Smiley's People (1982): Season 1, Episode 6 - Episode #1.6 - full transcript

In Bern, Smiley begins his interrogation of the hapless Soviet diplomat, Grogoriev, who proves to be a most willing informant, particularly when they threaten to reveal photos of him kissing the pretty Russian consular clerk to his dragon of a wife. He reveals how he first came into contact with Karla while attending a trade conference in Moscow. He pays the monthly clinic costs out of the money he withdraws from the bank and sends weekly reports to Karla via the Embassy courier on the girl's appearance, her manner and her attitude. He assumed the girl was Karla's daughter, but isn't sure. Knowing that he has finally found Karla's weak point, George Smiley sends him a letter with a proposition that, George hopes, Karla will find impossible to refuse. On the appointed night, George, Peter Guillam and Toby Esterhase with his team wait patiently at the East/West checkpoint in West Berlin to see if their plan has worked.

How are you today,

Oh, thank you.


I hope you enjoyed
your little excursion

to the country
on Friday.

The old city of Thun
is not sufficiently
appreciated, I believe,

by members of our
distinguished diplomatic
community here.

In my opinion, it is
to be recommended

not only for
its antiquity

but also for its
banking facilities.

You agree?

My name is
Kurt Siebel, sir.

I am chief investigator

to the Kantonalbank Bern
in Thun.

We have certain questions

relating to
Dr. Adolf Glaser's
private account with us.

You would do well
to pretend to know me, eh?

Please do not be alarmed.

If you could spare us
an hour, sir,

I am sure we could
arrange matters

without troubling
your domestic

or your
professional position.


There are irregularities,

grave irregularities.

We have a dossier
upon your good self

which makes lamentable reading.

If I placed it
before the Swiss police,

not all the diplomatic protests
in the world would protect you

from the most acute
public embarrassment.

What irregularities?!

Who is this Glaser you speak of?

I am not Glaser.

I am a diplomat,

The account you speak of
has been conducted

with total propriety.

As commercial counselor,
I have immunity,

and I also have
the right to own
foreign bank accounts.

There is also
the delicate question

of your marriage, counselor.

I must advise you
that your philanderings

in the embassy

have put your domestic
arrangements in grave danger.

( car engine starts )

Remember, go easy.

No speeding.

No laughing.

It's a Bernese Sunday.

( groans )

( groans )

( Grigoriev grunting )

Where am I?

I demand to know where I am.

I am a senior Soviet diplomat.

I demand to speak
to my ambassador immediately.

I have been kidnapped.

I am here against my will!

If you do not return me
immediately to my ambassador,

there will be a grave
international incident.

You want ransom?

You are terrorist?

But if you are

why don't you bind
my eyes?

Why do you let me see
your faces?

You must cover them!

I want no knowledge
of you!

I demand!

I demand!

You are Counselor

of the Soviet Embassy in Bern?


I am Grigoriev!

Yes, well done-- I am Grigoriev.

And who are you, please?

Al Capone?

Who are you?

Why do you rumble at me
like a commissar?

Then, counselor, since
we cannot afford to delay,

I must ask you to study
the incriminating photographs

on the table
beside you.


What photographs?

How can you incriminate
a diplomat?

I demand to telephone
my ambassador immediately.

I would advise the counselor to
look at the photographs first.

When he has looked
at the photographs,

he is free to telephone
whomever he wants.

Kindly start at the left.

The photographs are arranged
from left to right.

The telephone

is at your disposal,

Copies of these photographs will
receive generous distribution

within 48 hours from now unless
something is done to prevent it.

You will also

that the Swiss authorities
do not take kindly

to the misuse
of their passports--

least of all
by diplomats.

They are also

when it comes to
infringement of
their banking laws.

Your womanizing won't go down
too well in Moscow either,

will it?

How is Madame Grigorieva
these days?

Will she be pleased by
a sudden home posting,

followed by
premature retirement

to some inclement
part of Russia?

You and all your family,

no car,

no privileges,


Sit down.

We have also, of course,
to consider

the effect of these photographs
and reports

upon certain

of Soviet state
security, haven't we?

Certain directorates
of Moscow Center--

special directorates.

We have
to consider

whether exile is
sufficient punishment

for one who has so gravely
bungled his instructions.

Oh, yes.

At what time

do you expect
Madame Grigorieva

to return from
her mushrooming
expedition, counselor?

We don't want you to be missed
at home, do we?

You are spies, eh?

You are
Western spies.

We are officials.

That's all you need to know.

When you have done as I ask,

you will walk out of here
a free man.

You have my assurance.

Neither your wife

nor even Moscow Center
will be any the wiser.

Now, please
tell me

at what time your family
returns from Elfenau.

( groans )

Don't do that again,
you hear me?

I don't speak to scum like you!

What are you?

A Polish?


I don't speak
to antiparty elements!

I am Russian!

Don't do it

( grunts )

GRIGORIEV ( moaning ):
Ah, Grigoriev...

You fool!

You are so weak,

so weak.

Why didn't you
say no?

You are a fool and a clown!

You should be in an asylum

instead of the girl.

You are
an idiot.

You fool.

Regarding your wife
and children,


She will be home at 1:00.

But perhaps she will be late?

Oh, she's
never late.

Then kindly begin
by telling me

of your relationship with the
girl called Alexandra Ostrakova.


You hear that, Magyar?


He asks me about some girl
called Ostrakova.

I know
of no such person.

I am
a diplomat.

Release me

I have important engagements.

Alexandra Borisovna Ostrakova--
so called.

A Russian girl, but she has
a French passport--

just as you are a Russian,

but have a Swiss passport,

How did you come
to be involved
with her, please?

I need vodka.

Give him a glass-- one only.

GRIGORIEV ( over radio ):

You think I am so base
I sleep with mad girls?

Take the bottle

I was, uh, in Moscow.

The date, please, counselor.

Give the date
when you were in Moscow.

Henceforth, please give the date
at all points.


Of which year?

Which year?

I say August,
he asks me which August.

( chuckles )

I was recalled to Moscow for
an urgent economic conference.


Go on.

I had arranged to pass two days

in the apartment of a girl
called Evdokia,

my secretary.

Her husband was away
on military service.

Unfortunately, I was prevented

by adhering
to these arrangements

by intervention
of Moscow Center.

( phone rings )

( phone rings )

We are advised your wife
has returned home.

It's now become

for you
to telephone her.

Telephone her?

You will kindly tell her
you are unavoidably delayed.

I tell this to my wife, eh?

You think she will believe me?

She will report me
to my ambassador immediately:

my husband run away!

Find him!"

Each Thursday,
the courier Krassky

brings your weekly instructions
from Moscow, does he not?

Oh, your commissar,
he knows everything, eh?

Well, if he knows everything,

why doesn't he speak
to Grigorieva himself?

You are to adopt an official
tone with her, counselor.

Do not refer to Krassky by name,

but suggest that
he has ordered you to meet him

for an urgent discussion
somewhere in the town.

If she protests, tell her
it is a secret of state.

A secret...

A secret of state.


Here is Grigoriev.

Don't speak to me
about food, woman!

I am not interested
in mushrooms!

Now, listen.

I shall be delayed
by matters of state.

Matters of great urgency
and importance.

I shall be delayed
for several hours.

No, you may not know the reason.


( depresses hook )

( all applauding )

Thank you,

You were describing

how you were approached
by Moscow Center.

Kindly continue
with your narrative.

Well, "Grigoriev," they tell me,
"you come with us, we need you."

In Moscow,
when they say that to you,

you do not say "Call tomorrow."

You go.

And you went.

We drive,
all night.

Then big gates,


I ask my escort,
"Is this a camp?

What have I done wrong,
you are taking me to a camp?"

They tell me
to shut up.

We climb a hill.

On the hill, a small dacha,
a few lights, no luxuries.

"Who is this strange baron,"
I ask myself,

"who can live in a hut
and look at the whole world

without wishing to possess it?"

Give me a cigarette.

And inside, this man--
not a baron, a priest...

with a deep
quiet in him.

Behind a desk,
like you.


"I am a high official
of state security.

"I am also a man, like you.

Sit down."

I sit down.

Like now.

The room.

Barren as a prison cell.

A high official,
and needs so little.

A man clearly
of deep experience.

I see it in his face.

You meet few
men like that.


Smoking what?


What did
he smoke?

The question's plain enough.

A pipe, cigarettes, cigar?




Oh, the room was full
of their aroma.

Imagine the influence
of such a man--

to chain-smoke
American cigarettes
in Russia.

And he gave you no name?


the first topic

of your conversation
with this man.




He knew

about my
little Evdokia,

my plans to love her
that weekend.

About typists.

Wives of certain comrades.

A ballerina in Leningrad.

He disposed
of all this

in the most
disturbing details.

"Grigoriev, you have
no secrets from me.

"I see into your very heart.

"But never mind.

"Now you will
be my ally.

"My soldier.

"My friend.

And I will reward you."

He was like you...


First pressure,
then the reward.

The friendship.

Go on.

First, I was to open
a Swiss bank account.

Not in Bern, where I was known,

but in Thun, in the name
of a Swiss subject, Glaser.

"But I am a Soviet diplomat!

I am not Glaser,
I am Grigoriev!"

He hands me a Swiss passport
in the name

of Adolf Glaser.

( chair moves
suddenly )

Every month this
account should
be credited

with several thousand
Swiss francs.


you should observe his calmness,

his authority
in all circumstances.

In chess game,
he would win everything,

merely by his nerves.

But he was not playing chess.

Sir, he was not.

So what was he playing?

Make haste.

he says to me...

"Pay close attention.

"In a private clinic
in Switzerland,

"not half an hour
from the town of Thun,

"is confined
a young Russian girl

"suffering from an advanced
state of schizophrenia.

"Her name is
Alexandra Borisovna Ostrakova.

"In the Soviet Union,
this form of illness

"is not sufficiently

treatment are
too often complicated

"by political considerations.

"In Switzerland, a more
enlightened attitude is taken

"to these matters.

Grigoriev, I speak to you
as a father, not a politician."

"Comrade," I reply,

"if this Alexandra Borisovna
is your child,

you have my deep sympathy."

He laughed.

I had misunderstood him.

"She is not my child

"and my name is
not Ostrakov.

Pay attention."

"Oh, I apologize."

I feel the natural truthfulness
of this man.

His warmth of heart.

His mercy.

You are a perceptive
and kindly man, Grigoriev.

These qualities
have not passed unnoticed.

Then he tells me a great secret.

"Grigoriev, in
the whole history
of Moscow Center,

"there is no greater heroine

"than Alexandra
Borisovna Ostrakova.

"She has protected us
against many enemies.

"She has mixed
with the most
dangerous elements

"in order
to deceive them

"and report
their conspiracies.

"She has given
her very body

"in the cause
of the Revolution.


this experience
has now deranged
her mind."

"She is an invalid."

"Help her, Grigoriev.

"Comfort her in her agony.

Be a father to her."

Your task.

What was your task?

Well, to visit

every week
in her clinic.

To pay her fees from
special bank account.

To speak
to her physicians.

To be a father to her.

And when courier Krassky calls,

to give him each week
my report upon her condition

and receive special instructions
for next visit.

To place before her
special questions

prepared for me by the priest.

And you agreed?

I ask him first
two questions for myself.

"Comrade," I say, "why cannot
this task be undertaken

"by one of the many
Swiss-based representatives

of our state security?"

An excellent question.

How did he reply to it?

he said...

"This is matter is too secret.

"Even for the people of my own
directorate, too sensitive.

"As things are now, if ever
there should be a leak,

I shall know that Grigoriev
alone is the man responsible."

I was not grateful
for this distinction.

I should think not.

And what was your second
question, counselor?

"Has Ostrakova no parents?

"Friends, relations
of her own, in Russia?

"If our mental
clinics are no good,

perhaps a special
could be made?"

And he replied...?

He became quiet.

For the first time,

I would say he showed
certain hardness.

"In secret operations," he told
me, "each may only know part.

None but the Comrade Director
himself may know all."

And did you believe him?

No, sir.

Why not?

He had tears.


in his eyes.

SMILEY ( on tape ):
Next Friday, you will
on no account visit

the girl Alexandra.

You will tell your wife
this was the substance

of today's meeting
with the courier Krassky.

When Krassky brings
your instructions

on Thursday, accept
them normally,

but you will not
visit Alexandra.

And if I refuse?

The priest
will recall you,

the Swiss
will expel you,

Grigorieva will
murder you,

and you will forfeit all chance

of a friendly reception
in the West...

alone or accompanied,
as you wish.

Tidy up.

When will I see
you again?

You desert me?

Leave me
to this Magyar?

This gentleman
will take care

of all matters
of detail.


Good-bye, sir.




What is it?

George, this
is a madhouse.

I mean, how long
can we hold the dam?

This guy is
a total crazy.

When does Krassky
return to Moscow?

Saturday, midday.

Tell Grigoriev he must
arrange a meeting

with Krassky
before he leaves...

On Saturday.

He should tell Krassky

he will have an important
message for him...

an urgent letter
to take to Moscow.


Sure, George.

Herr Lachmann.

Oh, yes.

Mother Felicity
expects you.

Thank you,
Sister Beatitude.

Mother Felicity.


You are Herr Lachmann.

Herr Lachmann is an
acquaintance of Herr Glaser,

and Herr Glaser is
this week indisposed.

Have you met
Alexandra before?


You are perhaps
her father?

You are the absent
Mr. Ostrakov
in disguise?

In this profession,

I have ceased to be
surprised at anything.

I am merely standing in
for Herr Glaser.

Who is standing in
for the parents.


Now everything is clear.

You must be very careful
with her, Herr Professor.

Sometimes she lives in the dark.

And sometimes she sees too much.

Both are

She has grown up
in Russia.

I don't know why.

It is a complicated story,

full of contrasts
and full of gaps.

If it's not the cause
of her illness,

it is certainly, let us say,
the framework.

You do not think

Herr Glaser
is the father.


Nor do I.

Have you met
the invisible Ostrakov?

Oh, you
have not.

Does the invisible
Ostrakov exist?

Alexandra assures me
that he is a phantom.

Alexandra would have
quite a different parentage.

so would many of us.

( buzzer rings )

May I ask what you
have told her about me?

Everything I know.

Which is nothing.

You are a friend
of Uncle Anton,

whom she refuses
to accept as her uncle.

I have told her
it is her father's wish

to have someone
visit her every week.

She assures me
her father is a brigand

who pushed her mother off
a mountain at dead of night.

( knock at door )

Come in,
my child.

( kisses )

( door closes )

Is Anton dead?


( places hat on desk )

Anton has bad flu.

Anton says he is my uncle,

but he is not.

He also pretends
he has no car.

Where is your list?

Anton always brings

a list.

Oh, I have my questions
in my head.

It is forbidden
to ask questions

without a list.

Questions out of the head

are all completely forbidden
by my father.

Who is your father?

I saw your car.

"BE" stands for "Bern"?

Yes, it does.

What kind of car
does Anton have?

A Mercedes.

A black one.

Very grand.

Then why does he come
to see me on a bicycle?

Perhaps he needs the exercise.


He has a secret.

Have you a secret,


My secret is called Tatiana.

That's a good name-- Tatiana.

How did you
come by that?

Oh, it's forbidden
to talk about it.

If you talk about it,
nobody will believe you,

but they put you in a clinic.

But you are in a clinic already.

( laughs quietly )

I appreciate your kindness,
Herr Lachmann,

but I know that you are
an extremely dangerous man.

More dangerous than
teachers or police.

Mother Felicity

is too close to God.

She doesn't know
that God is somebody

who has to be ridden
and kicked like a horse

until he takes you
in the right direction.

But you, Herr Lachmann,

you represent the forgiveness
of the authorities.

Yes, I am afraid you do.

Are you God?


I am just an ordinary person.

Mother Felicity says

that in every ordinary person,
there is a part that is God.

I have heard it said, too.

You are supposed
to ask me

whether I have
been feeling better.

Are you feeling
better, Alexandra?

My name is Tatiana.

Then how does Tatiana feel?

Tatiana is the daughter of a man
who is too important to exist.

He controls the whole of Russia,
but he does not exist.

When people
arrest Tatiana,

her father arranges
for her to be freed.

He does not exist,
but everyone is afraid of him.

Tatiana does not exist either.

What about Tatiana's mother?

She was punished.

That is to say, she was
not obedient to history.

She was

People should
not attempt to
change history.

It is the task
of history
to change people.

Did Tatiana ever meet
her father?

A man used to watch
the children walk to school.

And then?

From a car.

He would lower the window,
but he looked only at me.

And did you look at him?

Of course.

How else would I know
that he was looking at me?

What was his manner?

Did he smile?

( buzzer sounds )

He smoked.

Feel free, if you wish.

Mother Felicity likes
a cigarette sometimes.

Well, it's only natural,
isn't it?

Smoking calms the conscience,
so I am told.

I would like to come
with you in your car.

I require
your gentleness.

I love you.

( door opens )

Thank you, Herr Professor.

( scolding ):

( sobbing )


Come back!

Sister Agnes!

Help us, please!

Go in!

( door closes )

The young woman known as
Alexandra Borisovna Ostrakova

is your daughter.

You arranged for her illegal
departure from Russia

by pretending
she was a secret agent

of the Thirteenth Directorate.

You stole public money

and misused the resources
of your service.

You caused the murders
of two men,

the first in England and
the second in West Germany.

I do not ask what you did
to the wretched Oleg Kirov.

Any one of these offenses would
be enough to ensure your death

at the hands of your rivals
in the Collegium.

There is also the open question

of what may be done
with your daughter here,

now that her true
identity is known.

It is possible that
she is curable, I am told,

with the right treatment,
here in the West.

In the East it's different,
as you know.

But what will happen

once she is deprived
of money and proper papers?

She will become a perpetual
and ailing exile,

ferried from one
public hospital to another.

I do not need to imagine
her solitude, or yours.

I have seen her.

When we met in Delhi, I urged
you to come to the West.

I promised you,
within reason, a decent life.

If you do that now,

if you cooperate
in your interrogation,

you will be resettled
in the usual way

and your daughter's future
in the West will be secure.

By your actions,

you have disowned
the system that made you.

You have placed love
above duty.

The ground on which you
once stood is cut away.

You have become a citizen
of no-man's-land.

I send you my greetings.

Maybe he'll just...

He won't. He can't.


When you give it
to Grigoriev,

tell him to put it
in another envelope

before handing it over
to the courier Krassky.

Make it look like
the usual weekly report.

He's already
got it prepared.


There's nothing
more to say.

Okay, boys.

Mr. Smiley has
a few days to kill,

but he doesn't want
to go back to London.

So take care of him, eh?

Don't get
in his way,

but make sure
he doesn't slip
in the snow.


See you, George.

See you, too, Toby.

( phone ringing )


Telefon aus England.

Von wem?

Fur Mr. Standfast.

In Ordnung.

Standfast speaking.

Berlin, sir, next Thursday.

I see.

And where will the package
be delivered?


Ah, yes.

Well, that's where
he would choose, I suppose.

It's the safest.

Yes, it's natural.

Good luck, sir.

Thank you.


Thursday night.

It's on.

( exhales )

( man yelling in German
in distance )

( man continues yelling )

( recorded Turkish music
playing )

What cover
will he use?

Something humble,
something that fits in.

Those that pass here
are mostly old-age
pensioners, I gather.

What on earth do old-age
pensioners want here?

Some visit dependents,
some work.

I didn't inquire very closely,
I'm afraid.

We pensioners tend to keep
ourselves to ourselves.

( humming tune softly )


If he comes,
he'll come on time.

Then why did we get here
two hours early?

We owe it to him.

Nobody else is on his side.

More coffee, George?

No, thank you, Peter.

No, I...

don't think so.

No, no more coffee.

( bicycle bell rings )

It's only a possibility, George.

Don't get excited, okay?

Just a slim chance,
that's all I'm saying.

George, listen.

Good luck, eh?

But keep calm--
be like Karla.


( men yelling in German
in distance )


( men yelling in distance )

George, quick.

Yeah, we're hoping
that the package

will be along very shortly, sir.

The van has left the warehouse
and we can actually see it

heading towards
the firm's premises.

I would say that
in about 30 seconds' time,

we should be sending you

a telegram
of profound congratulation, sir.

Oh, George...

You genius.

You angel.

How far?

50 yards and closing.

He limps--
did you know that?

He trails the left foot.

He must have had a stroke.

He's carrying something.

A knapsack.

30 yards.

he's cool.

( man yells in distance )

GUILLAM ( whispers ):

No, keep moving.

Move, come on. Shift.

( men yelling in German
in distance )

Come on.


Come to Uncle.

( whispers ):
That's it.

That's it.

Oh, my dear God.

That's my baby.

Nice and easy.

( slowly ):
Take it easy.

( men yelling in German
in distance )

( people running )

Get back.

Back to your posts, damn you.

( man laughs )


You've got to look.

George, all your life!


Take care, George.

Go well, you hear me?

( cars driving off )

Come on, old friend.

It's bedtime.


You won.

Did I?


Yes, I suppose I did.