This Property Is Condemned

Synopsis: A railroad official, Owen Legate comes to Dodson, Mississippi to shut down much of the town's railway (town's main income). Owen unexpectedly finds love with Dodson's flirt and main attraction, Alva Starr. Alva and Owen then try to escape Alva's mother's (Hazel) clutches and the town's revenge.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Sydney Pollack
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
110 min

Wish me red roses

And yellow balloons

Black sequins whirling

To gay dancing tunes

I want all these treasures

The most you can give

So wish me a rainbow

As long as I live

All my tomorrows depend on your love

So wish me a rainbow above

Hey! You seen a kite?

Don't talk to me till I fall off. Here,

come here! Hurry, will you? Run, stupid!

Here, take my crazy doll, will you?

I don't want to break her when I fall.

I don't think I can stay on much longer.

This is the furthest I've ever gone

without once falling off.

- Hurt yourself?

- Skinned my knee.

Good thing I didn't put

my silk stockings on.

- Spit on it. That takes the sting away.

- OK.

- Hey, are you OK?

- Yeah, I guess so.

Principal damage was done

to my bracelet. Knocked out a diamond.

- It wasn't a genuine diamond.

- How do you know?

If it was, you wouldn't be out

walking railroad tracks.

Not with a banged-up doll

and a piece of a rotten banana.

I forgot to ask. What's your name?

- Tom.

- Mine's Willie.

- How did that happen?

- I was expected to be a boy, but I wasn't.

They already had one girl,

Alva. That was my sister.

- Why ain't you in school?

- I thought it was gonna be windy.

- So I could fly my kite.

- What made you think that?

'Cause the sky's so white.

Hey... why ain't you in school?

I quituated. They started on algebra.

I didn't care what X stood for, so I quit.

You ain't gonna get an education

walking a railroad track.

You ain't from flying a kite neither.

Besides, what a girl needs

to get along is social training.

I learned that from Alva. She was

mighty popular with the railroad men.

- Train engineers?

- Engineers!

Engineers, firemen, brakemen,

conductors, the freight superintendent,

every one of them after Alva.

She was, I guess you might say,

the main attraction.

Beautiful? Jeez!

Boy, you see that house over yonder?

- We had some high old times in there.

- I'll bet you did.

Musical instruments going all the time.

Piano, victrola, Hawaiian steel guitar...

Everybody playing on something.

It's awful quiet now, though.

- Is it empty?

- Except for me.

They got a big sign stuck up.

"This property is condemned".

- You ain't still living there?

- I'm not supposed to be, but I am.

Property's condemned,

but there ain't nothing wrong with it.

Some welfare worker came yesterday.

I recognised her by the shape of her hat.

It was something, all right.

You wouldn't believe it.

Sure is empty now, though.

- Boy, see these clothes I got on?

- Yeah.

They're Alva's. Inherited from her.

Everything that was Alva's is mine.

She was always singing around

that house. This is her favourite song.

Wish me a rainbow and wish me a star

All this you can give me

Wherever you are

And dreams for my pillow

And stars for my eyes

And a masquerade ball

Where our love wins first prize

All my tomorrows depend on your love

So wish me a rainbow above

OK, here she is. Dodson.

Get ready to hit the ground running.

Mind if I asked you a question?

Doing the things that you do,

how do you sleep?

On my stomach.

My mama in here?

We got a problem on our hands.

She went back this way, Willie.

You seen my mama?

You shouldn't be out here alone,

sporting a big diamond like that.

You scared me!

And it ain't a real diamond.

- Sparkles like one to me.

- No. It's a firefly. Gotta...

- Willie, where's your ma?

- I don't know.

- Gotta snip off its tail... when it's lighted.

- Do you belong to that boarding house?

That's the Starr Boarding House.

I'm Willie Starr.

Well, how do you do, Willie?

You railroad?

- Why do you ask?

- We get mostly railroad men.

Mama will put you up some place...

soon as I find that old thing!

Mama? That you, Mama?

Willie, quit that hollering!

Leave them alone!

Come on.

- Where've you been?

- Down to Jake's to see if Alva's there.

- Who are you, honey?

- He wants a room.

- You ain't a vagrant?

- No.

- Lay-off?

- No.

Well, my rooms are two a night...

Where are you going? I got the beer!

- Happy birthday!

- Two a night, ten bucks a week.

Two meals included. Cash in advance.

- How long you fixing to stay?

- Five... A week... Ten. About a week.

Only a week? Well, a buck is a buck.

If you're lucky.

Hey, where's the beer?

It ain't usually so noisy.

Some old fool got hold of it's my birthday.

- Happy birthday!

- Damn fool! What's your name, honey?

- Owen Legate. Happy birthday.

- What room?

- No, you can't go yet! I just got the beer!

- What room?

- Better put him in Papa's room.

- I forgot to say. There's gonna be a fight.

Jimmy Bell done got drunk and

Charlie Steinkamp's gonna lay him out!

Hey, wait a minute.

You knew it was firefly, didn't you?


Come on in, honey. You wanna meet

anybody, you just introduce yourself.

- Ain't she back?

- I haven't seen her.

She don't come soon,

I got an awful early run.

Your change, Mr Johnson.

I got a dozen. Should be enough.

I don't see how you can stand still

with all that music going.

I know you'd prefer to dance with Alva,

but today is my birthday.

- What about Mr...?

- I can only please one at a time!

You can take Mr what's-his-name

upstairs and settle him in. Excuse me.

Show him the bathroom. We got an

indoor toilet, modern bathing equipment.

It isn't complicated once Alva and I show

you how. Give him something to eat.

Then you come and join the party. Oh!

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Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He was part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmaking. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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