Hart's War (2002) Script

On the other side of the world... in Europe the Allied forces are pounding the Germans... with relentless force.

We do not expect to have a winter lull in Europe.

We expect to keep striking... to keep the enemy on the move... and hit him again and again.

1944, December.

I was miles from the front... and a stranger to war.

Troops, fuel dumps... enemy units... they were pins on a map to me.

Champagne?

Are you trying to score a few points?

Just trying to aid the war effort, Hart.

Tom.

Sir.

The captain needs a lift back to the 106th.

Can you find him a driver?

I can take him, sir.

Funny. I had a feeling you'd say that.

Well, there hasn't been much movement today, sir.

So I see. Captain.

Oh, don't forget, sir.

You wanted to send some of that champagne along as well.

Yes.

Yes, thank you for reminding me, Tom.

The general should get a kick out of that.

Colonel.

Troops are now fighting... along a battle line of 300 miles in Poland...

France, and Germany.

Within 10 weeks after the first landings in France last June, the Allies have landed nearly 2 million men.

You know what this army could use, sir?

Snowplow services.

What we could use... is half a million gallons of gasoline... and a road that wasn't paved... with Bouncing Betties.

German S-mines.

Yes, sir.

You really ought to spend a night... on the line sometime, Lieutenant.

I know that, sir.

Of course, it's not too likely, is it?

Sir?

The Colonel says your father is a senator.

So I guess you won't spend too many nights... in a foxhole, will you?

It's nothing to be ashamed of, son.

That's a hell of a father to have.


Where to, sir? St. Vith.

I'm afraid you've gone the wrong way, sir.

St. Vith is due west.

I'm pretty sure St. Vith is due east.

Sergeant, it's straight ahead.

Can I see that, sir?

I drove this route yesterday, Sergeant.

Mm-hmm.

Get your hands up.

Out!


Halt!


Are you in great pain?

First Lieutenant...

Thomas Hart.

Serial number...

1841287.

Would you care for a Zigarette?

Your train is an 8 kilometer march from here.

Of course, with some shoes on... you might be all right.

First Lieutenant...

Thomas Hart.

Serial number 1841287.

Thank you, Lieutenant.

But we both know... there is much more to you than that.

Show me locations of the fuel dumps.

Just point... and we can end all this.


I'll have your clothes returned to you immediately.

When you are dressed, we'll have another chat.

Our last one, I hope.


Smile, Joe.

For you the war is over.


Lieutenant.

This will help against the cold.

No thanks, soldier.

I'll be all right.

No, you won't.

Come on. Take it.

Just till you warm up.

Take it, sir.

Hey, Captain... does somebody tell our folks about us being captured?

Germans give a list to the military... and the military notifies the family.

Is that voluntary, sir?

How do you mean, Lieutenant?

Uh, I mean... can you ask them not to?

I don't think so.


Have to put some straw in there.

Straw in your shoes... for frostbite.


Another slave detail, sir.

Hey, ladies... next batch of shells you turn out... nothing but duds this time, all right?

Mortars no boom boom, ja?

Fire!

Captain, P-51 incoming.

Incoming! Ours?

Get down, everybody!

Get down!

Everybody stay down!

Keep low!

Captain, what's happening?

Why are they shooting at us?

They can't read the roof.

All right, get the doors!

Everybody get the doors!

Come on, now!

Get down!

Get down! Down!

Hart, help out!

Come on! Go! Go! Go!

Go on, now! Let's go!

Moving out!

Get the other cars!

Get the other cars!

Let's go! Now!

We're spelling out!

Round up your men now!

We're spelling out our position!

We're spelling out!

Hart, get that man clear of here.

Let's get in line!

Assemble on me!

Assemble! Move it! Move it!

All right, men!

Let's get back in line!

Move it!


It's not helping.

Come on, men!


Oh, Christ.

Keep looking at me. Look at me.

Look at me.

Oh, shit. Shit.

All right. Are you all right?


They're telling us to march.

Probably ought to take his boots, Lieutenant.

Lieutenant!

Take his boots.

'Cause either you or some Jerry's gonna get 'em.

Take 'em, sir... while you still got feet to put 'em on.

His socks, too.

Ain't gonna help him any.

Stay together.

All right.


Once again...

I'm forced to remind you escape is not a sport.

Think of it this way.

Now these Russians have a chance... at a happy new year.

Those are dogs you're saluting, Colonel.

Animals.

My country doesn't make those kinds of distinctions, Colonel.

They're our allies, Colonel.

Oh, yes. You and your allies.

Let me tell you about you and your allies.

The Ministry of War has just released the figures... from our offensive in the Ardennes.

Two hundred thousand Allies killed or captured.

Your Third Army-

Patton- in full retreat.

And the Wehrmacht has captured enough abandoned fuel... to retake Paris- perhaps even drive your troops back to the sea.

Might be a bit crowded around here this winter.

Turn around, Joes.

Yes. Turn around.

Ross. Hart.

Ross and Hart.

I'm Captain Ross.

Major Clary.

Lieutenant Hart.

Lieutenant.

Debriefing, gentleman. Officer's hut.

On the double.

The German counterattack on the American Third Army front... is still going on.

The entire front... stretching about 30 miles south of Monschau... is in motion.

On our side, countermeasures are being taken.

On the enemy's side, more strafes are being flown in.

This is a major German effort.

Some of the best units in the German army... were involved in this penetration.

At ease, soldier.

Sit down.

Thank you, sir.

So tell me, Lieutenant...

How come you're not dead?

Sir?

First you survive crashing that jeep... then Hans and Fritz take your boots.

You got a rabbit's foot in your pocket, son?

Two horseshoes and a 4-leaf clover, sir.

Atta boy.

By the way... you might want to take it easy on that bread.

You haven't had anything solid for a while.

Wouldn't want you to wind up in the infirmary.

I don't know, sir.

After the march I just made... and infirmary might look like the Waldorf to me.

A stomach can shrink quite a bit in 17 days.

That's the number, isn't it?

Seventeen days?

Six days on the train... another 6 days of marching.

What was it, Joe?

Five days of interrogation?

No, sir.

Three days.

Well, anyway... easy does it.

Yes, sir. Thank you.

So this interrogator they threw at you... his name wasn't Schumann, was it?

No, sir.

Lutz.

Schumann was a real prick.

Almost broke me in two.


Not much for small talk, I guess.

You come to appreciate that.

Smoke, Lieutenant?

Would you care for a Zigarette?

Again, Lieutenant, I need to ask you...

the fuel dumps...

Thank you.

This Captain Lutz... he know much about your operations at the chateau?

He knew everything, sir.

Fuel dump locations?

Troop movements?

Sir, he knew what I'd had for breakfast... the morning of my capture.

Point, and we can end all this.

Just name, rank, and serial number.

Good enough.

You're excused, Lieutenant.

Unfortunately, we won't be able... to quarter you here.

We're full up.

We're gonna have to put you in Barracks 27.

Isn't barracks 27 for enlisted men, sir?

Yes, it is... but as you can see... the Germans are doing a rather brisk business these days.

You'll be comfortable there.

Sir.

Lieutenant. Sir.


Point.

Point or say hello to stumps... for the rest of your life.

Good.


Don, are you in? I called.

Hold your water, Joe.

Looks like a whole division just surrendered.

Who's in charge here?

Hey, how many we up to?

Three lovely ladies, big shot.

That's right.

That's right.

Excuse me. Yeah?

I'm looking for who's in charge here.

From the looks of things, I'd say Adolf Hitler.

I'm Lieutenant Tom Hart.

It's OK, folks.

Staff Sergeant Vic Bedford.

Good to meet you. You, too.

You just come in from Ardennes?

Yeah.

Colonel sent me over to bunk in here.

Officers' barracks are full.

Well, in that case, welcome to Rio.

Hope you don't mind, sir.

All we have is this middle bunk right here.

It looks fine.

I'm betting you're a Lucky Strike man.

You bet right.

Care for some hooch, Lieutenant?

Ringing in the new year.

Uh, thanks. I'm fine.

It's fermented raisins, mostly.

A little turpentine thrown in for flavor.

I'm fine.

We got anybody left up front, sir?

How are you doing, Lieutenant?

Private.

Give him a break, fellas. He just got here.

Lieutenant.

Guard 'em with your life.

They double for cash around here- especially with the guards.

Thanks, Sergeant. Excuse me a second.

Fellas, listen up.

Lieutenant Hart here... is going to be staying with us for a while.

Hello, sir. Men.

Say, what's it take to get in that poker game?

I expect we can work something out.

Good.

Sir, are you about a size 10?

Why?

They got a Woolworth's behind one of these barracks?

You never know.


Just piss on him, sir.

Huh?

It's the only thing that gets him moving.

Happy New Year.

New year.

It's 1945!

Happy New Year!

Ten and a half is the best I could do.

The holiday season.


Look at the smile on this guy.

Socks, too.

Could have used those in the...

What's the matter, you don't like trench foot?

Sure, it's just that once my toenails turned black...

I didn't have a single purse that matched.

Square 'em up, Major.

Yes, sir.

Look at this.

They've got those poor bastards going around the clock now.

See that factory up past the North tower?

The Germans are making bombs right under our noses.

It's supposed to be a shoe factory.

Instead, they've got the Russians running in and out... making mortar shells.

What the hell is that?

One of their flyers.

Wait a minute, they've got niggers flying airplanes, now?

Three hundred and thirty-second Fight Squadron.

I read about them in "Yank Magazine. "

I'll be damned.

Well, we got us some nigger officers.

Fucking Jerry's right. We must be losing this war.

Five, 6, 7, 8. Lift! Lift!

Lieutenant. Sir.

Looks like it'll be a good show.

Yeah, it does.

It's high stakes around here, sir.

What do you mean?

Half the smokes in camp are riding on... where you're putting the new men.

Where do you think we should put them?

I think I'd give them their own billet tent, sir.

Well, we can't do that.

I was thinking about putting them in 27 with you.

Sir, wouldn't they be better off in the officers' barracks?

I don't carry enough weight to move 2 officers out of 22.

I can't make them the only 2 officers... in the enlisted men's barracks.

You're in 27.

Figure you can keep an eye on them for me.

Sir, I'm still new to that barracks.

Don't carry a lot of weight with the men yet.

You've got bars on your shoulder, Lieutenant.

That ought to be weight enough.

Be done. Come on.

Tastes like chicken, right?

No, you've got maggots.

It's protein. Eat.

You called? Yeah.

What do you got?

Gonna have to to make some room in here, fellas.

Come on in, men.

We got 2 more guests.

Second Lieutenants Lamar Archer and Lincoln Scott.

You've got to be kidding, sir.

They're gonna live here?

Two officers just entered the barracks.

Where's your salute?


What's the big idea, sir?

I mean, we're all full up in here.

Not anymore.

Croutch, Krasner. Yes, sir.

You've been reassigned. Barracks 28.

The Colonel wants you situated before lockdown.

What were you flying?

P-51 bomber escorts.

Must be a shitload of dead bomber crews... scattered across Europe.

You see these bars, Sergeant?

A pair of bars don't make you fit to share... the same roof with white folks, boy.

Bedford!

That's Lieutenant, boy. You got that?

Call yourself whatever you want.

You're still just a nigger to me.

I didn't quite catch that, Sergeant.

What was that? All right!

That's enough! Just let it go.


Set, go!

Over-Over here!

Nice. Very nice!

Uh-oh! Deadline.

Lieutenant! Mind grabbing that, boy?

What are you doing?

Nice one, sir!

Cookie, hey!

More bread. More bread.

Das ist verboten!

Das ist verboten, Bedford!

Bon appetit!


Shit!

Nobody moves!

How bad, Sergeant?

Yeah, it's just a nick. I'll be fine.

You all right? Yeah.


Fuck 'em!

Go get that hand looked at. Yes, sir.

Hey, Bed.

Cigarettes?

You're a regular bank, Vic.

How's the hand?

Is that really what you came over here to ask me?

No. Major Clary told me that you went to see him... to lodge a complaint about Lieutenants Archer and Scott.

I'm sure he'll take it up with Eisenhower first chance he gets.

They don't belong here.

Nobody belongs here.

But this is where the colonel put them.

Yeah. I bet you wish the colonel would have given you... that open bunk in the officers' barracks... right about now, Lieutenant.

I mean, this is hardly the Waldorf.

Ain't that right?

We're not going to have a problem... about this, Sergeant, understood?

What did you do before the war for a living?

I was in law school. Second year.

Harvard?

Yale.

Meet many coloreds up there? A few.

Yeah, well, I dealt with their kind.

Two years I was on the police force... in East St. Louis, and I know what they are.

So let's not pretend like we're fucking neighbors.

You finished, Sergeant?

No, I'm not finished.

Never did settle on a price, did we... for them boots and socks?

I mean, might be as cold as the North Pole around here... but that don't make me Santa Claus.

What do you want?

I'll take your watch.

This was a gift from my father.

I bet your daddy can afford you another one.

Is this going to buy me a little civility, Sergeant?

Tons.


Not much of a picture, is it?

Well, we do feel a little misled, sir.

Guard told us they'd be showing... the life and time of Jesse Owens.

You know, you men can sit up front with everyone else.

We're fine, sir.

Nobody's going to bother you.

I said we're fine, sir.


That was nice, C.W. That was 18 inches.

Ah, come on, Joe. It was 2 feet, at least.

Hey, either way, my record still stands.

Cut it out, you guys.

Up, up, up.

Everybody. Out of the way.

Out! Out of the bunks.

Attention.

Attention near the bunks.

Now.

Who is the ranking man in here?

Lieutenant Thomas Hart.

One of your men was out on the compound tonight, Lieutenant.

He was spotted on the East field... removing a spike from one of the billet tents.

Your men are aware of this camp's policy... concerning the possession and concealment of weapons... are they not?

Major, no one has left this barracks.

Whoa, wait a minute. What the hell-

Quiet.

But this is a plant. Quiet.

Somebody put that- Quiet.

You bastard, I heard you go out.

I should have seen this coming.

Major, where are you taking this man?

Examples must be made, Lieutenant.

We take the safety of our men very seriously.

Major, where are you all taking him?

What did he do?


I'll kill you.

I'll fucking kill you, Bedford.

You put that spike-

Watch your mouth, nigger.

You put that spike there. Get off of me.

Lincoln, look at me. Get off of me.

Can I let you go, Lincoln?

It's a minor offense, Colonel.

This man deserved 15 days in the cooler, not execution.

He attempted to escape.

Bullshit.

You dragged him out of his barracks barely clothed.

Your men lined him up and shot him.

This man wasn't trying to escape... any more than those Russians you hung the other day.

Is he a dog?

A lesser race?

There's a word you Americans use, as I remember.

But of course, your country doesn't make such distinctions.

And neither do you, I'm sure.

He was an officer... a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps.

Yeah. That's why you were so eager... to welcome him and the other one into your barracks.

Look it up, Colonel.

We have every right to question a man... for concealment of a dangerous weapon.

This man had rights, too.

The Geneva Convention... specifically forbids summary executions.

Take a look around you, Colonel.

This is not Geneva.

Where are you going?

To check on my men.

You're welcome to do so, of course.

In the meantime, I'll be looking in on your barracks... to listen to what's on the B.B.C. this evening.


Now go see your men, Colonel.

Good night.


Not to love the Fuhrer is a great disgrace so we heil, heil right in the Fuhrer's face

Is we not the super friend?

Aryan pure supermen?

Ja, we is der supermen Super-duper supermen Is this Nazi land Let's go.

How's Scott holding up?

It's hard to tell.

He isn't saying much.

He was asking about the body.

And there's some personal effects-dog tags.


Come on, boys.

Take that, you bastard.

Careful, Bedford.

That's a nigger you're rooting for.

Tail's painted red... means he's 99th, right out of Tuskegee, boy.


Come on, let's get him out!

Get them out of there.

Get him to the doc, now.

Put this out. Come on!

More buckets, more buckets. Quickly, come on.

Come on!


Move around this corner. Yes, sir.

Do you know where I wish I'd never been?

Where's that?

The goddamn Waldorf.

It's not personal.

He just can't stand being lied to.

I never lied to him. Go on.

You hung yourself the minute he debriefed you.

That guy Lutz they threw on you... he was a level 1 interrogator.

McNamara had him, too.

When a guy won't talk, they just keep kicking him up the ladder.

Level 2, level 3.

It takes weeks.

He was in there for a month.

The only guy you saw was Lutz... and he spit you out of there in 3 days.

All I gave them was name, rank, and serial number.

See, the thing about the colonel is he's not like you and me.

He's West Point, fourth generation.

He was raised on all this.

The crap like this... catching a junior officer in an obvious lie... all it does is remind him of how far away he is... from the real war... the one he's supposed to be fighting.

You see?


Lieutenant Lincoln.

I should have sold some tickets to this one.


Two of your men dead in 2 days, Colonel.

It seems you've lost control of your company.

Will Lieutenant Scott be granted the right to stand trial... and face this charge?

Major Fussel saw him standing over the body.

I would say he's had his trial.

Any prisoner accused of a crime against another prisoner... has a right to a trial.

And if the boy were being held in Alabama... there wouldn't be any trial at all.

Is this not so?

Yeah, maybe you're right, Colonel.

Maybe we should just forget the trial.

Let's just drag him out of the barracks... and shoot 2 holes in his chest... like you did with Lieutenant Archer.

A trial.

A court-martial.

Like in your American movies?

Yes?

Yeah, something like that.

That should be fun.

Yeah.

All right, Colonel.

You may conduct it... in your theater here.

Colonel, my men are in this theater every day.

With your permission... we'd like to erect a billet tent... to house the proceedings.

No.

Your theater will do quite nicely.

You have until the end of the week... to conduct your trial.

It's a capital charge, Colonel.

The trial will take more than a few days.

One thousand more American prisoners from the Ardennes... will be arriving over the weekend.

I am putting them in your theater.

Colonel, I just explained to you-

Colonel...

Saturday, your theater is mine.

Wait. Colonel!

This is a murder site.

I beg your pardon, Lieutenant.

I said this is a murder site.

The body and everything around it... are now evidence.

This area cannot be disturbed... until everything is photographed.

Of course.

I'm appointing you counsel for Lieutenant Scott.

Sir, I'm not a lawyer.

You sounded like one a minute ago.

I could be a material witness.

I mean, I heard the lieutenant going out.

The lieutenant needs our help.

I've appointed you counsel.

Understood?

Yes, sir.

Dismissed, Lieutenant.

Sir.


And this guy that's prosecuting me... this Captain Sisk... is he a real lawyer?

Yes.

That sounds about right.

I think we have to paint this thing as a fight, Scott.

That's all.

It was a fight that got a little out of hand.

You're supposed to ask me if I did it, first.

Look, I came here to kill Nazis.

If it was some crackers that I wanted to kill...

I could have stayed in Macon.

Major Fussel ID'd you standing over the body.

Fussel is a Nazi!

No. Fussel is a witness...

and he's enough to hang you.

Look, all I'm saying is if it was a fight... that got a little out of hand... then it's not murder.

It's manslaughter.

Do you understand that?

Man, oh, man.

Can I fire you?

Oh, look, Scott, I'm just trying-

If it's a colored guy on trial... and it's a white man who's been murdered... there's no such thing as manslaughter.

Don't you know that?

Or is that something that they teach you... in the third year of law school?

What do you expect from me, anyway?

A "Hey, yes, sir, boss. "

Or "Why, thank you, boss. You're mighty kind. "

Is that the way a railroaded colored man acts... where you're from?

Nobody's railroading you, Scott.

Then how come the only real lawyer... is the guy that's prosecuting me... and I'm stuck with you defending me?

That's how the Colonel wanted it.

Yeah, but I ain't being railroaded.

I'll meet you back at the barracks.

Yes, sir.

Well, Lieutenant?

I'm gonna need a few things, sir.

Who has Bedford's personal effects?

We do.

I'll need to see them... and the photographs that were taken of the scene... and of course, his body.

What did Scott tell you?

Sir?

You were with him all day.

What did he tell you?

I'm sorry, sir. I can't reveal that.

Sure you can.

Attorney-client privilege, sir.

Only an attorney has attorney-client privilege.

I need to be briefed on everything... that Scott intends to testify to.

Sir, you're going to be President of the court-martial.

How can I possibly discuss our case with you?

Are you suggesting... that I would betray Lieutenant Scott?

That I would share details of his case... with the prosecution?

No, sir.

Scott followed Bedford out through the night latrine.

If he testifies to that fact... every German in this camp will know how we get in... and out of the barracks after dark... and every man in this camp would be compromised... because of that.

Are you following this, Lieutenant?

Yes, sir. Good.

Now, Scott will testify that he went out... through a hole beneath the stove... in the barracks.

And you will make certain that he is clear on that.

Do we understand each other, Lieutenant?

We do, sir.

Dismissed.

Permission to speak, sir.

Speak freely.

Scott thinks this is all just for show.

He thinks you passed sentence... as soon as the body hit the ground.

Is he right?

Bedford's footlocker is in my barracks.

I'll make sure you get it.


Not much to look at, is he?

Did you know him?

No.

Not personally.

But my guards certainly seemed to.

These are for you.

Thank you.

How well?

Your guards, you said they knew him.

How well?

Well, you'll have to ask them about that.

This is yours, too.

We found it on his wrist.

But with the inscription... and those new boots on your feet...

I made the assumption.

It's a little hard to imagine, Colonel... your guards sitting for an interview.

I can arrange it.

I can arrange anything you like.

It seems only fair... what with your colonel throwing you to the wolves.

I'm not sure I follow you.

Really?

Yale isn't in the habit of accepting half-wits.

At least it wasn't when I was studying there.

The oldest member of the class of '28.

My fellow students voted me hardest worker.

But we can swap stories some other time, can't we?

Right now we've got a trial to prepare for.

It's a sincere offer, Lieutenant.

Anything I can do to help...

Truly.

And exactly where were you, Major Fussel... on the night in question?

I was walking the area behind this theater... and the Australian compound.

At about what time?

Maybe about 1:00 in the morning.

And can you tell the court what you saw?

The schwarze Lieutenant Scott was kneeling over the body.

It looked to me like he was checking that the man was dead.

I blew my whistle, and he started to run.

And what did you do next?

I would have shot, but it was dark.

And so was he.

Major Fussel, how well did you know Sergeant Bedford?

A little, I think.

You traded with him regularly.

Traded?

Bartered.

Cigarettes for a pair of boots.

Chocolate for some spare parts.

No. I never did this.

A kriegie trading with a German soldier?

I never saw it.

Am I allowed to repeat what he actually said to Captain?

You may, Private.

Lieutenant Scott said, "I'll kill you.

"I'll fucking kill you, Bedford. "

Corporal, have you ever heard any other man... threaten a fellow soldier during your time in the army?

"Better shape up or I'll kill you. "

"I'll kill you if you touch my cigarettes again. "

That sort of thing? Yes, sir.

I'll bet you've even made such a threat yourself once or twice.

I suppose so.

Corporal, did you ever actually kill any of the men... you threatened in this manner?

No, sir.

But I'm not colored.

I can control myself.

So, you, too, had heard the threats... made by the accused against Sergeant Bedford?

Your Honor, this being the fourth prosecution witness... called to testify in this matter... if the defense will stipulate that the accused... did indeed threaten the life of Sergeant Bedford... could we dispense with any further testimony... to his having done so? Your Honor...

Sergeant Webb is being called as an eyewitness... to the crime itself.

He's what?

Is that right, Sergeant?

Yes, sir.

Sir, that's a lie. Your Honor... the sergeant will testify that on the night of the murder... he watched through a window in barracks 27... as Lieutenant Scott accosted Sergeant Bedford... outside the theater and broke his neck.

Your Honor, he did no such thing.

I was standing right beside Sergeant Webb... at the exact time of the murder.

He saw nothing of the sort. The hell I didn't.

You don't know what I saw.

Sir, I request that this court instruct this witness as to the consequences of perjuring himself in a court-

He put his hand on the Bible... and swore to tell the truth, Lieutenant.

That's good enough for me. Objection, Your Honor.

We've had no prior notice of his testimony.

Sit down, Lieutenant. Your Honor, his bias alone-

Lieutenant!

Sit down, please.

I'll catch up.

I gotta go make some trades in barracks 18.

See if you can get me some smokes.

Webb...

You're a lying sack of shit, you know that?

Yeah, and maybe you ought to mind your own business.

This doesn't concern you, West.

Hey, Lieutenant. Or you. Any of you.

What do you know, Joe? George S. Patton just showed up.

Return to your barracks, Corporal.

Take your 2 friends with you.

So, what is it, Webb?

Up there today.

You think you owe it to Vic?

Why are you so bent about that flying bellhop anyway?

He's a soldier.

Vic Bedford was a soldier.

He fought. He had courage.

You wouldn't know too much about that, would you, Lieutenant?

You lied in there today.

You didn't see what happened any more than I did.

I didn't have to. I know.

Not good enough.

It's good enough for McNamara.


Sorry about what happened in there today, Lincoln.

I didn't see it coming.

You're saying that's the first time... you seen a man lie through his teeth... holding his hand on a bible?

I was writing a letter to my father.

Figured I should tell him first.

He was part of the 369th Infantry... in the last war, the old 15th.

They was the first negro troops to go into action in France.

Did your father serve?

My father was in headquarters.

He had an 8 on his shoulder, too.

His father made sure of it.

That's how we do things in our family.

That's a shame.

Got your testimony to prepare.

Yeah.


Lieutenant.

How are you?

Not too well, I imagine.

Come on up.

That was quite a beating you took today.

It's warm inside.

You've read Mark Twain?

It's wonderful.

Colonel, I have witnesses to prepare for.

Yes. I know.

It's why I wanted to see you.

We keep a library of all American military manuals.

I thought this one might be of particular use to you.

I can't accept this, Colonel.

We have a policy about fraternizing...

Lieutenant, without this, your client... will face the firing squad.

Would that be better?

Your son?

Yes.

Where's he fighting?

He is not anymore.

The Russian front.

Horrible place.

I'm sorry.

I killed my share of English and French, I suppose... in the first war.

They had fathers, too.

It's verboten, you know.

Negro jazz.

These might be the only copies of their kind... in the entire Reich.

But I'm quite fond of them.

Nice to read by, anyway.

Takes a man right back.

Take a seat.

Thank you for your time, Colonel.

Lieutenant...

Enjoy the manual.


Come to order, gentlemen.

Captain Sisk, is the prosecution... prepared to call its next witness?

We are, Your Honor.

Begging the court's pardon, sir.

Yes, Lieutenant?

Before we continue, Your Honor... it's been brought to my attention that the court... may have overlooked a few procedural matters yesterday.

I'm referring to the "U.S. Army Manual for Courts-Martial"... chapter 12, sections 57, 58.

Make your point.

According to these sections, Your Honor... the court was obliged yesterday to ask the accused... if he wished to challenge any members of the court... for peremptory disqualification before any pleas were entered.

A little late in the game for that, isn't it, Lieutenant?

Nevertheless, it is a right... specifically granted to the defendant.

Very well.

Does the accused wish to challenge... any member of the court now?

We do, Your Honor.

You, sir.

Request denied. Proceed, Captain Sisk.

Sir, according to chapter 12, section 58d... defense is allowed 1 peremptory challenge... of the board, and this challenge... is not subject to any ruling by the court itself.

Request denied, Lieutenant.

Then the court must address section 58e... which states the defense may disqualify... a member of the board for cause... if that member has displayed a bias... toward the accused or his case.

This court has shown no bias in this case, Lieutenant.

Your Honor, the court has demonstrated... in ex parte conversations before the commencement... of this hearing a distinct prejudice against the accused... his case, and his counsel, sir.

Very well.

We'll take a short recess to consider the matter.

Lieutenant Hart. Sir?

Can I see you outside for a moment, please?

Sir?

Listen to me, you pampered little shit.

I will not be laughed at. Not by him.

Sir, I'm just trying to protect my client.

Your client's about to lose his lawyer, Lieutenant.

Sir?

Article 32: contempt of court.

Article 70: intentional delay.

I know the book, too.

Forwards and backwards.

Then you must know, sir, that-

Shut up and listen to me, Lieutenant.

You will not accept anything from that commandant again.

Is that clear?

You will not allow him to participate... in these proceedings, is that clear?

You will never set foot in his office again... without my permission.

We understand each other?

...and propaganda reported by them... and by the Germans over Strasbourg.

One minute you can hear Hitler himself announcing... that he will be in Strasbourg by January the 30th... the anniversary of the Nazis coming to power in Germany.

The next, the Nazis are claiming that 2 new divisions... are advancing on Strasbourg... and that the Americans are in full flight from Alsace.

The closer they get, the more violent they become.

The Nazi menace are offering their promises.

But today...

Come in. Have a seat.

We've checked German...

Have a drink.

Sure.

Maybe you can help me decipher some of this code... coming through the BBC tonight, yeah?

I don't think you need my help, Colonel.

Seems pretty clear what they're saying.

It would seem so.

Or perhaps it's all propaganda.

How about that?

Strange thing about war wounds.

The older you grow, the less proud you become of them.


Got another one of these around here somewhere?

Of course.

Good. Why don't you and I take a walk out on your compound... and have ourselves an old-fashioned duel?

That would be fitting, wouldn't it?

But surely you can think of a more clever way... out of this camp than that, yes?

You think the war will wait for you, is that it, Colonel?

It won't, you know. They never do.

You're drunk.

Yeah.

But I'm seeing things very clearly.

You know, sometimes I think your Lieutenant Scott... might have been better off in Alabama.

Lynchings are over in minutes.

The kind of justice he's suffering here is far crueler.

Is that why you gave Lieutenant Hart the manual?

I was merely trying to help the lad.

He's got enough to worry about... without providing you with amusement.

Yes.

He's got you to worry about, hasn't he?

Stay out of our business.

Forgive me, Colonel, but you're hardly... in a position to hand out orders.

Especially to me.

For now.

Unless, of course, you think that's just... the sound of propaganda falling out there.

Well, the idea was to follow Bedford... and catch him on the compound.

I wanted to drag him back under the barracks... and put his face in the mud.

Well, by the time I got to him... he was already dead behind the theater... neck had been snapped.

That's when everything blew up.

Dogs, you know, hands up, and that was that.

Lieutenant, did you apply anything... to your face or hands before going out that night?

Shoe polish? Soot?

No.

Defense exhibit 1, Your Honor.

Photos of the deceased taken in the camp morgue.

The court will note black smudges... on Bedford's right cheek and jaw.

Your Honor, what is the relevance of this?

To demonstrate to the court... that whoever killed Vic Bedford was white.

I'd like to ask the court's permission... to conduct a demonstration, Your Honor.

I'd also ask the trial judge advocate to rise, if he would.

Proceed.

Based on Bedford's wounds and the fact that... nobody reported hearing him cry for help that night... we have to assume that he was either... friendly with his assailant... or that whoever killed him did so from behind... the positioning being something like this.

Captain, if you wouldn't mind grabbing at me... at my face to get me to stop.

Now, of course, the killer had the benefits... of leverage and surprise, so the neck was snapped... and Bedford fell, and the smudge went with him.

It was also on his fingers. Captain?

At this time, I would like the court... to note the following for the record: whoever killed Vic Bedford... had such a substance on his face on the night of the murder... which raises 2 questions.

First, what call would Lincoln Scott have... for darkening his face?

To look more black?

Second, if he had done so, when did he take it off?

Your Honor, you stood face to face with him... immediately after his capture.

His face was clean.

I think it's fair to conclude... that whoever killed Vic Bedford was not only white... but was waiting behind this theater... face blackened to avoid detection by the guards.

Nothing further, Your Honor.

Lieutenant, you say that Sergeant Bedford sneaked out... through a loose board beneath the barracks' stove.

Is that right?

Yes, sir.

And you took that same route on the night in question... after he'd gone out.

Yes, I did, sir.

What did you find down there, Lieutenant?

Excuse me, sir?

What was down there on the ground?

Mud, right?

You stated that it had been your intention... to put the victim's face in the mud... until he begged you to stop... so there was mud down there, isn't that right, Lieutenant?

I suppose so.

And a fair amount of soot from the stove itself.

So it's possible that Sergeant Bedford... having descended through a hole lined with soot... and then having crawled facedown... beneath the barracks wet with mud... might have emerged with mud and soot on his face.

Nothing further, Your Honor.

Thank you, Captain Sisk.

Will you step down, Lieutenant?

Lieutenant Scott?

You know how hard they tried... to wash us out of flight school-the colored flyers?

Your testimony's been entered, Lieutenant.

You can step down.

It was test after test.

I mean, anything they could come up with to turn us... into the cooks or the drivers or the shit shovelers.

Your Honor, this is highly unnecessary.

The witness has already- But I refused to wash out.

So did Archer. I mean, come hell or high water.

We hit the books.

We were just determined... that we were not going to spend the war being some niggers.

That's enough, Lieutenant. You will take your seat.

With all due respect, sir...

I would like to exercise my right and address this court.

Now, I've been sitting down ever since I got here.

And you know, I should have stood up and said something... the moment that you threw us in with the enlisted men... instead of quartering us properly as officers.

But it's OK.

You see, colored men expect to have to jump... through a few hoops in this man's army.

Archer knew that. We all did.

There's a camp right outside of Macon, where I'm from, and... there the army sends the German POWs... puts them to work picking cotton.

But what's strange is every once in a while... we'd see them walking through town... going to movies, eating in diners... but if I wanted to go to those same movies...

I had to sit way off in the balcony.

And those diners were closed to me even in uniform.

But German POWs were allowed to sit there and eat.

And this must have happened... to at least half the guys at Tuskegee.

But the thing is... we just kept telling ourselves that no matter what... as long as we did our jobs, it'd all be worth it... because hey, the war would end, we could go home... and be free to walk down any street in America... with our heads held high as men.

So that's what we did.

We did our jobs.

We served our country, sir, Archer and I.

And what you let happen to him... what you allowed to happen to him...

was appalling.

And so is this.


At ease, Lieutenant.

How are they treating you?

No worse than the men in my barracks, sir.

I can probably find you another blanket.

No. I'm fine.

Good night.


New order, gentlemen.

Before you proceed, Your Honor, the defense hasn't rested yet.

Still like to call one last witness.

Defense calls Oberst Werner Visser.

This some kind of joke, Lieutenant?

He's material to our case, sir.

Unless, of course, the colonel refuses to testify.

He does not.

Colonel, could you tell us... the nature of your relationship with Vic Bedford?

I'll be happy to. I didn't have one.

And what about your guards, Colonel?

Major Fussel, for instance?

Were you aware of his dealings with Vic Bedford... at night after lockdown?

That would be impossible in this camp, Lieutenant.

Policy forbids.

Do you remember the conversation we had... in the camp morgue 4 days ago?

Vaguely.

I asked you if you knew Vic Bedford... and you said, "No, but my guards certainly seem to. "

Perhaps.

So, in your words... no guard ever traded with Vic Bedford... and yet he was able to acquire winter boots... thick socks, fresh milk, and parts for a hidden radio.

Isn't that a fact?

Lieutenant, I'm sitting here as a gesture of military courtesy.

If it is your intention to paint me as a liar-

No, Colonel.

It is my intention to establish... that Vic Bedford built up enough of a rapport... with your majors Wirtz and Fussel... to engage in the framing of Lamar Archer... conspiring with them in the tent spike incident... which resulted in Archer's death.

Lieutenant Archer was shot while attempting escape.

No, Colonel.

Lieutenant Archer was executed in return for information.

Archer dies.

Five minutes later...

Colonel Visser and Major Wirtz enter Barracks 22... and destroy a hidden radio... that they had been trying to locate for months.

Can you tell the court anything about these items, sir?

Identification papers, some currency.

What of them?

Perfect German-made I.D. papers and reichsmarks.

Two thousand of them.

More than enough cash to make it through the country.

Vic Bedford kept those in a stash beside his bunk.

Again, can you tell the court... the nature of your relationship with Vic Bedford?

I did not have one, Lieutenant.

Do you have any idea... how he may have gotten these items, sir?

If they didn't come from you... and if he never had any dealings with your guards... the fact is, Colonel...

Vic Bedford traded with you and your men regularly.

Objection, Your Honor!

As soon as he came up dry on you, you ordered his murder.

Isn't that right, Colonel?

Lieutenant Hart...

I thought you tried marvelously... to establish that the killer had blackened his face with soot.

Now, if any of my guards... or even I wanted to kill one of my prisoners-

Vic Bedford in this case- we would hardly need to blacken our faces to do it.

Would we?


Move. In the corner, Webb.


Captain.

You see?

German uniforms, explosives.

Yes, Captain, I see.

The trial's got nothing to do with Lincoln Scott, does it?

No.

It's the way it had to go.

We're out of time, Hart.

We lose this theater tomorrow.

Uh-huh, and I'm supposed to keep Visser and his men distracted... while half the camp goes out.

Is that it, Captain?

I'm asking the wrong fucking guy.

I've just seen the tunnel, Colonel.

In here, Lieutenant.

Everything in this place is a lie.

Everything.

Jesus Christ.

First he told the Germans about the radio.

It was only a matter of time... before he told them about the tunnel.

You killed Bedford.

That's right.

If you fuck with this operation in any way, I'll kill you, too.

You will sit in that courtroom... as Captain Sisk drags out these proceedings.

Make whatever summation you like, but that's it.

When that board breaks to deliberate, 35 men go under the wire.

And Lincoln Scott will be dead.

That's war, Lieutenant.

The war's at the front, Colonel. We're not even in it anymore.

Speak for yourself!

You know those Russians... they march in and out of here every day?

You know where they go? Munitions plant.

The army thinks it's a goddamn shoe factory.

Look...

I don't want to see Scott dead any more than you do.

But if one man has to be sacrificed... to take out that target... then that's the way it has to be.

I agree completely, sir. Good.

But I think that one man should be you.

And don't worry. I'll play my part.

But at the end of the trial... you're going to tap your little gavel.

You're going to stand up... and you're going to confess to the murder.

Your duty demands that.

Fuck you, Hart.

What the fuck would you know about duty?

I'll see you in court, sir.


I got a better question.

What was in that goddamn soup last night?

I got 20 men with food poisoning.

Colonel? Whoa! Colonel!

You're in no shape for the trial, sir.

I'm fine. Really, I'm fine.

Here we go.

We'll convene as scheduled after the appell.

Square 'em up.

Prisoners, attention!

New order, gentlemen.

Captain Sisk... is the prosecution ready to present its summation?

We are, Your Honor.

Very well.

I'm sorry, gentlemen.

The court needs a 5-minute recess before summations.

Colonel. Colonel!

Colonel? Colonel!

Let's get him back to the barracks.

Get his coat.

Get some rest, sir.

All right, come on. Get back to the barracks.

We need an extension, Colonel. He's very ill.

The agreement was the end of the week.

It's a matter of courtesy, Colonel.

The agreement was today!

I need to talk to you.

Are you any good at poker, Lincoln?

There's an escape going to take place later on this afternoon.

Escape? How's that?

Down a tunnel through that burned theater wing. while the jury's in deliberation.

So what you mean? This whole thing's been a joke?

Yes.

But Archer and Bedford are dead for real.

Is that part of this big joke, too?

Look, we haven't got time now.

During deliberations you're going out under the wire... with 35 other men.

Is McNamara, too?

Yeah, McNamara, too.

It's funny. I was just writing my son... and in the letter I was trying to explain to him... what the word honor means.

It would be a hell of a thing, wouldn't it... to find out that your father helped 35 men... escape from a place like this, wouldn't it?

You're going out, too, Lincoln. You got that?

I can't do that, Tommy.

Suppose the board comes back... and there's nobody sitting in the defendant's chair anymore.

It doesn't matter. You'll already be out.

Then the search begins... and all those men, they won't have a chance.

Lincoln, if you stay, you'll be convicted.

If I stay, those men are gonna have a chance.

And you'll be executed.

Lincoln, listen to me, please.

Everything's fine, Tommy.

Everything's really OK...

just as long as he knows what happened here.

As long as there's somebody to tell him.

How far could I get anyway?

A colored man running through the German countryside?

It'd be target practice.


It started with a noble idea.

Letting colored men join the fight.

But no one in the Air Corps ever considered what might happen... if one of those Tuskegee men ever got shot down.

No one ever asked what would happen... if a colored officer was suddenly captured... and sent to a stalag like this one.

But Lincoln Scott was shot down and he was sent to a stalag... and once here, he wasn't just thrown in... amongst white enlisted men, he was quartered with them.

Men like Staff Sergeant Vic Bedford.

Bedford, the real Bedford, was a man unknown to us.

Hateful, vengeful, with a bigotry that ran bone-deep.

A man who simply couldn't stomach the thought... of sharing a roof with colored officers.

So he badgered Scott, baited him.

Even refused to respect Scott's rank.

Then conspired to kill the only friend Scott had in this camp.

That's why Scott followed Bedford out... the night in question... crept up behind him and snapped his neck.

Members of the board, we take no pleasure... in prosecuting Lieutenant Scott... but a capital charge requires... that we put aside our passions and sympathies... wedding ourselves solely to the truth.

It is this.

Lieutenant Scott was positively... and unimpeachably identified at the scene of the crime.

He had motive, he had opportunity... and he had an animus for the victim... which was confirmed even by his own testimony.

Lincoln Scott is an officer, he is a soldier... but he is also a murderer.


There's a tenet that was drummed into all of us... from our first day in basic.

Sometimes 1 man must be sacrificed... for the good of the men around him.

Someone has to be first to hit the beach... or to jump on a grenade or to draw enemy fire... so coordinates can be drawn for mortar teams.

Vic Bedford learned that tenet, too... except Vic got it backwards.

Vic thought that sometimes a few hundred... must be sacrificed for the good of 1.

Him. For Vic.

The watchword was expediency.

One day he'd trade with our captors... to get hard-to-find parts for a radio... earning him the loyalty of our commanding officer... and his staff.

Then Vic would tell the Germans where to find that radio...

Go. in exchange for the murder of Lamar Archer.

The army has its share of cowards...

and Vic Bedford was one of them.

It also has heroes... soldiers like Lincoln Scott.

Lincoln Scott who wanted nothing more than to serve his country.

And serve he did.

Nine downed German fighters, 30 missions... until one of those missions landed him here, Stalag 6A... where Vic Bedford and the sad sacks Bedford called friends... were lying in wait.

Scott was a target from the second he got here.

He suffered insults, threats, but he did not retaliate.

He did not kill Vic Bedford.

No.

Someone beat him to it.

It could've been any number of people.

The guard who thought that Bedford had cheated him.

A fellow kriegie who discovered Bedford's treachery.

Even one of our ranking officers... as punishment for ratting out that radio.

So this, then, is our victim?

A bigot. A traitor. A rat.

Enemy of every kriegie in camp.

The question is, who hated him enough to kill him?

Colonel.

I did.

Wait a minute. What are you saying?

I killed Vic Bedford, sir.

Come on, Colonel. Here.

I want every man in the compound present... for the execution of Lieutenant Hart.

Very brave. Very brave, indeed.

Colonel, this man has rights.

Not anymore.

This court still has to deliberate the matter.

I am the court now!

Now. Get him up. Get him up. Get him up.

Get out.


I want every man... who participated in the court-martial... removed from the line.

Line them up.

Line them up. Now.

These men knew nothing, Colonel.

Line them up!

You will be the first.

These men knew nothing.

You will be the first!

Colonel, they knew nothing!


So, your men are saboteurs as well?

No, Colonel, they're just soldiers.

They were following my orders.

I assume complete responsibility.

That's very noble of you.

Seems you've won our duel after all, Colonel.

No.

We both lose, don't we?

Yeah.

And now you wish to trade your life for theirs?

Yes, I do.


Very well.


We buried the Colonel in a marked grave behind the camp.

Three months later, the German army surrendered.

Our stalag was liberated.

The war was over.

We returned home to America, to our families.

Lincoln Scott got the chance... to explain the word honor to his son.

Honor and courage, duty, sacrifice.

Lincoln's son came to understand those words... and so have I.