The Sunset Limited (Play by Cormac McCarthy)

The apartment is old. Paint chipping. Pathetic frayed upholstery. Old box gas stove. No TV. No pictures except Martin Luther King. Neighbours’ noises much too noticeable. The black man coaxes “the Professor” over to the table, and it begins:

Where were you when I was on the platform?

Right behind you by the pillar. Had no choice, had to stop you. Terrible way to go man.

It is night outside the windows, and raining.

Bible in the middle of the table.

The Lord wanted me to talk to you.

Oh you know this for sure do you?

Sure as you’s sittin’ there Professor. Tell me what is it got you so fired up to make your exit?

Nothing you’d want to talk about.

No you got to try me. You ain’t the first you know.

And then begins a whale of a conversation about life’s value, the world’s collision course, murder, repentance, friendship with Jesus, loneliness, self-loathing, vanity of learning, culture, systems of men, exasperation, self-annihilation, stopping it all for a new start.



15 thoughts on “The Sunset Limited (Play by Cormac McCarthy)

    1. I got the DVD from the library. Truly exceptional. The thing that remains unsaid by the preacher is that the professor is not going out this new morning to the subway and oblivion. He is going out to a sad eternity. The black man weeps, truly exhausted after having done battle with vain philosophies of men. Much to talk about post flick. DB

  1. Hey DB and a.g. I watched the movie again on Saturday night. The first time I watched it, it really bugged me when the “preacher” said, near the end, “You gave him the words, why didn’t you give me the words?” Because He did give him the words – lots of great words.
    When I watched it again Saturday night, it bugged me again. Because that battle isn’t to be fought with words, it’s to be fought with love. And He gave the preacher plenty of love.

    The measure of success is not in the win, it’s in the outpouring of love…

    Been thinking about the movie while putting together parent packets today, just taking a break to share my thoughts.

    1. There was love, the occasional laugh, the sharing of food, the holding of a hand in simple blessing. Quite common for an enthused witness to want to have the magic words. But don’t be bugged. There was enough simplicity and godly sincerity in the preacher . Doug
      Sent from my BlackBerry® phone powered by Koodo Mobile®.

  2. Cormac McCarthy is a deep and dark thinker (The Road). I wonder if this play reflects his inner conflict or inner confidence. Sure hope it is the latter. And what about the hearts of the 2 great actors? Glad we removed the 2nd video clip. It gave away the ending. DB

  3. At the risk of sounding cocky:
    The movie had me laughing almost through the entire thing, it was very intense but there was this very palpable sense of deja’ vu.
    nothing new, absolutely nothing I’ve been “black” and I’ve been “white” and now I’m a contented shade of grey. Suicidal? Check. Trying to help those who don’t want any help…Check. Poverty as a reality. the midst of chaos and disorder…Check. Almost every theme touched upon has been discussed in recent days. That portrayed reality is a part of my etched upon norm of the past. Every feeling explored and revealed.
    This was by no uncertain means any stretch or challenge of the imagination to the realities I’ve lived and can bear witness to. Sometimes we do all we can but we are not Jesus…Jesus doesn’t walk away but the individual must choose for themselves…that is completely left beyond our reach and we will be willing to suffer self decimation in the attempt “but GOD…?”

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