The Cider House Rules (film)

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The Cider House Rules is a 1999 film about a compassionate young man, raised in an orphanage and trained to be a doctor there, who decides to leave to see the world.

Directed by Lasse Halström. Written by John Irving, based on his novel.
A story about how far we must travel to find the place where we belong.

Homer Wells[edit]

  • I've looked at so many women. I've seen everything, and felt nothing. But when I look at you, it hurts.
  • I'm not a doctor. I haven't been to medical school; I haven't even been to high school.
  • Good night, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.

Dr. Wilbur Larch[edit]

  • In other parts of the world young men leave home and travel far and wide in search of a promising future. Their journeys are often fueled by dreams of triumphing over evil, finding a great love, or the hopes of fortunes easily made. Here in St. Cloud's not even the decision to get off the train is easily made, for it requires an earlier, more difficult decision - add a child to your life, or leave one behind. The only reason people journey here is for the orphanage. I came as a physician to the abandoned children and unhappily pregnant women. I had hoped to become a hero. But in St. Cloud's there was no such position. In the lonely, sordid world of lost children, there were no heroes to be found. And so I became the caretaker of many, father of none. Well, in a way, there was one. His name was Homer Wells.
  • You don't find it depressing that Homer Wells is picking apples?
  • [discussing the legality of performing abortions] I know it's against the law. I ask you, what has the law ever done for this place?

Arthur Rose[edit]

  • Sometimes you gotta make some rules to think straight.
  • [lying in bed, bleeding to death after making Homer and Muddy promise to tell the police he was so upset over his daughter Rose running away that he killed himself] That's right. That's the truth. I'm just tryin' to put things straight. Sometimes, ya gotta break some rules, to put things straight. Ain't that right, Homer? [He looks at Homer who nods with reluctance resignation as he finally accepts this truth] Good. [dies]

Other[edit]

  • Fuzzy: I like orange. Should I keep the teeth orange?

Dialogue[edit]

Fuzzy: Is your father dead?
Dr. Wilbur Larch: Cirrhosis. It's a disease of the liver.
Fuzzy: What, a liver killed him?
Dr. Wilbur Larch: No, alcohol killed him. He drank himself to death.
Fuzzy: But did you know him?
Dr. Wilbur Larch: Barely. But it hardly mattered that I knew him.
Fuzzy: Did you know your mother better?
Dr. Wilbur Larch: Mm-hmm. She's dead now too. She was a nanny.
Fuzzy: What's a nanny do?
Dr. Wilbur Larch: She looks after other people's children.
Fuzzy: Did she grow up around here?
Dr. Wilbur Larch: No. She was an immigrant.
Fuzzy: What's an immigrant?
Dr. Wilbur Larch: Someone not from Maine.

[Homer reads the actual Cider House Rules to the illiterate workers]
Peaches: What do they think, go up to the roof to sleep? They must think we're crazy. They think we're dumb niggers, so we need some dumb rules, is what they think.
Rose Rose: That's it? It don't mean nothin' at all. And all this time I been wonderin' about 'em.
Arthur Rose: They outrageous, them rules. Who live in this cider house? Who grindin' up those apples, pressin' that cider, cleanin' up all this mess? Who just plain live here, just breathin' in that vinegar? Well, someone who don't live here made those rules. Those rules ain't for us. We are supposed to make our own rules. And we do. Every single day.

Homer Wells: They wanted a girl, Curly.
Curly: Nobody ever wants me.
Homer Wells: Oh, hey. Hey, come on. Come here. You know, you're one of the best, Curly, and we wouldn't let just anyone take you.
Curly: Dr. Larch wouldn't let just anyone take any of us.
Homer Wells: Well, that's true.
Curly: Nobody's asked for me, have they?
Homer Wells: Nobody special enough, Curly.
Curly: You mean somebody has?
Homer Wells: Only the right people can have you. Now what do you say we go unpack your suitcase?

Homer: I'm just not supposed to get excited, you know. No strain. No stress. I try to keep calm all the time.
Wally Worthington: I can't imagine there's any strain or stress around here.

Buster: [digging grave of botched abortion victim] What did she die of?
Dr. Wilbur Larch: She died of secrecy. She died of... ignorance. Homer, did you expect to be responsible for their children, you have to give them the right to decide whether or not to have children. Wouldn't you agree?
Homer Wells: I'm not excepting people to be responsible enough to control themselves to begin with.

Homer Wells: Uh, nobody's named this one yet.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: Oh, it's my turn. Henceforth, you shall be Little Dorrit.
[baby starts crying]
Homer Wells: Oh, you don't like that, do you? He's a boy, that's why.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: Can't a boy be Dorrit?
Homer Wells: I don't think so.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: You do it.
Homer Wells: OK. Henceforth, you shall be Little Wilbur.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: I'm not crazy about the "Little".
Homer Wells: OK, just Wilbur then.

Homer Wells: [giving back an X-ray that Dr. Larch gave to him] I don't need this. I know about my condition.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: It's your heart. You ought to take it with you.

Homer Wells: I've never actually seen a lobster.
Candy Kendall: Are you serious?
Homer Wells: I've never seen the ocean either.
Wally Worthington: You've never seen the ocean? That's not funny, that's serious.

Homer Wells: [voiceover] Dear Dr. Larch. Thank you for your doctor's bag, although it seems that I will not have the occasion to use it, barring some emergency, of course. I am not a doctor. With all due respect to your profession, I'm enjoying my life here. I'm enjoying being a lobsterman and orchardman. In fact, I've never enjoyed myself as much. The truth is, I want to stay here. I believe I'm being of some use.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: [voiceover] My Dear Homer: I thought you were over you adolescence - the first time in our lives when we imagine we have something terrible to hide from those who love us. Do you think it's not obvious to us what's happened to you? You've fallen in love, haven't you? By the way, whatever you're up to can't be too good for your heart. Then again, it's the sort of condition that could be made worse by worrying about it, so don't worry about it.
Homer Wells: Dear Dr. Larch, What I'm learning her may not be as important as what I learned from you, but everything is new to me. Yesterday, I learned how to poison mice. Field mice girdle an apple tree; pine mice kill the roots. You use poison oats and poison corn. I know what you have to do. You have to play God. Well, killing mice is as close as I want to come to playing God.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: Homer, here in St. Cloud's, I have been given the opportunity of playing God or leaving practically everything up to chance. Men and women of conscience should sieze those moments when it's possible to play God. There won't be many. Do I interfere when absolutely helpless women tell me they simply can't have an abortion - that they simply must go through with having another and yet another orphan? I do not. I do not even recommend. I just give them what they want. You are my work of art, Homer. Everything else has been just a job. I don't know if you have a work of art in you, but I know what your job is: you're a doctor.
Homer Wells: I'm not a doctor.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: You're going to replace me, Homer. The board of trustees is looking for my replacement.
Homer Wells: I can't replace you. I'm sorry.
Dr. Wilbur Larch: "Sorry"? I'm not sorry. Not for anything I've done. I'm not even sorry that I love you. [Speaking to the nurse] I think we may have lost him to the world.

Nurse Angela: [looking at an X-Ray] Do you know what this is?
Homer Wells: Oh, that's my heart.
Nurse Angela: No, actually, it's Fuzzy's. There's nothing wrong with your heart.
Nurse Edna: Dr. Larch wanted to keep you out of the war. That's why he told you it was yours.
Nurse Angela: He was worried about his own heart. He said it would never stand up to Homer Wells going off to war.

Candy Kendall: He volunteered. Jesus. Nobody volunteers for the Burma run. He said so himself. He just leaves me here. What does he want? He wants me to wait for him? Oh, God he knows me. He knows I'm not good at being alone. This was right. I know this was right.
Homer Wells: You're right. This was right.
Candy Kendall: Yeah.

[Candy is sitting on a dock: inconsolable after receiving the news about Wally]
Homer Wells: Just tell me. I'll do whatever you wanna do.
Candy Kendall: Nothing.
Homer Wells: Isn't that like waiting and seeing?
Candy Kendall: No. Nothing's nothing. I want Wally to come home. I'm afraid to see him too.
Homer Wells: I know.
[Homer starts to put him arm around her and pull her close]
Candy Kendall: Oh, don't do that, Homer.
[Dejected, he puts both hands in his own lap]
Candy Kendall: I just want to sit here and do nothing.
Homer Wells: To do nothing. It's a great idea, really. Maybe if I just wait and see long enough, then I won't have to do anything or decide anything, you know? I mean, maybe if I'm lucky enough, someone else will decide and choose and do things for me.
Candy Kendall: What are you talking about?
Homer Wells: But then again, maybe I won't be that lucky. And it's not my fault. It's not your fault. And that's just it. Someone's gonna get hurt, and it's no one's fault.
Candy Kendall: I don't want to talk about this.
Homer Wells: If we just sit here and, we wait and see a little longer, then maybe you won't to choose, and I won't have to do anything!
Candy Kendall: What do you want from me? Wally's been shot down. He's paralyzed. What do you want me to do?
Homer Wells: Nothing. I'm sorry. You're not the one who has to do anything.

[Mr. Rose has a hold on his daughter to keep her from riding off on her bike to get away in the middle of the night]
Arthur Rose: Hey, nothin', man. You just go in the house. This ain't none of your concern.
Homer Wells: Just listen to me...
Arthur Rose: You are forgettin' yourself now. This is my daughter! Now, I believe ya have your own mess ya gotta deal with.
Rose Rose: [Struggling to get free from her father] I wanna get...
Arthur Rose: Ain't that right, Homer? Ain't that right, Homer? My daughter done told ya and I done told ya. This ain't your business. This ain't none of your business! Ya even know what your business is, Homer? Do ya! Come on, man! What is your business?
Homer Wells: I'm in the doctor business. I can help. That's all I'm saying. I can help.
[Mixture of astonishment and relief washes over the Roses]

Homer Wells: You're having sex with your own daughter.
Arthur Rose: Ain't nobody havin' sex with my daughter! Let me just tell you that!
Homer Wells: You're lying. Aren't you ashamed of yourself? What do you care who hears? I mean, come on. They know already, don't they? They know Mr. Rose.
Arthur Rose: And you know what your business is, boy! I know you don't wanna be in no kind of business with me! That's what I know.
Homer Wells: Yeah? Go on. Cut my clothes. I've got other clothes.
Arthur Rose: You gonna come here talkin' to me about lies and shame? Those people took you in, and that boy Wally is away at war!
Homer Wells: Yeah, well she's your daughter!
Arthur Rose: And I love her! Ain't never gonna do nothin' to harm her.
Homer Wells: She's pregnant, you know that? She's pregnant.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia