Final screenplay dialogue with relevant action, transcribed from film on DVD 5/2006. Some interpretations of speech are my own and others may not agree.
Scene in trailer:
AGUIRRE Up on Brokeback, the Forest Service got designated campsites on the allotments. Them camps can be 3, 4 miles from where we pasture the woollies. Bad predator loss if there's nobody lookin' after them at night. Now what I want is the camp tender to stay in the main camp where the Forest Service says, but the herder, he's gonna pitch a pup tent on the Q.T. with the sheep, and he's gonna sleep there. You eat your supper and breakfast in camp, but you sleep with the sheep, hundred percent, no fire, don't leave no sign. You roll up that tent every mornin' case Forest Service snoops around. (indicates JACK as herder)
(on phone) Yeah? No. No. Not on your fuckin' life.
You got your dogs, your 30/30, you sleep there. Last summer I had goddamn near 25% loss. I don't want that again. (indicates ENNIS) You . . . Fridays at noon be down at the bridge with your grocery list and mules. Somebody with supplies will be there at the pickup. (tosses watch to ENNIS) Tomorrow mornin' we'll truck you up to the jump-off.
Scene in front of trailer:
JACK Jack Twist.
JACK Your folks just stop at Ennis?
ENNIS Del Mar.
JACK Nice to know you, Ennis Del Mar.
Scene in bar:
JACK My second year up here. Last year one storm the lightnin' killed 42 sheep. Thought I'd asphyxiate from the smell. Aguirre got all over my ass like I was supposed to control the weather. But beats workin' for my old man. Can't please my old man, no way. That's why I took to rodeoin'. Do you ever rodeo?
ENNIS You know . . . I mean, once in a while, when I got the entry fee in my pocket.
JACK Yeah. Are you from ranch people?
ENNIS Yeah I was.
JACK Your folks run you off?
ENNIS No, they run themselves off. There was one curve in the road in 43 miles, and they missed it. The bank took the ranch, and my brother and sister raised me, mostly.
JACK Shit. That's hard.
ENNIS (reaches for lighter) Can I? Thank you.
Scene at trailhead:
BASQUE Don't let them stray. Joe'll have your ass if you do. One thing, don't never order soup. Them soup boxes are hard to pack.
ENNIS Well, I don't eat soup. (Sees Jack on jumpy horse.) You wanna watch it there. That horse has a low startle point.
JACK Doubt there's a filly that can throw me. Let's get, 'less you wanna sit around tyin' knots all day.
Scene in camp:
JACK Oh shit. Can't wait till I got my own spread, and I won't have to put up with Joe Aguirre's crap no more.
ENNIS I'm savin' for a place myself. Alma and me, we'll be gettin' married when I come down off this mountain.
JACK Shit, that stay with the sheep, no fire bullshit. Aguirre got no right makin' us do somethin' against the rules.
Scene in camp:
JACK (riding out on a Friday) No more beans.
Scene at herd:
JACK (shooting at a coyote and missing) Dammit! Shit!
Scene at bridge:
ENNIS I don't know.
BASQUE Something wrong?
ENNIS Yeah, so why didn't we get the powdered milk 'n the spuds?
BASQUE That's all we got.
ENNIS (handing over the list) Well . . . here's next week's.
BASQUE Thought you didn't eat soup.
ENNIS Yeah, I'm sick of beans.
BASQUE Too early in the summer to be sick of beans.
ENNIS (to horses, coaxing them to walk) Come on.
Scene on trail:
ENNIS (to mules) Come on. Come on.
Scene at bridge:
ENNIS (thrown off horse, startled by a bear, with mules running off) Hold it--whoa, whoa. Shit. Whoa. Come back here!
Scene at camp:
ENNIS (to horse) Whoa there, whoa. All right. Fuck it. Okay, you bastard.
JACK Where the hell you been? Been up with the sheep all day, I get down here, hungry as hell and all I find is beans.
(ENNIS mumbles as he walks past; Jack sees head wound.)
JACK What in the hell happened, Ennis?
ENNIS I come on a bear is what happened. Goddamn horse spooked and the mules took off, and scattered food everywhere. Beans is about all we got left.
(JACK tries to hand water canteen to ENNIS.)
ENNIS Got whiskey or somethin'? (Takes a drink of whiskey.) Dumbass mule. I can't believe that. Goddamn.
JACK (wets bandana and tries to dab ENNIS's head). Let me see.
JACK Well, we gotta do somethin' 'bout this food situation. Maybe I'll shoot one of the sheep.
ENNIS Yeah, what if Aguirre finds out, huh? We're supposed to guard the sheep, not eat 'em.
JACK What's the matter with you? There's a thousand of 'em.
ENNIS I'll stick with beans.
JACK Well, I won't.
Scene in meadow:
(ENNIS shoots an elk.)
ENNIS Gettin' tired of your dumbass missin'.
JACK Let's get a move on. Don't want the Game and Fish catch us with no elk.
Scene in camp:
JACK (returning to camp on horse) Come on. Shit. (Dismounts.) Yeah, I'm commutin' four hours a day. I come in for breakfast, and go back to the sheep, evenin' get 'em bedded down, come in for supper, go back to the sheep, spend half the night checkin' for damn coyotes. Aguirre got no right to make me do this.
ENNIS You wanna switch? I wouldn't mind sleepin' out there.
JACK That ain't the point. The point is, we both oughta be in this camp. Goddamn pup tent smells like cat piss or worse.
ENNIS I wouldn't mind bein' out there.
JACK Well, I'm happy to switch with you, but I warn you, I can't cook worth a damn. I am pretty good with a can opener, though.
ENNIS You can't be no worse than me, then. (Dishes up food for Jack.) Here you go.
Scene in camp:
(ENNIS ready to ride off.)
JACK You won't get much sleep, I'll tell you that.
ENNIS Yup. (To horse) Come on.
Scene in camp:
(JACK opens a can of beans as as ENNIS scrubs down with his shirt off.)
ENNIS Shot a coyote up there. It's a big son of a bitch, balls on him size a apples. He looked like he could eat himself a camel. You want some of this hot water?
JACK It's all yours.
Scene in camp:
(JACK takes a piss at edge of camp as Ennis finishes his can of beans.)
(JACK walks up and taps on his rodeo belt buckle.)
ENNIS I don't rodeo much myself. I mean, what's the point of ridin' some piece of stock for eight seconds?
JACK Money's a good point.
ENNIS True enough, if you don't get stomped winnin' it, huh?
(JACK pours some whiskey in ENNIS's cup.)
ENNIS Thank you.
JACK Well, my ol' man was a bull rider, pretty well known in his day, though he kept his secrets to himself. Never taught me a thing, never once come to see me ride. Your brother and sister do right by you?
ENNIS They did the best they could after my folks was gone, considerin' they didn't leave us nothin' but 24 dollars in a coffee can. I got me a year of high school before the transmission went on the pickup. My sis left. She married a roughneck, moved to Casper. Me and my brother, we got ourselves some work on a ranch up near Worland until I was 19, and then he got married. No more room for me. That's how come me end up here. (Notices JACK smiling.) Whut?
JACK Friend, that's more words than you've spoke in the past two weeks.
ENNIS Hell, that's the most I've spoke in a year. My dad, he was a fine roper. Didn't rodeo much, though. He thought rodeo cowboys was all fuck-ups.
JACK The hell they are! (Gets into ENNIS's face and whoops.) Yee-haw!
ENNIS There you go.
(JACK continues to whoop and carry on.) I'm spurrin' his guts out, wavin' to the girls in the stands! He's kickin' to high heaven, but he don't dashboard me, no way! (Stumbles and collapses in laughter.)
ENNIS (also laughing) I think my dad was right.
Scene in new camp:
ENNIS Tent don't look right. (Works on it.)
JACK Well, it ain't goin' nowhere. Let it be. (Plays harmonica.)
ENNIS That harmonica don't sound quite right either.
JACK That's 'cause it got kinda flattened when that mare threw me.
ENNIS Oh yeah? I thought you said that mare couldn't throw you.
JACK Ah, she got lucky.
ENNIS Yeah, well, if I got lucky, that harmonica would've broke in two.
Scene in camp:
JACK (singing) "I know I shall meet you on that final day, Water Walkin' Jesus, take me away . . ."
ENNIS (taps rhythm of song out) Very good.
JACK Oh yeah. My mama, she believes in the Pentecost.
ENNIS Oh yeah? Exactly what is the Pentecost? I mean, my folks, they was Methodist.
JACK The Pentecost. I don't know. I don't know what the Pentecost is. Mom never explained it to me. I guess it's when the world ends and fellas like you and me march off to hell.
ENNIS Speak for yourself. You may be a sinner, but I ain't yet had the opportunity. (takes the whiskey) Thank you.
Scene in camp (dead of night):
ENNIS (drunk) Shit. I'm goin' to go up to the sheep now.
JACK (drunk) Give 'em hell.
ENNIS No, I'm . . . I can hardly stand. It's too late to go to them sheep. Well, you got a extra blanket? I'll just roll up out here and grab 40 winks, and I'll ride out at first light.
(JACK throws ENNIS a blanket.)
ENNIS Oh that's good.
JACK You'll freeze your ass off when that fire dies down. You're better off sleepin' in the tent.
ENNIS Yeah. (Ignores JACK)
JACK All right.
Scene in and out of tent:
(JACK wakes up, sighs. Hears ENNIS outside, teeth chattering.)
ENNIS Wha . . .
JACK Just quit your hammerin' and get in here.
(ENNIS staggers into tent.)
(As "first night in tent" develops, a little dialogue is exchanged.)
JACK Come on, come on.
ENNIS What're you doin'?
Scene in camp:
(ENNIS is getting ready to ride out.)
JACK (walks up) See you for supper.
ENNIS (ignores him; talks to horse) Yah. Come on. (Rides out.)
Scene overlooking herd:
ENNIS This is a one-shot thing we got goin' on here.
JACK It's nobody's business but ours.
ENNIS You know I ain't queer.
JACK Me neither.
Scene in camp, later that night:
(JACK in tent, shirt off. ENNIS slowly gets up and comes in for "second night in tent." They embrace.)
JACK I'm sorry. Lie back. Come on.
Scene in camp:
AGUIRRE Twist, your Uncle Harold's in the hospital with pneumonia. Docs don't expect he'll make it. Your ma sent me to tell you. So here I am.
JACK Bad news. There ain't nothin' I can do about it up here, I guess.
AGUIRRE There's not much you can do down there either. Not unless you can cure pneumonia.
Scene in camp:
(reaction to hail storm)
JACK Goddamn! Jesus!
(both run into tent)
ENNIS Them sheep'll drift if I don't get back up there tonight.
JACK You'll get pitched off your mount in a storm like this. You'll wish you hadn't tried it. It's too cold! Close it up!
Scene on mountain in front of blended herds of sheep:
ENNIS Well, what're we supposed to do now, huh?
JACK Get on in there and untangle them Chilean sheep out from ours, I guess.
Scene in the herd:
JACK (looking for color markings on sheep) Oh, where is it? Shit! God, half the goddamn paint brands are wore off.
ENNIS We gotta try, at least we can get the count right for Aguirre.
JACK Fuck Aguirre.
ENNIS Oh yeah, fuck Aguirre. What if we need to work for him again, huh? You think of that? We gotta stick this out, Jack.
Scene herding the retrieved sheep:
ENNIS (responding to JACK's harmonica playing, but smiling) You'll run them sheep off again if you don't quiet down.
Scene in camp:
ENNIS (riding up as JACK stows tent) What are you doin'?
JACK Aguirre came by again. Said my uncle didn't die after all. Says bring 'em down.
ENNIS Bring 'em down? Why, it's the middle of August.
JACK Says there's a storm comin', movin' in from the Pacific. Worse than this one.
ENNIS That snow barely stuck an hour, huh? Besides, the sonofabitch, he's cutting us out of a whole month's pay. It ain't right!
JACK Well, I can spare you a loan, bud, if you're short on cash. Give it to you when we get to Signal.
ENNIS I don't need your money, huh? You know, I ain't in the poorhouse. Shit!
JACK All right.
Scene near camp:
JACK (approaches ENNIS sitting outside camp) Time to get goin', cowboy.
(ENNIS gets up and JACK trips him with lariat throw. ENNIS yanks on rope and pulls JACK off his feet onto him.)
ENNIS Come here. This ain't no rodeo, cowboy.
(JACK accidently elbows ENNIS in the face, and his nose spurts blood. JACK reaches out and wipes some of the blood with the sleeve of his shirt.)
JACK Ennis, Ennis. Come here. You okay?
(ENNIS knocks JACK down with a punch in the face.)
Scene at trail head, at sheep pens:
AGUIRRE (talking to ENNIS and JACK) Some of these never went up there with you. The count ain't what I'd hoped for, neither. You ranch stiffs, you ain't never no good.
Scene in parking lot in front of AGUIRRE's trailer:
ENNIS (under hood of JACK's truck) You wanna give it some gas?
(Car starts and ENNIS closes hood.)
ENNIS I can't believe I left my damn shirt up there.
JACK Yeah. You gonna do this again next summer?
ENNIS Well, maybe not. Like I said, me and Alma's gettin' married in November. So I'll try to get somethin' on a ranch, I guess. And you?
JACK Might go up to my daddy's place, and give him a hand through the winter. Or I might be back. If the Army don't get me.
ENNIS Well, I guess, see you around, huh?
(JACK drives off and ENNIS starts walking out of town. Stops and walks to the side of the road, wretching and punching the wall.)
ENNIS God damn, god . . . (A COWBOY walking by starts to come over.) What the fuck you lookin' at, huh? (COWBOY walks on.)
Scene in church at Riverton:
CONGREGATION (led by MINISTER) . . . and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever.
MINISTER Under the powers vested in me, I now pronounce you man & wife. You may kiss the bride . . . & if you don't, I will.
Scene on a hill, a winter's day:
(ENNIS & ALMA are on a toboggan that turns over.)
ENNIS You all right? (He roughhouses with her.)
ALMA No. Stop! No. Please don't.
Scene on a highway construction crew:
TIMMY (to ENNIS) My old lady's tryin' to get me to quit this job. She says I'm gettin' too old to be breakin' my back shoveling asphalt. I told her strong backs & weak minds runs in the family. She didn't think that was too funny. I told her, it keeps me fit.
Scene at a drive-in movie playing SURF PARTY:
(We hear the following dialogue from the film while ENNIS & ALMA watch. ALMA is now pregnant.)
HE Pulled in last night. Didn't want to wake you up.
SHE Oh now, I was just . . .
HE I thought I'd tell you before the sergeant showed up. Parking this trailer on the beach is illegal.
Scene in Aguirre's trailer:
AGUIRRE (looks up as JACK walks in) Well, look what the wind blew in.
JACK Hi, Mr. Aguirre. I'm wonderin' if you was needin' any help this summer.
AGUIRRE You're wasting your time here.
JACK What, you ain't got nothin'?
AGUIRRE Ain't got no work for you.
JACK (starting to leave but turning around) Ennis Del Mar ain't been around, has he?
AGUIRRE You boys sure found a
way to make the time pass up there. Twist, you guys
wasn't gettin' paid to leave the dogs baby-sit the sheep
while you stemmed the rose. Now get the hell out of
Scene at ranch house DEL MAR family lives in now:
ENNIS (comes in and approaches ALMA at sink) How my girls doin'?
ALMA All right. Jenny's still got a runny nose.
(He walks back into the bedroom where both children squall.)
ALMA Ennis, could you wipe Alma Jr.'s nose?
ENNIS If I had three hands I could. Come here, come here. Oh! (picks both girls up)
Scene in bedroom:
ALMA Girls all right?
ENNIS Yeah. Jenny stopped her coughin'. I think I should take the girls into town this weekend. Get 'em an ice cream. Somethin'.
ALMA Ennis, can't we move to town? I'm tired of these lonesome old ranches. No one for Alma Jr. to play with. Besides, I'm scared for Jenny, scared if she has another one of them bad asthma spells.
ENNIS No, rent in town is too high.
ALMA There's a cheap place in Riverton, over the laundomat. I bet I could fix it up real nice.
ENNIS I bet you could fix this place up real nice if you wanted to.
ALMA I know you'd like it too. Real home, other kids for the girls to play with. Not so lonely, like you were raised. You don't want it to be so lonely, do you?
ENNIS Yeah. Come here. (They kiss.) It ain't so lonely now, is it?
ALMA Are you sure the girls are asleep?
ALMA Come here. (He flips her over.) Ennis . . .
Scene in Texas rodeo arena:
ANNOUNCER Let 'er rip and snort, boys! Jack Twist, hangin' on for dear life! And down he goes! Watch out there, fella! He's comin' for ya! Send in the clowns! Okay, a fine ride by Mr. Twist. Four seconds for him. Give 'em a hand, folks, our very own rodeo clowns.
JACK (speaks during the ANNOUNCER's
At a redneck bar after the rodeo:
JIMBO (the clown) Give us a beer, Doug.
JACK (comes over and throws down money on the bar counter) I'd like to buy Jimbo here a beer. Best damn rodeo clown I've ever worked with.
JIMBO No thanks, cowboy. If I was to let every rodeo hand I pulled a bull off of buy me liquor, I'd have been an alcoholic long ago. Pulling bulls off you buckaroos is just my job. So save your money for your next entry fee, cowboy. (Gives bartender a raised-eyebrow look and walks off to another group around a pool table.)
BARTENDER You ever try calf-roping?
JACK Do I look like I can afford a fuckin' ropin' horse? (leaves bar)
Scene at Riverton July 4th fireworks celebration:
ENNIS Shouldn't we move a little closer?
ALMA No, come on, let's don't. Jenny'll get scared.
(Two drunk BIKERS sit down behind them.)
BIKER 1 Wooeee. Look at this crowd! Bound to be a lot of pussy on the hoof in a crowd like this.
BIKER 2 All swelled up with patriotic feeling and ready to be humped like a frog.
BIKER 1 So where do you figure the most pussy's at--Las Vegas or California?
BIKER 2 Hell, I don't know. But if you make it between Wyoming and Montana, I'd pick Wyoming in a minute.
ENNIS Hey, you might want to keep it down, I got two little girls here.
BIKER 1 Fuck you! Asshole. (To friend) Probably quit givin' it to his wife after his kids was born. You know what that's like?
ALMA Ennis, let's move, let's just move, okay?
ENNIS Now I don't want no trouble from you. You need to shut your slop-bucket mouths, you hear me?
BIKER 2 You oughta listen to your ol' lady, then.
ENNIS Is that right?
BIKER 1 Yeah. Move somewhere else.
ENNIS (kicks one in the face, knocking him out) What about it? You wanna lose your half your fuckin' teeth? Huh?
BIKER 2 Not tonight, bud. I'd sure rather not.
Scene at Childress rodeo arena:
ANNOUNCER Here she comes, ladies & gentlemen! Oh boy, look at her fly. It's Lureen Newsome from right here in Childress, Texas. Come on folks, she's gotta hear it, let's give her a big hand! She's turnin' on two! She's around three! Come on folks, help her home! Come on, come on! And the time is 16 & 9! Here's Cheyenne Hodson from Cody, Wyoming! Come on girl! She's headed around two! Is there anybody here from Wyoming?
(LUREEN rides back up to JACK, who is now holding her hat, which flew off.)
JACK Ma'am. (Hands her hat. She takes it, gives him the eye, and rides off.)
ANNOUNCER Come on, Cheyenne! And her time is 17 & 2.
Scene at Texas rodeo arena (later):
ANNOUNCER Here comes Scotty Griffiths, out of Lubbock, Texas. Come on, Scotty! Damn it! Let's give Scotty Griffiths a big hand, folks. Better luck next time, cowboy. Boy I tell you folks, what a heck of a way to make a living! Next up is an up-and-comer, Jack Twist from all the way up in Lightning Flat, Wyoming. He's onboard Sleepy today. Let's hope he's not! Okay.
(JACK, on a bull in behind the gate, is released into the arena.)
ANNOUNCER There they go, folks. And look at Sleepy go, boy. He's broke free today, folks! Come on, spin & spin & spin! I tell you, folks, that sure looked like the winnin' ride to me.
Scene in a Childress redneck bar and dance club:
JACK (to BARTENDER) You know that girl? (Points out LUREEN, who is looking at him.)
BARTENDER I sure do. Lureen Newsome. Her dad sells farm equipment. I mean big farm equipment. Hundred-thousand-dollar tractors, shit like that.
LUREEN (walking over to JACK) What are you waiting for, cowboy? A mating call?
(They dance to the live performance of a woman singing the following lyrics:
No one's gonna love you like me,
No one else, can't you see,
No one's gonna love you like me,
No one, no one.
No one else, can't you see,
No one's gonna love you like me,
No one, no one.
I know sometimes you feel so lonely,
I know you felt so sad and blue . .
Scene on a country road, in LUREEN's red sportscar:
(They move from the front seat to the back, with LUREEN on top of JACK. Making out.)
LUREEN Oh wait, hold on. You don't think I'm too fast, do you? Maybe we should put the brakes on.
JACK Fast or slow, I just like the direction you're going in. (LUREEN undoes her top completely)
JACK You are in a hurry!
LUREEN My daddy's the hurry. He expects me home with the car by midnight.
Scene in Riverton grocery store:
ENNIS (hurrying in with his two girls) Hey Monroe.
MONROE Hey Ennis.
ENNIS Is Alma here?
MONROE Yeah, she's in the condiments aisle.
ENNIS The what?
MONROE Uh, ketchup.
(ENNIS finds his wife.)
ALMA Hey honey. What're ya'll doing here?
ENNIS In a big hurry. My boss called, and he wants me to go out to the ranch. I guess all of the heifers must've decided to calve at the same time. I figured I could drop the girls with you.
ALMA Ennis, I got a million things I gotta do here before I can leave. I don't get off for another three hours.
ALMA JR. Mama, I need crayons.
ALMA Not right now, Alma. Ennis, please, you promised you'd take them tonight.
ENNIS I can't afford to not be there when the heifers calve. It'll be my job if I lose any of 'em.
ALMA What about my job? Okay, all right. I'll call my sister, I'll see if she can take 'em.
ENNIS All right. I'll be half the night. Bring home some round steak if you think of it. (To ALMA JR.) Come here. You be good girls for your mama, all right? (Kisses ALMA JR., then leaves. ALMA JR. promptly pulls down an entire display of peanuts, shattering several jars and scattering peanuts everywhere.)
MONROE Oh boy.
ALMA Monroe, I am so sorry.
MONROE It's okay, it's okay, Alma.
ALMA I'll clean this up just as soon as I call my sister to come get the girls.
MONROE Really, Alma, it's okay. I'll get it.
ALMA Alma, come with me.
MONROE Watch your feet.
ALMA Alma! (Holds out her hand to ALMA JR., who takes it.)
Scene in Childress hospital room:
LUREEN (holding her new baby, BOBBY, comparing her hand to his) Just like my hand.
JACK Honey, got a surprise for you. (LUREEN's parents, L.D. and FAYETTE, enter.)
LUREEN Ah! Hey!
FAYETTE Got two whole boxes of formula for you. A hundred and twenty cans. (To L.D.) Where did you put 'em?
LUREEN A hundred and twenty?
L.D. Oh hell, backseat of the car where I left 'em. Rodeo can get 'em. (Throws keys contemptuously at Jack, who misses them.)
FAYETTE Oh L.D.! I can already see who little Bobby looks like!
L.D. Good job, little girl. He's the spittin' image of his grandpa. (To JACK) Isn't he the spittin' image of his grandpa? (JACK says nothing, smiling stiffly.)
Scene in Riverton apartment 2, over the laundromat:
(ENNIS comes in from work. ALMA is at the stove. Girls underfoot.)
ENNIS How ya doin'? (Goes to sink.)
ALMA Hey Ennis, you know somebody name of Jack?
ENNIS Maybe. But why?
ALMA 'Cause you got a postcard. It come General Delivery.
(ENNIS picks up a postcard on the kitchen table. It's a picture postcard of Guadalupe Peak ["El Capitán and Signal Peak"] postmarked Childress, TX, Sept. 1967, and addressed to "Mr. Ennis Del Mar, Genral Delivery, Riverton Wy.": "Friend this letter is long over due. Coming thru on the 24th. Drop me a line if your there. Jack")
ALMA Is he somebody you cowboy'd with or what?
ENNIS No, Jack, he rodeos mostly. We was fishing buddies.
Scene at Riverton post office:
(ENNIS fills out a 4c printed Lincoln postcard at the counter. He writes "You bet" on the message side, turns it over to reveal the address already filled out: "Ennis Del Mar, Riverton, Wy. Jack Twist, RFD 2, Childress, Texas." Drops it into mail slot.)
Scene at Riverton apartment on September 24th:
(ENNIS is cleaned up, in his best shirt, paces, swills beer, smokes nervously.)
ALMA Maybe we could get a baby-sitter?
ALMA Take your friend to the Knife and Fork.
ENNIS Well, Jack ain't the restaurant type. We'll more'n likely just go out and get drunk. If he shows.
Scene at Riverton apartment (hours later):
(ENNIS slumped on sofa, looking rather out of it, with several empty beer bottles and a full ashtray nearby.)
ALMA (at kitchen table with ALMA JR.) Okay, we take one more bite and then you're finished with dinner. There, that's a good bite. All right. You're excused. (ALMA JR. races off.) (The following spoken to herself.) Please, thank you.
Scene in parking lot below Riverton apartment:
(JACK drives up in a red and white pickup truck. ENNIS stands and looks out the window, then hurries out the door of apartment 2, standing at the top of the stairs as JACK gets out of the truck.)
ENNIS Jack fuckin' Twist!
(JACK and ENNIS embrace.)
JACK Son of a bitch. (The two men kiss, observed by ALMA at the screen door; she retreats back inside in shock. Finally, she goes back to the door and they come up the stairs. She's back in the kitchen by now.)
ENNIS Alma, this is Jack Twist. And Jack, this is my wife, Alma.
(JENNY babbles to herself in another room.)
ENNIS Yeah, I got two little girls: Alma Jr. and Jenny.
JACK I got a boy. Eight months old.
JACK Smiles a lot. Married the prettiest little gal in Childress, Texas.
ENNIS (To ALMA) Well, me and Jack, we're gonna head out and get ourselves a drink.
ALMA Sure enough.
JACK Pleased to meet you, ma'am.
ENNIS We might not get back tonight, when we get to drinkin' and talkin' and all.
ALMA (following them out) Ennis, would you get me a pack of smokes . . .
ENNIS You need smokes, they're in the top pocket of my blue shirt, they're in the bedroom. (he's out the door by now)
Scene in a Riverton motel room:
(JACK and ENNIS are curled up together, both smoking.)
JACK Four years. Damn.
ENNIS Yeah, four years. Didn't think I'd hear from you again. I figured you was sore from the that punch.
JACK That next summer, I drove back up to Brokeback, and talked to Aguirre 'bout a job, and told me you hadn't been back there, so I left. Went down to Texas for rodeoin'. That's how I met Lureen. Made two thousand dollars that year bullridin', nearly starved. Lureen's old man makes serious money, farm machine business. 'Course he hates my guts, though.
ENNIS Hmm. The Army didn't get you?
JACK No, too busted up. And that rodeoin' ain't like it was in my daddy's day. Got out while I could still walk. Swear to god I didn't know we was going to get into this again. Hell, yes I did. I red-lined it all the way, and couldn't get here fast enough. What about you?
ENNIS Me? I don't know.
JACK Old Brokeback got us good, don't it? What are we gonna do now?
ENNIS I doubt there's nothin' we can do. I'm stuck with what I got here. Makin' a livin's about all I got time for now.
Scene in Riverton apartment:
(ALMA at kitchen table, miserable. Hears truck drive up, becomes alert.)
ENNIS (rushing in) Hey. Well, me and Jack's heading up in the mountains for a day or two. Do ourselves a little fishin'.
ALMA You know, your friend could come inside, have a cup of coffee.
ENNIS He's from Texas.
ALMA Texans don't drink coffee? (ENNIS starts throwing things together for trip.) You sure that foreman won't fire you for taking off?
ENNIS Ya know, that foreman, he owes me. I worked through a blizzard last Christmas, remember that? Besides, I'll only be a coupla days.
ALMA JR. (coming in) Bring a fish, Daddy, a big one.
(ENNIS picks ALMA JR. up and hands her to ALMA.)
ALMA (hugs daughter to her) Come here. Come here.
ENNIS (embraces ALMA, holding child) Come here. (Kisses ALMA) See you Sunday, latest.
Scene in parking lot below apartment:
JACK (getting into his truck on driver's side as ENNIS gets in passenger side) I'm starvin'. Wanna get somethin' to eat?
Scene in Riverton apartment:
ALMA (weeping, holding ALMA JR. to her) Come here, honey.
Scene in mountains:
(Both men jump out of the truck, parked near the top of a cliff overlooking a lake.)
ENNIS Last one in!
(They disrobe as they run and leap off the cliff, falling to the water. Both exclaim as they hit the water, but there are no audible words.)
Scene in mountains at night around campfire:
JACK Is there anything interesting up there in heaven?
ENNIS Well, I was just sending up a prayer of thanks.
JACK For what?
ENNIS For you forgettin' to bring that harmonica. I'm enjoyin' the peace and quiet.
JACK You know, it could be like this, just like this, always.
ENNIS Yeah? How you figure that?
JACK What if you and me had a little ranch somewhere, a little cow-and-calf operation, it'd be a sweet life. I mean, hell, Lureen's old man, you bet he'd give me a down payment if I'd get lost. I mean, he more or less already said it.
ENNIS No, I told you, it ain't gonna be that way. You know, you got your wife and baby in Texas, and you know, I got my life in Riverton.
JACK Is that so? You and Alma, that's a life?
ENNIS Now you shut up about Alma. This ain't her fault. The bottom line is, we're around each other and this thing grabs hold of us again, the wrong place, in the wrong time, we're dead.
Flashback scene to 1952, down a trail by a ditch:
ENNIS There were these two old guys ranched up together down home, Earl and Rich. They was the joke of town, even though they were pretty tough old birds. Anyway, they found Earl dead in a irrigation ditch. They took a tire iron to him, spurred him up and drug him around by his dick till it pulled off.
(A young ENNIS and his brother K.E. see the dead man in the ditch. We see only the lower half of their father's body as he makes both boys look at the dead man.)
Scene at campfire in present time:
JACK You seen this?
ENNIS Yeah, I was, what, nine years old? My daddy, he made sure me and my brother seen it. Hell, for all I know, he done the job. Two guys livin' together? No way. Now, we can get together once in a while way the hell out in the middle of nowhere, but . . .
JACK Once in a while? Ever' four fuckin' years?
ENNIS Well, if you can't fix it, Jack, you gotta stand it.
JACK For how long?
ENNIS As long as we can ride it. There ain't no reins on this one.
Scene below Riverton apartment four years later, with the girls on a swing set:
(Arguing voices from apartment above them. The girls stop swinging as they hear their parents arguing.)
ENNIS It's nearly suppertime. Where the hell do you think you're goin'?
ALMA To work.
ENNIS Hell, I thought you had the day off!
ALMA Well, you thought wrong!
ENNIS The girls need to be fed. (ALMA pushes out the door and heads down the stairs.)
ALMA Well, you take care of it! (ENNIS follows her out.)
ENNIS Alma! Alma!
ALMA Supper's on the stove!
ENNIS No one's eatin' unless you're servin' it.
ALMA I already promised I'd take the extra shift.
ENNIS Fuckin' tell 'em you made a mistake, then! Alma! Alma! (ALMA ignores him and turns a corner, moving out of sight.) Goddamn it! (Notices his girls.) You girls need a push or somethin'?
GIRLS No. (They start to swing again. ENNIS kicks a bucket he tripped over on the way out and walks back up the stairs.)
Scene outside at NEWSOME business in Childress:
JACK (to a large group of farmers and ranchers, demonstrating a new oversized air-conditioned tractor) Listen to her purr, gentlemen! You ain't gonna get that with your Caddy! I told you what she could do, now let me show you.
Scene inside at the NEWSOME business:
(LUREEN sits behind a desk and overhears the following exchange as JACK's demonstration continues outside the window.)
FARMER 1 Say, didn't that pissant use to ride the bulls?
FARMER 2 He used to try. (Glances over at LUREEN to make sure she heard him.)
Scene in Riverton apartment:
(ALMA brings a grocery bag in, mail in hand. She sees a postcard, with a 6c Eisenhower stamp, postmarked July 1972, reading: "Ennis See you in a couple weeks fish should be jumping Jack," and addressed to "Ennis Del Mar, 80 Pershing street, Apt. #2, Riverton, Wy 82501" She folds the postcard back inside the circular ads as she hears ENNIS's truck outside.)
Scene in office at NEWSOME business in Childress:
JACK Honey, have you seen my blue parka?
LUREEN (at adding machine) Um, last time I seen it you was in it. Day we had that big ice storm.
JACK Well, I could have swore I seen it here.
LUREEN You know, you been going up to Wyoming all these years. Why can't your buddy come down here to Texas and fish?
JACK 'Cause the Big Horn Mountains' ain't in Texas. And I don't think his pickup could make it down here anyway.
LUREEN New model coming in this week, remember. You're the best combine salesman we got. You're the only combine salesman, in fact.
JACK Yeah, well, I'll be back in a week. That is, unless I freeze to death, and I'll freeze if I don't find that parka.
LUREEN Well, I don't have your goddamn parka. You know, you're worse than Bobby when it comes to losin' stuff.
JACK Oh, speaking of Bobby, did you call the school about gettin' him a tutor?
LUREEN I thought you were gonna call.
JACK I complain too much. That teacher don't like me. Now it's your turn.
LUREEN Right. Okay, fine, so I'll just . . . I'll call later.
JACK Right. Fine. 'Bye. (giving her a perfunctory kiss) I got fourteen hours of driving ahead of me.
LUREEN See now, it don't seem fair, you goin' up there two or three times a year, with him never comin' down here. (JACK waves her remark off on the way out the door.)
Scene in Riverton apartment:
(ENNIS is banging around getting ready for another trip with JACK, as a radio in the background is going)
ANNOUNCER Oh that's right, you heard the one about the great big guy, he's a big, hairy, monstrous guy, must've been a construction worker all his life, and he's sitting in a bar next to this little bitty fellow, and the bartender says . . . (becomes inaudible)
ALMA (reading newspaper) Ennis, they got a openin' over at the power company. Might be good pay.
ENNIS Well, as clumsy as I am, I'd probably get electrocuted.
ALMA JR. (in next room playing with JENNY) Daddy, the church picnic's next weekend. Will you be back from fishin' by next weekend? Please, Daddy? Please?
JENNY Can you take us, Daddy? Please?
ENNIS Well, all right, as long as I don't have to sing, hmm?
JENNY Daddy! Thank you!
(ENNIS turns to leave without approaching his wife.)
ALMA You forgettin' somethin'?
(ENNIS turns and grabs the tackle box, mutters something inaudible, hurries out.)
Scene in mountains at campsite:
(ENNIS drives up in his truck and gets out with fishing tackle and rod in hand.)
JACK You're late.
ENNIS Look what I brought.
(Further dialogue inaudible under swelling music. More outdoor scenes, of both on horseback, then a shot of a stream.)
JACK (with BOBBY on his lap as JACK steers a large red tractor, brand name "VERSATILE," in circles) There you go! No hands! (Tractor continues to move.) It's all yours, buddy. It's all yours.
Scene on a ranch:
ENNIS (on the back of a moving truck, throwing hay down by handfuls for the cattle to eat) Come on! Come on!
Scene in Riverton apartment:
(ENNIS is lying on the couch holding a beer, an ashtray on his stomach. ALMA sits bored, while the girls play with dolls on the floor. KOJAK is on TV, with the following scene in progress: A man walks into a room while another inside points a gun at his head. MAN: "Come on in, Alvin. I've been trying to call you for hours.")
ALMA It's Saturday night, you know. We could still smarten up, head over to the church social.
ENNIS That fire and brimstone crowd?
ALMA I think it'd be nice. (Crushed.)
(ENNIS doesn't answer.)
Scene in Riverton apartment:
(ENNIS and ALMA making love.)
ALMA Ennis, as far behind as we are on the bills, it makes me nervous not to take no precaution.
ENNIS (pulls back) If you don't want no more of my kids, I'll be happy to leave you alone.
ALMA I'd have 'em if you'd support 'em.
(ENNIS gets off her and both turn their backs to one another.)
Scene in Wyoming divorce court:
JUDGE Custody of the two minor children, Alma Del Mar Jr. and Jennifer Del Mar, is awarded to plaintiff. Defendant is ordered to pay child support to plaintiff in the sum of $125 per month, for each of the minor children, until they reach the age of 18 years. Divorce granted, this 6th day of November, 1975.
(ALMA looks bitter and determined. ENNIS looks miserable.)
Scene in truck driving into Wyoming:
(JACK sings along to the lyrics of Roger Miller's "King of the Road.")
Scene outside ranch house in Wyoming:
(ENNIS's daughters are just getting put in his truck as JACK drives up.)
ENNIS What're you doin' here, huh?
JACK Got your message about the divorce.
ENNIS (to daughters) This here is Jack. Jack, these are my baby girls, Alma Jr. and Jenny.
JACK (to the GIRLS) Hey.
ENNIS Say "hi," girls.
JACK I got your card, the divorce came through. So here I am.
JACK Had to ask about ten different people in Riverton where you had moved to.
ENNIS Well . . .
JACK I guess I thought that this means you . . .
ENNIS Um, Jack. I don't know what to say. Uh . . . See, I got the girls this weekend. Uh . . . and jeez . . . I'm sure as hell sorry. You know I am. See, I only get 'em once a month. And I missed last month, so I just . . . because of the roundup . . . so I . . . well.
JACK Yeah. All right.
JACK I'll see you next month then. (Leaves in his truck.)
Scene in truck driving south:
(JACK weeps, then wipes his eyes and looks determined to do something. Shot of a highway sign: EL PASO 65 / JUAREZ-MEXICO BORDER 68.)
Scene on a Juárez street:
(Babble of Spanish, especially from kids swarming all over the place. JACK walks into a dangerous looking part of town, and finally down an alley where hustlers are leaning against the wall on both sides. Approaches one of them.)
(JACK nods. HUSTLER and JACK walk together down the alley into darkness.)
Scene in Childress home of the TWIST family on Thanksgiving:
LUREEN (bringing in a bowl) Comin' up.
JACK (bringing in turkey) Here we go. Here we are.
L.D. Whoa there, Rodeo. The stud duck do the carvin' around here.
JACK You bet, L.D. I was just saving you the trouble.
LUREEN (noticing BOBBY is watching the TV football broadcast) Bobby, if you don't eat your dinner, I'm gonna have to turn off that television.
BOBBY Why, Mama? I'm gonna be eatin' this food for the next two weeks.
JACK You heard your mama. You finish your meal and then you can watch the game.
(Gets up and turns TV off. L.D. stops carving the turkey and turns the TV back on.)
LUREEN Daddy? Daddy!
L.D. Hell, we don't eat with our eyes. You want your son to grow up to be a man, don't you, daughter? Boys should watch football.
JACK Not until he finishes eatin' the meal that his mama took three hours to fix. (Gets up and turns TV off.)
(L.D. stands up to turn on the TV again.)
JACK Now you sit down, you old son of a bitch! This is my house, this is my child, and you are my guest! Now you sit down, before I knock your ignorant ass into next week.
(L.D. sits as LUREEN wipes a smile
off her face. JACK starts carving the turkey.)
Scene in Riverton home of the MONROE family on Thanksgiving 1977:
(ENNIS sits at the table with his former wife, now pregnant, her new husband MONROE, and his DAUGHTERS.)
ALMA JR. Daddy, tell about when you rode broncs in the rodeo.
ENNIS Well, that's a short story, honey. It was only about three seconds I was on that bronc. The next thing I knew I was flyin' through the air. Only I was no angel like you and Jenny here. I didn't have no wings. And that's the story of my saddle bronc career.
Scene in Monroe home (later the same night):
(The GIRLS are watching competitive ice skating on TV with MONROE.)
ANNOUNCER At this moment, they are in 12th place. (Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio espagnol" is used as skating music. ENNIS brings in plates from the table as ALMA stands at the sink, scraping them off.)
ENNIS There you go.
ALMA You ought to get married again, Ennis. Me and the girls worry about you bein' alone so much.
ENNIS Well, once burned.
ALMA You still go fishin' with Jack Twist?
ENNIS Hmm, not often.
ALMA You know, I used to wonder how come you never brought any trouts home. You always said you caught plenty, and you know how me and the girls like fish. So one night I got your creel case open night before you went on one of your little trips -- price tag still on it after five years -- and I tied a note to the end of the line. It said, "Hello, Ennis, bring some fish home. Love, Alma." And then you come back lookin' all perky and said you'd caught a bunch of brownies and you ate them up. Do you remember? I looked in the case first chance I got and there was my note still tied there. That line hadn't touched water in its life.
ENNIS That don't mean nothin', Alma.
ALMA Don't try to fool me no more, Ennis, I know what it means. Jack Twist.
ALMA Jack Nasty. You didn't go up there to fish. You and him . . .
ENNIS (grabs her wrist and twists it) Now you listen to me, you don't know nothin' about it.
ALMA I'm goin' to yell for Monroe.
ENNIS You do it and I'll make you eat the fuckin' floor.
ALMA (screaming) Get out! Get out!
ENNIS And you too!
ALMA (screaming) Get out! Get out! Get out of my house, Ennis Del Mar! You hear me? You get out!
(ENNIS storms into the other room, grabbing his jacket and hat. ALMA continues to scream, hysterical now, in the kitchen.)
(ENNIS slams out of the house into the snowy night. The GIRLS hurry onto the porch as he rushes to his truck.)
JENNY 'Bye, Daddy.
ALMA JR. 'Bye.
Scene in front of a redneck bar in Riverton:
(ENNIS pulls up, gets out of his truck and runs across the street, causing a truck pulling up to break sharply to avoid hitting him.)
DRIVER Hey asshole, watch where you're goin'!
(ENNIS reaches in the DRIVER's window and pulls him out of the truck, swinging at him.)
DRIVER What . . . You stupid fuck. (A fight starts.) God damn! God! God damn! (Finally the DRIVER gets the best of ENNIS, who falls to the ground as he gets stomped.)
ENNIS Oh fuck. (The stomping continues.)
DRIVER Damn it!
Scene at camp in the mountains:
(ENNIS is washing metal dishes at the edge of the stream.)
JACK (walking towards ENNIS from the direction of the tent, visibly older now, with a moustache) All I'm saying is, what's the point of makin' it? If the taxes don't get it, the inflation eats it all up. You should see Lureen, punchin' numbers in her adding machine, huntin' for extra zeros, her eyes gettin' smaller and smaller, it's like watchin' a rabbit tryin' to squeeze into a snakehole with a coyote on its tail.
ENNIS That's high-class entertainment if you ask me.
JACK For what it's worth.
ENNIS You and Lureen, it's normal and all?
ENNIS She don't ever suspect? (JACK shakes his head "no.") You ever get the feelin', I don't know, uh, when you're in town, and someone looks at you, suspicious, like he knows. And then you go out on the pavement, and everyone's lookin' at you, like they all know too?
JACK Maybe you oughta get out of there. You know, find yourself someplace different. Maybe Texas.
ENNIS Texas? Sure, and maybe you can convince Alma to let you and Lureen adopt the girls. Then we could just live together, herding sheep, and it'll rain money from L.D. Newsome, and whiskey'll flow in the streams. Jack, that's real smart.
JACK Go to hell, Ennis Del Mar. You wanna live your miserable fuckin' life, you go right ahead. I was just thinkin' out loud. (Storms off.)
ENNIS Yep, you're a real thinker there. (Loses hold of one of the containers he's washing, which floats away, and he chases it.) God damn . . . Jack fuckin' Twist. Got it all figured out, ain't he?
Scene in a redneck bar in Riverton:
(Babble of voices. ENNIS sits drinking the last of several beers, smoking.)
MAN (in background, unseen) All right, hon.
(ENNIS gets up to go to the bathroom. A woman at the jukebox takes his arm.)
ENNIS I was on my way to the . . .
CASSIE I'm Cassie. Cassie Cartwright. (Pulls him to the dance floor, currently empty of dancers.)
ENNIS Ennis. Del Mar. (They start to dance, her dancing more than him.)
Scene in same bar (later):
ENNIS (falling into his chair) No more dancin' for me, I hope.
CASSIE (sitting across from him) You're safe. My feet hurt. (Takes shoes off.)
ENNIS It's hard work, is it?
CASSIE Yeah, drunks like you demanding beer after beer, smokin'. Gets tiresome. What do you do, Ennis Del Mar?
ENNIS Mmm, earlier today I was castratin' calves. (CASSIE looks disgusted. Suddenly she puts her feet into ENNIS's lap.) What are you doin'?
CASSIE Tryin' to get a foot rub, dummy.
ENNIS All right. (Rubs her feet.) That good?
Scene in a Childress dance hall:
(LUREEN and JACK are sitting at the same table with LASHAWN and RANDALL. LASHAWN is babbling before we can hear the words she's saying.)
LASHAWN And then I pledged Tri Delt at SMU, and I sure never thought I'd end up in a poky little place like Childress, but then I met ol' Randall here at an Aggie game. He was an animal husbandry major, so we been here a month, and he got the foreman job over at Roy Taylor's ranch. Like it or not, here I am!
LUREEN Was you Tri Delt? I was Kappa Phi myself.
LASHAWN Well, even though we ain't quite sorority sisters, we may just have to dance with ourselves, Lureen. Our husbands ain't the least bit interested in dancin', they ain't got a smidgen of rhythm between 'em.
LUREEN It's funny, isn't it? Husbands don't never seem to wanna dance with their wives. Why do you think that is, Jack?
JACK I don't know, I never give it any thought. (Turns to LASHAWN.) Wanna dance?
LASHAWN Yes -- thank you!
JACK (to RANDALL) Do you mind?
RANDALL No, it's all right. Go ahead.
JACK All right. (LUREEN, clearly miffed, says nothing.)
LASHAWN (getting up) Pardon us. Thank you for asking me to dance with you. I really appreciate that, Randall never does. Last time I did, I think it was our wedding. It's a good thing you and Lureen happened along when you did, or else we'd still be stuck on the side of the road in that durn pickup. I told Randall we oughta take the car. Of course he never listens to me. He wouldn't listen to me if he was goin' deaf tomorrow. I told him it takes more than chewing gum and baling wire to fix that pickup. Well, he's never been very mechanical, though. (most of this said while dancing)
Scene in Childress, in front of dance hall (later that night):
(JACK and RANDALL sit on a bench smoking. A group walks down the steps out the door of the hall.)
MAN Come over here and ask me . . . (voice fades)
JACK You ever notice how a woman'll powder her nose before she goes to a party. Then she'll powder it again once the party's over? I mean, why powder your nose just to go home and go to bed?
RANDALL Don't know. Even if I wanted to know, I couldn't get a word in with Lashawn long enough to ask. Woman talks a blue streak.
JACK Lively little gal. (clears throat) You'll like working for Roy Taylor. He's solid, Roy.
RANDALL Yeah, Roy, he's a good old boy. (pause) He's got a little cabin down on Lake Kemp. Got a croppie house, a little boat. (JACK nods.) Said I could use it whenever I want. We oughta go down there some weekend. Drink a little whiskey, fish some. Get away, you know?
(LASHAWN and LUREEN come through the door and down the steps.)
LASHAWN When I was right out of SMU I coulda had my pick of pretty much any job in North Dallas, so my pick was Neiman Marcus, which was a disaster, because honey, where clothes is concerned, I got no resistance, I was spending more than I made, more than Randall ever will make. We come here thinking ranching was still big hats and Marlboros, boy were we behind the times.
Scene in Riverton, on the porch of MONROE's house:
(ALMA JR. is waiting for ENNIS to drive up. When he does, she sees a woman in the front seat with him, and the smile falls from her face.)
ENNIS Hey there Junior.
Scene in redneck bar where CASSIE works:
(ENNIS is at the jukebox, which is currently playing Tammy Wynette's "D-I-V-O-R-C-E")
CASSIE (across from ALMA JR. at a table) What do you think? Your daddy ever gonna see fit to settle down again?
ALMA JR. Don't know. (pause) Maybe he's not the marrying kind.
CASSIE You don't think so? Or you don't think I'm the one for him?
ALMA JR. You're good enough.
CASSIE (smiles) You don't say much, but you get your point across.
ALMA JR. Sorry. I didn't mean to be rude.
ENNIS (walks up and starts to sit down) All right.
CASSIE (pulls ENNIS back up) You're stayin' on your feet, cowboy.
ENNIS (to ALMA JR.) Excuse me, darlin'.
(ALMA JR. watches them dance,
Scene in Riverton, in front seat of moving truck:
ENNIS So I'll pick you and Jenny up next weekend after church.
ALMA JR. Fine.
ENNIS You all right?
ALMA JR. Yes.
ENNIS Are you sure?
ALMA JR. Daddy, I was thinking, what with the new baby and all. Ma and Monroe have been awful strict on me. More on me than Jenny even. I was thinking, maybe I could come stay with you. I'd be an awful good help, I know I would.
ENNIS Now, uh, you know I ain't set up for that. And with the roundup comin', I won't ever be home.
ALMA JR. It's all right, Daddy.
ENNIS I'm not sayin' that I wouldn't . . .
ALMA JR. It's all right, I understand.
ENNIS Well, I'll see you on Sunday, then.
ALMA 'Bye. (gets out of car)
ENNIS 'Bye, sweetheart.
Scene at night in camp in the mountains:
JACK Gonna snow tonight for sure.
JACK All this time and you ain't found nobody else to marry.
ENNIS I been puttin' the blocks to a good-lookin' little gal over in Riverton. She's a waitress, wants to go to nursing school or somethin'. I don't know. (pause) What about you and Lureen?
JACK (looks at ENNIS sharply) Lureen's good at makin' hard deals in the machine business, but as far as our marriage goes, we could do it over the phone. I kinda got this thing goin' with a ranch foreman's wife over in Rutters.
ENNIS What? (laughs)
JACK I'm bound to get shot by Lureen or her husband each time I slip off to see her.
ENNIS Well, you probably deserve it.
JACK Tell you what . . . Truth is, sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it.
(ENNIS doesn't answer. Scene cuts to them in the tent that night, asleep together.)
Scene at trailhead in the morning, both trucks packed and ready to leave:
JACK I guess I'll head on up to Lightning Flat. See the folks for a day or two.
ENNIS There's somethin' I been meanin' to tell you, bud. It's likely November before I can come out here again. After we ship stock and before the winter feedin' starts again.
JACK November. What in the hell happened to August? (slams truck door, and ENNIS flinches) Christ, Ennis, you know, you had a fuckin' week to say some little word about this.
ENNIS Well . . .
JACK And why's it we're always in the friggin' cold? We oughta go south, where it's warm, you know. We oughta go to Mexico.
ENNIS Mexico? Hell, you know me. About all the travelin' I ever done is around a coffeepot, lookin' for the handle. (No response.) Come on, Jack. Lighten up on me. We can hunt in November, kill us a nice elk. I'll try if I can get Don Wroe's cabin again. We had a good time that year, didn't we?
JACK There's never enough time, never enough. You know, friend, this is a goddamn bitch of an unsatisfactory situation. You used to come away easy. Now it's like seein' the Pope.
ENNIS Jack, I gotta work. Huh? Them earlier days I just quit the job. You forget what it's like bein' broke all the time. You ever hear of child support? I'll tell you this, I can't quit this one. And I can't get the time off. It was hard enough gettin' this time. The tradeoff was August. You got a better idea?
JACK I did once.
ENNIS You did once. (Approaches till he's in JACK's face.) Well, have you been to Mexico, Jack? 'Cause I hear what they got in Mexico for boys like you.
JACK Hell yes, I been to Mexico. Is that a fuckin' problem?
ENNIS I'm gonna tell you this one time, Jack fuckin' Twist. And I ain't foolin'. What I don't know, all them things that I don't know, could get you killed if I come to know them. I ain't jokin'. (Walks away.)
JACK Yeah well, try this one, and I'll say it just once.
ENNIS Go ahead.
JACK Tell you what, we coulda had a good life together, fuckin' real good life, had us a place of our own. But you didn't want it, Ennis! So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain. Everything's built on that. That's all we got, boy, fuckin' all, so I hope you know that if you don't never know the rest.
ENNIS God damn it.
JACK You count the damn few times that we have been together in nearly 20 years. Measure the short fuckin' leash you keep me on, and then you ask me about Mexico and you tell me you'll kill me for needin' somethin' I don't hardly never get. You got no idea how bad it gets. And I'm not you. I can't make it on a coupla high-altitude fucks once or twice a year. You are too much for me, Ennis, you son of a whoreson bitch. I wish I knew how to quit you.
ENNIS (stricken, weeping) Then why don't you? Why don't you let me be, huh? It's because of you, Jack, that I'm like this. I'm nothin'. I'm nowhere. (JACK attempts to hug ENNIS but is pushed away.) Get the fuck off me!
JACK (hugging ENNIS again as ENNIS sinks to the ground, sobbing) It's all right. It's all right. Damn you, Ennis.
ENNIS I just can't stand this anymore, Jack.
Scene cuts to flashback in 1963 on Brokeback Mountain at daybreak:
(JACK stands half asleep at fire, as ENNIS approaches from behind and wraps his arms around him and rocks him.)
ENNIS Come on now, you're sleepin' on your feet like a horse. My mama used to say that to me when I was little . . . and sing to me . . . (hums a song) I gotta go. See you in the mornin'.
(ENNIS gives JACK one more hug as JACK nods slightly, then lets JACK go. As ENNIS leaves, we see JACK's face, with an expression of love and longing.)
Scene at trailhead, back to present:
(ENNIS's loaded truck drives off. Cut to JACK's face. He appears disillusioned, bitter, empty of hope.)
Scene at Riverton Greyhound bus station:
(ENNIS sits alone in dining room, eating apple pie and drinking coffee. CASSIE breezes in with CARL and notices ENNIS.)
CASSIE (to Carl) Excuse me. (approaching ENNIS) Hey. Ennis Del Mar. Where you been?
ENNIS Here and there.
CASSIE I left word for you with Steve at the ranch. And you must've got those notes I left at your place.
ENNIS Looks like I got the message, in any case. (his glance indicates CARL)
CASSIE Carl? Yeah, Carl's nice. He even talks.
ENNIS Good for you.
CASSIE Yeah. Good for me. (pause) I don't get you, Ennis Del Mar.
ENNIS I'm sorry. I was probably no fun anyways, was I?
CASSIE (in tears) Ennis, girls don't fall in love with fun. (Flees the bus station dragging CARL behind her.)
Scene at the Riverton post office:
(ENNIS is sorting through his mail in front of the post office when he comes across the following postcard, which he sent to Jack, now returned:
"Jack. How about november 7 for you. I can meet you at pine creek. Ennis Del Mar." Stamped across this message is DECEASED in red letters.
ENNIS is stunned, dead in his
Scenes in a Riverton phone booth and in TWIST home in Childress, crosscut:
LUREEN (picks up phone) Hello?
ENNIS Hello, this is Ennis Del Mar, I, uh . . .
LUREEN Who? Who is this?
ENNIS Ennis Del Mar. An old buddy of Jack's.
LUREEN Jack used to mention you. You're the fishing buddy or the hunting buddy, I know that. Woulda let you know what happened, but I wasn't sure about your name or address. Jack kept his friends' addresses in his head.
ENNIS That's why I'm callin', uh, see what happened.
LUREEN Oh yeah. Jack was pumping up a flat on the truck out on a back road when the tire blew up. The rim of the tire slammed into his face, broke his nose and jaw, and knocked him unconscious on his back. By the time somebody come along, he'd drowned in his own blood. He was only 39 years old.
(ENNIS flashes on images of JACK being attacked by three men and beaten to death; one of them has a tire iron.)
LUREEN Hello? Hello? Hello?
ENNIS Was he buried down there?
LUREEN We put a stone up. He was cremated like he wanted, half his ashes was interred here. The rest I sent up with his folks. He used to say he wanted his ashes scattered on Brokeback Mountain, but I wasn't sure where that was. Thought Brokeback Mountain might be around where he grew up. Knowing Jack, it might be some pretend place where bluebirds sing and there's a whiskey spring.
ENNIS No ma'am, we was herdin' sheep up on Brokeback one summer . . . back in '63.
LUREEN (gives an involuntary moan as she puts 2 & 2 together) Well, he said it was his favorite place. I thought he meant to get drunk. He drank a lot.
ENNIS Is his folks still up in Lightnin' Flat?
LUREEN They'll be there till the day they die.
ENNIS I thank you for your time. I sure am sorry. We was good friends.
LUREEN (winces at ENNIS's last remark) Get in touch with his folks. Suppose they'd appreciate it if his wishes was carried out. About the ashes, I mean. (Abruptly hangs up, leaving ENNIS stricken, the phone receiver in his hand.)
Scene outside of Lightning Flat, at the TWIST homestead:
(ENNIS drives up in his pickup, and JACK'S MOTHER comes out the door to see him in, evidently expecting him.)
Scene in the TWIST home's kitchen:
(ENNIS sits across from JOHN TWIST, JACK's father, at the dining table, while JACK's MOTHER stands.)
JACK'S MOTHER Want a cup of coffee, don't you? Piece of cherry cake?
ENNIS Yes ma'am, I'll have a cup of coffee, but I can't eat no cake just now, thank you.
(JACK'S MOTHER gets a cup of coffee and puts it down in front of ENNIS on the table, continuing to stand.)
ENNIS (to JOHN) I feel awful bad about Jack. I can't begin to tell you how bad I feel. I knew him a long time. I come by to say that if you want me to take his ashes up there on Brokeback like his wife said he wanted to, then I'd be happy to.
(JACK'S MOTHER glances sharply at her husband.)
JOHN Tell you what, I know where Brokeback Mountain is. Thought he was too goddamn special to be buried in the family plot. Jack used to say, "Ennis Del Mar," he used to say, "I'm gonna bring him up here one of these days and we'll lick this damn ranch into shape." Had some half-baked notion the two of you was gonna move up here, build a cabin, help run the place. (spitting into his cup) Then this spring he got another fella gonna come up here with him, build a place, help run the ranch, some ranch neighbor of his from down in Texas. Gonna split up with his wife and come back here. So he says. But like most of Jack's ideas, it never come to pass.
(ENNIS is visibly shocked at the news of JACK's plans with someone else. JACK'S MOTHER touches his shoulder.)
JACK'S MOTHER I kept his room like it was when he was a boy. I think he appreciated that. You are welcome to go up to his room, if you want.
ENNIS (barely able to
speak) Yeah, I'd like that, thank you.
Scene in JACK's boyhood room upstairs:
(After walking up the stairs, ENNIS
finds the room and locates the pair of shirts hidden at
the back of JACK's closet; both shirts have bloody
sleeves from the fight they had had 20 years before on
Brokeback Mountain. ENNIS's white shirt is on the
inside, and JACK's blue shirt is on the outside.
ENNIS pulls the hanger off the hook and cradles the
shirts to his face, weeping. He breathes in through
the shirts, then exhales the words "I love you"
directly into the shirts.)
Scene in the TWIST homestead's kitchen:
(ENNIS walks back in with the shirts rolled up, only JACK's blue shirt visible. ENNIS signals he wants to take the shirts, and JACK'S MOTHER nods, turns and takes out a paper bag. She puts the shirts in the bag for ENNIS.)
JOHN Tell you what. We got a family plot. He's goin' in it.
ENNIS Yes sir.
JACK'S MOTHER You come back and see us again. (She hands ENNIS the sack and he walks out the open door.)
ENNIS (whispering to JACK'S
MOTHER) Thank you for this. (She nods and
shuts the door.)
Scene outside a house trailer off a country road in Wyoming:
(ENNIS puts peel-off numbers [1 & 7] on the mailbox outside his trailer, then tosses the plastic backing on the numbers into an open trash can. A sportscar he doesn't recognize drives up; he leans over and peers into the windshield to see who it is. ALMA JR. gets out wearing a sweater.)
ENNIS Hey there, Junior.
ALMA JR. Hey Daddy. Like the car?
ENNIS (nods) Yeah. Is it yours?
ALMA JR. It's Kurt's.
ENNIS Well, I thought you were seein' Troy.
ALMA JR. Troy? Daddy, that was two years ago.
ENNIS Troy still playin' baseball?
ALMA JR. I don't know what he's doin'. I'm seein' Kurt now.
ENNIS Well, what does Kurt do?
ALMA JR. Works out in the oil fields.
ENNIS So he's a roughneck, huh?
ALMA JR. (laughs) Yeah.
ENNIS I guess you're 19, you can do whatever you want, is that right?
ALMA JR. Sure. (Both step into the trailer.)
Scene inside trailer (continues last scene):
(ALMA JR. takes off her sweater and puts it behind her on the bed where she sits.)
ALMA JR. Daddy, you need more furniture.
ENNIS Yeah, well, if you got nothin', you don't need nothin'. (sits across from her)
So what's the occasion?
ALMA JR. Me and Kurt. We're gettin' married.
ENNIS Well, how long you known this guy for?
ALMA JR. About a year. The wedding'll be June 5th at the Methodist Church. Jenny will be singing, and Monroe is gonna cater the reception.
ENNIS Now this Kurt fella -- he loves you?
ALMA JR. Yeah, Daddy. He loves me. (ENNIS looks away.) Was hoping you'd be there.
ENNIS Yeah, I think I'm supposed to be on a roundup down near the Tetons.
(ALMA JR. is visibly disappointed, but says nothing. ENNIS sighs, comes to a decision, stands and walks to the refrigerator.)
ENNIS You know what? I reckon they can find themselves a new cowboy. (ENNIS takes a half full bottle of wine from the refrigerator as ALMA JR. laughs and smiles. He pours the wine into two small glasses.) My little girl, gettin' married, huh? (Goes back to his chair, handing ALMA JR. one glass.) To Alma and Kurt. (They toast the coming marriage.)
Scene outside trailer:
(ENNIS watches ALMA JR. drive off, then turns and goes inside.)
Scene inside trailer:
(ENNIS puts his hat back on a hanger on the wall, shuffling across the floor. He notices ALMA JR.'s sweater on the bed, picks it up, folds it. He pulls open the door of a closet and puts the sweater on a shelf. The two shirts are on a hanger held by a nail on the inside of the door, now reversed from how JACK left them -- ENNIS's shirt is on the outside, JACK's on the inside. A postcard of Brokeback Mountain is tacked up just above the shirts, and it's tilted to one side. JACK snaps a button on JACK's shirt, touching it carefully. He straightens the postcard with a finger. He looks at both with tears in his eyes.)
ENNIS Jack, I swear.
(ENNIS swings the door shut and moves offscreen to the left. We can see out the trailer's window: a road outside cuts across the bottom of the window, with a green field behind it, a yellow field further out, and then a flat horizon, no mountain visible.)