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                            THE ARTIST

                            Written by

                       Michel Hazanavicius

    Silent film, illustrated musically, with some title cards to
    indicate the dialogues, with actors whose lips move when they
    speak although we never hear their voices. The images are in
    black and white, in format 1.33.

1   TITLES                                                       1

    The letters of the titles come up on a title card typical of
    the 1920s. Elegant motifs around the edge of the frame, and,
    in the background, there are geometrical shapes reminiscent
    of the light beams of a film première. Behind is a stylized
    town. The titles end in a fade to black. On black, the date
    appears on the screen: 1927

2   INT. LABORATORY - DAY                                        2

    In a "futuristic" 1920s laboratory, a man in tail coat and
    bow tie is being tortured. Ultrasound is being piped into his
    ears. It's incredibly painful! He's screaming.

    Title card:
    I'm not telling!   I won't talk!!!

    His torturers, cold men of science in white coats, gradually
    increase the volume. The pain seems unbearable, the volume
    reaches level 10 (maximum), the man passes out!

3   INT. CELLS & CORRIDORS - DAY                                 3

    Guards wearing long leather overcoats throw the man into a

    As the man is lying there on the ground, a dog wiggles
    through the bars at the window. The dog, a Jack Russell,
    jumps on top of the man - visibly his master - and begins to
    lick his face. The man opens one eye! When he sees his dog,
    he can't help cracking a smile...

    The man, now on his feet, looks in pain. Despite the pain, he
    motions to his dog who begins to bark in lively fashion.

    Outside the cell, the guard looks curious about the noise. He
    goes to the door, opens the spy flap and finds himself face
    to face with the man, eye to eye just a couple of inches
    apart! The man moves his eyes in such a way that he
    hypnotizes the guard! Superimposed on the screen: a spinning
    black and white spiral, until the dazed guard take his keys,
    opens the door and releases the man and his dog.

    The man (the hero, thus) imprisons the guard without harming
    him, then runs over to the guard's desk. His ears are still
    causing him pain, but he opens a drawer and takes out his
    belongings: a top hat which he snaps open, and a mask, which
    he puts over his head to conceal his eyes.

    We catch up with the masked man walking down corridors. He
    suddenly stops, copied by his dog who follows him like his
    shadow. The man, on his guard, has spotted another guard
    where two corridors meet.

    With a look, he orders his dog to move forwards into the
    guard's line of sight. The guard looks over at the animal.
    Using his fingers, the hero pretends to shoot his dog. The
    dog collapses, plays dead. The guard, increasingly curious,
    gets to his feet. He slowly approaches the motionless dog.
    When he comes close he is attacked from the side by the hero,
    who quickly puts him out of action with a mere punch!

    The masked man then rushes to another cell, and releases a
    young female prisoner. She too is wearing evening dress. As
    she is thanking him he staggers and clutches his ears in
    pain. She's concerned.

    Title card:
    Can I help you in some way?

    He refuses.

    Title card:
    No. I don't get helped.   I give the help around here.

    He composes himself. She casts him an admiring glance. Then,
    in view of the urgency of their situation, they escape at a

4   EXT. HOUSE/LABORATORY - DAY                                       4

    They come out of a house that is lost in the hills, climb
    into a Bugatti sports car that the man starts by rubbing two
    wires together, and speed off.

5   EXT. ROAD - DAY                                                   5

    The car speeds along the road. Its occupants turn round to
    check they aren't being followed.

6   INT. HOUSE/LAB - DAY                                           6

    The guard who got knocked out picks himself up, realizes what's
    happened and dashes over to his office. He grabs a radio
    emitter and begins sending a message.

7   EXT. AIR FIELD - DAY                                           7

    The hero, the young woman and the dog come to a halt in the
    Bugatti on the air field, by a telegraph pole whose wires a watch tower.

    In the watch tower, a radio receptor is vibrating. A soldier
    approaches, listens and suddenly understands! He grabs hold of
    his gun and goes out onto the air field, only to find the
    fugitives! He tries to shoot at them as he draws closer, but
    the hero manages to throw an airplane propeller at him, before
    climbing inside where the woman and dog are waiting for him.

    The airplane begins to move.

    The soldier shoots.

    The airplane is positioning itself on the runway, while the
    soldier continues to fire!

    The aircraft gains speed.

    The soldier is still shooting, but too late, as the heroo pulls
    back the joystick, and the airplane takes to the sky...

    The soldier is furious, but the hero is all smiles as he looks
    back towards the ground and shouts something.

    Title card: Free Georgia forever!!!

    The airplane flies away into the evening sky.

8   EXT. AIRPLANE - NIGHT                                          8

    A little later in the night, still at the controls, the man is
    fighting not to fall asleep. Behind him, the women is sleeping,
    the dog is lying in her arms. Suddenly she is awoken by
    explosions happening close by! Pandemonium! The man doesn't
    understand it either, he tries to pick up altitude, but quickly
    notices that the explosions are in fact pretty and
    inoffensive. He consults a calendar dial on the control panel
    that shows it is July 14th, immediately understands, and
    bursts into laughter.

    Title card: We've arrived, welcome to France!!!

     As the music picks up the tune of The Marseillaise, the
     airplane flies away through the exploding fireworks...

     The words "The End" appear on the screen.


     From the moment they parked the car onwards, we become
     absorbed by what's happening around the screening of end of
     this film.

     Behind the screen, we've seen the actor who plays the hero -
     his name is George Valentin - closely studying the reactions
     of the audience. He was standing close to his dog, motioning
     to it not to make a noise. The dog's name is Jack.

     In the same area, we've also seen the lead actress. Her name
     is Constance Gray. She too looks tense and is latched onto
     the arm of a pleasant-looking man who is chewing anxiously on
     a cigar. The man looks rich, but a little weak. He's surely
     the producer.

10   INT. MOVIE THEATER LOS ANGELES - NIGHT                     10

     In the house, much of the audience is open-mouthed, excited,
     immobile and often wide-eyed.

     In the pit, a symphony orchestra plays to accompany the film.

     (9) Now that the film is ending, and the last note is
     sounding, the cast anxiously awaits the audience's verdict,
     which, after two or three seconds of silence, bursts into
     thunderous applause, to the great joy of the actor and the
     people around him, especially the actress and the producer,
     who kiss each other on the lips.

     Two theater hands bring down the curtain.

     (10) The lights come on. George Valentin comes onto the stage
     and acknowledges the audience, they are cheering for him. He
     is so happy he dances a few tap steps to express his joy then
     he acknowledges the orchestra before finally motioning to
     someone in the wings to join him. Jack the dog trots over in
     response. The crowd laughs and cheers, George waves to the
     dog, Jack waves back then waves at the audience, the people
     are loving it!

     In the wings, Constance is fuming with rage, but on stage,
     George is pretending with his fingers to pull at the dog, who
     fakes death. Thunderous applause again.

     Behind the actress, the producer can't hold back a smile, and
     this enrages the actress still more.

     Suddenly, George, hamming it up, remembers something he'd
     forgotten, and asks someone from the other side of the wings
     to join him. It's Constance. She comes over, smiling to the
     audience, and says something to George with a smile.

     Title card: I'll get you for that.

     She waves, but we can tell that her smile is set between her
     teeth. She isn't feeling comfortable. George motions firing a
     gun with his fingers, but she does not fall down, merely
     casts him a "very funny" glance. George looks at his fingers,
     not understanding why they don't work anymore then mimes
     throwing them away behind him, as though they've become
     useless. Constance stalks back off into the wings in
     annoyance, but the audience is ecstatic. Once in the wings,
     the actress sticks up her middle finger at George, and
     exaggeratedly mouths so he can read her lips: "Put this up
     your ass." George, grinning broadly, responds by clapping his
     hands in applause, then leaves the stage, executing a few
     more dance steps as he does so. The audience is delighted.

     As he comes off stage, George gets soundly told off by
     Constance, but, still grinning, he motions towards the
     audience who are still asking for more. The producer,
     although delighted by the successful reception, makes a weak
     attempt to calm the actress down. As for George, he returns
     to the stage, the audience roars. He pretends to want to
     leave the stage, and mimes bumping into an invisible wall
     just as he's leaving the stage. George holds his nose, the
     audience goes wild, Constance gets even madder, and while
     George carries on clowning about, the producer too breaks
     into a beaming smile. He's probably realized that George has
     the audience on his side... Constance, furious, storms off. She
     is followed by the producer who is trying to placate her,
     although it looks like he's got his work cut out for him.

11   EXT. MOVIE THEATER LOS ANGELES - NIGHT                      11

     Outside, we are in front of a typically American movie theater
     decked out with all the accessories of a grand première. The
     entrance is lit up, there are crowds gathered on the sidewalk,
     cops are guarding the red carpet with a cordon of bodies, etc.

     George comes out, causing the crowds, mainly young women, to
     press forwards - and the photographers' flashes to spark into
     life. The cops are struggling to maintain control of the
     situation as George poses for the photographers and waves at
     his many fans.

     In the crowd, a young woman right at the front is staring at
     him in rapture. She drops her bag and, as she bends to pick it
     up, a swell in the crowd pushes her underneath the arms of the
     policeman in front of her, out of the crowd and into George.
     She stares at him, more in love than ever, delighted to be
     there. The police wait for someone to give orders. George
     doesn't quite know what to do. Nobody moves. The young woman
     finally bursts out laughing, which, after a moment of shock,
     causes George to laugh too, thus placating the cops and tacitly
     signaling to the photographers that they can take pictures of
     the scene. The flashes seem to lend the woman self-confidence
     who, in a very carefree manner, begins to clown about in front
     of them. George is delighted at the sight, by the whole scene
     and, realizing this, the young woman steals a kiss. Flash. The
     image becomes static, then dissolves into the printed picture
     on the front page of "The Hollywood Reporter" newspaper, along
     with three other pictures of the scene and the headline WHO'S

12   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - DAY                           12

     The very same newspaper is being read by an elegant woman
     sitting at a sumptuous breakfast table. We are in the large
     dining room of an ultra-luxurious Hollywood villa. All around
     her are magnificent furniture, superb paintings and objets
     d'art, including a beautiful trio of monkeys, one hiding its
     eyes, one with hands clasped to its ears and the third
     obscuring its mouth. George comes into the room and kisses
     his wife. She responds with cold indifference. You could cut
     the atmosphere with a knife. The woman hands George the
     newspaper. He knows what's up but tries to laugh it off. She
     doesn't find it funny, is as cold as stone and barely looks
     at him. She is obviously extremely annoyed with him. George
     picks up his dog and puts it on the table. Jack drops his
     head to one side and his big eyes implore seem to implore her
     forgiveness. It's the exact expression of someone asking to
     be loved, but Doris is implacable. She gets up, walks away
     and does not turn back. Left on his own, George has a closed
     expression on his face. He seems unhappy to have hurt his
     wife's feelings. Then he realizes that Jack is on the table
     in a ridiculous pose, and signals to him to get down. The dog
     obeys. George looks at the paper, the cause of his problems.

13   EXT. HOLLYWOOD STREET BUS - DAY                            13

     Thirteen white letters placed on a hillside.


     Below, in town, a bus.

14   INT. BUS (DRIVING)/HOLLYWOOD - DAY                           14

     Inside the full bus is the young woman from the day before. Her
     name is Peppy Miller. She is proudly holding "The Hollywood
     Reporter" with her face on the front page, and is more or less
     discreetly making suggestive glances, hoping that someone
     recognizes her. But the people around her - from working and
     middle class backgrounds - are visibly on their way to work and
     remain impervious to her game.

     She - carefully - puts the paper away in her bag, in which four
     or five copies of the newspaper are already carefully tucked
     away, then gets off the bus at the next stop.

15   EXT. KINOGRAPH STUDIOS - DAY                                 15

     She goes through the main gates of Kinograph Studios, and
     heads towards where they hire extras.

     In a courtyard, fifty-odd people are waiting, some sitting on
     wooden crates, others standing. There are mums with kids,
     guys with animals, men dressed as cowboys, etc. Peppy is
     among them, sitting next to a man of about sixty who is
     dressed in a highly stylized fashion. His job is obviously
     that of a butler. Peppy proudly shows him the picture in the
     newspaper. The man leans to take a closer look, unfolds the
     newspaper, sees the headline, smiles and then folds it back
     up again and returns it to Peppy text-side-up, highlighting
     the headline: Who's that girl ?

     Peppy is a bit annoyed to have been put in her place, but
     deep down she knows he's right. Nobody knows who she is. She
     puts the newspaper away.

     A man who visibly works for the studio, some assistant or
     other, comes into the courtyard, climbs on a crate and makes
     an announcement.

     Title card: Contemporary film!   Five girls who can dance!

     All the men who had pressed forwards turn on their heels,
     leaving the assistant surrounded only by women. The man says
     something to one girl, who begins to dance. He motions to her
     that it's ok and she heads off towards the wardrobe section.
     He does the same with a second girl and she gets hired too.
     Then it's Peppy's turn. She puts a lot of energy into a few
     top class tap steps, impressing the guy to such an extent
     that he smiles admiringly then signals that she's hired.

     Full of self-assurance that her lucky day has come, Peppy
     heads off towards wardrobe too; swinging, her hips as she
     pauses in front of the butler.

      Title card: The name is Miller.    Peppy Miller!

      She finishes with an exaggerated wink, before walking on,
      leaving behind the impassive butler.

16A   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - DAY                            16A

      In the lobby, George is preparing to leave the house. He
      waves at the huge, full-length portrait of himself waving and
      smiling whilst wearing a tuxedo. He looks great in the
      painting, and George is delighted to see and to wave to

16    EXT. KINOGRAPH STUDIOS - DAY                                 16

      Later, George, in a luxurious car driven by his chauffeur,
      arrives at the Kinograph studios with his dog. The guard at the
      entrance smiles broadly at them and waves.


      As he walks towards his dressing room, everyone smiles at him.
      He's not always fooled by these signs of respect, and apes a
      few smiles himself.


      In his dressing room, wearing a tailcoat and top hat, George
      is finishing putting his make up on. He has a white face and
      dark lips and eyes. His chauffeur is signing autographs for
      him on full length photographs of himself (George) with his
      dog. George says to him:

      Title card: Go and buy a piece of jewelry for my wife. A nice
      piece, to make it up to her.

      The chauffeur nods. Having finished his mask up, George,
      picks up a photo, looks at it closely and then writes on it.
      As he leaves the dressing room, we see the photograph. He's
      written Woof Woof on it, and signed it with the paw print of
      a dog.


      We're on a film set, the crew is setting up a shot. The
      director is unhappy with a screen positioned behind a bay
      window and he sends it off.

Title card: Remove that screen and bring me another one!    On
the double!

Two hands pick up the screen and carry it away. George
arrives on set, everyone smiles at him. He sits down on the
chair which bears his name. The producer whom we saw the
previous day at the première arrives. His name is Zimmer, and
he's flanked by - and followed around at every moment by -
two secretaries and two assistants. One of them hands him The
Hollywood Reporter, and Zimmer, before he's even come to a
halt, talks to George as he shows him the front page. He is
visibly upset. George looks a lot more relaxed, he says hello
and vaguely tries to reassure him. But Zimmer persists, still
pointing at the newspaper.

Title card: Because of this childish nonsense, there's
nothing about the film before page 5!

Behind George, the two set hands come back with a new screen
of sky scenery, and wait, standing just next to George. As
they are holding it, there is a three foot gap underneath.
While the producer is talking to him, George's attention is
drawn by a lovely pair of women's legs that have come to
stand behind the screen, the top half of the body being
hidden by it. George acknowledges the sight with a smile and
is about to bring his attention back to the on-going
discussion, when his attention is drawn away again by a
noise, that of the tap steps the female legs are making,
presumably as a warm up. George smiles in recognition and
responds with a few tap steps of his own. The women's legs
instantly stop, seem to think a moment and then answer back,
but with a jump in the complexity of the steps. A tap
dialogue ensues between the two pairs of legs, until the set
hands - the path before them now cleared - pick up their
screen of scenery and walk off with it. The screen moves away
and as it disappears reveals that the upper body belongs to a
young woman. She pulls a face meaning 'Here I am!!' And of
course it's Peppy, except that she immediately realizes who
she is dealing with - visibly she wasn't expecting this at
all - and feels completely ridiculous and uncomfortable.

Her joyful expression gradually becomes one of abject
apology, but George is roaring with laughter.

After a short pause, Zimmer makes the connection. He checks
the front page of the paper, and recognizes her!

Then he begins shouting at her and all she can do is lower
her head, unable to reply. He gestures that she's fired and
for her to get out, and she starts to go, completely
distraught. She's just made a couple of steps when George
stops her and tells her to come back. Everyone is surprised,
most of all him. Zimmer can't believe it, and so doesn't
respond at first.

     There's bad feeling between them, as though neither wanted
     this sudden conflict, but like it had always been there,
     tangible. Everyone on the set seems to be waiting for Zimmer
     to react, but to their surprise, after a long moment of
     hesitation, he walks away without saying a thing. Peppy looks
     at George gratefully, smiling, but seems a little preoccupied
     as though she might have made a mistake.

     Everyone on set gets back to work.


     They're about to start shooting. The director is showing
     George what he has to do. The scene is happening in a cabaret
     restaurant. George has to cross a dance floor, but each time he
     is stopped by a guy ringing a bell to signal it is time to
     change dancing partner. George finds himself dancing with
     Peppy one moment, and in the arms of a very fat man the next,
     the director finds the gag hysterical. The scene is shot
     several times from three different angles. Each time, George
     dances with Peppy, and, each time, the nature of their rapport
     changes. To begin with, they are happy and laughing, but then,
     with time, less so. Then they become embarrassed, and then
     things get worse. We start the sequence again and again, to the
     sound of the clapperboard counting the number of takes, but the
     eroticism between them is the only thing that stands out from
     the scene, every thing else goes unnoticed. Ultimately, no
     flirting or suggestiveness has gone on, just the very obvious
     beginning of feelings between them that they find disturbing.
     It's probably love.


     Later on, in the dressing room corridor, Peppy, holding an
     envelope, goes up to George's door. She knocks, waits for a
     reply, then enters. There's nobody there. She hesitates, not
     sure whether to leave or stay...


     Finally, she goes into the room and places the envelope
     addressed to George Valentin on the dresser. Then she
     attentively looks around the dressing room. She looks at the
     objects and photos and notices, hanging from a coat stand,
     George's jacket on a hanger, and his hat which sits on a hook
     above it. The way the clothes are disposed looks like George's
     silhouette, except that the clothes are empty. She goes over,
     strokes the jacket and little by little brings George to life
     through his clothes.

     She puts her right hand into the sleeve and touches her own
     waist. As it's George's sleeve, she makes it look like his arm
     has come to life, as though George has come to life. Even more
     so since her left hand is stroking the jacket as though George
     were inside. She takes pleasure from the embrace and, when
     George comes into the room, she slowly removes her hand without
     any rush. George sees her, they look at each other. He closes
     the door but doesn't go over to her, instead going over to the
     mirror. He looks at her, she at him... He motions to her to
     approach. She does. He stares at her face for a while before he

     Title card: If you want to be an actress, you need to have
     something no one else has.

     He takes a make-up pencil and draws a beauty spot above her
     upper lip. She looks at herself in the mirror and smiles. She
     likes it. She turns towards him and, quite naturally, folds
     into his arms. The dog watches them curiously with its head
     leaning to one side. They are probably about to kiss when
     George's chauffeur comes into the room and catches them.
     George swiftly moves aside and there is a moment of
     discomfort. The chauffeur unwraps a parcel and takes out a
     large and beautiful pearl necklace. George is intrigued by
     the necklace, and turns away from Peppy. She understands that
     George has his own life, that their embrace was just a stolen
     moment and slowly leaves, looking back at George as she does
     so. He does not look at her. She leaves the room. Once he has
     studied and necklace and is satisfied, George turns back
     towards Peppy but she is no longer there. The chauffeur exits
     the room.

     When he is alone, George looks at himself in the mirror. His
     expression shows that he things he is the stupidest man in
     the world. He mimes shooting himself in the temple with his
     fingers, but it's the dog which collapses into its play-dead

23   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - DAY                             23

     The next morning, he's having breakfast with his wife. The
     atmosphere is still dreadful but this time he's not making any
     effort either. He disdainfully watches Doris eat. She is
     cutting up strawberries using a knife and fork. George watches
     her, smiles and continues to watch. Except it's not Doris he's
     watching. Instead it's Peppy who's tucking into her food and
     talking and laughing vivaciously. George is with her with an
     expression of love on his face. He's laughing with her when,
     suddenly, reality bites. He's still sitting opposite Doris,
     and she's staring at him because she doesn't understand why he
     is laughing. She visibly finds him ridiculous. He stops
     laughing and breakfast carries on as normal.

24   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - DAY                              24

     We see several quick sequences which indicate time passing:

     Breakfasts with George and Doris where the atmosphere is
     increasingly dreadful. Doris scribbles on photos of George in
     the press, draws on moustaches, large spectacles, etc.

25   INT. STUDIO/STAGES - PIRATE/COWBOY/ETC. - DAY                 25

     Short extracts of George in various films, in which he portrays
     a pirate, then a cowboy, then William Tell, etc. We also see
     him in "Someday in July" in the sequence he shot with Peppy and
     the fat male dancer.

26   INT. MOVIE THEATER AUDIENCE, ETC. - DAY                       26

     Movie-goers reacting to the films, but the way the images are
     edited - cut with breakfast images - could mean they are
     reacting to them too.

     Among the audience is Peppy Miller. She's trying to
     concentrate fully on the film and is pushing away the handsome
     young man she's with, who is trying to kiss her. We see her
     later, at the movies again, but this time alone.


     We see her playing some bit parts, maid, dancer, etc. Her roles
     seem to get a little bigger. We notice that she now wears the
     beauty spot that she'll keep forever.

     Her name climbs up the ranks in the title sequences of films,
     until it appears on its own.

28   INT. OFFICE - PEPPY/CONTRACT/1927 - DAY                       28

     We see her signing a contract in a small office, she seems

29                                                                 29

     George signs a big contract with Zimmer as photographers take
     pictures. He smiles broadly, whereas Zimmer looks like his
     smile is a little forced.

     The date appears on the screen: 1929

30                                                                30

     George, dressed as a musketeer, is sword-fighting with three
     middle-ages thugs in a tavern. He kills two of them, but
     unfortunately loses his epee when fighting the third. But when
     the third man attacks, George merely dodges with a sleight of
     body and puts his attacker out of action with a right hook!
     Calm restored, he smiles and waves in brotherly fashion to a
     mysterious man who is trying to hide underneath his long cape.
     The man stands up, throws aside his cape and reveals himself to
     be... Napoleon! He puts his bicorne hat back on and warmly
     thanks an astonished George. Napoleon says something to him
     and George respectfully bows, walks away from him still bowing
     then turns and runs. Once out of the decor, he bumps right into
     a worried-looking Zimmer who is followed by his loyal
     assistants. George is in a playful mood. Zimmer tells him:

     Title Card: I want to show you something.     Right now.

     George seems astonished that Zimmer is leaving the set and
     not filming, but agrees. Napoleon walks past them very
     imperially and gestures royally to a technician to bring him
     a chair. The technician doesn't miss the chance to remind the
     man that he is only an extra, and not Napoleon.

31                                                                31

     Zimmer, his guards, and George - still dressed as a musketeer -
     come into a screening room in which a dozen or so very serious-
     looking people are waiting. They sit down and Zimmer, very
     proudly and self-confidently, gestures to an assistant who
     passes on the message to the projectionist. The room goes dark.
     The screening begins.

32                                                                32

     On screen we see a card that indicates it's a sound shooting
     test for a talking scene. Then Constance appears, the actress
     from the spy film. She's standing in front of a mic and she
     tests it, delighted to be there. Cut. We see her again, the
     microphone has disappeared and she acts out a scene. It's a
     monologue. Her acting is terrible, very theatrical, but the
     audience can hear her. It is however, awful.

     (31) In the screening room, the audience seems stunned by
     what they see/hear. They are fascinated. They then begin to
     congratulate each other and slap Zimmer on the back. Zimmer's
     pride seems to grow by the second.

     George, who at first seemed very surprised, slowly begins a
     snigger which gradually has become a belly laugh when the
     actress earnestly ends her monologue.

     When the lights come up, George is laughing uncontrollably
     way beyond the bounds of mere mockery as his sincerity is
     obvious. The people present are embarrassed, and Zimmer is
     deeply put out. George, still laughing, leaves the room,
     waving an apology with his hands as he goes, but also
     pointing to the screen to explain why he's laughing. Zimmer
     feels even more humiliated. Fade to black on his face.


     We're back with George in his dressing room. He's removing his
     make up. He moves some ordinary object and the object, as he
     moves it, makes a noise. We hear the noise it makes. Really
     hear it. It's the first time we've heard a sound that comes
     from within the film itself. One second later, George realizes
     that the object made a noise. He moves it again, the object
     makes a noise again. George is worried. He tries another object
     and obtains noise again. His dog barks and we hear it! He gets
     up (chair makes a noise) and says something to his dog, but no
     sound comes out of his mouth when he speaks. He realizes
     this... Panic sets in, he turns to the mirror and tries talking
     again, but still no sound comes out. Not understanding what's
     happening, the feeling of panic fully blossoms and he flees his
     dressing room!


     Noisy, laughing dancers pass in the corridor, others are
     talking or shouting and even if we can't make out what they are
     saying, they are all making sound. George tries to talk to them
     but his voice remains silent. One dancer, seeing his fright,
     bursts into throaty laughter. George rushes through the
     milling crowd the sound of which is becoming increasingly

35   EXT. KINOGRAPH STUDIOS - COURTYARD - DAY                   35

     ...and bursts out into the courtyard of the studio that is now
     suddenly deserted and silent. In front of him a feather eddies
     slowly to the ground, carried by the breeze. It finally lands,
     making a completely abnormal and disproportionate noise like
     that of a building crashing to the ground in slow motion.
     George screams, but again his cry is silent.

36   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT               36

     George awakes with a start! He's in bed and is having trouble
     shaking off his nightmare.

     The film continues as normal: in other words, silent.

     His wife is sleeping by his side. He gets up, taking care not
     to make a sound.


     George calms down as he sits in the living room, alone in the
     darkness. Jack, still sleepy, has just curled into a ball
     next to him to fall back to sleep. George smiles and gives
     him a pat.


     Driven by his chauffeur, George crosses town heading for the

39                                                               39

     The car goes through the studio gates. There's nobody there.
     George gets out. He goes into the courtyard. There's nobody
     there either.


     He goes into the studio and heads for the set. There is still
     no one about. He doesn't understand and goes back outside.

41   EXT. KINOGRAPH STUDIOS - DAY                                41

     Outside in the deserted courtyard, a feather eddies towards
     the ground, carried by the breeze. George is watching it drift
     to the ground when suddenly a gust of wind sends it soaring
     back into the sky. George follows it with his eyes and notices
     a man crossing between two sets. He looks like some kind of set
     hand or assistant; a working man in any case. George calls to
     him. The two men draw close and George asks him what's
     happening. The man takes the day's newspaper out of his pocket
     and hands it to George before walking off. George reads:
     Kinograph Studios stop all silent productions to work
     exclusively on talkies.


     Despite the secretary's attempts to stop him, a furious George
     storms into Zimmer's office.


     Zimmer is in a meeting with some men. They are probably
     engineers in view of the attention being given to the plans
     lying on the desk. Everyone is surprised by George's rude
     entry. The engineers seem embarrassed, but Zimmer smiles and
     politely asks them to leave, as though asking for their
     understanding. As they head for the door, some of them drop
     their heads so as not to meet George's eyes, whereas others
     look him right between the eyes but without any love lost. This
     exchange causes a strange, unpleasant feeling within him. He
     seems embarrassed. It's perhaps due to the rudeness of his
     eruption into the office, but it's more likely due to the looks
     he's been given. For the first time for ages, he has not been
     looked at how a star is normally looked at - with respect,
     desire and admiration - but like any ordinary man is looked at
     or, worse still, how a superfluous man is looked at.

     As George realizes that his status has just changed, Zimmer
     invites him to sit down. Then speaks to him, in a friendly

     Title card: We belong to another age, you and I, George.
     Nowadays, the world talks.

     He talks to him, looks a little embarrassed, while George
     takes it on the chin, not knowing how to respond.

     Title card: People want to see new faces. Talking faces.

     George reaches deep down into himself and makes an effort to
     bring up a smile.

     Title card: Paramount will be delighted. They still want me.

     Zimmer responds with a pursing of the lips that is more
     damning than any counter argument could be. As though he's
     telling George he can always give it a go... George understands
     what's happening. Zimmer is sorry.

     Title card: I'm sorry. The public wants fresh blood. And the
     public is never wrong.

     George gets to his feet.

     Title card: It's me the people want and it's my films they
     want to see. And I'm going to give them to them.

     Zimmer nods with another pursing of the lips, as though he
     can't wait to see that. George seems very sure of himself.

     Title card: I don't need you. Go make your talking movies.
     I'm going to make them a beautiful film!

     As George leaves in disgust, his eyes are drawn to an
     advertising feature representing the "new faces of Kinograph
     Studios". Among the medallion framed young portraits, George
     recognizes that of Peppy Miller. He glances up at Zimmer.

     Title card: Fresh blood...

     The two men exchange a last glance, then George exits.


     Outside he feels a few seconds of discouragement but, as he
     meets the gaze of the engineers waiting in the secretary's
     antechamber, he puffs up his chest and walks tall out of the

45   INT. KINOGRAPH STUDIOS - STAIRS - DAY                       45

     Going down the stairs from the offices, he passes a laughing
     Peppy who is accompanied by two young and charming men, perfect
     specimens of America's golden youth. She is coming up, he is
     going down. When she notices him, she stops, already one step
     above of him. She has a beaming smile and is truly delighted to
     see him. He is delighted too, although his mood is very

     Title card (him): How are you?

     Title card (her): Fantastic! I've been given a lead role!
     Isn't it wonderful?!

     He nods, we see in his eyes that he's terribly happy for her.
     They look at each other, she laughs.

     Then she fumbles in her bag for something with which to note
     down her telephone number on a piece of paper. It takes a
     while and is a little chaotic, she apologizes, but he visibly
     takes a lot of pleasure out of watching her. She finally gets
     the number down and hands it to him, telling him to call her -
     to really call her. In response he casts a glance over to the
     young men waiting for her higher up the stairs, and she
     bursts out laughing. She leans towards him to say something.

     Title card: Gadgets!

     She looks at him flirtatiously. Then she gestures again for
     him to call her, and he nods, even though we think that he
     probably will not do so. She leaves and he watches her go
     before beginning his decent once more. Once at the top, she
     turns back to call out to George, he too has turned to look.
     She smiles at him, breaks into a few tap steps for old time's
     sake, then blows him a kiss.

     He catches the kiss with a smile, pretends to make it
     disappear in his other hand like a magician, then shows her
     the inside breast pocket of his jacket as proof that he's
     keeping it safe and warm. She laughs loudly and goes on her
     way. He watches her walk away with admiration in his eyes.
     She vanishes and George's smile takes on a note of
     melancholy, and then he leaves too.

46   OMITTED                                                    46

47   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - DAY                           47

     George comes home. Doris is there scribbling on a magazine but
     he takes no notice of her. When the dog jumps into his arms
     however, he greets it affectionately. Doris is vexed.

48   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY             48

     A while later he's running Jack through his tricks when Doris

     Title card: We have to talk, George.

     George smiles.

     Title card: Or not.

     She insists but he doesn't listen. He's with his dog. She
     gets annoyed, he doesn't answer, she ends up throwing Jack.
     George cannot forgive her for doing so, he looks at her in
     disgust. She starts to cry.

     Title card: I'm unhappy, George.

     He answers without looking at her.

     Title card: So are millions of other people, me for instance.

49   INT. GEORGE'S STUDIO SET - JUNGLE DECOR - DAY              49

     Thanks to a montage of shot frames, photos and press cuttings,
     we see George begin making his film, the first clap of the
     board that shows he's both the film's producer and director.
     The film is called Tears of love, and it tells the tale of an
     English adventurer - played by himself - accompanied by a young
     woman, an old man who looks like a professor and who is
     probably the father of the young woman and, lastly, an African
     tribe represented as savages and whose humanity remains to be

     We see George in the various stages of preparation: writing, re-
     writing, directing, acting, signing a lot of checks, but also
     leaving very early in the morning to set up shots with his
     collaborators, etc. He looks fulfilled, like he truly believes
     in what he's doing, despite the tiredness he's feeling. His dog
     has a role in the film too, doing tricks. George looks very
     happy, very committed. He takes a supple branch, feeds it
     through the sleeves of a woman's blouse and, by holding the two
     ends of the branch out in front of him, dances with the
     imaginary woman. Everyone around him is happy and laughing.
     He's not shooting a comedy, however, it's obviously a drama of
     some sort from what we see of the set and the way the actors
     play their role.

     Then appear on screen the mock ups of posters, they are shown
     on the set to George.

     He chooses the one in which he is most prominent, it's a poster
     depicting a cutesy melodrama and bears the release date
     October 25th.

50                                                              50

51   EXT. LOS ANGELES STREET (POSTERS) - DAY                    51

     In the street, at the entrance to a movie theater, George sees
     a large "Beauty Spot" film poster. The poster shows Peppy close
     up, wearing a magnificent and jauntily positioned chapka over
     one eye. She is incredibly stylish but in no way vampish, more
     the image of a young comedy debut... George looks at her, Peppy
     seems to be smiling at him. He smiles back. Then his smile
     becomes strained. He's noticed something. The two theater
     employees are sticking a banner over the poster that reveals
     the release date of Beauty Spot - it's also October 25th.

52   INT. ANIMATION STAND - DAY                                 52

     Then we see advertising inserts and full page press articles
     appearing one after the other, creating a montage of images
     with a very 1920's feel. "Get some Peps with Peppy!" and a
     close up on her smiling, mischievous face. "The girl next
     door", "The girl you'll love to love" "Young and pretty", etc.
     with a photo of Peppy each time, posters of the film and then,
     everywhere, the face that it's a talking movie! Talking,
     talking, talking!

     As for George, his image is a lot more austere, the photographs
     show him as very serious. And the captions are like: "I'm not a
     muppet anymore, I'm an artist!"

53   OMITTED                                                      53

54   INT. RESTAURANT INTERVIEW - DAY                              54

     We're in a smart restaurant. George has his back to the room
     and is eating with his chauffeur. Peppy comes into the
     restaurant and comes to sit just behind George. They are back
     to back. She is with several young men, two of whom are
     journalists and they are interviewing her.

     Title card: Your first film doesn't come out until tomorrow
     and yet you're already the new darling of Hollywood! How do
     you explain that?

     She starts by bursting into laughter, which draws George's
     attention. He turns round to listen to the rest of Peppy's

     Title card: I don't know, maybe it's because I talk. And
     people hear me.

     She continues talking, obviously happy that people are
     interested in her. She doesn't see George smiling behind her.

     Title card: People are sick to death of those old actors who
     pull faces to make themselves understood.

     She continues talking with the casual arrogance of youth.
     Behind her, George's smile vanishes.

     Title card: Anyway, it's normal for the young to take over
     from the old, that's life. Make way for youth!

     George is hurt. He gets up and, before he leaves, gestures
     silently that if she wants his place all she has to do is
     take it. She watches him leave and immediately regrets what
     she's just said.

55   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - DAY                             55

     It's the day of the films' release, October 25th.

     It's morning. George opens his front door. His chauffeur is
     outside. The man's expression announces bad news. He's holding
     the day's press. The huge headlines talk of a stock market
     crash, a black Thursday, a catastrophe.

     Dressed in a robe, George is on the telephone in the living
     room. He nods. The atmosphere is stifling. He hangs up. His
     chauffeur looks at him inquisitively. George replies as though
     lost in thought:

     Title card: It would seem that we're ruined.

     The chauffeur takes it on the chin with as much reserve as he
     can muster, but George continues.

     Title card: That's the best case scenario...

     He almost laughs - not so the chauffeur.

56   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - DAY                           56

     Now wearing a suit, George is sitting at his desk. Lying in
     front of him are the front pages of newspapers reporting the
     Crash. He looks for something on the inside pages of one paper
     and reads. Next to a large picture of Peppy there's a review of
     his own film, beginning "Tears of Love, Old and Boring". He
     shuts the paper and searches for something in the drawer of his
     desk. He takes out a piece of paper. It's the telephone number
     that Peppy had scribbled down for him. He looks at it, moves
     closer to the telephone, hesitates, looks at the paper again,
     then puts the scrap of paper back in the drawer without making
     the call.

57   INT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - DAY                         57

     Peppy awakes in bed with a start. She doesn't know what has
     woken her up. She looks around, looks at the phone, seems
     perplexed. Then a man's arm invites her to lie back down; she

     (56) Still at his desk, George gets up and goes to the
     window. He seems lost in thought.

58   INT. GEORGE'S STUDIO SET - JUNGLE DECOR - DAY              58

     An extract from "Tears of Love" in which we see George, holding
     the young woman in his arms, take part in a cliché-d African
     dance with shields, spears and all the African accoutrements
     attributed by Westerners at the time. George and the woman are
     complacently watching the dance, when George says to the young

     Title card: Let's go back, Norma. They've never seen a white
     woman before and I don't want to take any risks.


     There's hardly anyone in the theater. The people that are there
     look bored more than anything. At the back smoking a cigarette,
     George takes the failure on the chin.

     One couple gets to their feet and leaves the theater. As the
     man reaches George, he recognizes him and casts him a glance
     that seems to say "goodness old chap this one's not up to
     much..." George doesn't know what to say in reply.

60   EXT. MOVIE THEATERS - LOS ANGELES - DAY                       60

     Outside, George comes out still smoking his cigarette. On the
     sidewalk, people are cheerfully waiting in line. George walks
     up the line and comes to a movie house that's playing the
     "Beauty Spot" talking movie. A huge poster depicts Peppy and
     the people in the line seem excited and delighted to be going
     to see the film. It's visibly a success. George takes it on the


     Inside the car, behind the implacable chauffeur, George is
     talking to himself, as though he's re-running the story in
     his head and searching for what he might have done better, or

62   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - DAY                              62

     Once home, he finds a photo of himself on the floor. It has
     been defaced with a scribbled moustache, spectacles and a big
     nose. There's a note to him scribbled on the back. We read it
     at the same time as him.

     It's over, George. You've got a fortnight to collect your
     souvenirs together and get out of the house.

     P.S.: You should go see Beauty Spot, it's incredible.

     George takes it on the chin and leaves, revealing behind him
     the portrait of himself wearing a tuxedo, smiling and waving.


     As for Peppy, she's in the theater, watching Tears of love.
     She's with a handsome young man who seems bored.

64   EXT. JUNGLE - DAY                                             64

     George is wearing shorts and an explorer's hat. He is sinking
     in sinking sand. The young woman is screaming and the dog

     The Africans are panicking but there's nothing anyone can do.
     George stops struggling, and looks deep into the eyes of the
     young woman. He says gently:

     Title card: Farewell, Norma.    I never loved you...

     It's obvious he's only saying that so that she can forget him
     and move on with her life, but it doesn't wash and the young
     woman weeps all the more, terribly moved by this last
     sacrifice on his part.

     (63) In the balcony, Peppy is speechless and her face

     (64) On screen, George and the young women exchange a last
     glance as George's face gradually sinks into the sand.

     (63) Next to Peppy, the young man sits watching her. She sees

     (64) On screen, George has disappeared into the mire. Only
     one hand stays in the air for several seconds more in a
     tortured pose, that of a dying man trying to hold on to the

     (63) Peppy's companion seems to find the film far too long
     and doesn't understand why they haven't already left.

     (64) The hand has disappeared. The young woman is in a state
     of shock, rigid with a look of horror on her face. She is no
     doubt about to be put to certain death. The dog turns round
     and walks off with head and tail lowered...

     The End appears on the screen.

     (63) Peppy seems moved. She is shaking her head from side to


     Evening has fallen on the town. It's raining. On the ground
     lies an old page from a newspaper that bears a picture of
     George. A man's feet trample the picture.

66   INT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - NIGHT                           66

     George is   at home. Two bottles are apparent and, obviously
     drunk, he   is staring out the window. The projection of
     raindrops   sliding down the window look like tears running down
     his face.   And Jack's face too. George is pulled out of his
     stupor as   he hears something.

67   EXT. GEORGE & DORIS' HOUSE - TOP STEP - NIGHT                 67

     He opens the door. It's Peppy. She immediately notices that
     George is drunk. Her smile tenses a little.

     Title card: I wanted to talk, I...

     George looks at her. She continues.

     Title card: I saw Tears of Love.

     George nods, and answers.

     Title card: And so you've come to get your money back?

     She smiles stiffly, not knowing how to react.   He continues.

     Title card: Too much face-pulling?

     She stops smiling because it's not funny at all. It's bitter,
     even. There's an embarrassed silence. Softly, she tries to

     Title card: About last night...

     She stops because George is not looking at her anymore. He's
     watching the arrival of the young, smiling, handsome and
     wholesome man who is with Peppy. George bears a melancholy

     Title card: You're right. Make way for youth...

     The young man shakes George's hand. He's obviously a nice
     lad, and very polite.

     Title card: I'm so happy to meet you. My Dad just loves you.

     He says it very nicely, with no ulterior motive, but George
     is cut to the quick. The comment wounds him and Peppy
     notices. She cuts short the meeting by smiling and upping the
     cheerfulness stakes, as though to kid George she hasn't
     noticed any embarrassment or perceived anything that might
     have shocked or hurt him during their encounter.

     Title card: OK! Well, we'll be off now.   I'll call you soon.

     George smiles politely. She leaves, taking the handsome jock
     with her. George watches them leave. As does his dog, who
     sits with his head and ears hanging low as though very
     disappointed. George watches Peppy walking away, then steps
     forwards and sits down on the steps leading up to the house.

     As she gets into the car, Peppy seems surly, unhappy even,
     for the first time. She turns her back on her companion.

     Title card: Take me home. I'd like to be alone.

     George watches the car leave, then goes and sits on a bench
     next to the front door. But the bench breaks and George finds
     himself on the ground next to the dog. George remarks evenly
     to Jack:

     Title card: See, could be it just wasn't my day...

                                                  FADE TO BLACK.

68   EXT. MOVIE THEATER - "TEARS OF LOVE" - DAY                    68

     In the rain, a worker is taking down letters from the facade
     of a theater. Of Tears of Love, only the word Tears remains.


     Peppy is facing her mirror and putting her make up on. She
     takes a break, looking a little sad. Someone (some kind of
     assistant) opens the door to her dressing room and says
     something like you need to hurry up. She nods and gets back
     to work.

70   EXT. MOVIE POSTERS - LOS ANGELES - DAY                        70

     Alternate shots of three or four film posters and frames from
     them which illustrate Peppy's rising fame. Her name moves
     higher up the posters and into bigger letters. The films are
     called "The Rookie", "The Brunette ", "The Girl Next Door" and,
     finally, "On the Roof ".

71                                                                 71


     We catch up with her in a close up, applying her make up. The
     camera pulls back and we see that not only is she not putting
     the make up on herself - a make up artist is doing that - but
     there are in fact four pairs of hands getting busy around her;
     two make up girls, a hairdresser and a wardrobe assistant.
     Peppy, fortunately, has stayed completely natural and doesn't
     seem to take any of it seriously. As the last touch is put in
     place, Peppy gets to her feet and turns round.

     At her feet lie a dozen pairs of shoes, each pair as
     magnificent as the next, and all in their swanky boxes. Peppy
     tries on a pair. Close up of her feet.

73   INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE (1931) - DAY                              73

     Crossfade to a man's pair of shoes with used heels and uppers.
     George's dog comes to sit at his feet. The date is superimposed
     on the screen: 1931.

     The camera climbs up his legs to reveal George lying fully
     dressed in his bed, obviously at home in view of his attitude.
     He's changed. And even if his suit is still pretty smart, he's
     become more "common", less unattainable. He seems to have lost
     whatever it was that made him so superb. Primarily he's a bit
     drunk, somewhat hesitant. George gets up and closes his Murphy
     bed, the kind of bed that slots up into the wall to look like a
     closet. Then he walks across the living area. His home has
     changed too, it's fallen in class and is a lot more modest than
     the one we were used to seeing him in. We do however recognize
     some of the objects, furniture and paintings from his old
     house, notably the huge portrait of him smiling. He goes into
     the kitchen which is open onto the rest of the apartment.
     There's nothing in the refrigerator. He looks for something to
     drink but there's only one bottle left in the rack. He lifts it
     up. It's empty.

     He opens a closet. Inside, a tuxedo hangs among a number of
     bare hangers.

74   INT. PAWNSHOP - DAY                                           74

     In a pawnshop, George, still a little drunk, is selling his
     tuxedo. The pawnbroker and he are visibly disagreeing on the
     price, but of course it's George who folds first and hands
     over the tuxedo. The pawnbroker counts out the bills and
     hands them to George who, in a fit of pride, leaves a tip as
     he leaves - his dignity intact even in the face of adversity.

75   INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - DAY                                     75

     At home, George is drinking and watching his chauffeur fix some
     food. He seems preoccupied.

     Title card: How long's it been since I paid you last,

     The chauffeur answers as he carries on doing what he's doing.

     Title card: Been one year now, Sir.

     George gets up, visibly thinking that he shouldn't have done
     that, that it's wrong. He go gets the keys and a jacket,
     comes back and gives them to the chauffeur.

     Title card: You're fired. Keep the car. Get yourself a job
     someplace else.

     The chauffeur refuses, George insists. They don't agree but
     George ends up throwing him out, even though we've understood
     that he's doing it for Clifton's benefit and not through any

76   EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - DAY                                     76

     Once outside, the chauffeur doesn't move. He stays next to the
     car. George watches him through the window. The chauffeur
     still doesn't budge. George pulls the curtains.

77   EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - EVENING                                 77

     In the evening, George looks out between the curtains, the
     chauffeur is still there. George turns on his heels and gets
     into his Murphy bed.

78   INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT                         78

     Night time. George is in bed with his eyes open.

79   EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - NIGHT                                   79

     Outside, the chauffeur is still in the same position.

80   INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - DAY                                     80

     The next morning, George gets up and goes to look from the
     window. The chauffeur has gone. George is a little sad, but
     that's just the way it is... He looks around at his home.

     A little later, George looks at himself in a mirror. We pass
     from him to his reflection, which he hides by placing his drink
     against the mirror.

81   INT. AUCTION ROOMS - DAY                                      81

     A sign says that the effects of George Valentin are to be
     auctioned. Furniture, costumes, objets d'art and paintings on
     September 14th. There aren't many people in the room, just five
     or six. George is standing at the back, smoking a cigarette.

     His position and demeanor are exactly like when he was watching
     the screening of Tears of Love, from the back of the room with
     the verdict of failure in the air...

     He's looking a little unsteady on his feet, probably due to the
     hip flask he's necking that seems to contain liquor. The
     objects go under the hammer one by one. We see the three
     monkeys go by, notably, hear no evil, speak no evil, see no
     evil. Two buyers especially are raising the prices by bidding
     against each other, a distinguished and reserved-looking man,
     and a lady of a certain age who looks a bit severe, to the
     point of bigotry. They don't seem perfectly comfortable, but
     they are the only two buying.

     A few crossfades (the display table emptying, faces, hands
     being raised, hammer falling, "sold" labels) show us the lots
     disappearing - every single item is sold.

82   INT. AUCTION ROOMS - CORRIDOR - DAY                           82

     George is now with the auctioneer, he's studying the list of
     items as auction assistants busy themselves around him,
     carrying and packing the sold lots. The auctioneer, who is
     putting on his coat, congratulates George.

     Title card: Well done! It all sold, there's nothing left!

     George nods but his smile seems a little ironic. He leaves
     the room.

     On the stairway, as he's leaving, he is joined by the
     distinguished-looking man who puts on his coat and leaves.

83   EXT. AUCTION ROOM'S STREET - DAY                              83

     They leave at the same time. The man crosses the street, we
     follow him.

     He gets into a car. Peppy is sitting in the back. She's alone
     and watching George walk off with his unsteady gait. She's sad.
     The man casts a glance to ask her what he should do next.
     Peppy, with a forced smile, motions that they can leave. As the
     man starts up the motorcar, George is walking away. The car
     sets off and overtakes him. Peppy does not turn round. She's

84   INT. CLANDESTINE BAR - NIGHT                                  84

     George, dressed differently, is drinking in a clandestine bar
     that has made the effort of putting up a few Christmas
     decorations. George is visibly smashed.


     A small version of him appears superimposed on the bar, dressed
     as an explorer and discovering the life-size version of
     himself. The big version watches the little version load his
     rifle. Then the little version shoots at the big version, but
     the big version just smiles.

     Little version runs off shot to get help, and he comes back
     with a tribe of African warriors, all bearing spears. They

     Big version tries to defend himself, staggers as he gets to his
     feet, tries to gesture to the barman, but he is so drunk that
     he falls straight backwards without making the slightest
     attempt to stop his fall. The Africans leap about with joy.

                                                  FADE TO BLACK.

     (84) George's chauffeur comes into the bar. He motions to the
     barman who jerks his head in one direction. The chauffeur
     follows the indication and finds George lying on the floor,
     totally smashed. He slaps him gently around the face a few
     times in a vain attempt to wake him, then lifts him over his
     shoulder, pays the check and leaves.

86   INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - NIGHT                                   86

     At George's house, his chauffeur puts him to bed and hangs his
     suit carefully before leaving the room. He sees the dog, goes
     over to it and strokes it. They look at each other. We can tell
     that the chauffeur is worried about George.

87   EXT. "GUARDIAN ANGEL" THEATER - DAY                           87

     Peppy Miller is "The Guardian Angel". It's a huge poster on the
     façade of a movie theater. George goes inside. With Jack.

88   INT. "GUARDIAN ANGEL" THEATER - DAY                           88

     The auditorium is full. George sits down in the first row. To
     watch the film he has to look upwards, and sees a huge and
     magnificent Peppy rising above him. She's playing a scene with
     a young actor we recognize, it's Humphrey Bogart. He's become a
     spectator: he laughs, is absorbed and cries along with the


     Coming out of the theater several young people bump into him.
     They don't recognize him. There's a lot of people milling
     about, so he picks Jack up. A woman exclaims an Oh! of
     admiration as though she's recognized George. He smiles
     modestly but soon realizes that it's just because she thinks
     Jack is cute and has come over to stroke him like she would any
     other dog. She is totally under Jack's charm, and says to

     Title card: If only he could talk!

     George still has the smile on his lips, but it has become one
     of resignation.

     He looks away as the woman strokes the dog.

90   EXT. MEXICAN VILLAGE - DAY                                   90

     George is playing Zorro. He performs stunt after stunt and the
     close ups show his devastating smile to its best advantage. In
     fact, it's an extract from The Mark of Zorro with Douglas
     Fairbanks, into which we'll insert close ups of Jean we've shot

91   INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - DAY                                    91

     The Zorro sequence is being screened on a wall in George's
     apartment. George is watching himself, slumped in an easy
     chair. His sluggish attitude and listless air are in sharp
     contrast with the image of himself projected by the film.

     Then the image jumps and goes white. George gets up, still half-
     smashed. His shadow is clearly delineated on the white screen.
     He sees it, looks it up and down and then starts to look at it

     Title card: Look what you've become...

     He carries on shouting at it, obviously very annoyed with it.

     Title card: You were very nasty! And stupid! And arrogant!

     He doesn't even want to look at it anymore. He looks
     disgusted. Suddenly his shadow separates itself from him and
     moves independently from him. As he shouts at it, it lowers
     its head and doesn't reply.

     Title card: You acted very badly! You were thoughtless!

     He carries on as though it's normal until his shadow walks
     off with its head bowed. He watches it go, trying to
     understand what's happening, but it's gone and he's still
     there. He begins to holler.


     Totally smashed he starts to violently throw film reels
     against the wall as he hollers. The cans split open and the
     film bursts out all over. George is becoming more and more
     frenzied. The floor is now covered in cans and film. He
     stops, dripping with sweat. Worriedly, he looks around for a
     moment. Then he strikes a match, takes a second to consider
     what he's about to do and throws the match into the middle of
     the reels.

     There's madness in his eyes as he watches the fire take hold.
     We can see his pleasure at seeing the flames spread. But he's
     very quickly overrun. The reels burst into flames in an
     instant and give off lots of smoke. Jack is panicking and
     barks incessantly. Suddenly, George seems to lose it. He
     doesn't know what to do anymore and, although the fire is
     spreading quite spectacularly around him, he runs to where
     the reels and films that he has not opened are, and begins
     throwing them frantically over his shoulder as though he's
     looking for one in particular. The ever-increasing denseness
     of the smoke, however, is making the task almost impossible.
     On the floor, below the smoke, Jack flees the room and runs
     off while George suffocates but continues to struggle with
     the cans of reels.

92   EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - DAY                                    92

     The dog comes out of the house and makes a dash for the
     sidewalk as fast as he can.

     (91) In the room, among the flames and the smoke, George -
     now breathless - picks one of the reels and tries to turn
     round. He collapses, still holding on to the can.

93   EXT. POLICEMAN JUNCTION - DAY                                93

     Jack spots a cop at a junction. He takes hold of the cop's
     trouser leg with his teeth and tries to pull him towards
     George's house. The policeman doesn't understand, however, and
     pushes it away with his foot. The dog persists and barks but
     the cop just wants to be left in peace.

     (91) George is suffocating on the floor. The level of smoke
     is getting ever lower and is slowly covering his face.

     (93) Jack barks louder and louder. The policeman feels
     uncomfortable. A woman is watching the scene inquisitively.
     Not knowing what to do, the cop motions to the dog to be
     silent and threatens it with two fingers, just like George
     miming a pistol. Jack collapses and plays dead. The cop has
     no idea what's happened, he crouches down and touches the dog
     to see if it's all right. Jack wakes up and goes to leave but
     stops immediately to show the cop he wants to take him with
     him. The cop still doesn't understand, it's the woman who
     tells him what he must do. The cop seems to understand, has a
     moment of doubt, and then starts following the dog. Jack
     encourages him to go faster, but the cop resists to begin
     with. Little by little though, as though realizing the
     seriousness of the situation, he speeds up. More and more,

94   EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - DAY                                    94

     until he finally arrives flat out at George's home. The cop
     sees the smoke coming out of the house. He runs into the smoke.

95   INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - DAY                                    95

     A completely unconscious George, overcome by the fumes, is
     dragged out of the fire by the policeman.

96   EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - DAY                                    96

     They come out the house. George is still clutching the reel. A
     crowd has formed, people recognize him. One woman feels sorry
     for him, a man runs for help. George is unconscious.

                                                 FADE TO BLACK.

97   INT. KINOGRAPH STUDIOS - PEPPY SET - 1931 - DAY              97

     We see Peppy on a shoot, sitting in a chair with her name on
     it, smoking a cigarette. Everyone about her is busy preparing a
     shot. Suddenly an assistant brings her a telephone. She takes
     the receiver with a smile and listens. Her expression tightens
     a little. She hangs up, pensive for a moment. On set,the
     director gestures to his assistant that the shot is ready and
     they are good to go. The assistant goes towards Peppy to let
     her know but, as he gets to where she should be, her seat is
     empty. He looks everywhere for her, but she has disappeared.

98   INT. PEPPY'S CAR (DRIVING) - DAY                             98

     In her car, and still in costume, she urges her chauffeur to go
     quick as he can.

99    EXT. HOSPITAL COURTYARD - DAY                                99

      The car pulls into the hospital courtyard.

100   INT. HOSPITAL - LOBBY AND STAIRS - DAY                      100

      Peppy bursts into the lobby, talks to a woman at the desk who
      directs her with a raised hand that Peppy immediately follows.

      She bounds up the stairs four at a time and comes into a


      and then to a door through the window of which she sees
      George lying down. His dog is at the foot of the bed, asleep.
      George is on a drip, unconscious and covered in bandages. A
      doctor is in the room with a nurse.

      Peppy enters. She's anxious but the doctor seems reassuring.

      Title card: He's not in any danger now. He just needs to

      Peppy goes up to George. She notices that his burnt hands
      seem to still be clutching something. She's intrigued. In
      response, the doctor shows her the reel of film that sits in
      a corner of the room.

      Title card: He was holding that. It was real hard to pry it
      away from him.

      Peppy picks up the can. The label is too damaged to be able
      to read the title of the film. She opens it and unrolls some
      of the film in front of the window. We see random photograms
      run by. It's the only sequence they ever shot together, years
      before. Peppy is moved. Without turning round, she asks the

      Title card: Do you think he could come rest up at my place?

      The doctor nods with a kindly glint in his eye.

      Title card: It's probably the very best he could have hoped

102   EXT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - DAY                                    102

      An ambulance takes George, still unconscious, to Peppy's
      house. Jack is with him.

      It's a large, beautiful house, very expensive and very
      Hollywood. But it's also very inviting.


      It's night time. George is in bed. He opens one eye. Then he
      wakes up and looks around, not understanding where he is.

      Jack wakes up and barks, wags his tail. A nurse who had been
      dozing in an armchair facing the bed awakes with a start, then
      goes over to George. She reassures him, motions to him not to
      get upset, then slowly leaves the room before running off down
      the corridor. She knocks at a door then goes back to George's
      room. Peppy is close on her heels. She comes into the room in
      her nightgown. When he sees her, George smiles and she rushes
      over to the bed and puts her arms tight around him. She is
      terribly moved but, when she releases him from her arms to talk
      to him, she realizes that he has lost consciousness again and
      so was not sharing the same special moment as she. She pulls a
      face, afraid she might have done something wrong, glances over
      at the nurse, then lays George's head back on his pillow.

104   INT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - GEORGE'S BEDROOM - DAY                 104

      The next morning, Peppy brings breakfast into George's room
      and they eat it together. She laughs, talks, eats, drinks and
      is as vivacious as he had dreamed she would be all those years
      before. He looks at her with a smile on his face. Then she
      looks at her watch and realizes she needs to hurry.

      Title card: I've got to go. I have to be on set for nine

      George smiles kindly at her. She returns the smile but we can
      tell that maybe reality has just reminded them that she is
      working, and he is not. They exchange a last glance before
      she leaves the room.

      George, now alone, gets up with some difficulty. He picks up
      a pile of folded clothes from an armchair. It's his jacket
      and pants, both half burned. On the floor, his shoes are in
      exactly the same state of disrepair.

105   INT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - DAY                                    105

      A little later, and alone, he's exploring the house. It's
      richly and tastefully decorated, highly personal. He goes
      along a corridor and down a wide stairway. Jack begins sniffing
      outside of one door, as though he wants to go inside.

106   INT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - STOREROOM - DAY                        106

      George opens the door and goes into the room, it's a kind of
      storeroom in which everything is covered up with sheets. He
      closes the door behind him. The room has a ghostly quality to
      it. Jack sniffs about everywhere. George too seems troubled by
      the strange pervading atmosphere. His curiosity is spurred by
      a convoluted object that is covered in a thin cloth. A ray of
      light surges into the room. The door has opened and, standing
      against the daylight, is a maid.

      Title card: You should go back to your room, Sir.

      George nods with a smile. The maid leaves pretty swiftly, we
      haven't seen her face, the whole moment seems rather strange.
      George is intrigued but leaves the room. He has to call Jack
      to him. Jack is reluctant to go but finally obeys his master.

107   INT. KINOGRAPH STUDIOS - PEPPY SET - 1931 - DAY             107

      A screenplay lies on a table. Peppy and Zimmer are seated
      either side of the table and are talking animatedly. We're on
      the set we saw the previous day, and Peppy seems to be trying
      to convince Zimmer of something. She seems to be describing a
      film poster or the façade of a movie theater she'd love to see.
      He doesn't seem too enthusiastic from the looks of the negative
      shakes of his head and his apologetic air as he listens to
      Peppy. She finally stops talking and gives him a determined
      look. Zimmer, uncomfortable and sorry, calmly replies.

      Title card: George is a silent movie actor. He belongs to the
      past. Today he's a nobody.

      As Zimmer's speaking, she removes her accessories and hat.
      Zimmer is so intrigued he stops talking.

      Title card: What are you doing?

      She looks him straight in the eyes, and answers:

      Title card: I'm stopping work. It's him or me.

      She looks determined. He's looking unsure of himself. He
      visibly isn't sure he's understood properly. She drives her
      point home.

      Title card: What I mean is it's either him AND me! Or neither
      of us!

      Zimmer still isn't sure he's understood. He just looks at

      Title card: I'm blackmailing you, get it?!

      Even when she's blackmailing, she's still pretty, and Zimmer
      looks at her totally at a loss but at the same time it's
      obvious that he's going to back down. The people around them
      are listening in on their conversation and seem to be waiting
      for his decision. There's an element of déjà-vu to the
      situation, and Zimmer, who already backed down a few years
      before, gives in.

      Title card: And why not...

      She smiles at him, picks up the screenplay with delight, and
      leaves. As he moves away she whistles at him. He turns round
      and she vigorously blows him a kiss.

108   INT. PEPPY'S CAR (DRIVING) - DAY                             108

      The screenplay lies on the front seat of a car. The camera
      pulls back, it's Clifton who is in the driving seat.

109   INT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - GEORGE'S BEDROOM - DAY                  109

      George is lying in bed when his former chauffeur comes in. At
      first, he's delighted to see him, but this turns into
      astonishment and he seems to ask the man a question. The
      chauffeur answers:

      Title card: I work for Miss Miller now.

      George visibly doesn't know what to think and, although he
      remains pleasant, becomes somewhat reserved. It's as though
      something has come between them. The chauffeur places the
      screenplay on the bedside table. George seems to greet it
      with mistrust, certainly not with enthusiasm.

      The chauffeur also has a box of cakes with him that he puts
      on a plate for George. George doesn't want any, it's all too

      Before he leaves, the chauffeur overcomes his habitual
      reserve for the first time and says to George:

      Title card: She's been good to you. She's always looked out
      for you.

      The chauffeur leaves without trying to convince George
      further, as the other looks on full of pride and doubt.

110   EXT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - DAY                                  110

      From the window, we see the chauffeur get into the car and
      drive off. We recognize the car as being the one that belonged
      to George.

      (109) At the window, George watches him leave. Then he seems
      to have an idea or, more exactly, an intuition.

111   INT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - STOREROOM - DAY                      111

      George goes into the room that's full of sheets. He goes
      straight over to the object with the bizarre shape and lifts up
      the sheet. Underneath he finds his former objet d'art, the
      three monkeys "hear no evil", "speak no evil" and "see no
      evil". He thinks for a moment, then pulls of another sheet to
      reveal a piece of furniture. Once again it's a piece that used
      to belong to him and we recognize it from having seen it at the
      auction room.

      After taking off several other sheets, George realizes that
      she bought everything he had put up for sale: furniture,
      paintings, objets d'art, souvenirs, etc. He rips off sheets
      one after the other and the objects appear, even down to his
      suits and tuxedos. He continues and discovers the painting
      depicting him in a tux, waving and smiling. George looks
      stunned at the sight of himself looking so full of life. He's
      interrupted by the same ray of light which surges into the room
      once more. This time, at the door, are the butler and the maid.

      George walks towards them when he sees them. The closer he gets
      to them, however, the more his expression tightens. We realize
      that the butler is none other than the distinguished-looking
      man who purchased everything at the auction, and that the maid
      is the woman who was bidding against him to raise the sale
      prices. George is looking at them as he leaves the room. He has
      recognized them, but doesn't say anything to them. He walks
      off, still shocked by what he's just realized.

112   INT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - GEORGE'S BEDROOM - DAY               112

      He finishes putting on his burnt suit in his room, and leaves.

113   INT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - DAY                                  113

      He goes down the stairs and flees the house.

114   EXT. BEGGAR STREET - DAY                                  114

      George is in the street wearing his burnt suit and damaged
      shoes. He is shirtless. With Jack by his side, he walks along
      the sidewalk. There are a few other people walking along. About
      twenty yards ahead of him a man is begging. He holds out his
      hand to passers-by. George approaches and, when there are no
      other passers-by between him and George, the beggar glances at
      him and lowers his hand. He doesn't raise it as George
      approaches. George stops in front of him and looks at him, but
      the beggar motions to him to scram. George continues on his
      way. For that moment at least, he has become one of them.

      He buttons up the collar of his suit in an attempt to hide the
      fact that he doesn't have a shirt then, heads off and loses
      himself in the crowd. Some distance later, he stops to check
      his reflection in a shop window. The image he sees is that of a
      bum. It's even more striking because the in the window there is
      a young male mannequin wearing a tux, top hat and white scarf.
      The image of the mannequin and that of George are superimposed.

      A cop comes up to George and begins talking to him in a
      friendly manner. He speaks but we don't know what about. There
      is not Title card. George visibly has no idea what the cop is
      talking about. The cop seems to be talking about nothing
      important, just chatting... He talks and talks... George
      doesn't understand what he's saying, and doesn't understand
      why he's talking to him. He's lost.

      Title card: What did you say?

      The cop smiles, carries on talking, then stops. He thinks
      he's talking to a madman. He doesn't persist, merely sizes
      George up and, once he's decided that he's harmless, the cop
      walks off. George, totally bewildered by the incident, seems
      to lose his grip on himself a little more.

115   INT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - DAY                                  115

      Peppy gets home in the evening, arms laden with flowers. She's

      She quickly goes up the stairs and into George's bedroom. He's
      not there. She looks for him but can't find him. The maid says
      that he has left. She drops the flowers.

116   INT. GEORGE'S BURNT HOUSE - DAY                           116

      George goes into his house that has been disfigured by the
      fire. The flames have changed everything and the atmosphere,
      here again, seems ghostly and sad.

      George sits down in an armchair in the darkness. Jack sits down
      facing him. He wags his tail and it thumps on the ground.

117   INT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - STOREROOM - DAY                      117

      In the room with all the sheets, Peppy is with the maid. The
      maid seems to be telling her what happened with George, how he
      removed all the sheets, etc. Peppy listens with an inscrutable
      expression on her face. Then, suddenly overcome by a terrible
      thought, she rushes outside.

118   EXT. PEPPY'S HOUSE - DAY                                  118

      She runs out of the house and over to the car, but the
      chauffeur isn't there. She honks the horn to call him but
      there's no response. She honks the horn again, then, not
      wanting to wait any longer, and seeing the keys on the
      dashboard, she gets behind the wheel, starts the engine and
      pulls off in a series of kangaroo hops. It's obvious that she
      doesn't know how to drive all that well, but still goes at full
      speed - more or less successfully. Just as she passes through
      the gate, the chauffeur turns up. Too late. He sees her drive

119   EXT. PEPPY'S CAR (DRIVING) - DAY                          119

      Peppy is driving as fast as she can through town, but she's
      pretty reckless and almost causes an accident.

120   INT. GEORGE'S BURNT HOUSE - DAY                           120

      Outside George's house, the wind is slamming one of the
      shutters with the regularity of a metronome. George takes a
      gulp of liquor, then puts down the glass, opens a cardboard box
      and takes out a pistol that he places on the table in front of
      him. He picks up the glass for another gulp. Jack doesn't like
      what he sees. He barks.

      (119) As for Peppy, she's speeding along, totally ignoring
      even the most basic of road safety requirements.

      (120) George puts down his glass and picks up the pistol.
      Jack isn't happy at all. He barks and bites George's trouser
      leg, pulling on it.

      (119) Peppy speeding along.

      (120) George puts the pistol into his mouth. Jack is barking
      like mad. George, still in the same position, closes his

      Title card: "BANG!"

      George is in the same position. He still has the pistol in
      his mouth. Visibly, he's heard a BANG from outside, because
      he takes the pistol out of his mouth and looks out the

121   EXT. GEORGE'S BURNT HOUSE - DAY                            121

      Outside, we see Peppy's car has rammed into the gate and is
      still shuddering. Peppy didn't brake in time, but she doesn't
      care. She jumps out the car and runs into the house.

122   INT. GEORGE'S BURNT HOUSE - DAY                            122

      She rushes into the living room and stops for a moment to look
      at George. George awkwardly tries to hide the pistol behind
      him. She bursts into tears.

      Title card: I feel so awful. I only wanted to help you. To
      take care of you...

      He seems to reply that no, it's not her fault, she's got
      nothing to feel bad about. He opens his arms towards her,
      still holding the pistol and the gun fires itself.
      Fortunately no one is hurt, but the incident makes Peppy
      laugh and, between sobs and gasps of laughter she throws
      herself into George's arms. They hug for a long time. Peppy
      says into his ear,

      Title card: You've got so much that no one else has...

      And into her ear, George replies:

      Title card: No, I'm nothing but a shadow. No good for
      anything but silence.

      Peppy doesn't reply. She just holds him tighter still and
      closes her eyes. Jack is sitting close by, watching them and
      wagging his tail.

      Outside, the shutter is still slamming and the car is still
      shuddering. Peppy opens her eyes. Visibly, she's had an idea.

      Jack wags his tail and thumps it on the ground. The shutter
      slams. The car shudders. Peppy smiles at George.

      Title card: I know what you have that no one else does.

      Peppy moves away from George and motions to him to listen.
      The shutter slams. Jacks tail thumps. The car shudders... Peppy
      does a few tap steps. George doesn't understand.

      Peppy starts again, with a beaming smile, waiting for his
      response. George does a few tap steps himself, basic ones,
      without any great enthusiasm. She smiles at him and does a
      few more complex steps that are a lot livelier. He smiles
      back finally understanding the golden gift that he has in his
      feet. He looks at Peppy lovingly with a beaming smile on his


      Music suddenly begins to play and we see feet dancing in
      another decor. Except that from now on we actually hear the
      sound of the tap steps. We pull back to find Peppy and George
      in Zimmer's office. They're dancing for him. Little by little,
      Zimmer is convinced by them, and, when they finish their
      demonstration, he has a broad smile on his face.

124   INT. STUDIO - PEPPY & GEORGE - DAY                        124

      We find Peppy and George on a film set, still dancing. The
      piece of jazz they are dancing to has gone so crazy that now
      everyone wants to get up and dance! They are dancing a tap
      number facing the camera, in a décor representing a stylized
      New York. The choreography is incredible, in the grand style
      of the old Hollywood musicals and they finish with a knee
      slide that brings them right up to us with big smiles on
      their faces. The music stops on a powerful blast from the
      brass instruments that leaves everyone bursting with energy.
      In the ensuing silence, Peppy and George stay exactly where
      they were, facing the camera, with the smile stuck on their
      faces. It goes on for a little too long, they are out of

      Then they look at someone off-shot. They are facing a film
      crew (from their era of course). The director smiles. Zimmer,
      sitting next to him, seems ecstatic. The director speaks and
      we hear what he says.

                Cut! Excellent!

      Zimmer has both his thumbs up. The director says to Peppy and

                          DIRECTOR (CONT'D)
                Once more? Please?

      George laughs and replies, and we hear him too.

                With pleasure!

                           THE End

The credits run while Peppy and George go back to their
positions. The camera (ours) pulls back and into frame come
all the technicians who are setting up the shot, the hair,
make-up and costume people for continuity, the camera coming
into position, the director coming over to say a few words to
the star couple, in short: the shot being prepared for
another take. And, when everyone is in position, the director
speaks into his megaphone and we hear "OK, Camera! Sound!
Rolling... and... Action!"

Fade to black and the music picks up again for the end of the
credit sequence.

Artist, The

Writers :   Michel Hazanavicius
Genres :   Romance  Comedy  Drama

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