Man On The Train Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Man On The Train script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the movie starring Jean Rochefort and Johnny Hallyday.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Man On The Train. 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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Man On The Train Script

            The Man On The Train

            I'm out of Trinitrin.

            Sorry, I'm out of it.


            When will you have some?


            All right...


            I'll come back then.

            He gave me soluble ones.

            You'll need some water.

            I live nearby, if you want.

            It's not a very lively town.

            Here we are.

            - You don't lock it? - Never.

            I've lost the key.

            I've lost this key as well.

            But I have spares.

            It's old.

            You noticed.

            I prefer the Japanese style:

            Paper screens, rice bowls,

            Zen minimalism.

            It would have killed Mother to see this go.

            Still, it's fifteen years since she passed on

            and it's still the same.

            I mustn't like change either.

            It's not bad.

              You're not saying you like it?

              - I do. - Why?

              Dunno. It's full of the past.

              And boredom.

              Talking of boredom,

              allow me to introduce...

              my first love.

              One is marked for life by onanistic practices

              in front of a girl painted two centuries earlier.

              More vividly,

              as my pupils put it back when I taught French,

              I owe this young lady a few frenzied

              and diligent wanks.

              Do you fancy a drink?

              I'm sorry, I forgot.

              You're not much of a talker.

              I tend not to ask questions.

              I always wanted to be a silent onlooker.


              I walk into a bar.

              I don't say a word

              but everything changes suddenly.

              The women mostly. They check their reflections.

              And yet I do nothing.

              Just by being there,

              I've sown confusion in their minds.

              You watch too many thrillers.

              You're right about that.

              Thanks for everything.

              Just a glass of water.

              How's your headache?

              I'll be all right.

              - The hotel... closed. I know.

              Tourists are scarce in November.

              Just as they are in July.

              Come along then.

              I'll show you your room.

              The family's claim to fame,

              Colonel of the    th Hussars.

              My forefather.

              His regiment wasn't required at Austerlitz.

              At Echmuhl, he was laid up

              after lopping off his ear with his sword.

              At Eylau, just before ordering the charge,

              he resolved to show a grenadier

              how to cock a carbine and blew the side of his head off.

              I'm very fond of this absurd fellow.

              Grandma said I take after him. I believe it,

              given my tendency to undermine the highlights of my life.

              There, the tour is over.

              They say this canvas

              was painted in Géricault's studio. Imagine that!

              Here's your room.

              - Can I stay till Saturday? - Of course.

              I have something to do on Saturday myself.

              Help yourself to blankets. And change rooms if you like.

              But the good thing about this one is it doesn't rain.

              This is fine. Thank you.

              I'll leave you, then.

              A little nightcap?

              Not for me.

              I can't drink but I'd like to.

              We can have lunch tomorrow if you like.

              Good night.

              I do this occasionally. I shouldn't but it keeps me fit.

              No need to apologize.

              There's not much point these days.

              Life's a sports event.

              Climbing stairs, getting on buses, tying up shoelaces...

              Old people are gymnasts.

              You've worked out before?



              You slept well?

              See you later.

              It's the custom for the new sheriff to buy a round.

              I won't!

              I'm from Laramie.

              In Laramie, they say I'm a tough one.

              Who called Laramie boys shits?

              The next bullet's for you, Piss-face.

              From now on, mine's the only gun in the saloons.

              Welcome to Tombstone, cowboys.

              I'll make you shit bricks!

              Pick up your exercise books

              and write:

              "On the Pont-Neuf, I met...

              Who sings...

              this distant song?"

              This is Sadko.

              Don't worry, I'll explain later.

              Explain now, I'm worried already.

              He says one sentence a day. At ten in the morning.

              - And before? - He thinks about it.

              - And after? - He rests.

              - How's his driving? - Spot-on.

              Luigi arrives tomorrow.

              You've filled out.

              Life moves on.

              "In Arles, where are the Alyscamps

              "When the shadow is red beneath the rose

              "And clear the day,

              "Beware the sweetness of things."

              What intrigues you in this poem?

              What surprises you?

              "In Arles, where are the Alyscamps..."

              What's so intriguing about that? Paris has its Eiffel Tower

              and Arles has its Alyscamps.

              No, he's asking.

              - Asking what? - Where the Alyscamps are.

              There'd be a question mark in that case. Do you see one?

              They left it out.

              Because there isn't one!

              All right.

              We'll go over this again next week.

              Bye, sir!

              Goodbye, son.

              "Beware the sweetness of things."

              You thought he'd say that?

              Why's sweetness so dangerous?

              One could get used to it.

              I don't think things are sweet.

              Were you a good teacher?

              Not one pupil molested in thirty years in the job.

              Well done!

              No, it's no good.

              You just don't know how.

              You mean I can learn?

              Take a good mouthful.

              Go on, a good one.

              As if you were thirsty.

              Open all the pipes.

              Bask in the warmth.

              How is it?


              Can I ask you something?

              Of course.

              Could you lend me some slippers?

              Do your feet hurt?

              I've never tried them.


              My life's all wrong.

              And they're new too.

              The perfect slipper is almost in tatters,

              like a second skin.

              Try walking in them.

              Not like that, for God's sake. Drag your feet.

              A connoisseur wears them

              with the heel turned in.

              They don't suit you but keep them.

              As a gift.

              I may ask you a favour in return later.

              This is my life's stage, from my first feed to my last cigar.

              Have you read all these?

              Yes, almost.

              I hated books at first but everyone nagged me so much,

              I started reading.

              It was like a revelation!

              Do you read a little?

              Not often.

              Many people talk a load of rubbish, I think we agree on that.

              As soon as they write it down, it becomes gospel truth.

              And that's a bad thing.

              Back to the cognac?

              - Not tonight? - That's a pity.

              Not a great conversationalist, are you?

              Still, I don't mind. Conversation's my line.

              I could keep going until doomsday.

              Do you have tattoos?


              I think that if I'd been you,

              I'd have had tattoos. An eagle, a dragon...

              Because a tattoo is...

              Of course, you need to be...

              Shall we go out to the terrace?

              I have a terrace.

              Spare me the infinity line.

              The what?

              Everyone who comes here goes on about infinity.

              How they feel so tiny compared to the universe.

              It drives me up the wall.

              I suppose I have no cosmic sense.

              The stars bore me.

              Apparently, we all have a star each.

              Indian folklore?

              No, an old wives' tale.

              What's happening on Saturday?

              Nothing, just a quick tune-up.

              An open and shut thing.

              One valve misfiring is enough these days

              for them to haul you in for repairs.

              You'd rather not talk about it?

              Actually, no. Not really.

              Standard double door,

              two pathetic surveillance cameras,

              provincial staff,

              it's a piece of cake.

              You can choke on cake.

              That's not like you!

              You haven't got fat

              but you're old before your time.

              You don't need dough?

              - I do. - There, you see!


              - You again! - It's a small town.

              Do you want to know a secret?

              Do I have any choice?

              I've had an account here for forty years.

              Do you know what I always dream of doing?

              Stop asking questions no one can answer.

              A hold-up!

              Ever since I opened my account.

              I walk in with the balaclava and guns,

              "Everybody face down!"

              "Open the safe or you die!"

              It gets my adrenalin flowing. How about you?

              No, not me. We don't have the same nightmares.

              I don't kill anyone.

              It all goes well.

              I never get caught.

              - What do you do with the dough? - The Bahamas.

              The Bahamas every time.

              Casino, white linen suit, suntan...

              The Bahamas!

              Actually, I did have money once.

              A lot in fact, after Mother died.

              I went to Paris to paint the town red.

              - And? - It rained.

              Not just showers. Non-stop rain for two days.

              So I went to the movies.

              I saw eleven films.

              It didn't cost me a fortune.

              Getting through money is an art.

              I bet you're an expert.

              I'm not bad.

              - What are you doing for lunch? - Nothing.

              I'll treat you. I know a decent bistro.

              I feel like blowing some money.

              The Roxy cinema used to stand here.

              I had my first kiss there. It should have been romantic.

              She rammed her tongue down my throat

              and, probably blinded by passion,

              her thick woollen gloves - it was in winter -

              tried to haul me out of the Roxy by my privates.

              I had to put up a fight.

              A few years after my Ionely, pictorial affair,

              it wasn't a very good start.

              Here we are.

              About time.

              Verlin. How are you?

              Two more years to go.

              My last remaining colleague.

              I don't know the others.

              Do you come here often?

              Lunch every day for    years.

              To avoid the school canteen.

              We're out of pepper steak.


              - Fries or salad? - Both.

              And for the young man?

              The same for the young man, Nelly.

              Red or rosé?

              - Red, I imagine. - Red.

              A carafe of red?

              Not the ideal place to swap secrets.

              Try anyway. How did it end?

              - What? - You and the Roxy girl.

              She dropped me,

              in every sense of the word,

              for the sports club janitor's son.

              Don't insult me!

              - I'm not. - You're shit at pinball!

              You said nothing.

              No. Do you know why?


              Because they're a team.

              And one guy can't take two on, except in the movies.

              That's when you know you're getting old.

              Not long ago, he'd have apologized.

              There's nothing you can do.

              Aren't we a team too?

              They're getting on my nerves. On my tits, in fact!

              Go and tell them that.

              If I did,

              I'd start a new life.

              You're right to hesitate.

              Can't you keep it down?

              Can't you keep it down?

              "My beloved is now in China

              With her aged parents

              In a delicate porcelain tower

              With the Yellow River's cormorants."

              You were my teacher in '  .

              Joseph Puissoneau, fourth year, B .

              Ah, Puissoneau!

              I work at Cadoret's, the lighting shop.

              Are you still teaching poetry?

              Yes, but I've retired.

              Sorry, that's right.

              I like a bit of poetry, though.

              Thanks to you, I guess.

              You get    out of   .

              I suppose my time hasn't come.

              That took guts.

              I try picking a fight and find someone who likes me.

              You'd have preferred broken bottles?

              It would have been something to remember.

              It wasn't a difficult job.

              Only a dickhead could have screwed up.

              He got two years for it

              and beat up when he got out.

              They'd waited, the resentful bastards!

              Are you listening?

              Revenge is misfortune's justice.

              Ten o'clock. I told you so.

              Weird, isn't it?

              Is it a vow or is he nuts?

              He's been like that since his wife left.

              - Was it long ago? - Seven years.

              We're calling it off, Max. It's no good.


              It's a pushover.

              You said so yourself.

              Luigi's not here, this guy's a clown and you're fat.

              It's too much.

              Are you crazy? We've done tougher jobs.

              I'll go it alone, then.

              I need cash.

              The nut tree's had it.

              - It's diseased. - Good.

              Mr Gora, why is it, even though you've been coming

              once a month for more than    years,

              I never expect to see you?

              No one ever remembers a gardener.

              That must be why.

              Why two combs and two toothbrushes?

              There are two kinds of men.

              Those who say, "I must buy a toothbrush,

              I've lost mine."

              They're adventurers.

              And those who have an extra brush.

              What are they?

              Planners, at best.

              You have two of everything?

              No, three!

              Apart from needlepoint,

              I have all the skills

              of a well-groomed, early   th century young woman.

              And you?

              Are you musical?

              I had a harmonica once.

              That's handier for travelling.

              Strangely, when you play music,

              people think you're enjoying it.

              "The happy moments he must spend at the piano!"

              Playing the piano can be a dead bore!

              Even Beethoven?

              Even Beethoven!

              But Schumann's the worst.

              Schumann, my God!

              Chopin, I can take.

              There you're in and out quick. How's Mrs Chopin?

              In a bad way.

              Then you forget the damn stuff!

              But Schumann!

              Layer after layer of syrupy twaddle,

              over the top with its snivelling.

              But I like Schumann. He appeals to my love of failure.

              They're not you at all.

              It's like me driving some sports convertible.

              As time passes,

              one's more interested in the weather than the when. Aren't you?

              Another certainty bites the dust.

              So much the better.

              Damn, I forgot the bread.

              Would you mind going for a baguette?


              I hate to ask but I don't like going.

              - Why? - The salesgirl.

              - What about her? - It's an old story...

              Let's hear it.

              Each time I went in there, she'd say,

              "Anything else? Anything else?"

              One day, I was so fed up and told her that was enough,

              that if I needed anything else, I'd ask for it.

              - And? - When I went in the next day,

              I took my baguette, paid for it and guess what she said.

              "Will that be all?"

              You didn't murder her?

              But I buy supermarket crisp bread now.

              - I won't be long. - You'll get it too!

              - Anything else? - That's all.

              Three francs twenty.

              - Madame? - A loaf.

              Anything else?

              No thanks.

              Five francs eighty-five.

              Lovely, thank you.

              A baguette.

              Three francs twenty. Anything else?

              Nothing else, thanks.

              - Sir? - A baguette.

              No, make it two.

              Eight francs sixty.



              It was kind of you to lie.

              The salesgirl.

              She didn't say it to you. To me, she does.

              Would you like some?

              By the way,

              why did you buy two?

              There are two kinds of men.

              I've joined the planners.

              You still won't tell me why you came?

              There's no need

              because you already know.

              I know you have guns.

              Is it the bank?

              If I screw up, I won't shop you.

              That's not what's bothering me.

              I wish I could help you.

              I'm sorry.

              I suppose it takes split-second timing.

              You need experience.

              It's much simpler than you think.

              We go in, grab the take and leave.

              Saturday will be a busy day!

              You can say that again!

              That's right. Tomorrow at eight.

              Me too.

              I enjoy boozing with you.

              It forges a bond.

              Alcohol, the true key to communication.

              There'll be three of us boozing tomorrow.

              A woman?

              It's my turn to ask a favour in return for the slippers.

              It's okay, I'll sleep somewhere else.

              No, it's not that.

              If possible,

              I'd like to ask you,

              if possible, of course,

              - to... - I'm listening.

              What should I imagine it is?

              Why imagine it's anything?

              I just thought...

              Imagine it's a tin can for a start.

              What if it was my gardener?

              Imagine it's a can too.


              That's clear enough.

              Take a breath and try again.

              A closer miss, wasn't it?

              By an inch or a mile, it's still a miss.

              You have to be gifted.

              Practice is enough?

              Not even.

              What then?

              No one knows.

              Maybe a lack of pity.

              Is my arm too stiff?

              Find the stance that suits you.

              I have a question.

              It's your turn for one.

              It's getting to be a habit!

              All right, I'm listening.

              "On the Pont-Neuf I met...

              Who sings that distant song?"

              Do you happen to know the rest of it?

              "On the Pont-Neuf I met...

              Who sings that distant song?

              A badly anchored barge Or the Samaritaine metro stop

              On the Pont-Neuf I met...

              No dog, no stick, no sign

              Pity for those in despair

              That the crowd turns aside from..."

              You knew it?

              I heard it once. I wanted to know the rest.

              My pupils weren't too keen on it.

              I had to impose it every year.

              Shall I recite the rest?

              On the Pont-Neuf I met...

              Sitting on the worn stones

              The air that I murmured

              The dream that was my light."

              Are you dead set on Saturday?

              Are you?

              I have no choice.

              Neither do I.

              Do you have the book at home?

              The one with the poem?

              Probably. I don't know where.

              It doesn't matter.

              Actually, I prefer that.

              It's good not to know all a poem.

              My mind's not made up yet.

              What does it depend on?

              Whether somebody turns up or not.

              Mr Manesquier?

              For the X-rays?

              This way, please.

              Painting makes you crazy.

              Digging into details drives you nuts.

              He latched onto the idea of alternating colours

              and dominant tones

              but lost his madness on the way.

              He brought art down to the basics.

              So he's here instead of the Louvre.

              Why weren't you on time?

              I was on time but not exactly decent.

              I decided to wait a little.

              I'd met a bottle earlier.

              I can't put off appointments like that.

              How was detox?

              One big scam.

              Still, it got me back into watercolours.

              I'd forgotten it all...

              The interplay of water and chance.

              Is Max here?

              Yes, with the driver. He picked him himself.

              That's no problem, then.

              We'll blow them away.

              It'll be a blast.

              Look at this idiot.

              He got to the end of his palette,

              managed this russet tone and walked off with the autumn.

              Can you stay sober for two days?

              That's forever.

              At least until Saturday.

              Forever always ends on Saturday.

              What's the estimate?

                  grand each.

              Can't complain.

              Let's have a drink.

              I'm kidding.

              I'm kidding, okay.

              Anything else?

              If I didn't have a sister like you,

              I'd never manage to pack my suitcase.

              A second pair of socks.

              You're not going to need these.

              They'll give you a nightshirt there.

              Don't you prefer the electric razor?

              Your slippers.

              It's a tiled floor.

              You'll be glad to have nice, warm feet.

              I've made my will.

              - Why do you say that? - Guess.

              - You don't talk about that. - Yes, you do.

              What's the matter?

              I've left it all to you, although you pissed me off.

              The house too.

              You'll be home in a week.

              I'll pack your cologne...

              - Why do you do that? - What?

              Say what you're doing.

              You say you're packing it.

              You always open a door saying, "I'll open the door."

              You're never satisfied.

              I am. That's what's so annoying.

              Do I annoy you?

              You have since childhood.

              Ever since we were children.

              Why are we like this now?

              Like what?

              We've never moved away.

              You married a prick who gave you two cretins.

              I won't let you say that.

              I'll say it if I like.

              You'd say it too, if you wanted to.

              Look at me.

              Fernand's a prick, isn't he?

              I won't let you!

              You've dreamed of saying it for    years!

              Go ahead. You love to talk.

              What good would it do?

              It would do us both good

              if you could say something other than "chilly evening" for once.

              Go on, say it.

              Fernand's a fat prick.

              I can't.

              Of course you can't.

              We've never said what we thought. Not once.

              He's ruined your life with his scale models,

              neckties and petty ambitions.

              You never told him to fuck off?

              He wasn't even screwing you.

              Stop it! I've never seen you like this.


              What happened to us?

              We were normal children with normal games

              but one day we struck a pose and turned into mummies.


              The operation's worrying you.

              I'll come to see you.

              He is a fat prick.

              A total prick!

              That's better.

              That's better!

              Hello, Mr Dussoux.

              It's not winter yet

              but I nearly put the heating on today.

              Still, it's dry, that's something.

              The usual trim?

              No, let's have a change.

              A change?

              Make it shorter.

              Shorter how?

              Shorter, not longer.


              Without a parting.

              No parting?

              Surely you don't want a brush cut?

              In between "fresh out of jail" and "world-class soccer player".

              I might try a goatee too.

              A goatee?

              But I'll keep the moustache.

              Thank you.

              I'd have been sorry to see it go.

              I couldn't have done it.

              I really couldn't have.

              Nothing surprises me anymore.

              Young Cauvin asked me to shave his head. He'd seen it on TV.

              He had to have it too. But you won't go that far?

              I'm blazing a new trail.

              Who knows where it may lead.

              Indeed, where will it lead?

              It's my lesson with Mr Manesquier.

              He's not here.

              Is he coming back?

              It's with me today.

              What are you studying with him?

              Eugénie Grandet on Fridays.

              What's the story?

              There isn't much of one.

              There's always a story.

              Every book has a story.

              Have you read it?

              So you should know it.

              Who's Eugénie Grandet?

              She's a girl.

              That's a good start.

              What does this girl do?

              She waits.

              Who for?

              The man who loves her.

              Does she wait long?

              The whole book!

              Would she do that these days?

              - I don't know. - What would she do today?

              She'd call.

              And what else?

              I don't know...

              Ask him for his photo.

              See. You can do it.

              Without phones or photos,

              how can she remember him?

              With her memory.

              How does it end?

              He never comes back.

              I knew it...

              And she goes on hoping.

              What do you think of her?

              She's patient.

              I think she's wonderful. Don't you?

              You say it but you don't really mean it.

              People can't wait that long nowadays.

              - What do I write? - Nothing. Why write it down?

              Think about it.

              If Eugénie Grandet had a phone, what would have happened?

              Is that my homework for next week?

              That's right.

              For next week.

              Goodbye, sir.

              Goodbye, son.

              Because of all that,

              I forgot that I had a lesson. It doesn't matter.

              You've had him staying for two days?

              He's leaving tomorrow.

              This is Viviane.

              Introductions are intimidating.

              They're not? You don't feel intimidated?

              Neither do I.

              Introductions make me feel I've been summoned by the headmaster.

              In short trousers?

              Will you get us a drink?

              I don't know why he wanted us to meet.

              Neither do I.

              He thinks everyone he likes will get on.

              He could be wrong.

              He's a true optimist.

              Not much fun, but an optimist.

              What about you?

              Are you fond of him?

              An old love story isn't necessarily worn-out.

              And it's none of your business.

              Well then?

              You're breaking the ice?

              To smithereens!

              Quiet little town.

              And very trusting.

              Are you faithful?

              We're used to each other. There's a certain fondness too.

              You're not after fondness tonight.

              She no longer intimidates me. That's something.

              Lots of love.

              Bye, dear.

              - Well? - He passed.

              I told you so. Her son's taking his exams.

              But his marks aren't good enough for the top schools.

              Tell her you don't give a shit.

              - I do give a shit! - No, you don't.

              He wants tenderness and sex,

              not news of your brat.

              What about you?

              - What about me? - What do you want?

              To stir up shit?


              You act like you're jealous.

              Just setting things straight.


              Are you still here?

              - What time's the triple tomorrow? - Ten.

              Five, six, seven, ending and taking.

              Viviane wins every time we play.

              I'll go and tidy up.

              I was wrong earlier.

              - An old mistress must be a comfort. - That's true.

              It's been fifteen years.

              - Since Mother died? - Of course.

              You could have married.

              I did contemplate it once.

              I suppose you changed women often.

              It gets tiring in the end.

              All the same!

              I wish I'd sailed from one unknown woman to another.

              Different continents to explore,

              never dropping the anchor, new islands...

              Women aren't what they used to be.

              Still, to discover and explore new embraces...

              Words get you in the end.

              What do you think of Viviane?

              I don't think anything, she's yours.

              Shall we take one last stroll on the terrace?

              This was my favourite spot.

              There weren't so many houses then.

              I'd breathe the fresh air and feel the world was my oyster.

              What a mistake!

              So I stopped living before I grew old.

              Know why women don't look at you?

              - They don't see me! - Because they're dazzled by you!

              Can't you see how fantastic you are? Look at yourself!

              Look at all there is to see.

              It's all there.

              We get more precious as the years pass, you see.

              If you look at it that way...

              It's the only way.

              The only way, the right way.

              I saw that photo of you in the West.

              Where was it taken?


              Don't start. Never keep a lady waiting.

              She threw you out?

              I have an offer to make you. An honest one.

              Fire away.

              I can give you some money.

              It's only a small bank. It won't be a big haul.

              So I'll give you some money.

              You can pay me back later.

              I don't really need it.

              Ah well.

              At least I tried, as they say.

              Thank you.

               Doctor, the operation tomorrow will be in theatre two. Good night.

                I've known men like you.

                They only stir up shit.

                You certainly don't bring happiness.

                Women know that, you see.

                The trouble is, they can't resist.

                Bad girls are tempted.

                I must be too old for it. I had to tell you.

                Do you love him?

                He told me you never ask questions.

                So forget I asked.

                I already have.

                You look green.

                It's the light.

                You can get the local train at  :  .

                Please, take it.

                I've found that book.

                The one with the poem.

                I lied about that photo.

                It wasn't in Nevada.

                It was taken in a circus.

                I was a stuntman for    years.

                Aren't you listening?

                You'll be back to all this soon.

                Your nice, quiet life,

                like before.

                One evening following on from another.

                I'll be going.

                You haven't eaten anything.

                I can't miss the start.

                I suppose not.

                Thank you for putting me up.

                A shame I'm busy today, I'd have helped you.

                I'd have liked that.

                I could call the hospital and say I'm ill.

                Don't suppose that'd work?

                You'll be a new man tomorrow.

                Thanks for the lessons...

                Thanks for the book.

                And the slippers.

                Thanks for the fresh air.

                If ever you have a spare postcard, think of me.

                From Nevada?

                You bet!

                See you.

                Your room...

                This is the bathroom.

                A wardrobe for your clothes...

                This is the bell. Call us if you need anything.

                You can come in.

                We shall pass, like centuries and doves.

                Hands on your head!



                The safe!

                Go! I'll cover you!

                - Move it! - What the hell?

                That bastard Max!

Special help by SergeiK