Bonjour, monsieur. Bonjour.
Vive la France.
Vive le President Roosevelt.
Vive Le General de Gaulle.
Vive le Radio City Music Hall.
Vive Les Folies Bergere.
First time I saw him, we'd stopped off in a little town in the mountains of Southern France.
Up north, at the time, they were liberating Paris.
That was the big war, the glamour war.
The one they were taking all the pictures of and writing all the words about.
But we had our own war, And they weren't writing many words or taking many pictures.
We'd landed near Saint-Tropez.
There wasn't much resistance on the beaches, not at all like the day we got to Sicily or Salerno, or...
Oh, yeah, Anzio.
We started north, and once in a while the Germans loped over an 88, and once in a while somebody was killed.
Sometimes it was a friend.
He was one of a truckload of replacements, and at ﬁrst they looked like any bunch of new guys...
Too young, too clean and too polished.
And they all looked scared...
He wasn't scared.
He was the kind of a guy you'd notice.
You know, take any group of guys, there's always one that stands out.
Any of you guys know how to operate a radio?
Yes, sir. I do, sir.
Okay, the rest of you guys can knock it off.
What's your name, soldier?
Technician 5th grade Britt Harris, sir.
Let's see your Form 20.
Graduate of Culver Military Academy, attended Virginia Military Institute, Penn State, Colgate and Cornell.
I never met a guy who went to four colleges before.
How come you're not an officer?
Uh, it's rather difficult to explain, sir.
I wanted to serve with the men, sir.
Would you like to try that again?
Well, there are a few people I wanted to prove a few things to, sir.
You got anxious a little late.
You been in the Army eight months, we've been overseas 20 months.
I was deferred, sir, because of my job.
Yeah, "General Manager of the Harris Woolen Mills, Newark, New Jersey."
You're named Harris and the mill's named Harris. Coincidence, huh?
My father, sir.
That's pretty smart of you to pick an old man who owns a textile mill.
My old man was in business, too.
Ran a little candy store in New York.
123rd Street, near 8th Avenue.
He used to ask me to help him out once in a while when he had a run on bubble gum.
You run that radio right, and we'll get along fine.
If you don't, I'll boot your tail up around your neck.
Wait around here and I'll check you in with the room clerk.
Does the, uh, Lieutenant wish me to carry these, sir?
The Lieutenant wishes for you to knock off that stateside chicken!
I needed someone to do Wiley's job.
He was one of the men we left behind on the beach.
All right, dream boy, up and at 'em!
Come on, I got a new radio operator.
Check him in.
The artillery makes the replacements.
Why don't you let the artillery make the repl...
They make 'em. Why don't you let them?
I mean, you know how the old man...
Shut your big, fat mouth and grab a pencil. Come on!
That's not a nice way to talk, you know that.
Not a nice way to talk for someone who was just made an officer and a gentleman, sir.
This guy's from Newark, too. Do you know him?
No, I... Well, we're not exactly buddy-buddies, but I know about him.
Yes, sir, "Corporal Britt Harris.
"Army serial no. 33170247."
You've got yourself a real doozy this time, Lieutenant.
Would you like to explain that, Corporal?
You mean a "doozy"?
Well, a doozy, in this case, is a celebrity.
I mean, Mr. Britt Harris was quite a celebrity up around our way.
It seems that a member of the draft board, of Harris' draft board, just happened to be working in a factory that Harris just happened to be running.
He tried to bribe him, he gave him a Chevrolet.
I would've held out for a Cadillac.
What then... What happened then?
Well, he had to enlist. In a hurry.
Oh, uh... Corporal, you will keep this to yourself, won't you?
Tear out the fingernails, sir. Tear out the fingernails.
And a very sanitary measure it would be, too.
Don't worry about me, Sam, Lieutenant, sir. You know me, sir.
Je parle le francais un petit peu, but I'd like to borrow your eggs.
Les oeufs, monsieur?
Yeah, I'll take one, two...
I never told him I knew, but I kept an eye on him.
You see, in our outﬁt we had to get along.
We were a forward observation team.
We lived in each other's pockets.
What are those?
Did you pay for them?
No, sir. That woman gave them to me.
I don't know why, sir, but women are always giving me things.
Let me see now, that'll be one for Rogers, one for Harmer, one for Breglio, and one for...
No, two for me.
I keep forgetting I'm an officer now.
Yeah, that about leaves one for you, right?
I guess I gave him a rough time, all right.
Partly because I didn't trust him, and partly because he was born rich and handsome, and I was born poor and not handsome.
You guys met Harris yet?
I understand he got sort of held up getting in the army.
We had a couple of dry runs today. He's pretty good with a radio.
So was Wiley.
Get the medics up here on the double!
It's those replacements. They went into that other orchard.
I thought everybody knew that place was loaded with mines!
It was marked! I know it was marked!
Shut up, you guys! Shut up.
My God, Mama! Oh, my God, Mama!
Everybody knew it was mined. Everybody should've known it was mined!
You men in there, don't move an inch, you'll touch off some more mines!
Stay right where you are!
Oh, God, Mama!
Get the P and A men up here on the double. Tell 'em to bring their detectors.
Oh, God, Mama!
Oh, God, Mama!
Oh, God, Mama!
Oh, God, Mama!
Oh, God, Mama!
You, stop! Hold it there!
Don't move, you'll touch off more mines!
They're all in here in close order.
Tell the medics to take a bearing on my clothes.
One was dead, two had lost legs, ﬁve were hospital cases.
You're quite a guy, Corporal.
Yes, sir, a real live hero.
You want me to pin the medal on you now, or you wanna wait for the General to do it?
Well, I figured speed was essential, sir.
You ever hear of a little gadget called a mine detector?
Didn't you hear me holler for you to stop when you went in there?
Oh, no, sir.
That's too bad.
You got a razor blade in your gear?
Then use it to cut off your stripes, Private Harris.
Find yourself a place to sit.
I'm, uh, not going to try to persuade you not to yank this man's stripes, but I thought maybe you'd fill me in on just what happened.
Nothing much happened, Colonel.
It's just that I hollered at him to stop and he didn't obey orders. That's all.
I can recall a couple times when you didn't hear an order.
I wouldn't have gone in there. Would you?
You kiddin'? We got too much sense.
You know, I can't quite figure this kid.
Maybe you don't have to. No, thanks.
Sam, don't ride the man so hard.
He can't help that he went to college.
I was going to put him up for a citation.
Oh, don't worry.
You'll get plenty of chances to give this guy a medal.
How many days have you and your men been under fire?
You familiar with the French Riviera?
Only what I've read in the National Geographic.
Well, I'm told that, um...
Big hotels are fixed so that you turn on a water faucet and you get either Cognac or Champagne.
Now that, uh, probably isn't true, but suppose you and your men go down there and make a 24-hour investigation.
An hour later we were halfway to Nice.
That's the kind of a war it was.
Some people call it the Champagne Campaign.
Nobody who was there will ever forget the way the French Riviera was that season.
The Army had made it a rest area.
There'd never been one like it before and never would be again.
They shipped in oranges from North Africa, eggs from Sweden, steaks from Argentina.
The Champagne and Cognac were already there...
So were some of the girls, but others came by bus, by foot and by plane.
Oh, there were all kinds of girls.
The hotels were luxurious, all right, but it wasn't quite like the Colonel said.
You had to go all the way out to the terrace to get the Cognac and the Champagne.
You can forget how beautiful a beautiful woman can be,
but it doesn't take long to refresh your memory.
I saw what they meant by the French Riviera.
After a few hours, I got tired of looking at 10,000 other men wearing the same suit I was and doing the same things I was.
I left the guys at a bistro and just took off in the jeep.
Bravo, les Americains!
Bienvenue, les Americains. Bienvenue!
You are the first American I have seen.
I have been thinking that I must give something to my first American...
Something I like very much.
Sept, huit... Sept...
Sev... Sev... Sept...
Sept, seven... Seven...
I try now to remember what I thought in that ﬁrst moment...
That she was beautiful, I guess.
That I wanted very much to speak to her.
Cinq... Cinq, five...
Oh, non, non, non.
Uh, mademoiselle, um...
Je suis American.
Uh, yes, I know.
You speak English.
My mother sometimes says I speak it perpetually.
Lieutenant Sam Loggins.
I don't understand.
He does not know you mean him to keep it.
He has never had a gift before, I think.
Uh, Lieutenant Sam Loggins, Jean-Francois Duvan.
Merci bien, monsieur.
And now I must go. I am very late.
Thank you again and goodbye.
I know Jean-Francois' name, but I don't know yours.
Oh, I am Monique Blair.
Your English is very good.
I am an American.
You're kidding! Then why do you talk like that?
Well, I was born in Paris. I have always lived in France.
And you've never been home... Uh, to the United States, I mean?
France is my home.
Miss, whatever it is she's cooking in there smells awful good.
What do you call it?
It... It tastes very good, too.
Uh, come, I... I will introduce you to the madame.
That looks good.
Mmm, that's wonderful.
What do they call this?
Uh, uh... Poulpe.
What's it mean?
My father felt the same way.
He loved poulpe.
Can't you recommend something else?
Uh... The small sardines, fried crisp in butter.
Could you, uh...
Could you stay and...
Have some with me?
Thank you, ma'am.
Does she give Brandy to everybody on the house?
Madame is French.
It is unlikely that she has ever done so before, or that she ever will again.
Tell me what happened after your father died.
Well, I hung around New York for a while, then I realized that all the guys I grew up with were either drafted or in jail.
So I went back to Los Angeles.
Then one day, Mr. Bolling called me in his office and he said, uh...
"Sam, take a look at the new letterheads."
So I looked at them and I said, "They look fine."
And then I saw it.
The letterhead said, "Bolling and Loggins, Constructionists."
He made me a partner just like that.
And what did you do then?
Well, I thanked him.
You thanked him, making your voice very deep, then you excused yourself, and you went into your own office, closed the door, and you wept.
You wept because Mr. Fred Bolling is such a good man.
Well, to tell you the truth, I never mentioned this before, but that's exactly what I did.
How did you guess that?
Oh, I did not guess.
I think Americans are ashamed when they feel tenderness.
You know, my father once told me...
"Monique, you cannot judge a man, "by what he says
"unless you see his face."
Your father was a very wise man.
Oh, yes, he was, very wise indeed.
What'd she say?
Uh, oh, ah...
She said that she loved having the Americans here.
Uh, she wishes you very much good luck.
For me, it will be very bad luck unless I go home now.
My mother will worry.
Think I could see you again?
I can get another pass next weekend.
I cannot see you again.
You cannot or you will not?
Well, I guess that wraps it up then.
I like you, Sam.
I think you are a very good American.
But you won't see me again.
I won't see you again.
Well, I don't usually press my luck, but, uh, if you change your mind, around 8:00 next Saturday night, I'll be here.
And thank you again.
When we got back, it was still the same old war.
It was funny. Some days we drank Champagne, courtesy of the French, and some days we ate dirt, courtesy of the Germans.
Our objective that morning was a ridge that overlooked a valley held by the Germans.
The valley was only ﬁve kilometers from the pass leading into Italy, but it was a very valuable piece of real estate.
Intelligence ﬁgured the Jerries had moved off the ridge, but intelligence couldn't be sure.
So it was our job to ﬁnd out.
Sugar 3, this is Sugar 7. Sugar 3, this is Sugar 7.
Fire mission. Over.
You got 'em?
Sugar 3, this is Sugar 7.
From Checkpoint 8.
From Checkpoint 8.
Right 5-0. Drop 2-0.
Right 5-0. Drop 2-0.
A concrete bunker. Fire for effect.
Fire for effect. Over.
Here they come.
Okay, that's it.
End of mission. Area covered. Out.
There goes our radio. We're gonna have to wait for support.
Then they started paying us back.
We couldn't move in any direction.
We were locked in.
They got guns, too.
I ﬁgured maybe we had ﬁve minutes to live, give or take a little.
You're quite a guy, Harris.
Pretty fancy dancin'.
You like your stripes back, I'll get 'em back for you.
Next time we're on a pass together, I'll buy you a beer.
It's nothing, Sergeant.
That night, we took over the bunker, we started to zero in on the valley with our howitzers.
We blasted them whenever we saw them.
But the thing is, we almost never saw them.
I'm your new radio operator. Anderson, Roy.
You guys know each other?
Sure. We just about got our tails blown off together. Didn't we, Britt?
We're in the same bunch of replacements.
Remember that night all those guys went into that minefield and got blown to hell?
Me and old Britt were in there getting a helmet full of apples.
Okay, Anderson, get on over to the billet.
Rustle yourself up a spot to lie down in.
Right you are, Lieutenant.
Take it easy, Britt.
So you'd already explored the orchard, huh?
You knew pretty much where the mines were.
Uh, well, I wasn't sure.
I figured you wouldn't pull a bonehead trick like that without an angle.
If you'd told me about it, I wouldn't have yanked your stripes.
But then I guess nobody would have thought of you as a hero.
You know something?
I can't figure you. Every time I think I've got you zeroed in, I gotta figure out another bracket.
On Saturday night, I was early.
I don't know why, but I really expected her to come.
Anyway, she didn't show.
Can I have the check, please?
No, thank you.
Come, sit down.
Let me buy a fellow American a drink.
It's been a long time since I've had the privilege.
You're very kind, but, uh, I'm sort of in a hurry.
Beside, I've had enough to drink for one night.
I thought all American soldiers drink as much as they can.
As quickly as they can.
I would, too, if I were a soldier.
You, uh, were waiting for someone.
If you'll excuse me now, I have other plans.
What other plans, if you don't mind my asking?
No, I don't mind you asking.
Sit down, Sam.
I'm Monique's mother, of course.
It was, uh, rather rude of me to pretend to be otherwise, wasn't it?
Yes, it was.
Are you always so honest?
No, not really.
You ever been out of the States before, Sam?
No. Well, once, I went to Catalina Island.
You like living in Los Angeles?
You're in the construction business.
Is there much money in that?
I'm not asking for your daughter's hand in marriage.
I just wanted to spend an evening with her.
Did you sail from New York?
I remember the morning I left.
The sun was shining and there was just a little haze.
That was 20 years ago.
Leaving, that's what I remember best.
I remember there were some very nice gray ladies.
They gave each of us a cup of coffee and then word came to board ship, and each and every one of us stooped down and placed the cup next to his right foot.
And then as the ship pulled out of the dock, I looked down and saw all of these cups.
Some guy behind me said they looked like rows of tombstones, and maybe some of them were.
Come on, Sam.
Monique's waiting dinner for us.
How do you feel about riding in a jeep?
Well, it's one of the several experiences I promised myself before I die.
Another is jumping out of a parachute.
No, dear, you jump out of a plane.
You hold on to the parachute.
It was quite a place they lived in.
We had a home-cooked meal, and after dinner, Monique took me on a tour.
During the occupation, Mama and I each had an hour alone in this room every day.
Uh, hers was from 3:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon, and mine was from 9:00 to 10:00 in the morning.
It's a lovely room.
What is this, Monique?
It is a piece of brown bread.
An old family relic?
No. There... There was one week when there were 30 of us in the villa...
Mostly refugee children, like... Like Jean-Francois, remember?
And we had only brown bread and water to drink.
My father said that when the time came that we had enough again, and there would be such a time, he said, I must not forget what it is like to be hungry.
So you kept it.
Your father must have been quite a guy.
When did he die?
About two years ago.
I miss him very much.
I'm sure you do.
Oh, I've got to run.
I've got to get back to the outfit. I'm on the midnight shift.
Now that the Germans are gone, I keep thinking that the war is over.
Is it bad?
No, it's been worse, but it's always bad when somebody's shooting at you.
You be careful, now.
I am the most careful girl in these parts.
It has been most pleasant.
It was wonderful.
In America, we have a custom called a good-night kiss.
It is the custom in many countries.
May I kiss you?
I should like you to.
I had never seen the moon so bright.
Right then, I could've KO'd Joe Louis, hit a homer for the Giants and climbed an Alp.
I lived for my passes.
We went on a picnic.
There was fried chicken, all right, and also pâté de foie-gras sandwiches, and a view.
I'd heard it's the most beautiful in the world.
I'll buy that.
We went pedal-pushing.
It's for kids, you know, like me.
I made a deal with the Mess Sergeant.
I gave him my liquor ration, and he gave me, well, a lot more food than it was worth.
I did them in at poker, and Mrs. Blair murdered me at chess.
And then there was that night in the garden.
I know one thing, you are not very much for flowers, but in here I planted these American beauties.
But it is not time for a goodnight kiss.
Mm-hmm, but in America, some people just don't wait.
If they feel like kissing, they kiss.
Kiss, kiss, kiss all the time.
That's how I feel with you.
Monique, remember the day we met at Madame Brieux's, and she said something to me in French and I asked you what she said?
And you told me that she wished me much luck?
Yes, I... I remember.
Well, that wasn't what she said.
I consulted an expert and found out what she really said was, she wished for me a great love.
Now, that was quite a thing for her to say because, well, I'm not much of a catch.
As a matter of fact, nobody ever tried to catch me, and I've never tried to catch anybody either.
What I'm trying to say is that I love you, Monique.
I love you very much.
But you don't love me.
You can't win 'em all.
Sam, when I came home that first afternoon, I said to my mother...
"I have met a very nice American
"from Los Angeles, California.
"A lieutenant," I said.
"And it would be my dearest wish
"that he would like me, "and that he want me
"as a friend."
I still wish that.
I'll settle for that for now.
Mmm, that love-at-first-sight routine rarely happens anyway, and we've got time.
I'll try to make you love me, and I hope you will.
No, Sam. There is no such hope.
You... You can't stop me from trying.
I can stop seeing you.
I always say, "If you're going to kick a guy in the teeth, "be sure to use both feet."
It is for you that I have said that.
Thanks a lot.
I was just shoving off.
Sam, I was listening.
Well, good for you. It will save a lot of time, a lot of trouble.
Come in, Sam.
Uh, sit down, Sam, please.
I have had something to tell you ever since that first afternoon.
I did not because I did not see any point to it then.
That is not true.
I did not because I liked you.
Uh, I still do, but...
I... I know how Americans feel about some things.
I have read and I know the way so many of the soldiers talk.
I have told you that my father was a very great man.
Believe me, he was.
He was also a negro.
"nigger" is one of the first words you learn in America, isn't it?
Good... Goodbye, Sam.
Monique's father was a rare man.
I've never known another like him.
This picture was taken a year before he died.
Fred was a poor boy from Georgia.
His mother took in washing and he never knew his father.
But he ran errands, he swept floors, he dug ditches to get through Hampton Institute.
And at 35, he was president of an insurance company in Philadelphia.
I was a public health nurse in West Virginia.
When I went back home to Philadelphia, I met him for the first time at a welfare conference.
I fell in love with him and married him.
I didn't care what color his skin was.
He was the finest, dearest man I've ever known in my life.
When the time came, I discovered I was going to have a child.
I cried that night.
I said to my husband...
"There are ways," I said.
See, for us, it hadn't mattered what people thought.
We walked the streets of Philadelphia, proud and defiant, and in love.
But a child...
My husband was a rock of a man.
"It is the will of God."
He said, "We will go to France.
"In France, they have a beautiful blindness to color.
"Our child will be French."
We've lived here ever since.
All our friends were French.
Monique was 13 when the last Americans left the Riviera.
She had not seen one since until she met you.
Maybe I should've told you that first night, but...
I thought to myself, "Sam is a soldier. He will soon move on."
I'm going to bed now, Sam.
Please don't say anything. Please.
If you want to come back and see us, you'll always be welcome here.
If not, you've already given us a lot of happiness.
I fought two wars that week...
My own and the Army's.
The Army's was easy.
Mostly, I thought about that word.
Monique was wrong.
It's not the ﬁrst one you learn at all, and some kids never learn it at all.
Some learn it and never use it.
I learned it early and used it often.
It showed just how tough I was, and that wasn't all.
Where I was brought up, Harlem near 125th, they were on one side, and we were on the other.
Why? I don't know why, except a lot of people need somebody to look down on, or they think they do.
What's the matter, Lieutenant?
Not a thing.
It got to be Saturday night. It always does.
My mother wants to know, am I taking my vitamin pills?
I was scared, but I mean really scared.
I said, "God, you get me out of this one, "and I'm really gonna shape up."
I mean, I said, "God, you can trust me, you can count on me!
"No more drinkin', "no more smokin', "no more, you know, swearin' or, uh, any of that stuff."
Well, well, what happened?
Well, tell you the honest truth, I don't think I had a cigarette for about two days there.
Am I interrupting something?
Writing a letter to my wife.
She was always in charge of Saturday night.
Whatever she wanted to do, you know, it was her night.
You know what we used to do?
Half the time, we'd stay home, barbecue a steak, then play a couple of hands of blackjack, go to bed early.
That's what we used to do.
Uh, have some.
Angel food cake, butterscotch frosting.
Best damn cake my wife ever baked.
Well, the guys all went off to town, and I...
I wasn't gonna go, but I... I changed my mind and I...
And I was wondering whether I could, uh...
You can, uh, take my jeep.
I'm not going anyplace.
Thank you, sir.
You know the worst thing in the world?
You have come back.
Now look, we're gonna go to Nice, all three of us.
How long will it take you to put your glad rags on?
Oh, it will take only five minutes.
Make it four.
Well, come on, come on.
I'm too old and too tired and I've got too much sense.
You're a good man, Sammy.
I'm a little better than I was a week ago.
Are you happy?
I am more happy than I deserve.
You have, uh, whiskey-soda?
Only white wine!
I'll have white wine.
We want the Sergeant!
We want the Sergeant!
We want the Sergeant!
He's one of the guys in our outfit.
He's pretty good, huh?
Monique Blair, this is Britt Harris.
You can speak English, she's American.
Oh, Sam, I knew there was something in the wind.
I'd say to him, "Where you headed?"
And he'd say, "Well, I thought I'd go and explore."
Then he started asking me to translate a couple of phrases in French.
So I knew wherever he was exploring that the, uh, natives were friendly.
Why don't you sit down? Get your girlfriend, bring her over.
Oh, I don't think she's feeling well.
She's got a toothache.
You play beautifully.
Thank you. Thank you very, very much.
Where'd you pick up that little sideline?
Oh, I've been blowing the horn most of my life.
The year I was supposedly at Cornell University studying Business Administration, I used to spend most of my time on 52nd Street.
Oh, do you know the singing of Bessie Smith?
Do I? I've got every record she ever made.
I have only one.
Well, I'll see that you get some of mine.
Do you know the recordings of Monsieur Jacques Frenet?
Sam, you're such a sly one.
Huh, he's so solid, isn't he?
Big time operator. Solid Sam.
I'll give you some news...
From now on in, I'm going to take lessons from you, 'cause you're the master.
No, no, no, no, tomorrow night.
Oh, please. Let's get out of here.
I know a delightful little place that sells the craziest fromage and some chablis.
Oh, and some pâté?
I've not had any for a very long time.
If you want pâté, you're gonna get pâté.
We dropped Britt at the hotel we were staying at.
I don't think Monique said two words on the way home.
You like him, don't you?
Yeah, he's a smooth operator, a real fancy dancer and talker.
Why do you say that?
Because I know him, and I know he knows all the angles.
That is a good trait, I think.
Maybe, if you don't play poker with him too often.
It was a beautiful evening and night and sunrise.
You're welcome, Monique.
Thank you for coming back.
Will you tell Britt about me?
I'll tell him.
What are you going to do when the war's over?
Probably go back to Los Angeles.
Why don't you come and work with me?
You think we'd get along?
Just so long as we know who's the boss.
How serious are you about Monique?
What do you mean?
Uh, how serious?
We're just good friends.
I like her a lot, Sam.
I like her a lot.
I believe you.
You want to go with me next time we get a pass?
Her mother cooks up some pretty fair chow.
She asked me to tell you something, Britt.
She asked me to tell you that her father was a negro.
What do you know?
That's the way it was.
You'd think the war was over and wham, it started all over again.
And this time it didn't stop.
Three days later, they were still sending them in.
Sam, I'd love to sneak up behind 'em and see what's going on.
You can't see anything from here.
You know, there's one spot where you can see the whole works from...
That's the town hall tower.
And you can bet it ain't well-manned.
This is too good a target for us.
You know, I'll bet a couple of guys could get in there.
Sure, with Superman suits.
Don't they ever run out?
I sure would like to take a whack at it.
Samuel, what's the first thing you learned...
The very first thing you learned in basic training?
Never to volunteer for anything.
I still think we could do it.
"We" could do it?
You don't think I'd be idiot enough to go alone?
Sam, you don't seem to understand...
Here, cocktail hour.
Did he go for the town hall idea, or did he think we were nuts?
No, he didn't think we were nuts. He said he'd pass it on to headquarters.
Well, that's the end of that.
If you want to bury something in the army, all you do is you send it through channels in triplicate.
He didn't take away our overnight pass, though?
He wouldn't dare.
Well, away we go like whooping cranes.
Oh, uh, Britt...
I've seen you in action, comrade, and I just wanted you to know that Monique is a very nice girl, and she bruises easily. I know.
You're not going to believe this, Sam, but before I put on this Buster Brown outfit, I went out with a couple of nice girls and never had any complaints.
And he was wonderful with her, of course.
He even knew all about flowers.
They liked the same books, the same music, and they spoke the same language... French.
They both liked Picasso and...
There was one other thing...
She was in love with him.
I didn't know about him.
I never knew about him.
Britt and I went on almost every pass together and it was always the same...
There were the two of them, and me.
Sam, I know you're not much of a wine drinker, but this stuff is the wildest.
Want to let me in on it?
Uh, she said that friendship between a man and a woman is, uh... Is what?
Is only for those who are very old or very tired.
Oh, Sam, you should not drink chablis that way.
It is a tender wine. It must be sipped only.
Yeah, I'm a slob.
A very sweet slob.
Hey, why don't we play that game, uh, "I Love My Love Because"?
Oh, yes, that is a lovely game.
Sam, look, it's a very simple...
I'll get the check.
Why don't you two go along? I'm not going.
Notre Dame de la Garoupe is very beautiful at night.
I've seen a cathedral and a lighthouse.
But never together, Sam. It's the only one like it.
You sure you don't want to come along?
You sure? I'm sure!
Mind if we take the jeep?
No, go right ahead.
Have a good time.
Thank you, Sam.
Grand ou petit?
The grandest, largest Cognac in the joint!
Do it again!
You really should have seen that lighthouse.
It was absolutely the...
Hey, Sam, you're my buddy, right?
Thick and thin? Fire and water?
Sleet and snow? Muck and mire?
Look, Sam, buddy, pal, friend, I've been through quite a bit this morning.
The old lady was waiting up for us.
Sam, I think you're familiar with the term "love."
It's never properly been defined, although a lot of guys have tried it, even those fellows that make it with the poetry.
Sam, I'm in love with the girl!
Well, I didn't think this was going to happen!
I don't care whether you hate my guts or not, that's beside the point.
But I never figured that I was the guy that...
Monique and I are going to get married.
When the shooting's all over?
You're going back to New Jersey?
I'm never going back to Newark. I never was.
Well, I never mentioned it to you, but, uh...
I got in a little trouble when I was back there, you know, and...
I've had Newark, and I think Newark's had me.
Besides, I've got a little money going for me.
I've got a trust fund. So maybe we'll even settle here.
I don't know.
You know how the Army is, Sam.
There's a right way and there's a wrong way.
The Chaplain, the Colonel, everything in triplicate, right through channels.
I suggest that you begin today.
Sam, I was going to ask you to be my best man.
I'd be delighted.
Sammy, don't you trust me?
I just remembered I forgot something.
Good morning, dear.
Did you make him ask her?
What... What do you think, Sammy?
Well, I'm not exactly neutral.
No, you're not.
It won't be easy for them, even at best.
You know what I bet? I bet everything turns out just dandy.
I hope that's true.
Well, I've protected her, and I'm not sure I was right.
Britt is handsome, charming.
My daughter loves him.
Came to me this morning with those great eyes that must have got him so much and saved him so much.
He told me that he loved her and wanted to marry her.
Well, I said what I said.
Now, go wish her all the happiness there is.
I was hoping you would come.
I thought I'd better report in and see how you are.
Uh, did Britt tell you... Tell you?
Oh, he was blabbering about love and marriage and all that stuff.
I didn't quite understand what he was talking about.
I am very happy.
I am in love.
I guess that's about all anybody can ask.
It is a very great deal.
And there is even more.
Oh, there couldn't be.
That first night, uh, when he was here, we went into the garden and he looked at me, and he said...
"Sam has told me about your father.
"You must be very proud of him."
You can see, can you not, that I worship Britt?
I think you've got it all taped, all buttoned up.
You approve then?
Well, I wouldn't want to get this around, but I'm puttin' in for best man.
You think I got a chance?
I shall speak to the man in charge.
Hey, Sam, I thought you weren't coming back.
You're not kiddin' this time, are you?
You're not just foolin' around?
Sam, I'm in love with the girl.
There's just one thing worries me.
I haven't got a thing to wear for this wedding.
He got the marriage application the next day.
A month passed and then another, and the Germans kept pouring them in, and every week, a few more men were killed.
But there was still no word on the mission.
Finally, the old man sent for me.
He'll be with you in just a minute. He just got back from regiment.
Havin' a little conference with the staff, you see. Take a load off, Lieutenant.
Thank you, Corporal.
Tell me, uh...
How's the pride of Newark, New Jersey making out?
He's turning out to be a damn fine soldier.
You know what General Grant always said.
No, what did General Grant "always said"?
I don't know. He just, uh...
He said somethin'.
By the way, how's our boy's marriage application coming along?
It's been in the works for over two months now.
Are you kiddin'? He picked those papers up here about three weeks ago.
He just never brought 'em back. I don't know.
Wait a minute.
Oh, yeah. Hey, listen, I, uh, I mentioned that to him about, uh, a couple of days ago. You know what he said?
He said the whole thing was a gag.
It was just a big gag.
He's a character.
You know what I figured? I mean, personally, I figure that some French mama put the squeeze on our boy, you know, but he, uh, he smoothed himself out of it.
You know him, he's quite a smoother.
Oh, he is quite a smoother.
Sam, regimental headquarters approved your plan.
You haven't changed your mind, have you?
Sam, I think you know everybody.
Yes, sir. Hi, Sam.
Hour is 0300 at hill 209.
I'll personally see you off.
When you get to town hall, set up an OP and check in and report all activity while en route.
Now, Captain Harrison will brief you on net operation.
You won't follow any regular radio procedure.
FDC will be alerted.
Two men will monitor the net at all times for your signals.
Now, when you reach the tower, switch on your radio and say...
Good luck. Thank you.
Well, I guess that about covers it.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Sir, does this mean our passes are cancelled?
Yeah, I'm afraid it does.
Well, sir, it's important that Sergeant Harris and I get into town for a little while.
It's, um, personal and it's...
It's pretty important, sir.
But I promise to get us back by 0100.
I guarantee it.
All right, Sam. You wouldn't ask if it weren't important. Permission granted.
I'll pick you and the Sergeant up at your billet at 0200.
Lieutenant Sam? Yeah.
Yeah, we've got it.
Tonight's the night. Hour is 0300.
Well, that cancels our soufflés.
No, but we've got to be back by 0100.
Well, I'll shake a leg.
It would've been nice if your papers had come through.
Yeah, that would've been great.
I went by headquarters this morning and they told me it takes a lot of time.
Well, you know how it is.
You know, I sometimes think the Army doesn't want people to get married.
The ladies expect you, gentlemen.
Beautiful, you're beautiful.
I couldn't get you a mink coat or a bag of diamonds today
'cause they didn't have any in the PX, so I got you these.
Oh, that's sweet of you, Britt. Well, I'm a very sweet fellow.
How are you, Sammy? He's not feeling well at all.
All the way down the hill, he didn't say a word.
But I have a feeling that that chocolate soufflé with those black-market eggs is going to clear up his mind beautifully. You touch her, and I'll kill you.
Are you out of your mind? What are you talking about?
I talked to Corporal Lindsay today.
He's not much of a conversationalist, is he?
You really want me to, Lieutenant?
Like you thought it over real hard?
What is wrong?
Uh, I guess...
I guess what Sam means is I'm not going to marry you, Monique.
That's about it, I guess.
You never even planned to, did you?
I don't like that word, coming from you.
Get out of my house.
On several occasions, I've been engaged to marry, and on several occasions I've been not engaged to marry, if you follow me.
And a lot of these girls I wouldn't take to a country club, but with the exception of your daughter, Mrs. Blair, all of them were white.
Sam, look, you understand.
It was like a new kick for me.
Come on, Sam, you...
Sam, she's gone!
I'll find her.
Captain, Captain, it was I who rescued her.
I was coming home slowly, taking my leisure because it is so beautiful an evening, then I saw the girl running fast.
At first, I think she's going to a rendezvous, but then I recognize she's trying to jump.
I was very close behind her, but below are many rocks...
Monique, it's Sam.
I'm your... Your friend, Monique.
I don't know when I decided...
When I saw Monique's face, when I left her mother at the villa or when I got back.
Now, any questions?
I'm gonna have to take your sidearm and your rifle.
If you don't have weapons, you'll hide instead of trying to shoot.
Now, you can carry your knives.
Sam, you still with me?
Yes, sir, I'm still with you.
Good luck, Sam.
Thank you, Colonel.
Wait a minute, Sam.
It's a long way down this hill.
Shake hands with me, huh? What do you say?
Sergeant, I'm going to kill you.
I don't know when or where or how, but I'm going to kill you.
Sam, I'm not proud of what I did.
Look, in a month, six weeks, she won't even remember my name.
I'm going to kill you.
If you think I'm going on a mission with a nut like you, you've got rocks in your head!
I'll see that you get court-martialed...
Desertion in the face of the enemy.
That'll be just dandy, and, by God, I'll make it stick.
Now, get moving.
It works both ways, Lieutenant.
I'll give the Colonel your dog tags.
I'll say, ah, "A sniper got him."
Or maybe I'll say, "He stepped on a mine, sir. It was awful."
It'd be a long time before they found your body, and by then, who'd know?
Listen, Lieutenant, anybody you want me to write to?
Now, get moving!
Don't worry, you won't get it in the back.
When I kill you, I want to see your face.
Psst. Come here.
There's our bunker.
Man, it's a long way back home.
Okay, tell 'em we're here.
Checkpoint 1... Illuminate.
Checkpoint 1... Illuminate.
No wonder we couldn't spot it!
Heavy artillery, fire for effect. Over.
Blow hell out of it.
Now, let's clean out this valley once and for all.
Checkpoint 7... Illuminate. Checkpoint 8... Illuminate.
Checkpoint 1 -6... Illuminate.
Checkpoint... Wait a minute!
One at a time.
Okay. Checkpoint 7.
Checkpoint 1 -0.
Checkpoint 1 -0.
They're trying to fix the position of the radio.
We'll wait a couple of minutes, then start transmitting again.
A couple of minutes?
That means two minutes!
I'm very sorry about Monique.
I never dreamt anything like this would happen and I didn't...
I met her and I liked her.
Well, I was a little fed up with those tramps at the Negresco Club.
I'm not like you, Sam. That's all.
In fact, I sort of envy you.
I remember when I went to...
Went to one of the several colleges I attended.
I was asked to join a fraternity...
One of those, uh, secret organizations where they give you a secret handshake, and then they bend you over and then paddle your fanny till you can't sit down.
Well, I happened to overhear two of my fraternity brothers talking one night.
They were talking about me. One said...
"Gee, that Britt. Hmm, boy, he's got everything.
"He's got looks, "money, "personality, "brains."
And then... And then the other one said...
"Yeah, that Britt, he's got everything, except one thing.
"He hasn't any character."
Want to know something, Sam?
He was right.
I haven't any character.
You're the kind of a guy, you see something you want very badly, you say to yourself, "Well, how badly do I want it?
"Can I really afford it?
"What do I have to give up to get it?"
I see something I want, I ask myself...
"What do I have to say to get it?"
And I say it.
Sam, did you...
Sam, did you hear what I said?
Plug in, Sergeant.
If you think I'm going to sit around here, you're crazy.
You ain't going nowhere, buddy. You're staying right here with me.
And if you did get back, and the chances are awful slim, I'd see you got life in Leavenworth. Now, plug in!
From Checkpoint 9...
One gun illuminating.
One gun illuminating.
Fire direction was way off on that one.
Correct your fire.
No wonder they kicked out the civilians.
Look at the stuff they got in there.
They've got enough stuff to blow up the Alps!
Or launch an offensive!
What is it?
They're evacuating the town.
It gives us about an hour.
In an hour, we'll be in the woods watching the biggest explosion you ever saw.
That's cutting it a little, uh, thin, isn't it?
Tell 'em at 0400 I want everything available. Everything!
I wanna blow this joint right off the map!
What are our chances of getting out of here?
Checkpoint 2-8, supply dump in town.
All available fire for effect at 0400.
Over and out!
They're moving out right away. They're not waiting for 0400.
You thinking about Monique now, Britt?
You sorry now, Britt?
It's too damn late now, Britt.
It's too late.
You're going to be all right, Sarge.
You're going to be fine.
You know, there's no satisfaction.
Don't wait for 0400! Don't wait for 0400!
They're getting out! They're moving out!
Give 'em everything you've got, on the double, quick!
I'm on my way out.
I'm all right.
When my outﬁt got into the rubble the next day, they found 13 people still breathing...
Twelve Germans and me, or what was left of me.
I was in the hospital in Paris for seven months.
When I got out, I had $4,967 in back pay, and I was one of the displaced.
I'd had two letters from Monique while I was in the hospital.
"Dear friend," the ﬁrst one began.
"I think of you often."
And at the end, she added, almost as an afterthought, "I have met a soldier named Harmer in Nice.
"He said that Britt Harris was dead."
That was all.
I was glad she could write it like that.
The second letter was also short.
It merely said that her mother had died the week of VE Day.
I didn't answer the letters. I...
I didn't really know what to say.
And then one afternoon as I took my ﬁrst sip of what must have been my 2,000th beer, I saw myself in the ring the glass left on the table.
I realized then that I'd known guys like me left over from the ﬁrst war.
They got shot up at the Battle of the Meuse and spent the next 20 years brooding about it. I'd had it.
I went to the American Express and sent a cable to my partner...
"Reporting back three weeks from today.
"Meantime, taking small sentimental journey."
The next morning I was in Villefranche.
Are you the lieutenant of the top?
I am, and you are Jean-Francois Duvan!
I have become taller.
Yes, you have.
And you have lost one arm.
So I have. I've never even missed it.
But one is enough for anybody, and beside, the Army's going to make me a brand new one.
Does the mademoiselle know you are here?
I will find her.
How are you, friend?
I was sorry to hear about your mother.
Oh, she had a very good life.
What is all of this?
Oh, it is recess.
All of this is a school for children whose parents have been killed by the war.
On the first day they are here, I remind them of something my mother told me.
She said, "Everyone in the world has some kind of a burden, "but
"it is not the burden that's important.
"It's how you carry it."
Are you happy?
Sometimes, like most people.
Let me show you our classroom.
Silence, s'il vous plait.
Today we have a visitor, an American.
His name is Lieutenant...
No, Captain Sam Loggins.
In his honor, we shall sing a song.
Sous le ciel de Paris.
Sous le ciel de Paris.
Oui! Oui! Oui, oui, oui!