Hannelore - Screenplay

This is a screenplay version of Hannelore, the historical ficiton about a young girl in the 1920's, whose only passion is to dance.
I highly recommend reading the original story first, as this contains some spoilers. It's based on chapter 6. Oh, and sorry if it seems a tad difficult to read, screenplays have many, many nuances to get your head around :)

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1. A Question

INT. THE SALAD HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

 

HANNELORE is elbow deep in grimy sink water, scrubbing dishes. The steam emanating from the pots and pans makes the air look dense and claustrophobic, and HANNELORE’s hair is dark and ropey. The saloon doors to the main restaurant swing open and a voice drifts through.

 

VOICE

Don’t be be like that James, you

know I have the money but my

purse is at home.

 

HANNELORE quickly wipes her hands on her apron and presses her back to the wall next to the doors. She thinks that

the voice belongs to ELEANOR.

 

JAMES

I can’t be givin’ no special

treatment darlin’. You know that.

 

VOICE

Oh, are you sure about that?

 

HANNELORE is utterly convinced. She throws open the saloon doors into the main restaurant.

 

CLOSEUP - WOMAN’S HAND

 

powdered white with blood red nails, creeping up the length of a blazer sleeve. PULL BACK to reveal:

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT

 

MISS WEBBER is leaning over the bar, her hand crawling up JAMES’s arm. She is a cruel looking woman, with sharp features and fiery orange curls piled in a teetering tower atop her head. Her skin is thick with white powder and rouge in an attempt to conceal her age. It is not ELEANOR, and HANNELORE is visibly disappointed. MISS WEBBER notices her.

 

MISS WEBBER (VOICE)

Who’s the new girl?

 

JAMES

Just that, Miss Webber, a new

girl. Haven’t you got work to do,

Miss Beckett?

 

HANNELORE

Yessir. Sorry, sir.

 

HANNELORE returns to the kitchen and slumps down onto an overturned bucket, head in hands, staring at the faded green satin of her shoes.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. RESTAURANT - EVENING CLOSEUP - HANNELORE’S HAND

signing out of the restaurant. Leaves a smidgen of grease on the pen.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. BACK ALLEY OF RESTAURANT EXIT - EVENING

 

ELEANOR (O.S.)

Good evening.

 

HANNELORE jumps, startled, and peers into the shadow where

ELEANOR’s voice appears to be coming from.

 

HANNELORE

(Turning and nodding towards

voice)

Evenin’.

 

ELEANOR (O.S.)

Have you had enough time yet?

 

CLOSEUP - RED BALLET PUMP

 

It’s poking out of shadows and drumming somewhat nervously against the cobbles. ELEANOR draws in a shuddering breath.

 

HANNELORE

(beat)

I don’t know.

 

A second pump emerges and gradually out comes ELEANOR, her shifting dress casting kaleidoscopic shimmers of moonlight upon the filthy alley walls. Her face is indistinct and ghostly.

 

ELEANOR

(beat)

Speak to me, please.

 

HANNELORE

What d’you want me to say?

 

ELEANOR

Anything.

 

CLOSEUP - ELEANOR’S FACE

 

dark crescents shadow her eyes, her russet hair is frayed and unkempt at the edges. She looks as though she has been taken ill.

 

ELEANOR (CONT’D)
Please.

 

HANNELORE

(beat)

Okay- okay.

 

ELEANOR smiles weakly then turns and drifts back into the shadows. HANNELORE hesitates before following the last wisps of the pale dress.

 

 

EXT. PARK GATES - NIGHT

 

It is a full moon, and the lights of The Salad House behind HANNELORE and ELEANOR snap off. ELEANOR rests her hand on the gate handle and pushes it open gently, glancing furtively around her with the wide eyes of paranoia.

 

ELEANOR and HANNELORE wind through the dark maze of shrubbery until it seems as though they are utterly lost. ELEANOR’s face sports a look of both grim determination and wide-eyed fear, and HANNELORE looks as though she is

just becoming slightly fearful when they arrive at a small patio, riddled here and there with twisted metal tables

and chairs.

 

 

EXT. PARK PATIO - NIGHT

 

The two perch on a table for two and ELEANOR leans forward eagerly, eyes glistening like water in the moonlight.

 

ELEANOR

Do you forgive me?

 

CLOSEUP - HANNELORE’S FACE

 

 

FLASHBACK - INT. FACTORY FLOOR - DAY

CLOSEUP - HANNELORE’S HAND

on the wheel of a sewing machine. PULL BACK to:

 

HANNELORE leaning forwards on the wheel. Suddenly, she lurches forward and the dress under the machine gives an almighty rip!

 

END FLASHBACK.

 

FLASHBACK - EXT. ALLEYWAY

 

HANNELORE, staggers to her feet and runs, bending low as she picks up speed before ramming into the side of JONNY, his hands wrapped around ELEANOR’s neck.

 

END FLASHBACK.

 

 

EXT. PARK PATIO - NIGHT

 

 

HANNELORE

Yes.

 

ELEANOR’s entire frame slumps as though relieved of a heavy weight and she blinks back tears.

 

ELEANOR (whispering)

Thank you. (beat)

I dance, you know. But I haven’t since, well... Not properly anyway. You see- Jonny was my partner, my dance partner I mean. You can’t dance without a

partner.

 

HANNELORE

I don’t see why not.

 

ELEANOR’s laughter trills through the air and HANNELORE

scowls.

 

HANNELORE (CONT’D)

(indignant)

Why not?

 

ELEANOR

It just doesn’t happen. Eyes,

ears, hands, feet. They all come

in pairs, and so do dancers.

People don’t like watching a lone

dancer. It’s sad. But... what I

want to know is- well, would you

be my dance partner?

 

Now it’s HANNELORE’s laughter, a sporadic burst that thrums from the back of her throat.

 

HANNELORE

So you think that you can’t dance

alone, but dancing with a girl

perfectly fine?

 

 

ELEANOR

Just- just dance with me Hanna

Beckett, please?

 

Wordlessly, HANNELORE allows ELEANOR to guide her to the center of the patio, pushing the tables and chairs out of their way to clear a small circle of space. ELEANOR pushes HANNELORE down lightly by her shoulders into an empty

seat.

 

ELEANOR (CONT’D) (suddenly passionate)

Okay, now imagine- a stage! A small one, in a cosy, hidden cabaret just off Brick Lane. The walls are washed red and the tables closely packed. The stage is empty, the people waiting. Then, the first notes of some song start -clap for me, Hanna- and it doesn’t matter which song because then you’re on the stage.

 

ELEANOR springs to the center of the patio and raises her arms, curving her neck with the elegance of a swan, and begins to dance to a ghostly orchestra and HANNELORE’s rhythmic claps.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

 

INT. CABARET

 

ELEANOR is performing the same dance, but her dress is a shimmering ocean blue and she is washed with red light.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

 

INT. DIFFERENT CABARET

 

Once again, the exact same dance but this time a bright yellow dress and a pure white spotlight.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

 

EXT. PARK PATIO - NIGHT

 

ELEANOR completes her dance and rushes towards HANNELORE, clasping her hands and pulling her to her feet.

 

HANNELORE

Yes. Yes I will dance with you.

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