The French Lieutenant's Woman Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the The French Lieutenant's Woman script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of The French Lieutenant's Woman. 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 French Lieutenant's Woman Script





(director through loud-hailer)

OK. Are you ready, Anna?



OK. First positions, everybody.



(man)  32  take  2.



(director) And action.



And track.



(church bells ringing)












Sam! Get the carriage ready.



- We're going to Miss Ernestina's.

- At the double, sir.



(maid) Madam!



Madam, come quick!

Madam, it's Mr Charles.



- Good morning.

- Good morning, sir.



Will you please tell your mistress

I'm here to see her?



- Charles! Goodness, you are up early.

- Good morning, Mrs Tranter.



- A beautiful morning.

- It is indeed. Come in, do, please.



Is, er, Ernestina awake?



- Er, Mary, is my niece awake?

- She is, ma'am.



- Well, tell her Mr Charles is here.

- Yes, ma'am.



Might it be possible

for me to see Ernestina?



- Alone?

- But of course, of course.



- Thank you.

- Miss!



Miss! Mr Charles

is here, Miss, to see you.



- Mr Charles?

- He's down below, Miss, waitin' for you.



He wants to speak to you.



- What shall I... What dress shall I wear?

- Oh, your pink. It's so lovely, Miss.



- You look pretty as a picture in your pink.

- Yes... Yes, my pink. I'll wear that.



The conservatory is a private place.

Will that suit?



It will suit. Thank you.



I shall wait for her... in the conservatory.



I always thought you from London

spent half the day in bed.



No, ma'am. Up and about.

We're always up and about.



Early birds ready to catch

your early worm, ma'am, us Londoners.



She's comin'!









- She's gone into him.

- Doesn't she look a princess?



Ernestina, it cannot have escaped

your notice that it is fully six weeks...



...since I came down here

to Lyme from London.



No, it has not escaped my notice.



I came to Lyme to explore the flint beds

of the Undercliff to look for fossils...



...but I have stayed for you.



- Ah.

- For your sweet company.



Thank you.



- She's not going to turn him down?

- Never. She'd give her left arm.



I came to inquire whether you would

allow me to ask your father for your hand.



Yes, I would allow it.



Mind you, I don't know

that he approves of me.



I don't do what he considers to be work.



Are you suggesting that it is

entirely Papa's decision?



- No. It is yours.

- Yes, it is.



Papa will do what I want.

And I will do what I want.



Well, in that case, might you take pity...



...on a crusty old scientist,

who holds you very dear...



...and marry me?



Oh, Charles!



I've waited so long for this moment!



He's home and dry.



This isn't mistletoe,

but it will do, will it not?



Oh, Charles.



(phone rings)






Who is it?



Yes, it is.



I'll tell her.






You're late.



Make-up's waiting for you.



Oh, God!



- What happened to the wake-up call?

- I don't know.



- Who called?

- Jack.



- Did you answer the phone?

- Mm-hm.



Well, then... they know.



- They know that you're in my room.

- Mm.



In your bed. I want them to know.



Christ, look at the time.



They'll fire me for immorality.



They'll think I'm a whore.



You are.






Chilly morning.






Miss Woodruff! You know

you cannot stay here any longer.



Miss Duff has made

no provision for you in her will.



The cottage is to be sold.



How much money do you possess?



Miss Woodruff, I think I know

someone who might take you in.



Mrs Poulteney from the Grange.



Does her house overlook the sea?



Yes, it does, yes.



Then... I would be grateful

for your help, sir.



- Mr Smithson to see Mr Freeman.

- You are expected, sir.



You may be a gentlemen

of leisure, Smithson...



...but you are certainly punctual.



Good morning, Mr Freeman.






We could have met

at my office in the City...



...but I thought you'd be

interested to see this place.



- Indeed I am.

- Mind.



Of course, in a few months we shall be

opening depots in Bristol and Liverpool.



I see.



That's the May Queen,

in this morning for a carpenter.



Yes, indeed. I recognise, er, Charles...



...that you bring to Ernestina

not only love and protection...



...but also in time

a considerable inheritance.



That is so.






Well, I know my daughter loves you.



You seem to me an upright man.

Let us shake hands.



I started here, Charles,

with my dear wife at my side.



- You know I have no son.

- I do, sir, yes.



Well, if you ever felt disposed

to explore the world of commerce...



...I would be delighted to be your guide.



Thank you.



Oh, yes, he was very respectful

of what he called...



as a scientist and a gentleman.



In fact, he asked me about my work.



But as I didn't think that

fossils were quite in his line...



...I gave him a brief discourse

on the theory of evolution instead.



- How wicked of you!

- Yes, he didn't think very much of it.



In fact... he ventured the opinion...



...that Mr Darwin should be exhibited

in a cage in the zoological gardens.



In the monkey house.



I'll lead the way.



Shall we return?

The wind is getting very strong.



I thought you might welcome a reason

to hold my hand without impropriety.



Very well.



Good Lord! What on earth is she doing?



- Oh. It's poor "Tragedy".

- "Tragedy"?



The fishermen have

a grosser name for her.






They call her

"the French lieutenant's... woman".



Do they?



- Please come.

- I must speak to her.



- She could fall.

- She won't thank you. She's mad.



It's dangerous. Will you stay there?















Madam, forgive me. I'm alarmed

for your safety. Come back!






Tell me, who is this... French lieutenant?



He is a man she's said to have...



Fallen in love with?



- Worse than that.

- Ah. And he abandoned her.



Is there a child?



I think not.



Oh, it's all gossip.



What's she doing here?



They say she's waiting for him to return.



How banal.



(woman) How has she supported

herself since her dismissal?



(vicar) Most pitifully. I understand...



Miss? Miss?



Miss Woodruff,

would you come in, please?



Mrs Poulteney, this is Miss Woodruff.



I see.



I wish, as the vicar has told you...


            take a companion.



He has indicated to me that you might be

a suitable person for such a post.



- You are without employment?

- I am, ma'am.



- But you have been a governess?

- I have, ma'am.



The post of companion requires a person

of irreproachable moral character.



- I have my servants to consider.

- (clears throat)



- You speak French, I believe?

- I do, ma'am.



- I do not like the French.

- (clears throat)



Perhaps you might

leave us now, Mr Forsythe.



Yes, of course, Mrs Poulteney.

Good afternoon.



Mr Forsythe informs me that you...



...retain an attachment

to a... foreign person.



I have heard from

the most impeccable witnesses...



...that you're always to be seen

at the same place when you're out.



You stand on the Cobb and look to sea.



I'm led to believe that

you're in a state of repentance...



...but I must emphasise that such

staring out to sea is provocative...



...intolerable... and sinful.



If you consider me unsuitable

for this position...


            you wish me to leave the house?

- I wish you to show...



...that this person

is expunged from your heart!



- How am I to show it?

- By not exhibiting your shame!



I should like to hear you

read from the Bible.



If your expression is agreeable to me...


            shall have the position.



- Mike?

- Yeah?



Listen to this.



"In      it is estimated there were      

prostitutes in the county of London."






"Out of every    houses,

one was a brothel."



Hoo, hoo, hoo!



"At a time when the male population of

London was one and a quarter million...



...the prostitutes were receiving clients

at a rate of two million per week."



- Two million?

- Yeah.



You know when I say in the graveyard

scene about going to London?



(helicopter overhead)



"If I went to London,

I know I should become...



...what some already

call me here in Lyme."



- Go on. Yeah?

- Well, that's what she's really faced with.



This man says that

hundreds of the prostitutes...



...were nice girls, like governesses,

who'd lost their jobs.



You offend your boss, you lose

your job, you're out on the streets.



That's the reality.



The male population was

one and a quarter million?






Well, if we take away a third

for children and old men...



...that means that, outside of marriage...



...your Victorian gentleman could

look forward to  .  fucks a week!









(twig snaps)



I'm very sorry to disturb you.






All right. I'm comin'!



For the lovely young lady upstairs.



And... for the even more lovely one down.



How much do I owe you?



- A penny?

- Mm.



Thank you very much.



- Do you know that lady?

- Aye.



- Does she come this way often?

- Often enough.



But she be no lady.



She be the French lieutenant's whore.



From Mr Charles, Miss Tina,

with his compliments.



- Did he bring them himself?

- No, Miss.



- Where is Mr Charles?

- Dunno, Miss. Didn't ask him.



Ask who?



- His servin' man, Miss.

- But I heard you speak with him.



- Yes, Miss.

- What about?



Oh, it was just the time of day, Miss.



You will kindly remember

that he comes from London.



Yes, Miss.



If he makes advances,

I wish to be told at once.



Now bring me some barley water.









I'm very sorry to have

disturbed you just now.



I gather you've recently become...

secretary to Mrs Poulteney.



May I accompany you? Since

we walk in the same direction.



I prefer to walk alone.



- May I introduce myself?

- I know who you are.



- Ah. Then...

- Kindly allow me to go on my way alone.



And please tell no one that

you have seen me in this place.



"Miss Woodruff."



Wait a minute. I lost the place.



Page   . I suddenly see you. You've

got your dress caught in the brambles.



I see you, then you see me. We look at

each other, and I say "Miss Woodruff."



All right.



Right. I see you.



Get your coat caught in the brambles.






Now I'm looking at you.



You see me.



- "Miss Woodruff."

- I'm looking at you.



But now you come

towards me to pass me.



It's a narrow path, and it's muddy.



- You slip in the mud...

- Ow!



...and I help you up.

- Let's just do it again, OK?



- All right.

- Let's just do it again.



All right...



I've got my dress caught in the brambles.



Suddenly you see me.



Then I see you.



"Miss Woodruff."



I dread to think what would happen...



...if you should one day

turn your ankle in a place like this.



I must go back.



Permit me to say something first.

I know I am a stranger to you, but...



(dog barking)



Down here, here in this hollow.

Come on.



Here. Here.






It's really not necessary to hide.



No man who cares for his good name can

be seen with the scarlet woman of Lyme.



Miss Woodruff... I've heard

something of your circumstances.



It cannot be any great pleasure

being in Mrs Poulteney's employ.



Why don't you leave Lyme? I understand

you have excellent qualifications.



- I should be happy to make inquiries...

- I cannot leave this place.



But why?



You have no family ties, I believe,

that confine you to Dorset.



I have ties.



To this French gentleman?



Permit me to insist.

These things are like wounds.



If no one dares speak of them, they fester.



If he doesn't return...



...he was not worthy of you.



- If he returns...

- He will never return.



You fear he will never return?



I know he will never return.



I do not take your meaning.



He is married.



I should have listened to

the dictates of my own common sense!



- You are a cunning, wicked creature!

- May I know of what I am accused?



You have been seen

walking on the Undercliff!



Not twice, but thrice!



But... what, pray, is the sin in that?



The sin? You, a young woman

alone, in such a place?



- It is nothing but a large wood.

- I know very well what it is.



And what goes on,

the sort of person who frequents it.



No one frequents it. I go there to be alone.



Do you contradict me, Miss?



You will confine your walks

to where it is seemly.



Do I make myself clear?!



Good afternoon,

Mrs Poulteney, Miss Woodruff.



Good afternoon.



- It's that Mrs Poulteney.

- Who's that?



The one who kicked me out in the street.



Is it? Poison her tea.



Ah, now, Miss Woodruff.

It is a pleasure to meet you.



- Are you liking Lyme?

- Erm...



Thank you, ma'am. Yes.



- Were you born far from Lyme?

- In Dorchester, ma'am.



- (knocking)

- It is not very far.



Ah, tea. Thank you, Mary.



Good... Just there.



How long will you remain in Lyme,

Miss, er... Freeman?



Oh, for the summer.



I must say, Mrs Poulteney,

you look exceedingly well.



At my age, Miss Freeman,

spiritual health is all that counts.



Then I have no fears for you.



With gross disorders on the streets...


            becomes ever more necessary to

protect the sacredness of one's beliefs.



- Gross disorders on the streets?

- Certainly, Mr Smithson.



Even a disciple of Darwin,

such as I understand you to be...



...could not fail to notice

the rise of the animal about us.



It no doubt pleases you...



...since it would accord with

your view that we're all monkeys!



I must look more closely into it...



...the next time I find myself on a street.



Please allow me to help you, Mrs Tranter.



Your maid, for example, Mrs Tranter.



I have been informed by my housekeeper

that she saw her, only this morning...



...talking with a person, a young person.



My housekeeper did not know him.



Oh, then it was no doubt

Sam, my servant.



- Very likely.

- Yes, I must say, Charles...



...your servant spends an inordinate

amount of his time talking to Mary.



And what is the harm in that?



There is a world of a difference between

what is accepted in London and here.



But I do not understand what crime Mary

and Sam, by talking, appear to commit.



Your future wife is a better judge than

you are of these things, Mr Smithson.



I know the girl in question.



I had to dismiss her.



If you were older, you would know that

one cannot be too strict in such matters.



I bow to your

far greater experience, madam.



(Miss Woodruff whispers) I'm here!



(organ plays)



Thank you for coming. Thank you.



How did you dare to behave in so

impertinent and presumptuous a manner?



- How dare you, in front of Miss Freeman?

- I had no one else to turn to.



It must be obvious it would be improper

for me to interest myself further in you.



Yes, it is obvious.



Why don't you go to London,

make a new life?



If I went to London,

I know what I should become.



I should become what some

already call me in Lyme.



- My dear Miss Woodruff...

- I am weak. How should I not know it?



I have sinned.



You cannot imagine my suffering.



My only happiness is when I sleep.



When I wake, the nightmare begins.



(door closes)



This is...



Why am I born what I am?



- Why am I not born Miss Freeman?

- That question were better not asked.



- I did not mean...

- Envy is...



Not envy!






- You must help me.

- It is not in my power to help you!



I do not... I will not believe that.



What do you want of me?



I must tell you what really

happened to me    months ago.



I beg of you. You are my only hope.



I shall be on the Undercliff tomorrow

afternoon, and the next afternoon.



I shall wait for you.



I must go.



I shall wait!






No, it's not Davide. It's Mike.



What are you doing?



- Looking at you.

- Come back.



Come back. Come on.



- Do you approve of my telescope?

- It is most elegant.



I use it to keep an eye out for mermaids.



(laughs) Here.



I'm delighted you dropped in.

It was time we met.



The best brandy in Dorset.



I keep it for visitors from London

who share a taste for the good life.



- Your good health, Doctor.

- Yours.



- Care for a cheroot?

- Thank you.



I understand you're, er... a scientist.



A seeker after fossils.



Palaeontology is my interest.



I gather it is not yours.



When we know more of the living,

it will be time to pursue the dead.



Yes, I was introduced the other day

to a specimen of the local flora...



...that rather inclines me

to agree with you.



A very strange case, as I understand it.



- Her name is Woodruff.

- Ah, yes. Poor "Tragedy".



We know more about your fossils on the

beach than we do about that girl's mind.



A German doctor called Hartmann has

divided melancholia into various types.



One he calls "natural", by which

he means that one is born with a...



...a sad temperament.



Another he calls "occasional"...


            which he means

springing from an occasion.



And the third class he calls

"obscure melancholia"...


            which he really means, poor man,

he doesn't know what the devil caused it.



- But she had an occasion, did she not?

- Oh, come now.



Is she the first young woman

to be jilted? No, no.



She belongs to the third class:

Obscure melancholia.



Listen to me.



I'll tell you, in the strictest confidence.



I was called in to see her,

oh, ten months ago.



She was working as a seamstress,

living by herself...



Well, hardly living. Weeping without

reason, unable to sleep, unable to talk.



Melancholia as plain as the pox.



I could see there was only one cure.



To get her away from this place.

But no, she wouldn't have it.



She goes to a house that

she knows is a living misery...


            a mistress that sees no difference

between a servant and a slave.



- And she will not be moved.

- But it's... incomprehensible.



Not at all. Hartmann has something

very interesting to say...



...about one of his patients.



"It was as if her torture

had become her delight."



And she has confided the true

state of her mind to no one?



- She has not.

- But if she did?



I mean, if she could

bring herself... to speak?



She would be cured.



But she does not want to be cured.



I was working... as a governess.



At the Talbots'.



His name was Varguennes.



He was brought to the house

after the wreck of his ship.



He had a dreadful wound. His flesh

was torn from his hip to his knee.



He was in great pain...



...yet he never cried out.



Not the smallest groan.



I admired his courage.



I looked after him.



I did not know then that men can be

both very brave and very false.



He was handsome.



No man had ever paid me the kind

of attentions he did as he was...






He told me I was beautiful...



...and that he could not understand

why I was not married.



Such things.



He would mock me...






I took pleasure in it.



When I would not let him kiss my hand...



...he called me cruel.



A day came when I thought

myself cruel as well.



And you were no longer... cruel?






Varguennes recovered.



He left for Weymouth.



He said that he would wait there

one week and then... sail for France.



I told him that I would never follow him...



...that I could not.



But, after he had gone...


            loneliness was so deep...



...I felt I would drown in it.



I followed him.



I went to the inn

where he had taken a room.



It was not a respectable place -

I knew that at once.



They told me to go up to his room.



They looked at me.



They smiled.



I insisted he be sent for.



He seemed... overjoyed to see me.



He... he was all that a lover should be.



I had not eaten that day. He took me

to a private sitting room, ordered food.






...he had changed.



He was full of smiles and caresses, but...



...I knew at once that he was insincere.



I saw that I had been...


            amusement for him.



Nothing more.



I saw all this within...



...five minutes of our meeting.



Yet I stayed.



I ate the supper that was served.



I drank the wine. It did not intoxicate me.

I think it made me see more clearly.



Is... is that possible?



No doubt.



Soon he no longer bothered to hide the

real nature of his intentions towards me...



...nor could I pretend surprise.



My innocence was false

from the moment I chose to stay.



I could tell you that he overpowered me...



...or that he drugged me, but...


            is not so.



I gave myself to him.



I did it so that I should

never be the same again...


            that I should be seen

for the outcast I am!



I knew it was ordained that

I should never marry an equal, so...



...I married shame.



It is my shame that has kept me alive...


            knowing that I am

truly not like other women.



I... I shall never, like them,

have children and a husband...



...and the pleasures of a home.



Sometimes I pity them. I have

a freedom they cannot understand.



No insult, no blame, can touch me.



I have set myself beyond the pale.



I am nothing.



I am... hardly human any more.



I am the French lieutenant's...






You must leave Lyme.






We must never meet alone again. Go.



I will wait.



What's the matter?



- What's the matter? You look sad.

- No.






Why are you sad?



I'm not.



- Out of my way, little girl.

- Good morning, Mrs Fairley.



My usual.



- Gonna be a nice day, then?

- Yes.



(woman knocking) Miss Woodruff?



Miss Woodruff!



Miss Woodruff,

Mrs Poulteney wants to see you!






Mrs Poulteney wants to see you at once!



(clock strikes six)






- Yes?

- Forgive me. I must speak to Dr Grogan.



- Dr Grogan is not here.

- Not here?



He has been called to the asylum.

He's at the asylum.



Thank you.






Charles Smithson. I must see Dr Grogan

on a matter of the utmost importance.



Follow me, please, sir.



(woman groaning)



Ah, Smithson. I can guess

what you've come about.



I'm sorry I wasn't at home.



I'm attending a breech birth.



Well, the fact is,

we don't know where she is.



- I'm sorry, I don't understand.

- You don't know what's happened?



- No.

- Then why are you here?



- I need your advice.

- I'm not sure I have any left to give.



Miss Woodruff has disappeared.

Mrs Poulteney dismissed her.



There's a search party out. I've offered

  to the man who can bring her back.



- Or find her body.

- Well, she is alive.



- (woman in labour)

- I've just received a note from her.



I must go back.

Go to my house. Wait for me.



Nothing that has been said in this room

tonight, or that remains to be said...



...will go beyond these walls.



Now, you ask for my advice.



I am a young woman of superior

intelligence and some education.



I am not in full command of my emotions.



What is worse, I have fallen in love

with being a victim of fate.



Enter a young god.



Intelligent, good-looking.






My one weapon is the pity

I inspire in him.



So what do I do? I seize my chance.



One day, when I am walking where

I have been forbidden to walk...



...I show myself to someone

I know will report my crime...


            the one person who will

not condone it, my employer.



I then disappear...



...under the presumption that it is in order

to throw myself from the nearest cliff top.



And then, in extremis...



...I cry to my saviour for help.



What in heaven's name

are you talking about?!



I spoke to Mrs Poulteney's housekeeper.

She was at the dairy on the Undercliff.



The girl walked out of the woods

under her nose. She wanted to be seen.



- Presumably to compromise you.

- Why should she want to harm me?



Listen to me. I have

known many prostitutes.



I hasten to add, in pursuance

of my own profession, not theirs.



And I wish I had a guinea for every one

of them I have heard gloat over the fact...



...that their victims

were husbands and fathers.



But she is not a prostitute!



Neither is she a... fiend.



My dear man, you are

half in love with her.



On my most sacred honour, nothing

improper has passed between us.



I believe you. But let me ask you this.



Do you wish to hear her?

Do you wish to see her?



Do you wish to touch her?



You are not the first man

to doubt his choice of bride.



I will go to see the lady.

I will tell her you've been called away.



And you must go away, Smithson.






I shall honour my vows to Miss Freeman.



I know of a private asylum in Salisbury.



Miss Woodruff would be kindly treated

and helped, I assure you.



- Would you bear the expense?

- Yes.



I would bear the expense.



Miss Woodruff.



Have you passed the night here?



- Are you cold?

- No. No.



Do not fear.



I have come to help you.



- Pray control yourself.

- I cannot! I cannot!



(girl giggling)



- (Mary) I'm not!

- (Sam) Why not?



(Sam) What is it?



What the devil are you doing here?!



- Walking, Mr Charles.

- Kindly leave us.



Yes, sir.



I have come here to help that lady...


            the request of

the physician who is treating her.



- He is aware of the circumstances.

- Yes, sir.



Which must on no account...

be disclosed.



- I understand, sir.

- Does she?



Oh, she won't say nothin', sir. On my life.



On my solemn oath, Mr Charles.



I have taken unpardonable advantage

of your situation. Forgive me.



I am wholly to blame.



You must go to Exeter.



There is talk of

committing you to an institution.



You will save yourself embarrassment

if you do not... return to Lyme.



- Where are your belongings?

- At the coach depot.



I will have them sent

to the depot at Exeter.



Walk to Axmouth Cross,

wait for the coach there.



Take the money in this purse.



Thank you.



Here is my lawyer's address.



Let him know where you are.



I will instruct him

to send you more money.



Thank you.



I shall never see you again.






You are a remarkable person,

Miss Woodruff.



Yes, I am a remarkable person.



I'm going - to London.






Well, I don't have any more

scenes to shoot here, so...



Is, er... David here?



- No, he's flying in tonight.

- Oh. That'll be nice for you.



No... it will be nice for you.



Nice for him, too.



I'll miss you.



I'll drive you up to the Cups

if you've finished.



- See you in Exeter, Anna.

- Mm-hm.



- Think of us, slogging away.

- Oh, I will.



Am I going to see you in London?



That would be very, very difficult.



We are there for a fortnight.



I must see you.






(PA) OK, we're moving up to the Cups.



- Mike, we need you in Make-up.

- Yes!






- Yes.

- Yes.






- Sir.

- Ah, Sam.



I want you to leave for London

today, open up the house.



I'll be leaving tomorrow.



- Change of plan.

- I see, sir.



This doesn't have any bearing on

your, er, future plans, I trust, sir?



- What are you talking about?

- I've got to think about my future, sir.



Have you? Well, your immediate future

is to leave for London today.



- Is that clear?

- Yes, Mr Charles.



(rings bell)



Ah. Good afternoon.



Good afternoon, sir.

Miss Ernestina's in the garden.



Thank you.



Sam has explained about the, er...

circumstances of this morning?



Yes, sir.



- And you understand?

- Yes, sir.



- Sir, I don't want that.

- No. Here.



Good afternoon.



Charles! So you have actually deigned

to desert the world of the fossil for me?



I am honoured.



I can assure you, the true charm

of this world resides in this garden.



Honeyed words.



My dearest, I must leave you again

for a few days. I must go to London.



- To London?

- To see Montague, my lawyer.



- Oh, Charles!

- It's unavoidable, I'm afraid.



Apparently there are matters outstanding,

to do with the marriage settlement.



- Your father is a most scrupulous person.

- What does he want?



- Who?

- My father.



Er... Justice for you.



Sweet justice...

that takes you away from me.



Ernestina, I know our private affections

are the paramount consideration...



...but there is also a... legal and

contractual side to matrimony which is...






- My dearest Tina...

- I am weary of Lyme.



- I see you so little.

- I shall be back in three days.



Kiss me, then... to seal your promise.






Upon the chase.   -  .



Chase three.



Game to Mr Smithson,

and the first set:  - .



My goodness, Charles, you were

in cracking form. Sharp as a razor.



- What's the answer? Country grub?

- It's good to hit a ball.



You were hitting it as though you hated it.



Harry, a word.



You will be hearing from a person,

a Miss Woodruff from Exeter.



She'll give you her address. I'd like

you to send her some money for me.



Of course. How much?






Of course.



- Miss Woodruff?

- Yes.



And I want to hear nothing more about it.



You shan't.



Wait for me.



- Where the devil have you been?

- I'm sorry, sir. I...



Go and lay out my clothes.

I'm dining at my club.



Yes, sir. Can I have a word with you, sir?



No, you can't.



- How goes the huntin' in Dorset, Charles?

- And how go you for hounds?



I could offer you a brace of

the best Northumberland. Real angels.



D'you know who

their grandpapa was? Tornado.



Do you recall Tornado at Cambridge?



Yes. So do my ankles.



Aye, he took a fancy to you.

Always... always bit what he loved.



What a profoundly good idea

this was, Charles.



- To dear old Tornado, God rest his soul.

- Rest his soul.



Bravo! Port is essential

to wash down the claret.



As claret was essential

to wash down the punch.



As punch was essential

to sluice the champagne.



- What follows?

- What follows?



A little drive round town follows.

That most essentially follows.



Tom, my dear old fellow,

you're a damn good fellow.



So are you, Charley boy.

We're all damn good fellas.



- On we go, gentlemen.

- Where are we going?



Where all damn good fellas go

for a jolly night out.



We're goin' to Kate Hamilton's,

bless her heart.



The bishop's son has hit it, Charley.

But not a word to his old man!






Come along, sir, be upsta...

Oh! He's at the post.



- The white flag is up. They're off!

- Steady, steady.



- That's it. Very good.

- He's on the rails, off the rails!



Oh, my God!



I don't think our dear Charley is going

anywhere tonight, old boy. Do you?



This come to Mr Montague,

for Mr Smithson.



Thank you very much.



Mr Charles?



Mr Charles?






A letter for you, sir. Special messenger

just come from Mr Montague.



Er, bring me some tea.






What is it, Sam?



I'd like your advice, sir.



On what subject?



My ambition is to go

into business, sir... in due course.



- Business?

- Yes, sir.



- What kind of business?

- Draper's and haberdasher's.



I've set me heart on a little shop.



Would that not be

a somewhat costly undertaking?






And how much do you have put by?



  ... But that's three years' savin'.



So I was wonderin'

if you could help me, sir.



I can't say it sounds

a very practical idea to me, Sam.



I'm very enthusiastic

about the idea myself, sir.






Well, I'll think about it.



I'll certainly be happy to think about it.



Now pack, would you?

We're going to Lyme.



- To Lyme, sir?

- To Lyme, yes.



(guard) Exeter! Exeter!



Change here now

for Exmouth, Weymouth and Lyme.



- Carriage to Lyme, sir?

- We'll stay the night. It's going to rain.



We'll put up at the Ship.



- I'm going to stretch my legs.

- Shall I order dinner, sir?



I'll decide when I come in.



- A room, sir?

- Er, no, I...



...I should like to speak to one of your...



- A Miss Woodruff.

- Oh, the poor young lady, sir.



She was a-comin' downstairs

and she slipped, sir.



Turned her ankle terrible. I wanted to

ask the doctor, but she won't hear of it.



I have to see her on a... business matter.



Ah... A gentleman of the law?






- Then you must go up, sir.

- Thank you.



Betty Anne? Take this gentleman

to Miss Woodruff's room.



- (knocks)

- Come in.



A gentleman to see you, Miss.



I was passing through Exeter.



Had I not better go at once

and fetch a doctor?



He would only advise me

to do what I am already doing.



- You're not in pain?

- No.



Be thankful it didn't

happen on the Undercliff.






Do sit down.



Miss Woodruff, please...



I should not have come.



- I meant not to.

- I thought I should never see you again.






Oh, Sarah.



(he gasps)



I was... the first?






- Why did you lie about the Frenchman?

- I don't know.



Does he exist?



Oh, yes, he exists.



I did follow him to Weymouth, to the inn.



As I drew near I saw him

come out with a woman.



The kind of woman one... cannot mistake.



When they had gone, I... walked away.



But then... why did you tell...



I don't know.



I cannot explain.



Not now.



I must make myself free.



- I am to blame. I knew when I came here.

- I wished it so.



I wished it so.






It is the sweetest name.



I have long imagined a day such as this.



I have longed for it.



I was lost from the moment I saw you.



I, too.



I must go to Lyme...


            see her, to tell her.



You must give me a day's grace.



You will wait for me, won't you?



I shall come back for you.



I shall be back tomorrow.



Do what you will... or what you must.



Now that I know there was truly

a day upon which you loved me...



...I can bear anything.



You have given me the strength to live.



- Cheese and onion.

- Perfect.



- I'm losing you. I'm losing you!

- What? I'm just going to London.



- Stay the night.

- I can't.



- Why not? You're a free woman.

- Yes, I am.



- I'm going mad!

- No, you're not.



- I want you so much.

- Well, you just had me... in Exeter!



(guard blows whistle)



Excuse me.






- (knocking)

- (Charles) Thank you. I'll show myself in.






- Please sit down.

- What is it?



- Charles, what is it?

- Sit down.



Well, what has happened?



Why do you look at me like that?



Because I don't know how

to begin to say what I must.



- I've come to tell you the truth.

- The truth?



- What truth?

- That I have...



...after many hours of the deepest

and the most painful consideration...



...come to the conclusion

that I am not worthy of you.



- Not worthy of me?

- I'm totally unworthy.



Oh! You are joking.






Will you kindly explain

to me what you are saying?



The terms your father offered

were... more than generous.



But you despise the idea

of marrying into trade.



- No, I don't despise it. I...

- Then what are you saying?



Ernestina, I have realised

during these last days...



...that far too great a part of

my regard for you has been ignoble.



I was far more tempted by your father's

fortune than I cared to admit.



Now that I've seen that to be the truth...



Are you saying...



...that you have... never loved me?



I am not worthy of you.



Tina, dear.






I know I am spoilt.



I know I am not unusual.



But under your love and protection...



...I believed I would become... better.



I would do anything, you see.



I would... I would abandon

anything to make you happy.



You are lying.



Something else has happened.









You don't know her.



I don't know her?



I've known her... many years.



I thought the attachment was broken.



I discovered in London that it is not.



- Why did you not tell me?

- I hoped to spare you the pain of it.



Or yourself the shame of it!



Who is she?!



What woman would be so vile

as to make a man break his vows?



- I can guess she is married.

- I will not discuss her.



- I came here to tell you the truth...

- Truth?! You are a liar!



My father will drag your name,

both your names, through the mire!



You will be spurned

and detested by all that know you!



You will be hounded out of England!



- (knocking)

- Mm?



What the devil do you want? I didn't ring.



I brought you a glass of brandy, sir.

I thought you might want it.



It's never true, sir?



Yes, it is true. Miss Freeman

and I are no longer to marry.



Now go. And keep your mouth shut.



- Did you hear what I said?

- Yes, sir. Only, with respect...



...I have to consider me own situation.

- What?!



Will you be residing in London

from now on, sir?



- We shall probably go abroad.

- Oh, well. I beg to advise you, sir...



...I won't be accompanying you. And I'm

not coming back to Exeter, neither.



I'm leaving your employ, as I ought

to have done when all this started.



- Go to hell!

- Don't fancy nowhere, sir...


            I might meet a friend of yours.



- Sam!

- If you wish for attention...



...ring for one of the hotel domestics.



Wait here.



- Miss Woodruff expects me.

- The young lady's left, sir.



- Left? You mean gone out?

- No, sir. I mean left.



- She took the London train this afternoon.

- What?



She took the three o'clock to London.

Didn't leave no address.



- You're lying.

- Where are you going?!



Sir! Wait a minute!



What are you doing?!



- Sarah?

- Sir! You can't do that!



You've no right! You're trespassin'!



- Did you hear what I said?!

- Get out!



(phone rings)



Hello? Hello?!



Room    .



- Who was that?

- I don't know. He put the phone down.



- Who did?

- I don't know. He didn't say.



- Maybe it was a wrong number.

- Yes, maybe.



(swing music playing on stereo)



All right, I'll get you

some more in a moment. Hang on.



Darling, do go and play in the garden.



- Lucy! Lucy, I found it!

- Can I try some?



(turns down music)



- You all right?

- Mm?









Listen, what about having

some people to lunch on Sunday?



- What people?

- Oh, you know, some of the cast.






The film's nearly over, and Anna

has to get back to the States.



You know.



Fine. As long as it's not the entire unit.



Oh, no. Just, you know...









- Hello?

- Is that Davide? This is Mike.



We're having a lunch party

on Sunday. Can you both come?



I'll give you Anna.



- Hello?

- Is that you? It's me.



- Hi.

- Where are you? You'd gone.



- You weren't in your hotel room.

- What?



- In Exeter.

- Oh!



Come to lunch on Sunday.



By the way, I love you.



Oh, great. Um... sure, we'd love to come.



- I'll... see you then.

- I said I love you!






Lunch on Sunday.



"Will Miss Sarah Woodruff urgently

communicate her whereabouts...


            Montague, Chancery Lane."



Yes, very well worth it, I should say.



Now, Mr Smithson...



...I shan't pretend to you

that it's going to be an easy task.



But I have four good men,

and they'll go on the job at once.



We'll try the educational boards

of all the church schools.



We shall also investigate

these new female clerical agencies.



- They're growing up like wildfire.

- Yes! Yes, where else?



And we shall investigate

all the girls' academies in London.






I shall also be examining

the Register of Deaths.



Very good.



Try everything, Mr Grimes.



One last question, sir, for the moment.



Does the lady wish to be found,

would you say, or not?



I cannot say.



I'll be back in    minutes.



"We are instructed by Mr Ernest Freeman,

father of Miss Ernestina Freeman...


            request you to attend these chambers

at three o'clock this Friday."



"Failure to attend will be regarded as an

acknowledgment of our right to proceed."



- "Aubrey and Baggott."

- And what does it mean?



It means they have cold feet.

But they're not letting us off altogether.



My guess is we will be asked

to make a confessio delicti.



- To acknowledge my guilt?

- Mm.



Just so. I'm afraid we must

anticipate an ugly document.



But I can only advise you to sign it.



We have no case.



Remember the skirt's going to be grey.



Oh, yeah.



Oh, it's great. It's great.



- I'm gonna like her in this.

- OK.



"I, Charles Henry Smithson, solely by my

desire to declare the truth, admit that one:



...I contracted to marry

Miss Ernestina Freeman."



"Two: I was given no cause whatsoever

to break my solemn contract."



"Three: I was fully and exactly

apprised of her rank in society...



...her character, marriage portion

and future prospects...



...before my engagement to her hand."



"Four: I did break that contract

without any justification whatsoever...



...beyond my own criminal

selfishness and lust."



"Five: I entered into a clandestine liaison

with a person named Sarah Woodruff."



"Six: My conduct throughout this matter

has been dishonourable."



"By it I have for ever forfeited

the right to be considered a gentleman."



"The injured party may make whatsoever

she desires of this document."



- You are entitled to withdraw with me...

- It will not be necessary.



But I have one question. What does...



..."The injured party may make whatever

she desires of this... document" mean?



It means precisely what it says.



She might, for instance, wish to

have it published in The Times.



- And she would be free to do that?

- She would indeed.



I will sign.



(coachman) Whoa, there! Whoa!



(man) Go on, get out!

Throw her out! She picked my pocket!



Get out!



Call the police!



Don't let her get away!

Come on, call the police!



Oh! Oh, I'm sorry. I...



- Hello. I saw you through the window.

- Hi. Are you Lizzie?



- Yes, I am.

- Can we come in?



- Come in.

- Hello, Anna.



Hi, Sonia. Nice to see you.



- Like some more wine?

- Please. Some white.



(girl)   -  .



- Can I have a drink?

- All right. Shall we go and get one?



- Excuse me for a minute.

-   -all.



I must say, they have

a lovely garden, don't they?



- Mm.

- So serene.



Of course, she seems so serene,

doesn't she? The wife.



Look at their little girl.

Isn't she lovely? Such a pretty little thing.



Aren't you a pretty little thing?



- Who made that dress for you?

- I don't know.



- Having a good time?

- Good.



Have they decided how to end the movie?



- End it?

- I hear they keep changing the script.



- Not at all. Where did you hear that?

- Well, there are two endings in the book.



A happy ending

and an unhappy ending, no?



We're going for the first ending -

I mean the second ending.



- Which one is that?

- Hasn't Anna told you?



(dog barks)



Manders. Manders! (whistles)



Come on. Good girl. Come on.



(laughing) There's a good girl. Yes.






It's a really great... garden.



- Who takes care of it for you?

- I do.



- All by yourself?

- Mm, mostly.



- What about Mike? Doesn't he help you?

- Oh, when he's here.



A bit.



He's pretty lazy, actually.



I really... envy you.



Envy me? Why?






For being able to create

such a lovely garden.



(Sonia laughs)



Oh, I wouldn't bother

to envy me if I were you.



Would you like a drink?






(plays the Adagio

from Mozart's Sonata in D)



- I want to show you something.

- All right, darling. Go and show Mummy.






- This is pure bloody hell.

- I know.



- Mike...

- We've got to talk.



- All right. Not now.

- When?



- Windermere.

- But that's our last scene.



- We've got to talk properly.

- What are we going to say?



- We've got to decide what we want.

- I know.



- (Davide) Have you seen Anna?

- I think she's upstairs.



I'm coming.



Sonia... Thank you.

The afternoon, it was just lovely.



- I had a wonderful time.

- (Sonia) Thank you.



- Good to meet you.

- And you.



- Good luck with the last scene.

- Thank you! We'll need it.



Sir, a telegram for you.






- Good morning.

- Good morning.



- I'm Tom Elliott. Who are you?

- My name is Smithson.



- Mama and Papa are abroad.

- Yes. I was looking for a Mrs Roughwood.



I'll find her for you.



- (girl) You put that one in there.

- Mrs Roughwood?



- Mrs Roughwood?

- (woman) She's with Rachel and William.



- Mrs Roughwood?

- Yes?



- Someone to see you.

- All right.



She's working, but she

doesn't mind being interrupted.



Mrs Roughwood?



Mr Smithson?



My solicitor was told

you lived at this address.



- I do not know by whom.

- By me.



By you?!



I've been looking for you for three years.



I broke off my engagement.



I came back for you to take you with me,

to marry you... and you'd gone.



And now all these years later you choose

to let me know you're alive. Why?



I could not do so before this.



- You've married.

- Oh, no, I have not.



I pass as a widow in the world.



- What is this house?

- He is an architect. His name is Elliott.



They gave me shelter a long time ago.



I am tutor to their children,

but... I am free to do my own work.



They have encouraged it.



- These are yours?

- Mm. Yes.



You have found your gift.



Why did you leave Exeter?



You told me you loved me.

You showed me your love.



Answer me!



There was madness in me... at that time.



A bitterness, an envy.



I forced myself on you, knowing

that you had other obligations.



It was unworthy!



I saw after you had gone that I had

to destroy what had begun between us!



Are you saying that you never loved me?



- I could not say that.

- But you must say that!



You must say "I am totally evil."



"I used him as an instrument."



"I do not care

that in all this time...



...he hasn't seen a woman

to compare with me...



...that his life has been

a desert without me...



...that he sacrificed everything for me."



- Say it!

- No. No.



Why did you ask me here?

What do you want from me?



- I saw the newspaper advertisements...

- You saw them?



- You read them, and you did nothing?

- I'd changed my name.



You ruined my life

and took pleasure in doing so!



You misjudge me! It has taken me

this time to find my own life!



It has taken me this time

to find... my freedom.



- Freedom?!

- Yes.



To make a mockery of love,

of all human feeling?



Is that what Exeter meant to you? One

brief transaction of the flesh, just that?



You planted a dagger in me...



...and your "freedom" gives you

licence to twist it in my heart?!



- Well, no more.

- No!






Mr Smithson...



...I called you here

to ask your forgiveness.



You loved me once.



If you still love me, you can forgive me.



I know... I know it is

your perfect right to damn me.



But if you do...



...still love me...



Then I must... forgive you.



Yes, you must.



(jazzy dance music)



- Anna. You're going.

- Yes.



- Goodbye. Good journey.

- Bye-bye.






Oh, are you going?



Take care.



(car door slams)



(engine starts)



(car drives off)





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