Little Murders (1971)
Rev. Dupas: Why does one decide to marry? Social pressure? Boredom? Loneliness? Sexual appeasement? Love? I won't put any of these reasons down. Each in its own way is adequate, each is all right. Last year, I married a musician who wanted to get married in order to stop masturbating. Please, don't be startled, I'm not putting him down. That marriage did not work. But the man tried. He is now separated, still masturbating, but he is at peace with himself because he tried society's way.
Rev. Dupas: Now, just last month, I married a novelist to a painter. Everyone at the wedding ceremony was under the influence of an hallucinogenic drug. The drug quickened our mental responses, slowed our physical responses, and the whole ceremony took two days to perform. Never have the words had such meaning!
Alfred Chamberlain: Those guys in the park, they said 'Hey, fatface! What are you staring at?' If I told them I wasn't staring at them, they would've beat me up for being a liar. And if I told them I was staring at them because I wanted to take their picture, then they'd beat me up for being a cop. So I told them I was staring at them because they looked familiar, and they beat me up for being a fag. There's no way of talking someone out of beating you up if that's what he wants to do.
Alfred Chamberlain: I trust you.
Patsy Newquist: Oh, Alfred, do you really?
Alfred Chamberlain: I nearly trust you.
Patsy Newquist: Nearly?
Alfred Chamberlain: I nearly do. I really nearly do.
Patsy Newquist: [ecstatically] Oh, Alfred!
Mr. Newquist: Why don't you call me 'Dad'?
Alfred Chamberlain: I didn't call my own father 'Dad.'
Mr. Newquist: What did you call him?
Alfred Chamberlain: I didn't call him anything. The occasion never came up.
Rev. Dupas: First, let me state to you, Alfred, and to you, Patricia, that of the 200 marriages I have performed, all but seven have failed. So the odds are not good.
Patsy Newquist: Kissing you is like kissing white bread!
Patsy Newquist: Honey, I don't want to hurt you. I want to change you.
Patsy Newquist: I want to be married to a big, strong, vital, virile, self-assured man... that I can protect and take care of.
Patsy Newquist: Now, I'm not saying that I'm any better or stronger than you are. It's just, we... you and I have different temperaments. And my temperament is better and stronger than yours!
Rev. Dupas: Your father-in-law wants me to mention the deity in the ceremony. He wants me to sneak it in. He's offered me a lot of money to do it.
Alfred Chamberlain: I don't know what to tell you, Henry.
Rev. Dupas: Well, if it's all right with you, I'd like to take the money and not mention the deity; First Existential can use the money.
Patsy Newquist: Alfred, you're the first man I've ever gone to bed with where I didn't feel he was a lot more likely to get pregnant than I was!
Judge Stern: My father worked fourteen hours a day in a sweatshop on lower Broadway, number three hundred and thirteen. Our first apartment was a five flight walk up, four and a half room, cold water flat with the bathtub in the kitchen and the toilet down the hall. A hundred and forty two Hester Street. Three families used the toilet. An Italian family, a coloured family, a Jewish family. Three families with different faiths. A one thing each of those families had in common. They had in common the sacrifices they had to make to get where they were. What they had in common was *persecution*. *Persecution!*
Judge Stern: I'll tell you what God was to my father. God got my father up those six and a half flights of stairs, not counting the stoop.
Patsy Newquist: It isn't just pain you don't feel, you don't feel pleasure!
Alfred Chamberlain: I do feel pleasure.
Patsy Newquist: About what?
Alfred Chamberlain: A lot of things.
Patsy Newquist: Name one!
Alfred Chamberlain: My work.
Patsy Newquist: Oh, name another.
Alfred Chamberlain: Sleeping.
Patsy Newquist: Work and sleeping. Oh, that's just great! What about sex?
Alfred Chamberlain: Makes you sleep better.
Rev. Dupas: To Patsy's father, Carol Newquist. I've never heard that name on a man before but I'm sure it's all right.
Mrs. Chamberlain: Who is it, Darby?
Mr. Chamberlain: It's Alfred.
Mrs. Chamberlain: Alfred who?
Mr. Chamberlain: Alfred Chamberlain.
Mrs. Chamberlain: My Alfred Chamberlain?
Mr. Chamberlain: Tom Wolfe said you can't go home again. But I doubt if he meant that literally, more likely a metaphor. But he didn't come from Chicago. More Carolina, Georgia. Something like that. Wolfe wasn't a racist, though. I don't think he was. An anti-Semite I think, but not a racist.
Lt. Practice: We are involved here in a far reaching conspiracy to undermine our most basic beliefs and sacred institutions. Whose behind this conspiracy? Once again ask yourself who has the most to gain. People in high places, their names would astound you! People in low places, concealing their activities beneath a cloak of poverty! People of all walks of life, left wing and right wing. Black and white. Students and scholars. A conspiracy of such ominous proportion that we will never, never know the whole story and we'll never be able to reveal all the facts! We are readying mass arrests. I am going to see that you people get every possible break. If there is any information you would like to contribute at this time, it will be held in the strictest confidence....
[runs out of front door]
Mr. Newquist: Alfred, look whose decided to pay us a visit, Lieutenant Practice.
Lt. Practice: Can I have a glass of milk, Mrs Newquist, and a cookie?
Alfred Chamberlain: It was after this that I began to wonder. If they're that unformidable, why bother to fight back? It's very dangerous. It's dangerous to challenge a system unless you're completely at peace with the thought that you're not going to miss it when it collapses.
Patsy Newquist: And you're going to feel starting right now, is that right? I don't want a nod, I want an answer. Say, "yes, Patsy."
Alfred Chamberlain: Yes, Patsy.
Patsy Newquist: Yes, Patsy what?
Alfred Chamberlain: Yes, Patsy, I'm going to feel.
Patsy Newquist: Starting when?
Alfred Chamberlain: Starting as soon as I can manage it.
Patsy Newquist: Starting when?
Alfred Chamberlain: Starting now.
Patsy Newquist: And what's your first feeling?
Alfred Chamberlain: Er, it's sort of distant.
Mr. Newquist: You know how I get through the day, Alfred? In planned segments. I get up in the morning and I think, "Okay. Sniper didn't get me for breakfast, let's see if I can take my morning walk without being mugged. Okay. I finished my walk, let's see if I can make it back home without getting a brick dropped on my head from the top of a building. Okay. I'm safe in the lobby, let's see if I can make it up in the elevator without getting a knife in my ribs. Okay. I made it to the hall, let's see if I can walk in and not find burglars in the hallway. Okay. I made it to the hall, let's see if I can walk into my living room and not find the rest of my family dead." This goddam city.