The Eagle Has Landed (1976) - full transcript

Oberst Steiner, a German parachute unit commander, is sent to England on a covert mission to kidnap Prime Minister Winston Churchill and bring him to Berlin. The seemingly impossible assignment becomes more and more feasible as the mission grows nearer with Steiner and his men arriving in England to a very real possibility of success.

September 12, 1943.

German paratroopers
snatched Mussolini

from his mountaintop prison in Italy.

(Crowd cheering)

This daring and successful exploit
stunned the world.

Inspired by the rescue of his ally,

Hitler ordered
an even more daring bid

to capture his greatest enemy.

- Morning.
- Good morning, Herr Admiral.

- Oberst Radl-- send him to me at once.
- I have notified him of your arrival.

Thank you.


- Come in, Radl.
- Herr Admiral.

Come and sit down.

The meeting went well?
The Fiihrer had something specific in mind?

A simple exercise in logistics.

Nothing very complicated.

He merely wants Winston Churchill

brought from London to Berlin!

And we are ordered
to make a feasibility study.

Today's Wednesday.
By Friday, he will forget it.

But Himmler will not.

Reichsführer Himmler approved?

Only of my being put on the spot.

You should have seen that meeting.

There was Hitler, ranting, cajoling,

then perfectly rational,

then raging and stamping like a--

like the ringmaster
of some freak circus!

Goebbels, hopping from
one foot to another like a--

like a schoolboy!

Bormann-- a vulture!

Perched in the corner,
watching, listening, never speaking!

And Mussolini-- Mussolini!

An automaton, Radl.

I looked round that room,

and I wondered,
"Am I the only one who can see it?"

And if so,
what must I look like to them?

Admiral, the feasibility study...

Will be a total
and unnecessary waste of time.

Make it immediately.

Complete for the last month.

If Herr Oberst could give me
a rough idea of our problem...

I can be quite specific about it.

The Führer has instructed us
to kidnap Winston Churchill.

Good God!

Well, Karl,
do at least a feasibility study on it.

Something which might fit our needs
came in yesterday.

Just a mention, if I may, sir...

Eh, no...

Ja, here it is.

From Codename Starling.

A village in England
called Studley Constable.

How do we receive reports
from this Starling?

From the Spanish Embassy in London,
by diplomatic pouch.

There is also a radio contact.

Exactly where is... Studley Constable?

The east coast of England,
the county of Norfolk.

Let's have a look at the place.

- Larger scale.
- Jawohl, Herr Oberst.

Ah, here.

Ah! Herr Oberst.

Isolated coastline, very rural,
wide beaches, salt marshes.


Now, a man to lead it, Karl.

"Crash-landed, 1940,
glider assault, Belgium.

Dropped into Crete, '41.
Wounded at Maleme, Knight's Cross.

Led volunteer assault, group of 300,
special action, Leningrad.

Stalingrad-- Knight's Cross
with Oak Leaves and Swords.

January this year, dropped into Kiev,
with 167 surviving in unit,

to get two cut-off regiments
out of Russia.

Oberst Kurt Steiner."

- What is the language?
- "Educated in England."

(Air-raid siren, bell rings)

Third time in the last month.
Despite Goering's personal guarantee.

Are you familiar with Jung's works?

I am aware of them,
not familiar, Herr Oberst.

A great thinker, a rational man...

and yet he speaks of something
called "synchronicity"--

events having a coincidence in time,

so that one feels
a much deeper motivation is involved.

- Ja, I understand.
- Take this affair.

The Führer comes up with an absurd
suggestion that we abduct Churchill.

For political reasons, we are prodded
into making a worthless report on this.

Suddenly, synchronicity
rears its disturbing head.

Ja, I see that.

We receive a routine report
with a brief notation

that next month after visiting
a local bomber command,

Churchill will spend the weekend

in a country manor less than 7 miles
from a deserted coastline.

At any other time,
this report would mean nothing.

At this particular time,
in that particular file...

it becomes a circumstance
which titillates,

a coincidence to... tease us.

(Nearby explosions)

Surely Herr Oberst doesn't really believe
this thing could be carried off?

(Exhales deeply)

A wink from a pretty girl at a party
results rarely in climax, Karl.

But a man is a fool not to push
the idea as far as it will go.

(Explosions continue)

Find this man for me, Karl.
He's been out of Germany too long.

(Commands issued in German)

(Train whistle)

Hans. Hans!

- Hmm?
- Let's stretch our legs.

Stay on the train!
No one allowed off the train!

I beg your pardon, sir.

Sir, I'm sorry,
but you must remain on the train.

If memory serves me,
the Polish Army surrendered in 1939.


Who are these people?

- Well, Jews, sir.
- Jews?

We are razing the ghetto to the ground.
Burning them out.

- They put up a hell of a fight.
- Oh? How? With umbrellas and crutches?


- I'll take the prisoner.
- "Prisoner"?

What is...

- What is your name?
- Brana.

Good luck, Brana.


Identify yourself.

Oberst Kurt Steiner, commanding
the Twelfth Parachute Detachment.

A salute is customary to a general,
Herr Oberst, even to one of the SS.

You didn't seem quite so discriminating
a moment ago.

I have nothing for or against
the Jews personally.

But I have seen too many
good men die for cause

to watch a young girl
be killed for sport!

Sturmfijhrer Straub
was doing his duty.

He reminds me of something
I pick up on my shoe in the gutter!

Very unpleasant on a hot day.

If you have the dubious honour
of commanding this senseless slaughter,

I advise you to keep him downwind
at all times.

That's if you can
tell the difference anymore.

For God's sake, Kurt.

What am I to do with you?

You're a military hero,

awarded the Knight's Cross
with Oak Leaves and Swords.

Yet responsible for the attempted escape
of an enemy of the state,

abetted by the mutinous conduct
of your men!

By rights,
you should all be court-martialed!

Difficult decisions

are the privilege of rank,
Herr Gruppenfijhrer.

But as for my men...

they seem to feel
a certain... loyalty to me.

L, uh,

don't suppose you could
content yourself with my head

and overlook their part in this thing?


There you are, you see, Hans?

It's infallible.

I can always tell a thoroughgoing bastard
when I see one.

- Herr Oberst?
- In here, Karl.

- Good morning.
- Good morning, sir.

The material arrived from Starling.
It is excellent, Karl, truly excellent.

Starling's to be commended.

Ja, ja, that is good.

What news of Oberst Steiner?

Well, we are having some difficulty
in tracing him.

He appears to be back in Germany,

but as to exactly where,
we have run into roadblocks.

Even rumors of a court-martial.
But we'll find him.

I'm sure of it.

And now-- Here.
A possible undercover operative.

I've decided on this man.

He is currently lecturing
in that university here in Berlin.

- Send for him immediately.
- Yes.

Oh, and, Karl,
send this message to Starling.

Yes, Herr Oberst.

- Where is Herr Oberst Radl?
- In the map room, Herr Admiral.

Thank you.

This message has been sent out.
Did you originate it?

I did, Herr Admiral.

"Very interested in your visitor
of 6th November.

Would like to drop some friends
in to meet him

in the hope they might persuade him
to come back with them.

Your comments expected by usual route
with all relevant information."

You've exceeded your authority!

You were told to prepare this
feasibility study, not embellish a joke!

With Herr Admiral's permission
it is no longer a joke. It could be done.

- In my opinion, it should be done.
- What if Churchill prefers to die?

What if abduction
becomes assassination?

No one specified dead or alive.

God in heaven! Kill Churchill,
when we've already lost the war?

I'm sure you've done a good job, Radl.
Very thorough.

But this operation could make
the Charge of the Light Brigade

look like a sensible military exercise.

Drop it.

(Knock at door)

Herr Oberst, he has arrived.

(Irish accent)
Come in, Colonel. Radl, isn't it?

Top 0' the morning to you.

It's not Irish whisky,
but it'll do to be going on with.

Better for you to drink than me.

I've a feeling I might be needing it.

" May I?

The last time I was invited up here
to Section Three,

one 0' the lads persuaded me
to jump out of a Dornier,

5,000 feet above Ireland,
in the dark.

And me with this terrible fear
of heights.


You planning a holiday to England, are you?
Brighton's lovely this time 0' year.

Mother of God!
What the Christ is that?

They're Russian, Mr. Devlin. I picked up
a taste for them in the Winter War.

They're probably the only thing
that kept you awake in the snow.

Here... and here.


I had a proposition to put to you,
Mr. Devlin.

- "Had"?
- Mm-hmm.


- I'm working, you know, Colonel.
- At the University.

For a man like you, that must be like
a thoroughbred racehorse

finding himself...
pulling a milk cart.

Oh, you've got a way with the words.

You want me to go back to Ireland,
is that it?

Well, I can't do it.
I wouldn't last a week--

No, we don't want you
to go back to Ireland.

Now, you still support the IRA?

Soldier of, Colonel.
Once in, never out.

But you're here in Germany.

I don't like soft target hits.

I don't want to spend my days in Bayswater,
mixing up explosives

to blow the arms and legs
off passersby.

My fight is with the bloody British Empire.
I'll fight it on my own two feet.

If it's a rabid fanatic you want,
they sent you the wrong man.

Your aim is still total victory
against England?

No, that's your aim.
My aim is a united Ireland.

Either way, it would be necessary
for Germany to win the war.

And pigs might fly, Colonel.

Mr. Devlin...

- I want you to go to England for me.
- Colonel, I barely know you.

To assist in the kidnapping
and safe return to Germany

of Winston Churchill.

Give me another one 0' them
Bolshevik firecrackers.

I think I fell asleep in the snow.

(Knock at door)

- Herr Oberst--
- Good evening, Herr Oberst.

I'm SturmbannführerTuberg
of the SS.

Reichsführer Himmler requests you

to bring him the entire
file of the plan known as "Eagle."

- When is that to be?
- Now, Herr Oberst.

You seem nervous, Herr Oberst.

Please relax.

May I smoke, Herr Reichsführer?


- A masterful job.
- Thank you, Herr Reichsführer.

But there are some people

who would say
that such an operation

could make
the Charge of the Light Brigade

look like a sensible exercise.

Have you heard that phrase before?

I don't immediately recall,
Herr Reichsführer.

I know about your plan.

I know what is written
on every single page,

even the one you haven't got yet--

the court-martial of Herr Oberst Steiner
and his men.

The arrogance of this Steiner
is dazzling.

An unusual man,
this, uh-- this Steiner.

Intelligent, ruthless,
a brilliant soldier,

but, above all, a romantic fool.

He threw away everything--

rank, career, the future.

He's presently in a penal colony
on the island of, uh,

uh, Alderney.

And all for the sake
of some little Jewess!

You know he's a veteran
of five successful commando raids?

Six, I believe.

Educated in England. He speaks
the language perfectly, without an accent.

- The ideal man for the job, eh?
- If you think so, Herr Reichsführer.

And so do you. But the Herr Admiral,
Canaris, doesn't think so.

My loyalty to Herr Admiral--

ls exceeded only by your loyalty
to the Führer himself.

Isn't that so?

I'm sure of it.

Now, this Churchill business-—
our Führer wants it seen through.

You have considerable autonomy
in running your office.

You ought to be able to use it.

As an excuse to prevent Canaris
from knowing what's going on.

What kind of authority would I have
to carry such a project through?

Aloud, if you please.

"Oberst Radl is acting
under my personal orders

on a matter of great importance
to the Reich.

All military and civil personnel,

without distinction of rank,
will assist him in any way

that Oberst Radl sees fit to demand.

Adolf Hitler."

So, you see, Radl...

under the terms of that document,

even I find myself
under your personal command.

Good luck.
I can only envy your inevitable success.

- Heil Hitler.
- Heil Hitler.

Major Neuhoff,
Commandant of the Island of Alderney.

A pleasure, Herr Oberst.

Read this, please.

I see!
What do you wish of me?

You have a penal unit.
It terminates this moment.

Steiner and 29 men.

18. There are only 18 now.

The men are required to ride the torpedoes
into enemy shipping.

- The torpedoes detach, of course?
- Of course.

Most of the time!

Burial detail,
the usual letters of commendation.

And for God's sake,
get the names right this time.

Thank you, Herr Neuhoff.

- But I thought--
- Thank you!

- Herr Steiner?
- Yes, I'm Steiner. What is it?

My name is Radl.

Well, what is it? I have two men to bury
and no office to make small talk in.

Your credentials are hopelessly
impeccable, Herr Oberst.

What can I do for you?

Lead a raiding party to England
to kidnap Churchill.

You don't seem very impressed.

I haven't seen your plan yet.


While he makes his decision,

I'm going to that pub up there
and give some thought to mine.

The only time this plan
makes any sense to me is when I'm drunk.

- You are in command here?
- Oberleutnant Koenig, Oberst.

These configurations seem
somewhat abnormal for an E-boat.

She's actually a converted
British MTB, Herr Oberst.

Captured making a drop
off the Dutch coast.


- Do you know the east coast of England?
- Herr Oberst, I've been there.

For five years, I was first mate
on a cargo ship out of England.

This could work, you know.

It will be done.
It is the Führer's direct order.

I stood opposite Adolf once,
when he gave me this.

Oh, I forgot.
One of those.

You're a German officer, you swore
the same oath. You have no choice.

Of course I do.

I'm going to die here anyway.

You forget, Radl, that I am under
suspended sentence of death.

Officially disgraced.

I do not retain my rank,
only my authority,

because of the, uh,
peculiar circumstances of this job.

I offer you a chance
for reinstatement of rank

and complete vindication
for you and your men.

My men need no vindication.

- You said it could be done.
- It's possible.

Of all the world's leaders,

Churchill is probably the least protected,
unlike the Führer.


is thumbing your nose at the Führer
more important to you

than the lives of your men?

31 of you a few weeks ago.
How many left?


You owe them this chance to live.

Or to die in England instead.

I will put it to my men.
They are entitled to know.

Only the destination for now.

Revealing the target
would be going too far.

I will put it to my men.


it might make them think
about a negotiated peace, hmm?

A negotiated peace?

I will put that to my men also.

God bless all here.
Give us a glass of your strongest, please.


So that's how the Gestapo dresses
in Berlin these days.

- Gestapo?
- Drink?

I haven't sucked my thumb in years.
Would you be kind enough to do it for me?

- Sir?
- Suck it!

Now, about your Mr., uh, Devlin--

A man of considerable resource
and guile, I assure you.

Tell me, Mr. Devlin,
just why are you coming along?

Can't you tell? I'm the last
of the world's great adventurers.


Sweet Mary, Mother of God!

A tough bunch 0' lads
he's got in there, Colonel.

- What did he say?
- He insisted on the consent of his men.

I'm not surprised at that.

- If they agree, you leave tonight.
- Tonight?

- You'll be dropped into southern Ireland.
- Tonight? But what about my papers?

Your Irish passport and British
medical discharge have been provided.

Starling's found you a job.

You'll be a marsh warden,
whatever that is.

It's a marsh warden.
What about the money?

- £10,000 first.
- I asked for £20,000.

£10,000 has been deposited in Geneva,
as per instructions.

Ten more upon completion
of the mission.

You think I'd sell out?

It's just that you've been so expensive
to buy in the first place.

(Loud cheering and applause)

You are going to jump
in those clothes?

I might look a bit silly going down,

but I'll be a hell of a lot safer
when I land.

There's an old poem which,
freely translated from the Irish, says:

"I realized fear one morning,

to the blare of the fox hunters' sound.

When they're chasing the poor fox,

it's safer to be dressed like a hound."

You're quite a literary man.

The truth be known, Colonel,
I'm a bloody literary genius.

Your complete instructions.

All of it? Everything?
No cyanide pill?

I couldn't think of a situation
which would make you take one.


(High-pitched whistle)


A little trick I learned
from an uncle in Belfast.

In the Middle Ages,
they'd have burned you for that.

I will see you in England.

I'll be there.

How do I jump out 0' this thing?

Release your safety belt.

I turn the plane upside-down,
you drop out.

The signature on that authorization
could just be a clever forgery!

Fly to Berchtesgaden and ask him.

Oh, let's not bother the man.

Mrs. Joanna Grey?

That's right.

Liam Devlin.

I could do with a cup of tea.
It was a hell of a journey.

Come inside.

(Dog barks)


- That's a neat trick.
- Your Wolfhound and me are both Irish.

- What's her name?
- Patch.

Ah, Patch.

Sit down, Mr. Devlin.

It's lovely, the countryside, isn't it?

You'd hardly know there was a war.


They're living in a fool's paradise.

They lack the discipline
the Fuihrer has brought to Germany.

You'll need these papers.

I'll give you these--
the ones they gave to me.

Sir Henry is away.

Only the servants
are in the manor house.

Who else knows Churchill
will be here?

Only Father Verecker.

Your duties
will be mainly game-keeping.

I've got you a motorbike
and you can have this shotgun.

It is loaded.

You know the way to the cottage?

I go down the road.
There's a pub on my right.

And I go through the manor house gates,
down the end of the lane.

The keys.

Oh, by the way,

the ration allowance for petrol
is only three gallons a month.

I hope I won't be here that long.

Good day to you, Colleen.

(Church bell rings)

God save the good work.

- Watch your back.
- My back?

- Mr. Devlin.
- Mr. Devlin?

Mrs. Grey told us all about you
at the last WVS meeting.

- You're the new marsh warden.
- You're with Women's Voluntary Service?

I help out when I have the time.

Sort of, urn, servicing the troops?

I don't mind.

Miss, I do believe
you're a little bit of a tease.

Children tease, Mr. Devlin.
I'm almost 19.

- Ah.
- Go on!

God bless all here. Can I have
a glass of your strongest, please?

- I'm George Wilde, the publican.
- Liam Devlin, marsh warden.

That's Arthur Seymour.

By the fire is Laker Armsby.

- Will you take a drink?
- A pint of bitter wouldn't be a burden.

- Sir?
- I buys me own!

Coming in here all grand,
with a shotgun and your motorbike.

Buying drinks for us who's worked the estate
for years for less than he gets.

It can only be
because of my good looks.

Laugh at me
and I'll squash you like a slug!


You walk soft around here,

you keep your place,
and you stay away from Molly Prior!

- If I've caused offense, I'm sorry.
- Arthur.

Now, get out.

Today I leave, boy. But from now on,
when you see me, you leave.

1/9d, please.

(Footsteps, door opens)

- Good day, Father.
- Oh, good afternoon.

Liam Devlin.
I'm Sir Henry's new marsh warden.

I'm just introducing myself.

Oh, I'm Father Verecker.

This is my sister, Pamela.
She's on a weekend leave.

- That's your sister? How do you do?
- How do you do?

- I'll be back for tea. Bye.
- Bye, Mr. Devlin.


We have a small congregation here.
I look forward to your adding to it.

- You are Catholic?
- Oh, yes, Father.

Did you come for confession?

Father, I'm afraid this poor soul
is well past redemption.

I could do with a spicy revelation
every now and then.

And don't forget the words of our Lord--
"The last shall be the first."

Then I'm assured a place
at the head of the line.

Where did you find this?

A DC3, captured almost intact.

- Gericke?
- Herr Oberst?

- Will it be ready in time?
- No problem.

Where did she go, eh?

(Horse snorts)

All right, my friend.

What kept you?

What kept me?
Why, you little devil!

God, I'll know you till
the crack 0' Doomsday, that's for sure.

- What does that mean?
- It's an expression they have in Ireland.

- Do you use these things?
- No.

Good for you.

They stunt your growth, and you
with your green years ahead of you.

Almost 19, eh?

- What month?
- February.

- Twenty-fifth?
- Twenty-second.

But I was right, though,
that you're a little fish.

You and me should get along well,
me being a Scorpio.

Never marry a Virgo, though.

Virgo and Pisces never hit it off.

I've a terrible hunch Arthur is a Virgo.
Watch it with him.


- Arthur Seymour? Are you crazy?
- No, but I think he is.

Pure, clean, virtuous...

and not very hot.

That's a Virgo.

It's a terrible shame
from where I'm lying.

You'll have a terrible problem with
your weight if you don't watch your food.


Are you laughing at me?

What else would you have me do
with you, Molly Prior?

No, don't answer that.

How do you know my name?

George Wilde told me in the pub.

I see.
And Arthur, was he there?

You could say that.

He seems to look upon you
as his personal property.

- He can go to hell! I belong to no man!
- You know your nose turns up?

And when you get angry,
your mouth turns down at the corners.

I'm sure you could find a hundred things
wrong with me, Mr. Devlin. A thousand.

But you wouldn't throw me out of your bed
on a wet Saturday night.

But that's men for you.
Anything's better than nothing.

Wait! Wait a minute.
Come here.

You don't know the first thing about me,
because if you did,

you'd know that I much prefer
a warm afternoon under the pines

to a wet Saturday night any day.

The sand has a terrible way
of getting where it shouldn't do.

Now get out of here, before I let
my mad passion run away with me.

Go on, get. Get.

They told me all Irishmen were crazy!
Now I believe them.

I'll be at Mass on Sunday, will you?

- Do I look like I will?
- Yes, I think you do.

Oh, Devlin, you bloody idiot.

You never learn.
Never bloody learn.

I've spoken with Himmler.

He send personal wishes
for success from the Fijhrer.

You've altered the parachutes.

Unfortunately, we have high tide
at first light when we must drop,

so we may land in the surf.

These slots enable us
to guide the chutes.

It's experimental and the landing velocity
is high, but we have no choice.

- I assume they've been tested?
- Jawohl, Oberst.

I have one request.

A demand, actually.

Blackmail at this point, hmm?

We are not spies,

and we will not be treated as such
by the British if anything goes wrong.

We will wear our own uniforms
under the Polish outfits,

and, if necessary,
we will fight and die

as what we are--
German paratroopers.

Max, it is not a subject for negotiation.

- In that case, agreed.
- Thank you.

- Hello, Liam.
- My compliments on the dress.

It's a great improvement.

Why pick on me?

Because you're lovely. Because you
could never fall in love with me.

But I might, just for spite.

It wouldn't matter.
I could never fall in love with you.

I'm no good for you at all.
There's no future in it.

I tell you that 'cause it's the truth.

I'm here.
It's your turn to leave.

Oh, God.

(Church bell rings)

Arthur, did I ever tell you
about my uncle in Belfast?

No, of course I didn't.

He earned his living
as a bare-knuckle boxer.

I'm just telling him
about the Holy Trinity.

You know it?

Footwork, timing and hitting.

And a little bit of dirty work.

"Learn these," my uncle said,

"and you'll inherit the earth
as surely as the meek."

You never know when do lie down,
do you, Arthur?


Looks like he bought you
a drink after all.

(Low conversation in Polish)

It's perfect.
Which way is England?


Tell Oberst Radl who you are.

Kapral Andrej Jankowski,


Kapral Stanislaw Kunickski,
Pulkowniku, as you very well know.

Get back in line.

(Gives command in Polish)

I'm very much impressed.

You know, it all started as a joke.

I hope Churchill appreciates
our sense of humour.

- Good luck, Steiner.
- Thank you, Max.

(Radio signal)

(German accent) Falcon, this is Eagle.
Are you receiving me?

Eagle, this is Falcon,
receiving you.

What are conditions over the nest?

Visibility good. Cloud cover low.
Wind freshening.

Eagle, out.

Well, what do you think his game is?

Black market or worse?

There's two army trucks outside,
without numbers on... yet.

This-- German!

It's worse.

Arthur, if you love me,
you won't say a word until--

I'll have that bastard arrested
within the hour.

I've never meant to tease you.

- I know I have but I never meant to.
- You lying little tart!

I love him, Arthur! What you do to him
you do to me as well.

You can both rot in hell!

Stop, Arthur!
I won't let you go!

(Airplane approaches)

Mother 0' God. Flyin' pigs.

- Have you found out who Starling is yet?
- Of course.

- Why?
- 'Cause I'm hoping it's not him.

It isn't.
I want him buried right away.

- Brandt, bring two men.
- Jawohl, Herr Oberst!

(Knock on door)

I have the honour to announce

the Eagle has landed.

I am very pleased to hear it.

I return to Alderney shortly.

I would be honoured
if you would tell our Führer.

I will tell the Führer nothing.

For a variety of reasons,
I would prefer this to come--

How shall I put it?

I would prefer it to come
as a surprise to him.

- How much of a surprise could it be?
- You have the letter?

These are difficult times,
Herr Oberst.

The destiny of Germany
rests on his shoulders.

It is essential we avail ourselves
of this opportunity to please him.

We are all in
Oberst Steiner's hands now.

Hello, Grandfather.

- Foreigners?
- Polish. Corporal Kunickski.

That's not your fault.

(Orders shouted in distance)

(Church organ playing)

Oh, please, don't stop.

My apologies, Father.

I am Corporal Andrej Jankowski.
I was sent to find you.

However, I could not help myself.

I don't blame you. You play marvelously.
Bach needs to be played well.

I remember it with frustration
every time I take that seat.

I'm sorry, Father,
but my Colonel--

Yes. Yes.

- Father Verecker, is it?
- Yes.

Colonel Miller, assigned to command
the Independent Polish Parachute Unit.

Colonel Miller,
what can I do for you?

Well, we're on an exercise.
I only have a handful of my men here.

The rest are scattered over Norfolk.
There is a rendezvous tomorrow,

but I'd like to take these chaps
on maneuvers through the village.

If that wouldn't be too
much of a burden for you.

On the contrary, Colonel.
We could do with some excitement.

I'm sure that the villagers
will do everything they can to help.

Well, I shall be counting--

counting on that, Father.

Phillip, this is Captain Harry Clark
of the American Rangers.

- How do you do, Father?
- How do you do?

My sister's told me about you.

Pamela, this is Colonel Miller.
My sister Pamela.

- How do you do?
- How do you do?

And Captain Clark.

- Colonel.
- Captain.

- Are you staying for tea?
- I'm sorry. I must go, Father.

We had no idea you guys were here.

You're quite a surprise to our group.

- Free Polish paratroopers, huh?
- Yes, that's right.

Listen, we've got some Polish guys.

Maybe you'd like to meet them?

Maybe later.
Where are you staying?

Eight miles away,
at Meltham House.

What sort of strength
would you have there?

We're just a company.

Meltham House. I'll remember that.
Miss Verecker.

- Good-bye.
- Father, thank you.

- Not at all, Colonel.
- Captain.

Have the men hang on by the truck.

(Orders shouted in Polish)

Let's see the rest of the village.

Don't drive too slowly--

BOTH: And on the left-hand side
of the road.

Foreigners. Poles.

And Yanks, too.

And Irish.

Get back in your foxhole, Laker.
You're being invaded.


(Wolf whistle) What you been doing
in that uniform, Captain?

Moss, you did not get those three rockers
by asking stupid questions.

What is it now?
ls the new outfit arriving?

No, sir.
He wants to see you.


Eight years...

Eight years in the National Guard,
every other weekend.

Two weeks out of the year
up to my ass in swamp water.

I can feel those mosquitoes!

But I made it.
I got my rank.

You were at Benning
when I got my command.

The best goddamn outfit
a man could hope to have.

11 weeks' training for this mission.

In two days, we hit the beach.

That was my last chance

to get my feet wet in action
before this goddamn war is over!

And now this!

- You won't be leading us in, sir?
- The bastards are sending me home!

Read this! Go ahead! Top line!

Pitts, Clarence E. 016838621.

Fort Benning, Georgia.

Air transportation, Priority 2.

They're not even in a hurry!

Can't you do anything, Colonel?

Look at the signatures on it!

Not one of those men saw combat!
Not one!

What do you want?
Why are you here?

- Sir.
- Fort Benning, Georgia!

You know how hot it is
in Fort Benning, Georgia?

I could have been in on the finish!

Wait till my daddy hears about it!

(Commands shouted in Polish)

Keep up this foolishness
for 20 minutes, Hans,

then gradually establish
the roadblocks.

Two men at a time.

- Yes, that's coming along nicely.
- Thank you, sir.

- Very impressive.
- Thank you, Father.

My new orders call for me
to be heading down into the marshes.

Do you know of anyone?

As fate would have it, Colonel,
lam the official marsh warden.

Liam Devlin at your service.

What a bit of good luck.

- Colonel, I'm Mrs. Grey.
- How do you do?

As Mr. Devlin has been in my employ
for less than two days,

I might suggest a third person along
to ensure we don't lose you both.

- I don't suppose I could impose?
- Not at all. I'd be delighted.

- Why don't we, eh...
- Yes, please do.

- Here.
- I'll get in the back.

- Any further news of Churchill?
- Yes, the party's left King's Lynn.

In the house,
is there another escape route?

There's an entrance at the rear
and one opposite the church.

Let's hope it won't be necessary.

What a lovely day for fantasies.

The Colonel's--
that he'll be able to pull this thing off.

Mine-- a cup of tea
and a country girl.

And Mrs. Grey's--
that even after all of this is over,

she's still going to be asked
to be Lady Willoughby.

Sir Henry
is a pleasant enough dullard.

He and my late husband were partners
in a South African venture.

South African.

That's what I can hear in your voice--

My mother, since you noticed.

She and my sister died there
in a British concentration camp.

Or did you think
the Nazis invented them?

Revenge-- a classic motive.

Do you have a motive, Mr. Devlin?

Regrettably, no.

So, if someone else

had asked you
to abduct Adolf Hitler,

you would be in Berlin right now?

If all this lunacy doesn't work out,
Colonel, that's not a bad idea.

(Shouts in Polish)

Thank you, Colonel.

- Can I buy you a drink, Colonel?
- Not right now.

- Mrs. Grey?
- No.

Then I'll be off.
I hope I've been of help.

I don't know how
we would've managed without you.

Perhaps we'll meet later, hmm?
Somewhere in the marsh.

It's a very large marsh, Colonel.

Good luck with your maneuvers.
Success. Ma'am.

- (Soldier shouts)
- (Screams)

Stop the wheel.


Get his body off the wheel.

Father, look at that uniform!

It's a German.

It's the Ger--

- My God, you're a German.
- More bloody foreigners.

- Altman, the switchboard.
- Jawohl!

You two, the manor house.
Take these people into the church!

Colonel, I know what you're doing.

You won't stand a chance.

Well, I insist on giving it a try.

Hans, get the men in position.

Don't let anyone out of the village.


Molly, what is it?

I must see Father.

- I have to talk to him.
- Yes, of course you can.

Something terrible has happened.

It's all right. Stay here.

I'll get Phillip now.

Come with me! Quickly.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilde,
will you take a seat, please?

Mr. Laker, sit over there.

This door is locked. Why?

It's the sacristy.

It's where I keep the church records
and my vestments.

The key is at my house.
I'll go and fetch it if you like.

That won't be necessary.

So, you intend to kill Mr. Churchill

as he passes through here today?

What an astonishing notion.

Give it up.

There's no surprise left.

Perhaps just one surprise left,

your good Lord willing.

God, these are Germans.

I must tell--
I must tell Harry.

Oh, Phillip's probably
got the keys to his car.

Mrs. Grey's got one,
and Liam's got his bike.

Oh, good!
Don't worry, Molly.

Go to Liam, and then go and tell
Captain Clark what's happened.

- But there must be--
- Molly!

I'll try and find him.

All right.
Now, come on.

At times like these,

there's very little left but prayer,
and it frequently helps.

What do you think
our chances are?

The E-boat is off the coast, Hans.

Churchill is on schedule.
Anything is possible.

Joanna! Joanna!

- (Hammering on door)
- I'm coming! I'm coming!

- Oh, Joanna!
- What's happened?

Colonel Miller and his men--
they're not Polish, they're Germans!

They want to kidnap Churchill.

They've got the villagers.
We must tell the Rangers!

- Does anybody else know?
- No.

I'll get my car keys.

- What kept you?
- I killed Arthur.

Don't fret. They'll think I did it.
Did you tell anybody about it?

- He said you're a traitor? Are you?
- I don't betray what I believe in.

Your bloody Germans
have locked everyone in the church.

They're going to kill Churchill.


But Pamela's gone for the Rangers!

- Jesus!
- Don't try and run!

Run away?
That would be sensible.

Don't you know me better than that?

Do you think I could leave them
in the lurch?

I wrote you a letter. It's not much.
Here it is, for what it's worth.

It's on the table,
if you're interested.

(Static interference on radio)
Eagle, this is Albatross.

Eagle, this is Albatross.

Pamela knows everything. She's gone
to Meltham House, for the Rangers.

I shot at her.
I'm sure I hit her.

No matter what the reason,

no matter how deeply felt the cause,

you lived with us, Joanna.

You accepted our admiration,

our kindness... and our trust.

May God grant you time
to relive this moment in shame!

Are you able to communicate
with the E-boat?

Tell them to go
to Position One immediately.

This really is a beautiful spot,
you know.


I understand, Mrs. Grey.

No matter how you feel about the British,
you must hate to leave here.

That's just it, Colonel.

Until this moment,
in spite of all I've set in motion,

I never actually believed
I'd have to go.

- What the hell's goin' on, Haley?
- Don't know. The Colonel said, "Wait."

Your girl's okay, Clark.
She's in hospital.

She took a bullet from some
double-crossing bitch named Grey.

Enemy agent.

Those Poles you met are Krauts.
They're hereto kill Churchill.

Now, listen up.
Churchill just left King's Lynn.

Have you notified the War Office?

That'll take too long.

I'm gonna nail those Krauts myself,
and I've got the men to do it.

"Action this day."
That's Churchill's motto.

We should notify-

Go and head off Churchill.

If you don't notify the War Office,
I will, sir.

Moss, get a hold of the War Office.
Top priority.

If anything happens to Churchill
because you're late...

this country will swing you
from Big Ben.

Cancel that call, Moss.

- Put the windshield down, Haley.
- Yes, sir!

- Give me a handful of those grenades.
- Yes, sir.

- Sergeant!
- Yes, sir.

- How're you doin'?
- Fine, sir.

- Where are you from?
- Omaha, sir.

By this time next year,

pigeons are gonna be crappin'
on statues of you all over Nebraska!

All right.

Move ahead.


(Conversation drowned by engine)

- Did you spot anything, sir?
- No. Hang on to this, Lieutenant.

I think I can take this place
without firing a single round.

- Yes, sir.
- Get out, Haley!

Well, this looks like it.

This is Colonel Clarence E Pitts,
United States Army!

You are surrounded.
Send out your Commanding Officer!

- Do you speak English?
- Yes.

I'll give you five minutes
to lay down your arms

and surrender your hostages.

- Do you understand?
- Yes.

- Where's your Commanding Officer?
- Yes.

Are you makin' fun of me, soldier?

Well, goddamn it!

Goddamn Krauts think they're gonna kick me
around, they've got another think coming.

I'll blow their asses
right out of that church!

Delta Two, to Mallory.

Where are you, Mallory?

Mallory, where are you?

This is Mallory.
We're all set.

Stand by.
Becker, you out there?

Ready, Colonel.

Stand by.
We're gonna move in!

Come on, we're movin' out!

Shouldn't we look the place over?

And have men shot
to find out somethin' I already know?

There are a lot of places for an ambush,
sir. Plus, there's the civilians.

You question one more of my orders,
and I'm gonna bust you to Private!

Yes, sir.

Go, Beck! Go, Mallory!

Get out!
Come on, get down!

Son of a bitch!

Get a missile for the bazooka.

- Beck! Come in, Beck!
- Beck here.

We're gettin' fire from all round.

There are four dead
and we're pinned down.

Four dead?

This is Frazier, Colonel.
We got three dead.

Pull yourself together. Regroup.
Do something, Frazier!

That dumb son of a bitch!

This is Mallory.
I got that truck with the bazooka.

What do they want, a medal?


MOSS: Frazier radioed this in, sir.

Oh, Holy Jesus!

- Did you get the Colonel?
- No, sir.

(M utters)

I've got the whole outfit ready to move.

Colonel Pitts is a man
of limited combat experience.

- Apparently no longer.
- Nope

Major Corcoran here.
We have an incident.

I'm going to go up on the second floor
to find out where we are.

Give me those binoculars.
Fix that tire.

God, this is where that bitch Grey lives!
Bring that gun!

Mrs. Grey!

Mrs. Grey!

(Patch whimpers)


Mrs. Grey!

Holy shit!

I have a suggestion, Herr Oberst.

- Yes, Brandt?
- We should leave immediately.

Yes, Brandt.

Get back to the church!


I'll let you know when I need you,

Get to your positions!

I think we're about to take up
permanent residence here.

Another white flag has arrived.

Unfortunately, this officer
seems to know his business.

Colonel, my one consolation is that,
thanks to my sister, your plot has failed.


It failed because one of my men died
saving that little girl.

Father, you had betterjoin your flock.

- Captain Clark, what can I do for you?
- Surrender.


Mr. Churchill is safe and under guard.

Mrs. Grey is dead,
and her radio has been confiscated.

It's all over, Colonel.

I have hostages.

Well, I can't see you bringin' them out,
women and children in front of you.


Let the villagers go, Altmann.

Father, your people, please.

Colonel, I understand none of this,
and I don't wish you well,

but I'm grateful for the life of my child.

So am I.

Don't forget, Father--
"The last shall be first."

You bastard!


Let me go!

Father! Father,
I've got to get you out of here!

Pamela's all right.
She's in the hospital.

- Father!
- Yes.

Good-bye, Captain Clark.

Colonel, there's no such thing
as death with honour, just death.

I have no intention of dying now,

but if I'm going to,
allow me to choose where and how.

- What are you doing?
- Getting the keys to his car.

How did you get in here?

There's a tunnel.

It's an ancient escape route
that leads up to the vicarage.

The car is parked at the end of it.

Mr. Devlin,

you are an extraordinary man.

Colonel Steiner, you are
an extraordinary judge of character.

There is a way out now.

It is still possible for us
to capture Churchill.

Not us, Herr Oberst, you.

If we all attempt to leave,
we will fail.

Very probably.

Do you have a suggestion, Brandt?

You go, and we stay
and hold this place as long as possible.

Shall we say covering fire
in about 30 seconds, Herr Oberst?


Hans, you come with me.

It has been a privilege
to serve with you.

(Dramatic organ music)


One-two-three, go!

(Discordant blast of organ)

We can stay one step ahead
if the radio is still inside.

If the E-boat is still outside.

It's out there.

(Activity on radio)

I love you.

That doesn't mean
I like what you've done

or what I've done,
or even understand it.

I only know I couldn't have lived
with myself if I let you die.

- Did you read my letter?
- Yes.

Well done, Captain.

There are three survivors, sir--

Steiner, Devlin, and one German
who we know is badly wounded.

With your permission, sir,
I'll pick 'em up.

I can't stay for long.
The tide.

- Get on board.
- I'm not Ieavin'.

- I beg your pardon?
- I'm stayin' here.


Take Herr Hauptmann aboard.

Herr Hauptmann...

- I will not leave without you.
- Get on board, Hans.

I will not.
I'm coming with you.

How long have we
known each other?

Since the day you kicked me
out of the plane at Narvik.

Three years.

Hauptmann Ritter von Neustadt...

in all that time, you have never once
disobeyed an order of mine.

And I will not let you start now.

Herr Oberst.

Take the boat offshore
and stay there as long as possible.

- He'll be heavily guarded.
- Yes.

- You don't even know where he is.
- That's right.

You're still going after him?

The time has come, Mr. Devlin,
when I no longer control events.

They control me.

Good-bye, Mr. Devlin.

You're a lovely fellow, Colonel.

I hope you find
what you're looking for.

I already have.
I hope I haven't lost it in the finding.

(Engine revs)

Herr Oberst.

A message from Albatross.

- It, uh...
- Read it.

It's garbled.

- We could have misunderstood.
- Please.

"One wounded fledgling left. Return nest."
Then it's unintelligible.

"No tide at present... for..."

Then it's unintelligible again.

"God save..."
That's all they could understand, sir.

Get out of here, Karl.
Back to Berlin.

By plane, car, anything you can
commandeer with my authorization.

You have a wife and children, huh?

I was measured
for my casket months ago.

- Do you understand me, Karl?
- I-I think so, sir.

You were following my orders.
You had no choice.

The Admiral's a decent man.
He'll understand.

Good-bye, Karl.


- But"
- Go.

(Faint conversation on radio)

We've checked the beach road.
Haven't seen a thing.

Beck here.

We've checked the beach road.
Not a damn thing.

CLARK: Run it again.
Check for turn-offs.

- Understood.
- Come in, Wilson.

Moving west.

Results-- negative.

Work back towards five and four.
Frazier, this is Delta Two.

Frazier here, sir.
Negative on anything.

Okay, Frazier.

The convoy is being moved
to original destination.

- Stay off the air until I call.
- Frazier. Out.

Frazier, this is Delta Two.

Come in, Frazier.

Frazier, this is Delta Two.

Frazier, this is Delta Two.


New position, Frazier.
Cover the mouth of Estuary One.

- Will do.
- Delta Two. Out.

This looks like the place.

(Dogs yelp)

- There's somebody in there.
- Let's take it.

No way. The door's open.
We'll let the dogs do it.

(Dogs growl and bark)

(A high-pitched whistle,
dogs stop barking)

I told you those dogs
are no damn good!

Your pardon, Herr Reichsfijhrer.
Message received from Albatross.

It's fragmentary.

Get me Hauptsturmführer Fleischer,
in Cherbourg.

Haw oh“.!

Herr Oberst Radl?
You are under arrest.

May I be permitted
to know the charge?

Exceeding your orders
to the point of treason to the State.


(Echoing gunshots)

Now, put your men round there.
Okay, Moss, over there.

- Put two men on the perimeter!
- Right, sir.

Check back here in five minutes.
Let's move out.

(Jeep drives away)

- Whisky?
- No, I won't, thanks.

Well, he's settled
with his cigars and brandy.

(Curtain is drawn open)

There's some question as to the identity
of an American officer

who proceeded the convoy to here.

- (Telephone rings)
- None of my men led the convoy.

One moment, please.
Captain Clark.

Captain Clark speaking.

You're what?

What do you mean,
he's unconscious?

Hisjeep is missing?

Jesus God. He's here.

(Distant shouts)

Cover the front of the building.
Through here!

The terrace!
Prime Minister!

Poor sod.

No one will ever know what he did.

Never know? Are you crazy?
That's Winston Churchill lying there!

No, Captain.

That is one George Fowler
lying there.

He's a variety artist of a sort,
and a very brave man.

Incredible. He knew
this sort of thing could happen.

He didn't even call out.
He played it to the end.

Where is Mr. Churchill?

Well, I suppose you'll read about it
in the papers tomorrow.

At the moment, he's in Persia,
with your president and Marshal Stalin.

Tehran, Captain.
That's where the reality is.

This-- This never happened.

It did not occur, Major.


DEVLIN: Molly, my love,

as a great man once said,

"I have suffered a sea-change,
and nothing can be the same again."

I came here to Norfolk to do a job,
not to fall in love.

By now, you'll know the worst of me.
Try not to think it.

To leave you is punishment enough.

But it will not end here.

For, as they say in Ireland,
"We have known the days." Liam.

(Dogs bark)