Ever After

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EFL Movie Study Guides (for English learners)

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EFL Movie Study Guide for: Ever After, A Cinderella Story

from www.krigline.com   www.krigline.com.cn


Story: Cinderella wouldn’t have needed a magic pumpkin if she’d had Da Vinci! France’s Crown Prince wants to run away from his overbearing father until a “modern-thinking” young woman captures his heart. But will 16th century rules and her evil step-mother keep these two apart? The young lady must overcome remarkable odds before she can wear a crown. (PG-13; Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, 1998; 2 hrs; romance, humor, and a bit of history; 20th Century Fox).

Setting: In the 1800s, the Queen of France calls in the Brothers Grimm to “set the record straight” (give truthful facts) about a girl in one of their stories. That girl lived in the 1500s with her selfish step-mother and two step-sisters. The queen tells how the prince of France fell in love with this “cinder girl.

Note: In 1500s France, there was a big gap between social classes, and you could tell one’s class (or “station”) by his/her clothes and speech. You could get punished for “dressing above your station”—i.e., for wearing nice clothes or pretending to be in a higher class. This fictional story is set in history and in France, and a lot of the dialog has an upper-class French flavor. Therefore, the language is more formal than you would use in everyday English. Recommended for advanced English learners.

People and proper nouns:

Auguste: Danielle’s loving father; a wealthy businessman who marries again about a week before he died of a heart attack. Although wealthy enough to own land, Danielle’s parents were not courtiers.

Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent: Danielle’s stepmother. Her daughters are Marguerite (who is very selfish) and Jacqueline (who has a kind, simple heart, and who is afraid to stand up to her mother or sister)

The Brothers Grimm: Two German brothers who spent years collecting and researching folk tales (plus history and linguistics) early in the 19th century. Their collection (known as "Grimm's Fairy Tales") included many of the West’s most famous stories, including Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin.

Captain Laurent: a senior army leader and friend/body guard to the Prince

Comtesse (in French), Countess (in English). This courtier’s social level would be higher than a Baroness, which is one reason why Danielle’s stepmother is mad when Danielle lies by saying her mother is a Comtesse.

Danielle de Barbarac: the young lady at the center of this story

Gustave: Danielle’s childhood friend, who also plays a role as a young adult (and painter)

Gypsy: an ethnic group of people who traveled from town to town, often working as entertainers, but historically distrusted by “settled” people [movies like this one show them as thieves as well as singers/dancers]

King Francis: King of France

Maurice: the manager of Auguste’s house/manor. He and his wife were loved and respected servants, but Baroness sells Maurice to get money. Danielle “dressed above her station” (against the law) in order to buy Maurice back—this led to her first conversation with the prince.

Monsiuer le seigneur: I think this is French for “master”—the respectful way Maurice addresses his boss (Auguste)

Nicole de Lancret: Danielle’s mother, who had died when Danielle was a small child.

Prince Henry: the Crown Prince

Signor Leonardo da Vinci (達文西): a famous Italian inventor and painter (of the Mona Lisa), who many people think was “ahead of his time.” The prince calls Da Vinci “the founder of forward thinking” while King Henry is the “the king of backward.”

Utopia: a book by Sir Thomas More about the “perfect” world; Danielle loves this book because it was the last thing her father gave her before he died

Your Majesty/Your Highness: the way you address the King, Queen or other members of their family (also called “The Royal Court”).


Synopsis: (you can find a partial one here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120631/synopsis)



*antique: something old and usually valuable because of its age (but in this movie it used as an unkind joke about Danielle’s mother’s old dress)

an arranged marriage: when fathers agree that their children should marry, without asking the children

*arrogant: behaving in an unpleasant or rude way because you think you are more important than other people

a (wealthy) benefactor: a rich person who will take care of you

cinders, ash, soot: the dirty stuff left after a fire (and around a fireplace)

to be compensated: to be paid for doing something

*compromise: an agreement that is achieved after everyone involved accepts less than what they wanted at first, or the act of making this agreement

*contradiction: a difference between two statements, beliefs, or ideas about something that means they cannot both be true

courtiers: people in society in the upper class who were allowed to mix socially with each other and with the king’s family.

to be coy: unwilling to give information

*divorce: to end a marriage (this was rare in Europe—and worldwide—until modern times when marriage was based on feelings instead of a promise, even if the promise was made by one’s parents)

*to be engaged: to promise to marry someone (this was a lie that the Baroness told the queen)

*fate: a mysterious force that is believed to control your life, similar to destiny (the purpose of your life) and luck (aspects of life you have no control over) -- “Fate is busy, so you must give her a hand (i.e., to help her sometimes).”

to be feisty: (negative) to show a strong, determined character, and being willing to argue

to be fickle: undependable because sb changes his/her mind a lot (“men are fickle”)

flattery: praise (often used humorously or to say you don’t believe the praise)

folk tales: traditional stories about exciting imaginary events (though sometimes they started about something true and then were exaggerated)

fortnight: two weeks (BrE)

*insidious (adj): a lie/problem (etc) that spreads quietly and ends up causing great harm (when The Baroness found out that Danielle had called her mother a Comtesse, she called it “an insidious joke”)

an interlude: a short romantic talk or relationship, but normally a quiet time in the middle of a play, war, etc.

*intrigue: (n) secret plans to harm sb, or something mysterious and therefore interesting

a masked ball; a masque: a dance, at which all of the people wear a mask or costume

monastery: a place where religious people live and study. Before the printing press was invented, the monks (men who lived in a monastery) copied books by hand, so they had the biggest libraries and had more knowledge than most people.

monsieur (or sir)/madame (the way to address someone if married); monsieur(sir)/mademoiselle (if unmarried)

*passion: a very strong feeling for or about something or someone

*to run away: to leave home (or a prison, the army, etc.) without permission [when Danielle says “my mouth has run away with/from me” she means that her mouth has wandered off “without permission” to talk about things she should probably not be saying]

rustics: common people, peasants, commoners (老百姓)

*stubborn: unreasonable or difficult to deal with because you won’t change your mind


Special sentences or phrases from the movie: (common idioms are shown in quotation marks “ ”)

1. I can still whip you. I slaughtered him. He needs a good whipping. It can’t save you from a sound lashing. (to “whip” someone is to beat them in a fight or to punish them with a leather whip, a lash, or something similar)

2. “We’re two peas in a pod.” (meaning: we are exactly the same in many ways)

3. It’s tradition. (meaning: this is something our family has always done for a long time in this situation)

4. to slip his shoe (of a horse): when a horse accidentally loses his horseshoe

5. A sapling cannot grow in the shadow of a mighty oak. (a small tree can’t grow when it is too close to a giant tree—nor can a prince grow up when under the control of his father the king)

6. I want to be free of my gilded cage. (Being a prince means to feel like I’m in a golden jail.)

7. “Have you lost your marbles?” (are you crazy? or that’s a very bad idea)

8. “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 but that you first make thieves and then punish them?” (apparently from Utopia, meaning: If you won’t let your people get an education, they will behave badly. If you punish such people for acting badly, then you have made them bad and punished them for what you made them.)

9. You were born to privilege, and with that comes specific obligations. (said three times in the movie; privilege means special advantage, wealth or position; an obligation is a legal or moral duty)

10. “Bite your tongue.” (meaning: you shouldn’t say that because it would hurt someone’s feelings or make things worse)

11. How can anyone love a pebble in their shoe? (a pebble is a small rock; how can you love someone who irritates you)

12. I’m a businessman, not a philanthropist. (meaning: I’m not a rich man who likes to give away money to help others—there is always something in the deal that helps me)

13. “Waste not, want not.” (If you don't waste things, you are less likely to end up “in want”, i.e., lacking things that you need. The Baroness says this while heading to give her step-daughter’s dress to her daughter.)

14. Your mouth has me hypnotized. (meaning: What you say is so interesting that I can’t think of anything else.)

15. “to arrive in style”: to come to an event in a way that is comfortable and/or very expensive


1. Read “special sentences or phrases” #1-3 again and tell the group about a time you were “whipped,” two people who are “peas in a pod” or a family tradition.

2. Can you think of examples or illustrations of “special sentence” #5?

3. Read phrase #6 and tell us about something someone told you (or that you did) that sounded crazy.

4. Discuss “Special sentence” #8. Do you agree or disagree? Why do bad people act bad, and why aren’t more people bad—that is, where does “goodness” come from?

5. What does “special sentence” #9 say about the role or duty of people who lead others? Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain.

6. Do you believe in fate? (See dialog 12 if needed.)  Why or why not?

7. Dialogs 13 & 17 both mention “passion.” Talk about something you are passionate about or about which you have great conviction.


Note from an interesting website about the film and story: There are approximately 500 versions of the Cinderella story in circulation, making it the most famous tale in the world. The earliest apparently originated in China where the preoccupation with tiny feet found a highly satisfactory outcome in the search for someone who could wear an exquisite, small glass slipper. It has, however, usually been a story of a passive woman waiting for a strong, handsome (and nearly silent) prince to rescue her. Until now. According to the actress who plays Danielle: "In short, she is a 'Cinderella' for a new generation; She definitely is not a passive character," adding as an afterthought: “Oh, yes. A prince falls in love with her!” [From: http://members.aol.com/gracefalls/story.html  (visited May 10, 2006)]

Dialogs from the film: (blue indicates key dialogs)


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, 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 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] 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 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...

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 silence.

      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.

5.   [The 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 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 recognized. 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] 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 translate.

      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 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 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 province.

      Danielle: Well... I am visiting a cousin.

      Henry: Who?

      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 Queen]

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 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] 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 home.

      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 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] 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: 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: 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?

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 you?

      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 very moment.

      Henry: Excellent. [pause]  [That’s a] 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.

17.  [Henry offers to take Danielle to a library because she is fond of books.]

      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.

      [Later, while 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 guess 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.

      Danielle: Your Highness, if there is anything I have said or done...

      Henry: Please... don't. It's not you.

18.  Jacqueline: Marguerite gets to do everything.

      Marguerite: Oh, don't be daft, Jacqueline, the Queen doesn't even know you exist.

      Baroness: 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.

      Baroness: Where is that girl?

      Marguerite: Probably off catching rabbits with her teeth.

19.  [Their coach breaks down, and they start walking home but get lost. Danielle climbs a rocky cliff to figure out which way to go.]

      Henry: You swim alone, climb rocks, rescue servants, is there anything you don't do?

      Danielle: FLY!

      [Gypsies start fighting with the prince, who is greatly outnumbered.]

      Henry: Stay aloft, madame, there are games afoot.

      [Danielle acts forceful, demanding that the Gypsies give back her dress. The Gypsy leader decides to let her go—but he will likely kidnap the prince.]

      Danielle: I insist you return my things at once. And since you have deprived me of my escort I demand a horse as well!

      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!

      [Thus Danielle’s bravery saves the prince, and they remain to enjoy a feast with the Gypsies.]

20. Danielle: You were born to privilege, and with that comes specific obligations. [pauses, 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. [they kiss, and the Gypsies start to laugh; eventually the prince gets Danielle home…]

      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.

21.  King Francis: [when Henry wakes them up early in the morning] Off... with his head...

      Queen: Francis, wake up. Our son has something to tell us.

      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!

22.  [Danielle sleeps late after being out all night with the prince, but she won’t say where’s she’s been. She also tells Marguerite to fix her own breakfast!]

      Baroness: Jacqueline, go and boil some water.

      Jacqueline: Me? Boil water?... Oh I knew it! I just knew it!

      [Later, the “ladies” tell Danielle she has killed her chances of going to the ball, and thus Marguerite will wear her mother’s beautiful dress and shoes.]

      Danielle: [holding sparkling shoes] These are my mother's!

      Marguerite: Yes, and she's dead.

      [This leads to a fight between Marguerite and Danielle, that ends when Marguerite threatens to throw Danielle’s favorite book in the fire if she doesn’t give her the shoes. Danielle gives them, Marguerite burns the book, and the Baroness has Danielle “lashed” for her behavior.]

23.  [Jacqueline washes Danielle's back after she had been whipped]

      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]  She should not have said that about your mother.

      Danielle: [pause] Thank you.

24.  [The Baroness and Marguerite are talking to the Queen, and finally realize that the Prince is in love with Danielle. Marguerite freaks out, making wild, angry movements.]

      Queen Marie: Good heavens, child, are you all right?

      Marguerite: [suddenly quite calm] There was a bee.

25.  Henry: [At the “ruins”] I feel as if my skin is the only thing keeping me from going everywhere at once.

      [Nicole tries to tell Henry who she really is, but he doesn’t let her, or she doesn’t have the heart to do it.]

      Danielle: Why did you have to be so wonderful?

26.  Baroness: Of all the insidious jokes: turning your mother into a Comtesse. It’s almost as absurd as a prince who spends his days with a servant who sleeps with pigs!

      Danielle: What bothers you more, stepmother? That I am common? Or that I am competition?

      Baroness: Where did you put the gown, Danielle?

      Danielle: Where are the candlesticks, and the tapestries, and the silver? Perhaps the dress is with them!

      Baroness: You will produce that gown.

      Danielle: I would rather die a thousand deaths than see my mother's dress on that spoiled, selfish cow!

      Baroness: Perhaps we can arrange that.

      [She locks Danielle in the cellar, and tells her daughters to collect things to sell so that they can buy clothes for the masque.]

      Jacqueline: Mother, it's only a ball.

      Baroness: Yes, and you're only going for the food.

27.  [The Baroness has told the queen that “Nicole” is engaged to be married, and that this is why she keeps running away from the prince. The prince is heartbroken.]

      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.

      Queen Marie: Come now, Henry. Any choice is better than Spain!

28.  [on the way to the ball]

      Jacqueline: I wanted to be the peacock!

      Baroness: Honestly, Jacqueline, the horse is one of God's noblest creatures.

      Jacqueline: [sarcastically] Oh, why don't I just pull the carriage while I'm at it?

      Baroness: If you think it will get us there any faster...

29.  [Gustave tells Da Vinci about Danielle’s problems and brings him to help. After DaVinci opens a locked door by removing the pins from the hinges…]

      Louise: Why, that was pure genius!

      Da Vinci: Yes, I shall go down in history as The Man Who Opened a Door!

      Danielle: …Signore, my name is Danielle de Barbarac, and I am but a servant.

      Da Vinci: Yes, and I'm the bastard son of a peasant. What does that have to do with anything?

      Danielle: I have deceived him.

      Da Vinci: The Prince will understand…

      Danielle: How can I face him?

      Da Vinci: Because he deserves to hear the truth from the one he loves.

      Danielle: A bird may love a fish, Signore, but where would they live?

      Da Vinci: Then I shall have to make you wings…

      Da Vinci: Come, let's see these paintings of yours.

      Gustav: Now?

      Da Vinci: When you're as old as I am, son, now is all you've got.

30.  Henry: [Heartbroken again, when he learns that Danielle is not a Comtesse but a “servant”] I have been born to privilege, and with that comes specific obligations.

      Da Vinci: Horseshit.

      Henry: You are out of line, old man. …What do you know? You build flying machines and you walk on water, and yet you know nothing about life!

      Da Vinci: I know that a life without love is no life at all.

      Henry: And love without trust? What of that?

      Da Vinci: She’s your match, Henry. In every way.

      Henry: [angrily] I will not yield!

      Da Vinci: Then you don’t deserve her.

31.  Baroness: 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!

      Baroness: 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?

      Baroness: How can anyone love a pebble in their shoe?


If you want to be surprised by the end of the movie, then stop reading here!


32.  [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.

      [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 laugh]

33.  [The Baroness sells Danielle to Pierre le Pieu. He tells her he would remove her chains if she would agree not to run away, but she refuses. After comparing her to a horse that “needs to be broken”, he makes an advance toward her, but she grabs a sword and dagger and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t give her the key.]

      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.

34.  [outside Pierre Le Pieu's castle]

      Henry: Hello.

      Danielle: Hello. [pause]

      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. [smiles] The part where you said my name.

      Henry: [smiling] Danielle. [pause] Perhaps you would be so kind as to help me find the owner of this rather remarkable shoe.

      Danielle: Where did you find that?

      Henry: She is my match in every way. Please tell me I haven’t lost her.

      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. [putting on her shoe] 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.

35.  [The King summons Baroness De Ghent to “arrive in style”, so she thinks something wonderful is ahead. She is wrong!]

      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: 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: [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] Are they always like this?

      Jacqueline: Worse, Your Majesty.

      Baroness: 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.

      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 next available boat... Unless by some miracle, someone here will speak for you.

      [The Baroness begins looking desperately at the other nobles, they look back coldly]

      Baroness: [nervously] There seem to be quite a few people out of town...

      Danielle: I will speak for her. [The Baroness turns around and sees Danielle dressed like a Princess] She is, after all, my stepmother.

      Baroness: [kneels] Your Highness.

      Henry: Marguerite, I don't believe you've met... my wife.

      Danielle: [to The Baroness] 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.

      Baroness: 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.

      [We cut to a scene in a laundry room, where the former Baroness and Marguerite are being taught how to do the work.]

      Baroness: Marguerite.

      Marguerite: What?

      Baroness: Well, you heard the woman.

      Marguerite: So, did you.

      Baroness: Yes, but I'm management.

      Marguerite: The hell you are! You're just the same as me. A big NOBODY!

      Baroness: How dare you speak to me that way. I'm of noble blood.

      Laundry Supervisor: And you are getting on my nerves! [She knocks both of them into a vat of dye with a bag of laundry]  Now get to work!

36.  [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, talking to the Brothers Grimm again] 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.

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