The Deadly Affair (1967) Script

Mr. Fennan, we know it's idiotic, but when the Foreign Secretary finds that sort of letter in his in-tray, it's like London airport getting an anonymous phone call to say that there's a bomb on the Prime Minister's plane, and somebody's got to do a check.

Was the letter anonymous?


Was it literate?

Oh, yes, properly spelt, properly punctuated.

No cranky stuff.


It was typewritten.

An Olivetti portable. Westminster postmark.

And what exactly did it allege?

It said that you were a member of the Communist Party at Oxford in the '30s and that you were still secretly sympathetic with the communist cause.

But my dear Mr...

Dobbs, Charles Dobbs.

Practically everybody was a member of the Party at Oxford in the '30s.

Half the present Cabinet were Party men.

(SHUSHING) Please!

You know, Mr. Dobbs, when you're young, you hitch the wagon of whatever you believe in to whatever star looks likely to get the wagon moving.

When I was an undergraduate, the wagon was social justice, and the star was Karl Marx.

We perambulated with banners.

We fed hunger marchers.

A few of us fought in Spain.

Some of us even wrote poetry.

I still believe it was a good wagon, but an impracticable star.

We had faith and hope and charity.

A wrong faith, a false hope, but I still think the right sort of charity.

Our eyes were dewy with it.

Dewy and half-shut.

Who opened them?


Ann? APPLEBY: No, no, Appleby.

Oh, Bill! I'm sorry.

Well, I hope you're wide awake, old boy, because your subject Fennan has shot himself.

But when I was in the park with him this morning, he was as happy as a bloody lark.

I liked him.

We had a perfectly satisfactory interview, and I as good as promised him full security clearance.

What on Earth makes them think it was suicide?

Body position.

Yes. I'll be right over. How long?

In, well, about 20 minutes if I can get a taxi.

Ann took the car and I don't think she's back yet.

Does the Adviser know yet?


Oh, hell.

Well, I'll be as quick as I can. Bye.



(CAR HORN HONKING) I want to go to...

Oh, well, that's my own car coming back.

There you are, five bob, all right?

Oh, thanks. Thanks very much.

Good night.

Good night.


Are you arriving or leaving, Charles?

Leaving. Just the office. There's a flap on.

You have a good evening?


I'm afraid so.

Who was it this time?

Oh, I see. Somebody I know.

Do you want the car?

Darling... Get back to bed, darling.


I turned your fire on. It's bloody cold.

APPLEBY: Oh, Charlie, you're in the nick of time.

What for?

To stop the Adviser from having kittens, darling.

He just left Scotland Yard in a state of advanced pregnancy.

There's a squabble going on about which department handles the case.

Special Branch says... Special Branch.

CID says CID.

Poor old Surrey Police don't know what's hit them.

Well, what does the Foreign Office say?

Oh, Foreign Office think they do know what's hit them.

The death of a loyal and talented staff member, blah, blah, blah.

Well, he was, Bill.

Worried sick and driven to suicide by the Gestapo methods of a brutal intelligence officer, blah, blah.

You know that's a load of bull.

I had a perfectly friendly interview with this man in the park.

I left him happy.

Well, if you tell that to the Adviser, you'll leave him unhappy.

He's scared enough about the newspapers splashing a suicide.

If this department starts even hinting that Fennan might have been murdered, and then it turned out to be wrong...

I warn you, he'll want to play it safe.

Tell us exactly what happened.

Fennan and his wife lived down in, um...


At Walliston, I know that!

She went to the local theater alone this evening, well, yesterday evening now.

She came home about 10:45, found he'd shot himself in the living room.

He left a sealed letter addressed to the Foreign Secretary.

Has it been opened?



ADVISER: Has Dobbs arrived?

Yes, Adviser.

At once, please!

Save a kitten for me, darling!

Thank you.

The police believe it to be a clear case of suicide.


What I believe is not the point, Dobbs.

The point is, the Foreign Office believe the police.

It's unfortunate that in this distressing matter we are now answerable to the two public bodies with whom our current relations are most, shall I say, uneasy.

If, of course, there are facts not included in your confidential report which point to Fennan's suicide for reasons other than his interview with you, I shall be happy to hear about them. Are there?

Have they opened his suicide letter?

They're Photostatting the original.

It was typed on Fennan's own machine and signed with what's indubitably his own signature.

It carries not only the date, January the 3rd, but also the time, 10:30 p.m.

That's a little unusual.

A methodical man could still be methodical in extremis.

"My dear Minister, after some hesitation

"I have decided to take my life.

"I cannot spend my remaining years

"under a cloud of suspected disloyalty.

"I realize that I am the victim

"of paid informers and that my career is ruined.

"Yours sincerely, Samuel Fennan."

May I have your comments?

Yes, you may.

He must have been raving mad.

The letter sounds perfectly sane.

But so did he when I interviewed him!

He was a little over-talkative perhaps, but I put that down to understandable nervousness.


That's why I suggested we clear out of his office, which was rather public anyhow, with people coming and going, and conduct the interview less formally in the park.

Then I may take it that his suicide and, of course, his letter, came as a complete surprise to you.

You find no explanation?


You have no idea who denounced him?

No, neither had he.

He was married, you know.


A somewhat unusual woman.

Foreign. Jewish, too, I gather.

Suffered rather badly in concentration camps during the war, which rather adds to our embarrassment.

It seems conceivable that she might be able to fill in some of the gaps.

I think you ought to go and see her.


But she thinks that I'm responsible for her husband's death.

If you want police cooperation at Walliston, we've put in Inspector Mendel down there as our liaison officer.

I don't think you've worked with him before.

He's a CID man. I thought he'd retired.

He has.

That makes it easier for him to serve two masters impartially, the police and us.


SECRETARY: Sir, the Minister is calling.

Put him on.

MINISTER: Martin? Yes, Minister.

Any progress? Yes.

I have the man in charge of the case with me now.

He will be with the widow at 8:15 this morning.

Good. Keep me informed.

Yes, naturally. The moment I have his report.

Right. Right.

Yes. Goodbye, Minister.

Could you see her at 8:15?

Do you really think that this woman will...

I'll telephone you at 8:45.

You better go home now and get some sleep while you can.

If I can.

My dear Dobbs, you know you have my support.

We authorized the security check.

You conducted it. You've nothing to worry about.

Except Mrs. Fennan.

Quite so.


I'm sorry, love. I was in a huff.

About me?


There's a fellow at the Foreign Office seems to have shot himself.

They want me to go down to the wilds of Surrey in, oh, four hours.

Poor darling. When will you be back?

How long would you like me to stay away?


I'll phone you before I start home.

Do you want to know who it is?


Why not?


We tried that before.

Knowing gives a shape to the jealousy.

I don't want that sort of distraction when I have to be busy.

I suppose I ought to shave.

You ought to kick me out.

We tried that before, too. Remember in Stockholm?


We missed one another.

Good night, then.




DOBBS: Mrs. Fennan?

My name is Dobbs.

I see.

The police rang and asked if I minded.

I didn't know what to say. Come in.

Who can one ask to clean such things?

Sit down.

If you're too warm, you can take your coat off.

Oh, thank you.

You're the man who interviewed my husband about loyalty.

I'm the man who recommended that your husband be cleared.

Cleared? Of what?

Your husband was a communist when he was at Oxford.

His recent promotion at the Foreign Office gave him access to highly secret information.

Some busybody wrote us an anonymous letter, and we had no option but to follow it up.

I was only doing my duty.

To whom, Mr. Dobbs?

We had to check.


Sounds like a game, doesn't it?

It's not a game, Mrs. Fennan.


You treat people like wooden pawns.

You plot their moves.

You write their names on papers, and then you put the papers into files.

But sometime the names have wives and children, as well as records.

And generally very ordinary human motives to justify their sad little dossier and their make-believe sins.

And when that happens, I'm very sorry for you.

Yes, when that happens, I'm very sorry for myself.


Then go back to Whitehall and look for more spies on your drawing board, because you have no place among real people.

You dropped a bomb from the sky, but don't come down here to look at the blood and hear the screaming.

Mrs. Fennan, you've had a terrible loss. You must be exhausted.

You can't have slept all night.

Thank you, but I scarcely hoped to sleep today.

Anyway, uh, sleep is not a luxury I enjoy.

I am conscious of my body 20 hours a day.

As for my loss...

Are you married, Mr. Dobbs?


Maybe you would describe your wife as a precious possession?

I don't possess her. I love her.

You see, for six years in camps, I had no possession, except for a comb and a toothbrush, and a comb was of no use because my head was shaved those days.

DOBBS: I see.

I, uh...

I loved my husband.

But I have the experience of suffering losses with discretion.

Mrs. Fennan, my interview with your husband was almost a formality.

I'm sure that he enjoyed it. We got along very well together.

Well, that's not the impression he gave me.


No, he was terribly upset when he came back home at 7:00 last night.

He said he couldn't face the theater, and made me go by myself.

He took a sedative tablet.


Who's that now?

It could be my chief.

He said that he might ring me down here.

Would you like me to take it for you?


OPERATOR: Walliston 294? Yes?

Good morning, sir. Exchange here. Your 8:30 wakeup call.

My what? Your 8:30 alarm call.

Oh, yes! Thank you very much.

Yes, it was for you. It was your 8:30 alarm call from the exchange.


Somebody who cannot sleep and ask for an alarm call, did that surprise you, Mr. Dobbs?

Yes, a little.

It shouldn't.

You see, I have an appalling memory, so the call was not to wake me, but to remind me, like a knot in a handkerchief.

What was it that you had to remember?

You see, I almost forgot that, too.

I had to remember that Samuel was short of sherry, and that I should call the wine merchant for a morning delivery.

It won't be necessary anymore.

Well, I've already intruded too long, Mrs. Fennan.

If my chief should call, will you please tell him that I shall be at the Walliston police station with Inspector Mendel until 9:15?

After that, I shall take your advice and return to Whitehall to my drawing board.

OFFICER: Stand up.

Good morning, sir.

Charles Dobbs.

Mr. Dobbs, sir.

Stand up! Good morning, Mr. Dobbs.

I've a message from your department.

You're to ring the Adviser at once.

Thanks. Use my office.


Here's Mendel. Asleep on duty.

Kick him out, if you want to.

He's not a proper policeman anymore.

He's an old-age pensioner. Make yourself at home.

Thank you.

Would you like me out, too, sir, while you phone the Adviser?

No. We'll let the Adviser have another kitten or two while we do something rather more practical.

Someone at the Fennan house asked to be called by the Walliston Exchange at 8:30 this morning.

I want to find out what time the request was made and, if possible, by whom.

OPERATOR: Number, please.

Walliston Police. Supervisor, please.

And I want to find out if it was a standing request for a morning alarm call, and if so, let's have all the details.

Can I help you? Walliston Police.

Supervisor? SUPERVISOR: Yes, sir.

Walliston CID here.

There's been a burglary in Merridale Lane, and we think they may have used the house opposite, that's Walliston 294, as an observation point.

Would you find out whether that number called the exchange any time after, say, 6:00 yesterday evening?

6:00. I'll check that, sir.

Right. Thank you. I'll hang on.

Photostat of the suicide note.

Super said to give you a copy.

They're sending the original to the Foreign Office and a copy to Marlene Dietrich.

Marlene Dietrich? Who's that?

Sorry, sir. That's what we call your Adviser, sir.

Pretty general in the Branch and in the Foreign Office, too.

Very sorry, sir.

I think it's beautiful. Don't be sorry.

And don't call me sir.

Typed on his own portable.

What make? Olivetti.

Well, so was the anonymous letter that denounced him!

Well, it's a pretty common make. We'll check, of course.

SUPERVISOR: Hello, caller? Hello. Yes?

I have some information. Yes, I'm ready.

The only thing we have down for Walliston 294 last night was an alarm.

Oh, yes?

It was made for 8:30 in the morning.

I wonder when she asked for that.

7:55 last night.

7:55 last night?

It was a man who made the call, sir.

Oh, it was a man, eh?

Girl's quite sure it was a man?

Yes, she's absolutely definite.

Oh, I see. Well, that fixes that, doesn't it?

We'll have to think again, won't we?

Thanks all the same.

You've been very kind. Bye-bye.

You're welcome.

Samuel Fennan asked for this morning's alarm call about two and a half hours before he shot himself last night.

An Olivetti portable!

And so was the letter that denounced him to the Foreign Office.

Yes, Dobbs, Olivetti's are two a penny.

But everybody has one.

That is exactly my point!

I think we ought to give the facts to the police.

And have a murder case plastered across every front page in two hemispheres before it turns out we misled the police?

Before the department makes a fool of itself, let us at least try to separate fact from hypothesis.

By all means! Fact:

Fennan came home last night at 7:00 and told his wife he was upset by your interview.

Fact: he took a sedative and sent his wife off to the theater alone.

Hypothesis, my hypothesis: he thought the sedative might make him oversleep, so he asked the exchange to give him an alarm call at 8:30 on the following morning.

And then committed suicide!

It all hangs together nicely, doesn't it?

I will also hazard the hypothesis that the sedative depressed him rather than soothed him, and that he accordingly shot himself between 10:30 and his wife's return from the theater at 10:45.

The 8:30 alarm call is neither here nor there.

Then why did she have to lie about it?

Why did she say it was for her and not for him?

Because she thought, as she might be pardoned for thinking, that you would use the alarm call as a means of evading your own responsibility for his suicide.

And she meant to have the satisfaction of denying you that evasion.

She's a bereaved woman, Dobbs, she needs to be placated.

Like the Foreign Office and the police, with whom our relations are "uneasy."

Have you anything further to say?


Please say it.

By all means.

Fact: you are known to the Foreign Office and the police as Marlene Dietrich.

Hypothesis, my hypothesis: they may very well be right.






Hello, darling.

Back so soon?


How was it?

Well, it was all right, pretty hectic.

I'm sorry I forgot to phone.

Morning, Mrs. Bird!

Morning, Mr. Dobbs.

Guess who's blown into London.

I haven't the faintest idea.

Guess. Please. I cannot guess!

Dieter Frey!

Servus, Charles.

Oh, Dieter!


Oh, welcome back!

It must be two years.

Yes. We went to that first night, do you remember?

Oh, that awful old actor playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the Lyric Hammersmith!

What did The Times say?

Oh, yes, he said, uh, "Mr. Aubrey Hunter's Dr. Jekyll

"was infinitely more terrifying than his Mr. Hyde."

Why did we ever go?

Well, we went because this illiterate Austrian had never read the book.

What? That from a man who's only read 12 lines of Goethe!

Have you, Charles? I never knew.

Yes, Faust.

I could still quote them.

I'm not going to, though.

We used them as the key to Dieter's radio code, when I was operating him in Austria from Zurich in 1943.

Dieter was only 18 then, but he appeared to know the entire works of Goethe by heart!

Well, not to mention the entire Nazi battle order in the Tyrol.

If it's war memories, I'll do the laundry list.

I'll give you five minutes.

They were very good days, Charles.

I hate to say it about a war, but I enjoyed them, too.

The issue seemed clearer, so did my conscience.

I had a brilliant agent in play.

(CHUCKLES) Thank you.

And I was happy about what I was doing.

What are you doing now?

I'm resigning from the Home Office.


Civil servant was found shot.


This one?


For reasons which I don't approve, my boss, my former boss, wants me to report it as suicide.

DIETER: And you couldn't. No.

Can you find another job?

Well, I suppose so.

But I'm so angry that I've a good mind to press on with this one.

Unofficially, of course.

You mean follow it up alone?

Yes. Unless you'd care to join me, like the old days.

And be fired by my boss?

I'll bump off your boss if you bump off mine.

All right. Which department?

We cope mostly with aliens.

Like me?


What we call undesirable aliens who've outstayed their welcome.

Am I outstaying mine?


Would you call Dieter desirable or undesirable?



Two years ago he was something in zinc.

Now he's something in chocolate.


Amreins from Zurich.

ANN: He brought me a sample.

How long you staying?

A few days.

Business lunches, business dinners, I even have a business breakfast.

Who knows, I may actually do some business, too.

Oh, tycoon?

I have hopes.

Veering to the right, at last!

As the money comes in, a little further to the right than when you first knew me.

I'm a socialist capitalist.

Auf Wiedersehen, Charles.

Give me a call if you can spare the time.

I promise.

Thank you again for the chocolates.

MRS. BIRD: Bye, Mr. Dobbs. See you again tomorrow.

Bye, Mrs. Bird.

I must follow her!

Yes, follow her from the opposite side of the street.

"Using shop windows as reflectors

"and good cover for stopping suddenly

"if the suspect stops, too."


Your pupil still remembers the handbook.

See you again, Dieter. When?

I'll send you one of our postcards.



Dieter invented a special way for us to arrange emergency meetings during the war.

Did it work?


He never makes mistakes, does he?

I think he made one just now.

He kissed your hand.

You offered him your cheek.

And for the first time in...

What is it, seven years?

He didn't kiss you on the cheek, he kissed your hand as if he had something to hide.

Does it have to be Dieter of all people?


And in this house?

You never phoned!

Can I only invite people you have cleared for security, or do I have to check them against a card index?

It's my house as much as yours!

It's not my house! It's not your house!

It's our house!

It doesn't have to be used for...

We only used it for meeting! We were going to...

I don't want to hear what you were going to do or where or when!

I wouldn't mind so much if it was one of your six-foot, randy musclemen without a thought in his thick skull except...

It's the...

It's the nice ones that I'm terrified of.

The ones that could give you love.

Oh, Ann.

Why does it have to be Dieter suddenly?

Like this, after all these years?

He never wanted me before.

And he does now?

Yes, Charles.

When did he tell you?

How did you happen to meet?

He phoned yesterday morning, about noon, to ask you and me to lunch.

I said you were out on a job, so he asked just me...

Doesn't his friendship...

Do you love him?

It's very easy to love Dieter.

Well, we both of us know that.

If I could love one man, it would be you, Charles.

But you can't, can you?

Are you asking me to try?

No, not again, I...

It's not much fun being with you, watching you trying.

But I've never held your appetites against you.

The un-addicted shouldn't blame the addicted.

I'm just relieved that it's less lethal than drink or drugs.

I wish it were curable.


Short of locking you up.

You could lock me out.

I'm going to lock myself out for a bit until we see...

Darling... No, look, I'm not being saintly.

I'm just being practical.


I resigned from the department.


And until I clear this thing up or get myself another job, I'll just be hanging around here, snivelling about my own personal life instead of attending to my professional.

Well, I want to settle this squalid little mess with the department once and for all to my own satisfaction, and not to the satisfaction of a bunch of selfish, sanctimonious, bureaucratic nits!

There's been an injustice done and I hate that!

And it'll give me something different to think about.

Different? Yes!

Until you and Dieter...

Haven't I done you an injustice?

Why don't you settle our own squalid little mess by telling me I'm a nymphomaniac slut!

Kick me out, and let me do what I'm going to do, but without the feeling that I'm crucifying a saint!

How can you be so bloody aggressive about your job and so gentle about me?


I've always thought that being aggressive was the way to keep my job and being gentle was the way to keep you.

Well, I've lost my job, haven't I?








No, it's these ants.

I was awake half the night trying to find out when they go to sleep.

Here, I'll let you in.

Come on in.

I hope I'm not being a nuisance.

No, I was flattered you phoned.

Let's have your coat and hat.

I made up a bed for you.

It's not exactly what you're used to, but it's quiet.

Come on in.

Oh, God.

A bit niffy, is it? Rather.

Well, it is a bit of a menagerie, isn't it?

Oh, I like these.

Yeah, I prefer the odd ones.

Exotics, they're called.

Did you say trouble?


I was followed, second time today.

Big fair-haired chap in a ramshackle MG saloon.

I threw him off near Putney Hill.

I got the number of the car though. XEL 390.

MENDEL: He's been booked twice for tax evasion, once for receiving and selling a car known to be stolen, four times drunk and disorderly, and once for blackmailing a queer.

He's my type, so leave him to me.

Have you got 10 quid?




Well, he's got to be here.

Here we are.



Hello, dear. Who are you?


Eunice? Eunice who?

Eunice Scarr. Is your dad in?

No. Your mum, then?

Which one?

How many have you then, dear?


Where are they?

In the pub with me dad.

I see. Thank you, dear.


That's funny. I smell copper.

Adam Scarr?

That's correct, friend.

Would you care to join me and my colleague for a drink at the other end of the bar?

It won't take a minute.

What'll you have?

A large whiskey, Wilf.

I see the ladies' glasses is empty, you know.

Gin and hot. A lager and lime.

Okay, guv'nor. WILF: Right.

We've got the constabulary on the premises, Wilf.

WILF: I always did say you were good for business, Mr. Scarr.

They come bloody miles to see you.

Well, I think you're better out of this.

Wait for me in the car, will you?

Sit down.

Your health, friend.

If you are a friend.

XEL 390. That your car?


Well, in a manner of speaking, squire, in a manner of speaking.

What the hell do you mean, "In a manner of speaking"?

It's on hire.

To whom?

Times is hard, squire.

The cost of living, rising stock.


Fifteen. Ten.


Well, three weeks ago, gent comes into the garage.

A small Scotsman he was.

Good shoes.

Posh umbrella with a little brass band around it.

He paid the deposit, took the car, I've never seen him nor the car again.

Daylight robbery, isn't it?

When you hired the car to this Scotsman, he filled in forms, didn't he?

Insurance, name and address, so on?

False, all false, skipper.

He gave an address in Ealing, which didn't exist, and a name, with which I doubt he was baptized, McTavish, Andrew McTavish.

Now, you've a record as long as the Old Kent Road is, Scarr, and I know where to find you.

So if you've told me a pack of lies I'll break your bloody neck.



Who the hell are you?

Hey, you! Come back here!

Name's Dobbs, Charles Dobbs.

Broken right hand and contusions on the neck.

Look after him, he's important.


I'll be in with the details. Just now, I got business.


WOMAN: (LAUGHING) Don't you just stand there.

Scarr! Come outside!

Now look, guv'nor...


OFFICER: Come on, move along. Pick it up.

Nothing to see. Come on.




Recognize anything? Stolen, was it?

By a small Scotsman with good shoes and a posh umbrella?

Decent of him to bring it back, wasn't it?

Friendly gesture after all this time.

You've mistaken your bloody market, Scarr.


So, the Scotsman called himself Blondie, did he?

What's your problem, skipper?

Not my problem, Scarr. It's yours.

The biggest bloody problem you've ever had.

Contravention of the Road Traffic Act.

Conspiracy to defraud the Inland Revenue.

Offenses under the Official Secrets Act.

Conspiracy to murder, accessory to murder!

Don't go over the bloody moon.

Who the hell's talking about murder?

I am, Scarr, I am.

You heard that ambulance just now.

There's a man dying in it, murdered by your Blondie.

There's another one dead in Surrey, and for all I know, there's one in every bloody Home County and you're the poor bastard that knows what this Blondie looks like.

He might want to put that right, mightn't he?

Not so bloody loud.

Look, I'm in a nice way of business round here.

The pickings is small, but regular.

At least it were till this bloke come along. What bloke?

Oh, bit by bit, copper!

Don't rush me.

Six months ago he come into the garage.

Dutch, he said he was, and in business.

If he was Dutch, I'm a bloody Dutchman.

Look, I'm not pretending I thought his business was straight, 'cause you're not barmy, nor am I.

He was cool, cool as charity.


"Scarr," he says, "I don't like publicity.

"I want a car, not to buy, but to borrow."

Those weren't his exact words, 'cause he was foreign.

I'm giving you the gist of it, you know.

Go on giving me the gist of it.

Look, I owed the bookies 40 quid.

The coppers were a bit sensitive about a car I bought on the never-and-never, and flogged over in Clapham.

And there was Blondie standing over me like me own conscious, rifling a wad of notes as thick as a pack of cards in me ear hole.

"Well, what's your proposition?" I says.

"I'm shy," he says.

"I wanna car that nobody'll notice, "with something fast under the bonnet.

"Keep it teed up for me every first and third Tuesday of the month."

He give me 500 quid to buy the car, 20 quid in advance for the first month's garaging, and he says, "There'll be a bonus

"for every extra day I take it out."

How was he to let you know about the extra day?

Well, there wasn't none, till today.

Then he didn't let me know. He just didn't bring it back last night.

Last night? Tuesday?

I told you! The first Tuesday of the month.

Didn't bring it back till today.

What was to happen if anything went wrong?

If you got pinched for bigamy, or something?

I had a phone number.

Primrose 0042.

Did you ever phone?

Nothing ever went wrong, did it?

Has now, though, hasn't it? Eh?

I think that's my money, isn't it?

You stay put, Scarr.

I'll be back sooner than you think.

Why, you can count on me, skipper.

I mean, wouldn't want to get mixed up in nothing shady, would we?

Not when jolly old England is gonna suffer.

Shut up, you sodden old hypocrite!

Hello, love.

You eat that nice egg I boiled you?


I gave some to Alice. Did you?

She's dying. Is she?

We'll have to go buy you a new doll then, won't we?

I took the liberty of telling Mr. Scarr that you were dying.

Oh? Did he cough up?

He coughed. The car was hired by the man that followed you.

No name, no address, only a nickname, "Blondie."

An emergency telephone number that was never used.

I traced it to the East European Steel Mission.

No reply.

What do you know about this mission, Bill?

Pure as the driven snow, on the surface anyway.

Four blameless secretaries and a watchdog.

Who's the watchdog? I'll find out.

If you could get a photograph?

You never said that.

Alternatively, I never heard you.

Well, I must go now.

If there is a photograph, I'll snitch it from files.

I want to live to see the Adviser eating his own vomit.

WOMAN ON P.A. SYSTEM: Dr. Avers, please. Dr. Avers.

Fog's coming up.

Mendel, I'm going to theorize.

I like facts myself, but go ahead.

Let us assume, what is by no means proven, that the murder of Fennan and the attempted murder of me are interrelated.


So, what circumstances connected me with Fennan before Fennan's death?

One: before the interview on Tuesday, January 3rd, Fennan and I had never met.

Two: the Foreign Office arranged the interview, but did not, did not, repeat, know in advance who would conduct the interview.

So Fennan had no prior knowledge of my identity, nor had anybody outside my own department.

My own department.

Three: I met Fennan in his office.

And then we went into the park where anybody could have seen us.

So a possible conclusion is that somebody did see us.

Somebody who was so violently opposed to our association that he did what Blondie did to me.

Mendel, who is Blondie?



Were you on a job, Charles?

No, you're not to worry.

They're letting me out tomorrow.

Dieter said he thought you might be.

No, I've resigned.

Then what were you doing at the pub in Battersea, of all places?

Getting drunk.

Because you couldn't get drunk at home.

You can come home, Charles.

I'm trying to tell you if you're really all right, I'm clearing out, too, for a bit.

I think it's better.

Where to?



Is he going back?

He will be, in a day or two.

Would it upset you very much if I gave you a kiss?

Yes, I think it would.

Don't fly if there's a fog.


Double, double...

Double, double...

...toil and trouble. ...toil and trouble.

WITCHES: Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf.

Witches' mummy, maw and gulf of the ravin'd salt sea shark.

Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark.

Liver of blaspheming Jew, gall of goat and slips of yew, sliver'd in the moon's eclipse...


Slivered in the moon's eclipse, Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips.

Finger of birth-strangled babe Ditch-deliver'd by a drab, Make our gruel thick and slab:

Add thereto a tiger's chaudron, For the ingredients of our cauldron!

WITCHES: Double, double toil and trouble.

Fire burn.

And cauldron bubble!

Terry, I presume that when Shakespeare wrote, "And cauldron bubble," he intended the cauldron to bubble.

And it would help me considerably to play this scene from the heart, if the cauldron were allowed to blow even one itsy-bitsy little bubble!

Yes, yes, all right. Okay. Virgin!

Let's have that dry ice, shall we?


That one's your best bet.

She's the local solicitor's stage-struck daughter.

You know, it's all the kinky boots and "get me if you can."

Daddy pays the tuition fees, so we put her in charge of props and advance bookings.

Sorry. Virgin!

Where have you been?

At the butcher's.

Buying the tiger's chaudron.

I looked up chaudron and it means guts. Sorry.

It's calves' liver.

Well, you said you wanted something that went "plop."

Mummy can keep it in the fridge till tomorrow night.

All right, witches!

Let's take it from the second "Double, double," please.

And Bert, let's have some thunder and lightning.

Now, come on everybody, put some back into it.

All right. One, "Double..."

WITCHES: Double, double, toil and trouble!

Bend your knees as you go round.

Fire, burn.

The fire's gone out.

That does it. That's it.


Come over here.

Now look, ducky, it's not very plausible that if the cauldron bubbles, the bloody fire doesn't burn.

Well, the lightning blew a fuse, we're mending it. Sorry.

All right. Bijou coffee break, everybody.

Bert, I want to run through some of those sound effects for level, that's the owl's scream, cricket's cry, cat...

Not you, Virgin. There's a fan over here who wants your autograph.

You're back in five minutes, everybody.

Miss, uh... Bumpus.

Sorry. Oh!


Can I give you a hand or anything?

Take a rock.

TERRY: Bert, it's "Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd!"

We've only got it twice.

Well, tell the first witch to say, "Twice the brinded cat hath mew'd."

My name's Savage.

I'm a private investigator. A divorce agent.

Oh, gosh, what have I done?

Nothing, apart from being able to help me on a matter of seat booking.

I've a client who wants to check on the movements of a Mrs. Elsa Fennan on the night of Tuesday, January the 3rd.

Oh, that's easy. She was here as usual.

As usual?

Yes, she has this standing order for two stalls, every first and third Tuesday of the month.

Was Mrs. Fennan, would you say, on intimate terms with the occupant of the other stalls?

Well, gosh, yes, I should think so.

I mean, he's her husband, isn't he?

Is he?

Oh, yes. I know they arrive separately, but he's foreign, too, and they're both madly musical.


Well, he has this music case just like hers, and they leave them in the cloakroom and then they pick them up again after the show.

Could you describe him to me? Oh, gosh, yes!

He's big and madly foreign, and sort of gold crew-cut hair.

I thought he's super.

I was livid when he didn't turn up.

Didn't turn up? When?

Oh, last Tuesday. It's the first time his seat was empty.

I thought he must have flu or something.

Well, thank you, Miss Bumpus.


"What is that noise?"

"It is the cry of women, my good Lord."

One of them was me.

Very good, too.

Good morning, sir.

Would you care for an aperitif?

A large dry sherry?

Yes, please.

And a lager for me.

Certainly, sir.

How did it really happen?

Didn't Ann tell you?

She said you pretended to be robbed.

I didn't want her to be worried.

Are you worried?

Is it the Fennan case?

Look, this isn't what I wanted to speak about.

Oh, Charles, please!

In any other country, we shouldn't even be on speaking terms.

This is a ridiculously British scene.

Is it?

Well, I've never played it before.

I've never played it before because I was certain that she didn't love any other.

She just wanted to go to bed with them.

She told me that.

Did she tell you that she loved you?


Do you love her?

Oh, Charles.

I'm not a child.

I know that real love doesn't just explode.

If it grows at all, it will grow slowly.

That's why I thought we could, perhaps in Zurich, take some time and...

How long? Her last longest was 11 days.

I don't want you to be hurt.

She can hurt, you know?

Thank you. I can look after myself!

Then there's only one thing that really troubles me.

Can you look after Ann?

Thank you.

Do you wish to order, sir?


The other occupant of the stalls was Blondie.

It fits.

They always arrived separately.

They carried identical music cases, left them in the cloakroom and picked them up after the show.

Switching cloakroom tickets is an old trick. But it worked.

Everything that Blondie's done seems to work, except that he didn't turn up on the night that Fennan died.

So, Blondie might have murdered Fennan while Elsa was at the theater.

Well, that's purely hypothetical.



Mention of a photograph here, eh?

DOBBS: That's him.

Don't wave it about like a bloody flag.

I snitched it from files.

Who is he?

Well, his name's Harek, Karl Harek.

He's Hungarian.

Came here as a grateful refugee after the revolution.

His record's as clean as a vestal virgin's.

So is the East European Steel Mission's.




All clear.

If anything has to be touched, will you do the touching?

We haven't the remotest right to be here.

One extension telephone on a table desk with no drawers.

Not even a bloody filing cabinet, let alone a safe.

However, an Olivetti portable.

Something odd here.

One, two, three, four, five typewriters all uncovered.

Now it's conceivable that one secretary could have left the cover off hers, but five?

So someone's been examining them.

Mendel. Mmm-hmm.

We're thinking that somebody saw the newspaper reproduction of the anonymous letter that denounced Fennan.

And that somebody suspects that that letter could have been typed by a traitor inside their own organization.

Eh, Mendel?

You make me tired.

All we know is five typewriters have been left uncovered!

Yes, but what do you think?

I think we ought to leave.


The caretaker.

DOBBS: That's Harek.

One of us has got to report that.

Then we're in trouble.

We could tip them off anonymously.

That seems to be the fashion nowadays.

Will you do that, Bill?

"Hello? This is a friend here.

"I've just seen a corpse on top of an elevator, "so I thought I'd give Scotland Yard a ring, see."

Brilliant. Are you sure you know the number?

Mendel, I think it's time I broke Elsa Fennan.


You could have let me know you were coming.

I thought it safer not to let you know. Safer?

Can I come in? We haven't much time.

You hurt your hand?

Harek hurt it.


Karl Harek.

He was carrying a cosh instead of a music case.

What are you trying to say?

Night after I left you, Harek tried to kill me.

Night after that, he killed the owner of the car he hired for coming down to meet you at the theater.

Seems he was trying to kill anybody who could connect him with Samuel Fennan.

Or with the wife who helped Fennan to pass documents to the other side.

Now somebody's killed him.

Somebody who thinks that Harek betrayed your organization by denouncing your husband to the Foreign Office in an anonymous letter.


You told me, Mrs. Fennan, that spying was a game.

Well, what kind of games did you and your husband think you were playing when you started to feed the bosses?

They get their strength from daydreamers like you.

Do you really believe that you can control the strength that you give them?

That you can stop the dance?

What kind of daydreams did you dream, Mrs. Fennan, that had so little of the world in them?


Look at me.

Look at me.

What dreams did they leave me?

I dreamt of children.

I had none.

I dreamt of a beautiful body.

They marked it.

That's when Samuel found me.

He pitied me, he loved me and he took me away.

He had dreams.

I had none but him.

One year ago in Murren, on a skiing holiday, Samuel met that Sonntag.

Sonntag? Sunday?

Did you ever meet this man?

No, never.

Then how did you know his cover name?

'Cause Samuel told me.

What else did your husband tell you?

Well, he told me that Sonntag was his...

His control?

Yeah, controller.

That he provided the money that came in Harek's musical case.

But Samuel used to send the money anonymously to charities, to the oppressed.

To the poor.

That's the kind of daydreamer he was, Mr. Dobbs.

In fact, he never quite grew up after Oxford.

And Sonntag could lead him like a child.

Did your husband ever meet him again after that first time in Switzerland?

Well, if he did, he never told me.

Did Sonntag ever come to England?

I don't know. Could he be in England now?

How would I know?

Could he have seen your husband and me in the park and thought that your husband was betraying him?

Samuel was not a traitor.

He was a traitor to his own country.

Samuel never thought in terms of countries.

Could Sonntag have told Harek to kill me?

It's possible.

Did your husband ever describe him?

Oh, you're a fool, Mr. Dobbs.

Why would Samuel give me unnecessary information?

You don't even know the rules of your own job.

And your job was to help your husband further a cause in which you didn't believe.

He had helped me. He needed help, I gave it to him. He was my life.

Mrs. Fennan, I understand, but please...

Take your hands off me.

Now go and kill Sonntag.

Keep the game alive.

Don't think I'm on your side. I'm on nobody's side.

I'm a battlefield for you, toy soldier.

You can march over me, you can bomb me full of holes you can burn me, you can make me barren, but never pity me, Mr. Dobbs, never.

Never tell me you understand my feelings.

Now, go away and kill.


Any news?

Yes, two things.

You were right about one of them.

Fennan's suicide note and the letter that denounced him were both typed on his own Olivetti, probably by different people.

Key pressures aren't the same.

And the other?

Well, I've seen the autopsy on Harek.

He wasn't thrown down that lift shaft alive, he was strangled first rather delicately by what's called a single degree of finger pressure on the thyroid cartilage.

Where do you want to go?

Well, will you chaperone me to my home?

Letters and things like that.

Of course. Did Elsa Fennan break?

I don't know.


DOBBS: Bill.

(MUSIC STOPS) Sorry to barge in, love, but I've been chasing you on the phone since noon.

Finally I rang here just after you spoke to Mrs. Bird from Mendel's.

She's gone now, but she said I could wait.

Something damned odd's come up.

I'll be with you in a second. Help yourself to a drink.

I have. What can I get you two?

Sherry. Mendel?

Not before sundown. Might drop off.

Where the hell has Mrs. Bird put my mail?

All right, what's odd?

What's odd, Charlie, is the subscription list to Foreign Office files.

I was there on a routine visit this morning.

It suddenly hit me that I might as well check on what Fennan had taken home in the way of files during the six months since his promotion.


Do you know, during the first five months he took home quite a heap of policy files and other secret stuff, but during the last month he took away nothing but low-grade, non-secret digests of foreign policy that anyone could have read two days later in Time Magazine.

It fits.

It could fit.

All right. Mendel's right.

It could fit. It could mean one of two things.

Elsa told me this morning that her husband was a communist and a spy, and that because she loved him she consented to be his courier to Harek.

All right! Either she was telling the truth, in which case Fennan was a spy.

Or Elsa was lying.

She was the spy.

Fennan got wind of it. He couldn't endure it.

He cut off her source of information and denounced himself in a letter, which he typed on his own typewriter.

Now, why on Earth...

To attract the attention of somebody, anybody, in Security without burning his boats by going through official channels.

Perhaps somebody that he could personally trust enough to be able to get private advice from, instead of a pair of handcuffs and a life sentence for the wife that he loved.

Who typed the suicide note?

Oh, it can only have been Harek when he committed the murder while Elsa was out at the theater.

And signed it?

You're not going to tell me that Harek couldn't have obtained a specimen signature through Elsa.

Are you suggesting that Elsa may have connived at her husband's murder?

That's rather a ghoulish thought, Charlie.

She's had rather a ghoulish life.

It's quite possible, of course, she didn't know what Harek wanted the signature for, but even if she did know, look, as a young Jewish girl gets broken on the Nazi wheel like a bloody butterfly, they pull off her wings, and when she can only crawl, they break her legs.

But she survives.

Crippled in mind as well as in body.

She grows older, she looks around and what does she see?

She sees that all her suffering has been futile.

She sees her persecutors prospering.

Is she a communist?

I don't think she likes labels.

I think she wants to help build one society which can live without conflict.

I think she wants peace.

The communists have a way of using people like that.

I want to find the communist who's using her.

Mendel, would you be prepared...


Mendel, would you be prepared to wake up?


That's our Mendel. He only likes facts.

That's right. Sonntag is a fact.

Who the hell's Sonntag?

Sonntag is the cover name for the man that Elsa said was operating her husband.

She said she'd never seen him, but I think she was lying.


Excuse me, it's from Ann.

I think she was lying. I think that Sonntag was operating her.

APPLEBY: Could we bluff them into meeting each other?

Sonntag and Elsa?

Come with me. I want you to type something.

Mrs. Elsa Fennan, 34, Merridale Lane, Walliston, Surrey.

Wish you were here.

Signed, S.

It's an emergency rendezvous signal.

How can you be sure you're using the right conventions, the right phrase?

The postcard itself is the signal, irrespective of what's written on it.

Now when Elsa gets that tomorrow morning, she's supposed to send a completely innocent and unrelated reply to a prearranged accommodation address.

And the ideal reply would be a ticket to something that's bound to happen at a certain place at a certain time.

Like a seat for a concert, or a reserved place on a train.

WOMAN: She's an unusual color.

I'm not sure she's going to have puppies.

Really? Well, if you'll excuse me.

Of course.


Dobbs? She's bitten!

She's taking the 10:42 bus to Victoria.

I shall be right ahead of her.

WOMAN: 17 and 18 in row F.

That'll be £2, 10 shillings, please.

17 and 18, oh, yes, that's fine.

Thank you very much.

Do you have two gangway stalls for tomorrow's matinee, please?

Yes, we have F-12 and 13.

Did you see the envelope? Yes.

Could you read it?

Short of indecently assaulting her, no.

But as she posted it in the "London and Abroad" box, and as the theater tickets were booked for tomorrow's matinee, I assumed she wasn't mailing it abroad.

Cor, that's the first time I've ever known you sink to an assumption.

Yeah, it was sustained by the sight of a four-penny stamp on the envelope.

Then Sonntag's in London.

He'll get the ticket first post tomorrow morning.

I took the liberty of buying us three tickets for tomorrow's matinee.


Me in N-18, on the gangway, six rows behind Elsa and Sonntag.

A-1 and 2, front row of the dress circle for you and Bill, with a view of row F in the stalls.

GAVESTON: Is as Elysium to a newcome soul:

Not that I love the city or the men, But that it harbors him I hold so dear, The King, upon whose bosom let me lie, And with the world be still at enmity.

What need the arctic people love starlight, To whom the sun shines both by day and night?

Farewell base stooping to the lordly peers, My knee shall bow to none but to the King.

As for the multitude, that are but sparks, Raked up in embers of their poverty...

These are not men for me, I must have wanton poets, pleasant wits, Musicians, that with touching of a string May draw the pliant King which way I choose.

Music and poetry is his delight, Therefore I'll have Italian masks by night, Sweet speeches, comedies and pleasing shows, And in the day, when he shall walk abroad...

She's here, he isn't.

Like sylvan nymphs my pages shall be clad, My men, like satyrs grazing on the lawns, Shall with their goat feet dance an antic hay.

Sometime a lovely boy in Dian's shape, With hair that gilds the water as it glides, Crownets of pearl about his naked arms, And in his sportful hands an olive tree, To hide those parts which men delight to see...

Give us a kiss.

Shall bathe him in a spring.

Such things as these best please his majesty, My dearest Lord...

Here comes my Lord the King and the nobles from the Parliament.

I'll stand aside.

Why's he so bloody late?


EDWARD II: Lancaster!

LANCASTER: My liege.

Excuse me.

Thank you.

'Course, there's no reason why he shouldn't be late.

He's not here for the fun of the thing.

Have you seen Mendel? Yes.

If they split up when they leave, I'm to follow her, and Mendel will follow him.

You're to go home and stay put by your phone, Charlie.

She knows you.

And you can't follow Sonntag all over London

(BELL RINGING) waving that thing like a luminous Indian club.

All this supposing that he turns up at all.

MAN ON P.A. SYSTEM: Ladies and gentlemen, Act two is about to commence.

And art thou resolute to kill the King?

Ay, ay, and none shall know which way he died.

Then do it bravely, Lightborn, and be secret.

You shall not need to give instructions, 'Tis not the first time I have killed a man:

I learned in Naples how to poison flowers, To strangle with a lawn thrust down the throat, To pierce the windpipe with a needle's point, Or whilst one is asleep, to take a quill And blow a little powder in his ears, Or open his mouth, and pour quicksilver down.

But yet I have a braver way than these.

(GAGGING) What's that?

Nay, you shall pardon me, none shall know my tricks.

I care not how it is, so it be not spied.

Take this. And never see me more.


I'm sorry.

Look, come on, slosh your face with cold water. Come on.

APPLEBY: He's not that ugly.

Who is he?

His name is Dieter Frey.

I operated him in the war from Zurich.

Do you mean he's on our side?

He was on Russia's side, and in those days, Russia's was our side.

For over a month now, he's been getting messages that were absolutely useless, so he must have come over to find out why.

He was probably trailing Fennan when he recognized me in the park and thought I might be an enemy.

He found out I was.


I'll tell you about it some day.

One of us ought to go back in.

Wait a minute, I'm coming with you.


I want to be there when they realize that neither summoned the other, that the postcard was the trap.

All right, come on.

These looks of thine can harbor naught but death.

I see my tragedy written in thy brows.

Yet stay awhile, forbear thy bloody hand, And let me see the stroke before it comes.

That even then when I shall lose my life, My mind may be more steadfast on my God.

LIGHTBORN: What means your highness to mistrust me thus?

What means thou to dissemble with me thus?

These hands were never stained with innocent blood, Nor shall they now be tainted with a king's.

Forgive my thought for having such a thought.

One jewel have I left,

receive thou this.

Still fear I, and I know not what's the cause, But every joint shakes as I give it thee.

They know.

O, if thou harbor'st murder in thy heart, Let this gift change thy mind, and save thy soul.

Know that I am a king: oh, at that name I feel a hell of grief!

Where is my crown?

Gone, gone, and do I remain alive?

You're overwatched, my lord, lie down and rest.

But that grief keeps me waking, I would sleep, For these 10 days have not these eyelids closed.

As I speak, they fall, yet with fear open again.

Say, wherefore sits thou here?

If you mistrust me, I'll be gone, my lord.

No, for if thou mean'st to murder me, Thou wilt return.

Stay, I will sleep.

He sleeps.


How now, my lord?

Something still buzzeth in mine ears And tells me if I sleep I never wake.

This is the fear that makes me tremble thus.

Say it, wherefore art thou come?

To rid thee of thy life.

Matrevis, come, bring me the table.

I am too weak and feeble to resist.

Assist me, sweet God, and receive my soul!

Oh, set it down,

and stamp on it.



LIGHTBORN: How say, Lords, was not this bravely done?

Excellent well, take this for thy reward.


Come, let us cast his body in the moat, And bear the King's to Mortimer, our lord. Away!

She's not applauding. She can't have enjoyed it.

It's not a woman's play.

I'll take up my position in the lobby. Stay by your phone, Charlie.


MAN: What's happening down there?



Yes? MENDEL: I've run him to ground.

Can you meet me at the embankment end of Lot's Road right away?

Then you followed him?

Of course I bloody followed him.

I nipped out before the house lights went up.


Before the lights went up? Then that means that you...

Mendel? Mendel, hello?

This way.

I allowed him to spot me.

We've got to panic him into giving himself away.

He has given himself away.

While you were leaving, he strangled Elsa in the theater, the quiet way.

Single degree pressure on the thyroid cartilage.

Oh, God. Did you tell the police?

No, you told me to hurry.

I'll telephone, you wait here.

He can't get out any other way.

(GROANS) Okay.

Servus, Charles.

Tell your friend that if he tries that again, I shall shoot him, not to wound but to kill.

Can I go to him? No.

Me next?

Don't force me.

Without a gun, and only one hand, I couldn't even strangle a defenseless Jewess.

Elsa was trying to defect.

She typed the anonymous letter about Fennan and drew the attention of Security.

Fennan typed it.

He wanted to tell us unofficially that his wife was a spy.

Somebody else knew.

Somebody else sent a postcard.

You sent it?

The way I used to when we were friends, and worked together.

You trapped me.

An hour ago, I hoped it wasn't you.

But now I don't care.


Because you trapped Ann.

After you'd seen me with Fennan in the park.

You used her to keep track of me.

I only did what many other men with less justification have done to her already.


How much does he know?

Only that you're wanted. He's an ordinary policeman.

Then the leaks are plugged.

Fennan. Harek. Elsa.

I've had to hurt you, and I don't want to hurt you anymore.

In two hours, I'll be out of the country.

I just want to know one thing.

Are you going back to her in Zurich?



Charles! Charles!




By the way, the Adviser indicated his good wishes.


He was on the run at the time.

Tummy trouble.

Must have been eating his own words.

We want you back.

Think about it.


WOMAN ON P.A. SYSTEM: Ladies and gentlemen, in a few minutes we shall land in Zurich.

Will you please fasten your seat belts?

Thank you.

WOMAN ON P.A. SYSTEM: Departure to London by Swissair Flight 824, gate number four.

ANN: Charles!

I got your wire.


Charles, are you a little drunk?

What happened?

I have to tell you.