The Light at the Edge of the World (1971) Script


Felipe! Yes?

Bring up some number two wick.

We're going for water. When you get back.

All right.

Mr. denton.

You indicate west for the wind this morning.

It's always west here. Never changes.

To a seaman, Mr. denton, there's a big difference between west and west-southwest.

I'm not a seaman, captain.


And this is no ship, either... Captain moriz.



Number one or number two?

Number two, and hurry up! All right.

Was that sail or steam last night?

It was too dark to see.

Steam ships always carry a white light amidships, a green to starboard and a red to port.

I think I've told you that before.

Yes, you have.

Sometimes I don't think my heart's in my work.

Then you shouldn't be in this work.

Is she still lit, captain?

That light is much too yellow.

It's the whale oil.

You can't see whale oil two miles.

I see it everywhere.

Can smell it, too.

I've had ships, Mr. denton...

Captain... this is not a ship.

This isn't just another job, Mr. denton.

And that's not just another light up there.

Nope, it's an argand burner multi-wick, oil-fed dioptic system with a beam... That's enough, Mr. denton.

I begged them to give me a crew of seamen.

Captain, I'm sorry I'm not a seaman, but...

Seeing that light on a black night is as close to looking at god as most men ever get.

And the devil himself won't put it out while I'm alive.

But does it take a seaman to keep it lit, captain?


It's a job for old men and...


Why are you here, Mr. denton?



Good morning, Felipe. Morning, captain.

Good morning, Mario.

Did you have a lot of trouble with Felipe last night? Huh?

Who put that light out? You? Or Felipe?

I think I saw a deer this morning, captain.

There are no deer on this island, Felipe.

Could've swum over. I think I saw one, captain.

Captain, can we try for it? All right.

I hope you weren't dreaming you saw a deer.

Here's the key to the gun cabinet.

Thank you.

Good luck.

Shh. Oh, I'm sorry.

I did see one.

Are you married?


I ran a gold mine.


The wind, it shifted.

It's south.



Never changes.

Always west.


Mario, Mario.




You hit him!

Look, there's blood. Can't be far.

Was I right, will? Did I see a deer?

That's a strange looking deer, but let's get it to a frying pan.

We'd better hurry.

Not without this fresh meat.

Mr. denton, get up herel

Mr. denton, drop that. Get up here at once.

Felipe. Yes?

Gun. Oh.

And I'll tell the captain you're coming.

She's coming in.

She's flying a distress flag. Sickness, maybe.

That fresh meat's for us.

A distress flag, I said, Mr. denton.

We'll share what we have.

Thank you.

Come along, Felipe.

And leave your animal behind.

They'll think we're savages.


Now you be a good boy, huh?




William denton.

This... is your captain. Hear me.

This light will burn no more.

You stand accused of the cold-blooded murder...

Of lightkeeper... Andrew moriz...

And assistant lightkeeper, Felipe mendoza.

For these murders... you will die.


You surrender.

Put your trust in your captain.

Am your only hope.

Hey. Hmm?

Come on, eh?


Mario. Mario.


What's this?


Yeah, this'll do.

Hmm, hmm, hmm.


Ooh! Aww.


Damn good, too. Here, try some.

You're hungry.


Mario. Mario!

Come here.


Come back here.




Ehh. Ehh, ehh.

Ow! Ow!

Allow me to introduce myself.

I am Jonathan kongre...

Your captain.

Mr. tarcante. My very excellent mate.

Mr. virgilio, a bulwark of my establishment.

Why did you murder them?

Do I detect an American accent?

How very agreeable.

I used to have dealings with your countrymen during the happy days of the slave trade.

Most profitable.

Most revealing... about human nature.

But while I am amusing myself, reminiscing, you are starving.

Seems a pity to waste balduino's culinary talents...

On a man who's about to die.

Is this your companion?

Little chattering man.

What a sense of humor god must have.



Mario, Mario.

And now, Mr. denton...

Perhaps you feel refreshed.

And ready for a little exercise.

Who are you?

Who are you?

Who are you?






Release him!

Huh? Jeez, look at that. That's gold!

That's gold, girl. Gold!


Goddamn cheat!

Hey now, come on, Matt.

Now, have a drink. Come on, please.

I ook out!

Rocks ahead! The port bow!


I am delighted to have this opportunity of making your acquaintance, miss, uh...

You are english, I take it.

My name is Arabella ponsonby.

I am traveling from San Francisco to england on the California flyer.

I am a respectable woman.

My father was the honorable Charles ponsonby of puddletown, dorsetshire.

A lady.

May I offer you my arm, miss ponsonby?

She's salvage, captain.

We must use our salvage properly, tarcante.

It would be a pity to damage it before the time comes for the sharing out.

Look how its white skin burns in the sun.

What's all this?


My name is guiseppe montefiore.

You the cook? No, the ship's engineer.

Just what I need.


We better get out of here. Who are you?

Assistant lightkeeper. What happened?

I'm out of a job.

My clothes...

I have no clothes.

Mrs. fanshawe, my aunt...

Where is my aunt?

It's wonderful how perfectly the female mind understands the priorities.

Her clothes, first.

Her aunt, poor lady, only second.

Was she a fat lady, your aunt?


Old. My chaperone.

She was... Fat.

I believe I have seen something of your aunt.

There you are, my dear.

Open it.

A keepsake.

You have survived only because my associates found you as pretty as the rings on your poor aunt's fingers.

You're no Christian.

Oh, your dress. My apologies. Virgilio.

What is your color?



Virginal white.

Oh, how delightful it is to talk of such delicate matters.


The men wish to look at her.

Well, never mind.

We'll gossip over dinner.

Don't worry, they won't touch you.

Don't leave me, please.

You may proceed, tarcante.

Sir, help me!

I shall dress for dinner.

They call you seamen, huh? That's why we have ships.

Everybody but me.

Can't we do anything?


Just stay alive.

Come on, let's try to find some food.



They can't stay here forever.

We just wait for that relief ship to get here.

Never really got to know him till it was too late.

You never give up.

If captain moriz could see what was happening to his lighthouse.

He wouldn't like it.


Ahh, guiseppe, I take it all back.

It's a big one.

That little monkey would cuddle up around Felipe's ear, and he'd go bouncing along, twanging away on that damn Jew's harp.

Yeah. I miss him.

The way they were killed.

You know, I was lucky. I...

Ah, denton.

Y un amigo.

Our fish!

You drink like a man, Arabella.

I'm used to living among men.

Oh, yes.

Very few women in California.

In California, they chase after gold, not women.

But certainly...

A woman of your beauty...

Almost as beautiful as she was.

But then girls always look their prettiest on their wedding day.


"To William, our best man.

Affectionately, Matthew and Emily Jane."

Who is...

How would you like...

To enter a charade with me...

Emily Jane?

Why did you call me Emily Jane?

Does a name mean so much?


Loves you.

Loves me?

Desperately, Emily Jane.

For 12 long years, he has loved you.

He has kept every letter you ever sent him.

Tied in blue ribbons.

Blue ribbons.

And now you have come back...

As young and beautiful as ever.

A miracle.

They say every woman is an actress.

For a woman of your background...

It 1s a role...

Worthy of your talents...

Miss Emily Jane.

I'll do it.

Was she on the ship?

I think so.


Emily Jane?

Miss Emily Jane?

Emily Jane!

The captain would like to see you.

Will! Will!


Are you crazy?

Was she alone? I don't know.

We had a lot of english families.


Emily Jane!

Pleasant walk, Emily Jane?

Why do you want him so much?

Isn't it obvious?

He knows.

He's the only man left who knows.

But I know.

Every ship that passes must pay a tribute to this rock.

A tribute to me...

As yours did.

Why is your ship leaving?

Target practice.

Wouldn't want me to blow up my own schooner.

I reserve that for Mr. denton's relief ship...

When it arrives.

Her name was... Emily Jane.

I loved her, but...

She married somebody else.

Matt Edwards. He was a gambler.


He used to come around on paydays and clean out my crew.

Then one night he pulled a gun and...

Well, I had to shoot and...

I killed him and...

Of course, she never talked to me.

Never had anything to do with me after that, but...

She was the only woman I ever loved.

I still love her.



We cannot let that false light wreck another ship.

And still we do nothing? That's right.

Just try to stay alive. They'll wreck her.

We just stay alive.

Distress rockets.




Emily Jane.


Will denton.

You're not her.


It's not her.



He made me.

Mr. denton, help me. Help me, please.


Whoo, whoo!

Denton is alive, Mr. tarcante.

I want him back.

Are you sure?

Yep, I'm sure.


Because I have to.


But the same crazy man who saved my life.



What are you doing here?

Well, when a lady cries out for help...

I am not a lady.

I'm a maid.

I'm not Emily Jane, I'm not Arabella ponsonby.

She was killed with all the others on the ship.

I just took her name because I thought that way I could stay alive.

But I was her maid.

I'm a nobody.

A nobody.

I'll help a nobody, then.

How dare you come into a lady's room like this.

Come on.


I can't.

I can't. I...

Where do I go? To a cave to be hunted like you?

Here, at least I've got clothes, food, a bed.

What can you give me? Nothing.

You asked for help. We risked our lives.

Will, please understand.

I understand.




On this 15th of November, in the year of our lord, 1865.

L, Jonathan kongre...

By the authority vested in me as sovereign of this latitude...

And as your captain...

Do accuse you, William denton, and the person of one, guiseppe montefiore, peasant...

Of the callous...

And premeditated murder...

Of six citizens...

Of this realm.

Come out, will!

Claim your peasant!

I hardly think there is any doubt of your guilt.

You're not man enough to get denton.

Little chattering man.


You slept well, I trust, miss ponsonby?

By all the pleasure I can bring to you.

Have brought me, miss ponsonby.


He has been sentenced.

I did what you told me!

I want denton!

I want him alive. Alto, alto, alto!

Call the men on board, the woman is theirs.

Everybody on board, the woman is yours!

At last, a queen of tragedy.

You made me an actress. I'm not Arabella ponsonby at all!

I lied to you, I lied, I lied!

No! Kongre!


That will eliminate temptation.

Remember, kongre...

I can save you.

They'll believe my story when the relief ship gets here.


You will be the lightkeeper.

And 1?

You can be a passenger on that wrecked steam ship.

You evil son of a bitch.

I can smell you from here.