The Thin Red Line (1998) Script

What's this war in the heart of nature?

Why does nature vie with itself?.

The land contend with the sea?

Is there an avenging power in nature?

Not one power, but two?


I remember my mother when she was dying.

Looked all shrunk up and grey.

I asked her if she was afraid.

She just shook her head.

I was afraid to touch the death seen in her.

I couldn't find nothing beautiful or up lifting about her going back to God.

I heard people talk about immortality, but I ain't seen it.


I wondered how it'd be when I died.

What it'd be like to know that this breath now was the last one you was ever gonna draw.

I just hope I can meet it the same way she did.

With the same... calm.

Cos that's where it's hidden - the immortality I hadn't seen.


Kids around here never fight.

Sometimes.

Sometimes when you see them playing they always fight!

Is she afraid of me? Little bit.

Are you afraid of me? Yes.

Why? Cos you look...

You look as an army!

I look army? Yes.

Well, that don't matter.

It doesn't matter.

Baby's tired. Yes.

If she swims, she wants, she will sleep.


All right, come on. Turn around.

Go, go, go, go. Go!

Come on, go.

Go, go, go, go!


Witt, patrol boat!

She's American.

What's it doing out here all alone?


You haven't changed at all, have you, Witt?

You haven't learned a thing.

All a man has to do is leave it to you, you'll put your head in the noose for him.

How many times you been AWOL?

Been in the army, what? Six years now?

Ain't it time you smartened up and stopped being such a punk recruit?

I mean, if you're ever gonna.

We can't all be smart.

No, we can't, and that's a shame.

Look at you.

Truth is, you can't take straight duty in my company.

You'll never be a real soldier, not in God's world.

This is C Company, of which I'm First Sergeant. I run this outfit.

Captain Staros, he's the CO, but I'm the guy who runs it. Nobody's gonna foul that up.

You're just another mouth for me to feed.

Normally, you'd be court-martialled.

But I worked a deal for ya.

Gotta consider yourself lucky.

I'm sending you to a disciplinary outfit.

You'll be a stretcher-bearer. You'll be taking care of the wounded.

I can take anything you dish out.

I'm twice the man you are.

In this world... a man himself is nothing.

And there ain't no world but this one.

You're wrong there, Top.

I seen another world.

Sometimes I think it was just... my imagination.

Well, then you've seen things I never will.

We're living in a world that's blowing itself to hell as fast as everybody can arrange it.

In a situation like that all a man can do is shut his eyes and let nothing touch him.

Look out for himself.

I might be the best friend you ever had.

You don't even know it.


He hates you worse than poison.

I never felt he hated me, cos I don't hate him.


I love Charlie Company.

They're my people.


They call it "The Rock".

Nobody wants this island. Japs just put an airfield there.

Fighting's confined to this area.

This is their road to Australia, and this is their way of controlling the sea lanes to America.

If we're gonna stop the Japs' advance into the South Pacific, we've gotta do it right there.

The Marines have done their job. Now it's our turn.

Worked my ass off.

Brown-nosed the generals.

Degraded myself for them and my family.

For my home.

I admire you, Colonel. I do. Thank you, sir.

Most men your age would have retired by now.

It's OK.

We need general officers with maturity and character like you.

We've got good sergeants and good lieutenant colonels.

But once a man gets those eagles, he can't wait to get that star.

He becomes a politician, right?

Goes along to get along.

So goddamn hard to stay upright.

You said it there, sir. With the Admiral watching, which he will be.

There's always someone watching. Yeah.

Like a hawk.

Always someone ready to jump in, if you're not.

D'you have a son, Colonel? Yes, sir.

Good. We don't want our sons or grandsons fighting this war 30 years from now, do we?

No, sir, we sure don't. Then you crush 'em without mercy.

You dig them out of the hills and protect that airfield.

Yes, sir.

You wonder why... Why did the Japs put an airfield there of all places?

I guess we don't know the bigger picture, if there is such a thing.

What do you think? Well, sir, I never ask myself that question.

You're a humble man.

Nobody wants that island... but you.

How much do you want it?

As much as I have to, sir.

All they sacrificed for me

poured out like water on the ground.

All I might have given for love's sake.

Too late.

Died... slow as a tree.

D'you feel it?

Yes, sir.

Thank you, sir.

Take topside to the signal bridge.

The closer you are to Caesar, the greater the fear.

I just can't help how damn scared I am, sarge, all right?

I can't help it. I got...

My stepdaddy took a block and beat me when I was real little and I was scared and I used to run, I used to hide.

Hell, I slept in the chicken coop a whole lot of nights.

And I never thought it'd get no worse than that.

But I'm living by the... by the minute here. I'm counting the seconds.

Hell, we're gonna be landing soon and there's gonna be air raids.

We're probably gonna die before we get off the beach.

This place is... It's like a big floating graveyard.

What's your name, kid? I wanna own an automobile when I get out.

What's your name? Edward, Edward B Train.

Train?

The only things that are permanent is, is dying and the Lord. That's it.

That's all you gotta worry about. This war ain't... gonna be the end of me or you neither.

Think we'll catch an air raid? How in the hell should I know?

All's I know are them crew guys said they didn't catch no air raid the last time.

On the other hand, time before last they nearly got blew up.

What d'you want me to tell you?

You're a big help, Tills. Nothing. Tell me nothing.

Tell you something.

We're sitting out here on this ocean like a couple of fuckin' ducks in these boats.

I already know that.

Well, brood on it, Tills.

Brood on it.

Ain't you watching the fun? I ain't interested.

Yeah, I guess it is pretty crowded. Wouldn't be interested, even if it wasn't.

Well, I'm on my way to get me that pistol.

Yeah? Well, have fun.

Yeah, have fun.

You'll wish you had one once we get ashore and run into some of them samurai sabres.

Open this door! Open this goddamn door!

Open the door!

You all learn to deal these cards...

All right. Here I am sleeping, yeah.

All right, ladies. Is this a sewing circle or a card game?

All right, jack's high, jack to bet. Robert's got two jacks.

I never bargained for nothing like this when I signed up for this man's army before the war.

How was I supposed to know there was gonna be a fuckin' war, huh? Answer me that.

All I know is Charlie Company's always getting screwed. Always.

And I can tell you whose fault it is, too.

It's that captain of ours.

First he gets us stuck off on this boat where we don't know a fucking soul.

Then he gets us stuck way down in fourth place on the list to get off this son of a bitch.

Hello, Captain.


I read in your 201 file that you were an officer before the war.

How'd you end up a private?

Cos of my wife.

I was in the corps of engineers.

We'd never been separated before, not even for a night.

I took it for four months and then I quit.

Just resigned.

They sent me back to the States.

They told me I'd never get another commission.

They said they'd see to it I got drafted and that I for damn sure'd be in the infantry.

Sons of bitches.

No, I don't blame them.

Well, where is she now?

She's home.

Why should i be afraid to die?

I belong to you.

Move! Move! Move!

Move! Move!

Move! Move!

Moving out!

If i go first, I'll wait for you there.

On the otherside of the dark waters.

Put your helmet on.

Be with me now.

Feeling the pressure, Captain? Yes, sir.

I like you, Captain.

And I just want you to know, well, we're in this thing together. All right?

Keep pressing inland till you reach the line. I'll catch up with you there.

Yes, sir. It's all yours, Captain.

Gangway! Gangway there!

Coming through!

Squad leaders! Both teams!

This way, son. This way, right here.

Stand by to go over the side!


Our Father, who art in heaven...

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.

Your outfit's lucky.

Transports must've been spotted.

You're getting outta here just ahead of time.

Take a breath, mister. You gotta breathe!


You Charlie Company? Yeah.

We went in a mile. Nothing there.

Some oil drums. There'd be nothing there for...

A week. A week, sir.

No casualties. Japs must've hauled ass.

Two mortars hit the beach, but most guys came in standing up.

Darnedest thing I ever did see.

They got fish that live in trees.

If they didn't know this beach was deserted, what else don't they know?


Who are you to live in all these many forms?


Your death that captures all.

You, too, are the source of all that's gonna be born.


Your glory.

Mercy.

Peace.

Truth.

You give calm a spirit,

understanding, courage.

The contented heart.


Get a medic here!

Maybe all men got one big soul who everybody's a part of.

All faces of the same man.

One big self.


Everyone looking for salvation by himself.

Each like a coal drawn from the fire.


We're going straight up that hill there.

We can't do that, Colonel. Well, there's no way to outflank it.

On the left is a cliff that falls down into the river.

The Japanese hold the jungle. It has to be taken frontally.

What about water, sir? It's not getting up here.

My men are... passing out, sir.

Only time you worry about a soldier is when he stops bitching.

We're all gonna attack abreast. Third Platoon in reserve.

We've gotta cross those three folds of ground. You see?

Once we get beyond that, we gotta attack that hill.

Colonel says there's no way to outflank it, so we gotta take it head-on by frontal assault.

Whyte? Yeah?

See the grassy ridges at the foot of that hill? Yeah.

When you get to the end of that field, eliminate all strong points on those ridges.

I'm sure the Japs got something there to protect the approaches.


Are you here?

Let me not betray you.

Let me not betray my men.

In you I place my trust.

Rosy-fingered dawn.

You're Greek, aren't you, Captain?

D'you ever read Homer?

We read Homer at the Point.

In Greek.

What kind of artillery support do we have, sir? Over.

Two batteries of 105s. They won't make a dent. Over.

No, but it bucks the men up. It'll look like the Japs are catching hell.


OK, you guys.

This is it.

We're going down in groups often.

There's no point in going by rushes. Only make a better target stopped, so... run all the way.

We ain't got no choice. We're picked, so we gotta go.

I'm gonna take the first bunch myself.

I want Charlie Dale with me. Dale?

You go organise them guys that's up there.

Moving out in five minutes.

Let's go.

Sico?

What's wrong with you? I'm sick to my stomach.

Sico, you get up now, or I'll kick you so hard you're gonna be sick.

I can't. I would if I could.

I'm sick.

I'm sick.

You ain't sick. Get up!

What's the matter, Sico? I don't know, Sergeant.

It's my stomach. I'm in pain, I got cramps.

I can't even sit up straight. I'm sick.

Come on, get up! Leave him.

I need a volunteer to carry the BAR! Drop your gear. I'm taking you to the medics.

Thank you, Sergeant.

Don't argue with me.

Good luck, Keck.


Plug that hole on your right!

Move!

Maybe they pulled out.


Hit dirt!

Hit dirt!

Calm down, calm down, calm down, calm down.

Stretcher-bearers!

Come on!

Stretcher-bearers, this way!

Go get that man. We already got eight or nine down there...

Don't argue with me! Get that man! He's not the one we should think about...

Goddamn it, all of you! Am I in command here or am I not?!

Am I the captain or a goddamn private? Others are hit bad. That's all I meant.

I gave you an order, private! Yes, sir!

Hello, First Sergeant.

Who we going after over here?

We think it's Jacques.

Ol' Jockey.

Well, shit. That's, that's, that's too bad.

Sir?

Sir? Sir, can I come back to the company after we get Jockey back to the battalion?

OK, but you gotta get permission. Sure. And my rifle.

Nicky! You're still alive!

Keep moving! Keep moving!

Magnificent, Staros, magnificent. The finest thing these old eyes have seen in a long time!

Beautifully conceived and executed! You'll be mentioned in battalion orders.

Young Whyte led beautifully.

Yes, sir. Over.

But sending in your second too was brilliant.

They may have carried the ridge. I don't think they were hurt too bad. Blane led well, too.

Now, how many emplacements did they locate?

Did they knock any out?

We ought to have those ridges cleaned out by noon! Over.

Hello! Hello! Staros, are you there?

Here, sir. Over.

I said, how many emplacements did they locate? Did they knock any out? Over.

Children.

I don't know, sir.

What the hell do you mean, you don't know? How can you not know? Over.

I'm right here behind the first swell, sir. I'm right here behind the swell.

You want me to stand up and wave? Over.

No, I can see where you are. I want you to do something.

I want you to get up there and see what the situation is.

I want Hill 210 in my hands tonight.

Now, goddamn it, the Admiral got up at dawn for this!

Come to life up there, Staros. Out!


Move up!

Hey, Keck!

Yeah!

We gotta get out of here. I know it.

Blane's dead.

You're in charge.

We know you there, Yank!

Tojo eats shit!

No! Roosevelt eats shit!


I got him! I got him!

I killed a man.

Hey, Queen!

Queen, you there?

Worst thing you can do. Worse than rape.

Queen! You see them Japs leaving that left ridge?

I killed a man. Nobody can touch me for it. I ain't seen nothing.

Well, get your fuckin' head up and look around!

I'm serious!

I counted seven Japs leaving that left-hand grassy ridge!

I got me one of 'em.

So?

I think maybe they're pulling out.

Maybe somebody ought to go tell the captain.

You wanna be the one to do it?

You just stay put! I'm ordering you!


Down!

Stay low.


Go! Go!

Go! Go!


What do we do now?

We wait right here. Maybe they'll send us up some reinforcements.

To do what?

To capture some of these fucking positions around here!

You mean you really wanna go on with this? Hell, no. No, not no uphill charge.

If they send us reinforcements, maybe we could scout around and locate these machine guns.

Anyway, it's better than going back down. Something's coming!

They're coming!

What are they doin'?

If they want to throw us out, why didn't they come in force?

Maybe they was acting on their own.

Maybe they wanted to get into nirvana.

They're coming.

Keck!

Jesus!

Oh, Jesus!

I blew my butt off!

It's all right. It's all right. I blew my butt off!

Lay down!

What a fucking recruit trick to pull!

Take it easy. Take it easy. I grabbed it by the pin!

You write my old lady. You tell her... I want her to know I died like a man.

Nobody's gonna have to write her. You'll make it.

Don't bullshit me! Stay down!

Hey, hey.

Have I got mud on my face?

Wipe it off. Get it off.

No!

I'll write her. I promise.

Take my canteen. There's still some water in there.

It's for the best.

I'm all messed up down there.

I can't fuck no more.

Whoa... Where am I?

Where am I?

You're gonna be all right.

Even if you die, you didn't let your brother down.

If you hadn't thrown yourself against that embankment, we'd all have been killed.

I'm cold.

I'm cold.

I'm... freezing.


You gonna write his wife?

Fuck, no.

I don't know his old lady.

That's the company commander's job. You outta your mind? I ain't no good at writing.

You told him you would.

I'll say anything to 'em when they're like that.

Somebody ought to do it.

Well, then, you write her. Yeah, you write her.

What's wrong, Jim?


There's nothing anybody can do for him. He'll die before they get him to a surgeon.

Then I can't ask you to go out there. Maybe I could get some morphine into him.

Would it keep him quiet? Not for long, but I can give him two.

And I could maybe leave him three or four for himself.

Couldn't you give 'em to him all at once?

That's what you are.

That's all there is for us. That's us, that's us.

I lost all twelve. I lost all twelve.

All twelve of 'em.

It's insanity up there.

I told 'em what to do, I showed 'em where to go and I gave 'em a push.

Somebody help! I know you. I know you, Sergeant.

It's insane. I don't know who's in charge here, but don't let him go! Don't let him go!

I'm outta here. I'm outta here.

I'm outta here. All right, move feet. Move, move, move, move. Move, move!

I'm moving. I'm moving. I'm moving now.

Don't touch. Don't touch. Don't look at me. Don't touch. OK, I'm outta here.

All right. All right.

All right. All right.

Somebody help me!

Help me!

You gotta be quiet. I came to help you, Tella.

OK. Calm down. Fuck you!

I'm dying! I'm dying, sarge!

OK. Well, goddamn it, do it with less noise!

How you gonna get me out? I'm gonna take you back.

Come on. No!

Put me down! Put me down!

Leave me alone... Leave me alone.

Please, leave me alone.

Give me more. Give me more.

Give me more. Give me more.

Give me more. Give me more.

Here, Tella.

Goodbye... goodbye.

Bye, kid.

Goodbye, sarge. Goodbye.

Fortunately, Jim, the fate of the company doesn't depend on one man.

Sergeant, I saw the whole thing through the glasses.

I'm gonna mention you in orders tomorrow and recommend you for the Silver Star.

It's the most courageous thing... Captain, you say one more word to thank me, I'll knock you right in the teeth.

You mention me in your fuckin' orders, and I'll resign so fast and leave you here to run this busted-up outfit by yourself.

You understand?

Property! Whole fuckin' thing's about property.

What's the matter with you, Staros? Those men should be reinforced immediately!

What are they doing? I can see 'em through my glasses.

They're lying behind that ledge!

They should be up and out, cleaning out those machine guns! Over!

I don't think you understand what's going on, sir.

We've had... heavy casualties.

We had a man... His gut got shot out on the slopes, sir. Created quite an upset.

Fine, fine. Now, what about those reinforcements? Over.

I have... two squads to...

First Platoon I can send up, sir. Over.

What the hell do you mean, two squads?!

Goddamn you, Staros! When I say reinforcements, goddamn it, I mean it! You commit everybody you have there and do it now!

Your First Platoon, too. I see 'em lying on their fat asses doing nothing.

Get a man to 'em right now with orders to attack, and move 'em by the flank to the ridge.

Then get that Second Platoon over to the hill!

Have 'em press the centre. Go straight up that goddamn hill!

Attack them right now!

Jesus, Staros! Do i have to give you a lesson on infantry tactics while your men are getting their asses shot off?.

Colonel, I don't think you fully understand what is going on here.

My company alone cannot take that position, sir.

The Japs are too well dug in. They've got too much fire power.

Colonel, there's a bunker up there.

We can't see it, and it's... it's chewing my men to pieces, sir.

I request permission for patrol reconnaissance around to the right of Hill 210. I believe the entire position, sir, can be outflanked with a manoeuvre there in force.

No! Goddamn it, no! Might save lives!

There'll be no flanking move.

Listen, Staros. You're not gonna take your men around into the jungle to avoid a goddamn fight!

Do you hear me, Staros? I want you to attack right now with every man at your disposal!

Now, attack, Staros! That's a direct order!

Sir, I must tell you that I refuse to obey your order.

There it is, right there. See it? I don't see it.

This is not your fault, Jim. He's ordering you to.

I again request permission for patrol reconnaissance around to the right in force.

The time, sir,... is 1321 hours, 25 seconds.

I have two witnesses here. I request that you do the same with witnesses there. Over.

Staros, don't pull this guardhouse-lawyer bullshit with me!

Now, l know you're a goddamn lawyer! This is not a court of law.

This is a war. It's a goddamn battle!

Now, I want that frontal attack. I repeat my order. Over.

Colonel, I refuse to take my men up there in a frontal attack.

It's suicide, sir.

I've lived with these men for two years, and I will not order them all to their deaths. Over.

This is a very important decision, Staros.

But if you feel that strongly, maybe you have a reason, so I'm coming down.

Go take a look.

I'm not rescinding my order to you, son, but if I find extenuating circumstances when I get there, I'll take that into account.

Now, in the meantime, goddamn it, I want you to hold on until I get there.

And, if possible, you get those men on the ridge out and moving! Out.

One spot's as good as another, men.

There's no place to hide.

Just take it easy, son. Take it easy. Take it easy.

Where's... where's Fife?

Fife? He's right here, son. Fife.

Hold my hand, Fife.

Hold my hand.

I got it.

I'm dying, Fife.


Oh, Captain...


Shut up in a tomb.

Can't lift the lid.

Played a role l never conceived.

Get that blouse on, soldier. It's not a goddamn bathing beach!

Put it on right now.

What you aiming at, son? Let's go get those son of a bitches.

Move up!

What are you doing laying down there where you can't see a damn thing?

Observing, sir. Just sent First Platoon forward to the ridge.

How many of 'em were hit this time? None, sir.

None? Not one?

Doesn't sound like the situation you described to me over the sound power.

Well, it's not. The situation's changed just in the last five minutes, sir.

Captain, you listen to me.

We're going over there and taking everybody with us.

Do you have any more complaints or demurrers?

No, sir. Not now. All right! We're gonna do things my way!

My way! You understand that, Captain?

We're taking everybody over to that ledge! We may take that ridge by nightfall!

I think the ridge is quite a way from being reduced, sir.

Show me how to see things the way you do.

Show me how to see things the way you do.

We're just dirt. We're just dirt.


We're gonna get killed if we stay here.

Bell, take six men and go see what's up there.

And we'll cover you the best we can from down there.


OK.

You guys, you guys, stay here. OK?

I'm going alone.


Come out.

Come out where lam.


There was a... There was a...

There's a bunker... up there.

It's five guns.

It's five guns.

That strongpoint up there, somewhere up there around those rocks, is the key to this ridge.

Bell here is quite right.

From their knob up there, those little brown brothers can cover the whole of the ground in front of this position for 1,000 yards. They've left this ledge unguarded.

Now, goddamn it, that's a mistake. That's a hell of a mistake.

We need to take advantage of it before they see their error.

All right, all right, I know you're all pretty exhausted, and we've had a hell of a time getting water up here.

For that I'm sorry. I apologise to you all.

But if we can reduce this bunker tomorrow, I think we can take this ridge.

So I'm asking for volunteers.

Go back up there and knock it out.

Sir?

I'll be glad to go back up and lead the way back for a party. Right.

I'll go, sir. You.

All right.

I'd like to lead the party, Colonel. All right, John. I was hoping you'd say that.

You'll be in command. I'll go, sir.

Sir? You.

All right, men, that's enough. Seven is plenty. Gather up.

I don't know if you realise the importance of this operation, Staros.

Once our position is secured, we can move the bombers in.

That means air power for 1,000 miles in every direction.

Guadalcanal may be the turning point in the war.

It'll cost lives. Is that what's troubling you? No, sir.

I explained to you the importance of this objective.

How many men do you think it's worth? How many lives?

I can't say, sir.

Are you prepared to sacrifice the lives of any of your men in this campaign?

How many? One? Two?

Twenty?

Lives will be lost in your company, Captain.

And if you don't have the stomach for it, now is the time to let me know.

No, sir. You're right... about everything you said.

Fine, fine.

That's all, Captain.

One more thing, Staros.

It's not necessary for you to ever tell me that you think I'm right.

Ever.

We'll assume it.

Dismissed.

I feel sorry for you, kid.

Yeah? Yeah, a little.

This army's gonna kill you.

If you were smart, you'd take care of yourself. There's nothing you can do for anybody else.

You're just running into a burning house where nobody can be saved.

What difference do you think you can make? One single man in all this madness.

If you die, it's gonna be for nothing.

There's not some other world out there where everything's gonna be OK.

There's just this one.

Just this rock.


Go ahead! Come on, come on.

Who's deciding who's gonna live?

Who's deciding who's gonna die?

This is futile!

Look at me! I stand right up here and not one bullet.

Not one shot!

Why?

How come they all had to die?

I can stand right here, I can stand right up and nothing happens to me!


We.

We together.

One being.

Flow together like water,

till I can't tell you from me.

I drink you.

Now.

Now.


You're my light.

My guide.


John, I'll be behind you. If you wanna break through, we'll come after.

We'll charge at your whistle signal.

All right, let's go, men. Go get 'em.


OK.

Stay down, below this ledge, and I'll call down the data from above.

Once the 81s have plastered that rock... as much as possible, we're gonna crawl out along that big rock for cover and then flank 'em to the right.

OK?

OK. OK.


Azimuth 1470... from Easy Roger 7.

100 left, add 200.

Uncle Baker 1, fire mission.

Azimuth 1470 from Easy Roger 7.

Left 100, add 200.

Machine gun. Will adjust. Over.

Understand. 1470 from EasyRoger 7.

Left 25, drop 50!

Left 25, Uncle Baker 1.

Left 25, drop 50.

Fire for effect. Over.

Roger, Uncle Baker 1.


Let's go!

OK, we're gonna continue on up the hill to the right.

Nobody fire or throw the grenades till I give the signal.

OK, let's do it.

Is he OK? ls he all right?

What we gonna do? Can't take him with us.

No, we can't leave him here. He's from your platoon. You stay with him.

We can leave him and pick him up on the way back,... if he's still alive.

Is he dead? Not yet.

Dale, stay with him! Cover our flank! Move!


Behind you!

We're pinned down!


Fall back!

Go!


Watch out.


Clear!


Come on. Get out.

Go on.

Think you're soldiers?

You piece of shit!

Son of a bitch!

Son of a bitch!

All right?

I shot a man.


Stinks around here.

All these dead people. Put a cigarette up your nose.


Look at 'em move!

Look at 'em move!

We got 'em on the run!

Way to go, John. When they saw you make that attack and win, you put their hearts back into them.

Hey, hey! Don't do that, soldier.

Take care of the others. G-2 will want them. There'll be somebody around before long.

We've wasted enough time here. Let's go.

Sir, I've a few recommendations for decorations.

Yes. We'll get everything for all of 'em that we can, but later.

Meantime, I want you to know I'm personally recommending you for something, John.

Perhaps the big one.

Thank you, sir, but I don't feel... Yes, you do, John.

Getting it for you will be the goddamn problem!

But, hell, it'd be a big thing for the battalion and the regiment, if you did get it.

We better move out.

We need to extend our lines, hook up with the other companies and push on to the top.

Would you like to take command of Baker Company?

Of course.

Sir, I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but about the water. If we don't get water...

Don't worry about water.

John, I don't want anything to break up this attack of ours now we have the momentum.

We'll have some water in a... couple of hours.

I've arranged for that.

Now, we just can't stop now, goddamn it, and wait for it.

No, sir.

That's right.

And if some of the men... pass out, why, hell, they'll just have to pass out.

All right.

They could...

They could die from it. They could die from enemy fire, too!

They're all tough boys.

Come on, men, let's go! You'll see plenty more of those where we're going!

Are we going up this hill or aren't we?

John, I'm convinced that the Japanese position can be broken now.

All we have to do is keep going and we'll have this hill. We'll have this hill by sundown.

You see the spirit in these men? D'you see the new spirit?

Well, I want to take advantage of that before something happens to sap their strength.

To have this battalion relieved in a defeat, or even to have it reinforced from troops from the reserves, if we were to stall before reaching the top, well, Jesus Christ, that's just a hell of a lot more than I could stand!

I've waited all my life for this.

I've worked, slaved, eaten... oh, untold buckets of shit to have this opportunity!

And I don't intend to give it up now.

You don't know what it feels like to be passed over.

I mean, you're young. You're just out of the Academy.

You're, you know, you've got your war! This 15 years, this is my first war!

John, some day you'll understand.

You're like a son to me, John.

You know what my son does?

He's a bait salesman.

You've done a hell of a job, John.

I'm gonna make sure that you get everything, everything that you deserve.

Thank you, sir.

God...

Goddamn it! I want three runners!

Get me three runners!

You go back to the rear to find water and get back here with it as fast as you can!

We attack in one hour! We'll throw everything we got at 'em.

We're going all the way! Nothing'll stop us.

It's high ground by nightfall!


You seen many dead people?

Plenty.

They're no different than dead dogs, once you get used to the idea.

They're meat, kid.

Are you righteous? Kind?

Does your confidence lie in this?

Are you loved by all?

Know that l was, too.

Do you imagine your sufferings will be less because you loved goodness?

Truth?


Get fucking on the ground! Get down! Get down!

Get down. Stay there.

Get on the ground! Get on the fucking ground!

Now!


This great evil.

Where's it come from?

How'd it steal into the world?

What seed, what root did it grow from?

Who's doing this?

Who's killing us?

Robbing us of life and light.

Mocking us with the sight of what we might have known.


Does our ruin benefit the Earth?

Does it help the grass to grow or the sun to shine?

Is this darkness in you, too?

Have you passed through this night?

I'm gonna sink my teeth into your liver.

You're dying.

See them birds up there?

You know they eat you raw?

Where you're going, you're not coming back from.


What are you to me?

Nothing.


Have a seat here.

Staros, I'm relieving you of your command.

Lieutenant Band will take over for you.

I already told him.

It's a hard thing to do.

Difficult decision to make.

I don't think you're tough enough.

You're too soft. You're just too soft-hearted. You're not tough-fibred enough.

Anyway, it's my decision to make. I've already made it.

I don't like to see my men get killed, sir.

Have you ever had anyone die in your arms, sir?

Have you?

I don't see any reason to make a scandal out of this.

I don't want it in the records of the battalion. There's no reason for you to have it on yours.

This has nothing to do with cowardice or inefficiency.

Look at this jungle.

Look at those vines, the way they twine around the trees, swallowing everything.

Nature's cruel, Staros.

I'm going to let you apply for reassignment to the Judge Advocate General Corps for reasons of ill health.

You're a lawyer.

You had malaria yet? No, I haven't.

Doesn't matter. I can fix that.

Anyway, you probably will have it.

I'm also recommending you for the Silver Star.

And I'll recommend it in such a way it definitely won't be refused.

Might as well have the Purple Heart, too.

Why?

Because of that scratch on your face and because of those cuts on your hands.

Listen to me, Staros.

I think it's best you go back with the next batch of wounded and prisoners.

It is no goddamn good for you to keep hanging around.

The quieter we keep this, the better it'll be for all.


This is from Colonel Tall.

"Our victory gives us the highest reasons for pride".

"It will prove a milestone in the battle for Guadalcanal".

"Tomorrow the division commander will arrive to make an inspection of the line".

"After the inspection we're to be relieved by a battalion of the division's reserve regiment".

"I've secured for the battalion a week's rest off the line".

That's all.


Hours like months.

Days like years.

Walked into the golden age.

Stood on the shores of the New World.

I would've come by and paid you guys a visit, but...

I just felt like being alone, you know?

Yeah?

We wanted to thank you, sir.

For asking to make that flanking move.

For watching out for us.

Keeping us together.

We're all sorry to see you go.

We feel like you got a rotten deal.

Well, I'm not sure that you're right.

Tough part is... not knowing if you're doing any good.

That's the hard part.

But it doesn't matter. I don't care.

I'm glad to be going.

I'm glad.

There's still time. We could file a complaint. For what?

What good would that do?

Anyway, I wanna go.

Leave it alone. Let it lay.

What does that mean, sir?

It means "You've been like my sons".

You are my sons.

My dear sons.

You live inside me now.

I'll carry you wherever I go.

Can't nothing make you forget it.

Each time you start from scratch.

War don't ennoble men.

It turns 'em into dogs.

Poisons the soul.


My dear wife,

you get something twisted out of your insides by all this blood, filth, and noise.

I wanna stay changeless for you.

I wanna come back to you the man I was before.

How do we get to those other shores?

To those blue hills.

Love.

Where does it come from?

Who lit this flame in us?

No war can put it out, conquer it.

I was a prisoner.

You set me free.

No matter how much training you got, how careful you are, it's a matter of luck whether or not you get killed.

Makes no difference who you are, or how tough a guy you might be,

if you're in the wrong spot at the wrong time, you're gonna get it.

I look at that boy dying, I don't feel nothing.

I don't care about nothing any more.

Sounds like bliss.

I don't have that feeling yet.

That numbness.

Not like the rest of you guys.

Maybe cos I knew what to expect.

Maybe I was just frozen up already.


I haven't touched another woman since I was called up.

Or talked to one.

I don't wanna...

I don't wanna feel the desire.


All right. Abrahams!

Abrahams. Here you go.

Stack! Where's Stack?

Bring him out.

Bell?

Bell!

Another one for Bell. Another one for Bell.

Dear Jack, I've met an Air Force captain. I've fallen in love with him.

I want a divorce to marry him.

I know you can say no, but I'm asking you anyway, out of the memory of what we had together.

Forgive me.

It just got too lonely, Jack.


We'll meet again some day.

People who have been as close as we've been always meet again.

I have no right to speak to you this way.

I can't stop myself.

A habit so strong.

Oh, my friend of all those shining years.

Help me leave you!


What's your name?


We were a family.

How'd it break up and come apart?

So that now we're turned against each other.

Each standing in the other's light.

How did we lose the good that was given us?

Let it slip away?

Scatter it careless?


What's keeping us from reaching out?

Touching the glory?

I'd have had you, Witt, if you was a Jap, Long ago.

They leave you here?

Yup.

I slowed 'em up.

Don't mind, really.

The medic fixed me up pretty good.

I got plenty of ammo.

Somebody'll be along for me eventually.

They got you good. Right in the knee.

Yeah.

I'm out of this war for good, Witt.

What you doin' down here? Just, you know, I'm heading back to the company.

Yeah.

Well, you give all them boys my best.

You can come with me if you want.

I'll help you along.

No, it's nice and quiet.

Peaceful up here.

I'd just slow you up. There'll be somebody along.

I'll remind 'em.

OK.


Hey, Witt.

Who you making trouble for today?

What d'you mean?

Well, isn't that what you like to do?

Turn left when they say go right?

Why are you such a troublemaker, Witt?

You care about me, don't you, Sergeant?

I always felt like you did.

Why do you always make yourself out like a rock?

One day I can come up and talk to you, by the next day it's like we never even met.

Lonely house now.

You ever get lonely?

Only around people.

Only around people.

You still believing in the beautiful light, are you?

How do you do that?

You're a magician to me.

I still see a spark in you.


One man looks at a dying bird and thinks there's nothing but unanswered pain.

But death's got the final word.

It's laughing at him.

Another man sees that same bird,

feels the glory.

Feels something smiling through him.


We need to get out of here right now.

You explain to... headquarters the situation? No.

Do they know where we are? Cos we're sitting ducks out here.

Well, I think that's... up to me to judge, Sergeant.

I think we just need to send somebody up there and find out how close they are. OK?

It's easy.

Hey, Weld... get headquarters on that thing.

The fire's coming closer, sir.

Line's cut!

We need to send somebody out there to find out where that line is being cut.

And we need to find out how close they are.

Come on.

OK. OK.

Hey, you.

You go.

You're going, Fife.

Coombs. You go, too.

Come on!

I'll go. I want you to know I think the whole thing's a bad idea, though.

If they come down here in any strength, Lieutenant, they'll knock our position to hell.

You don't have to go. Others'll volunteer.

No, I wanna go, sir. In case something bad happens, I wanna be there.

All right. You stay by the river.

That jungle's too thick. And be very careful.

I will.

Good luck, Witt.

You OK, Fife?


A reinforce battalion.

We need to go back.

Tell the lieutenant.

Let's go.

I'm hit!


One of us needs to stay here and hold 'em off.

We'll be all right.

My friend here doesn't have long, so... you go.

You go on ahead.


Witt!


They're coming.

I gotta go. I don't want you to be afraid.

Just hide out here till you hear firing, then push on down the river.

No.


Where's Coombs? Get back. Get back, they're coming.

Fall back.

Where's Witt? Fife, where's Witt?

Fife, where's Witt?

Fife. Fife, where's Witt?


America.


Where's your spark now?


Now, I know you men have been making and drinking this goddamn swipe.

That's OK by me.

Everything a lie.

Any man in my outfit can get as drunk as he wants to every night.

Everything you hear and see.

As long as he's in shape to make reveille and carry out any assignment given.

If he can't do that, he's gonna have trouble from me.

So much to spew out. I prefer to think of myself as a family man, and that's what we all are here, whether we like it or not.

We are a family.

I'm the father.

Guess that makes Sergeant Welsh here the mother.

They just keep coming, one after another.

That makes you all the children in this family.

Now, a family can have only one head, and that is the father.

Father's the head, mother runs it. That's the way it's gonna work here.

If any of you wanna see me about anything, You're in a box. anything at all, A moving box. you will find that I am available.

This war is not gonna be over by next Christmas.

It's gonna be a long time before we get home...

They want you dead.

Or in their lie.

Only one thing a man can do.

Find something that's his.

Make an island for himself.

If I never meet you in this life, Let me feel the lack.

A glance from your eyes, and my life will be yours.


Somethin' I can come back to. Some kind of foundation.

I mean, I don't know what, you know, what your plans are, but...

I'm determined now. I've been through the thick and thin of it.

You know, I may be young, but I've lived plenty of life.

I'm ready to start living it good.

You know, my daddy always told me it's gonna get a lot worse before it gets better.

You know, cos life ain't supposed to be that hard when you're young.

Well, I figure after this the worst is gonna be gone.

It's time for things to get better. That's what I want.

That's what's gonna happen.

I'm getting older now.

By no means old, but older.

Where is it that we were together?

Who were you that I lived with?

Walked with?

The brother.

The friend.


Darkness from light.

Strife from love.

Are they the workings of one mind?

The features of the same face?

Oh, my soul, Let me be in you now.

Look out through my eyes.

Look out at the things you made.