About 37 mins into The Professor and the Madman there is a scene where Eliza is seen walking home with a man.

He keeps saying he can't. What was the conversation about? Who was that man and why does she spit at him?

I do understand that he says something mean about her children but I do not get what the context is? What did he promise her?

  • mixing up multiple questions in one is not a good practice mate.. you'd get better outcome if you ask more-focused multiple questions
    – Vishwa
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 6:44
  • 1
    @Vishwa The questions are around what happened in that 5 second time frame in the movie. Does't make much sense to post three different questions to understand what happened in those 5 seconds. IMO. Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 7:57

1 Answer 1


She has become a prostitute and was going to perform a sexual act on the man in exchange for money, but he can't go on with it because it is too cold (which might be him substituting a fake explanation for the real one: that he likely wouldn't be able to perform due to him being too drunk).

When she complains that he promised to pay her, he rejects this.

When she asks how she's supposed to feed her children (now that she hasn't earned any money) he replies that he doesn't care since he isn't their father.

  • That makes sense except one little thing. When he says I can't he starts doing something with his hands..it is not shown what. For a moment it seemed that he is unzipping his pants, or may be I misread. Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 11:04
  • The screenplay indicates that he is indeed too drunk to perform. - "[He tries to rub up against her. But he's too drunk. He stops.]"
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 19:36

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