The Sunset Limited

Synopsis: A spiritual man (Samuel L. Jackson) and a suicidal professor (Tommy Lee Jones) have a philosophical debate.
Genre: Drama
Original Story by: Cormac McCarthy
Production: HBO
  1 win & 7 nominations.
91 min

So what am I supposed

to do with you, professor?

Why are you supposed

to do anything?

Well, like I said, this

ain't none of my doing.

When I left out of here

going to work this morning

you wasn't no part of my plans,

but here you is.

Doesn't mean anything.

Everything that happened

doesn't mean something else.

What's it mean then?

Doesn't mean anything.

You run into people.

And maybe some of them are

in trouble or whatever,

but it doesn't mean you're

responsible for them.


Anyway, people who are always

looking out for perfect strangers

are very often people who

won't look out for the ones

they're supposed to look

out for, in my opinion.

If you're just doing

what you're supposed to,

you don't get to be a hero.

And that would be me?

I don't know.

Would it?

I can see how there might

be some truth in that,

but in this particular case

I got to say I didn't know

what sort of person I was

supposed to be on the lookout for

or what I was supposed

to do when I found them.

In this particular case

but one thing to go by.

And that was?

That was that

they is standing there

and I have to look

at them and say,

"Now he don't look like my

brother, but there he is,

so maybe you'd better

look again."

And that's what you did?

Well, I got to say

you was kind of hard to ignore.

Your approach

was pretty direct.

I didn't approach you.

I didn't even see you.

What I don't understand is how you

come to get yourself in such a fix.


Are you all right?

Did you sleep last night?



when did you decide

that today was the day?

Was there something

special about it?


Well, today is my birthday, but I

certainly don't regard that as special.

Well, Happy birthday,


Thank you.

So you seen your

birthday was coming

and that seemed

like a good day?

Who knows?

Maybe birthdays are dangerous,

like Christmas...

Ornaments hanging from the

trees, reeds from the doors

and bodies from the

steampipes all over America.

That don't say much

for Christmas, do it?

Christmas is not

what it used to be.

Now I believe that to be a true statement.

I surely do.

I've got to go.

You always put your

coat on like that?

What's wrong with the way

I put my coat on?

I ain't said nothing

was wrong with it.

I'm just asking if that's

your regular method.

- I don't have a regular method. I just put it on.

- Mm-hmm.

It's what... Effeminate?


I'm just studying

the ways of professors.

Well, I've got to go.

Let me get my coat.

- Get your coat?

- Yeah.

- Where are you going?

- Going with you.

What do you mean?

Going with me where?

Going with you wherever

it is you're going.

- No, you're not.

- Yeah, I am.

- I'm going home.

- All right.

All right?

You're not going home with me.

Sure I am.

Let me get my coat.

- You can't go home with me.

- Why?

- You can't.

- Oh, what,

you can go home with me but

I can't go home with you?

No. I mean,

no, that's not it.

I just need to go home.

- You live in an apartment?

- Yes.

- What, they don't let black folk in there?

- No.

I mean, yes, of course they do.

Look, no more jokes.

I've got to go. I'm very tired.

All right, long as you don't run into

no hassle about getting me in there.

- You're serious.

- Oh, I think you know I'm serious.

- You can't be serious.

- I'm serious as a heart attack.

- Why are you doing this?

- Me? I ain't got no choice.

- Of course you have a choice.

- No, I ain't.

Who appointed you

my guardian angel?

You know who appointed

me your guardian angel.

Now look, I ain't ask for

you to jump into my arms

- down at the subway this morning.

- I didn't jump into your arms.

- You didn't?

- No.

Well, how'd you get there then?


Now we ain't going?

Do you really think

Jesus is in this room?


I don't think

he's in this room.

I know he's in this room.

It's the way you

put it, professor.

It'd be like me asking you if

you think you got your coat on.

It's not the same thing.

It's a matter of agreement.

If you and I say

that I have my coat on

and Cecil says that I'm naked

and have green skin and a tail,

we might want to think about

where we should put Cecil

so he doesn't hurt himself.

Who's Cecil?

He's not anybody.

He's just a hypothetical.

There's not any Cecil.

He's just a character

I made up

to illustrate a point.

- Made up?

- Yes.

So his view of things

don't count?

No. That's why

I made him up.

I could have changed things around.

I could have made you the one

who didn't think

I was wearing a coat.

And was green and all

that other sh*t you said?

Rate this script:4.0 / 2 votes

Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy (born Charles McCarthy; July 20, 1933) is an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He has written ten novels, spanning the Southern Gothic, Western, and post-apocalyptic genres. more…

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Submitted by acronimous on April 23, 2018

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