Fool of God by R. J. Cardullo | Script Revolution

Fool of God

An old Belgian peasant loses his entire family to the Germans in one day during the First World War—only to be confronted by questions of God, man, and self.

Type:

Status:

Page Count: 
24pp

Genre:

Budget:

Age Rating:

Based On: 
a 1915 one-act play by Eugene O'Neill titled "The Sniper"
Synopsis/Details: 

"Fool of God" is set in the Belgian countryside in September of 1914, when the German army marched through that small nation without permission—destroying villages, pillaging the land, and killing the people—in order to attack France during the First World War. The script begins when its main character, a sixty-five-year-old farmer named Rougon, enters carrying the dead body of his son, a Belgian soldier, which he has recovered from a skirmish with German forces near his home. His home—a cottage—has been visibly destroyed from some kind of attack, forcing Rougon to enter through a hole in the back wall. As part of the script’s visual and aural texture, cannons boom in the distance.

As Rougon mourns his son’s death, the village priest passes the cottage, sees him, and enters, trying to give comfort with the words, “There, there, my son! It is the will of God.” One learns that Rougon’s son was soon to be married, and that earlier that day he had successfully urged his mother and fiancée to leave for the safer capital, Brussels, in anticipation of a possible attack. The priest continues to try to comfort with some unhelpful ministerial responses, as we see Rougon’s anger and sense of victimization grow. One learns, as well, that Rougon’s anger is part of his nature when he tells the priest that he had promised his son he would not touch his own rifle, because his son feared the father would do something rash.

However, when a shell-shocked peasant boy who had been traveling with the mother and fiancée enters and reveals that the two women were killed by an enemy artillery explosion on the road, Rougon realizes he has lost everything, gets his rifle, and begins shooting at a group of German troops who are approaching his ruined cottage. The village priest tries to stop the distraught man in the name of God, but Rougon has passed the point of no return, responding simply with “Bah, God!” as he hits two soldiers. German troops quickly arrive at the house, and the Captain, who appeared earlier when he told the priest to make it known that “Civilians caught with arms will be immediately shot,” comes to enforce his orders.

As Rougon is about to be executed and his family thus made extinct, the village priest tells him to make his peace with God, to which Rougon responds by spitting on the floor, shouting, “That for your God who allows such things to happen!” Then Rougon tells the Captain he is ready. After Rougon is shot by a firing squad, the Captain turns to the horrified priest, shrugs his shoulders, and exits along with his men; the priest looks down with compassion at the still bodies of Rougon and his son; and the peasant boy weeps from a pile of wreckage in a corner of the cottage, uttering the words, “Oh, God. Oh, God,” as "Fool of God" ends.

Submitted: October 26, 2020
Last Updated: October 26, 2020

Want to read this script? You must join the revolution first. Don't worry, it's free, easy, everyone's welcome, and you can start reading right away.

R. J. Cardullo's picture

The Writer: R. J. Cardullo

A former university film teacher, I turned to screenwriting several years ago. I have also written film criticism for many publications. A New Yorker by birth, I grew up in Miami and was educated at the University of Florida, Tulane, and Yale. My last U.S. address was in Milford, Connecticut; I am now an expatriate residing in Scandinavia. Many of my scripts (both long and short) are adaptations of lesser-known works by well-known authors. I am happy to re-write, collaborate, or write on demand. Thanks kindly for any attention you can give my work. Go to bio

More Scripts From R. J.

Brooklyn Boy
The protagonist of "Brooklyn Boy" knows he can’t go home again. All he can really do is think about it—about the influence on his life of Brooklyn, the Mafia, Catholicism, and World War II.
Feature Crime, Drama, Family For sale 126pp
3 readers love this script
Hemingway's War
Inspired by Hemingway’s experiences as a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War, Nick Adams is the protagonist of this script. He witnesses a traumatic event, participates in one, or learns of one during each episode.
Feature Action, Adventure, Drama, War For sale 108pp
2 readers love this script
The Boarded Window
This is the story of a man who THINKS his wife has died of fever.
Short Horror, Mystery For sale 3pp
2 readers love this script
The Ragpicker
Possessing distinct relevance to the current age, "The Ragpicker" is a short, compassionate study of a homeless man as he forages on the street for sustenance and respect—as well as to bury his sorrows.
Short Drama For sale 19pp
1 reader loves this script
The Teacher
A retired professor and his former student meet for the first time in years, only to discuss a pedagogical lesson that both have already learned.
Short Drama, Mystery For sale 3pp
1 reader loves this script
Home Stretch
An old couple anxiously make their last move, from the city to the countryside, to await what the future may bring.
Short Drama, Family For sale 9pp
1 reader loves this script
Watch the Stairs
A young movie usher is being shown around during his first day on the job by an older usher—who warns him about the manager, people who try to enter the balcony, and seductive girls.
Short Comedy, Drama, Romance For sale 18pp
1 reader loves this script
Light in Darkness
"Light in Darkness" concerns a masquerading moralist who campaigns (for a price) for the closing of brothels—until he realizes that he has been so successful, he’s putting himself out of business.
Short Comedy, Drama For sale 28pp
1 reader loves this script
The Frosted Glass Coffin
Through the conversation among three elderly men sitting outside a Miami hotel, "The Frosted Glass Coffin" focuses on the twin predicaments of old age and impending death.
Short Comedy, Drama For sale 21pp
1 reader loves this script
While the Auto Waits
A young man of wealth comes upon a young, lower-class woman in a park; each pretends to be a member of the other’s class until it's time to return to work—or leisure.
Short Comedy, Romance For sale 8pp
1 reader loves this script
Intimacy
Unexpected and unannounced, a writer calls upon his ex-wife, only to summon her welled-up wrath.
Short Drama, Family, Romance For sale 10pp
Bodies Count
Three American soldiers are interrupted by an unwitting messenger as they eat breakfast—sitting on frozen German corpses. (Part I)
Short Drama, War For sale 8pp
The Warlock
While taking a train trip, a little boy is interrupted by an elderly man who calmly recounts that he once killed his sister, dismembered her body, then gave her head to a bear to eat.
Short Drama, Family, Fantasy, Horror For sale 7pp
Old Man at the Bridge
Leaving his animals behind and fleeing war, a tired old man stops at a bridge—where a military scout urges him to keep on moving.
Short Action, Drama, War For sale 4pp
Fitzgerald’s Hobby, or Adventures in the Script Trade
From 1939 to 1940, in seventeen stories, F. Scott Fitzgerald humorously mocked himself as a Hollywood hack through the character of Pat Hobby. Several of these stories are adapted for the screen in "Fitzgerald’s Hobby."
Feature Comedy, Drama, Film-Noir For sale 116pp
Soul Survivor
In "Soul Survivor", a man disabled in an industrial accident struggles to retain his identity—particularly as an amateur botanist, a cultivator of flowers—in the face of company attempts to limit his financial compensation.
Short Drama For sale 11pp
Welcome to Our City
Emotionally gripping and mockingly satiric, "Welcome to Our City" captures the festering racial climate of the 1920s in a vision of American life that is uncomfortably relevant to our own times.
Feature Drama For sale 115pp
Collared
A man becomes stranded and finds that he has to spend the night in a hotel room—with a total stranger.
Short Drama, Thriller For sale 7pp
The Listener
A traveler knocks on the door of a country house at night and asks if anyone is inside—well, is there or isn’t there?
Short Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller For sale 2pp
A Tough Tussle
During the American Civil War, on night-time patrol, a Union officer tussles with the Confederate enemy—in the form of a corpse—and loses.
Short Action, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller For sale 6pp

Pages

sendnudes