Flyboys (2006) Script

NARRATOR: With over a million casualties from the Battle of Verdun alone, the death toll continues to climb.

Never before has the battlefield been so vast and never before has the fighting been so gruesome.

Whether on the ground in brutal trench warfare or high, high in the skies above them, millions of young soldiers continue to die with no end in sight.

It seems as though the German aggressors cannot be stopped as the Allied nations valiantly fight to survive.

The Great War rages on.

Hello, Blaine.

You're not gonna give me any problems, are you?

Got no quarrel with you. Just that banker.

You broke up Sandford's face pretty good. He's looking to see you in jail.

He had it coming.

I got a bench warrant for your arrest.

I'm gonna give you half an hour before I serve it.

If I were you, I'd get out of town. Way out of town.

NARRATOR: Fear continues to grow that without the United States' intervention, France could soon fall.

Despite President Wilson's refusal to enter the conflict, some determined young Americans have volunteered to join the fray anyway.

Using the latest in flying war machines, the French have created a new airborne combat unit just for these Yanks.

From all over, American boys are making their way across the Atlantic to learn how to fly.

Good luck, son.

I'll try to bring home a couple of medals like you and Grandpa.

We'll march together in the 4th of July parade, you'll see.

(SNIFFLING)

Don't worry, Mom. I got the Jensen blood.

Haven't made the bullet yet that's stronger than that.

I'm gonna miss you so much. Write me every day, okay?

CONDUCTOR: All aboard!

I will.

I'll be fine. Don't worry.

I love you, Laura.

(BELL RINGING)

(SPEAKING FRENCH)


I'm gonna learn to fly airplanes.

SAILOR: Come on, now.

(WOMAN LAUGHING)

Thank you so much.

Please take great care of them. Yes, sir.

Well, you should have everything you need.

Thank you, Father.

I've made arrangements to come to Paris in the fall.

I may come and see you then. Yes, Father.

Buck up, my boy.

This noble conflict you're about to enter is the kind of adventure that can set one above the herd.

I suppose so.

Damn it, Briggs, have you no enthusiasm for anything that might distinguish you?

It's quite enough you've been dismissed from Harvard, but your continuing lack of direction has become an embarrassment.

It's time to do something worthy of your name.

Have you nothing to say?

No, Father.

(BELL CLANGING)

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

They said we're supposed to go to a place on 228 Rue Brion.

That's where we can buy all our aviator clothes.

I can't understand a word on this map.

Hello? Does anybody here speak English?

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

Okay.

Brion. Rue Brion.

(WHISTLE SOUNDING)

Right there. Yeah.

Rue Brion. Do you see it?

Excuse me, sir? We're a little lost, and...

(SPEAKS FRENCH)

Never mind.

(URINATING)

Oh, good Lord.

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

On your right, you've got the English squadron.

They fly the Bristol, the Sopwith and the SE5As.

This place is really something. Have you ever seen anything...

And here is the French detachment.

They fly Nieuport 11s.

(THENAULT SPEAKING FRENCH)


How many of you speak French?

(GIROUX SPEAKING FRENCH)

Our country has been at war since we were first attacked three years ago, and we have lost more than a million of our young men.

(MEN SHOUTING)

Your country turned its back on this conflict, but you have bravely volunteered to join the fight to preserve freedom.

All right, there is not much more to see, so let's have eyes forward.

We do not expect you to win the war, only to do what your conscience commands and your courage allows.

You will train for two months, then we'll see which one of you becomes your squadron's first ace.

That'll be me.

Who are you? Blaine Rawlings.

We arrive in uniform, Mr. Rawlings.

Yeah, I wasn't quite sure how it all went together.

(SNICKERING)

I see.

So these are the new corpses, huh?

What's this?

We got cowpunchers coming over now?

Yeah, I done some cowboying.

You think a six-shooter's gonna help you up there?

Well, whatever you were using didn't seem to do you much good.

He's funny.

I may even come to his funeral.

The Captain bother to tell you the life expectancy for pilots around here?

It's three to six weeks.

Let me guess, you're here because you thought it'd be fun to fly airplanes.

Go home while you still can.

Guy sure knows how to make friends.

All his friends are dead.

(SPEAKS FRENCH)

We're here.

There we are.

(SPEAKS FRENCH)

This is your quarters.

(WHISTLES)

Soon others from your country will stay here as well.

I've never seen anything like this back home. Have you?

As a matter of fact, I have.

Beats the hell out of the infantry.

Frenchies sure put on a nice war.

(CHUCKLING)

Home sweet home. SKINNER: My, oh, my.

(CHUCKLES)

Careful, you oaf! Hey, I'm sorry.

That's a 100-year-old bottle of cognac. It's worth more than you are.

Nice.

Your benefactor, William K. Vanderbilt, has rented this château for you.

(ROARING)

MAN: Oh, my God. Rawlings, look out!

(MEN SHOUTING)

RAWLINGS: Somebody help. Get this... Get. Get.

Get. CASSID Y: Whiskey. Come on, get off him.

(GROWLING)

What's the matter there, cowboy? Having a little trouble with the dogie?

Whiskey is our squadron mascot. Follow me.

(STUTTERING)

Who keeps a lion as a pet?

Start over there. I'll give you your room assignments.

Jensen and Toddman.

Yeah. Yeah.

Room one.

Skinner and Lowry, room number three.

Excuse me. Skinner and I? Is there a problem?

It would be like sharing a room with one of my servants back home.

Lowry, we'll put you in two with Beagle.

Rawlings, you'll go in three with Skinner.

If there are any further objections, please take them up with Whiskey.

Okay.

I'll see you all at training tomorrow morning at 6:30.

JENSEN: Excuse me, sir?

Who rooms with the lion tamer? Cassidy?

He has 20 kills.

Twenty...

He gets a room on his own.

Let's get it over with.

You got any objection to rooming with a colored man?

I don't know, you're the first one I ever seen up close.

What have you heard?

I heard it's good luck to rub your head.

I wouldn't do that if I were you. Just telling you what I heard.

Rub my head.

MAN: Think the drinks are free for flyboys? Maybe if it's water.

(ALL LAUGHING)

(MEN SINGING TAKE ME BACK TO DEAR OLD BLIGHTY)

(MEN CHATTERING)

(MEN CHEERING)

Sorry, gentlemen.

I'm afraid I can't allow you entrance into this fine establishment.

This respite is reserved for killers.

You don't look like a killer to me. Don't I?

I thought we all are on the same side.

You shot down any Germans I don't know about, chocolate?

Not yet. Then move on, chaps.

Attaboy, fuzzy.

Did you slip there, killer?

CASSID Y: Sit down, Grant.

I can take him. No, you can't.

He's a professional.

I saw him fight in Paris. He knocked a guy out in the eighth round.

Sixth.

(MEN SINGING)

Now, as for all of us being on the same side, until you actually do something, you're not even in this war, let alone in this room.

TODDMAN: Why not?

We're all fighting for the French, same as you.

Not the same as me.

Let's go, champ.

(MEN CHEERING)

SKINNER: Still wanna rub my head?

(RAWLINGS LAUGHS)

Gentlemen, this is the Nieuport 17.

This plane is the newest French fighter.

When you are proficient enough, you'll be among the first to fly it.

But remember, it is the man and not the machine that matters.

His bullet is no faster than yours.

Go on your left. On your right. Watch your back.

Okay, Skinner.

That's good. I got that.

Watch the fuel.

If you run out of gas, you will sleep with the Germans.

(COUNTING IN FRENCH)

Stop!

Come on, Toddman. Watch your balance.

No. Come on. Go, go, go.

(COUNTING IN FRENCH)

Come on, Jensen. Go, go, go, Jensen.

Come on, Rawlings. Go, go. Come on.

Watch your balance, no.

Poor Skinner.

A word about equipment.

This is the Escadrille scarf.

It is not just to make you look good for the girls...

What would he know about that?

...but to keep your neck from being irritated from the constant turning to spot enemy aircraft.

Contact.

Go on, Rawlings! Go, Rawlings!

Go, Rawlings!

What? See it?

(RAWLINGS WHOOPING)

(ALL CHEERING)

All right!

You're on your own, yeah!

He's going.

Go, Skinner. Skinner, let her rip.

All right, Beagle. Go get them. Get up there.

Keep it straight.

Come on, Lowry.

GIROUX: Now that you are actually flying, it is time to learn about tactics.

Left. Right.

Both. Both.

Right. Left.

THENAULT: In any form of attack, it is best to fire in short bursts.

(IMITATING SHORT BURSTS OF GUNFIRE)

Follow him.

(GUN FIRING)

SKINNER: Give me right, give me right. Good, give me left, give me left.

More your left. Left.

Your primary goal is to get on their tail.

This is your best shooting position.

Beagle. The target, Beagle.

Come on, Beagle. The target, Beagle!

Go. Go, Rawlings. That's good.

That's good. Go, Jensen.

Go, Jensen. Good. Good, Skinner. Good. Well done.

THENAULT: We don't want you bringing bullets home. We have millions.

Leave the bullets up there.

Let the Germans take them home.

(GUNS FIRING)

(MEN CHEERING)

MAN: Good shot, Rawlings.

Not bad.

(SPEAKS FRENCH)

TODDMAN: Good shooting, cowboy. JENSEN: Way to go, Rawlings.

GIROUX: Rawlings.

I want you to go up with Beagle and teach him how to shoot.

Why me? You're the instructor.

Because I'm tired of trying to teach him.

All right.

Beagle, you need to use more right rudder when you dive.

I know, I know.

Get off my back.

Notify this Hun's next of kin.

(GUN FIRING)

Right rudder!

There's something wrong with the gun!

I know I can fly and I know I can shoot!

Yeah, you just can't do them at the same time.

Where are we going? I don't know.

BEAGLE: Let's just fly around a little. Have some fun.

It's a beautiful country.

Can see why the French fight for it.

Hey, Rawlings. What?

(ENGINE SPUTTERING)

We're out of gas. What?

You didn't check it when we took off? I thought you did.

You're the damn pilot!

RAWLINGS: All right.

Beagle, put it down over there. Over there.

No, there's more room over there. RAWLINGS: That terrain's too rough.

Put it over there. BEAGLE: What terrain?

RAWLINGS: Watch your airspeed. I got it.

We're going too fast! BEAGLE: Just shut up!

(GROANING)

(CRASHING)

(WOMEN MURMURING IN FRENCH)

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

Where am I?

Where's my... Where's my plane? My leg.

Is this a... What do you call it?

Do you speak English?

Hey, Rawlings, you came to. How'd we get here, ace?

Well, first of all, you left the plane in kind of a hurry.

Then this one found you out back and helped carry you in.

This ain't so bad.

(CLARISE SPEAKING FRENCH)

(ALL CHATTERING)

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

You want me to take my pants off?

Okay.

You seem to be in good hands here.

I'm gonna go see if anybody wants to look after my leg.

Oh, girls?

So you're a prostitute?

I mean, you don't look like one.

You're very pretty.

You understand? Pretty?

Pretty...

Like...

Like the...

The flower is pretty.

And you are pretty like a flower.

And you are pretty like a flower.

Hey, Rawlings.

You know, they don't give medals for running out of gas.

You here to take us back? Yeah, but what's the hurry?

Hey, watch it.

What the hell? She's a chippie, not a nurse.

You do realize that crash landing your own plane doesn't count as combat.

Sorry about that.

Listen, it was... It was really nice to meet you.

Yeah.

That was... That was for you.

(CHICKEN CLUCKING)

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

(WOMEN SPEAKING FRENCH)

That guy knows how to live.

(ALL CHATTERING)

Guess all his friends aren't dead.

Come on, Rawlings, we've got a long drive home.

TODDMAN: Hey, Rawlings. Meet the new arrivals.

I was just showing them around.

Those circular tents at the back are where the crew live.

And you guys already know where the canteen is.

Nunn will be sneaking in there looking for cookies.

He's got a sweet tooth. Right, Nunn?

Nunn doesn't say a whole lot. I can, if something comes up.

TODDMAN: That's the mess hall and the officers' club.

No chapel?

Fellows, meet Porter.

You religious? I keep my Bible close.

What's a man of God doing here at war?

Hopefully the same thing you are.

DEWITT: How are the barracks, by the way? TODDMAN: Yeah.

Nothing fancy. BEAGLE: Yeah, nothing fancy.

(GROANS)


(ENGINES WHIRRING)


Whose planes are these? They are yours.

Hey!

Are those really ours? These really are amazing.

We get to fly them? These are great.

Merry Christmas, boys.

This one's mine. Almost makes you feel sorry for the Huns.

My, oh, my.

So why do they all have Indian heads on them?

It is the Escadrille insignia.

Well, why that? I mean, Indians were defeated.

Yeah, but they were brave. I like it.

You're allowed to have a personal insignia on the forward part of the fuselage.

Well, that's good. Let them know who we are.

I've already picked this one out for myself, so hands off.

No, Skinner, find your own.


It's great. Looks just like it.

Hey, Lowry, that's good. Thanks, Jensen.

I was going to be an artist, until my father thought better of it.

Would you paint me a knight?

We're kind of like flying knights, don't you think?

Sure. Thanks.

(MEN CHATTERING IN FRENCH)

RAWLINGS: What's that, Nunn? A woodpecker.

That ought to really scare them.

I think it says we're gonna put a whole bunch of holes in them.

I think that it says that you've got a bunch of holes in your brain.

Whatever it is, get it done.

We're going to war in two days.

Knights of the air.

What? We are. We're like knights.

The Germans are moving toward the Meuse River as part of their push to take Paris.

In order to stop their advance in our sector, you will rendezvous over Doulcon with two Handley Page bombers at 0600 tomorrow and escort them to Jametz where they are to destroy the main German ammunition and supply depot.

It is heavily fortified by observation balloons, cables on three sides, and Archie batteries in these six positions.

Cassidy will be your squadron leader.

He'll be watching over you.

Remember your training.

Don't fly straight lines.

Be an elusive target and an efficient hunter.

Any questions?

Yes, sir.

Will we be back by lunch?

(MEN SNICKERING)

I meant any intelligent questions.

I'm sorry, just trying to loosen things up.

Don't.

BEAGLE: Hey, fellows.

What do you think I ought to wear tomorrow? Yellow or purple?

Anything but the pink. You get shot down in that, you're gonna embarrass the entire Escadrille.

What are you talking about getting shot down for?

What's the matter, you nervous?

Hell, no. You? You brought it up.

We're all nervous, except Porter.

He's got religion on his side.

I'm not nervous.

Hey, it's all right to be a little edgy before a fight.

Keeps you sharp. Isn't that right, Skinner?

The fights I been in, they don't shoot at you.

We should hit the sack. We get up at 4:00.

Rawlings.

(GROWLING)

I wanna see you for a minute.

(ROARS)

Just saying hello.

Hello.

(GRUNTING)

Come on in.

I was looking at your file, and it's my job to write a letter home to your parents if anything should happen to you.

Since both your parents are dead, who's your next of kin?

I don't know. I don't really have any.

(SIGHING)

You know, if you die here, your family name dies with you.

Well, I don't plan on dying.

None of the guys in the squadron cemetery did either.

Think about it.

(GROWLING)

Yeah, I'll think about that, sir.

(GROWLING)

Stay.


(SPEAKING LATIN)

GIROUX: Lowry? Yes, sir.

If you feel you're gonna crash, take off your goggles because the glass can cut your eyes, d'accord?

Hey, you're still here, Rawlings. Yeah.

Thought I'd take my chances.

What's this?

It's just the brand of the ranch my family owned till the bank foreclosed.

Beagle, get here.

If your guns jam, it sometimes helps to bang on the cocking handle.

What's this for?

Plane catches fire, you got three choices.

Can stay in it and burn with it all the way to the ground, you can jump from several thousand feet, or you can take the quick and painless way out.

Good luck, gentlemen.

MAN: Contact! Contact.


(COUNTING IN FRENCH)


(SPEAKING FRENCH)

(SHOUTING IN GERMAN)


I'm going up.


JENSEN: Toddman!

(GUNS FIRING)


(METALLIC RATTLING)


(WHOOPING) Yeah!


Rawlings! I made it! I'm all right! Go get them!

(GUNS FIRING)


(COUNTING IN FRENCH)

(GIROUX COUNTING IN FRENCH)

(MEN SHOUTING)

Bastards were everywhere, sir.

CASSID Y: We got jumped before we reached Jametz.

They were all over us. We never even made it to the bombers.

Where is Dewitt? Didn't make it.

And Toddman? CASSID Y: Nope.

Toddman was right there. He was right there. Then he was gone.

Anybody see what happened to Nunn? Sir.

He had to put it down. He made it safely to the ground and this German dived on him and shot him right when he was sitting there.

He had a black falcon on his plane? Yeah.

Something should be done.

I mean, you don't just shoot an airman on the ground.

Mission debriefing in 15 minutes. What about Nunn?

He was just sitting there on the ground!

A lot has happened in this war before you got to it.

I thought there was supposed to be some sort of honor in the way we fight.

Reports can be filed. But you want justice?

You're the man in the air, you're the man with the gun.

Contact.

(ENGINE STARTING)

Get those streamers off my plane.

(GROWLING)

What's he doing? He's going back up.

After what? Whatever he can find.

He's going alone? Yeah.

He prefers it that way.

I had no idea that it was going to be like that.

Do better next time.

Soon as I get one kill, show my father that I was in the thick of it, that's it, I'm going home.

RAWLINGS: Went right through there. Almost lost this.

You get any? Not the one I wanted.

Not the Black Falcon.

GRANT: Oi.

Where the hell do you think you're off to?

Not tonight, Grant.

You're not going anywhere.

Not till you drink with us.

I thought it was only for killers. You'll do.

(MEN SINGING)

Drink up, Rawlings. You're still alive. That's something.

I don't feel like it.

The first time is always your hardest.

To losing your virginity!

(ALL CHEERING)

Does anyone here care that three pilots died today?

Pilots die every day.

Have a drink. Calm down.

I don't wanna calm down. I wanna honor the men who died.

Yeah, well, this is how we honor them.

It's how we've always honored them.

Now, none of us knows how much time we have left, so we can't waste it sitting around grieving about things we can't change.

So you can either join in or you can go up to your room and cry like a little baby.

You suit yourself.

(MAN CHEERS)

(MEN SINGING)

GRANT: Wake up, Rawlings. We're here.

(MUSIC PLAYING ON RADIO)

Hello.

(GREETS IN FRENCH)

I'm looking for the owner.

No English. No English.

The owner of the house? I am the owner.

Hi. I'm Blaine Rawlings. I'm looking for a girl.

You might remember me.

I injured my leg and she bandaged it up. Oh, Lucienne.

Maybe. She was wearing a brown skirt.

But Lucienne is not one of my girls.

She's not? No, she does not work here.

She was exchanging supplies, a round of Brie for some chocolate.

A round of Brie for some chocolate.

Madam?

Madam.

That girl, Lucienne, do you know where she lives?

Down the Marlier Road, about five kilometers.

A small château, And how about that horse outside? Do you know who owns that?

(SQUAWKING)


(SPEAKING FRENCH)

(RESPONDS IN FRENCH)

Right.

(GREETS IN FRENCH)

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

What?

You know, I'm mad at you. I'm mad. Understand? No.

I'm mad. I'm mad at you.

(ROARS MOCKINGLY)

Because you made me think that you were a prostitute.

You know? No.

One moment.

(QUESTIONS IN FRENCH)

You?

Are you?

No.

Well.

(SPEAKS FRENCH)

Am I?

No.

No.

No, I came because I wanted to see you.

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

I wanted to see

you.

Why did you pretend to...

(CLEARS THROAT)

I afraid.

You're afraid?

Why?

(SPEAKS FRENCH)

You

die soon.

Are these your children?

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

Oh, no. No?

They're your brother's?

Wife. Wife.

Wife?

Your brother and his wife's? Their children? Oh.

Die?

They died?

Yes.

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

(IMITATES EXPLOSION)

Brother et wife.

I'm sorry.

The enfants must be sad.

I have an idea.

Come on.

(IMITATING GUN FIRING)

(WHOOPING)

(GROANING)

(SNICKERING)

Hey!

Hey. Hey! Hey!

(EX CLAIMING IN FRENCH)

(ALL CHUCKLING)

Thank you.

Did you like it?

Does that mean I can come back?

Can I come see you again?

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

No, not the kids. You.

Would you like to see me again?

All right, bye.

What are you gonna do?

(SIREN BLARING)

(CHATTERING)

The Germans just bombed the railway yard at Revigny.

If you hurry, you can cut them off.

It is a chance to be more aggressive in your tactics.

I want those chocks.

If you do well, you may get another chance at Jametz.

Let's get the jump and dictate the engagement.

Hurry.

Come on, let's go.

(MAN SHOUTING)

Come on, I'm keeping you guys alive.

(GUNS FIRING)


(GROANING)


(GRUNTING)

(GUNS FIRING)

(SINGING HYMN)


(GUNS FIRING)


(HAMMER CLINKING)


(GUN FIRING)


SKINNER: Now that's more like it.

We really stitched them up good today.

What?

It's so goddamn noisy up there. I can't hear a thing.

You got two today, Blaine. You're our ace so far.

Well, you fired enough to take down six.

You ever think about trying to miss, Beagle? You might do better.

I told you, my gun's all screwy.

Oh, really? It's your gun, is it?

What are you trying to say, Lowry?

Cut it out.

Someone should mention Porter. He got one.

Yeah, well, I was lucky.

Germans just didn't want to hear you sing anymore.

Hey. Where's Higgins?

No.

I gotta sit down.

Is it bad? You're all right.

Bullet went right by you.

(MEN CHATTERING)

(ALL APPLAUDING)

There's our men!

The Yanks got their first Huns.

Good show. Well done. Excellent.

Now you're officially killers.

GRANT: Come here, lads.

Well done.

We call this the Bottle of Death.

You get one swig for every plane you down.

Only reason I'm still alive is some German let me go when my gun jammed.

I don't know why the hell he did it.

CASSID Y: Did he have two crossed swords on his plane?

Franz Wolfert. A triple ace.

He did it because of what happened to Nunn.

He won't let you off again.

We know what happened to Higgins.

Drink up.

(MEN CHEERING)

Porter. I don't drink.

(ALL EX CLAIMING)

Come on. Take a drink...

I don't drink. Come on.

Take a drink. Drink up.

Drink, drink, drink, drink! Drink, drink, drink, drink!

(ALL CHEERING)

(COUGHING)

(PIANO PLAYING)

(MEN SINGING)

PORTER: Those guys sure can tie one on. I mean...

BEAGLE: Yeah.

...the more they fly, the more they drink. Yeah.

Except for Cassidy. He just goes on even more missions.

The man's a mystery. He's not human.

We don't even know where he's from.

I heard that he lost his family in an electrical fire.

Did you hear that? I heard he flew for Pancho Villa.

So he's a mercenary?

Why don't somebody just ask?

Well, he's not too chatty about his personal life.

I'd just be happy he's flying on our side.

Yeah.

Especially with the new tri-wings the Germans got, 125-horsepower engines.

Nine-millimeter Spandau machine guns with twice the ammo capacity.

They can out-turn us and they have a 1,000 feet-a-minute climb.

They're the most maneuverable planes in the sky.

Well, yeah, maybe you'd be happier fighting for them.

Yeah. A lot fewer of our guys would get shot.

Real funny.

Hey, listen. What?

There's something not right about Beagle, you know?

What do you mean?

I mean, he doesn't get any mail, right? So?

Yeah, he never hits any of the Germans he shoots at.

Well, a lot of guys don't have kills.

And now he's an expert on German aircraft. When did that happen?

Man, you're scratching fleas on a stuffed dog.

Nothing there.

Right, we'll see.

Blaine, hey, I'm telling you, there's something not right with that guy.

Hey, you asleep?

No.

(SIGHS)

A few years ago, we didn't even have airplanes.

Now there's thousands of us, with one half trying to kill the other half.

Yeah, that's how it goes.

You really have your own ranch?

I did, 900 acres.

Was in my family for 85 years.

It was a tradition.

Grow up and you work the ranch.

Till my ma left and

my dad died all mortgaged out.

It was kind of hard to make a go of it.

So what you gonna do now? I mean, when the war is over?

I don't know.

Maybe I'll keep flying if there's any call for it.

Or get a new ranch.

How about you?

Hard to say.

I came here 'cause I heard they treated Negroes better.

Do they? They were good to me.

I don't wanna go back to boxing.

I'm tired of pounding on people, keeping my anger up all the time.

And I like flying.

Hell, if you're not fighting, it's nice and peaceful up there.

Nobody can touch you.

Nobody can make you feel low.

You think there'll be any future in flying after the war?

Maybe.

I mean, there's always giving people rides at fairs and things like that.

And I hear they might use planes to deliver mail from city to city.

Really?

Yeah, I like that. That'd be a good job for me.

I figure as long as I'm up in the air, they can't see me, they won't mind if I'm black.

There's something wrong with Jensen.

BEAGLE: He's down here.

RAWLINGS: Hey?

Hey?

Jensen?

Can you hear me?

Jensen? CASSID Y: Thought this might happen.

Jensen? You're going through a little shock.

Don't think about flying for a while.

You don't have to go up again until you're ready.

You understand me?

Do you understand me, Jensen?

(SIGHS)

He tries flying tomorrow, stop him.

CASSID Y: Not that you'll have to.

Meantime, get him some bourbon.

Go get the bourbon. I'll get it.

(WHIMPERING)

(LUCIENNE SPEAKING FRENCH)

How you are? Non, Say, "How are you?"

"How are you?"

(AIRPLANE APPROACHING)

(CHILDREN SPEAKING FRENCH)

(GREETING IN FRENCH)

How you are? How are you?

That's good.

You speak English now. Then we can have a conversation.

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

Let me hear your English.

Good you see?

Yeah, good.

Good to see you, too.

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

See?

This is my rabbit. Wanna pet it?

Better be gentle. He's jumpy.

(GASPS) Oh.

He looks a little cold. I think we'll give him a little blanket there.

How's that? There you go.

What about you?

Do you ever have any fun?

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

No time.

No, you're wrong. Right now's the perfect time.

We don't know how many chances we're gonna get.

Want to take a ride? In my avion?

Come on. No.

Come on. No.


Here.

(GIGGLING)

Picked a great day to fly, didn't I?

Did you have fun in the air?

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

Fun in the plane?

Okay.

What's this?

"It's not good

"for me to like you."

Why?

(QUESTIONS IN FRENCH)

"Because I worry."

You're worried about me?

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

For me?

From Marie?

Maybe he'll bring me good luck.

Paris?

I've never been.

Maybe you could take me. Show me all them lights.

Afraid?

There's a war. Am I afraid of the war?

No.

No? No.

Okay.

Yes.

Every time I go up, I'm afraid.


Rawlings.

You hear about Beagle? No, what?

I went to Thenault about him.

Why would you do that? Thenault had him checked out.

His whole background's all wet laundry.

PORTER: Everything in his file is made-up. They think he's a spy.

Your behavior has raised suspicion among the men, and now we discover that Eddie Beagle is not your real name.

It's Arthur Becker, huh? So I changed my name.

You're from Wisconsin, I see.

There is a very large German population in Wisconsin and your name is German.

I'm no spy.

Why didn't you give us your correct name? Are you a German sympathizer?

No.

We will find out the truth.

Look, it's not what you think. Why not?

We shoot spies, you know.

Sir, may I?

Beagle.

Come clean. I can't.

They're gonna shoot you. What could be worse than that?

I swear I'm not a spy. I know.

So just tell them what you did or they're gonna lock you up.

Is that what you want?

I committed a crime back in the States.

Spit it out, Beagle. I robbed a bank.

Hey, I was in debt to a bookie, and I needed the money.

THENAULT: Was anyone hurt in the robbery?

No.

How can we be sure?

Because I used a toy gun.

Excuse me?

I used a toy gun. It was all I had.

(MEN SNICKERING)

Can you prove what you're saying?

No.

I can't.

I can.

I saw a discrepancy in his next of kin file so I sent away for more information, and I was sent these telegrams confirming the robbery.

Beagle, in his haste to escape an armed guard, dropped most of the money along with the toy gun.

And although he escaped with only $12.36, he is guilty of armed robbery and if he was returned to the United States, they would lock him up for a very, very long time.

The question for us is, can we allow him to continue flying for the Escadrilles because we have no legal jurisdiction in this matter?

It is up to you.

Don't look at me.

Whether he continues to fly is up to them.

It's their squadron.

(RAWLINGS CLEARS THROAT)

Well, I'd like to know what you would have done if they didn't give you the money.

I don't know. Throw the toy gun at him?

You probably would have missed. LOWRY: Definitely.

Sir?

We don't condone what Beagle's done, or the horrible way in which he botched it.

But we also don't think he should be thrown out on stupidity alone.

Although I'd never trust him with my wallet, I think we all will continue to trust him with our lives, on the off chance that one day he might actually hit something.

THENAULT: So be it.


Toy gun, huh? That's good. Yeah.

You see, that's why we have to load our own ammo.

Half these bullets are bent. Then the guns jam.

They spotted a group of Fokkers.

They're headed towards our infantry on the road to Rambucourt.

Let's go.

(ALL EX CLAIM)

(SCREAMING)

(SCREAMING)

(GROANING)

(SCREAMING)

(CHEERING)

Yes! Yeah!

Lowry!


(GUN FIRING)


(GROANING)


(MEN SHOUTING IN FRENCH)

(GUNS FIRING)

(SHOUTING IN GERMAN)

(SHOUTING IN FRENCH)

(MAN GROANING)

(GUNS FIRING)

(SCREAMING)

(CHATTERING)

(EXPLOSION)


(MAN SHOUTING)

(GUNS FIRING)

(GROANING)

(MACHINE GUNS FIRING)

(MEN SHOUTING)

Can you move? No, something's pinning my hand.

(GROANING)

Just get out of here, Rawlings!

(YELLS)

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

Hey, come here, come here, come here. Push the tail up.

Wait. Wait.

(GUNS FIRING)

Okay, push! Push!

(GRUNTING)

Rawlings, please, just go. I'm not gonna leave you.

Just go!

(GRUNTING)

(EXPLOSION)

What are you doing? I'm sorry, Beagle.

No, Rawlings, no!

(SCREAMING)

Get up!

Move! Go!

Go!

(BEAGLE SCREAMING)

BEAGLE: My hand!

(BEAGLE SOBBING)

(CLEARS THROAT)

Mind if I join you?

This is a

100-year-old bottle of Louis XV. It's incredible.

Would you care to share a glass with me?

This 'cause I saved your life?

No. No, it's because I've been a pompous ass.

Pour me a glass.

Oh, my.

I stole this from my father's cellar.

If he'd have known, he would probably say it's the only thing I've ever done successfully in my life.

Please.

Nice.

I'm glad you like it.

He's gotta be proud you came here.

No.

Actually, it was kind of his idea.

And how many planes you gotta bring down to get back in his good graces?

Probably just my own.

What does your father do?

My daddy was a slave.

(DOOR CREAKS)

You restless tonight, Rawlings?

Maybe.

What about you? It was a good day.

Not for Wolfert.

You had no choice but to kill him. He had a choice with me.

Yeah, whatever happened in the air or whatever happened on the ground with Beagle, you gotta get that out of your head.

Okay.

Meanwhile, Beagle goes through life without a hand.

He volunteered for this war. He knew what he was getting into.

I don't care what happened in the past. You can't let that affect you.

You got to forget about it. Otherwise you're a danger to yourself and everyone else up there.

Do you let go of the past?

(SIGHS)

I...

I heard some things.

That you lost... That I lost my family in a fire?

(CHUCKLES)

No. I didn't fly for Pancho Villa either.

The truth is, I was a lot like you.

Full of idealism, maybe even a sense of honor.

Then you realize this war ain't gonna be won by either side.

Some day it'll just end.

(SIGHS)

And everyone will go home, get on with their lives.

Tall grass will cover the battlefield.

And all the pilots we've lost wouldn't have changed a damn thing.

Guys like you won't quit.

So I got to stick around and try to knock some Huns off your tails, and give you a chance to survive this useless war.

That's what you do. Not with enough success.

The guys I started with are a testament to that.

Well, if this war is really meaningless, then why do you fly extra missions?

Get the ones I've missed.

Get the ones that killed my friends.

You got to find your own meaning in this war.

I mean, I'll be real disappointed if we had more pilots die in vain than the Germans.

How many you got left?

One.

The Black Falcon.

(DOOR OPENS)

(DOG BARKING)

(VEHICLES APPROACHING)

(MEN SHOUTING)

RAWLINGS: See, this whole wing. Patch on a patch.

And when they gonna send us a new canvas?

SKINNER: Always "next time." Hey, Rawlings.

The Germans have crossed the Meuse River.

And reports say they've overrun Souilly.

Lucienne.

Is that plane fuelled? Is this plane fuelled?

SKINNER: Rawlings! Yes, sir.

Give me a start. Give me a start. Let's go.

SKINNER: Rawlings, you know you're not allowed to take the plane!

(BANGING ON DOOR)

(CUP CLATTERS)

Hey. Hey.

You all right? You all right? Yeah?

How you come? My plane. A vion, (SPEAKING FRENCH)

Germans. All right. I'm gonna get you out of here.

No, it's all right. I'm gonna get you out of here.

(SPEAKING IN FRENCH)

Go get them. Go get them.

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

Lf Rawlings returns alive, arrest him. Yes, sir.

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

Good luck. Stay right here. Okay?

You don't go anywhere. You stay right here.

(AFFIRMS IN FRENCH)

(BIDS FAREWELL IN FRENCH)

RAWLINGS: I'll be back before sunrise.

(AIRPLANE ENGINE WHIRRING)

RAWLINGS: You got her? Got them.

Come on, guys.

What are you doing flying at night without authorization?

I don't have time to explain. I have to go get one more person.

This plane is not for your personal use. Leave this plane and return to quarters.

That's an order! Yes, sir.


(MURMURING)

(CHATTERING)

(COCKS GUN)

(SPEAKING GERMAN)

(GASPS)

(SOLDIERS CHATTERING IN GERMAN)


(TALKING IN GERMAN)


(SPEAKING GERMAN)


(SPEAKING GERMAN)

Freeze!

(GASPS)

Hang on, Lucienne. Hang on.


Monsieur Rawlings.

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

Medic!

Medic!

MEDIC: Over here, over here.

(SPEAKING FRENCH)


Doctor!

(DOCTOR SPEAKING FRENCH)

They're taking you to the hospital at Reims.

You understand?

(SPEAKING FRENCH)

They're right here. They're gonna be fine.

They contacted your uncle, and he's gonna take care of them until you recover. Okay?

Yes. You come? Yeah.

I'll come see you in Reims. Goodbye.

Okay.

All right.

(BIDDING FAREWELL IN FRENCH)

I have filled out the papers formally charging you with dereliction of duty.

That sort of thing cannot be tolerated in a military unit. Not even this one.

Reports indicate that an Escadrille pilot flew four French refugees out of occupied territory while being shot at by both riflemen and anti-aircraft cannons.

Busy night.

I have been in direct communication with HQ in Paris over your little escapade.

They agree with my recommendation completely.

So it won't do you any good to go over my head.

Take the cuffs off. Sir...

Unless you want to fly his plane. I think I forgot to sign that.

Ask me about it again tomorrow.

Congratulations, Rawlings. And don't ever do that again.

I won't, sir.

THENAULT: Gentlemen, there is a change of plan.

We've had a little surprise thrown at us.

A German zeppelin is on its way to bomb Paris.

As you know, our French and British pilots are engaged at Pont-?Mousson.

So Rawlings, Lowry, Skinner and Porter will have to go after the zeppelin.

Remember to load incendiary bullets.

It can take hundreds to bring down a zeppelin.

The rest of the squadron will support the others at Pont-?Mousson.

May God be with you. Thank you, sir.

Courage.

Courage. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Courage.

All right.


(GUNS FIRING)


(PORTER SINGING HYMN)

(GROANS)

(MACHINE GUNS FIRING)


You go down! I'll take the zeppelin!

(GUNS FIRING)


(SHOUTING)


(SCREAMING)

(GASPING)


No!


(SPEAKING LATIN)

Amen. Amen.

Today we have lost two brave fighters. Two friends.

Porter once told me that if he died, he wanted to be buried by the airfield.

Near those he fought alongside.

I'm sure Cassidy would rather be buried behind the whorehouse.

(CHUCKLING)

Only a few days ago, Cassidy gave me this letter to give to Rawlings in the event he died.

Rawlings, please.

(CLEARS THROAT)

"If I do not return, my burial is of no import.

"Make it as easy as possible for yourselves.

"I have no religion and do not care for any service.

"If the omission would bother Porter,

"I guess I would stand the ceremony.

"Good luck to you all. Vive la Escadrille, "the only real friends I ever had. Cassidy."

A lot of us owe this man our lives.

We won't forget him.

(GIROUX SHOUTING ORDERS IN FRENCH)

(GUNS FIRING)

Sir, I made a promise that I'd meet someone at Reims.

Can I have permission to leave the base? Yes.

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

Excuse me.

Sorry.

Excuse me, I'm looking for...

Lucienne!

Lucienne!

Lucienne!

(PEOPLE ALL CHATTERING IN FRENCH)

RAWLINGS: Lucienne!

I afraid.

Not see you. Yeah.

You look good.

Yeah. Okay.

We go to England.

Not safe for children.

Germans come here. I know.

You and me in Paris after war?

Your English is getting so good.

I try.

How will I reach you? I'm gonna be moving.

I have so much I wanna say to you.

You will be in my thoughts and in my heart.

(MAN SPEAKING FRENCH)

(CHILDREN SPEAKING FRENCH)

I'll see you in Paris. We'll turn on them lights.

Be careful. I will not be here to count the planes.

(BIDDING FAREWELL IN FRENCH)


Gentlemen, we are going to make another run on the munition depot at Jametz.

This time escorting four bombers.

Instead of a frontal attack, we fly south to Marcheville first and then swing north to the strike area.

This way, we might be able to surprise them and get closer to the target before encountering resistance.

As you may have heard, the United States has just announced its entrance into the war.

Oh, good. Thank God for that.

I don't need to tell you that if we destroy Jametz, we severely reduce the flow of ammunition to the German troops.

Your brothers will be fighting on the ground.

I know the last attack on Jametz was a hard initiation for many of you.

But I have watched you grow and develop since then, both as men and pilots, and I can say that I am proud to be your captain.

You have more than exceeded my expectations.

Good luck to you all.

Think you might have dropped that.

I told her I was gonna be a hero.

(SIGHS)

Look, you got nothing to be ashamed of.

You went up there and you fought. Yeah. Ain't that something?

Hey, you're gonna be all right.

You're already over the jitters. Yeah, jitters.

Yeah. I fixed that.

I tell Thenault I'm gonna go up again so he won't send me home, but I don't go back up.

I just watch you guys day after day, wondering how you do it,

how everybody in my family did it,

why I'm the only one who can't.

All right, come on.

Why don't you just go? Go sleep this off and try again tomorrow.

Yeah, yeah, tomorrow. Okay?

Okay.

Okay.

We're the knights of the air, remember? Yeah.

MAN: Contact? SKINNER: Contact.

Rawlings, requesting permission to go on this mission, sir.

What's that? I rigged this up in the machine shop.

I can fly with it. Tested it out yesterday.

All right, but if I feel you're a detriment to the squadron and I wave you off, you go right home, you understand?

Perfectly. Don't kill yourself on takeoff.

BEAGLE: Hey, guys, I'm flying!

Captain Thenault told me I should have it painted on your plane.

I hope you don't mind.

I'm honored.


(GUNS FIRING)


Oh, shit.


(GUN FIRES)


(GUN FIRING)


Come on, Eddie, do something right.

Beware the hook!


All right!


(MEN CHATTERING)

Congratulations, Beagle. Welcome back.

I wish Lowry had made it here to see this.

(ENGINE FIRING)

Where's he going?


(SHOUTING)


(GRUNTING)


(GRUNTING)

(JENSEN LAUGHING)

Knights of the air!


(GUNS FIRING)


(GASPS)