Play Dirty (1969) Script


Papers please, sir.

You want to see my driving license?

My friend won't be needing any.

Papers in order, sir.

What happened to Kaminsky, McDonald, Akhmed, the two Maltese?

I brought back the young officer, as you told me.

I left the others behind.

And what went wrong this time?

We got within 20 miles, then I was spotted by a couple of snipers.

And what happened to Lieutenant Evans exactly?

He was just unlucky.

Get yourself cleaned up. I want to talk to you.

Brigadier Blore is waiting, sir.

You're not going to change, sir? Into what?

HOMERTON: Another one down the dilly.

So far, Masters, you have cost the British Army £42,000 in what you call miscellaneous costs.

Plus 17 jeeps, 24 trucks, a small fortune in ammunition and supplies and the lives of three British officers.

Forty-three of my men have been killed also, sir.

Your total requisition for the past 12 months has been £124,563.

Yes, sir.

You've sent eight missions behind the German lines, and you've achieved nothing.

Colonel Masters, you are a luxury we cannot afford.

My work over the last 12 months has been a preparatory exploration into the techniques which I intend to employ.

The experience of the great commanders of the past who have fought over this very same territory will ultimately prove invaluable.

Modern warfare has nothing whatever to do with the activities of Alexander the Great or Hannibal.

The principles of desert warfare have not changed.

The principles of getting value for your money haven't changed either.

Masters, your outfit is disbanded forthwith.

Captain Attwood will go back with you, and you will hand over to him.

You yourself will take a week's leave... Yes, sir. find yourself a suitable uniform.

I know that you have to wear mufti, but you might shave occasionally.

Yes, indeed, sir.

You will then take over command of the prisoner of war camp at Sidi Barrani with effect from the 17th.

I have located, through my contacts with the Mujabra tribesmen, the perfect target for my kind of operation.

Where the hell did you get this photograph?

It appears the Mujabra tribesmen have learnt how to use the Brownie cameras I supplied them with.

This camp is about 400 miles behind the enemy lines.

Precisely. You can't get there, but I can.

Two men are going to stop Rommel.

One of them is Adolf Hitler, who cannot give him enough fuel, the other is me, who's going to blow up the little he has.

Masters, I shall give you one more chance.

Thank you, sir.

This time you've got to succeed.

I shall put the expedition under the command of a British officer.

But British officers don't understand my method, sir.

Do as I say, and this time I want him back.

Yes, sir. Alive.

If I must have an officer, sir, could he be someone who knows something about pipelines, petrol installations, that sort of thing?

We'll see if we have someone to spare. Yes, sir.

Don't forget, Masters, this is your last chance.

Thank you, sir.

I'll send them back to you. Yes, sir.

Ask Watkins to come in, would you? Yes, sir.

Alan, I had an idea.

Take a look at that and that.


There must be millions of gallons in there by the look of things.

Rommel's? Yes.

There. About 400 miles behind their lines.

I got the location pretty accurately from some of my Mujabra tribesmen.

Actually, they took the photographs for me.

Like to go and blow it up? We'll give you a show, sir.

Rommel is here.

His lines of communication are really extended, so we're going to hit him hard.

Now, if you can destroy the bulk of his fuel supplies at that moment, it might make all the difference.

We'll try, sir.

Rommel's gonna be defeated by two men, Watkins.

Adolf Hitler, who can't give him enough fuel, and me, because I'm gonna blow up what little he has.

By the way, I'm sending a decoy group ahead of you.

You know Masters' bunch? Not those gangsters, sir.

Yes, they set off a day before you. Same route, same orders.

If there's any trouble, let them catch it.

Not particularly pleasant, sir.

You leave in two days, Watkins. Good luck.

Thank you, sir.

Well, that's that.

What about the British officer for Colonel Masters, sir?

Oh, completely forgot.

Tell them to find a spare captain from somewhere.

Yes, sir.

Oh, yes, and I suppose he'd better know something about petrol.

Yes, sir.


Where can I find Captain Douglas, Sarge?

Who? Captain Douglas.

Up there.

Captain Douglas, sir? Yes.

Colonel Homerton would like to see you in his office, sir.

Colonel Homerton said immediately, sir.

Tell Colonel Homerton I'll be there in an hour.

I have to finish unloading the fuel.

As you say, sir.

You're late. I know. What's up?

I don't know, honestly.

It's not... No. No.

Wish me luck.

You sent for me, sir? Yes.

Captain Douglas is on loan from British Petroleum.

He's worked for seven years as a field engineer with the Anglo-Iranian branch.

So, you know the desert? Yes.

A little. Excellent.

Captain Attwood here is from HQ, Special Forces.

They want an officer with some experience of fuel supplies to take command of a rather unusual unit.

May I point out, sir, that the arrangement with British Petroleum was that I stay in port areas.

What are you wearing?

British uniform, sir.

British Petroleum uniform?

No, sir.

Good. Captain Attwood will give you the Brigadier's orders.

He's your man.

This is it, sir.

Are you sure?

Yes, sir. Caf?'s over there.

Colonel Masters? No.

Oh, then I'll have a whiskey, please. No whiskey.

I'll have a beer then. No beer.

What do you have?


Then I'll have tea.

Looking for Colonel Masters?

Who are you?

I'm Captain Leech.

British Army? No.

Follow me.

Some kind of a soldier to see you, Colonel.


Colonel Masters, sir? Yes.

Captain Douglas, sir.

Oh, my dear fellow, there's no need for all that.

My number two, Captain Leech.

How do you do? Which regiment, Captain?

Late of the Fourth Panzer.

Do you know why you're here, Douglas?

I understand I'm to command one of your units on a special mission.

Thank you, Leech.

See you later.

Now, let me explain exactly what you're here for.

Caprus Magna, a Roman port in Cyrenaica, that the Germans appear to be using as a petrol dump.

Are these Rommel's positions, sir?

No, those are the positions of the Carthaginians in the year 215 B.C.

Desert warfare hasn't changed.

Like the ancient Egyptians, I'm going to send an expedition south to Qattara.

Across the Qattara Depression, through the cliffs of the Siwah Pass, over the great sand sea, through the stony desert, and crash into Caprus Magna.

And that's what you're here for.

I am going to lead a unit down there, across there and up there.

Exactly. I'll give you my best man. He knows the ropes.

Captain Leech? A man of considerable experience.

All right. Get back to work.

Have you signed your crew on yet? Yes.

How many are you taking? Oh, seven, that's enough.

One more would get in the way. Seven's my lucky number.

Eight is what you've got, and I believe I'm in command.

Is our friend serious?

I'm sure he will work very closely with you, Leech.

Naturally, I would be grateful for any help I could get.

I see. Well, I've got a better idea. Keep it at seven.

You go, I'll stay.

Then everybody's happy.

I've told Stores to kit you out. I expect they're waiting for you.

We'll talk more at dinner. Very well, sir.

Captain Leech, I want a full inspection at 7:00 tomorrow morning.

Everything laid out and ready to load.

Anything else you'd like?

No, I think that's all.

I'll see you at dinner, sir.

What's all this about?

Brigadier Blore's not very pleased with our record.

He insists. We'll have to take him.

I'll take him.

If he doesn't come back alive, we're out of business.

You're out of business.

You get well paid for these trips, don't you, Leech?

Not really.

I'll give you a bonus if you get him back.

How much? Dead, nothing.

Alive, £2,000.

You just bought yourself an Englishman.

Where did you find him?

One of my recruiting drives at Rabida prison.

Tunisian named Sadok.

He threw a bomb into a caf?, shot a policeman, and then at his trial, he leaned over and punched the presiding official on the nose.

He got 14 years. He's our demolition man.

Kostos Manov.

Smuggling arms and explosives into Egypt.

They ran him in and I ran him out.

First class armorer.


Nice chap.

Going a bit strong with an Egyptian girl.

Her brothers came down to invite him to his wedding. He shot them.

Still a bachelor. Communications.

Kafkarides, a Cypriot.

His game was narcotics in a big way. Shot a couple of customs men.

Transport and supplies.

Hassan and Assine, Sinusi Arab guides.

Are they always so friendly?

All they ask is keef and each other.

That's everybody.

LEECH: Aren't you going to tell him about me?

MASTERS: I thought you might like to do that yourself, Captain Leech.

The black sheep of an otherwise admirable family from County Dublin.

Most recent deployment, master of a tramp steamer running around the Red Sea.

Sank her for the insurance off Djibouti.

You ought to tell the crew, of course.

They're all drowned, all but one of them.

He told the insurance company.

I got 15 years.

MASTERS: When I met him in Rabida prison, he was king of the damn place.

They hated to see him go, but I needed him more than they did.

War is a criminal enterprise. I fight it with criminals.

Not to worry, my dear fellow. Leech knows the routine.

He'll get you out and he'll get you back. Won't you, Leech?

If he's lucky.

Will I be lucky?

That's up to you, and him, of course.

Very Italian.


Nice morning for a drive, Captain.

I ordered an inspection for 7:00 this morning.

I did it for you. All over.

Let's go.

Anything wrong?

Good luck.

And keep in touch.

Let's go!

This is as far as we can go, sir.

The Germans have a few patrols going south of here.

Thank you, Corporal.

Here we go to the right.

I said we go right.

That road was mined by the Italians a week ago.

They don't put it all on the map.

Take another left.

Splendid, Major Watkins. Good luck.

Thank you, sir.

Carry on, Lieutenant.

Mount vehicles!


What does that mean? They're Bara'sa. Could be dangerous.

Depends who's paying them.

Six men, six camels.

No lead camel.

They're an advance party. The others could arrive any minute.

Hassan's going to spot them.

We've got to have water. Exactly.

We're Italians, aren't we? Why don't we trade?

You asking me or telling me?

I'm asking you.

There's an advance party of Bara'sa at the oasis.

We're an Italian patrol who need food and water. Let's go to market.

Everybody else, parli Italiano. And tune into an Italian radio station.

I think we chose the right uniform. Don't be too sure.

If they offer you tea, drink it. If they offer you food, eat it.

What did you do that for? I didn't like the tea.

See if there's anything we need in the packs.

Are you out of your mind?

If anybody's going to get killed here, I give the order.

Is that clear? Somebody gave the show away.

Who? You did.

If you'd stayed at home, they'd still be alive.

Well, I didn't stay at home.

And I'm not leaving.

It's a German radio.

Every patrol in the south would have been on to us five hours after we left them.

Destroy it.

Fifty more Bara'sa coming.

They're miles away. They won't be here till nightfall.

We can't go that way.

We're not going back.

Then there's only one other way we can go.

Is there a pass?

Not for 120 miles, right down to Siwah.

Let's have a look.

LEECH: All aboard!

Aren't they going to bury them?

We'll have to go back.

How long are these cables? About 250 feet each.

That'll never work.

Are we carrying any string?


Get it.

Lead on.

We need 327 feet.

Sadok, shackle those cables together.

Are you strong? Yes.

Then get the end of that cable to the top of that cliff.

Aren't you coming up? No.

Kafkarides, sand channels, pulleys and tow chain.

Unload those trucks!

Take that down and shackle it to the other truck.

Yes, Captain.

Hold it!

Kostos Manov.

He says unload. Take it up.

Are they ready?


Take it away.

Is that truck loaded?


Cable's going!

Get down!

Radio's gone. No more music.

I ordered you to unload.


Salvage what you can.

We spend the night at the top of the cliffs.

Murdering bastards.

Masters' men. Who else?

Now every Arab for 200 miles knows there are British patrols in the Qattara Depression.

Do you think we should change our course, sir?


This is the only track out of the Qattara.

We got to keep going south until we get to Siwah Pass.

Very good, sir.

Lieutenant. Sir.

Get these corpses buried. They're beginning to stink.

Certainly, sir.

Get these corpses buried!



Our business is blowing fuel dumps.

You play dirty, Captain Leech.

The way to survive here is to watch, listen and say nothing.

I play safe.

Good. Get the men.

Bury them.

Bury them!

I think he means it.

You'd have killed one of us, maybe two, you'd have been the third.

I know. That wasn't very clever.

You want to forget the noble sentiments if you want to live.

I'll manage.

Funny thing, survival.

We've only covered 80 kilometers in the last two-and-a-half days.

Quite good going.

At this rate, the war will be over before we get there.

Don't worry, you'll get your medal.

Why don't you say something?


I said why don't you say something?

Why don't you talk, like a human being?

Because I want to survive here, I watch, I listen and I say nothing.

In any case, Captain Leech, I don't trust you, and I really don't want to know you.

All right. Tell me something.

How did the other English officers die? Unexpectedly.

Must find new one.

What about spares? No more spares.

If I'd done the inspection, there'd be more spares.

There may be some tires. Let's have a look.

We're getting close. Better start traveling by night.

Let's see if there's a tire.

This looks like a good one that'll fit.

There's a jack here.

Keep perfectly still.

Kostos Manov.

See if it's wired.

It is wired.

Don't move.




DOUGLAS: Are those all the dressings you've got?

We lost them in the wireless truck.

Stop! Stop!

Hold it!

If we go on, Hassan will die!

Can't we leave them? We need them.

There's a German supply road only 20 miles from here.

We'll have a look.

We've got to keep going!

Go on.

You're learning.

Kafkarides, get in the back.

Come on, get in the front.

It's all right.

It's only a nurse.

Hold that.

Don't you know how to handle a woman?

LEECH: Boudesh.


She can take care of Hassan.

If he dies, you die.


Any luck?

The receiver's gone, but I think we can transmit.

What time are we due to transmit?

278 megacycles at 1922 hours.

We'll try before we move off tonight.

What happened here?


What are you telling them?

I'm trying to explain why we're six days late.

Well, keep it short. We don't want to be monitored by the Germans.

That's it.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

We go in now?

Why not? It's perfect cover.

You won't be very popular.

With them or with you?

Don't worry about me. Worry about them.

We're going in under cover of this storm.

LEECH: Come on.

Sadok, tell him if she causes trouble, to kill her quietly with this.




Keep in my footsteps.

I'm going ahead.


Well, this mission's over. Now we can go home.

I'm in command here.

We're going to find the real fuel depot and destroy it.

Well, go ahead.

Give them your orders.

Right. We're going to find the real fuel depot.

Come on.

Me, I'm going to find a boat.

Anyone interested?

You don't care about anything, do you?

I care about you. That's why I've been looking after you.

Masters is paying me to bring you back alive.

How much?


Want a ride, Captain?

HOMERTON: Come in.

Sit down.

This aerial photograph shows your oil dump is still intact.

You seem to have failed again.

I'm afraid so, sir.

That's all right, Masters. In fact, it's exactly what we want.

Montgomery has broken through. He's moving fast along the coast.

By tomorrow night, we'll be in Cyrenaica, by the weekend, Benghazi.

I knew things were moving, sir, but...

So our conventional methods do seem to have paid off.

Quite. So, I shall want you to call your chaps off.

I can't do that, sir. I've lost contact with them.

I've had orders to capture all fuel depots. We need them.

What can I do, sir?

Don't you know of a reliable double agent? Get in touch.

You want me to inform against my own men, sir?

Do you know any other way of stopping them?

Is this an order, sir? Yes.

Then may I have it in writing, please? No.

But you'd be well advised to do it.

I'll see what I can do, sir. Do it.


Petrol. Forget the petrol.

As soon as it's dark, I'll be on one of those boats.

I'll feel safer.

I'm sure you will.

I think I have an idea.

What's that?

Create a diversion.

Blow the fuel dump, and while they're fighting fires, grab a boat.

You're still trying to win a medal. No.

I don't think I'll get a medal.

But you'll get your boat.

We can give it a try.

What are you telling them now?

We attack at midnight tonight.

Let's go.

MAN OVER PA: Put down your guns and stand up.

First, come forward.


Captain R. V. Douglas.

Royal Engineers.

Second, Cyril Leech.

Third, Sadok.

Fourth, Kostos Manov.

Fifth, Kafkarides.

Sixth, Hassan.

Seventh, Assine.

Stand up and come forward.

You are surrounded.

I repeat.

We know you are here.

Come out at once.

You shoot that one.

I'll shoot this one.

Throw the charges that way and go.


Wait. Throw the charges that way, but follow me.

How did they know our names?

Masters told them.

Why would he do that? Stop us blowing the oil.

They must have changed their minds.

If he betrayed us, he deserves to be shot.

What does it matter who betrayed us?

The Germans can catch you. You can trip over a mine.

It's the principle of the thing.

You sound like the man who gave me 15 years.

I wouldn't be here now if I wasn't worth £2,000 to you.

Would I?

Probably not.

Lie still.





Well, the news is wonderful, isn't it? It is rather good, sir, isn't it?

Not too late for another drink, is it? No, indeed, sir.

By the way, congratulations.

I gather you reached your chaps. Yes. It would appear so, sir.

I had one or two notions about stirring up a little trouble in Tripolitania.

Tell me more. But first, here's to Monty. And here's to victory.

To victory.

They're British. I know.

Have you got anything white? No.

I should wait.

If you're going to surrender, I should leave the pistol.

Come on, Cyril.

Don't you want your£2,000?

Sorry, sir. I didn't see the white flag.

Don't do it again.