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The Iron Lady Movie Script

Writer(s) : Abi Morgan

Genres : Drama

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                          THE IRON LADY



                           Written by

                           Abi Morgan


 Author's Note:
References to "PRESENT" mean the undifferentiated years of the
recent past (not 2011).


INT. SHOP. NR CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAWN.

The HUM of a large refrigerator just audible over the
sound of Indian music -
MARGARET, briefly glimpsed pondering cartons of milk.
The electronic PEEP of the cash til.
A man on a mobile phone pushes past MARGARET, who takes
her place second in the queue.
The female shopkeeper piles newspapers on the counter in
front of MARGARET. Distracted by images of the bombed
hotel on the TV, she hesitates for beat.

                        MAN BEHIND THE COUNTER
          One forty-nine please.

                        MARGARET
          How much is the milk?

                        MAN BEHIND THE COUNTER
          Forty-nine pence.
               (taking the change)
          Thank you.
MARGARET turns to leave, jostled by a tall young man
wired into an ipod.

EXT. STREET. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAWN.

MARGARET heads down the busy street, shopping bag in
hand.


INT. KITCHEN. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAY.
MARGARET sits at breakfast with her husband DENIS,
sipping tea. DENIS butters his toast. MARGARET shakes her
head.

                        MARGARET
          Too much. Much too much butter.

                        DENIS
          I like butter.
                        MARGARET
          Milk's gone up.

                                                                         2

            MARGARET reaches for a jug, pouring milk into it, sliding
            it down on a table.
                                     MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      49p a pint.
                                    DENIS
                      Good grief! We'll have to
                      economise. I suppose we could
                      always sell the car.
                           (chuckles)
                      Or take in paying guests!
            He scoops up the newspaper and glances towards the door -
                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Watch out. She's on the prowl.
            MARGARET looks beyond DENIS to a a sense of growing
            commotion. A concerned POLICE GUARD coming up the stairs
            meeting JUNE [early 60's] MARGARET's carer, along a
            distant corridor, steady on the approach.
                                    MARGARET
                           (to DENIS)
                      Eat your egg.
            JUNE smiles with visible relief on seeing MARGARET, now
            sitting tapping open her egg.
                                    JUNE
                      Goodness! There you are.
            JUNE's look of quiet concern.
                                     MARGARET
                      Yes.
            MARGARET eats her egg.
                                     MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Here we are.
            But for JUNE, she is entirely alone.


            INT. CORRIDOR CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. DAY.

            WHISPERING-

                                    JUNE
                      I don't understand how it
                      happened, how could she possibly
                      have got out? It's very very
                      important -

            MARGARET looks out of the kitchen. Her POV down the
            corridor of JUNE and the POLICEMAN and a CLEANER.

                                                                         3

                                    JUNE (CONT'D)
                      Please just make it really clear.
                      Who's on after you?

                                       POLICE GUARD
                      Dixon.

            MARGARET slips away.


            INT.HALL. CHESTER SQUARE. DAY.

            MARGARET hurries through the hall.


            INT. BEDROOM. HOUSE. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.DAY.

            A wide cupboard-

            MARGARET's eyes move back along the rail in front of her,
            her fingers touch hanger after hanger of brown tweed and
            grey twill.

            JUNE goes over to the curtains, pulling them back,
            letting in the sunlight-

                                    JUNE
                      Beautiful day. Oh, you've made a
                      start. Carol's coming soon, I'll
                      get some bags. Anything you want
                      to go to Mark, I'll bring up a
                      suitcase for it.

            The smell of smoke lingering. Suddenly DENIS' hand
            reaches across, wavering between jackets of brown tweed
            and grey twill-

            He reaches for a suit.

                                    MARGARET
                      No no no no. The grey.

                                       DENIS (O.S)
                      You sure?

            The swipe of a clothes brush, briefly seen, drawn across
            one sleeve-

                                       MARGARET
                      Yes.

            Distant footsteps-

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      ...Definitely the grey.

            JUNE returns, oblivious-

                                                                         4

                                    DENIS (O.S)
                      Righty ho. Boss knows best.

            JUNE spies the newspaper, sees the photos of twisted
            carnage on the front page.

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Don't let her take my paper away.

            JUNE reaches one hand out to scoop it up in passing-

                                    MARGARET
                      Oh, I haven't had a chance to look
                      at that yet, dear.

                                    JUNE
                      Sorry.

            JUNE hesitates, leaves the newspaper resting on the bed
            as she heads off with the suit on a hanger.

                                    DENIS
                      Atta-girl.

            DENIS smiles as he stands in the bathroom doorway,
            soaping his face with shaving cream-

            He hums to himself as he resumes shaving until-

                                    DENIS (O.S) (CONT'D)
                      Damn.

            MARGARET looks up, DENIS has nicked his chin-

                                    MARGARET
                      Blot it...Blot it..

            She turns, sees JUNE, through the ajar door, standing in
            the corridor, looking back at her

                                    JUNE
                      Sorry ?


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAY.

            A comfortable drawing room, filled with the photographs
            and memorabilia of a former political life.

            MARGARET stands by the window, half a dozen of DENIS'
            ties in her hand. Pulling back the net curtain, MARGARET
            peers out-

            Two POLICEMAN stand down below next to a Police BMW car.
            They are lost in conversation, pointing to the door,
            clearly concerned.

                                                                         5

            One POLICE MAN nods to the other, a sense of the changing
            of the guard as he drives off in the BMW.

            SUDDENLY from behind-

                                    DENIS
                      Now look what you've done. Are
                      they to keep the loonies out or
                      you in?

            MARGARET eyes DENIS, looking at her with wry smile -

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      I'll be off then.

                                    MARGARET
                      Wear your scarf. There's a chill
                      out there.

            Suddenly looming over her and grinning down as if at the
            top of a tunnel SUSIE, MARGARET's personal secretary
            carrying a cardboard box.

                                    SUSIE
                      Good morning Lady Thatcher. Are
                      you alright ?
                           (concerned)
                      How are you feeling ?

                                    MARGARET
                      I'm fine, thank you Susie.

                                    SUSIE
                      I've just been reading about the
                      bombings.

                                    MARGARET
                      Yes. Frightful.

            SUSIE's mobile goes off.    She fumbles in her bag to
            switch it off.

                                       SUSIE
                      Sorry.

                                    SUSIE (CONT'D)
                      These are the books for you to
                      sign. I brought as many as I could
                      find. Shall we go through your
                      appointments?

            MARGARET looks at her still nonplussed.

                                    SUSIE (CONT'D)
                      We said we'd go through them
                      today.

                                                                         6

            MARGARET nods-

                                     MARGARET
                       Yes, of course, dear. Today.

                                     SUSIE
                       The invitation has come from
                       Downing Street for the unveiling
                       of your portrait. I'll put it on
                       the mantelpiece, and there's an
                       invitation from Lord Armstrong for
                       lunch on the first Friday of next
                       month.

            The murmur of SUSIE's voice, a kind of white noise-

                                     SUSIE (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                       I said no because you've got a
                       concert that afternoon but if
                       you'd like to..?

            SILENCE-

                                     SUSIE(O.S) (CONT'D)
                       ....It looks like a very
                       interesting programme.

            MARGARET's listens, oddly distracted-

                                     MARGARET
                       What are they playing?

            SUSIE looks at her momentarily at a loss then scrabbles
            back through the diary-

                                     SUSIE
                       I think they said Rogers and
                       Hammerstein.

            `SHALL WE DANCE' FROM `THE KING & I" SUDDENLY BREAKING
            THROUGH AS IF FROM ANOTHER TIME CARRYING INTO....


            INT. SADLER'S WELLS. LONDON. 1950. NIGHT.

            An orchestra in full flight-

            A programme for THE KING & I on a woman's lap. A man's
            hand reaches in and her hands slips into his.


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAY.

            Whilst SUSIE shuffles through the arrangements at the
            desk in the background, MARGARET stands at the window.

                                                                         7

                                    MARGARET
                      Silly man.

            MARGARET's gaze, seeing DENIS just visible in the street
            below. He looks up, smiles,

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      He hasn't got his scarf on.

            MARGARET throws DENIS a half wave. In return, he twirls
            his umbrella and does a couple of steps of a Chaplin walk
            for her benefit before passing the Postman who is
            shuffling through his letters as he approaches the front
            step, below.

            SUSIE looks on with quiet concern.


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAY.

            MARGARET' is at her desk signing a stack of her memoirs,
            The Downing Street Years.

            MARGARET opens one, reaching for a pen. The curve of inky
            handwriting as she begins to sign them, Margaret
            Thatcher.

            Close on the swoop of the pen. Without missing a beat,
            she writes the name Margaret Roberts...

            The insistent blare of an air raid siren from another
            time cuts through -

            INT. BACK PARLOUR. SHOP. GRANTHAM. 1943. DUSK.

            The rumble of an approaching air raid overhead-

            The STEADY SHAKE of the table legs all around pulls out
            to reveal-

            BEATRICE ROBERTS [early 50's] austere, crouched next to
            MARGARET under a wide kitchen table along with ALFRED
            ROBERTS [early/mid 50's] a cumbersome man and MURIEL
            ROBERTS [21 yrs]. The sound of an air-raid siren.

                                    ALFRED
                      Did someone cover the butter?

            All look at one another in a panic.

                                    MARGARET
                      I'll go.

            Suddenly MARGARET scrabbles out from under the table, all
            look on with horror-

                                                                         8

                               BEATRICE
                   Leave it.

                               ALFRED (CALLING AFTER)
                   Margaret-

            INT. SHOP. GRANTHAM. 1943. DUSK.

            MARGARET scooping up the butter cover slamming it quickly
            over the thin slice of butter left in the butter dish
            before sliding it into the cold cupboard underneath the
            counter.

            SUDDENLY the shop illuminates- A DISTANT EXPLOSION.

            MARGARET momentarily paralyzed before, running back
            towards the back parlour to resume her place under the
            table.

            INT. BACK PARLOUR. SHOP. GRANTHAM. 1943. DUSK.

            MARGARET scrabbles underneath.

            ALFRED surreptitiously pats her arm.

                                     ALFRED (CONT'D)
                      Good girl.

            She shrugs, flushing with pride.

                                    ALFRED (CONT'D)
                      Tomorrow, no matter what they do,
                      it'll be business as usual.

            The DRONE of the air raid dissolving away-

            INT. SHOP, GRANTHAM. 1945. DAY.

            A boy and girl look on as MARGARET measures flour on the
            shop scales.

                                    CUSTOMER (O.S.)
                      Two of the small beef, Mr.
                      Roberts.

            MARGARET glances up at her father serving further down
            the counter.

                                    ALFRED (O.S.)
                      What is the life blood of any
                      community? It's business....

                                                                         9

            INT. HALL. GRANTHAM. 1943. DAY

            ALFRED on a small town hall stage behind a makeshift
            podium.

                                    ALFRED
                      Not just big business but small
                      businesses, like mine.

            The SOFT press of MEN all around, MARGARET, a lone woman
            amongst them, peering over shoulders.

                                   BEATRICE
                           (passing/hushed
                            aside)
                      Margaret!

            BEATRICE tuts, shoving a tray in her hand.

                                    BEATRICE (CONT'D)
                      CUPS!

            MARGARET sinks a little, taking the tray, and glances
            back at ALFRED just visible on a stage.

                                    ALFRED
                      We on this island are strong.
                      We're self-reliant. Sometimes
                      we're plain bloody minded.


            NOW AT THE BACK OF THE HALL, holding a tray loaded with
            dirty cups, MARGARET watches her father, back turned to
            the kitchen filled with WOMEN and YOUNG GIRLS making tea
            and washing up cups.

                                    ALFRED (CONT'D)
                       But we also believe in helping
                      each other. And I don't mean by
                      state hand-outs...


            EXT. STREET. GRANTHAM. 1943. DAY.

            MARGARET sweeps outside the shop, glancing across the
            street at-

            THREE PRETTY GIRLS dolled up for the evening and arms
            linked, crossing on the other side of the pavement.

                                    PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN 1
                      Margaret, do you want to come to
                      the pictures?

            MARGARET's eyes catch on the glitter of a broach in
            passing. They turn to look at her WHISPERING and
            GIGGLING.

                                                                        10

                                    PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN 2
                      She can't come, she's got to
                      study.

            The FLUSH of MARGARET'S skin -

                                    PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN 2 (CONT'D)
                      Miss Hoity Toity!

            The STING OF EMBARRASSMENT.

            THE SENSE OF THE PRETTY GIRLS WHISPERING ABOUT HER, EYES
            TRAVELLING OVER her disparagingly.

                                    ALFRED (V.O.)
                      Never run with the crowd,
                      Margaret. Go your own way.

            The SWAY of a SKIRT as they walk away.

                                    ALFRED OOV
                           (close to)
                      Open it then.


            INT. SHOP. GRANTHAM. 1943. DAY.

            Close on a telegram addressed to MARGARET ROBERTS, 1-3
            North Parade, Grantham.

            MARGARET'S father ALFRED, watching.

                                    MARGARET
                           (looking up)
                      I've got a place at Oxford.

            ALFRED bear-hugs MARGARET awkwardly.


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAY.

            MARGARET at her desk, the ghost of a smile.


            INT. SHOP. GRANTHAM. 1943. DAY

                                    ALFRED
                      Don't let me down Margaret.

            The CHINK of a teacup-

            MARGARET looks down the corridor in expectation at
            BEATRICE standing at the sink working the SQUEAK of the
            cloth against a stubborn tea stain.

                                                                        11

                                     MARGARET
                             (calling out)
                        Mother?

            BEATRICE comes down the corridor into the shop, wiping
            her hands on a cloth. ALFRED goes to hand BEATRICE the
            letter.

                                      BEATRICE
                             (shakes head)
                        My hands are still damp.

            BEATRICE turns and walks back to where she came from.

            MARGARET looks back at the letter, heart bursting, trying
            to contain her joy.


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAY.

            MARGARET looks down, pen in hand, the words Margaret
            Roberts newly signed in the front cover.

            She tears the page out.


            INT. BEDROOM. HOUSE. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.DAY.

            MARGARET napping in bed.

            The still of the bedroom, caught in the half light of a
            late afternoon-

            A hand slides a teacup onto the bedside table -

            The flicker of MARGARET's eyelids-

            QUICKFLASH -

                                     BEATRICE
                             (passing/hushed
                              aside)
                        Margaret!

            BEATRICE tuts, shoving a tray in her hand.

                                       BEATRICE (CONT'D)
                        CUPS!

            PRESENT -

            MARGARET stirs again, blinking awake.

            DENIS sits by the window. He is bent over a pair of
            spectacles, wrapping wire around one of the arms with a
            pair of pliers. Other items of clothing of his are on
            Margaret's couch.

                                                                        12

                                    DENIS
                           (without taking his
                            eyes of the job)
                      They're talking about you again.

            The murmur of JUNE on the phone-

                                    MARGARET

                      What time is it?

                                    DENIS
                      Sun's not quite over the yard arm.
                      Time for tea.

            A phone rings, O.S.

            MARGARET considers DENIS now wearing a pink turban and
            confronts the extraordinary head-gear.

                                    MARGARET
                      What have you got on your head?

            DENIS smiles, throwing back his head, the swathe of pink
            fabric from his turban hanging down ridiculously-

                                    DENIS
                      Found it in the cupboard and
                      thought bugger it, it's Friday,
                      why not fancy dress?

            MARGARET sits drinking her tea, JUNE's hushed tones
            almost audible.

                                    MARGARET
                      You look ridiculous.

            MARGARET strains to hear-

                                    DENIS
                      Bosslady no like?

            She makes a shushing motion.

                                    MARGARET
                           (as if to a bad dog)
                      No, Denis, Bosslady no like.

            MARGARET resumes listening. The door ajar, the sounds of
            life just audible outside-

                                    JUNE (O.S)
                      It's taken Carol so long to get
                      her to agree to this. She's been
                      so reluctant to let his things go.

            DENIS sinks onto the bed, bored.

                                                                        13

                                      MARGARET
                              (without looking)
                      Feet.

            He tuts and adjusts his legs so that his shoes don't
            dirty the bedspread.

            MARGARET stands, ear pressed close to the open door-

                                    JUNE (O.S)
                      You can never be sure she's taking
                      her medication...I think sometimes
                      she hides them..

                                      DENIS VO
                      Oh, rumbled!

            MARGARET looks back at her cup of tea, spots two pills
            resting in the tea cup.

            She considers the pills, pops them in her mouth, drinks.

                                    JUNE (O.S)
                      She's definitely more distracted
                      than usual today.


            INT/EXT. BEDROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. DAY.

            A shout in the street. A woman's voice.

                                    CAROL OOV
                      Can I suggest you remove the
                      sticker from the back of your car.

            Margaret looks through the net curtains and sees CAROL
            THATCHER[early 50's] just visible stepping out of a taxi,
            remonstrating with the driver, clutching her purse and
            waving her credit card at him with rising irritation.

                                    CAROL OOV (CONT'D)
                      Well then take the sticker off! I
                      call that false advertising! I
                      would say keep the change, but
                      there isn't any change.



            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAY.

            A scotch being poured. The cap not quite going back on
            the whisky bottle. A frantic fumble for the remotes for
            the tv.

                                    CAROL OOV
                      Hello June, any news? I've brought
                      every bag I could find.

                                                                        14

            High shot of MARGARET sitting in a chair watching TV. As
            if she has been there a while.

            CAROL enters with suit carriers in her arms.

                                    CAROL
                      Hello Ma. Bloody taxi driver.
                      Wouldn't take my card. I said
                      don't have a sticker saying you
                      take Visa and then insist on cash.
                      Can you believe it? I was
                      rummaging around the bottom of my
                      bag. He didn't get a tip.

                                    MARGARET
                      I didn't know that you were
                      dropping by today, dear.

                                    CAROL
                      (Dumping her stuff all over the
                      place)
                      Yes, you said yesterday...You
                      wanted to make a start on Dad's
                      things. The cupboards ? Then I can
                      help you dress.

            MARGARET, nonplussed.

                                    CAROL (CONT'D)
                      You've got Michael and-

                                     MARGARET
                      Jaqueline...

                                    CAROL
                      Coming for dinner tonight.

                                    MARGARET
                      Of course.
                           (turning up the TV)
                      We're having halibut.

            On TV, images of a bombed street,

                                    CAROL
                      Oh God. Isn't it terrible?

            MARGARET nods, both silently listening to the drone of
            the newscaster-

                                    CAROL (CONT'D)
                      They think it's Al Quaida -

            The charred remains of cars, desperate people running, a
            rescue operation midway-

            MARGARET blinks, inwardly reeling from the images-

                                                                        15

                                    MARGARET (V.O)
                      Denis!

            Quick Flash: Denis in pyjamas, brushing his teeth in a
            hotel bathroom, glances at her through the open door.

                                    DENIS
                      It'll be fine. Come on, get your
                      head down, it's ten to three, for
                      God's sake.


            EXT. GRAND HOTEL. BRIGHTON. 1984. NIGHT.

            Chaos outside the Grand Hotel in the aftermath of the
            bomb.

            The injured are pulled through the rubble.

                                    NEWS READER (V.O.)
                      At ten to three this morning an
                      explosion extensively damaged the
                      Grand Hotel in Brighton, scene of
                      the Conservative Party conference.

                                    NEWS READER 2 (V.O.)
                      ...Where the Prime Minister and a
                      number of her cabinet were
                      staying. They escaped unhurt -

            The WHIR of SIRENS-

            The BLUR of FIRE ENGINE LIGHTS-

            The image of a BODY being stretchered out of the rubble
            by FIREFIGHTERS.

                                    NEWS READER 3 (V.O.)
                      Five people have died, many others
                      are injured, some critically. The
                      IRA have claimed responsibility.

            DENIS and MARGARET sit in their coats covering MARGARET's
            evening dress and DENIS pyjamas. Both looking out in
            silent shock at the devastated Grand hotel, reflected on
            the glass of the car windows.

            MARGARET looks on with quiet, sobering despair, still
            numb with shock. DENIS looks at her. He grips her hand.
            They sit, fingers locked.


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAY.

            Close on MARGARET's hand and whisky glass. Shaking.

                                                                        16

                                    MARGARET
                           (standing up)
                      We must release a statement,
                      offering our condolences.

                                    CAROL
                      I'm sure they've already-

                                    MARGARET
                      We must never, ever, ever give in
                      to terrorists.

            MARGARET sees JUNE and CAROL exchange looks of `oh
            dear...'


            INT.BEDROOM. HOUSE. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.DUSK.

            MARGARET sits in a dressing gown at a dressing table,
            staring at her reflection. CAROL stands behind her,
            holding up several dresses.

                                    CAROL
                      Now ma, are we going long or just
                      below the knee tonight?

                                    MARGARET
                      Oh, below the knee I should think.

            She watches, irritated, as CAROL reaches to move a pile
            of DENIS' clothes-

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      No! Don't move those. I haven't
                      finished sorting them.

            CAROL settles beside her on a chair.

                                    CAROL
                      I hear you went out today...You
                      mustn't go out on your own Mummy.
                      We've talked about that.

                                    MARGARET
                      There was no milk.

                                    CAROL
                      Call Robert he'll get it for you
                      if June's not up-

                                    MARGARET
                      I am not for the knackers yet.

            From behind-

                                    DENIS (O.S)
                      Now take it easy, Margaret.

                                                                        17

            DENIS just visible, perched on the bed, looks up from
            doing the crossword in the newspaper-

                                     CAROL
                       No one is saying that.

                                     MARGARET
                       If I can't go out to buy a pint of
                       milk then what is the world coming
                       to. Really Carol, please don't
                       fuss about it. You've always been
                       like this, fuss fuss fuss. You
                       must find something better to do
                       with your time. It's most
                       unattractive in a woman. When I
                       was your age the last thing I
                       wanted to do was fuss around my
                       mother.

            Silence-

            CAROL, inwardly stung quietly busying herself, forcing
            all emotion away.

            MARGARET hesitates catching DENIS' eye, with quiet
            warning.

                                     DENIS
                       Four down, 9 letters.

            DENIS withdraws into his crossword.

                                     DENIS (CONT'D)
                       Something b something t something
                       n...something something
                       somthing...Refusal to change
                       course-

                                     MARGARET
                       Obstinate.

            DENIS writes, pleased.

            CAROL looks up, with quiet bemusement-

                                     CAROL
                       What?

            MARGARET deflects, pointing to a necklace in CAROL's
            hands.

                                     MARGARET
                       Pearls. I'll wear the pearls.

            CAROL slips them onto MARGARET'S neck and fastens them.

                                                                        18

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      There they are. My little twins.
                      Thank you, dear.


            INT. CORRIDOR. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. EVENING.

            The murmur of conversation-

            CAROL tails MARGARET, steady on the approach towards the
            drawing room.

                                    CAROL
                      It's nearly all familiar faces,
                      William, Michael and his lovely
                      wife-

                                    MARGARET
                      Jacqueline.

            CAROL smiles, clearly reassured-

                                    CAROL
                      And then there's Peter, James R
                      and James T and that very nice man-

            DISTANT LAUGHTER

                                    MARGARET
                      Yes-

                                    CAROL
                      - we met last year.

                                    MARGARET
                      Yes I remember-

                                    CAROL
                      I think he's bringing his new lady
                      friend just to mix it up a bit.
                      We're rather short on women - but
                      I'm sure we'll manage-

                                    MARGARET
                      I've always preferred the company
                      of men-

            CAROL gestures ahead, MARGARET nods, reticent, yet
            forcing herself on, she hesitates at the door, her hand
            trembling on the handle.

                                    CAROL
                      Ma?

                                                                        19

            INT. CORRIDOR.DARTFORD. 1949. EVENING.

            Close up of a shoe being rubbed on a calf. A young hand
            hesitating on a door handle.


            INT. SITTING ROOM. HOUSE. DARTFORD. 1949. EVENING.

            A 1950's drinks party-

            A bank of stuffy GREY SUITED MEN pontificating and their
            WIVES lost in a separate polite conversation-

                                    GREY SUITED MAN
                      Ah, Miss Roberts. Hoping to be
                      chosen as our candidate for
                      parliament.

            A young MARGARET [24yrs] stylish in a suit, straight from
            work, stands clutching her handbag, oddly out of place
            amidst the neat 50's chintz. A bank of sporting prints
            collage a wall. A bespectacled YOUNG DENIS THATCHER
            (30's) glances up from his drink, taking her in.


            INT.DINING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.EVENING.

            The MURMUR of dinner party conversation-

                                    MARGARET
                      Well I don't like coalitions,
                      never have...

            MARGARET's POV of her fingers absently grazing a
            confusing array of cutlery laid out in place setting in
            front of her.

            Her confused face.

                                    DENIS VO
                      Start on the outside...


            INT. DINING ROOM. HOUSE. DARTFORD. 1949. EVENING.

            DENIS whispers.

                                    DENIS VO
                      ...and work your way in.

            A long table packed with silverware. She looks back at
            her ornate and rather hideous starter, a tiny wobbling
            savoury confection in aspic.

                                                                        20

                                    PORTLY HOST
                      ...Attlee has his sights set on
                      the steel industry, you mark my
                      words.

                                    GREY SUITED MAN
                      They'll be nationalizing the
                      bloody air next.

                                    MALE GUEST
                      Yes, hold your breath, sir, that's
                      government property!

                                    PORTLY HOST
                      So was your father a political
                      man, too, Miss Roberts?

                                    MARGARET
                      Oh, yes, to his core. And Mayor of
                      Grantham.

                                    PORTLY HOST
                      And a grocer as well!

                                    MARGARET
                      Yes.

            Ears prick up around the table. The Host is lost for
            something to say.

                                    HOSTESS
                      And did you help, err, in
                      the...shop?

                                    MARGARET
                      Oh, yes. It was a family business.

                                    GREY SUITED MAN
                      A very good starting point for the
                      political life, I'm sure.

                                    MARGARET
                      That and a degree from Oxford.

            The put-down, though not intentional, causes Denis to
            smile.

            MARGARET catches the smile. She remains unruffled and
            goes back to her food, picking up a knife and fork,
            working her way in, teasing her hors d'oeuvres.


            INT. DINING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE.LONDON.PRESENT.EVENING.

            MARGARET sits oddly removed, hand instinctively covering
            her wine glass, as a WINE WAITER hovers.

                                                                        21

                                    MARGARET
                           (hushed aside to
                            WAITER)
                      Whisky.

            The MURMUR of conversation all around-


            INT. DINING ROOM. HOUSE. DARTFORD. 1949. EVENING.

            Pudding is on the go and Margaret is warming to her
            theme.

                                    MARGARET
                      What I do think is that a man
                      should be encouraged to stand on
                      his own two feet. Yes we help
                      people of course we help people.
                      But for those that can do, they
                      must just get up and do. And if
                      something's wrong, they shouldn't
                      just whine about it, they should
                      get in there and DO something
                      about it, change things.

            The female guests exchange glances. A half-chuckle from
            someone.

                                    PORTLY HOST
                      With all due respect, Miss
                      Roberts, what may have served in
                      Grantham-

                                    MARGARET
                      Can serve very well for the people
                      of Dartford too.

                                    MALE GUEST
                      Really?

            A general sense of quiet incredulity.

                                    MARGARET
                      I know much more than those who
                      have never lived on a limited
                      income. Just like the man or woman
                      on the street, when I am short one
                      week, I have to make economies the
                      next.

                                    GREY SUITED MAN
                      Nothing like a slice of fiscal
                      responsibility.

                                                                        22

                                    MARGARET
                      A man might call it fiscal
                      responsibility, a woman might call
                      it good housekeeping.

                                    MALE GUEST
                      I'm not sure a home economics
                      lesson is quite what the Dartford
                      constituents need. They see
                      industry being nationalized, the
                      unions on the up, the pound on the
                      slide...whoever can sort that lot
                      out - he's my man.

                                     MARGARET
                      Or woman?

            Denis lets out a spontaneous guffaw as the host and
            hostess exchange looks. He signals `Get them out of
            here'. The men rise.

                                    HOSTESS
                      Ladies shall we ?

                                    PORTLY HOST
                      Miss Roberts, do join the ladies.

            The ladies scurry to the sitting room. Margaret is the
            last to leave.


            INT. SITTING ROOM. DARTFORD. 1949. EVENING.

            As Margaret closes the door to the dining room -

                                    PORTLY HOST (O.S.)
                      Well. That's told us!

            The men laugh raucously. She turns to the ladies who are
            regrouping at the fireplace and regarding her with
            suspicion.


            INT.DINING ROOM.   CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.
            EVENING.

            The aftermath of the muted dinner party-

            MARGARET at the helm, a small whisky just visible nestled
            next to her wine glass. She is flushed and nicely mellow
            surrounded by mainly MALE GUESTS-

                                    MICHAEL
                      So, Margaret, how would you have
                      dealt with this if you'd been
                      Prime Minister?

                                                                        23

            MARGARET looks at him, her flicker of bemusement.

            ...slowly registering across the faces of her FRIENDS and
            COLLEAGUES including CAROL.

                                     MARGARET
                        Where?

                                      CAROL
                        The bombings, mummy. Today?

            MARGARET still lost

                                      CAROL (CONT'D)
                        We were just talking about them?

            MARGARET deflects, reaching for her glass, it trembles
            unsteady in her grasp.

                                      MARGARET
                        No, uhm, yes - we have always
                        lived alongside evil. But it has
                        never been so patient, so avid for
                        carnage, so eager to carry
                        innocents with it into oblivion.

                                      MALE GUEST
                        So, would you -

                                      MARGARET
                        Western civilization must root out
                        this evil, wherever it hides, or
                        she risks defeat at the hands of
                        global terror in a nuclear age.
                        Unimaginable!

            Appreciative murmur of agreements amongst the listening
            party-

                                      PETER
                        The Prime Minister gave a very
                        good statement I thought.

                                      MARGARET
                        Yes. Clever man. Quite a smoothie.

            Laughter-


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.
            NIGHT.

            MARGARET says final farewells to a guest. He walks away
            as another couple approach.

                                      MARGARET
                        You don't mind if I sit down...

                                                                        24

            Sitting down on a nearby chair, MARGARET looks with
            feigned recollection at the FEMALE GUEST as she sinks
            down on the ground in front of her, gripping MARGARET's
            hand.

                                    FEMALE GUEST
                      I heard you speak at conference in
                      1984 in Brighton just after the
                      IRA bombed the Grand Hotel. You
                      were remarkable. I hope you
                      appreciate what an inspiration you
                      have been for women like myself.

            MARGARET hesitates, smiles, nods to herself, considering-

                                    MARGARET
                      It used to be about trying to do
                      something. Now its about trying to
                      be someone.

            The FEMALE GUEST nods and scrambled to her feet, clearly
            concerned, shooting a look to her HUSBAND standing beside
            her, waiting to depart.

                                    FEMALE GUEST
                      Well anyway, I...thank you.

                                    MARGARET
                      Good night to you.

            MARGARET sits alone. In the background, the chatter of
            Carol saying final farewells.

                                    CAROL (O.S.)
                      Great to see you, thank you very
                      much for coming.

                                    MALE GUEST (O.S.)
                      Oh, thank you. It was lovely,
                      absolutely lovely. And I'm so
                      pleased to see your mother looking
                      so well.


            INT. DRESSING ROOM. HOUSE. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT.NIGHT.

            A mirror lined dressing room-

            CAROL helps MARGARET with her shoes.

                                    CAROL
                      OK...hold on to me...that's right.

            MARGARET struggles with the catch on her pearls

                                                                        25

                                     MARGARET
                       Can you do the clasp, I can't
                       quite -

            CAROL hurries to help her, MARGARET quietly concedes.
            Fingers fumble to unclasp the pearls-

                                      MARGARET (CONT'D)
                       Thank you.

            CAROL drops the pearls into a jewelry box, close to
            MARGARET, staring back at their reflections.

                                     CAROL
                       You've got an eyelash.

            CAROL catches the stray eyelash on the tip of her finger,
            holding it close to MARGARET, with a smile-

                                      CAROL (CONT'D)
                       Make a wish.

            MARGARET, closes her eyes until-

            MARGARET blows. She opens them smiles. CAROL smiles.

                                     CAROL (CONT'D)
                       I spoke to Doctor Michael today-

            MARGARET glances away, deflecting.

                                     CAROL (CONT'D)
                       He is very good and very expensive-

            MARGARET ignores her-

                                     CAROL (CONT'D)
                       ...I know you're not due to see
                       him for another month but I've
                       spoken to him and he can fit you
                       in tomorrow.

            SILENCE-

                                     CAROL (CONT'D)
                       Just for a check up.
                            (silence)
                       Ma please-

                                     MARGARET
                       What does Mark think about it?

                                      CAROL
                       Mark?

                                                                        26

                                     MARGARET
                       Yes. Tell him to come up. I want
                       to talk to him about it.

            CAROL, hesitates, with concern-

                                     CAROL
                       Mark's with Sarah and the
                       children.

            MARGARET nods, heading through into the bathroom.

                                     MARGARET
                       Well tell him to come up and see
                       me after he's kissed them good
                       night, would you Carol darling?


            INT. BEDROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. NIGHT.

            MARGARET, sitting on her bed, glances expectantly towards
            the door. Carol sits down beside her.

                                     CAROL
                       He's not here Mummy.

            MARGARET hesitates, CAROL using all her might, not to
            crumble under MARGARET's cool gaze-

                                     CAROL (CONT'D)
                       Mark lives in South Africa...

            MARGARET inwardly flinches.

                                     CAROL (CONT'D)
                       ...you are not Prime Minister
                       anymore and Dad is...Dad is dead-

            Silence-

                                     MARGARET
                       You look exhausted, dear. You
                       really must try to get some sleep.
                       Taxis'll be few and far between at
                       this hour...

                                          CAROL
                       Righty-ho. Night night Ma. Sleep
                       well.

                                        MARGARET
                       Good night, dear.

            The slam of a door. MARGARET sits, alone.

                                                                        27

            INT. SADLERS WELLS.   LONDON. 1950. NIGHT.

            MARGARET'S POV of Denis turning to her in the theatre. He
            smiles.

            MARGARET's FINGERS absently grazing over the programme,
            in time with the music-

            SUDDENLY a closed fist reaches out, then opens to reveal
            a sugar mouse. Margaret's fingers reach for it, but it's
            teasingly withdrawn. Finally, she takes its.

            She turns to smile at DENIS, her face is glowing with
            happiness-


            INT. TOWN HALL 1950. NIGHT.

            MARGARET sits on the edge of a trestle table, scrunching
            a rosette in her hand. The Town Hall is empty save for a
            couple of Volunteers stacking chairs and sweeping the
            floor. The litter of election night is everywhere.

                                    RADIO ANNOUNCER
                      Twenty-four-year-old Miss Margaret
                      Roberts lost her bid to win a seat
                      in Parliament today, but she has
                      put new life into the Dartford
                      Conservative Association. Winning
                      candidate Mr Dodds had better
                      watch out, this bright young woman
                      is on his tail.

            DENIS appears in the doorway, carrying fish and chips. He
            slides them down in front of her.

                                     DENIS
                      Eat!

            MARGARET almost smiles. Then sinks once more into misery.

                                     MARGARET
                      Disaster.

                                    DENIS
                      Hang on...Hang on...Hang on...

            DENIS fishes in his pocket pulling out a hip flask. An
            impromptu supper made. MARGARET takes in the aftermath of
            rosettes, the whiff of defeat all around.

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      You shaved thousands off their
                      majority. You did splendidly.

                                    MARGARET
                      Not splendidly enough.

                                                                        28

                                    DENIS
                      Ah I see. Self pity.

            MARGARET eyes him, mid chip-

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      No one is saying you don't need a
                      safe seat. You deserve a safe
                      seat. But it does not come unless
                      you learn to play the game a
                      little.

                                    MARGARET
                      What game?

            She is fuming but he regroups with a big breath.

                                    DENIS
                      You are a grocer's daughter-

                                    MARGARET
                           (fiercely)
                      -And proud of being-

            He grabs her hand, silencing her.

                                    DENIS
                      - in their eyes. A single grocer's
                      daughter. But if you were to
                      become the wife of a moderately
                      successful businessman-

            For the first time, we see MARGARET taken by surprise.

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      You'd get to parliament, and I'd
                      get to be the happiest man in- in
                      wherever they select you.
                           (SILENCE)
                      Margaret, will you marry me?

            She is genuinely stunned.

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Well ?

            She is frozen. Then she begins to smile and nod her head
            and smile.

                                    MARGARET
                      Yes. Yes!

            He leans over and kisses her, long and passionately until-

                                    DENIS
                      What ?

                                                                        29

                                    MARGARET
                      I love you so much but...I will
                      never be one of those women Denis -
                      who stays silent and pretty on the
                      arm of her husband. Or remote and
                      alone in the kitchen doing the
                      washing up for that matter.

                                    DENIS
                           (trying to retain the
                            moment)
                      We'll get a help for that.

            He leans forward to kiss her again but she pulls away a
            little.

                                    MARGARET
                      No - one's life must matter,
                      Denis. Beyond the cooking and the
                      cleaning and the children, one's
                      life must mean more than that - I
                      cannot die washing up a tea cup.

            He sits up and stares as if seeing her for the first
            time.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      I mean it Denis, say you
                      understand.

                                    DENIS
                      That's why I want to marry you, my
                      dear.

            She kisses him.

            A CHINK of a TEACUP-

            They pull apart. FLUSHED and GIGGLING on seeing-

            A LONE WOMAN enters the hall, cleaning up the last of the
            tea cups, and generally tidying.

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Now eat.

            MARGARET smiles her joy at him as `SHALL WE DANCE'
            swells.

            And now she's in his arms as they dance, swirling through
            the election debris, eyes only for each other.

                                                                        30

            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.
            NIGHT.

            MARGARET now on all fours, struggling with her glasses. A
            pile of DVD's on the floor, The KING and I amongst them
            momentarily catching her eye until-

            A DVD with hand-written scrawl that we can't quite read.

            MARGARET flicks open the box, struggling to get the DVD
            out.

            Fiddling with the DVD player, MARGARET puts in the disc
            and considers, squinting at the remote, trying to make
            the DVD player work until, suddenly...

            Super 8 footage - 1959

            Children on a beach in wind-swept, grainy super 8. Denis
            with a golf club and ping pong balls practicing his drive
            from a tee, sending ball after ball skying into the sea.
            Mark and Carol charge into the water to retrieve them.

                                    MARGARET
                      There they are, my little twins.
                      Mark...

            DENIS approaches the camera laughing and appears to take
            hold of it. MARGARET is seen sitting on a wobbly camping
            stool, hardly dressed for the beach, surrounded by papers
            weighed held down by pebbles. She merrily returns to her
            work.

                                    DENIS
                      Cornwall, wasn't it? Bloody
                      hell... Look at `em, little imps.
                      You never really got golf, did
                      you?

            DENIS sits behind her on the sofa in a dressing gown,
            watching the footage. She sips her whisky.

                                    MARGARET
                      You look happy.

                                    DENIS
                      Yes, I do, don't I? You're
                      drinking too much.

            MARGARET ignores him.

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Whatcha doing?

            DENIS looks at MARGARET, unwavering. She resumes a search-

                                                                        31

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Not like you. Looking back.

            MARGARET SUDDENLY presses rewind on the remote, clutched
            in her hand.

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Don't want to dig around too deep,
                      M. Don't know what you might find.

            The rapid rewind of Denis swinging his golf club.

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      You can rewind it, but you can't
                      change it.

            She freezes the image of him turning to camera, laughing.

                                    MARGARET
                      They grow up so fast.

            Margaret turns with something to say, but Denis doesn't
            seem to be there anymore.


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.NIGHT.

            Now on the screen, Mark on a swing. MARGARET'S face
            softens.

                                    MARGARET
                      Mark.

            He turns and rushes towards the camera, whooshing past
            it.

            Without breaking step, suddenly, he's in the room,
            running past Margaret, still cheering and whooping.

            MARGARET's hand, just skimming MARK's golden curls. As he
            moves on, MARGARET's curiosity caught following him out
            and down the corridor of Chester Square, seeing the Mark
            and Carol disappear round a corner.


            INT. HALLWAY. HOUSE. FARNBOROUGH. KENT. 1959. DAWN.

            The view beyond-

                                    SPEAKER VO
                      Mr Eric Deakins, Labour...
                      13,437...

            The CRUNCH of gravel as CAROL and MARK race across the
            drive towards a blue ford car, covered with Tory blue
            streamers and a VOTE FOR THATCHER poster scrawled with
            the words Victory.

                                                                        30

            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.
            NIGHT.

            MARGARET now on all fours, struggling with her glasses. A
            pile of DVD's on the floor, The KING and I amongst them
            momentarily catching her eye until-

            A DVD with hand-written scrawl that we can't quite read.

            MARGARET flicks open the box, struggling to get the DVD
            out.

            Fiddling with the DVD player, MARGARET puts in the disc
            and considers, squinting at the remote, trying to make
            the DVD player work until, suddenly...

            Super 8 footage - 1959

            Children on a beach in wind-swept, grainy super 8. Denis
            with a golf club and ping pong balls practicing his drive
            from a tee, sending ball after ball skying into the sea.
            Mark and Carol charge into the water to retrieve them.

                                    MARGARET
                      There they are, my little twins.
                      Mark...

            DENIS approaches the camera laughing and appears to take
            hold of it. MARGARET is seen sitting on a wobbly camping
            stool, hardly dressed for the beach, surrounded by papers
            weighed held down by pebbles. She merrily returns to her
            work.

                                    DENIS
                      Cornwall, wasn't it? Bloody
                      hell... Look at `em, little imps.
                      You never really got golf, did
                      you?

            DENIS sits behind her on the sofa in a dressing gown,
            watching the footage. She sips her whisky.

                                    MARGARET
                      You look happy.

                                    DENIS
                      Yes, I do, don't I? You're
                      drinking too much.

            MARGARET ignores him.

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Whatcha doing?

            DENIS looks at MARGARET, unwavering. She resumes a search-

                                                                        33

            MARGARET fingers brush dark panelled walls, making her
            way along endless corridors.

            Gothic arches, venerable busts, wood panelling and stone.

            MARGARET's pov as she stays to the side of the impressive
            corridor. She passes men in suits and groups. Others come
            towards her and notice her.

            Her POV as she pushes open a first door `TEA ROOM' - a
            circle of men turn round in chorus as if something with
            three heads has appeared.

            POV of a second opening door marked MEMBERS. A row of
            urinals. Two headless bodies come towards the camera,
            scrambling to zip up their flies.

            POV of the promise of sanctuary. LADY MEMBERS. The door
            opens onto a cupboard sized space. An ironing board.

            A sea of men's Oxford shoes from ground level. A pair of
            woman's shoes appear amongst them. They go on tip toe.

            From above we see Margaret's hat amongst the sea of mens
            heads and shoulders. Margaret is carried along in the sea
            of MALE MP's OXFORD SHOES.

            AIREY NEAVE [Extremely dapper, friendly 43] approaches
            MARGARET.

                                    AIREY NEAVE
                      Mrs Thatcher ! Airey Neave.
                      Welcome to the madhouse. Follow
                      me.

            The doors swing open-


            INT. HOUSE OF COMMONS CHAMBER. 1974. DAY

            MARGARET, now SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EDUCATION, on the
            front bench, wearing a neat blue suit and a hat, a
            phalanx of MINISTERS sitting beside and around her, BLUE
            and GREY SUITED MEN, almost at first glance
            indistinguishable, with PRIME MINISTER EDWARD HEATH (late
            50's), neat, effete, slumped rather forlornly on the
            bench.

            MARGARET, her speech and papers in her hand is fighting
            hard but the OPPOSITION LABOUR BENCHES scent blood - and
            they literally bray, getting to their feet and shaking
            their order papers in her face.

            The SPEAKER tries to control the chamber but his VOICE is
            almost lost in the bedlam.

                                                                        34

                                    SPEAKER
                      The Right Honourable Lady the
                      Secretary of State for Education.

                                    MARGARET
                      The right honourable gentleman
                      knows that we have no choice but
                      to shut down the schools!

            Cries of `Shame!' From the opposition. The chamber
            reduced to a bear-pit. HEATH glum and offering no help to
            MARGARET whose voice becomes increasingly shrill.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Because his union paymasters have
                      called a strike deliberately to
                      cripple our economy. Teachers
                      cannot teach when there is no
                      heating, no lighting in their
                      classrooms. And I ask the
                      honourable gentleman, whose fault
                      is that?

                                    SHADOW MINISTER
                      Methinks the Right Honourable lady
                      doth screech to much. If she wants
                      us to take her seriously she must
                      learn to calm down!

            The OPPOSITION BENCHES love that, rocking in their seats,
            laughing... falsely of course.

            But MARGARET is aware that there are many MEN behind her,
            on the government benches, who are also sniggering in
            agreement.

                                    MARGARET
                      If the right honorable gentleman
                      could perhaps attend more closely
                      to WHAT I am saying, rather than
                      HOW I am saying it, he may receive
                      a valuable education in spite of
                      himself!

            Her opposite number Shadow Minister looks almost smug:
            smiling, pointing a finger at her.

                                    SHADOW MINISTER
                      Why has this Conservative
                      government failed? Why has it
                      forced so many in the public
                      sector into taking strike action
                      to save their own jobs?

            It brings the OPPOSITION benches to their feet, shouting,
            applauding, stamping...

                                                                        35

            EXT. WESTMINSTER STREET. 1974. DAY

            MARGARET walking with AIREY NEAVE towards Downing Street
            for a Cabinet Meeting.

            All around, heaped high on either side as far as the eye
            can see are bags of rubbish. But not neatly stacked, just
            thrown there, many of them rotting down, spilling their
            filthy, putrid contents onto the street.

                                    SHADOW MINISTER VO
                      Minister, the breakdown of
                      essential public services -
                      transport, electricity, sanitation
                      is not the fault of the trades
                      unions but of this Conservative
                      government in which you so
                      shamefully serve!

            The stench is awful - and MARGARET'S expression reflects
            that as she picks her way through.


            INT. CABINET ROOM. DOWNING STREET. 1974. NIGHT.

            The ranks of BESPECTACLED GREY-SUITED MINISTERS   at the
            Cabinet table, including GEOFFREY HOWE.

                                    HEATH
                      So these power cuts will continue
                      unless we can reach a compromise.

            EDWARD HEATH is in mid-flow.

                                    HEATH (CONT'D)
                      The miners are asking for a 35%
                      increase in wages. Obviously we
                      can't go anywhere near that. The
                      unions are not our enemies and
                      never have been. We want - and
                      have always wanted - the broadest
                      consensus...

            The MINISTERS nod. MARGARET determinedly edges a little
            forward so that she is in equal line with the other MALE
            MINISTERS.

                                    HEATH (CONT'D)
                      I'm sure we are all in agreement
                      that we must do nothing for the
                      moment that will further inflame
                      the current situation.

                                    MINISTER 1
                      Hear hear, Prime Minister.

                                                                        36

            MARGARET leans forward for a better view, trying to catch
            his eye. HEATH wavers, mid-speech. All turn to look at
            MARGARET - who sits unwavering. HEATH resumes.

                                    HEATH
                      - the fact of the matter is, it's
                      absolutely crucial that we are
                      seen by the public to be acting as
                      conciliators and not aggressors.
                           (Finally
                            acknowledging
                            Margaret)
                      Yes, Education Secretary.

                                    MARGARET
                      Yes...

            All eyes TURN on her again, hearing the reservation in
            her voice.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Prime Minister, with the Miners'
                      leader calling today for the army
                      to mutiny in support of the
                      strikes, this seems the wrong time
                      for conciliation.

            SUDDENLY ALL THE LIGHTS GO OUT.

            A lot of `bloody hell' `oh for god's sake'.

                                    HEATH
                      Be patient. They'll come back on
                      in a minute.

            A beam of light cuts through, just for an instant picking
            out HEATH'S moon-like face surrounded by darkness.
            MARGARET holds the small torch.

                                    HEATH (CONT'D)
                      Thank you, Margaret.

            A snigger, then the lights flicker back on.

                                    HEATH (CONT'D)
                      Your thoughts are duly noted.

            MARGARET turns of the torch and clicks her handbag shut
            in satisfaction. Heath's words echo in her head,
            `compromise...compromise...compromise...' An inward look
            as she's caught by a memory.

                                    ALFRED (O.S.)
                      We on this island are strong.
                      We're self-reliant. Napoleon
                      called us a nation of shopkeepers.

                                                                        37

            INT. TOWN HALL. 1949. NIGHT.
            The packed town hall, ALFRED ROBERTS in full flow on
            stage.

                                    ALFRED
                      He meant it as an insult but to me
                      it's a compliment. That's why he
                      couldn't beat us, and that's why
                      Hitler can't beat us.

            The crowd of men applaud. The lone woman in their midst,
            YOUNG MARGARET watches her father, face aglow.

                                    ALFRED (CONT'D)
                      We Conservatives believe in giving
                      people the freedom and opportunity
                      to fulfil their own potential,
                      especially the young. There's no
                      good in pretending we're all
                      equal, we're not all the same,
                      never have been, never will be. We
                      should encourage our children to
                      aspire to achieve more than we
                      have, for our children today will
                      be the leaders of tomorrow.


            INT. CAR. STREET. CENTRAL LONDON. 1974. DAWN
            ...CAROL and MARGARET seated, driving steadily along a
            deserted street. MARGARET thoughtful as the radio plays.

                                    VOICE ON THE RADIO
                      It's 1974 and you'd think it was
                      WWII. Blackouts, no petrol. It's a
                      mess. Heath should resign now and
                      make way for someone who's not
                      afraid to tackle the unions.

            CAROL'S nervous prattle begins to break through.

                                    CAROL
                      I swear, it's all gone completely
                      out of my head. My driving
                      instructor thinks I should pass
                      but I feel as if I've hardly had
                      any lessons. Ridiculous isn't it?
                      Maybe third time lucky.
                                    MARGARET
                      Right. The only thing you should
                      remember is that everyone else is
                      either reckless or inept. And
                      often both.
            MARGARET eyes the road, gesturing CAROL to move forward.

                                                                        38

                                       MARGARET (CONT'D)
                         One must be brave if one is to
                         take the wheel-

                                      CAROL
                         Right-o.

                                       MARGARET
                         Move over... Move to your right a
                         little bit...

                                       CAROL
                         But if I move to the right aren't
                         I on the wrong side of the road?

                                      MARGARET
                         Carol!

                                       CAROL
                         Well he's in the way!

                                       MARGARET
                         To the right. Move to the right!
            A yelp from CAROL as the car swerves a little, narrowly
            missing a lone CYCLIST-
                                       MARGARET (CONT'D)
                         So sorry! Terribly sorry!
            MARGARET throws a wave from the wound down window. The
            CYCLIST swerves on recognizing her, watching as the car
            goes round and round the square, almost balletic.

                                       CAROL
                         Hey, look at me, driving!
            CAROL's squeals of delight, let loose on the open road.
            The tyres screech on the corner.

            INT. KITCHEN. FLOOD STREET. LONDON. 1974. DAWN.
            Laughter -

            VOICES on the approach-

                                       CAROL
                         Thanks Ma, that was terrific! I
                         really feel I've got a handle on
                         it now.

            CAROL and MARGARET entering kitchen, still giddy from
            their adventure.

                                       CAROL (CONT'D)
                         You should have seen us, Pa.

                                                                        39

            DENIS in his dressing gown burning toast and attempting
            to make breakfast -

                                    MARGARET
                      Have you been trying to make
                      breakfast? For Goodness sake,
                      Denis!

            DENIS scrapes down the toast, eggs boiling in the pan.

                                    DENIS
                      I can boil a bloody egg.
                                    CAROL
                      Mummy took me for a test drive -
                      We went absolutely everywhere. All
                      over the place -
                                    MARGARET
                           (sudden/cutting in)
                      I've decided. I'm going to run.
            MARGARET smiles, a growing resolution gripping her.
                                    DENIS
                      What for?
                                    MARGARET
                      I'm going to run for Leader of the
                      Party.
            CAROL'S utter disappointment on seeing she has lost
            MARGARET already.

                                    CAROL
                      Silly me!

            CAROL storms out of the kitchen.


                                   DENIS
                           (calling after)
                      Good luck!
                                    CAROL (O.S.)
                      All the time I thought I was
                      having a driving lesson, it was
                      all about my mother, just for a
                      change!

                                    MARGARET
                      What's she on about?

                                    DENIS
                      It's her driving test this
                      morning!

                                                                        40

                                     MARGARET
                       Oh, right. Of course.

            A BEAT.
                                     DENIS
                       Are you saying you want to be
                       Prime Minister?
                                     MARGARET
                            (with false patience)
                       What I'm saying is that someone
                       must force the point, say the
                       unsayable. None of these men have
                       the guts.
            MARGARET sees the burnt toast and energetically starts
            clearing up and putting more bread under the grill.

                                     DENIS
                       The Prime Minister has been very
                       loyal to you, MT.
            He tries, with a trembling hand, to scoop boiled eggs
            from the pan.
                                     MARGARET
                       But he's weak, and he's weakened
                       the party. One must know when to
                       go.
                            (glancing at him)
                       You're shaking.
            She reaches out.
                                      DENIS
                       I can do it!
            DENIS pulls his arm away, sending boiled eggs flying.
            SILENCE.
                                     MARGARET
                       Goodness me! What is the matter
                       with everyone this morning?
            A beat. He looks utterly fragile.
                                     DENIS
                       I've told you what the matter is.
                       The business is a bit rocky at the
                       moment and the Doctor thinks I
                       need a rest.
                                     MARGARET
                       And do you need a rest?

                                                                        41

            It's almost challenging. He doesn't answer and she
            doesn't notice.
                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      We both know that it's highly
                      unlikely that I would ever be
                      elected leader, I'll never be
                      elected leader. But I will run. I
                      will run. Just to nip at their
                      heels and make them reaffirm the
                      principles on which the
                      Conservative Party must stand.
                      There's so much to do.
            She smiles.
                                    DENIS
                           (sotto voce)
                      You're insufferable, Margaret, do
                      you know that?
                                    MARGARET
                      Denis, you married someone who is
                      committed to public service, you
                      knew that. And it is my duty -
                                    DENIS
                            (interrupts)
                      Don't call it duty. It's ambition
                      which has got you this far.
                      Ambition. And the rest of us, me,
                      the children, we can all go to
                      hell!
            The SLAM of the door, DENIS gone-

                                    DENIS (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                      Don't worry about me, I'll be
                      fine!


            INT. SITTING ROOM. CHESTER SQ. PRESENT. NIGHT

            MARGARET and DENIS sit on the sofa.

                                    MARGARET
                      Where did you go?

                                      DENIS
                      South Africa.

                                      MARGARET
                      Yes.

                                                                        42

            INT. KITCHEN. FLOOD STREET. LONDON. 1974. DAWN

            MARGARET eats breakfast alone, engrossed in the
            newspaper.

                                    DENIS (V.O.)
                      How many days passed before you
                      realized I was gone? Probably had
                      to ask the cleaning woman where I
                      was.


            INT. SITTING ROOM. CHESTER SQ. PRESENT. NIGHT

            MARGARET grips her whiskey, shaking her head.

                                    MARGARET
                      When did I lose track of everyone?

                                    DENIS
                      Too busy climbing the greasy pole
                      MT.

            Cutting in -

                                    INTERVIEWER (O.S.)
                      Mrs Thatcher I understand you
                      recently visited the United States
                      of America.

            MARGARET'S attention is caught by an old interview,
            playing on the TV. She leans forward. On screen, she sits
            in a neat hat, leaning forward eagerly.


                                    INTERVIEWER (CONT'D)
                      What was it you took away from
                      that visit which may be of value
                      here in Great Britain?


            INT. STUDIO. LONDON. 1975. NIGHT

            MARGARET perched on a chair, smiling at the TV
            INTERVIEWER -

                                    MARGARET
                      Oh that's rather easy to answer,
                      actually. They are unafraid of
                      success.

            INT. REECE'S OFFICE. LONDON. 1975. DAY
            MARGARET is watching the same interview on a TV monitor.
            She is watching herself intently, as are REECE and AIREY
            NEAVE. They are polar opposites, REECE flamboyant to
            NEAVE's bluff.

                                                                        43

            She sounds very plummy, like a Conservative party wife
            from the shires. And she wears a hat.

                                    MARGARET ON TELEVISION
                      We in Great Britain and in Europe
                      are formed mainly by our history.
                      They on the other hand are formed
                      by their philosophy. Not by what
                      has been, but by what can be. Oh,
                      we have a great deal that we can
                      learn from them, yes. Oh yes!

            MARGARET is trapped in the moment - but the two men
            exchange a glance. NEAVE freezes the picture. MARGARET
            smiles uneasily, like someone expecting a compliment.
            REECE considers her, long and hard. It is a little
            unsettling until-
                                    REECE
                      Well er...For a start, that hat
                      has got to go. And the pearls. In
                      fact I think all hats may have to
                      go. You look and sound like a
                      privileged Conservative wife and
                      we've already got her vote. You've
                      got lovely hair but we need to do
                      something with it - to make it
                      more-


                                      AIREY NEAVE
                      Important.

                                    REECE
                      Yes. Give it more impact. But the
                      main thing is your voice. Its too
                      high. It has no authority.

                                    AIREY NEAVE
                      Methinks the Lady doth screech too
                      much

                                    REECE
                      People don't want to be harangued
                      by a woman or hectored. Persuaded
                      yes. That `oh yes' at the end of
                      the interview, that's
                      authoritative, that's the voice of
                      a leader.
            MARGARET stares at him.

                                                                        44

                                    MARGARET
                      It's all very well to talk about
                      changing my voice, Mr Reece, but
                      for some of my colleagues to
                      imagine me as their leader would
                      be like imagining, I don't know,
                      being led into battle by their
                      chambermaid. It's my background,
                      and my sex. No matter how I've
                      tried, and I have tried, to fit
                      in, I will never be truly one of
                      them.
            Both REECE and NEAVE are aware that she has spoken very
            nakedly - and is thus extremely vulnerable.
                                    REECE
                      If I may say so - I think that's
                      your trump card. You're flying in
                      the face of everything the Tories
                      have been thus far. It's really
                      very exciting. One simply has to
                      maximise your appeal, bring out
                      all your qualities and make you
                      look, and sound, like the leader
                      that you could be.

                                    NEAVE
                      You've got it in you to go the
                      whole distance.

                                       REECE
                      Absolutely.

                                    MARGARET
                      Prime Minister?! Oh no. Oh no no
                      no. In Britain? There will be no
                      female Prime Minister here, not in
                      my lifetime. No. And I told Airey,
                      I don't expect to win the
                      leadership, but I am going to run.
                      Just to shake up the party.
            NEAVE moves in intently-
                                    NEAVE
                      Respectfully, Margaret, I
                      disagree. If you want to change
                      this party, lead it. If you want
                      to change the country, lead it.
                      What we're talking about here
                      today is surface. What's crucial
                      is that you hold your course, and
                      stay true to who you are. Never be
                      anything other than yourself.
            MARGARET, though flattered, looks sceptical.

                                                                        45

                                    REECE
                      Leave us to do the rest.
            A BEAT
                                    MARGARET
                      Gentlemen, I am in your hands. I
                      may be persuaded to surrender the
                      hat. But the pearls were a gift
                      from my husband on the birth of
                      our twins and they are absolutely
                      non-negotiable.
            MARGARET smiles at them.

            INT. REHEARSAL ROOM. NATIONAL THEATRE. LONDON. 1975. DAY
            MARGARET stands humming, a THEATRICAL COACH presses her
            hand to MARGARET'S stomach.
                                    THEATRICAL VOICE COACH
                      And...bring it down.
            MARGARET hums lower, tries to project her voice.

                                    MARGARET
                      Maaaaaaaaaaaa.

                                    THEATRICAL VOICE COACH
                      Good, I think we can loose the
                      handbag, Mrs Thatcher...Hands down
                      the sides...Because this isn't
                      really about the voice, it's about
                      belief...A nice deep breath.
            REECE and NEAVE are watching and monitoring the
            performance. DENIS, though present, is having a crafty
            fag by the window.

                                    THEATRICAL VOICE COACH (CONT'D)
                      If you're calling Mr Thatcher, how
                      would you do that?
            MARGARET looks over at him.
                                       MARGARET
                           (calls)
                      Denis.
            He doesn't react.

                                    THEATRICAL VOICE COACH
                      Yes, I want more authority, I want
                      conviction, I want -

                                                                        46

                                    MARGARET
                           (a little more
                             authority)
                      Denis.

                                    THEATRICAL VOICE COACH
                      That's right, one more time, deep
                      breath -
            She puts on her new, lower voice.
                                    MARGARET
                      Denis.
            And DENIS reacts immediately, like a guilty thing
            surprised, stabbing out his cigarette, turning quickly
            towards her.
                                    DENIS
                      Yes MT!


            EXT. YARD. ICE CREAM FACTORY. DAY.

            MARGARET makes her way through a crowd of applauding
            workers in crisp white uniforms. Like them, she wears a
            white cap on her head.

                                    MARGARET
                      You are the backbone of our
                      nation! Small firms like Loveday's
                      Ice Cream. How are you? So nice to
                      meet you ladies.

            General merriment as MARGARET, now inside an ice-cream
            van, has a go at dispensing an ice cream from the
            machine.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      I'll just have a small one,
                      because I'm watching my figure.
                           (handing the cone
                            out)
                      That's for you young man!

            INT. HAIR SALON. LONDON. 1975. DAY
            MARGARET is having new hair colour and the colourist is
            75 percent through putting her hair in foil.

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      I passionately believe it's the
                      growth of small businesses into
                      larger ones that is critical for
                      Britain's future.

                                                                        47

            REECE and NEAVE are sitting nearby, both of them reading
            the Financial Times.

            EXT. YARD. ICE CREAM FACTORY. DAY.
            MARGARET among the ladies again.

                                      MARGARET
                        It has to be something icy on a
                        stick for Denis.

            Laughter.

                                      MARGARET (CONT'D)
                         (returning to her subject)
                        That's the only way we will
                        produce jobs, real jobs, jobs that
                        sustain.

            INT. HAIR SALON. LONDON. 1975. DAY
            MARGARET sitting under the dryer, cooking her new hair,
            still correcting paperwork while REECE and NEAVE look on,
            twiddling their thumbs.


            EXT. FACTORY. LONDON. 1975. DAY
            MARGARET is standing on an impromptu stage outside a
            factory. She has a hard hat on her head.
                                      MARGARET
                        The Trade Union Movement was
                        founded to protect workers. Now it
                        persecutes them. It stops them
                        from working. It is killing jobs
                        and it is bringing this country to
                        its knees. I say enough. It's time
                        to get up. It's time to go to
                        work. It's time to put the Great
                        back into Great Britain!


            INT. HAIR SALON. 1975. DAY
            The bouffant is now apparent. REECE AND NEAVE watch in
            awe.

            INT. BACKSTAGE. CONFERENCE HALL. BRIGHTON. 1979. DAY
            A darkened backstage. MARGARET, clutching her speech,
            goes over her lines. A FEMALE AIDE sprays her hair.

            She looks up, starts to move towards the light.

                                                                        48

            AIREY NEAVE is suddenly next to her.
                                    NEAVE
                      Give `em hell!
            He looks her up and down, with a smile.
                                    NEAVE (CONT'D)
                      You look magnificent. Next stop
                      Prime Minister.

                                    MARGARET
                      Oh Airey...

            As from the stage -

                                    ANNOUNCER
                      The leader of the Conservative
                      Party, Margaret Thatcher!
            MARGARET pushes back her shoulders and walks into battle
            to the sound of GROWING APPLAUSE.

            INT. MAIN HALL. CONFERENCE HALL. BRIGHTON. 1979. DAY
            BRITAIN NEEDS THE CONSERVATIVES bannered overhead and
            hung with Union Jacks. MARGARET a swathe of blue, as she
            passes through her GREY SUITED CABINET.
            From behind she stands, arms outstretched, accepting the
            applause, a shock of bright blonde hair as she stands
            before a sea of CONSERVATIVE DELEGATES holding up letter
            cards WE LOVE YOU MAGGIE!

            Wedges of fanatical party faithful on their feet in a
            kind of rapture. The blessed Margaret !
            DENIS just visible with REECE, HOWE, PYM, HESELTINE and
            several other GREY SUITED MINISTERS of her cabinet,
            seated close behind now jumping to their feet, with
            obvious relief and delight -
            RAPTUROUS APPLAUSE, FLASH BULBS POPPING
            MARGARET smiles, glorious, catching DENIS' eye. He is
            brimming with pride. AIREY NEAVE beams at his protegee.


            INT. CORRIDOR. HOUSE. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. DAY.
            Close on a photograph of MARGARET and AIREY NEAVE.
            MARGARET sits looking at it, her coat on, her handbag on
            her lap.

                                                                        49

            INT. UNDERGROUND CAR PARK. HOUSE OF COMMONS. 1979. EVE.

            MARGARET is loading papers and files into the boot of her
            car. AIREY NEAVE drives towards her, winding down his
            window.

                                    NEAVE
                      Good night Margaret. My money's on
                      the filly to win!

                                    MARGARET
                      Oh, thanks Airey. Goodnight.

            He laughs and drives towards the exit of the car park.

            As MARGARET closes the boot and opens the door to get in
            the car suddenly there's a MASSIVE EXPLOSION, the sound
            magnified by being in the cavernous underground.

            For a few seconds we don't know what's happened.

            Through the smoke we see MARGARET running up the ramp
            towards us.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      No. No, no! Airey!

            Her POV of the fireball of Neave's car. As Margaret looks
            in horror at the scene. Her shattered face.

                                    NEWS V.O.
                      The Irish National Liberation Army
                      has claimed responsibility for the
                      death of Airey Neave, Margaret
                      Thatcher's spokesman on Northern
                      Ireland.


            INT. CONFERENCE HALL. NIGHT.

            MARGARET on the conference podium, blinking back tears.
            Behind her, Denis' face etched with the same sorrow.


            INT. STEPS. HOUSE OF COMMONS. DAY

            MARGARET walks alone down the grand stairway, sombre,
            deep in thought.


            INT. CORRIDOR. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. DAY.

            MARGARET looks up from the photograph, tears in her eyes.

                                    AIREY NEAVE (V.O.)
                      If you want to change the party,
                      lead it.
                                    (MORE)

                                                                        50
                                    AIREY NEAVE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                      If you want to change the country,
                      lead it. You've got it in you to
                      go the whole distance!

            On MARGARET as memories flood in. A TV headline
            announces: ELECTION 1979.


            INT. CONFERENCE HALL. NIGHT

            MARGARET on the podium.

                                    MARGARET
                      Now, as the test draws near, I ask
                      your help. That together we can
                      shake off the shackles of
                      socialism and restore to greatness
                      this country that we love so much.
                      And the only way is for the
                      Conservative Party to win!

            The black streak of MARGARET'S car, a blur of colour,
            faces, waving flags -

            TV footage of polling night. Swingometers, pollsters,
            impressionistic snatches of reported speech.

            More footage of PEOPLE coming out of polling stations.

            Jubilant crowds applauding..

            MARGARET, silhouetted in her iconic stance, arms aloft...


            INT. CAR. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1979. DAY.

            MARGARET peering out of the window, hands sunk in the
            lap, a flash of the Royal blue fabric of her skirt,
            clenched in fingers.

                                    NEWS READER (V.O.)
                      It's Friday the 4th of May, an
                      historic day for Britain, a
                      Conservative government led by
                      Mrs. Thatcher is set to lead -

                                    NEWS READER 2 (V.O.)
                      Mrs Ghandi in India, but never in
                      the West has there been a woman
                      Prime Minister.

                                    NEW READER 3 (V.O.)
                      The place that she has secured in
                      British history, as the first
                      woman ever to be invited to form a
                      government.
                                    (MORE)

                                                                        51
                                    NEW READER 3 (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                      The bonus of one of the most
                      famous addresses in the world,
                      Number 10 Downing Street.

            NOISE. FLAGS. BANNERS read `We LOVE YOU MAGGIE' blur
            through the window, an abstract cacophony of noise and
            colour-

                                    DENIS
                      This is it, steady the buffs old
                      girl.

            He clasps her hand for a moment as MARGARET smiles at
            him.

            The door swings open-


            EXT. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1979. DAY.

            The CAMERA from behind on MARGARET rising up out of the
            car, to face a waiting PRESS CORP. The jostle of a POLICE
            OFFICER, DENIS and OTHERS press her either side-

                                    MARGARET
                      I should just like to say that I
                      take very seriously the trust the
                      British people placed in me today,
                      and I will work hard every day to
                      live up to that responsibility.
                      And now, I should like to share
                      with you a prayer of St Francis of
                      Assisi: Where there is discord may
                      we bring harmony... Where there is
                      error may we bring truth... Where
                      there is doubt may we bring
                      faith... Where there is despair
                      may we bring hope..

            The CAMERA rises up, high above MARGARET until she is
            just a blue dot, on the dark tarmac, a lone woman
            standing facing the circle of cameras and microphones.

            The door of Number 10 looms ahead.


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1979. DAY.

            The cheers go over ..

            The CABINET gathering for a group shot-

                                    MARGARET
                      Shoulders back, tummies in!

            Laughter. Michael Heseltine, standing behind MARGARET,
            reaches out to smooth a stray lock of her hair.

                                                                        52

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Oh. Thank you, Michael.

            MARGARET seated at the heart of her entire CABINET, as if
            she is royalty.

            The FLASH of the CAMERA - the image frozen.


            INT. CORRIDOR. HOUSE. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. DAY.

            The same image, framed on a side table beside MARGARET.
            The distant hum of a hoover.

                                    MARGARET
                      I'm perfectly healthy. There's no
                      need for any of this.

            Denis appears, his hand inside his shoe, polishing it
            vigorously.

                                    DENIS
                      Just let them look under the
                      bonnet, MT. Check everything is
                      hunky dory.

            MARGARET hesitates. She sits in silence until-

                                    MARGARET
                      Really it's becoming quite
                      tiresome.

                                    DENIS
                      What is?

                                    MARGARET
                      You.
                           (beat)
                      I was on my own for twenty four
                      years before I met you and I can
                      manage perfectly well without you
                      now. So will you please go away
                      and stop bothering me.



            INT. CONSULTING ROOM. HARLEY STREET. LONDON. PRESENT.DAY
            A distinguished consulting room-
            MARGARET sits silent, as an EMINENT DOCTOR checks her
            blood pressure. The beep of the machine, steady and
            monotonous until-
                                    DOCTOR
                      Just look straight at me, straight
                      ahead, that's it.

                                                                        53

            The DOCTOR scribbles some notes, considering-
                                    DOCTOR (CONT'D)
                      Are you noticing night sweats?

                                    MARGARET
                      No

                                    DOCTOR
                      Hallucinations?
            MARGARET hesitates. She shakes her head.
                                    MARGARET
                      No.
                                    DOCTOR
                      Sleep?
                                    MARGARET
                      Yes, I sleep. Four, five hours a
                      night.
                                    DOCTOR
                      So you wake early?
                                    MARGARET
                      And I stay up late. I always have.
            She looks at him as if he really should know this about
            her. The DOCTOR notes this down.
                                    DOCTOR
                      We just want to keep abreast of
                      it.
                                    MARGARET
                      Yes. Of course.
                                    DOCTOR
                      Grief is a very natural state.
                                    MARGARET
                      My husband has been gone for
                      years. Cancer.
                                    DOCTOR
                      Carol says you've decided to let
                      his things go. Probably a good
                      thing.
                                    MARGARET
                      Yes. It was my idea. To Oxfam.
                      Perfectly good stuff. People can
                      use these things.

                                                                        54

                                    DOCTOR
                      Still it must be a bit
                      disorientating. You are bound to
                      be feeling.
                                    MARGARET
                      What? What am I `bound to be
                      feeling'?
            The DOCTOR looks up from his note taking, hearing the
            quiet challenge in MARGARET's voice.
                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      People don't `think' any more.
                      They `feel'. `How are you
                      feeling?' `Oh I don't feel
                      comfortable with that' `Oh, I'm so
                      sorry but we, the group were
                      feeling...' D'you know, one of the
                      great problems of our age is that
                      we are governed by people who care
                      more about feelings than thoughts
                      and ideas.
                           (beat)
                      Now thoughts and ideas. That
                      interests me.
                           (beat)
                      Ask me what I am thinking-
            The DOCTOR hesitates, letting MARGARET settle until-
                                    DOCTOR
                      What are you thinking, Margaret?
            MARGARET looks at the DOCTOR, quietly struggling with a
            fury, threatening to unleash-
                                    MARGARET
                      Watch your thoughts, for they
                      become words. Watch your words,
                      for they become actions. Watch
                      your actions, for they become
                      habits. Watch your habits, for
                      they become your character. And
                      watch your character, for it
                      becomes your destiny. What we
                      think, we become. My father always
                      said that.
                           (beat)
                      And I think I am fine.
                           (beat)
                      But I do so appreciate your kind
                      concern.
            The sudden and persistent buzz of an intercom-
                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Oh, do please answer that.

                                                                        55

            MARGARET holds his gaze, with quiet unwavering steel
            unsettling the DOCTOR a little.
                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      It might be someone who needs you.
            The DOCTOR reluctantly answers his intercom-

            INT. CORRIDOR CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. DUSK.
            JUNE heads up the stairs, MARGARET following behind.
                                    JUNE
                      I'll give Carol a quick ring, let
                      her know we're back, then I'll put
                      your electric blanket on.

            MARGARET nods. Looking through the bannisters, her eyes
            fall on-
            A golf ball running along the floor. MARGARET considers,
            looks up-

                                    DENNIS OOV
                      Steady, steady, steady! Damn.
                      Fore!

            The ball bounces down the wooden stairs.


            INT. KITCHEN. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DUSK.
            MARGARET opens the fridge. A cold plated lunch resting on
            a shelf.
                                    DENIS
                      What about that medicine man, eh?
                      Ah. Cold supper. Standards are
                      slipping Margaret.
            MARGARET ignores DENIS taking out the plate unwrapping
            the cellophane off it and placing it on a table, already
            laid ready for her to eat.
                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Well you really gave it to that
                      quack didn't you, darling ? Just
                      like the old days! Hallucinations
                      my eye!
            DENIS picks up a piece of cucumber from her plate. She
            absently smacks at his hand.
                                     DENIS (CONT'D)
                      How dare he?
            DENIS smiles.

                                                                        56

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      But then you give us all the run
                      around, don't you?
            MARGARET looks at him, silently infuriated.

            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. DUSK.
            MARGARET pours herself a whiskey. DENIS looms close,
            serves a splash of soda.
                                    DENIS
                      I know you can hear me,
                      sweetheart, so there's no use
                      pretending you can't.
            MARGARET turns, ignoring him.

                                    MARGARET
                      Enough. Denis, enough!

                                   DENIS
                           (saluting)
                      Dismissed!

            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. DUSK.
            MARGARET sits reading DENIS' spy novel.
                                    DENIS
                      She does it in the end. Kills him-
            MARGARET slams the book closed.
                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      I don't know why you're being so
                      scratchy.
            MARGARET's eyes dart to the clock.
                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      It's not as if you've got anyone
                      else to talk to.

            Shaking her head, MARGARET tries to block him out.

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      When the Himalayan peasant meets
                      the he-bear in his pride -

                                                                        57

                                    DENIS
                      You know, it's a marvel to me that
                      you can still quote huge chunks of
                      Kipling but try remembering the
                      name of that woman who's just made
                      you that godawful cold
                      collation... No? Come on... you
                      can do it... month of the year...
                      one syllable... rhymes with moon
                      ...
                                      MARGARET
                              (sudden/like a
                               lightbulb)
                      June.
            MARGARET turns to DENIS, a quiet appalling victory.
                                    DENIS
                      June! Bingo. Knew you'd get there
                      in the end. "When the Himalayan
                      peasant meets the he-bear in his
                      pride, He shouts to scare the
                      monster, who will often turn
                      aside, but the she-bear thus
                      accosted rends the peasant tooth
                      and nail. For the female of the
                      species is more deadly than the
                      male..."
            As he continues, MARGARET reaches for the remote, turns
            the television on. She moves onto the radio. Then the
            stereo. She moves on, talking to herself-
            A gradual growing cacophony of sound-

            INT. KITCHEN. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. DUSK.
            MARGARET flicks on mixers, radios, toasters-

            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. DUSK.
            The noise almost unbearable now-
            MARGARET turns on a hi-fi, the TV now on-

                                    MARGARET
                      If I can't hear you then I can't
                      see you. And if I can't see you
                      then you are not here.
            MARGARET closes her eyes.

                                                                        58

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      And if you are not here, I am not
                      going mad. I will not...I will not
                      go mad.
            She opens them and suddenly freezes on seeing an image of
            herself, bewildered and leaving Harley Street, caught on
            the TV-
                                    BBC VOICEOVER
                      Baroness Thatcher made an
                      apparently routine visit to her
                      doctor today. Although rarely
                      seen in public, Lady Thatcher, the
                      longest serving Prime Minister of
                      the twentieth century, remains a
                      controversial figure.
            MARGARET turns up the volume to full, trying to hear over
            the cacophony of noise the changing images on the TV
            illuminating her pale face.
                                    JUNE
                      Margaret-

            MARGARET barely sees her, eyes riveted to the TV.

                                    BBC VOICE OVER
                      Almost lovingly dubbed by the
                      Soviets The Iron Lady, she's also
                      credited, with her friend Ronald
                      Reagan, with a decisive role in
                      the ending of the Cold War. Her
                      supporters claim she transformed
                      the British economy and reversed
                      the country's post-war decline.
                      Her detractors blame her savage
                      public spending cuts and sweeping
                      privatization of -
            JUNE moves like a dervish through the house, muting the
            television and turning off the last of the appliances-
            A gradual silence descends until-
            MARGARET takes in the image of herself on the mute
            screen, standing bewildered on the steps of Harley
            Street.
                                    MARGARET
                           (almost to self)
                      I don't recognize myself.

                                                                        59

            INT. BATHROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. NIGHT.

            The shelf of a bathroom cabinet. Shaving brush. Razor.
            Medicaments. MARGARET begins to pull them all off the
            shelves.

                                     DENIS (O.S.)
                       Am I out of the doghouse yet?

            Then a pair of glasses. More gently, MARGARET'S hand
            reaches into the cupboard and takes the glasses in her
            hand.


            INT. BEDROOM. HOUSE.CHESTER SQUARE.PRESENT.NIGHT.
            MARGARET lies in bed, book in her lap, DENIS beside her
            reading the paper. She closes the book and pulls off her
            reading glasses.
                                     MARGARET
                       They're unveiling that portrait of
                       me at Number 10 next month. The
                       invitation's on the mantelpiece.
                       So there'll be Churchill, Lloyd
                       George and me. Just the three of
                       us.
            SILENCE-
                                     MARGARET (CONT'D)
                       I said I didn't want any big fuss
                       but they insisted..

            SILENCE-
                       Lovely little article in The
                       Telegraph... The Woman Who Changed
                       the Face of History..
            SILENCE-

            Voices from the past intrude -

                                     FOOT VO
                       Less than two years ago, the Prime
                       Minister quoted St. Francis and
                       talked about bringing faith, hope
                       and harmony to this country.
            MARGARET suddenly reaches out a hand, her hand shaking-
                                    MARGARET
                       Denis?
            She turns in bed. Sudden panic, DENIS is gone-

                                                                        60

            A HECKLING CHAMBER RISING THROUGH-


            INT. CHAMBERS. HOUSE OF COMMONS. 1980. DAY.

            A HECKLING chamber as MARGARET sits, facing LABOUR
            OUTRAGE, the labour leader, FOOT, grips his paper, mid
            speech-

                                    FOOT
                      Can the Right Honourable Lady
                      deny, that having brought about
                      the highest level of unemployment
                      since 1934-

            MARGARET bides her time on the front bench, waiting her
            turn, surrounded by her CABINET MINISTERS including HOWE,
            PYM and HESELTINE-

                                    FOOT (CONT'D)
                      The biggest fall in total output
                      in steel and coal production in
                      one year since 1931. And the
                      biggest collapse in industrial
                      production since 1921.

            MARGARET remains seemingly calm and serene, and yet one
            hand quietly grips the bench, her wedding ring tapping
            against the wood nervously.

                                    FOOT (CONT'D)
                      Can she also accept that her free
                      market economics designed to
                      create a growing middle class
                      ensures that the rich get richer
                      and the poor are irrelevant!


            INT. CAR. STREETS. LONDON. 1980. DAY

            A rising roar of voices -

                                    PROTESTORS
                      Maggie Maggie Maggie! Out Out Out!
                      Maggie Maggie Maggie! Out Out Out!

            MARGARET in her car driving through the blur of furious
            PROTESTORS.

                                    PROTESTOR 1
                      You're supposed to be a mother!
                      You're not a mother, you're s
                      monster! You're a monster!

                                                                        61

            INT. DRAWING ROOM. DOWNING STREET. 1980. EVENING.

            CLOSE UP on a button -

            The STEADY IN and OUT of a needle pulling taut on a
            thread. MARGARET stands, swathed in a glittering long
            dinner dress, a SEAMSTRESS stitching a stray button on
            the front of the bodice on her dress.

            Geoffrey Howe stands nearby in a dinner jacket.

                                    HESELTINE
                      May we have a word, Prime
                      Minister?

            A bank of MINISTERS, including HESELTINE, PYM, PRIOR,
            HOWE and GILMOUR, gather before her.

                                    MARGARET
                      Yes, but in order to arrive at the
                      palace on time, Geoffrey and I are
                      will be walking out of that door
                      in 15 minutes. As you can see -

                                    HESELTINE
                      I know you're running late
                      Margaret, but we have to address
                      this situation in light of
                      tomorrow's blistering press
                      coverage. Blistering! The knives
                      are out. Your draft budget's been
                      leaked, Geoffrey, they are baying
                      for our blood!

                                    HOWE
                      Michael we can't possibly buckle
                      at the first sign of difficulty.

            The SCRATCH of PRIOR's hand on unkempt hair-

                                    HESELTINE
                      No one is saying we have to
                      buckle.

                                    PRIOR
                      But is this really the time to
                      make these spending cuts in the
                      middle of one of the deepest
                      recessions this country has ever
                      experienced?

                                    HESTLETINE
                      We need a plan of action,
                      Margaret.

                                    PYM
                      Absolutely. A strategy.

                                                                        62

                                    GILMOUR
                      We must be armed.

                                       PRIOR
                      Agreed.

            MARGARET stiffens, the needle momentarily hovering mid
            stitch as MARGARET shifts a little-

            The SEAMSTRESS resumes sewing-

                                    PRIOR (CONT'D)
                      There's a perception, Margaret
                      rightly or wrongly, that we are
                      now completely out of touch with
                      the country.

            The patronizing tone inflames her.

                                    MARGARET
                      Really.
                           (beat)
                      How much is a pack of Lurpak?

                                       PYM
                      Lurpak?

                                    MARGARET
                      Butter, Francis.
                           (silence)
                      Forty two pence. Anchor butter is
                      forty pence. Flora margarine,
                      still the cheapest, is thirty
                      eight pence. I can assure you I am
                      not out of touch.

            Another MINISTER - GILMOUR - whispers the words:
            "Grocer's Daughter" - as a put down. The men smirk.

            MARGARET has caught the moment. A sudden flash of the
            pretty girls in the Grantham Street long ago, laughing at
            her.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      What - did you say?

            GILMOUR makes a gesture.

                                    GILMOUR
                      Nothing. Nothing, Prime Minister.

            MARGARET is furious.

                                                                        63

                                    MARGARET
                      Don't try to hide you opinions.
                      Goodness me, I'd much rather you
                      were honest and straightforward
                      about them - instead of
                      continuously and damagingly
                      leaking them to the press. Well?

            MOMENTARILY SILENT-

            MARGARET's eyes travel around the room in waiting-

                                    PYM
                      Well, people can't pay their
                      mortgages.

                                    GILMOUR
                      The manufacturing industry is
                      practically on its knees.

                                    PYM
                      Honest, hard-working, decent
                      people are losing their homes.
                      It's terribly shameful.

                                    GILMOUR
                      The point is, Prime Minister, that
                      we must moderate the pace -

                                    HESELTINE
                      - if we're even to have a hope of
                      winning the next election-

                                     PYM
                      Quite right.

                                    MARGARET
                      Ah. Worried about our careers, are
                      we?

            They make noises - to the effect that nothing could be
            further from the truth.

            But MARGARET has their measure.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Gentlemen, if we don't cut
                      spending we will be bankrupt. Yes
                      the medicine is harsh but the
                      patient requires it in order to
                      live. Shall we withhold the
                      medicine? No! We are not wrong. We
                      did not seek election and win in
                      order to manage the decline of a
                      great nation.
                                    (MORE)

                                                                        64
                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      The people of this country chose
                      us because they believe we can
                      restore the health of the British
                      economy and we will do just that!
                      Barring a failure of nerve.

            The SNAP OF COTTON -

            MARGARET looks at them in a cold fury...

                                     MARGARET (CONT'D)
                       Anything else?

            SILENCE-

            MARGARET nods to the seamstress, dismissing her-

                                     MARGARET (CONT'D)
                       Thank you. You saved the day once
                       again, Crawfie, you're an angel.

            MARGARET straightens her cuff, testing the button, as the
            meeting slowly disbands and the MINISTERS move away.

                                     HOWE
                       You can't close down a discussion
                       because it's not what you wish to
                       hear.

                                     MARGARET
                       I don't expect everyone just to
                       sit there and agree with me. But
                       what kind of leader am I if I
                       don't try to get my own way - to
                       do what I know to be right.

                                     HOWE
                       Yes. But Margaret, one must be
                       careful of testing one's
                       colleagues' loyalty too far.

            MARGARET glances up watching the MINISTERS disappearing,
            in whispered conversation, like conspirators.

            (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE) Rioting in Brixton, burning cars, huge
            civil unrest -

                                     TV JOURNALIST (V.O.)
                       We are now one split nation, with
                       a huge gulf dividing the employed
                       from the unemployed.

            (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE) Protest marches, `People's March for
            Jobs', `No pit closures" -

                                                                        65

                                    UNION ACTIVIST (V.O.)
                      The Thatcher plan is to break the
                      Trade Union movement.

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      There must be closures of
                      uneconomic coal mines, we seek
                      only an efficient industry.

            (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE) violent clashes between protesting
            miners and police -

                                    MINER'S WIFE (V.O.)
                      The miners are being starved back
                      to work, the need is desperate!


            INT. CORRIDOR. HOUSE OF COMMONS. 1981. DAY.

            MARGARET sweeping along an endless corridor, surrounded
            by her cabinet, hard on her heels. HOWE, HESELTINE, PYM,
            PRIOR and OTHERS. MARGARET talking, they hang on her
            every word.

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      There are those who would say hold
                      back, there are those who would
                      make us retreat -



            INT. CONFERENCE CENTRE BRIGHTON. 1980.

            Margaret mid speech.

                                    MARGARET
                      But we shall never give in to
                      them. We shall never waver, not
                      for a second, in our determination
                      to see this country prosper once
                      again.

            The party faithful erupt in cheers, seconded by all
            Margaret's courtiers on the platform. PYM, PRIOR,
            HESELTINE, HOWE and above all DENIS, applauding as if
            their lives depended on it.


            INT. LADIES. HOUSE OF COMMONS. 1980. DAY.

            MARGARET sits clutching the sink, a light sweat breaking
            across her forehead. She looks up-

                                    NEWS READER (V.O.)
                      A car bomb has exploded outside
                      Harrods department store, killing
                      six people and injuring 71.

                                                                        66

                                    NEWS READER 2 (V.O.)
                      Eleven soldiers died today when
                      two bombs were detonated during
                      military parades in Hyde Park and
                      Regent's Park. Seven horses also
                      died in the blasts.

            INTERCUT (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE) bombed buildings, horses lying
            dead in the street, an IRA banner.

                                    NEWS READER 3 (V.O.)
                      The IRA have claimed
                      responsibility.


            INT. BEDROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. NIGHT.
            MARGARET lost in restless sleep-

            INTERCUT (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE) IRA graffiti scrawled on a
            wall, paramilitaries fire guns, sirens wail.


            INT. CONFERENCE CENTRE BRIGHTON. 1980.

            Margaret on the podium.

                                    MARGARET
                      And now, it must be business as
                      usual.

            THE BRIGHTON GRAND HOTEL.


            INT. SITTING ROOM. SUITE. GRAND HOTEL. 1984. NIGHT.
            DENIS in pyjamas, brushes his teeth in the bathroom. He
            glances at MARGARET through the open door as she sits,
            still in evening dress, working on her speech.

                                    DENIS
                      Come on love, get to bed. I don't
                      know why you do this to yourself
                      every year, it's a speech at
                      conference, not the Magna Carta!

            She looks up, distracted.

                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Time to call it a day, darling.
                      It's ten to three, for God's sake.

                                    MARGARET
                      I know, I'm coming DT. Nearly
                      there -

            BOOM!

                                                                        67

            An almighty explosion rips through the room; wood, glass,
            furniture splinters, curtains flay from the walls. The
            fall of plaster, devastating, the hotel room obliterated,
            reduced to a smoking, dusty rubble.

            MARGARET stands ghostlike, covered in debris.

                                   MARGARET (CONT'D)
                           (calling out)
                      Denis!

            MARGARET searching through the haze of fallen plaster,
            covered with dust, slowly clearing to reveal-

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                           (more desperate)
                      Denis- there you are. Are you
                      alright?

            DENIS ghostlike, covered in dust, still in his pyjamas,
            holding up an obliterated pair of shoes.

                                    DENIS
                      My shoes!

            Beyond, the wall of the bathroom entirely blown away -

            The CAW of gulls-


            EXT. GRAND HOTEL. BRIGHTON. 1984. NIGHT.

            Chaos outside the Grand Hotel in the aftermath of the
            bomb.

            The WHIR of SIRENS-

            DENIS and MARGARET sit in their car, looking out in
            silent shock at the devastated Grand hotel, reflected on
            the glass of the car windows.

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      That's when I thought I'd lost
                      you.

            A TELEPHONE RINGS CUTTING THROUGH FROM ANOTHER TIME...


            INT. BEDROOM. HOUSE. CHESTER SQUARE. PRESENT. NIGHT.

            MARGARET wakes with a start, confused and fumbles for the
            telephone by her bed-

                                    MARGARET
                           (picking up phone)
                      Mark?... Hello darling... No, I'm
                      fine... I'm very well...

                                                                        68

            MARGARET squints, fingers fumbling for DENIS' watch.

                                     MARGARET (CONT'D)
                       How is... How's... Sarah?... And
                       the children..?

            MARGARET sits up -

                                     MARGARET (CONT'D)
                       ...Oh... You can't... That's a
                       pity... I was hoping to see you...
                       No really darling... That's
                       fine... Of course... another
                       time... Lovely Darling... Can't
                       wait...Yes...

            MARGARET suddenly relents, a flicker of sudden and urgent
            need, caught in her eyes-

                                        MARGARET (CONT'D)
                               (beat)
                       Mark?

            Silence-

            MARK gone. MARGARET hangs up, stares at-

            I Whistle A Happy Tune from the King and I just audible-


            INT. DRAWING ROOM.CHESTER SQUARE.PRESENT.NIGHT.

            MARGARET stands in the doorway, a jaunty "I Whistle A
            Happy Tune" seeping from the television.

                                     MARGARET
                       That was Mark. Not able to come.

                                     DENIS
                            (cutting in)
                       Boy's always going AWOL.

                                     MARGARET
                       Well it costs him a great deal to
                       fly everyone up here.

                                     DENIS
                       There you go, making excuses for
                       him. Now look where it's got you.

            DENIS stands dressed in dinner jacket and bow tie as he
            reads the back of "The King and I" DVD.

                                     DENIS (CONT'D)
                       Did you know Yul Brynner was a
                       gypsy from Vladivostok?

                                                                        69

                                    MARGARET
                      Yes. He moved to Paris when he was
                      fourteen. He played the King of
                      Siam 4,625 times on the London and
                      Broadway stages. What are you
                      doing?

                                    DENIS
                           (turning round
                            shaking a cocktail)
                      One likes to make an effort. A
                      snifter?

                                    MARGARET
                      You're dead, Denis.

                                    DENIS
                      Ah. Well, if I'm dead... who are
                      you talking to? Shall we dance ?

            He takes Margaret in his arms. The music changes to
            `Shall we Dance' from `The King and I' as DENIS takes a
            confused MARGARET in his arms and begins an expansive
            waltz round the room. The room turns. YOUNG DENIS dancing
            with the YOUNG MARGARET. Now its OLD DENIS dancing with
            OLD MARGARET again. DENIS loses his footing, and MARGARET
            lurches towards the desk where her eyes fall on figurines
            of Falklands soldiers. She stares hard.

                                    NEWS READER (V.O.)
                      The Falkland islands, the British
                      Colony in the South Atlantic, has
                      fallen. Argentina claims its
                      marines went ashore this morning
                      as a spearhead to capture key
                      targets, including the capital,
                      Port Stanley.


            INT. STUDY. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1982. DAY.

            MARGARET sits, composed, staring up at a phalanx of
            military men and her ministers.

                                    MARGARET
                      Gentlemen, the Argentinian Junta -
                      which is a fascist gang - has
                      invaded our sovereign territory.
                      This cannot be tolerated. May I
                      make plain my negotiating
                      position. I will not negotiate
                      with criminals or thugs. The
                      Falkland islands belong to
                      Britain, and I want them back.
                      Gentlemen, I need you to tell me
                      today if that is possible.

                                                                        70

                                    ADMIRAL LEACH
                      Possible... just, Prime Minister.
                      We can have a Task Force ready to
                      sail in forty-eight hours.

            MARGARET is visibly stunned.

                                    MARGARET
                      Forty-eight hours?

                                    ADMIRAL LEACH
                      But -

                                    MARGARET
                      But?

                                    ADMIRAL LEACH
                      We have a very narrow weather
                      window. We can't fight in winter
                      down there. Nobody can. If we are
                      going, we have to go now.


            INT. STUDY. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1982. DAY.

            MARGARET at her desk.

                                    MARGARET
                      Why were the islands left without
                      any naval protection?

                                    JOHN NOTT
                      In the last round of Defence cuts
                      we judged the risk of invasion to
                      be small.

                                    MARGARET
                      Did we?

                                    JOHN NOTT
                      And if you remember, Prime
                      Minister, you agreed that we
                      should reduce the naval presence
                      in the area to an absolute
                      minimum.

            MARGARET taps her fingers against the map, with growing
            irritation.


            INT. CABINET. DOWNING STREET. DAY.

            MARGARET sits alone.

                                                                        71

            INT CORRIDOR. . CORRIDOR. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1982.
            DAY

            MARGARET is under attack.

                                    HOWE
                      Margaret, the cost of sending
                      28,000 men and a hundred ships
                      twelve thousand miles, almost to
                      Argentina, will be absolutely
                      crippling.

                                    MARGARET
                      I don't think we should be
                      worrying about money at this
                      point, Geoffrey.

                                    GEOFFREY HOWE
                      We can't afford to go to war.


            INT. STUDY. LONDON. 1982. NIGHT.

            MARGARET sits alone.

                                    ADMIRAL LEACH (V.O.)
                      We have to go now.

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      The government has now decided
                      that a large task force will sail,
                      as soon as all preparations are
                      complete.

            INTERCUT (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE) the Task Force sets sail.


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1982. DAY

            MARGARET paces, deep in thought.

                                    MP 1 (O.S.)
                      Prime Minister we do still have
                      three weeks before our ships reach
                      the islands.

                                    MP 2 (O.S.)
                      All we're saying is that we
                      shouldn't give up on trying to
                      find a diplomatic solution.


            INT. CORRIDOR. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1982. DAY.

            A tea trolley and an American entourage surge down a
            Downing Street corridor.

                                                                        72

                                    MP 1
                      The U.S. Secretary of State has
                      arrived, Prime Minister.


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1982. DAY

            Haig and Margaret sit facing each other, flanked by
            senior ministers.

                                    GENERAL HAIG
                      So you are proposing to go to war
                      over these Islands. They're
                      thousands of miles away, a handful
                      of citizens, politically and
                      economically... insignificant, if
                      you'll excuse me -

                                    MARGARET
                      Just like Hawaii, I imagine.

                                    GENERAL HAIG
                      I'm sorry?

                                    MARGARET
                      1941, when Japan attacked Pearl
                      Harbour. Did America go cap in
                      hand and ask Tojo for a peaceful
                      negotiation of terms? Did she turn
                      her back on her own citizens there
                      because the islands were thousands
                      of miles from mainland United
                      States? No, no, no! We will stand
                      on principle or we shall not stand
                      at all.

                                    GENERAL HAIG
                      But Margaret with all due respect
                      when one has been to war....

                                    MARGARET
                      With all due respect sir, I have
                      done battle every single day of my
                      life, and many men have
                      underestimated me before. This lot
                      seem bound to do the same but they
                      will rue the day.

            BEAT

            MARGARET turns to a tea trolley close by-

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Now, shall I be mother?

            HAGUE looks confused, MARGARET lifting the teapot-

                                                                        73

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Tea, Al, how do you take your tea?
                      Black or white?



            INT. CENTRE OF OPERATIONS. 1982. DAY.

            NAVAL MEN murmuring messages quietly to NAVAL ATTACHES.
            Male lips to male ears, something MARGARET has seen all
            her life. FRANCIS PYM and JOHN NOTT stand near MARGARET.

            INTERCUT (STOCK FOOTAGE) the naval fleet sails towards
            the Falklands.

            A map of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Model
            boats sit on the water, flags sit on the islands.
            Argentinian flags. MARGARET stares at the map. A
            whispered message to one of the ATTACHES. He moves a
            model boat on the map a few inches, leading a fleet of
            smaller model boats.

                                    NAVAL ATTACHE 1
                      The Argentinian ship the General
                      Belgrano and her escorts are
                      pursuing course 273 degrees toward
                      the Argentinian mainland. We are
                      tracking it with our submarine HMS
                      Conqueror.

            He points to a model submarine at some distance from the
            Argentinian boats.

                                    MARGARET
                      Is this ship a threat?

                                    ADMIRAL FIELDHOUSE
                      Both of these ships are carrying
                      Exocet missiles, Prime Minister.
                      Just yesterday they launched- then
                      aborted- an attack inside the
                      exclusion zone. There is a risk
                      they could try it again.

                                    FRANCIS PYM
                      The Belgrano is sailing directly
                      away from the islands. Can it
                      really be regarded as a threat ?

                                    ADMIRAL FIELDHOUSE
                      She's been changing course
                      continually. There's a strong
                      possibility that they're
                      attempting a pincer movement on
                      our carrier group.
                                    (MORE)

                                                                        74
                                    ADMIRAL FIELDHOUSE (CONT'D)
                      I advise that we engage them: hit
                      the Belgrano as a warning to the
                      others. Send them all back to
                      port.

            MARGARET turns to JOHN NOTT and FRANCIS PYM.

                                       FRANCIS PYM
                         It'll play badly internationally.
                         We'll be seen as aggressors.

            She stares at the map once more. One of the men
            supervising the map moves the model of the Belgrano a
            fraction further North.

                                       JOHN NOTT
                         This will be an escalation, Prime
                         Minister.

            She looks to LEACH.

                                       LEACH
                         If there is to be an escalation,
                         it's better that we start it.

                                       MINISTER
                         It is steaming away, Prime
                         Minister.

            Everyone is staring at MARGARET. Even the ASSISTANTS
            bustling in the background have stopped and are
            listening. Male faces turned to her. She herself seems
            caught in a pincer movement between the politicians and
            the servicemen.

                                      MARGARET
                         Sink it.


            INT. DOWNING STREET. 1982. NIGHT

            TV Footage

            A flash of a torpedo cutting through the water.

            A thunderous explosion.

            Flashes of television images- striated and blurry- the
            Belgrano listing in the water. Reports of the sinking
            read out by the MOD's Announcer.


            INT. DRAWING ROOM.CHESTER SQUARE.PRESENT.NIGHT.

            MARGARET and the Falklands figurine, silhouetted against
            the dawn light.

                                                                        75

            INT. DOWNING STREET. 1982. NIGHT

            TV Footage

            CLOSE now - we see a man on fire, burning. VOICES mixing
            in and out.

                                       TV JOURNALIST V.O.
                         ... HMS Sheffield, a Type 42
                         destroyer, was attacked and hit
                         late this afternoon by an
                         Argentine missile...

                                       TV JOURNALIST V.O. (CONT'D)
                         ...it is seen as a retaliation for
                         the sinking of the General
                         Belgrano, in which over 300
                         Argentinian sailors died...

            MARGARET'S eyes shining, as if with tears. A soft
            knocking at the door. She dabs them away quickly.

                                       JOHN NOTT
                         Prime Minister -

            JOHN NOTT enters.

                                       JOHN NOTT (CONT'D)
                         Latest casualty figures from the
                         Sheffield.

            He hands her a piece of paper.

                                       MARGARET
                              (sotto voce)
                         I must write to them.

                                       JOHN NOTT
                         Prime Minister?

                                       MARGARET
                         The families. I must write to
                         them...


            INT. DOWNING STREET. STUDY.    1982. NIGHT.

            MARGARET at her desk, looks up at Pym.

                                       MARGARET
                         Foreign Secretary...

                                       PYM
                         I've just been briefed by Admiral
                         Fieldhouse.
                                       (MORE)

                                                                        76
                                    PYM (CONT'D)
                      He told me bluntly that if the
                      Argentinians are prepared and
                      willing to risk their aircraft,
                      they have enough missiles to
                      cripple most of our fleet.

            A beat.

                                    JOHN NOTT
                      President Reagan and President
                      Bellaunde of Peru have some new
                      proposals for the peace plan -

                                    MARGARET
                           (sharply)
                      The peace plan? There will be no
                      appeasement. This is a war. A war
                      they started and by God, we will
                      finish. Shall I tell you what I'm
                      going to write to every single one
                      of these families, these
                      heartbroken families? I am going
                      to tell them that no British
                      soldier will die in vain for the
                      Falklands.

            INTERCUT (STOCK FOOTAGE) muddy mass graves as the
            Falklands dead are buried.

                                    MILITARY VOICE
                      Lieutenant Colonel Jones. Captain
                      Wood. Captain Dench. Lieutenant
                      Farlaine. Corporal Hardman.
                      Corporal Sullivan. Corporal Briar.

            MARGARET writes to each of the families.

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      As the only Prime Minister in the
                      history of our country who is also
                      a mother with a son of my own, I
                      can imagine your agony, and your
                      grief.

            INTERCUT (STOCK FOOTAGE) troops march through barren
            landscapes, helicopters hover, a British flag.

                                    MINISTER (V.O.)
                      Prime Minister, we have secured
                      the beachhead -

                                    NEWS ANNOUNCERS (O.S.)
                      The Argentinian troops are
                      demoralized and ill equipped...The
                      paratroops have taken Goose
                      Green...

                                                                        77

                                    RADIO VO
                      Shortly after dark last night, our
                      forces executed what our Commander
                      in Chief has called a brilliant
                      surprise night attack.

            MARGARET sits at a desk in Downing Street, listening to
            the news reports. A hand turns off the radio.

                                    DENIS
                      Thatcher, bed.

            He heads down the hall, MARGARET following behind.

                                    RADIO
                      From their new positions, our
                      forces can see large numbers of
                      Argentine soldiers retreating and
                      streaming back into Port Stanley.
                      Our forces are moving forward to
                      exploit their success.

            INTERCUT (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE) Victory! The Union Jack is
            raised over Port Stanley. The task force return to
            England to scenes of jubilation. Embraces, balloons,
            joyful embraces.


            INT. CAR. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1982. DUSK.

            MARGARET peering out, a sea of union jacks and bunting.
            Cheers, the street lined as the car pulls into Downing
            Street-

            The blur of noise, cheering, jostling banners THEN the
            shroud of black uniforms suddenly encasing the car,
            blocking out the light-

            The jaunty distant sound of a military band playing-

                                      DENIS O/S
                      Well done, M.

            The car door swings open-

            A CACOPHONY of CHEERS, APPLAUSE, just audible far off, as
            MARGARET steps out into the street, the CAMERA follows
            her out peering up at-

            DOWNING STREET STAFF leaning out of No 10 windows, waving
            flags and cheering-

            MARGARET's gaze lingering on HOWE and PYM amongst them,
            smiling with congratulations, clearly now part of the
            victory celebrations.

                                                                        78

                                    MARGARET O/S
                      We congratulate the men and women
                      of the armed Forces for their
                      skill, bravery and loyalty to this
                      country.


            INT. HOUSE OF COMMONS CHAMBER PARLIAMENT. 1982.

            Prime Minister's Questions. MARGARET is at the Dispatch
            Box fighting it out with MICHAEL FOOT. GEOFFREY HOWE IS
            BESIDE HER.

                                    MARGARET
                      We were faced with an act of
                      unprovoked aggression and we
                      responded as we have responded in
                      times past: with unity, strength
                      and courage, sure in the knowledge
                      that though much is sacrificed, in
                      the end, right will prevail over
                      wrong.

            Huge cheers and "hear hears" from the Conservative
            benches. MICHAEL FOOT shifts uncomfortably on the benches
            opposite. She is unstoppable.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      And I put it to the Honourable
                      Member opposite that this is not a
                      day for him to carp, find fault,
                      demand inquiries- they will happen
                      I can assure him of that for we
                      have nothing to hide- no, this is
                      a day to put difference aside,
                      hold one's head high and take
                      pride in being British.

            Barnstorming cheers. We see MICHAEL FOOT, utterly
            outmaneuvered by her speech. The Labour benches sit
            silent.


            INT. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON PRESENT. NIGHT

            DENIS springs in the air wearing a paper union jack hat,
            blowing a party hooter.

                                    DENIS
                      GOTCHA! Well that paid off old
                      girl! Your ratings soared! From
                      the most hated Prime Minister of
                      all time to the nation's
                      darling...The world was at your
                      feet, and Britain was back in
                      business!

                                                                        79

            INT. BALLROOM. WHITE HOUSE. WASHINGTON. 1981. NIGHT.
            QUICKFLASH: A glittering ballroom-
            MARGARET waltzing, caught in REAGAN's arms, fleetingly
            passing-

            DENIS looking on, from the sidelines, drink in hand.

            INTERCUT (STOCK FOOTAGE)

            MARGARET'S motorcade streaks through the rainy street,
            Union Jack flying.

            MARGARET shakes hands with Indira Ghandi. Denis is
            presented with the pink turban.

            Newspaper headlines scream PROFITS, PROFITS, PROFITS!

            MARGARET, triumphant on the podium at party conference.

            MARGARET shakes hands with Gorbachev.

            The Berlin Wall comes down.

                                    NEWS READER
                      The Berlin Wall has fallen. The
                      gates have opened! The police are
                      making no attempt to stop people
                      as they go through.

            Headlines: BOOMING BUSINESS! MAGGIE'S MILLIONAIRES!

            INT. EMBASSY BALLROOM. 1979. NIGHT

            MARGARET dancing with KENNETH KAUNDA of ZAMBIA, DENIS
            stands on the touchlines toasting them - a fruity
            cocktail in his hand.


            INT. HOUSE OF COMMONS STAIRWAY, 1990. DAY.

            MARGARET hurries down the stairs, her cabinet in tow.

                                    MARGARET
                      I don't agree in any measure!

                                    GEOFFREY HOWE
                      But Prime Minister the question of
                      the European single currency will
                      come up.

                                    MARGARET
                      I don't think the country is ready
                      for it yet.

                                                                        80

                                    GEOFFREY HOWE
                      But we cannot bury our heads in
                      the sand...

                                    NEWS JOURNALIST (V.O.)
                      A lot of Conservative MP's and
                      Ministers are saying -


            EXT. HOUSE OF COMMONS. LONDON. DAY.

            A journalist stands outside the Commons making his
            report.

                                    NEWS JOURNALIST
                      - that there must be a change in
                      that style of management. That Mrs
                      Thatcher must listen more, and on
                      occasion, give in.


            INT. HOUSE OF COMMONS HALLWAY, 1990. DAY.

            MARGARET moving swiftly down the hall, leaving her
            cabinet in her wake.

                                    PYM (O.S.)
                      The point is, Prime Minister, I
                      don't think we can sell the idea
                      of a tax that asks everyone to pay
                      the same.

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      Our policies may be unpopular, but
                      they are the right policies.

                                    MINISTER 1 (V.O.)
                      Prime Minister I just don't think
                      we can ask the poorest of the poor
                      to pay the same amount of tax as a
                      multi-millionaire.


            INT. CABINET ROOM. DOWNING STREET. 1990. DAY

            MARGARET, seated at the wide cabinet table surrounded by
            a subdued CABINET. Most of the familiar old faces - PYM,
            HESELTINE, etc. All now gone.

            HOWE the last enduring minister.

            She casts a gimlet-eye over the GREY-SUITED MEN around
            her.

                                    MARGARET
                      There it is again! Why not?

                                                                        81

                                    MINISTER 1
                       Because -

                                     MINISTER 2
                       Because people... on the whole...
                       think that the tax is manifestly
                       unfair.

                                     MARGARET
                       Nonsense. Arrant nonsense. This
                       is a simple proposition. In order
                       to live in this country, you must
                       pay for the privilege- something,
                       anything! If you pay nothing, you
                       care nothing. What do you care
                       where you throw your rubbish? Your
                       council estate is a mess, your
                       town, graffiti, what do you care?
                       It's not your problem , it's
                       somebody else's problem- it's the
                       government's problem! YOUR problem
                       is, some of you, is that you
                       haven't got the courage for this
                       fight. You haven't had to fight
                       hard for anything. It's all been
                       given to you- and you feel guilty
                       about it! Well, may I say, on
                       behalf of all those who HAVE had
                       to fight their way up, (and who
                       don't feel guilty about it) we
                       resent those slackers who take,
                       take, take, and contribute nothing
                       to the community!

            SILENCE.

                                     MARGARET (CONT'D)
                       And I see the same thing, the same
                       cowardice in our fight within the
                       European Union, to retain British
                       sovereignty of Britain, the
                       integrity of the pound! Some of
                       you want to make concessions. I
                       hear some of you agree with the
                       latest French proposals.
                            (beat)
                       Well, why don't you get on a boat
                       to Calais? Yes, why don't you put
                       on a beret, and pay 85% of your
                       income to the French government!

            She has subdued them utterly. The silence is terrible.

                                     MARGARET (CONT'D)
                       Right. What can we realistically
                       hope to achieve by the end of
                       session, Lord President?
                                     (MORE)

                                                                        82
                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      And why have we not made more
                      progress to date? What is that? Is
                      that the timetable? I haven't seen
                      that. May I see it?

                                    HOWE
                      Here it is, Prime Minister. Of
                      course.

            HOWE pushes the papers over to her. She picks up a
            pencil, starts to read.

            The MINISTERS watch as, quickly, she starts to score
            through the words.

                                    MARGARET
                      The wording is sloppy here, and
                      here.

                                    HOWE
                      If you say so.

                                     MARGARET
                      I do say so.

                                    HOWE
                      It's merely a first draft...

            MARGARET looks down at the paperwork.

                                    MARGARET
                      This is ridiculous. There are two
                      "T's" in "committee"!

            She presses so hard that her pencil breaks, so she shoves
            the paper back towards him, stabbing a finger at the
            offending word.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      This is shameful. Shameful! I
                      can't even rely on you for a
                      simple timetable! Are you unwell?
                      Yes you are unwell. Give me the
                      pencil, give it to me!

            MARGARET snaps her fingers at HOWE, gesturing for his
            pencil, scratching away, ringing the offending word again
            and again. The MINISTERS stare at the scene appalled,
            utterly and wretchedly embarrassed.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      If this is the best you can do I
                      had better send you to hospital,
                      and I shall do your job as well as
                      my own and everyone else's.
                      Gentlemen.
                                    (MORE)

                                                                        83
                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      As the Lord President has come to
                      cabinet unprepared, I am obliged
                      to close this meeting.

            She waits for them to take their leave, but they sit
            there, frozen.

                                      MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Good morning!

            Slowly, the men gather their papers and file out of the
            room, leaving MARGARET alone. She sits, gathering
            herself, hands shaking.

            THE ROAR OF PROTEST SURGES THROUGH -

            (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE) A HUGE MACABRE PAPIER-MACHE THATCHER
            HEAD, grimacing with one eyeball blinded and the other
            detached and hanging bloody on a cheek.

                                    ANGRY CROWD
                           (chanting)
                      Can't pay, won't pay! Can't pay,
                      won't pay! Can't pay, won't pay!


            INT. CAR. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1990. DAY.

            MARGARET peering out-

            ANGRY PROTESTORS slapping the glass as they pass, the
            sense of the car being attacked. The smear of smashed egg
            against the window screen.

                                    PROTESTORS
                      Out... Out... Out...

            MARGARET sinks back into her seat as the car, is jostled
            either side by a blur of colour, the bang of fists
            against glass, the roar of the crowd -


            EXT. TRAFALGAR SQUARE. LONDON. 1990. DAY

            (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE) Relentless images of violence over
            this. Mass riots. PROTESTORS charging POLICE LINES.
            POLICE on HORSEBACK trying to force the PROTESTORS back.
            One of them - a GIRL - caught out, goes down with her
            placard, is trampled beneath the horses' hooves,
            horribly.
            RIOTERS with blood streaming down their faces. Banners -
            DEATH TO MAGGIE.
            OFF WITH HER HEAD.

                                                                        84

                                    PROTESTORS
                      Maggie... Maggie... Maggie. Out...
                      out... out.
            With a WHOOSH of flames the north side of Piccadilly
            Circus goes up in flames. Smoke and blood and fire
            everywhere.


            INT. OFFICE DOWNING STREET. 1990. DAY
            Late afternoon-

            MARGARET sits, silently working.
            HOWE enters, MARGARET barely looks up from working-

                                    MARGARET
                      Geoffrey-
                                    GEOFFREY
                      My letter of resignation.
            HOWE slides a letter down on her desk-
            MARGARET looks down at the thick envelope.
            SILENCE

                                    GEOFFREY HOWE
                      Our differences, I'm afraid,
                      cannot be reconciled.
            MARGARET resumes working-
            HOWE waits and waits and waits-
            The SCRATCH of MARGARET's pen, she works on, refusing to
            stop for him.


            INT. CHAMBERS. HOUSE OF COMMONS. LONDON.
            Howe stands in Parliament, reading his resignation
            speech:

                                    HOWE
                      I have done what I believe to be
                      right for my party and my country.
                      The time has come for others to
                      consider their own response to the
                      tragic conflict of loyalties with
                      which I have myself wrestled for
                      perhaps too long.

                                                                        85

            INT. HALLWAYS. HOUSE OF COMMONS. LONDON.

            MARGARET walks alone down the hall.

                                    MINISTER 1 (O.S.)
                      Geoffrey's speech in the House of
                      Commons was devastating.

                                    MINSTER 2 (O.S.)
                      - just couldn't take any more of
                      the bullying.



            INT. CORRIDOR - HOUSE OF COMMONS. LONDON. 1990. DAY.

            MARGARET's POV as she moves along the corridors of power.

                                    MINISTER 3 (O.S.)
                      He was almost inviting someone to
                      challenge her for leadership of
                      the party.

            Fellow CABINET MINISTERS, unfamiliar backbenchers, the
            men in suits, all seem to avoid her gaze...then PYM in
            conversation with HOWE, abruptly terminated, as both men
            acknowledge her...

                                    MINISTER 4 (O.S.)
                      She behaved appallingly. I
                      wouldn't have spoken to my
                      gamekeeper like that.

                                    MINISTER 1 (O.S.)
                      I don't think she can survive
                      this.


            INT. STUDY. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1990. NIGHT.
            MARGARET stands, watching the evening news, HESELTINE
            just visible on the TV screen-
                                    HESELTINE ON TV
                      I'm here to announce my decision
                      to put my name forward as leader
                      of the Conservative party. I have
                      nothing but admiration for our
                      Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher,
                      but I believe our party and our
                      country need a new leader.
            MARGARET turns to DENIS, who stands, clearly shocked,
            worst fears confirmed.

                                                                        86

                                       TV JOURNALIST
                         It's extraordinary. The rules of
                         the Conservative Party make it
                         possible for Conservative MP's to
                         depose a sitting Prime Minister.

            MARGARET and DENIS on the sofa. She unwraps a sweet, eyes
            locked on the TV.

                                       MARGARET
                         I am the Prime Minister.

            Turning to Denis.

                                      MARGARET (CONT'D)
                              (offering the packet)
                         Sweetie?

            (STOCK FOOTAGE) WESTMINSTER in the moonlight -

                                       NEWS JOURNALIST (O.S.)
                         As Conservative MP's gather in
                         Westminster to discus who they
                         will back in the leadership
                         contest, the Prime Minister said
                         she would not be diverted from
                         critical international affairs


            EXT. PARIS STREET. NIGHT

            With the Eiffel Tower illuminated behind him, Trevor
            MacDonald makes his report.

                                       TREVOR MACDONALD
                         Tonight in Paris Mrs Thatcher is
                         among thirty four world leaders
                         who came together to celebrate the
                         end of the Cold War and herald the
                         start of a peaceful new age of
                         East/West cooperation.


            INT. GRAND HALL. PARIS. NIGHT.

            A magnificent painted hallway-

            MARGARET sweeping away from a dining room, regal in
            evening dress.

            INTERCUT -

            PARIS - A news journalist makes his report.

                                                                        87

                                    NEWS JOURNALIST
                      There's a general feeling that Mrs
                      Thatcher is going to win on the
                      first ballot. We're going to put
                      it to bed tomorrow night, is how
                      one of her campaign staff puts it.


            INT. GRAND HALL. PARIS. NIGHT

            MARGARET walks through a grand hall with her fellow
            PRESIDENTS and PRIME MINSTERS of the world, a lone woman
            amongst a sea of men.

                                    DENIS ON PHONE
                      M, I really think you should come
                      home and defend yourself old girl.
                      Heseltine is campaigning
                      ferociously.

                                    MARGARET ON PHONE OOV
                      I do think my time is best spent
                      seeing an end to the Cold War,
                      don't you? After all this time
                      they know what I stand for.

            PARIS -

                                    TREVOR MACDONALD
                      Will she, or will she not, be in
                      the job tomorrow?

            A GRAND HALL - a formal dinner, MARGARET flanked by bow-
            tied Prime Ministers and Heads of State.

                                    HEAD OF STATE 1
                      Margaret, they can't touch you.

            LONDON STREETS - CABINET MINISTERS walking along trying
            to hide their features from prying eyes.

                                    NEWS READER (O.S.)
                      Mrs Thatcher has failed to win
                      enough votes to secure an outright
                      win in the leadership contest and
                      must now decide whether to put her
                      name forward for the second round.

                                    NEWS READER 2
                      As Mrs Thatcher leaves Paris for
                      London to make a last ditch
                      attempt to pull together support
                      for her leadership, the ship may
                      have sailed.

                                                                        88

            INT.DINING ROOM.CHESTER SQUARE.PRESENT.

            MARGARET pushes through the double doors into her dining
            room.

                                    MARGARET
                      Treachery!

            Her cabinet are all around her dining room table. There
            is no seat for her. She moves round the table.

                                    MINISTER 1
                      We will never win another election
                      led by that woman.

                                    MINISTER 2
                      We need a leader who listens.

                                    MINISTER 3
                      This isn't about her, it's about
                      the party.

                                    MINISTER 4
                      One must know when to go.

                                    MINISTER 1
                      The question is, how does anyone
                      put it to her?


            INT. DRAWING ROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.

            Close on a minister's face in the dim light.

                                    MINISTER
                      If you were to stand, I of course
                      would vote for you Prime Minister
                      -

            She is at her desk in the PRESENT in Chester Square as
            one minister after another in interchangeable glasses
            slide into the chair in front of her.

                                    MINISTER 2
                      - of course would vote for you
                      Prime Minister but I don't think
                      you can win. The loyalty of my
                      colleagues cannot be counted upon.

                                    MARGARET
                      It was the people who put me here -

                                    MINISTER 3
                      The loyalty of my colleagues
                      cannot be counted upon.

                                                                        89

                                    MARGARET
                      - it's up to them to tell me when
                      to go.


            INT. STUDY. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1990. NIGHT.

            MARGARET stands, watching the evening news.
                                    DENIS
                      Margaret, you can't let them do
                      this to you. Please, boss.
            MARGARET looks at DENIS, with quiet surprise, hears the
            desperation in his voice, the crack-
                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      They'll destroy you.
            MARGARET looks at DENIS, sees he is near to tears-
                                    DENIS (CONT'D)
                      Throw in the towel now, love.
                      Don't let those bastards see you
                      humiliated. You just won't win,
                      darling. Not this time.
                                      MARGARET
                      Oh Denis.
            DENIS, fingers touch hers, she looks at him, sees the
            tender concern in his eyes. MARGARET smiles, determinedly
            steely under his gaze.
                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
 154                  I am the Prime Minister.                       154

            On her face as CASTA DIVA breaks through.


            INT. HOUSE OF COMMONS. DAY

            MARGARET sits alone on the front bench.    A stream of
            voices from the past -

                                      SPEAKER (V.O.)
                      Order! Order!

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      The Right Honourable gentleman is
                      afraid!

                                    NORTHERN VOICE (V.O.)
                      This is a naked strategy of
                      closing some coal mines and then
                      selling off -

                                                                        90

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      They believe in striking, I
                      believe in working!

                                    IRISH VOICE (V.O.)
                      This is the woman who's watched
                      ten men on hunger strike starve
                      themselves to death and never
                      flinched!

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      Despicable and cowardly -

                                    MALE VOICE (V.O.)
                      Cynical Falklands war -

                                    MINISTER (V.O.)
                      More homeowners, more
                      shareholders, more savings -

            The voices begin to blend into one another, white noise.


            INT. DOWNING STREET STUDY. 1990. EVENING

            MARGARET sips a whisky.

                                    MARGARET (V.O.)
                      I offer my resignation after
                      eleven and a half extraordinary
                      years -


            INT. CORRIDOR. DOWNING STREET. LONDON. 1990. DAY.

            MARGARET descends the stairs like an operatic heroine,
            her hand gripping the banister of the staircase. Below
            the Downing St staff waiting to say goodbye. Many are in
            tears.

                                    MARGARET
                      -proud to have left Britain in a
                      much better state than when we
                      took office.

            She passes the photographs of her predecessors and stops
            to receive a gift, opening it-

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      What's this then? A radio... How
                      useful.

            She moves down the receiving line of staff. The floor is
            carpeted with roses. Men's wet eyes. The door ahead. She
            is crying.

                                                                        91

            Finally reaching the door, MARGARET stands bracing
            herself. Denis's hand on her shoulder standing behind.

                                    DENIS
                      Steady, MT.

            MARGARET nods, bracing herself. A hand on the door
            handle. As it swings open-

            INT. BEDROOM. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. NIGHT

            MARGARET stands staring at herself in the mirror.

                                    DENIS (O.S.)
                      The greatest Prime Minister since
                      Churchill deposed by a bunch of
                      spineless pygmies!

                                    MARGARET VO
                      All those years of taking the
                      tough decisions, does any of it
                      matter now?

                                    DENIS
                      It's all been turned to mush!

                                    MARGARET
                      What?

            DENIS lies on the bed behind her with the newspaper.

                                    DENIS
                      By these fools! These lily-livered
                      pinkos!

                                    MARGARET
                      These inept placators.

                                    DENIS
                      Very good! These vacillators.

                                    MARGARET
                      Vacillators! Poll takers.

                                    DENIS
                      Popularity seekers.

                                    MARGARET
                      So busy taking the pulse of the
                      public!

                                    DENIS
                      Weak -

                                                                        92

                                    MARGARET
                      (pulling down a rack of Denis's
                      black oxford shoes onto the floor)
                      These...weak...weak...weak...wea..
                      .weak...Men!

            DENIS's clothes are all over the room and the main
            cupboard is open and empty apart from shoes. There are
            several bin liners already filled with clothes.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Don't they know if you take the
                      tough decisions, yes people will
                      hate you today but they'll thank
                      you for generations.

                                    DENIS
                      Or forget you entirely and chuck
                      you out with the rubbish!

            MARGARET turns away from this thought and opens a last
            big chest of drawers.

                                    MARGARET V/O
                           (seizing shirts and
                            jerseys and putting
                            them on the floor)
                      All I wanted was to make a
                      difference in the world.

                                    DENIS
                      And you did, love, you did.

            She sits at the end of her bed and opens a box she has
            found in Denis's cupboard. There is a programme from `The
            King and I' and a faded blue rosette from some long
            forgotten election campaign. A small flyer `Margaret
            Roberts. Conservative Candidate for Dartford' and some
            childrens cards "to the world's greatest Daddy love Mark
            and Carol."

                                    MARGARET V/O
                      All I wanted was for my children
                      to grow up well and be happy -
                      happier than I was certainly. And
                      I wanted you to be happy of
                      course. Were you happy, Denis?
                      Tell me the truth.

            There is no response. MARGARET is momentarily lost in the
            room.

            Then, seized by some compulsion, she begins to pull out
            the rest of his clothes, shoving them into black bags.

            As shirts and trousers go in, quick flashes of Denis -

                                                                        93

            His youthful face, smiling at her at the opera.

            Laughing on the beach in Cornwall.

            At the door of Number 10, smiling at her.

            Sharing her bed.

            MARGARET looks up. Denis's suitcase is on the bed. His
            coat and hat lying beside it. She folds his dressing gown
            - the one from the bathroom hook - tenderly and puts it
            on the top of the case.

                                      MARGARET
                      Denis? Denis?

            And there he is by her side.

                                    MARGARET V/O
                      Here's your bag. You're all
                      packed, sorted.

            She walks him to the bedroom door and gives him a gentle
            kiss. DENIS starts to walk away.

                                    MARGARET
                      (seeing he is walking away in his
                      socks)
                      Denis wait...Where are your shoes?
                      You can't go without shoes! Not
                      yet.

            DENIS straightens his hat.

                                      DENIS
                      Steady.

                                    MARGARET
                      Yes...Steady...

                                    DENIS
                      Steady the buffs -

                                    MARGARET
                      Steady...Steady the buffs...

            DENIS heading out.

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
 154d                 NO...Not yet...Denis. Wait...I              154d
                      said I don't want you to go yet.
            The endless corridor, MARGARET calling after DENIS-

                                                                        94

                                    MARGARET (CONT'D)
                      Denis...Please...No...Not...Don't.
                      ..NO...I don't...I don't want to
                      be on my own.
            DENIS turns back for a moment -

                                    DENIS
                      You're going to be fine on your
                      own, love.
                           (beat)
                      You always have been.
            MARGARET calling out as DENIS reaches the window at the
            very far end of the house and appears to disappear into
            the white light-
                                   MARGARET
                           (calling out)
                      Denis!!

            INT. BEDROOM. HOUSE. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT.DAWN
            From above we see MARGARET lying dead asleep on the bed
            on a pile of DENIS' clothes. The bed is surrounded by
            bulging black bin bags.

                                    CAROL OOV
                      Mummy-
            CAROL looming over Margaret, looking horrified.
                                    CAROL
                      My God, Mum. Are you alright?
                           (opening the
                            curtains)
                      Mummy you should have called for
                      help, silly old sausage. Have you
                      not even been in your bed
                      properly? You've done all this?
                                    MARGARET
                      Yes, all sorted. Finished.
            MARGARET looks around her.

                                    CAROL
                      Yes well don't worry about all
                      this. June and I will crack on
                      with it.
                                    MARGARET
                      I was just going to get dressed.

                                                                        95

                                    CAROL
                      ...Shall I call someone, see if
                      anyone can come over and do your
                      hair?
            MARGARET looks at her warmly.
                                    MARGARET
                      Oh. No, you do it.

            CAROL reacts, surprised but pleased.

            INT. KITCHEN. CHESTER SQUARE. LONDON. PRESENT. DAY.
            MARGARET sit finishing a cup of tea. Hears Carol's bustle
            in the downstairs hallway.

                                    CAROL OOV
                      Right, I'm off June.

                                    JUNE
                      OK. `Bye.
            She stands, picking up the cup.
            From behind-
                                    JUNE (O.S) (CONT'D)
                      Oh let me do that, Margaret.
            MARGARET's turns for a moment-
            It is JUNE. MARGARET shakes her head.
                                    MARGARET
                      No, dear, I'll do it.
                                    JUNE
                      Carol said you might go to the
                      House of Lords today?
                                    MARGARET
                      No no. I'm not going anywhere.

            The sound of hot water running. CHINK of a teacup-
            MARGARET stands, washing up a tea cup.
            The SQUEAK of her wet cloth, working on a stubborn tea
            stain, puncturing the silence.
            The sound of birdsong and children playing drifts from
            the street outside.

                                                                        96

            MARGARET sets the cup aside, turns and walks out of the
            room, and out of sight.

            THE END