The Death of Stalin

Synopsis: Follows the Soviet dictator's last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.
Genre: Comedy, History
Director(s): Armando Iannucci
Production: IFC Films
  Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 8 wins & 14 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.2
Metacritic:
88
Rotten Tomatoes:
96%
R
Year:
2017
107 min
Website
9,213 Views


1st Floor, Centre Block

Ealing Green, London W5 5EP

1 INT. CONCERT HALL - AUDITORIUM - NIGHT 1

A chamber orchestra is performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No.

23 (2nd movement), featuring soloist, MARIA YUDINA.

2 INT. CONCERT HALL - DIRECTOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT 2

A small room looking into the hall. The programme director,

ANDREYEV (45) leans back in his chair. Eyes closed, he

“conducts” the music with a cheap fountain pen.

A technician, SERGEI, keeps an eye on dials and buttons.

There's a clock and a portrait of Stalin on the wall.

The phone rings. Grudgingly, Andreyev answers.

ANDREYEV:

(snappy)

Radio Moscow. Director Andreyev.

What is it?

He suddenly tenses, gesturing at the technician to turn down

the music. Sergei watches him, munching on an apple.

ANDREYEV (CONT’D)

17 minutes?.....

He gropes manically for a piece of paper.

ANDREYEV (CONT’D)

5...1.....

The pen doesn't work. He shakes it - no good.

ANDREYEV (CONT’D)

(he's not)

..Yes, I'm writing it down..

He smacks the apple out of Sergei’s hand and gets him to hand

over a pencil.

ANDREYEV (CONT’D)

.. 9?.. Was it a 9, like 'fine' or

a 5 like....

(gestures to Sergei)

SERGEI:

..hive?

ANDREYEV:

Hello?... Hello?

They've gone. He hangs up. He's in a state.

SERGEI:

Who was it?

ANDREYEV:

The Secretariat of the... General

Secretariat. The General

Secretariat's.. the General

Secretary’s Secretaria...

SERGEI:

(interrupting)

...Stalin?!

Sergei turns away. He's not getting involved.

ANDREYEV:

I'm to ring back in exactly 17

minutes. 17 minutes from the start

or the end? How long did I talk

for? HOW LONG?

3 INT. CONCERT HALL - AUDITORIUM - NIGHT 3

Some of the audience are lost in the music. A NERVOUS MAN

glances at an NKVD GUARD looking at him.

Trying to hide his panic, the nervous man looks away then

back to the guard... who waves coyly. A woman sat next to him

waves back. The nervous man heaves a sigh of relief.

4 INT. STALIN'S DACHA - OFFICE/DINING ROOM - NIGHT 4

We're on a large portrait of Stalin: handsome, strong, sleek

dark hair. We pan down to see the real STALIN - frail, old,

grey hair - at his desk. His frail fingers search through

lists of names as the Mozart concerto plays on his radio.

Humble decor:
a few chairs, a desk, a small bed.

A short, stocky man with cold eyes behind a set of pince-nez

stands on the other side of the desk. This is BERIA.

BERIA:

I put Shteyman on the list. The

writer. I know you like his stuff,

but...

Stalin thinks for a moment, then shakes his head.

STALIN:

No. Keep him on.

BERIA:

(points at the next name)

Shteyman 2, his wife.

Stalin gives a tiny shrug meaning ‘yes.’

20 May 2016 Draft 10 2.

BERIA (CONT’D)

And Shteyman 3. His brother.

STALIN:

On. Better to be sure.

Beyond Beria, through a doorway, a bulky, balding middle-aged

man - KHRUSHCHEV, 59 - is entertaining two other bulky men:

MALENKOV - 57, - and MOLOTOV - 70.

Khrushchev is miming an amusing war incident; people in a

panic not knowing what to do with a live grenade.

KHRUSHCHEV:

..they were all jumping around like

drunken whores..

5 INT. CONCERT HALL - AUDITORIUM/DIRECTOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT 5

From the auditorium, we see the window of the director's

office with the figure of Andreyev pacing in frustration.

6 INT. STALIN'S DACHA - OFFICE/DINING ROOM - NIGHT 6

Khrushchev is miming a man with a grenade in his mouth.

KHRUSHCHEV:

He had this look like:

(muffled)

‘There’s a grenade in my mouth'.

Stalin signs the lists and hands them to Beria.

BERIA:

I'll have these dispatched.

7 INT. CONCERT HALL - DIRECTOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT 7

Andreyev stares at the clock. Time has passed; the music has

moved on to a new movement.

ANDREYEV:

“It is the greatest honour...’

(he bows)

He can’t see me bow, idiot.

SERGEI:

Er, Comrade Director?

It's 10.27. Andreyev rushes for the phone, banging his hip

painfully on the table. He grabs the phone and dials. The

music finishes and we hear applause. He gestures frantically

to the technician to turn the loudspeaker off.

Someone answers the phone.

20 May 2016 Draft 10 3.

ANDREYEV:

Hello?... YES.

8 INT. STALIN'S DACHA - OFFICE - NIGHT 8

Stalin is on the phone, with the applause playing on the

radio and the others laughing drunkenly in the other room.

STALIN:

This is Stalin.

In the background, Khrushchev is continuing his story.

KHRUSHCHEV:

So I said “You'll have to

enunciate”. Then–

He mimes the grenade going off, to uproarious laughter.

9 INT. CONCERT HALL - DIRECTOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT 9

The applause is loud. Andreyev rushes to a cupboard.

ANDREYEV:

(stammering)

Comrade... General... How are

things? Sorry... Hold on...

He gets in the cupboard. The phone cord only just reaches.

ANDREYEV (CONT’D)

Sorry again...

10 INT. STALIN'S DACHA - OFFICE - NIGHT 10

STALIN:

(interrupting)

I want a recording of tonight's

performance. I'll send someone to

pick it up.

Stalin hangs up. He notices that one sheet of the list of

names has been left behind. Beria comes back in.

BERIA:

(picking up sheet)

Ah. Don’t want them to miss the

party, do we?

He heads back out.

20 May 2016 Draft 10 4.

11 EXT. STALIN'S DACHA - FRONT OF BUILDING - NIGHT 11

Beria divides the lists between some SENIOR NKVD OFFICERS,

including DELOV.

BERIA:

(pointing to the list)

Shoot her before him but make sure

he sees it. And this one. Kill him,

take him to his church, dump him in

the pulpit.

He's pleased with the idea. He heads back to the dacha.

12 INT. CONCERT HALL - DIRECTOR’S OFFICE/CORRIDOR - NIGHT 12

Some MUSICIANS sweep into the Director’s office, others are

at the entrance out into the corridor.

MUSICIAN 1

...she said “I only wear them at

the weekend”!

Laughter. Surprise as Andreyev steps out of the cupboard.

ANDREYEV:

Was the concerto recorded?

Was it recorded?! Say “yes” to me.

SERGEI:

Um... No.

Andreyev can barely breathe.

ANDREYEV:

Stop them leaving!

13 INT. CONCERT HALL - HALLWAY - NIGHT 13

Andreyev storms along corridor and down some stairs.

ANDREYEV:

Break their legs. Not that, but

anything else.

14 INT. CONCERT HALL - FOYER - NIGHT 14

Andreyev reaches the foyer and fights against the flowing

crowd and in to the hall were some musicians are packing up.

ANDREYEV:

Encore! Encore the whole bloody

thing! Don’t test me, you f***ing

idiots. Sorry. You’re very

talented. But please go back on.

20 May 2016 Draft 10 5.

15 INT. CONCERT HALL - AUDITORIUM - NIGHT 15

The audience are leaving, among them the NERVOUS MAN. He's

keeping his eye on the NKVD man by the exit.

Andreyev rushes to the stage, and bangs a cymbal with a

flute, knocking aside music stands to get to the front.

ANDREYEV:

(to Security)

Lock the doors! Lock the doors!

(to everyone else)

Don't worry, no-one is going to get

killed. But I do need you to stay!

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Armando Iannucci

Armando Giovanni Iannucci, (; born 28 November 1963) is a Scottish satirist, writer, director, and radio producer. Born in Glasgow to Italian parents, Iannucci studied at the University of Glasgow followed by the University of Oxford, leaving graduate work on a D.Phil about John Milton to pursue a career in comedy. Starting on BBC Scotland and BBC Radio 4, his early work with Chris Morris on the radio series On the Hour transferred to television as The Day Today. A character from this series, Alan Partridge, co-created by Iannucci, went on to feature in a number of Iannucci's television and radio programmes, including Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge and I'm Alan Partridge. Iannucci also fronted the satirical Armistice review shows and in 2001 created his most personal work, The Armando Iannucci Shows, for Channel 4.Moving back to the BBC in 2005, Iannucci created the political sitcom The Thick of It and the spoof documentary Time Trumpet in 2006. Winning funding from the UK Film Council, he directed a critically acclaimed feature film, In the Loop, featuring characters from The Thick of It in 2009. As a result of these works, he has been described by The Daily Telegraph as "the hardman of political satire". Other works during this period include an operetta libretto, Skin Deep, and his radio series Charm Offensive. Iannucci created the HBO political satire Veep, and was its showrunner for four seasons from 2012 to 2015. For his work on the show he won two Emmys in 2015, Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. He followed this with the feature film The Death of Stalin in 2017 and is planning an adaptation of David Copperfield. more…

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