Army of Shadows (1969) Script

"Unhappy memories! Yet I welcome you...

You are my long-lost youth..."


We're taking a little detour. You're not in any hurry?

Not at all.

My partner's just gotta pick up a few provisions.

You do what you can in these lousy times.

Of course.

You'll be okay there.

It's the best camp in France. A camp for Germans.

I don't understand.

During the Phony War, we expected lots of prisoners.

Naturally, we didn't take a single one.

But now the camp comes in handy.

How lucky can you get.

You said it.

Same old story. Who are they? How do we treat them?

Some are sent without trial and kept here indefinitely.

Others are released quickly and regain influence in the region, or the prefecture, when it's not in Vichy.

"Philippe Gerbier, 41, eminent civil engineer."

"Quick-witted. Independent-minded."

"Aloof, sarcastic manner."

Use the stick.

"Possible connections."

Use the carrot.

"Suspected of Gaullist sympathies."

Use the stick.

"Released for lack of evidence." Influence.

Use the carrot.

I'm assigning you to a building intended for German officers.

I appreciate the honor.

Use the carrot... indeed.

But use it with caution.

Philippe Gerbier. Colonel Jarret Du Plessis.

I don't know why you're here, but I'll tell you why I am.

In a café, I called Admiral Darlan a jackass.

Today I add that Pétain is a jackass too for letting the navy bully the army!

At least you're here for a good reason.

Aubert, pharmacist.

Know what a Mahler shell is?

It's a cone-shaped container for producing chemical reactions under pressure.

I'm a chemist, and naturally I had a Mahler shell.

I was reported for illegal possession, but I never got a hearing.

Octave Bonnafous.

Traveling salesman.

I happened to be crossing a square during a Gaullist demonstration.

No one's in charge. They're all jackasses!

They canceled my pension.

Where do I sleep?

As acting barracks officer, I suggest you take the corner mattress.

Legrain, communist.

His name's Armel. A schoolteacher and a Catholic.

He asleep? He's very ill.

No infirmary? Full up.

Do you play dominoes?

Sorry, no. We can teach you.

Thanks, but I'm not cut out for it.

Then excuse us.

We just have time to finish our game before lights out.

The commander's not stupid.

He sandwiches me between three fools and two lost souls.

Out walking so early?

I work at the power plant.

Good job?

Not even an extra crumb of bread. But I work to keep in practice.

See you, comrade.

You a communist?

But I do have comrades.

There were all nations and races.




Jews of every nation.





Anti-Nazi Germans. Anti-Fascist Italians.

Anti-Franco Spaniards.

And black marketeers who stood out from the rest.

Everything okay?

I once laid a power line in Savoy.

You an electrical engineer? Like yourself.

Oh, no, you must really be somebody.

But we could talk shop once in a while.


The Catholic teacher died one night without a sound, as usual.

Some Kabyles removed his body.

I never even heard his voice.

I'm not sad. Armel is better off this way.

The score will be settled.

Mr. Gerbier.

I have an idea.

I'll tell you tonight.

Two things make escape impossible: the barbed wire and the sentries.

The ground under the wire is uneven.

I can blind the sentries long enough by cutting the power.

Why haven't you tried to escape before?

I wouldn't go without Armel, and I wouldn't do it alone.

You I can trust.

Why tell me all this?

They need you on the outside.

Turn off the light and get some sleep.

Good night.

The communist and I secretly worked out an escape plan.

We gradually eliminated obstacles.

Let's go, Gerbier.

Take your things.

Hurry up, Gerbier.

Tell Legrain good-bye for me.



Good-bye, gentlemen.


Travel permit, please.

This is our chance.

I'll get up to ask the guard something.

You run through the two doors.

This one here and the door to the street.

Good luck.

Excuse me, sir. Could you spare a cigarette?

The mighty fortress, Europe, is fighting Bolshevism.

Marshal Stalin wants to defend his city, Stalingrad.

What do you want?

But Stalingrad will be taken and renamed.

A shave.

The Marshal said... The Marshal did...

The Marshal keeps his promises.

All done.

I'll get your change.

Take this.

It's not very smart, but it's all I have.

A note from the organization Paul Dounat belonged to - his name was now Vincent Henry - had instructed him to be in Marseilles mid-afternoon to meet a comrade he knew outside the courthouse.

Dounat had been at the appointed spot for a few minutes.

Police. Your papers.

Fine. But I must ask you to come along for some simple fact checking.

A nasty job.

You may hate bowlers, Félix, but you still have to wear one.

Only when we get out.

Look at him.

He sold you out, along with Zephyr and the radioman.

There's no point in providing any proof or asking you questions.

We should have dropped him long ago.

It's my fault.

We're too few for so many missions.

Le Bison, can't you step on it?

Not unless you want to attract attention.

I'm in a hurry too.

I have to fix that old transmitter... and repair our delivery agent's bicycle.

And there's a parachute drop tonight.

Do you have my new papers? They're on me.

Want them now?

Driving up there will attract attention.

We'll walk.

I'll come too. It's not necessary.

Really it's not.

I agree.

I'll be back after dark, just in case...

One false move and you're a dead man.

Christ! That place was empty When we rented.

Keep moving anyway.

In the back room.

Is he the traitor we have to...?

Yes, that's him.

And you're the chief?

Claude Le Masque. He's been begging for a tough job.

I came early to prepare things and discovered the neighbours.

They must've moved in last night or this morning.

I phoned Félix at once, but you were already on the way.

We'll manage somehow.

We can question him in the attic.

I've set up a table and some chairs.

We're not here for a trial.

We're here for this.

But you can't! They'll hear everything next door.


The walls are paper-thin.

The Brits could've sent the silencers we asked for.

Let's try to find a better spot.

How could you do it?

Nothing doing.

The cellar connects with the one next door.

The attic carries sound even more.

We need a good knife.

Le Bison always carries one.

A knife? You can't be serious!

I won't let you.

Félix... check the dining room or the kitchen.

You can't do this. I'm begging you. This is murder.

In any case, we're here to kill, correct?

Yes, but not like this. We have to -

I know. Do it the right way.

I'm not afraid. I swear I'm not.

But it's my first time, you see?

It's our first time too. Isn't that obvious?


We could leave him here till Le Bison gets back.

Out of the question.

We're all busy. I want to tell the boss the job's done.

Damn it to hell!

We can't bash his head in with a gun, can we?

Gag him.

Strangle him.

With our hands?

There's a towel in the kitchen.

Stop that!

Dounat has to die. That's why you're here.

You wanted a tough job. You got it. Don't complain.

Sit him up in the chair. Félix, stand behind him.

I'll hold his arms. Le Masque will hold his legs.

I swear it won't hurt.

Let's go.


I didn't think we could do it.

Neither did I.

Always carry cyanide capsules on you.

If you're caught, use them.

I will.

Glass of rum.

Jean-François! Felix.

You haven't changed. Still young and handsome.

Neither have you. What brings you to Marseilles?

I sold my garage outside Paris and opened a bike shop here.

What are you up to?

Nothing at all.

I have an appointment.

Walk with me a bit?

Sure. I'll be right out.

Wait for me five minutes?

Five minutes, but not a lifetime.

Still on a lucky streak?

You got some nerve, wearing that pilot's jacket.

Well, screw them!

Then what?


Is that all you'd do to them?

As for the war, if there's no sport in it -

What if I gave you some sport?

Real sport?

You'd have to get up early, spend nights traveling, and never ask questions.

Keep talking.

Come by my shop. Here's the address.

Nothing in writing. Memorize it.

And not a word to anyone. You're crazy.

You say that, but with a woman -

I don't have one. And that girl?

I said five minutes, but she'll wait a lifetime.

We always confide in our parents.

Mine are dead.

My only brother's in Paris.

I worship him... but there's no risk of me telling him anything.


Is the director expecting you?

No, Mr. Roussel.

Please come this way.

I came at once.

We have an emergency.

How many men do you have for Gibraltar?

Two Canadian commandos from Dieppe, three RAF pilots who were shot down, and two Belgians sentenced to death by the Germans.

With me, that makes eight.

Where will they wait for the sub? They're watching the clinic.

Can't we scatter them around?

No. They'd do something stupid.

The Canadian colonel goes to the café.

He thinks you can't detect his accent.

We'll only know when the sub arrives the day before.

Take them all to the Viellat farm.

All of them?

So much for total security.

We're not an insurance company.

In these conditions, on the contrary.

It all depends on the man in charge of them.

I have just the man. You don't know him.

He did a few assignments for me. He was just fine.

He's in Paris delivering a transmitter to Mathilde.

When's he due back?

Should be tomorrow morning.

Brief him right away, so everything is ready by tomorrow night.

I'll join them at the last minute.

And you get some rest.

After you're gone. No, before.

You won't have time later.

We inform travelers that all luggage will be inspected at the exit.

Open the suitcase.

No black market goods? No, no.

What's that?

As you can see, a radio.

All right, move along.

No problems?

No problems.

Twice in a row.

Tell Félix the transmitters need new crystals.

The wavelengths changed.

All right. Can I help you?

Certainly not.

The other radio's there. Okay. A bite to eat?

No, there's someone I need to see.

Greetings, Saint Luc!

Little Jean.

All the books are in place.

As well as the harpsichord... and the oboe.

Nothing's changed.

Oh, the temperature has. No more coal.

So to keep from freezing, I bought this.

For working at night and for meals.

But say, how'd you get here?

I hope you have an Ausweiss.

Saint Luc has come down to earth! Saint Luc knows what an Ausweiss is.

Yes, I have one. And not only that -

Not only that, I'm starving.

We'll have lunch right away. Marie!

Yes, Mr. Luc.

What's on the menu today?

Rutabagas, like yesterday, Mr. Luc.

What else? Unrationed cheese.

And there's some butter left, but no more bread.

I've got loads of bread tickets.

I can let you have them. Thank you.

You're doing badly. You used to be a gourmand.

I still am, but what's one to do?

What about the black market? And resourcefulness?

Marie's scared of the police -

And so are you, Saint Luc.

I store up heat.

I felt the heat myself today. Twice.

It's those trains and crowded subways. You can suffocate.

I wondered if Mathilde, whom I'd only just met, wasn't closer to me than you, dear brother, whom I'd always loved, whom I still love, but with whom I share nothing but memories.

I left for Marseilles that evening.

Much later, I recalled having felt a sort of... foreboding.

So, Madame Viellat, quite a hotel you run.

Hello. Hello.

Good evening, sir.


The fisherman will be ready at midnight.

He can take everyone in a single trip.

Madeleine will show you the way to avoid any patrols.


Do I go back? No.

There'll be an extra passenger.

It's the big chief.

There are too many in our boat.

You'll take him in another boat. Le Bison will bring him.

Wait for my signal once I'm aboard.

Three short lights and one long.

Got it.

We're in a hurry tonight, so how much do I owe you?

I'll do the bill another time.

You always say that.

You keep coming back, so you must like it here.

Walk in single file.

Not too close, but stay in sight of each other.

Not a sound, not a word.

No nonsense. I'm armed. What're you doing here so late?

And you?

I'm Augustine Viellat's brother-in-law.

The farmer's wife?

I'm checking if the coast is clear.

And? No problem.

The gendarmes passed by up above.

And customs?

That's a good one. Customs is me!

The Germans don't know the area and trust customs.

I'm the officer for the whole area.

That is a good one.

Time to board.

Good luck, chief.

Strange to think how the big chief looks the same as anyone else.

In that boat, the apex and base of the pyramid meet.

Odd geometry! I must ask Saint Luc about it after the war.

So glad to travel with you.

Same here.

I can't send all the arms you request.

As you know, the English have little confidence in the French Resistance.

They want all available planes for missions in Germany.

But I can increase your transmissions.

I'll send you some available radio operators and provide backup to your agents to improve the landing fields for our Lysanders.

An hour before the ceremony, Jardie asked me to attend.

The war will be over for the French when they can see this great movie.

I heard about Félix that same day.

I still had a lot to do in London, but with his arrest, I couldn't stay a minute longer.

I decided to return that night.

You've never jumped before?

No, never.

Be careful when your feet hit the ground.

Don't try to avoid falling.

Bend your knees and roll. Understand?

More or less.

In my absence and after Félix's arrest, Mathilde had moved down to Lyon.

She proved herself a first-rate organizer.

I made her my assistant.

The chief had told me she was a remarkable woman, but she still astonished me.

She knows both how to command and how to carry out orders.

She is strong-willed, methodical and patient.

She spent days studying the layout of the Lyon military medical school, now Gestapo HQ.

She learned Félix was in the cell reserved for those to be tortured.

She wanted to breach the walls with explosives.

She had to give up that plan for another one requiring various disguises.

She found a new hideout for my command post.

She couldn't have found a safer spot.

My new host was Baron de Ferté Talloir.

Ex-cavalry officer, needless to say.

Before the war, I was a sworn enemy of the Republic.

I organized my sharecroppers, kennelmen and huntsmen into a squadron armed with hunting rifles and pistols.

I was ready to lead a cavalry charge against the local prefecture in the event of a Royalist uprising.

His squadron, perfectly trained and organized, still exists and guarantees my security.

The baron invited me to use his grounds as a drop point and landing strip.

His wishes came true beyond all expectations.

What a strange carousel!

As one plane descended, another one just like it circled low over the field.

The steady drone of its motor covered the landing and takeoff of the first plane, which then covered for the other.

That night, in two operations, four men arrived from London and four others returned.

Le Bison, Le Masque, Jean-François and Mathilde handled security for the operation.

And your husband? Does he know about your activities?

Certainly not.

Neither does my daughter.

That's her.

She's 17.

Don't carry it on you.

You're right. I'll get rid of it.

Before we get back to what I don't dare call "routine" matters, we have to take care of Félix.

He has no cyanide tablets on him.

I'm not worried about him talking... but he probably can't escape torture.

The Gestapo won't let you commit suicide.

We have to spare him the suffering that could go on for days, even weeks.

I've given it some thought.

There are no two ways about it. You found a way?

We have to get into Gestapo HQ and bring Félix out.

Mathilde, I want to save Félix, but I can't commit a combat group to such a desperate mission.

Who's talking about a combat group?

With Le Masque, Jean-François, and Le Bison, I should manage.

And how?

What's your plan?

Le Bison, can you get us three German uniforms?

Sure thing, madame Mathilde. Go to it.

Our first obstacle is to contact Félix and let him know.

I haven't figured it out yet, but I will.

Félix has to be ready and waiting for us.

I've been trying to reach him myself.

You'd think a German architect built that medical school.

You can't get in. True, it won't be easy.

It's hot.

Mr. Gerbier...

I have neither Le Masque's courage... nor Le Bison's strength... nor Mathilde's daring.

I won't take part in this mission.

But I'm sure that Mathilde and my comrades will succeed.

Don't try to find me.

"Mr. Dupont, 6 rue Du Boeuf.

Saint Jean knows lots of things about the Resistance."

How did you manage?

We'll only use two uniforms, Guillaume.

I know, Madame Mathilde.


You're not doing this without me.

We're certainly not doing it with you.

Remember what you said.

"You have no right to sacrifice anyone."

Least of all when it's you.

But that goes just as much for you.

Now, about Félix - May I?

Two men - that looks normal.

But three would be too many.

When Jean-François was here, you wanted three uniforms.

But at the last moment I'd only have used Le Masque and Le Bison.


I trusted him.

Me too, but that's not what I mean.

I just never thought he'd leave us like that.

Who is this man?

The man denounced in the letter.

You can go in.

Naturally, Dupont is the only name you have.


What organization are you with?

I don't understand.

You know the risk you're taking?

Being shot under a false name. Your fate would remain a mystery.

I decided to leave that haven. Maybe I felt it coming.

Three days later, the baron and his men were arrested and shot without trial.

What is it?

We're to transfer a certain Félix Lepercq to Paris to the headquarters of Obersturmführer Bömelburg.

Yes, a terrorist. Hurry up.

It's urgent. Get out.

Wait here.

An ambulance from the Paris Gestapo is here for a terrorist, Félix Lepercq.

Notify the doctor on duty.

Let him issue the transfer permit.

Can you hear me?

Mathilde, Le Bison and Le Masque are here.

I'll help you.

Are you in a lot of pain?

It's no use.

He'll be in great pain... right up to the end.

It's impossible.

I can't let you transport a dying man. I'm sorry.

Very well. I'll file a report.

Félix, I have some cyanide capsules.

Do you want one?

We could have saved Félix.

No one could.

Not even you.

Besides, you're wanted by the police.

You'd better lay low for a while.

Take the next plane out.

You're not serious.

And the maquis groups springing up all over?

They have to be organized, trained and given supplies.

No one can replace me for now.

And if you're caught? Then we'd have to replace you.


So Germaine serves good food?

Meat at every meal without tickets?

Identity check for everyone!

Get a move on!

I'll save it for later.

He says to smoke quickly.

They're coming for us. He could get in trouble.

To each his own troubles.

This is it.

TRANSFINITE AND CONTINUUM Love has meaning for me only as it applies to the chief.

He means more to me than anything.

More than anything but less than life.

If Luc Jardie died, I'd still want to live, but I'm going to die, and I'm not afraid.

It's impossible not to be afraid of dying.

But I'm too stubborn, too much of an animal to believe it.

If I don't believe it to the very last moment, the last split second, I'll never die.

What a revelation! The chief would love it.

I've got to look into this more deeply -

You will turn your backs to the machine guns and face the far wall.

You will run as fast as you can.

We will not open fire at once. We will give you a chance.

Whoever reaches the far wall will be shot later with the next group of condemned men.

We can always try. There's nothing to lose.

He knows what my legs want.

He's ready for the show.

His confidence shackles me more than my irons.


I won't run.

I won't!

It had to be timed perfectly.

Thank Mathilde for that.

We were well informed.

And what if I hadn't run?

Something wrong?

Thinking about the others?

No, about the officer who was so sure I'd run too, like a scared rabbit.

Step on it!

Isn't safety great?

You have enough for a month.

The water's okay, but I'll bring some wine.

No, don't come back for a month.

I'd better run. The car mustn't be seen here.

Then run along.

See to your arm and thigh.

Don't let them get infected. All right, Guillaume.

You'll find a razor on the table.

For three weeks I've been holed up alone like a frightened animal.

I wrote a long report for London.

I kid myself that I'm still of some use.

I haven't seen Mathilde or anyone else.




AXIOMATIC METHOD AND FORMALISM My only link to the outside world are the five books Luc Jardie wrote before the war.

They keep me company.

At night, I'm haunted by Jean-François' disappearance.

Le Bison? Or Le Masque?

Is that you?

It's you?

We have to talk.

When did you get back? Four days ago.

After Mathilde's arrest.

We have to talk about her.

We have to, Philippe.

Mathilde was arrested on the 27th.

She wasn't hurt.

She found a way to let us know.

The Gestapo discovered her real identity and her family's address.

She was carrying her daughter's photo on her.

You can guess the rest.

The photo?

Mathilde's only slipup.

The Germans sensed it was that remarkable woman's weak point.

The photo...

How could she have kept it? I warned her.

It's extraordinary, Philippe.

She begged them to give her back the photo.


Mathilde sent us an SOS. They've given her a choice:

Either she names all the agents she knows in our network or her daughter is sent to a Polish whorehouse for soldiers from the Eastern Front.

Those are the givens of the problem.

We must find a solution.

She can escape.

No, she can neither escape nor kill herself.

The Gestapo is confident. The daughter will answer for everything.

She can play for time.

How much time?

That doesn't solve the problem.

Here's Le Bison.

Don't tell him I'm here.

Go into the back room.

I got you a new pair of glasses. The same as before.

Thank you.

Any news from Mathilde?

Well? I don't know anything.


I don't know anything.

It's all in the letter.

Mathilde was released yesterday morning.

Gerbonel and Arno were arrested last night.

Is that right?

If that's what it says.

Le Masque... you knew about this?

I'm not in charge of reports.

Mathilde is to be eliminated at once, by any means.

You can't be serious!

I won't lay a finger on Madame Mathilde.

I worked with her. She saved my skin.

I watched her at Gestapo HQ. She's a great woman!

If it was a man, whenever you say.

As many as you want.

But not Madame Mathilde!

Over my dead body. Never!

No arguments, Guillaume.

She has to die and she will.

You can't do that.

We have other killers.

If need be, I'll do it.

You wouldn't dare!

You have no right!

In the shooting range, you could've run like mad, but she saved your life with those smoke grenades.

You mustn't do it.

Let her sell us all out if she wants.

She protected me. She protected you.

Now it's her daughter. We can't judge her.

That'll do! The matter is settled.

If you're coward enough to do it, I'll get you first.


Get off me! You were still a kid when I was in the Foreign Legion!

Think I'll stand by and let you do this?

Are you crazy?

Back off before I kill you both!

What we need here is a man who knows nothing about weapons.

Sit down, my friend.

Have a cigarette. It'll do you good.

Right, Gerbier?

You heard it all?

You're right.

Mathilde is a marvellous woman, more than you know.

But we're going to kill her. You can't.

We can, and here's why.

We're going to kill her because she's begging us to.

She told you that?

No, but it's obvious.

Think for a moment.

If she just wanted to save her daughter, she'd only have to supply some names. You know her memory.

Instead, she tells them our agents keep moving around, that she needs to re-establish contacts.

So she gets herself released. Isn't that clear enough?

Now put yourself in her place, forced to hand over your friends, and unable to commit suicide.

I'd want to be killed.

You think you're any braver or better than Mathilde?

I'm sorry. Find a German car.

Le Masque will drive. I'll be in back with you.

Are you crazy?

I'm sure she'll want to see me.

Don't! It's no place for you.

It's an order.

That wasn't necessary, chief.

You sure of what you claim about Mathilde?

How should I know?

My theory might be correct.

Or she wanted to see her daughter again, making it harder for her to die.

That's what I want to find out.

I have to be with you for the hardest part.

You in a car full of killers!

Nothing's sacred anymore.



Claude Ullmann, alias Le Masque, had just enough time to swallow his cyanide capsule on November 8, 1943.

Guillaume Vermersch, alias Le Bison, was decapitated by ax in a German prison on December 16, 1943.

Luc Jardie died under torture on January 22, 1944, after revealing one name: his own.

And on February 13, 1944, Philippe Gerbier decided this time he wouldn't run.