Synopsis: On a dark night, as the clock strikes eight, a mother sends her child upstairs to bed with only a candle for light. The child is wary, then frightened. The child hears something climbing the stairs. We see a birdlike man, his head like a crescent moon, stealthily then noisily approach the child's room. Mother appears to kiss the child good night. Has the sandman been a figment of the child's imagination? Then, he appears in the child's room and, as the child sleeps, leans over and takes something, leaps to the window, throws open the sash, and flies to a nest where two hungry fledglings cry. What has the sandman brought them?
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination.
 
IMDB:
7.5
Year:
1991
10 min
315 Views

FADE IN:

EXT. CHURCHYARD - NIGHT

CLOSE ON:
a word carved in stone: 'DREAMS'.

BEGIN CREDITS:

PULL BACK to reveal the full inscription:

'FOR IN THAT SLEEP OF DEATH WHAT DREAMS MUST COME.'

It's carved on a large obelisk grave marker. Beneath the

inscription is a name: THIBAULT, and dates: 1861-1917.

PULL FURTHER BACK: Perched on the marker is a stone effigy of

the angel of death, wings spread wide, half-smile on her

face.

AND FURTHER BACK: Ropes are wrapped around the marker. The

ropes tighten, and the marker is suddenly PULLED OVER, the

CAMERA taking off with it --

The marker is dragged along, through deep grass ... then with

a bump it's on a dirt road, then over a bridge. It's dragged

by a team of horses. Rain starts to fall. The marker pulls

away, continuing on toward --

Burgess Manor, a dark outline against the gray marble sky --

END CREDITS:

INT. BURGESS MANOR - GARAGE - CIRCA 1930'S - NIGHT

The garage was once the carriage house. Several luxury cars,

circa 1930s, fill the bays. The marker lies in an empty one.

Two men stand nearby.

One is RODERICK BURGESS. A commanding presence, radiating a

charisma both disturbing and mesmerizing. He is in his early

twenties, but his soul is much older -- and darker.

The other is SMITH. Middle-aged, face drawn, he peers out of

the garage furtively. He's worried, preoccupied. A white

clerical collar is almost hidden beneath his coat and scarf.

SMITH:

(hopefully)

The rain will wash out the tracks ...

Burgess moves slowly to the marker.

BURGESS:

I've found it. Crowley couldn't. Mathers

couldn't. Only I could.

2.

SMITH:

I didn't see anybody on the

road ...

Burgess isn't listening to him; he's preoccupied with the

marker. He examines it gleefully, reverently.

BURGESS:

Thibault had it stolen from the Vatican

Library -- that's common knowledge. But

then it disappeared. He told Yeats he'd

destroyed it. But he didn't. He couldn't.

And now -- I've found it.

SMITH:

I don't think anyone saw me.

Burgess finally looks at the man. Cocks his head, amused.

BURGESS:

Don't worry, Vicar. No one saw you. No

one knows what you've done -- except you

and me. And God.

(insinuating)

Just like your other little ...

peccadilloes.

The Vicar shuts his eyes in pain.

SMITH:

Please ...

(looks at Burgess)

What they say is true. You are the most

wicked man alive.

BURGESS:

(chuckles)

I've always liked that title.

He grabs up a sledge hammer, startling the other man -- as he

intended. He smiles, and SMASHES the hammer down on the

marker. Another blow. Another --

The marker is hollow. Hidden inside is a large oilskin

bundle. Burgess drops the sledge. Lifts out the bundle.

Burgess unwraps it carefully. Inside is a thick book.

BURGESS:

The Magdalene Grimoire. Finally.

The book is heavy, leather bound, brittle with age. Burgess

pages through it greedily. It is filled with tiny, cramped

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Neil Gaiman

Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. more…

All Neil Gaiman scripts | Neil Gaiman Scripts

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