This is an excerpt from Terry Jones’ original script for Labyrinth. We could call it “The Ballroom Scene - The Writer’s Cut”. It explains what the scene is about very daringly, and very explicitly. Come on, read it, you’re going to love it.
A bubble, with SARAH inside it, floating through the sky. She appears
enchanted, and she begins to twirl, just like the OTHER DANCERS.
55 EXT: BALLROOM - NIGHT
A giant bubble, with a magnificent ballroom inside it. Tiny bubbles
rush to join it. In one of them is SARAH.
56 INT: BALLROOM - NIGHT
The music changes and now SARAH is inside the ballroom. It is a
magnificent spectacle with all the beauty and decadence of an 18th
Century Venetian ball. Magnificently dressed DANCERS swirl to the
music in an incredibly opulent setting. But when you look closer you
sense decay just beneath the surface; things are threadbare, faded.
The GUESTS wear masks that are elegant parodies of goblin faces,
giving them all a slightly sinister look. And there is something very
provocative about all of them; the WOMEN have bare shoulders and
daring decolletage, many of the MEN have their shirts open to the
waist. Some of them lounge against the wall indolently and there is
the feeling that the party has been going on all night. In this
setting SARAH is the picture of innocence. TWO WOMEN snickering
behind their fans as SARAH approaches, and she is suddenly terribly
self-conscious. How plain She feels amidst all this! She looks into
one of the many mirrors that line the ballroom and sighs at her
image. Then suddenly she sees something in the mirror that makes her
The mirror, and in it the reflection of a resplendent JARETH dancing
with a particularly exotic-looking WOMAN. SARAH whirls around, trying
to get another glimpse of JARETH. She is so intent on trying to see
him that she doesn't notice that she is being stared at brazenly by a
YOUNG MAN leaning against the wall. He moves next to her and whispers
something into her ear. She hurries away, shocked; and the YOUNG MAN
throws back his head and laughs. And JARETH sees the whole thing.
SARAH is approached by a MIDDLE-AGED MAN who has a box hanging at
waist height from a ribbon around his neck. It looks like SARAH's
music box. She looks down at it with interest and he throws open the
cover. But there is no dancer inside, instead there is a stick carved
like a snake. It shoots out at SARAH and she cries out and backs
away. ALL THE PEOPLE around her laugh and she moves hurriedly on.
JARETH, who is dancing with an even more beautiful WOMAN than before,
SARAH is looking for JARETH. She spots him and sees him whisper
something to his partner who smiles knowingly from beneath her mask
and licks her lips. SARAH blushes and turns away and finds herself
looking into another mirror. But in the reflection, JARETH isn't with
a partner. He is standing alone, the DANCERS a whirling blur around
him, and he is looking straight at her. SARAH, whirling around to
face the crowd and she sees JARETH with yet a third BEAUTY. And then
she realizes that it is herself! In a trance-like state she moves
through the CROWD to get a better look.
SARAH'S POV - She is whirling in JARETH's arms, and she is the most
beautiful woman at the ball. JARETH smiles down at her and the
attraction between them is palpable.
JARETH: You look like a queen.
SARAH looks up at him, thrilled by his words.
SARAH: I ... I feel like ... I ... don't know what I feel ...
JARETH (smiling): Don't you?
And he whirls her around dizzyingly, so dizzyingly that she swoons in
his arms. He catches her before she can fall very far, tightening his
grip around her waist.
SARAH: Are we ... are we in a bubble?
JARETH: Yes, we are. A dream bubble ... where your dreams can come
OUR SARAH is being jostled by the crowd. She stumbles and almost
falls on top of a COUPLE on a bench. The WOMAN is sprawled across the
lap of the MAN who wears a mask with a very phallic nose. SARAH backs
away from them, frightened.
JARETH and SARAH, dancing. She is smiling up at him, he has never
looked more handsome. There is something more open about him, as if
he, too, is caught up in the moment. He nuzzles her hair with his
lips and whispers in her ear.
JARETH (whispering): My Queen!
Then he begins a song. A song that tells SARAH he will give her
everything she wants, even things she doesn't know she wants. A song
that says forget it all; all the restrictions, all the powerlessness.
Forget and stay in the dream.
OUR SARAH watches, mesmerized. But every time she tries to get closer
to JARETH and SARAH she in jostled by a lascivious ADMIRER, pushed
out of the way by WOMEN laughingly being chased by MEN. She stumbles
against a wall and a door opens. Inside, pillow feathers are flying
and she can't make out what the SEVERAL PEOPLE are doing. A WOMAN
comes up to the doorway, winks at SARAH, and closes the door.
JARETH finishes the song and SARAH looks up at him, smiling. He moves
his face closer to hers and she closes her eyes. His face comes
closer, and closer.
OUR SARAH shrinks back from what she is seeing. She turns and runs,
pushing herself though the languid CROWD, right into the bubble
57 EXT: BALL - NIGHT
SARAH comes crashing through the bubble and the whole ballroom
crumbles. In seconds it resembles nothing so much as a junkyard.