Hotel Reserve

Synopsis: An Austrian medical student living and working in France is hauled in by the police while on holiday in the south of the country. Accused of espionage he is sent back to his hotel to find out who might really be the spy. Not only his freedom but his chance of becoming a French citizen rests on what he can uncover,
79 min




Another drink before lunch, Skelton?

Major, anything to improve

Anglo-American relations.

I spent most of

my life in India.



Why did you do that?

I was enjoying it.

It bores me. You were singing it.

It's sentimental. Why not be

sentimental on our honeymoon?

Oh, yes, of course, our honeymoon.


You ought to know.

Come on.

I'll buy you champagne for lunch.

There's an article here

about the Australian Aborigines.

They catch their fish

with some kind of wooden harpoon.

There's nothing wrong

with my method.

YOU disturbed the fish.

This has got to stop.

Day after day, as soon as I am about

to catch a fish, you come by, paddling!

Hold it!

Thank you. That was perfect.

We're only too glad. Now perhaps

you'd take one of me by myself?

Sorry, that was my last film.

Mr Vadassy, will you be long?

I'm sorry, I couldn't miss those two.

It's my last film.

Yesterday, it was lizards

for your last film.

There must be something wrong with me.

No, you're not such a good model.

You can't stand still.

Because my hair gets in my eyes.

Why do you want hair?

It's usual.

I'm terribly sorry.

Forget it.

Let's go fishing this afternoon.

I'd love that.

Good. I must run to the village.

I left my negatives to be developed.

You'll miss lunch.

I'll hurry.


Is anything wrong, madame?

How many times have I told you

to decant one bottle at a time?

Now, don't let it happen again!

..Good morning. Madame. I'm glad my

guests are punctual for their meal.

You set a good example. Always

first to arrive. And last to leave.

..Morning, Major. Having fun?

Rather, dear lady.

Morning. ..Madame.

What have you been doing, M Duclos?

I've had a discussion on marine

biology with our fisherman friend.

He has a theory that the whale is not a

fish but a mammal. A mammal, I ask you!

You have so many interests, M Duclos.

Fools talk and wise men

listen, eh, M Vogel?

M Duclos needs a gag. Ssh!

Andre, he will hear you.

I don't care if he does. ..Albert!

Take this wine away. Champagne

and ice, quickly. Champagne?

You heard. ..Cru '28, isn't it?


..Bring a bottle at once.

Certainly, madame.

Ah, Miss...? Have you been fishing?

No, I'm going later with Mr Vadassy.

Monsieur, pleasant morning? Yes,

the Major and I discussed politics.

Politics? Yes, of

course we have.

I still don't understand

what a republican is.

Don't bother, Major, no-one does.

The same applies to the porpoise.

Everyone knows a porpoise is a fish.

No, they come inshore to breed.

And stay at the best hotels(!)

I'm serious. In subtropical waters,

the shallows are full of them. Impossible!

It's a biological fact.

I don't believe in facts.

Mankind is nature's

supreme achievement.

What have you done with your

young man, Miss Skelton?

Mr Vadassy?

He's not MY young man.

I never set eyes on him till yesterday.

My wife is a great matchmaker!

He has betrayed me for a lizard.

Her hair doesn't get in her eyes. Lizard?

He spent yesterday afternoon

taking her portrait.

He's gone for the photographs,

so he's late for lunch.

At the Hotel Reserve, one is never late

for lunch. I will speak to Mr Vadassy.

Anybody in?

Anybody in?

Yes, monsieur? That roll of film

I brought in, can I have it at once?

It's not ready yet.

Not ready?

But you said you'd have it this morning.

It shouldn't take all that time.

When will it be ready? It's not ready yet.

You haven't damaged the negative?

I wouldn't like anything

to happen to it. Oh, no, monsieur.

If you'd be good enough to

give me your name and address,

I'll send the boy with it.

No, I'll call again.

It's no trouble.

Your name and address, please.

Peter Vadassy. Hotel Reserve.


Hotel...Reserve... It shall

be sent round as soon as it's ready.

Monsieur Vadassy?


I must ask you to accompany me

to the police station. What for?

A slight passport formality.

My passport is at the hotel.

All my papers are in order.

I don't understand. You will.



Peter Vadassy? Yes.

Your identity card?

I left it at the hotel. Age? 32.

Profession? Medical student.

Scarcely a profession.

I teach languages.

You have a permit? Yes.

Give it to me. If it were necessary

to have a permit to bathe,

I might have it on me(!)

Don't be flippant!


Come in!

You're German.

No, Austrian.

Austrian? I don't carry my

passport everywhere either.

We have your passport here.

And all your other papers.

Have you any other professions besides the

two you mentioned? Or other nationalities?

This is absurd.

My father was Austrian.

My mother was French.

I left Austria before Hitler came in.

In another two days, I shall

become a French citizen.

I passed my final medical

examination three weeks ago.

Back in Paris, I shall be assistant

house surgeon at my hospital.

And your other activities?

I was only teaching to pay my way

through medical school.

It's always been my ambition

to be a surgeon and a Frenchman.

Teaching languages was my only means.

Your sentiments do you the greatest credit.

Thank you. ..Now, please, may I go?

You are a photographer? It's my

hobby. How many cameras do you have?

One. I can't see why... You're here

to answer questions, not to ask them!

You say you have one camera.

What make is it? Contax.

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Eric Ambler

Eric Clifford Ambler OBE (28 June 1909 – 22 October 1998) was an influential British author of thrillers, in particular spy novels, who introduced a new realism to the genre. He also worked as a screenwriter. Ambler used the pseudonym Eliot Reed for books co-written with Charles Rodda. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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