Cut to the King and ZigZag outside the pink palanquin in the King's bedroom. ZigZag has guided him there and he is parting a curtain of the palanquin so the King can see in (but we can't). The King, though still looking worried is becoming distracted by the contents. We hear the husky giggle of the Maiden from Mombassa, and her purple hand reaches out and chucks the King under the chin. As she draws him in from the front and the Kingls legs awkwardly climb aboard, ZigZag, one hand on the King's back, guides him in. The King is a big man and it's all very clumsy.
A KING CANNOT BE AT HIS BEST UNLESS HE TAKES A LITTLE REST ENJOYS FOR JUST A LITTLE WH ILE A TOY. . . OR TWO. . . TO MAKE
ZigZag makes a terrible forced smile as the Maiden from Mombassa giggles throatily from within the palanquin. The King is swallowed into the curtains.
(tip-toeing away from the palanquin) ZIGZAG, YOUR VIZIER, UNDERSTANDS JUST LEAVE YOUR WORRIES IN MY HANDS.
(thrusting his head out between the curtains) I JUST HAVE TH IS FUNNY FEEU NG . . .
A pair of purple hands with pink fingernails encircle the King's chest and slowly draw him back into the palanquin.
Close up on the Three Gold Balls and we hear the flies. We pull back to reveal the back of the Thief's head and flies, seemingly on a level with the tip of the balls. The camera does a 180 degree craning turn ending up with a front view of the Thief on a tightrope leading from a window at the top of a blue-green minaret. He is using his vaulting pole as a balance. The wind is blowing and he gingerly steps forward on the wire. Cut to a long shot where we see the tightrope wire stretched between the blue-green minaret and the old Golden Minaret with the balls. We can see clearly now for the first time that there are three guy wires leading from three smaller minarets which support the ancient Golden Minaret (which is always at an angle, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.) The Thief is making his way along on one of the guy-wires.
The wind comes in short bursts and the Thief's robe billows out. He is having great trouble balancing. We see his feet, his toes clutching at the wire like fingers. His legs shake and the wire begins to sway from side to side. Desperately, the Thief swings back and forth, balanced precariously on top of the wire. Finally, totally out of control, he drops the balancing pole. He runs along the wire, slips, falls off, catches the wire with one hand and loops himself back aboard. On sheer momentum, he runs the length of the wire to the Golden Minaret, where he slaps his arms around it and hangs on for dear life.
The wind whistles around the immobile figure of the Thief.
Pan up to the Balls above him. Looking down from the Golden Balls to the Thief, we see his fingers, ineffectively grabbing around the curve of the onion dome. Slipping and sliding, he dares to look down.
Cut to a vertigo shot from the Thief's-eye view with the palace grounds, towers and courtyards swimming crazily beneath him. Desperately, he makes his bid to get on top of the onion dome. He works his hands up around the base of the dome, and, defying gravity, slipping and sliding, he kicks his way around the impossible shape. Now embracing the dome, he manages to duck-walk up to the spike which holds the balls. He pulls himself up the balls to a standing position at the top; the balls at his side. He smiles and goes into a photographic pose of triumph.
His foot slips and he only just recovers. Back to business, and he works the balls, one by one, with great difficulty, off the spike. He puts the small and middle-sized ones between his knees and crotch, and holds onto the spike with his nose while he works the largest, heaviest one, off. When he gets this last one off, the weight of it almost tips him off the dome.
He reorganizes the balls and finally he is able to stand, the small and medium-sized balls under one arm, and the large one under the other, like shopping bags. He stands erect against the spike, master of the situation.
Very slowly, he real ises he doesn It know how to get back down.
Cut to the palanquin. The Maiden's purple hand dangles limply from the bottom of the curtain. The King awkwardly backs out as we hear the Maiden's throaty gurgling from inside. The King is also chuckling. He moves, almost in slow motion, floating slightly.
HEH-HEH, HE-HA, HO-O ZIGZAG? ARE YOU HERE, ZIGZAG?
(popping his head quietly around a doorway) YES, 0 STALLION OF THE GOLDEN LAND? YOUR FAITHFUL ZIGZAG IS AT HAND.
The King and ZigZag approach each other. We see their heads at opposite ends of the scope screen. Just above their eye level in the middle of the screen, silhouetted through a small window, we see the Thief with his back toward us, standing frozen at the top of the Golden Minaret. He is too stupid to have yet thought of a move. The rest of the scene is played with this one shot. The Thief doesn't move, but his robe occasionally ripples in the morning breeze. The King and ZigZag never look out the window.
(shaking his head to clear his thoughts) I'VE BEEN. . . UH . . . THINKING, ZIGZAG.
o FONT OF WISDOM?
PERHAPS WE OUGHT TO HAVE A TWENTY-FOUR HOUR GUARD ROUND THE MINARET?
OF COURSE, GREAT KING, WHAT HARM CAN IT DO? PERHAPS IT WILL BRING PEACE OF MI ND TO YOU.
(Here we see the Thief through the window awkwardly wiggling his way down to straddle the dome.)
YES. . . BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. . .
Both smile at each other in satisfaction.
SEQ. 5. 3Q.
Cut to the Thief, his back flattened against the dome, cradling two of the balls under his left arm as ballast, his right hand holding on to the spike. To free his right arm for grabbing, he manages to place the larger, heavy ball between his knees. The large ball is so heavy, he begins to lose his knee~grip on it. Grasping the spike with his right hand, cradling the other two balls with his left, he stretches with the escaping, heavier ball toward the wire. But that ball is too heavy for his knees to grip and it falls. He flails his foot out to direct it and the huge ball rolls onto the wire. Still clutching the other two balls, the Thief executes a spin and slides backwards onto the wire himself, grabbing the larger ball with his feet. He is now lying on the wire, two balls up front on his arms, and the large ball caught in his feet. He works it underneath him and perches on it. But the weight of the other two balls pulls him off the wire sideways. He now hangs upside down with his feet around the ball on the wire. He is covered by his
robes from waist to head, weighted by the other two balls. By swinging back and forth upside down, he works up enough momentum to swing back to the top of the wire, where he temporarily balances on the larger ball. He whips it into his robe's inner lining. With some fast contortions, he manages to get all three balls inside his robe lining. They hang, two on one side and one on the other. Now he is pinned to the wire as the weighted robe hangs below like a set of giant gonads. He makes an attempt to stand, but the balls start to swing from side to side with a life of their own. Arcing toward us and away from us with everincreasing velocity, the whole thing goes out of control and we get a travelling top-shot of the City swimming below, the Thief and balls flailing around more and more wildly.
The Thief slips off the wire, retrieves himself with a somersault, the balls fly up towards the camera and back down again as the Thief, now hanging by his hands from the wire, jerks his legs in front of him to catch the three balls between his legs. . . the large one first in his feet, the middle-sized one between his knees, and the small one in his crotch.
Cut to a close-up of the Ball-less spike on the golden dome. The camera zooms back from the Minaret, through the window of the King's chamber. The King smokes a hookah. His head rolls lazily toward the window, eyes fluttering, 51 ipping into sleep. They are shut for an instant, then pop open in a double take.
( shrieking) THE BALLS ARE GONE!!!!
Cut back to the hanging Thief, two of the balls beginning to slip through his legs. Hand-over-hand, he clotheslines himself rapidly along the wire to the blue-green minaret window and swings legs and balls inside the window.
CRASH! There is an almighty smashing and ringing as the camera pans down the tower. CRASH! Through a window comes the largest ball. More crashing - and SMASH! - through another window the second ball blasts. Down further and SMASH! little ball comes out through another window.
Pan down to the ground with more banging and the front door flies open as the Thief is shot out, flat onto his face in the courtyard.
Cut to a long shot of the courtyard and Palace complex. The three balls are bounding through the air and landing in rhythmic chimes, one after the other. All the awakened and half-dressed people are
running into the courtyard:
Cut to the Thief coming to, as people rush by in all directions and the balls loudly ring. He exits backward unnoticed.
apart. yard and behind.
Cut to the Main Palace Gate as it opens with the teeth pullinq The Survivor rides towards us, past us, and across the courtup the stairs into the King's throneroom, with people rushing
Cut to the Cobbler, peering out through his cell, as soldiers' feet thunder past.
Cut to the Survivor's horse coming to a stop in the throne-room the Survivor, semi-conscious, in the saddle.
Cut to the King, rushing through the curtains into the throneroom, followed by ZigZag. Goblet, Gopher, Slap and Tickle appear at ZigZag's side on camera left.
(stage whisper) GET THOSE BALLS!
KEEP OUT OF SIGHT!
BRING THEM TO ME LATE TONIGHT!
THY WILL BE DONE!
Exit Goblet, Gopher, Slap and Tickle. . .
The standing horse and Survivor vibrate and the horse's eyes go up to heaven and it faints. Its knees buckle under it and it sinks to the ground, eyes blinking. The Survivor's feet now touch the ground and he walks forward, stumbling and gasping, toward the King. It's a fair distance and the King stands frozen at one end. As he staggers the distance, guards and dishevelled courtiers hurry to attendance. In comes Princess YumYum eating a large peach, on one side of a pillar, and through some curtains on the other side of the pillar her sister MeeMee comes with her little hand mirror, Prince Bubba in tow.
The Survivor collapses at the feet of the King, gasps incoherently, then with a mighty effort, stands himself up from his knees, vibrating.
(a last gasping shout) ONE. . . EYE. . . ONEIS . . . COMING!
EYE. . .
He salutes, vibrates again and expires.
SEQ. 5. 3T .
(shrieking in a crescendo) DEATH AND DESTRUCTION, MY KINGDOM WILL COME TO - DESTRUCTION AND DEATH!
As the King screams, the camera pulls out above him and above the palace, above the City, above the landscape, to show a God's-eyeview of the Golden Land, with nearby mountains covered in violent approaching storms. Lightning and thunder flash and rumble.
Fade in on dark, mountainous hills. The sky is black with thunder-clouds. Lightning flashes and thunder rolls,. Up over the sound of the thunder comes the cadence of heavy drums and marching feet. Through a cleft between the hills appear black-armoured soldiers marching in close rank. The camera goes in and we see the One-Eyes advancing like a relentless swarm of giant beetles. A race of one-eyed men, purple faces, red beards, one eye open, one eye shut, forever taking aim.
After infantry come huge ramps of Leonardo da Vinci-like war
mammoth cross-bows the size of houses, colossal catapults,
massive gear-wheels, hoists, levers, pulleys, complex parts of some enormous machine of death. Everything is on a nightmare scale: elephants, horses, camels, oxen carry more materiel and everything advances in efficient and relentless order. Disciplined and unstoppable, they march in cadence and the earth shakes.
Medieval organs and enormous drums create a fearsome drone. We move past banners and regalia, mammoth black-draped wagons with huge wooden wheels carrying generals and other officers. Whips snap and crack as oxen pull these enormous wagons. Finally, comes the Mighty One-Eye, seated higher than the rest on a human throne of interlocking, scantily-clad women.
As he lurches along, the Mighty One-Eye gnaws at an enormous leg of roast fowl and bellows:
I SHALL GNAW THE GOLDEN CITY TO THE BONE AND I SHALL SPIT IT OUT!
He spits out a great lump of meat and tosses the bone over the Then he takes a large goblet of wine and as he drinks, it spills
over his face.
(continuing) MY FACE SHALL BE BLOODY WITH THE BLOOD OF MY VICTIMS!
He slings the rest of the goblet of wine over his human throne bringing shrieks and bawdy giggles from the women. The Mighty One-Eye tosses the goblet over the side, and roaring with laughter, slaps boisterously at buttocks and breasts squishing up and down. Thunder and lightning flash and boom in chorus to his laughter. Dissolve to:
The Cobbler looking out of in spurred riding boots run past. we pull back and see the Thief in a pressed against a wall.
his cell window as the feet of soldiers Flies buzz, the Cobbler sniffs and corner beside the Cobblerls window,
We follow the soldiers as they rush into the main courtyard, which is already filled with assembled soldiers on horseback, foot-soldiers and Generals, etc., the Golden City army arrayed in white apparel with gold trim. Their emblem is a golden sun on their breastplates. Banners are flying. Armour, swords and spears gleam in the late afternoon sunshine. The Palace population - attendants, stableboys, cooks, servants, etc., - look on from the archways.
There is a at the empty spire backed by ZigZag,
muttering and buzzing of distress as they look up of the tallest minaret. A hush falls as the King, appears on the balcony.
MY LOYAL GENERALS! MY BRAVE SOLDIERS! THE THREE GOLDEN BALLS HAVE GONE!
The army buzzes in response.
OUR CITY FACES INVASION!
More crowd reaction.
THE MIGHTY ONE-EYE IS COMING!
At this, very great crowd reaction.
WE MUST DEFEND THE CITY!
Goblet, Gopher, Slap and Tickle are tip-toeing through the edge of the ranks of soldiers. It is obvious from their hunched positions that they have the golden balls concealed beneath their robes.
Tickle is hugging Slap's arse; Slap is carrying the big ball behind his back and Tickle is trying to cover it up. Goblet and Gopher lead, carrying the other two balls, followed in line by Slap and Tickle. They are trying to appear nonchalant as they make their way staggering under the weight.
(continuing) BE OF GOOD FAITH! ACCORDING TO THE ANCIENT PROPHECY THE CITY MAY YET BE SAVED! TAKE UP YOUR POSITIONS WITH MY BLESSING!
He succumbs to a coughing fit.
The Crowd cheers:
LONG LIVE KING NOD! LONG LIVE THE GOLDEN CITY!
The drums begin to beat and the Army begins to parade away.
As the Army is dispersing, we see Princess YumYum at one window and Princess MeeMee and Prince Bubba at another window.
camera pans down to a small door. sneaking inside.
Goblet, Gopher, Slap and Tickle are
SEQ. 7. 1.
Cut to the inside of the little door through which Goblet, Tickle, Slap and Gopher (in that order) have just entered. The four are in the dark, sneaking down stone stairs in an underground passageway. Slap, Tickle and Gopher each carry a ball. Goblet carries none, but bosses the others:
CLOSE THE DOOR, YOU IDIOT!
DON'T BE SO BOSSY!
He slams the door, which bumps Slap as it passes him.
He throws his ball in the air and stumbles down the stairs, bumping into Tickle.
(stumbling downstairs) OOH HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
(catching Slap's ball)
Tickle, still stumbling downstairs, throws his ball in the air. It flies toward Gopher, who already has two.
(catching the second ball from Gopher) OOH. HAHAHAHAHAHA. AAAH!
Tripping, he throws this ball, too, to Slap, who reacts by throwing the one has has to Gopher, who throws his to Tickle.
Falling again, he th rows the ball back to Gopher, who throws his to Slap, who throws his to Tickle.
AAGH! OH. OOP!
AH. HAHAHA. HA!
Fumbling, Tickle drops the ball, which hits the step with a dull ring: DONGGGGG! To stop it ringing, Gopher throws his ball to Slap, who throws his ball to Tickle, then Gopher whips his robe around the ball to smother the noise.
All four freeze, covering the balls with their robes.
The camera goes quickly down the passageway to the King's Executioners outside the Cobbler's cell. Phido, the vulture, is pacing up and down in front of the door and the Cobbler is looking out. Phido's head and the Guard's heads jerk toward where the sound of the dropping ball came from.
Back to Goblet, Gopher, Slap and Tickle, who wave at the Guards. Tripping on each others' robes and nearly dropping the balls, they make their way further down the stairs to another corridor, hissing catty whispers at each other.
(to Tickle) IF YOU HAD A BRAIN YOU'D BE DANGEROUS!
I DO AN D I AM!
OH, CLEVER! IDIOT WITHOUT A HEAD!
TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE!
HA HA HA!
YOU DON'T HAVE ANY BALLS!
WHY DON'T YOU HELP?
BECAUSE I'M IN CHARGE!
OH, PARDON ME!
(through his teeth)
LET ALL MOUTHS CLOSE!
Cut to the King's Chambers. ZigZag pulls the drapes shut behind him as he enters, following the King. As the drapes close, the sound of the drums and the marching army is subdued.
0, COMMANDER OF THE FAITHFUL! 0, CHIEF OF THE WORLD!
WELL! . . . I HAVE NEVER HEARD SUCH ELOQUENCE AND SUCH A GREAT OVATION! YOUR ARMY IS AFIRE WITH YOUR WORDS OF INSPIRATION!
BUT THAT ARMY HAS NEVER YET FOUGHT A BATTLE! THEY'VE NEVER HAD TO, ZIGZAG! THE THREE GOLDEN BALLS HAVE ALWAYS PROTECTED OUR CITY!
HAVE NO FEAR! ZIGZAG, YOUR GRAND VIZIER IS HERE! . . .
YOU'RE HERE, ZIGZAG! BUT WHERE ARE THE BALLS ?!?
King Nod looks up to see ZigZag flourishing his hand to make three conjurer's balls appear.
MAGICKED AWAY, MY LORD. . .
ZigZag shakes his head and the three balls disappear. Nod sinks to a bolster and drops his head in his hands.
OH, NO . . .
ZigZag continues his very expert conjuring demonstration. As he speaks, he disappears the balls from his right hand and they reappear in his left. Then he swishes out his telescopic stick and balances the three balls on the end.
OH, YOU MUSTN'T LOOK SO TRAG IC AS IF NOTHING COULD BE DONE! I AM NOT UNSCHOOLED IN MAGIC AND THE DAY MAY YET BE WON. . .
YOU MEAN. . . YOU COULD USE. . . MAGIC? . . .
ZigZag disappears the stick and the balls in a green puff of smoke which he has made by a rather obvious movement of pulling dust from inside his robe.
I'LL RETIRE TO MY TOWER TO SEE WHAT CAN BE DONE. . .
ZigZag exits backwards into the curtains.
Cut to the Dungeon corridor. The two Palace Executioners flank the Cobbler's cell door. Phido is still pacing back and forth. He stops, looks down at his stomach, and we hear it gurgle and rumble.
He sighs, glances toward the Cobbler's cell door, and goes back to pacing.
We hear the boom of a big door slamming and the sound of running feet. Princess YumYum runs daintily down the passage towards us, everything a-jiggle. She is beautifully built. She looks angry as she runs and the audience can't tell if it's YumYum or MeeMee, until we
see she has only one white slipper on;
the other foot is bare.
The vulture backs away, hissing as she comes up to the door. The Cobbler is at the window of his cell, looking out, but he draws back as she approaches.
(to the Cobbler) DON'T BE AFRAID, MY BRAVE COBBLER! I PROMISE I WILL GET
YOU OUT OF HERE!
The vulture takes a little hop toward YumYum and hisses. glances around in annoyance.