And the ceilings and walls… They come and go. The same room looks different
at different times. Where’s the marriage chamber? Here, or there, it depends… Another double wall!
And the living room? – Here.
– In the open air? You move one panel… I see! – And the other…
– Slides across! – It’s a flimsy little house.
– It’s as solid as a castle, from floor to ceiling! A folding house! This is your bride’s maid. She’s been devoted to her
for a long time. The cook, the servant… They’re overawed by the honor. What are their names? Miss ‘Light Cloud’. ‘Beam of the Rising Sun’. ‘Whiff of Fragrance’. You smile?
Laughter is like a flower. As the wise Ocunama said,
a smile melts grief away. It lets the pearl out of its shell and opens the gates of Heaven to man. Perfume of the gods,
fount of life. As the wise Ocunama said, ‘A smile unties the thread of pain.’ Her way of talking
seems cosmopolitan. What are you looking for? To see if the bride’s coming. – Is everything ready?
– Everything. You’re a gem of a marriage broker! People are expected: the Registrar, the parents,
the Consul and the bride. One signature
and it’ll be official! Has she many relatives? Her mother and grandmother,
her uncle the bonze, who won’t make the effort to attend, and the cousins! Between the forebears
and the indirect relatives, at least two dozen! As for descendants, that’s up to Your Excellency
and the lovely Butterfly! A gem of a marriage broker! What a hard climb,
I’m sweating! Here comes the Consul. That stony path has exhausted me! Welcome! Goro, hurry, bring us some drinks! – It’s high up…
– But pretty! Nagasaki, the sea, the port… And a house that runs
like clockwork. – Is it yours?
– I’ve taken a 999-year lease… …which can be terminated
at a month’s notice. In this country, leases are as flexible as houses. – Clever men make the best of it.
– Sure! All over the world,
the roaming Yankee seeks pleasure and profit,
regardless of the risks. He casts his anchor at random… Punch or whiskey? He casts his anchor at random, until a sudden squall destroys the ship, the ropes, the mast… He’s never content until he’s made
every flower of every beach his personal property. An easy gospel! And got every girl’s love. It’s an easy gospel, that makes for a pleasant life
but saddens the heart. If he runs into trouble,
he tries again. He imposes his will,
wherever he is. So I’m getting married
Japanese’ style for 999 years, with the right
to untie the knot every month. An easy gospel! ‘America forever!’ ‘America forever!’ Is the bride pretty? A garland of fresh flowers, a shining golden star! And for only a hundred Yens! If your Excellency wants,
I have a good assortment… Go and fetch her, Goro! You’re very nervous,
are you in love with her? I don’t know. It depends what you mean
by being in love! I cannot tell
if it is love or fancy, but her naivety
has stolen my heart. As breakable as glass, by her height and bearing, she looks like a figure
from a screen… But when she suddenly escapes from its glossy,
lacquered background, She flits about like a butterfly, so gracefully that I feel the furious desire to catch her, even if I have to break her wings. Two days ago she came
to the Consulate. I didn’t see her, but I heard her speak. Her voice touched my very soul. Love, when it’s sincere, speaks just like that! It would be wrong
to tear those delicate wings and break her trustful heart. My dear Consul, don’t worry! We know about
your frightened spirits. It’s not wrong to help those wings take flight towards love. – Whiskey?
– Another glass. To the health
of your distant family! And to the day
when I can get properly married to a real American wife! They’re nearly here! A swarm of women sounds like wind rustling the leaves. Ah! What a lot of sky, what a lot of sea! – One more step and we’re there.
– You’re so slow. The joyful breath of spring blows over land and sea.
– The cheerful twitter of youth! I’m the happiest girl in Japan and the whole world. Dear friends, I’ve come in answer
to love’s call. In answer to love’s call, to the place where the joys of the living and the dying are found. My friends… I have come… We’ve arrived! B. F. Pinkerton. Bow. – My very best wishes!
– Bow. Was it a very hard climb? To a well-schooled bride,
the long wait is much harder. An original compliment! I know some even prettier ones. They must be real gems! I’ll say some now if you like… Thank you, but no! Miss Butterfly… It’s a good name, it suits you perfectly. Are you from Nagasaki? Yes, Sir, from a family
that was once prosperous. – It’s true, isn’t it?
– Yes it is. Nobody admits to being born
in poverty. Even tramps claim to be of good descent. And yet, I’ve known wealth, but the stoutest oak
can be blown over in a storm. And we had to become geishas
to earn our living. – Is it true?
– Yes it is! I don’t hide it and I’m not ashamed. You’re laughing? Why? These things happen. Her doll-like manners
set me on fire! – Do you have any sisters?
– No, Sir, only my mother. A distinguished lady. But, with all due respect,
she’s very poor too. What about your father? He is dead. – How old are you?
– Guess! – Ten.
– More. – Twenty.
– Less… Just fifteen! Already an old woman. Fifteen! Fifteen. – The age for games…
– And eating candies! Here come
the Imperial Commissioner, the Registrar, the relatives! Let’s get on with it! What a farce, this parade of my new in-laws, rented for the month! – Where is he?
– There. Hidden behind this fan,
is certainly my mother-in-law. And this strange boor
must be the crazy, drunk uncle. Because she’s been chosen,
she plays the lady. But her beauty
is withering. He’ll divorce. I hope so.
Her beauty is withering. For God’s sake, be quiet! – Isn’t there any wine?
– Let’s see… I’ve seen some
that was the color of tea, of tea and carmine! He’s actually not that handsome.
It’ll end in a divorce. He’s very wealthy, and so handsome,
beyond your wildest dreams! For God’s sake, be quiet! Oh, my fortunate friend! Fortunate Pinkerton!
– It’s true, she’s a flower! – He’s touched a flower
– She smells so exotic… – about to blossom.
– …it’s clouding my mind. I’ve never seen such a beautiful young girl
as this Butterfly. If you make light of this marriage and her trust, …beware!
She believes in you! Mother, come here. Watch me carefully now! Come on! One, two, three… All bow. Come, my love! Do you like the little house? Mr. B. F. Pinkerton, excuse-me… I just need
a few womanly trinkets… – Where are they?
– Here. Do you mind? Of course not, lovely Butterfly! Handkerchiefs, a pipe, a sash, a little clasp, a mirror, a fan… – What about this pot?
– It’s make-up. – Well, well!
– You don’t like it? I’ll throw it away! – And that?
– That’s something I hold sacred. Can’t I see it? Not in front of everybody. Forgive me. It was a gift from the Mikado
to her father, asking him to… – And her father…?
– He obeyed. The Ottoke. These little puppets?
What did you say they were…? The souls of my ancestors. My respects. Yesterday, I went secretly
to the Mission. I want to adopt a new religion along with my new life. My uncle the bonze doesn’t know,
nor does my family. I follow my destiny and, with the utmost humility, I bow before the god
of Mr. Pinkerton: such is my fate. In the same little church, I will kneel down beside you and pray to the same god. And for you, I may even be able
to forget my own people. My love! Silence! Permission’s given to Lieutenant
Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, of the gunboat ‘Lincoln’, of the United States Navy, and Miss Butterfly,
of the district of Omura-Nagasaki, to be joined in matrimony. For the former,
of his own free will, and the latter with the consent
of her relatives here present. The groom… And now the bride… It’s done. – Madam Butterfly!
– Mrs. B. F. Pinkerton. My very best wishes! Many thanks! Are you leaving, Consul? I’ll come with you. – I’ll see you tomorrow.
– Perfect. – May your issue be numerous!
– I’ll do my best. Act wisely! Here I am with my family! Let’s get it over quickly,
without being rude. Oh Kami! Oh Kami! Let’s drink to our marriage! Cio-Cio-San! A curse on you! Our uncle the bonze! To hell with that killjoy! – Why were you at the Mission?
– Answer to Cio-Cio-San! – What’s this fool mumbling?
– Answer, what have you done? Your eyes aren’t even wet! She’s disowned us! She has renounced the ancient religion! Kami Sarundasico! What torments await
your lost soul! That’s enough! Stop it! Come on, all of you. Let’s go! She’s cast us off… …and we cast you off too! Get out! I want no superstitious bonzes
in my house! We cast you off! My little girl, don’t cry over that croaking. They’re still shouting! Your whole family
and all the bonzes in Japan are not worth a tear
from those lovely eyes. Really? I’ve stopped crying and I’m hardly hurt at all
at being cast off, because your words sound so sweet to my heart. What are you doing? My hand? They told me that in your country, it was the greatest sign
of respect. Izaghi, Izanami,
Sarundasico and Kami… – Who’s mumbling there? – It’s Suzuki, saying her prayers. – Night is falling.
– Here come darkness and silence. – And you are here, alone.
– Alone and rejected! Rejected, but happy! You there! Close the panels! Yes, the two of us, alone!
And outside, the world… And the furious bonze! Suzuki, my gown! Good night. I can’t wait
to get that obi off! She looks like a little bird
untying her bows. And to think this toy is my wife! My wife!
– He smiles and looks at me.
– She’s so graceful… Can I escape? I feel so embarrassed She’s so graceful,
I’m overcome by desire. I still hear the anger of those voices cursing me. Butterfly, cast off… Cast off…. …but happy! Little girl with bewitching eyes, now you’re all mine. You’re dressed like a lily. I like your dark hair
among the white veils! I look like the moon goddess who descends at night
from the heavenly vault. – And enraptures our hearts.
– And wraps them… in her white mantle, and bears them away to the kingdoms on high! But you haven’t told me yet that you love me. Does that goddess know the words that quench the fire of desire? She does. Perhaps she doesn’t want
to say them for fear she might die. What senseless fear!
Love does not kill. Love gives life and smiles with celestial joy, as it does now
in your almond-shaped eyes. Now for me you are
the centre of the universe. I liked you
from the moment I saw you. You’re tall and strong. Your smile is open, and you say things
I’ve never heard before. Now I’m happy! Now I’m happy! Love me. Love me a little, as one loves a child, for that’s what I need. Love me. Our people are used to small things which are humble and silent, and to a gentle tenderness that is as deep as the sky, or the waves of the sea. Let me kiss your hands. My Butterfly! What a perfect name,
my fragile butterfly! They say that overseas,
when men catch a butterfly, they stab it with a pin and fasten it to a board! There’s some truth in that.
And do you know why? So that it can never escape. I’ve caught you, and I hold you
in my trembling arms! You’re mine!
– Yes, for all my life! Come! Banish fear and anguish from your heart! The night is so still! Look: everything is asleep. Ah, gentle night! Come! What a lot of stars! They’ve never
looked so pretty before! The night is still. Come… Each one sparkles like the pupil of an eye. Chase your fears away
from your heart! I hold you, trembling.
– All those eyes – You’re mine!
– …gazing at us from all sides! From the sky,
the shore, and the sea! I’m holding you
in my trembling arms. All those watchful eyes… Ah, gentle night! Filled with love and ecstasy, the sky is smiling. Izaghi and Izanami, Sarundasico and Kami… Oh, my head aches! …and you, Ten-Sjoo-daj, make Butterfly never cry again,
never! The Japanese gods
are fat and lazy. I’m sure the American God answers people’s prayers
more quickly, but I’m afraid he doesn’t know we live in this house. Suzuki, will we soon be destitute? That’s all we have left. That?
Oh! We’ve spent too much! Unless he comes back soon,
the situation will be desperate. – But he’ll come back!
– Will he? Why else did he arrange
for the Consul to pay the rent? Come on, answer me! Why was he so careful
to put locks on the doors if he didn’t intend to come back? – I don’t know…
– You don’t know? I’ll tell you:
to keep mosquitoes, relatives, and grief away… and keep his wife securely guarded inside. His wife,
that’s me, Butterfly! Whoever heard
of a foreign husband coming home to his nest? Be quiet, or I’ll kill you! That last morning I asked him:
Will you come back, Sir? He tried to look brave to hide his grief… And he answered with a smile: ‘Oh Butterfly, my little one, I’ll return with the roses, when the fine weather comes and the robin builds his nest.’ He’ll come back.
– Let’s hope so. Say it with me: he’ll come back! Why are you crying? Ah, you’re not trusting enough! Listen. One fine day we’ll see a wisp of smoke rising up far out to sea. And then the ship will appear. The white ship will sail into port and salute with its horn. See? He’s come! I won’t go down to fetch him. I’ll stand on the hill,
and I’ll wait for a long time, I’m not afraid of a long delay. And out of the crowd a man will emerge, like a dot, and he’ll climb up the hill. Who will it be? And when he arrives,
what will he say? He’ll call Butterfly from afar. And I won’t reply,
I’ll stay in my hiding place, partly to tease him, and partly in case I should die at that first meeting. And he’ll be so anxious
he’ll shout: ‘My little one, scent of Verbena!’ those are the names he called me
each time he arrived. All that will happen,
I promise you. Lay aside your fears, I’ll wait for him with confidence. She’s there. Go in. Excuse me… – Madam Butterfly…
– I’m Mrs. Pinkerton, please. – Honorable Consul!
– You recognize me? Welcome to this American house. – Thank you. Are your relatives well? I hope so. – Do you smoke?
– Thank you. – I have brought…
– Look, the sky’s turning blue! Thank you. Perhaps you prefer
American cigarettes? Thank you. I must show you…
– Here. Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton
has written to me. – Really? Is he well?
– Perfectly well. I’m the happiest woman
in Japan! May I ask you a question? Of course! When does the robin build its nest
in America? – What?
– Yes, earlier or later than here? Why? My husband promised me
he would return when the robin builds its nest. Here it’s built three nests,
but perhaps over there, it does it less often. Who’s laughing? The marriage broker, a wicked man. – I’m laughing…
– Be quiet. He dared to…
No, first, answer my question. I’m sorry, but I don’t know. I haven’t studied ornithology. – Orni…?
-…thology. – So you don’t know?
– No. As we were saying… When Pinkerton set sail, Goro starting pestering me to take a new husband. Now he promises me a fortune
to marry an idiot… the wealthy Yamadori. She’s destitute: her family have cast her off. Here he is! Watch out! Yamadori, has unrequited love
still not discouraged you? Do you still plan
to slit your wrists if I deny you a kiss? To sigh in vain
is extremely unpleasant. You’ve abandoned
so many women, you should be used to it. I married them all – but divorce released me.
– I’m glad to hear it. But to you I’d be faithful.
– I’m afraid that I won’t be able
to deliver my message. Villas, servants,
and a princely palace in Omura. I am not free! She still thinks she’s married! I don’t think so: I am married! – But the law…
– I don’t know the law! For a woman, being abandoned
is the same as divorce. Under Japanese law, not the law of my country. What country? The United States. Poor woman! Here, the quickest way
of getting a divorce is to throw the woman out. But in America
that’s not allowed. – Is that not so?
– Yes, but… There an impartial judge
asks the husband: ‘Why do you want to leave?’ ‘I’m tired of being married.’ And the magistrate says: ‘Throw that scoundrel in jail!’ Suzuki, the tea! – Did you hear?
– I’m appalled at her blindness! Pinkerton’s ship has been sighted. When she sees him… He won’t see her. I came to open her eyes. May I… What an irritating pair! Good bye! I leave you with a heavy heart, but not without hope…
– As you wish. Ah, if only you wanted… The trouble is I don’t! Let’s get down to business.
Sit down. Shall we read this letter
together? Give it to me. On my lips, on my heart… You’re the kindest man
in the world. Begin. ‘My friend, look for
that adorable little girl…’ Does he really say that? Yes, he says that. But if you keep on… I’ll be quiet, I’ll say no more. ‘Three years have gone by
since that happy time.’ He’s counted them too! ‘And perhaps Butterfly has forgotten all about me.’ Forgotten all about him?
Suzuki, tell him! ‘Doesn’t remember me?’ Patience! ‘If she still loves me, if she’s waiting for me…’ Oh, what sweet words! A wonderful letter! ‘I am writing to ask you to prepare her gently…’ – He’s coming back!
– ‘…for a shock.’ – When? Let it be soon!
– Perfect. We must finish this off.
That Pinkerton’s a devil! Madam Butterfly,
what would you do, if he never came back again? I could do two things: go on with my singing again… or it might be better to die. You can’t imagine how I hate to destroy your illusions. Accept the proposal of the rich Yamadori. How can you, Sir, say that? – You!
– Oh God! What can I do? Come, Suzuki! His Excellency is leaving! Are you showing me the door? It’s useless to insist. I was clumsy, I don’t deny it. Oh, you hurt me so much, so much! It’s nothing. I thought I would die, but it’ll go away soon,
like clouds over the sea. Ah! So he’s forgotten me? And what about this? What about him? Can he forget him too? Is he his? Whoever saw a Japanese child
with blue eyes? And these lips?
And this hair? Of course. Does Pinkerton know? No. He was born after he returned
to his great country. You must tell him that a son
like no other is waiting for him! And you’ll see how he’ll fly
over land and sea! Just imagine what that gentleman’s
been thinking? That your mother will have
to take you in her arms and roam the city
in wind and rain to earn your bread. And she’ll hold out her hand
to hard-hearted people, and cry: ‘Listen to my sad song. Give to an unhappy mother,
be merciful!’ And Butterfly’s horrible destiny
will be to dance for you. And the geisha will sing, as in days gone by. And her joyous, happy song
will melt into sobs! Ah no! Never again! That trade finishes in disgrace! Death! Death! My dancing is over! I’d rather take my own life! I’d rather die! It’s heartbreaking! I must go.
Will you excuse me? – Put your hand in his.
– What lovely hair! What’s your name?
– Tell him: ‘Today, my name is Pain. But tell my daddy that the day he comes back my name will be Joy!’ Your father will know,
I promise you. Wasp! Filthy toad! – What’s wrong?
– That vampire’s lurking! He’ll tell everyone
that nobody knows who the child’s father is. I only said that in America a child born under a curse is ostracized. Ah, you’re lying! – Say that again, I’ll kill you!
– No! Get out! You’ll see, my precious, grief and solace of my heart. My love, you’ll see how your avenger will take us far away from here, to his own country! A cannon shot from the port! A warship! White… the American flag
with the stars… It’s maneuvring to cast anchor. Steady my hand so that I can
make out its name… Its name… Here it is! The ‘Abraham Lincoln’! They all lied! All of them! Only I knew, no one else, because I love him! See how stupid you were to doubt? He’s arrived! Just when everyone was saying: weep and despair! My love has won!
My trust has won! He’s coming back
and he loves me! Shake the branches
of the cherry tree and shower me with blossom. I want to moisten my brow
with fragrant rainwater! Calm down! Those tears… No… I’m laughing! How long will we have to wait? What do you think? An hour? More. Two hours, perhaps? Everything must be
strewn with flowers, like the star-studded night sky. Go and pick the flowers! – All the flowers?
– Every one! Peach, violets, jasmine, everything that’s in bloom! The garden will be as barren
as in winter. In here it must smell like spring! The garden will be as barren
as in winter. – Here, Madam.
– Pick some more! You often came here to gaze into the distance and weep over the wide,
empty world. The man I was waiting for is here.
I won’t ask the sea anything else. My tears moistened the earth, now it repays me with flowers! – The garden is bare!
– Bare? Come, help me.
– Roses at the entrance. I want all the fragrance
of spring in here! We’ll sow April all around us. The whole spring
fills the room with fragrance…
– From all the flowers! Scatter them around. Let’s sow April everywhere! Let’s decorate the chamber with garlands. Let’s scatter nards and violets by the handful, verbena blooms, petals from all the flowers! Verbena blooms… Now help me smarten myself up. No, first bring the child. I’m no longer the same woman! Too many sighs
have escaped from my lips and my eyes have stared too hard
into the distance. Touch up my cheeks with rouge, and some for you too, my pet, so that the long wait doesn’t make your cheeks pale. Keep still,
I want to do your hair. Now what will they all say? And my uncle the bonze? They gloated so over my misfortune! And the languishing Yamadori? That ungrateful bunch
made fools of themselves! I’ve finished. Bring my wedding obi. I’d like to put it on! I want him to see me dressed as on that first day! With a red poppy in my hair… Like this. We’ll make three little holes
in the shosi to peep through, and we’ll wait here
as quiet as mice. The sun’s rising! Cio-Cio-San… He’ll come, you’ll see! Go and rest, you’re exhausted. I’ll call you when he comes. Sleep, my love,
sleep on my heart. You’re with God
and I’m with my sorrow. The golden sun’s rays
are all for you! Sleep, my little son! Poor Butterfly! Sleep, my love, sleep on my heart. Poor Butterfly! Who’s there? Quiet! Quiet! Don’t wake her up. She was so tired! She’s waited up for you all night,
with the child. How did she know? For three years she’s watched every ship entering the port, to see what flag
it is flying. What did I tell you? – I’ll call her.
– No, not yet. – Yesterday, she decided to fill the house with flowers. What did I tell you? How sad! Who’s that in the garden? A woman! – Quiet!
– Who is she? – You’d better tell her. – She’s come with me.
– Who is she? – It’s his wife.
– Souls of my ancestors! For my poor mistress,
the sun’s gone out! We came early in the morning
to find you alone, Suzuki, to ask for your help in this great ordeal. But what’s the use? I know that no consolation can take away her grief, but the child’s future must be assured. The bitter scent of flowers, like venom,
goes straight to my heart. Oh! I’m heartbroken! And you want me
to break a mother’s heart! This kind woman who doesn’t dare to come in will take care of the child. Three years have gone by… For my little mistress
the sun has gone out! She’s counted every day, every hour… Come here, Suzuki! I can’t stay. How sad! Sharpless, I’ll wait for you on the path.
– What did I tell you? Do something to help her! I’m overwhelmed by remorse! Do you remember
when she gave you her hand? I said: ‘Beware, she believes in you!’ And my prophecy has come true! Oblivious to advice and doubts, she concentrated
on her obstinate wait. Yes, now I see I was wrong. I know I will never
be released from this torment! No, never! Go away. Let her discover
the truth herself. Farewell, fragrant haven of joy and love! I will always remember
the sweetness of her face with excruciating pain. Her faithful heart foresees it. I warned you, don’t you remember? Haven of joy and love,
I cannot bear to see you desolate! I flee! I am a coward! Farewell! I cannot bear to see you desolate.
– She’ll learn the truth herself. I am a coward! Will you tell her? I promise. And will you advise her
to trust me with the child? – I promise.
– I will treat him as my own son. I believe you.
But I must be alone with her when the time comes. She will cry so much! So much! Suzuki! Suzuki! Where are you? Suzuki!
– Here. I was praying
and thinking… Don’t come down! No, no! He’s here! Where’s he hiding? Is he here? That’s the Consul… Where is he? He’s not here! And that woman? What does she want of me? Nobody speaks? Why are you crying? Don’t say anything… Nothing. I might drop dead on the spot. You, Suzuki, you’re so good, don’t cry any more. You love me so much, tell me slowly… Is he alive? Yes. But he’ll never come back.
They’ve told you so! I want you to tell me! No, never. But he arrived yesterday? Yes. Ah, that woman,
she frightens me so much! She’s the innocent cause
of your misery. Forgive her. Ah! She’s his wife! For me everything has died! Everything is finished! Courage! They want
to take everything away! My son! Make the sacrifice, for his sake. It breaks a mother’s heart! To give up my son! So be it. I must obey him. Can you ever forgive me,
Butterfly? Under the great vault of heaven, there is no happier woman
than you. Be happy always, do not grieve for me. – Poor soul!
– What infinite sorrow! Will she give him her son? I will only give the child to him if he comes to fetch him. Come back in half an hour. Climb up the hill. Her heart is quivering, like the wings of a trapped fly! There’s too much light and too much spring. Shut it out! Where’s the child? Playing. Shall I call him? Let him play. Go and keep him company. I’ll stay here. Go, I order you! Go! Whoever cannot live with honor must die with honor. You, you! My little god! My love!
Flower of the lily and the rose! May you never know
that for you, for your innocent eyes,
Butterfly must die. So that you can cross the sea and not be tormented by the idea that your mother abandoned you. You came to me from the throne in high Heaven, now gaze on your mother’s face so that some trace of it
may remain in your memory! Gaze at me! Farewell my love! Farewell my little boy! Off you go, to play, to play! Butterfly!