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.
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.
"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?
How many's it been? Six?
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.
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?
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.
I'm going now, children. Goodbye.
Drop that gun, Harper.
We don't want the kids hurt.
Just mind what you swore, son.
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.
"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.
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?
He was a cool one, that Harper.
Carried on some. Kicked.
- They say he left a wife and two kids.
- I never heard.
- He never told about the money?
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, hungSee 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.
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,
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
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?
Run along and play, you two.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
- 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?
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?
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?
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,
- You have all sinned.
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".
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.
- What are you doin', boy?
- Gettin' Pearl to bed.
- What's takin' you so long about it?
What's that you're playin' with?
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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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...
- A strange woman is a narrow pit.
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?
Didn't you have no inklin'?
Yes, I did. From the very first night.
- First night?
- Our honeymoon.
- She turned me out of the bed.
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,
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?
- 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.
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.
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.
And there's fried chicken, sweet
potatoes, corn bread and apple cobbler.
- Can I have my supper, please?
- Can I have milk too?
- Mm-hm. But first we'll have a little talk.
- About our secrets.
- 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.
- Come along.
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 last place anybody'd think to look.
Uncle Birdie Steptoe.
Open that door, you spawn
of the devil's own strumpet!
- Uncle Birdie.
Hide us, Uncle Birdie.
He's a-coming with his knife.
It's me. John Harper and Pearl.
You told me to come.
- 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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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,
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?
It was Moses. A king of men.
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,
- 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,
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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 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.
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!
- 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.
- 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!
- And he killed every last one of 'em.
- If the people of Marshall County...
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,
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,
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.
- 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.
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.
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.