Voila! Finally, the The Russia House
script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Michelle Pfeiffer
and Sean Connery movie. This script is a transcript that was painstakingly
transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of The Russia House. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally
tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to
drop me a line. You won't
hurt my feelings. Honest.
( 1st man) Yekaterina Orlova. Katya?
( 2nd man) Never heard of her.
(3rd man) The patronymic's Borisovna. Katya Borisovna Orlova.
- Have a think, Barley. - Don't know a Katya.
Never screwed one, never flirted with one,
never proposed to one, never even married one.
What is she, the usual fat-arsed frump?
(1st man) She visited the British Council's audio fair in Moscow exactly a week ago.
(4th man) Audio fair?
(Barley) Cassettes. Books of the bloody future.
- ( th man) So why didn't you go? - (Barley) I can go. I can not go.
I'm my own man. But you wouldn't know anything about that.
(American man) Crap, Barley. You rented a stand, booked your hotel, your flight...
Why didn't you show up?
(Barley) I have a board. I have family shareholders.
The firm's having withdrawal pains at the bank, if it's any of your bloody business.
( 4th man) It is.
Tell me something. Do you know Niki Landau?
Excuse me. Do you know Mr Bartholomew Scott Blair?
Yeah, I know Niki. Short-arse Polish cockney sales rep. Goes at it like a rabbit.
Barley? Sure, I know Barley.
House of Abercrombie and Blair, publishers, drunk or sober.
A gent. One of the best.
I must speak to Mr Scott Blair. It is very urgent.
He's not here, darling.
But he was not here yesterday.
Mr Scott Blair never came. He's absent. AWOL. Not among those present. Sorry.
(Barley) Irritating little sod. I'm quite fond of him really.
I have an important manuscript for him. It is for Mr Blair. Only for Mr Blair.
Listen, I'm trying to make a living here. And not for Mr Blair, love him as I may.
( rd man) Might one inquire why she should ask Niki about you?
(Barley) I don't know. I don't know her.
( th man) So you know Niki, but not Katya?
Oh, now you're getting it, old boy.
- Is that Scotch over there? - Help yourself.
You must be very kind and help me.
A Russian friend of mine has written an important novel.
Its message is important for all of mankind.
In spite of glasnost, my friend's novel cannot yet be published...
in the Soviet Union.
Mr Scott Blair has undertaken to publish it... with discretion.
Don't worry. With Abercrombie and Blair,
your friend's book is virtually guaranteed to appear in total secrecy.
If you love peace, please, take this to England to Mr Scott Blair.
- It is a gift of trust. - It is better that you smile.
- Excuse me? - Smile.
This is Anglo-Soviet cultural exchange. We smile, we exchange culture.
Looking scared is something different. Got it in there, have we?
This is dangerous for you. You must believe in what you are doing.
We smile, we kiss. Formal Russian kiss.
Now we've done it. You have brought me an official farewell gift from...
October Publishing on the last day of the fair.
And I have given you "Shakespeare's" Sonnets for Careful Drivers.
Would you... like a nice dinner out somewhere?
It is not convenient.
( st man) You can't think of any reason why a book editor called Katya Orlova
should risk her neck to send you a manuscript?
Who said..."risk her neck"?
- Must be quite a book. - It is.
- May I see it? - Let's begin with the letter.
"Personal. For Mr Bartholomew Scott Blair. Urgent. "
We'd like to find out why a woman you don't know should send you a letter
beginning "My beloved Barley", and sign herself "Your loving K".
She's potty. Certifiable.
Where is this manuscript?
- That's none of your business. - Like hell it isn't.
She sent it to me as a publisher.
- It's a bloody sight more mine than yours. - Please calm down.
It's in safe hands, Barley.
The manuscript was in three notebooks.
When Niki couldn't find you in London, he had the sense to bring them to us.
The first notebook is worthless, scientifically speaking.
Peacenik manifestos, slogans, poems, quotations.
It has psychological interest, Minister, in so far as the writer sounds...
- Would "you" say? - It's not a medical term, sir.
- As for notebooks two and three? - Genuine science.
Written by someone in the business. No question.
Destruction paths, payloads, aim points, bias, rate of burn, trajectories, telemetry.
Of course, it doesn't necessarily describe the true state of affairs.
What the hell "does" it purport to describe?
In a nutshell, the Soviet's strategic capability for waging nuclear war.
And addressed to boozy Barley Blair.
Well, if it's strategic, we can't evaluate it without the Americans.
So it's their baby, not ours.
- Throw Scott Blair to the Americans. - Unfortunately, we haven't found him yet.
Eureka: We've got him.
A Lisbon bank account, my dears:
- We've got him. - Lisbon.
- Why did you run away? - (Barley) Run away? I own a flat here.
"(American accent)" Why Lisbon, Barley?
"(mimics accent)" Why Langley, Bob?
You brought a woman?
What's it to you if I brought a woman, a man or a fuckin' Muscovy duck?
What do you do with yourself in Lisbon, Barley?
Well, I was having a drink.
Until I was interrupted.
- Mr Blair? - Eh?
I believe I'm addressing Mr Bartholomew Scott Blair. Yes? Correct?
- Yes. - I'm Merrydew. I'm from the embassy.
We received a rather urgent message for you over our link.
Are you trying to tell me someone's dead, old boy?
No. That would be consular. I'm commercial.
Well, I never knew an honest debt that couldn't wait till Monday.
Loosen your girdle, Merrydew. Have a drink with the unwashed.
I say, Blair, the man's the Queen's emissary, for Christ's sake.
Have they moved the embassy, or are you hijacking me? What's going on, tubby?
- I'm commercial. Strictly commercial. - Mr Blair, sir?
My name's Ned.
I'm about to move the goal posts.
There's no urgent message. There's no crisis in your affairs - beyond the usual.
I'm from British Intelligence.
Come and meet the others.
This is Clive. This is Walter.
Over here is Bob, who is "almost" family. Meet Barley, everyone.
- Hello, Barley: - Proud to know you, Barley.
I'm the odd man out here. I work for the Central Intelligence Agency,
which, as you probably know, is based in Langley in the state of Virginia.
Let's have some fun. Let's do some good.
Now isn't that jolly?
So, where are we all off to? Nicaragua? Chile? Iran?
Or are we just assassinating some local nuisance?
Don't rant. Sit down.
Perhaps you can tell us what this letter's all about.
- Recognise the handwriting? - Read it slowly.
Take all the time in the world, Barley.
"(Barley)" Who is she?
Yekaterina Orlova. Katya?
- Never heard of her. - The patronymic's Borisovna.
Katya Borisovna Orlova. Have a think, Barley.
I don't know a Katya. Never screwed one,
never flirted with one, never proposed to one, never even married one.
What is she, the usual fat-arsed frump?
So, she wrote you a letter signed "Your loving K",
- and you tell me you don't know her? - I told you. I never met the hag.
She's off her tree.
She wasn't even there.
- Where? - At Peredelkino.
It's a Soviet writers' village.
They value their writers. The ones who behave get their own dachas.
I was lucky enough to be a guest.
When was this?
Three or four months ago. One of my trips.
But there wasn't any Katya.
- What happened? - I was brilliant.
- Yes? - Oh, yes.
How to save the world between lunch and dinner. I was flying.
I "believe" in the new Russia. You may not, but I do.
years ago, it was just a pipe dream. Today, it's our only hope.
We thought we could bankrupt you by raising the stakes in the arms race.
Gambling with the fate of the human race.
Barley, you won your gamble. Nuclear peace for years.
Oh, rubbish. What peace?
Ask the Czechs, the Vietnamese, the Koreans. Ask the Afghans.
No. If there is to be hope, we must all betray our countries.
We have to save each other, because all victims are equal.
And none is more equal than others.
It's everyone's duty to start the avalanche.
A heroic thought, Barley.
Listen, nowadays you have to think like a hero
just to behave like a merely decent human being.
And did you believe this nonsense?
I don't know. I believe it when I say it.
But you've got to be there.
You're taking a leak in some filthy public urinal,
and the man in the next stall leans across and asks you about God, or Kafka,
or freedom versus responsibility.
So you tell him. Because you know. Because you're from the West.
And before you've finished shaking your dick, you think "What a great country."
That's why I love them.
And they're very fond of me.
Anyway... later we talked about jazz, and I played some.
What, somebody had a saxophone?
What else? Drum kit? Rhythm section?
(# saxophone effect through a comb and paper)
(# improvised jazz continues)
How many women were there?
Three or four. But no Katya.
But there was "someone," wasn't there?
Yes. There was someone.
Someone who is the reason why we're all here. Yes?
- A man or a woman? - Name?
Christ. The way you people come alive when you smell blood.
They called him... Dante.
As in "Inferno".
The others said he was on holiday. A drinking holiday.
He worked some place where drinking wasn't on.
Everyone deferred to him.
He never spoke. He just got drunk and stared.
- Stared? - Mm. At me.
Did Dante arrive on his own or with others?
I don't know.
Then I decided to give them all a rest from wonderful me,
let them talk Russian for a while.
There's a graveyard a couple of hundred yards up the hill.
It's a place of pilgrimage.
"If there is to be hope, we must all betray our countries."
Ah, Dante, old chum.
Come to pay your respects to old Boris, have you?
Do you think he knows people are allowed to read him again?
"All victims are equal. None is more equal than others."
Yes, well... some "write" better than others.
"How sweet it is to hate one's native land, to desire its ruin,
and in its ruin to discern the dawn of universal rebirth."
- Pasternak? - No. Pecherin. An earlier poet.
Pecherin understood that it's possible to love your country while hating its system.
If you say so.
I love my country.
I love it too - "your" country.
And I'm reasonably fond of my own.
To save it, perhaps it's necessary to betray it. Yes?
Because you and I, we love truth.
Who are you, Dante?
What do you do for a living?
I am a moral outcast.
Oh, it's always nice to meet a writer.
And what sort of rubbish are you turning out now?
I am the lie.
You spoke the truth.
Promise me that you are not a spy, and then I will make you a promise in return.
I'm not a spy, actually. Not my line.
You are nobody's spy? Not even ours?
Dante, I'm getting a bit jumpy, to be honest.
I'm nobody's spy.
Let's talk about something else. How about chess?
Oh, chess. In chess there are no lies. But in my game lies are everything.
What game is that?
The Soviet knight is dying inside his armour.
You are in danger only from our lies.
I commit the lie every day. I lie even to my masters.
So, promise me that if I ever find the courage to think like a hero,
then you will act like a merely decent human being. Right?
- Dante, leave me out, will you? - Hey, you cannot reject me.
Because I am strengthened by your rejection.
So, promise me.
What the hell am I promising, for God's sake?
If you ever manage to be a hero,
I'll be a... decent human being.
Why didn't you come to us? : I know why. You put your head in the sand.
Don't know because don't "want" to know.
I'm sorry, but we're going to need your rather serious help.
Then I asked him "What am I supposed to be promising, for God's sake?"
Why didn't you come to us? : I know why. You put your head in the sand.
Don't know because don't want to know.
- Who the hell is that? - Walter? He's a character.
I'm sorry, but we're going to need your rather serious help.
- That's it. - And the notebooks?
The notebooks don't mesh with any disinformation artist,
con man or intelligence peddler we know.
Our psychology and handwriting gurus tried to fault them.
- And? - They failed.
Try harder, Russell.
Not even a perhaps or a maybe?
No. Not even a tickle, old boy. They're not in Dante's class.
Is that Katya?
- That's her. - You remember her now?
No such luck.
Choose someone else.
We didn't choose you. Dante did.
Because I wasn't a spy.
We're not asking you to build the beastly rockets or push the button.
Only to help improve our knowledge of the enemy.
And if the enemy turns out to be a friend, where's the harm?
I thought we were all supposed to be chums together now.
Oh, my dear Lord:
Because this year it suits them to roll over and play nice doggie?
Because this year they're on the floor anyway? You ninny.
All the more reason to spy the daylights out of 'em.
Kick 'em in the balls every time they get to their knees.
Well, that's where I disagree.
I'll back my Russia against yours any time.
I'm sorry, Ned. No go.
Bloody woman. I must've given offence.
She has a point.
Worry about Dante.
He reached out for you.
Would you rather throw him to the Americans?
Don't be fooled by Bob's Yaley manner.
The Yanks will take Dante, put him on a spit and have a barbecue.
How will you live with yourself?
I "don't" live with myself.
In fact, I try to give myself a wide berth.
I'm offering you a fresh start. And a fat cheque.
Never mind the money. Barley's far too grand.
This is something people write in for.
The chance to be an active player in the defence of their country.
You live in a free society. You've no choice.
Any decent church would've burnt you bastards years ago.
You're a fool to use me.
I let people down.
Abercrombie and Blair.
Is it the office of... Mr Bartholomew Scott Blair?
Yes. But he isn't in at the moment.
Can I help, or would you like to leave a message?
No, thank you. It is a publishing matter.
I will telephone again. Thank you.
(Ned) Crowds are good, if you keep moving.
Open spaces are good.
Talking in the street is OK, if you have to.
Never, never talk in a car or in your hotel room,
except for the benefit of their microphones.
If you've read anything about playing the radio or running the taps, forget it.
That's right. The source is the star of the show.
And the star decides whether to make the meeting or abort.
This is fun. Is that why you keep it secret?
Did you spot our watchers?
The tramp raiding the dustbin, the woman with the white shoes,
and, of course, the man with the tracksuit.
You scored nil. Out of a possible .
The lesson is you'll never know who they are.
If you need to write something down, use a single sheet of paper on a hard surface.
That leaves no impression.
How many such surfaces can you see in this room?
Well, including the windowsill... four.
This is often easiest.
Then wipe it clean - rubbing hard.
The issue is "why."
That's what you're looking for all the time.
If we trust the motive, we trust the man.
Then we can trust the material.
Why did Dante pick on Katya?
Why does he put her life at risk?
Why does she let him?
Is "she" a spy?
- It's voice-activated, sir. You switch... - I know all this. I've had it up to here.
I just want to get it done. What's the hold-up?
It's everything we ever wanted to know about Russia and were afraid to ask.
- Sounds like the pot of gold. - Sounds like a crock of shit.
Some unidentified walk-in is telling us the Russians are way behind,
they can't hurt us, we can pull in our horns.
Who the hell is gonna sell that story on the Hill?
It could turn around and bite us right in the ass.
Let the Brits run with it for a while.
Dante is their source, and, uh... Scott Blair is their problem.
I'll go with that, Russell. But I want Joe and Larry with him in London.
Friendly observers, OK?
You'll do us proud, Barley.
I've brought you a present.
It's not to keep. It's just to sniff.
- Am I supposed to offer to publish it? - Offer him anything he wants.
Say anything you need to say to keep him with us.
Except the truth?
Bon voyage, Barley.
Come back with the goods on Dante, starting with his real name,
and I'll get you a knighthood for literature.
The Russia House.
Barley Scott Blair. Abercrombie and Blair?
London. The publishers.
I believe you know Niki Landau.
Well, Niki was very insistent that I should give you a call. How do you do?
How do "you" do?
I'll tell you why I'm calling. I'm here in Moscow.
And Niki's sent you about a ton of tea. Well, a couple of pounds.
I hope you like tea.
I was wondering if we could arrange a handover.
- A handover? - Do you ever escape for lunch?
Yes. Of course.
Well, how about today? I'm at the Ukraine Hotel.
- That would be convenient. - Good. Marvellous.
Well, I'll be outside from . on.
- How will I know you? - Oh, listen, I'm easy to recognise.
I look like a large, unmade bed with a shopping bag attached.
You're Katya, of course.
Yes. And you must be Mr Barley.
Yes, indeed. The same. Well done.
Well, er... where shall we go?
I brought your stuff from Niki, but I'll carry it.
How did you recognise me, Mr Barley?
Well, Niki said you were Russia's answer to the "Venus de Milo."
That is ridiculous.
I was nearly arrested here three years ago.
They said I was photographing a military subject.
- And were you? - No. A soldier and his girlfriend.
They asked me to take their picture.
Obviously I received the manuscript.
I will take you to where we can have lunch.
If you do not mind, I will first buy shoes.
Today there is a shipment of shoes.
With perestroika, there is even less available than before.
- Really? I thought things were improving. - Everything is corrupt and incompetent.
Perhaps different people are now stealing. I don't know.
Keep your voice down.
Complaining is our new human right.
Glasnost gives everyone the right to complain and accuse,
but it doesn't make more shoes.
Tell me about your new Russian book.
Oh, yes. The book.
Well, my problem is that, er, I don't know the author's real name,
let alone where he gets all his information from.
Learned his craft and so forth. Hm?
Such personal questions are not appropriate.
Some writers can only work in obscurity.
But you know publishing, hm?
If a fella's written about the hill tribes of northern Burma,
well, you're entitled to know if he's ever been further south than Minsk.
Especially if it's a really important book. Which this one is.
Dynamite, in fact.
The author was inspired by certain opinions of a British publisher
concerning world peace.
Do you think he'd like to meet that publisher again?
It is not known. This can be established.
The publisher would like to meet "him" again.
How long are you staying in Moscow, please, Mr Barley?
Seven days... Mrs Katya.
(# plays mournful tune)
- Where do you live? - With my children.
Your children? How many?
I have a boy and a girl. They are eight and nine years old.
It is not relevant.
What does your husband do?
It is not important.
- Is he a publisher too? - No.
Is he a writer?
A composer? A cook?
Is he a dressmaker in Vladivostok?
His factory prefabricates houses for rural areas.
We are divorced. Like everybody else in Moscow.
(# mournful tune continues)
Unfortunately, I have to return to my children now.
Isn't someone looking after them?
Well, ring up. Tell them you've met a fascinating man
that wants to talk literature to you all day.
I'm sorry. I cannot.
Oh, look, we've hardly met.
I need time.
I've got enormously serious things to discuss
with a beautiful Russian woman.
I don't bite, I don't lie... Have dinner with me.
- At least show me something of Moscow. - It is not convenient.
- Then give me your home number. - It is not convenient.
- Will you call me, then? - Perhaps.
Perhaps I shall call you late tonight.
No, not "perhaps".
I shall call you.
You forgot to give her the tea.
- Mr Blair, sir? - Wicklow.
Excellent morning's work, sir. No problems.
Oh, by the way, you asked why so many Russians use the word "convenient".
In Russian it's "udobno". But it also means "proper".
- A bit confusing really. - Yes, it is indeed.
We have an interim, sir.
Katya left her office, took a taxi, unknown destination. We have it covered.
Da, eta Alina.
- Dobry dyen. - Barley:
- Welcome to Moscow, my dear chap: - Alik.
Why do you look so healthy? Why have you no hangover? Are you in love?
How did you know, Alik?
Meet Leonard Carl Wicklow, our new editor of Soviet books.
Alik "Z"apadny of VAAP,
the all-suffocating Soviet Copyright Agency.
- How is Barley paying you, Mr Wicklow? - Oh, Russia's top of the pops these days.
Mention to the money boys that we want to build up a Russian list
and they throw money at us.
Have you a sales force, or are you still relying on divine intervention?
And how about translators?
On fiction we will use our own and take another " %" royalty. How's that?
- We'll consider it. - No, I don't think so.
We don't have the margin.
Well done, Wickers.
- Jesus, Barley: - Yuri.
What are you doing here? You're a month early for the book fair.
Yuri, I want you to meet Len Wicklow, our new Russian-speaking specialist.
Hello. You a spy?
- Only in my spare time, sir. - Jesus, I like him.
Oh, thank you. Sit down, friend.
Let's deal direct, OK?
To hell with those assholes at VAAP.
Stay away from them. Especially "Z"apadny.
I don't say he's KGB.
All I say is he needed some damned good friends to get him back into circulation.
Know what I mean?
- Cheers. - Na zdorovye.
Oh, Barley... I have something for you.
Some of these writers haven't yet been to jail. But I'm working on it.
I'll make them famous in the West even if it kills them.
Do I disturb you?
Deeply. Come over.
You invited me to show you Moscow tomorrow, I think.
I did. Where do I send the glass coach?
I have the tapes, and I've never heard such pussyfooting around in my life:
Barley has gotta tell Katya: No more Greta fucking Garbo.
And Dante better shit or get off the pot.
I'm being pelted with crap in the streets here:
All right, Russell, message understood.
Russell's metaphors are becoming rather scatological.
Signal Paddy at the embassy. I want him to talk to Barley.
Er, we're this way.
I hope you like churches.
In Russia we don't ask that. It is not convenient.
Ah. I think you mean "proper". No?
- Proper? - Mm.
Now you know why hardly anyone comes up here. Mind your head.
One more to go. This way.
This is just like school.
Dear old, bloody old... school.
Who is that man down there?
Oh, he's my editor. He's keeping lookout.
Are we ready? Thank you, Brock.
Why is an editor keeping a lookout?
Do you drink this stuff?
What's Dante's real name, huh?
Who is he?
Does he test things?
Is he a physicist? An engineer? Is he army?
Does he like ice cream?
Does he like the movies?
Is he one man? Is he two? Is he a group?
Why don't you just start talking and let's see how it goes?
Come on, Katya. You started this, I didn't.
Come on, it's me, Barley Blair. I do jokes, I do bird noises, I drink.
I'm a friend.
- Who is he? - I don't know what I may tell you.
What did he tell you to tell me?
Whatever is necessary. That I should trust you.
He was generous. It is his nature.
Why did you send me the book if you didn't trust me?
It was for him that I sent it. I did not select you, he did.
He is... my friend.
Is this what you usually do for friends?
Smuggle their manuscripts out to the West?
Risk your life, your children?
Does he understand the consequences? Does he care?
He is reconciled.
- Are you? - Of course.
And your children?
It is for them and their generation.
He is inspired by the new openness here.
But he knows that nothing will change by itself.
- And you agree? - Yes: And so do you:
You spoke for him. It is for you we are here:
That's worth a drink.
He is not a soldier. He is a scientist. He is a physicist.
- Also qualified in aspects of engineering. - Better: Ha-ha:
Engineering. We're making progress, gentlemen.
Where was he trained?
He went to the LITMO.
Afterwards to postgraduate studies at the university.
What's the LITMO?
Leningrad Institute of Mechanical and Optical Science: Write that down, fellas.
LITMO is the Leningrad Institute for Mechanical and Optical Science.
He was extremely brilliant. At he won a mathematics olympiad.
When I was at school, they were the people I couldn't stand.
Naturally, if you are not so intelligent, you will be jealous.
(hugely amplified clanging)
From university he went to Academgorodok,
the City of Science at Novosibirsk.
He was... like a meteor there.
Is that where you met him?
In Leningrad. I was a child. A great intellectual of .
- I met Yakov at the club... - Yakov?
- Yakov is Dante? - Yes. Yakov.
- First name Yakov: - Jacky.
We met at the Club of Scientists.
It was at a closed showing of a foreign film.
It was by Godard. └ bout de souffle. Breathless.
I went with my father.
And what year are we talking about now?
You remember ' ?
The Paris students at the barricades, American students against Vietnam,
and for us it was Czechoslovakia.
Yakov said that the Russians would never stop
the extraordinary reforms happening there.
It was the start of a new age.
He had come back to Leningrad to be a part of it.
- From where? - From the military.
They had seduced him with privileges, money for his researches...
They had corrupted him.
He had come back to Leningrad to recover his innocence.
He was beautiful.
Not like a scientist, like an...
So you fell in love with him.
He was my first lover.
It was the same night that the tanks entered Prague.
There was no more innocence anywhere.
Yakov said that innocence was a delusion.
And a few weeks later he returned to the military.
I did not talk to him for many years.
Until last year, when he met a British publisher who spoke to his heart.
Next day, Yakov telephoned me at the office.
He had decided what he must do. He needed my help.
Is he alone in this? Does he need anyone else's help?
- None of his drinking friends? - No.
How can you be so certain?
Because I am certain that in his thoughts he is completely alone.
Are you happy with him?
- Please? - I mean, er... do you like him?
As well as loving him. Does he make you laugh? Hm?
I believe that Yakov is a great and important man,
who is trying to restore himself and cannot survive without me.
Jesus Christ, Mother of God: It's Savelyev:
Yakov Yefremovich Savelyev:
Did he mention anything about, er... falsification of results?
He talks about "the great lie". Everything is part of the great lie.
Ah. Go on.
Are you part of the great lie also, Barley?
I think I am also allowed to ask questions.
Oh, of course. Ask.
Are you Mr Bartholomew Scott Blair?
- Aw, for God's sake... - Are you?
- Yes. - Are you a publisher?
Are you a spy?
Are you alone in this, or were you sent by others?
I'm alone, and that's the God's truth.
Never been more alone.
Yakov said he will meet you in Leningrad in four days from now.
He has proposed three places and three times.
He will keep one of the appointments, if he can.
He's going to reconstruct the balance of terror,
and open the ultimate can of worms.
Savelyev? : My God, if Dante is Savelyev, you guys don't know what you've got:
- Yes, we do. Trouble. - (phone rings)
Yakov Savelyev is the right hand of God over there.
(scientist) And he says it's shit? The Soviet threat's one big lie?
And look at this.
- They're bullshitting the Kremlin. - Honour is due, Ned.
Russell, I need your money. And your love.
I want an American partner for Barley. I want him in Leningrad on Friday.
I hear you, Ned. I'll get right back to you.
If he says they can't hit Nevada on a clear day, you better believe it. And be joyful.
Joyful? Most of our customers come to this town with contracts
to bring peace and prosperity to the arms industry for the next " " years.
But how the fuck do you peddle an arms race
when the only asshole you've got to race against is yourself?
The night train to Leningrad.
I may have mentioned Mr Potomac Books, my new American partner?
Well, he's doing Leningrad, and he summoned me for a powwow.
- Powwow? - I thought you knew English.
"Powwow" is not English.
- You must sit down. - "Sit down? Why?"
It is our custom before a long journey first to sit down.
Well, I'm lying down. Won't that do?
Well... you are supposed to sit on your luggage
and sigh a little and cross yourself.
I was more comfortable lying down.
Are you coming back to Moscow?
No, not this time. I have to fly straight back to school.
Work. England. It's a stupid expression of mine.
I hope I didn't bore you last night.
You did not bore me.
Oh. Perhaps next time.
I'll make a special journey just to talk about myself.
I wish you a good journey, Barley.
I'll miss you.
I want you to know something, Scott. This little country is on the move.
I smell hope here.
I smell change. I smell commerce.
And we are buying ourselves a piece of it. I'm proud. Proud.
hours. Barley and Wicklow are in Leningrad.
Checked in at the Pribaltiyskaya Hotel.
Good. We're on schedule.
Barley's got three chances to make contact.
Now it's up to Dante.
You want to sell me something?
Cigarettes, Scotch, drugs, currency?
No, thanks. Cheerio.
You get lost?
That's a good idea. Why don't "you" try it?
One down, two to go.
Where are you, Dante?
Sir. Excuse me, sir, but I think we are acquainted.
Good God: The great Dante, as I live and breathe:
We met at that writer's party at Peredelkino, remember?
The only two sober people there.
- How are you? - I'm very well.
Welcome to Leningrad.
You can walk a little? It is safest to keep moving.
Yes, they told me that.
Barley's made contact: He's done it.
Unfortunately, he couldn't find me.
So he gave it to our authorities. People of... discretion. Experts.
You have betrayed me.
Nobody's betrayed you.
I told you. Your manuscript went astray, that's all.
Our authorities "admire" your book.
But they need to know if it's true.
The best way would be for you to talk with them.
You came to tell me you refuse to publish me?
Dante, you're going too fast.
Russia has no time.
When the ice is thin, you have to walk fast.
To lose time is to lose everything.
And then we all slide into the grave. So be it. I will be the first corpse.
And Katya second. What about her?
She also chose.
If we act together, we will survive together.
Have you forgotten your words at Peredelkino?
I am not the man you thought I was.
You do not need to remind me that man is not equal to his rhetoric.
Our new people talk about openness.
You like graveyards, Barley?
Look. Here is ours if we fail.
Chose a monument.
Leave Katya out. Go with the experts and leave her out.
I shall wish a book jacket that is only letters. No sensational drawings. Yes?
Send the money to a deserving cause.
- Dante... - What is the matter? Are you afraid?
Well, of course I'm bloody afraid:
Here... the Revolution started.
Imagine this place on that day when the battleship "Aurora" fired that blank shot
which signalled the Revolution.
The next revolution shall begin with a few gentle phrases of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Or maybe with some of the jazz you play so beautifully.
Yes, a little Sidney Bechet.
Got a present for you. They asked me to give it to you.
It tells you how to get in touch with them. I'll try to...
Have you learned nothing? They are against you, and against me.
Those are not the decent people.
How the hell do you know who the decent people are any more?
Come to England. Then you can tell the world everything you want.
You are wearing grey today, Barley.
My father was sent to prison by grey men.
He was murdered by men who wore grey uniforms.
Grey men ruined my beautiful profession, and take care, or they will ruin you too.
Will you publish me?
Or must I start again for my search for a decent human being?
I'm with you.
I believe you're right.
I dropped another notebook into your bag.
Throw your friends a few bones.
Barley. Welcome back.
Nedski. Why aren't you working?
I'm the red carpet. And the bunting, and the brass band.
Oh. You got the notebook.
- Good stuff, was it? - The best. You're the hero of the hour.
You're a star.
Where's Walter? Off with the boy scouts?
Well, he's off the job, I'm afraid. But he sends his love.
(American) The fourth notebook is a deal-breaker.
It's come-to-Jesus time for both sides now, the hawks and the doves.
The Agency has gotta get off the fence, Russell.
Only three weeks old, and already a classic.
Feel the weight of all the expert opinions.
- Is there a conclusion? - Clive, there is a conclusion.
Drop it down the toilet, and your guy with it.
- Is that what "you" think, Russell? - What "I" think?
Well, expert opinion has it that this notebook was written very quickly,
or very slowly, by a man or a woman, in anger or in jest.
The writer was right- or left-handed. He was a scientist and a non-scientist.
What "I" think?
For experts, there's no toilet deep enough.
Good for you, Russell.
The trouble is, a lot of highly paid favourite sons
are in danger of having their rice bowls broken and going hungry,
all on account of these goddamn notebooks.
The Russian military effort is stalled, the American military effort is stalled.
Their rocket motors suck instead of blow, their ICBMs can't get out of their kennels,
their scientists can't do solid fuel for shit...
Our customers don't like to hear that.
Jesus Christ. I have to come all this way to tell you this?
And yet here you are.
And yet here I am.
Clive, Ned, I'll tell you something.
I am an honest-to-God glasnostic.
I was born a glasnostic. My parents are old glasnostics from way back.
My children will be raised as glasnostics - although I don't have any.
And I really believe that Dante is a source from glasnost heaven.
I can't look away. He'll invade my sleep.
And for the rest of my fucking life I'll be hearing him say
"Russell, you had it in your hand. Ned gave it to you."
Honour is due, Ned.
- You won't regret it, Russell. - "You" might.
We wanna meet your Mr Barley.
In the back room, with the lights in his eyes.
(Russell) Mr Blair, you have all the attributes.
Generosity, wit, courtesy,
sang-froid, saxophone and reckless folly.
So... what in the hell takes you to Russia every five minutes?
Are you, uh... buying property over there?
That's a fair question.
Fuck whether it's a fair question. Just tell us the answer.
I love the place.
It draws me.
It's such a shambles.
They try so hard, from so far back...
Poor buggers. They just want to be like us.
They have this huge heart and... huge ignorance.
And they always keep their word.
They're gathering acorns and making coffee from them:
That's what they're doing here.
Mr Blair, we are buying a Picasso. OK?
You don't mind an occasional metaphor, do you?
- Not at all. - Good.
Some people don't like my metaphors. I don't know why, but...
Anyway, everyone in this room is buying the same Picasso.
It's, uh, very rare. Medium rare, well done. What the fuck?
The bottom-line question is "Did Picasso paint it?"
And you're the man who is selling it to us.
It is not my Picasso, Russell.
It is not my Picasso. And I'm not saying it "is" a Picasso.
And furthermore, I'm not selling it to you.
And lastly, I don't give a fuck whether you buy it or not.
Quinn is army from the anus up. He likes plain answers.
I'll tell Barley.
Have you ever had any homosexual experiences, Mr Blair?
Just the usual adolescent hand-held job.
Same as yourself, I suppose?
- Has this man been fluttered? - What's that?
Lie detector. No, Colonel, he hasn't.
Your background is fairly liberal, isn't it, Mr Blair?
- Background? - Your father.
No. My father hated liberals. He took the communist line mainly.
Your father died eight years ago?
Which is about the time your visits to the Soviet Union became pretty regular.
- I hadn't made the connection. - Have you formed "any" connection
with any peaceniks, dissidents or other unofficial groups of that nature?
You meet all sorts. Jazz people, book people...
That's an impossible question. I'm sorry.
Well, let me turn that around and ask if you've made any connection, whatsoever,
with any peace people in England?
Oh, hundreds, I should think. You have to stay indoors to avoid them.
Are there any musicians you fraternise with
whom you would describe, or who would describe themselves, as anarchists?
Ah. There was a trombone player.
Wilfred Baker was his name.
He's the only jazz musician I can recall
who was completely devoid of anarchist tendencies.
Do you disapprove of the English social structure, Mr Blair?
Absolutely. Give me America every time.
- Thank you, Mr Blair. - Not at all.
But you seem to go to Russia rather more than you come to America.
Yes. Because I prefer Russia.
It's as corrupt as America, but... there's less bullshit.
He acted like a man who's going his own way. Wouldn't you say?
I'd say he behaved like someone who didn't need to be careful.
He might have.
Oh, RenÚ. Mr Blair likes to have a bottle of Scotch in his room.
After his cricket.
- Very good. - That was nearly a six.
Mr Brady, Barley.
Looks like you've done a fine thing, Barley.
Anybody say thank you along the way?
Did I read somewhere you once played in the great Ray Noble's band?
Ah. A beardless boy in those days, Brady.
Wasn't Ray the sweetest man you ever met?
Ray was a prince.
Did you ever play chess with him?
- As a matter of fact, I did. - Who won?
- I did. - So did I.
(Katya speaking Russian)
"(technician)" Close your eyes, please. No undue excitation of any kind.
Always answer truthfully.
Answers to be "yes" or "no" only.
Is your name Blair?
- Is your name Scott Blair? - Yes.
(camera shutter clicks)
- I am being blackmailed. - No.
I am being coerced.
By the Soviets?
I am operating in collusion with the woman Katya Orlova.
Yes. What do you mean?
- Hold it. - Don't break the rhythm, Mr Blair.
We have people do that on purpose just to shake off a bad question.
I am operating on behalf of the Soviet Union.
- No. - In collusion with Katya Orlova.
- No. - I am the lover of Katya Orlova.
I am motivated by my love for Katya Orlova.
Get rid of him, Clive.
He's wrong for us. Put in a professional. One of our people.
If Dante's a good boy, he gets the jackpot. I'll see to it.
A million's no problem. Ten million's even better.
That way Dante's a traitor our patriots can understand.
Dante won't deal with a professional. He won't be bribed or threatened.
He's straight. Do you remember straight?
Nobody hired us for our brotherly love, Ned.
- Brady? - Clive?
Is there a seat on your plane?
You've beaten their whole apparatus.
There'll be no turning back now.
Well done, Ned(:) Jolly good show.
Well, that's what you want, isn't it? To go back to Moscow. To see it through.
Three cheers for our side.
Blair stays, and Langley are taking over the case.
They're preparing a shopping list for Dante.
It'll be the list to end all lists. A grand-slam questionnaire.
Pentagon, Defense, State... Endorsed by the president.
You made them a present of "my" joe?
The role of the Russia House will be respected. Russell values the link.
We're taking over Barley's resettlement and his pension, Ned.
You gave away my joe for his pension?
We're on the same bloody side, aren't we?
God, this is a list of questions that could unlock all the Sov military secrets
and win the arms race at a stroke:
(Ned) Or lose it. I don't like lists, Clive.
Lists tell you too much about the people who make them.
(Bob) I think you'll enjoy our facility.
Bloody marvellous. Blair's tapes encrypted,
bounced by satellite to London, then decrypted - all in minutes.
You know my partner, JP Henziger? No, you don't? You should.
- Leonard Wicklow, my associate. - Jack Henziger.
Spikey: They let you in again?
- Not bankrupt yet? - No. Close, but no cigar. Here.
- Party on Thursday. Live music. - Hey.
Bit early in the day even for me, George.
Er, Leonard Wicklow, JP Henziger.
- Brought your saxophone? - But of course.
Alik. A cordial invitation from Potomac Blair to a party on Thursday.
- So what was so important in Leningrad? - Come on.
You don't care about Leningrad, do you?
I'm sorry I disappeared. Here.
If she was young and beautiful, I forgive you.
It is so good, Barley. Really, it is so good to see you.
Welcome to Moscow again. Welcome to the book fair.
To hell with the book fair.
This is too beautiful to wear.
She is asking... are you married?
No. Not at present.
But tell her that I'm always open to offers.
(girl speaks in Russian)
What's he saying?
Matvey assures me lapta is the origin
of American baseball and your English cricket.
He believes it was introduced to you by Russian immigrants.
Well, if that's true, it's the end of the British Empire.
Now, my news.
After your meeting with Yakov he missed his next phone call.
I was very worried. But it is all right.
Yakov wrote me a long letter. He was ill, but he has recovered.
He will make a special visit to Moscow during the book fair to meet you.
- How was he ill? - With "gipetit."
I... "Prasti." Sorry. Er, hepatitis?
I will read it to you.
It arrived eight days ago. Igor telephoned at my house.
- Who's lgor? - A trusted friend of Yakov.
He telephoned. He said "I have some medicine for you." Medicine is a letter.
I thought he didn't have any trusted friends except you.
What does he do, this lgor?
He is a scientist like Yakov, at one of the ministries.
What does it matter? Do you wish me to translate Yakov's letter or not?
He is in a special hospital, perhaps in a special town.
Some of our towns have no names, even today. Only postal numbers.
"My darling Katya..."
He writes love talk. I shall not translate.
Does he usually do that?
What "usually"? It is not usually he writes to me.
Ah, now we come to you.
"Please tell our good friend that I shall try my best to see him during his visit."
"I will bring more material. If he has a message for me, he must tell you."
Do you have a message?
"Tell him to bring all further questions,
because after this I do not wish to answer any more questions."
"Tell him his list should be final and..."
He says "Please bring a sample page of translation,
but in print, please, if you can."
"Tell me publishing dates. Which is the best season?"
"Please make your suggestions for a title."
"Will there be an introduction to the book? Who will write the... digest?"
Er, the blurb.
Yes, the blurb.
(girl speaks Russian)
Er, it's a war wound. It's very good. You must tell her.
- You tell her. - Fantastic.
When do you speak to Yakov again?
You cannot come to the hospital, Barley. It is not safe.
If it's not safe for "me," then it's not safe for "you."
- How does he end his letter? - That is not for you.
- More love talk, hm? - Barley, I think it is clear to hedgehog
that you are being a little childish.
Why does he write like that?
He is lonely. He exaggerates his feelings. It is normal.
That's it: No more: No more fucking tapes:
Final and comprehensive list. Why?
He's nervous. Why not?
Maybe I don't mind the list.
Maybe I mind him writing her chatty letters.
People do when they've been ill.
Maybe I mind the red car and the white car. You saw the watch report.
And lgor. Igor who? Lgor when?
Ned, Ned, Ned, Ned, Ned:
It's early days. We're all jumpy.
(Matvey speaks in Russian)
Did you know Agatha Christie? Matvey is crazy for detective fiction.
Alas, Agatha and I were never introduced.
Raymond Chandler, Dorothy Sayers, Conan Doyle...
(Katya speaks Russian)
What's he saying now?
(Matvey continues in Russian)
He is talking about the siege.
The Germans were four kilometres from Leningrad on the south side.
- I love you. - You can still see...
the marks of the machine-gun fire in the old buildings in the outskirts.
I love you.
All my failings were preparations for meeting you.
The city refused to... accept defeat.
- Shostakovich still composed music... - It's like nothing I have ever known.
unselfish love. Grown-up love.
- You know it is. - Barley, please.
It's mature, absolute,
You have bewitched my family.
My children think all you British are now Santa Claus in beautiful tweed clothes.
There's no Santa Claus. And nobody is what he seems.
Why do you want to take away my rights? Go and sit down.
I hope you are not being frivolous, Barley. My life now only has room for truth.
- What are you doing? - Shh.
I'm with you.
"(whispers)" I know it now.
A final and comprehensive list.
One chance, then close down.
I really think you should get some sleep.
- I don't think I'm tired. - Oh, I think you are.
I think you're tired as hell.
If the Sovs were playing Dante back at us, they wouldn't close him down.
You wouldn't close him down if you were Sov, would you?
I might have to if my methods were Russian.
Because Dante may not be presentable any more.
He may not be able to use the telephone. He may not be able to use a spoon.
He may be dead.
Dante is going to phone Katya at the hospital today.
If he does that, will you shut the fuck up?
Or stay out of my operation?
"(whispers)" You must be very quiet.
If the children come, we must dress and we must be very serious.
I'll tell them I love you.
I shall not interpret.
Can I tell "you?"
If you are quiet.
Will you interpret?
You are my only country now.
(car horn toots)
Sorry I'm late.
Are you connected?
- Bingo. - We're in business.
What did he say? Tell me.
(Bob) That's a neat fit. Dante keeps it short.
(Bob) They're happy.
- (Ned) Why is he driving? - Men like to drive women.
He's a male chauvinist.
- Your people saying he's still in the flat? - You see what I see.
Come on, come on, where's the tape?
(man) Hello, Barley. What do you think of Cy's lorry?
- Or "truck", as he calls it. - It's very impressive.
- How'd it go, Barley? - Good.
Well, we're bang on target, Paddy. The meeting is on.
Dante's coming to Moscow on Friday. He's borrowing that apartment.
- Well done. What time? - .
No. Nothing I couldn't handle. But Katya's not as tough as she thought.
Wound herself up a bit, I think, waiting for that phone call.
But I gave her a cup of tea and held her hand for a bit.
Well done indeed.
Leo, good to see you.
How's Olga? Still eating?
How's your dog, Barley?
Arkady. I haven't got a dog. Why do you ask?
Because it's safer to discuss one's dog, I would say, than one's friends.
Getting careless in our excitement, huh?
The informants will have a good harvest this season.
- Hello, Barley. - Alik.
- Are you well? - Thank you, I am very well.
Now, who don't you know?
Comrades: Ladies and gentlemen:
To you, and to our new partnership, welcome.
Let's make each other free.
- And let's make each other rich. - (cheering)
We want Barley:
Barley: Give us a tune: Come on:
"(chanting)" Barley: Barley: Barley: Barley:
Wickers, you've got a real publisher in you. When this business is over, go for it.
(# band starts slow jazz piece)
(#jazz piece continues)
- Why "Z"apadny? - Ned:
Barley buys Soviet books. He's keeping his cover in trim.
Call it off, Russell.
You're not tired. You're sick:
If Dante is blown, Katya's blown. Why is she still walking around?
I don't know.
OK. If Dante's blown, who was on the hospital phone?
I don't know.
If it wasn't Dante, why didn't she tell Barley?
And if she did tell Barley, why isn't Barley telling "us?"
I don't know.
Don't give us hunches. Give us facts.
You brought us into this. Don't jump off the tiger at the first fucking stop:
It's over, Russell.
Dante is straight.
Those were your words, and I loved you for them.
We had him, but we lost him.
And my joe's out there telling us that he's bang on target.
(Barley playing saxophone)
"(Paddy)" This is the flat where Dante is waiting.
You'll be glad to hear that the lift was working this morning.
Fourth floor, green-painted door, bang opposite the lift.
Right. Then in that case this will be your window.
Now, when you get in, let us see you at that window.
Jack will walk you halfway. Then you're on your own.
Tell Dante you want to walk out with as many answers as he can give you.
This is it. The shopping list.
You'll have to tell him to wet the pages. The questions will float to the surface.
Uh, make sure you bring it back.
We think the whole thing will take two hours. Three, for luck.
Tell him you want a date for a final meeting to fill in the blanks.
And when you want to leave, pull the curtain. We'll pick you up.
Give this to Ned, will you? Just in case something goes wrong.
Nothing's going wrong.
That's it over there. Second from the right.
You'll be fine from here, Barley.
Fingers crossed, Jack.
Sir, the shopping list... It's only questions, isn't it?
- It wouldn't tell anyone anything? - Everything.
It would tell what we know by telling what we "don't" know.
And it would tell what we would most like to know.
If the Sovs get the list, we might as well have published the notebooks,
just as Barley promised Dante.
Yes, I "do" know.
Barley's made a deal.
He's keeping his promise to Dante in his own way.
And he's trying to save Katya.
- He's giving them the list: - Come on, Ned.
The Sovs are just waiting for Barley to give it to them.
- Brock, signal the truck. - Don't:
- Signal Paddy. Abort. - Don't:
And he's coming back smiling.
And "you" can take a long, long vacation.
My joe's crossed over.
(Russell) He went in.
He never came out.
About seven hours.
Shit city, Ned.
Honour is due.
Well, folks, better put the chairs back on the tables.
Till next time.
(Russian man) Yekaterina Borisovna Orlova.
(Barley) Yes. Katya.
- The letter was signed "Katya"? - No, just the initial. "Your loving K."
British Intelligence showed you the letter for the first time in Lisbon?
And it referred to your first meeting with Savelyev, whom you know as Dante?
Yes. At Peredelkino.
But Mrs Orlova was not at Peredelkino?
- As I keep telling you, I didn't meet her... - Please. Allow me.
Did Savelyev arrive at Peredelkino by himself or with others?
I don't know. Why don't you ask him?
Unfortunately, Professor Savelyev is dead.
He became very ill with hepatitis.
A great loss to the Soviet scientific community.
We all mourn him.
I have nothing further to add to what I have said.
You have the shopping list - payment in full.
Yes. The celebrated list.
We have a deal. I expect you to honour that deal.
Yes, I'm talking about honour, not ideology.
I've left a letter behind me just in case "they" don't know the difference.
Tell me about the letter.
"Dear Nedski, change of plan, old chum."
"Sorry I couldn't let you know."
"I thought you'd be onto me if anyone was. "
"But perhaps you taught me too well."
"Anyway, Dante is blown, as you would say. "
"His letter to Katya was a fake."
"His phone call to the hospital was KGB-controlled. "
"But Dante and Katya had worked out a code. "
What did he say?
He is taken. Yakov is taken.
"If he was caught, he called her by the wrong name. "
He used the wrong name.
If we are safe, he calls me Alina. Lf... if he is caught, Maria.
He called me Maria.
He was telling me we are dead.
Give me the key.
"So there we were. And I was thinking 'Why haven't they arrested us?"'
"It took me a while to work it out."
"But of course: They wanted the shopping list. "
"So there was the crunch:
To save your precious secrets, or to trade them for Katya and her family. "
"The easiest decision I ever made."
"And if you wouldn't have done the same, then you've learned nothing. "
"Dante was right."
"The grey men are keeping alive the arms race, which nobody is supposed to want. "
"It's all over for the secrets game. Your day is done, old boy. "
"Publish and be safe."
I need to betray my country, and I haven't got much time.
And don't tell me you don't know who to get in touch with. Just do it, hm?
I want to meet them in the morning and agree a contract. All right?
"I did my best for you, Ned."
"But now I have to do my best for Dante, and for Katya. "
Smile. You must smile.
They're watching us. Your side and my side.
We're going to beat them both.
I can't save Yakov. Nothing can.
But you're safe.
The children are safe. Uncle Matvey's safe.
I love you.
And I won't let you down.
"It was my first good contract. Real people for unreal arguments. "
"I got everything I wanted,
down to a safe passage for Wicklow, Henziger and the others. "
"No doubt there'll be hell to pay at your end. "
"But you shouldn't open other people's letters. "
"Love, and luck. Barley."
What about Russell?
Russell's a survivor.
Rumour has it that the shopping list was really a brilliant deception,
planted on the Russians by our clever Russell,
who also started the rumour.
If he can get the Sovs to believe it, everything's back to square one.
Dante need never have bothered.
He's home free. Back in Lisbon.
It's not a large flat, of course.
But by Moscow standards... We'll all squeeze in.
Still backing your Russia, Barley?
Well, we'll see.
You know, I chose this flat because I like to watch the ships come in.
I must have known that one day it would be my ship.
And you think that Katya's going to be on it?
Well, perhaps it's your due.
It took some guts. And you seem to think you did the decent thing.
Good luck, Barley.
Come on, Katya: Come on: