The Trip to Bountiful

Synopsis: Carrie Watts begrudgingly lives with her busy, overprotective son, Ludie, and pretentious daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae. No longer able to drive and forbidden to travel alone, she wishes for freedom from the confines of the house and begs her son to take her on a visit to her hometown of Bountiful. When he refuses, Mrs. Watts is undeterred and makes an escape to the local bus station, where she befriends Thelma, a young woman traveling home. When Ludie and Jessie Mae discover she is gone, they call in law enforcement to help, but Mrs. Watts is one step ahead of them and convinces the local sheriff to help her on her journey home to Bountiful.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Michael Wilson
Production: Ostar Productions
  Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 9 wins & 18 nominations.
102 min

Heir of salvation,

purchase of God

born of his spirit

and washed in his blood

this is my story,

da da da, this is my song

praising my savior,

all the day long

this is my story

[ Horn honks ]

[ Children shouting ]

[ Laughter ]

[ Sizzling ]

Lord up in heaven,

thank you for the gift of...

Thank you for this meal

that you are offering us today

in hopes

that it will nourish our body.

We praise thy name,

oh, lord.

Thank you.


[ Humming ]

[ Train whistle blows ]

[ Sighs ]

[ Humming continues ]

[ Humming continues ]

[ Humming continues ]

Don't be afraid of making noise,


I'm awake.

Yes, ma'am.

Couldn't sleep?

No, ma'am.

Why couldn't you sleep?


Just couldn't.

Couldn't you sleep?


Haven't been to bed

at all.

You're not worried

about your job, are you, son?

No. Everybody seems

to like me there.

Thinking about asking

for a raise.

You should, son,

as hard as you work.

Why couldn't you sleep,


Full moon.

Never could sleep

when there's a full moon.

Even back in bountiful

when I'd be out in the field

working so hard I'd think

my legs would give out on me.

Just let there be a full moon,

and I'd toss and I'd turn.

[ Chuckles ]

Once, when you were little

and the moon was full,

I woke you up, dressed you,

and took you out for a walk.

You remember that?

No, ma'am.

You don't?

No, ma'am.

Well, I do.

I remember

like it was yesterday.

I dressed you

and I took you outside.

There was an old dog

howling away off somewhere,

and you got scared

and started to cry.

I said,

"son, why are you crying?"

And you said someone once

told you that when a dog howls,

a person

is dying somewhere.

I held you close to me because

you was just shaking with fear.

And then you asked me

to explain to you about dying.

And I said,

"son, you are far too young

"to be even thinking

about things like that

for a long time

to come. "

It's funny the things you

think of when you can't sleep.

I was trying to think

about that song

I used to like

to hear you sing.

What song was that, son?

Ah, I don't remember the name.

I just remember I'd always laugh

when you'd sing it.

[ Laughs ] That one.

What was the name

of it?

I don't know.

You know I hate not to be able

to remember something.


Little baby,

don't say a word

[ Laughs ]

Mama's gonna buy you

a mockingbird

and if that mockingbird

don't sing

mama's gonna buy you

a diamond ring

[ Both chuckle ]

I used to think I would buy you

the world back in those days.

I remember remarking that

to my papa.






Would you like me

to fix you some hot milk?

[ Laughs ] Yes, ma'am.

If you don't mind.

I don't mind at all,


I don't mind

at all.

Hush, little baby,

don't say a word.

[ Chuckles ]

Mama's gonna buy you

a mockingbird

and if that mockingbird

don't sing

mama's gonna buy you

a diamond ring

Why don't you

turn on the lights?

What's the sense

of sitting around in the dark?

[ Sighs ]

[ Soft music plays ]

How you expect

to go to work in the morning

if you don't get your sleep,


I was hoping the hot milk

would make me sleepy.

What's the matter

with you

that you can't sleep,

mother Watts?

Full moon, jessie mae.

Full moon.

[ Sighs ] What's that

got to do with it?

I don't know

what's the matter with y'all.

I never had any trouble sleeping

in my life.

[ Sighs ]

I guess

I have a clear conscience.

Mother Watts,

where's that recipe

rosella gave me

on the phone today?

Jessie mae, I don't remember

you ever giving me any recipe.

Well, I did.

Well, I certainly have

no recollection of it.

You don't?

I gave it to this morning

in this very room.

And I said, "please put it away

in my dresser. "

And you said,

"I will. "

And you went out holding it

in your hand.

Did you look

on your dresser?

Yes, ma'am.

And it wasn't there?

No, ma'am.

I looked just before

I went to bed.


let me take a look around.

[ Sighs ]

I swear.

Just gets

on my nerves.

Now, I know

we couldn't afford it before

so I kept quiet about it,

but now you're working again.

And I don't think a picture show

once or twice a week

will break us.

Why don't we go out

one night this week?

Well, I mean,

I think we have to.

I was talking to rosella about

it on the phone this morning.

When did you and rosella

become friendly again?


this morning.

She just all of a sudden

call me up on the telephone.

She said

she'd quit being mad if I would.

I said, "shucks,

I wasn't the one

that was mad

in the first place. "

She was the one

that was mad.

I said, "I was plain spoken.

Said exactly what I felt.

You'll have to take me as I am

or leave me alone. "

[ Drawer slams ]

Rosella found out she definitely

can't have any children.

[ Scoffs ]

Walk, don't run!

You know, your mother's

pension check didn't come today.

It's the 18th.

I swear it was due.

I can't understand

the government... always late.

Did you find it?

Not yet.

Well, then,

forget about it.

Look for it

in the morning.

I'm gonna look for it

till I find it.

[ Sighs ]

Honestly, ludie.

She is

so stubborn!


Keep your dial set at kdht.

Rosella says she's glad

to hear you're working again.

She said she was

cleaning out some drawers

the night before last

and come across a picture

she had taken of you and me when

Rate this script:2.0 / 1 vote

Horton Foote

Albert Horton Foote Jr. (March 14, 1916 – March 4, 2009) was an American playwright and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his screenplays for the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird and the 1983 film Tender Mercies, and his notable live television dramas during the Golden Age of Television. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995 for his play The Young Man From Atlanta and two Academy Awards, one for an original screenplay, Tender Mercies, and one for adapted screenplay, To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1995, Foote was the inaugural recipient of the Austin Film Festival's Distinguished Screenwriter Award. In describing his three-play work, The Orphans' Home Cycle, the drama critic for the Wall Street Journal said this: "Foote, who died last March, left behind a masterpiece, one that will rank high among the signal achievements of American theater in the 20th century." In 2000, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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