Knight of Cups

Synopsis: Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Terrence Malick
  3 wins & 8 nominations.
118 min

The Pilgrim's Progress.

From this World to That Which is to Come,

Delivered Under the Similitude of a Dream.

Wherein is Discovered,

The Manner of His Setting Out,

His Dangerous Journey

And Safe Arrival at the Desired Country.

As I walked through

the wilderness of this world,

I lighted on a certain place

where was a den

and I laid me down in that place to sleep.

And as I slept, I dreamed a dream.

I saw a man clothed with rags,

standing in a certain place with

his face from his own house

book in his hand,

and a great burden upon his back.

All those years...

living the life of someone...

I didn't even know.

Remember the story

I used to tell you when you were a boy...

about a young prince.

A knight,

sent by his father, the King of the East,

west into Egypt...

to find a pearl.

A pearl from the depths of the sea.

But when the prince arrived,

the people poured him a cup

that took away his memory.

He forgot he was the son of the king.

Forgot about the pearl...

and fell into a deep sleep.

The king didn't forget his son.

He continued to send word...



But the prince slept on.

You see the palm trees?

They tell you anything's possible.

You can be anything...

do anything...

start over.

You know?

I'm asking for your permission to make this

a dramatic scene for one second...

My son...

you are just like I am.

Can't figure your life out?

Can't put the pieces together?

Just like me.

A pilgrim on this earth.

A stranger.



of a man.

Where did I go wrong?

What you wanna talk about?

You have nice eyes.

Aren't I lucky.

Where do you live?

Why do ya wanna know?

I want to write you a letter.

What are you gonna say in your letter?

Maybe you better not say it.

Let's live

like nobody is ever done it before.


Once the soul

was perfect and had wings...


it could soar into heaven

where only creatures with wings can be.

But the soul lost its wings

and fell to Earth.

There it took an earthly body.

And now, while it lives in this body,

no outward sign of wings can be seen.

Yet the roots of its wings are still there.

And the nature of wings is to try to raise

the earthbound body

and soar with it into heaven.

When we see a beautiful woman, or a man...

the soul remembers the beauty

it used to know in heaven.

And wings begin to spout,

and that makes the soul want to fly,

but it cannot yet.

It is still too weak.

So the man keeps staring up

into the sky like a young bird.

He has lost

all interest in the world...

- Can I come over?

- We just left each other.

Are you alone?

Of course.

On my phone sheet, I got agent

writers up my ass trying to get this job.

I just want to sit next to you.

Teddy thinks

you're the guy for this.

That means the assignment

you didn't turn in, right,

you don't have to worry about it.

Here's what happens. That goes away.

- What are you wearing?

- A dress.

- What's it made of?

- How should I know?

Cotton, I guess.

We said there's no way you're gonna do it.

So what'd we do? Said, double your quote.

And he did it.

And that, Chuck signed off of that.

Teddy gets who he wants.

The biggest comedy star wants you.

Five years ago you came to me and

wanted to write big movies in Hollywood.

- I mean...

- Okay, I don't want to see.

Moments like this

don't come along, okay? This is it.

I see how you look at me.

You think I could make you crazy?

Crack you out of your shell?

Make you suffer?

I think you're weak.

You don't want love.

You want a love experience.

Am I bringing you back to life?

Lave and do what you like.

A saint said that.

Desire so deep.

I'll throw my life away.

Don't go back to being dead.

What do you want?

We're not leading the lives

that we are meant for.

We're meant for something else.

My brother will translate.

He looks around.

He walks near the edge of the cliff.

She says, like shadows.

Where will I meet you?

Which way should I go?

Suppose it isn't there for me,

in the end?

How do I begin?

Remember how you showed up?

Your wrists were taped up

like a tennis player's.

You walked around

like nothing had happened.

You were always doing it,

pretending everything was okay.

But it wasn't.

- That's my brother, Rick.

- How are ya?

What's goin' on, now? Anything.

Same today?

Don't know how many times

I thought I'd die right here on the street.

I picked him up and I had him

in my car, and a cop pulled us over.

I tell him, "I'm a Methodist minister

and I'm looking after you, alright?"

And I got off.

I dreamed that we were caught in

a huge tidal wave that engulfed the city.

Any moment I! seemed like

we might be swept under.

There was a door

that I was afraid to go through.

- I touched the knob...

- If I stuck you with a fork,

Just wanna feel somethin', man.

Wish we could do some things.

Like gain' out on the Snake River together.


Think I'd end up here.


It's good of you to invite me out here.

Show me what it's like

to live a normal life.

Somethin' wrong?

What's up?

I can tell when somethin's wrong, man.

I know you.

What do you wanna talk about?

I'm the only brother you got left.

You can tell me.

I tell you stuff.

I loved my brother then.

I hated him, too.

For destroying everything

I'd been trying to do.

To build us back up after Billy died.

I remember when they were putting Billy

in the ground, Dad went into hysterics.

"My son!"

Who f***ing does that?

They said he took his life.

But they don't know.

Oh, right now. Come on.

I gotta feel something.

Like a snake.

Swallowed him.

Come on, feel it.




I just wanted to twist a cane.

Strike out, break free.

Didn't have the guts.

He's just an old fool.

Just let him die with his blinders an.

Redeem my life.

Justify it.

Ah, look at the fierce one.

The fierceness in his eyes. The rage!

inflicted upon myself...

yam on Billy.

I died.

In a different way.

I know you don't love me.

I know things.

- Say it.

- Serious information.

I've blinded you.

My fife has...

I did every lousy, crappy job

that they wanted me to do.

But because I stumbled down

the road like a drunk...

that doesn't mean it's the wrong one.

I turned you upside down.

My son.

The light's gone out of your eyes.


Cut off.


A goddess.



Music is very important.

Helps me to fall in love.

I fall in love 20 times a day.

Your face was very familiar to me, but I

didn't know from where. You're fantastic.

Thank you.

Listening to music on headsets, unaware you

are staring at them like a dirty ol' man.

Myself, I didn't wanna get a divorce.

I never stopped loving them.

But the way I loved them changed.

They are like flavors.

Sometimes you want raspberry, then

after a while you want some strawberry.

- It's Abrasive.

- Oh, you are such a governor.

- What's your name?

- Helen.

What's your name?


Do you know anybody here?

No. Does that surprise you?

Rate this script:3.0 / 3 votes

Terrence Malick

Terrence Frederick Malick is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. He began his career as part of the New Hollywood film-making wave with the critically acclaimed films Badlands and Days of Heaven, before a lengthy hiatus. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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