The Chairman (1969) Movie Script

You must be very clever to read Chinese.
Oh, I'm just playing it safe.
Who knows? They might win.
Yes, interesting.
We have one like this
quite near Moscow, only about, uh...
One-half the size.
It's amazing, Mr. Shertov,
how modest you Russians are in private.
That is because we have
just learned from our Chinese friends
the value of keeping face in public.
Fortunately, that isn't all
you've learned from the Chinese.
We've given this operation
the code name "minotaur."
He was the watchdog
of the inner secrets, wasn't he?
Precisely so.
Good morning, general.
- I assume it's morning outside, anyway.
- Any signal at all?
Plenty of signal...
But also plenty of noise.
Our setup is just too damned potent.
We're getting noise
from all over the universe.
Don't be discouraged. Half a billion
classified federal dollars can't be wrong.
Not to speak of our British contribution...
About 2.10, I should think.
Where is he? Do we have a fix?
About 210 miles
south-southwest of Hong Kong.
Let's hear the bad news.
Uh, good afternoon.
Though I guess it's
"good morning" to you fellows.
You're listening, I sincerely hope.
I'd be upset if you weren't.
Now, there's not much to report.
Uh, I assume I'm being watched.
I'm certainly taking
every precaution to see that I am.
Coming into China
openly this way, via Hong Kong
with an American passport
stamped "not valid for China,"
it's hard on the nerves.
I think it would be more restful
to drop in by parachute.
Just getting the peaks,
the points of high energy.
The dentalizations... d's, t's, et cetera.
You made a suggestion
at our last conference.
Yes. Fill in the gaps
with uniform white noise.
- Nobody thought much of the idea.
- Including me. But let's try it.
The, uh, stewardess
is being very, very attentive.
Which may signify a great deal
or it may simply signify
that I'm a very attractive fellow.
Hong Kong is rather crowded
this time of year.
I hope you have a dinner reservation.
I'm booked into the King Edward.
- Is that all right with you?
- Very famous hotel.
Very British, but very good.
Oh. Thank you.
This is Dr. Hathaway in London.
Washington? Yes.
Hello, Mr. vice president.
How are you, sir?
Yes, I'm calling from London.
Something rather disturbing has come up.
I've had a letter from professor Soong Li.
He's an old colleague and teacher of mine.
We're in the same field.
He went back to China about 10 years ago
and I haven't heard from him since.
Now he writes, telling me that
it'll be impossible for me to visit him,
which is peculiar
because I made no such request.
All right then. I'll wait
to hear from the embassy.
Dr. Hathaway?
Would you come with me, please?
I'm Susan Wright,
the ambassador's secretary.
He'd like you to take up your problem
with the military attach.
Is that all right?
Suppose I don't have much choice.
Well, Shelby.
No matter how I try,
I end up talking to you.
It wasn't my choice, believe me.
Still, I've got nothing
against you personally.
- You're a brilliant man.
- Thank you.
You're just the wrong
brilliant man for this job.
What job? I've got a job.
I know all about it.
You've renewed for another year.
Very attractive woman.
Then I suppose you saw my letter
from professor Soong.
- It was shuttled across my desk.
- Well, what did you find?
A good grade of rice paper,
made in shantung.
A letter after 10 years of silence,
general, means something.
Could be. Squares
with the Russian information,
which is generally reliable
and generally too late.
So they can play their game.
Both sides against the middle.
Shelby, I want this understood.
I'm out of the game. Out.
My orders are to change your mind.
Oh, Dr. Hathaway.
Shertov. Alexander Shertov.
Well, Shertov.
The last time I saw you was
at a cocktail party in Warsaw.
You were then introduced to me
as lieutenant general
in the Soviet tank corps.
Correct. I have since been
promoted to agricultural adviser.
General Shertov has some
disagreeable film he wants to show us.
Yes. Taken by some friends on holiday...
In China.
But now, Dr. Hathaway,
watch the top of the picture.
What do you think is this?
- Wheat?
- Growing in the midst
of hot, wet, tropical Chinese jungle.
Now we are going to see some pictures
taken in the former country of Tibet.
We found a farm, a pineapple farm.
Pineapples, Dr. Hathaway,
growing in ice and snow
at an altitude of 17,600 feet.
Obviously the Chinese
are developing an enzyme,
some sort of growth regulator
that completely erases
the effect of climate.
They can grow any crops
anywhere, in any season.
The Chinese can simply hold out
this little, magic gem
and the undeveloped countries...
Asia, Africa, south America,
90-percent starving, 90-percent peasant...
Will crawl all the way
to Peking to get it.
Hathaway, all we want
is a good sample of that enzyme.
Yeah, sure. Why not? It's all so easy.
Walk into China, mouthful
of international goodwill,
locate the laboratory,
grab the goodies and out,
fast guns blazing in both hands.
I've got a simple alternative.
Name my two kids Chinese.
Look, general, we want
the molecular structure.
That's perfectly true.
But it's in three dimensions.
Just a little bit complicated.
A single molecule of that enzyme
may have as few as 3,000 atoms
or as many as 400,000.
That can't be memorized.
Not even by myself.
That's just as true for your
Chinese professor as it is for you.
He has to have it down
in black and white...
On paper, on film, whatever...
And our instructions
are to get it, any way we can.
I'm sorry. I could do it three years ago.
- I can't anymore.
- Good.
I've seen your memorandum.
You disagree with our far east policy.
Well, so do I. I'm a bigoted,
narrow, America-first patriot,
so we're on different sides
of the same stalemate.
Well, there is something else,
something you don't know.
Is that possible?
I lost my wife three years ago.
I read the entry in your record.
These things happen.
Oh, no, no. You can't put this
on a piece of microfilm.
She was killed in an accident.
I was driving.
She was dead in five minutes.
Those five minutes made me
twice as old as I was,
but I came out of it
with a pathological respect for life.
I can't undertake any job
that might oblige me to kill.
Good. We agree. You're the wrong man.
Oh, incidentally, you have
an appointment call in three...
No, two minutes
with the President of the United States.
Do you want me to call it off?
Dr. Hathaway.
I didn't vote for him, but I had to admit
that he just possibly might be right.
And yet, all he said was,
"Dr. Hathaway, sir,
I wouldn't be talking,
and you wouldn't be listening
if this were not a job of the most
urgent and terrifying importance."
After that, I thanked him.
I hung up and found
that I'd forgotten to say no.
So, here I am, general.
Treat me gently. I'm a little more
sensitive than I used to be.
Look, Hathaway,
this is not a friendly job.
Russia's helping us, up to a point.
China's a lot simpler.
China just doesn't like us.
However, you may get lucky
and they won't let you in.
But if they do, it's because
they need you, and pretty desperately.
Apparently, they process
a whole square mile of a Chinese weed,
and all they get is enough crystals
to cover the tip of my thumb.
So they need some simple way
of constructing their enzyme
out of common materials,
and that's your business, isn't it?
I assume they didn't give you
the prize for political idiocy.
No, you're the expert they need.
So I must tell you this:
There's a good chance
you'll never get out.
However, we've got a remedy for that too.
- What's that?
- Aspirin.
And this is our current q-23 transmitter.
Made of plastic.
Same density as human flesh.
Therefore it should be
quite impossible to detect.
Meanwhile, anything you say
and also anything said to you
will be transmitted to London.
Beautiful. In other words,
I'm a walking bug.
However, you have
an effective range of only 110 miles,
so you've gotta be picked up,
scrambled and rebroadcast.
Two weeks before you go, we're gonna
put a satellite in the sky over China.
The ingenuity of man...
A little lower than the angels.
Where's this thing go?
In my belt? Shoes? Sunglasses?
No, it's to be implanted...
In the mastoid sinus of your skull.
- What?
- Good. You wanna quit?
I'd be stupid if I didn't.
I'm stupid.
Dear Dr. Hathaway,
you have my profound sympathy.
I know. It's an international trap.
My government or your government
may decide at some moment to change sides.
- End of Hathaway.
- You want my personal advice?
- Stay home.
- Thank you.
Now what's your official advice?
Our heroic Russian intelligence
has placed a man inside China.
He is of great importance,
so do not contact him.
If you are in trouble,
and I mean serious trouble,
he will come to you
and he will give his name.
So read. Memorize.
"Chang Shou."
Chang Shou.
Chang Shou.
This model is slightly enlarged.
It is, in fact, one billion times larger
than the actual size of this molecule.
And yet, with the aid of x-rays,
we can see this molecule of living matter.
Well, here's our visiting professor,
Dr. Hathaway, only 20 minutes late.
I was just trying to explain to
our students how to get a Nobel Prize.
With air and water, dead carbon.
Spend 20 years of your life
in a foul laboratory
and create life.
Sometimes I try to imagine you
as a dark and dazzling child.
Were you anything like my students?
IQ 150 plus?
Who knew? Who cared?
No one paid much attention.
I know I didn't.
And then, as soon as I could walk,
I rushed out in the middle
of the street and became a bum.
Maybe you're still a bum, emotionally.
Kay, I won't be visiting
your class next month.
Oh? Why not?
I'm going away.
For how long?
Only three or four weeks.
But you may not come back.
- What makes you say a thing like that?
- Stupid instinct.
- You're going to China, aren't you?
- Stupid instinct?
Well, not entirely.
There's a letter in your pocket
which I find I can't read.
You read my mail?
I'd read your mind if you'd let me.
It was from one of my old teachers.
In fact, half of my work stems
from his last American paper.
He should have won
the prize instead of me. Great man.
- He's in a bit of trouble.
- And you're going to China to help him?
Don't. It'll only make things worse.
Kay, don't be so tragic about everything.
- Do you want to know the real problem?
- No.
It's very simple.
I love you...
And you don't love me.
And the problem is, it doesn't matter.
It did the first time.
It doesn't anymore.
Ladies and gentlemen,
in a few minutes' time
we will be landing at Kai Tak airport.
Would you please ensure that
your seat belts are fastened securely
and that all cigarettes are extinguished.
And what are you watching
right here? His body condition?
Yes. This is a recent British invention.
A very sensitive transducer is planted
in the appropriate place inside the body.
You can then read off pulse rate,
diameter of temporal artery,
- adrenaline per unit volume.
- And this one?
That's a computer summary
of his current physiological status.
Anger, fear?
Or sickness or extreme pain,
physical or psychological.
The dials also read on these monitors.
We have now landed at Hong Kong.
We hope you have enjoyed
your flight with us,
and that we will have the pleasure
of your company again.
The cultural revolution,
which has been in progress in China,
has now spilled over info Hong Kong.
It began with grievances
by the local labor force
alleging poor working conditions
and violence by European engineers.
When it appeared that these
dissatisfactions could not be settled,
sit-down demonstrations
and protest meetings began.
The police were called in to disperse
the demonstrators, a move
that unfortunately led to violence.
When the police tried to break up
the demonstrations and made arrests,
charges of illegal violence...
- Were held against them.
- Just a moment.
In this melee outside of...
- Yes.
- Is this Dr. Hathaway?
- Yes, this is John Hathaway.
- My name is Yin.
Mr. Yin?
Will you be kind enough
to meet me at the Kilock Kalapo?
- Yes.
- Please come immediately.
- Yes, I will. What's the address?
- 26 Hai Phong Road.
There's the place, sir.
The name, literally translated,
means "house of elegant pleasure."
Good evening, sir.
- Good evening.
- Would you like to come with me, please?
Yes, thank you.
- You are Mr. Hathaway?
- How did you guess?
Mr. Yin was kind enough to show me
your most recent photograph.
That's strange. I don't remember
presenting one to him.
Ah. It is one of the problems
of being famous.
Our cook, too, is famous.
I can see why.
And what is your famous name?
Ting Ling.
- That's very melodious.
- Thank you.
Where is Mr. Yin?
We have two floors. He is on number three.
- Part of the management?
- Precisely no.
- Would you care to play?
- No. No.
I'm told he is a chief
in the security forces
of the people's Republic of China.
And he'd like me to know that.
Some of the most exotic people
in the world gather here.
As our honored guest,
all the women here are available to you.
You may enjoy any form
of entertainment you wish.
- Do you want to be introduced?
- Some other time.
Mr. Yin instructed that
the People's Republic of China
will pay for anything that pleases you.
Very considerate.
This is a famous play:
Slave girl of Peking.
Wonderful performance. Do you agree?
- Almost real.
- Almost.
You see how the slave girl
walks in a circle
only to be sold at the end
to the highest bidder.
Is it the end of her life,
or the beginning?
Mr. Yin is in his room.
That's his door, up there.
Please, when you come down,
- ask for me.
- You bet.
Come in.
Mr. Yin?
Yes. Please sit down.
In China, as you possibly know,
the host himself comes
to the gate to greet his guest.
Especially if he wishes
to teach him a lesson?
You presented me
with a carnival of decay,
which, I take it, represents
your conception of the western world.
"Rich, sick and filthy."
While this bowl of plain boiled rice...
Represents your country.
We simply wanted to show you
the difference between China yesterday
and China today.
And between you and us?
Yes. Hopefully your visa
will soon be granted.
As the first American
in China in a very long time,
you will be a great celebrity...
Particularly as you are so tall.
Your lights don't work.
I called the night manager.
He promises to repair this problem
first thing in the morning.
Everybody in Hong Kong
is so terribly kind.
It's beginning to grate on my nerves.
Yes, but you'll feel
much better very soon.
You didn't come to me,
so I had to come to you.
I buy 200 butterflies, fresh,
every evening.
So when I entertain,
the slightest movement, they fly.
If you're very quiet,
they come down and brush you
with their wings
and settle down on your skin.
- If you'll excuse me.
- No.
Just for a moment.
Fast service.
Oh, I know him. He would talk,
but he can't. He has no tongue.
Call the switchboard. Get the police.
- No police. They're too expensive.
- Do what I tell you!
- Mr. Hathaway, sir.
- Yeah? Who are you?
The night manager. You are troubled, sir?
Troubled? No, no, no.
What makes you say a thing like that?
It's just that I've been
beaten and robbed.
That's a terrible thing
for King Edward Hotel.
- What did you lose?
- Well, I lost... lost my belt.
Well, my shoes anyway.
These, sir?
Perhaps you were enjoying yourself
last night.
The pleasure of our city
can make you forget.
Oh, yes.
Yes, you're absolutely right.
- Is everything all right now?
- Oh, yes. Fine, fine.
Good night, sir. Yeah.
Mr. Yin must be worn out.
He has been busy...
Feeding me, photographing me,
inspecting me and examining me.
He'd cut me open if he could,
and maybe he will yet.
But you were right.
They want me in China... real bad.
So bad I wonder
if they'll let me out again.
Well, maybe it's all for the best.
If they offer me a nice lab
and a full professorship, who knows?
I may even change sides
and join their little team.
Very funny.
Oh, and Shelby...
Send a cable for me, will you?
From Milan, Italy...
To professor Kay Hanna, London University.
"Having fun. Wish you were her."
Good night.
Yes? Yes, this is John Hathaway.
Latest hot flash: They're moving fast.
They just woke me to tell me that
my visa has been graciously granted.
I take a Chinese plane
to Chengtu in two hours.
I am professor Soong's daughter.
You look a great deal
like your beautiful mother.
Not I. I'm just an ugly chemist.
I read your recent paper on peptides.
I thought it was brilliant... for a woman.
Oh, I agree, but my father
helped a great deal.
- I'm very anxious to see him.
- He's gone far away. To the country.
Oh, I see.
He'll renew his contact
with the rural masses.
Very logical.
We are honored
by your presence, Dr. Hathaway,
and we are most anxious to show you
our revolutionary new China.
Please accept these
small tokens of our esteem.
The red armband is the most
treasured prize in China, Dr. Hathaway.
When a youngster is given the armband,
he takes on a new responsibility.
As a young Red Guard, he will instruct
and guide others of his age.
He is now a new leader of our revolution
protecting China from the outworn
thinking of the old-line intellectuals.
Here we are in good old chengtu,
11:30 P.M.
I think they're trying
to kill me with kindness.
Fruit, flowers and the Red Guards'
Choral Society.
I've seen three schools,
two restaurants and a zoo.
No action on the professor.
He's off in the country
somewhere renewing
his contact with the...
Oh, yes. You heard that.
No sign of the trap yet.
I may have to walk right up
and put my nose on the cheese.
Come in, Mr. Yin.
You expected me. How gratifying.
These young people
are the Red Guard, Dr. Hathaway.
They are the true children
of the Chairman,
the vanguard of the peasant masses.
For your benefit, Dr. Hathaway,
the Red Guards are saying,
"the thoughts of the Chairman
will enrich the harvest.
The Chairman stands shoulder-to-shoulder
with each of you who tills the soil.
One must study while one works...
For the strength of China lies
in an enlightened peasantry.
While you work, you must think.
For it is only by constant study
and constant work
that China will rebuild itself."
This is
a pretty elaborate way to go to jail.
Perhaps you will be disappointed.
You are going to visit the most important
person in the history of the human race.
Gosh. I wonder who that could be.
- Success.
- So far.
Which reminds me, general.
There's an utterly mad rumor
going around...
It's not true.
That there's a coil of explosive wire
wrapped around his transmitter...
Which we can explode when necessary.
Does the Chairman come often
to this part of the country?
You may remember the giant
who lost all his strength
when he did not touch the ground.
Thus spoke the Chairman.
Volume what, page what?
It was comrade Stalin who said that.
Oh, yes. You still admire
that strange animal.
- Yes, we do.
- Commodore, do you think any sane man
would walk into China
with a loaded bomb screwed into his head?
No, certainly not.
Unless he hadn't been told.
Would you tell him?
Heavens, no.
The good doctor is an idealist.
When his head blows off,
he's going to scream, "un-American."
Benson, I'm not being pompous,
just stating a fact
when I say that we are presently engaged
with the chief enemy of the western world.
Nothing is fair,
neither they nor us,
and Hathaway's in the middle.
If they uncover him
or kill him or torture him,
this whole installation is obsolete.
Not to speak of our intelligence
in China,
our shaky love affair with the Kremlin,
which we'd rather not publicize.
All riding in one man's head.
Sure, I wish we had a fail-safe device
in Hathaway's stubborn skull.
Quick. Powerful.
And a highly skilled
technical officer like yourself
who'd have no compunction about using it.
Isn't that an awful lot
of reasoning, general,
for an explosive device
that does not exist?
It's very kind of you to come.
Would you like some tea?
Yes, thank you, but please
go on with your game.
No, it's time to quit. I'm being beaten.
He's the champion of China,
and only 22 years of age.
But, Dr. Hathaway, I believe,
will give me an easy victory.
You want permission
to see professor Soong.
That's why I've come to China, yes.
Professor Soong is quite far away.
However, transportation,
possibly, can be arranged
if we can manage
to be frank with one another.
I regard this as extremely important.
Well, Dr. Hathaway, sir,
you've been in our country how long?
Oh, about 20 hours, that's all.
And do you like China?
Please help us. First impressions
are very accurate.
Just suppose you were the Chairman
and I the American scientist.
Now tell me, what would you do?
What faults would you correct?
Well, I'd start with that book,
the little red book.
I'd buy back every copy
and use the paper to wrap fish.
In my own opinion, the Chairman's book
is only a form of daily exercise...
To help people to think, to reason,
and therefore to change
their lives for the better.
Well, it might, except they
don't read it. They recite it.
Might as well be Greek.
They use it as a form of magic.
You, as Chairman, should understand.
The peasant masses work with their hands.
They need something to grasp,
to lift themselves up.
They have lived so long like animals.
Now they must leap, and in one generation,
from the 10th century to the 21st.
And this is not done without noise,
blood, confusion,
and a certain amount of, yes, magic.
Mr. Chairman, you know, of course,
how many have given their flesh
and blood here, on the soil of China,
since the start of our movement.
More than 25 million. Why?
Why this sacrifice?
Because there was no choice. The masses
could no longer live in the old way.
Their suffering was like a mountain
which you, as Chairman,
have carried on your back
for so many years.
In that case, why should I, as Chairman,
go on spilling blood?
Yes, I must agree with you.
We Americans are strange children.
We have forgotten
the real stink of human blood.
Our own American revolution,
our own civil war...
When we had to arm slaves in order to win.
Yes, murder is as necessary
to the slave as water.
Nevertheless, no slave invented the gun.
No. Nor the hydrogen bomb either.
So therefore the slave
must go to you, Mr. Chairman,
to the Chinese.
China will teach the slave three lessons.
First, to study.
Second, to study how to kill.
Third, to kill.
And, Mr. Chairman,
when the slave has raised
his arm against his master and killed,
and when he has killed his master's family
and his master's dog and his master's pig,
then and only then the slave can
stand up and declare himself a free man.
You, as Chairman, must admit this is true.
- No, I don't.
- Then you've resigned your bloody job?
You bet. Because I'd rather die than kill.
Poor Dr. Hathaway.
You are a relic of a past
that never existed.
Look at the history of the human race.
One life is nothing... nothing...
For all our foolish tears.
Well, in my opinion,
one life is everything,
and human tears
must be counted one by one.
You are hopeless.
Well, it's only too easy to kill.
One little iron pellet
and the artery is broken,
now, you have
tremendous power, Mr. Chairman,
but can you put together a dead man?
No. He is unique,
irreplaceable, whoever he is.
A bushman from new Guinea...
Or the Chairman
of the Chinese people's Republic.
He will never be seen again in
the whole blind history of the universe.
That's why a life is so precious.
You agree. You must agree.
No. And that is why we will win.
And all you people will be thrown
onto the pile of human dung
we Chinese keep for the fields.
With all due respect, Dr. Hathaway...
It may shock you to learn that I've
just had another brilliant idea.
- I believe it.
- Supposing it were true,
that there is just a little,
teeny-weeny bomb in Hathaway's head.
Which there isn't.
Which there isn't,
but supposing there were.
We could...
Two birds with one stone.
To be frank, Dr. Hathaway,
we've been rather worried about you.
Are you really the Dr. Hathaway
you say you are?
Mr. Yin checked your photographs
and your fingerprints.
You should be happy to know,
you are quite authentic.
Therefore, the second question arose.
"Why does a nobel prize winner
wish to come to China?"
Merely to see professor Soong?
No, certainly not.
And we know that you know and vice versa.
So let us put it on the table.
There's a rumor that China has developed
a most miraculous enzyme.
Yes, we have the enzyme.
Truly we do, but in very small quantities.
It is the same situation as Insulin...
As you know, the medicine for diabetics.
Once, I'm told, the inner organs of
a thousand animals had to be processed
but now Insulin can be made
out of simple materials.
Sir, a suggestion has been made to me,
which I feel obliged to pass on to you...
That we are in a position
to eliminate the Chairman.
Therefore it is cheap and plentiful.
The same must be done for this
enzyme because we need tons,
and I am told you will know how to do it.
- Am I correct?
- Ask Mr. Yin.
He's compiled a big,
fat portfolio on me, I'm sure.
Unfortunately, sir, this is not
a technical decision, but a political one.
It should be made in consultation
between our two governments
and possibly the third.
I'll talk to our colleague.
Wait right there.
Get back to you in three minutes.
But Dr. Hathaway
is more than a great scientist.
His record shows
that he's also a thoughtful
and deeply compassionate person.
Therefore, I'm sure he knows
that the world is exploding.
In 25 years, the earth will endure
the feet of some six billion people.
People want children.
Therefore all our plans...
The future of China itself...
Depends on Dr. Hathaway.
Therefore I'm glad
he has decided to help us.
I've made no such decision.
Then we must very patiently persuade you.
Well, I'm afraid
that might be a pretty tough job.
Oh, you can toss me into solitary,
feed me on rice water and straw,
distort my chemistry
until I'll get up in front of a microphone
and freely confess
that I shot Abe Lincoln.
But you cannot make me do good work.
Not unless I want to.
It's just impossible.
Please, tell me exactly
what you want, Dr. Hathaway.
You are free, I am free,
Mr. Yin is free,
and yet none of us are free.
Freedom is the recognition of necessity.
Ah, yes. Yours, not mine.
I'm a scientist by conviction
as well as by habit.
I want scientific freedom.
I want a positive assurance that China
will not keep the enzyme to herself
in order to blackmail a hungry world.
If I decide to work with professor Soong,
I want your personal promise,
Mr. Chairman,
this crime will never happen.
I want a document...
That will let me leave China
whenever I want to go
with any materials,
notebooks or photographs
that I may wish to take.
And signed by yourself, Mr. Chairman.
Well, Mr. Chairman?
Yes. Why not?
You still there, old boy?
- Sir.
- I just talked to our committee,
described your rather
unfriendly suggestion.
Your man said, and I quote...
"Great idea. Forget it."
Isolation room of a British hospital...
Eight weeks before he came to Hong Kong.
What do you call this place?
The people's institute
of molecular biology.
Oh, doesn't look it somehow.
I'm not much of a navigator, but aren't
we quite close to the Russian border?
We were here before the Russians,
and we will be here after they've gone.
You will see my father soon.
You must help him.
He's become unreasonable.
Hates the young people, the Red Guard.
It is very bad for him in every way.
Oh, that makes you smile, does it? Hmm.
Speak english.
Is it possible there's
a secret transmitter inside the pavilion?
More likely it's a weather disturbance
moving in from Russia.
Perhaps we should look
to ourselves before we blame Russia.
The truth is, John, I've become
half-Chinese and half-western.
- Papa.
- My poor daughter.
If I knew which half was which,
I'd dissect it out
and send it to the people's
Democratic morgue to be cremated.
Please don't say things like that, papa.
You know the Red Guard
have you under surveillance.
- Well, what's the diagnosis?
- Old age.
- And tension.
- Always, 24 hours.
And you, are you
comfortable here in China?
Yes, if you can arrange
to have my door shut
and the soldiers removed.
These are wartime difficulties.
The war of class against class.
Please let me explain.
The Chairman has enemies.
And not only your country,
but inside Asia, inside China,
inside Peking itself.
There are enemies possibly here,
in this laboratory.
Now, Soong Chu, show him the problem.
You're looking at one section
of the enzyme. We call this chain "a."
Chain "b." Somewhat simpler.
Chain "c."
The quinoid groups there
are particularly interesting.
And chain "d."
And this, Dr. Hathaway,
is where our chief difficulty lies.
We cannot find the means
of attaching this... to this.
I wouldn't call that "difficult."
It's more like impossible.
And finally, there is nothing
in Dr. Hathaway's belt buckle,
his cuff links, nor his watch.
Nothing in his clothing,
his baggage, nor his body.
There is no transmitter.
Then why do we get this garbage
on our radar?
The Chairman trusts Dr. Hathaway.
He sent him here.
- The Chairman could be deceived.
- That's not possible.
Good evening, Shelby.
Things are getting a little bit tight.
Soong Chu's a pretty clever scientist
in her own right.
She's also her father's nurse
and her father's policeman.
The old boy has some pretty strong ideas.
If he's not careful, he'll come into
head-on conflict with the Red Guard.
She's wheeled him out of here for a couple
of minutes. I don't have much time.
The entire structure
of the enzyme is not...
I repeat... not available.
Only in sections, pieces, problem areas.
And they're all on film.
And the film is shown by remote control
from inside a metal projection room,
which is built into the wall.
What is the time, Dr. Hathaway?
Soong Chu, go to bed.
- I'm not sleepy.
- But you were sleeping.
That's why I'm not sleepy anymore.
Soong chu, you'll have to forgive me,
but I have to have some privacy.
I can't think with a pretty woman
staring into my mind 24 hours a day.
- You are upset.
- Oh, am I really?
But I understand.
You're so far from home,
and you miss your family...
And your wife.
- It's natural.
- Well, I don't have a wife.
Neither have I.
So you're not married?
Yes, I am. Almost.
Oh. And do you love him almost?
- Of course.
- Of course.
He's so far away.
It's been more than five years.
First Cuba, then Africa.
And now I don't know where he is.
How do you take it?
You don't understand.
At the suggestion of the Chairman,
we young people must learn
to give our love to the masses.
We'll search every inch...
Walls, trees, stones.
- That will take time.
- Why?
We'll use our radio direction finders.
Yes, but they'll have to be
entirely readjusted.
The interference
is extremely high frequency.
- How long?
- A day, two days.
First things first.
A private message for professor Hanna.
You remember her.
Transmit message as follows:
Kay, baby, you were right.
Kisses are the only thing that last.
Now, don't be jealous, Shelby.
I miss you too. Now, listen.
I'm gonna have to disappoint you,
but I'm right.
Nobody could memorize
that enzyme except an idiot.
It's too complex.
It's a nitrogenase,
molecular weight about 90,000.
However, it is on a strip of film
and I'm gonna try to get a hold of that.
I've stolen a bottle
of nitro-hydrochloric acid.
And at the right time,
I may be able to cut my way through
the top of the projection booth.
Oh. Uh, if you don't hear from me again,
um, simple funeral, please.
No fuss, no flowers.
He's got plenty of hrabrost.
I love him too.
What the hell is that, gunfire?
Firecrackers, more likely.
Some sort of Chinese celebration.
Go away, John. Go away.
You can do nothing. Nothing.
Get away. Get away.
Get away. If you want to help me,
leave me alone, John.
Get away!
They will carry him
around the village as punishment.
I kept warning him this might happen.
He said he was a scientist,
not a political machine.
Can't you see?
He brought it on himself.
The Red Guards say
my father's usefulness
as a scientist has ended.
So they will no longer tolerate
his disrespect for them.
You see, I've discovered
something of great medical value.
That a beating
eases the pain of arthritis.
There's one book they forgot to burn:
Selected works
from the Chairman, volume one.
How to persuade your friend
to be your enemy.
My daughter gave it to me
for my 68th birthday, in english,
to prove that the masses
of the world were on our side.
She's right.
It solves all possible problems,
except how to love one another.
Look, sir.
If I could arrange to get you out of here,
legally or illegally...
Would your daughter stand in the way?
My father will never leave China.
He will never betray his country.
Her father will never leave China.
He will never betray his country.
Soong Li. Soong Li.
You said to me once... do you remember?
We were working at Princeton in a lab,
standing at a window,
admiring a thunderstorm. You remember?
And you said that just as weather
has no nation, science has no nation.
No loyalty... none except
to humanity as a whole.
And therefore, I suppose,
the enzyme belongs to the world.
And you came to China to steal it.
Not for the American ruling class, oh, no.
- But for the world.
- That's right.
Yes, that's right.
Not very fashionable today
to think of humanity, is it?
Yes, I came for the enzyme.
And I'll take it out of here, if I can.
That will never happen.
Both you and I, John, will die in China.
I have a document signed by the Chairman
giving me free passage any time.
The Chairman is too great
to be confined by a piece of paper.
All of us in this room, we're prisoners.
We're chained, hand and foot,
to an enzyme.
Professor Soong's in trouble.
Red Guard stuff.
There's nothing I can do about it.
So I'm going to make a try for the film.
Hmm. Hathaway.
Who else?
I'm in the projection booth.
Very elaborate protection for nothing.
There's no film in the projector.
It's been removed.
Well, game's about up here anyway.
I think I'll pack my laundry
and come home, if I can.
If I can't, come and see me someday
and bring money... Chinese.
It's over the laboratory.
- I'll investigate.
- It's moving again.
Failure. When you send
a civilian to do a soldier's job...
You and I would do a lot worse.
Three years of work.
No, I don't know what to do! Do you?
- Maybe Hathaway does.
- He's on the front line. We're not.
Better get some sleep.
Call me at the Three Crowns
if you need me.
He could not accept the new revolution.
What was it?
Sodium cyanide.
It was so quick.
There was nothing I could do.
He wanted to march alongside of us...
But he was too old.
He had the Chairman's book in his hand,
up to the last second of his life.
He wanted you to read it.
He marked it especially for you.
Please take it.
"Intellectuals tend to be
subjective and individualistic
and some will drop out of
the revolution at critical moments,
while a few may even become enemies."
It's not true. He couldn't.
Please don't go.
Please. They will kill you.
They will.
And they'll be right?
I don't know.
Will you help me?
- How can I?
- The soldier.
You could talk to him
for just about two minutes.
That's all I need.
Will you do that?
Will you?
Call out squads 1 and 3. Hurry!
Come on. Come on. Shelby, wake up.
I am Chang Shou.
If you don't believe me,
we're both dead men.
Can we get out of here?
I'm on my way back. Anything new?
He's making his move. He's getting
out of China. It's more than 50 kilometers
to the Russian border. Suicide.
Any suggestions?
Yes. Do nothing.
Wait for me and keep in contact.
- He's been in a firefight.
- Keep me informed.
I'll leave the line open.
I've borrowed a car.
Distance to the border: 37 kilometers.
Hope I don't run out of gas.
Hear that, general?
He is going for the Russian border.
I'll contact Shertov and get back to you.
- Hello?
- Shertov? Our boy is sitting
on the Russian border.
Will you hotline Moscow, get him across?
- Or we may have to pull the switch.
- We'll do what we can, general.
- Listen...
- I said, general, we'll do what we can.
- Benson, where's Hathaway?
- Still headed for the border.
All the physiological signs
are moving into the red.
- What are his body readings?
- Not good.
- Details.
- Blood pressure erratic... up and down.
- Pulse rate?
- 150, 160, 170.
General, he's been
severely wounded, is my guess.
- Shall I get out the tape?
- What tape?
The nonexistent tape
for the hypothetical execution.
Do nothing... nothing... till I get there.
I'll be with you in three minutes.
- Any word from him?
- Nothing.
We don't have voice transmission.
He's engaged in some physical effort.
There are also signs
of great fear and anxiety.
The heart won't slow down.
Well, general, you know the procedure.
- Who's the clown who did this?
- Me.
Operation minotaur, all lines open.
Operation minotaur, all lines open.
Shertov here. Russian embassy.
I want general Shelby. Urgent!
Shertov, Russian embassy.
General, there is little Moscow can do
while he is still on Chinese soil.
- Listen, pal...
- What do you want us to do, declare war?
- The border guard.
- Has been alerted, yes.
But he's got to cross the wire
before we can help him.
- Wire?
- The Chinese wire,
and it carries 2,000 volts.
- Tachycardia.
- What's that?
Heart racing itself to death.
- How long does it take?
- 32.5 seconds.
Run it down to 33.
Our patrol has spotted him under the wire.
It was hopeless. They're going
to blow a way through for him.
I can't make it.
Hathaway fired at wire.
No dice. Almost got fried.
Trouble. Our mortar has hit their mines.
General, we have orders
to save Hathaway if we can,
but no bloodshed!
Our last mortar hit the wire.
We'll lay smoke bombs.
General Shelby, sir. I'm not getting
any readout on his physiological status.
A concussion may have damaged the q-23.
Well, are we going to wait?
No, they'll have him by then.
Start the tape.
Come on. Come on. Let's get it done.
Shelby, he might make it.
He's almost on Russian soil.
General, he's safe.
We had a choice-
inform you then or inform you now.
If I believed one word
of what you told me, Shelby, I'd go sick.
Son of a bitch.
Before I say goodbye to you, Shelby,
there is something I'd like to tell you.
Oh, come on now, doc.
Don't go sentimental.
I want you to give me one reason
why I should help you any longer.
- One. Just one.
- Patriotism maybe? Just a thought.
Now look, general, I love
my country just as much as you do,
but there is no further obligation,
as far as I can see,
for me to have the same affection for you!
Or for the people
whom you admire, or the policies
or the disasters which your kind
have brought down on the rest of us!
I know. You see absolutely no difference
between me and your friend Mr. Yin.
Oh, no. The difference
between the Chinese and us
is that they'd have told their man
the absolute truth.
They'd have shown him
the plastic dynamite wired to his brain.
They'd have demanded that he be
perfectly willing to blow himself up
for the final victory
to the peasant masses.
But you... oh, no, no,
you're too kind, too thoughtful
to do anything like that to me.
Might upset my fine, complex mind.
Might even interfere with the mission.
So you kept the switch in your hand,
ready to explode my skull
without hurting my feelings!
All right, fella. Now, wait a minute.
If we'd told you we had a lien
on your life, you wouldn't have gone.
And there was literally no one else.
We'd have had no way
to penetrate the Chinese wall.
And the little Chairman
would have had the enzyme all to himself
to dominate the world
for the next terrible century.
Or if it wouldn't dominate, starve.
Yes, I would.
I'd trade your life or my life
or anybody else's,
do anything, use any deception,
any weapon,
to get a fingernail sample of that enzyme.
Well, we bet on you, and we lost.
In your opinion and in mine,
this job was one big total bust.
So in what way
do you think you can help us?
The professor's book!
Why do you think
he gave it to me? For ballast?
You think I'm a fool?
We've examined the book.
Nothing! Nothing!
Still nothing.
Then let's try X-ray,
high magnification.
Okay. We sent you to China
and brought you back.
I guess we can stretch
our budget a little further.
You see, the professor
traced over these letters
with lead pencil, not carbon.
Real lead, which X-ray cannot penetrate.
With his crippled hands, it must
have taken him hours and hours.
Well, what the hell is it,
some kind of code?
Plain language to every
chemist in the world.
The abbreviations
for the amino acids. S-e-r: Serine.
T-y-r: Tyrosine. P-r-o: Proline.
The molecular formula.
He had it all worked out,
every atom of it,
and he's given it to us.
Brave man.
I hope I can justify him.
There was a meeting this morning.
This stuff is gonna be the most
powerful weapon at our disposal
and we intend to keep it
that way... under wraps.
- You're kidding.
- Their decision, not mine.
- But I agree.
- Well, I don't.
You intend to lock me up in your files?
You were discussed, yes.
I've been asked to tell you
to forget that you went to China.
You've been in hospital
for the past three weeks, under sedation.
General, you've made a big mistake.
You leveled with me.
You should have left that bomb
screwed into my head.
We could have, but we didn't.
I went to China, and I came back.
And if I'm forced to it,
I'll tell my story to the press.
I'm gonna fight this decision, Shelby.
This doesn't belong to us,
to me or to my government,
right or wrong.
And not to the Chairman
and certainly not to China.
Not even to professor Soong,
and it cost him his life.
No! It belongs...
And I mean this literally...
To that peasant with a wooden hoe
working in the mud
of some godforsaken valley.
It's his, not ours.
Hathaway, in all frankness...
I don't understand you people.
Kay, baby, I don't treat you at all well.
It's all right. It's all right.
It isn't all right.
Everything's gonna come down on my head.
Headlines, phone calls in the middle
of the night, obscene letters.
They'll call me a Chinese agent.
They don't even have to prove it.
All they have to do is refuse
to deny it, and I'm finished.
Except that I'm not.
I'm going to fight back.
It'll be a rough walk, Kay.
Do you want to stay? Do you want to go?
Be my girl? Be with me?
I'm here.