A Quiet Place in the Country (1968) Movie Script

The city is full of beautiful surprises.
I found an underwater television
for scuba diving,
an electric toothbrush,
a transistor refrigerator,
an electric knife sharpener,
an erotic electromagnet,
and an electric coffee grinder,
and an electric shoe cleaner,
and an electric fruit mixer,
and an electric water pick.
And a tiny automobile
to go around from room to room.
Come on.
We had nearly everything.
Nearly everything.
What a pity.
You slept badly.
I dreamt you killed me.
- Jealousy?
- No, sadism.
Are the police after me?
I don't know. You woke me up.
Let's see who was killed today.
Go and do some work.
- Don't forget to leave me some money.
- Is 10 okay?
- Hello?
- Is this Leonardo ferri, the painter?
I'm calling on behalf of the international
association of art for orphans
to ask you to contribute
a sketch to our cause.
How do I know this isn't the usual swindle?
If you like, I could bring
a few orphans to your home.
Hello? Are you still there, Mr. ferri?
Give me le monde.
- le nouvel observateur.
- Sexy.
- The Paris review.
- Sexy boy.
- Encounter.
- Sexy man.
- Ralits.
- Playgirl.
- L'osservatore Romano.
- Supersex, bang!, screw, sexmate,
bosom buddies, sex play...
come on, come on with me.
"Don't cry, little girl. Dry those tears."
"It's because I'm still a virgin."
"Keep your virginity."
"No, take it, it's the cause
of all my troubles, my suffering."
"I want your body to burn
with the same flame as my desire.
"This night will last for..."
"John takes her leg.
"'Where is Helga? Where is she?'
"'oh, Robert, quench this thirst in me.
"'Take this body, it's yours,
Robert, right now.
"'Devour me!
"'I am aflame with desire.
Put it out. Put it out!'
"'come here, you little bitch.
Are you a virgin or not?'
"'Show me.' His breathing was heavier."
- It could be somebody important.
- Stay here.
It's a call from ziirich.
I can't go on like this. I'm sick.
It's just the telephone.
You can always disconnect it.
I don't know what's happened to me.
I've got to get away.
I can't work like this.
I've got to get away from the city.
I must get out of Milan.
This is an ideal part of the country
for an artist.
There it is. Stop here.
The house I told you about.
- Let's take a look at it.
- Leonardo, we're late already.
The count is expecting us.
He's your most important buyer.
It would be silly to offend him.
Please make an effort.
Driver, go on.
Leonardo, take my word for it,
the count's villa will be the perfect place
for you to work in peace and quiet.
I guarantee it.
- How are you?
- It's good to see you.
- I think you look marvelous.
- Hello, count zavattero, how are you?
- Fine, thanks.
- I'm sorry we're a little late.
Don't tell me this isn't the country.
- We had a wonderful trip down.
- Tiepolo worked here.
You can't ask for more than that.
We've got a surprise for you.
Leonardo ferri, 1962, going very cheap.
It didn't cost a penny then, remember?
Giambattista tiepolo, 1743.
Now, my old master,
how's this for a quiet place to work?
You know, flavia,
I've had faith in Leonardo
from the beginning,
and I've never regretted it.
You have a flair.
One must always buy young painters.
It's the young horses who win.
Leonardo, have a drink.
Come on, I'll introduce you.
This is Leonardo ferri.
Potential buyers
as well as friends, Leonardo.
They've been wanting to meet you
for a long time,
and now they've got you for three months.
Yes, but don't forget Leonardo came here
for some quiet, so he could work.
I think this period of tranquility
is going to be very productive.
But you really should do
some kind of physical exercise
like chopping wood, for example.
Flavia and I have organized
this little exhibition
to make you feel at home here,
but if you like, we can always take it down.
- Why do you buy my paintings?
- Sorry.
Because I admire you, and also
because they're a good investment.
You put it back.
I don't feel very well. I must get some air.
- How do you like this wine?
- Delicious.
Wait a moment.
In my opinion, it's as good
as any French wine.
Anybody here?
There was an air raid during the war.
What are you doing here?
Don't tell me how you got in.
I can guess. I have the keys.
I'm attilio bressan. The caretaker.
I'm looking for a quiet place in the country.
Only death could be quieter than this.
I know. I've lived here all my life.
- Could I rent it?
- It's for sale.
And has been for a long time.
They might consider renting it.
- Do you know the corniata family in padua?
- No.
They're the people who own the property.
- Maybe they'd rent it.
- Thanks.
Flavia, I must have that house.
I never heard of a man before
who had to have a villa near venice,
-so he could work.
- I want it.
It's not a good investment.
Everybody's told you so.
I don't give a damn about investments.
Can't you understand that?
Listen, I don't exist to make profits.
I'm not a stockbroker.
And I will never become a millionaire.
If you like that kind of a man,
why don't you go back to your husband?
If you don't care about making profits,
why do you make me ask
so much for pictures?
I'm obliged to sell them in the market.
The price is fixed there.
You're a hit painter.
You're on top of the market.
We have to protect you and help you
and defend your interests
as well as your investments,
even if you don't like it,
which you never do.
Darling Leonardo,
you can't kill me with that.
It's just a big paper clip.
Come to bed.
I haven't been able to finish a painting
for two months.
Come here.
I've already spoken to the estate agents
about the house.
It's going to be yours.
I don't know where
we're going to find the money,
but don't you worry about it.
I just want you to paint and be happy.
Want a hand?
Hey, what're you doing?
Leave me alone!
Let go of me.
You want some coffee?
No, thank you.
- Good night, egle.
- Good night, sir.
Who is it?
It's me. Open the door.
- Didn't you hear anything?
- Me, nothing.
He's my little brother.
He's keeping me company.
Go on. Go ahead.
- Did you do this?
- No, we were in bed all night.
Are these yours?
No, when I cleaned up today
they weren't there.
- You put them here?
- Me, no, no. I never...
So am I.
It's over 25 years
since I last stepped inside that villa.
And life was much different in those days.
I was a young man then.
Nowadays, whenever I drive past it,
i feel old. Very old.
- You believe in spirits?
- Oh, indeed I do.
Shakespeare said,
"there are more things in heaven and earth
"than are dreamed of in your philosophy."
He was right.
Oh, yes, I believe in spirits,
there's no question in my mind.
I suppose you heard the girl died
near the wall of the villa.
- What girl?
- The young countess.
It was this way.
It was an English fighter plane
that started strafing the villa.
You can still see all the marks there
that the bullets made in the wall.
Oh, god, I remember her
as though it were yesterday.
She was the most beautiful girl
I'd ever seen.
- Your witch is here!
- Hey, welcome!
Stop, you're making me dizzy.
How are you?
You were right. A fine place for working.
- Who is he?
- He's with me.
He's going to do an article
on you and the house.
The house, yes. The paintings, no.
We have to start thinking
about your publicity for next season.
Then you just do pictures
of the house. Come on.
He's always hated publicity.
I've got some equipment for the kitchen.
Even living in the country,
one can be civilized.
Good. This way.
No, no, the frigidaire
over in the corner, please.
Would you put that over here by the wall?
What organization.
Here's some food
for when you want to eat at home.
Then you won't
have to interrupt your work.
Where are you going?
What's the matter with you?
- Come here.
- What the...
Are you crazy or something?
- Leave me alone.
- Give me the film. Give it to me!
- Stop. He's a friend of mine.
- Leonardo...
- Come on.
- Leonardo, what on earth are you doing?
Leave him alone.
Why do you have to behave like this?
- Wait for us outside.
- He's only doing his job.
We need these pictures for publicity.
It's his job.
- Do you want him to go?
- He was shooting the paintings.
You'd better go.
- What the hell's the matter with him?
- Forget it.
Be good. Be good, be happy.
I want you to be happy.
- Are you happy?
- No.
- Why not?
- I don't know.
- Are you unhappy?
- I think so.
I don't know.
I want you to be happy.
Do you want to be happy?
- Look, I don't think that...
- Answer me, yes or no.
- How will I know?
- Yes or no.
It depends.
Why did you cry out just then?
- Cry out?
- Just then, before.
Who knows?
Where are you going?
To work.
Yeah, well, that's it.
If you get me 22 canvases
done by the end of summer,
I'll leave you in peace for a year.
How much for me?
I'll write it down.
That's roughly what you'll get.
I've made a calculation
according to your point value,
on the average
in the Milan and New York markets.
Don't make them too big or I won't
get them through the door of the gallery.
Then they won't sell.
Help me up. Help me up.
Don't move.
Look out, look out! The roof is falling!
That's so strange. I suddenly stepped on it,
and it gave way under me completely
as if someone were pulling me down.
Would you like a drink?
Yes, some water.
I didn't go near it. It just happened.
It was as if it wanted
to hurt me deliberately.
But it's so late.
Why don't you wait till the morning?
I don't like the house,
and the house obviously doesn't like me.
- Do you want anything from Milan?
- Yes, something to read.
Egle, tonight you can have dinner alone.
With your little brother.
I'll eat in town.
Es! Sh"?
Have you heard about the girl who
was killed in this house during the war?
No, sir, I wasn't alive then.
I was born in 1947.
If you want, I'll ask about her.
It happened during the summer of 1944.
One day an English fighter flew over,
and opened fire.
She happened to be there,
and she was mowed down.
Was she pretty?
Not pretty, beautiful!
She drove everybody a little mad,
even the priest.
- What was her name?
- Wanda, I think.
Yes, Wanda.
Permit me to present my wife.
- Our friend, Mr. paglia, Mrs. borsatto...
- Good evening.
...our mayor, Mr. coletti,
my niece, Francesca,
Dr. borsatto and Mrs. coletti.
Would you care to join us?
- You said Wanda?
- Yes, Wanda valier.
- Did you know her?
- She used to take her vacations here.
She would come down here
to have a good time.
- How old was she?
- Eighteen, I'd say.
- And pretty?
- Beautiful.
- She was really superb.
- I attracted plenty of men as you know.
Yes, but not in the same way,
because Wanda knew what she was doing.
I don't have to tell you.
After she died,
it took the butcher two years
before he could even look
at her house again. Two whole years.
- After all, he was her fianc.
- Fianc?
She amused herself with him
because he was young and strong.
Can you imagine a wealthy countess
being engaged to a bumpkin like that?
The truth of the matter is,
countess or no countess,
she was a nymphomaniac.
Yes, as long as the girl gets them,
she's got to be a nymphomaniac.
I find that your wit, as usual, is tasteless.
Wanda was a stupendous creature.
I must go. Good night.
- Good night.
- Good night.
Wanda was certainly a beauty,
that's true enough, and a whore, too.
They all know it.
Ask any man in the village.
Maria! My wife likes to think
the worst about people.
May I ask just why
you're so interested in her story?
An old bit of dirt that doesn't
interest anyone anymore.
- Obviously, it interests someone.
- I just can't understand how,
-after such a long time, anyone would care.
- Are you going?
- Where does he live?
- I don't have any idea.
All right, get your hands off. It's mine.
Come on, get away from here.
Don't listen to that rubbish.
They don't know the truth about her.
- You busy?
- No, I was looking for you.
Every man here
who's now over 40 had Wanda.
Wanda took every man she could get.
The mother, I say it was her responsibility,
a haunted old woman.
She kept telling her how splendid she was.
It was part of a pattern. Fetishism.
She wanted to see her daughter
become a slut. It's a classic perversion.
What a story.
I'm going to write it when I get all the facts.
A study in neurosis.
It's Dante.
It's the spirit of Dante.
They brought back his spirit tonight
through a medium. Come with me.
We have a very gifted medium
called piva in town.
I want you to meet him. He's brilliant.
Just think! Dante alighieri himself.
Why don't you come with me tonight?
- No, no.
- Why not?
- No, I can't.
- We'll have him invoke Wanda.
- Another time.
- Wanda valier.
Wanda, it's you, isn't it?
Don't you want me in your house?
Then it's flavia you don't want?
You want me all to yourself, don't you?
Is that why you tried to kill her?
You put these flowers
against the wall, didn't you?
I don't understand.
I live in the house where Wanda died.
Does that mean anything to you?
If some madman is going around
putting flowers under your walls,
I couldn't care less.
It's not me.
- What's going on?
- It's nothing!
It's nothing. Put that down.
- Who is he?
- I don't know. He asked for directions.
- Excuse me for what happened before.
- That's all right.
You see, I have a wife and children.
Your questions reminded me
of an old story.
I'd like to talk about it
if you don't mind.
- No, no.
- Let's go for a ride. Come on.
Only a few minutes.
- Was she beautiful?
- Yes, to me she was.
And very, very warm.
I have never known a girl like that.
And she was sensitive, too.
In fact, I still carry these.
These pictures. Look.
They're always with me.
How did it begin?
Nobody, nobody would ever believe me.
It was summertime.
I was walking down a country road
just like this one.
It was during the war.
I heard a car behind me.
I didn't pay too much attention to it at first,
although there weren't
many cars around at that time.
She used to take it whenever she could
without her mother knowing.
She would drive around
at strange hours. Just drive.
Later, I found out why.
Anyway, as I was walking along,
i heard this car behind me.
It never occurred to me
that the young countess was in it.
But then...
Then I realized it was her, Wanda.
- I opened the door and I saw that...
- What?
That she was naked.
I've kept reliving that time ever since.
We met in so many places.
In her house, on country roads,
in my house, in the car,
by day, by night, over and over.
We were like two crazy people,
set apart from the real world.
She had other men, too.
But how do you know that?
Tell me.
- Bressan.
- The caretaker? Attilio?
- Yes. Attilio.
- Who else?
There were many. There was doimo,
who runs the hardware store,
even one of my brothers, a policeman,
a German corporal.
But I didn't care about them.
You didn't care? Why not?
It was a sickness with her. That's all.
I would have married her anyway.
Has Wanda relatives?
Yes, her mother in venice.
She's rotting away in her palace.
What do you want?
I'm looking for Mrs. valier. Is she at home?
Countess valier.
Who are you?
- I'm a journalist. I want to talk to her.
- Who is it?
Come in where I can see you.
What is your name, young man?
Who are you?
Leonardo ferri.
Why are you so interested
in an old lady like me?
Come in, come in.
What do you want to know?
I'm a journalist. I'm writing an article
on venetian aristocracy.
That tells me nothing.
You are a very handsome young man.
Sit down, please.
- You want a drink?
- No, thank you.
Once they brought me champagne
from the country. Not anymore.
Now I live on charity.
They stole everything.
She was lovely, wasn't she?
Is this your daughter?
She must have been extraordinary.
They still talk about her in the country.
They do? Well, never mind.
Have you any other photos of her?
My daughter would have
liked you, young man.
Help me up.
I can barely walk these days.
All that remains of Wanda is here.
Look at them. Judge for yourself.
At 15, she was a grown woman.
Mature in body and mind.
She loved life and people.
She would run off to the country
whenever she could.
She was friendly with everybody
in the village, even the poorest boys.
People gossiped, but she didn't care.
Believe me, she was above all those things.
Open that box.
Don't go. Please, don't go.
Don't you want to keep
a poor, lonely old woman company?
Perhaps you are afraid.
Don't go, please stay a little while.
I never have anyone to talk to.
- You'll kill it like that.
- Better dead and red.
They're not that tough.
It'll cost a lot to replace.
I'll pay you for them. I like them like this.
The receipts came for your rent.
Tell me, why red?
What would you prefer?
Maybe black.
I'll paint a couple just for you.
Don't bother. Goodbye.
- Have you gone crazy? What are you doing?
- Why did you run off the other day?
What do you mean?
Admit it. You leave these flowers.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
I didn't want to.
All right, 1 admit it.
It's me who puts the flowers there
from time to time.
What's wrong with that?
Exactly. So why all the mystery?
I wouldn't like the people in the village
to know about it.
They all gossip, dirty everything up.
I saw you this morning, for example,
talking to the butcher. I saw you.
By now, you know all the rumors
about Wanda. You know them.
No, I don't. I only know she was killed here.
In my arms.
She died in my arms, you know.
I've never been able to forget.
Just a minute.
Wait! Wait!
Wanda used to like it here.
She loved it. She loved the country.
She begged me to come here twice,
or even three or four times every day.
And she was 17?
You know when she began?
At 14 with a school teacher.
He'd been married for three weeks.
She used to come here
from venice, looking for me.
This house was abandoned.
She was a lot younger than I was,
but she taught me everything
about making love.
Where did you make love?
In the house or outside?
No, she didn't like to do it outside.
I remember there was a small room.
It had a tiny window in it.
Where? Where is it?
Maybe this one.
I don't remember.
It's been such a long time.
Try. Try to remember.
This is it.
She really liked this place.
God knows why.
It's nice, like a little cave.
We made love here on the bare floor.
She liked to do it in strange ways.
But, look, you didn't notice anything?
Look, come here.
I'll show you.
You can see everything.
She watched us make love.
The countess. That crazy old woman.
- You knew she was watching?
- Not then.
But she did, yes. Wanda.
With her, the floor became soft as velvet.
The room grew bigger, and time passed,
and you didn't notice it.
How did she die?
How did she die?
I'm going to tell you something
that I've never told anyone.
That day, I didn't have a date with Wanda.
I came to see her anyway.
She had been trying to avoid me
for some time.
I was jealous, naturally.
I knew she had other men.
I got into the habit of coming here
and sitting behind the glass.
I'd sit here for hours waiting,
waiting to spy on her.
That day, she brought a German soldier.
Knowing she made love
to others was one thing,
but seeing her, hearing her,
right in front of me, near enough to touch,
I couldn't stand that.
She helped me clean up the blood.
We carried him out to a field
and buried him.
She didn't seem at all concerned
by what had happened.
Later, that afternoon,
by the wall, just standing there,
looking innocent as she always did,
indifferent, combing her hair.
At that moment, I heard the airplane.
Wanda! Wanda!
Her hair was so long
and so soft.
Today she would be 40 years old.
Forty years old.
That's what the flowers are for.
- What are you doing?
- Just making the bed.
Leave it. It doesn't matter.
Help. Help, help, help.
What are you looking for?
I was hoping to find you
with another woman.
- Why hoping?
- Because then I'd have a good reason
for shouting at someone,
accusing someone.
As it is, I don't know who my enemy is.
I don't know who I'm fighting.
I can't find an explanation.
What is there to explain?
Nothing. There is nothing to be explained.
What am I doing wrong?
I'm too officious?
I'm always talking about money?
- Who's this?
- A girl who died here in this house.
You are ambitious, and you're right.
You are the positive side to me.
What I mean is, you're a realist,
but there is a negative side to that, too.
I suppose you are the normal one.
What do you do with yourself here all day,
since you're obviously
not doing much work?
Who are you betraying me with?
- May I know about her?
- I like it here.
I've even stopped wanting to paint.
Let others paint. Children, old people,
all of them. Give them what they need.
Paints and canvas, free of charge,
an hour a day.
Who are you betraying me with?
Everything I do and am
annoys you, doesn't it?
Do you want me to go away?
I'll do whatever you want.
I could drop everything. Sell everything.
The gallery and all that.
I could come here and live with you.
I may be a practical woman, but I love you.
We have guests tonight.
- Who?
- People from the town.
They're all quite mad.
We'll eat first to get acquainted, and then...
What then?
It's a surprise. You'll see. We'll have fun.
I'm cold.
I'll run a bath for you.
- It's all right. It's all right.
- What happened, sir? What happened?
It's nothing.
Why do these things keep happening?
It's as though someone in the house
doesn't want me here.
It's your imagination, flavia.
There's no one else in this house
but me end egle.
The house is old and falling apart, that's all.
Do we have to have
those people here tonight?
Now lie down.
I promise you'll enjoy the evening.
Wanda, please don't hurt her.
Your work is really the utter quintessence.
- You think so?
- To me, they express a deeply human crisis.
A crisis that only
an artist knows, naturally.
- The crisis of horse turd, actually.
- Mr. ferri.
You're going to call her spirit?
- No, it doesn't seem right.
- Yes, yes, yes.
- Mr. ferri, don't let her leave.
- I'm going to bed, I've had it.
Please stay. You mustn't leave now.
At least stay for the sance.
- Look at the medium. Isn't he strange?
- What's he got that instrument for?
Sometimes the spirit shows
its presence by playing on it.
Well, he looks as if he'd stepped
out of the grave. Maybe it'll be fun.
Well, shall we begin?
If you will each bring a chair
and sit around this table please.
- I see you decided to stay.
- He persuaded me.
- What's this for?
- It's modeling Clay,
in case the spirit wishes
to leave an imprint.
Has that ever happened?
During a sance, anything can happen.
Now, I want you all
to put your hands on the table.
Let your fingers touch, forming a chain.
- Better turn out the light, please.
- Oh, my god, the ghost!
- It's only a draft, my dear.
- It's a very prompt ghost.
- That's the high point of the night.
- What nonsense.
There's something very unusual
in the air tonight.
I feel certain we're going to be successful.
Excuse me.
Before we make contact,
one word of warning.
Do not ask personal questions
or mention the subject death.
Why, what could happen?
We might find out the truth.
Why ask questions at all?
From now on, nobody breaks the circle.
many of us knew you in life
and still remember.
We are gathered here together
to enter into contact with your spirit.
Give us a sign of your presence.
Wanda. Give us a sign.
Someone has broken the chain.
Be quiet.
Spirit, give us a sign.
Wanda, if it is you, knock twice.
Who is Wanda?
- She is with us.
- But is that Wanda?
- Shut up, you.
- Wanda.
Wanda, is there something
you want to say to us?
How did you die? Who killed you?
Turn on the light quickly.
Something's fallen on the table.
Break the chain. Turn on the light, please.
Look, there's a pair of scissors.
- What does that mean?
- I don't know.
It's an omen of some kind.
- They're pointing toward attilio.
- Don't be stupid.
Quiet everyone.
We are beginning to get results.
Form the chain again.
Turn out the light, please.
Wanda, is there anything
you wish to tell us?
Or do you want us to stop?
Wanda, is there someone here
you don't like?
She said, "yes."
It's doimo, I think.
Don't be an ass. Why should it be me?
Why don't we just ask Wanda?
- Yes, ask her.
- Wanda, if you can,
will you please communicate
to us, through the table,
who it is you dislike?
One knock.
B, c, d] El f! G!
H, I, j, k] L] Mi ni
o, p, q, ri s] Ti:-
she said, "a-t."
- Attilio!
- Stop it!
Stop it, all of you!
I know what you're doing.
You planned this whole thing,
the pack of you!
Do you think I'm so stupid I'd believe this?
You've been jealous of me for years,
because of Wanda.
The whole pack of you!
Quickly. Move the table back.
Put the table in the center. Hurry.
The spirit wants to leave.
Leonardo, don't get so excited.
It's all a trick.
Hurry, take your seats
and form the circle again.
Hands together, fingers touching.
Quickly, quickly, please.
We must reestablish contact.
Turn out the light. Now, concentrate.
Concentrate, please.
Wanda, give us another sign, please.
Someone's unzipped my dress!
Mine, too! Oh, my god!
Wanda, are you still there?
- Who is that? My chair's shaking.
- Wanda,
if you are departing, give us one last sign.
Turn on the light! Turn on the light!
- She's fallen down.
- Somebody help her.
Get out!
Someone tried to strangle me!
Get out of here!
Get out! Get out! Get out of here!
Leonardo, get them out of here! Out!
Leonardo, please,
please get them out of here!
Go home! Everyone, go home!
Get out!
Easy, easy, all right.
Show me.
She doesn't want you here!
She doesn't want you!
- Where?
- Over there.
Go on.
After we buried him,
we started to go back to the house.
She was in front. She stopped
near the wall and combed her hair.
She didn't care that
i had killed a man because of her.
That's when I heard the plane.
She wasn't hit though.
And I was glad that she wasn't.
Because then I would be able
to kill her myself.
Flavia's not with me.
Why are you looking for her here?
Come. Come with me.
- There is nothing in there. Nothing.
- Yes, yes. I know.
Flavia is in Milan.
The poor man.
- Did he hurt you?
- I'm all right.
have you been working hard?
What did you bring me?
No. Sit down.
1 brought your playboy and playman.
- Nothing else?
- Oh, yes.
There's super sexy, sexy boy, bang!,
gong and Isabella, and peanut brittle,
and those chocolates you like.
All right, go ahead.
Don't be so greedy.
Not that one.
Remember, you promised me 50 more
by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, I'll take these.
Goodbye, Leonardo.
That's a good boy. Good dog.
Snoopy -
he's never worked so well before, has he?
That's what I think.
Come on, snoopy. Get in.
Good dog.
It's lovely out here. I almost envy him.