Eileen (2023) | Transcript

A woman's friendship with a new co-worker at the prison facility where she works takes a sinister turn
Marin Ireland in "Eileen" (2023)

Director: William Oldroyd
Writers: Luke Goebel, Ottessa Moshfegh
Stars: Thomasin McKenzie, Anne Hathaway, Shea Whigham, Marin Ireland, Owen Teague
Duration: 1h 37m

The stagnant waters of Eileen’s dull, stifled life as a solitary worker at a juvenile detention center in 1960s Boston, are unexpectedly disrupted when the institution brings in a new psychologist, the vibrant Rebecca. The fervent enthusiasm that blossoms between the two women almost immediately gives way to a closer relationship, until their fragile connection takes a dramatic turn.

The film is now available on VOD platforms such as Google Play, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube.

* * *


♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(waves crashing)

(woman laughing in distance)

(breathes deeply)

(woman grunts)


(woman exhales)


(“(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am” by Nancy Wilson playing)

♪ My love has no beginning ♪

♪ My love has no end ♪

♪ No front or back, and my love won’t bend ♪

♪ I’m in the middle ♪

♪ Lost in a spin ♪

(tires screech)

♪ Loving you… ♪

(engine rattling)

(engine backfires)

♪ And you don’t know ♪

♪ You don’t know, you don’t know, you don’t know ♪

♪ How glad I am ♪

♪ My love has no bottom, my love has no top ♪

♪ My love won’t rise, and my love won’t drop ♪

♪ I’m in the middle ♪

♪ And I can’t stop ♪

♪ Loving you… ♪

♪ And you don’t, you don’t know, you don’t know ♪

♪ You don’t know how glad I am ♪

♪ I wish I were a poet ♪

♪ So I could express ♪

♪ What I’d ♪

♪ What I’d like to say, yeah ♪

♪ I wish I were an artist ♪

♪ So I could paint a picture ♪

♪ Of how I feel ♪

♪ Of how I feel today, yeah ♪

♪ My love has no walls on either side ♪

♪ That makes my love wider than wide ♪

♪ I’m in the middle ♪

♪ And I can’t hide ♪

♪ Loving you… ♪

♪ And you don’t, you don’t know, you don’t know ♪

♪ You don’t know how glad I am ♪

♪ How glad I am ♪

♪ How glad I am ♪

♪ How glad I am ♪

(typewriter keys clacking)

(fading): ♪ How glad I am… ♪

(overlapping chatter)

MRS. MURRAY: Eileen.


(phones ringing)

I need form I-37.

Transfer form?


Intake. I-37.

Aren’t you listening?

She is useless.

MRS. STEVENS: Dr. Frye still needs to sign it.

He’s probably asleep in his office.

MRS. MURRAY: Oh, yeah.

Maybe you could go wake up Dr. Frye.

Blow softly in his ear.

He loves that.

(guard chuckles)

MRS. STEVENS: Leave Eileen alone.

She’s tired.

Oh, is that what it is?

I thought maybe it was that time of the month.

At least I have a time of the month.

MRS. MURRAY: Oh, yeah. You know something, honey?

It won’t last forever. You’ll be old like us soon.

(buzzer sounds)

(over P.A.): Mrs. Nelson to the visiting area, please.

Mrs. Nelson to the visiting area.

(overlapping chatter)

(overlapping chatter)

INMATE: I’m not gonna fight with anybody. I told you.

INMATE 2: How’s Mickey doing?

MAN 1: I’m trying to be good.

WOMAN: Sit down. Sit down. Sit down.

MAN 1: Well, it’s not my fault…

(chatter continues indistinctly)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪


(buzzer sounds)

(indistinct announcement over P.A.)

(overlapping chatter)

WOMAN: Maybe I’ll see you next time.

(group laughing)

WARDEN: As much as we’re gonna miss the old dog, I hope you’ll all be welcoming to Dr. Frye’s replacement on Monday.

DR. FRYE: A fine, fine young doctor.

WARDEN: Yes, well, let’s hope the boys take her seriously.

I’ll take her.



I think you will be taking your insulin and your retirement package.

That’ll be enough for you.

DR. FRYE (laughing): That’s right.

I’ll really miss all the fun around here.

Let’s hear it for Dr. Frye.


WARDEN: Cheers!

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

BOB: I see a lot of Anne these days.

COP: Yeah, a lot of broken hearts out there.

Hey, hon.


How’s your dad?


(paper rustling)

You know what? Let me get that.

EILEEN: Thanks.

(door opens, bell jingles)

♪ ♪

MAN: …want you to go inside and shut the fuck up!

JIM: You shut… you shut up!

MAN 2: Fuck off! Shut up!

JIM: You shut up!

MAN: Fucking booze bag!

JIM: Oh, I’ll do…

I’m gonna have a drink.

You all right there, chief?

You can fuck right off.

Goddamn Lutherans next door are the problem, not me.

Nobody’s complaining. We just want to make sure you’re getting home safe and sound.

JIM: Nobody’s complaining?


Safe and sound?

Why wouldn’t I be safe and sound?


I keep the whole fucking neighborhood safe and sound.

What do you know?


E-Eileen, go inside.

Okay. Dad, look to me.

Go inside.

Come on. Please. Please.

Hey! You’re causing a scene.

JIM: Trust me, Eileen. Nobody wants nothing with you.



Come on. Go inside.


JIM: Goddamn Lutherans right there.

Your mother always hated those people.

Gosh, let’s go inside.

They can fuck off. Sure.

You can’t go around policing people, Dad.

Who says? You know who that guy was?

BUCK: We got it all under control, chief.

You can take it easy. Please.

Take it easy? Y-You fuckin’ take it easy.

EILEEN: You’re not a cop anymore.

Yeah, sure.

I didn’t want to retire. They made me, ’cause I was too goddamn good at it.

BUCK: Look, I gotta get back to the station.

Pour me a drink. Good.

Get back to the station, Buck.

Give me my drink.

Just give us a call if you need anything.

Merry Christmas.

(door closes)

Hey, come here. What’s that smell?

Did you step in something?

No. Why? What do you smell?

I don’t know. Roadkill.

Maybe you should keep your distance.

Yeah, I’ll keep my distance.

The fuck you doing? Put my fucking shoes back on.

But maybe you should be nicer to me.

No one else is gonna put up with your shit.

Go then, ’cause I got Joanie.

She wouldn’t keep a place looking like this.

She’s a real woman, your sister.

And she smells like a woman.

She knows how to keep a house!

And she doesn’t live here, and she’s married!

Yeah, ’cause she’s not a hanger-on.

And she doesn’t want to talk to you!

Yeah, sure, ’cause she’s made a life of her own.

She’s made something of herself.

Whatever, Dad.

Get a life, Eileen. Get a clue.

(dog barking in distance)



(overlapping chatter)

(spoon clinking on glass)

(chatter continues in distance)

(vehicle approaching)




(car engine idling)

Fuck it.

(engine turns off)

(chatter continues in distance)

(buzzer sounds in distance)

WARDEN: All right, listen up!

(clears throat)

As you know, in the new year, we will be up for state review.

So we’re gonna be tightening our procedures and implementing new strategies based on some big, new ideas.

And on that note, this new young lady to my left, Dr. Miss Rebecca St. John, is our new prison psychologist.

She’s just finished her doctorate at Radcliffe.


Ah. Harvard.

We may not be Harvard people, but I think we can keep up with her, and hopefully she can keep up with us as we keep up with them.

She may be easy on the eyes, but I assure you, she is very smart.

(fading): Ladies, I hope you show Miss St. John around…

♪ ♪

REBECCA: Say, how much for a glazed?

They’re free.

I’m kidding.

I’m Rebecca.

I know.

Say, where can a girl get freshened up around here?

I can show you.

Sure. Appreciate it.

Can I take your jacket?

Aren’t you sweet? Thanks.

This way.

I don’t think I caught your name.




EILEEN: Where you from?


Oh, I’m from New York originally.



Couldn’t stand Cambridge. Way too uptight.

Well, there were a couple of interesting people, but, no, I needed a break.

Get some fresh air.

And I love the beach.

All right.


(dial clicking)



Practically my measurements.

You know, some women think their figures are the only thing that matters.

Honestly, I think that’s kind of pathetic.

I completely agree.

My sister’s like that, and she’s not very smart.

Mm, good. Then you and I have better things to discuss than our figures.

Although that isn’t the popular opinion, wouldn’t you say?

(scoffs) I don’t care what’s popular.

Well, look at you.

A regular Katharine Hepburn.

Rare to meet a young woman with so much gumption.

I’m like that, too.

I don’t give a rat’s ass what people think.

They’re probably scared of you.


All right. See you around.

Every year,

(low chattering)

…we hold this special assembly to celebrate the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And every year, one of you sick bastards ruins it for the rest of us.

Well, you’ve disrespected Christmas for the last time because this year, you’re gonna sit on your hands, you’re gonna zip your lips.

If I see any of you biting, kicking, screaming, pushing, pulling hair, laughing, moaning, or I hear one wayward comment, you’re going straight to the cave.

And now, without further ado, it is my honor to thank the people from Mount Olive who helped me direct the pageant again this year…

INMATE: Yay, Mount Olive.

…and present to you “Christmas in Prison.”

(orchestral version of “Silent Night” playing)

(low chattering continues)

(door opens)

DELUCA: I’m gonna kill someone on Christmas.

INMATE: Shut up!

(high heels clicking on floor)

♪ ♪

ACTOR: Oh, what am I to do?

Sentenced for three years to sit indoors among boys of my same creed, plain bad.

(Deluca laughs)

So much time to plot what evildoings I’ll undertake as soon as I get out.

DELUCA: You want some cake, you fatty?!

ACTOR: In the meantime, I suppose I could read a book.

DELUCA: You can’t read, motherfucker!


INMATE: Fucking Shakespeare up here.

(chimes play)

DELUCA: I’m scrappy right now.

INMATE: Book of truth!

(chattering continues)

(scattered laughter)

DELUCA: Oh, look at McAllister.

Fucking McAllister.


INMATE: Hey, nice rack!

(laughter continues)

MARY: Well, I’m-I’m pretty tired.

Can we rest in that barn over there?

JOSEPH: Better than paying for a motel.

MARY: You’re the best, Joseph.

Thank you for taking us here to be counted in the census.

DELUCA: Fuck this shit!



Wait. Wait, wait.

GUARD: Hey, grab him.

(Deluca shrieks)

(inmates clamoring)

(whistle blowing)

(siren wailing)

GUARD: Move back!

(inmates shouting)

(wailing siren continues)

(inmates shouting)

GUARD: All you guys sit down!

Sit the fuck down!

Hey, Bob.

Hey, hon.

This and a pack of Luckies.

Oh! It’s a lucky day, huh?

Yeah, the luckiest.

Yup. Cigarettes are great.

(TV playing indistinctly in other room)

JIM: Don’t light yourself on fire.


(coughing, chuckles)

You’re in a good mood, what’s wrong with you?

Nothing’s wrong, Dad.

(train whistle blowing in distance)

You look funny with that thing in your mouth.

How was your day, Dad?

How was my day?

I don’t know.

It was a day, just another day.

What’s the point?

My day was a doozy.

Oh, yeah?

A big fight broke out at the Christmas pageant.

Kid got his collarbone broken, and I had to do all this paperwork for the warden.

Don’t ash on the floor, it’s tacky.


It was one of those days you never forget.

Oh, yeah? Days I’ll never forget.

Let me see.

December 16, 1944, first time I ever held a dead man’s head in my lap.

(exhales) What a waste.

20 degrees outside and snowing.

Just like it is here.

Don’t know why I ever came back to this place.

Maybe because you had a wife and two kids.


I love the beach.

Oh, yeah? Good for you.

War kind of ruined beaches for me.

So what else?

How’s that Polk kid? He talked yet?



The kid who stabbed his father…

…who was a good cop, more or less.

What kind of kid thinks of killing his father like that?

Stab him in his sleep… in front of his mother.

Then he just sits down.

Never denies it.

Never says a word the whole trial.


Course I wouldn’t have to worry about you doing something like that, now, would I?

‘Cause you’re a girl.

Can’t imagine you with a knife.

Can you imagine me with a gun?

Yeah, I can see it.

One day… when you’ve had enough and you feel like, uh… ducking out.

Maybe when I’m dead and gone and you got nobody and you never will.

I could imagine that.

But you wouldn’t, would you?

‘Cause you’re too good.

♪ ♪

Say, give me one of those cigarettes.

What have you got, Old Gold?


I like Old Gold.

I know.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(door creaks open)

(footsteps echoing)


Do you need any help?

Uh, no, I’m okay.

Just butterfingers.

(chuckles) You should see me.

I’m a total klutz.

Oh, right.

Lee Polk.

That’s not something you see every day.

Yeah, it’s pretty bad.

Bedtime reading?

I was just doing some filing.

That’s some show yesterday.

They do it every year.

I’d call that cruel and unusual punishment.


Sorry. I don’t usually smoke.

It’s a nasty habit.

That’s why I like it.

Not very becoming of a lady, though.

Turns your teeth yellow.

See? (chuckles)

That’s cigarettes and coffee.

And red wine.

No, your teeth are perfect.

I don’t drink coffee, so my teeth should be fine, but…

…they’re all rotted due to my extreme propensity for sweets.

A propensity for sweets.

You don’t get enough sweetness in your life?

I just eat a lot of candy.

Mm. I wouldn’t know it to look at you.

You’re so petite.

Being tall has its advantages, of course, but most men are just too short for me.

Have you noticed, or am I imagining things, that men these days are getting shorter and shorter, balder, and fatter?

All the men around here are little boys.

You’re funny.

I meant outside this prison.

Although you’re right.

The guards, the warden, they’re not much to look at.

You should have seen Dr. Frye.

He was really pretty nasty looking.

That doesn’t surprise me.

My office isn’t very becoming, and it all smells of dirty leather.

I’m beginning to wonder what went on in there.

Nothing good.

I mean, I never actually been in that office.

Oh. Well, you should come by sometime.

Although if the door’s closed, that means I’m with one of the boys.


Aren’t you ever scared being alone in there with them?


Come by, and see me sometime, all right?

Although, you know, if you hear me screaming in there, feel free to kick down the door and rescue me.


I’m just kidding, honey.

There’s a buzzer.

(chuckles softly)

(overlapping chatter)

(phones ringing)

(gate clanks shut)

(buzzer sounds)

(overlapping chatter)

I’m here to see Leonard Polk.

Anne Polk.

You’re not on the schedule.

Are you a late addition?

(buzzer sounds)

I-I was called.

I don’t know, I-I’m here now.

Well, you need to fill out a form.

(handcuffs clicking)

Aren’t you Chief Dunlop’s kid?


I thought so.

(door opens)

Mrs. Polk? I’m Dr. St. John.

We spoke on the phone. Thank you so much for coming.

Oh, no need to bother with that.

We all know who you are.

♪ ♪

REBECCA: Eileen, would you help us with the door?

Thank you.

(keys jingling)

It’s this way.

Take your coat?

REBECCA: Please.

Thank you, Eileen.

After you.

♪ ♪

(Rebecca speaks indistinctly)

(Anne speaks indistinctly)

ANNE: Why are you doing this to me?

(continues indistinctly)

(Anne continues indistinctly)

(Anne speaks indistinctly)

ANNE: Huh?

You got something to say to me?

(Anne continues indistinctly)

♪ ♪

(speaking indistinctly)

ANNE: Let me out!

Let me out! Let me out!

Let me out!

(keys jingling)

Y-You do… y’all do what you want with him.

Won’t even talk to his own mother?

He’s always been a nasty boy.

A filthy, nasty boy!

RANDY: I need to lock up.

Visitation hours were actually over 20 minutes ago.

REBECCA: Oh, I-I understand.

Would you like to keep talking in my office?

(handcuffs clinking)

Let’s go.

Turn around.

Oh, no. That won’t be necessary.

I need to cuff him.


Don’t worry, Lee. It’s all right.

(mocking): That won’t be necessary.

Don’t do that. She’s a doctor.

I think she needs a doctor.

That kid killed a cop.

He killed his father.

There’s a difference.

(Randy chuckles)

REBECCA (muffled): Oh, I’m so sorry. Let me see who it is.

Oh, Eileen.

Um, can I help you?

You forgot your notebook.

Oh, thank you so much.

I actually need this.

Um, hope you didn’t read it.

No, of course not.

Oh, no,

I’m just kidding. It’s just chicken scratch.

(door opens)

Wait. Eileen.

I don’t mean to be forward,  and, um, you probably have other plans already, but, um, can I take you to a drink tonight?

I don’t know anyone in this darn town, and I’d love to treat you to a cocktail if you’re game.



I’ve twisted your arm?


So, uh, who makes the best martini in town?

Maybe O’Hara’s?


It’s actually the only bar in town.

No, O’Hara’s is good.

See you at 7:00?

With bells on? Is that the expression?


(door opens)

(door closes)

(“I’ll Take Care of You” by Bobby “Blue” Bland playing)

♪ I know you’ve been hurt ♪


♪ By someone else ♪


♪ I can tell by the way ♪

♪ You carry yourself ♪

♪ But if you let me ♪

♪ Here’s what I’ll do ♪

♪ I’ll take care of you ♪

♪ I… I’ve loved and lost ♪

♪ The same as you ♪

♪ So you see, I know ♪

♪ Just what you’ve been through ♪

♪ But if you’ll let me ♪

♪ Here’s what I’ll do ♪

♪ Oh, I just got to take care of you ♪

♪ You won’t ever have to worry ♪

♪ You won’t ever have to cry ♪

♪ For I’ll be there beside you ♪

♪ To dry your weeping eyes ♪

♪ So, darling ♪

♪ Tell me ♪

♪ That you’ll be true ♪

(fading): ♪ For there is no doubt… ♪

(crowd chattering)

♪ ♪


Oh, Eileen.


Please, please, please, sit.

Um, what are you having?

Uh, I’ll have a beer, I guess.

A beer? Oh. (chuckles)

Hi, Eileen.

Good to see you, hon.

What’s next, sweetheart?

Um, well… Oh, my stars.

You’re absolutely frozen.

Um, one beer, please, and maybe a little whiskey to warm up my girl. What say, huh?

My, you look very glamorous.

It’s just an old dress.

May I?

SANDY: How about you, sweetheart? Another martini?

Love one. Thank you.

Maybe let’s hold the olives this time.

I thought I’d have a hard time finding this place, but here it is. (chuckles)

You feeling all right?

Yeah, I’m fine. (chuckles)

Uh, there’s something wrong with my car, so I have to drive with the windows down, or else it fills with smoke.


Oh, you’re kidding.

That sounds absolutely awful.

Can’t you get your husband to fix that for you?

Oh, no, I’m not married.

I’ve always been single.

And when I do have a guy around, it’s just for fun, and it’s brief.

No, I never stay anywhere long with anything.

Sort of my modus vivendi or my pathology, depending on who I’m talking to.

How long have you worked at Moorehead?

Three or four years.

Uh, it was only supposed to be temporary, while I moved back for a bit while my mother was sick, and then she died, so…

I’ve been at the prison, and time’s just flown by.

Oh, God.

Prison is no place for time to fly by.

And your mother dying.

That’s a lot for a young lady.

Ah. 24.

Then you must be eager to get back out there. Are you?

You know, um, I’m an orphan, too.

My uncle raised me out West.

(chuckles) Where the sun shines.

I don’t understand how you all do it here, winter after winter.

It’s positively creepy. I don’t know.

I’m in a sort of strange love affair with New England.

I love it, but I also hate it.

Things feel very real here, don’t they?

Sort of there’s no…


There’s no sentimentality or fantasy.

There’s… there’s just nowhere to hide.


I’ve had too much to drink.

I tend to talk when I’ve had too much to drink.

It’s all right.

Mm, it’s better than talking too little.


Did you see Lee Polk today?


Did she say anything to you?

Mrs. Polk?

She was just upset.

Those mothers are always upset.


Did she seem like an angry woman to you?

I don’t know. Uh… everyone’s kind of angry here.

It’s Massachusetts.


Well, I had this professor at Harvard.

He was brilliant, but very difficult.

Uh, he did this– these experiments on prisoners studying the effects of psychedelics on recidivism.

Now, I don’t agree with his methods, there is no magic pill, but… but you can set people free… if you can get them to tell the truth, to feel it.

That’s what I want to do.

Secrets and lies.

I tell you, doll… some families are so sick, so twisted, the only way out’s for someone to die.

Don’t you think?

PAT: Hey! What’d you say your name was?

Who, me?

Ah, yeah. W-We was just saying that you look so familiar.

Are you in the movies or something?

Hardly. I work at the boys’ prison.


I’m Eileen, and this is my friend, Rebecca.

She’s a psychologist.

Don’t be shy, Rebecca.

These boys won’t bite.

Not unless you ask us to. (laughs)

This is Jerry. You can ignore him.

He’s married.

What happened to your teeth, Jerry?

You get into a fight with your old lady?

That’s it. His wife’s got a left like Joe Frazier.

PAT: Nah, nah. He… he slipped on the ice.

I’m gonna grow some new ones, though.


Just need a few more of these.

Cheers to that. To Jerry and his new teeth.


♪ You’ve gotta want it bad ♪

♪ If that guy’s got into your blood ♪

Feel like dancing, Rebecca?

With you?


♪ The very heart of you ♪

♪ Makes you want to breathe ♪

♪ Here’s the thing to do ♪

♪ Tell him that you’re never gonna leave him ♪

♪ Tell him that you’re always gonna love him ♪

♪ Tell him, tell him, tell him, tell him right now ♪

♪ I know something about love ♪

♪ You gotta show it and ♪

♪ Make him see the moon up above ♪

♪ Out and get him ♪

♪ Do, do-do ♪

♪ If you want him to be always by your side ♪

♪ If you want him to only think of you ♪

♪ Tell him that you’re never gonna leave him ♪

♪ Tell him that you’re always gonna love him ♪

♪ Tell him, tell him, tell him, tell him right now ♪

♪ Ever since the world began ♪

♪ It’s been that way for man ♪

(fading): ♪ And women… ♪

(“All These Things” by Art Neville playing)

♪ The touch of your lips ♪

♪ Next to mine ♪

♪ Gets me excited ♪

♪ Makes me feel fine ♪


♪ The touch of your hand ♪

♪ Your sweet hello ♪


♪ The fire inside you ♪

♪ When you’re holding me close ♪

♪ Your love so warm and tender ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ The thrill is so divine ♪

♪ It is all these things ♪

♪ That make you mine ♪

♪ If you would leave ♪

♪ I surely would die ♪

♪ When you were ten minutes late ♪

♪ I started to cry ♪

♪ Ah, ah, ah ♪

♪ I’ve got it bad ♪

♪ But it’s all right ♪

♪ As long as you’re here ♪

(fading): ♪ Every night… ♪

You remind me of a girl in a Dutch painting.

You have a strange face.

It’s plain, but…


It has a beautiful…


I love it.

I bet you have brilliant dreams.

I bet you dream of other worlds.


Maybe you’ll dream of me and my morning remorse, which is certain.

I shouldn’t drink, but I do.

(keys jingling)

(both chuckle)

Thank you.

♪ ♪

(car door opens)

(car door closes)

(car engine revving)

(tires screeching)

♪ ♪

(people chatter nearby)

Hey, Sandy, can I get a martini and some matches?

Better be careful, Eileen.

I don’t want any trouble with your dad.

My dad’s not gonna cause any trouble.

(sets glass on bar)



♪ ♪


(dog barking in distance)




Dad. Dad.

Dad, can you let me in?




Hey, Dad!

Can I have the keys?

Can I please have the keys?


No, you may not have the keys.

Not until you read that book from cover to cover.

I want to hear every word.

Where’d you put the keys?

Make yourself comfortable, Eileen.

You’re not going anywhere till you read the last word.

Dad, this is ridiculous. I need to go to work.

Out all night.

Nearly crashed the car.

Sleeping in your own sick, and now you’re worried about getting to work on time?

I can hardly look at you, I’m so ashamed.

Oliver Twist would be grateful for this home, but you, Eileen, you’re trash, Eileen, just trash.

All I did was go out with a girl from work.

You went out with a girl from work?

Do I look like I was born yesterday?

Who is he? Huh?

Who is this boy? I just want to know who he is before you get knocked up and sell your soul to Satan.

Can you just give me the keys?!

Please! I’ll be late!

You’re not going anywhere dressed like that.

I mean, really, Eileen, how dare you?

That’s the dress your mother wore to my father’s funeral.

You got no respect for anyone.

Get changed.

I don’t want anyone seeing you in that getup.

They’ll think I’m dead.

(car door closes)


(wind blowing)

Ah. Miss Dunlop?

May I, um, may I have a word?

Oh, Jesus.

It’s about your father.

Him? Go talk to him. He’s inside.

It’s about his gun.

EILEEN: This oughta be good.

Pray tell, Buck.

Uh, yesterday, we got several complaints from neighbors, from Miss Connie down at the school, that, uh, Chief Dunlop was sitting in that north-facing window and, uh, pointing his weapon at children walking home from school.


He has agreed to relinquish the property into your care.

As long as you promise not to use it on him.

His words. (chuckles)

May I come in?

♪ ♪

Want to hang it on me like an ornament?

BUCK: Aw. (chuckles)

I’m sure that Miss Dunlop will take excellent care of the weapon, sir.

As she does with all things, Buck, as you can see.

(body thuds)

(“Good Morning Blues” by Dee Dee Ford playing)

(engine revs)


(car horn honks)

(tires screech)

♪ It’s Christmastime ♪

(buzzer sounds)

♪ And I wanna see Santa Claus ♪

♪ What? What? What? ♪

♪ Yes, it’s Christmastime ♪

♪ And I wanna see Santa Claus ♪

♪ What? What? What? ♪

♪ Gonna ask him for my baby ♪

♪ Ain’t that a real good cause? ♪

MRS. STEVENS: Let me know which ones.

Sure. I’ll hold.

MRS. MURRAY: Ah, look what the cat dragged in.

Good afternoon, Eileen.

(song ends)

You look fresh as a daisy, as always.

I had car trouble.

Yeah, I believe the trouble part.

It’s almost Christmas. Can you give me a break?

No. Get to work.

Okay. I need the Polk file.

(phone rings)


I think Dr. St. John has it.

Perfect. Yeah, I’m afraid that one will have to wait till after the holidays.

We have a new doctor on staff, and, uh, apparently she doesn’t follow procedures.

She’s not in today?

Been and gone.

She’s gonna be back after Christmas.

MRS. STEVENS: Yeah. Will do.

All right, then. Thank you.


(hangs up receiver)

(Eileen sighs)

Where do you think you’re going?

The infirmary.

I think something’s going around.

MRS. MURRAY: You look like you’ve been going around.

She’s a boozer.

(phones ringing)

(overlapping chatter)

(man whistling a tune)

(ringing and chatter stop)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(waves crashing)

(starts engine)

(engine idling)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

(door closes)




Dad, can you hear me?

(groans, muttering)

Dad, can you hear me?

What were you doing up there?

I need my gun.

-Sit up.

It’s after me.

Nobody’s after you.

Sit up. Sit up.

(Jim groans)


That you, Joanie?

JIM: Hey.

Joanie. Joanie.



Quit your fussing, Joanie.

♪ ♪

DOCTOR (voice-over): We stitched him up, and I don’t think he has a concussion, but his blood alcohol level is point one-seven.

His liver’s enlarged, and he’s covered in bruises.

I’m not blaming you, honey, but, uh…

Yeah, sure.

Hey, who’s letting him live like this?

I don’t know. My mom died, and he doesn’t have a job.

What else is he supposed to do?

DOCTOR: Yeah, there are men who don’t drink all day.

EILEEN: I know that.

DOCTOR: Look, I know this is hard for you, but, uh… if he stops drinking, he might die, but if he keeps drinking, it’ll definitely kill him.

I don’t know what else to say to you.

Sit down, Dad.

The doctor told me you’re gonna die.

Oh, like he’s not?

He said, if you keep drinking like this, it’ll kill you.

Screw him.

You know they killed your mother at that hospital.

They owe me more than stitches.

Can you lean back?

Course I can lean back.

You don’t think I know how to go to bed?

(Jim grunts)

Well, I need a drink.


And anyway, I do not sleep here.

It’s haunted.

Please, Dad.

If I get you a bottle, will you lie down?

No. I want to have a drink with my daughter.

You’re different these days.

You’re almost interesting.

(liquid pours)

(fire crackling)

What are you doing with all the money you make at work?

(liquid pouring)

Why don’t you ever buy your own clothes?

I remember that coat.

I remember your mother…

How does it look on me?

Well, your mother looked beautiful in that coat.

I bought it for her to wear when she got out of the bughouse.

I always loved your mother.

No matter what you thought it looked like, I always loved her.

And I know what people say about me.

They say I made her crazy ’cause I’m a hard-ass.

And I may have yelled a few times, but she always forgave me.

Because we loved each other.

Love will make you crazy, Eileen.

You’ll probably never understand that.


Some people… they’re the real people.

Like in a movie, they’re the ones you’re watching.

They’re the ones making moves.

And the other people…

…they’re just there filling the space, and you take ’em for granted.

You think, “They’re easy.”

Take a penny, leave a penny.

That’s you, Eileen.

You’re one of them.

♪ ♪

(fire crackling)

(Jim swallows)

(phone ringing)

(car doors opening, closing)

JIM: What are you doing? You don’t gotta lock it.

Let’s go.

(bottles clattering)

Come on. Come on.

(ringing continues)

Come on. It’s cold out here.

Come on. Hurry up.

Open the door.

(ringing continues)

Fucking heavy.

(ringing continues)

Give me my fucking drink.

(bottles clattering)

(body thuds)

(ringing continues)

(ringing continues)

(water dripping)

JIM: Eileen!


What, Dad?

Phone rang.

Some woman looking for you.

What’d you say?


I know nothing. I said nothing.

(footsteps departing)


REBECCA: Hello, Christmas angel.


Look, I was just thinking of you, and, well, I-I don’t know what you’re planning for Christmas Eve, but I thought maybe you’d like to come over.

There are some records we could play, and maybe dance again if all goes well.

(chuckles) Unless you have a better offer, of course.

I don’t have a better offer.

So you’ll come?


Let me give you the address.

Okay. Hold on.

It’s 32 Maple Street.

So see you later.



(“All These Things” by Art Neville playing)

♪ The touch of your lips ♪

♪ Next to mine ♪

♪ Gets me excited ♪

♪ Makes me feel fine ♪

♪ Oh, oh ♪

♪ The touch of your hand ♪

♪ Oh, oh… ♪

♪ Your sweet hello ♪

♪ The fire inside you ♪

♪ Oh… ♪

♪ When you’re holding me close ♪

♪ Your love so warm ♪

♪ And tender… ♪

(emergency brake clicks)

(turns off engine)

(music stops)

(“Secret Love” by Pat Boone playing inside)

♪ Once I had ♪

♪ A secret love ♪

♪ That lived ♪

♪ Within the heart of me ♪

♪ All too soon ♪

(doorbell rings)

♪ My secret love ♪

♪ Became… ♪

(door opening)

(cat hissing)


Y-You’re here.

It’s a Christmas miracle.


Sorry it took me so long.


(cat yowls)

I think that cat’s possessed.

Merry Christmas.

Oh. Aren’t you a peach?

Come in! Come in.

(phone ringing)

Eileen, um,

I’m sorry the place is such a mess.

I-I haven’t… I mean, I tried to clean it up a bit, but it’s just beyond me.

(ringing continues)

I hope it doesn’t make you uncomfortable.

Let’s open this wine.

(slams down receiver)

Uh, sit down. Sit down. Sit down.

♪ Just how wonderful you are… ♪

I hope you didn’t have to drive far. Was it far?

Uh, no. I drive all over the place.

Let me take your coat.


Oh, my.

It’s so nice and soft.

It’s my mother’s.

Well, uh, she must have been a real classy lady to have such a classy daughter.

She was something of a clotheshorse, actually.

I hope it’s a kind you like.

(Rebecca rubs hands together)

Oh. I’m sure it’s delicious.

Drink sounds nice, actually.

Let’s see where the corkscrew’s hiding.

Uh, you know,

(drawers opening, closing)

I have just been so busy lately that I can’t seem to remember where the…

But it’s got to be here under all this mess, right?

You know what?

A very handy young PhD student once taught me a trick for how to open a bottle if you’re ever stranded without a corkscrew.


Philosophers are always the biggest drunks.

Although he was kind of cute.

(cork pops)


(wine dripping)

Eugene Henderson, Harvard.

I had no idea you could do that.

That was a great trick.


Now we need some glasses.


(“Too Lovely to Forget” by Connie Conway playing)

So to Eileen, my Christmas savior.


I didn’t do anything.

Well, you’re being a friend.

That’s everything. Cheers.

♪ A love I thought would last for a lifetime… ♪


God, that’s awful.

No. That’s a…

…punch of flavor.

That’s what a Syrah is.

Hope you haven’t spent too much on it.



To Jesus Christ.

Happy birthday.




Do you live here alone?


Oh, uh, sure.

I, uh… No, I can’t have roommates.

I, um, (clears throat) I like my own space.

I still like to have fun, and, uh, I can make a lot of noise.

(chuckles) And, uh, I can make a mess, as you can see, but, uh, I can play music as loud as I want to.

I can… I can scream as loud as I want to.



I can’t stand roommates, either.

In college, I had to lock my door…

Oh, that’s right. You were in college.

What’d you study?

Just the required courses.

Um, if I hadn’t left, I probably would have ended up a secretary anyway.

Eileen, you’re not really a secretary.

Mrs. Murray and Mrs. Stevens, they’re secretaries, ’cause they do what they’re told, and that’s why they’re miserable and nasty.

But you, you got a big life ahead of you, I’m sure.

Okay. I’m not a real secretary.

No, you’re not.

‘Cause you’re smart.


And you’re curious, aren’t you?

Mm, I never really did very good in school, so I’m just kind of average, I think.

Oh, don’t say that, Eileen.

Never say that. Do you…?

(sets cup on table)


You really think you’re a normal person?

Normal how?

♪ ♪

I really am a bad hostess.

Maybe we’ll, uh…

We’ll feel better if we eat something.

I feel fine.

(“Lost in a Memory of You” by Connie Conway playing)

Can I use your bathroom?


Just up the stairs.

♪ ♪

♪ In the moments we shared ♪

♪ You once said you cared… ♪

(hinges creaking)

It’s the other door, on the right.

♪ I’m lost ♪

(hinges creaking)

♪ In the memory of you… ♪


(breathing deeply)



♪ That so often I heard ♪

♪ Are lost ♪

♪ In the memory… ♪



(song continues indistinctly)

(scrapes, clatters)

(toilet flushes)

♪ ♪

♪ Are lost ♪

♪ In the memory ♪

♪ Of you ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Our plans… ♪


♪ Were all so sincere ♪


What do you have to be sorry for?

Go on. Go on. Eat. Eat. Yeah.

Have a pickle, too. (chuckles)

Why do we need a little, uh, cheese knife?

To keep our hands clean?

No. It’s all ridiculous.

Everything is.

All these stupid traditions, like the-the warden and his prison at Christmas.

What do you mean?

I’ve tried explaining how things need to change, but all he cares about is whether or not the boys are gonna think about me while they molest themselves in their cells at night.

(chuckles) God forbid.

There’s a strict no masturbation policy at Moorehead.

It’s illegal to get off in prison.

You know that, right?

As if that’s the downfall of civilization, people having orgasms.

You can’t count on men to fix anything.

People are so ashamed of their desires, especially men.

Eileen… as you can probably tell by now, I live a little differently than most people.

No, your house i-is nice.


It’s cozy.

I don’t mean the house. I mean…

I have my own ideas.

Maybe you and I share some of those ideas.

What kind of ideas do we share?

May I confide in you?

Of course.

It’s about Lee Polk.

It is?


Tell me, honey…

…what would make a person want to kill their father?

Everybody wants to kill their father.

No, they don’t. Who told you that?

Really, think about it, Eileen.

Because Lee snuck into his parents’ bedroom in the middle of the night… hacked through his father’s throat with an old kitchen knife, and stabbed him in the chest repeatedly.

His mother claimed she thought there’d been a break-in.

How do you sleep through something like that?

I don’t know.

You don’t. That’s why I called her in.

I mean, you were there.

The poor boy could barely look at her, so… so afterwards, I just asked him point-blank.

I said… I said, “What’d your father do to you?”

“What made you want to do that to your father’s body?”

And he spilled it all in a matter of minutes.

Nobody had ever bothered to ask him before.

No one had thought to ask.

Wouldn’t you want to know?

Wouldn’t you be curious?



Do you want to know?


Eileen, you can never tell anyone. Do you understand?

You understa… Promise me.


♪ What happened to the love… ♪

The first thing you need to know,

this isn’t my house.

This is the Polk house.

I have Mrs. Polk tied up downstairs.

♪ ♪

(distantly): Eileen. Eileen.


(normal): Eileen, please wait.

Eileen, please.

I thought I could do this alone, Eileen.

Please don’t go. Eileen!

(door slams)

Please, don’t go. Please.

I thought you invited me over here ’cause you liked me.

Oh, I do.

I do. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please, Eileen.

Just pl-please, Eileen. Just give me a moment.

Please just let me explain.

I need… I need a friend.

I came here yesterday afternoon to talk to Mrs. Polk.

I said I could see that she was upset after our meeting with Lee, was there anything she wanted to discuss.

She said, “Nothing,” so I… I pressed her.

I told her what Lee had told me.

She spat at me, called me the pervert, then called her husband a saint, and I left my card, told her to think about it.

I knew she wouldn’t call. Then I left.

Now, I couldn’t sleep last night.

‘Cause I… I couldn’t stop thinking about what Lee had told me, what his father had done, and how his mother had let it happen.

I don’t even remember the drive over here, I was so angry.

Suddenly I was pushing past her, saying, “How could you do it?

How could you be complicit in such torture?”

And she snapped.

She attacked me. See?


So I defended myself.

We fought, and I… I don’t know what happened, but somehow we fell down the stairs to the basement.

I-I thought she was gonna kill me, so I hit her with a chair and tied her up.

I tried to talk to her rationally, to explain that I was here to help Lee, that-that I could help her, too, if she’d let me, but… but she just kept screaming that-that I’d kidnapped her and her husband was a cop and I was gonna go to jail.

So I found some codeine in a bathroom, and got her to be quiet.

Then I called you.

Because, as you can see, I’m in a bit of a pinch.

What can I do?

I need Mrs. Polk to confess, and I need a witness, two against one.

You understand?

♪ ♪

Oh, I can’t go to jail.



Wait here.

Eileen. Wait…

(dog barking in distance)

It’s incredible.

Why do you have that?

Why did you bring that around here?

My dad’s sick.

Pick it up, and show me how you’re gonna hold it.

That’s very good, Eileen.

All right.


Be cool.

(hinges creaking)

(stairs creaking)

(muffled grunt)

(Anne breathing heavily)

Just tell us the truth, Mrs. Polk, and we’ll let you go free.

Families can heal.

You’re not a lost cause. No one is.

It can’t have been easy, being married to a man like that.

You’re obviously having a hard time.

Why don’t you tell us what happened in this house, why you helped your husband do what he did?

And then we’ll be even, and we can all walk out of here, and… and we can figure out how to help Lee.


Fucking untie me! Untie me!

Let me out of here!

You crazy bitch, get out of my house!

You’re in big trouble, you think you’re gonna get away with this!


You’re going to jail for a long time.

What the hell is she doing here?!

What are you doing here?

I really think you need to tell us the truth.

What the hell are you talking about?!

If you don’t…


…we could leave you down here tied up, no one to find you.

The human body can’t live very long without food and water.

Sooner or later, you’re gonna need to take a shit.

I guess you’re just gonna have to shit yourself.

And piss.

It’s not gonna feel very good.

I’m not scared of you.

I know you.

I know who your dad is.

If you know my dad, then you oughta be scared.

Yeah? Scared of a womanizing, drunk piece of shit who everybody knows is batshit crazy?

You think he didn’t have problems of his own?

You think he didn’t have secrets of his own, huh?

You think your mom didn’t know about ’em?

Think it didn’t…

I am going to fucking kill you if you don’t start talking right now!


Please, don’t kill me.

I won’t have to kill you if you talk.

♪ ♪


(quietly): I can’t.

No, please.

She’s not gonna help you. Talk.

I can’t help you unless you confess.




All right.

(chuckles quietly)

You win.

(Anne sniffles)

When you get married and you have children…




You take an oath when you get married to honor and obey your husband.

You wouldn’t understand that.

At first, I… At first, I just, I thought Mitch was just checking on him in his sleep, you know, like any father would, like he, he just wanted to be sure his son was safe and sound in bed.

Sometimes I’d… feel him getting out of bed, and sometimes I’d just feel him when he’d come back.

And he’d… kiss me or…  hold me and…

You know?

And we hadn’t really been together since Lee’d been born.

But then I… (sighs, clicks tongue)

I started getting these infections down there.

I figured it was my fault.

And then I wondered if Mitch had brought something home with him, you know?

Then one time… I got up in the middle of the night.

I don’t remember why.

Glass of water? I don’t know.

I thought-I thought maybe it was a dream.

I… I went-I went and looked in.

It didn’t dawn on me right away.

You know, I-I swear to you. I… I mean…

(shuddering breathe)

You don’t expect your husband’s gonna do something like that, you know?

I mean, nobody would believe it, anyway.

And then I… and then… And then I figured… And then I figured, if Lee was clean…

(Anne breathing heavily)



If he was clean, an enema and a bath before bed… then it would be better for all of us.

And it was.

I knew what I was doing, it wasn’t… it wasn’t quite right.

I did know that. I did.

But who do you tell? You know?

Who could I tell?

I mean, you do the best you can.

You know what happens when you have children?

Your husband never looks at you the same.

But after he went to bed with Lee, he’d come to me.

It was like a big burden had been lifted.

He was, he was relaxed.

It felt good, how he’d hold me.

He loved me then.

He would whisper and kiss me.

It was the way it had been before… when we were young and happy and in love.

It felt good.

Is that so wrong… to want to feel like that?

You wouldn’t understand.

You’re young, you haven’t had your heart broken.

(Anne gasping)

I’m bleeding! I’m bleeding!

Help me! Help me!

Please! Plea… Help me!

(muffled): I’m bleeding!

Shh! Shh!

Help me! You’ll be sorry!

Eileen, help me!

I’ll tell everyone what you’ve done!


A doctor!

Get a doctor!

Get me out of here!

Eileen, help me!

ANNE: Help me! (crying)

No! No!


(muffled crying)


(Rebecca grunting)

(muffled): No.

(spits) No! No!

No! No!


REBECCA: Okay. Okay.

(Anne groaning)


(muffled gasping)

(muffled gasping continues)

(soft groaning)

(groaning stops)


(breathing rhythmically)

Why did you shoot her?

I was upset.

What do we do now?

♪ ♪

We take her to my house.

My dad’s always whipping his gun out.

Everyone knows it.

We can make it look like he shot her in a blackout.

He’s just a drunk piece of shit, right?

He’s gonna die anyway or go crazy.

The doctor said so.

So let’s take her together and leave.

Then we could go to New York for the New Year…

…just the two of us.

I love you.

It’s okay.

Come on.

(quietly): All right.

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

(whispering): You go ahead to your father’s house.

Wait for me there.


I’ll clean up inside.

We can’t leave any evidence behind.

I’ll be waiting.

I’ll be quick.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(vehicle approaching)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(coat rustling)

(engine rattling)

(door opens, closes)

(birds chirping)

JIM: Eileen.

JIM: Eileen.

(Jim murmurs)

Go back to sleep, Dad.

Where you going?

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

I might just get on the road.

All right, then.

Good night.


(breathes softly)

♪ ♪

(keys jingling)

(door creaks shut)

(ice shatters)


♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(engine revs)

(engine idling)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(music fades)

♪ ♪

(music stops)


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Twister (1996) | Transcript

Two storm chasers on the brink of divorce must work together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.

The Inheritance (2024)

The Inheritance (2024) | Transcript

A billionaire on the eve of his 75th birthday, invites his estranged children back home out of fear that tonight someone or something is going to kill him. He puts each of their inheritances on the line, to make sure they’ll help.

Weekly Magazine

Get the best articles once a week directly to your inbox!