The "real" story of Cinderella. A refreshing new take on the classic fairy tale.

Danielle: [indicating Maurice] I wish to address the issue of this gentleman. He is my servant, and I am here to pay the debt against him.
Cargomaster: You're too late, he's bought and paid for.
Danielle: I can pay you twenty gold francs.
Cargomaster: Madame, you can have me for twenty gold francs. Now drive on!
Danielle: I demand you release him at once, or I shall take this matter to the King!
Cargomaster: The King's the one who sold him. He's now the property of Cartier.
Danielle: He is not property at *all*, you ill-mannered tub of guts! Do you honestly think it right to chain people like chattel? I demand you release him at once!
Cargomaster: [shouts] Get outta my way!
Henry: [riding up] You dare raise your voice to a lady, sir?
Cargomaster: [flustered] Your Highness! F-forgive me, Sire. I meant no disrespect. It's just, uh... I'm following orders here. It's my job to take these criminals and thieves to the coast.
Danielle: A servant is not a thief, your Highness, and those who are cannot help themselves.
Henry: Really! Well then by all means, enlighten us.
Danielle: If you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners corrupted from infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded, sire, but that you first make thieves and then punish them?
[pause, the other courtiers look on approvingly]
Henry: Well, there you have it. Release him.
Cargomaster: But Sire...!
Henry: I said, release him!
Cargomaster: Yes, Sire.
[Maurice is released]
Maurice: [to Danielle] I thought I was looking at your mother!
Danielle: [sotto voce] Meet me at the bridge.
Danielle: Prepare the horses, we will leave at once.
[to Henry]
Danielle: I thank you, your Highness.
Henry: Do you really think there is only one perfect mate?
Leonardo da Vinci: As a matter of fact, I do.
Henry: Well then how can you be certain to find them? And if you do find them, are they really the one for you or do you only think they are? And what happens if the person you're supposed to be with never appears, or, or she does, but you're too distracted to notice?
Leonardo da Vinci: You learn to pay attention.
Henry: Then let's say God puts two people on Earth and they are lucky enough to find one another. But one of them gets hit by lightning. Well then what? Is that it? Or, perchance, you meet someone new and marry all over again. Is that the lady you're supposed to be with or was it the first? And if so, when the two of them were walking side by side were they both the one for you and you just happened to meet the first one first or, was the second one supposed to be first? And is everything just chance or are some things meant to be?
Henry: How do you do it?
Danielle: What?
Henry: Live each day with this kind of passion. Don't you find it exhausting?
Danielle: Only when I am around you. Why do you like to irritate me so?
Henry: Why do you rise to the occasion?
Rodmilla: You are not my problem anymore.
Danielle: Is that what I am, your problem? I have done everything you've asked me to do and still you deny me the only thing I ever wanted!
Rodmilla: And what was that?
Danielle: What do you think? You are the only mother I have ever known. Was there ever a time, even in its smallest measurement, that you loved me at all?
Rodmilla: How can anyone love a pebble in their shoe?
[last lines]
Danielle: You, sir, are supposed to be charming.
Henry: And we, princess, are supposed to live happily ever after.
Danielle: Says who?
Henry: You know, I don't know.
Grand Dame: [voiceover] My great-great-grandmother's portrait hung in the university up until the Revolution. By then, the truth of their romance had been reduced to a simple fairy tale. And, while Cinderella and her prince *did* live happily ever after, the point, gentlemen, is that they lived.
Danielle: It is not fair, sire. You have found my weakness, but I have yet to learn yours.
Henry: But I should think it was quite obvious.
Young Gustave: You look like a *girl*!
Young Danielle: That's what I am, half-wit!
Young Gustave: Yeah, but today you look it.
Young Danielle: Boy or girl, I can still whip you!
Danielle: Forgive me, Your Highness, I did not see you.
Henry: Your aim would suggest otherwise.
Queen Marie: Baroness de Ghent, you are forthwith stripped of your title, and you and your horrible daughter are to be shipped to the Americas on the first available boat... Unless by some miracle, someone here will speak for you.
[Rodmilla begins looking desperately at the other nobles, they look back coldly]
Rodmilla: [nervously] There seem to be quite a few people out of town...
Danielle: I will speak for her.
[Rodmilla turns around and sees Danielle dressed like a princess while the others bow]
Danielle: She is, after all, my stepmother.
Rodmilla: [kneels; quietly] Your Highness.
Henry: Marguerite, I don't believe you've met... my wife.
Danielle: [to Rodmilla, smiling] I want you to know that I will forget you after this moment, and never think of you again. But you, I am quite certain, will think about me every single day for the rest of your life.
Rodmilla: [quietly] And how long might that be?
Danielle: [looks up] All I ask, Your Majesties... is that you show her the same courtesy that she has bestowed upon me.
Leonardo da Vinci: You cannot leave everything to fate, boy. She's got a lot to do. Sometimes you must give her a hand.
Henry: I kneel before you not as a prince, but as a man in love... But I would feel like a king if you, Danielle de Barbarac, would be my wife.
[Marguerite has just freaked out after realizing that Danielle has been seeing the Prince]
Queen Marie: Good heavens, child, are you all right?
Marguerite: There was a bee.
Rodmilla: Some people read because they cannot think for themselves.
Henry: [to Paulette and Louise, confused] Were there just the two of you?
Louise: And, the chicken, Your Highness.
King Francis: Baroness. Did you or did you not - lie to Her Majesty, the Queen of France?
Queen Marie: Choose your words wisely, madame, for they may be your last.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: A woman would do practically anything for the love of a daughter, Your Majesties. Perhaps I did get... a little carried away.
Marguerite: Mother, what have you done? Your Majesty, like you, I am just a victim here. She has lied to us both and I am ashamed to call her family.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: [pushes her] How dare you turn on me, you little ingrate?
Marguerite: You see? You see what I have to put up with?
King Francis: Silence, both of you! Good Lord!
[to Jacqueline]
King Francis: Are they always like this?
Jacqueline: Worse, Your Majesty.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: Jacqueline, darling, I should hate to think you had anything to do with this.
Jacqueline: [sarcastically] Of course not, Mother. I'm only here for the food.
[outside Pierre Le Pieu's castle]
Henry: Hello.
Danielle: Hello.
Danielle: What are you doing here?
Henry: [sheepishly] I uh... I came to... rescue you.
Danielle: Rescue me? A commoner?
[starts to walk away]
Henry: [going after her] Actually, I came to beg your forgiveness. I offered you the world and at the first test of honor, I betrayed your trust. Please, Danielle...
Danielle: [stops, turns around] Say it again.
Henry: I'm sorry.
Danielle: No.
Danielle: The part where you said my name.
Henry: [smiling] Danielle.
Gypsy Leader: M'lady, you may have anything you can carry.
Danielle: [glances at the Prince] May I have your word on that, sir?
Gypsy Leader: [considers for a moment] On my honor as a gypsy, whatever you can carry.
[Danielle lifts the Prince over her shoulders and begins to walk off with him. The gypsies laugh]
Gypsy Leader: [laughing] Wait! Please! Come back! I'll give you a horse!
[after da Vinci opens a locked door by removing the pins from the hinges]
Louise: Why, that was pure genius!
Leonardo da Vinci: Yes! I shall go down in history as the man who opened a door!
Henry: I have been born to privilege, and with that comes specific obligations.
Leonardo da Vinci: Horseshit.
[Jacqueline washes Danielle's back where she was whipped; Danielle gasps]
Jacqueline: [sympathetically] Oh! Now, you really brought this upon yourself, you know. Hmm? First with breakfast, and then that horrid display downstairs.
Danielle: I don't know what's come over me.
Jacqueline: [smiles] Of course, I shall never forget the way Marguerite's feet went up over her head like that!
[they both giggle; then Jacqueline turns somber]
Jacqueline: She should not have said that about your mother.
Danielle: Thank you.
Grand Dame: I find your collection of folk tales quite brilliant, actually.
Jacob Grimm: Thank you.
Grand Dame: But I must say, I was terribly disturbed when I read your version of the little cinder girl.
Jacob Grimm: Well, there are those who swear that Perrault's telling with its Fairy Godmother and um...
Jacob Grimm: Magic pumpkins would be closer to the truth.
Wilhelm Grimm: Some claim the shoe was made of fur. Others insist it was glass. Well, I guess we'll never know.
Jacob Grimm: Forgive me, Your Majesty, might I inquire about the painting? She's really quite, um... extraordinary.
Grand Dame: Her name was Danielle de Barbarac.
[Reaches inside the box the footman has brought to her]
Grand Dame: And this... was her "glass" slipper.
[the Grimm Brothers look at each other in shock]
Grand Dame: Perhaps you will allow me to set the record straight?
Wilhelm Grimm: Then it's true, the story?
Grand Dame: Yes. Quite. Now then, what is that phrase you use? Oh, yes. Once upon a time, there lived a young girl who loved her father very much...
[looking at the books in the Franciscan monastery]
Danielle: It makes me want to cry.
Henry: Pick one.
Danielle: I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens.
Henry: What is it that touches you so?
Danielle: I suppose it is because when I was young my father would stay up late and read to me. He was addicted to the written word and I would fall asleep listening to the sound of his voice.
Henry: What sort of books?
Danielle: Science, philosophy... I suppose they remind me of him. He died when I was eight. Utopia was the last book he brought home.
Henry: Which explains why you quote it.
Danielle: I would rather hear his voice again than any sound in the world.
[Henry smiles, then the smile fades and he begins walking down the stairs away from Danielle]
Danielle: Is something wrong?
Henry: [turns to face her] In all my years of study, not one tutor ever demonstrated the passion you have shown me in the last two days. You have more conviction in one memory than I have... in my entire being.
[laughs slightly, walks away, Danielle follows]
Danielle: Your Highness, if there is anything I have said or done...
Henry: Please... don't. It's not you.
Henry: Where are your attendants?
Danielle: I... decided to give them the day off.
Henry: [incredulously] A day off? From what, life?
Danielle: Don't you ever tire of having people wait on you all the time?
Henry: Well, yes, but... they're servants, it's what they do.
Danielle: [coldly] Well I wish I could dismiss mine as easily as you do yours.
[she rises]
Danielle: I must be going.
Henry: [following her] You're angry with me!
Danielle: No.
Henry: Admit it!
Danielle: Well yes, if you want to know.
Henry: Why?
Danielle: Because you are trying to bait me with your snobbery.
Henry: I fear, mademoiselle, that you are a walking contradiction, and I find that rather fascinating.
Danielle: Me?
Henry: Yes, you. You spout the ideals of a Utopian society and yet you live the life of a courtier!
Danielle: And *you* own all the land there is and yet you take no pride in working it! Is that not also a contradiction?
Henry: Hm, first I am arrogant, and now I have no pride; however do I manage that?
Danielle: You have *everything*, and still the world holds no joy; and yet you insist on making fun of those who *would* see it for its possibilities.
Henry: I was hoping you could help me find the owner of this rather remarkable shoe.
Danielle: It belongs to a peasant, Your Highness, who only pretended to be a courtier to save a man's life.
Henry: I know. And the name is Henry, if you don't mind.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: Darling, nothing is final 'til you're dead, and even then, I'm sure God negotiates.
Henry: Stay aloft, madame, there are games afoot.
Henry: I have not slept for fear I would wake to find all this a dream.
[threatening Pierre le Pieu to back off, holding a sword and dagger dangerously close to him]
Danielle: My father was an excellent swordsman, monsieur. He taught me well. Now hand me that key or I swear on his grave I will slit you from navel to nose.
Henry: [as Danielle hurries away] Have we met?
Danielle: I-I do not believe so, Your Highness.
Henry: I could have sworn I knew every courtier in the provience.
Danielle: Well... I am visiting a cousin.
Henry: Who?
Danielle: My cousin.
Henry: Yes, you said that. Which one?
Danielle: Th-the only one I have, sire.
Henry: Are you coy on purpose or do you honestly refuse to tell me your name?
Danielle: [stops quickly] No.
[quickly heads towards the gate]
Danielle: And yes.
Henry: Well, then, pray tell me your cousin's name so that I might call upon her to learn who you are. For anyone who can quote Thomas More is well worth the effort.
Danielle: [stops] The Prince has read Utopia?
Henry: I found it sentimental and dull. Honestly, the plight of the everyday rustic bores me.
Danielle: I... take it you do not converse with many peasants.
Henry: Ha, certainly not, no. Naturally.
Danielle: [starts walking again] Forgive me, Your Highness, but there is nothing "natural" about it. A country's character is defined by its "everyday rustics," as you call them. They are the legs you stand on and that position demands *respect,* not...
Henry: Am I to understand that you find me... arrogant?
Danielle: Well, you gave one man back his life, but did you even glance at the others?
Henry: Please, I beg of you, a name. Any name.
Danielle: I... I fear the only name to leave you with... is "Comtesse Nicole du Lancre."
King Francis: [half-asleep] Off... with his head...
Henry: Mother, Father, I want to build a university, with the largest library on the continent, where anyone can study, no matter their station!
King Francis: All right... Who are you... and what have you done with my son?
Henry: [laughs] Oh, and I want to invite the gypsies to the ball!
Henry: What do you know? You build flying machines and you walk on water, and yet you know *nothing* about life!
Leonardo da Vinci: I know that a life without love is no life at all.
Henry: And love without trust? What of that?
Gustav: [as Danielle is about to change into a dress] Have you lost your marbles? Do you know what the punishment is... for servants who dress above their station? Five days in the stocks.
Danielle: You'd do the same for me, admit it.
Gustav: Me? Pretend to be a courtier? Prancing round like some nobleman when I've never been to court. And neither have you!
Danielle: Then I won't recongnised. Hand me that gown so I can be on my way.
[Gustav hands Danielle the gown]
Gustav: They'll never buy it. You are too sweet.
Danielle: And they'll never buy a servant with twenty gold francs either. I am Maurice's only hope.
Gustav: And the Baroness, what did you tell her?
Danielle: I am picking wildflowers. Gustav, can you still see her?
Gustav: [he gazes out the window] They're buying a brooch.
Danielle: Unbelievable. She ignores the manor, blames us for her debt... and still pretends to have money to burn. Don't you dare laugh. I'm coming out.
[she steps out and looks stunning in her dress, Gustav is amazed]
Danielle: The shoes are too big.
Gustav: Nobody will be looking at your feet.
Danielle: Yards of fabric and I still feel naked.
Gustav: If you're going to be a noblewoman... you must play the part.
[he raises Danielle's chin]
Gustav: You look down to no-one.
Danielle: I am just a servant in a nice dress.
Gustav: Come.
[he takes Danielle's hand]
Gustav: We have to do something with that hair.
Danielle: A bird may love a fish, signore, but where will they live?
Leonardo da Vinci: Then I shall have to make you wings.
Pierre Le Pieu: I may be twice your age, child, but I'm well endowed.
[Danielle turns away to another basket]
Pierre Le Pieu: As evidenced by my estate, I've always had a soft spot for the less fortunate. You need a wealthy benefactor - and I need a young lady with spirit.
Danielle: [looks up and smiles] Prunes?
Danielle: [to Henry] Why did you have to be so wonderful?
Henry: How could I have been so blind? There I was, pouring my royal heart out to her, and she was simply trying to bid me farewell!
Queen Marie: It is a strong woman who can keep her wits about her, with you trying to steal her heart.
Henry: Yes, and what a clumsy thief I turned out to be.
Danielle: Signore, my name is Danielle de Barbarac, and I am but a servant.
Leonardo da Vinci: Yes, and I'm the bastard son of a peasant. What does that have to do with anything?
Danielle: You were born to privilege, and with that comes specific obligations.
Danielle: [laughing] I am sorry. My mouth has run away with me again.
Henry: Oh no, my lady. It is your mouth that has me hypnotized.
Henry: You swim alone, climb rocks, rescue servants, is there anything you don't do?
Danielle: FLY!
[about Danielle, who is hiding behind a haystack]
Henry: You know her! Please, I must find her. Where is she staying?
Gustav: Uh, I believe, your Highness, that she is staying with a cousin. The, uh, Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent.
Henry: Hm. That does present a problem.
Gustav: But, I do know that she is there. Alone. By herself. At this very moment.
Henry: Excellent.
Henry: Nice painting.
[Henry rides off]
Danielle: [emerging from hiding] Gustav, you horrible little *snipe*!
Gustav: Did you hear? He likes my work!
Danielle: And he is heading for my house!
Gustav: Then I suggest you run.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: Go... catch a chicken.
Jacqueline: Mother, it's only a ball.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: Yes, and you're only going for the food.
Marguerite: I said I wanted four-minute eggs. Not four one-minute eggs, and where in GOD'S NAME is our bread?
Danielle: The prince has read Utopia?
Henry: I found it sentimental and dull. Honestly, the plight of the everyday rustic bores me.
[to the Spanish Princess who is sobbing and begging to be let out of their wedding]
Henry: Madame, Madame, I know exactly how you feel.
Danielle: What bothers you more, stepmother? That I am common, or that I am competition?
Henry: Am I to understand that you find me... arrogant?
Danielle: Well, you gave one man back his life but did you even glance at the others?
Gustav: And I suppose if you saw him again, you'd simply...
Danielle: I would walk right up to him and say, 'Your Highness, my family is your family, please take them away!'
Gustav: Good! Because here's your big chance, he's headed this way.
Danielle: I would rather die a thousand deaths than see my mother's dress on that spoiled, selfish cow!
Danielle: He is heading towards my house.
Gustav: Then I suggest you run.
Henry: You told me it was a matter of life or death.
Leonardo da Vinci: [unrolling the Mona Lisa] A woman always is, sire.
Danielle: A bird may love a fish, Signore, but where would they live?
Leonardo da Vinci: Then I shall just have to build you wings!
Jacqueline: I wanted to be the peacock!
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: Honestly, Jacqueline, the horse is one of God's noblest creatures.
Jacqueline: [sarcastically] Oh, well why don't I just pull the carriage while I'm at it?
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: If you think it will get us there any faster...
King Francis: I will simply deny you the crown and live... forever!
Jacqueline: Marguerite gets to do everything.
Marguerite: Oh, don't be daft, Jacqueline, the Queen doesn't even know you exist.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: What Marguerite does is for all of us, my dear. We are counting on you to help her get ready.
Jacqueline: Lovely. Next thing you know I shall be cleaning the fireplace with Danielle.
King Francis: You sir are restricted to the grounds.
Henry: Are you putting me under house arrest?
King Francis: Do not mock me, boy, for I am in a foul disposition. And I will have my way...
Henry: Or what? You'll ship me off to the Americas like some criminal? All for the sake of your stupid contract?
King Francis: You are the Crown Prince of France!
Henry: And it is my life.
Queen Marie: Francis, sit down before you have a stroke. Really. the two of you.
[to Henry]
Queen Marie: Sweetheart... you were born to privilege and with that comes specific obligations.
Henry: Forgive me, Mother, but marriage to a complete stranger never made anyone in this room very happy.
King Francis: You will marry Gabriella by the next full moon or I will strike at you in any way I can.
Henry: What's it to be, father, hot oil or the rack?
King Francis: I will simply deny you the crown and... live forever.
Henry: Good. Agreed. I don't want it.
[Walks out]
King Francis: [to the Queen, frustrated] He's your son.
Danielle: Well you gave one man back his life but did you even glance at the others?
[Danielle tries to get away while Henry is distracted by the criminals' wagon]
Henry: Please, I beg of you. A name. Any name.
Danielle: I fear that the only name I can leave you with is Comtesse Nicole de Lancret.
Henry: There now... that wasn't so hard.
Danielle: [about the prince] Honestly, I think he and Marguerite deserve each other.
Paulette: Oh, bite your tongue! The only throne I want her sitting on is the one I have to clean everyday.
Henry: Nicole, do you know the ruins at Amboise?
Danielle: Yes.
Henry: I often go there to be alone. Would you meet me there tomorrow?
Danielle: I shall try.
Henry: Then I shall wait all day.
Henry: I feel as if my skin is the only thing keeping me from going everywhere at once.
Captain Laurent: Prince Henry suffers from an arranged marriage, signore, among other things...
Maurice: [to Danielle] I thought I was looking at your mother.
Queen Marie: Choose wisely, Henry. Divorce is only something they do in England.
Marguerite: Why don't you sleep with the pigs, cindersoot, if you insist on smelling like one.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: Jacqueline, go and boil some water.
Jacqueline: Me? Boil water?... Oh I knew it! I just knew it!
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: Where did you put the gown, Danielle?
Danielle: [raising her voice] Where are the candlesticks, and the tapestries, and the silver? Perhaps the dress is with them!
[seeing the king and queen of Spain argue at the aborted wedding]
King Francis: And I thought I had problems.
[he and Queen Marie begin to snicker]
Henry: Please, Danielle...
Danielle: Say it again.
Henry: I'm sorry.
Danielle: No, the part where you said my name.
Leonardo da Vinci: Come, let's see these paintings of yours.
Gustav: Now?
Leonardo da Vinci: When you're as old as I am, son, now is all you've got.
Leonardo da Vinci: I shall leave walking on water to the Son of God. Fortunately I tripped over an angel.
Marguerite: I was not shrill, I was resonant. A courtier knows the difference.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: I very much doubt your style of resonance would be permitted in the royal court.
Marguerite: I'm not going to the Royal Court, am I, Mother? No one is, except some Spanish pig they have the nerve to call a princess.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: Marguerite, precious, what do I always say about tone?
Jacqueline: A lady of breeding ought never to raise her voice any louder than the... gentle hum of a whisper in the wind.
Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: Jacqueline, dear, do not speak unless you can improve the silence.
Henry: You're looking well, Marguerite.
Marguerite: You're welcome to look, Your Highness.
Henry: Tell no-one we have spoken, for all shall reveal itself in due course.
Jacqueline: Next thing you know I shall be cleaning the fireplace with Danielle.
Rodmilla: Where is that girl?
Marguerite: Probably off catching rabbits with her teeth.
Henry: Marguerite, I don't believe you've met my wife.
Rodmilla: [after the laundry supervisor points out their work] Marguerite.
Marguerite: What?
Rodmilla: Well, you heard the woman.
Marguerite: So did you.
Rodmilla: Yes, but I'm management.
Marguerite: Like hell you are! You're just the same as me, a big NOBODY!
Rodmilla: How dare you speak to me that way? I'm of noble blood!
Laundry Supervisor: And you are getting on my nerves.
[knocks both of them into a vat of dye with a bag of laundry]
Laundry Supervisor: [chuckles briefly] Now get to work.
Queen Marie: Any choice is better than Spain!
Danielle: These are my mother's!
Marguerite: Yes, and she's dead.
Gustav: Have you lost your marbles?
Danielle: Just breathe...

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