The modest dairy farm in the countryside of Nancy, France (what the French call cow country).
We read a SUBTITLE in the sky above the farmhouse:
“ONCE UPON A TIME IN . . .
This SUBTITLE disappears and is replaced by another one:
One year into the German
occupation of France”
The farm consists of a house, a small barn, and twelve cows spread about.
The owner of the property, a bull of a man, FRENCH FARMER, brings an ax up and down on a tree stump, blemishing his property. However, simply by sight, you’d never know if he’s been beating at this stump for the last year or just started today.
one of his three pretty teenage daughters, is hanging laundry on the clothesline. As she hangs up a white bedsheet, she hears a noise. Moving the sheet aside, she sees:
A Nazi town car convertible, with two little Nazi flags attached to the hood, a NAZI SOLDIER behind the wheel, a NAZI OFFICER alone in the backseat, following TWO OTHER NAZI SOLDIERS on motorcycles, coming up over the hill on the country road leading to their farm.
The French farmer sinks his ax in the stump, looks over his shoulder, and sees the Germans approaching.
The FARMER’S WIFE, CHARLOTTE, comes to the doorway of their home, followed by her TWO OTHER TEENAGE DAUGHTERS, and sees the Germans approaching.
The farmer yells to his family in FRENCH, SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
Go back inside and shut the door.
Julie, get me some water from the pump to wash up with, then get inside with your mother.
The young lady runs to the water pump by the house. She picks up a basin and begins pumping. After a few pumps, water comes out, splashing into the basin.
The French farmer sits down on the stump he was previously chopping away at, pulls a handkerchief from his pocket, wipes sweat from his face, and waits for the Nazi convoy to arrive. After living for a year with the sword of Damocles suspended over his head, this may very well be the end.
Julie finishes filling the water basin and places it on the windowsill.
Thank you, darling, now go inside and take care of your mother. Don’t run.
Julie walks inside the farmhouse and closes the door behind her.
As her father stands up from the stump and moves over to the windowsill with the water basin . . .
. . . The SOUND OF THE ENGINES of the two motorcycles and car get
The farmer SPLASHES water from the basin on his face and down his front. He takes a towel off a nail and wipes the excess water from his face and chest, as he watches the two motorcycles, the one automobile, and the four representatives of the National Socialist Party come to a halt on his property.
We don’t move into them but keep observing them from a distance, like the farmer.
The TWO NAZI MOTORCYCLISTS are off their bikes and standing at attention next to them.
The NAZI DRIVER has walked around the automobile and opened the door for his superior.
The NAZI OFFICER says to the driver in UNSUBTITLED GERMAN:
This is the property of Perrier LaPadite?
Yes, Herr Colonel.
The Nazi officer climbs out of the backseat of the vehicle, carrying in his left hand a black leather attaché case.
Herrman, until I summon you, I am to be left alone.
As you wish, Herr Colonel.
The S.S. colonel yells to the farmer in FRENCH, SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
Is this the property of Perrier LaPadite?
I am Perrier LaPadite.
The S.S. colonel crosses the distance between them with long strides and says, in French, with a smile on his face:
It is a pleasure to meet you, Monsieur LaPadite. I am Colonel Hans Landa of the S.S.
COL. HANS LANDA offers the French farmer, PERRIER LAPADITE, his hand. The Frenchman takes the German hand in his and shakes it.
How may I help you?
I was hoping you could invite me inside your home and we may have a discussion.
The door to the farmhouse swings open, and the farmer gestures for the S.S. colonel to enter. Removing his gray S.S. cap, the German steps inside the Frenchman’s home.
Col. Landa is immediately greeted with the sight of the farmer’s wife and three pretty daughters standing together in the kitchen, smiling in his direction.
The farmer enters behind him, closing the door.
Colonel Landa, this is my family.
The S.S. colonel clicks his heels together and takes the hand of the French farmer’s wife . . .
Col. Hans Landa of the S.S., Madame, at your service.
He kisses her hand, then continues without letting go of his hostess’s hand . . .
Please excuse my rude intrusion on your routine.
Don’t be ridiculous, Herr Colonel.
While still holding the French woman’s hand and looking into her eyes, the S.S. colonel says:
Monsieur LaPadite, the rumors I have heard in the village about your family are all true. Your wife is a beautiful woman.
His eyes leave the mother and move to the three daughters.
And each of your daughters is more lovely than the last.
Merci. Please have a seat.
The farmer offers the S.S. colonel a seat at the family’s wooden dinner table. The Nazi officer accepts the French farmer’s offer and lowers himself into the chair, placing his gray S.S. cap on the table and keeping his black attaché case on the floor by his feet.
The farmer (perfect host) turns to his wife and says:
Charlotte, would you be so good as to get the
Colonel some wine?
Merci beaucoup, Monsieur LaPadite, but no wine. This being a dairy farm, one would be safe in assuming you have milk?
Then milk is what I prefer.
The mother of three takes a carafe of milk out of the icebox
and pours a tall glass of the fresh white liquid for the colonel.
The S.S. colonel takes a long drink from the glass, then puts it down LOUDLY on the wooden table.
Monsieur, to both your family and your cows I say: Bravo.
Please, join me at your table.
The French farmer sits at his wooden dinner table across from the Nazi.
The women remain standing.
Col. Landa leans forward and says to the farmer in a low tone of confidentiality:
Monsieur LaPadite, what we have to discuss would be better discussed in private. You’ll notice, I left my men outdoors. If it wouldn’t offend them, could you ask your lovely ladies to step outside?
You are right.
(to his women)
Charlotte, would you take the girls outside. The Colonel and I need to have a few words.
The farmer’s wife follows her husband’s orders and gathers her daughters, taking them outside, closing the door behind them.
The two men are alone at the farmer’s dinner table, in the farmer’s humble home.
Monsieur LaPadite, I regret to inform you I’ve exhausted the extent of my French. To continue to speak it so inadequately would only serve to embarrass me. However, I’ve been led
to believe you speak English quite well?
Well, it just so happens, I do as well. This being your house, I ask your permission to switch to English for the remainder of the conversation.
By all means.
They now speak ENGLISH:
Monsieur LaPadite, while I’m very familiar with you and your family,
I have no way of knowing if you are familiar with who I am. Are you aware
of my existence?
The farmer answers:
This is good. Are you aware of the job I’ve been ordered to carry out in France?
The colonel drinks more milk.
Please tell me what you’ve heard?
I’ve heard the Führer has put you in charge of rounding up the Jews left in France who are either hiding or passing for gentile.
The S.S. colonel smiles.
The Führer couldn’t have said it better himself.
But the meaning of your visit, pleasant though it is, is mysterious to me.
The Germans looked through my house nine months ago for hiding Jews and found nothing.
I’m aware of that. I read the report on this area. But like any enterprise,
when under new management, there’s always a slight duplication of efforts. Most of it being a complete waste of time, but it needs to be done nevertheless.
I just have a few questions, Monsieur LaPadite. If you can assist me with answers, my department can close the
file on your family.
Taking his black leather attaché case and placing it on the table, he takes out a folder from inside. He also extracts an expensive black fountain pen from his uniform’s front pocket. Opening the folder and referring to it:
Now, before the occupation there were four Jewish families in this area, all dairy farmers like yourself:
the Loveitts, the Doleracs, the Rollins, and the Dreyfuses, is that correct?
To my knowledge those were the Jewish families among the dairy farmers.
Herr Colonel, would it disturb you if I smoked my pipe?
Looking up from his papers:
Please, Monsieur LaPadite, it is your house.
Make yourself comfortable.
The farmer gets up from the table, goes to a shelf over the fireplace, and removes from it a WOODEN BOX that contains all the fixings to his pipe. He sits back down at the table with his Nazi guest.
As the farmer loads the bowl of his pipe with tobacco, sets a match to it, and begins slowly puffing, making it red hot, the S.S. colonel studies the papers in front of him.
Now, according to these papers, all
the Jewish families in this area have been accounted for—except the Dreyfuses. Somewhere in the last year it would appear they have vanished.
Which leads me to the conclusion that they’ve either made good their escape
or someone is very successful hiding them. (looking up from
his papers, across the table at the farmer)
What have you heard about the Dreyfuses, Monsieur LaPadite?
—I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading, where rumors, true or false, are often revealing. So, Monsieur LaPadite, what rumors have you heard regarding
The farmer looks at Landa.
Speak freely, Monsieur LaPadite, I want to hear what the rumors are, not who told them to you.
The farmer puffs thoroughly on his pipe.
Again, this is just a rumor—but we
heard the Dreyfuses had made their way into Spain.
So the rumors you’ve heard have been of escape?
Were the LaPadites and the Dreyfuses friendly?
As the farmer answers this question, the CAMERA LOWERS behind his chair, to the floor, past the floor, to a small area underneath the floorboards, revealing:
FIVE HUMAN BEINGS
lying horizontally underneath the farmer’s floorboards. These human beings are the DREYFUSES, who have lived lying down underneath the dairy farmer’s house for the past year. But one couldn’t call what the Dreyfuses have done for the last year living. This family has done the only thing they could—hide from an occupying army that wishes to exterminate them.
We were families in the same community, in the same business. I wouldn’t say
we were friends, but members of the same community. We had common interests.
The S.S. colonel takes in this answer, seems to accept it, then moves to the next question.
Having never met the Dreyfuses, would you confirm for me the exact members of the household and their names?
There were five of them.
The father, Jacob . . . wife, Miriam . . . her brother, Bob . . .
—How old is Bob?
And the children . . . Amos . . . and Shosanna.
Ages of the children?
Amos—six—I believe. And Shosanna
was fifteen or sixteen, I’m not really sure.
The mother and her three daughters finish taking the laundry off the clothesline.
They can’t hear anything going on inside.
The three Nazi soldiers watch the three daughters.
BACK TO LANDA AND PERRIER
Well, I guess that should do it.
He begins gathering up his papers and putting them back into his attaché case.
The farmer, cool as a cucumber, puffs on his pipe.
However, before I go, could I have another glass of your delicious milk?
But of course.
The farmer stands up, goes over to the icebox, and takes out the carafe of milk. As he walks over and fills the Nazi colonel’s glass, the German officer talks.
Monsieur LaPadite, are you aware of the nickname the people of France have given me?
I have no interest in such things.
But you are aware of what they call me?
What are you aware of?
That they call you “the Jew Hunter.”
Precisely! Now I understand your trepidation in repeating it.
Before he was assassinated, Heydrich
apparently hated the moniker the good people of Prague bestowed on him. Actually, why he would hate the name “the Hangman” is baffling to me. It would appear he did everything in
his power to earn it. But I, on the other hand, love my unofficial title, precisely because I’ve earned it.
As “the Jew Hunter” enjoys his fresh milk, he continues to theorize with the French farmer.
The feature that makes me such an
of the Jews is, as opposed
to most German
soldiers, I can
think like a Jew,
where they can
only think like
a German or, more
to determine what
people share with a beast,
it would be the
cunning and predatory instinct of
Negroes—gorillas—brain—lips—smell—physical strength—penis size.
But if one were to determine what attributes the Jews share with a beast, it would
be that of the rat.
Now the Führer and Goebbels’s propaganda have said pretty much the same thing. Where our conclusions differ is I don’t consider the comparison an insult. Consider for a moment the world a rat lives in. It’s a hostile world indeed. If a rat were to scamper through your front door right now, would you greet it with hostility?
I suppose I would.
Has a rat ever done anything to you to create this animosity you feel toward them?
Rats spread disease, they bite people—
Unless some fool is stupid enough to
try and handle a live one, rats don’t make it a practice of biting human beings. Rats were the cause of the bubonic plague, but that was some time ago. In all your born days, has a rat ever caused you to be sick a day in your life? I propose to you, any disease a rat could spread a squirrel would equally carry.
Yet I assume you don’t share the same animosity with squirrels that you do with rats, do you?
Yet they are both rodents, are they
not? And except for the fact that one has a big bushy tail, while the other has a long repugnant tail of rodent skin, they even rather look alike, don’t they?
It is an interesting thought,
However, interesting as the thought may be, it makes not one bit of difference to how you feel. If a rat were to scamper through your door this very minute, would you offer it a saucer of your delicious milk?
I didn’t think so. You don’t like them. You don’t really know why you don’t like them. All you know is, you find them repulsive.
metaphor sink in)
What a tremendously hostile world a rat must endure. Yet not only does he survive, he thrives. And the reason for this is because our little foe has an instinct for survival and preservation second to none. And that, Monsieur, is what a Jew shares with a rat.
Consequently, a German soldier conducts
a search of a house suspected of hiding Jews. Where does the hawk look? He looks in the barn, he looks in the attic,
he looks in the cellar—he looks everywhere he would hide. But there are many places it would never occur to a hawk to hide. However, the reason the Führer brought me off my Alps in Austria and placed me in French cow country today is because it does occur to me.
Because I’m aware what tremendous feats human beings are capable of once they abandon dignity.
May I smoke my pipe as well?
The farmer’s cool facade is little by little eroding.
Please, colonel, make yourself at home.
The Jew Hunter removes both a pipe and a bag of tobacco fixings. The pipe, strangely enough, is a calabash, made from an S-shaped gourd with a yellow skin and made famous by Sherlock Holmes.
As the Nazi colonel busies himself with his smoking, he continues to hold court at the Frenchman’s table.
The other mistake the German soldiers make is their severe handling of the citizens who give shelter and aid to the Jews. These citizens are not enemies of the state. They are simply confused people, trying to make some sense out of the madness war creates.
These citizens do not need punishing. They simply need to be reminded of their duty in wartime.
Let’s use you as a example, Monsieur LaPadite. In this war, you have found yourself in the middle of a conflict that has nothing to do with yourself, your lovely ladies, or your cows—yet here you are.
So, Monsieur LaPadite, let me propose
a question. In this time of war, what is your number-one duty? Is it to fight
the Germans in the name of France to your last breath? Or is it to harass the occupying army to the best of your
ability? Or is it to protect the poor, unfortunate victims of warfare who can
not protect themselves?
Or is your number-one duty in this time of bloodshed to protect those very beautiful women who constitute your family?
The Colonel lets the last statement stand.
That was a question, Monsieur LaPadite. In this time of war, what do you consider your number- one duty?
To protect my family.
Now, my job dictates that I must have
my men enter your home and conduct a thorough search before I can officially cross your family’s name off my list.
And if there are any irregularities to be found, rest assured, they will be.
That is, unless you have something to tell me that will make the conducting of a search unnecessary.
I might add also that any information that makes the performing of my duty easier will not be met with punishment. Actually quite the contrary, it will be met with reward.
And that reward will be your family will cease to be harassed in any way
by the German military during the rest of our occupation of your country.
The farmer, pipe in mouth, stares across the table at his German opponent.
You are sheltering enemies of the state, are you not?
You’re sheltering them underneath your floorboards, aren’t you?
Point out to me the areas where they’re hiding.
The farmer points out the areas on the floor where the Dreyfuses are underneath.
Since I haven’t heard any disturbance,
I assume that while they’re listening, they don’t speak English?
I’m going to switch back to French now, and I want you to follow my masquerade—is that clear?
Col. Landa stands up from the table and, switching to FRENCH, says,
SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
Monsieur LaPadite, I thank you for your milk and your hospitality. I do believe our business here is done.
The Nazi officer opens the front door and silently motions for his men to approach the house.
Madame LaPadite, I thank you for your time. We shan’t be bothering your family any longer.
The soldiers enter the doorway. Col. Landa silently points out the area of the floor the Jews are hiding under.
So, Monsieur and Madame LaPadite,
I bid you adieu.
He motions to the soldiers with his index finger.
They TEAR UP the wooden floor with MACHINE-GUN FIRE.
The little farmhouse is filled with SMOKE, DUST, SPLINTERS, SCREAMS, BULLET CASINGS, and even a little BLOOD.
With a hand motion from the colonel, the soldiers cut off their gunfire. The colonel keeps his finger in the air to indicate silence.
UNDERNEATH THE FLOORBOARDS
The entire Dreyfus family lies dead. Except for sixteen-year-old SHOSANNA, who miraculously escaped being struck by the Nazis’ bullets. With her dead family surrounding her, the young girl goes for freedom (represented by a wire-mesh vent).
hears a movement underneath the floor, looks down, and sees a SHAPE moving forward between the planks in the floor.
It’s the girl. Nobody move!
is KICKED open, the girl SPRINGS out.
as he crosses the floor, sees the young girl RUNNING toward the cover of the woods. He unlatches the window and opens it. Shosanna is perfectly FRAMED in the windowsill.
RUNNING toward the woods. Farmhouse and Colonel in the window in B.G.
FILTHY BARE FEET
SLAPPING against wet grass.
CU SHOSANNA’S FACE
same as an animal being chased by a predator: FLIGHT—PANIC—FEAR.
the safety of trees, getting closer.
framed by the window, takes his WALTER, and straight-arm aims at the fleeing Jew, cocking back the hammer with his thumb.
COL. LANDA POV
of the fleeing Shosanna.
CU COL. LANDA
SLOW ZOOM into his eyes as he aims.
PROFILE CU SHOSANNA mad dash for life.
changes his mind. He yells to the rat fleeing the trap, heading for the safety of the woodpile, in FRENCH SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
Au revoir, Shosanna!
makes it to the woods and is gone.
The S.S. colonel closes the window.
The Nazi town car DRIVES away.
EXT—NAZI TOWN CAR (MOVING)—DAY
Col. Hans Landa sits in the backseat of the convertible that’s speeding away from the French farmhouse.
Landa speaks to his driver in GERMAN, SUBTITLE IN ENGLISH:
Herrman, I sense a question on your lips?
Out with it?
Why did you allow an enemy of the state to escape?
Oh, I don’t think the state is in too much danger, do you?
I suppose not.
I’m glad you see it my way. Besides,
not putting a bullet in the back of a fifteen- year-old girl and allowing
her to escape are not necessarily
the same thing. She’s a young girl, no food, no shelter, no shoes, who’s just witnessed the massacre of her entire family.
She may not survive the night. And after word spreads about what happened today, it’s highly unlikely she will find any willing farmers to extend her aid.
If I had to guess her fate, I’d say she’ll probably be turned in by some neighbor.
Or she’ll be spotted by some German soldier. Or we’ll find her body in the woods, dead from starvation or exposure. Or, perhaps . . . she’ll survive. She will elude capture. She will escape to America. She will move to New York City, where she will be elected President of
the United States.
The S.S. colonel chuckles at his little funny.
CHAPTER TITLE APPEARS:
EXT—SOMEWHERE IN ENGLAND—DAY
A bunch of SOLDIERS are lined up at attention.
LIEUTENANT ALDO RAINE, a hillbilly from the mountains of Tennessee, walks down the line. He recruits the men the
Germans will later call “The Basterds.” Lt. Aldo has one defining physical characteristic, a ROPE BURN around his neck—as if, once upon a time, he survived a LYNCHING.
The scar will never once be mentioned.
My name is Lt. Aldo Raine, and I’m puttin’ together a special team.
And I need me eight soldiers. Eight—Jewish—American—soldiers. Now y’all might of heard rumors about the armada happening soon. Well, we’ll be leavin’ a little earlier. We’re gonna be dropped into France, dressed as civilians. And once we’re in enemy territory, as
a bushwackin’, guerrilla army, we’re gonna be doin’ one thing, and one thing only—Killin’ Nazis.
The members of the National Socialist Party have conquered Europe through murder, torture, intimidation, and terror. And that’s exactly what we’re gonna do to them. Now I don’t know ’bout y’all? But I sure as hell didn’t come down from the goddamn Smoky Mountains, cross five thousand miles
of water, fight my way through half Sicily, and then jump out of a f*ckin’ air-o-plane to teach the Nazis
lessons in humanity. Nazi ain’t got
no humanity. They’re the foot soldiers of a Jew-hatin’, mass-murderin’ maniac, and they need to be destroyed.
That’s why any and every son-of-a-bitch we find wearin’ a Nazi uniform, they’re gonna die.
We will be cruel to the Germans, and through our cruelty, they will
know who we are. They will find the evidence of our cruelty in the disemboweled, dismembered, and
disfigured bodies of their brothers we leave behind us. And the Germans will not be able to help themselves from imagining the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, and
our bootheels, and the edge of our knives.
And the Germans will be sickened by us. And the Germans will talk about us.
And the Germans will fear us.
And when the Germans close their eyes at night and their subconscious
tortures them for the evil they’ve done, it will be thoughts of us
that it tortures them with.
He stops pacing and looks at everybody.
They all say:
That’s what I like to hear. But I
got a word of warning to all would-be warriors. When you join my command,
you take on debit. A debit you owe
me, personally. Every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps. And I want my scalps.
And all y’all will git me one hundred Nazi scalps, taken from the heads of one hundred dead Nazis . . .
or you will die trying.
EXT—MOUNTAIN TOP CHALET—DAY
A huge chalet on a misty mountaintop in Bavaria.
A SUBTITLE APPEARS:
(HITLER’S PRIVATE LAIR)”
In a huge room, ADOLF HITLER pounds on a big table with his fist as he rants at TWO GERMAN GENERALS.
They speak GERMAN SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
How much more of these Jew swine must I endure? They butcher my men like they were fish bait! This pack of filthy degenerates are doing what
the Russian army didn’t and Patton’s army couldn’t—turning soldiers of
the Third Reich into superstitious old women!
Just the cowards among them, mein Führer.
Hitler pounds furiously on the desk with his fist.
No, no, no, no, no, no! I have heard
the rumors myself! Soldiers of the Third Reich, who have brought the world to their knees, now pecking and clucking like chickens. Do you know the latest rumor they’ve conjured up, in their fear-induced delirium? The one that beats
my boys with a bat. The one they call “the Bear Jew” . . . is a golem.
An avenging Jew angel, conjured up by a vengeful rabbi, to smite the Aryans!
Mein Führer, this is just soldiers’ gossip. No one really believes the
Bear Jew is a golem.
Why not? They seem to be able to elude capture like an apparition.
They seem to be able to appear and disappear at will.
You want to prove they’re flesh and blood? Then
BRING THEM TO ME!
I will hang them naked, by their heels, from the Eiffel Tower! And then throw their bodies in the sewers, for the rats of Paris to feast!
The Führer sits down at the table to compose himself and wipe his greasy black hair out of his face.
The Bear Jew.
He hits the button on the intercom on his desk.
KLIEST’S VOICE comes out of the intercom:
KLIEST’S VOICE (OS)
Yes, mein Führer.
I have an order I want relayed to all German soldiers stationed in France.
The Jew degenerate known as the Bear Jew henceforth is never to be referred to as the Bear Jew again. We will cease to aid the Americans any longer in their attempt to
undermine the German soldier’s psyche. Did you get that, Kliest?
KLIEST’S VOICE (OS)
Yes, mein Führer. Do you still wish to see Private Butz?
Who and what is a private Butz?
KLEIST’S VOICE (OS)
He’s the soldier you wanted to see personally. His squad was ambushed
by Lt. Raine’s Jews. He was its only survivor.
Indeed I do want to see him. Thank you for reminding me. Send him in.
CU FACE OF DEAD GERMAN SOLDIER
His head lies on the ground, horizontal. A HAND reaches into
the FRAME, KNOCKS aside the dead German patriot’s helmet, and grabs a handful of the cadaver’s blond hair. A LARGE KNIFE
ENTERS THE FRAME and begins SLICING ALONG THE HAIRLINE.
This process is called SCALPING.
After SLICING is complete, the SCALP easily peels off, like a banana skin.
GERMAN PRISONERS PVT. BUTZ AND SGT. RACHTMAN on their knees, hand behind their heads.
Pvt. Butz NARRATES the scene in GERMAN SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
PVT. BUTZ (VO)
Werner and I were the only ones left alive after the ambush. While one man guarded us, the rest removed the hair. All the Basterds wore German scalps
tied to their belts.
hanging from belts.
PVT. BUTZ (VO)
They not only took valuables . . .
WE SEE QUICK CUTS OF
rings, weapons, an iron cross, and somebody digging out a gold tooth with a knife, being removed from dead Germans.
PVT. BUTZ (VO)
. . . They also took their identification papers . . .
CU IDENTIFICATION PAPERS
taken from the inside pocket of a dead German’s uniform.
BASTERD PFC. UTIVICH
flips through the I.D. papers till he gets to the page that contains the German soldier’s name, statistics, and photo.
PVT. BUTZ (VO)
. . . They then removed their boots . . .
CU GERMAN COMBAT BOOTS
laces untied . . . boots pulled off . . .
removed, revealing dead bare feet . . .
tossing the boots off a hill.
PVT. BUTZ (VO)
Throwing them away from the bodies . . .
scalps removed from their heads, pink bare feet . . .
PVT. BUTZ (VO)
The Basterds took their lives, their hair, their valuables, their identity, and finally their dignity in death.
True that. The sight of the dead soldiers with bare feet does rob the tableau of a certain dignity that is normally felt in battlefield shots.
BACK TO HITLER:
He fights his frustration, then . . .
BACK TO THE BASTERDS
Aldo screams to the Basterd who’s guarding the two German prisoners.
Hey, Hirschberg, send that kraut sarge over.
BASTERD PFC. HIRSCHBERG
KICKS Sgt. Rachtman in the back.
Sgt. Rachtman is a little slow to respond. So Hirschberg grabs him by the hair, YANKS him to his feet, and KICKS him in the ass, sending him on his way.
Most of the Basterds sit in a circle, Indian style, with Aldo in the middle.
As Sgt. Rachtman walks toward this circle of Basterds,
An OFFSCREEN LITERARY NARRATOR (not Pvt. Butz) speaks over the SOUNDTRACK in ENGLISH:
Sergeant Werner Rachtman has seen many interrogations since Germany decided it should rule Europe. But this is the first time he’s ever been on the wrong end of the exchange.
It’s always been his belief that
only a weakling in mind, body, and spirit
complies with the enemy under threat of consequence. As Werner watched men cry like women,
pleadingly offer their knowledge, in exchange for their worthless lives, he made a vow to himself.
If his role is to die in this conflict, when they put him under the earth,
his dignity would be buried with him. For in the other world, the gods only respect the ones they test first.
Well, Sergeant, this is your test. And the gods are watching.
The captured German sergeant enters the circle of Basterds, stands straight before the sitting southern lieutenant, and salutes his captor.
Sgt. Werner Rachtman.
Aldo returns the salute, looking at up him.
Lt. Aldo Raine. Pleased to meet cha.
You know what sit down means, Werner?
Then sit down.
The German sergeant does.
How’s your English, Werner? Cause if need be, we gotta couple fellas
Aldo points at one of the Basterds in the circle,
CPL. WILHELM WICKI.
Wicki there, an Austrian Jew, got the f*ck outta Salzberg while the
gettin’ was good. Became American, got drafted, and came back to give y’all what for.
Then Aldo points to another Basterd. A big, scary-looking Basterd, in a German sergeant’s uniform, named SGT. HUGO STIGLITZ.
And another one over there you
might be familiar with, Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz. Heard of ’em?
The two German sergeants look at each other.
Everybody in the German army’s heard of Hugo Stiglitz.
The Basterds laugh, and a couple pat Hugo on the back.
The NARRATOR comes back on the SOUNDTRACK.
NARRATOR (VO) The reason for Hugo Stiglitz’s celebrity among German soldiers is simple.
WE SEE A PHOTO OF HUGO on the front page of the Nazi version of Stars and Stripes (the military newspaper).
As a German enlisted man, he killed thirteen Gestapo officers, mostly
WE SEE THE MILITARY PHOTOS OF ALL THIRTEEN GESTAPO OFFICERS.
Instead of putting him up against
a wall, the High Command decided to send him back to Berlin, to be made an example of.
Hugo in chains, being put in a lone troop truck, part of a prison convoy, en route to Berlin.
Needless to say, once the Basterds heard about him, he never got there.
The Basterds AMBUSH the prison convoy, killing everybody.
They walk to the back of the troop truck. Inside, Hugo, in chains, stares back at them.
Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz?
I’m Lt. Aldo Raine, and these are the Basterds. Ever heard of us?
Hugo nods his head, yes.
We just wanna say, we’re a big fan of your work. When it comes to killin’ Nazis, I think you show great talent, and I pride myself on havin’ an eye for that kind of talent. But your status as a Nazi killer is still amateur. We all came here to see if you wanna go pro?
BACK TO THE BASTERD CIRCLE.
Now Werner, I’m gonna assume you know who we are?
Aldo the Apache.
The circle of Basterds giggle.
Well, Werner, if you heard of us, you probably heard we ain’t in the
prisoner-takin’ business. We in the killin’ Nazi business. And cousin, business is boomin’.
The Basterds laugh.
Now that leaves two ways we can play this out. Either kill ya or let ya
go. Now whether or not you gonna leave this circle alive depends entirely on you.
Aldo takes out a map of the area and lays it out in front of his prisoner.
Up the road a piece, there’s a
orchard. ’Sides you, we know there’s another kraut patrol f*ckin’ around
here somewhere. Now if that patrol
were to have any crack shots, that orchard would be a goddamn sniper’s delight. Now if you ever wanna eat
a sauerkraut sandwich again, you gotta show me on this map where
they are, you gotta tell me how many they are, and you gotta tell me
what kinda artillery they carrying with ’em.
You can’t expect me to divulge information that would put German
lives in danger.
Well, Werner, that’s where you’re wrong. Because that’s exactly what I expect.
I need to know about Germans hidin’ in trees. And you need to tell me. And you need to tell me, right now. Now take your finger and point out
on this map where this party’s bein’ held, how many’s comin’, and what they brought to play with.
Werner sits, head held high, back straight, chin up, every inch the German hero facing death.
I respectfully refuse, sir.
Aldo jerks his thumb behind him.
You see that ole boy battin’ rocks?
WE RACK-FOCUS to one of the Basterds not in the circle. He’s wearing a wife beater and power-hitting stones with a baseball bat.
Werner’s eyes go to the ballplayer.
That’s Sgt. Donny Donowitz. But you might know him better by his nickname, the Bear Jew. Now if you heard of
Aldo the Apache, you gotta heard about the Bear Jew?
What did you hear?
He beats German soldiers with a club.
He bashes their brains in with a baseball bat, what he does.
back to us, still haven’t seen his face. He Babe Ruths a rock soaring into the atmosphere.
Now, Werner, I’m gonna ask you one last goddamn time, and if you still “respectfully refuse,” I’m calling the Bear Jew over here, and he’s gonna take that big bat of his, and he’s gonna beat your ass to death with it.
Now take your Wiener-schnitzel-lickin’ finger and point out on this map
what I want to know.
F*ck you and your Jew dogs.
Instead of getting mad, the Basterds burst out LAUGHING.
Also says to Werner, with a giggle in his voice:
Actually, Werner, we’re all tickled
ya said that. Frankly, watchin’ Donny beat Nazis to death is the closest
we ever get to goin’ to the movies. (YELLING)
He turns to the CAMERA and yells:
Got a German here wants to die for his country.
SGT. DONNY DONOWITZ
bat over his shoulder, smiles.
INT—BARBER SHOP (BOSTON)—DAY
Donny, cutting heads, in his pop’s barber shop, in Boston.
. . . ya got the goddamn, f*ckin’
declaring open season on Jews in
Europe, and I’m suppose to fly to
Philippines and fight a bunch
of f*ckin’ Japs—not me, pal.
If we just go in this against the
the whole U.S. of f*ckin A can go
running jump at the moon.
You know, they got a word for what you’re sayin’ Donny. It’s called treason.
Hey, stick your treason up your poop hole. If I’m gonna kill my fellow man
in the name of liberty, that fellow man will be German.
INT—SPORTING GOODS STORE—DAY
MR. GOOROWITZ’S sporting goods shop in Donny’s Jewish Boston neighborhood. Donny walks in.
Hello, Donny. How are you?
Ah, just dandy, Mr. Goorowitz.
Your mother, your father—everything good there?
They’re just fine. I’m shippin’ off next week.
The store proprietor extends his hand to the young man.
Good for you, son. Kill one of those Nazi basterds for me, will ya?
That the idea, Mr. Goorowitz.
What can I do you for, Donny?
I need a baseball bat.
The store owner leads him to a basket with eight bats in it. Donny starts going through them without saying anything.
Mr. Goorowitz watches.
You gettin’ your little brother a present before you ship out?
Donny, concentrating on the bats, not looking up:
Donny’s “no” silences the gabby Goorowitz. He seems to settle on one, feeling its weight in his hands.
Can I try this one on for size, outside?
Extending his arm:
Be my guest.
The phone rings.
I’ll get that. You go right ahead.
The proprietor answers the phone and gets into a conversation with his OFFSCREEN mother.
Donny walks outside. WE STAY IN STORE but can see him clearly through the store’s big picture window.
However, Mr. Goorowitz instinctively turns his back to Donny to speak with his mother.
Donny starts swinging the bat. It’s pretty obvious he’s pantomiming beating somebody to death with it. Then
he starts yelling:
Take that, ya Nazi basterd! You like
f*ckin’ with the Jews? Wanna f*ck with the Jews? The American Jews are gonna F*CK with you . . . !
Mr. Goorowitz sees none of this as he speaks to his
mother. He hangs up the phone just as Donny walks back into the store. The store owner turns to the store customer.
Is this the heaviest ya got?
INT—HALLWAY APARTMENT BUILDING—DAY
Donny, dressed nice, in an apartment building in his Jewish Boston neighbourhood. He knocks on a door.
A VERY OLD JEWISH WOMAN opens the door, only a little, peering out at the young man.
How can I help you?
State your business, young man.
Mrs. Himmelstein, I’m Donny Donowitz.
My father, Sy Donowitz, owns the barber shop on
Greeny Ave. Sy’s Barber Shop.
I’ve seen it. Do you live in the neighborhood?
All my life.
Again, state your business?
May I have a word with you?
Our people in Europe.
She thinks for a beat, then holds the door open for the young man.
Come in. Would you like some tea?
INT—MRS. HIMMELSTEIN’S APARTMENT—DAY
Donny sits on an overstuffed sofa, holding a tea cup and
saucer in his hand. Mrs. Himmelstein sits on an overstuffed chair, holding her tea, looking across at her visitor.
If you like tea.
Donny chuckles at her little joke. The old woman remains
stone. She wasn’t joking. He places his saucer on the coffee table and begins:
Mrs. Himmelstein, do you have any loved ones over in Europe who you’re concerned for?
What compels you, young man, to ask a stranger such a personal question?
Because I’m going to Europe. And I’m gonna make it right.
And just how do intend to do that, Joshua?
He holds up his bat.
And what exactly do you intend to do with that toy?
I’m gonna beat every Nazi I find to death with it.
She takes another sip of tea.
I thought we were having tea together.
Donny picks up his cup and takes a sip.
And in this pursuit, how is it that I can be of service?
I’m going through the neighborhood.
If you have any loved ones in Europe whose safety you fear for, I’d like
you to write their name on my bat.
BACK TO BASTERDS
Donna takes a long walk to Werner . . .
watches all this . . .
As WE CUT BACK and FORTH BETWEEN DONNY WALKING and WERNER WAITING, WE ALSO CUT BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN DONNY and
MRS. HIMMELSTEIN . . .
You must be a real basterd, Donny.
You bet your sweet ass I am.
Hand me your sword, Gideon. I do believe I will join you on this journey.
She signs the BAT: “MADELEINE.”
Donny steps up to the plate, looking down at the Nazi:
He sees the Iron Cross hanging from the German Sgt’s right pocket. The Jew taps the German’s medal with the end of his bat.
You get that for killing jews?
Donny gives him a “oh yeah, we’ll see about that,” look.
The Bear Jew raises the bat up high over his shoulder and brings it down hard against the side of Rachtman’s head.
Donny BEATS Werner TO DEATH WITH THE BAT, to the cheers of the Basterds.
watches. Hirschberg says to him:
About now, I’d be shittin’ my pants, if I was you.
Aldo points a finger at Butzs and crooks it toward him.
A crying, visibly shaken Butz sits down in front of Aldo.
You wanna live?
Point out on this map the German position.
His arm shoots out like a rocket and points out the positions.
This area here.
What kind of artillery?
They have a machine gun dug in here pointing north.
BACK TO HITLER:
How did you survive this ordeal?
WE SEE Pvt. Butz in the Führer’s room for the first time.
He wears a Nazi cap, which is unusual in the presence of the Führer, but he seems okay with it.
They let me go.
FROM HERE ON WE GO BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN ALDO AND HITLER.
Now, when you report what happened here, you can’t tell ’em you told us what you told us. They’ll shoot ya. But they’re gonna wanna know, why you so special, we let you live? So tell ’em we let ya live so you could spread the word through the ranks what’s gonna happen to every Nazi we find.
You are not to tell anybody anything! Not one word of detail! Your outfit
was ambushed, and you got away. Not one more word.
Yes, mein Führer.
Did they mark you like they did the other survivors?
Yes, mein Führer.
Remove your hat and show me.
Now say we let ya go, and say you survive the war? When you get back
home, what ’cha gonna do?
I will hug my mother like I’ve never hugged her before.
Well, ain’t that a real nice boy. Are you going to take off your uniform?
Not only shall I remove it, but I intend to burn it!
The young German is telling Aldo what he thinks Aldo wants to hear. But the last answer didn’t go down as well as he thought it would, as is evident by the frown on Aldo’s face.
Yeah, that’s what we thought. We don’t like that. You see, we like our Nazis
in uniforms. That way, you can spot ’em just like that.
(snaps his fingers)
But you take off that uniform, ain’t nobody gonna know you was a Nazi.
And that don’t sit well with us.
Aldo removes a LARGE KNIFE from a sheath on his belt.
So I’m gonna give ya a little somethin’ you can’t take off.
BACK TO HITLER:
Pvt. Butz removes his combat helmet. Hair hangs in his face. He moves it aside, and WE SEE a SWASTIKA has been HAND-
CARVED INTO HIS FOREHEAD.
BACK TO BASTERDS BUTZ’S POV
on ground, looking up at them. Aldo has just carved the swastika, and he’s holding the bloody knife. All the Basterds crowd around to admire his handiwork.
You know, Lieutenant, you’re getting pretty good at that.
You know how you get to Carnegie Hall, don’t cha? Practice.
FADE TO BLACK:
CHAPTER TITLE APPEARS:
“GERMAN NIGHT IN PARIS”
We’re in the auditorium of a cinema in Paris. However, the
CAMERA is pointed in the direction of the audience, not the screen. We start CLOSE on the projector beam emanating from
the little glass window in the back of the theater.
The CAMERA continues to DOLLY back, making the shot wider and wider, bringing in more and more the German-occupied citizens of Paris, who stare at the OFFSCREEN silver screen in the dark.
We can hear the OFFSCREEN SOUNDTRACK of a Goebbels-produced German omm-pa-pa musical movie being projected.
The shot continues to pull farther and farther back, and the German dialogue continues to fill the auditorium . . .
UNTIL . . .
The DOLY SHOT LANDS on a CLOSEUP of Shosanna, watching the movie.
A SUBTITLE APPEARS:
TWO WEEKS AFTER THE MASSACRE
OF SHOSANNA’S FAMILY”
We hear the sound of the German musical’s climax.
The lights go up in the auditorium.
Shosanna, dressed in a NURSE’S UNIFORM she swiped from
somewhere, remains seated, as the rest of the PATRONS gather their coats and file out.
EXT—LITTLE CINEMA (PARIS)—NIGHT
Patrons exit under the cinema marquee, as someone from inside SHUTS OFF the marquee’s lights.
The MARQUEE READS in French:
“GERMAN NIGHT BRIDGET VON HAMMERSMARK in MADCAP IN MEXICO.”
EXT—PROJECTION BOOTH (LITTLE CINEMA)
A French black man, who we will learn later is named MARCEL,
is the cinema’s projectionist. We see him for a moment, taking the film reels off the projector and placing them on rewinds.
Still sitting in her seat. Except for her, the auditorium is empty.
The owner of the cinema, an attractive-looking French woman, who we will later know as MADAME MIMIEUX, appears in
one of the cinema’s opera-box balconies.
Looking down from her porch at the young girl, sitting in the empty cinema.
The DIALOGUE will be spoken in FRENCH and SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH.
So, young woman, since it’s beyond obvious we’re closed for the evening, I must assume you want something. What can I do for you?
May I sleep here tonight?
So I gather you’re not a nurse?
But you’re a bright little thing. That’s a clever disguise. Where is your family?
So you’re a war orphan?
We were from Nancy. The Boches found us—
—Is this a sad story?
Sad stories bore me. These days everyone in Paris has one. I haven’t bored you with mine. Don’t bore me with yours.
You can run the machines?
Using her hands to pantomime the rotating film reels on a projector, she says:
The machines that show the film.
The projectors? Yes, I own a cinema.
Of course I can operate them.
I know, I saw you.
eyes creeping up the stairway in the projection booth, watching . . .
expertly working the projectors . . .
BACK TO SHOSANNA
Teach me. Teach me to run the machines that show the film. It’s only you and
the negro. I know you could use some help.
I know at least six people who’ve been put up against a wall and machine-
gunned for sheltering enemies of the state. I have no intention of being unlucky number seven. How long have
you been in Paris?
A week and a few days.
How have you survived the curfew without capture?
I sleep on rooftops.
Again, I’m forced to admit, clever girl. How is it?
I can imagine.
Respectfully, no you can’t.
Thinks . . .
So you can’t operate a 35mm film projector. You want me to teach you, in order to work here, in order to use my cinema as a hole to hide in. Is that correct?
What’s your name?
I’m Madame Mimieux. You may call me Madame. This is a cinema. Not a home for wayward war orphans.
Having said that, what you say is true. If you were truly exceptional, I could find use for you. So, Shosanna, are you truly exceptional?
I will be the judge of that.
Which shows a lovely PENCIL SKETCH of the CITY OF PARIS, complete with Eiffel Tower.
ABOVE IT READS:
THEN . . .
The CAMERA PULLS BACK, and we see we’re not looking at a TITLE CARD at all, but a CALENDER stuck on the wall of the little cinema’s projection booth. Before we leave it, WE SEE the
month is JUNE . . .
The CAMERA finds the THREE-YEARS-OLDER SHOSANNA working
as the PROJECTIONIST. It would appear that Shosanna passed Madame Mimieux’s exceptional test.
Alyrical, Morricone-like tune PLAYS on the SOUNDTRACK. This will be “Shosanna’s Theme.”
A little bell begins RINGING on one of the projectors, alerting Shosanna its time for a REEL CHANGE.
Shosanna stands at the projector, watching the old German film she’s projecting, waiting for the FIRST REEL CHANGE MARK . . .
LENI RIEFENSTAHL lies
an icicle drips on her head in the old
film “The White Hell of
The FIRST REEL
CHANGE MARK POPS ON in the upper-right-
hand corner of
the FRAME (that
tells the projectionist
As the FILM REEL on the FIRST PROJECTOR rolls out, Shosanna stands ready, waiting by the SECOND PROJECTOR . . .
WHEN . . .
the SECOND REEL CHANGE MARK POPS ON in the same place (that’s the one).
THROWS the lever on the SECOND PROJECTOR, switching the film from projector 1 to projector 2, executing a perfect REEL CHANGE.
As “Shosanna’s Theme” plays on the soundtrack, we watch, via MONTAGE, her go through her daily chores: carry heavy film cans up the stairs, empty the rat traps, etc, etc. . . .
The MARQUEE READS in French:
“GERMAN NIGHT LENI RIEFENSTAHL in PABST’S WHITE HELL OF PITZ PALU”
Shosanna emerges from the cinema carrying two buckets of LETTERS (for the marquee) and a tall ladder. Her chore here, obviously, is to change the show on the marquee.
The LITERARY NARRATOR comes on the soundtrack in ENGLISH:
To operate a cinema in Paris during
the occupation, one had two choices. Either you could show new German propaganda films, produced under the watchful
eye of Joseph Goebbels. Or . . . you could have a German night in your weekly schedule and show allowed German classic films.
Their German night was Thursday.
Shosanna, by herself, perched up high on the ladder, changing the letters on the marquee.
A YOUNG GERMAN SOLDIER (about the same age as Shosanna) walks out of the cinema. He sees the ladder with the young French girl on top and walks over.
They speak FRENCH, SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
What starts tomorrow?
Shosanna looks down, seeing the young German soldier smiling up at her from below.
A Max Linder festival.
Ummm, I always preferred Linder to Chaplin. Except Linder never made a
film as good as “The Kid.” The chase climax of “The Kid,” superb.
Shosanna continues working, not adding to the conversation.
I suppose now you could use an M, an A, and an X?
No need, I can manage.
Don’t be ridiculous. It’s my pleasure.
He hands the French damsel the letters spelling MAX.
I adore your cinema very much.
She busies herself with the marquee letters . . .
Is it yours?
Do I own it?
How does a young girl such as yourself own a cinema?
Due to his uniform and Shosanna’s situation, his efforts at trying to make small talk strike the young Jewess in hiding as a Gestapo interrogation.
My aunt left it to me.
Shosanna makes no reply back.
Merci for hosting a German night.
I don’t have a choice, but you’re welcome.
Do you choose the German films yourself?
Then my merci stands. I love the Riefenstahl mountain films, especially “Pitz Palu.” It’s nice to see a French girl who’s an admirer of Riefenstahl.
“Admire” would not be the adjective
I would use to describe my feelings toward Fräulein Riefenstahl.
But you do admire the director Pabst, don’t you? That’s why you included
his name on the marquee.
She climbs down from the ladder and faces the German private.
I’m French. We respect directors in our country.
Apparently even Germans.
Even Germans. Merci for your assistance,
She turns to go back inside.
You’re not finished?
I’ll finish in the morning.
She opens the door to go inside.
May I ask your name?
You wish to see my papers?
She hands him her excellently forged papers.
That’s obviously not what he meant, but he takes them anyway to read her name.
Emmanuelle Mimieux. That’s a very pretty name.
Merci. Are you finished with my papers?
He hands them back.
Mademoiselle. My name is Frederick Zoller.
She gives no response.
It’s been a pleasure chatting with a fellow cinema lover. Sweet dreams, Mademoiselle.
He gives her a little salute and walks into the black of a curfew- imposed night.
She looks after him. She didn’t show it, but he kind of got to her. After all, for any true cinema lover, it’s hard to hate anybody who, CINEMA MON AMOUR.
Shosanna stands on the roof her her cinema, late at night, lighting up a cigarette. As she takes her first big drag,
she remembers a voice.
MADAME MIMIEUX, the younger Shosanna, and the black projectionist, Marcel, in the projection booth. Shosanna
lights up a cigarette, and Madame Mimieux SLAPS her face HARD, knocking the cigarette out of her mouth. Marcel quickly STAMPS it out on the floor.
If I ever see
up a cigarette in my
you in to the Nazis, do
Shosanna is shocked by this statement.
And for bringing an open flame into my cinema, you deserve far worse than a Nazi Jewish boxcar. With your thick head, what do you think the highest priority of a cinema manager is? Keeping this f*cking place from burning down to the ground, that’s what!
In my collection, I have over three hundred and fifty 35mm, nitrate film prints, which are not only immensely flammable but highy unstable. And should they catch fire, they burn three times faster than paper. If that happens . . .
POOF . . . all gone, cinema no more, everybody burned alive. If I ever
see you with an open flame in my cinema again, I won’t turn you into the Nazis. I’ll kill you myself. And the f*cking Germans will give me a curfew pass.
Do you understand me?
Do you believe me?
You damn well better.
BACK TO ROOF:
Shosanna exhales cigarette smoke.
Marcel comes onto the roof.
Are you well?
Even on the roof I can’t smoke a cigarette without hearing Madame’s
voice yelling at me. That’s why I
do it. To hear Madame’s voice again.
We both miss her.
I know. I’m fine, darling. I’ll be to bed soon.
Marcel goes back inside. Shosanna smokes.
Shosanna sits in the back of a French bistro, reading a book, “The Saint in New York,” by Leslie Charteris, drinking wine when the young German soldier from the other day,
FREDRICK ZOLLER, walks in. He gets a beer, then notices the French girl sitting in the back. He smiles and heads over
to her. “Oh no, not this guy again,” she thinks.
Again they speak in FRENCH SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
May I join you?
—You remember my name?
Yes . . . Look, you seem a pleasant enough fellow—
You’re welcome. Regardless, I want you to stop pestering me.
I apologize, Mademoiselle. I wasn’t trying to be a pest. I was simply
trying to be friendly.
I don’t wish to be your friend.
Don’t act like an infant. You know why.
I’m more than just a uniform.
Not to me. If you are so desperate for
a French girlfriend, I suggest you try Vichy.
Just then TWO OTHER GERMAN SOLDIERS come over, obviously very impressed with Fredrick. They make a fuss over him in UNSUBTITLED GERMAN, which neither Shosanna or the non-German- speaking members of the movie’s audience can understand.
He signs autographs for them and shakes their hands, and they go on their way.
Shosanna’s eyes narrow.
Who are you?
I thought I was just a uniform.
You’re not just a German soldier. Are you somebody’s son?
Most German soldiers are somebody’s son.
Yeah, but you’re not just somebody. What are you, Hitler’s nephew?
He leans in across the table. She leans in too, and he says:
No, not really. I’m just teasing you.
She leans back, annoyed.
Then what is it? What are you, a German movie star?
(Pfuit) What does that mean, “not exactly”? I asked if you were a movie star. The answer to that question is yes or no.
Fredrick laughs at that line.
When you said that just now, you reminded me of my sister.
This catches young Shosanna off guard.
I come from a home of six sisters.
We run a family-operated cinema in Munich. Seeing you run around your cinema reminds me of them. Especially my sister Helga. She raised me, when our father wasn’t up to the job. I admire her very much. You’d like her. She doesn’t wear a German uniform.
You were raised by Helga?
All my sisters. I’m the baby, but Helga was the bossiest.
And your mother and father?
died. And my father
I like your cinema.
It makes me feel
Is your cinema still operating?
What’s it called?
The Kino Haus.
How has it done during the war?
FREDRICK Actually, in Germany, cinema attendance is up.
No doubt. You don’t have to operate under a curfew.
How often do you fill your house?
(Pfuit) Not since before the war.
So if you had one big engagement, that would help you out?
Of course, but that’s not likely to happen.
SOLDIERS and their
the table. They
and he signs it for
them. One of the French
FRENCH, how exciting
it is to
German war hero. Shosanna
So you’re a war hero? Why didn’t you tell me?
Everybody knows that. I liked that you didn’t.
What did you do?
He takes a sip of beer.
I’ve shot the most enemy soldiers in World War Two . . . so far.
You bet your sweet ass that got her attention.
I was alone in a bell tower in a walled-off city in Russia. It was myself and a thousand rounds of ammo in a bird’s nest, against three hundred Soviet soldiers.
What’s a bird’s nest?
A bird’s nest is what a sniper would call a bell tower. It’s a high structure, offering a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree view. Very advantageous for marksmen.
How many Russians did you kill?
The first day. A hundred and fifty the second day. Thirty-two the third day.
On the fourth day, they exited the city. Naturally my war story received a lot of attention in Germany. That’s why they all recognize me. They call me the German Sergeant York.
Maybe they’ll make a film about your exploits.
Well, that’s just what Joseph Goebbels thought. So he did. It’s called “Nation’s Pride,” and guess what, they wanted me to play myself, so I did. They have posters for it in kiosks all over Paris. That’s another reason for all the attention.
“Nation’s Pride” is about you? “Nation’s Pride” is starring you?
I know, comical, huh?
Not so comical. So what are you doing in Paris, enjoying a rest?
Hardly. I’ve been doing publicity, having my pictures taken with different German luminaries, visiting troops,
that sort of thing. Goebbels wants the film to premiere in Paris, so I’ve been helping them in the planning.
Joseph is very keen on this film.
He’s telling anybody who will listen that when “Nation’s Pride” is released
I’ll be the German Van Johnson.
Shosanna isn’t falling for the young German by any stretch. However, his exploits, as well as his charming manner, can’t help but impress. But his referring to Goebbels as “Joseph,” like they’re friends, is all she needs to get on the right side of things. This young man is trouble with a capital T, and
she needs to stay far f*cking away from him.
She abruptly rises and says:
Well, good luck with your premiere, Private. I hope all goes well for
Joseph and yourself. Au revoir.
And with that, she disappears, leaving the perplexed private alone.
It’s the next day.
Shosanna and Marcel are changing the letters on the marquee.
Marcel excuses himself to visit the toilet.
Shosanna is alone outside the little cinema, perched up on her ladder.
WHEN . . .
. . . A BLACK NAZI SEDAN pulls up in front of the little cinema.
A GERMAN MAJOR in a black Gestapo uniform steps out of the back of the sedan.
The DRIVER, a German private, steps out as well.
Yelling to the young girl up high on the ladder:
Both GERMAN and FRENCH will be SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH.
Telling his driver in German to ask her in French:
Ask her if this is her cinema.
In French the driver asks Shosanna:
Is this your cinema?
Tell her to come down.
Come down, please.
She climbs down the ladder.
The driver opens the back door of the sedan, indicating for her to get in.
I don’t understand. What have I done?
She wants to know what she’s done?
Who says she’s done anything?
Who says you’ve done anything?
Then in her best imitation of Mademoiselle Mimeux’s arrogant manner.
Then I demand to know what this is about, and where do you propose to take me?
The driver begins to translate when the Gestapo major holds up his hand, telling him not to bother. The major looks at the young French girl and tells her in German:
Get your ass in that car.
No translation necessary. She climbs into the back of the car, followed by the Germans. The sedan takes off.
The Nazi sedan drives through the early-afternoon Paris streets.
WE HOLD SHOSANNA IN TIGHT CU
the whole ride, never showing her Nazi oppressor sitting beside her. We just hold on her face trying not to reveal anything.
The sedan stops.
The car door opens, and the driver offers Shosanna his hand.
EXT/INT—MAXIM’S (FAMOUS PARIS CAFÉ)—DAY
She steps out of the car and is led into a Paris café by the Gestapo officer. It takes the young Jewess a moment or two before she realizes she’s not being led to a Gestapo interrogation room, a railroad car, or a concentration camp, but to lunch.
The best table at Maxim’s. Three people, and two dogs, sit at it: Germany’s minister of propaganda and the number-two man in Hitler’s Third Reich, JOSEPH GOEBBELS; his female French translator (and mistress), FRANCESCA MONDINO; and young Private Zoller.
TWO BLACK FRENCH POODLES belonging to Mademoiselle Mondino sit together in another chair at the table.
We join the in mid-conversation:
They all speak GERMAN, SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH;
—it’s only the offspring of slaves that
allows America to be competitive athletically. American Olympic gold can be measured
in Negro sweat.
Shosanna is led through the French eatery by the Gestapo major. Private Zoller sees her and stands up, excuses himself,
and greets her before she reaches the table.
Fredrick says in French, SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH;
Good you came. I wasn’t sure whether or not you’d accept my invitation.
THEN . . .
. . . Goebbels’s voice says OFFSCREEN:
Is that the young lady in question, Fredrick?
Private Zoller turns in his direction, takes Shosanna by the arm, and leads her to him.
Yes, it is, Herr Goebbels. Emmanuelle, there is somebody I want you to meet.
Joseph Goebbels, remaining seated, looks up at the young French girl, scrutinizing her as he spoons crème brûlée into his mouth.
The excited Fredrick introduces Shosanna to the propaganda minister formally.
Emmanuelle Mimieux, I’d like to introduce you to the minister of propaganda, the leader of the entire German film industry, and now I’m an actor, my boss, Joseph Goebbels.
Goebbels offers up his long, spiderlike fingers for Shosanna to shake. She does.
Your reputation precedes you, Fräulein Mimieux.
He looks to Francesca to translate, but she’s just taken a big bite of tiramisu.
They all laugh.
Frederick jumps in . . .
And normally, this is Herr Goebbels’s French interpreter, Mademoiselle Francesca Mondino.
looks up at Shosanna.
NARRATOR’S VOICE comes on soundtrack:
Francesca Mondino is much more than Goebbels’s French interpreter.
She’s also Goebbels’s favorite French actress to appear in his films . . . . .
from one of Francesca’s B/W Goebbels produced productions.
Francesca, dressed as a French peasant girl, with a YOUNG GERMAN (MOVIE) SOLDIER.
She speaks in FRENCH, SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
I love you, I can’t help it. My country or my heart, which do I betray?
A SUBTITLE APPEARS below naming the film’s title:
“SENTIMENTAL COMBAT” (1943)
Francesca and Goebbels having sex in her boudoir, on her red velvet bed.
And Goebbels’s favorite French mistress, to act in his bed.
WE SEE JUST A SUPER-QUICK SHOT OF Goebbels F*CKING Francesca DOGGY-
(animal-like) Do it! Do it! F*ck me—fill me!
BACK TO FRANCESCA looking at Shosanna.
And you’ve met the major.
The Gestapo officer steps up and says to Fredrick in German:
Actually, I didn’t introduce myself. (to Shosanna)
Major Dieter Hellstrom of the Gestapo, at your service, Mademoiselle.
(he clicks his heels)
Please allow me. Have a seat.
The Gestapo officer pulls out a chair for the young lady to sit down. Shosanna takes the hot seat. Seated to her right is Pvt. Zoller. To her left are the two curly, pampered poodles. Major Hellstrom pours Shosanna a glass of red wine from a small carafe on the table.
Try the wine, Mademoiselle. It’s quite good.
Goebbels looks across the table at her.
Well, I must say, you’ve made quite an impression on our boy.
Francesca interprets Goebbels’s German for Shosanna.
I must say, Fräulein, I should be rather annoyed with you.
Francesca interprets . . .
I arrive in France, and I wish to have lunch with my star . . .
Francesca interprets . . .
GOEBBELS Little do I know he’s become the toast of Paris, and now he must find time for me.
Francesca interprets . . .
People wait in line hours, days, to see me. For the Führer and Private Zoller, I wait.
Francesca interprets . . .
So finally, I’m granted an audience
with the young private, and he spends the entire lunch speaking of you
and your cinema.
Francesca interprets . . .
So Fräulein Mimieux, let’s get down to business.
Private Zoller interrupts—
Herr Goebbels, I haven’t informed her yet.
Unless the girl’s a simpleton, I’m sure she’s figured it out by now. After all, she does operate a cinema. Francesca, tell her.
Francesca tells Shosanna in French:
What they’re trying to tell you, Emmanuelle, is Private Zoller has
spent the last hour at lunch,
trying to convince Monsieur Goebbels
to abandon previous plans for Private Zoller’s film premiere and change the venue to your cinema.
(FRENCH to Zoller)
I wanted to inform her.
Shit. I apologize, Private. Of course you did.
(GERMAN to Francesca) What’s the issue?
The young soldier wanted to inform the mademoiselle himself.
Nonsense. Until I ask a few questions, he has nothing to inform. Let the record state, I have not agreed to a venue change.
Goebbels speaks German to Shosanna:
You have opera boxes?
More would be better. How many seats in your auditorium?
Three hundred and fifty.
That’s almost four hundred less than The Ritz.
Fredrick jumps in . . .
But Herr Goebbels, that’s not such a terrible thing. You said yourself you didn’t want to indulge every two-faced French bourgeois taking up space currying favor. With less seats it makes the event more exclusive. You’re not trying to fill the house, they’re fighting for seats.
Besides, to hell with the French. This is a German night, a German event, a German celebration. This
night is for you, me, the German military, the High Command, their
family and friends. The only people who should be allowed in the room are people who will be moved by the exploits onscreen.
Goebbels listens silently, then after a bit of a pause:
I see your public speaking has improved. It appears I’ve created
a monster. A strangely persuasive monster. When the war’s over,
Well, Private, though it is true
I’m inclined to indulge you anything, I must watch a film in this young lady’s cinema before I can say
yes or no.
So, young lady, you are to close your cinema tonight and have
a private screening for me.
Francesca interprets . . .
What German films do you have?
Francesca asks . . .
My cinema, on German night, tends to show older German classics.
Francesca interprets . . .
Why not my films?
Francesca asks . . . ?
I draw an older German audience in my cinema that appreciates the nostalgia of an earlier time.
Francesca interprets . . .
That’s nonsense, Fräulein. We Germans are looking forward, not backward. That era of German cinema is dead. The German cinema I create will not only be the cinema of Europe, but
the world’s only alternative to the degenerate Jewish influence of
Fredrick jumps in . . .
Along with being a cinema owner, Emmanuelle is quite a formidable
He chuckles, but alone.
So it would appear. Unfortunately for the Fräulein, I’ve outlawed film criticism.
Zoller, thinking fast, says:
Why don’t you screen “Lucky Kids”? I’m sure Emmanuelle hasn’t seen it. And it’s so funny. I’ve been meaning to recommend it to her, for her German night. That’s a great idea. Let’s watch “Lucky Kids” tonight.
Ahhh, “Lucky Kids,” “Lucky Kids,” “Lucky Kids.” When all is said and
done, my most purely enjoyable production. Not only that, I
wouldn’t be surprised if sixty years from now, it’s “Lucky Kids” that I’m the most remembered for.
I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but mark my words.
Very well, I’ll have a print sent over to the Fräulein’s cinema. We’ll screen “Lucky Kids” tonight.
As Francesca interprets this for Shosanna . . .
the empty chair next to the young Jewish girl is suddenly filled with the bottom half of a gray S.S. officer uniform.
Ah, Landa, you’re here. This is the young lady in question.
The S.S. officer sits down, and it’s our old friend from the first scene, COL. HANS LANDA.
Emmanuelle, this is Col. Hans Landa of the S.S. He’ll be running security for the premiere.
A bomb is dropped and detonated behind her eyes. But if she gives any indication of this, her war story ends here.
The S.S. OFFICER
who murered her family takes her hand and kisses it, saying in perfect French:
Better known as “the Jew Hunter.”
The table laughs.
Oh, Francesca, what was that funny thing the Führer said about Hans?
You know, you were there. It was a funny thing the Führer said,
about Hans . . . something about a pig?
Francesca’s memory is jogged.
Oh, yes, of course.
She repeats it by whispering it in Goebbels’s ear.
Oh, yes, of course, that’s it. So the Führer said he wouldn’t be surprised if Hans weren’t rooting out Jews like a truffle pig from the playpen.
That’s what we need, pigs that can root out Jews.
Who needs pigs when you have me?
Big, hearty laugh around the table.
Do you have an engagement tonight?
Well, as a matter of fact, I do—
—Break it. We’re all going to the fräulein’s cinema tonight to view
Then the Reich minister’s companion, Mademoiselle Mondino, interrupts:
And now I must get Reich Minister Goebbels to his next appointment.
Slave driver! French slave driver!
They all chuckle.
Everybody begins to stand up from the table . . .
Francesca gathers the stupid dogs . . .
As Col. Landa stands, he says:
Actually, in my role as security
chief of this joyous German occasion, I’m afraid I must have a word with Mademoiselle Mimieux.
Mademoiselle Mimieux’s eyes go to Private Zoller, who responds.
What sort of discussion?
That sounded suspiciously like
a soldier questioning the order of a colonel? Or am I just being sensitive?
Nothing could be further from the truth, Colonel. Your authority is beyond question.
But your reputation precedes you. Should Mademoiselle Mimieux or myself be concerned?
Hans, the boy means no harm, he’s simply smitten. And he’s correct. Your reputation does precede you.
Laughter all around. The Reich minister and his Axis entourage make their way to front of the café, with the two dumb dogs on
a leash, leading the way.
COL. LANDA No need for concern, you two.
As security chief, I simply need to have a chat with the possible new venue’s property owner.
I was just hoping to escort Mademoiselle Mimieux back to her cinema.
Nonsense! You can eat ice cream and walk along the Seine another time. Right now, allow Col. Landa to do his job.
Everybody says their farewells.
Col. Landa offers the young Jew in hiding a seat at a small table in the outside patio area of Maxim’s.
The fluency and poetic proficiency of the S.S. Jew hunter’s French reveals to the audience that his feigning clumsiness at French with Monsieur LaPadite in the film’s first scene was simply an interrogation technique.
They speak FRENCH SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
Have you tried the strudel here?
It’s not so terrible. So how is it the young private and yourself came to be acquainted?
She’s about to answer when a WAITER approaches.
Yes, two strudels, one for myself and one for the mademoiselle. A cup of espresso, with a container of steamed milk on the side.
For the Mademoiselle, a glass of milk.
Considering that Shosanna grew up on a dairy farm, and the last time she was on a dairy farm her strudel companion murdered her entire family, his ordering her milk is, to say the
least . . . disconcerting.
The key to Col. Landa’s power and/or charm, depending on the side one’s on, lies in his ability to convince you he’s privy to your secrets.
The waiter exits.
So, Mademoiselle, you were beginning to explain . . . ?
(anxiously) Up until a couple of days ago,
I had no knowledge of Private Zoller or his exploits. To me, the private
was simply just a patron of my cinema. We spoke a few times, but—
—Mademoiselle, let me interrupt you. This is a simple formality, no
reason for you to feel anxious.
The strudel arrives.
The colonel takes one look at it and says to the waiter:
I apologize. I forgot to order the crème fraîche.
Wait for the crème
So, Emmanuelle—May I call you Emmanuelle?
So, Emmanuelle, explain to me how does it happen that a young lady such as yourself comes to own a cinema?
The waiter returns, applying crème fraîche to the two strudels.
The S.S. colonel looks across the table at his companion. Picking up his fork, he says:
Shosanna takes a whipped-creamy bite of strudel. Landa follows her lead.
Shosanna, mouth full of strudel, indicates she approves.
COL. LANDA Like I said, not so terrible.
So you were explaining the origin of your cinema ownership?
The cinema originally belonged to my aunt and uncle—
Col. Landa removes a little black book from his pocket.
—What are their names?
Jean-Pierre and Ada Mimieux.
He records the names in his little book.
Where are they now?
My uncle was killed during the blitzkrieg.
Pity . . . Continue.
Aunt Ada passed away from fever last spring.
It’s come to my attention you have
a negro in your employ. Is that true?
Yes, he’s a Frenchman. His name is Marcel. He worked with my aunt and
uncle since they opened the cinema. He’s the only other one who works with me.
Is he any good?
Actually, one could see where that might be a good trade for them. Can you operate the projectors?
Of course I can.
Knowing the Reich Minister as I do, I’m quite positive he wouldn’t want
the success or failure of his illustrious evening dependent on
the prowess of a negro. So if it comes to pass that we hold this event at your venue—talented, no doubt,
as your negro may be—you will
operate the projectors. Is that acceptable?
As if she has any say.
Col. Landa takes another bite of strudel, and Shosanna follows suit.
So it would appear our young hero is quite smitten with you?
Private Zoller’s feelings for me aren’t of a romantic nature.
Mademoiselle . . . ?
Colonel, his feelings are not romantic. I remind him of his sister.
That doesn’t mean his feelings aren’t romantic.
I remind him of his sister who raised him.
It’s sounding more and more romantic by the minute.
Landa takes out a handsome-looking cigarette case, with an S.S. LOGO on it. Removing one of the fags, he lights it up with a fancy S.S. gold lighter. He offers one to Shosanna.
No, thank you.
Do you smoke?
Then I insist, you must take one. They’re not French, they’re German.
I hope you’re not nationalist about
your tobacco. To me, French cigarettes are a sin against nicotine.
She takes one but makes no move to light it.
He inhales deeply and says:
I did have something else I wanted to ask you, but right now, for the
life of me, I can’t remember what it is. Oh, well, must not have been important.
Col. Landa stands up, throws some French francs on the table, puts on his gray S.S. cap, touches his finger to his visor, saluting Shosanna, and says:
And with that he’s gone.
Shosanna breaths a sigh of relief.
The CAMERA begins to slowly lower from a MEDIUM CU to her feet and ankles and the floor. We see her shoes are in a puddle of urine. During her conversation and strudel with the man who exterminated her entire family, Shosanna pissed herself.
She drops the German cigarette into the piss puddle by her feet.
The SILVER SCREEN
Onscreen is the German screwball comedy “LUCKY KIDS.”
We hear OFFSCREEN laughter at the onscreen Aryan antics.
watching the screen, basking in his own toxic genius.
laughing at the comedy, hand covering her mouth.
CU TWO BLACK POODLES
pantingly watching the screen.
CU MAJOR HELLSTROM
smiling, smoking a German cigarette.
CU COL LANDA:
smoking a German cigarette, amused.
CU FREDRICK ZOLLER truly enjoying himself.
watching the screen.
The LITERARY NARRATOR comes on the soundtrack.
While Shosanna sits there pretending
to be amused by the Aryan antics of Goebbel’s Frank Capra copy “Lucky
Kids,” a thought suddenly comes to her.
We see her face get slightly distracted behind the eyes.
What if tonight, accidently, the
cinema burned down? The Third Reich would lose its minister of
propaganda, its national hero, and its top Jew hunter, all in one fell swoop.
She chuckles at THAT thought, though it looks like she’s chuckling at the German comedy.
But then that thought . . .
. . . led Shosanna To a crazy idea.
The idea flashes on her face.
Then Shosanna bursts out laughing.
Zoller looks over at her. Happy.
She’s enjoying the movie.
“The END” card for “Lucky Kids” is projected.
The Nazi rouges’ gallery, and Shosanna, applaud the film.
The lights go up.
Goebbels accepts congratulations, as they stand and begin to file out into the lobby.
The screening of “Lucky Kids” was a complete success. And Herr Goebbels conceded to have the venue changed
to Shosanna’s cinema. Not only that,
in a moment of inspiration, Herr Goebbels had an idea.
Goebbels speaks GERMAN, and Francesca translates:
I must say, I appreciate the modesty of this auditorium. Your cinema
has real respect, almost churchlike. Not to say we couldn’t spruce the place up a bit. In Versailles there’s a crystal chandelier hanging in the banquet hall that is extraordinary. We’re going to get it and hang it from the very middle of
the auditorium roof. Also I want to go to the Louvre, pick up a few Greek nudes,
and just scatter them about the lobby.
We see a quick series of shots that show all that happening.
The chandelier being removed from the ceiling of Versailles.
Greek nude statues being hand-trucked out of the Louvre.
A truck driving through the French countryside with the enormous crystal chandelier in the back.
The lobby of Shosanna’s cinema, pimped out in Nazi iconography. WORKERS buzz around decorating. The Greek statues are moved into place.
We see workers trying with incredible difficulty to hoist the huge, heavy, and twinkingly fragile chandelier in Shosanna’s auditorium, which now resembles something out of one of Tinto Brass’s Italian B-movie ripoffs of Visconti’s “The Damned.”
watches all this from an opera box. She shakes her head in disbelief.
BACK TO SHOSANNA AND THE NAZIS
in the lobby, post screening of “Lucky Kids.” She’s soundlessly escorting them to the door as they make their good-byes.
NARRATOR (VO) As they left the little French cinema that night, all the Germans were very happy . . .
We see Pvt. Zoller hanging back, so he can say good-bye.
None more so than Fredrick Zoller.
She closes the door on him, watching the Nazis walk into Paris night. Their shadows for a moment on the wall, look like grotesque Nazi caricatures.
The Nazis are gone.
Marcel sits at the top of the staircase of the lobby, looking down at Shosanna.
They speak in FRENCH SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
What the f*ck are we supposed to do?
It looks like we’re supposed to have a Nazi premiere.
Like I said, what the f*ck are we supposed to do?
Well, I need to speak with you about that.
About these Hun swine, commandeering our cinema.
What about it?
She slowly walks up the stairs to Marcel. She makes him part his legs and sits on the lower step, between his legs, her
back up against his chest, his arms around her shoulders, Shosanna has only known this type of intimacy with Marcel.
Well, when I was watching that Boche (said in English)
Capra-corn abomination, (back to French)
I got an idea.
I’m confused. What are we talking about?
Filling the cinema with Nazis and their whores, and burning it down to the ground.
I’m not talking about that. You’re talking about that.
No, we’re talking about that, right now. If we can keep this place from burning down by ourselves, we can burn it down by ourselves.
No, Marcel, just for the sake of argument, if we wanted to burn down the cinema
for any number of reasons, you and I could physically accomplish that, no?
Oui, Shosanna, we could do that.
And with Madame Mimieux’s three hundred and fifty nitrate film print collection,
we wouldn’t even need explosives, would we?
You mean we wouldn’t need any more explosives?
Oui, that’s exactly what I mean.
She begins kissing his hands.
I am going to burn down the cinema on Nazi night.
One of his fingers probes her mouth.
And if I’m going to burn down the cinema, which I am, we both know
you’re not going to let me do it by myself.
The back of her head presses up hard against him, as his hand both caresses and grips her lovely neck.
Because you love me. And I love you.
And you’re the only person on this earth I can trust.
She then TWISTS around so she’s straddling him. They are now face to face.
But that’s not all we’re going to do. Does the filmmaking equipment in the attic still work? I know the film
camera does. How about the sound recorder?
Quite well, actually. I recorded a new guitarist I met in a café last week. It works superb. Why do we need filmmaking equipment?
Because Marcel, my sweet, we’re going to make a film. Just for the Nazis.
She gives him a deep French kiss.
FADE TO BLACK:
CHAPTER TITLE APPEARS:
INT—ENGLISH COUNTRY ESTATE—DAY
A young MILITARY ATTACHÉ opens the sliding double doors that serve as an entrance to the room.
Right this way, Lieutenant.
A snappy, handsome British lieutenant in dress brown steps inside the room. This officer, who has been mixing it up with
the Gerrys since the late thirties, is LT. ARCHIE HICOX,
a young George Sanders type (“The Saint” and “Private Affairs of Bel Ami” years).
Upon entering the room, Lt. Hicox is gobsmacked.
Standing before him is legendary military mastermind
GEN. ED FENECH, an older George Sanders type (“Village of the Damned”).
But in the back of the room, sitting behind a piano, smoking his ever-present cigar, is the unmistakable bulk of WINSTON CHURCHILL.
The lieutenant was not expecting him.
Hicox salutes the general.
Lieutenant Hicox reporting, sir.
General Ed. Fenech. At ease, Hicox. Drink?
Hicox’s eyes go to the formidable bulldog behind the piano, who’s scrutinizing him behind his cigar. However, the man behind the cigar makes no gesture, and the general makes no acknowledgment of the three-hundred-pound gorilla in the room. Which Lt. Hicox knows enough to mean, if Churchill isn’t introduced, he ain’t there.
If you offered me a scotch and plain water, I could drink a scotch and
That a boy, Lieutenant. Make it yourself, like a good chap,
will you? Bar’s in the globe.
Hicox heads over to the bar globe.
Something for yourself, sir?
Whiskey straight. No junk in it.
The lieutenant moves over to the Columbus-style globe bar and busies himself mixing spirits, playing bartender chappy.
Fenech, eyeing the lieutenant’s file.
GEN. FENECH It says here you’ve run three
undercover commando operations in Germany and German-occupied
territories? Frankfurt, Holland, and Norway, to be exact?
Back to them, mixing drinks, he says:
Extraordinary people, the Norwegians.
It says here you speak German fluently?
Like a Katzenjammer Kid.
And your occupation before the war?
His back still to us, as he bartends . . .
I’m a film critic.
List your accomplishments?
Well, sir, such as they are, I write reviews and articles for a publication called “Films and Filmmakers.”
As well as our sister publication.
What’s that called?
“Flickers Bi-Monthly,” and I’ve had two books published.
Impressive. Don’t be modest, Lieutenant. What are their titles?
The first book was called “Art of the Eyes, the Heart, and the Mind: A Study of German Cinema in the Twenties.”
And the second one was called . . .
He turns around with his whiskey and plain water and the general’s whiskey no junk. He finishes what he was saying, as
he walks toward the general, handing him his drink.
LT. HICOX “Twenty-Four Frame Da Vinci.” It’s a subtextual film criticism study of the work of German director G. W. Pabst.
He hands the general his whiskey.
What should we drink to, sir?
Down with Hitler.
All the way down, sir.
Are you familiar with German cinema under the
Yes. Obviously I haven’t seen any of the films made in the last three years, but I am familiar with it.
Explain it to me.
This little escapade of ours requires a knowledge of the German
film industry under the Third Reich. Explain to me UFA, under Goebbels?
Goebbels considers the films he’s making to be the beginning of a new era in German cinema—an alternative to what he considers the Jewish
German intellectual cinema of the twenties and the Jewish-controlled
dogma of Hollywood.
SUDDENLY . . . bellowing from the back of the room:
How’s he doing?
Frightfully sorry, sir, once again?
You say he wants to take on the Jews at their own game? Compared to, say,
. . . Louis B. Mayer . . . how’s he doing?
Quite well, actually. Since Goebbels
has taken over, film attendance has steadily risen in Germany over the
last eight years. But Louis B. Mayer wouldn’t be Goebbels’ proper opposite number. I believe Goebbels sees himself closer to David O. Selznick.
Gen. Fenech looks to the prime minister.
With a puff of cigar smoke, Churchill says:
Lt. Hicox, at this point in time I’d like to brief you on Operation Kino. Three days from now, Joseph Goebbels is throwing a gala premiere of one of his new movies in Paris—
—What film, sir?
The general has to resort to peeking at his file.
The motion pictures called “Nation’s Pride.”
Oh, you mean the film about Private Zoller?
We don’t have any intelligence on exactly what the film that night
will be about.
But it’s called “Nation’s Pride”?
I can tell you what it’s about.
It’s about Private Fredrick Zoller.
He’s the German Sargeant York.
Fenech can’t help suppress a smile. They have the right man.
In attendance at this joyous Germanic occasion will be Goebbels, Goering, Boormann, and most of the German High Command, including all the high-ranking officers of both the S.S. and the Gestapo, as well as luminaries of the Nazi propaganda-film industry.
The master race at play, aye?
Basically, we have all our rotten
eggs in one basket. The objective of Operation Kino . . . Blow up the basket.
. . . and like the snows of yesteryear, gone from this earth. Jolly good, sir.
An American Secret Service outfit that lives deep behind enemy lines
will be your assist. The Germans call them “the Basterds.”
“The Basterds.” Never heard of them.
Whole point of the Secret Service, old boy, you not hearing of them.
But the Gerrys have heard of them, because
these Yanks have
the devil. Their
Aldo Raine. The
Germans call him
Why do they call
Best guess is because he removes the scalps of the Nazi dead.
He runs his finger along his hairline.
Like a red Injun.
Rather gruesome-sounding little dickybird, isn’t he?
No doubt the whole lot, a bunch of nutters. But you’ve heard the
expression “It takes a thief.”
Gen. Fenech continues on with his exposition, moving over to a military map.
You’ll be dropped into Franch about twenty-four kilometers outside of Paris. The Basterds will be waiting for you. First thing, you go to a little village called Nadine.
(He points it out on the map.)
Apparently the Gerrys never go there. In Nadine, there’s a tavern called La Louisiane. You’ll rendezvous
with our double agent, and she’ll take it from there. She’s the one who’s
going to get you into the premiere. It will be you, her, and two German- born members of the Basterds. She’s
also made all the other arrangements you’re going to need.
How will I know her?
I suspect that won’t be too much
trouble for you. Your contract is Bridget von Hammersmark.
Bridget von Hammersmark? The German movie star is working for England?
For the last two years now. One could even say Operation Kino was her brainchild.
In the back of the room the bulldog barks:
You’ll go to the premiere as her escort, lucky devil. She’ll also have the premiere tickets for the other two. Got the gist?
I think so, sir. Paris when it sizzles.
The three British bulldogs laugh.
Shosanna and Marcel are on the rooftop of their cinema literally making a movie.
Marcel is behind an old (even then) BOLEX 35MM MOVIE CAMERA, positioned low, looking up.
Shosanna, the camera subject, stands on boxes looking down into it.
A old-timey MICROPHONE is positioned out of frame.
As they always do, and always will, they speak FRENCH SUBTITLED into you know what.
We need a sync mark.
What is a sync mark?
An action and noise put together, So we can sync up the picture and sound.
How do we do that?
Clap your hands.
In frame, imbecile.
She claps her hands in front of her face.
Shosanna takes a deep breath, then:
WE CUT, BEFORE SHE SPEAKS, TO . . .
THE SCENE EARLIER BETWEEN MARCEL AND SHOSANNA IN THE
LOBBY, ON THE STAIRS, TALKING ABOUT BURNING DOWN THE CINEMA.
Big difference. This time, it’s in COLOR.
But how do we get it developed?
Only a suicidal idiot like us would develop that footage. How do we get
a 35mm print with a soundtrack?
Do you know one person who can do both things?
Of course, Gaspar. Very nice man,
took care of all the experimental filmmakers. But nobody in their
right mind would strike a print of what you’re talking about. If the Nazis found out, their life wouldn’t be worth this.
He snaps his fingers.
In a wolf fight, you either eat the
wolf or the wolf eats you. If we’re going to obliterate the Nazis,
we have to use their tactics.
What does that mean?
We find somebody who can develop and process a 35mm print. And we make them do it or we kill them.
Once we tell them what we want to do if they refuse, we have to kill them anyway or they’ll turn us in.
Would you do that?
Snaps her fingers.
INT—SMALL FILM-PROCESSING LAB—LATE NIGHT
Aold mom-and-pop film processing lab circa the thirties. Late late at night.
GASPAR, the fatherly figure of all the experimental French filmmakers in the decade before German rule, takes a SAVAGE BEATING at the hands of his friend Marcel.
Shosanna watches, pitiless.
Bring that f*cker over here!
Put his head down on that table.
Marcel holds Gaspar’s arm behind him as he forces his head flat against the tabletop.
Shosanna brings a HATCHET DOWN DEEP into the table, just by his face.
You either do what the f*ck we tell you to, or I’ll bury this ax in your collaborating skull.
I’m not a collaborator!
Then prove it! Or does your manhood
go no deeper than standing to piss? Marcel, do his wife and children
Then after we kill this dog for
Germans, we’ll go and silence them.
She lifts up the hatchet, raises it high . . .
Prepare to die, collaborator f*cker!
hands the couple a SMALL SILVER CAN OF 35MM FILM, Outside the shop window, it’s morning.
WE SEE the five heavy silver film cans of Fredrick Zoller’s life story, “Nation’s Pride” (clearly marked), on the floor of the projection booth.
The can for REEL 4 is open and empty.
Shosanna’s at the editing bench. REEL 4 is up on the rewinds . . .
Shosanna SPLICES her and Marcel’s footage into REEL 4 of Fredrick’s film, rewinds it, puts it back in the can, and
puts a piece of RED TAPE on the REEL 4 CAN.
She walks out of the booth, turning off the lights behind her, PLUNGING THE SCREEN INTO DARKNESS.
FROM BLACK DISSOLVE TO
EXT—LA LOUISIANE (TAVERN)—NIGHT
We see a small basement tavern with an old rustic sign out front that reads “La Louisiane.”
A SUBTITLE APPEARS:
“The village of Nadine, France”
TWO SHOT LT. HICOX and LT. ALDO RAINE
Aldo is dressed like a French civilian. Hicox is dressed in a German gray S.S. captain’s uniform. They look out of a window, in an apartment, in the village of Nadine, overlooking the tavern.
You didn’t say the goddamn rendezvous was in a f*ckin’ basement.
I didn’t know.
You said it was in a tavern?
It is a tavern.
Yeah, in a basement. You know, fightin’ in a basement offers a lot of difficulties, number one being you’re fighting in a basement.
Wilhelm Wicki joins the SHOT, dressed in a German S.S. lieutenant’s uniform.
What if we go in there and she’s not even there?
We wait. Don’t worry. She’s a British spy.
She’ll make the rendezvous.
WE SEE that the other Basterds, dressed in French civilian clothes, are in the room as well. They are Donowitz, Hirschberg,
and Utivich. And in the back of the room, dressed in the gray uniform of an S.S. lieutenant, Hugo Stiglitz sits off by himself, sharpening his S.S. DAGGER on his leather belt, looped around his boot. Anybody not in the scene from the Basterd’s opening chapter is dead.
Lt. Hicox watches Stiglitz off by himself on the other side of the room SHARPENING his dagger menacingly.
Stiglitz is f*cking weird . . .
Lt. Hicox approaches Stiglitz . . .
That’s right, sir.
He continues bringing the blade’s edge up, then down on the leather strap.
I hear you’re pretty good with that?
Meaning the blade.
Stiglitz doesn’t answer.
You know, we’re not looking for trouble right now. We’re simply making contact with our agent.
Should be uneventful. However, on
the off chance I’m wrong and things prove eventful, I need to know we can all remain calm.
The renegade Gerry sergeant stops his blade’s progress and looks up at the limey lieutenant.
I don’t look calm to you?
Well, now you put it like that, I guess you do.
He turns his attention back to his blade.
Hicox moves over to Aldo and asks him privately:
This Gerry of yours, Stiglitz? Not exactly the loquacious type, is he?
Aldo just looks at him.
Is that the kinda man you need, the loquacious type?
Fair point, Lieutenant.
So y’all git in trouble in there, what are we supposed to do?
Make bets on how it all comes out?
If we get into trouble, we can handle it. But if trouble does happen, we need you to make damn
sure no Germans or French, for that matter— escape from that basement.
If Fräulein von Hammersmark’s cover is compromised, the mission is kaput.
Donny chimes in:
Speaking of Fräulein von Hammersmark, whose idea was it for the death trap rendezvous?
She chose the spot.
Well, isn’t that just dandy?
Look, she’s not a military strategist. She’s just an actress.
LT. ALDO Ya don’t got to be Stonewall Jackson to know you don’t want to fight in a basement.
She wasn’t picking a place to fight. She was picking a place isolated and without Germans.
Lieutenant, I hate to be contrary, but I got me a Nazi pissin’ on Louisiana two o’clock.
They move to the window, and sure enough, ONE LONE NAZI PRIVATE relieves himself against the side wall.
Lt. Hicox, this was definitely not the plan.
Sgt. Donowitz chides him:
So what do you think your Fräulein von Hammer—
—Obviously, I don’t know, Sergeant.
The British officer watches the German soldier, who’s not supposed to be there. When Hugo Stiglitz joins him at the window, Stiglitz looks down at the urinating Nazi, S.S. dagger in hand.
If we’re going, let’s go.
He sheaths the dagger.
EXT—LA LOUISIANE (BASEMENT TAVERN)—NIGHT
The GERMAN PISSING PRIVATE sloppily finishes his task. Cramming his noodle back in his pants, he descends the stairs that lead him back into the basement tavern. We follow him . . .
INT—LA LOUISIANE (BASEMENT TAVERN)—NIGHT
Inside the basement tavern La Louisiane. It has a very low-hanging basement ceiling. A old-looking wood bar off to the right. And the only other space in the little tavern is taken
up by two large (at least in here) tables, which take up both halves of the room. And despite rumors to the contrary, one of the two tables is completely filled with drunken, celebrating
Nazi enlisted men, of which our urinating friend is one of five.
ONE GERMAN MASTER SERGEANT, ONE FEMALE GERMAN SERGEANT (a powerfully built, stocky type), and THREE MALE GERMAN SOLDIERS.
The five Nazis are sitting around the table, drinking, and playing a very fun game with none other than the Fräulein of the hour, UFA diva BRIDGET VON HAMMERSMARK, dressed to the
nines in a chic, forties-style woman’s suit, complete with fedora. The game they’re playing consists of each player having
a card with the name of a famous person, real or imaginary, stuck to their forehead. The player doesn’t know what name is on their forehead. So they ask the others questions to figure out who they are.
The five Germans’ five cards read: MASTER SGT #1: (POLA NEGRI);
FEMALE SGT #2:
(BEETHOVEN); GERMAN PRIVATE #3: (MATA HARI);
GERMAN PRIVATE #4: (EDGAR WALLACE); GERMAN PRIVATE #5: (WINNETOU). And Bridget von Hammersmark, who wears her card in
the brim of her fedora, has GENGHIS KHAN.
It’s German #5’s (WINNETOU) turn to ask questions.
The DIALOGUE will be in GERMAN and SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH.
. . . okay, I’m not German. Am I American?
The whole table bursts out laughing.
FEMALE SGT. BEETHOVEN
Yes, you are!
Well, not really.
SGT. POLA NEGRI What do you mean, not really? Of course he is.
Well, if he’s so American, how come he’s never been translated into
English. He’s not American. He’s supposed to be American, but he’s not
an American creation. In fact, he’s something very different.
Okay, I’m a fictional, literary character, from the past. I’m American, and that’s controversial.
No, it’s not controversial. The nationality of the author has nothing to do with
the nationality of the character. The character is the character. Hamlet’s not British, he’s Danish. So, yes, this character was born in America.
Well, I’m glad that’s settled. If I had a wife, would she be called a squaw?
He’s got it.
The table laughs.
Is my blood brother Old Shatterhand?
Did Karl May write me?
In the BACKGROUND, WE SEE our three counterfeit German officers—Hicox, Wicki, and Stiglitz—enter the basement
tavern. They obviously see the five German soldiers, but they’re too far away for us (the audience) to read their faces. No doubt they’re less than happy. Fräuhlein von Hammersmark
sees them as well. Without getting up, she waves to them.
Hello, my lovelies. I will join you in moments. I’m finishing up a game with my five new friends here.
No hurry, Fräulein von Hammersmark.
Take your time. Enjoy yourself.
So who are you?
I am WINNETOU, CHIEF of the APACHES!
The table CHEERS and APPLAUDS the Apache chief as he takes the card off his forehead.
The other four German soldiers drink down their beer (part of the game).
Bridget von Hammersmark knocks back her champagne.
Fräulein von Hammersmark, when your friends came in, did you realize
you did a double take, like in the movies?
Really? No, I wasn’t aware of that at all.
They must be second nature to you now. Did they teach you how to do a double take in the movies?
Well, yes, they did, but it’s not really that difficult.
SGT. POLA NEGRI
Do one for us.
The table heartily agrees.
Bridget looks directly at the master sergeant and does a perfect, and perfectly funny, double take.
The table loves it.
My turn, I want to try.
Mata Hari looks directly at Beethoven and does a double take.
I want to try.
Soon the whole table is doing dueling double takes.
watch the table do dueling double takes. Obviously, they don’t understand.
THEN . . .
Bridget von Hammersmark rises and excuses herself from the table. She removes the card stuck in her fedora, looking at the name for the first time. Genghis Khan.
Genghis Khan! I would never have gotten that.
She walks over and joins the masquerading Germans’ table. The gentlemen rise. She greets each warmly with a French cheek kiss, as if she knows them well.
They all take a seat. The two basterds and one Brit drink whiskey. The tavern’s PROPRIETOR, an older, big-bellied
Frenchman named EARL, comes over to the table and pours more champagne into Bridget’s champagne glass. He leaves, returning back behind the bar, with the YOUNG FRENCH BARMAID, the only other person in the establishment.
Obviously, they speak GERMAN, SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
I thought this place was supposed to have more
French than Germans?
true. The sergeant over there’s
baby. His commanding officer
gave him and his
off to celebrate.
No, we should stay. For one drink at least. I’ve been waiting for you in a bar. It would look strange if we left before we had a drink.
She’s right. Just be calm, and enjoy your booze.
BACK TO THE GERMAN TABLE
The French barmaid has taken Bridget’s place in the rousing, rowdy game. She tells them her person must be French or she
won’t know them. Winnetou thinks for a moment, then writes a name on a card. The barmaid puts it on her forehead. It says:
The Germans all laugh.
BACK TO THE BASTERDS’ TABLE
There’s been some new developments.
The cinema venue has changed.
No one knows. But that in itself shouldn’t be a problem. The cinema
it’s been changed to is considerably smaller than The Ritz. So whatever materials you brought for The Ritz should be doubly effective here.
Now this next piece of information is colossal, try not to overreact.
The Führer will be attending tomorrow.
Hugo Stiglitz does a SPIT-TAKE.
Bridget’s eyes bore holes in him.
BACK TO THE REAL GERMANS
They see Hugo do the spit-take and burst out laughing. Keeping it up, they begin to do dueling spit-takes, like they did dueling double takes earlier. Needless to say, they all get wet.
BACK TO THE BASTERDS
You’ll be going as Ernst Schuller. You’ll say you’re an associate producer on Riefenstahl’s “Tiefland.” It’s the
one German production not under Goebbels’ control, and Leni wouldn’t be caught dead at a Goebbels film affair.
BACK TO THE REAL GERMAN TABLE
Master Sgt. Pola Negri drinks his beer as he looks over, dreamily, at Bridget von Hammersmark at the other table.
BACK TO THE BASTERDS
Bridget continues to brief Hicox on his identity. We see in
the B.G. the German master sergeant stand up from his table and head toward Fräulein von Hammersmark.
. . . the film’s gone through many delays, and Leni’s health is deteriorating, so if you have to speak . . .
Hicox, seeing the German master sergeant approach, signals for her to cool it.
SGT. POLA NEGRI
Fräulein von Hammersmark, I was just thinking, could you sign an autograph
to my son on his birthday?
I’d love to, Wilhelm.
(to the table)
This handsome happy sergeant just became a father today.
The pretend officers offer congratulations to the sergeant.
The German master sergeant CLICKS his heels and bows before his superior officers.
SGT. POLA NEGRI
Thank you. Heil Hitler.
He raises his hand . . . as do the seated phony officers: “Heil Hitler.”
As she takes a rather fancy fountain pen from her clutch . . .
So, Wilhelm, do you know the name of this progeny yet?
SGT. POLA NEGRI
I most certainly do, Fräulein. His name is Maximilian.
Even the slightly psychotic Stiglitz likes this German sergeant.
Wonderful name, Sergeant.
SGT. POLA NEGRI
Thank you, Lieutenant. When he’s old enough to ride a bicycle, I will buy
him a blue one. And I will paint on the side “The Blue Max.”
He thrusts out his beer stein, for the officers to cheer.
Bridget finishes signing her autograph, with a big flourish.
There you go. But wait, I’m not finished yet.
She reaches into her clutch and pulls out some lipstick, applies some ruby-red color to her lips, and then kisses the napkin, leaving a big red lip print. Then she hands the treasured item to the young officer.
Nothing but the best for little Maximilian.
SGT. POLA NEGRI
Thank you, Fräulein, thank you. Max may not know who you are now. But he will.
I will show him all of your movies. He will grow up with your films, and this napkin on his wall.
Then, to the whole tavern . . .
SGT. POLA NEGRI
I propose a toast to the greatest actress in
Germany! There is no Dietrich, there is no
Riefenstahl, only von Hammersmark!
The whole room toasts.
This would be a good time for the German sergeant to go back to his table and his men. And he almost does . . . but . . . since he is drunk, and star struck, he out wears his welcome.
SGT. POLA NEGRI
So, Fräulein von Hammersmark, what brings you to France?
Feeling any good Nazi officer’s patience would have been exhausted long ago, Lt. Hicox butts in.
None of your business, Sergeant.
You might not have worn out your welcome with the fräulein with your drunken, boorish behavior, but you have worn out your welcome with me.
The table of game-playing soldiers hears this and gets quiet.
Might I remind you Sergeant, you’re an enlisted man. This is an officers’ table. I suggest
you stop pestering the fräulein and rejoin your table.
The German master sergeant looks quizzically at the officer.
SGT. POLA NEGRI
Excuse me, Captain, but your accent is very unusual.
The whole room pauses . . . for different reasons . . .
SGT. POLA NEGRI
Where are you from?
A silent moment passes between the two tables, then the two German- born imposters spring into action.
Sergeant! You must be either drunk or mad to speak to a superior officer with
Stiglitz, STANDS and YELLS to the other table:
I’m making YOU . . .
. . . and YOU . . .
. . . responsible for him. (pointing at
I suggest you take hold of your friend, or he’ll spend Max’s first birthday
in jail for public drunkenness!
The Germans SPRING UP and take hold of Sgt. Pola . . .
WHEN . . .
A GERMAN VOICE rings out:
GERMAN VOICE (OS)
Then might I inquire?
The five known Germans move aside, revealing the unknown German in the room, unseen till now, our old friend from before:
MAJOR DIETER HELLSTROM of the GESTAPO. The major stands from the little table he was sitting at.
Like the young, newly christened father, I to have an acute ear for accents.
And like him, I too find yours odd. From where do you hail, Captain?
Wicki jumps in:
Major, this is highly inappr—
—I wasn’t speaking to you, Lieutenant Saltzberg,
or you either, Lieutenant Berlin. (looking at
I was speaking to Captain I-don’t-know-what.
The Gestapo major is now standing beside Sgt. Pola, before the imposter’s table.
Lt. Hicox calmly explains his origin.
I was born in the village that rests in the shadow of Pitz Palu.
Yes. In that village we all speak like this.
Have you seen the Riefenstahl film?
Then you saw me. You remember the skiing torch scene?
Yes, I do.
In that scene were myself, my father,
my sister, and my two brothers. My brother is so handsome, the director, Pabst, gave him a closeup.
As Bridget von Hammersmark places a cigarette in an ivory cigarette holder—which Hicox, as if on cue, lights for her
Major, if my word means anything, I can vouch for everything the young captain has just said. He does hail from the bottom of Pitz Palu, he was in the film, and his brother is far more handsome than he.
The imposters laugh.
Then . . . so does the Gestapo major. He turns to the sergeant.
You should rejoin your friends.
Which the young sergeant is more than happy to do. That table begins playing their game again.
Major Hellstrom, the highest-ranking officer in the room, bows graciously to the female German celebrity.
May I join you?
By all means, Major.
The Gestapo major sits at the table, opposite Lt. Hicox and Wicki. The French barmaid brings over the Major’s beer stein.
So that’s the source of your bizarre accent? Extraordinary. So what are
you doing here, Captain?
Aside from having a drink with the lovely fräulein?
Well, that pleasure requires no explanation.
Chuckle . . . chuckle
I mean in country. You’re obviously not stationed in France, or I’d know who you are.
You know every German in France?
Well, therein lies the problem. We never claimed to be worth knowing.
Chuckle . . . chuckle.
All levity aside, what are you doing in France?
Attending Goebbels’s film premiere as the fräulein’s escort.
You’re the fräulein’s escort?
Somebody has to carry the lighter.
Chuckle . . . chuckle.
The captain is my date, but all three are my guests. We’re old friends, Major, who go back a long time. Longer than
an actress would care to admit.
Chuckle . . . chuckle.
Well, in that case, let me raise a glass to the three luckiest men in the room.
I’ll drink to that.
BACK TO THE REAL GERMANS’ TABLE
They continue to have a lot of fun playing their game.
BACK TO THE OFFICERS’ TABLE
I must say, that game they’re playing looks like a good bit of fun. I didn’t
join them, because you’re quite right, Captain, officers and enlisted men shouldn’t fraternize. But seeing as we’re all
. . . and sophisticated lady friends of officers, what say we play the game?
Lt. Hicox begins to refuse when Bridget (feeling she knows better) interrupts him:
Okay, one game.
The major borrows five cards from the other table and lays them out in front of Bridget and the officers.
So the object of the game is to write
the name of a famous person on your card. Real or fictitious, doesn’t matter. For instance, you could write Confucius or
(He SNAPS his fingers.) Eric! More pens.
(back to the players)
And they must be famous. No Aunt Ingas. When you finish writing, put the card face down on the table and move it to the person to your left. The person to your right will move their card in
front of you. You pick up the card without looking at it, lick the back, and stick it on your forehead, like so.
And in ten yes or no questions, you must guess who you are . . .
As Maj. Hellstrom finishes explaining the finer points of the game, a CAMERA PANS OFF HIM and BEGINS SLOWLY ZOOMING INTO STIGLITZ. The major’s dialogue begins to FADE AWAY.
Until we’re in a SPAGHETTI WESTERN FLASHBACK. Which is RED-FILTERED FOOTAGE of Hugo being savagely WHIPPED by somebody wearing a GESTAPO UNIFORM, SUPERIMPOSED over his CLOSEUP.
The flashback disappears. It’s driving Stiglitz crazy, being this close to a Gestapo uniform and not plunging a knife into it.
The major’s voice comes back on the soundtrack.
. . . So let’s give it a try, shall we? Everybody write your names.
The five players write their names . . .
Then move their cards to the left . . .
Everybody sticks their cards on their forehead . . .
MAJ. KING KONG
I’ll start, give you the idea.
Am I German?
MAJ. KING KONG
Am I an American?
They laugh—but then Wicki says:
Wait a minute, he goes to—
Don’t be ridiculous. Obviously he wasn’t born in America.
MAJ. KING KONG
So . . . I visited America, aye?
The table says, “Yes.”
MAJ. KING KONG
Was this visit . . . fortuitous?
Not for you.
MAJ. KING KONG
. . . Hummm. My native land, is it what one would call exotic?
The table confers and decides, yes, it is exotic.
MAJ. KING KONG
Hummm. That could be either a reference to the jungle or the Orient. I’m going to let my first instinct take over and ask, am I from the jungle?
The table says, “Yes, you are.”
MAJ. KING KONG
Now gentlemen, around this time you could ask whether you’re real or fictitious.
I, however, think that’s too easy, so I won’t ask that, yet. Okay, my native land is the jungle. I visited America, but my visit was not fortuitous to me, but the implication is that it was to somebody else. When I went from the jungle to America, . . . did I go by boat?
MAJ. KING KONG
Did I go against my will?
MAJ. KING KONG
On this boat ride . . . Was I in chains?
MAJ. KING KONG
When I arrived in America . . . was I displayed in chains?
MAJ. KING KONG
Am I the story of the Negro in America?
The table says, “No.”
MAJ. KING KONG
Well, then, I must be King Kong.
He throws the card on the table.
They applaud him.
Now since I answered correctly, you all need to finish your drinks.
The three counterfeit Nazis knock back their whiskeys.
Now, who’s next?
Major, I don’t mean to be rude. But the four of us are very good friends. And the four of us haven’t seen each other in quite a while. So .
Major, I’m afraid, you are intruding.
I beg to differ, Captain. It’s only if the fräulein considers my presence an intrusion that I become an intruder.
How about it, Fräulein? Am I intruding?
Of course not, Major.
I didn’t think so. It’s simply the young captain is immune to my charms.
The table’s not sure what to do. Is this a confrontation? Then the major laughs.
I’m just joking. Of course, I’m intruding.
Allow me to refill your glasses, gentlemen, and I will bid you and the fräulein adieu.
Eric has a bottle of thirty-three-year-old single-malt scotch whiskey from the Scottish highlands. What do you say, gentlemen?
You’re most gracious, sir.
Eric, the thirty-three and new glasses! You don’t want to contaminate the thirty-three with the swill you were drinking.
How many glasses?
Not me. I like scotch, scotch doesn’t like me.
Nor I. I’ll stay with bubbly.
Lt. Hicox holds up three fingers (pinky to middle finger) to Eric, the owner.
Eric brings the three glasses and the old bottle, pouring for the three soldiers.
Major Hellstrom lifts up his beer stein and toasts:
To a thousand-year Reich!
They all mutter, “a thousand-year reich” and clink glasses.
The Gestapo major puts down his beer stein, and then WE HEAR a CLICK under the table.
Did you hear that? That’s the sound of
my WALTER pointed right at your testicles.
Why do you have a Luger pointed at my testicles?
Because you’ve just given yourself
away, captain. You’re no more German than scotch.
—Shut up, slut.
You were saying?
I was saying that makes two of us. I’ve had a gun pointed at your balls since you sat down.
That makes three of us.
UNDER THE TABLE:
We see all three guns pointed at the appropriate crotches, as well as Bridget’s legs, right besides the Nazi major’s. Her pretty gams are sure to be chewed up in the possible crossfire.
And at this range, I’m a real
Hummm . . . Looks like we have a bit of a sticky situation here.
What’s going to happen, Major, is you’re going to stand up and walk out that
door with us.
I don’t think
and I both know, no matter
in this room,
the two of
us aren’t going
(pointing at the table
Too bad about Sgt. Wilhelm and his friends.
If any of you expect to live, you’ll have to shoot them too.
Looks like little Max is going to grow up an orphan. How sad.
Then, Major, I implore you. For the sake of those German troops, will you please leave with us?
Oh, Bridget, your concern for German troops gets me . . .
. . . right here. You mean for the sake of your whore legs, don’t you? You can’t afford to get any bullet holes in them. You’re not finished spreading them for all the Hollywood Jews.
Lt. Hicox picks up his thirty-three-year-old single-malt scotch and says:
LT. HICOX (ENGLISH)
Well, if this is it, old boy, I hope you don’t mind if I go out speaking the king’s?
By all means, Captain.
The English film critic commando picks up the thirty-three the Nazi major bought him and says:
There’s a special rung in hell reserved for people who waste good scotch.
And seeing as I might be rapping on the door momentarily . . .
He downs the stuff.
(to the Nazi
I must say, damn good stuff, sir.
He puts the glass down.
LT. HICOX Now about this pickle we find
ourselves in. It would appear there’s only one thing left for you to do.
And what would that be?
Say, “auf Widersehen” to your balls!
FIRES into HELLSTROM’S BALLS . . .
As does HICOX, HITTING not only Hellstrom, but BRIDGET as well.
FIRES into HICOX’s BALLS and KNEECAPS.
then JUMPS over the table and begins STABBING HELLSTROM with the
HICOX FALLS to the floor . . . DEAD.
BRIDGET FALLS to the floor . . . SHOT.
brings his weapon out from underneath the table and BEGINS
FIRING across at the GERMANS at the table, who, unaware, were still
PLAYING THE GAME.
is SHOT IN THE BACK, before he even knows what is happening.
EDGAR WALLACE is SHOT by WICKI.
SGT. POLA NEGRI
FALLS to the floor in the confusion.
FEMALE SGT. BEETHOVEN and STIGLITZ bring their guns toward each other and FIRE. They BOTH TAKE and GIVE each other so many BULLETS it’s almost romantic when they collapse DEAD on the
WICKI and MATA HARI
both ON THEIR FEET, FIRING WILDLY at each other. MATA HARI is HIT THREE TIMES. WICKI is HIT ONCE.
SGT. POLA NEGRI
comes off the floor with a SUBMACHINE GUN and SPRAYS the
whole other side of the room, WIPING OUT WICKI, ERIC, MATA HARI, and THE BARMAID.
The SHOOTING STOPS . . . THE SMOKE caused by the gunfire . . .
starts to DISSIPATE . . . The only one in the room left alive is the
young German sergeant with the machine gun.
WE HEAR the feet of the soldiers outside reach the basement entrance.
The door opens . . .
The German sergeant sends FIFTY BULLETS in the door’s direction . . .
No one goes through it.
What we have here is a rabbit-hole-like situation. No one inside is getting out. No one outside is getting in.
The young German sergeant YELLS in ENGLISH to the outside:
You outside! Who are you? British, American, what?
Aldo’s voice YELLS down the hole:
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
We’re Americans! What are you?
I’m a German, you idiot!
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
You speak English pretty good for a German!
I agree! So let’s talk!
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
I’m a father! My baby was born today
in Frankfurt! Five hours ago! His name is Max! We were in here drinking and celebrating! They’re the ones that
came in shooting and killing! It’s not my fault!
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Okay, okay, it wasn’t your fault!
What’s your name, soldier?
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
That’s the same name as one of the guys you just killed!
They attacked us!
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Okay, Wilhelm . . . is anybody alive on our side?
We hear a VOICE OFFSCREEN yell out:
BRIDGET’S VOICE (OS)
Wilhelm spins in the direction of the voice.
On the floor, with a bullet in her BLOODY LEG, lies the still-alive Bridget von Hammersmark.
The German sergeant points the muzzle of the machine gun at the German celebrity, with hate in his eyes.
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Make a sound, whore, and I spit!
Meaning the muzzle.
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Wilhelm, who is that?
Is the girl on your side?
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Who do you think—von Hammersmark!
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Yeah, she’s ours!
LOW, in GERMAN)
I thought so. So you run with the Americans now, huh? Now times are
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Is she okay?
LOW, in GERMAN)
You despicable traitor.
She’s been shot, but she’s alive. (to Bridget,
LOW, in GERMAN)
We hear the Basterds curse their luck offscreen.
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Okay, Wilhelm, what’d ya say we make a deal?
What’s your name?
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Aldo. Wilhelm, can I call ya Willi?
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
So, Willi, you know we could lob three or four or five or six grenades down there and your little war story ends here. But good fer you, bad fer her.
You die, she dies. So what say we make a swap?
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Okay, Willi, here’s my deal! You let me and one of my men come down to take the girl away! And we take the girl and leave! That simple, Willi!
You go your way, we go ours! And little Max gets to grow up playing catch with his daddy! So what ‘ya say, Willi, we got a deal?
Willi thinks . . .
Bridget watches Willi think . . .
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
I’m here, Willi!
I want to trust you . . . But how can I?
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
What choice ya got?
I could kill the girl!
ALDO’S VOICE (OS)
Well, now, Willi, that’s true enough. But something you need to know, so
you don’t get the wrong idea. Ain’t none of us give a f*ck ‘bout that girl. But, admittedly, if you kill
her, it would f*ck up our plans. But you’ll be dead by then anyway, so
what’d you care? And let’s not forget that little Katzenjammer Max, growin’ up without a pop. So in the spirit of gettin’ you home to him, we got a deal, Willi?
Okay, Aldo. I’m going to trust you!
Come down, no guns!
Aldo and Hirschberg come down the stairs, showing open hands.
Willi keeps his machine gun trained on them.
Aldo, with his hands up, says:
Hey, Willi, what’s with the machine gun? I thought we had a deal.
We do have a deal. Now get the girl and go.
Not so fast, Willi. We only have a
deal, we trust each other. A Mexican standoff ain’t trust.
You need guns on me for it to be a Mexican standoff.
You got guns on us, you decide to
shoot, we’re dead. Up top, they got grenades, they drop ’em down here, you’re dead. That’s a Mexican
standoff, and that wasn’t the deal.
Just take that f*ckin’ traitor and go! See? Now you’re down here— Now you get tricky—!
—No tricks!—Ain’t nobody gittin’ tricky, Willi! I swear to god, I’m too damn dumb to get tricky. But
him and I lived up to the deal. We came down without guns. Now it’s your turn. No trust, no deal.
Willi pointing the gun at them . . . thinking . . .
I know you’re scared. I’m scared, he’s scared, we’re all scared.
So what’s it gonna be, Willi? Either we got a deal or you might as well just shoot us now.
Willi decides . . .
He puts the machine gun down on the bar.
Fine. Take that f*cking traitor and get her out of my sight.
Danke, Willi, danke. Okay, Hirschberg, you grab her shoulder—
WHEN . . .
From behind Aldo and Hirschberg, Bridget lifts up Major Hellstrom’s WALTER and EMPTIES the remaining bullets into
Sgt. Willi, who FALLS to the floor, DEAD.
Aldo and Hirschberg spin around, shocked.
From the floor, the bloody, sweaty, and in excruciating pain (she’ll probably lose that leg} German movie star says to the two American soldiers she’s just meeting for the first time:
He was an enemy soldier who knew who
I was. He couldn’t live.
INT—FRENCH HOUSE IN COUNTRY (BEDROOM)—NIGHT
An OLD MAN lies asleep under the covers of his blankets, in his bed, in his bedroom . . .
WHEN . . .
. . . .
OFF SCREEN the
sound of a DOOR BEING KICKED OPEN . . .
. . . .
what sounds like EIGHT
DOGS BARKING . . .
of FEET RUNNING TOWARD US . . .
his bedroom door is THROWN OPEN, and Sgt. Donowitz RUSHES IN, grabbing the old man in his bed and putting a
.45 automatic to his head.
What? What’s happening?
Donny SLAMS the .45 hard against the old man’s head, shocking, scaring, and bringing the old gent to attention.
Doctor? Are you a f*cking doctor?
He nods his head, yes.
Andiamo . . .
Donny YANKS/DRAGS the old man out of bed, in his almost comical nightshirt (which makes him cuter, thus the brutality against him hurts more) toward the door . . .
INT—DOCTOR’S EXAMINING ROOM—NIGHT
. . . Into a doctor’s examining room built into a French country house, with an examining table and medical instruments.
However, it’s obviously the medical examining room of a veterinarian.
Along the walls are different cages with eight BARKING dogs in them.
The soldiers are putting the shot-in-the-leg, bleeding, and in excruciating pain Bridget on the examining table.
Donny, still holding onto the Old Man, points in the girl’s direction . . .
She’s been shot. Shot. Bang, bang . . .
. . . in leg . . . understand?
No, no, no, I don’t speak English.
Donny jams the barrel of his .45 into the thigh of the old man.
BANG, BANG—in the leg, understand!
The old man nods his head, yes.
But I’m a veterinarian . . . animals . . .
I take care of animals . . .
Bridget screams from the table . . .
He’s a f*cking veterinarian, you imbecile!
He’s still a doctor. If he can get a bullet out of a cow, he can get a bullet outta you.
Right now, we just need morphine.
Donny yells at the old man:
Morphine! We need morphine!
The old man tries to explain in French that he’s not a human doctor
. . .
Donny takes the .45 and SHOOTS one of the DOGS in the cages.
Donny SCREAMS at the old man:
He SHOOTS another dog . . .
The old man begs him to stop and goes to get the morphine.
The BODY of Gestapo Major DIETER HELLSTROM dead on the floor.
We’re back in the basement tavern. Col. Hans Landa stands
over the corpse. He moves over to the next corpse, and a smile breaks out on his face.
He says in GERMAN SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
Ahhh, Hugo, you’ve moved up in the world, I see. Lieutenant. And with
your record of insubordination. Truly remarkable.
A Nazi soldier named HERRMAN joins the S.S. officer.
And that one’s . . .
. . . name is Wilhelm Wicki. He’s an Austrian- born Jew who immigrated
to the United States when things
began turning sour for the Israelites. They are the two German-born members of the Basterds. They’ve been known
to don German uniforms to ambush squads.
three Nazi soldiers walking toward a company of other German soldiers. The three soldiers’ back are to us. Dried, bloody bullet holes cover the backs of the three uniforms.
The SERGEANT of the German company yells to the trio:
SGT. GERMAN COMPANY
What brings you all the way out here?
The TRIO NOW DOWN the GERMAN COMPANY with their machine guns.
BACK TO LANDA:
But that doesn’t look like this.
This is odd.
Looking down he sees something . . .
Bending down, he examines Fräulein von Hammersmark’s two pretty dress shoes lying on the floor.
One shoe is covered in blood.
The other, while blood-speckled, is fairly clean.
Picking up the clean shoe and holding it in his hand.
It would appear somebody’s missing. Somebody fashionable.
AN OFFSCREEN SOLDIER’S VOICE cries out:
SOLDIERS VOICE (OS)
Colonel, this one’s still alive!
We follow Hans to the spot on the floor where Sgt. Willi lies. He’s shot in the chest, but it looks like Max’s daddy is still alive.
Bridget on the examining table, post morphine shot.
The other Basterds in the room watch Aldo interrogate the German lady.
Now ’fore we yank that slug outta ya, you need to answer a few questions.
Few questions about what?
About I got three men dead back there, and why don’t you try tellin’ us what the f*ck happened?
The British officer blew his German act, and a Gestapo major saw it.
’Fore we get into who shot John, Why did you invite my men to a rendezvous in a basement with a bunch of Nazis?
I can see, since you didn’t see what happened inside, the Nazis being there must look odd.
Yeah, we gotta word for that kinda odd in English. It’s called suspicious.
Don’t let your imagination get the better of you, Lieutenant. You met
the sergeant, Willi. He had a baby tonight. His commanding officer gave
him and his friends the night off to celebrate. The Germans being there
was just a tragic coincidence.
Aldo thinks for a moment . . .
Okay, I’ll buy that. He was either there with his men waiting for us, or he was there celebrating his son’s birthday. He wasn’t doin’ both.
How did the shootin’ start?
The English man gave himself away.
How did he do that?
He ordered three glasses.
She holds up three fingers, middle to pinky.
He ordered three glasses.
She holds up three fingers, thumb to middle.
This is the German three. The other
is odd. Germans would and did notice it.
Okay, let’s pretend there were no Germans, and everything went exactly
the way it was supposed to. What would of been the next step?
Tuxedoes. To get them into the premiere wearing military uniforms, with all the military there, would have been suicide. But going as members of the German film industry,
they wear tuxedoes and blend in with everybody else. I arranged a tailor
to fit three tuxedoes tonight.
How did you intend to get them into the premiere?
Hand me my purse.
They do. And she opens it and takes out three tickets to the film premiere.
Lt. Hicox was going as my escort.
The other two were going as a German cameraman and his assistant.
Can you still get us into that premiere?
Can you speak German better than your friends? No. Have I been shot? Yes.
I don’t see me tripping the light fantastic up the red carpet anytime
soon. Least of all by tomorrow night.
However, there’s something you don’t know. There’s been two recent developments regarding Operation
Kino. One, the venue has been changed from The Ritz to a much smaller venue.
Enormous changes at the last minute? That’s not very Germanic. Why the
hell is Goebbels doin’ stuff so damn peculiar?
It probably has something to do with the second development.
IN A PRIVATE DINING ROOM IN GERMANY, the FUHRER, aka Adolf Hitler, aka Adolf Shicklegroover, aka the Bohemian Corporal, having dinner with Goebbels, only a few short days ago.
I’ve been rethinking my position in regards to your Paris premiere of “Nation’s Pride.” As the weeks have
gone on and the Americans are on
the beach, I do find myself thinking more and more about this Private
Zoller. This boy has done something tremendous for us. And I’m beginning
to think my participation in this event could be meaningful.
BACK TO BRIDGET:
The Führer’s attending the premiere.
Donny breaks the team’s silence:
When the hell did this happen?
The venue change, two weeks ago. The Führer’s attendance, four days ago.
And how come London don’t know nothing about that?
We need to get something straight,
once and for all. Everything London knows, it learned from me. If I
don’t know, London doesn’t know.
So now, this is me, informing you, Hitler’s coming to Paris.
F*CK A DUCK!
Aldo stands up from the chair, pacing as he takes in this new information.
What are you thinking?
I’m thinking getting a wack at plantin’ ole Uncle Adolph makes this a horse of a different color.
What’s that supposed to mean?
It means you’re gettin’ us into that premiere.
I’m going to probably end up losing this leg, bye bye, acting career, fun while it lasted. How do you expect me to walk up a red carpet?
doc’s gonna dig that slug outta your
gam. Then he’s gonna
you gotta good
“how I broke my leg
mountain climbing” story.
That’s German, ain’t
I don’t. I like smoking, drinking, and ordering in restaurants, but I see your point.
We fill ya up with morphine, till it’s comin out ya ears. Then just limp your little ass up that rouge car-pet.
Splendid. When the Nazis put me up against a wall, it won’t hurt
(changing tone) I know this is a silly question before I ask it, but can you Americans speak any other language than English?
Other than Yiddish?
Donny, referring to Aldo and himself:
We both speak a little Italian.
With an atrocious accent, no doubt. But that doesn’t exactly kill us in the crib. Germans don’t have a
good ear for Italian. So you mumble Italian and brazen through it, is
that the plan?
That’s about it.
That sounds good.
It sounds like shit, but what else we gonna do, go home?
No, it’s good. If you don’t blow it
with that, I can get you in the building. (changes tone)
So, who does what?
Well, I speak the most Italian, so I’ll be your escort. Donowitz speaks
the second most, so he’ll be your Italian cameraman. And Hirschberg
third most, so he’ll be Donny’s assistant.
I don’t speak Italian.
Like I said, third best. Just keep
your f*ckin’ mouth shut. In fact, why don’t you start practicing right now.
What about the little one?
Do you mean me?
I didn’t mean any offense.
None taken, you German cunt.
Utivich is the chauffeur.
I can’t drive.
Bridget SCREAMS in frustration:
You Americans are f*cking useless!
Gimmie a break. I’m from Manhattan.
No worries, son. We got over fourteen hours before the movie tomorrow.
More than enough time for you to learn to drive.
No, no, no, no, Lieutenant, it’s not!
Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, Private, it is. And yes, yes, yes, you will.
Look, Utivich, you and I both know, if we went to grade school together,
you damn sure ain’t copyin’ off of my test. Well, I lernt to drive in four hours on a Tennessee mountain road.
And I’m a shit-for-brains coal miner bootlegger. Hirschberg, you know how to drive, right?
But there is a problem. I’m a movie star. This is a movie premiere.
I can’t show up looking like I was just in a Nazi gunfight. Now I
have a dress for the premiere at my hotel. But sometime tomorrow I
have to get my hair done.
All the Basterds, except Donny, burst out laughing.
Sister, you must got wunderbar luck. Guess who went to beauty school?
The CAMERA WHIP-PANS to SGT. DONOWITZ.
Bridget rolls her eyes.
CHAPTER TITLE APPEARS:
“REVENGE OF THE GIANT FACE”
INT—SHOSANNA AND MARCEL’S LIVING QUARTERS—NIGHT
We’re in Shosanna and Marcel’s living quarters above the cinema. We’ve never been in here before.
A SUBTITLE APPEARS ONSCREEN:
“NIGHT OF ‘NATION’S PRIDE’ PREMIERE”
Shosanna’s standing before a full-length mirror in a real attractive forties-style dress for the premiere. She’s stunning. This is the first time in her life she’s had the opportunity
or the occasion to wear something like this. Since she knows this is the last night of her life, no time like the present.
SOUNDS of the hubbub of the premiere, not to mention the
German brass band that’s blaring Third Reich marches, can be heard coming from below.
Shosanna walks to her apartment window and looks down at the Germanic miasma below.
WE SEE all the pageantry below. Tons of SPECTATORS. Tons of guests dressed in Nazi uniforms, tuxedoes, and female finery, walking up the long red carpet (with a big swastika in the middle, naturally) leading into Shosanna’s cinema. The German brass band omm-pa-pa-ing away. German radio and film crews covering the event for the fatherland back home. And, of course, MANY GERMAN SOLDIERS providing security for this joyous Germanic occasion.
Shosanna COUGHS up a lugi and HOCKS it.
A GERMAN S.S. GENERAL being interviewed by a RADIO COMMENTATOR—the lugi HITS him right on his bald head.
Shosanna goes back to the full-length mirror, places a very fashionable forties-style hat on her head, then lowers the period- style black fishnet veil over her face. She takes out
a small GUN and puts it in the pocket of her dress, and it’s on. She exits the apartment door to join the premiere.
From this point on, there’s no turning back. It’s all the way baby, all the f*cking way!
The stairwell in the building that connects the living
quarters with the cinema. Shosanna walks down the stairs and goes through a door that puts her next to the projection booth door. She takes out a key and opens it.
Marcel’s prepping the film reels for tonight. The five silver metal film cans that carry one 35mm reel of film each are laid out. The cans for reels one and two are empty. Cans for reel three, our specially marked can for reel four, and the can for reel five (which should never see the light of a projector) lie in wait.
Shosanna, looking like a forties movie star, enters the projection booth.
The scene in FRENCH SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
Ooh la la, Danielle Darrieux, this is so exciting. Pleased to meet you.
Shut up, fool.
Marcel lifts up the veil covering her face and their lips meet.
Cheeky black bugger. I have to go down and socialize with these Hun pigs. Let’s go over it again?
Reel one is on the first projector. Reel two is on the second. Three and four are ready to go.
Okay, the big sniper battle in the film begins around the middle of the third reel. Our film comes on in the fourth reel, so somewhere toward the end of the third reel,
go down and lock the doors of the auditorium. Then take your place
behind the screen, and wait for my
CUE when I give it to you: BURN IT DOWN!
The pageantry of the evening is in full swing, as all the German beautiful people enter the cinema. They mingle in the swastika-covered, Greek-nude-statue-peppered lobby. Nazi military commanders, high-ranking party officials, and German celebrities (Emil Jannings, Veit Harlan) hobnob and drink Champagne from passing WAITERS, who carry glasses on silver trays.
We see Shosanna enter from the area at the top of the big staircase in the lobby that overlooks the lobby parlor entrance. She descends the staircase and busies herself with theater stuff.
At the top of the staircase, looking down at the master race in all their finery, is Col. Hans Landa, dressed in his finest S.S. dress uniform.
directly behind him. On the right side, we see the figure of Col. Landa, from behind, watching the guests entering the cinema. On the left side of the frame is the cinema entrance, from
alooking-down perspective of the guests entering the building. THEN . . .
A THINK BUBBLE, like in a comic book, appears on the left
side of the frame, obscuring the cinema entrance. Inside Landa’s think bubble a little scene plays out.
A hospital room filled with DOCTORS, NURSES, and a
PATIENT in a hospital bed. Then Col. Landa enters the room and screams at everybody:
I want everybody out of this room!
They start to leave.
That means now, goddamnit!
They RUSH OUT.
He walks over to the patient in the hospital bed. It’s none other than SGT. WILLI, and yes, he’s still alive.
Landa pulls up a chair next to the bed and sits down.
Can you speak, Sergeant?
Tell me everything that happened in there.
The THINK BUBBLE DISSOLVES away, revealing the entrance again, and as if on perfect cue, in walks Bridget von Hammersmark, dressed lovely, leg in a big white cast. The three Basterds in their tuxedos flank her.
CU COL. LANDA smiles.
He descends the stairs, toward the four saboteurs . . .
They speak in GERMAN, SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
Fräulein von Hammersmark, what
has befallen Germany’s most elegant swan?
Col. Landa, it’s been years.
Dashing as ever, I see.
Flattery will get you everywhere, Fräulein.
They chuckle and air kiss.
So what’s happened to your lovely leg? A by-product of kicking ass in the German cinema, no doubt.
Save your flattery, you old dog. I know too many of your former conquests to fall into that honeypot.
Chuckle . . . chuckle . . .
Seriously, what happened?
Well, I tried my hand, foolishly I might add, at mountain climbing. And this was the result.
Mountain climbing? That’s how you injured your leg—mountain climbing?
Believe it or not, yes, it is.
A brief moment passes between the two . . .
THEN . . .
The colonel BURSTS OUT with UPROARIOUS LAUGHTER. So uproarious, in fact, that it’s quite disconcerting to the four saboteurs.
The colonel begins to regain his composure . . .
Forgive me, Fräulein. I don’t mean to laugh at your misfortune. It’s just
. . . mountain climbing? I’m curious, Fräulein, what could have ever
compelled you to undertake such a foolhardy endeavor?
The double meaning is not lost on the German actress.
Well, I shan’t be doing it again, I can tell you that.
That cast looks as fresh as my old
Uncle Gustave. When were you climbing this mountain, last night?
Very good eye, Colonel. It happened yesterday morning.
Hummm. And where exactly in Paris is this mountain?
This stops her for a second.
Then Landa laughs it off, taking them off the hook.
I’m just teasing you, Fräulein. You know me, I tease rough. So who are your three handsome escorts?
I’m afraid neither of the three speak a word of German. They’re friends of
mine from Italy. This is a wonderful Italian stuntman, Antonio Margheriti.
A very talented cameraman, Enzo Gorlomi. (meaning Donny)
And Enzo’s camera assistant, Dominick Decocco.
The German Fräulein turns to the three tuxedo-wearing Basterds.
Gentlemen, this is an old friend, Colonel Hans Landa of the S.S.
The Basterds know only too well who Landa the Jew Hunter is, but they can’t show it.
Aldo sticks out his hand . . .
The German takes his hand . . .
Margheriti . . .
Am I saying it correctly? . . . Margheriti?
Margheriti . . . Say it for me once, please . .
I’m sorry, again . . . ?
Once more . . .?
(FRENCH) It means daisies, I believe.
Turning his gaze to Donny.
What’s your name again?
Again . . . ?
One more time, but let me really hear the music in it.
Now to Hirschberg . . .
Then Hirschberg breaks out the best Italian accent of the group:
Bravo . . . Bravo.
Well, my two cameraman friends need to find their seats.
Col. Landa stops a WAITER with a tray of champagne glasses.
Not so fast. Let’s enjoy some champagne.
Everyone gets a glass.
—Oh, Mademoiselle Mimieux, please join us. I have some friends I’d like you to meet.
Shosanna joins the circle and is handed a champagne glass.
This is the first moment the Basterds are aware of Shosanna.
May I say, Mademoiselle, you look divine.
This lovely young lady is Mademoiselle Emmanuelle Mimieux. This is her cinema, and she is our hostess for the evening.
And, Mademoiselle, this battered, broken, and none-worse-for-the-wear German goddess, is Bridget von Hammersmark.
I’m afraid my companions don’t speak
any French. They’re Italian. This is Antonio, Enzo, and Dominick.
All three smile goofy, spaghetti-bender smiles.
Actually, Fräulein von Hammersmark’s Italian associates need help finding their seats. Perhaps Mademoiselle Mimieux would be so kind as to escort them?
It would be my pleasure. Let me see your tickets?
Donny hands her two tickets. She indicates for them to follow her.
Donny and Hirschberg both exchange one last look with Aldo, then follow the young French girl into the auditorium.
The cinema auditorium is filling up quickly with gray and black uniforms.
Shosanna finds the two counterfeit Italians their seats.
After she points out their seats, she turns to leave . . .
Hirschberg . . .
reaches out and grabs her wrist. . . .
He looks her in the face and, filled with tremendous guilt, because if he’s successful tonight he’s going to blow this
cute French girl to smithereens, he says:
The cute French girl looks back at the goofy-looking Italian boy with slicked-back hair that makes him look kind of
Jewish with tremendous guilt, knowing if she is successful tonight, she’s going to burn him alive, and says:
BACK TO THE LOBBY
They begin flicking the lights on and off. A GERMAN SOLDIER YELLS IN GERMAN:
Take your seats! The show is about to begin!
Everybody take your seats!
Col. Landa, Lt. Aldo, and Bridget are still together.
I must call the Führer. He doesn’t
want to make his entrance until everybody is seated. Come with me, Frau von Hammersmark. The Führer has
heard you’re here, and he wishes to commend you personally.
Don’t be modest. Everybody is quite taken with your resolve. An accident like you’ve just experienced, and
yet you still show up to an important party event. The Führer
was quite adamant in his gratitude. We’ll use Mademoiselle Mimieux’s office.
I’m afraid I must rob you of your companion, but only for a moment.
Yes, apparently the Führer wishes to commend me.
Wait here a moment. I promise I won’t detain her long.
What are either of them supposed to do, argue?
Col. Landa goes over to one of the Nazi GUARDS/USHERS and whispers in his ear, guesturing toward Aldo. Like he’s saying, leave the boy alone, till we come back . . . Or is he?
Col. Landa limps Bridget away toward Shosanna’s office.
As Aldo stands in the lobby, more and more people enter the auditorium, till it’s only Aldo and the six Nazi guards/ushers in the now-vacant lobby.
Shosanna’s cinema manager’s office. It’s small, cluttered, and dominated by a desk.
They both enter.
Col. Landa closes the door behind him and LOCKS IT.
Bridget notices but says nothing.
Now the two Germans are alone.
Have a seat, Fräulein.
Pointing at one lone chair in front of the desk.
She lowers herself in the chair.
Instead of moving around to the other side of the desk,
opposite her, the S.S. Colonel pulls another little chair over and places it in front of the fräulein.
He sits, their knees almost touching.
The colonel points to the foot not in the cast.
Let me see your foot.
I beg your pardon?
Patting his lap.
Put your foot in my lap.
Colonel, you embarrass me.
I assure you, Fräulein, my intention is not to flirt.
Patting his lap more with more aggression.
The nervous fräulein lifts up her strappy dress shoe enclosed foot and places it in the colonel’s lap.
The Colonel very delicately unfastens the thin straps that hold the fräulein’s shoe on her foot . . .
. . . . He removes the shoe . . .
. . . . Leaving only the fräulein’s bare foot . . .
THEN . . .
He removes from his heavy S.S. coat pocket the pretty dress shoe the fräulein left behind at La Louisiane . . .
He slips it on her foot . . .
. . . . It fits like a glove.
Bridget knows she’s BUSTED.
Col. Landa smiles and says in ENGLISH:
What’s that American expression . . .
“If the shoe fits . . . you must wear it.”
He removes her foot from his lap.
What now, Colonel?
(GERMAN) Do you admit your treachery?
She stares defiant daggers into him.
The only think I will admit to is resisting you
. . .
Sons-a-bitches . . .
. . . to my last breath.
COL. LANDA “Resist to your last breath”?
SUDDENLY . . .
Hans LUNGES forward, putting his strong mitts around Bridget von Hammersmark’s lily-white, delicate neck, and with all the violence of a lion in mid-pounce, SQUEEZES with all his MIGHT.
Bridget’s face turns tomato RED, as the VEINS in her face BULGE and her esophagus is CRUSHED in his GRIP.
With a violent YANK, he JERKS her TO THE FLOOR. She TUMBLES
out of the chair, Landa never releasing his GRIP around her throat. Now fully on top of her, he BEARS DOWN, SQUEEZING THE VERY LIFE OUT OF HER. Everything he has, he brings to bear on
the elegant lady’s neck.
Then, to finally finish her off, he begins BANGING THE BACK OF HER HEAD, HARD AGAINST THE FLOOR . . .
He releases the grip around her throat. His hands are TREMBLING . . .
Strangling the very life out of somebody with your bare hands is the most violent act a human being can commit.
Also, only humans strangle, opposable thumbs being a quite important part of the endeavor. As Hans Landa stands, the sheer violence he had to call on to accomplish this task
still surges through him. He tries to gain control of the trembling that is rippling through his body. He takes out a silver S.S. FLASK (filled with peach schnapps) and knocks back
a couple of swigs. He holds his hand out in front of him. The TREMBLING is beginning to subside. He picks up the telephone.
Into the phone, in German, he says:
Inform the Führer the audience has taken their seats, and we’re ready to begin.
Step one in Hans’s master plan, done.
He then dials another number . . .
Aldo in the lobby . . .
WHEN . . .
. . . . He’s JUMPED by the SIX NAZI USHERS . . .
Like the modern-
are handcuffed behind
back and he’s
find the BOMB attached to his
pulled over his head.
Then he’s hoisted
RUSHED out of
This happens in mere seconds, and quietly too. No one in the auditorium is none the wiser . . .
. . . including Donowitz and Hirschberg, sitting among the master race, waiting for showtime.
The six Nazi soldiers hustle the hooded Aldo down the red carpet, then into the alley beside the cinema.
Aldo’s put up against a wall.
Inside the black hood, he’s SCREAMING every insulting thing about Germany, Germans, German food, German
shepherd . . . anything.
COL. LANDA’S VOICE (OS)
The faceless black hood does.
Col. Landa, now standing directly in front of his hooded prisoner, says in ENGLISH:
As Stanley said to Livingstone: Lieutenant Aldo
Raine, I presume?
You’ve had a nice long run, Aldo.
Alas, you’re now in the hands of the S.S. My hands to be exact. And they’ve been waiting a long time to touch you.
He reaches out with his finger and lightly touches Aldo’s face right in the middle of the hood.
Aldo’s head VIOLENTLY FLINCHES.
Caught ya flinching.
In German, he orders the men to put Aldo in the back of a truck.
Aldo, bound and bagged, is put in the truck. Also in the truck is Utivich, wearing a makeshift chauffeur’s uniform, bound and bagged like the lieutenant.
The truck drives off.
Col. Landa turns around and SEES FROM A DISTANCE Hitler’s motorcade pull up to the cinema. Then the Führer, Goebbels, Francesca, and the rest of the entourage make their way down
the red carpet into the cinema.
EXT TRUCK (MOVING)—NIGHT
We see the truck leaving the city of Paris, under the veil of night.
We also seem to be leaving the drama of Operation Kino.
The two hooded prisoners bounce along in the back of the truck.
Utivich is crying inside his hood.
Is that you, Lieutenant?
Do you know what happened to Donny? Hirschberg?
Do you know what happened to Donny? Hirschberg? The woman?
No, I do not.
Lieutenant, sorry I’m crying.
Nothin’ to be sorry about, son.
This bag get to anyone.
Not exactly John Wayne, am I?
John Wayne’s a pampered movie star. He bursts into tears if his cook busts his yoke at breakfast. Just try puttin’ a bag over his head and hear what kinda sounds he makes.
Utivich giggles through the tears.
I just want you to know, son, I was real proud of you tonight. Learnin’ how to drive overnight. Driving in that limo line. You was in the hot seat, son, and you stood up real good.
Utivich cries LOUDER.
Aldo takes his foot, finds Utivich’s foot, and places his foot on top.
The TOUCH has a slightly calming effect on Utivich.
In the darkness, Utivich has reclaimed his dignity.
The truck pulls up to a small tavern outside of Paris (not La Louisaiane).
The two hooded prisoners are walked inside the establishment.
The hooded men are led into the closed for business, but open for something else rustic tavern.
The Nazi guards unlock the handcuffs, then sit them down in chairs.
Then, simultaneously, the hoods are YANKED OFF.
The two prisoners are seated at a table, in what they can now see is a rustic tavern. On the table is one telephone, one bottle of Chianti, and three glasses. And on the opposite end of the table sits Col. Hans Landa.
ANAZI SOLDIER sits posted at an impressive-looking two-way radio set up in the tavern.
Col. Landa starts in right away at the two baffled, discombobulated American soldiers.
They will only speak ENGLISH in the scene.
What could you have possibly been thinking?
Well, I speak a little Italian—
I speak a little Tagalog, but I wouldn’t begin to presume I could pass for Filipino. Don’t get me
wrong, I understand you were in a pickle, what with you losing your Germans. And I have nothing but admiration for improvisation. Still . . . Chico Marx is more
convincing. If the three of you had shown up at the premiere dressed
in woman’s attire, it would have been more convincing.
Landa’s eyes go to the two Nazi guards behind the prisoners.
You may leave us. But stay alert outside.
They exit, leaving the colonel, the lieutenant, the private, and a German radio man in the corner.
So you’re Aldo the Apache?
So you’re the Jew Hunter?
Jew Hunter (pfuit). I’m a detective. A damn good detective. Finding people is my specialty. So naturally
I worked for the Nazis finding people. And yes, some of them were Jews.
But Jew Hunter? Just the name that stuck.
Well, you do hafta admit, it is catchy.
Do you control the nicknames your enemies bestow on you? Aldo the
Apache and the Little Man?
What do you mean, the Little Man?
The German’s nickname for you.
The German’s nickname for me is the Little Man?
Or the “Little One”, either one means you. And as if to make my point, I’m a
little surprised how tall you
are in real life. I mean, you’re a little fellow. But not circus-midget little, as your reputation would suggest.
Where are my men? Where is Bridget von Hammersmark?
Bridget von Hammersmark. Oh, I’m sure she’s in whatever, big bubbling
cesspool in hell the devil reserves for traitors of her ilk.
Well, let’s just say she got what she deserved. And when you purchase friends like Bridget von Hammersmark, you get what you pay for.
Now as far as your paisanos
Sergeant Donowitz and Private Hirschberg—
How do you know our names?
Lt. Aldo, if you don’t think I wouldn’t interrogate every single one of your swastika-marked survivors . . . ?
We simply aren’t operating on the level of mutual respect I assumed. Now, back to the whereabouts of your two Italian saboteurs. At this moment, both Hirschberg
and Donowitz should be sitting in the very seats we left them in. Seats
0023 and 0024, if my memory serves. Explosives, still around their ankles, still ready to explode.
And your mission, some
would call it a terrorist plot, as of this moment is still a go.
The two basterds don’t believe this. It can’t be true.
That’s a pretty exciting story.
What’s next, Eliza on the ice?
However, all I have to do is pick up that phone right there, inform the cinema, and your plans kaput.
IF they’re still there, and IF they’re still alive, and that’s one big IF, there ain’t no way you gonna take
them boys without settin’ off them bombs.
I have no doubt, and yes, some Germans will die, and yes, it will ruin the evening, and yes, Goebbels will be very very very mad at you
for what you’ve done to his big night. But you won’t get Hitler, you won’t
get Goebbels, you won’t get Goering, and you won’t get Boormann. And you need all four to end the war.
But if I don’t pick up that phone right there, you may very well get all four. And if you get all four, you end the war . . . tonight.
The Nazi colonel lifts up the bottle of Chianti and fills three glasses. As he pours, he says:
So, gentlemen, let’s discuss the prospect of ending the war . . . tonight.
All three have their Chianti filled glasses.
So the way I see it, since Hitler’s death, or possible rescue, rests
solely on my reaction . . . If I do nothing . .
. It’s as if I’m causing his death, even more than yourselves.
Would you agree?
I guess so.
How about you, Utivich?
I guess so too.
Good, we more or less all agree. Gentlemen, I have no intention of killing Hitler, and killing Goebbels, and killing Goering, and killing Boormann, not to mention winning the war single-handedly for the Allies,
only later to find myself standing before a Jewish tribunal.
Now they get it.
If you want to win the war, tonight, we have to make a deal.
What kinda deal?
The kind you wouldn’t have the
authority to make. However, I’m sure this mission of yours has a
commanding officer? A general, I’m betting. For
. . .
. . . . O.S.S. would be my guess.
Aldo’s eyebrows reveal that was a good guess.
Oooh, that’s a bingo. Is that the way you say it, that’s a bingo?
You just say, bingo.
Bingo! How fun. But I digress, where
were we? Oh, yes, make a deal. Over there is a very capable two-way
radio. And sitting behind it is a more than capable radio operator named Herrman. Get me somebody on
the other end of that radio with the power of the pen to authorize my—
let’s call it, the terms of my conditional surrender, if that tastes better going down.
BACK TO THE PREMIER
Shosanna is in the booth. She brings down the lights.
In the packed, excited auditorium, the house lights go down.
CU CURTAIN SWITCH. She flips it.
In the auditorium, the RED VELVET CURTAINS part.
Shosanna throws the lever on the first projector.
The PROJECTOR BULB goes HOT WHITE, PROJECTING A BEAM . . .
FILM REELS rotate . . .
35mm FILM moves through the projector’s film gate . . .
The opening seal of a film by the THIRD REICH flickers on the SCREEN . . .
Goebbels and Francesca watch . . .
Hitler watches . . .
Fredrick watches . . .
Donowitz and Hirschberg watch . . .
Shosanna, in the booth, watches through the little window . . .
The CAMERA PANS OFF of Shosanna to the clearly marked film can, REEL 4. The SURPRISE REEL.
BACK TO LANDA AND THE BASTERDS
Landa, with radio headphones over his ears and a microphone
in his hand, talks to the UNSEEN/UNHEARD American brass on the other end.
. . . So, when the military history of this night is written, it will be recorded that I was part of
Operation Kino from the very beginning, as a double agent.
Anything I’ve done in my guise as an S.S. colonel was sanctioned by the O.S.S., as a necessary evil to
establish my cover with the Germans. And it was my placement of
Lieutenant Raine’s dynamite in Hitler and Goebbels’s opera box that assured their demise. By the way, that last
part is actually true.
Landa placing bomb in Hitler and Goebbels’s opera box.
BACK TO LANDA:
I want my full military pension and benefits under my proper rank.
I want to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for my invaluable assistance in the toppling of the Third Reich.
He looks over and sees Aldo and Utivich watching the one-sided conversation.
In fact, I want all the members of “Operation Kino” to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Full citizenship for myself—but that goes without saying. And I would
like the United States of America to purchase property for me on
Nantucket island, as a reward for all the countless lives I’ve saved by bringing the tyranny of the National Socialist Party to a swifter than imagined end. Do you have all that, sir?
I look forward to seeing you face to face as well, sir.
He’s right here.
The colonel hands the headphones and microphone to Aldo.
We HEAR the VOICE on the other end of the radio give Aldo his orders:
RADIO VOICE (OS)
Colonel Landa will put you and Private Utivich in a truck as
prisoners. Then he and his radio operator will get in the truck,
drive to our lines. Upon crossing our lines, Colonel Landa and his man will surrender to you. You will
then take over driving of the truck and bring them straight to me for
debriefing. Is that clear, Lieutenant?
The conversation is over. He puts the radio down.
The three men look at one another.
Landa picks up his wine.
So I suppose the only thing left to do is lift a glass and toast to Donowitz and Hirschberg’s success. You too, Herrman, come over here.
The four men, Col. Hans Landa, Lt. Aldo Raine, Pfc. Smithson Utivich, and Herrman, lift up four glasses of wine.
Gentlemen, to history, and its witnesses.
BACK TO THE PREMIERE
WE CUT TO THE B/W FILM ON SCREEN.
Fredrick Zoller, playing himself, is in an ornamental tower in a Russian village, picking off RUSSIAN SOLDIERS below.
A RUSSIAN GENERAL KCHOVLANSKEY
peering at the German private through binoculars. He lowers the long-range glasses and confers with one of his OFFICERS.
What’s the death toll?
47, so far.
WE HEAR A SHOT.
48.General, I implore you, we must destroy that tower!
That tower is one of the oldest and most beautiful structures in Russia.
I won’t be responsible for turning a thousand years of history into dust!
A BRAVE RUSSIAN SOLDIER tries to run between two buildings.
Zoller gets him.
Then proceeds to pick him apart, one bullet at a time.
SHOSANNA IN THE PROJECTION BOOTH
She removes “REEL 4” (the Special Shosanna Reel) and prepares
it on the second projector. Reel 3, on the first projector, playing now, is halfway through. In a few short minutes, it’s going to be show time.
Marcel says to Shosanna in FRENCH, SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
It’s time. I should go lock the auditorium and take my place behind the screen.
This is the last time they will ever see each other—too much to say. He holds her in his arms and lays a one kiss before I die wet one on her.
DONOWITZ AND HIRSCHBERG
sit in their seats watching the movie, surrounded by DRESS-UNIFORM NAZIS. They’ve developed a dopey way of communicating with each other in this hostile environment.
Basically, speaking English as if it were gibberish Italian they say English words, only adding an “I” or “A” or “O” to the end of it. And saying it in an exaggerated Italian accent, complete with pantomimes.
Donowitz leans into Hirschberg and says in a whisper:
They speak in ITALIAN-ISH SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
I-a go-a toilet-a, set-ta Boom-a.
(I go to the toilet and set the bomb.) When-a I-a go-a, you-a set-ta Boom-a. (When I go, you set your bomb.)
Hirschberg indicates/pantomimes that he can’t set his bomb surrounded by all these Nazis.
Donowitz pantomimes crossing his legs and setting the bomb on his ankle in his seat. Then getting up and dropping it in the back of the auditorium in the dark.
Hirschberg doesn’t get it.
Donny pantomimes again, more exaggerated, and with less patience.
Affirm-ato, affirm-ato (Affirmative, affirmative.)
They-o look-o screen-a, not-o you-a. (They’re looking at the screen, not you.)
After-teri, set-ta, five-o moment-o (pointing to
(After you set the bomb, wait five minutes, and get out of here.)
Confussi-i, confuss-i, confuss-i. (Confused, confused, confused.) What-a, and-o what-o, same-o?
(I thought “What-a” meant “What.” Does “What-o” mean “What,” as well?)
Oh-o, sorr-o, I-o meant-a “What-a.” (Oh, sorry, I meant what.)
SGT. DONOWITZ After-teri, you-a set-ta bom-a, five-o moment-o, you-a, f*ck-o pphisst.
(After you set the bomb, wait five minutes and get the f*ck out of here.)
Affirm-ato, affirm-ato. (Affirmative, affirmative.)
Good-a, luck-a. (Good luck.)
Donowitz stands up from his seat and walks out of the dark auditorium into the lobby. The Nazi guards/ushers are gone, and the lobby is completely empty. Seeing the STAIRS leading down to the WATER CLOSET/BATHROOM, he descends them to plant the Boom-a—I mean, the bomb.
DESCENDING THE STAIRS
leading to the water closet. Like a lot of old cinemas, not only was the water closet located under the auditorium, you had to pass through a rather large SMOKING LOUNGE to get to it. In the smoking lounge are TEN NAZI ENLISTED MEN, the guards/ushers for the event, smoking and indulging in soldiers’ gossip. They’re all in dress uniforms, and all are armed.
Donowitz, in his tuxedo, acts cool and walks right through them.
They look up but don’t disturb their time-off vibe.
Donny enters the big water closet. Except for ONE LONE NAZI ENLISTED MAN at the urinal, it would appear as if
Donny has the whole washroom to himself.
He enters the privacy of a toilet stall and locks the door.
MARCEL IN LOBBY:
He descends the stairs leading down from the projection booth into the empty lobby. He goes to one of the auditorium doors
and peers inside.
WE SEE THE SCREEN AND THE AUDIENCE FROM MARCEL’S POV in the back of the room. The audience seems riveted to Fredrick’s exploits onscreen.
Marcel closes the door and, with a KEY, DEADBOLTS it SHUT.
INSIDE THE AUDITORIUM
WE PAN OFF THE SCREEN to Marcel, who locks the two doors on either side of the screen . . . Due to curtains placed there, no one notices Marcel’s actions.
Marcel then goes BEHIND THE SCREEN. WE SEE THE IMAGE
(backward) of Fredrick’s sniper battle HUGE, COVERING THE ENTIRE SIDE OF THE ROOM . . . A PILE of over 300 nitrate FILM PRINTS lies like a junk pile, right behind the screen.
Sitting down in a wooden chair facing the screen and pile-o-film, he lights up a cigarette, an absolute no-no in a cinema of this era, but tonight, what does it matter?
He smokes and waits for his cue to . . . BURN IT DOWN!
FREDRICK IN OPERA BOX
alongside Hitler, Goebbels, Francesca, and Boormann. Onscreen
the battle rages. He leans over and whispers something in Goebbel’s ear we can’t hear. Goebbels makes a very sympathetic face (at least sympathetic for Goebbels) and says in German:
Perfectly understandable, dear boy. You go now, and we’ll see you after the show.
He exits the opera box and walks to the projection booth door. He raps on the door in a trying to be amusing way.
The door opens, just a little bit. Shosanna, not friendly, stares at him.
He, as usual, is all smiles and charm.
They speak in FRENCH, SUBTITLED IN ENGLISH:
Are you the manager of this cinema? I want my money back. That actor in the movie stinks.
She doesn’t even smile. She says, all serious business:
What are you doing here?
I came to visit you.
Can’t you see how busy I am?
Then allow me to lend an assist.
Fredrick, it’s not funny. You can’t be here. This is your premiere. You need to be out there with them.
As Fredrick prepares to tell his little tale with all the charm at his command, Shosanna listens, knowing the third reel is just about over and her big reel change is coming up.
Normally, you would be right.
And for all the other films I do, I intend to endure evenings like tonight in the proper spirit. However, the fact remains, this film is based on my military exploits. And in this case, my exploits
consisted of me killing many men. Consequently, the part of the film
that’s playing now, . . . I don’t like watching this part.
Fredrick, I am sorry, but—
—So, I thought I’d come up here and do what I do best, annoy you. And from the look on your face, it would appear I haven’t lost my touch.
DONNY IN TOILET:
Sgt. Donowitz, with BOMB in his lap, sets the timer for six minutes from now. He then places the bomb in the back of the toilet tank.
CAMERA ON FLOOR OF WATER CLOSET
We see the tile of the floor stretch out before us. We see
Donny’s feet in the closed toilet stall. We HEAR the OFFSCREEN Nazi enlisted man finish his piss. Then HIS SHOES WALK
THROUGH FRAME . . . WE FOLLOW THEM TO . . . the SINK . . . WE STAY ON the shoes . . . as WE HEAR the Soldier WASH HIS HANDS . . . THEN
. . . THE CAMERA RISES UP HIS PANT LEG . . . till . . . WE’RE EYE LEVEL with the German soldier, with an ARMY CAP on his head, who’s done washing his hands . . . THEN . . . the soldier removes
his cap, brushes some bangs out of his face, and WE SEE
THE SWASTIKA HAND-CARVED INTO HIS FOREHEAD, THE UNDENIABLE MARK OF THE BASTERDS. He SPLASHES some WATER ON HIS FACE, puts his
cap back on his head, and joins his comrades in the smoking lounge. As he exits THE FRAME, he says to somebody OFFSCREEN;
Hey, Fritz, you owe me three cigarettes. Now pay up.
SHOSANNA AND FREDRICK
Fredrick still outside the doorway, and Shosanna still baring the way.
I have to get prepared for the reel change.
Let me do it?
Oh, please, it’s been two years since I’ve done a reel change.
I said, no.
Come on, it’s my premiere.
Are you so used to the Nazis kissing your ass, you’ve forgotten what the
word “no” means? No, Fredrick, you can’t come in here. Now go away!
No subtitles for Fredrick needed this time. He gets it.
He does a one-armed PILE-DRIVE PUSH on the door, knocking both it OPEN and Shosanna back into the room.
Fredrick, a different cat than we’ve seen up till now, enters the booth, closing the door behind him and LOCKING it.
The quite startled Shosanna says to Fredrick:
Fredrick, you hurt me.
Well, it’s nice to know you can feel something. Even if it’s just physical pain.
Fredrick steps forward . . .
Shosanna steps backward . . .
I’m not a man you say “Go away” to. There’s over three hundred dead bodies in Russia that, if they could, would testify to that.
After what I’ve done for you, you disrespect me at your peril.
BACK TO WASHROOM
The Swastika forehead soldier gets a light for his cigarette. He takes a big drag.
He faces the washroom, and down that long row, he sees Donny emerge from the toilet stall. His tuxedo jacket is off and
draped over his right hand. Sporting the white dress shirt and black tuxedo vest, he’s quite far away, so now he just
looks like some guy in a tux who just finished taking a shit. Donny walks toward us . . .
CU SWASTIKA FOREHEAD
seeing him get closer . . .
Donny gets closer . . .
CU SWASTIKA FOREHEAD
seeing him closer still . . .
Donny gets closer . . .
CU SWASTIKA FOREHEAD begins to notice . . .
Donny getting closer, begins to notice the German soldier notice him . . .
CU SWASTIKA FOREHEAD
Now Donny is close enough for the soldier to recognize. His face SCREAMS:
The Bear Jew!!!
The soldier’s GUN is out of its holster and rising toward Donny’s chest . . .
WHEN . . .
Donny raises his right arm, with the tuxedo jacket on it, and FIRES a GUN concealed under it.
HITTING Swastika Forehead in the chest . . . who finishes raising his GUN, FIRING, HITTING Donny in the chest . . .
The two soldiers FIRE INTO each other . . . till their weapons are empty, and the two men lie dead on the floor.
The ten other NAZIS in the room stand shocked at what just happened in front of them.
SHOSANNA AND FREDRICK IN THE PROJECTION ROOM
Fredrick hears the gunshots below them and turns toward the door.
What the hell was that?
While Fredrick’s back is turned, Shosanna takes a GUN out of her pocket and SHOOTS Fredrick THREE TIMES in the back . . .
. . . He CRASHES HARD into the door, then FALLS FACE FIRST to the floor . . .
Shosanna, gun in hand, looks out the projection booth window into the audience . . .
The ONSCREEN BATTLE rages so LOUDLY with GUNFIRE that her weapon didn’t stand a chance of being heard.
Her eyes go from the audience . . .
. . . up to the big screen . . .
. . . which holds FREDRICK ZOLLER in a tight, handsome CLOSEUP.
The face on the silver screen breaks the young girl’s heart . . .
. . . She looks to his body, lying face down on the floor, blood flowing from the holes she put in his back . . .
. . . His body moves a little, and he lets out a painful MOAN . . .
. . . DYING though he is, at this moment Fredrick is still ALIVE . . .
Shosanna moves to him . . .
. . . She touches him, and he lets out another MOAN . . .
. . . She turns his body over on its back . . .
. . . He’s holding a LUGER in his hand . . .
. . . He FIRES TWICE . . .
Two bullets HIT HER POINT BLANK IN THE CHEST . . .
THROWING HER against the wall, then FALLING FORWARD on her knees to the floor . . .
. . . Fredrick, Luger still in hand, takes aim from the floor . . .
. . . FIRES . . .
HITTING the bloody girl on the floor, in the thigh . . .
. . . SPINNING her BODY around in agony . . .
Like he did to the Russian onscreen, he picks her apart, one bullet at a time . . .
. . . FIRES . . .
A BULLET BLOWS OFF THE HEEL OF HER FOOT . . .
The Luger drops to floor. Fredrick DIES.
Our young French Jewish heroine lies on the projection booth floor in a pool of her own blood, her body RIDDLED with bullets, her nerve endings wracked with pain, CRIPPLED and DYING . . .
WHEN . . .
. . . The little bell on the 1st projector starts to ring, informing the projectionist it’s time for the REEL CHANGE.
Dying or not, if Shosanna intends to get her revenge, she’s going to have to lift her ass off the floor and execute this f*cking reel change.
The battle onscreen continues. The audience is riveted.
watches, completely caught up in the dramatic spectacle. He says to Goebbels in German:
Extraordinary, Joseph, simply extraordinary. This is your finest
Goebbels is beyond proud. He smiles to Francesca, who proudly pats his hand.
Shosanna, bloody, crippled, and f*cked, with great and painful effort, PULLS HERSELF OFF THE FLOOR . . .
Hirschberg, sitting in his seat, SETS the BOMB on his ankle, then stands up and begins scooting past everybody in his row’s knees.
Like the German heroine in one of Riefenstahl’s mountain films, Shosanna CLIMBS UP the 35mm film projector, like it was
Pitz Palu . . .
Private Zoller FIRING away from his perch. In the top far-
right corner of the FRAME, WE SEE the 1st REEL CHANGE MARK . . .
Shosanna hanging onto the projector, waiting for the 2nd reel change mark. It’s an agonizing effort . . .
BEHIND THE SCREEN
Marcel, smoking, waiting for his cue . . .
gets out of his row and begins walking up the aisle in the middle of the cinema toward the exit.
SERGIO LEONE CU FREDRICK. He SCREAMS to the Russians below:
Who wants to send a message to
In the top right of THE FRAME, the 2nd REEL CHANGE MARK POPS ON . .
Shosanna TOSSES herself to the floor, as she THROWS THE CHANGE-OVER SWITCH on the 2nd projector . . .
EX CU PROJECTOR BULB
BLASTING WHITE in our face.
SHOSANNA FALLING . . .
EX CU 35MM FILM
MOVING . . .
HITS the DUSTY ground HARD, NOT in slow motion . . .
SHOOTS OUT OF THE LITTLE PROJECTION BOOTH WINDOW hits screen.
on the floor, eyes closed, last breath blown into the dusty projection booth floor. Like her family before here, dead from Nazi bullets.
ON THE SILVER SCREEN FREDRICK’S EX CU
ON SILVER SCREEN MATCHING SHOSANNA EX CU
CAMERA in the exact same placement, same background (B/W sky), SLIGHT LOW ANGLE LOOKING UP, so onscreen Shosanna is looking down on the Nazis, the way Fredrick was looking down on the Russians. The way this HUGE IMAGE OF SHOSANNA’S GIANT FACE stares down the auditorium of Nazis brings to mind Orwells “1984”
HITLER and GOEBBELS
standing in the middle of the aisle, turns toward the screen. When he sees Shosanna’s GIANT FACE, he’s gobsmacked.
Marcel sitting in the chair, with his cigarette, before the
EVEN MORE GIANT FACE OF SHOSANNA
SHOSANNA’S GIANT FACE ONSCREEN
She stares down the packed house of Nazis and says in FRENCH:
SHOSANNA’S GIANT FACE
I have a message for Germany. I’m interrupting your Nazi propaganda horseshit to inform you dispicable German swine that you’re all going to die.
HITLER and GOEBBELS react.
SHOSANNA’S GIANT FACE
And I want you to look deep in the face of the
Jew who’s going to do it.
While the shocked German audience is transfixed to the screen, behind the heads of most of them . . .
The BOMB Landa set in Hitler and Goebbels’s opera box . . .
BLOWING TO SMITHEREENS HITLER, FRANCESA, and BOORMANN, and propelling GOEBBELS, still in his theater seat, across the auditorium, into the opposite wall and taking out a portion of the ceiling as well.
The crowd reacts . . .
The explosion causes the huge chandelier from Versailles to topple from its jury-rigged placement and CRASH onto the
audience below . . .
ONSCREEN THE GIANT FACE OF SHOSANNA finishes her WAR CRY.
SHOSANNA’S GIANT FACE
My name is Shosanna Dreyfus, and this is the face of Jewish vengeance! Marcel, BURN IT DOWN!
BEHIND THE SCREEN
Marcel takes his cigarette and FLICKS IT into the pile of nitrate film.
ONSCREEN SHOSANNA’S GIANT FACE LAUGHS MANIACALLY at the scrambling little Nazis, running in a panic, as FLAMES LIKE
OUT OF A GIANT BLAST FURNACE BURST THROUGH SHOSANNA’S FACE and CLIMB UP THE WALLS of the cinema.
STAMPEDES toward the exits . . .
with bomb set on ankle, is caught in a massive “Day of the Locust”
SWARM OF BODIES . . .
People frantically pound on locked doors, trapping them to their grizzly fate.
The FLAMES and FIRE spread through the auditorium . . .
Hirschberg, caught in the people crunch, knows this is it.
HIS ANKLE BOMB GOES OFF
right underneath everybody in the room.
The effect this has on the people in the room is very similar
to that of the effect an M-80 blowing up in an ant hill would have on the ants. The auditorium is a literal red rain of legs, arms, heads, torsos, and asses.
THEN . . . ,
DONOWITZ’S TOILET BOMB
BLOWS UP UNDERNEATH the auditorium.
COLLAPSING THE CINEMA AND BLOWING OUT THE FRONT OF THE THEATER.
As MADAME MIMEUX’S CINEMA BURNS . . .
These SUBTITLES APPEAR ONSCREEN as if on a military teletype:
“OPERATION KINO A COMPLETE SUCCESS.”
“HITLER DEAD. GOEBBELS DEAD. BOORMANN DEAD. GOERING DEAD. ZOLLER DEAD. MOST OF HIGH COMMAND DEAD.”
“FOUR DAYS LATER, GERMANY SURRENDERS.”
“ONCE UPON A TIME IN NAZI . . .
It’s a misty early morning in a woodsy area. The German truck, with Aldo and Utivich in the back, and Landa and Herrman in the front, comes to a stop.
LANDA and HERRMAN IN THE TRUCK CAB
Herrman, behind the wheel, tells Landa in German:
These are the American lines, sir.
In the back of the truck sit the two last remaining members of the Basterds, Lt. Aldo Raine and Pfc. Smithson Utivich, both with their hands cuffed behind their backs.
Landa and Herrman appear at the truck rear. Landa says in ENGLISH:
Okay, gentlemen, you can climb down.
Aldo and Utivich climb down from the truck.
Col. Landa indicates for Herrman to remove the handcuffs from the two prisoners.
Herrman, hand them your weapon.
Col. Landa hands over his LUGER and his very-cool-looking S.S.
I am officially surrendering myself
over to you, Lieutenant Raine. We are your prisoners.
Thank you very much, Colonel. Utivich, cuff the colonel’s hands behind his back.
Is that really necessary?
As Utivich cuffs the Colonel’s hands behind his back, Aldo says:
I’m a slave to appearances.
Then Aldo takes the Luger and SHOOTS HERRMAN DEAD.
The bound Col. Landa is appalled.
Are you mad? What have you done? I made a deal with your general for that man’s life!
Yeah, they made that deal, but they don’t give a f*ck about him, they
You’ll be shot for this.
Naw, I don’t think so, more like I’ll
be chewed out. I’ve been chewed out before. You know, Utivich and myself heard that deal you made with the brass. End the war tonight? I’d make that deal. How ’bout you, Utivich, you make that deal?
I’d make that deal.
I don’t blame ya. Damn good deal. And that pretty little nest ya feathered for yourself. Well, if
you’re willing to barbecue the whole high command, I suppose that’s worth certain considerations. Now I don’t
care about you gettin’ pensions, merit badges, ticker-tape parades, who gives a damn, let’s all go home. But I do have one question.
When you go to your little place on Nantucket island, I imagine you gonna take off that handsome-looking S.S. uniform of yours, ain’t ya?
For the first time in the movie, Col. Landa doesn’t respond.
That’s what I thought. Now that . . .
. . . I can’t abide. How bout you, Utivich, can you abide it?
Not one damn bit, sir.
I mean if I had my way, you’d wear that goddamn uniform for the rest of our pecker-suckin’ life. But I’m aware that ain’t practical. I mean
at some point ya gotta hafta take it off.
He opens Landa’s S.S. DAGGER and holds the blade in front of Hans’s face.
So I’m gonna give you a little somethin you can’t take off.
CU COL. LANDA
The dagger has just completed carving a swastika deep into his forehead.
COL. LANDA’S POV
On the ground, looking up at Aldo, bloody knife in hand, who straddles him. And Utivich, who’s next to him. The two Basterds admire Aldo’s handiwork.
Aldo turns to Uitivich and says:
You know somethin’, Utivich? I think this just might be my masterpiece.
They ghoulishly giggle.