Night Of The Hunter Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Night Of The Hunter script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Robert Mitchum movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Night Of The Hunter. 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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Night Of The Hunter Script



Now, you remember, children,

how I told you



about the good Lord going up into the

mountain and talking to the people?



And how he said: "Blessed are the pure

in heart, for they shall see God"?



And how he said

that King Solomon in all his glory



was not as beautiful as

the lilies of the field?



And I know you won't forget

"Judge not lest ye be judged",



because I explained that to you.



And then the good Lord went on to say:



"Beware of false prophets



which come to you in sheep's clothing



but inwardly they are ravening wolves".



"Ye shall know them by their fruits".












Here I come, ready or not.



What's wrong?



"A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,



neither can a corrupt tree

bring forth good fruit".



"Wherefore by their fruits

ye shall know them".



Well now, what's it to be, Lord?



Another widow?



How many's it been? Six?






I disremember.



You say the word, Lord. I'm on my way.



You always send me money

to go forth and preach your word.



A widow with a little wad of bills

hid away in the sugar bowl.



Lord, I am tired.



Sometimes I wonder

if you really understand.



Not that you mind the killings.

Your book is full of killings.



But there are things you do hate, Lord.



Perfume-smelling things.



Lacy things. Things with curly hair.



There are too many of them.



You can't kill a world.



You driving a touring car

with a Moundsville licence?



Harry Powell,

for the theft of that touring car



you'll spend    days

in the Moundsville Penitentiary.



- Preacher Harry Powell.

- A car thief. Picked up where you were.



A man of God? Harry Powell...



Hold Miss Jenny still.



Stand still, Miss Jenny.



There. What's so hard about that?






- Where's your mom?

- Out shopping.



You're bleeding, Dad.



Listen. We have to hide this money before

they get to me. There's close to $     .



Where? Under a rock

in the smokehouse? No, no.



Under the bricks in the grape arbour.

No, no. They'd dig for it.



Sure. That's the place.



- That's him.

- He probably still has that gun.



Listen to me, son. You've got to swear.

Swear means promise.



First swear you'll take care of little

Pearl. Guard her with your life, boy.



Then swear you won't never tell where

the money's hid. Not even your mom.



- Yes, Dad.

- You understand?



- Not even her?

- You've got common sense, she ain't.



When you grow up

that money'll belong to you.



Now stand up straight.

Raise your right hand.



- Now swear. I'll guard Pearl with my life.

- I will guard Pearl with my life.



- And I won't never tell about the money.

- And I won't never tell about the money.



You, Pearl. You swear too.



Ben Harper.



I'm going now, children. Goodbye.



Drop that gun, Harper.

We don't want the kids hurt.



Just mind what you swore, son.

Mind, boy.












Ben Harper, it is the sentence of this court



that for the murder of Ed Smiley

and Corey South



you be hanged by the neck

until you are dead.



May God have mercy on your soul.



I got you all buffaloed.



You ain't none of you

gonna get it out of me.



Where, Ben? Where?






And a little child shall lead them.



Come on, boy. Tell me.



Ben! I'm a man of God.



- Making me talk about it in my sleep.

- No, Ben. No.



What did I say?



You was quoting the scripture, Ben.



You said

"And a little child shall lead them".



You killed two men, Ben Harper.



That's right, Preacher. I robbed that bank



cos I got tired of seeing children

roaming the woodlands without food.



Children roaming the highways

in this year of Depression.



Children sleeping in old abandoned

car bodies on junk heaps.



I promised myself I'd never see

the day when my young 'uns would want.



With that $     

I could build a tabernacle



and make that Wheeling Island tabernacle

look like a chicken house.



Would you have free candy for the kids?



Think of it, Ben.

With that cursed, bloody gold.



How come you got that stick-knife

hid up in your blankets, Preacher?



The Lord blinded mine enemies when

they brought me in this evil place.



I smuggled it in right under

the noses of them guards.



"I come not with peace,



- but with a sword".

- You, Preacher?



The sword has served me through

many an evil time, Ben Harper.



What religion do you profess, Preacher?



The religion the Almighty and me

worked out betwixt us.



I'll bet!



Salvation is a last-minute business, boy.



Keep talking, Preacher.



If you let that money serve the Lord,



- he might feel kindly towards you.

- Keep talking.



Now, don't you think the Lord might

change his mind if you was to...



Lord, you sure knowed

what you was doing



when you put me

in this very cell at this very time.



A man with $      hid somewhere -

and a widow in the making.



- Any trouble?

- No.



He was a cool one, that Harper.

Never broke.



Carried on some. Kicked.



- They say he left a wife and two kids.

- I never heard.



- He never told about the money?

- No.



What do you figure he done with it?



He took the secret with him

when I dropped him.



That you, Bart? Supper's waiting.



Mother, sometimes I think it might be

better if I was to quit my job as guard.



You're always this way when there's a

hanging. You never have to be there.



Sometimes I wish I was back in the mine.



And leave me a widow after

another blast like the one in '  ?



Not on your life, old mister.



Hing, hang, hung



See what the hangman done



See what the hangman done



Hung, hang, hing



See the robber swing



Hing, hang, hung



Now my song is done



Are you going to buy it, John?



So your mommy's

keeping you out of school.



How is your poor, poor mother?



She's at Spoon's ice-cream parlour.



Did they ever find out what your father

done with all that money he stole?



Pearl and me, we have to go.



- You'd better not sing that song.

- Why?



Cos you're too little.



Can we get some candy?






Willa Harper, there are certain

plain facts of life that adds up



just like two plus two makes four,

and one of them is this.



No woman is able to raise

growing youngsters alone.



- The Lord meant that job for two.

- Icey, I just don't want a husband.



T'ain't a question of wanting

or not wanting.



You've got two little young 'uns.



It's a man you need in the house,

Willa Harper.



Tell me a story, John.



Well, once upon a time...



there was a rich king

who had himself a son and a daughter.



They all lived in a castle over in Africa.



Then one day this king

got taken away by some bad men.



Before he got took off he told his son to

kill anyone who tried to steal his gold.



And before long,

the bad men came back and...



Just a man.



Good night, Pearl.

Sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite.



Night, Miss Jenny.

Don't let the bedbugs bite.



She don't put in at Cresap's Landing

no more but she still blows as she passes.



Come on in and have a cup of coffee, boy.



Ain't nobody stole Dad's skiff.



Ain't nobody going to neither,

as long as Uncle Birdie's round.



First day my joints is limber enough I'll

haul her out and give her a good caulking.



- Ain't seen you in a coon's age, boy.

- I've been minding Pearl.



Ain't it a caution what a woman'll load

onto a man's back when he ain't looking?



Excuse me, Cap, while I...

sweeten my coffee.



Dead and gone these twenty-five year

and never takes her eyes off me.



Man of my years needs a little snort

in the morning to heat the boilers.






I was talking to this stranger up at

the boarding house. He knowed your dad.



- Where'd he know Dad?

- I'll not hide it.



He knowed him

in the Moundsville Penitentiary.



- I've got to go now, Uncle Birdie.

- Why, you just got here, boy.



I told Mom I'd be back

to Spoon's for Pearl.



God works in a mysterious way

his wonders to perform.



Yes, I was with Brother Harper

right up to the end.



Now that I'm no longer employed by

the penitentiary



it is my joy to bring this

small comfort to his loved ones.



It's a mighty good man

would go out of his way



to bring a word of cheer

to a grieving widow.



So you ain't with the state no more?



No, brother, I resigned only yesterday.



The heart-rending spectacle of them

poor men was just too much for me.



Ah, little lad,

you're staring at my fingers.



Would you like me to tell you the little

story of Right-hand, Left-hand?



The story of good and evil.






It was with this left hand



that old Brother Cain struck

the blow that laid his brother low.






See these fingers, dear hearts? They has

veins that run straight to the soul of man.



The right hand, friends.

The hand of love.



Now watch and

I'll show you the story of life.



These fingers is always a-warring and

a-tugging, one agin t'other.



Now watch 'em.



Old Brother Left-hand.



Left-hand hates a-fighting.



And it looks like Love's a goner.



But wait a minute!



Hot dog! Love's a-winning.



Yes, sirree. It's Love that won.



And old Left-hand Hate

is down for the count.



I never heard it better told.



I wish every soul in this community

could get the benefit.



You've just got to stay

for our picnic Sunday.



No, I must wend my way downriver

on the Lord's business.



You ain't leaving in no hurry

if we can help it.



John, mind your manners!



Take that look off your face. Act nice.



He don't mean no impudence,

do you, boy?



Do you, boy?



Many's the time poor Brother Ben

told me about these young 'uns.



What did he tell you?



He told me what fine little lambs

you and your sister both was.



Is that all?



Why, no, boy.

He told me lots and lots of things.



- Nice things, boy.

- Thank you.



My, that fudge smells yummy.



It's for the picnic.



And you don't get a smidgen of my fudge

unless you stay for the picnic.



Don't he have the grandest singing voice?



John! Pearl!

Run along and play, you two.



- Where?

- Down by the river. My goodness!



That fella's aching to settle down with

some nice woman and make a home.



Icey, it's awful soon after Ben's passing.



If ever I saw a sign from heaven...



- John don't like him much.

- Pearl dotes on him.



The boy worries me.



I know it's silly, but it's like there's

something still between him and his dad.



What he needs is a dose of salts.



- Oh, there's something else.

- What?



The money.



I declare, Willa Harper, you'll let

that money haunt you to your grave.



Icey, I would love to be satisfied



that Harry Powell don't think

I got that money hid somewhere.



You come right out

and ask that man of God.



Mr Powell! Clear that evil mud

out of your soul.



John! Pearl!

Come along here and get some fudge.



- I don't want no fudge.

- You do what you're told!



You go set down by the river.



- Oh, Icey, I'm a sight.

- Get along with you!






That young lady better look sharp or

some smart sister is gonna snap him up.



She's not the only fish in the river!



Now you two stay put.

Shilly-shallying around.



A husband's one piece of store goods

you never know



till you get it home and take the paper off.



Did Ben Harper ever tell you what

he done with the money he stole?



My dear child, don't you know?



She's mooning about Ben Harper.



That wasn't love. That was just

flapdoodle. Have some fudge, lambs.



When you've been married

to a man    years,



you know all that

don't amount to a hill of beans.



I've been married to my Walt that long

and I swear, in all that time,



I just lie there thinking about my canning.






A woman's a fool to marry for that.

That's something for a man.



The good Lord never meant for a decent

woman to want that. Not really want it.



It's all just a fake and a pipe dream.



John, Mr Powell has something to tell you.



Well, John.



The night before your father died he

told me what he did with that money.



That money's at the bottom of the river,

wrapped around a   -pound cobblestone.



Thank you, Harry.



I feel clean now.



My whole body's just a-quivering

with cleanness.



John, come here. Your tie is crooked.



- When'll Dad's skiff be ready?

- Can't hear you, boy.



When'll the skiff be ready?



Have her ready inside a week

and then we'll go fishing.



- How's your ma?

- Oh, she's all right.



- How's sister Pearl?

- Just fine.



- You leaving, boy?

- Got to watch out for Pearl, Uncle Birdie.



Well, good night, boy.

Come again any time.



And mind, boy, I'll have your

pa's skiff shipshape inside a week.



Somebody there?



Anybody there?



Anybody here?



Good evening, John.



I had a little talk with

your mother tonight, John.



And your mother decided it might be best

for me to let you know the news.



Your mother told me she wanted me to

be a daddy to you and your sister.



We're going to get married, boy.



Did you hear what I said, boy?



Married. We're going to

Sisterville tomorrow.



- And when we get back...

- You ain't my dad.



You'll never be my dad.



When we get back

we're all going to be friends



and share our fortunes together, John.



You think you can make me tell,

but I won't. I won't!



- Tell me what, boy?

- Nothing.



We're not keeping secrets

from each other, are we?






Well, no matter.



We've got a long time together, boy.



Wave your hands! Great sakes!



Now you wait here

while I get your night things.



Now can I tell?



When Mr Powell's our daddy

then can I tell him about it?



- You swore, Pearl.

- John, don't.



You promised Dad you wouldn't tell.



I love Mr Powell lots and lots, John.









Fix that window shade.



I was praying.



I'm sorry. I didn't know. I thought...



You thought, Willa,

that the moment you walked in that door



I'd start to pawing you

in that abominable way



that men are supposed to do

on their wedding night.



- Ain't that right, now?

- No.



I think it's time we made one thing

perfectly clear, Willa.



Marriage to me represents a blending of

two spirits in the sight of heaven.



Get up, Willa.



- Harry, what...

- Get up.



Now, go look at yourself yonder

in that mirror.



Do as I say.



Look at yourself.



What do you see, girl?



You see the body of a woman.



The temple of creation and motherhood.



You see the flesh of Eve

that man since Adam has profaned.



That body was meant

for begetting children.



It was not meant for the lust of men.



Do you want more children, Willa?









It's the business of this marriage

to mind those two you have now,



not to beget more.






All right. You can get in bed now

and stop shivering.



Help me to get clean, so I can be

what Harry wants me to be.



Meanest, orneriest, sneakiest critter

in the whole river, boy. A gar.



- Here are your hooks, Uncle Birdie.

- Pshaw, boy!



Ain't a hook in the land

strong enough to land Mr Gar.



What a fella needs is mother wit -

and a horse hair.



Golly! Won't it bust it, Uncle Birdie?



No, horse hair'll hold a lumpin' whale!



- You mind my cussin', boy?

- No.



Well, the reason I ask,

your step-pa bein' a preacher an' all...



Never was much of a one

for preachers my own self.



I don't know what's wrong

up at your house,



but always remember, Cap,

if you're ever in trouble,



holler and come a-runnin'.

Uncle Birdie's your friend.



There! You slimy, snag-toothed,

bait-stealin' so-and-so!






- You have all sinned.

- Yes!



But which one of you can say,

as I can say,



that you drove a good man to murder?



Because I kept a-houndin' him for

perfume and clothes and face paint!



And... he slew two human beings!



And he come to me and he said



"Take this money and buy yourself

the clothes and the paint".



But brethren...



Oh, that's where the Lord stepped in!









He said, the Lord, to that man



"You take that money

and you throw it in the river!"



- In the river!

- In the river!



Now, you're John and you're Pearl.



You'll get awful mad, John. I done a sin.



I didn't tell no one.



It's all here.



- John?

- Yes?



- What are you doin', boy?

- Gettin' Pearl to bed.



- What's takin' you so long about it?

- Nothing.



What's that you're playin' with?



Pearl's junk.



Mom gets mad when she plays out here

and don't put it away.



Come on, children.



Off to bed with the both of you.



Come here, John.



Your mother tells me you tattled on me.



She said you told her

I asked where that money was hid.



That wasn't very nice, boy. Have a heart.






Well, it doesn't matter.

It's your word against mine.



It's me your mother believes.



Were you impudent again

to Mr Powell, John?



Mom, I didn't mean it.



What were you impudent about?



He asked me about

the money again, Mom.



John, you always make up that lie.



There is no money. Why can't you

get that through your head?



The boy's as stubborn

and as mulish as a sheep.



It's a shame.



- Good night, Icey.

- Good night, honey.



Good night, Walt.



Plan on a longer visit next time.



You hardly settle before

you're frettin' to get home.



I'm needed to keep peace

and harmony betwixt them.



It's my burden and I'm proud of it, Icey.



- Where's the money hid?

- I don't know.



She thinks that money's

at the bottom of the river.



But you and me,

we know better, don't we?



I don't know nothin'.



Well, never mind, boy.

The summer's young yet.



Pearl. Come here.



John's a fella likes to keep secrets.

I'll tell you a secret.



- Yes?

- I knowed your daddy.



And you know what your daddy told me?



He said "You tell my little girl Pearl there's

to be no secrets between her and you".






All right. Now it's your turn.



What secret shall I tell?



What's your name?



You're just fooling. My name's Pearl!



Well, I reckon I'll have to try again.



Where's the money hid?



Pearl! You swore you wouldn't tell!

You swore!



You hit Daddy with the hairbrush.



Now, you see?

We can't have anything to do with John.



You and me'll go on down

to the parlour, Pearl.



John's just plumb bad

through and through.



- John's bad.

- Yes, John's bad.



- Tell me another secret about my dad.

- Oh, no! Your turn.



All right. What secret shall I tell?



- Where's the money hid?

- John's bad.



Where's the money hid?



Tell me, you little wretch,

or I'll tear your arm off!



- Icey, I'm worried about Willa.

- How do you mean?



I'm figurin' how to say it

so as you won't get mad.



Say what, Walt Spoon?



- Somethin's wrong about it.

- About what?



- About Mr Powell. All of it.

- Walt...!



- A body's got a right to their feelings.

- May the Lord have mercy on you.



I was just...






Are you through praying?



I'm through, Harry.



You were listening

outside the parlour window.



- It ain't in the river, is it, Harry?

- Answer me.



Ben never told you he throwed it

in the river, did he?



The children know where it's hid.

John knows. Is that it, Harry?



Then it's still here amongst us.

Tainting us.



You must have known about it

all along, Harry.



But that ain't the reason

why you married me.



I know that much.



Because the Lord just wouldn't let it be.



He made you marry me so you could

show me the Way and the Life.



And the salvation of my soul.



Ain't that so, Harry?



So you might say that it was the money

that brung us together.



The rest of it don't matter.



Walt. Come quick.



- What's wrong, Mother?

- Shhh! He's in there.



- Who?

- Mr Powell. Willa has run away.



- I'll be switched! Just went?

- She took out in that old Model T.



- Is he hit pretty bad?

- All to pieces.



Well, there's a little

peach brandy in here...



- A man of the cloth?

- Well, just a sip.



Walt Spoon, that's for sickness

in the house!



- Well, what can we do?

- If you talked to him, another man...



Now, Mother, please. I'm no good at...



Mr Powell?



- A strange woman is a narrow pit.

- Amen.



She lieth in wait as for prey and

increaseth the transgressors among men.



Oh, my dear friends.

Whatever would I do without you?



- Mr Powell!

- Well, if there's anythin' we can...



No, it's my shame. It's my crown

of thorns. I must wear it bravely.



- What could have possessed that girl?

- Satan.



Didn't you have no inklin'?



Yes, I did. From the very first night.



- First night?

- Our honeymoon.



How's that?



- She turned me out of the bed.

- No!



Well, what do you figure to do?



Do? Why, just stay right here

and take care of them kids.



Maybe it was never meant for a woman

like Willa to taint their young lives.



It's mighty brave of you.



I reckon it was just ordained that way,

Brother Spoon.



Didn't she leave no word?



A scrawl. On a notepaper on the bureau.



I burned it.



Tore it up and burned it,

it stank so strong of hellfire.






The pitcher has went to the well

once too often, friends.



Oh, she'll come

draggin' her tail back home.



She'll not be back.

I reckon I'm safe in promisin' you that.



- Maybe she's just on a spree.

- Oh, no.



- Well, there's no harm in hopin'.

- Ain't no sense in it neither.



I figured somethin' was brewin'

when she went to bed last night.






Well, she tarried around

in the kitchen after I'd gone up.



And when I went downstairs

to see what was wrong...



Well, she'd found

this jar of dandelion wine



that the husband, this Harper,

had hid somewheres in the cellar.



She was drinkin'.



I tried to save her.



I know you did, Mr Powell.

Oh, I know how hard you tried.



But the devil wins sometimes.



Can't nobody say

I didn't do my best to save her.












Why do we have to hide, John?



Where's Mom?



- She's gone to Moundsville.

- To see Dad?



Yes, I reckon that's it.



Now, listen to me, Pearl.

You and me is runnin' off tonight.






If we stay here

somethin' awful'll happen to us.



Won't Daddy Powell take care of us?



No. That's just it. No.



- Where we going, John?

- Somewheres. I don't know yet.



I'm hungry, John.



- We'll steal somethin' to eat.

- It'll spoil our suppers.






I can hear you whisperin', children,

so I know you're down there.



I can feel myself gettin' awful mad.



I'm out of patience, children.

I'm coming to find you now.



Mr Powell!



Well, well, Mrs Spoon.



- Where are the children?

- Down there in that cellar playin' games.



And they won't mind me when I call them.



I'm at my wit's end, Mrs Spoon.



John? Pearl?



Shake a leg!



Well, well, well! What's that?



Just a little hot supper

I fixed for you and the children.



It seemed the least we could do.



I won't have you worryin'

poor Mr Powell another minute.



Just look at you!

Dust and filth from top to toe.



Want me to take 'em up

and wash 'em good?



No. No, thank you, dear Icey.

I'll tend to them. Thank you.



Don't be too hard on them, Preacher.

Poor, motherless children.



Remember, now, Mr Powell.

Don't be afraid to call on us.






Goodbye, Mrs Spoon. And thanks again.



Now, weren't you afraid, little lambs?

Down there in all that dark?



They'll think it was me.



They'll think it was poor old Uncle Birdie.



Oh, if you could have seen it, Bess.



Down there in the deep place.



With her hair wavin' soft and lazy

like meadow grass under flood water.



And that slit in her throat

like she had an extra mouth.



You're the only human mortal

I can go to, Bess.



If I go to the law, they'll hang it on me.



Sweet heaven, save poor old Uncle Birdie!



- I'm hungry.

- Sure.



And there's fried chicken, sweet

potatoes, corn bread and apple cobbler.



- Can I have my supper, please?

- Naturally.



- Can I have milk too?

- Mm-hm. But first we'll have a little talk.



- About our secrets.

- No.



- And why not, pray tell?

- Cos John said I mustn't.



Never mind what John said!



John's a meddler.



Now stop that snivellin'.



Looky here. You know what that is?



Want to see somethin' cute? Now looky.



How about that!



This is what I use on meddlers.



John might be a meddler.



No, little lamb. Don't touch it.



Don't touch my knife.

That makes me mad. Very, very mad.



Now, just tell me. Where's the money hid?



But I swore.

I promised John I wouldn't tell.



John doesn't matter!



Can't I get that through your head,

you poor, silly, disgusting little wretch?



There now. You made me lose my temper.



I'm sorry. I'm real sorry.



Now, just tell me. Where's it hid, honey?



- I'll tell.

- I told you to keep your mouth shut.



It ain't fair to make Pearl tell

when she swore she wouldn't. I'll tell.



Well, I declare!



Sometimes I think poor ol' John

might make it to heaven yet.



- All right, boy. Where's the money?

- In the cellar. Under a stone in the floor.



- It'll go hard if I find you're lyin', boy.

- I'm not lyin'. Go look for yourself.



All right.



- Come along.

- What?



Go ahead of me. The both of you.



Down those stairs.



You don't reckon I'd leave you,

do you, boy?



- Well, don't you believe me?

- Why, sure, boy. Sure.



And where now? Mind, no tricks, now.



I can't abide a liar.






Oh, no, you don't.



- Now where, boy, where?

- Under the stone in the floor.



This is concrete.



John made a sin. John told a lie.



The Lord's a-talking to me now.



He's a-saying "A liar

is an abomination before mine eyes".



Speak, boy, where's it hid?






Speak, or I'll cut your throat and leave you

to drip like a hog in butchering time.



Pearl, shut up. Pearl, you swore!



You could save him, little bird.



It's in my doll!



The doll!



Why, sure!



The last place anybody'd think to look.



Uncle Birdie Steptoe.



Open that door, you spawn

of the devil's own strumpet!



Uncle Birdie!



- Uncle Birdie.

- John.



Hide us, Uncle Birdie.

He's a-coming with his knife.



It's me. John Harper and Pearl.

You told me to come.



- Johnny?

- Uncle Birdie, oh, please.



Please! Wake up!



I swear on the Book, I never done it.



There's still the river.



The skiff is under the willow.






"Dear Walt and Icey,



I bet you've been worried

and gave us up for lost".



"Took the kids down here with me

for a visit to my sister Elsie's farm".



"Thought a little change of scenery

would do us all a world of good



after so much trouble and heartache".



"At least the kids will get

a-plenty of good home cooking".



"Your devoted Harry Powell".



Now, ain't you relieved, Walt?



Sure. But you was worried too, Mother.

Taking off with never a word of goodbye!



I figured them gypsies busted in

and done off with all three of them.



You and your gypsies.

They been gone a week.



Sure. But not before one of 'em

knifed a farmer and stole his horse.



Never caught the gypsy. Nor the horse.



Such times,

when young 'uns run the roads.



Go away, children.



Hungry, I suppose?



Well, I can't spare you more

than one potato apiece.



- Where are your folks?

- Ain't got none.



Oh, go away, go away.



An ungrateful child is an

abomination before the eyes of God.



The world is going to damnation because

of young 'uns flying in the face of age.



They make soup out of them,



but I wouldn't know

how to go about getting him open.



We're going to spend the night on land.



Are we going home now, John?



Don't he never sleep?



Pearl, wake up. Come on!



You two youngsters

get up here to me this instant.



Get on up to my house.

Mind me, now. I'll get me a switch.



- Don't you hurt her.

- Hurt her? Wash her's more like it!



- Ruby! Clary! Mary!

- Yes, Miss Cooper.



Bring your baskets.



Nicely picked, Clary.



Mary, put the big ones on top.



Ruby, most of them

ain't fit to go to market.



Put them down.



Ruby, run to the house and fetch

the tub and put it by the pump.



Clary... Mary,

run up and fetch a bar of laundry soap.



Yes, Miss Cooper.



And a scrub brush!

Come on up to the house, children.



Gracious, if you ain't a sight to beat all!



Where you from?



Where are your folks?



Come on, speak up, now.




so I've got two more mouths to feed.



Howdy, Miss Cooper.

What happened to my milk?



Price of milk what it is, not on your life.



Do better making butter

with the cream. Sell it retail.



Make smearcase for the children,

feed what's left to my hogs.



- She talks to herself.

- All the time.



- Your ma's funny.

- She ain't our ma. We just live with her.



- Where are your folks?

- Someplace.



My daddy's in Detroit.






Honey. Good morning, Miss Cooper.



I'm saving up to buy you a bracelet.



Never mind that, don't forget your visit

this Sunday - and come to church with us.



See you Sunday, love.



Take your baskets in, children.



Women is fools.



All of 'em.



Looky there.



She'll be losing her mind

to a tricky mouth and a full moon,



and like as not, I'll be saddled

with the consequences.



Here's what you owe me.



One, two, three, four, five...



Where's the other basket? Where's Ruby?



She went.



John, you go find Ruby.



Big Ruby's my bothersome girl.

She can't gather eggs without bustin' 'em.



But she's got mother hands with the

young 'uns, so what are you to say?



How about tonight, Ruby?



- What gives?

- The old lady's around.



How about Thursday?



The old gal thinks she comes in

for sewing lessons on Thursday.



Miss Cooper wants you.



And will you show me your dolly,

little lady?



I see you got two more peeps

to your brood.



- Yeah, and ornerier than the rest.

- How's your own boy, Miss Cooper?



Haven't heard from Ralph since last

Christmas. Still, I've got a new crop.



I'm a strong tree

with branches for many birds.



I'm good for something in this old world,

and I know it too.



Now, old Pharaoh,

he was king of Egypt land,



and he had a daughter.



And once upon a time,



she was walking along by the river bank



and she seen something bumping

and scraping along on a sand bar



down under the willows.

And you know what it was, children?






Now, it was a skiff, washed up on the bar.



And who do you reckon was in it?



Pearl and John.



Not this time. There was only

one young 'un, a little boy babe.



- And you know who he was, children?

- No.



It was Moses. A king of men.



Moses, children.



Now, off to bed with you.



John, get me an apple.



And get one for yourself too.



John, where are your folks?






Where are you from?






I didn't figure you'd rowed that skiff

all the way up from Parkersburg.



Tell me that story again.



Story? What story, honey?



About them kings.



And the queen found down on

the sand bar that time in the skiff.




Why, there was only one king, honey.



I mind you said there was two.



Well, shoot now. Maybe there was.



Yes, come to think of it, there was two.



Must be Thursday. Here comes Ruby.



Here I go.



Why, you're Ruby, ain't you, my child?



Can I have this?



Surely. I'd like to talk to you, my dear.



- Will you buy me an ice cream?

- Of course.



- Watch out, Preacher.

- Why, Preacher!



Shut your dirty mouths.



Ain't I pretty?



Why, you're the prettiest thing

I ever seen in all my wandering.



Ain't nobody never told you that, Ruby?



No, no one never did.



There's two new ones out your place,

ain't there?






- What's their names?

- Pearl and John.



- Is there a doll?

- Only they don't never let me play with it.



Did you ever see such pretty eyes

in all your born days?



Don't let him get away, sugar.



He ain't like you all. Next time, I won't

even ask him to buy me an ice cream.



I's bitten bad.



- Ruby, you didn't have money to buy this.

- You'll whip me.



When did I ever?



- This man at the drugstore, he gave...

- The drugstore?



Miss Cooper, I never been

to sewing lessons all them times.



What you been up to, Ruby?



I been out with men.






You were looking for love, Ruby,

in the only foolish way you knew how.



We all need love, Ruby.



I lost the love of my son.



I found it with you all.



You're going to grow up to be a strong,

fine woman.



- I'm going to see to it that you do.

- This gentleman weren't like them.



He just give me a book

and buy me an ice cream.



- Now, who was this?

- He didn't ask me for nothing.



- What did you talk about?

- Pearl and John.



John and Pearl? Is he their pap?



I don't know.



Wonder why he hasn't been to the house.



Miss Cooper!



- What?

- The man!



Good morning, ladies.



- How do?

- Why, you're Miss Cooper, I take it?



It's about that John and that Pearl?



Oh, them poor little lambs.



To think I never hoped

to see them again in this world.



Oh, dear madam, if you was to know

what a crown of thorns I've borne



in my search for them stray chicks.



Ruby, go fetch them kids.



Oh, madam,

I see you're looking at my hands.



Shall I tell you the story of Left-hand,

Right-hand, the tale of good and evil?



It was with this left hand that Cain struck

the blow that laid his brother low.



- Them kids is yours?

- My own flesh and blood.



- Where's your missus?

- She run off with a drummer.



- During prayer meeting.

- Where's she at?



Down the river somewheres.

Parkersburg, Cincinnati.



- One of them Sodoms of the Ohio river.

- She took them kids with her?



Oh, heaven only knows

what unholy sights and sounds



them innocent babes has heard in the

dens of perdition where she dragged 'em.



Right funny, ain't it, how they rode

all the way upriver in a ten-foot john boat.



- Are they well, Miss Cooper?

- A sight better than they was.



Gracious, gracious,

you are a good woman, Miss Cooper.



How you figuring to raise them two

without a woman?



The Lord will provide.

The Lord is merciful.



Oh, what a day this is.



And there's little John.



- What's wrong, John?

- Come to me, boy.



- What's wrong, John?

- Didn't you hear me, boy?



When your dad says "come"

you should mind him.



He ain't my dad.



No, and he ain't no preacher neither.



Just march yourself yonder

to your horse, mister.



March, mister. I'm not foolin'!



All right. But you haven't

heard the last of Harry Powell yet!



The Lord God Jehovah

will guide my hand in vengeance.



You devils!



You whores of Babylon!



I'll be back! When it's dark!



Shame on you, Ruby, mooning around

the house after that mad dog of a man.



Merciful heavens!



Ruby, go get the children out of bed

and bring them down here.



Women are such darn fools.



It's a hard world for little things.



Now, there was this sneaking,

no-account, ornery King Herod,



and when he heard of

little Jesus growin' up,



he figured "Well, shoot, there

won't be room for the both of us".



"I'll nip this in the bud".



But he wasn't sure which of all them

babies in the land was King Jesus.



So that cruel old King Herod figured,



if he was to kill all the babies in the land

he'd be sure and get little Jesus.



When little King Jesus'

ma and pa heard about this,



what do you reckon they done?



- They hid in a closet.

- They hid under the porch.



No. They went a-running.



Well, now, John, you're right.

That's just what they done.



Little King Jesus' ma and pa

saddled a mule



and they rode all the way down

into Egypt land.



Yeah, and that's where the queen

found them in the bulrushes.



Oh, no, that wasn't the same story.

That was little King Moses.



But just the same, it did seem like

it was a plague time for little ones.



Them olden days. Them hard, hard times.



Figured I was gone, huh?



Run. Hide on the staircase. Run quick!



Ruby, get!



- What do you want?

- I want them kids.



What do you want them for?



- None of your business, madam.

- I'm giving you to the count of three to go.



Then I'm coming across

to the kitchen to shoot you!



Miss Booth? Rachel Cooper.



Get your state troopers out to my place.



I got something trapped in my barn.



- I'll go see to Pearl.

- I'll make coffee.



She's all right.



John, you know when you're little

you have more endurance



than God is ever to grant you again?



Children are man at his strongest.

They abide.



- Why didn't you call us before now?

- Didn't want your dirty shoes on my floor.



Is that him?



Yes. Mind where you shoot, boys.

There are children here.



Harry Powell, you're under arrest

for the murder of Willa Harper.



Drop that knife, Powell.









Take it back, Dad. Take it back!



I don't want it, Dad! It's too much! Here!



Lynch him!






-    wives!

- And he killed every last one of 'em.



- If the people of Marshall County...

- Bluebeard!



Will you identify the prisoner?



Please, little lad,



won't you look yonder and tell the court

if that is the man that killed your mother?



It's all right, Mrs Cooper,

you can take the little fellow away.



Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Mrs Cooper.



And what's Santa Claus going to

bring you for Christmas, little man?



- That's Pearl!

- Get your coats.



Them's her orphans.



- Where's Ruby?

- She went.



Them poor little lambs.



Them is the ones he sinned against,

my friends.



Go out the back door.



Ain't we going to the bus depot?



Dragging the name of the Lord

through the evil mud of his soul!



- String that Bluebeard up to a post!

- He's Satan hiding behind the cross!



I love him. You think he's like them others.



You were so mad, you shot him.



- Hey, Bart.

- Yeah?



- We're saving this bird up for you.

- This time it'll be a privilege.



I'm glad they sent me nothing.

It's never nothing I want.



Just something to show me how fancy

and smart they've come up in the world.



Can we give you your presents now?



Shoot, you don't mean to say

you got me a present? Shoot, now.






A pot-holder!



And it's much neater than last year, Ruby.






Another pot-holder! Ain't that thoughtful.

I'm always burning my hands.



This doesn't look basted.

This looks made!



And you finished the edge

with a chain-stitch.



Oh, that's just dandy, Clary.



Another pot-holder?



Oh, now, did you two make this together?



He helped us some.



That's the richest gift a body could have.



And your presents are in the

cupboard under the china closet.






This is yours.



Lord save little children.

You'd think the world'd be ashamed



to name such a day as Christmas for one

of them, then go on in the same old way.



My soul is humble when I see the way

little ones accept their lot.



Lord save little children.



The wind blows and the rains are cold...



yet they abide.



That watch sure is a fine loud ticker.



Be nice to have someone round the house

who can give me the right time of day.



This watch is the nicest watch I ever had.



Well, a fella just can't go around

with run-down, busted watches.



They abide and they endure.




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