There was never any question as to which was the fanciest of the Joker's henchmen.


There was never any question as to which was the fanciest of the Joker's henchmen.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. GRAVEYARD

A RANDOM WOMAN visits the grave of some WRITER.

RANDOM WOMAN

(no lines)

INT. OFFICE, 1985

TOM WILKINSON is that WRITER.

TOM WILKINSON

(demeanor: gruff)

Once upon a time I was Jude Law and I stayed at a hotel. NEXT.

INT. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, 1968

JUDE LAW is staying at THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, which is owned by F. MURRAY ABRAHAM and is not in BUDAPEST.

JUDE LAW

(demeanor: curious)

So what exactly was the point of the outer two layers of this nested story? Aside from this movie’s obsession with giving famous actors microscopic roles.

JASON SCHWARTZMAN

Hello!

(leaves)

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM

(demeanor: nostalgic)

Well without those layers we’d just have one guy telling another guy a story in flashback, and what’s whimsical and quirky about that?

(grabs random passerby)

Hey! Look how whimsical and quirky we are!

(puts on silly hat)

JUDE LAW

Fine then, tell me about how you came to own this hotel.

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM

Very well. It all started back when I was a scrawny kid of noticeably different ethnicity called Tony Revolori.

INT. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, 1932

TONY REVOLORI is the new LOBBY BOY at the HOTEL back when it was a GIANT NOVELTY CAKE.

RALPH FIENNES

(demeanor: dapper)

Hello Tony, I am the concierge. You’ll find that I’m legendarily brilliant at what I do, although you’ll also have to put up with my inexplicable penchant for having sex with all our elderly female clientele.

TONY REVOLORI

Like The Zohan?

RALPH FIENNES

I was hoping nobody would pick up on that, but yes. Now as you’re new here, I shall teach you the ways of being a character in a Wes Anderson movie. You basically need to choose a single character trait, then paste on a corresponding facial expression for the remainder of the movie and you’re pretty much set. Try and pick something that’s somehow both comically over-the-top yet at the same time nigh-catatonically understated.

TONY REVOLORI

Maybe I should go with something that makes F. Murray Abraham and me seem more like we’re the same guy? Like he’s constantly smiling, maybe I should smile even once in this entire movie.

RALPH FIENNES

God no, F. Murray and I already smile more in this movie than everybody in Wes’s back catalogue combined. Tell you what, why don’t you go with “bootlick”. That’ll work nicely for me, and you could conceivably pull it off without having any facial expressions at all.

TONY REVOLORI

(demeanor: bootlick)

Very well, sir.

RALPH trains TONY for a while. One day RALPH is shocked by an item in the NEWSPAPER.

RALPH FIENNES

Oh no, Tilda Swinton died! She was one of my favorite dessicated old pieces of ass!

TONY REVOLORI

Wait, why did we put an impenetrable mass of makeup on Tilda Swinton to make her a little old lady for three minutes of screentime? Couldn’t we have just, I don’t know, hired an actual little old lady?

RALPH FIENNES

Theoretically yes, but Tilda was in Moonrise Kingdom and Wes has a massive hardon for recycling former cast members.

OWEN WILSON

Hello!

(leaves)

RALPH FIENNES

To the funeral I must go! ...With the hotel’s new lobby boy, for some reason!

INT. TRAIN

RALPH and TONY (for some reason) are traveling to TILDA’S FUNERAL when the train is STOPPED by a bunch of SOLDIERS who want to seize TONY.

RALPH FIENNES

I take it from your pseudo-swastikas that you guys are some kind of off-brand Nazis, out to get Tony because of his non-whiteness? For shame! Genocide Is Bad!

(pause)

I mean, except when you’re exterminating muggle-borns and blood traitors, of course. That’s just good sense.

But then INSPECTOR EDWARD NORTON steps in.

EDWARD NORTON

(demeanor: goody two-shoes)

Don’t worry guys, although I’m a sternly efficient authority figure on the surface, deep down I’m really an almost naively good-natured fellow.

DIRECTOR WES ANDERSON

Psst, Ed, we stopped filming Moonrise Kingdom ages ago. You’re supposed to be a new character now.

EDWARD NORTON

I’m not starting over.

EDWARD helps RALPH and TONY on their way, and they make it safely to the FUNERAL.

INT. DEAD OLD LADY MANSION

RALPH and TONY show up to the immediate displeasure of TILDA’S SON ADRIEN BRODY.

ADRIEN BRODY

(demeanor: asshole)

Fuck you, Ralph! I hate you for fucking my dead mother, even more than I hated my dead fucking mother! Which is about as much as I hate just about every motherfucking person and thing on the planet! GRLARGH!!

(pause)

Just so we’re clear, I’m the bad guy, okay? We’re trying very hard to get people to understand this immediately.

RALPH FIENNES

Yes Adrien, you don’t have to work so hard at being unpleasant, we figured it out as soon as we saw that you were one top hat short of cosplaying Snidely Whiplash. And that you have an honest-to-God henchman.

WILLEM DAFOE

(demeanor: psychotic)

HSSSSS.

ADRIEN BRODY

Good, so you’ve probably all gotten way ahead of us and already realized that I murdered my mother for her money. Not sure why I didn’t just wait like another week or so for the prehistoric old bat to pop off of her own accord, but there you go.

The WILL is read by EXECUTOR OF TILDA’S ESTATE JEFF GOLDBLUM, who announces that TILDA has left RALPH an extremely valuable painting.

RALPH FIENNES

Heavens, Adrien won’t like that. Better steal the ugly old thing before he can stop me!

RALPH and TONY go and STEAL THE PAINTING. They run into TILDA’S BUTLER MATHIEU AMALRIC.

MATHIEU AMALRIC

(demeanor: panicky)

Ah, let me wrap that painting for you. And while I’m at it I’ll slip a plot-important document into the back of the painting, meaning if anything happens to me there's a good chance it'll be lost sitting against a wall for the next fifty years or so.

RALPH FIENNES

Couldn’t you let me know it’s there, just to be safe? Or hell, couldn’t you just hand it to me like you originally planned to do?

MATHIEU AMALRIC

I’m trying to be clandestine here!

RALPH FIENNES

Oh sure, got to be careful and secretive whilst openly helping me steal a million-dollar painting.

INT. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Later, EDWARD shows up at the HOTEL to arrest RALPH.

EDWARD NORTON

Monsieur Fiennes, you’re under arrest for the murder of Tilda Swinton.

RALPH FIENNES

Oh no! What rotten luck that my alibi for that time is not being around hundreds of hotel staff and guests, like almost every waking second of my life, but instead at a secret romantic assignation that I can't prove and Adrien couldn’t have possibly known about.

EDWARD NORTON

Indeed. Now as our entire case is based on a single eyewitness who we can’t currently locate, you’ll probably go free after your trial, so don’t do anything rash like making a life-risking flight from prison in the meantime, hm?

RALPH FIENNES

(distracted by passing butterfly)

INT. PRISON

RALPH is being held in a prison which also contains HARVEY KEITEL.

HARVEY KEITEL

(demeanor: tough sumbitch)

Ralph, me and my cronies were planning to carry out the best movie jailbreak of 2014. But we couldn’t get hold of Rocket or Quicksilver, so we’ll have to settle for you and hope to run a distant third.

RALPH FIENNES

Well now, the comic possibilities here are endless! Imagine how well the skills of a gifted hotel concierge could transfer to the execution of a smooth prison break!

HARVEY KEITEL

Or your lobby boy could send you tools baked into a cake like a fucking cartoon.

RALPH FIENNES

Well, “like a cartoon” is what we’re generally going for, so why not.

TONY gets his UNDERDEVELOPED BAKER FIANCEE SAOIRSE RONAN to bake some TOOLS into a bunch of FANCY PASTRIES, which are then sent as a PACKAGE to RALPH’S PRISON.

PACKAGE SEARCHER GUY

Hmm, my job requires me to take these weirdly tool-shaped pastries apart to check for contraband, but I can’t do it because SO PRETTY. I guess I could always just pick them up and see if they’re suspiciously heavy, but whoops, brain fell out!

(lets pastries through)

RALPH, HARVEY and HARVEY’S BUDDIES use the TOOLS to ESCAPE. RALPH meets up with TONY.

RALPH FIENNES

I did it! I got out of prison, setting loose a whole gang of murderous criminals in the process! And we only had to murder like five innocent guards.

TONY REVOLORI

Our hero, ladies and gentlemen.

INT. JEFF GOLDBLUM’S, UH, OFFICE

JEFF is talking with ADRIEN and WILLEM. Also ADRIEN’S SISTERS are there, mattering as much as they usually do, which is not at all.

JEFF GOLDBLUM

(demeanor: anal retentive)

So I’ve come across a lot of evidence that there’s some important document of Tilda’s that I’m missing. I was thinking I should tell the magistrate.

ADRIEN BRODY

Tell him that there’s some piece of paper that you don’t know what it is or if it’s important but you’re pretty sure it existed at some point? It’s hard to imagine that having any impact on anything, but nonetheless, DO THAT AND I’LL KILL YOU!

WILLEM throws JEFF’S CAT OUT THE WINDOW out of SPITE.

JEFF GOLDBLUM

Oh no, my cat was randomly killed! Just like the dog that got randomly ran over in The Royal Tenenbaums! And the dog that got randomly shot with an arrow in Moonrise Kingdom! And the rat that got a knife in its gut in Fantastic Mr. Fox! ...Man, what has Wes Anderson got against small fluffy animals?

WILLEM then CHASES JEFF ACROSS TOWN, chops his FINGERS OFF and MURDERIZES HIM.

WILLEM DAFOE

Now to go question Mathieu’s sister to discover his whereabouts. And by “question” I mean “brutally decapitate”.

DIRECTOR WES ANDERSON

But, in a whimsical and quirky way, right?

WILLEM DAFOE

Not really.

DIRECTOR WES ANDERSON

Man, this is the last time I borrow a character from Eli Roth.

EXT. RANDOM SNOWY WASTELAND

RALPH FIENNES

So for our next move, we’ll need the help of a secret society of hotel concierges, played by Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, and a succession of cameos even more obscure than Bob Fucking Balaban.

After an overlong series of phone calls, BILL MURRAY comes to give them transportation and supplies.

RALPH FIENNES

Give my thanks to the rest of the secret society. This just about makes up for you guys seemingly sitting on your asses while I got framed for murder and thrown in prison.

BILL MURRAY

(demeanor: Bill Murray)

Don’t mention it. Incidentally, we got a message from Mathieu, he needs to meet with you at some mountaintop monastery.

RALPH FIENNES

Is it to give me a message that could have safely been entrusted to you, saving everybody a whole lot of time and bother?

BILL MURRAY

Most likely.

RALPH and TONY go to the MONASTERY and meet MATHIEU.

MATHIEU AMALRIC

You need to know that Tilda made a second, secret will that leaves Adrien with nothing if she gets murdered!

RALPH FIENNES

And that will had to be secret because why? If I had a will like that I think I’d make fifty copies and distribute it to everybody. Publish it in the goddamn newspaper. Might have made Adrien think twice about murdering her, don’t you think?

MATHIEU AMALRIC

Maybe. Anyway the important thing is that the will is hidden in HURK OH NO WILLEM DAFOE IS STRANGLING ME. WHY, WILLEM? WHY WOULD YOU NOT WAIT A FEW MORE SECONDS AND FIND OUT WHERE THE WILL IS? YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT AS MUCH AS RALPH DOES, I MEAN FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

(dies)

WILLEM flees by skiing down the mountain at roughly FIVE TIMES THE SPEED OF LIGHT. RALPH and TONY follow in a SLED, which eventually ROCKETS OVER A CLIFF!

RALPH FIENNES

It’s okay, there was some kind of plateau under that cliff, so now Tony’s buried in the snow over there while I’m dangling off a second, more lethal cliff! I’ve gone over this scene in my head a dozen times now, and by now I’m like eighty per cent sure that must be what the hell just happened.

WILLEM tries to stomp off the SNOW to which RALPH is clinging, but then TONY shoves WILLEM off the cliff to his death.

DIRECTOR WES ANDERSON

But in a WHIMSICAL AND QUIRKY WAY, right??

TONY REVOLORI

Actually, yes. Circumstances just forced an innocent teenage boy to end a human life, wakka wakka!

RALPH FIENNES

Our next move should be to not give two fucks about the intel Mathieu just died to give us, and instead retrieve the valuable painting from the hotel.

TONY REVOLORI

Yes, let’s go to the most dangerous place for you to be seen, so we can be on the run with a bulky piece of unfenceable artwork!

INT. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

SAOIRSE is sent in to retrieve the PAINTING, but as she tries to leave with it she winds up in an elevator with ADRIEN.

ADRIEN BRODY

She has the painting! Unfortunately I can’t do anything right now as there’s an elevator boy standing right here with us.

(pause)

Well, I mean, obviously I could TELL the elevator boy that this girl has my valuable stolen property and he should stop the elevator so she can’t get away. I guess what I meant was, I can’t do anything UNNECESSARILY GRUESOME.

SAOIRSE RONAN

Crap, he’s onto me! Better run away! Away from the company of this elevator boy he would never do anything in front of!

SAOIRSE makes a run for it. RALPH and TONY come in looking for her, then ADRIEN spots RALPH and starts SHOOTING AT HIM! Then a whole bunch of EDWARD’S SOLDIERS show up and it turns into a BIG SHOOTOUT.

SOLDIER #1

Hey, fellow soldier on the opposite balcony, help me out. Are we soldiers actually shooting at each other right now for some reason? Or is everybody shooting at Adrien and Ralph, but literally none of us are managing to hit them even though they’re standing still?

SOLDIER #2

Who cares, this is a waaaacky shootout, so nobody’s gonna get hurt anyway!

EDWARD comes and just tells everybody to stop shooting. Then TONY goes and retrieves SAOIRSE, who has accidentally discovered TILDA'S SECRET WILL hidden inside the PAINTING.

RALPH FIENNES

Look at this, a will leaving everything to me if Tilda is murdered! Now everything is resolved happily!

EDWARD NORTON

How? This doesn’t detract from the evidence that you killed her. In fact it provides you with a huge motive for having done so.

RALPH FIENNES

Yes, but you’re forgetting the simple logic that QUICK F. MURRAY, STOP NARRATING NOW!

INT. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, 1968

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM

And that’s my colorful tale of adventure and hijinks!

JUDE LAW

Wonderful! Although I gotta say, with your decadent old-timey Europe production values, it’s a shame you didn’t shoehorn in some serious drama to make this into the kind of thing the Academy eats up with a spoon.

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM

Oh shit, you’re right. Sudden tone change!

INT. TRAIN

RALPH, TONY and SAOIRSE are on a TRAIN when they’re accosted by another GENOCIDE SQUAD. This time RALPH FIGHTS THEM and they TRAGICALLY KILL HIM.

INT. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, 1968

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM

And then uh, I guess they just let me go for the hell of it, and I inherited the hotel from Ralph, who inherited it from Tilda. But later Saoirse died of some random illness along with our infant child, leaving me alone forever. And the hotel became run down and deserted. The end.

JUDE LAW

So now that we’ve dragged this tale from Fantastic Mr. Fox-level whimsy right down to Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou-level depressing, let’s check back in on those superfluous outer layers and be done.

INT. OFFICE, 1985

TOM WILKINSON

Move along, nothing to see here.

EXT. GRAVEYARD

RANDOM WOMAN

(pointless)

END.

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