Sophie's Choice Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Sophie's Choice script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Meryl Streep Holocaust movie also starring Kevin Kline.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Sophie's Choice. 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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Sophie's Choice Script



It was     

two years after the war...



when I began my journey

to what my father called...



the "Sodom" of the north:

New York.



Call me Stingo, which was the

nickname I was know by those days.



If I was called anything at all.



I've barely saved enough

money to write my novel...



for I wanted to be and hoped

or dreamed to be a writer.



But my spirit had remained locked...



unacquainted with love

and a stranger to death.



Even back then cheap apartments

were hard to find in Manhattan.



And so began my voyage of discovery...



in a place as strange as Brooklyn.



I know...



You're thinking about the pink.

Everybody does.



See, my late husband Saul,

he's got his bargain.



Hundreds and hundreds of gallons

of this... navy surplus paint.



See, I guess they didn't have

any use for pink on those boats.



Ok, I'll take it.



Walt Whitman.



"Yetta has heralded the arrival in the

Ethnic Kingdom of the pink palace...



of a young novelist from the south.



Your neighbors invite you upstairs

to dine with us in Sophie's room...



directly above yours tonight at eight.



The book is a token of welcome...



from one of Brooklyn's earliest

bards to Brooklyn's newest.



Sophie and Nathan".



- Whore!

- Don't go! Don't go!



Nathan, wait!



Wait! Believe me, Nathan!



I told you to get go away!



Stay away from my work!



Nathan, no!



- I'm not lying, you know!

- You're Lying.



- I'm not!

- You're Lying.



please, don't go!

Don't go away from me, please!



You know we need each other!

We need each other!



Me, need you?

Let me tell you something!



I need you like a goddamn

disease I can't name!



I need you like a case

of Anthrax, hear me?



Like "triquonosys"!



I need you like a biliary calculus,

palegra, encephalitis...



"Bright's" disease,

for Christ's sake!



"parsinoma" of the brain!



I need you... like death!



- Hear me? Like death!

- No, Nathan!



Go back to Krakow, baby.



Back to Krakow!



Well, good evening



Did you have a good time?



Did you enjoy our little show?



Do you get off on a little bit

of eve's dropping?



My door was open. I just

wondered what was going on.



Your door was open?

You wondered what was going on?



Well, shut my mouth if it isn't our

new literate figure from the South.



Too bad I won't be around for

a little lively conversation.



We would've had great time

shooting this shit.



We could've talked about sports...



Southern sports like...



lynching niggers, or coons

I think you all call them there.



So long cracker.

See you in another life.



Are you OK?









I'm very sorry.



That's not the way he...



he really is, you know?



Don't apologize, all right?



I live downstairs here.

If there's anything you want...



Thank you.



You're very kind.



- Come on downstairs here.

- No, I'm all right.



I'm Stingo.



please... forgive us.






We had invited you to dinner.



That's very thoughtful of you.



Listen, I'm very often

working and I type at night.



But if it's going to bother you,

I don't want to...



Oh, no! When I was

little girl my father...



type and I go to sleep

to that sound.



It'll make me fell...



How do you say that?

Secure. Secured.



- Your father was a writer?

- You know, my father was...



my father was professor of law.

He wrote articles...



warning college people

of the Nazi threat...



and trying to get help for those

Jews that "was" persecuted. So...



Yeah, that sound of typing

will make me think of my father...



and of his goodness.



You wouldn't want to

come in, would you?



Maybe some other time.



So, if you forgive me...



Good night.



So, "Stinko", yeah?



- "Stingo".

- "Stingo", yes!



I never hear that name.



There's no "K" in there, though.



- I got it.

- It's a "G".



Yeah, it's nice!



It's a friendly...

you know, happy sound.



I like it.






Oh, Nathan!



Oh, God!



Why can't you see, Sophie?

We are dying.



Rise and shine, honey child.

Lift up your bones.



The grit is on the brittle,

the corn is on the pone.



Hurry up.



You're going to have a picnic

out and down by the seashore.



- Good morning, Stingo.

- Good morning.



We wanted to make friends...



and to take you out on

this beautiful summer day!



We want you to come up and

to have breakfast with us.



- And then...

- Yes.



- Coney Island.

- Coney Island! Oh, boy!



Sorry about last night.



I know what you're thinking:

"These people are strange".



On Sundays we like to dress up

a bit differently and go out.



- OK.

- OK?



I knew you'd understand!



You see, everybody out

there dresses the same.



Look at those poor, pathetic

people out there. Look at them.



Drones. All walking down the

streets looking alike, wearing...



the same dread, boring uniform.



You're boring!

"Good morning"!



Look at this God's gift!



Give me a kiss.



- One kiss.

- All right, one kiss.



- That's all you deserve.

- One more.



- I need one more.

- No.



- I have to have one more.

- Nathan!



Look where my hands have to go.



This is...

No, Nathan Landau!



What do you think of that, Stingo?



Here I am, a nice Jewish boy...



pushing thirty...



I fall crazy in love

with a polish Shiksa.



What is that?

What is a Shiksa?



A Shiksa? Is a "goee" girl.

A lady of a gentile persuasion.



She's a...



All right. I'd just assumed

that she was not...



- Jewish, Jewish?

- Yeah.






No, no, no...

Sophie is Catholic.



That's OK. But I'm

not anymore Catholic, so...



Catholic issue.



When I first met this one here...



she was a rag and bone

and hank of hair.



That was   year and a half after the

Russians liberated the camp she was in.



Yeah, it looked like

something that...



scares the birds.

You know, what is that?



Scare... scarecrow.



- I had "scurbut".

- No, no, no!



She means scurvy.

And typhus, anemia, fever...



It was a miracle she's

emerged from that camp alive.



Right! I mean...



He thought that I had leukemia.



I thought I was dying.



But it was Nathan that see

that it was only anemia.



- Are you a doctor?

- No, no.



That's my brother's domain.



- But I'm a biologist.

- Yeah!



I graduated in Science from Harvard.



And he made MA...



in Developmental

and Cellular Biology.



- I do research now.

- He works at Pfizer.



A big pharmaceutical

house in Brooklyn.



Anyway, I took her to

this friend of my brother's...



a doctor who teaches

at Columbia Presbyterian.



- Yeah.

- He confirmed my diagnosis.



And we put the little sweetie here...



on a massive doses

of ferrous sulphate...



and she'd bloomed like a rose.



A rose.



A rose...



A beautiful fucking rose.



You're something!



Thank you for making me

"to" bloom like a rose.



Not "to" bloom, just "bloom".



She's so good.

It's about time she was perfect.



So what? I mean, this is

a ridiculous language!



There's too many words!



The word for "velocity":

OK, there's "fast", "quick"...



"rapid" and they all

mean the same thing.



- "Swift", "Speedy"...

- "Hasty".



- "Flit".

- "Brisk".



- "Expeditious".

- "Accelerated".






No, no! Stop it!



It's ridiculous!



Oh, in French it's so easy.

You say: "vit".



Or in polish, "szybko"

and in Russian, "bistroy"



It's only in English

that it's so complicated!



How many languages do you know?



Well, my father was a Linguistic,

so I mean, I...



He taught me German, French,

Russian, Hungarian...



the Slavic Languages...



So, what language

I'm butchering now?






I bet your father was

a very interesting man.



Yeah, my father was...



a civilized man.



- That's the word, yeah? "Civilized"?

- Very good word.



Yeah? My father was a civilized man

living in a non civilized time.



The civilized,

they "was" the first to die.



Do you play the piano?



No. I used to play, but I...



I no longer play.



I don't, anymore...



My mother was a beautiful pianist.



Nathan surprised me with

that piano on my birthday!



I love that piece.



When I was a little girl, I...



I remember, I'd lay in bed...



and I'd hear my mother

downstairs playing the piano...



and the sound of my

father's typewriter.



I think no child had a more

wonderful father and mother.



And a more beautiful life.



Do you know that song, right?



Stingo, hit it!



Suddenly, I shivered violently.



I remembered Nathan's voice

that night before.



"Donít you see, Sophie?

We 're dying".



I longed desperately to escape...



to pack my bags and flee.



But I did not.



I stayed at Yetta Zimmerman's...



and I helped fulfill Sophie's

prophecy about the three of us.



We became the best of friends.



Here's an example of how

emotionally evocative English can be



Sophie loved to tell

how Nathan saved her life.



Their meeting was, for her...



a miracle.



Because I could not stop for

death, he kindly stopped for me.



The carriage held but just

our selves and Immortality.



Rhymes, rhymes... It's not hard

enough to understand the language?



Just everyday life talk.

He has to read us rhymes!



...what the beauty of

the language can be...



when written by artists.



I look forward to seeing you

next week. And remember...



You must not get discouraged.



You'll see.



One morning you'll wake up and find

you've been dreaming in English!



Excuse me. Who did he

say wrote that poem?






- Emile Dickens.

- Thank you.



Are you all right, Miss Zawistowska?






Thank you, I'm very fine.

I'm a little tired.



I noticed that you've been looking...



Well... a little delicate lately.



- I hope I'm not being too personal.

- No! No, I...



Could you help me with that?



Thank you.



Thank you for your...






Good bye.



Excuse me, sir.

Could you tell me what...



Where would be that listing

in catalog file...






  th century American poet...



- Emile Dickens, please?

- In the catalog room on the left.



But you wonít find any such listing.



I wonít find that listing?



Why won't I... find it?



Charles Dickens is

an English writer.



There's no American poet

by the name of Dickens.



I'm sorry. No, that is,

I'm sure, American poet.



- Emile Dickens.

- Listen!



- "D-I...

- I told you!



There's no such person. Do you

want me to draw you a picture?



- I'm telling you, you hear me?

- All right.



It's all right, it's all right...



Just lie still.



Let the doctor take

care of everything.



You're so beautiful.



Yes! How did you get

to be so beautiful?



I think...



I think that I'm going to die.



No, no, no...



No, your pulse...



Your pulse is fine.

It's steady.



You're going to live to be a hundred.



Why I am so tired?



The doctor thinks you

need to get some color...



in that beautiful

white skin of yours.



I'm going to take you

to see my brother.



He is the best doctor going.



- No, let you...

- You thought I was a doctor?



No, I'm a biologist.



- You've been eating properly lately?

- Yes! Oh, yes! I am...



I am six months in

here, in U.S. and...



so I eat "more good"

now than in my life.



You could've fallen behind with iron

and never had a chance to catch up.



Look, I'm going to go now.



But may I come back later?

Don't answer that. I'll be back.






Yeah, OK!



- How long you have been there?

- Enough to get dinner started.



You look much better.



What did you do here?



It looks beautiful.



We're having calf's liver...



prepared "Veneziano" and

special vinaigrette sauce...



loaded with iron.



And leeks... filled with iron.



Also will improve the

timber of your voice.



You know, Nero had

leek served every day...



- to deepen his voice.

- I didn't know that.



So that he could croon while he

had Seneca drown and squirted.



- Let me help you with that.

- No! You're not to move.



The "madame" taste the wine?



"Chateaux Margoux de...






My God!



Special day...



special wine.



You know, when you...



When you live a good life...



like a saint and then you die...



that must be what they make

you "to" drink in paradise.



Thomas Wolfe!



It's written in polish!



Oh God! What does Wolfe

sound like in polish?



a stone, a leaf, an unfound door.



Of a stone...



- The door.

- The door.



- Of all the forgotten faces.

- Forgotten faces.



God! This is a first...



hearing Thomas Wolfe

read aloud in polish.



The first for me too, hearing

Wolfe read in English.



If that poor bastard have heard

you read this aloud in polish...



- he would've written in polish.

- I don't think so.



Oh, yeah! Oh, yes!



You were... You were in

that concentration camp?



Yeah, I can't...



- I can't talk about that, though.

- I'm sorry.



I have a neck to stick my big

nose where it's got no business.






want so much to know you.



To be close to you.



Emily Dickenson?



That's the woman?



Oh, no!



"property of Nathan Landau".



- That's you?

- That's me.



- It's your book?

- No, it's yours.



Thank you!



Thank you.



"Ample make this bed.



Make this bed with awe;



In it wait till judgment break...



excellent and fair.



Be its mattress straight.



Be its pillow round;



Let no sunrise yellow noise...



interrupt this ground".



Nathan, my new and

dear beloved friend...



introduced me to what seemed

the answer to my relentless...



all consuming "hornyness".



Before I went into analysis,

I was completely frigid.



Can you imagine? Now all I

can do is think about fucking.



Wilhelm Reich has turned

me into a nympho.



I mean, sex on the brain!



Her name still crawls

across my tongue.



Lesley Lapidus.



The door is open, came in!






- Boy, look excellent.

- Thanks.



- What would like to drink?

- I'll have a...



I don't know, let's see...



- I'd like a red wine.

- Oh, my God!






Fucking fantastic fucking!



Wait! Just let it ring!



Hello, mother.



Fine, fine. I told

you I'd be just fine.



Yeah, plenty. And I'll make sure

that the plants are watered...



and that the dog is fed.

Well, mother...



Yes, Daddy. Your little

princess will be good.



OK. Bye!



They'll go away for the weekend

and the maid is out sick.



And they care about how I will

survive for a weekend in this...



apartment by myself. So they stocked

the fridge, put a lock on every door...



and who knows what else!



Thus I realized that Lesley and I

would be left to frolic here alone.



My cup ran over.



Oh, my cup turned into a spillway

flooding across the spotless carpet...



out the door down

Pierrepot Street...



across all the twilit

carnal reaches of Brooklyn.



Lesley. A weekend

alone with Lesley.



Have you ever read D.H. Lawrence,

"Lady Chatterley's Lover"?






He has the answer.



He knows so much about fucking.



He says...



He says that when you fuck

you go to the Dark Gods.



Stingo, I really mean it.



To fuck is to go to the Dark Gods.



Let's go to the Dark Gods!



What is going on?



You don't understand...



I can't go all the way.



I've reached a plateau

in my analysis.



Before I reach this plateau of

vocalization I could never say...



any of those words.



those Anglo-Saxon four letter words

that everybody should be able to say



Now I'm completely able to vocalize.



Lesley Lapidus could say "fuck"

but she could not do it.



Nathan!? I'm so glad you're...



Yep, little Stingo.



- Stingo?

- Yeah?



You want to come up and

have a night cup with me?






When Nathan gets involved

he forgets all about the time...



Stingo, you look... very nice.

You're wearing your "cock sucker".



My seersucker.



Oh yeah.

Right, "seersucker".



I love it here.



I'm glad you couldn't sleep.



You hurt your mouth?

You talk funny.



I bit my tongue.



- You want me to get you something?

- No, please, no.



It just needs to be left alone.



You changed all

the furniture around?



Yeah, you like it? I do that

when I can't sleep, you know?



It's good, because

then you don't have...



You don't have to

think about anything.



- Well, then I'll try that.

- Oh, no.



Stingo... You do not

have to move furniture.



- You will move mountains.

- I can't even move my tongue.



Maybe you moved it too much.



Why aren't all the women

in the world like you?



You'd better thank God they're not.

I see many women in your life.



Many beautiful women...



who adore you and that make

all that love with you.






I can see myself just

being alone forever.



Oh, Stingo...

I'm not fair with you.



I think Stingo is so young,

he is a talented American.



He doesn't have any real,

real problems, but...



You don't know if I'm talented.



You've never read

anything I've written.



I don't ask about your work...



and what it is about because

I know a writer likes to...



be quite about his work.



It's about a boy...



a twelve-year-old boy...



- And...

- So it's autobiographical?



To a certain extant, maybe it is.



It takes places in a year,

which is the year his mother dies...



I didn't know your mother died.



- When I was   .

- You loved her very much?



Not enough.



- What do you mean, "Not enough"?

- I mean: "Not enough".



And that's what is

so terrible about...



outliving those people

that we love, I mean that...



- that quilt.

- Your father?



My father, my mother, my husband.



You were married?



Yeah, I was married.



And I was very young.

I was married to a...



disciple of my father.



Assistant at the University.



Your father was writing

Nazi articles?



That probably got him into trouble.



One day I was at the Mass and...



they have a...



I had a...



"presentiment" and I...



have money for you and I...



I run out of the church and

I go to the University...



and I see that the

gate is locked and...



there were many Germans there...



and I saw the professors. They

"was" loading them into the truck...



and this one part of canvas

has moved away...



and I see my father's face and

the face of my husband behind him.






I looked and the...



But the Germans

pulled that away and...



I never saw those faces again.



They took them to Sachsenhausen,

but they shot them the next day.



- And your mother?

- My mother...



My mother got...



t- t-tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis and...



She is very sick, you know?

She's dying. I can't do anything.



But I think if I could get

that meet for my mother...



I would make her strong, so

I go to the country and...



the peasants,

they're selling... ham.



And I go with that black market

money and I buy that and...



I bring it back. But it's forbidden

for all the meet goes to the Germans



If you get caught...



So I hid the ham under

my skirt on the train.



I'm pretending that I'm

pregnant, you know?



I was so afraid!



I was shaking.

And then that German...



who was in the front of

the train and he saw me.



And I'm sitting there

and he "come" up to me...



and he "take" under

my skirt that ham and...



So they sent me to Auschwitz.



You were sent to Auschwitz

because you stole a ham?



No. I was sent to Auschwitz

because they saw that I was afraid.



- You know what that means.

- Yeah.



You tried to commit

suicide in Auschwitz.



No, it was after that.



After that, I was in...



- After liberation.

- After you were safe?



Yes, safe, yeah.



I was safe, I was in Sweden.

I was in that refugee camp.



I mean, that was good.

They try to help you, you know?



They try... but...



I knew that...



Christ had turned his

face away from me...



and that only a Jesus who

no longer cared for me could...



kill those people

that I love, but...



leave me alive...



with my shame? Oh, God.

So I went to that church...



and I took the glass

I knew was there and I...



I've cut my wrist.



But I didn't die, of course!



Of course, not.






there's so many things

you don't understand.



There's so many things

that I can't...



that I cannot... tell you.



I want you to trust me.



I want you to trust me.



Just trust me.



Oh, God! There's Nathan!






- Sophie!

- Astrid?



I'm working night duty at

Brooklyn Hospital this week.



My patient is this old lady

who's meaner than my mother!



Well, good night, Astrid.

I'll go to sleep.



That was Astrid, you know.



Maybe I'll leave the door open in

case he comes, we could hear him.



So you want another drink?



- Your bottle is empty.

- Well...



I know where Nathan

keeps another bottle.



Be careful, it's dark in here.



Oh, God.



You'll feel better if we

just call him at the lab.



I can't do that. He doesn't

like for me to call him.



You know, at work.



So, anyway...



I did it an hour ago!



And there was no answer, so...



I'm sure the switchboard

just shot off.



Yes, I think that's right.



I'm sure of that. You know,

sometimes when he can't sleep...



he goes and walks

all over the city.



He goes into all

these neighborhoods...



I don't know where he goes, but...

Once he came back, he had a...



black eye and his jaw

was all swollen there.



I thought it was broken!



You know, he could be hurt.



I don't know where he is, but I

think we should call the police.



- Right now.

- I think we'd better wait   hours.



Wait till someone is

on the switchboard there.



We'll just call him then.



His working lady probably got

tired and fell asleep there.



Yeah. She's probably asleep there.



- I'm sure.

- I'm sure you're right.



Look at this. Nazi primer.



He must have everything written

about the Nazis in those news.



He is obsessed with the Nazis

who are escaping justice.



Do you suppose all this

started after he met you?



Look, I know I shouldn't tell

him about that place, but...



what could I do? I know

it's not my fault that he...



I can understand.

After all, he is a Jew.



Yes, but don't you think

that I'm angry too?



That these men, these terrible

Nazi leaving my father...



Such a good man who tries

to help Jews is killed!



Don't you think that I am angry?

But you don't understand Nathan.



You don't know...




What he might do, you know?



- Sometimes I think...

- What do you think?



- What do you think, polish baby?

- Oh, Nathan!



- You're all right?

- I am. What about the two of you?



I was so frightened, you know?



I was stupid!



I got so scared that something

had happened to you.



I would've called

but I didn't want to wake you.



We're on to something in our work.

Something big. Very big.



That's wonderful, Nathan.



Yeah, wonderful.



But you were here...



with Sophie.



Stingo, you know, he...

Stingo came home from his date!



So I heard the door

and thought it was you.



So I run out, but...



Anyway, I called him and said

why don't you come up for a drink?



Because I was worried and

he was a very good friend...



and he was keeping me company.



So now you've seen my

"sanctum sanctorum".



Now you know all of Nathan's

darkened hours secrets.






You wipe out six million Jews...



and the world left them escape.



Enjoying our Lynching

party southern boy?



I expect you might have

a lot to teach me there.



I'm going to call it tonight.



Stingo, wait. Stingo is our

best friend, why do you do that?



He is our best friend, he deserves

only our thanks. Listen to me.



I was frightened,

I didn't know what to do here.



It's true.



Forgive me old buddy. I'm sorry.



Of course my beloved Sophie is right



I must've got crazy

with the work, you know?



- We're on to something big.

- I know, darling.



I'm just another mad scientist.



I'm leaving.






Thank you.



- Thanks for taking care of Sophie.

- All right.



- Ah, Nathan!

- I'm sorry.



I said I'm sorry already!



Darling, I'm home.



- Right!

- Are you all right?



- Are you sure?

- Yeah.



Don't you catch things in the South?



- How's it going?

- Fine. What's going on?



Think fast!



You came and wreck everything.



Yetta, you know,

always provides the best...



the best you can find in Brooklyn!



Oh, shit!



Sophie should be taking

a nap after work.



She just doesn't sleep anymore.

Not since the war. How's it going?



- Fine. Thank you.

- Let me take a look at those.



.- No.

- Come on!



I won't interfere, I won't make

any comments, I won't even...



Look, I'll show this to no one!

No one is seeing this.



I'm not no one. I'm a friend.

Don't you have those down South?



"Friend", a person attached to

another by feeling and affection.



- A supporter.

- I vowed to my self when I started..



this I was not going to show it

to anyone 'till I finish it.



- Then I'd go for that comfort person.

- Well...



OK. Youíre just terrified

that somebody don't like it.



Terrified as in filled with terror.

As sharp over mastering intense fear



All right, all right!



- That will give you some idea.

- Oh, my God!



- What about the page in the typewriter?

- No, this is a...



Nathan! Stop!



All right.



Stingo! What is the

worst that can happen?



I may discover you can't write!



- Bye! Shit! Fuck!

- Nathan, get back here!



I'll give it back, old buddy!



Fine, right!



Stingo, wait a minute!



Wait! Nathan has ordered me

to take you to the movies.



He made me your guardian

while to read that.



Yes, so you can't do no

violence to yourself now.



- Nathan must have finished that.

- Yeah.



- Come on, let's go see.

- I think I'll wait here alone.



- No, come on!

- If he's got something to say...



- let him come down and tell me.

- Don't be silly.






On this bridge on which...



so many great Americans writers

stood and reached out for words...



to give America its voice...



looking toward the land

that gave them Whitman...



from its Eastern edge dreamt his

country's future and gave it words...



on this span of which...



Thomas Wolfe

and Hart Crane wrote...



we welcome Stingo

into that pantheon of the Gods...



whose words are

all we know of immortality.



To Stingo!



How could I've failed to have

the most helpless crush on such...



a generous mind

and life enlarging mentor?



Nathan was utterly,

fatally glamorous.






Where are you?



- Stingo!

- Nathan!



- We did it!

- What? What did you do?






Remember I told you we were on to

something big? Today we cracked it.



What? What, what?



I can't tell you.

You'll hear about it all tonight.



- No, what's a few hours make?

- No, I can't tell you!



pretty soon the whole world

will know...



one of the greatest medical

advances of all time.



I can't tell you!



I'm talking about Stockholm.

Next year, the three of us together.



I'm talking to go




- All right!

- Sorry, kid. I'm going to get there first!



Wait! I got something

for you to celebrate!



Oh, Nathan! What's that?



- One for you.

- What is it?



- These go with that one.

- Oh, God!



- Oh, Nathan! What a beautiful dress!

- Do you like it?



Try it on. put it on.

Come on, try it on!



- Oh, Nathan!

- Come on!



Try it on.

please, I want to see it.



- I'm not going to do that.

- I just want to see it on you!



Hold it up.



- It doesn't have a top.

- You're the top.



Nathan, it's beautiful!



- I've to get back to the laboratory.

- Why don't you stay with us?



- Tonight we'll celebrate.

- Look at all this.



I can't.

I got to get back to work.



Tonight we'll celebrate.

Make sure Sophie gets back home safe.



- Wear those clothes tonight.

- Look at these shoes!




Tonight Iíll look at it.



Oh, my darling.

I'm so proud of you.






You were the one who gave

me the idea to get it.



- I think it's like mine.

- It's a beautiful watch, yes?



Dr. Kats, my boss, and his wife...



Her family is in the jewellery

business, so he took me there...



- to get it engraved.

- It opens at the top, like mine.



What? Don't get you fingers...



- You got your fingerprints all over it.

- Nathan won't know.



- Anyway, do you think he will like it?

- Sure, he will.



I think he'll be very pleased.



It... you know, it cost...



a great deal of money.

More than I could afford.



Anyway, who cares?



Today, money doesn't

seem very important.



Get the champagne!



He's going to... Get them!



- I got it!

- Champagne is in the back!



I couldn't remember Nathan's

brand when I went to the store.



- Yeah? What kind?

- The guy at the shop says...



something Rose.

He says it's very good.



- Surprise!

- Surprise!



Is it your brand?

I couldn't remember.



Stingo got you that champagne.



That's sweet.



It's beautiful.

Look at you.



- Yeah! Do you like?

- Very becoming.



That would become you more.



- What?

- Haven't I told you...



that the only think I

absolutely demanded of you...



the only single thing...

is fidelity?



And didn't I tell you that if you

ever were with this guy Kats...



ever again outside of work, and

if you walk with this cheap schmuck...



this fraud, that

I'd break your ass?



- Yeah, but.

- This afternoon he brings...



you home again. You spent the

whole fucking afternoon with him.



Or should, I say you spent the

whole afternoon with him fucking?



- Nathan!

- Did you try the new dress for him?



So he could strip it off

in a cheap hotel room?



Did he line up your vertebra

in a nice neat line...



while he was humping you?

I bet he does quite a number.



Wait! Nathan!



How do you know he took her home?

Did you follow her?



How did you find out

Kats took her home?



You're going to feel like a

fool when you find out why.



please, don't!



A baby southern artist

defending a little Pollack whore.



To bad our celebration will be of

more mundane stripe than I intended.



- I think you should go.

- I'm not going to let you alone with him.



- You don't understand...

- You don't have to take this shit!



Letís just cut out

all the ugly shit!



Yeah, poor this. Let's

celebrate. You know why?



We're here to toast you.

But what are we here to toast?



- You're right. I'm terribly sorry.

- That's all right.



I don't know what's

come over me. Here...



Here is to my best friend...



- and my best girl.

- There you are.



Look what I got you, anyway.



I had the wrapping,

you know, but I...



It's beautiful.

Very beautiful.



- Do you like it?

- If I like it? I love it.



Yes? Sheís just like Stingo's.



It is?



- It has an engraving.

- It's beautiful. Beautiful.



This toast is in honor...



my complete disassociation...



from you two creeps.



Disassociation from you...



the Coony Chiropractic cunt

of King's County...



and you, the dreary dregs of Dixie.



You have not fooled me,

young Stingo.



Since you so graciously allowed me to

read your magnum Southern opus...



about your adolescent self-pity...



- for your poor dead mother.

- Knock it off, Nathan.



However, look on it optimistically...



you might be on the verge

of a whole new form...



the "Southern Comic Book"!



- And now, my sweet...

- Stin...



I want to ask you one question that's

been burning in my mind for so long.



Then maybe you can

explain something to me.



The reason maybe

of why you are here...






walking the streets...



wearing this enticing perfumery...



engaged in syrup tissue's

winery with not one...



but two, count them,

ladies and gentlemen...



two chiropractors!



In short, making hay...



waiting the sunshine

to employ an old maid...



while at Auschwitz, the ghosts

of the millions of the dead...



- still seek an answer.

- No.



Tell me...



Tell me Sophie.

The same anti-Semitism...



for which Poland has gained

such a worldwide recognition...



that this similar anti-Semitism guide

your own destiny, help you along...



protect you in a manner of speaking

so you became one of the minuscule..



handful of people who lived...

while the millions died?



Tell me. Tell me why.



Explanation, please!



Tell me why...



old lucky number      ...



Tell me...



why you inhabit the

land of the living?



What splendid little

tricks and strategies...



is inside that lovely head of

yours to allow you to breath...



the clear polish air?



What a multitude at Auschwitz

choked slowly...



- on the gas?

- No!



- Explain!

- Stop it!






- Lay off of her!

- Get off of my way!



Get off of my...



Stay away!

Stay out!



Stay out! Get out of here!



Go away!



I'm leaving the house, they're here.

I come back, two empty rooms.



No Nathan, no Sophie and the last

anybody knows he puts her in a cab..



and he runs off the other way.

I can't tell how hard it is...



- Is this Dr. Blackstock?

- Yes.



I'm a friend of Sophie Zawistowska's

and you may have heard of me, Stingo



Oh, the writer!

She's very proud of you!



- I'm trying to track her down.

- But donít you live in the same house?



She moved out last night.



She called in this morning and wasn't

well. I was worried about her.



- She is such a tough girl.

- Do you know how I could find her?



What about the boyfriend?



I think that's over.



Maybe she went to

stay with a friend.



I don't know any friends of hers.



There's this Polish girl who work

for a professor at Brooklyn College.



I remember her name.

It was Sonja Wajinska.



Is a woman named

Sonja Wajinska work here?



No, I'm sorry. She went back

to Poland six months ago.



But if you like,

I can give you her address.



Thank you. Do you know

her friend Sophie Zawistowska?






She came here once to visit

Sonja, but she did not came back.



I recognized her from my days

at the University of Krakow.



She is the daughter of

professor Bieganski.



Were you student of his?



I heard him lecture once.

That was enough.



I know he is very

unspoken about the Nazis.



He was crazy about the Nazis.



I think because they hate

the Jews as much as he did.



The Nazis killed him.



They came one day and made a

clean sweep of all academics.



And they didn't stop to

check their political views.



I think you have the wrong man.



Look, I shall show you...



Zbigniew Bieganki...



Look, Bieganski...



professor of Law at

the University of Krakow...



from      to     ...



known for his anti-Semitic threats.



A major promulgator of

the ghetto pension rule...



which made it illegal

for Jewish students...



to seat on the

same bench as polls.






I told Yetta I was leaving.



A few weeks before I had

received a letter from my father.



He had inherited a small farm and

knowing I was running out of money



proposed that I'd come

back South and live on it.



I could not bear

to stay in Brooklyn.









Sophie? You're back!



Oh, yes. Hello, Yetta.



I came to get the rest

of my things, you know?



- Have you heard from Nathan?

- No. Not a word.



He just came here this morning

to take the rest of his things.















I'm sorry about what

happened last night.



But I want you to

know that Nathan...



didn't mean what he

said about your book.



Well, you know that. Right?



I know he really

loves your writing.



That doesn't matter anymore.



But I mean...



"we" will still be friends.



You know I'm leaving.

I'm going home.



It should be a better

place for me to write.



We've driven you away.



It has nothing to do with you.



I spoke with

Dr. Blackstock today.



Oh, Stingo.

Did you go looking for me there?



I would've left you a

note where I went but...



I just didn't think of it.

I'm sorry.



I'm sorry you were worried about me.



I thought your friend Sonja

might know where you were.



Sonja? Sonja Wajinski?

But she went back to Poland.



I know that.



I went to Brooklyn College.



She used to work for a

Language professor there.






I think you met him once.



He knew your father.



Yeah, my father...



He heard him lecture once...



at the University of Krakow

where your father taught.



He told you about my father?



Sophie, why did you lie to me?



I lied because, you know why?



I was so afraid...



I was afraid I'd left alone!






Good bye... my friend.



Sophie, I want to understand...



I'd love to know the truth.



The truth?



It does not make it

easier to understand.



And maybe you think that

find out the truth about me...



and you'll understand me and then

you'd forgive me for all those...



For all my lies.



I promise I'll never leave you.



You must never promise that.



No one... no one should

ever promise that!



The truth? I don't even

know what is the truth.



After all these lies I've told...



My father...



How can I explain how

much I loved my father?



My father believed that human

perfection was a possibility.



Every night

I pray to God...



to forgive me for always making

a disappointment to my father.



And I pray to him...



to make worthy of

such a great good man.



I was a grown woman.



I was wholly come of age.

I was a married woman...



when I realized I hated my father

beyond all words to tell it.



It was winter of     .



And my father was working for

weeks on the speech he calls...



"Poland Jewish Problem".



Orderly I typed those speeches...



and I don't hear the words,

their meaning, but...



this time I came upon a word

that I have never heard it before.



The solution for Poland

Jewish Problem, he concludes...



is "vernichtung".






I have not meant to go

to the ghetto that afternoon...



but something made me go there.



I stood there

I don't know how long...



watching these people that my

father has condemned to die.



All these men, these women,

these children would be "vernichtung".






I suddenly remembered that my father

is waiting for that speech...



and I hurry home to

finish the typing but...



in my rushing and my

haste to finish that...



I make so many mistakes

in the sentences and...



I run with it to the University

and my father has no time...



to check that before speaking.



And he get up in front

of all those people...



and he reads the speech

and makes those mistakes...



and I see him getting so angry.



And when it was over,

he came up to me...



I was with my husband, of course.



And in front of him and all

his colleague he said:






your intelligence is pulp.






I didn't have any courage to say:

"Yes, but what about the Jews?"



The Jewish people, but...



After that he didn't

trust me anyway.



And neither did my husband.



Afterwards in Warsaw...



I had lover...



who was very, very good to me.



Josef lived with his

half-sister Wanda.



She was a leader

in the Resistance.



Two weeks later...



the Gestapo killed Josef.



They cut his throat.



They had courage.



Oh, God, they had courage!



Not too long after that,

they killed Josef...



I was arrested.



My children were sent

with me to Auschwitz.



When the train arrived

at Auschwitz...



the Germans made the selection.



Who would live and who would die.



Ian, my little boy...



Ian, my little boy,

was sent to the "Kinderlogg"...



which was the children's camp.



And my little girl, Eva,

was sent to crematorium II.



She was exterminated.



Thanks to my perfect German...



and my secretarial skills...



and the things my father

had taught me...



so well.



I came to work...



for Rudolf Hoess...



Commandant of Auschwitz.



The day they took me

to work for Hoess...



I was forced to walk

pass block   ...



That is where they took

the prisoners that were...



selected for extermination.



The people there were made

to stand for, sometimes, days.



They were naked

and they had no water.



And their hands

reached out from the bars...



and they cried and pleaded.



But that night...



I kept repeating to myself...



"I have saved my son,

I have saved my son".



"Tomorrow I can see him!"



"And I can tell him good bye".



"And he will have been saved".



Oh, my God, I had such

happiness that night!



Such hope!



But Hoess did not keep his word.



I never did know what

happened to my little boy.



So, you know, that's

why I didn't want to...



to live no more.



Till Nathan came and...



he made me live for him.



Live for me, Sophie.



Live for me.



Oh, my God! What have

we done to you?



Be careful!






Nathan, put down the chair!

This is no time for fun!



- put down the chair!

- put down the chair.



- Stingo!

- Oh, telephone.



It's Dr. Landau,

Nathan's brother.



Thank you.



Hello, this is Larry.

- Nathan's brother.



- Yes, Larry!

- Nathan has talked about you.



- I know youíve been friends.

- He has talked about you.



Is that possible for us

to arrange a meeting?



Sure. Just tell when and where.



My brother thinks the world of you.



I've never met anybody more

brilliant than Nathan.



- He's such a breath at knowledge.

- You're right.



He is convinced

you're going to be a...



major writer, something

he wants me to be.



please, sit down.



Seems to me, he's got to

do everything he chooses.



He's told you and Sophie

that he is a research biologist.



At Pfizer.






biologist business...



is my brother's masquerade.



He has no degree of any kind.

All that is a simple fabrication.



The truth is, he's quite mad.



- Christ!

- One of those conditions where...



weeks, months, even years go by

without any manifestations.



He has a job at Pfizer

in the company library.



an undemanding sinecure I got for him

where he can do a lot of reading...



without bothering anyone and

he does a little research...



for one the legitimate

biologist on the staff.



I'm not sure Nathan would forgive

me if he knew that I told you.



He made me swear never to tell

Sophie. She knows nothing.



The cruelest joke is that

he was born the perfect child.



He excelled in everything.



Even Nathan's teachers would

speculate on what he would achieve.



See, he was the kind of child...



everyone is prepared

to take the credit for.



When he was   

we were told that the...



child genius was a

paranoid schizophrenic



From then on, the only

schools he attended were...



expensive funny farms.



What can I do?



If he could stay off the drugs...



he might have a chance.



Drugs? What is he on?



Benzedrine, cocaine.



- You didn't know?

- No, I did not.



I want you to spy on him.



But if you could simply

keep tabs on him...



and report back to me

by phone from time to time...



letting me know how he's getting on.



I'm sorry to have to

involve you this way.



I don't think you understand.



I love them both.



They're friends of mine.



Good morning, Mr. Stingo.



We were afraid something terrible

might have happened to you.



Miss Sophie was all for

having me institute a search.



- You indeed look ravishing

- Thank you, very much.



So, what you all

want to do this evening?



Come, darling.



This was Nathan's idea to surprise

you with a Southern evening.



Your book has wet my appetite

to know about the South.



And about the trip, too.



Miss Sophie and I have been

discussing the possibility of...



taking a tour to your

beloved Dixie in October.



And I've been thinking, if it's

all right with Miss Sophie...






...that maybe we could

make a wedding trip...



and have you join us not

just as our best friend...



but as my best man.



I have the honor...



to request your hand in marriage.



To have and to hold...



from this day forth...



till death us do part.



With this ring...



I be true myself to you.



Believe it, it's traditional

for the groom to give a gift...



to the best man.



I told Nathan that you'd have

to put that book away...



for a while to make money

and that made him very said.



Nathan, I can't

possibly accept this.



Stingo, don't reject this.



Don't waste your talent.



I don't know how to thank you.



Future Mrs. Landau...



give me the honor of this dance.



It's not really about Nathan.



What do you mean?



You don't know?



It's supposed to be a secret.



He confided in me that

he and his team...



discovered a cure for polio...



in my house.



If only my Saul could

have lived to see the day.



- The car is ready, Mrs. Zimmerman.

- I'll be down.



What did Nathan say

when he saw you?



I haven't seem him.



He and Sophie left here

a couple hours ago.



He said he'd look for you and

straighten things out once and for all.



- Wait, what?

- I guess you just missed them.



Sophie said he was imagining

things trying to soothe him...



the way she does

when he gets like that.



God knows what was going

through his mind now.



I told you to watch out.



Next time you'll listen to me.



I got better things to do.



- Do you know where he is now?

- I don't know.



- Hello.

- God damn you to hell forever.






- Are you all right?

- Oh, yes. I'm all right.



- What's wrong with your arm?

- He was breaking my arm.



I got frightened and I ran away.

He has a gun, Stingo.



I think he's going to use it.



I shouldn't have left him there.



We should go find...



- Nathan?

- Stingo.



Now you listen. Listen to me.



Is he good? Nathan!



- Oh, God!

- Nathan!



My darling, will you forgive me?



- Get off that phone, you whore!

- You know that I love you.



I don't want to speak to you again!



Nathan, we love you

very much, all right?



We'd do nothing to hurt you.



Now you tell us where you are.



God damn you to hell

forever for betraying me...



behind my back, you whom I trust

like the best friend I ever had.



and that shit-eating grin

of yours day after day?



Butter wouldn't melt in your mouth when

you gave me your manuscript to read.



"Ah, gee, Nathan. Thank you so much".

When not    minutes earlier...



you'd been in bed with the

woman I was going to marry.



Marry! Marry!



I'd burn in hell before I'd marry

a two-timing Pollack...



who'd spread her legs for a Southern

shit-ass betraying me like that.



We're going to come get you.

Where are you?



Don't come. Stay where you

are. I'm going to come get you.



- Both of you.

- Jesus?, Nathan!



Donít go away.

You know what am I going to do...



to you deceitful, unspeakable pigs.




- Now I'm going to get you.

- Oh, God!



I called his brother's office.



Larry is in Toronto.

They're going to try to reach him.



I should've stayed there.



Maybe I could've helped him.



He's never been this bad before.



I think he could've killed us.



- I think he could've killed us both.

- I don't care that I'll die.



I'm afraid that he'll die

without me.



Thank you.






Where are we going?



Well, I want to take you to

see the Washington sights.



We'll go by the White House.



We may get a pick Harry Truman



I mean...



where are we going?



Where are we really going?



Well, I'm going to take you

down to that farm...



that I told about,

in South of Virginia.



I think once we get

settled in there we can...



drive over to Richmond...



get a good phonograph

and buy some records.



What do you mean

"get settled in there?"






I love you very much, Sophie.



And I...



I want to marry you.



I want you to live

in that farm with me.



I want to write my books,

I want you to help me...



raise a family...



because I...



I love you very, very much.



Is it too much to hope you might...



you might love me too?



Listen, Stingo, I'm...



beyond    years now, you know?



What are you going to do with

an old polish lady like me?







"Old woman"...



Don't talk that way. You...



You're always going to be...



my number one.



Well, then yes.

We could go down there. Sure.



We could live there

for a while and then...



We're not getting married

because we could decide that later.






In that little country place

that we'd be living in...



we would have to be married.



Its full of Christians down there,

you know?



Well... I don't know, I mean...



Getting married soon,

I love you for a very long time.



I know you're fond of me.



Give this time.

Just give this time.



We'll be fine.



It's not just the age

difference, you know?



...between you and me, Stingo.



You should have another

mother for your children.



Only you.



It would not be fair to your

children to have me as their mother.



Sophie, that would be the

luckiest children in the world.



I'm going to tell you something.



I'm going to tell you something

I never told anybody.



Never, but I need a drink.



So won't you get me that first?



In the day that we went...



to Auschwitz, it was Spring,

you know, and...



we only arrived there at night.



It was a warm night.

It was a beautiful night.






we'll go to that farm tomorrow.



But please, Stingo, don't...



talk about marriage...



and children.



It's enough that...



we'll go down there to that farm...



to live...



for a while.



I was    and a virgin...



and was clasping in

my arms at last...



the goddess of my

unending fantasies.



My lust was inexhaustible.



Sophie's lust was both

a plunge into carnal oblivion...



and a flight from

memory and grief.



More than that, I now see...



It was a frantic and orgiastic

attempt to beat back death.



"My dearest Stingo...



You are such a beautiful lover.

I had to leave and...



forgive me for not saying goodbye

but I must go back to Nathan.



Believe me, you'll find

some wonderful woman...



to make you happy on that farm.



But when I woke I was

feeling so terrible and...



in Despair about Nathan.



By that I mean

so filled with guilt...



and thoughts of death.

It was like ice...



flowing into my blood.



So... I must be with Nathan again

for whatever that means.



I may not see you again, but...



do believe me how much

knowing you have meant to me.



You are a great lover, Stingo.






He worked in a pharmaceutical lab.



I think that's how he got

a hold on the cyanide.



They found it next to

the bed, you know?



- What lab, you know?

- I'm not sure.



"Ample make this bed.



Make this bed with awe.



In it...



I'll wait till judgment break.



Excellent and fair.



Be its mattress straight.



Be its pillow round.



Let no sunrise yellow noise...



interrupt this ground".



And so ended my

voyage of discovery...



in a place as strange as Brooklyn.



I let go the rage and sorrow

for Sophie and Nathan...



and for the many others

who were but a few...



of the butchered and betrayed

and martyred children of the Earth.



When I could finally see again...



I saw the first rays of daylight

reflected in the murky river.



This was not judgment day.



Only morning.



Morning: excellent and fair.

Special help by SergeiK