Simple Men

Synopsis: Bitter about being double-crossed by the women he loved, (and with the police after him to boot), Bill vows to seduce the next woman he sees, then throw her away. His brother Dennis, meanwhile, is equally determined to track down their long lost father, a revolutionary who has been in hiding for 20 years. For different reasons, both leave New York and head for Long Island, out of money, and short on ideas. D:"Long Island is a a terminal moraine." B:"What's that?" D:"It's the material left behind when a glacier recedes." D:"Gee, then what the hell are we waiting for?"
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Hal Hartley
Production: Zenith Entertainment
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

- Don't move.

- Okay.

- Did you just move?

- My foot's asleep.

I said don't move.

- Alright, good looking, get in the truck.

- But bill...

come on, i'm right behind you.

Come on frank,

what are you waiting for?

- What's wrong?

- Do you love me?

- Yes.

- Am i beautiful?

Yes, you're beautiful.

- Don't move.

- Okay.

- You want a drink?

- No, thanks.

- You sure?

- I'm not allowed to drink on the job.

- Hey, that's nice.

- It's the virgin mary.

- She's good looking, huh?

- She brings me good luck.

Can i have it?

- But she keeps me out of danger.

- You're not in danger.

- That true?

- Sure, it's true. My gun doesn't even work.

- Thanks.

- Be good to her,

and she'll be good to you.

Sorry, bill. It's all over.

- What is this?

- Vera's with me.

I got ideas of my own

how to run things.


I gotta do what i feel.

I gotta be happy.

- Since when are you unhappy?

- You deserve better than me, bill.

- What's this.

- It's three grand.

Three grand?

I put this whole thing together.

I stand to make ten times this

much once we deliver this stuff.

Be good to her,

and she'll be good to you.

What can i do for you, young man?

I believe my father's

being held here.

Who's your father?

- William mccabe.

- No sh*t?

Yes, sir.

Listen, kid.

I saw your father play with

the dodgers back in '56.

No matter what else people say

about him good or bad,

your old man was the greatest

short stop that ever lived.

- Can i see him?

- No.

Why not?

He had a stroke in his holding cell.

They took him to the hospital.


- What's wrong with you?

- Leave me alone.

Oh, they caught your father,

finally after 23 years.


Look it's in all the papers.

- Big deal.

- It is a big deal.

Says right here he's responsible

for that bombing.

- Bombing? What bombing?

- His dad, 23 years ago

he lobbed a bomb in the front

door of the pentagon.

- That hasn't been proven yet.

- He got away with it.

That's your dad, william mccabe,

the radical shortstop?

- What about my coffee?

- The man is a hero.

My father's a crazy old man.

Says here 7 people were killed

and he's responsible.

S'pose you believe everything

you read, right?

Drop dead.

Here. This ought to hold you

for a good long while.

- I got married.

- Oh, yeah? To who?


- How's the kid?

- Okay.

That money's for him.

Don't take your bad

conscience on me, bill.

- Hey. What are you doing in town?

- Working.

- You hear about dad?

- Yeah.

He's in the hospital.

Can i help you?

Yeah, we're here to see

about a patient, william mccabe.

- Are you his family?

- I guess so.

- He's our father.

- Is he okay?

I think your father's

a wonderful man.

I don't care what the newspapers

say about him.

Go back to your station, louise.

He wouldn't have blown up that building

if he knew those people were in there.

- He's a great man, falsely accused!

- Louise!

- Look lady, can we see him or what?

- No, you can't.

- Why not?

- Because he's gone.

Gone where?

He's escaped.

Mom, what's going on?

I'm leaving, dennis.

I'm going to florida.

I'm afraid your father might show up

and i just don't want to ever see him again.

- What are you doing in town, bill?

- Got anything to eat?

Have you seen mary?

I'm taking this bottle of scotch.

She lets that child run wild

in the streets you know.

Mom, do you know

where he might go?

- Who?

- Dad.

Keep an eye on dennis.

Don't let him do anything stupid.

Look, take this.

Where'd you get that?

Never mind where i got it.

Will you just take it? You'll need it.

Is this dirty money?

All money is dirty money, mom.

Will you shut up and take it

before i don't want to give it to you anymore.

When i saw him last, he made

me memorize this telephone number.

He said in case of an emergency

i should ask for tara.

- You don't want to call?

- It's over with us, dennis.

It has been for years.

You should be back in school.

I still have time.

- Did you get the scholarship money?

- Yeah.


Keep an eye on bill.

Keep him out of trouble.


The number you have dialed

has been disconnected.

- What area code is this?

- Long island i think.

- What's it mean?

- I don't know. It might be where dad is.

- Did you try calling it?

- It's disconnected.

You ought to just walk away

from this thing, dennis.

Dad's in deep sh*t.

You ought to just go back to school.

- I'm not going back to school.

- Don't be stupid.

- I'm not going back.

- What are you going to do then?

- I'm going to find dad.

- Dennis, don't do that.

I'm not asking you to come.

Well, good, because i'm not.

I'm just telling you it's a stupid thing to do.

Look, lend me

a hundred bucks, will you?

I gotta get outta town.

I don't have any money.

- Well, go to a cash machine.

- I don't have any money in the bank.

- What about your scholarship money?

- I gave it to mom.

- You gave it to mom?!

- Yeah, i was going to ask you for money.

I don't have any money.

I've got 20 dollars,

if you want that.

20 dollars? What am i going

to do with 20 dollars?

Are you in trouble?

- I don't know.

- What happened?

I robbed some computers.

- You didn't get caught right?

- I got double-crossed.

So what's that mean?

I don't know what it means.

I just got to get out of town.

- Come with me.

- Where?

- To find dad.

- How?

I don't know exactly.

I guess i'll try to track down this tara.

With 20 dollars.

That ought to get us to long island,

don't you think?

How should i know?

I've never been to long island.

- Yes, you have.

- I have?

Yeah, you've been to queens.

Queens is long island.

Queens is part of new york city.

I don't think it's really considered long island.

It's part of new york city

but it's on long island.

- Queens is a borough.

- A borough on long island.

- A borough of new york city.

- Right.

Long island's a terminal moraine.


Terminal moraine. It's the earth

deposited by a receding glacier.

Well, sh*t. What are we

waiting for? Come on.

Yeah, how far out on long island

can two people go for, say, 15 dollars?

Not far.

Will it get us

to a 516 area code?


Don't do anything

suspicious alright.

- Like what?

- You know what i mean.

Where'd you come from?

New york city.

Big deal.

What the hell are you

doing to that machine?

Listen, pal, take it easy.

It's the f***ing

clutch assembly.

It won't stay in gear.

It's open.


- Hey, what's your name?

- Ned.

Listen ned. How much will you

pay me to fix this motorcycle?

- It can't be fixed.

- Yes, it can.

- It will never run again.

- Yes, it will. I promise.

There's nothing like a machine

to make a man feel insignificant.

- Ned's parents used to own this cafe.

- Oh, yeah?

They're dead now.

I'm sorry to hear that.

They had a suicide pact.


It was awful.

Blood all over the place.

Do you have any idea what area

this exchange might belong to?

Eight eight four.

I don't know.

Let's call the operator.

Got a quarter?

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Hal Hartley

Hal Hartley (born November 3, 1959) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer and composer who became a key figure in the American independent film movement of the 1980s and '90s. He is best known for his films Trust, Amateur and Henry Fool, which are notable for deadpan humour and offbeat characters quoting philosophical dialogue.His films provided a career launch for a number of actors, including Adrienne Shelly, Edie Falco, Martin Donovan, Karen Sillas and Elina Löwensohn. Hartley frequently scores his own films using his pseudonym Ned Rifle, and his soundtracks regularly feature music by indie rock acts Yo La Tengo and PJ Harvey. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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