OB40mukEXQ6QZ1740xdjwF1LEQ4 Quote to Remember: THE AGE OF INNOCENCE [1993]


Tuesday, May 19, 2015


 In a world of tradition
In an age of innocence
They dared to break the rules

Mrs. Mingott: When's the wedding?
Newland: Soon, if only you'll back me up, Mrs. Mingott. 
Mrs. Welland: We must give them time to know each other better.
Mrs. Mingott: Know each other? Everybody in New York has always known everybody.
Don't wait till the bubble's off the wine. Marry then before Lent.
I may catch pneumonia, and I want to give the wedding breakfast.
Mrs. Welland: Oh, what a kind offer.

It's a mistake for Ellen to parade up 5th Avenue with Julius Beuafort, 
at the crowded hour, the very day after her arrival.
~Mrs. Welland

Janey: It's odd she kept such an ugly name as Ellen when she married the count.
I'd changed it to Elaine.
Newland: Why?
Janey: I don't know. It sounds more... Polish.

Mrs. Archer: It sounds more conspicuous. That can hardly be what she wishes.
Newland: Why not? Why shouldn't she be conspicuous if she chooses?
She made an awful marriage, but should she hide her head?
Should she slink around as if she disgraced herself?
She's had a sad life. That doesn't make her an outcast.
Mr. Jackson: I'm sure that's the line the Mingotts mean to take.
Newland: I don't have to wait for their cue, if that's what you mean, sir.

Mr. Jackson: Understandably, her marriage was intolerable. There are rumors, too.
Newland: I've heard them. The secretary.
Mr. Jackson: He helped get her away from the husband.
They say the count kept her practically a prisoner.
Certainly the count had his own way of life.
Newland: You knew him?
Mr. Jackson: I heard of him at Nice. Handsome, they say, but eyes with a lot of lashes.
 When he wasn't with women, he was collecting china.
Paying any price for both, I understand.
Newland: Then where's the blame?
Anyone of us would have helped the countess, just as the secretary did.
Mr. Jackson: He was still helping her a year later.
Somebody met them living together at Lausanne.
Newland: Living together? Why not?
She has the right to make her life over. 
Why bury a woman alive if her husband prefers whores?
Mr. Jackson: It's hardly a question of entombment. The countess is here, after all.
Or do you believe a woman should share the same freedoms as men?
Newland: I suppose I do, yes, I do.
Mr. Jackson: Apparently Count Olenski takes a similarity modern view.
I never heard of him lifting a finger to get his wife back.

Ellen: Are you very much in love with her?
Newland: As much as a man can be.
Ellen: Do you think there's a limit?
Newland: If there is, I haven't found it.
Ellen: It's really and truly a romance then. Not in the least arranged?
Newland: In our country, we don't allow our marriages to be arranged.

Newland: Do you really like to be alone?
Ellen: As long as my friends keep me from being lonely.

Ellen: Is New York such a labyrinth? I thought it was all straight up and down, like 5th Avenue.
All the cross streets numbered and big honest labels on everything.
Newland: Everything is labeled, but everybody is not.

Ellen: Does no one here want to know the truth, Mr. Archer?
The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask you to pretend.
Newland: No, you mustn't.

Newland: Since you were little, you've had your way. 
You're almost 22. Just tell your mother what you want.
May: I couldn't refuse her the last thing she'd ask of me.
Newland: Can't we just strike out for ourselves, May?
May: Shall we elope?
Newland: If you would, why not?
May: You do love me, Newland. I'm so happy.
Newland: Why not be happier?
May: I couldn't be happier, dearest.

Mr. Letterblair: That will be unpleasant.
Newland: Unpleasant?
Mr. Letterblair: Divorce is always unpleasant, don't you agree?
Newland: Naturally.
Mr. Letterblair: Then I can count on you?
The family can count on you to use your influence against a divorce?
Newland: I can't promise that. Not until I've talked to the countess.
Mr. Letterblair: I don't understand you, Mr. Archer.
You want to marry into a family with a scandal of divorce hanging over it?
Newland: I don't think that has anything to do with the case.

Ellen: What harm could accusations like that do me here?
Newland: Perhaps more harm than anywhere else.
Our legislation favors divorce, but our social customs don't.
Ellen: Never?
Newland: Well, not if the woman has appearances in the least degree against her, 
has exposed herself by any unconventional behavior to offensive insinuations and...
Ellen: Yes, so my family tell me.
And you agree with them?
Newland: What could you possibly gain that would make up for the scandal?
Ellen: My freedom.
Newland: But aren't you free already?

Ellen, if you really wanted me to come, if I'm really to help you,
you must tell me what you're running from.
~Newland Archer

Newland: I came here because I thought I could persuade you to break away from that.
To advanced our engagement.
Don't you understand how much I want to marry you?
Why should we dream away another year?
May: I'm not sure I do understand, Newland.
Is it because you're not certain of feeling the same way about me?
Newland: What on earth do you mean?
May: Is there someone else?
Newland: Someone else? Between you and me?
May: Let's talk frankly, Newland.
I've felt a difference in you, especially since our engagement.
Newland: Since our engagement?
May: If it's not true, it won't hurt to talk about it. If it's true, we should talk about it now.
I mean, you might've made a mistake.
Newland: If I'd make some sort of mistake, would I be down here asking you to hurry our marriage?
May: I don't know. You might. It'd be one way to settle the question.
In Newport, 2 years ago, before we were promised, everyone said there was someone else for you.
I even saw you with her once, sitting together on a veranda at a dance.
When she came into the house, her face looked so sad. I felt sorry for her.
Even after, when we were engaged, I could still see how she looked...
Newland: Is that all you've been concerned about? It's long past.
May: Then is there something else?
Newland: No. Of course not.
May: Whatever it may have been, Newland, I can't have my happiness made out of a wrong to somebody else.
If promises were made, or if you feel pledged to this person, even if it means her divorce,
don't give her up because of me.
Newland: There are no pledges. There are no promises that matter.
That's all I've been trying to say, there is no one between us, there is nothing between us, May.
Which is precisely my argument for getting married quickly.

Mrs. Mingott: Did you succeed?
Newland: No. I'd still like to be married in April with your help.
Mrs. Mingott: Now you're seeing the Mingott way.
Newland: Is this really so difficult?
Mrs. Mingott: The entire family is difficult. Not one of them wants to be different.
And when they are, they end up like Ellen's parents. Nomads. Continental wanderers.
Dragging Ellen about, lavishing on her an expensive but incoherent education.
Out of them all, there's not one that takes after me but my little Ellen.
You've got a quick eye. Why in the world didn't you marry her?
Newland: For one thing, she wasn't there to be married.
Mrs. Mingott: No, to be sure. And she's still not.
The count, you know, wrote to Mr. Letterblair. He wants her back. On her own terms.
The count doesn't defend himself, I will say that.
And Ellen will be losing a great deal if she stayed here.
There's her old life; gardens at Nice, jewels of course, music and conversation.
She says she goes unnoticed in Europe.
But I know her portrait's been painted 9 times.
All this, and the remorse of a guilty husband.
Newland: I'd rather see her dead.
Mrs. Mingott: Would you really?
We should remember marriage is marriage, and Ellen is still a wife.

Newland: She wants a long engagement to give me time.
Ellen: Time for what?
Newland: She thinks I want to marry her at once, to get away from someone that I care for more.
Ellen: Time to give her up for another woman? 
Newland: If I want to.
Ellen: It's very noble.
Newland: Yes. It's ridiculous.
Ellen: Why? Because there is no other woman?
Newland: No. Because I don't mean to marry anyone else.

Newland: May guessed the truth. There is another woman. Only not the one she thinks.
Ellen: Don't make love to me. Too many people have done that.
Newland: I never have. I'd have married you had it been possible.
Ellen: It's you who made it impossible.
Newland: I've made it?
Ellen: Didn't you who made me give up divorcing?
Didn't you talked to me, in this house, about sacrifice, and sparing scandal?!
And for May's sake and for your sake, I did what you asked!
Newland: The things in your husband's letter...
Ellen: I had nothing to fear from that. Absolutely nothing.
I was just afraid of scandal for the family and you and May.
Newland: Nothing's done that can't be undone. I'm still free. You can be too.

Ellen: You don't know all that you've done.
Newland: All I've done?
Ellen: All the good things you've done for me that I never knew.
Going to the Van Der Luydens, because people refused to meet me.
Announcing your engagement at the ball, so there would be 2 families behind me instead of one.
I never understood how dreadful people thought I was.
Granny blurted it out one day. I was stupid. I never thought.
New York meant freedom to me, everyone seemed so kind and glad to see me.
They never knew what it meant to be tempted, but you did. You understood.
I'd never known that before, and it's better than anything I've known.

May: I wonder if she'd be happy with her husband after all.
Newland: I've never heard you be cruel before.
May: Cruel?
Newland: Even demons don't think people are happier in hell.
May: Then she shouldn't have married abroad.

Newland: I'm the man who married one woman because another one told me to.
Ellen: You promised not to say such things today.
Newland: I can't keep that promise.
Ellen: What about May? What about how May feels?
Newland: If you're using my marriage as some victory, then there's no reason why you shouldn't go back.
You gave me my first glimpse on a real life, and then you told me to carry on with a false one.
No one can endure that.
Ellen: I'm enduring it.

Riviere: I came here on Count Olenski's behalf because I believe in all good faith that she should return to him.
Newland: Forgive me, monsieur, but I really don't understand your purpose in coming to see me.
Riviere: She's changed, monsieur.
Newland: You knew her before?
Riviere: I used to see her at her husband's house.
The Count would not have entrusted my mission to a stranger.
Newland: This change that you mentioned...
Riviere: It may be my seeing her for the first time, as she is, as an American.
She made her marriage in good faith. It was a faith the Count could not share, could not understand.
So her faith was...
Newland: Broken. Destroyed.
Riviere: Returning to Europe would mean a life of some comfort and considerable sacrifice
and I would think, no hope.
I will fulfill my obligation to the Count and meet with the family.
I will them what he suggests and wishes for the Countess.
But I ask you to use your influence with them.
I beg you, do not let her go back.

Mr. Jackson: It's a pity that Countess Olenska refused her husband's offer.
Newland: Why, for God's sake?
Mr. Jackson: To put it on the lowest ground, what will she live on now? Now that Beaufort...
Newland: What the hell is that mean, Sir?
Mr. Jackson: Most of her money's invested with Beaufort
and the allowances she gets from the family is cut back.
Newland: I'm sure she has something.
Mr. Jackson: A little. Whatever remains, after sustaining more debt.
I know the family paid close attention to Riviere and considered his offer very careful.
Newland: If everyone rather she be Beaufort's mistress than a wife, you've gone about if perfectly.
She won't go back.
Mr. Jackson: That's your opinion? Well, no doubt you know.
She might soften Mrs. Mingott, who could give her any kind of allowance.
But the rest of the family don't want to keep her here.
They'll simply let her find her own level.

Mrs. Beaufort: If you back Julius, you can see the family through.
If you don't, we will all, everyone of us, fall into dishonor.
Mrs. Mingott: Honor's always been honor
and honestly's always been honesty in the Manson Mingott house, 
and will be till I'm carried out feet first.
Mrs. Beaufort: But my name, Auntie! My name's Regina Townsend!
 Mrs. Mingott: Your name was Beaufort when he covered you with jewels
and it's got to stay Beaufort now that he's covered you with shame.

Newland: Ellen, we can't stay like this. It can't last.
Ellen: We must look at reality, not dreams.
Newland: I want us to be together.
Ellen: I can't be your wife. Is it your idea I should be with you as your mistress?
Newland: I want us to find a world where words like that don't exist.
Ellen: Oh, my dear. Where is that country? Have you ever been there?
Can we be happy behind the backs of people who trust us?
Newland: I'm beyond caring about that.
Ellen: No, you're not. You've never been beyond that.
I have. I know what it looks like. It's no place for us.

Newland: You came to New York because you were afraid.
Ellen: Afraid?
Newland: Of my coming to Washington.
Ellen: I thought I would be safer.
Newland: Safer from me? Safer from loving me?
Ellen: Shall I come to you once and then go home?
Newland: Come to me once then.

Ted: Considering how that turned out and all the time that's passed, how can you resist?
Newland: I had some resistance at first to your marriage...
Ted: No, I mean resist seeing the woman you almost threw everything over for. 
Only you didn't.
Newland: I didn't?
Ted: No. But mother said she knew we would be safe.
Newland: Your mother?
Ted: Yes, the day before she died, she asked to see me alone, remember?
She said she knew we were safe with you and always would be
because once when she asked you to, you gave up the things that you wanted most.
Newland: She never asked...
She never asked me.

Ted: What will I tell her?
Newland: Don't you always have something to say?
Ted: I'll tell her you're old-fashioned and insist on walking up instead of taking the elevator.
Newland: Just say I'm old-fashioned, that should be enough.


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