MacArthur (1977) Script

As I was leaving my hotel this morning, the doorman asked me, "Where are you bound for, sir?"

When I replied, "West Point," he remarked, "It's a beautiful place.

"Have you ever been there before?"

Duty, honor, country.

Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, and what you will be.

They are your rallying points.

They give you a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a freshness of the deep springs of life, a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, an appetite for adventure over love of ease.

In this way, they will teach you to be an officer and a gentleman.

From your ranks come the great captains who will hold the nation's destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds.

The Long Gray Line has never failed us.

Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab and brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses thundering those magic words.

Duty, honor, country!

This does not mean that you are warmongers.

On the contrary, the soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.

But always in our minds ring the ominous words of Plato,

"Only the dead have seen the end of war."

Heads up, soldiers!

Heads up!

Lieutenant? Yes, sir?

Major Huff's got himself wounded.

Would you look after him, please?

Right away, sir. Corporal, would you take this?


So, one of the Battling Bastards of Bataan, eh?

Yes, sir. No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam.

Well, help is on the way.

I have Washington's solemn promise on that.

General Marshall, Admiral King, will you go right in, please?

Thank you.

You said you wanted to talk over the Corregidor problem.

I certainly do. I've gone out on a limb with the Filipinos.

We should be getting more than inspirational radio messages through the Japanese blockade.

Have any of our ships made it?

One ship has reached Mindanao, two more made it to Cebu.

The rest were either sunk or captured.

Thank you.

So far we've lost better than 80,000 tons.

In other words, MacArthur has received practically nothing.

That's about it, Mr. President.

How long can they hold out? Matter of weeks.

But we're still dispatching submarines to Bataan and Corregidor.

We managed to land some munitions and drugs, and evacuate a few of the wounded, but that's all we can do.

Unless you're one to start stripping the defenses of the West Coast, the Panama Canal... One bombing of the canal and it's out of action for two years.

It's a more vulnerable and important target than Pearl Harbor.

And Hitler will have the whole North American continent for a target if we don't stop him in Europe.


But you know what's going to happen.

Like everything else, Douglas is going to take our strategy personally.

He thinks the blockade is a figment of my imagination, and that I'm somehow deliberately robbing him of glory.

I wish you people would send Douglas a globe of the world to remind him we have obligations all around it.

We have to support Stalin while he fights the bulk of the Nazi army.

We have to assist Churchill to keep England functioning.

We have to protect our flanks, the Panama Canal, and General Douglas MacArthur.

I need him. The country needs him.

We can't leave him to the Japanese.

He won't leave the Philippines unless you order him off, Mr. President.

Cut an order. Put my name to it.

Double 5, O, 673D, L926...

So long, baby. That's 140 million bucks the Japs won't get.

I'm army to the marrow of my bones, Dick.

I've never disobeyed an order in my life.

Now, for the first time, I feel bound to disobey.

Sir, you couldn't. You'd be court-martialed.

Then I'll resign my commission and fight on here as a private.

I want you to direct a statement for the president to that effect.

General, pardon me, but you don't mean that.

I will not leave. I'll stay here with my boys.

Sir, you are the only man alive that can save the Philippines.

They would never have issued an order to this effect, unless they intended you to mount an immediate counter-offensive.

God damn it, those convoys they diverted, the troops and supplies that never got here, they're waiting for you in Australia.

And if you leave now, you can be back before the food runs out.

Sir, you cannot disobey a presidential order.

The president.

Strange ways destiny pulls men's lives.

We have to believe that, don't we, Jack?

I can't even find these supplies.

Fresh meat is coming.

File that goddamn requisition.

Yes, sir.

Major. Colonel Huff. Hi, Ah Cheu. Is the general busy?

The general busy?

You come and see. He lead a big parade.

Excuse me, General.

The submarine has arrived to evacuate President Quezon and his family, as you ordered.

He still wants you to join them.

No, Sid.

Much more on the drums.

Let's hear those drums. Louder on the drums.

Sir, President Quezon is concerned about your safety.

He advises...

No, Sid. If a commander sneaks out, how are the men supposed to feel?

I'll not skulk out of here on a submarine.

I'll go in one of Johnny Bulkeley's PT boats.

Sir, I know those boats. Their engines are shot.

They'll only make half speed.

They're made of plywood.

They've got gasoline drums all over the deck.

They're like floating coffins. They'll go up like a bomb.

At least put your family on a submarine. They'd be safer there.

No, Sid, no. I will stay with the general.

Jean, you don't understand. Come here.

We don't even know how many Japanese are out there.

A submarine might be the only safe place for you and Arthur.

We are staying with you.

Don't forget those other soiled clothes.


Jeannie, Sid is right. It's gonna be a very dangerous journey.

I'd rather have you and Arthur... Now, suppose, as you are so fond of saying, "We three are one. We drink of the same cup."


You're my finest soldier.

How did Shakespeare put it?

"The general's wife is the general's general."

Colonel Wainwright, sir, General MacArthur's arriving.

Thank you, son.

There goes Dugout Doug and his whole goddamn gypsy caravan.

Goodbye, General, sir.

Castro, keep up the good fight.

A guerrilla force is forming. I'm joining them.

Very good.

I've got my rifle.



All right, then. Cross over to Bataan.

There are good men in the hills there. Join them.

Fight with them.

Yes, sir.

Good luck, Castro. We'll meet again.

Well, Jim, I have no choice.

I know.

If we get through to Australia, I'll be back as soon as I can with as much as I can.

I suppose I can't convince you to go by submarine.

No, no.

If we can break through, it will demonstrate to Washington that this blockade can be pierced if you have the daring for it.

In the meantime,

you've got to hold on here.

Yes, sir.

Cigars, shaving cream.

Thank you.

Jim, let the men know that I'm obeying a direct order from the president.

I will. I will.

When I return, I'll make you a lieutenant general.

I'll be here, or I'll be dead.

Goodbye, Jim.


Welcome aboard, sir.

Thank you, Lieutenant.

I'm saying hello again to you boys on Corregidor.

Especially you, General MacArthur.

On behalf of the Japanese nation, allow me to invite you to a party to celebrate our forthcoming victory. A surprise party.

In fact, a necktie party, here in Tokyo.

Sorry, General.

Let's skip that little party, shall we?

Aye, aye, sir.

What is it?


I think that's the last of them, sir.

There's a pot of hot coffee up forward, sir. Would you like some?

No coffee.

How do you feel, sir?

I'm not exactly a navy man, Phil.

Well, when we get to Australia, the commissioner of railways has ordered his own personal car for your trip to Melbourne.

Anything I can do, sir?

Can't sleep.

We're safe. They're doomed.

I know what they're saying.

"Dugout Doug MacArthur lies a-shaking on the rock.

"Safe from any danger and any sudden shock."

I've heard that song.

Well, I'm sure that the men who thought that one up were just blowing off steam, sir.

I'm only thankful my father isn't alive to hear it.


I knew the train would be the best.

This is the first time he's really slept since Pearl Harbor.


Good crowd. And it looks like all the Australian brass you want to talk to are out there waiting for you, sir.

All I see is people. Where are the kangaroos?

Well, I'm sure we'll see some soon, dear.

What I'd like to have is a public address system by the back there.

Hello, Dick. Do you have a report for me?

Uh, yes, I do, but...

But there's a crowd waiting.

Why don't you go out, and I'll brief you in the hotel?

Good news can wait, bad news can't. Let's have it.

Well, sir...


Nobody knows anything about a Philippine relief expedition.

I'm sorry.

In the whole of Australia, there is a grand total of some 30,000 U.S. personnel, mostly artillery and engineers, scattered all over the continent.

At present, there's no American infantry.

Air units?

There are about 250 planes of all types, more or less, in commission.

Sixty-five of them are undergoing repairs, 122 of them are being assembled.

There's almost no navy at all.

And no infantry. God help us.

Well, there are approximately 300,000 Australian troops, but they've been described as under-trained and under-equipped.

You know what that means.

Not only is the Bataan rescue mission so much blue sky over the horizon, it is even open to question if we can defend Australia.

Ready to go, Daddy? Shh.

However, there is one more thing, sir.

Headquarters here at Melbourne has received a message for you from President Roosevelt.

He has awarded you the Medal of Honor.

Congratulations, sir.

MacArthur! MacArthur!

MacArthur! MacArthur!

MacArthur! MacArthur! MacArthur!

MacArthur! MacArthur! MacArthur!

Congressional Medal of Honor.

MacArthur! MacArthur! MacArthur!

MacArthur! MacArthur! MacArthur!

You know, my father was awarded the same decoration when he was only 19.

I had to wait just a little bit longer.

MacArthur! MacArthur! MacArthur!

MacArthur! MacArthur! MacArthur!

But at this moment, I would swap it for just one trained division.

Excuse me, gentlemen. Would you please shoot from a low angle?

The general likes that effect very much.

The President of the United States...

The President...

The President of the United States ordered me to break through the Japanese lines and proceed from Corregidor to Australia for the purpose of organizing the American offensive against Japan, a primary object of which is the retaking of the Philippines.

I came through, and I shall return.

This is General Wainwright speaking.

Subject, surrender.

To put a stop to further useless sacrifice of human life, I've decided to accept, in the name of humanity, the formal surrender of all American and Philippine army troops in the Philippine Islands.

It became apparent that the garrisons would be eventually destroyed.

This dissension was forced upon me by means entirely beyond my control.

Let me emphasize there must be no thought whatever of disregarding these instructions.

My assistant chief of staff will repeat the complete text of this letter by radio to General MacArthur.

It's a trick. It's a Japanese deception.

No, sir. Everyone recognized the general's voice.

He struck Old Glory and ran up a bed sheet.

By what authority does he issue such an unlawful order?

He's the acting commander. He's...

The only possible explanation is that he's temporarily deranged.

For that reason alone, his orders have no validity.

I place no credence on this alleged broadcast.

Everybody up there believed him, the Japanese included.

The conditions...

If it's true, then we should get back at once.

It's not too late to join the guerrillas on Luzon.

General, you can't be serious.

They won't be organized for months.

Now, we both know that Wainwright could not hold on indefinitely.

He was not asked to hold on indefinitely.

His job was to defend the island until help arrived.

That was his assignment!

He had no supplies, no food left.

The malaria was totally out of hand.

If he had tried to hold out one more day, then we would've had a dreadful massacre.

General, would...

Yes, yes, yes.

I suppose it was just a matter of time.

General Blamey on Line 2, sir.

I can't speak to him now.

He'll call back later.

There's some talk in Washington about a Medal of Honor for Wainwright.

They want you to recommend it.

Medal of Honor?

If Wainwright received it, it would constitute an injustice to others who have done far more.

Send the following radio to General Marshall.

"I believe that Wainwright has become temporarily unbalanced, "and that his condition renders him susceptible of enemy use."


General, this training is all well and good, but it's just not enough.

These troops are green corn. They won't be ready for weeks.

All soldiers are green until their first battle.

Shit, sir. Excuse me, I don't even have the transport to supply a single division for 24 hours.

Hell, I can't even land them on the beach.

Harding, I want action from you, not complaints.

If I don't get going, the navy's gonna win this war.

Look what Nimitz did up at Coral Sea and Midway.

I know you don't have everything you need, but...

Look, sir, if I could just have a little more time...

That's because our friends in Washington are sending it all to George Patton in North Africa, so he can run around in the desert, fighting a seesaw tank battle.

General, if I could just have...

Sid, I want to see my new air commander.

Where's General Kenney?

General Kenney?

Good morning.

Where'd you get the B-17?

It flew in from the States this morning.

We're putting together several squadrons up in Brisbane.

Good. How soon can you get them in the air?

Soon enough to get the enemy off our back, and maybe go kick his butt for a change.

Good, good. My boys say you can't do it.

Well, your boys aren't fliers. Give me five days to prepare, and I'll ship the whole goddamn United States Army to New Guinea by air.


My staff hear about this?

I doubt it.

Don't tell them. You'll scare them half to death!


And you ram it right down his throat!

The recent bombings of our northern airfields give us every reason to believe that the nips' next move will be a massive invasion of the Australian continent.

The garrison at Darwin, up here, doesn't have enough troops to hold for more than 48 hours.

So our best plan, therefore, is to show token resistance and fall back rapidly to this, the Brisbane Line.

To the north, the enemy will find only burnt offerings.

Meanwhile in the southeast, we will throw everything into the fight for the cities and the farmlands around them.

This is the living heart of Australia, and we shall defend it with our lives.

General. Thank you.


I've been deeply moved and deeply stirred by the Allied efforts, and by the courage and determination of the Australians as expressed by General Blamey, but as supreme commander of the southwest Pacific area, I will not be the leader of another lost cause.

We are attacking, gentlemen.

I am going to make the fight for Australia up here in New Guinea.

Hey, Joe, what are you doing out here?

You should be home on the farm walking with your girl, getting your chores done and sitting down to supper.

Or maybe you should be taking in a show, walking down Broadway, sipping Coke.

The jungle's where we live. It's where you die.

Bob, I sent for you because I don't think you like a stalemate any better than I do, and that's what we've got here in New Guinea.

They tell me that American boys are actually throwing away their rifles and turning tail.

That hasn't happened since the first battle of Bull Run.

I want you to relieve Harding.

This isn't the Civil War, General.

Harding's a good man, he's a good officer.

It's just that he's up against...

I'm sending you in, Bob.

I want you to remove all officers who won't fight.

If necessary, put sergeants in charge of battalions and corporals in charge of companies. Anyone who will fight.

I want you to take Buna or don't come back alive, and that goes for your chief of staff, too.

Yes, sir.


If you come through this all right, I'll give you the Distinguished Service Cross, I'll recommend you for a high British decoration, and I'll release your name to newspaper publication.

Yes, sir. Thank you very much, General.

I don't care how deep the goddamn mud is!

I want you just to kick ass, or I'm gonna relieve yours!

Good news, General. This battle is over.

It says so right here in Stars and Stripes.

General MacArthur won it yesterday.

Well, the great Sarah Bernhardt. Another dramatic moment.

God, he tells the newspapers, but I wish he'd told the Japanese.

Son of a bitch. "Mopping-up operation"!

Now, what kind of a phrase is that to ask men to die for?

I'm surprised he didn't say we're just "policing the area."

I wonder who really writes that propaganda.

I don't know.

I don't trust any of those ass-kissers up there at GHQ surrounding MacArthur.

Hell, he doesn't have a staff, he's got a court.

You ever see any of them?

They remind me of a bunch of barracuda I used to play poker with in Shanghai years ago.

We had to put the goddamn cuspidor in the center of the table because no one dared look away long enough to spit.


Where you off to?

Gotta go to the latrine, sir.

But I shall return.

Australian. No tags.

No tags? Take care of him later.

U.S., 7705...

Oh, my God. Here comes General MacArthur.

Yeah, yeah, and I bet he's got Eleanor Roosevelt with him, too.

No, I'm serious. Look.

General, sir. Excuse me, sir, but we just...

We just killed a Jap sniper here not five minutes ago.

Fine, son. That's the best thing to do with them.

Thought you said there were 1,500 Japs here.

We ran into more like 6,000.

U.S., 5813864.

You mind repeating the last four again?


Not my idea of how to win a war.

Australian. 00802. Protestant.

Dennison, E.

I'm thinking about Hansa Bay still up ahead.

Yes, and Hansa Bay is not some little outpost that we can overrun with galoshes and determination.

We need men, supplies.

Plenty of both.

Well, bombing Hansa Bay is one thing. Taking it's another.

You can say that again.

Well, let's just say we won't take Hansa Bay.

We won't what?

That's it. We don't want it.

General, the farther up the New Guinea coast we go, the more trouble we're gonna run into.

And I hope you don't think it's gonna be any easier at Wewak.

There's 60,000 of them holed up there, sharpening their samurai swords.

Good. I hope there's more.

We don't want Wewak, either. We'll bypass their strong points, cut their supply lines and leave them to wither and die on the vine.

But what about my men?

Starve Hansa Bay. Starve Wewak.

Starvation is my ally.

Okay, soldier, welcome to the fight.

So the cut of the cards has dealt you a tour of the Pacific.

What's it going to be like fighting the nips, and who is this man, Douglas MacArthur, your new commander?

Let's take a look at the general who, in a few short months, has turned the tide towards victory.

Colonel Whitney. Yes. We've been expecting you.

Welcome to New Guinea. Come in out of the light.

I'm so sorry. That's all right.

Please, have a seat right over here.

Excuse me just a moment. I have to watch this one section.

Okay, that's more like it.

I understand you're here to organize Philippine guerrilla activity?

Yes, that's right.

But, you know, I've just come from Washington, and I must tell you straight off, you've done an absolutely top-notch job on the general's press.

He's America's hero now, you know, and no small amount of credit belongs to you.

Well, we don't want the home folks to forget about us out here.

I don't think you realize the dimensions of the excitement.

Here. Letters from congressmen, senators, corporation executives, even two governors.

And thousands of just plain folks.

"You are big, B-l-G, "enough to do a complete housecleaning

"of parasitic bureaucrats in Washington.

"As long as the war is on, only a military figure like yourself

"can unseat the man in the White House."

There's one from a lady in New Jersey I want you to read.

Excuse me a minute. I just want to look at this closing.

Oh, sure.

Just remember, America's greatest combat general will be leading you into battle.

"Hit them where they ain't." That's his motto.

This is the MacArthur touch.

Combining sea and air power as never before, he's leapfrogging right over the enemy's strongholds to cut their chow line, all the way to the Philippines.

Now you get your chance to fulfill the immortal pledge.

I came through, and I shall return.

Good. Good.

Some exciting stuff there.

Thank you.

Okay on this one to Washington.

Wow. President MacArthur. I like the sound of that.

Only question is, how does it sound to MacArthur?

You know that I have no political ambitions whatsoever.


General, this country's always had a hero.

Washington, Lincoln, Lindbergh.

Now you.

It's in all the papers.

The Republican ones.

No, sir. Democratic ones, too.

Listen to this woman in New Jersey.

She says, "I have never wanted to sin with any other man in my life, "but I would with you."

How about it, General?

Here's a little boy in Moline, Illinois. Wants to know, "Why do you carry a cane? Are you feeble?"

General, what we want to do is to print "I shall return" on candy bars, matchbooks, chewing gum, sewing kits and pencils, and drop them on the Philippines to boost morale.

First-rate idea. Yes, sir.

But back in Washington, the Office of War Information wants to know if, before things get going, you'd be amenable to a small revision of the wording.

What sort of a revision?

Well, sir, they feel that "We shall return" is more to the point.

"We shall return"?

Yes, sir.

I fail to see what purpose that would serve.

Why does Roosevelt want me at Pearl Harbor?

What's he up to?

Why haven't I been told what this is all about?

I'm perfectly willing to discuss strategy with Admiral Nimitz, if that's what they want.

I suspect Roosevelt has been pulling some strings to keep me in the dark.

You know, he's always favored the navy.

That's our general.

And you should see the fire-engine red car he just drove up in.

Douglas MacArthur, starring Douglas MacArthur.

He keeps me waiting half an hour, and then he gets a bigger reception than I did.

Now I see what Eisenhower meant.

He said he spent nine long years with MacArthur, studying dramatics.

Excuse me, sir. Would you look this way?

Keep talking and act natural.

You're looking well, Douglas. Tell me about your family.

Just fine, thank you, Mr. President.

Sorry that I couldn't entertain Eleanor when she was in Australia.

She enjoyed visiting with Mrs. MacArthur.

You, as I recall, were out of town fighting a war.

Oh, and, Douglas, before we get down to business, I'd like to take this opportunity to present you with a decoration.

The Order of Merit for conspicuous inspiration of the American people.

General MacArthur, we have asked you here because the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been considering for about a year, without a decision, the next step to be taken in the Pacific War.

The president has decided he would like to hear firsthand the views of his commanders in chief in the field.

Admiral Nimitz, would you please present the plan prepared by you and Admiral King?

Yes, sir.

In our westward drive across the Pacific, the navy's consistent goal has been to cut Japan's line of communication.

Now, as you know, the central Pacific offensives have taken under control the Gilbert, the Marshall and the Mariana Island groups.

Now, in our view, the sound strategy for early victory is to occupy the western Pacific and seize Formosa, both to control the Formosa Strait and as a jumping-off point against Japan.

Now, this means bypassing the main Philippine island of Luzon until Formosa is secured.

After General MacArthur's troops have seized the southern Philippines, the access of advance that should get the highest priority is the central Pacific offensive toward Formosa.

General MacArthur could then move into Luzon and recapture Manila after my forces have taken Formosa.

In fact, with the fall of Japan, the liberation of the northern Philippines, including Manila, will follow de facto, without any need for force of arms.

We therefore propose to invade Formosa at the earliest opportunity.

And my planners are convinced that a target date of March 1, '45, is not unreasonable.

Well, Douglas, how does it sound to you?

I'm a soldier, and I'll hold the horse if so ordered.

To bypass isolated islands is one thing, but to leave in your rear 250,000 Japanese troops drawing their sustenance from the Philippines involves serious and unnecessary risks.

From Luzon, I can clamp a blockade on all supplies from the south to Japan, thus forcing her to an early capitulation.

Therefore, I propose that we land at Leyte Beach on Luzon, and then carry the fight to Manila.

Given a successful landing, aren't you afraid of a long and bloody campaign?

With the kind of performance and support provided thus far by the navy, I can be in Manila in five weeks from the day my troops step ashore on the beaches, and well before next March.

General, how can you say that?

Because for two years, Filipino guerrillas have been working behind the Japanese lines to set the stage for our landings.

It's your position to know, but I can't conscientiously agree with this estimate.

To take Luzon would demand heavier losses than we can stand.

It seems to me we should bypass it.

In my two years of fighting in the southwest Pacific area, and they have been long, hard years, fewer Americans have been killed than in the single battle of Anzio.

The days of the frontal attack are over.

Only your mediocre commanders use it.

Your good commanders do not turn in heavy losses.

Douglas, Admiral Nimitz's victories have been no less than your own.

Franklin, all the years we've known each other, I don't believe I told you how my father won his Medal of Honor.

No, you never did, but you're about to do it now, aren't you?

It was during the Battle of Missionary Ridge.

At the height of the fighting, he saw the flag go down.

As others around him faltered, he seized up the colors, and rallied the troops to victory.

Admiral Nimitz is one of our greatest admirals.

But just now, as I listened to the plan, I thought I saw our flag going down.

Oh, did you?

Mr. President, had we the will to do so, we could have saved Bataan and Corregidor in the first place.

To sacrifice Luzon a second time cannot be condoned or forgiven.

My dear General, bypassing Luzon is not synonymous with sacrificing...

But bypassing Luzon has implications which stain American honor.

Do you realize what the Japanese propagandists are telling the Filipino people?

That Americans will never shed their blood to save the colored peoples of the Earth.

Your zeal is understandable. I admire it.

But we can't let it interfere with a workable Pacific strategy.

"I give to the Philippines my solemn pledge

"that their freedom will be redeemed.

"The entire resources of men and material of the United States

"stand behind that pledge."

Your words, sir.

Mr. President, General MacArthur's points are well taken, and I'm sure that the Joint Chiefs will wish to consider them very carefully.

I shall return.

I am going back there next fall if I have to paddle a canoe.

If your decision be to bypass Luzon, with its millions of people, thousands of American prisoners of war, to continue to languish there in agony and despair,

I daresay that the American public would be so aroused that they would register complete resentment against you at the polls next fall.

Arthur? Arthur Prettyman.

Get me an aspirin tablet. No, no, make it two.

Nobody can talk me into a headache the way General MacArthur can.

Gentlemen, I think it's time to call a recess.

It's been a fatiguing day.

Indeed it has, sir.

Recess was my favorite time in school.

It's getting to be that way in war.


Yes, Mr. President?

Why haven't you come home all these years?

Well, I've had my hands full out here.

The country has evolved, grown mature.

Change is inevitable, you know.

The things I value never change.

My only regret is that my son has never seen his country.

He's never been home.

Where is that for you?

Well, in a sense, the army is home.

Even my swaddling clothes were khaki.

Mainly l...

I think of West Point as home.

The lecture halls, the football fields where I became a man.

And l...

I also see a terrace overlooking Manila Bay.

Yes, the Philippines are also home.

I appreciate and understand your feelings, Douglas.

Now, I shall inform the Joint Chiefs of Staff, upon my return home, that I have had two excellent briefings.

I'm sure they'll be both pleased and delighted.

And I shall ask them to make their decision promptly.

Thank you.

I'd like to return to my command as soon as possible.

For 40 years, I've held a firm conviction that a commander's place is at the scene of the battle.

I agree with you entirely, Douglas. That is why I am here.

"Southwest Pacific forces to invade Leyte.

"Target date advanced to 20 October."

Hot damn, we got it.

This'll make the old man happy.

He'll be returning to the Philippines two months earlier than he expected.

Sergeant, I want you to get this out immediately, if not sooner, to all top command headquarters.

Good morning, Captain. Good morning, sir.

Good morning, General.

Earplugs, sir.

Thank you.

Good morning, Mr. President.

Good morning, General.

President Osmena, earplugs for your ears.

Thank you.

I hope to hell they do as well on the beaches as they did in training.

I don't think you have to worry about that, General.

I know the 5th Cavalry.

When I was a little boy, my father was a captain at Fort Selden, New Mexico territory.

Geronimo, the Apache scourge, was on the loose, and it was a troop from this same 5th Cavalry that rode through to help us.

They fought then. They'll fight now.

And they'll win.

Look at that, Mr. President.

The second wave is going in upright.

Our intelligence reports said the Japanese wouldn't let us on the beach.

But just look at those boys. Nothing will stop them.

Where's my landing craft? I'm going ashore.

I had it delayed, sir. Heavy enemy mortar fire on the beach.

I felt it was unsafe for the commander in chief...

The landing craft, Captain.

Aye, aye, sir. Bring the general's landing craft.

President Osmena, you're home at last.

Follow me.

Correspondents, please stay in the rear until after the general makes his statement.

No questions... Gerry, where are you going with that?

I'm gonna get a better shot down the beach, sir.

I want that camera right where it was.

I wanna see that wreckage in the background.

The general will think this smoke is marvelous!

Get back! Correspondents, back!

Low angle, remember.


You see, General, my people are going to laugh if I fell in deep water.

I cannot swim.

That's not so bad, Mr. President.

Everyone's about to see that I can't walk on water.

People of the Philippines, I have returned.

By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil.

The hour of your redemption is here.

Rally to me.

Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead on.

As the lines of battle roll forward, rise and strike.

For your homes and hearths, strike!

For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike!

In the name of your sacred dead, strike!

Let no heart be faint.

Let every arm be steel.

The divine guidance of God points the way.

Follow in His name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold it. Hold it.

General, sir, you've arrived at the front lines.

Well, I see our boys fully 100 yards up ahead.

Sir, that's only a forward patrol. The men are under enemy fire.

You'd be in extreme hazard if you go on up past this point.

There's Japs right up there.

You can't fight them if you can't see them, son.

Let's go.

I don't believe it. That's the first time I've ever seen a commander in chief take the point.

Yeah, he's the greatest general since Sergeant York.

Cease fire! Cease fire!

Come on.

Will you look at him? Does he really think that he can't get hurt?

God damn it, of course he does.

I've got a little surprise for the general.

Morning, gentlemen.

Good morning, sir.

Sir, pursuant to an act of Congress, you have been promoted to the rank of General of the Army.

Such promotion to take effect 18 December, 1944, by order of the president.

Sir, we thought that you should get these on as soon as you can.

You got your fifth star, General.

Well, I have no objections. I like the look of them.

Congratulations, sir.

Thank you, Court.

I think it would be a good idea to take that mortar out before someone gets hurt.

So good to see you, General.

Finally returned, but a little late.

May God bless you.

So good to see you. Thank you.

Get me some more shots of these people.

Hello, sonny.

You know, I've got a boy at home just about your size.

I have. Here we are.

Nice going, General.

Survivors of the death march are in here.

General, you really made it back.

Oh, I'm never gonna forget this.

We're long overdue, sir. Long overdue.

It's okay.

We knew you'd come back, sir.

Thank you.

We knew you wouldn't forget us.

We tried. We're a little late. I'm sorry.

Colonel Fox here, sir. We're sure glad to see you, sir.

I'm a little late. I'm sorry.

Yes, sir.

General? General?


Thank God. Thank God you're here.

We're long overdue. Long overdue.


Yes, sir.

I'm sorry I'm so unpresentable, sir.

You never looked so good to me, Castro.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you've ever had a load of hay fall on you, then you know how I feel right now.

I don't know if any of you pray, but if you do, you could pray God to help me.

Good luck, Mr. President.

I wish you didn't have to call me that.

I never felt so out of place in all my life.

Here is the caisson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, now making the turn off of 15th Street into Pennsylvania Avenue.

God give me strength to do this.

And there is the flag-draped coffin.

The horses with black blankets under their saddles.

The horses on the right side, unmounted.

And it's moving ever so slowly as the crowd stands to pay their last respects to the man who was their leader, their commander in chief, and their friend.

Mr. President.

Hello, General.

We need your authorization.

What have you got?

Well, the president...

Mr. Roosevelt never told me.

They never told me.

We spent months of staff time, tens of millions of dollars in preparation for the greatest invasion in history, and when we're primed and ready, they send an Air Force officer to tell me they've constructed this apparatus.

General, what happens if it doesn't work?

What happens if it does?


Excuse me, Admiral Halsey, the representatives are all on board, sir.

The British commander of Singapore has just been released from a prison camp.

Percival. Good, good. What about that Russian fellow?

General Derevyanko. He's here.

What gall. The Soviets declared war after we'd won it, and now they wanna horn in on the surrender.

There's someone else here, too, sir.





I'm so glad to see you.

General Wainwright, I don't think you know Admiral Halsey.

Welcome aboard, sir.

Thank you, sir.

Jonathan, good to see you.

Yes, yes, of course.

And Admiral Nimitz.

General. Admiral.

Come and sit down, Jim.

I'm sorry.

No, no, don't talk like that.

I've disgraced you and the army.

You have not. That's not true.

We were starving.

You don't have to say anything, Jim.

I had to shoot my horse.

I realize they'll never restore me to active duty.

That's not true, Jim. You can have whatever you want.

Command of a corps. That's all I want.

Your old corps is yours whenever you're ready, General.

Sid, what did I do with Jean's pen? Yes, sir?

Here we go, sir.

We are gathered here, representatives of the major warring powers, to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored.

The issues have been determined upon the battlefields of the world, and hence, are not for our discussion or debate.

The representative of the Emperor of Japan, and of the Japanese Imperial General headquarters, now sign the instrument of surrender.

General Sutherland, will you show him where to sign, please?

The supreme commander of the Allied powers will now sign on behalf of all the nations at war with Japan.

Will Generals Percival and Wainwright come forward, please?

The representative of the United States of America will now sign.

The representative of the Republic of China will now sign.

The representative of the United Kingdom will now sign.

The representative of Canada will now sign.

The representative of France...

The representative of Australia will now sign.

The representative of the Netherlands will now sign.

The representative of New Zealand will now sign.

The representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will now sign.

Today, the guns are silent.

A great tragedy has ended.

I speak for the thousands of silent lips forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific which marked the way.

I pray that an omnipotent providence will summon all persons of goodwill to the realization of the utter futility of war.

We have known the bitterness of defeat, the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned that there can be no turning back.

We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war.

The destructiveness of the war potential through progressive advances in scientific discovery has, in fact, now reached a point which revises the traditional concept of war.

War, the most malignant scourge and greatest sin of mankind, can no longer be controlled, only abolished.

We are in a new era.

If we do not devise some greater and more equitable means of settling disputes between nations, Armageddon will be at our door.

We have had our last chance.

Court, I want you to tell Washington that I'm transferring food and medical supplies to the Japanese authorities.

Yes, sir.

The next priority is to get those men home, get them to work rebuilding this country.

I don't know. In terms of communication, transport, industrial plant, there isn't any country.

Yeah, well, they'll have to build a new one.

A new Japan with new ideas, but preserving the best of the old.

Yes, sir.

All of our troops will be judged by me for their conduct as men and as soldiers.

I want them to understand that the Japanese must be treated with courtesy and respect.

Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon all failed as occupiers of conquered countries because of the harshness of their policies.

I do not intend to fail.

We're coming up on the palace now.

I wonder whether it wouldn't be a good idea to summon the emperor to explain your policies.

Show of authority to the Japanese people.

No. No.

After a lifetime of studying the Oriental mind, I can tell you that I must not directly challenge the authority of the emperor.

He lives there in that palace across that moat, half god, half king.

His decrees limit the degree of each man's freedom.

His word is absolute.

The time will come when Hirohito, of his own volition, will cross that moat and come to me, and that will mark the beginning of the end of his absolute power over the Japanese people.

Good morning, sir. Good morning, Court.

Morning, gentlemen. I've been going over these additional suggestions from the State Department on the occupation.

I have to work them in with our own task force recommendations.

General Marquat, what's happening with land reform?

The landowners are having difficulty with their tenant farmers.

Oh, they are?

Well, I don't wanna ever hear the word "tenant farmer" again.

I want these privileged landowners stripped of their holdings.

We'll break up these great estates.

Yes, sir, but...

They've been squeezing the farmers dry far too long.

But, sir, they're very strong. Are they strong, sir.

They may not be as strong as they think.

And the right-wing industrialists, now, they are the fellows who led this country to ruin.

I want them expunged.

Expunged, sir? Don't you think that you...

All in the best possible legal language, of course.

I want to see a labor movement take root.

Labor movement?

That's right.

The workers must have a strong voice in the means of production.

General, pardon me, but this reminds me somewhat of...

Well, it's like...

Like what?

Like the New Deal.


Well, this is Japan, not America.

But considering her fascist past, it might be good to move her just a little left of center, don't you agree?

Yes, sir.

Of course, we wouldn't call it the New Deal.

No, sir.

Now, Japanese women.

What about them?

They must be given the vote.

The men are not gonna like that.

Well, neither did our men at first.

General, I'm sorry, but I still think it's too much to expect a feudal country like Japan to swallow a whole new constitution in one gulp.

Their cabinet will never go for it.

The old cabinet wouldn't, but we've yet to hear from the new prime minister.

And may I congratulate you on your appointment, Mr. Shidehara.

Thank you.

General, I extend to you my gratitude for the penicillin your medical services made available to me.

It aided me in recovering from a serious illness.

Happy to be of assistance.

Diseases are conquered, sir, even very old, epidemic diseases.


Sometimes, though, the cure is slow and painful.

Yes, of course.

Is there some particular difficulty?

General, our new constitution must forbid any military establishment in Japan whatsoever.

There must not be an army, a navy or an air force.

We must renounce now and forever the use of force as an instrument of national power.

Mr. Prime Minister, I can only...

Please, hear me out.

Of course.

In this way, and only this way, can we eliminate forever the power of the militarists.

Only in this way can we reassure the world that Japan no longer has warlike design against any people.

We are a poor country, with 70 million person to feed and clothe.

We cannot afford armaments.

We cannot afford the trapping of power.

And never, never again can we suffer Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Let us renounce war, sir.

Please, let us renounce war in the new constitution and forever.

Mr. Shidehara,

no man detests war more than this soldier.

My abhorrence for it reached its height with the development of the atom bomb.

No man, sir, could be more moved by your offer or more determined to accept it.

Well, it's damned embarrassing.

I've been telling Congress for months we need 400,000 men in Japan, and MacArthur holds a press conference, says he can make do with half that number.

Now, General, did he clear this with you? No, sir.

There's been some misunderstanding.

Not by me, there isn't.

I invited MacArthur to come home.

I wanted to discuss occupation policy with him, and I expected him to back up our position before the congressional committees.

So I held out the big carrot to him.

I told him we'd set up a series of welcome-home demonstrations and a joint session of Congress.

Well, you know what he replied, Congressman?

He said he thought the situation was just too dangerous over there for him to come home right now.

Said he was too busy.

That's what he said to the President of the United States. Damn it!

General Derevyanko, I must say I've missed you.

Only short visit to Moscow. A meeting with my superiors, a holiday on Caspian Sea with family.

Good, good. I was afraid that Stalin had had you shot.

No, no, no, no. Why do you say that? Would Truman have you shot?

Sometimes I wonder.

Now, General, it's come to my attention that several hundreds of thousands of Japanese prisoners fell into your hands in the closing days of the war.

You understand that the Japanese authorities, and my own superiors as well, are pressing me for an accounting.

We have some small numbers of enemy troops in our hands, that is true, but I can assure you that, in this matter, as you know, my government will abide by the decisions of the Potsdam Conference.

Yes, yes, yes. When will they be repatriated?

Soon. In that connection, my government is making plans for the occupation of Hokkaido Island.

Hokkaido Island is occupied. It is under my command.

The Soviet Union is a coequal ally.

It is my government's intention to occupy Hokkaido on its own behalf.

As the supreme commander, I represent all Allied powers.

We are fully prepared to commence our rightful occupation whether you approve or not.

You see, the terms of my command are absolute.

This is not Germany.

I will not countenance separate spheres of influence or occupation of the home islands of Japan as long as I'm in command.

Well, then, sir, my government will insist upon a new supreme commander.

If the day comes when Soviet troops attempt to land on Japanese soil without my expressed consent,

I will throw the entire Soviet delegation in Tokyo into jail.

Including you, General Derevyanko.

I believe you would.

And I believe this is where you get off.

As the historic changes continue to transform Japanese life, it was becoming evident this week that the women of Japan were winning their fight to end family contract marriages, the right to equal cigarette and sake rations, and the right to vote.

Dress fashions are not the only thing that have changed radically.

In the newly established election, 13 million women went to the polls, and in an unprecedented sweep, elected 38 women lawmakers to the House of Representatives.

I regret to say something terrible has happened.

A prostitute, Your Excellency, has been elected to House of Representative.

Prostitute? Well, how many votes did she receive?


She must have an unusually loyal clientele.

Now, after two and a half years of painstaking work, the war crimes trial in Tokyo comes to an end.

As America prepares for another presidential election year, Japan celebrates 1948 with the first anniversary of its new constitution.

Mmm. Not these.

I think this one's the best.

I thought you might like that one.

That's fine.

Court, what time is it in Wisconsin?

Oh, heck, I can never figure out...

Polls closed an hour ago.

I wish I had been there.

I would have had one of these on every lamppost for you.

No, you don't, Vic. No electioneering within 50 feet of the candidate.

Why, General, you're not a candidate.

Just another available citizen.

Excuse me, General, but I'm from Wisconsin, and my folks are voting for you.

Matter of fact, I would be, too, only I'm not old enough.

Well, thank you, son.

All the precincts?

This just came in on the wire.

You only won eight delegates.

Eight delegates out of 27.

It's their loss, General. You would have made a great president.

Well, what's on the calendar for today?

Here's to four more years, Mr. President!

Hear! Hear!

* Happy days are here again

* The skies above are clear again

* So let's sing a song of cheer again

* Happy days are here again

* All together shout it now

* There's no one who can doubt it now

* So let's tell the world about it now *

Roaring their approval here in the 1949 Tokyo World Series.

The Giants are the heavy favorites this year.

Meanwhile, as the Japanese economy continued its painful but steady recovery, the mood of the nation began to reflect the growing cultural change.


General, I'm sorry to disturb you at this late hour.

We have a dispatch from South Korea.

The North Koreans have struck in great strength across the boundary at the 38th parallel.

In great strength?

Yes, sir.

Assemble the staff. I'll be there presently.

Why, General, what's happened?

One last gift to an old warrior.

My fellow Americans, tonight we face a serious situation.

On the advice of the best military minds I could muster, I have decided to commit United States ground forces to the Korean peninsula.

We are not at war.

Acting in concert with our United Nations allies, we are engaged in a police action to counteract a bandit raid into South Korea by North Korean Communists.

Would you like to use my binoculars, sir?

No, thank you.

I've seen all I have to see.

General, what happens next, sir?

My father was asked that same question when he found himself surrounded in the Civil War.

He said, "The situation is simple and apparent.

"The enemy is closing on me from three sides, "and my plan is to fight like hell."

Now with the threat of annihilation temporarily forestalled, MacArthur pays a worried visit to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Nationalist Chinese on Formosa.

Son of a bitch, that's a goose step they're doing.

Here it is felt the foundation is being constructed for Sino-American military cooperation.

Damn it! Didn't we send MacArthur to Formosa to do just the opposite?

Call off Chiang and tell him he couldn't send his troops into mainland China or anywhere else?

We didn't send him over there to forge his own personal alliances.

Hell, that sounds like we're concluding some kind of mutual defense treaty.

Mr. Secretary, I want you to radio a message to His Majesty MacArthur.

What's the matter with them back there? Have they lost their nerve?

I know all about Chiang.

If he had two horns and a tail, we should use him as long as he's anticommunist.

We can reform him later.

It's my destiny to defeat Communism, and only God or those Washington politicians will keep me from doing it.

You didn't read this one, did you?

It's a letter to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"Nothing could be more fallacious than the threadbare argument

"by those who advocate appeasement and defeatism in the Pacific

"that if we defend Formosa, we alienate continental Asia."

Signed, Douglas MacArthur.

You hear that? "Appeasement, defeatism." That's me he's talking about.

Alvin, can you explain why he's done this?

No, Mr. President, I'm afraid I can't.

Well, did any of you know in advance this letter was gonna be printed?

I want it withdrawn right now.

Good morning, General.


I haven't seen that pipe in a long time.

In looking over your positions this morning, General Walker, I saw that plans are afoot to conduct retrograde movements and abandon the perimeter.

Effective immediately, these plans will be scrapped. The present line will be held.

We don't have any perimeters, General.

Just a few scattered strong points.

As soon as I put out one fire, another two get started.

I know that you're outnumbered in this thing, but sending you more troops so you can hang on to this little corner of Korea is not good enough.

Well, I'll settle for a regimental combat team.

Can't do it, Walt. We need every man we've got.

General Shepherd is putting together an overwhelming amphibious assault on Inchon.


One stroke, it'll cut across the enemy's rear, sever his supply lines, and isolate all of his forces south of Seoul.

Without munitions, supplies, communications, the North Koreans will be paralyzed.

Inchon is the worst...

Then you can break out of that corner, move north and overpower them.

I think that Inchon will finish the North Koreans.


It'll never be approved.

Inchon has some of the highest tides in the world, but only once a month do they reach a height sufficient for our largest landing craft to go in.

There are maybe two three-hour periods when MacArthur can put troops ashore.

Which is not enough time for a major amphibious landing.

Exactly. This is little more than a trench in the mud flats.

If every possible handicap were listed, Inchon has them all.

However, gentlemen, MacArthur claims that these very handicaps are what he's counting on.

He feels that the enemy won't believe that anyone would try to surmount such obstacles.

The element of surprise will be his most valuable ally.

What do you think of His Majesty's plan?

It's daring, it's brilliant, and it's dangerous.

Court, you remember I once said, "The bullet has not yet been cast with my name on it?"

I certainly do.

Inchon could be that bullet.

There's 70,000 men out there waiting to hit Inchon.

As of this moment, the president has not personally approved this mission.

The last communication I had from the Joint Chiefs said that he'd been "informed."

He vacillated, delayed.

Finally gave begrudging permission to proceed here.

Powerful enemies, Court.

Who advised Truman that I was insubordinate when I visited Chiang Kai-shek?

Who persuaded him to force me to withdraw my letters to the Veterans of Foreign Wars?

Who are those who seek to humiliate me and undermine my authority?

The Communists and their fellow travelers in the British Foreign Office.

If Inchon fails, they will have a jubilee.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved this invasion because your arguments were valid.

Yes, they were valid, but if the enemy is ready with a superior force, we will not be able to disengage without suffering enormous losses.

We could lose this entire fleet.

This date could be marked as one of the greatest military tragedies in American history.

General, I don't think for one...

Are you surprised, Court?

I'm sharing my doubts with you after all these years.

Did you think I was invulnerable?

It just came in. We've got Wolmido Island.


Wolmido is ours.

It took my boys 58 minutes.

Good work, General Shepherd. Good work.

I'll be the first to admit it.

He did a hell of a job, and here's to him.

Hear, hear.

What's the matter, Alvin? Don't you like the taste of victory?

Bourbon's not bad, either.

Yes, Inchon is a masterstroke.

Damn right it is. Now that's what I call "generalling."

I've heard that the North Koreans have turned tail and are running for home. Lickety toot.

It's not the North Koreans I'm worried about.

Mr. Panika, the Indian ambassador to Peking, informs us that any American troops above the 38th parallel will provoke an intervention by the Chinese.

Yesterday, we monitored this very same warning over Radio Peking.

Yeah, well, we've heard that sort of thing before, haven't we?

Now, how serious are they?

Frankly, we don't know.

Well, what's MacArthur say about it? He's not worried.

He's calling it political blackmail.

Well, he's probably right.

Mr. President, let's watch our step.

If we expand the war in Korea to include Red China, we're up against the Soviets, A-bomb and all.

Alvin, you go on ahead to Wake Island. Make the usual preparations.

I think it's time I had a talk with General MacArthur.

I never met the man.

Yes, sir.

Wake Island, Mr. President.

By golly, that was quick.

How about one of you fellas radio on ahead?

See if the big general's there.

The president should be greeted. He shouldn't be the greeter.

I don't see him, Mr. President.

They probably had a little trouble getting him down off his cross.

Wait a minute. There he is.

That son of a bitch isn't in uniform, he's in costume.

I don't know why it is an old man like that, and a five-star general to boot, has to run around dressed up like a 19-year-old second lieutenant.

I'll tell you one thing, if he was an officer in my outfit, I'd bust him so fast he wouldn't know what happened.

And making me wait.

He can do that to Harry Truman, but not to his commander in chief.

General, I've been a long time meeting you.

I hope it won't be so long next time.

Why, so do I.

General Bradley. MacArthur.

Oh, yeah. Bess sent along a plum cake for the missus.

How very thoughtful. Thank you, sir.

And how are Mrs. Truman and your daughter?

Oh, they're fine. Just fine, thank you.

General, I've read a little

military history, and it's a pleasure to congratulate you on your success at Inchon.

Now, that was the work of a master strategist.

Thank you, Mr. President. Coming from you, that's a real tribute.

And I'd like to apologize for any misunderstanding raised by my trip to Formosa.

Oh, don't think anything more about that. I understand your feelings.

I was a captain in Battery D in World War I, and, well, that was the center of the whole war effort for me.

Well, perhaps you should have stayed in the army.

Nope, I don't think so.

I've heard it's a bad idea for army men to dabble in politics.

Mr. President, you know that I'm not involved in politics in any way.

I did let the politicians make a chump out of me in the '48 elections.

If a general is going to be running against you, his name will be Eisenhower, not MacArthur.


That man doesn't know as much about politics as a pig does about Sunday.

General, I came over here to listen to your ideas on the rehabilitation of postwar Korea.

Mind if I smoke, Mr. President?

No, I suppose I've had more smoke blown in my face than any man alive.

The formal resistance, I believe,

should end in Korea by Thanksgiving.

And now that we've authorized military operations above the parallel, do you include North Korea in that estimate?

Yes, I do.

By the time I'm finished, we should have the entire peninsula under control.

General, you do understand the limitations on your directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

No military operations beyond the Chinese and Soviet borders, and no American troops near those borders.

Yes, I believe I understand that directive fully, and our boys should be home by Christmas, Mr. President, provided that Red China stays out of the conflict.

Well, I'm glad to hear that, General.

I've got the whole United Nations on my back.

Now, a couple dozen members have got troops under you in Korea, and the whole bunch of them are scared stiff that we're pushing them into World War III.

Now, there's no doubt that Stalin's pact with Mao Tse-tung pledges that the Soviet A-bomb backs the Chinese if we should tangle with them.

You mentioned Chinese intervention now.

Is there any chance of that, do you think?

Mr. President, you must have more complete intelligence on that matter than I have.

Anything that I would say would be purely speculative.

Of course.

And I'm sure that you also realize that any question involving China requires a political evaluation, not simply a military one.

Our intelligence on the Chinese is limited.

They're believed to have about 300,000 men in Manchuria, but I doubt they could get more than 50,000 across the Yalu River.

They'd be highly vulnerable to our air attacks.

So in my opinion, the chances of Red intervention are minimal.

And if they were to try to get down to the parallel, they'd be walking into disaster, a crushing defeat.

Well, I've never had a more satisfactory conference since I've been President.

General MacArthur is a member of the government of the United States, and he's loyal to that government and to the United Nations, and he's loyal to the president and his foreign policy, and he's confident that the fighting in Korea will soon be over.

That's what he said.

Hey! What the hell is this?

Turkey! Real turkey!

What'd you expect, shithead? It's Thanksgiving.

Best thing about Thanksgiving is eating white meat.

I tell you, if I had my way...

General Bradley called me at 6:15 this morning with a message from General MacArthur.

He says there are 260,000 Chinese out there against him.

He says he's stymied.

Says he has to go over on the defensive.

It isn't a matter of a few volunteers.

The Chinese have jumped in with both feet.

Well, what are they saying about me in Washington?

Sir, to be candid about it, they think you walked into a Chinese trap.

That was a deliberate misunderstanding.

The defeat of the North Koreans was decisive.

In the face of this victory, the Chinese Communists have committed the most offensive act of international lawlessness in history.

We are now facing a new, fresh, highly-trained army.

What does Truman mean by calling this a "police action"?

Isn't it a fact that the casualties are mounting daily?

This "police action" has almost destroyed the Korean nation.

For what?

Guess I've seen as much blood and disaster as any man now living.

Every time I come out of here, I could just be sick.

It curdles my stomach.

Does he intend to let this go on?

By what sophistry of reason?

Sir, he has the Russians to consider, and our allies.

General Bradley feels the same way.

He says that a war with China would be the wrong war at the wrong time, in the wrong place and with the wrong enemy.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff.

I requested permission to bomb the Chinese airfields in Manchuria.

The request was denied.

I requested permission for hot pursuit of enemy aircraft into their privileged sanctuary above the Yalu.

That request was denied.

I requested permission to bomb the Yalu bridges to keep the Chinese out of Korea.

They said, "You might bomb the southern half of the bridges only."

In my 50 years of military service, I have never learned how to bomb half a bridge.

It's the most imbecilic order ever given to a commander in the field.

This is appeasement.

Unless some positive and immediate action can be taken, we should withdraw our forces to Japan.

Forgive me, sir, but...

There are some of those back home who believe that it's possible to regain the offensive without...

Well, without danger of widening the war.

Without widening the war?

Well, the Eighth Army is Ridgway's now. He can do what he likes.

It won't do any good.

For the first time in military history, a commander has been denied the use of his military power to safeguard the lives of his soldiers and the safety of his army.

It leaves me with a sense of inexpressible shock.

Well, hallelujah. Matt Ridgway's retaken Seoul.

What'd I tell you?

I wish I could celebrate,

but the war hasn't been won.

The battle lines roll up and down, up and down.

Victory nowhere in sight.

This isn't war. It's half war.

It's an immoral compromise with evil.

There's more than dust settling in Korea, Sid.

It's American blood.

Yes, sir.

Oh, the head of the United Kingdom mission wants an appointment with you, sir.

Well, what does he want?

He's worried that we're getting desperate in Korea, and we'll use the bomb.

Probably more worried about protecting British profits in Hong Kong than in saving lives in Korea.

I'll shift his appointment, sir.

Excuse me, General. We just got word that Washington wants you to stop all offensive operations immediately.


They want to affect a political, rather than a military solution.

They're planning to draft a cease-fire proposal.

They ask for any recommendations you may have for minor adjustments along your battle lines to consolidate your position for adequate defense.

Minor adjustments? What are they talking about?

Why should I recommend anything? This is total capitulation.

Well, sir, in view of Truman's feeling, you want to substitute your policy for his.

I couldn't substitute my policy for Mr. Truman's, because Mr. Truman doesn't have a policy!

Well, fine, sir.

Why don't you let me notify them that you're taking the proposals under study, and that way, we'll be...

No. I have a better idea.

We'll send a message to the Chinese commander.

Put it on all the wire services. I want maximum exposure.

Sir, you have been specifically prohibited from issuing any statements.

Sir, that is a direct order from the president.

And that is part of a dangerous concept, that men of the armed forces owe their primary allegiance to these temporary occupants of the White House, instead of to the country and the Constitution we're sworn to defend!

I ought to kick his insubordinate ass right in the Sea of Japan.

The lousiest trick he's pulled.

I travel 14,000 miles to reach an understanding face to face, and he still thinks he can do exactly what he damn well pleases.

Can you imagine? He actually sent a message to the Chinese threatening to destroy their forces unless they were to negotiate a solution with him personally.

You know, there's a story where Abe Lincoln was trying to mount a horse that was skittish, and the horse kicked a hind hoof into the stirrup.

So Lincoln says to him, "If you're gonna get on, I'll get off."

Well, I'm not getting off.

I think Roosevelt should have pulled Wainwright out of Corregidor, and left that five-star, brass-hat MacArthur there to be the martyr.

What shall I do with the cease-fire proposal?

Scrap it. I can't approach the Chinese on any political basis, not after this.

That man's trying to start World War III, and I'm trying to prevent it.

I'll fire that brass-hat prima Donna right now.

Who the hell does he think he is? God?

What do you think Congress would do if I relieve the big general?

Congress would flay you alive.

Fortunately for me, the navy outfielder's throw was also wild, over the third baseman's head, and with those two wild throws, I was able to dash around the bases into home with what turned out to be the winning run.

Excuse me.

And the final score was West Point 4, Annapolis 3.

I think that the loudest cheers were led by my mother.

She was always there.

They used to say about us that we were the first...

The only mother and son ever to graduate from West Point on the same day.

That was in Annapolis in the spring of...

Well, Jeannie, we're going home at last.

That was the first varsity baseball game ever played between West Point and the Naval Academy.

Well, so much for my baseball career, and for happy memories.

And now will you excuse us, please?

I've never seen anything like it.

The entire city's come out to celebrate the return of America's greatest hero.

Officials estimate from seven to 10 million people are here on hand, and that surpasses Lindbergh's and Eisenhower's homecomings put together.

Schools are out, the crowd is excited, the office workers are... Just have taken a holiday.

Meanwhile, in our nation's capital, the statement from the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in part, quote, "It is fundamental that all military commanders

"must be governed by our laws and the constitutional guarantee

"of civilian control over the military."

When asked to comment, President Truman said...

Well, people who think they're God are bound to get into trouble sooner or later.

What you have to understand is that the people of this country are men and women of common sense, and whenever anybody gets too far out of line, the people are gonna take charge and put him out of business.

But once war has been forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.

War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.

In war, there can be no substitute for victory.

For history teaches us, with unmistakable emphasis, that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war.

Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and increasingly greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only alternative.


"Why," my soldiers ask of me, "surrender military advantages to an enemy in the field?"

I could not answer.

The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people

defies description.

They have chosen to risk death rather than slavery.

Their last words to me were,

"Don't scuttle the Pacific."

I am closing my 52 years of military service.

When I joined the army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all my boyish hopes and dreams.

The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the plain at West Point,

and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished.

But I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day, which proclaimed most proudly that, "Old soldiers never die.

"They just fade away."

Like the old soldier of that ballad,

I now close my military career,

and just fade away.

An old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty.


Goodbye, hell. He's running for president.

I give you the greatest war hero America has ever known, our finest leader of men, our most brilliant strategist, a man of inspiration and a man of action.

I give you the next President of the United States, five-star General of the Army, Dwight David Eisenhower!

What kind of president do you think he's gonna make?

I think he'll make a fine president.

He was the best clerk who ever served under me.

The shadows are lengthening for me.

Twilight is here.

My days of old have vanished tone and tint, they have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were.

Their memory is one of wondrous beauty watered by tears and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday.

I listen vainly, but with thirsty ear for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll.

In my dreams, I hear the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange mournful mutter of the battlefield.

But in the evening of my memory, always I return

to West Point.

Always there echoes and reechoes, duty, honor, country.

Today marks my final roll call with you.

But I want you to know that when I cross the river, my last conscious thoughts

will be of the Corps,

and the Corps,

and the Corps.

I bid you