Christopher McQuarrie & Nathan Alexander
January 8, 2007
I swear by God this sacred oath:
That I shall render unconditional obedience to
Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich, and
that I shall at all times be prepared, as a brave
soldier, to give my life for this oath.
1 BLACK 1
And from out of the blackness a voice. A man speaking
in German - faint at first, crackling over the radio.
Subtitles translate the voice of Adolf Hitler.
My comrades. Once again - I don't
know how many times it has been now
- an attempt has been made on my
life. I speak to you tonight for
two reasons. First, so that you can
hear my voice and know that I am
unhurt. And second, so that you may
know the details of a crime without
parallel in German history...
2 EXT. AIRFIELD - DAY 2
TITLES: SMOLENSK, RUSSIA - THE GERMAN EASTERN FRONT.
13 MARCH 1943.
A lonely airfield. A NAZI OFFICER and his AIDE stand
rigid by a gleaming limousine. The officer's uniform
denotes a man of high rank - a man of weight.
TITLES: MAJOR-GENERAL HENNING VON TRESCKOW - CHIEF OF
STAFF FOR ARMY GROUP CENTER.
Tresckow smokes a cigarette, his arm the only
movement in the frame.
PULL BACK TO REVEAL the airstrip is surrounded by
Army Group vehicles and personnel - SD and SS
escorts, photographers, aides, Nazi party
dignitaries, etc. - all frozen like statues. Eerie.
Whatever is going on, it's big. The faint sound of
distant airplanes brings tension, subtle but sharp.
Approaching the field are three Focke-Wulf 200
Condors escorted by a formation of Messerschmitt-109
fighters. Silence gives way to an escalating roar
that seems to have no maximum. One by one, the
massive four-engine Condors land while the fighters
roar overhead and circle the airfield. The Condors
come to rest and, needing no introduction:
ADOLF HITLER alights from the lead plane, obscured by
the surrounding platoon of heavily armed SS GUARDS.
(Note: Hitler is obscured throughout the entire
sequence proving how inaccessible he truly was.)
Tresckow and his Aide step forward to greet Hitler,
but they are pushed back by SS guards. The Führer
marches past without so much a glance at his hosts or
their waiting limo.
To Tresckow's surprise, a second limousine roars onto
the airfield from out of nowhere. It is dirty, the
windscreen spotted with bugs from a long drive.
Hitler gets in the dirty car and speeds off.
It's not so much your car he
doesn't trust... It's your driver.
Tresckow and his Aide turn. Standing behind them is:
TITLES: COLONEL HEINZ BRANDT - SENIOR STAFF OFFICER
OF THE ARMY OPERATIONS SECTION.
The consummate Nazi, he is always scribbling notes in
a small datebook. Without looking up, Brandt hops
into the limo they brought for Hitler.
Tresckow and his Aide share a glance and get in. A
beat later they are speeding after Hitler's car.
3 EXT. ARMY GROUP CENTER - DAY 3
Est. Hitler's headquarters for the Eastern Front is
bustling. Security is tight, everyone is on edge.
4 INT. ARMY GROUP CENTER - MESS HALL - DAY 4
Long tables packed with SOLDIERS straining their
necks to get a glimpse of their leader at the head
table, but he is obscured by his detail of SS guards.
ONE MAN dares to approach. The room falls silent.
HITLER'S PERSONAL CHEF places a tray before the
Führer, producing a knife and fork, cutting a bite.
We think he is going to hand feed Hitler until he
places the food in his own mouth, chewing slowly,
deliberately. He swallows. We wait for him to die.
When he doesn't, Hitler begins to eat. The rest of
the room relaxes slightly and digs in.
ANGLE ON: Seated further down the table are Tresckow
and his Aide. Between them, once again, is Brandt,
eating like a pig, still making notes in his book.
Managing the Führer's security must
be quite an undertaking.
(in between mouthfuls)
Irregularity is the Führer's
precaution of choice.
I can assure you he's safe here.
Relax, Brandt. Enjoy your meal.
Brandt's look says, "Don't be ridiculous." He cleans
his plate in seconds. Then he gently dabs his mouth,
takes out his datebook and starts writing - once
again the precise man we saw on the airfield.
I understand you're returning to
Berlin this afternoon...
Could I trouble you to deliver a
package to Colonel Stieff?
Brandt nods again, too busy writing to notice the
knowing glance Tresckow shares with his Aide...
5 INT. ARMY GROUP CENTER - PRIVATE OFFICE - LATER 5
Tense silence. Tresckow and his Aide are hunched over
two bottles of Cointreau on a large desk next to:
TWO PAIRS OF BRITISH `CLAMS' - a small black plastic
casing held together by magnets and adhesive tape.
Tresckow inserts a short, pencil-shaped fuse through
the narrow opening. All that remains exposed is a
small glass capsule. The trigger. Tresckow turns his
attention to the bottles of Cointreau...
6 EXT. AIRFIELD - DAY 6
The Condors' engines roar, ready for take off.
Soldiers stand at attention as Hitler boards. Brandt
is with him, scribbling in his ever-present datebook.
Tresckow and his Aide approach. Tresckow gently
handles a carefully wrapped package.
CLOSE ON: Tresckow presses a key against the side of
the package, crushing the glass capsule inside. The
explosive armed now, he hands it to Brandt.
With my regards to Colonel Stieff.
Brandt accepts the gift, looking up from his book. He
studies the familiar shape.
Cointreau? You better hope I don't
get thirsty on the flight.
Tresckow politely smiles, hiding his nerves, having
just handed a bomb to Hitler's Head of Security.
Brandt unknowingly carries it onto the plane with
Hitler. The door to the Condor is sealed behind him
along with, we hope, the Führer's fate.
Tresckow looks at his watch and we DISSOLVE TO:
7 INT. ARMY GROUP CENTER - PRIVATE OFFICE - LATER 7
A clock shows us that thirty minutes have passed.
Tresckow and his Aide are seated on either side of a
desk staring at the telephone. Smoking. Waiting...
8 INT. ARMY GROUP CENTER - PRIVATE OFFICE - LATER 8
Three hours later. The ashtray is overflowing but
Tresckow and his Aide have not moved. Finally...
The phone barely rings before Tresckow answers. He
doesn't say a word, he only nods and hangs up.
It takes a moment for the gravity of this to set in.
What about the...
Tresckow is already dialing the telephone.
Get me Colonel Brandt...
Colonel? Tresckow... I trust you
landed safely... I hate to trouble
you but there's been a bit of a mix
up. It seems you have the wrong
bottles for Colonel Stieff. You...
do still have the package?
Long pause. Torture. Then:
I can be at your office first thing
tomorrow morning to pick it up.
Terribly sorry for the
inconvenience... Thank you.
Tresckow slowly hangs up the phone.
Do you think he knows?
Tresckow shrugs, opening a bottle of Cointreau and
pouring two glasses with a shaking hand.
There's only one way to be sure...
9 EXT. OKH HEADQUARTERS - DAY 9
Est. An early morning fog blankets the ground,
obscuring our view. Eerie.
10 INT. OKH HEADQUARTERS - HALLWAY - DAY 10
Footsteps echo through the cavernous hallways.
Tresckow marches with purpose through the numerous
security checkpoints. It is a long, suspenseful walk.
He is aware of someone walking up behind him, getting
closer. We think he's done for, but a BESPECTACLED,
MIDDLE-AGED OFFICER overtakes him and whispers:
TITLES: GENERAL FRIEDRICH OLBRICHT - CHIEF OF GENERAL
ARMY OFFICE IN BERLIN.
I can only guess the altitude
caused the fuse to malfunction.
First the beer hall, Memorial Day -
now this. Someone is watching over
that sonofabitch, I swear it.
We've been discovered.
Tresckow halts and faces Olbricht, expressionless.
What makes you think-
Oster's been arrested. The Gestapo
came for him last night.
Tresckow thinks for a beat and resumes walking.
Olbricht hurries after him.
Did you hear what I said?
The Gestapo could have arrested him
for anything. Find a replacement.
There's no one we can trust. Not in
Then stop looking in Berlin.
Just then, they approach the final threshold, a
SENTRY guards an office marked:
COLONEL HEINZ BRANDT.
Olbricht stops, regarding the door with dread. But
Tresckow presses on, reaching the door, about to
Your pistol please.
Oh shit. Tresckow plays it cool, removing his pistol
from its holster and handing it over.
And with a nod to Olbricht, Tresckow squares his
shoulders and enters Brandt's office.
11 INT. OKH HEADQUARTERS - BRANDT'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 11
Brandt is at his desk, writing as always. Tresckow
notices Brandt's pistol sitting within arm's reach. A
clock ticks loudly. Imagine it. Then wait. Finally:
Brandt puts his pen down, stands and salutes, but the
gesture is almost casual. Pure formality.
You'll forgive me, General. This
little round-up has had me writing
reports all day.
Dissenters. A plot against the
Tresckow makes a good show of laughing that off.
Who would even have the balls?
You'd be surprised, the number of
cowards in this army that would be
willing to stand against the Reich.
Only if the Führer were dead, of
Of course. It's one thing to think
you know what's right. What matters
is having the strength to do it.
Clunk. Brandt produces the package, putting it on the
desk in front of him.
Is this what you've come for?
Pause. Staying cool, Tresckow reaches for it:
Perhaps we should open it.
Tresckow freezes, studies Brandt's cold smile.
I beg your pardon.
Brandt sits back, smiles. Does he know?
You've come a long way. You must be
I wonder how the Führer, who does
not partake, would feel about an
officer who did so on duty...
Brandt's smile fades. We can't decide why. He picks
up the package carelessly. Tresckow stays cool
despite the armed explosive just a few feet away.
I took you for another sort,
And we realize he really did just want a drink. He
knows nothing about what the package hides.
And I you.
Tresckow reaches out, grabbing the package and:
BANG. The sound of an EXPLOSION O.S. takes us to:
12 EXT. DESERT - DAY 12
TITLES: TUNISIA, NORTH AFRICA - THE RETREATING 10TH
PANZER DIVISION. 7 APRIL 1943.
Moving rapidly through an olive grove in the
otherwise wasted desert. A column of tanks, trucks
and heavy equipment flow by with a sense of barely
contained chaos. Men dismantle tents from around
others dumping documents into burning oil drums.
In the middle of it we find a tall, handsome young
officer (age 35). He wears an Afrika Korps uniform
complete with Colonel's badges, staying cooler than
the other side of your pillow. He directs men this
way and that, holding back panic.
TITLES: COLONEL CLAUS VON STAUFFENBERG - STAFF
OFFICER, 10TH PANZER DIVISION.
A jeep speeds up to him from the distance, driven by
a YOUNG LIEUTENANT.
Colonel Stauffenberg, sir. A new
headquarters has been established
at Mezzouna. I'm to take you there.
Stauffenberg looks over the scene, expressionless.
Now they tell us to disengage - a
day late. No matter how many times
we tell Command the reality, they
always manage to leave us-
But he stops himself, containing his rage.
Colonel, the enemy is less than
five kilometers from here. You've
done all you can.
Stauffenberg glances at his right hand, contemplating
a ring on his finger. After a beat:
I wonder... Was there even a point
in our coming to Tunis?
To get taken prisoner, it seems.
Stauffenberg smiles bitterly and gets in the jeep as:
BOOM. The first bomb explodes before we even see the
tight formation of BRITISH FIRE-BOMBERS overhead.
Fighter planes strafe with machine-guns. Artillery
blasts strike in front and behind the retreating
column. The 10th Panzer Division is trapped.
Panic hits the column like a tidal wave. Stauffenberg
taps the Young Lieutenant who drives into the melee.
Soldiers abandon their vehicles but cover is in short
supply and many are left in the open. So they run.
Dozens are gunned down by the assailing fighters. The
survivors watch in horror as the fighters slowly turn
to make another run. In a panic, the soldiers run the
other direction, halted by a jeep blocking the way.
Stauffenberg stands in the passenger seat.
STOP. WAIT UNTIL THEY COMMIT.
The men calm when they see the Colonel, trusting him.
They turn and watch the formation of planes complete
their turn and bear down, gaining speed. Knees tense,
some jerking from the natural inclination to flee.
STAND FAST, I SAID.
They do, despite the menace of the planes' engines
growing louder, meaner...
13 INT. LEAD FIGHTER COCKPIT - DAY 13
The confused PILOT takes in the mass of motionless
men below. His finger tenses on the trigger and...
14 EXT. DESERT - DAY 14
The mob of soldiers breaks - some right, some left -
as the fighters open fire on what had been the center
of their mass. Unable to change course quickly
enough, they spray their lead into the sand.
In that same instant, Stauffenberg drops into his
seat, the Young Lieutenant jams the jeep in drive and
a wave of hot lead misses them by mere feet.
Stauffenberg watches his men regroup, waiting out the
turning squadron. They've got the idea now. He turns
to his Lieutenant who smiles admiringly. But
Stauffenberg's eyes widen. He grabs his Lieutenant's
head and jams it down, revealing a STRAY FIGHTER
coming up from behind. Stauffenberg ducks out of
frame, shielding the Young Lieutenant with his body.
BANG. Blood sprays across the jeep's windshield
before bullets rip it to pieces, leaving only clear
blue African sky... And then the EXPLOSION.
SILENCE. FADE TO WHITE.
15 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY 15
TITLES: MUNICH, GERMANY - FIRST GENERAL MILITARY
HOSPITAL. 21 APRIL 1943.
A fast clicking. Heels on linoleum. A beautiful,
dignified woman keeps herself from running. She is:
NINA VON STAUFFENBERG (30), Stauffenberg's wife and
mother of his four children. Beside her is BERTHOLD
VON STAUFFENBERG (38), Stauffenberg's older brother.
They reach the door of a private hospital room just
as A DOCTOR comes out. Awkward pause.
(nodding, gesturing to Berthold)
The Colonel's brother, Berthold.
Perhaps before you see the Colonel
we should go to my office and-
I will see my husband now.
The Doctor wants to argue but Nina's eyes shut him
down. He opens the door and they enter to find:
16 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS 16
A mass of mummy-like bandages with only small
openings around the mouth and one eye. The arms and
hands are also wrapped in heavy dressing. No movement
but for the rise and fall of the patient's chest.
Berthold cannot look. Holding back her anguish, Nina
bravely turns to the Doctor. "Well?"
He's been constant with fever but
he refuses any pain killers. The
right hand has been amputated above
the wrist. He's lost the fourth and
fifth fingers on the left. We...
couldn't save the left eye.
Berthold covers his face. Nina is a rock.
He had a ring on his right hand.
Where is it?
I'm sorry... His hand was amputated
in the field... I'm afraid-
As in: "That will be all." The Doctor leaves. Nina
sits beside her husband. She shows him a photo of
FOUR BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN - three boys and a girl.
Stauffenberg tries to speak but can't. His eye begins
Nina removes a ring from her finger, placing it on a
chain with a cross she takes from around her neck. It
is identical to the ring Stauffenberg wore in Africa.
CLOSE ON: The engraving inside the band - finis-
initium [end-beginning]. Nina places the ring and
chain on her husband's chest, her hand lingering. She
cannot hold the tears back any longer. She stands and
turns away, not wanting her husband to see.
Berthold takes her place. Stauffenberg struggles to
speak. Berthold puts an ear to the hole where
Stauffenberg's mouth is - making out his question,
even if we can't. Berthold debates answering, then:
We've lost North Africa.
CLOSE ON: That one eye staring at us closes.
17 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAYS LATER 17
Stauffenberg's bandages are gone - a black patch
covering what had been his left eye. The chain with
the cross and ring from Nina hangs around his neck.
ANOTHER PATIENT lies motionless in the next bed.
A man's belongings tell you more about him than he
ever could. Stauffenberg's side of the room is neatly
arranged, books of poetry and philosophy are well
worn. Beside them are his own writings - the print
meticulous and flowing. Up to a certain date. After
that a new, child-like hand has taken over.
A family photograph shows the Stauffenberg's of
another generation - wealthy aristocrats from a
bygone era. He is a teenager in this photo and
smiling broadly. A smile he left in Africa.
Stauffenberg's three fingers push a cotton ball under
his eyepatch to dab the empty socket. Then he goes to
button his shirt. Holding his collar in his teeth, he
tries to do the buttons with the use of only three
fingers on his left hand. It is heartbreaking to
He is about to give up when he notices a figure
looming in the doorway. General Olbricht. He winces
at the sight of Stauffenberg's deformities.
I don't know what I ever did with
Olbricht manages a smile, he moves to speak, but
Stauffenberg beats him to it.
I'm wanted in Berlin.
Are you asking as a member of the
Olbricht contemplates his answer. He carefully closes
the door behind him, nervously glancing at the
patient in the next bed.
You can speak openly, General. He
died just before you came in.
Awkward moment. Finally:
We could use your help.
I'm a field officer.
Olbricht steps closer, speaking openly now.
This war can't be won in the field.
That's unfortunate for me.
You can't honestly believe you'll
make a difference on the front-
I'm a soldier, General. I serve my
It makes no sense. You opposed
Hitler, you opposed the war.
The people chose otherwise and here
we are. Now we have to win. You
know what will happen if we don't.
If we win, it will still be
We all took an oath, General.
Olbricht nods, resigning. He realizes it is no use.
Finally, he produces a blue velvet box, opening it to
reveal a brilliant gold medal.
On behalf of the Führer.
Stauffenberg takes the medal and studies it.
I'm a twin, you know.
Olbricht is as confused as we are.
I... I didn't.
My brother died the day after we
What the hell is he talking about?
I was lying in the desert, covered
in blood, sure I was going to die.
I tried to think about my wife, my
children... But my mind kept
drifting to my dead brother. How I
would finally be with him. How I
would finally be whole again...
He snaps out of his thoughts, holding up his arm.
This is my reward for what happened
to my men. It's all I deserve.
Stauffenberg nonchalantly tosses the medal into a
18 INT. HOSPITAL - CRITICAL WARD - DAY 18
CLOSE ON: A field of white. A three fingered hand
enters the frame, gently placing a medal identical to
the one just saw.
PULL BACK TO REVEAL: Stauffenberg, done up in his
finest dress uniform, placing said medal on an
unconscious WOUNDED SOLDIER.
AN AIDE stands behind him, carrying a silver tray
stacked with MANY BOXES containing such medals.
PULL BACK FURTHER TO REVEAL: Stauffenberg stands
between two long rows of beds, each with A WOUNDED
SOLDIER. Those that can respond to Stauffenberg do so
with reverence. The ward is eerily silent.
With only three fingers, Stauffenberg cannot pin the
medals to his men. He has to settle for simply laying
them on a each soldier's chest or a pillow. With each
medal he presents, the task becomes harder to watch.
Suddenly, Stauffenberg freezes, finding himself
looking at THE YOUNG LIEUTENANT - his driver in
Africa. The young man is a mass of bandages, his legs
gone, his face smashed.
CLOSE ON: Stauffenberg's face - the reality of Africa
taking the wind out of him. Over this we hear a
familiar clicking of heels and:
19 INT. HOSPITAL - HALLWAY - LATER 19
Stauffenberg's boots pound the floor as he rushes for
the door, desperate to get out, barely able to
breathe. At first he does not hear:
A hand grabs his shoulder. Stauffenberg turns, ready
to strike. He stops when he sees the Doctor holding a
small, square box. Another sort medal perhaps?
I don't want the damn th-
The Doctor opens the box to reveal:
A GLASS EYEBALL sitting atop a layer of satin,
staring blankly back at Stauffenberg. Creepy.
When will you be going back to the
Beat. Stauffenberg just stares back at the eyeball.
I'm not going to the front. I'm
needed in Berlin.
20 EXT. BERLIN - NIGHT 20
The city sleeps. An unsettling image knowing that, in
war, quiet can turn to chaos in the blink of an eye.
21 INT. TOWNHOUSE FOYER - NIGHT 21
Soft knocking at the front door is further muffled by
heavy black-out curtains. A YOUNG OFFICER enters the
frame, dousing the lights, parting the curtains and
opening the door to reveal a SHADOWY FIGURE on the
The figure steps into the half light to reveal his
fresh scars and eye-patch. And from the dark quiet of
the foyer we CUT TO:
22 INT. SMOKY ROOM - NIGHT 22
Chaos. The air is thick with cigar smoke and harsh
words. A DOZEN MEN - some officers, some civilians -
are fighting bitterly, everyone talking at once.
Stauffenberg enters unnoticed, escorted in by the
YOUNG OFFICER who immediately ducks out again.
Stauffenberg scans the faces in the room. We
recognize Olbricht and Tresckow. With them we find...
A distinguished gentleman in his early sixties:
TITLES: ERWIN VON WITZLEBEN - FORMER FIELD MARSHAL OF
THE MILITARY DISTRICT. FORCED OUT BY HITLER, 1938.
Beside him is a rough-hewn, charismatic man despite
his 59 years. A face millions might follow. He is:
TITLES: DR. CARL GOERDELER - FORMER MAYOR OF LEIPZIG.
RESIGNED IN PROTEST, 1937.
And finally, a grandfatherly sort with surprisingly
kind eyes, sitting outside the fight - tired and
saddened by it.
TITLES: LUDWIG BECK - FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF FOR THE
GERMAN ARMY. RESIGNED IN PROTEST, 1938.
...He is not a man, he's a lunatic.
He doesn't drink, he doesn't fuck.
He has no weakness to exploit, no
vice to manipulate. His only
passion is complete control. How
can you expect to reason with him?
After this most recent failure I'd
say we've no other choice.
Confront Hitler now and you'll end
up with piano wire for a neck-tie.
Our only option is the central
He's a man like any other. Flesh
and blood. Take him head on and-
I'll say this for you, Doctor...
You're certainly delusional enough
to take Hitler's place.
When that day comes, I'll be sure
to remember you.
I doubt you'll remember much of
And the shouting resumes. It is Beck who finally sees
Stauffenberg. He touches Tresckow's arm. He, in turn,
nudges Olbricht and so on. A moment later, the room
is silent, all eyes on the Colonel. Everyone is a
little embarrassed. Olbricht clears his throat:
Gentlemen, may I present Colonel
Stauffenberg. He's been reassigned
to my office at the War Ministry.
Colonel, may I introduce-
These men need no introduction.
Beck stands, shaking Stauffenberg's hand.
I apologize for this unfortunate...
spectacle. On behalf of everyone,
But before he can finish, Beck is seized with a
gravelly cough that sends an uncomfortable chill
through the room. He is very ill.
(to the others)
I haven't welcomed him. Not yet.
Where does he stand?
For God's sake-
He's a field officer. He knows the
army better than any of us. I want
to hear his opinion.
All right. What do you think,
Colonel? Confront Hitler, force him
to resign? Or the central solution?
But before Stauffenberg can answer:
"Central Solution." You soldiers
are all the same. Say what you
That's a laugh coming from a
The army will follow diplomats
before they follow assassins.
They follow a butcher now. What
difference does it-
What makes you think the army will
follow you at all?
The room quiets down. Beck hides a slight smile. He
likes Stauffenberg already.
Oust him, kill him. That isn't what
matters. How do you plan to take
control of the government when
Hitler is gone?
Silence. Then a wave of laughter. "The balls on this
I beg your pardon, Colonel, but you
are in the presence of men who
would have been Hitler's inner
circle. Instead we resigned. We put
our principles above personal gain.
We have the have the respect of the
people. And the army.
With all respect, sir, you put too
much faith in your popularity.
(to Goerdeler, pointed)
All of you do.
Now see here, Colonel-
You said yourself, I'm a field
officer. You all may understand
government, but I know the men. A
great many of them may hate Hitler,
but they all fear him - they fear
Himmler, Goebbels, the whole of the
Reich. That kind of fear won't just
die with Hitler. And as for
respect: the army, and the people,
respect only one thing. Authority.
And if just one man questions that
authority, you can lose them all.
(to Beck, pointed)
They were fooled into following
Hitler... How will you fool them -
force them - into following you?
Pause. The conspirators look at one another again,
unsure of how to answer. For Stauffenberg it is a
23 EXT. BERLIN - STREET - NIGHT 23
A depressed Stauffenberg walks down the deserted
night streets. Silent but for the echo of his
Across the street, an OLD WOMAN peers nervously out
her window. The instant Stauffenberg makes eye
contact she steps back, drawing the curtains. Afraid.
He approaches a cozy brick cottage - the Berlin home
he shares with his brother, Berthold. He is surprised
when he looks through the window to find FOUR
CHILDREN laughing and playing - the sound of music on
a phonograph. Bittersweet.
In the next house over, he catches sight of a TEENAGE
BOY, the picture of Aryan youth, watching him
suspiciously from the upstairs window. It seems
everyone is watching everyone in Hitler's German.
24 INT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - NIGHT 24
Stauffenberg comes through the front door, the sound
of the phonograph blaring now. Meet the children:
BERTHOLD (9), HEIMERAN (7), FRANZ (5), VALERIE (2).
They chase one another around the house in their
pajamas making such a racket that the phonograph
skips. (It will do so throughout the scene.) The
children see Stauffenberg and charge, screaming:
He scoops them up, one by one, and kisses them,
instantly putting the day's events behind him.
Berthold follows them into the room, smiling.
What are you doing here? I thought
I left you in Bamberg.
It's a wonderful surprise. Thank
MAMA, COME DOWN. PAPA IS HERE. PAPA
IS HERE. (Etc.)
25 INT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - BEDROOM - NIGHT 25
Nina nervously fixes her hair in the mirror. LOOK
DOWN TO REVEAL a small datebook with a smaller
monthly calendar in the corner of the page. A red dot
marks one date in particular, followed by black dots
for each day that has passed since. She turns
sideways, smoothing her dress over her belly. In
every way she indicates to us that she is pregnant.
She tucks the datebook under some sundries in her
luggage and rushes down to greet her husband.
We stay in the room, hearing her greet Stauffenberg
O.S. Laughter at children's antics we cannot see. The
phonograph skips. More laughter.
We want to go see them in their happiness. Instead we
linger on Stauffenberg's dresser - neat and orderly.
We focus on a photograph of the family from happier
Beside it is a small box containing a glass eye.
26 INT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 26
Stauffenberg and Nina dance with one another to the
delight of the children. We gradually PUSH IN tight
on their faces, watching an entire conversation take
place without dialogue. Each has a secret the other
can guess. Stauffenberg looks at Nina, then her
belly, first realizing and then questioning. Nina
smiles and nods. Stauffenberg hugs her, delighted,
but his delight is tainted with worry.
Then the tables turn. Nina looks at Stauffenberg, as
if divining his secret. His face never changes - a
statue with that same tainted smile. In her face we
see slow, grim realization. She may not know exactly
what is going on, but she knows it is something. She
does her best to keep smiling for the children. After
the longest of moments, she nods. "All right." Then
she puts her head on his shoulder, hiding her fears.
It is an important moment. Read it again, taking the
time to picture it in your mind. Then leave it alone.
Done right it's a beautiful scene about a man, his
family and the fate of the world.
27 INT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - DINING ROOM - NIGHT 27
Nina reads a story to the children in the adjoining
room - an idyllic scene. The sound of the phonograph
is soft and constant.
Stauffenberg picks at a late dinner, now adept at the
use of only three fingers. Berthold sits across from
him, deeply troubled by whatever conversation we have
just missed. They speak in hushed tones.
What do you mean you quit?
I came to join the Resistance, not
some sewing circle of discarded
generals and politicians.
Beck is a just and capable man. As
for Goerdeler, well, he's popular.
He'll make a good Chancellor.
Like Hitler before him, yes? Lately
I have to wonder if Germany is even
fit to choose her own destiny.
You can't blame the people for
this. You have to see the beginning
of something to know how it'll end.
It's no different than a farmer
watching the corn grow. One day
it's over his head.
Plenty of people thought-
The greatest offenders are not the
ones who thought better but the
ones who sensed better.
What are you trying to say?
I seem to remember you telling me
about reports from the Ukraine -
the SS forcing Jews to dig their
own graves. You said then that
Hitler should be removed. An
officer's duty, you said. What's
I said senior officers. The only
men that can get to him.
Perhaps it doesn't matter that you
Stauffenberg looks at Berthold like he is crazy, but:
Perhaps it only matters that you
try. Don't you see? Someone has to
stand up and show the world that
not all of us were like him.
Even if they could remove Hitler,
they can't hope to seize power. For
God's sake, they have no plan.
Then give them one. Find a way.
He puts a hand on Stauffenberg's arm.
Evil happens when good men do
Before Stauffenberg can answer, new music comes
blasting from the phonograph O.S. The unmistakable
sound of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries.
Children, that is far too-
He is cut off by the appearance of his four children,
all wearing cloaks made of bed sheets, pots for
helmets and brandishing makeshift swords. They charge
into the room, singing loudly and attacking their
father. He does his best to defend himself with one
hand. Their commotion causes the phonograph to skip.
And you'd think that's where it ends. We even pull
back, creating that effect. It takes a moment to
notice the wailing sound we're suddenly hearing is
not on the phonograph. Nina hears it first, then
Stauffenberg and Berthold. Finally the children
freeze and the phonograph skips without their help.
The glasses on the table rattle.
Now we hear the wailing quite clearly. A siren.
The adults herd the children out of the room. Muffled
concussions cause the phonograph to skip frequently,
turning Wagner's masterpiece into a stutter.
28 INT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - BASEMENT - NIGHT 28
The family rushes down the stairs, huddling in a
corner - adults holding shivering children. The bombs
are closer, louder. The Wagner, the siren, the
explosions fray the nerves.
Stauffenberg reaches for Nina in the darkness,
finding her belly. Her hand clamps around his -
around their unborn child.
BOOM. So close the children scream. Dust and debris
fall from the ceiling. The needle rakes the
phonograph upstairs going back to the beginning.
CLOSE ON STAUFFENBERG - on his eye. His thoughts as
the bombs fall all around his home - a moment of
29 INT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 29
Move across the room to the phonograph, looking down
at the 78 spinning on the turntable. The camera
begins to turn until all the world around us is
spinning and only the record is still. We read one
word of the title of the 78 quite clearly:
30 INT. SMOKY ROOM - NIGHT 30
Stauffenberg faces the top members of the Resistance.
We've already considered Valkyrie.
It isn't suitable.
Not as it's currently written.
Excuse me. What is Valkyrie?
Tresckow explains even as he studies Stauffenberg,
curious. What does he have in mind?
The Reserve Army has thousands of
men all over the city - most of
them not even in uniform. Valkyrie
is top secret plan to mobilize
those men in a national emergency.
Hitler designed it himself to crush
any internal unrest if he's cut off
And what use is that to us?
The orders could be rewritten. A
few subtle changes would put those
reserve units completely under our
Yes, of course, but-
Now what would the High Command do
if they thought, say, the SS was
staging a coup?
They would declare a military state
And initiate Operation Valkyrie.
Hitler's own Reserve Army, using
Hitler's own plan and under our
command, would automatically seize
power in Berlin...
While we put a new government in
Precisely. It will seem as though
we're fighting for Hitler
Government, not against it.
But only if Hitler's dead.
All eyes turn to Goerdeler. Here we go.
That is what you're saying, isn't
it? The central solution.
How else will you make people
believe the SS is trying to seize
I'm afraid it's the only way.
I'm disappointed in you, Colonel. I
thought a man of your background
would appreciate a more-
I'm a soldier first, an aristocrat
And you're neither, Doctor. Now if
you want to be Chancellor, you'll
do as you're told.
A moment of tension. Humiliated, Goerdeler nods. But
he won't ever forget this...
Can this plan be made to work?
Rewriting the order is one thing -
distributing it is another. A bomb
can be disarmed, recovered if it
fails. In this case we'd be
willfully circulating written
evidence of high treason.
It's the best idea we've heard yet.
There is one... small problem.
Who is Fromm?
Commander of the Home Army.
Olbricht can put the reserve troops
on alert, but only Fromm can
actually initiate Valkyrie.
Can we get to him?
He's a careerist pig.
But one who's gone as high as he
can go in Hitler's Army. It's no
secret he's not happy about it.
Perhaps if we offered him a key
position in the new regime he could
be made to see the light.
We don't seem to have a choice.
Without Fromm there is no Valkyrie.
(to Olbricht and Stauffenberg)
We end on Goerdeler, a look of concern on his face.
31 INT. WAR MINISTRY - WAITING ROOM - DAY 31
TITLES: REICH WAR MINISTRY - OFFICE OF GENERAL
MUTED SHOUTS from O.S. Someone is getting reamed.
Fromm's adjutant, LIEUTENANT FRANZ HERBER - a young,
dedicated soldier - sits at his desk, trying to
ignore the screaming from the other room in between
stolen glances at...
PULL BACK TO REVEAL: Stauffenberg and Olbricht
waiting patiently, sitting across from:
MAJOR JOHN VON FREYEND, a dutiful Nazi whose face we
immediately don't like. He smiles coldly, taking
pleasure in the shouting O.S. He stares at
Stauffenberg, studying him, making us nervous.
Fromm's door finally opens and A BIGGER THAN LIFE
NAZI storms out.
TITLES: FIELD MARSHAL WILHELM KEITEL - HITLER'S CHIEF
Freyend stands, holding Keitel's hat and coat for
him. A perfect toady.
You're a woman, Fromm. And a fat
one at that. I'd have you sent to
the front if I didn't think you'd
surrender just to be Montgomery's
Keitel storms out, leaving a pall. Freyend gives
Stauffenberg a last once-over and follows. Beat:
The... General will see you now.
32 INT. WAR MINISTRY - FROMM'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 32
Stauffenberg and Olbricht step inside to find:
TITLES: GENERAL FRIEDRICH FROMM - COMMANDER OF THE
GERMAN RESERVE ARMY.
The haggard Fromm sits at his desk, rubbing his
temples. Stauffenberg and Olbricht share a confident
look. Surely this guy hates the High Command. Without
looking up to see them:
What is it you want?
Olbricht hesitates. Fromm looks up.
Well, Olbricht? Speak up.
I wanted to introduce you to our
new man - Colonel Stauffenberg.
Ah yes - the hero from Africa. I'd
offer my hand but you might not
give it back.
I'd say the General's lost more
important things this morning.
Freeze. But after a tense beat, Fromm relaxes and
laughs, taking a cigarette from a box on his desk and
nudging it toward them.
About time they put a man with
balls in this office. Have a seat.
You too, if you must.
They sit. Fromm lights a cigarette, leans back and
exhales a cloud of smoke. We let things sit for
awhile. The game of recruitment is about to begin and
no one is sure where to start. The longer the quiet,
the more awkward things seem. Finally:
They tell me you're critical of the
war, Colonel. Not that you don't
seem to have good reason.
I am critical of losing the war,
General. All wars - as in Africa -
are lost through indecision.
In the field, you mean.
He's baiting Stauffenberg to talk shit about Hitler.
I take it that's why you're here.
To make decisions.
I've made my decision, General. I`m
here to help others make theirs.
Stauffenberg makes no attempt to shade his delivery.
He is quite clearly indicating that he means more.
Fromm knows it, but he's being coy.
They say when there's no clear
option, one should do nothing.
We're at war. We must act.
Just what sort of rash action did
you have in mind, Colonel?
That would be a decision for the
Supreme Military Commander.
Fromm is getting the message. He takes a deep drag.
Supreme Commander, you say.
Second only to the Chancellor.
If only I were that man... This war
would be going quite differently.
We were thinking the very same
Fromm frowns at Olbricht. This was a bit too obvious.
Stauffenberg shoots Olbricht a look. "What the hell
are you doing?"
Fromm casually stamps out his cigarette in the
ashtray and picks up the telephone.
Olbricht and Stauffenberg steel their nerves -
certain they are going to be reported. But Fromm
doesn't dial. Instead, to our relief, he disconnects
the line. When he is certain that it is dead:
I don't need to remind you that
we've all sworn an oath. That said,
I'm going to forget we had this
conversation with the understanding
that such speak will never occur
under this roof again. Am I clear?
Tell your friends that I always
come down on the right side. And as
long as the Führer is alive, you
know what side that is.
(raising his hand)
33 INT. WAR MINISTRY - CORRIDOR- CONTINUOUS 33
(trying to be upbeat)
I think that went rather well.
34 EXT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - DAY 34
A car loaded with luggage. Stauffenberg hugs his
children, one by one, before placing them inside.
Then he turns to face Nina. As always, there is much
to be said that they cannot say. She gently touches
the silver chain around his neck, the ring and the
cross she gave him. They embrace tightly and kiss.
She gets in the car, looking at him through the back
window as she is driven away.
35 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT 35
Darkness. As our eyes adjust we realize we are in the
middle of the woods. Is this a dream? A nightmare? We
are drawn toward a flickering light in the distance.
36 EXT. FOREST - CLEARING - NIGHT 36
From out of the darkness comes a candle held by a
nervous, almost mousy young woman, FRAULEIN VON OVEN.
Walking just behind her is Tresckow. He carries a
small but heavy case in one hand.
They come to a clearing in the woods and find a
strange sight. In the center is a tree stump
surrounded by papers, including the original orders
for OPERATION VALKYRIE, next to a leather valise
marked with the seal of the Reich. The orders have
been meticulously annotated.
Were you followed?
Fraulein Oven gasps. Tresckow turns, pistol drawn.
The tip of his barrel comes up just inches from
Stauffenberg's eyepatch. Stauffenberg smiles,
emerging from the shadows.
Dammit, Stauffenberg. You scared me
half to death.
We'll be closer than that before
37 EXT. FOREST - LATER 37
Wearing white gloves, Fraulein Oven opens the case
Tresckow brought, revealing a portable typewriter.
She carefully feeds a sheet of crisp parchment into
the machine and sets the margins carefully. Pause.
Then she starts typing with remarkable speed.
(Note: The sound of typing runs throughout the scene,
punctuated by the crack of the carriage return - each
time a little louder.)
Stauffenberg and Tresckow carefully pore over the
Valkyrie orders, scribbling copious notes.
Looking this over, I'm not
satisfied that the Reserve Army is
enough to shut down Berlin
(handing over papers)
Yes, I've been giving that some
thought. We should include any
field units that are home on leave.
Before Tresckow can respond, more papers:
I've also drawn up an outline for
orders to streamline combat groups
in order to quietly concentrate
forces at vital points - state and
government buildings, of course,
but also the radio and newspapers.
More papers. Tresckow can barely keep up.
Combat groups will be reorganized
as reinforced grenadier regiments.
One or two of them can be quickly
mobilized, eliminating the usual
six hour lag. We blitz the
government quarter, arrest all
Ministers and Party leaders,
surround all SS and police
barracks. Any officers who resist
will be arrested... or shot.
CRACK. A carriage return as loud as a rifle-shot.
38 EXT. BERLIN - STREET - LATER 38
A truck full of soldiers roars past. Stauffenberg,
Tresckow and Fraulein Oven walk across a dimly lit
bridge on a foggy night in Berlin, stopping in the
Stauffenberg carries a leather valise with the
Valkyrie orders, Tresckow carries the typewriter
case. They stop at the center of the bridge, looking
around carefully. No one is in sight, but anyone
could be watching from the shadows. Eerie.
(to the Fraulein)
If anyone comes to you, play
ignorant. Just tell them-
I'll tell that I was serving the
German people. Then I'll tell them
to go to hell.
Both men smile, a bit taken aback. Von Oven shakes
each man's hand and walks away, swallowed up by the
darkness. When she is gone:
To Operation Valkyrie.
Stauffenberg nods. Tresckow heaves the typewriter
case over the railing and into the water below.
They watch in silence as the water settles, then:
I've been transferred to the front.
Why didn't you tell me?
Would you have stayed?
Obviously not. Then it occurs to Stauffenberg.
Do you think Fromm reported us?
It's more likely just... an
unfortunate coincidence. Anyway it
doesn't matter. You wrote the
orders. You know them better than
You don't mean to say-
I'm appointing you military leader
of the Resistance. Beck agrees.
We both know Olbricht hasn't the
wit or the spine. No. It's you.
A million thoughts are running through Stauffenberg's
mind. Fear. Anxiety. But he knows what he must do.
One more thing. You were right what
you said that first night. It's not
enough to kill Hitler. We need to
isolate his chain of command. The
slightest confusion could crush us.
We need to be certain that no
conflicting orders get out after
Stauffenberg considers this for a moment.
That greatly limits our options of
where and when to make our move,
but it's the only way.
How will you do it?
Perhaps it's better I don't say.
Pause. A sad smile and nod from Tresckow, a moment
ago he was in charge. Now he has no clearance.
God promised Abraham that he would
not destroy Sodom if he could find
just ten righteous men.
He puts a hand on Stauffenberg's shoulder.
I have a feeling that for Germany
it may come down to one.
39 INT. OFFICERS' CLUB - BERLIN - NIGHT 39
A wild party - a small band, German officers, plenty
In stark contrast, two GESTAPO MEN sip coffee at a
corner table, keeping a watchful eye on the crowd.
A WAITER carries a tray of drinks to a rowdy group in
the corner who are immersed in the denial common to
Berlin these days. The Waiter serves carefully,
making sure one particular drink goes to:
TITLES: GENERAL ERICH FELLGIEBEL - CHIEF OF THE ARMY
The group toasts and downs their booze.
CLOSE ON: Fellgiebel's smile suddenly fades. He looks
into his glass, his good mood vanishing. He politely
excuses himself over the noise of the rowdy mob and
heads for the bathroom. He looks ill.
40 INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT 40
Fellgiebel walks to the sink and dumps what is left
of his drink in the basin.
CLOSE ON: Mingling among the melting chunks of ice is
a GLASS EYE staring back at him.
He scowls in the mirror at Stauffenberg, waiting.
You realize how close I am to
Hitler. With one word I could have
the Gestapo make you disappear.
Why haven't you then?
Fellgiebel checks the stalls to make sure they are
empty. Stauffenberg collects his glass eye from the
sink, dabbing it dry on a hand towel.
None of my associates know we've
been talking if that's what you're
But you know. And when the SS catch
you, they'll pull you apart like
warm bread. It'll be a crime just
to have known you then. I warn you.
If it means protecting myself, I
will expose you. Do not try to
contact me again.
Fellgiebel heads for the door but stops on:
You can't report me. Maybe if you
had when I first approached you,
you'd have been keeping your oath.
But now you're just as guilty as-
So you think that makes me a
sympathizer, eh? You give a man the
choice of betraying a fellow
officer or his Führer and assume
his actions will show you his
heart. It's not that simple.
It is to me.
For the last time, don't push me to
make a decision.
I have no choice. It's clear now
that without you we have no hope of
Pause. Fellgiebel's silence speaks volumes.
You want us to succeed. Don't you?
And what if you do, eh? What then?
Will you be any different from
Hitler? What of his Reich, his
people, the very momentum of
history? Will all of that let you
be something he isn't?
There it is.
But my pregnant wife, our four
children, the Germany I first swore
to defend... They demand that I be
something different. They demand
that I fight for their future even
if it means...
And for a moment his voice breaks and he chokes back
what may be tears.
Even if it means that I never see
In that moment we see a side of Stauffenberg we were
starting to doubt existed. We see his humanity. This
puts Fellgiebel in his place. He adjusts his tie and
we see the wedding ring on his finger.
Action is inevitable. As are the
consequences. When they come for me
I'll do what I can to hide what you
knew and when you knew it.
(stepping closer now)
But don't delude yourself. You were
involved in a crime against your
country long before you met me.
There's still time to redeem
yourself. Only God can judge you
BANG. The door bursts open, startling them both. But
it is only a DRUNKEN OFFICER and a YOUNG WOMAN
looking for some privacy.
Are you two finished or just
The woman laughs. Stauffenberg walks out past them,
leaving Fellgiebel with Hitler's finest.
41 INT. WAR MINISTRY - STAUFFENBERG'S OFFICE - DAY 41
What first catches our eye is the enormous portrait
of Hitler looming over Stauffenberg's desk.
Stauffenberg sits before a mountain of paperwork,
surrounded on all sides by a flurry of SECRETARIES
and AIDES. He looks up to find:
Olbricht hovering in the doorway with that look that
says, "We need to talk." Stauffenberg clearly doesn't
have the time. He sighs.
Leave us, please.
The staff instantly exits - a well-oiled machine.
Stauffenberg unplugs the phone.
You play the part of bureaucrat
It's the only time I can relax.
There's a man here to interview as
Adjut- What for?
No one told you?
You've been promoted Chief of Staff
for the Reserve Army.
Some men might find a promotion to be good news. Not
For Christ's sake. Don't I have
enough to do?
Unfortunately, your nocturnal
activities don't count as service
to the Reich.
I'll refuse the promotion.
You'll do no such thing.
Dammit, I can't handle the work I
This is an opportunity we could
never have dreamed of. You're in
the inner circle now - with genuine
access to Hitler, his advisors, his
schedule... We need this.
We're not ready. We're moving too
Not half as fast as the Allies. An
invasion is coming, Colonel. Any
day now. We must act and we must
Tresckow may have left you in
charge of the "central solution,"
but in this world I still outrank
you. You will accept the
appointment. Is that understood?
Stauffenberg nods, grudgingly.
Now. The new man is waiting
outside. He comes highly
recommended. He might even be an
We still need an assassin.
Olbricht leaves. Stauffenberg lets this sink in. He
takes a seat and goes back to work. After a moment:
A HANDSOME SOLDIER (36) quietly enters.
TITLES: LIEUTENANT WERNER VON HAEFTEN - RESERVIST.
WOUNDED DURING THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN.
Haeften clicks his heels and offers the Nazi salute,
but before he can say the words:
Thrown, Haeften sits. Stauffenberg continues writing,
ignoring him. Haeften looks up at the portrait of
Hitler, startled when Stauffenberg finally speaks:
Do you know how this war will end,
Haeften? The portrait will be un-
hung... And the man will be hung.
Stauffenberg looks up - looking for a reaction to
such frank and treasonous talk. He gets none. He
sighs, too tired to play games.
Bottom line. I'm engaged in high
treason with all means available to
me. Can I count you in?
And the strangest thing - a reaction no one would
suspect - Haeften relaxes, almost sighs, like someone
who has at long last found a home.
For anything, sir. Anything at all.
Anything is a very dangerous word.
42 EXT. NORMANDY - VARIOUS - DAY/NIGHT 42
TITLES: 6 JUNE 1944.
NEWSREEL FOOTAGE OF D-DAY. Allied forces invade
Normandy. The liberation of Europe has begun.
But this is not the D-Day you learned about in
history class. This is a German newsreel. Nazi spin.
In it, Hitler's forces have nothing to fear.
The Allied Forces have blundered
into the trap awaiting them on the
beaches of Normandy - heroically
repelled by the combined might of
the German Army. It is a glorious
day for the Reich. At long last the
craven enemy has come to Europe to
face their inevitable defeat at the
43 INT. MILITARY SEDAN - NIGHT 43
Five thousand ships, one-hundred
thousand men from the combined
Haeften and Stauffenberg ride in a sedan.
Stauffenberg is in profile the entire time.
What about the Panzer divisions in-
They were never dispatched. Word is
Hitler took a sleeping pill. His
staff was afraid to wake him.
First Africa, now France.
The Russians bearing down from the
Sometimes I wonder if Hitler's real
aim is to leave nothing but
scorched earth for all of Europe.
Stauffenberg rubs his forehead. The car stops.
SOLDIERS are waiting outside.
Stauffenberg gets out of the car wearing an ornate
dress uniform and carrying a leather valise. He has
arrived at a meeting of great importance.
He turns to face Haeften directly and we are
surprised to see both of his eyes - for an instant
the young lion he once was. But a closer look is
unsettling - we see the faint scarring, one eye
glowing and alive, the other cloudy and dead.
His glass eye. Stauffenberg only wore it on special
occasions. This is one.
Maybe this is a blessing in
disguise. Maybe he'll finally
listen to reason - consider a truce
while he still can.
We'll see if I can't convince him.
44 EXT. THE BERGHOF - NIGHT 44
Est. Hitler's forboding southern headquarters.
TITLES: THE BERGHOF. 7 JUNE 1944.
Stauffenberg walks up a flight of wide marble stairs -
at the top he sees a group of WAITING ADJUTANTS
quietly smoking cigarettes - a clique of devoted
Nazis. In the group is Major Freyend, the wormy
officer we saw outside Fromm's office. He watches
Stauffenberg pass, aloof. We hate him.
Just then Stauffenberg is greeted by TWO SS OFFICERS
who move to physically search him - one his body, the
other his valise.
You don't need to search him.
ANGLE ON: Fromm's adjutant, Lt. Herber approaches,
waving off the SS.
Colonel Stauffenberg is an honored
guest. The hero of Africa.
The SS officers stand down. Herber and Stauffenberg
share a friendly smile, about to speak when Fromm
walks up on them:
For God's sake, Stauffenberg,
He pauses, clearly caught off guard when he sees
Stauffenberg with two eyes.
... they're waiting for you.
45 INT. THE BERGHOF - CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT 45
Stauffenberg and Fromm enter to the last thing we
would expect. Laughter. Drunken laughter.
PULL BACK TO REVEAL: THE BIG SIX.
Hitler and five men - some of them almost
caricatures, their features so distinct. The first
man we recognize as Keitel - the general who reamed
Fromm. The others we know from history and TITLES:
MINISTER ALBERT SPEER - ARCHITECT FOR THE NEW REICH.
DR. JOSEPH GOEBBELS - REICH MINISTER OF PUBLIC
ENLIGHTENMENT AND PROPAGANDA.
REICHSFÜHRER HEINRICH HIMMLER - HEAD OF THE SS AND
REICH MARSHAL HERMANN GOERING - HEAD OF THE GERMAN
ARMED FORCES, HITLER'S SECOND IN COMMAND.
We have arrived in the sanctum sanatorium of Nazi
Germany on the day after the Normandy invasion. But
you would never know the tide of the war had just
turned against Germany. A series of situation maps
are scattered before them, ignored.
Only Speer seems to be reserved, smiling politely but
clearly tuned into the present reality. Looking
closer at Goering we see he is wearing heavy make-up -
adding to the already surreal nature of the scene.
It is also the first time we are allowed a clear,
unobstructed view of Hitler.
Mein Führer... I wish to present
Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg -
our new Chief of General Staff for
the Replacement Army.
The laughter stops. Hitler and his cronies turn
toward Stauffenberg, looking him over. Hitler stands
and crosses to him. Fromm meets him first, whispering
in the Führer's ear - perhaps reminding him who
Stauffenberg is. Hitler nods: "Ah yes." He takes
Stauffenberg's left hand with both of his. We are
surprised by his charm.
May I say, I am honored to meet a
hero who has sacrificed so much for
Germany. If only more of my
officers were like you.
Hitler's cronies smile despite the subtle insult to
themselves. To make it worse, Hitler turns to them.
Let this man stand as an example to
all of you. He is the ideal German
Fromm nervously clears his throat.
Mein Führer, we have asked
Stauffenberg here today so that he
might brief us on mobilizing troops
from the Home Army to support those
Hmmm? Oh yes, Normandy. That will
no longer be necessary. General
Goering has assured me that
Normandy is under control.
Stauffenberg's good eye flickers. "Are you insane?
Normandy is a catastrophe." Another glance at the
situation map shows Allied forces over-running.
But the painted-on smiles of Hitler's nodding cronies
promote the lie. No one has the courage to tell
Hitler anything close to the truth. Somewhere in
their eyes is the fear that someone will.
Mein Führer, if I may... The
situation in Normandy is-
You're dismissed, Stauffenberg.
Send your man home, Fromm. Then
bring us some brandy.
Fromm is stung - a man of his rank being treated like
a waiter. Stauffenberg steps back, clicks his heels
and salutes, just managing to say:
Hitler half waves, walking slowly back to his seat.
Fromm and Stauffenberg leave.
46 EXT. THE BERGHOF - NIGHT 46
Fromm escorts a visibly shaken Stauffenberg to his
waiting vehicle. Haeften opens the car door for
Stauffenberg to get in. Fromm leans in.
I don't know what you've got
brewing and I don't want to know...
But when the music stops, I'd be
much obliged if Keitel should find
himself without a chair.
Is Fromm saying he's in? Is Keitel's death a
condition? Hard to say and meant to be. Before
Stauffenberg can inquire, Fromm slams the door shut
and returns to the madness inside the Berghof.
47 INT. MILITARY SEDAN - CONTINUOUS 47
Stauffenberg leans back in his seat, mentally
calculating his next step.
They're all insane. Every one of
them except for Speer, and he's
nothing but an architect.
Stauffenberg puts on his eyepatch before removing his
glass eye. He polishes it with a cloth and now it
stares at him from his gloved hand. A conscience.
Tell Beck we've found our
(off Haeften's confused look)
I'll do it myself.
48 INT. CHURCH - NIGHT 48
We find ourselves in an empty church. Beck is seated
in a pew staring straight ahead. Stauffenberg sits
directly behind him. They can't risk being seen
together. They speak in hushed tones.
The first thing we notice is how weak and ill Beck
looks. He struggles to hide a persistent cough.
Out of the question. It won't work.
We need you here in Berlin.
Who else, then? Who can even get as
Beck knows there is no other choice.
Valkyrie is very clear. Once the
order is given, the Reserve Army
will automatically seize control of
the government with or without me.
Orders are not enough. They need a
man to follow. The right man.
Pause. Stauffenberg knows he's right. The fucking
pressure. He thinks for a moment, then with a sigh:
Olbricht will oversee operations in
my absence. I can be back in Berlin
three hours after Hitler is-
Stauffenberg shuts up, lowering his head in prayer as
a CLERGYMAN passes. Once they are again alone:
Three very crucial hours.
We both know there's no other way.
Beck nods, resigned.
I'll tell the others-
As if on cue, Beck loses control of his cough.
Stauffenberg leans forward, handing him a
handkerchief and putting a reassuring hand on his
shoulder until the old man's hacking subsides.
I'm afraid whatever the outcome, I
won't be there to see it.
Nonsense. You're stronger than you
think. You might just be the
strongest one of all.
49 EXT. STAUFFENBERG HOME - BAMBERG - DUSK 49
Est. The sound of children at play takes us to:
50 EXT. STAUFFENBERG HOME - BACK LAWN - CONTINUOUS 50
Once again, the scene idyllic. The Stauffenberg
children play football in the distance. Stauffenberg
himself is out of uniform for the first time since
the hospital, but he does not seem relaxed.
Nina sits across from him, half-reading a book, half
talking to her husband. Stauffenberg cannot hear a
word she is saying - he is miles away.
He looks over at his children. One would never
suspect that Germany has waged a calamitous war and
that the country is facing total devastation.
...After that I thought I'd take
the children to the country for a
few days to see my- Claus?
He snaps out of his thoughts. "Hmmm?"
Have you heard a word I said?
Nina. Listen. I want you to delay
your trip. Just for a while.
She wants to ask, he wants to tell her. Finally:
Does this have something to do
with... your work?
I would just be more comfortable
knowing where you are - until I'm
back from Berlin. Things will be
different then. I promise.
Long pause. Once again, a couple who know each other
well enough to not have to say things plainly. Nina
is worried but strong.
How long until... until we see you?
A few days. If all goes well. Then
we can travel as a family.
And if things... don't go well?
I love you, Nina.
And I love you... What-
PAPA, COME AND PLAY WITH US. (Etc.)
The children kick the ball toward Stauffenberg - the
one sport he can play. He is about to say something
to Nina, but she cuts him off.
Go be with your children.
Stauffenberg stands, touching Nina's cheek and
kissing her forehead. We stay on her as he joins the
children. She watches them play together, seeing her
husband laughing for the first time in a long while.
Her eyes well with tears - a mixture of happiness and
anguish. Too good to last, too much to bear.
51 INT. SMOKY ROOM - DAY 51
Haeften, Olbricht and Stauffenberg stand around a
table giving their undivided attention to:
TITLES: COLONEL MERTZ VON QUIRNHEIM - STAUFFENBERG'S
REPLACEMENT UNDER OLBRICHT.
He empties the contents of two tawny leather
briefcases onto the table:
Along with a crude drawing covered with calculations
he produces two brick-like lumps wrapped in butcher
paper, two small caps and two thin metal cylinders.
Two 975 gram packs of plastic-W.
Enough explosive to cripple a
(pointing to caps)
(pointing to cylinders)
Your fuses. British time pencils.
This acid capsule is your trigger.
Stauffenberg carefully studies the items before him.
When you're ready to arm, attach
the detonator to the bottom of the
time pencil, like so...
...Insert the entire device into
either end of the plastic-W, crush
the acid capsule and you're live.
When the acid eats through the wire
holding back the trigger spring...
Well... You'll want to be very far
What if they search your bag?
I'm one of the inner circle now.
They'll make sure I am who I am.
Beyond that, they won't touch me.
How much time do I have?
Theoretically there's a 30-minute
delay. But with the kind of heat
you can expect at the Wolf's Lair,
I'd give you 10, 15 minutes tops.
That's... hardly precise.
This is state of the art. You can
have small or precise. Not both.
Might this be just a little too
The explosion won't do the killing.
The air in the room will.
He points to the drawing - an overhead sketch of:
Hitler's bunker is constructed of
reenforced concrete. A steel door,
no windows. Just one of these
explosives in a space like that
will cause tremendous air pressure.
Enough to instantly kill everyone
present. The second charge will be
Of course, I'm all for redundancy.
However... If, by some miracle,
Hitler does survive, what then?
We have an inside man at the Wolf's
Lair in communications. He'll
notify you immediately following
the flash and then sever all
contact with the outside world.
The others are stunned.
Just how did you manage that?
It's my job, isn't it? While
Hitler's inner circle is still
regrouping, you will initiate
Valkyrie and seize control in Paris
and Berlin. Even if Hitler
survives, we'll have momentum.
But as you said yourself it would
take a miracle. Anyone in that
bunker when just one of these goes
off is not coming out alive.
Haeften places the items back in the briefcases.
Himmler is expected to be at the
meeting as well. Don't proceed
unless you can get them both.
That could be difficult.
Why kill a madman just to have a
lunatic take his place?
This is Goerdeler's idea, isn't it?
The members are in total agreement
Stauffenberg chews on this, pissed. Then:
Fucking politicians. I'll hold off
if the decision is unanimous. And I
want another man on the committee.
A soldier himself, Olbricht is insulted.
And just who this soldier be?
Stauffenberg glances at Mertz, sizing him, up.
(pointing to Mertz)
Mertz's eyes widen. "Me?" But Stauffenberg and
Haeften pick up their briefcases and leave without
another word. Assassins.
Olbricht reaches for the phone and dials.
This is General Olbricht. Order the
Guard Battalion and all Army
Schools near Berlin to take up
march readiness. Stand by for
52 INT. CENTRAL COMMUNICATIONS - BERLIN - DAY 52
A small, bunker-like room serves as the hub of all
military communications. The walls are lined with
chattering teletype machines and their OPERATORS.
CLOSE ON: One teletype in particular. The words are
clicking by quickly but we clearly make out:
STAND BY FOR OPERATION VALKYRIE...
One SERGEANT HELM leans in, reading it, curious. He
tears the sheet out of the teletype and takes it to:
The officious LIEUTENANT HAANS - officer in charge.
He likes his job and how well he does it.
(handing over the order)
What about it?
This order is calling the Reserve
Army for some sort of stand-by
action... in Berlin.
Looks like a drill of some kind.
Valkyrie? I've never heard of that.
Send the order through, Sergeant.
A SHRILL WHISTLE and a WAILING SIREN take us to...
EXT. BERLIN - VARIOUS - DAY
Shots of scattered elements of the Reserve Army
coming together, taking shape:
RESERVISTS and CADETS, from all walks of life, rush
to their homes, hastily trading their civilian
clothes for uniforms.
54 EXT. AIRFIELD - RANGSDORF - DAY 54
TITLES: 15 JULY 1944.
Stauffenberg and Haeften board a waiting courier
plane, preparing for departure. Both are clutching
their briefcases, faces like stone. Stauffenberg is
dressed once again in his ornate, formal attire - his
patch gone, glass eye in place.
EXT. DEUTSCHLAND GUARD BATTALION - BERLIN - DAY
AIR SIRENS wail. A SCULPTED EAGLE AND SWASTIKA loom
over a large pillared stronghold.
From out of the surrounding barracks, RESERVE
SOLDIERS scramble to march readiness, assembling on
the center parade grounds, awaiting orders.
Vehicles move into place along the perimeter. All in
all, a well-oiled machine.
CLOSE ON THE BERLIN COMMANDANT - GENERAL PAUL VON
HASE - issuing the alert signal. AIR SIRENS wail.
RESERVE SOLDIERS scramble into readiness. Vehicles
move into place - a well-oiled machine.
We focus on two officers in particular: MAJOR OTTO
ERNST REMER, Commander of the Deutschland Guard
Battalion, and SECOND LIEUTENANT DR. HANS HAGEN.
Loyal Nazis both.
What do you suppose this is all
Probably just a drill.
But Remer doesn't seem convinced. Remember him.
56 INT./EXT. VARIOUS - DAY 56
Shots of Stauffenberg and Haeften deplaning/getting
into a waiting car/slowly making their way to their
destination. Finally, they arrive at:
57 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - DAY 57
Est. A 625 acre compound hidden deep in the mosquito
infested forests of Wilhelmsdorf. Security is tight -
barbed wire fencing, checkpoints, flak towers,
machine gun nests, trenches, land mines.
TITLES: WOLFSCHANZE - "THE WOLF'S LAIR". HITLER'S
58 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - MAIN GATE - DAY 58
The car carrying Stauffenberg and Haeften arrives at
the first security checkpoint.
TWO GUARDS check identity papers and confiscate
pistols from Haeften and The Driver. Stauffenberg
boldly extends his valise to one of the Guards, but
rather than reach for it, the young soldier snaps to
attention and raises his hand in a Nazi salute, eyes
straight ahead, stone-like. A drone.
After an awkward pause:
(to the Driver)
EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - VARIOUS - DAY
CLOSE ON STAUFFENBERG'S BAG. A series of JUMP CUTS
follow the bag through the extensive security layers
one must endure before getting to the meeting. ID is
checked frequently. The bags, not once. The men here
are Hitler's inner circle, after all.
59 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - COMPOUND - DAY 59
Finally, Stauffenberg and Haeften are escorted toward
the bunker where the meeting will be held. Pausing,
Stauffenberg looks back over his shoulder to find:
THE COMMUNICATIONS HUT - through the open door of the
small shack we see a mass of radios and telegraphs. A
LONE FIGURE stands outside, smoking a cigarette.
(whispering to Haeften)
Yes. And it is none other than GENERAL ERICH
FELLGIEBEL, the man Stauffenberg confronted in the
bathroom at the Officers' Club so long ago.
He and Stauffenberg share a long, intense stare.
Finally, Fellgiebel nods, dropping his cigarette and
crushing it with his boot. He's in.
Stauffenberg and Haeften head inside the impervious
bunker through the heavy steel door.
60 INT. WOLF'S LAIR - BUNKER - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY 60
Stauffenberg and Haeften find themselves in a
cramped, hot, windowless room filled with VARIOUS
OFFICERS waiting around a large conference table.
Silence. A moment later, Hitler enters - Keitel and
Fromm follow close behind. Heels click in unison.
Keitel starts the meeting, but Stauffenberg isn't
listening. While all eyes follow Hitler, Stauffenberg
watches the door, scanning the faces in the room.
Himmler. Where is Himmler?
Haeften doesn't see him either. Shit.
...Now for the first order of
business. Fromm, I believe you will
brief us on blocking divisions for
the Eastern Front...
Stauffenberg silently excuses himself from the room.
We hold on his briefcase. Remember where he left it.
61 INT. WAR MINISTRY - OLBRICHT'S OFFICE - DAY 61
The phone rings. A waiting Mertz grabs it.
General Olbricht's Office.
Hold the line.
Stauffenberg says Himmler's not at
the briefing. He wants to proceed.
All color drains from Olbricht's face.
He leaves. Mertz rolls his eyes and dials a second
62 INT. SMOKY ROOM - DAY 62
Beck and Goerdeler sit impatiently by the telephone,
waiting for any word on the assassination and
impending coup. When the telephone RINGS:
He presses the receiver tightly to his ear, a look of
concern washing over his face. He turns to Goerdeler.
Himmler is not in the briefing.
Goerdeler's reaction is vintage politician. Blank.
63 INT. WOLF'S LAIR - BUNKER - HALLWAY - DAY 63
CLOSE ON A CIGARETTE. We watch as Stauffenberg
smokes, waits, looks at his watch - the sounds of the
meeting going on behind him. He drops his cigarette
and we see a pile of three more. He has been waiting
while the others deliberate. Finally:
MERTZ (ON PHONE)
They say no. Wait.
(Note: Intercut between Mertz and Stauffenberg.)
Stauffenberg is furious. He calms himself.
What do you say?
Pause. Mertz looks around, makes sure he is alone.
I say do it.
Stauffenberg hangs up the phone. The moment of truth.
64 INT. WOLF'S LAIR - BUNKER - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY 64
Stauffenberg quietly slips back into the briefing
unnoticed. He freezes:
CLOSE ON: The spot where Stauffenberg left his
briefcase. Remember? Well it's gone.
He looks around frantically. Some officers notice
him. Tension mounts. He gets Haeften's attention.
Before Haeften can answer, Fromm shoots them both a
glare. "What the hell are you doing?"
...Gentleman. You are dismissed.
And like that, the briefing has ended. Stauffenberg
is sickened - the opportunity lost. Hitler exits,
walking right past him. Keitel and the rest file out.
The last to leave is Fromm.
That call better have been
Stauffenberg turns, coming face-to-face with Freyend,
Keitel's hateful toady. He holds the missing
briefcase. For a moment we're sure the jig is up.
Your bag... Colonel.
He hands it over and leaves.
65 EXT. DEUTSCHLAND GUARD BATTALION - BERLIN - DAY 65
A military sedan skids to a stop outside the Guard
Battalion headquarters. Olbricht jumps from the car,
racing to get General Hase's attention.
LARGE FORMATIONS of soldiers stand at attention in
the hot sun, awaiting orders.
What the hell is going on? My men
have been standing here for an
hour. I don't know what to tell
CLOSE ON REMER (the officer we told you to remember)
standing before the ranks. He eyes Hase and Olbricht
suspiciously, trying to hear what they are saying.
After a moment, Hase addresses the men.
At ease, gentlemen.
Olbricht addresses the men, trying unsuccessfully to
hide his nerves.
This has been a drill. You're all
to be commended for your quick
Pause. The men linger, confused until:
And the men fall out, nowhere to go so they just
light up and shoot the shit. Hagen approaches Remer.
What did I tell you? A drill.
But Remer is not so sure. The way he stares at
Olbricht makes us nervous.
CLOSE ON: Olbricht sees Remer looking at him, making
note of the esteemed KNIGHT'S CROSS pinned to Remer's
uniform. Olbricht leans toward Hase.
That man there. Who is he?
Major Remer? He commands the
Deutschland Guard Battalion. What
Get rid of him.
Remer? Don't worry about him. He's
an order taker. To the bone.
Ah yes... But whose orders?
66 INT. WAR MINISTRY - OUTSIDE FROMM'S OFFICE - DAY 66
As usual, Lt. Herber sits at his desk and, as usual,
he tries to ignore:
MUTED SHOUTS through Fromm's office door. PULL BACK
TO REVEAL Stauffenberg and Olbricht waiting.
They sit across from, Freyend. A beat later, Keitel
storms out of Fromm's office, his face red with
anger. Deja vu. When Keitel and Freyend are gone:
Herber looks up from his desk with a nervous smile.
The General will see you now.
Stauffenberg and Olbricht stand, hats in hand.
67 INT. WAR MINISTRY - FROMM'S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER 67
How dare you put the Reserve Army
on standby without my knowledge.
You damn near cost me my
commission. What in God's name made
you think you even had the
It was only a drill. An exercise.
DON'T LIE, OLBRICHT. Not to me. We
both know it was no fucking drill.
General, if I may-
You may not, Colonel. You may not
do anything. Because now you've not
only shown me you can't deliver,
you've painted a target on my back.
If I so much as sense you trying to
move the Reserve Army again, I'll
personally have you both arrested.
Do I make myself abundantly clear?
But Stauffenberg turns to leave without answering.
I'll hear you say it, Colonel.
Stauffenberg stops, glaring at Fromm with his one
eye. He squares his shoulders, clicks his heels
loudly and delivers a downright Nazi-like:
Still managing to make it sound spiteful. He leaves
without being dismissed, slamming the door.
68 INT. SMOKY ROOM - NIGHT 68
It has been a long day, the Resistance leaders are
all exhausted. Beck, Olbricht, Witzleben, Haeften and
Mertz watch Goerdeler circling a rigid Stauffenberg.
The point of your central solution
is to replace Hitler so that we can
negotiate a truce with the Allies.
The Allies, I suspect, would be
more amenable to a truce... IF WE
OFFER IT TO THEM BEFORE THEY ARE IN
Today was a matter of indecision -
nothing more. A military operation
in the hands of a politician.
Stauffenberg's lack of respect infuriates Goerdeler.
I don't think I am alone when I say
your judgement is in question.
(to the others)
I would like to take a vote.
I DEMAND THAT WE RELIEVE COLONEL
Carl, if I may have a word with you
If you have something to say,
Ludwig, say it here. Say it now.
Very well. There's no need to vote.
Beck turns to the bar, pours two drinks. Stauffenberg
stiffens, ready for the axe.
I consider you a friend. And I look
forward to the day when we can once
again live as free men. But you've
become a liability.
Goerdeler smiles smugly. But the smile fades when
Beck turns, offering a drink to him.
I'm sorry it has to be this way.
Wha... What are you saying?
Fellgiebel informed me this
evening... Himmler's issued an
order for your arrest. You'll have
to leave Germany. Tonight. When
we've succeeded with the central
solution you'll return as
Chancellor. Until then-
Goerdeler stands, confronting Stauffenberg.
This is your doing, isn't it? ISN'T
IT? You can't just get rid of me
like this. I am the man Germany
will follow. I'm... I...
Stauffenberg says nothing. He's too cool. Goerdeler
looks at the other conspirators, but no one is going
to speak for him. Finally, almost in tears:
Beck offers him an envelope.
Disappear, Carl. Avoid contact with
Ugly pause. Goerdeler snatches the envelope and sulks
out. We could not be happier to see him go. Beck
coughs, turns to Stauffenberg.
No more indecision. From now on,
Stauffenberg has discretion.
I can't issue Valkyrie again unless
we follow through. If he fails to-
I'll do my job. You just take
INT. STAUFFENBERG'S BERLIN FLAT - NIGHT
CLOSE ON: A telephone. Stauffenberg's three fingered
hand picks up the receiver and lifts it out of frame.
I'd like to place a call to
INT. STAUFFENBERG HOME - BAMBERG - NIGHT
Nina and her children eat supper around a single
candle, Bamberg is experiencing a blackout. Though
Nina manages a tranquil facade she is anything but.
ANGLE ON: The silent telephone in the foreground. We
wait for it to ring, but it never does.
INT. CHURCH - NIGHT
Beck enters to find Stauffenberg in the front pew,
staring at Christ on the cross.
Have you made your peace with God,
As best I can.
Then you have nothing to fear.
Stauffenberg manages a smile as Beck sits.
I know the soldier inside me is a
traitor. I wonder how I'll be
judged as a man.
In the end, we answer only to
Stauffenberg fingers the cross and ring hanging from
the chain around his neck.
Did you reach your wife?
Bombing in Ebingen. I can't get
Ebingen is a long way from Bamberg.
They're safe. You've seen to that.
To think... You came to us a
wounded soldier from Africa. Now...
Now you are both the architect and
the assassin. I'm still trying to
understand how this came to be.
(more to himself)
Like a farmer watching the corn
grow. One day it's over his head...
And the two men look up at the cross in silence.
71 EXT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - DAYBREAK 71
In these waking hours Berlin appears quite peaceful.
Only the distant sound of shelling reminds us that
the city is surrounded by war.
72 INT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS 72
A tawny leather briefcase sits on a neatly made bed.
Stauffenberg, freshly bathed and wrapped in a towel,
shaves in front of the mirror. For the first time we
see his scars and deformities in full. He looks
himself over, finally focusing on the chain around
his neck, contemplating the small cross and the ring -
its engraving: finis-initium [end-beginning].
Though his face is clean-shaven now, he continues,
slowly running the razor down his throat. Then he
stops, pressing the blade a little too hard and
bringing blood. It almost seems intentional.
CLOSE ON: The box that holds his glass eye, staring.
73 INT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - BEDROOM - LATER 73
Stauffenberg has since mastered the process of
dressing himself. JUMP CUTS take us from a wounded
soldier to an officer of the General Staff.
CLOSE ON: His crisp white collar, picking up a trace
of blood from the cut on his throat.
74 EXT. STAUFFENBERG FLAT - DAY 74
TITLES: 20 JULY 1944. 6:00 AM.
Haeften holds the door for Stauffenberg, stepping
into a military sedan.
75 EXT. BERLIN - VARIOUS - DAY 75
For the first time we see Berlin in broad daylight -
the city in ruins. The drive through the rubbled,
smoky streets is particularly eerie today.
78 EXT. AIRFIELD - RANGSDORF - DAY 78
TITLES: 7:00 AM.
Haeften and Stauffenberg board a three-engine courier
plane - each carrying a leather briefcase. A moment
later the plane is taking off.
79 INT. SMOKY ROOM - DAY 79
A group of 30 RESISTANCE OFFICERS talk quietly,
smoking cigarettes and waiting anxiously. Many of the
faces we recognize, some we see for the first time.
We notice Witzleben has donned his old military
uniform, looking a little too proud.
Beck looks over the faces of these men, trying to
contain his own fear. His eye catches the door
opening and a MAN IN A DECORATED POLICE UNIFORM
entering the room. We tense.
One by one, the men in the room stop talking, staring
at the police officer. Just as we think it's over:
Gentlemen, may I introduce Chief
Helldorf. He's guaranteed the full
support of the Berlin Police.
Helldorf nods. The men breathe a collective sigh of
relief. Some laugh. Many shake Helldorf's hand.
We can begin.
Beck moves to a table covered with maps of Berlin,
Paris and the Wolf's Lair.
Hitler has scheduled a military
briefing for today at one o'clock.
Stauffenberg will strike regardless
of who else is present.
As Beck speaks, we see how things should play out...
80 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - DAY 80
Stauffenberg and Haeften are driven in a topless
sedan. Each carries his leather briefcase.
Once in position, he will signal us
once to alert the troops and again
after the flash...
81 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - BUNKER - DAY 81
Stauffenberg and Haeften quickly get in the sedan -
the concrete bunker just behind him - its steel door
closed. They speed out of frame a beat before a
muffled explosion rocks the bunker - the steel door
bulges but holds fast. Only a wisp of smoke escapes.
82 INT. WAR MINISTRY- FROMM'S OFFICE - DAY 82
SOLDIERS burst into Fromm's office and arrest the
bewildered General without incident.
Assuming Fromm refuses to join us,
Olbricht will take Command of the
Reserve Army and initiate Operation
Olbricht takes Fromm's place and starts making calls.
At least this is how it should happen...
83 INT./EXT. BERLIN - VARIOUS - DAY 83
Establishing shots of the idle troops and equipment
as they are once again called into action.
Then he'll notify all district
commanders between Paris and Berlin
that the SS is attempting to seize
power. The Reserve Army will arrest
all SS, Gestapo and Nazi officials.
The same soldiers are now storming government
buildings and seizing personnel.
84 INT. WAR MINISTRY - DAY 84
Witzleben and Beck march in with ARMED SOLDIERS.
When the time is right, Witzleben
and I will arrive at the War
Ministry and assume the roles of
Commander of the Armed Forces and
Head of State, respectively.
85 INT. RADIO STATION - DAY 85
Goerdeler stands at a radio microphone, reading
passionately from a prepared script with dramatic
gestures painfully reminiscent of Hitler.
With Berlin secured, Goerdeler will
return and address the nation as
our new Chancellor. Then, God
willing, we can negotiate a truce
with the Allies and spare Europe
from total destruction.
86 INT. SMOKY ROOM - DAY 86
Gentlemen, this is the most
important day of your lives. Long
live sacred Germany.
The conspirators salute and leave. Beck places both
hands on the table to support himself, coughing and
exhausted. Then he looks nervously at his watch...
87 INT. WAR MINISTRY - OLBRICHT'S OFFICE - DAY 87
Olbricht paces before his desk. Mertz watches him,
anxiously waiting for:
Put the Reserve Army on standby
Not until I hear from Stauffenberg.
Not until I'm sure.
But that's not what he-
Noted, Colonel. Thank you.
88 EXT. AIRFIELD - RASTENBURG - DAY 88
The plane touches down and taxis to a stop.
Stauffenberg and Haeften deplane and immediately step
into a waiting courier car driven by a young, dutiful
Nazi. SECOND LIEUTENANT KRETZ. Remember him.
89 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - DAY 89
Even this early, the heat is oppressive.
We watch from a distance as the courier car is
stopped at the outer checkpoint. Once again, the
GUARD carefully examines Stauffenberg and Haeften's
identification and takes their pistols before
allowing the car to pass. We follow.
90 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - KEITEL'S OFFICE - DAY 90
Est. Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel's office as the
courier car arrives.
Stauffenberg and Haeften are greeted by Freyend who
shows them to:
91 INT. KEITEL'S OFFICE - WAITING ROOM - CONTINUOUS 91
TWO OFFICERS are already waiting. They stand...
Gentlemen, may I present Colonel
Claus von Stauffenberg - Chief
Officer of the Reserve Army.
Colonel Stauffenberg. This is an
honor. They say you're the man that
will defend Berlin from the Red
The officer realizes what a faux pas he has made as
soon as he says it. Unfazed, Stauffenberg smiles,
raising his briefcase with his single hand.
Indeed. I've got the whole bag of
tricks right here.
The officers laugh nervously, relieved he was not
insulted. Idiots. Meanwhile, Freyend steps toward
Haeften, reaching for the handle of his briefcase.
Let me take that for you.
But Haeften snaps the case back. Freyend raises a
suspicious eye. Before he can press:
Everyone turns to find General Fellgiebel standing at
the door. Everyone stands at attention.
At east, Gentlemen.
General Fellgiebel, communications.
I just wanted to meet the hero of
Africa... And see if there's
anything you need.
Yes, sir, there is. I'm expecting a
call of the utmost importance. Even
if it comes when I am in conference
with the Führer I'd appreciate it
if you had a man come and get me.
Beat. Fellgiebel and Stauffenberg share an instant
look of understanding.
Of course, Colonel.
Fellgiebel salutes. Stauffenberg and the others
return it as Fellgiebel departs. Just then, Keitel
bursts from his office, fixing his tie.
Gentlemen. The meeting has been
pushed forward to 12:30. Mussolini
is arriving on the afternoon train
and Hitler wants to have lunch with
Stauffenberg is excited by a potential bonus.
Will Mussolini be in the briefing?
I only wish he were. Then some
ambitious officer might take the
opportunity to shoot the dago
Keitel makes a beeline for the door and the others
follow like good sheep. Stauffenberg holds back,
however, attracting Freyend's attention.
I'll need a place to wash up -
change my shirt.
Stauffenberg points to the shaving cut on his throat
and the tiny blood stain on his shirt. The cut was
intentional after all.
Annoyed, Freyend motions to the adjoining anteroom.
Please, do be quick. You heard the
Stauffenberg nods in appreciation. He motions for
Haeften to follow him. Freyend watches, curious.
92 INT. KEITEL'S OFFICE - CHANGING ROOM - DAY 92
Fast on Stauffenberg's heels, Haeften closes the
door. A large portrait of Hitler looms, watching.
Stauffenberg positions himself at a small desk with
his back to the door. He removes a brick of plastic
explosive from his briefcase.
You're arming them... now?
Stauffenberg quickly unbuttons his shirt, taking a
clean one out of his bag and putting it on as:
Haeften assembles a fuse.
No room for error this time. Assume
I have ten minutes in this heat.
Two minutes for the walk, one for
the security check and one to the
bunker. Three minutes for the walk
back. That's seven.
Leaving just three minutes to place
Plenty of time.
If the bomb goes off in ten.
He carefully inserts the fuse into the explosive.
The RING OF A TELEPHONE startles us.
93 INT. KEITEL'S OFFICE - WAITING ROOM - DAY 93
CLOSE ON THE TELEPHONE. Freyend answers.
Major Freyend speaking.
Stauffenberg? Yes, he's arrived...
They are on their way now.
Freyend hangs up, glancing impatiently at his watch.
94 INT. KEITEL'S OFFICE - CHANGING ROOM - DAY 94
Neatly dressed again, Stauffenberg carefully places
the primed explosive back in his briefcase. He and
Haeften turn their attention to the second explosive -
assembling the fuse, about to insert it when:
BANG. The door swings suddenly open - stopped short
by Stauffenberg's backside. He nearly drops the fuse.
Dammit man, what is it?
It's Freyend, of course, trying to peer through the
partially opened door. Stauffenberg hides the bombs
with his body.
General Keitel insists that the
Colonel please hurry.
Haeften scoops the unarmed explosive into his
briefcase. Stauffenberg motions for Haeften to leave.
95 INT. KEITEL'S OFFICE - HALLWAY - DAY 95
Haeften comes out, moving Freyend back with his body
and shutting the door behind him - a charged moment.
The Colonel is changing, Major. You
understand this can be difficult.
Freyend backs down. A little.
96 INT. KEITEL'S OFFICE - CHANGING ROOM - DAY 96
Stauffenberg produces a pair of pliers (one handle
specially bent for easier use by a man with only
three fingers). With some effort, he manages to
secure the pliers around the fuse.
CLOSE ON THE ACID CAPSULE OF THE FUSE. The jaws of
the pliers gently squeeze, crushing it. The bomb is
live. There is no turning back now.
Stauffenberg closes his briefcase and opens the door,
greeted by Freyend and Haeften.
97 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - OUTSIDE KEITEL'S OFFICE - DAY 97
Freyend scurries, trying to catch up with Keitel.
Stauffenberg and Haeften lag behind.
See that the car is ready.
Haeften looks down at the briefcase in his hand - the
second, unarmed explosive inside.
I have everything I need,
Lieutenant. Thank you.
Haeften reluctantly takes his leave just as Freyend
turns back, eager for Stauffenberg to pick up the
pace. He reaches for the briefcase.
Please. Let me help you with that.
(pulling it away)
I can manage, thank you.
Freyend seems more than just a little peeved. But
Stauffenberg doesn't notice. He is focused straight
ahead, mentally calculating what time he has left.
The bunker suddenly seems miles away.
98 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - OUTSIDE BUNKER - DAY 98
Security Perimeter I. Keitel and his men file through
the heavily guarded entrance. Each man holds up his
pass for the GUARDS to inspect. Stauffenberg is last.
Keitel heads toward a wooden structure up ahead -
AWAY FROM THE BUNKER. Stauffenberg is confused.
Where are they going?
It's too hot. The briefing has been
moved to the conference hut.
ANGLE ON: The conference hut. The door and many
windows of the flimsy wooden structure are all open.
Not ideal for generating the deadly air pressure
vital to Stauffenberg's plan. But this obstacle only
seems to strengthen his resolve. He is a soldier
after all. And no military operation goes according
to plan. Making matters worse:
Sir, your briefcase. I insist.
Annoyed but not wanting to arouse suspicion,
Stauffenberg finally acquiesces, handing it over. He
watches Freyend carry the bomb into the hut. Pause.
Stauffenberg looks back over his shoulder to:
Fellgiebel - standing by the communications building.
The man who will get Stauffenberg out of the room
before the bomb goes off. They share a nod. Then
Stauffenberg steps into the hut.
99 INT. CONFERENCE HUT - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 99
In the room beyond we see Hitler at the end of a long
table surrounded by RANKING OFFICERS. One by one,
they present their individual briefings to the
nodding Führer. Stauffenberg whispers to Freyend.
My injuries left me a bit hard of
hearing. See that you place me as
near the Führer as possible.
Freyend nods, but for now his concerns are elsewhere -
wrangling everyone into the meeting.
Like the other officers, Stauffenberg hangs up his
belt and hat on hooks at the entrance to the briefing
room. He catches sight of SERGEANT-MAJOR ADAM, the
conference hut's young telephone operator.
Sergeant. I'm expecting an urgent
call from Berlin...
100 INT. CONFERENCE HUT - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY 100
A small room measuring 15 by 32 feet. Stifling heat.
We notice again that the windows are open to let in
some air. Hitler and his officers hunch over a long,
heavy table covered in detailed maps of Eastern
Europe and the Soviet Union.
LIEUTENANTS and SERGEANTS continually tiptoe in and
out of the room. A GENERAL stands beside Hitler in
the middle of his briefing:
The Eastern Front forces are
assured a victory... but they need
In other words, they are getting pounded but he can't
say that. The General is relived to be interrupted by
Keitel's arrival. The briefing stops momentary as:
Please pardon our tardiness... You
remember Colonel Stauffenberg?
Hitler makes a deliberate effort to shake
Stauffenberg's hand, their eyes lock - an unnerving
moment. Stauffenberg has come to kill this man
greeting him. The moment is broken when the General
clears his throat, continuing his presentation.
As you can see, Mein Führer, the
situation in the East Prussian
sector is increasingly critical...
(and on and on...)
Freyend startles Stauffenberg slightly when he takes
him by the arm, moving him to his place at the table -
less than half a step from Hitler. He is squeezed in
between two other officers. We suck in wind when we
see who one of them is...
COLONEL HEINZ BRANDT - the same Brandt who carried
the bottles of Cointreau onto Hitler's plane so long
ago. He still scribbles in his damn datebook.
Freyend sets the briefcase beside Stauffenberg -
bumping Brandt's leg. Brandt looks down at the
briefcase - long enough to make us nervous.
He watches as Stauffenberg nonchalantly bends down,
sliding the briefcase as close to Hitler as possible,
leaning it against the heavy wooden table support
immediately to the right of Hitler's foot.
Stauffenberg looks back at the open door, glances at
his watch. He can clearly see Sergeant Adam, the
telephone operator. Where is his God-damn phone call?
Around him generals talk, Hitler nods, but we hear
nothing. Only the pulse of Stauffenberg's heartbeat
in his own ears - the only thing betraying his
otherwise outward calm.
He looks down at the briefcase - the bomb just under
his feet. He looks at Hitler nodding. The longer we
stay, the more excruciating it is. So we milk it.
Stauffenberg is startled when a hand touches his arm.
The annoying Freyend is there, whispering in his ear.
Keitel sees this, irritated by the interruption.
Stauffenberg makes a gesture to Keitel with his hand,
indicating a phone call. Keitel is not pleased.
101 INT. CONFERENCE HUT - HALLWAY - DAY 101
Freyend leads Stauffenberg to Adam who offers the
General Fellgiebel, sir. He says
Stauffenberg takes the phone and stares at Freyend
and Adam - they get the idea that this is a private
call and leave. When they are gone, Stauffenberg
simply lays the receiver down and walks out. Fast.
A moment later, Adam returns to the room. He sees the
receiver laying there. Odd. Looking down the hallway
he sees Stauffenberg quickly exiting the building.
Then he notices Stauffenberg's hat and belt still
hanging outside the briefing room.
Colonel... Colonel, you forgot your-
102 INT. CONFERENCE HUT - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY 102
Hitler leans on his elbows carefully studying the map
before him as the General's presentation drags on.
Brandt moves in closer, filling the void left by
Stauffenberg. His foot hits something. He looks at:
Stauffenberg's briefcase as it falls over.
Slowly, Brandt reaches down, picking up the
briefcase, looking around for Stauffenberg. He
considers the bag for a moment and we are sure he is
going to open it.
But then he puts it back under the table. But now the
heavy wooden support is BETWEEN Hitler and the bomb.
...And now I believe Colonel
Stauffenberg will present us with
his deployment for the Replacement
Army should the unthinkable occur
and the Russians reach-
Where is Stauffenberg? Keitel shoots Freyend a look.
103 INT. CONFERENCE HUT - HALLWAY - DAY 103
Freyend steps into the hall. No sign of Stauffenberg.
Sergeant Adam approaches, looking confused.
Where the hell is Stauffenberg?
But Adam shrugs, holding out Stauffenberg's hat.
104 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - COMMUNICATIONS BUILDING - DAY 104
Fellgiebel and Haeften watch anxiously as
Stauffenberg clears the security checkpoint and walks
toward them, slow and deliberate - eerily calm.
INT. CONFERENCE HUT - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY
Hitler at the far end of the room, bent over the
conference table, leaning on his elbows.
A MASSIVE, EAR-SPLITTING EXPLOSION lifts the table
up, throwing Hitler back and simultaneously
vaporizing the men standing on either side of him.
EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - CONFERENCE HUT - DAY
The hut explodes outward like a house of cards.
Bodies are thrown clear. Everyone hits the deck
except Stauffenberg. He just keeps walking.
A great cloud of smoke billows from the ruins. The
sky is alive with a swirl of burnt paper scraps and
ash. STUNNED OFFICERS are running about. Shouting.
Screaming. Absolute chaos.
Even knowing it was coming, Haeften is stunned.
Stauffenberg walks up to the communications building
and takes him by the arm, turning to Fellgiebel.
Contact General Olbricht in Berlin.
Tell him Hitler is dead. Proceed
with Operation Valkyrie. Then sever
Fellgiebel nods and rushes to make the call.
Stauffenberg leads Haeften to their waiting car -
still driven by young Lt. Kretz.
He too is stunned by the explosion - so much so that
he does not think to get out and open the door for
his passengers. Stauffenberg climbs in next to Kretz,
pushing Haeften in the back.
Kretz snaps out of it and jams the car in gear,
speeding off down the forested trail. Stauffenberg
and Haeften look back for a clear view of the total
destruction. Bodies are carried out of the demolished
hut - the grounds littered with the wounded.
Surly there is no way the Führer could have survived.
105 INT. COMMUNICATIONS HUT - DAY 105
Fellgiebel holds a phone to his ear.
FELLGIEBEL (INTO PHONE)
I said Olbricht. General Olbricht
at the War Ministry. The call is
A breathless COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER enters, pointing
in mute shock to the ruin outside.
What the hell just happened?
What does it look like? The Führer
Fellgiebel freezes, something catching his eye.
COME AROUND TO HIS P.O.V. Share his horror. Through
the window, Fellgiebel has a clear view of the
conference hut, or rather what's left.
HITLER - limping, dazed, his clothes in tatters - is
being led from the smoldering ruins. He is very much:
106 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - INNER SECURITY CHECKPOINT - DAY 106
Kretz brings the car to a sudden stop at the first
checkpoint. A barricade is in place. A GUARD
approaches. Stauffenberg and Haeften hold up passes.
We have to get to the airfield at
once. Orders form the Führer.
The guard signals his men to remove the barricade.
107 INT. COMMUNICATIONS HUT - MOMENTS LATER 107
Fellgiebel waits to be connected to the War Ministry
in Berlin. His Communications Officer awaits orders.
This makes it hard for Fellgiebel to speak plainly.
He plays up his distress for his audience.
FELLGIEBEL (INTO PHONE)
I am calling from The Wolf's Lair
with urgent news for the General.
Something terrible has happened...
Then he turns his back, lowers his voice.
The Führer is still alive.
VOICE (ON PHONE)
I'm sorry. Please come again.
But Fellgiebel's officer is watching him, trying to
hear. Fellgiebel has no choice but to hang up.
Sever all communications.
DON'T ARGUE WITH ME, DAMMIT. JUST
108 INT. WAR MINISTRY - OLBRICHT'S OFFICE - DAY 108
Olbricht anxiously hovers over Mertz who shouts into
I didn't hear you. Come again.
But it's no use. Mertz slowly hangs up the phone.
Well, what did he say?
I... couldn't be sure. It sounded
as though he said... Hitler is
Olbricht clinches his teeth and starts sweating.
Get him back on the line.
Sir... The bomb did go off. That
much was clear. Fellgiebel's next
step will be to sever all
Olbricht is confused. Frozen.
Colonel Stauffenberg was explicit.
We initiate Valkyrie regardless.
Only Fromm can initiate. You know
Then lie. Tell him Hitler's dead.
Or arrest him. But do it now.
But Olbricht is frozen.
Sir... Did you hear me? You have to
give the order to initiate
Valkyrie. This is our only-
I'm not doing anything until I talk
to Fellgiebel. Get him back on the
Mertz shakes his head bitterly and dials, but he'll
never get through.
109 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - OUTER SECURITY CHECKPOINT - DAY 109
Stauffenberg's car presses on through the woods
toward the last security checkpoint, but numerous new
road barriers are in place. This is not good.
One SERGEANT KOLBE and TWO ARMED SOLDIERS step from
the guardhouse, signalling Kretz to stop.
No one gets in or out.
We're on orders from the Führer. We
have to get to the airfield
immediately. You will step aside.
I'm sorry, sir, but my orders are-
Stauffenberg steps out of the vehicle and makes a
beeline for the guardroom. Kolbe races after him.
110 INT. GUARDROOM - CONTINUOUS 110
Stauffenberg snatches up the telephone before Kolbe
and his men can stop him.
Get me General Keitel.
Stauffenberg wipes a single bead of sweat from his
brow. With the guards hovering over him, he turns and
casually sits on the desk, blocking the phone with
his body. He surreptitiously rests his hand on the
telephone cradle, hanging up. He talks to no one.
Yes... General Keitel. Stauffenberg
here. I can't get past the outer
gate. A Sergeant...
He looks at Kolbe. Kolbe swallows.
Sergeant Kolbe says no one is
getting out... Yes. Yes. Maybe you
can explain it to him.
Stauffenberg holds out the phone - staring hard,
bluffing harder. Kolbe considers the phone. Finally:
That won't be necessary, Colonel.
111 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - OUTER SECURITY CHECKPOINT - LATER 111
A humiliated Kolbe watches Stauffenberg's car speed
away from the open barriers. Free.
112 INT. CAR - DAY 112
Silence but for the chattering engine. Kretz is
distracted by movement in the rearview mirror.
P.O.V. IN REARVIEW MIRROR. Haeften rummages through
his briefcase, removing objects Kretz can't make out
- tossing them, one by one, into the woods. Haeften
realizes he is being watched by Kretz in the mirror
and shoots him a look. "Mind your own business."
Kretz returns his attention to the road. But
something just isn't sitting right with him...
113 EXT. AIRFIELD - RASTENBURG - DAY 113
TITLES: 1:15 PM.
Stauffenberg and Haeften climb aboard a waiting
plane. A beat later it is rolling down the runway.
Every second we stand here arguing
is a second lost.
114 INT. WAR MINISTRY - OLBRICHT'S OFFICE - DAY 114
Olbricht is calm - in full denial. He straightens his
tie in the mirror as Mertz paces the room, flustered.
I can't initiate Valkyrie without
confirmation that Hitler's dead.
It's too great a risk.
What about Stauffenberg? What about
his risk? He did his part and now
you're abandoning him.
Watch yourself, Colonel.
Shouldn't you be consulting Beck?
I know just what Beck will say.
He's a dying man. What does he have
He puts on his hat and coat now, turning to leave.
At least put the Reserve Army on
I can't cover up another false
alarm. When Stauffenberg returns,
when he gives me confirmation. Then
Mertz is speechless. As Olbricht walks out:
And where are you going?
The same place you are. Lunch.
115 INT. KEITEL'S OFFICE - DAY 115
Keitel sits at his desk, listening intently to
someone O.S. Although his wounds are superficial, he
certainly took a beating in the blast.
PULL BACK TO REVEAL:
The one-eyed Colonel...
He left the building very abruptly -
just before the explosion.
Several men left the building
before the explosion.
Yes, sir. Of course. But...
But what? Spit it out, man.
Well. The Colonel left his hat.
Keitel's expression sours. "Is that all you've got
for me?" He is about to say so when that prick
Freyend barges in, also banged up. With him is Kretz -
Pardon the intrusion, sir, but I
think you will be most interested
to hear what this man has to say.
116 INT. WAR MINISTRY - OLBRICHT'S OFFICE - DAY 116
TITLES: 2:00 PM.
Forty-five precious minutes have slipped away.
Mertz sits alone at Olbricht's desk, lighting a fresh
cigarette with the remains of another. The ashtray
says he's been at this for quite a while. He stares
at the clock, as if attempting to will time forward.
His eyes sweep across Olbricht's desk, past his
files, his stationery, framed photographs of his
family. Then he looks up at a portrait of Hitler.
Mertz is struck suddenly with a notion. He looks
again at Olbricht's desk. His stationery...
He grabs the stationery and feeds it into a
117 INT. WAR MINISTRY - COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - DAY 117
Mertz approaches a LOWLY TELECOMMUNICATIONS OPERATOR.
Awkward pause. A struggle with the soul. Then he
hands over a sheet of paper.
Orders from General Olbricht.
118 INT. CENTRAL COMMUNICATIONS - BERLIN - DAY 118
Again we are inside the nerve center of Nazi
communications. Again the teletypes busily chatter
away. And again, Sgt. Helm is curious, watching:
STANDBY FOR OPERATION VALKYRIE...
The TELETYPE OPERATOR looks up at Helm. "What do I
do?" Helm glances over his shoulder to the uptight
Lt. Haan - oblivious. Helm shrugs.
Send it through. But keep me
A SHRILL WHISTLE takes us to...
EXT. BERLIN - VARIOUS - DAY
Once again RESERVISTS and CADETS rush to their homes
and scramble to put on their uniforms.
119 EXT. DEUTSCHLAND GUARD BATTALION - DAY 119
The siren, the sculpted eagle and swastika, the
pillared stronghold. Tanks and heavy equipment are
once again made ready.
General Hase issues the alert signal just as he did
before, watching the men of the Reserve Army
scramble. In the melee we find Lieutenant Hagen.
Here we go again.
He says this to:
Major Remer, the man who was so suspicious last time
is even more suspicious now.
121 EXT. WOLF'S LAIR - CONFERENCE HUT - DAY 121
A light drizzle. A man jabbering in Italian O.S.
We get our first good look at the demolished briefing
hut. That anyone survived is a miracle. Officers
crowd around the smoldering ruins, the Führer himself
heading this procession. He wears new clothes,
nodding, smiling politely to the jabbering Italian
O.S. A slight wince is the only indication that he
was damn near blown to bits just hours ago.
COME AROUND TO REVEAL none other than BENITO
MUSSOLINI speaking an incessant stream of Italian.
HITLER'S P.O.V. Blissful silence. Mussolini's
blathering falls literally on deaf ears.
122 EXT. AIRFIELD - RANGSDORF - DAY 122
TITLES: 3:15 PM.
Three hours have passed since the explosion.
Stauffenberg and Haeften alight from the plane. The
airfield is surprisingly calm. No car to meet them.
Quiet, isn't it?
I'll see where our driver is.
Haeften walks over to the office. Stauffenberg looks
around the airfield. The silence slowly becomes
unnerving. He goes after Haeften.
123 INT. AIRFIELD OFFICE - DAY 123
Stauffenberg enters just in time to hear:
HAEFTEN (INTO PHONE)
You mean to tell me that the alert
is only just going out-
Stauffenberg swipes the phone from Haeften.
STAUFFENBERG (INTO PHONE)
This is Stauffenberg. Get me
124 INT. WAR MINISTRY - OLBRICHT'S OFFICE - DAY 124
Olbricht storms in, furious. He stands over Mertz,
waving a document in his face - the very same
document Mertz typed on Olbricht's stationery.
Someone had to do something while
you were playing dead.
We don't know that the Führer is
not alive. We don't know any-
THIS IS ABOUT GERMANY, FOR GOD'S
SAKE. NOT YOU. BE A MAN.
Before a fuming Olbricht can respond, the phone
rings. Both men look at it - Olbricht is afraid to
answer. Mertz shakes his head and picks up.
General Olbricht's office.
He looks at Olbricht grimly, holding out the phone.
Stauffenberg for you, sir.
Olbricht would rather take a live cobra than handle
the phone right now. But take it he does.
125 INT. AIRFIELD OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 125
(Note: Intercut between Olbricht and Stauffenberg.)
It's been three hours, Olbricht.
What the hell have you been doing?
We've had no confirmation that-
Dammit man, I saw the explosion
myself. Nothing else matters now.
We are committed.
Olbricht sits, color draining from his face. A real
"what have I done" moment.
Now where is Fromm? Is he with us
or did you-
I- No one has spoken to him yet.
Stauffenberg pounds his fist on the wall, furious -
for the first and only time showing us a crack in his
ultra-cool exterior. He collects himself and looks at
Listen to me, Olbricht. Never mind
Germany. Never mind Europe. Your
life is at stake now, do you
understand? If you want to live
through the night you'll do exactly
as I say.
The second you hang up the phone,
initiate Operation Valkyrie in
Fromm's name. Then go over to his
office in force, give him the
choice to join us or place him
under immediate arrest. Do I make
myself perfectly clear?
I am at the airfield now. I will be
in Fromm's office in fifteen
minutes. Be there when I arrive.
He slams the phone down, taking us to:
126 INT. WAR MINISTRY - OLBRICHT'S OFFICE - DAY 126
Silence. With shaking hands, Olbricht moves the
portrait of Hitler, exposing a hidden wall safe from
which he removes, at last, a thick folder marked:
He looks at Mertz.
Get Beck and the others. Tell them
Relieved, Mertz nods and rushes out. Olbricht picks
up the phone and dials. After a beat, he reads from
the first page of the Valkyrie order.
This is General Olbricht calling on
behalf of General Fromm - Commander
of the Home Army. Adolf Hitler, is
dead. A group of radicals from the
SS are attempting to seize control
of the government. Operation
Valkyrie is in effect. All military
districts, training schools and
replacement troops are to take
control of essential government
offices at once...
127 INT. CENTRAL COMMUNICATIONS - BERLIN - DAY 127
Lt. Haans sits at his desk, sensing someone over his
shoulder. He turns to find Sgt. Helm, a sheet of
paper in his trembling hands.
The Führer is dead.
Skeptical, Haans snatches the paper from Helm. When
he looks up, the entire staff is looking at him, some
with tears in their eyes - others perhaps hiding a
sense of relief.
A phone rings. Then another. The chattering teletypes
seem to surge into another gear as news of Hitler's
death starts to spread.
Long pause. Haans struggles with the sheer size of
You all know your jobs. Get to
Zombie-like, the Operators go back to their
teletypes, passing orders along.
But one Operator - the one Helm asked to keep him
informed - notices something strange about one order
in a stack of many he is sifting through.
Sergeant. This order is signed by
(taking the paper)
That's ridiculous. He`s not even in
the army anymore.
But sure enough, there is Witzleben's name. Strange.
Helm looks over at the devastated Haans, wondering
how to handle this. Then, like a good little Nazi:
Pass the order along.
128 EXT. DEUTSCHLAND GUARD BATTALION - DAY 128
RESERVE SOLDIERS are marched into readiness. Vehicles
moved into place. As they await further orders...
Who told you the Führer was dead?
129 INT. WAR MINISTRY - FROMM'S OFFICE - DAY 129
Mertz and a sheepish Olbricht stand before Fromm. A
stunned Lt. Herber hovers by the door.
General Fellgiebel. At the Wolf's
Fromm is at a loss for words. This just can't be so.
He picks up the phone.
FROMM (INTO PHONE)
This is Fromm. Put me through to
The Wolf's Lair.
There's no use calling, all
communication lines are-
FROMM (INTO PHONE)
Yes. General Fromm for Field
Marshal Keitel. Urgent.
Mertz and Olbricht are shocked that he got through.
130 INT. WOLF'S LAIR - KEITEL'S OFFICE - DAY 130
Keitel is still nursing a few wounds.
FROMM (ON PHONE)
What's going on up there? The most
incredible rumors are circulating
Immediately suspicious, Keitel plays dumb, leading...
I don't know what you mean.
Everything's in order here.
Keitel looks out the window at the still smoldering
ruins of the conference hut in the distance.
There's talk the Führer's been
Another failed attempt. The Führer
was never in danger.
By the way, where is your man
131 INT. WAR MINISTRY - FROMM'S OFFICE - DAY 131
Stauffenberg? On his way back to
Berlin, I should think.
At the very mention of his name, Olbricht starts
KEITEL (ON PHONE)
Let me know when he arrives. I'd
like a word with him.
Click. After a beat, Fromm hangs up, smug.
A false alarm. The Führer is fine.
Herber's outward relief stands in sharp contrast to
Olbricht's barely contained dread. Then:
That's a lie.
All eyes turn to see Stauffenberg and Haeften appear
in the doorway. Mertz lets out a sigh of relief as
they push their way past Herber and march into the
Hitler is dead. Operation Valkyrie
is in effect.
Fromm stands, pounding his fist on the desk.
OPERATION VAL- WHO GAVE THE ORDER?
THIS IS NOTHING LESS THAN TREASON.
Be that as it may, the Reserve Army
is assuming control here in Berlin.
We trust you'll join us.
Dammit, man. Do you realize what
you've done? The Führer is a-
I delivered the bomb myself. I saw
the blast. He is dead.
Fromm is stunned on several levels. He slowly sits
back in his chair.
CLOSE ON: Lt. Herber, who sees Stauffenberg as the
model Nazi, is more shocked by this than the news of
This can't be happening. It's some
kind of joke.
Are you with us or not?
Colonel, if what you say is true
you should shoot yourself at once.
(to the others)
The rest of you are under arrest.
No, General. You are.
And with those words, Haeften and Mertz draw their
pistols, training them on the confused Fromm. Herber
is paralyzed - unsure of what to do.
I don't know where you think this
is going, but I suggest you men
change into civilian clothes and
find a place to hide.
Lock him upstairs in his private
quarters. Make sure his phone lines
132 INT. WAR MINISTRY- HALLWAY - DAY 132
Stauffenberg, Mertz and Olbricht march with great
purpose. They are joined by Beck, coming the other
way, wearing a plain dark suit. It is moving to see
the old man manage the long walk.
You're not in uniform.
This has to be seen as a movement
of the people.
Then he takes Stauffenberg's arm, letting Mertz and
Olbricht walk on, lowering his voice.
You're certain he's dead.
Certain? Stauffenberg can see the private fear in
beck's eyes. But before he can answer, he is
interrupted by a gasp O.S. as Olbricht opens the door
to his office, stepping back in shock. The others
turn to see what it is...
133 INT. WAR MINISTRY - OLBRICHT'S OFFICE - DAY 133
Looking out at the shocked faces of Olbricht, Mertz,
Beck and Stauffenberg. PULL BACK TO REVEAL:
Olbricht's office is packed to the four walls with
GERMAN OFFICERS - all of them standing in silence,
looking at the leaders of the Resistance with great
respect. Stauffenberg walks in and the crowd parts,
solemn and silent, nodding and whispering thanks.
A YOUNG OFFICER steps forward. He looks hauntingly
like the Lieutenant who drove Stauffenberg in Africa.
Colonel Stauffenberg, sir. We're
reporting for duty.
Stauffenberg is moved beyond words. Suddenly, what
was once a small clutch of discarded generals and
politicians is now a movement of motivated men.
Stauffenberg nods, collects himself. In the crowd he
finds Helldorf, the head of the Berlin Police, whom
we met earlier. At first he speaks quietly, humbled.
Helldorf, I'm... glad to see you.
We're getting a late start and we
need all of the manpower we can
muster. Can we count on the police?
There's a lot of talk that Hitler
isn't really dead. Is this true?
Awkward pause. Good question. The men in the room
share nervous glances. Then all eyes on Stauffenberg.
I can't offer you any guarantees.
The decision is yours and yours
alone. Can we count on you?
Long pause. PAN ACROSS the uneasy faces of the men in
the room, perhaps all of them waiting to see what
Helldorf does before making their decisions. Finally:
I'm with you.
Stauffenberg can barely hide his relief. There is a
palpable shift in the room. One by one, the officers
in the room reaffirm their commitment to the coup.
Have your men surround the
building. No one gets in or out of
here without my permission.
(to the others)
I want every available soldier on
task - we need simultaneous control
of every government building in the
The soldiers move, but Beck's voice stops them -
surprisingly loud and clear for a sick old man.
Acts of vengeance will not be
tolerated. We represent a different
form of government. We represent
what is good and just in Germany.
AN EXPLOSION OF ACTIVITY:
135 INT. WAR MINISTRY - STAUFFENBERG'S OFFICE - DAY 135
Stauffenberg stands at his cluttered desk, a flurry
of activity surrounding him. He is frantically
speaking into the phone and to those present.
...Deploy troops to seize and
protect all Reich agencies. Of most
importance are communication
centers - newspapers, radio
stations, telephone and telegraph
offices. All Nazi officials and
government leaders are to be
arrested at once...
136 INT. MILITARY COMMANDANT'S OFFICE - BERLIN - DAY 136
General Hase, the Berlin Commandant, stands before a
giant map of Berlin, addressing a roomful of NAZI
... Completely blockade the
government quarters. Everything
from the Brandenburg Gate to
Potsdamer Platz. Nobody, not even
generals or ministers, should be
allowed to pass.
You have your orders, gentlemen.
Again, we focus on Major Remer, Commander of the
Deutschland Guard Battalion and always suspicious.
Is there a problem, Major?
It just all seems very... vague,
sir. Protocol dictates we should
receive orders in writing-
These are the orders as they were
presented to me, Major. Now move.
Pause. Just before the pause becomes insolent, Remer
clicks his heels and salutes, leaving. But the look
on his face tells us he's hatching a plan of his own.
You are right to be nervous.
137 EXT. GOVERNMENT QUARTERS - BERLIN - VARIOUS - LATER 137
The city center is abuzz with soldiers and military
vehicles as they frantically cordon off the streets.
SOLDIERS come out of various government buildings
with SEVERAL NAZI GENERALS in custody, hands bound.
They push them into waiting trucks.
Meanwhile, PASSING CIVILIANS walk quickly by, trying
to pretend they don't see anything. Years of Nazi
rule have told them to mind their own business.
ANGLE ON: A staff car - Major Remer in the back,
watching the entire scene with cold eyes. Lt. Hagen
emerges from the chaos on the streets.
Major Remer. We've just had orders
from the War Ministry. The
battalion is to blockade the
government quarter and place
Minister Goebbels under arrest.
Remer does not move. He just thinks.
What is it, Major?
Something just doesn't feel right
about this. I would hate to find
out I'm being taken advantage of.
A coup you think?
Of that I am certain. What I can't
say is which side we're on. Get in.
As Hagen does, Remer turns to his DRIVER.
Take us to the Reichministry. Be
quick about it.
140 INT. WAR MINISTRY - FROMM'S OFFICE - DAY 140
Stauffenberg, Beck and Olbricht lead a continued
effort to manage the coup. Each man shouts orders
into the phone, all the while signing dispatches sent
by a steady flow of RUNNERS.
FRAULEIN VON OVEN (the secretary who worked with
Stauffenberg and Tresckow to compile the Valkyrie
orders) rushes in, whispering to Stauffenberg.
Send him in.
It's all right. Send him in.
She opens the door and motions to someone outside.
After a beat, the door is filled with an almost
classic looking Nazi - A FAT GENERAL bristling with
medals. He enters the room, confused when he sees
Olbricht at Fromm's desk.
Begging your pardon, but I have
orders to report to General Fromm.
General Fromm is no longer in
command. I am.
Beck? What are you- What is going
The Führer is dead. The SS is
staging a coup. We've initiated
Operation Valkyrie to crush the
uprising and save Hitler's Germany.
The Fat General assesses the scene with suspicion.
I'd say there is a coup all right,
but it's not the SS.
Olbricht offers a sheet of paper.
You will present these orders to
I will do no such thing without
speaking to General Fromm. I swore
You have your orders. Join us or
face the consequences.
Stauffenberg and Olbricht take an imposing step in
the Fat General's direction. He carefully backs away.
This is treason. I won't take part.
The Führer is not dead. THE FÜHRER
IS NOT DEAD.
The Fat General makes a break for it. The
conspirators chase him out into...
141 INT. WAR MINISTRY - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 141
The Fat General pushes past ONLOOKING OFFICERS.
STOP THAT MAN.
But they just watch the commotion, stunned. A ranking
general being chased like a common criminal. Surreal.
Haeften and Mertz appear at the other end of the hall
- pistols raised, blocking the General's path. With
Stauffenberg and Olbricht they overpower the Fat
General who screams wildly to the amazement of the
THE FÜHRER IS NOT DEAD. I'VE SWORN
AN OATH. YOU ALL HAVE...
When they have him under control, Stauffenberg turns
to the onlookers. He finds a familiar face in the
crowd. A face he can trust. He finds:
Lt. Herber. Come here.
ANGLE ON: Lt. Herber. "Who, me?" He reluctantly steps
Lock him up with Fromm.
Herber hesitantly takes hold of the General, but the
act of taking a General into custody is a strange
one. Herber is clearly conflicted.
142 EXT. REICHMINISTRY - DAY 142
Est. Remer arrives, followed by a wave of trucks.
Soldiers deploy, surrounding the building.
143 INT. REICHMINISTRY - GOEBBELS' OFFICE - DAY 143
Propaganda Minister Goebbels - the most ghoulish of
Hitler's Big Six. His spooky, deep-set eyes watch the
action on the street below. Already he can hear
troops coming down the hallway. He takes a pistol
from his desk drawer and leaves it within reach. Then
he picks up the phone and dials. After a beat.
I am ready to be connected.
The sound of footsteps outside his door. It bursts
open. Remer enters, followed by ARMED SOLDIERS.
What can I do for you, Major?
Minister Goebbels, my battalion has
an order to blockade the government
quarter and place you under arrest.
Remer sees the pistol on Goebbels desk. But Goebbels
makes no attempt to grab for it. Instead:
Are you a dedicated Nazi, Major?
Remer is caught off guard.
With that Goebbels turns his attention to the phone
in his hand. We hear a faint voice: "Hello?"
With an eerie smile, Goebbels simply extends his arm,
offering the phone to a confused Remer. Silence as
the Major takes it, holding it to his ear...
VOICE (ON PHONE)
Do you recognize my voice?
Remer is in awe, for a moment unable to speak. Then:
Of course, Mein Führer.
HITLER (ON PHONE)
Then listen to me very carefully...
144 INT. CENTRAL COMMUNICATIONS - BERLIN - DAY 144
The communications staff busily connects calls and
transmits orders. Sgt. Helm gingerly approaches Lt.
Haans with two sheets of paper.
What is it now, Sergeant?
It's just that now we're getting
conflicting orders, sir. The Wolf's
Lair says one thing, Stauffenberg
Haans sighs, genuinely irritated now.
Our job is not to interpret the
orders. Our job is to pass them
Yes, but sir-
Is that perfectly clear, Sergeant?
Haans thrusts the orders back at Helm who sheepishly
walks back to his pool of radio operators.
145 EXT. REICHMINISTRY - DUSK 145
As day turns to night, the soldiers surrounding the
government quarters wait for further orders.
Major Remer comes out a new man - invigorated and
focused. He walks over to a truck loaded with RANKING
PRISONERS, turning to the soldiers guarding them.
Release these men at once.
But these men are part of a coup.
I've just been on the phone with
Hitler himself. We are the coup,
you idiot. We've been duped.
146 INT. WAR MINISTRY - FROMM'S QUARTERS - NIGHT 146
Fromm is a prisoner in his own quarters - staring at
a portrait of Hitler with equal parts disdain and
reverence. The door suddenly opens.
Herber enters, leading the handcuffed Fat General.
Avoiding Fromm's gaze, he removes the restraints and
turns to leave. But the wily Fromm can see the look
in Herber's eyes.
Well, Lieutenant. What do you make
of all of this?
Herber freezes. Beat.
I... I don't know...
I won't ask you to make a choice.
That's for you and you alone. All I
ask is that you observe and think
for yourself. In time you'll see
things for what they truly are. You
know where to find me when you do.
Herber nods hesitantly, then turns to leave, but:
(as Herber turns back)
Herber raises his right arm, just managing:
147 INT. REICHMINISTRY - GOEBBELS' OFFICE - NIGHT 147
Goebbels' office is now the scene of great activity.
Soldiers rush in and out carrying orders. Goebbels is
on two phones at the same time.
Through the melee comes none other than Heinrich
Himmler - the bespectacled villain whose appearance
is unmatched in fiction. His arrival cannot be good.
Have you seen the Führer? Is he-
It seems the conference table
shielded him from the blast. He's
lucky to be alive.
Do you want to tell me what's going
Everything is under control. I've
taken charge of the Guard Battalion
and given them new orders. We're
turning the tables on these
I've been sent here personally by
the Führer to collect the
conspirators. He insists they be
Goebbels and Himmler, two of the most evil men who
ever lived, smile coldly. Being taken alive by this
mob is obviously a fate worse than death.
Goebbels turns to a nearby AIDE.
Take this down. By order of Adolf
148 INT. CENTRAL COMMUNICATIONS - BERLIN - NIGHT 148
Once again the operators are frozen, looking at Lt.
Haans. He in turn looks at two orders in his hands.
He is deeply confused. Sgt. Helm is not.
It's a coup all right... And when
it's over, we'd better wind up on
the right side. Now we can't afford
to remain neutral any longer. We
have to make a decision.
CLOSE ON: Haans. All eyes watch him weigh the
decision of his life, of many lives. Millions in
fact. Finally he relents, handing one paper to Helm.
Very well. Send all communications
from the Wolf's Lair. Stop all
communications from Stauffenberg.
The operators spring into action.
RADIO ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
Today an attempt was made on the
149 INT. WAR MINISTRY - FROMM'S OFFICE - NIGHT 149
Stauffenberg works frantically in a room full of
officers - the energy here being the antithesis of
Goebbels' office - the morale quickly waning.
He ignores the radio, writing orders, making phone
calls, fighting to keep the coup alive. But we know
now his orders are hitting a dead end.
...The Führer himself suffered no
major injuries and resumed his work
Stauffenberg turns off the radio, grabbing Haeften
just as he is coming in.
Send the following teleprint to all
Army Commanders... `Broadcast
communique not correct. The Führer
is dead. Orders to be carried out
with utmost dispatch.'
Haeften nods and leaves. Stauffenberg turns back to
his work, coming face to face with a deeply troubled
Beck. Stauffenberg whispers, frustrated...
I saw the blast...
What the hell kind of coup is this?
All eyes turn to find Witzleben. Hours ago he was a
civilian, now he is a pompous, know-it-all General.
The military districts are
receiving contradictory reports.
I've got men sitting around joking
about whose turn it is to arrest
whom. Neither the capital nor the
radio network are under our
control. And where are the troops?
You'd think there would be some
activity going on in this city.
The word is all over the street
that Hitler is still alive. We
trusted you and you failed us. You
should have stayed. To be sure.
And who would have led the men here
in Berlin? You?
Finding his balls, Olbricht confronts Witzleben.
The Colonel did more than any man
could have hoped. If anyone is to
Field Marshal Witzleben is right. I
am the officer in charge. I am the
man responsible. No one else.
Olbricht is moved and rightly so. Meanwhile:
I'm going home to await my
Witzleben turns, marching out. The room remains ill
at ease, everyone having just witnessed a serious
blow to the Resistance. Those anonymous soldiers
present exchange glances of concern.
I'm sorry, Colonel.
After a beat, Olbricht turns and leaves.
CLOSE ON LIEUTENANT HERBER, tucked away in a corner
of the office.
He looks at Stauffenberg in a new light now,
something darker - no longer the admirer. He shares a
look with TWO OTHER OFFICERS. A wordless
understanding. He leaves and they follow.
150 INT. WAR MINISTRY - HALLWAY - NIGHT 150
Herber and company march down the hallway in silence.
They stop for Herber to unlock the door to...
151 INT. WAR MINISTRY - MUNITIONS STORAGE ROOM - NIGHT 151
The officers file in, making a beeline for a locker
in the corner of the room. Inside are all manner of
sub-machine guns, pistols, grenades...
152 EXT. WAR MINISTRY - NIGHT 152
Under Remer's direction the Deutschland Guard
Battalion quickly surrounds the War Ministry.
We see a figure moving behind the windows up above...
153 INT. WAR MINISTRY - OLBRICHT'S OFFICE - NIGHT 153
Olbricht helplessly watches troops surround the
building below. It is only a matter of time now.
He sits at his desk. With a long trembling sigh, he
puts pen to paper and writes:
"My dearest wife..."
A commotion from the anteroom startles Olbricht and
he drops the pen. A loud, shrill scream follows.
The door bursts open to reveal Herber and his TWO
COHORTS. They are supported by A HALF DOZEN ARMED
SOLDIERS, all training their weapons on Olbricht.
In the anteroom behind the soldiers we see Fraulein
Oven quietly slipping out into the hallway.
154 INT. WAR MINISTRY - FROMM'S OFFICE - NIGHT 154
Beck, Stauffenberg and Haeften are still making calls
and writing orders - doing all they can to keep the
coup alive. They are startled when Fraulein Oven
bursts in. It is written on her face.
155 INT. WAR MINISTRY - HALLWAY - NIGHT 155
Stauffenberg and Haeften rush toward Olbricht's
office, stopping when they see a MASS OF SOLDIERS
surrounding the doorway. A chill runs down our spines
when we see Herber talking to none other than Major
Remer. Just then, he spots Stauffenberg and Haeften.
Stauffenberg and Haeften turn and run.
BANG. A shot is fired. Stauffenberg and Haeften take
cover in a nearby doorway. Haeften returns fire.
Stauffenberg clamps his pistol under the stump of his
right arm, managing to cock it with the three fingers
of his left hand. Awkward. Then he aims and fires.
Stauffenberg takes a bullet in the shoulder of his
good arm. He drops his gun, bleeding badly.
But MORE SOLDIERS appear at the opposite end of the
corridor. The loyal Haeften covers Stauffenberg with
his body, aiming to fire. But Stauffenberg stops him,
shaking his head. It's over. They toss down their
guns. Boot-steps approach loudly O.S.
As Stauffenberg looks down at the cross and ring
around his neck:
Thank you, Colonel.
Stauffenberg is genuinely confused. "For what?"
Better I die for Germany than for
Stauffenberg turns to find Remer standing there.
You're under arrest.
160 INT. WAR MINISTRY - FROMM'S OFFICE - LATER 160
Stauffenberg, Olbricht, Beck, Mertz and Haeften, the
last of the conspiracy, are held at gunpoint. A smug
Fromm enters, followed by Herber, the Fat General,
Remer and numerous GUN-TOTING OFFICERS.
If you have any last messages,
you'd better write them now.
My actions speak for me.
(to his men)
I'd rather my wife and children
remember our last time together.
The others bravely nod in agreement. But then:
I'd like a pistol, please.
Stauffenberg looks at Beck with surprise.
For personal reasons.
Fromm thinks about it, then matter-of-factly hands
Beck a pistol. Remer quickly steps forward.
General, my orders are to deliver
the prisoners alive.
Get on with it then.
THAT WILL BE ALL, MAJOR.
Fromm glares at Remer who angrily backs down. Then he
turns to Beck and with a casual wave of the hand:
The moment is surreal. Beck, seated at the desk,
looks at each of his fellow conspirators. A look of
thanks, goodbye. With a badly trembling hand he
places the gun to his temple.
I'm thinking of earlier times...
CLOSE ON: The conspirators turn away, unable to
watch. Except Stauffenberg.
And as if none of the last minute has even occurred,
Fromm turns to the other conspirators.
Very well then... A court martial,
convened by me in the Führer's
absence, has pronounced sentence:
Colonel Mertz von Quernheim,
General Olbricht, Lieutenant
(glaring at Stauffenberg)
And the Colonel, whose name I will
not mention, are condemned to
(to his men)
Take them outside.
Remer is clearly upset by this. Herber, on the other
hand, seems clearer than ever. He nods to his men who
drag the conspirators out. Herber personally takes
Stauffenberg by the arm. The two men share a look.
Nothing needs to be said. Each has found his place.
Stauffenberg turns to confront Fromm. He is weak,
white from fatigue and loss of blood.
The Führer will want to put us on
trial, make an example of us. This
won't win you any favor. And it
won't hide you're involvement.
Involvement. I don't know what you-
You knew and you did nothing.
You're just as guilty as we are.
Even more so.
Spare me, Stauffenberg.
And those words bring a genuine smile to
Stauffenberg's face. He almost pities Fromm now.
No one will be spared.
And as Fromm motions for Herber to take Stauffenberg
away, we hear music, faintly at first - accompanied
by the subtle hiss and crackles of a phonograph... It
is the piece Stauffenberg and Nina were dancing to
one night long ago... Over this:
A voice. A man speaking in German - faint at first,
crackling over the radio.
My comrades. Once again - I don't
know how many times it has been now
- an attempt has been made on my
INT./EXT. BERLIN - VARIOUS - NIGHT
A series of images of the coup being reversed as the
Nazis take back power, made all the more poignant by
the lonely sound of the phonograph, the music slowly
rising, growing clearer and eventually becoming score
over the silent images of:
Conspirators being rounded up and arrested. Among
them are faces we recognize...
Goerdeler, dragged from a hotel bed by SS OFFICERS as
his informing INNKEEPER watches from the doorway.
TITLES: DR. CARL GOERDELER - TRIED, 7 SEPTEMBER
1944. HANGED, 2 FEBRUARY 1945.
Witzleben is led in handcuffs from his home where he
has been awaiting his fate.
TITLES: ERWIN VON WITZLEBEN - TRIED, 8 AUGUST 1944.
HANGED, 8 AUGUST 1944.
161 EXT. WAR MINISTRY - NIGHT 161
Military vehicles are hastily arranged in a semi-
circle - headlamps marking the scene in stark white
light and long black shadows.
Stauffenberg, Haeften, Olbricht and Mertz are marched
into the courtyard, squinting in the harsh light as
they are placed against the wall of the War Ministry.
I speak to you tonight for two
reasons. First, so that you can
hear my voice and know that I am
unhurt. And second, so that you may
know the details of a crime without
parallel in German history...
INT./EXT. BERLIN - VARIOUS - NIGHT
Fellgiebel is swarmed by SS in his office at the
Wolf's Lair and summarily beaten.
TITLES: GENERAL ERICH FELLGIEBEL - TRIED, 10 AUGUST
1944. HANGED, 4 SEPTEMBER 1944.
Chief of Police Helldorf is caught by surprise as his
own men burst into his office, rifles raised.
TITLES: CHIEF OF POLICE WOLF-HEINRICH VON HELLDORF -
TRIED, 15 AUGUST 1944. HANGED, 15 AUGUST 1944.
EXT. WAR MINISTRY - NIGHT
TEN SOLDIERS of the Deutschland Guard Battalion
scramble to form a line opposite Stauffenberg and his
conspirators. We can clearly read Fromm's lips,
shouting: "MAKE READY..."
Stauffenberg and Haeften share a reassuring smile.
Remer watches bitterly from the shadows, focusing his
hatred not on the conspirators... but on Fromm.
INT./EXT. BERLIN - VARIOUS - NIGHT
Berthold, Stauffenberg's brother, is taken from his
flat in Berlin.
TITLES: BERTHOLD VON STAUFFENBERG - TRIED, 10 AUGUST
1944. HANGED, 10 AUGUST 1944.
EXT. WAR MINISTRY - NIGHT
Fromm smiles to himself, satisfied.
A small clique of ambitious,
dishonorable, stupid officers have
conspired to eliminate me. Except
for a few bruises and burns, I was
Fromm raises his arm, his lips reading: "TAKE AIM..."
TITLES: GENERAL FRIEDRICH FROMM - TRIED, 7 MARCH
1945. EXECUTED, 12 MARCH 1945.
Stauffenberg takes a breath and shouts defiantly, his
lips reading: "Long live sacred German-"
Fromm drops his hand. Ten rifles open fire.
CRANE UP and away as the music swells, as what is
left of Berlin comes into view, as the few lights
that remain suddenly go out as if a dark shadow were
passing over the land.
HITLER (V.O.) (CONT'D)
I see in this the hand of
Providence... directing me to
complete my work.
And the last strains of music resolve in a single,
sustained note as we CRANE UP FURTHER, looking at
last to the overcast darkness of the night sky. The
last note goes on as if it might play forever...
Until suddenly it dips and we realize we are no
longer hearing music at all, but the urgent wailing
of an air-raid siren - the warning of allied bombers
coming to deliver their nightly assault on Berlin.
Hitler's gift to Germany.
162 BLACK 162