Sommersby Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Sommersby script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Richard Gere and Jodie Foster movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Sommersby. 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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Sommersby Script





Good piece of land.



It was.



Still is.



Travis is calling you.



Do I know you?



Well, ought to.



How did you lose that arm there, boy?



Woke up in Chickamauga

one morning without it.



Somebody deal you a losing hand there...









Now tell me, you found yourself

a one-titty woman...



...or you just take that one hand there

and whup it back and forth?



Oh, my Lord.



Get on down here!



The hero has returned!



Good to see you, Jack.



Good to see you back!



-It's me, Brian Brown.

-You remember Brian.



You got whiskers now, boy!



Ever think you'd see him again?



Whoa there, boy. What's after you?



Your husband.



Who? What did you say?



-He's coming, ma'am.




Mr. Sommersby.



Get in the house!



Come on! Come on!



Look at you!



You old man, now look!



By God, there's another good man

the damn Yankees didn't get!



Come on over here and say hello to Will.



Look here who I got here.

Jack Sommersby.



They sent him back to me like that

from Vicksburg.



Will's a hero.

Ain't that right, son?



Well, well, well.



Welcome home, Jack.



We thank the Lord you're back.



Thank you, sir.



Is Laurel all right?



She's going to be surprised now,

ain't she?



Six years is a long time

without any word.



Come on, where is he now?



Look at you!

You look like a sack of bones.



Kind of hard to get Esther dumplings

where I've been.



Oh, Lord, Mr. Jack.

You're home, you're home!



Everybody here is missing somebody.



Both Ezzel boys

and their daddy got killed...



...and everybody that

ain't dead is leaving.



This town finished, Mr. Jack.



Ain't nothing left here but hard ground

and nobody to work it.



Go say hello to your daddy, son.



Go on now.



Hello, Robert.



I'd forgotten how beautiful you were.






Hey, boy!



I hear in old town, Clemmons' pig

will be swallowing a stick tonight!



I was down there in the weeds,

kind of waiting...



...for the damn smoke

to get blowed away.



And the next thing I know--

Thank you, darling.



Next thing I know,

there's this big old rifle butt...



...floating down out of the sky,

just kind of taking its time...


            I had all day

to get away from it.



When I come to, I was

on my way to prison in Elmira.



I heard that was the worst one.



I couldn't even remember my name

at that point.



What did you do

to your hand there, Jack?



A guard stomped on it.



Don't hold things too good now.



You can still hold

a straight flush?



And other things that're important.



What did you do in prison?



Starved, froze, like everybody else.



Evening, folks.



Better take some of this while you can.



I guess you don't remember me, sir.






Yes, I do remember!



My daddy paid $      for you.



Yes, sir.



Why don't you come on in now?



No, thank you, sir.



We just come by here

to say welcome home.



Quit wasting time! Get yourself

over here. We got a present for you.



-What do you got?

-Panther piss.



-I ain't seen you pass water all night.

-Can't do it.



One sip, I'm staggering like a new calf.



You're still a rebel, ain't you?



Best not get too friendly

with the niggers.



We had to chase some off.



That one has been

living on your land.



Next thing you know,

they'll be moving into the big house.



What's the matter with you?






You ain't acting yourself, Jack.



What'd them goddamn Yankees

do to you, boy?



Hit me on my head.



-I love you.

-I love you too.



Sit down.

I'm going to dance with my wife.



Good to see you.



Welcome back!



Grab a gal here and shake a leg.



I tend to hop a little bit better

than I shake now.



Dick made me a good foot, though.

Got everything but toes that wiggle.



Ain't got no toes...


            worry about stomping them.



Well, be careful you don't

catch a chill, Miss Laurel.



Y'all have a good time.



Shall we?



Good night now, Buckaboo.



You know where that handkerchief is

I brought home?



It was filthy.

I told her to burn it.






Hate to lose that thing.



Carried that nearly six years.






The last thing you gave me

before I left.



What happened here?






They got the silver, the carpets and

mostly anything else they could carry.



I did save Granny's brooch, though...


            sitting on it,

in a manner of speaking.



That's where you were sleeping

before you left.



Good night.



Good night.



I swore, if I ever made it home...



...I'd shave this thing off.



Would you do it for me?



Are you sure?



Am I home?



All right.



That's the first thing

I remember about you.



Coming back that time from

wherever you'd been, looking all...



...brown and bearded.



Looking more like some kind

of a wild animal than a man.



Is that what you wanted?



Something wild?






Maybe just something a little...






...a little different.



A little rich?



Make $    and lose   ,   

you are not rich.



It was never the money.



Couldn't have been love...



...could it?



It could have been.



If you'd been the least...



...little bit...






What do you think?



I'm thinking...



...who is this man

sitting in my kitchen?



Well, good night.



Good night.



I guess we have to get used

to each other again, don't we?



I guess so.






Good night.



Good night.



You're getting ahead of me again.



Not quite.



-So where is he?

-He wanted to see the farm.



Hope he doesn't see too much.

He's liable to keep on riding.



He wouldn't do that.



But I have heard stories of men...



...who come home, and finding

their wives married again...



....and realizing it wasn't

nobody's fault...



-...she'd fallen in love with--

-Please! I'm sorry.



I know you're hurting, and I wish...



...that I was not the cause of it.



But we weren't married yet.

He's my husband and he's come home now.



That's right.



But if he ever...



...lays a hand to you again,

I'll have to break it.



Orin, please.












...take him to that better place...



...where the sun always shines,

and he'll have bigger fields to run in.



What're you doing?



Not too damn much.

What are you doing?



Getting a little hoeing done.



Yeah, well, you can take a break.



Not going to be any cotton




I put a little bit of work

in these fields.



You and about    more slaves,

maybe we'll get a crop in here.



You calling me a nigger?



Hell, Orin, I ain't--



I know what you done around here...



...and I appreciate it.



What I've done,

I haven't done for you.



She's made her choice.



She had no choice.



If it'd gone the other way,

if she wanted you...



...I don't think I would've hung

around here, watched.



Not me.



But you never were one

to hang around, were you?



I told Orin I'd marry him next year

if you didn't come back.



He's put a lot of hard work in here,

and we owe him.



I want you to be nice to him.



You've got to try

and put yourself in his shoes.






Come on, now. It's hard for him

getting this close and all--



He ever get this close to you?



I guess he did.



Did he kiss you?



He didn't?



Did you want him to?



I don't know.



Don't know?



Did he want to kiss you?



I guess he did.



Let me get the sugar.



All right. Why didn't he?



Because I never said that he could.



You say he couldn't?



Let me get this straight.

He wanted to...



...but you didn't know, so...



...he didn't ask and you didn't say.



So he didn't and you weren't.



But he's not here and I am,

and I want to.



So I'm going to go ask.



-Where're you going?

-To ask Orin if I can kiss my wife.



Stop it!



You got a very beautiful

smile there, Mrs. Sommersby.



Hope to see a whole lot more of it.



Well, you will.



Where'd you find that?



It was in the trunk.



You remember?



You sewed this the whole first month

we were married, didn't you?



When I tried it on, it was too small.



You threw it in there and said...


           'd never sew again.

I don't think you ever did.



How'd you remember that?



Well, I forgot a whole lot

of important things.



Other ones...



...never leave my mind, never will.



-What're you doing?

-Come on, arms up.



Been in a trunk for nine years.

It needs some washing.



You remember making our son?



The night it happened?



You were drunk.



Well, I'm sorry.



Seems like after that, you never much

wanted me anymore.



Seems a whole lot different now.



You want to sleep in the other room?






What's wrong?



I just don't remember

how I was with you.



How to be.



You don't have to remember that.






Say it again.



Hey, boy!



Let's go to town, get shoes!



Do I have to?



No, you can stay here and help me

shovel out the chicken coop.



Where in the world are we going?



Mama don't let me drive.



I guess we got to mind Mama,

don't we?



Say, ''hah.''



Say it louder.



Don't say it to me, boy.

Say it to him.



Say it again.






Move around there.



You're real good, boy!



Thank you, sir.



There's a lot of dead men's

footprints on this wall.



That's the one I'm looking for.



I'm truly glad you

didn't follow them, Jack.



You'll look just fine

once you get your lips back.



Let me have that foot.



There's something about whiskers

that makes a man's lips...



...just shrink right on up.



I'll be damned!



Your foot shrunk!



Foot's two sizes smaller now.



That ain't mine.



You must've been drunk.



See? I wrote your name

right here at the bottom.



How do you suppose

that could have happened?



You know what I see?



I see the future. Right there.






You mean smoking it, or growing it?



You can't grow it this far north.



-Too cold!

-Yes, you can. Yes, you can.



It's called burley.



They want it and we can grow it.



You ever planted anything in the field

except your foot up somebody's backside?



I don't think I have, but I didn't shoot

my first man before I had to, either.



Now, you want to hear

what I have to say?



All right.



Here's what I'm offering.



I'll give you all a piece of my land,

each and every one of you.



I'll give you tools, fertilizer...



...and you keep half of the crop

when it comes in.



I'll take my share

and pay off the mortgage against me.



When the title clears...


            can buy that land you worked,

for a fair price.



Are you talking about

selling your own land?



Your daddy would've died first.



He did, didn't he?



How long you been sharecropping?

Ten years?



    years! You ever get a chance to

buy that land you've been working?



Hell, no!



Hell, no. This is it.

This is your chance, boy.



Take it!



What about y'all? You want in?



I'm not helping niggers.



You're saying that those

who work the land--



I can't hear you!



You're saying those

who work the land get to buy it?



Yes, sir!



That means coloreds and all?



Nobody squats on my land.



You want to stay, you got to pay for it

just like everybody else.



I ain't living next to no nigras!



You ain't, no?



No, I'm not.



Where're you going to live, then?

In the poorhouse?



I'd just as soon!



We take care of our own!



You going to take care of her?



Do that. You go work your fields

    hours and then work hers.



-I got a question.

-Go ahead.



Tobacco seed.



We all know it's worth about

     times its weight in gold.



You got no cash.



You got no collateral.



Your house, your land,

that's all mortgaged.



You don't have tools,

not even a mule.



Where you going to get money

for tobacco seed?



That's God's own truth.



Thank you for bringing that up.

Appreciate your concern and confidence.



I was getting around to that.



We're waiting to hear that.



Is the seed going to

fall out of the sky, Jack?



Hell, we're all....



We're all sitting on

a little something.



There's nothing you

can do with that thing.



But just maybe, we put all

of those little things together...



...we got something then.



Maybe we can get started.

All of us.



There's something we can do.

I don't know any other way to do this.



I got Confederate money

in the outhouse. You want it?



I don't see any way out of this

except what I'm saying now.



-Want me to sell my other arm?

-Buck, listen to me now.



I got a ruby brooch worth $     .



It's been in my family for     years,

but I can't eat it.



And neither can my family.



Anybody got a better idea than Jack's?

I'd sure like to keep my brooch.



Maybe y'all think I'm doing this

because he's my husband. You're wrong.



This is not just some idea to put

cash back in Jack Sommersby's pocket.



This is for all of us.



It sounds to me like this idea

just might go, don't you think?



I think so.



I think we don't have any other option.



Thank you, John.



-Pretty pitiful chicken scratching.

-Not bad for your left.



Well, it is me.



-I hope you can get something for it.

-We'll get a lot of seeds for that.



That's beautiful. You won't regret it.



I'm regretting this already.



All right. What we got here?



Look at that!

Never seen nothing like that before.



My grandmother's daddy gave it to her

the day she married.



He was a toolmaker for her people.



-How many acres you want to work?

-I thought about     sir.



-Ten. Ten, it is.

-Say there we get to buy it?



You will be coming back,

won't you, sir?



Godspeed, Jack.



Thank you, sir.



God love you.



Mind your mama.



This is real sharp.



Thank you, son.



I'll make a good trade for it.



Bye, sir.



Walk on, there! Walk on.



Home soon!



You folks will take that side.

We'll take this side.



Let's go to work!



We have two paces right here.



Mark your way down, John?



Go take it over there.



--eight, nine, ten!



Try not to be hoeing the rocks.

Make my job a little bit easier.



The ground's about ready.

We have to plant soon--



He'll be here.



Yes, ma'am.



How do we know if something's true?



My Bible says,

''By their fruits ye shall know them.''






A good tree...



...bears good fruit.



An evil tree, rotten.



And you don't have to

wonder which it is.



You just look...



...and you shall know.



Good morning, Mrs. Bundy.



Go, John. Ask her.



Any news, Miss Laurel?



No, not yet.



Come on, Clarice.



Here, boy.



Where'd you come from?






-Did you get a good price for my knife?

-Real good.



So good, I had something

left over to buy him.



Mom's going to be pleased to see you.






Where you been?



I had to go all the way to Virginia!



But damn it, I got it!



-Let's see it.

-Look at this.



It don't look like much, does it?



The seeds or me?



Come on. Look at it.



You look at it.



Be careful now.



Where have you been?



Let's put these babies to bed now.



I'm sorry. Did I hurt you?



You all right?



-I'll be damned.

-Look at that.



""Then Hector lifted...



...stout helmet and set it on his head.



And like a star, it shone.



And forth from its stand...



...he drew his father's spear...



...heavy, great...



...and strong.''



When's he going to shoot some Greeks?



It's all the way back here.



That'll be a good start for you.



How you doing?

Is your back holding up?



Should be further along by now.



The ground's all give out from cotton.



We got to fertilize them, boys.



The whole damn house is falling apart.







-What about us?



I was just thinking how we used to be,

all rich and stupid.



Speak for yourself.



Now this house is falling apart...



...we're broke

and I've never been so happy.



You certainly have changed,

haven't you?



For the better?



So much better it scares me sometimes.



You never used to read Homer.



Yeah, well, there was a....



There was a man...



...I was penned up with in Elmira.



He used to be a schoolteacher.



He had this old...



...beat-up copy of Homer.



He used to read it to us.



Gave it to me.



I took up the reading when he died.



How did it happen?



He just died, that's all.



You don't have to talk about it.



Snap it.



Come here, little Jethro.



See all these flowers here?



Every one of them's got to go.



Every single one of them.



See these shoots?

You got to take them off too.



I said to use the fertilizer

in the field, Jack.



When is it coming?



September, August maybe.



Don't tell me you haven't known

about this for some time, missy.



Yeah, maybe I did.



Why didn't you tell me?



Go on now.

I need to get some rest.



Come on, Mr. Jack. Come on.



-Oh, sweet Jesus!

-What the hell is it?



I believe it's a hornworm, sir.






Look at this.

Crawling all over them.



They going to eat us up, sir.



You know what to do?



No, sir.



Maybe Mr. Orin know.



-Damned if I'll ask him.

-You got to.



I said no!



Howdy. How are you?



Not too damn good. You?



Well, I think I'd be all right

if I could get some work.



We got a field full of that,

don't we?



This Jack Sommersby's place?



Jack around?



You want a piece of this?



Get out!



Who were those men?



What men?



The men in the field.



-I don't know.

-What did they want?






What kind of trouble?



-God's sake! How many kinds are there?

-I saw you.



-Forget it.

-But I saw you!



I said forget about it!



The goddamn worms are eating us!



You want to worry,

worry about them!



Hey, friend?



You got some fresh water around here?







Got any water?



You look like you run into trouble.



Heard you had a problem.



You want to keep pulling them off

like you are...



...but then just go like this.



I got a barrel at the end of the row.

Fill up from that...



...and then when you get done with that,

I can mix you up some more.



That keeps them off?



What's in there?



-Why, it's soap, mostly.




Hamilton Sayer gave me the recipe.



He got that piece of land

over by the church.



Yeah, I'll have to shake his hand

next time I see him.



Why don't you take this

and I'll take that.



Job ain't done till

they're all dead and buried.



Thank you.



-What's wrong?

-You tell her to get, first.



Go on now, Esther.



Six years I've worked this place...



...for you.



Man comes here,

says he's your husband.



You say I have to make way.



I make it.



I eat my heart like a piece

of spoiled meat, but I make way...



...for you.



Then I run into these drifters...



...that just been at your place,

looking for work.



And one of them's got his neck cut.



Said that somebody claiming to be

Jack Sommersby tried to kill him.



I said, ''Why'd he try to kill you?''

He said because he knew it wasn't Jack.



Said he'd been with the real Jack

when he got his chest tore up...



...and this man didn't have

a mark on him.



And just now, out in the field...



...he didn't know who Ham Sayer was.



Best friend he ever had!



Didn't know Ham Sayer.



But you've known all along,

haven't you?



He might've fooled us,

but he didn't fool you.



Why, Laurel?



Why'd you do it?



Why'd you take him into your house?



Into your bed?



And why are you carrying

some stranger's child...



...when all I ever wanted

was to honor you?



You are living in mortal sin,

Laurel Sommersby.



Do you hear me?



You and this child are

in danger of spending eternity...


            everlasting damnation!



-Get out!

-Come here.



Come over here.



See what these are?



They are a sign of the rottenness

that is eating at this place!



You get out!



Take your lies and damnation with you!






...and you will know.



So who do you think I am?



I'd like to know one thing.



Whoever you think I am...


            you love me?



You're drunk.



I'm drunk. That's not the point.

The point is...



...that I love you.

Now, do you love me?



If you loved me, you would stop

this sinning and leave me alone!



-I will not.

-Jack would.



-Sure he would.

-Did you know him?



Is he dead? For all I know,

you killed him and left him in a ditch.



He's right here in front of you.



A little banged-up maybe,

but I'm here.



Stop it!



Stop it!



You'll wake the boy.



You're making me crazy!



You get out of this house!



No, I ain't leaving.



I'm home now.

I ain't going to leave again.



You are not my husband.



May God strike me dead...



...if I am not.



I'd let it burn, sir!



Who the hell are you?



We are the

Knights of the White Camellia.



We are God's hand

and He is our eyes...



...and we are His vengeance!






Can you talk to me?



You all right?



Why was this man beaten?



You have broken the law,

and he has paid for it.



What law?



-A nigger can't own land.

-By law, he can own what he pays for.



Don't I know you?



You're on my land, aren't you?



Ain't you that teacher

from over in Clark County?



You better cut bigger holes

in that sheet, mister...



who you're looking at.



Your master ain't listening, nigger.



Should I shoot you

to make him hear me?



You got the gun.

You do what the hell you like!



The war's over, boys.



Don't do it.



Stay back!



If he don't let go of it,

shoot them both!



I got him!



I didn't come to kill no white man.



Buck? What are you doing here?



Shit! I told you!



Get out of here! Get out!



Is it still my land?



You own what you pay for.



Well, I'm paying.



Go on now.



I was scared! I thought they

were ghosts. Were you scared too?



Yes, I was. I was truly scared.



But you saw them. Just men.



-Maybe they weren't even that.

-You mean they won't come back?



Why would they come back?

We're not scared anymore.



No, sir, we are not!



You want to finish this story?

It's the part...



...where they going to

shoot those Greeks.



I like this part too.

I'll read it to you.



''Now the Trojans--



--the Trojans, like ravening lions,

rushed upon the Greek ships...



...for the heart of Zeus

was with them...



...and their spirits filled

like sails in the morning.



And the weariness

of their legs departed...



...and the mighty shields

grew light on their arms.



And they knew that victory

would be theirs.''



You killed that dog, didn't you?



Poor old Jethro.



He knew you for a stranger.



So then you had to kill him.



Nice torch.

Save it from last night?



Who are you, you son of a bitch?



Tell me who you are or

I'll burn this place down.



I'm the man she wanted.



You're a liar.



You're a liar...



...and a thief is what you are.



You are a goddamned yellow hypocrite

hiding under a sheet!






Mama's having the baby.



Congratulations, Mr. Jack.



Thank you.



What happened to--?



I fell off a ladder. I'm all right.



Can I hold her?



Let's call her Rachel,

after your mama.



So do you think she knows

I'm her daddy?



I'm sure she does.



Looks like we have a fine crop.



How's the smoke there, Reverend?



Mighty smooth.



How much you reckon we'll get?



It depends. I'll be happy with

eight dollars on a hundred weight.



Can I get you a new spire

on the church?



Verily I say unto you...



...whosoever shall not receive

the kingdom of God...


            a little child...



...he shall not enter therein.



And He took them in His arms...



...put His hands upon them

and blessed them.



Name this child.



Rachel Caroline.



Rachel Caroline, I baptize thee...


            the name of the Father,

and the Son...



...and the Holy Ghost.






-Nothing to do with me.

-You must be proud.



John Robert Sommersby?



Yes, sir.



Federal marshals, Mr. Sommersby.

We have a warrant for your arrest.



My arrest? For what?



For the murder of Mr. Charles Conklin

of Jackson, Mississippi.



-Five minutes, Mrs. Sommersby.

-Thank you.



I want you to tell me.



I don't care what the answer is,

I'll stay by you...


            long as it's the truth.



Did you do this?



No, I did not.



All right, then.



I'll get our things together.



We're coming with you, Jack!



Thank you, John.



They're so afraid,

they got to handcuff me.



-I'll be back.

-You're a good man!



-We're behind you!

-Take care!



I always did have a hankering

to go see Nashville.



Proud to have you with me.



I wish I knew why you was

arresting this man!



Stand clear! Federal marshals.



God bless you, now.

You promise to come right back.



I'll be back. We'll be back!



We'll be with you in two days!

Don't you worry!



We'll see you in Nashville, Jack!



Did you bring the Acts of Assembly?



All rise, please.



Oyez, oyez. The Honorable

Barry Conrad Issacs is now sitting.



This court shall come to order!



All having suits to prosecute or

pleas to enter shall come forward...



...and they shall be heard.



Well, we were playing

a game of five-card...



...and Charlie, Mr. Conklin...



...saw Sommersby slip a card

off the bottom of the deck.



He jumped up

and called him a damn cheat.



And what happened

when you got outside?



Mr. Conklin hit Sommersby

in the stomach.



He went down like a sack of potatoes.



Then Sommersby got up

with a gun in his hand.



Charlie hollered,

''Don't shoot, Sommersby!''



But he shot him like a dog,

and he run off.



Now, is the man you refer to

as Sommersby...


            in this courtroom?



That's him.



Let the record show

witness identified the defendant.



I was standing on the corner

across the street.



I couldn't see too well

because it was rather dark.



And I saw...



...a man lying on the ground.

And then he gets up.



And I see he has

a gun in his hand.



And I heard this other man say:



''Don't shoot, Sommersby.''



And he shot him.



And the man fell to the ground.



''Don't shoot, Sommersby.''



Mr. Goldman...



...did you see him sign this register?



Yes, sir.



Is that his signature right there?



Was there anything wrong with his hand?



No, sir.



The jury will observe

this hotel register...



...and the signature of J . Sommersby,

and compare it to...



...the signature on a bank mortgage...



...signed by Mr. Sommersby

seven years before.



The signatures are identical.



This court is adjourned

until  :   tomorrow morning...



...when we'll hear arguments

for the defense.



All rise.



How'd we do?



Did just fine, son.



Mr. Sommersby...



...will you come with me?



I know what you're thinking.



Orin! What are you doing here?



Watching over you.



We don't need watching.



The way things are going,

he's going to hang.



I can make sure he don't.






You got to tell them who you are.

If you do, they'll have to let you go.



I can't.



Yes, you can.



Who am I supposed to say I am?



Just who you are.



Do you really want to know?






Are you sure?






...Jack Sommersby.



Pleased to meet you.



What'd I do?



You stubborn fool!



I won't let you do this!



I accept your offer.



Mr. Webb?



-Is the defense ready?

-Yes, Your Honor.



The defense calls

as its first witness...



...Mrs. John Sommersby.



Webb, what the hell is this?



Place your left hand on the Bible.



Do you swear to tell the truth

and nothing but the truth...


            help you God?



-Yes, I do.

-Please be seated.



-Please tell us your name.

-Mrs. John Sommersby.



Mrs. Sommersby, here are the hotel

register and the mortgage paper...



...the prosecution has submitted

as evidence.



Do you recognize

the signatures there?



Yes, they're my husband's.



Can you point your husband out

to the court?



No, I cannot.



And why is that, ma'am?



My husband is not

in this room.









Come here, Webb!



Your Honor, this is absurd!






I'm talking to you!



Sit down, sir!



Don't do it.

You don't have to do it.



Sit down

or I'll have you seated.



Your Honor, this is a purely

theatrical device designed...


            throw these proceedings

into confusion.



Overruled, for the moment.



Mrs. Sommersby, are you saying

the defendant is not your husband?



As clearly as I can, Your Honor.



Are you saying

the defendant is an impostor?



Yes, I am.



Your Honor, this is absurd!



Quite possibly, Mr. Dawson.






...we cannot continue to try a man

for a capital crime...



...if he is not the man in question.



Proceed, Mr. Webb.



Thank you, Your Honor.



And when did you realize

this man was not John Sommersby?



It was the little things.

At first, he looked some different.



But so did everybody back

from the war.



He couldn't remember a lot of things.

His own dog didn't know him.



A dog. It's a dog, y'all!






He never talked about his father,

and he'd been the world to Jack.



Your Honor, please!



Let's get our cows over their buckets.



Please, continue.



And after that, when we were...



...together in a private way...



...I knew it wasn't Jack.



A woman would know her own husband.



I'm sure most husbands would

like to think so, Mrs. Sommersby.



But when you realized

this man was not your husband...



...why did you allow people

to believe he was?



People believe

what they want to sometimes.



Everybody wanted

Jack to be alive and home...



...and when this man showed up,

looking like him, acting like him...


            weren't hard

just to let it be him.



But there were signs

anyone could notice.



For instance, Mr. Mead fit him

for boots and saw that his foot...



...was smaller than Jack's.



Got them templates mixed up,

that's all.



Another thing, one day these drifters

came looking for work.



They'd been in the Army with Jack...



...when he was wounded,

and they said this man wasn't him.



Why is she saying that about you?



I don't know, son.



Tell her it's you. All right?



All right.

You go back and sit down now.



Well, Jack, whoever he is...



...pulled a knife on them

so they couldn't expose him.



Mrs. Sommersby, I have here

a promissory note...



...offering an option to purchase land,

given to a Mr. Joseph...



...signed by the defendant.



ls that your husband's signature?



No. He couldn't sign like Jack, so

he made up a story about a bad hand.



Your Honor, this witness

will say anything...


            save her husband.

I move we strike her testimony.



Can you offer any support

to the claims of this witness?



I can, Your Honor, and do.



The defense calls Mr. Matthew Folsom.



What is your occupation?



I have a     -acre farm

down in Clark County.



Do you see the defendant?



Yes, sir.



Can you identify him?



Yes. His name's Horace Townsend.



Horace Townsend.



How do you know the defendant?



He was the schoolteacher

in Redthorn for a short while.



He taught my children for a year.



Please continue.



I don't know where he come from, but

he sweet-talked his way into the job.



He knew a lot of fancy stuff

and Greek writing and all.



He talked us into some scheme

to build a new schoolhouse.



We gave him everything we had

and then some. More than $   ,   .



He run off with every cent.



So, Mr. Folsom...



...are you quite sure

that this man is Horace Townsend?



I'm sure. There's a whole bunch

of folks in Clark County...


            pleased to see

''Yellow Horace'' in jail.



Thank you, Mr. Folsom.

Your Honor--



Heard he moved on south...


            some girl in the family way

and ran out on her.



Ran out on the Army too.

That's why they call him ''Yellow Horace.''



When our boys were in a bad fix...



...he ran out and left them to it.

The Yankees found him behind the bushes.



We lost track of him after that.

But I knew him as soon as I saw him.



-What you're saying is--

-What I'm saying...


            that man is a liar,

a thief and a deserter.



-And his name is Horace Townsend.

-Thank you, Mr. Folsom.



Your Honor...



...I believe the defense

has proven beyond a doubt...



...that this is a case

of wrongful arrest--



Your Honor, may I speak?



You may not.



-I move for a mistrial.

-If I dismiss my attorney...



...may I then speak?



You have the right to.



-You are dismissed.

-You don't need to.



On the basis of that man's testimony,

I'm about to rule on a mistrial.



Mr. Webb is trying to prove

I'm not who I am.



I don't see how I could win

anything that way.



You could win your life.



Without my name,

I don't think I have a life...



...Your Honor.



Very well.



Continue, sir.



Thank you, Mr. Webb.



I said, thank you.



-Mr. FoIsom.

-That's me.



You testified that you knew me

as soon as you saw me.



Did we ever meet...



...since the time you said

that I lived in Redthorn?



I don't believe so.



I do believe so.



But the last time we met,

you were sitting on a horse...



...dressed up like a bed.



Didn't you and your White Knights

burn a cross in front of my house?



And beat a black man half to death

because he tried to farm for himself?



I did not!



Didn't your leader

point a gun at me...



...and say that you and your Knights are

''the only true law in Tennessee''?



You don't recognize the authority

of this court at all, do you?



Which is why you can lie about me.



You are the liar!



The real reason you are here is...


            stop me from selling land

to a colored man...



...who'd then be a landowner

on a level with yourself.



You may go to hell!



You will watch your tongue

in my court.



And you will watch your tongue

in my presence!



You sit up there

in judgment of nobody!



In two years,

when the Yankees are gone...


            will be back in the field

where you belong!



Quite possibly, Mr. Folsom.



But in the meantime, you are

in contempt of my court...



...and I sentence you to    days

in county jail.



Sentence me?

You nappy-headed son of a bitch!



Sixty days!



Show Mr. Folsom the way

to our uncomfortable facilities.



You're a dead man!



The jury will disregard

the testimony of that witness.



Mr. Towns--



How shall I address you?



Jack Sommersby.



Can you offer evidence to that effect?



How many of y'all are here

from Vine Hill?



How many willing to swear

I'm Jack Sommersby?



-I will!

-I'll swear!



We could bring them all up here

one by one, Your Honor.



Or what we could do,

if you want, is...



...bring Mrs. Sommersby back up here,

find out how this all got started.



Now, Laurel, you really believe

I'm not your husband?



Yes, you are not.



But you let everybody

believe that I was.



Why is that?



Because I wanted you to be him

as much as they did.






I was worn out from work and lonesome.



-I didn't want my son--

-You mean, our son?



I didn't want my son growing up

without a father.



I see. So even when I first come home,

from then, you had doubts about me?



Because I was mean to you?



That's where you went wrong.



Jack Sommersby never said a kind word

to me in his life.



Objection, Your Honor!

Is this a court of law?



May I humbly remind you

that this is a murder trial?



And may I remind you this court

will not try a man for murder...


            long as his identity

is in question.



Now please sit down.



-Continue, sir.

-Thank you.



But I must warn you,

you proceed at your own jeopardy.



I think all these people

are flat stumped now.



These people have known you

since you was born. Haven't you?



They may not know everything

that you'd do...



...but they'd know what you wouldn't.



They know you wouldn't let a man

sign contracts with them...



...if he wasn't Jack.



It wouldn't be worth the paper

it's printed on.






...they wouldn't own anything.



You thought of that?



What about our children?



What about them?

If I wasn't Jack Sommersby...



...what would that make them?



What about our little Rachel?



''Bastard'' is not a very pretty word.



Is that what you want?



And you?



You think you can just go home now

with your illegitimate child...



...and your thief lover?



Just tell all these good folks...


           've been lying to them

for a year?



They know you better.



Maybe they don't know me that well.



Now nobody knows either one of us.



You can twist it around all you want,

but we both know you're not Jack.



Everybody here knows who I am.



I know who I am. The only people

who don't are you and Orin.



You make some kind of a deal?

With Orin?



Don't be ridiculous!



This man shows up here...



...with a skunk in a sheet...



...telling everyone I'm not who I am.

What does he expect in return?



Stop this.



No. Tell me,

what did you promise him?



That everything would be the way it was

before you came.



Everything would be

the way it was before.



Except you'd be promised to a man...


            don't love.



And I would be some piece

of scum named Horace Townsend...



...serving a few years for fraud.



At least you wouldn't hang.



I wouldn't have to.

I'd be dead already.



You care for me?



Of course!



Then why are you doing this?



Because you are not Jack Sommersby!



-How do you know?

-A woman knows her husband.



-You've got no proof.

-I don't need any!



-Nobody believes you!

-I don't care. I know how I feel.



That's all that matters?



You're a hardheaded woman!



You're a stubborn idiot! You're not

Jack, so why do you pretend you are?



How do you know?



-I know because--

-How do you know?



I know because I never loved him

the way that I love you.



So tell me, Laurel, from your heart...


            I your husband?



Yes, you are.



Thank you.



No more questions, Your Honor.



Mr. Dawson?



You may step down, Mrs. Sommersby.



Do you have any more witnesses,

Mr. Sommersby?



No, sir.



Kindly approach the bench, sir.



You've argued most effectively.



Your identity not being in question

leaves little doubt about your guilt.



Don't you have anything else to say?



What's it say?



How much did we get?



I said eight, hoped for    ...





Now, how much we get

for the whole crop?



Just over $       .



God Almighty!

Come on, woman.



Come here. Dance around!



Jump around!



We did it! We did it!



You and me.



How are the kids?



They're fine.



Rachel's all fat and sassy.






He's having a hard time of it.



He don't understand.



I don't understand.

What am I supposed to tell him?



You tell him his daddy

never killed anybody.



What about Horace Townsend?



Horace Townsend.



I knew Horace Townsend.



Very well.



Everything they said about him

in the courtroom there...


            was true.



I hated the bastard!



The only piece of luck

he ever had was...



...being locked up.



Some man looked just like him.



Could have been brothers.



Probably were.



After spending four years

in that cell together...



...they knew all there was

to know about each other.



Anyway, he's dead now.









You didn't kill him?



No, he got stabbed...



...that night he killed Conklin.



Bled to death.



I buried him on a hill...



...under some rocks.



You mean you buried Jack, don't you?



I mean I buried Horace.



For good, Laurel.



You've got to tell them.

You've got to tell that judge.



-He'll understand.

-Don't do this.






You want to hold me, then hold me today

and every day after that!



You say that you love me, then show me!



Be a father and grow old with me.

That's what love is!



-You think I don't want that?

-Then come home.



You don't understand.

If I'm Horace, we got no home.



I don't care.



I do care!

I will not be Horace Townsend again!



You'd rather die?



I would rather be home.



If you know some way for Jack Sommersby

to walk out of here, I'll do it.



There's nothing I can say, is there?



Do you know...


            many nights I stayed up

in our bedroom...



...just looking at you?






...what a miracle it is to be here.



I used to wonder

what I'd ever done to deserve...



...being there in a room with you.



I still do.



Being your husband...



...has been the only thing

I've ever done that I'm proud of.



We don't have much time now.

You bring it?



Yes, it's right here.



Oh, God!

I ironed this thing four times.



-It's fine.

-It's all wrinkled up.



It looks terrible.



My fingers are shaking.



Let me help.



You know, I feel that...



...if I know you'll be there with me,

I can do this thing right.



Please don't ask me that. I can't.

I will not watch you die!



-It's time.

-You wait a minute!



I'm sorry, sir.



You keep that for me...



...for better or for worse.



Forgive me the worse.



It was always you!



I knew the first moment I saw you...


            was always you, my love.







God bless you, Jack!



''You, John Robert Sommersby...



...having been found guilty

of the murder of Charles Conklin...



...are hereby sentenced

to be hanged by the neck until dead.



Sentence to be carried out immediately.



May God have mercy on your soul.''



''Because he hath set

his love upon Me...



...therefore will I deliver him.



I will set him on high

because he hath known My name.



He shall call upon Me,

and I will answer him.



I will be with him in trouble.



I will deliver him...



...and honor him

and show him My salvation.''



God bless you, Jack.



No, don't. I'm not ready yet.



No, don't, not yet!



Please! Let me through!



Don't, please!



Jack! I'm here!


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