Valkyrie (film)

2008 film by Bryan Singer

Valkyrie is a 2008 historical thriller about the July 20th Plot to kill Adolf Hitler and overthrow the Nazi Government. The film stars Tom Cruise as Claus von Stauffenberg and Bill Nighy as Friedrich Olbricht.

We have to show the world that not all of us were like him. ~ Henning von Tresckow
Now you can tell your friends, Colonel, that I always come down on the right side, and as long as the Führer is alive, you know what side that is. ~ Friedrich Fromm
The conspiracy begins December 25th.taglines

Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg

  • [translation of letter he is writing] The Fuhrer's promises of peace and prosperity have fallen by the wayside leaving in their wake a path of destruction. The outrages committed by Hitler's SS are a stain on the honor of the German Army. There is widespread disgust in the officer corps toward the crimes committed by the Nazis, the murder of civilians, the torture and starvation of prisoners, the mass execution of Jews. My duty as an officer is no longer to save my country, but to save human lives. I cannot find one general in a position to confront Hitler with the courage to do it. I find myself surrounded by men unwilling or unable to face the truth; Hitler is not only the archenemy of the entire world, but the archenemy of Germany. A change must be made.
  • [Last words] Long live sacred Germany!

Major-General Henning von Tresckow

  • It only matters that we act- now, before we lose the war. Otherwise this will always be Hitler's Germany. We have to show the world that not all of us were like him.

Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim

  • Any problem on Earth can be solved with the careful application of high explosives. The trick is not to be around when they go off.

General Ludwig Beck

  • [to the conspirators] Gentlemen, good morning. Hitler has scheduled a military briefing for today at 1:00. Stauffenberg will start once everyone is present. Before arming the explosives, Stauffenberg will call here for authorisation to proceed. After the flash, his inside man will sever all communications. Assuming Fromm refuses to join us, Olbricht will take command of the Reserve Army and initiate Valkyrie. Then he will notify all district commanders that the SS is attempting to seize power. The Reserve Army will arrest all SS, Gestapo and Nazi officials. By then, Stauffenberg will have returned to Berlin and taken command of the Reserve Army. Witzleben and I will assume the roles of Commander of the Armed Forces and Head of State. With Berlin secured, Dr. Goerdeler will address the nation as our new Chancellor. Then, God willing, we can negotiate a truce with the Allies and save Europe from total destruction.

Erwin von Witzleben

  • [historical quote, to chief judge Roland Freisler of the "People's Court"] You may hand us over to the executioner, but in three months time, the disgusted and harried people will bring you to book and drag you alive through the dirt in the streets.


German Commander: Colonel, my orders are to advance to Sidi Massura and hold it. That is what we'll do.
Col. Claus von Stauffenberg: The British are moving in from the east, Patton's closing in from the coast, Montgomery from the south. You know we should have left two days ago.
German Commander: No, Colonel, we keep fighting, until the final victory.
Stauffenberg: North Africa's lost, and a year from now, you're going to need these men to defend Berlin. We can serve Germany or the Fuehrer; not both.
German Commander: It's just that sort of talk that got you sent here, Colonel.
Stauffenberg: What I said was much worse.

Gen Friedrich Olbricht: [discussing a replacement] There's no one we can trust. Not in Berlin.
Maj Gen Henning von Tresckow: Then stop looking in Berlin.

Col. Claus von Stauffenberg: [about the leadership of the German Resistance] Those men are confusing respect with popularity. The Army swore an oath, an oath that won't just die with Hitler. What are you going to do? How are you going to deal with Goebbels, Himmler, the SS? They will wipe you out!
Maj Gen Henning von Tresckow: It doesn't matter! It only matters that we act now, before we lose the war. Otherwise, this will always be Hitler's Germany, and we have to show the world that not all of us were like him.
Stauffenberg: That is not enough for me. There has to be a chance of success.
Tresckow: Then find a way.

Col. Claus von Stauffenberg: [looking at a portrait of Hitler] Do you know how this war will end, Lieutenant? The portrait will be unhung, and the man will be hung. I am involved in high treason with all means available to me. Can I count you in?
Lieutenant Werner von Haeften: For anything, sir. Anything at all.
Stauffenberg: "Anything" is a very dangerous word, Lieutenant.

Col. Claus von Stauffenberg: Valkyrie.
General Friedrich Olbricht: We've already considered Valkyrie, it isn't suitable.
Maj Gen Henning von Tresckow: Not as it's currently written, but the colonel has an idea I think we should consider.
Dr. Carl Goerdeler: Excuse me, what is Valkyrie?
Ludwig Beck: Operation Valkyrie. The Reserve Army has thousands of men all over Berlin. Valkyrie is Hitler's contingency plan to mobilize those men during a national emergency.
Tresckow: The sole purpose of the order is to protect Hitler's government if he's cut off or killed.
Goerdeler: And what use is this to us?
Stauffenberg: Valkyrie is designed to contain civil unrest, but what if the SS was staging a coup? State Security is trying to overthrow Hitler; how would High Command respond?
Olbricht: We'd have no choice, we would declare a military state of emergency.
Tresckow: Exactly, and initiate Valkyrie.
Stauffenberg: Hitler's own Reserve Army, using Hitler's own plan, will have no choice but to seize power in Berlin to prevent the SS takeover. They'll think they're fighting for Hitler's government, not against it.
Tresckow: While we quietly put a new government in place.
Goerdeler: But only if he's dead. That's what you're saying, isn't it? How else are you going to convince people the SS are trying to seize power?
Stauffenberg: We have to kill Hitler.
Goerdeler: I'm disappointed in you, Colonel. I thought a man of your background would suggest a more honorable approach.
Olbricht: Your plan has a few minor obstacles, Colonel. Firstly, Valkyrie would have to be rewritten to exclude the SS.
Stauffenberg: And I'll need your help to get a copy.
Beck: Rewriting an order is one thing, distributing it is another. In this case, we'd be willfully circulating written evidence of high treason.
Olbricht: Evidence requiring Hitler's signature.
Stauffenberg: Well, we can all draw straws for that job.
Olbricht: And what about Fromm?
Goerdeler: Fromm, who is Fromm?
Beck: He's the commander of the Reserve Army.
Olbricht: I can put the Reserve troops on alert, but only Fromm can initiate Valkyrie.
Beck: Can you get to him?
Erwin von Witzleben: We're running out of time, can you get to Fromm?
Olbricht: He's a careerist pig.
Tresckow: But one who's gone as far as he can go in Hitler's army. It's no secret he's unhappy about it.
Beck: Offer him a key position in the new regime. Make him see the light.

[When Olbricht and Stauffenberg arrive at Fromm's office, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel is inside; the two are engaged in a shouting match, arguing furiously.]
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel: I have better things to do with my time than to come down here and clean up your mess! If you were enough of a man to run this department, I wouldn't have to do it myself! You're an old woman, Fromm! I'd send you to the front if I didn't think you'd surrender, just to be Montgomery's whore! [storms out as Fromm's secretary brings Stauffenberg and Olbricht in.]
General Friedrich Fromm: What is it you want?
General Friedrich Olbricht: I wanted to introduce our new man, Colonel Stauffenberg.
Fromm: Ah! From Africa. Well, I'd offer you my hand, but I might not get it back.
Col. Claus von Stauffenberg: I'd say the General's lost more important things this morning.
Fromm: [breaks out in laughter] It's about time they put somebody with balls into this office, [laughs] Please sit down, Colonel. And you, Olbricht, if you must. [Stauffenberg and Olbricht sit at Fromm's desk] They tell me you're critical of the war, Colonel, not that you don't seem to have good reason.
Stauffenberg: I am critical of indecision, General.
Fromm: In the field?
Stauffenberg: In Berlin.
Fromm: So, that's why you're here, I take it. To make decisions...
Stauffenberg: I've already made my decision. I'm here to help others make theirs.
Fromm: They say when there's no clear option, the best thing is to do nothing.
Stauffenberg: We're at war. We must act. Sometimes rashly.
Fromm: And what rash action did you have in mind, Colonel?
Stauffenberg: That would be a decision for the supreme military commander, sir.
Fromm: A supreme commander. Second only to the Chancellor. If I were that man, this war would be going quite differently.
Olbricht: Well, we were thinking the same thing. [pause]
Fromm: I don't need to remind you that we have all sworn an oath to the Führer. [Carefully disables a listening device in his telephone] Having said that, I'm going to forget this conversation ever took place, in the strict understanding that such talk never occurs again under this roof. Is that clear?!
Stauffenberg: Yes, sir.
Olbricht: Yes, sir.
Fromm: Now you can tell your friends, Colonel, that I always come down on the right side, and as long as the Führer is alive, you know what side that is.

[Fromm has learned that Stauffenberg and Olbricht tried to control the Reserve Army; they arrive at his office as an enraged Fromm ends a phone call.]
General Friedrich Fromm: How dare you put the Reserve Army on standby without my knowledge! It damn near cost me my commission! And what in God's name made you think you even had the authority?!
General Friedrich Olbricht: It was only a drill. An exer-
Fromm: Oh, don't lie, Olbricht! Not to me. We both know it wasn't a drill.
Col. Claus von Stauffenberg: General, if I may...
Fromm: No you may not, Colonel. You may not do anything. Because not only have you proven to 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 will personally have you both arrested. Do I make myself abundantly clear?
Olbricht: Yes, sir.
Stauffenberg: Yes, sir.
Fromm: [Holds up hand] Heil Hitler!
Olbricht: Heil Hitler. [Stauffenberg and Olbricht start to leave.]
Fromm: [dangerously] I'll hear you say it, Colonel!
[Stauffenberg stops in his tracks and turns around to face Fromm.]
Stauffenberg: [Holds up his arm without his hand] Heil Hitler!

[Major Otto Remer and a force of Reserve Army soldiers have arrived at Joseph Goebbels' offices and started arresting Nazi Party and SS officials. Remer and a few of his men confront Goebbels while he is on the telephone.]
Major Otto Remer: Minister Goebbels?
Joseph Goebbels: What can I do for you, Major?
Remer: My battalion has orders to blockade the government quarter and place you under arrest.
Goebbels: Are you a dedicated National Socialist, Major?
Remer: Yes, sir.
[Goebbels wordlessly holds out the telephone. Remer hesitates, then approaches and takes the phone.]
Remer: Major Remer here. Hello?
Man: Do you recognize my voice?
Remer: [stands erect, knowing who it is] Yes, mein Führer.
Adolf Hitler: Then listen very carefully. I want these traitors taken alive.
Remer: [softly] Yes, mein Führer. [gives back the phone to Goebbels, who finishes the call]
Goebbels: You heard what he said, the Führer wants these traitors taken alive.
Remer: Yes, sir. [leaves. Goebbels removes his suicide pill as Remer exits the room.]
[Cut to Major Remer going back outside the building and ordering the release of the arrested officials.]
Second Lieutenant Hagen: [confused] But sir, these men are part of a coup.
Remer: I've just been on the phone with Hitler himself. We are the coup, you idiot! We've been duped!

[General Friedrich Fromm walks into a room where the plotters are lined up and surrounded by guards]
General Friedrich Fromm: If you have any last messages to your wives and children, I will hear them now. [Silence] Very well. A court martial convened by me in the Führer's absence will pronounce sentence. Beck, you're under arrest. Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim, General Olbricht, Lieutenant Haeften, and the Colonel whose name I will not mention, are condemned to death.
Major Otto Remer: General, my orders are to take these men alive.
Fromm: Noted, Major.
Ludwig Beck: I'd like a pistol please. [General Fromm and Haaefte looks at him suspiciously] For personal reasons.
Fromm: [Takes pistol to a nearby table] Get on with it.
Remer: With all respect sir-
Fromm: That will be all, Major!
General Friedrich Olbricht: Killing us won't hide your involvement.
Fromm: My involvement? I don't know what you're talking about.
Lieutenant Werner von Haeften: You knew and did nothing. You're as guilty as any of us.
Fromm: [Scoffing] Spare me, Lieutenant.
Col. Claus von Stauffenberg: No one will be spared.


  • The conspiracy begins December 25.
  • Many saw evil. They dared to stop it.


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