Doubt Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Doubt script is here for all you fans of the Meryl Streep and Amy Adams movie. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some Doubt quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

Doubt Script

Jimmy? Come on.
You're serving today.

Where's my pants?

On the bed.
If they had teeth they would've bit you.

Jimmy! Go to the store,
buy me the newspaper and cigarettes.

Can't. Serving mass.
I'm an altar boy.

- Hey, Kevin!
- Hey, Jimmy!

- There you are.
- Overslept.

Well, you made it. I'll do the cruets
if you light the charcoal.

You think I'm fat?

You're all right. What?
Clothes don't fit?

No, they fit.

You're gonna be going to the bakery
after mass.

I am? Why don't you go?

I'm gonna be making breakfast.

I can make breakfast.

When have you ever?

Funny man.

Good morning, Connie.
- Good morning.

Holy God, we praise thy name

Good morning, Father.

Lord of all, we bow before thee

All on Earth thy scepter claim

All in heaven above adore thee

Infinite thy vast domain

Everlasting is thy reign

Infinite thy vast domain

Everlasting is thy reign

Be seated.

What do you do when
you're not sure?

That's the topic
of my sermon today.

Last year when
President Kennedy was assassinated,

who among us did not experience
the most profound disorientation?


Which way? What now?

What do I say to my kids?
What do I tell myself?

It was a time of people
sitting together,

bound together by a common
feeling of hopelessness.

But think of that.

Your bond with your fellow being
was your despair.

It was a public experience.
It was awful,

but we were in it together.

How much worse is it then
for the lone man, the lone woman,

stricken by a private calamity?

"No one knows I'm sick. " "No one
knows I've lost my last real friend. "

"No one knows
I've done something wrong. "

Imagine the isolation.

Now you see the world
as through a window.

On one side of the glass,
happy untroubled people,

and on the other side, you.

- God bless you, Sister.
- Thank you.

I wanna tell you a story.

A cargo ship sank one night.
It caught fire and went down,

and only this one sailor survived.

He found a lifeboat,
rigged a sail,

and being of a nautical discipline

turned his eyes to the heavens
and read the stars.

He set a course for his home,
and, exhausted, fell asleep.

Just keeps going on.

Clouds rolled in,

and for the next 20 nights,
he could no longer see the stars.

He thought he was on course,
but there was no way to be certain.

And as the days rolled on,
and the sailor wasted away,

he began to have doubts.

- He just keeps on going.
- Had he set his course right?

Was he still going on
towards his home?

Or was he horribly lost
and doomed to a terrible death?

No way to know.

The message of the constellations,

had he imagined it because
of his desperate circumstance?

- Or had he seen truth once...
- Straighten up!

... and now had to hold on to it
without further reassurance?

There are those of
you in church today

who know exactly
the crisis of faith I describe,

and I wanna say to you,

doubt can be a bond as powerful
and sustaining as certainty.

When you are lost,
you are not alone.

In the name of the Father,
the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Please rise.

Praise God,
from whom all blessings flow

Praise him all creatures here...

- Hey, Father.
- Hey, champ.

That was some sermon.

Did it mean something to you?

I wanna do that. I wanna be a priest.

You'd be a good one, I'm sure. Here.

Take a look.


- She's dancing. Kind of neat?
- Yeah.

Here. You try.

That's for you. Take it.

- Thank you, Father.
- Welcome.

Like Noah's Ark, girls. Two by two.

Maryanne said it.
- Let's do it together.

- Yeah. It's true.

And did I tell you that Jessica's
having a sleepover on Saturday?

Morning, Sister James.

Good morning, Father Flynn.
Beautiful day.

Not too bad.
How're the criminals doing today?

- Not bad, Father.
- Good, Father.

- Morning, champ.
- Morning, Father Flynn.

You wash those hands today,
Mr. London?

I washed them, Father.

I don't know. They're a different color
than your neck.

- Morning, Father Flynn.

- Sister, are we having the test today?
- Get in line.

Tomorrow, William.

- Is it long division?
- Among other things.

- Good morning, Sister.

- How much of it will be long division?
- Boy!

William London. Come up here.

Come smartly, now.
Don't make me wait.

What did he do?
- He touched Sister James.

The dragon is hungry.

You don't touch a nun.

Take out your history books, please.
Turn to page 683.

- Yes, Ralph.
- I forgot my history book.

You can look on with Raymond.

Mr. London?

- Do you have your history book?
- No, Sister.

- Share with Mr. Malloy, please.
- Do I have to? His breath stinks!

I'm sure Mr. Malloy's
breath is just fine.

Be seated.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the
32nd president of the United States.

That barrette out of your hair,
Miss Horan.

Yes, Sister.

Morning, Sister James.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, together with

Abraham Lincoln
and John Fitzgerald Kennedy,

was perhaps our greatest president.
When he assumed office,

13 million people in this country
were unemployed.

They'd lost hope,

and President Roosevelt
said to these people,

"The only thing we have to fear
is fear itself."

What did he mean by that? James?

I think he was trying to say
there's nothing really wrong.

- You know? So don't get so emotional.
- Maybe.

Maybe he was saying that
the world is good

and we need only work together
to overcome our problems.

What's this, Mr. Conroy?

I don't know, Sister.

You don't know you have a wire
coming out of your ear?

- No.
- Huh?


No, Sister. I didn't.

You come with me, boy.


Who knows what the New Deal was?

The first noel

The angels did say

Was to certain poor shepherds
in fields as they lay

I love this song.

In fields where they lay
keeping their sheep

On a cold winter's night
that was so deep

This past Sunday, what do you think
that sermon was about? Sister James?


What was
Father Flynn's sermon about?

Well, doubt.
He was talking about doubt.

- Why?
- Excuse me, Sister?

Well, sermons come from somewhere,
don't they?

Is Father Flynn in doubt?

Is he concerned
that someone else is in doubt?

I suppose you'd have to ask him.

No, that would not be appropriate.

He is my superior,

and if he were troubled
he should confess it to a fellow priest

or to the monsignor.

We do not share
intimate information with priests.

- No.
- That's true.

What are we saying?

I want you all to be alert.

I am concerned, perhaps needlessly,
about matters in St. Nicholas School.


I was not inviting a guessing game,
Sister Raymond.

Missy! Get away from her,
and sit down.

- May I join you, Sister Aloysius?
- Yes.

- Chicken chow mein.
- Sister Veronica's favorite.

It's very good.

I like the noodles. I like the crunch.

- What happened to William London?
- I sent him home.

- Oh, dear. So he's still bleeding?
- Yes.

His nose just let loose

and started gushing
during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Was it spontaneous?

- What?
- His nosebleed.

- What else would it be?
- Self-induced.


You mean you think

he might have intentionally
given himself a nosebleed?



You are a very innocent person,
Sister James.

William London is a fidgety boy.

If you do not keep right on him,
he will do anything to escape his chair.

He would set his foot on fire
for half a day out of school.

Here. Sister, allow me to help you.
Your sleeve.


- Let's see.
- Oh, thank you, Sister.

- Sister Veronica is going blind.
- Oh, how horrible.

If they find out in the rectory,
she'll be gone.

So if she looks unsteady,
take her hand.

Ordinarily I assign my most
experienced teachers to eighth grade,

but I am working within constraints.

- Are you in control of your class?
- I think so.

Usually more students
are sent down to me.

I try to take care of things myself.

That can be an error.

You are answerable to me,
I to the monsignor,

he to the bishop,
and so on up to the Holy Father.

There is a chain. Make use of it.


Cough drops.

Candy by another name.

How is Donald Miller doing?

- Steady.
- Good.

That girl, Noreen Horan.

I've seated her
as far away from the boys as possible.

- Doesn't do much good.
- Mmm.

Just get her through intact.

What's this?

The wind is so peripatetic this year.

- Is that the word I want?
- Is something the matter?


Is something the matter?
- No.

- Why? Is something the matter?
- I don't think so.

- Well, then, nothing's the matter then.
- Yes.

- What's this?
- A pen.

A ballpoint pen.

The students are not using them
for assignments, I hope.

No, of course not.

I am sorry I allowed even
cartridge pens into this school.

Always easy way out, these days.

Every easy choice today
will have its consequence tomorrow.

- Mark my words.
- Yes, Sister.

Ballpoints make them press down.

When they press down,
they write like monkeys.

- I don't allow them ballpoint pens.
- And yet here one is.

Penmanship is dying
all across this country.

I hope not.

You should frame something.

Put it up on the blackboard.
Put the pope up.

That's the wrong pope. He's deceased.

I don't care what pope it is.
Use the glass to see behind you.

Children should think you have eyes
in the back of your head.

Wouldn't that be a little frightening?

Only to the ones
who are up to no good.

Relax. Put it up there.

All right, now.

The thing about shooting
from the foul line is it's psychological.

All right, come up with a routine.

You shift your weight, move your hips...

Yeah, you think that's funny, Ralph?

You know what's funny is
you never getting a foul shot.

All right, concentrate on the routine,
and you'll forget to get tensed up.

All right, go ahead, Jimmy.

Good man. You listen. That's good.
All right, now sit down, everyone.


On another matter, I've noticed
several of you guys got dirty nails.

All right, I don't want to see that.

I'm not talking about
the length of your nails.

I'm talking about cleanliness.

See, look at my nails.

- All right, they're long.
- Whoa!

Yeah, I like them a little long,
but look at how clean they are.

That makes it okay.

The climpity-clomp.

Harder than a herd of elephants.

You are wicked!

No, I told her, "You're her mother.

"You raised her. You fed her.
You tell her she's fat."

But wait, how fat is she?

- What, the mother or the daughter?
- The daughter.

I never met the daughter.

- What about the mother?
- Fat.

Father, we having practice
after school?

If you guys want it, we can have it.
Let me know.

The Fascist governments
of Germany and Italy

were already working together.

They formed the Pact of Steel.

The Pact of Steel was...

- Hi.
- Hi.

...a military alliance between
Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.

Mr. London, get back in your seat
and stop bothering Miss Horan, please.

Now, who can tell me...


Yes. Of course, Father.

Donald? You should go to the rectory.

Two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight, nine, ten, eleven.

Go one, two, three, touch.
One, two, three, kick.

And back, side, front, kick.
Back, side, front. Again.

 We began to dance

Swaying to and fro

And soon I knew
I'd never let him go

- Raymond, what are you doing?
- The mashed potato.

You're supposed to be doing
the bossa nova.

- But I know the mashed potato.
- Oh...

All right, now follow.
Back, side, front, kick.

Back, side... One, two, three, kick.

Back, side, front, kick.
Back, side, front...

Let me get in front of you
so that you can see what I'm doing.

And one, two, three, touch.

One, two, three, kick.

Back, side, front, kick.
Back, side, front...

Okay. This is really good.
Very good there.

Now I'm glad to say

I'm his bride to be

And we're gonna raise a family

Donald, are you feeling ill?
- No.

- Are you sure?
- Yes.

- Are you all right?
- I just want to go home.

- Good afternoon, Sister.
- Good afternoon, Sister James.

Sister, can I speak with you
about Donald Miller?

Is he being accepted?
- He has no friends.

That would be a lot
to expect after only two months.

- Has anyone hit him?
- No.

Someone will.

And when that happens,
send them right down to me.

I'm not so sure anyone will.

This parish serves Irish
and Italian families.

Someone will hit Donald Miller.

He has a protector.


Father Flynn.


He's taken an interest.

I told you to come to me,
but I hoped you never would.

Maybe I shouldn't have.

So, it's happened.

What? Oh, no. I'm not telling you that.
I'm not even certain what you mean.

Oh, excuse me there, Sisters.

No bother. We're done here.
Come, Sister.

What have you seen?

It is unsettling
to look at people with suspicion.

I feel less close to God.

When you take a step
to address wrongdoing,

you are taking a step away from God,
but in his service.

What have you seen?

Good afternoon, Sisters.

Good afternoon, Mrs. Carson.
Why the cat?

'Cause there's a mouse.
Want some tea?

If you don't want to dance with her,
don't dance with her.

- Well, is it wrong?
- No.

But what if the girl turns you down?

All right, you have the right
to ask a girl to dance.

All right,
she has the right to turn you down.

The trick is, don't take it to heart.

What if they all turn you down?

Well, then you become a priest.

All right, next question.

What have you seen?

He called Donald Miller to the rectory.

- What for?
- A talk.

- Alone?
- Yes.

- When?
- A week ago during class.

Why didn't you tell me?

I didn't think
there was anything wrong with it.

Of all the children, Donald Miller.

I suppose it makes sense.

- How does it make sense?
- He's isolated.

- I don't know that anything is wrong.
- Our first Negro student.

I thought there would be fighting.
Thought we...

A parent or two to deal with.

I should have foreseen this possibility.

How could you imagine it?

Well, it's my job
to outshine the fox in cleverness.

- That is my job.
- But maybe it's nothing.

Then why do you look like
you've seen the devil?

It's just the way the boy acted
when he came back to class.

- He said something?
- No, it was his expression.

He looked frightened.

And he put his head on the desk
in the most peculiar way, and...

And one other thing,
I think there was alcohol on his breath.

There was alcohol on his breath.

Years ago at Saint Boniface
there was a priest.

But I had Father Scully then.

Here, there's no man I can go to.
Men run everything.

We are going to have to
stop him ourselves.

There we go. She got him. Takes a cat.

Yes, it does.

Yes, it does.

This towel
will never be dead white again.

Yes, it will.

Mrs. Carson.
- I'm fine.

- What happened?
- There's a branch down.

- Are you all right, Sister?
- She didn't see it.

Fine. Just bushwhacked.
No need for a fuss.

You just go lie down.
I'll bring you some tea.

Come with me.
- I just...

I'll get you a compress.
- I did not fail to see it.

- Hello? Yes, Sister.
- Mr. McGuinn.

Could you look in on the courtyard?
I've got branches falling.

- What has?
- A branch has!

Watch your step here, Sister.
I'll cut it up.

The world is crashing, Michael.

I haven't heard a wind like that
since I left Mullingar.

I've never known a wind like it.
The wind has changed.

What are you doing out here, Conroy?

I talked in class, Father.

Waiting for Sister Aloysius.

- She know you're here?
- She knows.

Good morning, Father Flynn.
Good of you to come by.

Morning, Sister Aloysius.
How are you today?

I'm very well, thank you.

- Mr. Conroy.
- Yes, Sister.

Mr. Transistor Radio.

Multiplication table, 10 times,
in its totality,

delivered to me tomorrow morning.

Legible, boy.

Return to class. Go. Go, go.

I'd invite you in,
but we're just short Sister James.

- Hear that wind last night?
- I certainly did.


Did I hear
Sister Veronica had an accident?

Yeah. Sister Veronica fell,
practically killed herself.

- Is she all right?
- Oh, she's fine.

- Her sight isn't good, is it?
- Her sight is fine. Nuns fall, you know.

Nah, I didn't know that.

It's the habit.
It catches us up more often than not.


We go down like dominoes.

- Am I past the time?
- Not at all.

Good morning, Father.
Good morning, Sister.

I'm sorry I was delayed.

- I ran into Sister Veronica.
- How is she?

I'm afraid
she has a bit of a bloody nose.

I'm beginning to think
you're punching people.


First, William London and now...

- Never mind. Well, come in, please.
- Sister.

Please. Sit. Have a seat.

I actually have a hot pot of tea.

And close this,
but not quite for form's sake.

Father, would you care for a...

- Would you have a cup of tea, Father?
- I'd love a cup of tea.

- Sister, perhaps you could serve him.
- I'd be glad.

And yourself, of course.

Would you like a cup of tea,
Sister Aloysius?

No, I've already had my cup.

- Is there sugar?
- Sugar?

Yes, yes. Somewhere here.

I put it in the drawer for Lent last year.
Never remembered to take it out.

It mustn't have been much
to give up, then.

I'm sure you're right.
Here it is.

I'll serve you, although
for want of practice I'm a little clumsy.

- I see your fingernails.
- Wear them a little long.

- The sugar?
- Yes. One?


- Three?
- Sweet tooth.

Two. Three.

- Sister, you care for sugar?
- Never.

Not that there's
anything wrong with sugar.

Well, thank you, Father,
for making time for us.

We are at our wit's end.

I think it's an excellent idea
to rethink the Christmas pageant,

'cause last year's effort
was a little woebegone.

Oh, I loved it, but I love all pageants.
The hymns.

O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Come,
O Come, Emmanuel, O Come...

All right.
Thank you, Sister James.

So what do you think, Father?

Is there something new we could do?

Well, we all love the Christmas hymns,

but it might be jolly
to include a secular song.

- Secular?
- Yes.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot
Like Christmas. Something like that.

What would be
the point of a secular song?

Just fun.

- Or Frosty the Snowman.
- That's a good one.

We could have one of the boys
dress up as a snowman, dance around.

Which boy?

We'd do tryouts.

Frosty the Snowman
espouses a pagan belief in magic.

The snowman comes to life when
an enchanted hat is put on his head.

If the music were more somber,

people would realize the images
are disturbing and the song heretical.

I never thought about
Frosty the Snowman like that.

It should be banned from the airwaves.

So, not Frosty the Snowman.

Oh, It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like
Christmas would be fine, I suppose.

Parents would like it.

May I ask what you're writing down
with that ballpoint pen?

Oh, nothing. It's an idea for a sermon.

- Oh. You had one right now?
- I get them all the time.

How fortunate.

I forget them,
so I have to write them down.


What is the idea?


Would you like
a little more tea, Father?

Not yet.

It's a new time, Sister.

- What's new about it?
- Something inside of people is new.

There is nothing new under the sun.

The Church needs to change.

We should sing a song
from the radio now and then,

take the kids out for ice cream.

Sweet tooth.

And maybe take the boys
on a camping trip.

The point being?

We should be friendlier.

You know, the children and the parents

should see us
as members of their family.

But we are not members of their family.
We're different.

- Why? Because of our vows?
- Precisely.

I don't think we're so different.

You know, Sister,
I would take some more tea.

And they think we're different, yeah?

The working...

The working class people of this parish
trust us to be different.

I think we're getting off the subject.

Yes, you're right. You're right.
You're right. Back to it.


Sister Raymond? Mmm.

Well, you tell her to wash her face
and her neck and report to me at 3:00.


Excuse me. The Christmas pageant.

We must be careful

how Donald Miller is used
in the pageant.

- Easy there, Sister.
- Father.

All right, what about Donald Miller?

We must be careful, in the pageant,

that we neither hide Donald Miller
nor put him forward.

- Because of the color of his skin?
- That's right, yeah.

- Why?
- Oh, come, Father.

I think he should be treated
like every other boy.

Well, you yourself singled the boy out
for special attention.

You held a private meeting with him
at the rectory. A week ago?


- What are we talking about?
- Donald Miller.

The boy acted strangely
when he returned to class.

He did?

When he returned from the rectory,
a little odd, yes.

Can you tell us why?

How did he act strangely?


I'm not sure how to explain it.
He laid his head on the desk and...

Do you mean
you had some impression?


And he'd come from the rectory,
so you're asking me?

Mmm. That's it.




Did you want to discuss the pageant?
Is that why I'm here?

Or is this what you wanted to discuss?


Well, I'm a little uncomfortable.

- Why do you think?

The boy's well-being
is my responsibility.

His well-being is not at issue.

I'm not satisfied
that that is true.

He was upset
when he returned to class.

- Did he say something?
- No.

What happened in the rectory?



Nothing happened.
I had a talk with the boy.

- What about?
- Private matter.

He's 12 years old.
What could be private?

- Should I get...
- No.

I object to your tone.

This is not about my tone
or your tone, Father Flynn.

- It's about arriving at the truth.
- Of what?

You know what I'm talking about,
don't you? Hmm?

And you're controlling the expression
on your face right now, aren't you?

My face?

What exactly are you accusing me of?

I'm not accusing you of anything,
Father Flynn.

I am asking you to tell me
what happened in the rectory.

I don't wish to continue this.

And if you're dissatisfied with that,

I suggest
you speak to Monsignor Benedict.

I can only imagine this unfortunate
behavior is the result of overwork.

Have a good morning, Sister. Sister.

There was alcohol on his breath

when he returned
from his meeting with you.


I did smell it on his breath.


- Let this alone.
- No.

Take your time, Father.
Would you like some more tea?

You should've let it alone.

Not possible.

Mr. McGuinn caught Donald
drinking altar wine.

When I found out, I sent for him.
There were tears,

and he begged not to be removed
from the altar boys. I took pity on him.

I told him if no one else found out,
I'd let him stay on.

What a relief. That explains everything.
Thanks be to God.

Look, Sister, it was all a mistake.

And if I talk to Mr. McGuinn?

Talk to him, by all means.

But now that the boy's secret's out,

I'm gonna have to remove him
from the altar boys.

That's what I was trying to avoid.

You were trying
to protect the boy.

That's right.

I might have done the same thing.

Is there a way Donald could stay
on the altar boys?

If the boy drank altar wine,
he can't continue as an altar boy.

Of course.

Are you satisfied?



Well, I'll be going.
I have some writing to do.

- That's right.

I'm not pleased
with how you handled this.

Sister. Sister.


What a relief. He cleared it all up.

You believe him?

Of course.

Isn't it that it's easier to believe him?

But we can corroborate his story
with Mr. McGuinn.



These types of people are clever.

- Well, I'm convinced.
- You're not.

You just want things to be resolved
so you can have simplicity back.

I want no further part of this.

I'll bring him down.

How can you be so sure
that he is lying?


You just don't like him.

You don't like it
that he uses a ballpoint pen.

You don't like it that he takes
three lumps of sugar in his tea.

You don't like it
that he likes Frosty the Snowman,

and you are letting that convince you
of something terrible, just terrible.

Well, I like Frosty the Snowman!

And I think it would be nice
if this school weren't run like a jail,

and I think it's a good thing
that I love to teach history

and that I might inspire my students
to love it, too.

And if you judge that to mean
that I am not fit to be a teacher,

then so be it!

Sit down.

Look at that. You blew out my light.

In ancient Sparta, important matters
were decided by who shouted loudest.

we are not in ancient Sparta.

You honestly find the students
in this school

to be treated like inmates in a prison?


Actually, they all seem fairly happy,
but they're all uniformly terrified of you.

Yes. That's how it works.

Sit there.

Hello, this is Sister Aloysius Beauvier,

principal at St. Nicholas School.
Is this Mrs. Miller?

I'm calling about your son, Donald.

A woman was gossiping with
a friend about a man she hardly knew.

I know none of you
have ever done this.

That night she had a dream.

A great hand appeared over her
and pointed down at her.

She was immediately seized
with an overwhelming sense of guilt.

The next day she
went to confession.

She got the old parish priest,
Father O'Rourke.

She told him the whole thing.

"Is gossiping a sin?"
she asked the old man.

"Was that the hand of God Almighty
pointing a finger at me?

"Should I be
asking your absolution, Father?

"Tell me,
have I done something wrong?"

"Yes." Father O'Rourke answered her.

"Yes, you ignorant,
badly brought up female.

"You have borne false witness
against your neighbor.

"You have played fast and loose
with his reputation,

"and you should be heartily ashamed!"

So the woman said she was sorry
and asked for forgiveness.

"Not so fast," says O'Rourke.

"I want you to go home.
Take a pillow up on your roof,

"cut it open with a knife,
and return here to me. "

So the woman went home,
took a pillow off her bed,

a knife from the drawer,

went up the fire escape to her
roof and stabbed the pillow.

Then she went back to the old
parish priest as instructed.

"Did you gut the pillow with a knife?"
he says.

"Yes, Father."
"And what was the result?"

"Feathers," she said.

"Feathers," he repeated.

"Feathers everywhere, Father."

"Now, I want you to go back

"and gather up every last feather
that flew out on the wind. "

"Well, " she said, "it can't be done.

"I don't know where they went.
The wind took them all over. "

"And that," said Father O'Rourke,
"is gossip!"

In the name of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Please rise.

What's that bird complaining about?

What kind of bird is that?

That a starling? A grackle?

- A crow.
- Course it is.

Are you praying?
I didn't mean to interrupt.

I'm not praying. No.

You seem subdued.

Oh, I can't sleep.

Why not?

Bad dreams.

Yeah, I can't sleep on occasion.

Why? Do you see that big hand
pointing a finger at you?

Yes. Sometimes.

Was your sermon
directed at anyone in particular?

What do you think?

I received a letter
from my brother in Maryland.

He's very sick.

Then maybe you should go
and see him.

I can't leave my class.

Is it true?


You know what I'm asking.


I saw you put an undershirt
in Donald Miller's locker.

- He left it in the sacristy.
- Why didn't you hand it to him?

I'm trying to spare him
further embarrassment.

It's me that cares about that child,
not her.

Has she ever reached out a hand?

That black boy needs help
or he's not gonna make it.

If she has her way,
he'll be left to his own undoing.

Why do you think he drank the wine?
He's in trouble.

And she sees me talk
in a human way to these kids

and she immediately assumes that
there must be something wrong with it.

Well, I'm not gonna let her
keep this parish in the Dark Ages,

and I'm not gonna let her
destroy my spirit of compassion.

I'm sure that's not her intent.

- That I care about this congregation.
- I know you do.

Like you care about your class.
You love them, don't you?

- Yes.
- And that's natural.

How else would you relate to children?

Now, I can look at your face
and know your philosophy.

It's kindness.

I don't know. I mean, of course.

There are people
who go after your humanity, Sister,

that tell you that
the light in your heart is a weakness.

Don't believe it.

It's an old tactic of cruel people
to kill kindness in the name of virtue.

There's nothing wrong with love.


Have you forgotten the message
of our Savior?

It's love of people.

I just feel
as if everything is upside down.

There are just times in life
when we feel lost. It happens.

And it's a bond.

- Flowers.
- Yeah.

To remind me of spring.

I should be going.

I'm sorry your brother's ill.

Thank you, Father.

I don't believe it.

You don't?


Thank you, Sister.
Thank you very much.

Hey, Anthony!
- That's not funny.

That's also the day
that I tripped. I broke my ankle.

I barely...

Father. I think
I've just gotta tell somebody.

- Hello, Noreen.
- I'm in love.

That's wonderful. Who's the lucky boy?

- Jimmy Hurley.
- Have you told him?

For life and death,
I'd go for waffles.

Maybe you should.

Maybe I will, Father.


Jimmy Hurley?

Come over here!

Hurry up, already!

Father Sherman.

I just gotta tell you something.

You dropped something.

It's not funny.

Get out of the way.

It's all right.

He doesn't like me.
- That is so easy!

My parents are gonna be
so angry at me.

Okay. Be quiet.

I said be quiet!

The next one of you that speaks out
of turn gets sent right to the principal.

Now the question was,

what was
Patrick Henry's famous remark?

- Donald.
- Sister?

What was the question?

Nobody help him.
Jimmy, put your hand down.

Donald Miller, stand up.

- What was the question, Donald?
- I don't know, Sister.

It means you weren't listening.

Yes, Sister.

The question was, what was
Patrick Henry's famous remark?

I don't know.

"Give me liberty or give me death!"

James Hurley,
down to the principal's office.


- Mrs. Miller?
- Yes.

Come in.

Please, have a seat.

I was changing a bulb.

Thought I mighta had the wrong day.
You didn't answer.


Oh, well, just between us,

I was listening to a transistor radio
with an earpiece.

Look how tiny they're making them.

I confiscated it
from one of the students,

now I can't stop listening to it.

You like music?

No. News reports.

Years ago I used to listen
to all the news reports,

because my husband was in Italy,
in the war.

- You were a married woman?
- Yes.

But then he was killed.

Is your husband coming?

Couldn't get off work.
I only have half an hour myself.

I see. Of course. It was a lot to ask.

How's Donald doing?

He's passing his subjects.
He has average grades.

Oh. Good.

He was upset about getting taken off
the altar boys.

Mmm. Did he explain why?

He said he was caught
drinking altar wine.

That is the reason.

Well, that seems fair.

But he's a good boy, Sister.
He fell down there,

but he's a good boy
pretty much down the line.

How is he at home?

His father beat the hell out of him
over that wine.

Oh, he shouldn't do that.

You don't tell my husband what to do.
You just stand back.

My husband didn't want Donald
to come here.

- Why?
- He thought he'd have trouble

with the other boys,
but that hasn't really happened.


That priest, Father Flynn,
been watching out for him.


Excuse me.

James Hurley,
what are you doing out of class?

- Sister James sent me down.
- What for?

- Talking.
- Well, go back up and shut up!

Go! Go!

What's going on?

None of your business.
Now go on. Go back to class.


- What'd you say?
- Nothing!

You have 20 minutes, you say?

It's just that I have to walk to work.

- Where is work?
- Parkchester.

If I don't start cleaning by noon,
I'm not home to let Donald in.

- May I walk with you?
- I don't mind.

Eight sixty-fourths.

Who can tell me
what the common denominator is?


Back already, Mr. Hurley?

- I said, back already, Mr. Hurley?
- Leave me alone!

Who do you think you're talking to?

This is my classroom, boy!
Don't you forget that.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, Jimmy.

Have you met
Father Flynn?

Just seen him on the altar.
Haven't met him face to face.

No, just, you know, heard from Donald.

And what does he say?

You know,
"Father Flynn, Father Flynn."

He looks up to him. Man gives him
his time, which is what the boy needs.

He needs that.

Mrs. Miller, we may have a problem.

I thought there must a been a reason
you wanting to see me.

Principal's a big job.

I just want to say though,
it's just till June.

Excuse me?

Whatever the problem is,
Donald just has to make it till June.

Then he's off into high school.


If Donald can graduate
from St. Nicholas,

he has a better chance
of getting into a good high school,

and that would mean
an opportunity at college.

I don't see anything at this time

standing in the way
of his graduating with his class.

- Well, that's all I care about.
- I doubt that.

Try me.

I am concerned about the relationship
between Father Flynn and your son.

You don't say. Concerned.
What do you mean, concerned?

That it may not be right.

Well, there's something wrong
with everybody,

and their soul gotta be forgiven.
I work right there.

I am concerned, to be frank,

that Father Flynn may have made
advances on your son.

May have made?

I can't be certain.

- No evidence?
- No.

Then maybe there's nothing to it.

I think there is something to it.

I think Father Flynn
gave Donald that altar wine.

Why would he do that?

- Has Donald been acting strangely?
- No.

- Nothing out of the ordinary?
- He's been himself.

- All right.
- Look, Sister, I don't want any trouble.

I don't... I'm not sure
you completely understand.

I think I understand
the kind of thing you're talking about,

but I don't want to get into it.

What's that?

Look, I only have a few minutes.
Not to be disagreeing,

but if we're talking about
something floating around

between this priest and my son,
it ain't my son's fault.

- I'm not suggesting that...
- He's just a boy.

- I know.
- Twelve years old.

If someone should be taking blame,
it should be the man...

- I know. I agree with you completely.
...not the boy.

You're agreeing with me,
but I got called

to the principal,
if you know what I'm saying.

I am concerned about Donald's welfare.

You honestly think that priest
gave Donald that wine to drink?

Yes, I do.

Then how come my son
got kicked off the altar boys

- if it was a man that gave it to him?
- I know.

The boy got caught, the man didn't.

- So you're giving my son the blame.
- No.

No problem my son getting blamed,

- and you know why that is.
- Perhaps you should let me talk.

- I think you're getting upset.
- Sister, you ain't going against

no man in a robe and win.
He's got the position.

- And he's got your son.
- Let him have him then.


It's just till June.

Do you know what you're saying?

Know more about it than you.

I believe this man is creating,

or may have already brought about,

an improper relationship with your son.

I don't know.

I know I am right.

Why you gotta know something
like that for sure when you don't?

What kind of mother are you?

Excuse me, but you don't know enough
about life to say a thing like that, Sister.

I know enough.

You know the rules maybe,
but that don't cover it.

I know what I won't accept.

You accept what you gotta accept,
and you work with it.

This man is in my school.

Well, he's gotta be somewhere and

- maybe he's doing some good, too.
- He is after the boys!

Well, maybe some of them boys
want to get caught!

That's why his father beat him.

Not the wine.

What are you telling me?

I'm talking about the boy's nature now,

not anything he's done.

You can't hold a child responsible
for what God gave him to be.

I'm only interested in actions,
Mrs. Miller.

But then there's the boy's nature.

- Leave that out of it.
- Well, forget it then.

You're the one
forcing people to say things.

My boy came to your school

'cause they were gonna kill him
in the public school.

His father don't like him.

He come to your school,
kids don't like him.

One man is good to him, this priest.

Then does a man
have his reasons, yes.

Everybody does.
You have your reasons,

but do I ask the man
why he's good to my son?


I don't care why.

My son needs some man
to care about him

and to see him through
to where he wants to go.

And thank God this educated man

with some kindness in him
wants to do just that.

- This will not do.
- It's just till June.

I'll throw your son out of this school.

And why would you do that
if it didn't start with him?

Because I will stop this.

You'd hurt my son to get your way?

- It won't end with your son.
- Throw the priest out then.

- I am trying to do just that.
- Then what do you want from me?


As it turns out.

Please leave my son
out of this.

My husband will kill that child
over a thing like this.

I will try.

I'm late.


I don't know if you and me
on the same side.

I'll be standing with my son
and those who are good with my son.

It'd be nice to see you there.
Good morning.

May I come in?

A third party would be required.

Yeah. What was Donald's mother
doing here?

- We were having a chat.
- About what?

A third party
would truly be required, Father.

No, Sister. No third party!

Me and you are due for a talk!

You have to stop
this campaign against me.

- You can stop it at any time.
- How?

Confess and resign.

You are attempting
to destroy my reputation!

Who keeps opening my window?

What are you doing in this school?

I'm trying to do good.

Even more to the point,

what are you doing in the priesthood?

You are single-handedly holding
this school and this parish back.

- From what?
- Progressive education

and a welcoming church.

You can't distract me, Father.

This is not about my behavior,
it's about yours.

No, this is about
your unfounded suspicions.

- That's right. I have suspicions.
- Just leave that. It's not important.

I will decide

what's important.

Why do you suspect me?
What have I done?

You gave that boy wine,
and you let him take the blame.

That's completely untrue.
Did you talk to Mr. McGuinn?

All McGuinn knows
is that the boy drank wine.

He doesn't know
how he came to drink it.

Did his mother
have something to add to that?


- So that's it.
- I am not satisfied.

Ask the boy then.

- He'd protect you.
- Why would he do that?

- Because you have seduced him.
- You're insane.

You've got it in your head
that I corrupted this child

after giving him wine,
and nothing I say will change that.

That's right.

But this has nothing to do
with the wine.

Not really. You've had a fundamental
mistrust of me before this incident.

It was you that warned Sister James
to be on the lookout, wasn't it?

That's true.

- So you admit it!
- Certainly.


I know people.

That's not good enough.

- It won't have to be.
- How's that?

You will tell me what you have done.

Oh, I will.

Out again.

Sister James is convinced I'm innocent.

So you talked to Sister James.

Well, of course
you talked to Sister James.

Did you know
Donald's father beats him?


And might that not account
for the odd behavior

Sister James noticed in the boy?

It might.

Then what is it? What?

What did you hear?

What did you see
that convinced you so thoroughly?

What does it matter?

It matters! What does it matter?
I want to know!

Out this window,

I saw you grab William London's wrist,

and I saw him pull away.

- Are you serious?
- I am.

That's all?

Yeah. That was all.

That's nothing.

- What are you doing now?
- I'm writing down what you say.

It might be important when I have
to explain why you have to be removed.

This morning before I spoke
with Mrs. Miller,

I took the precaution
of calling your last parish.

What did he say?

- Who?
- The pastor.

I did not speak to the pastor.
I spoke to a nun.

You should have spoken to the pastor.

I spoke to a nun.

You know that's not the proper route
for you to have taken, Sister.

The church is very clear. You're
supposed to go through the pastor.

Why? You have an understanding,
you and he?

No, you have no right to go rummaging
through my past!

You have a history.

This is your third parish in five years.

- Why?
- Call the pastor.

Ask him why I left.
It's perfectly innocent.

- I'm not calling the pastor.
- I'm a good priest.

Go after another child and
another child, until you are stopped.

- What nun did you speak to?
- I won't say.

- Yeah, I've not touched a child.
- You have!

You haven't the slightest proof
of anything.

But I have my certainty.

And armed with that,
I'll go to your last parish

and the one before that.
If necessary, I'll find a parent.

Trust me, Father Flynn, I will.

You have no right to act on your own!

You have taken vows,
obedience being one!

You answer to us!

You have no right
to step outside the church!

I will step outside the church
if that's what needs to be done,

though the door should shut
behind me!

I will do what needs to be done,
though I'm damned to hell!

You should understand that,
or you will mistake me.

Now, did you give Donald Miller
wine to drink?

Have you never done anything wrong?

- I have.
- No mortal sin?



I confessed it, Father.

Then whatever I have done,

I have left in the healing hands
of my confessor.

As have you.

We are the same.


No, we are not. We are not the same.

A dog that bites is a dog that bites.

Did you give Donald Miller
wine to drink?


Mental reservations?


You lie.

Very well then.

If you will not leave my office, I will.

And once I go, I will not stop.


I can't say everything, you understand?

There's things I can't say,

even if you can't imagine
the explanation, Sister.

Remember, there are things
beyond your knowledge.

Even if you feel certainty,
it is an emotion, not a fact.

You will request a transfer

and take a leave of absence
until it's granted.

You'd leave me nothing.

It's Donald Miller who has nothing,

and you took full advantage of that.

I've done nothing wrong.
I care about that boy.


'Cause you smile at him?

And you sympathize with him?

And you talk to him
as if you were the same?

You are a cheat.

And that warm feeling you experienced

when that boy looked at you with trust
was not the sensation of virtue.

That could be got by any drunkard
with his tot of rum.

I can fight you.

You will lose.

Where's your compassion?

Nowhere you can get at it.

Stay here. Compose yourself.

You can use the phone if you'd like.

Good day, Father.

I have no sympathy for you.

I know you are invulnerable
to true regret.

And cut your nails.

Praise God,
from whom all blessings flow

Praise him all
creatures here below

Praise him above, ye heavenly host

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost


I never like to say goodbye,

but there is a wind behind every one
of us that takes us through our lives.

We never see it.
We can't command it.

We don't even know its purpose.

'Cause I would have stayed
among you longer,

but that wind is taking me away.

I will miss it here,

and I will miss you.

But I'm content that the power
that propels me

does so with superior knowledge

as to what is for the best,

and that is my faith.

I would like to come down now
among you

and say goodbye

and wish you peaceful hearts

and loving hearts.

- Goodbye, Senator.
- Father.

Carol. Thank you so much.
Thank you.

Bless you, Father.

- Happy holidays. Susan. Bless you.
- Thank you, Father.

- Father.
- Thank you.

Be good. Thank you.

- Thank you, Father.
- Thank you very much. Thank you.

Paul. Thank you so much.

God bless you. Goodbye.

... a midnight clear

A glorious song of old

From angels bending near the Earth

Sister James. Welcome back.

Thank you, Sister.

You were missed. How is your brother?

Better. Much better.

I'm very glad. I prayed for him.

It was good to get away.
I needed to see my family.

Mmm. Then I'm glad you did it.

And Father Flynn is gone?


So you did it. You got him out.


Donald Miller is heartbroken.

Can't be helped. It's just till June.

I don't think Father Flynn
did anything wrong.

No? He convinced you?

- Yes, he did.
- Mmm.

Did you ever prove it?

- To whom?
- Anyone but yourself?


- But you were sure?
- Yes.

I wish I could be like you.


Because I can't sleep anymore.

Maybe we're not supposed to
sleep so well.

They made Father Flynn
pastor of Saint Jerome.

- Who?
- The bishop.

Appointed Father Flynn pastor
of Saint Jerome Church and School.

It's a promotion.

You didn't tell them?

Oh, I told our good monsignor.
I crossed the garden, and I told him.

He did not believe it to be true.

Then why did Father Flynn go?

What did you say to make him leave?

That I had called a nun
in his previous parish,

that I had found out
his prior history of infringements.

So you did prove it?

I made no such call.

- You lied?
- Yes.

But if he'd had no such history,
the lie wouldn't have worked.

His resignation was his confession.

He was what I thought he was.

And he's gone.

I can't believe you lied.

In the pursuit of wrongdoing,

one steps away from God.

Of course, there is a price.

I see.


Sister James.

What is it, Sister?

I have doubts.

I have such doubts.

 Come, thou,
redeemer of the Earth

And manifest thy virgin birth

Let every age adoring fall

Such birth befits the God of all

Begotten of no human will

But of the Spirit, thou art still

The word of God in flesh arrayed

The promised fruit
to man displayed

The virgin womb that burden gained

With virgin honor all unstained

The banners there of virtue glow

God in his temple dwells below

Forth from his chamber goeth he

That royal home of purity

A giant in twofold substance one

Rejoicing now his course to run

From God the Father he proceeds

To God the Father back he speeds

His course he runs
to death and hell

Returning on God's throne to dwell

O equal to thy Father, thou

Gird on thy fleshly mantle now

The weakness of our mortal state

With deathless might invigorate

Thy cradle here
shall glitter bright

And darkness breathe a newer light

Where endless faith
shall shine serene

And twilight never intervene

All praise, eternal Son, to thee

Whose advent sets thy people free

Whom, with the Father, we adore

And Holy Ghost for evermore



Special thanks to SergeiK.