My Fallen Angel by Saul Gittens | Script Revolution

My Fallen Angel

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Page Count: 
114pp

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Logline: 
Everyone has an angel to watch over them - even in the hell of war.
Synopsis/Details: 

The "war to end all wars" is raging across Europe. The British Empire is in decline, as it struggles economically, socially and religiously to come terms with its changing position in the world order.

The British people are outraged as stories from the Front depict the German army as evil and wholly barbaric, guilty of perpetrating horrific acts of savagery on the defenceless citizens of Europe. In the name of righteousness, thousands and thousands of men are willingly sent to fight for God, King and Country in France and Belgium, secure in their superiority, many afraid that they would miss the war altogether as "it would all be over by Christmas".

By 1916, every town and village across the land has suffered some loss, and to counter the growing cynicism and unease that is sweeping the country as the flower of its youth is cut down, the government propaganda machine swings into overdrive, with the enthusiastic support of the clergy.

Young men from every corner of the kingdom are encouraged to carry on the fight and defeat "the Bosche". Patriotism, courage and an unshakeable belief that God is on the side of the Allies are the order of the day, and any perceived cowardice is leapt upon.

Caught up in this maelstrom are Nancy and Jack, young sweethearts in the first flush of their romance, surrounded by events they find hard to comprehend. Nancy lives with her widowed father, Fred Wells, a brooding man of few words, with whom Jack has a somewhat uncomfortable relationship. His relationship with his own father, Arthur, is hardly less strained as the family struggle to cope with the continuing illness of Jack' mother. For both Jack and Nancy, their romance is becoming more and more central to their lives and the bonds between them stronger as they fall more deeply in love.

It had become clear as early as 1915, that there was an acute shortage of munitions for the war, aggravated by the large number of male factory workers enlisting for the forces. Both Nancy and Jack are employed in one of the country's hard-pushed munitions factories near their Kent village, one of many that has sprung up to supply the ever-hungry war machine.

The munitions factory where the young lovers work is owned by Greaves’ an industrialist blinded by duty to both country and his scheming son, Norris.

When a fire inexplicably breaks out at the factory, suspicions are raised, Norris, is seen to flee the incident, with no thought for those in danger. Jack is responsible for saving several of the munitions workers by his quick-thinking actions in averting a full-scale disaster and putting the fire out. Rumors of Norris actions spread amongst the workers like wild fire, Jack has made enemies.

Greaves is blind to the underhanded dealings taking place in his factory, blinded by loyalty to his son and Featherstone the man in control from the Ministry of War who has recruited a small group of unsavory characters, the ringleader of which is Harry Niles. Harry is an unpleasant brute of a man - a borderline psychopath and an unscrupulous bully; cunning, aggressive and capable of unprovoked violence.

Meanwhile, In the hell of the muddy, war-torn trenches of France, it is becoming increasingly apparent to the military that some of the shells being shipped to the front are not up to the job, and the war office is become increasingly suspicious that short-filling is taking place during production.

Rumours begin to circulate that Greaves' factory is implicated. As usual, Harry, aided by his underlings Jonesy and Billy, does Greaves' dirty work. Whilst he himself keeps a low profile, Featherstones' black market racket is able to flourish as Harry, in collusion with Norris, buys off of a corrupt local policeman and others to hide the short filling. However, both Jack and his foreman, Frank, have their suspicions.

The relationship between Nancy and Jack has not gone unnoticed by Norris, who wastes no opportunity to pick on Jack. The two lock horns - Jack is scornful and dismissive of the cowardly Norris but is warned by both Nancy and Frank to watch his back as Norris, through Harry, could be dangerous.

They are proved right when Harry confronts Jack in the loading bay of the factory, taunting him. A scuffle breaks out and a driver named Sid Sadler is killed before the eyes of his terrified young son, Roy, as he accidentally falls when he tries to intervene. Before he dies, the man tells Jack he is not responsible, but Harry ensures that Jack is blamed for the Sadler's murder.

Seeing an opportunity to be rid of Jack, Greaves makes use of his contacts within the establishment to have the matter hushed up and has Jack enlisted and put on the next train to the frontline. Jacks papers are rushed through by a relieved Featherstone.

A distraught Nancy tries to say goodbye to Jack at the station the train leaves before she can speak to him. As the train pulls away, Jack sees the Sid Sadler on the platform of the station.

As the realities of trench warfare engulf him, Jack becomes increasingly aware of the waste and futility of war, and disgusted by the blind self-righteousness of the clergy and the arrogant superiority of the officers. In letters, Jack and Nancy pour out their hearts to one another, their correspondence drawing them together across the miles. It is the one bright spot in Jack's otherwise bleak world. The black humour employed by the "Tommies" masks the terrible despair and homesickness of the men. The hell of the soldiers' day-to-day existence, the mud, the constant shelling, fear, death and terror, drives one of his fellow soldiers, Garner, to make a mad, desperate run at the German trenches, bombing as he goes, and he is killed in a hail of bullets.

It is the final days of June 1916 - before the "big push". Jack is injured whilst on a raiding party to the German trenches and has a strange encounter with the Sid Sadler who leads him back to his trench. When they get back, there is no sign of his companion.

At the same time, back in England, Nancy gets wind of the conspiracy against Jack and sets out to prove, through the only other witness to the murder of the driver, Sadler's son, Roy, that Jack is innocent. When she goes to speak to the boy, she finds Harry and his cronies already there intimidating the dead man's wife, Lilly, and the child. William, a friend of Jack and Nancy's intervenes to help them but is shot dead by an increasingly out of control Harry. Harry turns on Nancy and knocks her unconscious.

At the same moment, in the trenches, Jack wakes screaming, and is overwhelmed by the feeling that Nancy is in trouble.

Nancy goes to the police and tells all to a Detective Montague. She also tells him she is uneerily certain that Jack is in danger. She is overheard by the corrupt desk sergeant, Mathews.

Nancy's melancholy father seems unsettled by Nancy's revelations of her feelings regarding Jack and reveals to her that her own mother had the same supernatural ability. Nancy is horrified to learn that her mother killed herself, twelve years before. As they return to their cottage they are stalked by Sergeant Mathews.

It is the 30th June. Mathews warns Harry in the local pub that the game is up. Harry, seemingly unhinged, threatens the policeman with a knife. The barman produces a shotgun and a gun battle ensues during which the Mathews is killed and Harry is injured.

In France, Jack is on watch in the trench when he is joined by another soldier who sits beside him, coughing quietly. He warns Jack that a German raid is imminent. Jack doesn't believe him at first but he proved right, and Jack fires into the German soldiers. As he looks back into his own trench, he recognizes the coughing soldier as the murdered Sid Sadler. Jack is congratulated by his unpopular commanding officer Captain Robert Valence, who is despised by all his men, and the good-hearted Walter Buckle, his Sergeant. Jack tries to give the coughing soldier the credit. To his astonishment the man has vanished. His account of the night's events is brushed aside by the Captain.

The Sergeant Buckle, worried about Jack, asks two of the men to keep an eye on Jack as they keep watch, while he and some others go on a raid. During the raid there is a short fight and they return with a German prisoner. Afterwards, as the men relax, there is a second unexpected German raid on the British trench. Sergeant Buckle is injured along with a private called Jones. The Captain rushes in and, without hesitation shoots the German prisoner. Jack is appalled and opening the dying young German's hand, finds a medallion and a picture of a young woman. The German soldier dies.

Captain Valence, showing no remorse, returns to HQ. Jack is incensed and follows him angrily, bayonet in hand. In the relative comfort of his bunker, the Captain, overheard by Jack, fabricates a story of the night's events to his commanding officer, blaming the dead Private Jones for killing the German prisoner. The sergeant, who has followed, prevents Jack from attacking the officer and the two return to their trench.

Outside Nancy's cottage at midnight, the injured Harry approaches and disposes of Nancy's beloved dog. As Nancy comes outside calling for he faithful companion, Harry attacks her and renders Nancy unconscious, before dragging her into the cottage.

Back in France, Jack drops his cup of tea in horror and stares unseeing into the wall of the trench. He knows that Nancy is in grave danger but he can do nothing about it.
Meanwhile, in the cottage, Nancy is still unconscious and her father is tied up. Harry is badly injured from his encounter with the dog. He jumps nervously as he glimpses a figure outside, and hears a man coughing softly. He fires at the window and it shatters.

He sees an over-coated figure accompanied by a large dog - he shoots wildly as the dog goes for him. Nancy father has been untied and he crawls over to Nancy, only to her find her dead, killed by a stray bullet.

1ST JUL 1916 - The men are ready to go over the top for the big push. Jack is instinctively certain that Nancy is dead - he is alone.

The men go over the top and a bloody battle ensues. Men are cut to pieces by the machine guns and fall all around Jack. He tries to help first the Chaplain then his Sergeant. In the confusion, he passes the Captain, running back to his own lines. As he remonstrates with the Captain he is blown off his feet by a large shell.

The next thing he sees is Nancy encouraging him to take her hand - she has come to save him. Men from both sides cease firing and watch incredulously as an angel, the wind ruffling her wings, her hand held aloft in a gesture of peace, leads a British Tommy by the hand across the muddy, smoke-filled battleground to safety.

To his horror, Captain Valence finds that Jack has survived the battle after all. He realizes that his craven retreat under fire will now come to light and his reputation ruined.

After the battle as the smoke clears and the German prisoners are being led away, an arrogant German corporal by the name of Adolf Hitler swears he will have his revenge.

Submitted: September 3, 2019
Last Updated: September 19, 2019

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Saul Gittens's picture

The Writer: Saul Gittens

Basically I am new to all of this so please bare with me. I am still a working Director of Photography and Head of Training for a major TV and Film rental company based in the UK. I have been involved in a number of shorts and decided to start turning the ideas in my head into scripts. I had an agent but they thought my scripts were too difficult to place actually it was probably me that was not the right fit for them. So make your mind up if you read any of them. They are all different. There are four more that I need to polish before I add them here, 'Dig Deep' a bonkers black comedy, 'Perculiar Foul' a Steam Punk Horror, 'The Golem of SunnySide Towers' a Modern Dark Horror and 'The Funny... Go to bio

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