Woyzeck (1979) Script

In a small town, on a wide, still pond...

Slowly, Woyzeck. Slowly.

One thing at a time! You are making me dizzy.

What am I supposed to do with those extra ten minutes?

Woyzeck, you still have a good 30 years to live. 30 years.

That's 360 months and days, hours, minutes.

What are you going to do with that awful amount of time?

Spread it out, Woyzeck. Yes, sir, Captain.

I start to fear for the world when I think about eternity.

Occupation, Woyzeck, occupation!

Eternal. It's eternal.

It's forever. Isn't that so?

But then again it's not forever. And it's the blink of an eye!

The blink of an eye.

Woyzeck, it scares me to think the world revolves in one day.

What a waste of time. And where does it all lead?

Woyzeck, I can't see another mill wheel or I'll become melancholic.

Yes, sir, Captain.

Woyzeck, you always have that hunted look in your eye.

A good man doesn't have that.

A good man who has a clear conscience.

Say something!

How's the weather today?

Bad, Captain.


Windy. Yes, I feel it already.

There's a real wind out there.

I think it's coming from the south-north.

Yes, sir, Captain.


Oh, you are dumb. So incredibly dumb!

Woyzeck, you are a good person.

But, Woyzeck, you have no morals.

Morals. That means...

...being moral, understand?

It's a good word.

You have a child without the church's blessing.

As our honorable chaplain puts it, "Without the church's blessing."

Captain, sir, God won't mind if nobody said amen before the little bundle was made.

The Lord said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me."

What kind of an answer is that?

Are you trying to confuse me? When I say you, I mean you, you!

Us poor people, you see, Captain.

Money, money.

A penniless man has no use for morals in this world.

We're only flesh and blood.

It's our lot to suffer, in this world and the next.

If we ever got to heaven, they'd make us work the thunder.

Woyzeck, you have no virtue. You're not a virtuous man.

Flesh and blood.

When I look out the window after it's rained and watch those white stockings gallivanting along...

Damn, Woyzeck, love's coming over me.

I'm also made of flesh and blood. But the virtue, the virtue!

How should I spend my days? I always say to myself you are a virtuous man, a good man.

A good man.

Yes, sir, Captain.


You see, common people like us don't have virtue.

We do what comes naturally.

Yes, if I were a gentleman with a hat and a watch, I'd like to be virtuous.

It must be a fine thing, that virtue, Captain.

Good, Woyzeck.

You are a good man, a good man, but you think too much and that wears on you. You always look so hunted.

Our little talk has taken it out of me.

Go now.

And don't run! Slowly! Nice and slow down the street.

Yes, Andres, the place is cursed.

See that streak of light?

That's where the heads roll at night.

Two little rabbits there did sit Nibbling the green, green grass Quiet.


Hear that?

It's coming.

Nibbling the green, green...

It's coming up behind me.

Beneath me.

Hollow. Hear that? It's all hollow.

I'm scared.

It is a strange silence. You want to hold your breath.



Say something!

How it rises over the town...

Run! Don't look back. OK.


...can you still hear it?


All is silent.

As if the world was dead.

We have to get away!

You hear that? Look, here they come.

What a man! Like a tree.

He stands on his feet like a lion.

Well, that was a friendly eye you gave him, neighbor.

You rarely see that in her.

Soldiers, those are handsome men.

Your eyes are still shining.

So what? Take your eyes to the Jew and have them polished.

You might be able to sell them for buttons.

Well, hear, hear! Miss Motherhood! I'm an honorable person.

But you could see your way through leather pants!

Bitch! Come on, boy. What do people want?

You're only the son of a whore and your dishonest face fills your mother with joy.

Who's there?

Is that you, Franz?

Come in.

I can't. Got roll call.

Been out cutting wood for the Captain?

Yes, Marie.

What's the matter, Franz? You look upset.

Marie, it was there again. There's not much written about it.

"The smoke arose from the land like smoke from an oven."

It followed me all the way to town. What's going to happen?


Tonight I have to go to mass. I saved up a little bit again.

That man! So haunted.

He didn't look at his child.

He might go crazy with these thoughts.

Why so silent, boy? Are you frightened?

What do you call this, Woyzeck? You! A man of your word!



What do you mean, Doctor? I saw it, Woyzeck.

I saw you pissing in the street, against the wall like a dog!

And that with three groschen a day plus board!

Woyzeck, that is bad.

The world is going bad, very bad.

But sir, the call of nature...

Call of nature? Call of nature? Superstition, sheer superstition!


Woyzeck, haven't I shown that the musculus constrictor vesicae is subject to the will?


Woyzeck, mankind is free.

Couldn't hold your water.

That's betrayal, Woyzeck!

Have you had your peas, Woyzeck? Nothing but peas, remember!

Next week we'll start with mutton.

This is going to revolutionize science.

Uric acid, zero point one, ammonium hydrochlorate, hyperoxide.


Don't you have to piss again?

Why don't you go in there and try it.

I can't, Doctor.

But you can against a wall! I saw it with my own two eyes!

I had my nose out the window to observe the phenomenon of the sneeze!

No, Woyzeck, I will not get angry.

Anger is unhealthy, unscientific.

I am calm.

Perfectly calm.

My pulse is at its usual 60.

And I say this with the utmost calm.

Who would want to get angry about a mere human being?

If it had been one of my test animals that had died...

But Woyzeck, you shouldn't have pissed against that wall.

You see, Doctor.

Sometimes, one has such a character or make-up.

Nature, that is so...

Like, for example...

Woyzeck, you're philosophizing again.

Have you ever seen nature inside out, Doctor?

When the sun stands still at noon as if the world were on fire,

that's when a terrible voice spoke to me.

Woyzeck, you had an aberration.

But nature, Doctor, when nature is out...

What do you mean, when nature is out?

When nature is out is when nature is out.

That's when the world gets so dark

that you have to feel your way around with your hands

and it dissolves like a spider's web.

When something is and yet isn't.

When all goes dark and there's only red in the west, like the glow of a furnace.

When... Man...

You're feeling your way with your feet like a spider!

The toadstools.


...the toadstools.

Did you ever notice how they grow in patterns on the ground?

If one could read that...

Woyzeck, you have the most wonderful aberratio mentalis partialis.

The second kind. Beautifully developed.

Woyzeck, I shall give you a rise.

Second order. Fixed idea, with non-impairment of faculties.

Still shaving your Captain as usual?

Yes, sir.

Eating your peas? Always.

My wife gets the money.

Doing your duty? Yes, sir.

You are an interesting case. You have a beautiful idee fixe.

Certain to put you in the asylum.

Patient Woyzeck, just be good. Let me feel your pulse.

What should I do?

Eat peas, then mutton.

And clean your rifle.

You're getting another groschen.

My theory.

My new theory.

Roll up, ladies and gentlemen!

Ladies and gentlemen! Come and see the show!

The creature and the art! Look at the creature as God made it.

A nothing, a zero, absolutely nothing.

And now see the art.

He walks upright, wears a coat and trousers and carries a sword!

The monkey is a soldier. Not that that's much.

It's the lowest form of life.

So take a bow. Good.

You're a baron.

Ladies and gentlemen, come and see our astronomical horse.

Right inside the tent. Roll up!

Do you want to? All right.

Must be quite something.

Look at the tassels on that man. And the woman has trousers on.

Look at her. What a woman!

You could sire a cavalry regiment out of her.

Yes and breed drum-majors!

Ladies and gentlemen, you will now see the astronomical horse.

It'll tell you anything you want to know.

How old? What illness? How many kids?

Show your talent! Show your beastly reason!

Put humanity to shame!

Ladies and gentlemen, the animal you see here, with a tail and four hooves, is a member of the academic society and professor at our university where he teaches the students to ride and to fight.

Is there an ass present in our esteemed assembly?

You can't fool him!

How much is two times two?

Two times two.

Two, three, four, very good! Thank you.

What a genius! Look at that.

Now tell the gentlemen what time it is.

Does anyone have a watch handy?

A watch?

Here you go, sir. I've got to see this.

But I'm not giving it to you. Just check what time it is.

This is a woman!


Show me how you march.

A chest like a bull

and paws like a lion.

There is no one like you. I'm the proudest lady of all.

Wait till Sunday, when I have my plumed hat and white gloves on.


The prince always says, "That's a man!"

You don't say. A man!

And you are a woman, Marie.

Christ Almighty!

We should start a brood of little drum-majors.

Leave me alone!

Hey, a wild one. Don't touch me!

Do you have the devil in your eyes?

Might as well.

It's all the same.

Gentlemen students, I'm up here.

And when I drop this cat out of the window, what will be its instinctive behavior relative to its center of gravity?

Hey, Woyzeck!


Woyzeck, come here!

Doctor, she's shitting.

You'd think she's your grandmother, the way you're hugging her.

Doctor, I've got the shakes. That's fine, Woyzeck, fine.


Gentlemen, the animal has no scientific instinct.

But you get to see something else.

Look at this man. For three months, he has eaten nothing but peas.

Note the effects. Feel how erratic his pulse is.

This and the eyes.

Take a look, gentlemen. Take a look.

Doctor? Feel it.

Doctor, I'm fainting.

Courage, Woyzeck. A few more and we're done.

By the way, wiggle your ears for the gentlemen.

I wanted to show you this before. He uses two muscles.

Go on!

But, Doctor...

Beast, shall I wiggle your ears? Will you fail us like the cat?

There, gentlemen. Those are transitions to the donkey, often caused by female upbringing and the mother tongue.

How much hair has your mother pulled out, out of tenderness?

It has got very thin lately.

Yes, the peas, gentlemen.

How they glitter!

What kind of stones did he say they were?

Sleep, boy.

Close your eyes.

Quiet or he'll get you.

Girl, close the shutter tight The gypsy boy is out tonight He will take you by the hand And lead you off to gypsy land

I bet they're gold.

How nice they'll be for the dance.

Our kind only has a little corner in the world and a tiny mirror,

yet I have a mouth as red as any fine dame with a mirror top to toe and their gentlemen, who kiss their hands.

I'm only a poor girl.

Sleep, child. Close your eyes.

The sandman.

He's walking across the wall.

Close your eyes or he'll look at you and make you blind.

What's wrong? Nothing.

Something's shining between your fingers.

An earring. I found it.

I never found anything like that. Two at once!

I'm just human.

It's all right, Marie.

The boy's fast asleep.

His arm is bothering him.

Bright drops on his forehead.

Nothing but work under the sun.

We even sweat in our sleep.

Here's some money, Marie.

My pay, and something from the Captain.

God bless you, Franz.

I have to go.

See you tonight, Marie. Goodbye.

I am a bad person.

I could stab myself!

Doctor, slow down! I'm in a hurry.

No man with a clear conscience rushes like that.

Doctor, allow me to save a life.

Doctor, I get so depressed.

I'm always raving about something.

I cry at the sight of my coat hanging on the wall.


Typical constitution for a stroke.

Typical constitution for a stroke. Yes, Captain.

You may have a seizure of the brain.

It might only affect one side and you'll be only half-paralyzed.

With some luck your brain will go. Leaving you to vegetate.

Those are your prospects for the next four weeks.

But I can assure you that you will make for an interesting case and God willing you'll be able to mumble and we can carry out ground-breaking experiments.

Don't scare me, Doctor! People have died of fright before, of sheer fright.

I can see the people already with lilies in their hands, but they'll say, "He was a good man, a good man."

Hey, Woyzeck, what's the hurry? Stay awhile, Woyzeck.

Running through creation like a razor. You'll cut someone.

Running like he has to shave a whole regiment of eunuchs that will hang him over the last hair before he can get away.

But about the long beards, what was I going to say?

The long beards... A long beard under the chin.

Pliny talked about that. Soldiers should get rid of this habit.

Yes, about the long beards.

Found any hair in your soup, Woyzeck?

Hey, do you understand me? Yes, sir, Captain.

A human hair from the beard of a private, a sergeant, a drum-major's? Hey, Woyzeck?

But he has a good wife. He doesn't have this problem.

Yes, sir.

What are you saying, Captain?

Look at his face.

Well, maybe not in your soup, but if you hurry, you may still find one on a pair of lips.

A pair of lips, Woyzeck! I have known love, Woyzeck!

The man is white as a ghost!


...I am a poor devil.

She's all I have in this world. If you're joking, Captain...

Joking? Me? You're a funny man!

The pulse, Woyzeck, the pulse!

Short, skipping, hard, irregular.

The earth is hot as hell, I'm as cold as ice. Hell is cold.

Impossible! You want to bet? Impossible, man, man!

Facial muscles taut, some twitching. Manner upset and tense.

I'm going now. A lot is possible.

Fine day, Captain. Look at that nice, solid, grey sky.

You could drive in a peg and hang yourself.

All because of that little question of yes, and then yes and no.

Captain, did the no cause the yes or the yes the no?

I want to think about that. Damn!


Woyzeck! Another rise!

People make me dizzy.

I don't like that.

A good man pays attention and loves his life.

A good person has no courage. An idiot has courage!

I only joined the war to affirm my love for life.

Grotesque. Grotesque.

Hello, Franz.

It's still you.


No, I can't see it.

You look so strange, Franz. I'm scared.

I see nothing.

I see nothing.

You should see it. You should be able to grab it with your fists!

What is it, Franz? You are insane.

A lot of people walk the street, right? You talk to anyone, what do I care?

Did he stand here?

There, yes?


Did he do this?

I wish I'd been him!

Him! I can't stop people coming down the street or make them wear muzzles.

Leave the lips at home.

They're so beautiful, it would be a shame.

But the wasps like to land on it.

And which wasp has stung you?

A sin, so full and wide. It stinks.

Fit to smoke the angels out of heaven.

You have a red mouth, Marie, and not a blister on it.

Franz, your fever is talking. I saw him!

You can see a lot if you've eyes and the sun is shining.

Did he stand here? Like that? Like that?

When the day is long and the world old, a lot of people can be in one place or another.

Hit me! I'd rather have a knife in my body than your hand on me.


There should be a sign on her.

There should be a sign on her.

Every man is an abyss.

You get dizzy looking in.

Innocence, there's a mark on you.

Do I know? Do I know?

Who does know?

Down at the inn is a pretty maid She sits in the garden Day and night Yes?

Andres, they're dancing.

Yes, at the White Horse. I saw the girls leave.

She sits in her garden Until the clock strikes twelve And waits for the soldiers

Will her hands be hot?

People are steaming.


What do you want?

I have to go there. I have to see.


Because of her?

Don't stop! Don't stop!

Him. Her.

Don't stop! Don't stop!

Spin and roll around!

Why doesn't God blow the sun out so everyone can roll in fornication?

Do it in bright daylight, do it like the flies on my hand.

Don't stop, don't stop.

The bastard.

How he's feeling her up!

But when a wanderer, poised beside the stream of time or answering himself with divine wisdom, is saying to himself, "Why does man exist?"

"Why does man exist?"

But honestly, I'm telling you how would the farmer, the cobbler, the doctor live if God had not created man?

How the soldier, if not endowed with the desire...

..the desire...

...the desire to kill his own kind?

Therefore, doubt not.

All things of this world are evil.

Even money rots.

Finally, dear congregation, let's piss crossways so a Jew will die.

Don't stop. Don't stop.


Louder! Louder!

What are you saying?


Stab to death.

Should I?

Must I?

Do I hear it there, too?

Is the wind saying it, too?

Stab to death.

Do I hear it? Don't stop.

Don't stop.

Don't stop.

I'm a man.

A man, I say!

Who's asking for it?

Who isn't too God-almighty drunk to take me on?

I'll knock your nose up your ass!

Hey, you.

A man has to drink!

A man has to drink!

Should I tear out your tongue and strangle you with it?

Should I leave you enough air for an old woman's fart?

Hey, break it up!

The guy has to turn blue.

Give me brandy Give me wine

A cast-iron gut And a ramrod spine

One thing at a time.

Andres, Andres...

I can't sleep.

When I close my eyes, I start spinning and then I hear the fiddles. Don't stop, don't stop.

And it speaks from the wall. Andres!

Andres, can you hear it?

Yes, let them dance.

Now lay me down to sleep, amen.

It always says, "Stab! Stab!"

I feel a pain between my eyes like a knife.

Sleep, fool!


And no guile is found in His mouth.

And the Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery and set her in the midst. And Jesus said unto her, "Neither do I condemn thee. Go, and sin no more."

Lord, don't look at me!

Franz didn't come.

Not yesterday, not today.

It's getting hot here!

You didn't hear anything? But he said something.

What can I say?

He laughed and then he said, "A delicious woman! What thighs, hot as sin!"


That's what he said. Where to, Woyzeck?

Get my officer wine.

But Andres, she was a special girl.

Who was? Nothing. Goodbye.

It's too much for the pistol. You want to buy it or not?

How much is the knife?

It's very straight. You want to cut your throat with it?

I give it to you as cheap as the next.

Death should be cheap, but not for free!

You should have an economical death.

This cuts more than bread. Two groschen.

There! As if it was nothing. Yet it's money. Dog!

Here, Andres.

This shirt's not part of the uniform. You could use it.


This ring and crucifix belonged to my sister.

I also have a little saint's image.

Two hearts and made of gold. My mother kept it in her bible.


Friedrich Johann Franz Woyzeck, private, rifleman in the 2nd Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 4th Company.

Born on Annunciation Day, the 20th of July.

Today I am 40 years...

...seven months and 12 days old.

Franz, you should go to the infirmary.

Poor man, you need to drink liquor with powder in it.

It kills the fever.

When the carpenter gathers shavings, whose head will rest upon them?

Marie, sing us a song!

I can't. Why?

Because. Why because?

Come here. I'll tell you a story.

Once upon a time, there was a poor child with no mother and father.

Everything was dead and not a soul was left in the world.

She went out and searched day and night.

Since nobody was left on earth, she wanted to go to heaven.

And the moon looked at her in such a friendly way.

When she finally reached the moon, it was a piece of rotten wood.

So then she went to the sun, but when she got to the sun, it was a wilted sunflower.

And when she went to the stars, they were little golden bugs.

And when she wanted to return to earth, it was an upside-down cauldron.

And she was all alone.

So she sat down and started to cry.

And there she sits to this day, all alone.

Marie, we have to go. It's time. Where to?

I don't know.

But this is the way back to town. You have to stay.

But I want to go home. You won't get sore feet.

How strange you are!

Do you know how long it's been now, Marie?

Two years this Whitsun.

Do you also know how long it's going to last?

I have to prepare supper.

How hot your lips are.


...whore breath.

And yet I'd give heaven to kiss them one more time.

A red moon rising.

Franz, what are you up to?

Dance, sweat and stink. He will get you all in the end.

So, Katy. Sit down.

I am hot. Hot.

That's the way it is. The devil takes one and lets the other go!

You are hot, too, Katy. How come?

You'll be cold in the end, as well!


Katy, Katy, be reasonable! Couldn't you sing, Katy?

For Swabia I do not care And a long dress I do not wear For long dresses And pointed shoes Are not for a maid to choose

What's that on your hand?

Me? Red.

Blood! Blood.

Blood. Yes, I cut myself on my left hand.

Then how did it get on your elbow?

I wiped it off. What?

With your left hand on your left elbow? How skillful.

What do you want?

What do you care? Move!

You think I killed someone?

I'm a murderer?

What are you staring at? Stare at yourselves.


The knife. Where is the knife?

I left it here.

It'll give me away!

What kind of a place is this?

What kind of place is this?


Why is your hair all tangled, Marie?

Didn't you do your braids today?

There, the knife!

The knife, I found it.


In there!

No, it's too close. When they go swimming...

All right, now.

There, there.

But in the summer, when they're diving...

Ah, it will rust.

Who will recognize it?

Am I still bloody?

I must wash myself. I must wash myself.

There... there's a stain!

There's another stain!

And another!

Another stain. There's another stain.

Let's go to Marien! What is it?

You don't know? There's a dead woman out there!

Where? There!

Hurry, so we don't miss everything.

A good murder, a real murder, a beautiful murder.

As beautiful as any man could hope to see.

We haven't had one like this in ages.