Synopsis: Like Polanski's heroine in Repulsion, Susannah York's character is one that is seemingly haunted by memories of undisclosed magnitude. These memories are perhaps rooted in some sort of past sexual turmoil that causes York's character to see men as inherently the same.
Genre: Drama, Horror
Director(s): Robert Altman
Production: Columbia Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min

"In Search of Unicorns...

"a Book for Children."

Chapter 1.

All in a night, spring came...

...rushing from beyond

the ends of the earth...

...and spilling out

all over Umberny...

...its sack full of colors...

...and buds and birds' eggs...

...snails and tadpoles...

...rainbows and newborn animals.

Bees hummed...

...mammoths gamboled...

...meadows rang

with the plighting of troths...

...and deep

in his ancestral cave...

Hero... Fairbeard frisky...

Lord of all Umbs...

...snored and grunted...

...stirred and groaned...

...and got out of bed

to look outside.

"Fiddle-fuddle, Umb.

"A thousand spitting curses!"


Una stared at the carved,

curving creature...

...delicate, questing, perfect...

with arched neck

and a single slender horn.

"Sir Frisky," she cried.

"Sir Frisky, what was it?

"What did I see?"

Hero stared back.

"Why, a unicorn."

Una was trembling

like an aspen...

...pale as a unicorn herself.

Straight past his nose

zoomed 7 enormous butterflies...

with eyes like stars

and bright blue wings...

...and each one was humming.

And then Hero

started to tremble...

...for it seemed to be

him who was humming...

...not with his usual

tuneless hum...

...but a butterfly's humming...

...just as if one

had flown down his throat.

The stone circle

was shrouded in stillness.

There was no whisker of wind...

...but the holy tree

swayed and tossed... if in the grip

of some terrible storm.

Deep sobbing broke

from its trunk... though some locked creature

was struggling to escape.

It was raining...

a sudden, torrential downpour.

Snug in Rose Nest with all

the blinds pulled down...

Amberlash was cozily

entertaining Eggbert to tea.

"This lovely weather

should hold...

"shouldn't it,

Eggbert, darling?

"No one could catch cold,

not seriously...

"I mean, die of pneumonia...

out tonight."


In the pit, the water

rose round Una's ankles...

...creeping up about her knees.

"Oh, bother. Blast!"

She sobbed.

"I bet I'll drown."


the sounds of something...

...came crashing through

the forest, nearer and nearer...

...several somethings.

And then she heard

the snorkeling trumpetings of...

"Hero! Hero!

"Help, help! Get me out!"

In a flash, the Lord of Umberny

was off his steed...

...leaning over

the edge of the pit...

...stretching a long arm down

in the pouring rain.

"It's no good," Una sobbed.

"I can't see anything...

"not even your hands.

"I'm too deep."

- Hello?

- Cathryn?

It's Joan. Can you talk?

Hey, you sound different.

Are you all right?

Yeah. Fine.

You didn't sound

like yourself.

Must be the connection.

You know what just happened?

That son of a b*tch

called me just now.

He wants me to pay

some goddamn percentage...

...of last year's taxes...

...because we were legally

community property then...

...or some such bullshit.

Oh, God.

Well, yeah. I had a date

with this guy Howard.

You don't know him.

Only met him last week

at some party or other.

Anyway, he was

sitting right here...

...and I broke down

and just cried...

...and hung up on him.

Then I made a damn fool

out of myself with Howard.

Told him to leave,

that I couldn't go out.

And he... Ouch! God... Damn it!

That cat!

Well, he just stepped right

on my boob.

That hurts.



Joan, is that you?

No. Who did you want?

I was talking to Joan.

Is that you, Cathryn?

- Who's speaking, please?

- Don't you know?

Cathryn! Cathryn!

Are you there?

Cathryn, can you hear me?

Well, what happened?

I don't know.

Must have been a crossed line.

Well, listen.

Are you and Hugh going out?

No. Hugh's got to st...

Hugh's got a business dinner.

Oh. Well, maybe I'll come over.

I'd really like a drink.

What movie's on tonight?

I don't know. I was going to go

to bed, but come on over.

Listen, I promised Judy

I'd call her.

I'll get right back to you, ok?

Ok. Fine.

I'll get right back.

- Bye.

- Bye-bye.



Is that you, Cathryn?

Yes. Who is it, please?

Do you know

where your husband is tonight?


I said, do you know...

where your husband is tonight?

Who's speaking, please?

You don't know?

- Hello?

- Hello. Alert.

This is a blow alert.

- This is the telephone company.

- Hugh, Hugh!

We're going

to blow out the lines.

Yeah, baby, it's me. Listen.

Listen, I just called

to tell you not to wait up.

I'm going to be later

than I thought.

- What?

- You hear me?


I just wanted to tell you.

Oh, fine.

Do you know

what's black and white...

...and black and white

and black and white? Huh?

A nun falling downstairs.

That's good, eh?

Listen, I'll see you

in the morning.

- Hugh?

- No, it's me.

Cathryn. Cathryn?

Yes? I want to speak

to my husband, please.

That's who I'm calling about...

old Hugh.

Please, will you

put my husband on?

Oh, Cathryn,

I would if I could.

If this is one

of Hugh's little jokes...

...just tell him

I don't think it's very funny.

- Funny, eh?

- Who's speaking, please?

Not funny.

At this moment,

old Hugh is with a girl...

...probably in bed by now... Ambassador Towers...

1334 Commercial Drive.

The telephone number

is 274-9382.

Why are you telling me this?

Why are you telling me this?


I just thought

I'd better tell you...

...if you try to call them...'ll probably get

a busy sound.

I imagine they've taken

the phone off the hook.

After all,

isn't that what you do...

when you don't want

to be disturbed?

I'm sure they don't want

to be disturbed.

Cathryn? Cathryn, can you hear?

Cathryn, I'm talking to you

about your husband...

...about old Hugh.

How was the meeting?

A waste of time.

- Really?

- Yeah.

Jesus Christ, Cathryn.

Why are all the phones

off the hook?

Isn't that what people do when

they don't want to be disturbed?

What if I tried to reach you?

I didn't think

that was very likely.

What the hell is that

supposed to mean?

Who the hell would call

at this time of night?

Oh, thank God it's you!

- Jesus Christ, Joan!

- I've been calling all night.

It is 4:
00 in the morning.

Is Cathryn all right?

- Yes, she's all right.

- I want to talk to her.

I'll have her call you

in the morning.

Good night. Sleep tight.

Jesus Christ!

About your friends!


I want to get to the bottom

of this phone business.

And I want to know

who you were with.

What the hell is that

supposed to mean?

It means I want

to know her name.

What's the matter, baby?

Did someone call you?

Did someone telephone?

Huh? Who was it?

- Who called?

- I don't know. Some woman.

She kept phoning me and...

...telling me about you

and some girl...

Awful things that...

I don't know.

She kept ringing,

and I'd hang up...

...and she'd ring again.

Hugh, it's not true, is it?

Tell me it's not true.

Of course it isn't true.

I can prove where I was

and who I was with...

...if that will make you

feel any better.

But why would anyone

do such a thing?

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Robert Altman

Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006) was an American film director, screenwriter, and film producer. A five-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director and an enduring figure from the New Hollywood era, Altman was considered a "maverick" in making films with a highly naturalistic but stylized and satirical aesthetic, unlike most Hollywood films. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in American cinema. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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