The Secret Invasion (1964) Script


Welcome, gentlemen.

Jean Saval.

Prison, Devil's Island.

Ten years without possibility of parole for the theft of that famous painting, The Winter, El Greco.

Known as the master of disguise.

Terence Scanlon.

Dartmoor Prison, England.

Member of the illegal Irish Republican Army.

Demolitions expert, serving the 18th year of a 25-year sentence for revolutionary activities against the Crown.

It seems you don't like the English, Scanlon.

There's little to like.

Well, now you're working for us, you'll come to love us.

Simon Fell.

Imprisoned at Leavenworth, United States of America.

Ten to 20 years, two years served.


John Durrell.


Nationality unknown, origin unknown, believed to be a paid assassin.

Awaiting execution for the slaying of his mistress.

Roberto Rocca.

El Ramle Prison, Lebanon.

Organizer of international criminal activities, 20 years.


Degrees in psychology, classic Greek literature, structural engineering.

Strange that a man would choose to throw away his education planning crimes.

I found it a challenging career.

All right, dismissed. Wait for us outside.

Find a seat. Sit down.

Now, I want to make it quite clear that you men were not my choice for this mission.

However, Intelligence seems to feel that your peculiar talents could be of some value.

But don't for a moment imagine that serving under me will be any easier than the prisons you've come from.

You've all been offered pardons to undertake this mission.

In one case, you've been offered life.

Now, you've given your word to cooperate.

I expect you to keep it.

Just how much cooperation do you expect?

Can you give us the facts?

All I can tell you at the moment is that we shall be going to occupied Europe.

And what we do there will be very dangerous but of the utmost importance to the outcome of the war.

Is that all we get to know?

You'll only know what you need to know.

We'll probably all be doing something magnificent!

You're probably going to commit suicide.

Now, keep your heads down! We're using live ammunition!

Let him have some, too.

Is this damn trip necessary?

Is this damn trip necessary?

Was that damn trip necessary?

I didn't volunteer for any suicide mission.

I may take a walk out of here and not stop until I reach neutral territory.

It's a long walk.

What's so hard about it?

If I'm picked up, I'll forge some papers of a limey soldier and play a straggler.

You want to try, I'll go with you.

You're on.

Anybody else?

The barbarians, they haven't got a bit of Irish whiskey.

I'll go with you, lad.

What about you?

I don't like lost causes.

Lost causes! That's what the British told the Irish the day of the Easter Rebellion.

Hush! Come on!

What about your word?

Our word?

Our word's no good!

Don't wake him up, lads.

Look at this dainty little thing.

There he is, Sleeping Beauty. Let me give him a shot...

Scanlon! Give the kid a break.

Saval, what are you doing?

Studying his expression. It's the key to the whole thing.

Hey! Hey, look what I found in here, lads. Another uniform and some stationery!

That's good. Anything else?

Nothing else.

Bring the stationery, Scanlon.

Hold this, will you? There you go, me boy.

Go to sleep!

I need something with this guy's signature on it.

See if you can open that drawer. See if I can open the drawer?

Why, you've got the guts of Kelsey.

With this little thing, it's like having your own key.

Here's his ID.

Well, what's this? Christmas? Well, what do you... Oh, Scotch.

Well, I'll have to drink it with me eyes closed.

Here you are.

I beg your pardon, sir.

There's no destination indicated on this release.

How long have you been in this department?

Three years, sir. It seems you've forgotten a cardinal rule.

"Only know what you need to know."

Yes, sir. Very good. Carry on.

We were just going down for a bite, sir.

Pretty clumsy, and rather childish.

Now, you've had your fun, but if this happens in action, God help you!

The invasion of Italy is scheduled to start in a few days.

But to ensure success, we've got to have a second front in the Balkans to split the German defenses.

You mean we're to be the second front? We're to take on the entire Nazi army?

I hope not.

Now, the Partisans in the Balkans are ready to strike, and we're going to work with them.

And if we succeed, we'll create such hell in the Balkans that we'll draw every panzer division away between Trieste and Rome.

Yes, but the Germans still have the Italians with them.

At the moment, yes.

But there's one man who can swing the entire Italian occupation forces over to the Partisans.

Our job is to persuade him to do so.

Who is this man?

Well, we're not there yet, but as of now, you're part of the invasion.

Thousands of lives are in your hands.

Maybe this is your chance to pay society back for all the trouble you've caused it.


Damn bad luck about this fog.

Maybe not.

No German patrol boats would suspect anybody out on a night like this.


Beautiful staterooms, huh?

Listen, Rocca.

That escape try in Cairo may have been for laughs, but this time I'm not kidding.

Italy's just out there. More than 40 miles.

Look, there's a dory tied to the back of this tub.

You speak the language.

Now, all we've got to do is get lost in the hills until the invasion rolls by, then we come down and join our buddies.

There is nobody waiting for me in Italy.

You don't have to stay there. We'll take off.

There is nobody anyplace.

Besides, I find this adventure very amusing, don't you?

You are crazy Italian.

Okay, I'll go it alone.

Hey, wait a minute. Listen. Listen!

There's something out there.

Cut the engine!

One of your men escaped.


Take it easy, buster.

I don't know what you're saying, but whatever it is, the answer is no.

Well, apparently, I miscalculated again.

I never thought Fell would try it once we were underway.

Now, listen.

When the German craft comes alongside, the skipper will try and stall as long as possible, and we'll slip overboard and take them from behind.

Oh, no, no, no. Not me. I didn't sign up for any street fighting.

You're not on a street.


Scanlon, come with me.

Come on, fellows, hurry it up! Hurry it up!

All right. Bring him up. Gently.

He's dead.


Now, come on, let's launch this small boat.

We've gotta sink this ship.

No. We are safer right here.

Scanlon? Yeah?

Can you place charges in such a way that the back of the boat will blow up on cue?

I can make it dance a jig right on time.

As we approach the beach, we'll blow up.

We'll leave in time and swim ashore.

Well, I hate to admit it, but it's a damn good plan.

All right, Scanlon, get cracking. Right!

There are the shore lights. You're right.

Petar? Up there!

Right. Come on!

My throat's too small for my heart.



Well, we finally made it, huh? Yes.

I am Marko, liaison to the Partisan Army in this district.

Food and rest after your long journey. Thank you.

Yeah. Food for everybody else.

You wouldn't by chance have a little liquid around, would you?

Yes, I would. You have!

Look at this!


It is right that we should enjoy what moments we can.

By nightfall, we shall be in the German stronghold, the fortress city of Dubrovnik.

Now, listen.

In that fortress is the man we've come here to liberate.

General Quadri, commander, Italian occupation forces.

You mean to tell me we're risking our necks to get some clown out of his own barracks?

No, he's there as a prisoner of the Nazis.

Now, they suspect that he's been in touch with Allied agents, but he's too well loved by his men to publicly denounce, so they use him as a puppet to keep the Italians in line.

They guard him day and night to make sure he doesn't act on his own.

How certain are you that he will act on his own?

Well, he's an Italian, but he's not a Fascist.

And only he commands the absolute loyalty of his men.

Now, if we can free him before the invasion, he'll bring them all over to our side.

When do we enter Dubrovnik?

We start right now.

We'll travel in pairs.

You speak our language? Well, enough to get by.

You two go together. No, I'll go in with Fell.

Do you speak Serbian?

What? Oh, I don't think so, but I'm getting along wonderful with this one here.

She'll take you in there.


Back there, what did you say to the girl Mila?

I asked her if she would be afraid to be with the one with the dead eyes.

Why? Well, she's seen so much death.

Her husband was shot down before her with a child kicking in her belly.

She recognizes Durrell as an executioner.

Yes. Never have I seen death walking about, looking like a man.


From here, it looks as it always has.

Now we come to free it.

And who will free it from us?

And who will free us from ourselves?

Let's do the job. Yes.

I speak English.


It's a nice thing to do, to try to help us.

We're all just trying to help ourselves.

And not each other?

Does anyone know how?

You like him?

What does it matter?

We should do a turn on the stage, lads. We had all the guards laughing.

Go into the kitchen, lass, and get to the cooking.

Marko, Rocca, come here.

Rocca, this is for your particular attention.

Now, these maps show the construction of the fortress with the changes made after the Nazi occupation.

Now, of the few possible means of entry, Intelligence has chosen this one.

This one?

It's an underground river, once used as a natural sewage system.

It still runs under the city, but it's no longer in use.

I trust to British Intelligence, but in the final analysis, I trust only to myself.

We will see.

How about some grapes?

Their headquarters are just behind the square.

The river mouth is below that guard of men.

They've increased the guards in the past two weeks.

They know the invasion is imminent, but not the place of it.

Our task has been made even more difficult.


No, the Germans don't bother anymore marking graves.

Do many people come to visit here?

Oh, I think not, but it's easy to make certain.

Yes, sir. And the caretaker?

An old man who only speaks to the dead.

But he won't betray us.

Where is the nearest German garrison?

Oh, about 300 meters from here, behind these walls.

We'll need the tools brought here.

Have to be done all by hand.

Can't risk explosives, unless...


Well, we'll see.

Let's get inside of this one.

I beg your pardon.

We begin digging here.


How much longer for my shift?

Fifteen minutes.

If the boys at Monte-Carlo could only see me now.

Do you realize I'm risking a great career?

A broken finger, an infected nail, and bang!

A couple of more weeks of this, lad, and I'll be taking out a card in the Mole Union.

What's the matter down there, huh? What is it?

I just met one of the more recent burials.

Recent burials? What are you talking about?

I'm not going back down there.

Rocca, this tunneling is going too slowly. We've only got three days left.

We'll be inside in time.

Well, the margin's too close. This mission is not going to fail, hear me?

We'll tunnel around the clock. The curfew.

If any of us are discovered out after dark...

Yeah, well, I'll take that risk. You'll take it without me.

You'll do what I tell you.

I will work.

And Svetlana.

How much longer?

No more.

Yes, I will do my share.

I said no more.

How gentle you can sometimes be.

Go home and nurse your child.

Go on.

I can reproduce this stuff in my sleep.

Good boy.

They've picked up Petar.

When? I saw them in the street, just after I left the cemetery.

Can he be trusted?

He can be trusted.

But if he is tortured, who knows?

We'll have to suspend the operation until we're sure.

And if Petar talks, it will have to be abandoned.



This mission will be abandoned only when all six of us are dead!

Like hell.

I'm not dying to prove you've got guts.

What's driving you, Mace?

This is no mission with you, it's a personal crusade!

Now, you listen to me. My brother didn't give up his life...

Your brother? some yellow little...

What about your brother?

Well, I'll tell you.

I was in command of Balkan Intelligence in 1942.

My brother was an officer under my command.

He was captured and placed in Dubrovnik Fortress.

What blame to you?

There was certain information I wanted from inside.

He managed to find a way to get it out to me.

I ask again.

What fault was yours?

I waited too long before getting him out.

So we're expected to buy your honor, your vengeance and your military reputation?

Why did they bust you, Major?

Yes, it's true.

They relieved me of my command.

I couldn't...

Couldn't carry on for a while.

It's as much our mission as yours now.

I agree that it's urgent.

Petar may want to be loyal, but not be able to.

Can your people create a diversion for us?

Blow up a gun or a guard post, anything to cover the sound of an explosion within the tomb?

It will be done. We must get to the tomb at once.

Scanlon might be able to open an entrance to the drain without attracting attention.

Someone must take explosives to him.

It's almost curfew. We can't risk the streets.

I'll go, with the baby.

If I am stopped, I'll say he was taken ill.

Isn't there another way?

Not with speed.

The rest of us can go across the roofs, but it's gonna take some time.

All right.

By the time we get there, Scanlon can have set the charges.

All right, my friends, let's go. Hustle.

He talked!

If we're captured, we'll need someone on the outside.

We'll be waiting.

When you break out, we'll be watching.

I'm sorry, lads, but the smell of this place is beginning to get to me.

Get used to it.

It's the smell of eternity.

Oh, lad, you don't say much, but when you say something, the things you say aren't very funny.

Be quiet.


Mila... Don't speak.

Get going! Go on!

Come on!

The entire garrison is after us. I can hear them!

What happened?

It's a bad thing that's happened, Rocca.

Durrell killed the baby.


Oh, I'll tell you why. Because he likes it.

I think we can do without him!

Wait a minute. Hold it!

It was an accident. Do you understand that?

She told me all about it. The baby started to cry.

He couldn't help it. It was an accident. Do you understand?



You must leave now.

Take your child to the caretaker.

See to its body.


We will pray for its gentle soul, and you.


Can you blast through to the prison?

I can, but there's always a possibility of it collapsing.

What are the chances?


All right, let's do it. Right.

I speak to you in your common language, I believe.

There is a battery of mortars trained on your hiding place.

You may surrender and be regarded as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention, or I shall simply reduce you to dust.

Thirty seconds for your decision.

Are you crazy? Let's blast our way out of here.


Not one of us would get through that door.

Now, please, if you are prepared to surrender; step into the doorwvay, one by one, without weapons.

Our purpose was to get inside the prison.

It seems we'll accomplish at least that much.

If we step out into that light, they're gonna pick us off.

What about that, Rocca?

Come on.

I think two intelligent men, fighting on opposite sides, can trust each other for a moment.

I don't think so.

This is one of the consequences of war.

We become enemies by general decree from one day to another.

Can't we forget the general decree?


These uniforms make our decisions.

We are both prisoners.

All right, then.

We'll take it slowly.

Name, rank and serial number.

My name is of no importance.

I have no rank.

The last number identified with me was 61235.

Why are you here? For two reasons.

But I can't tell you either of them.

Your wine is excellent.

If you persist in this stubborn attitude, I must resort to stronger measures.

I believe you. I believe you.

I do not make myself clear.

There are men in my command adept at keeping a man in hell for an eternity.

They seem to have misjudged Petar Marasovic.

What do you mean?

He must've kicked off before you got all the information you wanted.

Petar Marasovic.

See? His death certificate.

They will be in shortly. Now, what have we?

If I had the right ingredients, I could blow this hellhole sky-high.

I can forge his signature, and with a little equipment, his seal.

Good. He's a couple of inches too short, but the glasses help. I can play the part.

You fellows should feel at home here. I'm a little out of my depth.

Perhaps you'll enjoy sleeping in that.

Tomorrow, we will begin a new kind of questioning.

In a little while, some or all of you will be tempted to take your lives.

I expect the Kommandant has talent in the art of breaking men.

We can't talk too soon, but there is no reason to take all that he has to offer.

We need a cover story.

We'll tell him we are an intelligence group preparing the way for the invasion of the Balkans.

Tomorrow, the pressure will begin.

Now, which one shall we entertain first?

The little fellow?

The vain one?

This quiet man?

We mustn't forget the thinker.

Never mind.

Everyone will get his chance.

It's a promise.

Through the ages, man has shown his greatest genius in the art of inflicting pain upon his fellows.

I have nothing to say.

Let us talk as reasonable men.

I recognize in you the bearing and the discipline of a British officer.

Very well.

My name is Major Richard Mace of His Majesty's Services, number 343602.

A start.

A start, Major.

Please sit down, Major.



How's the caviar situation?

It's improving.

It's raw puke.

Beautiful. Beautiful?

This little baby's gonna be our rubber stamp.

So you have come to the grave of your brother.


I'll show you his grave.

The sea surrounds it.

I recall your brother to be an extremely stubborn Englishman.

He never spoke one word from the moment he entered this place till the moment he left it.

I think I can do better with you.

Well, what do you know? Trickiest thing I ever saw.

The fellow that built this place really used his head.

He figured one day he might get himself caught in here, because you can get out from the inside.

All I need is a simple little tool, which I haven't got.

A start, gentlemen.

I'll let Captain Mace persuade you to be more cooperative.

Good day.

Easy with him, lads. Here we go. Come on.

Here you are.

Thank you.

My God.

Why didn't you use the cover story?


I didn't tell him anything.

I just told him who I was.

I wanted the Kommandant to know why he was going to die.

I've found him.


I was coming out of the Kommandant's office, and there he was.


The corridor leading past the infirmary to the seawall.

And that's where they bury the dead.

They would take a dead man from the infirmary to the wall by the sea?


We'll create a special body.

Yeah, if we don't end up corpses ourselves.

It's clear that Captain Mace is not a persuasive man.

An informer hasn't come forward.

I think it is time for further experimentation.

Now, who shall it be?

No. No. Not today.

You may prove useful after you have an opportunity to see how others fare.

I think...



How much can he take?

Seaman's such a little fellow. I was getting to like him.

Don't like anything so much you can't see it die.

Don't advise me, killer. You destroy anything.

You can't feel a human pain.

Don't feel.

It's you making that sound!

Stop it.

Stop it!

Rocca, what the hell's with the...

We have to have precise timing, or we fail.

I'm snapping my fingers once a second. It's becoming automatic.

You begin by saying, "101, 102, 103."

You must make it automatic, too.

It'll be your watch.

And we must all be synchronized to move on the exact second.

Create a one-second tick in your whole body.

Because remember, a snap of the fingers may save your life.

I like to explain my techniques.

Major Mace revealed little, but then he had practically no persuasion.

The Irisher told me a believable story after he had his knuckles rapped.

The next man will have more to look forward to, until I am sure I have the truth.

So, you.

I'm sorry.

That's all right.

They didn't mess with my writing hand.

Where's that seal?

You didn't have to take so much.

You did all right up there.

Besides, we feed it to those guys on a silver platter and they're gonna smell a rat.

They dressed Scanlon's injuries. Why not yours?

They've learned that men can sometimes stand up to great physical pain, then crack under a subtle doubt or fear in the mind.

The fear of infection.

Almost finished. Pretty damn good.

Good job, Fell.

If I only had something to make a lock pick out of, we'd be out of here straightaway.

Here. Here's an official piece of paper I got off the Kommandant's office while they were getting some water to try to bring me to.



What have they done now?


When do we all get executed?

All of us except you, I mean! I said stop it!

I told you, the torture was subtle.

Now he's planting the seed of disunity among us.

Thank them. You were almost dead.

Oh, come on. Relax!

There's plenty of time for dying later.

The time is closer than you think.

Tomorrow, we will be free or dead.

Now, listen.

We start the exodus with men in three points.

I'm happy to see that one of you has decided to be sensible.

Well, among my associates I'm known as a lover, not a fighter.

Of course, I'll want corroboration of what you tell me from your comrades.


All the same, you may have to stay another day or two with them.

And it would be best for them to think that you were today's subject.

Don't you mean victim?

A direct man.

I like that.

Now, tell me.

Well, now, let me see, from the beginning.

It all started in Cairo about a month ago.

Guard! Guard!

Can you hear me? There's a man hurt in here!

For God's sake, open up, will you?

There's a man hurt in here!

The whole plan was directed toward an invasion through the Balkans.

Your companion, the silent one, has attempted suicide.

He slashed his wrists, deep, but not deep enough.

Our mission was to set up security lines, alert the Partisans, chart minefields and defenses.

This is essentially what your companions have told me.

I want to know why you were tunneling the fortress.

What did you want here?

Well, this is the center of your operations.

We were going to tap into your lines, of course.

That is not enough.

There is more to the truth than that.


The simple truth is, you'll never know it.

You're about to die.

General Quadri! General Quadri!

We have no time to explain.

We are Allies sent to take you to the Partisans.

What is it you want of me?

Silence, and instant obedience to our instructions.

This is some sort of a trick.

If you've come to kill me, shoot.

I will not go with you.

I'm sorry, General Quadri. We have no time to convince you.



I'm hit!

I'm hit.

Get going. Go on!

Fell! Come on. I can't make it. Go on! Go!


This way!

Company, halt! Company, halt!

All right, let's go.

We are up here!

Here they are!

Go on, grab a rope.

I'm all right. Come on. No. You'll bleed to death.

That's fine. Fine.

All right, let's go. Let's go.

Come on.

Come on!

Durrell, what do you think you're doing?

Get up the hill.

Now, stay right there, me buckos, and don't move out of your little rock hut.

This'll be a visit you won't forget.

Scanlon's got a present for you It'll be a big surprise

Now, don't you dare move.

And what it is I've got for you Will open up your eyes And what it is I've got for you No store will ever sell Now, just be steady, there.

That's 'cause what it is I've got for you Will blow you all to...

I've had it. I can't go any further.

Don't give up.

We'll cross the river and come out downstream. Come on.

No. You cross the river.

I've got a way of making them follow me.

I'm gonna give them a run for their money.

It's up to you, now, Rocca. You're in command.

Get going.

Let's go.


Come on.

Where are the others?


This man is not General Quadri.

My men are dying because of you, impostor.


Get him inside.

They couldn't trust the General, but they needed him to control the troops, so they killed him and substituted a double.

For a moment, he fooled me.

He looks almost exactly like him.

So, we kill ourselves for an imposter.

Rocca, why did you stop me?

To save our beloved General Quadri.

Why let this stop us?


We'll use him.

We'll complete Mace's mission.

Clean your face.

We want you to look good.

We're going back to the Fortress.

We'll take him.

The great impostor is not yet out of work.

I will not help you.

You know that!

You will lead your troops into battle against the Germans, or my friend here will kill you, very slowly and very painfully.

Quadri! Quadri! Quadri! Quadri!

You see how they love me?

Kill me now and see what happens.

I shall lead my men into battle with the Germans.

If you kill me for it, my men will kill you.

And you will die in vain, because they will fight on for their dead general, on the side of the Germans.

Quadri! Quadri! Quadri! Quadri! Quadri! Quadri!

Not if they thought he were killed by a German.