Mary Shelley's Frankenstein script
Synopsis: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a 1994 American horror drama film directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter, Ian Holm, John Cleese, and Aidan Quinn. The picture was produced on a budget of $45 million and is considered the most faithful film adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, despite several differences and additions in plot from the novel.

TITLES UNFOLD IN BLACKNESS as we are lulled by the distant

flute-like sounds of a recorder. Overall the effect is

mournful and haunting, elegant and serene ...

... and we CRASH TO:

EXT - BARENTS SEA - NIGHT

... a storm of inconceivable force and violence. Merciless

arctic winds whip the sea in a frenzy of thirty-foot swells.

This is the last place in God's creation that any human

being should be. And yet ...

...the prow of a three-masted ship rises massively before

us, looming from the darkness and chaos. it crashes upward

through a swell and slams back down again, plunging nose-

first into the trough. The sails on the forward mast are

still deployed. It's insane; in this weather they should be

stowed (as is already the case with masts 2 and 3).

Hurtling toward us. Rising and falling. Thundering through

the swells. And as she sweeps past CAMERA within a seeming

hairbreadth, we PAN with the ship and find ourselves ...

EXT - SHIP - NIGHT

... aboard the "Alexander Nevsky," along for the ride whether

we like it or not. There are men all around us, dark

screaming FIGURES glimpsed and half-glimpsed, heavy oilskin

clothes flapping in the gale. A GROUP OF MEN are in a life-

or-death tug of war

WALTON:

PULL, YOU BASTARDS! PULL!

Riiiiippp! All eyes turn skyward as the uppermost sail tears

loose, the heavy canvas shredding away in huge billowing

tatters. The jib-arm wrenches free and plummets toward us,

trailing rope and fabric. The men dive aside as the jib

smashes into the deck like an exploding bomb. Splintered

shards of wood cartwheel through the air like shrapnel.

Walton catches a glancing blow to the head and slams face-

down on the pitching deck.

GRIGORI, the first mate, scrambles to Walton's aid. Walton

shoves him off, pushes painfully to his knees. LIGHTNING

throws his face into a stark relief map of pain and fury:

blood is streaming from his hairline, freezing in his eyes,

staining his teeth. He gazes up at the mainsail, still

intact and straining against the wind. We hear a huge CRACK!

The base of the mast is starting to give.

(CONTINUED)

2

WALTON:

Cut the damn rigging free before we lose the

mast!

Long-handled axes are grabbed from their mounts. Frantic men

begin hacking at the ropes. Walton snatches an axe from a

passing crewman and elbows his way to the front. He attacks

a guy-rope with primal fury, CAMERA rising and falling with

the motion of his axe. Suddenly, a chilling cry from high

above:

LOOKOUT (O.S.)

IIIICEBEEEEERG!

THE CROW'S NEST (MAST #2)

The LOOKOUT is lashed to the mast by means of a safety rope

knotted at the chest. He points ahead.

WALTON and the others spin to look as A PANORAMIC SHOT OF

THE BARENTS SEA reveals a magnificent vista of storming

fury. The ship is heading into an enormous field of icebergs

dotting the ocean like boulders in a quarry, The Nevsky is

plying these waters like a man running pell-mell through a

mine field.

An iceberg passes massively and unexpectedly in the

foreground, rumbling within yards of the camera, wiping us

into darkness ...

EXT - NEVSKY - NIGHT

... and we wipe from darkness as a flapping piece of canvas

billows away to reveal 'Walton and the crew, gazing in

breathless horror as an iceberg looms from the gale before

them like a ghostly white mountain. Walton finds his voice:

WALTON:

HARD TO PORT!

THE PILOT fights to turn the wheel. Men rush to his aid,

throw their backs into it, straining to the limit. The wheel

is grudging, fighting them every inch of the way.

PUSH IN on Walton and the crew:

GRIGORI:

It's going to ram us.

WALTON:

It wouldn't dare.

(CONTINUED)

3

THE CROW'S NEST (MAST #2)

The lookout fumbles under his coat, grabs the rosary around

his neck, clutches the crucifix tightly in both hands. Face

white with terror. Breath coming in ragged gasps.

SHIP'S POV

Crashing through the swells. Rising and falling. Tilting the

world and the audience on its ear. iceberg looming. For a

brief moment we seem to be veering past. But then we swing

back in a final, churning, vertiginous plunge...

... and smack the ice.

VARIOUS QUICK-CUT ANGLES

God just hit the ship with an anvil. Mast #1 snaps at the

base with a thunderous CRACK and begins to topple in a

symphony of shattering wood and tangled rigging ...

The lookout on mast #2 is vaulted through the railing of the

crow's nest, screaming through the air, arms and legs

windmilling as he plummets head-first toward the deck below

... And is jerked to an abrupt stop by the safety line around

his chest, We hear another horrible CRACK ... the sound of

his back breaking ...

Men are sliding, tumbling, screaming. Mast #1 completes its

fall, slamming massively to the deck,. shattering a section

of the gunwale to splinters. Utter panic. Total chaos. .

Sheer mortal terror. And as the sequence builds to a final

brain-splitting crescendo of sound and fury, we

SMASH CUT TO:

ARCTIC - TWILIGHT

Total, stunning silence.

A glittering wasteland of ice. Breathlessly cold. Even the

sun seems frozen, barely hanging on the horizon. Pellets of

snow scour the permafrost like broken glass, driven by a

desolate arctic wind. It's as if Hell had erupted through

the floor of the Earth in the form of ice. Nothing could

survive here. Nothing.

SLOW PAN reveals a distant ship frozen in the ice, tilted at

a permanent list. Silent. We see no signs of life.

SUPE TITLE:
"The Arctic, 1839.

VARIOUS LINGERING ANGLES provide ominous detail-shots of the

Nevsky

(CONTINUED)

4

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Frank Darabont

Frank Arpad Darabont (born January 28, 1959) is a Hungarian-American film director, screenwriter and producer who has been nominated for three Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. In his early career he was primarily a screenwriter for horror films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Blob and The Fly II. As a director he is known for his film adaptations of Stephen King novels such as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist. more…

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"Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 14 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/mary_shelley's_frankenstein_139>.

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