Harry Palmer
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Quotes for
Harry Palmer (Character)
from The Ipcress File (1965)

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The Ipcress File (1965)
[Palmer comes home early to find agent Courtney searching his flat]
Courtney: You're supposed to be at work.
Palmer: Oh, you are, of course.

Major Dalby: The next time you use CC1 authority, just you make sure you have it!
Palmer: You know, it's funny... If Radcliffe had been here, I'd have been... a hero.
Major Dalby: He wasn't. And you're not.

Major Dalby: [of Palmer's dossier] It isn't usual to read a B107 to its subject, Palmer; but I'm gonna put you straight. "Insubordinate. Insolent. A trickster. Perhaps with criminal tendencies."
Palmer: Yes, that's a pretty fair appraisal - sir.
Major Dalby: Good. That last quality might be useful. But if I have any trouble with you, Palmer, I shall *bite* you, Palmer, and I shall bite you so hard you'll go right back to where Ross found you!

Palmer: The fellow whose job I'm taking, will he show me the ropes?
Major Dalby: Maybe - if you're in touch with the spirit world.
Palmer: I beg your pardon?
Major Dalby: He was shot this morning.

Palmer: Have you seen everything?
Courtney: Yes, thank you.
Palmer: Then you know where the... whiskey is?
Courtney: Yes.
Palmer: Fix us both one, will you?

Inspector Keightley: That little blonde bird you was with the other evening...
Palmer: Rita?
Inspector Keightley: That's it. What's her phone number?
Palmer: You dirty old man!
Inspector Keightley: Well, you scratch my back and I'll scratch hers.
Palmer: You ought to be locked up!
Inspector Keightley: I know.

[Palmer prepares to leave]
Inspector Keightley: Now wait a minute. What about her telephone number?
Palmer: Oh... Disconnected!

[Palmer and Dalby are attending a performance of a military band playing Mozart]
Palmer: Very neat. Must we sit through any more of this torture? I've got a lot of things to do.
Major Dalby: I think they're playing very well.
Palmer: Tell me who wins.
[gets up and leaves]

Carswell: Don't worry, man. You were the only one to come up with anything. He seemed very pleased.
Palmer: Well, he's got a right comical way of showing it.

Bluejay: [to a guard] See that there's padding on those straps next time.
Palmer: You want to make it easy for me?
Bluejay: No. For *me*.

Palmer: You didn't come here to talk to me about button mushrooms and birds.

[Courtney has found a gun in Palmer's apartment]
Courtney: You know this is unauthorised.
Palmer: My mother gave it to me for Christmas.

Palmer: What are you gonna tell Dalby on your L101?
Courtney: That you like girls.
Palmer: You got that right.
Courtney: You're not the tearaway he thinks you are. You also like books, music, cooking.
Palmer: I like birds best.

Courtney: Do you always wear your glasses?
Palmer: Yes. Except in bed.

[Carswell is showing Palmer the title of a book]
Palmer: [reads] "Induction of Psychoneuroses by Conditioned Reflex Under Stress". What does that mean?
Carswell: It means I know now why 17 scientists ceased to function.
Palmer: Yes?
Carswell: Look again, boy...
Carswell: [points out the essential letters of the title] I-P-C-R-E-S-S.
Palmer: Ipcress!

Colonel Ross: [telling Palmer about his upcoming transfer to Major Dalby's department] You won't have much time for cooking. Dalby *works* his men. And he doesn't have my sense of humor.
Palmer: [Said with a straight face] Yes, sir. I will miss that, sir.

Colonel Ross: [Inside a modern grocery store, picking up a can of mushrooms out of Palmer's shopping cart] "Champignons"... You're paying ten pence more for a fancy French label. If you want mushrooms, you'd get better value on the next shelf.
Palmer: It's not just the label. These *do* have a better flavor.
Colonel Ross: Of course... You're quite the gourmet, aren't you?

Palmer: [Inside the modern grocery store] I haven't seen you here before, sir.
Colonel Ross: No, well, I don't, um, really care for these American... shopping methods. One has to move with the times, I suppose, hmm?

Palmer: Stick *that* in my B-107.
Colonel Ross: Very funny.

First Agent: [Palmer is late in arriving for his surveillance shift] You should get up in the morning. Twenty minutes late you are, you know.
Palmer: Anything new?
First Agent: It's all in the report. And it's neat and tidy - unlike some. You ought to remember you're still in the Army, boyo
Palmer: I'll tell you what, you remember for me.

Palmer: [Reporting to Col. Ross's office] Sergeant Palmer, reporting as ordered.
Colonel Ross: Close the door... And don't slouch into my office like a pregnant camel. Stand to attention.

Colonel Ross: You just love the army, don't you?
Palmer: Oh, yes, sir. I just love the army, sir.

Major Dalby: A word in your shell-like ear: If there's anything to be reported to Ross, *I* report it. Understand?
Palmer: Yes, sir.

Major Dalby: [at the armorers] Give him your gun. Issue him with a Colt .32.
Murray: [hands Palmer a revolver] Do you know how to use this?
Palmer: Colt .32? Yes. I'd sooner have my automatic...
Major Dalby: [sternly] Use the Colt.
Palmer: I'll use the Colt.

Courtney: You were bailed out of detention barracks.
Palmer: Yes, I was.
Courtney: So, What bailed you in?
Palmer: Er... I was stationed in Berlin and I was making rather a lot of money out of the German army, and they insisted that the British army made an example of me.
Courtney: What did you do?
Palmer: It's very complicated.
Courtney: It impressed Ross.
Palmer: It impressed me. Boy, has he got me by the short hairs for it. Still, it's better than two years in the nick. The food's terrible.

Colonel Ross: I want you to do a job for me.
Palmer: Have I any choice?
Colonel Ross: Frankly, no.


Billion Dollar Brain (1967)
[Harry is shown a terminal of the Brain]
Harry Palmer: What does it do, tell fortunes?
Leo Newbigen: It *makes* fortunes: ours! Just a little toy, but it puts the MI5 and the CIA back into the Stone Age.

Harry Palmer: OK, Leo, what's the catch?
Leo Newbigen: There's no catch.
Harry Palmer: Then who gets killed?
Leo Newbigen: Nobody gets killed.
Harry Palmer: There's no catch, and nobody gets killed? I'd still like to know more about it, Leo.

Col.Stok: When I was a young man we had a song: "Where tears fall, a rose will grow". Do you know that song?
Harry Palmer: No.
Col.Stok: If that was true, Latvia would be a land full of roses. You've no idea what things happened here during the war. Latvia had its share of war criminals, that worked with the Nazis, even joined the SS and massacred thousands of their own countrymen.
[Raises glass]
Col.Stok: Down the hatch! We've dossiers on hundreds of such Latvians. You would imagine that people guilty of such terror would remain quiet. But no, these scum are the worst troublemakers.

Leo Newbigen: [Nude in the sauna with Anya] Harry hey, what do you think, huh? Isn't she something?
Harry Palmer: Yeah, she's great. How's the wife and kids, Leo?

Harry Palmer: What exactly have you been saying we do in Latvia?
Leo Newbigen: I told the brain exactly what it wanted to hear.
Harry Palmer: Oh, yes? What would that be, Leo?
Leo Newbigen: I told it we had three hundred agents in Latvia dismantling missile sites and professional saboteurs ready for armed insurrection.
Harry Palmer: Er, or political assassination.
Leo Newbigen: Um, hmn. Mass uprisings...
Harry Palmer: Overthrowing governments.
Leo Newbigen: Yeah, overthrowing anything at all.
Harry Palmer: Three hundred agents? How much a week?
Leo Newbigen: Thirty thousand dollars.
Harry Palmer: Thirty thousand dollars a week?
Leo Newbegin: Plus expenses and from now on, you're in on half.
Harry Palmer: Oh, thank you, Leo. But I would like to stay alive to spend it. That lunatic is about to invade Soviet territory.
Leo Newbigen: And we're not going to be around when he does.
Harry Palmer: When he gets within five miles of the Latvian border, every alarm in the whole world will blow and four minutes later, nobody is going to be around.
Leo Newbigen: You want your money, don't you?

General Midwinter: Did you know for example, that the air in the East Coast of America is polluted by the Reds? Oh, you might look at me, but boy, I tell you and I know that the air in Texas is the only truly wholesome air in this world. That is why I have not been out of Texas in twenty five years. I don't like the air in other places.
Harry Palmer: It's amazing how we all survive, really.

Col.Stok: I suppose a young man like you wouldn't know the pleasure of removing a tight collar.
Harry Palmer: I thought Lenin called such comforts "momentary interest."
Col.Stok: Don't tell me what Lenin said. I touched Lenin. I stood by him in Ruzheinaya Square in July, nineteen hundred and twenty; the second congress. I touched him. Those are the words he used to describe the comforts and pleasures with which the proletariat are diverted from their more important historic mission. But I am not being diverted. Well, are you going to offer me another drink?
Harry Palmer: In England, Colonel, the historic mission of the proletariat consists almost entirely of momentary interest.

Col.Ross: Your business is dead, Palmer. You're just about keeping alive on cornflakes.
Harry Palmer: The're full of vitamins.
Col.Ross: Really?
Harry Palmer: Yeah.

Col.Ross: Of course you realize I could draft you back any time I like, but I'm doing the decent thing and asking you to come back. You should be bloody grateful.
Harry Palmer: I'd be bloody grateful if you'd leave, Colonel.

Anya: Do you think I tried to twice cross you?
Harry Palmer: If you mean double cross, I think, yes.
Anya: How exciting!

Harry Palmer: Dr. Kaarna, I presume?

Harry Palmer: I suppose I ought to wish you good luck.
Dr. Eiwort: You may do as you please. For me this is not a game of chance. And I am not in it for the money.
Harry Palmer: What is it then, your hobby?

General Midwinter: You have disappointed me Harry, you have let me down. You've sold out!
Harry Palmer: What have I done?
General Midwinter: These photographs show what you have done!
Harry Palmer: I think you're making a big mistake, General.
General Midwinter: You are the one who's made a mistake, boy!
Harry Palmer: What's going on?
General Midwinter: I am not going to rest until every communist, and everyone who works for the communists, is six feet under ground. Go down and join you're communist friend.
Harry Palmer: You, General Midwinter, are the biggest idiot I have ever met.

Harry Palmer: Some games are more dangerous than others.

General Midwinter: [Addressing a crowd of loyal supporters] The Lord gave us strength! The Lord gave us courage! The Lord said, "Use them!"
General Midwinter: [continues, as the crowd yells "Amen!"] The Lord said we must fight communism. We must smite communism! "Why dost thou sit there?" sayeth the Lord. "Rise up and spread my word. Rise up and fight my fight. Rise up and fight for what I say is right!"
Harry Palmer: [Quietly standing amongst the crowd, with a bemused look] Amen.

General Midwinter: You like the sound of gunfire? Me, I *love* it!
Harry Palmer: Who are you fighting, General?
General Midwinter: You don't know what's going on in the world, son. There's only one important issue in this world today: communism. That's the threat. That's what's important. You Europeans, you don't know anything about it. You've all been brainwashed by the communists. Just like those politicians in Washington!... Communism threatens Europe. And Europe has got to fight back against communism. Close ranks. Hit them hard - real hard! You understand me, boy?
Harry Palmer: [sounding casual] Sounds dangerous.
General Midwinter: It *is* dangerous!

Leo Newbigen: [Offering Palmer a cigarette] Cigarette?
Harry Palmer: [accepting it] Half-a-million thanks.

Harry Palmer: You mean you really are going to try to start a revolution?
General Midwinter: When the Hungarian people rose up in 1956 and they called to the world for help, to our everlasting shame, we failed them. I tell you, boy, we will not make that mistake again. When the people of Latvia rise up and call for help - and they will - my organization with all its resources will be right there. And once we have shown the way, the United States government and all the governments of the Free World will follow. I know!

Harry Palmer: [as they're all sitting in a steamy Finnish sauna] Leo, you look great... better than the last time I saw you.
Leo Newbigen: Yeah, In Prague. I haven't forgotten.
Leo Newbigen: [to Anya] That guy there saved my life. Fished me out of the Moldau.
Harry Palmer: I had to. He had the car... keys in his pocket.
Anya: Well, we must have a celebration. What do you think? Champagne? Brandy? Whisky? Vodka? What do you like?
Harry Palmer: I wouldn't mind a cup of tea...
Anya: [Bursts out laughing] How beautiful! It's so beautiful, for the Englishman to have his tea!

Harry Palmer: Mind how you go, colonel.
Colonel Stok: Mind how *you* go. Be wise! Don't go to the meeting tomorrow. Good to see you, English.
[departs]
Harry Palmer: Thanks for the warning, colonel.

General Midwinter: [leading Palmer down to his high-tech underground control center] Come on...
Harry Palmer: Where are we going, General?
General Midwinter: Into the 21st century, son. This is how wars are gonna' be fought, and how life is gonna' be lived!
Harry Palmer: Oh, it's quite modern, then?
General Midwinter: "Modern"? It makes the Pentagon look like a room in the Alamo.


Funeral in Berlin (1966)
Colonel Stok: I wish to defect, but there are conditions.
Harry Palmer: What do you want?
Colonel Stok: I want colonel's pay for life.
Harry Palmer: Don't we all.
Colonel Stok: A house in the country.
Harry Palmer: Oh, how many bedrooms?
Colonel Stok: Bedrooms do not matter. But I must have a big garden. I am a peasant at heart, and I want to grow roses in my old age.
Harry Palmer: In England, roses are out - weeds are in. Is that all?
Colonel Stok: That is all. I want comfort and security.
Harry Palmer: You've got all that in Russia now.
Colonel Stok: Aah, in Russia there is no place for an old Bolshevik. In my job I have made too many enemies.
Harry Palmer: Well, what about your family?
Colonel Stok: 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 in my position?
Harry Palmer: 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, Colonel Stok... from the size of your refrigerator to the cubic capacity of your mistress.

Colonel Stok: Do you play chess?
Harry Palmer: Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating.

[On his proposed defection]
Colonel Stok: And for you it is a propaganda victory - my name is worth a headline.
Harry Palmer: We get plenty of Russians. It's a pity you're not Chinese.

Harry Palmer: She picked me up last night, and - with my irrestible charm - I want to know why, and who she's working for.

Harry Palmer: Oh, by the way, is old Klaus Burger still alive?
Reinhardt: The forger?
Harry Palmer: Yeah, the forger.
Reinhardt: I'd like to run you out of Berlin, Palmer! You and MI5 and the Deuxième Bureau and the CIA and the rest of them. Then I can do my job instead of providing work for every forger, confidence man, thief, and murderer in this town!
Harry Palmer: Oh, I agree, I agree, I agree. But... is old man Klaus still alive?

Colonel Stok: If there is a mistake, the KRAPOs will be shooting at me.
Harry Palmer: That'll be nice: you'll find out what it's like to be an East German.
Colonel Stok: You are insolent! Do you think this job, this loathsome Wall, is all I've done for Communism? Does Smolensk mean anything to you, or Stalingrad?
[chuckles]
Colonel Stok: I look at your stupid face and I think you mean what you say. I like you, you're good at your job. You need only one thing.
Harry Palmer: What's that?
Colonel Stok: A reason for doing it.
Harry Palmer: I get paid.
Colonel Stok: £30 a week? Is it worth it - to be a tool of the generals? A tool for making trouble? Trouble makes arms, arms make money...
Harry Palmer: When you get to England, we'll give you a soapbox. You sure you want to defect tomorrow?
Colonel Stok: I told you, I'm still a good Communist. When a man leaves his wife, he remembers his wedding night. Communism was the love of my youth, and I've been faithful... until now. I was with Antomikov Sanko at the storming of the Winter Palace in 1917. Do you know what that means in Russia?
Harry Palmer: Yes, I think so. It means you're an expendable hero.

[after a plan goes wrong]
Harry Palmer: Let's get out of here. I've got some fiction to write.

Harry Palmer: I think that Vulkan is connected with this man Broum.
Ross: Brilliant, Palmer. Vulkan *is* this man Paul Louis Broum.

Harry Palmer: Do you mean that Her Majesty's government employs ex-Nazis, sir?
Ross: [referring to Palmer himself] And thieves, Palmer.

Ross: Well, you've bungled the rest of it. Get rid of him.
Harry Palmer: Pardon?
Ross: *Kill* him.
Harry Palmer: I'm not killing anybody in cold blood.
Ross: Then provoke him, if that's going to satisfy your scruples.

Waiter: Bitte, mein Herr?
Harry Palmer: No, Löwenbrau, please.

Harry Palmer: You're useless in the kitchen, why don't you go back to bed.

Harry Palmer: I'm sorry, I just don'f feel like an Edmund Duff.

Samantha Steel: My name is Samantha Steel. Some people call me Sam.
Harry Palmer: Edmund Dorf. Some people call me Edna.


Bullet to Beijing (1995) (TV)
[Toasting his host at the strip club]
Harry Palmer: Here's to capitalism and big tits.

Harry Palmer: Is this Siberia?

Harry Palmer: What do they say at Airport security? Is this your bag? Did you pack it yourself? Did anyone give you a present?

Harry Palmer: Are you in charge of this operation?
Nick: Yes
Harry Palmer: You're a bit young, aren't you?
Nick: You don't worry about my youth, and I won't worry about your age.

voice on phone: We were given your number by a friend.
Harry Palmer: Nice to know I have any.

Harry Palmer: Tell me Nick, have you got a mole on the left cheek of your ass?
Nick: No.
Harry Palmer: Neither have I. We could be related.

Harry Palmer: Morning, Carothers, or night.

Harry Palmer: [about to be thrown off a train at high speed] You said you weren't a cruel man, Colonel. Can't we wait for a slow bit?