Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? script is here for all you fans of the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor movie. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? Script

- It's 2 o'clock in the morning.
- Oh, George!

Well, it is.

What a cluck you are!

It's late, you know. It's late.

What a dump!

Hey, what's that from? ''What a dump! ''

How would I know?

Oh, come on, what's it from?
You know!

What's it from, for Christ's sake?

What's what from?

I just told you. I just did it.

''What a dump! ''

Huh? What's that from?

I haven't the faintest idea.


It's from some Bette Davis picture...

...some goddamn Warner Brothers epic.

Martha, I can't remember all the films
that came out of Warner Brothers.

Nobody's asking you to remember
every Warner Brothers epic.

Just one single little epic.
That's all.

Bette Davis gets peritonitis at the end.

And she wears a fright wig
throughout the picture.

She's married to Joseph Cotten
or something.


She wants to go to Chicago because
she loves that actor with the scar.

She gets sick...

...and sits down at her dressing table...

What actor? What scar?

I can't remember his name!
What's the picture?

I want to know the name of the picture.

She gets this peritonitis...

...and decides to go to Chicago anyway.

''Chicago''! It's called ''Chicago.''

What is?

I mean the picture. It's ''Chicago.''

Oh, good grief!

Don't you know anything?

''Chicago'' was a '30s musical...

...starring little Miss Alice Faye.
Don't you know anything?

This picture...

...Bette Davis comes home from
a hard day at the grocery store...

She works in a grocery store?

She's a housewife. She buys things.

She comes with the groceries...

...and she walks into
the modest living room...

...of the modest cottage
modest Joseph Cotten set her up in.

Are they married?

Yes, they're married.
To each other, cluck!

And she comes in
and she looks around this room...

...and she sets down her groceries.

And she says...

...''What a dump! ''

She's discontent.

What's the name of the picture?

I really don't know.

Well, think!

I'm tired, dear.

I don't know why you're tired.
You didn't do anything today.

- I'm tired.
- You didn't have classes.

If your father didn't always set up
these Saturday night orgies...

Well, it's just too bad about you.

Well, that's how it is anyway.

You didn't do anything. You never do.
You never mix!

You just sit around and talk.

What do you want me to do?
Bray at everyone all night like you do?

I don't bray!

All right, you don't bray.

I did not bray.

I said you didn't bray!

Fix me a drink.

Haven't you had enough?

I said fix me a drink!

Well, I don't suppose a nightcap
would kill either of us.

A nightcap? Are you kidding?

We've got guests.

Got what?

Guests. Guests!

Yeah, guests. People.
We've got guests coming over.



Good Lord, Martha,
do you know what time it is?

Who's coming over?

- What's-their-name.
- Who?

Who's what's-their-name?

I don't know their name, George.

We met tonight. They're new. He's
in the math department or something.

I don't remember
meeting anybody tonight.

Well, you did.

Of all the asinine...
Who are these people?

He's in the Math Department.


He's in the Math Department.
He's young and he's blond...

He's good-looking, well-built?

Yes, good-looking, well-built.

- It figures.
- What?


His wife's a mousy little type
without any hips or anything.

Remember them now?

I guess so. But why do they
have to come over now?

Because Daddy said
we should be nice to them, that's why.

- Daddy said we should be nice to them.
- Why now...?

Because Daddy said
we should be nice to them!

He didn't mean we were supposed
to stay up all night with them.

We could have them over
some Sunday.

Well, never mind.
Besides, it is Sunday.

Very early Sunday.

- It's ridiculous!
- Well, it's done.

Where are they?
If we've got guests, where are they?

They'll be here soon.

What'd they do, go home
and get some sleep first?

They'll be here.

I wish you'd tell me...

...about things. Stop springing
things on me all the time.

I don't spring things
on you all the time.

You really do! You're always
springing things on me.


Poor Georgie Porgie put-upon-pie.

What are you doing? Are you sulking?

Let me see. Are you sulking?

Is that what you're doing?

Never mind.

Just don't bother yourself.

Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf,
Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf?

What's wrong? Didn't think it's funny?
I thought it was a scream.

It was all right.

You laughed when you heard it
at the party.

I smiled. I didn't laugh.

You laughed your goddamn head off!

It was all right.

It was a scream.

It was very funny, yes.

You make me puke.

You make me puke.

Wasn't a very nice thing to say.

That wasn't what?

A very nice thing to say.

Oh, I like your anger.

I think that's what I like
about you most.

Your anger.

You are such a simp!

You haven't got...

...the what?



You never put any ice in my drink.
Why is that?

I always put ice in your drinks.
You eat it, that's all.

It's this habit you've got of chewing
on your ice cubes like a cocker spaniel.

You'll crack your big teeth.

Well, they're my big teeth.

Yeah, some of them, some of them.

I've got more teeth than you have.

Two more.

And you're going bald.

So are you.

Hello, honey.

Come on and give your mommy
a big sloppy kiss.

I want a big sloppy kiss!

I don't want to kiss you right now.

Where are these people you invited?

Where is this good looking, well-built
young man and his slim-hipped wife?

Talking to Daddy. They'll be here.

Why didn't you want to kiss me?

Why didn't you want to kiss me?

If I kissed you I'd get all excited.
I'd get beside myself...

...and then I'd have to take you by
force on the living room rug.

Then our guests would walk in and
what would your father say about that?

Oh, you pig!

Fix me another drink, lover.

God, you can swill it down, can't you?

I'm thirsty!

Oh, Jesus!

I can drink you under any table you
want, so don't worry about me.

You got the prize years ago.
You've won every abomination award.

I swear if you existed I'd divorce you.

- Stay on your feet for your guests.
- I can't even see you!

If you pass out or throw up...
And try to keep your clothes on too.

There's no more sickening sight than
you drunk and your skirt over your head.

Your heads, I should say.

Party! Party!

I'm really looking forward to this.

- Go answer the door.
- You answer it.

Get to that door, you!

Come on in!

Get over and answer that door.

All right. Whatever love wants.
Just don't start on the bit, that's all.

The bit?

What language is that?
Lmitating one of your students?

Don't start in on the bit
about the kid, that's all.

- What do you take me for?
- Much too much.

I'll start in on the kid if I want to.

I'd advise against it.

Well, good for you.
Get over there and open that door.

You've been advised.

Sure. Get over there.

Yes, love. Whatever love wants.

Some people still have manners...

...and just don't break into
people's houses.

Even if they hear a subhuman monster
yowling at them from inside.

Goddamn you!

You must be our little guests.

Just ignore old sourpuss here.
Come on in, kids!

Just hand your coats to old sourpuss

Perhaps we shouldn't have come.

Yes, it is late!

Late! Are you kidding?
Just throw your stuff down any place.

Furniture, floor.
Makes no difference around here.

I told you we shouldn't have come.

I said come on in. Now come on!

Look, muckmouth, you cut that out!

Martha's a devil with language.

Kids, sit down.

Isn't this lovely?

- Yes, indeed. Very handsome.
- Thank you.

Who did the painting?

Some Greek with a mustache
Martha attacked one night in a...

It's got a...

- Quiet intensity?
- Well, no...

Then a certain
noisy relaxed quality maybe?

How about a quietly
noisy relaxed intensity?

Dear, you're being joshed.

I'm aware of that.

I am sorry.

It's actually a pictorial representation
of the order of Martha's mind.

Fix the kids a drink.

What would you like to drink?

What would you like?

A little brandy maybe.
Never mix, never worry!

Brandy? Just brandy.
Simple, simple.

What about you...

Bourbon, if you don't mind.

Mind? I don't mind.
Don't think I mind.

Martha, rubbing alcohol for you?

Sure. Never mix, never worry!

Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Wasn't that funny? That was so funny!

Yes, it was.

I thought I'd bust a gut!

George didn't think it was funny.

Martha thinks that unless you
bust a gut you're not amused.

Unless you carry on like a hyena
you're not having fun.

I certainly had fun.
It was a wonderful party!

- It certainly was.
- Your father, he is so wonderful!

He's quite a guy, isn't he?

You better believe it.

He's a marvelous man.

I'm not tearing him down.
We know he's a god.

You lay off my father.

When you've had as many
faculty parties as I have...

I rather appreciated it.

I mean aside from enjoying it,
I appreciated it.

Meeting, introducing, how he had us
stay at the Inn till our place is ready.

When I taught in Kansas...

You won't believe it...

...but we had to make our way all by
ourselves. Isn't that right, dear?

We had to make our own way.

I'd have to go up to the wives
in the library or the supermarket...

...and say, ''Hello, I am new here.''

''You must be Mrs. So-and-so,
Doctor So-and-so's wife.''

It really wasn't very nice at all.

Daddy knows how to run things.

He's a remarkable man.

You bet your sweet life.

I'll tell you a secret.

There are easier things in this world,
if you teach at the university...

...than being married
to the daughter of...

...the president of that university.
There are easier things.

It's a great opportunity. For some men
it would be the chance of a lifetime.

There are, believe me,
easier things in this world.

Some men would give their right arm
for the chance!

In reality that sacrifice is of a more
private portion of the anatomy.

Could you show me where the...

Are you all right?

Of course, dear. I just want to
put some powder on my nose.

Show her where we keep the euphemism?

I'm sorry. I want to show you
the house anyway.

We'll be back, dear.

Honestly, George, you burn me up!

You really do!

Don't shoot your mouth off
about you-know-what.

I'll talk about
any goddamn thing I want to!

Okay, vanish!

Any goddamn thing I want!

What'll it be?

I'll stick to bourbon.

You're in the Math Department?


Martha said so.
I think that's what she said.

Why'd you decide to be a teacher?

The same things that motivated you,
I imagine.

Oh? What were they?

What were the things that motivated me?

Well, I'm sure I don't know.

You said the things that motivated you
and me were the same.

I said I imagined they were.

Oh, did you?

You like it here?

Yes, it's fine.

I meant the university.

I know. I meant the university.

Well, I like it fine.

You've been here for quite a long time,
haven't you?

Oh, yes. Ever since I married
what's-her-name. Martha.

Even before that. Forever.

Dashed hopes and good intentions.

Good, better, best, bested!

How do you like that for a declension?

You didn't answer my question.

Don't condescend. I asked you
how you liked that declension.

I don't know what to say.

You don't know what to say?

Shall I say it's funny,
so you can say it's sad?

Or shall I say it's sad so you can say
it's funny? You can play that game!

- Very good!
- I think we'll just...

Now, calm down. Just calm down.
All right?

Another drink? Here.

I still have one.
And when my wife comes down...

What I mean is, you and your wife
seem to be having some sort of a...

Martha and I are having nothing.
Martha and I are merely exercising.

We're walking what's left of our wits.
Pay no attention.

Now let's sit down and talk, huh?

It's just I don't like to become
involved in other people's affairs.

You'll get over that. Small college.
Musical beds is the faculty sport.


Never mind. I wish you wouldn't go
''sir.'' How old are you?


I'm forty-something.

Aren't you surprised?
Don't I look older?

I think you look fine.

I've always been lean. I play handball.
How much do you weigh?

155, 160, something like that?
You play handball?

- Not very well.
- We'll play sometime.

Martha is 108... years old.
She weighs somewhat more than that.

How old is your wife?

She's twenty-six.

Martha is a remarkable woman.
I imagine she weighs around 110.

Your wife weighs...

No, my boy, your wife.
My wife is Martha.

Yes, I know.

If you were married to Martha
you'd know what it means.

If I were married to your wife,
I'd know what that means.

Martha says you are in
the Math Department or something.

No, I'm not.

She's seldom mistaken.
Maybe you should be in it.

I'm a biologist.
I'm in the Biology Department.

You're the one's going to make all
that trouble making everyone the same.

Rearranging the chromozones,
or whatever it is, right?

Not exactly. Chromosomes.

I'm very mistrustful.

You think we learn nothing from history?
I'm in the History Department.

Yes, I know.

Martha tells me I'm in
the History Department...

...as opposed to being the History
Department, in the sense of running it.

I do not run the History Department.

I don't run the Biology Department.

You're twenty-one. Twenty-eight.

Perhaps when you're forty-something
you'll run the History Department.

Biology Department.

I'm really very mistrustful!

I read somewhere that science fiction
is not really fiction at all.

That you rearrange my genes so that
everyone will be like everyone else.

I suspect we shall not have
much music or painting.

But we'll have a civilization of
sublime young men much like yourself.

Cultures and races will vanish.
The ants will take over the world.

Don't know much about science, do you?

I know history.
I know when I'm being threatened.

Your wife doesn't have any hips,
does she?

I'm not hip-happy. I was implying
that your wife is slim-hipped.

Yes, she is.

You got any kids?

No. Not yet. You?

For me to know and you to find out.

No kids, huh?

What's wrong?

Nothing. We wanted to wait
till we're settled.

Think you'll be happy
here at New Carthage?

Well, we hope to stay here.
I don't mean forever.

Don't bandy that about.
The Old Man wouldn't like it.

Martha's father expects his staff
to come here and grow old...

...and fall in the line of service.

One man, a professor of Latin...

...actually fell in the
cafeteria line one lunch.

But the Old Man isn't falling anywhere.
He isn't going to die.

There are rumors...

...which you can't breathe to Martha
for she foams at the mouth...

...that the Old Man, her father...

...is over two hundred years old.

There's an irony there, but I'm not
drunk enough to figure it out.


I wonder what women talk about
when men talk. I must find out.

What do you want?

Isn't that a wonderful sound?

How many kids you having?

I don't know. My wife is...

Well, there's one of you at least.

You must see this house, dear.
This is such a wonderful old house.

For Christ's sake, hang on a minute!

She'll be right down, she's changing.

She's changing? What, her clothes?

- Her dress.
- Why?

I imagine that she wants
to be comfortable.

Oh, she does, does she?

You don't know!

- You all right, dear?
- Yes, dear, perfectly fine.

She wants to be comfortable?

Well, we'll see about that!

I didn't know that you had a son.

- A son. I hadn't known.
- You to know and me to find out, huh?

Tomorrow is his birthday.
He will be sixteen.

She told you?

- She told you about him?
- Yes.

You said she's changing?

- And she mentioned...
- Your son's birthday.

You look pale. Would you like...

Yes, dear a little more brandy maybe.
Just a drop.

The bar?

Yes, by all means, drink away.
You'll need it as years go on.

Damn destructive...

What time is it, dear?

- 2:30.
- So late!

We should get home.

Keeping the baby sitter up?

I said we didn't have children.

Sorry, I wasn't even listening.

Or thinking. Whichever applies.

We'll go in a while.

No, you mustn't!

Martha is changing, and not for me.
Martha hasn't changed for me in years.

It means we're going to be here days.
You're being accorded an honor.

Don't forget Martha is the daughter
of our beloved boss... his right arm.

I'd use another word,
but leave that sort of talk to Martha.

What sort of talk?

Well, now!

Why, Martha, your Sunday chapel dress!

Oh, that's most attractive!

You like it? Good.

What do you mean screaming
up the stairs at me?

We got lonely for the soft purr
of your little voice.

Well, you just trot over
to the bar-ie-poo...

...and make your little mommy
a gweat big dwink.

That's right!

You're quite a guy, getting your masters
when you were what, 12?

- Hear that, George?
- 12 and a half, actually.

19, really.

- You needn't have mentioned it.
- I'm proud of you!

- I'm very impressed.
- You're damn right!

I'm wracked with jealousy.
What do you want me to do, throw up?

That's very impressive.
You should be proud.

He's a pretty nice fellow.

You might take over
the History Department.

Biology Department.

Yes. I'm preoccupied with history.

What a remark.
''I am preoccupied with history.''

George is not. George is preoccupied
with the History Department.

He's preoccupied with it...

...because he is not the
History Department, he is only in it.

We went through that
while you were upstairs.

That's right, baby, keep it clean.

George is bogged down
in the History Department.

He's an old bog
in the History Department.

That's what George is...

...A bog, a fen, a G.D. Swamp!

Hey, swamp! Hey, swampy!

Can I get you something?

Well, sure.

You can light my cigarette
if you're of a mind to.

No. There are limits.

A man puts up with only so much...

...before he descends on the
evolutionary ladder which is your line.

I'll hold your hand when it's dark
and you're afraid of the bogeyman.

And I'll tote your gin bottles
out after midnight so no one sees.

But I will not light your cigarette.
And that, as they say, is that.

Hey, you played football, huh?

Yes, I was a quarterback.

But I was much more adept at boxing.

Boxing? You hear that, George?

Must've been good. Doesn't look
like you got hit in the face.

He was intercollegiate state
middleweight champion.

Still looks like you have a
pretty good body, is that right?

Decency forbids...

Shut up!

Is that right?
Have you kept your body up?

It's still pretty good. I work out.

Yes, he has a very firm body.

Have you? I think that's very nice.

You know, once you have it,
you never know...

...when it'll come in handy!

I say, why give it up until you have to?

I couldn't agree with you more!

Your obscenity is beyond human...

George here doesn't cotton
too much to body talk.

Paunchy isn't happy when the talk
moves to muscles. How much you weigh?

155, 150...

Still at the old middleweight limit?
That's pretty good!

Tell them about the boxing match we had.


Tell them about it.

You tell them, you're good at it.

- Is he all right?
- Him? Oh, sure.

We had this boxing match...

...a couple years after we married.

A boxing match? The two of you?

Yeah, the two of us. Really.

I can't imagine it!

Well, it wasn't in a ring
or anything like that.

Daddy was on this physical fitness kick.

He had a couple of us over one Sunday
and we all went out back...

...and Daddy put the gloves on himself
and asked George to box with him.

And George didn't want to.

So Daddy said, ''Come on, young man!
What sort of a son-in-law are you? ''

And while this was going on,
I don't know why I did it...

...I got into a pair of gloves myself...

...and I snuck up behind George,
just kidding and yelled, ''Hey, George! ''

And let go with a sort of roundhouse
right. Just kidding, you know.

And George wheeled around real quick
and caught it right in the jaw!

He caught it right in the jaw!

He was off-balance. He must have been.
And then he landed...

...flat in a huckleberry bush!

Pow, you're dead.

Where'd you get that, you bastard?

I've had it awhile. Liked that, did


Oh, that was pretty good.
Hey, give me a kiss.

- Later, sweetie.
- Give me a kiss.

So that's what you're after?
We having blue games for the guests?

Everything in its place.
Everything in it's own good time.

Drinks now. Drinks for all.

You've nibbled away at your glass.

I need something.
I was never so frightened in my life.

Weren't you frightened?

- I don't remember.
- I bet you were.

Did you think I was going to kill you?

You? Kill me? That's a laugh!

I might some day.

Fat chance!

Where's the john?

Down the hall and right.

Don't come back with
any guns or anything.

You don't need any props,
do you, baby?

I'll bet not.

- No fake gun for you!
- May I leave my drink here?

Why not? We've got half-filled glasses
wherever Martha left them.

In the closet, the bathtub.
I found one in the freezer.

- Oh, you did not!
- Yes, I did.

- Brandy gives you no hangover?
- I never mix.

- I don't drink very much either.
- Oh, good.

Your husband was telling us
about chromosomes.

- Chromosomes. He's a biologist.
- He's in the Math Department.

- Biologist.
- He's in the Math Department!


Are you sure?

Well, I ought to be sure.

So he's a biologist. Good for him!

Biology's even better.

It's at the meat of things.
You're at the meat of things.

- She thought you were Math Department.
- Maybe I ought to be.

You stay right where you are.
Stay right at the meat of things.

You're obsessed by that phrase.
It's ugly.

You stay right there.

You can take over the History Department
as easy from there as any place else.

Somebody's got to take over
the History Department some day.

And it ain't gonna be Georgie-boy
over there, that's for sure.

Are you swampy, are you?

In my mind you are bedded in cement
up to the neck.

No, up to the nose, it's quieter.

When is your son...


Something about your son.

When is your son coming home?

When's our son coming home?

Never mind.

I want to know. You brought it up.
When's he coming home?

I said never mind.
I'm sorry I brought it up.

Him up! Not it! You brought him up,
more or less.

When's the little bugger appearing?
Isn't tomorrow his birthday?

I don't want to talk about it.

I don't want to talk about it!

She doesn't want to talk about it, him.

Martha is sorry she brought it up. Him.

When's the little bugger coming home?

Since you had the bad taste to
bring it up, when is the bugger coming?

George talks disparagingly about
the little bugger...

...because he has problems.

What problems has the little bugger got?

Not the little bugger.
Stop calling him that!

- You! You've got problems!
- Never heard anything more ridiculous.

Neither have I!

George's biggest problem
about the... about our son...

...about our great big son is that deep
down in the private pit of his gut...

...he is not completely sure that it's
his own kid.

My God, you're a wicked woman!

And I've told you a million times,
I wouldn't conceive with anyone else.

A deeply wicked person.

I'm not sure this is a subject for...

Martha's lying. I want you
to know that Martha is lying.

There are few things I am certain of,
but the one thing...

...in this sinking world
that I am sure of...

...is my partnership,
my chromosomoligical partnership...

...in the creation of our blond-eyed,
blue-haired son.

I'm so glad.

- A very pretty speech, George.
- Thank you, Martha.

You rose to the occasion good.
Real good.

Well. Real well!

Martha knows better.

Yes, I've been to college
like everybody else.

George, our son does not
have blue hair.

Or blue eyes for that matter.
He has green eyes like me.

Beautiful, beautiful green eyes.

He has blue eyes.


Blue, Martha.

Green, you bastard!

Tut-tut yourself, you old floozy.

He's not a floozie.

He can't be a floozie.
You're a floozie.

Now you just watch yourself!

All right!

I'd like another little nipper
of brandy please.

- I think you've had enough.
- Nonsense!

- We're all ready, I think.
- Nonsense!

George has watery blue eyes,
kind of milky blue.

Make up your mind.

I gave you the benefit of a doubt.
Daddy has green eyes too.

No, he has tiny red eyes, like a white
mouse. In fact, he is a white mouse.

You wouldn't say that if he was here.
You're a coward!

You know that shock of white hair
and these beady red eyes?

A great big white mouse.

George hates Daddy. Not for anything
Daddy's done to him, but for his own...


That's right.
You hit it right on the snout!

You know why the S.O.B.
Hates my father?

When George came to the History
Department, about 500 years ago...

...Daddy approved of him.

And you want to know what I did,
dumb cluck that I am?

I fell for him!

I like that!

She did, you should have seen it.

She'd sit outside my room at night
and howl and claw at the turf.

I couldn't work so I married her.

I actually fell for him.

It! That! There!

Martha's a romantic at heart.

That I am.

I actually fell for him.
And the match seemed practical too.

For a while Daddy thought
George had the stuff...

...to take over when
he was ready to retire.

- Stop it!
- What do you want?!

- I wouldn't go on if I were you.
- You wouldn't? Well, you're not!

You've already sprung a leak
about you-know-what.


About the little bugger. Our son.

If you start in on this, I warn you...

- I stand warned.
- Do we have to go through this?

Anyway, I married the S.O.B.
I had it all planned out.

First he'd take over the History
Department, then the whole college.

That's how it was supposed to be!

Getting angry?

That was how it was supposed to be.
All very simple.

Daddy thought it was a good idea too.
For a while!

Until he started watching
for a couple of years.

Getting angry?

Till he watched for a couple years...

...and started thinking
it wasn't such a good idea.

That maybe Georgie-boy
didn't have the stuff!

That he didn't have it in him!

- Stop it, Martha!
- Like hell, I will!

George didn't have much push.
He wasn't aggressive.

In fact, he was sort of a flop!

A great big, fat flop!

I said stop it!

I hope that was an empty bottle.
You can't afford to waste good liquor.

Not on your salary! Not on
an associate professor's salary!

So here I am, stuck with this flop...

...this bog in the History Department.

Who's married
to the president's daughter...

...who's expected to be somebody.
Not just a nobody!

A bookworm who's so
goddamn complacent...

...he can't make anything
out of himself.

That doesn't have the guts
to make anybody proud of him!

All right, George, stop it!

I'm going to be sick!

She'll be all right.
I'll make some coffee.

- You sure?
- She'll be okay.

I'm really very sorry.

She really shouldn't drink.
She's frail.

Slim-hipped, as you say.

Where's my little yum-yum?
Where's Martha?

I think she's going to make some coffee.

She gets sick quite easily.

Martha? No, she hasn't been
sick a day in her life.

Unless you count time
she spends in the rest home.

No, no. My wife.

My wife gets sick quite easily.
Your wife is Martha.

I know.

She doesn't really spend any time
in a rest home?

Your wife?

No, yours.


She doesn't. I would.

If I were her... she... I would.

But then I'm not and so I don't.

I'd like to, though.

It gets pretty bouncy
around here sometimes.

Yes, I'm sure.

- Your wife throws up a lot?
- I didn't say that.

I said she gets sick quite easily.

By sick I thought that you meant she...

It's true, actually.
She does throw up a lot.

The word is often.

Once she starts
there's practically no stopping.

She'll go right on for hours.

Not all the time.


- You can tell time by her?
- Just about.

I married her because she was pregnant.

But you said you didn't have
any children.

She wasn't really. It was a...

...hysterical pregnancy.

She blew up and then she went down.

And when she was up you married her?

Then she went down.

When I was 16...

...and going to prep school,
during the Punic Wars...

...a bunch of us would go to town
the first day of vacation...

...before we fanned out to our homes.

And in the evening
we would go to a gin mill...

...owned by the gangster-father
of one of us...

...and we would drink with the grown-ups
and listen to the jazz.

And one time, in the bunch of us...

...there was this...

...boy who was 15...

...and he had killed his mother
with a shotgun some years before.

Completely accidentally...

...without even an unconscious
motivation, I have no doubt at all.

And this one time this boy
went with us and...

...we ordered our drinks...

...and when it came his turn he said...

''I'll have bergin.

''Give me some bergin please.
Bergin and water.''

We all laughed.

He was blond and he had the face
of a cherub, and we all laughed.

And his cheeks went red
and the color rose in his neck.

The waiter told people at the next table
what the boy said and they laughed...

...and then more people were told
and the laughter grew and grew.

No one was laughing more than us...

...and none of us more than the boy
who had shot his mother.

And soon everyone in the gin mill
knew what the laughter was about...

...and everyone started ordering bergin
and laughing when they ordered it.

And soon, of course,
the laughter became less general...

...but it did not subside entirely
for a very long time.

For always at this table or that...

...someone would order bergin...

...and a whole new area
of laughter would rise.

We drank free that night.

We were bought champagne
by the management...

...by the gangster-father of one of us.

And, of course,
we suffered the next day...

...each of us alone,
on his train away from the city...

...and each of us
with a grown-up's hangover.

But it was the grandest day...

...of my...


What happened to the boy?

The boy who had shot his mother.

I won't tell you.

The next summer on a country road,
with his learner's permit...

...and his father sitting to his right,
he swerved to avoid a porcupine...

...and drove straight into a large tree.

He was not killed, of course.

In the hospital when he was conscious
and out of danger...

...when they told him
his father was dead...

...he began to laugh, I have been told.

And his laughter grew
and would not stop.

And it was not until after
they'd jammed a needle in his arm...

...not until his consciousness
had slipped away from him...

...that his laughter subsided. Stopped.

When he recovered
from his injuries enough...

...so he could be moved without damage
should he struggle...

...he was put in an asylum.

That was thirty years ago.

Is he still there?

Oh, yes.

I'm told that for these thirty years...

...he has not uttered...

...one sound.

That's Big Martha.

She's making coffee.

For your hysterical wife,
who goes up and down.


Up and down.

Went? And no more?

No more. Nothing.

Martha doesn't have
hysterical pregnancies.

My wife had one.

Martha doesn't have pregnancies at all.

Do you have any other kids,
any daughters or anything?

Do we have any what?

I mean, do you only have
the one...

...kid, your son?

No, just one.

One boy.

Our son.

That's nice.

He's a comfort.

He's a beanbag.

A what?

A beanbag. You wouldn't understand.

A beanbag!

I heard! I didn't say I was deaf,
I said I didn't understand!

- You didn't say that at all.
- I was implying I didn't understand.

- You're getting testy.
- I'm sorry!

I just said our son, the apple of
our 3 eyes, Martha being a Cyclops...

...our son is a beanbag,
and you get testy.

It's late, I'm tired.
I've been drinking since 9 o'clock.

My wife is vomiting.
There's been a lot of screaming here.

You get testy, naturally.
Don't worry about it.

Anybody coming here gets testy.
Don't be upset.

- I'm not upset.
- You're testy.

I'd like to set you straight
about something while we're out here.

About something Martha said.

Hark! Forest sounds.

Animal noises.

Oh, well, here's nursie!

We're sitting up, we're having coffee.

Is there anything I should do?

No, you just stay there
and listen to Georgie's side of things.

Bore yourself to death!

You clean up the mess you made in here?

No, Martha, I did not
clean up the mess I made.

I've been trying for years
to clean up the mess I made.

Have you been trying for years?

Accommodation, adjustment...

...those do seem to be
in the order of things.

Don't put me in the same class with you.

No, of course not.
I mean things are simpler for you.

You marry a woman
because she's all blown up.

- Where I, in my old-fashioned way...
- There was more to it than that.

Sure. I bet she has money too.


You mean I was right? I hit it?

My God, what archery! First try, too.
How about that?

- There were other things.
- Yes.

To compensate.

There always are.

Allow me.

Tell me about your wife's money.


Okay, don't.

My father-in-law was a man of the Lord.

And he was very rich.

What faith?

My father-in-law...

...was called by God
when he was six or something.

He started preaching, baptized people,
and he saved them and then...

...he traveled around a lot and
became pretty famous. Not like...

...some of them but...

...pretty famous.

When he died he had a lot of money.

- God's money?
- No, his own.

- What about God's money?
- He spent it and he saved his own.

I think that's very nice.

Martha has money because...

...Martha's father's second wife...

...not Martha's mother,
but after her mother died...

...was a very old lady...

...who had warts, who was very rich.

She was a witch!

She was a good witch,
and she married the white mouse...

...with the red eyes,
and he must have...

...nibbled her warts
or something...

...because she went up in a
puff of smoke almost immediately.

And all that was left,
apart from some wart medicine...

...was a big, fat will.

Maybe my father-in-law...

...and the witch with the warts
should have gotten together.

Because he was a mouse too.

- He was?
- Sure!

He was a church mouse!

Your wife never mentioned a stepmother.

Maybe it isn't true.

You realize I've been
drawing you out on this stuff...

...because you're a threat to me
and I want to get the goods on you.


I've warned you. You stand warned.

I stand warned.

You sneaky types
worry me the most, you know.

You ineffectual sons of bitches,
you're the worst.

I'm glad you don't believe me.
You've got history on your side.

You've got history on your side.
I've got biology on mine.

History, biology.

- I know the difference.
- You don't act it.

We decided you'd take over the History
Department first, then the whole works.

A step at a time.

What I thought I'd do is sort of
insinuate myself generally. You know!

Find all the weak spots.

Like me.

Become sort of a fact
and then turn into a...

- A what?
- An inevitability?


An inevitability.

Take over a few courses
from the older men.

Plow a few pertinent wives.

Now that's it!

You can shove aside
all the older men...

...but until you're plowing pertinent
wives you're not working.

That's the way to power. Plow 'em all!

The way to a man's heart...

...the wide, inviting avenue to his job
is through his wife...

...and don't you forget it.

I bet your wife's got the most inviting
avenue on the whole campus!

I mean, her father
being president and all.

You bet your historical inevitability.

I just better get her off
into the bushes right away.

You'd certainly better.

I almost think you're serious.

No, you almost think you're serious.
And it scares you.


Yes, you.

You're kidding!

I wish I were. I'll give you some
good advice if you want me to.

Good advice? From you?

You haven't learned yet. Take it
wherever you can get it. Listen.

I'm giving you good advice now.

There's quicksand here and you'll be
dragged down before you know it.

Sucked down!

You disgust me on principle and you're
a smug son of a bitch...

...but I'm trying to give you
a survival kit. Do you hear me?

I hear you. You come in loud.

You want to play it by ear, right?

Everything will work out anyway,
because the timetable's history, right?

Right. Just tend to your knitting,
grandma. I'll be okay.

I've tried to...

...tried to reach you, to...

Make contact?


Yes, exactly.

Aw, that's touching. That's downright
moving, that's what that is.

Up yours!

- What?
- You heard me.

You take the trouble
to construct a civilization...

...to build a society based on
the principles of... principle.

You make government and art and realize
they are, must be, the same.

You bring things to the saddest point,
where there is something to lose.

Then, all at once,
through all the music...

...through the sensible sounds
of building...

...attempting, comes the Dies Irae.

And what is it?
What does the trumpet sound?

Up yours!

Here we are.
A little shaky, but on our feet.

It wasn't too bad, dear, really.

- I'm not cold.
- Just put it on, we're leaving.

- You're what?
- We're going home.

What's been going on here?

- What have you been up to?
- I'll get the car.

I'll call a cab.

What the hell
do you think you're doing?

Now let me see.
I think what I'm doing is...

...l'm getting the car to take
our little guests home.

Aren't you going to apologize?

The road should've been straight.

Not that. For making her throw up.

- I did not make her throw up.
- You certainly did.

Who do you think did, sexy there?
He made his own wife sick?

- You make me sick.
- That's different.

Please! I throw up.

I get sick occasionally all by myself,
without reason.

- Is that a fact?
- You're delicate, honey.

I've always done it.

Like Big Ben?

Watch it.

George makes everybody sick.
When our son was a little boy...

...he threw up all the time
because of George.

It got so whenever George came into
a room, he'd start right in retching.

Our son used to throw up all the time...

...because you were always
fiddling at him.

Into his bedroom,
kimono flying, fiddling...

I suppose that's why he ran away
twice in one month.

Twice in one month!
Six times in one year...

Our son ran away from home
because Martha used to corner him.

I never cornered
the son of a bitch in my life!

He'd run to me when I got home
and say, ''Mama's always coming at me.''


Always coming at him.
Very embarrassing!

If it was so embarrassing,
why are you talking about it?

I didn't want to talk about it at all.

I wish I had some brandy.
I love brandy, I really do.

- Good for you.
- It steadies me.

I used to drink brandy.

You used to drink bergin, too.

Shut up, Martha!

- What?
- Nothing.

Did he tell you about that?
Come on, he must have said something.

Actually what we did is
we sort of danced around a little.

I love dancing. I really do.

He didn't mean that.

Well, I didn't think that he did!
Two grown men dancing!

He didn't tell how he tried to publish
a book and Daddy wouldn't let him?

- A book? What book?
- Just a book.

Just a book!

Oh, look, dancing!

Why don't we dance?
I'd love some dancing.

- We're almost home.
- I want some dancing!

- That's not such a bad idea.
- Don't you love dancing?

- With the right man, yeah.
- I dance like the wind.

Stop the car. We're going dancing!

- For heaven's sake!
- Did you hear me?

Whatever love wants.

I dance like the wind!

Put one on, will you?

How are we going to work this,
mixed doubles?

You don't think I'm going
to dance with you?

Not with him around.
And not with twinkle-toes either.

I'll dance with anyone!
I'll dance with myself!

- Honey, you'll get sick again.
- I dance like the wind!

All right, kiddies, choose up
and hit the sack.

All right, George, cut that out!

Cut it out, George!

What, Martha?

All right, you son of a bitch!

- What'd you say, love?
- It stopped!

Why did it stop?

I said give me some change.

Stop that!

You are always at me
when I'm having a good time!

Just leave me alone. I like to dance
and you don't want me to.

Just leave me alone!

Choose it. Do your stuff.

You're damned right.

Hi, sexy!

You want to dance, angel boobs?

What'd you call my wife?

No, if I can't do my interpretive dance,
I don't want to dance at all.

I'll just sit here.

Okay, stuff, let's go.

- We'll just sit here and watch.
- That's right.

You are strong, aren't you?

I like that.

They dance like they've danced before.

A familiar dance, monkey nipples,
they know it.

I don't know what you mean.

- I like the way you move.
- I like the way you move too.

- They like the way they move.
- That's nice.

I'm surprised George didn't tell you
his side of things.

- Well, he didn't.
- That surprises me.

- Does it?
- Aren't they cute?

He usually does when he can.

I don't think he trusts me.

It's really a very sad story.

It would make you weep.

You have ugly talents, Martha.

Is that so?

Don't encourage her.

Encourage me.

I warned you, don't encourage her!

He warned you.

- Don't encourage me.
- I heard him. Tell me more.

Georgie-boy had lots of big ambitions...

...in spite of something funny
in his past...

...which Georgie-boy here
turned into a novel.

His first attempt and also his last!

I rhymed!

I warn you!

But Daddy took a look
at Georgie's novel.

You're looking for a punch in the mouth.

Do tell!

And he was very shocked by what he read.

- He was?
- Yes, he was.

A novel all about a naughty boy-child.

I will not tolerate this!

Oh, can it!

A naughty boy-child...

...who killed his mother...

...and his father dead!

Stop it!

And Daddy said, ''Look here...

''... I will not let you
publish such a thing! ''

The dancing's over!


And Daddy said...

...''You don't think I'm going to
let you publish this kind of crap? ''

''Not on your life,
not while you're teaching here.''

''You publish that
and you're out on your ass! ''

Desist! Desist!

I will not be made mock of.

He will not be made mock of,
for cripes sake!

The game is over!

Just imagine...

...a book all about a boy who murders
his mother and kills his father...

...and pretends it's all an accident.

Hey, wait a minute!

You want to know the clincher?

You want to know what
big brave Georgie said to Daddy?

But Daddy...

I mean, ''But, Sir, this isn't
a novel at all.''

You will not say this!

The hell, I won't! Keep away!

''No, sir, this is no novel at all.''

''This is the truth.
This really happened to me! ''

- I'll kill you.
- It happened!


Very quiet now.

We'll all be...

...very quiet.


What's the trouble in here?

Nothing. No trouble,
just playing a game.

Well, we're closing.

One more round.

Same for everybody.

Give us one more round
and we'll be on our merry way.

All right? Good!


Well, that's one game.
What shall we do now?

Let's do something else. We played
Humiliate the Host, what'll we do now?

Oh, look!

We must know other games,
us college types.

- Can't be the limit of our vocabulary.
- Haven't had enough?

There are other games.

How about...

How about Hump the Hostess?

Want to play that one? Do you want
to play Hump the Hostess?

Or do you want to wait till later,
off in the bushes?

Hump the Hostess!

Will you shut up?

You want to save that for later.
What shall we play now?

- Portrait of a Man Drowning.
- I'm not drowning.

- You told me to shut up.
- I'm sorry.

I'm sorry!

I know what we do.

Now that we've done this round
of Humiliate the Host...

...and don't want to play
Hump the Hostess yet.

I know what! How about a little round
of Get the Guests?

How about that? Get the Guests?

Book dropper, child mentioner!

I don't like these games.

We've only had one game, we've got to
have another. You can't fly on one.


How will we play Get the Guests?

You be quiet!

I wonder.

Martha, in her indiscreet way,
told you all about my first novel.

True or false that there
was such a thing.

She told you about my first novel,
my memory book.

I preferred she hadn't, but
that's blood under the bridge.

But what Martha didn't tell you...

...what Martha didn't tell at all about
was my second novel.

You didn't know about that, did you?
True or false?

Well, it's an allegory really, probably.

It's about a nice young couple
who comes out of the Middle West.

It's a bucolic, you see.

This nice young couple
comes out of the Middle West.

He's blond and he's about thirty.

And he's a scientist,
a teacher, a scientist.

- His mouse, wifey, gargles brandy...
- Just a minute here!

This is my game!
You've had your game!

I want to hear. I love stories.

Mousie's father was a holy man, see?

He ran a traveling clip joint and he
took the faithful, just took them.

- This is familiar.
- No kidding.

Anyway, Blondie and his frau
out of the Plains States came.

Very funny, George.

Thank you.

They settled in a town
like Nouveau Carthage.

- I don't think you should go on.
- Do you not?

I love familiar stories.
They're the best.

How right you are! But Blondie
was all in disguise as a teacher...

...because his baggage ticket had
bigger things writ on it. H.I.!

Historical Inevitability.

- There's no reason to go further.
- Let them go on.

He had this baggage, and part of his
baggage was in the form of his mouse.

We don't have to listen.

- Why not?
- She has a point.

Nobody could figure out
Blondie's baggage, his mouse.

I mean, here he was pan-Kansas
swimming champion or something...

...and he had this mouse.

Of whom he was solicitous to a point
that faileth human understanding...

...given that she was
something of a simp.

This just isn't fair of you.

Perhaps not. His mouse
tooted brandy immodestly...

...and spent half her time
in the upchuck.

- I know these people.
- Do you?

But she was money baggage
among other things.

Godly money from the golden teeth of the
unfaithful and she was put up with!

- I don't like this story.
- And she was put up with!

Stop? Hah!

- Please, please, don't.
- Beg, baby!

- Flashback to ''How they got married.''
- No!

- Why?
- How they got married was this.

The mouse got all puffed up one day...

...and she went over to Blondie's house
and stuck out her puff...

...and she said, ''Look at me.''

I don't like this.

''Look at me, I'm all puffed up.''
''Oh, my goodness,'' said Blondie.

And so they were married.

And then what?

And then the puff went away again
like magic. Poof!

The puff went away?

Honey, I didn't mean to. Honestly.

You shouldn't have told them!

No! You couldn't have told them!

And that's how you play Get the Guests.

Oh, please! I'm going to be sick!

You shouldn't have done that.

- I hate hypocrisy.
- That was cruel and vicious.

She'll get over it. She'll recover.

- And damaging to me.
- To you!

To me!

Beautiful. You got to have a swine
to show you where the truffles are.

Rearrange your alliances.
Make the best of things.

Put your wife in the car.

I've had enough rides tonight.
We'll walk.

Right, you go plan some new strategy.

You'll regret this.

No doubt. I regret everything.

No, I mean I'll make you regret this.

Clean up the mess.

You just wait.

- Very good, George.
- Thank you.

- Really good!
- I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I mean, you did a good job.
You really fixed it.

That's the most life you've shown
in a long time.

You bring out the best in me.

You really are a bastard!

You can go around like
a hopped-up Arab...

...slashing at everything,
scarring up half the world...

...but let somebody else try it?
Oh no!

Why, baby, I did it all for you!
I thought you'd like it, sweetheart.

It's to your taste,
blood, carnage and all.

I thought you'd sort of get excited.

Heave and pant and come running at me,
your melons bobbling...

You have really screwed up, George.

I mean it! You really have!

You can sit,
gin running from your mouth...

...you can humiliate me, tear me to
pieces all night, it's perfectly okay.

You can stand it!

I cannot stand it!

You can stand it!
You married me for it!

That's a desperately sick lie.

Don't you know it even yet?

My arm's gotten tired whipping you.

- Year after year!
- Deluded, Martha.

It's not what I wanted.

I thought at least you were onto
yourself. I didn't know.

No. You're sick!

I'll show you who's sick!

You really are having
a field day, aren't you?

Well, I'm gonna finish you
before I'm through with you.

You and that quarterback?
You both going to finish me?

Before I'm through with you you'll
wish you'd died in that automobile!

You'll wish you'd never mentioned
our son.

I warned you.

- I'm impressed!
- I warned you not to go too far!

I'm just beginning!

I'm numbed so I can take you
when we're alone. I don't listen.

And if I do listen I sift it so I don't
really hear, which is the only way.

But you've taken a new tack
in the last century...

...which is just too much. Too much!

I don't mind your dirty underthings in
public. I do, but I'm reconciled to it.

You've moved into your own
fantasy world! You don't know...

- You have!
- Nuts!

You can go on...

Have you ever listened to your
sentences? You're so convoluted.

You talk like one of your stupid papers.

Actually, I'm rather worried about you.
About your mind.

Don't you worry
about my mind, sweetheart!

I'll commit you.

You what?

I think I'll have you committed.

Baby, aren't you something?

I've got to find a way to get at you.

You've got at me, you don't have to
do anything, George.

A thousand years of you
has been enough!

You'll go quietly then?

Do you want to know what's
really happened?

It snapped! Finally. Not me, it!
The whole arrangement.

You can go on forever and ever,
everything is manageable.

You make all sorts of excuses:
''To hell with it, this is life.''

''Maybe tomorrow he'll be dead.
Maybe tomorrow you'll be dead.''

All sorts of excuses.

Then one day...

...one night, something happens...

...and snap!

It breaks and you just don't
give a damn anymore!

I tried with you, baby. I really tried.

Come off it.

You're a monster. You are.

I'm loud, and I'm vulgar...

...and I wear the pants in the house
because somebody's got to!

But I am not a monster!

I'm not!

You're a spoiled, self-indulgent,
dirty-minded, liquor-riddled...

Snap! It went snap.

I won't try to get through
to you any more.

There was a second back there,
when I could've...

...gotten through to you.

When maybe we could've out
through all this crap!

But it's past.
And I'm not going to try.

Once a month, Martha.
I've gotten used to it.

We get Misunderstood Martha, the
good-hearted girl beneath the barnacles.

The little miss that a touch of kindness
will bring to bloom again.

I believed it more times than I'd admit.
I'm that much of a sucker.

But I don't believe you,
I just don't believe you!

There is no moment any more
when we could come together.

You can't come together with nothing.
And you're nothing!


I looked at you tonight
and you weren't there!

It finally snapped.
And I'm gonna howl it out!

I won't give a damn what I do.

And I'll make the biggest goddamn
explosion you've ever heard!

And I'll beat you at your own game.

- Is that a threat, George?
- That's a threat, Martha.

You're going to get it, baby!

Be careful, I'll rip you to pieces.

You are not man enough.
You haven't the guts!

Total war?



I've been hearing bells!

Bells ringing.

And I couldn't sleep for the bells.

That woke me up.

What time is it?

Don't bother me.

I was asleep.

And I was dreaming of something...

...and I heard the sounds coming...

...and I didn't know what it was...

...and it frightened me.

I'm going to get you, Martha.

Somehow, Martha.

And there was someone there and...
I didn't want someone there.

I was naked.

You don't know what's going on, do you?

I don't want to know.

Listen to them!

- I don't want to!
- Look at them!

I don't want any children.

I don't want any children, please!

I'm afraid. I don't want to be hurt.

I should have known.

Does that stud you married
know about that?

How do you make your
secret little murders? Pills?

You got a secret supply of pills?
Apple jelly? Willpower?

Going to throw up?

Where is he? I want my husband!
I want a drink!

That's right, go at it!

You know what's going on there?

I don't want to know anything.
You leave me alone.

Who rang?

What were the bells? Who rang?

He's up there and you ask who rang?

Someone rang!

Someone rang.

The bells rang and it was someone...


Somebody rang.
The bells rang and it was somebody...

I've got it!

I've got it, Martha!

It was a message. The message was...

...our son... it was a message...
The bells rang...

...and it was a message.
And it was about...

...our son...

And the message was...

...our son...

...is dead!

Our son is dead
and I haven't told Martha!

Our son is dead, Martha doesn't know,
and you won't tell her!

I'll tell her myself.
In good time I'll tell her myself.

I'm going to be sick.

Are you? That's nice.

- I'm going to die.
- Good, go right ahead.

Martha, I have some...

...terrible news.

It's about our son.

He's dead.

Do you hear me, Martha?

Our boy is dead.

Where the hell is everybody?

I'll give you bastards five to come from
wherever you're hiding!

By God, you've gone crazy too.

I said you've gone crazy too.


You've all gone crazy.

I come downstairs and what happens?

What happens?

My wife's in the can with
a liquor bottle and she winks at me.

Winks at me!

She's never winked at you?

What a shame!

She's lying down on the floor,
on the tiles, all curled-up...

...and she starts peeling
the label on the brandy bottle.

Maybe she'd be
more comfortable in the tub.

And I asked her what she's doing
and she goes...

...''Sshh, nobody knows I'm here.''

And I come down here...

...and you're stumbling around going
''clink'', for God's sake, ''clink''.

You've all gone crazy.

Sad but true.

Where is your husband?

He is vanished.

You're all crazy.


'Tis the refuge we take
when the unreality of the world...

...sits too heavy on our tiny heads.

Relax! Sink into it. You're no better
than anybody else.

I think I am.

You're certainly a flop
in some departments.

What'd you say?

I said you're a flop
in some departments.

I'm sorry you're disappointed.

Maybe some time
when I didn't drink for ten hours.

Baby, you sure are a flop!

You're something. You know that?
You're really something!

To you, everybody's a flop!

Your husband's a flop, I'm a flop.

You're all flops.

I am the Earth Mother
and you are all flops.

I disgust me.

There's only been one man in my life
who's ever made me happy.

You know that? One.

The gym instructor or something?


My husband.

You're kidding?

You must be. Him?

You don't believe it.

Why, of course I do.

You always deal on appearances?

For God's sake!

George who is out
somewhere there in the dark.

Who is good to me. Whom I revile.

Who can keep learning the games we play
as quickly as I can change them.

Who can make me happy
and I do not wish to be happy.

Yes, I do wish to be happy.

George and Martha.

Sad, sad, sad.

Whom I will not forgive
for having come to rest.

For having seen me and having said...

...''Yes, this will do.''

Who has made the hideous, the hurting...

...the insulting mistake of loving me.

And must be punished for it.

Sad, sad, sad.

Some day...

...some night...

...some stupid liquor-ridden night
I will go too far.

I'll either break his back or I'll
push him off for good, which I deserve.

I don't think he's got
a vertebrae intact.

Oh, you don't?

You don't think so?

Oh, little boy!

You've got yourself so hunched over
your microphone...


Yes. And you don't
see anything, do you?

You see everything
but the goddamn mind.

You see all the specks and the crap,
but you don't see what goes on, do you?

You know so little. And you're going
to take over the world, huh?

I said, all right!

The stallion's mad, huh?

The gelding's getting all upset, huh?

You swing wild, don't you?

You poor little bastard!

Hit out at everything!

Go answer the door.

What'd you say to me?

I said go answer the door.
What are you, deaf?

You want me to go answer the door?

That's right, lunkhead,
go answer the door.

Or are you too drunk to do that, too?

There's no need for you to...

Answer it!

You be houseboy around here awhile.

You can start in
being houseboy right now.

Look, I'm no flunky to you.

Sure, you are!
You're ambitious, aren't you?

You didn't come back here with me
out of driven passion, did you?

You were thinking a little bit
about your career.

You can just houseboy your way up
the ladder for awhile.

There's no limit to you, is there?

No, baby, none. Go answer the door.

Go on, git!

Aimless. Wanton.

Now, you just do as you're told.

You show ol' Martha
there's something you can do.

I'm coming, for Christ's sake!

Wonderful! Marvelous!

Just a gigolo everywhere I go.

Stop that!

Sorry, baby. Now you go
answer the little door, huh?

How lovely!

Why, sonny, you came home
for your birthday at last!

Get away from me!

That's the houseboy, for God's sake!

That's not our own little Sonny-Jim,
our own all-American something or other?

I certainly hope not.
He's been acting awful funny if he is.

I'll bet. Chippie, chippie, huh?

I brung these flowers...

...'cause youse...

Aw, hell, Martha!

Pansies, rosemary, violence,
mah wedding bouquet!

If you don't mind, I'll get my wife...

You stay right where you are.
Make my hubby a drink.

I don't think I will.

No, Martha. That would be too much.
He's your houseboy, not mine.

I'm nobody's houseboy!

I'm nobody's houseboy now


Children? That right?

Vicious children with their sad games
hopscotching their way through life?

Something like that.

Screw, baby.

Him can't! Him too full o' booze!

Weally? Here! Dump these in some gin.

A terrible thing to do
to Martha's snapdragons!

Is that what they are?

Yup. And I went by moonlight to Daddy's
greenhouse to pick them for her.

There is no moon.
I saw it go down from the bedroom.

From the bedroom?

There is a moon.

There is no goddamn moon,
the moon went down.

That may be, Chastity,
but it came back up.


Once when I was sailing past Majorca,
the moon went down...

...thought about it awhile then,
pop, came up again.

That is not true. That is such a lie!

You must not call everything a lie.
Must she?

I don't know when you people are lying.

- You're damn right!
- You're not supposed to.

- So, I was sailing past Majorca...
- You never sailed past Majorca.

You were never in
the Mediterranean at all, ever!

My mom and dad took me
as a college graduation present.

After you killed them?


Yeah. And maybe not too.


Truth and illusion. Who knows
the difference, toots? Houseboy?

I'm not a houseboy.

You don't make it in the sack,
you're a houseboy.

Then you must have made it, yes?

Somebody's lying, not playing the
game straight. Who's lying? Martha?

Tell him I'm not a houseboy.

You're not a houseboy.

So be it.

Truth and illusion.
You don't know the difference.

No, but we must carry on
as though we did.


Snap went the dragons.

Thank you.

Skip it.

I said snap went the dragons!

Yeah, we know.


Don't do that.

Shut up, stud!

I'm not a stud.

Then you're a houseboy. Which is it?

Does it matter to you?

No, actually it doesn't.
Either way I've had it.

Stop throwing these damn things at me!

- Either way. Snap!
- Shall I do something to him?

You leave him alone!

Which are you, baby, houseboy or stud?

Truth or illusion, George?
Doesn't it matter to you at all?

Snap! You got your answer, baby.

Got it.

You just gird your
blue-veined loins, girl.

There's one more game to play.
It's called Bringing up Baby.

I don't want a fuss. Don't want
any scandal around here, do you?

Want to keep to your timetable?
Then sit!

And you, pretty miss, you like fun and
games! You're a sport from way back!

All right.

Good. But we're not all here.

Your little wifelet isn't here.

She had a rough night...

We can't play without everybody.
We need your little wife.

Cut that!

Just get off your butt and bring
that little dip back in here!

Now be a good puppy, go fetch.
Fetch, good puppy.

One more game.

I don't like what's going to happen.

Do you know what it is?

No. But I don't like it.

Maybe you will, Martha.

It's a real fun game.

No more games.

One more, Martha. One more game
and then beddie-bye.

Everybody packs up his tools
and baggage and stuff and go home.

And you and me...

...we're going to climb
them well-worn stairs.

No, George, no.

Yes, baby.

It'll all be done before you know it.

No climb stairs with Georgie?

No more games. It's games I don't want.
No more games, please.

Sure you do. Original game girl!
Of course you do.

Don't you touch me!

Keep your paws clean
for the undergraduates.

Listen to me!

You've had an evening.

You can't stop when there's enough
blood in your mouth. We're going on.

I'm having at you, and your performance
will look like an Easter pageant.

Get yourself alert.

- Get some life in you.
- Stop!

Pull yourself together!

I'm going to knock you around
and I want you up for it!

What do you want?

- An equal battle.
- You'll get it.

- I want you mad.
- I'm mad. Don't worry about it!

Good girl!
We'll play to the death.

- Yours?
- You'll be surprised.

Here come the tots. Be ready.

I'm ready for you.

Hip, hop. Hip, hip, hop.

Are you a bunny, honey!

- How's the bunny?
- Bunny funny!

Bunny funny. Good for bunny.

Honey funny bunny.

All right, here we go.

Last game. All sit.

- Sit down. This is a civilized game.
- Just get on with it.

I think we've been having a real good
evening, all things considered.

We've got to know each other.
And we've had fun and games.

Like Curl Up On The Floor.

The Tiles.

The Tiles, Snap The Dragon.

Peel the Label!

Label. Peel the Label.

I peel labels.

We all peel labels, sweetie.

When you get through the skin,
and through the muscle...

...and slosh aside the organs, down to
the bone, you know what you do?

When you get down to the bone...

...you aren't all the way.
Something's inside the bone.

The marrow.
That's what you got to get at.

But bones are pretty resilient,
especially in the young.

Now take our son...

Our son. Martha's and my little joy.

Just what are you doing?

- I'm talking about our son.
- Well, don't.

I want to.
It's important we talk about him.

You want to hear about our
bouncy boy, don't you?

Martha's and my son.

You have a child?

Yes indeed, do we ever!

Will you talk about him or shall I?

- Don't.
- All rightie, now let's see.

He's nice, despite home his life.

Most kids would be neurotic,
Martha carrying on the way she does.

Sleeping till 4 p.m.
Climbing over the poor bastard...

...trying to break the bathroom door
to wash him in the tub when he's 16.

Dragging strangers
to the house all hours.

That's enough.

Do you want to take over?

Why would anyone want to
wash a 16 year-old?

For Christ's sake!

Well, why?

Because it's her baby-poo.

All right.

Our son, you want our son?
You'll have it.

Do you want a drink?

We don't have to hear it
if you don't want to.

Who says? You in a position
to set the rules?

Good boy. You'll go far.

All right, your recitation please.

Our son...

All right!

Our son.

Our son was born in a September night,
a night not unlike tonight...

...though tomorrow...

...and sixteen years ago.

See, I told you.

- It was an easy birth.
- No, you labored, how you labored!

It was an easy birth!

Once it had been...


- Relaxed into.
- That's better.

It was an easy birth,
once it had been accepted.

And I was young.

And he was healthy...

...a red, bawling child.

Martha thinks she saw him at delivery.

With slippery, firm limbs.

And a full head of black, fine hair.

Which, later...

...later became...

...blond as the sun.

Our son.

He was a healthy child.

And I had wanted a child.
Oh, I had wanted a child!

A son? Daughter?

A child!

I had my child.

Our child.

And we raised him.

Yes, we did. We raised him.

And he had green eyes.

Such green, green eyes.

Blue, green, brown.

And he loved the sun.

And he was tan
before and after everyone.

And in the sun...

...his hair became...


Beautiful, beautiful boy.

So beautiful, so wise.

All truth being relative.

It was true.

Beautiful, wise, perfect!

There's a real mother talking.

I want a child!

On principle?

I want a child. I want a baby.

This perfection could not last.

Not with George.

Not with George around.

There, you see, I knew she'd shift.

- Be still!
- Sorry, Mother.

Can't you be still?

Not with George. A drowning man takes
down those nearest, and he tried.

And, God, how I fought him!
How I fought him!

The one thing...

...I tried to carry unscathed
through the...

...sewer of our marriage...

...through the sick nights and the
pathetic, stupid days...

...through the derision and the
laughter. God, the laughter!

Through one failure after another.

Each attempt more numbing,
more sickening than the one before.

The one thing, the one person
I tried to protect...

...to raise above the mire of this vile,
crushing marriage...

...the one light in all this
hopeless darkness! Our son!

Stop it!

Why, don't you like it?

You can't do this.

Who says?

- I say!
- Tell us why, baby.

Is this game over?

Oh, no! Not by a long shot.

I've got a surprise for you.
It's about sonny-Jim.

I'm running this show!


...l'm afraid I've got
some bad news for you.

For both of us, I mean.
Some rather sad news.

What is this?

Martha, while you were busy,
while the two of you were busy...

...I don't know where,
but you were somewhere...

...while you were busy for awhile...

...Missy and I
were having a little talk.

You know, a chaw and a talk.

And the doorbell rang.


It's hard for me to tell you.

Please don't!

Tell me!

It was good old Western Union,
some little boy about seventy.

Crazy Billy?

That's right. Crazy Billy.

And he had a telegram and it was for us.

I have to tell you about it.

Why did they bring it?
Why didn't they telephone it?

There are some telegrams you have to
deliver, Martha. Some you cannot phone.

What do you mean?

I can hardly bring myself to say it.

You want to do it?

Well, Martha, I'm afraid our boy
isn't coming home for his birthday.

Of course he is!

Of course he is! I say he is!

He can't.

Our son...



He was killed late in the afternoon...

...on a country road with his
learner's permit.

He swerved to avoid a porcupine
and drove...

You can't do that!

...into a large tree.

You cannot do that!

I thought you should know.

You cannot do that!

You can't decide these things
for yourself!

I will not let you do that!

Have to leave around noon, I suppose.

I won't let you decide these things.

There are matters of identification,
arrangements to be made.

You can't do this! I won't let you!

- Get your hands off me!
- I haven't done anything!

Now you listen to me. Our son is dead!

Can you get that through your head?

Listen carefully. We got a telegram.
There was a car accident and he's dead!

Poof! Just like that!
Now how do you like it?

Let her go.
She'll be all right.

He is not dead.

He is dead.

You cannot decide.

He hasn't decided anything.

It's not his doing.
He doesn't have the power.

That's right. I'm no god. I have
no power over life and death, do I?

You can't kill him.

You can't let him die!

There was a telegram.

Show it to me! Show me that telegram!

I ate it.

What did you just say to me?

I ate it.

Good for you, Martha.

You make a joke at a time like this?

Did I not eat the telegram?

You ate it. I watched you
and you ate it all down.

Like a good boy.

You won't get away with this.

You know the rules, for God's sake!

What are you talking about?

I can kill him if I want to.

He is our child.

- You bore him. A good delivery.
- He is our child.

And I've killed him.

Oh my God, I think I understand this.

Do you?

- Oh my God, I think I understand this.
- Good for you.

You've no right.
You've no right at all.

I have the right, we never spoke of it.
I could kill him any time I wanted.


You broke our rule, Martha.

You mentioned him to somebody else.

- I did not.
- Yes, you did.

To me, you mentioned him to me.

I forget.

Sometimes when it's late night
and everybody's talking...

...I forget and I want to mention him.

But I hold on. I hold on.

I've wanted to so often.

But, George, you've pushed it.

There was no need,
there was no need for this!

I mentioned him, all right?

But you didn't have
to push it over the edge.

You didn't have to kill him.

You didn't have to have him die.

That wasn't needed.

It's dawn.

I think the party's over.

You couldn't have any?

We couldn't.

Home to bed, children.
It's way past your bedtime.

You two go now.

- I'd like to...
- Goodnight.

You want anything?

No. Nothing.

Time for bed.



I am.

Sunday tomorrow.

All day.

Did you have to?


You had to?

I don't know.

- It was time.
- Was it?

I'm cold.

It's late.

It will be better.

I don't know.

It will be. Maybe.

I'm not sure.

Just us?

- You don't suppose maybe...
- No.

- You all right?
- Yes.


Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?

I am, George.

I am, George.

I am.

Special thanks to SergeiK.