Guess Who's Coming To Dinner Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Guess Who's Coming To Dinner script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spency Tracy movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. 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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Guess Who's Coming To Dinner Script



You know,

I just had a thought.



Why don't I check in a hotel

and rest.



- You go find your foIks.

- Oh, John.



You wanted to meet them.

Let's go meet them.



The sooner we get it over with,

the better.



Mom may not even be at the gaLLery.

She'Il probabIy be out to Iunch.



Dad's at his office. You may not

meet them tilI dinner anyway.



You may be wrong about them.



You shouId have caLLed

and toId them we were coming.



You may be in for the biggest shock

of your young Llfe.



After    years Llving

in the same house with them...



don't you think I know

my own mother and father?



I hope so.



There's no problem.



We'LL onIy be a minute, and then

we'd Llke to go out to CIaremont Drive.






I'lI see if Mom's

in the office.



- Joey!

- Hllary, hi! How are you?



What a surprise.



- l'lI be with you in just a moment.

- Okay.



- Strange.

- One of Hllary's favorites.



It's caLLed a kinetic scuIpture.



- A what?

- Look.



Why, isn't that something?



- DarLlng, what are you doing here?

- I thought Mother might be here.



Mrs. St. George, I'd Llke you

to meet Dr. Prentice.



Dr. Prentice,

I'm so pIeased to meet you.



Mrs. St. George.

PIeasure to see you.



Christina's Iunching

with Mr. CazaIet.



I can ring up.



No. Just teIl her l'm back

and that I'Il be home.



Has something happened?

I mean, is anything wrong?



Something's happened,

but everything's right. Thanks.



How was Hawall?

Was it fun?



Hawall was simpIy unbeLlevable.



Do you Llve in San Francisco, Doctor,

or are you just visiting?



- I'm just passing through.

- I see.



- It was a pIeasure to have met you.

- Thank you.






No, Hllary runs the gaIlery now,

but it's Mom who has alI the ideas.



Her idea for fllLlng hoteI rooms

with originaIs is brilLlant.



It gives people who stay there

time to decide if they want them.



The hotel gets suppLled

with free decor.



The guests get to look at good paintings

instead of bad reproductions.



The painter gets a chance to make a saIe

and Mom gets her commission.



Next right.



- Isn't that clever?

- Oh, that is clever.



- What do I owe you?

-   .   mac.



TweIve bucks, right?









Oh, John.

Come meet TllLle.



TllLle, this is Dr. Prentice.

John, Miss Matllda Binks.



PIeased to meet you, Miss Binks.



I've certainIy heard

a great deaI about you.



What are you

doing home unexpected?



Your foIks didn't know you was coming.

You told them you're back aIready?



I left a message for Mom

at the gaLLery.



It's IoveIy to see you.

l missed you.



You stllI ain't toId me

why you're home earIy.



- You want those bags to go upstairs?

- Not my two. I'm not staying.



It's personaI reasons.

I'Il telI you aLL about it.



You eat any Iunch yet,

or you expecting it now?



Could you make us sandwiches and coffee?

We'LL have it on the terrace.



Do you Llke it?



It's beautifuI.



Come out

and Iook from the terrace.



- What?

- Hey, who's that?



That's Dorothy. Isn't she a knockout?

She heIps TllLle during the week.



- Which days?

- Never mind.



You know, I ought to caLL my foIks

and get that out of the way.



Okay. Use the phone in the study.



- Are you gonna introduce me?

- Not on the phone.



- Aren't you gonna teIl them about me?

- I'd rather write to them.



I have to meet them, don't I?

Before l come to Geneva?



Or are we going to keep our marriage

a secret from them?



Why didn't I think of that?

See, that's a thought.



I'LL shut this

in case Dorothy goes by.



Los Angeles, pIease.

Area code    .



Axminster, two, four, six, nine, nine.

Time and charges.



WeLL, l got a right

to my own opinions.



And you want my opinion?



I don't care to see a member

of my own race getting above hisseIf.



Then I don't want your opinion,

and if I ever do, I'LL ask for it.



Oh, Tlllie, I'm sorry.



I didn't mean that, but you can't mean

what you're saying either.



And you're so wrong.




You're the Iast person I'd have expected

to take such a sllly attitude.



You know I've aIways loved you,

and you're just as bIack as he is.



How couId it be aIl right for me to

Iove you and wrong for me to Iove him?



WllI you just stop

and think about that?



Listen. What are we having

for dinner tonight?



- Gotta make it something speciaI.

- CeIery soup and rump steak.



Oh, now, come on.

TurtIe soup and tournedos...



and one of your best pies.



It's Mom!



Joey, darLlng.

What the heIl? Joey!



- Mom, I'm here!

- HeLLo, darLlng. Are you aLL right?



- There's nothing wrong, is there?

- Nothing's wrong. Everything's fine.



I rang the gaLLery to teLL Hllary

that CazaIet agreed to our scheme.



He has? That's marvelous.

I knew he would.



She said you were back. She thought

you might have a surprise for me.



What did she mean?

Do I hear someone?



- Is there someone here?

- Oh, Mom, I'm so happy.



I've never been so happy in aLL my Llfe.

I'm just--



Bursting. Yeah, I can see that.



And I'm already feeling happy for you.

Do l know him?



No. That's just it.

I onIy met him myseIf ten days ago.



You wouIdn't beLleve what's happened

in just ten days.



I think I might if you'd pipe down

Iong enough to teIl me.



- Mom--

- Lots of wonderfuI things happen--



He's so wonderfuI !



I've never known anyone Llke him.

Never known anything Llke this.



I feLL in Iove with him

in    minutes.



WeLL, that was quick.



WeIl, Dad, I wanted to stop

on the way back...



but time got so short

and I've got to get to work.



Yeah, but I still don't understand

why you couldn't spend one day with us.



WeLL, the fact is, Dad,

I met this girI.



You what? You met a girl?

Why didn't you say so?



Mary, he says he met a girl.

Why, that's good news.



- She live up there in San Francisco?

- She Llves up here. I'm at her house.



He says he's at her house now,

the girl's house.



Well, that's different, son.

Where'd you meet her? Hawall?



Yes, in Hawall,

and I wanted to meet her foIks, see?



That sounds good, son.

l mean, serious.



Yes, it's serious.



Well, this is quite a surprise.



Yeah, she's surprising

in a Iot of ways, Dad.



Your mother says,

''ls she pretty?'



- Yes, she's very pretty.

- She's pretty. What?



Your mother says,

''How old is she, son?"



Mary, what the hell difference

does that make?



WeLL, she's onIy    Dad.



Twenty-three. Well, that's good.

You want my opinion?



You're   .

That's just the right difference.



Women age faster than men,

you know what l mean?



- You reckon to marry the girl, son?

- WeIl, we've been talking about it.






Dad, there's one or two probIems,

you see?



That I'LL write to you about...



on the pIane to New York tonight,

aLL right?



He's so caIm...



and sure of everything.



He doesn't have

any tensions in him.



He knows what he beLleves...



and what he thinks is right

and why and where he's going.



Oh, Mom, there's one thing

I must teLL you.



He was married before,

and he had a son.



lt was so tragic.



Both his wife and his son were kllIed

in a train accident...



in BeIgium eight years ago.



And John--



I haven't even toId you

his name.



Mom, it's John Wade Prentice.



Isn't that a Iovely name?



John Wade--



Joanna Prentice...



l'LL be.



But Mom...



there's something eIse

that l must teIl you...



that John's been concerned about,

very deepIy concerned.



He's been worrying for the past week

whether you and Dad wouId be upset if--



WeIl, it's about time.



I was wondering where you'd been.






this is John.



Doctor Prentice...



I'm so pIeased to meet you.



I'm pIeased to meet you,

Mrs. Drayton.



I take it Joanna's aIready busted out

with the big news.



WelI, she has told me a good deaI

and alI very quickly too.



WeLL, she's onIy known me

for ten days...



so she can't teLL you

when l'm blushing.



That could be another probIem

for us.



Mrs. Drayton,

l'm medicaLLy quaLlfied...



so I hope you wouIdn't

think it presumptuous if l say...



you ought to sit down

before you falI down.



He thinks you're gonna faint

because he's a Negro.






I don't think

I'm going to faint.



But I'lI sit down anyway.



Can't we aLL sit down?






I suppose it would be aLL right

if I said, ''My goodness,'' wouIdn't it?



WelI, my goodness.



- Do we mind her saying, ''My goodness''?

- I don't mind.



What did they say?

Did you teIl them about me?



- Yes.

- What'd they say?



They said I sounded serious

and asked if you were pretty.



I said you were.



They said this was a big surprise.



I said it was.



WeLL, what did they say when you

toId them I wasn't a coIored girl?



I didn't. It felt Llke

too big a shock for the teIephone.



After aLL, a Iot of peopIe wllI think

that we're a very shocking pair.



Isn't that right?



I know what you mean.



TllLle's made us some sandwiches.



- Let's go outside.

- Yes, Iet's.



- Come on, Dr. Prentice.

- I can expIain it aLL in two minutes.



You see, John was invited to lecture

at Hawall University...



and we met at this big party

at the dean's.



After the party,

we went for a Iong drive.



- Thank you.

- And since then, we've been together.



We've been swimming every day.



Then John was supposed to fIy back to

Los AngeIes Saturday to see his parents.



That's where they Llve.



Thank you, TllLle.



Try one of these.

They're great.



- Do you want some coffee?

- No, thanks. No coffee.



Does your father know

that you're back?



No, I was going to phone him.

Do you think he'd come back early if--



He's coming back earIy, aLL right.

He's pIaying golf with Monsignor Ryan.



That's marveIous.



Then he can meet John

and we can aLL taIk over dinner...



because John has to fIy

to New York tonight to see a friend...



at CoIumbia University.



Then tomorrow night,

he's fIying to Geneva...



to do three month's work

for the WorId HeaIth Organization.



And I intend to fIy to Geneva next week

so that we can be married.



And that's the whole situation.



In a nutshelI.



Except that he thinks...



that the fact he's a Negro and I'm not

creates a serious probIem.



Does he?



I've told him    times...



that it wouIdn't make the sLlghtest

difference to you or Dad.



But he just wouIdn't beLleve me.

So that's why we're here.



And that's why he's watching you

so cIoseIy right now...



whlle he's pretending

not to watch you at aIl.



She's absoIuteIy right, Mrs. Drayton.

I'm sorry.



I toId her not to spring aIl this

on you so suddenIy.



But-- Look,

if your father's coming home...



you could at Ieast say

that I'm somebody you met in Hawall.



- Now, reaLLy?

- Give him a haIf hour to get adjusted.



But what for?

He stlll has to be toId, doesn't he?



WeLL, you shouId make up your minds

because I think I just heard his car.



Mr. Matt.



- Hi. How are you?

- ALL heLL's done broke Ioose.



- That waste disposaI out again?

- It ain't that.



Just remember,

aLL heLL's done broke Ioose.



- What's happened? Where's Christina?

- She's on the terrace with LlttIe Joey.



- With Joey?

- And somebody caLLed Dr. Prentice.



Doctor? There's a doc--



WeLL, what's wrong?

What's happened? Joey!



Here he comes.



- Daddy! How are you?

- What's happened? What are you doing?



- TllLle said there was a doctor here.

- There is! Dr. John Wade Prentice.



- This is my dad.

- PIeased to meet you.



How are you? Nice to know you.

But what is it?



- Is something wrong?

- There's nothing wrong.



I decided to come home earIy.



Oh, Dr. Prentice and I

met in Hawall...



and we fIew back in the same pIane

this morning.



Oh, weLL, sit down.



I thought something was reaLLy wrong.

TllLle said--



TllLle's behaving very strangeIy today.

WouId you Llke coffee?



No, thanks. I have a date to pIay golf

with Monsignor Ryan.



How are you? What's the matter,

you having a chllI?



No, darLlng, I'm fine.






Doctor, where are you practicing?

In San Francisco?



- Sit down.

- No, sir.



I'm just here for one day.



Oh, where is your practice?




WeLL, no, not--

I'm not established in any one pIace.



I'm in tropicaI medicines, mostIy,

in Africa...



these past few years.



WeIl, that sounds interesting.



Everything about Dr. Prentice

is interesting.



I'm sure it is.



I wish I had more time,

but if you'LL excuse me.



CouIdn't you be a haIf hour Iate

and stay and taIk with us?



I'd Iove to, but I mustn't keep

the Monsignor waiting.



No, I'm gonna be Iate as it is.

WllI I be seeing you Iater, Doctor?



You certainly wllI.




WeLL, that's good.



Dr. Prentice wilI be here

for dinner, Matt.



Oh, fine. Then you can teLL me

aLL about the African--



There's a great deaI to teLL too.

Isn't there, Mom?



WelI, fine.

See you aLL Iater.



What the heLL

is going on here?



- This doesn't make sense either.

- WeLL, I toId you, didn't I?



What'd you teLL him?

Look, Chris...



if you don't expIain to me

in the next few minutes--



I can expIain it, Mr. Drayton.



You can?

WeLL, let's have it



WeIl, it's my fault.



You see,

we have sort of a situation here.



Joanna and I didn't just meet

in Hawall.



We spend a good deaI of time




I mean, aIl the time

after we met.



And, weLL, we have this probIem:



I feLL in Iove with your daughter.



And, as incredibIe

as it may seem...



she feIl in Iove with me.



And we fIew back

to San Francisco...



to see if you or Mrs. Drayton wouId have

any objections if we got married.



Joanna toId her mother

as soon as she waIked in...



and I had the stupid idea,

that maybe...



there was some way to...



break this gentIy.



Daddy, you're making

John and me nervous.



Am I?

WeLL, I wouIdn't want to do that.



I wouIdn't want to make anybody nervous.

How about you? Are you nervous?



Sit down, Doctor,

before you make me nervous.



Would anybody Llke

a cup of coffee?



What did she say

when Joanna toId her?



- Did she raise any objections?

- None, so far. There hasn't been time.



What objections?



Dad, I know this is sort of a shock

because it's sudden and unexpected...



and it never occurred to me

that I might falI in Iove with a Negro.



But l did, and nothing in the worId

is gonna change that.



Even if you had any objections,

l wouIdn't let him go now if...



you were the governor of AIabama--

I mean, if Mom were.



TeLL him, wllI you?



TeIl John if you have any objections

and then you couId go pIay goIf.



WeLL, what is it

you expect me to say?



If you want me to think about this,

you'LL have to give me time to think.



The doctor says you have a probIem.

You certainIy have.



lf you're expecting a sensibIe

statement, you'lI have to give me time.



Does that sound reasonabIe?



It's reasonabIe, Mr. Drayton,

but not quite practicaI.



You see, Matt...



there's sort of

a speciaI probIem.



See, I've got to fIy

to New York tonight...



and on to SwitzerIand

tomorrow night.



Yes, and what Joey wants--

what she proposes--



is to go to Geneva herseIf

so they can be married...



within the next coupIe of weeks.



What the heLL is aLL the rush?



We know that we want

to get married.



And unIess somebody does have any

objections, why shouId we waste time?



John and I aren't gonna

change our minds.



Are you saying--

Are you telLlng me...



that you want an answer today...



about how your mother and I feeI?



Of course. We want you and Mom

to state absoIuteIy cIearIy...



that you have

no objections whatever...



and that when we do get married,

we'LL have your blessing.



Now, are you gonna play goIf

or not?






I'LL just calI it off.

Excuse me, Doctor.



And that's my dad.

Do you Llke him?



- l don't know. Does he Llke me?

- I don't know either.



When he puts on

his American eagIe face...



nobody can teLL what he's thinking,

except Mom.



I don't think he Llked any of us

after the sllIy way we began.



Excuse me, wllI you?

Give John some more coffee.



She's beautifuI, Joanna.



She's even better looking than you.

You know that?



HeLLo, Edie?



Two things, Edie.

Both of them urgent.



CalI up Monsignor Ryan and teLL him

l can't pIay this afternoon.



TeIl him something's come up,

something personaI at home.



Then calI the Llbrary...



and see if they've got any dope

on a John Wade Prentice.



Prentice. He's a doctor of medicine.

FeIlow about      --



- Oh, Matt.

- He's a coIored feIlow.




lf they haven't got anything...



caLL up the medicaI association

and see what they've got.



Get anything you can, wlll you, Edie?

ALL right. Hurry and caLL me back.



SureIy there can't be

any necessity for that.



- It can't do any harm, either.

- But Joey said he was Iecturing...



at the university in Hawall.



TeIl me something. This ever occur

to you that this might happen?



Never occurred to me either.

Not once.



Can you teLL me your reaction?



- How do you feeI about it?

- Oh, I don't know.



I was shaken at first.

l stllI am, I suppose.



But, Matt, they're serious.

They mean what they're saying.



Both of them.

They know what they're doing.



No, they may mean what they're saying,

I accept that.



But they don't know what they're doing.

I won't accept that.



If I'm not intruding--



Of course not.

PIease, come in.



I'd Llke to have a coupIe of minutes

with the two of you, if I may?



Sure, Doctor.

Come on in.



There's something you both

ought to know. l made a decision.



Joanna doesn't know about it,

and I don't see why she shouId.



What is it, Doctor?



Joanna thinks she's committed...



and that our whoIe future

is settIed...



but there is no real commitment.



And up to now,

nothing is settled at aLL.



I don't understand.



Joanna said you're going to be married

no matter what we think about it.



WeLL, that's not the case.



UnIess you two approve--

and without any reservations at aLL--



there won't be any marriage.



WeLL, why, John?



Why have you decided that?



WeLL, Mrs. Drayton...



this thing has happened so quickly...



I'm just as startIed

as you must be.



Two weeks ago, I wouId have said

such a thing was inconceivabIe.



But two weeks ago...



I had not met Joanna.



She's not at aLL

Llke anyone I've ever known.



It's not just that our color difference

doesn't matter to her.



It's that she doesn't seem to think

there is any difference.



The troubIe is,

this thing has come up...



at a time when I aIready have

aIl the probIems I need.



And l feeI that I couldn't afford

to get married...



if it meant that l wouId have to take

on any speciaI probIems...



in addition to those

we're obviousIy going to have.



When you say ''speciaI probIems,''

Doctor, what do you mean?






Your attitude, Mr. Drayton...



and yours, Mrs. Drayton.



Joanna is very cIose

to both of you.



If, by marrying me, she damaged

her reIationship with either of you...



the pain of it

wouId be too much for her.



I wouldn't know how to deaI

with that kind of situation.



In any case,

I wouIdn't even want to try.



WeLL, I'm gIad you toId us,




Don't misunderstand me.

I love your daughter.



There is nothing I wouIdn't do to keep

her as happy as she was the day we met.



But it seems to me,

without your approvaI...



we wllI make no sense at alI.



That is why I'm asking for...



the cIearest possible statement

of what your attitude is going to be.



l appreciate that, Doctor.



It's aImost in the form

of an uItimatum.



Not quite, Mr. Drayton.



ALL you have to say

is good-bye.



WeLL, that's where it's at.



Thank you for the opportunity

to speak my peace.






stllI think you ought to have someone

check on him?






He's right about Joey too.



- You know that, don't you?

- Yes.



Thank God he is. That's the way I feeI.

Thank God he's right.



She's    years oId,

and the way she is...



is just exactIy the way

we brought her up to be.



We answered her questions.

She Llstened to our answers.



We toId her it was wrong

to beLleve...



that white peopIe were somehow

essentiaIly superior to bIack peopIe...



or the brown or the red

or the yeIlow ones, for that matter.



PeopIe who thought that way

were wrong to think that way.



Sometimes hatefuI, usuaLLy stupid,

but aIways wrong.



That's what we said...



and when we said it,

we did not add...



''But don't ever faLL in Iove

with a coIored man.''



Edie, Mr. Drayton.

Do you want the whole story?



- Yeah, what is it, Edie?

- He's an important guy.



Just the main points:

born Los Angeles,     ...



graduated maxima cum laude

John Hopkins, '  ...



assistant professor,

Yale Medical School, '  ...



three years professor,

London School of Tropical Medicine...



three years assistant director,

World Health Organization...



two textbooks and a list of monographs

and medical society honors...



as long as your arm.



Married Elizabeth Bowers,     

one son, John Wade.



Oh, both killed in an accident

in     .



- There's a lot more here.

- No, that's aLL right. Thanks.



What's the $ .  ?



He made a caIl to Los AngeIes

to his parents.



I guess he doesn't bum

free teIephone caIls either.



I can certainly understand why he didn't

have much to say about himseIf.



Who the heLL wouId beLleve him?



I beg your pardon, Iady.



He Ioves me, he Ioves me not.



TeLL me, what do you think? Aren't they

exactIy the way I said they were?



I must admit,

they are very speciaI peopIe.



- ShaLL I telI you something?

- What's that?



For a whoIe week,

I've been nervous.



No. I don't beLleve it.



Not about what they'd uItimateIy feeI.

Just about their first reaction.



I thought it was just possibIe

for the first time in    years...



they might Iet me down

for the first half hour.



You're a phony. You know that?

You're a big phony.






She's aIways been

a happy human being.



She Iaughed out Ioud

before she was six months oId.



She was happy as a baby.



Happy as a littIe girl.

Happy alI through schooI and coLLege.



But I don't think

I've ever seen her...



quite so happy

as she is right now.



And I have to be happy

for her, Matt.



And I am.



l feel happy for her.



And proud of the fact

that we heIped make her.



And whatever happens now,

I feeI gIad...



that Joey's Joey.



How are you today?

Having a steak fry, huh?



WelI, now, there she is.

How are you today?



Wanna give me a Llft to Market Street?

Save me a cab.



You know it, doLL.



I hope these is better

than the Iast we had, hotshot.



Lady, don't Iook at me. I deliver it.

I don't rustIe the cattIe.



You said to remind you

to open the wine.



Civll rights is one thing.



This here is something eIse.



I went out on to the terrace.



Oh, I'LL never forget it.

It was so beautifuI.



It was aIready dark

and the moon was rising.



I guess I didn't see him at first

because I was Iooking at the view.



But he was standing there.



Then aLL of a sudden

he moved or something, and I jumped.



And he just stood there,

Iooking at me and sort of--



- Ah, you're burning your shirt.

- Oh, yes. Sort of smlling.



''HeLLo,'' I said.

''Who are you?''



And I think he thought I was...



you know, attractive.



Anyway, finaLLy, he said...



''WeLL, do you think

it couId possibIy matter?''



- And it's just crazy, and l admit it.

- You'd better let me do this.



But    minutes Iater,

I feIt I was in love with him.



Mom, how Iong did it take you

to faIl in Iove with Dad?



Oh, weIl, nothing Llke

so Iong as    minutes.



- You mean, is that reaLLy true?

- Yes, that's reaLLy true.



Oh, Mom.



Joey, l want to ask you something.



How deeply are you and John in--

No, I have no right to ask.



How deepIy invoIved? Do you mean,

have we been to bed together?



I don't mind you asking me that.

We haven't.



He wouIdn't.



I don't think he was in doubt

about my feeLlngs, but he wouldn't.



You're burning my shirt.



He's been concerned the whole time

about my getting hurt somehow.



They're stllI taIking.



WouIdn't you think

they'd have said everything by now?



Are you saying they don't have

any speciaI sense of rhythm?



That's right.



But, heLL, you can see it.



You can't turn on the teIevision set

without seeing those kids dancing...



and I say the coIored kids

are better than the white kids.



But there's an expIanation for that.

It's our dancing, and it's our music.



We brought it here.



I mean, you can do the Watusi...



but we are the Watusi,

if you know what I mean.



l remember,

when I was about your age...



my sports editor teLLing me that Negroes

wouId never be abIe to pIay basebaLL.



Now, I suppose if he wanted to...



Wlllie Mays couId be eIected

mayor of San Francisco.



I own a newspaper,

but I couIdn't be elected dogcatcher.



WeLL, I don't guess

you want to be dogcatcher any more...



than he wants to be

mayor of San Francisco.



No, I suppose that's right.



Doctor, we've taIked about

a good many things...



but there's one thing

we haven't taIked about.



Have you given any thought to

the probIems your chlldren wlll have?



Yes, and they'lI have some.

And we'LL have the chlldren.




you couIdn't caLL it a marriage.



Is that the way Joey feeIs?



She feeIs that aLL of our children wllI

be president of the United States...



and they'LL aLL have

colorfuI administrations.



WeLL, you made her, Mr. Drayton.



I just met her in Hawall.



But how do you feeI

about that probIem?



WelI, frankIy, I think your daughter

is a bit optimistic.



l'd settIe

for secretary of state.



WouId you think it was some kind

of cowardice if l toId you...



that no matter how confident you two are

l'm just a LlttIe scared.



No, it wouIdn't.



But you never know.

Things are changing.



I have a feeling they're

not changing anywhere eIse...



as fast as they are

in my own backyard.



Just teLL me this.



Don't you think this quick decision...



about how we feel about this thing

is just a LlttIe unfair?



In a way, I do.



But it wasn't my idea

that everything be settIed so quickIy.



Your daughter said

there's no probIem.



She says, ''My dad is a Llfelong fighting

liberal who Ioathes race prejudice...



and has spent his whoIe Llfe

fighting against discrimination.''



She said, ''My parents--

They'LL weIcome you with open arms.''



And I said...



''Oh, I sure want to meet them.''




It's Los AngeIes!



- Take it in my study.

- Thank you.



- HeLLo?

- Dr. Prentice?



- Yes, this is he.

- Hello. That you, Little John?



Hi, Dad. What's up, man?

Dr. Graves caLL again?



Oh, no, it's not that, son.

l just had an idea.



What would you say to us

flying up there to spend the evening?



- This evening?

- We could be up there at  :  .



l thought maybe we could take you

and your young lady friend for dinner.



- TelI them to come to dinner.

- Just a minute.



- I'm having dinner with her foIks.

- Don't be sllIy.



- TeIl them they're invited to dinner.

- Who's that speaking? The young lady?



Yes, that's her.



No, just a minute. You haven't asked

your mother, and there's TllLle.



Won't you come to dinner,

you and Mrs. Prentice?



John and I wllI meet your plane.



- Stop butting in.

- Who am l talking to? John?



Hi, Dad.



Looks like she wants us

even if you don't. We want to meet her.



- So we'll see you at  :  . What?

- Oh, no.



- See?

- Your mother says she's pleased.



Oh, hell, he knows that.

All right, son.



- Dad!

- We'll see you later. Bye.



What's the matter?






John's father and mother

are coming to dinner.



Oh, good.



- MarveIous.

- We'LL meet their pIane at  :  .




You'LL teLL TllLle, won't you?



I toId you,

my folks, they don't--



They think

you're a coIored girI.



- Why didn't you teLL them?

- I was gonna write to them.



What difference does it make?



Do you think they wouIdn't come?

CalI them back and teIl them.



They're gonna know anyway at  :  

because I'LL go with you to meet them.



That's not a good idea.

I'LL meet them.



It gives me a chance to expIain.

I have to expIain.



Why do you keep trying

to dramatize everything?



Look, I've told Pete and Judith that

we'LL meet them for a drink at  :  .



It gives us just enough time

to get to the airport.



She's my best and oIdest friend

so you've just got to let them meet you.



Did he teIl you

about this medicaI pIan of his?



No. What?



It's the damndest thing

you ever heard of.



They put a whoIe medicaI schooI

on about    trucks.



Then they run

into some African country...



pick up the brightest native kids--

hundreds at a time--



and put them through courses just like

they do the U.S. Army Corpsmen.



OnIy his idea is

that they're aLL speciaLlsts.



You know, each one trained

to do one simpIe thing...



Llke sewing up a wound

or deLlvering a baby or what have you.



They go into pIaces where peopIe

have never heard of an aspirin tabIet...



Iet aIone a doctor.



Imagine what that means.



For every thousand kids they train,

they can save a mllLlon Llves a year.



Now just think of that.



He seems to have made

quite an impression on you.






I asked him how he got so far.

You know, he's onIy   .



He said he thought he got the best

breaks because everybody he met...



didn't want him to think

they were prejudiced against him.



Yeah, he made an impression, aLL right.

l wouIdn't know how to fauIt him.



Are you trying to fauIt him?



No, l'm not trying to fauIt him.

You know, his father is a mallman.



Retired now.

Lives in Los AngeIes.



Now how do you suppose

a coIored mallman...



produced a son

with aLL the quaLlties he has?



- You'lI find out this evening.

- What?



Guess who's coming to dinner?






You mean, his parents?



Now wait a minute.



- Whose idea was that?

- Joey invited them.



Yeah, Joey. We're being pressurized.

You know that, don't you?



First there wasn't gonna be a marriage

unIess we approved.



Then we had one day

to make up our minds.



Now we have to spend hours entertaining

somebody we never heard of.



What the heLL

is coming off here?



Oh, don't Iook at

those baby pictures.



That was at KIosters,

the year before Iast.



l'LL get it!

Just a second.



Monsignor Ryan!

How wonderfuI to see you.



- WeLL, good afternoon.

- Come on in. Good afternoon.



Why are you here

when you shouId be in Hawall?



What is the probIem that caused your

father to chicken out on our golf game?



- Who is this gentIeman?

- Monsignor, this is Dr. John Prentice.



We met in Hawall    days ago.

The two of us are going to be married.



Are you, indeed?

I take it you mean to each other.



- Dr. Prentice.

- Monsignor.



WeLL, of course,

you're the probIem.



I'm afraid I am.



l knew nothing of this.

Why haven't your parents informed me?



They didn't know either.

We only fIew back this morning.



Excuse me a second.

I forgot to teLL TllLle something.






- This was aIl very sudden, was it not?

- Yes, it was.



I suppose you two have had time

to consider what you're doing.



No, we've not.



We'lI be two more for dinner.

How many steaks did you get?



I got four

'cause I was toId four.



Order two more because the doctor's

father and mother are coming.



- We'LL be six.

- His father and mother! Here?



That's right.

If the butcher can't send 'em...



teLL him to put 'em

in a taxi.



It's gettin' more Llke

a hoIy roLLers meetin' every minute.



Of course!

l know about you.



I read an articIe about you

in ''Common Wheel.''



I shaLL want to taIk to you

about that.



You know, this feLLow you brought home

is a very important man?



- Are you aware of that?

- I'm whoLLy aware of it.



When I'm married to him,

I'LL be important.



I guess you wllI,

as a matter of fact.



- Where's ArnoId PaImer?

- Dad and Mom are in the garden.



Good. WeIl, just go on

with what you're doing. Fore!



Of aLL the friends we've ever had,

l guess he's the cIosest.



We're not Catholics, but he and Dad

and Mom have done things together.



You know,

sat on committees and things.



He's a wonderfuI man,

and we Iove him.



You're a remarkable feLLow, Mike.



You get younger every minute.



- Did you--

- Yes, l've just seen him.



Handsome feIlow, isn't he?



LittIe Joey is nothing less

than radiant.



It warms me chllly oId heart

just to Iook at her.



Aren't you just

a LlttIe shocked?




Why shouId I be shocked?



I've known a good many cases

of marriages between races in my time.



StrangeIy enough,

they usualIy work out quite weIl.



I don't know why.



Maybe because it requires

some speciaI quaLlty of effort...



more consideration and compassion...



than most marriages

seem to generate these days.



- CouId that be it?

- Yes, it couId.



I'm gIad you said that.

That's a beautifuI thought.



You do have beautifuI thoughts.



That's my trade, you know.



What about Iaddie over here?

You making heavy weather of it?



You know, this man is quite

a famous feLLow in his own right.



He's done incredibIe work in Asia

and some awful pIace in Africa.



Mom! Hllary's here.

She wants to see you.



Excuse me, wllI you? Express some more

beautifuI thoughts to the lad there.



Thank you.



I hope you won't think

that I'm prying, Doctor...



but naturaLLy

one is curious.



- NaturaLLy.

- We are going to be married.



Are you?



WeIl, I didn't even know.



I mean, Christina

hadn't even mentioned that--



She didn't know.

It was a surprise to her too.



A surprise.

WeIl, l shouId think it was.



My dear!



Joey telIs me that congratuIations

are in order, and you didn't even know.



What's the probIem, Hllary?

What brings you aLL the way up here?



- Mr. Cazalet phoned about the pictures.

- Oh, that. Excuse us, wllI you?



I'LL waIk out to your car

with you.



- I hope I'LL be seeing you shortly.

- ActuaLLy, no.



Dr. Prentice is leaving tonight...



and Joey within

the next coupIe of weeks.



WelI, then you must permit me

to wish you every happiness.



Come aIong.



My poor dear,

what a shock for you.



I knew something was up

when I came into the gaLLery.



But this!

Whatever are you going to do about it?



- I mean, the child is of age.

- Yes, the chlld is   .



Why didn't you simpIy ring up

with the Cazalet information?



WelI, I must admit,

I was intenseIy curious.



I couIdn't beLleve it.



It's so unLlke Joey to do anything

so appaLLingIy stupid.



- Yes, come aIong.

- But what you must be going through.



You must try not to worry about it.



Now I have some instructions

for you.



I want you to go straight back

to the gaLLery. Start your motor.



When you to the gaIlery,

teLL Jennifer...



she wllI be Iooking after things




She's to give me a ring if there's

anything she can't deaI with herseIf.



Then go into the office

and make out a check for cash...



for the sum of $    .



Then carefuLLy...



remove absoluteIy everything...



that might subsequently remind me

that you had ever been there...



incIuding that yeLLow thing

with the bIue bulbs...



which you have

such an affection for.



Then take the check for $    ...



which I feel you deserve...



and get permanentIy Iost.



It's not that I don't want

to know you, aIthough I don't.



It's just that I'm afraid

we're not reaLLy the sort of peopIe...



that you can afford

to be associated with.



Don't speak.

Just go.



You see that boy?

The taLL one?



If he'd played his cards right,

you'd never even have met me.



But he feLL for some girI

from Pomona.



- That'LL teach him.

- Mom!



Do you know what Hllary was doing?

She was being an absoIute bitch.



She was. I aImost wish you'd fire her.

l reaLLy do.



Joey, how can you be so hard?



She has a reaLLy quite ruthIess streak.

You ought to be warned about it.



She gets it

from her father.



They need aLL the heIp

you can give them...



because they're going to have

speciaI difficuIties.



No, don't budge.

PIease, sit.



Of course, they know aLL that.



They're serious peopIe.

Fine, inteLLigent peopIe.



And if they know

what lies in store for them...



and they stllI want each other

enough to accept it...



I think it's pIain as anything

that they love each other very much.



You'Il have to agree that any two peopIe

who Iove each other that much...



deserve aLL the best Iuck

in the worId.



I don't know.



I wish I didn't have the feeling

that they'Il never make it...



that the whoIe thing's




You feeI that way, do you?



You're reaIly thrashing about then.



That's very interesting, indeed.



And rather amusing, too,

to see a broken-down...



oId phony LlberaI come face-to-face

with his principIes.



Of course,

I aIways have beLleved...



that in that

fighting LlberaI facade...



there must be some sort

of reactionary bigot trying to get out.



Oh, go to heLL. You and your crowd

are stllI preaching heIl.



WeLL, I'm off.



As much as I'm enjoying

your discomfiture...



I may be abIe to save a few souIs

before supper.



But, I am, as it happens,

free for dinner.



PIease, come,  :  .



The doctor's famlly are fIying up

from Los AngeIes.



Oh, welI, in that case,

you'lI actuaLLy need me.



Otherwise, your side

won't even outnumber the bIacks.



Thank you, my dear.



HaIf past seven.



What was that the Beatles sang?



We can work it out

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah



Mom did it.

Do you think it Iooks Llke him?



WeLL, it Iooks a LlttIe grim,

doesn't it?



- No, don't Iet me disturb you.

- Not at aIl.



I hope you don't mind, but I've wrangIed

an invitation to dinner.



-MarveIous! I'm deLlghted you're coming.

-Thank you, my dear.



- I'm very deLlghted to have met you.

- My pleasure, Monsignor.



- See you this evening.

- CertainIy.



You know,

you two make me feel...



quite extraordinarily happy.



I'd better teLL TllLle. If you listen,

you'LL hear her going through the roof.



I brought you

the Iatest buLLetin.



Guess who's coming

to dinner now?



The Reverend Martin Luther King?



You're so cIose.

lt's Monsignor Ryan.



Bake a second pie, wllI you?

You know how he Ioves your cooking.



Listen, is the big guest room

in order?



Dr. Prentice wants to have

a shower and change.



- He does?

- He does.



WeLL, she's    years oId.



I guess she has

a right to do as she pIeases.



Yes, but that's not the point.

The doctor said--



l know what the doctor said. CouId we

get out of here for a few minutes?



- Sure.

- What are the others doing?



They're meeting Peter and Judith

for a drink...



and then they're going on

to the airport.



ALL right, come on.

Come on, wllI you?



Whatever happened to what's-his-name?




That Iawyer?

I thought she liked him very much.



Nothing happened to Homer.

Dr. Prentice just happened to Joey.



It was onIy Iast Christmas

she said Homer had the inside track.



Isn't that the pIace where we got

the good ice cream? Let's get some.



It's after  :  .

You'LL spoll--



A LlttIe ice cream can't hurt.



- Yes?

- When I had ice cream before...



I had a speciaI kind of fIavor

that I Llked very much.



- But I can't remember what it was.

- I'Il bring you the Llst.



No, you must know what it is.



Daiquiri Ice? Honeycomb Candy?

Cocoa Coconut? Jamoca AImond Fudge?



Mocha Jamoca? Peanut Butter and JeLLy?

Cinnamon Banana Mint?



- Must have been some other pIace.

- Fresh Oregon Boysenberry Sherbet?



That's it.



I'm sure that's it. Bring me

a Fresh Oregon Boysenberry.



- Bring me a big one.

- Right.



- WllI you have some? It's deLlcious.

- No. Black coffee.



One doubIe Fresh Oregon Boysenberry

Sherbet and one bIack coffee. Thanks.



You know, Matt...



I think Mike was right

that Joey is Iucky.



The work he's doing

is so important...



she'LL be abIe to heIp him with it

and share it aLL with him.



The best break

any wife can have.



You know, for us,

it's aLL been great...



but do you know

what was the best time of aLL?



lt was in the beginning

when everything was a struggIe...



and you were working too hard

and sometimes frightened...



and there were times

when I feIt...



that I reaIly knew

that I was a help to you.



That was the very best time of aLL

for me.



- One bIack coffee.

- Thank you.



And one Fresh

Oregon Boysenberry Sherbet.



Thank you.



This is not the stuff.



I never had this stuff

before in my Llfe.



You know, it's not bad.



Not bad at aLL.

I kinda Llke it.



Fresh Oregon Boysenberry.



Yes, sir.



WeLL, when l had

the ice cream before...



this isn't the stuff I had,

but I Llke it.



- lt's very good. I Llke it very much.

- Okay.



- How do you do, Miss Binks?

- I got somethin' to say to you, boy.



ExactIy what you tryin' to puIl here?



I'm not trying to puLL anything.

l was Iooking to find me a wife.



Ain't that just LlkeIy!

You wanna answer me somethin'?



What kinda doctor

you supposed to be anyhow?



WouId you beLleve horse?



You make with witticisms

and aLL, huh?



Let me teLL you somethin'.



You may think you're fooLln'

Miss Joey and her foIks.



But you ain't fooLln' me for a minute.

I see what you are.



You're one of those smooth-taIkin',

smart-ass niggers...



just out for aLL you can get,

with your bIack power...



and alI that other

troubIe-makin' nonsense.



And you Llsten here. I brought up that

chlld from a baby in her cradIe...



and ain't nobody gonna harm her none

whlle l'm here watchin'.



And as Iong as you are anywhere around

this house, I'm right here watchin'.



You read me, boy?

You bring any troubIe in here...



and you just like to find out

what black power realIy means!



And furthermore to that,

you ain't aLL that good-Iookin'!



That was very good.



If I come in again, remind me about

the Oregon Boysenberry, wllI you?



Yeah, I sure wllI.

Thank you, sir.



ShouId we take home

a coupIe of quarts for dessert?



No, TllLle's baked some pies.



You stupid idiot!



Why can't you

Iook where you're going?



Sorry, son,

but your car is so Iow--



Of course you didn't see me!



You weren't even Iooking

where you were going!



Look what you did to my car!



It's my fauIt.

My insurance--



Yeah, yeah. Who cares

about your Iousy insurance?



I worked over three months on that!



How much wilI it cost

to have it repaired?



Look at it! Thirty or forty bucks

it'LL cost. Did you see it?



Stupid oId man.

He oughtn't be aIlowed out.



He ought to be put away somepIace

in a home or something.



There's fifty bucks! Don't bother

to have it fixed. Buy a new one!



Some of these oId guys,

they're senlle!



Stupid oId man.



There oughta be a Iaw!



What the heIl is it today?



Less than   '/. of the peopIe

in this city are coIored peopIe.



I can't even have a dish

of Oregon ''Boosenberry''...



without runnin' into one of them.






Got to



Give a little



Take a little



And let your poor heart



Break a little



That's the story of



That's the glory of love



You've gotta laugh a little



Cry a little



Before the clouds



Roll by a little



That's the story of



I can't teLL you

how happy I am for you.



And the whoIe thing having

happened so quickIy.



You remember what it was

with Peter and me.



It took us three years

to decide to get married...



and we'd been Llving together

for two.



To John and Joey.



John and Joanna. He won't calI me

anything but Joanna.



- I'm beginning to Llke it too.

- To John and Joanna.



Where you're so lucky

is in Joey's foIks-- Uh, Joanna's folks.



You've onIy just met them,

but take my word for it.



Matt Drayton realIy stands

for something in this town.



Yes. I know the Guardian's

aIways been a very good paper.



It's a great paper,

and he made it what it is.



There's never been a pubLlc issue on

which Matt Drayton didn't take a stand.



When exactly are you flying over?

Sometime next week?



Just as soon

as l can arrange everything.



Why next week? Why aren't you

fIying over with John?



Why am I not fIying over with you?



- ls your passport in order?

- Yes.



- Do you need cIothes or anything?

- Nothing I couldn't get over there.



Then it seems crazy for you to be

going aIone when you could go together.



- Why don't you both Ieave tonight?

- Why not?



It's  :  . In an hour

they'LL aLL be here for dinner.



The doctor's pIane Ieaves

at   :  .



No matter what it is, you're going

to have to telI them how you feeI.



I need more than one day

to make a decision Llke that.



It's the sllliest thing

I ever heard of.



But I'LL teLL you this.



l am not going to try to pretend

that I'm happy about the whoIe thing...



because I'm not.



And if the doctor's decision

depends upon that, then too bad.



And I'm thinking onIy

of Joey's weIfare.



I have nothing against him personaLLy,

but he's a grown man.



He behaved irresponsibIy in the first

pIace by Ietting this thing happen.



Now he wants me to be happy

about a situation...



when I happen to know that they'LL both

get their brains knocked out.



I'm sorry,

but that's the way I feeI.



And I know how you're reacting.



You're so wrapped up in Joey's

excitement over the whoIe thing...



that you are not behaving

in her best interest!



Yes, Mom.



But there wasn't any reason

not to go tonight.



You can understand,

can't you, Mom?



My passport's in order. There's

nothing at aLL that I reaIly need.



And it won't

take me an hour to pack.



l'LL be able to be with him.

We'LL be together the whole time.



Mom, they're here.



l can see them.



They Iook Llke awfuLLy nice peopIe.



His mother Iooks loveIy.



You break it to Dad for me,

wllI you?






I guess I shouId have caLLed you back

because there is this one thing...



I shouId have--



I've been meaning

to write to you about it.



There was one thing

I didn't expIain, Dad.






I'm afraid it's gonna be

kind of a shock.



You see what I mean?



Mom, Dad,

this is Joanna Drayton.



Joanna, my mom and dad.



Mrs. Prentice, I'm so happy.



- Miss Drayton?

- Yes.



Mr. Prentice,

l'm very pIeased to meet you.



I can expIain.



I can imagine what's going on

in your mind...



but we can expIain.



You can?



Of course we can.



You have bags?



Of course you have bags.

Let's go get your bags.






- What did your foIks say?

- ALL's weLL.



- Did you taIk to your father?

- To Mom. But she'LL teLL him.






- I thought l ought to teLL you.

- That's out of the question.



This whoIe damn thing is--

No, that's out of the question.



l'LL teIl you something eIse.

I couldn't do what you're about to do...



so I don't begin to understand

how you propose to go about it.



But you can't break their hearts

over a drink...



and expect them

to sit down to dinner.



Don't you think I know that?



I have to taIk to the doctor--

l'LL taIk to him after dinner.



TeLL him exactIy how I feeI.



I'm not trying

to give you an argument.



There's nothing l can say

that you don't know.



It's important that you understand

just how wrong I think you--



I beLleve you're making the worst

mistake you've ever made in your--



You're gonna regret it with more

bitterness that you've ever known...



for as Iong as you Llve.



You're wrong.

You're as wrong as you can be.



Because I'm thinking of her

and even the doctor is going to know...



I'm thinking of her.



There's something else.



I'm surprised

it hasn't occurred to you.



The doctor wllI accept

whatever you say to him...



because he's a terribIy sensitive man

and because he said he wouId.



But Joey won't. The most obvious

mistake you're making...



is in underestimating

your own daughter.



She'LL fight you and

your whoIe attitude...



and everything you do and every

argument you ever try to give her.



And one thing more.



Untll today, I wouId never have beLleved

that I couId say such a thing...



but when she fights you...



and for what it may be worth...



I'm going to be on her side.



I never believed l'd hear you

say a thing Llke that.



- Can l get you another drink?

- No, thanks. l'LL get it myseIf.



I wish we had more time.



What, Mom?



I was going to ask Miss Drayton

how her father and mother reacted to--



Yeah. I wanted to ask that too.



PIease caLL me Joanna.

They were shaken, aIl right.



I don't think

I've ever seen them so surprised.



The thing that reaIly shook them...



was that I wanted to marry anybody

they hadn't even heard about.



I can't bIame them

for being sort of stunned by it aIl.



WeLL. Then you couIdn't bIame us if we

were a LlttIe stunned, too, could you?



I mean, I wouIdn't appear unreasonabIe

if I suggested...



that the two of you were behaving Llke

a coupIe of escaped Iunatics, wouId I?



This whoIe thing...



happened so quickIy...



it's Llke trying to ride a rocket.



We didn't pIan it that way.

It just happened that way.



It's a LlttIe hard on Joanna's foIks and

I'm sure it's gonna be hard on you.



We've got one evening

to discuss it...



and if you have any objections,

you'd better raise them in a hurry...



because in exactIy four hours

we're gonna be on that pIane and gone.



I don't think I couId Llst

alI my objections in four hours.



I think I'd need

more like eight hours.



WelI, you've onIy got four hours.



So you'LL just have to taIk

twice as fast.



HeLLo, darLlng.

How are you?



Forgive me.

I am a LlttIe bit earIy.



Ego absolvo te.

Come in.



I don't Llke to be

aIways repeating myseIf...



but how long is it since

that I remarked that I thought...



that you were the IoveLlest woman

I have ever known?



You know, there is a kind of envy

that is no way sinful.



That's what I've aIways

had for Matt aLL these years.



- What can I give you to drink?

- WeLL, l Llke Scotch if--



- Are we drinking wine?

- Yes.



Oh. I'Il have

a littIe drop of Scotch anyhow.



EquaI amount of soda, pIease.



Thank you.



My dear, what's the matter?






We're in troubIe.






we're in terribIe troubIe,

terribIe troubIe.



John toId us--

Matt and me--



that he wouldn't marry Joey

unIess we couId say...



that we approved the marriage

with no reservations whatever.



Joey doesn't know

that he said that.



Now she's suddenIy decided to go

with him tonight. She has her tickets.



The two of them are on their way in

from the airport with John's parents...



and neither of them knows

that Matt has decided--






Matt has decided

that he can't approve.



That's not true.

Please telI me it's not true.



- Where is Matt?

- He's upstairs changing. He's--



He's not himseIf.



Excuse me.



It's incredibIe!



- TabIe aLL right?

- lt's fine.



- Thank you.

- Miss Christina, what's gonna happen?



I don't know, TllLle.



You and Mr. Matt, you gonna put a stop

to this damn nonsense fooLlshness?



I don't want to put a stop

to anything.



He's a fine man.



He's a wonderfuI man,

and Joey is very much in love with him.



And it isn't just

damn nonsense fooLlshness.



WeLL, I teLL you, Miss Christina.



The way you are taIkin',

I don't understand nothin' no more.



Nobody understands nothin' no more.



No, l don't think you're butting

into something that doesn't concern--



Damn bIast these Iousy Iaundries.



I understand how you feeI.



l understand how everybody feels.



But you have to

understand something too.



They've boxed me

into a heIl of a corner here.



And no matter what Christina says

or what you say...



I am not going to behave




I'm not gonna teLL them they can't get

married. I don't have the right.



But they don't have the right

to come in here...



and expect me to be happy

about something any normaI man--



Oh, for God's sake!



You're on the point of destroying

aLL the happiness there is...



in one of the happiest famllies

I've ever known.



Have you any appreciation

at alI for Christina--



Have you any appreciation at aLL

of how that woman has behaved today?



From the moment they walked in, she was

for it, as if there were no probIems.



But there are no problems that Joey

and young Prentice don't know about.



Christina has more respect for Joey's

judgement than you have. l must say--



Oh, come off it!



lf Joey came home with some fuzzy-wuzzy

and said ''This is the man for me''...



Christina wouId say,

''Oh, reaLLy? How wonderful.



Where wllI we get enough roses

to fllI the Rose BowI?''



I'm trying to remember

where I've seen you so angry.



Oh, yes. When you took

nine shots on the seventh green.



WouId you mind

getting the heLL out of here?



I think I know why you're angry too.



Not with the doctor,

whom you obviousIy respect.



Not with Joey or Christina,

not even with me.



You're angry with yourself.



You're a pontificating

oId poop!



You're angry because aLL of a sudden,

and in a singIe day, you've been thrown.



You're the Iast man in the worId I wouId

have expected to behave the way you are.



You're not yourseIf.

You're off balance.



You don't know who your are,

what you are or what you're doing.



That's your troubIe.



You've gone back on yourseIf, Iaddie,

and in your heart you know it.



Now, Llsten, there's a Llmit

to what I'LL take, even from you.



For    years, there's been no man

I've admired or respected more.



You know that.



And for the first time in aLL

those    years, I feeI sorry for you.



Damn it, that's enough!



Are you reaLLy capabIe

of putting yourseIf in my position?



UnIess you've got

some kids of your own...



hidden away somewhere

that haven't shown up in the record...



how can you possibIy know how a father

wouId feeI in a situation Llke this?



You don't know!



I happen to beLleve they wouIdn't

have a dog's chance...



not in this country,

not in the whoIe, stinking world.



They are this country.



They'LL change this stinking world.



Yeah, sure. Fifty years, maybe,

or a hundred years.



But not in your Llfetime.

Maybe not even in mine.



My dear friend...



I wish with aLL my heart

you could be restrained.



And if l were ten years younger...



to prevent you

from going downstairs...



I beLleve I'd make some sort of effort

to wrestIe you to the fIoor.



That'LL be the day.



Is that the car?

Did you hear a car?



Mrs. Prentice,

I'm Christina Drayton.



- How do you do?

- How do you do, Mr. Prentice?



I'm so pIeased to meet you.

Come on in.



Let me take your coat and hat.

And yours?



Thank you.



How good of you to come

aIl this Iong way to see us. Do go in.



What did Dad say? Did you teLL him?

I'lI bet he was shaken.



- lt was a surprise.

- Does he want to talk to me?



Yes, I'm sure he does. Later.

Please come in.



May I get you a drink?

What would you like?



May l have some sherry, pIease?

What a loveIy room.



Thank you. John, wouId you be bartender?

I'LL have some sherry too.



- Of course.

- ShaLL we sit over here?



What wllI you have, Dad?




- Thank you.

- You have such a magnificent view.



Thank you. PIease sit down.

Sit down, Mr. Prentice.



Did you have a pIeasant fLlght?



Very pIeasant, thank you.



The view of the sunset

was breathtaking.



OnIy took forty minutes.

Four hundred mlles.



It's incredibIe, isn't it?



My husband wilI be down directIy,

I think.



He's upstairs changing.



And we have a friend of ours

who's coming to dinner with us.



Monsignor Ryan.



I'm sure they'Il be down

in a minute.



- Thank you.

- Mom.



- Thank you.

- There you are, Dad.



Thanks, son.



Are you Catholics?



WeLL, no, we're not.



I'm afraid we're

nothing in particuIar.



Monsignor Ryan just happens to be

a very oId friend.



Do you come often

to San Francisco?



I've got to talk to your father.



There he is.



Dad, I'd Llke you to meet

Mr. and Mrs. Prentice.



- This is my father.

- Mrs. Prentice, nice to meet you.



- How do you do?

- Mr. Prentice, happy to meet you.



- How do you do?

- May I present Monsignor Ryan?



- How do you do, ma'am?

- How do you do?



GIad to meet you, sir.



- Are you and John tending bar?

- Yes.



The monsignor and I

are both drinking Scotch.



Coming up.



Sit down.






Did you have a nice fLlght

from Los AngeIes?



Oh, yes. Very nice fLlght.



Only    minutes.



Only    minutes from Los Angeles.




-If you're going to talk about fIying...



you couId taIk

about fIying to Geneva...



because John and I

are hoping to persuade...



aLL of you to fly over

for the wedding.



WouId anybody Llke to taIk about that

before I go up and start packing?



I take it they've toId you

aLL about their pIans?



Of course. It's onIy when you're

eIoping that you keep it a secret.



I don't know about you,

Mr. Prentice...



but it seems to me that these two

are rushing it just a LlttIe bit.



It seemed that way to me too.



It seems Llke that to you too?



That's right.



I'm certainIy reLleved

to hear that.



I was beginning to think l was the onIy

one around here who had any--



I wouId Llke Mrs. Prentice

to see the view.



What the heLL are you talking about?

What view?



From the terrace.

Before it gets too cold.



- Would you care to see the view?

- Oh, yes, thank you. I would.



Good. Excuse us.

Bring your drink with you.



Have you had any chance

to speak privateIy with John?



WeLL, no.



Because it's important that

you understand what's happened here...



and what I'm terribIy afraid

is going to happen.



May I expIain the situation to you

or try to?



Yes, please.

I wish you wouId.



First, I have to ask you--



Forgive my being so abrupt

and so direct.



Are you shocked

by the fact that John--



that your son is invoIved

with a white girI?






It never happened before.



I guess it never occurred to me

that such a thing might happen.



But it wouldn't be true

to say that I'm shocked.



Are you?






l think I was at first

this afternoon.



Because it came

as a compIete surprise to us too.



But now I know

how they feeI about each other.



Joey's stllI very young...



but she's not a chlld.



And they're...



deepIy in Iove

with each other.



Are you about to teIl me...



that you'd be wilLlng to approve

the marriage but your husband won't?



Is that it?



Yes, that's it.



My husband won't either.



I wish there were more time...



if onIy so that we couId adjust

to the situation.



But the way things are,

there just isn't any time.



If we're going to accept

the thing at aLL, it seems to me...



we'LL have to trust

the two of them...



and accept that they know

what they're doing.



And, Mrs. Drayton...



my husband just won't do that.



They seem to be having

quite a conversation out there.



It might do no harm

if we couId have a few words.



Yeah, sure.



We can go in my study.

WllI you excuse us, pIease?



I'LL have another drink

if you wllI, Doctor?



If you'LL excuse me, I'lI go up

and throw a few things together.



Like for the next ten years.



Mr. Drayton...



I don't know you at aLL, and

I certainIy wouIdn't want to offend you.



But are you some kind of a nut?



Are you going to teLL me that you

approve of what's been going on here?



-I wasn't going to teIl you that at aLL.

-Because if you do--



You may be a big, successfuI

newspaper pubLlsher...



and l'm nothing but

a pensioned-off mailman...



but you are right out of your mind.



I have a pretty good idea

of what my father is saying to him.



But I wish I knew--



You were taIking with him upstairs.



Have you any idea what

Mr. Drayton is saying to my father?



I can telI you one thing.

I was very sorry to hear...



that you intend

to withdraw from the situation...



if you encounter any opposition.



She's up there packing.



Your mother

wouId Llke to speak to you.



This is a mess.

Where's Joey?



- She's upstairs, my dear.

- I'm going up.



Everything is ready

whenever you aIl are ready.



We're not ready, TllLle.



WelI !



What you're saying is that you feeI

practicaIly the same as I do about this.



That's right.

But even so...



this is a heLL of an unhappy situation

for both your son and my daughter.



I think it wouId be best

if you taIked to John yourseIf.



I said that...



if they didn't approve,

there'd be no marriage.



I set the terms, Mama.



They don't disapprove.



OnIy Mr. Drayton.



Are you sure?



She said she'd even drive

the two of you to the airport.



I've Llved with your father

for aImost    years.



God wllLlng,

there'LL be a Iot more.



And even though...



I've onIy known about this situation

for one hour...



I feeI the same way

Mrs. Drayton does.



She says Joanna

wllI never give you up.



I guess...



it depends upon

how much you want her.



Want her?



I want her, Mama.



You know what it's been Llke for me

these past eight years?



I feIt like I never wanted

anybody again.



But, Mama...



these last few days with her...



it's Llke l'm aLlve again

and it's marveIous.



Excuse me, Doctor.



Your father wants to taIk to you.



- Does he?

- He's in my study.



I've been talking to your husband.



He seems pretty much upset

by alI this.



I know.



Your wife says you are too.



Not upset, exactIy.

It's a very difficuIt probIem.



For whom?

For you and my husband?



l think you'lI soIve your problem,

alI right.



ALL you have to do is teIl them

you're against them.



That's aIl.



And you'LL have no probIem.



You're not going to teIl me

you're happy about this reIationship?



This is not a night

for taIking about happiness.



This is an unhappy night.



You've been taIking to Christina.

I know how she feeIs.



Can you imagine for one minute that

I want to see either one of them hurt?



No more than my husband does.



But hurt they're going to be.



Worse than my husband knows.



I think worse than you know too.



I teLL you he's as much

against this thing as I am.



Maybe more!



Son, you've got to Llsten to me.



I'm not trying to teLL you

how to Llve your Llfe...



but you've never

made a mistake Llke this before.



You've been nothin'

but a source of pride...



for me and your mother

your whole Llfe.



but you don't know what you're doin'.



This affair here--

It aLL happened too fast.



You said so yourseIf.



But you've got to stop and think.



Have you thought what peopIe

wouId say about you?



In    or     states you'd

be breakin' the Iaw. You'd be criminaIs.



And say they changed the law.



That don't change

the way peopIe feeI about this thing.



For a man who aLL his Llfe never

put a wrong foot anywhere...



you're way out of line!



That's for me to decide, man.



- So just shut up and Iet me--

- You don't say that to me!



You haven't got the right to ever say

a thing Llke that to me.



Not after what l've been to you !



And you know that,

and I know that.



Yeah, I know what you are

and what you've made of yourseIf.



But I worked my ass off to get the money

to buy you aLL the chances you had!



You know how far

I carried that bag in    years?






And mowin' Iawns in the dark so you

wouIdn't have to be stokin' furnaces...



and couId bear down on the books.



There were things your mother should

have had that she insisted go for you.



And I don't mean fancy things.



I mean a decent coat.

A Iousy coat!



And you're gonna teLL me

that means nothin' to you....



and you couId

break your mother's heart?



What happens to men

when they grow oId?



Why do they forget everything?



I beLleve...



those two young peopIe

need each other...



Llke they need

the air to breathe in.



Anybody can see that

by just Iooking at them.



But you and my husband are--



You might as weLL be bLlnd men.



You can onIy see

that they have a probIem.



But do you reaLLy know

what's happened to them?



How they feeI about each other?



I beLleve...



that men grow old.



And when the--



When sexuaI things no Ionger matter

to them, they forget it aLL.



Forget what true passion is.



If you ever feIt what my son...



feels for your daughter,

you've forgotten everything about it.



My husband too.



You knew once...



but that was a Iong time ago.



Now the two of you don't know.



And the strange thing...



for your wife and me...



is that you don't even remember.



lf you did...



how couId you do

what you are doing?



l don't care what your mother says.

Maybe she's gone haywire too.



This is between you and me.



That's the first thing you've said

that makes any sense...



because that's exactly where it's at.



- And what l mean to say is--

- You've said what you had to say.



You Llsten to me.



You say you don't want to teLL me

how to Llve my Llfe?



What do you think

you've been doing?



You teIl me what rights I've got

or haven't got...



and what I owe to you

for what you've done for me.



Let me teLL you something.



I owe you nothing.



If you carried that bag

a mllLlon miles...



you did what you

were supposed to do...



because you brought me

into this worId...



and from that day you owed me...



everything you couId ever do for me,

Llke I wlll owe my son...



if I ever have another.



But you don't own me.



You can't telI me when or where

I'm out of Llne...



or try to get me to Llve my Llfe

according to your ruIes.



You don't even know

what l am, Dad.



You don't know who l am,

how I feeI, what I think.



And if I tried to explain it the rest of

your Llfe, you wouId never understand.



You are    years oIder than I am.



You and your whoIe Iousy generation...



believes the way it was for you

is the way it's got to be!



And not until your whoIe generation

has Iain down and died...



wilI the deadweight of you

be off our backs!



You understand?

You've got to get off my back.






You're my father.



I'm your son.

I Iove you.



I aIways have

and I aIways wllI.



But you think of yourseIf

as a coIored man.



l think of myseIf...



as a man.



Now, I've got a decision to make.



And I've got to make it aIone.



And I gotta make it in a hurry.






would you go out there...



and see after my mother?



You've just got to taIk John's parents

into fIying over with you.



It wouId mean so much to John

to have them there...



and I know they can afford it.



You know, I think John's father

is gonna make it a bit rough for him.



Did you see his expression when he

waIked off to have a taIk with Dad?



But isn't she IoveIy?



- Don't you Llke her aIready?

- Yes, darling, I do.



She's a good one.



When John's father first saw

that I was a white girI...



l thought he was going to faint.



What about your father?



Yes, that was funny, wasn't it?



Oh, Mom, isn't this thrllLlng?

Aren't you just--



Yes, darLlng, l am. Just.



I shouId be abIe to say something

to you, Mrs. Prentice.



In my trade, there are

a hundred cLlche phrases of comfort...



for every human condition.



But in the midst

of this heartbreaking distress...



I must admit...



I'm completeIy stumped.



There's simpIy

nothing I couId say.



Mary, you've just got to understand--



PIease, John.

The monsignor is right.



PIease say no more.



I'LL be a son of a bitch.



CIose the door, Mr. Drayton.



You didn't have the guts

to teLL me face-to-face, did you?



Before you start teLLing me

how much guts I've got...



I toId you

I'd have something to say.



Now I'm ready to say it.



Are you gonna stay in here?



You know that I'm

compIeteIy sympathetic, don't you ?



You know that I have

no reservations about anything.



And that whatever makes you happy

is my happiness too.



Of course I know that.



Then Llsten to me, darLlng.



There's something

I have to teLL you...



about this situation...



which you don't reaLLy--



What are you doing up there?



Come on down here, both of you !



How about your gIasses?



- Can I get you a drink?

- No, thank you.



No, you've had

enough as it is aIready.



What's going on?



There's something I want to say

and I'd Llke you to sit down...



see if you can keep quiet

for once in your Llfe.



PIease, sit down, John.



Sit down, Chris, pIease.



I have a few things to say and

you might just think they're important.



This has been a strange day. I don't

think that's putting it too strongIy.



I might even say

it's been an extraordinary day.



I've been out there

thinking about the day...



and the way it has gone...



and it seems to me that now...



I need to make a few

personaI statements.



For a variety of reasons.



The day began for me when l waIked into

this house and TllLle said to me--



Excuse me.




This'LL onIy take a second.



- Everything's been ready for--

- I know.



ALL right. Sit down.



This is Miss Matllda Binks...



who's been a member of this famlly

for    years...



and who today has been

making a great deaI of troubIe.



Sit down, Tlllie.



Now. The minute I waIked

into this house this afternoon...



Miss Binks said to me,

''WeLL, aLL heLL's done broke Ioose now.''



I asked her, naturaLLy enough,

to what she referred...



and she said, ''You'LL see.''



And I did.



Then after some preliminary guessing

games, at which l was never very good...



it was explained to me

by my daughter...



that she intended to get married.



And that her intended was a young man

whom I had never met...



who happened to be a Negro.



I think it's fair to say

that I responded to this news...



in the same manner that any

normaI father wouId respond to it...



unIess, of course, his daughter

happened to be a Negro too.



ln a word, I was fIabbergasted. And

whlle I was stllI being fIabbergasted...



I was informed by my daughter--



a very determined young woman...



much Llke her mother--



that the marriage was on...



no matter what her mother and I

might feeI about it.



Then the next startLlng deveIopment

occurred when you waIked in...



and said that unIess we--

her mother and l--



approved of the marriage,

there would be no marriage.



You didn't!

What a funny thing to do.



This may be the Iast chance

I'Il ever have...



to teIl you to do anything.



So I'm teLLing you

shut up.






It became cIear that we had one

singIe day to make up our minds...



as to how we feIt

about this whole situation.



So what happened?



My wife, typicaLLy enough...



decided to simply ignore...



every practicaI aspect

of the situation...



and was carried away

in some kind of romantic haze...



which made her, in my view...



totaLLy inaccessibIe

to anything in the way of reason.



Now l have not as yet referred

to His Reverence...



who began by forcing his way

into the situation...



and then insuIting my intelLlgence..,.



by mouthing     pIatitudes...



and ending just a haIf hour ago

by coming to my room...



and chaLLenging me

to a wrestLlng match.



- What time is your pIane?

-   :  .






Now, Mr. Prentice...



cIearIy a most reasonabIe man...



says he has no wish to offend me...



but wants to know

if I'm some kind of a nut.



And Mrs. Prentice says...



that Llke her husband,

I'm a burnt-out oId sheIl of a man...



who cannot even

remember what it's Llke...



to Iove a woman...



the way her son loves my daughter.



And strange as it seems...



that's the first statement

made to me aIl day...



with which l am prepared

to take issue.



Because l think you're wrong.



You're as wrong as you can be.



I admit that I hadn't considered it,

hadn't even thought about it...



but I know exactIy

how he feels about her.



And there is nothing,

absoIuteIy nothing...



that your son feeIs

for my daughter...



that I didn't feeI for Christina.



Old? Yes.



Burnt out? Certainly.



But l can teLL you

the memories are stllI there--



cIear, intact, indestructibIe.



And they'LL be there

if l Llve to be    .



Where John

made his mistake, I think...



was attaching so much importance

to what her mother and I might think.



Because in the final anaIysis,

it doesn't matter a damn what we think.



The onIy thing that matters

is what they feeI...



and how much they feeI...



for each other.



And if it's haIf...



of what we feIt...



that's everything.



As for you two and

the probIems you're going to have...



they seem aImost unimaginabIe.



But you'LL have no probIem with me.



And I think...



that when Christina and I

and your mother...



have some time to work on him...



you'Il have no problem

with your father.



But you do know--

I'm sure you know--



what you're up against.



There'LL be a hundred mlllion peopIe

right here in this country...



who'LL be shocked and offended...



and appalIed at the two of you.



And the two of you wllI just

have to ride that out.



Maybe every day

for the rest of your Llves.



You can try to ignore those peopIe...



or you can feeI sorry for them

and for their prejudices...



and their bigotry and

their bLlnd hatreds and stupid fears.



But where necessary...



you'LL just have

to cLlng tight to each other...



and say screw aLL those peopIe!



Anybody couId make a heLL of a

good case against your getting married.



The arguments are so obvious

that nobody has to make them.



But you're two wonderfuI peopIe...



who happened to faLL in Iove...



and happen to have

a pigmentation probIem.



And l think that now...



no matter what kind of a case

some bastard couId make...



against your getting married...



there wouId be onIy one thing worse.



And that wouId be if...



knowing what you two are...



knowing what you two have...



and knowing what you two feel...



you didn't get married.



WelI, TllLle, when the heLL

are we gonna get some dinner?




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