FAHRENHEIT 451 -- SCREENPLAY
Directed by Francois Truffaut, Novel by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 --
and Screencap Gallery, by Francois Truffaut and Jean-Louis Richard
(Transcribed from the Movie by Tara Carreon, The Ralph Nader Library Librarian)
[Announcer]: An Enterprise Vineyard Production. Oskar Werner, Julie Christie in Fahrenheit 451. Co-starring: Cyril Cusack, Anton Diffring, Jeremy Spenser, Bee Duffell, Alex Scott. Screenplay by Francois Truffaut and Jean-Louis Richard. From a novel by Ray Bradbury. Music by Bernard Herrmann. Director of Photography: Nicolas Roeg. Color by Technicolor. Art Director: Syd Cain. Production and Costume Design Consultant: Tony Walton. Film Editor: Thom Noble. Associate Producer: Mickey Dalamar. Produced by Lewis M. Allen. Directed by Francois Truffaut.
[Woman] Get out! Hurry!
[Man] What? Who is that?
[Woman] Get moving! For God's sake, get out of there!
[Man] I ...
[Siren winding down]
[Captain] Montag, here. Well ... what sort were these then, Montag?
[Montag] I didn't really look, sir. A little bit of everything. Novels, biographies, adventure stories.
[Captain] Oh, routine, eh? Why will they do it? It's sheer perversity. By the way ...
[Fireman] Pass it over.
[Captain] What does Montag do with his day off duty?
[Montag] Not very much, sir. Mow the lawn.
[Captain] And what if the law forbids that?
[Montag] Just watch it grow, sir.
[Captain] Uh-huh. Good. Good. Montag might be hearing some exciting news in a day or two. Benedict won't be with us very much longer, and Montag's name has been mentioned.
[Montag] Promotion, sir?
[Captain] I trust that the thought makes Montag happy.
[Clarisse] I think we're neighbors. I live near block 813. Isn't that where you live?
[Montag] Yes, I do.
[Clarisse] Do you know we make the same trip together almost every day?
[Montag] Do we?
[Clarisse] Hmm. That's why I thought to myself, well, we ought to talk to each other. Do you mind? Me talking, I mean.
[Montag] No, no, go ahead. Talk. I can't promise to think of anything to answer though.
[Clarisse] [Laughs] Don't you worry about that. Once I get started, nothing can stop me. My uncle says I am a veritable well of words.
[Montag] Hasn't this uncle of yours ever warned you never to speak to strangers?
[Clarisse] No. He did say once if anyone asked how old I was to say I was 20 years old and light in the head. They always go together.
[Montag] "Light in the head"?
[Clarisse] Mmm. Loopy. Crazy. Anyway, you don't frighten me.
[Montag] Why should I?
[Clarisse] No reason really. The uniform, I suppose.
[Clarisse] Most people are ... frightened, frightened of firemen.
[Montag] This is my stop now.
[Clarisse] Mine too. Are you an officer?
[Montag] Oh, no. Not yet. An officer has to -- I'm going to be promoted soon.
[Clarisse] Even with my eyes closed, I could tell what you do for a job.
[Montag] Because of the smell of kerosene?
[Montag] Quite a scent, isn't it? My wife doesn't like it very much. She says it lingers. I don't mind. I think of it as a ... perfume.
[Montag] Yes, a perfume, like any other.
[Clarisse] I don't think I've seen your wife. What's she like?
[Montag] She's rather like you, except her hair is long.
[Clarisse] Rather like me?
[Montag] Quite like you.
[Clarisse] [Laughs] Tell me, that number you all wear, what's it mean?
[Montag] Oh, Fahrenheit 451.
[Clarisse] Why 451 rather than 813 or 121?
[Montag] Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and starts to burn.
[Clarisse] I'd like to ask you something else, only I don't really dare.
[Montag] Go ahead.
[Clarisse] Is it true that a long time ago firemen used to put out fires and not burn books?
[Montag] [Laughs] Really, your uncle is right. You are light in the head. "Put fires out"? Who told you that?
[Clarisse] Oh, I don't know. Someone. But is it true?
[Montag] Oh, what a strange idea. Houses have always been fireproof.
[Clarisse] Ours isn't.
[Montag] Well, then, it should be condemned one of these days. It has to be destroyed, and you will have to move to a house that is fireproof.
[Clarisse] Too bad. Tell me, why do you burn books?
[Montag] What? Well, it's a job like any other. Good work with lots of variety. Monday, we burn Miller; Tuesday, Tolstoy; Wednesday, Walt Whitman; Friday, Faulkner; and Saturday and Sunday, Schopenhauer and Sartre. "We burn them to ashes and then burn the ashes." That's our official motto.
[Clarisse] You don't like books then?
[Montag] Do you like the rain?
[Clarisse] Yes, I adore it.
[Montag] Books are just so much ... rubbish. They have no interest.
[Clarisse] Then why do some people still read them although it's so dangerous?
[Montag] Precisely because it is forbidden.
[Clarisse] Why is it forbidden?
[Montag] Because it makes people unhappy.
[Clarisse] Do you really believe that?
[Montag] Oh, yes. Books disturb people. They make them antisocial.
[Clarisse] [Sighs] Do you think I'm antisocial?
[Montag] Why do you ask?
[Clarisse] Well ... I'm a teacher. Well, not quite. I'm still on probation. This afternoon the analyst called me in, and I don't think I said the right things. I'm not at all happy about my answers. That's probably why I've been so rude to you. Have I been annoying you?
[Montag] Oh, no, not at all. In fact, I was questioned this afternoon as well.
[Montag] I didn't do too well either.
[Plane passing overhead]
[Clarisse] This is where I live. You see? This is my house. One more question.
[Montag] Another one?
[Clarisse] Just a little tiny one.
[Montag] What is it?
[Clarisse] Do you ever read the books you burn?
[Montag] Why should I? First, I'm not interested. Second, I've better things to do and third, it is forbidden.
[Clarisse] Of course. You happy?
[Montag] What? Of course I'm happy.
[TV Announcer] ... so you can protect yourself on the streets. The art of self-defense, and of attack on occasions, may also come in quite handy in the home, cousins. Now, if you watch carefully, you will see how a woman can use a man's superior weight to her own advantage.
[TV Announcer] Did you see that? Now let's watch that once again normally. And now in slow motion. Watch it carefully again, cousins.
[Montag] I'm going to be promoted.
[TV Announcer] And he starts to advance, notice her position:
[Montag] Are you listening, Linda?
[Woman] Knees bent slightly and toes turned slightly inwards.
[Linda] Oh, that's marvelous, Montag.
[TV Announcer] There. Now you see how easily she has disposed of her --
[Montag] The captain told me while we were out on a call.
[Linda] [Shouts] What did you say?
[Montag] I'm talking about my promotion.
[Linda] Does that mean an increase, dear? How much?
[Montag] He didn't mention that. We could move to a larger house. Would you like that?
[Linda] I'd rather have a second wall-set put in. They say when you have your second wall-screen, it's like having your family grow around you.
[Montag] Linda, how many of these pills have you taken today?
[Linda] What's that?
[Linda] Oh, those. Help yourself. I've got another bottle full.
[Montag] How many have you had?
[Linda] Oh, don't carry on like that. Only a few. Anyway, tonight's special for me.
[Linda] I've got a part in The Family.
[TV continues, indistinct]
[TV Announcer] Our campaign against the enemies of the public peace is gaining momentum. Today's figures for operations in the urban area alone account for the elimination of the total of 2,750 pounds of conventional editions. Eight hundred and thirty-six pounds of first editions and 17 pounds of manuscripts were also destroyed. Twenty-three antisocial elements were detained, pending re-education.
[Linda] Did you see that? Cousin Claudette's got a bouffant tonight.
[Linda] Cousin Claudette.
[Montag] Who is Cousin Claudette?
[Linda] The cousin announcer. The one you don't like.
[Montag] I don't like any of them.
[Linda] Why don't you get the kitchen family fixed? You are awful, Montag, really.
[Linda] Oh, hurry, hurry! I'll be on in a minute! Quickly! Quickly!
[Montag] I don't understand. How can you be in a play?
[Linda] They've written a play, you see, with one part missing. That's me. When the people look at me, then I have to speak. They ask me a question, and I have to say what I think. The play, it's beginning.
[TV Announcer] And now, for cousins everywhere, Our Family Theater. "Come Play With Us."
[Linda] [Flicking lighter]
[[TV Announcer] Naturally, in what you are about to see any similarity with the truth or with real life will be purely coincidental. Do bear that in mind. So, will you come play with us? You will? Good! I thought you would. Come in, cousins. Be one of the family.
[Bernard] Charles, you do realize what a dilemma this is? It's terribly difficult. I don't see any way out of it at all.
[Charles] Come, come, Bernard. Of course there's a way out. Now there are 13 of us so far, right? You want to invite Edward, which makes 14.
[Bernard] But if somebody's ill, Charles, then we should be back to 13 again.
[Charles] Precisely. Then we must invite more people.
[Bernard] That's an idea.
[Charles] Now what about Lottie and James? That'll make 16. Then if somebody's ill, well at least we won't be 13, will we?
[Bernard] Hmmm. But then there's the problem of the rooms, Charles. Lottie has two children, Charles, two little boys: Freddie and little John.
[Charles] I don't see any problem there at all. We can put the two in children, well, in Helen's room for instance. What do you think, Linda?
[Montag] Well go ahead. They're waiting for you.
[Linda] I think that --
[Charles] You see? Linda agrees with me. Lottie's children must go in with Helen's children of course. Linda's absolutely right.
[Bernard] Then there's the problem of the seating, Charles. I think I've got something worked out, though. Look. If we put Yvonne at the head of the table and Richard at her right --
[Charles] Oh, no, no, no, no, Bernard. Richard isn't even speaking to Yvonne these days.
[Charles] Because of Leslie.
[Charles] Madeleine must be at the head of the table. Besides which, Madeleine is older than Yvonne. She might even be older than Jacqueline. No, I see no problem there. We put Madeleine at the head of the table. It's Madeleine, isn't it, Linda?
[Bernard] If Linda thinks it's all right, then of course it must be. But there's still the problem about the rooms, Charles.
[Charles] Well, what rooms are left? There's the pink room. We could always put Lilian in the pink room.
[Bernard] And we can put Susan in the green room.
[Bernard] Where can we put Monica?
[Charles] Yes, what can we do with Monica? Do you have the answer, Linda?
[Linda] In the blue room?
[Charles] Linda, you're right.
[Bernard] She's right.
Bernard and Charles] Linda, you're absolutely fantastic.
[Linda] You saw it, didn't you? I gave all the right answers. Wasn't it wonderful? I could have been an actress. Don't you think so?
[Montag] Think what?
[Linda] That I could have been an actress.
[Montag] Oh, sure you could have been an actress.
[Linda] I wonder whether Joyce was watching. I do hope so. I must ring her tomorrow and find out what she thought.
[Montag] How did you get the part?
[Linda] The head of The Family rang me up. Me! And said I was to be in tonight's play.
[Montag] Oh, Linda, they must have phoned every one of the 200,000 Lindas in the whole country.
[Linda] That's not true. I mean, even if it were true, you didn't have to tell me. That was very mean.
[Fireman 1] So you're in for promotion, Montag. Good luck.
[Montag] Thank you.
[Fireman 2] Well, well, what's all this we hear, Montag? Promotion, eh?
[Montag] It seems so.
[Fireman 3] How do you feel about it? Happy?
[Montag] The wife rather likes the idea.
[Fireman 3] I suppose.
[Alarm continues ringing, siren blaring]
[Alarm, siren continue]
[Indistinct shouting, alarm, siren continue]
[Fireman Instructor] That will do for today. Go back to your desks. Now what's this? I thought I told you two I did not want to see you sitting next to each other. Or didn't I make it clear enough the first time? Yes, you! You know what I mean. Come and sit here.
[Montag] Let us review yesterday's lesson. We studied how to detect books hidden during the actual construction of the house. This is somewhat rare because it's very costly; for its floors, for its ceilings. We also studied concealment inside furniture.
[Intercom] Trainee firemen Stoneman and Black are to report to Captain's office immediately. I repeat, trainee firemen Stoneman and Black are to report to the Captain's office immediately.
[Door opens, closes]
[Montag] We were discussing concealment inside furniture. The most prevalent form being the false icebox or the fake television set. What occasionally presents problems are books hidden in small quantities in everyday objects. When one is looking for a book, the most common area is to look for it in a rectangular object, like a cigar box or a chocolate box or any other object in similar shape. I demonstrate how even a cylindrical object can be used.
[Intercom] Montag will report to the Captain's office.
[Montag] Here, you. Hand me a pile of books. While I'm gone, give each of the trainees a book. Each of you will hide his book somewhere in this classroom. When I return, I will give you a demonstration how to search. To learn how to find, one must first know how to hide.
[Boy trainees whispering]
[Trainee 1] What shall I say?
[Trainee 2] We met by accident.
[Trainee 1] That's no good.
[Trainee 2] What do you want to say? We planned it?
[Trainee 1] It was your idea. You're the one who thought of it.
[Trainee 2] Shut up!
[Trainee 1] If we don't tell him the same story, we're --
[Trainee 2] Listen, let's play this by ear.
[Footsteps, door opens]
[Captain] Montag, this will take about five minutes.
[Montag] Yes, sir.
[Captain] What time is it?
[Montag] Uh ... 10:00, sir.
[Captain shouting] Get out! This is the last time!
[Captain shouts] Get out!
[Captain] Like gymnastics, Montag?
[Montag] Yes, sir.
[Captain] And what about hockey? Do you like hockey?
[Montag] Yes, I do, sir.
[Captain] And golf?
[Montag] Golf. Very much, sir.
[Captain] Hmm? And football?
[Montag] Wonderful, sir.
[Captain] Billiards? Basketball?
[Montag] Oh, they're all very fine sports, sir.
[Captain] Then increase the dosage. More sports for everyone, hmm? Strengthen the group spirit. Organize the fun. Hmm? Just keep them busy, and you keep them happy. That's what matters. Hmm. Am I right?
[Montag] Absolutely, sir.
[Captain] Well, shall we talk a little about this promotion of yours? You have mentioned the possibility to your wife I suppose?
[Montag] Yes, sir.
[Captain] And her reaction?
[Montag] Uh, she thought, sir, we might be able to have a second wall-screen, sir.
[Captain] Oh, you only have the one wall converted. I see. These matters of promotion are much more important to a married man, aren't they?
[Montag] I guess so, sir.
[Captain] Montag ... you have no children, I believe.
[Montag] No, sir. We have no children.
[Captain] Well, then, a commission seems in order. And I can't see any reason offhand why it shouldn't go through. You understand, of course, with the new amendment to the law, we must expect to be worked really very hard. Very hard, indeed, until we can arrange for new volunteers to be drafted.
[Montag] Yes, sir, I heard the men talking about it.
[Captain] How long have you been with us?
[Montag] For six years, sir. Yes, yes for six years. No, no, no, for five years, sir. For five years.
[Captain] Montag has one quality I appreciate greatly. He says very little. Have you seen my personal medallion? Oh, it's a remarkable likeness. You must remind me to let you have one sometime. Now, let's get back to this promotion of yours. I've been looking through your file. There are only six back views. We need 12 of them, you know. Two sets of six. Remember that, Montag.
[Montag] Linda? Linda!
[Woman] Hospital listening.
[Montag] Yes, it's about my wife. She --
[Woman] Name and address.
[Montag] Uh ... Montag. Block 813.
[Montag] Uh, just a moment.
[Montag] Hello? Yes, I just came home from work, and I found her on the floor unconscious.
[Woman] Does she take pills?
[Montag] Of course! Yesterday, she --
[Woman] Just a moment. I'll connect you with poisoning section.
[Man] Poisoning listening.
[Montag] It's about my wife. She --
[Man] Name and address.
[Montag] Uh, Montag. Block 813.
[Man] What kind of pills?
[Montag] Oh ... uh, just a moment. Hello?
[Montag] They are red. Oh, and red number two.
[Man] Oh, it's a stimulant. It's harmless. She's probably taken the wrong kind of sedative on top of that.
[Montag] Oh, just a moment. Hello?
[Man] Yes, listening.
[Montag] Oh, yes, they are golden number eight.
[Man] Right. Stay close to her. The ambulance is on its way. Four minutes.
[Montag] What should I do in the meantime?
[Montag] Where is the doctor?
[Medical 1] What doctor?
[Montag] The doctor to take care of my wife.
[Medical 2] No doctors on these jobs. We do all the blood jobs, me and him.
[Montag] No, no, no, no, it's here, please.
[Medical 1] That's right, us. Who did you expect? Cases like that -- we handle 50 a day like her.
[Medical 2] That's right. She won't be the last tonight, not by a long shot. No, sir.
[Medical 1] Now don't you worry, sir. We'll give her a first class pump out and fill her up with new blood. Twenty minutes and she'll be as good as new. Just you relax.
[Medical 2] Now this isn't pretty to look at. You need a strong stomach. You better wait out there. You just leave it all to us. We'll call you as soon as she's done.
[Medical 1] This regulator is not as regular as it was.
[Medical 2] Come here with that thing. First, get the stockings off.
[Medical 1] [Chuckling]
[Medical 2] Never mind that. Put the dress on that chair.
[Medical 1] All right, sir, you can come in now. She's fresh as a daisy, good as gold.
[Montag] She's still unconscious.
[Medical 2] Oh, I wouldn't say that, sir. You've got it wrong. She's asleep. Anyway, never mind about her. You get to bed. By tomorrow, it'll all be forgotten.
[Montag] You mean she'll be completely well by tomorrow?
[Medical 1] Oh, better than that. Take my word for it, she'll be on top of the world.
[Medical 2] Mind you, she'll have an appetite for all sorts of things.
[Medical 1] [Chuckling] That's right. She'll be starving. You'll find out.
[Linda] My, I'm hungry.
[Montag] How do you feel?
[Linda] Hungry. Really hungry. I'm absolutely starving. I could eat a horse.
[Montag] Do you remember last night?
[Linda] Yes, what a sleep. I slept like a log.
[Montag] Listen, when I came home last night, you were --
[Linda] I'm absolutely famished.
[Montag] Let me talk, Linda, will you?
[Linda] Oh ... of course, darling. Talk all you like if it makes you happy. Go on then. What about last night?
[Montag] Nothing. I can't remember. It doesn't matter anyway.
[Linda] Look I've bought you a present to celebrate your -- Oh, I forget what. Never mind. Do you like it? Isn't it lovely? Do you like it?
[Montag] Yes, I do. Very much.
[Linda] Isn't it smart? It's the very latest thing. Everyone's using them now. Can I throw your old one away?
[Montag] Linda. Linda. I've something to tell you. Are you listening, Linda? What are you doing? Linda?
[Man taking pills]
[Clarisse] [Thinking] Do you ever read the books you burn?
[Policeman 1] Hey, you, come here. Come here. Here. What's all this? What is it? Eh? Hey!
[Policeman 2] Come on. Come on. Come on.
[Policeman 1] All right. Hold him.
[TV Announcer] But some boys still boycott the barber shops. Here you see a mop-up squad at work on one of these messy know-it-alls. It all goes to show law enforcement can be fun.
[Montag] How come the door is not working?
[Linda] You're just in time. Dinner is nearly ready. Montag, what are you doing?
[Montag] I'm coming.
[Montag] "The Personal History of David Copperfield ... by Charles Dickens ... with 40 illustrations by Phiz. London, Chapman and Hall, Limited, and Humphrey Milford. New York, Oxford University Press, the American Branch. 35 West 32nd Street.
David Copperfield. Chapter one. I am born.
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously. Simultaneously."
[Fireman 1] Just a moment. Go on.
[Captain] Come on. Aha. Ah-ah.