Thursday, March 14, 2013

Inside the Four Foot

This week's scene is from a rather unknown Canadian film from 1978. You are going to have to excuse me for a bit here while I indulge myself. I grew up in a curling family, my father was at one time one of the top 100 curlers in the world. In fact, he was responsible for the reform of the hog-line rule in the mid 70s. (I swear!  You can look it up!) So perhaps you can see why this particular film is special to me. I doubt that there was a curling household in Canada that didn't have a well worn copy of Inside the Four Foot on betamax.

I'm not going to kid you, this isn't a particularly great movie, but this particular scene has always affected me. I found a digital transfer of Inside the Four Foot online just last week and watched it for the first time in probably 25 years. It has not aged well. However, I was surprised to recognize a face I didn't know back then. As it turns out this was the debut film for Bailey McGettigan, later to be known as Minister Sledge in the long running Brit-com Big Wig.

               INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
               Adrienne works in the kitchen. The counters and appliances
               are all lower than normal to accommodate her wheelchair.
               The front door opens. Ben stomps in, shaking off snow.
                         I'll eat at the club.
               He kicks his boots onto the kitchen floor.
                         Are they really playing in this?
                             (You know damned well.)
                         The rink is inside.
               He pulls a curling broom from the closet.
                         Call Colin. I bet they've
                         Those guys never miss a game.
                         You could play on the streets
                         they're so slippery.
                         I can get home in one piece.
                         They won't be playing. Do you not
                         want to be here?
               She picks up his boots and sets them in her lap.
                         I can use some practice.
                         You're undefeated. How god damned
                         badly do you need the practice?
               She rolls to the closet with the boots.
                         More than I need you cussing me
               She stops putting the boots away.
                         You don't want to be here.
                         Adrienne -
                         I know. I paged you at the rink
                         last week. Don took the call.
                         I didn't want to curl after...
                         You are an amazing liar. Too bad
                         Don's so lousy at it. Too much
                         My knees...
                         Just stop. 'Cause I'm guessing
                         Elaine's knees have given out
                         too? And that's why your truck
                         was in front of her apartment?
                         Mutual therapy?
               Ben sits. 
                         Does it feel good to make me look
                         like an idiot? At the bonspiel
                         gala last spring, I told myself
                         that that was just celebration -
                         you two. Can't dance with the
                         wife anymore. Chair gets in the
                         way. Well I can still fuck.
                         Not that you're man enough to
               He can't pick his eyes up off the linoleum.
               She rolls up close.
                         What? You feel bad? I bring up
                         all the bad feelings? You can't
                         go to the club because it makes
                         you remember?
                         Something like that.
               Right in his face.
                         Well, it's too bad you can't
                         bring yourself to curl anymore,
                         maybe you'll get over that. But
                         I'm not getting out of this
                         chair. I can't replace that.
                         Elaine can replace me on the
                         team, and in your bed. But she
                         can't forgive you for this. And
                         I'm not going to.
               She throws his boots at him, and wheels out of the room.
               He hurls his boots. They crash through the window into the
               dark flurries.

Bailey McGettigan 20 years before receiving an O.B.E.

No comments:

Post a Comment