"And now, ladies and gentlemen, the Stars Desert Inn Hotel, Las Vegas, presents the final performance of the incomparable singing sensation, Miss Deloris Van Cartier."
But my mama told me, you better shop around!
So that's what I did. I shopped.
I shopped and I shopped.
And I found something special.
I got myself a brand-new hustle.
See how they treat me? He got my cousin, he got my coat.
When I tried to get it back, he whipped out this...
You know this song. Let's sing.
These are my friends. Ladies, sing this for me.
Come up and join us. Come on, come on. And hurry up. Ladies!
What you doing?
You were fantastic!
Oh, my! Nice outfit.
Glad I didn't wear mine.
That last bit was great.
I'm a big fan. I got your album.
This is my manager, Joey.
What do you want? Are you represented?
They're nuns. God represents them.
Can God get you your own dressing room? You were great.
She taught me to sing.
I am so glad to see you guys. What are you doing here?
We came to see you.
Staying a long time?
We'll be back on the road tonight. We don't have any time to chat.
Maybe a little chat. But we do have to get back. We're teachers now.
It's all because of you. You inspired us to go out into the community and do some good in the hood. Oh, my!
Can I get you guys something? Sit down.
Can they even hear you in the back of the room when you're teaching?
I'm getting better.
We're teaching at St Francis Academy in San Francisco.
I went to that school. It was... They need good teachers.
We're having a barrel of laughs.
Though the kids get a little unruly. Actually, they're out of control.
It was so bad, last week, Sister Mary Patrick frowned - twice!
Let's get down to business. Excuse me.
Business goes through me. No, excuse me.
These are my friends. I'm talking to them.
I'm talking to my friends. I'm your manager.
Forgive us. Excuse me. Go ahead.
You come up here, you come to see me. What's going on?
Does Mother Superior know you're here?
She sent us on this mission to...
We're not to come back without you.
What does she want?
We're not certain.
But she needs you and wants us to bring you back.
Is she OK healthwise?
She's fine. She's a little desperate.
I'll get it! I'll get it!
I'll take it. What?
It's good to see you.
Sister Mary Claren... Oh, I do apologise. Deloris.
It's so good to see you too.
I'm sorry I couldn't join the sisters in Las Vegas.
I've heard you are truly a spectacle.
Well, I work at it.
You're probably wondering why I asked the sisters to bring you.
I am curious. What's all the mystery?
Well, you see, Deloris, we need your help here...
at St Francis.
We seem to have got in slightly over our heads.
What... do you want?
Help us by becoming a teacher.
A teacher? Me? Oh, no! I'm not cut out to be a teacher.
Who would I teach? What would I teach?
Teach the children. Teach music.
You weren't cut out to be a nun either, but at St Katherine's you brought a new spirit into the convent and the community.
You were... infectious. You could be as infectious here.
You're making me sound like a disease.
We are struggling with a community that is tired, worn and despairing.
We saw this school as some sort of renewal.
But it's becoming a hopeless situation.
We have nowhere else to turn. We are desperate women, Deloris.
We need you. I'm...
Think of the children.
We must invest in their future. And who better to help us than you?
I'm a lounge singer.
You are the perfect example of how a sow's ear can be turned into a silk purse.
Well, I probably wouldn't have put it quite like that.
I mean, my career's started to take off.
I want to get into my success.
A success you might not have had without the help of supportive friends who shall remain nameless.
So you're gonna be like that with the guilt?
Guilt? I would never use guilt. I'm a nun.
All right, I'll do it for you.
Thank you. I knew we could count on you.
You're talking about a week?
I don't think we should restrict ourselves to a time frame.
Deloris has agreed to join our teaching staff.
Could you take her to the changing room?
Tell me why I'm dressed like this again.
The fathers here are very strict.
If they found out you weren't a nun or a teacher, they might...
Ask me to leave? In a New York minute.
Now I'm undercover again.
It could be fun. Convent living's grim.
All I need's a bed and a place to kneel.
Wait till you see what we have in the room for you!
You didn't do something silly! What did you put in it, a bidet?
A bi-what? Never mind. What is it?
A watched pot never boils. Wait.
Don't tell her. It's a surprise. Oh, come on.
One, two, three.
Sometimes it resembles a battleground at recess.
Mostly, the kids are well behaved.
A new nun.
Sister Mary something or other. I'm terrible with names.
Who was that? The older one is our principal.
Father Maurice. The other is Mr Crisp.
He's only been here a few months.
I think I've seen her somewhere before.
Just long enough to hate us.
The kids call him the devil. He's just got the grumps.
I don't care who he is. I just want to put the top up on my car.
If there's a car left.
What did she mean? Is that a joke?
I'd like you to join me in welcoming the new addition to the teaching staff, Sister Mary...
Who will be teaching our...
Music. Is there still a music class?
In a manner of speaking. Why is he asking that?
Sister Mary Clarence will be teaching our music class.
Now, I think each of you should introduce yourselves.
I'm Father Ignatius. I teach math.
I'm Thomas. Ave, magistra nova.
Latin teacher. Oh, good.
This is Mr Crisp. This is Sister Mary Clarence.
Oh, yes, the new nun.
Sister Mary Clemens.
Clarence. Like in Thomas. I'm the music teacher.
The music teacher. Music?
You're gripping me-
Oh, yes. Sorry.
Yes, I just stopped by to remind you of our meeting this afternoon.
Well, pardon the intrusion, and bon appétit.
This is Father Wolfgang.
Who cooks so diligently to minister to our dietary needs.
For luncheon, Bratwurst a la Provence.
He only knows how to cook one thing. German sausage.
Liverwurst, Bratwurst, Bierwurst.
It's the worst!
Oh, no, no!
Jenny Craig. I just couldn't. Thank you.
This... needs a prayer.
Sister Clarence, I wonder if I could have a word with you in private.
No, I need to...
Won't you sit down?
The sisters tell me your last posting was at a women's prison facility in the Louisiana bayou.
What? It wasn't?
No, no, it was, it was. Yes, of course.
The prison was really rough on me.
I'm trying to wipe this experience from my mind. It was so traumatic.
They led me to believe that you enjoyed it.
Well, yes, I did. It was a traumatic enjoyment of an experience that I should not have had and appreciated because I'm a nun.
Nuns are not meant to have enjoyable experiences because they lead to all kinds of situations, which is why I'm here. I know you understand that.
Well, I do see what you mean.
I knew you would.
As I do with all my new teachers, I'd like to share my theories about education, gleaned from my years of experience as the principal.
I am an open book.
Anything else to go with that? That's it? Discipline?
Unfortunately, that's all we can expect here. Any questions?
No, I feel as though I have absorbed all I can from you.
I wish you good day... and good luck.
Thank you, Your Eminenceship.
Your Royal Pappyness.
Piece of work, isn't he? A prison?
You lied to me and you're gonna go to hell!
Vocant. They call, are calling, do call.
I call, am calling, do call.
Vocas. You call, are calling, do call. Voco...
Class? Eyes up, pencils down, mouths closed.
We'll learn a lesson and have fun doing it. The topic: promiscuity. Who can tell me what that means?
In your dreams.
Sandra, I know you have a question.
You can't answer questions about sex.
You don't have to bite the doughnut to know it's sweet.
Plus, we have the Bible.
Sister Mary Clarence? You look lost.
VVho isn't? Can't find the music room?
It's downstairs. Take a left, right, right, left...
I'm sorry. It's tricky. I'll help you find it.
Just follow me. I'll show you where it is.
I know exactly what you mean. One hall looks like another.
Sometimes I just stop in my tracks and say, "Lord, come to my rescue."
Watch your step.
Here we are. It's the... music class!
Well... thank you.
Oh... remember - nothing ever is as bad as it seems at first.
Fight the good fight.
OK. Sursum corda.
What was that?
It's Latin. It means lift up your heart.
I thought you said, "Insert some quarters."
I'm not cut out for this.
You're joking me.
The children are waiting. Yeah! Ain't they?!
That's why your mama DJs for the ice-cream float.
Oh, it's you!
Thank heaven you're here.
Class, this is your new teacher. Sister Mary Clarence.
Your mama is so fat, she sat on a rainbow and skittles popped out.
Congratulations. You're the new mayor of Sodom and Gomorrah.
That's why your mother's so fat.
Keep the faith, sister.
Remember, Our Lord said, "Be ye strong of will."
Ye better be tough as nails too.
Morning. I'd like to introduce myself. Put your seats back in order.
I don't like a lot of noise, so maybe you could do it quietly?
Thank you so much.
My name is Sister Mary Clarence, and I'm...
Let's talk about your mama, who's so dumb she got hit by a parked car.
Let's try attendance.
I'd like to introduce myself.
I'm Tyler Chase, and on behalf of the music class...
You got something on your nose.
A big brown thing here.
Thank you, Mr Chase.
Wake up, fool!
Paper or plastic?
Pardon'? Are you Richard?
Did you do these?
Let me see.
They call me Sketch. I do sketches.
These are real good.
Try to stay awake in my class, though.
Wesley Glen James.
Respectfully, James is the slave name forced upon my ancestors.
Wesley is some name my assimilationist parents came up with.
Today, in honour of those who died in the struggle, I wish to use my true name - Ahmal M'jomo Jamaael.
Which means "He who is spirited".
A simple "present" would have done it.
And who are you?
Hello there, miss, let me kick an introduction Flute, violin, bass guitar...
Can't you come up with your own thing?
You continually steal my people's expressions.
Jazz, rock'n'roll, now rap... What you gonna take next?
Your girl! Keep talking there, boy.
Let's leave this display of manhood outside. Thank you.
Hurry up. We've got things to do.
Know what I'm saying?
Are you Rita Watson?
That's me. Sorry, I don't have any antidotes to tell you.
Anecdotes. Shut up! Mind your business!
How about we call you Rita Diva-With-A'tude?
Maybe I could help.
Are we all here? Yeah.
Thank you! All right, what have you been doing?
Is she jokin'?
Let me give you an easier question. Where are the music books?
I should explain something. This is what we call a bird course.
We call it a bird course because we fly right through it.
All you gotta do to pass in this class is show up.
So you come to class, you do nothing, and you pass?
No, we don't exactly do nothing. We have a good time too.
Money? You're asking for money?
Yes. The green stuff that has pictures of dead presidents on it.
You use it to buy things - instruments or song books.
Sister Mary Clemens...
Mr Crisp, my name is Mary Clarence.
Clarence. You're confusing St Francis with the University of Notre Dame.
There is no money here.
They manage to pay you, Crispy.
Mr Crisp is right. We're lucky to be open at all.
Then I wish you'd tell me what I'm supposed to do with these children.
Teach them to play... soccer.
We don't have the balls for that.
Now! Thank you.
The question is, how do we get this nun to extricate herself from us?
Let's get this nun to run.
I'm not sure. That's like messing with a higher power.
This sister is like a sister sister.
She ain't no sister of yours.
I heard that.
We gotta agree. Are we in or out?
Young man! Picasso!
You want to keep this job, get back in here.
I know what that means.
I stick with the majority on this. Check you all later.
Rita Louise Watson?
Get your behind in this house now.
You got homework to do.
Ma, we're just chillin'.
Don't make me come after you.
Listen, call me tonight so we can figure out a plan.
On second thought, call me in the morning.
See you later, Rita.
Here she comes.
Well, you look like my class.
Is something going on?
No, Sister Mary Clarence.
I saw a scene like this once in a horror movie.
They subdued an entire community by putting a drug in the water.
Is that what's going on?
Today, I'd like to talk about music cos that's what I am.
I am the music teacher and it's what I love.
When you think about various people and what they like - you think this one likes this or that - me, I'm what you call eclectic.
You plug your box into the wall, it gives you power, stupid!
Not electric. Eclectic, stupid!
Let me simplify it for you. When I say eclectic, I mean I like different types of music.
Opera, rock'n'roll, rap... I like it all.
But my absolute all-time favourite are the girl groups from the '50s and '60s.
Tyler, shut up!
Let us not badger this man who wants this information.
I like Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles and I like the Supremes.
Who are the Supremes?
Don't get physical with him.
You're gonna get jumped A shocking question. "Who are the Supremes"!
You never heard of Diana Ross?
Oh, Diana Ross! Let me tell you.
They were the premier group.
Your comrades say "yes" because they were incredible.
What I love, when I think about music, is how different types of music can be fused together.
Yeah, fusion. I'm really glad you're into this.
The best example I can give...
You got busted!
We want you to know that we understand.
You're quite free to leave whenever you please.
You'd be better off in show business.
Goodness knows the money is better.
Bright lights and sequins are prettier than anything here.
Know what I hate most about this place?
There's nothing to pick up and throw.
Would you like a cup of tea?
It would be criminal if this happened.
St Francis has been a beacon of hope to people here for many years.
To close the school like that would be a disaster.
You're sure there's nothing to be done?
We're afraid not.
I hoped we could keep it open until the end of the school year.
We know it's unfortunate. We don't like it either.
The archdiocese says St Francis must close at the end of the semester.
Why so quickly? You're in the red.
There's little hope of recovery.
You must realise that community contributions have been nil.
The school has no outstanding academic records.
I've been exploring other uses for the property.
It's more valuable as a parking lot than a school. I'm sorry.
The recommendation is to close.
Well, there's nothing more to be said.
You should be commended for your excellent analysis of the situation.
Thank you very much.
But I do wish you'd consider my application for early retirement.
I've worked for the archdiocese for almost 30 years. I'd like my due.
Absolutely. Thank you.
Let's go out and have some lunch now, shall we?
The end of the semester. Where did you hear that?
I happened to be eavesdropping in Father Maurice's office.
We were afraid this might happen. I've been expecting it for some time.
Well, what do we do? We'll probably be reassigned.
The children will be bussed to another school in another district.
That's stupid. This is the only school in this community.
We've gotta do something, or we'll lose our students.
Then I guess we are going to do something.
You do mean we? We?
Yes, yes - we.
You're not leaving?
I said I was gonna come and help.
Thank you, Deloris.
Just call me Mary Clarence.
Reverend Mother. Father Maurice.
I'd like to speak to you.
My mind is consumed with trying to deal with...
Sister Mary Clarence?
Yes, as a matter of fact. I'm familiar with the dilemma.
She presided over the ecclesiastical equivalent of a pep rally last night.
I am aware of this.
How did you know?
When one deals with Sister Mary Clarence, one is smothered with more information than one wishes.
She's become quite disruptive.
Disruption is the way Mary Clarence communicates.
I worry about raising false hopes among the children.
Tell me about your experiences with Mary Clarence.
I wouldn't want to frighten you.
In my experience it's easier, and ultimately quite effective, to give Mary Clarence a free hand.
Aren't her ideas extremely radical?
If I'm correct, the term "radical" was applied to us in our day.
Have you forgotten the trouble we caused Bishop O'Malley?
Oh, yes. Bishop O'Malley.
Give Mary Clarence a chance.
If the school is on the road to closure, at least she'll make it an interesting ride.
Good morning. Please take your seats quickly and quietly.
Welcome to the first day of your new scholastic lives.
This is no longer a bird course.
The bird has flown. If you want to pass, you have to earn it.
I have no problems failing each and every one of you.
I never thought this was a bird course.
I'm glad for you. Very, very glad.
This is a new day. Things are gonna be a little different around here.
Oh, yeah? Like how?
Like when I talk, Frankay, you don't.
Is this something you wanna share with the class?
No. I'm kicking it with my girl.
You kick it with me or I'll kick you out. What do you think of that?
Put 'em away.
You! This is not Elizabeth Arden, Miss Thing.
You wanna beat your mug, do it at home before you come to class.
Put it away.
Sketch, don't be catching Zs in my class.
I be tired. I got a job.
Save it for Oprah. This is a brand-new day, ladies and gentlemen.
We'll start with respect.
You're gonna respect me and I'm gonna respect you.
The first thing you're gonna do, gentlemen, is take off those hats.
This is a brand-new day.
I guess that means you'll comb your hair before you come to class.
You're laughing over there. You think this is very funny.
There is no sun in this room. You will not get a tan.
Take off those sunglasses. You too.
If they're not prescription, I don't want to see 'em. I want to see you.
I want to look into your eyes. I want you to look into mine.
Yes, Miss Watson?
We don't want no new way. The old way was fine for us. Right?
If you're gonna fail us, go ahead. Cos... I ain't doing nothin'.
Fine. There's the door. Don't let it hit you in the butts on the way out.
Yo, sis. I can't afford to fail this class.
Tell your friends that.
My parents wouldn't be pleased.
We ain't gotta take this from her. Come on.
Sketch, come on, man!
I'm usually down for this, but I'm gonna take care of business.
A little lonely out on that limb by yourself, Miss Watson?
So much for friendship.
Let's get down to business. You wanna go somewhere, be somebody, you better wake up and pay attention.
The real world doesn't care how hip you think you are or who you kick it with. It don't matter.
If you don't have an education, you don't have anything.
That's the truth.
But we cannot do it by ourselves. We need help.
We're here for the children. If not for them, for who?
Let's start with the curriculum.
Let's talk about boring!
I can barely stay awake.
I can goose up sex ed. What do we do about the graffiti? It's awful!
I'd love to teach new math.
Face facts. We're closing down.
Yes, we may be closing, but we're not closed yet.
So why don't we go out with a little class?
Let's hear it again.
If you wanna be somebody, if you wanna go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention.
Make me believe what you're saying.
Can we waken this up a little?
Yeah, if you think you can. OK.
Wait a minute!
Talk about a wake-up call! Where did this come from?
This is a music class, isn't it?
Yes, it is. Are you telling me you guys can sing?
That was great!
I've just figured out how I'm gonna get you through this music class.
Yes. I'm gonna turn you guys into a choir.
Most choirs just sing wack songs nobody cares about.
Sit down. Let's go.
Quit chewing that gum. You look like Mr Ed.
Come right in. Watch your footing.
You ready, Alma? Hello?
You ready, Alma?
Alma, turn the pack on.
Ready, ladies? Yes!
Five, six. Five, six, seven, eight.
Play it, Alma! Go ahead, girl!
That was brilliant.
So, what did you guys think?
Well, it was OK. What do you mean, OK?
What about you?
It was cool for what it was, but it wasn't all that.
Look who was singing.
A bunch of nuns singing to old biddies?
Two guys in row four didn't even applaud.
They was deaf, stupid.
We should 86 this choir thing. Some of us got reps to think about.
If we wear robes and sing hymns, my homeboys will think we're punks.
In Nigeria, singers wear ceremonial robes as a mark of honour.
Spare us Roots.
Can't we sing something that won't get the crap kicked out of us?
I understand you gotta think about your image. Image is important.
Your friends will dictate your actions through your life.
So I wouldn't want you to be an individual - that would be too much.
But I will say this - when these ladies get on the bus, do not disrespect them.
It ain't easy to get up and sing in front of people like yourselves.
Nice job, ladies.
I smell trouble. Check it out.
What's happening is, I've been sent to give you a message like I'm working for Western Union instead of the church.
Don't say you have to sing it.
Very funny! You won't be as humorous after you've seen to Father Maurice, who wants to see you right now.
During school hours we are responsible for the children.
They can't go on a trip without parental consent.
OK, I made a mistake. I'm sorry. It will never happen again.
Indeed it won't.
From now, authorised or unauthorised trips are cancelled.
In a very short time, St Francis will close for good.
I'd like that time to be safe and pleasant for everyone concerned. Do I make myself clear?
You heard him say that?
Just a second ago.
St Francis can't be closed. My family dropped out of high school.
I refuse to go out like that.
We could take 'em higher with the choir. It could be dope.
We need to exhibit some pride in ourselves.
Like Paul Laurence Dunbar did.
OK! That's what I'm talking about.
That's what's wrong with kids today. Y'all don't wanna listen.
Go ahead and walk away.
Don't y'all realise what they took from us?
You know what I'm talking about.
They stole our land and our name and our mother.
You know what I'm saying, right? Get your butt a job.
Brother try to walk the walk and can't understand the talk.
I know y'all understand me.
This used to be the old music room.
The acoustics are incredible. You can't buy them.
Looks like Tales From The Crypt.
This is wack.
I'd hate those spiders to get into the weaves some of you are wearing.
Now, does anybody play an instrument?
I can play. Piano.
It still has some sound in it. Give me an A. See if it works.
OK, let's see.
Sketch. "Mary Had A Little Lamb".
I don't sing. I rap.
I rap too. But you wouldn't know anything about that.
Excuse me, Frankay, hey ho. I happen to be a big fan of Run DNA.
Run DMC, my sister.
He got it. It was a joke! Lighten up.
I like Big Daddy Kane. Will you rap for me, please?
You wanna hear "Mary Had A Little Lamb"?
Ahmal, sing for me.
A little tentative, but we can work on that. Very nice.
Shaka Zulu said word sounds had powers.
Chaka Khan said "it's my thing." So what?
Tanya - "Mary Had A Little Lamb".
That was beautiful.
Go ahead. You just saved that lamb's life. No lamb chops tonight.
What do you say we try it, just for fun, as a group?
You up for that?
On three. Give me an A.
He's so multi-talented, isn't he?
That's very nice, the way you did that.
All right, on three. One, two, three.
OK, OK, OK. Maybe I went a little too fast for you.
We'll go back and take it nice and slow.
Maria, let me hear "Mary Had A Little Lamb".
What's the matter?
Come on, Maria.
She's shy. What?
I don't know "Mary Had A Little Lamb".
It is not Maria's fault if she does not know that Mary had a lamb.
It is not - and I say this to you - it is not Maria's fault, because maybe where Maria came from, Mary had a dog.
Or a little kitty cat.
Or a little bald-headed brother named Bart.
It is not her fault that she doesn't know it.
We're not going to hold it against her, are we?
You sing whatever it is that is in you to sing. All right.
OK, stop. "The Love Boat" - all right. That's nice. Mary Lazarus, this is your soul mate.
Do you know the theme song from "Gilligan's island"? My favourite.
This isn't about whether you can sing or not.
We know you can. We've heard you do it.
This is about singing together as a group. Hit it.
All right. On three. One, two...
I mess up that part every time!
What's the matter, Rita?
That was beautiful.
Don't even try. You can blow too.
But you got the type of voice. You could really make it.
This is for church.
What's wrong with you, girl?
I've just been thinking about things.
My mother thinks singing is dead-end.
No security. And that's cool, Rita.
But what do you think?
I don't know.
Let's do the song I was doing.
But this time let's do it together.
I can't sing with you. Come on! I know you with it.
You take the top and I'll take the bottom.
Just try it.
Please don't stop.
I'll see you later, Rita.
You have a beautiful voice.
So why aren't you in the choir?
I know you wanna be.
There's a lot of things I wanna do, but I ain't gonna get to do 'em.
Yeah, I know.
I used to feel that way too.
You should talk to Sister Mary Clarence. She helped me so...
You're just barely 17.
How do you know what you're gonna get to do and not do?
Have you walked around this neighbourhood?
Not exactly the land of opportunity.
I might wanna sing, but it ain't gonna happen, so what's the point?
Welcome to the real world, sister.
What's the matter?
This chick's got a lotta attitude.
No, I think it's deeper than that.
Deloris... Sister Mary Clarence.
I think that she needs help.
Why are you looking at me?
I thought you could help her, kind of the way you helped me.
No, no. You were different.
She really, really wants to sing.
Is she any good?
God bless you, Sister Clarence. Chapel time. Get in there.
You have a little bit more attitude than I like, but I've decided to dog you, no matter what. OK?
I'm listening to you.
I know you want to sing.
I love to sing. Nothing makes me happier.
I either wanted to be a singer or the head of the Ice Capades.
You know the Ice Capades? Don't roll your eyes! They were cool.
My mother gave me this book.
Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke.
A fabulous writer. A fella wrote to him saying
"I wanna be a writer. Read my stuff."
Rilke says "Don't ask me about being a writer."
"if you can think of nothing but writing, then you're a writer."
I'm gonna say the same thing to you.
If you wake up and you can't think of anything but singing, then you're supposed to be a singer.
What's the point of your story, sister?
Read the book.
And don't roll your eyes about the Ice Capades.
It was a good living. I just want to point that out.
Let's try some energy, hey!
And as a group.
From the diaphragm.
Let's do Frankay!
We're going right down the scale.
Yes, go on, go on.
OK, got it? This is so funny.
Do you think Shaka Zulu could repel a bunch of troops with the tiny voice you're using?
Give me "O Happy Day" in C.
You listen to what I'm gonna do, OK?
This is you.
That ain't gonna scare nobody.
That's what I want you to do.
Take it up half a step for me.
All right, repel me.
That ain't gonna scare nobody.
Now you got it.
OK, you guys, relax.
Take a deep breath.
Be fine. Don't worry.
Come here. Stand over here.
You have to do better than this.
Take your cue from me.
Take your bow.
Go on. Take your bow.
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we are now a choir.
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust Show me the man that a woman can trust.
Where does it say on the eighth day he dusted?
Look at these trophies. All-State Music Competition, 1971, 1969.
This school's been winning competitions for a long time.
Think they still have these contests?
What if I told you that we have entered you all in the All-State Music Competition?
Six weeks from Saturday in Hollywood!
They be doing some crazy stuff! That is so cool!
You put this choir together. We took our cue from you.
This school's won competitions. Don't you have faith in yourselves?
Are we good enough to compete against other choirs?
You could be if you rehearse before class and after school. How about it?
We need to discuss this. Y'all ready for an All-State thing?
No! Absolutely not.
Come on, y'all!
Nobody has ever cared what we was good at, except Sister Mary Clarence and her homegirls.
They were hooking us up. Plus, we can go to Hollywood. Hollywood!
What are we gonna wear?
Guys, come on. We owe this to ourselves. We should do it.
What about our boyfriends?
There may be some all-boy choirs at this competition.
If we win the archdiocese is going to be pleased as punch.
Maybe we'll have a prayer to keep this school open.
Does this mean we're going to the All-State Competition?
Let's turn this mother out and rock the house! Dope!
They wouldn't bring drugs in here, would they?
No! Absolutely not!
How can you keep saying no?
They're good. They are so ready for this.
You made a promise to the students that you can't keep.
Field trips are out of the question.
This is not a field trip. It could save the school.
You have my answer. It's the wrong one!
Sister Mary Clarence! You're being insubordinate!
I know. And surely you can understand why.
The kids have worked hard for this. They're really good.
They could win. This school used to win that competition every year.
If they're gonna close this school, let's go outwith a bang!
Yes, let her!
Well... Very well, then. You seem to have the support of everyone.
So I'll give my permission.
You've got to raise the money and get parental consent.
That is not a problem. Thank you.
Thank you, my brothers.
Everything Joyful, joyful
Fill us with the light of day
Come and join the chorus Mighty, mighty chorus
Mama! What are you doing home so early?
Mrs Gibbs needs me to do her hair. What are you doing?
Just fooling with some stuff.
Give me that, please.
Give me that.
And the tape recorder too.
What is this?
It's just some music, ma.
Sister Mary Clarence wants us to learn it. For the choir.
When were you gonna tell me that you're in a choir?
Rita, how many times do we have to go through this?
Singing does not put food on the table.
Singing does not pay the bills.
Singing is no guarantee to a future, even if you have talent.
Did you know I can sing?
Your daddy died trying to make it.
What does that have to do with me? We're a good choir.
We could win the All-State Music Competition.
Keep your nose in them books and out of the clouds.
If you'd listen to me...
I know how you feel. But there are a lot of talented people on the street singing shoulda coulda wouldas. Is that how you wanna end up?
You know I don't. Good, cos you've got to study.
We have a chance.
The choir and competition are out.
If you "But, mama" me one more time...
Now, the choir and the competition is out. You understand?
With food, lodging, costumes, transport and gas, this'll cost about $2,000. Which is a lot of money.
Don't look at me. I took a vow of poverty.
The only person that made money as a nun - Sally Field.
$2,000?! It might as well be a million.
It's absolutely doable.
The community should be involved - time they took care of the school.
It's the only way.
Rita, I'm glad you're here.
Make sure your mom signs this consent form.
If we can raise the buckaroos.
I have to quit the choir for reasons I can't explain. I'm sorry.
But I gotta leave the choir.
Give us back our consent form.
Just a minute, please.
Hi! I'm Sister Mary Clarence.
I know who you are. What can I do for you?
Well, Rita left the choir.
I was kinda hoping you could talk her into coming back.
I don't think I can do that.
Know something, sister?
I don't want to discuss this. I've got work to do.
If you'll excuse me... Good day to you.
We're here to collect some money from you.
That means we need your help. Put that basket out there.
Give that money. Give that money, baby.
Give that money. Come on, girls, do what I do.
Sing it if you know it.
Are you OK?
And the grand total is, minus expenses - drum roll, please...
Wow! That oughta get us down there and back.
You're not driving again, are you?
I can drive anything on wheels. You have a problem with that?
It's been a long day.
We've got a lot to do in a few days.
Don't forget to get the consent forms from the kids.
What? Nothing. No, it's something.
I just can't believe you came here and did it again.
You made all this happen.
Everything's gonna be fine now.
You think so?
I really think so.
Thanks. You want some help?
Please. Look - we have another helper.
I don't know about you sometimes. You're scary.
What's up, Rita?
Mary Clarence said you quit the choir.
Yeah, I did. So?
So enquiring minds want to know.
If I wanna quit the choir, it's my business.
It's like the choir's a big joke.
I'm sure we'll have a plethora of other opportunities!
Rita, look, we got a real shot.
If we're gonna do anything worth something, we gotta stick together.
Don't you understand? This is all we got.
This is all right here. You have to be down. I want you to.
What a mess!
Is that everybody?
Wait for me!
Thank you, Sister.
Nice to see you.
Excuse me. Consent form.
A must. Thank you.
Come on, come on.
Look what I found in the library.
Deloris Van Cartier. A lounge singer?!
I knew I'd seen her somewhere before.
"Girlfriend of a vicious mobster." Oh, dear! A gun moll!
Sister Mary Christine... Clift-... Sister Mary Fake!
I'll have to call the officials and remove us from the competition.
No, I don't think that's such a good idea.
What would you suggest?
She's our responsibility. We should handle it... personally.
You don't usually drive. Perhaps one of us with a driver's license...
Thomas, I know you're busy, but see that stick on the left?
That's your turning signal.
The other drivers wouldn't be so hostile if you'd use it.
I've had enough of this.
Where in the Sam Hill did you people learn how to drive?
Thomas! Jesus Christ!
Rita? I'm home.
"Dear mama - I went to the All-State Music Competition."
"I never meant to hurt you, but I had to follow my heart."
"Please forgive me. I love you. Rita."
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the 30th All-State Music Competition.
A gathering of the most talented young musicians in California.
Let's go, Margaret. It is Margaret, isn't it?
I can't tell under all that paint.
I hate this thing. It does nothing for my figure.
Can't I wear something tighter?
You're here to impress the judges with your voice, not your heinie.
He sent his men unto her grave To tell where she was buried And all she said...
Look what you did! I'm sorry.
Put one on the other side. Start a fashion trend.
Mangbatu women paint their cheeks as signs of fertility.
On second thought, take it off.
Dang, man! What?
This thing ripped! What am I supposed to do?
Don't fret. My mother used to say, "Nothing is impossible if you have faith and a roll of electrical tape"
Look at my hair! You like my hair?
It looks like a bowl of lard and you look wack.
I'm so nervous, I don't think I can go on.
Never mind how you feel.
Think how great you'll make the audience feel when you sing.
Take a deep breath, and yawn.
See how that relaxes you?
Now, from San Diego, the Oceanview High School Gospel Choir.
They're good. They're really good.
We have to go backstage.
But how are we going to find them?
Shouldn't be hard. We look for the choir that looks like it just robbed a convenience store.
Great Caesar's ghost!
Three times state champions, the Chapman Choir from Orange County's Grant High School.
Joyful, joyful, we adore thee God of glory, Lord of love Hearts unfold like flowers before thee Opening to the sun above They're singing our song!
They're like an army!
Drive the dark of doubt away Giver of immortal...
Father Thomas! It's us!
Colour me surprised.
The kids will burst when they find you've come to support them.
We didn't come to support the children.
Father Maurice and Mr Crisp will pull them out of the competition.
Why would they wanna do that?
Because Sister Mary Clarence isn't a sister.
She's a Las Vegas showgirl.
Who'd have thunk! She has so many nun-like qualities.
Not to mention the outfit.
Yes. Father Maurice and Mr Crisp are looking for them right now.
That's a good idea. I think we should go look for her too.
Good idea. I agree. Bye-bye.
Ever singing, march we onward They got it going.
Look at those robes. We'll look like suckers.
All of a sudden, I don't feel good.
In the triumph song of life
Why aren't you ready? You saw that other choir?
We can't win against them. We'll be laughed off the stage.
I didn't come to be embarrassed.
They sang our song, much better!
We're going home.
You're all ready to leave cos you got scared?
It's your MO. It's how you operate. "Something new - better run away."
Forget the people who busted their butt to get you here.
I'm gonna remind you - if you wanna go somewhere, be somebody, you better wake up and pay attention.
If every time something scary comes up, you run, you'll be runnin' for the rest of your lives.
You guys, she is right.
If we do this, we gotta be slammin'.
St Francis Academy? Get ready.
I'm terribly sorry. What a sea of humanity. Sorry.
Father Maurice! We thought you wasn't coming.
Glad you're here. Thank you.
We'll win with you here.
I'm glad to be here to support the choir.
But something has been brought to my attention. Something...
I don't know how to say this.
But I just have to say that... you children are amazing!
I almost didn't recognise you. There's such a glow in you.
Remarkable. You all look like angels.
Wait till you hear 'em sing.
You guys, places. Let's go.
Father Maurice, what are you doing?
I decided to let them sing.
Do you know what you've done? What did I do?
Didn't you call the archdiocese people about Sister Mary Fake?
I thought I'd tell them when I saw them.
Are they here? I think they're here.
But you haven't told them? Not yet.
Well, I'll tell them. I'll make sure they know. Where are they?
Mr Crisp, we'll help you find them. Won't we, guys?
A few minutes ago, they went that way.
Are you sure?
I saw too. I saw with him.
We just came down here!
They went down the hall here.
They were saying something about the ventilation system.
Have you been drinking the sacramental wine?
They're in here. I can hear voices.
Sure you can hear voices!
There they are. After you. What are you talking about?
Excuse me. Wait a minute!
Get something to hold this door with.
Not this! This is dessert!
Give me that thing!
Open the door! It's dark in here!
Father, forgive us. We know exactly what we do!
That last choir was rather good.
What she's done with the children is amazing.
Well, Sister Mary Clarence is no ordinary nun.
You don't have to tell me that.
You're not angry with me for misleading you?
Not at all.
You're free to fool me any time you want.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, from San Francisco, the choir of St Francis High School, under the direction of Sister Mary Clarence, also singing "Joyful, Joyful".
Joyful, joyful, Lord, we adore thee God of glory, Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before thee Your teacher says take off your robes.
Do it quickly. I don't know. Just take them off.
Put on anything you want. We're gonna go out there comfortable.
Some of us.
Drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness Fill us With the light
Joyful, joyful, Lord, we adore thee God of glory, Lord of love Hearts unfold like flowers before thee Hail thee as the sun above Melt the clouds of sin Sin and sadness Drive the dark of doubt away Drive it away Giver of immortal gladness Fill us Fill us with the light of day
Check the rhyme!
Joyful, joyful Lord, we adore thee And in my life I put none before thee Since I was young, I came to know You was the only way to go So I have come to an understanding That I'm down with the King So now I'm demanding That you tell me who you're down with Cos I'm down with G-O-D!
- You down with G-O-D? Yeah, you know me
- Who's down with G-O-D? Everybody!
Come and join the chorus The mighty, mighty chorus Which the morning stars began The Father of love is rising over us By the Way What have you done for him lately?
What have you done for him lately?
He watches over everything So we sing Joyful, joyful Lord, we adore thee God of glory, Lord of love Hearts unfold like flowers before thee Hail thee as the sun above Melt the clouds of sin Sin and sadness Drive the dark of doubt away Drive it all away Giver of immortal gladness Fill us Fill us with the light of day
Oh, we need you, yes we do
Fill us With the light of day, Lord Hear us as we pray, Lord
Fill us with the light of day Light of day
And now, the moment we've all been waiting for.
But first, let's give all the contestants a nice big hand.
The third runner-up, Pinewood High School San Bernardino Quartet.
The second runner-up, Oceanview High School, San Diego Gospel Choir.
First runner-up, Grant High School Orange County Chapman Choir.
The grand prize winner, St Francis High School, San Francisco!
What a performance!
What a surprise to see you. You're aware that the school that just won is the school you are about to close?
You must be kidding! With a choir like that?
Get ready for next year! I'm so pleased you feel that way.
Just the people I want to see! You have been deceived.
What's he talking about?
This Sister Mary Clarence! You have been deceived.
Actually, it was Mr Crisp...
It was Mr Crisp's idea?
He did it to keep St Francis from closing. And it worked.
St Francis isn't closing?
No, St Francis isn't closing.
We knew you wanted early retirement. We didn't know you were being modest.
They can't put a prize bull like you out to pasture.
There must be a real trouble spot somewhere that could use Mr Crisp's extraordinary talents.
That woman! That woman!
Go with God, Crispy!
How does Sister Mary Clarence perform night after night in Vegas?
She's used to all this. We're the nervous wrecks All these people!
Mama, it was just this one time.
I'm sorry. I'll never disobey you again.
Please don't be mad at me.
And I'm proud of you.
I'm very proud of you.
Congratulations! All of you!
Sister Mary Clarence, you've done it again.
And because of your success, the archdiocese have decided to keep St Francis open!
You owe me.
I feel so happy, I'm gonna cry.
I'm a sucker for happy endings myself.
You two! Oh, what the hell!
You ain't really a nun.
You don't talk like a nun. And you don't act like one.
Rumour has it you're a Las Vegas showgirl.
Let me point out one thing, my dear Ahmal.
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Las Vegas showgirl.
I am a headliner.
Now wait a minute!
And one, two, one, two.