Agnes of God script
Agnes of God (1985)
Synopsis: Dr. Martha Livingston (Jane Fonda) is a court-appointed psychiatrist sent to evaluate Sister Agnes (Meg Tilly), a young nun whose infant has been found strangled. With Agnes claiming a virgin conception and having no memory of giving birth, Livingston must distinguish between the lies and the nun's perception-altering faith. Complicating her investigation, Livingston continually clashes with the overbearing Mother Miriam Ruth (Anne Bancroft), who insists that Livingston leave Agnes alone.

FADE IN:

EXT - CONVENT - DAY

Whispering of nuns at prayer.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT - CHAPEL - DAY

Nuns at prayer; MOTHER MIRIAM, the Superior closes the gate and locks it.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT - COURTYARD - DAY

The nuns walking around the courtyard in an anticlockwise direction saying the rosary.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT - CHAPEL - DAY

A line of nuns kneeling at prayer. Closeups of various individuals.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT - CONVENT - NIGHT

A single shot of the building.

INT - TOP CORRIDOR - NIGHT

SISTER MARGUERITE is locking up for the night, shutting doors, turning off lights, finally walks off down the corridor. Suddenly a terrified scream is heard, the voice of a young woman.

EXT - CONVENT - NIGHT

Lights in the windows flick on.

INT - TOP CORRIDOR - NIGHT

The nuns are running up the corridor in their night dresses and caps, calling urgently in French. They reach the door of Sister Agnes' room and try the door. It is blocked. Pushing harder they see the blood stained figure of SISTER AGNES. Much alarm and crying...

MOTHER SUPERIOR:

Agnes!... Agnes...

EXT - CONVENT - NIGHT

An ambulance comes tearing down the road, siren blaring. It cuts the siren and stops outside the convent gates. The nuns open the gate and the ambulance drives inside.

INT - TOP CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Two PARAMEDICS urgently run the stretcher down the hall to the unconscious figure of Sister Agnes. The Mother Superior desperately wipes and kisses her face.

PARAMEDIC:

I'm just going to put something here to

stop the bleeding. Excuse me Sister.

She'll be fine.

They lift her on to the stretcher and run back down the hall.

The Mother Superior looks around worriedly and goes into...

INT - SISTER AGNES' ROOM - NIGHT

She kneels down by a waste paper basket full of bloodied sheets and starts to pull them out. Then she freezes, makes the sign of the cross and starts to weep.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT - MONTREAL - NIGHT

An aerial shot of the great cross of Montreal. Superimposed over this are the words

"MONTREAL, QUEBEC".

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT - SUPREME COURT - DAY

A normal busy day. A car pulls up with a woman and a man driving. The woman is MARTHA LIVINGSTON. She kisses the man (LARRY), gets out of the car, runs across the road dodgingtraffic and goes up the steps of the courthouse. There a group of REPORTERS there and a sudden bustle of interest.

REPORTER:

Here they are now.

Martha watches intently as 3 nuns, the Mother Superior, Sister Marguerite, and Sister Agnes (dressed in a white novices habit) and their LAWYER come out of the court escorted by police. The reporters leap on them, taking photographs, asking questions in English and French. Suddenly Sister Agnes looks right at Martha, then she is quickly bustled past. Martha goes on into the courthouse.

INT - JUDGE'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Inside EVE, LYON, and JUSTICE LEVEAU are sitting. Martha is standing by the window smoking furiously.

LEVEAU:

Martha, it's you.

MARTHA:

What about Roger? He's free.

EVE:

They want a woman.

LYON:

All you have to do is meet with her

once or twice... then tell the court

she's insane.

MARTHA:

Are you dictating my position to me?

We're getting into some sticky legal

territories here.

EVE:

Martha, all we're saying is, no-one wants

this to come to trial, not the Church, not

the Crown... least of all me.

MARTHA:

Eve, she strangled a baby!

EVE:

Nobody is interested in sending a nun

to prison.

LEVEAU:

We're not telling you what to decide

Martha. We're not even telling you to

take this.

LYON:

Is there any reason why you feel you

shouldn't take it?

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John Pielmeier

John Pielmeier was born on February 23, 1949 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a writer and actor, known for Agnes of God (1985), Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009). more…

All John Pielmeier scripts | John Pielmeier Books

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