Espionage thriller based on the true story of an intelligence officer who plans an elaborate hoax to fool the Nazis into thinking the Allies are about to invade Greece, not Sicily.
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Last night, I dreamed a deadly dream.
Beyond the Isle of Skye,
I saw a dead man win a fight,
and I think that man was I.
CHURCHILL: This we may say.
The sun of victory has begun to touch our soldiers' helmets.
I have this day received the following communication from General Alexander:
"Sir, the orders you gave me on August the 15th, 1942, have been fulfilled.
"His Majesty's enemies, together with their impedimenta,
"have been completely eliminated from Egypt, Cyrenaica, Libya and Tripolitania.
"I now await your further instructions."
Well, we shall now have to think of something else.
I'm sure the House will bear with me if I do not publicly proclaim what that something else will be.
Sicily. It's the obvious choice.
Too obvious. We're all along the African coast, except for Tunisia, and here's Jerry opposite.
He knows we're almost certain to come through here.
All he's got to do is sit and wait for us.
-As a member of the bar, Montagu, you've defended a man in peril of his life?
Well, here's your chance to defend thousands of men.
If we land in Sicily we'll have 30% casualties.
We talk about casualties as though they were just figures on paper.
I take it we've to think up a cover plan?
To make Jerry think we're going somewhere else. Greece, Sardinia, the south of France.
I'm told Corsica is very pleasant,
but the Germans know we need Sicily. They must go on defending it.
But they may thin their defences if they think we're attacking elsewhere.
Your outfit must drop everything for it.
If we can get Jerry to move one single battalion, a battery, or even a gun,
it's going to save a lot of lives.
LOUD-HAILER: 'To your left, you'll see a further wave of aircraft.
'You see the multicoloured chutes dropping before you.
'There's one taking a short cut.
'We call that jumping to a conclusion, gentlemen.'
-I thought someone had had it.
-It's not as safe as it's made out to be.
There's nothing for us here, George. Troops would take too long to set up.
"Next phase, use of natural cover."
Let's slide out.
Monty. That parachute that didn't open.
Suppose we dropped someone with papers saying we were going to invade Greece,
and his parachute didn't open.
The Germans would find the papers and say, "Look at this.
"Officer with secret papers. They're going to invade Greece."
Do we tell the man who jumps, or does he find out on the way down?
-It'd have to be someone we didn't mind about.
-Are you volunteering? It wouldn't work.
-What about using a dead man?
-The autopsy would show he died before.
Let's get back and think again.
If your boys drink any more coffee they won't sleep.
They gave up sleep two days ago.
Will you get it while it's hot, sir?
We want something simple. The simpler the better.
Good boy, George. You're right.
Suppose we issue Greek dictionaries to the troops. That'd fool them.
Eskimo dictionaries would really fool them.
Pam, I want you to get me full details
of the tides and currents between Gibraltar and the Portuguese border.
-Gibraltar and the Portuguese border.
-Going for a swim?
-Pam, you'd better get home.
-You don't want some sandwiches?
My dear child, you think of nothing but my stomach(!)
Go on, hop it.
Leave the coffee.
Poor Pam. How she fusses over you.
Close the door, George.
-That idea about the dead man in the parachute.
It won't work your way, but...
I know something that might work.
-AIR-RAID SIREN Good night, Miss.
PIANO PLAYS >
-You there, Lucy?
-Come on in, Pam.
Joe, this is Pam, who runs this war single-handedly till midnight.
-Pam, this is Joe.
-I'm just passing through.
-Before you pop off, shall I fetch you a drink? Joe brought gin.
So that's Pam? She looks all right.
But Lu...why don't you have a place on your own?
This place is rent-free from her parents.
Besides, I need someone sensible around. Somebody to protect me.
-I hope so.
-Come on. You've got to go.
-You flying tomorrow?
-Does it scare you, Joe?
-I get used to it.
-You'll ring me?
-As soon as I can.
-Never forget to ring.
-If you didn't, I'd go mad.
-I will, or if anything stops me, Larry will.
-What do you mean, if anything stops you?
-Oh, just anything.
-About seven. They get their money's worth out of you.
I always thought Joe was an American.
I don't know how you keep away from these boys.
I know me. If I started that I'd probably fall in love.
I'd only want one, and then where would we be?
Let's get the war over, first.
I'm afraid you'll fall in love with someone you can't have.
-You'll only get hurt.
-Who, me? Lucy the languishing librarian?
If I fall in love it'll be with a guy who goes out at nine and comes back at six.
Not one of these flyers. Here today and...gone tomorrow.
-KNOCK AT DOOR
Commander Montagu and Lieutenant Ackers, sir.
-How are you?
My assistant, George Ackers. Sir Bernard Spillsby.
-I've wanted to meet you since you gave evidence in the shotgun murders. You were masterly.
-George, I'm sure Sir Bernard will give you an autograph.
-May we get on?
Sir Bernard, may I ask some odd questions
-without explaining why I'm asking them?
Suppose I wanted to put a body in the sea, let it float ashore and make those who find it
think it was the victim of an air crash at sea. What sort of body would I need?
-Do you want the body to show any physical damage?
-But to look as though he died by drowning.
-Could he be wearing a Mae West?
-How long in the water?
-That depends on the information I get from you.
You want someone who's died of pneumonia.
Pneumonia causes fluid in the lungs. After a few days in the water you couldn't say that he hadn't drowned.
-Unless one had reason to be suspicious.
-You mean you could spot it?
I would if it came here. But I don't suppose it would.
I won't ask awkward questions, but where might this body be found?
Shall we say, Spain?
I doubt if anyone there would examine the body closely enough to spot what I have in mind.
One other thing, Sir Bernard.
If we had to keep the body, how would we stop it decomposing?
-And while it was being transported?
-I'd suggest an airtight canister packed with dry ice.
-Why dry ice?
It melts, giving off carbon dioxide which dispels the air which causes decomposition.
You could store a body for quite a while.
Thank you. That gives me a start.
-You won't mind if we come back to you on these points?
-By all means.
You should ask my man Adams about refrigeration. The fellow who brought you in.
-He has all the facilities here.
-That would help a great deal.
If I were you, I'd want to know what the blazes this is about.
If you were, you'd remember what we were told in the nursery.
-"Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies." Go on, George.
Thank you very much.
So far, so good. That part seems to be practical.
-Provided we can get a body.
-Any undertaker will fix us up with a body. That's no problem.
So, in essence, the idea is this.
The body of a dead man, dressed as an officer,
will be put in the sea by submarine off the coast of Spain, near Huelva.
On the body will be secret documents suggesting our main attack will be Greece, not Sicily.
The body will drift ashore, will be picked up and the papers found.
The impression will be that the officer drowned when his plane crashed into the sea.
-Two reasons, sir.
First, there are strong currents and a prevailing wind which will carry the body inshore.
Second, one of the sharpest German agents in Spain operates there.
But the beauty is, it involves only one man,
and therefore might be possible in the short time allowed us.
May I have your views, sir?
-In 30 years of intelligence work I've heard of nothing like it.
-Neither have the Germans.
It's the most outrageous, disgusting, not to say barbaric idea.
-But work out details for the war Cabinet Office tomorrow.
You'll need a codename.
You can have Jumbo, Trader, Wigwam,
-With your permission, sir, Mincemeat.
Operation Mincemeat. Comments and criticisms. Admiral?
Well, it's an ingenious idea.
-There are four major flaws.
-More like 40.
First, your body may not drift ashore.
Next, it may be handed to the British consul.
Next, the papers may not leak to the Germans.
And finally, they may guess they're fake.
That's true. There are ways in which it can go wrong.
But that's true of any deception plan. Dickie?
Why not the south of France?
Then you'd be sure the Germans would get the documents.
-Sir, perhaps you would allow Commander Montagu to answer this?
We chose Spain as we don't want the Germans to get the body and examine it closely.
Even without these snags, surely we're being far too ambitious.
You can't expect the Germans to swallow fake letters from the Vice-Chief to General Alexander.
It'd be too good to be true.
Montagu, surely the first question German intelligence will ask
is why the letter wasn't sent by the normal channels.
It was my intention to ask for a personal letter from you to General Alexander.
It might contain certain references to other people.
-Saying someone important is a nitwit?
There are already suitable jokes in circulation.
Where is this officer going? What's his job?
We'd like him to be a major in the Royal Marines, sir, on your staff.
You're lending him to General Eisenhower, to whom he also carries a letter.
-I write a letter as well?
-He has jobs for all of us. Can I be rude about somebody, too?
If the Germans see through this then you'll pinpoint Sicily.
-We must get on.
It's an imaginative plan, but it needs careful consideration.
We'd better leave it for now.
Time is short, sir. We must get going soon.
I'll put it on the agenda for the next meeting.
It'd be easier to convince the Germans than our masters.
They've got a lot to think about.
-Why can't they give us a plain yes or no?
-They want to mull it over.
The moment they agree, you go ahead. Till then you'll just have to wait.
Like trying to swim in syrup.
They just want to chew their cud and gaze into the distance.
-While we get on with our knitting(!)
-I'll wager they won't turn it down.
I'll take a chance and jump the gun.
You get a body, I'll work on drawings for a canister.
-One engine. He'll be lucky if he makes it.
-You all right?
-Steve's had it.
-Light flak. He went down fast. No time to bail out.
Hello? Hello? Joe?
I saw them come in. Are you all right, Joey?
I'm all right, baby. I'm fine. It was easy.
-Is Commander Montagu there?
-Yes, he's here now, sir.
-General Nye wants a word.
-Good evening, sir.
I want you to be at 10 Downing Street tomorrow morning at 10.30.
Of course, sir. Tomorrow at 10.30. I'll be there.
It's going to the Prime Minister.
-CHURCHILL: And Nye.
They know we'll go through Sicily, anyway, so we've got everything to gain and nothing to lose.
-Let the plan be implemented.
-Thank you, sir.
-You've got the all clear.
-And your submarine's fixed. Jewel is sailing for Malta on Friday.
-The man who put Mark Clark ashore in Africa.
-Can you make it?
-I assure you, we shall make it.
-Good, carry on.
Yes, I'll hold on.
George, we've got right of way from the old man himself. "Let the plan be implemented."
I knew he wouldn't shoot it down.
What are you up to?
I've got a blister. I've walked more than 50 miles.
-It doesn't matter if he shoots it down. The whole thing's impracticable.
-Won't go. Not on.
There's no way of getting a body.
You say, "George, go get a body." Well, you try.
-There are hospitals, mortuaries...
-I've tried them. Not a hope.
Every body belongs to somebody, and people don't want it messed about.
-What about the fellow in St Lukes?
-He recovered. Very unreliable type.
-Have you tried Spielsberg?
-Yes, but he wants his bodies for himself.
-I think I'm on to something.
-A small hospital in St John's Wood. I said you'd come to see the father.
-When did he die?
-Any other relatives?
-I don't think so. I gather the wife's dead.
-Is the father with him?
-He's waiting for you.
Wait here. I'll deal with this by myself.
Perhaps you'd like to sit down. Thank you.
I'll be back soon. Right.
It has been explained that we cannot tell you why we are asking you this?
Yes, that has been explained.
If there is any question you wish to ask, sir, I will answer if I can.
I'll try not to embarrass you.
Can you assure me, Commander Montagu, as an officer and a gentleman,
that if I agree to your request, my son's body will be treated with respect?
I give you my word.
His name will never be revealed?
And finally, his body will have Christian burial?
I cannot absolutely promise that,
but I am fairly certain of it.
I was never the one...nor was he...
to mind very much about the last resting place of the body...
..being more concerned with the repose of the spirit.
But still, I would like to be sure that this thing you're going to do
is good...and worthy of him.
I can assure you that this is an opportunity for your son to do a great thing for England.
My son, sir, was a Scotsman, and very proud of it.
I beg your pardon.
Never mind. We're used to that.
You English always talk about England when you mean Britain.
I don't know what they want with you. It doesn't matter now.
Because, you're not here any more.
You're somewhere else, in peace.
Good day to you.
I have no son now, but you have a body.
I think William Martin is a good name.
One naval identity card in the name of Captain, acting Major, William Martin, Royal Marines.
Born in Cardiff, 1907.
I thought of Glasgow, but I don't want to say he's a Scot.
Also a Combined Operations pass.
You'll need a photograph for the identity card.
-So we shall.
-It's only a passport photograph. It needn't look like him.
We need things for his pockets. Cigarettes, keys...
-How's he carrying the documents?
-But he's in the water. Is it in his hand, or what?
What about those things that go round the waist and clip onto the case?
Get one and we'll see.
-He'll need a wallet, money, watch...
I think we're tackling this wrong.
Wallet, money, watch. They're all right, but he must have had some private life.
There ought to be something more intimate on him, like photographs. Maybe some private letters.
-He'd better have a love letter from a girlfriend.
-You'll have to make it convincing.
Pam can do it. You wouldn't mind, would you?
-Will you, Pam?
-Anything to help with the work, sir.
-Hang on, I'll be back.
-I won't come up, Lu. There isn't time.
-Remember, you're my girl, now. Official.
I won't ever forget.
-Hi, Pam. How goes it?
-I'm a bit tired.
I've got some news that might make you angry.
-Tell me later, Lucy.
-I'll make coffee.
-It's already done.
You're SO inefficient(!)
-You want some?
"Dearest Willy"? That's the greatest opening I've ever heard.
It's just something I've got to do.
Love letters always are. What's it for?
It's a story I've got to make up.
Let me help. I'm cheap. My work, I mean. What's the story?
They've just got engaged, he's going on a dangerous job and she's writing to him.
-Oh, that one.
-It's the start that's sticking me.
"Dearest Willy." His name's Willy Martin,
-"It was lovely seeing you."
-Willy Martin. What a name.
"Darling, when you went away tonight, something went with you.
"I think it must have been my heart,
"because now I'm cold and empty.
"It's always bad when you go away, but it was worse tonight, because the day was so good.
"You shouldn't have bought the ring, and I knew you shouldn't,
"and you did because you love me, and I let you because I love you.
"There's not much more to be had from a day.
"I won't wear it, darling.
"I told you I wouldn't. Because if I did, that would mean that you are real,
"that you belong to me, and that they couldn't take you away.
"Whereas, now they can send you away and leave me to wonder if I'll ever see you again,
"whether I may wake up and find I've dreamed you.
"Maybe there'll be a time when it's all over,
"and you're still there, and real, and love me,
"and then I'll wear your ring until I die.
"Oh, God, darling, take care of yourself.
"As if you ever could or would.
"I suppose I mean, oh, God take care of you.
"I love you. I love you."
I had no idea you were a writer, Pam.
-I didn't do it, sir.
A friend of mine did it. That's why I've signed it "Lucy".
-You didn't tell her anything?
-She did it just for fun?
-Just for fun.
-Have you seen this?
-I told you there were hidden depths.
-It happens to the nicest people.
Monty, I got the letter about Willy's bank overdraft.
-I told the manager just enough.
-Does this alleged girlfriend of yours wear thick spectacles?
-Good to look at?
-Then we want a photograph for Willy.
-It needn't be her.
-Don't spoil it.
I want to see this passionate Lucy creature.
-What are you doing?
-It's got to look like it's been in his pocket for a while.
-Can we get a snap of this girl?
-I think so.
Now about dates. He's got to have something to show when he left.
A bill from the Naval and Military Club. He stayed there for a night.
And he went to the theatre. He has the ticket stubs.
Item: two theatre tickets for the night of April 22nd. Dress circle.
-Make it four.
-And what's going on in that bright little mind?
Well, Willy can't use them, we might as well.
-There's three of us, and with Pam's alleged girlfriend...
Make it four.
I've hacked it about, as agreed.
It now reads, "General Sir Harold Alexander.
"My dear Alex, I am taking this opportunity to send a personal letter
regarding our intention in the Mediterranean.
-Then the personal stuff,
then, "The 5th and 56th divisions will be reinforced,
"and form the main force for the attack on Greece."
Then, "The heavy bombardment of Sicily will continue
"to make the enemy think that it is still our main objective."
-Exactly right, sir.
-And the rest as before.
-Let's hope it foxes 'em.
-I won't touch it, sir.
I want only you and your secretary's fingerprints on it.
-What should I do?
-Fold it, sir.
As sharp folds as you can.
Now, put it in the envelope.
If you'll wrap a piece of paper round it, I'll get your secretary to seal it.
-Thank you, sir.
-Any more chores?
No, thank you, sir. And thank you very much.
-Sorry I'm late. Got his clothes?
MUFFLED AIR-RAID SIREN
-All ready, Mr Adams?
-Laundry marks fixed?
Socks and shirt.
-He just bought it from Gieves. The bill's in his pocket.
Collar and tie.
-Let me, sir.
Now the uniform. Trousers.
-Things in the pockets first?
BOMBING GROWS LOUDER
Not bad. The shoulder crowns look a bit new.
He's just been promoted.
Right. Get the Mae West and the trench coat.
Now, the personal effects.
Wallet containing one five-pound note, three one-pound notes,
-letter from bank, book of stamps, photograph of fiancee.
-Ten shillings in change to go in trouser pocket.
-Letter from fiancee to go next to wallet.
-Bill for shirt and receipt for room at the Naval and Military.
-Two ticket stubs to theatre.
-Cigarettes, matches, bunch of keys.
-Combined Operations pass and naval identity card.
-I'll fasten the trench coat, sir.
Thank you, Adams.
-Apart from the cover stuff, letter from General Nye to General Alexander.
-Letter to General Eisenhower from Admiral Mountbatten.
Shouldn't he have the key? He has, on his key ring.
Well...I think Major Martin is ready to go to war.
Ten o'clock. We'll have to keep up a steady average. Thank you, Adams.
Try to launch the body with only officers on deck.
-The fewer who know, the better.
-Sailors are a superstitious lot.
What are you telling the crew?
That it's a secret weather buoy.
Well, I think that's the lot.
-Best of luck.
-Thank you. We'll try and do a good job for you.
Carry on, McGuire.
-There we are.
-No sherry or whisky.
-My alleged friend wants a light.
-Why your alleged friend?
-George isn't sure you exist.
That's all I do. No doubt about that.
I never suspected that George was such a fast worker.
You should see him with the typists.
-I think we should drink to the Major.
-He got us the seats.
I don't know him, but I'm sure he won't mind me drinking his health.
Let's drink the health of all the majors...and all the lieutenants.
The Major. May he have a successful journey.
ALL: The Major.
DEPTH CHARGE EXPLODES
-Steady as you go.
-Steady, sir. Course 272, sir.
All right, my beauties. Not long now.
55 feet, sir.
50 feet, sir.
-OK, get going.
-Aye, aye, sir.
25 feet, sir.
Blast those fishermen. Haven't they got homes?
Down periscope. Stand by to surface.
Check main vents. Open master blowers.
'Check main vents. Open master blowers.'
Canister party on casing.
Hooked up. Take the weight.
Steady. Steady does it.
Boats. ..Dinghy first.
Unto God we commend the soul of our departed brother, and we commit his body to the deep.
The Lord gave and hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
All right, chaps. Come on.
-Canister party back on casing.
-'Canister party on casing.'
All right. Down below.
Dame la cartera. >
-Puede hacerme cambio de aquello?
-Imposible, tiene que ser reconocido oficialmente.
Sollte ich sehen was der los ist? Ja. Gute idee. Gehen sie mit.
This is DNI. Scramble, will you?
I've got some news. The Major's arrived.
I've just received a signal. The Vice-Consul at Huelva is worried.
-He says the body had an official case, and he's pulling strings to retrieve it.
-Not too hard, I hope.
I think it'll help if I signal telling him to get hold of it.
That'd be the natural thing to do.
Good. Meantime, I'll put Major Martin in the casualty lists.
-That's the first thing they'll check.
PRIEST CONDUCTS SERVICE IN SPANISH
< SPANISH SOLDIER SHOUTS ORDERS
I called on the magistrate. All Major Martin's belongings have been returned.
And the briefcase, senor? Yes, AND the briefcase.
Well, that's a bit of a blow.
Maybe the Nazis are too dumb.
Lazy beggars. Doesn't anything ever penetrate those Prussian skulls?
The net result of operation Mincemeat is losing two bob.
Everything else is horribly intact.
You can open letters without using a knife with marmalade on it.
And close them again.
-I'd like to hear what the scientific boys have to say.
-Of course, this has been in water.
-It's difficult when it's been in sea water.
-What can you tell us?
I'm afraid, very little. Sea water obscures so much.
-But has it been opened?
-Opened? Oh, yes.
-It HAS been opened?
-By somebody who knows his business.
It's been stretched out and held at the corners to be photographed.
-I wish I could be more helpful.
-You've done splendidly.
-Mincemeat swallowed whole.
-Nothing new from Madrid, Admiral.
The Fuhrer believes the documents are genuine.
-He doesn't doubt them?
The Fuhrer has certain advantages over mere intelligence officers.
He has his intuition, whereas we have to rely on our brains.
-And he's sure God is on his side.
-But you are not?
Not to the extent of handing me the enemy's plans.
There's no way of checking the genuineness of these papers.
They appear to be Nye's and Mountbatten's signatures.
The question is whether what is in the letters is true...
..and only those who wrote them could tell us.
-But we can check the genuineness of the bearer.
-In what sense, Admiral?
We know a great deal about Major Martin.
We know the address of his club, of his bank, we even know about his debts.
I think someone had better ask a few questions in London, to make sure there was such a man.
-From Dublin, Mr Reilly?
-All right, thank you.
-Is this all your luggage?
-Read this, please.
-Any articles subject to duty?
-I'll open this one up.
Thank you. Shut it up again.
Is this all your luggage, madam? Read this, please.
Any articles subject to duty?
Will you drive me to 57 Landsmere Gardens?
57 Landsmere Gardens? All right, step in.
I trust you had a pleasant journey.
-I am here with thee and thy goat.
Above your head there's a plate with a telephone number. Memorise it.
If it's absolutely necessary, ring that number for a cab to pick you up at Hyde Park Corner tube station.
Go there and wait for me. Don't ring unless it's important.
I'm not responsible for you.
-I'm to deliver you and your luggage, that's all.
-I won't bother you much.
It's nothing to do with me, but why were you chosen for this job?
Because I'm so fond of the English.
Yes, they are a lovable people.
Your other bag, sir.
-Three and sixpence on the clock, sir.
Thank you, sir. Good luck, sir.
-I'm O'Reilly. You have a room for me?
-The gentleman from Dublin?
I'll take you up. Give me a case.
-Never let it be said I let a lady carry for me.
-You're all the same.
There's nobody like the Irish for manners. My grandad was Irish.
He used to say all the Irish are kings' sons.
You're on the first floor. That's the bathroom and this is your room.
I do hope you'll be comfortable.
I expect you'd like a cup of tea?
No, thank you. I'll just unpack me things.
You will be careful about the blackout, won't you? I had the police round three times last week.
Don't worry. I'll be very careful.
Well, I'll leave you to yourself.
In case you want to stay out late, I'll put the key on the hall table.
-If you want anything else, just call "cooee" and I'll pop up.
HE SIGNALS IN MORSE CODE
Thank you, sir. Good morning.
-Good morning, sir.
-I'd like some khaki shirts, please.
-Made to measure?
I think you'll like these. A very fine poplin.
-They're very nice, but they're not the ones I had in mind.
You sold some to a friend of mine recently. Major William Martin of the Royal Marines.
-They were cotton with separate collars.
-I know the one you mean.
Take a look at those, sir. Separate collars, cotton.
Oh, good morning, sir. Won't keep you a moment.
-These look like the ones.
But I'm not sure. Could you look up Major Martin's account and see...?
-Sir, if your friend got his cotton shirts from us, those are certainly the ones.
-I won't doubt the word of an honest man. I'll take two.
-Thank you, sir.
-So, I said to the chap... >
-Is this the Naval and Military Club?
I wonder if you could help me.
-Could you help me?
-I'll do my best, sir.
I'm looking for a friend. Major William Martin of the Royal Marines.
I believe he's a member here. Have you seen him lately?
There's a Major Martin who's a Gunner, sir.
-No, he's in the Royal Marines.
-The Royal Marines!
I don't know him personally. Is he a regular officer?
There I couldn't be sure.
If he's a temporary I shouldn't know him, sir.
Martin, Brigadeer, AT.
Martin, Captain, L.
Martin, Major, W, RA.
No Major Martin what's a Marine here, sir.
-Surely that's odd if he's a member?
-Surely that's odd!
-Not necessarily, sir.
What with the bomb damage, we're a bit behind.
He may not be on the file yet.
-You can leave a message, then if he comes in...
-No, thanks. It can wait.
-I'm grateful, all the same.
-I'm grateful, all the same!
-Oh, thank you, sir.
This is the manager's secretary. Who is it? ..Thank you.
Hold on a moment, please.
Here's the contract you asked for.
-And there's a Mr Phillips on the phone.
-What does he want?
He's enquiring about a Major Martin.
-A Major Martin.
-Put him through, and get a note of what we say.
-Yes, Mr Emberton.
-There's a call on my outside line.
-Contact the exchange and have it traced.
-Is that the manager?
I wonder if you can help me? My name is Phillips, and I'm enquiring about Major William Martin.
-I believe he was a customer of yours?
Only, he's dead, and I'm trying to help clear up his affairs.
I see. I'm sure you'll understand it's a rule of the bank
not to discuss a client's affairs with anyone.
-Certainly not on the telephone.
-I am on to the right branch?
It would be best if you could drop in.
I'm pretty full up this morning, but if you'd like to come in at quarter past two and ask for me.
-Yes, I suppose that would be a good idea. A quarter past two.
-You were very smart to get this.
-My secretary often notes calls.
-You say he had a slight accent?
-Yes, but not a foreign accent.
Possibly from the West Country.
-Did you trace the call?
-It came from a public telephone.
-And he agreed to an appointment?
-Yes, but he wasn't enthusiastic.
Could this be a coincidence? It's a common name. He may have mistaken the bank.
-But not probable. You've handled this beautifully.
Frankly, I don't think he'll turn up, but we'll both be back at two.
-I'll be waiting for you.
-He's a good chap.
If someone's ringing Willy Martin's bank it means Jerry's putting the whole thing under a microscope.
Now, where, if anywhere, is there a weak link?
I'm going to talk to General Cockburn of the Special Branch.
-A voice from a telephone isn't much of a start.
-I realise that, sir.
I wondered if you'd had any reports that might help.
A gentleman's just arrived from Sweden, but he's nothing to do with Major Martin.
I'd like to have a couple of your men at the bank.
Of course. We must be in on it. Always like to make a new friend.
Besides, he may turn up. I guess he's only here for this job. He knows we haven't got tabs on him.
He's the sort who might take chances.
-We'll stand by, sir.
-Pity. D'you think he suspected Emberton?
-I don't know.
He obviously can't show himself.
Hello? 'The American library?' Yes.
'Miss Sherwood, please.' Just a moment.
Lucy, tell him not to ring here. I'm sorry.
Lucy...this is Larry.
Hello, Larry. 'You know why I'm phoning?'
Oh, no, he's gone. I knew it would come.
Thank you, Larry. You all right?
Yes, he was a good flyer.
Thank you for ringing, Larry.
Would you check this book out?
Good evening. Sorry to disturb you. The door was open.
Yes, what do you want?
I'm enquiring after my friend, Willy Martin.
-He's... Will you come in?
Won't you sit down?
-Willy's death was a great shock to me.
-Yes, it was a great pity.
I take it you're not his fiancee?
No, I hardly knew him.
I understood he'd recently become engaged and his fiancee lived here. That's why I came.
That's the girl who lives with me, Lucy Sherwood.
Will you have a cigarette?
Lucy Sherwood. That's right, I remember.
I'll get you a light.
-I'd like to see her.
-She's out tonight.
-When will she be back?
-But if you could come tomorrow, I'd say that you'd called.
I knew Willy from when he was a boy in Cardiff.
-Did he come from Cardiff?
-Is his fiancee very upset?
I won't take up your time, but I'll do everything I can to help.
-So, if you'd give his fiancee my address...
Perhaps you'd care to take it down?
My name is Patrick O'Reilly, R-E-I-L-L-Y,
and my address is 57 Landsmere Gardens, North West One.
-I am to be found there...any time.
Oh, sorry. Don't mind me, I'm just passing through.
You are Miss Lucy Sherwood?
That's right. Where's your manners, Pam? Introduce your handsome friend.
-This is Mr Patrick O'Reilly.
-Mr O'Reilly is making enquiries about Willy Martin.
Willy Martin! Dearest Willy?
It's no good enquiring about him, Mister,
Willy Martin doesn't exist.
At least, he's dead, which is the same thing. That's right, isn't it?
He's dead, so he doesn't exist.
It's the same with all these boys. Here today and gone tomorrow. What's real about that?
-I was sorry to hear of his death.
-Why should you be?
You didn't love him. He didn't give you a ring. I never wore it.
Now I never will. Ever, ever!
-I knew him in the old days in Cardiff.
Did you? I bet you knew his old man, too, and his Ma and his sister, and the whole shooting match.
Well, I didn't. They were just photographs.
Photographs with folks looking the way folks do.
But I never knew 'em. In the time I barely knew him.
Three months. What sort of time is that?
And yet, I knew him well enough.
Then they took him away from me, and killed him...in the sea.
"Down, down into the sea To be lost evermore in the Main."
Tennyson. Do you know Tennyson?
Why should you? Why should I know Tennyson?!
He almost made it.
"Darling, I dreamed you." I was always afraid I had. Always afraid.
Lucy, you ought to go to bed.
There's plenty of time to go to bed.
Years and years with nothing else to do, and everything cold, and then...
Why can't you all let me alone?
-Is she all right?
-Yes, I think so.
But I must get her to bed.
-I'm sorry I've intruded. You have my address?
'have...deliberately...revealed... my...identity...to enemy.
-He had it all pat, eh?
-Yes. Here's the address.
-What's he like?
-Tall, dark, Irish-sounding, good-looking.
-I'll tell General Cockburn. May I use the phone?
-What chance he believed you?
-I don't know, but he believed Lucy.
-You really think so?
-Yes, I saw his face.
-It was true!
-Don't start blubbering, girl.
-How long did he stay?
-About ten minutes.
And you didn't even get us a lead?!
Steady, Monty. She got his name and address.
I didn't. He gave it to me.
-He wants us to check this address.
-Is there such an address?
I don't see what else we can do.
Don't worry. It's all right.
Leave a man to cover the apartment. You lead.
CAR PULLS UP
- Good night, George. - Cheerio, old boy. ..Beg pardon.
Why should he give Pam a phoney address? Why?
Unless... George, I'm off my head. Stop the car.
-No, stop French.
-Make up your mind.
Blow your horn, you idiot.
For Pete's sake, let's use our brain.
Monty, what is all this?
-What's the matter?
-We're making fools of ourselves.
-But General Cockburn thinks he might be there.
-He is. I'm certain of it.
-Shouldn't we get on?
-Go and cover the house, but don't be spotted.
-And if he comes out?
-He won't. I'm sure he won't.
And no action without orders.
-We're not to scoop him up?
-But my orders...
-I don't give a damn. Do as I say. I'll talk to Cockburn.
Thank you very much, Commander.
- French, carry out my orders. - Yes, sir.
Sir, will you listen to me for one moment?
Montagu, he almost certainly isn't there. If he is, every moment...
-Sir, he is there.
-Then why countermand my orders?
If you send your men to the house, you will arrest one spy and we may lose 30,000 men.
You must cover the house and let me explain.
-You're very sure of yourself.
-I'm sure of nothing,
but I've used my brains and I must stand by what they tell me.
Your decision, sir.
French, cover the house and wait for orders.
-I prefer not to talk about it in the street.
-Assume the address is genuine. If so, what happens?
-We pick him up.
-Suppose he doesn't mind.
-He'll mind being shot.
Suppose he's prepared to risk his life to be sure?
If we turn up, it'll mean we've been tipped off, and that the whole story is a plant.
He'll have committed suicide, but Jerry will know,
and our operation will be blown.
-I'm sorry. We mustn't touch him.
-Till after he's sent a message?
No, right up till the landings. No further messages from him might give the game away.
-He'll get out of the country.
-And we must let him go. He's done us no harm.
-They also serve, who only stand and wait.
Martin genuine. Three batteries will leave Sicily for Sardinia.
The first Panzer division will proceed to Greece.
Six flotillas of R-boats will leave Sicily for the Aegean.
Martin genuine. Martin genuine!
Lieutenant Commander Ewen Montagu, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
Lieutenant Commander John Adams, Royal Navy.
Lieutenant Commander David Hebdon, Royal Navy.
"MARTIN'S" FATHER: 'Can you assure me, Commander, as an officer and a gentleman,
'that this thing you are going to do is good and worthy of him?
'That, if I agree to your request,
'my son's body will be treated decently and with respect,
'and that, finally, he will have Christian burial?'
Last night, I dreamed a deadly dream.
Beyond the Isle of Skye,
I saw a dead man win a fight,
and I think that man was I.
Espionage thriller in which a British intelligence officer plans an elaborate hoax in the spring of 1943 to fool the Germans into thinking the Allies are about to invade Greece, not Sicily. The plan calls for the navy to float a dead body carrying false identification and information so that the Germans will pick it up. The first part of the mission succeeds, but will the Nazis take the bait?