Despair (1978) Movie Script

...which we have lost forever.
Oh, Lydia...
The peasants celebrating
in a flat sledge opens up the road...
Our horses snort and,
snuffling through the snow,
swish through forests of birch and fir
with a trinkle of harness
and a crack of whip!
The wolves are invisible
behind their howls.
Oh, what a relief it was
to hear the Kremlin bells...
and to know that soon we
would be safe and warm...
around the samovar.
How these burning winters
bring it all back.
You are a tease!
And you!
You are a teaser...
What's that accident all about?
- What accident?
- In America!
Why should it matter to you?
It doesn't say anything
about an accident... says just to go crash. Collapse!
The whole street collapsed?
...Wall Street...
Were people killed?
Just a few.
Mostly jumping out of windows.
Nearly all of them were stock holders.
Oh Hermann...
Really, you are such a... such a
stupid woman, Lydia.
You've lived here for 7 years already
and you still can't speak the language
properly. Still, I don't mind.
Intelligence would take
the bloom off your carnality.
No, a woman like you should
keep moist and plump...
Who the hell wears red socks!?
Oh! They're Ardalion's...
He's always taking his socks off.
You know what it's like.
Your cousin stinks.
He should be in a zoo.
Blood is thicker than water, Hermann.
Handsome, isn't it?
Oh, Hermann!
You're so...
How dare you come
into this room partly clothed.
Off with it!
Have you no sense of indecency?
Don't close the door!
- Why not?
- I want it open.
- But Elsie might...
- Elsie's gone to bed. Leave it open!
I'd like to know what's
going on in your head...
Which one?
I don't understand?
Lydia? Lydia... please!
Come along my feather-brained
cockatoo or you'll make me late!
- Quick!
- Yes!
Always late, late...
- Oh, Elsie!
- Yes Madam?
I'm just riding my husband to the office.
Make up the bed!!
I live in a house of parrots.
Will you please hurry!
Coming darling!
Oh, Elsie...
And don't forget what I told
you about the Christmas tree.
- Good morning, sir.
- Morning.
- Good morning.
- Good morning, Frau Schmitt.
Ah, yes...
Too bitter...
or not bitter enough.
That is the problem!
At whom are we aiming?
Some girls only like it bitter.
Fastidious little prigs.
Then there are others,
the rich ones, smooth...
who like it milky and chocolaty.
Like my mother.
You know, my mother was like that.
She was a fat bourgeois
with too many rings
popping chocolates
into her fat, jowly face!
On wet afternoons she would go through
an entire box of peppermint creams
and the family photograph album.
Thank you.
I don't know why I tell you all this.
Please excuse me.
No, the problem is not
here in the chocolate,
the problem is in New York.
Germany has borrowed 7 billion dollars.
Mostly from American investors.
And now... the chocolate spree... is over.
There would be plenty of money around...
if it wasn't for this government
giving it all away to greedy foreigners.
But reparations must be paid, Mller.
Who says?
Well... the treaty of Versailles!
I didn't start the war,
Why should I pay for it?
Anyway, the war has been over 12 years.
My God! As long ago as that?
Now the politicians are betraying us.
If it wasn't for the reparations, Ge--
Germany could rebuild,
and become strong again and...
...regain her place...
as the greatest country in Europe!
Mller, Mller! You begin to sound
like that man in the newspapers.
- Alfred...
- Alfred Hugenberg sir!
- Alfred Hugenberg.
- Some of the newspapers say that, too!
Alfred Hugenberg owns
those newspapers, yeah?
I don't care! 120 billion gold marks!
It will cripple us all!
You should have been at
the plebiscite meeting last night.
I am a foreigner here!
If enough of us vote against the payments.
That would be the end of it.
What could the French do?
I suppose they could occupy the Ruhr...
like the last time you didn't
keep up the payments.
They are still there.
French and British troops!
On German soil!
Excuse me.
In my opinion, this is
just a little too bitter.
Thank you.
How about dinner out?
Perfect! Good!
Ardy's here, Hermann.
Just borrowing the bath!
I hope that's all right!
By all means...
Why don't you bring your laundry?
...while you're about it?
Won't keep you a minute!
Your gogel-mogel, Hermann?
That gogel-mogel is my gogel-mogel!
Only one gogel-mogel
is your gogel-mogel, Ardy.
The other gogel-mogel
is Hermann's gogel-mogel.
Since it is not a chocky-wocky...
I don't care whose gogel-mogel it is.
No thank you.
I drink to the plump dumpling
breasts and buttocks of your wife!
And I drink to the plump
dumpling brains of your cousin.
I intended a complement!
- Speaking as a painter.
- And so do I!
Speaking as a connoisseur of soft centers.
Chocolate technology lags hopelessly behind
the sweet confectionery
of Lydia's grey matter.
If you opened her cranium,
like an Easter egg,
you would find inside it, a motley
assortment of creams, of fondant,
...of praline, rum truffles,
liquid liquors,
and my favorite:
Turkish Delight.
My God!
You think I patronize her?
But anyone can tell you
that she adores me!
She needs a patronizing type
like I need a patronize-able woman!
We're a perfect couple.
I like literature, she likes trash.
I'm clear-thinking, she's scatter-brained.
She's messy...
We are a perfect match!
Like a lock... and a key.
Oh, Hermann!
You talk about life as if it
had some deeper significance!
You be careful, Ardalion!
Be very careful what you say!
Because I think over there
is a man who looks exactly like
...a Viennese quack!
Lydia will be returning,
but only momentarily.
Do you want to make a bet?
She usually goes out twice!
The first time because she's
left her comb on the wash basin
or else she needs some small change...
Ah! Here she comes now.
Look at her! Isn't she wonderful?
Look at her clothes.
Aren't they beautiful?
Her color sense is based
entirely on linguistics.
Brick red goes with cherry red
because, after all, they're both red.
She calls it echoing.
It's the same with her politics, you know?
When they clash, she says they echo.
- Red is red!
- Ooh, what are you two talking about?
Russian politics.
But what can you expect of Bolsheviks?
I couldn't find my lipstick.
You, uh...
dropped it.
I suffer but I never complain.
Shall I tell you a marital secret?
There are some things which only
a husband and wife know about each other.
I don't think that would
be quite fair to Liddy...
Why not?
It's all in the family. And,
"blood is thicker than water"...
as Lydia is apt to remark so wittily.
- Are you ready?
- No, no.
- I find it most offensive of you to-
- Just as I thought!
You are nothing but a Ukrainian
peasant pretending to be a Bohemian!
Please give me the check.
All right. Tell me then.
She never quite...
puts out her cigarette.
- Orlovious!
- Huh?
My friend says you look like a quack.
He wants to speak to you.
Well, I have more reason than most...
Then you mean you are?
Oh, my dear sir!
Would you mind just talking
shop to me for a moment?
- Not at all but, uh...
- Please, do sit down.
- Thank you.
- No, thank you.
What do you know...?
What do you know about
this subject: dissociation? Huh?
The, uh... the split person...
The man who stands... outside himself.
I'm thinking of writing a book about
such a person. Maybe two books.
What... what... what does it mean?
What is known about it?
What do you think it means?
Does it only happen when you are drunk?
What do you make of that... Doctor?
- Sex or violence?
- Oh, please!
Oh, please! Or tell him
he's in love with his mother.
And why shouldn't I be?
She was beautiful and refined.
Pure Russian... of old, princely stock.
I remember, in the summer,
she used to wear lilac silk...
and sit in a rocking chair,
fanning herself.
I seem to hear Chopin.
Rather badly played...
It is myself... at the piano,
under the careful eye
of Frau Schiller, my governess.
Still talking politics?
This is Dr. Orlovius and my name
is Hermann and this is my wife.
- Mr. Orlovius.
- You're not a doctor?
I am in the insurance business.
- But surely you implied that you--
- That I don't mind talking shop.
Tell me. Do you have a life policy?
Then perhaps I might explain
some of the advantages.
"Come on out, Silverman! --
We've got you surrounded!"
"Isn't that Sergeant Brown?"
"That's my brother.
I'm going to talk to him."
- How do they do it?
- There's a line down the middle.
This cherry brandy is disgusting, Hermann!
"Don't you ever think of mother?"
I can't see any line!
- A line has length but no breadth.
- Beautiful.
"The many tears she has shed have
washed the life from her eyes."
If you could see it,
it wouldn't be a line.
It would have breadth!
"Mother always loved you more than
me. All the more since the accident."
The fact you can't see it,
proves it's a line.
Too much sugar in the schnapps, Hermann.
Change the recipe. That's my advice.
Give me your hanky, pussy!
Hanky, dear!
"He's dead."
"That's not Sergeant Brown.
It's Silverman."
"He's dead. We always
respected you, Sergeant Brown."
Good morning, Mr. Hermann.
Good morning, sir.
The liquor centers are not moving well.
Two consignments have
been returned already.
Not enough sugar in the schnapps.
Hello, you!
I've seen you before somewhere.
Your face.
In the cinema.
I never go to the cinema.
Don't lie to me. I know.
If you're not coming to bed,
you could at least bring me my book!
Thank you, Elsie.
I'm thinking of going to Dusseldorf
for a couple of days.
- Where's that?
- In the Ruhr.
- Is that in Germany?
- For the moment, yes.
Something important happening?
A chocolate factory is
on the verge of going bankrupt...
And I am going to do a murder.
A murder?
I shall gobble them up!
Hermann, you're wonderful!
But I'll be terribly lonely without you.
Why don't you get Ardalion to amuse you?
Isn't that what cousins are for?
I made a small donation.
Those are the only people not
prepared to sell us down the river.
This is an unusual line. Ginger creams!
It appeals to sophisticated tastes.
How many hours a day
are these machines idle?
I'll tell you frankly:
Until last year, the problem was staff.
There were plenty of
better paid jobs around.
Now I can have
all the people I want, but...
sales are down.
What's the answer?
It's murder!
Merger. Ah, yeah.
The wrong people have got the money.
You know what I mean?
If that man was in charge,
things would be different.
- Hugenberg?
- No. Well...
they're all working together,
but Hugenberg...
he's too soft... too sophisticated.
Ginger cream... hmm?
An Easter novelty.
Very popular.
Chocolate men... like puppets.
Not the usual clumsy things.
Two Easters would put
a chocolate business back on its feet.
There's a lot of potential here, Hermann.
Let me sleep on it.
Tomorrow is another day.
Tomorrow is the same day
in my experience.
I'll call the hotel.
Is Hermann your first name
or your surname?
What you like:
Hermann Hermann Hermann
Hermann and hum?
My father was a German
speaking Russian from Ravel.
My mother was a Rothschild.
On their wedding day,
he gave her rubies.
Her dowry was her own weight...
in gold coins.
The investigation proved
them to be chocolate.
My father died of grief,
my mother of diabetes.
I inherited the balance
of the chocky-wocks...
and I have never looked back!
My wife is a Finkelberg.
And her dowry...
was her weight.
Most of my information...
comes from forged documents.
As is my fate.
When the war started,
I procured some papers
which stated that I was
a Blackshirt... fighting the Reds...
in the White Army.
But after Revolution,
I got out...
as a Caucasian...
fighting the Brownshirts...
in the Red Army.
All I really am...
is just a yellow belly
in a brown hat.
But I'm holding on for myself.
Mr. Hermann?
I have decided.
Keep your fucking sheckles!
- Don't you see anything?
- What's up?
What's the idea?
Are you blind, or...?
You have my face.
If you say so, mister.
But the rich man never quite
resembles a poor man.
With a haircut and a shave,
we would be indistinguishable.
The price of a haircut and shave
would come in very handy.
You got a match?
Couldn't you find... some work for me?
You know we are... we are strangers.
We have, as... as you might say, a...
a bond.
- You can see it?
- Yes.
We are as alike as... as two peas.
It's a freak of nature.
Will you turn sideways please?
Oh... excuse me... look this way.
I stand before me.
I'm all right for the summer.
I like travelling.
Picking up this and that.
But come the autumn...
The chromosomatic scale
is dotted to infinity,
- But nature's prone to doubles.
- It's amazing.
- About this job...
- Where will I find you?
This autumn I'm sure to be at the same
village where I worked last year,
near Hamburg.
- You could write to me at the post office.
- Oh? ...well...
- I'll write it down for you.
- Thank you.
I hope your trip was successful, sir.
These are difficult times, Frau Schmidt.
Yes, Sir.
Did you hear that
Mr. Mller had resigned?
How could he resign...
without telling me?
- Telling you, sir?
- Yes, me.
Am I mad? Do I own this factory?
Or am I some tramp?
Wandering around, looking for a job?
Oh. Not our Mr. Mller.
I mean the chancellor.
The government has resigned.
Oh, the government...
- Hello!
- Hello?
You are still giving
an excellent performance.
Have you forgotten your place?
Why did the government resign?
Mller wanted to cut unemployment
benefits and got voted out.
Good riddance.
Surely the unemployed should be
able to share what's available.
When unemployed increases,
then the share decreases.
When it doubles, they should get half.
- That's a bit rough, sir.
- Well...
you have to take the rough with the smooth.
If the government could
reduce unemployment to about...
...oh, a dozen,
they would be billionaires.
Have you joined
the boy scouts or something?
Do you mind me wearing
uniform in the office, sir?
No, not at all.
Most appropriate,
a chocolate-colored jacket.
This chocolate...
this chocolate tastes, um...
What are you doing?
It's Saturday. We're waiting for you.
We're going to the lake.
Don't you remember?
You said you wanted to draw me.
Will you wait a minute?
La Boheme, huh?
Is this your contribution
to political art?
Oh... no, no. No, no, no.
That was done by the housekeeper's son.
He is interested in politics.
You can have it.
- 35 marks.
- No thank you.
Get dressed, Ardalion.
Let's start.
Start what?
Oh... oh. Start the art, huh?
Are you in a hurry?
Yes. I'm in a hurry.
By the way...
you've got a tricky face, Hermann.
Would you consider my face unusual?
The modern school.
It looks a bit like Hermann.
It looks more like Hermann
than Hermann himself.
And all's right with the world.
Oh, please!
- Have one of these!
- So kind.
All in order.
And, frankly, it's a bargain.
The premiums were set a year ago
and are well below
under the actuarial reality.
- And what kind of reality is that?
- To me, the only kind.
And, to you, it's not reality
at all: a statistical probability.
Do you mean the probability of my sudden
death has increased in the last year?
No. Statistically.
Oh... political riots and
violence in the street.
And violence in the families. Violence...
violence in the houses and... violence,
- even in the Reichstag and so on and so on.
- But I am a foreigner in this land.
It would be presumptuous of me
to have a political opinion...
And bad manners...
to express it.
Insurance is above politics.
The Brownshirts and the Communists
and... the immigrants...
and Chancellor Brning, himself:
They're all equal...
under the slide rule.
Each man's risk gravitates to the mean...
One premium for all:
according to age and health.
Is the Chancellor a customer of yours?
Oh, no!
As a matter of fact, he wouldn't be
considered such a good risk at the moment.
Trying to force a budget through
the Reichstag by presidential decree...
well, it's not considered
good for the health.
I think you're so clever!
- Oh, please. Have some more wine.
- Thanks.
You don't have to worry about Brning.
He is firmly in the saddle.
You don't think there will
be an election this year?
No chance. He's got Hindenburg behind
him and the army behind Hindenburg.
Why don't you ever talk like that to me?
Brning can count
on the Social Democrats,
on the Nationalists, and
on the National Socialists
who will vote against
the Brownshirts and the Bolshies.
But the National Socialists
are the Brownshirts.
- You are a stupid idiot.
- So what, clever dick?
You can forget about them.
What did they get at the last election?
Three percent: twelve seats.
There you are!
I know what I'm talking about!
But if there is an election,
that will let the extremists in.
There will be no election.
I fear the National Socialists.
Oh! What can you expect of Bolsheviks?
Nazis, not Communists.
As far as I'm concerned,
a Socialist is a Socialist.
Listen. The National Socialists
are against the Socialists...
and also against the Nationalists.
That's stupid!
It doesn't make sense!
And the People's Party
is against the people!
Stop it!
What do you think, Hermann?
I don't think, Lydia.
I've just insured my life.
Here's to my long and happy life.
It looks like Hermann...
in Ardalion's cesspit mind.
- Don't waste time. Your turn.
- That's for me!
No, it's mine! Oh, yes...
- Snap!
- Forfeit! That's the Queen!
- Where is the masterful one going?
- I forget.
It sounded like a hat.
Come back and play!
- Panama!
- What?
There is only one city
in the world like a hat.
Don't be sillies!
Where are you going, dear?
- Oh! There's another one! Hamburg.
- That's it!
Not so far.
- Overnight, though?
- Oh!
My tummy is feeling funny.
I think I'll spend the whole time in bed.
- Your tummy is feeling funny, Lydia?
- Yes.
- Perhaps too much gogel-mogel, yeah?
- Yeah...
I wasn't... I wasn't sure if
I'd remember you but...
but, as soon as I saw you,
I remembered everything...
except the mustache.
There are... there aren't...
There aren't any sparrows here this year.
They had to be destroyed. They all...
They all got parrot fever
or something like...
like that.
I like sparrows! I... I like sparrows.
I... I understand them.
Street painters.
I like squirrels, too,
and moles are all right.
I'd like the world to be full of
squirrels and moles because...
they are against landlords.
You are a philosopher.
Philosophy is an invention of the rich.
So is religion... poetry.
I don't believe in love either.
that's a different thing.
I'd like to have a friend.
I'd work for him...
as a gardener.
And afterwards, his garden
would become mine, and...
I'd live in joy, and...
in joy and dignity... and in... a natural state.
So what do you want?
I told you. I am a film star...
You are a storyteller!
Felix, please.
Felix, Felix, now...
now listen.
Do you know what a double is?
But you have been to the cinema?
Well... yes.
When I want to spend money, I find
something better than the pictures.
Thank God most people don't feel as you do,
otherwise my profession would be in ruins.
What profession is that?
I told you. I am a film actor.
Ah, yeah.
A double, Felix, is a person who,
in an emergency, can stand in...
for a given actor.
Now, imagine this situation... Come.
Imagine this:
I, a film actor, am about to make
a film in which I have to play twins.
- I saw a film with uh...
- Would you please let me finish?
Thank you.
Sometimes that means that I must be at
both ends of the screen at the same time.
A bare-faced swindler.
I once saw a film with twins.
You only saw them one at a time...
except when there was
a line down the middle.
Are you listening to me?
Go on.
Imagine another situation.
The film is finished. Hmm?
There is only one last shot to do...
where the hero has to drive his car
past... but he cannot do it because...
because he's ill, has a cold,
has the flu... he's in bed and ill.
And the double has to do it.
But the audience is none the wiser.
And the double has
100 marks in his pocket.
Are you following me?
It's unkind of you to
pull a poor man's leg.
I am offering you... uh...
money beyond your
wildest dreams of avarice
and a job beyond your
fondest dreams of idleness.
We need each other.
It seems you need me.
But you won't come clean.
But it is the truth.
More shame on you.
Now, listen. Listen:
filming is about to begin
and if anything happens to me
they will call you
and you will arrive.
When he calls me
and I arrive nowhere.
- What is the matter with you?
- I need your letter.
I thought you would offer
me some respectable work.
Or at least cut me in
on a straightforward job.
I've walked a long way to meet you.
- Yeah...
- What do I find?
- Filth!
- Filth?
Actors... actresses...
pimps... harlots...
I don't want your
decadence, tinsel and flesh.
Think to themselves... yes... think they
are a cut above these ordinary folk.
You want me to paint my face
and mince about, huh? Uh-uh.
Not for me.
Plus, my friends recognize me.
Sit down...
Oh, sit! Sit down.
I'm sorry. No.
If you will take my advice,
you will get out of that business
before it destroys you morally.
Excuse me, Hermann. Your key...
Felix, wait!
I can see that you're
a very sharp fellow.
You know I have weightier
things on my mind, don't you?
How can I regain your confidence? Huh?
I am not a film actor.
I was driving...
Have you no scars?
- No identification marks?
- Why?
- Were you in the war?
- I was.
- Weren't you wounded?
- I was a kitchen corporal.
You were lucky.
I was locked away in Russia.
- I have a German father.
- Ah... you were lucky!
I only had a Polish mother.
A Polish mother.
Kitchen corporal.
Have you no scars from hot fat?
- What?
- Hot fat.
Oh! Take it all off.
Excuse me.
How long has this picture been here?
It has always been here.
How could it have been?
- You lie!
- No...
- You lie, you lie, you lie!
- No, no... no, no...
Look... I...
I think I'll go.
- Oh.. excuse me. But why?
- You act funny.
Like I've told you... I... I'm not...
I'm not an actor.
I'm really not an actor.
My business is not acting.
My business will not defile you.
I have nothing to do
with the cinema business.
- Robbery?
- What if it is?
I want to perform a certain operation.
And while I'm performing that operation,
I want to be seen...
far away from the place
at exactly the same time.
- Do you understand what I'm saying?
- Is it robbery.
Listen to me, listen to me, listen to me.
Please listen...
You will drive my car.
You will wear my clothes.
And you will drive through a certain
village from a certain street...
where my fa---, ah...
excuse me: our face...
our face is recognized.
That's all.
And you will have 1,000 marks.
Small notes.
If you wish.
And you will find them...
in your pocket...
You will get caught with the goods.
It'll all come out at the trial.
You'll squeal.
A thousand marks...
When did you ever dream
of having one hundred?
I don't care for prison.
The food's good...
but the people...
What if it's all a lie?
Some sort of double cross? Huh?
Lydia is here.
The woman is very ill.
How nice of you to think of coming.
There's something wrong with my tummy.
It's better now, but I felt
awful in the soul in there.
You know what she is like. She always
gets sick when you least expect it.
Tell me!
There's nothing really wrong with her.
- Woman's imagination.
- Oh!
Aren't you going to stand up for me?
Hermann, go on! Tell him!
Do be silent! Both of you!
I'm trying to think something out.
And you're putting me off.
Do you remember a painting
you made... of two roses...
with a briar pipe.
There was a swastika on the back.
Oh, please.
I remember the swastika but the...
two roses and the briar pipe?
Have a look around if you like.
Is that the one?
My offer still stands: 35 marks.
It's even worse than I remembered.
- Did you have a good trip?
- Yes, fine.
Can I help you?
- Pushkin.
- Pushkin?
Your... Pushkin... letter.
Thank you.
Life Insurance
"New Life"
- Health all right?
- Ah...
- Oh! Hello. Good day!
- How are you?
How's life? More popular?
Life is a losing proposition.
Policy holders are dying like flies.
You don't look too well yourself.
Oh, no. I'm fine.
I'm a... I have a little insomnia...
a little bit nervous...
To tell you the truth,
I'm a little bit... I'm a little
bit depressed today.
What's the matter?
I've received one of those
idiotic blackmail letters.
- It's so stupid...
- Blackmail?
Oh, yeah. Some crank's demanding
money with menaces...
Have a look at it yourself.
It's illiterate but... uh...
I think it makes its point.
- Do you know who sent it?
- Yes. He's a rogue.
- He was in the service of my family.
- Will you take it to the police?
No... why?
He's not quite right in the head.
What's the good of putting
a man like that in prison?
- That's a very charitable attitude.
- Oh, nonsense, nonsense.
Well, I go this way.
- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.
Please... uh... greet your wife for me.
Yes... I will.
But... you know...
sometimes I do envy you
your bachelor balls.
Why so?
I have neither priest nor doctor.
I need them not at all.
So why shouldn't I confide...
in my insurance consultant?
My married life is not very happy.
My wife is interested in...
someone else.
And if anything happened to me...
I fear she wouldn't grieve...
for very long.
Certain things I have long observed.
I wish you better things.
I thought you were never coming.
If I had any money,
I would've paid and left.
Black coffee.
- Vodka.
- Two black coffees.
A beer, please.
Lydia and I are worried
about your drinking.
We think it affects your...
your work.
Never felt fitter in my life.
Your work...
You've lost your taste for it.
And Berlin encourages
your natural vulgarity.
- May I?
- Please.
- If you've come here to lecture me...
- No!
Lydia thinks you should go to the South.
The South?
Did you hear that? The South?
The South... the South...
the South... the South... the South...
Oh, Hermann! Yes!
If only I could get money, money, money...
I'd be a different man.
There is a place in the mountains
where I found my inspiration.
Lend me 1000 marks
and, if I don't earn it back
in six months, I'm a Dutchman.
The main thing for me is that...
The main thing for you
is to get you out of Berlin.
Do you really mean that?
Lydia will adore the mountains.
Lydia and I can't come with you.
Let her come. Just for a month.
You see...
She's sort of jealous of my freedom.
She'll think I'm getting tight somewhere.
What about your new leaf?
that's for the visa.
If you promise to stop drinking,
I'll give you the money for the ticket.
That's a promise.
I know that I can trust you.
Excuse me.
- What is it?
- It's a man.
More soap...
A man...
- What man? What does he want?
- He says you know him.
- What does he look like?
- Sort of poor. With a shoulder bag.
Tell him to go to hell!
And I'm not at home!
I'm not in the house.
I'm not here! I'm not in this world!
I don't know him.
How dare he?
I don't know him.
Tell him I'm dead!
Do you hear me? I'm dead!
Mr. Hermann doesn't know you.
No! Stop!
Elsie stop! Go, please... go get him!
Go and get him! Stop him!
Have you passed me on the stairs?
What? How could I?
I don't mean me, I... I mean...
Never mind.
Don't think...
I don't know about you and Elsie!
I've known for months!
Oh my God. What a stupid woman.
- Tell him I've gone...
- Changed your mind?
How about this one?
- Stainless steel?
- A Russian painter!
To last a lifetime.
6 marks.
Two for ten.
Two for ten!
Two for ten.
Just my luck!
Lydia, I'm afraid that I've made
you very anxious recently.
Because I've not been quite myself.
What now, Hermann?
I was just getting to
the exciting part of the story.
I have a story, too...
More frightening, more terrifying...
than anything you have ever read.
Hermann, what's wrong?
Listen to me carefully.
Listen. You have heard
me speak of a brother.
- No.
- You have.
Yes, I think so.
My dead brother, who I was so close to...
so close, he was almost my second self.
- Dead?
- So I thought.
But... you remember when I went Hamburg?
Oh, yes.
In a cafe in Hamburg, I met him by chance.
Now listen very carefully.
We'd been separated by the war.
And believed each other to be dead.
My Felix... with whom I've been
inseparable since childhood...
And as like as two drops of blood.
Face to face. Alive!
I say alive, of course,
because I was to find
that Felix was morally dead.
This sweet-natured boy
that I've known all my life...
This sensitive boy - this musician -
the youngest musician-
the youngest violinist in the Bolshoi...
where our mother used to
dance before Emperors!
The same boy. This same boy.
He was a cheat...
He was ruined. Ruined!
He was a cheat... a liar, a forger...
God, Lydia. He was a murderer.
A murderer! A poisoner.
A poisoner of the woman who kept him!
- Hermann! It just meant...
- Shh!
In short... in short...
a lost cause.
Living in hell.
Bent on self-destruction.
Nothing would deflect him
from the path that he had chosen:
Don't do it.
I'll help you.
Was there nothing you
could do to redeem him?
That's just the question I asked him.
And there was!
His soul yearned for redemption.
"I want to make a gift of my death."
Those were his exact words.
He suggested a plan.
I said, "No... impossible."
He begged... he pleaded.
He wouldn't listen to me.
What could I do?
To refuse him would be a crime.
He is determined to die on his birthday.
Even the president
couldn't talk him out of it.
And so... I intend to be his executioner.
And to take his place in life... myself.
Isn't it a swindle?
A swindle?
The insurance money, Hermann.
The insurance money is not the point.
We have reached a higher spiritual level.
It's much more important
that my poor brother
is not swindled out of his last chance
to regain his self-respect.
Will you remember
everything that I've told you?
- Yes.
- Good.
When they come to tell you
that I have been murdered,
please... please don't carry on
like a Greek tragedy.
You know what a rotten actress you are.
Orlovius has been dropped a hint
that you are carrying
on with someone else.
So you can moderate your grief.
Don't you listen to that Orlovius,
He's a gossip!
You don't understand.
It's all so complicated!
Nothing is ready!
And your evening suit!
It's at the cleaner's.
I have no desire to be
cremated in my dinner jacket.
And drive out of your head
any idea of getting ready!
You know nothing!
I'm leaving the house
in a perfectly normal way.
When I don't return tonight,
you telephone our Orlovius...
and ask his advice.
It's very simple.
- And what about Ardalion?
- Ardalion?
What's Ardalion got to do with it?
I'm talking about a human tragedy,
- and you keep talking about Ardalion!
- I'm sorry!
- I'm dizzy!
- No!
- Hermann...
- What?
Don't go!
- You haven't shaved.
- No. Nor the day before, either.
Everything was so simple...
'til your brother came along!
Let him do what he likes...
without you!
It makes no difference to him!
If he's going to be dead anyway!
It will make a difference to his soul.
And now, Lydia...
it is time. It is time.
I will see you in two or three weeks...
in Switzerland.
All you have to do... is remember
exactly what I told you.
And try not to flirt with the coroner.
The coroner!
Hermann... Hermann, please!
I'm... I'm just going to work.
It's just... any other morning.
It's perfectly normal.
Lydia, have a happy day. Yeah?
My blackmailer!
Don't get excited.
Do you think you're going to get
one single penny out of me?
Not if you are going to
report me to the police.
No, no, no, no, no...
As I've promised: 1000 marks.
The deal is on!
I knew it! You never took
my letter seriously, did you?
Not for a moment.
Did you meet anyone on the road?
Only a cart,
and I hid in the ditch like you told me.
- Good.
- I know.
Now, Felix...
the great moment has arrived.
You have to change your clothes.
You'll stay here all day...
you can sleep the night in the car.
And tomorrow, you can go
through the village...
driving through all the streets.
I will give you all the instructions.
But first of all, is your appearance.
A bourgeois capitalist from top to toe.
I've forgotten the yellow gloves.
What else have I forgotten?
Let me see you from the back.
Take a few steps.
Now, Hermann.
Thank you.
Are you Mrs. Hermann?
I'm Inspector Schelling.
- Is there any news of Hermann?
- Grave news.
- We found him, murdered.
- Elsie! Water!
I'm sorry.
Oh my God!
What happened?
We haven't put all
the pieces together yet.
He met somebody by arrangement.
Perhaps there was a quarrel.
He was shot at close range.
Hermann didn't have
an enemy in the world.
Please, Ardy. Give me
the brandy that you prepared.
Ardy is my cousin, you know.
Excuse me, Mr. Orlovius.
Do you have a moment for me?
- I have one more question.
- Yes, of course.
You said something about
a blackmailing letter, didn't you?
Yes. It was a threatening letter.
I could see he was worried by it.
I quite understand.
Murdered by person or persons unknown.
I realize money can be
no compensation for his loss.
Will you stay in Berlin?
I don't think so.
There are too many memories.
My name is Felix Weber.
I come from Zwickau. A bachelor.
I'm very fond of...
sparrows, squirrels, moles...
Philosophy is an invention of the rich.
How do you do?
Come here!
Inspector Brun.
Someone from the police to see you!
Mrs. Hermann?
Is your husband at home?
Don't tell me something
dreadful has happened to him!
I had a premonition
about this, Inspector!
We are not sure...
The body of a man has been found.
My poor Hermann!
The man, he was wearing
your husband's clothes.
He had papers belonging to your husband.
This is your husband's passport, isn't it?
Of course.
But the victim is not in fact...
this man in the photograph.
For heaven's sake! Who looks
like his passport photograph?
It must be Hermann.
What are you talking about?
There is no resemblance.
He is a different man.
No resemblance?
Not much.
Tell me. Is your husband ill at all?
He's dead...
He is dead!
He's dead!
I'm expecting a message.
Is there one?
I'm so sorry, Mr. Weber.
No message has arrived yet.
How about lunch instead of the message?
We had a good fish today.
I'm glad you've read your Schiller.
These people... are my family.
- You must understand.
- Right.
My... husband... made it possible...
for my dreams...
to come true?
I knew he...
he was going to die...
when we married.
Just so.
How tragic!
Poor stuff!
Some more.
And two lumps.
What do you think, Mr. Weber? Hmm?
The murder mystery.
Oh, I'm afraid I gave up
reading those a long, long time ago.
Over the years...
Conan Doyle, Dostoevsky,
Edgar Wallace. So childish!
All that worrying about clues and alibis,
Polishing the brasses.
Pocketing the wine glass.
The so-called perfect murder!
Oh, dear me! No, no, no, no, no...
Poor stuff!
Well, uh... What would be
the perfect murder, then?
The perfect murder, Herr Doctor?
Yeah, the perfect murder.
The perfect murder...
the perfect murder would be the one...
which had never happened,
but which was committed.
The murder which deceives itself.
Deceives itself.
Yeah... of course, it's beyond attainment.
No, no, no. The perfect murder
would be the one in which...
the victim did it!
You see?
I happen to be something
of the philosopher.
- Which author were you discussing?
- Not an author.
This case in the paper.
Your part of the world.
Odd case.
The monster insured his life
and then took another's.
Took another's?
Surely, you mean
the victim's life was insured.
No! The murderer's.
It doesn't make sense. He dressed up
someone in his suit and then shot him.
How did they know?
- How did they know?
- Know?
Yes! That the victim was not
the man he was dressed up to be?
For, presumably, there must have been
some kind of a... a resemblance?
It doesn't mention one.
Well... look for yourself.
He must be off his head.
- Anything new?
- No.
No news. Not yet.
If we knew... who the dead man was...
I think we would find
your husband quickly enough.
I told you. It was his brother.
Your husband had no brother.
Or was he in the habit of lying to you?
How would I know?
Did this stick...
belong to your husband?
Ah... they've found a clue.
A clue! Fantastic.
They already know the murderer.
But they won't find him.
They don't know who the victim is.
Don't you see that?
That's a clue to the victim's identity.
Rubbish! Rubbish!
It's lies. All's lies!
Look here...
you stop doing this.
Do you understand?
I came here for the peace and quiet.
For my nerves.
And this obsession...
with murder...
I can't stay here.
You will find it very quiet here.
Just what I wanted.
Your passport?
What instrument do you play?
Oh, yeah...
Cello. I'm a cellist.
I suppose you have all the
...newspapers here?
- Of course!
- All bluff! All lies!
- Sir?
- Have you a free room?
- Yes.
- Perfect... perfect!
A remote abode of work and pure delight.
- I'm a musician.
- Oh.
Last year, we had actors.
A film company was here.
Even my little bird was killed.
His name was Heliogabal.
Sad. So Sad.
My key?
We all had parts. The whole village.
We all were villagers.
- Here's your key.
- Thank you.
No, no, no. You have to go out there:
around the corner and up the stairs.
Your room is the first on the left.
The first on the left.
Yes, it's him.
- Come.
- Hermann Hermann?
How childish...
Poor people.
We are making a film here.
In a minute...
I will be coming out.
But you must keep the
...policemen back...
so that I can get away.
I am a film actor.
I'm coming out.
Don't... look... at the camera.
I'm coming out.