The Beautiful Country Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the The Beautiful Country script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Nick Nolte and Tim Roth movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of The Beautiful Country. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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The Beautiful Country Script








We should get married.

Our ages are well-matched.



You want someone

to make you dinner every day.



That was the idea.



What do I get out of it?



It will be a good arrangement.



I will be like a father to your children.



Everyone will have enough to eat,

even pig face here.



Why is he so grouchy?



If you marry me, I'll fix up the house.



You have to clean it!






I need it tonight.






Hurry! The celebration starts soon!



...since the liberation, significant progress

has been made in the spirit of Ho Chi Minh.



Will you marry Pham?



Who knows?



What did my mother say about the GI?



Your father?






Why do you ask now?



- She must have said something.

- She cried about him.



That's all?



He had very big feet.



First, he tracks dirt all over the house...



then he takes off his leather shoes.



He puts up his big feet

so that everyone can see.



Is she alive?



If she marries Pham...



there won't be room for you.



She is alive.



In the big city.



- Why are you always angry with him?

- I can't bear the sight of him.



He's not one of us. I don't know why

he doesn't go to where he belongs.



And for my forefathers,

I pray for their souls...



and that we someday will be united.



For myself, I ask that my actions

will not harm others.



I do not leave with a bitter heart...



but with hope that I will have a better future.



You're Bui Doi, aren't you?



Go home. There's nothing for you here.



Consider yourself lucky.



I'm looking for Mai.



She used to work here.



She's my mother.



Does Mai live here?



Go away, beggar!



I know you.



You are very big, my brother.



Where is Mother?



She's at work...



in the big house.



If you have a problem,

don't bother our guests with it.



Mai! You don't work

in the dining room anymore.



Give me your uniform. Hurry.



Good evening. Do you know who I am?



It's me.



It's Binh.



I am so sorry, my son.






Will you wait?



Thank you.



You're hungry?



What are you thinking?



I am thinking...



that I don't know you.



You know, we were married...



in a church.



He was Christian?



He never said...



but he wanted a priest.



Where is he? What happened to him?



He was here one day...



then he was gone.



Just like that.






He was just gone.



It was a hard time for everyone.



Madam, if you have a moment.



It's her son.



He will be a good worker...



alongside her...



to replace the houseboy.



Far greater value than what you pay now.



Let me look at you.



Your mother is attractive.

How did you get to be so ugly?



I know you are generous, madam.



I know that you know

what it means to love a son, and...



He will shine my son's shoes.



The rugs need beating.

He can assist his mother in that.



And the fence has to be painted.



Work hard. Help your mother.



She's suffered a lot because of you.



Working hard?



Let me give you a hand.



Please, no. I must finish,

or your mother will be angry.



Is he Tam's father?



How dare you ask me that?



- You were gone a long time.

- I'm sorry.






- You have shortchanged me.

- No.



First he steals from me, then he lies.



That's what you get

for bringing such trash into the house!



I don't know how to protect you.



I have shamed you. I'll go back to Hoa Nam.



No. I'm proud of you.



Just stay out of his way.



Binh, help me.






Put that down!



Thief! Bastard thief!



You must take Tam as well.



- Come with us, Mother!

- No.



I have a friend.

He knows of boats, special boats.



It will just be enough for the two of you.



This is my wedding certificate.



On it is an address in Houston, Texas.



He may help, but ask for nothing.



Keep a good heart.



Don't let Tam forget me.



You're going to go on a trip with Binh.



Mama, where will you be?



I'll come. Just not now.



Do what Binh says.



Mother will be along soon.

We'll all be together in America.



Where you going?



- America.

- What will you do there?



Sell shoes. Everyone needs shoes.



You have family there?



You have family there?



He's not Vietnamese.



He's a big American.



Tam, come here!






Where were you going?



Where were you going?



- Malaysia.

- Nobody tries for Malaysia.



America is a nice place.



Have you been in prison before

for political reasons?



For criminal reasons?



Was your father American?



- He Vietnamese.

- Open your mouth.



- What is his name?

- Duc.



You can put your shirt on.



Why do you leave Vietnam?



It's to your benefit to tell the truth.






Don't worry. Be here when you get back...



just like everyone else.



I'll be back soon.






Good! My English very good.

My name Chingmy.



- What this place?

- "What this place?" This place hell!



- Me Chinese. What you?

- Vietnamese.






Why you here?



You know, boat from China. Sink off coast.



Many people go underwater, too.



- How I leave?

- You want to leave? Good!



No one leaves here. No country wants you.



You grow old. God take you a better place.



Not yet.



Or you can like me. I am a very clever guy.



I can go under the wall.



- There other way?

- Sure!



You grow wings, you can fly over the wall.



Or you can like Ling.

Ling go over wall on her back.






Oh, thank you.



She earn big money.

She can buy her way out!



If I could, I would.



But, you know, I'm not pretty like her.



You want to leave?



Did you buy the birthday presents?



Tam, time to go.

You can help me with the food.






- How you come here?

- Take boat.



Where you go?



- America.

- America, huh?



Beautiful country.



You like America?



What you do there?



Sell shoe.



- Where you from?

- Why?



I from Pingyao. Small village, North China.



Father leave when I very small.



I come here with man.

One day he say to me:



"I get you out.

First, go Hong Kong. Good life. "



Mother still in China?



- More good she think I dead.

- Why?



I shame her.



I'm hungry.



We'll try to find something to eat

after we wash.



I wash it for you.



- Why you like that?

- Like what?



You no look at me.



I look at you.



Never play like this.



Other mothers say, "No play with him.



"He have face of enemy. "



We must get out, Tam and me.



Leave here, take money. Big money.



I have dollars.



I think you in shoe store, when you gone.



Put on.



You leave this place.



I no leave you.



Boat come tonight.



How you know?



Boat go to America.

You have $     they take you.



In America, you work for them. Pay rest.



How you know?



I no have $    .



Almost done.



Clean, very clean.



Get up!






Everyone back!



Get your things. Let's go!



You go first.



- No, come now.

- Too small for three. You go.



Here, $    . For you, for Tam.



You go now. Boat won't wait. Go.



You go.



This boat no leave without Ling.



I no swim.



I already dead inside.



In water, also dead outside. So you go.






Is Mommy on the boat?



Hold them there.



Thought you were from Miami.



Where'd you find these, then? In the ocean?



Okay, let's see the money.

Money, money, money!



Come down. You speak English?



You read?






The passage is gonna cost $    

for the three of you.



It's a family discount.



- You work for the rest in US.

- In camp, tells me $    .



In camp, they're salesmen.

I'm a businessman.



$     each for you and the lady,

$     for the kid.



Why boy no cheap? Only small.



Eat little.



He's not a worker, is he?

He just takes up space.



Little space.



Big space in your mind.



$             ...



$    .



You can swim to America.

Be my guest, if that's your wish.



Where's the rest?



Have no more.



"Have no more?" Have no travel. Goodbye.



Have no more!



Sign your name.



No read Chinese.



You can sign your name

in whatever you want.



- Sign it.

- What it say?



Well, it says you'll give me $     now.



When you get there, you'll all work,

including the kid.



If you're not lazy, you'll be free to leave

in a year. In your case, two.



We'll provide a place to stay,

food, and work.



I think you should sign.



Where boat going? Houston?



This isn't a taxi.



Everybody on deck.



Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard.



You're our most valued passengers.



We want you to arrive healthy

and fit to work.






don't fight. Don't waste food.



We have enough, but not enough to waste.



You'll all be rich in America.



I'm told it's easy.



Come on.



Smells bad.



In America, always smell good.



- Why?

- They clean all day.



- Why?

- People make money that way.



Lots and lots of money.



Cleaners have big car.



I want to clean in America.



Go to back of line.



We pay for food.



You no pay me.



Thank you.



My brother need water.



Don't look at me, chappie.



Come down.



You think this is funny?



You think he's ugly?



Be nice.



Come with me.



Now listen to me.



These are my passengers. Mine, not yours.



If I lose any of them, including you...



I lose money.



Are you scared of me?



You know, I've been to your country.



I've been to both of your countries,

and I'll tell you something.



You will always be out of place

wherever you go.



Yes, I know.



And poor.



Yes, I know.



You should think about working for me.

I can give you a job.



- You like looking at me?

- Yes.



This is my look on-stage. I'll be big singer.



You pretty.



Place your bets.






- Q-Tip.

- Passport.



Kennedy Airport.



You lose.



Very easy game.



I have no money.






- Have you done my shoes?

- Yes, sir. I finish.



Come here.



You have an independent mind.



Some people admire that.



I don't.



The storm has damaged a water tank.



The rice is wet and rotting.



As of today, we are on half-rations.



It's enough to live.



I think you should bring up your dead.



That what Mickey Mouse eat.






Two more dead.



Place your bet!



- Harvard University.

- NBA.



- Folgers Coffee.

- Clint Eastwood.



You cannot. You cannot take my food.

It is for my daughter.



You cannot!



May I help you?



You're tampering with my cargo.



Your cargo likes to gamble.

I can't change that.



You chartered a ship

and placed a cargo in its hold, uninsured.



I don't think it would be

in your best interests...



to challenge the command of this ship.



We both get paid

for what we deliver on arrival.



That's what I'm interested in.

So should you.



You might want to get that seen to.



There's no food. They're dropping like flies.



There won't be anybody left to sell

at this rate.



We had enough, and now we don't.

It's as simple as that.



Well, let's go in to Luanda. We're only

   miles offshore. Get some more supplies.



And send you to the market?

You're a fucking amateur.



You know that?



You don't have the stomach

for your own greed.



People die all the time.

It's as natural as living.



They're dying because

of your mismanagement of the ship.



It's coming out of your share.



No, it isn't.



I've been thinking about you.



You've never really had any fun, have you?



Never had a good time.



You should go somewhere new.



Go somewhere clean.



Get a new start.



You should go to...



I go to America.



I offer you a new life,

you choose an old dream.



Sleep now.



- Are you okay?

- I want my mother.



I feel sick.



- T-bird.

- "T-bird. "



- Grand Canyon.

- "Grand Canyon. "



- Beach Boy.

- "Beach Boy. "



Tam is sick.



Water sickness.



You're stealing.



They sick down there.



But you're not.



No more game!



Play me.



I no play.



Play me. I start.



- Okay.

- Budweiser.



Heinz ketchup.



George Washington.



Central Park.



Miami Dolphin.



What's that? You lose.



Miami Dolphin football team.



- You lie!

- No lie.



Your turn!



Highway   . Huntington Beach.



Polo sport shirt. Tide soap.



Timex. Old Granddad. Cherokee. Minnesota.



- Viceroy.

- Take the water.



- What you hiding?

- Nothing.



- You have food!

- Not true. Take the water.



You have food!



I'm Steve Yount. This is your news center,

     WINS, New York...



serving New York,

New Jersey and Connecticut.



     . Come on.






Go! Let's go!



Come on. Let's go, let's go.



Take them off, baby!



Come on, baby, you got to sing it up

a little bit better than that.





           , it's a Chinese dish.

Kung Pow chicken.



Here comes the mortgage payment.



Steady business.



You see Ling?



Ling? You know Ling. Busy, busy, busy.



- What's that about?

- He's in love with Ling. The hooker.



- He's kidding?

- No.



It's a lost cause.

Hope he's got a lot of money.



 :  .



Time for you to leave.



Good morning.



Dear Mother...



I have arrived at last in America.



How can I tell you that I have arrived alone?



Tam died of a fever.

He thought of you up to the end.



I would give anything to have him alive.



How could I fail my little Tam?



I beg your forgiveness.



How much stamp to Vietnam?



Well, that depends what you have in there.



Letter and check for transfer.






How're you doing?



You send all your money to Vietnam,

you never get to Texas.



She have nothing.






Is this your brother?



Here, delivery boy.



What's wrong?



- This is for you.

- Thank you.



You like this guy, Jerry?



He's not bad.



You remember me? Remember Tam?



Tam's dead. I'm alive. You're alive.



I want a life.



With this guy?



- What's the word you say?

- Words? Oh!



- Statistical.

- "Statistical. "



- What's the second one?

- Tachistoscopic.



Ling told me about your brother.



My condolences. I can't imagine

going through something like that.



What was America to you?

Before you came here, I mean?



My father is American.



You like America?



Something always going on.



That's a good thing, right?



Sure, it is. Always something going on.



Have you seen him? Where is your father?



- Texas.

- Texas.



Yee-haw! Texas.



Maybe dead.



Well, you should try and find him.



- Yeah, I was trying to help him to go...

- Be quiet.






Wait! You wait, okay?



For what? I cannot wait so long!



You don't like what I am now?

I'm the same as I ever was.



Time for you to go.



Food get cold.



He not so bad.



- You're close to my heart.

- But you don't love me.



I'm ugly, too.



Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.



Greed is right. Greed works.



Greed clarifies,

cuts through and captures the essence...



of the evolutionary spirit.



I take two.



Greed for life, for money, for love.



Knowledge has...



- I fold.

- Call.



Three   . I win.



Why I always lose?



Why you win so much?



I told you. I learn gamble on boat.



Long story.



You Vietnamese. Why you no fly over?



Idiot. Cost big money.



- Your dad GI, right?

- So?



- Don't you know?

- What?



Any Vietnamese with GI dad

fly to America for free.



Bullshit. Play.



Is true.



It's true. It's simple.



You lie.



You lie!



You lie!



Where the hell are you going? Hey!



Where you going, man?



Hey! You son of a... You fucking...



What the fuck you think you're doing?



I American. US citizen. Can get passport.



Can talk to INS or FBI, CIA.



Be like you.






- What you looking at, boy?

- Your arm.



- Bet you never seen one like that.

- Yes. I have.



Where you from?






You need a ride?



Jesus! He's Chinese.



I thought you were Mexican.



Okay, what the hell. Hop in. Come on.



This road take you right in.



Houston's big. Be careful, okay?



- Thank you.

- No problem. Good luck.






- Do I know you?

- I sorry bother you.



- Okay. Look, I'm not buying anything.

- No. L...



And that includes religion.

So maybe you have the wrong address.



I look for Steve Cole.



I really can't help you.



You know him?



Let's just say I stopped knowing him

about    years ago.



Look, I don't know where the hell Steve is

and I don't care.



- I'm remarried. I have...

- You wife?



So what if I am? Who the hell are you?



I sorry. My name Binh.



I tell you what, Ben,

if you're not off my property in    seconds...



I'm calling the police.



Hey, boy? Let's move along, boy.



This not lady property.



But you're still loitering. Go home.



I walk now.



- You want to know where Steve is?

- Yes.



I don't really know, but the last time I heard,

he was in a little place called Sweetwater.



- Sweetwater?

- Yeah.



Ranch country. Or farm.



You know, big skies?



Will you go away now?



Yes, I go now. No come back.



Thank you.






- What do you want with him, anyway?

- I am son.



Well, isn't that something?



Lmagine Steve, a father.



And husband.



He married to my mother.



Can I help you with something?



- You owner?

- Yeah.



You have workers?



- You want to work here?

- Yes.



- Why?

- I always want to be cowboy.



Listen, no offense...



but we don't get your kind here much.



- You in trouble with the law?

- No.



I hard worker.



You need someone to fix fence, I fix.



We've got a handyman.



Only he isn't very handy.



You get $  an hour. And not a cent more.



All right, then.



- I'm Gene.

- Gene?






- It never gets any easier.

- You fire him?



I gotta let him go.



Let him stay.



I've only got one trailer for y'all.



I don't mind. He can stay.



Steve'll get you started. He's all right.



It's his dog that might give you a problem.



Gene, is that you?









- Who are you?

- I Binh.



I work here now.



I thought you were Gene.



Stella here

doesn't normally take to strangers.



- Is he firing me?

- No.



Why not?



Why not?



I tell him you stay.



You take bed.



You take bed.



I hope you like toast.



Thank you.



I hope you like your eggs fried.



You're great company.



I not here to be your friend.



You Vietnamese?



How you know?



I'm blind, not deaf.



And if I'd known you were Vietnamese, I

wouldn't have wanted to be your roommate.



Why? You have bad memory in Vietnam?






I have good memories, Binh.



Good memories.



It's a beautiful country.



I really think you'd rather have me scraping.



I no paint.









How long you blind?



A lifetime.



I worked in a storage facility in Saigon.



I thought it was a crate of beer.



Turned out to be explosives.



- You still alive.

- That's what they said.



One minute I'm in Saigon,

the next I'm in a hospital in Maryland...



and six months had passed.



I woke up, couldn't see.

Didn't know where I was.



Some assholes tell me I'm lucky.



Hey, Binh!



- Binh!

- What?



How am I doing?



Who playing? Miami Dolphin?






You like noodles?



- Soup noodles?

- Yeah. Pho.



With real fish sauce.



- Where'd you get that?

- Houston.



More Vietnamese there than Saigon.



I had a wife in Saigon.



What happen to her?



Never saw her again.



It's like I told you, one minute I'm in Saigon,

and boom, I'm Stateside.



So one day you were there,

and then you were gone...



- just like that?

- Just like that.



And then the war was over.



Nobody could go back.



Never saw her again.



Simple as that.



First time I saw my wife,

she was standing on a street corner...



in a uniform, college uniform.



Only I didn't know that's what it is.



I just thought

it was one of your national costumes.



But it was white.



It had high slits up the side.



I'd never seen

someone so beautiful before...



in all that ugliness.



Then she rode away on her bicycle

and I thought I'd never seen her again.



But I found she worked after school

in her uncle's barbershop.



She was a terrible barber.



- Big feet.

- Dirty, too.



We had a boy.



He was just a baby.



He had the eyes of an old man,

even at two months.



Or maybe they all droop, we didn't know.



Why you no go back?



Go back?



See the old sights?



No, I left her to take care of the child alone.



I didn't think that she needed a blind man

to look after.



My mother is very beautiful...



like crane flying at sunset.



Binh, why are you here?



- This place?

- No, America.



America beautiful.



How's that?



- Did you come by boat?

- Yes.



- Hard?

- Not so hard.



Yes, cranes flying at sunset.



- Just a trim, Binh.

- Yes.



- What do they call those sticky sweet cakes?

- There a lot of sticky sweet cake.



- I think they're made out of rice.

- They all made of rice.



- Can you make them?

- Yes.



I'll cut your hair next time.





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