Dialogs from the film: (blue indicates key
1. Grand Dame: I suppose you are wondering
why anyone my age would request an audience with the authors of children’s
stories…. I find your collection of folk tales quite brilliant,
Jacob Grimm: Thank you.
Grand Dame: But I must say, I was
terribly disturbed when I read your version of the Little Cinder
Jacob Grimm: Well, there are those who
swear that Perrault's telling with its Fairy Godmother and 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...
Grand Dame: Her name was Danielle De
Barbarac. [Reaches inside the box the footman has brought to her] And
this... was her "glass" slipper.
[the Brothers Grimm 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
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...
2. 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!
3. Danielle: Forgive me, Your Highness, I did not see you.
Henry: Your aim would suggest otherwise.
4. Marguerite: I said I wanted four-minute eggs. Not four one minutes
eggs, and where in GOD'S NAME is our bread?
Baroness: 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: Jacqueline, dear, do not speak unless you can improve the
Marguerite: I was not shrill, I was resonant. A courtier
knows the difference.
Baroness: 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: Darling, nothing is final 'til you're dead, and even then,
I'm sure God negotiates.
[Danielle arrives to serve the ladies; Marguerite complains that
Danielle has been “reading by the fireplace” again, and is covered with
ashes and cinders.]
Baroness: Some people read because they cannot think for themselves.
Marguerite: Why don't you sleep with the pigs, cinder-soot, if you
insist on smelling like one?
Baroness: That was harsh, Marguerite.
Baroness has sold a faithful servant to pay her debts; when the Prince
gave Danielle money “for your silence” as he tried to run away from
his father the King, Danielle decided to use the money to buy the family
servant back. To do so, she has to dress like and pretend to be a
courtier—which was a dangerous idea.]
Gustav: Have you lost your marbles? Do you know what the
punishment is... for servants who dress above their station? Five days in
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 recognized. Hand me that gown so I can be on
[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] 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] You look down to no-one.
Danielle: I am just a servant in a nice dress.
Gustav: Come. We have to do something with that hair.
6. Henry: You claimed it was a matter of
life or death.
Leonardo da Vinci: [unrolling the Mona
Lisa] A woman always is, sire.
Henry: She laughs at me, sir, as if she
knows something I do not.
Da Vinci: The lady had many secrets. I
merely painted one of them.
[Henry is introduced to Da Vinci, and
is thrilled to meet him.]
Henry: Sir, you are the founder of
forward thinking, and my father is the king of backward. Perhaps you could
talk him into the 16th century?
Da Vinci: Captain Laurent, do
Captain Laurent: Prince Henry suffers
from an arranged marriage, signore, among other things...
7. 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
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
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 out of my way!
Henry: [riding up] You dare raise your voice to a lady, sir?
Cargomaster: [flustered] Your Highness! 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: [to Danielle, after being released] I thought I was looking
at your mother!
Danielle: [soft voce] Meet me at the bridge. [aloud] Prepare the
horses, we will leave at once. [to Henry] I thank you, your Highness.
Henry: [as Danielle hurries away] Have we met?
Danielle: I do not believe so, Your Highness.
Henry: I could have sworn I knew every courtier in the
Danielle: Well... I am visiting a cousin.
Danielle: My cousin.
Henry: Yes, you said that. Which one?
Danielle: 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. 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. I confess, the plight of the
everyday rustic bores me.
Danielle: I gather you do not converse with many peasants.
Henry: Ha, certainly not, no. Naturally.
Danielle: [starts walking again] Excuse me, Sire, 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 fear the only name to leave you with... is "Comtesse
Nicole du Lancre."
Henry: There now... that wasn't so hard.
[Danielle gets away while Henry is distracted by his mother, the
8. 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
Henry: And it is my life.
Queen Marie: Francis, sit down before
you have a stroke. Really. the two of you. [to Henry] 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.
9. Marguerite: [unexpectedly seeing the servant whom they sold to pay
the taxes] What is he doing here?
Servant: I worked off your—ah, my—debt. They told me I could go
Baroness: Fine. Go... catch a chicken.
10. King: In honor of Signore Da Vinci I
have decided to throw a masked ball [or masque], at which point you
and I will strike a compromise. If love is what you seek, I suggest
you find it before then. For five days hence, at the stroke of midnight,
you will announce your engagement to the girl of your choice, or I will
announce it for you. Are we agreed?
Henry: What of your treaty?
King: Let me worry about Spain. You’ve
got bigger problems.
Queen Marie: Choose wisely, Henry.
Divorce is only something they do in England.
11. 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 every day.
12. Henry: Do you really think there is only one perfect mate?
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?
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?
Da Vinci: You cannot leave everything to fate, boy. She's got
a lot to do. Sometimes you must give her a hand.
13. [Danielle has decided to go swimming. Da Vinci “walks” by on boat
shoes, and falls in when he sees Danielle.]
Da Vinci: I shall leave walking on water to the Son of God.
Fortunately I tripped over an angel.
[As their clothes dry, the prince talks to Danielle, who he thinks
is a courtier.]
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
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] I must be going.
Henry: [following her] You're angry with me!
Henry: Admit it!
Danielle: Well yes, if you want to know.
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.
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: 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
Henry: How do you do it?
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
Henry: Why do you rise to the occasion?
14. Henry: You're looking well, Marguerite.
Marguerite: You're welcome to look, Your Highness.
15. Pierre Le Pieu: [at the market] I may be twice your age, child, but
I'm well endowed… 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: [holds up a basket and smiles] Prunes?
Pierre Le Pieu: No. I’ll buy nothing this week. And you’d do well to
remember that without my generosity your pathetic little farm would cease
to exist. So I’d be very, very careful if I were you.
[The Baroness and her daughters walk up to meet their servants, who
are selling vegetables in the market. Surprised, Danielle throws a chicken
at the prince and “disappears” before he really gets a good look at her.]
Henry: [to Paulette and Louise, confused] Were there just the two of
Louise: And, the chicken, Your Highness.
16. Gustav: And I suppose if you saw [the prince] 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.
[Henry and Laurent ride up, looking for Da Vinci; Gustave mentions
“Comtesse Nicole du Lancre”, --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
Henry: Excellent. [pause] [That’s a] Nice painting. [Henry rides
Danielle: [emerging from hiding] Gustav, you horrible little
Gustav: Did you hear? He likes my work!
Danielle: And he is heading for my house!
Gustav: Then I suggest you run.