Eagle in a Cage (1972) - full transcript

In 1815, a soldier becomes the Governor of St. Helena, and jailer of Napoleon.

(dramatic music)

- Allow me to introduce myself.

- That's quite unnecessary,
I know who you are.

Sir Hudson Lowe, His Majesty's Governor.

I'm instructed by London
to do everything possible

to ensure your comfort.

Unfortunately the quarters
that I've selected for you

are not quite ready.

The government has rented this
as your temporary residence.

I will...

I'll have to ask you to abide by

certain rules and regulations.

First, you're free to move
anywhere on the island,

provided you are accompanied
by an English officer.

- I'm not your prisoner.

- You held a great deal of
power for a very long time.

I expect it's not easy to
accept someone else in command.

Nevertheless, that is
the fact of the matter.

- Picked it up in Jena when
we slaughtered the Prussians.

Belonged to Frederick the Great.

Not the eagle, he had that stuck on.

He's mad for eagles.

Had them on the regimental flagstaffs,

engraved on the palace crockery,
even carved on the chairs.

Couldn't sit down without
banging your head on a bird.

Royal Navy, eh?

I'm an army man, myself.

16 years as a private in the infantry.

- Meat for the meat-grinder.

- I was with him from the
beginning, marching through Italy.

No cannon, no cavalry, his behind

sticking out from his britches.

Took Sardinia in 11 days.

He's like a magician, you'll never know

what he'll come up with next.

It's what made all them czars
and kings and prime ministers

shake in their boots every time he farted.

- Well, he's finished now.

- You think so?

- What's all that junk?

We're not setting up court here.

Do us good to live like
peasants for a while.

Bread and cheese and
wine, a clean hard life.

The way I lived on those first campaigns.


- Uh, excuse me.

The doctor.

- Out.

General Gourgand, Count Bertrand.

Soldier and diplomat.

An iron fist and a clever brain.

If you're fond of life,
gentlemen, if you value breathing,

touching, the taste of an
apple, scent of a woman,

you'd best put those talents to work.

- I told you my idea.

Plenty of ships coming
and going, shouldn't be

too difficult to get away.

- It's a thing we can't do alone.

We'd need help.

Where do you expect to get it?

- The Pope considered me despicable.

Yet he crossed the Alps to anoint me.

The King of Austria called
me a Corsican gutter-rat,

and gave me his daughter for a bride.

Anyone can make use of a friend.

The trick is to use one's enemies.

Do I look as though I need a physician?

- You look healthy enough.

- I don't believe in doctors.

Never met one who wasn't a fool.

- I'm sure.

- A fraud and a liar.

- Very likely.

- Greedy.

Greedy as any little
whore on the boulevard.

- No doubt.

- I'd have to be mad to
trust myself to someone

who's both a doctor and an Englishman.

- I happen to be Irish.

- And what, precisely, is the difference?

- We're rebels by nature.

- Splendid, so am I.

- Furthermore, I'm not the usual Irishman.

It's a country that breeds romantics.

- Whereas you...?

- Believe in reality, clean and simple.

- You don' know the first
thing about reality.

It's seldom clean and it's never simple.

You're too young.

- If I were choosing a doctor,
I'd choose a young one.

He's had less time to become corrupt.

- You are the soul of integrity.


- I'm the product of a corrupt
society, so I'm corrupt.

But at least I would like
to see things changed.

- Where did you go to school?

- Eton and Cambridge.

- [Napoleon] I thought
you weren't English.

- My father sold out for a
government contract and a title.

He lives in England.

- You don't care for him.

- Not much.

- What he does is his own business.

By the age of 20, every man
should be his own father.

Is that the way they teach
you to stand in the Navy?

- One more thing.

Apart from my duties as your physician,

I'm required to report
daily that I've seen you.

As a precaution against escape.

I agreed to obey that
order on the condition

that I could inform you of it.

I'm not a spy.

- I have nothing against spies.

(dramatic music)

- Pepper.

Not the white, you idiot, the red.

Now, stir this.

Ah, good.

Just in time for a meal.

Give the young gentleman a glass.

Set another place.

Daresay when you got
word I wanted to see you,

you thought it was an order.

Actually it's simply a social invitation.

I know a number of your family.

No objection to garlic?

- I like it.

- Ah, good boy.

How's your illustrious patient?

- Oh, he seems healthy enough.

I haven't had a chance to examine him yet.

- You'd be amazed the
number of inquiries I get

from persons concerned with his welfare.

Man's got sympathizers
everywhere, even in England.

Oh yes, including several
peers of the realm.

Hope you haven't taken a fancy to him.

- Oh, I don't go in for heroes.


- You like scampi?

Look at these little beauties,

fresh out of the water a while ago.

Making a white wine sauce, my speciality.

Served with your uncle
Charles in Portugal.

- Did you?

- Yes, he was promoted
captain the same day.

Here am I, Lieutenant
Colonel, in this desolation,

while he's a Major General
sitting behind a desk

at the war office, London.

Shows what happens when you've
got the right connections.

Matter of fact, he wrote to
me when he heard you were

being shipped out here.

- Told you about my shocking past?

- Just said you'd been
in some sort of trouble

at medical college, but you
can't taste my kidney pie?

Meat on this island is not fit for pigs.

What kind of trouble?

- Oh, a little meeting
against the Chancellor.

I was held up on charges of
creating a civil disorder.

My father, I imagine, used some influence.

I was given the choice of
prison or a hitch in the Navy.

- Bit of a firebrand
myself when I was young.

First year in the army, I was drunk and

absent without leave for 16 days.

Damn near court-martialed.

I'm Irish myself, you know, oh yes,

born in Galway.

What are you standing there
for, you stumble-witted mook?


Bring it here while it's
hot, it's all ready.

You'll be spending a great
deal of time with our guest.

Glad to hear anything you care to pass on.

Nothing official, just your impressions.

- Why not talk to him yourself?


- I was thinking of something
a little less formal.

I find myself wondering if
there's anyone close to him

who might be persuaded
to be helpful to us.

That valet of his, perhaps.

Sure, he's a faithful
servant, worships his master,

et cetera, still, there are
motives stronger than love.

- Such as?


- You've a sharp eye and a keen mind.

I really would be most
grateful for your opinion.


Eat up, eat up.

How's this, delicious?

- Don't be too eager.

(suspenseful music)

- For years there's been nothing up there

but a skeleton garrison.

The governor's had his work
cut out getting it ready.

- For what?

- For the regiments they're sending down.

To guard you.

(horse whinnying)

(horse whinnying)

- Every country in Europe
has an emissary here.

All telling the governor
they hate your guts,

and all dying to meet with you.

- Did you talk with the Dutchman?

- Yes.

- And?

- He'll take us.

- When?

- On his next voyage.

- No conditions?

- Pay his price.

- Any news from France?

- Riots in Marseilles and Lyon.

Veterans of the grand
army marching the streets

and yelling your name.

- What does Paris say?

- That you are having an orgy out here.

A million francs in gold
and three mistresses.

- We'll land in Marseilles.

Get some sleep.

Been in battle?

- Yes, sir.

- Where?

- Egypt, Waterloo, Corsica.

- Wounded?

- [Soldier] Yes, sir.

- How many times?

- Three, sir.

- What's the food like
in the English army?

- It's all right.

- Tell the truth.

- I'd say it was proper goat's vomit.


- Who are you?

- B-Betsy.

- What are you doing here?

I said what are you doing...

- There's a finch's
nest in the lemon tree,

I wanted to look at it.

- At this hour?

- It's where I come when I can't sleep.

Well, it's our garden, and my papa says

now the governor's rented it to you.

I'm not to walk here.

- Then why do you?

- I'm nosy.

- Come here.

What's the capital of France?

- Paris.

- Italy.

- Rome.

- Russia.

- Petersburg, formerly Moscow.

- Who burned Moscow?

- I don't know.

- Don't do that, don't ever
do that, don't lie to me.

Yes, you know.

I burned Moscow.

- I thought the Russians burned
it to get rid of the French.

- Have a bonbon.

Do you like to gossip?

You know Count Bertrand,
the gray-haired gentleman?

He wears a corset.


- My mother has a black
man she meets in the woods,

and she always gives him a shilling.

Once she had one all ready to
give to him, and I stole it.

I like to take things.

- You were born here?

I'm never at home in a place until

I've looked at a map of it.

Unfortunately, I haven't one.

- My father has.

I'll steal it for you.

- Thank you.

- I've just heard you're leaving.

- I'm toying with the idea.

- Without us.

My husband thinks you haven't a chance.

- Does he?

- You're losing your hair.

- Am I?

I hadn't noticed.

- How old are you now, 46?

You look it.

- Thank you.

- Oh, there's nothing
wrong with growing older.

Do you know I looked at myself
in the mirror this morning,

I really stared.

Forced myself to see every little line,

the little sag under the chin.

And then I looked into my eyes.

Do you know, I really hadn't
liked them up until now,

but I think experience has
made them quite interesting.

- Enjoying yourself?

- If only you knew the sheer
pleasure of standing here

and feeling absolutely nothing.

What I'd give to be 17 again
and feel the way I do now.

It really is delicious.

After you married me off to
Bertrand, I used to watch you

at the opera with your latest girl,

and play the game of guessing
what she wanted from you.

- Oh yes?

- There were the ones who
wanted a diamond necklace

or a new carriage, some who were curious,

and some of them merely wanted excitement.

- Never love?

- I think we all understood
that was the one thing

you were never prepared to offer.

- Hmm, it takes time to
love, I never had the time.

- When I knew it was over
between us, I lay there

writhing in pain as though
my stomach had been slashed.

Biting my wrist to stop
myself from screaming.

Then I picked up the pieces and carried on

with the life that you so
thoughtfully had arranged for me.

- Bertrand comes from a fine old family.

He's civilized, rich...

- And I can't bear his mouth
or the smell of his skin.

It's dry and musty, like an attic

that's been shut up for years.

- Find someone else.

- Thank you.

I've had all I want of
the pleasures of passion.

No, I prefer feeling nothing.

The sweet satisfaction of standing here

and feeling absolutely...

It's delicious.

(dramatic music)

- I was just remembering.

One of those boring dinners at Versailles.

The reception for the King of Denmark.

- That face.

Like little pouches.

You know, like a squirrel.

- With false teeth that didn't fit.

With your permission I
would like to discuss

the import tax on herrings.

You were wearing blue.

- Brocade.

I used to bring my son to
the beach when he was small.

Used to squat like an Arab,
piling up little heaps of sand.

Not bridges or castles or forts.

Jut funny little heaps of sand.

- My wife doesn't answer my letters.

They tell me she changed my son's name.

And has forbidden him to mention me.

- He had the most beautiful little bottom.

I want another baby.

- Prepares are being completed
on your permanent residence.

- Mmmm.

- I'd be obliged if you'd prepare to move

as soon as possible.

- Of course.

- I made the point that neither
you nor any of your people

is to ride around the island unescorted.

- Did you?

- Oh yes.

General Gourgand's been
seen in the town alone.

Also on the beach.

- He collects seashells.

- I pride myself on being a civilized man.

I'd be most unhappy to
have to surround you

with a squadron of guards.

- I'll see he takes up another hobby.

- I'm quite willing to let
you move around unaccompanied,

provided you keep to the
vicinity of the house,

say a five-mile radius.

- That's very kind of you.

- I'm curious as to how you
plan to spend your time.

- Oh, sleeping, reading,
watching the birds.

- Is there any way I could be of service?

Send you some books, perhaps.

- Thank you.

I'd like a Bible.

- Huh.

Never occurred to me
that you were religious.

- Oh, I only read the love poetry.

And the battle scenes.

You can learn a lot from
those Old Testament boys.

Good day.

- Good day.

- Get Gourgaud.

Who is it that beats you?


Your mother?

Of all the human emotions, the
most ridiculous is self-pity.

Wipe your nose.

I was younger than you, only 10 years old,

when they first sent me away
from home to school in France.

Queer little runt of a foreigner.

Poor, shy, lonely, rebellious,
perfect target for beatings.

The first oath I swore was
never again to allow myself

to be humiliated.

- You have odd eyes.

I never trust people
unless they have something

odd about them.

- This place where I'm
to live when they move me

out of the cottage.

- Longwood.

- Is it far?

Come, show me.

(dramatic music)

Have you been inside?

- It's full of rats.

- When did you first
notice this dizziness?

- Last few days.

- And the pain is?

- In my head, chest, legs, it travels.

- I see, follow my finger, please.

- You were assigned to attend me?

- No.

I volunteered.

- Why?

- Curious.

About the kind of man who
could fight war after war

and never stop to count the cost.

- I believe in myself.

- Open your shirt, please.

- Power is my art.

I love it.

The way a musician loves his instrument.

- Deep breath.

Thank you.

I prefer power in the hands of the people.

- Don't be an idiot, the people
haven't the faintest idea

how to govern themselves.

- Lie down, please.

Neither do most of those in power.

I know, believe me.

My father is an adviser
to the foreign office,

my mother is the daughter
of an ambassador.

I was born in the guts of the monster.

- You should take special
care of me, O'Meara,

you should treasure me.

At least you've got
something to rebel against.

- You might try doing
without alcohol and tobacco

for a while.

- Every day power gets more faceless.

Won't be long before the
world is run by machines.

A million anonymous, efficient,
miserable little clarks

like Sir Hudson Lowe deciding
matters of life and death

by filling out forms in triplicate.

What'll you do then, eh?

You can't have a revolution
against cog wheels.

What do you think of Madame Bertrand?

Does she attract you?

- You like to test people, don't you.

- The only way to tell
if a bell is cracked

is to strike it.

(bell ringing)

- So your illustrious
patient claims he's sick.

- Yes, sir.

- He's pretending.

- Mm, probably.

Still, to be on the safe
side, I'd just as soon

not have him moved to that pigpen.

It's hard enough dealing
with a living legend,

but 10 times worse
dealing with a dead one.

- I want him moved.

- London keeps telling the world

he's being treated with the utmost care.

- All fancy speeches
aside, I'm his jailer.

I want him moved.

For his safekeeping.

- Then go ahead and move him.

- I think it's time we got
one thing clear, my boy.

You come shambling in
here, rude, arrogant,

a disgrace to your uniform.

So far I've had the patience of a saint.

Don't think it's because
of your connections.

Your uncles and cousins who
think they run the world?

All my life, I've had to watch
the privileged climb over me.

The promotions and the
honors and the juicy posts

falling into their laps
like golden apples.

Now it's my turn.

And nothing, nothing and no one
is going to stand in my way.

I'll be the most tolerable man, my lad,

so long as you cooperate.

You're not a schoolboy any more,

you know how these things are managed.

London doesn't say so in so many words,

actually they'd be
delighted to see him dead.

If he persists in surviving,

they may have other plans for him.

- [Napoleon] I'm busy.

- I'll wait.



Why do you do that?

That's a filthy habit.

- Give it back.

I said give it back.

- Undying.

Undying what?

- Love.

- What was she like?

- Josephine?


When she married me
she thought I was rich,

and I thought she was.

- When you think about her,

what is it you remember?

- Pride.

Her marvelous pride.

The way she had of carrying herself

as though she were a gift.


- Does it... what's the matter?

- Nothing.

- Are you all right?

- When I'm back in Paris,
you'll come and see me.

You'll be a woman then.

A cold beauty in a yellow
gown like a blaze of sunlight.

Coming across the great
hall, up the scarlet steps.

Here, you can sit on the queen's throne,

she won't be in court today.

Her dog is sick.

Disgusting beast, I hope he croaks.

Well, now you're here, the least I can do

is find you a husband.

Cast your eyes over this
glittering assemblage

and let me know if anyone
strikes your fancy.

- That one.

- The Italian attache?

Pompous ass.

Takes a bath with all his medals on.

Now, if you want to make a
brilliant match, take him.

- With the soup stains on his waistcoat?

Looks like a corpse.

- And he owns half the
vineyards in Burgundy.

You'll end up a rich widow
with every wolf in Paris

howling at your door.

Counts, princes, dukes, envoys,
oh, the lot of you, out.

Do you like yourself?

- No.

- Be what you are.

Reach for what you want.

Don't let them make you careful.

- Is it true?

In Syria, you poisoned your own wounded?

- What right have you to say
I murdered my men in Syria?

- Because it's the truth.

- You're bringing charges?



At the battle of Acre, we were starving.

Eating our camels and horses.


When I had to retreat,
I had barely the ships

to move those who could still walk.


The Turks have a charming
way of mutilating prisoners.

What was I to do?

Leave my wounded to be tortured?

It was an act of mercy.

- It was an act of murder.

- Do you think there's always a choice

between good and evil?

Sometimes there's only a
choice between horrors.

I made Paris the center of culture.

- Stole the statues of Vienna,

plundered the paintings of Venice,

ripped the bronze horses
off St. Mark's Cathedral.

- I was the founder of modern law.

- While your secret
police censored the mail,

suppressed the news,
jailed the opposition.

- I opened the schools to
the children of the poor.

- And drafted them into the army.

- France was perishing
when I came to power,

a country in chaos.

I made her the greatest nation on Earth.

- And destroyed two million of her sons.

Left 9,000 dead at Austerlitz.

400,000 in Germany.

Half a million in Russia.

- You're not a stupid boy,
O'Meara, so it must be innocence.

- Your whole career stinks of death.

- Every head of state
is forced to commit acts

which for an ordinary man would be crimes.

You can't judge me the
way a Justice of the Peace

judges a peasant who steals a pig.

When you judge me, you judge a people.

The farmers who fed my troops,

the mechanics who made my guns,

the men who flocked to my flag.

- Tell me.

Were you eager to fight,
or were you forced?

- Oh, I couldn't wait to get into uniform.

- Was it out of love you
followed me, or fear?

- Oh, love.


- Good morning.

- Morning

- He won't be able to keep
the usual appointment.

He's closed up in his room, working.

- Uh, I have to report that I've seen him.

- Of course.

- I've finally worked
out my strategy on you.

How to act with you.

Polite, but disinterested.

Now, I know a woman in
London, she's very beautiful.

She's married to a very important man.

Rich, dynamic.

But would you believe
that she took as her lover

a callow and not particularly
attractive young man,

and it baffled me.

And I finally asked her why.

What does he have for you?

- And what did she answer?

- Time.

Shall we ride today?

- Yes, if you like.

- You understand I don't give a damn

whether we do or not.

- I understand.

I'm afraid he's busy.

He'll be busy all day.

There's no point in waiting.

- I don't mind.

- Do your parents know you come here?

- Is that how they dress in Paris?

- It was when I left, I don't
know what they're wearing now.

- Does he lie a lot?

Most men do.

I just wondered if he was like the rest.

- Do you think deception
is confined to men?

- With women, I take it for granted.

Have you known him long?

- Since I was your age.

- What were you like then?

- Innocent.

That was before it went out of fashion.

- What was he like?

- When you're alone with
him, what do you talk about?


You're a lovely child.

You should wash your face more often.


(dramatic music)

- He's gone.

You knew he was going, didn't you?

- Yes.

- And you didn't tell me?

- I didn't know you were
interested in politics.

(waves crashing)

- Good evening.

Contemplating a sea journey?


- Yes, sir!

- He the one that killed Watkins?

- Yes, sir.

- It wasn't both of them.
- No, sir.

- We will hang him.

You've a genius for evading the gallows.


You're going to Longwood, now, at once.

- You insist on treating me as a prisoner.

I am not a criminal
and I am not a captive!

- My orders are to move you to Longwood,

I intend to do so tonight.

By force, if necessary.

- Do you think England defeated me?

I failed because of the
sea, the fire of Moscow,

the ice of winter, the
elements and only the elements!

- Twice, every 24 hours, a British officer

will verify your presence
by direct contact,

entering your quarters if necessary.


- I have no intention of
exhibiting myself as a freak!

If anyone tries to force
his way into my quarters,

he will enter over my dead body!

I bother you, don't I?

I make you realize how
small you are at Wavre,

at Pinckney, a pimple
on the ass of authority!

An insignificant bigot with the soul

of a bloody good jailer.

(clearing throat)

- You know, there's an
island off the coast of China

where war is unknown.

- What do you mean?

- There is an island
off the coast of China

where war is unknown.

- Never heard of it.

Don't even have weapons.

- They must have something.

Clubs, spears.

- No.

- Bows and arrows.

- Nothing.

- I don't believe it.

In the desert once, I dined
with a tribe of Arab nomads.

The sheikh was enormous.

Must have weighed 300 pounds.

For lunch, they served a whole sheep.

The chief delicacy was the eyeballs.

- Tastes like rotten eggs.

- You've done your hair differently.

- It's a wig.

- Exactly like rotten eggs.

- It's a handsome gown.

- Thank you.

There was another I wanted to wear,

but the rats got to it first.

- What is this?

- Vegetable stew.

- Where is the roast?

- It was full of maggots.

- I'll talk to Lowe about it.

- Tell him there was maggots
in the flour as well.

- This place stinks of dung.

- I've smelled worse.

Do you play billiards?

- Mm-hm.

- Are you good at the game?

- Not very.

- Right, then we'll play for stakes.

- [O'Meara] How long have you had it?

- Had what?

- [O'Meara] The pain.

- What pain?

Was that the sound of a bell?

A sound came into my head just then,

like the ringing of a bell.

I'll be hearing voices
next, like Joan of Arc.

I miss the sound of bells.

My first memories were
of the bells that rang

in the villages 'round our home.

All those early dreams.

(dramatic music)

- Is your brain clicking away?

Never stops, does it?

- Look.

We attract each other.

It's a simple thing,
why make it complicated?

Be grateful for anything
that gives you pleasure.

- You.

Not you.

- I had the impression you enjoyed it.

- Let go of me!

- Christ, what is it you want?

- When I knew you were trying to escape,

I prayed you'd fail.

- Did you?

- I begged, Dear God, let
him know what it's like

to feel the earth give way under his feet.

To flounder and to stumble
and to go down in the slime.

- Look at me.

Look at me!

- That's right, attack.

That's your greatest talent, isn't it?

Oh, God.

- Would you see if O'Meara is still here?


Get O'Meara!

The one thing I could
always rely on was my body.

The constitution of a pack horse.


Help me.

I'm counting on you to help me.

- The place is as damp as a dungeon.

The walls are covered with mold.

- I'll have a cart of firewood sent up.

- The water isn't fit to drink.

- We'll have a new well dug.

Meantime, I'll see he has
sufficient wine, et cetera.

Got all the medicines you need?

- All of a sudden you seem
anxious to keep him healthy.

- He's a very important personage.


You're getting scruffier than ever.

Why don't you let Belfridge cut your hair?

I trust you're feeling fit.

- Quite, thank you.

- It's not easy out here.

Same thing as regular exercise.

I ride 10 miles every day.

I'm instructed to relay
the news that a warship

is on its way to take
your general and yourself

to England to stand trial.

- Trial?

- For crimes against humanity.

Chiefly, it would
appear, the wanton murder

of civilian populations, the
torture of prisoners of war,

et cetera.

You will find the details
in the indictment.

- War is war.

- Yes, well, that should
make preparing your defense

quite simple.

- Item, May the third, 1808.

Mass execution of men, women, and children

in Puerta del Sol, Spain.

Item, they committed sabotage.

I ordered reprisals.

As deputy governor, it was my duty.

- Why, when a respectable man
does something despicable,

does he always insist it's his duty?

- I ordered punishment.

I didn't specify the form.

I knew nothing about any massacre.

I was an administrator.

- Yes, well, I'm sure the
court will be most attentive.

Good day, sir.

- What the hell do you
think you're doing, hm?

You know visitors are forbidden.

You could've had your head blown off.

- I don't care.

- You'll end up with
pneumonia, get that thing off.

Now you're here, how do
you propose to get out?

- I don't know.

- I'll call the guards and
have them escort you home.

- So this is where you sleep.

- Get up.

- I brought you a peach from our garden.

- Child.

- I'm not a child.

Look at me.

You never really look at me.

I'm not a child.

- So you're a woman, eh?

Come to comfort the lonely emperor.

Come here.

You brainless little idiot.

Keep mistaking compassion
for love, and you'll end up

marrying a drunkard, hm?

Now listen.

I'll tell you something, and learn it.

Burn it into that childish brain of yours.

There are only two kinds
of men in this world.

Those who will use you, hm?

And those you can use.

You've come from France?

- That's right, sir.

Stationed just outside the Boulevard,

about seven months, until
we were posted here.

- You say arrangements were made for you

to convey certain information.

- That's right, sir.

You see, me wife's French.

It was her brother that brought around

this gentleman from Paris.

- You're lying.

- The gentleman from Paris
asked me to show you this, sir.

Well, excuse me.

It's the salt air, terribly sensitive.

Just my luck to wind up
in a place like this.

Well, now then, let's see.

The first thing he said was, the country's

on the brink of a revolution.

Them's his exact words.

People rioting against the king.

Slipping handbills under the doors and

putting up posters and all.

The week before we left, the Duke of...

something or other was
assassinated in the street.

During the last six months,
over a thousand people

have been arrested for treason.

- Go on.

- That's all, sir.

Gentleman from Paris said
I'd be properly gratified

for all me trouble.

There were one or two other
things I had to tell you,

but I can't quite remember, you see,

I have to keep it all in me head.

Don't carry any special papers.

Too risky.

With Lord Sissal being aboard,
and all those special guards.

- [Bertand] Who did you say?

- Lord Sissal.

- Here on this island?

- Yes, sir.

- Thank you.

- This way.

- Sissal.

Why Sissal?

Why is he here?

(stately music)

- Present arms!

- A most hearty welcome, sir.

- All right, all right,
let's get it over with.

- Present arms.

- Permit me to apologize
for not being able

to arrange a proper reception.

- Miserable pest-hole, worse than Africa.

- I'd been down to the dock to meet you

if I'd any idea our
warship was bringing us

such an illustrious personage.

No advance word at all from London.

- Typical.

Imbeciles at the foreign office.

Miracle they manage to
wipe their own asses.

- I say, although this is the first time

I've had the honor of
meeting you in person,

I've long regarded you
with the utmost admiration.

I'm well aware that you make a point

of keeping out of the public eye,

and that many of our
countrymen are unaware

of the historic services
which you have rendered...

- Do you always talk so much?

Or is it a disease one catches out here?

(muffled conversation)

- Go on, go on.

I'll tell you when to stop.

- Sir, the officers would like
to give a ball in your honor.

- Any decent-looking women?

- I dare say we'll be
able to round up a few.

- Don't care for social occasions.

No pretty women, I'd fall asleep.

- Well, not much out here in the way of

worldly pleasures, I'm afraid.

Still, I think I can promise you

a passable dinner this evening.

Cooking's something of a hobby of mine.

We're having lobster with
mushrooms and almonds,

my own recipe.

I served it once to the Duke of Hartford,

and he said it was exquisite.

- I don't touch anything
except toast and boiled eggs.

I haven't tasted fish
or meat since I was 60.

Bad for the bowels.

Ah, Thomas.

- Yes, sir.

- Saw your father before I left.

Asked me to inquire how
you were getting on.

- Tell him I'm working on a
plot to set fire to Parliament.


- I'll tell him.

Never liked your father.

Puritanical bastard.

Stupid as a flat-iron.

But this patient of yours,
heard he'd been having

an attack of some sort.

- Yes.

I don't know what.

- Well, get me a written report on it.

Specifically, I want to know
if he's in good enough health

to conduct affairs of state.

- But I thought...

- 9/10ths of the disasters
in this world, my dear sir,

occur because men like you start thinking.


Set fire to Parliament!

That's it, incinerate the bastards!


- I'd be highly delighted
if you'd do me the favor

of getting dressed.

The person I brought with
me is most distinguished,

and I find it most inappropriate
that you should be...

- Why don't you go in
and inspect the kitchen?

Like to keep your quarters dark, eh?

I agree with you, I hate bright lights.

I was told by Talleyrand that you once had

four women in one night.

- Yes.


- Extraordinary.

Amusing, most amusing.

I suspect you know you're a damn nuisance.

We've had to bring in three
extra regiments for guard duty.

- How much is it costing you?

- 320,000 pounds a year.

Annoys the queen, though
she doesn't say so.

- Royalty never haggles over money.

Only dreams about it.

- Ah, you seem to be
in excellent condition.

- I exercise an hour
a day, eat like a pig,

sleep like a child.

- I heard you'd been ill.

- A bit of fatigue.

The price one pays for having
an insatiable mistress.


I gather you're having your
troubles with the French.

- Occupying a country
isn't a popularity contest.

- The sharks are gathering, eh?

Austria, Saxony, Russia.

With their greedy eyes on
Paris, sniffing, circling,

waiting to close in for the kill.

How will you stop them?

- With troops, if necessary.

- Oh, but that's so expensive.

What a pity you can't find
some iron-fisted soldier

to put down the riots
and rally the people, hm?

Like me in the old days.

Happily, I've lost the appetite for power.

Dreary business, all that sly maneuvering.

Thank God I've done with it.

- About this trial.

- Oh yes.

- You've a right to counsel.

Sir John Meechum has
indicated his willingness

to conduct your defense.

Cousin of mine, former Lord
Chancellor, pleasant chap.

A bit senile.

- Hardly matters, seeing the outcome's

a foregone conclusion.

- Quite so.

Can't afford to have you
let loose in Europe again.

Makes people nervous when
you're bad portrayed.

No, we've considered the alternatives,

and hanging you is by far
the most sensible solution.

- We all have to die sometime,

whether in bed or on the
gallows is a minor detail.

- Bravo.

And the moment the international
situation quiets down

we ship your remains to
Paris for a proper funeral.

- Generous of you.

All right, what's the price?

- Ahh.

- You didn't come here
to discuss my trial,

you came to offer me something.

I know what it is, and I want it.

What's the price?

- We allow you to escape
and get back to France.

- And then?

- You suppress the revolutionary element,

establish law and order,
and within six months

of taking power, you
declare war on Prussia.

- You're a cunning bastard.

- Precisely what my
dear mother used to say.

- What support can I count on?

- None.

We adopt the most aggressive attitude,

threaten to send troops,
et cetera et cetera.

- What about Russia?

- Oh, she'll make indignant noises.

- [Napoleon] Who gets Austria?

- Nobody, you stop at the border.

- I want Vienna.

- Out of the question.

- Then you're wasting your time.

- We'll give you Saxony.

- I want Vienna.

- Impossible.

- Then find somebody else
to shovel your old manure.

- The Prime Minister wasn't
too happy about my coming.

Yes, he's afraid of you.

- Not as much as he's
afraid of revolution.

It's a disease that's
likely to be catching.

- We can still forget all
this and bring you to trial.

- Under what law?

- Come now, you know
perfectly well that law

is an instrument like anything else.

You manufacture what you need.

- I take the risks, and
you reap the reward.

It's a stinking bargain.

- You're in no position
to make a better one.

Either you accept our terms, or you hang.

It's what's referred to in
the law books as blackmail.

And in the history books as statesmanship.

- Then hang me and be damned.

- That's the spirit.

Enjoyed our little chat.

- How do I buy guns and
ammunition, pay my troops?

- The usual way.

Levy taxes.

- Six months isn't enough.

- I'm happy to suggest
certain banks in Switzerland

that can be approached for loans.

I was fond of Paris.

Much impressed by their
new museum of yours,

the, uh, the...

- The Louvre.

- Ah, particularly the
religious paintings.

I'm informed it may well be
the one place left in Paris

where one can still find a virgin.

- Over there.

What's that?

- Intelligence reports
from the war office.

- Over there, on the table.

By the wall.

- Have you been taking your medicine?

- No, higher!

Yes, that's it.

Go and sit down somewhere,
you're in the way.

Cipriani, give me a hand.

- I should take it easy if I
were you, you're a sick man.

- Sickness is a state of mind.

- All the same, I'd keep
taking the medicine.

This illness of yours, it's painful

and a little frightening.

But as long as I give you the
proper treatment, it'll pass.

- As for this business
of accusing me of murder,

war is an art, O'Meara.

Beautiful and disciplined,
like music or pure mathematics.

Sentimentality only cheapens it.

When I go into battle I
never trouble to take food

for all my troops, it stands to reason

some of them will be killed.

Why go to the bother of
hauling provisions for corpses?

Excuse me, you're an interesting young man

and I enjoy you, but I have
other things on my mind.

- It was quite touching.

He put his arm around me.

I'm sending you back to
England with Lord Sissal.

Work out the details of my return.

Dear loyal Henri.

You're the only one I can trust.

- And you believe him?

- I enjoy the performance.

If the theater had a
few actors half as good,

I'd return more often.

What about these?

- I don't want them.

- But they're perfectly good.

- I don't want them!

- You don't look well.

I must get some new
uniforms made in London,

they have excellent tailors there.

- Must you do that?

It is absolutely disgusting.

- When my father died at the age of 93,

he still had a beautiful head of hair.

- Yes, so you've told me.

- This was his secret.

- Stop it!

- Good evening.

- Marvelous evening.

My first ball.

How do I look?

- Ridiculous.

- Ravishing.

40 officers, all of them
dying to dance with me.

One of them insisted on bringing
me up here in his carriage.

- Was it a pleasant ball?

- Marvelous!

- Passable orchestra?

- Marvelous!

- Your vocabulary is breathtaking.

- The officer waiting for me is charming.

Tall, slim, only 24.

He's a captain.

- At 24, I was a general.

- He writes poetry.

- I wrote a whole code of law.

- You're jealous.

I came to say goodbye.

I said...

- I heard you.

- Papa is sending me to school in London.

God, how I longed for it, begged him,

and he wouldn't hear of it.

- How did you manage?

- Found a man I could use.

I told him I was in love with you.

He can't wait to pack me off.


- I despise goodbyes.

Go on, your young man
will be getting impatient.

- He'll wait.

- You're learning.

- I had a first-rate teacher.

- Yes, brilliant.

(ominous music)

I know, he taught me.

How to be unhappy, how to hate.

From time to time he
needs to prove to himself

that he's warm and generous.

So for a bit, sweet
love, he was kind to you.

It relieved his boredom
and cost him nothing.

Run along.

The children's hour is over.

- These last few days,
food tastes delicious.

When I wake in the morning
everything is sharp and clear,

startlingly clear.

The way it is before a battle.

- How does it feel?

- London's a fascinating
city, they tell me.

- You lost, didn't you.

They made you take their terms.

How does it feel to be used?

- Once I'm back, I'll do as I like.

- I don't think so.

- We'll see.

- What I'd have given to have been there.

A toothless, palsied
old man calls the tune,

and you dance to it.

How does it feel to be a whore?

- You should do something with your life.

Take up charity work.

Have a baby, you're not too old.

- Damn you.

- I'm sure he already has.

(lively military music)

(indistinct shouting)

- You look happy.

- It's a beautiful day.

- Mmmm.

And you're leaving.

- Mm-hmm.

- I'm pleased for you, and a little sad.

That it never happened between us.

- If I'd said yes, you wouldn't have known

what to do with me.

- Is it painful, losing him?

- I never had him.

- [O'Meara] Did you think you would?

- No.

- But you let him seduce you.

- Yes, I know.

At my age, it's indecent.

Oh, I had a need and he sensed it.

He has a great genius for that.

The way he sensed your need for a father.

To carry on your little game of rebellion.

He was quite happy to fill the role,

it got him what he wanted.

- Which was?

- To be made well enough to go back.

All those pretty speeches
of yours about hating war.

Do you really think of yourself as someone

who wants to change the world?

You had your one moment of rebellion,

and what have you done since?


You talk, and he acts.

- We're in port shortly,

when you're ready, I'll
have the call sounded.

- Call?

- Your review of the garrison
before your departure.

It's customary.

- It's been my life's practice
to avoid the customary,

skip the rubbish and get me to my ship.

Lord knows I can go without you lining up

those damn regiments of tin soldiers.

Oh, there you are.

Fellow's got a passion for ceremony.

I expected something sexual.

All right, all right, do as you please.

- Will do, sir.

- An irritating man.

Expect he'll end up in the House of Lords.

Serve him right.

- You read my report?

- I've seen your fellow.

Looks as sound as an ox.

- I can assure you, he's not.

- Well, sound enough for
our purposes, anyway.

- Even if his physical
condition were perfect,

he'd still be sick.

There's no term for it
in the medical books,

but it's contagious, nevertheless.

His appetite for spilling blood.

- Oh, yes.

9/10ths of the world suffers from that.

All I can try for is to see
that the blood isn't English.

- Ha, spoken like a true statesman.

- If I'd been born a woman I'd
have made a damn good whore.

No easy accomplishment, I can tell you.

I suppose you wouldn't care for
a job at the naval ministry?

- I have no particular desire to work

at preserving the Empire.

- Quite right.

Go back to your civilian
life, and spend your time

comforting your lady patients
and pinching the bottoms

of their chambermaids.

It's different for me at my age.

The Empire's the only
lady I can still satisfy.

(stately music)

- I came to say goodbye.

- Very kind of you.

- Farewell present.

- Thank you.

Used to belong to Frederick the Great.

- I shall treasure it.

- A token of our little dueling match.

- Nothing I enjoy more.

- It's not often I find
an opponent nasty enough

to make it interesting.

- My feelings precisely.

- Bon voyage.

(dramatic music)

- Shocking.

Anything you can do?

- Nothing.

- Dreadfully sorry.

- It'll be over in a few moments.

- Of course, of course.

- The arrangement between us stands.

- Of course.

You have my word.

Don't worry about it,
don't give it a thought.

I'm sure you'll be fine.

You'll be up and about again in no time.

(dramatic music)

It appears the gentleman will be staying.

Carry on as before.