MAIN TITLES over the gates of the luxurious Varelli estate in Italy. A snappy
Italian folk melody gives way to the opening piano chords of a ballad as we
INT. CAFE - NIGHT
Musicians, in a Hungarian cafe, play the ballad.
SUPERIMPOSED TITLE: Budapest 1925
We hear but do not see a singer, a woman with a heavy accent, as she begins a
chorus of the song. Her name, at the moment, is ZARA.
Oh, I never shall impart ...
We PAN OFF the musicians to take in a LONG SHOT of the cafe, filled with a
well-dressed audience seated at many tables, all eyes riveted on the stage as
they listen to the unseen singer.
That secret deep in my heart
Though I feel emotion, that's true
Is it fate or devotion to you? ...
We PAN OVER to one side of the cafe where a tuxedoed man we will come to know
as TONY enters and looks around casually. We FOLLOW as the maitre d' arrives
and leads him to a table. Along the way, Tony glances appreciatively in Zara's
My smile often hides a tear ...
I'll send your waiter, sir.
We PAN WITH the maitre d' as he departs, then PAUSE for a CLOSE VIEW of
another table with three officers in military uniform. A distinguished middle-
aged man, whom we will come to know as the CAPTAIN, sits with two other
Perhaps I pretend I'm sincere ...
(whispers to the Captain)
I'm quite sure it is.
The Captain, irritated, rises and exits. We PAN OVER the well-dressed crowd to
the balcony where the less affluent patrons sit and discover some college
students drinking, laughing and talking among themselves. One of them, whom we
shall call ALBERT, stares dreamily down at Zara, clearly infatuated with her.
Annoyed by his friends' noisemaking, he shushes them. But they only laugh at
So vainly you're seeking to know I love you ...
We PAN OVER to a balding old man whom we will come to know as the BARON. He
sits at a table alone, smiling in delight at Zara as he drinks.
But I'll never, ever tell you, dear.
The song ends and we PULL BACK for a LONG VIEW of the cafe as everyone bursts
into applause and hollers, "Bravo! Bravo!" Everything we've seen since the
fade in has been in one lengthy traveling shot, without a cut. But now we
BEHIND THE STAGE CURTAINS - CONTINUOUS
The cheers and applause continue. We catch our first glimpse of the glamorous
Zara, hair dyed blonde and wearing a futuristic black outfit, as she staggers
through the curtains from the stage, obviously drunk. The musicians play an
uptempo tune. Dizzy and pleased with herself, Zara collects her wrap from atop
some theatrical equipment and exits.
Zara enters and calls to a nearby waiter.
Say, Fritz. Bring me a glass of
Oh, but you had three before you
Did I? Well, you run as fast as you
can and bring me another.
She sends Fritz on his way and heads up the stairs to her dressing room. But,
halfway up, she pauses when approached by the infatuated college student we
Oh. Do I know you?
Why, last night, don't you remember?
That crowd of students outside. I -
I opened your car door for you.
I should remember, shouldn't I?
They share a chuckle. Fritz arrives with a drink but Zara is not satisfied.
Bring a bottle.
Zara swallows some of the drink and hands it back to a disapproving Fritz who
I - I thought perhaps, uh, perhaps
you'd have supper with me, huh?
(starts up the stairs)
I'm not hungry.
(pauses, with a wry smile)
But I'm thirsty.
Emboldened, Albert follows her up the stairs. Zara leads him to her dressing
room, pausing at the door.
Well, are you sure your intentions
Albert bends low and kisses her hand. When he straightens, she gives him a
playful tap on the cheek and enters her dressing room. Inside, the middle-aged
Captain waits anxiously for Zara and greets her with a more formal kiss on the
Oh, my dear.
Fancy seeing you here tonight.
But, uh, Zara, I, er--
The Captain notices Albert slinking away in embarrassment.
I don't believe I've met you.
(with a shrug)
Neither have I. But he's rapidly
becoming my oldest friend.
(laughs in relief)
Zara takes a cigarette from a nearby box and Albert lights it for her.
(irritated, to Zara)
You said that you would have supper
No? Did I?
Oh, where is that waiter? Waiter!
I'll get him.
But Fritz enters with glasses and a bottle in an ice bucket.
What has been keeping you all this
Oh, you're always scolding me.
Hurry up, now, hurry up.
Zara. You've been drinking.
Captain. You're perfectly right.
I'll tell you something else. I'm
gonna keep it up!
Good for you!
Albert pops the cork on the bottle and pours, to Zara's delight.
Hooray, hooray, hooray.
The Captain looks on with disapproval. Albert wants to toast his beloved.
Zara clinks her glass on his but clearly couldn't care less about ceremony and
downs her drink as if it were desperately needed medicine. A knock at the
door. Fritz answers and the smiling old Baron enters in tux and top hat. He
removes the hat and bows to Zara who reclines casually in her chair, drink in
I hope you don't mind this rather
informal visit but I've wanted for
so very long to meet you that
Don't keep us in suspense. Who are
Zara peers at the card as she drinks. Her eyes pop.
Mmm. You're a baron?
(with a grand gesture,
to no one in particular)
Glass of wine for His Excellency.
Baron, this is the Captain.
(points to Albert)
And that is my oldest friend - whose
name always escapes me. But I must
add that his intentions are not
Albert and the Baron laugh.
Waiter, another bottle.
Allow me, madame.
Cordon Rouge, '11. Bring a dozen
(wryly, to the Baron)
Intend to stay all evening?
Whatever I have is yours, madame --
my purse or my person.
Ooh la la.
(clutches her head in pain)
Zara, why do you treat me like this?
Oh, please, don't be tiresome.
Get rid of these men.
I'll do nothing of the sort. They
Can't you ever be serious?
Why should I?
Well, perhaps you don't care to
I don't care to remember anything --
all I want is to forget.
I'm sorry. You're sweet. But such a
But, Zara, I--
Fritz returns with a trio of waiters and much booze. The little dressing room
is bustling and crowded now.
Ah, now life is looking brighter.
(directs the waiters)
Over there. Hurry up, open it.
Open them all! I want to hear the
QUICK CUTS of waiters popping the corks. Fritz's bottle sprays him good.
Zara's guests crowd around her as she sits and they all enjoy their drinks.
Tony appears in the doorway and the waiters exit over the following dialogue:
My dear, to your health.
Zara, to you.
(a little sadly)
I don't like champagne. Nobody
really likes it.
But it looks gay.
Zara, let me talk to you alone.
Zara waves off the Captain and turns away, pausing when she sees Tony at the
(gently, with a grin)
Zara looks uncomfortable and holds out her glass to the Baron.
Some more, please.
The Baron pours as the others face Tony.
(to Zara, off Tony)
Who is this man?
I don't know him.
And, if I ever did, I don't care to
You heard what the lady said.
But she HAS recalled it. Haven't
Why do you persist in calling me
Because you ARE Maria.
Don't you know him, Zara?
Zara swaggers over to Tony.
Of course I know him. He's the old
man of mystery. Been hanging around
here for three nights.
(cruelly, to Tony)
I'm tired of your face!
Zara shuts the door on Tony. He stands outside the dressing room door as
Zara's guests laugh, then turns, smiles, shrugs, and puts on his hat.
EXT. AUTOMOBILE - LATER THAT NIGHT
A limousine rolls along. Zara and her guests sit in the rear having a lively
exchange which we cannot hear over the car engine. All are drunk and having a
good time, except for the Captain. Zara removes the Captain's cap and puts it
on the Baron's head, then puts the Baron's top hat on the Captain, much to
EXT. STREET - NOT LONG AFTER
The limo pulls up in front of a house. Albert and the Captain emerge. But the
Baron lingers with Zara a moment.
Get rid of these other swine.
(doesn't get the joke)
But Zara ignores the Baron and joins Albert and the Captain on the sidewalk.
Zara, I've got to speak to you alone.
Zara waves him off.
Oh, don't say good night -- just the
shank of the morning.
Albert gestures skyward. Zara comically pauses to look up at the sky, then
heads into the house.
INT. HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
A lavishly appointed drawing room. A manservant holds the door open as Zara
and her guests enter laughing boisterously. We see that Zara now wears a black
Albert impudently puts his hat on the manservant's head. The Baron and the
Well, well, well, here we are.
(turns on a lamp)
Here's where I live.
Anything that plays music around
Zara points off screen and Albert disappears to crank up the music.
Now, Baron, you - you go and fix the
Huh? But I've never fixed a fire.
Zara pushes him toward the fireplace.
Zara, I - I cannot stand this any
Then why don't you go home?
But you need someone to look after
Ohhh. You want to protect me?
You think I'm a lost soul? Well,
maybe I am.
Zara, I'm so much in love with you,
There is no such thing as love.
The beastly thing won't work!
Zara joins the Baron at the fireplace.
Oh, Baron, you're so useless.
As Zara bends over the fire, the Baron leans over and kisses her on the
shoulder. She straightens up, indignant.
You and I could be very good friends.
Yes? What is it you like about me?
He laughs and leans in for another kiss.
She pushes him away and he stumbles against the fireplace tools.
Oh, did I hurt you?
Oh, no, darling. Ha ha ha.
Well, the next time, I will.
Zara, cigarette in hand, looks around for a light.
What? What do you want? Oh, here you
are. Here's a light.
The Baron lights a match and holds it out to Zara but she weaves back and
forth drunkenly, unable to put the cigarette to the flame.
Say, Baron, why don't you stand
They laugh. Suddenly: music, a waltz. Zara gestures grandly with delight.
She and Albert rush from opposite sides of the room and dance together,
remarkably well. But the manservant arrives with a tray of drinks and Zara
instantly breaks off the dance.
(to the manservant)
You, come, come.
The manservant sets the tray on a central table as Zara and the guests gather
around. The Captain seems to have finally relented to the party atmosphere.
Ah, it's breakfast.
If we are paying attention, we might notice the figure of a man who appears on
the spiral staircase in the rear of the room.
Oh, those glasses are too small. I
like my champagne in steins.
To love. To love!
We PAN UP off the guests to the man on the staircase above as he calls out:
The waltz music ends abruptly. Surprised, Zara and her guests peer up at the
man. It is KARL SALTER, an intense, satanic little man in an elegant robe. His
voice drips with irony.
Won't you and your friends have
something to drink?
I hope I'm not intruding.
You don't object to my bringing my
friends, do you?
Salter descends the stairs and joins them.
I'm extremely anxious to meet your
Allow me to present the nobility ...
The Baron bows to Salter.
... the army ...
The Captain bows to Salter.
... and the nursery.
Albert nods nervously, clearly out of his depth.
All very representative citizens.
(rises, joins Salter)
That's me, Salter -- the highest ...
(gestures to the guests)
... and the lowest.
She puts a hand on Salter and laughs. Salter merely grins evilly.
(to her guests)
Do any of you happen to know who our
distinguished host is? Nooo?
(clicks her tongue)
You are in the presence of the mighty
Karl Salter! I - I should have
realized, of course.
How do you do?
I enjoyed your last novel very much.
Didn't you recognize me in it? The
woman without a soul. Yes. Salter
sticks a pin through me -- as he
would a fly -- watches me struggle,
analyzes my emotions and, out of
that, a great novel is born.
Of course, she exaggerates, but, uh,
gentlemen, won't you have a drink?
No, really, I--
Salter lays on the irony thickly.
Gentlemen, you are putting me in a
most embarrassing position. I can't
help thinking - that - that you
think - that I think - that you
gentlemen have an unmitigated gall--
What?! I mean, uh--
--invading my house, making love to
my charming, uh, friend.
Sir, sir! Now, look here--!
Not at all, gentlemen! Really! Not
at all. Not at all.
Salter, you're priceless!
Do you mean to infer--?
Ridiculous. How could I possibly
object to your being here?
But, Mr. Salter--
No use, Baron. He's too clever for
Of course, if you MUST go--
Yes, we, uh--
Good night, sir.
Ha! Good night!
The guests, one after another, bid Zara adieu and head for the door.
Good night, good night.
At least, gentlemen, let me see you
to the door.
Salter follows them to the door.
I'm sure it's past YOUR bedtime.
Albert nods and exits with the others as Salter glances disapprovingly at
Zara. Zara, drink in one hand and cigarette in the other, wanders across the
room and sits as Salter closes the door. He shuts off a light, plunging the
room into near darkness except for the small lamp Zara had lit earlier.
Joining Zara, he picks up one of the guests' glasses, throws its contents on
the floor and pours himself a fresh drink.
Trifle drunker than usual, aren't you?
Salter downs the entire contents of his drink in one swallow, wipes his lips
neatly with a handkerchief, takes Zara's glass out of her hand, and throws the
contents of her glass on the floor. She takes this in stride but then leans
back and puts a hand to her aching head.
Salter, standing over her, stares down at her upturned face, throws his
cigarette away, and slowly bends to plant a fierce kiss on her lips. The two
are silhouetted in the lamp. She tries to push him off but he takes her wrists
in his hands and pulls her arms away. The kiss continues until she twists out
from under him and stares him down. He keeps a firm grip on her wrists.
Thinking of those other men.
Zara says nothing. He twists her arms painfully.
You'd rather be with one of them. Go
on, admit it!
Don't be so vile.
Since when do you mind anything
The doorbell rings. Distracted, Salter lets go of Zara's wrists.
You can't come in. Everyone's
retired for the night.
Then I'll wait till they get up again.
Come, come, get away from that door.
Salter turns on the light as Tony enters, followed by the manservant.
What do you want?
Tony looks from Salter to Maria who sits with her head in her hands. Salter
dismisses the manservant.
(the same gentle grin)
Oh, is that you again?
(rises, turns her back
on him defiantly)
Who in the world's name is Maria?
(angry, to Tony)
And, for that matter, who are you?
Hm. Ask Maria. She knows. She
pretends not to remember. But ten
years ago in Italy a fellow by the
name of Tony painted her portrait.
Hm. I can see her now as though she
were standing before me. She was
wearing a little white dress. With a
knot of wildflowers in her belt.
Salter busts out laughing in disbelief.
I wish you'd go home. I'm tired.
Don't you see that you are boring
On the contrary. She's very much
I don't know who you are or what you
want but I'm tired of the sight of
Not till we've settled this.
Salter, he's insane. And I'm--
(tired and drunk)
Tony takes off his coat.
Suppose we postpone this interesting
discussion until morning.
Sorry, it's too important. See, I've
come to take Maria back to her
Obviously, you're a psychopathic
Is it out of order to inquire my
Same delightful sense of humor.
Why don't you answer the lady's
Why, of course. Her husband is my
best friend, Count Bruno Varelli.
Zara looks thoughtful. Salter confronts her.
You know there's not a word of truth
What makes you so sure?
I know all about her. She's told me
everything about herself.
Perhaps not quite ... everything.
Well-- Everything's that happened to
you in the past eight or nine years.
But this happened ten years ago.
(lost in thought)
During the war.
Yes, during the war. When Bruno came
back and found his home burned to
the ground. And you -- gone. He went
mad, quite mad, for over a year. You
can understand that, knowing how he
It's a most amusing story but, uh,
might I suggest it's getting awfully
You go to bed, Salter.
(pointedly, to Tony)
I'd like to hear the rest of the
Salter chuckles and waves dismissively.
What can I tell you that you don't
already know better than I? You are
What makes you think that?
What makes us sure of anything?
(a hand to his heart)
Something in here. I would have
known you anywhere. You see, for the
past ten years, I've been looking
for you, too.
Ten years is a long time. This Maria
would have changed, wouldn't she?
Hm. I knew her the moment I saw her.
Maria? I wonder. Maybe I am -- maybe
I'm not. It's all so mixed up.
Noises, blinding lights, pictures
that fade before I can catch them.
Soldiers, soldiers. Walking the
streets, hungry and cold. And men,
men, men, until I don't know who I
am or where I am from.
(takes a breath)
(sits with her)
But you do remember the war, the
Invasion? Was that Maria in an
The story that was told from the
few people left on the estate
couldn't begin to describe the
horror of it all. Those drunken
soldiers invading your home,
pillaging, burning, destroying. How
you lived through it all--
Many women lived through it.
Hm. But you were so young, so
lovely, so fresh -- and just a
bride of a few weeks. And to think
of those beasts daring to lay hands
on you and carrying you off - Heaven
Heaven knows where.
Salter, who has been chuckling silently throughout, now laughs sardonically.
That's one of her favorite stories!
The invasion! Every time she
describes it, it's, uh, quite
different. There's the invasion
where the house was burned over her
head. And there was the invasion
where a shell blew her up. And
there was the invasion where the--
Ohhhh, I - I may describe it
differently -- because I don't
remember how I described it the last
time but -- it's always the same
Ha ha ha ha!
Or was it another invasion?
(a hand to her head)
I don't know - my mind doesn't work.
I've had enough of this now, Zara.
You know you're not this Countess
And you haven't got the remotest
idea who HE is.
But she has.
Just now she laughed at you.
Well, that's because she didn't want
me to recognize her.
I don't want to remember anything.
Ha ha ha!
But you must forget these past ten
years. You'll put it all behind you
when you're back home in familiar
surroundings, when you're back in
Bruno's arms again.
Back? Oh, no. No, no. That's
And now it's time to say good night.
Gladly. Come, Maria.
You didn't seriously think I was
coming with you?
I'm afraid he did, Zara. He didn't
know that this is your life -- the
only life you've ever known -- and
that you love it.
(savagely, to Salter)
I loathe it! I loathe you and I
loathe everything I've been! Oh,
you'll never know how I've prayed
for a chance to get out of it all.
(clicks his tongue at her)
Then why didn't you?
I was a coward! Afraid to give up
something sure for something
uncertain. We hate our lives but
we're too cowardly to take it.
Well! This is your chance.
Well, I'm not going to take it.
Salter laughs at her.
Even if I was sure, I wouldn't --
knowing what I've been.
She puts a sympathetic hand on Tony's shoulder.
No, my friend. This is final. Good
She heads for the stairs. Tony trails after her.
Maria! But you must!
I'm not Maria. Go away. Don't try to
speak to me again -- I won't hear
She heads up the stairs.
You heard her. Get out.
Good night, Maria.
She pauses on the staircase. She turns. A long pause. She decides.
She joins Tony, gripping him by the shoulders.
I can't let you go! If I do, the
last chance to save myself is gone.
Stop playing the fool!
Others have pulled themselves out of
the mud. Maybe it isn't too late.
I'm going with you.
Tony grabs his coat and they head for the door. Furious, Salter pulls a pistol
from a nearby drawer.
You're not going with him!
Zara and Tony pause in the drawing room doorway as Salter approaches, gun in
Come back here.
Must you be so melodramatic?
Come. He hasn't got the courage to
Instantly, a gunshot. Zara clutches her arm. Tony knocks the gun from Salter's
hand and kicks it across the room. Salter scrambles after it as Zara and Tony
rush out the door.
EXT. STREET - A MOMENT LATER
Tony's taxicab waits outside. He hustles Zara into the vehicle.
(to the driver)
The cab speeds off. We catch a glimpse of Salter at the front door as his
manservant wrestles the gun away from him.
EXT. VARELLI ESTATE - DAY
A luxurious, sun-drenched Italian estate.
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
Maria's cosmopolitan sister INEZ MONTARI stands on the estate's terrace,
chatting with a local priest. One of the servants, an older woman named LENA,
arrives with a tea tray and sets it on a nearby table.
(to the priest)
You know, I was brought up in this
old place and I've loved coming back
to it every summer. Thank you, Lena.
(hands paper to Inez)
A telegram for the master.
I'll see he gets it as soon as he
Lena nods and exits as Inez and the padre sit down to tea.
I can't reconcile myself to all that
you've told me. That Count Varelli
should be giving up this paradise,
so full of memories of your poor
sister. And so soon! Next month.
Poor Bruno. I don't think any of us
realize how terribly unhappy he is
underneath all this reckless bravado
My dear Madame Montari, his every
thought, his every conversation, is
about your sister.
(shakes his head)
Hm. Ten years. It's a long time in
this cynical age for a man to remain
faithful to a woman's memory.
Mine remained faithful to me for two
I really didn't want to take over
this estate but Bruno insisted. You
see, it was left to me in the event
of my sister's death.
The padre nods as we
EXT. RIDING MONTAGE - COUNTRYSIDE - DAY
Tall, handsome, dashing COUNT BRUNO VARELLI, on horseback, tears up and down
various hills, recklessly, at a fast, almost out-of-control gallop. He is a
distant blur in an otherwise peaceful landscape. He and the horse jump a
fallen tree and a shallow stream before disappearing into a thick forest.
EXT. ESTATE - DAY
Some time later, having worked up a good sweat, Bruno pulls up beside a couple
of stable boys, one of whom takes his horse as he dismounts.
You have a nice ride, sir?
Bruno pats the horse and the boy leads the animal away. Bruno pats a second
horse held by another boy, then walks off, fanning himself with his hat and
pulling a handkerchief from his pocket.
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
Inez and the padre continue to sit and drink their tea.
Another cup, Father?
The tea will serve as a sop to my
Bruno enters restlessly and joins them, shaking the padre's hand.
How are you, Father? Hello, Inez.
What? No bones broken?
Here's a telegram for you.
You'll kill yourself. Poor Lena
always says her beads every time you
(opens the telegram)
Hm. Lena ought to save her prayers
for something more important.
No, thank you.
A long pause as Bruno reads the telegram, riveted.
Mother of God!
What is it, Bruno?
What do you mean, "Maria"?
They've found her. Maria. Tony's
Bruno, what are you saying?
It's - it's from Budapest. Oh, no.
No, no, no. I can't believe it. He's
seen her. She's alive!
(consults the telegram)
They're leaving Budapest at--
They'll be here tomorrow afternoon.
Inez, do you realize--? Tomorrow
afternoon! Lena! Pietro! Lena!
Bruno runs off in excitement.
Inez tries to follow but the padre stops her.
No, no, no. Leave him alone. Great
happiness is as hard to bear as
Inez snatches up the telegram and reads it as we
EXT. COURTYARD - MOMENTS LATER
Two servants, Lena and an elderly man named PIETRO, join Bruno at the foot of
the courtyard stairs.
LENA & PIETRO
What is it? Yes, sir? What's happened?
Oh, here. Countess Varelli is coming
back home to us tomorrow, that's
Lena and Pietro stare at each other in disbelief.
Well, do you hear me? Can't you
understand? She's coming back home
to us, tomorrow! Tomorrow, Lena!
Oh, merciful heavens!
Pietro is ecstatic but Lena begins to cry and hugs Bruno who comforts her.
Oh, Lena. Ssshhhh! No more tears,
Lena. No, no, no, we've had enough
tears around here. Now, we can
Yes, yes, yes.
Hurry, Pietro. We must get her room
And you hurry to the station and
find out what time the train arrives.
And flowers, Lena, fresh flowers
everywhere! But hurry, Pietro! Don't
Pietro exits as Bruno hurries to a double door, followed by Lena.
Come on, Lena. Lena, come! Hurry, Lena!
Bruno pulls out some keys, unlocks half the door and enters.
INT. DRAWING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
A dark room. Daylight pours in from the open door as Bruno and Lena enter.
Bruno opens curtains and a side door while Lena opens the other half of the
double door, letting in more light.
Open the windows, Lena. Open all the
Yes, sir, yes, Mister Bruno.
Lena hurries away as Bruno happily tears the white covers off of the room's
furniture. Inez enters worriedly, telegram in hand, and joins him.
Bruno! I can't understand this.
Tony seems to imply that her mind is
affected, that her memory's gone.
Well, isn't that natural? After all
she's been through?
Yes, but what does he mean by this?
"Remember that for the present she's
to see no one. Not even Inez."
That's heartless. Am I not to be
allowed to see my own sister?
Tony knows best. He's probably
afraid of the shock of bringing back
too many memories at once. Oh, surely
you wouldn't do anything now to set
her back. You couldn't.
I don't think either one of us could
stand any more disappointments.
Of course not, Bruno. I understand.
I'll take the same train to Rome that
she arrives on. And I'll make sure
that she doesn't see me. After all,
I love her, too.
As if I didn't know that.
Bruno looks up and leaves Inez, crossing to a darkened corner. He pulls a
white sheet off of the wall to reveal a huge painting of a woman. He regards
it for a moment, then opens a nearby shade to flood the portrait with
daylight. It's Tony's painting of Maria, as she was ten years ago: young,
radiant, wearing a simple but beautiful gown, smiling in springtime.
Superficially unlike Zara and yet -- there is clearly some resemblance.
CLOSEUP - BRUNO
He stares up at the portrait, rapt.
How I prayed that it might come to
EXT. TRAIN - NEXT DAY
The train's whistle blows as its wheels roar along the track.
INT. DINING CAR - TRAIN
A crowded car. Diners eat, a waiter walks by with a tray.
A noisy Italian family passes through, kids screaming, father bellowing at
them. Zara and Tony, seated at a nearby table, watch with amusement.
(wryly, off the kids)
The opera singers of tomorrow.
Zara lights a cigarette. A few weeks have passed since we saw her last: her
injured arm is still in a sling but has nearly healed. She is no longer a
blonde: she's let her hair grow and washed the dye from it. She is not only
less glamorous but less self-assured: she fidgets, filled with uncertainty.
What time will we be there?
That's just two more hours.
No need to be.
Tony takes her hand but realizes he shouldn't pull at her wounded arm.
Oh, I'm so clumsy. Did I hurt you?
(fusses with her sling)
Not at all. It's all well. I'll take
this off before--
Tell me. Has Bruno changed much?
That is, will I know him?
He's older, naturally.
You know, it's been so long.
Sometimes, I can't picture what he's
like. Of course, I remember he's not
very tall and--
I suppose - I suppose YOU would
call him tall.
I would, yes. Your husband, madame,
is, I regret to say, one of the
tallest and handsomest officers in
the Italian army.
Zara smiles, deeply pleased. She lowers her eyes.
You're sweet, Tony.
(meets his eyes)
And I'm so grateful.
Never be grateful till you're past
What time is it now?
Five minutes past two.
(stares out the window)
An hour and fifty-five minutes more.
EXT. TRAIN STATION SEQUENCE - DAY
INEZ AND BRUNO
ride in a horse-drawn carriage which pulls up to the busy station. They
disembark, are greeted by villagers, and exchange goodbyes under the noisy
I'm sorry, Inez.
It doesn't matter. Goodbye.
Inez walks off as a station employee joins Bruno.
May I show you to the train?
Bruno and the employee head through a gate toward the tracks.
LENA AND PIETRO
holding bouquets of flowers, standing among the crowd. Lena adjusts Pietro's
bow tie. They bicker to cover their nervousness:
Your necktie - always crooked.
Crooked? How 'bout your hat? It's
not crooked? Huh?
Oh, but I'm so nervous.
Ah, nervous, nervous. How 'bout me?
I'm no' nervous?!
You're all right, you're all right!
ZARA AND TONY
standing together on the train as it pulls slowly into the station. He gives
her a comforting pat on the arm. She turns and suddenly panics, fear in her
eyes, gripping his arm.
I can't go through with it!
Steady. Steady, now. It's going to
be all right. That's the girl.
Nothing to be afraid of, really.
Nothing at all. Now, then, come on.
The train stops and she reluctantly allows him to lead her onto the platform.
LENA AND PIETRO
Here they are. Here they are.
ZARA AND TONY
walking through the crowd, parallel to the train. The uniformed station
employee bows to Zara who peers at him uncertainly and glances at Tony.
standing farther along. He turns and steps in their direction, unsure.
ZARA AND TONY
as they join Lena and Pietro. Lena offers her bouquet to Zara who clearly does
not recognize her but accepts the flowers with a hesitant nod. Lena and Pietro
watch with surprise as Tony and Zara move on. The older couple exchange
glances of disbelief that their Maria should not recognize them.
also surprised at this. He strides forward to meet Tony and Zara.
ZARA AND TONY
Tony points out Bruno to Zara.
Here he comes.
Bruno joins them, staring raptly at Zara. He and Tony remove their hats. Zara
stares at Bruno apprehensively, clutching at Tony's arm. In the background,
the crowd looks on with interest.
Bruno is overcome. He moves his face close to hers.
Bruno takes her in his arms.
Zara shows no sign of recognition - has trouble meeting his eyes.
There were so many things I was
going to say to you but - I've
forgotten them all. You're more
beautiful than ever.
Bruno kisses her full on the lips. She pulls away first, uncomfortable.
Oh, I know what you're going to say
but it doesn't matter. The only
thing that matters now is that I
have you. Come.
Zara, terrified, looks to Tony for help. So does Bruno, more congenially.
Coming along, old man?
Mm mm, no, no. This is the moment
for Tony to exit smilingly. I'll
join you later. Bon soir!
Tony moves off gallantly. Zara lowers her eyes to the ground as Bruno puts his
arm around her shoulder and leads her through the chattering crowd and out the
INEZ AND TONY
Tony joins a skeptical Inez who has watched everything from a distance.
Going back to Rome by the same
Yes, of course. I only caught a
slight glimpse but I'm afraid I saw
very little resemblance.
Oh ho, come, come, my dear. Think of
the scars of life. To say nothing of
twenty-four hours of train dust.
I hope you're right, Tony -- for
EXT. THE GATES OF THE VARELLI ESTATE - LATER THAT DAY
Zara and Bruno ride in the horse drawn carriage as it passes through the front
gate of the estate. A crowd of friendly villagers wave and cheer them on.
INT. DRAWING ROOM - LATER THAT DAY
Pietro watches as Lena fusses with one of several displays of flowers.
Well? You make up your mind?
I thought a few flowers--
Few?! Why, this place look like a
But she always loved flowers.
I can't get over she did not
remember us today.
Are you going to begin THAT again?
Abruptly, Lena begins to weep and dabs her eyes with a tissue.
Well-- Why you crying? You crying
again? Aw, you cry at everything.
You cry at weddings, at funerals,
(snaps at him)
Well, there's one funeral I won't
Lena turns away from him in disgust. Bruno enters and joins them.
Pietro? There's something I should
like to say to you.
The three of them confer. Bruno pauses and looks around to make sure he is not
overheard. The portrait of Maria hangs visible on the wall in the background.
Because you've known her longer than
any of us, I'm depending upon you to
help me. We must do everything we
can to make it easy for her.
Oh, yes, sir. Yes, sir.
But Tony's voice interrupts.
Could a thirsty traveler have some
The threesome turn to see a jovial Tony enter.
Well, hello, there, old man.
When I say "tea," I don't necessarily
(amused, to Pietro)
A whisky and soda for Mister Tony.
(smiles, to Tony)
With a lot of whisky, eh?
Ah, and not too much soda -- you bad
Tony pinches Lena's cheek. She laughs and she and Pietro exit, leaving Tony
and Bruno by themselves.
Uh, where's the lady?
In her room.
She, uh, she wanted to be alone.
Bruno earnestly puts a hand on his friend's shoulder.
Forgive me, old man. In the
excitement at the station today, I
had no chance to tell you -- to try
to tell you -- how deeply grateful
Hm. I know. Everything all right?
Well, yes, of course. Only-- I don't
know if I can explain it to you. We
- it's as if we'd met today for the
My dear fellow, you are both under
Yes, I know. But there's something I
don't understand. Tony, she's almost
a stranger. She scarcely said a word
to me. She seems to want to avoid me.
I can't seem to be able to - to get
You can't bridge ten years in an
Oh, naturally, I expected to find
her changed but - not--
Her ten years haven't been like
yours. She's been through what we
inadequately call hell. She's been
dragged through the mud. She's had
the soul beaten out of her.
INT. MARIA'S BEDROOM - DAY
Luxurious, well-lit, filled with flowers. Zara sits at the end of the bed by a
table, her face morose and downcast. She starts and fidgets nervously as Lena
enters with yet another bunch of flowers and sets them beside her.
There. You remember? The Count
always liked gardenias in your room.
Isn't there anything I can do for
All your things are here -- just as
you left them. All the things you
used to love. Even your poor old
Zara, startled to realize that Lena had some sort of personal relationship
with Maria, glances at her uneasily, then grows thoughtful.
But maybe I'm talking too much.
Maybe you'd rather be alone.
Lena exits hesitantly as Zara sits lost in thought, hand to her mouth. At the
sound of the door closing, Zara glances at it worriedly and puts a hand to her
INT. DRAWING ROOM - DAY
Some time later, Tony finishes filling in Bruno on Zara's life.
And I could tell you worse things.
But none of it was her fault. And
you mustn't let it interfere with
your love for her.
Oh, no. It only makes me doubly
anxious to take care of her. I want
more than ever to make up for what
she's been through.
Be gentle with her. I hope you won't
misunderstand me, Bruno. But don't
let anything frighten her. Not even
your own love.
Bruno starts off decisively.
Where are you going?
I'm going to find her now.
Tony chuckles, pleased, as Bruno exits.
INT. THE DRAWING ROOM - LATER THAT DAY
Pietro serves a drink to Tony who toasts him.
Well, heigh ho, Pietro -- or words
to that effect.
Tony drinks as Lena appears in the background and calls quietly to him.
Here they come, here they come.
Pietro moves off as Lena and Tony watch Bruno lead a hesitant Zara from the
courtyard into the drawing room.
(pleasantly, to Zara)
Well, how does it seem to be home?
Zara glances around at the unfamiliar room with an ironic nod and grin.
She walks forward and inspects the room unhappily. Bruno tags along beside her
trying to remain upbeat.
It isn't much changed, is it? When
I rebuilt the house, I tried to
restore everything just as you had
Zara stalks around the room, searchingly, then turns and stops dead at the
sight of the huge portrait of Maria hanging on the wall.
Your portrait. Thank heaven, it's
come to life.
Do you mean - that that lovely
creature - and I - ?
She steps forward for a better look.
Is that what she looked like ten
(turns to Bruno, upset)
Is that who I'm supposed to be?
Why, darling, I--
Distraught, Zara rushes away from Bruno and the portrait to join Tony on the
other side of the room.
I can't stand it. Tony?
Bruno follows, confused.
The three stand together. Zara clearly wants Tony to take her away, to leave
I'm not Maria! I'm not that woman.
You're not - ? Tony, what does she
Don't you understand? After all
she's been through - she feels she's
not the same. She's no longer the
girl in the portrait.
(shakes her head)
No, no, that's not what I mean! I
couldn't EVER have been that woman.
(grasps at Tony)
Let's go, Tony.
Maria, dear, don't let yourself go
Oh, what a fool I've been to ever
try this, to ever come here.
(genuinely, to Bruno)
Forgive me, I'm sorry.
Maria, my dear...
You know I'm not Maria, don't you?
Bruno glances in the direction of the portrait. Zara gestures helplessly at
Look for yourselves. There is
nothing of that girl in me.
Yes, of course there is.
Zara moves quickly to the portrait and, facing Tony and Bruno, stands beneath
it, arms outstretched.
Is there? Look at us both!
A slight pause as Bruno stares at Zara and the portrait. Zara slumps weakly
against the back of a nearby chair, clutching a hand to her head.
Oh, Tony. He sees the truth now.
Bruno. You can't let her think you
Bruno moves close to Zara.
Maria, try to understand. Be patient
Bruno stares up at the portrait as Zara listens.
For ten years, I've waited for her.
No one can know how much I've loved
her. Even when she became a memory,
I was faithful to that memory.
Zara's eyes have widened in surprise. Bruno turns his face to hers.
And then suddenly to - to see her
come to life - to realize that she's
flesh and blood. You think I doubt
you - but I can't doubt you and
keep my sanity. I've got to believe
Zara faces him, looks him in the eyes, stunned.
I didn't know that there was love
like this. That there were men like
But I - I couldn't just be the
woman who has come back. Would you
help me to create HER again?
As she says this, Zara nods toward the portrait that looms behind them.
If you'll trust me.
But you can only do it by - by
believing in me. Then perhaps I can
(lowers her eyes)
- as you desire me.
Their eyes meet.
INT. A ROOM IN PARIS - DAY
Inez sits and reads an issue of Le Miroir du Monde as her maid presents her
with a visitor's calling card. Inez reads the card.
I don't believe I know him. Say I'm
not at home.
But the gentlemen said it was urgent.
(rereads the card)
He said he must see you, madame.
(with a grin)
How much does he tip you?
Give it back to him. But show the
The maid heads out the door, takes Salter's hat, and closes the door behind
him as he enters and joins Inez.
Karl Salter. The novelist?
Ah, the reason for my coming is
rather important to both of us.
You are the sister of Countess
Varelli, aren't you?
Inez gestures to a small framed photo of Maria on a nearby table. Putting a
monocle to his eye, Salter inspects it closely. Inez watches him, puzzled.
Remarkable likeness! But, um--
To come to my story...
Salter pulls a chair over and sits down opposite Inez.
You see, about a month ago, the
Countess Varelli, after having been
missing for ten long years, suddenly
returned to her husband.
May I ask--?
Don't you think it is rather strange,
madame, that the Countess should
have refused to see even you, her
Now, really, I must--
I happen to know that there is an
estate involved, a rather
considerable amount of money, which
would have gone to you in the event
that the Countess were never found.
Indignant, Inez rises. Salter rises, too.
And how could this possibly concern
Because the woman you believe to be
the Countess Varelli is an impostor.
What do you mean?
Suppose that I were to tell you that
I know where your sister is. The REAL
Inez looks away, eyes wide with distress.
EXT. BY THE ADRIATIC SEA - DAWN
Lively Italian guitar music. A beach crowded with people sits alongside a sea
crowded with sailboats, just before sunrise.
Down by the shore, on a beached vessel, a group of sailors smoke cigarettes
and listen as one of their fellows strums his guitar. A car horn honks and
another sailor points in its direction. The sailors wave up to
A sporty roadster parked on a bluff overlooking the beach. The driver, Bruno,
waves down to the sailors and calls out:
Bruno and Zara happily get out of the car and admire the view.
The Adriatic, my darling, by
moonlight. In a moment, we're about
to show for your especial benefit,
one of our celebrated sunrises.
It was worth driving all night for.
Well, there's our boat waiting for
Bruno points and leads Zara down to the beach. A servant follows, carrying
EXT. THE BOAT - MOMENTS LATER
Accompanied by the upbeat guitar music, Bruno and Zara thread their way along
the crowded shore to their boat. Bruno waves to onlookers and a small crowd
follows and gathers 'round them to help push the boat into the water.
Bruno lifts Zara into the boat, then climbs in. Sailors busy themselves for
departure. Zara watches all the activity with delight.
With help from the crowd, the boat casts off. The sail is raised.
Zara sits on deck, rubbing her arms in the cool breeze. Bruno joins her.
The boat, one among many on the water, sails out to sea.
EXT. THE BOAT - SOME TIME LATER
Bruno and Zara sit on deck. Bruno watches as other boats keep pace with
theirs, the sun low on the distant horizon. He turns his attention to Zara who
seems lost in thought.
You don't know what it means to me.
All this beauty and peace.
INT. BEDROOM (BY THE SEA) - NIGHT
That evening, Zara, readying for bed, sits quietly in the candlelight. The
background music is sadder, slower but romantic. A knock at the door. She
The doorknob rattles but the door doesn't open. Realizing it's locked, Zara
rises, crosses to the door and opens it. She smiles as Bruno appears in the
doorway wearing a robe.
Don't you remember me? I'm the
young man who went sailing with you
They laugh. She lowers her eyes shyly.
Aren't you going to ask me in to say
Smiling, she backs away to let him enter.
He follows her into the room. As if on cue, a harpist plays a glissando.
Amused, Zara moves to a large window overlooking the sea and pushes it open.
Somewhere in the night, someone plays the Italian melody "Sorrento" as Zara
turns with a smile to Bruno who has followed her. She turns back to the open
window, bends down, plucks a flower blossom from a bush and shows it to Bruno
before pressing it to her face. He takes her wrist and kisses her hand. She
swoons uneasily. Abruptly, he presses his lips to hers in a full kiss. After a
moment, she resists, breaks away from him, and leans against a nearby wall,
looking at him with a mixture of sympathy and uncertainty.
I don't know-- I can't explain.
She offers him a halfhearted smile and he lowers his eyes. After a moment, he
takes her hand, presses it against his face, kisses it, pats it with
affection, and looks her in the eyes steadily and reassuringly.
She watches as he pulls away from her reluctantly and exits. She presses the
flower to her lips as we hear the bedroom door close.
INT. BRUNO'S BEDROOM (BY THE SEA) - MOMENTS LATER
Bruno opens a case and takes out a cigarette. He lights it with a candle, then
blows out the candle and sits in the semidarkness on the edge of his bed,
smoking thoughtfully. "Sorrento" and moonlight enter the room through an open
window behind him.
Suddenly, his eyes widen with the realization that someone else is in the room
with him. He rises and turns to see Zara standing in the open doorway. She
crosses toward him, looking ethereal in the moonlight, and casually leans on
the bedpost at the end of his bed.
May I have a cigarette?
Stunned, he puts his cigarette in his mouth and opens his case. She reaches in
and takes a cigarette, puts it to her mouth, then moves seductively close to
him, pressing the end of her cigarette to his, lighting it.
They eye one another hungrily.
He removes his cigarette and drops it to the floor.
She lets hers slip out of her hand as they draw close to one another and join
in a slow, powerful kiss.
INT. DRAWING ROOM - VARELLI ESTATE - ANOTHER DAY
Tony sits in front of Maria's portrait, sketchpad in hand, working on a
Zara enters quietly through the double doors from the courtyard, wearing a
dress that looks exactly like the one Maria wears in the painting. She
approaches Tony who does not notice her until she speaks.
Tony looks up, then rises, stunned.
In heaven's name, say something so I
know I'm not dreaming.
Zara sits in the chair before the painting, adopting the same pose as Maria.
Tell me, Tony, am I right?
We PAN OFF Zara to the similarly-posed portrait.
Why, I'm - I'm aghast. I can't speak.
Why, it's - it's too perfect for
He kneels before her for a closer look as she breaks the pose and laughs
Oh, Tony, I want to stay and make
him happy. I've changed. There's
nothing left in my heart but him.
Bruno appears in the double doors. Tony raises a hand to stop him.
Tony rises as Zara quickly adopts the pose again.
This is the big moment of my life!
Tony leads Bruno over to see the new Zara.
Bruno - look! What an artist!
Bruno looks. Zara breaks the pose again and smiles at him as Tony calls out:
Lena! Pietro! What an artist!
(impressed, to Zara)
Why, you're lovely.
Lena enters and joins them.
Why, of course it's lovely. Am I not
the artist? There she is and there
she is! God made one and I made the
other. Now, which is which?
Zara laughs and searches Bruno's face.
Am I really like her?
Oh, my beautiful one.
Lena, do you hear these foolish
questions? Why, they're as much
alike as two peas in a pod. Even the
love light in her beautiful blue
Yes, but, uh, but the eyes are gray.
Zara's face falls.
Gray? No, no, Lena, they're blue - I
know, I painted the portrait.
Zara grows tense. But Bruno is too delighted to notice.
When did you think of this?
Oh, I've put this dress on many
times. I've studied myself and looked
Oh, I'm so happy!
Pietro enters with a tray of drinks. Tony watches anxiously for his reaction.
Mama Mia! I thought the picture
had-a come to life.
There you are! Pietro appreciates me.
Bruno draws Zara to the center of the room to admire her.
Oh, it's a miracle, I tell you, a
miracle. The same - that same tilt
of the head. That same hint of a
Zara hugs Bruno warmly.
Oh, that's only superficial. But
look at the soul, shining out of her
Blue eyes? Mister Tony, you will
have your joke. Imagine, painting
brown eyes and calling them blue.
They are gray eyes.
(amused, to Lena, off Pietro)
Ohhh, take him outside.
But they are gray.
Lena and Pietro exit together arguing.
(reassuring, to Zara)
Gray, brown, blue. They're beautiful
My dear, would it be stupid to say
you are born again?
(to Bruno, with
a great smile)
And what do you say? Am I born again?
What a pity you weren't born last
week on your birthday. Bruno and I
were dying to celebrate.
I wasn't ready then, Tony.
We'll celebrate tonight.
The three of us. As we did once, eh--
Yes! Yes, in Monte Carlo.
Maria, you remember?!
Tony had a marvelous new system of
roulette to break the bank.
Marvelous system -- you lost thirty
Tony! She remembers. And then we
left Tony at the casino...
To console himself with a Russian
lady with beautiful jewels and
Right. And they were both false.
Zara and Bruno laugh.
That's all you need to remember
about me today. Tell the rest to
Tony exits with a grin, leaving Zara and Bruno alone.
Maria, do you remember anything else
about that night in Monte Carlo?
Yes. We drove along for hours by the
I was trying to get up enough
courage to propose to you.
And I made up my mind you'd drive on
till you did.
And afterwards, that night, we drove
for miles, do you remember?
Every second of it.
And the coachman who wept because
his sweetheart was in America.
Oh, darling. If you knew what this--
We were so happy we bought the horse
and the cab so he go to America and
join his sweetheart.
They laugh. A dog barks. Bruno looks up to see
PIETRO AND A DOG
in the courtyard. It is a big dog, dragging Pietro behind him.
Oh, there's Rex. Maria, you remember
(from the courtyard)
Bruno! Hold on to the dog!
But Pietro lets go and Rex races toward the drawing room, barking angrily.
Rex pauses obediently at the double doors, glaring at Zara who stares at him
nervously. Rex growls at her. Confused, Bruno stands with Zara. Rex barks at
her. Bruno leaves Zara's side and crosses to Rex as an apprehensive Tony
appears in the doorway beside the dog.
Why, only to strangers. He hasn't
But Zara doesn't look so sure.
Speak to him, darling.
Let him come to me.
Perhaps I'd better hold on to him.
But she shakes her head tensely and steels herself.
Bruno lets go of Rex and points to Zara. Rex walks forward, but instead of
attacking, the dog jumps up and puts his paws in her arms, suddenly very
Well, there! You see, I knew he'd
remember her. Come on, boy. Come on,
Rex, that's enough for one day.
Bruno and a much-relieved Zara pet Rex as Tony joins them.
Hm. Smart dog but not very tactful.
He remembers her.
He should know when people want to
be alone. Come on, Rex, you and I
are going for a walk. And I want to
ask you, as man to dog, "what color
are her eyes?" Come on, boy.
With a gesture toward the painting, Tony exits with Rex, leaving Zara and
Bruno alone again.
I've given you a bad time of it,
I'm sorry. Shall we begin - from
From this moment.
Zara looks at the portrait.
You know, that girl up there - and
this one here - we think that life
can be very sweet, don't we?
Zara and Bruno kiss deeply, happily.
After a moment, Lena enters from the side door and knocks for their attention.
The couple break their clinch.
A gentleman here to see the Countess.
Zara and Bruno exchange surprised looks. Lena offers the visitor's card. Zara
reads it and looks at Bruno with concern.
What excuse could he possibly have
for coming here?
(her old self
for a moment)
Salter never needs an excuse.
I'll speak to him.
Bruno starts to go but Zara stops him.
It's better if I see him. I want to
end that chapter once and for all.
All right, darling. I'll be on the
I love you.
She kisses him lovingly on the hand and they break away reluctantly. Bruno
exits. Zara watches him go unhappily. Lena gestures to the courtyard and
exits. Zara moves through the double doors and into
as the malevolent figure of Salter walks into view. He pauses at the sight of
her, then laughs darkly before striding toward her.
I'm so glad to see you. How are you?
Zara backs away and refuses to take his offered hand.
Come, come, don't be childish. I
expected you to laugh and say,
"Hello, Salter! How do you like me
in my fool's paradise?"
I'm back where I belong.
(more dark laughter)
You don't have to act for me.
Aren't we alone?
Zara sighs and starts to walk off but Salter brusquely catches her by the
wrist and presses himself angrily to her.
How I hated you - those first days
after you'd left. I cursed you. I
couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I
couldn't work, I couldn't even
drink. You've gotten me where no
other woman could ever get me.
He tries to kiss her, she tries to break away.
You're going back with me.
She breaks free and rubs her wrist in pain.
I don't want to see you any more. I
don't even want to think of you
And the noble husband? Will he never
think of me again?
That's all, Salter.
Zara has had enough. She moves away and picks up a bell to ring for a servant
to throw him out.
If you want to play this silly game,
to save a man's property, all right!
To save his property?
Oooh, I see. You don't know about
that. He must be clever, this
What are you talking about?
One week from tomorrow, Countess
Varelli would have been missing ten
years and legally dead. And the
noble Count would have lost all
these lovely acres. Ha ha ha! This
is magnificent. They find you
singing in a cheap cafe, a casualty
of the war, without a memory, a
convenient resemblance and, uh, you
save the property.
Now, that's not true.
Well, we can easily find out. Where
is this honorable gentleman?
Will you wait?
Zara sets the bell down and heads off into
THE DRAWING ROOM
Zara looks around for a sign of Bruno and calls out:
Bruno enters from the terrace and joins her.
I'm sorry, Bruno, I couldn't quite
settle this without you.
Bruno makes a move in Salter's direction but Zara stops him.
Er, Salter says that I'm here with
you as a - sort of a legal
convenience. Of course, it's
something that he's manufactured
but he dared me to ask you about
What did he tell you?
That all this property was this
girl's dowry - that, in a week, she
would have been legally dead and
you would have lost your property.
Bruno turns away from her.
It isn't true what he says, is it,
Maria, what difference can it make?
Ten years ago, you knew I loved you.
You recalled it a few moments ago.
Things have been clearing up in
your mind, one by one. If this
business about the estate isn't
clear yet, it will be in time.
Zara stares at him in disbelief.
Oh, darling, don't you see? It
couldn't mean anything.
She backs away from him uncertainly.
If I hadn't appeared - if your wife
hadn't come back, would you have
lost this estate?
She walks away from him, staggered.
How fortunate for you that I was
Bruno follows her.
Well, surely you don't think that--?
Zara sinks down to a sofa. In the background, through the open double doors,
we see Salter in the courtyard pacing nonchalantly, twirling his cane.
Now I understand why you were so
willing to forget the life I had
Well, it wasn't a matter of
forgetting or forgiving. I only
wanted the estate for you. Because
it was yours.
Mine? You've always doubted me.
You've never been sure.
Who am I, then? Am I Maria? Or any
woman you're willing to accept as
Maria? Just to be able to hold on to
But, my dear, this estate has never
been important to me. The only thing
I've ever cared about was finding
that girl again.
And do you believe - down in your
heart - that I am that girl?
Absolutely. Beyond the shadow of a
Struck, she turns away from him
And what would you think if I told
you that I don't remember Monte
Carlo - I don't remember anything
that happened there. You see, that
girl left a diary - a very complete
diary, in which she told about
everything she loved.
Now, it is Bruno's turn to be struck.
So, you see, there is nothing to
hold us together, Bruno. Only faith.
An extremely confident Salter jauntily twirls his cane. Lightning flashes and
and he looks up at the sky. Thunder roars overhead as Salter checks his watch,
tosses away his cigarette, collects his hat and gloves from a nearby table,
and stands in the doorway to the drawing room. Twirling his cane, he stares at
Zara and Bruno who are still seated on the sofa in
THE DRAWING ROOM
Zara and Bruno rise from the sofa. Lena enters with two lit candlesticks as
Bruno strides over to confront Salter.
My wife and I won't waste any more
of your time.
Thank you. But I haven't yet
explained the reason for my visit.
I have brought your real wife with
Zara and Bruno stare at him.
I found her in a sanitarium in
Trieste. She's been there ever since
Zara and Bruno exchange glances.
Her mind is, er, somewhat more
shattered than yours. So her doctor
is attending her.
Whatever nonsense you're talking,
I'm not in the least interested. Now,
It isn't as simple as all that.
There are proofs beyond any
Salter nods stiffly.
What are you talking about?
Bruno. Why don't you let him show
you this woman?
(nods, to Zara)
I admire your courage.
Salter deposits his hat and gloves on the sofa and moves to the side door.
Thunder reminds us of the gathering storm. Pietro lights more candles as a
distinguished-looking doctor enters.
This is Dr. Rheinhart from Vienna.
He attended Countess Varelli for
Very unfortunate case of amnesia.
We've had so many of them since the
Bruno appears skeptical. Zara appears resigned.
Look here, let's get this over.
Where is this - this woman?
Salter nods to the doctor who nods in return, then exits. Lightning flashes.
Thunder roars. Bruno turns and puts a comforting hand to Zara's shoulder. She
summons a sad grin. He turns back to the side door but she keeps her eyes on
him, as if she were about to lose him forever.
Salter holds the door as the doctor enters slowly, escorting a woman dressed
all in black and wearing a black veil so that we cannot see her face very
clearly (though it is certainly visible). She moves very slowly as if in a
trance. Bruno eyes her skeptically. Zara looks at her searchingly.
The woman peers slowly around the room and then right at Bruno. She starts at
the sight of him and staggers. Salter and the doctor quickly lend support,
taking her by the arms.
Lightning and thunder. Bruno, Zara, Pietro and Lena (who now enters from the
courtyard) watch as the doctor and Salter lead the woman in black to the sofa
and carefully seat her. The doctor lifts the woman's veil so that all may see
her face (all but us -- we never actually see the woman's unveiled face).
After a pause, the woman, looking in the direction of the courtyard, sees Lena
standing with Pietro -- and recognizes her.
(an eerie voice,
Zara stares impassively at the woman in black. Lena looks searchingly from
Zara to the woman in black who sits on the edge of the sofa, arms reaching out
to her. Lena moves hesitantly toward the woman, repeatedly glancing in
confusion at Zara as she does. All eyes in the room are riveted on Lena as she
joins the woman in black and takes her hands.
Lena glances at Zara, then stares into the woman's face, incredulous.
La - la contessa?
Lena breaks down and cries hysterically, joyously, burying her head in the
woman's lap. Zara looks shaken. Bruno stares, disbelieving.
See? Childhood memories coming back.
Zara, convinced, and Bruno, unconvinced, exchange glances.
(skeptical, to the doctor)
Strange that this was never
Only in the last six months has
she shown improvement. Remembering
her name, her husband's name.
EXT. COURTYARD - CONTINUOUS
Lightning and thunder overhead, Tony leads a nervous Inez across the dark,
windswept courtyard. He points to the well-lit drawing room.
You'll find your sister in the
Inez gratefully shakes Tony's hand. He shrugs and she moves hesitantly away.
INT. DRAWING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Inez arrives at the double doors and enters to find everyone as we left them:
Lena kneels by the seated woman in black as Zara, Bruno, Salter and the doctor
stand around the room. Pietro shuts the double doors behind Inez to keep out
the increasingly noisy storm.
Inez looks around uncertainly.
Abruptly, at the sight of Inez, the woman in black attempts to rise. Lena
helps her up.
Zara's eyes widen. Bruno's faith is eroding. Salter looks on expectantly. Lena
helps the woman in black slowly over to Inez. The woman suddenly embraces a
startled Inez who looks at the others, confused. The two women clutch one
another for a moment before Inez pulls back a little to peer into the woman's
They embrace again.
Oh, you poor thing.
Bruno glowers. Salter tries to suppress a grin. Zara merely stares. Inez and
Pietro help escort the woman in black to a nearby chair.
Tony, who has entered unnoticed from the side door, exchanges glances with
Zara and takes her hand sympathetically but she brushes past him to confront
the group who are arranged around the seated woman who is again veiled.
Have you finished, Mr. Salter?
Surely you don't think we're taken
in by this merely because of some
But Zara puts a hand on Bruno's shoulder.
Ohhh. Whistling in the dark.
But - ?
Don't deny it. The doubt is there.
You can see it on all their faces.
Lena sobs sorrowfully. Zara entreats her with great sympathy.
Poor Lena, don't cry. I'm not
blaming you. It's only natural. One
atom of doubt and the strongest
faith is destroyed.
(in Salter's direction)
Salter knows that. He's clever.
So you admit you ... might not be
Oh, I admit that even this poor soul
might be Maria - if you wish to
believe she is.
with a grin)
Hm! A cruel blow for an ambitious
Be sensible, Tony. Could you expect
anyone who has been through the
tortures of the past ten years to
remain the same? The very fact that
I am like her now should prove that
I'm not she.
(upset, to Zara)
But if they doubt you, it's only
because you yourself are making them
(evenly, to Bruno)
That's what I mean to do. Either I
am that woman or she is. You don't
think she has proof? She has.
Zara moves to Lena and puts a sympathetic hand on her arm.
When I first met you, Lena, I had
nothing to say to you.
Lena shakes her head, remembering. Zara gestures to the woman in black.
The minute she came into the room,
she called you.
Lena nods reluctantly in agreement. Zara shrugs with a wry grin. Lena turns
away in tears. Zara now turns to Inez.
You have wondered why I avoided you,
Inez, my own sister. Wasn't it
because I couldn't trust myself to
talk to you about the days when we
were children together?
Inez does not meet her gaze.
I see you've thought of all that.
Well, today, I was ready for you -
perfect in my part, even to the
dress I had copied - to complete the
illusion. Then Salter must ruin it
all by bringing--
Zara makes a helpless gesture to the woman in black.
The real wife.
Zara looks around at the silent room.
I'm surprised. No protests?
Zara moves to Bruno.
Poor Bruno. You don't believe. And it
would've been so simple to make you
believe. All of you.
I've never doubted you, Maria.
Zara, full of wisdom, moves to Tony.
That's because - because you are one
of the rare few who always believe.
She turns back to Bruno as Tony walks off, disappointed.
Oh, Bruno! You've held me in your
arms, close to you. You still don't
know? If I'm hurting you, I'm sorry.
I wanted to be - I tried so hard to
be that woman. Don't hate me too
much for stealing your love. If I
could return it to you, I would.
I can't. It's locked up ...
(hands to her heart)
... in here.
Abruptly, Zara turns and tries to exit. Bruno follows.
No! No, I can't let you go.
Bruno grabs her and pulls her to him. She nods at the woman in black.
What about her?
If-- No, I don't believe it. Why,
my love for you is the same I've had
all these years for the Maria I'd
lost. You MUST be Maria. They can
call her my wife but I know it's you
But if they prove to you, beyond
doubts, that she is your wife?
I want you.
Zara laughs joyously, overcome by his love. She kisses his hand, then turns to
Salter smiling broadly.
Salter! You have lost.
Oh, no. Fact still remains, this
woman is his wife.
Is she? What makes you so sure?
Proofs. Records. Going back ten
years. She was picked up only a few
miles from this place, the insane,
lost creature you see now.
The knapsack of a soldier of the
same regiment who raided this place
was slung across her shoulder. When
we questioned her, she could tell us
nothing. Only the horror of that
invasion remained fixed in her
shattered mind. And a few words,
which she repeated over and over
And those few words were "Varelli"
and "Maria" ...
Varelli ... ? Maria ... ?
Salter gestures to the woman, pulls a sheaf of papers from his pocket and
drops them triumphantly on a table.
It's all here, if you care to see it.
Is that all the proof you have?
What more do you want?
Hasn't it occurred to you that there
- there might have been other women
on this estate that night?
Why, surely Maria was not alone, was
No. There were many women on the
estate that night.
Wouldn't they have known of Count
Varelli and of Maria? Mightn't one
of them be this poor woman?
Now you're quibbling! You're
sparring for time.
Zara kneels before the seated woman in black.
Oh, if only you could speak.
Zara raises the woman's veil and peers into her face.
Let me look at you. Is there
anything in your face, anything in
those vacant eyes, that ...
(glances at the portrait)
... that resembles that woman's? Is
(turns to Lena)
Oh, Lena, help me. You must know.
The others - the other women who
were here that night - who were
There - there was Margarita. Anna.
Er, Lucia. And--
Lucia! ... Lucia ...
She's knows that name!
Madame, she's my patient. I insist
Bruno puts a hand to the doctor's shoulder and hushes him.
(to the woman in black)
Oh, you must remember more. Lucia
what? Oh, try to remember more.
Lucia ... Lucia ...
Lucia ... Marco ...
There WAS a Lucia Marco!
Yes, of course there was. Lucia
Marco. Old Marco, the head
gardener's daughter - they grew up
Why, this is absurd--
(cuts him off)
at the woman)
Oh, merciful heavens, it looks like--
(calls to Inez)
Inez pushes forward and kneels for a closer look at the woman's face.
Lucia ... Marco ...
Lena! This IS Lucia Marco.
I knew the moment I looked close at
(to Zara, in tears)
Oh, oh, my countess - how could I
have been so blind to doubt--?
Lena, still on her knees, sobs and buries her face in Zara's gown. Zara
comforts her soothingly.
Lena. It's much easier to doubt than
Zara, suddenly drained by the emotional stress, glances at Bruno and staggers
away, hand to her head, and leans against the piano. Bruno takes charge of the
woman in black.
Inez, Lena, take care of her, will
Lena and Inez help the woman to her feet and escort her slowly from the room
as Salter explodes.
Why, this whole thing is a farce!
Granted, this woman is not your wife
-- but neither is the other! Zara's
no more the contessa than I am.
I'll be the best judge of that,
Salter. You've quite finished here,
(turns to the doctor)
We'll see that this poor woman is
given the best of care, Doctor. Thank
The doctor nods solemnly. Bruno turns back to Salter.
Why, you blind--!
Bruno brusquely snatches up Salter's hat and gloves and hands them to him.
You think this is the end, don't
you? But it isn't. The doubts that I
have planted here today will always
stand between you.
(to Salter, with his
usual good humor)
If you write a book about it, don't
forget to send us an autographed
Salter stalks out angrily and the doctor exits after him. Bruno watches them
go, then turns, strides over to Zara at the piano and takes her lovingly in
his arms. Maria's portrait looms behind them.
He's right, Bruno. There will
always be doubts between us.
(shakes his head)
There'll never be another doubt - as
long as we live, Maria.
Oh, not Maria. I don't know if I
have the right to that name. You're
not sure who I am. I don't know
myself. You see, there isn't enough
left of my memory. It may come back.
Perhaps we'll never know.
And what if we don't? What does it
matter? I'll simply call you my
beloved. Oh, don't you see? My love
for you and my devotion to her
memory have - have become fused into
one. All that I lost, I found again
in you. I love you. For yourself
They embrace deeply, her face pressed to his.
I love you. I do.
A lyrical Italian melody plays as we