Scent of a Woman (1992)
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: [Lt. Col. Frank Slade is speaking in defense of Charlie Simms at meeting at the Baird School] Now I have come to the cross-roads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew, but I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the cross-roads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey.
[Charlie refused to come clean with the names of the students responsible for the prank; Mr. Trask is furious]
Mr. Trask: [furious] I am left with no real witness. Mr. Willis's testimony is not only vague, it is unsubstantiated. The substance I was looking for, Mr. Simms, was to come from you.
Charlie Simms: [remorseful] I'm sorry.
Mr. Trask: I'm sorry too, Mr. Simms, because you know what I am going to do. In as much as I can't punish Mr. Havemeyer, Mr. Potter, or Mr. Jameson, and I won't punish Mr. Willis. He's the only party to this incident who is still worthy of calling himself a Baird man. I'm going to recommend to the disciplinary committee that you be expelled. Mr. Simms, you are a cover-up artist and you are a liar.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: But not a snitch.
Mr. Trask: Excuse me?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: No, I don't think I will.
Mr. Trask: Mr. Slade...
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: This is such a crock of SHIT.
Mr. Trask: Please watch your language, Mr. Slade. You are in the Baird School, not a barracks. Mr Simms, I will give you one last opportunity to speak up.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Mr. Simms doesn't want it. He desn't need to labeled, "Still worthy of being a Baird man". What the hell is that? What is your motto here? "Boys, inform on your classmates, save your hide. Anything short of that, we're gonna burn you at the stake"? Well, gentlemen, when the shit hits the fan, some guys run and some guys stay. Here's Charlie facing the fire and there's George hiding in Big Daddy's pocket. And what are you doing? You're gonna reward George and destroy Charlie.
Mr. Trask: Are you finished, Mr. Slade?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: No, I'm just gettin' warmed up. I don't know who went to this place, William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan, William Tell, whoever. Their spirit is dead, if they ever had one. It's gone. You're building a rat ship here. A vessel for seagoing snitches, and if you think you're preparing these minnows for manhood, you better think again, because I say you are killing the very spirit this institution proclaims it instills. What a sham. What kind of a show you guys are putting on here today? I mean, the only class in this act is sitting next to me, and I'm here to tell ya this boy's soul is intact. It's non-negotiable. You know how I know? Someone here, and I'm not gonna say who, offered to buy it. Only Charlie here wasn't selling.
Mr. Trask: Sir, you're out of order.
[Trask hits the gavel; Col. Slade stands up angry]
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Out of order. I'll show YOU "out of order"! You don't know what "out of order" is, Mr. Trask. I'd show you, but I'm too old, I'm too tired, I'm too fucking blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a...
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: [slams his cane on the desk, screaming] FLAMETHROWER to this place! Out of order? Who the hell do ya think you're talking to? I've been around, ya know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these. Their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nothing like the sight of an amputated spirit. There's no prostetic for that. You think you're merely sending this splendid foot solder back home to Oregon with tail between his legs, but I say you are executing his SOUL! And why? Because he's not a Baird man. Baird men. You hurt this boy, you're gonna be Baird bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are, fuck you too!
[the student body and the committee are in shock as Trask's anger is further aggravated]
Mr. Trask: [yells; hits the gavel three times] Stand down, Mr. Slade!
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: I'm not finished! As I came in here, I heard those words, "Cradle of Leadership". Well, when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here. It has fallen. Makers of men, Creators of leaders. Be careful what kind of leaders you're producing here. I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong. I'm not a judge or jury, but I can tell you this: He won't sell anybody out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity. That's called courage. Now that's the stuff leaders should be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey. You hold this boy's future in your hands, committee. It's a valuable future. Believe me. Don't destroy it. Protect it. Embrace it. It's gonna make you proud one day, I promise you.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Ooh, but I still smell her.
[inhales deeply through nose]
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Women! What can you say? Who made 'em? God must have been a fuckin' genius. The hair... They say the hair is everything, you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls... just wanted to go to sleep forever? Or lips... and when they touched, yours were like... that first swallow of wine... after you just crossed the desert. Tits. Hoo-ah! Big ones, little ones, nipples staring right out at ya, like secret searchlights. Mmm. Legs. I don't care if they're Greek columns... or secondhand Steinways. What's between 'em... passport to heaven. I need a drink. Yes, Mr Sims, there's only two syllables in this whole wide world worth hearing: pussy. Hah! Are you listenin' to me, son? I'm givin' ya pearls here.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: The day we stop lookin', Charlie, is the day we die.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Clear them little bottles off. And when I get off the phone here, call up Hyman and tell him I want it wall to wall with John Daniels.
Charlie Simms: Don't you mean Jack Daniels?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: He may be Jack to you son, but when you've known him as long as I have... that's a joke.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Oh, uh, Charlie - about your little problem - there are two kinds of people in this world: those who stand up and face the music, and those who run for cover. Cover is better.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: [shouting] I'm in the dark, here!
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: [Frank plans to kill himself and Charlie as well but hesitates] You don't wanna die.
Charlie Simms: Neither do you.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Give me one good reason not to.
Charlie Simms: I'll give you two. You can dance the tango and drive a Ferrari better than anyone I've ever seen.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: You never seen anyone do either.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Oh, where do I go from here, Charlie?
Charlie Simms: If you're tangled up, just tango on.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: You askin' me to dance, Charlie?
[Slade knew her face cleanser, by scent]
Donna: Ah, that's amazing.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Well, I'm in the amazing business.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Are you blind? Are you blind?
Charlie Simms: Of course not.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Then why do you keep grabbing my goddamn arm? I take your arm.
Charlie Simms: I'm sorry.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Don't be sorry. How would you know? You've been watching MTV all your life.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: [Randy brings Frank a glass of whiskey] Thank you Randy. You still with Snowqueen Sugar?
Randy: Snowflake. How come you always get that wrong?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Because it's not important for me to get it right.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: I asked you a question. Do you want me to adopt ya or don't ya?
Charlie Simms: Please? I mean, you're just in a slump right now.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Slump? No slump Charlie. I'm bad. I'm not bad no. I'm rotten.
Charlie Simms: You're not bad. You're just in pain.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: What do you know about pain? hmm? You little snail darter from the pacific northwest. What the fuck you know about pain?
Charlie Simms: Let me have the gun Colonel.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: [Frank cocks the .45] No time to grow a dick son.
Charlie Simms: Just give me the gun all right Colonel?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: [Charlie begins to move towards Frank] I'm talking a parade ground. Ten-hut!
[Charlie stops moving then begins again]
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Soldier. That was a direct order.
Charlie Simms: Give me the gun?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: You can stay or you can leave. You understand? Either way I'm gonna do this thing. Now why don't you leave and spare yourself?
Charlie Simms: I want your gun Colonel.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: I'm gonna give myself a count. You need a count for balance. Five, four, three, two, one. Fuck it.
[He raises the gun to his head and Charlie lunges for it. They struggle with it across the room]
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Gimmie it. Fuck it!
[He gets the gun away from Charlie and points it at him]
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Get outta here!
Charlie Simms: I'm staying right here!
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Get outta here!
Charlie Simms: I'm staying right here
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: I'll blow your fuckin' head off.
Charlie Simms: Then do it. You wanna do it? Do it. Let's go
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: [Frank pulls the hammer on the gun back] Fuck! Get outta here!
Charlie Simms: So you fucked up all right? So what? So everybody does it. Get on with your life would ya?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: [screaming] What life? I got no life! I'm in the dark here. You understand? I'm in the dark!
Charlie Simms: So give up. You wanna give up? Give up 'cause I'm giving giving up too. You said I'm through you're right I *am* through. It's all over. So let's get on with it. Let's fuckin' do it! Fuckin' pull the trigger you miserable blind motherfucker. Pull the trigger.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Here we go Charlie.
Charlie Simms: I'm ready.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Out of order, I show you out of order. You don't know what out of order is, Mr. Trask. I'd show you, but I'm too old, I'm too tired, I'm too fuckin' blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a FLAMETHROWER to this place! Out of order? Who the hell do you think you're talkin' to? I've been around, you know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn't nothin' like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that. You think you're merely sending this splendid foot soldier back home to Oregon with his tail between his legs, but I say you are... executin' his soul! And why? Because he's not a Bairdman. Bairdmen. You hurt this boy, you're gonna be Baird bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are out there, FUCK YOU TOO!
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Haven't you heard? Conscience is dead.
Charlie Simms: No, I haven't heard.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Well, then, take the fuckin' wax outta your ears! Grow up! It's fuck your buddy, cheat on your wife, call your mother on Mother's Day! Charlie, it's all shit.
Randy: You want to know the truth?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: You got a handle on that, do you, Randy?
Randy: He was an asshole before.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Whoo-ah!
Randy: Now all he is is a blind asshole.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Whoo-ah.
Randy: Hey, God's a funny guy.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: God doth have a sense of humor.
Randy: Maybe God thinks some people don't deserve to see.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Whoo-ah. Hah!
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: You've been the sugar business for so long, you've forgetten the taste of real honey!
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Then, I'm going to lie down on my big beautiful bed, and blow my brains out.
Charlie Simms: Did I hear you right, colonel? You said you're going to kill yourself?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: No. I said I'm going to blow my brains out.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Goodbye, Willie. I'm no fucking good. I never have been.
Mr. Trask: Mr. Simms?
Charlie Simms: [clears throat] Yes, sir.
Mr. Trask: You don't wear contact lenses, do you?
Charlie Simms: No.
Mr. Trask: With your untrammeled sight, whom did you see?
Charlie Simms: I s-saw something. I... couldn't say who.
Mr. Trask: All right, what was the "something" you saw?
Charlie Simms: [mumbles] I couldn't...
Mr. Trask: You couldn't say or you wouldn't say?
Charlie Simms: [frustrated] I just couldn't say.
Mr. Trask: [turns angry] Couldn't wouldn't, shouldn't. Mr. Simms, you are exhausting my patience and you are making a mockery of these proceedings. I will give one last chance. The consequences of your response will be dire! By dire, Mr. Simms, I mean your future will be jeopardized permanently! Now for the last time, what did you see last Tuesday night outside my office?
Charlie Simms: [under pressure] I saw somebody.
Mr. Trask: "I saw somebody." Good. Did you see their size and shape?
Charlie Simms: Yeah.
Mr. Trask: And they were the size and shape of whom?
Charlie Simms: They were the size and shape...
[Charlie pauses for a moment, but then still refuses to come clean with the truth]
Charlie Simms: of most any Baird student, sir.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Don't shrug, imbecile. I'm blind. Save your body language for the bimbi.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Your father pedals car telephones at a 300 percent markup. Your mother works on heavy commission at a camera store. Graduated to it from espresso machines. Hah!
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: What are you, dying of some wasting disease?
Charlie Simms: No, I'm right - I'm right here.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: I know exactly where your body is. What I'm looking for is some indication of a brain. Too much football without a helmet? Hah! Lyndon's line on Gerry Ford. Deputy debriefer, Paris, peace talks, '68. Snagged a silver star and a silver bar. Threw me into G-2.
Charlie Simms: G-2?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Intelligence. Of which you have none.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: How's your skin, son? I like my aides to be presentable.
Charlie Simms: Well, I - I've had a few zits. Um, but my roommate, he lent me his Clinique because he's from...
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: "The History of My Skin", by Charles Simms.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong; I'm not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this: he won't sell anybody out to buy his future!
[Headmaster Trask drives into the Baird School driveway in his brand-new Jaguar. He gets out, to hear a voice on a loudspeaker]
Jimmy Jameson: [on loudspeaker, but unidentified] Mister Trask is our fearless leader.
[students hear this and gather, looking on at Trask]
Jimmy Jameson: A man of learning, a voracious reader. He can recite "The Iliad" in ancient Greek, while fishing for trout in a rippling creek.
Trent Potter: [Trask grins slightly, trying to figure out where the voice is coming from] Endowed with wisdom, of judgement sound, nevertheless about him, the questions abound.
[We now see the same three Baird guys who set up this prank the night before; Harry opens the valve to an oxygen tank connected to a large balloon on a lamppost as Trent passes the microphone to him]
Harry Havemeyer: How does Mister Trask make such wonderful deals? Why did the trustees buy him Jaguar wheels? He wasn't conniving, he wasn't crass... he merely puckered his lips... and kissed their ass!
[balloon spins around to reveal a cartoon bearing the words being spoken; the students laugh and mock Trask]
Harry Havemeyer: [Trask pulls out his car keys and opens the Jaguar door, then jumps up to try to pop the balloon with the key. He misses on the first try. On the second try, he succeeds, and a flood of white paint splashes down onto him and all over the car. The students applaud loudly and shout obscenities at him as this catastrophe concludes with Trask kicking the car door closed and attempting to dry his face with handkerchief]
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Well, gentlemen, when the shit hits the fan, some guys run and some guys stay.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Can't believe they're my blood. I.Q. of sloths and the manners of banshees. He's a mechanic, she's a homemaker. He knows as much about cars as a beauty queen, and she bakes cookies, taste like wing nuts. As for the tots, they're twits.
[Charlie comes back to the room to see Frank putting on his uniform]
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: You're back too fast. You didn't get my cigars, did you? Get outta here, Charlie.
[loads the .45]
Charlie Simms: I thought we had a deal.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: I welched. I'm a welcher. Didn't I tell you?
Charlie Simms: No, what you told me was, that you gave me all the bullets.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: I lied.
Charlie Simms: Yeah, well you could've fooled me.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: And I did.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Charlie, how you ever gonna survive in this world without me?
Charlie Simms: Colonel, why don't you just give me the gun, all right?
[Frank picks up the gun and points it at Charlie]
Charlie Simms: What are you doing?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: I'm gonna shoot you, too. Your life's finished anyway. Your friend George is gonna sing like a canary. And so are you. And once you've sung, Charlie, my boy, you're gonna take your place on that long, grey line of American manhood. And then you will be through.
Charlie Simms: I'd hate to disagree with you, Colonel.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: You're in no position to disagree with me, boy. I got a loaded .45 here. You got pimples. I'm gonna kill you, Charlie, cause I can't bear the thought of you SELLIN' OUT!
Charlie Simms: [now firm] Put the gun down, all right, Colonel?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: What? You givin' me an ultimatum?
Charlie Simms: No, I'm...
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: I give the ultimatums!
Charlie Simms: I'm sorry. All right I'm sorry.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: It's all right, Charlie. You break my heart, son. All my life I've stood up to everyone and everything, because it made me feel *important*. You do it... because you mean it. You've got integrity, Charlie. I don't know whether to shoot you or adopt ya.
Charlie Simms: Not much of a choice, is it, sir?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Oh, don't get cute now.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Just call me Frank. Call me Mr. Slade. Call me... Colonel, if you must. Just don't call me "Sir."
Charlie Simms: All right, Colonel.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: You sharpshootin' me, punk? Is that what you're doin'? Don't you sharpshoot me! You'll give me forty. Then you're gonna give me forty more. Then you're gonna pull K.P., the grease pit! I'll rub your NOSE in enlisted men's CRUD till you don't know WHICH END IS UP! YOU UNDERSTAND?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: How's your skin, son?
Charlie Simms: My skin, sir?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Oh, for Christ's sake.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Where's the booze? Flowin' like mud around here.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: It's a great day for singing a song / It's a great day for moving along / It's a great day for morning to night / It's a great day for everybody's plight.
Randy: [Frank and Charlie have arrived unexpected at Frank's brother's house for Thanksgiving. Randy opens the door and the smile on his face disappears] Yes?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Yes! Who is this?
Randy: It's Randy.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Randy? You new?
Randy: I'm your nephew.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Hah! Here I am. Your sister's been hoarding me long enough. Tught it's time to spread the riches around.
Gail: [Comes around the door] Uncle Frank.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Gloria.
Gail: [upset at having to correct him] Gail.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Of course.
[enters into the house]
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Say "hello" to the potluck party from New York City. Good ol' Uncle Frank and this here with him is Charlie Simms, star halfback of the Baird School football team. They not only beat Exeter and Grotin this year, but Aquinas High School too.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Touch me again, I'll kill ya, you little son-of-a-bitch! I touch you. Understand?
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Your father peddles car telephones at a 300 percent markup. Your mother works on heavy commission at a camera store. Graduated to it from espresso machines. Hah!
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Tickets. Money. Speech. Old Washington joke... from my days with Lyndon.
Lt. Col. Frank Slade: [while exiting the limousine, from the ride home] Yabba dabba doo.