Barbara Stanwyck, age 75, in The Thorn Birds (1983)
Barbara Stanwyck as Mary Carson in The Thorn Birds.
Barbara Stanwyck and Richard Chamberlain in The Thorn Birds.
Besides your mother, how many women have loved you?”
“Did my mother love me, I wonder? She ended in hating me, anyway. Most women do. My name ought to have been Hippolytos.”
“Oh! That tells me a lot!”
“As to other women, I think only Meggie…But she’s a little girl. It’s probably not an exaggeration to say hundreds of women have wanted me, but loved me? I doubt it very much.”
“I have loved you,” she said pathetically.
“No, you haven’t. I’m the goad of your old age, that’s all. When you look at me I remind you of what you cannot do, because of age.”
“You’re wrong. I have loved you. God, how much! Do you think my years automatically preclude it? Well, Father de Bricassart, let me tell you something. Inside this stupid body I’m still young—I still feel, I still want, I still dream, I still kick up my heels and chafe at restrictions like my body. Old age is the bitterest vengeance our vengeful God inflicts upon us. Why doesn’t He age our minds as well?” She leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes, her teeth showing sourly. “I shall go to Hell, of course. But before I do, I hope I get the chance to tell God what a mean, spiteful, pitiful apology of a God He is!"
What’s your favorite scene in The Thorn Birds?