Taking Sides script
Taking Sides (2001)
Synopsis: This drama, based on a true story, focuses on the American-led investigation of Wilhelm Furtwangler (Stellan Skarsgard), a famous German conductor suspected of working with the Nazis. Maj. Steve Arnold (Harvey Keitel) is charged with making an example of Furtwangler due to his status as a high-profile cultural figure, and pulls no punches in questioning him about possible ties to the Hitler regime. However, as Arnold presses forward, his assumptions about Furtwangler don't necessarily hold up.

FADE IN:

INT. BERLIN CONCERT HALL (1944) - NIGHT

A man conducting Beethoven. Air raid in progress. Bombs

falling nearby. The orchestra continues to play. Suddenly

the lights go out. The music stops.

INT. BACKSTAGE CORRIDOR, CONCERT HALL - NIGHT

A beam from a torch, bouncing, making shadows. An

ATTENDANT, carrying the torch, hurries down the corridor.

The air raid continues.

He comes to a door, knocks, opens it and looks in.

ATTENDANT:

(agitated)

Dr. Furtwängler, the Reichsminister.

The sound of heavy footsteps approaching. The attendant

turns his torch to light the way for three men in Nazi

uniform, also with attendants and torches, marching down

the corridor.

The attendant bows deeply as the REICHSMINISTER and his

aide go through the door. The other man remains in the

corridor on guard.

INT. CONDUCTOR'S ROOM - NIGHT

Candles light the room where the conductor shakes hands

with the Reichsminister.

REICHSMINISTER:

Dr. Furtwängler, I want to apologise

personally for this power failure.

I was so enjoying the performance.

In times like these we need

spiritual nourishment.

A bomb explodes nearby.

REICHSMINISTER:

But I welcome this unexpected

opportunity of talking to you.

(with great care)

When you came on to the platform

tonight, I thought you weren't

well. You looked tired,

(a warning)

Get away from this bombing.

Away from the war. Yes, you look

tired...

(a crooked smile)

Even in this light.

INT. RUINED CINEMA - DAY

Dark. ON A SCREEN: scenes from Leni Riefenstahl's triumph

of the will. Over this:

A MAN'S VOICE

Look at them. Men, women, kids.

Boy, did they love him. You see,

Steve, Adolf Hitler touched

something deep, real deep and savage

and barbaric, and it won't just go

away overnight. It's got to be

rooted out. You know what I think?

I think they were all Nazis. And

let's face it, their leaders, those

bastards now on trial in Nuremberg,

couldn't have done it alone. It's

these people, they gave all the

help that was needed. Willingly.

The film changes with a scratchy music soundtrack - Wagner.

SHOTS of high-ranking Nazis in an audience including Josef

Goebbels, listening. And they're listening to and watching

Wilhelm Furtwängler conducting. At the appropriate moment:

THE MAN'S VOICE

That's him. Furtwängler. Wilhelm

Furtwängler.

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Ronald Harwood

Sir Ronald Harwood, CBE, FRSL (born Ronald Horwitz; 9 November 1934) is an author, playwright and screenwriter. He is most noted for his plays for the British stage as well as the screenplays for The Dresser (for which he was nominated for an Oscar) and The Pianist, for which he won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007). more…

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"Taking Sides" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 23 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/taking_sides_403>.

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