Six Degrees Of Separation Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Six Degrees Of Separation script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Will Smith movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Six Degrees Of Separation. 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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Six Degrees Of Separation Script





- My God!

- Is anything gone?



- How can I look? I'm shaking.

- I wanna know if anything's gone.



- Calm down.

- We could've been killed. The Kandinsky!



- The Kandinsky!

- It's gone! Oh, my God! Call the police!



There it is. The silver Victorian inkwell.



- How can you think about things?!

- There's the inkwell.



- We could have been murdered!

- Silver jaguar.






- Slashed. Throats slashed.

- There's the Degas.



Go to bed at night happy and then

murdered. Would we have woken up?



We're alive.



- (dog yelps)

- (both scream)



The dog, the dog, the dog. Oh, God.



- Oh, my God!

- What is it?



The wedding.

We have to go to the wedding.



- I'm in no mood to go.

- We have to.



- They're your friends.

- I beg to differ...



- Hello?!

- What?



You don't call out "hello" unless the...



I think we could tell

if someone else was here.



- We didn't all night.

- (phone rings)



Oh, God. No, don't pick that up! It's him!


















Bride's side or groom's side?



Either side. I can't even

remember how we met them.



Why are we here?



Let's not make a scene.



The most terrifying words in the world -



- "Now I lay me down to sleep..." Think.

- "Pray the Lord my soul to keep."



But then the nightmare part.

"If I should die before I wake..."



"Pray the Lord my soul to take."



- Are you OK?

- We were nearly murdered.



- Throats slashed.

- It was awful.



- You could've been killed?

- Only hours ago.



- But we're here.

- We wouldn't miss it.



Happy the bride the sun shines on.



( "Here Comes the Bride")



Chaos, control. Chaos, control.

You like? You like?



- I'll have a gin and tonic, please.

- Tell them.



We were having

a wonderful evening last night.



A friend we hadn't seen in years

came by for dinner.



- Geoffrey Miller. From South Africa.

- Don't say that so portentously.



- Geoffrey from Serth Efrica.

- Well, don't be gaga!



- Scotch, please.

- Just something large.



Geoffrey was in New York

briefly on business,



and he asked us to ask him for dinner.






What's wrong?



It always amazes me

when New York is so quiet.



Oh! (laughs)



With the kids away,

we get used to less noise.



- Geoffrey is King-Midas rich. Gold mines.

-       workers in one gold mine alone.



But he's short of cash.

His government won't let its people...



- lts white people.

- ..take out any money.



It's like taking in a war baby.



His call was like a bolt from the blue, as

I had a deal coming up and was short by...



- Two million.

- The figure is superfluous.



I hate when you use

the word "superfluous".



I mean, he needed two million.

We hadn't seen Geoffrey in a long time.



While he might not have the price

of dinner, he might have $       .



It's the awful thing about

having truly rich friends.



Let's face it, the money does

get in the way. I'll take that one.



Having a rich friend is like drowning

and he makes lifeboats.



Only your friend gets very touchy if you

say one word - lifeboat. That is two words.



We were afraid our friend might say we

were loving him because of his lifeboat.



We weren't sucking up. We like Geoffrey.






- Shouldn't we...?

- Not on your life.



- It was hardly a lifeboat evening.

- Portentous.



But when Geoffrey called

and asked us to take him for dinner,



he made a pattern in life's tea leaves,

because who wants to go to banks?



Why do you stay in South Africa?



One has to stay there

to educate the black workers.



We'll know we've been successful

when they kill us.



- Planning the revolution to destroy you.

- Putting your life on the line.



You don't think of it like that.

I wish you'd visit.



Oh, but we'd visit you

and sit in your gorgeous house,



planning visits to the townships,

demanding to see the poorest of the poor.



"Are you sure they're the worst off?

I mean, we've come all this way."



"We don't want to see people just mildly

victimised by apartheid. We want shock."



It doesn't seem right sitting on

the East Side talking about revolution.



Only small, murky cafés

for Pépé le Moko here.



No. No. La Pasionaria. We'll build

barricades and lean against them, singing.



- And the people will follow.

- Follow, follow, follow. What is that song?



It's our role in history,

and we offer ourselves up to it.



It's your role in history, it's not our role.

The Fantasticks.



Follow, follow, follow, follow



A role in history - to say that so easily.



To lead the people. Like Lech Walesa

and the striking shipyard workers.



Gorbachev urging on

the striking coal miners.



The phrase "striking coal miners" -



I always picture these very striking

coal miners modelling the fall fashion.



- Why is there a statue of a husky?

- Another drink before we...?



Where shall we?

God, the restaurants in New York.



It's like Florence in the   th century -

genius on every corner.



- There's good Szechwan. Hunan.

- (woman laughs)



The sign painter screwed up the sign.



Instead of painting "The Hunan Wok",

he painted "The Human Wok".



- We sent it to The Times.

- They have a joke page, and...



They send you champagne.



We weren't auditioning, but all I could

think was "$       . $       ".



Like when people say "Don't think

about elephants", it's all you think.



$       . $       .






Whatever you do,

don't think about elephants.



- Elephants?

- Ouisa is a Dada manifesto.



About the Cézanne.



Unless we're careful,

it'll be sold and never seen again.



Mid period. Landscape

of a dark green forest.



In the far distance you see the sunlight.



One of his first uses of a pale colour being

forced to carry the weight of the picture.



An experiment that would

pay off in the apples.



Burst of colour has to carry so much.



Japanese don't like anything

about it except it's a Cézanne.



I... I'm so sorry to bother you, but...

I've been hurt, and I've lost everything.



I didn't know where to go. Your children.

I'm a friend of your children.



- He mentioned our kids' names.

- And their school.



- Harvard. You can say Harvard.

- I don't want to get into libel.



I was mugged... out there in Central Park.



By the statue of that Alaskan husky.



I was trying to figure out

why there was a statue of a dog



who saved lives in the Yukon

in the middle of Central Park.



- When I was trying to puzzle it out...

- Are you OK?



They took my money and my briefcase.

I said "My thesis..."



- His shirt's bleeding.

- The shirt isn't bleeding. He's bleeding.






Sorry. I get this way around blood.



No! My God, not on the rug, please.

Eddie, get the doctor.



No. No. I'll survive.



No doctors. Please?



All right, Eddie. We'll call you.



Thank you, Eddie.






(stranger) I don't mind the money.



But in the age of mechanical reproduction,

they got the only copy of my thesis.



Ouisa, where's the first-aid book?



The Red Cross advises

"Press edges of wound firmly together."



- Yes, I'm doing that.

- (screams)



Hold on. Ouisa, I need gauze.



- It's been wonderful seeing you.

- No. Stay.



My time is so short.

Before I leave America, I really should...



- Did you see the new book on Cézanne?

- Er, no. May I use the phone?



An absolute revelation.



I ran down the hall...



$       . $       .


            the book on Cézanne,

got the gauze from the kitchen,



gave the Cézanne to Flan,

and the gauze to Geoffrey.






$       . $       .



It's a lovely book.

I'll get him a clean shirt. Please stay.



- And peace was restored.

- And then...



Your children said you were kind.



All the kids were sitting around the dorm

dishing the... shit out of their parents.



But your kids were silent. They said

"No. Not our parents. Not Flan and Ouisa."



"Not the Kittredges.

The Kittredges are kind."



So, after the muggers left, I looked up,

saw these Fifth Avenue apartments.



Mrs Onassis lives there.

I know the Babcocks live over there.



The Auchinclosses live there.



But... you lived here.



I came here.



Can you believe what the kids said?



Mm. Well...



He mentioned our kids' names.



We can mention our kids' names. They

won't sue us for mentioning their names.



Talbot and Woody mean the world to me.



Woody? He lets you call him Woody?

Nobody's called him Woody in years.



They described this apartment in detail.



Oh, this is a Kandinsky!

A double - one painted on either side.



May I see?



Yes, of course.




What makes it exceptional is that



Kandinsky painted on either side of the

canvas in two radically different styles.



One wild and vivid,

the other sombre and geometric.



My God!



We flip it around for variety.



Chaos, control. Chaos, control.

You like? You like?



It's wonderful.



(Flan) Vasili Kandinsky.



Born      Moscow.

Blue Rider exhibition,     .



He said "The choice of object that is one

of the elements in the harmony of form



must be decided only by a corresponding

vibration in the human soul."



Died      France.



Everything is just the way

they said it would be.



Did you bitch your parents?



As a matter of fact, no.



Your kids and I, we both liked our -

liked? - loved our parents.



Am I getting in the way here? I'm sorry.

I burst in here hysterical... blood...



No. No, no. No, no, no, please.

No, please. Please. Sit down.



Tell us about our children.



Three. Two at Harvard,

and a girl at Groton.



- How is Harvard?

- Well, fine. It's just there.



Everyone's in a constant

state of luxurious despair



and constant discovery and paralysis.



- We asked him where home was.

- "Out West" he said.



Although I've lived all over.

My folks are divorced. He's remarried.



- Actually, he's doing a movie.

- He's in the movies?



- He's directing this one, but he does act.

- Really? Um...



- What's he directing?

- Cats.



- Someone is directing a film of Cats?

- Don't be snooty.



- You've seen it? TS Eliot?

- (Flan) Yes, years ago.



It was a benefit for some school...

or disease... What?



- They can't make the movie of Cats.

- Of course they can.



They're going to try.

My father'll be here, auditioning.






- He's going to use people.

- What a courageous stand.



- They thought of animation...

- Animation would be nice.



But he found a better way. As a matter

of fact, he turned it down at first.



He went to tell the producers the reasons

why you couldn't make a movie of Cats.



And in going through the reasons why you

couldn't, he suddenly saw how you could.



Eureka in the bathtub. How wonderful!



May we ask who?



And it was then we pulled up -

ever so slightly - pulled up closer.



And he told us.



He named the greatest

black star in movies. Sidney...



No names! No names! We're trying

to keep this abstract. Plus, libel laws.



Sidney Poitier. There. I don't care!

You have to have truth!



He started out as a lawyer

and is terrified of libel. I'm not.



Sidney Poitier.



The future Jackie Robinson of films was

born   th of February      in Miami



during a visit his parents made to Florida.



(man) Legally?



To sell tomatoes

they had grown in the Bahamas.



He grew up on Cat lsland so poor they

didn't even own dirt, he has said.



Neglected by his family, my father would

sit on the shore, and, as he's told me:



"conjure up the worlds that were on

the other side, and what I'd do in them."



He arrived in New York City from

the Bahamas in the winter of     



at the age of    and a half, and lived

in the pay toilet of the bus station



across from the old Madison

Square Garden at   th and  th Avenue.



He moved to the roof of the Brill Building,

commonly known as Tin Pan Alley,



washed dishes at the Turf Restaurant

for $  and    cents a night.



He taught himself to read

by reading the newspaper.



In the black newspaper, the theatre page

was opposite the want-ad page.



Among his    films are:



No Way Out,      Cry, the Beloved

Country,      Blackboard Jungle,     



The Defiant Ones,      A Raisin in

the Sun,      Lilies of the Field,     



In the Heat of the Night,      To Sir,

with Love,      Shoot to Kill,     



and, of course...



Guess Who's Coming to Dinner!



He won the Oscar for Lilies of the Field,

and was twice named top box-office star.



My father made no films from      to

     but worked as director and author.



Dad said to me once:



"I still don't fully understand



how all this came about

in the sequence it came about."



(someone claps)



Dad's not in till tomorrow at the Sherry.



I came down from Cambridge. I thought

I'd stay at some fleabag for adventure.



Orwell, Down and Out...



I don't really know New York. I know

Rome, Paris and Los Angeles a lot better.



Well, we're going out to dinner.

You'll come.



- Out to dinner?

- Out to dinner.



- The new ltalian looked cheery.

- Good. We've made reservations.



- They wrap up ravioli like saltwater taffy.

- Six on a plate for a few hundred dollars.



But why go out to dinner?



Because we have reservations. What time

is it? Have we lost the reservations?



There's nothing in the house. And it's   th

century Florence, genius on every block.



- Don't mock.

- You must have something in the fridge.



A frozen steak from the lce Age.



But why spend $    on a bowl of rice?

Let me into the kitchen.



Cooking calms me. And what I'd like to do

is calm down. Pay back your kids.



- Two at Harvard. A daughter at Groton.

- Who've been wonderful.



- They never mentioned you.

- What'd they say?



"We know the son of Sidney Poitier,

barrier-breaker of the '  s and '  s"?



Your father means

a great deal in South Africa.



I'm glad of that. Dad and I went

to Russia once, to a film festival.



He was amazed how much

his presence meant.



No, no. Tell us stories of movie stars

tying up their children, being cruel.



- I wish.

- You wish?



If I wanted to write a book about him, I

really can't. No one would want to read it.



He's decent, and I admire him.



Oh, he's married to an actress. She was

in... um... um... She's white. Am I right?



That's not my mother. It's his second wife.

He met Joanna making The Lost Man,



and left my mother, who'd stuck by him

in the lean years. I had just been born.



The Lost Man is the only film of my

father's I can't bring myself to see.



- I'm so sorry. We didn't mean...

- No, no, no.



We're all good friends now, his kids

from that marriage and us - the old kids.



I'd love to get into that kitchen.



- What should we do?

- It's Geoffrey's only night in New York.



- I vote to stay in.

- Good!



We moved into the kitchen.



- We watched him cook.

- We watched him chop.



He did a sort of wizardry.

Leftovers. Onions.



- (Ouisa) Peppers.

- Tuna. Olives.



- (Ouisa) Ajar of sun-dried tomatoes.

- It was wonderful.



- So, you're from...?

- Johannesburg.



My dad took me to a movie

shot in South Africa.



The camera moves from

this vile rioting in the streets



to a villa where people picked

at lunch on a terrace.



The only riot, the flowers and the birds.

Gorgeous plumage and petals.



I didn't understand.



Dad said to me "You meet these young

blacks who are having a terrible time."



"They've had an inadequate education,

yet, in '   the year of the Soweto riots,



they took on great political responsibility.

Just makes you wonder at their maturity."



It makes you realise that

the "crummy-childhood" theory,



that everything can be blamed in

a Freudian fashion on a bad upbringing,



just doesn't hold water.



May I?



What about being black in America?



Well, my problem is I've never felt

American. I grew up in Switzerland.



Boarding school. Villa Rosey.



There's a boarding school in Switzerland

that will take you at age    months.



No, no, no, no. That's not me. I've never

felt people liked me for my connections.



And movie-star-kid problems?

None of those.



I never knew I was black in that racist way

till I was    and came back here.



Very, very protected.



White servants.



After the divorce, we moved to

Switzerland - my mother, brother and I.



I don't feel American. I don't even feel

black. I suppose that's very lucky for me.



Even though Freud says

there's no such thing as luck.



Does Freud say that?

I think we're lucky having this dinner.



- Flan, can we eat in the dining room?

- Dining room.



Now, now, don't look at

the sewing machine.



So, is everything OK?



- This is the best pasta I've ever tasted.

- The best!



- My father insisted we learn to cook.

- He's from Jamaica, isn't he?



There's a taste of, um...



- The islands.

- Yes. Yeah.



Yes, before he made it,

he ran four restaurants in Harlem.



- You, sir, have good buds.

- "Good buds?"



I've never been

complimented on my buds.



- This is delicious.

- What about you?



Oh, no, no, no. The cook never eats.



What a good idea.

That means there's more for us.



- It's a treat to eat at home.

- We go out every night.



I have to. Business.



Have you declared your major yet?



You are like all parents -

"What's your major?"



Geoffrey, Harvard has all those great titles

the students give the courses.



"The holocaust and ethics"?



"Krauts and doubts."



A toast. To you.



Oh. No, no, no.



- To Cats.

- OK. Yes. To Cats.



Isn't this the finest time?












- Seconds?

- Ah!



Blunt question. What's he like?



- Oh, let's not be star-fuckers.

- I'm not a star- fucker.



Well... you know my father. He's... perfect.



So confident and in control.



And I used to wonder how could

I ever possibly live up to him.



And then one night, when I was   -



we were at the Cannes Film Festival,

of all places -



I looked up and said to him:



"Wow, Dad, this is all so easy for you."



Why did I say that?



He sat me down and set me straight.



Actually, it was a relief for me

to know my father was no superman.



That he has problems. And there are

moments in his life when he's scared.



And, yes, sometimes

life is whipping his tail.



And he doesn't feel like he can get

through the day. That's refreshing for me.



Because I have times like that myself.



I just loved the kid so much.

I wanted to reach out to him.



Then we asked him

what his thesis was on.



- The one that was stolen.

- Well...



A teacher out on Long lsland was dropped

from his job for fighting with a student.



Weeks later, he returned to the classroom,

shot the student - unsuccessfully,



held the class hostage,

and then shot himself - successfully.



This fact caught my eye.

Last sentence, Times -



"A neighbour described

the teacher as a nice boy,



always reading Catcher in the Rye. "



This nitwit Chapman,

who shot John Lennon,



said he did it to draw the attention

of the world to Catcher in the Rye,



and the reading of this book

would be his defence.



Young Hinckley, the whiz kid who shot

Reagan and his press secretary, said:



"If you want my defence, all you

have to do is read... Catcher in the Rye. "



- I haven't read it in years.

- Shh.



I borrowed a copy from a young friend.

I wanted to see what she had underlined.



And I read this book to find out why

this touching, beautiful, sensitive story,



published in July     

had turned into this manifesto of hate.



I started reading. It's exactly as I had

remembered. Everybody's a phoney.



Page two - "My brother's

in Hollywood being a prostitute."



Page three -

"What a phoney slob his father was."



Page nine -

"People never notice anything."



Then, on page    my hair stood up.






Remember Holden Caulfield, the definitive

sensitive youth wearing his hunter's cap?



A deer hunter's cap?



"Like hell it is. I sort of closed one eye

like I was taking aim at it."



"This is a people shooting hat."



"I shoot people in this hat."



This book is preparing people for bigger

moments than I had ever dreamed of.



Then, on page   

"I'd rather push a guy out the window



or chop his head off with an axe

than sock him in the jaw."



"I hate fistfights. What scares

me most is the other guy's face."



I finished the book.

It's touching and comic.



The boy wants to do so much

and can't do anything.



Hates all phoniness

and only lies to others.



Wants everyone to like him but is only

hateful and is completely self involved.



In other words, a pretty accurate

picture of a male adolescent.



What alarms me about the book - not the

book so much as the aura about it - is this.



The book is primarily about paralysis.

The boy can't function.



At the end, before he can run away and

start a new life, it starts to rain. He folds.



There's nothing wrong in writing about

emotional and intellectual paralysis.



It may, thanks to Chekhov and Samuel

Beckett, be the great modern theme.



The extraordinary last lines

of Waiting for Godot.;



"Let's go."






"Let's go."



Stage directions:



"They do not move."



The aura around Salinger's book -



which, perhaps, should be

read by everyone but young men - is this.



It mirrors like a fun-house mirror,



and amplifies like a distorted speaker

one of the great tragedies of our times -



the death of the imagination.



Because what else is paralysis?



The imagination has been

so debased that imagination...



being imaginative, rather than

being the linchpin of our existence,



now stands as a synonym for

something outside ourselves.



Like science fiction.



Or some new use for tangerine slices

on raw pork chops -



"What an imaginative summer recipe."

And Star Wars - "so imaginative".



And Star Trek - "so imaginative".



And Lord of the Rings,

all those dwarves - "so imaginative".



The imagination has moved out

of the realm of being our link,



our most personal link, with our inner

lives and the world outside that world,



this world we share.



What is schizophrenia

but a horrifying state



where what's in here

doesn't match what's out there?



Why has imagination

become a synonym for style?



I believe the imagination

is the passport that we create



to help take us into the real world.



I believe the imagination is merely another

phrase for what is most uniquely us.



Jung says "The greatest sin

is to be unconscious."



Our boy Holden says "What scares me

most is the other guy's face."



"It wouldn't be so bad

if you could both be blindfolded."



Most of the time, the faces that we face

are not the other guys', but our own faces.



And it is the worst kind of yellowness

to be so scared of yourself



that you put blindfolds on

rather than deal with yourself.



To face ourselves - that's the hard thing.



The imagination...



that's God's gift to make

the act of self-examination bearable.









- I hope your muggers read every word.

- (Ouisa laughs) Oh, darling!



I'm going to buy Catcher in the Rye

at the airport and read it.



- Cover to cover.

- I'll test you.



- I should be going.

- Where will you stay?



Oh, no, not some fleabag.



No, no, no. I get into the Sherry tomorrow

morning. It's not far off. I can walk around.



- I don't think they'll mug me twice.

- You'll stay here tonight.



No. I have to be at the hotel at   am sharp.



- We'll get you up.

- Or Dad will have a fit.



Up at  .   which is any moment now.

And we have that wedding.



- There's an alarm by the bed.

- Your feet may hang over the edge...



- If it's any problem...

- The only problem is if you leave.



 .  ? I'll tiptoe out.



- And we want to be in Cats.

- Oh, Flan!



- It's done!

- I'll fly back... with my wife.



Well... Pushy, both of you.



You're not. Dad said I could be in charge

of the extras. That's all I can promise.



- In cat suits?

- No, you can be humans.



That's very important. It has to be

in our contracts. We are humans.



We haven't got any business done.



Oh, forget it.

It was just an evening at home.



Whatever you do,

don't think about elephants.



- Did I intrude?

- No.



There are all ways of doing business.

Flan, walk me to the elevator.



We embraced, and Flan and Geoffrey left.



- Let me clean up.

- No, no. Please leave it.



- Nobody comes in on Sunday.

- No. Yvonne'll be in on Tuesday.



- You'll have every bug in Christendom.

- Let me.



No! You watch.



It gives me a thrill to be looked at.



- Ouisa! He's in.

- He's in?



For two million.

Says the Cézanne is a great investment.



We should get six million for it

and sell it for ten.



Happy days! Oh, God!



- Oh, break all those dishes!

- $       ?



Figure it out. He doesn't have the price

of dinner, but he can cough up $       .



- And the Japanese will go to ten.

- Go to ten? Ten million?



Two million, go to ten,

and we put up nothing.



- Nothing?

- No.



Wildest dreams. Oh, God, Paul. Money.



- Take $  .

- Oh, no.



- It's walking-around money.

- I don't need it.



- What if your father's plane is late?

- A billionth of a per cent commission.



I wouldn't want one of my kids

stuck in the street without a nickel.



Your kids said you were an art dealer, but

you have no gallery. I don't understand.



Come here.



- Some people want to sell privately.

- Divorce, taxes, publicity...



- People ask me for certain schools.

- Modern, Impressionist...



- They don't want museums to know.

- Japanese.



I've got Japanese looking for a Cézanne.

I have a syndicate that'll buy the painting.



And there's this great Cézanne coming

up for sale in a very messy divorce.



Wife doesn't want hubby to know...



I needed an extra $       .

Geoffrey called. We invited him for dinner.



- Tonight was a nervous, casual, big thing.

- Oh, boy, oh, boy.



- I couldn't tell.

- All the better.



I'm glad I helped.



You were wonderful.



I'm so pleased I was wonderful.



- All this and a pink shirt.

- Oh, please, keep it. Look at the time.



Oh, God. We should say our good-nights.



Oh, Christ, regretfully.

I want my father to meet you.



- We'd love to. Bring him up for dinner.

- Could I?



- See how easy it is?

- Sure. If Paul does the cooking.



Well, this is it.



- Good night.

- Oh. Good night.



Good night.



I want to get down

on my knees and thank God.






Who said "When artists dream,

they dream of money"?



God, I must be such an artist.



Bravo. Bravo!






Oh, God!



I don't want to lose our life here. I don't

want all the debt to pile up and crush us.



It won't. We're safe.



For a while.



We almost lost it, Ouis.



If I hadn't gotten this money, I would have

lost the Cézanne. I had nowhere to find it.



Why don't you tell me

how much these things mean?



You wait until the last minute.



- I don't want to worry you.

- Not worry me?



I'm your partner.



- There is a God!

- And his name is?



- Geoffrey!

- No! Sidney!



You know, I had the strangest dream.

I dreamt of Cats.



(purring and mewing)



The movie.



Paul... I'm worried.



Is it right to make a movie of Cats?



I'll tell you why there has to be a movie

of Cats, Ouisa. May I call you Ouisa?






I have no illusions

about the merits of Cats,



but the world has been

too heavy with the right- to- lifers -



protect the unborn, constitutional

amendments, when does life begin?



Or the converse - the end of life, the right

to die. Why is life, at this point in time,



so focused upon the very beginning of life

and the very end of life?



What about the    years we have to live

between those two inexorable book ends?



And you can get all that into Cats?



We're going to try.



Thank you. Thank you.



You shall.



This is what I dreamt.

I didn't dream, so much as realise this.



I feel so close to the paintings.

I'm not just selling, like pieces of meat.



I remembered why I loved paintings

in the first place, what got me into this.



I thought...









how easy it is for a painter

to lose a painting.



He paints and paints,

works on a canvas for months,



and then, one day, he loses it.



Loses the structure, loses the sense of it.

You lose the painting.



I remembered asking my kids'

second-grade teacher:



"Why are all your students geniuses?"



Look at the first grade - blotches of green

and black. The third grade - camouflage.



But your grade, the second grade...



Matisses, every one.



You've made my child a Matisse.



Let me study with you.



Let me into the second grade.



What is your secret?



I don't have any secret. I just know when

to take their drawings away from them.



I dreamt of colour.



I dreamt of our son's pink shirt.



I dreamt of pinks and yellows.



And the new Van Gogh

the Museum of Modern Art got.



And the irises that sold for $  .  million.



And, wishing a Van Gogh was mine,

I looked at my English hand-lasted shoes,



and thought of Van Gogh's tragic shoes,

and remembered me as I was -



a painter losing a painting.



So. This morning.



I sat in the kitchen, happily doing

the crossword puzzle in ink.



Everybody does it in ink.



I've never met one person

who didn't say they didn't do it in ink.



I sat there happily doing the puzzle.

I looked at the time. It was nearly seven.



And Paul had to meet his father,

and I didn't want him to be late.









- Paul?

- (groaning)



Paul, are you OK?






What the fuck's goin' on here?

Who the fuck are you?









(Flan) Ouisa?



What is it?



- God! There's someone in the house.

- Someone's in the...?



- Yes, hello?

- Frank? I need help up here right away.



- Hey. How you doin'?

- My God!






Nice stuff!



- Fancy chair.

- Oh! Ouisa! Argh!



- I can explain.

- You went out and picked up this thing?



You brought this thing into our house?!

Thing! Thing! Get out of my house!



- Stop it! He might have a gun!

- A gun?!



Yeah, I might have a gun.

I might have a knife!



Oh! Ouisa!



Get out! Get out! Get out!



Take your clothes

and go back to the gutter!



Take it easy with my pants!



- Fuck you!

- Oh, my God. Oh, my God.



- Please, don't tell my father.

- Just go.



- I got so lonely and so afraid...

- Give me back my $  .



I spent it. You had so much.

I couldn't be alone!



Get out.



- Get out.

- Everything all right?



Of course everything's all right.

Make sure they leave - by the back door.



I'm so sorry.






- My God!

- Is anything gone?



- How can I look? I'm shaking.

- I wanna know if anything's gone.



- Calm down.

- We could've been killed. The Kandinsky!



Kandinsky! Oh, no, there it is.

The silver Victorian inkwell.



- How can you think about things?!

- Thank God. There's the inkwell.



Silver jaguar.



- Why?

- Slashed. Throats slashed.



There's the Degas.



Go to bed at night happy and then

murdered. Would we have woken up?



We're alive.



And that's that.



Well, it's not.



I think we could tell if someone was here.



- We didn't all night.

- (phone rings)



Oh! No, don't.

Don't pick up that phone. It's him!



- Hello?

- Flanders?






I've been thinking. Those Japs

really want the Cézanne. They'll pay.



You can depend on me

for an additional overcall of    .






And I was thinking, for South Africa,

what about a black American film festival?



With this Spike Lee you have now.



And, of course, get Poitier down

to be the president of the jury.



And I know Cosby.



And I love this Eddie Murphy.



And my wife, she went fishing with Diana

Ross and her new Norwegian husband.



And they must have some new blacks.



It sounds a wonderful idea.



I'll call Poitier at the Sherry.



- No! No, no. We'll call.

- They're calling my plane.



- And again, last night...

- No need to thank.



- See you shortly.

- The banks?



My lawyers.



- Thank you, sir.

- Exactly.



- Safe trip.

- Thank you.



(Ouisa) And here we are.






- Yoo-hoo! Do we have a story to tell you?

- Whoo!



- Do we have a story to tell you?!

- Let us tell you our story first.



- When did your story happen?

- Saturday night.



We win! Our story happened

Friday night, so we go first.



Our two and their son

are at Harvard together.



- We're going to be in the movies.

- We are going to be in the movie of Cats.






You tell your story first.



Friday night we were home.

The door bell rang.



I am not impressed, but it is the son of...



You got it!



The kid was mugged.

We had to go out. We left him.



He was so charming.



His father was taking the redeye.

He couldn't get into the hotel till   am.



He stayed with us.



Middle of the night,

somebody screamed "Burglar!"



We came out in the hall. Paul is chasing

this naked blond thief down the corridor.



Blond thief runs out, the alarms go off.

The kid saved our lives.



- That was no burglar.

- You had another house guest.



We feel so guilty.



Paul could've been killed by that intruder.

He was very understanding.



- Was anything missing from your house?

- No.



- Did you give Paul any money?

- $   till his father arrived.



We told them our story.






- Have you talked to your kids?

- Couldn't get through.



We could go back to our place

and phone them.



Hello. Sherry-Netherland?

I'd like to speak to...



- She gave the name.

- No, I'm not a fan. This is not a fan call.



Sidney Poitier must be registered.

His son is...



- (receptionist hangs up)

- Oh!



- Bet he's there under another name.

- (buzzer)



Try Celebrity Service.



Hello, Celebrity Service?

I'm not sure how you work.



Greta Garbo used "Harriet Brown".



- You find celebrities?

- They must've known she was Garbo.



I'd like to know how one

would get in touch with...






No, I'm not a press agent. No, I'm not with

anyone. My husband, Flanders Kittredge...



- (receptionist hangs up)

- They do not give out information.



- Try the public library.

- Try Who's Who.



"To thank you for a wonderful time."



"Paul Poitier."



- A pot of jam.

- Pot of jam? Jesus!



I think we should go to the police.



- What are the charges?

- He came into our house.



- He told us about Catcher in the Rye.

- He said he was the son of Sidney Poitier.



- Sidney Poitier?

- You got it!



- Was he?

- We don't know.



- We gave him $  .

- We gave him   .



- He picked up a hustler.

- He left.



- He chased the burglar out.

- He didn't steal anything.



- We looked.

- Top to bottom. Nothing gone.



- This does not seem major now...

- Look.



- We are very busy.

- You can't chuck us out.



Come up with some charges,

then I can do something.



- Yes, there is another chapter.

- Our kids came down from Harvard.






The details he knew -

how would he know about the painting?



Although I think it's a very fine Kandinsky.



And none of you know this fellow?



He has this wild quality, yet an elegance.

A real concern. And a real consideration.



(girl) Mom, you should have let him stay.



You should have divorced all your

children and just let this dreamboat stay.



- Plus, he sent you flowers.

- And jam.






If only we could just get in touch with

his father, find out if there's any truth in it.



Who knows Sidney Poitier?

We could just call him up and ask.



- I have a friend who does theatrical law...

- What friend?



- It's nobody.

- I want to know.






- Oh. Oh. Oh.

- Nobody! Nobody!



- I don't want to know.

- Larkin! This is not the time to do this!



Mom, Dad, please! For once! Please!






(woman) It's got nothing

to do with you, Ben.






When you see your little sister, don't tell

her that Paul and the hustler used her bed.



You put him in that bed.



I'm not getting involved in any conspiracy.



It's not a conspiracy!

Hello, Alf. It's a family.



The imagination.



It's there to sort out your nightmare.



To show you the exit

from the maze of your nightmare.



To transform the nightmare into

dreams that become your bedrock.



If we do not listen to that voice, it dies.



It shrivels.



It vanishes.



The imagination is not our escape.



On the contrary. The imagination

is the place we are all trying to get to.






(phone rings)



- Hello?

- I had a call that might interest you.



(Flan) And a new character

entered our story.



Well, it was really quite extraordinary,

very unusual. I was seeing a patient...



Dr Fine, there's a friend

of your son's here. He's hurt.



- My God.

- Hi.



- I was mugged.

- Come in.



He was more scared than hurt.

A knife wound. A few bruises.



- I don't know how to thank you.

- Don't be silly.



My father'll be here tomorrow.



He's making a movie of Cats.






And this man had been

a matinée idol of my youth.



Somebody who had really forged ahead

and made new paths for blacks



just by the strength of his own talent.



Strangely, I'd identified with him

before I started medical school.



I mean, I'm a Jew.

My grandparents were killed in the war.



And I had this sense of self-hatred, of fear.



And this kid's father,



the bravery of his films,

gave me a direction, confidence.



Simple as that.



We're always paying off debts.



Then my beeper went off - a patient in

her tenth month. Her water finally broke.



I gave the kid my keys.



- Number    .

- Thank you.



- Doug told me all about your brownstone.

- Is that right?



How you got it at a great price

because there'd been a murder in it,



and people thought it had a curse.



But you, sir, were a scientific man,

and were courageous.



Well, yes. Courageous.



Very courageous.



I ran off to the delivery room.



- Twins. Two boys.

- (woman) Ahh.



I thought of my son.

I dialled my boy at Dartmouth.



Amazingly, he was in his room.

Doing what, I hate to ask.



You've accused me of having

no interest in your life,



of not doing for your friends,

being a rotten father.



Well, this should make you very happy.



The son of who?

Dad, I never heard of him.



Dad, as usual, you're a real cretin.

You gave him the keys?



You gave a stranger who happens to

mention my name the keys to our house?!



Dad, sometimes it's

so obvious to me why Mom left.



I'm so embarrassed to know you!



You gave the keys to a stranger

who shows up at your office?!



Mom told me you beat her, and you drank

so much your body smelt of cheap wine.



Mom said sleeping with you was like

sleeping with a salad with bad dressing!



- Why did you bring me into this world?!

- There are two sides to every story.



You're an idiot! You're an idiot!



I went home, courageously.



With a policeman.



( string quartet music )



(volume increases)



(door opens and closes)



Arrest him!



- Pardon?

- Breaking and entering!



- Breaking and entering?

- You're an impostor!



Officer, Your Honour, Your Eminence, Dr

Fine gave me the keys to his brownstone.



- Isn't that so?

- My son doesn't know you!



This man gave me the keys to his house.

Isn't that so?



- Did you give him your keys?

- Yes, but... but under false pretences.



This... this fucking black kid,

crack addict, comes into my office...



I've taken this much brandy,

but can pour the rest back.



I've used the electricity listening to music,

but nothing's been taken from the house.



Excuse me.



I want you to arrest this fraud!



- I'm sorry.

- Stop him!



A cretin! A creep!

No wonder Mother left you!



Two sides... every story.



We decided to get a copy

of Sidney Poitier's autobiography.



So we go down to the Strand

Book Store - eight miles of books.



(Flan) Five Sherlock Holmeses.



I've found it! This Life by Sidney Poitier.



"Back in New York,

with Juanita and the children,



I became aware that our marriage,

while working on some levels,



was falling apart

in other fundamental areas."



Oh, there's a picture of him

and his four... daughters.



- No sons?

- No sons.



lmagine our surprise.



Well... shall we?



This kid, bulldozing his way into our lives.



We let him into our lives.



I run a foundation,

you're a dealer, you're a doctor.



You'd think we'd be satisfied.



Agatha Christie would ask

"What do we all have in common?"



It seems the common thread linking us all

is a need to be in the movie of Cats.



Our kids, struggling through their lives.



I don't want to know anything

about the spillover of their lives.



All we have in common is, our children

went to boarding school together.



- Why have we never met?

- His mother had custody. I lived out West.



After Doug graduated high school,

she moved West, I moved East.



- I think we should drop it right here.

- Are you afraid Ben is mixed up in this?



- I don't wanna know too much about him.

- You think Ben is hiding things from us?



I'm getting to the bottom of it. My son has

no involvements with any black frauds.



- Doctor, you said something about crack.

- No, that just leapt out. No proof.



Good God, no proof!



We'll take a vote. Do we pursue this, no

matter what we find out about our kids?



- I vote yes.

- Me too.



- I trust Doug.

- No.






Listen to this last page. "We have hidden

too much from our modern children."



"When we are scared,

we tend not to let them know."



"They see the bravest, toughest, and

most impenetrable visage we can muster,



precisely at those times

when we are most afraid."



"We called it making it better for our

children, protecting them. From what?"



"The truth is what we were

protecting those little people from."



What did you do next?



- Went to Harvard.

- To enlist our children.



Why do you keep insisting

it's someone we know?



It's no one from our high school!



It's someone you went to high school

with, since you go to different colleges.



- Doug, I appreciate your coming here.

- Dad, spare me.



He knows the details of our lives.



Who, in your high school, has become

homosexual or is deep into drugs?



- About    people.

- I don't want to know.



I find it really insulting that

you assume it has to be a guy.



He could have been

with a girl in high school.



That's your problem. You're so limited.



- That's why I'm going to climb mountains.

- You're not.



We have not invested all this money

in you to scale the face of K .



Is that all I am? An investment?!



No. Track down everyone

in your class - male, female, whatever.



Not just homosexuals, drug addicts.

He could be a dealer.



Why do you look at me when you say

that? You think I'm an addict? A pusher?



I resent the accusations.



No one is accusing you of anything.

Now, sit down!



I don't wanna know!



Nobody is accusing anyone of anything.



I'm asking you to do a detective search.

Find out from your high- school class



if anyone has met a black kid

pretending to be a movie star's son.



He promised you parts in Cats?



It wasn't just that, it was fun!



You went to Cats. You said it was an

all-time low in a lifetime of theatregoing.



- Film is a different medium.

- You said "Aeschylus didn't invent theatre



to have it end up a bunch of chorus kids

wondering who will go to kitty heaven."



- I don't remember saying that.

- That was Starlight Express.



Maybe he'll make a movie of that

and you can all be on roller skates.



- This is so humiliating!

- So pathetic!



- So racist.

- It's not racist!






- If I remember correctly, you loved Cats.

- I hated it!



Here is a copy of your yearbook. Get the

phone numbers of everyone in your class.



How can I contact anyone from

high school? I've outgrown them.



How can you outgrow them?

You graduated last year.



Charge the calls to my phone.



- Never!

- This is the KGB!



You're always on the phone. Now I ask

you to make calls, you become reticent?



This is the entire McCarthy period.



- I just wanna get one thing straight.

- Finally we hear from the peanut gallery.



You gave him my pink shirt? You gave

a complete stranger my pink shirt?!



That shirt was

a Christmas present from you!



I treasured that shirt! I loved that shirt!



My collar has grown from weightlifting.

You saw my arms had grown,



you saw my neck had grown, and you

bought me that shirt for my new body!



I loved that shirt! My first shirt for my

new body, and you gave that shirt away?!



I can't believe you!

I hate this life, and I hate you!



- You never do anything for me!

- You block me.



I'm a pathetic extension

of your eighth-rate personality.



Social Darwinism

pushed beyond all limits!



- You gave him my pink shirt!

- You want me to be all you weren't!



You said "drugs" and looked at me?!



Oh, God. I know the feeling.



When the children turn.



- At least we inspired them to take action.

- They hunted through the yearbook.



- Oh, my God!

- Did you kiss him?



- N... Well, yeah.

- Oh, come on, Tess!



- What about that guy? Nah!

- No. No.



- No. No, no, no.

- Wait a minute. Trent Conway.



(boys) Trent Conway.



- Look at those beady eyes.

- Trent Conway. He's at MlT.



So I went to MlT.



He was there in his computer room.



And I just pressed him

and pressed him and pressed him.



Yes. I knew Paul.



I had this strapped to me.



What happened between you?



It was...



It was...



It was... a rainy night in Boston.



He was in a doorway.



I met him.



And I took him back to my place.



What's this?



- My address book.

- Damn!



All these names and addresses.

Tell me about these people.



This is where I wanted you to be.

Right here.



- Tell me about these people, man.

- I just wanna look at you.






- Is these all rich people?

- No. Hand-to-mouth. On a higher plateau.



You got to be rough

to be with rich people.



Gotta have money. You gotta be buyin'

'em presents an' everything all the time.



Not at all. When rich people do something

nice for you, you give them a pot of jam.



That's what pots of jam is for?



Orange. Grapefruit. Strawberry.



But fancy. They have entire stores filled

with fancy pots of jam wrapped in cloth.



English or French.



I tell you what I'm gonna do. I pick

a name, you tell me everything about 'em.



Where they live, secrets, everything.



And for every name...



you get a piece of my clothes.



All right.






Talbot and Woodrow.



Talbot, called "Tess", was anorexic,

and was in a hospital for a while.



Oh, really, now?



Woodrow, known as "Woody",

has barbells for brains.






They parents.



Ouisa and Flan, for "Flanders", Kittredge.



Rhode lsland, I believe. Newport.



But not along the ocean.

The street behind the ocean.



He's an art dealer. They have a Kandinsky.






A Kandinsky.






A double-sided Kandinsky.

I feel like Scheherazade! (laughs)



I don't want you to leave me, Paul.



I'll go through my address book

and I'll tell you about family after family.



You'll never not fit in again.



We'll even, uh, give you a new identity.



I'll make you the most sought-after

young man in the East.



And then, one day,

I'll come into one of these homes.



And you'll be there.

And I'll be presented to you.



And I'll pretend to meet you

for the first time.



And our friendship'll

be witnessed by my friends.



And our parents' friends.



And if it all happens under their noses...



they can't judge me.



And they can't disparage you.



I'll make you a guest in their houses.



Now ask me another name.



I'd like to try for the shirt.



That's enough for today.



Paul stayed with me for three months.



You remember little Trent Conway?



The kid got his address book,

with our names in it.



- Yeah. You could be next.

- Yes.



Now, this is the way you must speak.



Hear my accent. Hear my voice.



Now, you never say

you're going horseback riding.



- You say you're going riding.

- (grunts)



And don't say "couch".



Say "sofa".



And you, you say "boddill".

"Have a boddill o' beer."



It's "bottle".



Say "Bottle of beer".



Boddill o' beer.



Boddill o' beer.



Bottle of beer.



Boddill of beer. What?



Bottle of beer.



Bottle... of beer.



We went through the address book

letter by letter.



Paul vanished by the Ls.



He took the address book with him.



Well... he's already

been in all your houses.



Maybe I will meet him again.

I sure would like to.



- His past? His real name?

- I don't know anything about him.



It was a rainy night in Boston.

He was in a doorway. That's all.



He took stuff from you?



Besides the address book?



He took my stereo,

my sport jacket, my word processor.



And my laser printer.



And my skis.



And my TV.



- Will you press charges?

- No.



It's a felony.



- Why do they want to find him?

- They say to help him.



If there's a crime,

the cops will get involved.



We really must keep in touch. We were

really good friends for a brief bit in school.



- Really good.

- Won't you press charges?



Oh, please.



Can you believe it?

Paul learned all that in three months.



Who'd have thought it? Trent Conway,

the Henry Higgins of our time.



Paul must have looked at all those names

in that book and said "I am Columbus."



"I am Magellan.

I will sail into this new world."



I read somewhere that

everybody on this planet



is separated by only six other people.



Six degrees of separation between us

and everyone else on this planet.



The president of the United States, a

gondolier in Venice, just fill in the names.



I find that extremely comforting

that we're so close,



but... I also find it like Chinese water

torture that we're so close,



because you have to find the right

six people to make the connection.



It's not just big names, it's anyone.



A native in a rainforest,

a Tierra del Fuegan, an Eskimo.



I am bound - you are bound -



to everyone on this planet

by a trail of six people.



It's a profound thought.



How Paul found us.



How to find the man whose son he claims

to be, or perhaps is. Although I doubt it.



How everyone is a new door

opening into other worlds.



Six degrees of separation between us

and everyone else on this planet.



But... to find the right six people.



- Hi, Ouisa.

- Hi!



- Still going to Rome?

- Tomorrow!



- Are you going to the Sistine Chapel?

- It's closed.



- Cleaning it.

- When in Rome...



You must know these people.



- Oh!

- Oh, wonderful.



I've always wanted to meet him.

We'll call him just as soon as we get in.



(Flan) Rome is always remarkable,

but to see the Sistine Chapel like this!




To stand at the top of the scaffolding!



The colours... are vibrant.



We went to Rome on business,

but, thanks to Michelangelo...



- I think I have a buyer for that piece.

- I don't think I want to sell.



They restored the chapel.



They've taken off years of smoke

and tourists, and now it's brand-new.






But what happened

to Sidney Poitier's son?



We put all of that out of our heads.



The package would be more lucrative

for you if you included that piece.



- I've heard so many stories.

- Like what?



- That he stole money and jewellery.

- No! Never!



Can we get down to business, please?



- Good day.

- Ah!



All right. I am humiliated,

but what the hell.



The day after we came back from Rome,

we were stepping out of a taxi from lunch.



Our doorman, whom we tip at Christmas

and any time he does anything nice for us,



our doorman spit at my husband,

J Flanders Kittredge. He spit at him!



Thank you, Maurice. Ooh!



Darling, they don't

need to know every detail.



- I know all about your son.

- What about my son?



Not the little shit that lives here.

The secret son.



- The Negro son you deny!

- Negro son?



The son you make live in Central Park

while you're gallivanting!



- Do you have a black son?

- No!



This is how rumours

get started and set in cement.



- The girl told me everything.

- Who?



- She wants her money.

- Who?



I'm keeping her in a safe place.

Come, come, come.



The next chapter.



My boyfriend and I

took a picnic into the park.



So, do they have any

black people in Utah?



- Maybe two.

- I saw them once. Two black people.



The Mormons brought in two.



- Do you think it'll hurt me?

- What'll hurt you?



My resemblance to Liv Ullmann.



She won the all-state competition

for comedy and drama.



Really? My gosh!



The quality of mercy is not strained.



It droppeth like

the gentle rain from heaven.






And we study. And we wait tables.



Cos you have to have technique.



Like the painters.



Cézanne looked for the rules behind

the spontaneity of Impressionism.



- That's a painter?

- We know nothing about painting.



My dad loves painting.



He has a Kandinsky,

but he loves Cézanne the most.



- He lives up there.

- What?



Yeah. Count. Six windows down.

On the corner.



John Flanders Kittredge.



His chums call him "Flan".



I was the child of Flan's hippie days.

His radical days.



He went down South as a freedom

marcher to register black voters.



- You did?

- No!



Can't you just see me marching

down South for freedom now?



Yes. Yes, I can.



His friends were killed.

He met my mother and registered her.



Married her in a fit of righteousness,

knocked her up with me,



and came back here and abandoned her.



You didn't!



Flan, shame.



He's now a fancy art dealer.



Won't see me.



The new wife, the white wife,



the Louisa-Kittredge-call-me-Ouisa wife,

the mother-of-the-new- children wife...



Your brothers and sisters.



They go to Andover and Exeter

and Harvard and Yale.



The awful thing is,

my father started out good.



My mother says "There's a good man

inside J Flanders Kittredge."



There is, darling. There is.

Flan thinks he's part of some sinister plot.



No, it's all too creepy.

I don't even like to talk about it.



He would see you if he's that good.

He can't forget you entirely.



- I call him, he hangs up.

- Go to his office.



He doesn't have one. He works there.

They won't even let me in the elevator.



- Dress up as a messenger.

- Say you got a masterpiece for him.



Say "I got the Mona Lisa in the truck."



I don't want to embarrass him.



Oh, this is so fucking tacky!



Do you two love each other?



A lot.



That's good.



- These are nice kids.

- Yeah. They work for a living.






- I hope we can meet again.

- Yeah. Hey, where do you live?






I'm home.



You don't live in the streets?



You guys are such assholes!

I mean, where would I live?



- You can stay with us.

- We just have a flat in a tenement.



It's over a roller disco.

The last of the roller discos.



But it's quiet by  am,

and a great narrow space.



(girl) You have the couch. The tub is in the

kitchen, but there's light in the morning.



- Hello.

- Hello.



- Hello.

- Hello.



He opened up a whole new world to us.



It's all anybody wants, isn't it?

A new world?



- You say... you're going riding.

- Riding.



And never say "couch". It's "sofa".



- Sofa.

- Sofa.



And you say "boddill".



It's "bottle". Bottle of beer.



- Boddill of beer.

- No. Bottle of beer.



- Bottle.

- Boddill of beer.



Oh. See? Bottle of beer.



And never be afraid of rich people.

You know what they love?



A fancy pot of jam.



Really. That's all.



Get a patron. That's what you need.

You shouldn't be waiting tables.



You're going to wake up one day, and that

temporary job will be your full-time life.



- He stayed with them for...

- Two or three weeks.



He sunk his heels in.



- I'm moving out of here.

- You can't.



My father answered my letter. He's giving

me $     and that's just for starters.



He sold a Cézanne to the Japanese

and made millions.



Now he can give me money

without her knowing it.



I knew it.



I'll give you the money to put on any play.

Agents will come. You'll be discovered.



And when you win Oscars, both of you,

you'll look in the camera and thank me.



- I wanna thank Paul Kittredge.

- Thanks, Paul.



(Paul laughs)



One hitch - I'm going to meet him

in Maine. He's visiting his parents.



My grandparents, whom I've never met.

He's finally gonna tell them about me.



Can you see the look on my parents' face

if a black kid showed up? "Hi, Grandma."



- Flan, your parents are dead.

- (laughter)



He's gonna give me money.



I can get my mama that beauty parlour

she's wanted all her life.



One problem -

how am I gonna get to Maine?



The wife checks all the bills.



Where the hell am I going

to get $    to get to Maine?



How long would you need it for?



I'll be gone a week.



But I could wire it back to you.



- We could lend it to him for a week.

- If something happens...



You're like his stepmother,

holding the purse strings.



No. We worked too hard to save that.



I'm sorry, Paul, we just can't.



Look, no problem. I understand.



- I'll meet you after work.

- Sure.



If your dad loves you,

he'll get you the ticket.



He does. It'll work out.



Hey. Posture. Stand up straight.

Don't slump. Attitudes of defeat.



The girl worked just to stay alive.



She was one of those armies of people

who come to New York filled with dreams,



and end up on a treadmill, working and

working, forgetting why they came here.



There must be some mistake. It says my

joint account. Can you see the numbers?



That's right. That's my name and his

name, my joint account! Who closed it?!



I was furious.

I can't tell you how furious I was.



Then I went home to my luxurious

penthouse. And I waited for hours.



- Where's the money?

- Hi.



Just let me explain.

Paul found some extra money of his own.



So he took me to the Rainbow Room.



He would've treated you,

only you had to work.



We rented these tuxedos. Isn't it a gas?



How did we get this table?



I know the right names to drop.



He's gonna give us the money back. And

then I'm takin' you to the Rainbow Room.



I brought you matches.



It's not that expensive for what you get.



It's not a bargain, but it's worth it.



Mm. Wonderful bouquet.






The taste of wine. Always remember,

the wine from the even-numbered years



is superior to the wine from

the odd-numbered years.



- Cheers. Skol. Prosit.

- Mud in your eye.



You're just about the greatest.



- You wanna dance?

- Elizabeth hasn't seen anything like here.



I wish she was...



Who do we dance with?



We're guys.



Every moment in life

is a learning experience.



Or what good is it? Right?



- Right?

- Yes.



Then let this bunch of jerks see class.



I swear, nothin' like this

ever happened in Utah.



Nothin' like that must have ever happened

there cos they asked us to leave.



It was so funny!






Around the park, sir!



We don't have any money.



Amigo, when will you learn? Money is

the one commodity you can always get.



(Paul howls)






I'm gonna have to explain to Elizabeth

about the money. She gets so nervous.



Hey, Paul, come on. Stop that.



I was wondering if I could fuck you.



I don't do things like that.



That's what makes it so nice.



You don't.



And he did.



And it was fantastic.



We came here for experience, right?



We can use this, right?



You're a fool!

Your father is right! You are a fool!



We came here for experience. My father

is not right. I can't have him be right.



- It's gon...

- Don't touch me.



(driver) Hey! Hey!



Hey! Come back here!















Look at me.






I didn't come here to do this, or to lose

that, or to be this, or to do this to you.



Not to you.



Look at me.



I couldn't look at him. Spent the night

thinking about having no money.



About Paul and his father.

So, this morning...






Sir? I need to get up to see

some people named Kittredge.



Are they expecting you?



Kittredge has a black son he makes

live in the park who took money from me.



- Mr Kittredge has what?!

- His son owes me money!



You have to call

and write them a letter. Yes?



"Quality of mercy is not strained."

Well, fuck you, quality of mercy!



Hey. It's trouble with Mr Kittredge's Negro

son. I take care of it. Don't worry.



All over the building that I had abandoned

some mistake of my past in Central Park.



- But it's too fantastic.

- It was so embarrassing.



- That's horrible.

- It wasn't so embarrassing.



I bet Flan loves to be outraged.



- I do not!

- You do too!



- Flan loves getting into high dudgeon.

- And look at his cheeks turn all rosy.



Dudgeon becomes him.



To high dudgeon.



Now... can we get down to business?



Do we have a story for you? We were

at the roller disco two clients opened.



I hadn't skated in

I hate to tell you how many years.



We came outside giddy and reeling.

And you wouldn't believe what we saw.



- The blood hadn't yet reached the gutter.

- It was oozing slowly towards the kerb.



The body must have just

landed there in a clump.



The boy had just jumped from above.

He could have landed on us.



(woman) We just missed it by minutes.



Rick! Oh, my God!



Rick! Rick!



- She'll press charges.

- I want Paul dead.



Rick's dead.

You bet your life I'll press charges.



We're very sorry.

Is there anything we can do to help?



That Paul's a menace. We could

have been killed. Throats slashed.



He wasn't going to kill us.

We haven't seen him since that night.



- Find him. We might have a case.

- Find him?



- How do we find him?

- We could tell the papers. Call The Times.



- Ooh, let me. I have friends at The Times.

- I don't wanna know.



- They'll publish it.

- Someone will see it.



- And turn him in.

- We'll find him.



Six degrees.



"Who says New Yorkers

don't have a heart?"



"Smart, sophisticated, tough New Yorkers,

such as the J Flanders Kittredges,



who opened their homes and pocketbooks

to a young man, learned yesterday



they had been boondoggled by

a confidence man now wanted by police."



- Did you see the piece in The Times?

- We were in Squaw Valley.



We came off very well.

I forgot to mention your foundation.



You could wallpaper the Empire State

Building with the copies Flan had made.



- Come to dinner with us after.

- Can't.



- Work.

- Auction.



- Matisse.

- Ooh!



Oh, no. Matisse on an off day. But our

people are prepared to go to well over...



- Don't tell all the family secrets.

- Well over $        !



- Out of which you will keep?

- Not much in these days.



- Oh, boy. Bring back the '  s.

- Uh-huh.



We'll have to give most of it away. But

it gives us credibility in this new market.



It's all outta whack.

Everything's up, everything's down.



- Did you ever hear from Poitier's son?

- No.



Did you ever hear from the boy?



- Oh, we're here to honour your guest.

- But I keep hearing about this story.



I heard about it last week in Southampton.



- It's amazing.

- No, really. To get the UN to finally...



- She can't save the world every day.

- (all laugh)



This is my supper,

and I command you to sing.



- This is lunch.

- What happened?



There is one last chapter,

which happened the other night.



Ouisa, may I?



The Matisse will be mine

for an hour or so



Then, regrettably, it has to go



- (Tess) So, what are you wearing?

- I'm totally dolled up. The blue satin.



Darling, I have to tell you.

A sign I saw today -



"Cruelty-free cosmetics." A store

was selling cruelty-free cosmetics.



That is a beautiful thing.



Do you realise the agony companies put

rabbits through just to test eye shadow?



Oh, darling, I know that.



I was referring to the phrase -

"cruelty-free cosmetics".



Should eliminate

all traces of time, cellulite...



Mother, I'm getting married.



You were going to Afghanistan.



I'm going to get married,

and then I'm going to Afghanistan.



One country at a time.

You're not getting married.



lmmediately so negative.



I know everyone you know,

and you're not marrying any of them.



The arrogance that you assume

you know everyone I know!



The way that you say that!

"I know everyone you know."



Unless you met them in the last two days.



- (phone rings)

- Wait. Hold on.



Nobody ever calls on

that number. Mother!






(Paul) Hello?






I saw the story in the paper.



I didn't know he killed himself.

He gave me that money. I didn't steal it.



I'll put you on hold. I'm talking to my child.



Put me on hold and you'll

never hear from me again.






- Mother, can I t...?

- (dialling tone)



You have to turn yourself in.

The boy committed suicide.



The girl is pressing charges.

You stole that money.



Turn yourself in. Make it easy on yourself.

They're gonna get you.



Learn when you're trapped.

You have such promise. You need help.



- Would you help me?

- What do you want me to do?



Stay with you.



- That is impossible!

- Why?



My husband feels you betrayed him.



- Do you?

- You're a lunatic!



Picking up that dreck off the street.

Are you suicidal? Do you have AlDS?



Are you infected?



I don't have it. It's a miracle, but I don't.



Do you feel I betrayed you? If you do,

I will hang up and never bother you again.



Where have you been?






Are you in trouble? I mean, more trouble.



No. I only visited you.



I didn't like the first people so much.

They just went out and left me alone.



I didn't like the doctor.

He was too eager to please.



And he just left me alone.



But you - you and your husband -

we all stayed together.



- What did you want from us?

- Everlasting friendship.



Nobody has that.



- You do.

- What do you think we are?



Oh. You're going to tell me secrets?

You're not what you appear to be?



You have no secrets. Trent Conway told

me everything your kids have told him.



What did our kids tell him about us?



I don't tell that. Save that for blackmail.



- Perhaps I'd better hang up.

- No!



I went to a museum.

I like Toulouse-Lautrec.



As well you should.



I read the Andy Warhol diaries.



I see you're becoming an aesthete.



- Are you laughing at me?

- No. I read them too.



I've read "The Agony and the Ecstasy"

by Irving Stone, about Michelangelo.



Oh, well, you're ahead of me there.



Have you seen the Sistine Chapel?



Oh, yes.



I went right to the top in a rickety old

elevator and watched the men clean it.



You've been to the top

of the Sistine Chapel?



Stood right under the hand of God

touching the hand of man.



Batti! Batti!






One of the workmen said

"Hit it! Hit it! It's only a fresco."






So I did. I slapped God's hand.



You... you slapped God's hand?



Do you know what they clean it with?

All this modern technology.



- Q-Tips and water.

- No!



Clean away the years of soot,

grime, paint-overs.



Q-Tips and water, changing

the history of Western art. Vivid colour.



- Take me to see it.

- Take you to see it?



- They think you murdered someone.

- Can you give me a hand with these?



- (whispers) Paul.

- Paul?



- I'll call that detective.

- (phone rings)



Who's that? Hello?



- Dad! We were cut off.

- Oh, Tess, hi.



- I'm getting married!

- Call back.



I'm getting married

and going to Afghanistan!



- I can't talk about this...

- I am gonna ruin my life and get married.



Throw away everything you want me

to be. It's the only way to hurt you!



- (hangs up)

- Jesus.



- (phone rings)

- Yeah?



- I have that kid on the line.

- Find out where he is.



Find out where he is.



Um, look, why don't you come here?

Where are you?



You'll have the cops waiting.



- Tell him he has to trust us.

- You have to trust us!



- Why?

- Cos we like you!



- We like him? Where is he?

- Who's there?



It's, um...



- It's Flan!

- Oh, God.



Are you in tonight?

I could come and make a feast for you.



- No, we're going out tonight.

- Are you crazy?!



Tell a crook we're going out,

the house is empty?



- Where are you going?

- Sotheby's.



- And the key is under the mat.

- Hi! Can I come to Sotheby's?



- Shoot! I've lost the detective.

- Paul says hi.



- Hi.

- Sotheby's.



- Wonderful. I'll come.

- No. You can't.



- Why? I was helpful last time.

- You were helpful about the Cézanne.



- Really? You know...

- You impressed Geoffrey. Where are you?



I was thinking maybe that's what

I should do, is what you do, in art,



but making money out of art, meeting

people, and not working in an office.



You're just seeing the glamorous side.

There's a whole grotty side that...



I could easily learn the grotty.



You have to have art history,

language, economics.



I'm fast. I could do it.

Do your kids want to?



It's not that. It's not a profession

you hand down from gen...



What am I doing talking

career counselling to you?!



You embarrassed me. You stole money.

There's a warrant for your arrest.



- Goddammit!

- No, don't!



- I can't believe he sucked me in again.

- You made him hang up.



- I'm here.

- You are?



Who are you? What's your real name?



If you let me stay with you, I'll tell you.



That night was

the happiest night I ever had.



That was the happiest night he ever had.



Oh, please. I'm not a bullshitter,

but never bullshit a bullshitter.



Now, get rid of him, Ouisa.



You look great, dear. Tonight's

big business. Get him off the phone.






You let me use all the parts

of myself that night.



That was magical, that Salinger stuff.



Graduation speech

at Groton two years ago.



Your cooking?



Other people's recipes.



Did you see Donald Barthelme's obituary?



He said that collage was

the art form of the   th century.



Everything is somebody else's.



Not your children. Not your life.






You got me there. That is mine.

That is nobody else's.



You don't sound happy.



There is so much you don't know.



You are so smart.



- And so stupid.

- Don't you ever say I'm stupid!



Have some flexibility. You're stupid

not to realise what you could be.



- What could I be?

- So much.



- With you behind me.

- You liked that night?



I've thought since

that you were laughing at us.






You picked up that awful thing

to show us your contempt.



I was so happy I wanted to add sex to it.

Don't you do that?






- I'll tell you my name.

- Please.



It's Paul Poitier-Kittredge.



It's a hyphenated name.






listen to me.



You need help. Go to the police. You'll be

over it all the sooner. You can start...



- Start what?

- Your life.



Will you help me?



I will help you. But first, you have

to go to the police, you have to go to jail.



And will you send me books and Polaroids

of you and cassettes and letters?



- Yes.

- Will you visit me?



I will visit you.



And wear your best clothes

and knock 'em dead.



I'll knock 'em dead. You have to be

careful in prison. Use condoms.



I won't have sex in prison.

I only have sex when I'm happy.



- Go to the police.

- Will you take me?



I'll give you the name

of the detective to see.



I'll be treated with care if you come. If they

don't know you're special, they kill you.



I don't think they kill you.



Mrs Louisa Kittredge, I am black.



I... will deliver you to them,



with kindness and affection.



I'll plead guilty and go to prison

and serve a few months.



- A few months, tops.

- And when I get out, I'll work for you.



- No, we'll work all that out.

- No, no, no, no. I want to know now.



- You'll work for us.

- Learn the trade, not just the grotty part.



- Top to bottom.

- And live with you.



- No.

- Why? Your kids are away.



- You should have your own place.

- Will you help me find a place?



We'll help you find a place.



- I have no furniture.

- We'll help you out.



I made a list of things I liked at

the museum. Philadelphia Chippendale.



Believe it or not, we have two

Philadelphia Chippendale chairs.



I'd rather have one nice piece

than a room full of junk.






Quality always.



You'll have all that.

Philadelphia Chippendale!



And all I have to do is go to the police.



Make it all history.



Put it behind you.



- Tonight.

- Oh. No, it can't be tonight.



I'll take you tomorrow. I have to have

drinks before the auction tonight.



- Japanese?

- Germans.



You are just like my father.



- Which father?

- Sidney!






he's not your father.



And Flanders...



is not your father.



Ouisa, for Christ's sakes!



Are you still on the phone?

We have drinks with the Japanese...



Is it still that kid? Get him out of our lives!



Get him off the phone or I'll rip

the fucking line out of the wall!






I made a mistake. It is not the Germans.

We'll come and get you. Where are you?



We'll take you to the police.

They'll treat you with dignity.






I'm at the corner of  th Avenue

and  th Street.



But I'll meet you at

the Waverly movie theatre.



- We'll be there in half an hour.

- I'll give you    minutes' grace time.



We'll be there.






We love you.






I love you, Ouisa Kittredge.






Bring a pink shirt?



We'll have a wonderful life.



We can skip the schmoozing, take the boy

to the police, and be at Sotheby's by nine.






But we hadn't counted on... traffic.



(Flan) Traffic.



(Ouisa) Traffic.



We'd promised Paul

we would take him to the police.



(Flan) I called our new best friend,

the detective.



Paul! Officer, please! Let us go with him!

We promised we would go with him!



- Paul? Paul?

- No, Ouisa.



Officer, please. Paul!



The Kandinsky is painted on both sides!



- There's nothing more you could do.

- (Flan) I didn't think so, no.



The next day, Ouisa went to the precinct.



Detective Marino, please.



- He's transferred.

- Since yesterday?



He's transferred.



This is about an arrest that was made

yesterday at the Waverly movie theatre.



Hold on.



This precinct didn't go

to the Waverly theatre.



- I didn't imagine it.

- I'm not sayin' you did.



- Perhaps you can tell me which precinct...

- Hold on. Hold on. Hold on.



The name?






Poitier. Or Kittredge.






- Are you family?

- Not exactly.



The detective told me that I could go with

the young man when he was arraigned,



so I could tell them that he was... special...



We have no record of it. Some other

precinct must have made the arrest.



It sounds like your special friend

was wanted for somethin' else.



Like what?



Lady, how can I help you?

You don't even know your friend's name.



Six degrees.



We weren't family.

We didn't know Paul's name.



I went to the district attorney's office.



We weren't family.

We didn't know Paul's name.



I called the criminal courts.

I wasn't family. I didn't know Paul's name.



I read today that a young man

committed suicide in Rikers lsland prison,



and tied a shirt around his neck

and hanged himself.



Was it the pink shirt?



A burst of colour. Pink shirt.



Was it Paul? We never did

find out who he was.



I'm sure it wasn't him.



- Yes, I agree.

- Isn't it amazing?



We haven't seen the last of him,

believe me. He'll be back. He'll find a way.



The imagination... Oh!



- Why does it mean so much to you?

- He wanted to be us.



Everything we are in the world.



This paltry thing, our life, he wanted it.

He stabbed himself to get into our lives.



He envied us.

We're not enough to be envied.



Like the papers said, we do have hearts.



Having a heart is not the point.



We were hardly taken in.

We believed him for a few hours.



He did more for us in a few hours

than our children ever did.



And he wanted to be your child.

Don't let that go.



He sat out in that park and said

"That man is my father."



He's in trouble, and we don't

know how to help him.



Help him? My God! We could

have been killed. Throats slashed.



You were attracted to him.



Oh, please. Cut me out

of that pathology right now.



Attracted by his youth, his talent,



and the embarrassing prospect

of being in the movie of Cats.



Well... that, yes. Yes.



Did you put that in your Times piece?



And we turn him into an anecdote

to dine out on, like we're doing right now!



But it was an experience.

I will not turn him into an anecdote.



How do we keep what happens to us?



How do we fit it into life

without turning it into an anecdote?



With no teeth, and a punch line

you'll mouth over and over for years.



"Oh, that reminds me of that impostor."



"Oh, tell the one about that boy."



And we become these human jukeboxes,

spilling out these anecdotes.



But it was an experience.



How do we keep the experience?



That's why I love paintings.



Cézanne, the problems he brought up then

are the problems painters still deal with.



Colour. Structure.



Those are problems.



There is colour in my life,

but I'm not aware of any structure.



What are you saying, darling?



Cézanne would leave

blank spaces in his canvases



if he couldn't account

for the brush stroke...



couldn't... give a reason for the colour.



Then I am a collage

of unaccounted-for brush strokes.



I... am all...






- Excuse me.

- Ouisa!



- Do sit down!

- Excuse me, please.






What kind of behaviour is this?



God, Flan, how much of your life

can you account for?



Are you drunk? What's wrong with you?

Don't you realise how important she is?



Why are you unhappy? The Cézanne

sale went through, and the Matisse.



We're rich - enough.

Next month there's a Bonnard.



These are the times I could take a knife

and dig out your heart. How much of...


            life can I account for?! All of it!



I am a gambler.



We're a terrible match.



(Paul) The Kandinsky.



The Kandinsky's painted on two sides.


Special help by SergeiK