Well? It's the big cannon again, sir.
Get rid of it. Leave it for the French?
Get rid of it! Yes, sir.
Ah, Major, you have accomplished the impossible.
How can a seven-ton 42ft cannon slip through your fingers and leave no rust?
They must have destroyed it, sir. It was too large, in my opinion...
In my opinion, you don't know peas from powder.
General Jouvet wants that cannon. Your orders are recover it, not evaluate it.
Yes, sir. And Vidal?
The English want that cannon too. Enough to send an agent to Spain to get it.
Do not fail.
The general is the kind of man who will find work for both of us in the stables.
Take me to army headquarters.
I'm looking for General Larena's staff.
They've moved? Retreated.
Who are you? We are the Spanish who do not retreat.
If your business has to do with this province, you talk with me.
My orders are for General Larena.
Read these orders.
He is called Anthony Trumbell, a naval captain.
General Larena is to turn over to him a huge cannon and the men to haul it to Santander.
To keep it out of Napoleon's hands.
The English are fighting him too. Why did they send a sailor?
Because I speak Spanish and have studied ordnance.
You would like to see this gun?
I would like to see it, yes.
Do the English have such a cannon? No one in the world has such a cannon.
Is it bad? It can be repaired.
Can you do it? If I had the men.
I have the men.
Guillermo! Francisco! Pepe!
Listen to the captain.
I'll need six heavy wooden beams. And take the gears from the guns they left.
Carlos! Get them. And get everybody up on the road.
Oh, and rope. I'll need all the rope you can get.
Anything else? That's all for now.
Get those mules moving!
Let it swing clear!
No, no. More to the left.
French cavalry! How far?
Across the valley. They will be here in an hour.
Leave the gun where it is. It's easier to hide all this up here.
Get José off the gun. Quickly!
Ramón! Take some men from the ropes and cut the trees. Help them. Help them.
Carlos! Bring up the men.
Secure the ropes.
Hook up those mules. Tie those tightly. We are moving.
I think this is the best route to Santander.
But this gun is going to Ávila.
I beg your pardon? Ávila.
But you said... I said nothing.
You know my orders. General Larena agreed to give us the gun.
But General Larena is not here.
You can't fight your way across half of Spain with 200 men.
With this gun, I will get the men I need. You have no powder.
I will get it. The whole world is fighting Napoleon.
Compared to that, Ávila's a flyspeck.
I do not know about the rest of the world. Ávila is French headquarters in Spain.
But it's 1,000km from here. The country is swarming with French.
You'll never get there. We will get there.
Ávila has a wall, Captain, and this gun was made to fight walls.
We will get there no matter what it costs.
If it costs the lives of every one of us, we are going to take Ávila.
And the French will then know that their day in Spain is over.
You must be mad. All of you.
Captain, you want the gun in Santander, and I want it in Ávila.
Go with us. Show us how to use it, how to move it.
And afterwards we will help you get the gun to Santander.
How do I know you'll keep your promise?
You do not.
Get the captain's horse! I prefer to walk with the gun.
You might get tired, Captain.
Bring the horse!
Captain, your face is dirty.
Ah, Juanita! Olé!
It is late.
What are you doing?
Taking the Englishman some food. He did not eat with the others.
Then he does not eat. I ate. You ate. He is no different than we are.
But he is different. Mm. How?
He knows about guns. You need him. You said so yourself.
I said nothing. I do not like him.
Miguel, you're jealous.
Not of him. Anybody who looks at me.
And this one more, because he can fire the cannon and you can't.
How do you know? Maybe I can. You know you can't.
You say things you don't mean and then you are sorry. We need him. Admit it.
I do not like the way he looks at you.
And I do not like the way you look at him.
That is still my privilege.
You know this Miguel and you know him well.
You know he has the gun and where it is.
I am waiting for you to tell me.
Make no mistake, I speak to you as your enemy, and I shall be your executioner.
Very well. An example must be set.
I shall begin by hanging all ten of you.
For every day after, I shall hang ten more. And ten more.
If necessary, every woman and child in Ávila, until we loose some tongues and I am told where this cannon is.
Take them out.
Carry out the order.
I'm doubtful, sir. I'm doubtful that these hangings...
I know, I know.
You wouldn't think it was worth it to them.
How big can a cannon be?
At half the size it would excite their imagination.
The people of an occupied country begin as martyrs.
Give them something to rally around and die for, and they explode into a new army.
That is the real danger of this cannon, General.
I am not stupid, Sermaine. I know we have to find it.
(drum roll followed by thud)
(drum roll followed by thud)
(drum roll followed by thud)
We ought to be able to build and assemble this raft in about three days.
There'll be 100 logs underneath. We'll lash the cannon to this platform.
I think we can get it across the river. I think it will sink.
It won't. But in any event it's the only way. Unless you expect the river to dry up.
I expect to get this cannon to Ávila. This way, we might lose it.
Not if I get cooperation. I repeat, we'll need 100 logs.
All right. You get the men, start cutting the trees.
You got your way, Captain. But if this cannon sinks...
It won't. And I'm sick of your threats. I do not like this.
You don't have to. It will succeed. All I have is your word. It is not enough.
Then don't do it! Recall the men! All right!
Wait. I know... and both of you know the reason for this stupid argument.
If you are going to cross the river, we are wasting time.
(slow rhythmic hammering)
Let it out easily!
Pull, pull! Keep pulling!
Get to the other rope!
Look at it. Mud up to its barrel.
I wish I'd never seen the thing.
Can we pull it out? How? With what?
We have the men and the mules. They won't budge it an inch.
How many people would it take? 1,000. 2,000.
There are more than that in Algado, Miguel.
(whistling and rhythmic clapping)
Citizens of Algado...
I spit in your faces.
I am Miguel of the gun, and of Ávila.
In Ávila, we do not sit in the bullring with the French.
And we do not fly the flag of Spain beside the flag of the enemy.
What kind of people are you, sitting here enjoying your life?
200 miles from here, the enemy amuses himself, holding Spanish babies on bayonets.
Do you feel nothing in your hearts? Can you feel no shame?
Across the river, a cannon is buried in the mud.
We need your help.
I do not ask you to die.
Or even to bleed.
Just to sweat a little.
So you can tell your children that Algado sweat for the Resistance.
And those of you... who are still Spanish... can follow me.
Your face is dirty.
You can't risk it.
We have to.
They outnumber you, and there's a gun for every man.
It'll take three weeks to go around them. All right, three weeks.
Captain, in Ávila there is a general in Napoleon's army.
General Henri Jouvet.
His uniforms are beautiful.
His wine comes from France, and his women from Morocco.
And every morning, to stop the Resistance, and for his own pleasure, he hangs ten Spaniards.
In three weeks, he will hang 210 Spaniards.
You're risking the gun and everything because of those hangings.
Has it occurred to you how many more he'll hang if you never get to Ávila?
There are thousands expecting the gun. I cannot wait.
I want no part of it.
If we fail, Captain, then you can pull the gun to Santander by yourself.
The Duke of Wellington.
Captain, there are some things you cannot change.
And Miguel is one of them. That's unfortunate for all of us.
You are taking no part in this, are you? I have no desire to commit suicide.
Listen to me. I know Miguel is difficult. He's stubborn...
That's an understatement, if I've ever heard one.
Nobody knows him better than I.
But you, you act as if you were on the deck of a ship.
Miguel has never seen one. He is fighting the only way he knows, as a guerrillero.
You think he's right, don't you? All of us do.
But even if he's wrong, we will go with him.
I hope you will too.
Captain, I have an idea you'd like to act more like a man than a cold piece of English mutton.
We are ready. You stay here with Maria and him.
I'll need five men.
For what? To get their powder.
Get him the men.
Get these powder kegs away from here. Come on! Come on! Quickly! Quickly!
It's going! Jump! Jump!
Je ne fais pas partie de I'état-major. Je n'ai aucune information.
He's a field officer, not a staff man. He doesn't know.
Tell him to search his memory, quickly.
Essayez de vous souvenir, vite.
Je n'ai rien à dire. Je suis prêt.
Dites-leur ce qu'ils veulent savoir. Vous pouvez sauver votre vie.
What did you say? I'm trying to stop you murdering him.
I told him to talk. Allez, parlez.
Je vous jure qu'il n'y a aucune formation entre ici et Ávila.
J'ai une famille, et je ne veux pas mourir.
He swears there's nothing between here and Ávila. He doesn't want to die.
They were lying.
I'm surprised you bother to wash your hands. That kind of blood won't come off.
So? I refuse to watch cold-blooded murder.
Then do not watch. Stay out of the way. You interfere too much.
If not for that cannon, I... You would do what?
I'd leave and let you fire it yourself. Then leave. We do not need you.
You know I have my orders. This is my order.
Leave, Captain, or the next cold-blooded murder will be yours.
There's a British ship in the harbour at Las Cruces. Get on it. Go!
All right, I'll go tonight.
Go now, Captain.
I hope you're satisfied.
The British won't get the gun, he can't fire it, so that's the end of your Ávila.
He's still going there. Then he's a fool.
And I am going with him. You can't understand that, can you?
It's none of my affair now.
You won't understand this either, Captain.
My father and brother were sentenced by General Jouvet to be hung.
The general admired me.
I went to him.
He hung them anyway.
In the hills with the others, I had one prayer - to die.
I had no hope, no purpose.
Until a man who was the son of the shoemaker came.
He gave us a reason to live, to fight. That was Miguel.
Well, then, I'd say you've been grateful long enough.
I am staying with him. You mean you're living with him.
But you don't love him. That's the part of you that's cheap.
The British captain and the guerrillero's woman - not a very good match.
I'll take my chances.
Enough to fire the cannon?
He said he'd do that himself.
Miguel doesn't always mean what he says.
I won't apologise to him.
You won't have to.
I have already done that for you.
How much French cardboard can a man eat?
Three days, this and water.
To pull this gun, a man needs food.
You are not a man yet. (laughter)
He follows you anywhere, and you make fun of him.
José, they are only teasing you.
I can do as much as any of them. You know it.
You are young and brave and strong and handsome.
All any woman could desire. And, besides, you're intelligent. And...
All right, Juana.
That's enough. I give up.
Excelencia. Excelencia, please! Excelencia! Excelencia, please!
There are children in the village. Give us back our food. We will starve.
At least the bread. Leave us something.
Miguel. And cognac!
What is the matter? I doubt if you'd listen.
What is it?
We need the food, don't we? We need the peasants more.
What do you know about peasants? Obviously I know very little.
But I know you expect thousands of them to meet you at Ávila.
Let me worry about the peasants. I'm tired of you and your ideas.
Every village we come to will hide their food.
And when we need help with the gun, they'll disappear.
All right. You are in command. I give you permission. You handle the peasants.
Go get the money and pay them. In pounds sterling.
He's wrong. You'd better tell him so.
I know peasants. I live with peasants. I do not need anybody to tell me about them.
Of course not. You think he is right?
I think perhaps... You think too much for a woman.
I think you are right, Miguel.
Miguel. Tell him you are sorry for what you said.
Wipe your nose.
An entire encampment wiped out.
Pretty picture - the invincible French army running with our nightgowns on fire.
And still they elude us.
We are strangers in their house, General. They know where to fight, when to hide.
They're hiding now someplace.
They will move again, and I think I know where.
They have help. Ah, peasants.
Not only peasants. There's a British naval officer with them.
And a British man-of-war in the harbour of Las Cruces. Here.
I want every road and trail into Las Cruces blocked, day and night patrols.
We will see if you are right.
Where are the wagons?
Well, where are the wagons? Well, I don't know.
I don't know what happened to them.
They're in the village. I sent them back.
You sent them back?
Carlos will kill him. I will only let him kill him a little.
It isn't too bad. In a few days...
In a few days I can remember I killed that man with a knife.
Miguel didn't mean it to go that far. Of course not.
It was simply an entertainment.
I'm sorry. Really.
Don't be. Don't imagine this has anything to do with those wagons.
He's jealous, and he has reason to be.
I told you I would go to Ávila to fire the gun, and, no matter what he does, I'm going.
But not for him. And not for orders.
He knows the reason, and so do you.
We saw infantry, Miguel, on the other side of the river.
This is open country. We mustn't be caught here.
We won't be. The Cano is too much to cross.
There is a bridge. There is no bridge. I know the Cano.
The French have made one, on boats.
How many boats are there? 15, 16.
I'll need at least 500lbs of powder.
All right. Unload the powder wagons.
Take José. He worked in the mines. He knows powder.
Take him. I will tell Miguel.
How old are you?
They think I am 20.
I'm really 18.
Are you afraid?
Do you know why Juana sent me with you?
To help. Sure.
Also, she likes you.
I was lying.
I am afraid.
But don't worry. I can do it.
I think it's time to get our feet wet.
I was looking for you. I wanted to tell you I'm sorry about José.
You couldn't help it.
For all my life I've been afraid. Nothing ever lasts.
I'm afraid that tonight is just a dream and it won't last.
It will. I promise you.
Some other time, some other place, you might not even look at me.
All right. Do you want to hear me say it? I...
I mean it might be different in England.
In England I'd keep you locked up in an ivory tower, guarded by trusted servants, and I'd have the only key. A gold one.
You can't afford that on a captain's pay.
I'll be an admiral by then. We'll have our own carriage.
And when the king commands, we'll go to the grand ball.
I will need a very special dress.
Yes. And a blue cape to match my uniform.
I'll have to be careful when I bow. The trousers are very tight. They can split.
It happened once.
Who were you with? When?
When your trousers split.
As I was saying, the king will want to meet you, of course.
And you can tell him how once, long ago in Spain, you met an English captain and made him the proudest man in the world.
I love you, Anthony.
All of us here are Spanish, and we know what we want and what we will have to pay to go to Ávila.
I understand that, Miguel.
But you want more. You are thinking of after Ávila.
That part, I do not know.
But we have been together a long time, Juana.
You have lived with me, and I cannot even read or write my own name.
And when I cannot say the words I want to say, you have said them for me, and I have felt equal to any man.
But, inside... inside myself, I know I am less.
Did you think I cannot feel in my heart that a woman wants more?
I can only repay you with what we started out for - Ávila.
If this is not enough, tell me, then.
The attempt of this staff to locate a handful of rabble will go down in military history as a monument to ineptitude.
Your ambitions and careers dissolve in these cannon tracks across Spain.
It has now cost us a bridge and a full company of men to find out exactly where that cannon is. Here.
A long way from Las Cruces and the sea, Colonel.
They're in these mountains. There is a pass. Here.
They will come through it. I intend them to.
I don't think they will come out this time.
There are French cannon up there. Everybody knows that.
And I know it too. How can you think of going through?
Do you know another way? We said we'd help, not kill ourselves.
They'll catch you in a crossfire.
They may not hear us. We'll muffle the wheels and hooves.
You guarantee every Frenchman is stone deaf?
If we get halfway through before they hear us we'll have a chance.
Do you think being a mule is all that's expected of you?
We left our shops and our farms.
If they opened your veins, do you know what would come out? Not blood.
You see, we have to go south to get to Ávila.
To go south, we have to go through here. You do understand?
Yes, Captain, we understand it perfectly.
We may be a little ashamed of it, but we all have wives and children, and we are not ready to die for this gun.
But we must have your help. Ah, we go without them!
His astonishing charm has won the day again.
Do you want me to get on my knees? If it would do any good, yes!
But we need them, Miguel. Not that much.
50 Greeks once held a pass like this against 1,000 men.
We're about to try it the other way round. Captain.
I do not know history.
But I do know this - that I will stand before the statue of Santa Teresa in Ávila.
(distant cannon fire)
They are out of range, but every road is blocked.
They are not at either end, and the pass is empty.
Hold your position until further orders.
You said you knew these hills. We can't go down there.
We came up, we can go down. It'll pick up too much momentum.
There's a ratio between velocity and mass.
If it weighs five tons coming up slowly, going down fast it can weigh 10-15.
We wouldn't be able to hold it.
Up or down, it weighs what it weighs.
Turn the mules.
Keep turning! Move, quick!
Bring up the log! The log!
Get out! Get out!
Cut the mules loose!
The barrel's broken off the pivot.
We cannot go up, we must go down.
It was heavier coming down.
There's a village near here called Maneciras.
I suggest we go into Maneciras and find a place to repair the gun.
We need tools, a forge, a place where the French can't find us.
Miguel, if there are any French there, he cannot wear that uniform.
Who do you suggest this time?
Take your pick.
Spanish fleas, Captain. They wouldn't dare bite an Englishman.
(man) You have our permission for that. (Miguel) There is something else.
Yes? The gun.
My son, the power of the Holy Office is great, but we cannot turn a cannon into a penitent for you.
If we could hide it, Your Grace, and bring it into the cathedral and take it apart...
Inside of the cathedral? Just for a night.
This is Holy Week. You can't defile a sanctuary.
Soldiers and guns belong out there.
This is the house of God, not an arsenal.
You ask too much.
You cannot refuse them.
It's useless wrapping yourself in authority and quoting rules to these people.
It's not enough to say that a gun doesn't belong inside their cathedral.
This isn't merely a gun. It's the only symbol of resistance left in Spain.
Do you know how many of them have given their lives just to drag it this far?
You should have looked back and seen a mountain pass covered with dead as I did.
If you don't know the reason, you're Spanish, you're a man of the church, you can feel it.
You mustn't refuse them.
The Holy Week procession starts tonight.
Bring your cannon in then.
Holy Mother, thank you for answering my prayer.
He understands now.
And I love him even more.
I know I've sinned in your eyes.
Only, for the first time since I was a little girl, I dared to dream.
But there is Miguel.
There is his dream - Ávila.
And I am a part of that forever.
It's too much to ask that you grant my wishes for both.
Only listen, and find it in your heart to forgive me when I choose.
This is for Miguel and Ávila.
And this is for the love I have found with another.
Inside the cathedral?
Yes. The cannon is there, sir.
You're either mad or drunk. Both.
I swear I saw it.
All right. We'll have a look.
So... our visitor has finally arrived.
It is larger than I thought.
Indeed it is.
Do you think it can breach the wall?
If it doesn't blow up in their faces. How many would you say are out there?
Around 10,000. And more coming.
Too big a risk for cavalry.
Everything's a little too big today.
How these Spaniards love their moment of truth, this compulsion to die, to drench the ground with their blood.
Probably because it is their ground, General.
Do you want me to tell you how it will be done?
Do you want a miracle?
There are no miracles. Only the gun.
You tell them the truth, eh?
In the morning, the gun will be fired at the wall from a range of 1600yds.
The cannonballs weigh 96lbs each.
At impact they will be travelling fast enough to weigh 9,000lbs.
I think they can make a breach in the wall.
What about the French guns?
You will all be out of range until you get within 1,000yds.
Then it will begin.
I've counted 80 cannon on the walls.
When you get within 1,000yds, they will fire grenades.
These will explode in the air and the cannonballs inside of them will reach you.
At 500yds, it will be grapeshot - pieces of metal and chain.
And when you're closer, massed infantry fire.
By the time you've reached the wall, your losses will be at least 50 per cent.
Do you understand?
We understand, Miguel.
These people have died before.
What I told them, what it will be, is true.
Juana, I want you to stay with me at the cannon.
But all the others will not be able to. I know.
But if you love me, you'll promise.
I love you, Anthony.
I think you should tell Miguel.
I will not have to.
He will know.
It's... it's so quiet now.
All those people back there, waiting.
Thank you for helping them, Anthony.
Was that your reason for coming?
I'm so afraid.
I am afraid for them and for us.
The walls are so far.
There's nothing for us to be afraid of.
That is what is tearing at me.
They are the same as we are.
They want to live and be loved too, and yet tomorrow they will risk it all.
You can't change that.
Anthony... I cannot keep my promise.
You're not going with them. Yes.
You can't do this. I won't let you. Anthony...
I've prayed I could stay with you. I want to stay with you.
You must! You don't have to go with them.
One girl among 10,000, what difference can it make? Why?
Because everything you mean to me, and it is so much, is not enough.
I'm part of Ávila.
You're part of me too.
For all my life.
But God help me, my darling, I'm going with Miguel.
Hold me, Anthony.
Tell me you know I cannot help myself.
Tell me you love me.
I did not think that you would come back.
I am here, Miguel.
It's a sad thing that I could never put into words what you mean to me.
The guns are firing too slow. Hurry them up.
Fall back. Mass your rifles in the square.
I said mass your rifles in the square. But, General...
I'm sorry, Anthony.
I asked for too much.
I wanted to see Miguel in Ávila.
And to... to love you.