Hellfighters (1968) Script

Pull that lever! She's coming in wild!

Air-call number JYG 176542.

Mr. Buckman took off from Houston at 10:22, destination the Bahamas.

That should put him about halfway there.

Of course it's emergency priority. Would I call you if it was anything else?

Happy New Year, Irene.

Yeah. Calhoun number 5, Baytown.

Any field closer than Houston can take the Jet Star? No. Bring 'em back here.

Well, put away your little whistle, Georgie, and load up.

Yes, ma'am. Hello?

Yes, Irene.

Oh. Well, hold on a minute.

Bill, what's the flying time back to Houston?

Ed Calhoun's number 5.

Eighty-eight minutes, Chance.

Well, turn around easy.

We wouldn't wanna scatter Mr. Lomax's winnings.

Irene, you can have the copter pick me up in an hour and a half.


And a Happy New Year to you too.

Sorry, folks. We'll try again next year.

Oh, don't apologize. This is better than gambling in the Bahamas.

Yeah, Irene.

Okay. I'm on the way.

And, uh, Happy New Year to ya.

Bueno. Acapulco Plaza.

No, I'm sorry. Mr. Gregory Parker is not in his room, and he does not answer the page.

Do you have a Dolores Juarez registered?

How 'bout Lupe Estaban?

Yolanda Rodriquez?

Si. Un momento.

Bueno. ¿Quien?

Who knows you are here with me in Acapulco?

Nobody but you, baby...

I thought.

Yeah, Irene.

I'll grab the 6:10 plane out of Mexico City.

Check arrival time in Houston, have the chopper meet me.


Same to you.

It is a fire? Yep. You wanna go?

It all started between us at that fire near Durango.

No. Aw...

I could not live through another one.

This one's all set.

Well, move it on in. Pick some of that iron up.

Can you save the wellhead, Chance, or am I gonna have to redrill it?

Don't cut your throat yet, Calhoun. We'll do what we can.

Uh, Mr. Buckman. Yeah?

Acquaint our television audience with what's going on. Have you got anything to say?

Yeah, your TV truck's too close.

Happy New Year!

New year, new job, everything.

Helen, this is Chance Buckman.

Helen Meadows. How do you do?

She was on the plane from Mexico City.

She's never seen an oil-well fire.

Well, I hope you find this one very interesting, Miss Meadows. Thank you.

I thought your menu for New Year's was Mexican.

That was last night. Why waste a perfectly good fire?

Are you gonna watch it with her, or join us?

Huh? Oh, yeah.

Uh, where are my work clothes? Calhoun's trailer.

You're going to go into that? Uh-huh.

You're insane, and so am I for not going on to Denver.

Whoa, honey. Denver's full of ice and snow... and very cold people.

It's funny.

But for the first time, I got this sort of a feeling.

It's having met you, I guess.

I just had to do that.

Greg, what do you think?

What does Chance say?

Well, not to cut my throat yet. Settle for that.

Mr. Parker, what have you got to say on this situation? Move your truck back.

Can't you tell our audience what's being done? Tell 'em, Cal.

Mr. Calhoun... Larkin here will tell ya. He's my field superintendent.

I notice those fancy red jumpsuits out there.

Why do Buckman and his crew wear them?

I gather that's smart showmanship, eh? Well, you gather wrong.

Every eye is on those red suits watching for signals.

Nobody else gives orders. Oh, I see.

Hey, what the hell's goin' on?

The equipment's overheating!

They've got to clear away every piece of metal, otherwise when they blow the fire out, the hot metal will reignite it.

According to Mr. Larkin, that section of drill pipe you see sticking out... has to be cut off right at the wellhead... before they can move in with the nitro.

It's spreading the flame. They've got to have a single column shooting straight up... before they'll try to blow it.

Just how soon before they'll attempt to blow this fire out?

They won't try to kill it 'til they're ready to cap the well.

The control head's being assembled to Buckman's order and isn't here yet.

Joe, we better get to work on that nitro.

Don't tell me, I know.

You're bushed. You'd like to take a little nap.

Well, I was up all night.

Of course you couldn't have slept on the plane.

What'd you use for openers this trip? The old headache gag?

Why, you poor man. Perhaps if I rubbed your neck.

True, every word, true.

But it works.

Well, I can't say I blame ya.

A fella as ugly as you are couldn't get to first base without a fire.

Here's the control head.

Get it rigged. I'll finish with the nitro.

Okay. George!

Sorry to interrupt your nap.

Yeah, George said it broke your heart.

One of these days some husband or boyfriend's... gonna show up with a 12 gauge... and turn your prat into a punchboard.

The drum filled with nitro is covered with asbestos... and kept wet to keep it from exploding too soon.

For the benefit of our television audience, what'll happen if it does?

There won't be enough left of them to pick up and put together.

Then we better get back in this remote truck. Come on!

The explosion eliminates the oxygen which is what kills the fire, but the nitro drum has to be placed in exactly the right position.

They're using brass tools to avoid creating a spark.

Even the static electricity of a man running his hand through his hair... could set if off again.

Ah, what a great sound!

That's it!

Now we can get a statement from Chance Buckman himself! Hey!

Back off!

Ambulance! Ambulance!

Come on!

Stay back!

Mr. Parker, do you think it's serious?

No, we're still sweating him out, Cal.

Sure. Sure, Cal.

The minute I know anything. Thanks.

Joe, how is he?

He's still in surgery, Jack.

He took a real bad beating.

Aw, he's had busted ribs before.

This time his lung's punctured.

It's bad enough that Greg got the number from Irene and called San Francisco.

Madelyn and Tish?

How in the hell did he hear about them?

Did you open your... One night last year down in Mexi...

Chance got stoned to the eyes, and Greg spotted a photograph in his wallet.

Greg asked Chance who it is, Chance tells him it's his wife and daughter, and if Greg ever mentions it again, he's gonna break him in two, that's how.

They're not coming here?

Well, Madelyn's in Europe, and the girl's skiing in Jackson, Wyoming.

Greg flew up to get her.

You couldn't stop him, eh? No. I agreed with him.

Suppose Chance... Suppose...

Suppose it doesn't look like he's gonna make it?

At least he might have time enough to see his child.

Miss Buckman? Yes.

I'm Greg Parker. I phoned you.

Thank you.

I'm a little uncertain about this.

Funny time to be uncertain, isn't it?

I mean, I'm not sure I should come at all.

That's funnier yet.

Just a minute. You said he didn't ask for me. This was your idea.

What difference does that make? He's your father, and he might die.

Would you get aboard, please?

You, uh... you okay?

I don't know.

Frankly, I don't know how I'm supposed to feel.

I'm sorry he's hurt. I want him to get better.

But l... I hardly remember my father.

Your mother never took the time to fill you in on him?

All she ever told me was that he was in the oil business, and that he was a wonderful man... and that she was the wrong woman for him.

When I was old enough to realize how unhappy it made her, I stopped asking questions.

Well, she couldn't exactly rap him for all the dough he must've been sending her.

She never took a penny from him, that I know.

Her name was Randolph, of Randolph Department Stores in San Francisco.

Oh, yeah, Randolph. Well, that, uh...

That made it easy for her to walk out on him, didn't it?

You're struggling to be some sort of boor.

No, I just know it wasn't Chance's fault. Were you there?

No, no, but I got a clear picture now.

He had the bad luck to marry a complete bitch.

Shorty, it's getting hard to breathe in here.

Why don't you go forward? l... I, uh...

I will.

Look, I'm sorry.

It's just that your dad, he means...

I-I'm sorry.

Hiya, Joe. How is he?

It wasn't near as bad as we were told. He's gonna be all right.

Knock wood. Tish!

Uncle Jack! So good to see you.

They just brought him down. The doctor'll be out in a minute.

It seems you know each other. I've known him all my life.

This is Joe Horn, dear. George Harris. Hi.

The last time I saw you, you were in rompers. Hello again.

I didn't know you knew my father.

Your father wanted it that way.

And your mother went along with it.

I've just been keeping track of both of you... for him.

I'm completely...

Not nearly as surprised, if that's what you mean, as I am. Here's the doctor.

Well, as usual, he's not what you'd call the most cooperative patient.

Halfway out of the anesthetic he says, "Where's my pants?

I want to get out of this hospital." Figures.

May we see him? No, I had to put him out but good.

It looks like we're gonna have to keep him unconscious to hold him a spell.

Could I see him? It'll be at least the end of the week.

Bill, this is his daughter.

Oh? Oh, well, then come along, Miss Buckman, come along.

Uh... what-what's all the mystery about?

There's no mystery. There just seems to be.

Boy, there's nothing like a nice clean-cut, straightforward answer.

Thank you, Jack.

This is my place, and this is your father's. We both have guest rooms.

I think you'd prefer your father's.

Mr. Lomax! How is he, Mr. Lomax?

Ah, he's gonna be fine, Hernando. Gracias a Dios.

This is Mr. Buckman's daughter. She'll be staying with us.

Put her bags in the guest room, will you?

Anything I can get you, senorita?

Uh, no, thank you. You can turn in now, Hernando.

Bueno. Buenas noches. Good night.

Well, as long as I've got a lot of talking to do, I think I can do it better with a drink. All right.

Comin' right up. Tish?

Uh, Scotch rocks, now that you don't look like you want to slip me a mickey.

Seems we started off with sort of a ruckus.

Divided loyalties over my mother and father. Here you are.

You're on, Uncle Jack.

Honey, a long time ago, I fought oil fires for a living too.

Your dad and I were, well, just like he and Greg are now.

We were coming back from a job in Indonesia, and we stopped off in San Francisco.

Chance had promised some gal a fur coat, and he went to Randolph's to buy it.

I never did know what happened to that fur coat.

But two weeks later he showed up here in Houston... married to your mother.

I knew from the start our work terrified her.

But she wouldn't let on to Chance, and she wouldn't let me tell him. Then you came along.

And two weeks later, I broke my back in a fire.

The next few months, every job Chance went on was a nightmare for her.

She couldn't hide it anymore and he couldn't quit, so she packed up and took you back to San Francisco.

Then how is it I remember him?

I must've been five or six.

That's right, honey.

Then went back together a half dozen times, but your mother could never get over her fear.

And your father knew if she was to be happy, he'd have to stay out of her life.

So, that's the decision he made for them.

I understand a lot of things about my mother now.

I don't think she's ever been out of love with him.

Oh, well, I know he's never been out of love with her.

But still, he couldn't give up his work.

Honey, since my accident, I've been extremely lucky in everything I've touched.

But I'm just another Texas oil man with his own building.

Your father is one of a kind.

The best there is in what he does.

No man can walk away from that.

Thank you for bringing me here. You're welcome.

How do you think he'll feel about seeing me?

Am I going to remind him of something he'd rather leave forgotten?

Forgotten? Honey, he's followed you two like a hungry man.

Through me, the San Francisco papers, any way he could.

I remember once when you had the chicken pox, I had to stop him from flying in half the Mayo Clinic. I'll be damned.

I've known this man for ten years, and he's kept all this under wraps.

The investments you made for me.

The money came from my father, didn't it?

Yes, but you're not to tell him I told you.

Tish, it's been a day for you. Why don't we all turn in? Greg?

I'll check with the hospital and keep you both posted.

Your room is the first door on the left at the top of the stairs.

Just buzz Hernando if you need anything.

And if you'll knock on my door in the morning, I'll buy you a cup of coffee.

Thanks for everything. Good night, dear.

You too, Greg. Good night, Tish.

Good morning. Good morning.

I'm Letitia Buckman.

Oh, well, I'm Irene Foster. The boys told me you were in town.

They're back here.

Hi. Hi.

Hello, there. What a surprise.

A business office. Fine thing.

Won't they let you play with them?

No, I'm into them for too much. This is my game.

It's an exhausting business. Mmm.

I'll bring some coffee.

I just missed you at the hospital.

You were pulling out as I was pulling in.

How good is Dr. Forrest? The best.

I wonder. He tells me Dad is fine, then he tells me it's no use coming back for another week.

He told you he was gonna keep him sedated.

It's the only way the doc can keep from tangling with your old man.

That reminds me. I have a message from Uncle Jack.

He's gonna take the blame for my being here.

Lomax doesn't have to... Buy it, will ya?

These are incredible!

Is this what they're really like?

Kind of, yeah, but no two are ever the same.

Come here. I want to show you something.

This is where your dad signs the checks, when he gets around to it.

From an African tribal chief.

His presentation speech lasted over an hour.

What he was saying was that to him, Chance hung the moon.

My work room.

Except Chance uses it for all the junk he collects.

This one's oddball. Mexico.

That's live steam shooting up under 6,000 pounds pressure.

No oil? They drilled into an underground volcano.

Chance capped that one by himself.

Where were you? In Nigeria on another job.

Chance talked them into building a power plant.

Says it'll supply eight Mexican towns for the next hundred years. That's wonderful.

Coffee's ready!

Oh, here you are.

Thank you.

Buckman Company.

From another African chief? No, a witch doctor.

I told Chance he ought to wear it. It improves his looks.

Just a moment. It's Chuck Barton.

Yeah, Chuck. Greg Parker.


Chance can't make it. Joe and I'll handle it. Be there in two hours.

Barton number 7, Landry Parrish, Louisiana.

Irene, pull the file on...

Tri-State Acadia Parrish fire.

We'll take the chopper, George. Right.

What's he looking at?

We keep a record of equipment we've had manufactured all over the world.

That's the list nearest this job. Is it a big fire?

Big or small, it's money.

I'll go with you.

Uh, I don't think your father would want that. What do you say, Joe?

No, Chance... He's kinda funny that way, huh, Irene?

Oh, well, he does get definite ideas about things. No!

Sorry, Tish.

Call Tri-State and tell them to roll the entire list over to Barton 7. Wait a minute.

How far is New Orleans from this fire? About 90 miles.

I was thinking of going to New Orleans, anyway.

I thought I could visit a friend until I can see my father.

All right, you can use the jet. Irene'll arrange it.

Ten thousand scattered and fifteen miles. Thanks.

No sweat. We're all clear. Bye-bye.

Joe, George.


See ya when we get back.

Would you, uh, like to let your friend know you're coming?

Yes, I would.

Operator? New Orleans information.

Miss Joan Gilman, 112 Elm Street.

Hi! Hi!

Come on! What's the big rush?

I got to get me a rent car.

You going to a fire or something? Yes.

What for? I met a fireman.

Hi, George. How'd you get here?

In this.

Would you tell this officer that I am Chance Buckman's daughter?

She sure is.

I'm sorry, Miss.

If I was to let everybody through, there'd be a thousand sightseers.

I saw them. It took me hours to get through the traffic.

Where are Greg and Joe? At the motel before the turn-off. You passed it comin' in.

What're they doing there? Is anything wrong?

No. Greg's a little unhappy about the water supply, but it's being worked on. Thank you.

Hi, Joe. How'd you get here?

In that.

Tish, what the hell are you doin' here?

At least you didn't ask me how I got here.

I thought I'd drop by and see what was going on, as long as I was this close.

New Orleans is a hundred miles from here!

It's practically in the neighborhood.

You know, you ought to put on a little weight.

Don't bother. I'm family.

I take it you've been to the fire.

Yes. Then you've seen about everything there is.

What about your putting it out?

The drilling contractor has to rerig his pumps. He won't be ready 'til tomorrow.

I don't mind waiting. There are lots of rooms.

The manager's complaining about you stopping traffic.

You're murdering his business. What happened to your friend?

I picked a terrible time to visit her. She's got the mumps.

Don't let it scare you. I didn't go near her.

I'd appreciate it if you went back to New Orleans... and grabbed the first plane to Houston.

I'd appreciate knowing why everyone is so concerned... about my being at a fire.

Upsetting my father? Why should it?

Well... Well, what?

Well, uh, uh...

Nothing. It's just... you shouldn't be here.

Well, I am, so let's take it from there. There's nothing to do here.

We're just sittin' around playin' gin.

Lovely. You two look like pigeons.

What're you playin' for?

It's out! It's out!

Oh, no!

Oh, my God!


What's the matter? We wake you up?

You knew I wanted to be here when you put the fire out.

We didn't put the fire out. We missed. We gotta go for another shot.

Good. Then I made it after all.

Tish, they know you're Chance's daughter.

Now, what's the matter with you, bargin' in here with no clothes on?

You worried about my reputation? Yes. Yes, I am, damn it!

Greg, that's very sweet, but you might as well begin to learn when you've lost an argument.

And you've lost this one.

I'm staying right here.

You didn't! Yes, I did!

Without asking me? You were in no shape.

Which makes it all the more stupid your bringing her here.

I'm gonna get out. Where are my clothes?

Go ahead, act like an idiot. She's right outside.

The last time I saw you, you... your two front teeth were missing.

I think you bought me a little live monkey that squeaked.

And it bit too.

So I bought you a toy one, and you were just as happy because it squeaked also.

I wasn't really, but Mother wouldn't let me tell you.

All that hollerin' you were doing, you're still angry about my being here?

Worth gettin' all busted up for.

Speaking of your mother, what does she say about your coming here?

She's in Europe. She doesn't know.

Let's keep it that way.

We can't. Too much has happened.


For starters, I went to a fire and... You went to an oil fire?

Yes, I went to an oil fire with Greg. Pardon me. Greg!

What the hell? You took my daughter to an oil fire.

What's wrong with that? I'll tell you what's wrong with it.

Every time he takes a girl... Every time...

Whenever he... Sputter away, Dad.

We got married yesterday.

Well, say somethin', you big ape.

Aren't you gonna congratulate them?

It was the cutest Cajun church in Louisiana.

Maybe if it hadn't been there, we would have waited.

I'd like to talk to Tish alone.

Doesn't this concern the three of us?

Greg, please.

Tish, I, uh... I know what you're going to say.

Can I really love a man if I've known him five days? Well, I do love him, and there's not the slightest doubt that he loves me.

If you're going to bring up about you and Mother, it won't happen to me.

Uncle Jack told me about it.

I've been to a fire. I didn't fall apart.

You know, I'm not all Mother's daughter.

I'm your daughter too.

Doesn't that make the difference?

Yeah. Yeah!

What're you standing out there for? Come on in.

Congratulations. Thank you very much.

And I wish you everything wonderful, Tish.

Everything in the world.

I got a lot of champagne.

Great! Let's go celebrate.

I'll drink to that. Wait'll I get my coat.

But, Mr. Buckman, I don't know about this.

I do, Mrs. Thistlewait. I'm a new father-in-law.

I did leave messages. Well, find him.

Okay, I'll try again.

Oh, we've been trying to reach you all afternoon.

I figured it was a riot call.

Bourbon for me.

You picked a hell of a day to be out of the office.

I know. Madelyn is flying in from Paris.

Tish is meeting her plane about now.

Simmer down. Pour me my drink.

If you knew, why didn't you head her off?

They don't call passengers to the phone.

How's your arm? Fine, fine.

You know who she's gonna blame for this marriage... me!

I'll testify you didn't hold a gun on 'em.

Cut out the jokes, and help me figure out how to handle this.

I am. You're all having dinner together.

I made a reservation at the club. Greg is coming to pick you up.

You've got a suit here, haven't you? You're going, aren't you? Definitely not.

This is something for the four of you to hash out.

Madelyn is staying at my place. I'll get the rundown later. You're not scared, are you?

You're damn right I am.

Who's got the most butterflies, you or me? Mine are dive bombers.

I never met a mother-in-law before, at least not one of my own.

If you're comin' to me for advice, I'm a dry hole.


Hi. Hi.

Mother, this is Greg. How do you do, Mrs. Buckman?

Please call me Madelyn. How are you, Chance?

Fine. You're looking well. Sit down.

Is it still gin and tonic?

Yes, and tonight I think several.

Scotch on the rocks for me. Yes, ma'am.

Well, Tish told me how this all came about.

As usual, you came out of it smiling and happy.

I think we all did.

I understand your first comment about me... was that I had to be a complete bitch.

I was kind of mad and excited. Relax, both of you.

Mother thought it was funny. You did?

I like a man who's honest and outspoken.

Well, obviously I was dead wrong.

Well, I want to wish you two all the... happiness in the world.

I'll drink to that. Thank you.

How are you on the dance floor?

Ummm. I knew you'd get around to that.

No matter what, I won't throw you back.

They're gonna have a lot of fun, those two.

I hope so. Am I taking this better than you thought?

Oh, I knew you'd take it all right.

You never saw anybody as enthused as that Tish. She's out house hunting...

We might as well face it, Chance. Face what?

Every time he leaves her, she's going to go through hell.

She says she's going with him. That makes it worse.

I watched them put Jack into a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

I ran because I couldn't bear the thought of them doing it to you.

I don't want Tish... Tish isn't you, Madelyn!

She thinks she can make it, and I think so too.

Besides, there's not a damn thing we can do about it.

Give 'em a break, will ya?

I haven't any alternative, have I? No.

You're still wearing it?

I heard you were... engaged a couple of times.

Well, never seriously enough to go through with it.

Well, I'd say they were two very unlucky fellas.

Madelyn, when you came down those stairs, this...

Why don't you order me a drink and tell me all the Houston gossip.

They don't let me in on the gossip, and you don't need another drink.

Isn't it beautiful?

It's lovely.

That settles it, Greg. Let's buy it. Seems we've decided.

I wish we could move into it right now.

I don't think the people living there now would appreciate that.

Yeah, Irene.

I can't hear you.

No, I still can't hear you.

What's the matter? Phone's out of whack. Call her from my place.

We'll talk to you from Chance's.

Let's go.

Yeah, Irene.

Oh, I guess we can get started about 7:00.

Oh, tell George he can come along.


Where is it? Canada, outside of Calgary.

Lightning cracked a control head. Why George?

We're not taking the chopper.

Well, he's been wanting to break in for a long time. I think he's ready.

You're not going along. What do you mean?

Well, a fella just married usually goes on a honeymoon. You got a bum arm.

Ah, that's the doctor's idea.

I think Canada is a perfect place for a honeymoon.

You serving breakfast?


Oh, Mother, here's the key to Uncle Jack's apartment.

See you in the morning.

At least you tried to give them a decent honeymoon. Thank you for that.

You gonna use that key?

I won't if you ask me not to, and you know it.

Please don't.

How about a nightcap?


You all right? What's with you? I saw that iron falling.

Then why didn't you move? I was movin' when you booted me.

George, Joe'll take in the nitro.

Right. That's my job.

Take a breather. Who brings in the new control heads? George.

Chance, I'm okay. I can do my job.

All right, do it.


What'd you do, cross your skis?

Tish, I want you to get back. Way back.

I'll tap you.


Whew. You sure inherited your old man's luck at cards.

I'm just a better player than you.

Let me show her how an expert handles those pasteboards.

Try not to get wiped out, expert.

Our Houston E.T.A. is 6:30.


You got something on your mind.

Let's have it. - Stop looking out for me because I'm your son-in-law.

What left field did that come out of?

Kicking me in the guts like a loco mule, and that bilge about my taking a breather?

I'd have done that for George or Joe or anybody.

You sure of that? I'm damn sure.

And while we're on that son-in-law bit, what's the idea of bringing Tish to these fires?

It's lousy food and about as much privacy as an outhouse.

That's no place to bring your wife.

She'll go wherever she wants to go because she is my wife.

She's my daughter too, bub!

She's got your luck at cards, and she inherited some of your guts. Are you satisfied?

If that's the way you two want it, fine, but just get off my back, that's all.

I was in San Francisco yesterday.

Had lunch with Madelyn.

How is she? Oh, fine.

The usual questions, all boiling down to one:

How is Tish bearing up after ten fires?

Why ask you? Greg and Tish are up there with her, aren't they?

She thinks Tish is putting on an act, and she really don't believe me.

How is Tish at the fires, Chance?

Well, she seems to be bearing up all right.

And you?

Does there look like there's something wrong with me?

Madelyn was hoping you might finally see things from her point of view.

You gonna shoot or stand there all day?

Yes, Irene.

Buckman here.

Yes. Oh?

I think we could get there by day after tomorrow.

We'll cable you the flight number. Fine. Thank you.

Long haul, huh?

Malaya, above Penang.

Poison well fire. Hydrogen sulfate.

Is Irene calling Greg?

Well, I... didn't tell her not to.



There's a call for you in the snack bar.

Okay. See you on the green.

I just scuffed a ball, Mother, that's all.

Don't read anything into it that isn't there.

You've been smoking more, and I notice you've been drinking a little faster lately.

Don't read anything into that that isn't there either.

I'd rather have one week or one day or one hour of happiness with Greg... than the years of loneliness you've had.

Chance! Greg! Amal!

Good to see you, Amal. Not half as good as it is to see you two.

We're in trouble. Tish.

This is Amal Bokru. My wife.

My daughter. My father-in-law.

And my pleasure. How do you do?

Welcome to Malaya, Mrs. Parker. Thank you. Congratulations, Greg.

You must be tired. Your rooms are ready, but they'll need your passports at the desk.

I have them. I'll take care of it.

How do we stand on equipment?

Everything you cabled for is being trucked into the jungle.

Most of it should be there by now. What about the gas masks?

The army was a little upset you would not use theirs.

For a sour well we want equipment we're used to.

Poison well? I never heard of such a thing.

Eight men were in the field house when it caught fire 100 yards away.

Seven are dead, and the eighth is blind. Yeah.

Have you got a chopper for us? The military's flying one in.

It can't be here until late tomorrow. We'll drive out in the morning.


Hello, Joe. Hi, Amal. This is George Harris.

How you been? Fine, thank you.

I was in Sumatra... and someone remembered I'd worked with you before.

That's how I volunteered to assist you in this fire.

It came at a most inconvenient time.

Sounds like you got something going on in Sumatra... besides the oil business.

I'm afraid I'm getting in the way of an interesting conversation.

Since you men are going gambling at Madame Loo's and I'm not invited, I'll look for a shop and spend some of your money.

How did you know about Madame Loo's?

People have to talk about something when they're married.

Besides, I bought the cigarettes you smuggled in for her.

Thanks. You're welcome.

We're getting up at daybreak. Don't be too late.

Tish, you're not going to this fire.

The jungle is no place for you. The conditions are extremely primitive.

You'd better sit this one out.

A rejected woman needs mad money.

Good night. - Good night. - Good night.

Exactly what did you tell her about Madame Loo?

Only that she's 80 years old, weighs 300 pounds... and is one of your oldest friends.



Chance! Loozie-Loo!

Ha ha! Bend down here.

What's new? Nothing.

When Amal phoned you were coming... Wham!

My heart goes as always.

Greg. Hi, Loo.

Joe! Ohh! Hi!

And this is George. Me too? Oh, sure!

You did not forget.

American cigarettes!

Oh, but I worry.

He might think these are the only reasons I love him.

Come. I saved you the big table.

Married, baby.

Greg! My Greg!

Gum Drop!

Oh. Amal did not tell us that.

You love her?

That's it, Gum Drop.

What's the matter?

That thing with Gum Drop didn't look like any "Poor Butterfly" act to me.

You dirty old den mother. She's gonna name her first baby after me.

Ohh! And another thing.

If I don't want Tish at an oil fire, I'll tell her.

Well, tell her. I did!

Greg, this is the Australian crew working the well.

Chance Buckman, gentlemen. Greg Parker.

Hiya, mate. Jim Hatch, driller.

When are you fellas due back at the well?

Early tomorrow morning. We're on day tower. Why?

If you keep on this sauce, you won't be much use to me.

Mr. Buckman, we're gentlemen who pleasure ourselves in drinking as we see fit.

Mr. Buckman, we're gentlemen who pleasure ourselves in drinking as we see fit.

Right, mates? Right. - Right.

What do you think about that?

Very simple. There's one boss.

He's all mine!

He's all mine!

Now? Now!

Big Australian oaf! Look what you've done to my place!

We had a little to do with it.

Add it up, lady. I'll pay ya. The boss pays.

You get your crew out there in the morning, sober and on time.

Right? Right.

Come on, you blokes. Let's go.

I'll buy you a drink. Let the dirty old den mother buy the drinks. I love you, Mother.

He's all mine! The war's over!

Good morning.

What happened to you?

Ran into them firefighters last night. How'd it end?

Friendly. Good.

What a hairy beast!

Hiya, Mr. Buckman.

I made it on time. "Fair dinkem," digger.

Gentlemen, this is Dr. Songla... and the field superintendent Harry York.

Glad to have you here. We didn't think we were gonna make it.

We spent most of our time airborne on these roads. They wash out when it rains.

It rains nearly every day. You don't intend to bring the nitro in over them.

Well, I, uh... Don't try it.

Radio Penang and have it brought in by copter.

I see the pumps got here. How soon before you'll have 'em rigged?

Should be tomorrow. Any pattern to the wind current?

Shifting all the time. They're murder.

That's why everyone's been moved back this far.

The fumes are reaching the field house, so we had to abandon it.

That's where the men were killed.

This side of the yellow flags is safe.

Beyond them, gas masks have to be worn.

That's why we brought oxygen masks and tanks.

That way we can work in half-hour shifts.

You bring the nitro?

Yeah, and I'd very much appreciate if you'd unload it.

What are you doing here?

You'll never guess what happened.

What do you mean, what happened?

I found the greatest delicatessen in Penang.

Bagels, smoked salmon and...

One of the lost tribes, I guess. It's not funny, Tish.

That's some greeting. I thought I'd bring you fellas lunch.

Lunch? In a chopper full of nitro glycerine?

If it hadn't been for me, the nitro might not have gotten here.

No one wanted to fly it 'til I found Lieutenant Singh.

When I tell you I don't want you here, I mean... Look out!

Get him out of here!


Watch his legs!

Watch it, watch it.

He's dead. When did he take off his gas mask?

A couple of seconds before we did. We were in the safe zone.

Move back the warning flags.

Gimme a hand.

What is it?

It's a poison gas well, Tish.

You didn't mention that.

You're going back on this copter.

No, I'm not. I was going, but I'm not.

We promised to level with each other, not keep anything back.

She's staying, Chance.

I'm not interested in any damn fool promises you... Dad, I'm staying.

Get the hell outta here!

I'm gonna get something to pry you loose.

Doctor, come on.


Easy, Greg. You're gonna make it. You're gonna make it.

Greg? I'd like to talk to ya.

I'm going to dissolve this outfit.

Now, look, I know something's been bugging you since Malaya.

You wanna talk about it, let's talk.

I've made up my mind. There's nothing to talk about.

You haven't made up your mind, you've lost it.

Tish? Come on in here.

Sit down.

I've decided it's time to quit this business.

I'm going with Lomax Oil, and there's a spot for Greg.

I want him to come with me. How do you feel about it?

It depends how Greg feels. I'd go right up the wall.

I'll stick with the job I know best.

What job? I guess you didn't hear me. This outfit's folded.

Then I'll start my own or take over this one. Just tell me how you want it paid off.

Look, the agreement you two made... to level with each other...

I saw the look on your face when we dragged Greg out of that last one.

Tell him how you feel about it, how you honestly feel.

Greg can pay all cash, if you want.

Maybe it's a dirty trick, but I've got the money you sent to me over the years.

Wait a minute, your money's got nothing to do with this. Forget it.

You can have it.

Call it a wedding present.

I don't want any gifts! I'll pay you twice what it's worth!


Chance. Yeah?

How do you want it? Do we stay with Greg or not?

That's a fool question. But there's one thing I'm worried about.

He's not too smart about which fires to walk away from.

I read ya. Thanks.

Well, looks like we... got a new boss.

Next item on the agenda... is to finalize what color or combinations of colors... should be used to redo the restrooms in our gas stations.

Since we have over 1,400 stations, this is a pretty weighty matter.

Lipman here of the art department... has had the research section make a survey to determine... the public's preference in restroom decor.

He'll fill us in on their findings.

This soft willow green, gentlemen, is preferred by people of all ages, according to our survey.

They find it soothing and restful.

Yet the very chic women... seem to prefer this lovely royal blue.

However, research points out... a strong psychological advantage to this color, which we'll call flaming heart red.

It tends to make people spend less time in the restroom, drives them out for the convenience of the next customer.

Gentlemen, it's up to you. Which would you prefer? Flaming heart red, the lovely royal blue... or the soft willow green?

What are we arguing about? She's cratered and the casing's shattered.

The only thing you can do with that fire is kill it with a relief hole, then go drill yourself another well.

That one's down 12,000 feet.

It'll cost us over 300,000.

Plus my bill for wasting my time.

I doubt Chance Buckman would say just write it off.

Well, you just call him and ask him.

It is the unanimous opinion of the committee that we abandon the negotiations. Why?

Mr. Buckman, since I've chaired the finance committee... we've made it policy never to enter a joint venture... unless we control the drilling operations.

Now, the Jansen brothers have always...


I know you're not to be interrupted, but it's Mr. Mullen of the Mullen Oil Company calling Mr. Buckman. He says it's urgent.

Yeah, Mike?


Well, had the well cratered before they called Greg in?

Greg must be gettin' soft.

You'd called me out there, I'd have punched your field superintendent in the nose.

Yeah, well, nice talkin' to you too, Mike.

Regards to your wife. Right.

Greg walk away from one?

Nothing to walk away from. It was impossible.

Thompson, I don't know too much about policy around here, but the Jansen brothers were smellin' out oil before you were born.

Check the fields they've brought in.

You can call it luck or "seat of your pants" or whatever. They find oil.

And speaking of policy, Thompson, the policy of an oil company should be to find oil.

They're most difficult men. We just don't... Chance talks their language.

He'll take care of it.

Yes, sir.

Well, I guess that kind of wraps it up.

Where are we gonna have dinner tonight, your place or mine?

Why don't we go to the club for a change? No, I got another meeting.

Fiscal stuff. You'd hate it.

Go up and have a drink. I'll call you when I can.

Good idea.

Well, I'll be damned.

That's probably the most romantic greeting a woman ever received.

But it still goes. I'll be damned.

Obviously Jack didn't tell you I was here.

Oh, I was in hopes he didn't know, but that's the pixie in him.

He likes to spring surprises, and this is one that I'll hold still for.

And just in case you might ask me for dinner, Hernando's gone to the market... and I'm charged with fixing Senor Buckman his long-hard- day-at-the-office drink.

Do you remember what it is?

Jack tells me you're doing just great down there.

Well, it's not as dull as I thought it'd be.

As a matter of fact, it's pretty interesting. That's wonderful.

I suppose Jack also told you that Tish and Greg... would probably be back in time for dinner.

I'll check with Irene.

Chance, hang up.

They're not coming back. They're on their way to Sun Valley for skiing.

What happened?

Well, it was my idea, actually.

There are times when children shouldn't be underfoot, nor should business.

When I left the store today, I simply told them I was taking some time off.

Didn't even tell them where I was going.

How's your time for the next couple of weeks?

Looks like I'm gonna be booked up solid.

Welcome home.

Nah. Fill that, Joe.

Look out for the Venezuelan.

Possible straight.

Pair of cowboys.

Hello? Well, cost you five.

I'll go along. ¿Quien habla?

Un momento, por favor.

The call is for Senora Parker. Senora Parker.

It is San Francisco. A Mrs. Buckman is calling. Hi, Mother.

Hello, Tish? Where in Venezuela are you?

I've never heard of it. We've been trying to get you on the phone for hours.

We're flying down to Houston tonight...

Oh. Well, your father.

Yes, well, it took a bit of female doing, but with one thing and another, I finally convinced him I should leave the store and come live with him.

Of course, legitimately.

We flipped a coin and he won. We're getting married in Houston.

Greg, Dad and Mother are going to get married.

When? You can't. Not 'til we get back.

A daughter has a right to be at her parents' wedding.

She wants us to wait for... Here, talk to your father.


Yeah, well, I kinda like the idea too.

How long are you two gonna be down there?

How long will we be here? I'll let you talk to Greg.

Congratulations. About time you did something right.

We should wrap it up in a few more days.

We'll start clearing the junk off tomorrow.

I know how long we've been here, but there's guerrilla activity in the hills.

They've been shootin' up our water lines.

No, no, no, the army's here now... and I've got Colonel Valdez' solemn oath there'll be no more trouble.

Yeah. Yeah. Madelyn wants to talk to you again.

Yes, Mother?

We'll let you know as soon as we're going to leave.

I love you, and I'm very happy for you both.


My father is finally going to marry my mother. Isn't that great?

That is very nice.

Oh, let's see. Where were we? It's to you, Tish.


Second me.

Colonel, Mr. Chapman and Senor Caldes. How do you do?

Please come in.

Tanto gusto, Senora Parker.

This is Senor Parker.

His Excellency Senor Caldes, Minister of Interior.

Senor. How do you do?

General Lopez. Tanto gusto, senor.

Senor Chapman of your United States embassy. How do you do?

I was just going to make some coffee. Would you like some?

Senor, we have seen the fires. It is most distressing. Yeah.

But will you be able to bring them under control?

The end wells we can handle one at a time.

The center three are so closely spaced they'll have to be put out simultaneously, or else they'll reignite each other.

Can it be done? We've never tried it before.

Senor Parker, this oil field is of great importance... to the economy of my country, but even that is secondary.

The clandestine guerrilla radio is boasting... of what they accomplished last night... and claim the fires will never be put out.

They'll turn it into a propaganda field day to sell sabotage all over South America.

I won't even begin the operation if they're shooting at us.

Three more companies of men have been ordered here.

We will blanket the area with troops if necessary, senor.

I've been authorized by the State Department to offer every assistance.

Anything you need will be made available.

The one thing I really need you can't give me.

Why don't you gentlemen have some coffee. I want to talk to my wife. Tish.

Tish, I don't care if they've brought in the whole army.

I still worry about you. I want you to fly back to Caracas with them.

I'll phone you every night. I promise.

It'll just take me a minute to pack.

Do you have to go back and talk to them, or can you come and talk to me? They can wait.

What's all the mystery? Why do you wait 'til you get here to call me?

And why don't you want your father to know you're here?

Because I have to talk to you, Mother, before I see him. Greg's in trouble.


He's on a job I don't think he can handle without Dad.

I know what this means to you. That's why I had to see you alone first.

Why couldn't they both have just been insurance salesmen?

Please understand. I've got to ask him.

Is this trouble anything the State Department is aware of?

Yes. Then he probably knows already.

When I left, he was talking with two men who had just flown in from the State Department.

Being told about it is one thing.

I've got to know his answer. Well, surely you can't doubt what that'll be.

Tish, surely you don't think I'd try to stop him.

Forgive me that, please.

I dreaded coming here. I dread asking him.

Most of all, I dread what this does to you.

Let's handle one dread at a time.

You don't have to ask him; I will.

It might be as well if we never tell your father of this conversation.

Or Greg. He doesn't even know I'm here.

He thinks I'm in Caracas.

Mother, there's a plane back in an hour.

Why didn't you tell me you were in trouble?

Why do I have to find out about it from the State Department?

The hell you're not! Nobody ever tackled that kind of a job.

What size, uh, control heads did you order?

Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

It's Greg. He has a little problem.


Well, the Air Force has put a National Guard cargo plane at my disposal.

Of course I'm coming with it.

I'll be there in the morning.

I just hope you haven't loused things up too much. Right.

Well, at least he had the good sense... to get Tish out of there.

She's in Caracas. Oh.

Madelyn, this is one I've got to go to.

I know you do. It involves Tish and Greg.

Well, we'd better face this all at once.

This was bound to happen sooner or later and it'll happen again, and each time I'll... I'll go.

Thank you for being honest with me.

Well, where does that leave us, honey?

I don't know.

I honestly don't know.

You gonna be here when I get back?

The only plan I have at the moment is to go to Tish. She could use some company.


Irene, call Bill Hansen. Have him break the jet out of mothballs.

He's taking Mrs. Buckman to Caracas.

Phone back when the plane's ready. Hmm?

Well, if five fires is your idea of fun, you're nuts.

Sure, sure, I'll send back pictures.

Color pictures. Right.

They'll let you know when the plane's ready.

I, uh, I guess I'd better get packed.

Do you want your hard hat sombrero packed, or will you pick one up...

Pack it! Bueno.


It's about time you got back to earning an honest living.

If you think I'm gonna say it's a pleasure to be here, forget it.

Hi, boss. George, nice to see ya.

Hi, boss.

Couldn't be lousier timing for you and Madelyn, could it? I'm sorry.

Forget it. It's probably kinder that she finds out now...

Let's skip talking about it. I spent a lot of your money.

What did you do, buy up all the control heads in Houston?

This far away from supplies, you get all the spares you can.

This is Col. Valdez, Chance. He's in charge of keeping us from getting shot.

I hope you do a good job, Colonel.

If I do not, you'll have my profound apologies.

The longer you guys stand there, the longer it's gonna take to unload this thing.

Right, Joe.

The guerrillas could still pot shot the water lines.

I had that dredged and filled for emergency water. Give us time to run.

I sincerely doubt there could be such an emergency.

The entire area is patrolled from the ground and the air.

Well, you'll have to bear with our worryin', Colonel.

We stay alive by being scared to death.

I do not believe this is ever so. Don't bet on it.

What's first, Greg?

To clear off all five, we'll kill the ones at each end, and then worry about how we knock off the middle three at the same time.

I'll need that third boom arm.

The hang-up's gonna be gettin' that nitro... into the middle three at the same instant.

Given any thought to using those end two for practice?

Blowin' 'em up at the same time? Welcome back, Chance.

Here you are. Gracias, senora.

Just one cheat, and I could win this one. I won't tell.

I never cheat when I'm keeping score.

Did you know that there are over 60 different games of solitaire?

According to Hoyle, it's called patience, and there are 102 games.

I played them all.

It's just being stuck so far away.

I'm not like this when I'm there with Greg.

It never worked either way with me.

But that was a long time ago.

Do you want me to take another shower so you can call Bill Hansen again?

I haven't been fooling you at all, have I? What did Bill say?

The area's under martial law.

No one is allowed in except military or emergency personnel.

Bill's tried everyone except the president.

So have I.

Well, Jack Lomax is flying in.

He knows the president.

Forty-three, Joe!

Forty-three on the money!

You can start loading the nitro, Chance.

We got both barrels into the fire at the same split second.

Right, George? Right.

How many runs? Fourteen times from 75 yards out.

The throttle governor wasn't working 'til the last run.

You only got it on the button for one run?

You couldn't time it any closer. Try a half dozen more.

When you get it on the button every time, then we'll load the nitro.

Yeah, you're right. Let's go.


Tell them they're bringing in the wrong stuff.

I want only the boxes marked with a red circle. Es todo lo mismo.

He says it's all nitroglycerin.

The boxes that're marked, we've checked for exact mixture.

That's what we'll need if we're gonna blow two wells at the same time.

Explain that to them.

Quiero no mas, las cajas que tienen la marca del curculo rojo.

Es mucho peligro cargar esto.

They have never worked with nitroglycerin before.

They are not happy. I gathered that.

What's their bonus, double pay? Si, senor.

Well, tell 'em from now on, it's double-double. That goes for you too.

Tell them that, and call your Caracas office and say I said so.


Unless somebody has some questions, I guess we're all set.

Greg will raise the flag for ready.

When he drops it, you start.

If there's any reason to abort, he'll raise it again.

Otherwise, we follow set procedure.

Is it understood? Check.

Let's go.

Go! Hit it!

Couldn't be better!

Hang onto the head!

Grab hold!


Get a jeep! There's one comin'!

Lie still.

Hold his leg.

That tight enough?

Yeah. That's good.

Let's get him in there.

Take his shoulders.

Easy does it.

All right. Move out.

Bring the dozers! Lay some dirt on those loose fires!

And fill up another nitro barrel!

Did you get your well capped? Hell, no!

Let's go finish it. We'll come back to this one.

Then we'll pay the army a visit.

I vote for paying the army a visit now. Not in the mood I'm in.

They hang you for murder down here.

Si, si, bueno.

Gentlemen, I told you I would apologize, but that is not enough.

I feel like cutting my throat.

A couple of hours ago, I'd have given you the knife.

My Spanish is just good enough to gather... you're expecting more trouble with the guerrillas.

Yes, I must be honest with you.

That is why I have ordered two more companies of infantry and three more helicopters.

Huh. In the meantime, we're gonna try and catch some shut eye.

Let us know when you feel it's safe.

Have your men take the nitro out of that shed... and bury it 'til we need it.

No sniper can get that close.

Two did. Bury it!

Whatever you people wish done will be done.

Uh, gentlemen? Thank you very much.

Forget it.

Just a precaution, senora.

I understand there was some guerrilla activity in the vicinity.

What are you doin' here?

Greg, what the hell is Tish doin' here?

It was my idea. Somebody wake me up.

Hold it, hold it! Blame me. I brought 'em.

If I wanted Tish here, I'd have let her stay.

Why do you think I sent her back to Caracas?

I didn't know you did. I was told it was the army keeping her out.

I guess I forgot to mention about Greg. Yeah, everybody did.

Well, we left in such a hurry.

And that's the way you're goin' back. In such a hurry.

And no arguments. I am going to argue.

But in private, if you don't mind. Outside, lady.

Hey, Joe!

Where can I get a cup of coffee? Uh, what?

Where's the coffee? In the field office.

Jack, Madelyn!

Never mind Madelyn. Show me where the coffee is. Okay.

I'm reading a lot into your being here, 'cause I want to.

Am I right? Or is it only because Tish is here?



It was terrible in Caracas.

Tish said it would be better here. I came to find out.

I hate to say this, but Greg's right.

You should go back.

All right.

But if I do, we'll never really know... if there's any hope for us together, Chance.

This fire is it for me, it's the answer.

I-I may fall apart and get the screaming meemies, I don't know.

But if I can take this one...

From what Tish tells me, there'll never be a worse one.

I think it's worth it for us to find out.

It's settled. They're going right back.

They're staying, at least Madelyn is. What's with you?

They're staying. Yowiee!

I can't fight all of ya.

The detonator wires on all three nitro drums lead back to this pit... where they're spliced in to one plunger.

Now, nothing triggers 'til that plunger is pushed.

You hope. Fervently.

We knocked off the end two together. This setup is better.

The wire runs are closer to being the same length.

You tried two, and you happened to come off lucky. Now you're tackling three.

All it takes is one oversensitive blasting cap booster, a loose piece of asbestos wrapping... or a hot spot burning through an insulated wire, and any one of those drums can go off prematurely, or not at all.

Then where will you be?

Depends on where you are at the time.

Jack, believe me, it's our firm intention to double wrap the asbestos, to triple check the booster caps, and if the insulated wire does burn through, we'll sue the manufacturer.

You two are pretty sure of yourselves.

Not if somebody has a better idea. Do you?

No, I don't.

You wanna know the real reason I came down?

To tell you this is one you ought to back away from.

You wanna know the real reason I'm glad you're here?

So I could ask you if you wanted to handle this plunger.

I'd like that very much.

Esta libre todo.

No hay peligro.

All clear, Sr. Buckman.

I read you.

Looks like that practice paid off.

Es un peligro, mi General. Bueno, vayan. Andele.

Please, senoras. Por favor.

You're connected. Hit it!

Man, ain't it beautiful!

Friend, we made it!

What're we standing around here for? Right.

Bueno. Si. Tambien.

What is it?

Radar picked up guerrilla planes.


Don't say that to me again. There are no excuses!

It was idiotic and irresponsible! Senora is overwrought.

I am not overwrought! I'm just plain damned mad!

How dare you risk the lives of men who come to help you?

They were in no danger. No danger?

One bullet in those... He knew the guerrillas had airplanes! We didn't know.

We suspected aircraft was made available to them from outside the country, so we took every precaution.

Five aircraft crossed our border, but only two reached the area.

Those are the two I'm talking about, you... Say something!

You're doing just fine.

Sr. Buckman... No apologies necessary, Colonel.

Everything turned out just great.

Damned if I understand your attitude.

It's very simple. You'll do.

Well, what do you think?

I think we ought to get her a tin hat.