Idiot's Delight (1939)
Edward Arnold: Achille Weber
Irene : Did I ever tell you of my escape from the Soviets?
Achille Weber : You've told me about it at least eleven times, and every time it was different.
Irene : Well, I made several escapes. I am always making escapes, Achille. When I worry about you and your career, I have to run away from the terror of my own thoughts. So I amuse myself by studying the faces of the people I see. Just ordinary, casual, dull people. That little English couple for instance - I was watching them during dinner, sitting there close together, holding hands. And I saw him in his nice, smart British uniform shooting a little pistol at a huge tank. And the tank rolls over him. And his fine, strong body that was so full of the capacity for ecstasy... is a mass of mashed flesh and bones. A smear of purple blood, like a stepped-on snail. But before the moment of death, he consoles himself by thinking, "thank God she is safe. She is bearing the child I gave her. And he will live to see a better world." But I know where she is. She is under a house that has been racked by an air raid. She is as dead as he is. But he, he died in action against the enemy gloriously. But she died in a cellar, not so very gloriously. There will be many who will die this way in this war, won't there Achille?
[he does not respond]
Irene : You don't say anything! Probably you are bored. But I like to think about these things, Achille. And it makes me so proud to think that I am so close to you, who makes all this possible.
Achille Weber : That's all very interesting, my dear. But before you waste too much sympathy on these little people like your English friends, just ask yourself this: why shouldn't they die? And who are the greater criminals - those who sell the instruments of death or those who buy them and use them? It is they who make war seem noble and heroic, and what does it all amount to? Mistrust of the motives of everyone else! A dog-in-the-manger defence of all they've got, greed for the other fellow's possessions! Oh, I assure you, Irene, for such little people, the deadliest weapons are the most merciful.