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(TV Mini-Series)

(1979)

Quotes

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.

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Jim Prideaux: Smiley.

George Smiley: Jim.

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

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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.

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Bill Haydon: All right, Sam. Now, first thing you do, you call this number, it's Toby Esterhase's. Tell him you're speaking for me, and he's to pick up the two Czechos we've had our eyes on in London School of Economics, and lock them up. Now, right away, Sam. Jim's worth a lot more than those two, but it's a start. I'll have a word with the chief hood of the Czech Embassy. If they hurt a hair on Jim Prideaux's head, I'll strip the entire Czech network in this country bare. You pass that on. I'll make him a laughing-stock!

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Sam Collins: So what can I do for you?

George Smiley: I want to talk to you about the night Jim Prideaux was shot. The night of Operation Testify, which is what it was called in case you didn't know.

Sam Collins: Writing your memoirs, George?

George Smiley: We're reopening the case.

Sam Collins: Who's this "we", old boy?

George Smiley: Lacon called me, with the Minister's blessing. I can give you a telephone number to confirm it, although I would prefer not to.

Sam Collins: All power corrupts but some must govern and in that case Brother Lacon will reluctantly scramble to the top of the heap.

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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.

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[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.

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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.

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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.

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[first lines]

Roach: [driving the Alvis] Please sir, how long sir?

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[Prideaux rushes outside his trailer upon hearing a noise... ]

Roach: Please, sir!

Jim Prideaux: Oh, it's you Jumbo!

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Control: [to Sam] I need somebody good to man the switchboard. It's got to be an old hand. I could bring in somebody from one of the old stations, but you're better! Because you've been away for so long, away from the infighting and the vendettas throughout this place... You don't know what I'm talking about. That's good! Just do exactly what I tell you!

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Control: [to Sam] It could be a crisis, tonight. I've got a man doing a special job. It is of the utmost importance to the Service. It could change everything for us. Your job tonight is to act as cut-out. Cut-out between me and whatever goes on in the rest of the building. If anything comes in - whether you receive a letter, phone call, anything at all no matter how trivial it is - you are to wait, wait until the coast is clear then bring it straight to me. By hand, Sam! You don't use the internal phones, you don't put anything down on paper for reference. Is that understood?

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Molly Purcell: Collins! This is urgent! There's all hell broken out in Czechoslovakia!

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Sam Collins: Can I have a brief, please? Control, I need a brief! We must say something! Do you want me to deny it, a flat denial just to start with? Do you want me to get someone else? Do you want to come downstairs and handle it yourself?

Control: It's deniable. He had foreign documents. No one could know he was British at this stage, even if he's not dead.

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Control: Find Smiley!

Sam Collins: He's in Berlin.

Control: ...Yes. Well, anyone will do. It makes no difference now.

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Sam Collins: You got my message, sir?

Bill Haydon: [shakes his head] How did you get me?

Sam Collins: I rang George Smiley's house just in case his wife happened to know where you were. You are a friend of the family, aren't you?

Bill Haydon: [nods] I caught the ticker tape at the club. I gather there's been some God-awful shooting in Czechoslovakia.

Sam Collins: Jim Prideaux's been shot. The Czechs haven't got his real name yet, they're using his workname Ellis.

Bill Haydon: Jim? Shot dead?

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George Smiley: They sacked you for fibbing?

Sam Collins: Alcoholism. There's a standing order against booze on the premises. What was your offense, George?

George Smiley: Oh, I couldn't convince them that I wasn't involved.

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George Smiley: Sam, listen. It was too late for Bill's club to be running ticker tapes, wasn't it? He was making love to Ann that night. You made a guess at that and you were right. You telephoned her, she told you he wasn't there, and then as soon as you rung off she pushed him out of bed... and Bill turned up an hour later, knowing about Czecho. But you didn't tell Ann about Czecho.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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[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]

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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