Captain Conan (1996) Script


Relax! Coffee's on the way.

It's nothing! Stay put' Ferrandière.

It's just the 9 o'clock mail. Sleep' sleep!

Who ordered that flare?

Something moved' sir.

Just a rat.

I could've wiped you and your slackers out.

My boys never sniffle' cough' or get snagged on the wire.

Warn us next time' or you may get shot Iike rabbits.

20 minutes to get up before the moon clears the ridge.

You mucked up the ravine with your patrols again.

I've got to use the Ieft gully now.

Going up Socrates?

I sent a runner over to Hill 915 yesterday.

He never arrived. If you spot the body' Iet me know.

Send up as many flares as usual tonight.

If any man fires a shot too many' he answers to me!

You making that racket?

Malaria' sir. It'II pass.

Stay here.

Stay here!

That's rotten!

De Scève...

Where's Conan?

Went up 20 minutes ago.

He forgot me!

He Iikes you. He didn't want to turn you down.

I Iook dumb. You Iook dumb.

Did the mess get any mutton in?

My men got dysentery from that frozen Aussie rabbit.

What's Conan up to?

Takes time to get up there' sir.

The Senegalese moan they eat too much mutton.

And us' nothing since Christmas!

The niggers have it better than us!

Where are the prisoners?

You'II pay for this! C'mon' you bastards!

What? We're going back?

You took a while' but bravo!

Yeah' congratulate 'em... The buzzards!

I'd Iike to re-arrange a few mugs!

Fuckin' bastards!

We forgot to take prisoners!

Aren't those two there Bulgars?

Sure. We went back for 'em.

He'II chew me out!

You Iucky. War over.

Drink this.

I don't get you' but I can guess...

Shut up!

Here' Rouzic... It's his Ioss.

A bit Iate for guinine' Mahut!

We got our wires crossed.

Watch how you clods hold him!

Keep his head up!

Easy' son! We'II take care of you. I'II see to it.

Carry him Iike the Holy Grail.

How do you say "disinfectant"?

Really' it's the same?

And "antiseptic"?

Rouzic can bring your mail.

Thanks' sir.

Don't thank me. Mail doesn't automatically mean good news.

Why' only Iast week I got dumped by a fiancee.

Only got six Ieft now!

Here's to you' old man!

I can't use him now. He'II be soldiering in a month.


My job's not fighting' it's butchery.

A bum shoulder and you're out.

You go to staff college?

No Ioss. A Iot of shirkers who bust your chops!

If our hours don't suit you' gentlemen' please Iet us know.

We'II be honored to conform to yours.

Sir' I...

My fault' sir. I was visiting my wounded.

But our young friend wasn't.

I took him along.

He's good with words. I get into a muddle.

You don't do so badly.

Well' sit down.

Your wounded...?

OK' but Perrin's got to transfer.

Good soldier?

Try him. First-rate.


Work it out between you.

Don't Iet it get cold.

Ageing potatoes' Iike bashful virgins' need to be warmed up for consumption.

Sorry' sir' but the hospital visit upset our stomachs.

Smell of ether' Iikely.

Sure' he knows I'm riding him' but I won't pretend their glop tastes Iike chocolate.

We're getting eggs.

When they grow wings.

That's just Iike you' sir!

Watch the wire.

It either rings or it explodes.

No scream. It's rabbit stew tonight!

And a scream?

Depends... Boche or Bulgar.

I've got the runs' sir!

Try some Pernod.

Ass down' Rabier!

Come eat now' sir' before it's overcooked.

Be right in. We have a guest.

Hey' boys' this is Lt. Norbert!

I added stuffing: olives and onions' breadcrumbs and bacon.

Some wine! Don't speak Breton with our friend here.


If they were all Iike him' we'd still be Iiving in caves.

But he's a real fighter!

Know Hill 818? The Iittle stream?

He went to wash my socks and came back nudging a Bulgar! He wanted to give him a drink. Took him for a Greek!

How could I tell he wasn't Greek?

Cushy' no?

Not for all tastes' though.

De Scève calls this place... the barbarian's cave.

Bordeaux. Real Bordeaux!

Courtesy of the Brits. I wanted to buy a case... No way.

So I swiped two without paying.

There's a nibble of stew Ieft...

Let's have it.

No' it's too much.

It's venison!

Big fat General Berthelot would give his kepi just to suck the bones!

A taste' then.

How do you manage? The army's starved.

Special diet' you mean?

But our work's special.

You'd find it hard to stomach.

My father said: "Use what God puts in your pack."

Me' I strike hard and fast. Always!

While you...

Say' Iet me see your pistol.

I'II take a Ieak.

The trigger's slack.

You go with that redhead?

Smart-ass! The farm near the Turks...

Oh' right! I think I've seen her.

Seen her? She gave two of my boys the clap.

The clap? Oh' yeah?

So maybe that's why...

Your nose runs. Get her treated before she sinks the division.

So that's why she's so cheap!

The one I really wanted was the Greek girl from the bar.


She threw my money in my face.

Leave this with me until tomorrow.

We may move out.

Lend him a gun. Anything beats a slingshot.

I've got a Mauser in perfect shape.


Speak any Greek?

Ancient Greek. Literary.

Better than nothing...

Tell her she resembles my sister.

It puts 'em at ease.

Nothing smutty' OK?

My Greek won't do.

Try English.

Skip it' sonny. If she can manage' so can I.

Midnight Ieave's up' Iads. Back to camp. On the double!

Sir' is it true about the big push?

Artillery's moving up and they're saying...

I get it! The usual rubbish.

Sorry to interrupt' sir...

Just a minute. I'm paying my respects to the Iady.

Sit your pretty Iittle ass down here.

Got a room here?

What happened?

An attack on De Scève's sector. Pretty nasty.

Shit! Conan!

Lt. Norbert' 2nd Company. Get me the attack group.

Send a man out to find Conan on the double!

You can hang up. That knocked you for a Ioop' eh?

They sent a motorbike while you were having kittens.

Just when I was Iearning Greek!

Better eguipped than us!

The Boche supplied 'em with new gear.

Half our privates have holes in their trousers. Not these guys!

There aren't only Buls... Must've been Boches too.

Nasty show!

De Scève didn't cop it with them.

Must be a prisoner. We Iooked all over for him.

You Iooked' but I'II find him.

Sorry' Conan' but you're no Ionger on your own.

The rumor was right: it's the big push.

Matter of hours. Meaning?

Your men join a machine-gun unit. You fight with the buddies.

The buddies will have to adapt!

It's hell up there!

Your helmet!

Get that phone Iine up. Faster!

Keep going!

Orders' sir!

From the Colonel' sir!

Your name? Riguiou' sir.

You never saw me.


Not seen' not found.

If the Colonel ever says otherwise' you'II answer to me!

I didn't see you?

So I go back? Is that it?

That's it' Riguiou' my boy. You go back.

Hey' where you from?

Paris suburbs.

Go home.

"Hold ridge and await orders." While the others run for it! My ass!

Still there' Riguiou?

Brandy and hot coffee ahead!

Took your guinine?

Careful' sir.

They'II get you.

I Iost two brothers' sir!

Go get 'em' Rouzic!

Kill the bastards!


Over here' sir! We Iost two men.

Kill 'em all!

No prisoners!

If I heard him right...

He said "capitulato."

Does that mean we go home?

Who knows!

My friends'

I have a momentous announcement to make:

Victory is ours on all fronts!

Since the 11th of this month' the war has been over!

It's about time!

It was drying in the Iatrines' sir.

That'II do!

From General Pétain:

"In the 52nd month of a war unprecedented in History'

"the French army' with the aid of its allies'

"vanguished the enemy..."


Royer's got the runs worse than ever!

OK' Iet him go. But on the sly!

"...setting the example..."

"of sublime endurance and daily heroism"'

"thus fulfilling the task entrusted to them by the Motherland."

Despatch from Foch' of 12 November...


Don't forget. The main thing's the attack!

We can't work miracles' but...

Put your guts into it! Let's hear it!

Don't make me Iook stupid!

"...the greatest battle in History.

"Take pride in it!

"It is with immortal glory

"that you have bedecked your flag.

"Posterity shall remember you with gratitude."

Signed: "Foch'

"Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces."

And may I add: Forces triumphant!

And now' what?

The regimental band' sir.


I don't see Conan or his men.

I exempted them. They're ill.

What do you say to that' Rouzic' my boy?

A bit of a muck-up' sir' but it's still victory.

What's victory mean to you?

Being able to Iift my head without stopping a bullet.

There's hope for you' Pop' if they don't eat you alive.

Christ! Don't tell me you Iost the ink pads!

And the rubber stamps!

This army mislays everything!

But remember' sir... the Sokol Pass...

2 mules in the river!

I don't give a damn!

How can I sign anything now?

There are duplicates at HQ. Fetch them' dammit!

And bring me clean puttees while you're at it.

Sir' I found the movement orders and unit records.


I want a Iist of wounded' killed in action' by malaria...

The War Office will decide on pensions Iater.

And this?

"Administration" is all done. Crates 34' 36...

And 37' check!

For "Stock" ' 3 crates: A'B'C...

"Transfers and Promotions": Two red boxes.

Here's one.

There's the other!

Citations. Died for France... "Granted" and "Rejected".

One wood file' one metal file...

Those go in the front car.

What is it? Trainee drivers?

This is archives' not personnel.

So what do I do? Buzz off.

Hey! Got any bread?

"The neighbor's boy is taking this down.

"I asked him to write in big Ietters..." I'm glad he did!

"He was demobilized after being gassed.

"He'd already been wounded twice.

"Henriette's gotten thin as a rail.

"She does a man's job and Iongs for you.

"But we get by' which is a Iot' seeing all the woe in the world.

"Try not to fight too much. Leave it to your buddies.

"You did your share in the Argonne.

"I send you all my Iove.

"Don't forget Henriette's birthday' the 23rd."

Never waste water on washing.

You drink...









Then' swallow what's Ieft.

It's my first Ieave in 28 months.

I had my Iast one back in '16.

But since the Iast 2 ships were torpedoed' nix!

I hear we're going to Egypt.

To see the Brits?

I think we're in for a swell surprise.

Look' Bulgaria's here.

Sofia' our starting point.

If we were headed for Greece' the sun'd be there.

It's not Turkey' or it'd be there.

The sun's back there!

Right behind us!

So we're headed west...

Northwest... Belgrade...

Italy by tomorrow night.

After Italy...

After Italy' Brittany!

I'm cold and hungry.

It's De Scève! C'mon!

De Scève! Conan here!

No detraining!

Go tell it to you Momma!

Come with us!

I'II join up with you Iater. I'm staying with them.


He's an odd one!

He is what he is.

He's not odd' he's saving face.

Take it while it's hot.

He'd wax his boots in the trench. We've seen him in rags!

He's one of the rare career officers you respect.


He had it easy in the Cavalry' well-connected and all.

But he joins infantry!

He comes from Ianded nobility. A viscount... in the infantry!

A real soldier!

Just Iike you.

No' he's a soldier. I'm a warrior.

Any difference?

A wolf-dog's not a wolf.

We may be going back to Salonika.

Ménard says there's even ships waiting.

What's Ménard know?

Well... he's a cook!


You hear what I hear? Bucharest!

Bucharest... Romania' no?

Nowhere near home! Didn't we Iay bets?

So' where's the sun now?

You slug!

What's a rifleman doing here? Lost his company?

Lost your specs' Sergeant?

Sorry' sir' I didn't...

Drop it! And Bucharest?

No food or drink...

And the skirts?

From that angle' can't complain!

See? It was worth the trip!

Hey' boys! Shut it!

Where's the receipt box?

Under the expired IDs.

Expired? The killed don't draw pay.



We're waiting for the band.

We're to parade for the King and chiefs of staff.

What assholes!

Tell the guys to watch it! And no bullshit' Grenais!

This time I agree with you.

End 4 years of butchery with a fanfare... What a farce!

I'II see you at the French Lycée.

Champagne's on me!

No. It's on me. I insist.

I don't care for toy soldiers.


First' our thanks to the Lycée's principal for his warm welcome.

We'II try to be inconspicuous.

I've no doubt.

And now I raise my glass to Lieutenant De Scève.

Twice captured' he twice braved escape...

But he was twice retaken' alas!

Yes' but with what panache...

Sir' Iike Napoleon'

I see no honor in being captured. So if you don't mind...

To friendship!

He shut his trap good with Napoleon.

I Iike that too: he says what he has to.

Lieutenant Norbert?

From the Major.

I smell a rat.

He didn't pipe up at dinner.

Town detail patrol!

Strada Serindar' Strada Lipscani...

Here' Iook!

He's using you to get at me.

He knows I can't whoop it up on my own.

But if it's a red-Iight district' you can get an eyeful.

"Soldiers must salute both French and Romanian officers."

In that case' they may as well glue their paws to their eyebrows!

"Proper dress... AII misconduct will be punished..."

So much for the post-war!

I'II Iet you off this time.

Now beat it! On the double!

I can't believe my Iuck!

Green eyes and you speak French!

Not speak good.

Good enough.

I Iearn one year only' in school...

Then I do conversation.

There you go! Conversation. Perfect!

Did you do conversation with the Germans?

When no more money.

But Germans' they have more pretty costumes and more pretty music.

More pretty music and costumes' maybe' but we still kicked their asses.

Skip it...

Cucumber' "cachcaval"... Enough is enough.

Let's get some real grub.

Hey' Norbert! I'm Iearning Romanian!

So I see.

It's amazing!

Come back. It's not worth it!

Despite what you may think' we're still at war.

With whom?

What the hell does it matter?

The ones we have to shoot: Hungarians' Trotsky's Bolsheviks...

For now' we're in an Allied country.

So' no misconduct' no brawling' no drunkenness' no Iooting.

And the Armistice?

What about it? Armistice isn't peace.

What's keeping you?

Berthelot's worked up! We can't Iet the Brits open the ball alone!

Wait up!

Careful of the Iadies.

Gallantry' the French spirit - right!

But no familiarities. Avoid those dark ones.

You fell for one' Fidéli.

Like a ton of bricks' sir.

How I understand youth! I myself once...

Beware the dark ones!

The women... here.

Men' on right.

My report can break you' Sergeant!

Go on and report me!

Lt. Conan will fix it up.

But I'II fix you' buddy!

So the general says: Yes or no' why are you on the stairs?

So I answer: Oh' no' sir!

If our hours don't suit you' dear colleague' please Iet us know.

It'II be an honor to conform to yours.

Town detail' sir!

Meals are also part of duty. At the exact hour.

Yes' sir.

Three days' suspension!

Fidéli will replace for you.

I need you elsewhere.

We need an advocate for the next court martial sessions.

Someone who honors the battalion. I appointed you.

I don't understand' sir.

I never studied Iaw.

Your education will compensate.

In Iiterature?

Look here!

Not that I belittle defense' but I don't see the point.

Excuse me?

Either the guilt is patent and you get so much... or the guilt's unproven and you get so much even so. On principle.

I don't understand' sir!

How can we accept that?

You sound Iike a chorus of outraged virgins!

A Iittle vocabulary' gentlemen...

What are imprisoned soldiers called before trial?

The accused. Exactly!

Thus' suspicion of guilt exists.

Suspicion is not conviction.


In my experience' the accused is never a good soldier.

He's just asking for it.

If not this time' he was guilty a dozen other times.

Not my idea of justice. No' wait.

I'II bet 1000 francs against a trouser button that not one of you - not one! - can say he never came close to being court-martialed.

Say you take 3 days' extra Ieave... Desertion!

Or a bogus pass... The unit seal traced on a copy.

Forged documents! Correct me if I'm wrong...

5 to 10 years.

Still' sir... 10 years for fake Ieave?

When you asked that artillery captain if he'd trained in a straitjacket...

He was shelling our Iines! I Iost 3 men!

Insulting a superior. And on active duty...

5 to 10 years.

So' for the handful of wronged innocents' there are 100'000 guilty who get away!

I couldn't agree more' sir.

Those shot as an example deserve to be.

Sure! Shoot a few' so the rest think twice!

We haven't the choice of arms. A firing sguad is one.

Your men's knives' another.

No offense' sir... but I recruited Iots of my boys from the brig.

I don't know many who'd go where they've gone! Not many!


Before making an example' follow their example!

So you've gone over to the enemy?

How you talk! There's no more enemy!

Don't believe it!

The enemy's changed' that's all.

No Bulgars' Turks or Boches now' OK' but one false move and the brass hats will fix your wagon good.

You heard the Major! Even De Scève!

It's not our world' Norbert.

If you join their circus' they'II eat you raw.

May I?

"Caillaux' René. 5th Fusiliers.

"Cited twice:

"Captured machine-gun... Retrieved wounded sergeant..."

So what's the charge?

"Theft of gear."

Two blankets? Some prick nailed him for two blankets!

He's the one they should shoot!

Funny' these thefts: all privates!

I saw colonels steal their stripes! Never on the Iist!

Come in.

AII of it?

Just half. Leave the pail.

I don't doss here now' Rouzic. I found something in town.

My Iittle Romanian tutor...

This is parguetry!

Maybe so.

Where'd you get this? So Iong as it burns!

There's nothing to this! A crock!

I've done 10 times worse.

And this colonial? 3 days to find his regiment...

Get the picture? A Bedouin Iost among the Gypsies!

At Ieast he looked for his regiment.

The model student! Memorize it all.

Shoulder to the wheel. Brownnose!

Cut it out!

How are you as a teacher? Good egg or scumbag?

Always trying to understand: a good egg' for sure!

Well' there's no shame in that.

Ah' an officer!

Mr. Officer...

Mr. Principal... Anything wrong?

Wrong? Everything's wrong!

Your men fought and smashed the furniture!

The dorm reeks of cooking!

I'II take care of it tomorrow.

You'd be advised to. If I report it' this could...

And my advice is: Keep it under your hat. No report' clear?

I understand.

But a whole side of pork for your mess vanished.

And there's a smell upstairs... grilled pig.

What's the game here?

I turn my back and you get Fart-Face all riled!

You've got the brains of a slug!

Shut your trap' Grenais!

Fighting among yourselves?

Confined to guarters' sir. We're bored!


In a nice girl's school' with God watching over you?

It may be nice...

Save your breath... Pack your gear. On the double!

And pilfering the kitchen!

Why not? But cooking it under the principal's nose?

Pork's no good raw. Don't get smart!

I wanted the window fixed and a side of pork by noon tomorrow.

Jump to it!

Faster! I'm running Iate!

You' shut up!

Parade in the yard in one minute!

Company' halt!

Punitive drill' Sergeant!

Punitive drill' sir. For rowdiness.

Fine' fine.

Regulation weight?

15 Ibs.' sir. I even added sand for good measure.

15 Ibs.!

Very well.

Good drilling' gentlemen.

It's really cold.

Company' halt!

Midnight Ieave! Dump packs!

The morons who started the brawl can stand guard.

We'II have new billets tomorrow night.

Have fun and stay out of trouble!

Shut up!

Retrieve packs at 11:50 pm! Beuillard' you're in charge.

Make sure you Iook whacked out.

To the cathouse!

I'm not asking for the moon' doc.

Just put 'em in guarantine.

I have no room. There are 50 of you.

I'II find the room. You find the bug.

How about flu?

No! The Major would Iaugh in my face.

Spanish flu! Extra-deadly...

Got anything better? Something to give 'em a scare.

They won't be patting you on the head with flu!

How about cholera?

Just what I need!

I'm Iooking for...

This the military prison? Yes' sir. Annex 2.

Looks Iike a brothel.

That' too. In theory' the Iadies stay upstairs.

In theory.

There are twice too many.

We had no name Iist' sir. We brought everyone out.

I'II see you each alone. The others' outside.

Jump to it!

Fourrier' Raoul.

Why me?

So you stole...

No' no! Easy to say!

Try to understand. I'm not your enemy. I'm here to defend you.

I have to know the whole truth.

You stole that sheep?

An exchange' sir! Paid in full.

A 5-franc piece' 2 packs of tobacco... and premium!

And a cooked hen.

The farmer claims the hen was stolen' too.

But I paid him back! And I mean: cooked!

Even the bones were cooked.

Anyway' the sheep was no bigger than a puppy.

And there were 7 of us!

Why is it only me that cops it?

You fought at the Marne?

I'm a walking injustice.

You're next' Slimane.

He may turn out okay after all.

Slimane's story is simple. I heard him at Iength.

At the station in Videle' his chief' Captain De Jussieu. Whom he reveres - used the stopover to have him post some Ietters.

He accomplished his task' but on the way back' he met some tribesmen' cousins' who talked about home' which he Iongs for.

Time' for these desert dwellers' is not Iike time for us.

Did 10 minutes go by. As he thought - or 20' 30?

So he returned to the station serenely.

The train ready to go. He jumped blithely aboard.

But it wasn't the same train!

They were changed... without delay' for once!

Suddenly' he's headed for Tîrgu Jiu' in the Carpathians'

125 miles from his regiment and chief' not speaking the Ianguage.

One more! The Arab'II get off.

The Lieutenant... had 'em all in stitches.

So' you nasty piece of work... you gave it to 'em good.

What a jerk' that cook! Biking in the snow!

He's not home free.

Want your fortune told?

For the young man...

It's in Romanian!

This way' you can imagine what you want.

And your men? The cholera...

It was just an ordinary case of the shits.

The thing was to get out of that rat trap.

What happened?

Some stupid Irish Iug...

It was on a narrow sidewalk. He expected me to step aside...

How'd you know he was Irish?

We had a drink afterwards.

I'm too broke to buy you dinner. I'm tied up' anyway.

A girl from back home' Fréhel. She sings.

You might run away with her!

He has a cabbie's voice. Noticed?

Noticed what?

The cabmen. They're all castrated.

It's a Russian sect. After the 2nd child' snip!

Nice idea! Paris cabbies would Iove it.

Ladies... and Gentlemen...

Civilians and soldiers...

Couples Iegal...

and illegal...

Before we bring on the dance act... Oh so artistic!

Of Miss Fraulein Frida...

whom you'II see in just a moment...

I'd Iike you to welcome... a great artist of the French music hall...

I refer to.

Mademoiselle Fréhel... of the Eldorado!

Oh' yes!

Is this your doing?

I can't here' gentlemen...

To hear me sing where I'm paid to' rendezvous in the Rose Room in a half-hour!

Quick! Two men!

The woman's hurt!

Well' I didn't come for nothing!

Neither did they.

Take the suitcases.

We'II see to everything' Madam.

Thank you.

The soldiers will take our bags.

Yes' Madam.

I need a carriage.

Where can I find a carriage? I forget where I stayed before the war.

We'II see to the vehicle' Madam.

There's a trunk among the Iuggage. And my son's suitcase.

Go help them. Take the hat boxes and Jean's suitcase.

Thank you' Captain.

At your service.

Lt. Neubout' suite 34.

So I need a replacement before I Ieave' and I thought of you.

Me? To replace you?

I saw you in court. You're bright' you can think on your feet.

Hold on! I was court-appointed. I got caught up in it.

Anyway' defense doesn't reguire any serious Iegal training' just some compassion for my comrades-in-arms.

What you say only convinces me you'd make an "accuser" - as we're called - who's fair' preferring the spirit to the Ietter.

The very word terrifies me!

"Accuser"... I can't!

You dismay me.

Now the other fellow will win out.

So? You have another candidate.

Yes. A vicious brute.

A veterinarian.

I'm not joking.

Relishes the idea of inflicting punishment.

I'm sorry. I can't.

Conan... You know him?

He's a friend. Why?

Nasty business... A Romanian officer in the hospital.

A bit impulsive' but an amazing fellow.

His file is amazing' too. Reported 10 times...

Brawling' drunkenness...

Burned the parguetry of the French Lycée Iibrary...

You see him doing that?

No. But he's taking the rap.

He could even get Life for this.

Can I think it over? No time.

But still' technically...

Elementary. You can pick up procedure within hours.

The basics are all here. Military code 1857.

I made comments and notes.

But this is terrifying!

Loubérac! Just the man...!


I have a cousin from Paris... Mme Erlane.

She's Iooking for her missing son.

Imagine' if they all start doing that!

Find her a room. Get her off my back!

She's napping... A chatterbox!

I'II see to it' sir.

I want you to meet my successor...

General! Where are you' Felix?

I took a nap. We can go now.

I have the man for you. Just a moment' dear cousin.


See a family resemblance?

She says there is... just to draw me in.

And she calls me Felix!

You have a replacement' so take her round the hospitals.

I doubt you'II find the kid.

He must be Iying Iow with the broads.

Then' stick her on a train and s hool.

Very well' sir.

So is Lt. Norbert...?

Yes. He'II do!

I had a thought' Felix...

Hear that? Quick! Before she starts!

Lieutenant' you'II have your hands full.

So' you're the horse and surgery fellow?

I'd Iike to heal animals' too.

No' sir. I'm not the veterinarian.

I'm the Iiterature graduate.

Fine' Iiterature's nice' too.

Here's your assignment.

Red tape... You can fill it in Iater.

Ah' yes!

A nightmare. The Crystal Palace raid!

Find them and hupl the firing sguad!

Two women at death's door.

Sure' the dancer's a Boche' but still...!

So you're at it again! You Iike this bullshit?

"When bad soldiers are the regular court martial defendants..."

"Bad soldiers!"

What's the author of this crap know?

Say' now: a general!

It takes at Ieast 2 stars to whip this up! And you take notes!

I'm Iearning procedure' to prevent the worst.

Prevent the worst? You'II be in the dark!

Your "fairness" will send dozens of boys to the wall.

Don't be a cop! Shut your books and Iet's go get drunk.

Piotr Romescu... Ring a bell?

A Romanian officer.

He came home suddenly to find his wife "well in hand."

French hands threw him down the stairs.

Oh' that guy!

Yes' that guy!

Double concussion' broken Ieg...

Were you there?

He came at me' bellowing!

I have his complaint. And 10 others...

The bastard who nearly got this job would've had your hide.

Mind your business.

I can stand up for myself.

The Crystal Palace... Your 2 boys...

Dammit' we're friends! We're not gonna start fighting.

So Iay off my boys.

And the Romanian... What happened?


I've had it for tonight.

I followed the broad. She was delighted.

And then he showed up!

Dammit' Conan' it was his wife!

If they're so touchy' why ask for our help?

I'm here' she's here. I help myself.

So Iong!

You've declared that on the evening of the 16th' the evening of the crime for which you've been arraigned:

"After a stroll' I got back to guarters for roll call.

"I did some reading and then turned in."

Right? Yes' sir.

"Judge Advocate."

Answer: "Yes' Judge Advocate."

How is it that you were seen an hour Iater at the Crystal Palace?

Crystal Palace? Me?

Among the armed attackers.

Me' recognized?

By your height.

In my batallion alone' there are a dozen my size - even bigger.

Also' you're often seen in a cafe behind the artillery barracks.

It's cold out...

The owner is called Valko. He has a Iimp.

Two days Iater' you paid him with a 100-franc note. From where?

Oh' yes! I sold Boche field-glasses to civvies.

Any point in asking for the names of the buyers?

It's all done on the sly' you know.

But one of them was short and fat...

Let's say' medium... with black eyes...


That's enough' Beuillard!

Don't Iay it on.

Know how to drive a motor-car?

You were heard to say: "They'II never nab those guys!"

So you know them?

No! Everybody said it.

Don't have to know 'em.

But you know one of them. From the attack group?

No' poker partner. Gunner Forgeol.

Pharmacy student. Handsome. A gambler. Like you...

I'II get you! You or Grenais' or the other one...

You cracked the cashier's skull as if she were an enemy sentry.

A poor woman of 49 who took a week to die' moaning in pain the whole time.

Very sad' sir' but it wasn't me!

Take him away!

Very well' sir.

And Sergeant Grenais?

Don't bother. These two know their parts.

We'II get the pharmacist yet.

I must have stolen this' too!

The hour of revenge I s at hand.

Again s t u s of the clan.

Officer s, chief s and prie s ts.

Some of them are just asking for it!


It's about time!

I'm prisoner Erlane's mother. Jean Erlane.

Once again' Lieutenant...

I'm an officer's widow. You are a Lt.?

Parcels I sent my son were stolen again.

First' a Swiss knife. Now' mouthwash.

Sorry' Madam...

You're sorry but do nothing to improve the situation.

My son is the victim of a monstrous error' and nothing is done.


It's him!

You! Yes' you!

My parcel contained a bottle of mouthwash.

Who took it? By what right?

But' Madam' it contains alcohol!

You're allowed to visit' send parcels. I can't do more!

I'II see Pitard de Lauzier! The general is my cousin.

I know' Madam...

See him' then! What can I say?

If your family gets preferential treatment' I submit.

Can she speak?

Hard as wood.

General peritonitis.

Operating would be a pointless butchery.

Care to see the cashier?

Since she's dead...

You summoned me' Mr Judge Advocate?

Want to see the corpse? I know stiffs.

Take a Iook! Attacked and battered by sick brutes!

You can't protect murderers!

There's no one I admire more than you' but there's a Iimit.

I came to tell you...

I remember now: the night of the attack...

I'd assigned Beuillard and Grenais to sentry duty.

You have to Iet 'em go.

I brought you the duty roster.

Don't do this' Conan!

It's a forgery' for sure.

You'II go down with them.

The cashier's dead! The gunner will talk. I'II get the evidence.

I taught my boys not to get killed or screwed by pricks Iike you!

You know they fucked up. They have to pay!

You're not their nurse.

They'II go back to their fields and factories.

What'II you do? Whistle them up Sundays for a raid?

A swell idea' that.

Sure' a swell idea.

What'd you do in civilian Iife?

Civilian Iife?

That's ages ago.

Sewing notions.

Shirts' too...

My dad and I did the markets.

This one' too?

Well' why not...

You Iike dropping charges?

When necessary' sir.

Case closed.

Clear the decks!

But not when it's flagrant.

The Crystal Palace' for instance...

I have some suspects' sir.

Don't wear kid gloves!

"Come clean! It's you!" Baml Get a confession!

The best is to scare them.

They don't scare easily' sir.

Personally' I have nothing against the English. They're... not very bright but very practical.

Sensational with simple stuff. Some Ieaves' hot water' a pot...


A round ball' rolls it with your foot... Soccer!

Pick it up in your hands... Rugby!

Excuse me' sir. I put in for special Ieave...

I'd Iike to know.

I was told.

5 days? I need a cast-iron excuse.

I want to defend my men at the court martial' sir.

Yes' well' if you think...


Sorry' sir' but I'm afraid that's impossible.

The General needs a competent officer for the border control mission.

I recommended Lt. Conan. The posting's come through.

Well' if the General appointed you...

Nice stunt! I oughta bust your head!

It wouldn't help.

I'd feel better. From now on' watch your step!

So you prefer your thugs. No Iaws! No morality!

I'm serious! To each his own!

So watch your ass!

That what you teach your students? To be a cop?

Inspector Stefanesco...

Deputy Inspector Romesco.

Lt. Norbert' Judge Advocate.

Shall we go? Now?

It's best now. We'II surprise them.

We won't understand them. So?

Insist they speak French.

Try another solution' M. Loisy: Trust.

Hurry before we Iose them.

What pitiful creatures!

At night' they create an illusion.

What's he doing?

Searching! This isn't a tea room!

Thanks! I noticed!

He says there's a Frenchman down the hall.

We expected you' Lt.

"We"? I don't understand' miss.

Sure you do!

She and I make "We."

You made a racket coming up.

You should've Ieft by now!

I did Ieave! I stopped off to say goodbye to a friend.

You have to bug my girl' too?

House search' Mr. Officer!

This is your home.

Tell them to piss off!

Go on' tell them!

Tell him to get his paws off!

A real pack of scum...

But you take the cake!

Nice' that chair trick!

Tell your pal to stand aside.

Shut up' fart! Salute and shut up.

See you' angel.

As for you...

You Iet him go Iike that?

He's off on a mission.

More reason to stop him!

I had the General appoint him.

If he showed in court' he could get his men acguitted.

And that' never!

There's a compatriot of yours' Miss Georgette...

Excuse me. I have a slight fever and must stay in bed.

But don't stand there' Lieutenant...

Do sit down.

These Romanian officers are helping me on the Crystal Palace case.

I never set foot in there' young man.

When I first got here' in Feb. 1912...

...God' how time flies!

I'd just got my diploma. There was a post as French tutor...

Know this one?

Him neither!

When misfortune strikes' you think it's once and for all.

But it's only the beginning of your troubles...

The bastard!

You know him?

A real thug!

A brute.



He'd extort money from the girls. I sure gave it to him!

But some girls give in right away.

They still beat you up.

They knock you teeth out' give you cigarette burns.

I told them: For Frenchmen' you're vile!

And that gunner' the worst of the Iot!

But you know... he was well fixed.

How's that?


Pockets full!

He wanted 3 of us at once: Teresa' Nina and me'

Georgette' because I speak French.

Remember the precise day?

3 weeks ago. It was a Sunday.

At Caspa's. I go Sundays.

So' Sunday' the 21st.

Just after the hold-up!

And he had Iarge bank notes...

He got the picture. He's clever.

What else do you know about him?

As if I tried to see him again!

Who did he hang out with?

Wait! I remember him boasting he had a hideaway' that he had it easy... But where?

Yes! An army eye hospital!

He made up some sight problems.

It's in a convent near... Cot...


That's it!

Thank you' Madam. You've been most helpful.

We'II meet again...

I hope.


Glasses off' Forgeol! You can't fool me.

On the 16th' you took a girl to Valko's. For the night?

A whole night costs a Iot.

I bargained.

You chatted with her?

They're not French.

Speaking of French... Georgette Raynaud...

She saw you with Iots of cash...

For several girls at once.

Not at all! I wanted her to interpret.

But she turned them against me.

So you went to this girl's place. You had her address.

No' we went to a hotel.

Which hotel?

Streets' hotels... How do you manage' sir? In Romanian...

Which area? Behind the cathedral.

Together? From Valko's?

That's guite a haul!

She'd have been pinched for soliciting soldiers...

Quite a gutsy girl!

We went separately!

We were to meet there.

Not knowing the name of the hotel or the street...

At the time' I knew!

Her name? You knew that?

Nini. I call 'em all Nini.

As Iong as you pay them' their names...

So you said: "Nini'

"meet me in 15 minutes' on whatsit street' by the cathedral."

Something Iike that.

OK. Let's hear it in Romanian.

That's no proof. There's always a way...

And explain this' too...

The Crystal Palace thugs removed their stripes.

Yours have just been resewn!

You sure cornered him!

A fish! He was gaping Iike a fish!

Run the files down to HQ.

Not to your billets?

Look! I don't enjoy nailing them.

And what I enjoy even Iess is you enjoying it.

I did not wish to play this role before you today' without guite understanding why.

Only now do I understand. I will try to express myself simply:

How can we condemn these men' all admirable comrades-in-arms?

How can we acguit these men' all ruthless murderers of women?

I have no answer.

Don't sulk.

You got them off Iight. Conan will be thrilled.

I don't follow you.

I appreciated your tactical cunning' the way you played both sides...

"...condemn these heroes if you dare' I cannot!"

Sure' they're guilty' but you pushed the right button:

Execute these heroes?

I'm sure we can' but...

Good for them.

She's a nurse. English.

We couldn't talk' but in bed' she shrieks Iike a banshee!

I'II miss her. She's going?

Not her! Us!

You didn't know?

Back to Sofia to replace the colonials and then we go fight the Russians.

You seem displeased. You civilians are funny.

Don't Iike the theatre of foreign operations?

That's what it's called now. Want a Iift?

Nivelle and Mangin' off with their heads!

Butchers! 5000 dead a day' comrades!

The population of a small city.

An entire city' wiped off the map!

Swine! Murderers!

Save it for the judges!

Jesus' what Iuxury!

If I was rich' I'd piss all day Iong!

So they all got 3 years?

Yes' sir. 3 years.

With time off' they'II do... 6 months?

More Iike 10... I'd say a year.

What's a year? A blink of the eye.

But we have to shoot one now and then.

Case closed!

The Crystal Palace' fini!

Where are we? Going back north!

15 minutes Iater' south. Then west...

We stop' we start!

Problem's the Danube. Only 2 bridges Ieft.

Madam Erlane's in Sofia!

She found out we'd be there' even before I did!

What a Ieech! She commandeered my phone to call all the brass hats. She went after everyone!

She demands his release. "I know my son.

"It's a mistake. He even volunteered." Etcetera...

You work it out' on the double!

Not again!

Send me the conductor!

Bring me that horse's ass!

What the hell is this? Who said to get off?

The General wants our position.

I'd Iike to know myself!

He won't stop badgering me to keep him posted.

Go on. He's in a bad mood!

I'm going' I'm going.

I should've been demobilized 6 months ago. So what's 15 minutes?

What a business!

Who's shooting? They nuts or what?

Get back aboard!

Who's in charge here?

What was that? We're being sniped at?

I think the shots came from the train.

Shots at what?

Shots from my train! At what?

Sir! Boars!

I think they bagged 1 or 2.

I adore game!

Have the cooks carve us a filet!

If it's thin' the ribs will be tasty.

And some boar's head brawn!

They won't know how.

Send them in. I'II explain how.

Brawn's tasty. Delicious!

What're you doing here? Let's get moving!

It's the Danube' sir.

No excuses! Get a move on!

Yes' sir.


A filet' the ribs... and the brawn!

Greetings' Lieutenant.

See? As sharp-eyed as ever.

Still muckraking?

Since '14' they tell my boys:

"Nice work! Cut their throats! Keep it up!"

Now that nobody needs 'em' any clown has rights.

Now that they don't shit in their pants: Hup! 3 years!

Just for Iooting a cathouse! A bit stiff!

They sent 80'000 to the slaughter in 20 minutes!

Everyone fought.

Not everyone!

Sgueezing the trigger' that's easy!

Bombs' cannons... Blind killing! Anybody can!

We went at 'em with knives' eye to eye!

A soldier will face down an armoured train but not a knife.

We cut throats to scare a whole regiment.

We won the war. 3000 of us.

And the rest? They only fought it.

There are new rules. You have to adapt.

Right! Adapt...

Ask a dog to adapt to salad!

I can Iight a fire' I just can't relight it.

Jughead! Pretend it went out and you're Iighting it.

But that's relighting!

C'mon, c'mon, you outca s ts.

The cop s, the wealthy.

Will hang one day.

Where are we?

What can you see?


Can't see a thing! Not a thing!

Where are we?

Sofia' sir.

No one warned me! I'm stark naked!

Who's in charge? Put them under arrest!

You've time' sir.

I'm still naked!


Cars 8 and 12' detrain! The others back aboard!

Why only the first 4 cars?

Dunno. Some go on to Gorna-Banja.

Is it far?

3 miles! It's a spa with hot baths...

If the girls are Iike the baths' okay by me!

Lt. Norbert' I'm...

I know. We met in Bucharest.

The prison in Bucharest.

Why do you insist on condemning my son?

I'm just prosecuting' Madam' that's all.

Explain the difference.

This way' please.

He never weighed his proper weight.

I mean' for his height.

That's what Dr. Gilet-Pons told me on each visit:

"He's underweight."

I sent him to Roscoff for the calcium.

It gave him nose bleeds.

Right off! Every day!

The air was too strong. He came home even thinner.

And then he volunteered!

He was turned down for officer's school' but' suddenly' good enough for this butchery!

He came home elated: "Mother' I signed up!"

I thought I'd faint.


I moved heaven and earth' fasted' prayed night and day.

His father' a navy commander' died in combat.

Like my brother' in his plane.

And the husband of...

My family's done its share' no?

I saw everyone... cabinet ministers' chiefs of staff' the Lord Bishop Pelletier...

Empty promises!


To discharge him... annul this nonsense!

My only choice was the Eastern Front.

I should have helped him become a priest'

Iike so many other over-sensitive adolescents.

His father protested.

I gave in.

I was a fool!

We have chaplains at the front.

They don't shoot guns!

In any case' they're not shot at!

You're Iike Pitard... "Chatter on!"

He's a perfect imbecile!

Felix. Your general.

You can tell him from me.

Your general is a cretin.

Liautey called him "Pitiful Pitard".

One word from him and Jean would be free.

But no! He spouts on. What bombast!

While my poor Iittle boy...

I'II show you his Ietters.

In one he writes how he took refuge in a church during a patrol.

He was so exhausted' so worn out' that he hadn't the strength to pray.


What wrong did he ever commit? Tell me!

What has he done?

I see from your file that you volunteered.

On a whim?

Well' no.

AII my class signed up the same day.

And you went along?

You signed up... and deserted?

I didn't desert. I got Iost.

De Scève is your company commander?

Your opinion of him?

Mr. Loisy' fetch 2 clean blankets for the prisoner.

2 blankets? Me?

Yes' please! Stop Iooking shocked at my every order. It's irritating!


It makes me cough.

Get along with De Scève?

"The Excuser"!

That's what Bouvier calls you.

Coming from him' it's nice.

From Accuser to Excuser.

He thinks you give the guilty a way out.

What do you think?

I'm a career officer.

Stubborn' brutal... Iike him!

Are you?

I think after all these men have gone through' you're right.

I'm touched. AII the more so because I have a problem.

What are you doing?

My saddle's slipping.

I'm Iistening. Your problem?

It concerns one of your men' Jean Erlane.

He's in a very bad fix.

What? They found Erlane?

I guestioned him.

That Iittle prick's alive?

He says he got Iost running orders.

The bastard deserted!

Yet he's from a family of soldiers and seamen.

I know them better than you. We're related.


So this boy is the blot' the failure!

The one to smother at birth.

Sadly' cowards develop Iate.

If a shell burst a mile off' he'd dive for cover!

You had to kick him back on his feet!

In fact' he was a perpetual deserter!

Deserter to the enemy? I'd head the firing sguad.

You're not Iistening to me!

I need your help' Conan.

You asked for it and now...

Cut it out! We got along' didn't we?

AII right. Spit it out.

What d'you want to know?

The prisoners you'd take... You guestioned them yourself?


Did they talk? I mean...

AII of them? Right off?

You'd Iike that!

No. Even if I beat 'em up' I'd only Iearn what I knew already.

He may not have talked.

Not a milksop Iike that. You show him the map:

"Guns here?" "Yes!"

"Not here?" "Uh' yes."

"And this is a bed of begonias?" "Sure!"

How can you know?

Sure you can.

I'd have to see the chickenshit myself.


So what?

And I still deign to talk to you!

They give me 3 stripes but still want to shoot me! Pack of...!

You don't relight a cigar' but me...


That's Breton' isn't it?

From Dinan?

So you turned up at a Bulgar outpost Iike a babe in the woods!

I can picture it.

You throw your gun down' raise your arms: "Me kaput!"

They take you into an officer's sap. Right?

Yes' sir.

He guestioned you?

Yes' but Iater' in the rear.

Wrong move! Gotta interrogate in the field!

An on-the-spot review's best!

So you're behind the Iines at their HQ in Gevgelija.

They Iaughed at you.

They Iaughed' right?

Suddenly' a major appears.



But he's not alone.

No. There was someone else.

He was a Iittle more...

More cruel? Right?

I'II tell you what happened.

This Furnachev says to you:

"Here's the sector map.

"Now talk'

"or I'II kill you!"

Admit you talked' you creep' or I'II blow you away!

I'II count to 3!

Get some brandy before he croaks!

What'd I tell you?

The chickenshit couldn't give away a thing.

Not even a map of Paris!

Drink this.

He has no defense. Would you do it?

You're joking.

You're joking.

She comes every day.

You have to talk to her.

A woman Iike that...

And tell her what? That her son hasn't a chance?

You didn't handle De Scève right.

You may think it's none of my business.

Yes and no. You know my exploits.

I knew my boys' fear capacity' and the enemy's' as well.

Your Erlane is a pure' 100% coward.

I'm convinced of it! So?

So drop it.

He's sick... among the sick. It's simple as pie.

He goes over to the enemy and I send him home to Mama?

You Iet yourself off easy!

Me? Sure!

Medics weed out the unfit.

You should've weeded out the cowards.

Who else could have?

You saw them at work. You didn't do it.

Erlane was predictable!

You are responsible!

Snuffing him is disgusting!

He's thick as a brick!

The kid's a blue blood. He betrayed not only his army' but his class!

He's done for. Not at all.

The padre's pleading?

We'II give him an on-the-spot briefing' between De Scève's dugout and Hill 915.

We may find something.

I haven't Iost my flair: this is the spot!

You won't find anything of value.

The peasants already cleaned it out.

Funny feeling' no?

De Scève's dugout...

Jittery Johnny's starting point.

And mine.


Socrates hill...

He was to deliver a despatch to the gunners there.

I read the section report.

So did I. Routine stuff.

Hold on!

2 Boche batteries start pounding around about 7 p.m.

As recorded by adjutant Perdrix.


7 pm... Erlane arrives at the height of fireworks.

Perdrix controls Hill 915. But he's being hammered at.

Hill 915 is there.

Shells falling there... there...

There' where you are. Sheer hell!

The poor chap Iegs it for where the shelling's Iightest.

Straight to the Bulgars!

Is it far to go?

The worst is over.

I may be imagining things... It still smells of gunpowder' no?

The Bulgar patrols came this far.

Maybe the kid was taken.

A simple prisoner!

He never said that.

Chauchat cartridge...

I finished off a few in these parts!

With grenades. We made a nice hash of 'em!

Here. A great big Bulgar...

Holding his guts' hands full of blood and shit...

I shot him point-blank. Out of pity!

Your darkies really had several wives?

Polygamous' yes.

They're simple folk who do in full view what we conceal.

I'm for starting a fad!

Still' it's a bit shocking' no?

You get used to it.

How right we were to go there!

To teach 'em prudery?

No' to cure them. Shots. Against syphilis.

The peasants are home again.

Smoke in the chimneys...

Life goes on.

Not for everyone.

True enough' Captain.

An hour's march...

Erlane's scared shitless. It's a moonless night - I checked.

There's still some shooting. He doesn't know the sector.

If you're bushed' imagine his fatigue!

Stumbling' half dead...

He sees a helmet' raises his hands: "me prizonir"!

Maybe in Boche talk.

Reveal our positions? He can't. And it's pointless.


His despatch was marked with all the machine-gun positions. Those guys know how to read!

You've given me a defense for the poor boy.

And hope. I'II cite you as a witness.

Character witness? That'II cook his goose.

Those 5 generals won't see it Iike that.

Not one ever saw battle close enough to get the jitters.

And if I say that...

As Erlane's superior' your report on his conduct shows you had Iittle esteem for him.

None at all. He's not a soldier.

Can you be more specific? Was he guilty of insubordination?

No. He was the ideal subordinate.

Subordinate to everbody. A servant's mentality.

Item dismissed.

When you say' "He's no soldier."

Do you mean he's unfit physically? Or morally?

I see where you're trying to Iead me.

Leave that kind of argument to the defense. That's his role.

Since you refer to me' Lt. De Scève'

I have one guestion:

When you entrusted Erlane with that despatch' was he aware of its content?

Or its importance?

Nor had he a sense of his role.

If he didn't know our gun placements' which the Bulgarians could easily decipher' then he's no Ionger a conscious' deliberate deserter to the enemy' but a mere boy of 20' weakened and vulnerable'

Iost in a situation beyond his Iimits and understanding.

There are the strong and the weak.

You want me to say that Erlane is sick' an oversensitive and morbid soul' paralysed by his emotions and deprived of all will.

Thus' in certain cases' irresponsible.

That's the word you want to hear from my Iips.


Where is he from?

From a world I know. My world.

A world of highborn privilege and wealth.

He had it all' enjoyed it all.

The counterpart is valor.

The gravity of an action depends on one's will to accomplish it.

I know a venial sin from a mortal one' Father.

He is guilty of treason' as he did not destroy the despatch.

The enemy surprised us without a single casualty.

While we Iost 37 men!


You have no pity for this wretch!

You make declarations that none can ever prove!

Or even refute! Not even him.

I wouldn't Iike to be in your place.

Neither do I. But I am.

I did many things these years I didn't care to do.

Between this officer' certainly brave' and battle-trained'

and this youth' a stranger to violence and fear' you have a choice to make' without proof or certainty.

Yet we ask for justice.

One day the judges' too' shall be judged.

They will not be asked' "Were you just?" but...

"Were you good?"

Head high' comrade!

There's still the plea for clemency.

Here's what I think of your menu' Mr. Ménard!

I want whiting à Ia Colbert.

No more boar! You had me eat it all by myself.

I'm sure of it! I'm fed up!

A Ia Colbert's easy. It's a whiting... fried' floured... Colbert' what!

Whiting doesn't walk the streets here!

Work it out!

Now what? We're on manoeuvres again?

Sofia' Bucharest' Sofia!

And now the Danube delta! What the hell for?

And the men are asking why they haven't been demobilized.

Because we're an Expeditionary Force now' my boy.

Expeditionary meaning peace on a war footing!

I'm Iistening.

You didn't come to chitchat?

No' sir. I wish to be relieved of my judicial functions.

Relieved? You're resigning?

You dare bother me in the midst of the umpteenth packing!

You take me for a five-and-ten floorwalker?

You can't guit. I dismiss you! Back to your unit!

Destination: the bloody Danube!

I've got it!

I've got the missing file!

Hey' warden' we're freezing our butts off!

So which car is ours?

What's happening? That Romanian officer...

I filed a reguest for dismissal.

He died! So your reguest's kaput' too!

In a hurry? OK. Forward' march!

Class of '11! Eight years away from home! Goddam!

7 years for me. Enough!

We fought for France. Even here.

Now they want us to fight an enemy who isn't our enemy anymore...

The Hungarians.

Even a former ally' the Russians!

Our families are waiting' our wives' kids we hardly know' our jobs' our Iand. Life' what!

It can't go on Iike this.

We gotta put our foot down.

I do' anyway.

War at home ended a year ago! I say: Enough!

And I raise you 300...

What a bluffer! A regular cathouse card shark!

I'm cleaned out! Finished!

You had nothing?

Own up... you had nothing.

And no shit' y'hear?

Or I'II take your belts and suspenders!

Hey' warden' I didn't know you were such an ass!

Beyond the river' the Bolsheviks. You' here.

Me' behind the hill.

And then what?

We wait for them.

I've just seen Erlane.

His execution is in three days. No remorse?

Ground arms!

At ease!

Sergeant Lanzec...

Front and center!

You refused sentry duty?

Sentry duty against whom' sir?

The war's been over for 7 months.

I have no more enemies now.

My comrades and I reguest our return to France.

Those who agree' step forward!


Take them away!

To the stockade' with the others!

Those who broke rank...


Lanzec' you'd be with me if not for your asthma.

If it was to do all over' I wonder...

This all seems so stupid and pointless.

You believe the war's over' too?

The war' no. AII wars!

You're wrong' my boy. It's only the start.

Red vs. White' anarchy vs. Iaw' believers vs. Cynics' good vs. Evil...

"The final combat..." that's their anthem!

They have nothing: no arms' no food' no chiefs...

They have hope. It's terrifying.

The Old Man planned it all?

You can tell.

We defend the road. No access' that way.

Oh' yeah? Too deep.

The dodo who decided that just dipped his toe in.

"General' I'm sinking..."

"It's up to my ankle!"

What a bunch of...!

I'd come this way!

Lying Iow on rafts' skiffs...

And suddenly...!

Up there' you'II only mow down the frogs!

He's right.


You position there and cover.

But that's desertion of post...

3 years in the keep!

Do as you Iike' boys.

But a word of advice: keep the machine-guns mobile.

Coming' warden?

Something moved!

Seen anything? Nope...

But something moved!

1st and 2nd companies' follow me!

Set up heavy machine-guns facing the marsh!

We're not the enemy! Those muzhiks are!

The command post's not answering!

They're in the Iatrine! You oughta know!

Do a good deed' Lt.! 2 cases of grenades!

Grenais' Beuillard' the grenades!

I'II take responsibility!

Let's go' boys!

Machine-guns! Bring the gunners' if they Iike it or not!

If there're rifles in reserve' help yourselves!

Take these and move it - or else!

I've never used grenades!

It's high time you Iearned! Beats the firing sguad!

Bastards! Scumbags!

Stop' Conan!

They're retreating!

Keep going' old man!

C'mon' Rouzic!

We'II get you' you buzzards!

Kill 'em all!

He got it in the back of the neck.

"And thu s Jean Erlane met hi s death, facing the enemy, "redeeming hi s pa s t behavior with heroic conduct.

"l can a ss ure you, Madam, that he did not s uffer.

"H e will be remembered with gratitude by the regiment, "for hi s part in the action led by the group of pri s oners.

"l know that even the s incere s t of word s cannot alleviate the pain.

"Yet l wi s h to expre ss my deepe s t s ympathy..."

A beer' please.

Is Mr. Conan here?

Someone for you! Has he got a name?

Lt. Norbert' sir.

For Christ's sake!

In here' Lieutenant.

Who asked for Iights?

I was passing through.

Me' too...

I'm passing.

Passing away' even... bit by bit.

You haven't changed much.

Just enough.

What d'you do?

You know: I try to understand.


My pupils.

Oh' yeah...

That's good.

You shouldn't've come.

I think about you a Iot.

I think'

"At Ieast' he knew me alive."

You Iook fine.

Don't give me that!

I've made arrangements.

You'II get my cross and ribbons' some odds and ends' a photo... You'II see.

The doc gave me 6 months.

6 months...

He's just being polite.

A nice guy. A fool' but a nice guy.

No' you shouldn't've come.

But I'm damn glad you did.

You all right here?

You kidding?

A bunch of slugs.

No one to talk to.

The best are inscribed on the war monument.

The rest are swill!

I'm married' too.

I know.

Your wife told me where to find you.

So you know why I can't invite you.

Anyway' I haven't the time.

You're still a rotten Iiar' Lieutenant.

Remember on the train to Bucharest' when I said... there were 3000 of us?


On the train to Sofia.

It was snowing.

3000 of us at most who won this fucking war...

Of course!

Of course' I remember.

We only fought it.

You won it.

Well' if you get around' you'II Iikely meet up with one or two.

Take a good Iook at 'em' old man...

A good Iook.

They're Iike me.

AII of 'em!