The Captive Heart (1946) Script

This film is dedicated to prisoners of war.

Their unbroken spirit is the symbol of a moral victory for which no bells have pealed.

And which will not be remembered with the battle names on regimental colors.

It was a war in which no decorations could be given, but to have come out of it with a whole spirit is its highest honor.

These are a few of those men captured in the summer of 1940.

They were the men who stood on the Dial, the Somme, and the La Basi Canal, who fought at Calais, April, St. Valery, and the vital perimeter around the Beaches of Dunkirk, the men who held on until the German armor thundered past their lines.

220 miles they marched into captivity, through that blazing, gusty June, through France, through Belgium, through Holland, to the Rhine.


Beer isn't what it used to be.

I hope the French beer isn't what it used to be, either.

Remember the last time, Ted?

Yeah, I remember something better than beer, too.

Ooh, she was a smasher.

I can see her hair now, blacker than coal.

Ooh, boy! She taught me a thing or two.

Pity you kept it to yourself.

It's proud we should be married to a couple of Don Juans.

Don't believe a girl ever looked at him twice.

Poor old dear.

Yes, you looked twice, didn't you?

You caught me off me guard.

I was low following the flu.

Wonder what made you marry me.

You don't know? That wicked tenor voice you have.

Leave them. That's men tend to that.

Any more for any more?

No, thank you.

It's nearly 12:00. We've got to be at the depot at 7:00.

Come on home... we'll have 'em both back before you can turn round.

War will be over by Christmas.

War will be over by Christmas?

Where have I heard that before?

It's a shame we got to close the business.

Why, it's just habit we've got into, fighting the same war every 20 years.

Nasty habit, too.

Good night, Flo.

Good night.

See you in the morning.

All right.

She's a troubled worrier...

Shame she never had kids.

And her always wanting them so much.

They'd have took her mind off things.

Well, it's too late now, I suppose.

Are you sorry Glad and Mary are grown up?

Well, I am and I'm not, in a manner of speaking.

What about starting all over again, old girl?

No, thank you, Ted.

I'm too old for that kind of war work.

Ha ha ha!

Thanks, Stephen. I liked that a lot.

The boy definitely shows promise.

Nearly 1:00.

May I catch a lift?

Yes, of course.

Come on, Carol. Put your bonnet on.

Cheerio, Stephen. See you before you embark.

Right-o, Robert.

Good-bye, Stephen, darling. Take care of yourself.

Good night.

Well, wait for me.


Come on, Carol!

All right, Robert!


Caroline! Caroline!



You left your scarf.

I know.

I had to come back.

Robert. What about him?

I wanted to tell you.

It's all over with Robert.

I think he understands.

I told him 3 weeks ago.

We met 3 weeks ago.

I wasn't sure until tonight.


You've only 48 hours before you go to France.

It's nothing and it's everything.


I hope you know how to get a special license.

And don't forget to write, David.

Yes, Mum.

And let us know if there's anything you want.

Thank you, Mrs. McDougall.

Will you write to me, Elspeth?

David, I will.

You see, I...

Yes, David.

Good-bye, David.

Good-bye, David, my boy.

Good-bye, Mother.

Take care of yourself, David.

Yes, Mrs. McDougall. Elspeth, you see, I...

Me too, David.

What did you say?

I love you.

Elspeth. Elspeth, will you marry me?

Yes, David!

What's he talking about?

Sorry. I've no idea.

Can I be of any help?

Do you speak German? Good.

He says the officers must be separated from the men.

But we must keep the wounded with us.

We've only got one M.O. Among the lot of us.

He says they may stay with us till we reach the camp.

Thank you.

Anyway, a lot of them will remain automatically on the orderlies'...

That's right.

Well, come on, lads. In we go.

How's tricks,?

Mustn't grumble, sir.

You'll feel better with a...

Thank you, sir.

I don't know that you ought to smoke with that chest.

Oh, it's nothing. Wound's practically healed.

It's a pretty bad show all around.

I take it you fellows feel the same as I do.

We mustn't let the Jerries see we're down.

Take the Jerries to get me down?

It's them ruddy cobbles.

What can I do for my feet, sir?

Do what I do. Try to forget 'em.

I can't take 'em off, can I?

How are you, Lennox? Eyes hurting you a bit?

A wee bit, sir.

We'll get the Jerries to give you some proper treatment As soon as we reach camp.

Thank you, sir.

How about you?

Mustn't grumble.

You okay?

Not too bad.

How's the arm?

Feels better now, sir.

Good boy. All right, lads.

It won't be long now.

Then you'll be able to have a real rest.

Thanks for the help just now.

Useful man to know. Perfect German.

Dalrymple's my name. 31st Lancers.

Geoffrey Mitchell, 5th Oxfordshire light infantry.

Oh, where did the Jerries pick you up?

Oh, really? I didn't know the 5th were anywhere near there.


March to attention!

Good afternoon.

Good afternoon. Do sit down, would you?

Thank you.

My name's Celia mitchell.

I've heard my husband may be a prisoner of war...

Captain Geoffrey Mitchell.

Maybe. Didn't the war office notify you, Mrs. Mitchell?

Well, no, you see, I don't suppose he put me down as next of kin.

Oh, I beg your pardon.

Your husband's regiment?

5th Oxford light infantry.

General index. Give me particulars of Captain Geoffrey Mitchell, 5th Oxfordshire light infantry, will you?

I'd like to send him parcels.

I suppose I can do that.

Oh, yes, certainly.

...flag 27. Prisoner of war number 1376.

Thank you.

Hello, Mummy!

Hello, darling.

Have you had a lovely day with Grandpa?

Will Father ever come back to us, Grandpa, Even when the war's over?

Well, would you be glad if he did?

No. He used to make Mummy cry.

He is a prisoner.

Hello, Desmond.

Hello, Mummy.

Janet, I'll leave you in charge.


He didn't put me down as next of kin.

Well, that seems to be the final gesture, doesn't it, my dear?

It was only logical, I suppose.

Poor Geoffrey.

Poor Geoffrey?

Well, I for one don't intend to shed any tears over him.


I'm going to write to him.

You are?


Can't do any harm or good.

They must be glad of any news of home.

I don't suppose poor Geoffrey ever portrayed the faintest interest in his home.

I can tell him how the children are getting on.

I can see Geoffrey regaling his fellow prisoners with news of the children he's scarcely ever seen.

You're afraid, aren't you, Father?

Certainly. I'm afraid that you may let yourself be carried away by sentimentality and suggest patching things up with him.

Don't worry.

We said so many hard, cruel things to each other.

I'd like to wipe out the memory of them.

And then if we should happen to meet when the war's over, it won't be as enemies.

Here. Go easy with the soap.

Sorry, old boy.

We may make it last 2 days more if we're very careful.

After that, we've got to make do with godliness.

I say, Padre, what are you smoking? Sauerkraut?

Fag ends, fag ends, fag ends.

Lucky fellow. I'm down to Mr. Middleton's specials.

I hear there's a bush up by the...

That's not too bad in a pipe.

Had a marvelous dream last night.

Anybody I know?

Eggs and bacon.

Tomato ketchup this time.

We must have lost a shocking lot of stuff.

There's nothing to stop 'em.

He's bound to invade before the end of summer, And that's the end of us.

Here, steady. What about the home fleet?

What about the Luftwaffe waiting for the home fleet?

Well, of all the damn defeated!

Well, if you prefer to be a ruddy halfwit.

What about the RAF?

Hitler can't stage an invasion until he's got control of the air, and I don't see the boys handing him that on a plate.

Hear, hear!

You can't judge Hitler by ordinary standards.

If he thinks he'll invade, he'll invade.

My old woman makes the kids pay a penny a week for the Red Cross.

I'm writing to her to stop that caper.

Red ruddy Cross!

Bloody sausage we ever get out of it!

It's only 2 months.

Don't forget, there were only a few hundred prisoners here before.

Now there are tens of thousands.

It's a big job.

Yeah. Don't let's kid ourselves.

Nobody worries about us anymore.

We've been written off.

You're a pessimist.

How do you spell "sufficient"?

Same as the Sergeant Major's blessing, Two "F"s and 1 "C".

Writing about the grub.

Muck, I call it.

Bit of the old woman's cooking, is what I'd like now.

What a sucker I was joining the ruddy army.

Pitching meself coming it loose with some of those rowdy old French dames.

Here I am shut up in this place, then I'll be past it.

You ought to have joined the Navy and let the world see you.

Now, son, there's no use you blowing off.

Take things as you find them, That's always been my motto.

The way I look at it is...

Look at you! Drip, drip, drip.

You turn me up. You're worse than a woman.

Knock it, sonny. I was swinging a rifle when your nappies was swinging on the line.

Swinging a lead, more like it.

Here, if you're looking for a kip on the ear, my lad, you've come to the right person.


That cigarette. Let me see it.

What do you mean see it?

Well, it's a Player's. Where did you get it?

Saved it up, of course. What's it got to do with you?

I had 3 Player's left. You stole it!

Ah, go chase yourself.

Hand it over!

Pipe down, you little Welshman.

Give it back.

You did pinch that fag of young...

Yes, I did. So what?

Just this.


Been asking for it, sonny.

I'm a man of peace, and peace is what I'm gonna have plenty of in here.

Blimey. They'll have to have you at the peace conference.

How are you today, Jessup?

Mustn't grumble, sir.

Managed to get on his feet.

We'll soon get you out of here.

Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.

Morning, Lennox.

Oh, good morning, sir.

Got some good news for you, David.

Yes, Padre?

Yes, my lad. You'll be rejoining the rest of us tomorrow.

Oh, that's fine, sir.

And I'll be able to take this bandage off.

Not yet, I'm afraid.

You'll have to wait till the optic nerve is completely healthy again.

Then they'll send you to the eye hospital for an operation.

So you'll have to be a very patient patient, my boy.

I'll do my best, sir.

That's right.

I'm sorry, mate. I'll give you a packet of 20 when the Red Cross parcels come.

Losing my temper over a fag.

I shouldn't have left them roving about.

You know, you wouldn't be a bad lad, if you got rid of some of your nasty habits.

Don't knock it. Leave all that reforming stuff to the padre.

What's your job in Ciwy Street?

Only suckers work.

Oh, a "Y" boy, eh?

You bet.

Me and Ted's in the building business.

What about learning the trade when we get home?

I'll be home long before you two mugs.

You got out of tougher spots than this, eh?


Got a plan?

Dozens of 'em.

For instance...

You know, I can't make up me mind whether to turn this into a brigantine or a schooner.

I wonder how Jane's getting on these days?

Who is Jane?

Your girl?

No, no, the Jane, the strip in the "Mirror".

Oh, yes, the strip in the "Mirror".

Well, I suppose a highbrow like you wouldn't read the "Daily Mirror. "

Why highbrow?

I mean, perfect German and all that sort of thing.

Spent much time in Germany?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I have.

Come to think of it, it's funny that none of the rest of your chaps got caught with you.


Did you have a company?

Yes, machine gun company.

Machine gun company?

You see...

I think I'll turn it up. Wound's hurting a bit.

And all I have to do is stow away in one of them garbage bins Or something... why, it's as easy as...

If you're planning an escape, Mathews, may I give you a piece of advice?

Individual escapes hardly ever succeed.

These things have to be very carefully planned and coordinated by a whole group.

All the same, sir, I'm gonna have a go at it If you have no objections.

Well, good luck to you.

Good luck. Two-faced bleeder.

I don't know what it is, but there's something phony about that bloke.

Always sucking up with the german m. O.

Like... Or somebody.

Look, men.

That settles it.

But they do have machine gun companies in the German army.

Do you seriously think he's a traitor?

He speaks German as well as any German.

Of course he does. Why shouldn't he be a German planted here as a stool pigeon?

That would account for a lot of things.

Yes, we're always talking about home.

He never does. I hate to believe it.

Come in.

May I report something, sir?

Go ahead.

Well, it's rather confidential, sir.

It's about somebody we think's a 5th colonist.

An officer?

A matter of fact, sir, it is.

Captain Mitchell, sir.

There you are.

A minute ago, he overheard me planning a breakout and went straight over and talked to one of the German guards.

Thank you, Mathews.

Keep your mouth shut for the time being.

Very good, sir.

There's only one thing to do with a rat.

String him up!

Here, wait a bit.

Man's innocent till he's proved guilty.

Don't let us behave like a bunch of nazis.

Come on.

Oh, Mitchell, you didn't destroy your identity card, did you?

No, why?

Oh, just check up. Have a look at it?

Do you mind duplicating your signature?

You can't do it, you swine, 'cause your name isn't Mitchell!

Come on, what are we waiting for? Let's get it over with!

Stop it!

If you have anything to say, you better say it quick.

It's a long story, and...

You wouldn't believe a word of it.

You're dead right, we wouldn't!

Shut up! Go on, spill it.

I'm not a German. I'm a Czech.

A Czech in British officer's uniform?

That's bloody likely!

I'm in charge here. Shut up, and that's an order!

Go on.

I escaped from a German concentration camp.

I got through to France, and I took this uniform and the identity card from Mitchell's dead body.

It was my only chance if the Germans caught up with me.

If that's the truth, why didn't you tell us at once?

Would you have believed me any more than you do now?

Besides, I have more to fear from the stool pigeons than you have.

You've no proof of your story.

None. How could I have?

How do you come to speak such perfect English and German?

My father was at the Czech embassy in London after the last war.

I spent my childhood there.

German is a sort of second language in Czechoslovakia.

I became professor of English at Prague University.

I'm not much of a soldier, I'm afraid.

What were you talking about to that guard just now?

Oh, I was trying to get a chess set for David Lennox.

Achtung! Achtung!

All British prisoners will parade at once.

You may get proof of my story after all.


The civilian. His name's Forster.

Gestapo. How do you know?

For a time, he ran the concentration camp I was in.

You think he'll recognize you?

Well, if he does, he'll do your job for you.

Achtung! Achtung! Come on.

All British prisoners will parade at once.

Stand your men at ease, please.

Stand at ease!

Gentlemen, I present to you Herr Forster... the foreign office.


For the time being, all communications between Germany and England are at a standstill.

Your letters, therefore, cannot leave this country.

To keep you informed, however, our news bulletins will be broadcast to you in English.

And as you cannot hope to receive news from home, arrangements have been made for you to broadcast messages to your next of kin.

Will all those who wish to avail themselves of Herr Forster's offer, take 3 paces forward!

You are the senior British officer?


Are your men afraid that this is some sort of propaganda trick?

Well, it's just possible.

As you wish.

Your name?

Mitchell. Mitchell?

You are the officer acting as hospital interpreter.


I understand you speak almost perfect German.

That's rather unusual for an Englishman.

Is it?

I wonder why your face seems familiar.

I have many friends in England.

Possibly we met there.


Excuse me.


Do you wish to continue this conversation?


Prisoners cannot be required to answer any questions other than those relating to name, rank, and number.

Quite, quite.

The matter is of no importance.

This is today's official war communique Issued by the German high command.

The battle of Britain has entered upon a new and final stage.

Annihilation of England's towns and cities by the all-conquering Luftwaffe.

Last night, just before sunset, air-raid sirens sounded their ominous wailing notes To the 9 million inhabitants of greater london.

All night, an endless stream of bombers roared about the city Discharging their loads of high-explosive and incendiary bombs.

Anti-aircraft opposition was negligible, For the British do not possess the guns to defend their homeland.

And this attack will continue tonight from dusk till dawn until the nerve center and capital city of the British empire Is reduced to a vast pile of rubble, dust, and ashes.

The words of our great battle hymn have come true at last.

We march against England.

Come on, boys. Let's give 'em our great battle hymn!

# Roll out the barrel #

# We'll have a barrel of fun #

# Roll out the barrel #

# We've got the blues on the run #

# Zing, boom, terrara #

# Sing out a song of good cheer #

# Now's the time to roll the barrel #

# 'Cause the gang's all here #

Come on!

# Roll out the barrel #

# We'll have a barrel of fun #

# Roll out the barrel #

# We've got the blues on the run #

# Zing, boom, terrara #

# Sing out a song of good cheer #

# Mow's the time to roll the barrel #

# 'Cause the gang's all here #

You should have come to see me before this, Mrs. Evans.

Nothing wrong, is there?

No, but you're not exactly robust.

I had the flu last year, but nothing since.

And you're over 40, aren't you?

Only just.

Well, we needn't make any decision yet.


I may have to suggest an operation.

I see.

Thank you, doctor.

I was at Finn's the night before last.

Miracle none of us copped it.

The guvnor was just standing around.

This one's on the house, he said.

And it was.

Well, dear?

Everything's all right.

Waste of time and money it was, making me come and see the old doctor.

Your dad wants you to make quite sure, you know.

Yes, of course.

I always felt I'd failed him, but never a word of reproach.

There's kind he is, all through.

But now, now I won't fail him.

I know I won't.

Stephen wrote that for me.

My application's been approved, Carol.

Staff job, west end...

I was going to ask you for a photograph, But perhaps I'm better without it.

Look, Robert, Ever since Beryl's been living here with me, I've seen how crazy she is about you.

Why don't you and she...

Beryl and I might have made a go of it if I hadn't met you first.

I'm sorry, Robert.

I did treat you shabbily.

No, you didn't. I realize now you were never more than just fond of me.

You'd have realized it, too, even if Stephen hadn't turned up.

I always will be fond of you.

As long as you're happy. That's what matters.

That's sweet of you.

My dear.

I'm sorry.

I'm not.

But it's got to be good-bye, Robert.

Good-bye, Beryl.

Last Christmas, I had my first concert.

It's there I met Caroline.

Last christmas, I was in Dachau concentration camp.

Christmas eve, a new batch of prisoners came in.

One of them brought me news of my family.

They'd been caught giving food to a polish Jew.

They were taken out and shot.

My father, my mother.

All of them.

Only 36 shopping days to Christmas.

Christmas. Parked around a blazing fire with a great bowl of hot rum punch.

Looks like it's snowing again.

That should raise the temperature a bit.

What binds me is living by courtesy of Jerry.

Can't see any future in it, really.

They say the first 7 years are the hardest.

If the next 6 are anything like this...

Well, the Red Cross parcels are bound to arrive soon.

You've been saying that for exactly 4 months.

I've been meaning it for exactly 4 months.

All I can think about is food.

Roast turkey, mince pies, Christmas...

Oh, shut up!

Well, lad, it's me again.

Yes, padre.

David, they can't operate.

Not ever?

No, David.

I won't ever see again?

I don't believe it. It's that German doctor.

When I get back to Scotland...


David, it's no use. You've got to face it.

I'll not need this anymore.

You feel now there's nothing left to live for, And that feeling will go on for a long time, But then you'll begin to remember the things that are left.

You'll begin to realize that this darkness of yours is not absolute.

David, the things that make life worthwhile for all of us...

Kindness, affection, companionship...

The loss of your sight can never argue those things, David.

We're your friends here.

We offer you our help and understanding.

And waiting to welcome you home when all this is over, are your own folk who love you.

I'll be all right.

18, 20, 21.

What's for tea?

Fancy cakes. Just fancy you've had 'em.

Good job we haven't got any brass monkeys in here, We'd have the RSPCA down on us, and no error.

Can't you do anything with this ruddy stove?

Isn't there anything else to burn?

All right.

I never said a word, did I?

Go on, burn the ruddy thing.

It's enough for a brew up.

They've come! Hundreds and hundreds of 'em!

All right, I'll bite. Hundreds of what?

Red Cross parcels with ruddy...

The Red Cross parcels are here!


Red Cross parcels are here!


# O come all ye faithful #

# Yoyful and triumphant #

# o come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem #

# Come and behold him #

# Born the king of angels #

# O come let us adore him #

# O come let us adore him #

# O come let us adore him #

# Christ the lord #

# Sing choirs of angels... #

O.C. Sports... you. O.C. Music... Stephen Harley.

Anything else I haven't covered?

No. Extraordinary, isn't it?

We seem to have specialists on every subject.

Aren't you an expert on anything?

Only racing, I'm afraid.

I had thought of starting a little bookmaking business.

Why not? Anyway, your money will be safe.

You can't welsh on us.

Ha ha!

Ok, number 4 shift.

How far?

About 3 feet.

Good. By the way, doc, I put you down O.C. Entertainment.


What about me? I've had masses of experience backstage.

What sort of experience?

No need to make low insinuendos, old man.

Come on, fellows! Here it is!

Mail from home!





My father's been thrown through the dispensary window.

What, by an angry patient?

No, a bomb.

Well, well, they've requisitioned the church hall.

I say, that's serious.

What is?

Veronica. She sweats all night.

Well, surely she can do something about it, With all these advertisements and things.

Don't be a halfwit. Veronica's a filly and is getting ready for the flat.

Oh, sorry, old boy. I thought she was a...

My kids have been evacuated to the country.

And my girl joined the land army.

Said she'll wait for me till the cows come home.

That's one way of putting it.

Listen to this. "Dear Daddy, today is your birthday.

"I hope it will be your last. "

Hello, David.

I didn't notice. Shall I read your letter for you?

Thank you.

It's signed... Elspeth.

"Dearest David, "Your mother says I am silly to worry about it, "but it seems queer not a word from you yet.

"Do please send me a line when you get this.

"The three of us had a little party on your birthday.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful, darling

"if you were home again for your next?

"I miss you all the time.

"Your loving Elspeth.

"P.S. I'm going to join the Wrens. "

Will you do me a favor?

I'd like to answer it at once.

Yes, of course.

Here's a form.

I've got a pencil. Ready when you are.

My dearest Elspeth, I am dictating this letter because my wound Is not quite better yet.

I've been thinking things over.

And this is to ask if you will release me from our engagement.

I realize now I don't feel the way I fancied I did about you, So it's best to make a definite break.

Yours, David.

David, why not tell her the truth?

It is the truth.

About your eyes, I mean.

Why not let her decide when she knows?

Will you please send that letter?

But David...


All right, David.

Ted, it's it! It's it!

It's it!

Wonderful news, man, wonderful.

It's Delish. There's a baby coming.

Good old Di! I reckon that's the best Christmas present you ever had.

I can see her now, the way she smiles with her eyes.

Aye, indeed. It's lovely to...

How do I look for a godfather?

Why, yes! That's it, man.

You and Flo. It goes without saying.

And what's the matter?

Got the same chit from the income tax as me, old boy?

Well, don't worry. They can't put us in jag.

We've had it.

What wouldn't I give to see Queen's Park play Rangers this year.

Never mind, padre. They'll be playing over here one day.

Achtung! Achtung!

All British prisoners will parade at once.

Hello! What's cooking?

Forster's on the warpath. They're gonna search the camp with a fine comb.

Forster again.

Achtung! Achtung!

All British prisoners will parade at once.

Achtung! Achtung!

All British prisoners will parade at once.

Gentlemen, we have discovered your tunnel.

Since you have thus abused the amenities accorded you, and pending reconsideration of the camp's security measures, all these amenities will be removed until further notice.

I've given instructions, therefore, to confiscate all books, writing material, music, all tables and chairs, mirrors, knives, and shaving equipment.

You may dismiss the...

Right. Dismissed.

I suppose I shall have to grow a beard after all.

I don't know whether to have one of those 2-pronged affairs or a natty little imperial.

Wonder how long they'll keep it up.

Not more than a month, I should think.

Well, I'll keep on nagging at the commandant.

Good afternoon, gentlemen.

Good afternoon.

I hope this slight setback won't prevent you from trying again, But I must add a moat will be dug around the whole perimeter, which, as you know, makes tunneling impossible.

Captain mitchell, who speaks such excellent German...

What's he want this time?

Wants to know why I haven't written a single letter home.

Well, why should you?

Mitchell may have had nobody particular to write to.

But he had.

This came today.

It's from his wife.

You must answer it, or she'll make enquiries.

You'll have to fake it.

Seems a pretty cruel fraud.

You're wearing a dead man's shoes.

You've got to get used to the feel of them.

My handwriting. She'd know at once it wasn't her husband.

Yes, take a bit of figuring out.

Alibi for using your left hand.

That's what you need.

I can't see much point in this, Now the blighters have taken away the football.

Well, anyway, it's good exercise.

Think so? I suppose next week they'll give us back the football and take away the goalposts.

Come on, it's your turn now.


Look out!

Good morning, Mrs. Mitchell.

Thank you.

Oh, look.

I've mastered the boiler and the tire pump.

I won't be defeated by a miserable wireless set.

I've heard from Geoffrey.


Is he well?

I don't know what to make of it.

He seems so changed.

Good. Any change in Geoffrey could only be for the better.

Well, the change seems to include his handwriting.

Hurt his hand. Using his left.

Listen to this.

"It is a world cut off completely from the real world.

"Time stands still here.

"The future is remote. The present empty.

"Even the past begins to seem unreal.

"But a man must have something to hold onto.

He must forge lengths to keep him sane.

"Will you write to me again, celia, "as though I were a stranger?

"Somebody who knows nothing of your life and your home.

"Even of yourself. "


Why, he's even learned to write grammatically.

Write to him as though he were a stranger.


Come back to be briefed.

Sort of a hush-hush job.

Thought you wouldn't mind if I just called in this evening, Say hail and farewell.

Of course not.

Come in.

You look ill, Carol.

I'm all right.

I ran into Beryl in an odd sort of mood.

I gather she isn't living with you any longer.

No. No, she left soon after you went away.

Heard from Stephen yet?

Oh, yes, I've heard from Stephen.

What's he say?

That our marriage is all washed up.


He got a letter accusing me of having an affair with you.

Carol, I... but who?



I see.

And he actually believed it?


I'll write back myself and tell him the whole thing's a deliberate, malicious lie.

What for?

What for? You don't want Stephen to go on thinking this, do you?

I don't care what he thinks now.

Carol, you mustn't take it like that.

Stephen's a prisoner of war.

If you were in his place, would you pay two seconds' attention to a poison pen letter?

I don't know.

I'd never been in love before.

I thought being in love meant that you trusted each other completely.

All the things he said, I believed every word.

Killed my love for him.

Caroline, my darling, I can't bear to see you cry.

Don't forget to drop us a line, dear, if there's anything you want.

I've tried to get used to it, Bu I still can't believe it.

We were so much in love.

Ah, it's a mystery to me.

He has a right to change his mind, I suppose.

Could it be that he doesn't think it's fair to make Elspeth wait on and on?

Do you think it might be that?

No. I don't think David's the kind to make that sort of sacrifice for that sort of reason.

Good-bye, my darling.



The photograph I'm sending makes me look absurdly young, but I'm no longer young.

The one of Janet, that funny expression's only shyness, not a stomach ache.

I can see her now through the window telling her grandpapa how to plant tomatoes.

I'm worried about her teeth.

Father thinks she should wear one of those wire things.

And that hulking boy is Desmond. 9 years old yesterday.

The village is livelier than it's ever been.

We have a large contingent of evacuees and a lot of other visitors that come and go.

Everything's changed and yet nothing's changed.

There's the whistle of the 4:35.

Half an hour late as usual.

Mrs. Trusket still serves her homemade toffee.

Where she manages to get the sugar from, I can't imagine.

And there's still cricket on Saturday afternoon.

Oh, what a kick in the pants that turned out to be.

5 times more officers than other ranks and they have to knock the stuffing out of us.

It was a mistake having Longarm too close to the wire.

If he has to run back to take a catch, he's had it. Yeah.

Do you know what the Jerries want for a new ball?

What? 500 cigarettes.

Sheer blackmail.

Oh, I think it's worth it if this marvelous weather continues.

I wonder if they've been having an early spring at home.

"The apple trees are in full blossom already, "making the orchard look like a sheet of freezing snow.

"And 10-Acre Meadow is all white, too.

"Because this year, "that's where the ewes are pastured with their lambs.

"Soon the garden will be filled with the scent

"and color of the May.

"And beyond the river, "you can see the first vivid green of the larches

"and the bluebell wood. "

Ted? Yeah?

Remember that redhead I told you about?

Let's see, is that your own true dream girl lovey pie Or cheerio, toots?

It's my steady.

She says the works manager's fallen for her.

Says he s a key man.

Sounds like one of them backdoor key men to me.

You and your pinup girls.

My pinup's Tessie O'Shea, with a...

Yeah, but in my experience...

Your experience?

God blarmy, one sniff of a barmaid's apron, and you'd be on your knees, sonny boy.

That's all you know.

Teach you a thing or two.

What's the matter, Ted? Bad news?


Blimey, I never saw that one.

Hey, my old woman's got on the buses.

Oh, you'll be walking the kids when you get home.

If we get home.

It's a firm stand I'm gonna take.

The rest of them you can eat, but not Lili Marleen.

She's got such a trusting look in her eye.

Besides, next winter I shall use her as a hot water bottle.

I've had a letter.

Amazing. Perhaps there's one for me With news of the baby.

No letter for you.

There is news.

Flora's all right?

Not Ann-Marie?

She's okay.

Letter's from her.

"It's a baby girl. She's doing nice.

Until its... "

You'll have it sooner or later.

Seems that doctor warned her about it being dangerous, Because of her age.

She wouldn't be put off.

Flo was with her at the end.

It was all over quite quick.

Flo's gonna look after the baby until you get back.

The play's the thing.

We're in our catch the conscience of the king.

Well, what happens in the end?

Do they thump the dirty old basket off?

Well, there's a sort of all-round massacre, And Hamlet gets killed himself.

That's gangster stuff.

The old boy certainly knew his onion.

You wait till we get to "Richard III."

There's a murder on practically every page.

You're getting pretty hot at this business, David.

Oh, it's easy. But I'm still terrible clumsy with my hands.

Oh, I don't know about that.

That tobacco pouch you made was a smashing job.

I've got sort of used to it now.

And, well, you've all been so...

You get on with your reading.

I want to know what happens next.


Celia, your letter has arrived with the photographs.

They're in front of me as I write.

You ask me to describe our life here so that you may picture it in your imagination.

From where I sit, I can hear the sound of a piano.

It is my friend Stephen Harley.

I wish you could hear this music, for it describes our life here better than I could ever do with words.

It tells of men emerging from the twilight.

Turning their faces inward. Through wire.

Creating in miniature a world of their own.

It tells of men who have come to terms with the present and find it far from empty.

Men who no longer lie down to fate but face it.

And find their own ways of beating it.

All this goes to make up the picture of our life here, made bearable only by the letters and parcels we receive from home.

They keep our bodies and our faith alive.

And that is true not only of us here in our little wired enclosed cinder patch, but also of the scores of other camps throughout Germany.

Great sprawling towns of 20,000 men or hamlets of a few hundred, each a little piece of England.

Months pass and my thoughts are constantly of you, Celia.

Summer gives place to autumn, autumn to winter.

Another Christmas come and gone.

Another batch of prisoners to swell our numbers.

They don't make the housing problem any easier.

They bring us eagerly awaited news of the outside world.

A little while ago there was a rumor that some of us were to be repatriated.

I allowed myself to dream that these letters of ours could come to life.

I could see with my own eyes your home, the children, Yourself.

But the commission never came.

Were we forgotten?

Or was it just one more reprisal?

Being they are prisoners, this practice must come to rest.


Finally, the recent operation...

As a reprisal for such an unwarranted action, All British prisoners of war of cellblock 27 until further notice remain manacled from dawn until dusk.

Brigade dismissed. Carry on.



It's easy. Sardine key.

Turn to the right.

Turn to the left.

Bob's your uncle.

All part of the Red Cross service.

Ha ha!

Our third winter is approaching bringing with it a new enemy.

It's not the duration but the indefiniteness.

But if a man knew the length of his sentence, he could plan accordingly.

Afterwards in our memories, we shall relive only the sunny days or pleasant scenes, a freedom of mind and the comradeship.

We shall forget the wet days, the wet weeks.

Those days when it seemed an effort to do nothing and our bunks were the only release.

Deep down in the hearts of all of us, there dwells a lonely ache, a desperate yearning for those we love and a fear, fear of becoming forgotten men.

Write to me again soon, Celia.

You could never know how great the comfort is that your letters bring to me.

They're more than comforting.

They give me strength and hope and happiness.

You will never know how much they mean to me.

Oh, my dear, I am so terribly moved by the way you write.

Is it too late to recapture the happiness or our best years together?

I have no place in your past or your future, Celia.

You must think of your husband as dead.

This is good-bye.

I understand. Don't be afraid.

I'll help you back.

I'll give you back your strength, the strength you've given to me writing to me through these dark years.

I'll wait for you.


They'll soon be able to see the channel.

They'll be home in time for tea.

That's exactly 157 pounds you owe me.

Cut you through the pack. Double or quit.

Not on your life.

I've got me old age to think of.

Blood sucker.

Oh, well, there goes my gratuity.

Cheap enough to pass the time.

Funny how much you learn about time when you're killing it.

Such as what?

I've got a theory that everything that counts Is done by busy people.

When you've got too little time, it's extraordinary what you can do with it.

And when you've got all the time in the world, like us, you don't do a damn thing.

That's it, doc, you're becoming quite a philosopher in your old age.

Why not? The war hasn't exactly chosen us to be heroes.

I know exactly what I'm going to do with my time right now.

I'm going to climb into my bunk and do absolutely nothing till supper.

They're talking about tiram for the derby this year.

It'll be the fourth derby I've missed.

4 derbies. That's a hell of a lot of time.

With nothing up or down on the books to show for it.

Bloody leeks again this year, Donny?

I was thinking of trying some asparagus.

Asparagus? That takes 7 years a crop.


I don't give it more than another year myself.

Another year?

With it will be 4.

Flo's hair has gone all white, she says.

Everything's changing.

Do you think we'll be able to pick it up?

The business and everything?

Search me. We're not as young as we were, Donny.

No, Ted, we're not as young as we were.

Surely they'll invade soon.

Yeah, that's what you said last year.

And the year before.

What, it's the holiday list?

Yeah, it's there for all of us. 1949.

I wrote that for Caroline.

Somehow it expressed what I felt when I first met her.

It was after a concert.

There weren't any taxis.

We walked back across the park.

After a bit, it began to rain.

So I carried her on my shoulders.

You're still in love with her, aren't you?

I've tried to shut her out of my thoughts completely.

But I can't. I long for her all the time.

I'm a bigger fool than you are.

Falling in love with a photograph.

A dream.

And a home in a strange land.


Oh, carry on.

Good afternoon, gentlemen.

Oh, please, do carry on.

Each time I visit this camp, I'm intrigued as to where we met before.

But now I think I know the answer.

Your name wasn't always Geoffrey Mitchell.

Your identification photograph is being sent To Gestapo headquarters in Berlin.

They have a large collection of photographs there.

It will be interesting to make comparisons.

I suppose it had to come.

They always catch up with you in the end.

Repatriation, fellas! Repatriation!

Great news, gentlemen, great news! Repatriation!

And this time it's the real McCoy.

The thing that makes me mouth water, real live girls.

Hundreds of 'em, all lining up waiting for me.

Bipeds, old boy, furnished with two of practically everything!

A mixed German and Swiss medical commission will examine all those whose names are down for repatriation.

Apparently it's a rush job, so anybody who gets his ticket will leave in a week's time.

So you've got a chance.


But we must have positive evidence to justify repatriation.

Of course.

Ah. Anything else, Corporal?

Well, sir, every time I breathe, I can feel me liver knocking up against me kidneys.

Come here.

Cough, please.

Cough? Blimey, do you want me to bring up my appendix?


You have passed.

Thank you, sir.


I wonder if you'll get through.

Hello, Evans. You'll soon be seeing your youngster.

Yes, indeed.

I'm sorry to hear about you And Captain Grayson, sir.

Oh, well, the flat racing season's over.

Do you know that Swiss fellow actually had the nerve to congratulate me on my fitness.

Ha ha! Well?

I got my ticket, all right. Fine.

You have passed.

Suits me, sir.

Captain Mitchell.


You need not strip, Captain Mitchell.

I regret your case is deferred until the next board in 6 months' time.


And once it's discovered he's not Mitchell, he's sunk. They'll have no mercy.

We've got to do something for him.

Yes, but what?

Excuse me, sir. Can we put up a scheme to you?

Sure. Sit down.

What's it all about?

We know the spot Captain Mitchell's in.

We thought we'd fix up a stunt to get him out of here.

What's the scheme?

Well, sir, there's a list of bloke for repatriation In the commandant's office.

We thought if we could get hold of it, alter the names...

Stage a break-in, sir.

Hear, hear, hold on.

We aren't professional burglars.

Well, yes, sir, as a matter of fact, well, I was.

Were you really? Well, how awfully interesting.

Commandant's office... only one wire to cut.

Yes, but what about the perimeter lights?

They always put them out when there's an air raid.

And they've been as regular as clockwork lately.

Gosh, I believe we've got something.

Suppose we do get the list. What then?

I can type.

Scratch out one of the names beginning with M and type Mitchell's on instead.

Just a minute. Don't you see, the chap whose name goes off has to stay behind.

Well, uh, my name begins with M, sir.

You'd really give up your ticket home?

Why not?

But I thought all the girls were lining up for you to come home?

Well, so they are.

But they'll wait.

You are a sportsman.

Gentleman, we'll have a snack.

Now, as I see it, the drill is this...

# My eyes are clear, I cannot see #

# I have not brought my... #

Here come the boys. Bang on the dot.

What do you mean?

Well, just another raid, old boy.

All right, chaps, lights out and sing out.

Well, they had better start.

I know. God bless the R.A.F.

Here he is.

Good boy. Look out!

All clear.

That's the lock you've got to pick.

Good, there's a typewriter.

Get down!

Type on the floor.

It's tougher than I thought.

Let me try.

Must be a bit out of practice.

I'll say.

Good, this is it.

Sing, you so-and-sos, sing!

That'll do. Come on.

That'll fool 'em.

Let's split up and get back to our own huts.

Ok, sir.

What's going on?

You're not supposed to know.

The boys were out there putting your name on the repatriation list.


You will all remain here until the other huts have been checked!

Permission to go home, sir?

Yes, provided you put a... for me.

It's you that ought to be going home.

Oh, don't you believe it.

I'm a social parasite.

The sort we're fighting to get rid of.

That's right. I've got to stay here and exterminate him.

Ha ha. Go slow with the...

Don't forget to save a couple of peach-fed blondes for your Uncle Jim.

That's a promise.

Oh, I was kidding.

You're one of those one-woman blokes, aren't you?

Yes, that's my trouble.

Sorry, then. Always putting my foot in it.

Don't forget to tell the girls round Hammersmith Way that I'll be home soon and I've got plenty saved up to give them a treat with.

Yeah, you bet.

I'm gonna keep my job warm for you.

Horsfall, Evans, and Mathews.


Hello, Mathews. Feeling all right?

Yes, it's all right, sir.

I was a sissy passing out like that.

I can never thank you for what you've done.

Well, forget it. Just keep your head down on the parade And pop your uncle.

Thanks. Don't worry, sir.

You'll get through all right.

We'll be right behind you, sir.

One other thing. What about the German M. O?

He's certain to be on parade, and he's more likely than anyone To remember that Mitchell's name wasn't on the list.

I know. I've thought of that.

I'm going to start up a conversation with him while they're calling the names.

He only speaks about a dozen words in English.

You leave it to me.

Hello, David, my boy.

Good-bye and good luck.

Good-bye, sir, and thank you all.

See you again before you know where you are.

Yes. Come on, David.

Don't forget. We've got a bridge date tonight.

Don't forget the cigarettes you owe me, padre.

Play you a double at quits tonight, jim.




There are a lot of things I'd like to say, but...

But I can't.

Go on. Off you go.

Good-bye. Good luck.

So long, old boy. Good luck.

Keep out of the German M.O.'s eyeline.







How soon do you think the war will end now, doctor?

6 months or one year if you're light.

By then, you'll be speaking fluent English.

You think I've made good progression?

Oh, terrific. Ha ha.

Yes, you Germans certainly have the gift for languages.

You think so.

Of course. Yes. Ha ha.

After the war, they make me headmaster of Oxford University.



Acton. Ashe.

# For the gang's all here #

I'm sorry, madam, but you can't go in.

I must. It's my husband.


Excuse me.

Excuse me.

What's happened to the iron gate, Mother?

It went for salvage 2 years ago.

I'll miss the squeaking of that old gate.

Have there been any other changes?

No. I kept your room exactly as it was the day you went off to France.

Same old smell.

Sunlight, soap, and furniture polish.

You come in here for a minute and I'll get you something to eat.



That last letter.

Your mother showed me.

Telling the truth about your eyes.

So that was the reason.

The reason for what?

For breaking our engagement.

But you can't go on being engaged when you're not in love any longer.

You can't go on breaking a person's heart to satisfy your own stupid pride.

I'm not prepared to discuss the matter.

Neither am I. David...

Why did you have to make me so dreadfully unhappy?


But... but what are you...

There were some things I left behind.

Caretaker let me in.

I had no idea.

I'll go now.


Yes, Stephen?

Are you all right?

Why are you crying?

Because I'm a fool.

Are you unhappy with Robert?

I'm not with Robert.

Oh, Stephen.

Why did you have to believe that idiot?

It wasn't true? It wasn't true?

No. Not then.

Go on.

When I got your letter, it was as if all I'd ever believed in didn't exist anymore.

I didn't care what happened.

He was in love with you?


And you?


Let me go now. Please.

Listen, Caroline.

There, everything seemed so... so out of proportion.

I think I was mad for a bit.

You see, I loved you so desperately.

Still do.

Always shall.


Thanks, mate.


Well, this is it, Don.


How do you feel?

Empty. Empty inside.

Me, too, like it wasn't me standing here at all.

Come on, Don. Let's get weaving.

Hello, old girl.

Hello, Ted.

Doing you all right?

I'm seasick.

Stomach always was your weakness.

Suits you.

Oh, Ted.

There, there.

I can't leave don out in the cold like that.

Oh, don.

Hello, flo.

Oh, it's lovely to see you.

Come on in.

Where is she? In here.

Hello, Gwyneth.


Do you know who I am?

Yes. You're my Daddy, aren't you?

That's it. Look.

I made this in the prison camp for you.

Can she shut her eyes?

No, she can't.

My doll can.

She's lovely.

So that's settled.

Captain Hasek reports to duty to Czech headquarters.

There was something I wanted to ask, sir.

About Mrs. Mitchell.

Oh, yes. Very awkward, of course.

Don't worry, Captain Hasek.

We've got that matter in hand.

I wanted to suggest, sir, as it's my responsibility, that if the notification of her husband's death could be delayed until I've seen Mrs. Mitchell myself.

She'll have to be told through the usual channels, you know.

Yes, sir, but in a case like this, it's...

War office will look after it.

Or if you like, go down and see her yourself.

There's nothing to stop you.

I see.

Thank you, sir.

Looks like rain.

My dear. It's no good going on hoping.

You must face up to it.

That he won't come back?

That he won't come back.

Grandpa. It's starting to rain.

Come help me put the chairs in the summer house.

Oh, come on.


I'm sorry. I was expecting someone else.

Mrs. Mitchell, I came to see you.

I have some news for you, of your husband.


Come in, please.


Your husband is dead.


He was killed 4 years ago in the fighting at Saint-Ardennie.

I heard from him. From the prison camp.

Your husband was never in that prison camp.

He was never a prisoner of war.

But... the letters.

I wrote those letters.



But I...

I took these from your husband's body.

I took his name, his uniform, his identity.

For 4 years, I've been Geoffrey Mitchell.

But why?

To save my life.

The Germans were after me.

The letters?

Later in the camp, I had to write.

They suspected me.

If I hadn't answered your letters, they'd have been on to me.

You had to answer my letters.

I understand that. You...

You even had to go on writing.

I understand that, too.

Why did you have to write the way you did?

I believed every word you said.

At first, I had to make you tell me as much as possible about yourself.

I was fighting for my life.

And then...

I got your other letters.

Photos of the children.

Glimpses of things lost to me forever and...

It was as if you were offering me a new world.

It was easy out there to delude oneself.

And I believed a wonderful thing had happened.

My husband had left me.

And those letters made me believe he was mine again, That everything would be as I'd hoped it would be.

I planned for the day he'd come home again...

For a new life together.

What a fool I was.

You were still in love with him?

How I can tell now?

I know there's no excuse for what I did, but...

Will you go now, please?

You must believe that I meant what I wrote.

Your letters came to be my life.

You see, I fell in love with you.

It was a dream then. Now it's reality.

I allowed myself to dream these letters of ours could come to life.

That I could see with my own eyes your home, the children, yourself.

Celia, you're wanted on the telephone.

Who is it?

Captain Hasek.