PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS

ZHENIA, age 22–24, assistant locomotive engineer.

KATIA BESSONET-FAVOR, age 20–22.
TRAM CONDUCTRESS, age 25–30.

STEPAN, age 8–10, but looks younger.
IVAN BEZGADOV, age 26–28, manager of a cinema.
KONSTANTIN NEVERKIN, age 22–23.
POSTMAN, around 40.

LUCIEN, a Negro, a locomotive engineer.

BLIND OLD MAN.

BOY, age 5–6, the old man’s guide.

HAPPY REGISTRY OFFICE OFFICIAL.

NOTES ON THE SCREENPLAY


The picture should be directed and acted in a dry, severe, economical fashion, without any sentimentality. One could cite Chaplin’s Woman of Paris as an example of the style of production most appropriate for the theme of this screenplay. The role of the boy Stepan must be played not unconsciously—as children so often do in films—but with artistic skill and also without any sentimentality or childlike ‘charm’. The screenplay relies principally on the actors’ performance. The basic melodic theme for the film’s soundtrack should, I think, be Beethoven’s ‘Marmotte’.
The Author

Late night. A Moscow boulevard (on the A Ring, for example). footnote1 Only a few human figures. An empty tram moves along the street behind the boulevard’s trees. The only person in the passenger car is the conductress. The tram stops. One person enters the passenger car. The tram moves on. Fleeting stripes of light from its windows illuminate the almost empty boulevard: trees, benches, footpaths, kiosks selling drinks, ‘Eskimo’ ice-cream signs, a few figures walking in pairs. On the end platform of the fast-moving passenger car stands a couple: a postman and a conductress. The postman passenger gently places his hand on the conductress’s shoulder. With his other hand he pats her moneybag. The light from the windows races across the boulevard fence: the tram is hurtling along.

A dimly lit spot on the boulevard: a man and a woman stand there. The man kisses the woman. (Increasingly loud noise of the approaching tram.) The man does not release the woman. Stripes of light from the tram race across them, their clothes and faces. The tram stops on the other side of the boulevard fence—across from the kissing couple on the boulevard. On the platform of the last passenger wagon the postman kisses the conductress. From outside—from a different point of view—the tram stands still. The driver looks back: an empty street. The driver disappears back to his place. The boulevard with the previously seen figures of the man and woman, standing in an embrace. Across from them can be seen the tram. Scene on the platform of the passenger wagon. Rear platform of the passenger wagon: leaning against the conductress, the passenger raises his left hand. He pulls the signal rope. The tram moves. The man on the boulevard leans away from the woman.

—‘Hurrah!’—he shouts and waves a greeting in the direction of the tram as it moves off.

The tram platform with the two figures quickly vanishes into the distance, ringing its bells.