Their Finest (2016) Script

What's the matter, Mrs. James?

You'd better have a good rest tonight. It's these 12-hour shifts.

I had some bad news this morning, miss.

My Jim's missing.

Oh, try not to worry. I'm sure he'll turn up.

Oh, I do hope so, miss.

I expect I'll feel better when I've had a cup of tea.

That's right. It's finishing time now.

A million bullets for dispatch by the morning?

But, I tell you, the girls have done ten hours today already.

Yes, I realize how urgent it is.

But you can't expect these girls to work 14 hours a stretch.

All right, I'll ask them.

She doesn't have to ask us.

A million bullets by the morning.

All right, come on, girls. It's got to be done.

Stop. Stop there. Stop the bus there.

All right, can't go no further.

Passengers for Bloomsbury, you're on foot from here.

Thank you.

Mmm-hmm. This way, miss.

"A million bullets by morning"? No wonder the audience booed.

Or snored. We learn from our mistakes.

I would have shot the writers, not the picture.

Authenticity, that's what we're after now.

Authenticity informed by optimism.

You think I don't understand to give an audience optimism?

I have three grandsons in the forces.

Your company reputation is founded primarily on comedy.

The highest-grossing British picture of the year was a comedy. Mine.

And Mr. Buckley here wrote it.

Yes, and very entertaining it was, too, but if we are to capture the public imagination and their trust, we need more than fat policemen toppling off ladders.

We need a story to inspire a nation.

Give me a real brief, Mr. Swain, and I swear, I will bring you a picture to win the war.

Or at least one to cheer us up if we carry on losing it.

So, please, tell us what it is you want.

You have your brief, Mr. Baker. Authenticity and optimism.

Right, so I'll look for a story.

So sorry. Monstrous of us to have kept you waiting.

Welcome to the Ministry of Information Film Division.

Roger Swain. You must be Miss Cole.

Mrs. Ah, splendid. Please, take a seat.

Husband in the forces?

He volunteers as an air-raid warden, but he wasn't fit for conscription.

He fought in the war in Spain.

Splendid, that's splendid. Now, about the job.

We need to cultivate a more convincing female angle in our output.

Mr. Buckley here has been appointed to the department as a special adviser.

Not special enough to get paid, obviously.

He seems to think you're what we need.

I said "might be." She can't be worse than those chaps you've got.

Did you write this? Mmm-hmm.

It was wrapped around my chips.

I was the secretary at the copywriting department, but all the copywriters got called up.

"So-Be-Fee. It ain't beef, but it ain't bad, 'cause sometimes you just have to make do with what you've got."

Ah, splendid.

Ministry wages start at three and ten.

And obviously, we can't pay you as much as the chaps, so shall we say £2 a week?

Thank you.

You a cinemagoer? Yes.

Then you'll be familiar with informationals.

We sandwich them between the support and the main feature, so the public to be informed don't have time to escape.

What to do in an air raid.

Get under cover at once.

Don't stand staring at the sky. Take cover at once.

You'll find a page of script equates to a minute of screen time or roughly 80 yards of celluloid, or it would if directors didn't squander the film stock as if it were lavatory paper.

Speaking of which, ladies' is last door on the left.

I wouldn't risk the other facilities if I were you.

I thought it was a secretarial post.

Oh, for God's sake, keep that to yourself.

What did they say, the War Artists Committee?

They find my interpretations altogether too brutal and dispiriting.

You're so much better than all the rest of them.

All the rest of them manage to put food on the table.

Ellis, I had a meeting today... about a new job.

They offered it to me. £2 a week.

You know, Perry wants you to model for him.

I told him only I'm allowed to paint you.

You only ever put me in for the perspective.

No, I put you in because I want you there.

Right. I have to get to the warden's post.

It's a writing job.

Well done, Catrin.

When there's a raid, I want you to go down to the tube station.

I didn't bring you all the way from Wales to see you hit by a bomb.

I saw April today.

She and Tony have made up ever such a clever code, so he can write to her about what he's doing.

"The village green," that means "England."

"Onion soup" is "France."

There's a word for "regiment," and one for "troop train."

Do you really have to smoke that thing?

Couldn't you just mime? I can mime smoking.

I can't mime smoke.

That's a cut.

I wonder, would it be possible to have some knitting?

My hands are aching for something to do, and it seems so right for the character.

Props! Yeah, I'll try and find some knitting.

Walter, a word.

I fully understand the national importance of what we're shooting, and obviously there's no question of diluting the message.

I just...

Wonder if it mightn't pack a little more punch if Mr. Brown were to express a little more.

For example, at the mention of the clever code, I might say, "Well, that'll be the first clever thing April's ever done in her life."

Do you see? So, just a... Just a...

Just a dash of humor. And then further along...

Excuse me. Hello.

Hello. Oh, certainly.

Oh, no, no, no.

It's just that the caption at the end's going to be, "He's not listening, but the enemy might be."

It's a joke for women who think their husbands never pay attention.

So if you start answering her, well, the caption won't make sense.

I wrote it. The scenario.

I'll be in my dressing room, if anyone needs me.

Ahem. Everybody take ten.

Save the lights.

Banished from the set. What in God's name possessed you?

The actor was ruining the script.

Course he was. He's an actor.

What's this? Penance?

- Hello, Mabel. How's baby? He's coming along splendidly.

With more free time, I should like to do some war work.

I simply don't know what to do.

Are you good with your hands?

I think so, yes.

Have you thought about factory work?

And the version without the lines, please.

They want to re-use the footage for carrots.

- Hello, Mabel. How's baby? He's coming along splendidly.

An appetite like his father.

He's eating us out of the house.

I simply don't know what to do.

- Are you good... ...in the garden?

I think so, yes.

- Have you thought about... ...carrots?

Right, I'll get that recorded.

Thank you. How's it been, anyway?

Boys in Scenarios made you feel welcome?

They can't see the point of me.

"If there's a dog in the script, we don't employ a Jack Russell to write 'woof-woof, ' do we?"

Just been reading your work. None of them could do better.

Would you care for some lunch?

Now, don't look so chapel. It's official business.

I've, uh, got a proposal for you.

When I'm not busy special advising, I work for a man called Gabriel Baker.

Remember him? The Hungarian.

He's a producer.

Desperate to make a film that will make a difference.

Hello, Tom. Thelma.

Sorry. Excuse me.

Dunkirk. The evacuation of troops trapped by the German advance.

Seven hundred fishing boats and the Royal Navy on a mission to bring our boys home.

Twin sisters took their father's cockle boat over to join the rescue, came back with a deck full of soldiers.

It's everything the Ministry are after. Authenticity and optimism.

Contradiction in terms, if you ask me, but this could be a bloody good story.

Before they'll give it the go-ahead, they want someone to go down there to talk to the girls.

Me?

Unless your artist would object.

So, how did you meet?

He came to Ebbw Vale to paint the steelworks.

Ah, he's one of those artists.

Older than you? Yes.

Fifty? No.

Sixty? Oh, I bet he's a toff.

No one else can afford to be an artist.

Actually, his family disinherited him.

Because of you? Because of his politics.

So what do you think? A day at the seaside.

And you never know, if there's a film at the end of it, there might be a better job in it for you.

We'll need someone to write the slop.

Slop? Girl talk.

Women's dialogue. "Woof, woof."

Hello. I've come to see Rose and Lily Starling.

We're not to talk to the papers. We're not to let no one in.

I'm not from the papers.

I'm from the Ministry of Information.

The Film Division.

Film?

And you went to Dunkirk?

We meant to, but the engine stopped five miles out.

Broken bearing. We never got there.

But in the paper, it said you brought home troops.

This steam tug on its way back gave us a tow.

There were soldiers spilling over the rails, so we pulled some on the Nancy.

Someone seen us docking and put it in the paper.

They got the wrong end of the stick, didn't they?

Dad said he'd be a laughingstock, said we mustn't tell the papers.

But you ain't the papers. You're the pictures.

Can I ask the lady something?

Can Lily ask you something? Yes.

Have you ever met Robert Donat? The famous actor?

No, no. No, I haven't, I'm afraid.

Dad!

Come quick. Would you like to see the kitchen?

It's not him.

It's all right, Lil.

He don't like strangers, see?

He don't like a lot of things.

And you took his boat without asking?

Weren't you scared?

One of the soldiers had this kit bag, and suddenly it woofed, and it give us such a fright.

It was a dog.

And one of them Frenchies tried to kiss Lil.

No, I meant scared of what your dad might do.

No. He got himself a bottle.

We thought we'd be back before he woke up.

Besides, Eric was in Dunkirk.

Eric? Dad's first mate.

He got us photographs for our birthday.

We've got the same birthday.

Robert Donat in The 39 Steps... and John Clements in The Four Feathers.

Have you ever met John Clements?

No, I haven't.

Those ones are Mum's. We don't know who he is.

Well, I did meet... Is it going to be a film?

Probably not.

Stupid bloody engine, eh?

What harm can one little drink do? My dad will throttle me if I'm late.

Well, how about a kiss, then?

No, thank you. Come on!

I could be back in action tomorrow.

Shelterers to the left hand side.

Bona fide passengers, come on!

Bona fide passengers, to the right.


Catrin?

I got caught in the raid.

I ended up in the Baker Street shelter.

I didn't know where you were. I didn't know if you were safe.

I never know if you're safe.

God, look at you.

I'll be all right after a cup of tea.

The raid ruptured the mains.

Now, Catrin, I...

I want you to go back to Ebbw Vale.

Ellis...

It's the biggest steelworks in Europe.

I'm more likely to get bombed there than here.

It's not just the bombing.

I can't afford for us to live here anymore.

I can't afford for us to live anywhere.

But I earn. If I were on my own, I could doss down in Perry's studio.

I could keep painting.

But you don't have to keep me. I earn.

Your wage assumes a husband who can put a roof over your head.

Please don't turn me into one of those things that make it harder.

Mr. Cole? It's Alf, from downstairs.

I'm not the war, I'm not the committee. I'm what makes it better.

Mrs. Cole. Hello, Alf.

Heavy Rescue.

They wanna know how many in the cellar at number 12.

All right.


When the twins got to Dunkirk, they did what every other small boat did, ferried troops off the beach and out to the big ships waiting in the deeper water.

There was shelling and strafing, but they honestly didn't talk about that.

What really seems to have stuck with them are the details, the little authentic details.

The soldier with a dog in his kit bag.

Uh, the Frenchman that tried to kiss Lily.

I wish I could make you understand how awfully brave they were.

Their father's a bully, I think, and a bit of a drunk.

They're terrified of him, but they took his boat anyway, the Nancy.

“The Nancy"? The Nancy Starling.

After their mother. The nail on the head.

Mmm?

On the head.

Authenticity, optimism, and a dog.

I imagine call-up's left quite a hole in your ranks, so, in the interest of a quick turnaround, we'll let you have some of our people.

Mrs. Cole, Miss Moore.

Mmm-hmm? Yes.

Be good to get this into the cinemas while there are still a few of them standing.

Mmm-hmm.

Well done. Well done.

Yeah.

Do I have the job? Well, why not?

Twins, after all. Double the slop.

Temporary secondment to Baker Productions.

No screen credit. Ministry wages.

I need more. I could throw in a desk.

I need more than Ministry wages.

I'll talk to Baker.

Leslie Banks is virtually my age, and he's still staggering around the studios, giving his unhinged all as young love gone bad...

Oh, no, no, no, Cerberus. Too much glass.

You know, if you paid your clients half as much attention as you do that hyena, you might actually be an agent worth having.

Spitfires. Won't you help to buy...

Ambrose Hilliard. The Man with the Glint.

Oh, I know it's a liberty, but would you do him for me? Would you?

Inspector Charnforth?

"Someone has made a mistake.

It's a simple mistake and easy to miss.

I almost did so myself."

Oh!

Oh, um...

Spitfires, Sammy. In the pocket. The pocket.

Ah.

Thank you. There.

When... uh, when can we expect to see you back on the screen, Mr. Hilliard?

When indeed?

Well, apparently Baker Films have a Dunkirk script in the works.

Mmm?


Apparently, you'll be in here.

They want a title.

We haven't started bloody writing it yet.

And they're asking about locations.

Want me to start casting it, too?

Don't tempt me. A boat, a beach, twins.

That's all you're getting. Try Devon.

Or Dunkirk. You can go and scout it personally.

Her, seconded here to spy on us.

You tell her nothing, understand?

We'll have every government department and his wife sticking their oar in.

Desk. Parfitt, you've met.

Writing partner. Delighted to have you on board.


Report.

So, what do you think?

Uh, the father leaves a bad taste.

Drunken sailor angle's good, though.

Make him an uncle. Uncle Frank.

Yeah. Soused in the hold.

Wakes up in Dunkirk.

Double-take when he sees the Stukas.

Gives us our laughs, then takes a bullet in act three.

Comic life, tragic death. Tears all round.

Yeah. First mate, bloke in France, needs to be a boyfriend.

Rose or Lily's? Either.

Both? What are they like?

Shy, quiet. Lily hardly spoke.

One quiet, one chatty. They're both quiet.

Not if we want any dialogue. How old are they?

Thirty? Ah, marvelous.

Working title, Old Maids of Margate.

It's Southend.

Twenty-one, Lily sweet, Rose spunky. Rose gets the boyfriend.

"My darling, I couldn't die without seeing the cornflower blue of your eyes a final time."

You can have that one on me.

What's his name, the boyfriend?

Eric. Eric Lumb.

Do you hear that noise?

That's 200 women in the one and nines vowing aloud never to call their sons anything as bloody feeble as Eric.

Now give me a hero's name. John.

Dull. Johnnie.

Mmm-hmm. He'll have to make it back.

Injured. A risk. A rescue.

"Don't be a fool, Johnnie. There's a sniper out there!"

Yep. Mm... Saves his commanding officer.

Fellow soldier?

Saves the dog.

But he didn't. In real life, he didn't.

Film, Mrs. Cole.

Real life with the boring bits cut out.

Don't confuse facts with truth and, for Christ's sake, don't let either of them get in the way of the story.

Now we know how it starts. Johnnie in France.

We know how it ends. Home safe.

And we know that somewhere in between we have dog, Dunkirk, engine failure, and uncle's death.

Now all we have to do is fill in the gaps.


I'm buying it.

Down payment.

Call it rent, call it what you like, but I am not leaving London.


Hmm! Sorry. Bad night.

Buckley, Parfitt, meeting now. Ministry of War Transport.

Seems they've had wind of your proposed filmic scenario.

Apparently, they're concerned that "the Nancy Starling's engine failure may cast morale-sapping doubt on the quality of British engineering."

It was her. Bloody Ministry spy.

What if it's not the engine? What if it's the propeller?

It gets snarled up with flotsam, Uncle Frank goes in the water to free it, gets shot, and the girls have to finish the job under fire.

Not the girls. Not the girls?

No. Uh, Johnnie. Johnnie?

Is there an echo in here? Why him?

Because he's the hero. So?

Well, how do we know he's the hero if he never does anything heroic?

Well, he's called Johnnie.

Are you trying to pick a fight with me, Mrs. Cole?

Johnnie can't go in the water. He's injured, badly injured.

A manly slash on the bicep, for Christ's sake.

He's not gonna be leaking spleen through his trousers.

This is Rose and Lily's story, and you won't let them do anything.

They go to Dunkirk. And Johnnie pilots them home.

They're girls. Girls don't want to be the hero.

They want to have the hero. They want to be had by him.

Tom, cab. Oh!

And if that ginger viper so much as gets her nose through the office door while we're out, you're sacked.

And don't think I won't know. I can smell her shaving cream on the wind.

Anything else?

Since you're so keen to flex your femininity, you can tidy up!

I heard furniture.

"Angels of the Sea. Across the Waves.

Two to Dunkirk. Three to Dunkirk.

Dunkirk or Bust. Busts to Dunkirk."

Somewhere in the world there is a bullet with that man's name on.

Why hasn't he been called up?

I mean, Parfitt's too old, but Buckley...

Baker persuaded someone that Buckley was more use to the war effort with a typewriter.

It won't last.

He'll end up in uniform, like every other mother's son.

That is, if he ever had a mother.

More likely, Parfitt found him in a pub, spawning spontaneously in the sawdust.

You know, a lot of men are scared we won't go back into our boxes when this is all over.

It makes them belligerent.

Something's changed.

I tidied. What happened at the meeting?

I outlined our proposed changes. They accepted them.

What's this? Lunch.

The girls can pilot the boat home, all right?

They can pilot the bloody boat.

They can lead the damn fleet, for all I care.

But Johnnie frees the propeller.

Hmm.


You're late. I took the liberty of ordering.

Sorry. We have guests staying, friends from Poland.

Things are very bad in Europe.

It's not exactly a picnic here, if you hadn't noticed.

You can't find a decent waiter in SoHo since Italy joined the war.

They were all rounded up as so-called enemies of the state, apart from Geppetto over there, who almost certainly is a spy.

Cerberus!

Ugh!

Christ, a dead sheep?

Ugh. Not strictly ration book, but Cerberus can't live on crusts and scraps.

Ugh...

Sophie's going to boil it up and make him some broth.

Lucky fellow.

Well, perhaps your sister would like to start feeding me, too, unless, of course, you've actually found me some work.

So, Baker's outline for the Dunkirk film, you read it?

It rattles along rather better than one might have expected.

Johnnie's escape from the steel thrust of the German war machine.

The rescue of the dog was very good.

Here, boy. Here.

No, no. No, not you, Cerberus.

Of course, it all depends on who they're planning to cast as Rose.

Uncle Frank?

"A shipwreck of a man"? Sammy!

"Sixties. Looks older"?

Senior roles are not to be sneered at, Ambrose.

Gravitas. Experience. Maturity. Ugh.

We all have a part to play in defeating Hitler.

Not this part. It's a corpse role. He's dead before the end of act three.

Mr. Smith.

Mmm-mmm. Mr. Hilliard.

Ambrose, you must see...

You, me, the industry, we are all at the service of the war now.

The war. The war.

Damn the bloody war!

The war has skimmed off the cream, and we're left with the rancid curds!

I'm sorry I took so long.

There was a bomb crater on the Marylebone Road. Oh!

No one told me there was a meeting.

No, we've been rather trying to keep this under wraps for the present.

It seems that there's a someone in Mr. Swain's department who knows a someone who says that the Starling sisters never got to Dunkirk.

That their engine broke down before they were even out of British waters.

Pity. Pity all round, really.

Your first draft boded so well.

Well... So the Starling sisters lied?

What difference does it really make?

For God's sake, of course it makes a difference. It's not the truth.

The truth is, they stole a boat from a man who terrified them and set out to cross 50 miles of open sea into a war.

They never got there. Because their engine failed.

Now, there's a truth we won't be telling. Morale-sapping, apparently.

We pick our truths. Isn't that the point?

We're saying this is based on a true story.

Then don't.

Oh, Christ above, man, you're supposed to be the propagandist!

700 ships went to Dunkirk. 338,000 men came back.

Don't say it's based on a true story.

Say it's based on 100 true stories.

A thousand. 338,000.

Dunkirk, the biggest retreat in military history, or the miracle that put the fire back in all our bellies?

Very well, carry on as you were. I have a car waiting.

You won't regret it. Thank you, Mr. Swain.

Buckley!

Buckley!

Sit. Sit.

I don't care that you lied.

I care that you lied to us.

There wasn't enough money.

Ellis wanted me to go back to Wales.

And you what, you couldn't bear to miss the Blitz?

I'm sorry.

Well, at least Parfitt will be relieved.

His wife, Mary, she's an invalid.

He pays for a nurse in the day, but then he has to sit with her himself at night.

When I told him you wanted more than Ministry wages, he was worried you'd found yourself in a similar position, what with your husband's Spanish War wound and all.

Should I...

Do you want me to come in tomorrow?

And how would that help, losing you?

Who the bloody hell else do you think's gonna be writing the slop?

The work's good, Mrs. Cole.

You're doing a good job.

Hello, Catrin.

Hello. Hello.

Ellis?

I just saw Perry and Conroy. You had friends over?

I got a letter.

A commission to document bomb damage in the provinces, and an exhibition in London straight after.

The National Gallery.

Oh, Ellis.

Will there be Sunday trains, do you think?

Only I'll need to get back to London on Monday mornings.

What are you talking about? Coming to see you.

Well, you'll be with me, silly.

Yes, of course.

After the script is finished.

Well, you can get out of that now, surely.

But I don't want to get out of it.

I don't want to let them down.

No, of course not.

Well, I leave on Monday, and I'll be back in London for the exhibition.

I suppose it's not so very far off.

No, it's not so very far off.

And I'll come and visit as often as I can.

Right, then.

Veal's off. I've ordered cutlets Milanese... and semolina... pudding.

You are Mr. Ambrose Hilliard?

Yes.

I'm Sophie Smith, Sammy's sister.

Ah.

His office.

Last night, he was working late. It was bombed.

They have asked me to identify him.

I am unable.


Mr. Hilliard?

Mr. Hilliard?

I'm afraid, my dear, someone has made a mistake.

I almost did so myself.

You see, Sammy Smith has two fingers missing from his left hand.

I'm sorry, we try very hard to... to make a whole person.

For the relatives.

Oh!

Is it him? Is it your friend?

My agent.

Yes.

That's him.

You can stay with us, if you like.

It's very peaceful. I'm sure we can make room.


Thank you.


Happy New Year, Mr. Hilliard.

Sammy liked the veal, I believe. Do you also recommend it?

It's not veal in the pre-war sense.

Oh.

Um, now that Sam...

Now that my brother has gone, I must find something with which to occupy myself.

I have responsibilities, dependents.

I have decided therefore to continue with the agency.

I understand Sammy discussed with you Baker's Dunkirk film, the role of the inebriated uncle. No.

You know, after conversations like this with my brother, I would say, "What have you got to lose by being honest, Sammy?

Explain to the man he is 63, not 36.

And that his brief moment of fame as Inspector Charnfort..."

Charnforth! Inspector Charnforth!

Please be calm, Mr. Hilliard.

I am perfectly calm.

What you are seeing is controlled anger tempered with icy detachment.

It's one of the many subtle emotions of which a good actor is capable.

Three weeks on location in Devon, followed by three in a London studio.

There are currently only nine films in pre-production in British studios.

None of the others holds a role for you.

I hope I share some of my brother's qualities, Mr. Ambrose.

I do not, however, share his sentimental attachments.

I will not keep unprofitable clients on the books.

Veal, twice, please.

Oh, and semolina pudding?

Excellent choice.


Too long. Lose half.

Which half? The half you don't need.

What's the matter?

You look like you haven't slept in a month.

I'm all right.

I just found it easier when it was every night.

At least you knew what was coming.

Well, never having known the joys of married love myself...

The bombing. Ah.

I thought perhaps too many long treks to see the husband in the provinces.

Not really.

It's difficult, you know? The trains.

All right, then What's that?

It's France, Uncle Frank. Oh.

Oh!

It's Hitler!

Bloody what? Meeting now with Mr. Swain.

Rot. We're about to issue this as a shooting script.

They want all of you. Oh, no.

Oh, don't worry. All that's dead and buried.

No, this'll be some rear admiral in a lather because we've got the wind speed wrong for the day in question.

Oh, and did I mention? It's at Whitehall.

The Ministry of War.

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhood cheap whilst any speak who fought with us upon Saint Crispin's Day."

The power of the dramatic arts.

Ah...

America.

Firmly against any military involvement in a war they see as Europe's business.

I'm sure I need not tell you how many people attend the cinema every week in this country.

Thirty... Thirty million.

And in America that figure is closer to 90.

Mr. Churchill is persuaded that film, in particular your film, presents us with a unique opportunity to put our case to the American people.

They fear that we are already beaten.

You show that we fight on.

They believe this country to be dominated by an upper-class elite.

You present a vision of Britain in which ordinary working people are the heroes.

But most crucially of all, your film concerns itself directly with the feminine experience, to show your American sisters that this is a war their sons and husbands and brothers should be fighting.

Of course, if we want America to listen, we must give them someone to listen to, a character with whom they can really identify.

You want us to put an American in it? Exactly so.

Ideally, of course, one would cast a star with British connections, a Cary Grant or an Errol Flynn, but the war will not wait on the convenience of a Hollywood schedule.

Besides, we rather think we've done one better.

Carl Lundbeck.

American boy, Norwegian forefathers.

Before the war, he flew crop dusters on his parents' farm in Michigan.

When Germany invaded Norway, Carl made his way to England to join the RAF...

where he's made himself very much at home.

Salmon aren't the only creatures who should stay out of Flight Lieutenant Lundbeck's way.

So far he's shot down 24 German planes, for which Britain gives her gratitude.

A genuine hero.

An inspiration to all other Americans, and, as I believe you chaps say, the camera loves him. Yeah.

Even more if he was in Technicolor.

Color? I think we can manage that.

But there weren't any Americans at Dunkirk.

Pedant Pack your bags, Mrs. Cole. You're coming to Devon.

♪ Pretty copper kettle, pretty copper kettle ♪

♪ Bright copper kettle, bright copper kettle ♪

♪ I've got to get a kettle I've got to get... ♪

♪ I've got to get a kettle, I've got to get a kettle ♪

♪ Pretty copper kettle... ♪ I'm nearly finished.

No, you're completely finished.

If I hear the fucking word "kettle" one more fucking time, I'm gonna find one and shove it up your arse.

Sideways. Mm...

Sorry.

I think some Fuller's earth through your hair and grease.

God. Fuller's earth?

But I would like to make your eyebrows really unruly, you know, so that they're sticking out in different directions.

Different directions? What, you... And then...

I'd rather have four honest words than 50 pages of bilge.

Now, you play Rose... No, I play Rose.

And I play Lily.

This script is the best thing I have read in a month of Sundays.

Don't you think? Well...

Wyndham Best. I play Johnnie. Johnnie?

The soldier. Ah.

Or the hero, if you will.

...a documentary about the Clydeside dockers.

Right. Who have we got here?

Ah, Alex, mind if I join you?

Documentary makers and authenticity.

The rancid curds.

Buckley, just hide me, hide me.

What?

Uncle Frank. Mr. Hilliard.

You knew he was gonna be here. Yes, but I didn't expect to be.

Is she all right?

Avoiding Hilliard. Unfortunate experience.

Carnal? What? No.

Oh, that? Oh, I shouldn't worry about that.

He's an actor.

Unless you review them, have intercourse with them, or do both simultaneously, they don't remember you.

Uh, ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to introduce you now to a young man to whom we all owe a great deal.

Soon we hand him back to the RAF for a very different kind of shooting.

Until then, he is our very own American.

Mr. Carl Lundbeck.

Hi. Hello. Alex Frayle, director.

Hi. Good to meet you.

Wyndham Best. How do you do? I'm playing Johnnie.

Carl Lundbeck, Flight Lieutenant.

Hi. Hello.

Mr. Hilliard. If I've got the right...

Mr. Ambrose Hilliard.

Yes.

Sir, I saw every Inspector Charnforth picture there ever was.

Just used to go right back and watch them again.

Oh!

"You see, someone has made a mistake."

"A simple mistake, but easy to miss."

Yes! Oh!

Sir, I need to wire my mom.

There's our secret weapon.

Now you write him in. No excuses and no bar bills.

God bless America. God bless America.

Well, he's very handsome. Oh, come on!

So, what's an American doing in Dunkirk?

No, scrub that.

What isn't he doing? Fighting.

Yeah, so what does that make him? A priest?

No, we need a hero. I don't know...

Travel writer? Journalist? A journalist.

Hard-boiled, wise-cracking Yankee hack who can pilot a boat heroically.

You're not pinching any more action from Rose and Lily.

I'm not unpicking the entire bloody structure either.

Will somebody give them a hand over there, please?

All the way up.

Of course, the irony is, they've given this to a bloody documentaries director.

He won't want any dialogue, anyway.

It will all be fishing nets and local kids playing football, you wait.

What if it's not what the American does that makes him heroic, it's what he doesn't do?

He falls for Rose, but he doesn't try to come between her and Johnnie.

Self-sacrifice, that's noble.

Only if he stands a chance. Maybe he does.

Maybe she likes him, because he's the sort that'd let her fix the propeller.

So give him a name, our journalist.

Joe.

Hard-boiled types only have last names.

Buckley. Taken.

And what were you before you became Cole?

Catherine Pugh.

Catherine? Catrin's the Welsh version.

It was his idea. "A beautiful Welsh girl deserves a beautiful Welsh name."

Where would you have drawn the line?

"Cardiff Cole.

Caerphilly Cole. Coalmine Cole."

Hey!

Those were my chips!

Right, Catherine Pugh, you're coming with me.

All right.


Brannigan, Johnnie, positions.

No. Uh, no, thank you. Let... Let me.

Quiet, please. Quiet, please, everyone.

Thank you.

I'll give you a finger click for a sniper shot.

Just a very quiet click, please.

It's hard to explain to a non-actor, but I want to react to the sniper up there And not the click down here. Do you see?

In fact, there's no chance of firing a real gun up there, is there?

No. Right.

Going for a take. Sound?

Sound rolling.

Speed.

Dunkirk film, scene 17, take one.

Good luck, Lieutenant Lundbeck.

Action!

Here, boy.

Here.

Come on, boy.

Don't be a fool, Johnnie. There's a sniper out there.

And he's got a friend. It's a Karabiner 98 Kurz.

Best damn gun since the Win...

...chester 73.

I'm most awfully sorry. I'm afraid I've lost my line.

Cut.

Jesus.

Twenty-three takes.

We only stopped because we ran out of film stock.

The War Office wanted him. The distributors wanted him.

And no one thought to give him a bloody screen test?

Well, can't we replace him?

This film has a significant part to play in putting the national case to the American public.

He's the template. If that lump of Yank stays, the film fails and the national case with it.

He is a brave boy.

Would you or I be so brave?


Is Mr. Baker all right?

He lost one of his grandsons. Oh...

Hit by a tram on shore leave. Oh!

It must make it so much worse that it wasn't for anything.

Poor Mr. Baker. It's never for anything.

Why do you think people like films?

It's because stories are structure.

They're a shape, a purpose, a meaning.

And when things turn bad, it's still part of a plan, you know, it's...

There's a point to it.

Unlike life.

You don't believe in much, do you?

I believed this was gonna be a good picture.

How did you get to do this? Writing, I mean.

Parfitt.

He was making comedies for Baker.

I used to collect gags I heard in the street and sell them to him in the pub, penny a time.

Phyl thinks that you were born in the pub.

I certainly spent enough time in them as a kid.

He was a soldier, my dad, in the last one.

The thing about men who get sent away to war, Mrs. Cole, is that some of them don't come back at all, some come back as heroes...

and some of them come back drunk, squalid bullies.

I was better off out of his way.

In the pub. Or the pictures.

I liked the pictures best.

Once in a while you just need to make one that's worth it, worth the hour and a half of someone's life it's gonna cost them to see it.

I really thought this one would be.

The bloody Yanks.

It would be all right if all you had to do was look at him.

We strip Lundbeck's dialogue down to essentials and use a voiceover.

"I wasn't there at the beginning of the story, but it all began in a little fishing village in England."

Yes, yes. inarticulacy, authenticity.

He still can't act. No, no, he really can't.

But Hilliard can, so we get Hilliard to coach him, some sort of on-the-spot dumb show, so the Yank knows what he's meant to be doing.

Gentlemen, I fear there has been some sort of misapprehension.

I am an actor, a somewhat derided calling, but mine nonetheless.

Perhaps because we are engaged in an imitation of life, there is a common misconception that anything living can do what we do.

You have found that not to be so, for which I offer my, um, sincerest commiserations.

But I am an actor.

I know only my art.

Of teaching, of coaching, of dumb show, of these things, I'm afraid I know nothing.

I'm so sorry to disappoint.

Mr. Hilliard, you're right.

You're right. Everything you just said.

It's about respect for the art and for the artists.

And it makes me think how wrong we've been, playing Uncle Frank for laughs.

Yes, he's a drunkard and a clown, but he's also all those people who gave their sons to one war and now their grandsons to another.

If we served that truth, if we gave you an Uncle Frank really worth your time and your talent, I wonder if you would consider putting that same time and talent towards helping Mr. Lundbeck and the picture?

Mmm.

I don't think we've been properly introduced.

I'm Catrin Cole. I'm one of the writers.

Catrin, between us, we'll have them weeping in the aisles.

I need to let Ellis know that I won't be there for his opening.

I'll arrange a telegram. The least we can do.

Time and talent was good.

Did you think of it beforehand?

His exhibition only lasts two weeks.

We'll have you back in London before it closes.

Damn!

Here! Cheers.

Johnnie Lumb.

Kent, England. You?

Brannigan. Made in America and not for export.

So what are you doing here? Trying to get back.

The propeller's snarled.

If I can just cut it free...

Hurry, Uncle Frank.

Oh!

Hey! Hey, there!

Uncle Frank?

I dr... I dro... I dr... I dropped the knife.

William... Archie...

My... My boys.

Boys, such an age you've been gone.

Why didn't you send word you were still in France?

I could... I could have fetched you home.

I could... I could have carried you both... home.

You're mustard these days, aren't you?

Night, Buckley. Night, Mrs. Cole.

- Pretty copper kettle. Such an age since...

Bright copper kettle. Been such an age since...

Pretty copper kettle, bright copper kettle.

There it is. Dunkirk.

Blimey. There's so many of us. They'll never...

Mrs. Cole?

They'll never get us all out.

Uh, where... Where is she?

Thank you. Cut!

Could someone please get Mr. Hilliard out of Dunkirk?

Find Mrs. Cole! Train ticket.

Ration card. Authorization to travel.

Oh, don't be nervous. Mr. Hilliard won't notice you're gone...

It's not Hilliard. It's Ellis.

He's gonna be so disappointed in me for missing the opening, for not turning up till the last minute.

Nonsense. Your husband is a lucky man, Mrs. Cole.

I'm sure he knows it.

He's not my husband.

I mean, he's not anyone else's either. It's just...

We're not actually married.

I bought the ring myself in Woolworths.

I see. In love enough to run away with him.

Just too proper not to care what other people thought.

Er, behind... Better get moving.

Hilliard's looking for you.

Wants to discuss the stuff you wrote for Uncle Frank's death.

What did you think? Too long, obviously.

But apart from that...

His final moments, believing Brannigan and Johnnie are the sons he lost in the last war...

Well... Hmm.

"Such an age you've been gone."

Really. Hmm.

I still think we need a little more in terms of... of, um, of back-seeding.

Oh, I'm... I'm awfully sorry, Mr. Hilliard, but Mrs. Cole has a train to catch.

What? She must go.

Wha... It's...

It's a personal matter. Oh.

Well, will she be back tonight?

Let's get you into makeup. Hmm.

You do look handsome in your sou'wester.

Really?

Gin.

Mr. Hilliard's going to be awfully angry.

Oh, we'll blame war transport.

The old ham can make do with me.

So...

Positions! Positions!

Everybody please be quiet for a take.

Don't stand under any thousand-pounders.

The director wants to speak to you.

Let me guess. He's canceling my fitting for the dog costume.

No, he didn't say what it was about.

Tell him you couldn't find me.

But... But I have found you.

No, you haven't.

You are exhausted.

You're leaning against the rail of the ship, the wounded Johnnie cradled... cradled in your arms.

Oh, uh, no, thank you.

You look up, and you see, coming towards you across the deck, a vision of loveliness.

And you say...

Careful. The kid's pretty messed up.

Careful. The kid's pretty messed up.

He kept talking about some broad called Nancy.

Kept talking about some broad called Nancy.

I guess that must be you.

I guess that must be you.

Okay.

Action.

Careful. The kid's pretty messed up.

Kept talking about some broad called Nancy.

I guess that must be you.

To which she replies...

Ooh.

I'm Rose. This is Nancy. The Nancy.

To which you say...

Rose...

Do you know, if one were 20 years younger and differently inclined, one might almost be tempted.


Cat... Catrin...

Catrin!

Cat, don't make me run.

They're always gonna be like that, aren't they?

Younger, in awe of you, like I was.

Oh, come on, Cat, you had a choice.

You didn't choose me.

I'll come back in a few days and move my things.

Oh, for God's sake, the flat's yours.

You're the one who pays the rent.

Anyway, I'm going to Manchester tomorrow.

They decided to take the exhibition on tour.

It's a success, then?

It's a success.

I'm glad.

Hmm.

You know, the first time I painted you outside the steelworks... maybe I shouldn't have shown you walking away.

Oh, I don't know, Ellis.

Maybe you just shouldn't have made me so bloody small.

Your ticket, madam.

Safe journey. Next, please.

War widows.

War widows. There you are.

War widows.

War widows.

War widows.

♪ I'm not afraid of the dark ♪

- ♪ Are you?♪ ♪ Are you? ♪

♪ Gee, but it's nice in the dark ♪

- ♪ With the moon ♪ ♪ The moon ♪

- ♪ And you ♪ ♪ And you ♪

♪ When we go strolling in the park at night ♪

♪ Oh, the darkness is a boon ♪

♪ Who cares if we're without a light ♪

♪ They can't black out the moon ♪

♪ I see you smiling in the cigarette glow ♪

♪ Though the picture fades... ♪ Dunkirk in the can.

Done-bloody-kirk.

♪ They can't black out the moon ♪

♪ I see you smiling in the cigarette glow ♪

♪ Though the picture fades too soon ♪

♪ But I see all I want to know ♪

♪ They can't black out the moon ♪

♪ We don't grumble ♪

♪ We don't worry about alarms ♪

♪ But when you stumble ♪

♪ You stumble right into my arms ♪ Too young.

Combined age. Too young twice over.

♪ And, like a love light in your eyes ♪

- ♪ They can't black out the moon ♪ Drink?

Well done. Thank you.

You're up. Oh, no. No, no, no.

Oh, shut up, Ambrose, you know you want to.

All right. "Wild Mountain Thyme" in D flat major.

There it is.

♪ O the summertime is coming ♪

♪ And the trees are softly blooming ♪

♪ And the wild mountain thyme ♪

♪ Grows around the blooming heather ♪

♪ Will ye go, lassie, go ♪

♪ And we'll all go together ♪

♪ To pull wild mountain thyme... ♪ So how was London?

Quiet. No bombing since Tuesday, apparently.

I meant the exhibition.

Very successful.

♪ True love will not come ♪ And your artist?

Likewise.

So why didn't you stay?

You knew I'd cover for you.

I was thinking about what Mr. Hilliard said about needing to back-seed the death speech.

Liar.

Sorry.

♪ ...a tower ♪

♪ From the pure and crystal fountain ♪ Hmm.

♪ And it's there I shall rain ♪

♪ All the flowers of the mountain ♪

♪ Will ye go, lassie, go ♪

♪ And we'll all go together ♪

♪ To pull wild mountain thyme ♪

♪ All around the blooming heather ♪

Bomber's moon.

Someone'll be copping it.

So...

Another couple of days in Devon.

London for the studio shoot.

Then what?

Back to Careless Talk and carrots?

Don't know.

Swain's talking about another feature.

Air-raid wardens.

There'll be slop.

I don't know.

Here.

I'll get you a real desk.

Marry you.

What?

I'm already married.

No, you're not.

That was private.

It was a private conversation.

You had to buy the ring yourself in Woolworths.

When times got hard, he tried to send you back to Wales, and he's disappointed in you?

He's a stupid bloody fool, but he's not as much of a fool as you.

He changed your name, for Christ's sake!

Where's your fucking self-respect?

How dare you?

You have no one. You don't know.

I know you deserve better. - You?

You're the better?

Catrin... I... I...

I think... Look, I think you're mustard.

And I think... you're a drunk, squalid bully.


Come and get out of the water.

Hush!

You were speaking of Flight Lieutenant Lundbeck.

Ah. You know he only did the film under orders.

"They told me it would be good for Eagle Squadron recruitment, sir."

He's desperate to get back in the air, poor boy.

Tea, sir? Thank you.

Oh! Um... Oh, I... Thruppence, please.

Please.

There.

Well, as long as you receive an adequate coaching fee, I see no objection to your continuing to instruct him.

Fee? Yes. Certainly a fee.

I shall be raising the matter with Mr. Baker today.

Is there anything else you wish me to discuss with him?

Your dressing room is adequate?

Uh... Oh, your intimate needs are being catered for?

Mmm?

Sammy once mentioned you do not like to share studio facilities with crew.

Electricians in particular?

Yes. Well, one mustn't complain.

They do their best to make one comfortable.

And as for the work, uh, people...

People seem to be responding rather well to Uncle Frank.

I look... I look forward to your opinion.

Thank you.

Sometimes one simply has to be firm.

Did you miss me?

You left your jacket in the cabin.

It smelt of you for the longest time.

And then one day, I went in there and all I could smell was Uncle Frank's pipe.

Only I'd understand, you know, if things have changed.

And that bullet might have had my name on it.

Oh, Johnnie.

I wouldn't blame you. Brannigan is one in a million.

And I'm not much to write home about, am I?

I'm just an everyday sort of bloke.

"Everyday.''

Every day for the rest of my life.

Good work.

Bloody good show, what you've shot so far.

When the film's been treated for color, it's going to look marvelous.

God, the American's teeth! Can they be real?

If the studio shoot goes half as well, this picture's going to be a triumph.

There is, however, one area of concern...

Memo, please.

...from our American distributors.

I'd ask you to absorb what's said without derision, Buckley.

"American picture-goers like to be knocked off their feet.

Bangs, crashes, ambulances careening around corners.

The same goes for romance.

What you call understatement translates as a lack of oomph."

The Americans feel that the ending as presently written is too subtly nuanced, too... restrained. Restrained?

I mean, it's practically a call to arms.

Their concern is more what one might crudely call the love triangle.

I have to say, as far as the home front goes, we can't let it look as if she'd rather have had the American.

Well, that'll be the teeth.

Teeth or no teeth, what all parties need is a morally clean, romantically satisfying resolution.

Well, perhaps if Mrs. Cole could carry on her good work with Hilliard on set, Buckley and I could tackle the new ending in the office.

You'll enjoy the studio.

Change of scene.

Excellent. Excellent.

Slowly forward. Two steps.

Look to the side. Like this?

No, left side to the camera, your good side, and now raising your eyes and turning as the Stuka...

Please, if you don't mind... Stuka.

Johnnie is hit!

Can you bring the light over here? Thank you.

Could you move, please?

We're trying to get big boy up there.

Sorry. Tea. Excuse me.

Coming through. Anyone for a cup of tea?

I thought that was really rather convincing, don't you think? Very real.

Oh, I say, are those rock cakes?

Ooh!

They want to know when it'll be ready.

It's very much on its way.

Only you keep saying that you'll be sending over the new ending, but...

It's almost ready. - Oh.

Let me know when it is.

- Bye, Parfitt. Mrs. Cole.

Shall we find the lady who'll do our makeup?

I suppose so.

It's coming over. Mind your heads.

Cigarette?

That's it. Okay, line it up, please.

Line it up and keep it straight. That's it.

I've never much seen the point in men.

Still, I do hate to see you pining.

Oh, I'm not pining.

Ellis moved out weeks ago. I'm already used to it.

It wasn't Ellis I was thinking of.

Forgive me. It's just that...

When we were shooting in Devon, you always seemed so... vivid.

Perhaps I'm just in a sentimental mood.

My landlady was killed yesterday.

I could hear her husband crying through the wall all night long.

It seems to me when life is so very precarious, it's an awful shame to waste it.

I was wondering. On page 76, I say...


They're getting worried. About the ending.

Turned Ministry spy now?

Is that it?

Could I...

Sorry.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean... Don't bother.

It's not worth it.


What do you think?

It's not very good.

It's not very... Buckley.

It's not your fault, you know.

It really isn't.

You'd better go home, Mrs. Cole.

Exterior train. Station.


A full moon, a clear sky.

A man sits by the shore. There has been a quarrel.

A woman is walking away from him.

Now she turns back.

"I didn't mean what I just said.

And, anyway, you said worse."

It was a declaration.

"Stupid bloody fool" was good.

Did you think of that beforehand?

Are you trying to pick a fight with me, Mrs. Cole?

No.

What I'm trying to say is that...

if all of this stopped... the sparring and the jibing and the insults and the arguments...

I'd miss it.

Even if I were dead, I'd still miss it.

The Catrin Cole School of Dialogue.

On and on and on and on and on.

Lose half.

Which half? The half you don't need.

All right.

All right. I'd miss you.

I'd miss you more than I can say.


Help me take this.

None on that side. Keep going.

Let's go around this way.

Mrs. Cole?

Watch yourself, girl.

Mrs. Cole? Hmm?

I thought you was under it. I was in the office.

Hmm.

Okay, coming in from the left.

I might have to borrow clothes.

Talk to the costumes mistress, but don't be surprised if she's tetchy.

A parachute mine took the roof off Studio Four last night and her Panzer division uniforms are ruined.

They're saying it was the worst night of bombing yet.

Nothing left of Wimbledon, apparently.

The props master hasn't turned up, the best boy's in hospital, and no one knows where the grip is, so we're having to make do with whatever we can get.

It's got a bit of a wobble. Might have to lash it to the gantry.

There'll be tears before bedtime, mark my words.

No, you've got a bit of a wobble.

Chick.

Could we save that lamp till we roll, please?

Sorry, Mr. Hilliard. It's heavy.

More? Much more.

This man hasn't had a bath since the last time he fell off the boat.

Change of plans.

Going straight from Uncle Frank's Mayday to wounded Johnnie fixing the propeller.

Hurry up, Rex. We need you over here.

Yes, sir. Coming. Quick as I can.

Right, what can I do for you, sir?

Right, be careful. Careful.

And watch out for that... Watch the wires, please.

I thought you'd be at the office. Don't lean against it.

I was.


I read your ending.

You bagged it.

You were almost there. Nowhere near.

I've been useless for weeks.

I read your other stuff, too.

Oh?

What did you think? Hmm.

Bit inconclusive. I wasn't really sure where it was going next.

No.

I wasn't too sure of that, either.

Crumbs.

Find Mrs. Cole! I need to talk to Mrs. Cole.

Mrs. Cole!

Has anyone seen Mrs. Cole?

Come on before they find us. Where?

I don't know. I never come to the studio.

Mrs. Cole!

The boss wants to try a take without Uncle Frank's lines

'cause he says we are losing visual tension.

Mr. Hilliard is talking about the integrity of the story, saying he will play the scene as you wrote it or not at all.

Nobody's had any sleep and you're just... It's all right. I'm coming.

No. Let me deal with it.

Once Hilliard gets his hands on you, he won't let you go for hours, and I was rather hoping to do that myself.

Careful of big boy, it's got a bit of a wobble on it.

Don't... Don't lean against it.

Whoa! Nobody move! Buckley!

Nobody move, stay exactly where you are until we have some lights in here.

Stay where you are.

Back. Back, please. Everybody get back.


Please take the girls away from the stage.

Mr. Brown, please take them away.


Almost dawn.

Johnnie has been doing his best to fix the engine, but he is getting weaker by the minute.

And we all know when the sun comes up, the German planes will be back.

Oh!

No one wants to be here, but we have a hole in this picture.

A stranded boat, a broken propeller, no one to fix it, and no Tom Buckley.

Well, maybe we could reshoot. Who with?

Ambrose Hilliard is still in plaster, Wyndham Best's in the North Atlantic, and Carl Lundbeck is back with the RAF.

Could one of the Frenchies do it?

Come to our rescue, same way we came to theirs?

It doesn't seem right morale-wise.

We could, uh, pan across the faces of the soldiers and never actually see who fixes...

The work's good, Mrs. Cole.

None of them could have done any better.

You're mustard these days.

Rose could do it.

Rose could free the propeller.

Cerberus, sit.

Rugelach... and kogel mogel. Mmm-hmm.

To build you up in time for the premiere.

You'll be interested to learn I received several unexpected propositions this week.

How delightful for you.

Of course, I do not speak of erotic advances.

These were professional inquiries regarding your availability.

You will be kind enough to read, give your opinion.

The doctors tell me you are to be discharged in a few days.

I cannot see you will be in a condition to look after yourself. I...

I therefore propose that we should ready a room in the apartment for your use.

I believe a few weeks' proper care will be of great benefit... to your career.

You're still a very handsome man, Mr. Hilliard.

Yes.

But your good looks have fallen prey to a certain scrawniness.

Oh, no, we can correct this, I believe, together.

Thank you, Mr. Hilliard.

This way, Mr. Hilliard.

Young ladies, thank you.

Thank you so much. Thank you.

I'm not concerned about how many lines I have.

I'd rather have four honest words than 50 pages of bilge. Wyndham Best.

Young lady.

Remarkably good turnout. Mr. Frayle.

Hello. Did you... Is this... Yes.

Congratulations. Well done.

Good evening. Miss Moore. Very ship shape.

Why, thank you. Hello.

Let me do this.

Mrs. Cole? She's coming?

I tried.

Oh, Miss Pugh, your uncle's here to see you.

Forgive the deceit.

Your landlady didn't look the sort to approve a gentleman caller.

To be perfectly frank, she's the first person I've met for weeks who didn't recognize me.

She doesn't hold with the pictures. Ungodly.

Ah!

That's... That's charming.

It's from Rose and Lily.

The real Rose and Lily.

They ran away to join the ATS.

Rose thought if she could fix a propeller in a film, she could learn to mend an engine in real life.

Ah.

They're both mechanics now.

Um...

Baker's planning a new film.

Air-raid wardens. Wants me in it.

He's pretty much left the part up to me.

So, I was thinking, newly retired cat burglar, not quite reformed. That's why he's so good at the rescues.

He knows the way in and out of any property.

Thing is, in the hands of the wrong writer...

So, I was wondering if you would consider putting your time and talent...

I don't do that anymore.

I'm sorry. I just can't.


You'll get... You'll get soap in your eyes.

Here.

Hmm.

My agent's.

You and me, given opportunities only because young men are gone.

Or dying.

But to turn our back on those opportunities, even when one has suffered such great loss, wouldn't that be giving death dominion over life?

Have you seen it yet? Our film?

You should. It's very good.

I'm awfully good.

And so are you.

Calling all small boats.

All seaworthy vessels to report to your local harbor master immediately.

Dunkirk. Oh, Lily!

I think they're gonna get 'em out.

Then they're going to need all the boats they can get, aren't they?

The Nancy.

Here, boy.

Here.

Don't be a fool, Johnnie.

There's a sniper up there.

I don't care if he's got a bleedin' cannon.

I'm not gonna sit by and watch him shoot a dog.

Aww!

What in the... What is that?

It's France, Uncle Frank.

Dunkirk.

Blimey. There's so many of us.

They'll never get us all out.

Hitler? Hitler?

Who the bleedin' hell does he think he is?

Who the bleeding heck do you think you are?

Who do you think you are?

Johnnie!

That's it. There you go.

Thank you, Grandad. You deserve a medal, mate.

Johnnie.

- Johnnie. Johnnie. Careful.

The kid's pretty messed up.

He kept talking about some broad called Nancy.

I guess that must be you.

I'm Rose. This is the Nancy.

Rose.

The propeller's snarled.

If I... If I can just cut it free...

Just pretend you're Errol Flynn. He can do anything.

I've cut it free.

She's moving.

Come on, you beauty.

She'll do it.

I haven't had the chance to thank you, Mr. Brannigan, for bringing Johnnie back.

There's no mister, and back home, they call me Gene.

- Thank you, Gene. Thank you, Gene.

Tell me one thing.

In another time, another place, could it have been me?

Perhaps, but you're talking about a world without Johnnie.

And that's not a world I'd care to live in.

Have you ever looked at something and known you want it, want it more than anything you've ever wanted in your life before, and known that it can never be yours?

I have, and I tell you, it'll either finish you or put a fire in your belly that'll keep burning to the end of your days.

I wasn't there at the beginning of the story, but you can bet your bottom dollar I'm not leaving before the end.

Because I know now that it has to be the right sort of ending.

The sort of ending that's worth fighting for.


Miss.

Oh.

Wanna stay and watch it again?

You'll find more in to make you laugh second time round.

I've seen it five times.

It's our picture, isn't it? They're our girls.

Thanks, but I'd better get back to work.

What's work?

Air-raid wardens.

They want an outline. We haven't got a story yet.

And they're asking about characters, apart from Hilliard as a cat burglar.

Three girls, three different walks of life.

I need specifics.

A nun, a showgirl, a lady wrestler.

Seriously, you push us now, and that's what you'll get.

Men?

Well, who else are the girls gonna fall in love with?

Each other? We've got titles.

Raiders Overhead. Fires Overhead. Fire in the Sky.

They are looking for the female angle again.

A Tin Hat for Tallulah.

- Girls Like Them? Girls Like You.

Girls Like Us?

You need an ending. We're working on it.

Make it a happy one.

It will be.


♪ I'm not afraid of the dark ♪

- ♪ Are you? ♪ ♪ Are you? ♪

♪ Gee, but it's nice in the dark ♪

- ♪ With the moon♪ ♪ The moon ♪

- ♪ And you ♪ ♪ And you ♪

♪ When we go strolling in the park at night ♪

♪ Oh, the darkness is a boon ♪

♪ Who cares if we're without a light ♪

♪ They can't black out the moon ♪

♪ I see you smiling in the cigarette glow ♪

♪ Though the picture fades too soon ♪

♪ But I see all I want to know ♪

♪ They can't black out the moon ♪

♪ We don't grumble ♪

♪ We don't worry about alarms ♪

♪ But when you stumble ♪

♪ You stumble right into my arms ♪

♪ And when you kiss me don't you realize ♪

♪ That my heart's like a big balloon ♪

♪ And, like a love light in your eyes ♪

♪ They can't black out the moon. ♪