Upon exiting, he reads the note, which is in German and translated for us; “Novelist Brodie Reported Dead arrived To-Day Hotel Excelsior On Espionage work Take Steps.” The next scene finds Brodie and The General in a dimly lit church, and Brodie instructs The General to light 3 candles as the code signal. They hear organ music and find a man slumped with hands on the keys. He has been strangled. That may have been their contact, who is now silenced. They find a button in the dead man’s hand – indicating a struggle and they now think whoever owns the button is the killer and the man they are after. They get out of the church and return to go the casino, and Elsa is with Marvin again, at the same party. Marvin is charming her and talking about having children with her when they settle down. There is always this playfulness between them, as we see between Bond and Miss Moneypenny all the time. Similar. There is a button on the roulette table, and Marvin says to a man standing there “that belongs to you doesn’t it?” And he checks – and there is one missing from his jacket. Ashenden is convinced that is their man, and the man is leaving in 1.5 days. While dancing, Ashenden and Elsa talk, and realize this is a murder mission, and not fun as she thinks. They become morose. Marvin and Elsa are back at the hotel, with a German woman, and the dog who the suspect owns, while Ashenden and The General are going to climb a mountain with the stranger who they think is the German spy, but appears English. The General plans on killing the suspected man and pushes him off the mountain. Of course we will see many mountain scenes in future spy movies, like The Spy Who Loved Me (pre-title sequence, wherein the ski chase scene Bond skies off a mountain and then opens his parachute), SPECTRE (filmed in Solden, Austria), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland), For Your Eyes Only (the assault on Meteora, Greece), Mission: Impossible 2 (the Rock Climb), and many more.
Elsa thinks Marvin was so kind, and she sees him on the train and tells him she is alone. She looks worried and goes to a berth (1A) with Marvin, who says to her: “I don’t trust you – you’re in the spy racket too. The lovely neglected wife and I fell for it.” He pulls a gun on her and asks if the other two are on the train. If so, he says, they are dead. Elsa is trying to play her role. Marvin was going to have the train searched when she tells Marvin she knows who he is and loves him. Chaos outside as the air force is shooting at the train. He kisses her. We see Ashenden (Brodie) and The General go into the same car with Elsa and Marvin. Marvin quips, “I congratulate you all – especially Madam. When does the shooting begin?” Ashenden tells Elsa to wait outside, as The General says, “It is my job.” In a surprise move, Elsa pulls a gun on Ashenden (Brodie) and The General, as a flashback to what she told Brodie earlier – “I’d rather see you dead than go through with this.” Elsa is with Marvin when the planes start bombing the train – he whispers in her ear: “Chivalrous German spy saves British lady from British bombs. “ Just then, bombs wreck the tracks just ahead of the train, and it derails, before The General can take care of Marvin. In the ensuing wreckage, Marvin shoots The General, then both die. Elsa and Brodie survive. The General at the beginning of the movie who got Elsa and Brodie to agree gets a note (a lot of notes in this movie): “ Home safely but never again. Mr. and Mrs. Ashenden” The scene shifts to newspaper headlines with the successes of the Allies! Again, following Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps the year before (where we saw the first train scene in a spy movie), we see additional train scenes in this movie, and of course in many spy movies to follow like From Russia With Love (Bond and Red Grant, and Tee Hee), Mission Impossible- 1996 (Hunt vs. Phelps, and the helicopter chase), Bourne Ultimatum (Waterloo station and Russian railway station), The Spy Who Loved Me (Bond and Jaws), SPECTRE (Bond and Mr. Hinx), Skyfall, Octopussy and many more.