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Submission Synopsis

Freud in Love

by Gerald Schoenewolf

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Length: 97

Genre: Historical, Psychological Drama, Tragedy

Comparisons: Shakespeare in Love

Sentence: When a femme fatale joins Freud's psychoanalytic circle she not only turns heads but causes Freud and his young mentor, Tausk, to lose theirs.

Logline: In 1912 Sigmund Freud invites Lou Andreas-Salome to be the first woman to join the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society.  This leads to a romantic triangle, a schism, a tragedy and a scandal.

Synopsis: Based on a true incident, this story takes place when Freud was in his forties and at the height of his powers.  He invites a beautiful woman, Lou Andreas-Salome, to come to Vienna to train with him for a year.  During the training he arranges to have midnight meetings with her in his office and proceeds to fall in love with her.  However, due to his moral standards, he does not allow himself more than a kiss.  At the same time, his young protégé, Victor Tausk, known as a ladies man, also embarks on an affair with Lou.  Tausk, an unstable man, has a habit of hypnotizing young students and luring them to his apartment.  When Tausks asks Freud to take him into a training analysis, Freud instead refers Tausk to a younger woman, Helene Deutsch.  Tausk is insulted by this snub, and begins to slide downhill. 

When Lou leaves for Germany at the end of the year, Tausk feels doubly abandoned.  In the end he hangs himself, bringing about scandal to Freud, who is blamed for his death.  Freud’s wife, in a final scene, when asked her opinion of psychoanalysis, says she thinks it’s a kind of pornography.  The story is reminiscent of Shakespeare in Love, providing a charming portrait of life in old Vienna and of Freud’s life and unrequited love.

Prizes: Winner of the Winter 2005 screenwriting contest (best play).

Bio:  I am a licensed psychoanalyst who has been writing for films for 10 years and have completed seventeen screenplays.  I recently won the Winter 2005 screenwriting contest for my play FREUD IN LOVE.  I have produced and directed two of my scripts (on miniDVD), The Interview and Therapy.   Before writing screenplays I wrote and directed stage plays in New York and Copenhagen.  I have also published 12 books on psychology and a handful of short fiction in Esquire, Translate Review, North American Review, Prism International, Minetta Review and Cimarron Review.  I am listed in the International Who’s Who of Authors.


Budget: Low-to-Medium

Registration: Registered with the WGA

Additional: This script only has six characters and only a few locations and could be produced at a low to medium budget.


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