Johnny Got His Gun (1971) Script

How did you get him so quickly?

A medical team heard the shell coming in.

Apparently, he did, too.

Chest and belly practically unmarked.

Curious how they always double up in the fetal position.

What's curious about it?

They're trying to protect their genitals.

Well, this young man unfortunately succeeded.

Any identification?

No, sir.

Then we'll assume he's ours.

I'll need to take personal charge of this case until repairs are completed.

That could be rather a long time, Colonel Tillery.

Wouldn't you say, Captain, that it's worth a year of any doctor's life to observe a case like this?

You'd never know what has happened to him.

The one part of his brain that has escaped damage is the medulla oblongata.

It is only because of this that his heart, vasal, motor, and respiratory centers still function.

In short, that he lives.

Unidentified casualty number 4-7.

Post-operation orders, Colonel M.F. Tillery, U.S. Army Medical Corps.

Although the cerebellum still permits limited physical movement, said movement signifies nothing.

Bodily actions have become violent, and are persistently repetitive and must be treated as reflexive muscular spasms-- which is to say, by sedation.

The cerebrum has suffered massive and irreparable damage.

Had I not been sure of this, I would not have permitted him to live.

There's no justification for his continued existence unless we learn from him how to help others.

Care for him as gently as if he knew what you were doing and would feel the pain if you did it badly.

Attending personnel will remember that good medical care forbids emotional involvement with the patient.

Avoid such involvement by remembering that it is impossible for a decerebrated individual to experience pain, pleasure, memory, dreams, or thought of any kind.

It follows, therefore, that this young man will be as unfeeling, as unthinking as the dead until the day he joins them.



What happened?

Where am I?

It's dark in here.

Shouldn't have turned the lights out.

Your old man will be sore.

Oh, Mike won't care. He loves me.

Only could I just ask you one thing?

Why'd you have to volunteer?

Only six months from the draft anyhow.

Pinkie and Larry have already gone.

You could have been exempt because of your sisters.

My mother's got a job.

Besides, when the country needs you, you've gotta go.

You should go.

I don't think anybody should go.

They'll kill you.

Oh, I could get killed at the bakery, too, or crossing the street.

I can take care of myself. Don't worry.

Lots of people get killed who don't think they'll be.

Lots of people come back, too. Most of 'em.

Most of them, Joe, they never come back.

Oh, if anything ever happened to you, I'd just die.

Ah, you're only saying that.

I love you.

I do love you.

Stop it.

I won't have this in my house.

You think you're sitting in the back seat of a flivver?

Now get up. Both of you, get up like decent people.

Come on, get up.

But he's going away in the morning.

I know, I know. Get in the bedroom.

Both of you.

I ain't much.

25 years in the coal mines, carryin' an IWW card.

Now, what am I?

Goddamn railroad bull, that's what.

Oh, anyhow.

Go on in there with her. She's scared.

Go-- Go on in.

Yes, sir. Put your arms around her.

You know how to treat her, don't you? Yes, sir.


She isn't a whore. You know that, don't ya?

Yes, sir.

Eh, go to bed, son.

Yes, sir.


I see you.

Nice room.

Mike fixed it up for my graduation.

Picture's crooked, though.

It was my mother's.

Why don't you take your shoes off?




Could you turn your back?


I have to get out of bed.

No. I want to see you.

I won't let you see me.

Would you get me my robe?


It's on the closet door. It's red.


Why'd you do that?

Hot night.

Here it is.

Bring it closer, silly. Uh-uh. Reach for it.

All right, here. I'll help you.


Let's get it through here.

There. There you go.

I'll get it right.

Here, let me show you.

Now we got it. There.

Huh? No.

We should have flowers. Hm? Sure.

If you really want to see me--

Oh, if you don't want me to, I don't want to, either.

Well, fair is fair.


It's nice like this, isn't it?


Have you ever been this way with anyone else?

Not with anyone I loved.

I'm glad.

Have you?

You shouldn't ask that.

Why not?

Because I'm a lady.

You're a mick.

No, I've never been this way with anyone else before.

I know. But you couldn't have known.

Not really.

Joe, I don't want you to go.

I want you to run away.

You don't want me to see Paris, France, that's all.

Don't go, Joe. Please don't go.

Run away.

Where to? Shipyards?


I'll hide you, honest I will.

Want me to be a slacker, huh?


Oh, they'll kill you, Joe. I know they will.

In the words of that great patriot Theodore Roosevelt--

I love you, Joe.

Hold me closer.

Put both your arms around me.

Both of them.

Let us pray.

Our Father--

I can't pray like that.

All I can say is dear God, don't make him go away.

Don't let him be killed. I won't be.

All aboard!

All aboard!

Why don't they turn the lights on?

It's dark in here.

It's dark and still, and I can feel the blood pumping through my veins.

But I can't hear the pulse in my ears.

If you can't hear your own pulse, you're deaf.

You're deaf, Joe.


Maybe not. Maybe I'm just dreaming.

Maybe-- oh, Jesus Christ, I hurt!

I can feel the sweat pouring out of my skin.

Hot, wet skin that's all covered up with-- with bandages.

Even my head.

I sure must've caught a big one.


Telephones in the middle of the night are bad luck.

Don't let anybody answer it, Father.

What's this? Footsteps.

I can feel their vibrations.

What are they doing?

Any evidence of hypostasis while aspirating?

None thus far.

They're looking at something.

Trachea tube clear.

A hand on my chest.

He's breathing well.

No more oxygen unless an emergency develops.

I don't understand that.

Can you lift for intravenous feeling?


My face.

Is something wrong with my face?

Skin grafts will be necessary here.

Colostomy good.

Cystotomy functioning?

Uh-huh. Very good.

What next?

Is the ambulance ready? Yes, sir.

Very well. Bring him along.

Where are you taking him, sir?

Occupation forces base hospital number 3 at Jeanville St. Clears.

All right. Let's move it.

David's Perfection Bakery.

Rudy McKenna speaking.

It's Rudy.

Telephone, Joe.

Okay, coming.


Yes, Mother. I'll be right home.

Thank you. I'll let you know when everything's finished, okay? Okay, Joe.

I'll be back to work in a couple days.

That's all right. Rest up. Good night.

I'm sorry, Father.

I'm sorry I lost your fishing pole, too.

I loved you.

Well, the bandages are off my arm.

It itches.

I wish they'd scratch it.

What happens now?

Yes, we can remove the sutures.

Let's disinfect.

I wish they'd get this stuff off my face so I could see what they're doing.

Sorry, sir. Another.


They're pinching me.

No, it's more like a-- a little stab of heat.

Wait a minute. I know.

It's just like when I ran into the barbed-wire fence and cut my eyebrow.

They sew you up, and then it heals, and then they take the stitches out.

Only-- Well, only this is different.

I can feel what they're doing to my arm, but I can't feel the end of my arm at all.

The nearest thing to the end of my arm is the heel of my hand.

The heel of my hand, the end of my arm.

It's too high.

It's high as my shoulder.

You've cut off my arm! The tissues have closed.

My arm! Oh, my God. Remove the wrist.

Why did you do a thing like that?

I need that arm.

Oh, I've gotta work with it. I--

You can't go around cutting a man's arm off, like you were pruning dead branches off a tree!

Well, there's a law or something!

You've gotta get his consent before you do a thing like that.

He's gotta sign a paper because a man with only one arm is a cripple, and-- and all he can do is go around selling pencils!

Oh, no! Not my other arm, too!

No, no! Please, no.

You've already taken one of my arms--

I want him moved to the least conspicuous room you can find, for his own good.

A room with a lock and something over the windows so they can't peer in at him.

There isn't a decent unoccupied room in the building.

Utility room? Supply room?

Store room? Anything.

He can't tell the difference.

Put someone in here who can.

There's a game out there, and the stakes are high.

And the guy who runs it figures the averages all day long and all night long.

Once in a while, he lets you steal a pot.

But if you stay in the game long enough, you've got to lose.

And once you've lost, there's no way back.

No way at all.

Hit me.

Pay 20.

Christ, I sure could do with a shot of whiskey.

Help yourself.

Bets down.

How'd you learn that?

I used to do it at weddings.

Hey, can you do card tricks, too?


Cards to the gamblers.

Hit me.

I'm just fine.

Boy, I'm just fine.

Hit me.


Hit me, but not too hard.

Now, watch him get 21.

Pay 21.

It's a funny thing, I can do almost everything but hit a 12.

12 shouldn't be any harder to hit then a 13, should it?

Shouldn't be, but it is.

That's nothing but superstition.

A 12 to hit is just the same as any other number above it, only better.

Don't let anybody tell you different.

Assembly. What time is it anyhow?

Three Christmases and 41 days.

Time to go.

If I don't make that train, I miss--

I miss a date to be killed on the 27th of June at 4:30 a.m. in the morning.

Not too good for my kid, huh?

He's only a year, eight months, and smart as hell already.

Sure wish I could see him when he was 5.

You'll see him when he's 50.

And you'll still be 23.

What the hell? We're all gonna be killed.

That's what we're here for.

He's already got his.

And the big Swede here, he's gonna catch flu and die on shipboard.

I'm gonna get buried in a trench cave-in and smothered to death.

Now, isn't that a hell of way to go?


All aboard!

Next stop, New York, Atlantic Ocean, and Paris, France!

What's this guy doing here?

He ain't gonna get killed.

Leave him alone. He's all right.

Come on, boys. On your feet.

We've got to make that train.

Are you going with us?

Of course. I've got lots of trains to handle.

Lots of dead men.

So many dead men, you wouldn't believe it.

Not my legs! Not my legs, too!

Oh, God, no.

Not my legs, too.

Help me, somebody.

Help me.

Don't let them cut my legs off.

Don't let them take my legs, too.


They just went ahead and chopped off everything.

Of course, it's a lot cheaper to cut a leg off than fix it up.

With a war going on, they haven't got much time.

Everybody is tired.

But, what kind of doctor would cut a man down to what I am now and still let him live?

Do they have a bet on?

Were they showing off or something?

Was it some kind of experiment?


Nobody would do a thing like that to another man.

Nobody could be such a butcher.

My dear students, war has various meanings to various persons.

To the scientist, war means that he is actually set free to accomplish his most brilliant and most imaginative enterprises.

For example, in previous wars, each injury has resulted in a very serious loss to the taxpayers, the loss of a most expensively trained soldier-- or fighting unit, as we call him now.

However, in the next war, we shall be able to repair and deliver that same fighting unit to the frontline trenches in three weeks or even less.

And all because of the radical new techniques which this young man has taught us.

I'm having a nightmare that says I'm real.

Wake me up, Mother, and tell me I'm not real.

I don't know where you are, my son, or what troubles you.

Try to remember that God is the only reality, and that you are made in his image and likeness.

And since you are the perfect reflection of God's reality, you are real.

You're wrong, Mother.

It's a dream.

It's got to be.

Everything else is true, but not this.

No, I remember the real things, Mother.

Even before we left Colorado and moved to Los Angeles.

I remember everything.


You hurt yourself, son?

Uh-uh. Let's see.

Oh, honestly.

Someday those feet are gonna get so dirty, they'll never wash clean.

From now on, I'm gonna take my baths at the YMCA, the way Daddy does.

For behold, I bring you tidings of great joy that shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And suddenly there was with the angel--

See those rocks over there?

A long time ago, they caught a hunting party of Ute Indians there.

Know what they did? Rounded 'em up, tied rocks around their feet, and threw 'em in the lake.

About where we are now.

The, uh, fishing on this side of the lake's been good ever since.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy.

"All is infinite mind

"and its infinite manifestation.

"Matter is mortal error.

"Spirit is the real and eternal.

"Matter is the unreal and temporal.

"Spirit is God, "and man is his image and likeness.

"Therefore, man is not material.

He is spiritual."

Those were the real things, Mother.

What I am now is in a dream.

There is no more reality to the waking dream of mortal existence than there is to the dream we have in sleep.

Reality is God.

And the essence of God is love-- that perfect love which banishes all fear and heals all wounds.

Stop it. I don't want to hear anymore about God is love. Prepare an injection.

Because If I do, I'll begin to hate him.

When did you aspirate him last? 4:30.

Gavage feeding?

2:00 and again at 4.

No, no. Don't put me under again.

I've gotta figure some way out of this mess.

Father, I need help.

I'm in terrible trouble, and I need help.

Father? Did you hear me?


I hear ya, son. But I got troubles of my own.

Nothing I have in this world is really any good, you know?

My house is small. My job is small.

My salary is also small.

Son is small. So is my wife, and get right down to it, I'm no giant, myself.

Everything around me is small, inferior, except this fishing pole.

I, myself, wind it every year with the best of silk thread.

See this lacquer?

Comes from China.

No finer lacquer in the world.

See those guides?

Pure amber.

Nobody in town has a fishing pole like this.

Not even Mr. Ladamer down at the bank.

My life is so poor and shoddy that without this pole, why, I'd have nothing to set me apart from other men.

Nothing to give me distinction, nothing at all.

That's why I love it so much.

Do you love it more than you love me?

'Course I do.

What is there about you that can give a man distinction?

You're not unusual at all.

Yes I am, Father.

How's that?

I may not be unusual now, but I'm going to be.

Of course you are.

You're gonna make the world safe for democracy, aren't ya?

What is democracy?

Well, I was never very clear on it, myself.

Like every other kind of government, it's got something to do with young men killing each other, I believe.

Why don't old men kill each other?

Well, the old men are needed to keep the home fires burning.

Couldn't the young men do that just as well?

Young men don't have homes.

That's why they must go out and kill each other.

When it comes my turn, will you want me to go?

For democracy, any man would give his only begotten son.

I wouldn't.

I won't be here to stop you, Joe.

Put your arms around me.

I need their warmth to keep the chill of death away.

I can't.




I guess it always comes down to that.

Each man faces death by himself.


From now on, it's a simple matter of good nursing care, I can always be reached at GHQ if anything develops.

Let's try the mask.

Thank God. They're finally getting this stuff off my face.

The air feels good.

Feels cool.

Repairs seem to have healed well.

What's this?

You see?

Works very well.

Any questions?

Good luck.

It's better.

It does let the air in.

But I thought when they unbandaged my face, I'd be all healed.

She's cleaning my breathing tube.

I thought when they took this stuff off my face, they'd take the tubes out, too.

But they didn't.

I don't understand.

Where is she going now?

Oh, yes. I know.

I've still got my feeding tube.

When am I gonna be able to feed myself?

When am I going to get well?

Dinner's over.

But it won't always be like this, will it?

Now wait.

Think for a minute.

There's something funny here-- something cool, something wet.

I thought my face was just wrapped up, when they unwrapped it, I could--

Oh. Oh, please, I--

Now, get a hold of yourself, Joe.

Don't lose your head.

Your jaws.

You can't move your jaws.

They don't work.

You haven't got any.

Well, take your tongue, rub it around inside your teeth like you were chasing a raspberry seed.

I-- I haven't got any tongue!

I-- I haven't got any teeth for it to feel.

I haven't got anything here but a hole.

How big is it?

How-- How does it go?

Now don't panic.


Inside of the hole is-- is wet.

The edges of it are dry.

Wet, dry.

Yes, that's it.

Now, figure out where it's dry.

Feel. Yes.

I'm feeling.

Dry-- And shouldn't the hole go up?


No eyes.

I haven't got any eyes or mouth or teeth, tongue, or nose.

I haven't gotten anything, but my whole face is scooped out!

Oh, Jesus Christ, it's me, and I'm alive!

Oh, no. It can't be!

Not me! I-- I can't live like this!

I-- I can't.

Please, no, I can't-- I can't!

Help me. Somebody please help me.

Mother, where are ya?

Help me, Mother. I'm having a nightmare and I can't wake up.

If you don't wake me up I'll be like this for years and years and years

Pray for me, please.

Please, pray for me.

To all those in the armed forces who sacrificed their young lives in this just and holy war for everlasting peace, I grant absolution of all their sins.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, amen.

Let us pray.

A place like this, you've gotta think in order to keep from thinking.

There are eight planets, Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury-- What's that?

There's something chewing on my forehead.

It's a rat!

It's one of those great big fat trench rats.

Help me, somebody. Kill it!

No, couldn't be a rat.

They wouldn't let rats run around chewing up the customers in a place like this.

It's a dream.

No, it isn't.

It is a rat.

It's crawling. It's crawling.

No. No, no, no, no.

Don't-- Don't let it get me.

No. No, no. No, no, no.

He's close.

He's on my chest.

Don't even scare him.

Hold still and he will--

Where'd it go?

Did somebody kill it?

Or did it just go away?

What if it comes back?

It was a dream.

It had to be.

But how can you tell what's a dream and what's real when you can't even tell when you're awake and when you're asleep?

Or maybe the rat's real and the nurse here is a dream.

Oh, Jesus Christ, how can I ever be able to tell the difference?

The thing to do is yell.

Sometimes, even now, I have this old dream that somebody wants to kill me.

And my mother and father are running away with me to Egypt.

I hear the sound of soldiers riding at night and the screams.

And I yell.

And the yell wakes me up.

And then I know that it's a dream.

So what you have to do is yell.

But, you see, I can't yell.

I can't even whisper.

Well, whispering wouldn't help anyhow.

Another way is just to tell yourself

"Wait a minute, here. This is a nightmare.

"And I have to wake up in order to stop it."

Then just force your eyes open, and the dream will be gone.

Oh, I can't open my eyes. I haven't got any.

Well, that complicates things.

Maybe the thing to do is police your mind before you go to sleep.

Say to yourself, "I'm going to sleep now.

"And I'm not going to have any nightmares."

Could be done, you know? With practice.

You feel yourself getting drowsy--

I never feel drowsy.

I haven't got anything to feel drowsy with.


Maybe we should take a different line of attack, altogether.

Let us begin by assuming that everything is a dream, which by and large, it is.

When we're awake, we have one kind of dream.

When we're asleep, we have another.

The difference is that we control our daydreams.

And the dream that comes at night controls us.

Now think about that.

When you dream that the rat is there, do you control the dream?

Or does the dream control you?

It controls me.

Yes, exactly.

If the rat were really there, you'd knock it off, wouldn't you?

Of course.

So the fact that you don't knock it off proves that it really is a dream.

Yes, yes.


That doesn't work.

Even if the rat was real, I couldn't knock it off because I haven't got any arms.

No arms.

I haven't got anything.

I'm just like a piece of meat that keeps on living.

Since your real life-- is a greater nightmare than your dreams, it would be cruel to pretend that anyone could help you.

What you need is a miracle.

No, not a miracle.

Just tell me that the rat is real.

And the way I am now is a dream.

Perhaps it would be better for you to go away now.

You're a very unlucky young man, and sometimes it rubs off.

I'll go, but first tell me just one thing.

Are you and I really here together?

Or is this a dream, too?

It's a dream. How do you know?

Because I'm a dream. I don't believe you.

Nobody does.

That's why I'm as unreal as every other dream that didn't come true.

I don't know whether I'm alive and dreaming or dead and remembering.

Am I getting old?

Is my hair turning gray?

Will anybody ever come to visit me?

I hope not.

I really wouldn't want anybody to see me like this.

I do get homesick, though.

Oh, but they wouldn't have shipped me that long way home.

Not with all these tubes and things in me.

No, I'm probably in some frog hospital, or maybe limey.

At least my teeth don't ache.

Wait a minute. What's this?

There are two vibrations, and one of them is heavy.

It's a man.

Why are the shutters closed?

They always have been.

At least, as long as I've been here.

It's on the order sheet.

Well, it's crazy.

Well, what are you doing?

Hello? Have I got visitors?

What happened then?

As long as I'm head nurse of this ward, the shutters are open and they will stay open.

Let him have a little sunshine.

They said it was to keep people from peeking in at him.

It would take a man 7 feet tall to peek through that window.

Oh, and another thing.

I want sheets on this bed.

He's walking. No more blankets.

He can't really tell the difference, you know.

Now he's stopped. I can.


How did the triage officer ever overlook this one?

He's looking at me.

Poor baby.

No, it's a woman.

Those hands, a fat woman.

That's why I could feel her footsteps so plain.

Poor-- Poor baby.

Come on.

That was funny.

What were they doing? What has happened?

What's different?

Think, Joe.

Think. Use your head.

Feel. Feel with your scalp and the skin on your forehead.

Something has changed.

It was cooler before she came in than it is now.

What I feel is-- is warmth.

But where does it come from?

Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Of course.

Oh, my God. I see it now.

It-- It's the sun.

The sun, the sun, the sun.

I found the sun.

Thank you, God.

Thank you. Thank you.

If I never have anything else, I'll always have God and the morning sunlight.

It's night.

If a man can tell the difference between day and night, he's beginning to tell time.

It's warm again. It's morning, and she's changing my sheets.

Now it's night.

Morning again. She's bathing me.

One morning she changes me, the next morning, she bathes me.

Night, night.

Day. Night.

How will I keep track?

I know. Put a big blackboard up in your mind.

And right here in the middle, put a mark for each day.

Four, six, seven days.

Now, put a mark up in this corner for the weeks.

Erase the days. Start over again.

Three, four weeks. That's right!

Erase the weeks and mark down a month over here.

5, 9, 11, 12 months.

Now that isn't a year, not yet.

Four twelves is only 48.

Okay, check off four more weeks, very carefully.

And then put Roman numeral number 1 right down here. One year!

I'm ringing bells!

Hey, I'm blowing horns and shooting off firecrackers.

Everybody's singing

"Should old acquaintance be forgot."

And I'm saying--

I'm saying, "Happy New Year, Kareen."

And I'm kissing her.

But it isn't New Year's Day out there.

Sure, I've counted a year, but a year from when?

I don't even know how old I am.

All I know is I'm 20 years old, plus X years since I got blown up, plus the year I just counted.

But when did those X years begin?

Think, Joe. Think back.

We were next to an English regiment.

And we went out on night patrol and scattered.

And then I hooked up with that little limey corporal and his outfit, and--

Yes, I remember now.

I was writing a letter to you, Kareen.

Corporal Timlon?

Yes, sir?

What is that damnable odor?

Out there, sir.

This fat Hun came stumbling through the fog.

Some bloke lost his head and popped him off.

The stink ain't half so bad when they're close to the ground, sir, but he's got himself hung up on the wire.

Bad for morale. Extremely bad.

He's a Bavarian, sir. They always smell worse.

Yes, they do, don't they?

Not so bad as Hindu is, though. Or Welshmen.

While it's nice and quiet, sir, we keep on trying to shoot him down, but he hangs on pretty good.

Well, take a detail out tonight, Corporal.

And bury him.

Well, but it's kind of busy out there, sir. Even at night.

And don't forget, Corporal.

Death has a dignity all its own.

And you will say a few words of prayer over the remains.


Oh, Jesus!

Just for that, I'll take volunteers.

You. You. You.

You two. You in the back there.

And to almighty God, we commend the soul of our brother departed, and we commit his body to the ground.

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Who's got the dust?

It's kinda wet, but--

I have--

Well, throw the bloody stuff in. Go on.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.

God have mercy on his soul!

The bloody bastards have shot me in the ass!

Take cover, men.

If it's prayers he wants, he can make up his own.

Oh, Jesus.

I shouldn't have been there at all.

Or that poor Bavarian, either.

For all I know, we might have been friends.

Instead of him dead, out there in the mud.

And me, lying here like... like some freak in a carnival show.

Remember that time in Los Angeles, when we all went to the circus, and took Kareen with us, too?

And when we got home, the old man began imitating those sideshow barkers?

And the rest of us joined in, too?

He was a funny man!

Just think what he could have done with me, the way I am now.

I eat...through a tube!

He breathes through a tube.

And whatever goes in a tube has to come out through a tube.

He is the armless, legless wonder of the 20th century!

And yet, by God, he's just as alive as you and me!

He was a good boy.

He was always forgetting things!

And it's this fellow right here!

But he don't worry about no shoes.

'Cause he don't need no shoes!

He'd forget his overshoes.

No shoes! No shirt!

No socks!

No gloves! No hat!

He would forget his cap.

No necktie! No collar buttons!

No vest! No coat! No nothing!

And now... he's forgotten... just everything.

All you gotta do is drop a love offering of 15 cents or more in this little lady's thunder mug.

And I'll you what I'm gonna do!

I'm gonna lift the lid of this box here, and I'm gonna let you look at the face of the only man in the world who don't give a damn about anything.

And remember!

It only cost ya 15 cents.

And if this guy looks back at you, by golly, I'll give ya a five dollar bill.

All right! Bring on the music, Rollo Boy!

Okay! Step right up!

Step right up, folks!

Step right up. Hurry, hurry, hurry. hurry.

Get a close look at the man who can't--

Thank you. Or maybe he can!

Thank you.

Thank you.

See that little lady? Make her pot ring out like the bells of St. Mary!

Glory, glory, glory! Thank you, sir.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you!

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

What's this?

A different nurse?

Why does she walk without vibrations?

Is she tip-toeing?

Or-- Or is she just-- little?

Something fell on me.

Something wet. What was it?

She must be new.

She is new. Her hands are soft, like Kareen's.

She's a girl, and I don't make her sick.

She isn't afraid of me.

Hello, new nurse.

Hello, new beautiful young nurse.

Hello out there.


Oh, Kareen... where are you?

We only made love to each other one time in our-- in our whole lives.



Come out to the garden in the pale moonlight!

Is that you, Kareen?

Hello, Joe.

I had to get married.

So now I'm somebody else's Kareen.

Then where's mine?

In the pale moonlight, where she said she'd be.


Why did you bring me to a place like this?

I didn't.

I heard you calling.

I called, and I called.

And you never came.

I was held up.

How late am I?

How long have I been away?

I don't know.

It may have been forever, though.

I can't remember.

Well, try, Kareen.

Please try.

You see, I don't know how long I've been here.

I don't know what year I'm in.

And I'm trying to get back into-- into time.

I don't pay much attention to time any more.

Oh, you must.

All I think about is time.

Time is what makes people old.

The way I am, Kareen, the way it is with me, you'll never grow old.

Because I keep you right here in my mind.

And in my heart.

Just the way you were when I saw you last.

So you see, with me, you can't get old.

Your hair will always stay brown.

Your skin will always be fresh like rain.

I won't let one little wrinkle mark your face.

I'll keep you beside me, young and beautiful forever.

Because of all the people in the world, only with me will you be safe from time.

Like a fresh, fresh flower.

Like a rose-- I'm not! I'm not!

Nobody loves me anymore!

Oh, I do, Kareen.

Stop that. What happened to you?

Don't even know how to treat her.

Then you got her pregnant, went away, and stopped writing to her.

I didn't know! I couldn't write!

Bye, Joe.


Goodbye, Joe!

Kareen! Goodbye, Joe...

[Kareen Don't let them take you, Joe...

Run away!

Goodbye, Joe...

Can't you tell me how long it's been?


Can't you tell me where I am?


Can't you even tell me what country I'm in?

No country...


I can feel them wheeling my old bed out.

And I am in a new one.

With a pillow.

What next?

She's moving me.


Ah, into the sunlight.

Now she's in back of me.

That tube.

I never did understand that one.

Now my table.

What else?



I wonder if she's an American.

I hope so.

I've only seen one American girl since I left home.

I'm as American as apple pie.

I was born in San Francisco.

Didn't I tell you?

I was there when the earthquake hit in 1906.

Believe me, that was a shake.

I was up on the fourth floor of a hotel on Market Street, entertaining a gentleman friend.

And when I first heard that thing hit, I said to myself, I said, "Lucky," I said.

"That's an earthquake.

"And you ain't gonna be caught dead with no fat son of a bitch on top of ya like this."

So you know what I did?


I pushed him off and ran stark naked down the street.

And you shoulda seen the guys stare.

I'll bet.


You aren't wanting to do anything now, I guess, huh?

Ah, too tired.

That's what that French cognac will do to ya.

It'll be $2.00, just the same.


What are you knitting there?

Sweater for my kid.

He's only 5 years old.

And the sweetest little bastard you ever saw.

Huh. Where is he?

Oh, I keep him in a school in Long Island.

That's in New York.

A private school.

They got lots of polo players there.

And that's what I want him to be when he grows up.

Once you're a polo player, you meet all the best people.

Did you know that?

You asleep? No.

Must have... cost you a lot of money.

A school like that.

Oh, sure it does!

But I don't do too bad here.

I make about a hundred bucks a week.

Of course... you got to dress up to your position, and that takes money.



Oh, Kareen.

Hello, Bill.

Hi, Mr. Bonham.

Bill hasn't got a pole, and he's only here for the afternoon.

And I thought maybe he could borrow yours.

We could borrow yours.



Hey, but, uh-- give Bill your pole, and you take mine.

Oh, sure.

We'll be back before dark.

Thank you, Mr. Bonham. Yeah.




I lost your pole today, Father.

Got a quick strike, and before we knew, your pole was in the water.

And, um-- we hunted around for it, fished with the oars, but-- but we couldn't find it, so it's gone.


Shouldn't let a fishing pole... spoil our last trip together, should we?


I'll go on ahead. Catch us a ride into town.

I won't be long.


Is it you?

The one I love?


What's this?

What are you doing?

One up. One down.

One up. One down again.

Oh, God, no.

It can't be! It can't!

Are you talking to me out there?

Are you saying something to me?

Are you drawing a letter on my skin, and then erasing it?

A word?

You are. You are. You are! Yes, you are!

It's a letter M!

Yes. Oh, God bless you, nurse! I got it! M!




Y. Yes.

Yes, of course I've got it!


I'm trying to tell you.

Merry Christmas.







Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Oh, Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Oh, God.

I've got a date to count from!

By counting Christmases, I can tell when it's spring!

I can tell when it's summer!

I can smell leaves burning in autumn.

Oh, Merry Christmas, sweet nurse.

Merry Christmas to you.

Merry Christmas, and all my love!

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

I'm the boss. This is champagne.

Merry Christmas.

I'm the boss. This is champagne.

Merry Christmas.

I'm the boss.

This is champagne.

Merry Christmas.

Where's my boy? I'm the boss.

Where's my little boy? This is champagne.

Merry Christmas. He's too young.

Can't you see-- I'm the boss.

...he's underage? This is champagne.

Merry Christmas! He just came up from Tucson.

I'm the boss.

This is champagne. His name is--

Merry Christmas. ...Jesus Christ.

I'm the boss. And today is his birthday.

Merry Christmas.

I'm the boss.

This is champagne.

Merry Christmas.

I'm the boss.

This is champagne.

Merry Christmas.

Might I cut in?


I have influence.

Merry Christmas. I can get you a soft berth.

I can be of great help.

Merry Christmas. I can help myself.

That's what you think.

But everything has changed.

The time has come for you to go out and fight.

Are you going to fight, too?

Merry Christmas. I'm overaged. I can't.

But somebody's got to fight them.

Merry Christmas. We must have a just and lasting peace!

Merry Christmas. We've already got ours.

Damn right.

See these? Two arms.

Merry Christmas. You see these?

Two legs.

You see this?

One girl.

Merry Christmas. What else does anyone want?

I'm the boss.

This is champagne. Liberty.

And justice.

Merry Christmas. Liberty.

And justice.

Liberty. I love you, Kareen.

Merry Christmas. You're so lucky, Joe. You are.

You don't understand.

I have to make the world safe.

This is champagne.

Merry Christmas.

I'm the boss.

This is champagne.

Merry Christmas.

I'm the boss. You're not my boy.

This is champagne.

Where's my boy?

Merry Christmas. Kareen?

Where's my little boy?


I'm the boss.

This is champagne.

Merry Christmas!

Fellow workers.


Fellow workers?

Fellow workers!

Due to the war emergency, our little holiday will end in just three more minutes.

But the ovens are hot, and we must keep the home fires burning.

Let us sing.

♪ Keep the home fires burning ♪

♪ While our hearts are yearning ♪

♪ Though your lads ♪

♪ Are far away ♪

♪ They dream of home ♪

♪ There's a silver lining ♪

♪ Through the dark clouds shining ♪

♪ Turn the dark clouds inside out ♪

♪ Till the boys come ♪

♪ Home ♪


Hello, son.

Hello, Father.

Want some honey?

No, thanks.

Sit down.

Goodbye, Joe.

Who was that girl?

I really don't know.

I was fishing. She happened by.

Wriggled into my arms and stayed there.

So many young girls these days seem to be hunting for a place in old men's arms.


Where did all the young men go?

They drift away.

How is it with you, Father?

It's all right.

You know, it's a funny thing.

I was a very good shoe clerk.

But I was more than that.

I could handle a horse.

If I had a cow, she was always healthy, gave plenty of milk.

Raised our own food on two city lots.

Even up to the honey on our biscuits.

I could, uh, hoe a pretty good row... lay out a pretty good grade on an uphill road. Build a house.

But I never did learn how to make any money.

The goddamndest thing I ever ran into.

See, the trouble with life is you work so much, you don't enjoy it.



Better this way.


I do miss your mother.

How is she?

I haven't seen her lately.



not too long till sunrise.


I have to go.

Trout'll be rising.

Willow Lake.

Now that I got my pole back, I don't want to miss 'em.

Goodbye, Father.

Give my love to your mother when you see her.

Sorry I had to leave you in the lurch, but it was the only way, believe me.




Here I am.

No, Joe. Over here.

Let's play blindman's bluff.


Find me, Joe.

Why did you leave me, Joe?

Run, Joe.

Why didn't you write me?

I couldn't write you!

I just couldn't!

Why couldn't you?

I can't tell you!

That's all! I can't!

You don't love me, Joe.

You don't love me.

I do love you!

I do love you!

No, you don't, Joe. You never did.

Don't go, Kareen!

Where are you?

Olly olly oxen free!

Don't go away from me again.



You need help, son.

There isn't any help.

Have you asked for any?

I can't.

I can't ask for anything.

There is no way I can talk to them.

Then why don't you send a telegram?

A telegram?

Don't you remember when you were little?

How you and Bill Harper used to string a wire between the two houses so you could telegraph to each other?


Still remember the Morse code?


What good is that?

How can I type out a message to them?

You've got to learn to think.

Use your head.


Yes. My head.

My head. My head, my head!


Yes. My head.

My head.

Where is she going?

Captain? Yes?

Could you come here a minute, please?

Yes, of course. Would you take care of that, nurse? Thank you.

She's brought somebody in!

I can't understand what he's doing.

May I see the orders, please?


Thank you.

Probably an early entry.

"If bodily action becomes violent or persistently repetitive"--

These movements are persistently repetitive.

"They must be treated as reflexive muscular spasms."

Which is to say by sedation.

Fair enough. I'll prepare an injection.

Why is she trying to stop me?

I don't believe that the movement is reflexive.

Oh, you don't?

Well, General Tillery will pass through on the 23rd with his annual staff inspection.

If you don't trust me, nurse, perhaps you'd better take it up with him.

I will.

Well, that's excellent, nurse.

General Tillery is the chief operating surgeon who wrote those orders.

No. No.

Don't give me dope.

Don't put me under again. Would you unlock the door, please?

I'm trying to talk to you.

Oh, God, please make them hear me.

All I'm asking is for you to take one little idea that's in my mind and put it into their minds.

Maybe only 2 or 3 feet away from me.

It's-- It's such a little thing to ask, but they won't listen.

They won't hear me.

All they do is give me dope, and I go down and down and...

Oh, there you are, brothers.

What were you hunting when they caught you?

Look, Father! I found your fishing pole!

Use your head, son.

I am, Father. I am.

Hear me.

Please try to understand what I'm doing and hear me!

She did hear me!

She's going to get somebody!

She didn't even close the door!

I've broken through.

I'm back with people again.

Hello, all you people out there.

It's me, and we're going to talk to each other.

They're here. A lot of them.

It's Morse code.

For what?

SOS. Help.

Do you mean to say that this man is actually speaking to us?

What are they doing?

Yes, sir.

Decerebrated, General?

Completely decerebrated?

What are they waiting for?

What's happening?

Are they leaving?


Just one of them.

Or maybe two.

No. Just one.

Ask what he wants.

How can I ask a man like this a question like that?

By asking it. How else can we help him?

Why don't they do something?

They are. What...


What do I want?

What do I want?

What I want...

I want out!

I want to feel fresh air against my skin.

I want to feel people around me.


It would cost too much money taking care of me on the outside.

They never do that.

But-- But maybe there's a way I can take care of myself.

Yes! There is a way!

All you have to do is put me on display and people will pay to see me.

Lots of people. Put me in a fancy coffin with windows in it, and take me out where people are spending money and having fun.

Take me to the beaches and the county fairs and the 4th of July celebrations and all the church bazaars.

They've seen the pin-headed girl from Timbuktu or the dog-faced man who crawls on his belly like a reptile.

But they're not real freaks. They were born that way.

They were made that way by God.

But this thing here in his fancy coffin was made by people-- by you and me and the lady next door-- and that takes a lot of planning and costs a lot of money.

Advertise me as the only piece of meat in the world that can talk through the back of its head.

And if that doesn't pull them in, then-- then-- then-- then bill me as the last man on earth who joined the Army.

Because the army makes men.

So rally around the flag, boys-- your flag, their flag, anybody's flag-- because the flag needs soldiers, and the army makes men.

I...want...out... so...people... can...see... what...I am.

Put a... where they...can me. out.

Well, what could we have expected?

Tell him, uh...

Tell him we'll do everything we can, but, uh, his condition won't permit him to be moved.

For the present, that is.

Be sure to say "for the present."

If... you...

won't...let... people see me, then...

kill me.

He's upset. Understandably so.

Ask him what his name is.

These shutters are to be closed at all times.

What's he saying?

He says, "Kill me."

Over and over again. "Kill me."

Tell him we'll do everything we can to make him comfortable.

For now, he needs rest.

Tell him we'll give him a sedative and come back later.

And try to get his name.

You're not to mention what has happened here to anyone.

I'll hold you collectively responsible for any breach.

If new orders are received in view of the new situation which has developed, you'll be notified.


He won't wait for an answer.

All he says is

"Kill me, kill me, kill me."

Don't you have some message for him, Padre?

You could at least tell him to put his faith in God, couldn't you?

I'll pray for him for the rest of my days, but I will not risk testing his faith against your stupidity.

Well, you're a hell of a priest, aren't you?

He's the product of your profession, not mine.

Clear the room.

Give him a light sedative, nurse.

They're going away. Why?

Why don't they get it over with and kill me?

But you're still here.

Can't you see what I'm tapping to you?

I'm asking you to kill me.

Please do.

O my God, I'm heartily sorry for having offended thee.

And I detest all my sins, not because of Thy judgment, O Lord, but because thou art all good and deserving of all my love.

I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to sin no more, to avoid all the occasions of sin.


Oh, nurse-- beautiful, beautiful nurse-- thank you, thank you, thank you.

Dear God, thank her for me.

Be sweet to her, God.

Make her happy. Make her beautiful.

Make everything she wants come true!

Make everyone love her!



Leave the room.

Oh, somebody stopped her.


I said, "Leave the room."

Give me the key.

What's happening?

The key?

Go on.

She's going.

I can feel her moving toward the door.

He's sending her away.


First they close the shutters, and now they're sending her away.

Why did they close the shutters?

Why is he sending her away?

Why won't they let me talk?

Because I'm a secret or something?

Oh, I don't know.

She's gone.

Good-bye, nurse.

You're gone, and I'm a secret.

Oh, no. Not that again.

I-- I thought they'd be glad that I found a way to-- to talk to them.

But they're not.

The only thing on this earth I'm any good for they won't let me do.

All they want is to push me back into the darkness down here so they won't ever see me again.

He's gone, too.

Well, now I know.

They'll never let me out.

They'll keep me a secret here until someday, when I'm an old, old man, I'll sneak away from them and die.

It isn't easy, though.

Inside me, I'm screaming and yelling and howling like a trapped animal... and nobody pays any attention.

If I had arms, I could kill myself.

If I had legs, I could run away.

If I had a voice, I could talk and be some kind of company for myself.

I could yell for help.

But nobody'd help me.

Not even God, because there isn't any God.

Couldn't be in a place like this.

And, uh...

And yet, I've just got to do something

because I--

I don't see how I can go on like this much longer.


Help me.


Help me.


Help me.


Help me.


Help me.


Help me.


Help me.


Help me.