Johnny Frenchman (1945) Script


Morning, Dave. I forgot to put it out. I'm sorry.

I'm not.

I got to look at you while I can you know. Soon be getting married.

Oh, you're just a mischievous old gossip, Dave Pascoe.

Come on. Let's have a look.

I just heard there's some French boats over this side again.

Best tell your Dad to keep his eyes open.

Thanks .. I'll let him now.

Morning Jim, how's your luck?

Not too bad, me handsome, not too bad.

Where'd you shoot then, Jim?

About five miles west of The Wolf.

Yes, I know.

You wicked old liar.

Do you want any more tea Dad? Have I had my second cup?

Yes. Well, I don't then.

Can I go please? Yes.

I want to look for mullet.

You'll find Joe Pender up at the headland. He'll point them out to you.

Dave Pascoe says the Froggies are back in these waters.

Oh ..

So they've heard we've got a school of mullet in the bay, have they.

They can't catch them, can they Dad?

I'd like to see them try.

No my lad, it isn't that.

But when they know we're stopping at home, waiting for the mullet to come in.

Then that's the time you'll find them raiding our crab grounds.

I'll tell Joe Pender.

Mind you're not late for school. Right-oh.

Bob come in yet? I haven't seen him.

He's putting in some long hours now he's got his own boat.

I reckon you've got a rival in her.

Not a bad catch for a start.

We had one twice as good the last time I shot that ground.

We could catch a mermaid Zachy, and you'd still moan.

There's a day's work here. Nat is on his way out.

Hey, lookee there. That's a Frenchman.

Not more than half a mile out.

It's something worse than a Frenchman, it's a French woman.

That's Lanec Florrie. We've caught her proper this time.

We have that. Zachy, close up with Nat, he'll have to handle this .. easy, Sam.

Bob, you recognize the old faggot?

What are we going to do about it?

Not much we can do, except report her to the fishery officer.

By the time he gets here, they'll be five miles out.

Let's do the job ourselves, Nat. Tie 'em up and tow them into Trevannick.

Nothing I'd like more.

But a Harbour Master can't take the law into his own hands.

We'll never get a chance like this again.

You go on home Bob.

Or you'll miss the market.

And I'll go and pay the old sea-cow some nice Cornish compliments.

Go ahead, Jack.

Madame Florrie. Huh?

[ French language ]

Hello there.

How far out do you call this?

Three miles?

No Mr Pomeroy. Half a mile.

So you admit you're poaching?

Poaching? Nothing of the sort.

We have engine trouble. The tide has carried us in.

Ha. Would you like me to give you a tow?

No thank you.

I don't take help from the Cornish.

It costs too much money.

I shall charge you just the value of them crabs you've pinched.

I tell you, we pinched nothing.

Alright, my dear. Let's see what you got in your well?

What for?

Do you think the crabs will tell you where they were caught?

Listen, my friend.

You can't board my boat out here. And you know it.

Right-oh Jack.

Go ahead.

[ French language ]

I'll bet that wasn't too polite.

Did my namesake behave herself? She's a beauty.

Couldn't have been better named. Thank you.

Sue. Yes?

I meant to leave this until after I'd had a shave and spruced myself up a bit.

I'll forgive you. I was just thinking.

We've been walking out for quite a bit now.

And seeing as I've got my boat at last.

I reckon it's about time we fixed up something definite.

That's what most people round here seem to think.

Well, don't you? I don't know, Bob.

I don't know that I want to get married just yet.

Why not?

You love me .. don't you?

Why, that's just it, my dear.

If only I could be sure.

Well, you ought to be ..

We've known each other long enough.

Long enough for me to know I love you, anyhow.

You are a funny chap. Why?

You know .. all the time we've been walking out.

You never once told me you loved me, from the heart.

Haven't I?

Well, you've always known it.

I've been in love with you ever since I was that high.

You had a funny way of showing it.

Putting a pilchard down my back at a chapel outing.

Come on.

And chucking me into the harbour for laughing at your first long trousers.

Don't go thinking you're too old for me to do it again.

Oh Bob.

There's no-one else like you.

That's what I like to hear.

Tea is ready, Dad.

Here .. listen to this.


"I beg to state that on the above date at approximately 8.30 in the forenoon."

"I was proceeding on a south-westerly course from Trevannick."

"With the intention of prosecuting the fishing trade .."

"Off the Cornish peninsula."

"When I observed in Madden Bay a vessel of French identity."

"As the above vessel was .." Hey, Nat.


Seen who's coming in?

Why it's Lanec Florrie.

Seen who is coming in, boys? Johnny Frenchman.

Her again?

She's got a sauce.

Well, after what happened this morning, you'd think she'd want to keep ..

When my grandfather was Town Crier ..

He used to go out with his bell and warn folks at times like this.

A good idea too. Aye, they need to be warned.

Well, what about it, Dick?

Yes, I'll have a go now.

Good evening Madame Kervarec.

Oh, are you Mr Harbour Master?

If I remember right, that boat of yours is a 17-tonner.


17 tons at fourpence per registered ton ..

Makes your harbour dues ..

Five shillings and eight pence.


This is a free harbour under bad weather.

The weather is fine enough.

There is a storm blowing up, over the north coast.

This happens to be the south coast.

But we were shooting north of Land's End.

Goodbye patron. Goodbye.

And there is not a harbour between there and St Ives.

A pity for you, ain't it?

Not a sou will you get from me.

You Cornish robber. I'll go on to Newlyn.

Please yourself my dear.

I thank you.

I will call my crew.

Notice, notice.

Johnny Frenchman is paying us a visit.

Take all the oars out of your boats if you want to see them again.

Don't let your cats out, or you'll lose them for sure.

Notice, notice!

The Froggies are back on the sound again.

Keep your peepers skinned, or they'll have the milk out of your tea.

Don't let your maids out tonight.

Johnny Frenchman is on the prowl.

So .. you make fools of my men?

[ French language ]



You'll never start it without this.

So you robbed my boat you Cornish thief.

How dare you. Give that back to me.

With pleasure, when you've paid your harbour dues.

Well, I tell you we owe you nothing. We are not going to stay here.

You've already berthed your boat.

So there are dues to pay.

And you don't leave here until I've got them.

Well, you'll have to take French money.

Fifty Francs.

That's no good to me. I've got to have real money.

Hello there!

Ah, here comes your son.

Perhaps he can help you.

I'll ask him.

I reckon it will disappoint your dad if he's gotten it.


I mean yes.

[ French language ]

What's all that mean? Lend us a dollar. Pay back Saturday.

No you don't, you old faggot.

I'm going to Newlyn.

To get some real money.

You got away with it this time, but next time we'll get you into your own pots.

Hello, Sue.

What's the time?

Nearly half past six.

You might just as well have gone to bed after all.

If I had they'd have called over as sure as my name's Nathaniel.

[ Door knocks ]

Come in.

Morning Nat.

Morning, Sue. Morning.

I seem to have timed it well.

I've been taking a turn for Joe Pender up at the cliff.

How are the mullet?

I thought they was coming in at daybreak, but they sheared off again.

Never mind, they'll be ours by midday.

Touch cold iron when you say that.

I would like to see it. Just once.

No, my girl, you'll stop right here.

Wouldn't it be okay if I went to the end of the quay?

I could use your telescope.

So you want to stare out? Why, there be nothing to see.

We'll never land a school of mullet while there's a woman looking on.

You and your superstitions.

Daft, I call it.

Maybe it is, but there's no sense in taking chances.

But to hear you men talk.

Anybody would think this was .. well, 1639.

The mullet don't know what the date it.

Good morning, Mr Pender. Hello Billy.

Where are they?

There. East of the Five Maidens.

See them? That dark patch.

I've got them.

Do you think we'll get them before school starts?

We might get them in your dinner hour.

Now, what are they making all that fuss about?

Take a run along there boy and see what they've found.

Right you are.

Mr Pender.

Mr Pender.


It's Johnny Frenchman, poaching our crabs.

Go tell them in the village boy. Quick.

Looks like we'll be working on the flood.

That's what I'm thinking. We should have a good old sweat for our money.

Mr Spargoe. Charlie.

Poachers! Froggie poachers. Where to, boy?

Lanyard Bay. Come on, Jim.

Johnny Frenchman, poaching in Lanyard Bay.

What's all the chattering about?

Poachers .. round the point.

We'll never catch them.

I saw them first, Dad.

A French crabber. Where?

They been shooting in Lanyard Bay. Lanyard Bay?

Yes .. they're more than a hundred yards out.

What about it, Nat? We can't let them go this time.

There's only one thing I can do.

Ring up the Fisheries Officer.

We could catch them for sure on the Girl Sue.

She's got a couple of knots on any French crabber.


What's to stop you if I'm not there?

Zachy, Tim, Charlie. Get a move on. Come on, Sam.

Hey Billie.

Not you, boy.

Obedient little beggar, isn't he. Hmm.


It is lucky for you your friends arrived.

Whose boat is it? Yan Kervarec's.

We might have known it. He's picked up a few tricks from his old lady.

Alright then, let them up.

Pardon Mademoiselle. I hope you did not understand him.

Alors .. what happens now?

You'll find out.

As soon as the Coastguard gets here.

We go to prison?

Ah well, it's all experience.

Oh, don't look sad Mademoiselle.

We're only foreigners.

Hey. It seems to me you're a bit too saucy.

Come on.

Come on Bob. What about this lot?

Oh leave them boy, leave them. You can't sell a catch of Froggies.

You will all be needed. Flood tide.

You won't be so lucky next time.

Come on.

Is it going to be alright?

They are moving nearer to them rocks than I care about.

Une .. deux .. troix.

[ French singing ]

If they don't get them soon they'll be up against them rocks.

Does that mean they'll get away?

They may land a miserable few.

But if they can't keep the net on the ground ..

They'll lose most of them.

That will be the best part of five hundred quid gone west.

What are those Frenchies up to?

No good. I'll be bound.

They're putting in again. Huh?

They're taking a terrible long time.

Anybody coming? Not yet.

Sue .. come here quick.

What is it? Look.

We must stop her.

Please, you mustn't go that way.

I am going that way.

I want to find my son. He isn't there.

Everybody is out after the mullet.

Oh, don't tell me lies.

It's all over Newlyn that they've got my son, and I'm going to see about it.

Please don't go.

Come inside and I'll explain. Please, it won't take long.

Let me pass. Jane.

Take your hands off me!.

My soul and body.

Good old Johnny Frenchman.

Heave, my lovers. Heave.














We've got them. Hurrah.

Go on, have a go.

Here you are Florrie, my dear.

Finest old Jamaica.

Merci. Well.

Here's my opinion of you. To you.

And here's something else for you.

Oh, thank you.

Good old Florrie. No hard feelings, eh my dear?

Ah, the bell-ringer.

Don't worry my friend.

I won't knock you down again.

I tripped .. you know I did.

What me?

The finest wrestler ever raised in West Cornwall.

You wrestle with women over here?

No, but I'd wrestle with you.

How would you start then?

Want me to show you? Yes.

Yes, but .. don't hurt me.

I wouldn't hurt a fly .. grab me here.

Good old Florrie.

That were a proper piece of Cornish wrestling.

Cornish wrestling .. Breton wrestling.

That's a Cornish trick right enough. Used it myself.

Is it? My father taught it to me when I was ..

So high.

Bob is middleweight champion of Cornwall.

Yan is Champion of our department.

You go in much for wrestling in Lanec?

It's a famous place for wrestling.

Nowhere in Cornwall has turned out better wrestlers than Trevannick.


Why don't we have a contest?

Aye, we ought to. A proper job.

Bring your boys over here and we'll show them the old Flying Mare.

Oh no, no. We are your visitors today.

It is for you to come to Lanec.

And you'll all be my guest.

And try a glass of Cognac.

It would be a fine thing for our feasting.

Oui, 7th of June.

Bring your wives. And daughters.

Share out. Come and take your pick.

Pick yourself a nice, fat heap. Aren't you coming?

I've got the dinner go get.

Oh well, see you later then.

Coming Yan? In one minute.

Tell me. Yes?

Is Bob your fiancée?

Well .. not exactly.

It's what the old people here call "leading me".

Where? Up the garden?

It's an old Cornish term.

When a man is walking out with a girl it is known as "leading" her.

And when he starts calling on her at her home, they say he's hung his hat up.

And then he's for it. For it?

He's caught .. she marries him.

Oh I see, when he hangs it up. That's right.

Well, here's where I live.

You'll come to Lanec on June the 7th?

I don't see why not.

Goodbye. Bye-bye.

No more poaching, mind.

Look at their dresses. Aren't they beautiful?

See them banners? Just like the odd fellows ..

They've got a band too.

Is that all for us?

They've come to bless the sea.

An old custom in these parts.


Entente cordiale.


Mr Mayor, ladies and gentlemen.

I want to thank you one and all for the kind words we've just heard.

Or as you foreign French would say:

"Merci beaucoup". Hear, hear.

The trouble in the past has been ..

That you and us, have never got to know each other properly.

Which reminds me of an old Cornish story.

In the time of Napoleon they say.

A monkey swam ashore from a wreck.

And the folk of Mevagissey took him for a French spy.

So they hung him.

Anyway, it only goes to show ..

It looks like being Hitler this time, and not Napoleon.

So let's all stick together and .. give him what for.

And until then.

Let's hope they'll be no more poaching on our crab grounds.

Very funny.

Well .. if you've had enough to eat and drink.

There is dancing on the quay and you're all welcome.

I have arranged rooms for you and your team to rest in.

Rest? Well you needn't bother. But you have been up all night.

And we don't want to beat anyone not in their .. best shape.

Oh, Yan.

Please dance with me, Yan. No, no. Me.

Hello. Hello.

How nice you would look in our costume.

Thank you.

Where's Bob? Bob?

He is resting with your team.

Yes. It is a pity because I wanted to take you both to see the La Cove D'Isa.

What's that? Our famous magic pool.

It's a big attraction for visitors.

Would you like to go there? Why yes, I'd love to, but ..

Come on then.

We will go, we two.

It's quite close.

Yes, but .. Oh, come on.

Isn't it lovely here?

Yes, it is.

We've little cove something like this, near Trevannick.

Ah, but you haven't got a magic pool, have you?

Not that I know of. Where is it?

Some of the old people call this the place where wishes come true.

When I was a little boy I once spent a whole afternoon in the Cove D'Isa.

Wishing to find a pet rabbit that I had lost.

His name was .. Albert.

Did it work?

Oh yes. Albert turned up again that night.

My mother had made him into a pie.

Who was .. Isa?

I will tell you.

But first you must take off your shoes and stockings.


To have your wish.


Let's hear about Isa.

A poor girl.

She was so ugly no man would look at her.

So one day, she came to this pool and tried to drown herself.

But a handsome Prince was walking along the shore.

He ran up.

And pulled her out.

It must have been a shock for him.

No .. because when she came out.

She was beautiful.

She had been transformed by the magic water.

So he made her into a pie, like Albert?

No, no.

Now, in you go.

Oh .. it's cold.

There .. now you are standing in the magic pool.

You see any improvement?

That is not possible.

Have you wished? No.

But that is what you are here for.

Close your eyes.

And wish.

Oh .. have you hurt yourself? No.

Well, you've got terribly wet.

You never finished your story.

Did Isa marry her Prince?

Certainly, and they had 17 children.

I bet that taught her to go jumping into pools.

Young couples have been coming ever since.

To wish that they too would be blessed with children.

Have they?

Let's find somewhere to .. sit down.

Oh no. We must be getting back.

My father will be wondering where I have got to.

My mother will take care of him.

Hello .. where have you been?

Sorry, Dad. I didn't know it was so late.

What's the score? Two to one.

In our favour.

Two each.

So the next fight decides.

Bravo Yan.

Bravo Yan.

Good luck, Bob!

I suppose you think you're pretty smart? Did you have a good sleep?

Not half such a good sleep as I'm going to give you.

You've got him Bob. Slam him, my handsome.

Move out the way there. You aren't made of glass.

Hold him, Bob boy.

Let him tire himself out.

Bravo Yan!

They're not bad, our boys, huh?

I'm not worrying.

That was only the first fall.

He's got him, his best hold.

Oh. Not fair.

Foul! Foul?

You're crazy, woman. That's a fair hold.

That is a foul.

Not proper.

Hold your mouth, you chucklehead.

Not a good boy. A dirty trick.

It was fair I tell you. Not in our rules.

Oh, he's hurt.

What is it? Where's it got you, boy?

It's his leg.

Get out of my way.

Qu'est-ce que c'est, Docteur?

Je pense c'est fracture de la cuisse.

Oh, mon dieu.

What does that mean?

It means you have broken his thigh.

How is he?

Fine, of course.

Get out of my house.

Couldn't I see him for a minute? I want to explain.

You heard what I said.

Now look here, my dear. It was an accident.

And we are as worried as you are.

I should have known this would happen.

You can't even have sport without making it a fight.

Listen to me, Madame Kervarec.

We came here to tell you and Yan how sorry we are.

Not to be insulted.


Come away, Sue.

Well, she was right about one thing.

English and French weren't never meant to mix.

Mr Belizo gone to the minister's house. All the reserves, eh?

Well cheer up, Mrs Tremayne.

He's a proper old bluffer, that Hitler.

Morning Mrs Tremayne. Morning.

Sue, Bob's been looking everywhere for you. He's gone along to your place.

Why? What's happened? He's been called up.

Bob has?

Got to report to Falmouth immediately. Mr Belizo has given him a lift there.

They'll be calling for him any minute now.

Sue .. I was afraid I'd miss you.

Your mother told me the news.

Looks like the real thing this time.

You know what that means. Yes.

It may be months before I see you again.

And I'd like to get things clear before I go.

As soon as I get some leave I want you to marry me.

Will you?

Oh Bob, I ..

I cannot answer that all in moment.

But we've only got a few moments left.

You can't take weeks to think it over this time.

I know I've kept you hanging about.

But it's not because I don't care for you.


Then there is nothing to stop us. But Bob ..

[ Car horn ]

No more buts.


I've got to go.

[ Car horn ]

Goodbye darling. Goodbye.


I can't let you go like this.

You'll have to unless you want to get me court-martialled.

Cheer up .. it may not be for long.

But Bob.

I will.

I'll write.

Of course you will.

At least once a week.

Goodbye, my dear.

Look after yourself.

[ Radio: ]

"The gravity of the situation on the Western Front has been stressed .."

"By the French military spokesman in Bordeaux."

"He said that the Germans had thrown 150 divisions into the battle."

"After a day of cabinet meetings .."

"It was announced from a French wireless station last night .."

"That Monsieur Renault had resigned .."

"And that Marshall Pétain was forming a new government."

"It is hardly necessary to add .."

"That whatever changes he may make, they will be heavy with consequence."

[ French radio: ]

Pardonnez moi, Madame.

C'est alors.

[ La Marseillaise ]

Quesque c'est?

It's the end.

End of what?

Pétain has asked for the armistice.


The French packed up?

Pétain says we must stop. He is the Marshall.

He must know.


It's all over.

Well, that's torn it.

You are tired. I will get you something.

Well, where do we go from here?

There's only one thing for it I reckon.

What's that? Clear out.

The Jerries won't nab us if we can help it.

Merci, Madame. Tenez.

Come on, Jim.

Get this down you, boy.

Pour vous, Sergeant. Merci.

Look, Madame.

If we stay here we'll be taken prisoner.

Is there any chance of getting hold of a boat?

A boat?

That is easy to say.

But boats are our living.

Without them, we starve.

No, I'll give you food and drink.

And you needn't pay. But ..

A boat?


I'm sorry.

Alright fellahs, drink up. We'll be moving on.

The Boche!

Get back, you fools.

The cellar. Quick.

Get in here.

[ Door knocks ]

Percy, Percy. Wake up.

What's the matter?

There is somebody coming .. listen.

You did not half give me a turn.

It's alright. The town is quiet now.

You will be safe until morning.

This is my son.

Good evening. Evening.

So, you want a boat, huh? That's right.

Any old boat that gives us a chance. I've already told them ..

That we can't spare one.

I have a boat.

The Mabique? Ah no ..

Why not? We shall still have the Maris Stella ..

Ah. No, no.


You gave me the Mabique.

She is mine.


Oui, mon fils.

Poor devils.

They've done their best.

I've done nothing.

My leg was broken, an accident. Ha.

But now I can help.

But Yan, they are soldiers.

They cannot sail a boat.

No, worse luck. We're Kensingtons. We come from London.

But we'll manage. You see, it is madness.

With all the rocks and currents around the coast, you wouldn't get a mile.

We'll take a chance. No.

She is right.

Of course I am right.

You will all be drowned.

But I can take them myself.

You can?

Ah, no. But yes, Mama.

Think of me, in their place.

I must .. mustn't I?


You must.

What's all this?

Some of our soldiers escaped from France.

The Froggies brought them over.

Gangway there. Make room for the ambulance.

Where have they come from? Sorry, can't answer any ..

They're from Brittany. We picked 'em up mid-Channel.

Here they come.



Here, come back.

I am telling you, Mr Truscott.

You couldn't have pushed a picture postcard in between them.

It made me go hot all over.

I'm sure it did Mrs Bennett.

Well, I don't know. I reckon it was the sort of welcome he expected.

He's a great one for kissing is Johnny Frenchman.

But he don't mean much. You tell that to Ludlow's goat.

I've been kissed by a Frenchman before now, but never that way.

You've got the whole village talking, you have.

I suppose you realize that? Trust them to make the most of it.

I just can't think what's come over you.

I told you, Dad.

I'm sorry.

It's just I imagine such awful things happening to him over there and ..

Seeing him safe after all I suppose I was a bit carried away.

But to kiss him in front of all them people.

A man like that.


There's never been nothing between you and this Frenchman, has there?

Oh no Dad, of course not. But ..

But what?


I'm in love with him.

I knew it the moment I saw him on the quay.

I suppose I've been in love with him from the start but ..

I never realized it until now.

We can't have that.

What about Bob?

You've been walking out with him. I know.

But that was before I met Yan.

Oh, I'm still very fond of Bob, but this is ..

Well, I feel quite different.

Bob is your boy. And he's away fighting.

It would look nice, wouldn't it? If you were to chuck him over for a foreigner.

A Frenchman.

At a time like this. Oh, I know.

In any case, this chap is not the marrying sort.

He's only got one idea when it comes to girls.

Anybody will tell you that.

You've got to forget him Sue.

So you might as well make up your mind about that.

Now he's gone to join up you won't be seeing him anymore.

At least .. not for a time.

It won't feel so bad, Sue my dear.

These things pass.

It's like .. having toothache.

Only you get it here.

You want to get rid of toothache.

Sue. What is it?

Someone to see you.


I didn't expect you back. They don't want me.

Later perhaps. Not yet.

"Standby until you have orders", they tell me.

So now, I am a fisherman of Trevannick.

Where are you staying? On my boat.

Until I find somewhere.

Billy, how would you like to have a look over the Mabique?

She's tied up to the quay.

If you like, you can go over her. Thanks, Yan.

Oh Billy, I don't think just now.

He will be alright.

Run along Billy.

Yan .. no.

What's the matter? Well ..

I've been thinking .. So have I.

I've been thinking of nothing else but you in all the months we've been apart.

I am so much in love.

Yan .. please.

We must be sensible.

Sensible? Ha.

I don't know that word.

Is it Bob?

Ah, that is so foolish my little girl.

You're not in love with Bob.

It's me you love, isn't it?

Tell me the truth. Oh Yan, can't you see?

Bob's away fighting.

He's never looked at another girl. Listen, Sue.

I like Bob, he's a fine fellow.

If you didn't mean so much to me never would I say all this.

Because of Bob.

But love comes first.

Always. It must come first.

There is nothing else so important.

And I've come here to ask you that you marry me.


No. You mustn't talk like that. Why not?

My dear .. it can't be.

You know it can't be.

You are French. I'm English.

It just wouldn't work.

I see.

Then there is only one thing to do.

I must leave Trevannick.

No. But of course.

How could I bear to stay here?

Goodbye, Sue.


Yan .. you mustn't.

No, my darling.

We must forget each other.

You are right.

And I'm sure to meet somebody else.

I expect so.

She will help me get over it.

I expect so.

Oh Yan.


Au revoir, darling. Go on, quick.

Who was that?

It was Yan.

Yeah, I heard he was back.

Just like his sauce, coming around here.

How long has he got?

They don't want him yet, Dad.

He's staying. Oh is he?

You have made it quite clear to him?


I did.


Oh Dad .. it didn't work.

I love him so much. And it's just the same with him.

Really it is. I know.

We can't give each other up.

I don't care what it means or what people say.

We love each other and we're going to be married.

Hmm. Over my dead body you are.

Oh, Dad.

Do try to understand. I understand alright.

I tell you my girl, if ever I find that Frenchman hanging around you again ..

It's no good blustering, Dad. You can't stop us.

And you know it.

Well, you can say what you like, Nat. It don't seem right to me.

I reckon they ought to take it off.

Take what off?

This here tax on foreign-caught shellfish.

The country needs the food and Yan Kervarec's boat was built for crabbing.

What's the sense in keeping a chap like that sitting around doing nothing?

We got to protect our own crabbers.

But it does seem ungrateful after what he done.

That's another thing.

You'd think when a man risked his life bringing them chaps of ours across ..

What's behind all this, Steve?

Ain't like you, worrying yourself sick over a Frenchman's troubles.

Well I was just thinking, Nat.

He's a good fisherman. We all know that.

And seeing as we're so short-handed .. No.

He'll get fixed up easy enough.

There are plenty of other boats going out short-handed these days.

But we'll have no Froggie on the Morwenna as long as I'm Master.

Least of all .. Nat. Look yonder.

Who'd be that crazy?

They're French crabbers.

Must have given Jerry the slip.

Start up the big engine, Sam. They may want help.


Do you know whose boat that is? You recognize her?

You bet I do. It's Lanec Florrie's.


Lanec Florrie, eh?


You'd think one war at a time was enough.

Look at all them kids.

Think of her getting that lot through the minefield.

Hello there!

What's all this? A Sunday School outing?

We have escaped.

Good for you.

The boss said we must leave.

For England.

We decide, even Cornwall is better than that.

You mean to say you let them Jerries upset your plans?

Tell me.

Have you any news of my son?

He's in Trevannick. Doing alright for himself.


But we must get a move on.

This is no place to stay nattering.

Run out of petrol have you?


Alright my dear, I'll give you a tow.


Free this time.

The catch of the season.

That's his seventh slice, and she's on her fifth.

Oh Dad, do be quiet. They'll know you're talking about them.

A good job too.

It might make them realize there's such a thing as rationing.

Have some butter, Johnny. Go on.

Don't stint yourself.

It's only got to last us a week.

I reckon I was a proper chucklehead.

Forty-six Froggies to choose from.

And I have to go and pick you couple of belly-worshipers.

A nice day.

Alright for you, old cock.

You've got nothing else to do except ..

Sit here and eat us out of house and home.

Dad, Mr Mason is here. Can you spare him a minute?


That's the very chap I want to see.

You go catch fish? Fish?

No, Johnny.

I'm going to have a nice little talk about frogs.

Goddam me. I can't even get a bit of quiet in my own home.

Here you.

This is my post.

Fifteen years now, I've been using this post.

Go and find yourself another.


Don't keep quacking at me. Hop it.



You go out and do your shopping, Mrs Mathews.

I'll finish here.

Oh, I couldn't leave you with all that washing up.

Why not?

Yan will help me. What will I do?

A little work for a change.

Come on .. bring those cups.

That's not a man's job.

He must learn.

To help his wife, when he gets married.

You French people are going to spoil us.

A very nice woman .. for Cornish.

It's time you changed your mind about Cornish women.


Because I am going to marry one.



Sue Pomeroy.

I almost wish you meant it for once.

Just to see that old Nat's face.

But I do mean it, Mama.

Can't you understand?

This is different.


You have told me that three times before.

First there was ..


Then Yvonne.

She wasn't so bad.

And then .. La grand Germaine.

Now, her.

But .. I am serious this time.

I do really mean it. Of course, of course.

What are you doing with that cup?

I haven't washed it.

Oh please, Mama. Don't keep joking about it.

I'm tired of being treated like a child.


I tell you I know my own mind.

It's your dear father-in-law.


Silly boy.

Good morning, Florrie.

Good morning, Mr Nat. Won't you come in?

This is Mr Mason, our billeting officer.

Morning. Morning.

He's got a bit of news for you.

Won't you sit down. Thank you.

Oh I am sorry. We are late this morning.

Any news .. for me?

Well, for all you French people here.

We've got hold of Tregonnis Hall, the big house off the Newlyn Road.

Now, I see why you look so pleased.

Pleased, me?

No, my dear. We shall miss you.

It's a handsome big house and you can all be together up there.

You'll be Queening it over us all.

Lady of the Manor.

Oh no .. I'm no Lady.

I've always worked hard for my living.

And I'd be working now if it wasn't for your crab tax.

Oh, you'll be out long-lining soon.

What with?

How can we afford to buy gear for long-lining?

I want to talk to you about that.

Well, I'll leave you to it.

I'll let you know the day you can move in, Madam. Perhaps you tell the others.

I will. Thank you.

Au revoir Monsieur. Morning.

About this long-lining gear.


There's a plan to get up a sort-of .. song-festival here.

Raise a bit of money.

To help your people buy some gear.

Oh, thank you.

I think that is very kind.

We're glad to help.

We've good singers here in Trevannick. Oh.

And we want your chaps to join in too.

You know, make it a proper ..

Cornish-Breton affair.

Then you must get my son to sing.

Oh, he's got a fine voice.

I dare say he has.

All the visitors from Paris used to tell me.

If he had wanted .. he could have become a famous singer.

A pity he didn't.

What's the matter?

There's plenty the matter when it comes to that boy of yours.

My boy? What's wrong with him?


He's got no right to go upsetting my Sue.

Ah, to that's it.

Oh, you needn't worry.

It's only a little flirting.

"Flirting", you call it?

They are talking about getting married.

That's all it is .. talk.

Oh, is it?

Well if you think I'm going to have my daughter made cheap by a Frenchman ..

I think she ought to be pleased.

To be taken notice of.

By a fine boy like Yan.

Here, I've heard a few things about your precious son.

Well, I'll tell you one more.

He's far too good for any Cornish girl.

Too good? Hmm.

Well, let me tell you I wouldn't have my Sue married to a Frenchman ..

If he were the last man on earth.

Yan with a Cornish wife.

I'd sooner not have had a son at all.

I'd sooner she married a Devon man.

Alright, alright. What's all the fuss about?

We agree.


Damn it, so we do.

Hello. Hello.

Yan, look.

There's old Spargoe.

It doesn't matter now, darling.


Because we won't have to meet here anymore.

All of Trevannick will know tomorrow.



Yes, I've been to Falmouth.

It's all fixed. Well .. I ..

I can hardly believe it.

Tell me, my dear.

How did you get that ring?

I stole it.

Where is your watch?


I broke it.

Oh, you shouldn't have.


You don't want to get married with a curtain ring, do you?

Darling. Sue.

What about old Spargoe?

"We are the men who brave the lonely life."

"We are the true men of Cornwall born and bred."

"Stout are the hearts of the Cornish folk."

"Happy is the home of the Cornish man."

Come on. Wait until we finish.

This is something that isn't going to wait.

Let go.

Let go. Let them be.

I reckon your pal's asked for it.

Stop it boys. Stop it!

What about my license?

We climbed up and looked through the backroom window.

Cor, it was a mess.

Six broken chairs and glass all over the place.

I couldn't see any blood though. I don't want to hear any more.

The less said about it the better.

How grown men can behave like a lot of stupid, little ..

Bonjour Mademoiselle Sue. Good morning.

Pour vous.


But ..

I can't make it out.

What time did he go? Pardon.

When .. did .. Yan .. go?


Never mind .. thank you.

Au revoir, Mademoiselle.

Hello. Hello.

I just wanted to say I'm sorry about last night.

It doesn't matter.

You mean it's alright?

What is it Sue?

What did that fellow want?

It's Yan.

He's gone.

He has?

What, for good?

He's ..

He's been called up.

Called up since last night?

They sent for him .. the Free French.

He was expecting it to come.

Wait a minute, he couldn't have caught a train from the junction before 7:50.

Why did he send Jerome?

Why didn't he come and tell you himself?

I don't know.

But he'll come back soon. He said so.

Of course he will. As soon as I'm out of the way.

So that's what you are driving at. Well, you're wrong for once.

And I'll tell you why you're wrong.

We were going to be married this morning.

You were what? Yes, in Falmouth.

We gave the notice three weeks ago.

He's bought the license and the ring.

What have you got to say to that?

It's plain enough now.

I'm not going to say "I told you so".

But I reckon you won't be seeing him again.

First of all, you say he's running from you.

Then you say he's running away from me. Thanks very much.

I'm finished with you.

Smile, Sue.

I don't think I've seen you smile once in the last two weeks.

That's better.

No use brooding.

It's all over and done with now.

Please Dad .. Sue!

Sue, Dad. The Frenchies are going out.

Out where? Out fishing.

Don't be daft boy. On Sunday?

But they are Dad. Come and look.

My sweet life. The kid's right.

They can't do that .. where's my cap?

Dad .. come back.

You've got your slippers on. Dad!

Hey. Hold out there. Hey!

Where do you think you're going?

Hey .. hello there.

Wait a minute.

I said, hold on.

What's the matter? You know well enough.

I don't like to be shouted at.

Come down here if you wish to speak to me.

So this is what happens as soon as you get your new gear.

Who gave it to us?


What's that got to do with it? You and your festival of songs.

Where did this gear come from?

Free French .. alors.

We use it how we like, and when.

You know our rule in Cornwall. No fishing on Sundays.

That's alright for you.

Nobody ever stopped you fishing.

But we have earned nothing since we've been here. Not one penny.

We keep the Sabbath here and if .. Ha-ha.

I know how.

Snoring in bed, while I walk three miles going to Mass.

That's got nothing to do with it. When have you been inside a church?

Eh? .. When you were born.

Or when you were married.

And you might go once more ..

When you are dead.


And you say I'm wicked?

You are a heathen. Oh, am I?

Well, speak for all the fishermen here.

Oh, shut your mouth and leave my boat.

There is no law against us going out whenever we like.

And we are going out. Now!

I hope you foul them new lines, and lose your propeller.

And sink.

You old Tartar.

[ Telephone ]

Harbour Office. Trevannick.

Yan. Where are you?

In Falmouth.

Did you get my letter?

Oh yes, I got it.

I don't understand. That was a fortnight ago.

Please Sue, don't ask me to explain.

Just try to trust me.

I've been too busy little girl.

Oh Yan, what nonsense.

You couldn't have been too busy all the time.

Now you just ring up and expect me to ..

But I cannot leave Falmouth.

No, I can't tell you why. But I must stay here.

But please.

Will you come over? I must see you.

It's quite impossible.

Oh, be reasonable.

But I'm being perfectly reasonable.

I think that .. you are very obstinate.

Do you?

Then you can go on thinking it.

Bonjour, Mama. Bonjour, Yan.

[ French language ]

Speak English. Nobody is supposed to know about my work.

Of course. I shall shush.

You have been .. home?

Please Mama, you know I can't say.

Yes please? One coffee.

No coffee, only tea.


Listen Mama, I want to speak to you.

It's about Sue. Sue?

Our Café? Who's got it now?

But Sue and I .. Tell me.

Have the Boche drunk all the cellar?

The old Cognacs too?

Now listen to me.

There is something you must know.

On the day I left, Sue and I were going to be married.

I've tried to make you understand but you would never listen.

So we decided to get married first and ..

Tell you after.

But on that very day I had to go away.

Without being able to explain.

But now .. she won't see me.

And I'm not allowed to leave Falmouth.

You can guess why.

Thank you.

I love her, Mama.

I've never met a girl like her before.

[ French language ]

Speak English.

You want him to hear all about it?

Mama, you have nothing against her, have you?

She is good looking and she is tall.

She is a good housekeeper.

She will be a good wife.

And a good mother too.

How will you live? Where will the money come from?

The war will be over one day. I am a fisherman, I have a boat.

And whatever you may say about her old father ..

Oh that one .. that's your business.

But I am quite desperate about it.

She won't give me a chance.

And I don't know what to do.

Don't look so worried.

Maybe I can do something.

You will? Perhaps.

I couldn't help my own son?

Leave it to me.

That's right Mama. You make him marry the girl.

Is Daddy home? No.


Go up and change.

Put on your best clothes. Pack a valise.

What are you talking about? Quickly.

You are going to Falmouth. To Yan.

I'll do no such thing. Not after the way he's behaved.

You little idiot.

You think he ran away from you?

I'll tell you.

He was called away because ..

Oh no .. I can't say it.

But he'll explain when you are his wife.


Of course.

You are going to Falmouth to be married.

You don't mind?

I still think my son is far too good for any Cornish girl.

But he has made his choice.

And this time he's serious.


There is no more to be said.

Hurry. Don't stand there like a .. chucklehead.

Hurry now. The bus won't wait.

But my father .. he's at sea.

So much the better for us.

See you later then. As soon as I've had my tea.

Sue, get that old kettle on.

What in Turk are you doing here?

Don't worry .. nothing is wrong.

Where is Sue?

Staying at the Albert Hotel at Falmouth.

With my son.


They were married .. today.


Sit down.

But I can't ..

Did you know about this?

Of course I knew.

I made her go.

You made her go? Uhuh.

Have you gone mad?

Or perhaps I have.

There was no time to wait.

Yan has to go away.

He has important work.

Hush-hush. Put those on.

I wouldn't have thought she could do this to me.

I'll never get over it.

Never ..

Remember she has been married.

Not buried. This daughter of yours.

This daughter of ours.

No daughter of mine, she isn't.

Oh no.

Not after this.

She'll never come into my house again, she won't.

She won't need to.

She's a French woman now.

French? My aunt Matilda.


Of course.

Don't let your food get cold.

I'll have ruddy Froggies for grandchildren.


It's nearly six, darling.


I was dreaming the war was over and ..

We weren't ever going to be separated again.

Oh, that horrible clock.

Yes, I must hurry.

I shall miss my train.

Train, Yan?

Well ..

Boat, perhaps.

You don't tell lies a bit well, darling.

At least not to me.

A good wife should never doubt her husband.

I'm not such a chucklehead as you think I am.

I rather wish I was.

Oh no.

You are not a chucklehead.

You are lovely, beautiful.

What is a "chucklehead"?

It's a silly old Cornish word.

It means ..

Oh Yan.

Take care of yourself, my dearest.

Of course I shall.

There is nothing to worry about I assure you.

Nothing, sweetheart.

I hate goodbyes.

It's not goodbye.

You must speak French now.

It is "Au revoir".

You do mean it, don't you, my darling? You will be back soon?

You're not pretending again. I swear it.

Very soon I will be back. They have told me.

Don't waste a minute.

I'll take the very first bus to Trevannick.

Do you think that your father will shoot me?

I expect so.

I'll chance it.

Take Mister .. Mister Kervarec with you.

And report to the Captain he's come aboard.

Alright, I'll take him.

Bob. This way.

Of all the ships in the Navy you had to pick on this one.

What's up anyhow?

Why does the old man want to see you? You'll know soon.

I'll explain that and a great deal more too.

You and I are going to have a long talk.

Whether you like it or not.

But first, I must see the old man.

Alright. Come on.

Come on, breakfast is ready. What are you doing?

Alright, alright. I'm here.

Is that coffee?

Yes it is.

Why can't I have tea for a change?

Are you ill then?


I've never felt better in my life. Why?

In Brittany, we only drink tea when we are ill.

Here it comes.

Oh, it is nothing.

I don't know so much.

Your boats have gone out I see.

Yes .. and I would have gone with them.

If I hadn't been for looking after you.

Sunday, or no Sunday.

A proper, nice little storm blowing up if you ask me.

Nonsense. The wind is due north.

A squall is the most we'll get.

I would have you know that I've been living here for the last 57 years.

And I say when the sea is that colour ..

If they keep east of the headland they'll be alright.

Get on with your breakfast.

Where is that boy? Billy. Coming.

I thought Sue was due back yesterday.

She came back yesterday.

Where is she then?

At Gregory's home with me.

What the devil is she doing there?

Living there of course.

She is frightened of you.

You said you would never let her come in this house again.

That's right .. so I did.

And I meant it.

Morning, Dad.

Morning, Madame. Morning.

Don't be stubborn.

I was a fool and so were you.

Why not admit it?

Nothing of the sort.

And don't call me names in front of the boy.

Billy. Help yourself.

And you Nat Pomeroy, you come with me.

I want to talk to you.

Now listen to me.

Sue and Yan are married.

Whether you like it or not.

So you might as well make the best of it.

You're a fine one to talk.

I thought you and me agreed for once.

We did.

But our children have agreed too.

And we are wrong.

Not they.

Oh are we?

Yes, we are.

And all this fuss just because I am French and you are English.

Because we are neighbours.

Neighbours often disagree. It doesn't matter.

Because we are really not so different.

We drink coffee, you drink tea.

You say we eat frogs and snails.

We say you eat roast beef.

But these are not things to fight about.

Our children know that.

They know we are all just people.

And good people.

And after all, they have a right to happiness.

The poor young ones.

You love your daughter.

Don't you want her to be happy?

She loves my son.

Yan is a fine boy.

And Sue is .. not a bad girl.


I say "good luck" to them.

And I think it's time Mr Nat, that you do the same.




What do you make of it?

I don't like the look of it.

No .. I don't either.

I reckon we'll have her out.

Let the fellows know.

So .. you weren't even listening.

I heard all you said, my dear.

But have a look at that.

As soon as you've finished, Billy boy.

Slip up to Tregonnis Hall.

Tell Sue to pack up her things and come down here.

Oh roger, Dad.

I'm having the lifeboat out.

This is what comes of fishing on a Sunday.

I'll get some food ready.

Only a squall, Florrie?

You wait until it gets them outside the Five Maidens.

Buck up, Zachy.

Let them swim for it, I say.

Knock it out.

How long have they been gone?

Just on three hours.

What do you think has happened?

The Froggies may have run south.

Our chaps will have a job to find them.

Quesque c'est?

Looks like a barrel.

Or a seal.

My soul in heaven. What is it?

It's a mine, boy. The storm has broken it loose.

A mine?

The way the sea is running.

It looks like it may fetch up somewhere around the cairn.

You've got to run now, boy. Faster than you've ever run.

Tell Sue to ring Newlyn and get one of the Navy boats.

Go on boys. Quick.

Wireless from Newlyn. The Froggies have just put in there.

Oh have they? Smart work.

Alright then, boys. We can get along home.

Missed my Sunday night for nothing.

That's them all over. Not a thought for anyone else.

Well, you can't blame them.

They don't carry wireless, you know.

So. Here I am.

A mine. Ring Navy. Newlyn.

A mine? Where? Mon dieu. Is it loose?

Just outside the harbour. Oh, and we are on a flood tide.


Not much use phoning Newlyn. They'll never get here in time.

No, they can't.

There must be some way. Couldn't we shoot it?

What about potting at it with a rifle? Let the LDVs have a go.

No good. It's too near in.

If you touch one of them horns, it will have half the place down.

Look over there.

Billy, go and warn the people in the front houses.

Come on, Dick.

Tell them to clear out.

There's a mine coming in. Keep out the back.

That's your own house, Dick.

What are you going to do with that?

We go fishing .. mine fishing.

But it's madness .. you mustn't do it.

You want to lose all your boats?

It's not worth it. Not for a lot of boats.


Your boats are your living.

You'll be killed.

No, mother. No, no.

Don't worry my dear. We know what we are doing.

You keep back. Don't you take chances with them things.

I can't see what she hopes to do. She's no fool.

She's going to run the net around the mine she is.

And then tow it out.

There goes the old girl.

She might have been doing it all her life.

I told them all.

Will they do it?

This part ain't so bad. It's when they start towing her.

Them lines on the boat are none too long for this job.

Now is the time to cross your fingers.

Now, get down!

She'll do it yet.

Oh .. very fresh.

Here comes the lifeboat back.

You wait until old Nat finds out what's happened to our long net.

What have you been up to? We had to help ourselves.


0nly beer. We've got no spirits.

Thank you.

Hold your gab a minute.

Now we're drinking to Florrie.

We'll never forget in Trevannick, what she's done for us today.

Good old Florrie.

Thank you.

I'm very happy.

Because now I know.

We are friends.

At last.

When the war is over.


We go home again.

Don't think you'll get rid of us. We'll be back.

Yeah, poaching.

We'll be back.

Because we have found another home .. here.

Lanec and Trevannick are now one village.