James Mason stars in an adaptation of Isabel Colegate's novel. A stately home is overrun for a weekend by the cream of Edwardian society on the eve of the Great War.
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'Life's so extraordinarily pleasant for those of us who have been born in the right place.
'Ought it to be so pleasant, and for so few of us?
'And isn't there a kind of saiety about it all
'and at the same time greed?
'We seem to have become money-mad.
'There's never been so much gambling, speculating, fortune-hunting.
'People say the military regime in Germany will insist on a trial of strength, sooner or later.
'And might that not cleanse us of our materialism, our cynicism, our lax, lazy hypocrisies?
'Make us gird our sinews and find simplicity again?
'And then should we not be fitter afterwards to make a better world?
'For that must be what we're here for...to leave the world a better place than we found it.'
Better be ready, Mr Stephens, sir. Yes, yes. Quite right, Percy.
RHYTHMIC BEATING >
Over there on the right! >
GUNFIRE AUDIBLE, BUT AT A DISTANCE
All out now, Sir Randolph! >
That's 62 pheasant, 2 hares and a woodcock today, sir.
Percy, don't let Sir Randolph hear you keeping score. Our host considers it unsporting.
71 pheasant, 3 woodcock and 2 hares, m'Lord.
We are ahead of Mr Stephens? Ahead, my Lord, but not comfortably so.
-Hello, isn't that Lionel Stephens?
-Buried in a book as always!
Hello, Bob! < 'Afternoon, Lionel!
-You missed a good first day, Bob.
-I'm desolate, Randolph!
But one can't refuse to be one's brother's best man.
-Especially at Godfrey's age.
-Have you brought fancy dress?
-You know Lady Hartlip?
-Dressing up isn't really my style, Minnie.
-You're as bad as Randolph.
You did nicely today.
Doubtless Olivia has brought some ravishing confection(!)
-Another Greek classic?
Ruskin! I love Ruskin. Even when he's talking nonsense, I love it.
-Here you are.
Hopkins! A mustard bath for Sir Reuben!
-Olivia, my dear!
Forgive us for arriving late.
It seems everything will depend on your turn-out tomorrow night.
-You know Lord and Lady Hartlip?
-And Count Tibor Rakassyi,
-visiting from Hungary.
-Lord and Lady Lilburn.
You must know our daughter-in-law, Ida. Her children, Cicely and Marcus.
-We've met. At Henley, wasn't it?
-I expect you'd like to unpack.
I'll get Rogers to send someone to bring your things in from the car.
You're not having any more! Just one, Flo!
Hello, Flo. Dad's back is bad again. He won't be fit to beat tomorrow.
Can't Dr West do nothing for it, then?
What's this? Lardy cakes from Mum. How many has Dan eaten?!
Will you tell Tom Harker I'll need him as a beater? 8.00 sharp. Batty Clump.
You said you'd not use him after catching him again. I don't like it.
Gives him a free reccy, but it can't be helped.
He knows what he's doing, and I need a reliable stop.
Besides, he only poaches for the pot.
Good evening! >
-I want the Nettleby Arms.
-I'll point you in the right direction.
-That would be very kind.
I see you've got a bad leg. Is that from the South African War?
-No, it was a man-trap, sir.
-Good God! But that's illegal!
I bear no grudge. The game-keeper was doing his duty as he saw it.
His DUTY? To trap a fellow human and cripple him for life?
-All to ensure a few more birds for someone else to murder?
-You might say so.
The birds are our brothers and sisters! We can survive on the fruits of field and orchard.
They say the Lord will provide.
-There's a massacre tomorrow?
-I know nothing of the pastimes of the upper classes, sir.
That silly arse Matthews has left half my things behind.
What a nuisance! But you look very nice.
-The studs are wrong.
-No-one could guess.
-They're too smart.
It's frightfully bad form. It looks as though I'm going to a damn ball!
It's all very well... You can dismiss these things if you like.
But they're part of the structure...
..of our lives. If we lose respect for them...
..we lose respect for ourselves.
My self-respect is not connected with your shirt studs!
But you mean I can be frivolous because I am supported by you
-and the position you confer on me by making me your wife.
"It is far better for a gentleman to mow his OWN fields,
"than to ride over other people's."
You're trying to provoke me, but I shall NOT rise.
Who is this ape, anyway?
John Ruskin! There you are, then.
Art and Life are different things, as he found out on marriage.
-Who gave you this rubbish?
-Lionel Stephens was looking at it and...
..he gave it to me when I said I liked Ruskin.
Good man, Stephens.
This is where I turn off.
The Nettleby Arms is 100 yards on.
Oh, by the way... SIR! Let me give you one of my leaflets.
Here we are! I can see you're a fellow spirit.
Good day to you, sir.
Fellow bloody spirit indeed(!)
-Bloody lunatic! 'Murder', indeed! Bloody barmy, if you ask me.
-What...? What's this, then?
-< I've a message from Mr Glass.
Will you beat for him? 8.00 tomorrow.
-Beat for him, eh? Who's fallen out?
-It's his back.
-What do you think of that?
-"The Rights Of Animals".
Animals haven't GOT rights!
Shouldn't think so. I don't know.
Except to hunt and be hunted. ..Here then, look what I've got!
Liquorice. It's for waiting for me.
Thank you, Mr Harker.
- Hello, John. - I think that's everything, sir.
I'll empty this for you. No hurry. I've done all the writing I'm going to do.
The way she talks about Lady Hartlip, that Hortense! I couldn't repeat it!
No, you'd better not!
-Is she a flirt? French maids are supposed to be.
-She flirts with John.
-You must marry John quickly, to keep him in order.
-Miss, we couldn't.
-Not yet. Not without any prospects.
-John won't be a footman for ever.
-He did think of applying to be Mr Stephens' valet. He thinks he's nice.
-I do, too. Very nice!
And yet, in a funny way, he's SO nice,
and so GOOD at everything, so kind and elegant and clever, I wonder if he's quite real.
Count Rakassyi's more your sort, Miss. He's more 'lively'.
-Ellen, you're just saying that to find out what I think about him!
-Miss, please sit down!
-Of course he's more my sort of gentleman. But he's nearly thirty, you know?
-Is he really?
-He's well-preserved, if you know what I mean.
-I shall have to marry him, then.
And you and John will come to Hungary as valet and lady's maid.
And we'll gallop across the Hungarian snow-covered plain from palace to palace!
-I never fancied snow.
-You're very particular!
Cicely, please DON'T borrow my things again without asking.
Good evening, m'Lady.
(Good luck, Miss!)
You shouldn't encourage her. I don't NEED to. She does very well on her own.
Don't fawn on her. It insults her.
You're always writing in that big, brown book, Grandpapa.
It's my Game Book. Well, part of it is my Game Book. Part of it is my thoughts. It's not a bad idea...
..writing down one's thoughts. It saves bothering others with them.
I HATE writing.
That's because you're not very good at it. One doesn't enjoy doing what one's not very good at.
'My wife and I are very fond of each other... But she cares for society more than I do...'
I have to cover my legs with powder, it's the only way.
And lie on my back with my legs in the air.
And then my maid and I have to pull hard for hours!
Can it be worth the agony? Oh, YES ! They look wonderful.
- What do?! My hunting boots.
-Is the Israelite not amongst us?
-No, he got his feet wet in a ditch.
I've sent Hopkins up to him with a mustard bath.
If he was inadequately shod...
He was not inadequately shod. He was shod the same as everyone else.
We don't want too many people about with imagination.
LIONEL AND OLIVIA CHAT INTIMATELY >
There's absolutely nothing in it!
-I don't know to what you refer, but it'll be wickedness.
A thousand apologies for being late.
I'm sure it was Hopkins' fault. Meet Harry and Mildred Stamp. Sir Reuben Hergesheimer.
- Oh! I've heard so much about you! - You flatter me!
-A glass of sherry...wine, Hergesheimer?
-A thousand thanks.
How perfect your coverts are. As good, in my opinion, as Sandringham, though smaller.
-We copied them.
-I didn't realise.
-Almost bankrupting the estate.
Mildred, there's been something I've been wanting to ask you...
We were there twice, a long time ago.
-Dinner is served.
-Thank you, Rogers.
-Sir Reuben, would you escort Mildred in?
-It would be my pleasure.
CICELY: Oh, do look!
-Rogers, I think we have a need for Master Osbert.
< How divine!
Osbert will catch it. What a naughty boy!
-Nonsense! But I agree we should wait for Osbert.
-I hope she doesn't come to any sudden decisions.
IDA: Osbert, apologise to Granny!
-I'm sorry, Granny.
-Never mind, dear.
Rogers, I think it's safe to serve dinner now.
- A wild duck is an unusual pet. - I found her on the river last year.
A chick? > About 4 days old.
- Dear boy, won't she fly away? - Oh, she DOES. But she comes back.
She pleases herself when she arrives and then she comes to look for me.
Best hang on to her tomorrow.
< If she's with the wild ducks, she'll be for it.
-Keep her in, Os. Don't forget.
-Do you HEAR that, Duck?! >
If you fly over me, I can tell you you haven't a hope.
Bang, bang! And it will ALL be over!
If you kill her, I will kill you.
Osbert! Oh, you will ?! How do you propose to do that?
I will kill you by prayer.
Tell me, Mr Stephens, which sport do you excel at?
Very droll! Tricky game, billiards.
ALINE: You should say shooting after today!
- Not before the finest shot of all.
- Very civil of you.
It's more than what the sentences actually say. Just like music.
Art makes us better. Do you agree?
LIONEL'S VOICE: 'I couldn't look at you when you smiled. Did you notice?
'Not because it dazzles, but because it is so innocent.
'You are Truth because you are Beauty; Beauty because you are Truth.
'You cannot stop me dying for you, although I would much rather live for you...if you would let me.'
I hope you like the port.
If it's as good as the shooting, I, for one, shan't complain!
- I hear you're successful at the Bar, Stephens. - Thank you, Sir Reuben.
- Ever considered politics? - Yes, but it's not my style.
-You could never relax on an estate, Lionel.
-Each to his own.
Isn't it time you put down roots, Hergesheimer?
< Letting all those millions go to charity! If I had an heir,
I don't know how I would wish him to behave. Should he assimilate into your society?
< Or should he remember his ancestors in the Polish ghetto?
..don't stay undecided for too long. If the land-owning class goes, everything goes.
What do you say, Lionel?
I don't know. I think an age, perhaps even a civilisation, is coming to an end.
-GILBERT: I wouldn't agree with you there.
-I believe it to be true.
Take away the proper function of the aristocracy and what can it do but play games too seriously?
It happened at the end of feudalism and it's happening now. I must write a pamphlet about it.
Private circulation, decently printed and so forth.
MARCUS: Death, disease and dentistry are subjects that are forbidden at table.
CLASSICAL PIANO MUSIC
And how long have you had Lionel Stephens under your spell?
-I think you must be mistaken.
-Oh, don't worry! I've set my cap at Sir Reuben and his millions.
-Is this the book you wanted?
-Yes, thank you.
-What a competitive pair you are, you and Gilbert.
-He doesn't even join in the game(!)
-It was sport I was referring to in his case.
Sport doesn't interest me at ALL!
Although, of course, one likes a man to be good at it.
-Then you've chosen well for a husband.
-One would think so.
But do you know, something very odd was happening today.
Somebody was actually out to beat him.
I MEAN...your 'inamorata'.
-What do you mean?!
-Everybody wants to beat the champion.
Aveline, our young friend's mind doesn't work like that.
Even in the full madness of love? To shine in front of her? Why DO you think men do these things(!)
< MEN ENTER Men do acts of valour to win women.
What other reasons could there be?!
A deed of valour for any man is to partner my wife at bridge.
I did it once...thirty years ago.
I can see by the look in her eye that somebody is going to have to do it.
-We have one expert here.
-One or two rubbers would be nice. Bob...?
-I'd rather read.
Let's play the gramophone and do that new dance!
Dance?! Anything but word games.
Shall we test your famous billiards?
Yes, why not?!
CICELY: I'm sure these are the steps.
MARCUS: It can't possibly be!
THEY ARGUE ON, AMIDST GIGGLES
Oh, you're HOPELESS !
Tibor, YOU try.
- It's not a waltz, Tibor! - What do you call it? - It's certainly not a waltz!
MUSIC OFF Let's go and play a game!
Is there much shooting here? This is the Nettleby estate.
- It's renowned. - The King himself has shot here.
- How ghastly! - How's that?
It's gives me a few bob.
- Murder! - I won't listen to this!
Until we recognise our universal kinship with all living creatures, we shall remain in outer darkness!
I hope you gentlemen won't refuse my hospitality.
Thank you, sir.
That give you something to think about?
-Did I see you with new Purdeys today, Gilbert?
-Yes, indeed. Best guns I've ever had.
Made to fit me. Nothing like Purdeys for smoothness and finish.
< Perhaps if it's a tricky customer, funny shoulders or whatever,
then Henry Holland has the experience.
But I only go to Purdey now.
-You've done it again.
-Well done, partner!
I shall write you a cheque. No, please, allow me.
-What a dear man!
-I can only agree!
Cogswell and Harrison's are good. Got my first elephant gun there.
I imagine you must be pursued by them all now, Gilbert.
Yes, very vulgar.
Now the ONLY people to whom I'd give a testimonial are Purdey.
PLAYS CLASSICAL PIECE
KNOCK AT DOOR >
ELFRIDA! You've not had breakfast!
-Watch out! What're you doing?!
-It's a letter.
Read it when you're alone. It's quite long.
-Is it serious?
-..Two more, Sue!
-What is it?
-'Thank you. Put it down there.'
-Thank you, my Lady.
-What does it say?
-I can't. I've got to finish the teas first.
Master Osbert, whatever have you been doing?!
The thing is, I went to feed Elfrida and I was just moving the cage...
-..to the better grass.
-And it tipped.
-And I fell in the pond.
She flew off, but she'll come back soon.
Does she come when you call?
Yes. When she can see me.
All right, then. Run and get dry and don't let anyone catch you!
-I wish we hadn't laughed at Osbert.
-But you didn't.
-It wasn't funny. He'll be educated and taught to be on the side of the guns.
-It's such a pity.
-We all have to learn to school our emotions.
Yes, but who has decided it is the height of heroism to kill?
Why the need for living sacrifices?
I knew you had such fire but didn't think you'd show it to me.
-I feel I can because you are a TRUE friend and won't laugh.
-We're being very serious. I think that might be breaking one of the rules.
-I'm quite sure it is.
-Lionel, do you think he's sound?
-Let's have a look.
Come on, Bart!
Having a son of my own makes me aware how DIFFERENTLY I feel from a man!
How I would like to rebel against the world men have made!
I see the beauty of a good shoot, but not of the sacrifice, the BLOOD.
-Why do men have to have that, too?
-Nature includes the note of death.
-You don't have to seek it out!
-Do we do that?
-You've never wanted a war?
-One answers the battle call.
-There you are, then.
-There I am.
-But I shall not, if I can help it, shoot Osbert's duck.
-That I believe!
-Shall we walk back, then?
-I didn't realise it was you.
-My dear fellow, do forgive me.
I wasn't about to take a pot-shot at a Roman Emperor. It's my new guns.
-I thought we would have a moment's drill.
-I wouldn't have thought you'd need it. Anyway, it doesn't matter.
Julius Caesar - it's just a cast from the British Museum. Not that you'd have been loaded.
(At least I hope you wouldn't.)
-The asters - shouldn't they be divided?
-Best not lift them now, m'Lady. Not until the Spring.
They won't thank us for it.
-But if you insist...
-No. One despot is enough in the garden, Ogden(!)
-Where are you going?
-To look for Elfrida Beetle for Osbert.
-Who is Elfrida Beetle?!
-< It's the name of the duck, m'Lady.
She was called Alfred, but then she turned into a female so Alfreda became Elfrida.
-She'd just swallowed a beetle and 'elle' is French for 'she'.
-She freed the beetle by eating it.
She freed it from life's miseries. 'Elle'-freed-a-beetle. A silly name!
-She's run away?
- Yes, greedy animal!
Bird! No need to be pert.
# Pert bird, pert bird! Perty birdie...! #
RAPID SUCCESSION OF SHOTS
Cads! Unspeakable cads!
GLASS: All out, Sir Randolph!
-Too pretty... Nottingham?
An old admirer... The sweetest thing.
I always thought your taste in men to be more Ibsenite than Chekhovian.
Oh, Minnie, you are a beast! What shall I do with it?
It's TOO pretty for a petticoat.
Oh, you're so clever with those things. I'D simply trim a bodice.
-Haven't you something being made it can go on?
-I'm not using my dressmaker.
-Not for a month or so.
-(I'm sure I'm right!) ..H'm?
I have to be elusive with people of that nature just now.
My bookmaker, mainly. He's so stingy with credit.
I could let you have a little. ..For a few weeks.
You are an angel, but I couldn't! I can't BEAR looting my friends.
If only I hadn't had a rotten Ascot! I can't tell Gilbert. I promised to give up gambling.
You'd get it back. Gilbert pays me my dress allowance on 1st December.
Of course I will! It's horrid to worry about money!
-A hundred...? Two...?
-Minnie, you are an ANGEL!
You are an angel. Could you possibly make it two?
We'll go in and find my cheque book. And then, what about a game of whist?
Too divine! As long as you don't make it double or quits!
Go on! Get OUT of it!
SOUND OF BEATERS IN WOOD
CONTINUOUS GUNFIRE >
< That's enough!
- Look out! - What the hell...?
Silly sodding bugger!
-Fetch that man over here, Glass.
-Right, hold the dog!
You don't approve of our sport?
-It's not my idea of sport. It's my idea of murder!
-It's all right, Glass. We'll go on down to the marquee.
Let the gentleman go. ..You've caught us at the end of our 'murderous' morning.
We're about to have an ill-earned luncheon. Are you from these parts? We've never met.
My own work!
"The Rights of Animals. A Vindication...
"..of the Doctrine of Universal Kinship."
Well, these pheasants wouldn't have been here at all if we hadn't bred, hatched and reared them.
One could argue that we give them life and then, after a bit, we take it away again,
abrogating to ourselves somewhat God-like powers, I admit.
This is a very well-produced pamphlet...
Where did you get it printed? You don't mind my asking?
Not at all. I know a very good man at Dorking, just near where I live.
An excellent man of anarchistic views. He gives me very good rates.
Special terms, h'm? He wouldn't give me such good ones, I suppose?
-Are you a pamphleteer, too, sir?
-I was thinking of making a foray in that direction.
-I think that's the word.
-Yes, I think you COULD call it a diatribe, Mr Cardew.
-"The Ruin of Rural England. A Diatribe!"
But I don't think we should continue our discussion here.
My fellow murderers are impatient.
-Ah! ..Hindhead. How charming.
We'll keep in touch. And you will speak to your printer?
He'll send an estimate. Good day!
And I bid YOU good day, sir.
I suppose you really do have to have him up in front of the Bench?
He had to get back to Hindhead. ..Pretty place, Hindhead.
There they are!
IDA: I do hope her coltish ways don't encourage Count Rakassyi.
He's a little bit sur le tapis!
IDA: Her father is against it. Things are rather too uncertain.
The Rakassyis ARE wonderfully rich.
An English match is more secure.
All those foreign relations could be a bore.
And we can enjoy another year or two speculating!
-How will Cicely feel about that?
-She'll enjoy it.
She's not got your high ideals which make you the Princess Lointaine of your admirers.
- We're not all as spiritual as you. That's why we cherish you so!
Most of us are very mundane.
GLASS: Right, stand back, you lot! Loaders first!
It said the most wonderful things! What sort of things?
That she was Truth because she was Beauty; Beauty because she was Truth.
And that there was going to be a war and he would gird his loins for her!
-Be careful! He'll hear you.
Don't you think it's romantic? Sounds overdone. What would you think to such a letter?
I should be fascinated! And you, Lydia?
-I'd know I was not worthy of it.
-But you'd be secretly pleased? Ellen was!
See the deer? They like the bracken up top in Bowler's plantation.
Better not let my dad hear you've been up there.
These are hard times for the locals. No-one cares about country matters.
Surely the popular idea of England is the village green and woodsmoke from cottage chimneys,
contented labourers, a benevolent squire?
That idea is such a powerful one
because it's a myth. It hasn't existed for many years.
Is there no way of turning the myth into reality?
It would mean working against the whole current of history.
I wouldn't ENTIRELY agree. Why are you smiling?
I can't imagine...except that when my thoughts about the future are PARTICULARLY gloomy,
I find myself feeling more and more light-hearted.
I suppose I've always fancied the idea of taking to the hills when the barbarian hordes take over.
I think I should enjoy that.
Randolph...lunch is served.
-LUNCH is served!
Minnie would hate that marginally more than I should.
She and I would have to stay and make friends with the barbarians.
Come and eat!
It'd be all right if we could get back.
The landlord invents the laws and the punishments!
If the land belonged to us all, there'd be no law of trespass.
< That means belongs to the government.
< Better work for the devil you know than for politicians! London trash!
That may be so of most, but not of Lloyd George. A man of the people.
-Welshman, isn't he?
We've had them round here. Welsh miners doing Derbyshire men out of work.
Never trust a bloody Welshman. Nor a gypsy, nor a Jew!
BEETLE...! ELFRIDA...! ELFRIDA BEETLE...!
ELRIDA...! ELFRIDA...! ELFRIDA...!
I expect by now he's searching for his duck. It was lost this morning.
If it should FAIL to appear, I'd feel honoured to provide a successor.
You're the kindest person in the world!
CICELY: ..Straightforward for a Zulu.
Zulus aren't cannibals. No?
-Granny, isn't it true Mr Kerr was eaten by cannibals?
-Indeed, yes, poor man.
Elfrida! ..Elfrida Beetle!
Wouldn't it be lovely to live here always?
If I could have my books, and were in love with my companion and we could keep warm!
It would have to be an idyll for you, then.
-I wouldn't ask so much. I could be happy here alone.
-It would be a waste.
It's no waste if I became wise.
We're meant to share our lives, not develop in isolation.
Besides, I think you're wise already.
You can't know me very well if you think that.
Then why do I feel as if I do?
-I don't know.
-You know me too. You know everything about me.
-Yes, but it's true.
We recognise each other because...
because our souls knew each other before.
-Oh, in heaven or somewhere. I don't know.
-You seem very sure.
Quite, quite sure.
-I think it's more as if...
-What did I do with Lorna's leash?
Will you walk with me tomorrow?
On your feet! We're moving!
Back to work!
Enough of that.
-Ah, look alive, boy!
-It's only a bit of scribble.
-No, you have her to the life.
Thank you for sharing it with me.
That's a real talent, Glass.
I wish you'd let me put that boy through grammar school.
He's happy enough where he is.
He might get ideas above his station.
Oh, well, if you change your mind.
The offer is still there.
Whatever's the matter, Master Osbert?
Didn't you find your duck?
Oh, never mind.
But if she doesn't come back, they'll shoot her tomorrow.
Not if I've got anything to do with it they won't.
How will you stop them?
If she doesn't come back tonight, first thing in the morning, as soon as I've done me chores,
I'll come and help you find her.
Will you? Will you really?
Promise. They'll have to shoot us before they shoot her.
You are a brick, Ellen.
I know all about that.
Now, get into your fancy dress before her ladyship starts creating.
HE PLAYS A JAUNTY TUNE
The Captain of the Pinafore!
What are you supposed to be, Little Bo Peep?
That's quite enough!
Osbert, you are splendid.
-Very good, Osbert!
Is this right?
Spirit of Ragtime?
-Not in the very best of taste.
Who's Oscar Wilde?
He wrote The Happy Prince, my dear.
Hmm. The butterfly and a bumble bee.
-She talked you into it, eh?
-A wicked highwayman.
-Why is he wicked? I like him.
A classical tableau.
What is Marcus doing?
-He's being a statue.
-But he's breathing.
-Oh, I give up!
-Isn't that dashing?!
What's he so pleased about?
-Shut up, you.
La Dame aux Camelias... and Alfredo Germont.
< Just a minute!
-< Perhaps I could help you?
-I think not.
-Is she ill?
-No, dear, she's acting.
Oh, Gilbert, you might have asked the children.
-They'd have found something in the dressing up box.
Well, never mind. We must give away the prizes as it's past Violet's bedtime.
here's a prize for the best-dressed lady and for the best gentleman
and now you must choose.
That's easy. Him.
-How did you choose, Violet?
-Because they're the best!
-Is there a prize for the judge?
Relieve me of that, will you? Gilbert, here's a prize for you.
-How kind of you!
-Are you all right?
Yes, but if you would excuse me it's nothing a night's rest won't right.
-I'd like to do you justice tomorrow.
-My dear fellow.
He does have terrible headaches.
I've known a lot of men who shoot as much as Gilbert does to be afflicted by the same thing.
..Dora Davis and Lord Lucas. >
-KNOCK AT DOOR
-What did you think of my letter?
To tell you the truth...
I don't know.
I thought you'd like it.
I did at first...then somehow... Ouch!
all them long words.
-I need to think about it.
And you need to be off out of it before someone catches you here,
and we're both sacked without a reference between us.
We'll talk about it in the morning.
Not if you don't hop it now.
It's a lot of nonsense.
That's what it is.
A lot of bloomin' nonsense.
You said, "As if."
-As if what?
-Today, at luncheon.
You didn't finish.
-I said we'd known each other before and you said, "It was as if..."
-As if you...were my long-lost brother.
That puts me in my place!
-I'm so sorry if...
-I love you.
I love you.
-I've been so stupid!
..it was just that we...
..liked each other.
That we had things in common.
KNOCK AT DOOR
-I'm sorry, my dear, I didn't mean to bother you.
Do you have any of those sachets - the ones the French doctor gave you?
My head is agony again.
Aren't they some terribly dangerous drug?
You ought to be careful, you know.
Who am I to know, anyway? I must have something.
You poor thing.
I...could stay a bit, if...you liked.
Oh, my dear, it's not one of our weeks.
Anyway, you need rest if you're going to do yourself justice tomorrow.
Well, you can't let people think
that Lionel Stephens is a better shot than you!
-You know how people love to talk.
-Is that what people are saying?
Well, I don't know what they're saying.
-Don't be shocked. You know you've been thinking about it.
What do they say?
Well, tell me what anyone has said.
I don't know! They're not saying anything! Don't yap at me, Gilbert!
I'm not yapping. Somebody must have said something,
-otherwise you wouldn't have thought it.
-Yes, I would!
-You never think about my shooting.
-Of course I do!
At least I...
I do if I see anyone trying to be as good as you.
I may not be interested in all you do but I am loyal to you.
You know that!
I'll show them.
I'll get a good night's rest and I'll show them. You'll see.
You do that.
You can beat Lionel Stephens any day, the conceited young fool!
No, I don't think he's that. I'll beat him, though.
He is conceited.
And a prig!
You're only saying that because you're bored with Charles
and would have liked to flirt with Lionel but he's pre-occupied.
That's the sort of bitter remark we agreed not to make.
It wasn't meant to be bitter. I don't feel bitter.
Oh, don't try to sound pathetic!
We made an agreement and I have stuck to it.
You started it all with that disgusting old hag in Maida Vale.
It's quite usual for men to have distractions which don't affect their devotion to their wives.
My distractions don't affect my devotion to you.
I have never been disloyal to you.
And I have never let you down in public.
Now, please go - I'm getting a headache.
It must be infectious.
Yes, I'll go.
Thank you for these.
Come on! Come on, boy!
That's a good boy.
-Will you really ask me to stay?
-I shall ask my mother to write to yours as soon as I get home.
-She can't speak Hungarian.
-Nobody does. We speak French.
-Her French isn't good, either.
-It is. It's tres convenable, according to mademoiselle.
Alors, vous vous comporterez tres bien.
Nous ferons du cheval, de la chasse meme, si vous voulez.
So we'll be going riding and hunting, will we? So there.
In the evening there'll be musicians and we can dance in the ballroom,
all surrounded by Venetian looking glasses.
-I think you would like to waltz there.
-I know I should.
-You won't forget, will you, when you get home?
I won't forget.
LILBURN: They've been there with us. I was so intrigued because he's gonna give up money
and go into politics. Whether or not it's a good idea I'm not persuaded.
Because you know the Barlows at Rothermere, they're such good sorts.
Yes, we were there with the Charlesworths.
Of course you and Libby had left.
I thought she was looking quite dreadful the last time I saw her.
Talk at the club is that Raymond is drinking heavily again.
-He's in the right place, isn't he?
Things to do -
move off at about half past nine, say,
and we could take the duck at the end of the morning
if that would, er, amuse any of you.
-Slept well, Gilbert?
..They are a strange bunch. They all look so dago.
They look so Spanish. They say they're Cornish.
-..I think it's a result of...
too many willing Cornish dames.
Oh, thank you.
Darling, suppose there are some other people somewhere,
people we don't know.
What sort of people?
Oh...perfectly charming people, really delightful.
Intelligent, amusing, civilised...
And...we don't know them.
And nobody we know knows them,
and they don't know us or anybody who knows us...
Well, let's hope it's impossible,
but even if it were possible,
I don't think I'd want to know such people
because I don't think I'd find anything in common with them.
-Will you walk with me today?
-I'm sorry, Bob, but I...
promised to walk with Lionel.
Fine. Never mind, we'll have plenty of other opportunities.
I wanted to remind you of how we ordinary mortals shoot.
It's a sport, Bob, not a duel we're engaged in.
That's a welcome assurance, Stephens.
Good day, Sir Randolph.
< Good day, Sir Randolph.
-Good day, Sir Randolph.
We'd best be on our way.
Here, my matches!
-How are you keeping, Harker?
-Can't complain, sir.
-His mercies are manifold.
-Yes, indeed they are.
That was a very good piece of work you did on that roof in Hamlingham.
Why, thank you, sir.
Rooks. My first job scaring them, age of eight.
-Rook pie, you don't want too much of it.
-Sorry, Sir Randolph...
I see you've got one of your favourite characters beating today.
-Against my better judgement, Sir Randolph.
-I like him.
Get over there. Wait for me.
Him and me are counting, all right.
We're gonna smash the other fellow today.
-You keep a lookout. If Sir Randolph catches you...
I suppose he is really one of the best-looking people one knows.
He has such a sensitive face.
"Like Phoebus Apollo turned fasting friar."
In The Egoist, the hero - I can't remember his name -
-the er...the man she loves... Not The Egoist.
Can't think what you mean.
Oh, you do sound cross.
I am cross, your friend Lionel Stephens has been annoying.
For some unknown reason he's setting himself up in competition with me.
Well, you've got all the day to beat him in.
I can't shoot any more birds than I'm shooting already.
Well, you'll have to try a bit harder.
Poach a bit or something.
Why not? It's more fun.
I don't see why Lionel Stephens should get everything his own way.
Everyone else stand still when we stand still.
Then you move forward, taking your cue from Tom and Walter.
Now we do the same again three or four times till we get to the end.
Now you can be stop. BEATERS: Yeah!
And I don't care if it is favouritism.
He may not see shooting like we'll see today,
-not even if he lives to be 100. Eh?
Everyone clear? BEATERS: Yes.
Off we go, then.
What I said last night... I shouldn't have said it.
Don't let it mean that you change, that you avoid me.
It's wrong to avoid things, or not to recognise them.
-That was what it was all the time.
-All the time.
That was what it was.
That is what it IS.
I love you, too.
Mr Stephens, sir. Over on the left. Your bird, sir.
They're going to shoot her, Ellen. Going to shoot her.
We'll find her. Don't you worry.
They're 15 ahead now, m'lord.
Oh, beater, God.
All out, Sir Randolph.
'Ere, what's going on over there, then?
He's been shot!
< He's been shot!
Stay where you are.
Oh, dear, Gilbert has over-reached himself.
Keep back! Don't crowd!
I thought it was you.
You was stop, wasn't you?
Tom said one stop wasn't enough.
< My eyes. I don't want to lose my eyes!
Take your hands away so we can have a look at you.
There you are... Yes.
Hold this up to your face with your left hand.
Who's the fastest runner here?
-I am, sir.
-Ah, well run as fast as you can
to Dr West and bring him here.
Go with him, Walter.
-Can one do anything?
-I don't think so, sir, I'm going for the doctor.
Better tell the men to go home. All of them.
There's nothing they can do here.
Get some of them to make a litter, you know, to carry him on.
Right, you lot. Off you go!
And the rest of you, come with me.
And Lionel, tell them everything is under control here.
The best thing they can do is to go home.
Get a message to bring the car.
When the time comes I'll go,
but I don't want to be a blind man.
Of course not.
Don't worry, Dr West will come here soon.
Awful thing to happen.
It was woodcock.
I'd no chance of getting it unless I swung fast.
Of course, I'd no idea that the man was so close.
I'll make it all right for you.
Financially, I mean.
You weren't shooting like a gentleman, Gilbert.
TOM CRIES OUT
What are you doing sitting there? We'll need some sacking.
-Is the man badly hurt?
-Caught him in the face, sir.
-Dr West's been sent for.
I suppose we'd better be getting back to the house if there's nothing we can do here.
Oh, they're not going to shoot the duck?
My dear Aline, a man has been shot in the face.
It's not as if he's just been peppered, you know.
The poor creature, they've shot it already.
You poor thing, we'll get you another one.
-Course it's alive. It's tired, that's all.
Like you, my dear, I think she's a survivor.
-Who are the water sprites, pray?
I think my place is with our hostess.
And yours is with your husband.
You dear old-fashioned thing.
Is it getting dark?
Yes, it's beginning to get dark.
Another breath of wind.
A dark night, a dry wind, and you'll get rabbits.
-No wind, no rabbits, I always say.
-Come on, now, Tom, remember who you're talking to.
I remember, I remember.
Is it dark?
It's not very dark yet, Tom.
Looks dark to me.
It's getting dark to me.
My beliefs are that the bullet has penetrated the brain and I feel it so.
You shan't have long to wait, Tom.
The doctor must be here soon.
Who's been hurt?
Who'll look after his dog if he is dead?
He is not dead.
Go home, I'll find someone and make sure they look after the dog.
-I promise. Go on. Run.
It can't be long, Tom, before the doctor comes.
Where's that flask again?
Here, Tom, sip.
Alcohol never interested me.
-I've seen what it can do to a man.
-This is medicinal, Tom.
A smoke, I'd like.
A smoke and a chat is a sociable thing.
I've seen too many men brought old by drink and gambling.
Stay quiet, I would, Tom.
That's what you want to do.
Don't try to talk.
"Not talk", he says!
I've all eternity not to talk, haven't I?
That's tobacco, that is.
Turkish, I shouldn't wonder.
Yes, it's Turkish.
That's fine tobacco, that is.
If I'm to go, I might as well smoke.
It gives me some strength, to replace what I feel,
draining out of me.
Draining out of me!
I know it's not really important but I promised Osbert I'd ask to make sure someone looked after Tom's dog.
I'll see to it myself, miss.
Tell Master Osbert not to worry.
Give me your prayer, sir.
Don't deny me that,
it's your way to pray.
It's you that orders up the prayers in church.
The vicar only prays what prayers you tell him.
Even I know that that hardly crosses the doorstep of the church from year to year.
Say a prayer, sir.
I'll say amen.
I'll say a prayer, Tom, if that's what you want...
Oh...almighty and er...
most merciful God,
of Thy bountiful goodness, keep us we beseech Thee from all things that may hurt us,
that we being ready in body and soul may...
cheerfully accomplish those things that Thou would us have done.
So Jesus Christ, our Lord, amen.
Amen, I say.
Amen, amen, amen.
I should have stopped you, such a scene is not suitable for a young girl.
As a matter of fact, there is nothing that is not suitable for a young girl,
-not even murder.
-Come, Cicely, this was an accident.
-Accidental murder, then.
He was only a peasant.
Thing is you see, that we all knew him.
When you come and visit me, in Hungary...
Oh, I think I shall never visit you in Hungary.
Don't stop, sir, I beg you.
More prayers, more.
We could say the Lord's Prayer, Tom.
Our Father which art in heaven...
-Our Father which art in heaven...
-Hallowed be thy name.
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
On Earth as it is in Heaven...
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
-Give us this day our daily bread...
-Give us this day our daily bread...
-And forgive us our trespasses...
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil,
for Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
-forever and ever, amen.
Oh, Lord, into Thy hands, I commend my spirit.
God save the British Empire.
Tom, it's all right.
It's the doctor coming.
I could have prevented it.
-If I'd refused to join in that absurd rivalry.
-He provoked you.
I wasn't as insane as he was,
but I was reckless, I was carried away.
Because of what we were talking about.
We were talking about something that was impossible as if it were possible.
-It was still true.
But we have to live in the real world,
a world with other people in it.
It is still true that we love each other.
It is true.
Looking across this wasteland, where no birds sing,
my mind keeps going back to that shooting party at Nettleby.
Perhaps it was a premonition.
I know only that it was then that for me, killing of any kind ceased to be a sport.
And in this past year I have done nothing but seek to kill my fellow man before he kills me.
And maybe that crackpot Cardew has the last laugh in the end.
By loving me, you made me out to be a better thing altogether than I am.
So much so, that then the strange thought crossed my mind that if you have illusions,
perhaps I have them too.
And perhaps you are less perfect than I think you.
And when I stopped scolding myself for the baseness of that idea,
I thought any way...
any way, my dearest and most adored Olivia,
while we can for as long as we can,
oh, let us believe.
Subtitles by Laura Moodie Red Bee Media Ltd 2007
E-mail [email protected]
1913, shortly before the outbreak of the First World War. A group of aristocrats gathers at the estate of Sir Randolph Nettleby for a weekend shoot. As the terminal decrepitude of a dying class is reflected in the social interactions and hypocrisy of its members, only world-weary Sir Randolph seems to realise that the sun is setting.