Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (1991) Script

The reason for calling this conference at this particular moment is that we are convinced that we have overcome a major financial crisis, a crisis in severity unparalleled in the history of the world, and that with its relaxation, confidence and hope have reappeared in the world.

¶ Happy days are here again ¶

¶ the skies above are clear again... ¶ girl: All anybody talked about back then was the great depression.

How bad things were and how the good times had to be just around the corner.

Well, I must have worn out every corner in waycross, Georgia, looking for those good times, before realizing my destiny lay somewhere else.

Anywhere else.

¶ Happy days are here again ¶

¶ your cares and trouble are gone ¶

¶ there'll be no more from now on ¶

¶ happy days are here again ¶

¶ the skies above are clear again ¶

¶ let us sing a song of cheer again ¶

¶ happy days are here again ¶ ready, sonora?

You don't want to be late for school.

I'll be right there.

[Chickens clucking]

Arnette, where's your sister.

She's comin', aunt Helen.

Sonora, you better quit lollygaggin'!


Sonora! What are you doin'?

What are you doing?!

My God, girl, what am I gonna do with you?!

[Scissors snipping]

No, aunt Helen, don't! Please!

You're gonna wear it and that's final!

No more backtalk or I'll smack your face!

Oh, get out of here. I don't even want to look at you.

[Horn honks]


Come here, lightning. What's wrong?


Whoa, easy.


Hold still.



There you go.

That's better, huh, boy?

Isn't that sweet?

Nice haircut, sonora.

Who cut it, a blind man with a butcher knife?

[Kids laughing]

The ugliest haircut I've ever seen.

Ugly. She should look in a mirror.

Come on, lightning.

Where are you takin' him, to the glue factory?


He's the best horse in the county.

Boy: Oh, yeah, sure. I'll bet.

Oh, yeah.

He is.

Lightning can outrun or outjump any horse around.

Can he jump that fence over there?

[Cows mooing]

He can jump twice that high.

Prove it.

I would, but I don't want to be late for school.

[Kids clucking] Chicken.

'Fraidy cat.

Bawk! Bawk! Bawk!

You're just scared.

Go on, do it.

I dare you.

I double dare you.


You just watch.

[Material tears]

[Softly] I think my big mouth just got us into trouble.

Come on, lightning. Come on.

Wow. Is she gonna make it?

She's gonna do it.

Come on, lightning.

Oh... Ohhhhh!

Ohhh! Oof!

[All laughing]


Let's get out of here!

Come on!

[Kids screaming and shouting]


Get back!




The noun of the sentence is... Boy.

The verb of the sentence is...

[Door creaks]

You're late, sonora.

I'm very sorry, miss Simpson.

You're getting detention for this.

But it's not my fault. The cows got out and...

I don't want to hear any excuses.

Take your seat.

Yes, ma'am.


[Slams books on table[

[class in uproar]


Class, stop!




Oh, my God.


Leave this room immediately!


Young lady, remove yourself.

You must leave!

[Chair scrapes on floor]

[Kids laughing]

Sonora Webster is officially suspended from school...

For one week.

[Kids murmuring]

I'm informing your aunt.

No one talks to her.

She's not here.

[Dog barking in the distance]

[School bell ringing]

[Kids shouting]

[Dog barking]

2 red ones...

And a gray one.

No, no, please, right here.

Oh, sonora, tell your aunt that blue thread she wanted will be here in a couple of days.

Ok, I will.

There you go, arnette.

Arnette: Thank you.

Oh, sonora, I'm going over to see the bear.

I'll see you at home.


[Vehicle approaching]

"Young girl...

"Diving horses.

Willing to travel."

You ready?


[Truck starts]

What's going on?!

What are you doing with lightning?

I sold him.

No, you can't!


Why are you doing this?

I didn't do anything wrong.

You let the cows out this morning.

But that was an accident.

You got suspended from school.

You know, ever since your mama and daddy died, you've been nothin' but trouble.

Lightning, wait!

Let me go!


What are you doing?



I took you and arnette in because you're my sister's children.

But ever since you came here, you've been nothing but a burden.

There's a depression going on, there's... there's extra mouths to feed.

So I've decided I'm gonna turn you over to the state.

The state?

Well, they'll feed you and take care of you until you... Come of age.

You're just gonna kick me and arnette out?

No, arnette's gonna stay here with me.

It's just gonna be you.

Well, you're goin' tomorrow, you hear?

Yes, ma'am.

Well, come on, now, and...

Help me with supper.

[Crickets chirping]

[Birds chirping]

[Jazz playing]

Ohh! Oh!

[Overlapping chatter]


Wait! Wait!


Wait! Wait!


A cheat!

Get him!

Hey, hey, hey! Cheat!

Hey. Hey, come on, I thought this was gonna be a friendly game.

You're hidin' an ace in your hat, and we're gonna find it.

Get him!

[Sounds of struggle]

You better say your prayers.

Looks like I was wrong. Let him go.

I apologize.

You crumpled my hat.

That's ok. I like it like this.

I'll see you fellas.

[Crowd chattering]

Man: Get your balloons! Balloon on a stick, right here!

A nickel apiece, any color of the rainbow.

Sticks and balloons.

Sonora: Mmm.


Son of a monkey turned fine.

Here, let me help.



Never had a girl spit on me before.

Well, this'll take the sting right out.

The mud'll keep it from blistering.

I guess selling hot dogs can be a dangerous job.


Oh, this isn't my job.

This is... Uh, temporary until I get my act going.

What kind of act?

I'm not sure, exactly.

I'm still experimenting, but it will be death-defying.

It will... Definitely defy death.

There ya go. Feel better?


Sure is a funny way of cooking hot dogs.

It's my own invention.

Do you want one?

Oh, I don't have any money.

Well, that's ok.

It's on the house, for fixing my finger.

I'm, uh...

Clifford Henderson.

Sonora. Sonora Webster.

It's good to meet you.


Would you know where I can find a Dr. w.F. Carver?

Uh, right through there, across the fairgrounds.

Mm... thank you.


Mm... thanks for the hot dog.

You take care of that finger.

Yeah, thanks for...

Spitting on me.

[Crowd gasps]



That's the last thing I want to do.

I got a show to run, Al.

So I missed a couple.

A couple? You missed 3.

You think chasing women and gambling are more important than doing your job?

No. But it's a lot more fun.

Here, dad. Add that to your profits.

Ah, get out of here, son.

Load the truck.

Dr. carver?

This is your lucky day.

You don't need this anymore.

I'm here to answer your ad. What do you think of that?

Who are you?

Your new diving girl.

No, you're not.

[Sighs] Why not?

For one thing, I don't like you.

Well, that's because you don't know me.

Secondly, you're interrupting my business.

And third, and most important, you're too young and too puny to be a diving girl.

Well, sir, I don't know what a diving girl does, exactly, but I can do it.

'Cause I can do anything.

Good. Then you can get out of here.

I am a very busy man.

I do not have time to play with children.

Now, will you get off that chair?

Not until you agree to give me a chance.

I'm not giving you...

I only want a chance.

Let me explain something to you.

A diving girl has to be strong.

A diving girl has to be brave, fearless, a showman.


There... Is a diving girl.

You gotta have more...

Y-you gotta have more that what...

You got.

Well, I'll get it.

What's your name?

Sonora. Sonora Webster.

Let me tell you something, sonora.

Tell you what you do... you go out that door...

Cross the fairgrounds, turn left at the gate, keep walkin' until you get to the bus station.

I'm not gonna leave until you give me a job.



Have a good trip.



Dr. carver sent me to see you.

Oh, he did?

Yeah. I just had a really nice talk with him.

And he thinks I'd make a perfect diving girl.

That's what he said, huh?


And he said you're supposed to explain the show to me?


Come on.

The show is real exciting.

And that's the tower.

Ok, fine.

Thank you very much.


you dropped this.

So now I'm a baby-sitter.

Oh, boy.

You're not afraid of heights, are you?

Who, me? No.

How do you get the horses to jump?

You train 'em.

Don't they get scared?

Nope. If they show any sign of fear at all, we don't even let 'em get near the tower.

What do you do, push 'em off?

No. They jump on their own.

And we don't use any kind of devices, either.

Do the horses ever get hurt?


Just the riders.

It's rough.

You travel from town to town barely getting by.

The old man, he's tough.

He'll push you till you break.

You go back to wherever it is you came from.

You don't want to be a diving girl.

[Takes deep breath]

And I have a glorious idea for a new poster.

A full-length shot of me, you know, standing next to the horse, and in the corner, inside an oval frame, a picture of my face...


Well, I'll think about it, Marie.

Well, I know it'll sell lots of tickets.

And who knows? Maybe the movietone people will come by, take a moving picture of me diving?

I'll think about it, Marie.

Sonora: Hi.

I'm sorry, we're not buying any pencils today, thank you.

Oh, you're back. What, did you miss your bus?

I told you I wasn't gonna leave until you gave me a job.

Huh. This young lady wants to be a diving girl, Marie.

[Laughs] Oh, that's a wonderful idea.

She could bring a little glamor to the act.


What you doin'?

This way he gets used to my smell.

That's right.

The Indians used to do that on the plains.


[Horse nickers]

Huh. I thought I just made that up.

Can you handle a wheelbarrow?

Are you kidding?

I was born handling a wheelbarrow.

Can you shovel manure?

You know, it just happens to be my speciality.

I believe that.

What about your family?

They lookin' for you?


Well, I tell you what...

I'm not gonna give you a job as a diving girl.

But... We're leaving tomorrow for Virginia.

I could use a good stable hand.

You interested.

Yeah. Let's go to Virginia.

All right.

Sonora: Virginia.

I couldn't believe my luck.

I'd never been to another state before.

I was really seeing the world now.

Even if my view was more where we'd been than where we were going.

But I wasn't gonna complain.

I finally had a real job... helping Dr. carver with the horses during the off season at the farm he had.

And I was gonna be staying in the most beautiful house I'd ever seen.

Things were definitely looking up.

From here on, my life was gonna be just swell.

You wouldn't mind giving me a hand, would you?


Carver: Come on, we gotta get them horses ready, too.

Hurry up. Everybody's always a cow's tail around here.

We got a lot of work to do.

Lord knows what shape the place is in.

Its ok. I got everything under control.


Come get this horse, please.

Wash him down.

Make sure he's dry.

Think you can manage that?

[Vehicle approaches]

Yoo-hoo! Hi, Al!

How you doin'?

[Horse in truck neighs]

[Neighs] Whoa!

Red lips!

Easy, whoa!

Easy, boy.

Hold the horse. Marie, come get this horse.

Get him in the stable.

[Horse in truck kicking]

Get him in there.

If you can't handle the animal, don't go near him, you hear me?


Al: Nice horse, huh?

That horse is spooked. Where'd you get him?

I won him in a poker game. Full house.

Queens over 3s.

Carver: Looks loco to me.

All he needs is a little training.

Do what you want. I don't care.

Just keep him away from people.

I don't want anybody hurt, you hear?

[Neighing and kicking]

Come on.

Just one little bite.

Come on.

[Stamping] Come on.

You know, I figured I'd better get to know these horses if I'm gonna be a diving girl.

Yeah? You really think you can do it, huh?

Sure. If Dr. carver ever gives me a chance.

Oh, he's not gonna give you a chance, unless...

[Horse stamping and neighing]

If you rode up on this horse, he might.

We could train him.

Well, what are we waiting for?

No, not now.

We'll go out first thing in the morning.

All right.

The old man can't know.

It'll be our secret.


[Rooster crows]


[Whispering] Al, get up.


Come on, Al, wake up. We're supposed to start training.


Oh, right.



Easy, boy.

Easy. Whoa.


Easy, boy.

Whoa. Easy.

Whoa. There we go.



Good boy.


Sonora: What's this horse's name, anyway?

Al: I don't know.

You don't know?

He's gotta have a name.

All right. How about Clarence?

Clarence? That's no name for a horse.

Well, if you're so smart, you pick it.


Al: Stay behind.

Keep the whip on the ground. Whip on the ground.

That's it.

Stay behind.

Come on. Go, go, go, go, go.

Go on. Let him see the whip.

[Out of breath]

Come on!


[Both laughing]

[Lightning neighs] Easy, boy.

[Al talking indistinctly]

What's your secret wish?

My secret wish.

Yeah. What did you always want to be?

Well, when I was a boy, I wanted to be a showman just like my dad.

But not anymore.

What do you want to be now?

Anything but like him.

What's your secret wish?

To get to Atlantic city...

Where all your dreams come true.

You believe that?

With all my heart.

It says so right here.


It's the greatest showplace in America.

And someday, I'm gonna be there.

Al: What happened to your parents?

Sonora: Died.

They got the fever.

What about you? Where's your mom?

She's gone.


I don't know.

She left a long time ago.

It was my dad. She left because of him.

Now, just sit there.

Don't rush it.

Ah, you worry too much.

Ohh! [Neighs]

Aah! Ow.

Are you hurt?

No, I'm fine.

He's got ticklish flanks.

You should never use your heels on him.

Well, I kind of figured that out as I was flying through the air.

[Lightning nickers]

He's doing good, though.

So are you.

Come on, we got a lot of work to do before the old man wakes up.


Nice and easy.


[Lightning snorts]

[Al clicks tongue]

Good boy.

Do you like the movies?

Like them? I'm gonna be in them someday.

Well, how you gonna do that?

Be discovered, of course.

Diving horses is great exposure.

You're pretty enough to be in the movies.

You sure look nice tonight.

Thank you.

Al's taking me dancing at the silver palm.


Oh, yes. Al's a terrific dancer.

Smooth as hot honey.

That's nice.

You poor thing.

Who does your hair?

Well, I do.

Sonora, you should take extreme care with your appearance.

Having no natural beauty of your own, you really need to...

Help yourself.

Have a good night.

Carver: Don't tell me how to run my business.

All I'm saying is you should think about selling the show.

You're running all over the country for what?

10 cents a ticket?

Gravy, Al?

Yeah, sure.

And it's old and it's tired.

The times have changed. It's 1932.

We got the empire state building.

Airplanes crossing the ocean.

Women are voting.

Is that too much gravy, Al?

I mean, this cowboy stuff is old-fashioned, like that fringe jacket you wear.

That jacket is a gift from buffalo bill Cody.

That's what I mean.

It's from another century.

Would you pass the peas, please?

Sonora, I see you got your hair, uh... Done.

Did you do it yourself?

I walked down the road to the clip and curl.

Would you pass the peas?

It's a good pork chop, Marie.


[Marie snorting]

Thank you.

You're welcome.

I like your dress.

Oh, you scared me.


It's a hot night, huh?

Good night to go swimming.

Who, you and Marie?

No, you and me.

No, thank you.

Aw, come on. I know the perfect place.

I'm not going swimming.

Ha ha! Aah!



Come here.


Ha ha!


I got to go. I'm sorry.

Sonora, wait.



Good night!

Radio announcer: ...Where tonight Roosevelt received one of the largest demonstrations ever...


Radio: And now, let's return to the skylight ballroom and Walter kleig and his orchestra.

Don't drink out of the bottle.

You better watch yourself.

What's that supposed to mean?

She's young.

She don't know any better.

I don't want you messing up her life.

I haven't done anything.

Keep it that way.



Put the milk away.

[Horse snorts]

Nice day, huh?

Yeah, I suppose so.


Oh, my goodness. Would you look at that?

Marie: What do you think you're doing?

Sonora: Riding.

I don't suppose you know anything about this.

I'm as surprised as you are.

All right, all right. So you can ride.

I can dive, too, if you just give me a chance.

Don't be ridiculous!

She trained that horse.

I think she deserves a chance.

Oh, you do, do you?

Yeah. I tell you what, can you make a moving mount?

I've never tried.

If you can mount that horse while he's moving, I'll let you train to be a diving girl.

Well, it beats shoveling manure.

[Clicks tongue] Come on.

Reach out and touch the harness.

Get used to the rhythm.

Ok, sonora, when he passes, I want you to grab ahold of the harness and pull yourself on.

Concentrate. Here he comes.

Get ready.

Uhh! Uhh! Whoa!

Whoa, whoa. Stay there. Don't move.

Just stay there.

Let me see.

Your nose may be broke.

Does it feel broken?


But I don't know what a broken nose feels like.

All right, that's enough.

Let's get you in the house.

Carver: Is that it?

You're gonna quit?

Let me look at the nose.

Nose ain't broke. You can still ride.

What?! She's not getting... do it again.

She's hurt. She needs to rest.

Shut your gate!

Sonora, you don't have to do this.

It's all right, Al. I can do it.


You don't get anything handed to you in this world, sonora.

You got to earn it.


Ohh! Oh!

You gonna cry?

You gonna cry?

I never cry.


Let's go.

Ohh! Uhh!



Don't be in too big a hurry.

Just sense the horse's rhythm.


Carver: That a girl!

We did it, boy!

We did it!

All right, all right.


Ok. Good. Now...

Now you can train to be a diving girl.

Come on down.

Go get cleaned up.

Whoa there.

What the hell were you trying to prove?

Well, she did it, didn't she?

You pushed too hard.

Well, she didn't quit.

What, like me?

Or like my mother?

No matter how hard anyone tries, it's just not good enough for you, is it?

Stupid old man.



Come on. No, Al!

Come on, come on!



Al, wait! Where are you going?

I should've left a long time ago.

I can't keep fighting him.

He doesn't care about me.

He doesn't care about anybody.

The only thing he cares about is his stupid show.

Please don't go.

[Door creaks]

I'm sorry.

Write me.

I promise.

[Carver walks away]

Al's voice: Dear sonora, hope you understand why I had to leave.

I keep thinking about you.

I miss you.

Please write me.

Is that the mail?


Did I get anything? Any letters?


Get down. I'll show you how it's done.

He's used to me. I don't think you should ride him.

Don't tell me my business.

Wait a minute. She may have a point, Marie.

Yeah, on the top of her head.

Get down.

[Sighs] Now, just watch.

You'll learn something.

Well, don't use your heels.

[Neighs] Aah!


She used her heels.

Marie, crying: I hate that horse!



Is it as bad as it sounds?

Oh, Marie always did want to be an actress, you know.

Is she gonna be ok?

Ah, she's dislocated her shoulder.

Doctor's putting it in the sling now.

Marie: Aah!

I can't take any more of this.


He says she gonna be stove up for 6 weeks.

6 weeks?


We got a booking in 3 days in north Carolina.

Gee, I wonder where you're gonna find a diving girl.

[Indistinct chatter]

Sonora: Don't worry.

The tower's not as high as it looks.


I've been there.

Hi. Remember me?

Yeah. Hot dogs.

Not anymore.

My hot dog stand burned down.

I'm sorry.

Oh, it's ok. Dr. carver gave me a job.

I'm gonna be your new groom.

Oh, that's great.

Hey, I heard you're diving today.

Yeah. My first time off the tower.


Who, me? Nervous?

Heck, no.



Come in.

You all right?

I'm ready. I feel great.

Good, good, good.

My bathing suit doesn't fit.

I look like a boy.

You'll grow into it.

What if it falls off?

We'll give refunds.

Now, remember, let's do it just like we practiced, right?

Keep your eye on...

The harness. The harness.

And don't forget to...

Grip. Grip.

And don't forget to put your head to the side, right?

All right. You'll do fine.

There is one thing.


Uh, do I have to bow?

I've never bowed before. I'll feel stupid.

I don't care if you fall on your head.

You will smile in front of those people, and you will bow.

But I just don't... bow.

What if I can't do it?

I mean, what if I lose my nerve and I can't go through with it?

You'll do it.

But what if I can't?

Will you hate me?



Now, if you do feel nervous, look for me.

I'll be in front of the crowd, ok?

Still don't want to bow.


And her brave horse lightning!

[Cheering and applause]

[Cheering and applause]

[Cheering and applause]


Carver: Sonora, ladies and gentlemen, and her brave horse, lightning!

Sonora, ladies and gentlemen.


Ah, we got a new diving girl.

Ha ha ha!

And a new diving horse. Mm-mwah!

Do we get to be on a poster?

Yeah, we'll get some new posters.

It'll be, "Marie and sonora, the diving girls."

I refuse to share billing with a stable hand.

Marie, she made the dive.

She is not the star of the show!

I am.

All right, you're the star.

But we got 2 diving girls.

Well, since I'm the star, I would like more money and a bigger dressing room.

There's a depression going on, Marie... more money, my own dressing room, and a better poster, or I quit.

I can't do that, Marie.

Well, then, I quit.

Marie! Don't be stubborn! You can't quit!

I am an actress, not a circus performer!

I am going to New York City.

The next time you see me, I'm gonna be a big star, and you will still be shoveling manure.

¶ I used to dream ¶

¶ of highways that seem ¶

¶ to lead ¶

¶ to silver and gold ¶

¶ but those old passions... ¶ sonora: All that spring, we traveled from one fair to the next, doing 2 or 3 shows a day.

Lightning got better and better with each dive, and I got to tell you, I wasn't bad, either.

Everything was going great...

Except for one thing.

¶ Now and then ¶

¶ it seems to me ¶

¶ it weren't so bad ¶

¶ what used to be ¶

¶ here and now ¶

¶ it seems so true ¶

¶ this feelin' blue ¶

¶ wishin' ¶

¶ wishin' it just weren't true ¶

¶ my dreams are gone ¶

¶ yet I linger on ¶

¶ as hope drifts into despair ¶

¶ all around us ¶

¶ the blues surround us ¶

¶ why, lord, is life so unfair? ¶

¶ now and then ¶

¶ it seems to me ¶

¶ it weren't so bad ¶

¶ what used to be ¶

¶ here and now ¶

¶ through and through ¶

¶ this sinkin' down ¶

¶ this feelin' blue ¶

¶ and I'm wishin' ¶

¶ wishin' it just weren't true ¶



What you doing now?

Finishing that letter to Franklin county.


He promised he'd write me. Why doesn't he?

Thanks for your time.

Call us.

We'll see what we can do.

Sonora: What if we can't book another show?

What are we gonna do?

That's why I'm driving over to Franklin county, see if I can find some work over there.

What if there isn't?

Well, I'm keeping this show open.

I promise you that.

Well, if he doesn't, I will.

All right, now, listen.

You keep them horses fed, and you keep them watered, you hear?

It's very important.

Looks like we won't be back before tomorrow morning.

You don't have to worry about a thing.

I know that.


Hey, red lips.



Oh, lightning, what's the matter?

Come on, get up.


Oh, what's wrong?



What happened?

I don't know. He's awful sick.

Easy, boy, easy.


What is it, Al? What's wrong with him?

Did red lips eat any of this hay?

No, I don't think so.

It's moldy. It's given him colic.

What should we do?

We got to get water and oil into him, and we got to get him to his feet.

Where's the tack trunk?

In the barn.

It's gonna be ok, boy.


All right, now, hold this here while I pump.

That's it. Hold it there. Good.

All right.

Come here.

You take this, and when I tell you to, pull.

All right, pull. Come on!



Come on, lightning!

Come on! Come on, boy!


That's it. That's it, boy.

Good boy, lightning.

Good boy.

Come on. We got to get him moving. Come on.

Come on, lightning.

He's gonna be ok, isn't he?

Yeah, he's gonna be just fine.


Would somebody please say something?

I thought you could use a hand with the show.

Ain't no show.

So why didn't you answer my letters?

I didn't get any letters.

I wrote you just about every day.

Well, what did you say?


Lots of things.

What kind of stuff?

You know... Stuff.


I got here a telegram, a telegram from a John slater, from Atlantic city.

Atlantic city?

At steel pier.

It says he wants to negotiate a contract with us for 6 months.

You did this, didn't you?

Well, someone once told me it's where all your dreams come true.

You got us a contract and you didn't say anything?

Well, slater didn't promise me anything.

He just said he'd think about it.

What did you tell him?

I told him the diving horse show is a very exciting act, one of a kind, and that my father was mean and stubborn.

That he was the greatest showman on earth.

Sonora: ¶ on the boardwalk in Atlantic city ¶

¶ life can be peaches and cream ¶

¶ cinderella, you will find your fella ¶

¶ someone that you waited for ¶

¶ in romantic, enchanted Atlantic city ¶

¶ down by the old New Jersey shore ¶ yep.

You know, sonora, sometimes people make mistakes...

And it's hard to admit when you have.

Dr. carver, are you ok? You look kind of pale.

I'm fine. You know, uh...

When Al left and he was gone all those months and you didn't hear from him...

I did...

I did something that, uh...

Are you sure you're ok?

Oh, I'm fine. I'm fine, I just...

I think I'll pull over here to just take a breather.



Why did we stop?

Oh, I just thought I'd take a little breather.

Good. I'm hungry.

Why don't you rest and we'll set up a picnic?

Hey, dad, when we get to Atlantic city, the first thing we're gonna do is buy you a new suit.







[Breathing hard]


And now, as we've all read in the book of God's word, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we now return the spirit of our departed brother...

[Birds chirping]

[Jazz playing]

I wasn't gonna give you top billing, but your dad wouldn't have it any other way.

We get top billing?

See for yourself.

Al, that's me.

It sure is.

That's me, and that's lightning.

Ha ha ha!

You know the guy that runs the speedboats... frenchy?

He was gonna throw this thing away.

Can you believe it?

Yeah, I can believe it.

That thing's a piece of junk.

No, I'm gonna fix it all up.

What are you gonna do with it?

I don't know. I'll think of something.

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting... ladies and gentlemen, we now present carver's high-diving horse and girl rider!


I was rehearsing.

Ladies and gentlemen...

Clifford, I'm gonna bust your head.


I never introduced a show before.

[Still laughing]

Do you think I should wear this suit tomorrow?

I don't think it'll help.

Come here, Clifford. Come here.



Ladies and gentlemen!

Stay here.

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing...


Al's voice: Sonora, there was a time when I couldn't imagine spending my life with just one person.

Now I can't imagine spending it without you.

I love you, sonora.

I thought I lost you.


What is it?

This is what you should wear.

Turn around. See how it looks.

Shoulders back.

Raise your arms a bit.



[Playing ragtime]

[Cymbals crash]

Whoa, whoa, whoa!


Whoa. Whoa.

He's awful jittery.

Well, he's not used to all the noise.

Maybe we should jump lightning.

No, he's not well enough yet.

[Cymbals crash] Whoa!

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Whoa!


[Music stops]



Al, on microphone: Sonora? Sonora Webster?

I want you for my wife.

Will you marry me?


Take my hand in marriage and make me a happy man.

What do you think you're doing?

You crazy?

Mm-hmm. About you.

I've never been so embarrassed in my whole life.

I feel like a fool.

All you have to do is say yes.

Crowd: Yes, yes, yes!

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

Yes, yes, yes, yes!

It's just tinted glass.

When things get better, I'll get you a real one.

[Crowd oohing]

Are you gonna marry me, yes or no?

Crowd: Yes, yes, yes, yes!

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!


[Crowd screaming]

Go on. We got a show to do.

Go on.

[Band playing]


[Crowd screaming]


Take him.

Are you all right?

Fine. I'm fine.

Is red lips hurt?

I don't think so.

Come on.

Are you sure you're all right?

Just stunned, that's all.

When I hit the water, I had my eyes open.

Clifford, is he ok?

He seems to be all right. What about you?

Let's get you to the doctor.

Come on.

I'm not bleeding. No broken bones.

I'm fine. Don't worry about me.

Let's get him to the stables and dry him off.

Come on.

Man: Excuse me, but you will have to be still.


Al, what about slater?

He was pretty concerned.

You'll tell him not to worry.

All I need is a couple of days rest and I'll be fine.

Why didn't you see a doctor right after your accident?

Well, I got some water in them.

They stung a little. That's all.

When you hit the water, your eyes were open?


It caused a slight hemorrhage.

Unattended, this hemorrhage has continued for days.

The blood has clotted and detached the retina in both eyes.

What does that mean?

Her condition is permanent.

No, it's not.

I'm sorry.

Why are you sorry?

I'm gonna rest and then I'm gonna get back to work.

It's only temporary.

I'm not blind.

It's a real tough break.

Now, uh... About the show.

This may not be the best time to talk about this, but business is business.

I got a lot of money tied up in this show.

That diving tower wasn't cheap.

The publicity, I could... publicity?! Come here!


I don't care about your publicity!

What are you, crazy?!

Look, I'm gonna give you a break.

I'm gonna let you close the show for one week, but that's all.

There's no way I can find and train a new girl in a week. No way!

You better come up with something, kid, or I'm gonna take you to court...

For breach of contract.

One, 2, 3, 4...

5, 6, 7...


One, 2, 3...

The blues are here, right next to the Greens.

All right?





Al, sonora, I've been looking for you.

Come on. I want to show you something.

What? Come on, come on, come on.

[Engine racing]

You know what that is?


And do you know what I just did?

I defied it.

It's amazing, Clifford.

Swell, isn't it?

My very own death-defying act.

I'm very proud of you, Clifford.


Well, I guess if you want something bad enough...

Anything's possible.

See my shoes?

Yeah, you kicked them off over by the sofa.

I'll get them.

I'll do it.

They're right here.

I'll do it.

Your lipstick's a little smeared.

Thank you.

[Al chuckling]


You got a little problem with your socks.

What's wrong with them?

Well, one's red and one's green.


I like it, though.

Well, it's the latest fashion.

It's all right.

It's all right.

Look, it's gonna be rough for a while, but I'm gonna be right here to help you.

And it's gonna take time to adjust.

If you want, we can move the wedding back until you feel ready.

There's not going to be a wedding.


I don't want you marrying me because you feel sorry for me.

I'm marrying you because I love you.

I don't want that kind of love.

I don't want you cutting my food, getting my socks, cleaning up my messes.

As soon as my eyes clear up... your eyes are not gonna clear up.

Yes, they will! It's only temporary.

It is not temporary!

It is!

It is!


Let me go!

Sonora, you've got to accept this.

You're a human being, and there are limitations.

You can't run away from it.

You can't hide from it, and you can't change it.

It simply is.

It's permanent.

I know.

Sonora, I'm real sorry about what happened.

And when Al called and told me you were hurt, well, I just figured the movies had to wait.

Marie! We're ready for you.

Excuse me, honey.

Here I am.

How about putting her on the horse?

No, no. Just... Have me stand next to him.

Great. Great.

Marie, you used to be a diving girl.

Why'd you decide to come back?

I love the audiences.

When Al called my mother, she called the astoria studios where I was auditioning for a role in a movie.

How long are you going to be in Atlantic city?

It's m-a-r-I-e.

Excuse me, sis. You're in the shot.

Could you move?


What are you doing?

Al, I've been thinking.

About what?

I'm going to dive again.

Honey, you can't. It's impossible.

I ca n do it. I know I can.

Sonora, you've got to be realistic.

With lightning...

Al, he knows what I'm thinking.

And I know what he's thinking.

Absolutely not. It's too dangerous.

I have to do this.

Please, I need your help.

Here he comes.

Here he comes.


Here he comes again.

You ok?


Watch your step.


Oh... uhh!



Are you nuts?

You can't let her do this.

Besides, you have Marie to do the show.

This has nothing to do with your show.

Do you think she can do this?


Look me in the eye and tell me she can do this.

That's just what I thought.

Come on.

Close out all other sounds and listen to his hoofs.

Don't go to the horse. Let the horse come to you.

Huh-uhh! Uhh...

Let your hands slide along his chest and up his shoulder to the harness.

When you feel the harness, grip... uhh!


Let the horse's momentum pull you up.

That's it!


You all right?

This isn't working.

I just need a little more time.

No! It's gotta stop.

I don't want you hurt.

But, Al... look, we tried, it didn't work.

This can't be done, and it's gonna end right here.

You understand?


[Cheering and applause]

[Hoofs beating louder and louder]

[Loud cheering]


[Cheering and applause]





Are you gonna be ok?

I've got to introduce the show.

I'm ok.

Ladies and gentlemen...

We now present carver's high-diving horse and girl rider in a daring 40-foot plunge on horseback.

[Cheering and applause]

Hi, Marie. Can I talk to you for just a second?

What's goin' on?

Thank you, thank you.

[Pounding on door] Clifford! Clifford!

Al: You'll witness the courageous Marie attempting this daring feat on the bare back of her trusted steed.

[Pounding on door] Come open this door right now!

It is the only act of its kind anywhere in the world today, an act in which the safety of the rider depends entirely on the intelligence and skill of the horse.

It is an act in which no electrical device...

[Sonora counting]

No mechanical apparatus, no force of any kind, and no cue of any sort is used the persuade the...

Hyah! [Neigh]

[Screaming and pounding]

Please, somebody!

Al: Ladies and gentlemen, please, for the safety of our performers, hold your applause until...


I am proud to present the most popular act in the history of the steel pier.

[Lightning neighs]


[Crowd murmuring]

Carver! What is going on here?

I don't know. I'm gonna find out.

Look, mommy, there's a girl climbing the tower!

Oh, no.


[Crowd gasps]

What is she... these people didn't pay good money to see a blind girl kill herself!

Sonora, don't!


Sonora, no!


No, sonora!


[Hoofs beating]

[Hoofs beating louder]

[Wild cheering] Whoooo!



Ah ha ha!

Did you see that?!

She was wonderful!

Did you see that?!

Sonora: That last dive began 11 years of diving blind, and the audience never knew.

I had found my destiny... not in faraway places, but within myself.

I also found happiness with Al.

We were married that fall and had a wonderful life together.

Captioning made possible by buena vista television captioning performed by the national captioning institute, inc.