Operation Mincemeat (2021) Movie Script

[suspenseful music playing]
[typewriter clacking]
[narrator] In any story,
if it's a good story,
there is that which is seen
and that which is hidden.
[waves crashing]
This is especially true in stories of war.
There is the war we see,
a contest of bombs and bullets,
courage, sacrifice,
and brute force.
As we count the winners,
the losers,
and the dead.
[rain, waves crashing]
Now, men! Heave!
[sonar pinging]
[narrator] But alongside this war,
another war is waged.
A battleground in shades of gray,
played out in deception,
and bad faith.
The participants are strange.
They are seldom what they seem,
and fiction and reality blur.
[typewriter clacking]
This war is a wilderness of mirrors
in which the truth
is protected by a bodyguard of lies.
For the love of Christ.
We should've heard by now.
[typewriter clacking]
This is our war.
[rain, waves crashing]
[dramatic music playing]
Dear God.
[teletype clacking]
[typewriter clacking]
[man] As I looked up
into the darkened sky and made a vow,
I would give the old country
another day to fit me into something,
and if nothing happened,
I would take the next boat for the Cape.
It was then,
as I was fitting my key into the door,
I noticed a man at my elbow.
I'd not seen him approach.
And his sudden appearance made me start.
"May I come in for a minute?"
the man said,
steadying his voice with effort.
And if it were us, Omega,
would we let him in?
Depends on whether or not
he knew the code, Agent Zed.
No sooner was he through the door
He did let him in.
when the odd-little man
poured himself a stiff whiskey,
drank it in three gulps.
"Pardon," he said.
"I'm a bit rattled tonight."
"You see, I happen
at this moment to be dead."
I think it's best we keep reading.
Tomorrow's a day of high adventure, Agent.
I think it's best you sleep. [kiss]
They're here.
Good night.
[man] This gorgeous delicacy
is Afghan cheese
made from the milk
of a long-horned and lovesick sheep.
You must be a smuggler, Ivor.
Exotic cheese, the rest of us on rations.
I could manage
your front office, you know,
at the Cheese Eaters League.
Has my brother left you unemployed,
Hester, now that he's retiring?
Oh, is that the rumor?
I hope that's not
the reason for this party.
Are you not retiring?
I've written a lovely speech
saying you are.
Well, then I suggest you write
a lovely speech saying that I am not.
This is simply a hiatus.
Naval supplies.
He's off to whip them into shape.
A noble contribution to this ghastly war.
Maritime hardware.
I have a passion for it.
Ivor, Ewen.
- I'm afraid it's that time.
- That it is, darling.
- I have prepared a dazzling toast.
- Oh.
[kiss, kiss]
Though why we're not cheering you
on your last night home...
Oh, don't be silly.
King's Council deserves
a proper sendoff into retirement.
Hester, will you tell my husband
his guests await him.
Absurd, isn't it? This retirement bit.
When both of us know my brother
hasn't tried a case in three years.
When gossip has it, he's been
knee-deep in intelligence for some time.
- [Hester] Ivor.
- [clinking of glass]
A grown man, gossiping like a fishwife.
[Ivor] Has he been bumped over to MI5?
- A special mission?
- Oh, my cue.
I see.
Surely he's taking you with him,
whatever it is.
You really do
have an uncanny nose for cheese.
[Ewen] To my
distinguished friends and colleagues,
in whose honor we have uncorked a vintage
A devious cabal of immediate family
has billed this as my retirement,
but you, my cherished guests,
are clever enough to know
that I will be buried in my silks
before I will ever hang them up for good.
So, let us instead consider this
a cheers to my now full-time post
as superintendent of nautical rivets
and whatever
nuts and bolts may be required
by dear England in her hour of need.
But the real tribute tonight goes to Iris,
my brilliant wife, who in the morning
sails toless troubled shores
with our nestlings in tow.
Iris is wiser than Solomon,
stronger than Samson,
and more patient than Job.
But she has to be. She's married to me.
[crowd laughs and applauds]
[film narrator]
In the Moroccan city of Casablanca,
Prime Minister Churchill
has held meetings with President Roosevelt
to agree on plans
for the next stage of the war.
As Hitler's Nazis
tighten their grip on occupied Europe,
a mighty host of Allied troops
Excuse me.
[clears throat] Excuse me.
Excuse me. Pardon me.
Excuse me. Thank you.
and prepare for the battle that will
decide the fate of the free world.
In the words of
President Franklin Roosevelt,
"The fascists asked for it,
and they're going to get it."
We work together if I'm not mistaken.
You're not mistaken.
[film narrator chatters unintelligibly]
Have you seen the main feature,
Confessions of a Nazi Spy?
It's, um... it's based on a real, um,
FBI agent Leon G. Turrou,
T-U-R-R-O-U, who tracked
Nazi spy rings
in the United States in 1938
and went on, amazingly, to arrest
a number of Germans for espionage.
[exhales] Sorry, I'm late.
I'll let you watch.
[clears throat]
It was very gracious,
what you said tonight.
More gracious than it needed to be.
I meant every word.
And I didn't mean for it
to hurt you this way, my leaving.
It seems I'm always the last to go.
- [sniffles]
- Stronger than Samson.
We're off first thing in the morning.
- And I haven't finished packing.
- Well, up you go then.
- Safe journey, my dear.
- I will write to you.
We'll write to each other.
[kiss, sniffle]
They have to go.
Of course they do.
If Hitler reaches London, a Jewish family
will be the first on their list.
I would never expose Iris
and thechildren to that danger.
A separation made all the more painful
if it were to become permanent.
She told you?
I pleaded my case many times
for our family, for the marriage.
Iris says marriages change, that
romance and love belong to the young.
I don't believe that
or feel it.
And the thought
they may never be coming back
I know I can be remote,
lost in my work
not as attentive as I might be.
You're an imperfect person.
I doubt you're the first.
I want Iris to be happy,
even if it comes at
the expense of my own happiness.
I've never heard her
say a word about unhappiness.
That's because she knows
you'd jump on a grenade for me.
Only on your good days.
Iris said if I really cared,
I'd come to America with them.
Oh, people say all sorts of things.
She knows your duty is to your family
and your country.
The nightmare marching this way
is only too real.
And Masterman has asked me
to serve on The Twenty Committee.
So you must.
Starting tomorrow.
[somber music playing]
Goodbye, darlings.
All right, now. That's it. That's it.
Godspeed, darling.
Our family manor
will be a freezing tomb without you.
Take care of your brother,
Ivor, and yourself.
[car revving]
It's cold.
I will see to a fresh pot immediately.
They will drag me back
to the bowels any moment.
Fresh air, such a luxury now.
Let's walk.
Everyone but a bloody fool
will know it's Sicily.
That may be, Prime Minister,
but it is the only path forward,
given that we must find a way into Europe.
And the most strategic path is Sicily.
It leads to Rome.
France will follow.
A successful assault on Sicily
means we will knock Italy out of the war,
shatter Nazi morale, and spell
the beginning of their inevitable doom.
Inevitable? Our losses mount daily.
As you said yourself, sir,
"Sicily is the soft underbelly."
I know what I said.
I want to know how it will be achieved,
convincing Herr Hitler we're not gonna do
what anyone with a bloody atlas
can see we'll do.
Hitler will need to believe
that our next target is Greece,
which, yes,
will require an elaborate deception.
A deception plan so complex
I believe it can only be handled
by The Twenty Committee.
Which is why I shall focusthe committee's
attention on the "Trout Memo,"
the document I compiled a few years ago,
to which my assistant,
Lieutenant Commander
Ian Fleming, made some contribution.
"Intelligence is like trout fishing."
"The trout fisher, in tying his lure,
attempts to attract the fish."
I detest fish.
Well, fish as metaphor, in this case.
Uh, the Trout Memo
is a definitive blueprint for spy-craft.
Prime Minister, the memo
in the hands of The Twenty Committee
may, I believe,
hold the key to deceiving Hitler.
And while some of the ideas
may appear fantastic...
I applaud the fantastic.
It has many advantages over the mundane.
But the more fantastic,
the more foolproof the plan must be.
Our troops are near dead
from heat in Africa.
I gave Roosevelt my word Sicily was next.
An invasion date of July
is now set in stone.
And right now, thousands of our boys
already lie in Europe's soil.
If we do not fool the Nazis,
and the enemy is
waiting for us on those beaches
history herself
will avert her eyes from the slaughter.
[somber music playing]
[Charles] Mother?
Mother, please do not touch
the dolomite while I'm at work.
A lobe in one of the cams is missing.
I don't have time to find it now,
but haven't we learned
that an overhead camshaft
is virtually useless
without its properly functioning mate?
You might worry about
finding your own mate.
I hope to return with sugar cubes.
And Robbie?
Have you had success
in bringing Robbie home?
- I'm doing all that I can.
- Pulling strings like you promised?
- Every string within grasp.
- A real-life war hero.
And where is Chittagong?
[typewriter clacking]
[typewriter clacking]
Good God, what's he doing here?
Montagu? I invited him.
That was a mistake.
[man] The main deception we will
feed the Nazis will run as follows.
Our Twelfth Army, which does not exist,
with its 12 divisions,
which also do not exist,
will invade Greece six months from now,
on the 10th of July.
We will develop numerous tactics
to reinforce this deception,
bogus troop movements, fake radio traffic.
Our agents
will recruit Greek interpreters,
buy up a sizable cache of drachma,
all to take the focus off Sicily,
the real targetand the site
of the actual invasion that same day.
And the centerpiece of this deception?
As I just said,Commander,
Twelfth Army is the centerpiece.
It's not enough, I'm afraid.
The tactics you've just outlined would
point to Greece, but if we had
to get Hitler to divert actual troops
from Sicily,
given her strategic importance,
we would need to provide him with proof
of our intention towards Greece.
- Fake proof, of course.
- I agree with that.
And to that end, um,
I've also been working on
a deception plan,
which I've dubbed Operation Trojan Horse.
It's a... it's a ruse taken
from the Trout Memo.
Idea number 28.
Number 28? A corpse carrying false papers
drops on the coast
from a parachute that supposedly failed.
The Trout Memo is dead.
I believe the prime minister
has an aversion to fish,Admiral.
He did not kill the entire memo.
A corpse carrying fake documents, hmm?
Of all the ideas in the Trout Memo,
that one is by far the most precarious.
Except the Germans will be
skittish on account of Spain,
where they recently
failed to follow up real papers
on the body of an airman
washed up in Cadiz.
So may I suggest the timing is perfect.
- [Godfrey] For Trojan Horse?
- Mm.
A code name a child could decipher.
And the Germans would be expecting us to
plant papers precisely because of Cadiz.
Or the Nazis being linear thinkers
would not want to
make the same mistake twice.
Simply a version of the Haversack Ruse.
Of which, of course, I am well aware.
[Ewen] Then you will also be aware
that the ruse has a good track record,
which is what I believe my friend
Uh, Flight Lieutenant Cholmondeley.
was trying to say.
For those of you who don't know
Lt. Commander Montagu,
he joins us from the Old Bailey,
which means he's had
little time for deception.
I've spent my days in court, sir.
Hence, he is blind to the obvious pitfalls
of tossing a letter-laden corpse
into the sea.
I'm simply saying that for a deception
to reach Hitler, it must have a channel.
Spain is neutral,
the ideal place to launch such a plan
because she is crawling with
spies from both sides.
- She has a vast coastline.
- [Charles] And since our agents
in Madrid have
an elaborate network, we could
quite literally float the documents
right into enemy hands.
Montagu and Cholmondeley
are clearly convinced
they have a direct line to the Fuhrer.
So let's wish them both luck
implementing Operation Trojan Horse.
The rest of us will proceed
with the operation I have outlined.
I have a vested interest in this plot,
which is why I've told M
in no uncertain terms
you'll need a secure space,
command center, a staff
But do we think it can work?
- I know I just made a case for it.
- An eloquent case.
It's the Haversack Ruse.
It's tried, tested.
"Deception needs a channel."
Those were your words.
They were. I'm only imagining
a dead body
hurtling through the air.
The plan is bold, there's no question,
but it's ours now, regardless.
M's seen to that.
Although, what if the body
does disintegrate on impact?
[Ian] Let's not bring that up now,
shall we?
And definitely not in front of M.
[Ewen] Why do you call Godfrey "M"?
[Ian] Because I called my mother "M."
Most terrifying, most impossible,
most demanding creature I've ever known.
[Charles] What if the plane with the body
is intercepted before he's dropped?
[Ewen] So, Mother has no faith in this?
[Ian] That's because Number 28
wasn't Godfrey's idea.
It was mine, a plot I cribbed
from Basil Thompson's novel
The Milliner's Hat.
- Have you read Thompson?
- I prefer Buchan.
[Charles] Or what if the autopsy reveals
that he didn't die of drowning?
Or if the briefcase is returned to us
without the Germans seeing its contents?
Charles, why on earth
do you keep poking holes in our plan?
I'm preemptively poking
to ensure all the details
are properly thought through.
Because as Godfrey made clear,
our feet will be
held to the fire soon enough.
The plan will work if we make it work.
He's put you down here.
[Ewen] I will certainly
be removed from prying eyes.
[Charles] Removed from
life in all forms, even the air.
Will you be joining us down here, Fleming?
I will likely stay upstairs.
But whomever is equally industrious
will succeed equally well.
- The Milliner's Hat, no doubt.
- Ah.
Oh well, The Twenty Committee certainly
has its advantages,
I suppose, if you like spooks.
My friends think I'm
working in naval supplies.
My mother believes I'm a clerk.
And Robert Cholmondeley?
My brother.
I did hear the news from Chittagong.
My deepest condolences.
No, yes, we've lost a real hero.
Leaving my mother with me, the penguin,
RAF pilot and officer
with big feet and bad eyes,
which means I'm,in effect, grounded,
flightless bird.
[Ewen] Well, what say we start with
the easy part and find ourselves a corpse?
You can take your pick, to be honest.
That goes right down the corridor.
Right, you can go straight through there.
Two, three, lift.
[fast-paced music playing]
You did say drownings.
[phone ringing]
Room 13.
Coroner Birtwistle for you.
[Hester] This is the same
Official Secrets Act
you signed for Bletchley,
but this covers your work
with The Twenty Committee
and here in room 13.
Male, of service age, drowned.
- Now, tell me why you want him?
- Where are his legs?
And are there 20 in The Twenty Committee?
No, twenty's a joke. Two Xs.
Ah, the Roman numerals.
- Oh, as in double-cross?
- [laughs]
You will use your Bletchley skills
to fish for cues in decoded chatter
about Sicily, Greece,
enemy troops in those areas.
Is that understood?
The team in 102 are planning
fake training exercises.
106 are running double agents.
107 will be dropping leaflets on Cypress.
I don't know yet
what the leaflets will say.
And yet here we are in a huge city
in the middle of a world war,
and we can't seem to find ourselves
a single suitable corpse.
We need an insider.
We need Bentley Purchase.
And to what purpose would the body be put?
A warlike operation,
that's really all we can say.
Although we can also say
that the body must be male,
of service age, intact,
and could pass for a drowning.
Intriguing, but I'll have to demur.
Public confidence in our office
would be irreparably shaken
if something like that got out.
[Ewen] Like the Darby case?
You remember the Darby case, Bentley?
I brought you in
to give the evidence a second look.
Your testimony won the case.
Case cemented your reputation,
which led to your position here,
if I'm not mistaken.
[clicks tongue] In a nutshell.
The matter here is urgent.
It is top secret,
and it is approved at the highest level.
- It cannot be high enough.
- Churchill has approved it.
[clock ticking]
[footsteps echoing]
Fresh as a daisy.
Transferred from
Saint Pancras hospital yesterday.
[nurse] What is your name, dear?
[Bentley] This is
Glyndwr Michael.
[nurse] What is it
you do for work, Glyndwr?
[Bentley] There is no occupation
noted in the man's chart.
Appears he was originally
from Aberbargoed,
but in London, he was a vagrant,
no fixed address.
Cause of death is chemical toxicity
from rat poison left on bread.
I want you to know,
God forgives you, Glyndwr,
for hating yourself so much
you'd take your own life.
[Bentley] It appears the man
ended his life while of unsound mind.
Luckily for us, the human body
contains a host of chemicals naturally,
so determining how he died
should he be immersed in water
would require a highly skilled coroner.
Where would you be landing him?
Most likely a small coastal town.
[Bentley] Where the local coroner,
if there's one at all,
won't have the foggiest idea
why this chap kicked the bucket.
Do you have any relatives, Glyndwr?
Do you have a next of kin?
The body is unclaimed,
but I must warn you,
our friend will soon start to rot.
I can place him in our coldest box,
which will retard decomposition
but not arrest it.
Meaning if Glyndwr Michael
is to be of any use to you at all,
he must be in service within three months.
[match strikes]
[typewriter clacking]
[Ian] In the real war,
there are constant reminders
of the brutality at hand.
A quarter of a million lie dead in battle,
an unspeakable horror
with no end in sight.
I'll be at my club.
And I shall be up to no good
as usual.
[Ian] While in the other war,
the war of shadows
normal life appears to continue,
itself an act of canny deception.
[typewriter clacking]
[cool jazz playing]
[crowd chattering]
[Ian] In this war,
real lives are also lost,
and even fictional lives
can meet an untimely end.
[Ewen] I believe my guests
have preceded me, Teddy.
They have, sir,
and ordered their drinks.
[Ewen] Thank you.
[Ian] And once in a great while,
the laws of nature
reverse themselves entirely,
and the dead are made alive again.
We were just discussing our chap.
The crucial thing is that he must be real.
As real as you or I.
He must have parents, for example.
Rank, regiment,
bank accounts, love affairs
Nicotine habit. He attended Oundle.
Flew kites as a boy.
And on a blustery day, you'll still
find him kiting in Dulwich Park.
Thing is, the Germans will
scrutinize every detail of our fallen man.
- So the slightest inconsistency...
- Ah, Teddy. Thank you.
- Martini.
- Thank you.
- Gin and lemon for the lady.
- Thank you.
Even the, uh, slightest inconsistency
will signal the ruse.
So, to create a real fake man
from a real dead man,
we start by...
By giving him a real, real name.
- John would be solid.
- James. George. Robert is good.
- That's my brother's name.
- [Ewen] Of course, forgive me.
- But William could work.
- [Ewen] It could.
And William would be a Royal Marine.
An officer in the Royal Marines
if he's carrying secret letters.
[Ewen] Exactly right.
An officer in the Royal Marines
with a common British name,
so that when
the Germans check the Navy lists,
it will be harder to
track down a Major William Martin.
With your identification number.
How very clever.
So, if the Germans do follow the name...
[Charles] Ewen will be the first to know.
There it is, as if I were him.
- Now, all we need is his photograph.
- In Royal Marine Blues.
No, no. Marines travel in battledress,
and our Marine will be traveling.
And the uniform cannot appear new.
It must be broken down.
It must have exactly
the right patina of wear,
as if I were him.
There must be a love story
if Maj. Martin's life is to be believable.
[Ewen] Objection.
Creation of a material fact.
A real life need not be a romantic one.
He would carry a letter from his betrothed
professing her deep love for him.
That's very good. That's precisely
the level of detail we need.
- And he would carry her photograph.
- Yes.
Well, we clearly read different novels.
Well, why not ask
some of our female colleagues
if they might be willing
to submit snapshots,
and perhaps we can
find a partner for our Major Martin.
That's not a risk?
Picking a girl working in the Admiralty?
She's an anonymous girl,
washed up on a distant shore.
Oh, she might even be thrilled
to find herself
in the middle of a dangerous plot.
Lives at stake, countries at war.
Her lover torn away by duty and fate.
You want me to help you?
[Charles] And by extension,
help your country.
Yes, you know all the girls
in the office and, um,
I've seen the way you go about your work.
You're very clever and,
uh, meticulous and...
You've been watching me.
No, no, not... there's certainly...
there's nothing untoward, I simply
[takes a deep breath]
If you could point me to a girl
who would give us her photograph.
But what would her photograph be used for?
Well, I'm afraid that's classified.
But, um, by donating her image,
she'd be involved in
and on the ground floor
of a significant operation.
Operation Trojan Horse.
It's been renamed,
something less obvious.
Operation Mincemeat.
Due to the dead body.
- You surmised that rather quickly.
- I already knew the plot.
[drawer opens]
[item clatters]
Would something like this do?
Taken by my husband a long time ago.
Your husband,
I didn't realize, um
Well, it... it's
lovely. It's... it's perfect.
It could be my
contribution to the mission.
First of many, perhaps.
My photograph in exchange
for a seat at the table.
Very well.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Jean] I'm all ears.
Well, we've managed to find a body.
Pretty as a picture.
[Charles] And the process
of transforming him into
Major William Martin is on the way.
[flash bulbs popping]
Bloody hell!
Let's just not attempt
to make him smile again, please.
- Does none of us any favors.
- Because he looks dead, Bentley.
Whatever we do, just deader and deader.
It's hard to come alive
for one's close up in this state.
If we bungle one tiny detail,
a droopy eyelid,
an open mouth instead of a smile,
we might as well telegraph
Berlin ourselves it's all a hoax.
Then may I suggest a live face?
That looks just like the dead face?
In a city of nine million,
surely someone resembles our friend.
[piano playing]
[indistinct chatter]
Do we think he'd be dancing?
Major Martin, if he were here?
Well, he is an officer.
Well, not all officers dance, and I doubt
our Bill gives two figs for dancing.
No, too full in the face.
- But without themustache?
- His brow is too heavy.
Why don't we try something easier,
for God's sake,
like looking for tits on a bull?
Forgive me. That was uncalled for.
No, I saw the photographs.
It's called for.
As for dancing, I suspect
the major's not much for a foxtrot
but could clear the floor with a tango.
Our progress to date:
Major Bill Martin is an industrious chap,
occasionally forgetful,
habitually tardy, but also clever.
- Amend that to brilliant.
- He's no good with money.
We should include
an overdraft letter in his briefcase.
And is he happy? Is he a happy man?
[Ewen] He wants to be.
He started out with such promise,
a sense of hope about,
about the world, about his future.
But now it all seems dark, uncertain.
He is in the middle of a war.
Exactly right.
He signed up for the Royal Marines.
But once commissioned was consigned
to a desk, which he despised.
Because the life he really wanted
was one of daring and intrigue,
and so he escaped,
and he switched to the commandos,
where he distinguished
himself in technical matters.
The mechanics of landing craft.
And he predicted
the Dieppe Raid would be a catastrophe.
[Ewen] And how right he was.
He sounds like a character
from Sir John's latest novel.
- Masterman is writing a novel?
- [Jean] A spy novel.
Apparently, he thinks of me as his muse.
Well then, he may be in for a duel
because you're Major Martin's muse now.
The girl I was at 20 is his muse.
Nevertheless, it's your photograph
that will be pressed to his heart
when he washes ashore.
Yes, wallet litter
is what you are. [chuckles]
Not as in rubbish.
That's just spy parlance
for the bits and pieces
that one finds in one's pockets.
And do I have a name?
Not five weeks ago,
the major looked across a crowded room.
Across a crowded room.
The major sat
at a small table in a strange bar
and found himself with a woman
both known and unknown to him all at once.
Within days, something deep
and unexpected had blossomed,
culminating in a diamond ring
slid onto Pam's slim finger
as Bill revealed himself to her
as a changed man.
[man] Jean?
There you are.
I had him down as a guest.
Yes, under Lieutenant Commander
Montagu's name. Thank you.
- Please, sit.
- Thanks.
I suppose it's very fashionable
these days marrying an American.
Who, me? Oh no, that'd be my lucky day.
Jean and I only just met, but, uh,
well, so far she tolerates me well enough,
so I guess there's hope.
I'm a widow.
So, this is my friend
Sergeant Roger Dearborn.
[Roger] It's nice to meet you all.
Jean said you wanted to talk to me?
[flash bulb popping]
Or you didn't want to talk to me.
Uh, no, we did, because we were
discussing something, top-secret project.
[Charles] A study.
American servicemen and how they might
[splutters] integrate
with British troops.
That's top-secret?
The Nazis wreaked havoc
with the radio antenna.
Well, I'm not sure what that has to do...
What, what we're wondering is whether you
would care to participate in the project?
It wouldn't take much time.
Just a few questions.
Allow us to take your photograph.
We could arrange for you
to come around to the Admiralty,
say tomorrow.
Go on. It'll be fun.
- Okay, then.
- Very nice to meet you.
- Thanks.
- So, I'll see you tomorrow.
Hopefully, see you soon.
What do you think? Well, he could do?
- I know he's not a perfect match, but...
- A gift horse. He will do.
A toast.
To Pam, our secret weapon
who's already managed
to see what we could not.
No, I think it was after university
that Bill took up the bass
[Ewen] I think it was trumpet.
which was frowned upon
by his mother, Antonia,
a devout Catholic who at all times
kept a candle lit for Saint Jude.
Every piece makes a whole.
A man is a mosaic.
Will you wake your family
getting home so late?
My wife is in America with the children.
Hester told me just this morning
she'd taken a job there,
with the British Security Coordination.
Hester told you?
May I just say I was
very sorry to hear of your husband.
I've been alone for many years,
which is why it pleases me
to see Bill and Pam so madly in love.
Pam is very lucky
to have you cheering her on.
And Bill, you.
Thank you for walking with me.
I can see you all the way up.
Actually, I think I'll stay.
What, in there?
No, I couldn't possibly.
I'm perfectly capable
of taking care of myself.
Who would argue otherwise?
It's Bill and Pam's favorite song.
[big band music playing]
[Jean] Whoo!
It was more like a lethal Lindy Hop.
You flattened every male
of fighting age in the place.
I was testing it out.
Oh, a secret weapon against the Nazis.
Pam's secret weapon.
Her way of forgetting her woes.
Major Martin will need
the stamina of an ox.
She's a surprising woman though,
isn't she? Pam?
At a crossroads in her life, still young.
Probably, hasn't quite found her stride.
Is she younger than Bill?
I hadn't pictured them that way.
Well, Bill's hardly old.
If you say so.
What I think Pam sees in Bill
beyond the dashing figure he cuts
when he walks into a room,
is something deeper.
And Bill suspects the same in her.
But at first, all he sees
is a woman of fierce intelligence,
uncommon grace,
a demon on the dance floor.
A woman ready to take wing.
I think she's already on her way.
A happy story.
Except that he's off to war.
Which is tomorrow's work.
And I'll need your help.
I'll wait here till you're in.
I'll be fine. Thank you.
[typewriter clacking]
[Hester] Writing sample number five,
standard blue-black,
in leather wallet, in pocket
soaked overnight in seawater.
Seawater from?
It does matter, Hester.
Disposal shut down the road
in all directions.
A child found
an unexploded firebomb in her garden.
Oh, dear God.
No word from Bletchley?
Nazi command still expects us
to launch a naval assault on Europe.
They suspect a massive deception
operation is underway.
They still believe Sicily
will be the target.
So, two months of work
and we've managed to deceive the enemy
of precisely nothing.
The one bright spot is I found
a hydrographer. I'm meeting him now.
Well, I hope it's not
Hespers from Naval Operations.
The man is an incorrigible skirt chaser.
My skirt can defend itself,
but I could use your expertise, Commander.
- [laughs]
- [Ewen] Very well.
[phone rings]
Room 13.
That is his rank,
Lieutenant Commander.
Of course. They were just less formal
when I saw them a few weeks ago
dancing at Rainbow Corner.
- [woman 1] I saw them a few rows back
- Lieutenant, Admiral Godfrey.
[woman 2] Joseph Cotton plays
an American engineer hiding in Anatolia.
[phone rings]
- Admiral.
- So, where are we with Mincemeat?
[Charles] We're on a solid footing, sir.
Yes, Major Martin is as real as you or I.
He has hobbies,
debts, a girl. They're... They're to marry.
We have a ring, ha.
We believe Major Martin
should be delivered by submarine
rather than air-dropping
and risk dismemberment.
And we are convinced that Spain is
still the best place to float him ashore,
given the fascists' network there
and Spain's neutrality.
And we believe
the plan is ready to present, sir,
to the prime minister.
I agree.
Well, that's, uh, that's excellent news.
I'll present it to
Churchill this afternoon.
- I'll need a brief.
- Well, we've prepared one for you, sir.
You'll be more than ready.
And your partnership with Montagu. Please.
How has that fared?
Nothing short of first-rate, sir.
Montagu and I think with one mind. We, um,
we've developed a shorthand.
Become good friends.
Huh, So you've
met his brother, then? Ivor.
No, no. Montagu rarely speaks of him.
[inhales] Are you aware
he's a Communist sympathizer?
Montagu's brother? That's absurd.
[Godfrey] Our intelligence
suggests otherwise.
Why would our intelligence
be watching Ivor Montagu?
[inhales] Whatever Ivor may or may not be,
his brother would be unaware of it.
It's always sound policy
to keep one's ear to the ground,
don't you think?
[Godfrey] Thank you.
I shall look forward to good news
from the prime minister, sir.
I only mention it because Charles
asked me out to dinner tonight.
Did you invite him to join us?
I didn't say I was going with you.
I sense he'd be upset somehow.
[Ewen] That's silly.
The man's not a child.
Oh, I almost forgot.
What do you think?
It's beautiful.
Charles and I
ducked out at lunch yesterday.
He preferred the round cut,
but I prevailed with the marquise.
Let's see it on.
The only place
this belongs is in the safe.
Admiralty property.
Yes, of course.
You think Pam will like it?
I think she might.
[pensive music playing]
[indistinct chatter]
[Charles] This should be in the safe.
Yes, I was about to put it back.
I wanted to show it to Jean.
You gave it to Jean?
I showed it to her.
I wanted to see what she thought of it.
If you're so concerned,
stow it away yourself.
In matters of protocol,
it seems bad practice,
sloppy even,
for us to be going off as separate pairs.
Like you and Godfrey.
He called you in alone just now,
didn't he?
Why was that?
Godfrey is only happy when he's
stirring up suspicion and discord,
as you well know.
- [Hester] Room 13.
- [phone ringing]
Bentley Purchase for you.
Yes, Bentley, what is it?
[Bentley] We've had an unexpected visitor.
Ms. Michael heard of
her brother's passing from
Stafford Hospital.
A kindly nurse who cared for him then
took it upon herself to find his kin.
God bless her.
- Please accept our deepest...
- We only had each other you know?
He needed looking after, Glynnie.
[inhales] But I let him go to London.
[rain pattering outside]
And then I
[Churchill] Stamps,
an unwrapped mint?
- It's called wallet litter, sir.
- Yes, I know what it is.
But it's the letters in the case
that are key to this deception,
are they not?
They are.
Military correspondence
indicating that we will invade Greece
while hinting
that our cover plan is Sicily.
The brief contains
details of the correspondence.
What happens when the ink
washes off as the letter bobs in the sea?
They need to use waterproof ink.
Only someone planning to drown
writes in waterproof ink.
that's true.But, uh...
A detail your men clearly understand
as they state here that,
"Further testing of undetectable
waterproof inks remains to be done."
[makes kiss sounds]
Yes, good boy.
[makes kissing sounds] Come on.
Given how little you
appreciate of this plan, Admiral,
Rufus and I wonder
why you're endorsing it at all.
I am not endorsing it, Prime Minister.
My advice is that Mincemeat is killed
before it sees the light of day.
Our other deception plans are strategies
designed to confuse the enemy,
throw him off balance.
Mincemeat, on the other hand,
is an outright lie.
A lie that,if detected, would expose
every single other deception as false.
The Germans would know
unequivocally we were landing in Sicily.
I think that's too big a risk.
Nonetheless, I would like to
keep Mincemeat running a little longer.
It may yield intelligence on Ivor Montagu,
whom we suspect is a Russian spy.
You will put the fate of one Russian spy
over tens of thousands in Sicily?
With respect, Prime Minister,
I'm trying to look at the bigger picture.
Russia may be our ally at the moment,
but she was until recently
in a pact with Germany.
I believe she will soon
be our enemy again.
If Ivor Montagu is spying for Moscow,
he can be turned,
or if necessary,eliminated.
This is the problem
when one is dealing with spooks.
You do see it.
The corkscrew thinking required
to manage spies
sometimes twists one too many turns
until one finds oneself charging forward
while at the same time
looking out of one's own ass.
I assume you're referring to me.
Russia is tomorrow's war.
The Nazis are expecting a deception,
which means that our effort
must be unbelievableenough
to make it believable.
The plan is risky.
It's also highly implausible.
Meaning that all the reasons
it shouldn't work
are the same reasons
the Germans might believe it's true.
So, when can it be ready?
- Immediately?
- Correct.
Gather your resources.
Put Mincemeat in the works as of now.
[Godfrey] Of course, sir.
Do you think we can get him buried soon?
But... Not that anyone's
waiting for me at home,
but a simple service might be nice.
The truth is Glyndwr is employed now.
- Employed?
- In the service of his country.
He's not dead?
[Charles] He is engaged in a
top-secret mission.
As what?
You do know thatGlynnie
was never right in the head.
Well, that
may be your experience of
Glyndwr, but, um, [clicks tongue]
people are often
one way with family, a
different way entirely out in the world.
One minute Jekyll, the next, Hyde.
[inhales] Where is he?
We have Churchill's approval.
As you just heard, Ms. Michael,
the prime minister has approved
the plan to make your brother a hero.
We, we do understand
that this is the most enormous sacrifice.
But his service, he... he can save
literally thousands,
tens of thousands of lives.
What did you do to him?
Did you carve him up for experiments
or rations?
[inhales] Maybe you should tell the police
about what you did to my brother.
Ms. Michael,
in acknowledgment of his service
and empowered by his Majesty's
government and by Glyndwr himself,
it is my honor to offer you this
generous remuneration.
- You're bribing me.
- Your brother is going to war.
He's trying to do
the right thing for his country.
His country is trying to do
the right thing by you.
[intense music playing]
May Glynnie's poor
suffering soul rest in peace.
No thanks to you.
[music intensifies]
May God forgive us all.
[Ainsworth] I miss Spain already.
There's a reason we stay
as far from headquarters as possible.
Yes, we envy youdaily.
[Ian] I must congratulate you,if I may,
Captain Ainsworth, on The Night Starling.
I grabbed a copy at Hatchards yesterday.
I have not been able to put it down.
My God, who isn't writing a novel?
Admiral, our navalattach in Madrid,
Captain Ainsworth, is here today.
And this is assistant navalattach,
also from Madrid,
Lieutenant Commander Gomez-Beare.
Captain. Commander.
Good to know
we can still reel you gentlemen in
from our far-flung outposts.
Montagu and Cholmondeley
will run the briefing today.
The operation is theirs, and being theirs,
is now theirs to fuck up.
[Gomez-Beare] Quite a vote of confidence.
[Ewen] Our story begins
in the Spanish fishing port of Huelva
on the Gulf of Cadiz,
where Major William Martin,
a British officer
bearing classified letters,
will wash up on shore
after his plane has been tragically lost.
The officer is not an officer.
The papers are false.
The plane crash will not have occurred.
Instead, we will release
our man from a submarine
in order to exploit
the Nazi spy trail,
which begins in Huelva,
Don Gomez-Beare's territory,
and then moves to Madrid,
Captain Ainsworth's turf,
and ends in the heart
of German intelligence,
the Abwehr in Berlin.
We will need to move
these fake documents quickly
with the help
of two key German operatives,
Karl Kuhlenthal in Madrid
and his right-hand man
in Huelva, Adolf Clauss.
Clauss is an exceptional spy,
and if a body
washes up in Huelva with papers,
Adolf Clauss
will get his hands on those papers.
Clauss reports
to Karl Kuhlenthal in Madrid,
where Kuhlenthal is seen
as a golden boy by the Abwehr.
But MI5 have found Kuhlenthal
to be a one-man espionage disaster.
Gullible, incompetent,
and he happens to be one-quarter Jewish,
where under Hitler's regime,
even a drop of Jewish blood means death.
[speaking German]
[Ewen] Although luckily for Kuhlenthal,
he was recently cleared as a good German.
But he is now desperate
to impress his superiors
before Berlin remembers
that he is Jewish after all.
So, we need Clauss
because he is a good spy
and will get the papers,
Kuhlenthal because he is a bad one
and will believe them.
Together, they ensure the best chance
that our documentswill land in Berlin.
Where success
depends on another key figure,
Hitler's favorite adviser,
Colonel Alexis von Roenne.
Von Roenne controls military
intelligence at Nazi High Command,
and Hitler will not believe anything
without Von Roenne's blessing,
which is a challenge for us
because Von Roenne is brilliant.
A real spy's spy.
- Though, there have been rumors
- And at this point, only rumors.
that Von Roenne
has turned against the Fuhrer,
and that he
and a group of anti-Nazi plotters
are trying to destroy
the Nazi war machine from within.
We've heard rumblings
of this anti-Hitler faction before.
We judge it to be a ruse
to infiltrate our inner circle,
so we will proceed as planned.
The prime minister wants all resources
employed to make Mincemeat so convincing
that Von Roenne believes it,
Hitler believes it, and even we believe
we are landing in Greece.
To that end, we are preparing
the fake documents for the briefcase now.
[typewriter clacking]
The key one being an off-the-record letter
between Generals Nye and Alexander,
and in that letter,
the lie about Greece is planted.
Of course we'll get
our letter approved tomorrow,
but you simply must sit on Q Branch
to deliver our canister,
and then on to the submarine.
- Dear God, what about the submarine?
- "How are you getting on with Eisenhower?"
Cut and dried.
The letter must have a natural tone.
"Hope all is well.
The General sends his best."
Hmm, can't have them
cackling like two hens.
Archie Nye and Harold Alexander
are old friends.
I've had letters
from the bank manager with more zing.
It's a first draft.
And we can't allow personal flourishes
to distract from the military
misinformation we need Hitler to swallow.
No, unless we want to
bore him to death first.
And now, Hester has asked me
if she can write the love letter
we're putting in Major Martin's pocket.
She should write it and then
submit it to your withering gaze.
[indistinct chatter]
Do you know where
Jean stands with Sergeant Dearborn?
- The American?
- Yes.
I think she's moved on.
Did she tell you that?
You do see Jean outside of work,
don't you?
We will occasionally work over dinner
to iron out Bill-and-Pam details
for verisimilitude's sake.
For instance, tonight,
we are placing the ticket stubs
as agreed next to
the receipt for Pam's ring
in the major's breast pocket.
Trouser pocket.
His breast pocket
is where he keeps her photograph.
Sorry we're late.
It's bedlam out there!
It's true. We're all like moles now,
scurrying around in the dark.
One blind man leadeth another,
both fall in ye ditch.
["I'm Going to Get Lit Up" playing]
[crowd laughing]
[typewriter clacking]
You out again tonight?
My reputation as a slouch
must be upheld even in war.
And you? Busy writing away?
Writing what?
- Supply requisitions, mostly.
- Aha.
[song continues]
"Do you take the same size hat
or a larger size like Monty's?"
[Ewen] Good, isn't it?
The Spartan general. Big head, bigger ego.
It's a joke.
[Godfrey] This is
hardly the place for jokes.
Everyone feels it could do with
alterations and improvements.
The Twenty Committee, Chiefs of Staff,
Naval Intelligence, Q Branch,
MI5, MI6.
[typewriter clacking]
[man] To retard the decomposition,
the body must be tightly sealed.
The canister's double skin
will be made from 22-gauge steel,
then insulated with asbestos wool,
and dry ice.
Heat and oxygen,
a corpse's deadly enemies.
And the watch, what does it do?
A buzz saw.
Buzz saw? Is that code for...?
For buzz saw.
The bezel's edges
are filed into razor-sharp teeth.
- [whirring]
- We'll all be lit up as
The Strand was only more, much more
And before the plot is played out
They will fetch the Fire Brigade out
To the lit-test up-est scene
You ever saw
So, what I'm asking, Lieutenant Jewell,
is whether or not your submarine
could accommodate a 6-foot thermos?
Well, technically, I suppose.
But my crew on the Seraph are a sharp lot.
What would I tell them?
Tell them it contains a top-secret
meteorological reporting apparatus.
Sounds like the stuff of fiction.
You're not a writer as well, are you?
We're surrounded by them, you know.
- Germans?
- Writers.
[song continues]
"Please ask your ADC
to send me some oranges if possible."
General Nye can't be
made to sound like a scrounger,
even to the Germans.
Especially to the Germans.
[Ewen] But he does need
to sound like a human,
which is what I have
rather artfully achieved.
Millions of lives are at stake.
The letter will be revised
until everyone is satisfied.
- Draft?
- Fourteen.
With the day still young.
We're out of time.
Jewell can hold the submarine
for the next fortnight only.
The Seraph is in Scotland,
docked at the Holy Loch.
Not Siberia?
[typewriter dinging, clacking]
You know the irony
of this preposterous stalemate
is if Archie Nye were
composing this letter himself,
he'd write it any damn way he pleased.
[suspenseful music playing]
It's dull as ditchwater.
General Nye is dull as ditchwater,
which is why a charmless and
utterly boring letter is perfect.
And the general was only too happy
to put pen to paper once I asked.
Far be it for me to point out,
but his version is a near carbon copy
of my very first draft.
There is a chain of command,
and for you to go directly to Nye...
Whatever punishment you deem fit, sir,
I will fully accept.
Although General Nye did ask
why we hadn't come to him straight away.
Admiral, Major Martin is overripe
and must be launched on April the 30th,
the next waning moon,
only two weeks away, and the only window
where we have access to the Seraph.
[Ewen] And in keeping
with the chain of command,
it is you alone who can
grant us approval to proceed.
[screaming, laughing]
To the most satisfying moment
Here, here.
of the last two months!
- Cheers.
- Cheers to us.
And Pam's letter, Hester,
how many revisions has that gone through?
Oh, many, but I think
I finished a passable version today.
Well then, we must hear it. Ladies
and gentleman, we have a love letter.
It's your moment to shine, Hester,
a dry run before Fritz has a look.
- Oh, I'm not one for the spotlight.
- Oh, what spotlight, Hes? It's just us.
- Oh, no, I can't.
- [Charles] Yes, you can,
please, please.
- [Jean laughs] Please.
- Well, if you're all so keen.
- [Jean] Yes, we are.
- [Ewen] We are.
You read it.
[clears throat]
[clears throat] The Manor House.
Marlborough, Wiltshire, Sunday 18th.
"My dearest Bill,
I think seeing
one's beloved off at the railway
is the poorest form of sport."
"A train going out
can leave a howling gap in one's days,
and one has to try madly
and quite in vain to fill it
with the things one used to enjoy."
[somber music playing]
"Why did we have to meet
in the middle of a war?"
"For if it weren't for this madness,
we might be married by now,
and I wouldn't be in this
dreary office typing minutes all day."
"That last lovely
golden day we spent together,
I never wanted it to end."
"And I know it has been said before,
but I do wish that time could stand still,
even for just a minute."
"So don't let them
send you off into the blue
the horrible way they do these days."
"Now that we've found
each other out of the whole world,
I don't think I could bear it."
"All my love
You have an eyelash.
I'll see you tomorrow.
For you from upstairs.
[suspenseful music playing]
[Godfrey] So you agree, then.
Ivor Montagu is spying for the Russians.
[Charles] His file would
seem to indicate that he is.
[Godfrey] He hasn't revealed
Mincemeat to the Soviets.
We would have
picked it up at Bletchley if he had.
Now that's not to say that he won't.
There is nothing to suggest that
Ewen discusses anything with his brother.
And nothing to prove that he doesn't.
Now, we could send Ewen to America
to be with his wife and children.
Might make it easier
to keep an eye on his brother.
You'll get the credit for Mincemeat,
should it succeed.
It was your idea, after all.
we could keep him here.
You are asking me
to spy on a man I work beside every day.
I'm asking you
to assess the danger to your country.
You also have a brother, don't you?
Had a brother. Fallen in Chittagong.
Hmm. And your mother is desperate
to have his body brought home.
[somber piano music playing]
I've knocked on many doors, but
so far, nothing.
Until now.
[flashbulbs popping]
Fold the letter,
but each fold only once.
Then we'll photograph the folds.
If the letter is returned,
the wear to the fibers will show
whether or not it's been opened.
Then the eyelash idea,
which is a good one.
What eyelash idea?
We place an eyelash in the fold.
If the lash is gone upon return, well,
it's another sign the letter's been read.
[Ewen] The bigger worry is ensuring
that the letter arrives in Berlin.
[flashbulbs popping]
If it lands with the Spanish Navy,
there's a good chance
they could return it to us
unopened and unread.
That's if the letter arrives
in Spain at all.
It's a big sea.
Many detours await one little briefcase.
Pam's letter?
New love, so
handled, worn.
And the photograph?
And the briefcase?
[piano music continues]
Let's slide him in and seal him up.
He doesn't look like a driver for MI5.
Looks like Errol Flynn.
And what drink is he on, his fifth?
[Hester] Sixth, I think.
Last round, Teddy,
and then we really must cut him off.
[Hester] It'll be
an interesting drive to Scotland.
You should give Jock Horsfall a wink.
He may be pickled, but he's also single.
Except, you're seeing Roger.
No, I haven't seen much of Roger,
[hesitates] now we're so busy.
- We were just friends.
- Ah, oh well.
His loss.
See you tomorrow.
[Ewen] So, Jock,
how many times
have you made the trip to Holy Loch?
Oh, I can do it with my eyes closed.
I sometimes have to if my
astigmatism is playing up. [chuckles]
But dead of night's a jolly time to drive,
and you'll have my van. Customized V8.
She can run upwards of 125 miles per hour.
I was there, you know, when you thrashed
those six BMWs at Donington Park.
That was my Black Car.
MI5 made me garage her
now that I'm an official chauffeur.
They say she's a menace on the road.
But I do miss her. [sighs]
[jazz playing]
I'll give you a moment.
[sniffs] So, this tin can of yours.
What's in it?
Hmm? Oh, optical equipment.
Do you know how high my clearance goes?
It's a dead body.
We're going to play
a humiliating trick on Hitler.
- Is he even capable of driving now?
- I fear we're about to find out.
Anyway, um,
since it's Major Martin's last night.
[music continues]
[Jock humming, scatting to melody]
Seems strange, doesn't it?
Sending our dear Major off to die?
You do know he's already dead. [chuckles]
In a way, yes, but in another,
he's very much alive,
our clever, dashing man.
Which is why I'd like
to thank you, Charles.
It's been a grand adventure.
For the two of you.
For all of us.
We gave Bill a life.
One Glyndwr Michael never had.
We gave him Pam.
I wanted Pam.
I only mean
that our imaginings
often surpass what is real, don't they?
I come home every night to a bereft mother
pining for her favorite son.
Hester lives the spinster's life,
working around the clock
rather than face an empty bed.
Ewen's real life is off in America,
where he must worry
about the safety of his wife and children
until they return.
Or did he not mention that to you?
He said something about America.
It's all a game
to him, you know?
You do know that.
All the
dinners and dancing.
Not that I blame him.
Who wouldn't want the attentions
of a beautiful woman? But, um
There's even talk of Ewen
joining Iris and the children in America.
Family should be together during wartime,
don't you think?
I think I stepped on your toe.
Oh, well, at least it wasn't me for once.
Got such a busy day tomorrow. [sniffs]
I really must go.
- Jean, you're not leaving.
- I am, obviously.
But why?
Jean, what just happened?
I have been overcome
with embarrassment at my own stupidity.
This game we've been playing.
Bill and Pam, the young lovers,
as if you and I were...
as if this weren't a real war.
Do you not realize
people are talking about us?
Is this about gossip?
What... what does it matter
what people say?
We both know there's
nothing going on here.
I don't... I don't mean nothing, as in
I left behind childish games
many years ago, Ewen.
The day I buried the man I loved.
And while my life
may not look like much to you,
I have made my way, alone
with the occasional
admirer to pass the time.
It's certainly easier
and safer.
You'll be late for your drive,
and I'm going home.
[somber music playing]
[canister rolling]
No dallying, ladies.
We've a clock to beat.
And we'll have to feel our way along,
thanks to the blackout.
I saw you talking to Jean tonight.
What were you saying?
I was apologizing
for my dancing.
It's easier to accept death
when you can't see it coming.
[engine starting, truck screeching away]
[tires screeching, horn honking]
[Jock yells unintelligibly]
It's curious
about your brother.
My brother?
You never speak of him.
He does live with you, doesn't he?
He travels mostly.
Although, I'm not sure
why that's any of your business.
Or why you would
say something to upset Jean tonight.
Godfrey thinks Ivor's a communist.
- You've spoken to Godfrey about Ivor?
- [Charles] Godfrey brought him up.
Well, Godfrey despises eccentrics.
Aren't all spies eccentrics?
Ivor is a dilettante,
an inveterate ne'er-do-well who founded
the Cheese Eaters League in Cambridge
and the International
Table Tennis Federation in London.
And his trips to Moscow?
My brother joined
the British Socialist Party
for five minutes, about as long as
his interest in anything lasts.
[suspenseful music playing]
[typewriter clacking]
[Jewell] Down here!
Excellent timing!
Well ahead of schedule.
But then I'd expect nothing less
from his Majesty's finest.
Finest what?
I think my testicles dislodged
somewhere near Dumfries.
[Jock laughs]
And good news, Lieutenant.
I was able to honor your request.
Much appreciated.
I know it was last-minute. Thank you.
What request?
Jewell was good enough
to find me a bunk on the Seraph.
What do you mean "on the Seraph"?
Someone should accompany Major Martin
to his final resting place.
- That would be Spain.
- Yes, where the Seraph is headed.
Are you out of your mind?
We didn't get clearance
to go to Spain with him.
We didn't even discuss it.
Don't you think that one of us should show
some respect for a man who gave his life
and who now serves us
and his country so nobly?
If unwittingly.
Don't you think at least one of us
ought to do the right thing?
We're going straight through
back to London.
I'm driving.
[doorbell ringing]
Do you know what time it is?
I just need a moment.
There's an apology I must make to you,
and then I promise I'll go.
I wasn't being honest with you
or even myself
when I said there's nothing between us.
In fact, the very opposite is true.
My life is complicated.
It's not an excuse
or a defense or anything, really.
Only to say
that my feelings for you are real.
I should have
realized that a long time ago.
[emotional music playing]
And perhaps I might have spared you
the embarrassment of last night,
because if I in any way...
You didn't.
I know you have a wife and family.
I do.
And you and I,
we have a war to win.
Major Martin is in dangerous waters now.
He'll need us more than ever.
I hope you're able to sleep.
[somber music playing]
[typewriter clacking]
[typewriter clacking]
I left my Bible below deck, so
In the twinkling of an eye,
at the last call,
for the trumpet shall sound,
and the dead
shall be raised incorruptible.
And we shall all be changed.
Have we heard anything?
Not yet.
[Jean] I thought I might take a moment.
Say a prayer to St. Jude.
Should we pray for Major Martin?
For Major Martin.
For the success of our mission.
For those we love.
[waves crashing]
[indistinct dialogue]
[in Spanish] Marco!
- [in Spanish] What?
- Listen
[somber music playing]
[Ian] And so, the hidden war continues.
Lies are whispered anew.
Shadows still flicker.
Even the ground refuses
to steady in this wilderness of illusions.
A man dies.
Another begins his journey
and waits for his story to be told.
But in the conventional war,
the wheels of combat turn,
the forces of men
and machines swell until suddenly
the die is cast.
There is no turning back.
U.S., Canadian,
and British forces will strike
26 beaches over 100 miles
of Sicily's southern shore.
We'll be mobilizing 100,000 plus men,
3,000 freighters and sweepers
with 1,800 heavy guns, 4,000 aircraft...
[woman] Commander, if I may.
Does the build-up continue
despite our intelligence?
Intelligence that shows
Germans continue to reinforce Sicily.
The prime minister still
hopes to turn the tide
and convince Germany
that our target is Greece.
He is now relying almost entirely on us,
so we have work to do.
[indistinct chatter]
- Morning Charles.
- Morning.
- You don't look any the worse for wear.
- I should.
There's a reason tall men
don't serve on small submarines.
Hitler's still reinforcing Sicily.
[inhales] That can only mean
the other pieces of our deception plan...
Have missed the mark.
But Major Martin has washed ashore.
Gomez-Beare has been
called by the Spanish police.
Our plan proceeds.
The fate of the Free World
dependent on a corpse and a donkey cart.
[in Spanish] All good.
[in Spanish] from Cardiff Martn Willy.
And then look
what is inside that bag, please.
Thanks for notifying me
a comrade of mine has fallen.
I'm Judge Pascual del Pobil,
instructor of the Spanish Navy.
[in Spanish] I guess that would be
a complicated case for a local forensic.
[in Spanish] I'm Dr. del Torno,
provisional forensic
and head of pathologic anatomy
department at a university in Madrid.
The local forensic died.
By the way,
I fired the local police of Huelva.
They are corrupted
and controlled by the Nazis.
I will take care of this personally.
It is clear that your naval officer
was floating in water for quite some time.
[Charles] The critical task now is
to make the Germans think we are frantic
to reclaim the papers, while guiding
the papers right into their hands.
Since his personal objects
belong to the British government,
you can take them with you.
Me? Take them now?
Yes. No need to go through my superiors,
Commander Gomez-Beare.
The papers are yours
to return to your king.
[Charles] On the ground,
our Assistant Naval Attach,
Don Gomez-Beare, is with
the body now and will make sure
the documents get to the German police.
Also known as the Spanish police.
I appreciate the offer.
But there is a protocol,
and we both know
the minds of naval superiors.
Do you know mine?
- Admiral Moreno?
- Moreno is a hopeless nitpicker.
Moreno is a pain in the ass.
So why rouse the beast?
Better to gather the papers
and keep them here for safe-keeping,
give a full report to Moreno later,
then return them to me.
We could. But it is hot.
Your man stinks.
And lunch and a siesta
are only moments away.
But they are watching, are they not?
Those men.
Fine, if you insist. The papers will go
to our Naval Office in Huelva.
In the meantime,
dear coroner, make this quick.
I see no reason to rush.
I specialized in drownings at the Academy,
so I find this case of great interest.
Specialized in drownings?
Yes. If this case even is a drowning.
[Ewen] Once the autopsy is complete,
we'll work our end through David Ainsworth
at the British Embassy in Madrid.
British Admiralty on the phone.
The Germans have bugged the phones there,
so any message wepass to the embassy
is essentially a message to Berlin.
Oh, they asked that you
use the unsecured line.
[suspenseful music playing]
- [Ewen] Captain, is your line secure?
- Of course.
[Charles] Good, 'cause we've
just received news
that one of ours washed up in Huelva.
[Ewen] Carrying top-secret documents
General Nye's camp is
very anxious to recover.
I'll begin inquiries right away.
[Charles] And the fact
that we're looking for papers at all
must remain classified.
[music reaches crescendo, ends]
[gagging and retching]
Doctor, our man here has clearly drowned.
His body has given up the ghost,
I think we can agree.
There is only one decent thing
we can do now for his poor sodden soul.
The burial is set for 0800 hours tomorrow?
[Gomez-Beare] Only because
the expert pathologist from Madrid
nixed the autopsy, thank Christ,
and not a moment too soon.
The bad news is the Spanish Navy
in Huelva has the case under lock and key.
[Charles] Then our only hope is
helping Adolf Clauss get his hands on it.
Before the case makes its way
to Admiral Moreno's office in Madrid.
Well, the dung beetle
will surface soon enough.
[Ewen] Nope, we need him
to surface sooner.
We'll jolt him with an unencrypted cable
sent to your office tonight.
Make casual request to Spanish Navy
to return case and papers. Stop.
Do not alert German interests
to the necessity of securing
these documents back
into British hands, stop.
Unless you expect
a thank you from Herr Clauss,
I think our work here tonight is done.
[Ewen] Get the list through.
In the morning
I just saw the name Montagu.
Ewen's wife, Iris.
She and I correspond.
We've known each other
for years, of course.
[somber music playing]
[Roger] Jean!
Goodness! Roger!
I am so sorry. I've been meaning to...
No, no. It's okay.
I'm just disappointed since
it feels like I barely
got to say hello to you,
and now I have to say goodbye.
The boys and I are
shipping out in the morning.
In the morning?
- Where?
- I'm not at liberty to say, but, uh
Well, I don't know
when we'll see each other again, so
Wherever it is, Roger,
I do hope you'll be safe.
May I write to you?
[Jean] Of course.
Please write.
[takes deep breath]
[emotional music playing]
[Roger places kiss]
[in Spanish] In the name of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ
[Gomez-Beare in Spanish]
It will be my funeral next.
I should've taken that
bloody briefcase when I had the chance.
My superiors are frantic for it.
Perhaps the case is already en route.
To where? Have you heard gossip?
This is a small town, Lieutenant.
Treacherously small.
The chair maker has been asking questions.
[in English] Adolf.
What a pleasant surprise.
Quite the turnout for our man.
[Ainsworth] So, Adolf Clauss
turned out to be two steps behind
[car revving]
because the briefcase
has landed in Madrid.
Dear God.
[Ainsworth] Which means it will be
in Admiral Moreno's office shortly.
But let's hope
that Kuhlenthal can't be far behind.
And since we've bugged
every office in Naval Headquarters...
Not every office. Not Moreno's.
- [in Spanish] Admiral Moreno.
- [in Spanish] Come with me, please.
[Ewen] We need to know
what Moreno's up to,
David, so you'll have to improvise.
Time to look up old friends.
[in Spanish] I need to hear
that conversation.
[indistinct chatter]
[suspenseful music playing]
[in Spanish] I've missed you, Captain.
[woman moaning]
[Ainsworth] I heard
the whole conversation.
Moreno denied having the papers,
while Kuhlenthal
insisted he did have the papers.
[woman breathing heavily]
Did Kuhlenthal get hold of the case?
Unfortunately not.
Moreno wasn't open for business.
Dear God! It's hard to see who's more
up a tree with this, us or the Germans.
I would say Kuhlenthal is
desperate enough for us all.
[yelling in German]
The bug in his office caught him
eviscerating Clauss for not
snatching the papers in Huelva.
- [yelling in German]
- [glass crashing]
[Ewen] So he should.
And the Spanish Navy can't seem to
stop reminding us how neutral they are.
They won't let the Germans
anywhere near our briefcase.
Colonel Cerruticould
get hold of the papers.
Spain's secret police
are beyond treacherous.
[Charles] They are, but he's
a keen fascist. He's devoted to Hitler.
And we have no other choice.
We have to get the papers to Kuhlenthal.
[Ainsworth] Colonel Cerruti
ran me as a double agent years ago
without ever realizing
I was a triple agent for our side.
But I've steered clear
of the Colonel for some time now.
[Ewen] He's gone dry?
[Ainsworth] He requires
careful handling.
[in Spanish] Are you here
because you missed me, David?
We sympathize, David,
but Churchill has put his money on us.
We cannot tell the prime minister
that we've hit a dead end now.
[tense music playing]
[hanging up phone]
[in Spanish] I am here, Colonel,
out of our shared duty to the Fuhrer.
Admiral Moreno insists
they know nothing of British documents
we know are in his possession.
Papers the Fuhrer needs to see.
And what is in the documents?
Something the British
are very keen to hide.
Now, I know Moreno is incorruptible
but in your hands
And what of your hands?
[music intensifies]
[Ceruti breathing heavily]
[suspenseful music playing]
[indistinct chatter]
[footsteps receding]
[both speaking indistinctly]
[suspenseful music continues]
[phone ringing]
[indistinct chatter]
I need some air.
[Ewen] There's no mention of Cerruti
or Kuhlenthal in any of these transcripts.
We don't know if Cerruti met with Moreno,
or if he even took the case,
or if he read the letter.
We are utterly in the dark.
Is that what
Charles and M were discussing?
Charles and Godfrey?
Yesterday. I saw them
outside talking alone.
And you're telling me this now?
[Jean] I wasn't aware
I was supposed to tell you
or anyone.
[Hester] He can be like this
when he's under pressure.
You mustn't take it personally.
[Jean] The waiting's driving us all mad.
Why does Ewen's wife write to you
and not to him?
Every marriage has its
difficulties and disappointments.
Haven't we all had our
hearts broken over the years?
What's hard to understand about Ewen,
hidden beneath all the bluster
is his very deep sense of duty.
I only say this
because I'm so very fond of you
and him.
And her.
[teletype clacking]
[Ewen] Moreno's on his way to the embassy.
And Kuhlenthal has just left for Berlin.
[Moreno in Spanish] Captain,
this traveling case
has come into our possession.
We don't know its contents.
We do know it's the property
of the British government.
And at times like these, with countries
at war and allegiances so fragile,
Spain wishes to see
its safe return to its owner.
[in Spanish] Thank you very much.
[tense music playing]
So, the moment of truth.
[flashbulbs popping]
The seal hasn't been touched.
Meaning the letter hasn't been read.
Let's not hang ourselves just yet.
One can, with great delicacy,
remove a letter without
fully opening the envelope.
If the gum has been dissolved in solvent.
Or seawater.
Yes. Yes, seawater.
It is possible to insert here,
grab the edge of the letter,
and then, ever so gently twist.
So it is possible they removed the letter?
Twisting like this
causes the pages to curl,
but, uh, once back
in the envelope, of course,
the letter will lie flat.
So how is a curl we cannot see helpful?
Um, it isn't. It... It isn't.
Unless we wet the paper again,
dry it, and see what happens.
It looks as if the eyelash is gone.
We are not sending 100,000 men
into battle on a missing eyelash.
[music intensifies]
[Charles] So it has been opened.
This letter has been removed
from the envelope, and it has been opened.
Which means it's been read.
[door unlocking]
[floorboards creak]
[footsteps approach]
What on earth...
- Why?
- Why am I not at the club?
I don't work there anymore.
Strange, isn't it?
To find an old photograph of you
amongst Major Martin's papers.
I don't recall seeing him
at the Gargoyle, Jean.
Or, do I call you Pam?
"Dearest Bill,
why did we have to meet
in the middle of a war?"
[clicks tongue] "For if it
weren't for this madness,
we might have been married by now."
I don't understand what you're doing.
[Teddy] There are Germans,
good Germans,
in positions of great influence
that are allied
in their desire to see the Fuhrer fall.
But these men
have been rebuffed by your superiors,
labeled "the anti-Hitler hoax,"
which is a shame
since we both are on the same side.
[tense music playing]
My German friends need
to understand what's happened here.
So, you will tell me about
Major Martin and the letters in his case,
or I will pull out my gun
and put a bullet in your head.
[music intensifies]
We just got this,
the latest intercept sent by General Jodl,
Nazi Chief of Operations.
It says, and I quote,
"Enemy landings
on a large scale are expected in Greece
in the very near future." In Greece.
It came through
at the highest level of encryption.
Do we believe this?
General Jodl.
We couldn't ask for
a more credible source.
[Ewen] And if the Nazis were
moving troops from Sicily to Greece,
it would be Jodl that's moving them.
[telephone ringing]
[man] Q Branch.
Yes. Yes, he is.
Yes, I'll tell him right away.
[music intensifies]
[Charles] The man served us drinks
every night, Ewen! It was your club!
[Ewen] You don't think
I vetted every single employee
in and out of the Gargoyle?
You don't think I'm aware of everyone
around me who might be listening?
Well, you know,
we can't ask Teddy what happened
because his flat's been searched,
and he's vanished!
[Ewen] Every Nazi operative
within our borders has either been turned
or eliminated long ago.
We monitor everyone who might
remotely constitute a fifth column.
We have eyes on every Blackshirt.
Well then, who is this man? Who is he?
Jean, are you sure
that he didn't give you a name?
He didn't indicate
who might have sent him?
Just the Germans fighting against Hitler.
- I assumed it was a lie.
- It most likely was a lie.
Well, he was trying to get you to talk.
But I did talk.
I said, yes, I worked at the Admiralty.
[takes deep breath]
[Jean] And the officer that died,
he was using an alias
traveling with a fake dossier.
He was a spy.
But that he was also
transporting real classified material,
real letters.
It was ridiculous, but
what could I say?
He had the photograph. [sobs]
I gave you that photograph.
[Ewen] Jean, this is not your fault.
[Jean] But they know
the photograph isn't real.
They'll suspect everything now.
We don't even know who they are.
You're not safe here.
I have a guestroom. You can
stay there until we all sort this out.
[breathing deeply]
You would bring her to your own house?
Have you no shame after you've
jeopardized this entire operation?
[Ewen] You approached Jean.
You're the one
who insisted on using her photograph!
You're so busy seducing her that you
took your eye off your own brother.
You think I told Ivor about Mincemeat?
- How do we know he's not behind this?
- I tell him nothing!
Because you know he's
a spy in bed with the Russians!
Don't you tell me
what I know and don't know.
You don't think I imagine myself
at his funeral every day?
My own brother,
tried and hanged for treason.
How fucking dare you?
I am not the one who is running
a covert operation
with a spy under my roof!
No, your brother's a war hero.
And I envy you that.
Whatever went wrong, it wasn't Ivor.
You are a careless bastard, Montagu.
You're careless with Jean,
you're careless with your brother,
and you're careless with your own wife.
I don't need you to remind me of my sins.
[somber music playing]
I only wonder how you
reconcile yourself with yours.
You strike some sort of deal?
Spying on me.
My hide in exchange for
I need to look after Jean.
Everything depends on finding out
who sent that man and why.
What if it wasVon Roenne?
More than anyone else
in German intelligence,
Von Roenne would need to
know if Mincemeat is true.
So he could decide
if what he's whispering in Hitler's ear
is fact or fiction.
Because Von Roenne may be
the one who is fighting the other war.
The secret war.
The war dedicated
to seeing Hitler destroyed.
Either that's true,
or it's a fiction that we want to be true.
What's fact
is that you know I suspected my brother
of spying and refused to turn him in.
So, you know enough
to see me ruined and my brother hanged.
So the next move is yours, Charles.
What's it to be?
What we know for certain
is that within our borders,
our eyes and ears missed nothing.
German spies, Nazi sympathizers,
we know where they are.
We know who they are.
Which means that whoever this man is,
it's not something
we've encountered before.
That's your excuse
for using a photograph
of one of our own operatives?
The photograph was my error, sir.
I was the one who insisted on
choosing someone within our ranks.
The woman is beside the point.
I just wish I could find even a sliver
of satisfaction in having predicted this
fucking disaster months ago.
I'm still receiving intelligence.
- The Germans are preparing for Greece.
- [Charles] It could be a ruse.
It's obviously a ruse,
given the operation's been revealed.
[Charles] Although, not necessarily, sir.
Montagu and I
have been racking our brains,
trying to
decode the message
behind this contact with us.
Why did this man reveal himself?
If he's an agent for the Adwehr,
why would he deliberately signal
that he'd discovered our deception?
It doesn't add up,
which is why the troop movements
to Greece may not be a ruse after all.
Why would the Nazis continue to act
on information they know to be false?
Because Von Roenne is
telling them to act on it.
There's not a shred of proof
of this so-called anti-Hitler plot.
We don't know that it isn't true, either.
- Christ.
- Admiral, this man came out of nowhere.
Perhaps he is the proof
of the anti-Hitler plot.
And he contacted us
so that we would know the plot is real.
And as German troops
continue to move towards Greece,
we would continue to plan for Sicily.
So that Von Roenne can
reinforce that misinformation with Hitler,
leaving Sicily undefended.
That is our instinct.
That is your instinct?
The fate of the world at stake,
the Nazi killing machine
waiting for us on Sicily's shores, and
you two with your instinct.
[Godfrey breathing heavily]
If it were up to me,
I would postpone Sicily
and have you drawn and quartered.
No doubt the prime minister
has been informed?
What does he want to do?
The prime minister
does not want to postpone Sicily.
I pray we can all live
with the consequences.
[somber music playing]
[door closes]
[footsteps approaching]
He's coming home.
Robbie's coming home.
[kisses, inhales] Thank you, my son.
[Ewen] And this is a posting, where?
- They haven't told me yet.
- They?
Special Operations.
I was accepted today.
I suspect because Masterman
put in a good word for me.
Hopefully, I'll find my way overseas
as a courier or a radio operator.
I see.
I can never forgive myself
for placing our operation in peril.
I won't hear it.
What happened is not your fault.
Regardless, it'll take
the grace of God and nerves of steel
to land Mincemeat safely now.
The kind of fortitude
you have demonstrated every single day.
I've played my part
in the Bill and Pam story, Ewen.
It's time for me to go where I'm needed.
[Ewen] You're needed here
with us.
I have to go.
[takes deep breath]
[emotional music playing]
You will have your own story, then.
You will fight your own war.
You will serve bravely.
Our country will be lucky to have you.
And I
You will be reunited
with your wife and children.
A better man.
A man you brought back to life.
I will miss you
so terribly.
[Jewell] The invasion fleet
is now assembled.
The Seraph will be the lead vessel
in the first wave
of the U.S. assault on Licata beach.
Our job will be
to set the sonar homing buoy
to guide the others to shore.
[Charles] A great many others,
we hear, on many beaches.
The largest amphibious
assault the war has seen.
Do you believe
we have Fritz where we need him?
It seems the enemy
has fallen for the deception.
We expect resistance to be
limited to Italian coastal divisions.
Then our fighting men thank you.
I will see you on the other side.
I may vomit.
I may vomit with you.
Every, uh, piece of intelligence
says that the Nazis
are waiting for us in Greece.
And every piece of intelligence
may be the greatest deception
the Nazis have ever played against us.
Why do you think
Churchill still believes this can work?
Because he has to.
Jean has gone.
I heard.
You've had another letter from Iris.
This one's for you.
[typewriter clacking]
[Ian] It is only fitting that the two wars
finally converge in darkness.
[sonar pinging]
[Ian] The target is no longer hidden.
The points are set.
And the forces gather.
Brave men.
Their lives hanging in the balance.
Their fate unknowable.
Their part in history unwritten.
- Action stations, action stations!
- [alarm blaring]
Move yourself!
Move, move, move!
[Ian] But who in these last hours
will bear witness to the hidden war
[typewriter clacking]
unseen by history,
locked away in a buried file?
Its tragedies and triumphs unspoken.
Its heroes unsung.
[Ewen] In God's name, Fleming,
what are you writing?
[inhales] Spy story.
[ominous music playing]
[shells whistling, exploding]
[shouting indistinctly]
It is in this moment
this suspended moment
that my story waits for an ending.
[gunfire, explosions]
As if fate herself
were a blank page.
[music intensifies]
[all shouting battle cry]
[shells exploding]
[bullets whizzing]
[indistinct shouting]
[muffled audio]
[dramatic music playing]
[bullet impacts]
[Ian] An ending redeemed in righteousness.
An ending graced with mercy.
[teletype clacking]
"Allied forces
have landed."
[Ewen] "Limited casualties."
"Enemy retreating."
"Troops met with minimal resistance."
"Beaches held."
[emotional music playing]
[soldier] Coming through!
Out of the way!
[teletype clacking]
[Charles] Here's another one,
from Churchill.
[tears paper off]
"Mincemeat swallowed."
"Rod, line, and sinker."
[music intensifies]
[Ian] An ending
filled with light.
We saved some lives today.
Some lives, not all.
Can never be all.
We don't seem to have saved ourselves.
But those that did make it...
- Glory will be theirs.
- As it should be.
We fooled the Fuhrer, murderous bastard.
There's some glory in that.
My brother has come home.
We'll bury him tomorrow.
It was the deal I'd struck with Godfrey
in exchange for spying on you.
Then I'd like to be there.
I need to go home
and finish a letter to my wife.
But first, I need a drink.
Let me buy you a drink.
Eight in the morning.
Surely someone will take us in.
[touching piano music playing]
[ending theme playing]