The Trip to Bountiful

Synopsis: Carrie Watts is living the twilight of her life trapped in an apartment in 1940's Houston, Texas with a controlling daughter-in-law and a hen-pecked son. Her fondest wish -- just once before she dies -- is to revisit Bountiful, the small Texas town of her youth which she still refers to as "home." The trouble is her son, Ludie, is too concerned for her health to allow her to travel alone and her petty daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae, insists they don't have money to squander on bus tickets. This prompts "escape" attempts each month which coincide with the arrival of Mrs. Watts' Social Security check. Then, Mrs. Watts makes a successful escape and last trip home.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Peter Masterson
Production: Nelson Entertainment
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

Don't try to be quiet, sonny. I'm awake.

Yes, ma'am.

- Couldn't you sleep?

- No, ma'am.

- Why couldn't you sleep?

- I just couldn't.

- Couldn't you sleep?

- No, I haven't been to bed at all.

You're not worrying about your job,

are you, sonny?

No, ma'am.

Everybody seems to like me there.

- I'm thinking about asking for a raise.

- You should, hard as you work.

- Why couldn't you sleep, Mama?

- Because it's a full moon.

I never could sleep

when there's a full moon.

Even back in Bountiful,

when I worked out in the fields all day...

and I got so tired I thought

my legs would just give out on me...

you let there be a full moon,

and I'd just toss the night away.

I remember once when you were little

and there was a full moon.

I woke you up and dressed you

and took you for a walk with me.

- Do you remember that?

- No, ma'am.

- You don't?

- No, ma'am.

I remember that,

it's just like it was yesterday.

I dressed you and took you outside...

and there was an old dog

howling away someplace...

and that scared you.

And I held you.

You were just trembling with fear...

and you said someone told you

that when a dog howled...

a person was dying somewhere.

And I held you close to me...

and then you asked me

to explain to you about dying.

And I said, "You're too young to worry

about things like that for a long time."

It's funny the things you think of

when you can't sleep.

I was trying to think of that song

I used to like to hear you sing.

What was that, sonny?

I don't remember the name. I just remember

I'd always laugh when you'd sing it.

That old song. That was...

I hate it when I can't think of things.

Hush, little baby, don't say a word

'Cause Mama's gonna buy you

a mockingbird

And if that mockingbird don't sing

Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring

I used to think I was gonna buy you

the world back in those days.

I remember remarking that to my papa.

He said the world can't be bought.

I didn't rightly understand

what he meant by that then.

Oh, Ludie... Well, no.

Would you like me

to get you some hot milk?

Yes, ma'am, if you don't mind.

How do you expect to work tomorrow

if you don't get your sleep, Ludie?

Mother Watts...

what did you do with that recipe

that Rosella gave me on the phone today?

Jessie Mae, I don't remember you

having given me any recipe.

Well, I did.

This morning, right here in this very room...

and I asked you

to please put it on my dresser...

and you said, "I will,"

and 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.

We are just gonna have to get out

a little more, Ludie.

It's no wonder you can't sleep.

Every couple I know goes out

three or four times a week.

I know we couldn't afford it before,

so I kept quiet about it.

But now that you're working again...

I don't think a picture show

once or twice a week would break us.

Okay. Why don't we go out

one night this week?

I mean, I think we have to.

I was talking to Rosella about it

this morning on the phone.

When did you and Rosella

get friendly again?

This morning.

She just all of a sudden called me up

on the telephone.

She said she would quit being mad

if I would.

I said, shucks, I wasn't mad,

she was the one that was mad.

I told her I was plain-spoken

and said exactly what I felt...

and people have to take me as I am

or just leave me alone.

Rosella found out definitely

she can't have any children.

Walk, don't run.

Your mother's pension check

didn't come today.

It's the 18th. I swear it's due.

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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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