Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Catherine Holly: Is that what love is? Using people? And maybe that's what hate is - not being able to use people.
Dr. Cukrowicz: Nature is not made in the image of man's compassion.
Mrs. Venable: My son, Sebastian and I constructed our days. Each day we would carve each day like a piece of sculpture, leaving behind us a trail of days like a gallery of sculpture until suddenly, last summer.
Mrs. Venable: Most people's lives, what are they but trails of debris - each day more debris, more debris... long, long trails of debris, with nothing to clean it all up but death.
Dr. Lawrence J. Hockstader: She burnt a nun with a cigarette.
Dr. Cukrowicz: Yes she did, I was there, I saw it, she was provoked!
Dr. Lawrence J. Hockstader: Provoked? Whover would provoke a mentally disturbed person?
Dr. Cukrowicz: You'd be surprised.
Mrs. Grace Holly: You'll be fine... after your little operation...
Catherine Holly: [turns around] There's only ONE little operation performed here, Mama, it's on the brain! It's called a lobotomy! You may have heard of it, or read about it, I know I have! They bore HOLES into your skull!
Mrs. Venable: Oh, Sebastian, what a lovely summer it's been. Just the two of us. Sebastian and Violet. Violet and Sebastian. Just the way it's always going to be. Oh, we are lucky, my darling, to have one another and need no one else ever.
Mrs. Venable: Strictly speaking, his life was his occupation. Yes, yes, Sebastian was a poet. That's what I meant when I said his life was his work because the work of a poet is th elife of a poet, and vice versa, the life of a poet is the work of a poet. I mean, you can't separate them. I mean, a poet's life is his work, and his work is his life in a special sense.
Mrs. Venable: Sebastian said, 'Truth is the bottom of a bottomless well.'
Dr. Cukrowicz: Mrs. Venable, loving your neice as you do, you must know there's great risk in this operation. Whenever you enter the brain with a foreign object...
Mrs. Venable: Yes.
Dr. Cukrowicz: Even a needle thin knife.
Mrs. Venable: Yes.
Dr. Cukrowicz: In the hands of the most skilled surgeon...
Mrs. Venable: Yes, yes.
Dr. Cukrowicz: There is a great deal of risk.
Mrs. Venable: But it does pacify them, I've read that, it quiets them down. It suddenly makes them peaceful.
Dr. Cukrowicz: Yes that that it does do, but...
Mrs. Venable: But what?
Dr. Cukrowicz: Well it will be years before we know if the immediate benefits of the operation are lasting or maybe just passing or perhaps... there's a strong possibility that the patient will always be limited. Relieved of acute anxiety yes, but limited.
Mrs. Venable: But what a blessing Dr. to be just peaceful. To be just suddenly peaceful. After all that horror. After those nightmares. Just to be able to lift up their eyes to a sky not black with savage devouring birds.
Dr. Cukrowicz: May I sit here?
Mrs. Venable: Sebastian's seat.
Dr. Cukrowicz: Oh! Well...
Mrs. Venable: Oh, no no please, please. It's a court jester's chair, a rare one, five-hundred years old. Please, sit on it. Say something funny; make me stop wanting to cry.
Catherine Holly: Cut the truth out of my brain... is that what you want Aunt Vi ? Well you can't. Not even God can change the truth that we were nothing but a pair of-"
Mrs. Venable: Doctor!
Catherine Holly: It's the truth!
Mrs. Venable: See how she destroys us with her tongue for a hatchet? You've got to cut this hideous story out of her brain.
Catherine Holly: How much are you willing to pay for that Aunt Vi?
Catherine Holly: Truth is the one thing I've never resisted.
Catherine Holly: [about the white bathing suit Sebastian made her wear] I'd come up from the water looking naked.
Dr. Cukrowicz: Why did you try to kill yourself?
Catherine Holly: Isn't that what everybody wants? Me out of the way... Mama and George get their money, and Aunt Vi...
Catherine Holly: She's here, Doctor. Miss Catherine's here.
Mrs. Venable: Doctor, you must cut that lie out of her brain.
Catherine Holly: How MUCH are you willing to pay for that, Aunt Vi?
Catherine Holly: [being sedated] Who was it that said we were all a bunch of kindergarteners trying to spell God's name with the wrong alphabet blocks?
Dr. Lawrence J. Hockstader: [after Catherine reveals what happened to Sebastian last summer] There's every possibility that the girl's story is true!
Dr. Cukrowicz: Insane is such a meaningless term.
Catherine Holly: But lobotomy has a precising meaning to it, doesn't it?
Catherine Holly: Yes, we all use each other and that's what we think of as love, and not being able to use each other is what's - hate...
Mrs. Venable: I've buried a husband and a son. I'm a widow and a... Funny, there's no word. Lose your parents, you're an orphan. Lose your only son and you are... Nothing.
Mrs. Venable: Sebastian always said, 'Mother when you descend it's like the Goddess from the Machine. You look just like angel coming to earth' as I float, float into view. Sebastian, my son Sebastian was very interested in the Byzantine. Are you interested in the Byzantine Doctor...?
Dr. Cukrowicz: Cukrowicz. I don't know very much about the Byzantine.
Mrs. Venable: It seems that the Emperor of Byzantium - when he received people in audience - had a throne which, during the conversation, would rise mysteriously into the air to the consternation of his visitors. But as we are living in a democracy, I reverse the procedure. I don't rise, I come down.