Biloxi Blues (1988) Script

* Somewhere there's music

* How faint the tune

* Somewhere there's heaven

* How high the moon

* There is no moon above

* When love is far away, too *

* Till it comes true

* That you love me

* As I love you

* Somewhere there's music

* It's where you are

* Somewhere there's heaven

* How near, how far

* The darkest night will shine *

* If you would come to me soon *

* Until you will

* How still my heart

* How high the moon

* How high...

I don't think much about the big war anymore, the one they call The Second One, because the small wars that came after it seem a lot bigger now than the big war was.

Most people today look back at the big one with sort of fond memories.

It was, in a sense, an okay war.

We knew why we were fighting it and we felt pretty proud of ourselves for being in it.

We liked the songs. We liked the uniforms.

We liked the girls and liked that everyone liked us.

So, looking back, it really was one of your better wars.

Except if you were just a kid, a year out of high school, heading south in a troop train, knowing that in two months you'd be in some mud hole fighting for your life.

We were in a filthy train heading for basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi.

And on the entire trip in the train, nobody washed.

We were getting ready to fight Germany and Japan, but instead we were stinking up America.

Hey, what the hell's with you?

You talkin' to me, garbage face?

Yeah, I'm talkin' to you, pisshead!

Who are you callin' pisshead, jerkoff?

Knock it off, shit brains.

Up your keister with a meat hook, Wykowski.

It was my fifth day in the Army and so far I hated everyone.

Where the hell are we, anyway?

Hey, Shakespeare, where the hell are we?

West Virginia.

No shit. Where is that near?

You don't know where West Virginia is?

Didn't you ever take geography?

I was sick that day.

Hey! Hey, what's for chow?

Turkey breasts and white wine.

In a pig's ass.

Right, that's how they serve it.

You better eat, guys, 'cause it ain't gonna be this good in Mississippi.

Joseph Wykowski, from Bridgeport, Connecticut, had the stomach of a goat... he could eat anything.

His favorite was Hershey bars with the wrappers still on them.

Arnold Epstein, an intellectual from New York, was my only hope for intelligent conversation.

Hey, Arnold, if I wanted to become a writer, who do you recommend I read?

The entire third floor of the New York Public Library.

Hey, Epstein, you wanna read somethin', huh?

Read this!

It was hard to believe that these guys had mothers and fathers who were worried about them.

* Pardon me, boy, is that the Chattanooga choo-choo? *

* Track 29

* Boy, you can give me a shine *

* Can you afford to board... *

Shut him up!

What? * The Chattanooga Choo Choo? *

* I've got my fare Wake him up, for Christ sakes.

* Just a... what the hell is wrong with you?!

It's 2:30 in the goddamn morning and you were singin' again.

I was not.

You was not? You practically made a record.

What was I singin?

* Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Chattanooga Choo Choo?

I don't even know Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Whoa, Goddamn it! Ohh!

Somebody let go!

Hey, was it you, Carney?

No, I was singin'. I'm not gonna do that when I'm singin'.

Maybe you sang to cover it up.

Hey, Jerome, write this in your diary... "Major fart in West Virginia."

Wait a minute... it's coming from up there.

Hey, Bombardier, kill Germans, not Gls.

Oh, brother.

I'm sorry, I'm not feeling very well.

Yeah, well, now we're all not feeling very well.

Does anyone have an Alka-Seltzer tablet?

Pluggin' it up ain't gonna help, Epstein.

Boy, it's hot.

This is hot.

Find your company! Company letters are over the door!

You will form a single line.

Then prepare to give your name and serial number to the men at the desk.

What the hell you think you lookin' at?

You just dig! You don't stop diggin'!

Where are you guys from?

Fort Dix, New Jersey. What's it like here?

It's real rough... we've been here a week, 10 guys died from malaria. Buryin' 'em in here.

Are you serious?

Aw, he's full of shit. It's a drainage ditch.

I didn't know it was gonna be this hot.

This is really hot.

Hey, watch out for the pole!

Jesus! Did you see that?

That pole just went down, whack!

Everything falls here... telephone poles, flag poles.

Bugs eat 'em. Pretty soon we're all gonna go.

It never got this hot in Brooklyn.

This is like Africa-hot.

Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot.

Better get a shine on those shoes, rookie.

I think they've taken us to a German prison camp.

Detail, halt!

You men fall out and fall in on me. Column o' twos, down here.

This here platoon is assigned to this barrack.

You will remain here until further instructions from your sergeant.

You will remain on your feet, no smokin' and no goddamn tobacco chewin'.

At ease.

No tobacco chewin'? He must think we're stagecoach drivers.

Shut your ass, Jerome. These non-coms hear everything.

Perfect. It only took the Army five minutes to turn Wykowski into a robot.

Jesus, I'm drippin' wet. This place is like a steam bath.

I don't know if I can stay here if it's gonna be this hot.

I should've joined the Navy. The Navy's cooler.

Navy's for homos.

I pictured the Army different.

I pictured a lot of doughnuts and USO dancers.

Hi, how are you?

Good to see you.

Hello, soldier.

Hello. Hi, Sergeant.

One, two, three, four!


One, two, three, four!

Detail, attention.

Sorry, men, perhaps I didn't make myself clear.

Detail, ten-hut!

Good. Good. At ease, gentleman.

My name is Toomey, Sergeant Merwin J. Toomey, and I'm in charge of this platoon during your 10 weeks of basic training here in beautiful Biloxi, Mississippi, after which you'll be sent to some shit island in the Pacific or some turd pile in Northern Sicily.

In either case, returning to your mommas and papas with your balls intact in highly improbable.

I speak from experience, having served 14 months in the North African campaign where 73% of my comrades are buried, having donated a small portion of my brains to this conflict, the other potion being protected by a heavy steel plate in my head.

I'd like you to answer when your name is called.

The answer to that question is "ho."

Not "yes," not "right," not "here," not "sir"... any other unacceptable form of reply except the aforementioned "ho."

Am I understood?

Peek, David P. Ho.

Hennessey, James J. Ho.

Wykowski, Joseph T. Ho.

Selridge, Roy W. Ho.

Carney, Donald J. Ho.

Jerome, Eugene M. Ho.

Epstein, Arnold B. Ho, ho.

Are there two Arnold Epstein's in this company?

No, Sergeant.

Just give me one goddamn "ho."

Yes, Sergeant.

Epstein, Arnold B. Ho.

One more time. Ho.

Do I make myself clear, Epstein?


Do I make myself clear, Jerome?

Ho, yes.

Ho, what?

Ho, nothing.

You having trouble understanding me, Jerome?

Ho, no.

I mean, no, ho, Sergeant.

It's just plain ho.

Hey, Fred Astaire, are you tryin' to tell me somethin'?

I have to go to the bathroom, Sergeant.

How you gonna do that?

We don't have bathrooms in the Army.

They had them in Fort Dix.

Not bathrooms, they didn't.

Yes they did. I went in them a lot.

I'm tellin' you, we don't have any bathrooms on this base.

You doubt my veracity?

No, Sergeant.

Then you got a problem, haven't you, Epstein? Ho, ho.

You bet your ass, ho, ho.

You know why you got a problem, Epstein?

'Cause I have to go real bad?

No, son, you got a problem because you don't know Army terminology.

The place where a US soldier goes to defecate, relieve himself, open his bowels, shit, fart, dump, crap and unload is called a latrine.

Latrine, from the French.

Do you want to tell us what's funny about that, Jerome?

Well, it's just that you said all those words in one sentence, Sergeant.

Apparently, I don't believe you understand the benefit of discipline, do you, Jerome?

The benefit? Yes, I think I do.

Then tell it to me, Jerome. What is the benefit of discipline?

Well, it's to benefit the Army's... to the way that soldiers... to... whatever you say, Sergeant.

You lookin' to get your ass in a sling, boy?

No, Sergeant, it's fine the way it is.

The benefit of discipline is that it will win this war for us.

Therefore, until you learn that fact, I'll just have to keep teachin' it to you.

Selridge, 100 push-ups.

Hit the deck. Me? I didn't say nothin'!

Correct, boy, we're doin' this to teach Jerome about discipline.

On your face, soldier!

Do you think you get my meaning now about discipline?

Ho, yes, ho.

Well, then, let's try it out.

I want another man down there give me 100 push-ups.

I want you to pick him out for me. Who will it be, boy?

Speak up, Jerome.

Tell me the name of the man you think is most lacking in discipline.

Well, we really just met on the train, Sergeant.

I don't even know all their names yet.

I can understand your reticence to speak up, Jerome.

No one's gonna like hearin' his name called.

Why don't you just whisper it in my ear?

Wykowski? He's the biggest man in the company.

That took guts, Jerome, but if that's your wish, your wish will be obeyed.

Wykowski, 100 push-ups for me and your buddy here. Hit the deck.

Now who can we pick to join these men in a show of comradeship?

Whisper it to me, Jerome.

The entire platoon except yourself?

By God, that's a good choice.

You won't have many friends here, soldier, but I'll be one of them.

Tell 'em to hit the deck for you.

You want me to say it?

It was your idea!

Platoon, hit the deck.

Shout it, boy!

Platoon, hit the deck!

Tell 'em what we want, Jerome!

100 push-ups!

Man asked for 150 push-ups. You heard him, men.

Now, count off!

Watch out! Let me through!

Ahh! Head's up!

If this keeps up, we're gonna lose this war.

They'll be speakin' German in Chicago.

We could all say we caught cold and go on sick call tomorrow.

You don't go on sick call with this guy unless a tank runs over you.

Jesus, this thing's a slingshot.

Is this bunk taken?

Oh no, I don't mind dyin', but I don't want to get my nose blown off.

Hooray, hooray.

What could I do? I could be shot for disobeying orders.

You must have done something to get him so pissed off.

Nothing, I swear. He's nuts.

Maybe the humidity rusted his brain.

That's a good choice, Jerome.

I'd like to walk in my sleep with a bayonet.

I have a curvature of the spine. I can't sleep on this thing.

The heat is getting hotter, isn't it?

What's the matter, you girls from the big city can't take it?

I can take whatever you can take Wykowski.

Don't even tell me, they're shipping us out today?

That's chow time.

Chow time. Wash up, change and let's move.

Maybe there's a place around here where we could eat out.

It's not bad.

It just needs salt and pepper and ketchup and mustard, that's all.

If they were to drop this stuff over Germany, the entire country would come out with their hands up.

I saw this stuff in the Bronx Zoo once.

The gorillas were throwing it at each other.

You can get something else. It's a government regulation.

Enlisted men must be served palatable food.

Yeah, why don't you ask him for some matzoh ball soup, Epstein?

I hear the Army makes a great matzoh ball soup.

It's my right to speak up. I'm going to talk to the sergeant.

Don't start in with him, Arnold, he's crazy.

This is probably his recipe.


How you doin'? How's that?

He's coming for his cup of hot blood.

Listen, you two guys, don't give the sergeant any more crap, all right?

'Cause when he don't like you, he don't like the rest of us.

And any guy that screws up in this platoon is in deep shit with me, understand?

Who made you lieutenant colonel?

I did... I promoted myself.

And if I have to do any more push-ups on account of you, you're gonna be underneath me when I'm doin' 'em.

Well, now I know who the fruits are.

Hey, did you guys hear what happened over at Baker company?

Some guy went nuts, said he was going home.

He didn't want no part of this Army.

An officer tried to stop him and the kid belted him one.

Said the guy's sure to get five to 10 years in Leavenworth.

I thought this was Leavenworth.

How are my boys doin'?

First rate, Sarge.

Surprisingly interesting food, sir.

They don't give you enough.

Not hungry, Epstein?

I find enough nourishment in bread and water, Sergeant.

You're gonna need plenty of nourishment with 10 back-breaking weeks ahead of you.

Starting at 5:00 a.m., we're going on a little hike, boys.

5:00 a.m.?

Ain't nothin' like seein' the sun come up over a Mississippi swamp.

You boys arrived here a day late and I got to make up that time.

That's a reasonable request to make, isn't it, Jerome?

Well, we sort of elected Wykowski our leader.

I think that he ought to answer that.

Is that right, Wykowski?

I don't question orders, Sergeant, I just follow them.

That's a good answer, Wykowski.

It's a chicken shit one, but it's a good answer.

How about you, Epstein? Are you up? 15-mile walk?

No, Sergeant.


Epstein's not up to it, men. Why's that, Epstein?

We've been on a train for three days and three nights.

We haven't had one good night's sleep since we left Fort Dix.

I see. Okay. Fair enough.

Epstein, you're excused from the hike.

Thank you, Sergeant.

Get a good night's sleep, just as soon as you've washed, scrubbed and shined every john, urinal and basin in the latrine.

If it doesn't sparkle when we get back, Wykowski and Selridge are gonna do 200 push-ups.

That'll put you in good with the boys, Epstein.

I'll see the rest of you men at 4:30 a.m.

Enjoy your meal now, you hear?

Enjoy your meal now, you hear?

That's good hominy pigs and black pea eyeballs.

I've got to make you men strong, because tonight we're going to march the entire platoon off of a 3,000-foot cliff.

Dying makes a man out of you.

I died in the war, they had me cremated... the ashes were buried right here in my head.

You think it's funny, Jerome?

No, I think you're funny, Wykowski.

You forgot to eat the aluminum tray.

Come on! Come on, sit down.

Get off!

I got three enemies now, Jerome... the Japs, the Germans and you.

I wasn't in on that Pearl Harbor thing.

Hold it.

You still got two spoonfuls left there, soldier.

I've had enough, Corporal.

You take what you want, but you eat what you take.

We don't waste food around here. Eat it.

I believe the corporal said no one leaves here till the trays are empty and clean.

I want all trays extended for inspection. Move it.





Is something wrong with your meal, Carney?

Yes, Sergeant, it's the first meal I was ever afraid of.

You'll like it about a month from now, because that's how long you'll be sittin' here. Back to your seat.

Don't approve of our cuisine, Jerome?

It's not that, Sergeant. It's a religious objection.

This is the week that my people fast for two days.

This is July, Jerome. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are in September.

I have an all-religious calendar in my barracks room.

Don't you try that shit on me again.

It's a different holiday.

It's called El Malaguena.

El Malaguena?

It's for Spanish Jews.

Carney, bring your food. Come on.

Put half your food onto Jerome's tray.

Yes, Sergeant.

Eat in good health, Jerome, and happy El Malaguena to you.

Come on.

What's your story, Epstein?

Don't tell me, today is La Cucaracha.

I have a digestive disorder.

It's commonly known as a nervous stomach.

I have a letter from my internist at Mount Sinai Hospital on 5th Avenue.

See, the trouble is you're not on 5th Avenue now, Epstein, you're in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Corporal, make sure that Private Epstein finishes everything on his tray, including that letter, hmm?

Yes, Sergeant.

Come on, move your ass! Come on!

Move it! Come on, move it now.

Goddamn bugs! Pick it up!

Why don't they bite each other?

They have more blood than we have.

Jesus, what was that?

You are embarrassing.

Sergeant Toomey giggling.

Oh, God, you are pitiful!

You're embarrassing me in front of the lizards and the buzzards.

Bunch of lard-asses I got here.

What would you do if the Japanese Army was behind you?

Surrender and get some sleep.

Shut your ass, Jerome. I ain't doin' no push-ups in the swamp!

Lucky Epstein, back in a nice dry latrine listening to Jack Benny.

Come on move that. Kick it.

Oh, please, God, please let there be a subway near here.

Come on.

Get your elbow out of my ass, asshole.

Shit. Watch your damn gun!

Watch it.

Did I say stop?

Who stopped this march?

Goddamn it.

Did you hear me call "halt," Pinelli?

No, Sarge, but that looks like pretty deep water.

No shit. What does that mean?


Well, it means that... that looks like pretty deep water.

Selridge, you would need three promotions to get to be an asshole.

Wykowski, how're we gonna get to the other side of that obstacle?

Well, either someone goes in and sees how deep it is, or we keep lookin' for another place to cross.

Damn right, that's smart. You must have been in the First World War.

All right, we need a volunteer to see just how deep that water is.


Yes, Sergeant?

Pick a volunteer.

Oh, no!

Why me?

Because you're the shithead who said, "Let's surrender so I can get some sleep."

I hear everything, everyone, Jerome.

Pick a volunteer.

All right, me. I'll do it.

You don't get off that easy, boy. Pick a volunteer.

How about Epstein?

I guess you're gonna have to whisper it again to me, won't you?


You must like him. You pick him for every shit detail, don't you?

You heard him, Wykowski, into the water.

Those funny New York remarks are makin' you real popular, Jerome.


Guess we have to look for another way around, men.

Selridge, Carney, pull Wykowski out.

It was then I decided I had to get out of the Army.

I thought of shooting off a part of my body I might not need in later life, but I couldn't find any.

Right face!

Come on. Left face.

Turn with the rest of 'em.

The guy hit me!

Turn with the rest of 'em. Pick it up.

Right face!

Oh, come on, left face. Pick up the gun.

Use your shoulder. Turn with the rest of 'em.

Left shoulder arms! Right shoulder arms!

Why don't you make up your mind?

Quiet! Do as you're told!

Present arms!


I'm a bad boy!

It will be tough sledding again for these Yanks.

But the men who smashed into Salerno from the sea will take their next objective, too, whatever it may be... from Naples to Berlin.

Anzio, Bataan...

Saint Lo, Iwo Jima.

Places they have never heard of, known, nor cared about.

They went there and they died there.

And now they are home, wrapped in their country's flag and cloaked in their eternal greatness.


Yes, Polish and Irish and Jewish and English names hallow this ground, names that make up the great America they died for.

A terrible cost, but less, tragically less than what we must pay for final victory.

"Time" Magazine estimates the casualty rates for a full-scale invasion would be 68%.

68% of us will be either killed or wounded.

No shit. So out of the group sitting here, how much is that?

The six of us here, about 4.3 of us would get it.

Wow, only 2.7 of us would live.

1.7, jerko.

Listen, if you knew you were one of the guys who wasn't coming back, if you knew that right now, what would you do with the last few days of your life?

It could be anything you want, any fantasy.

I give everybody five seconds to think about it.

I thought of it... I'd be one of the 1.7 coming back.

That's morbid.

I liked it, let's play for money.

For money? Five bucks a man, the guy with the best fantasy wins.

That's nuts.

Okay, all right, I'm in.

Okay. We need a judge.

I'll be the judge.

Why you? Because I thought of the game.

When it's my turn, somebody else judges me.

Ante up, everybody.

Come on, Arnold, five bucks.

I don't sell my fantasies.

Don't be like that, Arnold.

Okay, Carney, you're first.

You're gonna be dead, killed in action.

What do you want to do with the last few days of your life?

How much time do I have to do it in?

A week. I need 10 days.

It's my game... you only get a week.

What are you gonna do with it, Donny?


I'd sing at Radio City Music Hall.

Five shows a day, my own spot.

In the audience are 5,000 screamin' gorgeous girls and every one of 'em wants me.

And there's one man, the president of Decca Records and he wants to give me a big contract, and I have to make a choice.

Take the record contract. I would take the record contract.

Right, right, I'd take the record contract.

Ha! Moron! He could've humped 5,000 girls and now he's got a record contract that ain't worth shit!


Because now I'm a big star and everyone knows that stars get all the girls they want.

Oh yeah? How? You're dead!

Girls don't go out with dead record stars!

Bullshit, it's my fantasy.

I can do whatever I want with it! What's my score, Gene?

Well, you started off with an A-minus, but you ended up with a B.

B. That's better than I ever did in school.

Selridge is next.

Okay, okay, here we go.

I make it with seven of the richest women in the world.

And I'm so hot, each one of 'em gives me a million bucks.

So, at the end of the week, I got seven million bucks.

Pretty good, huh?

If you're dead, what are you gonna do with $7 million?

I told you, that's why I need 10 days.

I need to take a long weekend and spend the money.

Give up, suckers, I got you all beat.

Moronic. It's beyond moronic... it's sub-moronic.

Yeah. Go ahead, Jerome, break their hearts and tell 'em my score.

It lacks poetry.

I give Selridge a B-minus.

B-minus? You give me a B-minus?

This creep becomes a dead record star and he gets a B.

I want my money back.

Hey, touch that money and you're dead.

I was kiddin'. You think I was serious?

I was kiddin'. Who's next?

Hennessey. Me?

No, I'm not ready yet.

It's your turn.

I'm not very good at things like this.

Come on, just say it.

No, I can't think of anything.

He can't think of anything, so he's out.

Tough shit. Give him an F. Who's next?

No, no, okay, okay.

I'd spend it with my family.

Oh, is this guy serious?

What an asshole.

I'd spend it with my family.

Come on, it's my last week, I can do whatever I want.

And I'd... yeah, I'd like it to be with my family.

Okay, Jerome, what do you give him for that crap?

Well, it's not that interesting, but at least it's honest.


Wow. Okay, that's it, this game is fixed.

I'm callin' the military police.

I get a B-minus for screwin' seven millionairesses and he gets a B-plus for going home to his mother?

I want to change my answer. I want to visit sick children in the hospital.

Will you knock it off, Selridge?

You had your turn.

See you in the morning.

As you were.

Lights out in five minutes, boys.

Better get your rest.

You never know what surprise is coming up tomorrow.

Okay, Wykowski, you're next.


I always wanted to make it with a world-famous woman, somebody that nobody could have in this country but me, and be the only American to have her.

Have you someone in mind?

Yeah, I got someone in mind.

I think we're heading for an A-plus.

Who's the woman, Wykowski?

The Queen of England. Boom!

The Queen of England? Ohh!

That is disgusting, that's like making it with your own grandmother.

For a whole week?

Maybe we stop for tea and crumpets.

Apes and gorillas, I'm living with apes and gorillas.

Come on, what's his score? Give him his score.

Yeah, give the Earl of Meatloaf his score.

This is a tough one.

I find it completely unredeeming in every way... morally, ethically and sexually.

But it's got style.

A-minus. Ohhh!

A-minus? You're sick, Jerome.

You give the highest score to the guy who humps the mother of the British empire?

So, I'm winnin', right?

Not yet, there's two more to go.

Epstein's next. I want to hear what his last week on earth would be like.

Probably wants to take an English exam at city college.

Hurry up, they're blowin' retreat.

Come on, Arnold, it's your last week on earth.

What's your secret desire?

I don't want to say it.

If I say it, it might not come true.

I know, I know... he wants to pass gas.

He wants to bend over and blow up the whole world.

Will you give him a chance. He has one.

What is it, Arnold?

What's the last thing you want to do on this earth?

I would like to make Sergeant Merwin J. Toomey... do 200 push-ups in front of this platoon.

That's good.

I hate to admit it, but it's good.

It's all right. 500 would have been better.

I think it's terrific. A-plus.

Oooh! A-plus? You're crazy... now you can't win.

I could still tie him.

But if it's a tie, all bets are off, nobody wins.

Fair enough. Somebody else has to judge me.

Wykowski, pick a judge.

Okay, sure. I pick Selridge.

I love it.

No matter what crap he says, he gets an A-plus.

Your money is safe, boys.

Retreat means lights out, goddamn it!

I never had men do push-ups in bed before.

I could start tonight.

Come on, Jerome, let's hear yours.

All right.


I always wanted to get mine by wiping out an entire battalion of Japanese marines.

Forget the medals. What do you do with your last week on earth?

I would lose my virginity, win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature... and fall in love with the perfect girl.

Why don't you score the winning touchdown for Notre Dame while you're at it?

Give him a score, Roy, so's we can take our money back.

I give him a C-minus.


Hey, I'm not gonna let him beat me with that pissy story.

I came up with something hot.

I'm not giving him an A-plus for falling in love.

Why doesn't he go home and visit Hennessey's family?

Jesus, you're a moron!

Go look in the latrine and see if you dropped your brain!

Come on, Arnold. Arnold, you win. It's your money.

Oh, man, it never fails.

It's always the Jews who end up with the money, right, Roy?

I don't know, I never met a Jew before the Army.

Oh, they're easy to spot. There's one.

There's another one.

They're the ones who slide the bacon under their toast so no one sees them eat it, right, Jerome?

I'm not going to take that Jew crap from you any more, Wykowski.

I know you could probably beat the hell out of me, but I'm not going to take it anymore.

Sure you will. You're gonna take any shit from me, okay?


Let's see how tough you are.

Because I'm gonna...

Cut it out, Wykowski.

What difference does it make what religion he is?

I didn't start it... Epstein's the one who's too good to take orders, isn't he?

Hey, if he doesn't shape up, I'll bust his face whether he's got a Jew nose or not!


What the hell's going on here?

Nothing, Sergeant.

What do you mean "nothing," Hennessey?

I heard threats, challenges, invitation to bust the noses of minority races.


You still tellin' me nothing's going on here?

Yes, sir.

I see.

Pinelli, Sweeney...

Davis, Polaski...

Woolridge, hit the floor.

Give me 100 push-ups.

If I can't discipline these boys here, maybe the rest of you can. Count off!

One,two... three, four, five... six, seven, eight...

...nine, 10... Shit!

11, 12... Wykowski!

13, 14, 15...

Son of a bitch!

16, 17...

Goddamn it!

18, 19, 20, 21...

I really hated myself because I didn't stand up for Epstein, a fellow Jew.

Maybe it was because I was afraid of Wykowski.

Or maybe it was because sometimes Arnold sort of asked for it.

But because the guys didn't pick on me that much, I just figured I'd stay neutral, like Switzerland.

Ready, aim, fire!

Cease fire! Cease fire!

Cease fire!

How'd I do, Sergeant?

I can't tell, your bullets still haven't come down.

This is pointless.

I'll take prisoners, but I won't shoot human beings.

Shut up, Arnold. They'll paste those targets on our faces.

That's a hell of a score, Wykowski. Where'd you learn how to shoot?

Back home.

Probably killed his whole family.

What was that, Jerome?

I was just admiring his skill.

This ain't the boy scouts. Let's go, rookie!


Are you in some kind of goddamn trouble here, Jerome?

It's not me, Sergeant, it's the gun.

Give me that.

Epstein, reassemble Jerome's weapon.

Jesus Christ!

Deep shit, Epstein.

How deep in the shit would you say he was in, Jerome?

About up to here.

Oh, God.

Arnold Epstein always took his punishment without complaint.

I found more and more I wanted to be his friend, mostly because he never seemed to need one.

Could I have a little shells in my eggs this morning, please?

Thank you.


48-hour pass.

I'm gonna eat spaghetti with clam sauce for two days!

In Mississippi, they make spaghetti with cotton.

We are set, guys. I got the address of a place.

Yeah, what kind of place?

You wouldn't like it, Hennessey, they don't have families there.

Goddamn son of a bitch!

What's wrong?

Hey, somebody broke into my footlocker last night.

They emptied my wallet.

They took my pay and every cent I had in the world.

62 bucks. Dirty bastard!

How do you know somebody stole it? Maybe you just lost it.

'Cause I counted it before I hit the sack.

I was savin' it for the big weekend.

Lucky I'm not wise to who did it. It was Epstein.

I'm tellin' you, he's tryin' to get back at me for what I called him.

Maybe he's sore at you, but he's not the kind that steals money.

Hey, who asked you, Hennessey, huh? What are you?

What are you, one of those Irish Jews?

Huh? All I did was call him a couple of names.

Where I come from we're all polacks.

Dagoes, niggers, sheenies... that stuff doesn't mean crap to me!

You're a mick... what do I care?

Yeah, half-mick... half-nigger.

Ooh, you serious?


My father's Irish... my mother's colored.

You can't be colored... they wouldn't let you in here with us.

No, I never told anybody.

Yeah, but I guessed it.

See, it was somethin' I couldn't put my finger on, but I knew there was something wrong with you.

Yeah, I'm Black-Irish.

That's as colored as I am, but now we know how you think, don't we, 'Kowski?

Come here. Hey! Hey.

I'm layin' for you, Hennessey, okay?

After I get the bastard who stole my money, I'm gonna settle my score with you.


On the double, Toomey's here.

In the past 21 days, you boys have made some fine progress.

You're not fighting soldiers yet, but I'd match you up against some Nazi cocktail waitress anytime.

That's why I recommended this platoon receive a 48-hour pass, but first we have to clear up the mystery of Wykowski's missing $62.

As I said, I hear, smell and know everything that goes on in my barracks.

I am asking the guilty party to place $62 on this here footlocker within the next 30 seconds.

I offer no lenience, no forgiveness, no abstention from punishment.

What I do offer is honor.

I'm countin' down to 30.

It is at this time that heroes are made.

One, two... three, four...

five, six.

There's $62, if anyone cares to count it.

I don't think that'll be necessary, Private Epstein.

Wykowski, pick up your money.

I said don't count it, boy.


do you have anything to say?

No, Sergeant.

May I ask why you decided to return the money?

I chose to.

You chose to?

Knowing full well that swift and just punishment may be inflicted upon you when and if this is reported to the commanding officer.

I know it only too well.

Last night, at 0100 hours, I wandered through this barracks, I saw carelessness, complacency.

Wykowski's wallet lying in an open footlocker, inviting... temptation and weakness.

I took your $62, Wykowski, I returned the empty wallet to its place.

I did it to teach you a lesson, instead I got submarined.

Epstein, are you such a goddamn ignorant fool to take the blame for something you were completely innocent of?

The Army has its logic, I have my own.

Epstein, I'd like a word with you in private.

The rest of you are on 48 hours leave. Fall out!

Why? Just tell me why.

It's my job.

You listen to me, you flyspeck on a mound of horseshit.

You're takin' me on, aren't you?

I have a nutcracker that crunches the testicles of men that take me on.

How the hell do you think you can beat me?

I'm not trying to beat you.

I just don't think it's necessary to dehumanize a man in order to get him to perform.

You can better results raising our spirits than lowering our dignity.

This isn't Sunday school, Epstein, this isn't "pass or fail," this is Death shit we're talking about.

Why in hell did you put back money you knew you didn't take?

Because I knew you did.

I saw you take it.

I think inventing a crime that didn't exist to enforce your theories of discipline is Neanderthal in its conception.

You may be the first man to reach Berlin, Epstein, because I'm sending you in before everyone.

Men do not face enemy machine guns because they've been treated with kindness.

I don't want them human. I want them obedient.

I'm tryin' to save those boys lives, you crawlin' bookworm.

You stand in my way, I'll pulverize you into chicken droppings.

You know, I don't get you, Epstein.

What'd you do a dumb-ass thing like that for?

What's the difference?

I knew he took the money.

And I knew I'd end up cleaning latrines.

I thought I'd save everybody some time.

Yeah, well...

anyway, I owe you one.

You stuck your neck out for us and I like to pay back my debts.

Hey, listen, it's not gonna come out again, so take your chance while you got it.

Let's not be hypocritical.

I did what I did for me, not for you.

You know what?

I'm not gonna make any more Jew cracks at you, Epstein, 'cause you are a shitheel no matter what you are!

Let's go, Roy.

Why is it we come from the same background, but I can't understand you?

You're a witness.

You're always standing around watching what's happening.

You know, scribbling in your book what other people do.

You have to get in the middle of it.

You have to take sides.

Make a contribution to the fight.

What fight?

Any fight.

The one you believe in.

Until you do, you'll never be a writer, Eugene.

* No, no, no, don't go walkin' down lover's lane *

* With anyone else but me

* Till I come

* Marchin' home!

Hey, hubba, hubba! Look at that, look at that, women!

Hey, honey, you got 34 friends?!

Hey, Wykowski, maybe the Queen of England's in town.

*...loves to pet and fits you to a "T" *

Don't blow smoke in my face. I'll stink from tobacco.

Stop worrying, nothing can penetrate that Aqua Velva.

Hey, Carney, are you goin' to Selridge's place?

Yeah, sure. Why not? What about you.

Maybe. I thought I'd look around first, see if I meet a nice girl.

No chance... there's 14,000 Gls on leave in Biloxi and only 12 Catholic girls, all handcuffed to nuns.

Why don't you come with us?

This isn't your first time, is it?

I mean, you've done it before, right?

Yeah, sure, are you kidding?

Five or six times.

Well, if you did it before, why are you doing it again?

What... what do you mean?

You're kidding me, right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm kiddin'.

I'm kiddin'. Couldn't you tell?

It looks like a bad day to fall in love.

Why don't we get some ice cream before we go to the place?

All right.


They're not bad, are they?

Sure, if you wait your turn you'll be too old to screw.

You guys comin', or not?

Yeah, we're comin'. Right, Gene?

You bet! Let me at 'em!

This is it... Peachtree Street.

Kind of a crummy neighborhood, isn't it?

She ain't sellin' stocks and bonds... I don't believe this guy.

Hey, Gene, can you loan me 10 bucks in case I want to go twice?

Tw... what do you mean? She charges you every time you have a...?

Yeah, yeah, she has a cash register on her bed.

Will you come on?

How does she know you had one?

Because your eyes spin around, and when they stop on two pineapples, you just had one.

21, this is it.

Get up, get up!

It looks like a place where they sell used radio parts.

What did we bring this guy for?

Let's toss for who's gonna go first.

I'm gonna go first.

Yeah, I meant the rest of us will toss.

Naturally, you'll go first.

A half an hour he's been in there.

If he doesn't hurry, I'm gonna pass my peak.

Hey, what if she's ugly? I mean, really ugly?

Then you close your eyes and you think of some cheerleader.

I don't want to close my eyes. That's the same as doing it to yourself.

Not if you're feeling someone underneath you.

Or on top of you.

On top of me?

Who would be on top of me?

She would. She could be anywhere... under a table, on a chair, or an ironing board.

On an ironing board?

What kind of a girl is this?

I thought we were going to a regular place.

Don't you know anything?

Maybe not in actual experience.

I have all the information I need.

You don't know shit, Jerome.

Do you know how many positions there are?

American or worldwide?

This guy is a riot.

For five bucks, how many positions are there?

Let me think.

You want me to tell you? No.

I'm going to tell you... there are 17 acceptable positions.

Acceptable? What is there, an Olympic committee that votes on positions?

I can't believe this guy's from New York.

Besides, you're wrong. There's 52 positions.

52? You're crazy, where did you ever get that from?

I saw a dirty deck of cards once.

This jerk is worse than Epstein.

You owe me five bucks.

Hey, listen, twerp, you're lucky if you do one position.

I'm not doing anything if it's on an ironing board.

Why not? You'll get your shirt pressed for free.

Well? Tell us, tell us.

She wants to see me again after the war.

See you fellows at the USO.

Okay, who's turn is it?

You go ahead. I just had lunch.

I don't wanna get cramps.


I'll try and leave a little something for you guys.

Hey, how you doin'?

Listen, if you're really nervous about this, we don't have to do this.

There's that dance at the USO.

Oh no, I want to do it.

I don't mean I want to do it, I think I should do it.

I mean, eventually I have to do it, right?

Well, yeah, eventually.

Look, why don't we just go to the dance?

We can always come back later.

Yeah. We could always come back later.

Don't tell the other guys I didn't do it, will you?

They'll know it. They'll see it on your face.

No, they won't. I'm a good actor, I can act like I did it.

Come on, let's just go.

My cap. Shit!

I left my cap upstairs.

Well, go get it.

You're through already? That was fast.

Never even made it to the bed.

I knew I hit my peak too soon.

You the only one left, honey?

What? Oh, yeah. I guess I am.

Well, let's get going, sugar, I got some Navy boys coming at 2:00.

* Blue moon

* You saw me standing alone... *

Very pleased to meet you.

* Without a dream in my heart... *

Hey, come on, kid. I haven't got all day.

* You knew just what I was there for... *

It's chilly in here, isn't it?

Yeah, about 96 degrees.

Listen, you can keep your shorts on if you want, but I have a rule against wearing Army shoes to bed.


I was just about to take them off.

I always take them off.

You don't mind a little perfume, do you, honey?

There was a boy here this morning had on a gallon of Aqua Velva, nearly drove me crazy.

No, that's okay. You can even spray some on me.

Gee, that smells good.

If you'd like a bottle for your girlfriend, I sell them $5 apiece.

You sell perfume, too?

I sell hard to get items... silk stockings, black panties.

You interested?

Do you carry men's clothing?

That's cute.

You're cute, honey.

Is this your first time?

My first time?

Are you kidding? That's funny.

No, it's my second time.

First time they were closed.

You don't smoke cigarettes, either, do you?

How do you know that?

Looked like your face was on fire.

If you want to look older, why don't you try a moustache?

What's your name?

Rowena, what's yours?

It's Eug... Eug?

It's a huge name.

It's Jack Bobby Lou Mulgreavy.

Where are you from, Bobby Lou?


Is that right?

Yes, ma'am.

Is that Texas or Arkansas?

Arkansas, I think.

You think?

Well, we left there when I was two and moved to Georgia.

Really? You a cracker?

What's a cracker?

Someone from Georgia.

Oh, yeah, I'm a cracker.

Whole family's crackers.

Were you born in Biloxi?

No, Gulfport. I still live there with my husband.

Your husband?

You're married! My God, he'll kill me if he finds me here.

No, he won't.

Does he know that you're a...

Why sure he does. That's how we met.

He's in the Coast Guard.

He was one of my best customers. He still is.

You mean you charge your own husband?

I mean, he's my best lover.

You gonna do it from there, cowboy?

'Cause I'll have to make some adjustments.

I was just waiting for you to get ready.

I'm always ready, sugar.

You want to pull down the window shade?


You scared, honey? First time and all?

A little, I guess.

Don't fret about it.

When it's a boy's first time it makes it feel like it's my first time.

Do you like the left side or the right?

If we do it right, hon, we're gonna use both sides.

You come to Mama now.

Would it be okay if we didn't use the word "mama?"

It makes me think of my mother and that sort of kills it, you know?


That's a boy.

There now.

Come on.

Okay, honey, do your stuff.

What stuff is that?

Whatever you like to do.

Didn't anyone ever teach you anything?

Well, my brother showed me a few things.

You look a lot different from my brother.

You're sweet.

I went to high school with a boy like you.

Had the biggest damn crush on him.

Listen, don't be offended, but this really doesn't have to be the greatest experience of my life.

I really just wanted to get it over with.

You just let Rowena take care of everything, honey.

All you got to do is put your arms around me.

Come on.

That's it.

There now, you're doing fine.

Careful, you got your knee on my stomach I'm sorry.

Let's get those shorts off.

That's better.

Now, isn't that better?

Oh! Oh God!

Oh! Oh God!

Relax, hon. Nothing to it, sugar.

You're not breathing. Breathe.

My nose is running.

No, I'm okay.

Don't stop, baby, don't stop. You're getting there.

Oh Jeez!

Oh my God!

You did it, babe.

I did it. I did it!

Not too close, please.

Oh, forgive me.

You girls always wear white gloves?

It's proper attire for a young lady at a dance.

In the old days, a gentleman would hold a white handkerchief in his left hand as not to touch the bare back of his partner.

No kidding? Next time I'll come here in a tank.

They've got the whole convent watching.

You can't get near these girls unless you're a priest.

Who wants to? I don't see anything better than what we just had, right, Roy?

Right, yeah.

That Rowena's a real roller coaster, ain't she?

Hey there.

Hey, hi, guys. What's cooking?

How'd it go?

It was fine as wine. Sort of chatty, you know what I mean?

Chatty? First time in the sack with a pro was chatty?

Yeah, real smooth. Second time was swing, swing, swing.

Second time? You paid twice?

No, it was a freebie. On the house.

Why would she give you a free one?

I don't know. Maybe I was her one millionth customer.

Think I'll look around.

Bullshit artist. Let's get out of here.

Would you care to dance?


I said, would you care to dance?

Oh, I don't dance very well.

I bet you do.

No, I swear. I never dance.

Then why did you come to a dance?

It's a good question.

I like to listen to music and I was hoping that I'd meet somebody I could talk to.

I like to talk.

Well, we can talk while we dance.

Okay, sure.

Watch your toes.

Well, you're doing fine.

Are you counting?

A little.

I can see your lips moving.

My lips don't move, my feet don't move.

Is that perfume you're wearing?


It's lady's perfume.

I smelled it before. Last time two of the other soldiers had it on.

Oh yeah, it's for my mother.

The lady on the counter sprayed it on me.

You think it's too strong?

Yours is a little different.

Yours has a little Aqua Velva in it.

That's me underneath.

What's your name?

Eugene Morris Jerome.

If you want the short version it's Eugene.

What's your name?

Daisy. Daisy Hannigan.

Da... no kidding?

That's a beautiful name.

Daisy is my favorite character in literature.

Daisy Miller or Daisy Buchanan?


"The Great Gatsby" is one of my all-time favorite books.

I've never read "Daisy Miller." Is that good?

Oh, it's wonderful.

Well, you looked surprised.

We do read in the South, you know?

I know.

You have a funny look on your face.

I do? Uh-huh.

It's like a birthday look.

Today isn't your birthday, is it?


Something special happened to you today, am I right?


Can you tell me about it?

I don't think so.

I might put it in my memoirs, though.

Oh, do you keep a journal every day?

Yes, since I was 14.

I write down everything that happens to me.

Do you like writing?

Yeah, it's what I hope to be one day.

Will you write about dancing with me tonight?

Yeah, probably.


Then if you ever become a famous writer, I'll be immortalized.

* Somewhere there's music

* How faint the tune

* Somewhere there's heaven

* How high the moon

* There is no moon above

* When love is far away, too *

* Till it comes true

* That you love me

* As I love you

* Somewhere there's music

* It's where you are...

The sisters are looking at me.

We're not allowed to spend too much time with one boy.

The song isn't over yet.

I'm entitled to one song, right?

Can I... you want me to get you a Coke or something?

It's way on the other side of the room.

The song'll be over by the time you got back.

Yeah, let the next guy get you a Coke.

Do you live in Biloxi?

No, we go to school in Gulfport.

Gulfport, really?

No kidding. I know a girl from Gulfport.

Really? Who is she? Maybe I know her.

Oh, no, I don't think so.

She's in the clothing business.

Well, I really have to go.

It's very nice meeting you, Eugene.

Are you going to be back here next weekend?

No, we only come in once a month.

Maybe I could come out to Gulfport.

Well, we're really not allowed to make dates.

Well, it wouldn't be a date if I was just to bump into you, would it?

Well, it would be if I went to confession.

Especially if I told you I went to St. Mary's on Piermont Street.

Goodbye, Eugene.

Goodbye, Daisy.

Eugene, you didn't say one wrong thing in that whole conversation.

Did you ever have one of those perfect days?

I can't believe what this creep's been writing about us.

Listen to this.

"No matter how lunatic I think Sergeant Toomey is, each day he goes a little further.

Yesterday, in front of everybody, he made Epstein unscrew the top of his head and take his brains out."

I fooled him.

I only took out my mucous membranes.

Hubba, hubba.

What a weekend. How's you guys do?

Hey, you ought to listen to this 'cause you're in it too.

Yeah, what is it?

"The Secret and Private Memoirs of Eugene M. Jerome."

He let you read that?

No, but we're gonna ask him if it's all right when we get through.

When we get through.

You have no right to read that.

That's like opening somebody's mail.

Oh, bullshit! Come on, now.

It's private things about all of us and that's public domain like in the newspapers.

Newspapers are published. Unpublished memoirs are the sole and private property of the writer.

You know, I thought all Jews were doctors.

I didn't know they were lawyers too.

I'm not a Jew anymore, Wykowski.

What do you mean?

I converted to Catholicism yesterday.

In six weeks I hope to become a priest.

And my first act of service to the Holy Father is to have you ex-communicated. So get off my ass.

That's good. That's funny.

He got you that time, 'Kowski.

Shut up.

I thought you were Eugene's friend, Epstein.

He left his locker open.

Why would he leave something so private in an open locker?

It has no logic to it.

I have no interest in illogical things.

You tell Gene I had nothing to do with this, you hear?

Go on, keep reading.

"One night, a sudden scream from Selridge calling out the name Louise.

Is Louise his girlfriend or his mother?"

He's full of crap.

Yeah, well, who's Louise?

My mother. But he's full of it.

I never called my mother Louise.

Poor baby wants his mother.

Hey, it's him.

Two in one day. Two in one day.

Can you believe it? Two what?

Two fantasies came true.

I lost my virginity and I fell in love.

With Rowena? I can't wait for her to meet your parents.

Her name is Daisy. Daisy Hannigan.

Every time I say it I get tiny little heart attacks.

Not enough to kill you.

Just enough to keep you from walking straight.


Anybody seen my notebook?

What notebook is that?

The one I'm always writing in.

Arnold, have you seen it?

Why did you leave your locker open?

Because I lost the key down the shower drain.

There was nothing valuable in there except my notebook.

I thought I could trust the guys around here.

That's really funny, Jerome, you know, 'cause we thought we could trust you too.

What does that mean?

"One night a sudden scream from Selridge..."

Give me that! "...calling out the name Louise.

"Is Louise his girlfriend of his mother?"

You have no right to read that.

And you got no business writing down my dreams. They're private property.

Give it back to him. Nobody is interested.

You interested in what he thinks about you, Donny boy?

Give it to me!

I'm just going to hold your arm.

If you want it broken, it's up to you.

'Kowski, please don't read that.

If it gets boring, I'll stop.

"I can't make Don Carney out yet.

Basically he's okay and I like him.

But there's something about him you can't quite count on and if I was ever in real trouble Don Carney's the last one I'd turn to."

Well, let's just hope you don't have to count on me.

It doesn't mean anything.

I get a thought and I write it down. It changes every day.

Let him go, Selridge.

You want to take his place?

I don't care who's arm I break.

Okay, you ready for the best part? Here's the best part.

"Wykowski is pure animal.

He masturbates in bed four or five times a night.

He has no shame about it and his capacities are enormous.

Sometimes when he has a discharge he announces it to the room.

Number five torpedo fired, loading number six."

Hey, Epstein, can I sue him for defamation of...

What is it? Character?

Only if his intent is to prove malice.

And in your case, it's not possible.

Read more.

Where was I?

You just fired number five.

"Despite Wykowski's lack of culture, sensitivity or the pursuit of anything that is minutely intellectual, his greatest strength is his consistency of character and his earnest belief that he belongs on the battlefield.

He is clearly the best soldier in the pl...

in the platoon, dependable under pressure, and it would not surprise me if Wykowski came out of the war with the Medal of Honor."

You really mean that, Jerome?

I told you, I don't mean any of it.

Right now I would describe you in three words.

A yellow bastard!

Yeah, well, they don't give the Medal of Honor to yellow bastards. Let him go, Sel.

What do you want to write this stuff down for?

You're only gonna make a lot of guys unhappy.

What I write in my book is my business.

Now give it to me. Don't I get to hear my life story?

Arnold, I beg you, don't read that.

They're my private thoughts.

If you take them, you steal from me.

I gather then it's unflattering.

Don't you know me by now, Gene?

I can't be unflattered. I'm past it.

However, if you don't want me to read it, I won't read it.

But I don't think we'll be able to be truly honest with each other from this moment on.

Put it back when you're through.

Well, don't we get to hear it?

"Arnold Epstein's constant and relentless pursuit of truth, logic and reason fascinates me in the same proportion as his obstinacy and unnecessary heroics drive me to distraction.

But I love him for it, in the same manner I love Joe DiMaggio for making the gesture of catching a long flyball to center.

Seems like the last miracle performed by God in modern times.

But often I hold back showing my love and affection for Arnold because I think he might misinterpret it.

It just happens to be my instinctive feeling that Arnold...

is... homosexual.

And it bothers me that it bothers me."

Do you see why I find life so interesting?

Because here is a man who in three weeks has come to the brilliant conclusion that a cretin like Wykowski is going to win the Medal of Honor and that his most esteemed and dearest friend is a fairy.

Lights out!

It is my opinion that no one here gets a wink of sleep tonight. Goodnight, fellows.

The weekends I spent with Daisy made the weeks I spent in the Army even more unbearable.

I knew this romance would never survive the war or the differences in our backgrounds or our futures.

But I didn't let Daisy know I felt that way.

I wanted every hour we spent together to be perfect.

And it was because I think she knew it too.

Who the hell turned this light out?

Oh, the stripes! Who's there?

Goddamn it, Lindstrom.

Why didn't you tell the Army what you were and save the trouble of a court-martial?

The other soldier with Private Lindstrum flew out that window with the dexterity of a paratrooper.

He was seen but not identified entering the latrine window of my barracks a few minutes later.

Unlike the missing $62, this time it wasn't me.

So, who the hell was it?

Private Lindstrom, nervous young man, who will surely crack under the strain of investigation.

Therefore, if the guilty party in this room wishes to admit his indiscretion, he will not only lessen his sentence in Leavenworth Prison, but will save this company what I promise you will be pain, anguish and humiliation beyond the endurance of man.

I take it that honor and integrity are traits not to be found anywhere in this company.

Jerome? Yes, Sergeant?

What would you do in my place?

I'm not in your place, Sergeant.

I know you write down everything you see in that book of yours.

Is there anything that happened tonight that might be of interest to me?

I was asleep, Sergeant.

If you weren't, you wouldn't tell me anyway, would you?

No, I don't think I would.

I got another Epstein on my hands, don't I?

Okay, men, all base privileges are canceled.

All weekend passes, likewise canceled.

The moral of this story is, when you get real horny, do it to yourself what you would otherwise do unto others.


What we gonna do about this?

Don't say it, Wykowski. Just don't... don't...

Hey, I don't have to say it.

We all know who he's talkin' about... you even wrote it down in your book, didn't you?

Yeah, I also wrote down that you're an animal.

If I'm right, then you should be in the cavalry with a saddle on your back.

Oh, yeah?

Hey, this is none of our business!

Hey, come on!

Just let the Army take care of this.

I'm sorry, Arnold.

I swear to God, I'm sorry I ever wrote it.

Actually, I'm rather enjoying it.

It sounds like an Agatha Christie story, "Sodomy on the Orient Express."

Hey, Epstein, let's see if you'll be laughing at Leavenworth.

And he calls me a cretin.

I don't see what's such a big deal...

Guy should be able to do what he wants to do, just as long as he doesn't do it to me.

That's a mistake, Gene.

Once you start compromising your thoughts, you're a candidate for mediocrity.

There's nothin' we can do about it tonight.

Let's hit the sack.

I learned a very important lesson that night.

People believe whatever they read.

Something magical happens once it's put down on paper.

They figure no one would have gone to the trouble of writing it down if it wasn't the truth.

Responsibility was my new watchword.

Hey MPs, that Lindstrom guy must have talked.

Jesus, you mean they're gonna pull the guy right out in front of everyone?

When the following soldier's name is called, he is requested to accompany the military police back to headquarters.

Hennessey, James J.

What's it about?

That's a matter for you to discuss with the authorities.

Come on, son.

Hennessey was the only guy in the platoon who stood up for both Epstein and me.

That fact didn't even occur to me until I saw him being driven off to prison.

Boy, it's hot.

Hey, come on, let's go get a beer.


don't you wanna go?

Why do you think I'm a homosexual?

I don't know.

Maybe it's because you never once talked about a girl.

I never talked about dogs either, does that make me a cocker spaniel?

I know. I'll never do it again.


Is it "Epstein..." or "Epsteen"?



I wonder if I may have a word with you in private, please?

Jesus, he's drunk as hell.

Did you hear what I said, "Epsteen"?

Your insignificant presence is requested in my chambers.

You okay, Sarge?

Get out of here, Jerome, before I start hatin' you again.

Or if I kill the both of you, they can still only hang me once.

Let's go, "Epsteen."

We got some bills to pay up, you and I.

You and me.

Move your ass, sonny!

You don't want to do this, Sarge.

But I do, I really, really do.

It's all right, Gene.

No, it isn't.

Unless you want to write in you memoirs that you're dead, I'd move out if I was you, Gene, buddy.

"Epstein," let's go, Goddamn it.

Don't do it, Arnold. He won't do anything as long as I'm a witness.

Okay, fine with me.

"Epsteen," go clean the latrine.

It's in my room, Jerome.

You're now about to move up to the front lines.

Come on.

Have a drink, Jerome.

I don't drink whiskey, Sergeant.

You will tonight.


Because I say so.


I don't like you, Jerome.

I never did, never will.

I won't even like you after the war.

Well, it probably won't come up all that often.

All right, well...

Take a slug.

Tell me, Jerome...

if a piss-drunk sergeant has a loaded .45 pointed at the head of a piece of dung that the piss-drunk sergeant hates and despises, how would you describe the situation?

Delicate, extremely delicate.


He's gone nuts!

He's... he's... he's gonna kill him.

I'm telling you!

I'll be honest with you, Jerome, it was my intention of gettin' "Epsteen" in here, puttin' this pistol to his ear... blowin' a tunnel through his head, but you'll do just as well.

Well, I'm sorry to hear that.

There's something about you New York boys riles my ass.

You don't appreciate the Army, do you?

There is some things I like.

Such as?

Mail, I like getting my mail.

Are you shittin' me, Jerome?

A piece of dung would never shit a piss-drunk sergeant with a loaded .45.

Don't test me, Jerome.

I'll bury you.

You know what the irony of this situation is, Jerome?

The irony is that despite the fact you hate every disciplined bone in my body, you're gonna miss me when I go.

Are you going somewhere, Sergeant?


Veteran's Hospital.

0700, tomorrow morning.

I know how much you boys are gonna miss me.

Don't make a fuss or anything.

No gifts, you understand?

Well, the guys'll be disappointed, but I'll explain why.

In gratitude, the Army is going to replace my steel plate with Sterling silver.

That means I'll be able to hock my head at any pawnshop in this country.

That's a joke, Jerome.

I know, I love Army humor.

How long will you be gone, Sergeant?

They don't send you back from a Veteran's Hospital, boy, you become a veteran.

I'm trying to tell you, my active career in the US Army has been terminated.

I'm finished. Do you understand?

Retired before 40. That's sad, isn't it?

Do you find that sad, Jerome?

Yes, it is sad.

One night from my room here, I heard that game you played with the men in the barracks, how each man could have his own fantasy with only a week to live.

I wanna play that game, Jerome.

Here's my five bucks.

You tell me if I win.

You can't win, Sergeant, the game is over.

Not yet, not till I had my turn, all right?

You know what I would do... with my last week on earth?

I'd like to take one Army misfit, dumb-ass, sub-human, useless son of a bitch, and turn him into an obedient disciplined soldier this Army could be proud of.

I got two in this company... you and Epstein.

But Epstein's hopeless.

You're my last hope, Jerome.

You're gonna make my fantasy come true.

None of 'em actually came true, it was just a game.

Right, except tonight's the real thing.

And I don't have a week to do it in.

We're gonna do it now, soldier.

On your feet, dogface.

Sergeant, I don't think you're in any condition...

On your feet!


A crime has been committed in this room tonight, Jerome.

A non-commissioned officer has threatened the life of an enlisted man, brandishing a loaded weapon at him without cause or provocation, while under the influence of alcohol.

I am that officer, Jerome.

It is your unquestioned duty to report this incident to the proper authorities.

That's okay, I didn't mind.

As I'm piss-drunk and dangerous, it's also your duty to relieve me of my loaded weapon.

I could just leave and I would never talk about it.

Take my weapon, Goddamn it.

What do you mean, "take it"? How am I supposed to take it?

Demand it, you weasel bastard. I'll blow your puny brains out.

Okay, okay.

May I have your gun, Sergeant?

Pistol, turd-head.

May I have your pistol, Sergeant?

Force it out of my hand.

Force it out of your hand?

How am I supposed to force it out of your hand?

Grab my wrist, if you dare.

I can't, you're stronger than I am.

Grab it or I'll shoot, Goddamn you!


Okay, thank you.

Now, why don't you just try to get a good night's sleep?

To properly charge me, you need witnesses.

Assemble the men outside the barracks.

Why? I took your gun.

Aren't you satisfied? I am.

It's regulations.

As long as you obey regulations, I'll win the bet.

Assemble the men.

Oh. Hi, fellas.

Would you come outside for a minute?

Sergeant wants to speak to us.

Men, as you can see...

I'm piss-drunk.

I've also just threatened to blow Private Jerome's brains out.

Private Jerome has relieved me of my weapon, placed me under arrest. You're all witnesses.

Before takin' me to headquarters to file charges, I'd just like to add that Private Jerome has displayed outstanding courage and carried out his duty in a manner of a first class soldier.

I am puttin' him up for commendation.

I'm ready to go, Jerome.

I think that's a decision that should be left to the men, Sergeant.

Is that right?

That's right.


Private Epstein, in your opinion, should we drop the charges or not?

No. No charges.

I think the sergeant should get company punishment like the rest of us.

Will that be all right, Sergeant?

But two misfits are in charge, huh?

Fine. Handle this any way you want, as long as justice is served.

You name it, Epstein.

I think justice would be served if you gave us 200 push-ups.

Very decisive.

That's a disciplined soldier for you, men.

Thank you.

Hit the dirt?

Hit the dirt!

Count off? What?

Tell me to count off!

Right! Count off!

Yes, Private Epstein.

One, two, three... four, five, six... seven, eight, nine...

10, 11, 12...

13, 14, 15...

16, 17, 18...

19, 20, 21...

22, 23, 24...

We never saw Sergeant Toomey again.

Our new sergeant was a sane, logical and decent man.

And after four weeks with him, we realized how much we missed Sergeant Toomey.

One should never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity.

I told Daisy I was shipping out and that this was the last time we'd have together.

She said, "I know you'll find another girl some day, Gene, but you'll never forget me, because we'll always be each other's first love."

Long after the war, I ran into Daisy in New York.

She still looked great.

She married a doctor from New Orleans.

Her name is now Daisy Horowitz.

Oh, well, Biloxi was beautiful.

We were heading for the Battle of the Pacific, and there wasn't one of us who wasn't really scared.

But suddenly they dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and six days later the war was over.

So, when you get down to it, the only action we ever really saw was up in Rowena's place.

Sure, we were glad our lives were spared, but the guys who came before us, the ones who didn't make it back home, haunted me for the rest of my life.

Roy Selridge decided to make the Army his career, and 18 years later, he was still a buck private.

I guess he never really did hit his peak.

Joseph Wykowski became a high school football coach in Albany, New York.

He's married with six kids, weighs 280 pounds and has an ulcer.

He's on a low-fat cottage cheese diet.

Don Carney became a first grade schoolteacher and he's someone the kids can really count on.

He never got married, and he enjoys singing in his church choir.

Arnold Epstein became a lawyer and eventually the District Attorney of Brooklyn.

The mafia calls him the most feared man in New York.

As for me, I finally found the perfect girl.

I got married and had two great daughters.

I became a writer. I wrote a few plays, and just finished one called Biloxi Blues.

Everything in it is true, except that Rowena never gave me a second one for free.

Maybe I'll leave that out if they ever make it into a movie.

As I look back now, a lot of years later, I realize that my time in the Army was the happiest time of my life.

God knows, not because I liked the Army, and there sure was nothing to like about a war.

I liked it for the most selfish reason of all... because I was young.

We all were... me and Epstein and Wykowski, Selridge, Carney, Hennessey, and even Sergeant Toomey.

I didn't really like most of those guys then, but today, I love every damn one of them.

Life is weird, you know?

* Goodbye, dear, I'll be back in a year *

* 'Cause I'm in the Army now *

* They took my number out of a hat *

* And there's nothing a guy can do about that *

* But when I get back, I'll be all tanned and brown *

* And we'll buy that cottage just outside of town *

* So, goodbye, dear, I'll be back in a year *

* Don't forget that I love you *

* Goodbye, dear, I'll be back in a year *

* 'Cause I'm in the Army now *

* Don't I look handsome dressed up like this? *

* Stop your cryin' and give your soldier a kiss *

* They may send me out to the old Philippines *

* But, sweetheart, you'll still be the girl of my dreams *

* So, goodbye, dear, I'll be back in a year *

* Don't forget that