Apocalypse Now (1979) Script

["The End" playing]

[helicopter whirring]

[Willard] Saigon.


I'm still only in Saigon.

Every time, I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle.

When I was home after my first tour, it was worse.

I'd wake up, and there'd be nothing.

I hardly said a word to my wife until I said yes to a divorce.

When I was here, I wanted to be there.

When I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle.

I'm here a week now.

Waiting for a mission.

Getting softer.

Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker.

And every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger.

Each time I looked around, the walls moved in a little tighter.

["The End" playing]


Everyone gets everything he wants.

I wanted a mission.

And for my sins, they gave me one.

Brought it up to me like room service.

[knocking on door]

Captain Willard, are you in there?

Yeah, I'm coming.

It was a real choice mission.

And when it was over, I'd never want another.

-What do you want? -Are you all right, Captain?

What does it look like?

-Are you Captain Willard, 505th Battalion? -Affirmative.

-173rd Airborne? -Yeah.

-Assigned to SOG? -Hey, buddy, you gonna shut the door?

[soldier 1] We have orders to escort you to the airfield.

-What are the charges? -[soldier 1] Sir?

What'd I do?

There's no charges, Captain.

You have orders to report to COMSEC Intelligence at Nha Trang.

-I see. -All right?

-Nha Trang for me? -That's right.

Come on, Captain. You still have a few hours to get cleaned up.

-I'm not feeling too good. -Captain?

Dave, come here and give me a hand. We got a dead one.

Come on, Captain. Let's take a shower.

-[Willard] Don't be an ass. -Get hold of him good.

-We're gonna take a shower, Captain. -[Willard protesting]

-In we go. -Now stand underneath this, Captain.


[Willard] I was going to the worst place in the world and I didn't even know it yet.

Weeks away and hundreds of miles up a river that snaked through the war like a main circuit cable, plugged straight into Kurtz.

[soldiers] Insult me again and I'll kick your ass.

[Willard] It was no accident that I got to be the caretaker of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz's memory any more than being back in Saigon was an accident.

There is no way to tell his story without telling my own.

And if his story is really a confession...

Captain Willard reporting, sir.

[Willard] ...then so is mine.

-Captain. Good. Come on in. -Thank you, sir.

-Stand at ease. -General.

Do you want a cigarette?

No, thank you, sir.

Captain, have you ever seen this gentleman before?

No, sir.

-Met the General or myself? -No, sir.

Not personally.

[Lucas] You've worked a lot on your own, haven't you, Captain?

Yes, sir, I have.

[Lucas] Your report specifies Intelligence, Counterintelligence with COMSEC, I Corps.

I'm not presently disposed to discuss those operations, sir.

Did you not work for the CIA in I Corps?

No, sir.

[Lucas] Did you not assassinate a government tax collector, Quang Tri Province, June 18, 1968?


Sir, I am unaware of any such activity or operation...

[clears throat] nor would I be disposed to discuss such an operation if it did, in fact, exist, sir.

I thought we'd have a bite of lunch while we talk.

I hope you brought a good appetite, Captain.

I noticed that you have... a bad hand, there. Are you wounded?

I had a little fishing accident on R&R, sir.

-[General] Fishing on R&R? -Yes, sir.

But you're feeling fit? You're ready for duty?

Yes, General. Very much so, sir.

Well, let's see what we have here.

Roast beef, and usually it's not bad.

Try some, Jerry, and pass it around.

To save a little time, we might pass both ways.

Captain, I don't know how you feel about this shrimp, but if you'll eat it, you'll never have to prove your courage in any other way.

[Jerry] Right, well, why don't I just take a piece here?

[Lucas] Captain, you've heard of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz?

Yes, sir, I've heard the name.

[Lucas] Jesus.

Operations officer, Fifth Special Forces.

Luke, would you play that tape for the Captain, please?

-[Lucas] Yes, sir. I'm sorry, sir. -Listen to this carefully, Captain.

[man on tape] October 9, 0430 hours, sector Peter Victor King.

These were monitored out of Cambodia.

[transmission warbling]

[Lucas] This has been verified as Colonel Kurtz's voice.

[Kurtz] I watched a snail... crawl along the edge... of a straight razor.

That's my dream.

It's my nightmare.

Crawling, slithering... along the edge... of a straight razor...

and surviving.

[man] Transmission 11, received '68, December 30, 0500 hours.

Sector King Zulu King.

[Kurtz] But we must kill them.

We must incinerate them, pig after pig... cow after cow... village after village, army after army.

And they call me an assassin.

What do you call it when the assassins accuse the assassin?

They lie.

They lie, and we have to be merciful for those who lie.


[disdainfully] Nabobs...

I hate them.

I do hate them.

[transmission warbling]

[General] Walt Kurtz was one of the most outstanding officers this country's ever produced.

He was brilliant. He was outstanding in every way.

And he was a good man, too.

A humanitarian man.

A man of wit and humor.

He joined the Special Forces.

And after that...

his ideas, methods...




Now he's crossed into Cambodia with this Montagnard army of his that worship the man like a god.

And follow every order, however ridiculous.

[General] Well, I have some other shocking news to tell you.

Colonel Kurtz is about to be arrested for murder.

I don't follow, sir. Murdered who?

Kurtz had ordered the execution of some Vietnamese intelligence agents.

Men he believed were double agents.

So he took matters into his own hands.

Well, you see, Willard... in this war, things get... confused out there.

Power, ideals, the old morality, and practical military necessity.

But out there with these natives... it must be a temptation... to be God.

Because there's a conflict in every human heart... between the rational and the irrational, between good and evil.

And good does not always triumph.

Sometimes... the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called, "The better angels of our nature."

Every man has got a breaking point.

You and I have them.

Walt Kurtz has reached his...

and very obviously he has gone insane.

[helicopter whirring]

Yes, sir. Very much so, sir. Obviously insane.

[Lucas] Your mission is to proceed up the Nung River in a Navy patrol boat...

pick up Colonel Kurtz's path at Nu Mung Ba, follow it, learn what you can along the way.

When you find the Colonel, infiltrate his team by

[clearing throat] whatever means available and terminate the Colonel's command.

Terminate the Colonel?

He's out there operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct.

And he is still in the field, commanding troops.

Terminate with extreme prejudice.

[Lucas] You understand, Captain, that this mission does not exist... nor will it ever exist.

[Willard] How many people had I already killed?

There were those six that I knew about for sure.

Close enough to blow their last breath in my face.

But this time it was an American and an officer.

That wasn't supposed to make any difference to me, but it did.

Shit, charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.

I took the mission. What the hell else was I gonna do?

But I really didn't know what I'd do when I found him.

[man 1] Did you check the tank?

[man 2] Yeah.

[Willard] I was being ferried down the coast in a Navy PBR.

A type of plastic patrol boat, a pretty common sight on the rivers.

They said it was a good way to pick up information and move without drawing a lot of attention.

And that was okay.

I needed the air and the time.

Only problem was, I wouldn't be alone.

Morning, Captain.

[Willard] The crew were mostly just kids.

Rock 'n' rollers with one foot in their graves.

-How old are you? -Seventeen.

[Willard] The machinist, the one they called Chef, was from New Orleans.

He was wrapped too tight for Vietnam.

Probably wrapped too tight for New Orleans.

Lance, on the forward .50s, was a famous surfer from the beaches south of LA.

To look at him, you wouldn't believe he'd ever fired a weapon in his life.

Clean, Mr. Clean, was from some South Bronx shithole, and I think the light and space of Vietnam really put the zap on his head.

Then there was Phillips, the Chief.

It might have been my mission, but it sure as shit was the Chief's boat.

There's about two points where we can draw enough water to get into the Nung River.

They're both hot, belong to Charlie.

Don't worry about it.

Don't smoke.

You know, I've pulled a few special ops in here.

About six months ago, I took a man who was going up past the bridge at Do Luong.

He was regular Army, too.

I heard he shot himself in the head.

[Willard] At first, I thought they handed me the wrong dossier.

I couldn't believe they wanted this man dead.

Third-generation West Point, top of his class, Korea, Airborne, about 1,000 decorations, et cetera, et cetera.

I had heard his voice on the tape and it really put the hook in me, but I couldn't connect up that voice with this man.

Like they said, he had an impressive career.

Maybe too impressive.

I mean, perfect.

He was being groomed for one of the top slots in the corporation, General, Chief of Staff, anything.

In 1964, he returned from a tour with advisory command in Vietnam and things started to slip.

His report to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Lyndon Johnson was restricted.

Seems they didn't dig what he had to tell them.

During the next few months, he made three requests for transfer to Airborne training, Fort Benning, Georgia, and was finally accepted.


He was 38 years old.

Why the fuck would he do that?

1966, joins Special Forces... returns Vietnam.




-Hey, what's that? -[Willard] Arc light.

-What's that? -[Willard] B-52 strike.

-What's that? -Arc light.

[Clean] I hate that. Every time I hear that, something terrible happens.

Charlie don't never see them or hear them, man.

There they are.

[Clean] Concussion will suck the air out of your damn lungs.

-[Chef] Something terrible's gonna happen. -Smoke!

[Clean] Secondary burning.

[Chief] Hueys over there. Lots of Hueys.

[Willard] Let's have a look, Chief.

[Willard] It was the air cav, First of the Ninth.

That's them.

Our escorts to the mouth of the Nung River.

But they were supposed to be waiting for us another 30 km ahead.

Well, Airmobile, those boys just couldn't stay put.

[people clamoring]

[machine guns firing]

[soldier] Kid, come on. Get down. Come on.

[Willard] First of the Ninth was an old cavalry division that had cashed in its horses for choppers and gone tear-assing around Nam looking for the shit.

They'd given Charlie a few surprises in their time here.

What they were mopping up now hadn't even happened yet an hour ago.

[TV director] Just keep running by. Run for television.

Don't look at the camera. Just keep... Go on! Keep going.

This is for television. Don't look at the camera.

Don't look at the camera.

Just go by like you're fighting. Like you're fighting.

Don't look at the camera. It's for television. Just go through!

Go through! Just go by! Keep on going!

Keep going. Don't look at the camera. Go on. Keep going.

-Where can I find the CO? -That's the Colonel coming down!

The CO's on that chopper.

Lieutenant, bomb that tree line back about 100 yards!

-Give me some room to breathe! -Yes, sir!

-Body cards! -Sir?

-Bring my body cards! -Yes, sir!

I'm the fourth tank commander. I got five tanks broken down.

We're all right with the tanks. It's all right, Captain.

Captain Willard!

I carry priority papers from COMSEC Intelligence, II Corps.

I understand Nha Trang has briefed you on the requirements of my mission.

What mission? I haven't heard from Nha Trang.

Sir, your unit is supposed to escort us into the Nung!

-We'll see what we can do, but... -Colonel.

...just stay out of my way until this is done, Captain.

All right, let's see what we have. Let's see what we have.

A two of spades, three of spades, four of diamonds... six of clubs, eight of spades.

There isn't one worth a jack in the whole bunch. Four of diamonds.

-[Lance] Hey, Captain, what's that? -[Willard] Death cards!

-What? -Death cards!

-Death? -It lets Charlie know who did this.

-Cheer up, son. -[man on PA] We will not hurt or harm you.

-[soldier 1] Fire in the hole! -[soldier 2] Fire in the hole!

[man on PA] This is an area that is controlled by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese.

[man 2 speaking Vietnamese over PA]

[man 1 translating] We are here to help you.

[man 2 speaking Vietnamese]

[man 1] We are here to extend a welcome hand

-to those of you who would like... -Come on. Everybody in?

...to return to the arms of the South Vietnamese government.

[baby wailing]

Hurry up!

[whistles] Move it out!

[man 1] This is an area that is controlled by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese.

Hey! What's this?

What is this?

This man's hurt pretty bad, sir.

About the only thing that's holding his guts in, sir, -Is that pot lid. -Yeah?

What does he have to say?

This soldier is dirty VC.

He wants water. He can drink paddy water.

Get out of here! Give me that canteen.

-He's VC! -Any man that's brave enough to...

Get out of here! I'll kick your fucking ass!

He killed a lot of our people!

Any man brave enough to fight with his guts strapped on him can drink from my canteen any day!

Hey, Colonel, I think one of those sailors is Lance Johnson, the surfer.

-Where? Here? You sure? -Down there.

Yeah? Here.

Repeat, we have a body count. We have...

What's your name, sailor?

Gunner's Mate Third Class L. Johnson, sir!

-Gunner's Mate Third Class... -Wait. Lance Johnson, the surfer?

Yes, sir.

Well, it's an honor to meet you, Lance. I've admired your nose riding for years.

I like your cutback, too. I think you have the best cutback there is.

-Thank you, sir. -You can cut out the "sir" crap, Lance.

I'm Bill Kilgore. I'm a goofy foot.

-This guy with you? -Yeah.

I want you to meet some guys. This is Mike from San Diego.

-Far out. -Johnny from Malibu.

-John, hi. Far out. -Pretty solid surfers.

None of us are anywhere near your class, though.

No way.

We do a lot of surfing around here, Lance. I like to finish operations early, fly down to Vung Tau for the evening glass.

[Kilgore] Been riding since you got here?

[Lance] No way. I haven't surfed since I been here.

[chaplain] Through Christ our Lord, from whom all good things come.

Through him in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence to the Father in the words our savior gave us.

[all] Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread...


...as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

[soldiers singing]

[Willard] Kilgore had had a pretty good day for himself.

They choppered in the T-bones and the beer and turned the LZ into a beach party.

The more they tried to make it just like home, the more they made everybody miss it.

Make my meat rare, rare but not cold!

Well, he wasn't a bad officer, I guess.

He loved his boys and you felt safe with him.

He was one of those guys that had that weird light around him.

You just knew he wasn't gonna get so much as a scratch here.

What happened to your mission, Captain?

[laughing] Nha Trang forget all about you?

[men laughing along]

Airborne. [laughs mockingly]

Sir, two places we can get into the river...

-Yeah. -...here and here.

It's a pretty wide delta, but these are the only two spots I'm really sure of.

Well, that village you're pointing at is kind of hairy, Willard.

-What do you mean "hairy," sir? -It's hairy, got some pretty heavy ordnance.

I lost a few recon ships in there now and again.

What's the name of that goddamn village? Vin Drin...

-Dop. -Dop or Lop?

Damn gook names all sound the same.

Mike, you know anything about this point at Vin Drin Dop?

That's a fantastic peak.

-Peak? -About six foot.

Yeah, it's an outstanding peak. It's got both the long right and left slide with a bowl section. It's unbelievable. It's just tube city.

Well, why didn't you tell me that before? A good peak.

There aren't any good peaks in this whole shitty country.

-It's all goddamn beach break. -It's really hairy in there, sir.

That's where we lost McDonald. They shot the hell out of us there.

That's Charlie's point.

Sir, we can go in there tomorrow at dawn.

There's always a good offshore breeze in the morning.

[Chief] We may not be able to get the boat in.

The draft at the mouth of that river may be too shallow.

We'll pick your boat up and put it down like a baby, right where you want it.

This is the First of the Ninth air cav, son. Airmobile.

[man mimicking dramatic music]

I can take that point and hold it just as long as I like.

And you can get any place up that river that suits you, young Captain.

Hell, a six-foot peak.


All right, take a gunship back to the division.

Lance, go with Mike and let him pick out a board for you, and bring me my Yater Spoon, the 8'6".

-I don't know, sir, it's... -What is it, soldier?

Well, I mean, it's pretty hairy in there. It's Charlie's point.

Charlie don't surf!

Hey, Jesus, Clean, you ain't gonna believe this. Look.

[Clean] Hey, man! They're picking up the boat!

-How are you feeling, Jimmy? -Like a mean motherfucker, sir!

All right, son, let her rip.

Let's go!

[bugler playing "Charge"]

[Kilgore] I never have gotten used to a light board, and I can't get used to one. I'm used to a heavy board.

I know, it's a real drag.

-You prefer a heavy or a light board? -Heavier.

-Really? -Yeah!

I thought all the young guys like lighter boards.

You can't ride the nose on those things.

Big Duke Six, this is Eagle Thrust Seven. We've got it spotted.

Big Duke Six to Eagle Thrust, put on heading 2-7-0.

Assume attack formation.

That's a roger, Big Duke. Okay, we're going in.

Lance, we'll come in low out of the rising sun, and about a mile out, we'll put on the music.

-Music? -Yeah, I use Wagner.

Scares the hell out of the slopes. My boys love it.

[soldier] Hey, they're gonna play music!

How come all you guys sit on your helmet?

So we don't get our balls blown off.


Big Duke Six to Eagle Thrust, put on psy war op, make it loud.

This is a Romeo Foxtrot. Shall we dance?

["Ride of the Valkyries" blaring over speakers]

-Jimmy! -Yes, sir!

[laughing in anticipation]


[dogs barking]

[children singing]

[helicopters approaching]

[shouting in Vietnamese]

[bell clanging]

["Ride of the Valkyries" blaring over speakers]



Run, Charlie!

[man chattering over radio]

[pilot 1] We got some... There's more and more down there.

[pilot 2] Look out, automatic .50-cal! .50-cal in the open!

I've spotted a large weapon down below. We're gonna go down and check it out.

All right, this is Fox Five. We're going in.

-All right. What a shot. -Outstanding, Red Team. Outstanding.

Get you a case of beer for that.

[pilot] 6-4-1-0, we're over the village right now.

I think I see a vehicle down in the courtyard.

-I'm gonna check it out. -Well done, hawks. Well done.

I want some 20 Mike-Mike Vulcan right along those tree lines.

Ripple the shit out of them.

Got a vehicle on the bridge, 50 caliber onboard.

He's moving across to resupply the weapon.

[Kilgore] Big Duke Six, clear the area. I'm coming down myself.

Don't these people ever give up?

Nice shot, Bill.

[shrapnel striking]

-Shit! -All right, all right!

-It's just a flare! -It's a flare! Gotta get out of here!

Un-ass that shit. Get it out of here!

Get it out. It's just a flare. It's all right. It's just a flare.

-Everybody all right? Lance? -I'm fine!

[soldier] Get down!

[soldiers ululating]

I'm not going! I'm not going! I'm not going!

[Kilgore] We just got a secondary down there in the plaza.

[pilot over radio] Blue Three, Blue Four, hold out over position...

[Kilgore] Duke Six, Duke Six, we've got wounded down there.

My God! Oh, my God!

-Get a stretcher over here! -You're all right.

Please! Help me!

-Please, God! Help me! -Stay with me, son, you're gonna be okay.

[screaming in agony]

-Let's give him some morphine. -My God! My God!

-0-3-7-7-4-2. -Where's that duster?

I want my wounded out of there and in the hospital in 15 minutes.

I want my men out.

[pilot 1] Somebody stay in there tight with Big Duke.

[pilot 2] This is 10-10. We're gonna be in, throw them on and get out...

[girl clamoring]

She's got a grenade! She's got a grenade!

Jesus! The whole goddamn thing just...

-She blew the shit out of... -Fucking savages.

[men screaming]

[pilot] Can I get a medevac?

[Kilgore] What's going on... Holy Christ, she's a sapper.

I'm gonna get that dink bitch. Get over there, Johnny. Go in there.

Put that right skid right up her ass.

We gotta get some air in these trees. It's goddamn eat up with enemy down there.

I'm taking fire. I'm taking hits all over...

Three o'clock! Three o'clock, my position! Drawing fire, drawing heavy fire!

I'm hit! Mayday! Mayday! I'm going in. My tail rotor's out. I got control.

-What do you think? -Wow, this is really exciting, man.

-No, no! The waves! The waves! -Oh, right.

Look at that, breaks both ways. Watch. Watch.

[Kilgore] Look! Good six-foot swells!

[Kilgore whistles]


Come here, Lance.

[soldier] Incoming!

This LZ is still pretty hot, sir. Maybe you ought to surf somewhere else.

What do you know about surfing, Major? You're from goddamn New Jersey.

[whistles] Come here! Come here!

-Change! -You mean right now, sir?

I wanna see how rideable that stuff is. Go change.

It's still pretty hairy out there, sir.

-Do you wanna surf, soldier? -Yes, sir.

That's good, son, 'cause you either surf or fight. That clear? Now get going.

I'll cover for them. And bring a board for Lance!

-[whistling insistently] -We can't do shit till the boat gets here.

Lance, I'll bet you can't wait to get out there.

-What? -See how they break both ways?

One guy can break right, one left, simultaneous. What do you think of that?

We ought to wait for the tide to come up.

-Lance, come here. Look. Look! -[soldier] Incoming!

The tide doesn't come in for six hours!

You wanna wait here for six hours?

Yo! Hey! Chief!

[Kilgore on megaphone] Okay, fellas, quit hiding. Come on!

-Let's go, dickheads, take off! -[soldier] God damn it!

Don't you think it's a little risky for R&R?

If I say it's safe to surf this beach, Captain, it's safe to surf this beach!

I mean, I'm not afraid to surf this place! I'll surf this fucking place.

Give me that RT, soldier.

Dove Four, this is Big Duke Six.

God damn it! I want that tree line bombed!

Big Duke Six, roger. Dove One-Three, stand by.

[Kilgore] Blow them into the Stone Age, son!

-[woman shouting in Vietnamese] -No, back, no!

All right, now. Let me take care of this. You all right?

Get that out of here!

-I'm sorry. -Come here now. All right.

-No, ma'am. Sorry! -Jimmy!

[man on radio] Hawk One-Two, Dove One-Three, roger.

They need some napalm down there in the tree line.

Can you guys push ground and put it down there?

[pilot] Right, One-Three. We're fixing to fuck with them. What's the target?

[man] We're trying to suppress some mortar fire off the tree line down there.

[pilot] Roger. Here we come.

[man] Good, give it all you got. Bring in all your ships.

Medevac him in my chopper. Get him back to the hospital.

No, no, no, you got to go with him. Come on! Go! Go!

[whistles] Get it out of here! And tell my guys I want my board!

[man on radio] Brig Duke Six, this is Dove One- Three.

The jets are inbound now. You got about 30 seconds to on-station.

Get your people back and heads down. This is gonna be a big one.

Don't worry. We'll have this place cleaned up and ready in a jiffy, son.

Don't you worry.

Give me those shorts.

These are from the air cav, a present from me and the boys.

I want to see you do your stuff in them out there. Okay?

You smell that?

-Do you smell that? -What?

Napalm, son.

Nothing else in the world smells like that.

[soldier] Come on. Move it! Move it! Move it!

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

You know, one time we had a hill bombed for 12 hours.

And when it was all over, I walked up.

We didn't find one of them, not one stinking dink body.

But the smell, you know, that gasoline smell...

The whole hill... it smelled like...


Someday this war's gonna end.

-Lance, the wind! -Huh?

-The wind! -What?

It's blowing on shore! It's coming on shore. It's gonna blow this place out!

-It's gonna ruin it! -Not cool! It's gonna blow out!

It's the goddamn napalm! That's what's doing it!

I know. I'm really sorry, Colonel, but I'm afraid that does it.

The kid's got a reputation. You can't expect him to surf those sloppy waves.

-1 understand what you're saying. -Yeah, I'm an artist, Bill.

-I couldn't surf that stuff. -Lance, look.

I apologize. It's not my fault.

The waves are getting blown out by the napalm.

Hey, Bill, don't get me wrong...

It was the bombs causing a vortex with the wind.

I accept your apology.

All right, then. But if you could hang around just 20 minutes...

-Maybe some other time, Bill. -Just 20 minutes.

-I'm an artist! -Keep walking.

Okay, give it a try, guys! One goes left and one goes right.

Look, Lance.

-You through surfing? -Yeah!

-Want to say good-bye to the Colonel? -No.

-You sure? -Yeah!

Let's get the fuck out of here!

It's the fucking napalm! Just wait 20 minutes!

Damn! Fuck!

They're looking for you!

-Don't leave without me! -Where the fuck you going?


-The colonel's surfboard! -Get the fuck off me! It's mine!

-Guys, help! -Get the board and let's get out of here!

Fucking Airborne!

[men whooping]


-Lance. -Chef, light up, man.

Come on. Let's get high.

-Want to smoke? -Let's do it, man. Light up.

[Willard] Someday this war's gonna end.

That would be just fine with the boys on the boat.

They weren't looking for anything more than a way home.

[soldier] Captain?

Trouble is, I'd been back there and I knew that it just didn't exist anymore.

Buddha time, here.

All right, that's great, you motherfuckers. Yeah.

If that's how Kilgore fought the war, I began to wonder what they really had against Kurtz.

It wasn't just insanity and murder.

There was enough of that to go around for everyone.

[man laughing]

[Lance chattering]

[man laughing]

[Lance] I mean, he never was hurting for pussy.

[Chef] I'm not here.

I'm walking through the jungle gathering mangos.

I meet Raquel Welch.

I make a nice mango cream pudding...

kind of spread it around on us.

She's into mangos, too. She's, like, one limb above me.

We're both in the jungle here, nude.

-Hey, Chief. -Yeah?

Here comes that Colonel guy again.

[Kilgore on PA] You know how hard it is to find a board you like?

I will not hurt or harm you.

[enunciating] I will not hurt or harm you.

Just give me back the board, Lance.

-[helicopter approaching] -It was a good board, and I like it.

You know how hard it is to find a board you like.

-[helicopter whirring overhead] -He's a determined motherfucker!

I will not hurt or harm you.

-Cocksucker! -1 will not hurt or harm you.

Just give me back the board, Lance.

-It was a good board, and I like it. -[helicopter flying off]

You know how hard it is to find a board you like.

I will not hurt or harm you.

Jesus Christ. That guy's too fucking much, man.

Do you think he would have shot us?

He wouldn't have shot us on the beach, but I think he would have shot us if he saw me taking his board.

[singing "Surfin" Safari"]

Let's get this board out of my turret.

[laughing] Sucker.

How am I going to shoot him the next time he comes around?

[Willard] Hey, Chef, make some room back there for the board.

[Chef] Sock it to me, Lance.

[distant rumbling]

[Chief] I wonder if that's the same chopper.

Oh, hell, he's probably got them all over the river with that recording.

We'll have to hole up here till dark, Chief.

Don't worry, Lance. He won't follow us too far.

-What makes you say that? -[chuckling] You think that big cav colonel wants everyone upriver to know we stole his board?

I didn't steal it!

[men laughing]

-[Chief] Captain? -Mmm?

Just how far up this river we going?

It's classified, Chief. I can't tell you.

We're going up pretty far.

Is it gonna be hairy?

I don't know, Kid.

Yeah, probably.

You like it like that, Captain, when it's hot, hairy?



[distant rumbling]

Never get a chance to know what the fuck you are in some factory in Ohio.

[Chef] Hey, Chief, I'm gonna go get those mangoes now, okay?

-[Chief] Take somebody with you. -Yeah, I'll take, uh...

I'll go with him.

[Willard] Chef?

-Yes, sir? -How come they call you that?

-Call me what, sir? -Chef.

-Because you like mangos and stuff? -No, sir, I'm a real chef.

-I'm a saucier. -Saucier?

Yes, sir. See, I come from New Orleans. I was raised to be a saucier, a great saucier.

-What's a saucier? -You specialize in sauces.

Gotta be a mango tree here somewhere.

Then I was supposed to go to Paris, study at the Escoffier School.

But then I got orders for my physical.

Hell, I joined the Navy. Heard they had better food.

A cook school, that did it.

-Oh, yeah? How's that? -You don't want to hear about that.

They lined us up in front of 100 yards of prime rib.

All of us lined up, looking at it.

Magnificent meat, really. Beautifully marbled.


Next thing, they're throwing the meat into these big cauldrons.

All of it, boiling it.

I looked inside, man. It was turning gray.

I couldn't fucking believe that one.

That's when I applied for radioman school, but then they gave me the...

[whispering] What is it?





It's a tiger!

-[screaming] -[machine gun firing]

[Chef] Tiger, man! It's a tiger!

-[machine gun firing] -[indistinct screaming]

[Chief] Battle stations. Lance, up front!

-On the .60, Clean! -Got it, man.

[Chef] Holy shit.

-[Willard] Chef, come on! -Fucking tiger!

-Captain, come on! -What's happening?

-Let's go! -[Chef] Tiger!

[Chef] Chief, you were right. Never get out of the fucking boat.

-Bring that .60 forward! -Never get out of the boat!

Never get out of the boat! I gotta remember. Never get out of the boat.

-What happened? How many is it? -A fucking tiger!

-What? -A fucking tiger!

-Tiger? -Yes! I've had it!

I've had the whole goddamn fucking shit, man!

You can kiss my ass on the county square, because I'm fucking bugging out.

I didn't come here for this. I don't fucking need it! I don't want it.

I didn't get out of the goddamn eighth grade for this kind of shit!

All I wanted to do was fucking cook!

I just wanted to learn to fucking cook, man!

-It's all right. It's all right. -[Clean] What happened, bro?

[Chef sobbing]

[Lance] You're all right. You're gonna be all right.

-[Chef] All right. It's all right. -[Lance] You're all right.

[Chef] It's gonna be all right. Never get out of the fucking boat.

Never get out of the fucking boat. Hi, tiger! Bye, tiger! Good-bye!

[laughing crazily]

[Willard] Never get out of the boat.

Absolutely goddamn right.

Unless you were going all the way.

Kurtz got off the boat.

He split from the whole fucking program.

How did that happen?

What did he see here that first tour?

Thirty-eight fucking years old.

If you joined the Green Berets, there was no way you'd ever get above colonel.

Kurtz knew what he was giving up.

And the more I read and began to understand, the more I admired him.

His family and friends couldn't understand it, and they couldn't talk him out of it.

He had to apply three times and he put up with a ton of shit.

But when he threatened to resign, they gave it to him.

The next youngest guy in his class was half his age.

They must have thought he was some far-out old man, humping it over that course.

I did it when I was 19 and it damn near wasted me.

A tough motherfucker.

He finished it.

He could have gone for General... but he went for himself instead.

[Chef] "Dear Eva, today was really a new one. Almost got eaten alive by a fucking tiger.

Really un-fucking-believable, you know?

We're taking this guy, Captain Willard, up the river, but he hasn't told us yet where we're taking him."

[singing "Let the Good Times Roll"]

[Chef] "Thought you might have heard by now from Elwood. I'll be coming home..."

[Willard] October 1967, on special assignment, Kon Tum Province, Il Corps.

Kurtz staged Operation Archangel with combined local forces, rated a major success.

He received no official clearance. He just thought it up and did it.

What balls.

They were gonna nail his ass to the floorboards for that one.

But after the press got a hold of it, they promoted him to full colonel instead.

[sighs] Oh, man, the bullshit piled up so fast in Vietnam, you needed wings to stay above it.

[drums beating]

This sure enough is a bizarre sight in the middle of this shit.

Expecting us this time?

Damned if I know.

-[man 1 on PA] Hello. Hello... -Jesus.

[feedback screeching]

[man 2] Everything goes back up into the truck.

[man 3] What?

[man 2] We gotta get all that stuff up.


[Clean] Hau Phat. You ever been up here before, Chef?

-[man] Let's go! -[Chef] I bet you we can score up here.

[Clean] Yo, man, check out the bikes, Lance.

Yamaha, Suzuki. Yeah!

-That's a good one. -Yeah, sukiyaki.

Yeah, man. This is something.

[man] Please!

-This must be the guy. -Right over there.

[man 5] Sergeant. Sergeant?

Three drums of diesel fuel, PBR 5.

Come on, man! Move! We don't have time. One hour. That's all. What do you want?

Can I get some Panama Red with it?

Panama Red. Yeah, I'll get you Panama Red.

-Sergeant? -Destination?

-I don't have no destination. -I can't do a goddamn thing without a destination. You got a destination?

-Sergeant. -[Clean] I need diesel fuel.

[sergeant] All right. You got a destination? I need a destination.

I can't do a goddamn thing without a destination.

Hey, Sarge, these guys are with me.

Destination's classified.

I carry priority papers from COMSEC Intelligence, II Corps.

Okay, right, sir. Hey, listen, it's a real big night.

Eight bucks for that...

All right. Damn.

-Just give him some fuel. -You got it.

-Dog starts barking. -Hey, listen, Captain.

I'm really sorry about tonight. It's really bad around here.

Just take this over to the man at the supply desk and you got it.

Hey, listen, would you guys like some seats, some press box seats for the show?

You want those? The show, man. The show out here.

-Bunnies. -[Clean] Playboy bunnies?

You got it. You gonna be here?

Hey, listen, Captain, on the house. No hard feelings, huh?

[helicopter whirring]

[soldiers cheering]

How you doing out there?

-I said, "How you doing out there?" -[crowd cheering]

Want to say hello to you from all of us up here to all of you out there who worked so goddamn hard in Operation Brute Force!

Hello, all you paratroopers out there!

And the Marines! And the sailors!

We want to let you know that we're proud of you!

‘Cause we know how tough and how hard it's been.

-["Suzie Q" playing] -Yeah!

And to prove it, we're gonna give you some entertainment we know you're gonna like.

Miss August, Miss Sandra Beatty.

Miss May, Miss Terry Teray! Yeah!

And the Playmate of the Year, Miss Carrie Foster! Yeah!

[crowd cheering]

What's the matter?

[soldier 1 laughing] They've got them here tonight!

[soldier 2] Grease my gun!

[soldier] I'm ready to bow-wow, baby!

You're cute. I like you.

I'm here, baby! I'm here!

[man] Oh, my God...


-You fucking bitch! -Take it off!


[man] Hey, lover! You want us to come over?

-I sure do! -[Chef] Sign my centerfold!

[soldier] Sign my centerfold!

[Miss May] Come on, baby! Come up here now.

Get your goddamn hands off of my girl!

Start her up.

[helicopter starting]

Come on!

Will you sign these?

Girls! Let's go!

[soldiers clamoring]


So long!


[Willard] Charlie didn't get much USO.

He was dug in too deep or moving too fast.

His idea of great R&R was cold rice and a little rat meat.

He had only two ways home... death or victory.

No wonder Kurtz put a weed up Command's ass.

The war was being run by a bunch of four-star clowns who were gonna end up giving the whole circus away.

[Chef] Man, that was far fucking out.

I collected every picture of her since she was Miss December, Chief.

Hey, Clean, look at that. She was here, man.

I even wrote to the cunt. She didn't write me back.

You can really get hung up on these broads, man, just like that cat in the delta.

-Yeah, you better believe it. -What cat?

The one that went up for murder. He was an Army sergeant.

Remember? This cat, man, he really dug his Playboy, man.

I mean, this cat, when the thing arrived, he was there to meet it, man.

Look at these beautiful fucking jugs, man!

[mimicking licking]

[Clean] Yeah. So anyway, he was working ARVN patrols, you know, had one of them cocky gook asshole lieutenants and shit.

And one day, the gook took his magazine from him and wouldn't give it back to him.

He said, "Give me my magazine back." Gook said, [in Viethamese accent] "You shut up. I have you court-martial."

-Typical fucking ARVN. -Yeah.

-So then the gook starts to go too far. -Chef, take the wheel.

This dude started to stick pinholes in the lady's titties.

Take the wheel.

He started sticking pinholes and mutilating the centerfold and all kinds of shit like that.

And the sergeant said, "You better not do that to her.

You leave your shitty little gook hands off of that girl.

Don't do her like that," right?

-Gook say, "Fuck you," in Vietnamese. -Damn.

The sergeant, man, he just couldn't handle it no more.

He just picked up his iron, flipped it to rock 'n' roll and...

[imitates salvo firing]

Gave that little zero a long burst straight through the Playboy mag and blew his ass clean off of the dock.

There wasn't no more lieutenant that day. That was it for his ass.

-They burn him for it? -The sergeant? Yeah, man.

They stuck his ass in the LBJ.

It's too bad he didn't get no medals or nothing.

Fucking ARVN, man. They should have killed the fuck.

Should have given the fucker a Silver Star.

Bummer for the gook, though, ain't it?

[advertising jingle playing on radio]

[on radio] Good morning, Vietnam. I'm Army Specialist Zack Johnson on AFVN., It's about 82 degrees in downtown Saigon right now, also very humid.

And we have an important message for all Gis who are living off base from the Mayor of Saigon.


He'd like you to hang your laundry up indoors instead of on the windowsills.

The Mayor wants you to keep Saigon beautiful.

And now, here's another blast from the past going out to big Sam who's all alone out there with the First Battalion, 35th Infantry, and dedicated by the fire team at An Khe to their groovy CO...

["Satisfaction" starting]

-The Rolling Stones, Satisfaction. -Ooh! All right!

[Chef] Work out, Clean!

Get down, Bubba!

[singing along]

Hang on, Lance!

[civilians chattering angrily]

[grunting rhythmically]

[Chef] Get down, Bubba!

[singing along tonelessly]

[Chef] Yeah! [laughing]

[Chef] I see you is right on target.

Work out! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

All right!

Look out, Lance!



[Willard] "Commitment and Counter-Insurgency, by Colonel Walter E. Kurtz.

As long as our officers and troops perform tours of duty limited to one year, they will remain dilettantes in war and tourists in Vietnam.

As long as cold beer, hot food, rock 'n' roll and all the other amenities remain the expected norm, our conduct of the war will gain only impotence.

We need fewer men and better.

If they were committed, this war could be won with a fourth of our present force."

-[Clean] Shit. -[Lance] Holy shit.

[Clean] Chicken time. You ain't shitting, bro. They're motherfucking...

[boat engine revving loudly]

-[Chief] Who is that? -[Chef] What's going on?

Is that you, Lazzaro?

[men shouting indistinctly]


-Fire on the canopy! -[Chef] I got it! Get out of there!

Get out! I got it! Yeah! I got it!

-Lance, get down! -Put that fucker out, man!

[Clean] What the fuck they think they're doing?

[rhythmic tapping]

[rhythmic tapping]

[rhythmic tapping]

[Willard] Late summer, autumn 1968.

Kurtz's patrols in the highlands coming under frequent ambush.

The camp started falling apart.


Kurtz orders assassination of three Vietnamese men and one woman.

Two of the men were colonels in the South Vietnamese army.

Enemy activity in his old sector dropped off to nothing.

Guess he must have hit the right four people.

[General] He joined the Special Forces. And after that, his...

[Willard] The Army tried one last time to bring him back into the fold.

[General] ...methods...

[Willard] And if he'd pulled over, it all would have been forgotten.

[General] ...unsound.

[Willard] But he kept going...

[Lucas] Now he's crossed into Cambodia...

[Willard] ...and he kept winning it his way...

[Lucas] ...with this Montagnard army of his...

[Willard] ...and they called me in.

[Lucas] ...man like a god. And follow every order, however ridiculous.

[Willard] They lost him.

He was gone.

Nothing but rumors and random intelligence, mostly from captured VC.

The VC knew his name by now, and they were scared of him.

He and his men were playing hit and run, all the way into Cambodia.

[Clean] I know where I'm going. I'm going to the White House to have dinner with the President of the United States, baby.

That's where I'm going.

[Chief] Hey, Chef, put the cover on that.


-How long has that kid been on this boat? -Seven months.

He's really specializing in busting my balls.

Very possible, Captain, he thinks the same of you.

-Oh, yeah? What do you think, Chief? -[inaudible]

I don't think.

My orders say I'm not supposed to know where I'm taking this boat, so I don't!

But one look at you, and I know it's gonna be hot, wherever it is.

We're going upriver about 75 klicks above the Do Luong bridge.

-That's Cambodia, Captain. -That's classified.

We're not supposed to be in Cambodia, but that's where I'm going.

You just get me close to my destination, and I'll cut you and the crew loose.

All right, Captain.

[Willard] "Dear Son, I'm afraid that both you and your mother will have been worried at not hearing from me during the past weeks.

But my situation here has become a difficult one.

I have been officially accused of murder by the Army.

The alleged victims were four Vietnamese double agents.

We spent months uncovering them and accumulating evidence.

When absolute proof was completed, we acted, we acted like soldiers.

The charges are unjustified.

They are, in fact, and in the circumstances of this conflict, quite completely insane.

In a war, there are many moments for compassion and tender action.

There are many moments for ruthless action, what is often called ruthless, what may, in many circumstances, be only clarity.

Seeing clearly what there is to be done and doing it."

[Chief] Medevac, come in.

-"... directly, quickly, awake..." -Alpha Tango Tango.

-Echo Tango Alpha... -"...looking at it."

...request dust-off. Three, maybe four KIAs. Over.

"I will trust you to tell your mother what you choose about this letter.

As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned."

[Chief] Medevac, come in.

"I am beyond their timid, lying morality.

-And so I am beyond caring." -Medevac, do you read? Over.

"You have all my faith. Your loving father.”

[Chef] Jesus.

[Chief] No wonder I couldn't get them on the radio.

[Chef] What a dump.

-Hi, there! -[Lance] How you doing?

Wow. That's a nice little boat you got there. Never seen one up here before.

[Chief] You know, we called in a request for a medevac. You guys receive it?

Medevac? No.

[Chief] Yeah, we passed a downed Huey with some KIAs.

-On your way here? -Yeah.

-You going up this river? -Way up.

-Way upriver? Whoa! Forget it. -Why? Why?

Well, we want to send some people downriver.

-Just forget it. -What the fuck was that?

-[Chief] We'll be back in a couple of days. -Yeah, right, you'll be back.

-Hey, Chief? -Yeah, Captain?

Why don't you see what you can do with that engine?

-I'm gonna have a look around. -All right.

Hey, don't leave without me.

-[Willard] Hey, soldier, where's your CO? -Don't ask me, man.

[soldier 1] Give me my clothes back, asshole!

[soldier 2 laughing hysterically]

[soldier 1] Asshole!

[Willard] Hey, guys, where's the CO?

He stepped on a land mine about two months ago.

-Got all blown to hell. -Who's in charge here?

Charge? [scoffs] I don't know, man. I'm just the night man.

Just doing what I'm told. Shit, I'm just a working girl.

-What about you, fella? -[barking]

Hey, Lance, man, I'm telling you it's gonna jam. You mark my words.

-Keep it in that condition. -Hey, get off my back. Get off my back.

-No, man, I'm telling you. -Lay off!

Hey, hey, come here!

Is that your boat? Come on inside.

What do you want?

Come on inside. I want to talk to you. Come on!

Get out of the rain.

Get off me!

Come on. Cut this shit. Hey, Chef. Come on.

[man] Hey, how you doing, Captain? I want you to meet some people.

[all shouting]

-I got your ass. -Your ass is shit, Chef. Your ass is shit.

[Clean] You're a motherfucker, man.

[arguing continues]

What a motherfucker, man!

Goddamn, my ear, you motherfucker!

[Lance] Get him off me, Chef! You smartass.

[casually] Hey, guys.

[Chef] I got you! I got your ass!

-[Clean] You ain't shit, Chef. -Hey, fellas!

-You pulled my fucking... -Guys!

I just made a deal with the people from Hau Phat.

I negotiated two barrels of fuel for a couple of hours with the bunnies.


Hey, hey, you shitting me?

No, I'm not. Grab a couple of barrels and get up to that big tent. Come on!


You're giving away our fuel for a Playmate of the Month?

Nope. Playmate of the Year, Chief.

-[Chef] Warm them up, baby! Warm them up! -Warm them up.

Captain, we get in a firefight and run out of fuel, I want you to tell me how she was.

I made a deal for all of us, Chief. How about you?

-You got some mamas in there? -Some what?

Forget it, Captain. I'll stay with the boat.

Hey, Captain, give me a hand.

[Chef] I got every one of your pictures.

I got the centerfold, the Playmates Review, the Playmate of the Year runoff. I even got the calendar.

Hey, oiseau.

Wait, how come you got a bird?

[Miss May] I used to be the bird girl at Busch Gardens.

-Busch Gardens? -Yeah, I used to train birds there.

-You are Miss December, aren't you? -Miss May.

Is it coming?


-Miss December has black hair. -It's over there.

He's not one of my regular birds.

Come on. Come on, baby. Snack? Snatch a crack. Come here.

Being Playmate of the Year is the loneliest experience I can imagine.

It's like you try to express your feelings to someone and show them your heart...

Yeah, I want to hear about your bird act. I'd love to hear about your bird act.

[stammering hesitantly]

But would you just mind putting this black wig on for me, please?

And there's this glass wall between you, this invisible glass, and they can see your mouth moving.

I used to train birds for at least two years...

-That's beautiful, yeah. -...at Busch Gardens.

This was cascading over your right shoulder, and this, this was open here.

But they can't hear what you're saying.

I used to train them to stand on their head and fly upside down and ride little bicycles.

[stammering] Your right hand was kind of over there.

-[banging] -Hey, Chef!

Hey, come on, get out of here, man!

-Later! Later! -Does he want to talk to you?

Give me 15 minutes.

You can never really make them hear what you're trying to say.

You okay with kind of bending?

That's it. Yeah, your ass was sticking out just a little...

-[clamoring continues] -Hey, man, fuck off! Fifteen minutes!

That's why I tried so desperately to show somebody that I had some talent.

Little baby macaws. Have you ever seen a baby macaw?

-That's kind of... -They're all blue.

-Come on, man! Take off, would you? -Open up! I got my rights, man!

They make you do things that you don't want to do. Like...

Like this picture here.

I started feeling repulsed with myself.

You were just kind of bending forward.

-...really, really cute. -Your ass, kind of out a bit.

-I love training birds. -That's it.

That's it. That's it. Voila!

You're beautiful. I just want to...

You know, I can't believe it.

Me, Jay Hicks. I can't believe I'm really here, you know?

Maybe I'm unfit to have a relationship with a beautiful, innocent boy.

Just think, if it hadn't been for the Vietnam War, -I never would've met you, Miss December. -Miss May.

I wish...

I wish I could find just one person...

that could share my point of view.

[moans passionately]

Oh, you kiss like a bird!

Oh, God! Kiss me, kiss me.

-[insistent banging] -[whispering] Who is that?

You're driving me crazy! Kiss me! [squeals]

-Oh, my God. -I love birds!


You finished yet?

Holy fuck!

Make like a bird! Make like a bird! Fly, baby! Cockatoo me!

-Fly! -I can fly like an eagle!

[Chef] Fly like an eagle! [Miss May] It drives me crazy!

It drives me crazy!

[sobbing quietly]

Lance, that was somebody's son.

Lance, there were things that they made me do that I didn't want to do.

They said, "Pull the ribbons between your legs," and I didn't want to do it, but they said that was what was expected of me, that that's what people wanted to see.

[moaning softly]

-Who are you? -Oh, I'm next, ma'am.

[Chef laughing] Hell, I didn't know he was a cherry.

-Didn't know you never got no pussy. -Shove it, fuck-up!

Sure sorry about that. If I had known, I'd have taken you to New Orleans...

-[Clean] Man, fuck you. -...Introduce you to cooze, Bubba!

-[Chief] Lay off, Chef. -[Chief] Cherry boy! Cherry boy!

[Clean] You're a fucking dog!

[Chef] Come on down to New Orleans, Bubba, -and I'll get you fixed up, you prick. -Lay off, Chef.

You're the only fucking prick I see around here.

If I want to play with a prick, I'll play with my own!

-Lay off, Chef! -What you gonna do with it, cherry boy?

-Fucking cherry boy! -[Chief] Chef, I said lay off!

Chef, knock it off! Give him a break! What do you think I said?

And give your jaws a rest!

And this ain't the Army. You are a sailor!

So get out of that frizzly Army-looking shirt and stop smoking that dope!

You hear me?

[Chief] Lance, what's with all the green paint?

-Camouflage. -How's that?

So they can't see you. They're everywhere, Chief.

Uh-huh. I want you to stay awake up there, man. You got a job to do.

Sampan off the port bow. Sampan off the port bow. Let's take a look.

-Lance. Bring them in. -[siren wailing]

Clean, on the .60. Chef, get a .16.

Clean, get on that .60!

What's up, Chief?

A junk boat, Captain. We're gonna take a routine check.

[Willard] Well, let's forget routine now and let them go.

These boats are running supplies in this delta, Captain.

I'm gonna take a look.

Chief, my mission's got priority here.

Hell, you wouldn't even be in this part of the river if it wasn't for me.

Until we reach your destination, Captain, you're just on for the ride.

-[Chief] Stand by, Lance. -Come on, throw the rope, asshole.

[Chief] All right. Come on. Let's bring it over.

[ducks quacking]

Look in that forward hooch. Bring the people out of there.

[man speaking Vietnamese]

[Chef] Come on! Hurry up, motherfucker! Move it!

[ordering in Pidgin Vietnamese]

-You two, come on. -[Chief] Keep your eyes open, Clean.

I got you, Chief.

It's clear, Chief.

Okay, that's them. That's them. They're okay.

Board and search it.

It's just a fucking boat. There ain't nothing on it, Chief.

Board it and search it.

[Chef] Just some baskets and some ducks, fucking bananas.

[Chef] Ain't nothing on it. [Chief] Don't be ashamed, Chef.

What's wrong with you? Go on and search it.

There's a goat and some fish.

-Chef! -Bunch of fucking vegetables.

-Get on that boat! -There's nothing on it, man!

-Get on it! -All right!

Move it, asshole! Goddamn it! Just some pigs.

Look, mangos.

-[Chief] What's in the rice bag? -Fucking rice!

-Look in there, Chef. Look in it. -[Chef] Some fucking fish.

More coconuts. Rice. Here's rice.

What's in that vegetable basket?

Get out of here! Come on! Get over there, Goddamn it.

-[Chief] Check that vegetable basket. -[peasants protesting]

-[Chef] All right! -Shut up, slope!

-There ain't nothing in here. -[Chief] What's in the boxes?

Not a fucking thing.

-Look in that tin can. -Nothing.

-That rusty can. -Just fucking rice, that's all!

-There ain't nothing on it! -Check the yellow can.

Check the yellow can! She was sitting on it. What's in it?

[woman shouting in Viethamese]



-[Chief] Hold it! -Come on, let's kill them all!

-Fucking cocksucking mothers! -Hold it! Hold it!

Let's kill all the assholes! Shoot the shit out of all of them.

-[Chief] Chef, hold it! -Why not? Jesus Christ.

[Chef] Why the fuck not?

-[Chief] Clean? -I'm good.

-[Chief] You okay, Lance? -[Chef exclaiming] Shit! Fuck! Shit!

-[Chief] Chef! -Look what she was hiding, huh?

-You all right? -See what she was running for?

[chuckles sarcastically]

It's a fucking puppy.

It's a fucking puppy.

Give me that dog!

-No, you're not gonna get it! -Fucking give it to me!

-Give me the fucking dog, asshole! -[dog whimpering]

Fuck you!

-[Chief] Chef. -Fucking mango, too!

You want that?

Chef, she's moving behind you. She's alive. Check her out.

-Chef! -Yes!

She's moving behind you. Check her out!

All right. All right.

Come on, Clean, Goddamn it. Give me a hand.

She's not dead, she's wounded. Clean, give him a hand.

[Chief] Just take it easy. Take it easy. Slow down and take it easy.

[Clean] All right, Chef, just wait a minute. Wait a minute, Chef.

-[Clean] Bring her up. -[Chief] Is she breathing, Chef?

-She's hurt. She's bleeding. -[Chief] Oh, man.

Bring her on board. We're taking her to an ARVN.

What are you talking about?

We're taking her to some friendlies, Captain.

She's wounded, she's not dead.

-Get out of there, Chef. -[Chief] The book says, Captain...



Fuck you. Fuck him.

[quietly] I told you not to stop. Now let's go.


[Willard] It was the way we had over here of living with ourselves.

We'd cut them in half with a machine gun and give them a Band-Aid.

It was a lie, and the more I saw of them... the more I hated lies.

Those boys were never gonna look at me the same way again.

But I felt like I knew one or two things about Kurtz that weren't in the dossier.

Do Luong bridge was the last Army outpost on the Nung River.

Beyond that, there was only Kurtz.

Lance! Hey, Lance, what do you think?

It's beautiful.

Huh? I mean, what's the matter with you? You're acting kind of weird.

Hey, you know that last tab of acid I was saving?

-Yeah. -I dropped it.

You dropped acid? Far out.

[men clamoring]

[all clamoring]

-[soldier 1] Take me home! -[soldier 2] God damn you!

[clamoring continues]

[soldier 3] God damn! You'll get what you deserve!

[man] Is there a Captain Willard onboard?

-[Willard] Yeah! -Captain Willard?

-Yeah, who's that? -Lieutenant Carlsen, sir.

Get that light off me.

I was sent here from Nha Trang with these three days ago, sir.

Expected you here a little sooner. This is mail for the boat.

You don't know how happy this makes me, sir.

-Why? -Now I can get out of here, if I can find a way.

[artillery shell whistling]

[Carlsen] You're in the asshole of the world, Captain!

Captain, where you going?

See if I can find some fuel, get some information.

-Pick me up the other side of the bridge. -Somebody go with him. Chef!

[Lance] I'll go. I wanna go.

[men continue clamoring]

[man on PA] You get your ass in gear.

[man on PA continues chattering]

[man screaming]

[soldier 1] Come on, man. Listen to the music, man.

[Willard] Where can I find the CO?

[soldier 2] You came right to it, son of a bitch!

[Willard] Lance! Get down here!

-You still got a Commanding Officer here? -[soldier exclaims]

-Beverly Hills. -What?

Straight up the road, there's a concrete fucking bunker called Beverly Hills.

Where the fuck else do you think it would be?

[soldier exclaiming]

-[machine guns firing] -[distant explosions]

[electric guitar playing on radio]



[machine gun firing]


[Clean] Goddamn it, you stepped in my face!

-We thought you were dead. -Well, you thought wrong, damn it.

[machine gun firing]

I told you to stop fucking with me, didn't 1?

You think you're so bad, huh, nigga?

What are you shooting at, soldier?

Gooks. What the fuck you think I'm shooting at?

I'm sorry, sir. There are gooks out there by the wire, -but I think I killed them all. -You ain't shot shit, man. Listen!

[man shouting indistinctly]

Oh, shit, he's trying to call his friends, man. Send up a flare.

[machine gun firing]

You think you're so bad, nigga? You think you bad, huh?

They're all dead, stupid. There's one still alive underneath them bodies.

Who's the Commanding Officer here?

[panicked] Ain't you?

You think you're so bad, huh?

-[machine gun firing] -I got something for your ass now, nigga!

I got something for you now! [laughing maniacally]

He's underneath the bodies, man.

-[soldier 2] Go get the roach, man. -[soldier 3] Go get the roach, man.

-Go get the roach, nigga! -I'm gonna go get the roach.

Roach. Roach. Roach.

[Lance] Got slopes on the wire, man. Do you hear them?

-Lance! -Do you hear them?

Go bust them!

[Vietnamese soldier] Hey, Gl, fuck you!

[electric guitar wailing on radio]

[radio turns off]

[Vietnamese soldier continues taunting]

You hear him out there on the wire, man?

-Yeah. -[Viethamese soldier] I'll kill you, GI!

You need a flare?


He's close, man.

He's real close.

[Vietnamese soldier] Gl, fuck you!

Gl, fuck you!



[Willard] Hey, soldier...

do you know who's in command here?




Holy shit!

Yo, Chief, man, two guys just got blown off that bridge.

You hang on, man. You're gonna be okay.

-What's that? -Mail, man.

Later on the mail! Watch them trees.

[Willard] There's no diesel fuel, but I picked up some ammo.

Let's move out.

-Did you find the CO, Captain? -There's no fucking CO here.

-Let's just get going. -Which way, Captain?

You know which way, Chief.

You're on your own, Captain.

Do you wanna go on?

Like this bridge, we build it every night, Charlie blows it right back up again just so the generals can say the road's open.

Think about it.

-Who cares? -Just get us upriver!

Chef, on the bow.

-Stand by, Clean. -[Lance] Let's go.

[Clean] Whose package is that?

-Shit, you got another one, Clean. -No shit. Wait a minute, is that it?

-That's it for you. -Lance!

Mr. L.B. Johnson, there you go.

Far out, man. All right. I've been waiting for this one.

[Chef] I got another one, got a box from Eva.

[Lance] "Lance, I'm fine. I'm fine, Lance.

Sue and I went tripping to Disneyland. Sue skinned her knee."

-[Chef] I want to get back to Antoine's. -"l remember the time we went..."

[Chef] How could I fucking forget, man? Beautiful.

"There could never be a place like Disneyland, or could there?

Let me know."

Jim, it's here. It really is here.

[Willard] "There has been a new development regarding your mission which we must now communicate to you.

Months ago, a man was ordered on a mission which was identical to yours.

We have reason to believe that he is now operating with Colonel Kurtz.

Saigon was carrying him MIA for his family's sake.

They assumed he was dead.

Then they intercepted a letter he tried to send to his wife."

Captain Richard Colby... he was with Kurtz.


Fuck, man, this is better than Disneyland.

"Charles Miller Manson ordered the slaughter of all in the home anyway as a symbol of protest.”

[Clean] That's really weird, ain't it?

-Purple haze, look. -[Chief] Hey, Lance, put away that smoke.

-[Clean] I got a tape from my mom. -[Lance] Chief, rainbow reality, man.

Hey, Chief, get a good whiff.

Eva can't picture me in Vietnam.

She pictures me at home having a beer and watching TV.


Hey, Lance, man.

Hot potato! Hot potato!

[Clean's mom] I'm so glad you decided to join...

[Chef] Eva's not sure if she can have a relationship with me, you know?

Here I am, 13,000 fucking miles away, trying to keep a relationship open, my ass.

[Clean's mom] That's much more than I can say for some of your friends.

If this tape is any good, I will have Dad and the family

-send you a tape of their own... -Hey, Lance.

[all clamoring]

There! Over there!



[Chief] There! Over there!

Lance! Chef!

-Chef, Chef, check out Clean! -Captain, he's hit, he's hit! Clean's hit!

-[Chief] Lance! -Where'd the dog go?

[Chief] Lance. Lance, check out Clean!

Where's the dog? We got to go back to get the dog!

[sobbing] Hey, Clean.

[Clean's mom] It's always been nice to have...

Hey, Bubba!

Bubba, you can't die, you fucker!

-And so, I'm hoping... -Bubbal!

...that pretty soon, not too soon, but pretty soon, I'll have a lot of grandchildren to love and spoil, and then when your wife get them back, she'll be mad with me.

Ha, ha, ha.

Even Aunt Jessie and Mama will come to celebrate your coming home.

Granny and Dad are trying to get enough money to get you a car.

But don't tell her, because that's our secret.

Anyhow, do the right thing, stay out of the way of the bullets, and bring your heine home all in one piece because we love you very much. Love, Mama.

[tape stops]

[Chief] Oh, man. You're so young.



Hold on.

Throw me the glasses.

Lance, take the .16 on the bow.

Chef, Chef, on the .60.

Fuck me.

[turns off engine]


[Chief] Cover the Captain.

Lance, cover the Captain.

[man shouting in French]

[shouting in French]

They're French. They're French.

[shouting in French]

Chef, pick up that weapon! Pick it up! Pick it up!

Stand fast! Captain...

[shouting in French]

[man shouting in French]

All right, you men, put down your weapons.

[speaking reassuringly in French]

[Chef] New Orleans.

[speaking reassuringly in French]

We lost one of our men.

We French always pay respects to the dead of our allies.

You are all welcome.

My name is Hubert de Marais.

This is my family's plantation.

It has been such for 70 years.

And it will be such until we are all dead.

[man shouting in French]

[bugle playing mournful melody]

Captain, accept the flag of Tyrone Miller on behalf of a grateful nation.

This food is really wonderful, isn't it? The wine, the sauces. I can't believe it.

Can I speak with the chef?

The chef speaks only Vietnamese.

No kidding. He cooks like this and he can't even speak French?

Hey, Lance, the chef's a slope.

[Chief] Hey, Lance.

[boy reciting in French]

[man correcting pronunciation]

[both repeats correctly]

[speaking French]

[de Marais] This is Baudelaire.

It's a very cruel poem for children, but they need it, because life sometimes is very cruel.

As you can see...

-Attacks repelled by the family. -Just for this war.

Viet Cong, 58.

North Vietnamese, 12.

South Vietnamese, 11.

Americans, Six.

Yes, well, they were perhaps mistakes.

[speaks French]

[both speaking French]

[speaking French]

May I present Captain Willard? He's of a paratroop regiment.

-Madame Sarrauilt. -Captain.

[both speaking French]


I'm sorry, Captain. Was just a little story about Paris and people starving during the war.

They are around the table and there was a silence.

Somebody says, "An angel is passing by."

So somebody said, "Let's eat it."

-[laughing] -Oh.

How long can you possibly stay here?

We stay forever.

No, no, I mean, when will you go back home to France?


I mean, this is our home, Captain.

-Sooner or later you're gonna... -No!

-[speaking soothingly in French] -[shouts in French]

You don't understand our mentality, the French Officer mentality.

At first, we lose in Second World War.

I don't say that you Americans win, but we lose.

-[muttering in French] -[responds angrily in French]

In Dien Bien Phu, we lose. In Nigeria, we lose.

In Indochina, we lose.

But here, we don't lose.

This piece of earth, we keep it! We will never lose that, never!

The Americans, [laughing softly] In, uh, 1945, yes, after the Japanese War, your President Roosevelt didn't want the French people to stay in Indochina.

So, you Americans invent the Viet Minh.

-What's he mean? -Yeah, that's true.

The Viet Cong were invented by the Americans, sir.

The Americans?

Now you take the French place, and the Viet Minh fight you, and what can you do?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

The Vietnamese are very intelligent. You never know what they think.

The Russians want to help them.

"Come and give us some money. We are all communists.

Chinese, give us guns. We are all brothers."

They hate the Chinese.

Maybe they hate Americans less than the Russians and the Chinese.

I mean, if tomorrow the Vietnamese are communists, they will be Viethamese communists.

And this is something that you never understood, you Americans.

I don't know. Maybe in the future we can make something with the Viet Minh.

Don't you understand?

The VC say, "Go away! Go away'!"

That's finished for all the white people in Indochina.

If you're French, American, that's all the same.

Go! They want to forget you.

Look at them.

[both arguing in French]

Look, this is the truth. An egg.

The white left.

The yellow stay.

[imploring in French]

[grumbling in French]

When I was in Saigon, I spoke to an American politician and he explained it very well. He said, "Look, yesterday it was Korea, today, Vietnam, tomorrow, Thailand, the Philippines, and then maybe Europe."

-[Sarrault disagreeing in French] -Why not Europe?

Look what happened in Czechoslovakia recently!

And even before the Second World War, the Americans knew exactly what was going on.

They don't want that shit to take over!

[shouting in French]

-[musician] All you white people are shit. -They are fighting. Fighting for freedom.

[musician] Freedom? Bullshit.

French bullshit. American bullshit.

Dien Bien Phu is a trap. All soldiers know they are already dead.

You know anything about Dien Bien Phu?

-Yeah, I know. -No, you don't, not really.

Dien Bien Phu was an error, you know? A military mistake.

A mistake? A voluntary mistake! Voluntary!

[playing lively music]

All the soldiers knew. We knew we would be dead.

[de Marais] Generals and colonels believe it's impossible for the Viets to get a cannon up there in the mountains, but they do.

Then they wait for the rain to come.

When it comes, no airplane can fly there.

And our paratroopers jump at 90 meters. I mean, you know, 90 meters, 70 meters...

I mean, that's crazy. No army in the world can do that.

And they only do that to be dead with their friends.

[starts playing the "Star-Spangled Banner"]

No, no!

The French army was sacrificed, sacrificed by the politicians safe at home.

They put the army in an impossible situation where they couldn't win.

[muttering disagreement in French]

The students are marching in Paris, protesting, demonstrating.

They stab the soldiers in the back.

The soldier would open the grenade, it wouldn't work.

A piece of paper would fall.

[speaks French]

[translating] Union of French Women.

"We are for the Viets."


Communist traitors at home.

Dien Bien Phu... Okay, the French is shit.

No one cares. No one wants to.

[shouting in French]

Why don't you Americans learn from us? From our mistakes?

Mon dieu, with your army, your strength, your power, -you can win if you want to. -[thudding]

[speaking French]

You can win.

You know, I'm sure we can make something there.

I'm sure about it, you know?

I never do something wrong to the people here.

I'm sorry, you know, but the communists at home have never been traitors.

[disagreeing in French]

[arguing in French]

[bids good night in French]

Excuse me. I have to go. Captain, good night.

-I was a socialist, you know? -I know we can stay.

I know that we can stay. We can stay.

[both speaking French]

You know, we always help the people.

-We work with the people. -[speaking in French]

See, Captain, when my grandfather... and my uncles and father came here... there was nothing. Nothing.

The Vietnamese were nothing.

So, we worked hard, very hard.

We brought the rubber from Brazil and then planted it here.

We took the Vietnamese, work with them, make something.

Something out of nothing.

So when you ask me why we want to stay here, Captain, we want to stay here because it's ours. It belongs to us.

It keeps our family together.

I mean, we fight for that.

While you Americans, you are fighting for the biggest nothing in history.


I'm sorry, Captain.

I will see if your men need any help to repair your boat so that you can go on with your war.

[bids good night in French]

I apologize for my family, Captain.

We have all lost much here.

Hubert, his wife and two sons.

And I have lost a husband.

-I understand. -You are tired of the war.

I can see on your face.

It was the same in the eyes of the soldiers of our war.

We call them... [speaking French]

[translating] "The lost soldiers."

If you like, we can have some cognac.


[hesitantly] I'll see about my men and...

The war will be still here tomorrow.

Yeah, I guess you're right.

I noticed you had no wine at dinner.

No, I don't drink wine.

[cork popping]

I do like cognac, but I don't want any now, thank you.

Well, then I must drink alone.

Will you go back, after the war, to America?



Then you're like us. Your home is here.

Do you know why you can never step into the same river twice?

Yeah, ‘cause it's always moving.

I used to prepare a pipe for my husband.

It was the morphine he took for the wounds he suffered in his heart.

He would rage and he would cry, my lost soldier.

And I said to him, "There are two of you, don't you see?

One that kills and one that loves."

And he said to me, "I don't know whether I am an animal or a god."

But you are both.

[inhaling gently]

You want more?

All that matters is that you are alive.

You are alive, Captain.

That's the truth.

There are two of you, don't you see?

One that kills and one that loves.

[indistinct shouting]

[Chief] Can't see nothing. We're stopping.

[Willard] You're not authorized to stop this boat, Chief.

[firmly] I said I can't see a thing, Captain. I'm stopping this boat.

I ain't risking no more lives.

[Willard] I'm in command here, Goddamn it. You'll do what I say.

-[Lance screaming] -You see anything, Chef?

Why don't they fucking attack, man?

[screaming louder]

[Lance] Watch it over here, Chief.

Got a stump.

Lance, on the .50s.

[Willard] He was close.

He was real close.

I couldn't see him yet, but I could feel him, as if the boat were being sucked upriver and the water was flowing back into the jungle.

Whatever was going to happen, it wasn't gonna be the way they called it back in Nha Trang.

-[whooshing] -[Chief] Arrows!


Chef, open up! Fire!

Lance, fire!

Chef! Chef, it's okay. Quit firing. They're just little toy arrows.

Cut it out! Quiet!

Chief, tell them to hold their fire!

They're just little sticks. They're just trying to scare us.


You got us in this mess, and now you can't get us out because you don't know where the hell you're going, do you?

Do you?

You son of a bitch! You bastard!

-Lance, get the wheel! -Fire!

You savages! Come and get it, you son of a bitches!

[whispering] A spear.

[both grunting]

[Chief gasping]


[Willard exhales]

[Willard] My mission is to make it up into Cambodia.

There's a Green Beret colonel up there who's gone insane and I'm supposed to kill him.

That's fucking typical! Shit!

Fucking Vietnam mission!

I'm short and we gotta go up there so you can kill one of our own guys?

That's fucking great! That's just fucking great, man.

-Shit! That's fucking crazy. -[humming taps]

I mean, I thought you were going in to blow up a bridge or some fucking railroad tracks or something.

-Sorry. -No, no, wait, wait.

We'll go together on the boat. We'll go with you.

We'll go up there, but on the boat. Okay?

[Willard] Part of me was afraid of what I would find and what I would do when I got there.

I knew the risks... or imagined I knew.

But the thing I felt the most, much stronger than fear... was the desire to confront him.

Just keep moving.

Lance, keep your hands away from the guns.

[man] It's all right! It's all right! It's all been approved!

I ain't coming in there! Them bastards attacked us!

Zap them with your siren, man. Zap them with your siren.

[siren wailing]

There's mines over there and mines over there, too.

And watch out. Those goddamn monkeys bite you, I'll tell you.

Ah. That's a pretty one. Move it right in toward me.

I'm an American! Yeah! An American civilian. Hi, Yanks.

Hi, American.

American civilian. It's all right.

And you got the cigarettes. And that's what I've been dreaming about.


-Who are you? -Who are you?


I'm a photojournalist.

I've covered the war since 64. I've been in Laos, Cambodia and Nam.


I'll tell you one thing, this boat is a mess, man.

Who are all these people?

Yeah, they think you've come to, uh... take him away, -and I hope that isn't true. -Take who away?


Colonel Kurtz.

These are all his children, man, as far as you can see.

Hell, man, out here, we're all his children.

Could we, uh... talk to Colonel Kurtz?

Hey, man, you don't talk to the Colonel.

Well, you listen to him.

The man's enlarged my mind. He's a poet warrior in the classic sense.

Sometimes you'll say hello to him, right, and he'll just walk right by you and he won't even notice you.

And then suddenly he'll grab you, he'll throw you in a corner and he'll say, "Do you know that if is the middle word in 'life"? If you can keep your head

"when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you..."


I'm a little man. I'm a little man. He's a great man.

"I should have been a pair of ragged claws, Scuttling across the floors of silent seas."

-Stay with the boat. -[stammering]

Don't go without me, okay? I wanna get a picture.

He can be terrible, he can be mean, and he can be right.

He's fighting the war. He's a great man.

[chuckles] I mean...

[sighs reverently]

I wish I had words, you know? I wish I had words.

I can tell you something, like, the other day he wanted to kill me.

-Something like that. -Why'd he want to kill you?

Because I took his picture.

He said, "If you take my picture again...

I'm gonna kill you..." and he meant it.

So you just lay cool. Play it cool, laid back. Dig it.

He gets friendly again. He really does.

But you don't judge the Colonel.

You don't judge the Colonel like an ordinary man.

[photojournalist] Okay, watch it now. These are Americans. Americans!

You can feel the vibe of this place.

Let me take your picture. Could you hold... Hello? Hello?

Could you hold up a minute?

[camera clicking]


The heads. You're looking at the heads.


Sometimes he goes too far.

He's the first one to admit it.

-He's gone crazy. -Wrong, wrong!

If you could have heard the man just two days ago.

If you could have heard him then, God...

You're gonna call him crazy?

Fucking A.

I just wanna talk to him.

Well, man, he's gone away.

He's gone away. He disappeared out in the jungle with his people.

-I'll wait for him. -He feels comfortable with his people.

He forgets himself with his people.

-He forgets himself. -Captain?

Maybe we should wait back at the boat.

-[stammering] -Okay, Chef.

-We'll go back to the boat for a while. -Yeah, stay with Lance.

[wood being chopped]

This Colonel guy, he's wacko, man. He's worse than crazy. He's evil!

That's what the man's got set up here!

Man, it's fucking Pagan idolatry. Look around you!

-Shit, he's loco. -[Willard] Then you'll help me?

[Chef] Help you? Fucking A, I'll help you. I'll do anything to get out of this joint.

[Willard] Good boy.

[Chef] We could blow all them assholes away.

They're so fucking spaced out, they wouldn't even know it.

I ain't afraid of all them fucking skulls and altars and shit.

I used to think if I died in an evil place, then my soul wouldn't be able to make it to heaven.

But now, fuck.

I don't care where it goes, as long as it ain't here.

So what do you wanna do? I'll kill the fuck.

-No, no. -Get out of here.

I'm gonna need you to wait here, Chef.

I'll go up with Lance and scrounge around, check the place out, see if I can find the Colonel, okay?

-[stammering] What do you want me to do? -Damn it.

Here, you take the radio, and if I don't get back by 2200 hours...

you call in the air strike.

Air strike?

The code is "Almighty," coordinates 0-9-2-6-4-7-1-2.

It's all in there.

[Chef reading aloud] 0-9-2-6-4-7-1-2.

[Willard] Everything I saw told me that Kurtz had gone insane.

The place was full of bodies. North Vietnamese, Viet Cong, Cambodians.

If I was still alive, it was because he wanted me that way.


[Willard shouting]


It smelled like slow death in there.

Malaria, nightmares.

This was the end of the river, all right.


[Kurtz] Where are you from, Willard?

I'm from Ohio, sir.

-Were you born there? -Yes, sir.

-Whereabouts? -Toledo, sir.

How far are you from the river?

The Ohio River, sir?

-Uh-huh. -About 200 miles.

I went down that river once when I was a kid.

There's a place in the river, I can't remember.

It must've been a gardenia plantation or a flower plantation at one time.

It's all wild and overgrown now, but for about five miles, you'd think that heaven just fell on the Earth... in the form of gardenias.


Have you ever considered any real freedoms?

Freedoms from the opinion of others?

Even the opinions of yourself?

Did they say why, Willard?

Why they wanted to terminate my command?

I was sent on a classified mission, sir.

No longer classified... is it?

What did they tell you?

They told me that you had gone... totally insane...

and that your methods were unsound.

Are my methods unsound?

I don't see any method at all, sir.


I expected someone like you.

What did you expect?

Are you an assassin?

I'm a soldier.

You're neither.

You're an errand boy... sent by grocery clerks...

to collect a bill.

[insects buzzing]

Why, huh? Why would a nice guy like you wanna kill a genius?

Going down pretty good, huh?


You know?

Do you know that the man...

the man really likes you?

He likes you. He really likes you...

but he's got something in mind for you.

[chuckles] Aren't you curious about that?

I'm curious. I'm very curious.

Are you curious?


There's something happening out here, man.

You know something, man? I know something that you don't know.

That's right, jack.

The man is clear in his mind... but his soul is mad.

Oh, yeah.

He's dying, I think. He hates all this. He hates it.

But the man's...

He reads poetry out loud, all right?

And a voice... a voice...

He likes you ‘cause you're still alive.

He's got plans for you.

No, no, I'm not gonna help you. You're gonna help him, man.

You're gonna help him.

What are they gonna say, man, when he's gone? Huh?

'Cause he dies when it dies, man. When it dies, he dies.

What are they gonna say about him? What are they gonna say?

"He was a kind man. He was a wise man.

He had plans. He had wisdom." Bullshit, man!

Am I gonna be the one that's gonna set them straight? Look at me. Wrong!


[Chef] Almost eight hours.

God. I'm asleep.

I'm asleep and dreaming I'm on this shitty boat.


Has it been eight hours?

[radio crackles]

Hello, Almighty, Almighty, this is PBR Street Gang.

Radio check. Over.

[radio crackles]

[man] PBR Street Gang, this is Almighty standing by. Over.


What the hell! Jesus!

Oh, Christ!

[children chattering softly]

[children whispering]

[children laughing]

[footsteps approaching]

[door latch clicking]

[kids shouting]

[children chattering softly]

Time magazine, the weekly news magazine, September 22nd, 1967, volume 90, number 12.

"The war on the horizon.

The American people may find it hard to believe that the US is winning the war in Vietnam.

Nevertheless, one of the most exhaustive inquiries into the status of the conflict yet compiled offers considerable evidence that the weight of US power, two and a half years after the big buildup began, is beginning to make itself felt.

White House officials maintain the impact of that strength may bring the enemy to the point where he could simply be unable to continue fighting."

Is this familiar?

"Because Lyndon Johnson fears that the US public is in no mood to accept its optimistic conclusions, he may never permit the report to be released in full.

Even so, he is sufficiently impressed with the findings and sufficiently anxious to make their conclusions known to permit experts who have been working on it to talk about it in general terms."

No date, Time magazine.

"Sir Robert Thompson, who led the victory over communist guerrillas in Malaya, is now a Rand Corporation consultant, recently returned to Vietnam to sound out the situation for President Nixon.

He told the President last week that things felt much better and smelled much better over there."

How do they smell to you, soldier?

You'll be free. You'll be under guard.

Read these at your leisure.

Don't lose them.

Don't try to escape. You'll be shot.

We can talk of these things later.

[Kurtz] "We are the hollow men, We are the stuffed men, Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

Our dried voices, when we whisper together, Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass...

-Or rats' feet over broken glass..." -[photojournalist] Oh, he's out there.

"In our dry cellar..."

He's really out there.

"Shape without form, shade without color...

Paralyzed force, gesture without motion..."

[photojournalist] Do you know what the man's saying?

-Do you? -"Those who have crossed..."

This is dialectics. It's very simple dialectics. One through nine, no "maybes," no "supposes," no fractions. You can't travel in space.

You can't go out into space, you know, without like... With fractions.

What are you gonna land on? One-quarter? Three-eighths?

What are you gonna do when you go from here to Venus or something?

That's dialectic physics, okay?

Dialectic logic is, "There's only love and hate."

You either love somebody or you hate them.


[disdainfully] You mutt.

This is the way the fucking world ends. Look at this fucking shit we're in, man!

"Not with a bang, a whimper."

And with a whimper, I'm fucking splitting, jack.

[Willard] On the river, I thought that the minute I looked at him, I'd know what to do.

But it didn't happen.

I was in there with him for days, not under guard.

I was free.

But he knew I wasn't going anywhere.

He knew more about what I was going to do than I did.

If the generals back in Nha Trang could see what I saw, would they still want me to kill him?

More than ever, probably.

And what would his people back home want, if they ever learned just how far from them he'd really gone?

He broke from them, and then he broke from himself.

I'd never seen a man so broken up and ripped apart.

[Kurtz] I've seen the horrors, horrors that you've seen.

But you have no right to call me a murderer.

You have a right to kill me.

You have a right to do that.

But you have no right to judge me.

It's impossible for words to describe...

what is necessary...

to those who do not know... what horror means.


Horror has a face.

And you must make a friend of horror.

Horror and moral terror are your friends.

If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared.

They are truly enemies.

I remember when I was with Special Forces.

It seems a thousand centuries ago.

We went into a camp to inoculate some children.

We'd left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio.

And this old man came running after us, and he was crying, he couldn't see.

We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm.

There they were, in a pile. A pile...

of little arms.

And I remember...


I cried. I wept like...

some grandmother.

I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do.

And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it.

I never want to forget.

And then I realized... like I was shot, like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead.

And I thought, "My God, the genius of that. The genius."

The will to do that... perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure.

And then I realized they were stronger than me because they could stand it.

These were not monsters. These were men, trained cadres.

These men who fought with their hearts, who have families, who have children, who are filled with love... but they have the strength... the strength...

to do that.

If I had 10 divisions of those men... then our troubles here would be over very quickly.

You have to have men who are moral...

and at the same time, who are able... to utilize their primordial instincts to Kill... without feeling, without passion...

without judgment. Without judgment.

Because it's judgment that defeats us.

[insect buzzing]

I worry that my son might not understand what I've tried to be.

And if I were to be killed, Willard...

I would want someone to go to my home and tell my son everything.

Everything I did. Everything you saw.

[people singing]

Because there's nothing that I detest more than the stench of lies.

And if you understand me, Willard, you will do this for me.

[chanting in local language]

[radio crackling]

[man] PBR Street Gang, this is Almighty. Over.

PBR Street Gang, this is Almighty. Standing by. Over.

PBR Street Gang, this is Almighty. Standing by. How do you copy?

[Willard] They were gonna make me a Major for this, and I wasn't even in their fucking Army anymore.

Everybody wanted me to do it... him most of all.

I felt like he was up there, waiting for me to take the pain away.

He just wanted to go out like a soldier.

Standing up.

Not like some poor, wasted, rag-assed renegade.

Even the jungle wanted him dead, and that's who he really took his orders from anyway.

["The End" playing]

[thunder crashing]

"We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders... won't allow them to write 'Fuck!' on their airplanes because it's obscene!"

[thunder crashing]

[whispering] The horror.

The horror.


[radio crackling]

[man] Calling PBR Street Gang.

PBR Street Gang, this is Almighty. Do you read me? Over.

PBR Street Gang.

PBR Street Gang, this is Almighty...

[switches radio off]

[Kurtz whispering] The horror.

The horror.