Seconds (1966) Script

Mr. Hamilton? Yes?

Scarsdale is next.

Good day?

You? Very productive.

Got the roses out in back all trimmed.

Oh, letter this morning from Sally.

Sam's finished internship.

Starts practice next week.

Well, he should specialize. That's the only thing now.

Well, maybe he just wants to get the feel of things.

Our little girl’s done all right.

Something wrong?


That phone call last night?

What about it?

I heard you pacing around in the study afterward... till almost 2:00.

Just a crazy prank.

Look, Emily, it was nothing.

Art? It's me again.

Arthur? Arthur!

Look, I don't know who you are, but — Charlie Evans. Stop saying that! Charlie Evans is dead.

Now, I want you to stop this, or I'll be forced to call the police.

Art, there are two trophies on the fireplace... near the tennis team picture.

Pick up the phone and walk over to them.

Go ahead. You know the cord will reach.

Are you there?


In the picture, you and I are standing with our arms... around each other's shoulder.

We're both wearing the same kind of wristwatch.

Remember, we gave them to each other after winning the doubles at Princeton? Yes.


Take the doubles trophy there and turn it over.

One edge of the felt is loose.

Pull it back.

"Fidelis eternis."

You scratched it there down in the locker room... after we won the finals.


With your belt buckle.

I — I had forgotten.

I didn't.

It can't be you.

Okay, now. Listen very carefully.

Did you get the address today? Yes.


You're to use the name "Wilson."

You — you can't be Charlie. You just don't come back.

I'm alive!

More alive than I've been in the past 25 years.

You've got to come tomorrow.

Arthur, listen.

If you don't show up, that's it.

Think, for pete's sake!

What have you got now? What?

I don't know.

Tomorrow, just past noon.

Remember: Use the name "Wilson."

I... don't know.

I won't call again, buddy.



Was it that call again? No.

Stop cross-examining me every time the phone rings.



I'm, uh, sorry.

Excuse me.

You're excused.

Any fever?

No, just old faithful.

Make an appointment to see Dr. Hogan tomorrow, hmm?

I will.


Promise. Thank you.

Therefore... in view of the differential... between your present equity —

between your present equity and the amount necessary... for... capitalization... we cannot extend the loan you require.

Should your equity —


"Should your equity —" Oh, yeah.

Should your equity increase, do not hesitate to call on us... for a personal reappraisal, et cetera, et cetera.

Standard closing.

Yes, sir.

My name is, uh, Wilson.

I was told to —

I was told to come here.

Look, is this the place or isn't it?

They aren't here anymore.

I got it wrote down.

Thank you.

Move it! Let's go, let's go! Move it down the line!

Let's go, you bunch of idiots!

Get that beef cut down! Let's go! Move it up!

Damn you guys! Let's get that truck going and get the meat the hell outta here!

Go on! What are you gonna do? Take all day?

Come on, move! Don't let those hooks fall off.

Come on, let's move it! Okay, Toddy.

Give us another truck up here. Tighten up with it, now.

Ah, Mr. Wilson.

Let's go. On the truck with them. Surely this isn't the — No, sir. Please come with me. Let's go, Frank!

Move that truck off. Come on, now.

Let's hook it off. Hook on.

Move that beef off the line! Let's go!

This is costing money, you bunch of jerks!

Come on! Go! Go!

Come on, cut it down. Cut it! Cut it!

All right, come on! Move out!

Keep hooking that beef up. Cut it down. Let's go.

Would you step in, please, sir?

I'd much prefer to ride in front, if you don't mind.

I'm sorry, sir, but customers are asked to ride in the back.

Your hat, sir. It's only a short ride.

Thank you.

We're here, sir.

Would you take the elevator to your left, sir?

Ah, Mr. Wilson. Will you come this way, please?


I'm very sorry. There'll be a short delay.

Perhaps you'd like tea and a sandwich. Thank you.

All right.

Make yourself comfortable.

Here we go.

Uh, pardon me... but could you tell me the way out of this building?

Excuse me.

I was wondering if you could tell — Excuse me. I'm trying to find —

Excuse me. I'm trying to find my way out of the building.

I have a gentleman here who wishes to leave the building.

Yes, that would be Mr. Wilson.

Would you have him return to Mr. Ruby's office, please?

Mr. Ruby is waiting for him there.

They want you down at the end of the corridor again.

Yes. All right.

Thank you.

Ah, there you are, Mr. Wilson.

Come in, please.

Would you close the door?

Please, sit down.

My name is Ruby.

I've been assigned to go over the circumstances of your death with you.

What? I know this seems rather strange to you.

That's why I'm here. You probably have a lot of questions.

Of course, the subject might appear indelicate, but most of our clients — Now, get this straight: I am not a client.

Precisely, Mr. Wilson. You are not a client yet.

Let me start by explaining... the cost factor involved.

To begin with... the procedure is a rather complex one.

This seems to be your supper. Oh, the chicken looks delicious.

No, thank you.

Yes, as I was saying, the cost runs... in the neighborhood of $30,000.

I know this seems rather high, but in addition... to the rather extensive... cosmetic renovation by way of plastic surgery for you...

CPS has to provide a fresh corpse that perfectly matches... your physical dimensions and medical specifications.


Oh, Cadaver Procurement Section.

You sure you don't want this chicken?

Absolutely sure.

Oh, pity.

The next step is... the carefully planned obliteration... of identifiable portions of the cadaver... before it is found.

Features, dental structure, fingerprints.

We can't leave anything to chance.

No, I — I guess not.

Uh, would you mind if — Please.

Thank you.

Now, there is a problem — that the circumstances of your death must be simple.

Well, a simple accident, strangely enough... is costly, Mr. Wilson.

The trick lies in obliterating... just so much and no more, so that... an identification still can be made, based on... as I say, general dimensions... plus a credible sequence of events... witnesses, et cetera.

Oh, the whole thing must be very carefully staged.

We guarantee a death of this kind.

Mm, excuse me. Delicious!

They have a wonderful way of baking cheese on it... so that it gets very crispy.

Now, there are any number of ways... you can be found.

Excuse me. I mean your body can be found.

The victim of some kind of machinery, an explosion... um, a hunting misadventure.

Oh, but I think these are somewhat too gross for you.

I had thought perhaps a hotel room fire.

Would you like me to outline the circumstances?

No, thank you. Oh, good. I was — I was hoping you would agree — No!

I mean, I-I can't be sure.

Oh, well, of course, of course, of course.

We can't expect you to decide all at once.

Um, think it over.

There's so much else to be done, Mr. Wilson... but if I may say so... the question of death selection may be the most important decision in your life.

Ah, here are the trust instruments.

Mr. Joliffe, Mr. Brown, Mr. Wilson.

My colleagues.

This is your, uh, revised will... drawn in accordance with the requirements of the trust... all predated, of course, to save you the trouble.

Oh, no, no. It's standard procedure. effective at the time of your death... the trust provides for... very liberal settlements on your wife and daughter... and more-than-sufficient funds... for your financial needs and your new identity... from sums assigned to us as your trustees.

Insurance policies... annuities... real estate.

If you'll, uh, sign right here.

The staging here is rather authentic, you'll see.

Of course, the drug made it easier to manipulate you... into the proper positions and attitudes.

Rest easy, Mr. Wilson.

You did not ravage our girl.

Of course, the photography is not too professional... but I think it's clear enough.

So now it's — I have a message from Charlie.


He wanted me to tell you that rebirth is painful.

You were going to say...

"So now it's blackmail," eh, Mr. Wilson?

What would you call it? Just a kind of insurance.

Isn't it easier to go forward when you know you can't go back?

But you knew that, didn't you?

The minute you hung up with Charlie after that first call.

Ah, sure you did.

You're saying...

I can never go back?

Fact is, you really don't want to go back.

Sakes, boy! You owe yourself this thing.

Rebirth. Life again.

Begin again, all new, all different.

The way you always wanted it.

You got another chance.

Heck, nobody's gonna miss you, are they?

My wife. What about her? What are you to her now?

We get along. What does that mean?

There's my daughter.

We don't see much of her, actually.

She lives out west with her husband.

She writes now and then, uh... to let us — What are you to her now?

Excuse an old fool prying, son... but what does it all mean?

It can't mean anything now, anymore.

There's nothing anymore, is there?

Anything at all?

I... expect to be president of the bank before too long.

And I have my boat in the summer.

We have friends.

Anything at all?

I guess I... never thought much about it before.

I leave Emily pretty much alone to do what she, uh —

We get along, as I said.

We hardly ever quarrel.

Not that that's any... measure of our lives.


during the last few years, we...

hardly ever...

ever —

I — I don't know why I'm telling you this.

'Cause you want to. Go on.



showed much affection.

But as I said —


And, uh — So this is what happens to the dreams of youth.

Go on, son. Let it out.

Nothing to be ashamed of.

Let it out.

It's time for a change.

Now, look. They'll both be well taken care of.

They don't need you, and you don't need them.

You just can't help each other anymore.

Ah, look, son. You know what I'm saying is true.

There's nothing anymore.

No, no.

What you need now is a good rest.

Now, there a few things to be worked out in the morning... but my boys will clear those up, and you needn't worry none.

Your boys?

You're the head of it all?

There never was a struggle in the soul of a good man that wasn't hard.

My papa told me that... and it's sure enough true.

Believe me, son. I know.

I believe you.

That's fine.

You know, Mr. Wilson, you represent something of a milestone around here.

When the bandages are removed...

I think you'll be more than pleased.

In fact, I expect you to be prancing around here like a stud bull.

Now, it's gonna take a while, so, uh... try to be patient until we get you ready for the world again.

Now, don't do that!

You can't talk because we've extracted all your teeth... and given you a complete vocal cord resection.

Give the tissues time to pull together.

Now, you got a new set of permanent teeth.

In a week you won't know the difference. Thank you.

That's what hurts most right now.

Everything's different.

When the first healing's over, we'll start conditioning for muscle tone.

Yes, yes. Those too. Fingerprints.

Mr. Wilson, even your signature.

Little thing we did with the tensor ligaments of the hand.

The orbicularis or is started to sag, so we tightened them with ligatures.


Then we worked on the mandible to square up the bone.

Well, I never.

Holy mackerel. I don't know how you boys do it.

Doc, it's a masterpiece. Good work.

Easy does it.

You'll be all right, son.

Your scars and hematomas will disappear in a couple of weeks.

After several months of physical conditioning... the process will be complete.

My name is Davalo. I'm your guidance adviser.

This is about your future career.

I'm afraid I haven't thought very much about that.

Oh, yes, you have, sir.

Permit me. I want a ball... a big, big red one.

I'm afraid we picked this up a little too early.

Sit down. We recorded these regressions... under Pentothal and caffeine sodium benzoate.

At first, there's always a touch of the infantile... but later on, we progress to a more mature... expressional infrastructure.

Ah, here we are.

What would you like to do most of all?

Of anything in the whole world?

I'd like to be a tennis pro, I guess.


That's what I'd like best of all.

And suppose you couldn't be?

What else would you choose?

I guess I'd like to paint stuff.


Pictures and things.


I think the creative wish pattern is pretty self-evident.

You mean, I — I ought to be a painter?


You see, painting allows you a basic creative outlet... as well as providing an environment... in which these sublimations will have free vent.

Now, let's take a look at the program we've worked out for you.

Certificates of study.


Notices of first six one-man shows.

Your pictures are realistic in treatment... but deal with poetic imagery in choice of subject.

Not that I pretend to be a critic of painting.

These diplomas...

from reputable universities... they — they can't be forged.

Mr. Wilson, I assure you... every item is bona fide and valid.

How-How could I even approach such a professional level? I couldn't — Oh, very simple.

You are already established in a position of some dignity.

Oh, nothing conspicuous.

Just a solid, mildly successful sort of thing.

You will be supplied with fresh paintings periodically.

In time, you'll perfect your own style.

Surreal, primitive, impressionistic — whatever.

It will be a transition from this present work.

You see... you don't have to prove anything anymore.

You are accepted.

You will be in your own new dimension.

You're a bachelor.

Birth certificate. The only son... of deceased parents, and so forth.

In short... you are alone in the world... absolved of all responsibility... except to your own interest.

Isn't that marvelous?

Your studio is in Malibu, California.

Quite luxurious. Very private.

You'll make your own adjustment in your own way... in your own time.

Oh, you'll be self-conscious at first.

Don't worry.

It will wear off. And remember — You've got what almost every middle-aged man... in America would like to have: freedom.

Real freedom.

Ah, it's been a pleasure, Mr. Wilson.

Pillow, Mr. Wilson?

Yes, thank you.

Tony! Tony?

Tony Wilson!

Hey there, you old rascal!

Slow down! Where's the fire?

Can't wait to get back to them pretty little models, huh?

I am late.

Now, if I didn't have to catch me a plane, I'd make you buy me a drink, by God!

See you soon. Gotta run.

Welcome home, Mr. Wilson.

My name is John. I've been assigned to help you.

It's very nice.

I think you'll be quite comfortable, sir.

Do you like your studio?

Yes. Perhaps you'd like to freshen up and have a drink.

Afterward, I'll try to clear up any point on which you may have curiosity.

The bath is through here.

I'll unpack these for you later.


how long will you be here, um — John, sir. For as long as you need me.

The company is fully aware that you may have problems at first... and will spare no effort to help you solve them. Thank you.

Yes, sir.

John? Yes, sir?

I, uh — I had a curious experience at the airport.

What was that?

Well, I was accosted by a man who called me by name.

He seemed to know me, and I'm certain I've never met him.

I suppose it was a mistake on his part.

So it would appear, sir.

What kind of people live here?

Professionals. Some in business. Some write.

No, uh, no artists, I hope.

I think you are the only one, sir.

If I may suggest, sir... perhaps you'd like to give a small cocktail party for the immediate neighbors.

Oh, well, I, uh — I'd better get myself used to things first.

Later on, maybe.

As you wish, sir.

That's very good, sir.

Thank you.

Wouldn't you enjoy meeting some of the people here, sir?

I told you I'm not ready yet, John.

I'll do this in my own way and in my own time.

Of course, sir.


Hey. Hey, wait.

I'm sorry about back there.

How about if we try it again?


I'm Nora Marcus.

I'm... Tony Wilson.

Walk? Sure.

Ocean, I love you! You're beautiful!


All that power, and she's got all the answers.


Got a question!

What did you ask?

Oh, a tough one:

"Who and what is Tony Wilson?"

And what did it say?

It told me to mind my own business.

That was my life. Two boys, ages ten and twelve.

Successful and indulgent husband.

A beautiful house, complete with microwave oven... intercom, station wagon, et cetera, et cetera.

Ad infinitum.

Ad... absurdum.


I made myself a cup of coffee, dressed, and left.

That was four years ago. And you never went back?

I've seen them from time to time, but... it's different now.

Maybe because I'm different.

I don't expect you to understand.

I think I do.


An artist?

Why should you understand?

You spent your whole life being.

You don't know anything about me, really.

Oh, yes, I do.

It's all right there in your face.

What is?

Now you're fishing. No. Seriously.

This may hurt a little.

I agreed to take my chances.


Madam Marcus will read the leaves.

What kind of a man is he?

There's grace in the line and color, but... it doesn't emerge pure.

It pushes at the edge of something still... tentative... unresolved, as if... somewhere in the man... there is still a key unturned.

That's quite an analysis.

Not really.

When you come to think of it, it sort of fits everybody, doesn't it?

It's very nice here.

The good things always happen with the rain.

When will I see you again?

I'm going to Santa Barbara tomorrow. There's a kind of gathering.

Can I come?

It's going to be very wild.

Maybe that's part of turning the key.

To the god Pan. To the gods of this place.

Drink! See ye, ye gods.

March down upon this procession... and bless us all!

The queen of the wine!



The queen of the wine!

It's the queen!

Oh, the queen!

The queen of the wine!

Stomp those grapes!

Stomp those grapes!

Stomp those grapes! Stomp those grapes!

Stomp those grapes! Stomp those grapes!

Stomp those grapes! Stomp those grapes!

Now the season ends, and the old vines are buried deep.

Now, in dying, Bacchus gives us his blood... so we may be born again... laughing, laughing.

Come dance with me. Nora, I don't know any of these people.

I don't think I — Don't "think" me, Tony. Don't.

I came here to feel, to be.

I'm dying, and that's the world... the whole bloody world!

Nora, it's not a question of dancing. I'm not a part of this!

I'm dying, and that's the world! I don't understand!

The whole bloody... Nora, please! world! No! No! Nora! Nora!


Nora! Nora!

Hey, Nora!

Nora! Nora, come back here!

Get out of there! Hey, wait a minute.

Get your hands off me. Nora, get out of there!

Nora! No, please.

Please — Please don't! Please!

Stomp those grapes! Stomp those grapes!

Stomp those grapes!

Nora? Nora!




Nora. Nora! Kiss me!

Yes. Yes!

Yes, yes, yes!

Thank you, John. Oh, Mr. Wilson.

May I present Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd? How do you do?

This is your host, Mr. Wilson.

Mr. Filter, Mr. Wilson. Pleased to meet you.

How do you do, Tony?

Hello, Mr. Wilson. You have seen Tony's paintings, haven't you?


Mr. Wilson, may I present Mr. Mayberry?

Hi. Nice to meet you, Mr. Wilson.


Honey, please slow down. Never!


Come. I'm taking you to ze Casbah.

Not ze Casbah!

As soon as these people leave, I'm going to attack you.

Why, Mr. Wilson, you dirty old man!

I really am.

I want you to know that.

I'm counting on it.

Miss Marcus, you shock me.

Tony, please ease up. Hmm-mm.

Why? Because... it's not like you.

Oh, I know that.

I'm sorry.

Guess I just needed the added strength.

Oh, that's silly.

They're all wonderful people. Just give them a chance.

Okay, okay. Give yourself a chance.



I promise. No more.

And I promise to behave myself.

I'm sorry. Forgive me.

I've embarrassed you.

No, you haven't.


I think I love you.

You're beautiful!

You're —

You're an ocean. Let's go back.

The sooner we get rid of those people... the sooner we can be together.

I'm going to hold you to your promise. Oh, God. You're evil!

Yes! God, how evil you are!


Henry Bushman, my husband.

Nice to know you, Wilson. How do you do?

Nora, you're staggering. Hank, that's a dirty lie.

Watch out for this character. He's a lawyer.

Harvard, I want you to know.

Really? Hey, that's a coincidence. Hold it!

Thank you. Mm, me too. In fact, me too twice.

Hollow leg again?

Oh, will you listen? At home he makes me look like a piker.

A veritable piker.

Henry, you sneaking two-face, you.

Private joke? No. I'm sorry.

Come on, Nora. Let's ditch these two sots.

Help, Tony! Rape! Wait a minute. You can't do that.

No, there's no way you'll get away. You're gonna stay right here.

But that's my woman. Hey. Hey!

Hey, that's funny. That's very funny.

What's funny?

Is he really a sneaky two-face?


There's such a religious climate out here. Don't you agree?

Oh, I love the climate. Yes.

I belong to a special kind of group.

Nothing subversive, I hope.

Oh, good heavens, no!

We change sects.

I beg your pardon?

Oh, no, no. Good heavens. You thought I meant —

"Sects." S-E-C-T-S.

Oh, sects! Yes.

Well, thank God!

We change every month. Right now, we're in Aztec.

Huitzilopochtli, Quetzalcoatl, virgin sacrifice and all.

I just love your paintings, Mr. Wilson.

How do you ever do it?

Well, you see... it all began with a big red ball... and, uh — No, no.

You see...

I paint naked, Mrs. Filter.

It's the only way to get at the truth. How interesting.

Of course. You see, in this way, my inner essence is revealed... and I am presented to the canvas... in direct relationship with my primeval state... without its sociological trappings.

Hey, watch it, will ya? Oh, look!

Take it easy, Wilson! I'm sorry.

I'm terribly sorry. You all right, hon?

John! John?

That'll never come out. Never! I'm terribly sorry.

Excuse me. Please forgive me. Just look at this mess!

It's all right, ma'am. May I?

Let me take that.

I'm sure it won't stain badly.

Hey! You two heard the one about the — Yes, we have.

Well, I'm — Well, I'm sorry.

I — I didn't mean to interrupt.

Seems like I'm... doing everything wrong lately.

Now, don't pout. Mama will make everything better, okay?

Perfect. Say, Hank... uh, I was thinking about school just before... and, uh, your house at Harvard... wasn't, by any chance, Adams, was it?

No, not exactly. Is anybody hungry?

Hey, I am.

Say, Hank?


Hey, Hank. Here.

Hank, actually — actually, I'm not a Harvard alumnus either.

That is, I used to be, but I'm not anymore.

What do you mean? Did you resign? Take it easy.

Oh, that's priceless! No!

I did go to Harvard, you see... and I was an alumnus... but that was before I became a painter... and now I'm not anymore.

Come on, Hank!

Poor Eli's hopes we're dashing Into blue obscurity

Resistless, our team sweeps goalward With the fury of ze blast We'll fight For the name of Harvard Till the last white line is Passed That's wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!

Truth is, I just stopped being an alumnus.


Wilson! What?

You and I must play golf sometime.

Golf? Golf?

Antiochus Wilson playing golf?

Huh? Now...

Arthur Hamilton —

Looks as if our host is in orbit.

Hey, wait a minute, you guys.

Incoming! Good-bye! Bye!

Oh, isn't he wonderful?

Put him down. Hey, wait a minute.

Turn him around. Hey, Hank, listen.

Hey, Hank, I got a nephew — I got a nephew right — right in Harvard right now!

You don't have a nephew. What?

I don't have a nephew!

Okay, correct.

I don't have a nephew... but he's there, all right.

He's there, all right.

My daughter... she's married to a doctor... and maybe by this time, I'm a grandfather.

Believe me... they'll never drag it out of me.

I'll stand right here... on my constitutional rights.

I'm not a grandfather.

I — Why are you all staring at me like that?

Hey, John?

Hey, John! Why are they — Hey, John. Hey, John... why are they staring at me like that?

They know.

They know what?

They're like you.

What do you mean?


Oh, Lord!

Shut up, you! Shut up!

Shut up, damn you! Just who the hell... do you think you are?

Oh, no!

Oh, my God!


It's me, buddy. Now, listen to me. Arthur — Charlie?

Now, look, Arthur — Charlie.

Arthur, listen to me! Is it really you?

Of course it is.

Do you realize how dangerous it is, what you're doing? Do you?

I've got to get out of here. You don't know what they're doing to me.

Come on, now, buddy. Calm down. Calm down.

I've got to see you. That's impossible right now.

Why? It just is!

You've got to get a hold of yourself, fast. You'll be sorry — You know what they did? I can't explain, but you'll be — There's this reborn, Nora.

She's not one of them.

She works for the company.

What? That's right.

An employee.

But I — Oh, no. She was so —

Why, Charlie? Why?

Your adjustment was bound to be difficult in the first stages.

Don't you see? The company simply provided — An employee.

It means a lot to me personally, Arthur. Now, I can't explain... but we're sort of tied together, you and me.

We're so close, Arthur. Don't throw it away.

How? Trust, please?

Promise to stay put until we can get someone to you.

You've got to have some help right now. Please, will you do it?

Will you stay there? Please!


I'm Mr. Wilson. Yes, sir.

Come in, please. I'll tell Mrs. Hamilton you're here.

Mr. Wilson?

I'm so glad you were able to come.

Thank you. I didn't mean to barge in. Oh, not at all.

It was very kind of you.

I must have sounded strange over the phone, but... you see, Arthur never mentioned — Well, I just met your late husband last year, shortly before — Yes. Um, please, sit down.

Mrs. Hamilton, I'm a painter — an artist, actually.

I admire your husband's watercolors. Really?

Not that he was professional... but he did have something.

He mentioned some paintings in a cupboard out in the garage.

That's the reason I — Well, I was wondering if I might... pick one up as a memento.

I'm sorry, but the garage has been cleaned out.

You threw them away?


No, not exactly.

You have a lovely place here.

Oh, thank you.

This was the study, wasn't it?

Yes, it was — How did you know?

Your husband... talked a lot about this house, about his family.

I'm sorry.

I didn't mean to stir up painful memories.

No. No, it's not that.

It's just that...

I never knew Arthur to do that very much.

How do you mean?

I don't want to bore you. No, please.

I'd like to know.

You see...

I knew him only for a short while.

I'd really like to know.

It's not just curiosity.

We, uh — We shared an interest in art.

The last time I saw him, I — I did some sketches.

Now I'd like to do a painting... but all I have are lines... a face.

Posthumous portraiture, hmm?

I'm not joking, Mrs. Hamilton.

No, of course you're not. I'm sorry. I — You've set me quite a task.

He was a quiet man.

I think the thing I most remember him for were his silences.

It was... as if he were always listening to something inside... some voice.

He never talked about it, so I never knew what it was.

Oh, he was a good man...

but he lived as if he were a stranger here.

I mean, he never let anything touch him.

He became absorbed in things — his job, mostly.

He worked hard. He... became more detached.

Always a look around his eyes as if he were... trying to say something.

I don't know what.

Protest against what he'd surrendered his life to?

I never knew what he wanted...

and I don't think he ever knew.

He fought so hard for what he'd been taught to want... and when he got it, he just grew more and more confused.

The silences grew longer.

We never talked about it.

We lived our lives in a polite... celibate truce.

You see, Arthur had been dead a long, long time... before they found him in that hotel room.

Well, I... guess I can't tell you much more.


Yes, it is.

I really should be going.

Well, I... hope I've been some help.

Yes, you have.

Very much.

Mr. Wilson?

You said that you wanted a memento.

It won't be a painting, I'm afraid, but it's all I have.

I'm sorry, Mr. Wilson.

It doesn't matter.

I want to go back. Of course, sir.

No, I don't mean to California.

To the company.

Start again, all over.

Antiochus Wilson can die, can't he, John?

The company.

Is it possible?

I think so, sir.

Begin again.

Quite honestly...

I'm not the least bit sorry... because there were certain mistakes made in my case, and — Of course, but before we go into all that, let me ask you... whether you can recommend and sponsor a new client.


Someone in your acquaintance outside... whom you feel would benefit by the company's services.

You were sponsored yourself, you know.

Oh, yes, of course.

A business associate, perhaps. Someone down the street.

You don't have to be intimately acquainted with a man to realize... he'd be receptive to the sort of opportunity we offer.

I'm sorry. Right now, I just can't seem to — What I mean is, I — I'd like to think about it.

Well, that's all we ask.

As you can imagine... our business is acquired through present clients.

It's a word-of-mouth operation, Wilson.

You don't suppose we can advertise in magazines and newspapers.

No, of course not.

I think you'll come up with something.

Hold it. Thank you.

Hold your arm up, please, Mr. Wilson.

Excuse me. I don't understand. That's it.

Is all this really necessary? 13 1/2. Profile.

Turn sideways. Wait a moment. Is this necessary for — Hold it. That's it.

Back view. What is this, preliminary for surgery?

Certainly, Mr. Wilson.

A year's gone by. A lot happens to the human body.

This one is yours, sir.

Hello, Arthur.

Excuse me. I don't believe I know you. It's me, buddy.

Fidelis eternis.


You're Charlie?

Guess I am, old buddy.

What are you doing here?

Same as yourself: waiting.

What's the matter?

Uh, nothing. I — It's just that it's... hard to recognize somebody and... not recognize them at the same time.

How long have you been here?

Oh, a while.

When you phoned me, you were here?

Even the first time?

But you sounded... like the whole thing was something tremendous... this... rebirth, everything, even when you hadn't made a go of it.

I thought you'd have a better chance.

Good God! How long does a man have to wait to get into surgery?

Not long, usually.

I had to stay around and telephone you, if necessary... through your first adjustment, but now — That's what you meant about our being... tied together.

I couldn't help it, Charlie.

I had to find out where I went wrong.

The years I've spent... trying to get all the things...

I was told were important... that I was supposed to want!


Not people... or meaning.

Just... things.

And California was the same.

They... made the same decisions for me all over again... and they were the same things, really.

It's gonna be different from now on.

A new face, a new name.

I'll do the rest.

I know it's gonna be different.

I suppose you do too.

Good morning, gentlemen.

Mr. Carlson, please.

Charlie. You?

Art, I — Mr. Carlson, please.


I have the feeling you're gonna make it this time.

Sorry to disappoint the rest of you.

Perhaps tomorrow.

You don't seem to understand our problem, Mr. Wilson.

I understand it perfectly. But you're not cooperating.

I've told you over and over again, I cannot think of anyone.

I can't believe that. I've been shuffled around long enough.

It's about time I had the opportunity to start living... some kind of meaningful existence.

If I did sponsor someone... wouldn't that delay my trip to surgery... in the event that I were needed from time to time... to, say, advise him?

No, that's not likely, not if the selection is a good one.

I'm sorry. I don't seem to be able to think of a single soul.

You mean you deliberately won't. Have it your way.

Very well.

That'll be all, Mr. Wilson. You can go back to the dayroom.

Processing, please.

This is Ruby.

On Wilson, 722...

I think we can go to the next stage now.

Hello, son.

Oh, sir, I —

Ah, you know, I sure hoped you'd make it, find your dream come true.

What? I said, I sure hoped you'd make it... find your dream come true.

I guess I — I guess I never had a dream.

Maybe that's it.

That — That sure might have been it.

If I did have one... it certainly wasn't...

Antiochus Wilson.

This time...

I've got to be allowed, sir, to make my own decision.

You know, son... when I began this business, I was a young man with an idea.

I wasn't aiming to make a lot of money, helping others... helping them to find a little happiness.

Oh, heck, just not the rich.

I thought eventually — You see, I got tremendous comfort in the thought that, in my small way...

I was waging a battle against human misery... and I was too.

Except we do have a high percentage of failures.

I guess that's to be expected... but it hurts me.

Some reborns make a go of it.

We're always working to find ways to improve the system.

Yeah, we make mistakes.

Fact is, when our clients first started coming back here...

I just wanted to chuck the whole thing, but I couldn't.

The organization was pretty big by then.

Board of directors, on a profit-sharing basis.

All those people.

You've no idea what a financial responsibility it turned into.

Heck, we make mistakes, but we admit 'em... and go forward.

I won't see it in my lifetime... but some of the younger execs like Ruby may.

Oh, you can call it wishful thinking, son... but life is built on wishes.

And you've got to just keep plugging away at 'em.

You can't give up... and you can't let the mistakes... jeopardize the dream.

Well, here's your transportation.

What? Surgery, sir.

But I've got to talk to you. We're on a very tight schedule. Please.

Why, I — I didn't expect so soon that — It's efficiency. You're lucky we got a match so quick.

Hop aboard, son. Up there.

The doctors are waiting.

That's just so you won't fall off.

But there's things we have to talk about. I mean, my identity — We will. We will later. Mm-hmm.

Just relax, son. Everything's gonna be fine. Just fine.

The thing about doing it on my own.

You see, it's so important: choice.

You've got to change. We have to talk about it.

We will. I'll look into it personally.

Just remember, son, we gotta keep plugging away at the dream.

The mistakes teach us how. It wasn't wasted. Remember that.

My name is Dr. Morris, sir.

According to our records, you were reared in the Protestant faith.

Did you convert to any other during your adjustment?


Good. Good.

That is, "good" in the sense that we have a certain definition.

Now, I am not suggesting that being a Protestant... is any better than being a Catholic or Jew.

As a matter of fact, I am qualified to care for you in either of those faiths as well.

I was ordained in each: rabbi, priest, and minister.

I admit it unusual. Uh, maybe even a bit advanced.

Wait a minute. What's happening?

Well, my good sir, when we have finished... you will go on to the next stage. I don't mean that!

Ultimately, Mr. Wilson, ultimately we'll be called... to face the Creator and render up our last account.

It happens to all of us, sir.

That's no answer! I want to know what's happening to me now!

Don't shout! Please!


"Blessed shalt thou be coming in... and blessed shalt thou be in going out.

And he said, 'Thou canst not see my face... for no man can see me and live."'

"I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me... though he were dead, yet shall he live.

And the stranger shalt thou not oppress, seeing ye yourselves were strangers."

"He that loveth life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life... in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Fear not thou them which kill the body."

"I am the door.

By me if any man enter in... shall he be saved."

God be with you, sir.

What's his data?

"Wilson, mesomorph, age 51... no current diseases.

Requisitioned from dayroom stock May 6.

Released for cadaver use last night. CPS number 722.

Disposition: death by automobile accident... caused by cerebral hemorrhage."

All right. Acid etch. Yes, sir.

What's the solution strength? Five percent at ten cc's.


Five minutes.

You were my best work, Mr. Wilson.

I'm sorry it all has to end like this.

All right, set him up.

I think we'll put the hemorrhage right under the left exoccipital... in the lingual gyrus.

Put that light over here. Good.

All right.

Relax, old friend.

Cranial drill.