Jim Prideaux
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Quotes for
Jim Prideaux (Character)
from "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" (1979)

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"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Tinker Tailor (#1.5)" (1979)
George Smiley: [quoting an old letter from Bill Haydon about Jim Prideaux] He has that heavy quiet that commands. He's my other half. Between us we'd make one marvelous man. He asks nothing better than to be in my company or that of my wicked, divine friends, and I'm vastly tickled by the compliment. He's virgin, about eight foot tall, and built by the same firm that did Stonehenge.
Jim Prideaux: Christ... Christ, man, we were chidren.

Jim Prideaux: Smiley.
George Smiley: Jim.
Jim Prideaux: If you're not on your own, I swear I'll break your neck.

Jim Prideaux: [describing his interrogation] I hoped I'd go mad. And no, they knew how to stop that. They left me alone for a couple of days; got me ready for the long one. That was when I ga... ga... gave... g... gave them what they wanted.
George Smiley: It's a matter of health as much as anything.
Jim Prideaux: Yes, you don't break exactly, you just run out of stories to tell. I'd reached a point where the things locked away deep down were the only things coming into my brain.

Jim Prideaux: I came round in a prison hospital. Barred windows, high up. They operated, after a fashion. Next time I came round, I was in a prison cell with no windows at all.

[Prideaux has seen Mendel hanging around his school]
Jim Prideaux: Right, gather around. Come on!
[his students gather around him]
Jim Prideaux: Right, now. Anybody sees him again, let me know? Or any other sinister bodies, understand?
Students: Yes, sir.
Jim Prideaux: Don't want juju men wandering around, pretending they don't know we exist. First glimpse, tell me, right?
Students: Yes, sir.

Jim Prideaux: Y'know Jumbo, I don't hold with odd bods wandering around a school. Last place I was at we had a whole a gang broke in, cleared the place out. House cups, money, boy's watches, nothing's sacred to types like that. We don't want 'em swiping the Alvis! It's irreplaceable! Thanks to socialism.

Jim Prideaux: [talking to Roach] We've got a secret, haven't we? I can trust you, I know that. We're good at keeping secrets, you and me.
Roach: Is it because of that man? Would you shoot him? Are you working undercover, like Bulldog Drummond in the book? Some of the boys wanted to call you Bulldog, but we thought Rhino was better. Bigger than a bulldog.
Jim Prideaux: Well I, uh... I used to be a soldier, Jumbo. What you saw just now, that's a souvenir, you know, it's like this...
[he points to his back]
Jim Prideaux: How I got it, they're both secrets, I keep them to myself. Y'understand that, don't you Jumbo?
Roach: Yes, sir.
Jim Prideaux: Knew you would, knew you would.

[Prideaux rushes outside his trailer upon hearing a noise... ]
Roach: Please, sir!
Jim Prideaux: Oh, it's you Jumbo!

Jim Prideaux: God damn you, George, what the hell do you want?
George Smiley: I'm sorry, Jim, but I have to know what happened.

George Smiley: How do you like schoolmastering? I think you had a spell of it after the War, didn't you?
Jim Prideaux: Don't come around playing cat and mouse with me, George Smiley. Look at the file.

Jim Prideaux: Tell me about the networks... didn't anyone get out?
George Smiley: No. It seems they were shot. The story is you blew them to save your own skin. I know that isn't true, of course...
[Prideaux rushes to the bathroom]
Jim Prideaux: For Christ's sake let's go somewhere we can breathe!

Jim Prideaux: [describing his interrogation] At this stage there was a frosty bearded fellow left, seemed to be head boy. Hated his damn cigarettes...
George Smiley: Why?
Jim Prideaux: It was a foul American thing. Camel, actually. I saw the brand.
George Smiley: And did he smoke?
Jim Prideaux: Never stopped!

George Smiley: What did he say about me?
Jim Prideaux: He showed me a cigarette lighter. Said it was yours. It had "From Ann, with all my love" and her signature engraved.
George Smiley: Did he tell you how he came by it?
Jim Prideaux: Some confrontation years ago. He said you'd remember.
George Smiley: Is there anything else?... Oh, come on, Jim, I'm not going to weaken at the knees just because some Russian hood has made a bad joke about me.
Jim Prideaux: He reckoned that after Bill Haydon's fling with her she might care to redraft the inscription. I told him to his face he can go to bloody hell, he can't judge Bill on things like that, he's a different standard!
George Smiley: [on Bill] He was never one for regulations...
Jim Prideaux: And you were never one to see him straight.

[last lines]
George Smiley: Didn't it all strike you as a bit odd? No inquisition, Toby throwing loose money around? After all, through you that the Russians had discovered the exact reach of Control's suspicions about a traitor in the Service. He narrowed the field to five, and no one's asking you about the facts...
Jim Prideaux: The facts were known. Toby ordered me not to approach anyone to try and make my story heard. He said the Circus was back on the road and I could forget Tinker, Tailor, the whole damn game, moles, everything. "Drop out," he said. "You're a lucky man, Jim. Forget it, huh? Forget it."
George Smiley: So Toby actually mentioned "Tinker, Tailor" to you? However did he get hold of that?
Jim Prideaux: [gets out of the car] And that's what I've been doing: obeying orders and forgetting!
[walks off]


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
[from trailer]
George Smiley: What did you think of Control's theory?
Jim Prideaux: I thought it was madness!

Control: I know that Moscow has planted a mole, and I know it is one of five men.
[starts placing out chess pieces with photos on them]
Control: Alleline: Tinker. Haydon: Tailor. Bland: Soldier. We leave out "Sailor", too much like "Tailor". Esterhase: Poorman.
Jim Prideaux: And the fifth?
Control: Smiley.

Jim Prideaux: [on Roach] I've known a lot of Bills in my time. They've all been good ones. Whatcha good at?

Jim Prideaux: [on Roach, to Bill] Best watcher in the unit, I'll bet. As long's he's got his specs on, aye?

[first lines]
Control: [opening door] You weren't followed?
Jim Prideaux: No.
Control: Better come in.

[last lines]
Bill Roach: I made this for you, sir.
Jim Prideaux: I don't want you hanging around here anymore. Keep away from me from now on. Go and join the others.
Bill Roach: But...
Jim Prideaux: Just bloody join in, will you?
Jim Prideaux: Go and play! Damn you!

Control: Trust no one, Jim. Especially not in the mainstream. Sit down. I understand you still have one Hungarian identity running.
Jim Prideaux: I do.
Control: I want you to go to Budapest. This is not above board. Nobody else knows. They're after my head, Jim-boy. You understand? I have had an offer of service. A Hungarian general wants to come over. I would like you to meet him. He has some information that I need, Jim.
Jim Prideaux: What information?
Control: Treasure. He has the name of the mole the Russians have planted in the British intelligence service, right at the top of the Circus. There's a rotten apple, Jim. We have to find it.


"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Return to the Circus (#1.1)" (1979)
Control: Listen, Jim, we've got to have codenames for them. D'you remember the nursery rhyme "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor"? Finish it.
Jim Prideaux: "Richman, poorman, beggerman, thief."
Control: Percy Alleline, director of Operations: "Tinker"
Jim Prideaux: "Tinker."
Control: Bill Haydon, head of Personnel: "Tailor". Roy Bland, head of Iron Curtain Networks: "Soldier". We leave out "Sailor"; too much like "Tailor", could be misheard.
Jim Prideaux: "Richman"?
Control: Don't like it, sounds like police work: fraud, Swiss banks stuff. Toby Esterhase, top lamplighter, our exquisite head sleuth...
Jim Prideaux: "Poorman"?
[Control chuckles]
Control: Yes..."Poorman". And George Smiley, my devoted deputy: "Beggerman".

Jim Prideaux: [about the car's rear door] Open it.
Barak: No, you must sit next to me. It's safer.
Jim Prideaux: Like hell!
Barak: Also more democratic.

Control: We have a rotten apple, Jim, and the maggots are eating up the Circus.
Jim Prideaux: These people? One of these?
Control: Why not? Are the British incapable of deception? We've turned members of other outfits: Russians, Poles, Czechs and the odd American.


"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Flushing Out the Mole (#1.7)" (1979)
Jim Prideaux: Don't turn around.
Bill Haydon: Oh, it's you, Jim. Come to say goodbye, how nice of you. Glad to see you haven't lost your touch. You must be in pretty good shape.
Jim Prideaux: Why did you get me back?
Bill Haydon: I couldn't leave you rotting in a Czech prison.
Jim Prideaux: Why didn't Karla finish me off? Was that out of delicacy to you? It wasn't that, was it? You both thought that a corpse might create a lot more fuss than just another repatriated harmless cripple, didn't you?
Bill Haydon: The shooting wasn't part of the plan, Jim.
Jim Prideaux: The shooting, no, not that... but everything else.
[Jim breaks Haydon's neck]