Five Graves to Cairo (1943) Script




Fitch, stop the tank! they've got the exhaust.

Fitch !

Lieutenant, Lieutenant!

Sentry, is this Divisional Headquarters?

I said, is this Divisional Headquarters?

I wish to speak with the commanding officer. Quickly, please.

Cold in here.

Could I borrow a coat?

Or perhaps you have a bed with blankets.

About six blankets. Feather bed on top of them.

Hot toddies.

Corporal John Bramble reporting, sir.

Royal Tank Regiment stationed in Tobruk.

Been in Tobruk, sir? Hot as a blister on a devil's heel.

We joined operations last night at Bir Hakeim.

Looked like a frolic, sir. We thought we had the German tanks on the run.

Then the 88's... Their formation split wide open and...

...there were the 88's right against our belly, sir.

Very clever this blasted Herr Rommel. thirty shells a minute.

Oh yes, sir, we pulled out all right, thank you, sir.

Ever see a five passenger hearse, sir, doing the Lambeth Walk...

...the exhaust hit and going pssssss...

Listen, please. The British... The British aren't here anymore. They left...

Stebbins is dead. Fitch dead. Abbott dead.

Yes yes, sir, but the English...

O'Connor, dead. All of them...

...driving themselves to the funeral service, sir You've had too much sun.

Mouche, Mouche, sunstroke, bring water and salt.

Is there transportation back to Tobruk?

Oh but sir, there is no more Tobruk, sir. No sir. They've taken Tobruk.

I was on the bus once that went wild in Piccadilly.

It was raining. Umbrellas. Wet umbrellas.

The British have evacuated. This is Sidi Halfaya, sir.

An Englishman's home is his umbrella...

This is Hotel Empress of Britain, sir. Sidi Halfaya, sir.

...and his pipe is his fireplace.

Five little Britishers riding in the sun.

After the Gerries, then there was one... one.

That's close to zero.

Hello, miss. Women at headquarters now?

Where is the Commanding Officer. I was speaking with the Commanding Officer.

I must return to my outfit. Abbott! Stebbins! Fitch !


Our new guests.

Sir, sir, get up quick. You can get up, sir.

This is no time, sir. Here. Come to yourself, sir. Come to yourself, sir.

Wake up. Wake up, for mercy's sake. Wake up.

You've got to get up, sir, the Germans are here.


I wouldn't do that, Farid.

But who, where? Where else can I put him, Mouche?

Right in the middle of the floor.

Oh no no no. They'll see him. They'll shoot him.

I know they'd shoot you too.

Salam aleikum'.

Good afternoon.

. Perhaps we're a little late for tea? Tea? Well well you see...

Isn't it tea time?

Or maybe she's knitting. Maybe she's taking a little nap. Where is she?

Where is she... where is she who, sir? There is nobody in the hotel, sir.

Don't tell me she ran off to Cairo with her teeth chattering.

Who please, sir?

The Empress of Britain.

I didn't name it that, sir, honest, I didn't. That was the name of the hot...

...hotel, when I bought it, sir.


Yes... yes, sir. Please, this way, sir.

Your name is Farid? Yes, sir. My name Farid.

You're Egyptian. Oh yes sir, yes. Only because... parents were Egyptian, sir.

Nothing wrong with Egypt.

Oh no, sir.

Except too many English and too many flies. Yes sir.

We've been killing the English like flies.

They'd only kill the flies like the English.

Yes, sir.

You've a native cook by the name of Herek.

Terek, sir, Terek. Yes sir. But he run away this morning...

...with the British to Alexandria .

You have a wife. Oh, yes sir, yes, but she run away, sir.

With the British to Alexandria?

No, sir. With a Creek to Casablanca.

There's a maid by the name of Marie Jacqueline.

They call me Mouche.

French citizen, born in Marseilles.

Ha. Informed of everything.

We rather like to know where the light switch is before we enter a dark room.

And there's a waiter here, Alsatian by the name of Paul Davos.

Yes, sir. He was killed, sir. By whom?

By you, sir. In the bombing when your planes came over last night.

You know, your beautiful planes.

What's a French maid doing in Egypt?

Housework. What's the matter with housework in Paris?

In Paris they are one million French chambermaids.

There is only one Mouche in Sidi Halfaya.

Only...only one, sir.

The cook ran away this morning to Alexandria. Why didn't you?

What for? You take Alexandria. You take Cairo Naturally. Turn around. Turn around !

Cigarette. Uh, yes sir.

You light it for me, please.

Your hands are very small.

It's been a long time, since I've seen such small hands.

Thank you.

Always attack quickly.

Don't give the British time to pack up their soap.

Excellent soap. Smells of Bond Street.

How many rooms in this hotel, exactly?

This is the largest hotel, sir, between Alexandria and Benghazi.

How many, I said. Sixteen, sir, sixteen.

But of course, we lost four in the bombardment.

Bathrooms? Oh yes, of course, sir.

Everything is most luxurious. How many?

Uh two. One that works.

Luxurious indeed. Or was the word, 'luksh.'

Sir... Lieutenant, the rooms.

Maybe you would like to see the rooms?

Full of bedbugs, I'm sure.

Yes sir, full of bedbugs. You see, we have the most wonderful...

Oh, no, no, no, sir. We have not full of bedbugs, not one sir.

I swear we have no bedbugs.

Well, you see, this is the only hotel between Alexandria and Benghazi.

We have no bedbugs. I swear we have...

Maybe one or two in the cheaper rooms, sir.

Now look here, man -- bedbugs, broken down bathrooms and all, we are taking over the Empress of Britain as our temporary headquarters.

Yes sir. Great honour, sir.

I expect your fullest cooperation.

Should there be any irregularities, you'll be held responsible.

Our complaints are brief and we make them against the nearest wall.

Yes, and so he gets to warn us.

He's warning you ! I'm only a servant here.

The rooms immediately adjacent to the good...

...bathroom will be occupied by the German High Command.

The one with the bathroom that doesn't work goes to the Italian general.

The Italian.

Uh... Maybe... maybe it would be better in the restaurant, sir. There are many tables.

There are large tables... tables in... ...the restaurant to eat Well don't stand around. The rooms upstairs, a re they ready for the High Command?

They will. We've been going around all day, sir cleaning up after your planes.

Well go ahead. And two towels in every room.

Yes sir. Yes, one towel for every two rooms, sir.

Fr... two towels for every... Come on.

Come on.

You're still here? Uh... still... still here.

I gave you instructions. The High Command will be here any minute.

We were admiring your efficiency, sir. Weren't we, Mouche? That's wonderful wonderful...

...after the British, sir. Yes sir. Come sir... come, Mouche.

Maid. Yes, Lieutenant?

Before I make final arrangements about the quarters upstairs, which is your room?

Way down the hall, next to the one you assigned the Italian general.

Oh, if that worries you... I'm not afraid of generals.

You're not?

It's lieutenants, I'm afraid of.

Thanks be to our luck.

All the miracles, that was the most miraculous of miracles.

Shut up.

An unconscious man spirited away through a bead curtain.

He's gone, that's all. He was never here. We had nothing to do with this.

Any questions are asked...

That's even better. There'll be no questions asked.

Poor fellow. Such a nice fellow. Well maybe...

Shut that door.

How did you get in here?

The window. How did I get to this hotel?

You had sunstroke. I put you behind the desk. That's all I know. Except they shot you.

They shot an Italian soldier for stealing drinking water.

Sir, but here... Sir, you cannot stay here. Understand you can't. You have to leave, sir, please.

Of course, why not ask that German officer to call me a taxi.

Sir, please.

Whose are these? They belong...

They're here, but they don't stop.

Now they will be all over the hotel, sir. Leave please. Go in a room. Leave the room.

Please, sir, get out, please, quick.

Sorry, the percentage is against you.

If the Afrika Korps doesn't get me, the desert will.

Whose are these? They belonged to our waiter.

Waiter? He was lame, and he was killed.

Yes. He was killed, sir, when Room 14 was blown into the cellar, sir.

What was his name? Paul Davos.

Davos? Yes.

Good. He was never killed, understand.

Oh sir, no sir. He was Alsatian. He was older, sir.

I'm Alsatian, and he was my age.

Yes, but, sir, can't you understand. We...

Mouche, please, help me.

Listen, man. It's only for a few days 'til the British come back.

Until the who come back? The British?

That's right, the British.

Since when did the British come back.

You don't like us? No.

And if he doesn't tell the Germans, I will.

But I thought you were French. Yes.

I had two brothers in the French Army. At Dunkirk...

...when the British decided to evacuate their troops, what did they do with the French?

They left them on the beaches to die or to be captured.

Who told you that? Laval?

Wading out into the water. Begging the boats to come back for them.

But did the British come back? Did they?

I'm only a chambermaid, but if somebody yell for me I come.

It's only a towel they want or an extra pillow...

...not life.

Just 5 seconds, before you call the Germans, 5 seconds that's all.

What do you want to tell me about? Blood, sweat and tears?


This is the address of my wife in London.


I want you to mail this to her when you can. Yes sir.

You better get out of those clothes or they'll shoot you for a spy.

They'll shoot me in my uniform too. They're thrifty with their drinking water.

Put this inside.

This is for my older boy. I wish I had something for the younger one.

Service. What's happening? Where is everybody?

Now that we've disposed of the tears, any time Mademoiselle.

What is this? Passive resistance?

I told you we expected cooperation. Who's he?

Yes, sir.

Who's he?

He's our waiter. What waiter?

Uh, waiter, sir, we always had a waiter.

My name is Davos. I'm an Alsatian.

I thought you was killed.

Only buried alive, sir.

When I came to, it seemed as though the whole hotel was on top of me.

Yes sir, but look at him, look at his eyes. He's so sick.

Yes, it took me eight hours to dig myself out.

You see, it's not very easy for me.

Yes, he screamed, sir. He screamed, but we didn't hear.

So you're Paul Davos.

Yes sir.

Get us those rooms.

We will sir, yes sir, immediately, sir.

You come with me.

Me, sir?

Yes. For a little chat downstairs.

Yes, sir. Your coat and tie, sir.

Come on.

Against the nearest wall, that's what's going to happen...

...happen to all of us.

You know, I would almost believe you were a waiter.

I am a waiter.

A rather special kind. You play your part well.

And now in English, to save them the trouble of translation...

...when they intercept this message.

My Führer...

...I have today crossed the Egyptian border.

I am now marching on towards Alexandria and Cairo.

Then, I will take the Suez Canal.

Nothing can save the 5th British Army...

...from a colossal catastrophe.

They say the Red Sea once opened... special arrangement with Moses.

A similar mishap will not occur this time.

I pledge you here with my word as a soldier.

Signed: Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.

You'll address the Field Marshall as "Your Excellency", do you understand?

Yes, sir.

Why in the name of the devil, didn't we get proper information...

...about the British withdrawal? Huh? Why!?

I read here that you are a competent man. Is that competent?

With the Field Marshall's permission, he has been buried under the debris since last night.

He couldn't very well have used the laundry communication.


Field Marshall will find that he has a very good record as an advance man.

We used him as a waiter in Danzig in Rotterdam and in Athens.

Cognac. Yes, Your Excellency.

Of course, no one in this so called hotel has the slightest suspicion...

...that you've been working for us.

No, Your Excellency.

You will continue here as a waiter until, we can get you through to your new assignment.

Yes, Your Excellency. Cairo.

Thank you, Your Excellency. I rather like to think of myself as a vulture...

...who flies ahead of the Stukas limping a little.

Rather well said. Three glasses. Yes, Your Excellency.

I suppose you would be glad to escape from this sand trap.

I will indeed, Your Excellency.

How do you find the British Intelligence Service.

Not very intelligent.

Not an inkling about Professor Cronstaetter?

I beg your pardon, Your Excellency?

Professor Cronstaetter. The five graves.

Of course. No, Your Excellency, not an inkling.


We shall take that big fat cigar of Mr. Churchill's mouth...

...and make him say, 'Heil.'

Five times.

Rather well said, Your Excellency.

Sieg heil. To victory.

To victory.

To victory.

The next time, I will go personally, do you understand. Make that quite clear.

Yes, Your Excellency.

About breakfast, I want some strong black coffee to be served in bed.

Your Excellency will just ring.


General Sebastiano, I've come with a request.

What do you come with? A request.

What request? A request that the General cease singing.

Who made such a request?

The gentlemen of the German Staff.

I'll tell the gentlemen of the German Staff.

Among them Field Marshall Rommel.

Alright. But I ask you...

Can a nation of belchers understand a nation that sings?

No, General.

I am getting very sick of the Germans.

Pushing Italian soldiers into the frontline without letting their...

...general lead even a staff meeting.

They steal the food packages my family send me.

They are censoring my letters.

In fact, as we say in Milano, we are getting the end of the stick that stinks.

Water. Water!

I have been given a bathroom that does not work. Why?

Because it was assigned to you General Sebastiano.

Is there no proper bathroom in this hotel? Oh yes, sir.

I will have it. It belongs to the Field Marshall.

Another kick in the face.

They let us die, but don't let us wash.

Well, what did we expect?

As we say in Milano, when you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

That's right, sir.

You haven't heard anything?

Of course, not. From so far away, how can I hear what they say in Milano?

Good. I can fill the General's washbasin.

Please. My orderly is in the hospital with measles.

German measles!

Look at that. Look at that.

When this war is over, I shall lie in my own bathtub...

...filled with blue Italian water, and sing and sing and sing.

But not Wagner.

In Benghazi, they have stolen my toothbrush.

Will that be all, General?

Good night. Good night, sir.


Yes sir?

What is the name of the maid here?

Mouche, sir. Mouche?

When I want you, I ring once. Yes, sir.

Then it's two rings for the maid.

That's right, sir. Good night.

Good night.

I'm sorry.

The key. Turn the key.

What's happened? I found these papers.

Here, the three passports, see: Danish, a Swiss one, a Romanian.

Let me see how I look.

Mmm, what a kindly face. I'd never suspect myself.

Now how was I to know he was working with the Germans? Glove in glove.

He came here two years ago. He said he wanted a job here, on account of his lungs.

He had, what you call, you know...

What do you know about a Professor Cronstaetter?

Professor Cronstaetter? Yes I think I know that name. Or do I... maybe I don't.

What about graves? Five graves?

Craves? Whose graves?

Alright, what did Davos have to do with the laundry?

With the laundry? Nothing, sir, nothing at all.

Mouche. Mouche.

Mouche knew him better than I did. Didn't you, Mouche?

Who? Davos who.

What of it?

We were talking about the laundry, here. Where does Davos come in?

I do the laundry. All alone?

Sometimes, he helps me put it out to dry.

FIat on the sand, perhaps?

Bedsheets, towels, washcloths all nicely spread out for the Messerschmitts?

What Messerschmitts?

It's my guess, mademoiselle, that you've been washing some sort of alphabet.

A towel could be a dash; a washcloth a dot.

Don't you see, a sheet could mean 10,000 men...

...and a towel - - petrol tanks coming through.

You suspected nothing? No.

The sheet, a dash and eee... Say that slower please.

It's perfectly simple. The Germans were smart again.

And the British were stupid.

Why not call it naive, mademoiselle.

We use sheets just to sleep on, towels for drying hands.

Your hands will need a lot of towels.

Shh, Mouche Mouche, please, why fight? He will not be here long.

He... he's going away. Aren't you, sir?

No, I'm not.

But sir, I heard with my own ears from the kitchen.

They are letting you through the lines. They're sending you to Cairo, sir.

You will be safe. Of course.

I limp into British Headquarters in Cairo, with this club foot of mine.

Where have you been Corporal Bramble? Oh, nowhere in particular.

I spent a day or two with Rommel. 'Rommel?'

Field Marshall Rommel, sir.

You mean to say, you were under the same roof with Rommel? Yes sir.

As close as I am to you? That's right, sir. And...

And what, sir?

You didn't leave him with a bullet in his head and his head in a puddle of blood?

Sir, sir. He's talking so fast again.

He's talking foolish.

Perhaps, Corporal John J. Bramble formerly...

...of the Four Square Insurance Company, Head Office: Threadneedle Street, London...

...clerk of the Claims Department...

...always rather afraid of the manager... of 1 20,000 men in the Army of the Nile.

That it should be this J.J. Bramble does sound foolish.

Oh, I'm scared. I'm all scared inside.

What do you think I am?

It's just that I happen to have drawn the black ball, blast it.

But we haven't drawn it, Farid and I.

Oh no no no, we haven't. And we saved your life, didn't we Mouche?

I heard a wife crying and two little boys, and some words came out of my mouth.

And I'm very grateful. But you won't be involved, either of you.

I'll work it out.

You will work it out, ah?

In the morning, he'll ring for breakfast. Number 5. Black coffee in bed.

No one else in the room. It must all happen very quickly.

Perhaps as he drops in his second lump of sugar.

So that's all you want. Yes.

Because it's good for England.

Oh, I don't imagine that it will win the war.

But, it'll knock the breath out of them for a while.

Well, you're not going to do it. Because, it doesn't fit in with my plans, understand?

What plans?

What do you think I stayed on here in this filthy place for?

I was waiting for them, understand?

No, I don't understand.

Because, I want to do business with them.

Business? I see. That's not very attractive, Mademoiselle.

What you think of me, I don't care that.

Hey now. Now listen. All I know... I will take in his breakfast.

One, six, eight, twelve. This is my hotel. Alright alright.

But I wish I was in a black pit with my back broken wrecked.

I got my wish.

I wouldn't want them to see me with my shoes off.

You'll be glad to know that I never snore.

Except when I sleep in pyjamas, Russian style.

Now that I'm trying desperately to strike a more genial note...

...a "Yes" or "is that so? "...

...or even a "shut up" would stimulate the conversation considerably.

Good night.

Thank you.

Being from Marseilles, you must be an addict of that soup...

...that bouillabaisse with all the fish in it.

One always expects to find an old galosh somewhere near the bottom of the plate.

That's where I expected an 'is that so?'

Is that so?

They are calling you, Mademoiselle.

Farid is looking after it.

Farid won't do, obviously. One and three and six have rung again.

They say Rommel keeps his Afrika Korps in hothouses...

...before he sends them out into the desert.

Must be quite some time, since they've heard a woman's voice.

Number 5, the major with a monocle.

Yes, you get pretty lonely after a year or so.

I been here 18 months, myself.

It's a lot of days. But a lot more nights.

Oh Mademoiselle, I think this is the time for an additional bit of information.

I lied to you. I had to say something quick and effective to soften your heart.

I haven't any children and I haven't any wife. I've never been married.

Is that so? Can you forgive me?

Thank you.

Ah. Here's a request from the Italian General. How about the Italian General?

Not the Italian General.

How about the Major with the monocle?

Not the Major with the monocle.

Who are you waiting for, Mademoiselle?

Number 5.

The Field Marshall himself.

Sorry, mademoiselle, I take Number 5.

Good night.

Good night.

British prisoners, ten minutes rest!



Good morning, Your Excellency.

On the table, Your Excellency?

Where is the waiter?

I'm quicker on my feet.


Sugar, Your Excellency?

I don't like women in the morning. Go away.

Do you understand English? Go away, I said.


No, Your Excellency.

I stayed on while this place was bombed. I could have run away.

I waited for the German troops. I waited for Your Excellency.


I wanted to talk to Your Excellency.

One piece of sugar. Yes, Your Excellency.

Your hands are neat. Why isn't this spoon?


Sorry, Your Excellency.

Two steps back, please.

Now, what do you wish to say?

It's about my brother, Your Excellency. He's in Germany.


I have two brothers.

One was taken prisoner. He's in a concentration camp in Wittenberge.

The other was killed.

Fighting the Germans?

They were just boys. Their classes were called. They had to go.

They didn't hate the Germans or anybody.

Of course. Nobody hates the Germans.


What I wanted... I know that one word from you, Your Excellency.

He was wounded. He's lost one arm. He can't even work for you. He's useless.

Maybe I'm not. If there's anything I can... do.

You're suggesting some sort of bargain?

This is a familiar scene.

Reminiscent of bad melodrama.

Although usually it is not the brother for whose life...

...the heroine comes to plead, it is the lover.

The time is midnight. Place: The tent of the conquering general.

Blushingly, the lady makes her proposal, and...

...gallantly, the general grants her wish.

Later, the lady very stupidly takes poison.

In one Italian opera, the two even go so far as to sing a duet.


If I had any tears left, maybe you'd listen.

There will be no duet today.


He is not an enemy of yours. He's only 19 now.

A boy. And he's dying.

Petitions for the release of prisoners must be addressed to the commander of the prison camp.

They must be submitted in triplicate.

You can also have the Red Cross write and then there are the Quakers.

But everything must be in triplicate.

We can use paper in Germany.

A great deal of paper.

You're to keep out of this room, from now on.


Who do you think you are to open your mouth to him. Are you crazy?

You get a little crazy if you think a bout something all the time for a long long time.

I could have told you exactly what he would say.

Only, if you would have come to me, you wouldn't have had to go to him.

May I come in?


So stupid. Never ask a very big man for a very small favour.

Sometimes, a lieutenant can be of more use.

Or are you still afraid of lieutenants?


I know people in Berlin who can pull some wires.

We don't need the waiter here.

Get out of here.

Did you take that gun? Yes.

Where did you put it? Never mind.

You give me back that gun.

Or would you rather have me report it? Get out.

Good morning, Lieutenant. Good morning, Davos.

Of course, I'll have to have your brother's name and the camp he's in.

He's in Wittenberge. His name is Louis Marie.

Careful. I don't want anybody to know about this.

What's the matter?

You don't go to hostel, I go to hostel. You go back, I'll take it.

What's happened? There are British officers... the lobby. Prisoners.

Not from my outfit. They'll never recognise me.

It's not that. It's not that. It's that they have been stationed here.

Colonel Fitzhume, he lived in the hotel. He knew Davos.

One suspicious look; one eye of the lift brow, oh...

I mean one lift of the eyebrow. Go back. Go back, please.

Hack where? I'll keep to the kitchen.

Davos! Davos?

Oh, Davos, seems I neglected to tip you when we...

That's quite alright, Colonel Fitzhume.

May I say, it would be a pleasure to serve you again, sir.

It is too early in the morning to offer you gentlemen a drink?

Oh, don't let the clock stop you, Colonel.

Drinks, Davos. Yes, sir.

I will announce your arrival to the Field Marshall, if you will excuse me.

If you will excuse us, we forgot our visiting cards

What is wrong?

Heart trouble.

From bringing up to my throat so much.

What will it be, Colonel, cognac, sherry, whisky?

Whisky for me with a little soda.

Very well. I beg your pardon. Whisky and soda?

Yes. The same for me.

For you, sir? I am on duty.

Oh, yes sir.

Very little soda. I'll do it myself.

The whisky's over here, sir.

Smells good. I hope so, sir.


Royal Tanks. Just ambled in, so to speak.

Davos is dead, and he was a German agent. Go on.

I have a gun. I also have a plan.

What plan? Just waiting to get Rommel alone.

No, no. None of that.

Why not? Isn't it sporting to shoot a sitting Field Marshall?

Dead Field Marshalls tell no secrets.

What secrets, sir?

You have their confidence. You have your freedom. There's a bigger job.

Yes, sir.

Standby. No ill considered heroics, understand. That's orders.

Yes, sir.

I tell you it was in my holster, last night. You lost it.

Listen, maybe I have lost a few battles; I've never lost a gun.

Gentlemen, the Field Marshall requests the honour of your company at...

...luncheon before you leave.

Thank you. Very kind of the Field Marshall.

Gentlemen, I am General Sebastiano.

Waiter, just a moment.

Cinzano? No, sir.

Let's see what you have here.

Cognac, sherry. What is this?

Bramble, sir.


If I didn't know it was Bramble, I would swear it was whiskey.

Rice pudding in Egypt.

One never knows whether it's raisins or flies.

Take this away.

Coffee ready?

Cream, sugar. Where's the sugar?

Farid is getting it down in the cellar.

I'm disappointed in you, Mouche.

Having set out for a Field Marshall, I didn't expect you to settle for a lieutenant.

What is it to you?

Well, now that you're down to lieutenants, how about a corporal?

Let me remind you, this foot of mine is only camouflage.

Or perhaps you should see me in my black bowler.

I bought a black bowler two weeks before the war.

A singularly imprudent investment.

Or perhaps if you imagine me as a German.

No, I'd rather you didn't imagine me as a German.

Fight coffees.

Ah, obviously I'm in the wrong army.

You are.

If the circumstances, in which we find ourselves weren't so peculiar.

I might turn you over my knee and spank you with abandon.

Thank you for your interest. Not at all.

But if you think you'll carve yourself some sort of niche with these Germans.

Let me point out that we too tried to do business with them.

We threw our arms around them, kissed them, went on a honeymoon with them.

In Munich, it was.

I'm getting what I want, so shut up.

That's a very agreeable mouth, you're casting before these swine.

What's the matter? I've seen him.

Who? In the cellar.

His hand stretched like this. All yellow.

With fingernails white.

But I thought I was way down under everything. Yes, me too.

Well who? Davos.

When I climbed over for the sugar.

The wreckage started giving way, you know like apples.

And then I see this hand, all yellow with finger...


What did you do?

I piled up the rubble over him, more and more.

Herr Davos could have been more cooperative and died further away.

You better get the coffee in there.

Yes. Better give him a large cup, too.

Later, we can find more suitable arrangements for the gentleman in the cellar.

Yes, sir.

No, no no no Captain McOwen, what I think is wrong is...

...that we send ambassadors to each other's countries, ambassadors and diplomats.

What we should send is cooks.

Your word was 'cooks'?

Yes. Why send ultimata? Why not send macaroni?

Con ajo y aceite de Oliva.

Take risotto, for instance. What an emissary of good will !

Mr Field Marshall, do remember the last time you were in Rome, did you taste the spagh...?

So sorry.

Gentlemen, I understand that not long ago when the question came up... the British Parliament as to who should be entrusted with...

...the supreme command of the allied forces in Africa...

...some members suggested my name.

That's quite possible, Field Marshall. British sense of humour is unpredictable, you know.

Humour, my dear Colonel Fitzhume, is founded on truth.

But who are we to argue with the British Parliament?

You're fast becoming a legendary figure.

Yes, they say everything possible about me...

...that I'm a magician, a puller of rabbits out of hats.

The man who can saw Africa in half.

And the Field Marshall can, too.

They also say that you entertain captured British officers by... them lessons in strategy.

Better a lesson too late than no lesson at all.

I agree. I've often thought I'd like to look up the magician's sleeve.

Two more salt cellars. Yes, sir.

Gentlemen, I have before me North Africa, from Tripoli to Cairo.

El Agheila, Benghazi, Sidi Harrani, Sidi Halfaya, Matruh, El Alamein.

Alexandria. Cairo.

Now gentlemen, the subject being vast and my time brief.

Why don't you ask me what puzzles you most?

Suppose I give you twenty questions.

That's uncommonly generous of you, Field Marshall.

It certainly is. Are you there, waiter?

Yes, sir.

Give me brandy, will you.

Alright, who goes first?

May I? How many men have you got in North Africa?

Not as many as you.

If you count in the Italians.

Nobody counts in or on the Italians.

Field Marshall, twice we chased you towards Tripoli.

Past Tobruk, Derna, Benghazi.

Twice, you turned us back at El Agheila. How?

You didn't chase me.

I led you on until your supply line stretched out like a rubber band.

Then, I cut it.

You couldn't capture Tobruk in '41 not after 7 months siege.

Last week, you took it in a day. How?

The rubber band had snapped back into your eyes, gentlemen.

That's when I hit and hit again and hit with everything I had.

In February, when we had you at Agedabia, we had an idea they'd sent your best troops to Russia.

You gentlemen, have a sixth sense: we have only five. But we use them.

You can afford to improvise. We must rely on preparation.

For instance, we knew the Dutch would open their dykes.

So we started building rubber boats, 50,000 of them... far back as 1935.

What did you do in 1935?

Took you wives on little pleasure trips.

Snapped their photographs plucking edelweiss in Switzerland.

German wives found themselves being photographed on bridges across the Vistula...

...and in the neighbourhood of the fortifications of Brussels.

Next question.

Field Marshall, to get back to this rubber band.

Now that you've pushed ahead 500 miles...

...aren't your supply lines getting a little taut?

They are.

And yet you expect to take Cairo? Six days.

The Royal Airforce will cut your communications to ribbons.

They will.

The navy will sink every Axis ship. No supplies can reach you.

Perhaps. That won't stop you?

It mustn't. I have my reservation at Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo Without supplies, how can you do it?

Yes, Field Marshall, how?

You run your tanks on sea water, load your guns with sand?

Now you're asking for the big rabbit.

But as my prisoners are not in the habit of escaping, gentlemen, it is not the supplies which reach us, it is we who reach the supplies. Is that clear?

Not quite.

We don't depend entirely on our trucks shuttling between the front line and Tripoli.

It's a little far and a little exposed.

Supply planes are clumsy, easy prey for your Spitfires.

To safeguard ourselves against all eventualities...

...we prepare. Preparation, gentlemen, preparation.

Very interesting.

In 1937, two years before this war started...

...we dug supplementary supplies into the sands of Egypt.

A number of depots under your very noses.

Thousands and thousands of gallons of petrol, water...

...ammunition, spare parts for our tanks.

Waiting for us.

Under our very noses, eh? Where?

Yes, where?


I gave you twenty questions, gentlemen.

That is question twenty one.

We'd gladly trade you Rudolf Hess for the answer to twenty one.

You may keep him.

Our time is short.

Hope you enjoyed your luncheon. Schwegel, the gentlemen will now be leaving.

Car's ready, Field Marshall. Thank you, Davos.

Wouldn't want to have any bad luck with Cairo.

Davos, I'm afraid that tip will have to wait until after the war.

Don't worry, sir.

He's a good man, Davos.

I hope I know my job, sir.

You do.

Those things go on the top shelf, please.

What is it here? You looking for something?

Yes, water, petrol, ammunition.

Right here?

Between this spot and Cairo. You're sure?

Buried right under our noses. How could they do it? How?

Who? The Germans.

You're sick again, sir. Not a bit.

But this is pepper and salt, sir. I know.

And you're looking for water, petrol and ammunition. How could it get in here.

That's what I'd like to know.

Rommel on top of us.

The man you're supposed to be dead underneath us, and you're making riddles.

They say, in the lobby, the German Army is past Mersa Matruh.

That's going 40 miles a day.

Thursday Alexandria, Sunday Cairo.

And they've got London on their list and Moscow too. They're several Sunday's behind.

When I think there will be swastikas on the mosques in Cairo.

You're talking through your fez.

Nazis on the Nile. Who the devil...

Who the devil occurred to an Egyptian to grab for the Rhine.

Hey, say that name. It is that name. The one in the drawer.

What name? Why you asked me about it. I don't know, remember?

Here it is under the knife. For years I've been looking at it...

...every time, I put the knives away.

What na me? Professor Cronstaetter.

Farid, you are a great man. Who me? Why?

Archaeologist, of course.

We get them all the time in Egypt digging up for the mummies.

London Express, February 17, 1937. That's the year. What year?

Preparations year. I'll just have a look at Professor Cronstaetter.

Eeeeeeee. That's him !

I told you, you are a great man. It's so simple.

A highly respectable group of German scientists arrive in Egypt to dig for tombs between the Libyan border and Cairo.

What a convenient way to send a military mission with full authority to dig dig dig.

Only, they didn't dig anything out. They dug everything in.

What, sir? Water, petrol, ammunition.

Not that again. Please, sir.

Farid, now we know how. Yes sir, we know how.

We don't know where.

There's still question number 21 . Yes, sir, twenty... what?


Yes, Lieutenant Schwegler.

The Field Marshall wants to see you. Yes, sir.

Good afternoon, Fräulein.

Good afternoon, Lieutenant.

Not bad, eh, as maids go.

I wouldn't know, sir. A man with a club foot is scarcely in the running.

When you're with the Field Marshall, I'd rather you didn't mention...

...that you saw me talk to her in the servant's room.

Of course not.

He doesn't like his officers to get involved with civilians.

Yes, sir.

She wants me to do something about her brother.

He's in a prison camp somewhere in Germany.

I see.

A very sad case. But a very pretty victim.

I'll do all I can.

Come in !

Oh yes, Davos.

I've just received information that my advanced columns have reached objective Y.

Objective Y, Your Excellency? That's good news, isn't it?

Rather. Everything works out according to my plans.

I wish I could have told it to those Britishers at lunch.

Their digestion would have stopped completely.

If I may be permitted, Your Excellency gave them a very brilliant lecture.

They will remember Field Marshall Rommel.

Or should I say, Professor Cronstaetter?

Thank you, Davos.

For a moment, I was really afraid Your Excellency might...

...put all the cards on the table.

Tell them about the five graves.

My tongue did itch. Such blind ignorance.

I might have just as well showed them my map.

With the exact location of the five graves?

Come here, Davos. Yes, Your Excellency.

Here we are.

You of course know all the answers. But would they have seen anything?

Not a thing, Your Excellency.

They have such complicated minds. They expect invisible ink.

Maps that have to be warmed over fires.

Or held against the light to reveal secret pin pricks.

Too simple for them, this.

I'm trying to look at it with an Englishman's eyes.

Not a clue. Just an ordinary map.

There's nothing here that would give them a hint, is there?

After I've taken Cairo, I shall send a postcard... No. 10 Downing Street with the correct solution.

Davos, all arrangements have been made for you.

Yes, Your Excellency.

You're leaving for Cairo this evening.

You will be taken by motorcycle to El Daba.

From there, a guide will get you through the British lines.

This evening? At 0 o'clock.

That gives me 6 hours.

For what?

Oh, some things here. Unfinished business of no importance.

In Cairo, aside from your routine business, you will keep your eyes open.

When I enter the town, I should not like to have...

...bouquets thrown into my path with explosives in them.

And please, Davos... Shepheard's Hotel, no pictures of the widow of Windsor...

...or any of her breed.

You can expect me Sunday afternoon.

There won't be difficulties with objectives P or T, I'm sure.

P or T, Your Excellency? It seems improbable.

Have a Luke warm bath drawn in the Royal Suite.

In the evening, command performance of the opera. Aida, in German...

...omitting the second act, which is too long and not too good.

That'll be all, Davos. Yes, Your Excellency.

Maid, do you speak French? Oui, mon général.

I do not. But look at my fingernails-- broken.

I rang and rang for you, all last night.

No service after 11.

I didn't want any service. I had a song.

I have wine. You know what was missing?

A corkscrew. Not at all.

Alright. So I won't sing.

But I'll tell Mussolini.

Good night, mon général.


Look at this. A wire from Berlin already.

Yes Lieutenant?

They've located your brother. I'm sending this to hurry the case.

Thank you, Lieutenant.

Perhaps there will be an answer tonight. I'll see you after dinner.

Yes, Lieutenant.

The waiter leaves at 0:00. Schwegler!

Go now, go.

Hello, Mouche.

What time is it? Half past six.

I hear you are leaving. That's right.

That's right.

May I, wet as it is?

If there were a local florist, I would offer you an arm full of white lilacs.

With my humblest apologies. For what?

I had an unpleasant idea about you, Mouche.

Lieutenant Schwegler cleared it up. Thank you.

If only somebody would clear up my ideas about Lieutenant Schwegler.

He has been wonderful to me. I'm sorry.

Port Said. No no, that's too far east. T...T...

Tanta. That could be. It's between Alexandria and Cairo.

What are you doing?

You know, Mouche, I not only have a club foot, I have a club brain.

Been sitting here for two hours.

T, P and objective Y does that mean anything to you?

T, P and Y? Not a thing.

Madame is dressing for dinner? For after dinner.

It was maddening, Mouche. There was Rommel's map staring at me...

...with everything on it.

Eyes have I, but I see not.

T, P, Y. What's the key? Where's the answer?

What are you doing? That's a pretty dress.

In Cairo, I wore it on Sundays.

Drifting down the Sharia Ibrahim, Pashá, with a white parasol over your shoulder.

There was a parasol that went with the dress. Well, where is it?

In the shop. I could never quite afford it. The handle was real ivory.

Maybe one day, when I'm rich.

Objective Y. Y.

Listen, either you stop talking like alphabet soup or you tell me.

I've gone through this tourist guide writing down the name of every village...

...every oasis, every landmark That begins with P or T.

There's dozens of them. But there is no Y in Egypt.

What have I said?

Mouche! That's it, Mouche, that's it! What is it?

Did you hear what I said? Idiot, idiot!

I said there isn't a Y in Egypt. But there is.

There's a Y, and a P and a T. I've got it.

E-G-Y-P-T. The five graves.

What five graves?

The five supply depots of Professor Rommel.

Of course, no invisible ink. Just a map of Egypt.

And printed across it, Egypt. And the letters, don't you see?

Every letter marking a supply depot.

Invisible because it's so visible all over the map.

Just a moment. Since when was Rommel a professor?

I must see that map again. I must get back into his room.

Whose room? Rommel's.

No, please don't. You've had such luck so far.

You can leave. You're safe. Why risk your neck again?

What for? Thank you, Mouche.

Before you took pity on the neck of a married man.

This time, you know it's just my neck.

Where is that agreeable mouth of yours?

I'm sorry, I forgot. Wrong army.

You? What are you doing here?

I was in your room, sir. Didn't you hear the alarm?

Yes, sir. Air raid.

I know, sir. Then what are you doing here?

The maps. I thought the Field Marshall's maps should not be left behind.

You did, eh? Yes, sir.

Very conscientious. Thank you, sir.

Go on. Everybody in the cellar. Yes sir.

After you, Mademoiselle. I wish I was in Milano.

No, Milano is not good, either.

Are you alright? Thank you, Lieutenant.

He's been asking about us. Don't say anything about the telegrams, do you hear.

Of course not, Lieutenant.

Farid, for once in my life, I wish the RAF would turn tail and go to the devil.

Yes sir. Is the cellar shaking? Not yet.

Oh, then it must be me.

Some candles for the Field Marshall. Oh, yes sir. Right away, sir.

Let me lut them... I mean lut me lit... Let me light them, sir


What is it, Lieutenant?

Tell me something, Davos.

When we arrived here, I understood you had been bombed in the cellar.

Is that correct, Davos? Yes, Lieutenant.

This cellar, Davos?

Yes, Lieutenant.

And you dug yourself out, Davos?

That's right, Lieutenant.

And upstairs, what were you doing in the Field Marshall's room?

Nothing, Lieutenant.

You're sure, Davos? Quite sure.

You're sure you're not dead, Davos?

Come here, Davos.

Who is it? Mouche.

Any damage to the kitchen, Farid?

I always pray they hit the kitchen so there'll be no more dishes... wash. What's the matter? What is it? Nothing.

I better take those things downstairs. It must be... 0 o'clock, so...

What's wrong with him?

Not in there.

But I have to change. No you don't.

Sit down. Lieutenant Schwegler is coming.

Lieutenant Schwegler begs to be excused.

He's dead.


No screaming. Please.

I borrowed your needle and thread. I'm afraid I won't make a very good job of this.

You killed him? Yes.

Unfortunately, he ran across the late Mr Davos.

Fortunately, no one knows about it yet. They mustn't until tomorrow morning.

Farid has full instructions. The body will be found down below... the sand outside this window.

There'll be my waiter's jacket and my shirt with some blood on it.

Enough to prove I did it. Farid and you will work together.

Farid and I?

That's right. I need 6 hours to get through the German lines.

They themselves being so kind as to provide my transportation.

Why did you kill him? I said, no screaming.


I'll tell you why. Because a piece of mosquito netting has got... get through to British Headquarters.

Just a piece of mosquito netting with some pencil marks on it.

That's why Farid and you must cover up 'til I get there.

Is that clear?

Perfect. You have killed two people.

Him in there and my brother. His only chance to get out alive.

And now all you ask is that we cover up, so that you can get back to the British.

Is that it? Like Dunkirk again?

Well, what about Dunkirk? Yes, some were left behind.

French, Polish, Belgian, British, some.

They had to be, if the rest were to carry on.

Carry on for what? Aren't there enough dead already?

Oh yes, there are a lot of dead, Mouche.

In Tobruk, I saw them piled up in the hundreds.

In Sevastopol they lay ten deep.

They were blown to bits in the Repulse and the Prince of Wales.

In Athens, they're dying of starvation, For what, Mouche?

So that somebody like you can hold up a tin cup to a victorious Lieutenant...

...begging for a pfennigs worth of pity.

It's not one brother that matters, it's a million brothers.

It's not just one prison gate that they might sneak open for you.

It's all their gates that must go.

Alright. Talk. You talk such big words. You have a million brothers.

I'm small. I've only one. And I want him to live.

If it costs it costs a bit of mosquito netting.


They are looking for Schwegler all over the hotel.

Maid! You. Come here.

I said come here.

This concerns you, or rather your brother.

You remember I advised you to approach his case through the Red Cross or the Quakers.

You thought it wiser to approach it through a certain lieutenant.

Did you?

I have just found out that this certain Lieutenant has shown you some telegrams.

Telegrams that were sent to Berlin, and telegrams that were received from Berlin.

They were never sent. They were never received. They're forgeries.


We will wait for that certain lieutenant.

I prefer to have him present.

This investigation very obviously will continue without Lieutenant Schwegler... he was found in the servant's room... your portion thereof in a very particular spot.

I quite sure you will be able to tell me some interesting information regarding his death.

What happened?

Self defence, of course, and all that goes with it.

Improper advances. Outraged virtue.

Dishonoured. Eh?

Herr Davos, the motorcycle is waiting.

I put your things on the floor there.

Speak up. I'm listening. Why did you do it?

Look at me!

Because I thought I could make a bargain with him.

Because he lied to me. Because he was dirt.

Because he was one of you.

First, you made him forget that he was a German officer.

Then you killed him because he was one.

He was only 25.

At 20, he was decorated in Poland for conspicuous gallantry in action.

At 21 , he was commanding a tank company. Best aide I ever had.

An officer with a brilliant future.

He might have become a Field Marshall with somebody on her knees before him.

Two steps back, please.

Herr Field Marshall.

What is it, Davos?

Ahh. Your spy wants to speak. I said what there is to say.

I know you worked with them all the years, Davos.

Get out of here, Davos. Get out!

What is it, Davos?

Get out!

If Your Excellency has no further orders, I'm about to leave for Cairo.

Nothing, Davos. Good luck.

Yes, good luck, Davos.

To prove to you that we are not nearly the Huns you think we are... will be tried according to your own French law...

...the Code Napoleón.

There will be a court martial tomorrow morning at 7:00.

Tomorrow morning before they start, give them the...

...proof that Davos did it, understand?

And will you say to her...

...God bless you.

Alright men, refuel this tanker. Half an hour.

Hello, Generale.

As we say in Milano, it's a wise man that drops the end of a stick that stinks.

Who are you?

Soon, you can lie in your tub and get rid of the fleas.

What fleas?

The ones you caught from lying down with a dog, as we say in Milano.

You are not from Milano.

No, but I can understand a nation that sings and...

...sings and sings. But not Wagner.

The face is familiar and yet... Let's try the foot.

Arrivederci, Generale.

Mouche! Mouche!

Farid !

It's good to have you here again, sir. What happened?

Maybe you would like to have No. 5 this time.

With a good bathroom.

Where is she? Come, Farid.

There was a trial that morning.

I brought in the evidence as you told me.

They found her innocent of shooting Schwegler.


They found her guilty of spreading enemy rumours.

She kept on screaming in his face: The British will be back.

The British will be back.

They beat her and beat her.

Then they led her out.

One bullet would have been enough.

Where is she?

Out there. They put her with the other soldiers.

Hello, Mouche.

Perhaps I should bend down so you can hear me better.

I brought you that parasol, Mouche.

From a shop. They swore it was real ivory.

Let's hope so.

It will give you some shade until we come to take you back...

...where there are trees and leaves...

...and rivers, dew on the grass.

Don't worry, Mouche, we're after them now.

When you feel the earth shake, it'll be our tanks and our guns and our lorries.

Thousands and thousands of them. British, French and American.

We're after them now, coming from all sides.

We're going to blast the blazes out of them.