposed to tell 'em... that you were sent to the penal farm... and I divorced you from shame?

I take your point.

But it does put me in a damned awkward position... vis à vis my progeny.

Hello, Penny.

Is this gentlemen bothering you?

You Waldrip?

Uh-huh. That's right.


You been using my hair treatment?

Your hair treatment?

Excuse me.

I got news for you.

In case you hadn't noticed. I wasn't hit by a train... and I have traveled many a weary mile... to be back with my wife and my 6 daughters.

Seven, Daddy!

That ain't your daddy, Alvinelle.

Your daddy was hit by a train.

Penny, you stop that!

No, you stop it! Vernon here's got a job.

Vernon's got prospects. He's bona fide.

What are you?

I'll tell you what I am...

I am the paterfamilias, and you can't marry him!

I can, I am, and I will. Tomorrow.

I got to think about the little Wharvey gals.

They look to me for answers.

Vernon can support 'em... and buy 'em lessons on the clarinet.

The only good thing you ever did for the gals... was get hit by that train!

Why, you lying unconstant succubus.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

You can't swear at my fiancee!

Oh, yeah?

Well, you can't marry my wife!

Unh! Unh!

Who is that man?

He's not my husband.

Just a drifter, I guess.

Just some no-account drifter.

Aah! Unh!

And stay out of Woolworth's!

I'll bet she does imitations, too.

Deceitful, two-faced she-wolf.

Never trust a female, Delmar.

Remember that one simple precept... and your time with me will not have been ill-spent.

Okay. Everett.

"Hit by a train."

Truth means nothing to a woman, Delmar.

Triumph of the subjective.

You ever been with a woman?

Well, I've...

I-I got to get the family farm back... before I can start thinking about that.

That's right. If then.

Believe me. Delmar, a woman is the most fiendish... instrument of torture ever devised... to bedevil the days of man.

Everett, I never figured you for a paterfamilias.

Ohh, yes. I have spread my seed.

And look what it's...

Goddamn it. What the hell's going on?

Okay, boys. Enjoy your picture show.

Do... not... seek the treasure.

Do not... seek the treasure.

It's a bushwhack.

They're fixin' an ambush.

Do not seek the treasure.


We thought you was... a toad.

We... thought... you... was... a toad.

Do not seek the treasure.

Quiet there! Watch the picture!

I signed that bill.

I signed a dozen agriculture bills.

Everyone knows I'm a friend of the farmer.

What do I gotta do, start tending livestock?

We can't do that, Daddy.

We might offend our constituency.

We ain't got a constituency!

Stokes got a constituency!

Well, it's a well-run campaign.

Midget and broom and whatnot.

Devil his due.

Hell of an organization.

Say, I got an idea.

What's that, junior?

We can hire us a little fella... even smaller than Stokes's.

You slump-shouldered sack of nuts!

Why, we'd look like a bunch of Johnny-come-latelys... breakin' out our own midget.

Don't matter how stumpy!

And that's the goddamn problem right there.

People think Stokes has got fresh ideas.

He's au courant and we're the past!

It's a problem of...

Perception. That's right.

Reason why he's pulling our pants down.

Gonna paddle a little behind.

Ain't gonna paddle it. Gonna kick it. Real hard.

No, I believe he's gonna paddle it.

I don't believe that's a proper description.

Well, that's how I'd characterize it.

I believe it's more of a kickin' situation.

God-God forgive me.

I could not gaze upon that far shore.


Hold still!

Can't... stand much longer.

It was-it was a mo-moment of weakness.

Quit yer babblin', Pete. We gotta skedaddle.

That's all I got.

They lured me out for a bathe... and then they dunked me, trussed me up like a hog... and turned me in for the bounty.

I should have guessed it.

Typical womanly behavior.

We're just lucky we left... before they came back for us.

We didn't abandon you, Pete.

We just thought you was a toad.

No, they never did turn me into a toad.

Well, that was our mistake then.

And we was beat up by a bible salesman... and banished from Woolworths.

I don't know, Everett.

Was it the one branch or all of them?

Well, I ain't had it easy, either, boys.

Frankly, uh, well, I...

I spilt my guts about the treasure.


I'm awful sorry I betrayed you, fellas.

Must be my Hogwallop blood.

That's all right. Pete.

Awful white of you to take it like that, Everett.

I feel wretched.

Spoiling your play for a million dollar point two.

It's been eatin' at my guts.

Oh, that's all right.

You boys are true friends! Ohh!

You're my boon companions.

Pete, I don't want you... to beat yourself up about this, eh?

I can't help it... but that's a-a wonderful thing to say.


Pete, uh... the fact of the matter is...

damn it.

There ain't no treasure.

Fact of the matter is there never was.


So where's all the money from the armored car job?

Never knocked over no armored car.

Sent up for practicing law without a license.


Damn it, I had to bust out.

My wife wrote me she was getting married...

I gotta stop it.

I had 2 weeks left on my sentence.

I couldn't wait 2 weeks.

She's getting married tomorrow.

My added time for the escape...

I don't get out now till 19... 87.

I am sorry about that.

I'll be...

84 years old.

I guess they'll tack on 50 years for me, too.

Boys, we was chained together.

I had to tell you something.

Busting out alone was not an option.

I'm sorry.

84 years old.

Well, I'll only be 82.

You! You ruined my life!


You ruined my life!

I do apologize about that, Pete.

84 years old!

I'll be going...


Now, boys. Boys.

That's Tommy. They got Tommy.


Sweet Jesus, we got to save him.

The color guard.


Oh, brothers!

We have all gathered here... to preserve our hallowed culture and heritage... from intrusion... inclusion... and dilution... of color, of creed... and of our old-time religion.

We aim to pull evil up by the root... before it chokes out... the flower of our culture and heritage.

And our women.

Let's not forget those ladies, y'all... looking to us for protection... from darkies... from jews... from papists... and from all those smart-ass folks... say we come descended from monkeys.

That's not my culture and heritage.


Is that your culture and heritage?


And so... we gonna hang us a Negro.

Hooray, hooray!

I ain't never harmed you...

Neither of you gentlemen.



I ain't never harmed nobody.

Hey, hey, Tommy.


Tommy, we come to rescue you.

That's mighty kind of you boys... but I don't think nothing's going to save me now.

The devil's come to collect his due.

Don't be crazy, Tommy.

You don't want to get hanged.

Well, nah, I don't reckon I do... but that's the way it seems to be working out.

Listen, Tommy, I got a plan.


The color guard is colored.

Who made them the color guard?

Run, boys!


No, no, son!

Can't let that flag touch the ground!


Heh heh.

Leave me alone. Get your hands off me.

I can do this myself. Get away from me.

I'm saying we should hire this man away.

That's a good idea, Pappy.

Hell of an idea.

Can't beat 'em. Join 'em.

Have him join us. Run our campaign... instead of that egghead's.

Enticements of power, wealth, et cetera.

No one says no to Pappy O'Daniel.

Oh, gracious, no...

Not with his blandishments.

And powers of persuasion.

What's his name again?

The campaign manager?



Vernon Waldrip.

Vernon T. Waldrip.


It's an invitation-only affair.

We'll have to sneak in... through the service entrance.

Hold on.

Wait a minute.

Who elected you leader of this outfit?

Since we've been following your lead... we got nothing but trouble.

I've gotten this close to being strung up... and consumed in a fire and whipped no end... and sunstroked and soggied.

And turned into a frog.

He wasn't turned into a frog.

Almost loved up, though.

So, you're against me now, too?

Is that how it is, boys?

The whole world... and God almighty...

Now you?

I guess I deserve it.


I know that I made some tactical mistakes... but if you just stick with me...

I got a plan. Believe me. Boys... we can fix this thing... and I can get my wife back... and we can get out of here.

Goddamn disgrace!

Made a travesty of the entire evening.


What I wouldn't give to get ahold of those agitators.

I mean, whoever heard of such behavior... even amongst the colored?

Or mulattos, maybe.

I suspect some miscegenation in their heritage.

How else you going to explain it?

Using a confederate flag as a missile...

Crazy! No one's ever going to believe... we're a real band.

No. It's going to work.

I just got to get close enough to talk to her.

Taking off with us has got more future... than marrying some guy named Waldrip.

I'm goddamn bona fide.

I got the answers.

Everett, my beard itches.

Hey. Hey.

"In the Jailhouse Now," fellers... neighborhood of "B."




It's me.


Honey, honey.

We're leaving the state.

Pursuing opportunities in another venue.

I got big plans.

Not minstrels... this here's just a dodge.

I'm going to be a dentist.

I know this guy who'll print me up a license.

Why, that is an improper suggestion.

I-I-l can't switch sides... in the middle of a campaign...

Especially to work for a man who lacks moral fiber.

Moral fiber?

Why, you little pasty-face sumbitch.

I invented moral fiber.

Pappy O'Daniel was displaying... rectitude and high-mindedness... when that egghead you work for... was still messing his drawers.

Psst! Honey.

Go away.

I want to be what you want me to be, honey.

I want you and the gals to come with me.

What. Dear?

What are you doing here, Pappy?

Well, I guess someone let on... we was giving out liquor.

Yeah, well. You'll be laughing... out the other side of your face come November.

Pappy O'Daniel will be laughing then.

Not out the other side of his face. Though.

Oh, no, no, no. Just the regular side.

They're my daughters, too, Penny.

Ain't you ever heard of amor fidelis?

Hot damn! It's the Soggy Bottom Boys!



Holy moley!

These boys are a hit.

But, Pappy, they's integrated.

Wait a minute.

Well, I guess folks don't mind they's integrated.

You's miscegenated.

All you boys is miscegenated!

Give me the microphone!

Give me the microphone! Give me the microphone!

These boys is not white.

These boys is not white.

Hell, they ain't even old-timey.

Look, I happen to know, ladies and gentlemen... that this band of miscreants here... this very evening... interfered with a lynch mob... in the performance of its duties.

Oh, yeah, it's true.

See, I belong to a certain secret society.

I don't believe I got to mention its name, you know?

Let 'em play! Go on!


And these boys here... they trampled all over our venerated observances... and rituals.

Now, this here music is over, all right?

And I have-No! Hey!

Hey, I ain't... listen to me.

Folks, listen to me. I...

These boys desecrated a fiery cross.

We was all havin' a good time!

And they's convicts, folks...

Fugitives escaped off the farm.

Now, folks, these boys got to be remanded... to the authorities.


And I have it from the highest authority... that that Negro sold his soul to the devil!


Wait, wait, wait a minute, now, folks.

No! It's true!

It's true.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute, folks.

Is you is, or is you ain't my constituency?


Is you is, or is you ain't... my constituency?


Is you is...

Is you is, or is you ain't...

My constituency?

Oh, come on, folks.

No. It's Homer now.

Come on. I'm a friend of the little man.

Ha ha ha ha! Waah!

This is not fair!

Hey! Come on!

Come on, now, folks... we got a little misunderstanding here.


Goddamn! Opportunity knocks.

Get out of my way!

That's fine.

That's fine!

Ladies and gentlemens... here and listening at home... the great state of Mississippi...

Pappy O'Daniel, governor...

Wants to thank the Soggy Bottom Boys... for that wonderful performance.

And it looks like... the only man in this great state... who ain't a music lover... is my esteemed opponent in the upcoming...

Homer Stokes.

Yeah, well. There ain't no accounting for taste.

He sounded to me like he was harboring... some kind of hateful grudge... against the Soggy Bottom Boys... on account of their rough and rowdy past.

Looks like-

Looks like...

Homer Stokes is the kind of fellow... wants to cast the first stone.

Well, I'm with you, folks.

I'm a forgive and forget Christian... and I say if their rambunctiousness... and misdemeanoring is behind them...

It is, ain't it, boys?

Yes, sir, it is.

Well, then. I say... by the power vested in me... these boys is hereby pardoned.

And furthermore... in the second Pappy O'Daniel administration... these boys is going to be in my brain trust.

What's that mean, Everett?

Well, Delmar, it means that you and me... and Pete and Tommy are going to be... the power behind the throne, so to speak.

Oh, okay.

So, without further ado... and by way of endorsing my candidacy... the Soggy Bottom Boys... is going to lead us all in a chorus... of "You Are My Sunshine."

Ain't you, boys?

Governor. It's one of our favorites.

Son... you're going to go far.

I guess Vernon T. Waldrip... is gonna be going on relief.

Maybe I can throw a little patronage his way...

Get him a job digging ditches... or rounding up stray dogs.

So, is the marriage off, then, Miss Wharvey?

It's McGill.

No. The marriage will take place as planned.

With a little change of cast.

Me and the little lady are going to pick up the pieces... and retie the knot, mixaphorically speaking.

You boys are invited, of course.

Hell, you're the best men.

I already got the rings.

Where's your ring, honey?

I ain't worn it since our divorce came through.

It must still be in the roll-top in the old cabin.

Never thought I'd need it.

Vernon bought one encrusted with jewels.

Now's the time to buy it off him cheap.

We ain't getting married with his ring.

You said you'd changed.

Honey, it's just an old pewter thing.

Ain't going to be no wedding.

It's just a symbol, honey.

No wedding.

We'll go fetch it with you, Everett.

It's just a... Shut up, Delmar.

It's just a symbol.

I've spoken my piece and counted to 3.

She counted to 3.

Goddamn it.

She counted to 3.

Son of a bitch!

You have any idea how far that cabin is?


Hello, boys!

Well, these little men... finally caught up with the criminal of the century.

Looks like the chair for George Nelson.

Yup, gonna electrify me.

I'm going to go off like a Roman candle.

Ha ha ha!

20,000 volts... chasing a rabbit through yours truly.

Gol damn... gonna suck all the power right out of the state.

Gonna shoot sparks out the top of my head... and lightning from my fingertips!

I'm George Nelson... and I'm feeling 10 feet tall!

Looks like George is right back on top again.

Cow killer!

Well, at least you boys get to see... the ancestral manse...

The home where I spent so many a happy day... in the bosom of my family... refugin', if you will...

With a mighty oak tree out front... and a happy little tire swing on it.

Where's the happy little tire swing?

End of the road, boys.

No. Wait a minute.

Let's go. Boys.

It's had its twists and turns.

Now it deposits you here.

Wait a minute.

You have eluded fate... and you have eluded me... for the last time.

Tie their hands, boys.

You can't do this, now.

Didn't know you'd be bringing a friend.

He'll just have to wait his turn... share one of your graves.

You can't do this.

We just got pardoned by the governor hisself.

It went out on the radio.

Is that right?

Well, we ain't got a radio.

God have mercy.

It ain't fittin'.

It ain't the law.

The law?

The law is a human institution.

Perhaps you should start making your prayers.

Oh, my God.


Tommy, I'm sorry we got you into this.

Good Lord... what do we do?

Oh, Lord... please look down and recognize... us poor sinners.

Please, Lord.

I just want to see my daughters again.

I've been separated from my family for so long.

I know I've been guilty of pride... and sharp dealing.

I'm sorry that I turned my back on you.

Forgive me.

We're helpless, Lord.

For the sake of my family.

For Tommy's sake.

For Delmar's and Pete's.

Let me see my daughters again, Lord.

Help us, please.

Ahh. Ahh.

A miracle.

It was a miracle!

Delmar, don't be ignorant.

I told you they was flooding this valley.

No! That ain't it!

We prayed to God and he pitied us!

Well, it never fails.

Once again, you two hayseeds are showin' how much you want for intellect.

There's a perfectly scientific explanation... for what just happened.

That ain't the tune you was singin'... back there at the gallows!

Well, any human being will cast about... in a moment of stress.

No, the fact is, they're flooding this valley... so they can hydroelectric up the whole durn state.

Yes, sir, the South is gonna change.

Everything's gonna be put on electricity... and run on a paying basis.

Out with the old spiritual mumbo jumbo... the superstitions, and the backward ways.

We're gonna see a brave new world... where they run everybody a wire... and hook us all up to a grid.

Yes, sir, a veritable age of reason.

Like the one they had in France.

Not a moment too soon.

Not a moment too soon.

Hey, there's Tommy.

Tommy, what you ridin' there?

Unh! Whoa.

Roll-top desk.

"All's well that ends well." some poet said.

That's right, honey.

Don't mind telling you I'm awful pleased... my adventuring days have come to an end.

Time for this old boy to enjoy some repose.

That's good, honey.

You were right about that ring, too.

Any other wedding band wouldn't do.

This here was fore-ordained.

Fate was a-smilin' on me.

That's not my ring.

What? Not your ring?

That's one of Aunt Hurlene's.

You said it was in the roll-top desk.

I said I thought it was in the roll-top desk.

No, you said...

Or under the mattress.

Or maybe in my chifforobe. I don't know.

Well, I'm sorry, honey.

We need that ring.

That ring is at the bottom of a pretty durn big lake.


A 9,000-hectare lake.

I don't care if it's 90.000. That lake was not my doing.

Of course not, honey...

I counted to 3, honey.

No, wait, honey.

Finding one little ring in the middle... of all that water is one hell of a heroic task!