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"Hey, who's that little old man?"

This is one of my favorite scenes from A Hard Day's Night, which is my favorite Beatles film. I have it transcribed here so that you can read it and have a giggle. Enjoy!


PAUL, JOHN, RINGO, and GEORGE file into the riding compartment and sit down. PAUL looks over at the little old man as if to say, "Everything all right?" and gets to looking out the window. GEORGE notices the little old man and elbows RINGO, who takes notice and elbows JOHN.

JOHN (leaning over towards PAUL)
Hey, pardon me for asking, but who's that little old man?

PAUL
Uh, what little old man?

JOHN (indicating the man next to PAUL)
That little old man.

PAUL
Oh that one, that's my grandfather.

GEORGE
Your grandfather?

PAUL
Yeah.

GEORGE
That's not your grandfather.

PAUL
It is, you know.

GEORGE
But I've seen your grandfather, he lives in your house.

PAUL
Oh that's my other grandfather, but he's my grandfather as well.

JOHN
How do you reckon that one out?

PAUL
Well, everyone's entitled to two, aren't they? And this is my other one.

JOHN
We know that, but what's he doing here?

PAUL
Well, my mother thought the trip would do him good.

RINGO
How's that?

PAUL
He's nursing a broken heart.

JOHN
Oh. Poor old thing. (to GRANDFATHER) Hey mister, are you nursing a broken heart? (GRANDFATHER looks at JOHN with a sneer) (to PAUL) He's a nice old man, isn't he?

PAUL (considering)
He's very…clean.

JOHN (moving to sit beside GRANDFATHER)
Hello, Grandfather!

GRANDFATHER (gruffly)
'Ello.

JOHN (to PAUL)
He can talk then, can he?

PAUL
Of course he can talk, he's a human being isn't he?

RINGO
Well, if he's your grandfather who knows-- hahahahaha. (this is received with a pitying, almost dirty look from PAUL)

JOHN (to PAUL)
And we're looking after him, are we?

GRANDFATHER
I look after meself.

PAUL (standing up)
Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of.

JOHN
He's got you worried, then?

PAUL (combing his hair in front of a tiny mirror on the wall)
Yep! He's a villain, a real mixer. And he'll cost you a fortune in breach-of-promise cases.

GEORGE
Gerron!

PAUL (as he sits back down)
No, straight up.

SHAKE (entering)
Hi all.

PAUL
Hello, Shake.

GEORGE
Hello, Shake.

SHAKE (distributing rolls and cola)
You getting on all right then?

JOHN
No.

SHAKE (disappointed, then recovering)
Oh. Well, we're here, and Norm will be along in a minute with the tickets. (noticing) Hey, who's the little old man?

GEORGE
It's Paul's grandfather.

SHAKE (confused)
Oh I, uh, thought, ah…

JOHN (looking at GRANDFATHER)
No, that's his other one.

SHAKE (satisfied)
Oh that's all right then.

JOHN (still looking at GRANDFATHER)
Clean though, isn't he?

SHAKE
Oh, why, he's very clean.

NORM (entering)
Morning, lads.

ALL (variously)
Hi, Norm, etc.

NORM
Good, you're all here. Now look, I've had a marvelous idea. Just for once, let's all try to behave like ordinary respectable citizens. Let's not cause any trouble, pull any strokes, or do anything I'm gonna be sorry for. Especially in that television theatre. Becau-- (stops short, noticing JOHN fooling around, "sniffing" the Pepsi bottle) Are you listening to me, Lennon?

JOHN (looking up)
You're a swine. (to GEORGE) Isn't he, George?

GEORGE (eating a roll)
You're a swine.

NORM (sarcastically)
Thanks. (noticing) Hey,

ALL (in imperfect unison)
Who's that little old man?

NORM
Well, who is he?

RINGO
He belongs to Paul.

NORM (with a verbal shrug)
Oh, well. I'm going down to have a cup of coffee. Anyone coming?

PAUL
We'll follow you down.

GRANDFATHER (standing up)
I want me coffee!

NORM
Well, you can come with Shake and me if you like.

PAUL (protectively)
Look after him! I don't want to find you've lost him.

NORM
Don't be cheeky! I'll bind him to me with promises. (looks at GRANDFATHER, and then back at group) Very clean, isn't he? Come 'ead, Granddad. (they exit)


Copyright ©1999-2006 Winona Patterson.