This is the beginning of my screenplay Affair in England.
This is the beginning of my screenplay Affair in England. The story is about two former lovers who are accidentally reunited years after their affair. It's a love affair that's been doomed by prejudice and social class. I hope you'll like it. Mary Faderan
Title: AFFAIR IN ENGLAND
BY Mary Faderan with Colin Firth
OPENING SCENE: CHARLES LAYTON, BUSINESS MOGUL, IN HIS 50'S,
DARK HAIRED WITH BROWN EYES WITH A BENEVOLENT FACE. HE IS
DRIVING HIS EXPENSIVE CAR THROUGH THE STREETS OF OXFORD,
ENGLAND. SCENES OF THE CAR DRIVING THROUGH THE CAMPUS AND
INT. CHARLES LAYTON SITTING BEHIND THE WHEEL-NIGHT.
CHARLES LAYTON is good looking. He is talking on the phone
Hell, Knight, I'm on my way to Lady
Lytton's dinner party... Can't this
wait? I know the President wants
to talk but it can wait, surely?
I'll call him later. How about
this - I'll call him at 9 a.m.
Eastern...that's fine. Goodbye.
He presses the button on his steering wheel to end the call.
The car slows and turns into a long driveway. This is LORD
EXT. DOORSTEP AT LORD LYTTON'S MANSION-LATER
Charles steps out of his car. He walks to the door which
opens to him. Light from within spills out to the outside.
A figure of a woman in her late 50's appears. It is LADY
LYTTON. She gives him her hand. They seem to know each
other well enough.
I heard from Forrester that you
were in town and I simply had to
ask you to come! Tell me, was your
flight from New York a pleasant
Yes, if you like red-eyes.
Oh, that is just too bad. It makes
your occupation that much more
painful. You know that we would be
glad to see you more often in
Oxford if you had more of an open
schedule. Is your new job more
Tell me, does it mean you'll
finally get to work with
Forrester's group now?
Not sure, Lady Lytton. I'm being
vetted as the new Secretary of the
State. I doubt it will free up any
of my remaining time, if they ask
me and I accept.
Let me tell you dear Charles, that
you would be fantastic as Secretary
of State, but that job is going to
I know. That's why I won't go for
it. (Smiles with a regretful
expression in his face.)
(Relief on her face.)
That sounds like a good idea.
Let's get us inside, shall we?
They walk inside and head towards the dining room.
INT. DINING ROOM-LYTTON MANSION-LATER
The dinner guests sit expectantly as Charles and Lady LYTTON
walk in. In the room are MARY KRAUSE, LORD FORRESTER, LORD
LYTTON and ALISTAIR FOWLES. Mary Krause is a Ph.D. From a
California university, Lord Everest is the chairman of
Rochester Group, a private entity that oversees the Ronan
Chemical Company (a drug company) and Alistair Fowles is Mary
Krause's current escort. All present form the Rochester
Layton, so good of you to make it!
He extends a hand to Charles. They shake hands and nod at
each other. Charles surveys the group. His eyes take in
Mary Krause, seated on the far end of the table. He pauses.
Mary Krause is a woman in her late 40's. She is blonde but
has a tanned face, her eyes are brown and has full lips.
Charles' eyes alight upon them. He smiles at her.
Mary sits mute but her face is frozen as she stares back at
him in surprise. He says nothing at this time and upon Lady
Everett's invitation, decides to sit in his chair.
LORD FORRESTER (CONT'D)
God it's good to see you again!
How interesting that you would be
the next Secretary of State!
Weren't it for your work with us,
I'd be all for it.
Here's Charles, everyone. I think
you know everyone - but perhaps -
Doctor Mary Krause?
Nice to meet you, Mr. Layton.
(Taking the same tone.
He is wary.)
Nice to meet you Dr. Krause.
Call me Mary.
Charles nods and leans back in his chair, looking happy.
Everyone settles down and take part in the first course.
They talk amiably.
What is uppermost in my mind,
Charles, is whether you do want to
take this post. Secretary of State
is nothing to sneeze at. Are you -
um - up to it?
I think I might be.
(Ignores Mary who looks
at him with interest.)
I'd really love to work with the
new President. He's caught a lot
of people by storm. Getting the
foreign policy - well, it's a meaty
I think that it would be dreadful.
All that traveling. I suppose
you're up to it, with your
I think you'd be a shoe in, Layton.
It might be fun being in your
(Looking wryly at
Yes, well. I will need to think
about it - I have some time. The
President hasn't made his short
list so far. I'm probably down
towards the bottom of it.
Surely your wife might have some
say in this new post.
Charles levels a stare at her across the table.
She would. But she won't.
Mary's eyes lock with his. She returns her attention to her
I didn't know you were married,
Charles. When did this happen.
I'm not married.
Never mind that. Wives must always
go with their husbands wherever
they happen to be sent, isn't that
I say, this is a rather good soup.
I commend you, my dear Seraphina.
Thank you, Lord Forrester. I'll
speak to my cook and tell her you
Turns to Charles.
If you ever want my advice on how
to handle this new post, talk to
Alistair about it. He's good. Has
a lot of connections at Whitehall.
Um yes, I do. I happen to be in
the Foreign Service. You know
anyone else there, Layton?
I know the Prime Minister - and
some of the Shadow Government. My
work in my company has allowed me
ample opportunity - it's what I do.
The board - they tell me to go
someplace and I'm off to go there.
Just another thing in my agenda.
What business do you have, Mr.
Call me Charles. I work in a drug
company. I got a degree in
Chemistry, and graduated with a
degree in Pharmacology.
Mary reddens and yet, she looks at him directly. The others
seem not to notice, except for Lady Lytton, who glances at
Yes, he's rather a good source of
information for Ronan Group.
That's why we've tried to invite
Charles to be part of it in a
larger way. Your insight, Charles,
will be a great help.
Mary, we wish you would be an
impartial observer to the Group.
That's something I'm curious about.
I have a degree in English. What
could I possibly do for the Ronan
Oh, I didn't realize you had a
degree in English.
In many places, there is an
impartial observer to what is being
planned for any major or, minor,
project that a scientific company
or group - like Ronan- where that
person has to give their opinion on
whether the project holds water.
I see. Someone who's got some
experience in the world - knows
what's out there and if that person
can say that the project makes
sense - to them and to the
supposedly, unmet need. I can do
I'm pleased. You think you'll have
the time to do it?
How good that you, Mary, see the
I have an interest in the drug
companies where I live.
California, you know, has a few
regulations that these companies
have to go by to toe the line.
Charles has his branches there,
don't you, Charles?
As if awakened from a reverie, Charles looks up and blinks.
Yes. My company has a
manufacturing plant in Mountain
I remember seeing that somewhere in
Charles looks at her again and then looks away.
How do you plan on working outside
your company, Layton - if you do
get the nod for this plum job for
the new President?
I'll have to resign from it. It
will have to be something I have to
work on with the board of
directors. I'll be ok with that.
No real issues there.
You are so very good, Charles. I
am sad that you might be unable to
be with Ronan Group for the time
you'll serve the President.
Now, mind you, I haven't gotten
picked yet, and, I might not even
accept it. I'm too much of my own
man. I might be at loggerheads
with the President and I'm not the
type of guy who's going to say Yes
all the time.
I'm glad to hear that, Layton. We
aren't too fond of the President.
He's a rather odd sort to be one.
Too much of a dark horse - we can't
predict him very well at Whitehall.
No, not anyone can. However -
(Warming to his subject.
We might like it if you could let
us know what his mind is at on
English or British, I mean, foreign
policy. That would be good, I say.
I'll work on that but I won't
divulge just because.
You are going to be very much the
pursued rather than the pursuer.
I am. I don't need the Secretary
ship to be the pursued. It's the
way of the world. Money talks.
I think we've got the second course
here. Oddbain, what do we have for
Oddbain, the butler, comes out of his still pose by the door
and steps forward.
Your Ladyship, we have trout and
potatoes. And some asparagus.
Oddbain goes to the door and opens it. The footman comes in
bearing a large silver tray. The dinner table is quiet as
the food is portioned out to the participants.
Well that looks like a good meal
right here. I don't mind if I eat
a lot of it.
When will you know, Charles? Will
there be a timeline where they'll
be firm about your appointment?
I think within the next few days.
Then I'll have to decide.
Oh I see. It will be fast then.
This President doesn't let grass
grow under his feet. He's that
fast. I think, Layton, we need to
discuss this. Our staff at
Whitehall would love to have a
visit with you.
That would be fine. I'm here for
the next week. Then I fly back to
Washington to work on the pre
appointment agenda that I've
received from the President.
If all goes the way it goes, then
I'll decide by month's end.
I'm pleased. We will be a good
team if you do become the new
Secretary. I think we like you
enough Charles. You're a decent
Don't be too hasty with that
compliment, Fowles. I'm decent
enough. But I have to bend somehow
- it will be a vastly different
relationship with this President.
I don't know whether he understands
Oh, bosh. I'm sure he's good and
will be always listening to your
Doctor Krause, I mean Mary, are you
by any chance an alum of UCLA? You
say you had an English major.
Yes, I am an alumnus of UCLA. I
used to be at Ohio State. Then I
left in my sophomore year to go to
Why did you leave? Ohio State
seems to be so very different from
I had to leave due to family
circumstances. I lost my
scholarship. My parents had to
downsize their house - they had
some issues with their bank. It
was a mess and they wanted me to
help them. I had to work part time
to pay for school.
(Hiding his pained face.)
Oh, that's too bad.
I went to Ohio State. I might have
seen you there. You were always an
I didn't know you went to Ohio
State? How curious. You were so
very much an Ivy League family,
were you not?
(Ignoring Lady Everest.)
Were you, Dr. Krause - I mean,
I was there as a Pre-Med major.
I see. You switched majors, then?
Yes, I did. Pre-med had lost its
appeal. Life happened.
Simple as that.
Simple as that.
Lady Lytton studies her fish and frowns. The others are
unable to decide what happened to the conversation.
Seraphina, how about asking Oddbain
for more wine? I seem to have
drained my glass.
Yes, I'm a bit dry myself. Sorry
but the wine IS good.
Yes, wine is good. More please.
Oddbain reappears with another footman.
My lady, here's more wine.
Oddbain, how did you know we wanted
My lady, I had no idea you did.
INT. SITTING ROOM IN LADY EVEREST'S MANOR-LATER.
Mary Krause is sitting in the room alone. She hears voices
in the hall. Lady Lytton's and Charles Layton's conversation
drift towards her ears.
Both Lady Everest and Charles Layton pass by and Lady Everest
glances in to see Mary Krause.
Mary, my dear. What ever are you
doing alone in this room?
Both enter and Mary straightens to face them both. She looks
pensively at Charles.
Oh, I was just finishing a call -
my publisher wanted to meet with
me. I need to go home.
You came with Alistair, did you
not? I'm afraid he's in a deep
discussion with Lord Forrester.
Let me call him.
She turns to leave.
No, don't need to worry about
rousting Forrester. I'll take Mary
I'm not sure about that -
She utters under her breath.
MARY KRAUSE (CONT'D)
Please don't bother -
Charles looks at her twice and seems to understand her
No need to worry. I'm sure I have
Charles, we would have wanted you
I have some unfinished business -
No, I meant, with my solicitor,
Knight. He and I need to talk
about the business -
No, I can - well, I can find a
In this neighborhood? Not very
likely. It's miles and miles away
from the city. Your hotel - it's
in Oxford proper, isn't it?
It's not far from here -
It's all settled. I'll take you
home on my way to my house.
You have a house here?
Yes. I do.
She looks away. Oddbain enters and is carrying her wrap.
Doctor Krause, your wrap.
She takes it from him, mystified.
I hadn't asked for it.
No, but I happened to overhear. My
apologies. Do you wish me to go
out with it and then you'll ask me
Oddbain, you are impertinent.
She turns to Charles.
LADY LYTTON (CONT'D) (CONT'D)
Charles, let's have another dinner
party with you and Lord Forrester
before you go back?
Yes, I'll be around. Call me. You
have my cell number, I'm sure.
Good. Mary, I hope you have a
wonderful time with the publisher.
(Letting Charles help her
with her wrap.)
Yes, I will. Thank you.
Let me lead you to my car.
Mary says nothing but throws him a glance of annoyance.
INT. SITTING ROOM AT THE LYTTON MANSION-NIGHT.
Lady Lytton is looking out the window as Charles and Mary
walk to his car. A sound comes from the door shutting.
Alistair Fowles walks in.
I say, Lady Lytton, I heard
something about Mary leaving. Is
that true? I'm dashed unhappy she's
Mary's left with Charles. He said
he's free to do so -
What? Charles? Layton?
Yes... They seem to have an
What acquaintance? Is that
something that's escaped my
Well, I heard some undercurrent
between their conversation.
You're sharp you are, Lady Lytton.
I'm going to have to call that girl
- she's my date tonight, you know!
Why did you not tell me right away?
Oh, Alistair, I am so very sorry!
Lady Lytton clutches her hands together in a mute apology.
Well, it's done. I'll have to head
He heads for the door whereupon Oddbain walks in.
ALISTAIR FOWLES (CONT'D)
Sorry Oddbain, didn't see you
ALISTAIR FOWLES (CONT'D)
Mr Fowles, I have your hat and
He hands them to Fowles.
ALISTAIR FOWLES (CONT'D)
Good man. Thanks awfully. I'm very
disappointed, Lady Lytton.
She tries to go after him but he disappears into the hallway.
Lady Lytton bites her lip and then walks past Oddbain who
watches their exit with hardly a fleeting expression.
EXT. OUTSIDE THE MANOR-NIGHT
Charles and Mary walk out of the manor. Charles goes to the
Bentley and opens the door for Mary who gets in with ease.
He goes round to the driver's car and gets in. Within a
minute the car flares into life and pulls out into the drive
and heads out to the road.
INT. CHARLES' BENTLEY-NIGHT
Charles looks briefly at Mary's face. She is looking out
the window, resolute in not speaking.
I wasn't sure if I would have the
chance to talk to you. Why did you
You don't remember that time when
your parents forbade you to ever
see me again?
I didn't give a damn what they said
I did. I didn't want to put your
career in jeopardy.
We had something.
We were young, we -
Are you married now?
I'm not either. I never married.
You look beautiful still.
Please don't say that. We -
I want us to have it out. Please.
If you think we need to talk, I
suppose we can talk. But you won't
make any difference in what will
What will happen, Mary?
I'm seeing Lord Fowles.
Bully for you.
Well, I am.
Oh, hell, Mary, I don't think he's
your type at all.
Just get me to my damn hotel.
I'm going to be here for a few
days. I'd like to see you again.
I'll be quite busy. I have only
until Friday and then I return to
You could have dinner with me
tomorrow night. I really want to
talk to you. Please.
Charles, I don't want to see you.
Just get me back to my hotel.
Because that is old history.
There's no going back.
No? I want to move forward, Mary.
You and I have some unfinished
Tomorrow night will be spent with
No, I don't buy that. I'll pick
you up at 6. You and I must talk.
I need to talk about what really
happened back then. You and I had
(After a long pause.)
Alright. You may come at six pm to
take me out.
They drove on in silence. Charles, with a hint of a smile.
Mary looking mulish.
INT. CHARLES LAYTON'S RESIDENCE, LIBRARY-NIGHT.
Charles has changed into his dressing gown and is talking on
the speaker phone with his lawyer, RICK KNIGHT. The
conversation is subdued, relaxed.
The dinner was good. I met an old
friend, Mary Krause. She was a
schoolmate at OSU.
Mary Krause, eh? I don't think you
ever mentioned anyone with that
She was someone I fell in love
with. I thought we were going to
get married. I gave her a ring.
(In a lower voice.)
I wonder if she kept it.
Oh, a romantic love in your life.
Charles you are becoming more
interesting to me now. How did this
happen? She and you never made it
to the altar?
No. I had parents that apparently
got to her and she ran away.
Oh. That's not good. Did you give
up? Or did you try to find her?
I tried to find her. But my
parents stopped all funds coming
into my account and I had no other
way to get a private investigator
to find her. I tried to call and
her number was no longer working.
I decided that there was no moving
forward with her.
Then you gave up?
You sound incredulous, Knight. I
guess I gave up. Too soon. I
could have chased after her. I
could have done a hell of a lot
more. But my parents and all my
relatives and everyone that I had
in my background at the time - they
all ganged up on me, forcing me
return to Connecticut and go there
to get re-indoctrinated on how I
was to become a big deal in this
(He puts his hand to his
face and wipes his eyes.)
God I hate that time. I wish---
Ok, ok. Let's talk about something
else. This is making you feel sad.
Why can't - you met her again
tonight so is that going to get
Yes, damn it, it will.
He gets up and paces the floor.
Good. Do it then.
Yes, I will. Those bastards in my
family don't have anything to say
about it now. I'll have Mary again
Ok, good. I'll check on you
sometime unless you want to talk
about something else? We had that
thing about the President's agenda
did we not?
Oh yes. Well send me what you have
prepared in an email. And then you
and I are going to have to tell
that President I'm not interested
in working for him.
Really, Charles are you able to
discuss this now - you're not
feeling happy about Mary - she -
Oh, Knight, I'm more interested in
Mary more than anything else now.
That might be somewhat of a problem
Well, my job is to talk you into a
job with the President, is that not
No. Your job is to be my lawyer
and that is all.
Fine. I'll relax and let you lead
your life the way you wish. Forget
about this Secretary post then.
And that's final?
Yes. That's final. Mary will be
Focus on Charles' face which is looking quite serious.
INT. MARY KRAUSE'S HOTEL ROOM-NIGHT.
Mary Krause is clad in her dinner clothes still. She gets a
call from Alistair who is in a fit.
Mary I can't believe you left me
with that Layton fellow. What
possessed you to go home with him?
I did not go 'home' with him,
Alistair. I - er - I -
I'm not a happy man thinking he's
swanned off with you, Mary. Is
that guy somehow interesting to
you? What's his appeal. He looks
like a politician, if you know what
A politicoan? Oh, no. He isn't -
He is going to work for the stupid
US President of yours.
He is no politician. At least, I
don't think -
He got to take you home, did he
Well so he did. I'm sorry
Alistair. I have a confession to
make. This man was someone in my
Oh, is that it? A former lover or
Oh my God.
I can't help when this thing
happens. I mean - well, so he and
I have to resolve what we -
Oh my God.
Alistair I wish to explain -
No, I won't hear of it.
Well then we have to end our own
I'm feeling a bit confused.
You just -
No, please listen to me.
I don't now, Mary. I just don't
God, I'm not sure I can tell -
Mary I want to see you now.
Heavens, no, Alistair.
I want to and I will.
I won't let you in!
What ever do you mean?
Look it's past eleven and I need to
get up early. My publisher is
meeting me at 8 a.m.
Ok, I'll see you tomorrow night
No, not tomorrow night.
Why not tomorrow night?
I'm seeing Charles.
I will see you the next day,
Alistair. I can see you then, I
I have to think about us. If you
and I break up -
Alistair we were never serious,
No, but -
So we can be friends still?
No, not friends. I wish to be your
lover and that is all.
No, I - well - I -
Ok, let me be a friend. You can
tell me all about this man Layton
and what's happened in your past.
What about that? Can we talk?
I need to talk about this later. I
am so very tired and I need to get
some rest. Please we can talk
again, shall we?
Ok fine. I'll check in with you
tomorrow then. Perhaps lunch?
Lunch - no not tomorrow.
Good, I will call you. I'll pick
you up at twelve o'clock, then.
Ok good. Good night, Alistair.
She hangs up and tosses the phone aside. She goes into the
bathroom and closes the door.
INT. CHARLES LAYTON'S RESIDENCE, LIBRARY-NIGHT.
Charles has finished his call with his lawyer, Rick Knight.
The door opens and his manservant MULSON enters.
Mr. Layton, your nightcap.
Mulson has a tray that contains a tumbler containing his
bourgon and branch water and a tin of caviar and Carr's water
Good, Mulson. I'm grateful.
Very well, sir.
The phone rings. Charles Layton picks it up.
Hi, Baker, I'm glad you called...
Yes, I'm going to see somebody for
dinner tomorrow night... Yes, I
want to ask you if you could look
at this person's dossier... What?
Oh the name? Yes, the name is Mary
Krause... Yes, K-R-A-U-S-E.
Krause... That's right, yes. She's
around - well - she's about 40
years old... She lives in
California... No, I don't have an
address... No, I don't know what -
oh, she has a job as a writer - and
she has a job in a university in
California... Well, there are a
thousand colleges in California but
I'm paying you to do this... I'm
good for it, you know, it's
alright... I'll have my accountant
get you another retainer, ok?
Good. If you need me anytime just
call... I need this information by
tomorrow at 5 o'clock London
time...Hell, I don't care, do it
now... What time?
It's what time there? Oh, then go
all over... You can hire some
people... You know it. Sure...
Good. Good man. Fine. Bye...
He hangs up and sighs. He reaches for his drink and then
downs it with one gulp. Then he finds the caviar spoon and
puts a dollop of the rich dark grains onto the cracker and
eats it all.