Funeral in Berlin

Synopsis: Colonel Stok, a Soviet intelligence officer responsible for security at the Berlin Wall, appears to want to defect but the evidence is contradictory. Stok wants the British to handle his defection and asks for one of their agents, Harry Palmer, to smuggle him out of East Germany.
Genre: Thriller
Director(s): Guy Hamilton
Production: Paramount Home Video
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min

Who's that playing the piano

with his elbows?

Coffee, love. Coffee.

That was a recording of Mozart's

Concerto in A Major

played by Viktor Bajevski,

the East German virtuoso

who yesterday escaped over the Berlin Wall.

Escape? They probably paid him to leave.

Hold on a minute.

...written in verse on a postcard.

- Hello?

- Round Robin calling Chaffinch.

- Chaffinch, are you receiving me?

- What do you want, Chico?

Please observe security procedure.

On a Saturday morning, are you mad?

Bald Eagle wants to see you urgently

at his place.

Look, he's expecting you at 1200 hours.

Tell Ross...

I'll be late.

- Why try to be so insubordinate?

- Why don't you go back to bed?

- Shan't be long, Mrs. Mead.

- Mrs. Ross?

My name's Palmer.

Oh, yes, of course. My husband's

expecting you.

Darling. Your Mr. Palmer.

- Morning, sir!

- Good afternoon, Palmer.

- I'm taking the Bentley.

- To the butcher?

- Yes, Mini's had a breakdown.

- Don't get blood on the coachwork.

How can you work for that dreadful man?


- I like weeds.

- Yes, they're easy to grow.

Not at all.

You have to keep the flowers out, defend

the strong against the weak.

A garden should be like a country lane,

a place you can walk in.

Not with flower beds laid out

like a cemetery.

I agree. Why did you send for me?

- Thistles.

- I beg your pardon?

I've got a lot of thistles.

They attract butterflies.

You should see this place

in the summertime.

Stok...Colonel Stok, KGB. Russian

Intelligence, Berlin Sector.

In charge of the Wall, unofficially.

You've been working since your promotion?

- Yes, sir. Well, I want to get on in life.

- Yes.

- Colonel Stok is thinking of defecting.

- Do we want him?

Yes, Palmer.

Where did you get this dubious

information from?

- Berlin. Johnnie Vulkan.

- Ah, yes.

I'll deal with this Monday morning.

Your plane leaves at 3:30 this afternoon.

Hallam of H.O. will give you a passport.

He's at 62 Wallington Road.

- Have you ever thought of it, sir?

- What?


I have.

- Have you found my cat?

- No, you've won the pools.

Ah, Ross's little man. Was that meant

to be a password, or simply a joke?

I didn't recognize you, dear boy,

in that gear.

- Have you a shilling?

- Eh?

- For the meter.

- I'll see.

I seem to have run out again.

Thank you.

I know I can pay you back.

I've got a jar of coppers...



Never mind, forget it. I came

for the passport.

- I know, dear boy. Have some tea.

- I've got a plane to catch.

- You been back long?

- Where from?

- China.

- Is that another joke?

Very hush-hush.

I hope you appreciate this.

One of my lads stayed on till 2 a.m.

to get this ready for you.

- Dorf?

- What's wrong with that?

Edmund Dorf?

All the best Englishmen

have foreign names.

Sorry, I don't feel like an Edmund Dorf.

Charming. What do you feel like?

Rock Hunter. Can't I be Rock Hunter?

No, you aren't the type.

You'll take what you get.

Alright, as long as it's not a useless

Foreign Office forgery.

I know what you mean. The chap

at the F.O. does it with his feet!

Have a cup of tea. Darjeeling!

No, thanks, I've got to go.

Give my love to Berlin! I was there

with Monty in '45.

So that's why the Germans surrendered!

- Yes?

- That's mine, that's mine, and this is.

Will you open this one, please?

They're...samples. They're all samples.

- I'm a...salesman. You see?

- OK, then. Thank you.

- Mr. Dorf?

- Yes?

On behalf of the company, welcome

to Berlin. Can I help?

- Did you have a pleasant flight?

- Yes.

- Harry Palmer, it's good to see you.

- You too, you old Kraut.

- Yours?

- Yeah.

This is what you did with your

share of the plunder.

Nice polish, but getting old.

Like you.

- She's got a great engine.

- How's yours?

I keep in shape.

By the way, I never thanked you for

covering for me on that NAAFI deal.

- How did you beat the rap?

- I didn't.

It was either jail or work for Ross.

He thought a crook like me

would be wasted inside.

He was right. Your idea was brilliant.

So brilliant, I'm still on

suspended sentence!

Her Majesty's Government

is doing good business.

A cover might as well be profitable.

- I won't ask where the profits go.

- It's only pocket money.

I believe that as much as I believe that

crazy Colonel Stok story of yours.

He has as much intention

of defecting as you.

- He convinced me.

- Really?

You can make up your own mind. I've

arranged for you to meet Stok.

You're going to the East.

- Remember, you're Edmund Dorf.

- How can I forget?

- You have the address?

- Yep.

And my Luger pistol, my cyanide pills

and my inflatable Batman suit.

59, Marx-Engels-Platz.


Wait here.

Me British.

You Tarzan.

Admit I scared you, English.

I'm Colonel Stok.

- Good afternoon.

- I'm sorry about arresting you.

Have some tea. It was a simple device

to avoid suspicion.

- As usual, there is no milk today.

- And so Russian tea was invented.

- Alright, Colonel Stok, I'm listening.

- You are in a hurry!

We must get to know each other, English,

if we are to trust each other.

I wish to defect. But

there are conditions.

What do you want?

- I want colonel's pay for life.

- Don't we all?

- A house in the country.

- How many bedrooms?

It doesn't matter, but I

must have a big garden.

I'm a peasant at heart and want

to grow roses in my old age.

In England, roses are out, weeds are in.

- Is that all?

- That is all.

- I want comfort and security.

- You've got that in Russia now.

In Russia, there is no place for an old

Bolshevik. I've made many enemies.

What about your family?

My wife died in a German air raid in 1941.

My only son hasn't written

to me in three years.

- What would you do?

- I'd stop telling lies, for a start.

You have no son and your wife is

in Kiev with your daughter Katya.

I know everything about you. From

the size of your refrigerator

to the cubic capacity of your mistress.

You haven't brought me here

just to tell a sob story.

Let's stop quarreling, English.

- Do you play chess?

- Yes.

But I prefer a game with

more chance of cheating.

I like you, English. You're not

as stupid as you look.

I wanted to see how well you were trained.

- Train hard, fight easy.

- You quote Marshal Suvorov. Bravo!

But my offer is perfectly serious.

My wall has been penetrated too

many times in the last year.

And last week, when a piano player

flew over in a bucket...

- That's too much!

- You mean politically or musically?

I did not arrest you for a joke, English.

I must go, and soon.

Of all people, you should know a way

of crossing the Wall.

My department is being investigated.

I'm being watched!

When the axe falls, there's

no use pleading not guilty!

For you it is a propaganda victory.

My name is worth a headline!

We get plenty of Russians. It's

a pity you're not Chinese.

Will you cooperate?


Yes, but there are limits. I'm not a traitor.

I'm still a good Communist.

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Evan Jones

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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