The Americanization of Emily (1964) Script

Hi, Harry.

It'll only be a few moments, sir.

Put that hand luggage in the automobile.

Paul? Yeah.

Put the footlockers in the jeep.

Everything else goes in the two-and-a-half.

Unloading shouldn't take long.

You won't be more than a few minutes behind us.

I'll see you back at the hotel.

Harry, is everything set at the hotel?

Hiya, Charlie.


Adm. Jessup's riding in the second car, sir.

Adm. Jessup, you remember Mr. Parks.

Bus, I'll check on the unloading... See you inside.

Glad you're back, Charlie.

We'll go around to the rear entrance.


Will you put this stuff in my room, Paul?

Hello, Tom.

Nice to have you back in London, sir. Thank you.

There's a crate of eggs, four pounds of bacon, four tins of coffee... marmalade, six pounds of butter, and ten pounds of oranges.

Would you check those for bruises, Tom? I will, sir.

The Admiral will have breakfast tomorrow at 7:30... with Capt. Ellender and Cmdr. Cummings.

Here's how everyone likes their eggs. Thank you, sir.

I'll sign this in.

You pick up the wash and dry cleaning. Right.

Get some sleep.

You can't win them all, Commander.


Charlie, the Admiral wants to have a little spread tonight.

Then bridge later with Generals Hallerton and Waterson.

General Waterson doesn't play bridge.

Yeah, but he'll want a partner anyway.

Try to dig up a couple of someones to complete the foursome.

Here's the menu.

Steak, avocado salad, ice cream, appropriate wine.

Call the motor pool and get a driver, will you?

We're going to stay in London at least for a while.

Until the balloon goes up. What balloon?

D- day. The invasion of Europe.

You might as well set up house. Okay.

Motor pool, please.

Gen. Waterson likes redheaded partners?

Yes, as I recall.

Paul, never mind. I'll go by the motor pool myself.

Avocado salad. That's a new one.

Hi, Charlie.

Sheila, could you be a redhead by 5:30 this afternoon?

I could manage it, love.

Am I to drive, or am I to dress? You'll have to dress.

It's for dinner and a bit of mauling.

A two-star general who usually passes out at 11:30.

Two-star general.

Push on to SHAEF, Pat. Two Navy captains. Wait in front, will you?

Here you are, Charlie. Bye, Pat.

I need a driver to take me to Hendon. How about Sheila?

I'm sorry, love. I'm afraid she's on call.

Emily, take Cmdr. Madison over to Hendon airport.

If I'm to be a redhead, I'll need a new dress, don't you agree?

I'll be in my room by lunch.

You are a love, Charlie.

Here's your ticket. This is yours, love.

Rear Admiral. Go to Hammersmith.

Rear Admiral?

I shall be up in my new dress during lunch, love.

Is Lt. Hayworth still Navy Supply Officer here?

No, sir. There's a Lt. Wade there now, sir.

Thank you, sir.

It might help you to know that Lt. Wade is from Alabama.

Thank you.

Drop around my hotel tomorrow at 3:00. I got some bottles for you, anyway.

What kind of bottles?

What kind of bottles would I have for a Confederate kinsman in an alien land?

Don't tell me. I.W. Harper.

You can't get bourbon over here.

You got three bottles.

You're quite a dog-robber, ain't you, Madison?

Let's just make sure we read each other clear, Wade.

I'll take care of you... but, Lieutenant, my admiral sets the best table... of anybody in the European theater of operations... including the Supreme Commander.

I want the prime of everything you've got in here.

When I ask for steak, I mean aged, two inches thick... corn-fed, that you can cut with a sharp look.

I'm setting up house, now.

For today, I want six dozen sirloin strips... one crate of oranges, one crate of grapefruit... six rib roasts, three Swiss hams, six gallons of ice cream... and one gallon chocolate syrup.

I expect to be favored.

If any other admiral's dog-robber complains... tell him my admiral will cover for you... all the way to the Secretary of the Navy.

If you do right, I'll see that you get... the Legion of Merit with clusters.

That's for your gallant service.

If you fink on my admiral, man...

The last supply officer, who sent my admiral a chewy steak... is now at the North Pole doing polar research.

You read me, Lieutenant?

I read you, Commander.

If you'll just have that sweet young thing... drive that Buick around to the dock while we load you up.


You Americans are really enjoying this war, aren't you?

Ma'am?

Most English families haven't seen that many oranges or eggs in years.

But it's one big Shriners' Convention to you Yanks, isn't it?

Well, that's swell, miss.

Barham. On to the hotel, Miss Barham.

It's nearly lunch.

Since when did you start asking for ration coupons, Alfie?

Bienvenue.

That's the avocados.

It's too bloody gorgeous, Charlie.

I need a girl, Sheila.

A bright, bridge-playing girl. Very crusty, elegant...

British diction calculated to bring out the upstart in the American.

Who can handle herself at a dinner table and play bridge like an assassin.

Whatever happened to Alice Luddens?

She's married off, love, to a lieutenant in the paratroops.

Can't be too choosy, I suppose, if you're a widow with two kids.

Can I go and try it on, Charlie?

The balloon is going up any day now.

What balloon? D-day, old man.

Invasion of Europe.

Any day now 1,000,000 men are gonna hit the beaches of France... in the greatest battle in history.

Do you know any girls who play a good game of bridge?

What do you think, Charlie?

Yeah. It's worth a try.

Harry, let me borrow this for a while. Hey.

It's a matter of State.

Charlie, what happened to you? Knock off.

An old wound, Commander?

Yes. A bit of flak I picked up flying for the RAF in 1940.

Acts up every now and then.

Pity.

Miss Barham, do you play bridge?

Yes, I do. Why?

Adm. Jessup would like you to be his guest... for dinner and bridge this evening.

I see.

Just dinner and bridge. Nothing else.

I'll have you delivered back to your quarters by 10:30.

No, thank you.

If you don't need me, Commander, may I take my lunch?

You're something of a prig, Miss Barham.

I don't mean to be.

Sheila? Do you think I'm a prig?

Lord, yes, love.

You've been shattering us with your virtue... ever since you joined this motor pool.

I've been that awful? Bloody virgin goddess herself.

The fact is, I'm anything but.

I'm grotesquely sentimental. I fall in love at the drop of a hat.

That's why I gave up hospital driving.

All those men... moaning in the back of the ambulance.

Especially the lot from Africa.

I used to read to them in my off-hours.

When they were healed, and being sent back to the Front... they'd come looking for me to spend their last nights of leave with them.

Little hotel rooms.

Bed and breakfast for a guinea.

I paid the guinea myself, more often than not.

But I couldn't say no to them, could I?

I'd just lost my husband at Tobruk.

And I was overwhelmed with tenderness for all dying men.

As I say, I'm grotesquely sentimental.

What on earth are you doing to your hair? I'm turning it red.

I'm going to one of Charlie Madison's dos tonight.

Yes. I was asked to that one.

Does it require red hair?

Do come, love. Charlie lays on smashing food.

All sorts of meats, fruit, real cream.

Things we haven't seen in England for years.

You'll get a new dress out of it. Have you been to Madison's room?

Nope. You've just got to see it.

It's the swankiest shop in town.

He's got everything up there but the crown jewels.

Here, look at this.

You can't see this at Harrods.

That's nylon, love. And this is pure silk.

I'd show you my new dress, but I don't want the others to see.

It's Bonwit Tellers. You've heard of that, I imagine.

You mean he actually supplies you with a wardrobe?

Charlie dresses you proper.

Americans don't like to see their women in uniforms.

But it all ends in someone's bed, doesn't it?

I mean, that's the point, isn't it?

Look who's talking after that lurid confession you've just made.

Sorry. I am a prig, at that.

I feel rather tender towards the poor beggars myself.

I don't want to feel tender towards anyone.

Especially soldiers.

I've lost a husband, a father, and a brother in this war.

When my husband died, I almost went insane.

I take these things badly.

I fall in love too easily, and I shatter too easily.

I don't want any more doomed men.

Do come tonight, love.

These men aren't doomed.

They'll never see any of the shooting, that's for sure.

We'll have a few laughs.

I've never seen anyone needing a few laughs as much as you do.

Very nice crystal, Tom. Danish? Yes, sir.

I don't much care for the centerpiece. You can take that out.

Of course.

Italian. Very lovely. Thank you, sir.

Cocktails at 5:30, and heavy on the gin.

Dinner at 6:00 promptly. Once you've cleared away...

I'll manage from there. Very good, sir.

You're not limping, Commander.

It's the Arabian Nights. Do you have chests of rubies in the bathroom?

Just perfumes and liquor.

I've heard about this room, Commander.

All the girls talk about it, but I just couldn't believe it.

Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor.

Sheila's right. It is the swankiest shop in town.

Good heavens! Arpege perfume.

How did you manage Arpege with the Germans in Paris?

There are Germans in Paris, aren't there?

There is a war on, I think.

You Americans must have heard something about it, I'm sure.

Just pick out a dress, honey, and be back at 5:30.

You American-haters bore me to tears, Miss Barham.

I've dealt with Europeans all my life.

I know all about us parvenus from the States... who come over here and race around your old cathedral towns... with our cameras and Coca-Cola bottles.

Brawl in your pubs, paw your women, and act like we own the world.

We over tip. We talk too loud.

We think we can buy anything with a Hershey bar.

I've had Germans and Italians tell me... how politically ingenuous we are.

And perhaps so.

But we haven't managed a Hitler or Mussolini yet.

I've had Frenchmen call me a savage... because I only took half an hour for lunch.

The only reason the French take two hours for lunch... is because the service in their restaurants is lousy.

The most tedious lot are you British.

We crass Americans didn't introduce war into your little island.

This war, Miss Barham, to which we Americans are so insensitive... is the result of 2,000 years of European greed... barbarism, superstition, and stupidity.

Don't blame it on our Coca-Cola bottles.

Europe was a going brothel long before we came to town.

Dear me. What an outburst.

So lay off, Mrs. Miniver.

If you don't like Hershey bars, don't take them.

Pick yourself a frock, or get out.

It's not my job to listen to your sentimental contempt.

I could almost believe you flew for the RAF.

I never flew for the RAF, and you know it.

You didn't expect me to believe you for a minute, did you?

Not for a minute.

But why, Commander?

You're here, Miss Barham.

Yes, so I am.

You're a complete rascal.

I'll be back at 5:30.

The Admiral will be delighted you're coming.

Looking forward to it. If I can be of any service.

I have my own clothes, Commander. I'll do without your Hershey bars.

Do you have a girl, Commander?

None of your damn business, Miss Barham.

Avocado! I haven't seen avocados in years!

Come over to the table... But they're out of season, darling.

But, the Admiral likes to have some around... just to keep his guests happy.

Isn't that right, Charlie? Right, Bus.

These Hungarians at the Princess, they really are...

Good evening. Excuse me.

Miss Barham, you must know someone at Saks Fifth Avenue yourself.

What? This old thing.

It's lovely.

Miss Barham, if you need any assistance you just give a yell.

I'll be somewhere near at hand.

Charlie, this is Madame Clarabigh.

How do you do? You know the General.

Yes, General. Madame...

You'll have to excuse us, Admiral.

I hope you'll excuse me for taking you away from the Admiral... but a gentleman expressed his desire to meet you.

You do speak Russian?

Tom. Sir?

I want you to keep the food moving.

The Admiral wants the room cleared in two hours for that bridge game.

Doubled. Redoubled.

Pass. Pass.

I overbid?

Let's just say you have unbridled courage.

I don't like the way the Navy's publicity is being handled in Overlord.

I want extreme measures taken to publicize the Navy's role in this invasion.

The President supports me in this.

Yeah, we received your cables, Jesse... but I don't know what you mean by extreme measures.

This is going to be a bloodbath.

I want a Marine division to be the first assault wave.

You're not going to drag that old chestnut in.

The Marines are traditional shock troops, you know it.

Not in the European theater of operations, they're not.

You Navy guys get all the headlines in the South Pacific.

But Europe's an Army show.

It's been understood from the beginning, Jesse.

I've written the Supreme Commander about this.

That's one of the reasons he's out of town.

You must be off your rocker, Jesse, if you think... assault changes can be made at this stage of preparation.

You know when the balloon's going up.

What balloon?

I've been instructed to say... that we're going to put on a few more Navy staff officers... at supreme headquarters.

We're going to push the PRO people to send out more Navy releases.

The Supreme Commander wants it clear that he considers... this inter-service competitiveness in very bad taste.

He's having enough trouble keeping the English and French in line.

You're down four, Willie.

Doubled, redoubled, and vulnerable.

Marine division! You must be losing your mind, Jesse.

Who deals? The young lady, I think.

Clear away that table, please.

General Waterson? Your car is ready, sir.

Thank you. Good night, Sheila.

Champagne, Charlie. It's being chilled.

It'll be outside your door in half an hour.

Where...

I sent her in.

Your car's here, General.

It's $34, all right.

At Adm. Jessup's request, I've had The Scotch House... send you three yards of tweed, sir.

It's for Mrs. Hallerton.

It won't get him his Marine division, Charlie... but it's generous of him. Thank him for me.

It was good to see you again, sir.

Good night. Good night.

Miss Barham, there's a car downstairs for you... if you'd like me to take you down... No, thank you. I'll manage.

I had a lovely evening, Commander. Please ask me again.

Was I rude, Charlie, in leaving all those good-byes to you?

It wasn't noticed, sir.

I've got the damnedest headache.

I'll fix you a drink before your bath, Admiral.

Charlie, in seven weeks, I've got to go back to Washington... and testify before the Joint Committee on Military Affairs.

On the agenda is a review of the Army's new long-range bomber program.

And there'll be speculation... as to whether that doesn't make carrier-based aircraft obsolete.

In short, they're out to scrap the Navy again.

Charlie, the Air Corps is coming out of this war the darling of the services.

The Army and its Air Corps.

The Navy will be the runt of the litter.

They'll scrap us... like they do after every war.

Limit our capital ships...

reduce our crews to cadres, strip us back to Pearl Harbor level.

Then they'll scream how ill-prepared we are... when somebody hits us with another Pearl Harbor.

All Washington is bug-eyed over this invasion of Europe.

And this invasion of Europe is an all Army show.

That's why we're here, Charlie.

To remind the Congress of the United States... and the American public... that this invasion of Europe is also a Navy show.

I just threw in that Marine division for openers.

They turned me down. Now they owe me something.

But what?

What?

I don't know what to shoot for.

I've got to come up with something.

It's driving me crazy.

Charlie, fix me something for this head, will you? It's killing me.

Sure, Admiral.

Sure, George, sure.

Sure. Support that damn peanut.

Damn Chinese.

Communist. Five years at the most.

Here's your drink, sir.

Murderers, boy. Murderers.

You're on the nose there, George.

Andrew, for one.

Take the steam out of it.

And your damned Army in China, anyway.

I'll leave your drink on the bed table, sir.


Come to think of it, I don't have a girl.

I don't have a man.

You think we can keep it on that level?

Not a chance.

It's going to be just one of those things, you and I.

I like your spirit, Commander.


I'm not your type, you know. Like hell, you're not.

I would have thought you'd fancy heroes. I'm yellow, honey, clear through.

That's your most attractive quality.

I've had it with heroes. Every man I've loved has died in this war.

You'll never get caught in the shooting. That's one thing I'm sure of.

You can't imagine how attractive that makes you to me.

Easy, tiger. That's a tailored shirt.

Shut up and let me kiss you.

The first dead man on Omaha Beach must be a sailor.

You read me, sir?

The first dead man on Omaha Beach must be a sailor.

Put your mind on that, sir.

Dear me, what was that about?

What did he say?

I think he said, "The first dead man on Omaha Beach must be a sailor. "

That's a very piquant thing to say, don't you think?

Yes, I think I'd call it piquant.

Does he do that often?

No. I don't think I ever remember him doing that before.

Excuse me a minute, will you, please?

Hello, Charlie.

The first dead man on Omaha Beach must be a sailor.

Think about that for a minute.

In what reference, sir?

The Unknown Sailor.

Let me kick that around in my own mind for a minute.

Charlie, I want the whole team in my office tomorrow morning at 0900... to discuss just that.

To discuss just what, sir?

Arrange that, Charlie. 0900. The whole team.

Good night, Charlie.

Good night, sir.


Who is it? Always barging in...

Bus, the strangest thing happened. Close the door!

The Admiral came into my room in his nightshirt... yelling, "The first dead man on Omaha Beach must be a sailor. "

What's up? You can see the obvious state of affairs here.

The Admiral's ripped a braid.

He came barging in, yelling, "The first dead... "

For Pete's sake, tomorrow morning... Tomorrow morning at 0900... the Admiral wants the team in his office to discuss...

"The first dead man on Omaha Beach must be a sailor. "

Yeah. Swell. Great.

Where are my ruddy shoes?

Tomorrow morning, Charlie?

Bloody rude Americans! All right.

They're all the same! Tomorrow morning.

I think Charlie's flipped his screw.

This hotel's like a ruddy circus, if you don't mind me saying.

I mean, really!

Now, it's okay, baby.

We've got about a month.

I want a movie made that shows the Navy's contribution to D-day.

From the procurement of vessels to the actual landings.

Gentlemen, 4,000 ships and boats... battleships, destroyers, landing crafts, spit kits... excursion steamers, channel boats, private yachts... tugs, tubs and Chinese junks.

4,000 vessels.

The greatest armada ever assembled by man... is going to cross that channel.

They're going to have to do it at night... across one of the nastiest waters in the world... the English Channel.

Every inch of that channel is mined in the bargain.

It'll be the most incredible naval achievement in history.

If Hitler could have done it, he'd have had the world in his pocket... and it's the Navy that's the essence of victory in this invasion.

I want a movie that makes that clear. Sir...

I especially want a movie that shows the Navy demolition units... who are going to be the first men on those beaches.

Casualties... are estimated at 50% in the first assault waves.

A lot of brave men are going to die on D-day, gentlemen... and I want a movie that shows... the first brave man to die on those beaches was a sailor.

If that's a Roger Charlton, I'll be there directly.

Yes, sir.

Adm. Jessup's office.

Yes, sir. He'll be there directly. Thank you, sir.

Now, here's what I want done.

I want a photography team assigned to the demolition engineers... to record their activities on film right up to the beaches.

I'm leaving this in your hands, Bus. I consider it urgent.

There are six photography teams assigned to the first assault wave.

I don't care about other photography teams. I want one of my own... to record the heroism of those Navy engineers.

I want this film made, Commander.

You get some photographers' mates and start making it.

Aye, aye, sir.

Any questions?

No, sir.

How's that for a cockamamie assignment?

He's been getting these eccentric flashes ever since his wife died last year.

Yeah. He's got something in the back of his mind.

I'll check and see if I can't find photographer's mates.

Where are you going?

Call in about noon, Charlie.

I don't know what's the matter with Charlie...

Hello, Emily.

Hello. You're just in time for tea.

Thank you.

You brought me some chocolates? Two boxes of Hershey's.

That's very American of you, Charlie.

You just had to bring along some small token of opulence.

I don't want them.

You Yanks can't even show affection without buying something.

Don't get into a state over it. I thought you liked chocolates.

I do! But my country's at war... and we're doing without chocolates for a while.

I don't want oranges or eggs or soap flakes, either.

Don't show me how profitable it'll be to fall in love with you, Charlie.

Don't Americanize me.

That's my father. He lost a leg in the first war.

Got the Victoria Cross for that.

He died in an air raid a week after that portrait was painted.

That's my brother, there.

His name was Charlie, too, by the way.

He was shot down during the blitz.

Sacrificed himself to save his squadron.

The one you're looking at now is my husband.

He looks like a rake.

Yes. He was very bawdy.

I was insane about him.

He died at Tobruk.

The rest of the lot there are cousins.

There's two of them still living.

I must say the family's been thinned out nicely one way or another.

Charlie, before we go out to my mum, I must tell you... she's a bit mad.

You'll like her very much. She's very funny.

But she may yatter away about my father and my brother... as though they were still alive.

Just go along with her. Do you understand?

I understand. You don't want my Hershey bars.

I think it profane to enjoy this war.

I never realized what a sensual satisfaction grieving is for women.

I'm not sure that's a very tasteful thing for you to say.

I'm not sentimental about war. I see nothing noble in widows.

You're jealous of my husband. I like that.

Mother.

You've brought chocolates, two whole boxfuls.

What a treasure trove. I already refused them.

On ascetic grounds. You're an absolute flatulent, Emily.

Take the things if you want them.

I shall have one later and save the rest for your father.

You must be Emily's new lover since she hasn't bothered to introduce us.

You must be her mother.

You found the chink in my armor. What are your religious views?

I'm a practicing coward. That's very fervent of you.

I should have known you two would get on.

You're as dotty as she is, Charlie.

Before the war, I was an assistant night manager... of a diplomatic hotel in Washington, D.C.

What made you say that?

Lord, I feel like Alice at the tea party.

He's going to tell us about a religious experience.

Yes. It was my job as assistant night manager to arrange things... for many of the great historical figures on great historical missions.

What exactly did you arrange?

Usually I arranged girls, but individual tastes varied, of course.

Of course.

It's useful work, anyway, especially in a war.

I was offered all sorts of commissions in the Army and the Navy.

The one I have now. Adm. Jessup phoned me to join his staff... but I'd always been a little embarrassed by my job at the hotel... and I wanted to do something redeeming.

War is the only chance a man has to do something redeeming.

That's why war is so attractive. War's very handsome, I agree.

At any rate, I turned down Adm. Jessup's offer... and I enlisted in the Marines as a private.

I even applied for combat service.

My wife, to all appearances a perfectly sensible woman... encouraged me in this idiotic decision.

Seven months later, I found myself invading the Solomon Islands.

There I was splashing away in the shoals of Guadalcanal.

It occurred to me a man could get killed doing this kind of thing.

Fact is, most of the men splashing along with me... were screaming in agony and dying like flies.

Those were brave men dying there.

Peacetime, they'd all been normal, decent cowards... frightened of their wives, trembling before their bosses... terrified of the passing of the years.

But war had made them gallant.

They had been greedy men. Now they were self-sacrificing.

They had been selfish. Now they were generous.

War isn't hell at all. Man at his best.

The highest morality he's capable of.

Never mind all that. What's this about a wife?

That night, I sat in the jungles of Guadalcanal... waiting to be killed, sopping wet.

It was then I had my blinding revelation.

I discovered I was a coward.

That's my new religion. I'm a big believer in it.

Cowardice will save the world. It's not war that's insane, you see.

It's the morality of it. It's not greed and ambition that makes wars.

It's goodness.

Wars are always fought for the best of reasons... for liberation or manifest destiny... always against tyranny and always in the interest of humanity.

So far this war we've managed to butcher... some 10,000,000 humans in the interest of humanity.

Next war, it seems we'll have to destroy all of man... in order to preserve his damn dignity.

It's not war that's unnatural to us. It's virtue.

As long as valor remains a virtue we shall have soldiers.

So I preach cowardice.

Through cowardice, we shall all be saved.

That was exalting, Commander. Absolutely occult.

Never mind the metaphysics, Commander. Let's get back to your wife.

Needless to say, that first night, I wrote Adm. Jessup, saying...

"For heaven's sakes, get me out of this. "

Two weeks later, I was transferred back to Washington.

I raced home to my wife...

And found her with another man. Lord, no.

My wife, who had deceived me more times before the war... than I care to think about... was now having the time of her life being faithful.

She was furious with me for coming back.

There was no reason for her being virtuous anymore.

She promptly sued me for divorce... on the grounds of religious differences.

I was a self-preservationist... and she was a high Anglican sentimentalist.

You're fair game, then.

After every war, you know we always find out how unnecessary it was... and after this I'm sure all the generals... will write books about the blunders made by other generals... and statesmen will publish their secret diaries... and it'll show beyond any shadow of doubt... that war could easily have been avoided in the first place.

The rest of us, of course, will be left... with the job of bandaging the wounded and burying the dead.

I don't trust people who make bitter reflections about war, Mrs. Barham.

It's the generals with the bloodiest records... who are the first to shout what a hell it is.

It's always the war widows who lead the Memorial Day parades.

That was unkind, Charlie, and very rude.

We shall never end wars, Mrs. Barham, by blaming it on ministers and generals... or warmongering imperialists or all the other banal bogeys.

It's the rest of us who build statues to those generals... and name boulevards after those ministers.

The rest of us who make heroes of our dead... and shrines of our battlefields.

We wear our widow's weeds like nuns, Mrs. Barham... and perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices.

My brother died at Anzio.

I didn't know that, Charlie.

Yes. An everyday soldier's death, no special heroism involved.

They buried what pieces they found of him.

But my mother insists he died a brave death and pretends to be very proud.

You're very hard on your mother.

It seems a harmless enough pretense to me.

No, Mrs. Barham.

No. You see, now my other brother can't wait to reach enlistment age.

That'll be in September. Lord.

Maybe ministers and generals blunder us into war, Mrs. Barham... the least the rest of us can do is to resist honoring the institution.

What has my mother got for pretending bravery was admirable?

She's under constant sedation... and terrified she may wake up one morning... and find her last son has run off to be brave.

I don't think I was rude or unkind before. Do you, Mrs. Barham?

No.

You better push off, Emily, if you've got to get to work.

Give my best to Father, then.

Your father died in the blitz... and your brother died a brave and pointless death in December 1940.

I've carried on much too long with all this. Mother.

No, do go. Honestly, I'd much rather be alone.

Really, I mean it.

You're a kind man, Commander. I hope you'll come again.

Thank you, ma'am. I'd like to.

At the same time, Jesse, it has to be a neap tide... so we can unload all the Army's heavy stuff with a minimum of open beach.

Jesse, D-day has to be June 5 or 6.

We won't repeat these tidal conditions for half a year, at least with a moon.

That'll put us into the winter.

Jesse, why don't we knock off this briefing?

We've been at it since 3:00. Yeah, I'm tired.

It took me six months to get that portable port plan to the Pentagon... let alone the British.

I haven't had more than two or three hours' sleep a night... since Florence died. I'm really worn out.

Why don't we get a couple of beers and get a decent night's sleep?

Yeah. Let's really tie one on tonight.

Bus, call Charlie Madison. Tell him to set up a little bar in a hotel.

Yes, sir.

You remember we weren't called midshipmen in those days... we were called naval cadets.

Yeah!

This was before Bancroft Hall was turned into a dormitory... because they found the O.O.D. Sitting there with his...

You remember when they christened the canvas!

Anyway, "Hey, you cadet," said this jimmy leg.

Jesse?

Jesse, you think they're gonna... unify the services after the war?

Yeah. It looks that way.

A joint committee on military affairs... is holding a hearing. The end of June.

Ostensibly, it's about the Army's new bomber program.

It's really about the Army pushing to be... the dominant service in the military establishment.

A lot of talk about the Air Corps becoming a separate service.

Yeah. Every senator in Washington... is infatuated with strategic bombing.

You don't win a war with strategic bombers!

Right!

If you did, Hitler would be sitting in this room right now instead of us.

Right! Hitler ruled the sky. He had the greatest army in the world.

But he couldn't make it across 30 miles of English Channel.

Right.

Hitler had everything, except a navy.

Now he's finished.

This planet is five-sixths water!

God made it that way, and that's the way it's gonna stay.

In this world, you're as strong as your sea power.

You tell them, Jesse! Damn right.

My father was class of 1869.

He beat the Army 2-0... when they were still pitching baseball underhanded.

I wish he was pitching for us this year.

My grandfather died slipping a sloop... through the Union blockade at Charleston.

I knew we'd get back to the Civil War.

My people have shipped out for this country under sail, wood and diesel... ever since Capt. John Smith left a Jessup to hold Jamestown in 1610.

And I'm damned if I'm going to see the Navy sucking runt's udder in my time.

I'll tell you that!

By golly!

Bus, how is that movie coming along?

Movie, sir? Yeah.

What...

Sir, are you all right? Jesse?

You know, something very strange is happening to me.

I'm beginning to like tea.

With milk?

Charlie? Better come here.

Florence!

Take it easy. Florence!

Florence! Easy, Jesse.

I've got him, sir. Help me get him on the bed, Bus.

Think we ought to call a doctor? No, he'll be all right, sir.

Here we go. On the other side, Bus. Here we go, sir.

Good. There you go. Right.

What happened, Bus?

I don't know. He asked me about that movie.

I told him I couldn't locate any photographer's mates.

Since he hadn't brought it up again, I let it slide.

He started yelling for his wife. We couldn't stop him.

All right. I'll take care of him.

You see Admirals Healy and Hoyle out, will you?

Yes. Sure.

Charlie? Yes, sir.

Charlie, I want you to make that movie for me.

I want you to take charge, Charlie.

I want you to make that movie for me. You just leave it to me, sir.

We might as well see some of this film before the Admiral comes.

Combat engineers in training.

This is a beach somewhere on the west coast of Wales. It has been prepared to be an exact duplicate of the beaches of France... where the invasion of Europe will take place. Every foot has been mined. Three years of German ingenuity have gone into making that beach impregnable. How will we get troops, tanks, and weapons across that beach?

That's the job of the Navy Combat Demolition Engineers. How did I get into this, anyway?

Here on this secret beach in Wales... the Navy engineers train for their hazardous duty. This is only a dry run. On D-day these engineers... will be under heavy mortar and artillery fire.

Thanks a lot!

Shut up, Charlie. I'm trying to watch the picture.

You won't like it, Marv. Got lousy reviews.

Each squad must clear an alley 50 feet wide... for our troops to advance on the beaches.

These American sailors will actually be the first men... to assault Hitler's European bastion. That fact, Charlie, is exactly what I want clearly recorded on film.

I want you and your photographers... to get into the water with those engineers.

Film their activities right up to the beaches.

Would you like us to start the movie from the beginning, sir?

No, I've got to run.

You're on the right track, Charlie.

Sir? Yes, Charlie?

Sir, I get the feeling a man could get killed making this movie.

A lot of men are going to get killed on D-day, Charlie.

I would like to be relieved of this assignment, sir.

Seems like a lot of risk to take for no particular reason.

I'm ordering you to make this film, Commander.

That's reason enough.

Seems to me, sir, the only thing at stake here... is a matter of naval public relations.

No, Commander. What's at stake here is the essence of military structure... the inviolability of command.

I've given you an order.

You'll obey it, or I'll have you brigged. Is that clear?

Yes, sir.

What do we do now?

I don't know what Marvin's going to do...

I'm going back to the office to cut your orders.

What orders?

Orders authorizing you to transfer unattached personnel... to your photographic unit.

Come on, Bus. I'm not going to make any silly movie.

There are no unattached photographic personnel. I've already checked.

So you report to me about that next week.

Then I'll cut you new orders, flight orders... pay orders, temporary duty orders.

Before I finish cutting orders for this movie, the war will be over.

Do this my way, Charlie. I don't like it. It's devious.

You've already tried the forthright frontal assault... nearly got yourself court-martialed... stripped of your commission... sent to the Arctic Circle to do polar research.

Man, you don't tell two-star admirals you don't approve of their orders.

Now you're on the Admiral's brig list.

I'll assign you to Exeter, Portland or some other channel ports... for the purpose of making preliminary investigations...

And you just stay out of the Admiral's sight.

I'll assign Emily as your driver, and you just have yourself a vacation.

Now, do this my way.

A nutty situation, Marv?

All right, I'll go to Sussex with Emily for a week.

Not such a bad deal.

Sussex should be lovely at this time of year.

Sheila would say, "It's too bloody lovely. Really, it is. "

She's not doing the bloody poling.

It's defiant, is it? Just give it a big push.

Help!


Charlie.

I love you, Emily.

How many more weeks do we have?

Three, maybe four.

I know Adm. Jessup has to be back in Washington... by the end of June.

Lord, I hope I don't get pregnant.

I've told myself a hundred times, don't get earnest about this man.

It's a casual thing. A brief, passionate explosion.

Don't get sticky about it, for heaven's sake.

I'm sticky, Charlie. I'm sticky as hell.

I'm insanely in love with you.

Have you ever given any thought to getting married?

You really do cut to the core of things, don't you?

I've got some Navy marriage applications here.

Charlie, let's be honest about this.

Emily, we're nuts about each other. Let's get married.

But we're basically incompatible, Charlie.

It's got nothing to do with that.

It's our fundamental approaches to life.

I've got this ingrained British morality... and you're the most immoral man I've ever met.

You're a shameless coward, selfish as a child...

and you're pretty ruthless about getting what you want.

For all your charm, you're a scoundrel, Charlie.

Seems I don't mind making love to a scoundrel... but I think it immoral to marry one.

You lack principles, Charlie.

Isn't there anything you'd die for?

Sure.

I'd die for you, if it ever came to that.

I really believe you would.

There are lots of things I'd die for, Emily.

My home, my family, my country.

But that's love, not principle.

Now, if I were to bring a raging lion into the house... and wrestle it just to prove that I'd die for you... that would be highly principled of me.

But what's a lion doing in a man's house, anyway?

Shut up.


Charlie, I've been so silly. Of course I'll marry you.

I'll give you the signed documents in the morning.

I love you so.

Lord, I hope you do get pregnant.


What?

What is this?

All right. I don't do this kind of thing.

Shut up. What is this all about?

Close the door. I'm a decent girl.

Will you shut up? He's got the bloody lights on!

Turn the lights off! I want to read this to you!

I know what it is. I drew it up!

It is an order assigning me to a demolition unit in Portland!

I know what it is! What are you yelling about?

Don't you ever knock? All right, I'm sorry!

For Pete's sake, Charlie. Will you stop jumping around?

I'm naked, dear. I'm looking for something to put on.

This is my best friend, you dotty witch, not the house detective.

Now, just stand at attention while Cmdr. Madison and I confer.

Charlie, ever since you're away all the time...

I have to dig up my own girls.

The Admiral came into my office yesterday morning and said...

"I want Madison immediately assigned to a demolition unit. "

I cut your orders. You and your camera crew... report to the port commander, Portland. 2200 hours, June 4.

Tomorrow is June 4.

I know tomorrow is June 4. Fill in the names.

What names?

Names of your camera crew. I don't have any camera crew.

What's the matter with you, Bus?

I know you don't have any camera crew.

But by 1000 hours tomorrow morning...

I'll cut flight orders for this camera you don't have... on the 1900 hours flight to Portland... with a copy of each to COMINT, SHAEF, COMNAVEU, COMLANCRABEU... and Port Commander, Portland, PORLANCRABEAU.

It will take me two hours to rescind those orders... let alone draft new flight orders... new requisition orders, new pay orders.

Don't get swept up with the sheer artistry of it all.

Look. These orders specifically assign me... to the 6th Naval Engineer Unit.

That makes this whole silly movie, official Navy business... with a copy each for COMINT, SHAEF, and PORLANCRABEAU.

The balloon is going up any day now. Will you stop...

No. The Admiral's been at Southampton to Supreme Command... more often than he's been in town this week.

Now, Charlie! Trust me.

All right.

Bus, could you assign Emily and me to the Lake District next week?

That's lovely up there.

This one really takes the cake.

We don't have anything in the Lake District, Charlie.

What about Cornwall? Land's End, rocky cliffs over looking the sea.

It's very romantic.

I have a training station at Falmouth.

I can assign you there.

Sounds very nice. We'll take it.

Bus, I'm marrying her.

Charlie!

You're getting a great girl. Thanks, Bus.

I'm going to throw you the biggest spread... this whole town has ever seen. The works!

Formal Annapolis wedding, arch of sabers, everything.

Congratulations, sailor.

Thanks, mate. I'll see you tomorrow in the office?

Tomorrow morning, buddy. Right, buddy.

You may stand at ease now, sailor.

I don't want 90 proof. This is for some Russians.

They're always making cracks about the impotence of American vodka.

Cmdr. Cummings in Adm. Jessup's office.

Is Imogene there?

Please have Caroline bring Adm. Jessup's car at 0930 exactly.

Russians still like their women short, fat and reactionary?

As far as I know, they do.

Now, Jesse, we come to your research project on the Arctic Circle.

We received a second cable yesterday afternoon from Norris.

Jesse, your North Pole project is going to go down the drain... unless you start raising a little hell again. Jesse!

Imogene, you haven't lost any weight, have you?

Come here a minute.

I said, come here a minute.

I'll call you back.

My God!

Holy cow.

Jesse. We better get a doctor.

He's supposed to be in Southampton in an hour... at a meeting of the Joint Supreme Command.

You're out of your mind.

He's in a schizophrenic state. Get him to a hospital.

I suppose you're right.

He really flipped. Get me a hospital, quick.

I'd better tell Admiral Healy about this.

Hiya, Bus.

Harry, something serious has just happened.

Adm. Jessup's gone mad.

He's flipped. Will you tell Admiral Healy about it?

Admiral Healy's on his way... to Southampton with Adm. Jessup in five minutes.

No, Adm. Jessup isn't going to Southampton, Harry.

This is urgent. Adm. Jessup has cracked up.

What do you mean, he's cracked up? I mean he's cracked up.

He's lying on the floor right now in his office in a trance.

Do I read you right, Commander?

Are you trying to tell me Adm. William Jessup has cracked up?

You know, Harry, you are a pompous ass!

Now this better not be a gag.

You think I would joke about a thing like this?

The service takes a dim view of lieutenant commanders... who call the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy a nut.

Come on. You see for yourself, wise guy.

Hello, Harry. Adm. Healy ready?

He's waiting for you now, sir.

Admirals Hoyle and Magneson are with...

All right, what the hell is all this about? Harry, in here.

The Admiral is a very sick man.

This kind of a joke is tasteless enough from you two.

But from an academy man, it is obscene!

You shore sailors ought to do a little tour of sea duty just to find out exactly...

All right, Spaulding, I've had about enough of your bilge.

This blowhard here did four months... as a mess officer in the South Pacific, and he's been spouting sea salt ever since.

I didn't ask for a desk job.

I've applied for sea duty seven times, and you know it.

If you'll let me finish...

Don't just start pulling academy on me.

I was a cadet four-striper.

You never made more than midshipman of a lousy battalion.

This outburst is bad joss, Commander, bad joss.

Don't start jacking me up like you were my senior cadet officer.

While you two schoolboys are standing here...

And I don't want to hear any more cracks about schoolboys.

You civilian sailors think there's something funny... about a man taking pride in his service.

Sir, permit me to inform you, sir... that I am damn proud of being an Annapolis man, sir.

Look, right now... I didn't ask for a lousy desk job.

I've got bad eyes. Now, what can I do?

You think I wanna to tell my kids that on D-day... their father was shacked up at the Westchester Hotel?

For Pete's sake, Bus.

Adm. Healy wants to see you, Bus. What happened?

I don't know. They took Adm. Jessup back to his hotel.

He's flipped again.

We better go to the hotel, Charlie. No, wait here.

Healy may want to see both of you, too. We're getting a doctor for him.

A movie to show the first dead man on Omaha Beach was sailor?

Yes, sir.

I got an odd letter from the Under Chief of Naval Operations today.

That's what I was discussing with Jesse when he went wild.

It's nearly 9:40, Tom.

I know, just a minute. Yes, here it is.

"The President expressed interest in some moving picture Jessup is making. "

Jessup has written directly to the President about this.

I wish Jesse would keep me informed... even of these private projects of his.

"At the end of the meeting, Harry Begely, the President's assistant...

"made reference to a tomb for the Unknown Sailor. "

What tomb for the Unknown Sailor, Commander?

I don't know, sir. I had no idea that Adm. Jessup... was in communication with the President or Harry Begely.

Does anyone know about a tomb for the Unknown Sailor?

I assume Jessup meant the first dead sailor on Omaha Beach... to be the sailor in the tomb.

What tomb?

The tomb for the Unknown Sailor, sir. There is no...

I see. Another one of Jesse's projects.

Commander, this movie about the demolition engineers.

Is such a movie being made? Not really, sir.

You see, we've been trying... Get it made.

I want this incident closed, and I want it closed fast.

I don't want anything that's happened to get out of here.

I don't even want the President to know this.

Tom.

Put together a movie, Commander, I can give to Mr. Begely... who can show it to the President... who will write a polite note to Adm. Jessup... and this unhappy matter will be closed. Yes, sir.

Harry, I am to be informed every hour as to Adm. Jessup's condition.

Yes, sir. A hell of a day for this to happen.

Now what is so crazy about a tomb for the Unknown Sailor?

I think there's something splendid in the idea.

Yes, it does have a ring to it, doesn't it?

How's the old man, Bus?

The President has expressed an interest in Adm. Jessup's movie.

Naturally.

The Navy has committed itself to this movie... and it'll be pretty damned embarrassing if it isn't made.

So, Charlie, we're going to make that movie.

That's very spunky of you, Bus.

You and I are going to get on that 2100 flight to Portland this evening... and we're going to make a movie!

I'm going in this with you, buddy.

I'm cutting orders for the both of us right now.

Damn it, Charlie. It's exciting, isn't it?

Will you quit giving me these comradely pokes?

This is it, boy. This is the big show.

And we're going to be in there for the first shot.

Just how did you and I suddenly become The Charge of the Light Brigade?

Charlie... there's a lot more to this movie than we knew about.

The Admiral had a much larger vision in mind.

Apparently... the Admiral's idea is to build a tomb for the Unknown Sailor.

And to put the first dead man on Omaha Beach into it.

Tomb for the what?

That's a new one on me.

All right, sailors, that'll be all.

The Navy wants this movie made and it's going to be made.

You get back to your hotel and pack your gear... because we're going on that 2100 flight to Portland this evening.

That's an order, Commander.

A tomb for the Unknown Sailor. Holy cow, Bus!

Take it easy, Charlie. Charlie, you and I have had it too easy.

I think we've forgotten we're officers in the United States Navy.

It's not up to us to approve our orders... even if those orders mean risking our lives.

These are your orders, Charlie.

We'll have a mimeographed copy in half an hour.

We've been through this before.

This movie is an unnecessary piece of naval public relations... and I will not risk my life for that.

You have your orders, Commander.

I'm not going to do it.

You will be on that 2100 flight with me, or I'll put you on charges, Charlie.

Then you just put me on charges, Bus.

Adm. Jessup's office.

Yes, sir.

Yes, we'll be there directly, sir.

They want us to come to the hotel immediately.

Sailor!

Here, take this down to mimeograph immediately.

A tomb for the Unknown... Holy cow!

He's in one of his Annapolis moods. For heaven's sakes, hold your temper.

I'm not going to do it, Bus.

I'm not going to do it, Bus.

Bus...

I'm in love.

I'm in love like I never thought possible.

Life is especially dear to me right now... and I'm not going to leave mine on some beach in France... just to satisfy your grotesque sense of service loyalty.

You don't think I'm going to spend two years in a brig for this.

I can't believe you're serious, Bus.

If it's the Navy's public image that concerns you... just think what this will look like in the newspapers.

"The first dead man on Omaha Beach. "

"The tomb of the Unknown Sailor!"

What a hurricane Drew Pearson could make out of that.

You must remember that small offshore squall he kicked up... the time General Patton slapped that soldier.

Madison, you're despicable.

This is insane!

How did we ever get into this?

You're not fit to wear the insignia of a naval officer.

That was pretty baroque.

Wouldn't you say, Marv? You're a coward and a scoundrel.

And if you want to make...

If you want to make anything out of that...

I'll be in my room.

I'll send my seconds with a choice of weapons!

Marv, it's your turn.

Would you like to break my saber over your knee... or snip off my buttons?

You're not going to expose anything to Drew Pearson, Charlie.

You're much too fond of the Admiral.

And you're much too decent to expose that old man to public ridicule.

You're gonna have to find a better angle out of this than that.

I'm supposed to be on a plane at 9:00 this evening.

We're meeting with a Port Commander at Portland at 11:00 this evening.

That's not much time to think up angles.

You'll think of something.

The Admiral would like to see you in his room, Commander.

Is he all right? He's fine.


It seems I cracked up, Charlie.

That's the price a sane man pays in this world, sir.

They say a few days in the hospital...

I wouldn't mind except that I'll miss the big show.

Adm. Kirk asked me to observe from his flagship.

Yes, I know, sir.

It's tonight, you know. The balloon goes up tonight.

I expect you've already heard.

We all knew it was imminent, sir. We didn't know it was tonight.

Yep.

The first boats push off at 2130 hours.

The first boats push off at 2130 hours, sir?

Right.

I've never licked military time, sir.

2130 hours. That's 9:30 in the evening, right?

Right.

Now that's what I call an angle.

Did you say something, Charlie? No, sir.

Now, watch yourself, Charlie. You'll be cracking up yourself soon.

Close that door. Don't turn on those lights.

What do you want? I don't know how to tell you this.

I'd like to apologize for my contemptible behavior before.

I'd like another chance.

I've packed my gear.

We've got a job to do.

I'm ready to do it.

Underneath it all, you're a gutsy guy, aren't you, Charlie?

I don't know what came over me, Bus.

I showed the white feather, I suppose.

Forget about it.

I know we don't have too much time... but could I have leave to say goodbye to my girl?

Of course, Charlie. You're making a big dramatic deal out of this.

You do have a tendency to be overly sincere, you know.

Yes, I guess I do.

We have seven hours yet. Take Emily out to lunch.

Pick me up around 8:00.

I'll have her assigned to drive us to the airport. Would you like that?

Thanks, Bus. Was it raining out?

Yeah, just started.


You have a couple of minutes to say goodbye.

Thanks, Bus.

Charlie...

Write to me.

Write to you?

With any luck, I'll be back in London for lunch tomorrow.

Look, honey, let me make it clear again.

I couldn't make this invasion if I wanted to.

The demolition engineers will have shipped out... a good two hours before Bus and I report in.

The Port Commander's going to look at us as if we're nuts.

I'll see you tomorrow.

It's like you were taking an overnight business trip.

That's what it amounts to.

If I can't book a flight, I'll catch an afternoon train.

It's a hell of a D-day, that's all I can say.

To be honest with you, there's something very unpleasant... about this little deceit you're pulling on the Navy.

You've been cackling away all afternoon as if the invasion... in which the fate of nations and the lives of millions are at stake... is nothing more to you than a private joke.

I just keep thinking of all those men trooping onto ships tonight... wondering if they'll end up bodies on a beach.

Honey, I'm not cackling because there are bodies on a beach tomorrow.

I'm cackling because I'm not going to be one of them.

Honey, we're both getting drenched.

Charlie!

I can't marry you.

I've been waiting for that. We'll talk about it when I get back.

I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to see you again.

Emily, I will not be brushed off with my plane about to take off.

For pity's sake, Charlie, we both know it's finished.

Let's end it in one snap before we say things we'll regret.

No, let's say them.

There should be something we regret.

All right. I despise cowardice...

I detest selfish people, and I loathe ruthlessness.

Since you are cowardly, selfish, and ruthless...

I cannot help but despise, detest, and loathe you.

That's not the way a woman should feel about the man she'll marry.

Don't be facile, Emily. I am not being.

I've been up all night staring at your bloody marriage applications!

I signed them. They're in my purse.

I was going to give you them this afternoon... but you came prancing in with this very funny joke... you're playing on Bus, the Navy, your country and the whole bloody world.

Look, I suppose I'm just a stupid romantic, but I sort of feel the joke's on me, too.

I believe in honor, service, courage, and fair play... and cricket, and all the symbols of the British character... which have only civilized half the world.

You British plundered half the world for your own profit.

It's not the Age of Enlightenment. That's an American way of looking at it.

Don't get into a "the trouble with you Yanks" thing.

It has nothing to do with it. It has everything to do with it.

I'm British, and you're a bloody fool American.

I don't want to see you again.

General Kitchener aside, Emily, the only thing that's going on here... is a woman trying to shake off her lover.

If you don't love me, say so.

Nobody gets moral unless they're trying to get something or get out of something.

You're trying to get out of marrying me. If you don't love me, just say so.

Otherwise, I'll figure you're just frightened.

Frightened of what? Frightened of getting married.

Don't be an ass.

The weekend passion is over.

Now it's down to signing applications, babies, setting up house... you have to commit yourself to life now.

I don't want to know what's good or bad or true.

I let God worry about the truth.

I just want to know the momentary fact of things.

Life isn't good or bad or true.

It's merely factual. It's sensual. It's alive.

My idea of living sensual facts are you, a home, a country... a world, a universe. In that order.

I want to know what I am, not what I should be.

The fact is, I'm a coward. I never met anyone who wasn't.

I'm not.

You're the most terrified woman I've ever met.

You're even scared to get married.

I've already been married.

Sure. You married him three days before he went to Africa.

Thank God he never came back.

You're forever falling in love with men on their last nights of furlough.

That's the limit of your commitments. One night, a day, a month!

You prefer lovers to husbands, hotels to homes.

You'd rather grieve than live.

You're not only cowardly and selfish, you're remarkably cruel as well.

Come off it.

The only immoral thing you have against me is I'm alive.

I'm going to slap your face, Charlie.

Go ahead. I won't hit you back. I'm a coward.

On the other hand, I'm selfish. I don't easily give up what's mine.

You're mine, Emily, and I'm not going to let you go.

All you have to say is, "I don't love you. "

I don't love you, Charlie.

Come on, Charlie! It's time to go!

Well, you're a good woman.

You've done the morally right thing.

God save us all from people who do the morally right thing.

It's the rest of us who get broken in half.

You're a bitch.

I want you to remember that the last time you saw me...

I was unregenerately eating a Hershey bar.

What the hell is this all about? Sir?

What is this, some featherheaded gag, Commander?

The demolition units sailed two hours ago.

You featherheads in London, all you want to do is make movies.

Who's running this featherheaded war? Ginger Rogers?

The demolition units are halfway across the English Channel.

The invasion started two hours ago.

Heavens. Movies.

All right, Edwards, hide these Hollywood people... somewhere where they're out of my feather heading way.

But, sir, we didn't know.

We'll have to put you up in one of the supply depots, sir.

It's D-day, Charlie. Tonight's D-day.

Can't you get that through your head?

Looks like the feather heading balloon just went up without us.

Boatswain, take these officers to a depot... and find some cots for them.


How's the invasion going, boatswain?

They called it off, sir. Didn't you know?

What do you mean, they called it off?

The visibility never cleared up enough for the airborne troops.

The whole fleet turned around in mid-channel and came back.

Looks as if we got to do the whole thing again tonight.

What do you mean the fleet turned around in the Channel?

What do you mean, we got to do it all over again tonight?


Get your pants on, Mac.

Hey, Charlie!

I've got one camera, anyway. What happened?

What do you mean, what happened? What do you think I mean?

You mean to tell me that 5,000 boats filled with 1,000,000 men... tanks, airplanes, bombers, the whole sphere, just turned around... in the middle of the ocean and came back. Moon didn't come out.

What do you mean, the moon...

The moon didn't come out? How could you do this to me?

Mac, you get some clothes on.

Commander Madison? Yeah.

I was told to report to you, Sir.

What for? I don't know.

Lt. Cmdr. Cummings, he comes in the galley... and he says, "Anybody here know anything about cameras?"

I say, "Sure, I've made a lot of home movies. "

He says, "Okay, you report to Cmdr. Madison...

"Squad Room 6, naval engineers. "

Yeah.

Yeah, what? Yeah, that's what happened to me.

What's this all about, Commander?

If I told you, you'd rap me in the mouth.

Here, you men better have a drink of this. Yes, sir.

Commander, we're running a little low here.

Men, this is the deal.

At 1700, we get ferried out to an LST... to join the six naval engineers who are already on board.

At 2000 hours, we shove off.

At 0500, tomorrow morning... we transfer into an LCVP... with the engineers.

We'll be about 3,000 yards off Omaha beach.

We start moving toward the beach... until we get to the minefields and barricades.

Then the engineers get into the water... and start clearing out those minefields and those barricades.

We get into the water with them.

What for?

We're going to make movies.

We're going to shoot movies of those engineers... clearing out those minefields and barricades all the way to the beach.

Mostly we want to shoot movies of engineers getting killed... especially the first body that washes up on Omaha beach.

That's the deal. What do you think of that, mates?

Commander, I think you're out of your ever-loving mind.

You can say that again.

What's this?

That's a camera.

How do you work it?

How the hell do I know?

This is a pretty intricate camera.

At home I got a little old 8 mm Bell and Howell.

I never saw anything like this before.

That's what they gave me.

I can see the ceiling.

I'll tell you one thing.

You got to put film in this camera.

Are you sure of that?

For the love of Mike, what's the matter with you?

If you're going to make a movie, you got to put film in the camera.

Even I know that.

No. We're going to make this movie without film.

This movie, sailor, cannot be made. There's no reason it for being made.

None of us know how to make a movie. So what is the sense in using film?

Makes sense.

I'm cutting out of here.

Hey, Commander?

Do you see that little kid on the floor?

Well, him and me, we've been stoned for two days.

We started off with three bottles of vanilla extract... and then we got in with a bunch of submarine fellas... and we finished off a Number 10 can of torpedo alcohol.

You got to be pretty stoned after that, right?

I would think so.

Commander, we ain't that stoned.

We're not that stoned that we're going to go the beach... and take any pictures of the dead bodies floating in... with no film in the camera.

Then what do you say we just don't make this movie?

Ain't that swell?

All right, men, up and at 'em.

You're crocked. You're all crocked.

Madison, get this man on his feet.

Hold on now, he just fell over on...

Now, you listen to me.

Get into these clothes and get into them fast... or so help me, I'll have you all shot.

Stand up in the presence of an officer.

How am I going to get you drunks on board that LST?

How's the weather up there, sailor?

Why don't you guys go to France?

Help me out. Thank you.

- Now hear this... How many days we've been on this tub?

We already heard it! At ease, gentlemen.

All right, Charlie, here's your camera.

I'll be back in a minute with your battery pack.

You are about to embark on a great crusade... toward which we have striven these many months. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere... go with you. Can it!

Lieutenant, can't you keep your men quiet?

All right, you men, shut up!

You already read us about the great crusade.

I know. Now he's reading it. So shut up.

All right, now hear this. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere... I'm gonna be sick.

Accompanied with our brave allies... brothers in arms on other fronts... you are bringing about the destruction of the German war machine... the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe... and security for ourselves in a free world.

Cmdr. Cummings wants us on the bridge, sir.

Where the hell are we, sailor?

About five miles off the coast of France. You better get up on the bridge, sir.

Yes?

Charlie, come in. Close the door.

Got a real break.

There's a Navy camera unit assigned to the ship.

This is photographer's mate Enright. He'll show us how these cameras work.

Go ahead, sailor. I don't quite understand your assignment.

Let me see if I can get this straight.

You're going to get in the water at the same time as the engineers?

As I understand, sir, that's four feet of water.

Pretty rough sea, sir. You'll be lucky if you can keep your feet.

These cameras are heavy.

I've got a suggestion, sir.

You and your men stay in the LCVP with our crew. It'll be pretty bouncy... but your camera will be steady.

We want to be on the beach with the very first men. Don't we, Charlie?

My helmet's off to you, gentlemen.

I guess I better get some gelatin and waterproof those cameras.

We'll be down in the water room getting a bite to eat.

Men, before we go down to eat, I want to read you... a message from our supreme commander.

"Soldiers, sailors, airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force...

"you are about to embark on a great crusade...

"toward which we have striven these many months.

"The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere go with you. "

All right, sergeants, line them up. Come on.

Now hear this...

Point the camera in the direction you want to shoot... and press this switch over here. What about this one here?

First you got to turn this one on. Charlie, you're not paying attention.

Let's go.

All right, men, into the trucks. Let's go.

Lower the boats, damn it!

Okay, first demolition team over the side! Let's go.

Where's the kid? He's too sick, sir.

All right, Charlie, this is it.

All right, First Division. Easy with the camera now, Charlie.

Okay.

You're up next, sailor.


How much further on, Ensign? Maybe 5,000, maybe 6,000 feet.

Should see the low-water mark any time.

5,000-6,000 feet out, Charlie.


There's the low-water mark. Stand by to load the raft.

They're shooting at us. Lower the raft.

This is it, Charlie. Let's go.

I'm cold. Let's go.


No, the other way! The beach is that way!

I know which way the beach is! What's the matter with you?

You yellow rat, go to that beach.

What's the matter with you? They're shooting at us!

Take pictures!

What?


He's the first dead man on Omaha Beach if that means anything, Commander.


Emily...

Cmdr. Cummings is here to condole again.

Mother, I can't very well be condoled with.

I'm still pretending Charlie's alive.

As long as you know it's still pretending.

I do think, Emily, we've had enough of this sinister withdrawal of yours.

It's eight days since you went off into this medieval retreat.

You know, you're doing just what I did, and you'll end just as dotty.

I promise you, there's very little satisfaction in it.

Absolutely wooden with grief. Sends her best but asks to be excused.

Yes, of course, I understand. I just stopped by to show her this.

Thought it might make her feel better. It's yesterday's New York Globe. I'm onto that. What did you want me to see?

The photograph, ma'am. It's Charlie Madison... the first American on Omaha Beach.

It's on the front page of the New York Globe. It can't be said to be a very good likeness. It's mostly his back, isn't it?

This photograph was on the front page of almost 200 papers in the US alone.

We honestly didn't think it would catch on that big.

Our press office people just sent it out as a standard release... and first thing we knew it was...

Mrs. Barham, this picture was in almost every London newspaper yesterday.

I was sure you'd seen it. No.

Charlie's a hero, ma'am. Our public relations office is talking now... of holding some sort of ceremony over his grave... building some sort of monument.

A monument?

Probably nothing more than a simple bronze plaque... but the French have indicated they'd be willing... to declare Charlie's grave a French national shrine.

That's depraved.

As soon as I get an extra copy of Life I'll bring it to you.

What on earth for?

This picture of Charlie is on the front cover of Life magazine.

That's shoddy.

A French national monument.

I suppose one must expect that sort of thing from the French.

But you're supposed to be his friend.

Couldn't you've done something to keep this sordid business out of the press?

We're all very disappointed in Charlie... but he's paid his price, and there's no need to rake it up.

I don't think you have this exactly right. Charlie's a hero.

Mother?

There she is. Now don't say a word to her.

I'll tell her when I think she's well enough.

Going to work? That's very sensible of you.

I don't know how you've put up with me this long.

Don't forget that man's still here to commiserate.

This is his third condolence visit... and he's going to say comforting things. So you'll be polite to him?

He's just a bit sincere. I must say I find him grotesque.

Yes. Emily, you're doing the right thing.

Bury yourself in work. We've all got to keep going.

Emily, I must warn you, Charlie's picture is in all the papers.

They're going to put up a monument on his grave.

What on earth for? All he did was die.

Dear me, we should be celebrating cancer and automobile smashups next.

He didn't just die. He sacrificed his life.

That was very pagan of him.

He was the first American to die on Omaha Beach.

Was there a contest?

Emily, why, I don't understand you.

I thought you'd be proud.

You might as well burn this along with yesterday's Daily Mail... which I fished out of the garden fire.

We no longer take pride in death in this house, Bus.

What was admirable about Charlie was his sensation of life... his cowardly, selfish, greedy appreciation of life... unadorned and uncertain as it is.

I loved him very much.

I don't think I shall ever love anyone as much... but I shall try.

Are you going back to the Navy building, Bus?

No, I have to stop by the hospital to pick the Admiral up.

Drop me at the Edgware Road. I'll take a bus from there.

I thought I saw her peering at me when I was burning those papers.

I was damn fond of Charlie.

He's one of the few really decent human beings I've ever known... aside from being the best dog-robber in the world.

What the hell was Charlie doing on Omaha Beach anyway?

Sir?

What exactly was this movie Charlie was making on Omaha Beach?

What was Charlie doing making a movie in the first place?

He was making your movie, sir.

Yeah, you keep saying it was my movie. What do you mean, my movie?

The movie you wanted made about the demolition engineers.

I don't remember a...

Oh my God, Bus.

Was this some idea I conceived... when I was cracking up?

And you went ahead and made it?

But I was unbalanced at the time.

I wasn't responsible. You mean that Charlie Madison...

Oh, my God.

Sir, we wanted a hero. Now we've got one.

You don't send a man to his death because you want a hero.

The whole purpose of our coming over here was... to try to find something to catch the eye of the Committee on Military Affairs.

Remind them that the Navy is still an essential service.

We're trying to keep from being scrapped, sir.

May God forgive me. I'll never forgive myself.

If you want to catch the eye of the Joint Committee on Military Affairs... you'll have to bury Charlie in Washington not on Omaha Beach.

Right in the middle of the Senate committee room... and certainly no farther away than Pennsylvania Avenue.

I will not authorize funds for any monument on Omaha Beach.

We need something more immediate. Give me my jacket.

Yes, sir.

You got my flight orders? Yes, sir.

You leave for Washington tonight with Marv Ellender on the 2200 flight.

The only solace for any of us is that... if Charlie were here, he'd be laughing himself silly.

All ambulatory patients over here.

You are now at the Sixth Medical Relocation Center in Southampton.

You'll all be properly taken care of in a few minutes.

All those who need immediate attention, right here.

Magazines, newspapers.

Any of you want some magazines?

Here you go. Do you want some magazines?

Life, Newsweek?

Do you want a copy of Life?

No, thank you. I've seen it already.

You and Adams lock up the shop.

I want you both in Washington by Wednesday night.

And forget about that tomb. Yes, sir.

Admirals Corning and Ridgeway are supposed to testify on Thursday.

I don't think they'll get to us before Monday.

Bus, can I see you a minute? Is something the matter?

I think you could say something's the matter.

I just got a call from the Sixth Relocation Center in Southampton.

That's where they bring the casualties from France.

They've got a Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison... ready to be released.

Would we arrange transportation for him and bring him a uniform?

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

I don't know if you heard me. I heard you. I don't get it.

I spoke to him. He's alive. He's practically a French national shrine.

How the hell can he be alive?

He got on the phone. Said, "Hi, Paul. " I said, "Hi, Charlie. "

He said, "Paul, do me a favor, call Miss Barham and tell her I'm okay. "

I saw him with my own eyes.

He also said, "Tell Bus if I ever lay my hands on him...

"I'm going to belt him in his big fat stern sheets. "

He's alive.

The first dead man on Omaha Beach is alive.

Boy, that's great.

200 newspapers in the US alone, the front cover of Life magazine... every newsreel in the world, and he's alive.

What's he mad at you for? Not only is he alive, he's a coward.

We had a nice dead hero. Now we got a lousy live coward.

What's wrong? This better not be a gag!

It's no gag.

Admiral!

Sir, he's alive, damn it.

Alive? Madison?

Yes, sir.

In a relocation center in Southampton waiting to be released right now, sir.

Thank God.

That's wonderful, Bus. Wonderful!

Now we can bring your first man on Omaha Beach... right into Room 610 of the Senate office building.

Sir?

I want Madison flown to Washington on the first plane out of Southampton.

I want him flown to Washington tomorrow.

We're going to give Charlie a parade... right down Pennsylvania Avenue... and to the front lawn of the White House... where the President himself will decorate Charlie with a Navy Cross.

I'm not so sure we should involve the President in this, sir.

The President's an old Navy man.

He's sympathetic to our position throughout.

Yes, sir, but I just don't think we should go that big.

Big?

We're going to make a brass-band hero out of Charlie... using every coarse theatricality... the public relations office is overpaid to think up.

When I walk into that Senate office hearing on Monday or Tuesday...

I'll smile my crisp military smile at all those senators... and then, in a perfunctory way, I'll introduce my two aides:

Capt. Ellender here, my technical advisor... and Lt. Cmdr. Charles. E. Madison.

Gentlemen, the first American on Omaha Beach. A sailor.

That, Bus, is what is known as letting them have it in spades.

Doubled, redoubled, and vulnerable.

Sir, I'd better really tell you what happened on D-day.

Is he alive? Is that what you're saying, that he's alive?

Yes, Miss Barham, we think he is.

Oh, dear.

Miss Barham, we're almost as happy about this as you are.

Thank you, sir.

Bus, I want you to drive this young lady down to Southampton... just as fast as you can make it.

Yes, sir. Get going.

Good-bye, Harry. Good trip, sir.

Bus. Yes, sir?

You were going to tell me something before about Charlie on D-day.

Nothing, sir. Have a good flight.

Don't forget I want him in Washington tomorrow.

I don't care what brass you have to throw off the plane.

I'll have him on the first flight out of Southampton.

You'd better move back there, sir.

What I didn't tell the Admiral back there... was that Charlie Madison became the first American on Omaha Beach... because I chased him up there with a Colt. 45.

He was, in fact, running the other way... bolting under fire, an errant act of cowardice!

Our big brass-band hero... is a big brass-band coward!

But I didn't tell the Admiral that... because the Navy needs a hero... even a miserable, lousy, yellow, cowardly hero like Charlie Madison.

It's a hoax, Emily. The whole thing's a hoax.

That's my Charlie. Craven to the end.

Spaulding. Yo.

Clear me a space for Madison on the first flight out of Southampton.

I'll call him from the hospital there. Right.

Harry, I'm in the administration office right now.

I can have Madison at the airport by 1:00.

Now don't worry about it.

You just clear a place on the plane for him, that's all.

You told Grisam! What do you mean? When?

He told the public relations office.

Harry, we'll have every correspondent in London down here.

What the hell's the matter with you?

Why don't you go on through and wait for him outside?

Thank you.


You're limping, Commander.

The old wound acting up?

Where have you been?

We expected you back a week ago yesterday.

I'm sorry. I had to go to France for a few days.

It's out of season this time of year.

No one worth knowing was there, I'm sure.

Very rough element going to France these days.

Oh, Charlie.

Careful, my leg. Shut up. Let me hold you.

Don't you get within a cane's distance, you tried to kill me.

Come on, don't make such a big dramatic deal out of this.

I've got a plane waiting to take you to Washington.

We've got to be at the airport in half an hour.

There are 20 reporters waiting in the office... more piling in every minute.

We'll have five minutes for photos and a few questions.

Let me brief you on what you're to say. I'm going to say the truth.

I don't know how much of my little hoax you know.

Enough.

Your last words said as you led the charge up the beach were:

"Okay, men, let's show them whose beach this is. "

Not quite the epic stature of "We've just begun to fight. "

Yeah, you know.

I'm going to tell them the truth, Bus.

I'm going to tell anyone who asks the plain, unattractive, not epic, truth.

We don't have very much time.

I'm going to tell them a deranged admiral had a demented idea for a lunatic movie... whose only purpose was to juice up the Navy's bid for military appropriations.

And my gallant wounds were inflicted on me... by my brother officer, the fink...

You've got a legitimate beef against me. Okay.

And that my last inspirational words... as I led the charge away from the beach were...

"Let's get the hell out of here. "

I've had a bad week, Bus.

I was in battle and I've heard the horror of it again.

I will not contribute to your wretched hoax.

I will not help you preserve the wonder of war.

I want people to know I was a coward.

I want them to know the whole shabby story about my heroism.

I don't understand you. Do you know what'll happen...

I know what'll happen.

I'll embarrass my country, dishonor my service... disgrace my admiral, and humiliate my family... and get thrown in the brig for a couple of years.

Then why do it?

Because it's the right thing to do.

I can't believe it.

Is this the Charlie Madison who once said:

"God save us from all the people who do the right thing...

"it's the rest of us who get our backs broken?"

Are you seriously going to destroy... everything that means anything to you... in a futile gesture of virtue?

You're going to put yourself in jail, are you?

I don't care what happens to me. How bloody brave.

But you do care what happens to me. At least you said you did.

What am I supposed to do... whilst you sit in your prison cell for five or six years... admiring the glisten of your own martyrdom?

Emily, I want the world to know what a fraud war is.

But war isn't a fraud, Charlie. It's very real.

At least, that's what you've always tried to tell me, isn't it?

That we shall never get rid of war by pretending it's unreal.

It's the virtue of war that's the fraud, not war itself.

It's the valor and the self-sacrifice... and the goodness of war that needs the exposing.

Here you are being brave and self-sacrificing... positively clanking with moral fervor, perpetuating the very things you detest... merely to do "the right thing. "

Honestly, Charlie, your conversion to morality is really quite funny.

All this time, I've been terrified of becoming Americanized... and you, you silly ass, have turned into a bloody Englishman.

There's a matter of principle involved here.

A matter of what?

Charlie, didn't you once say:

"What's a lion doing in a man's house anyway?"

Emily, if a man knows the truth, he has to say it.

Is this the Charlie Madison who once said:

"I'm not equipped to deal with the truth.

"I let God worry about the truth.

"I just want to know the momentary fact of things. "

And your idea of facts, you said...

Were you, a home, a country, a world... and the universe. In that order.

I'm quite prepared to supply all that as my end of the deal.

What do you get out of it?

I'll settle for a Hershey bar.

Bus, there's a million of them there.

There's correspondents all over the place.

Hi, Charlie.

All right, fink, how do you want me to play it... modest and self-effacing?

Ripped by: SkyFury