Can I have a pencil?

I watched this movie (I think) on TV a long time ago. It was a really good movie about the Germans in WWII developing a rocket aircraft (which obviously fits this movie's description).

But to make sure, please tell me if you know this....

...I remember one line, for some reason, when the American spy who was working with the Germans was looking at the Germans' notes on the rockets and he asks, in German, "Can I have a pencil?" or "Do you have a pencil?". There were subtitles for that line.

Is that in this movie? Thanks.


I think that is in it, towards the end


I remember in the scene where Dr Engel (Kemp) was being questioned by police in the hotel because his name wasn't on their list. He then got angry with them by implying it was their mistake and they decided to add his name to the list there and then. One of the Germans asked Engel if he had a pencil. After Engel's name was added to the list he asked for his pencil back.


I loved that part! The British spy is being interrogated by the Germans in a bullying manner about why his name isn't on the list, and the spy turns it around and starts yelling about the nerve of them not having his name on the list and that he was going to report them to Herr Hitler! Finally the gestapo agent yells at his underling "Why isn't his name on the list?" as if it's the other guy's fault and they end up adding the spy's name to make it all go away. What balls! I laughed out loud. I wonder if it really happened that way, I'd certainly like to thinks so.



It's an interesting repeated theme/irony. In the later scene, Peppard borrows the pencil from the division head who has given him the complete specs on rocket combustion. Peppard, of course, uses it to copy details he will pass on to his fellow spy.


As Alvin... mentioned, the reference to needing a pencil is used twice: by Jeremy Kemp when finding his name not on a list, and asked "verbatim" by George Peppard when handed the large book of research documents by the top scientist at the rocket facility.

TCM just showed it, and it still stands up as a great spy/war film, with some license thrown in with factual elements. Great effects and played straight by an outstanding cast.

BTW, Hogan's Heroes, when depicting sabotage or bombings of industry taking place in an episode, often used some of the "boilers" exploding footage depicted in this film's climax.

A pyro film favorite. Three and a half out of four stars, easy.



I'm watching it right now and there's another pencil reference that hasn't been mentioned.

Early in George Peppards' portion of the movie, while in the basement of the hotel during an air raid, he winds up standing next to a poster of Hitler and asks his fellow spy, "Anyone have a pencil?" With the implication being that he might want to write something on the poster (perhaps graffiti it as is typically done w/ pictures of people one doesn't like.)

I believe this instance is the one the OP is referring to; it was the most comic of the pencil references in this film. But there certainly are a number of them, eh?

It is a good day to die. May you go to the Hall of Heroes, Michael.


It seems like the people involved with this movie really had a thing for pencils... it kind of makes you wonder... but like the man said, sometimes a pencil is just a pencil...