The Whole Wide World

Synopsis: In Texas in the 1930s, young schoolteacher Novalyne Price meets a handsome, eccentric, interesting young man named Robert Howard. He's a successful writer - of the pulp stories of 'Conan the Barbarian'; she's an aspiring one. A friendship develops into a sort of courtship. Based on a memoir by Novalyne Price.
Director(s): Dan Ireland
Production: Sony Entertainment
  6 wins & 7 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.3
Rotten Tomatoes:
76%
PG
Year:
1996
111 min
259 Views


WOMAN:
I met Bob Howard today.

My old sweetheart, Clyde,

brought him over.

It's Clyde.

Mm.

Keep that joker outside.

Hey.

Hi, Clyde.

Why don't you

sit down?

No, I can't stay

too long.

Bob and I are headed

up to Cross Plains.

May I?

Bob who?

Howard.

You want to meet him?

Your writer friend?

Ooh, possibly.

Yeah, I want to meet him.

Why don't you bring him

up to the house,

and I'll go get another chair?

Uh, can't you just

come out to the car?

Bob's...he's scared

of your grandmother.

What did you tell him?

Only the truth.

Ah, forget it.

I'll bring him by

another time.

Wait. I'm coming.

Howdy.

Hi.

Bob, I'd like you to meet

Novalyne Price.

Novalyne, this is Bob Howard,

also known as Robert E. Howard.

Bob's the greatest pulp writer

in the whole world.

Clyde tells me you write.

I try.

I haven't

sold anything yet.

You going to

Daniel Baker College?

Mm-hmm. Every other year.

I teach

for my tuition money.

I was too dumb for college.

So, what kind of yarns

do you write?

I've sent a couple stories

to the confession magazines.

I think the editor meets them

at the post office

and throws them

right back

in the return mail.

It's tough getting started.

How'd you get started?

I had lots of other jobs,

none of them any good.

Clerking in a store's

got to be

one of the worst damn jobs

a man can have.

I decided the only way

I could keep from working

was to start writing.

That's working, isn't it?

You're damn right it is,

only I stay at home.

I'm the boss.

Typewriter's the employee.

No arguments.

Do you practice?

I read the magazines

I write for.

The pulps.

Yes.

They don't pay much.

Half a cent a word, mostly...

so I stretch my yarns.

That's easy for me, though.

I'm verbose.

I got plenty of words.

Do you try to write

like the guys

in the magazines?

Hell, no. Let them try

to write like me!

Bob's got a character

going now called Conan.

Conan's the damnedest bastard

there ever was.

Where can I find your stories?

Weird Tales publishes

most of them.

Novalyne would never

pick up a copy of that.

How much are you willing to bet?

What kind of magazines

do you read?

In high school,

I read Smart Set,

Cosmopolitan...

Saturday Evening Post...

What?

H.L. Mencken's rags.

Man who looks in the mirror,

[BOTH] thinks he's shaving

the face of God.

Thank you.

I've enjoyed meeting you,

Bob.

I'd looked forward to it

for a long time.

Thanks.

I've enjoyed it too.

Keep writing.

Bye.

Bye-bye, now.

Good afternoon.

As most of you know,

my name is Booth Adams.

I'm the town mayor,

at least for the time being.

I take a great interest

in Cross Plains High.

We've got a great school,

and we're going to have

a great school year.

You as teachers are responsible

not only for the education

of the children

entrusted into your care,

but for their spiritual welfare

as well.

These children

must have good examples,

and teachers are their examples.

Now, that is a man, Ethel.

Oh, my, yes.

Yes, yes, yes.

Mrs. Smith will be

right with you.

Oh, look!

They've got pecan pie.

Sorry, Ethel.

The school board won't allow us

to have pie.

That's enough,

Novalyne.

Who's that?

That's Dr. Howard.

Do you know Bob Howard?

I know Robert Howard.

That's the one.

Robert Howard, the writer.

That's his daddy.

Does Bob ever come in here?

No, he doesn't.

I see him in the post

office sometimes.

I've been told

he's kind of odd.

You got that right.

Well, I've met Bob,

and he's very nice.

Well, I'll tell you

one thing.

He's not very friendly.

And the stories he

writes, well...

Well, what?

Dr. Howard brought

one in one time.

It was filthy.

Not something a young

lady would read.

Do you have a telephone?

It's right over there.

Operator.

Yes, Howard residence please.

I'll connect you.

WOMAN:

Hello? Who is this?

This is Novalyne Price.

I'm a new teacher in town.

Is Bob there?

Robert's

in Brownwood.

Can you have him call me

when he gets in?

I'm boarding at Mrs. Hemphill's.

He can call me there.

I'll tell him.

Goodbye.

Uh, is he still writing?

Of course he is.

Oh. Well, I'm interested

in writing too, so...

Sure you are.

[CLICK]

Uh...

Have you heard

from that young man?

You mean

Robert Howard? No.

Well, he's shy, I hear.

Shy? I'm the one

who's supposed to be shy,

and I've called him

about a zillion times.

Every single time,

his mother tells me,

"Oh, he's writing.

He can't come to the phone,"

or "He's out of town,

but I'll tell him you called."

"I'll tell him you called."

You know, I bet she's never

told him that I called.

I bet that's it.

I'm sorry, but that just

makes me so damn mad.

[GASP]

Oh, God, Ethel.

You've never said "damn"

on a Sunday?

Well, Lord, no.

Think of the children.

What children?

Do you see any children in here

for me to defile

with my "damns"?

Good.

Let's get going.

Morning, cousin.

Girls and I are going to take

a little ride after church.

Would you like to join us?

Yes. Yes, I would.

Oh, I'm sorry, Ethel.

There's not room for you.

Maybe next time.

Shouldn't go running

over to a man's house,

especially one

who's not returned

any of your phone calls.

He's not interested

in you, Novalyne.

Enid, I'm only going

to ask Bob a question.

I'm not going to ask

for his hand in marriage,

and I'm not throwing myself

at him.

How do I look?

To ask a question,

you look just fine.

BOB:
"He stepped closer,

"as if impelled

by a powerful fascination.

"Without the slightest warning,

"he grabbed her up

in a bear-like grasp.

"She screamed

a very un-goddess-like scream,

"and there was a sound

of ripping silk,

"as with one ruthless wrench,

he tore off her skirt.

"Goddess? Ha!

"You're Muriella,

Zahiba's dancing girl.

"This crescent-shaped

birthmark on your thigh

"proves it.

"I saw it once

when Zahiba was whipping you.

"A year ago, I saw you

with that swine.

I don't forget faces,

or women's figures."

Yeah?

Uh, hi.

I'd like to see Bob, please?

Bob?

Yes.

I'd like to talk to Bob.

Mama, somebody out here

wants to see Robert.

She can't, can she?

Who is it?

It's Novalyne Price.

Well, Robert's busy.

Hello.

Hello.

Come in.

How you been?

Hi. Fine.

Come on in and meet my folks.

[RADIO PLAYS]

Mother?

This is

Novalyne Price.

NOVALYNE:

How do you do?

How do you do?

This is my dad.

How do you do?

Hi.

[TURNS OFF RADIO]

Well, I guess we'll go

into the other room.

Have a seat.

Have a seat.

Thank you.

I can't--

Would you like something to--

Go ahead.

That's all right.

I was just going to say

that I can't stay

very long.

I've got some people

waiting for me

in the car.

Well, tell them

to leave.

I'll take you home.

Would you?

Hell, yes.

All right.

I'll be right back.

ENID:
Really, Novalyne.

[ENGINE STARTING]

You girls can go on.

Bob says he'll take me home.

So, what brought you

over?

Writing.

I wanted

to ask you a question.

I'm still getting notes

and rejection slips.

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