Plenty (1985) Movie Script

- He's arrived
- Yes, yes.
There he is. He's here.
There! You see? etc.
I see the other one!
Stay behind the others.
What is it?
What's he doing?
He's got a suitcase
- Don't move.
- What are you doing here?
Ah nothing. Give me a moment
I can explain everything
We'll open his suitcase?
And your French is not good.
I'm sorry, we were forced
to take advantage of your light.
The plane was losing fuel.
I'm afraid I'm supposed to be
eighty miles further on.
Do you think
could you tell me where I am?
You've landed near a village called St Benot.
It's close to a town called Poitiers, all right?
Yes, I think I have heard of it, you know
So, how do I look?
I'd rather not look at you too closely. It's
an element of risk we don't need to take.
In my experience, it's best... it really
is best... if you just obey the rules.
I'll take you to the village.
Then you must make your own way.
How long have you been here?
About a year, off and on.
How's everyone at home?
They're fine.
The boss?
He's fine. He, um gave me
some cufflinks at the aerodrome.
Told me my chances.
- Yes.
- He's getting out of touch.
How's it been?
Well the Germans are still here
Well, I suppose that's our brief.
Keep them here keep them occupied.
- Keep them from the front.
- Worst thing about the job.
The more successful you are,
the longer it goes on.
A friend
a friend who was here used to
say, "Never kill a German,
always shoot him in the leg. That way, he goes
to hospital, where he has to be looked after;
he'll use up enemy resources.
But a dead soldier is
forgotten and replaced."
- Right. Let's go
- Okay.
Goodbye and good luck, eh?
Cafs are bad meeting places...
much less safe than they seem.
And don't go near Bourges,
it's very bad for us.
And don't carry anything in toothpaste
tubes... it's the first place they look.
And don't laugh too much. An Englishman's
laugh just doesn't sound the same.
Are they still teaching you to
broadcast on the lavatory?
- Yes.
- Well, don't.
The whole dodge is badly out of date.
Gestapo have been crashing into
lavatories for a full two months now.
Never take the valley road beyond Poitiers.
I'll show you the side road.
And that's it, really.
The rest, you know or will learn.
Get out.
Where's your gun?
- Let's get going. Come on.
- I'm sorry I'm so sorry
- I'm so frightened!
- Let's get going. Quickly.
I'm not an agent, I'm only a courier, I
just carry messages to certain circuits.
I came tonight... it's my first drop...
there's literally no-one else.
I can't tell you the mess in Poitiers!
My... my f... friend that I told you
about, he's been taken to Buchenwald today,
he was the wireless operator.
His name is Tony
- I need to talk
- Can't talk.
I need to talk, What's the point,
what's the point of following the rules?
I don't want to die. I don't,
don't want to die like that
Un ciel pommel.
What do we call it?
A mackerel sky.
I don't have to go on.
I'll stay if you like.
- Do you have a code-name?
- Yes, it's "Lazar".
- Would you like some tea?
- Yes, very much.
Am I right? Is this your first trip?
Bonjour Susan.
- Bonjour!
- Bonjour
Ah, bonjour, Susan.
Bonjour, Monsieur Villon.
I was just going through the post.
And yesterday's shipment...
it got there okay?
Au revoir.
He's dead!
Yes. He's dead.
Ah! Brock.
- Good morning.
- Morning.
This is very much
Third Secretary stuff, I'm afraid.
There's a man called Radley
dropped dead in the foyer.
British. Would you mind doing the honours?
- Not at all.
- Thanks a lot.
Oh... there's a widow, by the way.
British Embassy.
Heart attack.
- And the widow?
- Over there, sir.
Mrs Radley?
I'm afraid your husband's
had a heart attack.
I thought so.
Everyone at the Embassy
will do all they can.
The police would now like
to take the body away.
I shall go with them.
Or course, I mean, you're welcome,
if you'd like, if you want to
come with me to the mortuary
I'm sure you can cope.
Mr Brock.
Will I see you?
Will you come to the Embassy?
Yes, of course.
This shouldn't take long.
Ah, Brock. Join us.
You're welcome.
I've just been conveying to
Mrs Radley the government's condolences.
A uniquely upsetting experience.
But at least for him, it was painless.
I would hope. He was packing the car.
We were planning to move on this morning.
We only had two weeks we were hoping to make
Innsbruck... at least if our travel allowance would last.
It was our first holiday since the war.
Brock, a handkerchief.
I was persuaded to opt for an embalming.
I'm afraid it may involve you
in some small extra cost.
Excuse me, but you'll have
to explain the point.
- I'm sorry?
- Of the embalming, I mean.
Well... ah... particularly in the summer, it avoids a
possibility of the body exploding at a bad moment.
I mean, any moment would be bad, that goes
without saying, but... on the aeroplane, say.
I see.
Mm. You see, normally the
body's simply washed, and, uh
I don't know how much detail
you want me to provide
- I think it would be better if...
- No, no, I would like to know.
Tony was a doctor.
He would want me to know.
Well, to be honest, I was
surprised at how little there is to do.
There's a small bottle of spirit... colourless...
and they simply give the body a wash.
The only other thing is the stomach.
Now, if there's been a meal... a
recent meal - Tony had eaten...
at breakfast, I think. Erm, you insert a pipe
into the corpse's stomach to let the gasses out.
They insert it and there's a
strange sort of ssssssigh
- I think
- It almost leaves no mark.
Apparently, when the morgue attendants are bored
sometimes they set light to the gas for a joke.
- Makes one hell of a bang!
- Shall we all have a drink?
But I'm sure it didn't happen
in this particular case.
There is gin there is tonic Yes?
Thank you.
I'm afraid we do need to discuss
the practical arrangements.
The whole subject is very distressing
but do you want the body flown back?
Well, I can hardly stash it
in the boot of the car.
What the Third Secretary is saying
not buried on foreign soil.
You see, for the moment,
the Government picks up the bill.
But later, we will have to charge it to
the estate. If there is an estate.
I'm sorry...
I don't mean to interfere.
Well, I think we now
understand your needs.
I'll have a word with the travel people
and make a booking for tomorrow
morning's flight, if that suits?
Yes, of course.
You will be travelling back
with the body, I assume?
No other dependants? Children?
He doesn't like you.
I'm sorry?
The Ambassador.
Oh, well, no. I don't think he's
over the moon about you.
I shouldn't have said that.
No, it's just that Darwin thinks that
disasters are examinations in etiquette;
- which fork to use in an earthquake.
- Darwin?!
- Is that his name?
- Hm
the mission all think it's God's joke.
God dashing off a modern Darwin who is in
every respect less advanced than the last.
I'm sorry. We sit about in the
evenings and polish our jokes.
Brussels is rather a debilitating town.
Is this a bad posting for you?
Well, I had hoped for
something more positive.
Fresher air.
The flag still flies over a quarter of the human
race and I would have liked to have seen it, really
Whereas here we're left with
the problems of the war.
- I wasn't his wife.
- No.
- Had you realised that?
- I thought it possible.
What about Darwin?
- Did he realise?
- Lord, no. It would never occur to him.
We met during the war.
Tony was a wireless operator for the S.O.E.
I was a courier
motoring together it was easier to
say we were man and wife.
In fact, I was barely even his mistress.
He rang me a few weeks ago, and
I was amazed that people in our organisation
didn't know each other all that well. I mean...
even now you don't know who
most of your colleagues were.
Perhaps you were in it.
Perhaps I met you.
I don't know.
Those of us who went
through this kind of war
I do think we have something
in common. It's a kind of
impatience. We don't suffer fools.
Back in England, the people who stayed
behind can seem childish, and a little
silly. I think that's why
Tony wanted to get away.
If you haven't suffered
Well. So, driving through Europe at least I knew I'd
be able to act as I pleased for a while. That's all.
May I ask you a question?
Yes. Of course.
- If you are not his wife... did he have one?
- Oh... yes.
- I see.
- And three children.
I had to lie about those.
I couldn't claim them, somehow.
She lives in Crediton in Devon.
She believes Tony was travelling alone. I
think he told her he needed two weeks by himself.
That's what I was hoping you could do for me
phone her.
I've written the number down.
I'm afraid I did it before I came.
And lie?
Well, yes I would prefer it if you lied.
But it's up to you.
All right. it doesn't matter.
- No, that's not what I said.
- Please, it... it doesn't matter.
Why did you choose me?
- What?
- For the job. You didn't choose Darwin?
Well, I might have done.
You don't think you wear your
suffering a little heavily?
This smart club of people you belong
to who had a very bad war?
I know it must put you on a different level
from the rest of us.
You won't shame me, you know.
There's no point.
I wasn't particularly fond of Tony.
But we had known some sorrow together
and I came with him.
And it seemed a shocking injustice when he fell in the
lobby. Unjust for him, of course. But also for his wife.
Bitterly unfair if she had to have the
news from me. Unfair for life.
So, I approached the Embassy.
It makes no difference. Lie or don't lie.
It's a matter of indifference.
Would you um, perhaps... we could
have dinner? Just so we can talk.
No. If I told you anything about myself
now you would only think I was pleading.
I'll just say, "look at me."
Don't creep round the furniture.
Look at me, and make a judgement.
Well, that's done.
- First flight tomorrow morning, without a hitch.
- Thank you very much.
If there's anything else there is a small chapel attached
to the Embassy if you'd care to visit it before you go.
- Thank you.
- Excuse me.
Have you been posted here long?
Oh, no, not at all.
Just a few months.
Before that, Djakarta. We were hoping for
something sunny but Brussels came along
er, not that we're complaining.
They've certainly got things going here.
- Really?
- Oh yes. New Europe.
Reconstruction. Massive
work of reconstruction.
Marvellous time to be alive in Europe.
No end of it. Roads to be built.
People to be educated.
Land to be tilled. Lots to get on with.
Have another gin.
Your wife is asking if you're
ready to go the reception, sir?
- Right.
- And she wants your advice on her face.
Oh. Goodbye, Mrs Radley.
I'm sorry this hasn't been a happier day.
- I'll lock up after you, sir.
- Thank you.
I've put in a call to England.
There's an hour's delay. I've decided to lie.
- I've told you before, get off!
- Oi!
- Could have done with you earlier.
- It's all right. We're almost there.
I expected something grander.
- Why?
- I don't know.
I'm a single working woman.
Over there you're out of touch
with how tough it is at home.
- It's worse than the war.
- No doubt. Well
I've only got two days to put up with it.
Do you may I come back next weekend?
Oh is that what you're going to do?
Commute on the cross-channel ferry?
- What's wrong with that?
- Nothing.
But the winter gets rough.
Right, let's 'ave a look.
One more, darlin', that's yer lot.
My gawd
Oh, dear.
She didn't get them
on the rations, did she?
Mr Medlicott. Mr Medlicott?
I'm afraid you've confused your Guyanas.
- I beg your pardon?
- French...
French Guyana is not in Africa.
The Himalaya is coming
from Cape Town, you see.
But you have it from Panama.
Ah, yes quite. Quite so.
That is, of course, what I intended.
- Quite. Shall I correct it?
- And is there anything else?
Well, the Mooltan is due at twelve
from Bombay. I should think...
- Miss Park!
- Yes?
Oh, I'm sorry, Mr Medlicott, I must be
a little bit late. It's because, um
- I've been finding the work a bit much.
- Miss Park, you only joined us yesterday.
The shock the pace I
- And your clothes?
- Yes, I haven't been home.
- But, that was yesterday, Miss Park
- Yes, well, it's just
oh, God, you know what it's like. Last night
there was this really nice-looking boy.
It was lovely
Well, Mr Medlicott, if you were his boss
this morning come on, be grateful!
You'd be saying, "Isn't your hem a bit high?"
I don't mind being sacked.
Work's going out of fashion.
Oh, really?
Certainly. In a few years,
nobody's going to work.
How are you going to live, then?
Oh, by the way
is there any room for me at your place?
I did live somewhere, but I had to move out. I
was disappointed in love. That happens to girls
- Oh, yes
- Mackerel, please, love.
Right, 'ere you are, love 'alf a pound.
I can't stand queues.
- What about you?
- Oh, I have a boyfriend.
- A diplomat.
- Golly.
- Yes, but he's only here at weekends.
- I don't mind, I can make myself scarce.
At heart, I'm a novelist. I can't help it,
that's what I am I think.
The writer has to experience
every kind of degradation.
It's really the degradation that
attracted me to the job.
You have to live it before you can write it.
This is the place. Look, it's super. If you want
to know what's going on you need to come here.
- Haven't you heard about it?
- No, no I haven't.
Oh, yes. Everyone comes.
- Is this him?
- Yes.
He's not very glamorous.
No... but he's very kind.
- Here you go.
- Ouch.
Alice! Hullo, Alice
- Mick! Darling!
- How are you?
This is a bloody disgrace!
There'll be a riot here pretty soon.
It's absolutely open bloody provocation.
I'm sorry, I'm lost. Why's he so angry?
- He's a revivalist.
- What?
- A revivalist...
- Revivalists are peop... sorry. Please.
There are two schools of thought. The revivalists;
they say you can only play music the way it sounded
originally in New Orleans.
For them, nothing happens after 1919.
That saxophone
it's unforgivable.
- Ah!
- Should be a clarinet.
Me, I'm mainstream I don't care.
Susan, I think that's Alistair
you know, the one who's supposed
to have hair on his shoulder blades
and apparently can crack
walnuts in his armpits.
Oh, well, he'll never be short of friends.
I'm going to go and find out.
I don't know why you pretend to
be so enthusiastic. You don't like jazz.
I do! I'm grateful for
anything that's got a bit of life to it.
- Compared to work!
- Well, exactly.
Charlie Ventura!
It's their names that I like.
Oh, I see.
"Down by the riverside,
Down by the riverside"
Did we order this?
You don't order here.
If you need someone younger
I'm sure I can help you.
Oh, I don't like young men. You're through
and out the other side in no time at all.
- That's the fun of it.
- Yes. I've noticed your flair for agonised young men.
I think you get them in bulk
from tuberculosis wards.
Do you think this place is all right?
It's wonderful.
It's only three hours till
I'm back on the boat.
Do you hate my living with Susan?
No. What makes you say that?
Men are threatened by friendship
between women. They fear our mystery.
Read it in a book.
Well somehow I think I can cope.
- Are you very rich?
- No, not really.
I just have a talent for the Stock Exchange.
Money sticks to my fingers. I triple my income
- what can I do?
- It must be very tiresome.
Hm. I'm acclimatising, you know.
I think everyone's going to be rich very soon.
Once we get over the effects of the war,
it's going to be coming
out of everyone's ears.
- Is that what you think?
- I'm absolutely sure.
I do enjoy these weekends, you know.
Susan leads such an interesting life.
Books, conversation, people like you
The Foreign Office can
make you feel pretty isolated
also, to be honest, can make you
feel pretty small. You can imagine
- Yes.
- till I met Susan.
The day I met her, I realised you must always do what
you want. If you want something, you must get it.
I think that's a wonderful
way to live... don't you?
I do.
You all right, darling?
Shall we go home?
In a minute.
Oh, Alice!
Alice, I'm sorry, I meant to ring you.
- Why?
- I can't come on your boat.
Oh, Susan!
Medlicott's left me in charge
while he goes off to "goff", as he calls it.
But we've got it for the whole day.
We're gonna go up to Kew.
Well, I hope he trips over his sticks.
He sits there every day, staring at me.
I know he's longing to leap across the desk and
rub his wretched old body all over my ledgers.
He wants to take my ears and squeeze them against
his great thick tweeds until they bleed.
God! It would be something.
At least it would be something.
Oh, God, Alice. I need to move on.
Then do. Why all the drama? Just go.
I do it all the time. The trouble is, I go
before people even notice I've come.
But you could make an impact.
No, it's not that.
I asked because I thought
it might cheer you up a bit.
But I want to change everything
and I don't know how.
Shall I tell you how my book begins?
There's a woman in a rape trial,
and the story is true
and the book begins at the moment
where she has to tell the court
what the accused has said to
her on the night of the rape.
And she finds that she can't bring
herself to say the words out loud. So
the judge suggests she write them down on a piece of paper
and it be handed round the court...which she does.
And it says: "I want to have you"
" I must have you now."
so the jury all read it and pass it on.
At the end of the second row there's a woman jurist
who's fallen asleep at the boredom of the trial,
so the man next to her has to nudge her awake
and hand her the slip of paper which he does.
She wakes up and she
looks at it then at him
she smiles and puts it in her handbag!
Cheese omelette!
Made from powder, I'm afraid.
That woman is my heroine!
Yes, well
Well at least it's a three-spoon omelette.
Sod this stuff!
How am I meant to have any artistic bloody insight
when I can't get any halfway decent drugs?
It's because I'm the only bohemian in
London, people take advantage of me.
Perhaps one day Raymond will be posted
to Morocco bring some back in his bag.
I don't think that's really on.
Nobody would notice, from what you say.
- No-one else eating?
- Are they not very sharp?
The ones I've met are buffoons.
- Susan, please.
- Well, it's you who calls them buffoons.
That man Darwin how he needs three young men from
public schools to strap him into his surgical support
I told you that in confidence!
in gloves.
- Darwin is not a buffoon.
- From your own lips!
He has slight problems of
adjustment to the modern age.
You are laughing.
I'm not laughing.
There is a slight smile at
the corner of your mouth.
No, there is not. There
is absolutely no smile.
Alice, I will paraphrase it.
Let me paraphrase Raymond's view of his boss.
It is, in paraphrase, in sum that he would not
trust him to stick his prick into a bucket of lard.
Well, is he a joke, or is he not?
Certainly he is a joke.
- Thank you.
- He's a joke between us.
He is not a joke to the entire world.
I think perhaps I'd better push off.
I wish you would stop using those words.
Words like "push off".
You're always saying it.
"Bit of tight corner" "One hell of a spot".
They don't belong.
- What do you mean?
- They are not your words.
- Well, I'm none too keen on your words, either.
- Oh, yes... which?
- The words you've been using this evening.
- What... such as?
- You know perfectly well.
- No... come on, tell me, what words have I used?
Words like "bucket of lard".
I don't know why
you let her live with you.
I like her.
She makes me laugh.
I'm sorry. I was awful. I apologise.
But the work I do is not
entirely contemptible.
Of course our people are dull.
They're stuffy, they're death.
But what other world do I have?
I think of France more than I can tell you.
I often think of it.
- I'm sure.
- People I met for only an hour or two.
Great kindnesses. Bravery. The fact that you
could meet someone for an hour or two
see the very best of them
and then move on.
Can you understand?
- Susan
- I think that we should try a winter apart.
I really do. I think it's all a bit
easy this way. These weekends
nothing is tested. A test would be good.
And what better test than a winter apart?
A winter together.
I would love to come to Brussels,
you know that. I would love to come
if it weren't for my job.
The shipping office is very important to me.
I do find the work fulfilling.
And I couldn't let Mr Medlicott down.
I know how you hate the winter crossings.
- High seas.
- Please don't patronise me, Susan
Anyway, perhaps in the spring
it would be nice to meet.
Please... don't insult my intelligence.
I know you better than you think.
When you start talking longingly about
the war some deception usually follows.
The Coronation's rather a special affair
- I do apologise.
- Good morning.
I have the whole thing here, lunch
for six hundred. Tomorrow's menu.
I've checked titles in Debrett and
the precedence, as we discussed.
We were just talking about
the order of toasts.
Ah, well, I've suggested the
loyal toast before the pudding
and leave all the others
till after the cheese.
I wonder, does anyone have any suggestions?
- Hello, how are you?
- Have I missed anything?
I was going to make the rather unconventional
suggestion that we split the toasts up.
Perhaps offer just one before we have our pudding,
then leave the others until the end of the meal.
An excellent suggestion
from Viscount Tampan.
- I trust we all agree.
- Yes, yes
Now, there is the
question of police routing
Gosh, I mean, didn't
that take the bally biscuit!
Oh, it was nothing. Honestly.
I was wondering... Susan, do you
have somewhere to watch tomorrow?
I was hoping you might be able to
come and watch the whole thing with me.
Mater and Pater have a house
right bang on the route.
- You'd get a really first-class view.
- Oh, Ashley, how nice. I'd really like it.
- I'll ring you tomorrow, all right?
- Super.
Five hundred cheese graters?
I've got five hundred cheese graters
parked round the side. Interested?
No, I'm afraid you're too late.
- We took a consignment a week ago.
- Oh.
But we are using your spoons
tomorrow, at our banquet.
- I wish I could see it.
- Yes. Yes, I wish you could, too.
Be out of a job after this, then?
Yes... well, I am. Ah, but I'm
thinking of going into advertising.
- Nice.
- Yes, I met some people on the Coronation Committee.
I doubt if it'll stretch me but it
might be a way of having some fun.
So, you'd better tell me how I can help.
Well, I'm looking for a father.
I, erm, I want to have a child.
Look... it really is much
easier than it sounds. I mean,
marriage is not involved
or even looking after it. Er
you don't even have to see the
pregnancy through. I mean
conception would be the end of the job.
You don't want to.
No... no, I'd be delighted.
I'm lucky to be asked.
Not at all.
It's just, um your own people.
Friends... you must have friends?
- Yes, it's, um
- I mean no go on, say.
Well I'm afraid I'm quite
strong-minded, as you know
and so with the men that I've met at
work, or my friends, as you'd say
I usually feel that I'm holding myself in for
fear of literally blowing them out of the room.
I mean they are kind they are able, but I
don't see why I should have to compromise.
I don't see why I should have to make some sad
and decorous marriage, just to have a child.
I don't think any woman
should have to do that.
- You don't have to get married.
- Ah, well
You just go off with 'em.
You don't tell 'em.
Yes, I did think that.
But then I thought it would be dishonest
and so I had the idea of asking
someone whom I barely knew.
- I'd really like to know
- Yes?
why you chose me. I mean,
how often have you met me?
Yes that's the whole point.
With Alice a few times?
Alice says what? I'm clean
obedient haven't got any
morons in the family
- It's not as calculated as that.
- Not as calculated as that?
Several hundred of us, was there?
All got notes, did we?
Saying "Come and meet me at the
Embankment tell no-one bring no friends"
I thought with all this secrecy
you must at least be after nylons.
Oh, I'll buy nylons,
if that's what you want.
Why me?
- I like you.
- And?
I love you. I chose you because
I don't see you very much...
barely ever see you. We live at opposite
ends of town. It's different worlds.
- Different class.
- Yes. That comes into it.
- Five hundred cheese graters.
- How much?
Something over the odds.
Bit over the odds. Not much.
Don't worry.
The Coronation will pay.
- Great sky.
- Yes it's a mackerel sky.
That's what they call it.
A mackerel sky
It can't be what you want.
Not deep down.
I didn't think so.
No deep down, I'd do the
whole damn thing myself.
But there you are. You're second best.
The hour of eleven is approaching, not only
in London but in every corner of the world.
The prayers and thoughts of the people
are centred onto this young Queen of England.
This gracious lady, upon whom such
burdens of responsibility are to rest,
and who bears them with such royal grace.
The Queen.
Oh... sorry.
You all right?
Has your latest chum left you?
Yes, as they all do.
He went back to his wife.
I suppose if they didn't,
I'd stop wanting them.
I had this idea that lust
that lust was very good.
And could be made simple
and cheering and light.
Perhaps I'm simply out of my time.
We ought to do something.
Why don't we go out?
What about you?
Oh, I need to move on.
Is that for you?
No. He's at home.
Mm. Well, there are other people, you know.
I've got so much work to do.
- Who was it?
- Nobody. Wrong house.
What do you think?
I wish she were more, um ordinary.
- Who?
- Well, that woman.
Dog's ordinary.
Oh, God, yes the dog's ordinary,
no question. I'm just worried
will the audience identify?
Well, that depends, of course, how
ordinary they are, really.
Does the dog bowl have to be pink?
yes, the airbrushed ones
Lovely lunch come on
It's good for you
All right, five minutes everybody.
Get that bloody dog back!!
Can't something be
done about that dog?
- Please... can you stay?
- What do you mean?
You can't just walk out.
I've put sirloin steak in the bowl
but the dog still won't go near it.
- You always walk out.
- What do you mean?
Look, if we just took
them out for a drink.
Do you have any idea of the
effort I've had to put into this?
The price I have to pay for sitting
here pretending to be stupid all day.
For God's sake, Roland... look at that
reconstituted yuck. What's it made from?
Account executives' brains?
Is that how they make it?
I have tried. I have. I have tried for months
to sink to the level of this enterprise.
Well, forget it.
The dog has taste.
I'm going to go home.
Hullo, Alice.
Mick... hello!
Gosh, how are you?
I haven't seen you for ages.
No, well, actually, I
I was looking for Susan.
Hello, Susan.
I thought I'd come and
say Happy New Year.
I'll pay for this later.
Come on.
Please let me talk to you.
What possible good could it do?
I asked Mick to father a child,
that's what we're talking about.
Oh, Christ!
Well, we have tried for over
eighteen months is that right?
- Right.
- And we have failed
which leaves us both feeling pretty stupid.
Pretty wretched, I should say speaking
for myself. And there is a point of
decency, at which the
experiment should stop.
- Susan
- The idea was fun, it was simple.
It depended on two adults
behaving like adults.
It just feels bad.
- It feels very bad to be used
- I would have stopped it months ago.
I would have stopped it
after the second month.
You come out feeling dirty.
Well, how do I feel?
What am I meant to feel?
Crawling about in your tiny bedroom paper
thin walls, your mother sitting downstairs
Keep my mum out of this.
Scrabbling about on bombsites,
d'you think I enjoy all that?
Yeah. Very much.
I think you do.
- Look, I just think that
- I know what you think.
You think I enjoy slumming around.
Then why have I not looked
for another father?
Because the whole exploit
has broken my heart.
You think it's my fault.
Oh, Lord!
Is that what you're worried about?
You think it's something to do with me?
That was part of it. Never having to have
to drag through this kind of IDIOT argument.
you don't under... you don't
understand the figures in my mind.
Mick, will you go now, please?
You people are cruel. Both of you.
- Mick
- You're cruel and dangerous.
And you fuck people up this girl here with
her string of married men, all fucked up
all fucking ruined because of this tart.
And you
Jesus Christ!
if we are to consider the exchange of
trade delegations with Romania
then one of the concessions that we would
anticipate would be... a trade-weighted guarantee
in the area of exports and rates of exchange
to use the Mannhein comparison.
- Brock speaking.
- Raymond... it's Alice.
- Sorry?
- Alice, Alice Park.
They waited all night in their
ships, till in the morning the signal came.
The invasion was on.
British and French troops
were finally on the move.
- Excuse me, sir
- The background to these events
Do you want me to make up a bed for you?
I'm going out to dinner.
Now, after the British decision
to take part in an invasion of Egypt,
back home the whole country is torn apart.
There is uproar in Parliament...
and not just in Parliament.
In the street, stranger argues with stranger
about the wisdom of a policy that has led to a pitch
of public dissent unknown for many generations.
Nationwide there is a feeling of shame.
Condemned unanimously in the United Nations,
the British Government still insists
that it will see the operation through
in spite of world-wide criticism and its
isolation from its own American allies.
Tonight, as the military situation worsens
- Good evening, sir.
- Good evening.
- Thank you.
- Leonard.
- How good of you to come.
- Not at all.
Our little gathering
we scarcely dared hope. Please.
- Leonard, you know Monsieur Aung, of course.
- Mr Darwin
- Rangoon.
- Now First Secretary, Burmese Embassy.
An honour, a privilege a moment
in my career. I shake your hand.
- Good, good. Well
- Leonard, do sit down.
Thank you.
I'll just tell my wife
that you're all here.
She's coming.
Why isn't she here?
Is it affairs of state
that made you late?
Say no more.
At home you would
not be forgiven.
In Burma we say, "If you cannot
be on time, do not come at all."
Good evening.
Oh, hello, Alice.
Er, but, of course,
the English... it is different.
At your command... the lion
make its bed with the lamb.
Ah... Darwin of Djakarta!
To have met the man, to
have been alone with him.
I shall dine in on
this for many years.
Dine out on this.
The English language... she is
a demanding mistress, yes?
If you like.
And no-one
controls her so well as you, sir.
You beat her and the bitch obeys.
Good, good, the
language of the world.
Oh, Alice, I hear you...
you've become a teacher?
Only sort of a teacher:
I teach English to foreign students.
How very interesting.
Not really. The only fun is
in trying to mislead them.
I tell them the English are a
cheerful and outgoing people.
When you first meet an Englishman for the first time you
must at once embrace him and kiss him on both cheeks.
Oh, really?
That's what I tell them.
Then I let them loose on the world.
Good evening, everyone.
Leonard how good of
you to make an appearance.
I'm only sorry to
have been delayed.
Brock says you're all ragged with fatigue. I
hear you've been having the most frightful week.
It has been. Yes.
Well, don't worry. Here at least you
can relax. You've met Monsieur Aung?
You can forget everything.
The words "Suez Canal"
will not be spoken.
That will be an enormous relief.
- They are banned, you will not hear them.
- Thank you, my dear.
"Nasser" nobody will
mention his name.
nobody will say "blunder"
or "folly" or "fiasco"
Nobody will say "international
laughing stock".
You are among friends, Leonard.
Shall we all have dinner?
No-one will say,
"death-rattle of the ruling class".
We will stick our lips together
with marrons glacs.
I hope you understand.
I'm sorry. I did ask her to calm down.
She's been giving me hell all week.
She knows how closely
you've been involved.
Do you think we could leave the
subject, Brock? I'm eager for a drink.
Yes, of course.
Who on earth is
that appalling wog?
I mean, in all honesty, Raymond,
what are you trying to do to me?
I'm sorry, sir.
This week of all weeks. He had his tongue so far up my
fundament all you could see of him were the soles of his feet.
- And Madame Aung!
- I know.
Traditional dance, she tells us
about, in the highlands of Burma.
And the plot of Lohengrin.
Mental illness, is it, your wife?
No... no, she just
feels very strongly.
But has there been mental illness.
Not really. A breakdown.
Mm. She'd been
living very foolishly.
A "loose set" in Pimlico.
A series of jobs. Not eating.
We got engaged when
she was still quite ill.
I've tried to help her back up.
Well, that sounds very good.
Second marriage, of
course, often stabilises
Well, the chap in
Brussels. The stiff.
Oh... yes.
You don't have to be ashamed.
I'm not, its
In the diplomatic service, it's not as if a mad
wife were any kind of professional disadvantage.
On the contrary... it almost
guarantees promotion.
Yes, well
Some of these senior men
their wives are absolutely barking.
I take the word "gouache"
to be the giveaway.
When they start drifting out of the room
saying "I'm just off to do my gouache, dear"
then you know you've lost
them for good and all.
Yes, well
Susan is not mad.
No. No.
Do you want to tell me what's upsetting you?
Yes, I will tell you.
We have been betrayed.
We claim to be intervening as a neutral party
in a dispute between Israel and Egypt.
Last Monday the Israelis
launched their attack.
On Tuesday we issued our ultimatum, saying that
both sides withdraw to either side of the Canal.
But, Raymond, the Israelis, they
weren't anywhere near the Canal.
They'd have to advance a hundred
miles to make their retreat.
Who told you that?
Last week the Foreign Secretary
went abroad. I was not briefed.
We believe he met with the French and
the Israelis urged the Israelis to attack.
I think the entire war is a fraud.
Cooked up by the British as
an excuse for seizing the Canal.
And we... we, who are to execute
this policy... even we were not told.
Well what difference
does it make?
My dear boy.
I mean it. It makes no difference.
I was lied to.
Yes, but you were against
it from the start. We all were.
The Foreign Office hated the operation from the very
first mention so what difference does it make now?
All the difference in the world.
None at all.
The Government lied to me.
They are not in good faith.
I see
I see. So what you're saying is that the British may do anything,
doesn't matter how ludicrous, doesn't matter how silly
so long as they do it in good faith.
Yes. I wouldn't have minded how damned stupid it was, I... I
would have even defended it if only it had been honestly done.
But this time we're cowboys
And when the British are the cowboys
then, in truth, I fear for
the future of the globe.
Are you going to resign?
Madame Aung has been enthralling us with the
story of the new Bergman film at the Everyman.
Ah, yes.
Apparently it's about depression
isn't that right, Madame Aung?
I do feel the Norwegians
are very good at that sort of thing.
Oh... I don't think we have
the whole attention of the men.
I'm sorry.
Yes, their minds are elsewhere.
They were probably drafting a telegram.
That's what they do, before they
drop a bomb along the Suez
They send their targets
notice in a telegram.
Now, what does that indicate
to you, Monsieur Aung?
I'll tell you what it indicates
to me: bad conscience.
They don't even have the guts
to make a war anymore.
Perhaps Madame Aung will
tell us the story of the film.
It's something I'd be very eager
to hear.
I feel the others have already heard it.
Oh, go ahead. We like
the bit in the mental ward.
Ah, yes
Raymond'll like it.
He got me out of the bin didn't you, dear?
Yes, yes.
That's where he proposed to me.
A moment of weakness of mine, I mean.
Susan please.
I married him because he
reminded me of my father.
Yes, at that point I didn't realise
just what a shit my father was.
Sorry she has a sort of psychiatric cabaret.
That's very good There's
something about Suez which...
Will you please be quiet?
The story of the film?
There's a woman
who despises her husband.
Is it getting a bit chilly in here?
October nights.
Those poor parachutists
I do know how they feel. Even now.
Cities, fields, trees
farms dark spaces
lights. The parachute
opens. We descend.
Of course, we were comparatively welcome. I mean... we did make
it our business to land in countries where we were wanted.
Certainly the men were. Some of
the relationships... I can't tell you
I remember a colleague telling me of the heat
of the... smell of a particular young girl.
The hot, wet, smell, he said
and nothing since.
Nothing since then.
I can't see the Egyptian girls,
somehow no. Not in Egypt. Not now.
I mean, there were broken
hearts when we left.
I mean, there are girls today who mourn
Englishmen who died in Dachau
who died naked in Dachau. Men with
whom they had spent a single night.
Well even for myself, I do like to make a
point of sleeping with people I don't know.
I find, once you get to know them, you
don't want to sleep with them anymore.
Please, can you stop. Can you stop fucking
talking for five fucking minutes on end.
Well, I would stop, I would stop.
I would stop fucking talking if I ever heard anybody
else say anything worth fucking stopping talking for!
I'm sorry. I apologise.
I really must go.
Monsieur Aung, farewell.
We are behind you, sir.
There is wisdom in your expedition.
Thank you.
May I say, sir these Gyps need
whipping, and you are the man to do it.
Thank you very much, Monsieur.
Madame Aung
We never really met.
No, no, we never
really met, that's true.
Nevertheless, before I go perhaps I might be
permitted to put you right on a point of fact:
Ingmar Berman is not a bloody
Norwegian. He is a bloody Swede.
Goodnight, everybody.
He's going to resign.
Ah! Isn't this an exciting week!
Don't you think? I mean,
isn't this thrilling?
Everything is up for grabs. At last.
We will see come changes. Thank the Lord.
Now, I can get you more dinner. There's ham and
chicken, and... pickles, and lettuce, and tomatoes
and there are a couple of pheasants in the fridge. Ooh... and there
are bottles and bottles and bottles of claret from the cellar.
Why not? There is plenty.
Shall we eat again?
Welcome, Miss Park.
Mrs Brock will be down.
She always rests in this part of the day.
In the afternoon?
Yes. And the morning. She
rests in her room until dusk.
She finds the light too disturbing.
And Raymond?
Please wait.
Miss Park is here.
Tell her I'll be with her soon.
Right, sir.
Please. Mr Brock will be with you soon.
Susan! There you are!
Alice! Oh, Alice!
how nice to see you.
Gosh, how exciting.
Oh, excuse me, I've just been
sorting these books out.
Why, Alice.
Raymond, hello!
You all right, darling?
Yes, thank you, I'm fine.
Susan's lifeline: her room full of books.
I can't tell you have much we've been looking forward
to your visit. It's ages since we saw anyone.
I'm not surprised, Jesus,
the price of the tickets!
Well, well, if you need money
you must ask us.
No, I'm not
I didn't mean that.
Susan. So, tell me about it.
How's it been? Has it been fun here?
God, I've missed you.
I'm longing to hear everything.
Well, I'm very happy.
Darling, could you pass
me that book, please?
It's extraordinary... a perfect amphitheatre.
It's a style that's been around for almost
two thousand years, and it's still there.
Really it's extraordinary.
Can we get out and have a look?
Get out? Well, yes.
Are you not coming?
I've seen it.
I'd rather stay.
I'm afraid we've fallen into
bad habits here at night-time.
We like to play Scrabble.
Lord, no!
Yes Do you play? Susan will never
forgive me. Last week I got "juxtapose".
Mmm? Unbelievable.
Nine letters including the "J" and the "X".
Which, I'm afraid, was on a triple.
It's almost unheard of!
Well, one day, no doubt,
she'll get her revenge.
D'you think this is best?
What? What do you mean?
For Susan.
No... let her say.
I don't like the life people
live now in London.
All that money... does
nobody good. It rots them.
Does untold damage,
as well you know.
Life becomes excitable, and flashy.
Decadent. Frenzied. Diseased.
Here, there is peace and
quiet. A level way of living.
I think you'll find it suits
Susan very well.
If you call it "living".
And the country itself is so
extraordinarily fascinating.
You could spend a lifetime
here and still not get to know it.
Which is why we're so pleased we're staying.
Our tour has been extended another two years.
I've left my job.
Oh, really?
Being a teacher; I decided
to throw it all in.
I'm starting a home for women who
are victims of domestic violence.
A place where they
can be safe from their husbands.
What a wonderful idea.
What will you do?
I'll run it. I will. I've decided
it's time to do good.
What was that phrase about
"having to move on"?
Oh, yes.
I felt such relief. Just
for a while not to think of yourself.
Shall we go back to the car?
It's what I want to do.
Please, Susan, let's
just sit and talk about this!
No. Not just at the moment.
Please, if we can...just talk it over.
Susan. Susan. Come back!
Raymond. Raymond,
what's happening?
Leonard Darwin is dead.
Oh, no. Awful.
Susan wants to go to the
funeral. In England.
Damn you. This is your fault.
Man, that is born of woman,
hath but a short time to live.
He cometh up, and is
cut down like a flower.
He fleeth and never continueth in one stay.
In the midst of life we are in death.
Of whom may we seek
for succour but of thee, O Lord,
who for our sins are justly displeased
Even when you die
they don't forgive you.
He spoke his mind over Suez.
That's why nobody is here today.
I knew if I came over
I would never return.
Darling, I think the driver is ready. We have to
be at Heathrow. We've only an hour to get there
Raymond, I've decided to stay.
Please, before you say anything,
if you could just think about it.
I knew we were going to be
treated to some such nonsense.
Not at all.
I have to tell you that
this is out of the question
Have you any idea of the
implications of what you're suggesting?
Now, who do you know?
I'm sure you'll see some familiar faces.
Hang on... I'll just get you a drink.
and Tony died?
Yes, that's right.
In Brussels?
And you were with him?
Was he your best friend?
He was my only friend.
Apart from one other.
And it doesn't look as
if he's coming today.
You were one of the few women in
Special Operations to be flown into France?
And, er... one of the youngest. At the time,
what did you feel you were fighting for?
Well, I suppose we were
fighting for freedom.
But, I'm not saying um, please,
it wasn't a grand idea.
It was in us.
It was bred in us.
We were fighting for a world
which could be better.
I suppose, in spite of everything,
you must miss those days.
Not really, no. We don't
think about them much.
Sir Andrew will see you now, Mrs Brock.
He only has a few moments, I'm afraid.
Ah, Mrs Brock.
Sir Andrew.
How do you do?
We have met. The Queen's garden party.
That's right.
And I heard you on the wireless only recently
how extraordinary it must have been.
This must seem a very strange request.
If you could leave us, Begley.
Just shuffle some paper for a while.
Sir Andrew, as you know, I take very little
interest in my husband's professional life
but... for the first time in my husband's career
I am beginning to feel the need to intervene.
I had a message, yes.
I hope you appreciate my loyalty
- Oh, yes.
- coming here at all.
Brock is a man who has seen
me through some very difficult times.
I am told.
But this is a matter on
which I need to go behind his back.
It's my impression that since our recall from
Jordan he is in some way being penalised.
I do understand the Foreign Service now; I know my
husband could never come to ask what his prospects are.
Signs indications are all you are given.
Your stock is rising; your stock is falling.
Brock has been
allocated to a fairly lowly job
backing up the EEC negotiating team.
He's part of
the push into Europe, yes.
And the foreign posts he's since
been offered have not been glittering.
We offered him Monrovia.
Monrovia. Yes. He took
that to be an insult.
Was he wrong?
Monrovia is not an insult.
Monrovia is more in
the nature of a test.
A test of nerve, it's true. If a man is
stupid enough to accept Monrovia
then he probably deserves
Monrovia. That is how we think.
But you...
And Brock refused.
Had we wanted to insult him
there are far worse jobs.
And in this building, too.
In my view, town-twinning
is the coup de grace.
I'd rather be a martyr to the tsetse fly than
have to twin Rotherham with Bergen op Zoom.
You are evading me.
I'm sorry. It's a habit,
as you might say.
Your husband has never
been a flier, Mrs Brock.
Everyone is streamed.
A slow stream, a fast stream.
My husband is "slow"?
Well, what is he? First Secretary struggling towards
counsellor. At 41, it's not remarkable, you know.
- But it's got worse.
- You think?
In the last six months. He's never
been excluded from his work before.
Oh, does he feel that?
I think you know he does.
Well, I'm sure the intention
was not to punish him.
We have had some trouble
placing him; it's true.
The rather startling decision
to desert his post.
That was not his fault.
We were told.
We were sympathetic.
Psychiatric reasons
I was daunted at the prospect
of returning to Jordan.
Or course. Arab psychiatry I shudder at the
thought. A heavy-handed people at the best of times.
Look, we understood. Family problems.
Our sympathy goes out
But you are blocking his advance.
Mrs Brock. Believe me,
I recognise your tone.
Women have come in
here and used it before.
I am very keen he should
not suffer on my account.
I also have read the stories in your file,
so nothing in your manner is likely to amaze.
When you have chosen a particular course, when
there is something that you very badly want
but in this matter I must tell you, Mrs Brock,
it is more than likely you have met your match.
We are speaking
of achievement at the highest level.
No-one can be
expect to be cosseted, through.
It's not enough to be clever.
Everyone here is clever; everyone is gifted
everyone is diligent. These are simply the minimum
skills. Far more important is an attitude of mind.
Along the corridor, I boast a colleague who in 1945 advised the
Government not to accept the Volkswagen works as war reparation
as the Volkswagen plainly
had no commercial future.
I must tell you, unlikely as it may seem,
that man has risen to the very, very top.
Perhaps you begin to understand.
You are saying
I am saying that certain qualities are valued here
above a simple gift for being right or wrong.
Qualities that
are sometimes hard to define.
What you are saying is that nobody
may speak. Nobody may question.
Certainly tact is valued very high.
Sir Andrew. Do you never find it in yourself to despise
a profession in which nobody may speak their mind?
But that is the nature
of the service, Mrs Brock.
It is called "diplomacy".
And in its practice the
English lead the world.
The irony is when there was an Empire to administer
there was six-hundred of us in this place.
Now it's to be dismantled,
and there are six thousand.
As our power declines, the fight among us for access to that
power becomes a little more urgent, a little more ugly, perhaps.
As our Empire collapses,
there is little to believe in.
Behaviour is all.
This is a lesson which
you both must learn.
I must thank you for
your frankness, Sir Andrew.
Not at all.
I must, however, warn you of my plan.
If Brock is not promoted within the next
six days I am intending to shoot myself.
Now, thank you, and I shan't stay for the drink.
I'm due for a reception for Australia Day.
I always like to see just
how rude I can be.
Not that the Australians ever notice, so it does
become a sort of Zen sport don't you think?
John, I wonder, could you give me a hand.
If you could take Mrs Brock to the surgery.
Oh, no, people will be waiting for
me at Australia House. I can't let them down.
It will be packed full of angry
people, all searching for me, all saying
"Where where is she? What a let down. I only came
here to be insulted and now there's no chance"
Leave me alone!
I think you have destroyed my husband
you see?
Tea, I think, Miss Simpson.
Begley, will you get
me Raymond Brock's file?
Yes, sir.
You all right, darling?
Yes, fine.
Been out?
To the pictures.
- Good morning, Margaret.
- Good morning, Mr Brock
Now, I know we're all aching to get away for the weekend but
I'm afraid we're going to have to give this most of the day.
EEC fishing policy:
theory and practice. All right?
So, if we look at
page thirty of the briefing
I beg your pardon, Raymond.
Brock, sir.
Ah, Brock.
I need to talk to you
about the incident yesterday.
These are the pension scheme
details you asked for.
Do you want drinks sent in, sir?
What incident is this?
No, it's not going to take long.
I need to ask you to move out of here.
I'm in temporary need of this room.
You can go wherever you like.
And pretty soon also
you're welcome to return.
You'd better tell me what
you've done to your hand.
Well, oh I've been
taking some paper from the walls.
What have you actually done?
You're always telling me
how bad money is for us
you yourself say it it's money
that does it, it's money that rots.
Well, then, isn't this the moment
for one small gesture?
Now what's the best
way to start stripping this room?
Susan. Please. There
is some Nembutal in the desk.
The lease on this
house... what, six years, is it?
It's, it's perfect for Alice
suit her needs all
her homeless mothers.
This place would be just the thing.
If we laid out mattresses
mattresses on the floor by our own hands
of our own free will.
An Iranian vase. A small wooden Buddha.
Twelve marble birds,
copied from an Ottoman king.
What possible
use can they be to us?
Look. Look out the window!
Throw them all away.
Cutlery, crockery, lampshades,
books, books, books
Encyclopaedias, clutter. Meaningless.
A universe of things.
Mosquito nets, golf clubs, china,
marble, glass. Mementoes in stone
What is this shit?
What are these godforsaken
bloody awful things?
Your life is selfish self-interested gain.
That is the most charitable
interpretation to hand.
You claim to be protecting
some personal ideal
always at a cost of almost infinite
pain to everyone around you.
You are selfish
brutish unkind.
Jealous of other people's happiness as well, determined
to destroy other ways of happiness they find.
I've spent fifteen years of
my life trying to help you
just trying to be kind.
And my great comfort has been that I
was waiting for some indication from you
some sign, perhaps, that you
valued this kindness of mine.
Some love... perhaps?
And yet, I shan't really ever give up.
I won't surrender till
you're well again.
And that, to me, would mean your admitting one thing:
that in the life you have lived, you have utterly failed.
Failed in the very,
very heart of your life.
Admit that, and then you
might really move on.
Which is the braver, to live as I do
or never, ever to face life, like you?
This is the doctor's number, my dear.
With my permission, he can put you inside.
I plan to play as
dirtily and ruthlessly as you.
And this time I'm not giving in.
It's Easter weekend.
The doctor's away.
Susan, please
Raymond look at me.
Don't... don't take your clothes
off, whatever you do.
No. 'Course not.
That would spoil it
hopelessly for me.
No, I'm just going
to get my cigarettes.
I roll my own, you know.
Goodness me.
I tell you, there are no
fucking flies on me.
Do you know how I found you?
Through the BBC.
I just happened to catch
that programme, a few months ago.
They told me you were
married and living in London now.
They gave me an address.
No, I left it weeks ago.
Yes, I know. I went round.
I went round and saw the man.
Was he angry?
Angry? No. He just seemed
very sorry not to be with you.
Listen, I have to tell you
I've not always been well.
I have a weakness.
I like to lose control.
and I've been letting it happen
well, a number of times.
I did actually shoot someone
about eight years ago.
Goodness me
did you hurt him?
Fortunately, no.
At least, that's what
we kept telling him.
Raymond went round, gave
him some money in notes.
It was after Raymond's kindness
that I felt I had to get engaged.
Why do people...
I don't know.
Are you?
No. It's
- Go on, ask me anything at all.
- nothing. I don't want to know.
Do you still see him?
Gracious, no.
I've stripped away everything,
everything I've known.
The only dignity is in living alone.
The clothes you stand in
and the world you can see.
Oh, Susan
Don't. Please, don't.
I want to believe in you.
So tell me nothing.
That's best.
Someone gave me this grass.
D'you want some?
I don't know what I'd expected
what I'd hoped for
at the time I returned.
Some sort of edge to the
life that I lead. Some
some sort of feeling that
their death was worthwhile.
Someday I must tell you
I haven't done well.
I gave in. Always.
All along the line.
I work for a corporate bureaucracy as well.
Oh, Lazar, I'm sorry.
I'm just about to go.
I've eaten nothing so I just
I hate this life that we lead.
Oh, God here I go.
Kiss me.
Bonjour, mademoiselle.
You're looking at the village?
I've climbed the hill to
have a better view.
I've climbed the hill to
have a better view.
I've only spoken French
for months on end.
You are English? So young!
Just so.
You are glad the war is over, eh?
You will soon be going home?
Yes. At last.
You go to the party for the victory?
Soon, yes, I'm hoping.
I'm very keen to go.
Myself, I work.
The Frenchman works or starves.
Have you ever seen anything
as beautiful as this?
The English have no feeling... yes?
Are stiff
They hide them.
Hide them from the world.
Hah. It's stupid.
Stupid... yes, it may be
but things will quickly change.
We have grown up.
We will improve our world.
Eh, well
perhaps you like
some soup with us. My wife.
All right.
The walk is down the hill.
My friend
there will be days and
days and days like this.