We Were Strangers (1949) Movie Script

Our illustrious leader, the Presidente,
has brought law and order to Cuba.
This law and order, under which Cuba
has become a land of progress...
must be preserved boldly.
There are factions in Cuba
which are dangerous to our people.
They must not be allowed to flourish.
We must protect the people of Cuba
from their disturbing influences.
Strong measures are needed,
and we are strong.
I move, therefore, that the Senate of Cuba...
vote immediately on the bill before it.
The bill that makes the assembling
of more than four people...
in any open public place...
not only illegal, but an act of treason
against the government.
Only by the enactment
and vigorous defense of such a law...
can Cuba achieve its destiny.
Second the motion!
The motion has been put
that the Senate vote on the bill...
making all public gatherings
of more than four citizens of Cuba...
a violation of the public welfare.
All those in favor will please rise.
The bill making public assemblage
an act of treason against the government...
has been passed unanimously.
What is all about it? What's it say here?
I am reading now:
"Long live freedom in Cuba.
"Cubans, our rights have been stolen.
We live in fear.
"The tyrants are strong,
but the cry of liberty is stronger.
"Cubans, raise your..."
You're under arrest. Come on.
- I have done nothing.
- Let him alone!
Come on!
It's no good. Go on. Save yourselves.
What is it, Manolo? What has happened?
You were out with them again.
Why, Manolo, why tonight?
- Can't it wait?
- No. It can't wait.
It can never wait, China.
That is something I learned.
- There is so much at stake for you.
- I didn't forget the examination's tomorrow.
I didn't forget the way you, Mama,
and Lolita have worked for tomorrow.
Still I could not do otherwise.
I couldn't go to them and tell them:
"No, I'm sorry. Cuba will have to wait
until I have finished my education."
But it was only a matter of one day.
It's always a matter of one day
or one week or one year.
There are always excuses.
I've heard them all from others:
"Yes, I would join you, but I'm married.
"I believe in what you're doing,
but I have a family."
That's why there are so few of us.
What happened, Manolo?
What happened tonight?
There were three of us.
We were distributing leaflets.
The police spotted us. They chased us.
- The one who was driving got shot.
- They killed him?
He was still alive when we left him.
I hope he's dead now.
Don't look at me as if I'd gone crazy.
He's in the hands of the Porra.
I hope he died quickly,
for his sake and for mine.
If he's alive they will make him tell
who was with him.
You must get away, Manolo. You must hide.
- The examinations are tomorrow.
- What does that matter?
- Your life is at stake.
- But suppose my friend is dead by now?
Suppose he was lucky enough to die?
Then I will be running away from shadows.
We must keep our heads, China.
If my friend is alive, he won't talk at once.
We have a rule in the organization
that a man who is caught must hold out...
for at least six hours,
to give his comrades a chance to escape.
After that, he is free to die easy.
Then if they come after you...
it would be around 4:00
or 5:00 in the morning.
That's right.
Now listen, China. I know a place I can go.
If the Porra are not here by 8:00,
at the latest...
you will know that everything is all right.
In that case...
walk up the east side of the street opposite
the university at 9:00 tomorrow morning.
I'll be waiting. If you don't come,
I'll know they're after me.
What will you do then?
Havana will hide me.
She takes care of her own.
See you soon.
Nobody came to the house.
I waited up all night.
It was just like every other night.
The policia passed every three hours.
Our neighbor, Seor Gandara,
came home at 2:30 in the morning.
He was drunk.
His wife was very angry with him.
She almost woke up
the whole neighborhood, telling him so.
At 5:00 the vegetable trucks
passed on their way to the market.
Do you remember
everything that happened?
It was the longest night of my life.
- But it ended well.
- Yes. It ended well.
Let us thank God for that.
Thank you, Chinita.
- Good luck.
- I don't need it anymore.
- You are China, his sister, aren't you?
- Yes.
I was with your brother in the car.
Forgive me
for not standing with you at the grave.
I was afraid to show myself.
They are after me, too.
Who are these murderers?
They have a hundred faces and one name:
The Porra.
They're everywhere, listening,
finding out who is against the President.
And big or little, it makes no difference,
they are silenced.
I saw the man who killed Manolo.
I saw his face.
I will never forget it.
I am going to get a gun and I will
wait for him outside their headquarters.
- They will kill you.
- I expect that.
- I will gladly give my life in exchange.
- It won't only be your life.
They'll arrest your whole family.
They'll punish your friends.
I know that your heart is filled with hate.
But you must try to understand
that vengeance is no good.
What else can I do?
There's a great deal you can do.
If you're willing to risk your life.
If you want to serve a real purpose, join us.
- How do I go about this?
- I will tell my superior...
and he will communicate
with those higher up in the movement.
They will notify you
where and when they want to see you.
- Very well.
- You will hear from us.
- Seorita Valdez?
- Yes, seor.
I was expecting you.
This is Mr. Fenner.
- How do you do?
- Won't you sit down?
Lovely night. Deceptively so.
Even the Morro is beautiful
in this moonlight.
Scores of our friends
have been imprisoned there.
They caught a shark yesterday,
here in the harbor...
and in his belly they found the arm
of one of our best men.
His family identified it
by a seal ring on the hand.
Always the best ones are lost,
or so it seems.
Manolo was one of the best.
- You are his sister, aren't you?
- Yes.
May I express my sympathy.
- I want to take his place.
- That's what I've been told.
Joining the organization
is a very serious step.
Getting out alive
is much more difficult than getting in.
I know that.
Very well. We do not repeat an oath
because there is none binding enough.
We only swear in our hearts
to make Cuba free.
You work for the Metropolitan Bank,
is that correct?
I have been there for two years.
Fine. Then you can be
of immediate service to us.
Mr. Fenner is in Cuba to arrange for
the booking of Cuban entertainers...
into American theaters.
He represents a group of Americans
who are convinced...
that our music and dancing
can gain great popularity in their country.
They are prepared to spend
a considerable amount of money...
in the purchase of song rights
and hiring of artists.
Mr. Fenner has an account at your bank.
Through some oversight,
documents which furnish proof...
of his business relationships
and financial standing...
are not in the reference files.
I'm looking to you to remedy that.
That will not be difficult.
They should be stamped
with the date of arrival at the bank.
The fifth, seventh and eighth of June.
The fifth, seventh and eighth of June?
How much time do I have?
The sooner it is done, the better.
In case anything unusual comes up...
you will get in touch with Mr. Fenner
at the Hotel Vista Allegro.
Don't discuss this matter over the phone.
Good night.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
Seorita Valdez.
Seor Ricardo Icentia's credit limit...
is being raised from 2,500 to 4,500 pesos.
What's the matter with you? You look ill.
Nothing. I'm all right.
Miss Valdez.
Miss Valdez, this is Seor Ariete,
from the government.
Would you ask the chief clerk...
to bring the folders of all American
accounts opened in the last three months?
And would you check with the tellers
if anything has come in this morning?
- Yes, sir.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
No new American accounts have been
opened this morning, Mr. Seymour.
This one is perfectly all right.
He's a cigar importer
with whom I've done business in the past.
This one, Thompson...
a joint account of an elderly couple.
I remember this one, too.
Name is Fenner.
He's a chap that's hiring theatrical talent.
The disbursements seem to be mainly for...
steamship fares and advance salaries
on American contracts.
This is a business account.
Fellow's financing a small fishing fleet.
No, Seor Ariete, it doesn't appear
that any of these are what you're after.
Do you keep yourself informed
about changes in all the accounts?
- Withdrawals, deposits, and so on?
- Yeah. More or less.
Any happening of an unusual nature...
within the accounts
will come immediately to your notice?
Of course.
Then you will notify me
in case anything of this kind occurs.
Immediately. Is that clear?
I am holding you personally responsible.
Very well, seor.
That's all, Miss Valdez.
And I don't have to remind you,
Mr. Seymour...
you're in a foreign country.
Have we not met before, seorita?
I don't believe so.
There is something familiar about your face.
- Indeed?
- I don't think I'm mistaken.
It's not likely I'd forget such a pretty face.
I assure you, we have never met.
Mr. Tony Fenner, please.
I'm not worried
about his coming to the bank.
I'm not worried
about his coming to the bank.
I expected them to start checking.
They'd have to be pretty dumb
not to guess...
that funds are being supplied
from the outside.
What's his name again, the Porrista?
Armando Ariete.
- And you say you know him?
- He is the man who killed my brother.
He killed him on the steps of the university.
Manolo had been distributing pamphlets.
That is why he killed him.
- Did you see it?
- I saw it.
Does Ariete know who you are?
For him it was just one of many murders.
I am going to ask for permission
to kill Ariete.
Will you speak for me
to one who is in authority?
He needs killing, the hyena.
Then you will speak for me?
- Where do you live?
- Opposite the Colon Cemetery.
- How far is that?
- About a mile.
- Do you feel like walking?
- I often walk.
Do you always go home through this place?
Yes. It saves several blocks.
- Where's your house?
- By the west gate.
- Across the street from the cemetery?
- Yes.
How many are there in your family?
There were five of us
until Manolo was killed.
There wasn't much room,
but we got along all right.
We were all very good friends
and we were never hungry.
Manolo must have been your favorite.
We used to sell flowers
to the tourists in the streets at night.
You would never guess
where we got the flowers.
I might.
It was bad to do, very bad.
But we always said a prayer
whenever we took a flower.
Manolo believed that was
more than a fair exchange.
The owners never put up an argument,
Not during the day.
But sometimes at night they would.
I would wake up with a nightmare...
and swear by the Virgin
that I would never do it again.
But then the next day
we would need rice and coffee and beans.
So you'd go across the street
and steal a few more flowers?
The politicians always have
the biggest funerals...
with the most flowers.
Soldiers fire volleys over their graves...
and sometimes the President himself
makes a speech.
Hundreds of people come,
but only a few weep.
That the poor part of the cemetery?
Yes, over there,
where the wooden crosses are.
And the little headstones. It is very different.
There are no marble vaults for our dead.
Their coffins are simply put into the ground.
What's the matter?
- Has your house got a cellar?
- Yes, it has. It's one of the old houses.
Is it possible to get your family
to go away for a few weeks...
- to Matanzas, for instance?
- Go away? Why?
Never mind why. Would they go
without asking questions?
- Well, they have not the money.
- The money would be furnished.
- Yes. They would do it if I asked them to.
- I'll let you know in a few days.
In the meantime,
forget about killing the Porrista.
What's that got to do
with my family leaving the house?
Plenty, honey, plenty.
I know how to kill him, all of his friends,
including the bloody President.
If only the leaders will give me
the go-ahead sign.
I know how every one of those hyenas
will die.
The tomb is not the end.
It is merely the way.
Our Cuban tobacco makes the best cigars.
You are all strangers to me
and to each other.
But the organization
knows each one of you.
On former occasions you have displayed
determination and courage.
And that's why you're here.
For we have a special job to do.
One that requires
both of these characteristics...
and even more than that.
As a rule, we would simply give an order
which you would be expected to obey.
But because of the
special nature of this plan...
you are going to be given the choice.
If you are willing, fine.
If you refuse, if you decide that you
do not want to take part in this thing...
you have only to say so
and no one will hold it against you.
- Is that clear?
- Si.
This is the man who originated the plan...
and under whose leadership
it will be carried out.
I'll let him tell you about it.
Suppose it were possible to get
the President and his Cabinet...
all the heads
of the government departments...
all the army big shots,
the chiefs of police, the Porristas...
all in one place.
And suppose once you had them there,
you could wipe them out.
Kill every one of them with one blow.
Would any of you object to that?
That is what we have been waiting for.
Suppose this would involve
the killing of innocent people as well.
- How many innocent people, amigo?
- 20, 30, maybe 100.
The Porra kills innocent people everyday.
What are these people doing
close to the President...
if they are so innocent?
Wives, children, servants.
I have seen children lying dead
in the streets of Havana.
It is a crime committed daily
by the Porristas.
But two wrongs do not make a right,
and they never have.
Should we, who are trying to free Cuba,
become murderers, too?
You would be willing to give your own life
for your country, right?
- Gladly.
- Then I don't agree with your reasoning.
If you're willing to give an innocent life,
why not take one?
- My neck is not very important.
- Well?
I am the sister of Manolo Valdez.
Shot by the Porra in his 19th year
for distributing leaflets.
- I am with you.
- That's one.
And my name is Guillermo Mantilla.
I had two brothers,
both younger than myself.
They were in the same federation with me.
And because of this they were killed
and their bodies thrown into Havana Bay.
My name is Ramon Sanchez.
I have not suffered under the evils of
the regime any more than the next man...
but I know its abuses as well as he.
I agree to take part.
Who would think twice? Of course, I agree.
- What's your name?
- Toto Berenguer.
What about you?
Remember what I said.
You may decide either way.
The willful killing of innocent people
revolts me.
But you say it would make Cuba free.
I look at all of you and I know
you are good men, friends.
I believe you.
- I will join you.
- Good.
This is the plan.
We're going to make a bomb.
A bomb big and powerful enough to destroy
everything within a radius of 100 feet.
We'll put it together at Miss Valdez's house.
And where will this bomb be used?
In the cemetery.
At the funeral of some important hyena...
which the President will attend.
And he won't be there alone.
His Cabinet and the rest of his
murderous gang will be there.
They'll all be blown to hell,
which is where they belong.
We may have to wait for years for a funeral
that the President would attend, amigo.
Such important hyenas die very slow.
The funeral will be provided
when we need it.
But how?
- That will be taken care of by another unit.
- That's right.
We will only furnish
the name of the candidate.
How do you expect to transport a bomb
of this size? It will be seen at once.
We're going to dig a tunnel from her house
to the family tomb of the candidate.
Whoever he is to be.
Now listen carefully
and remember what I tell you.
Do you know where the quarry is,
out on the central highway...
where they do all the blasting?
- I know it well.
- Good.
We will make several trips between there
and the house of Miss Valdez.
Each time we will
come back with a package.
If we are caught, the package
will mean death for both of us.
Guillermo, tomorrow,
at 2:00 in the morning...
a truck with a load of iron sewer pipe...
What's that?
Percussion caps.
They were in the basket of fruit.
- How do they work?
- The wires connect here.
The electricity is sent through them.
It explodes the caps...
and that causes the dynamite to go off.
- Have they brought the dynamite?
- It's in those earthen jars.
There's enough there
to blow this house a mile high.
And there's more coming.
What time is it?
- It's 4:30.
- They should be back by now.
It will be daylight soon.
Don't worry. They made two trips safely.
The third time is the lucky time.
You see, seorita,
we say "third time lucky"...
because the third time
that you drop the bait in...
that is the time that you catch the fish.
But who is the fish, Fenner or the police?
It isn't right for the leader
to take the greatest risks.
It is by taking the greatest risks
that a leader becomes a leader.
Then he cannot get out of the habit.
His planning has been excellent so far.
Everything has gone like clockwork.
Americans are all very efficient.
You have known many Americans?
I spent a week in Miami
and I observed them closely.
One and all, they are cool and efficient.
It is easy to be cool and efficient in Miami.
One thing I wonder about, why is he in this?
We have many American sympathizers.
True, but they do not expose themselves
as he is doing.
Some men fight injustice
wherever it appears.
The country does not matter.
I think he is that kind of a man.
The bridge at Cerro.
That's where they're most likely
to have trouble.
There's no telling when the guards
will take it into their heads to search a car.
He will make it all right, seorita.
Neither of the other trips took this long.
I usually start getting up at this hour.
What is your job?
I work on the docks. And you?
I'm a mechanic.
- Automobile?
- No. Bicycles.
That's what I thought. You're not like us.
You work with your head.
I'm doing postgraduate work
at the university.
You must be rich.
You could sit at home, too,
like the American.
When a rich man joins the fight,
there you have a man of conscience.
You got everything? How about the wire?
- The wire is in the cellar.
- Good.
Put those things away.
They shouldn't be lying around.
Do you have a flour bin?
And this box, put it in the wash basket.
Cover it with dirty clothes.
We have the makings of a fine cake.
Now where are we going to put it?
This is China's house and this is the road.
For our purposes, the funeral can take place
in only one of two parts of the cemetery.
Here or here.
China, you and I will meet
to choose the bait.
You'll have to help me.
We must be sure to pick
a really important hyena...
whose funeral they'll really turn out for.
I'll meet you at the big gate of the cemetery
at 9:00.
If we are going to tunnel
from the house to this point...
we will have to go more than 100 yards.
- It'll take hard work to save Cuba.
- Very hard work, amigo.
Have you ever gotten
anything free in life, Guillermo?
A guava.
That's as much as you'll ever get.
- When does the digging start?
- Tonight.
You have today to say your goodbyes
to your families, girls and jobs.
- Make the most of it.
- Gracias.
I'm going to walk down to the Malecon
and take a last look at the pretty girls.
It's getting light now.
We'd better leave one by one.
- Good hunting.
- See you tonight. 11:00.
Permit me to tell you that as a Cuban...
I am grateful.
He's educated, high class. Real aristocrat.
Now, Toto, he does not say much.
- One hundred percent politico, isn't he?
- He's a politico, all right.
And me off the docks,
and Miguel, a mechanic of bicycles.
We're a mixed lot, amigo.
Five mechanics couldn't do the job
or five aristocrats...
or five dock workers, either.
That is the truth.
Good night, seorita.
- Good night, Tony.
- Good night, chico.
Don't forget, China,
meet me at the big gate of the cemetery.
That's Mama, of course.
And Lolita and Consuelo.
And that's Manolo.
And this is you.
Is it because your eyes slant
that they call you China?
Everything was for Manolo.
Clothes, so he would be dressed right...
his tuition, books.
He was going to be a lawyer,
the best in Cuba.
We were all very happy in this house.
It's different now. I'm a stranger here.
Good night, China.
I don't want to stay here.
I'm afraid, Tony. I don't know why.
I don't want to stay in this house.
There's a place on the waterfront
that stays open all night.
- Let's have breakfast.
- I will change my dress.
The boat for Miami and points north.
- She looks beautiful.
- She is beautiful.
Clean and white.
And she's leaving Havana...
leaving the heat and the crooked streets
and the fear and the murder.
That's it.
Turn your back on them,
the President and all his fat friends.
Tomorrow you'll be
where a man can breathe.
Do you wish you were on board, Tony?
No, I'm glad to be here.
What's the matter, China?
Good morning, Seorita Valdez.
Out early, aren't you?
- Morro crab and coffee.
- Si, seor.
My name is Ariete.
- Mine is Fenner.
- Fenner?
Oh, yes. You are in the theatrical business?
That's right.
- You're here in Cuba looking for talent.
- That's right.
Musicians, singers, dancers.
That's it, isn't it?
I am somewhat of an authority
on the nightlife of this city.
Don't hesitate to call on me.
Armando Ariete.
Hospitality to foreigners is part of my job.
They tell me that the Morro crab this year
are remarkably big and fat.
- Breakfast?
- No.
Dinner. I put the town to bed every night,
Mr. Fenner.
Then like a good parent, every now and then
I look to see that it is sleeping soundly.
- Waiter! Check.
- Si, seor?
1 2 pesos. Gracias, seor.
Seorita Valdez.
Don't forget, Mr. Fenner,
I am at your service.
- Call on me any time.
- By all means.
So that's Ariete.
He's still watching us.
Steady, China. Steady.
The Lopez Sirven family.
Rodrigo Lopez Sirven
is a big power in the government.
His wife died when their baby
was a little more than a year old.
And the child followed his mother
in less than seven months.
Lopez nearly went crazy with grief.
Although it was many years ago...
the women of his family still come on
the saint's day of the mother and the child.
I have seen them often.
They always kiss the statue of the baby
before they leave.
Not this one. He's had trouble enough.
The Contreras family.
Vicente Contreras.
He is the head of the Senate.
It's less than 100 yards
from here to your house.
Contreras is very popular.
It might be a mistake to choose him.
He is even popular
with some in the revolutionary party.
The more popular he is, the better.
This is the one.
Are there any transformers
or big dynamos in this neighborhood?
All right. We'll work in four-hour shifts.
Two men will dig while two sleep.
One will always be on lookout.
Sometime after 2:00...
a truck will come by to take the earth away.
The men will be in the uniforms
of the City Sanitation Department.
When you let them in...
don't speak to them,
they won't speak to you.
All right, Guillermo,
what are we waiting for?
This one is for the President.
For the Vice President!
For the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- What's the matter?
- Nothing.
It's good to change jobs, that's all.
Was I going too slowly?
Too fast.
Work slow, Ramon. It is wrong to fight it.
A shovel like this
can win over the strongest of men.
You say to yourself:
"I'm getting you. I'm wearing you out."
You are wrong.
The shovel is only bright with strength.
You're something of a poet, aren't you?
A poet who cannot write
becomes a workman.
A man with a shovel leads two lives.
His mind is seldom on his work.
Most of the time he's dreaming.
No sailor goes on such long voyages.
- You make it sound good to work.
- It is not so bad.
In a week or so, you'll get the hang of it.
Why are you in this? You, an American.
Guillermo says you have dedicated yourself
to fighting injustice.
Is that why you came to Cuba?
- What do you think?
- I don't know.
I'll tell you.
I heard that rum was cheap,
and the girls were pretty...
and it was summer all year around.
Go to bed. Get some sleep.
I can't sleep.
Well, try.
In nineteen hundred and thirty-three,
Tony Fenner said to me
Get your shovel and your pick
We'll strike a blow for liberty
What is wrong and what is right
Will be decided with dynamite
That is what he said to me
We'll dig all day, we'll dig all night
Chinita is so beautiful
Chinita is so very good
Five men adore our sweet Chinita
As 75 men would and should
Seventy-five men would or should
10, 1 2, 1 4, 16, 18, 20...
22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.
- 28 bags.
- Only 28?
No, 30. You don't know how to count.
All right, 30. I made a mistake.
I bet you that we will fill more than 40.
- Ramon?
- At least 40.
What about it? 10 pesos.
It's a bet.
You want to take part of it, Miguel?
- No. I do not.
- You see, he knows we'll win.
No, it is not that.
It's just that I do not believe in betting
on things that have to do with killing.
Forget the bet, Guillermo. Come on.
A nice evening for the beach,
don't you agree?
A nice evening for the beach,
don't you agree?
Yes. I suppose so.
A few of us are going out to Las Fritas.
If you come there will be an even number
of fellows and girls.
Who is the odd one?
Seor Munoz, the first teller.
Will you tell Seor Munoz that I'm in despair
at having another engagement?
You cannot cancel it?
No. I am sorry. Perhaps some other time.
- It's a pity.
- Good night.
Good afternoon, seorita.
What is the matter? I do not see you
about the cafs lately? It is disappointing.
I have not been well.
And your friend, is he ill, too?
- My friend?
- Yes. Your friend Mr. Fenner, the American.
I saw Mr. Fenner a few days ago.
He said that he was going into the country
to listen to the Guajiro music.
He is sending many Cuban entertainers
back to America, you know.
I suppose if he has disappeared...
I shall have to take you
around the cabarets myself some night.
Mr. Fenner has by no means disappeared.
I might stop by for you anyway.
I'm sure there are things in Havana
you have not seen.
I have seen enough in my time.
- Good rum.
- Compana.
- 1925.
- Made in Havana.
The year the President came to power.
Then this is just the right bottle.
Yes. For that we should drink a toast to him.
To the President,
a man who has lived seven years too long.
Eight years.
The first year, amigo, he was not so bad.
I won't argue with you about a year.
Drink to the day of his death.
I would rather drink to the bomb.
- To the bomb.
- And our bait: Vicente Contreras.
A long happy life, till we need you, Vicente.
Yes. Be careful, Vicente.
Nothing must happen to you
until we finish our tunnel.
Don't go out at night
without a coat, Seor Contreras.
- Be careful crossing the Prado.
- Please don't go swimming.
Take very good care of yourself.
Shut your mouths, all of you! Shut up!
What's the matter with him?
I'm sorry.
Contreras, I know him, that's all.
He is a friend of my family.
Then it was a bad joke.
Forget it.
I'm sorry.
A friend of his family's.
I don't know why I said all that.
It is wrong
to joke about the death of another man.
Even your enemy.
There is a taxi stopping
in front of the house.
It's China.
What's the matter?
A man followed me in the street. I had
to take a bus and a taxi to get rid of him.
Maybe he liked your legs.
No. He was not that kind. When I came
out of the bank, I ran into Ariete.
He was in his car. This other man
was leaning against the building.
When I left he started to follow me.
- What did Ariete want?
- He asked why he had not seen you.
What did you tell him?
I said that you were out in the country,
listening to the Guajiro music.
Did he believe you?
- I don't know.
- Probably not.
He had you followed because
he thought you were going to meet me.
He suspects something, I guess.
Suppose the Porrista comes
and we have to kill him? What then, Tony?
The jig will be up.
We'd have to make a run for it.
We will have trouble
getting out of the country.
That is why I think
we should make plans for an escape.
People who come under suspicion
of the Porrista leave the country.
But it takes planning.
We should make contact
with the rum-running boats...
that are smuggling people to Miami.
- We are not making any plans for an escape.
- Why not?
Because every new person
we get into this is an added risk.
We must count on the plan
being a success to save our lives.
But there is a chance
that even if we succeed with the bomb...
public opinion will turn against us.
It is possible we will be called murderers.
The people may be shocked
beyond their powers of judgment.
A few days ago, Miguel, you refused to bet
about the digging because you said...
that it was immoral to gamble on something
that had to do with killing.
I say not to gamble
on the judgment of the people.
That is even more immoral.
Running away, that would be shameful.
We have no right to do what we are doing...
unless we're prepared
to answer with our lives.
What's the matter with you?
You look as though
you were covered with blood.
It's only the red clay.
- China, what's wrong?
- Nothing.
Why, you're trembling.
- I had a bad dream.
- That's not surprising.
Ariete and I were alone
on the steps of the Contreras tomb.
It was night.
He was holding me in his arms...
and I was telling him everything,
the plan from beginning to end.
He kept caressing me with his hands.
I tried to make him stop, but he wouldn't.
He didn't seem to understand
the importance of what I was saying.
He was holding me so tightly
I couldn't breathe.
And then suddenly
the cemetery was crowded with people.
Their mouths were open.
They were screaming,
only it sounded like singing.
They grabbed Ariete.
Someone brought a rope.
Then they hung him from the lamppost
and set fire to his body.
- It was awful.
- Why was it awful?
You want that hyena to die, don't you?
But Ariete's being alive
meant that we had failed.
That the bomb hadn't gone off
and all this was for nothing.
We will not fail! Don't think it.
- Even in your dreams, don't think it.
- Tony.
We've struck rock.
A ledge of rock.
It's hard, like the wall of the Morro.
Where is Tony?
In the cellar with Guillermo.
They are setting the charges.
So he is going to dynamite?
As soon as it gets dark.
The traffic is heaviest then.
He thinks there's a fair chance
that the explosion won't be heard.
If it is heard, people will only say,
"What was that?" and think no more of it.
Is it not better to work a few more days,
try to dig around the rock...
than risk everything by blasting?
A few more days, yes. But it might take
longer than that. It might take months.
We have wasted 20 hours already.
The trucks have come back empty
for the third time.
The police will be swarming over
this neighborhood like ants.
He's willing to risk it,
after all the work we have done?
There is nothing sure about a plan
of this kind, amigo. It is all risk.
Well, amigos, everything's ready.
The charges are set.
In a half hour, when it's dark,
you'll all leave the house.
- I'm asking you to...
- I'll set the charges off and follow you.
If the police come, we'll just keep walking.
There's a man in front of the house.
He's passed twice.
China, come here.
You ever seen him before?
That's the man who followed me
on the Prado.
- Are you sure?
- Yes.
There's no telling what this means.
We'd better get down in the cellar.
Get the food out of sight.
Straighten the beds.
There's a car stopping.
It's Ariete!
Remember, if you need any help,
we could kill that swine.
It'll be better than nothing.
Good evening, seorita. May I come in?
I warned you...
I might pay you a little visit.
See, I do not come empty-handed.
A small tribute.
Flowers that smell are better than these.
- Where are your people?
- At the movies.
Do not lie to me, please.
If they are at the movies,
it is at the theater at Matanzas.
Rum, Morro crab, fruit.
Perhaps you would prefer
going out somewhere?
No. It's cooler here.
I don't drink.
I approve of that.
It is bad to see young girls drinking.
They are in every caf now,
wherever one goes.
It is bad for the country.
I am happy to see you're not like the others.
- What do you see in this man Fenner?
- What do I see in him?
Yes. I don't understand it.
A girl like you should not
go around so much with an American.
I don't approve of it.
We know what they're like,
what they're here for.
When I see them in the cafs,
looking at our girls...
joking with each other in their loud voices...
I feel the dollars they bring into our country
aren't worth the insults.
They are not all like that.
You are mistaken. They are all the same.
This man Fenner
is no better than the others.
I have only spent one evening
with Mr. Fenner.
But a very long evening. All night.
It was morning when I saw you.
Is it not peculiar to have dinner, breakfast
with a man you have just met?
- We went to the jai alai...
- It was Monday night.
There is no jai alai on Monday night.
Then it must have been another evening.
- But you say you have only seen him once?
- Once or twice.
Three times, perhaps.
- Eat.
- I am not hungry.
Have you ever heard of an American
who has taken his life...
because of unhappiness in love?
It has never been.
For money they jump off their skyscrapers
every day, but not for feelings.
They are incapable of a large sentiment.
Rum runs right through me.
I know you think it's strange for me
to talk this way to you.
Me, a policeman.
I frighten you.
I can see it in your eyes right now.
I am not frightened, seor.
You are lying to me again.
It's the same everywhere I go.
My closest friends are frightened
when I call on them.
People who have nothing to hide,
if such people exist.
We all have something
we wish to keep hidden, even the best of us.
Perhaps that is good.
Otherwise, there would be less need
for men of my profession.
I will tell you something.
Last month I went to Pinar del Rio...
to the village where I was born.
I went to visit my mother.
When I drove through the village,
the streets became empty.
People I had known as a child
hid in their houses.
My mother, in the hut where I was born,
looked at me with fear...
until I told her why I had come.
Then she cried.
I asked her why and she had no reason.
It pained me.
It is not good to meet that look
in your own mother's eyes.
And then I thought, why should it not be so.
If she were an enemy of el Presidente, I
would make no exception of the old woman.
Still, the truth is...
I am a man of sentiment.
You do not believe it? It is so.
I am easily moved.
A beautiful sunset
will bring tears to my eyes.
I like to feed the pigeons
in the old Cathedral square.
Must I drink alone, seorita?
I have told you, I do not drink.
You can make an exception tonight.
But you yourself said you do not approve.
That is right.
I do not approve of girls
drinking with strangers.
But in my case, it is different.
A man like Fenner might take advantage
of your drinking. But I am different.
I am a man of honor.
I am sure of it. Still, I would rather not.
But it would please me.
It would show me that you trust me.
Here, have a little sip.
I knew I had seen you before.
When I was a child,
there was a card with a picture on it.
It was your picture on that holy card.
Please do not go away from me.
I am only a little drunk.
Rum does not hurt a man like me.
Do you know what that is, a real man?
It is someone who's afraid of nothing.
I am afraid of nothing. I will show you.
A game of the brave.
The wheel turns.
If the double zero comes up,
tell my friends it was for love.
I have killed. I have taken men's lives.
Life means nothing to me.
Please, if you must take a man, take me.
I'll protect you.
Come, seor. Come on.
Tony, the thunder!
Now we can blast. It's safe.
Go ahead.
It's over. Forget him, China, dearest.
Everything's going to be all right.
Will it, Tony?
Will anything ever be right again?
- Yes, it will.
- When, Tony? How soon?
Tomorrow, when it comes.
The big tomorrow.
Tell me, Tony, about tomorrow.
There isn't much to tell.
We won't ask for more than anybody else.
We'll get married. We'll have kids. We'll live
in a free country and we'll be happy.
Will we, Tony?
Shut up!
Maybe you'd better leave the house.
Stay away tonight.
We've come to the poor part of the cemetery.
Now it's going to be a nightmare.
The stench of death is like nothing else.
- Where are you going?
- I'm going to dig, too.
- Are you crazy?
- Perhaps.
I don't know what sanity is anymore.
- You can't go down there.
- I'm going to dig, too. You can't stop me.
- Is it my turn to dig?
- No, Ramon.
- Tell me when it's my turn.
- You won't dig tonight.
- Vicente Contreras.
- What about him?
I know him. At least I used to know him.
His son Tomas and I were boyhood friends.
I went often to his house.
Is there a doctor in the organization?
Bringing a doctor in is too big a risk.
It's a beautiful old house,
with fine paintings on the walls.
His two sisters, maiden ladies,
live there with him.
They wore long black dresses
with high collars.
Tomas and I used to play in the garden
below his father's study.
When Seor Contreras was at work
in his study...
his sisters used to caution us
about making too much noise.
One time, he overheard them
telling us to be quiet.
He leaned out the window and he said:
"It's all right. They don't bother me.
Let them make all the noise they want to.
"Children are supposed to be noisy."
Those are not the words of a wicked man.
Seor Contreras is weak, perhaps,
but he is not wicked.
I don't say his life should be spared.
As head of the Senate
he stands responsible for its actions.
He should have disavowed the Senate
and resigned. He deserves to die.
Easy, Ramon.
But not as much as the others.
I am happy that we have nothing to do
with that part of the plan.
What of Tomas? What of him, my friend?
He will never understand
why his father had to die.
"For what reason?" he will ask.
"Why did you kill him?
"He loved you like a son, Ramon."
- What will my answer be?
- Quiet, Ramon.
They will hear him in the street, Tony.
We'd better take him downstairs
where he won't be heard.
I don't say that he shouldn't die.
Only that it must be done quietly.
You are not to make any noise
when you kill him. Do you understand?
He is here, Toto. The fat one.
- Do you see him?
- I can see him now.
People who have not seen him think he
stands upright and is made of clean bones.
You want to kill me. Go ahead. Try it.
I know that you can't because I am dead.
He is fat and foul. His flesh runs.
You've got to do something about Ramon.
Get him out of here. Kill him. Anything!
I can't stand it any longer.
Something's got to be done about Ramon.
He's right, Toto.
Something's got to be done.
I'm going to tell Fenner. It's up to him.
We'll all go crazy.
What can be done?
He can't be moved from here.
He'd give the plan away in his ravings.
- I know a way.
- What is it?
Others who are innocent are going to die.
- Could you do it?
- Do what?
Kill Ramon?
We've got to do something.
We're all going crazy.
If you want to kill Ramon, go ahead.
Nobody's stopping you. Go on, kill him!
Seorita. Please, seor,
you must listen to me.
Seor, please. I have something to tell you.
It's very important.
I must tell you.
Seor, I have something to...
Please, you must listen to me.
Seor, please, listen to me.
Seor, you must listen to me.
They're going to kill Tomas' father
in the cemetery.
There's no other way. He must die.
- You're drunk.
- No. I truly am not. Believe me.
I've been often in his house.
He's not a wicked man. Only weak.
- Get away from me!
- Please, listen. It's very important.
Go on, leave me alone!
- I can't go back there. I can't take part in it.
- Let go of me!
Well, why did you come back without him?
You've got to keep looking for him
till you find him.
- What's the matter?
- He's dead.
If it was anyone's fault, it was mine.
How did it happen?
We were bringing him back, Guillermo and I.
He was walking between us.
He seemed to be calmer.
He spoke quite sensibly.
Then suddenly he broke away from us
and ran across the street.
There was a truck.
We did not even stay to identify him, Tony.
We left him there like a mongrel dog,
dead in the road.
He knew he was risking his life
when he joined us.
Yes, of course he knew.
And he was willing to die. But for a reason.
Not like that, for nothing.
- Chinita, get a hold of yourself.
- I can't.
I've had enough. I want to run away, Tony.
I want to leave this house, Cuba.
I want to live.
I don't care about anything else.
Take me away from here, Tony.
I can't do that, Chinita,
as much as I want to.
Why can't you?
Why are you so strict with yourself?
Because I started this. It was my idea.
Sure, the people may rise up...
and do the job themselves tomorrow
or in a year.
We can't depend on that.
We can't pull out now.
But the others are willing.
They're sick of it, too.
I can see it in their faces.
Maybe they are, right now.
But they'd feel different in a few days.
They'd see all the things
that made them join us unchanged.
The President in his palace.
The fear in the streets.
Every one of them would know
they had a chance to get rid of all that.
You'd feel it, too.
More than any of the others, you'd feel it.
I know you're right, Tony.
Even as I was talking,
I knew that it was hopeless.
Miss Valdez.
Sit down.
When was the last time
Mr. Anthony L. Fenner was in this bank?
To my knowledge, he has not been here
in over two weeks.
Do you know about his connection
with the revolutionary party?
Certainly not.
Is this man Fenner your lover?
I'm sorry, Miss Valdez.
There's nothing I can do.
This is a government matter.
- Answer the question.
- He is not my lover.
- What is he to you then?
- He is an acquaintance. A friend, perhaps.
What do you know about him,
about his personal life?
Nothing. He has told me
very little about himself.
And his business?
I know only that he is here
looking for talent.
I have not been interested enough
to pry into his affairs.
You're lying.
You know as well as I that Fenner
is the agent of a group of terrorists...
operating against our government
from Miami and New York.
He has been paid to come down here
to murder and cause unrest.
I cannot believe that.
It is not important what you believe.
What I am telling you are facts.
Fenner is not an American.
His name is Antonio Luis Ferrer
and he was born right here in Havana.
He may own an American passport,
but he's a Cuban.
He will be tried by our courts and our laws.
And he will be shot as a traitor
by a Cuban firing squad.
Perhaps the rifles will be American,
but that is all.
Where is he? Where is this criminal?
- I tell you I have not seen him.
- That's a lie!
You're shielding him
because he is your lover.
- Seor...
- I will ask for your help when I need it.
Until then, I advise you not to interfere.
I am tired playing games with you,
Seorita Valdez.
I have wasted too much time already.
You will either talk or we will make you.
I had forgotten.
You are a man of sentiment, of honor.
You do not know what fear is.
You are brave enough to attack any woman.
Get up!
What you need is a touch of the whip,
a heavy touch! Get up!
Now listen to me.
I will say this once and not again.
I know if Fenner is in Havana...
he will communicate with you
or he will come to see you.
When he does, you will say nothing to him.
You will simply call this number.
If you choose to disobey these orders
you will answer with your life.
Get back to work, all of you,
or you will find yourselves in the Morro!
I'm sorry, Miss Valdez. I couldn't help.
I'm a foreigner here.
It does not matter. He didn't hurt me.
- Yes?
- Chinita, get up.
- What is the matter?
- Nothing.
Come with me.
- My turn to dig?
- No.
I think we're all finished with the digging.
- What's that, Tony?
- It looks like we hit the Contreras tomb.
- This is not a joke, is it, Tony?
- No, I'm not joking.
I think we're there.
You go across the street, Guillermo.
Take your hammer and strike it against
the south wall of the Contreras tomb.
I just want to make certain. Come on.
The killers of Vicente Contreras
are still at large in Havana.
It is the duty of every citizen
to help the police in their search.
The President will not rest...
until the murderers have paid for this crime
with their lives.
A warning to the citizens of Havana.
Martial law has been declared in this city.
Any unauthorized persons
found in the streets at night...
will be immediately arrested.
A warning to the citizens of Havana.
Withholding information from the police...
as to the whereabouts of the assassins
of Vicente Contreras...
will be punished by death.
A warning to the citizens of Havana.
Martial law has been declared in this city.
Any unauthorized persons
found in the streets at night...
will be immediately arrested.
A warning to the citizens of Havana.
Withholding information from the police...
as to the whereabouts of the
assassins of Vicente Contreras...
will be punished by death.
Will be punished by death.
The killers of Vicente Contreras...
Our Cuban tobacco makes the best cigars.
It is the duty of every citizen
to help the police in their search.
Good afternoon.
- You're the bomb maker?
- That is right.
You are very lucky I am here.
The last three days I have spent
with the Porra.
Days and nights without sleep.
Ten questions every minute.
I have not lied so much
since my wife went to live with her mother.
You can all help. Stand that up, please.
A few shovelfuls of earth and the dynamite.
- I hope you have kept these dry.
- I think they're all right.
Well, we'll soon see.
Have you heard of the raid
at the factory at Luyano yesterday?
The workers put up quite a fight.
Two Porristas were killed...
and for this,
the factory was burned to the ground.
When the workers ran out, they were shot.
- Where are the caps?
- Here.
In Vedado, they shot a 1 7-year-old girl...
only because she opened her window
while they were passing.
But their time is coming, you will see.
The day is not far off.
There are those even in the organization
who feel...
the killing of Contreras was a big mistake.
But I say it brought the Porra
out into the open.
Everyone knows them now,
their names and their faces.
What of the funeral tomorrow?
Do they expect a large crowd?
There will be no funeral in Colon Cemetery.
- Contreras is to be buried at Camguey.
- What?
He is to be buried in Camguey.
- It's a lie.
- What is the matter with you?
- It's a lie.
- What is a lie?
- He's going to be buried here in Havana!
- No, my friend.
Here, I will show you, in the paper,
on the front page.
Forget the bomb.
- What?
- Get out.
- All right. If you like. I don't understand.
- Get out.
Good afternoon.
"It has just been learned
that the bereaved sisters...
"Luisa and Manuela, have decided
to lay their martyred brother to rest...
"in a quiet place in Camguey.
"The Seoritas Contreras,
prostrate with grief...
"declare it is their intention
never again to return to Havana.
"All over Cuba, flags will be flown
at half-mast...
"for the remainder of this week."
All this has been for nothing.
We are not finished yet. Listen to me.
We have the bomb.
We can take it to the palace in a car.
Tony, let me do it.
Please, Tony. I'll take the bomb.
Let me do it.
Shut up.
We've failed. There isn't anything we can do.
Two old ladies change their minds
and it's all over, like that.
I'm sorry I ever came back to Cuba.
That is not right, Tony.
A soldier who loses a battle does not
curse himself for having gone to war.
Most of them do.
There is no reason why you should
blame yourself, Tony.
What happened is something
we could not prevent.
Now you must get out of Cuba,
if only to protect us.
You're the only one the Porristas
know about so far. Should they take you...
Don't worry.
I won't be the one to give you away.
But why should we run any risk?
I have a cousin who has a charter boat
at Cojimar.
He has saved many of our friends
from the Porra.
He is less of a patriot than a businessman.
He would want 1,000 pesos, even for me.
These are hard times, amigos.
We could raise the money among us.
- It will take a little while, but...
- He must leave at once.
I will go to the bank and get the money.
You can write a check
on your account, Tony.
There will be no one to claim
that you did not make a withdrawal yourself.
When can you make the arrangements
with your cousin at Cojimar?
- I will go there right away.
- Good.
I will have the money by tomorrow night.
- What about the rest of you?
- We have no choice. We're in this thing.
We couldn't get out if we wanted to.
We'll go on with the fight as best we can.
- Goodbye, Tony.
- Goodbye, Toto.
Why is it when you go to say
what you have in your heart...
you always feel like a fool?
Tony, there is a small inn
next to the pier at Cojimar.
Go there tomorrow morning
before it is light.
Ask for Gregorio. He will take you to a room.
- My cousin will meet you there.
- All right.
I came here a month ago.
I did not know anyone.
Five names, that is all.
China, Tony...
Toto, Miguel, and Ramon.
We started working together.
We became friends.
Pretty soon there was nothing
outside this place.
It was my whole world, and it seemed as if...
we six were the only people alive.
Now it is finished, that world.
We will not see each other again.
Adios, Tony.
The pier at Cojimar, the back door, at night.
That's the way my father left this country
10 years ago. I was just a kid.
I couldn't understand why he took it
so hard. He was getting out alive.
I stood next to him on deck.
The old man cried.
I was ashamed to be his son.
It shows you how dumb a kid can be.
But now I know how he felt that night.
That's why I don't want to get on that boat.
- You must, Tony.
- Yeah, sure.
It's the least I can do for you and the others.
Listen to me, Tony.
We have failed, yes, and it is hard to fail.
But it is not a disgrace.
It is only disgraceful not to try.
Before I left the States, I raised $1 2,000,
not for me, but for Cuba.
And it wasn't donated
by a bunch of exiled millionaires.
I got it from the people
up in Spanish Harlem.
Small-time musicians, rumba dancers,
old men who work in cigar factories...
waiters, busboys, the people I grew up with.
I took more than they could afford to give.
They were glad, for they thought
I could help get their country back.
I've got to go back
and tell them it didn't work.
That I spent their money saving the hide
of Tony Fenner.
And that the politicos still own Cuba.
They'll look at me and say to themselves:
"He doesn't look any the worse for wear."
They'll be right.
A man who really fights doesn't return
in a clean suit...
like a traveling salesman
with a briefcase full of orders.
Do you think it would help anyone
if you died?
Maybe it would help me.
When you say that you would rather die
than face those people, it is pride talking.
The wrong kind of pride.
How you feel does not matter.
Nothing about you matters to Cuba,
only the failure itself.
I'm not thinking about Cuba.
I'm thinking about me.
Think about us, Tony.
We have lost much, but not everything.
We are not important, like the country,
but we have some importance.
And we are going to prove it, together.
I will meet you at Cojimar tomorrow night
and we will begin there.
I shall love you forever, Tony.
Mr. Seymour, something has come up.
- I wonder if I may go home now?
- Yes. That's quite all right, Miss Valdez.
Thank you.
China, Mr. Seymour wants to see you.
- Will you do something for me?
- Anything you ask.
Take this envelope to Cojimar.
It is most urgent.
- Cojimar?
- Yes. The caf next to the pier.
- Ask for Gregorio.
- Gregorio.
Give him this. A man's life depends on it.
Police Department?
You must realize that being a foreign bank...
we cannot become involved
in political matters.
Especially one as serious as the search
for Mr. Fenner.
This check, written by him
and endorsed by you...
implicates you directly.
Much as I regret it, your position here
must terminate as of today.
I'm sorry, Miss Valdez, but I have no choice.
I understand, Mr. Seymour.
- Goodbye, Miss Valdez. Good luck.
- Goodbye.
I waited for you at Cojimar. What happened?
- Didn't Roberto get there with the money?
- I was waiting for you.
- You didn't think I'd leave without you?
- You should have.
The boat is still there.
It is too late, Tony. They're here.
The teller called Ariete
when I cashed your check.
They thought I had the money on me
and that I would lead them to you.
And that is what I have done.
Come on.
- Should we give ourselves up?
- Either way we will die.
It is better to die here than in the Morro.
Seorita Valdez, open the door!
Get in the kitchen.
Seorita Valdez,
open in the name of the law!
Stay back.
We're running out, Tony.
When I give the word, go down to the cellar.
Get dynamite out of the bomb...
and get the fuses.
All the dynamite you can carry.
Yes, Tony.
Cover the rear.
Short bursts.
Stay close to me, China.
I want to make up for all the years
I didn't know you.
What's that? The bells.
Listen. Why are the bells ringing?
What can it mean?
Live the revolution!
Down with Ariete!
Down with tyrants.
Down with Ariete!
China, we win!
The people win! The revolution wins!
The Presidente has run away
with the soldiers!
The Presidente has run away
with the police!
Everyone has run away except the people!
My people!
Viva, my people! Viva Cuba!
Dear God!
It's bad to die five minutes too soon.
No, Guillermo.
They only think they killed him.
He's out there in the streets.
The people are singing on his breast.
Whenever I hear people singing,
I'll hear your voice.
Whenever I see joy in their faces,
I'll see you.
You'll be in their legs when they dance.
You'll be in their eyes
when they give thanks to God.
In nineteen hundred and thirty-three
Tony Fenner died for me
Now I have one brother less
But I have got my liberty
But I have got my liberty