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The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus Movie Script

Writer(s) : Terry McKeown, Charles Gilliam

Genres : Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery

Search IMDb : The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus


                        Written by

              Terry McKeown & Charles Gilliam

                                                   May 26th, 2007

    LONDON 2007.. NOW

1   EXT   NIGHT   URBAN TERRACE                                1

    A row of rundown terrace houses. Some are boarded up. Not all
    the street lights work. Those that do cast shadows of parked
    vehicles glistening in the rain.

    A front door opens and DON appears with rubbish which he puts
    in a bin. He hears something and looks up to see four big
    horses pulling a hulking great wagon down the middle of the
    street. The wagon is a gigantic windowless box. The horses
    are harnessed and there are reins but no sign of a driver.
    It's a very weird sight. DON, unable to take his eyes off
    this amazing apparition shouts back into the house from where
    light from a TV flickers.

              Carol!... Carol!

                           CAROL (V.O.)

              Come here! Quick!

                        CAROL (V.O.)
              What is it?


                        CAROL (V.O.)
              I'm trying to watch this! It's the
              last episode!

              Come here!!!

    CAROL appears in the doorway.

              What is it?

    But the wagon and horses have gone.

              It's gone!


1   CONTINUED:                                                  1

    CAROL, disgusted, swats him on the head with the flat of her
    hand and goes back inside.

2   EXT/INT   NIGHT    PARKED CAR IN STREET                       2

    A YOUNG COUPLE are snogging in the back of a parked car.
    Music is playing on the radio.

    They are interrupted by heavy vibrations and the terrifying
    sight of the huge looming horse-drawn box as it trundles

3   EXT   NIGHT     THE TOWN HALL CLOCK                           3

    The clock shows and strikes 2am.

4   EXT   NIGHT     A DINGY BACK STREET                           4

    The wagon has stopped. The back begins to open, top, bottom
    and sides, like a dark menacing flower unfolding its petals.

    Shadowy FIGURES manoeuvre the side panels and begin to raise
    the roof.

    While this is happening THE CAMERA tracks around to reveal a
    garishly lit club across the street.

    A group of DRUNKEN YOUTHS emerge from the club, staggering,
    laughing, shouting, drinking, breaking bottles, and throwing
    up. The LADS grope the GIRLS. Everyone's having "a great

    They see the wagon and stop, unsteadily, in their tracks.

                 What the...!

    We now see what they see. The wagon has been converted into a
    stage. We're looking at an old fashioned and very shabby
    travelling theatre. Electric footlights are powered by a
    clanking generator. The pediment above the stage carries the

    PERCY, a dwarf, dressed as a medieval demon and rigged out as
    a one-man band plays a fanfare introducing a young man
    (ANTON, 18-19 years old) who emerges from the back of the
    stage dressed as MERCURY, the messenger of the gods, with
    wings on his helmet and sandals.


4   CONTINUED:                                                4

                 Ladies and Gentlemen... Step up!
                 Step up!... I, Mercury, the
                 messenger of the gods, invite
                 you... tonight, for one night
                 only... at this very venue... to
                 enter the mind, the very great
                 mind, of Doctor Parnassus!

    PERCY does a roll on the drum as a curtain behind
    ANTON/MERCURY rises to reveal DOCTOR PARNASSUS - he appears
    to be an Indian holy man - long scraggly beard, chalk white
    make up, a large red circle on his bald head, a crown of
    yellow flowers, strings of beads, and partially covered in a
    loose-fitting swath of white cloth - apparently levitating
    several feet above the stage. (He's sitting on a glass
    plinth). DOCTOR PARNASSUS is seemingly in a trance. A bronze
    tripod containing burning incense stands beside him.

                           ANTON/MERCURY (CONT'D)
                 Doctor Parnassus... as old as
                 time... yes, ladies and gentlemen,
                 more than a thousand years old ...
                 he has the power to empower your
                 mind. A secret learned in the
                 mystic East. Let Doctor Parnassus
                 open your imagination. Let him
                 guide and transport you to worlds
                 and possibilities you never dreamt
                 of... If you dare. But... Beware...
                 there are dangers. You will have to
                 choose. Will your soul fly?... Or
                 will it be dashed on the rocks of
                 darkness? The choice is yours and
                 yours alone. Transcend the heights
                 on Beauty's wing.

    A young woman, VALENTINA,(wearing a wig of long blonde hair
    and a white, flowing costume which gives her prominent hips
    and breasts) stands facing an elaborately framed full-length
    mirror nestled upstage amongst cut-out trees representing a
    forest... This is `Beauty'. She turns and steps forward.

    ANTON takes her hand. They make a couple of dance steps
    together. They look enchanting and enchanted.

                           ANTON/MERCURY (CONT'D)
                     (to the audience)
                 Or, if you must...

    Now PERCY, in demon costume, leaps from behind the scenery .


4   CONTINUED: (2)                                             4

                        ANTON/MERCURY (CONT'D)
              ... scour the squalid depths with
              Putrid's brother, Stench!

    PERCY indicates a ticket dispenser attached to the front of
    the stage.

              Take a ticket and join the queue!
              Only five quid a go! There's no
              greater bargain on planet earth!

    A beer bottle lands on the stage

    The DRUNKEN YOUTHS cheer.

              You choose... Fulfilment, grace and
              light or... Waste, filth and
                  (under his breath,
                   watching the drunk,
                   MARTIN, with contempt)
              No prizes for guessing what you'll

    MARTIN has begun, with difficulty, to clamber onto the stage.

    His MATES laugh and shout encouragement.

                  (not in character.. he
              No. Sorry. That's n-not allowed.
              You have to t-take a t-ticket

    ANTON tries to prevent MARTIN from getting on stage. But
    MARTIN thumps ANTON and pulls him into the `audience'.

    MARTIN'S drunken MATES laugh and applaud.

    MARTIN is now on stage and heading for DOCTOR PARNASSUS who
    is still in a trance.

    PERCY tries to head him off but MARTIN shoves PERCY off the
    stage. PERCY lands on the ground with a crash.

    More laughter from the MOB.


4   CONTINUED: (3)                                               4

                  (drunkenly to PARNASSUS)
              Hey you...I wanna audition. I
              wan... I wanna be a star... I

    MARTIN is on the verge of tweaking DOCTOR PARNASSUS' nose or
    pulling his beard when VALENTINA diverts him.

              Stop! Get off the stage!

    MARTIN turns his bleary focus to VALENTINA.

              Thas a nice pair of jugs.

    MARTIN'S mates roar their approval.

              Get off the stage!

              No. I wan you... I wan you...

    MARTIN lunges at `Beauty' who retreats up stage.

    MARTIN blunders into the scenery as he pursues `Beauty' who
    stays just out of reach. She takes cover behind a cut-out

    ANTON and PERCY climb back onto the stage as MARTIN continues
    to chase `Beauty'. VALENTINA evades him by ducking through
    the mirror (made of flexible reflective material slit down
    the middle). MARTIN crashes after her.

    ANTON and PERCY exchange worried looks. They look at DOCTOR
    PARNASSUS. Should they wake him from his trance? They decide
    not to but it's a difficult decision.

5   INT/EXT   MAGICAL FOREST                                      5

    The stage set, which was clearly only a few feet deep, now
    seems much deeper and to contain many more cut-out trees.

    `Beauty' weaves in and out of the 2 dimensional trees as
    MARTIN chases her further into the increasingly magical
    forest. Beauty's costume has been transformed into something
    wonderful. (A rainbow studded with diamonds?)

    VALENTINA comes into view. MARTIN is in hot pursuit.


5   CONTINUED:                                                   5

                 Come here you little sexpot!

    VALENTINA stops, turns, smiles sweetly and slams her fist
    hard into MARTIN'S gut. He doubles up. VALENTINA pauses for a
    moment, contemplating doing some serious damage, before
    striding off.

    MARTIN staggers to his feet.

                           MARTIN (CONT'D)
                 Come back! You bitch!

    He rushes after her but, trips on a root (a real 3
    dimensional tree root) and pitches face first to the ground.
    Recovering, he looks up. Shock. He is surrounded by a dark,
    terrible, and very REAL forest. `Beauty' has vanished.

6   EXT   THE STAGE     NIGHT                                     6

    VALENTINA, `Beauty', slips back on stage through the mirror.
    Her costume has reverted to its original state. She examines
    her knuckles on the hand with which she punched Martin.

    ANTON looks at her. She shrugs. DR. PARNASSUS is still in a
    trance, his lips moving soundlessly. ANTON watches DOCTOR
    PARNASSUS in awe. `Beauty' sighs. She's had enough.

7   INT/EXT   MAGICAL FOREST                                      7

    MARTIN is lost and terrified in the dark forest.


    His voice echoes through the giant trees. But his cries are
    interrupted by another sound...a Tarzan-like howl.

    MARTIN spins around. Strange creatures are swinging on vines
    through the giant trees. They are all around him. They look
    like HANDS... with little heads and arms where the wrists
    should be. They are all howling and jabbering.

    From behind, a HAND CREATURE swings down and grabs MARTIN by
    the collar, hoisting him high into the air.

    Clearing the trees, MARTIN sees he is not alone. There are
    many other people - all in the clutches of HAND CREATURES
    swinging on "vines".


7   CONTINUED:                                                     7

    But, the "vines" are actually long, slim tentacles...
    dangling from enormous, luridly coloured JELLYFISH that float
    through the dark, frightening, sky.

    From some of the tentacles, bottles of booze dangle - just
    out of reach of the struggling crowd - all desperate for a

                           MARTIN (CONT'D)
                 Please... I'll never...! Never
                 again!. Honest!... From now on... I
                 swear!.. Not a drop!

    With a smile of satisfaction, the HAND CREATURE stops
    jabbering and let's go of MARTIN'S collar.

    Down he plummets. The ground rushes up. MATRTIN is as good
    as dead. But when he hits the ground, rather than going
    SPLAT!!, he bounces high in the air, turns a couple
    somersaults and lands on his feet.

    He can't believe what has just happened... and then he hears
    music. Beautiful, ethereal music.

    In the distance a light is glowing. It's the sun, rising
    above a majestic mountain pass. Cut into the rock, is a long
    stairway winding up to the summit.

    The HAND CREATURE swings down, gives MARTIN the "thumbs up",
    and points encouragingly toward the stairway.

    Reformed and determined, MARTIN heads for the      stairs. But on
    reaching them he discovers that each one is 6      feet high. The
    stairway is ridiculously steep and difficult.      Letters are
    carved into the first stair..."THE 12X12 STEP      PROGRAM...GOOD
    LUCK". This is going to be tough.

    The sound of a honky-tonk piano makes him turn. Behind him
    the sky is dark. A roadside bar/nightclub with flashing neon
    lights has appeared. He hesitates. He could use a drink
    before the long climb. He heads for the club.

    The door to the club is opened by a mechanical fairground
    figure of a jolly smiling man (MR NICK) distinguished by a
    bowler hat and a red waistcoat.

                           MR NICK
                 Hi there. C'mon in. Looks like you
                 could use a drink.


7   CONTINUED: (2)                                               7

    MARTIN, relieved and reassured by the welcome, steps inside.
    The door closes followed by the sound from within of much
    gaiety and laughter.

    THE CAMERA pulls back as the nightclub suddenly EXPLODES IN A

8   EXT   DINGY BACK STREET                                       8

    The sound of police sirens. We are back outside in front of
    the theatre.

    DR. PARNASSUS rises unsteadily, coming out of his arduous
    trance.... `Beauty" moves to support him as, exhausted, he
    loses his balance and snaps out of his trance.

                        DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  (holding his head)

              He was chasing me.

                        DOCTOR PARNASSUS
              You don't go through the mirror.

              I had to get away.

                        DOCTOR PARNASSUS
              You hit him.

              Self defence.

                        DOCTOR PARNASSUS
              You're out of control. Ever since
              your mother died...

              When I was three!

                        DOCTOR PARNASSUS
              I don't want to talk about it!

              You brought it up!


8   CONTINUED:                                                 8


                           DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                 We don't accept drunks!

                 We c-couldn't stop him.

                           DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                 People must be in their right minds
                 when they make the choice.

                 I know. I'm s-sorry.

                              DRUNKEN GIRL (V.O.)

    The POLICE are dealing with a drunken mob of nightclub
    REVELLERS, making arrests.

    A distraught, hysterical, DRUNKEN GIRL is looking for MARTIN.

                           DRUNKEN GIRL (CONT'D)
                 Martin!... Martin!...

    She sees `Beauty'.

                           DRUNKEN GIRL (CONT'D)
                 He went with that cow! I'll scratch
                 her eyes out!

    A POLICEWOMAN grabs the DRUNKEN GIRL and drags her,
    struggling, into police van.

    MARTIN'S FRIENDS are searching for him around the stage.

                           FRIEND OF MARTIN
                 Marty!? Marty, where are you?
                     (a POLICEMAN grabs him))
                 Oi! Leave's them..they've
                 got our mate back there.

                     (to PARNASSUS)
                 You! Gunga Din! What do you think
                 you're playing at!?

                           DR. PARNASSUS
                 `Playing'? We don't `play'! What we
                 do is deadly serious!


8    CONTINUED: (2)                                             8

     DR. PARNASSUS pushes aside the mirror to reveal a door in the
     back wall of the shallow stage. It is swinging open.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               Gone. Will we miss him? I don't
               think so.

     The POLICEMAN looks and frowns.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
                   (to the POLICEMAN
               Don't worry if you don't understand
               it immediately.

     PERCY, wisely, decides to head off conflict. He steers DOCTOR
     PARNASSUS away from the POLICEMAN.

                   (to POLICEMAN)
               He's doing his bit to save the
               human race. He thinks it's got a
               future. Quaint, eh? I keep telling
               him to get a proper job.
                   (shaking his empty
                    collection cup)
               Check it out.. another night with
               nothing in the kitty.

               I want you freaks out of here. Now.
               If I ever see you in this parish
               again I'll do you.

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS bows exaggeratedly, with a hint of mockery.

     The POLICE OFFICER suspects that DOCTOR PARNASSUS is taking
     the piss, but decides not to press it. Instead, he knees
     MARTIN'S struggling friend to the ground.

9    EXT   BACK STREETS DAWN                                       9

     The sky is grey with the first light of dawn. The wagon rolls
     off down the dark street as a dustcart rumbles into view and
     its CREW begin emptying bins and picking up rubbish.

10   EXT   A HOLIDAY FAIR   NIGHT                               10

     Shooting galleries. Music. Loud aggressive rides. PEOPLE
     milling around.


10   CONTINUED:                                                  10

     The wagon is parked at the edge of the fair. The stage is
     set. ANTON dressed as Mercury is trying to attract an
     audience, without much success.

                  Step up! Step up! For one night
                  only! The Imaginarium of Dr.
                  Parnassus! Not to be missed!

     On stage is DOCTOR PARNASSUS, `levitating' and in a trance,
     as before. Incense smoke swirls around him.

                            ANTON (CONT'D)
                  Test your imagination! Envisage the
                  sublime. Let Doctor Parnassus be
                  your guide. Discover the heights of

     VALENTINA dances forward, looking fabulous as `Wisdom'.

                            ANTON (CONT'D)
                  ... Or, if you will, visit the
                  doldrums with all that's vile and

     PERCY steps forward, once again in his mediaeval demon

                      (indicating ticket
                  Take a ticket and wait your turn.
                  Twenty quid a go, reduced to five
                  for one night only!

                  The world is full of wonders,
                  beauty, enchantment, for those with
                  eyes to see...

     He magically produces a bouquet of flowers. Throws it into
     the air.. it transforms into beautiful doves.

     This impressive trick is totally ignored by a group loudly
     arguing just in front of the stage - THE FAMILY FROM HELL.

                      (aged 7)
                  Mum... Mum... I want to go on the
                  wall of death?


10   CONTINUED: (2)                                           10

               Stop going on, Linda! You're not
               old enough!

               They won't let you, darling.

               But I want to!!! I want to!!!


     DR. PARNASSUS stirs from his trance. He's had enough of this.

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Excuse me! Excuse me! Would you

               It's not fair.

                         UNCLE BOB
               It's the fair, but it's not fair!

     UNCLE BOB laughs uproariously. LINDA pushes him into AUNTY

                         AUNTY FLO
               Ow! Bloody hell!

     Diego - aged 9 and absorbed in his portable video game
     wanders away from the family.

               WARNING YOU!

               Leave her alone!

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Please! This is The Imaginarium! It
               requires respect, concentration...
               Kindly go elsewhere and take your
               detritus with you?

               Is he insulting us?


10   CONTINUED: (3)                                              10

                      (to the DR. PARNASSUS,

     PARNASSUS ignores him and resumes his trance.

     Unnoticed by all, DIEGO has somehow managed to climb onto the
     stage and is peering at the mirror.

                   (looking around)
               Diego!? Where's Diego?


     VALENTINA turns her head just in time to see DIEGO vanish
     through the mirror.

     She starts to go after him, then hesitates.

                   (trying to get ANTON'S

     ANTON looks across the stage to her. She mimes that a certain
     someone has gone into the mirror. ANTON considers waking
     DOCTOR PARNASSUS but thinks better of it. Instead he heads
     off upstage and through the mirror in pursuit of Diego.
     VALENTINA takes over the pitch.

                         VALENTINA (CONT'D)
               Ladies and Gentlemen, let Dr.
               Parnassus be your guide...

11   INT/EXT   MAGICAL LANDSCAPE                                 11

     ANTON moves through the cut -out trees and into a fantastic,
     brightly coloured landscape of Dr. Seuss-like hills and
     valleys. The sky if full of cloud-sized soap bubbles.

     Diego is in the distant using his game controller to make the
     bubbles bang into each other...trying to burst them.

     We can hear VALENTINA trying to continue the pitch in the
     face of the family from hell. Their baby has now started

     Cracks in the ground begin to appear under ANTON"S feet.


11   CONTINUED:                                                   11

                            VALENTINA (V.O.)
                  Beauty, Truth, Wisdom, Justice...
                  without imagination all are dead.

                             MUM (V.O.)

                             DAD (V.O.)

                             LINDA (V.O.)

                            DR. PARNASSUS (V.O.)
                  OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! SHUT UP!

     The landscape, in response to DR. PARNASSUS' rage suddenly
     rips apart, fragmenting and spinning with ANTON inside it.

                            DR. PARNASSUS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                  AAAHHHH!!! DAMN AND BLAST!!!

     Things fly in all directions.

12   INT/EXT   MAGICAL LANDSCAPE                                   12

     ANTON, recovering, struggles out from between giant blocks of
     stone. The world has gone dark.

     He hears DIEGO crying somewhere in the distance and starts to
     clamber over the shattered monoliths..

     Reaching the top, ANTON sees DIEGO on the peak of a distant
     rocky pinnacle surrounded by bottomless chasms. There are
     what appear to be two suspension bridges spanning the void on
     either side of the pinnacle.

     CUT TO DIEGO who is in a state of confusion and terror. Is he
     lost inside a video game he can't control? He presses the
     buttons on his gaming device - to no avail.

     One of the bridges leads to a bluff where war games are under
     way... all very video-game-like. Thrilling aggressive music
     blares forth.

     MR NICK appears, still in red waist-coat and bowler hat, but
     this time in the form of a CUT-OUT shooting target with a
     bull's-eye on his chest.


12   CONTINUED:                                                12

                            MR NICK
                  Come on laddy, cross the bridge!
                  Join up! Be a man. Kill the enemy.
                  Impress your dad. Unlimited ammo.
                  Great fun. Pow! Pow! Pow!

     As he speaks bullets fly. Each time MR.NICK gets shot and is
     knocked flat, he pops back up continuing his spiel.

     The other bridge appears to be made of black and white piano
     keys and looks very rickety and unsafe. The piano key bridge
     descends into a great cavern where hundreds of BOY AND GIRL
     PIANISTS are practising on hundreds of pianos, all playing
     the same tune - the tune DR. PARNASSUS is humming, but with
     stern, demanding, PIANO TEACHERS in attendance.

                            PIANO TEACHERS
                  No, no, start again! Again! From
                  the top! Again! Practice! Practice!

     DIEGO doesn't know what to do.

     Behind him rises a strange Mongolfier balloon. DR.
     PARNASSUS's face is repeated again and again around its
     circumference. ANTON'S in the basket.

     DIEGO catches sight of ANTON.

                      (indicating gaming device)
                  It doesn't work! It's broken!


                  The game!

                  What g-g-game?

                  The game! The video game! The one
                  we're in!

                  I d-d-don't know what you're t-t-
                  talking about.

                  Help me!


12   CONTINUED: (2)                                           12

                   (miserable )
               I c-can't.


               I'm n-not supposed to be here.

               What am I going to do?

               That's the p-point. It's up to you.

               But... Don't leave me! Don't let me

     But ANTON has gone.

     DIEGO, terrified, tests the bridge to the war games.

                         MR NICK
               Attaboy, sonny. Join the men.
               Nothing to it. Hup two, hup two...

     He hesitates...the music from the pianos seems to have an
     effect on him. He comes to a decision. He drops his gaming
     device then very hesitantly steps onto the extremely wobbly
     piano keys.

     The CUT-OUT shooting target MR NICK isn't happy.

                         MR NICK (CONT'D)
               No, wait! That's the wrong choice!
               That bridge leads to failure and
               despair. You'll be dead before
               you're thirty. This is the one.
               This is the bridge to manhood!

     DIEGO looks uncertain, unnerved. For a moment we think he
     might change his mind, but he presses bravely on across the
     piano bridge.


13   EXT   A HOLIDAY FAIR   NIGHT                              13

     At last, finally, there's a bit of a crowd around the
     theatre, but drawn only by the FAMILY FROM HELL who are
     making a lot of noise.

               He's been kidnapped! They've taken
               him! It's that weirdo up there! Do
               something, Dad, do something!

               I want my brother! I want my little

     On stage DR. PARNASSUS, continues to hum in his trance-like
     state. INSPECTOR OF FAIRS rattles on.

               You cannot perform here without
               appropriate authorization.

     Getting no response from DR. PARNASSUS he pulls out his
     mobile phone and dials.

                         INSPECTOR (CONT'D)
                   (with phone to ear)
               It's me. I need some support. We've
               got trouble.

     ANTON steps out of the mirror. He produces an inflated
     balloon which he releases and which then flies, zig-zagging
     out over the audience.

     DR. PARNASSUS, wakes in time to see the balloon.

                         DR. PARNASSUS
                   (delighted with Anton's
               Ha,ha! Success! One little devil
               out of the fire... makes it all

     He magically produces a Tarot Card from the startled
     INSPECTOR'S ear.

               Where did you say you're from?


13   CONTINUED:                                               13

                              DR. PARNASSUS
                  I didn't.

     He lifts his arm with a flourish whereupon a gloriously
     painted canvas sky unrolls from the top of the set disgorging
     DIEGO as it reaches the stage.

                              DR. PARNASSUS (CONT'D)

     DIEGO rolls out, tumbles across the stage and lands next to
     the rest of his FAMILY. He's beaming, laughing, full of
     wonder, transformed by his experience.

                  Diego! Where have you been? I've
                  been worried sick!

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                      (descending from his glass
                  And so... a glimmer of hope...
                  Perhaps eternity has not been in

     DAD smacks DIEGO round the back of the head.

                  And you can wipe that silly
                  expression off your face, you
                  little poof.

                  You're in big trouble! You're in
                  big trouble!

                            UNCLE BOB
                  You've upset your mum.

                            AUNTY FLO
                  He's spoilt our evening.

                  And where's your gamer? He's lost
                  his bloody gamer! Another fifty
                  quid down the drain. You're not
                  getting another one! Bloody kids!
                  Why do we bother?

     THE FAMILY FROM HELL moves off.


13   CONTINUED: (2)                                              13

     DIEGO, full of wonder and oblivious to his family, looks back
     at PARNASSUS and gives the old man the thumbs-up.

     PARNASSUS smiles and raises his thumb in response.

     The INSPECTOR OF FAIRS is joined by a POLICEMAN and

               What's the trouble?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Ah, the fuzz.

               What did you say?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy
               had no hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't
               fuzzy wuzzy?

     The POLICE and the INSPECTOR exchange dark looks. Clearly
     they're dealing with a dangerous trouble-maker.

                   (to Parnassus)
               Next time I find you doing business
               without a permit I'll impound your

                   (to Parnassus)
               I'll be doing worse than
     , bugger off!

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               With pleasure.

     He bows mock graciously.


     Valentina, half-undressed, is struggling out of her `Wisdom'
     costume while at the same time looking at pictures of
     beautiful homes and gardens in a very battered copy of `Homes
     and Gardens'. Without make-up and costume she appears much


14   CONTINUED:                                                  14

     A movement of something reflected in the dressing-room mirror
     catches her eye.

     In the mirror we see MR NICK, not a CUT-OUT, but the real

                        (startled, guiltily hiding
                         `Homes and Gardens')

     She turns, holding her dress to cover her modesty. There's
     nobody there.

                            VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                  Who's that? Who's there?

15   EXT   EDGE OF FAIR / THE WAGON       CONTINUOUS              15

     ANTON and PERCY are packing-up and closing the wagon.

     DR. PARNASSUS, out of his make-up and costume, is smiling and
     humming to himself as he removes the feed bag from one of the

     The horse lifts its head and DR PARNASSUS recoils in shock
     and horror. Standing directly behind the horse is MR. NICK...
     a huge grin splitting his face.

                            MR NICK
                  Hello Parnassus... It's been a
                  while hasn't it?

     PERCY, winding a rope onto a cleat, hears distant laughter
     and looks up.

     CUT TO PERCY'S P.O.V. where we see, some distance away and in
     a relatively secluded spot, MR NICK rocking with laughter
     while DOCTOR PARNASSUS looks stricken. He clutches at the
     back of a park bench to steady himself.

     CUT TO PERCY who looks thoughtful and worried. He heads off
     to help DOCTOR PARNASSUS as the latter slumps onto the bench.
     MR NICK has vanished.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  He's come to collect.

                  I thought so.


15   CONTINUED:                                               15

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  What can I do?...


                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  There must be something!

     He looks over to where VALENTINA is helping close the
     theatre. PERCY follows his gaze.

                  You're going to have to tell her.

16   EXT   CITY STREETS      LATER                             16

     The wagon makes its way through city streets.

     PERCY is sitting on the roof driving. ANTON is lying on the
     roof looking up at the stars. VALENTINA is sitting next to
     him lost in thought.

                  Look at that moon.
                      (no response from
                  I've n-never seen it so b-big. And
                  the stars...It's so c-clear.

     PERCY holds his hand out, palm up.


                      (sotto voce)

                  Val... Val.

                  I c-c-can't call you Val, P-
                  Parnassus d-doesn't like it.


16   CONTINUED:                                                 16

                  He's not here is he? He's inside
                  getting pissed.

                  Are you happy?


     ANTON produces an old beaten-up copy of `Beautiful Homes' and
     starts thumbing through it.

                            VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                  Hey! That's mine!

     She tries to snatch it from him.    He flutters it out of her

                            VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                  Give it me!

     She wrests it from him and hides it just as PERCY looks back
     at them.

                      (sotto voce)
                  Would you really be happy in one of
                  those p-places?... N-not me.
                  Well... m-maybe....with you.
                      (suddenly urgent)
                  Let's run away. Make a new life
                  together. I'll retrain. Computers.
                  Stocks and bonds. We could be
                  happy. Just the two of us.

                      (sotto voce)


                  Shut up.

                  Why d-do you always have to p-
                  pretend to be so b-brutal?


16   CONTINUED: (2)                                        16

               I'm not pretending.
               Anyway... I'm under age.


                   (knowingly, teasing)
               I shall be twelve on Wednesday.

               Don't be ridiculous.

               Percy? How old will I be on


               See? Parnassus says so too. Are you
               saying he's ridiculous?


               Yes you are. I'll tell him.

               He knows I worship him....

               He takes advantage.

               I don't mind. He's extraordinary...
               Like you.


               You are.


16   CONTINUED: (3)                                              16

                Parnassus is a pain. Okay he's
                extraordinary but I'm not. I don't
                want to be like him. I want to be
                like other people. Like them.
                (gesturing to the passing city)
                You know... normal. Ordinary.
                You're so lucky.

     ANTON isn't sure how to take this.

                          VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                    (half apologetically)
                You know what I mean.

     She gets up, kisses ANTON on the top of his head and climbs
     down into the hatch.

     Anton looks thoughtful, bruised.

     PERCY glances back.

                          VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                    (popping her head back up)
                Actually, I'm going to be sixteen.
                Shall I tell Parnassus I know? I
                think he knows I know. Silly man.
                Sweet sixteen.

     She disappears down the hatch, then quickly pops back up.

                          VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                The age of consent.

17   INT   DOCTOR PARNASSUS' DEN   THAT MOMENT                    17

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS' cabin is tiny. It's packed with books and
     memorabilia; Egyptian/Assyrian/Greek/etc., magic trick
     paraphernalia, and much else.

     A hanging lantern suspended from the ceiling throws moving

     DR. PARNASSUS is slumped despondently on a cramped bed. A
     plate of untouched food sits on a table in front of him.

     He has laid out tarot cards. To the right - The Magus.. to
     the left - The Devil. The next card is The Maiden. He places
     it carefully beneath The Magus.


17   CONTINUED:                                                17

     He picks up an open bottle of spirits and takes a swig.
     Clearly he's already had a few drinks.

                            VALENTINA O/S
                      (cross with him)
                  You haven't eaten anything.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS

     She comes in.

                  I go to all this trouble and you
                  leave it.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  I'm not hungry.

                  Are you ill?

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  Valentina... my miraculous child..
                  I have something to tell you.

                  Now what?

     She starts tidying up.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                      (avoiding the question)
                  I should never have brought you
                  into this rotten bloody world!

                      (she's heard this before)
                  Oh for God's sake!

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  What was I thinking of!

                  Percy liked the soup.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  Why does everybody want to live


17   CONTINUED: (2)                                             17

               That's normal isn't it?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Immortality's a curse! Any fool can
               tell you that!

     Valentina picks up Parnassus' nearly empty bottle.

               You know it doesn't agree with you.

                         DR. PARNASSUS
                   (in difficulty)

                   (losing patience)
               And I'll be sixteen on Thursday, so
               let's not have any more tosh about

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Listen to me!

               You think you're so clever and that
               everybody else is an idiot! You
               can't stop me growing up just by
               lying about my birthday! It's

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Shut up! Shut up and listen to me!
               Listen to me! I need to tell you
               something, before it's too late!

     DR PARNASSUS reaches up and plucks a glass paperweight out of
     the air. It's that kind that contains little models which are
     engulfed in a snow storm when the paperweight is shaken.

     DR. PARNASSUS shakes the paper-weight and watches the `snow'
     swirl about.

                         DR. PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
               One dark winter's night... Many
               years ago...?

               Is this going to take long?


17   CONTINUED: (3)                                            17

                         DR. PARNASSUS

     THE CAMERA closes in on and `enters' the paperweight.

                         DR. PARNASSUS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               Many centuries ago, as a matter of

18   EXT   INSIDE THE PAPERWEIGHT    NIGHT                        18

     A HOODED RIDER moves slowly through the snowstorm, the horse
     picking its way carefully across a field of virgin snow.

                         DR. PARNASSUS (V.O.)
               ... I was visited... by someone I
               had hoped never to meet.

     In the distance, rising like a dark mountain, is a strange
     monastery. Dim light comes from a couple of windows.

     We can hear, from far away, the indistinct droning voice of
     the story teller, a younger DR. PARNASSUS.

     THE CAMERA moves up over and way ahead of the HOODED RIDER,
     continuing through the snowstorm, over fields, forests,
     valleys, rocks, until it reaches the monastery, high on a
     rugged hill. Here it enters one of the dimly lit monastery
     windows, taking us into a dining hall.

19   INT   MONASTERY DINING HALL    NIGHT                         19

     Entering via a window and looking down into the monastery
     dining hall, we see DOZENS OF MONKS sitting at a long
     refectory table. They are eating their supper and listening
     to a young DR. PARNASSUS who is sitting on a dais at the far
     end of the hall, his eyes closed, in a trance, telling a

     A log fire burns in a big fireplace.

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               ... Having captured the wind and
               tamed the storm ... the Chief
               Steward, laying down to take his
               rest, had a disturbing dream... He
               dreamt that a hooded rider was
               approaching across the snow-swept


19   CONTINUED:                                                  19
                            DR. PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
                  A rider who would challenge the
                  very foundations of the world...

     The door to the refectory swings open with a crash.

     The MONKS look up.

     Standing on the thresh-hold is the hooded figure, covered
     with snow.

     He throws off his hood.    It's MR NICK.

                            DR. PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
                  ... The Steward woke and remembered
                  his dream. What manner of man had
                  he dreamt of, and what did it

20   INT   MONASTERY DINING HALL        LATER                    20

     DR. PARNASSUS and MR NICK are sitting at the fire.

     Behind them, in the hall, MONKS come and go.

     On the dais, a MONK continues with the story. This monk is a
     younger PERCY.

                  ... And as the waters rose... the
                  people's need for stories grew.
                  Stories that would feed a great
                  hunger. A hunger for more than just

     PERCY continues telling the story in the background.

                            MR NICK
                  What exactly do you do here?

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  We tell the eternal story.

                            MR NICK
                  Oh.... What's that?

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  The story that sustains the
                  universe. The story without which
                  there is nothing.


20   CONTINUED:                                               20

                            MR NICK
                  Nothing? Really. Are you telling me
                  that if you stop telling a story...
                      (waving in the direction
                       of Percy)
                  This story... something you made
                  up, a fiction... that the universe
                  ceases to exist?

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  You make it sound so simple.

                            MR NICK
                  And you believe it?

     DR. PARNASSUS smiles.

                            MR NICK (CONT'D)
                  Incredible. It's just incredible to
                  me that you can believe something
                  that can be so easily disproved.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  I don't think so.

     MR NICK turns and throws a spell at PERCY who goes rigid like
     a statue - struck dumb. The story stops.

                              DR. PARNASSUS (CONT'D)

     Another MONK, sitting at the table, immediately continues the

                            SUBSTITUTE MONK
                  ..having been brought to the limit
                  of his endurance...

     MR NICK freezes him too, stopping him from speaking.

     A third monk continues.

                            THIRD MONK
                  ...yet the forces of evil could not
                  prevail, and...

     MR.NICK renders him silent.

                              DR. PARNASSUS


20   CONTINUED: (2)                                             20

     MR NICK zaps DR. PARNASSUS and all the other MONKS. All
     still. None of them can speak.

                          MR NICK
               There you are. You see. The story's
               stopped. No more story... And yet,
               we're still here, the fire's still

     He pushes open a window.

                         MR NICK (CONT'D)
               It's still snowing. The wind's
               still blowing. Nothing's changed.

     DR. PARNASSUS and the MONKS, still struck dumb, look

                         MR NICK (CONT'D)
               Cheer up... I've freed you from
               this ridiculous nonsense.

     MR NICK undoes the spell.

     The MONKS moan. DR. PARNASSUS slumps down in despair.

     MR NICK smiles and lights a cigarette. He's enjoying this.

                         MR NICK (CONT'D)
               Now you can use your powers to do
               something else. Have fun, travel,
               learn a foreign language...

     Splat! A gob of bird shit lands on MR. NICK'S head. An eagle
     circles overhead. It swoops across the hall and exits through
     a window.

     DR. PARNASSUS leaps up, laughing, amazed, revived.

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               A sign! A message! That bird was a
               messenger... from distant places we
               know not of!
               Other places! The point is, you're
               wrong! And I'm wrong! It doesn't
               have to be us here!
                   (indicating monks)
               Somewhere in the world, at any
               given time... someone is telling a
               story! Sustaining the universe!
               Right now, it's happening.


20   CONTINUED: (3)                                            20
                         DR. PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
               That's why we're still here. You
               can't stop stories being told
               somewhere! You can't be everywhere!

     MR NICK is furious.

                         MR NICK
               A weak hypothesis!

                            DR. PARNASSUS

     MR NICK stubs out his cigarette.

                         MR NICK
               I tell you what... You're probably
               not a betting man but...

     MR NICK whispers into the DR. PARNASSUS's ear.

                         DR. PARNASSUS (V.O.)
               And so I made a wager with the

21   EXT   ON THE ROAD (MIDDLE AGES)    DAY/NIGHT               21

     DR. PARNASSUS and PERCY are travelling the world with a
     little theatre. Giving performances. Inviting AUDIENCE
     MEMBERS onto the stage to participate.

                         DR. PARNASSUS (V.O.)
               Whichever of us won ten converts
               first, would win the bet... My
               argument was the importance of the
               story, the power of the
               imagination... His, the power of
               material things, the supremacy of
               stuff... Naturally... I won.

     CUT TO another performance. Now the 16TH CENTURY.

                         DR. PARNASSUS (V.O. (CONT'D)
               My prize...
                   (a voice filled with
               ... was ever-lasting life.

     Another the 18TH CENTURY


21   CONTINUED:                                                   21

                            DR. PARNASSUS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                  Everlasting torment...
                  Everlasting... Everlasting... Times
                  changed. No one wanted our tales
                  any longer.

22   EXT.   MODERN CITY STREET     DAY                             22

     DR. PARNASSUS and PERCY are performing on a street corner in
     modern clothes. As are all the PASSERSBY who pay them no

     They look exhausted, like beggars...and very old.

                            DR. PARNASSUS (V.O.)
                  It seemed as though the Devil,
                  after all... had triumphed... And
                  then... one day....

     A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN (played by the same actress as Valentina,
     but older with different coloured hair) comes into view.

                            DR. PARNASSUS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                  From the very first moment I saw
                  her, I was head-over-heels in love.
                  She was beautiful, enchanting,
                  delightful, young... But I... I was
                  several thousand years old! How
                  could I woo her? What could I do?

23   EXT.   CLIFF TOP    EVENING                                   23

     CUT TO a desolate cliff top where PERCY is struggling with DR
     PARNASSUS, trying to prevent him from throwing himself off
     the cliff.

                  Don't be a fool! You can't die!
                  You're immortal! You'll just end up
                  broken, in the eternity ward, and
                  I'll be stuck looking after you!

     DR. PARNASSUS breaks free, stumbles backwards, and pitches
     out into space. PERCY screams.

                            DR. PARNASSUS V.O.
                  At times like these... the devil is
                  never far away.


23   CONTINUED:                                               23

     DR. PARNASSUS is hanging by his coat, snagged on a branch
     angled out from the cliff face and held, like a fishing rod,
     by MR NICK who has a great grin on his face.

24   EXT.   RIVER      DAY                                     24

     CUT TO a much younger DR. PARNASSUS and the BEAUTIFUL WOMAN
     in a row boat, picnicking, as they float down a river. They
     are in love, very happy to be together.

     PERCY, wearing a blazer, flannels and straw boater is rowing
     or punting.

                            DR. PARNASSUS (V.O.)
                  The devil granted me mortality
                  again...and youth and great powers.
                  I won my bride. I was in love. But
                  at what price...

     The boat bumps into a submerged log. DR. PARNASSUS tries to
     push free. Several cigarette butts float past. Looking up,
     DR. PARNASSUS sees a man sitting on the riverbank, fishing,
     smoking a cigarette. It's MR NICK .

     There is a loud and ominous clap of thunder.

25   INT.   PARNASSUS' DEN        NIGHT                        25

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
         what price....

     DR. PARNASSUS looks haggard. He closes his eyes. He sways and
     drops the paper-weight.


     At that moment the wagon lurches to a stop and we hear
     frantic banging on the roof.

     DR PARNASSUS is glad of the excuse not to go on.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  We've stopped.

                  What do you mean `at what price'?


25   CONTINUED:                                                    25

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                      (turning back to his Tarot
                  It'll wait, it'll wait. Another
                  time. Something's happened. You'd
                  better go and see.

                  Typical! You insist I listen to a
                  story and then you don't finish it!

     More banging from above.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  Go and see!

     VALENTINA turns and goes.

     PARNASSUS looks miserable but, almost relieved.    He turns
     over the next card.

     It's The Hanged Man. It depicts a body hanging from a gibbet
     surrounded by several arcane objects.

     PARNASSUS studies the card, trying to wring some meaning from
     it - then lays The Hanged Man in the space between the
     others. He takes a swig from the bottle.

26   EXT   WAGON ON BLACK FRIARS' BRIDGE     NIGHT                 26

     The wagon has stopped in the middle of Blackfriar's bridge.
     It's pouring with rain.

     VALENTINA, wearing some sort of covering against the rain,
     climbs out of the hatch and onto the roof of the wagon.

     Here she finds ANTON pointing excitedly down into the Thames.

                  Incredible! I saw somebody d-
                  dancing in the air.. under the b-

     VALENTINA looks doubtfully at PERCY who peers morosely out
     from under his sou-wester and shakes his head.

                             ANTON (CONT'D)
                  It's true! There was a sh-shadow on
                  the water, when the lightning


26   CONTINUED:                                                26

     Lightning flashes again.

     We see what ANTON and VALENTINA see. A shadow, on the water,
     of someone `dancing', hung by his neck with a rope attached
     to the underside of the bridge.

                            ANTON (CONT'D)
                  You see! The d-dancer!

                  There's someone hanging there!

                      (smugly to Percy)
                  I t-told you!

                  A rope! Get a rope!


     ANTON is `absailing' over the side of the bridge. One end of
     a rope is tied around his waist, the other is attached to the
     bridge parapet. A lantern dangles from his waist.

     VALENTINA and PERCY watch ANTON'S perilous descent.

     Moments later there are two bodies hanging from the bridge,
     the mysterious HANGING MAN'S and ANTON'S.

     The MAN is hanging by a noose around his neck, still jerking
     in his dance of death. His hands are tied behind his back.

     ANTON can't reach the MAN.

                      (shouting up)
                  I c-can't reach him.

                  Try again!

                  Swing in!

                  Hurry up.


27   CONTINUED:                                               27

     ANTON shoots PERCY and VALENTINA a jaundiced look and with
     VALENTINA'S help on her end of the rope begins to swing back
     and forth.

     Eventually, with a big enough swing, he manages to hook his
     foot around the HANGING MAN who has gone limp. Dead.

     With extreme difficulty and great discomfort, ANTON pulls the
     MAN close to him, takes a knife from his pocket and cuts the
     MAN'S rope.

     ANTON and the MAN are now swinging back and forth together on
     ANTON'S rope which is threatening to cut ANTON in half.


                  You've done it! Brilliant!


                  Come on, don't hang about! We're
                  getting soaked up here!


     VALENTINA, ANTON and PERCY manhandle the MAN over the parapet
     and onto the pavement.

     DR. PARNASSUS has just stepped out onto the top of the wagon.
     Soaked. He's drunk and is swaying.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  Why are you fishing dead people out
                  of the river? He's dead. Leave him.
                  Let's go. Before the police turn

     He goes, unsteadily, back inside.

     VALENTINA and ANTON drag the MAN under the wagon, out of the

     The MAN is dressed in an expensive Saville Row suit. His
     jacket pockets are full of strange weights and arcane symbols
     have been scrawled on his forehead. He's about 30 years old
     and very handsome.


28   CONTINUED:                                                      28

     The MAN appears to be dead but VALENTINA decides to try the
     kiss of life.

     ANTON is made uncomfortable seeing VALENTINA administer the
     kiss of life and he pulls her away.

                  No! That won't work. And anyway,
                  you d-don't know where he's b-been.
                  Let me...

     He brings both fists down hard on the centre of the MAN'S

     Boing! The `dead' MAN coughs, sits bolt upright, spits out a
     little metal tube and smashes his head on the underside of
     the wagon, knocking himself out.

     The little metal tube clatters over the asphalt.

                            ANTON (CONT'D)
                  He's alive!

                  Thank God.

                  Well, he was.

     ANTON picks up the little metal tube and examines it.

                  What on earth is this?


     VALENTINA, ANTON and PERCY drag the MAN from under the wagon
     and carry him to the rear.

                  Put him in the big trunk.


                  Don't argue.

                  The boss said leave him.


29   CONTINUED:                                                 29

                  He thought he was dead.

     They start to bundle the MAN in one of the travelling trunks
     attached to the back of the wagon. With the body hanging
     half in half out, ANTON suddenly stops.

                  I d-don't like it. It's none of our

                  So, what do you suggest, we leave
                  him on the side of the road?

     ANTON doesn't want to answer that one.

                      (walking away)

     VALENTINA, single-handedly, hefts the MAN into the trunk and
     carefully places a cushion under his head. An action not
     missed by ANTON.

30   EXT   DERELICT BUILDINGS       DAWN                         30

     The wagon stands, hidden, among deserted derelict buildings.
     All is quiet.

     The lid of the big travelling trunk slowly opens.

     The MAN struggles out. His neck is sore, his wrists ache and
     his head is bruised. He hasn't a clue where he is. He tries
     to make sense of the wagon, the grazing horses, the derelict

     Some distance away a bizarre, horned and tailed CREATURE is
     involved in a strange contorted dance.

     Hoping to avoid the CREATURE, the MAN starts to move away but
     is stopped by a squeaky voice behind him.

                              PERCY (V.O.)
                  Hey, you!

     The MAN turns around to find PERCY looking at him.

                            PERCY (CONT'D)
                  I suppose somebody saves your life
                  everyday of the week.


30   CONTINUED:                                               30


     He can hardly speak. It hurts him to do so.

                  Too much like routine to bother
                  with a thank you.

                      (with difficulty)
                  Who are you?

                  Percival St. Antoine della Touraine
                  et Sansepolcro da Piemonte the
                  Third. If that proves too
                  difficult, you may call me Percy.

                  Where are we?

                  Geographically, in the Northern
                  Hemisphere. Socially, on the
                  margins. Narratively, with some way
                  to go. And your name is...

                  I... I can't remember.

                  That's handy.

     PERCY whistles to the dancing CREATURE, who turns and
     approaches. The MAN is getting very nervous.

                            PERCY (CONT'D)
                  Any credit cards?

                  What?..Oh..OK... you can have
                  whatever you want.. just don't..

                  ...with your name on them.

                  Ah...right.. good idea.
                      (searching his pockets)


30   CONTINUED: (2)                                           30
                         MAN (CONT'D)
               My wallet... it's gone. Nothing.
               I've been robbed.

               Don't look at us.

               What's your name?

               He can't remember.

     Suddenly a mobile phone starts ringing. They all look at
     each other. It's in the MAN'S pocket. But, he doesn't move.
     The CREATURE takes his head off's ANTON.

               Might be for you.

               They'll know who you are.

     The MAN still doesn't move. ANTON reaches over and tries to
     find the phone in the MAN'S pockets. The MAN tries to push
     him off and find the phone himself. The phone is retrieved
     but, in the struggle to answer it, it's dropped.

     A WOMAN SPEAKING RUSSIAN can be heard from the phone. As
     ANTON and the MAN dive for it, the MAN `accidently' steps on
     it. The phone is crushed.

                         PERCY (CONT'D)
               Pity.. I speak Russian.

     ANTON and PERCY glare with deep suspicion at the MAN.

                         DR. PARNASSUS (O.S.)
               Dammit! I told you to leave him. He
               was dead.

     DR. PARNASSUS, holding a cold, damp towel to his throbbing
     head, appears, coughing and miserable from the wagon.

               Well, we didn't and he isn't.

               He was hanging under the b-bridge.

                          DOCTOR PARNASSUS


30   CONTINUED: (3)                                              30

                   (handing Parnassus the
               By his neck. Until dead. If we'd
               had any sense.

     ANTON produces the bricks with strange markings that were in
     the MAN'S pockets.

               We found these in his p-pockets.

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS examines the bricks with great interest.

     He pulls out The Hanged Man card and compares it's arcane
     details - a noose, strangely marked shapes like bricks, a
     metal tube - to the objects found on the MAN.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               The hanged man!

               Is he okay?

     She appears from inside the wagon.

                         VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                   (to man)
               Are you alright?

               Yes... thank you.

                   (to PARNASSUS who is in
                    deep thought)
               He tried to kill himself.

               With his hands t-tied behind his b-

     They all look at one another. Good point.

               Actually, I saw that trick
               performed many years ago at....

               S-somebody was trying to k-kill


30   CONTINUED: (4)                                           30

               My God... that's exciting.

               We c-can't let him stay with us.

               Why not?

               We d-don't know what this is about,
               who he is, what he m-might have

               I haven't done anything. I'm sure.
               I hope. Please... Give me the
               benefit of the doubt.

     PERCY and Anton exchange knowing looks.

                   (appealing to PARNASSUS)

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS, looking up from his study of the bricks and
     noose, takes the MAN aside, looks closely, trying to read the
     strange markings on his forehead.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               These marks... I recognize them.


     The MAN wipes his hand across his forehead. Looks at his inky
     hand.. confused.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                   (sotto voce)
               You've been sent by Mr Nick.

               Mr Nick?

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               Don't toy with me. Tell me you're
               an emissary from Mr Nick.


30   CONTINUED: (5)                                           30
                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
               Tell me you've come with a
               proposition. Tell me what I want to

     TONY doesn't know what DR PARNASSUS in talking about but he
     grasps the fact that if he wants to be allowed to stay here
     he needs to play along.


                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Thank God! Thank God! Thank God for

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS takes PERCY aside, shows him the Hanged Man
     Tarot Card and indicates the MAN with a nod.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               He's from Mr Nick.

               No he's not.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               He's come with a proposal.

               No he hasn't.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               All is not lost.

               What proposal?


                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                   (looking at the card, then
                    to the MAN)
               You're welcome.

               Thank you.

     PERCY groans and tears his hair.

     VALENTINA is pleased. ANTON is not.

     VALENTINA kisses PARNASSUS on the cheek.



     The MAN precedes DOCTOR PARNASSUS in the tiny room. He looks
     around in amazement.

                           DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                 We can talk here. Sit down, sit

                 Thank you.

     He does so. DOCTOR PARNASSUS sits opposite him.

                           DOCTOR PARNASSUS


                     (trying to look on top of
                 I like your study.

                           DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                 The message.

                 The message?

                           DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                 The message! What's the message?
                 From Mr Nick. What does he want?

                 Ah... Well... That's the problem...

                           DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                 Problem? What problem?

                 Unfortunately... I've lost my

                              DOCTOR PARNASSUS

                 It'll come back. I'm sure.


31   CONTINUED:                                                 31

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  You've lost your memory?

                  I just... it needs time... to

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  You've come here with a message....
                  A vitally important message from
                  Mister Nick... A matter of life or
                  death... and you can't remember
                  what it is!?

                  Not at the moment. I'm sorry. It's
                  never happened before.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS

32   EXT   SHOPPING MALL PARKING LOT    NIGHT                     32

     The wagon is parked in a shopping mall parking lot. The
     theatre is being opened up by PERCY and ANTON. There are a
     few late night SHOPPERS coming and going.

33   INT   BACKSTAGE                THAT MOMENT                   33

     VALENTINA, dressed as `Beauty', is rummaging in a theatre
     skip, helping the MAN find something to wear for the show.

     There is a slight whiff of sexual attraction in the air.

                  He says you must work... to focus
                  your mind. You can help out front..
                  sell tickets. Ah, here we are...
                      (Pulling out a full
                       bottomed wig)
                  Try this. You can be `Justice'.

     The MAN tries on the wig and looks in a mirror.

     VALENTINA tries not to laugh.


33   CONTINUED:                                                    33

                      (pulling a face)
                  Exactly. A laughing stock.

                  Just like the rest of us.

                      (pulling out a carnival
                  I think I'll hide behind this.

                  No face. No name. The mystery
                  thickens. I'm going to have to give
                  you a name...

     She presses a metal breast-plate to his chest.

                            VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                  ... until you remember who you are,
                  I dub thee Saint George. You can
                  save me from the dragon. George.

                  Hold on!.. what dragon?

                  You've met Parnassus.

     Mischievously, she ties a chiffon tutu around his waist.

                  Now you are making fun of me.

     VALENTINA giggles.

                            GEORGE (CONT'D)
                  I'm sorry but, nobody laughs at me
                  without paying the price....ah,ha.

     He begins tickling her. She laughs uncontrollably, falling
     backwards into the costume skip..

                            ANTON O/S
                  We c-can't do it. We...

     ANTON enters wearing his Mercury gear.       He freezes, seeing
     GEORGE and VALENTINA rollicking about.       They stop, look up.

                  Hi, Anton.... what?


33   CONTINUED: (2)                                           33

                The show. We c-can't do it. It's
                your father...

                What is it? What's happened?


     VALENTINA and ANTON arrive in the doorway, dismayed.

     GEORGE hovers in the background.

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS is attempting to get ready for the show but
     he's so drunk he can hardly stand. He's already put some
     article of clothing on back-to-front or inside out. PERCY is
     trying to help.

                Oh no!

                          DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                Can he remember!
                    (seeing Man in doorway)
                Can you remember?

                Not yet.

                          DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                Bloody useless! Mr Nick sends an
                emissary and he can't bloody
                remember! It's a bloody disaster!

                You can't go on. You're drunk.

                          DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                I am not drunk! I'm under
                considerable stress.

                    (to Percy
                You'll have to do it.

                          DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                No! No understudy! The audience
                won't tolerate an understudy!
                There's only one Doctor Parnassus,
                and I am he!


34   CONTINUED:                                                 34

                  Somebody make some strong coffee.

     EVERYONE looks at George.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  Strong coffee? Brilliant!
                      (sarcastically saluting
                  This is why fate has brought us
                  together. Don't worry about
                  remembering... It's all the same to
                  a man on a galloping horse!

35   EXT   SHOPPING MALL PARKING LOT    THEATRE                  35

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS is on   stage, floating' on his glass pillar,
     apparently in a trance   but,humming erratically. He is flanked
     by VALENTINA and ANTON   who stay close to PARNASSUS in case he
     falls. PERCY is in his   medieval costume/one-man-band outfit.
     They all look uneasy.

                      (a bit low-key)
                  For one night only... raise your
                  sights... encounter the majesty,
                  the beauty, the miracle that's in
                  each and every one of you. Take
                  this opportunity to expand your
                  horizons. It's not too late.
                  Experience the Imaginarium of the
                  great Doctor Parnassus.

     VALENTINA peers out over the `footlights' in the hope of
     catching sight of GEORGE.

                  Where's George?

     He's nowhere in sight.

                  P-probably remembered he had a wife
                  or t-two back in Russia.

     VALENTINA gives him a dirty look.



     GEORGE, wearing his `romantic' Venice carnival mask is smooth-
     talking several middle-aged LADIES on queue at the
     supermarket check-out.

     He's carrying the theatre's ticket dispenser.

               Three tickets for the price of
               two... That's a fantastic deal.
               It's a brilliant show. Much better
               than sex.

     Much ribald laughter from the flattered LADIES.

37   EXT   SHOPPING MALL PARKING LOT   LATER                      37

     The shoppers have gone. The last car drives out of the car
     park leaving it empty except for the theatre wagon.

     ANTON, VALENTINA and PERCY are on their own.

     PARNASSUS, on his plinth, is asleep and snoring.

               Thank G-God... N-not a single

               Let's close up quick while the
               going's good.

               He's never not done a show
               before... Maybe he's past it.
               Maybe it's time to retire.

     PARNASSUS groans in his sleep.

                   (looking out front)
               Oh n-no!

     ANTON sees GEORGE heading towards them with a mob of MIDDLE-
     AGED WOMEN in tow.

     Bubbling with excitement, the mob arrives.


37   CONTINUED:                                               37

                  Oh look! How fascinating.

     The other WOMEN agree.

                            EVELYN (CONT'D)
                      (looking at her watch)
                  When does the next show start?

                  There isn't a next show.

     EVELYN and the other WOMEN are puzzled.

                            PERCY (CONT'D)
                  We've done all the shows we're
                  doing here this evening.

                  But we've got tickets.

     GEORGE looks hopefully at VALENTINA and ANTON who don't know
     what to say.

     We hear a crash.

     THE CAMERA PANS around. PARNASSUS has fallen off his perch
     and is now lying on the floor...snoring and mumbling.

     VALENTINA and some of the WOMEN run forward.

                  This man's drunk. Dead drunk.


                            VALENTINA O/S
                      (suddenly defensive of her
                  He's not drunk. He's got a bad

                  But being a true professional he
                  tried to keep going, at
                  considerable risk to his health.

     VALENTINA and GEORGE exchange a quick look. VALENTINA thinks
     she's found a kindred spirit.


37   CONTINUED: (2)                                           37

               We want our money back.

               No problem...dear ladies. No
               problem at all. I'm so terribly
               sorry. I can't apologize enough.
               You can have your money back or, if
               you like... an extra free ticket.
               Better yet, two extra free tickets
               if you buy another ticket at half
               price. This offer is only available

     The WOMEN look on the verge of taking up the offer.

     ANTON and PERCY exchange looks. They can't believe GEORGE'S

38   EXT   CAR PARK     A LITTLE LATER                         38

     The wagon rumbles across the deserted carpark.

39   INT   THE WAGON    THAT MOMENT                            39

     A large pile of coins with quite a few notes mixed in tumble
     onto a table. GEORGE is emptying his pockets while VALENTINA
     and ANTON look on..

               Wow! You took all that?

               I got carried away.

               Lying through your t-teeth can do
               that to you.


               Most of them were coming tomorrow.

               What tomorrow? We're gone.


39   CONTINUED:                                                  39

                  Okay, if it makes you feel better,
                  I'll give it back.

                  N-no, keep it. Thanks to you we can
                  afford to buy Valentina a b-
                  birthday cake.

                  That's enough!

     ANTON storms off. GEORGE looks at VALENTINA sympathetically.

                  Don't be angry with him. He's a
                  little bit jealous. He's young.
                  Insecure. I'll make it my job to
                  boost his confidence.

     VALENTINA smiles at George with admiration and approval.

                            GEORGE (CONT'D)
                  When's your birthday?

40   EXT   SUPERMARKET CAR PARK         THAT MOMENT              40

     As the wagon trundles out of the deserted car park a DARK
     FIGURE hops onto the rear platform.


     DOCTOR PARNASSUS is groaning and clutching his head. He has a
     fierce hangover. He pours some powder from a packet into a
     glass of water, stirs it with his finger and knocks it back.
     He grimaces and shudders.

     A hatch/shutter on the small window behind him slides open to
     reveal the grinning head of MR NICK.

                            MR NICK
                  You shouldn't drink, it doesn't
                  agree with you.

     Startled, DOCTOR PARNASSUS spins around.


41   CONTINUED:                                               41

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  What do you want? I'll do anything.

                            MR NICK
                  I know.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  You're man's lost his memory! He's
                  bloody hopeless!

                            MR NICK
                  He's not my man.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS

                            MR NICK
                  Tony Shepherd. Little toe-rag. He
                  used to run a big charity. I
                  wouldn't trust him. But then... you
                  don't trust me do you?

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  For God's sake! Tell me what you

                            MR NICK
                  I just thought...seeing you so
                  upset last night...that you needed
                  a glimmer of hope...maybe a little

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  On Valentina?

                            MR NICK

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  You bastard!

                            MR NICK
                  First to five?... You might win.
                  And save her. What do you have to

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  I'll kill you!


41   CONTINUED: (2)                                              41

                         MR NICK
               Now that would be something. By her
               birthday then.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               What! Impossible!'ve seen the
               business we're doing.

                         MR NICK
               Things are going to pick up. As
               sure as eggs is eggs.

     He closes the hatch/shutter with a bang.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS

     Too late. He's gone.

42   EXT   DERELICT BUILDINGS     DAWN                           42

     Back amongst the derelict buildings the Troupe is resting and
     doing chores. The horses are grazing.

     VALENTINA sits at a mirror fussing with various hair styles -
     slyly trying to catch GEORGE's attention.

     PARNASSUS, holding his aching head, sits a short distance
     away sadly watching her. PERCY is with him.

               Five souls.. two days, eh!?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Shh! I'm trying to think.

               I told you didn't I?

                            DR. PARNASSUS

               That he was a wrong-un.

     PERCY nods his head in George's direction.


42   CONTINUED:                                                 42

                             DR. PARNASSUS
                  Trust in providence, Percy.
                  Remember the hanging man. The cards
                  don't lie.

                  No... but they sure as hell like
                  being economical with the truth.

     CUT TO ANTON who is painting a long-stemmed, wooden
     flower...he comes over to VALENTINA with it in his hand.

                      (looking away)
                  Don't talk to me.

                  P-please...I'm sorry about last
                  night. I behaved like an idiot.


     ANTON suddenly plops down on his arse in a puddle of mud.
     Then spins, flips the flower high into the air and, rolling
     face down onto his stomach, catches the stem with his
     clenched buttocks. VALENTINA bursts out laughing.

                  You must admit... even idiots have
                  their qualities.

     CUT TO GEORGE who is peeling potatoes, badly. PARNASSUS and
     PERCY come up behind him.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  George... We'd like to know who you
                  really are.

                  What?... Yes. Me too.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  I may be able to help.

                  Really? What?... How...?

     PERCY produces a small contraption with wires from behind his
     back and gives it to DR PARNASSUS.


42   CONTINUED: (2)                                              42

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               Hold this piece of wire.

               You won't feel a thing.

     GEORGE takes the end of the wire.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               I'm going to put the tips of my
               fingers on the top of your head.

     He does so.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
               I want you to relax and try as far
               as possible to think of nothing.

               That's not difficult... in my

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS closes his eyes. He seems to be making an

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               Hold your breath.

     GEORGE does so.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
               Very good, very good. Yes... Yes, I
               see... I see... Very interesting.

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS takes his hand from GEORGE'S head and gives
     the contraption back to PERCY.

               You may breathe normally.

     The effort seems to have tired PARNASSUS. He needs to sit

               What... ?

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               Alas, this technique has its

               But... Did you discover anything?


42   CONTINUED: (3)                                           42

                          DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               Your name.

               My name?... What is it?


                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               Anthony Shepherd.

               My God! That's it! You're right!
               Anthony Shepherd! They call me
               Tony. Tony Shepherd! That's who I

     VALENTINA and ANTON begin to pay attention and gather around.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               And... you used to do good works.
               Something to do with charity I

               Yes...That's right! That's right!
               But how?...

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               It's an ancient technique of mental
               divination, but I'm very rusty and
               it doesn't always work

               But that's amazing! Brilliant!
                   (oddly concerned)
               Was there anything else?

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS shakes his head, no.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
               That's absolutely fantastic! Thank
               you. Perhaps I'll remember other

     PARNASSUS smiles and bows slightly ironically.


42   CONTINUED: (4)                                           42

               Charity work? I knew you were a
               good person.

               So what was he doing dangling under
               a bridge from his neck?


               Oh dear, was that a rude question?
               Have I put my foot in it?

               That's so strange. And horrible..
               it's a complete blank. But I do
               remember I was involved in some
               sort of charity.. trying to do
               good, to make the world a better
               place, you know...inspire people,
               give them hope....
                   (self deprecatingly)
               What an arrogant idiot.

     VALENTINA looks at him thinking `what a sympathetic person.'

     The sound of a flutey whistle distracts him. ANTON is blowing
     a tune on the metal tube he found on the bridge.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
               What's that?

                   (with a superior air)
               Mozart's flute concerto in G.

               I mean, the pipe. Where did you get

     ANTON looks at the metal pipe.

               I found it.

               It's mine.


42   CONTINUED: (5)                                              42

               Oh. You're a musician n-now.

               It's not a musical instrument. May
               I have it?... Please.

               Are you s-sure it's yours?



     ANTON appears to offer the pipe to TONY but palms it so that
     when TONY reaches out to take it, it's gone.

                         ANTON (CONT'D)
               It's g-gone.

                   (getting shirty)
               Don't fool around.

               Ah, there it is.

     TONY once more tries to take it. Once more ANTON makes it

               Give it to me!


               Anton, that's enough.

     She steps forward, takes the pipe from ANTON and gives it to

               Thank you.

     DR. PARNASSUS, who's been watching this exchange, looks


43   EXT   THE WAGON      NIGHT                                  43

     PARNASSUS and CO are preparing to move out and do a show.

     ANTON is working near PARNASSUS and PERCY who are unaware of
     his presence.

                          DR. PARNASSUS
                What's eating Anton?

     ANTON pricks up his ears.

                He's in love with Valentina?

                          DR. PARNASSUS
                In love....?

                It happens.

                          DR. PARNASSUS
                The little snake! I'll skin him

     CUT TO ANTON who winces.

                While you're at it, don't forget
                the other one.

     DR. PARNASSUS looks at PERCY questioningly.

                          PERCY (CONT'D)
                The viper, the scorpion, the
                amnesiac boa constrictor. Tony.

                          DR. PARNASSUS
                Quite another kettle of fish.


                          DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                He's ambitious, energetic... a man
                of destiny.


43   CONTINUED:                                                43

                  And he's going to help us win five

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  I think he might. Valentina sees
                  good in him.

                  She'd be better off with Anton.

     CUT TO ANTON who's pleased.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  Perhaps I should offer her hand to
                  whoever helps most in winning the
                  next five souls.

     CUT TO ANTON who looks puzzled.

                  That's even worse than the other
                  ideas you've had today.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  You're not wrong... Ah, Percy, what
                  would I do without you?

                  Get a midget.

     CUT TO ANTON as he moves, thoughtfully, away.

44   EXT   OUTSIDE PUB       NIGHT                              44

     The theatre, parked outside a pub, is up and running.

     ANTON, as Mercury, is doing his pitch.

                  Sleep no more. Procrastinate no
                  longer. Embrace this once in a life-
                  time opportunity. Let the mind of
                  Doctor Parnassus be the portal to
                  the infinite world of your

     Behind the curtain, PERCY is signalling VALENTINA to see if
     DOCTOR PARNASSUS has been drinking. She sniffs him.


44   CONTINUED:                                                  44

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  What are you doing? Please
                  concentrate. We've got a tremendous
                  amount of work to do tonight. A
                  great deal depends on it.

     A roll on the drums from PERCY. The curtain rises. DOCTOR
     PARNASSUS `floats' above the stage on his glass plinth.

                  As old as the universe itself, the
                  great Doctor, versed in every
                  mystic practice known to man, and
                  many more besides, will guide you
                  to your destiny.

     However, the AUDIENCE - a few PASSERS-BY and DRINKERS who
     have drifted out of the pub for a smoke - aren't much
     interested in ANTON. Instead they pay more attention to the
     masked TONY who, decked out in a stylish costume, is working
     the sparse crowd with his smooth charm.

     ANTON, irritated, glances back at DOCTOR PARNASSUS who is
     worried about the lack of customers.

     TONY is now surrounded by fascinated WOMEN. They laugh at one
     of his jokes. One pretty young woman, SALLY, in particular
     seems to be smitten by the handsome `actor'. TONY smiles
     seductively at her.

     The sight provokes ANTON. He leaps off the stage, grabs SALLY
     by the wrist and begins to pull her to the stage.

     PERCY keeps playing.

                  What?... Hey, what you doing?

                  T-taking you to the heart of your

     ANTON is trying to compete with TONY but just can't manage
     the charm.

                      (good humoured)
                  Oh my god! No way!

                  You won't regret it!


44   CONTINUED: (2)                                       44

                         FEMALE FRIEND
               Go for it Sal!

                   (indicating friend)
               Only if she comes with me.

                         FEMALE FRIEND
               Now you're talking!

     A few ONLOOKERS cheer.

               N-not at the same time!

     ANTON is still pulling SALLY onto the stage.

               I'm not going on my own.

               Your imagination is a very special
               place. Doctor Parnassus will make
               it flower.

               I bet he will.

     More laughs.

                         FEMALE FRIEND
               We'll do it together.

     More laughs.

                   (shakes his head)
               No. T-two c-competing imaginations
               in the Imaginarium at the same
               time... it's n-not advisable.

                         FEMALE FRIEND

               The stronger imagination will
               overcome the weaker and then
               there's n-no knowing what might


44   CONTINUED: (3)                                             44

                         FEMALE FRIEND
               That's really stupid.

               Let go!

               D-don't be afraid, d-dear lady.
               You'll be safe with me.

     Anton sweeps her off her feet and carries her onto the stage.

               Put me down!

               Have no fear.

                         FEMALE FRIEND
               She doesn't want to do it on her

               Only b-because she d-doesn't

                         FEMALE FRIEND
               Let go of her you silly pillock!

     VALENTINA, worried, steps forward to try and restrain ANTON.


               It's alright! It's alright!

     Staggering under the weight of the struggling SALLY, ANTON
     barges into DOCTOR PARNASSUS' on his glass plinth.

     The plinth rocks and teeters. VALENTINA tries to stop it

     ANTON, unaware of what he's done, disappears through the
     mirror as DOCTOR PARNASSUS crashes head first onto the stage.

     From behind the mirror comes the sound of a woman's
     terrifying, terrified screams.


44   CONTINUED: (4)                                              44

                         FEMALE FRIEND
               SALLY! They've got her in there!
               That's her screaming! SAL! They
               doing something to her! SALLY!
               Help, somebody! Help! Save her!

     Upstage VALENTINA tends the stunned DOCTOR. He clutches his
     head in pain.

               Father! Father!


     Terrified, ANTON and the screaming SALLY are spun through a
     black void clinging desperately to an asteroid as planets and
     stars spin madly around them.

     Blood-red lightning bolts crackle and crash. Chaos.

46   EXT   OUTSIDE PUB   THAT MOMENT                              46

     Out front, the CROWD, larger now, is reacting badly to the
     dreadful screams. Sally's friends try to storm the stage.

     TONY and PERCY try to hold them back.

               Please. Everything's alright. It's
               okay. Really. I promise you.

     A MIDDLE AGED WOMAN hits him with her handbag.

     TONY and PERCY are in danger of being overwhelmed. We can
     still hear Sally screaming from somewhere within the stage.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
               Ladies and gentlemen. Ladies and

     A DRUNK takes a swing at PERCY, misses, and connects with

                         TONY (CONT'D)

     He falls off the stage and disappears into the angry CROWD
     who begin pummelling and kicking him.


46   CONTINUED:                                                  46

     PERCY, desperate, produces a pistol and fires a couple of
     shots into the air.

     EVERYONE dives for cover.

     PERCY, taking advantage of the temporary lull, begins to race
     around, untying, unhooking, and pulling on ropes.

     The theatre begins to close up as the horses bolt and the
     wagon clatters off down the street, bits falling off as it

                            VOICE IN CROWD
                  Somebody call the police!

     A battered TONY, chased by the enraged crowd,just manages to
     clamber on board, with the help of VALENTINA.

     The wagon narrowly succeeds in out-pacing the fastest of the
     CROWD. As it disappears down the street, a figure is dumped
     unceremoniously out through the back door of the wagon.

     It's the terrified SALLY, sent sprawling in the middle of the

     A figure steps out from the shadows to help her to her feet.
     It's MR. NICK in his bowler and red waistcoat.

47   EXT.   RUBBISH TIP      NIGHT                                47

     A police siren howls as the wagon comes crashing around the
     corner of a great rubbish tip and clatters to a halt... the
     horses steaming, sections of the theatre hanging loose, utter mess. The siren fades into the distance.

48   INT/EXT   THEATRE/WAGON      NIGHT                           48

     Amongst collapsed scenery PARNASSUS lies in a heap. The
     others are struggling to their feet. ANTON is desperately
     trying to do something useful to help PARNASSUS but,
     VALENTINA pushes him out of the way.

                  What were you thinking? Look what
                  you've done. Get out of the way!
                      (appealing to Tony)

     TONY, battered and bleeding, helps her lift PARNASSUS and
     manoeuvre him to his room.


48   CONTINUED:                                                   48

     ANTON is mortified.      PERCY pats him on the back.

                  Better luck next time.

49   INT    PARNASSUS' ROOM    NIGHT                               49

     TONY helps VALENTINA get PARNASSUS comfortable.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  This is my punishment. All is lost.
                  First to Five. One down.
                  Impossible, Valentina. First to
                  five. One down. No people. No time,
                  Valentina. We are doomed.

                      (very concerned)
                  Ssshhhh... Thanks, Tony. Leave us.

     TONY, nods, leaves slowly. Listening.

50   EXT.    WAGON    NIGHT                                        50

     PERCY is angrily banging about, trying to repair the damage.
     ANTON is trying to help but, is just getting in the way.

                  Do me a favour. Take a long walk
                  off a short pier.

     TONY arrives.

                  Can I help?

                  Bugger off!

     TONY finds ANTON sitting despondently a short way from the
     wagon swigging from a bottle. He sits down next to him.

                  L-leave me alone.

                  What were you doing to that girl
                  behind the mirror?


50   CONTINUED:                                                50

                  What are you suggesting?

                  Oh, c'mon...we all heard her

                  I was screaming as well.   It was t-

                  Terrifying? Why? I don't

                  No, wouldn't. You've n-
                  never been inside the D-Doctor's
                  mind have you?

                  Your not trying to tell me that
                  mind control stuff is real?

                  You think it's some k-kind of scam,
                  d-don't you?

                  Isn't it?

                  No... But I d-don't expect you to g-
                  get it... N-not in a million years.

                  Hang on.. if he can really control
                  people's minds, why isn't he ruling
                  the world? Why bother with this
                  crappy side show?

                  He d-doesn't want to rule the world
                  d-does he?... He wants the world to
                  rule itself!

                  What a waste... Tell me about the
                  mirror. What's the point of that,
                  if not to razzle-dazzle the public?


50   CONTINUED: (2)                                           50

                    (smiles sardonically)
                You're way off the mark.
                    (taking a swig)
                It's a b-bloody great mystery...
                wrapped in a b-brown p-paper b-bag
                enema...or do I mean, enigma...

     He pulls himself up and starts to stagger off.

                Er... one more thing....Does `first
                to five' mean anything to you?

     ANTON looks at TONY with loathing.

                I thought you were the c-clever

     He walks away into the darkness.

     TONY sits there busily thinking.

51   EXT    RUBBISH TIP    DAWN                                51

     The morning light suffuses mountains of domestic refuse.
     Rubbish for as far as the eye can see. Plastic sacks of
     various colours, many spilling open. A few fires are burning.

     Flocks of scavenging sea gulls hover and dive, screaming blue

     On one of the many pinnacles of garbage sits a lonely figure.
     It's ANTON, depressed, angry, forlorn.

     The CAMERA SWINGS ROUND to show, below ANTON, in a valley of
     waste material, the wagon.

52   EXT.   THE WAGON     DAWN                                 52

     PERCY has spread out the broken scenery assessing the damage.
     In the shadow of the wagon VALENTINA is changing TONY'S

                Thank God it's only cuts and
                bruises. I thought we'd lost you.


52   CONTINUED:                                                52

                  If you hadn't been there...

     He holds her hand.    Looks deep into her eyes.

                            TONY (CONT'D)
                  Valentina, your father seems in a
                  terrible state. Is it the police?
                  The show? Maybe I can help.

                  I don't know what's wrong with him,
                  but if it's about the show...I
                  don't care. I'm tired of it...let
                  the police arrest us. I'm sick of
                  living like this....

     She looks miserable. TONY puts his arms around her.   Holds
     her tightly to him.

                  Don't say that. What you're doing
                  is important. Really important.
                  It's just... maybe... it should be
                  done in a different way.

     He is about to kiss her.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS O/S
                  What sort of "different" way do you

     DR. PARNASSUS, grim faced, head bandaged, steps from behind
     the wagon.

     TONY and VALENTINA quickly disengage.

                  Oh, hello, good morning sir. How
                  are you feeling? That was a nasty
                  bump on the head you got..

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS O/S
                      (beady eyed)

                  Well, sir, I've been thinking...
                  It's clear the show's not
                  attracting many people. Forgive me
                  but... I see two ways of tackling
                  this problem.


52   CONTINUED: (2)                                               52
                         TONY (CONT'D)
               Either the style of the show is at
               fault... or the type of audience. I
               would suggest changing both.

     PERCY has appeared, dragging a damaged flat.

               Change the show!? Who the fizzing
               hell do you think you are?......

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS

     He sits down heavily.

               I'm sorry but.. you're not modern.
               People want modern. Look.

     He holds open a tattered fashion magazine to a page of
     beautifully photographed models in a fabulously magical
     setting. He thumbs through more pages of dreamy images.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
               This is modern. It works. Trust me,
               I understand this world.
                   (with a wink)
               This kind of mind control. Let's
               try to meet the public halfway..
               the right public.. and in a better
               part of town.

     From behind the wagon ANTON watches forlornly.   Alone and
     unnoticed by the others.

               What about the filth?


               The filth. The police.

               There'll be a better class of
               police too.

               That'll be the day.


52   CONTINUED: (3)                                            52

                The trick is not to hide. Change
                your colours. Be bold. Go where
                they would least expect to find
                you. I think we have been brought
                together for a reason. I don't
                believe in coincidence. You saved
                my life. Now let me do something
                in return.

     PARNASSUS confers with PERCY.

                          DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                Our time's nearly up... This could
                be what we need.

                    (to Valentina)
                This can be my birthday gift to

     VALENTINA smiles and nods to PARNASSUS.

                          DR. PARNASSUS
                Well then...
                    (with a burst of energy)
                For God's sake let's do it!!!

                Yeah, okay, but what exactly do we

                Well... First of all, I want you to
                give me your money. All of it.

     What?!   PARNASSUS, PERCY, and VALENTINA look at each other.

     Then PARNASSUS sees something beyond the wagon...ANTON,
     downcast, heading off through the swirling plastic bags and
     flying rubbish... a battered suitcase in his hand.

                           DR. PARNASSUS
                Anton!   Where are you going?

     No answer from ANTON.

     VALENTINA runs after him but, he marches on silently.


52   CONTINUED: (4)                                              52

               What are you doing? Didn't you do
               enough damage last night?
                   (pummmelling his back)
               Anton... I'm the one who wants to
               run away!
                   (he slows)
               Are you trying to wreck my
               birthday, or what?

     Anton stops, still not looking at VALENTINA he slowly drops
     his suitcase.

                         VALENTINA (CONT'D)
               Please. We need you.

     Moved, ANTON turns to her.   She smiles sweetly.

                         VALENTINA (CONT'D)
               How much money have you got?

53   EXT   BOND STREET   EVENING                                  53

     Close up on Parnassus's glass open-topped and
     sitting on the edge of the stage... full of the troupe's
     savings. A sign proclaims "Please Take Generously"

     Directly behind the glass box is a half-globe with the
     continent of Africa featured. Sitting on top is Percy
     playing something ethnic but tasteful on a flute with one
     hand...his other is held out pathetically... a beggar. He's
     blacked up and dressed in rags. He doesn't look happy. He
     sneaks nervous glances at the glass box of money.

     The wagon, newly painted in sleek and stylish black and
     white, stands in Bond Street or some similarly fashionable
     street with expensive shops and art galleries. RICH WOMEN
     anxious to be conspicuous in their consumption of wealth
     glide past.

     New signs proclaim `The Choice Is Yours' `The Imaginarium -
     More Exclusive than ever'.

     The stage, hung with soft,flowing, gauzy fabric, has been
     chromatically divided in half - one side black, the other

     On the dark side a bloated, sun-glassed woman consuming vast
     quantities of food reclines on an elaborate lounge. She is,
     in fact, a very uncomfortable ANTON in full and fulsome drag.


53   CONTINUED:                                                    53

     Center stage stands DR. PARNASSUS dressed as a stylized
     doctor with head reflector. In his hand is a staff with an
     elaborate sun on the top. He is blindfolded.

     On the white side of the stage stands the mirror and a
     stylized Tree of Knowledge with bright red apples. Under the
     tree, and reflected in the mirror, sits VALENTINA as
     Eve...naked except for a long wig that maintains her modesty.
     She gracefully combs her hair.

     Above the mirror is a sign proclaiming "The Naked Truth".

     DR. PARNASSUS, peeking under his blindfold, is distinctly
     uncomfortable by his daughter's lack of attire.

     TONY, in a beautifully cut white suit, and wearing his
     `romantic' Venetian carnival mask sits in profile in a dreamy
     pose on the edge of the white side of the stage.

     Nobody speaks. They pay no attention to the crowd.

     A few women stop, curious. One of them takes out some money
     and puts it in the glass plinth and turns to go.

                      (retrieving the money)
                  Excuse me, madam. I'm afraid we
                  can't accept this.

     The woman stops, confused. Tony hands her back her money.

                            TONY (CONT'D)
                  We are here to give...not take. We
                  are here to help those in need. If
                  it's money you need, then here it
                      (referring to the glass
                  If it's the flowering of the soul
                  you need, then here we are but,
                  unfortunately we are booked solid
                  at the moment. But thank you.. I
                  can see you have a generous spirit.

     TONY returns to his pensive pose.    The women look at each

                  Excuse me but, how does this work?
                  What does it cost?


53   CONTINUED: (2)                                           53

               Cost? Money is no good in the
               Imaginarium.   This is a refuge for
               hearts in need of truth. A place
               for souls to be purified.

                         WOMAN 2
               How long does that take?   I'm
               running late.

               Madam, why should you care about
               time? What are your dreams worth in

     The women grow pensive.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
               There are hard choices to be made
               in life.
                   (he indicates the
               What about the dreams of the less
               fortunate in the world. Do you
               have time for their dreams? Or are
               you like I once you just
               despair? Despair at all that is
               wrong in the world..
                   (getting to his feet)
               ...despair at your inability to do
               anything to change it.. to make it
               better...I despaired so much at the
               powerlessness of my own existence
               that I took the easy way out...the
               coward's way...I committed suicide!
               Yes, that's right, I killed myself.
               Can you understand my despair? But
               I was saved...saved by a
               miracle...The Imaginarium...and
               Doctor Parnassus. He brought me
               back from the dead. He gave me a
               new life. A reason to live. He has
               given me power to dream again... to
               dream of a better world.

     During his speech, more and more people have gathered. Some
     are actually weeping. They are press forward putting money
     in the plinth. Tony tries to stop them but, they insist.
     VALENTINA, ANTON, PERCY, and DR. PARNASSUS are astonished by
     TONY'S performance.


53   CONTINUED: (3)                                           53

                         VOICES IN CROWD
               Stop pushing!/Excuse me, can one
               make a booking?/Are you taking
               bookings?/Stop pushing at the
               back!/Form a queue!

               Please, I'm sorry but, we're booked
               solid at the moment.

     A Louis Vuitton-dressed woman (60+ years old)at the back of
     the crowd shouts:

                         LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN
               Is that child up for adoption?

     She points at the blacked up PERCY.

                         LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN (CONT'D)
               I want to adopt that unfortunate
               black child. It shouldn't be
               working like this. It should be in

     PERCY is appalled.

                         LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN (CONT'D)
               Who's in charge here?

     The LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN looks around as a couple of POLICE
     OFFICERS arrive on the scene.

     TONY spots them too and heads off the LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN as
     she makes towards them.

               Madam, congratulations, you have
               been chosen.

     The other WOMEN gasp.

                          LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN

               Come forward and enter the

                         LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN
               But, I haven't paid.


53   CONTINUED: (4)                                           53

               We don't want your money. We want
               your hopes and dreams. You may make
               a donation later, if you wish.

                         LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN

               This is a rare moment. Very few are
               chosen. Don't miss this once-in-a-
               life-time opportunity. This way.

     He ushers the uneasy LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN onto the stage and
     guides her upstage. PARNASSUS goes into his trance.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
               Believe me Madam, you're the
               luckiest woman in the world.

     The LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN steps into the mirror. TONY
     hesitates..a moment of uncertainty. VALENTINA encourages him
     with a smile. He steps through.

     Across the street a clock begins striking the hour.

     CUT TO the two POLICE OFFICERS who start to move the crowd
     and show on.

               Alright, I think it's time to move
               on, folks.

     But on spotting the naked VALENTINA who winks at them, they
     agree between themselves to give the show a bit longer.

54   INT/EXT   IMAGINARIUM                                        54

     TONY and THE LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN are astonished to find
     themselves in the romantic, soft-focus, pastel-colour setting
     of a soothing, sophisticated, shampoo commercial.

     Soft fabrics waft, cleansing waterfalls cascade, rose-petals
     float through the air, beautiful girls swing from swings
     attached to clouds - all in delicious slow motion.

                         LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN
               Oh... how gorgeous...


54   CONTINUED:                                                  54

     THE LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN takes TONY'S hand and looks at him

     TONY, disorientated, takes a moment to regain his composure.
     He smiles and, with an effort, puts his arm around THE LOUIS
     VUITTON WOMAN'S wide waist. He looks into her eyes. She's in

                            LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN (CONT'D)
                      (moans softly)
                  Ohhh... What bliss... and I don't
                  even know your name...


                            LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN
                  Tony. How dashing.

     A bar or two of tango encourages them to take a couple of
     intimate tango dance steps.

     Now gently wafting curtains part to reveal.. down a flower
     strewn path and over a bridge... a sleazy motel with a
     shingle over the door reads: "The One Night Stand Motel". In
     the office window sits MR. NICK

                            LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN (CONT'D)
                  Oh, goodness me!

     She bats her eyelashes at TONY and begins, knowingly, to pull
     him towards the motel.

                  If I'm not wrong, I fear you must
                  go alone.

     THE LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN pouts playfully, pulling him onwards.

                            LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN
                  Why would I want to go without you

                  It's one of the rules... One
                  imagination at a time, free from
                  the influence of another.

                            LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN


54   CONTINUED: (2)                                              54

     They have reached the bridge. Stairs descend to a stream.

               Oh..look... another possibility..

     Below them a gondola rests in the stream as small, flower
     bedecked barques float past with framed pictures of romantic
     heroes who died young; Keats, Shelly, Byron, James Dean,
     Rudolph Valentino, Marilyn Monroe, Buddy Holly, Princess
     Diana... the stream continues off into the distance to a
     dark, towering Egyptian pyramid.

     TONY is as bemused as THE LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
               You must make a choice...and...
               actually, to be honest, I'd
               strongly recommend this one.

                         LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN
               But... Rudolph Valentino, James
               Dean, Princess Di?... all these
               people... they're dead.

                   (thinking fast)
               Exactly. To be reborn, first you
               must die. All of them have achieved
               a kind of immortality. And we love
               them all the more for it. They
               won't get old or fat. They won't
               get sick or feeble. They are beyond
               fear. They are forever young. They
               are gods. And you can join them.

                         LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN
               You're such a wonderful speaker.

     The gondola awaits....with a beautiful male model at the
     helm. THE LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN smiles at him.

               There's not a moment to lose.

     But as she hesitates a dark shadow rises over them. TONY,
     looking past the WOMAN"S shoulder, sees the dark waters of
     the stream rise up transforming into a GIGANTIC KING COBRA
     that towers menacingly over them. It's wearing a BOWLER
     HAT... and it's angry.


54   CONTINUED: (3)                                           54

                          TONY (CONT'D)
                But your sacrifice must be pure.
                You have to let go of all these
                worldly goods.

     He helps THE LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN remove her necklace,
     earrings, bracelets, rings, broach, in double quick time and
     guides her onto the gondola, blowing a kiss after her.

                          TONY (CONT'D)
                Remember nothing is permanent...
                not even death.

     He turns back to see the GIGANTIC KING COBRA shrinking back
     below the bridge, transforming itself back into the waters of
     the stream. From under the arch of the bridge hangs a rope.
     At its end.. a hangman's noose.

     TONY stares at it darkly disconcerted.

55   EXT.   STAGE     EVENING                                  55

     TONY re-enters the stage through the mirror, looking at DR.
     PARNASSUS who has just come out of his trance with

                That was so... I had no idea...
                It's just... incredible.

     ...And then he realizes the clock is still striking the hour
     realizing that only a few moments have passed since he
     entered the mirror.

                          TONY (CONT'D)
       do you do this?

                          DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                    (ignoring him and with a
                     big theatrical gesture)

     The LOUIS VUITTON woman reappears, sitting on a cut-out cloud
     descending from the ceiling of the stage. She looks radiant.

     She is weeping, completely overcome by her experience.
     PARNASSUS steps forward and helps her to her feet. She kisses
     his hands in gratitude.


55   CONTINUED:                                                  55

                            LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN
                  Thank you, thank you, that was so
                  beautiful, I feel so... thank you so

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  Thank YOU, dear Lady, you give me
                  strength to continue

     Born again, tearful but transcendent, the LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN
     produces her cheque book and begins to write a cheque.

     TONY is frozen, confused. The crowd is still... stunned by
     the LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN's transformation as she deposits the
     cheque, her handbag, her expensive coat in the glass box and
     glides benignly through the crowd... which parts in awe.

     Pause... and then the other WOMEN rush the stage. Mayhem is
     narrowly averted as TONY and PERCY manage to coral them into
     a more-or-less orderly queue.

     Across the street, standing in the doorway of a shop selling
     luxury goods, is MR NICK. He watches events, intrigued... TONY escorts a second woman through the mirror, and a
     third, they descend, ecstatic, emptying the contents of their
     handbags, their pearls, earrings and diamond rings into the
     glass box.

     TONY pays off the cops who move on.

     TONY, getting more and more flamboyant, forgets to lower his
     mask each time he re-enters the stage. And now a fourth woman
     descends. Four successes for DOCTOR PARNASSUS.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                      (aside to Percy)
                  One more to go and we're free.

     DOCTOR PARNASSUS spots MR NICK across the street, smiles,
     holds up four fingers.

     MR NICK gives a little `I'm not impressed' smirk and turns
     away and pretends to be interested in the luxury goods in the
     shop window as four large dark heavy RUSSIAN MEN, all laden
     with luxury shopping walk past.

     One of the RUSSIANS stops..looking at the TONY whose
     mask is sitting on top of his head. The leading RUSSIAN
     pulls him on.


55   CONTINUED: (2)                                            55

                         VLADIMIR (IN RUSSIAN) SUBTITLED
               C'mon..What are you watching that
               crap for.

                         SERGE (IN RUSSIAN)
                   (pointing at TONY)
               It's him!

                         VLADIMIR (IN RUSSIAN)
               Who are you talking about?
                   (following SERGE's pointed

                           SERGE (IN RUSSIAN)
               I'm sure.

     They start pushing through the crowd.

     TONY, reaching down to help an elderly lady up to the stage,
     looks up and sees the RUSSIANS heading through the crowd..

     Panic!! He pulls the mask down and begins to back up.

     But it's too late, they've definitely seen him.

     He spins around and rockets upstage, past DR. PARNASSUS who
     is deep into his trance.

     TONY dives through the mirror much to the amazement of

     The RUSSIANS chase after him, shoving the queuing WOMEN
     aside, smashing the scenery and knocking ANTON into the

56   INT/EXT   SHAMPOO COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPE                    56

     The RUSSIANS charge through the shampoo-commercial landscape.
     No TONY.. Just slo-mo fashion models and soft wafting fabrics
     and aromatic breezes.

                         VLADIMIR (IN RUSSIAN)
               Where did he go?

                         PIOTR (IN RUSSIAN)
               You tell me... It can't be him.
               He's dead. We killed him.

                         SERGE (IN RUSSIAN)
               So why did he run?


56   CONTINUED:                                                     56

                            GREGOR (IN RUSSIAN)
                  There he is!!

     In the distance, TONY is hiding behind some billowing fabric.
     On being spotted, he takes off up a hill.

     The RUSSIANS race toward the hill only to crash into a solid
     wall - painted as a landscape with TONY frozen in mid stride.
     Looking off to their right they see Tony heading up another
     hill. But as they rush in that direction another wall rises
     up blocking them. Again it is painted with a hill and TONY
     frozen in midstride. A third and fourth wall rise up..
     surrounding and trapping the RUSSIANS.

     There is a cell door in one wall. Like crazy animals they
     start throwing themselves against the door trying to break it
     down. It won't budge.

     While the others batter the door, GREGOR, who has been
     somewhat affected by the soft shampoo commercial world, sits
     quietly in a corner picking pretty flowers.

     Exhausted, the other RUSSIANS collapse on the ground.

     GREGOR gently breathes in the aroma of the flowers and
     exhales. As he does the door swings open. The other RUSSIANS
     gape at him... then barrel out the door.

     Outside is a new, beautiful, landscape - the sky dotted with
     white fluffy clouds. Extending from the ground to each cloud
     is an incredibly long ladder. On each ladder is a person
     climbing upwards.

     The RUSSIANS spot Tony. He is already a hundred feet up a
     ladder and climbing.

     Unfortunately, their way is blocked by an over-bright, hyper-
     active, wide-eyed sales girl.

                  Hi! Hello! Today's special! Reach
                  for the clouds! Discover your true
                  potential! Gift certificates are
                  available at...

     The RUSSIANS roughly shove her aside.     As they rush past,
     GREGOR pauses, hands her his flowers.

                  Relax...smell the flowers.


56   CONTINUED: (2)                                             56

     Reaching the base of TONY'S ladder, the RUSSIANS start

     Seeing the threat, TONY kicks hard and breaks the rungs below
     him.. setting off a domino effect with more rungs breaking
     downward towards the RUSSIANS. Snap! Crack! Rungs break in
     their grasp.. they fall.

     The RUSSIANS land in a tangled heap as the domino effect
     continues down to the base of the ladder.

     Laughing down at them, TONY turns to continue climbing - only
     to see the domino effect heading down from the top of the
     ladder... towards him.


     Tony struggles to maintain his balance - and somehow manages
     to get his feet on the two halves of a broken rung. Then, as
     if he were on giant stilts, starts to stride away.

     The RUSSIANS chase after him but, his giant strides leave
     them far behind. Smugly, TONY looks back just as one of the
     legs of his ladder snags on a fallen log. He loses his
     balance... and plunges hundreds of feet earthward.

     From nowhere, ANTON (still dressed as a fat woman) appears..
     running to catch the plummeting TONY. He does and Whomp!!..
     is flattened. Knocked out cold. TONY is unscathed.. his fall
     broken by ANTON'S padding.

     But, the RUSSIANS arrive, grab TONY, start to beat him up.

               You thieving scumbag! We break
               every bone in your body!

     They scrawl strange symbols on TONY'S forehead.

               No! Wait! I can explain! Give me a

               We want our money or you die again!
               This time for good!

     ANTON struggles to his feet.

               Stop it! L-leave him alone!


56   CONTINUED: (3)                                              56

     The RUSSIANS turn and, thinking ANTON is a fat, bossy, middle-
     aged woman, hesitate.

                         ANTON (CONT'D)
               Stand b-back! I'm warning you!

     Foolishly, he whips off his wig and assumes a manly martial
     arts pose. The RUSSIANS look at each other. Then, utterly
     ignoring ANTON, turn their attention back to beating TONY.

     GREGOR walks calmly over to ANTON who is in attack mode.

                   (bending down and picking
                    a flower, he offers it to
               Relax. Smell the flowers.

     Confused, ANTON takes the flower, sniffs and then... GREGOR
     floors him with a powerful punch on the nose

     Meanwhile, the RUSSIANS have a noose around TONY's neck and
     have looped the rope over a tree branch. TONY struggles to
     pull out the metal pipe he keeps on a string around his neck.
     He gets it to his mouth as if to swallow it when...

     ... the ground erupts and a giant London policeman's helmet
     rises up (we are talking 20 feet tall)and revolves -
     revealing DR. PARNASSUS' carved and painted face beneath.

     The mouth drops open and a great red tongue rolls out like a
     welcoming red carpet. From inside the giant mouth a smiling
     policeman beckons the RUSSIANS to come on in..

     The terrified RUSSIANS let go of the lynching rope.

     TONY drops to the ground and, with a whistle, the brass pipe
     flies out of his mouth.

     Behind the RUSSIANS a painted backdrop reads
     "JOIN THE FUZZ.. WE LOVE VIOLENCE".. and a chorus line of
     LONG-LEGGED GIRLS in mini-skirted police outfits appear -
     high-kicking a snappy song and dance number.

     The astonished RUSSIANS don't know what the fuck is going on.

     Suddenly, a friendly OLD WOMAN'S VOICE is heard shouting
     something in Russian.

     Spinning around, the RUSSIANS see an old BABOUSHKA (Russian
     grandmother) outside a tumble-down cottage waving gaily to
     them. A stunned pause. Then, pell-mell, they rush to her.


56   CONTINUED: (4)                                             56

                           RUSSIANS (IN RUSSIAN)
                Mama!   Mama! Help! Save us!

     As they run toward her they get smaller and smaller. She
     lifts her skirts and all four disappear underneath. And
     then.. BOOM!.. a muffled explosion balloons the skirts
     outward. Smoke spews out from below.

     Straightening her skirt, the BABOUSHKA looks up, and pulls
     off her head - revealing MR.NICK's tiny head poking out of
     the collar. He smiles smugly.

     The giant POLICEMAN DR. PARNASSUS registers disappointment
     and, like a balloon rapidly deflating, spins off into the sky
     sending up a cloud of dust obscuring everything.

     The dust clears and TONY and ANTON find themselves in a
     desolate, empty landscape. Nowhere. Nothing.

                Did you see me!! I almost reached
                the clouds! I could was
                incredible...I was almost there...

                Shut up!

     Over a distant rise the wagon appears, pulled by the horses.
     ANTON drags Tony, babbling and stumbling, towards it.

                I made my choice and I climbed... I
                felt so much potential. I could
                have done anything. I have to have
                another chance...another go...I
                need this...


     The wagon is parked on waste ground. It looms out of nowhere
     illuminated by a light leaking from within.

     We hear PERCY'S angry voice.

                          PERCY O/S
                Maybe you were holding them upside

                           DOCTOR PARNASSUS


57   CONTINUED:                                                  57

                  That cards! The bloody Tarot cards!

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS O/S
                      (distraught and angry)
                  Enough, Percy! Enough!

                            TONY O/S
                  I made a mistake. A big mistake. I
                  know that and I'm sorry.

58   INT   THE STAGE - CONTINUOUS                                58

     The angry troupe huddles amongst the clutter of props and
     jumbled scenery. TONY is on trial.

     DR. PARNASSUS is sitting in a corner, head in hands. He seems
     utterly destroyed.

                  You're a l-liar. You've been lying
                  to us all along. Who are you? Who
                  were those thugs?

                  I am not a liar!


                  No! I just... didn't divulge
                  everything I knew.

                  Comes to the same thing.

                  Absolutely not. Not in law.

                  You stole their money.

                  No. I didn't.

                  That's what they said.


58   CONTINUED:                                                58

                  Are you going to believe them
                  before you believe me?

                  Why not?

                  Because they're irredeemably bad
                  people, and I'm essentially good. I
                  know that sounds terribly prim and
                  arrogant and self righteous, but
                  I'm trying to be honest. Look, the
                  truth is... in order to get my
                  charity off the ground I needed

     ANTON looks askance.

                            TONY (CONT'D)
                      (in response to Anton)
                  Yes, I know, and you're right, but
                  that's the way the grown-up..the
                  real world works. You can't make
                  omelettes without soiling your
                  hands. Or should that be the other
                  way round? Anyway, I - with
                  hindsight very foolishly - accepted
                  a loan from people who seemed to
                  me, at the time, to be very decent
                  and sincere. There was absolutely
                  no way I could have known that they
                  were part of a ruthless organised
                  crime syndicate and that they
                  wanted to use my charity to launder
                  money. I made a mistake. And I have
                  to live with that. I'm sorry. What
                  more can I say?

     VALENTINA wants to believe TONY. ANTON and PERCY don't.

                      (distressed but basically
                  Oh Tony.

                  But, can we not talk about me for a
                  moment.. I want to thank the Doctor
                  for letting me experience the most
                  sublime, inspiring ....


58   CONTINUED: (2)                                              58

               So why were they trying to k-kill
               you? "Again!" is what they said.


                   (answering his own
               The first time they hung you from
               the b-bridge... right?... B-because
               you stole their money.

               Stop saying that! I didn't steal
               it! I didn't have it. I'd had to
               invest in infrastructure. I needed
               more time. When you run a charity
               you have to give lots of money
               away. You wouldn't believe the red
               tape. The Charity Commission are a
               bunch of fascists. It's incredible.
               I mean... c'mon give me a break...I
               almost died today.. and I said I'm
               sorry... and anyway..... this was
               supposed to be a special's
               Valentina's birthday.

     He pulls out the LOUIS VUITTON WOMAN'S beautiful necklace
     from his pocket.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
               Happy birthday. For a beautiful

     He puts it around Valentina's neck. VALENTINA smiles.   ANTON

               The marks on your face...


               They scrawled something on your
               forehead. Symbols... Signs...

     TONY looks uncomfortable, tries to rub his forehead clean.


58   CONTINUED: (3)                                             58

               You had some of those when we
               rescued you.

               Yes, what's that about?

     But, before he can say anything, there's a knock on the door
     which startles everyone. They exchange looks.

     DR. PARNASSUS is frightened but hides this from the others.

     The knock is repeated. PERCY starts to get up.

                         DR. PARNASSUS
                   (sotto voce)
               No! Leave it!

     PERCY sits down.

     The knock comes again.

                   (sotto voce to the DR.
               Who is it?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
                   (sotto voce)
               It's too late... for visitors.

     Once more someone knocks. Everyone is edgy. Particularly

     The knock comes again.

                   (sotto voce, agitated)
               Please can we answer the door? I
               can't stand not answering the door,
               or the telephone, or whatever. It's
               not in my nature. I won't sleep for
               weeks if we don't answer the door!

     DR. PARNASSUS gets up, goes to the door, opens it and steps
     outside, closing the door behind him.

     VALENTINA, ANTON, PERCY and TONY exchange looks.


58   CONTINUED: (4)                                             58

                         PERCY (CONT'D)
               Sorry, I just... I've got a thing

59   EXT   OUTSIDE THE WAGON    THAT MOMENT                       59

     DR. PARNASSUS and MR NICK move away from the door and go
     around to the front. The stage is half-opened.

     The horses are standing steaming nearby.

                         DR. PARNASSUS
                   (very down)
               I know... It's've

                         MR NICK
               Four rotten Russkies?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               And the girl..from the pub.

     MR NICK shakes his head.

                         MR NICK
               Sally doesn't count.    Do you, gal?

     SALLY (the woman thrown out from the wagon as they escaped
     from the pub mob) steps out of the shadows, puts her arms
     around NICK

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               You're joking... toying with me.
               Like a cat with a mouse... As is
               your privilege.

                         MR NICK
               Sal didn't get to make a real
               choice. You were gaga. Out for the
               count. Wouldn't be fair...And
               you've got four, thanks to your
               friend Tony. So... we're even...
               it's not quite over.

     He smiles, lights a cigarette, takes a deep drag...

                          MR NICK (CONT'D)
               Not quite.
                   (checks his watch)
               Oh,oh, look at the's 11.


59   CONTINUED:                                               59

     ...and he wanders off into the darkness with SALLY.
     Somewhere, a clock strikes 11.

     DR. PARNASSUS, agitated, watches him go.

                               VALENTINA (V.O.)

     DR. PARNASSUS looks round to find VALENTINA standing next to
     him. He starts to round up the horses.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  Valentina... my darling girl. We
                  must do another show! Now! Quickly!
                  Get ready to move out!

                  Who was that?

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  Somebody asking the way. Where's

                  I overheard you... He wasn't asking
                  the way.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  Please! Get everybody together.
                  Another show! Tony! Percy!

                  I want to know what's going on.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                      (harnessing the horses)
                  Not now.

                  Yes, now! I want to know the truth!

                               DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  The truth?

                  What are you hiding?

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  There are more important things, at
                  this moment!


59   CONTINUED: (2)                                           59

               It's something to do with that
               bloody rambling story you were
               telling me the night we found Tony
               isn't it?

     PARNASSUS sighs. Stops. He checks his watch

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS

               So tell me.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               What I told you was... the truth.
               I really am thousands of years old.
               I have been immortal. I have been
               mortal. And I have had many
               dealings with the devil. Too many.

               What are you saying?...

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               Remember the woman I was telling
               you about?.. the one I was so
               desperately in love with.. so in
               love that I made a deal with the
               devil? That was your mother...
               ...she was so beautiful, so

     Looking at VALENTINA, DR. PARNASSUS sees her morph into the
     BEAUTIFUL WOMAN appearing. He almost swoons.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
               ... so young. She was everything I
               had ever dreamed of. I made a
               choice. I bargained away my
               immortality. I regained my youth...
               and I won her. I did! I won her...!

     The BEAUTIFUL WOMAN morphs back into VALENTINA.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
               ...but at a price...

     DR. PARNASSUS looks haggard. He closes his eyes. He sways and
     loses his balance.


59   CONTINUED: (3)                                       59

     VALENTINA stops him from falling.

               What price?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               It's too terrible...

               Tell me...

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               I... The price of my obsession...
                   (he groans)
               I can't say it.

               Say it.

                            DR. PARNASSUS


                         DR. PARNASSUS
               I was mortal again... on condition
               that... any children I fathered...
               would, on their sixteenth
               birthday... belong to him.


     VALENTINA can't take it in.

                         VALENTINA (CONT'D)
               But... didn't...

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Your mother never knew. She died
               before I had to tell her.

               I don't believe this! It can't be
               true. It's just another of your
               wretched stories... A cruel story!

                            DR. PARNASSUS
               If only...


59   CONTINUED: (4)                                              59

               Why do you say these things?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               It's true. Every word. But all is
               not lost.

     VALENTINA looks at him.

                         DR. PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
               A new wager... The first of five.
               If I win... you're free... you're
               mine again.. and we can win!
               Where's Tony? We can still win!

               By playing games with the devil!?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               With one more show. The day isn't


                            DR. PARNASSUS

               All my life you've made me play
               `Beauty', `Truth', `Justice'...
               filled my head with dreams and high
               ideals. All that crap! While... all
               the time...! The devil was right!
               You're arrogant! Vain and arrogant!
               I'm just another one of your stupid
               wagers!... You're beneath contempt.

     She rushes off into the dark night.

                          DR. PARNASSUS
               Valentina! That's not true! It's
               not like that! Wait! Come back!

     A dark silhouette stands in the shadow of the wagon. It's
     TONY. What has he heard?


60   INT   THE WAGON     MOMENTS LATER                          60

     DR. PARNASSUS rushes into the wagon.

     PERCY is already on his feet, having heard the DOCTOR

               What's happened?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Valentina... She's... she's gone...

     ANTON rushes out.

     PERCY stops by DR. PARNASSUS before he exits.

               Telling the truth... Always a bad

61   EXT   MONTAGE OF SCENES   NIGHT                            61

     ANTON, running, calling for VALENTINA.

     PERCY is scouring the area on horseback.

     ANTON running though a newspaper-filled tip, sees a headline
     on one of the newspapers. Stops.

62   EXT   THE WAGON     A LITTLE LATER                         62

     PARNASSUS, a bottle in his hand, is lurching around.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
               You fool! You monstrous fool!    You
               should be dead.

     He starts to violently bang his head against the side of the

     Suddenly the stage begins to unfold. PARNASSUS looks up,
     unable to see what or who is doing this. He drunkenly
     stumbles around the side to see TONY pulling ropes.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
               What are you doing?


62   CONTINUED:                                               62

                  Saving Valentina.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  What?... How?

                  I overheard you. You only need one
                  more to win. Me! I'll be that one.
                  I'll take the risk to save
                  Valentina and, hopefully, you sir.
                  We've still got a few minutes.

     Tony steers DOCTOR PARNASSUS towards his glass column.

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                  Yes! Yes! Of course! Of course!
                  Thank God! Thank God!

                      (to himself)
                  How about thanking me?

                            DR. PARNASSUS

                  I expect nothing in return.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                      (trying to go into a
                  No. You're a saint... A saint.

                  Only Valentina's hand in marriage,
                  if she'll have me...

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                      (not listening)
                  Oh, my head...

                  And, as your son-in-law...
                  perhaps... initiation into the
                  secrets of the trance.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  No! I can't do it!


62   CONTINUED: (2)                                             62

                   (realizing Parnassus is
                    referring to his
                    inability to go into a
               Why not?! What's wrong?

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               My mind... I can't concentrate...
               I'm too upset...

               You must do it! You have to do it!
               It's the only way to save your

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               I know...

                   (sitting PARNASSUS down)
               Concentrate. You must concentrate.
                   (clearing the way to the
               I'll make the right choice. I'm
               sure of it. I can feel how right it
               is already.

     TONY leaps back to steady DR. PARNASSUS who looked as though
     he were about to topple off his pillar.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
               Oh God!... Doctor... We can save
               her.. you and me. I need this. We
               both need this. Please. The trance.

     PARNASSUS quiets down.   Starts mumbling.

     TONY rushes to the mirror. Steps through. He finds himself
     standing amongst the stage scenery. Nothing else.

                         TONY (CONT'D)

     He steps back out of the mirror.    Goes to PARNASSUS who is

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               It's no good!


62   CONTINUED: (3)                                           62

     TONY shakes him hard.

               PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!... Sir.
               Concentrate...or you'll have lost
               her forever.

     PARNASSUS slowly goes into a sobbing kind of trance state.

     TONY confirms he is in a trance, then rushes to the mirror.

                         VALENTINA O/S
               Tony...oh, Tony..

     What?! TONY stops. Looks around. There in the shadows
     huddles VALENTINA, sobbing.

               It's useless... Hopeless... I
               thought I was strong, but I don't
               even know how to run away...

     TONY hesitates.. No time! He looks back to PARNASSUS who
     seems to still be in his trance. Hesitates. Then rushes to

               It's alright... it's alright...
               Don't cry. It's going to be
               alright, believe me.

               This stupid theatre...!... That's
               all I've ever known...! I've
               always believed it was something
               precious, but it's not... it's a
               lie...I hate it!

     TONY lifts her up, putting his arm around her.

               Everything's going to be alright...
               I'll take you away. I'll show you
               the world. My world. The great big
               beautiful world I've always dreamed
               of... You'll love it.

     VALENTINA, grateful, clings to TONY.


62   CONTINUED: (4)                                           62

                            TONY (CONT'D)


               C'mon then.

     They turn to the mirror but, an off-stage clearing of the
     throat makes them look round to see ANTON watching them. He's
     holding a torn and dirty piece of newspaper.

               Ah, there you are, Tony. Here's
               something m-might interest you.
               'Missing: D-disgraced head of
               children's charity'.


     TONY tries to snatch the paper but ANTON steps back.

               N-not a bad p-picture, Tony.
               Listen to this Valentina... it's
               about Tony's b-beautiful world..

                            DOCTOR PARNASSUS O/S
               Valentina!     Where are you?

     PARNASSUS is still in his trance but, mumbling.

               ...Anthony Shepherd, who was
               arrested last week on charges of...

     VALENTINA is surrounded. Confused.

                   (to Valentina)
               Valentina, Don't listen to that.
               I'm innocent. This is the work of
               people who are trying to destroy
               me! Evil people! Believe me! Look,
               I'll show you the truth!

     TONY pulls VALENTINA towards the mirror.


62   CONTINUED: (5)                                             62

     ANTON tries to stop him, but TONY pushes him back, off the
     stage. He crashes to the ground.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
                   (grabbing VALENTINA)

     TONY and VALENTINA disappear through the mirror.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS
                   (sobbing in his trance)
               Valentina! Forgive me.


     Mist and rain descend as TONY and VALENTINA run through the
     darkened shapes of the shampoo-commercial landscape - now
     tattered, ragged, and wind blown. Darkness reigns.

               This isn't right. This is all
               wrong. Which way?

     Soaked and cold they spy a welcome sight. A uniformed valet
     with an open umbrella stands by the door of a sleek limo.

               Your car is here, Mr.Tony.

               Ah, Lester, just in time.

     TONY ducks under the umbrella and helps VALENTINA into the
     car ahead of himself.

     As she slides across the seat she notices the driver - bowler
     hatted and smoking a cigarette.

               No! Tony, don't get in! Get away!

     She pushes TONY back and scrambles out...dragging him back
     out into the dark rain.

     The driver turns around.   It's MR.NICK.. looking vexed.

     VALENTINA and TONY struggle through the rain. Suddenly, they
     find themselves in deep water up to their chests. They are
     sinking. Through the mist they see a boat. It is the gondola
     that transported the LOUIS VUITTON LADY.


63   CONTINUED:                                                 63

                  Help! Over here!

     The boatman turns the boat in their direction. TONY tries to
     pull himself on board. The boatman reaches down to help.

                  Give me your hand

     It's MR. NICK.    VALENTINA recoils, drags TONY off the boat.

                  Stop! What are you doing!   We'll

                  No we won't. This is the way.

     She points to jumbled rocks just visible in the darkness.
     They drag themselves onto them. The rocky monoliths appear
     to be the same as the landscape ANTON climbed over when he
     was searching for DIEGO, the son of THE FAMILY FROM HELL.

     And, like a repeat of that experience, from behind the ridge
     rises the Parnassus-faced Mongolfier balloon. But, now the
     eyes stream tears and rain pours down. In the basket is

                  Don't d-do it. Don't g-go on. Not
                  with him! He's all lies.

                  Just like my father. Leave me
                  alone. I don't care anymore. I want
                  a new life.


     He pulls her away..towards a little tumble-down cottage. Warm
     candlelight glows in the windows, smoke curls from the
     chimney. They run to the door. TONY bangs on it. Someone
     can be heard unlatching the locks inside.

     A child's crying cuts through the wind.

     VALENTINA turns and sees a little girl sitting on the path...
     among flapping laundry. She rushes to her, tries to pick her
     up but, the little girl resists..


63   CONTINUED: (2)                                                63

               Tony, help me, she's heavy.

     The door has just opened and TONY is halfway through.    He
     turns, irritated.

               What is it now?! Can't we just go
               inside and get dry.

     Behind him, in the warmth, stands the old BABOUSHKA.

     Seeing that VALENTINA is really struggling with the little
     girl, TONY reluctantly goes to help. The little girl, on
     seeing TONY, tries to break away but, he holds on to her.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
                   (shouting angrily)
               Ostanobuite bas menshi schit!

     The litle girl goes quiet. VALENTINA looks at TONY with
     surprise. The BABOUSHKA looks angry. Suddenly a light begins
     to suffuse TONY and the little girl. A small orchestra can
     be heard playing garden party music.

               You did it! You made the right

     The light fills the screen and we find...

     ...TONY, sleekly groomed and immaculately dressed, holding
     the smiling little girl. She too has been cleaned and
     buffed. The sun shines. He stands in...

64   EXT   CHARITY GARDEN PARTY     DAY                            64

     ...a large well kept lawn covered with smart guests, BUSINESS

     Behind and beyond them is an impressive country house.

     A small orchestra is playing. There is a marquee.

     WAITERS and WAITRESSES move amongst the assembled notables
     bearing trays of drinks and food.

     TONY is the focus of attention. A TV current-affairs/news
     JOURNALIST with CAMERA CREW is following him around.


64   CONTINUED:                                                 64

                  Sustainability's great, if you can
                  achieve it. The problem is, in many
                  cases you simply can't, for a whole
                  variety of reasons.

     TONY smiles and shakes the hand of someone in a wheelchair.

     A GROUP OF GUESTS burst into spontaneous applause. Everybody
     loves and admires TONY. He smiles boyishly.

     He moves on. The TV CREW stay with him.

                  Aren't you running the risk of
                  entrenching the need for charity by
                  increasingly institutionalising it?

                  Look, charity, like poor little
                      (referring to the little
         always with us, to coin a

     VALENTINA appears. She is beautifully dressed, coiffed, made-
     up, she looks stunning.

                            TONY (CONT'D)
                      (to VALENTINA)
                  Ah, there you are, my lovely.

     She and TONY exchange broad smiles. They're in love. He pulls
     her to his side and puts his arm around her. The
     photographers snap away.

                  And what's your message to the
                  Prime Minister?

                      (laughs engagingly)
                  I wouldn't presume to have a
                  'message' for the Prime Minister...
                  Fortunately for the Foundation, I
                  think we pretty much see eye to eye
                  on most things.

     Now we hear a distant buzzing. EVERYBODY looks up.


64   CONTINUED: (2)                                           64

     They see a speck in the sky, it's the PRIME MINISTER'S
     approaching helicopter...

     TONY and the posse of JOURNALISTS and PHOTOGRAPHERS rush off
     leaving VALENTINA standing alone.

65   EXT   HELICOPTER LANDING PAD DAY                             65

     The PRIME MINISTER and his WIFE get out of the helicopter,
     followed by their AIDES. TONY and the PRIME MINISTER shake
     hands for THE TV CAMERAS.

     VALENTINA watches from a distance..ignored.

66   INT   BALLROOM   NIGHT                                       66

     A huge chandelier illuminates a grand ornate ballroom where
     wealthy guests, in evening dress, are being seated at tables
     by liveried ushers. Large beautiful photographs of the
     underprivileged children of the world line the walls. A
     great banner reads "Suffer The Little Children Benefit Ball"

     The PRIME MINISTER and his WIFE are seated at the head table,
     facing the dais, bubbly and expectant. Security is heavy.

67   INT   ENTRANCE HALL   NIGHT                                  67

     TONY is conferring with his speech writers and assistants as
     VALENTINA descends the staircase looking utterly stunning in
     a beautiful gown. TONY bows, romantically kissing her hand.
     He turns her to admire their reflections in a gilt
     mirror...the perfect, beautiful, dream couple.

               You look gorgeous, my love.   I knew
               you wouldn't let me down.

     The little girl, OLGA, and a little boy are brought forward.
     They are dressed in ethnic clothes. TONY takes OLGA'S
     hand...offers the little boy's hand to VALENTINA. She takes
     it in her own. The four of them start to walk to the door
     leading to the ballroom.

                         TONY (CONT'D)
                   (looking to everyone)
               This is a vitally important moment
               for the future of the Foundation.
               The children of the world are
               depending on us.


67   CONTINUED:                                                    67

                               ANTON (V.O.)


     TONY and VALENTINA look around. ANTON is nowhere to be seen
     but, his voice continues.

                            ANTON (V.O.)
                  All of this is false! It's nothing
                  to do with you! It's all him. It's
                  his imagination!

                  Call security, somebody.

                            ANTON (V.O.)
                  It's all rotten! A naked lie!
                  You've got to understand!

     The LITTLE BOY is tugging VALENTINA'S arm.       She looks down.
     It's ANTON. A child-size ANTON.

                            ANTON (CONT'D)
                  Look at this...

     He produces the newspaper with TONY'S photo and news story.

                            ANTON (CONT'D)
                  ...`Tony Liar'..

                  What?   How?...

     TONY lunges for him but, ANTON dodges out of the way.

                      (reading and dodging)
                  'The disgraced director of the
                  children's charity "Suffer the
                  Little Children, who was arrested

     Security guards have rushed in.

                  Stop him. Silence the little


67   CONTINUED: (2)                                           67

                   (dodging the guards)
                ...who was arrested last week on
               charges of involvement in the sale
               of organs from third world children
               to wealthy Westerners'...unghh!

     TONY has grabbed little ANTON and starts hitting him.

               And now he doesn't stutter! You
               see!? It was all an act to get
               cheap sympathy!

                   (pulling TONY off ANTON)
               Take your hands off him!! Stop it!

               Get off me! What are you doing?
                   (lashing out and hitting
                    VALENTINA in the face)
               You've betrayed me! Haven't you?
               You let him in...into my world, you
               bitch!?.. after all I've lavished
               on you...OW!!

     Little ANTON has leapt on TONY's back and sunk his teeth into
     TONY'S ear. TONY throws him off and starts beating him.

68   INT   THE BALLROOM   CONTINUOUS                           68

     In the glittering ballroom a children's choir sings.

                         CHILDREN'S CHOIR
               "We are the world..we are the

     Behind the choir the double doors of the ballroom crash
     open... exposing TONY violently beating up an `ethnic child.'

     Stunned silence as the horror of this happy scene sinks in.


               My God! Somebody stop him!   He's a
               monster! Get him!

     As one they leap to their feet.


68   CONTINUED:                                                68

     TONY looks up and freezes. At the same time the walls of the
     ballroom begin to crack and disintegrate. TONY'S world starts
     to fall apart... literally.

     The floor around TONY falls away into an abyss leaving only a
     narrow escape route. He hurls ANTON aside and dashes away as
     the GUESTS pursue him. ANTON avoids being trampled but,
     loses his footing and falls over the edge.


     VALENTINA, fighting through the angry GUESTS, rushes to the
     edge of the abyss. ANTON is struggling to hold on to a
     broken floor joist that protrudes several feet down from the
     side of the cliff face.

                  Valentina! me. Please.

     His grip slips. VALENTINA reaches for him, grasps his hand.

                  Forgive me, Anton. I was wrong.

                  I know... I'm not a child.


                            ANTON (CONT'D)
                  I love you, Valentina.

     ANTON slips out of her grip, plummeting into the abyss.


     Suddenly, VALENTINA is jerked backwards by her hair.

                  Who's behind this!? Eh!? You didn't
                  come up with this all on your own
                  did you!!!???
                      (slapping her)
                  No! Someone's got at you. Someone's
                  paid you!!!... Who!!!??? Tell me!!!

                            DR. PARNASSUS(O.S.)
                  Valentina! My darling daughter!
                  There you are!


68   CONTINUED: (2)                                              68

     They turn to see PARNASSUS in the distance (where once the
     ballroom stood) stumbling towards them, drunk, desperate. As
     he moves forward a new landscape is created behind him.

     TONY rushes towards PARNASSUS.

               You old bastard! This is all your

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               All my doing?... I'm merely the
               facilititatater, dear boy.

                         GUESTS (O.S.)
               There he is! Stop him! Leave her
               alone. Get him!

     Throwing his arm around TONY, PARNASSUS spins him around to
     face the MOB rushing towards him.

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               I create the opportunities. Is it
               my fault if your not up to it?

     Tony wrenches his arm free and violently shoves the drunken
     DOCTOR right into the path of the frenzied MOB. PARNASSUS is
     trampled underfoot in their rush to catch TONY.

               Father! No!

     PARNASSUS'S body lies broken on the ground. Frantically,
     VALENTINA rushes to him, throwing herself on her father's
     battered body, sobbing hysterically.

                         VALENTINA (CONT'D)
               NO..NO NO... Please..'s
               all my fault. What have I done?...

     With siren wailing, an AMBULANCE arrives, screeching to a
     halt. PARAMEDICS pull VALENTINA away. They check PARNASSUS
     for signs of life and begin to lift him onto the gurney.
     VALENTINA can't control herself and tries to throw herself
     onto his body. The PARAMEDICS struggle with her.

                   (with a severe stutter)
               P-p-p-lease m-mis-s, there's-s
               n-n-othing y-y-y-you c-can d-d-o,
               he-he-he's d-d-dead...


68   CONTINUED: (3)                                              68


     VALENTINA wrenches herself out of their grasp howling like an
     animal and rushes away out of earshot before the PARAMEDIC
     can finish speaking.

               ...d-dead drunk.

     A bottle falls from the DOCTOR'S hand and explodes in a
     million fragments as it hits the ground.

     The shimmering fragments coalesce into a fractured mirror
     corridor down which a multi-reflected VALENTINA runs -
     sobbing like a madwoman - lashing out at her reflections,
     some of which are flashbacks of her flirting with TONY,
     irritated with ANTON, angry with PARNASSUS.

                   (to her reflections)
               You little fool! You're to blame!..
               for everything... I hate you!

     The multi-reflection broken mirror corridor ends at two
     mirrors identical to the one used in the Imaginarium. The one
     to the left is marked 'His' with a bowler hat, the other to
     the right 'Hers' with a bonnet. She hesitates.

                         VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                   (laughing madly)
               So this is to be my choice!!

     MR NICK appears out of the "His" mirror - a burst of flame
     behind him.

     He makes a sweeping gesture inviting VALENTINA to enter the
     mirror marked 'Hers'.

     VALENTINA, heads for the mirror marked 'His'. MR NICK blocks
     her path.

                         MR NICK
               Now, there's absolutely no need for
               that. That's just plain

     VALENTINA tries to get around him.


68   CONTINUED: (4)                                            68

                         MR NICK (CONT'D)
               You think you deserve punishment
               but you're a kid - you have no

     VALENTINA feints another direction. MR NICK blocks her.

                   (a crazed look)
               Wrong. I'm 16...I'm a woman now..

     She spins around him...he blocks....a kind of dance between
     them begins - confusingly reflected in the mirrors. A tango
     can be heard.

                         VALENTINA (CONT'D)
               ...a selfish bitch, everyone I love

                         MR NICK
               ...only fit for hell? If only.

     He looks at Valentina with lascivious intent. He's tempted,
     briefly, but resists it.

                         MR NICK (CONT'D)
               No... your pop would never speak to
               me again. And that'd be a shame.
               Let's dance.

     Reflected in the swirling mirror fragments, they tango until
     he spins her towards the right hand mirror. She sails through
     - and, with a mad smile, throws him a kiss.

     The mirror closes with a burst of flame. The briefest flash
     of DR. PARNASSUS face is reflected in the mirror fragments.

                         DOCTOR PARNASSUS O/S

     MR NICK turns, realizing he has been looking into a mirror
     fragment reflecting the two mirrors. The writing on the
     Valentina's mirror reads "His".

                         MR NICK
               Damn!... I've won.


69   EXT   STRANGE   MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE                           69

     DR. PARNASSUS is sitting alone on a prominent bluff (the same
     one he tried throwing himself off many years ago) He's
     distraught. Tears run down this cheeks. A distant bell tolls

     MR NICK appears behind PARNASSUS...sits down beside him.

                         MR NICK
               Funny how things work out, isn't

     He lights a cigarette.

                         MR NICK (CONT'D)
               It's not what I had in mind
               y'know... this.. Valentina, being
               the fifth... It doesn't seem
               right... She's supposed to be the
               prize, the star prize... not part
               of the bloody score... And you
               lumbered with eternal life all over
               again... What a bummer, eh?

     No response from PARNASSUS. A Tarot cards drops from his
     hand. It is The Hanged Man.

     MR. NICK points to the plain far below. Across the harsh
     ground, TONY is running for his life...pursued by the MOB.

                          MR NICK (CONT'D)
               I hope they get that bastard. Tear
               him limb from limb... But they
               won't... He leads a charmed life,
               that one... I've been trying to
               nail him for years... I thought I
               had him this time. But, there's
               always some prat comes to his
               rescue... Talk about the luck of
               the Devil.
                   (he laughs)
               Those weird markings you found on
               him... on his forehead... Those
               satanic-symbol, so-called,
               things... What's all that about?...
               Maybe they protect him in some
               way... I've never been into that
               black-magic stuff myself... Can't
               seem to get the hang of it... I
               know, pathetic isn't it?...


69   CONTINUED:                                                  69

     PARNASSUS ignores him, sunk even deeper into despondency.

                            MR NICK (CONT'D)
                  God, I hate to see you like this.
                  Look, I tell you what... If you can
                  get the lowdown on those satanic
                  markings, or.. wait.. better
                  still, if you can wipe that self-
                  righteous little creep off the face
                  of the universe... I'll give you
                  Valentina back.

     A beat. Slowly, PARNASSUS looks up.

                            MR NICK (CONT'D)
                  How about it?

70   EXT   SOMEWHERE ON THE MOUNTAIN                              70

     TONY, sweating, panting for breath, is running up the

     Below, the MOB is still in hot pursuit.

     TONY reaches the summit. In front of him, is his salvation -
     an empty gibbet. A noose hangs from the crossbeam.

                  Thank God for that!

     TONY relaxes a little.

     We can hear the mob now, struggling up the mountain.

     TONY digs into one of his pockets and pulls out the brass
     tube that he has always kept close.

     TONY opens his mouth and is about to slip the tube down his
     throat when he spots the Hanged Man Tarot card lying at his
     feet. A hand from behind him snatches the tube away.

     TONY, startled, turns to find himself looking up at DR.

     PARNASSUS is standing on a chair with the noose around his
     neck. He smiles and opens his hand. The metal tube has

     TONY panics. The MOB is getting closer.


70   CONTINUED:                                                 70

     With his other hand DR. PARNASSUS produces the tube from
     TONY'S ear.

                            TONY (CONT'D)
                  Give me that!

     DR. PARNASSUS gestures at the CROWD.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  Give us a moment, please.

     The CROWD goes into very slow motion...but twice as angry.

     DR. PARNASSUS teases TONY with magic.

                            DR. PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
                  Here's your tube... Here's mine.
                      (producing a second tube)
                  But mine's just a cheap
                  counterfeit... Look, it breaks...
                      (he breaks it)
                  But here's another...


                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  You're not amused?

                  You've been talking to the devil,
                  haven't you? Let me guess what he
                  said... If you manage to kill me,
                  he'll release Valentina. Yes? Am I
                  right?... I am aren't I? It's all
                  lies. He can't release her. And why
                  not? Because he doesn't have her.
                  He can't have her because she's the
                      (gaining confidence)
                  He doesn't have five wins. But if
                  you kill me he will, won't he?
                  You'll have lost Valentina forever!

     DR. PARNASSUS does a double hand shuffle.

                            DR. PARNASSUS


70   CONTINUED: (2)                                           70

               This is ridiculous!

                          DR.    PARNASSUS

     TONY chooses.

               You've got to believe me! For all
               our sakes!

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Are you sure you made the right


                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Let's find out.

     He slides the tube down his throat and kicks the chair away.

     He drops... dangles from the rope...the noose tight around
     his neck.

     At the same moment, the MOB resumes normal speed and roars up
     the mountain.

     Is PARNASSUS dead?

     Working very fast, TONY hoists him over his shoulder and
     wrestles the noose loose. He drops PARNASSUS on the ground.
     He's stunned but still alive.

     The MOB is closing in.

     TONY slaps DR. PARNASSUS hard between the shoulder blades.

     The tube pops out of the DOCTOR'S gullet. TONY catches it.


     TONY swallows the tube as the MOB surge around the gibbet,
     grabbing him, beating him, and then lifting him onto the
     chair, tightening the noose around his neck.


70   CONTINUED: (3)                                             70

     Although battered, TONY winks smugly at DR. PARNASSUS, but
     his mood changes when he sees DR. PARNASSUS spit out several
     more fake tubes, then, gagging, force the real one up and out
     of his gullet.

     With a look of realization and horror, TONY drops to his
     death as the MOB kicks the chair away from under him.

     The MOB cheers. Yes, he's dead.

     DR. PARNASSUS tosses the metal tube to MR NICK who steps
     coolly out of the MOB, cigarette in his mouth.

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               There are three cardinal rules.
               One, there's no black-magic, only
               cheap tricks. And... er... I forget
               the others. Now, where's my

                         MR NICK
               How should I know? You're her
                   (with needle)
               Her loving father.

     DR PARNASSUS looks askance at MR NICK.

                         MR NICK (CONT'D)
               She's free... isn't she?

     MR NICK smiles and blows smoke in PARNASSUS'S face. The smoke
     fills the screen and becomes...

71   EXT   DESERT     DAY                                       71

     ... a dust storm. The wind is howling. The swirling dust
     thins to reveal DR.PARNASSUS, alone, exhausted, trudging
     across a vast desert.

     He's tormented by his thoughts.

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               What else could I do, Valentina?
               What else could I have done... What
               other choice could I have made?...
               Damn!... It was the right choice...
               Of course it was... Of course...
               But where are you?


71   CONTINUED:                                                 71
                            DR. PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
                  Where's my beautiful daughter?
                  Where's my darling? How long must I

     There is no proper road, only endless sand, but nevertheless
     DR. PARNASSUS reaches a signpost which indicates two distinct

     One leads to a tidy little suburban home, the other up an
     dramatic mountain pass via a painfully steep staircase cut
     into the rock (the same one that MARTIN THE DRUNK chose not
     to climb days earlier.

                            DR. PARNASSUS (CONT'D)
                  No, no, no... No more choices,
                  please... No more choices...!!!

     Enraged, he tries to push the sign over, but is too feeble.
     Exhausted, he subsides onto a smooth protruding stone.

                               VOICE (V.O.)

     DR. PARNASSUS, alarmed, rolls quickly off the stone.

     Now on his knees he finds himself looking at the top half of
     PERCY'S head and face. What he'd thought was a stone was, in
     fact, his old companion buried in the sand.

                               DR. PARNASSUS

     DR. PARNASSUS, overjoyed, begins to dig PERCY out.

                  About bloody time!

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  Where have you been?


                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  How long have you been here?

                  How long's a piece of string? Don't
                  ask daft questions.


71   CONTINUED: (2)                                             71

                         DR. PARNASSUS
               Thank God I found you. I need your
                   (indicating sign)
               I've got a problematical choice to

               Problematical my arse! Come on... I
               know it's against the grain...

     PERCY grabs DR. PARNASSUS'S cloak and begins to pull him
     across the sand in the direction of the bungalow. We can now
     see the sign reads `Easy'...

                         DR. PARNASSUS
                   (on his dignity)
               No! Suburban bungalows and all that
               they evoke are anathema to me.
               Dammit Percy! Stop! I've got my

               Yeah, it goes just before the fall.

     PERCY grabs DR. PARNASSUS'S cloak and begins to pull him
     across the sand in the direction indicated by the sign which
     we can now see reads 'Easy'..

                         PERCY (CONT'D)
               Come on... I know it's against the

72   EXT   SUBURBAN BUNGALOW                                    72

     PERCY pulls the reluctant DR. PARNASSUS up the drive of a
     suburban bungalow, past a perfect lawn and double garage, to
     the front door.

     PERCY rings the bell.

     DR. PARNASSUS tries to make a run for it but PERCY holds him

     The door is opened by VALENTINA. She's older and is carrying
     a BABY in her arms.

     Both DR. PARNASSUS and VALENTINA are astonished. Neither
     knows what to say.


72   CONTINUED:                                                  72

                            DR. PARNASSUS

                  Where have you been?... All these
                  years... I thought you were dead.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  So did I. But you... I...

                  Come in.

     VALENTINA steps back and ushers her father in.

                  So far, so good.

     PERCY is about to follow, but VALENTINA, focussing on her
     father, closes the door in his face.

73   INT   SUBURBAN BUNGALOW                                     73

     VALENTINA shows DR. PARNASSUS into the sitting-room. He sits
     on the sofa.

                            KID'S VOICE (V.O.)
                  Mummy? Can I have some ice-cream?

     A SMALL BOY enters from the kitchen.


                  Billy, this is your grandad. Say
                  hello to your grandad.
                      (to Parnassus)
                  I think he looks a little like you.

     BILLY takes one look at DR. PARNASSUS and runs back into the

     VALENTINA laughs.

                            VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                  He's only five. And he's very shy.
                  Would you like some tea?


73   CONTINUED:                                                   73

     DR. PARNASSUS nods.

                            VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                  Okay, you look after Imogen.

     She gives him the baby.

                            VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                  She's eight months, and, so far,
                  fortunately, doesn't look in the
                  least like you.

     DR. PARNASSUS is moved.

                            VALENTINA (CONT'D)
                  This is all I ever wanted... I know
                  it's not what you wanted for me,
                  but...well... there you go... I'm

     ANTON enters.

                  Hello Doctor.

     He puts his arm around VALENTINA.

                  We're both happy.

     DR. PARNASSUS doesn't know what to say. He sits there, a
     ragged old man with a baby on his knee, tears streaming down
     his face.

74   EXT   RAILWAY STATION    CENTRAL LONDON                       74

     Little cut-out cardboard figures are 'performing' in a toy

                            VOICE OF TOY CHARACTER (V.O.)
                  It's your choice. You can stay here
                  and look after mum and dad, or come
                  with me and help fight the giant.

                            SECOND TOY CHARACTER (V.O.)
                  I'll have to think about it.

     THE CAMERA pulls back to show PERCY manipulating the puppets
     and giving them voices. He and DR. PARNASSUS are running a
     stall selling toy theatres. Business is good.


74   CONTINUED:                                                  74

     The audience is made up of mainly KIDS, with some ADULTS.
     COMMUTERS come and go.

     A COUPLE OF PARENTS purchase a theatre for their son. DR.
     PARNASSUS takes the money and expertly wraps the theatre.

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  Beautifully made. It'll last for
                  years if properly looked after.

                            NINE YEAR OLD SON
                  Does it come with a happy ending?

                            DR. PARNASSUS
                  I'm afraid we can't guarantee that.

     THE CAMERA angles across the table...

     In a shadowy corner stands MR NICK, smoking a cigarette.

                              THE END