Jim Thorpe: Which one of you guys is Lacey?

Ed Lacey, Sportswriter Punched by Thorpe: I'm Lacey.

Jim Thorpe: Well I'm Thorpe!

[punches Lacey]

Iva Miller: Little Jimmy has the sniffles.

Ed Guyac: Well, how do you feel, Chief?

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: Bed soft. Make Little Boy soft. How do you like things?

Ed Guyac: If every Indian was as soft as you, the population of this country would still be in Rhode Island.

Charlotte Thorpe: [to Jim's father] You're his father. You taught him all the things he likes to do. Now teach him what he has to do!

[first lines]

Man on Speaker's Platform: [applause] Ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Roy J. Turner, governor of the state of Oklahoma.

Governor Roy J. Turner: [audience applauds] Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here this evening to express our pride and pay tribute to a native son of Oklahoma. But I think it is only fitting that I forgo the honor of making this presentation myself, and call upon a great gentleman of whom we are also very proud, even though he is not a native son.

Governor Roy J. Turner: [the audience laughs] May I present to you one of the immortals of the world of sports: the greatly beloved Pop Warner.

[the audience applauds]

Governor Roy J. Turner: May I present to you one of the immortals of the world of sports: the greatly beloved Pop Warner.

[the audience applauds]

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Thank you, Governor Turner, Mrs. Turner. Ladies and gentlemen, I am, of course, highly honored to make this presentation. But this event has special significance for me, and I feel a deep sense of personal pride and pleasure. Fifty years is a long time; many exciting people and events have had their moment on the American scene. Tonight we pay recognition to a man who had more than a brief moment - a man who, during the past half-century, has carved a permanent place for himself in all our hearts. And on this memorable occasion, I can't help but think back to a young Indian lad, who grew up on a reservation. As a boy, he roamed the woods with his father, hunting and fishing. Then one day, he was faced with the prospect of school: that frightening institution of the white man's world. But being cooped up indoors was more than young Thorpe could stand. His father had deposited him at the front door, and Jim left immediately by the back door.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: As a boy, he roamed the woods with his father, hunting and fishing. Then one day, he was faced with the prospect of school: that frightening institution of the white man's world. But being cooped up indoors was more than young Thorpe could stand. His father had deposited him at the front door, and Jim left immediately by the back door. And then, running with the wild grace of a young deer, the boy headed home.

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: [Young Jim returns home and hugs his grandmother] Oh, Grandmother.

Charlotte Thorpe: Jim!

Hiram Thorpe: [Hiram pulls the wagon to a stop] Whoa. Well, the boy's in school, Charlotte. I think he'll stay there this time. I took him far enough away...

Hiram Thorpe: [Hiram sees Jim holding a horse's reins] Jim? How'd you get here?

Charlotte Thorpe: He ran.

Hiram Thorpe: You ran 15 miles?

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: Only 12, Pa. I came through the hills.

Hiram Thorpe: Did you hear that, Charlotte? 12 miles through the hills.

Charlotte Thorpe: I hope he enjoyed it, because he goes back to school tomorrow.

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: I'll run away.

Charlotte Thorpe: You're his father. You taught him all the things he likes to do; now teach him what he has to do.

Hiram Thorpe: Jim? Jim, you going back to school?

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: No.

Hiram Thorpe: Come here. I ain't never took a whip to you, Jim, and I ain't gonna start. Come here. Look out there, what do you see?

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: Coyote Run, where I've got my traps set.

Hiram Thorpe: What else?

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: A hollow cottonwood where the owl lives. Three buzzards circling a dead lamb.

Hiram Thorpe: Do you see yellow fields of grain? Do you see fat herds grazing on young prairie grass?

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: No.

Hiram Thorpe: That's right, you don't see nothing but a boy's world. That's all you'll ever see here on the reservation. They'll give you a piece of land, and you can sit around wrapped in a blanket. Or else, you can try to make something of yourself, be something.

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: Be what, Pa?

Hiram Thorpe: Whatever you want to be, boy. It's all in the books, and the books are in the schools.

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: But I don't like school.

Hiram Thorpe: You must change, Jim, for your own good. Just let the white man teach you his ways. Before you know it, you'll be out in the world, with your head full of learning... and you'll make your people proud of you.

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: Do you want me to go away?

Hiram Thorpe: No, boy. I'd rather have you here with me, but I know it's the right thing to do, and I know something else.

Jim Thorpe - as a Boy: What, Pa?

Hiram Thorpe: Anybody wants something from you, he ain't gonna get it by whipping you.

[Jim hugs his father]

Peter Allendine: [to Jim] Hey, you! Yeah, you, come here. Hey, just a minute. What's your name?

Jim Thorpe: Jim Thorpe.

Peter Allendine: Do you have a tribal name?

Jim Thorpe: Wa-Tho-Huk.

Peter Allendine: What does it mean?

Jim Thorpe: Bright path.

Peter Allendine: Bright path, huh? Well, Bright Path, do you know the school song?

Jim Thorpe: No.

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: No, sir.

Peter Allendine: That's right. Well, here are the words. You memorize them, be ready to sing for us tomorrow morning.

[Jim starts to walk away]

Peter Allendine: Oh, uh, just a minute, Bright Path. Do you speak Indian?

Jim Thorpe: Yes.

Peter Allendine: Let's hear you recite the Gettysburg Address in Indian.

Jim Thorpe: Why, I reckon I can't.

Peter Allendine: You can't? Good, because when you recite the Gettysburg Address, you recite it in English. Indian isn't spoken here.

Wally Denny: Hello, Pete.

Peter Allendine: Hello.

Wally Denny: What you got here, football material?

Peter Allendine: From his attitude, I don't think he's even Carlisle material.

Peter Allendine: [to Jim] Ever play football before?

Jim Thorpe: What's football?

Peter Allendine: What's - You don't know what football is?

Jim Thorpe: No.

Peter Allendine: Well, football, Bright Path, is a white man's game, and it's played with a... leather skin, something like your suitcase here, and the object of this game is to take this leather skin and, uh... and try to run past Mr. Denny and me.

Wally Denny: Well, frosh, come on, run past them.

[Jim charges at Pete with his suitcase in his arms, and Pete knocks Jim to the ground]

Peter Allendine: I'm sorry, Bright Path, but that's football, very rough game. Indian boy got lot to learn.

Jim Thorpe: Now you try it.

Peter Allendine: Try what?

Jim Thorpe: Run past me.

Peter Allendine: Aw, forget it, Jim, you got plenty of chance next year.

Jim Thorpe: You try it!

[Jim tosses his suitcase at Pete and knocks him to the ground]

Wally Denny: Say, that wasn't bad! Come on, I'd like you to meet Pop Warner!

[Jim picks up his suitcase and walks to his dormitory]

Ed Guyac: Hello.

Jim Thorpe: They sent me up here to bunk with you.

Ed Guyac: Sure, come on in. I'm Ed Guyac.

Jim Thorpe: Jim Thorpe.

Ed Guyac: This untamed aborigine here is Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear. Kind of a mouthful, so I just call him Little Boy.

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: How.

Ed Guyac: Not 'how'. What have I been teaching you?

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: [Little Boy stands up] Oh. Hi.

Ed Guyac: He's full-blooded Chippewa, his old man's chief. Nothing like bunking with royalty. Where are you from?

Jim Thorpe: Oklahoma, Sac and Fox.

Ed Guyac: I'm Mohawk, heap smart New York Injun. Study law, make plenty wampum, take mortgage off tepee. How about you?

Jim Thorpe: What about me?

Ed Guyac: What are you going to prepare for? You know: doctor, lawyer. Indian chief, rich man, poor man?

Jim Thorpe: I don't know.

Ed Guyac: Well, you've come to the right place to find out. This is your cot right here.

Jim Thorpe: Thanks.

Ed Guyac: Matter of fact, you can take this one if you like; Little Boy never uses it.

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: Bed too soft, make Little Boy soft.

Ed Guyac: 'Soft', listen to him. 220 pounds of skin and bone. These natives, I'll never get used to them.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [narrating] When he could stand it no longer, he began to run. And once again, he found relief in the sheer physical joy of running.

[Jim runs and hurdle-jumps over a bench]

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [Jim keeps running and approaches the athletic track] On your marks, get set...

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [the timekeeper fires a starting gun as the runners take off, with Jim catching up to them] Who is that?

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [a runner says 'Go!' as Jim keeps running and jumping the hurdles] Either I need a new watch, or we've got a new runner.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [inside the cafeteria] You're Jim Thorpe.

Jim Thorpe: That's right.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Glad to meet you Jim, I'm Pop Warner. You mind if I sit down? I'd like to talk to you a minute.

Jim Thorpe: No.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: That was quite an exhibition you put on this morning.

Jim Thorpe: Exhibition?

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Don't you know what you did? You ran the 2:20 flat in 23 seconds flat with your clothes on. Why haven't you come out for the team?

Jim Thorpe: Well, I hadn't figured on coming out for the team.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: You just run for exercise, is that it?

Jim Thorpe: I don't rightly know why I run.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: You don't like it here, do you?

Jim Thorpe: No, I don't.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Then why have you come?

Jim Thorpe: Because I promised someone; he's dead.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: You know, you're the first Sac & Fox I've met here. That's Oklahoma territory, isn't it?

Jim Thorpe: Yes.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Originally from Wisconsin?

Jim Thorpe: Illinois.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Oh yes, Illinois; part of the Algonquins?

Jim Thorpe: Yes, that's right.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: A great warrior tribe, great traditions. What do they do now?

Jim Thorpe: Oh, a little farming, a little weaving. They sell blankets at the railway station.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Yes, I know. That's why Carlisle was founded, Jim: so that your people can do more than sell blankets at the railway station. The trouble is, too many Indian boys take the easy way out; they quit school and go back to the reservation.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: How are you getting along with your studies?

Jim Thorpe: Well, not very good, I'm afraid. I never was much with books.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Yes, I know what you mean: studying, reading, doing a lot of things, they come awfully hard. I had the same problems when I went to school. It's always hard at the beginning.

Jim Thorpe: Well, it's - it's more than that, Mr. Warner; I don't know what I want to do, or what I want to be.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Look around you, Jim, look at those faces. All of those kids have problems; a lot of them don't know what they want to be, what they want to do. They'll find out soon enough what they want most in life, so will you. All I'm trying to say is: give Carlisle a chance. And incidentally, don't be afraid of sports, Jim, they're good for you, teach you how to relax, make you sleep well. Look me up; you'll find me in my office or the athletic field. Been nice talking to you.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Get some lift into that takeoff foot!

[Ed Guyac attempts a high jump, but fails to clear the bar]

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: No, no, no Ed, you dragged it off with your hand, watch that. Hello, Jim. Like to take a whack at it? Go ahead, it won't bite you.

[Ed attempts another high jump and fails to clear the bar]

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: No, no, you're doing the same thing. Watch that, will you? Get some lift into it.

[Jim backs up to get a running start, and clears the bar]

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Pretty good, Jim. Very good for a first jump. Let's try it again.

[Pop Warner raises the bar a notch higher]

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [narrating, with a montage of Jim Thorpe participating in such sports as shotput, high jump, hurdles, discus throwing, pole vault, long jump, javelin throwing, and track running] Watching Thorpe in succeeding weeks was like watching a magnificent young stallion: untamed and unbroken, but with a natural athletic aptitude that was incredible. And as he found the means of expression in sports, the hard shell which had always surrounded him seemed to soften a little. Finally one day, for the first time, Jim found himself facing competition against other college athletes.

Miss Benton: We've read all about you, Mr. Thorpe, and we're very proud of you.

Jim Thorpe: Thank you.

Miss Benton: [holding Jim's athletic sweater letter] I'm sure we can have this sewn on for you. I'll get one of the girls; come with me.

Miss Benton: Uh, Margaret?

Margaret Miller: [from behind a dressmaker's mannequin] Yes, Miss Benton?

Miss Benton: Will you come here a minute, please?

[Margaret walks to Miss Benton and Jim Thorpe]

Miss Benton: Margaret, this is Jim Thorpe. He's won his letter and wants us to sew it on for him. Do you think you can do that?

Margaret Miller: Certainly, Miss Benton.

Margaret Miller: [Margaret holds Jim's unsewn letter near his chest] About here?

Jim Thorpe: Yes, I guess so.

Margaret Miller: Would you take your sweater off, please?

Miss Benton: Yes, please!

[Jim takes his sweater off and hands it to Margaret]

Miss Benton: Won't you sit down?

[Margaret starts sewing Jim's letter to his sweater]

Margaret Miller: Here you are, Mr. Thorpe.

Jim Thorpe: Thank you.

Margaret Miller: There; oh, I'm sorry, a loose thread. Excuse me.

[Margaret starts to fix the loose thread]

Margaret Miller: There, I think that will do it.

Jim Thorpe: Thank you, ma'am.

Miss Benton: [examining Jim's sweater] Oh, that's fine, Margaret.

Jim Thorpe: Thank you very much.

[Jim leaves the room and stumbles into a mannequin on his way out]

Jim Thorpe: Thank you.

Lafayette Track Coach: Pop, it's 2:30, the meet's supposed to start.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Well, let's get started.

Lafayette Track Coach: Well, where's your team?

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Right here.

Lafayette Track Coach: Now wait a minute, you're joking, aren't you?

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: This is Louis Tewanema; he runs the mile, 2 miles, 3 miles, and up. And this is Jim Thorpe.

Lafayette Track Coach: And what does he do?

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Everything else.

Lafayette Track Coach: Well, I guess you know what you're doing, Pop; remember, these people came here to see a track meet.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: They'll see one; call your first event. Come on, team.

Ed Guyac: [Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear is reading from a history book; Jim turns out the lights] Hey chief, bedtime.

Ed Guyac: Hey, what are you mumbling about?

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: American history, bah!

Ed Guyac: What have you got against American history?

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: White man lick Indian, he win great battle; Indian lick white man, massacre. They're crazy.

Ed Guyac: I never thought about that.

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: Crazy!

[Little Boy sleeps on the floor; Ed turns off his lamp]

Ed Guyac: See? Captain of the football team: that's how you get the prettiest girls and the biggest letters.

Peter Allendine: [strolls by with Margaret at his side] Hello, Bright Path.

Margaret Miller: Hello.

Ed Guyac: [reading a billboard notice] "All candidates for football squad, please report to coach Glenn S. Warner at 3 p.m."

Wally Denny: [elsewhere on campus] Every time I look at this football schedule, I get dizzy! We can't play teams of this caliber, Glenn: Harvard, Army, Minnesota, Penn...

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Very impressive schedule.

Wally Denny: What am I gonna do for material? Half the kids think a pigskin's something to eat for breakfast.

Jim Thorpe: Pop.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Hi, Jim.

Jim Thorpe: I saw your notice on the bulletin board. Kind of thought I might want to look into this game of football.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Forget it, Jim, you're a track man. Those legs of yours are too valuable to be risked in a tough game like football.

Jim Thorpe: But I thought maybe if you needed someone for...

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Thanks for trying to help; forget it, Jim.

Ed Guyac: Any chance of using me, Mr. Warner?

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: What for?

Ed Guyac: Well, some kind of executive job. I've been taking a class in business management, I thought perhaps I could help out...

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: I've got just the job for you.

Ed Guyac: [on the football field after finding out his job is a waterboy] "Executive job..."

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [blows a whistle] Now boys, remember what I told you: Heads up, eyes open, dig those legs in, and charge! Hit 'em hard. Ready? Charge!

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [the players run through and fall on the ground, failing to tackle the linemen] No, no, no, Little Boy, I told you to dig those legs in and hit him.

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: But him no stand still.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Well, that's very inconsiderate of him. All right now, try it again. Hit him hard this time. Ready? Come on, come on, now charge!

[the players do a better job at taking the linemen down on the practice field]

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [Jim shows up in a football uniform] What are you doing in that outfit?

Jim Thorpe: I thought I'd come out for the team.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Jim, how many times do I have to tell you? Go back inside and take off those clothes.

Jim Thorpe: I'm coming out for the team.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Oh, so you're coming out for the team, no matter what I say? All right, what do you know about dropkicking?

Jim Thorpe: Nothing, but I can learn.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Get over there with those men.

[Jim goes over and starts practicing dropkicking]

Wally Denny: I thought you were saving him for track?

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Just because he's on the squad doesn't mean I'll let him play.

Jim Thorpe: Miss Miller? Miss Miller?

Margaret Miller: Well, hello Mr. Thorpe.

Jim Thorpe: Do you mind if I walk with you?

Margaret Miller: Why no, not at all.

Jim Thorpe: Miss Miller, there's something I'd like to tell you.

Margaret Miller: Yes?

Jim Thorpe: I think I'm in love with you.

Margaret Miller: You're what?

Jim Thorpe: I think I'm in love with you. I can't be sure because I've never been in love before, but... well, I thought you ought to know.

[Jim walks away]

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [Jim and Pop Warner enter the infirmary] Nurse, will you check this man, please?

Jim Thorpe: Margaret.

Margaret Miller: Hello, Jim.

[Pop Warner leaves]

Margaret Miller: i'm working in the infirmary; Pop got me the job. I've been reading a lot about you in the newspapers.

Jim Thorpe: Why did you do it?

Margaret Miller: I don't know; I was confused and mixed up. For both our sakes, it seemed the best thing to do.

Jim Thorpe: Why didn't you write?

Margaret Miller: There was nothing I could say. You spoke about background and heritage; they seemed to mean so much to you. It's taken me all this time to realize that they aren't really important. What counts is that we're people.

Jim Thorpe: I told you once I loved you. I still love you. Does that answer you?

Margaret Miller: Oh, Jim!

[Jim and Margaret hug each other]

Jim Thorpe: Oh, I've missed you, Margaret; more than I've ever missed anybody in all my life. Will you marry me?

Margaret Miller: That's why I came back to Carlisle.

Jim Thorpe: Are you sure you won't mind being married to a coach?

Margaret Miller: A coach? Jim, where?

Jim Thorpe: Anywhere, whenever they get around to making me an offer.

Margaret Miller: They will; darling, you'll be a wonderful coach!

[Jim and Margaret hug again]

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [in the locker room] All right boys, your attention. Boys, I've never made a speech to you before. I don't have to make speeches, and I don't have to tell you that Penn is a powerhouse, a football team that's been unbelievable for 2 years. But I'll say this: If there's any team that can beat them, it's this Carlisle bunch right here with me. Believe me, boys, I'm proud of you, but remember this: This is going to be the toughest football game you've ever played. Penn is a hard-hitting, rough bunch that asks no quarter and gives no quarter; that's why they're champions. Also, they have one of the greatest breakaway runners in the country: Tom Ashenbrunner, All-American for 2 years. We've got an All-American too.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [the players cheer] I guess I don't have to say any more. All right, Carlisle, take the field.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [quietly] All right, here we go fellas. Come on, let's go.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: [to Jim] Jim?

Jim Thorpe: Yes, Pop?

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: This game may be more important than you think. I've just learned that Allegheny's scouting for a football coach; they've got their eye on you and Tom Ashenbrunner.

Jim Thorpe: Thanks, Pop. Better tell Ashenbrunner to stay out of my way; I need that job.

Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner: Yes, I know; Margaret told me.

Jim Thorpe: [in the infirmary room] You sure made me look good out there today, Little Boy. Thanks. If I had half a brain, I'd have taken you out of the game. I'm sorry about the knee.

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: Don't feel bad, Jim, I'll get better. I have to get better; I'm in love, too.

[Little Boy looks up at the nurse tending to him]

Ed Guyac: In case anybody's interested, I just spoke to the doc. He expects the patient to lead a long and lusty life, on two legs.

Ed Guyac: Hey Jim, Pop wants to see you.

Jim Thorpe: Thanks.

Ed Guyac: Hi, Chief.

Jim Thorpe: Has he heard anything?

Ed Guyac: Don't know, he just sent me over to you from his office.

Jim Thorpe: See you later, Margaret.

Ed Guyac: How ya feeling, Chief?

Little Boy Who Walk Like Bear: Bed soft, make Little Boy soft.

Ed Guyac: "Soft", how do you like this guy? If every Indian was as soft as you, the population of this country would still be in Rhode Island.

[chuckles]