Time Limit (1957) Script

I'm sorry to bother you again.

I must be slow. I got a quarter after.

No, Lieutenant. 4:15. Right on the nose.

You got a cigarette? I'm all out.

Oh, here. Right there. Help yourself.

Lieutenant, you want something to read?

I got a nice Esquire, right in the bottom drawer there.

You sure?

You looking for Camp Gee Gee, Lieutenant?

Looking for Camp Gee Gee?

Why, is it on here? Oh, sure.

We got all the Red prison camps marked with pins. Now, let's see.

Gee Gee. Gee Gee.

Here we are. Forty-one degrees.

That ought to put it somewhere around... Let's see...

Forty... Here we are. Saman. No, no. Gee Gee.

There you are. Gee Gee.


Well, I guess you don't need a map to remember that dump?

Guess not.

The Colonel will be along in a couple of minutes, Lieutenant.

That's what you said 20 minutes ago.

Lieutenant, this is just a routine investigation.

There's nothing to be nervous about. I'm not nervous.

I just wanna know the story on all this business.

I got a leave coming up.

Are we all gonna have to hang around here and testify at this court-martial?

Well, sir, there might not even be a court-martial.

What does that mean?

Well, you see, sir, the Colonel is the investigating officer.

Now, he just gets the facts together and makes a recommendation to the General.

Now, it's up to the General to decide whether there's gonna be a court-martial or not. Yeah, but in a case like Cargill's, there can't be any doubt, can there?

Well, I wouldn't think so. You through with my cigarettes?

Thank you. I just wish they'd get on with it.

Lieutenant, don't worry.

Colonel Edwards will give you every break he can, believe me.

Now, you mustn't get the wrong idea about him, just because he's a staff officer.

He wasn't always in the chair-borne infantry.

You know, we were in the Bulge together, him and me.

A college man.

She's got looks, brains, personality, everything.

Just got one blind spot, can't go for sergeants.

Colonel Edwards, it's a good thing you're back.

Yeah. I'm sorry I kept Miller waiting.

Oh, it's not that, sir. The General called.




You sent for me, sir?

Oh, yes, Bill. Come in, come in. I've been waiting for you.

I'm sorry, sir. I had to interview some people on the Cargill case.

Oft the post? Yes, sir.

That was the best way to see them. Civilians.

Well, Bill, you've been taking a lot more time than usual on this case.

You've been on it for several months.

Yes, I know.

We got a lot of cases ahead of us.

They're after me to get things moving.

I understand, sir.

Can't hold them up much longer.

Not fair to the people involved.

That's why I was hoping you'd wind this one up as soon as possible?

Well, I'll do my best, sir. I've got my last witness waiting for me now.

Last one? Yes, sir.

Good. That's what I want to hear.

All right, sir.

Boy, that's some gadget you got there, Lieutenant.

Let's see, May 15, 1954.

Oh, full moon.

How do you tell time with these things?

That must have set you back plenty.

I won it in a crap... Baker.

Yeah? Take this over to CIC, will you?

Yes, sir.

Sit down, Lieutenant. Sorry to keep you waiting.

I didn't realize I'd be gone so long. That's all right, sir.

This won't take too much longer, just a few routine questions.

Let's see, where were we yesterday?

Question, "Had you known Major Cargill before"

"you were prisoners together in Camp Gee Gee?"

Answer, "No, sir, none of us did."

Thank you. All right.

Now, how long were you at this camp before Cargill was put into your shack?

About four months, sir.

And that means you all lived together for nine months before it happened?

Yes, sir, that's right.

Well, tell me, Lieutenant, how did it happen?

Well, sir, it happened very suddenly. It took us all by surprise.

Yes, but just how?

Sir, you must know that. You must have it in there.

I've got the testimony of 14 different witnesses in here, Lieutenant.

But I still need your own version of it. Yes, sir.

Now let's hear it just the way you remember it.

Yes, sir, just the way I remember it.

Well, I remember it was real cold that day. It was cold.

Man, you don't know what cold is till you've been cold in North Korea.

Like every day, they got us up at dawn.

Made us get out into the compound for one of those lectures.

Just like any other day, except for one thing.

Colonel Kim was late.

Here comes old baldy.

Yeah, the Honorable Colonel Kim.

Wonder what he's done to Cargill this time.

What he always does. He's got him in the hole.

Yeah, but I'll bet you first he tied old Kim up in knots again.

Don't worry about Cargill.

You want to worry about somebody, you worry about Kim.

Sit down, gentlemen.

Sit down.

Today we will review the lecture of yesterday.

The history of all previous societies has been the history of class struggles.

Struggles between the oppressors and oppressed.

Now, repeat after me. "Communism is Peace." Ready?

Communism is...

Well, comrades.

Since you don't choose to listen to me, perhaps...

Comrade Cargill, the class is yours.

I know this will come as a surprise to you, but...

But I hope you will cooperate with me.

For our first session, we'll approach the subject from a historical point of view.


As Colonel Kim has said, the history of all previous existing societies has been the history of the class struggle.

The bourgeoisie, which owns and controls the means and instruments of production, has exploited the working class which depends upon it.

But thereby the bourgeoisie has also forged the weapons of its own destruction. It...

It... You're doing very well, Major.

He doesn't need me here. Continue.

Oh, yes, a word of warning.

Any harm to this comrade will bring reprisals on everyone.

Thereby the bourgeoisie has also forged the weapons of its own destruction.

It has created the men who are to wield the...

Okay, he's gone.

It has created the men who are to wield those weapons.

These are the proletarians, the standard-bearers of the new civilization...

He's gone.

The new utopia.

It is a cause to which all men of goodwill everywhere...

can dedicate their energies, their talents and their lives.

In Communism there is only one class and it works for peace.

Communism is peace.

Wait... Look... Wait, listen to me.

Don't be such heroes.

This man means business now. He's got to show results.

Miller, you understand?

Miller! You do understand!

I don't understand.

Not even to this day, sir. I just don't understand.

And that was the first indication that Cargill had gone over?

Yes, sir, that's the first indication we had.

After that one time, did he continue these activities?

Yes, sir. Right up till the time we left Gee Gee to be exchanged.

I see.

Well, Miller...

What else did he do that you'd consider collaboration?

Well, sir, we heard he made radio broadcasts for them saying the United States had used germ warfare.

Of course, we only heard about that.

I know he signed one of those germ warfare confessions, 'cause I saw one of them.

Like this?

Yes, sir, that's it.

Did he also make newsreels for the enemy?

Newsreels? Yes.

No, sir. No, he couldn't have.

Miller, can you think of any reason why he went over?

Well, sir, I've been thinking.

Is it possible maybe he was a plant?

You know, he was one of them all the time?

You testified yesterday that nobody ever suspected him.

Now do you want to change your testimony?

No, sir. Now that I think about it, I guess he could have been, could he?

Well, I mean, I no more expected Harry to go over than I would my own brother.

Were you and Cargill close friends?

Cargill and me? No, sir.

Well, the way you talk, I thought you might be close buddies.

No, sir, we weren't any more friends than anybody else.

Did he have any special friend in the compound?

No, sir.


Well, in the 48 hours before Cargill broke, two men died.

Captain Connors and Lieutenant... Harvey, sir?

Yeah, that's right. Lieutenant Harvey.

Incidentally, how did Harvey die?

Oh, I thought you knew that, sir. No.

Lieutenant Harvey died following an acute case of dysentery.

And Captain Connors? Same thing, sir.

That dysentery must have been pretty rough?

Yes, sir, it was a real killer.

In fact, sir, eight of the nine men that died in our shack died of dysentery.

You see, sir, in cases of bacillary dysentery, the incidence of death is pretty high.

Especially when there's no medicine.

You see, what happens is dehydration sets in and the sick man suffers from a general wasting away. And then he just dies.

I guess all of you got to be amateur medics, didn't you?

Yes, sir. We had to be.

It's a pretty shocking thing to see your friends die that way.

Well, that's exactly what I meant, Lieutenant.

Seeing something like this could shock a man enough to crack him.

Especially if the victim were a close friend of his.

I see what you mean, sir, but I just told you, Cargill didn't have any close friends.

Why not? Well, sir, I... Was he cold? Unfriendly?

No, sir, he was friendly enough.

We used to kid him all the time. We called him Professor.

Not that he really was a professor, but he taught in some college.

He was an instructor. Instructor, that's right.

And when we called him Professor, we weren't riding him or anything like that.

Because, you see, all the men liked him, respected him.

Right from the time he got to Gee Gee.

In fact, sir, that's one of the most vivid memories I have of the entire war.

What was that?

The first time that Cargill got to our shack.

You see, one of the men had died during the night and we got permission to bury him.

We stood around in the rain and somebody read from a Bible.

And when we got ready to cover up the body, Cargill steps to the edge of the grave and he says, "My brother dies that I may live. May I be worthy of his sacrifice."

From that time on, whenever he talked, we listened.

You see, we trusted him, we respected him, you know?

"My brother dies that I may live."

That doesn't sound like their philosophy to me, Lieutenant.

Well, that's nine months before he went over.

He had a lot of time to think.

Sir, don't you know those guys like him, these guys that think too much?

You know, they can kind of get taken in by that kind of stuff.

Then you think Cargill was "taken in"? Sir?

Well, some of these men went over for personal gain or physical comfort.

But you don't think it was that way in his case?

No, sir, there's no indication of that.

Then you think he really embraced their philosophy?

Sir, I don't know.

There's only one person who can tell you that.

As you were.

Bill, Sergeant Fleischacker told me there was a boy here from Camp Gee Gee.

Yes, sir. Lieutenant Miller, this is General Connors.

Lieutenant, you must have known my son, Captain Connors.

Joe Connors. Oh, yes, sir.

I know I'm interrupting. But I had to find out.

That's quite all right, sir.

Give me a minute, will you, Bill? Yes, sure.



Thank you, sir.

Did you know my son before Gee Gee?

Oh, yes, sir. We were in the same outfit, you know.

A fine outfit, Lieutenant.

You men made quite a record for yourselves.

Thank you, sir.

But it wouldn't have been the same without Joe.

Well, in fact, sir, when Joe died, every man in the camp felt as though he'd lost a brother.

You must have known him well.

Well, sir, when you live together in a small shack that long...

Yes, sir, I knew him very well, sir.

Lieutenant, how about joining me for a drink at the club?

Well, sir... I want to talk to you about Joe.

Bill? Yes, sir?

I asked for a minute, now I need an hour.

Is that all right with you?

Well, I was... Yes, of course, sir.

We'll go on with this in the morning, Miller.

Come on, son.

How did Fleischacker know that Miller was in here?

Well, you know Fleischacker, sir.

He's a one-man radar system.

Yeah. Sir, these are finished.

Oh, thanks.

Okay, Baker, what's up?

Why, nothing, sir. Nothing at all.

Now, don't kid me. With you it's never nothing.

Oh, that's a very unfriendly remark, sir.

Indicates a complete lack of trust and confidence.

Oh, I'm terribly sorry I hurt your feelings, Baker.

Now, what do you want?

May I take that as permission to discuss this matter further?

All I have to do is breathe and you take it as permission.

All I'm trying to do is be cooperative, sir.

I'm just trying to suggest, sir, that this case is so open-and-shut we don't even need a court-martial.

Oh, I see.

Look, sir. All we have to do is take a card, punch holes in it, one for each wrong thing this Major Cargill did, send it through an IBM machine and come up with the right answer.

That's the kind of case this is.


So the sooner it's over the better.

Why? Sir?

Why? You've got to have a reason.

Well, if the Colonel will forgive me for saying so, you're wrong.

Look, sir, I'm no intellectual. I don't need a reason.

But as long as the Colonel has opened up the subject for further discussion, I would like to say that I don't like the whole idea of the Colonel handling this case. This is a hot potato, sir.

Baker, is there anything else on your mind?

Yes, sir, as long... Just answer yes or no.

Anything else on your mind? Yes, sir.

Then shut up.

Yes, sir.

Well, wait. Wait a minute.

If you really want to do something for me, go out to the machine and get us some coffee.

Coffee, Evans? Yes, sir.

Never mind, it's on me.

Yeah, the Colonel's throwing a farewell party.

What's the matter with him today?

Maybe it isn't Baker.


Well, sir, perhaps you're a bit touchy today.

After all, it is possible.

Oh, is it?

Well, sir, if you'd really like my opinion, yes.

Evans, I'm tired of being analyzed today.

I'm tired of being told...

I'm tired of being told how to do my job.

And if I'm touchy and why.

Sir, what are extenuating circumstances?

Oh, I don't mean that.

I mean, couldn't something be extenuating circumstances to one person and not to another, sir?

That's always a matter of opinion, Baker.

Well, let's say that there's a general who had a son who died in a prison camp.

That's just for the sake of argument.

Let's say there's a major who's at this same camp who went over to the enemy to save his own neck and comes out of the whole deal alive.

Baker, there is a prescribed routine in all cases involving possible court-martial, right?

And if it takes a certain amount of time, we'll take that time, right?


But when it's done, it'll have been done with full regard for his rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. You understand?

That's very good, sir, as far as the book is concerned.

Where the General is concerned...

The General happens to be a friend of mine.

Oh, but, sir, I happen to be a friend of Sergeant Fleischacker, who works in the General's office.

It is Sergeant Fleischacker's opinion that...

Baker, knock it off, will you?

Okay. No more advice for you, though.

Good. Sir...

Major Cargill is at the reception desk.

Okay, have him come up.

You can go up now, Major.

This way, Major.

Major Cargill, sir.

Come in, Major.

Sit down.

Word certainly gets around, doesn't it?

Well, I'm sure you're aware of the seriousness of the charges against you, aren't you, Major?

Now, first, let me review your rights under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

You don't have to answer...

I don't have to answer any incriminating questions.

I don't have to make any statements. I have the right to be represented by counsel.

Article 31 of the Code. I'm familiar with it.

I'm willing to answer all questions and I don't want to be around when you question witnesses.


Let's get on with it. Name. Rank. Serial number.

Harry Cargill, Major. Artillery. 09432305.

You're the same Major Harry Cargill who was imprisoned at Camp Gee Gee in Korea?

Yes, sir.

You were captured during the breakthrough along the Yalu River in North Korea?

Yes, sir.

You were hospitalized for two months and you were transferred to this Camp Gee Gee?

That's right.

Well, Major, certain charges have been made against you.

I'll recite them, then you'll have the opportunity of making a statement.

Now, first, it's alleged... May I smoke?

First, it's alleged that during November, 1951, you made a radio broadcast for the enemy in which you admitted taking part in germ warfare.


Oh, I'm sorry.

Would you repeat that, please?

It's alleged that during November, 1951, you made a radio broadcast for the enemy in which you falsely admitted taking part in germ warfare. Is that true?


It is further charged that you gave indoctrination lectures favorable to the enemy to your fellow prisoners. Is that true?

Yes, sir.

I have a statement here confessing to germ warfare which supposedly carries your signature.

It's my signature.

Well, look at it first, Major.

Yeah, that's my signature.

Did you ever make propaganda newsreels for the enemy?

Yes. Yes, I did.

Look, Major. I've already advised you of your rights to counsel, so I suggest you get a lawyer before we proceed any further.

I don't want a lawyer. I just want to get this over with as quickly as possible.

Don't you realize you're being accused of treason?

Yes, I realize that.

And you still want to confess without consulting a lawyer?

Why not? I'm guilty. Of everything?

Yes, of everything. Including making newsreels for the enemy?

Major, why are you trying to hang yourself?

Why do you confess to something that you didn't do?

Because, as I told you before, I want to get this over with as quickly as possible.

Now, will that be all? No, not quite.

The Army not only wants to know if you did these things, but also why. So sit down.

Well, Major?

Well what? Why'd you make those broadcasts, give those lectures? Because I had no choice.

That mean you were tortured? Yes.

How? Just tortured.

Well, they must have done certain things to you. What?

Well, they put me in the hole. What was it like?

Just a hole scooped out of the ground, covered over with boards, like solitary confinement.

How many times did they put you in the hole?

I don't know. Nine, ten times, maybe. I don't remember exactly.

That's what made you break?


The day you broke, they put you in the hole that day? Yes.

And the day before? Yes.

And the day before that? Yes.

That's a lie, Major, and you know it.

I've got the testimony of 14 witnesses here who deny you were in the hole on any one of those days. Now, what are you trying to do?

What do all these details matter? I told you I'm guilty.

That's the important thing, isn't it?

Do you want to make any statement at all in your own defense?

I do not.

Well, in that case, there's no point in prolonging this, is there?

None whatsoever.

Oh, just one more thing, Major.

Today on our English-language news broadcast we have an interview with an officer of the United States Army.

The truth he speaks will be of interest to all Asiatic peoples.

I will now ask questions. Who are you?

I'm Major Harry Cargill.

What's the point of this?

I want you to identify these voices for me.

Those who listen will know that this is the truth, tell us your serial number.

My serial number is 9432305. That's my voice. Okay?

Who's the interrogator?

Now, Major, before you were captured...

Colonel Kim, Commandant of Camp Gee Gee.

Now, if that's all... No, that's not all.

I thought you'd like to listen to the entire transcript, Major.

So you were with a bombing squadron.

What was purpose of squadron?

To drop bombs. Look, couldn't we do this some other time? We've got to do it now.

What kind of bombs?


You mean germs? Deadly germs?

Yes, germs. Deadly germs.

American airplanes have dropped deadly germs on innocent, helpless Asiatic...

Turn it oft.

Peoples of Korea. United States has engaged...

Turn it oft.

In germ warfare against the people of Asia.

That is so? Please turn it off.

Was it so, Major? The United States has...

Turn it oft!

You swear on your honor that American bombers...

That will be all, Major.

But you'll be called back tomorrow.

Your testimony is interesting, but incomplete.

You'll find that simply saying you're guilty is not enough.

You don't understand.

I am guilty.

Hey, there's no pay for overtime in the Army.

Well, I thought you'd want Cargill's testimony as soon as possible, sir.

Yeah, I do. Come on. Let's get out of here.

Baker been putting the pressure on you, too?

What do you mean? About what a special case this is.

Oh, no, sir.

No lectures about what Baker thinks Fleischacker thinks the General thinks?

No, sir. Why? Nothing.

But just understand one thing, Evans.

This is no different than any other case in this office.

Yes, sir.

What's the matter?

I'm sorry, but I can't go with you.

I've got to go back.

That overtime? Yeah. Good night, Evans.

Did you see this?

What's the matter, you've been here all night, or what?

What's the matter? What happened?

What's the matter? Nothing's the matter.

Take a look at that. What about it?

What about it? That is an order from the General.

Well, one thing's for certain, it's not an order from any sergeant, Sergeant.

Oh, come on now, no jokes. Look at that signature, will you?

"Signed, Joseph Connors, Lieutenant General Commanding."

Now, just any order would be signed by his adjutant.

But when the General signs the order himself, that is significant, that is really significant.

"In view of the backlog of work"

"which has been observed in some divisions of this headquarters"'

"it is directed that all accumulated work"

"be completed with efficiency and dispatch."

"With efficiency and dispatch."

Now, I'm telling you, the Colonel is in trouble.

You think this is really directed at the Colonel?

The only way the old man could make it any plainer would be to put up a neon sign saying, "Don't waste time on the Cargill case."

Sergeant, I think you're jumping to conclusions.

Am I?

Hey, wait a minute, you can't do that.

I know.

That's an official document. I'll bring it back.

I'm just gonna check it with Fleischacker...

Check what with Fleischacker?

Good morning, sir. Good morning.

Just wanted to make sure it didn't get mislaid, sir, that's all.

I'll bet.

Maybe now you'll believe me when I tell you that the General...

Baker, will you get me some coffee?

Sir, what about the memo? Just coffee, Baker.

One or two donuts? Just coffee, Baker!

Coffee. Just coffee, Baker. Coffee, Baker.

Baker says the General really meant that memo for you.

Baker says?

Baker and Confucius seem to enjoy the same standing around here.

We will proceed on the assumption that this memo is exactly what it appears to be, a general order to spruce up the entire post.

Yes, sir. We will proceed on the assumption.

Well, if the General had wanted to say something, I'm sure he'd have come right out and said it.

Yes, sir.

Excuse me.

It's all right, sir. I know you must be tired.

I'm sorry, Evans.

They didn't have any donuts.

Are you finished with these, sir? Thanks. Yeah.

Baker, will you take these to the library? Yeah.

"Techniques Used by North Koreans to Indoctrinate United States Personnel."


"Psychology of Brainwashing Methods."All right, Baker.

I didn't say anything. Just take them back, then go down to car pool and get a car.

Are we going somewhere? Yep, we're going somewhere.

Mrs. Cargill? Yes?

I'm Colonel Edwards, Investigating Officer...

My husband's on his way to your office.

Yes, I know. That's why I'm here.

I'd like to talk to you.

May I come in?

Well, you're much younger than I expected.

I'm 32. You don't look it.

I look it.

Mrs. Cargill, I...

I know how painful all this must be for you, but unfortunately, it's necessary.

I'm here because I'm trying very hard to be fair to your husband, to give him every chance, but I can't do it alone. I need help.

How do you expect me to help?

Believe me, I'm not your enemy.

Or your husband's.

But you must know he's facing serious charges and he refuses to defend himself.

He refuses to defend himself?

Didn't you know?


You really didn't know, did you?


Well, can you think of any reason why he won't defend himself?

Have you come here to ask me to appear as a witness?

Yes, I have. Because I think there's more to this case than we can see.

Now, if you're afraid you might betray him or might hurt his chances in any way, just let me say that things couldn't be any worse for him than they are right now.

What're you going to do to him?

On the strength of what we've learned, I'm afraid he'll get the limit.

So, you see, Mrs. Cargill, you can only help him by telling everything you know.

I don't know anything.

Well, what has he said about his life in the prison camp?

He hasn't said a thing.

In all the months he's been back, he's said nothing?

Maybe there are some things a man doesn't want to talk about.

Or can't talk about.

Even to his own wife?

Especially to his own wife.

Well, didn't you ask? Weren't you curious?

He was gone two years, eight months and seventeen days.

Yes, I was curious.

Oh, I thought it would come in time.

That if he wanted to tell me, he would.

But he never has. What does he talk about?

Oh, what do people talk about when they don't want to talk?

Little things, meaningless things. Nothing worth remembering.

Well, since he's been back, hasn't he...

Hasn't he revealed something accidentally?

No. You know, a slip of some kind?

A story he started to tell and didn't finish, anything like that?


He's told you absolutely nothing?

Well, I remember something that he said on his first day back.

He said, "Why is it that most people can only belong to"

"a family, a country, a religion?"

"Why can't they all belong to just one thing, the human race?"

Mrs. Cargill, a man who felt that way might be ripe for a cause, and if it were the wrong cause, I'm afraid...

So you really think he went over to them?

No, no, no. I didn't say that.

But you think it's possible? Isn't it?

Is that what they've done?

Have they twisted our thinking so that a man has to be afraid of a decent instinct?

So that he has to be ashamed to show some concern for his fellow man?

I'm sorry, Mrs. Cargill, but it's an old trick to hide an ugly reality behind a beautiful phrase.

He's been through so much. Why don't you let him go?

The fact that he's been through so much is no defense.

For his own sake, we've got to make him talk.

But can't you understand how he feels?

He's a very sensitive man and he's been deeply hurt.

Nobody wants him.

His own men have turned against him.

He's nobody. He has no place to stand.

Oh, Colonel, please give him a place.

Give him a place!

I can't do a thing, Mrs. Cargill, until I know his story.

He's got to talk.

And you want me to make him talk. Is that all?



Colonel, he's been home five months. Five months.

And in all that time, we haven't even been to bed together.

And you want me to make him talk.

Mrs. Cargill, please.

Please, please, Mrs. Cargill.

Colonel, somebody's got to help him.

There must be a way. There must!

I'm trying, Mrs. Cargill. Believe me, I'm trying.

I'm sorry.

No, no, no, that's quite all right.

Before I go, I've got to ask you just one more question.


Was there any particular thing of which your husband was afraid?

Afraid? Yes, did he have any experiences during the war or even before that might have given him a strong fear, an anxiety of some kind?

A fear?

No, I don't think so.

No, the only time I remember him even mentioning the word was once in a letter and I don't suppose that's what you mean.

No, no, no, go on. You tell me.

Well, he just said, "I have finally become afraid."


I remember it because he'd never written anything like that before.

Why was he afraid? Did he say why?

No, I don't think so.

It's been such a long time. Nine years.

Please. Whatever you can remember might be of some help.

I... I remember how he ended the letter.

It was a quotation of some sort.

He said, "Who kills one man kills the whole world."

And then he added, "How many worlds have I killed?"

"Who kills one man kills the whole world."

"How many worlds have I killed?"

Does that help you in some way?

I don't know, Mrs. Cargill.

I'm not sure, but it might.

Well, thank you very much for talking to me.

I'm sorry I had to bother you. Thank you.


Colonel. Yes?

Colonel, if you do find out anything, I mean, if he tells you anything, you will let me know, won't you?

Yes, of course I will.

Thank you.

I'll be waiting.

Goodbye, Mrs. Cargill.


I'll call for you when I'm ready.

Major Cargill's waiting, sir. I know.

Evans, he's two different men. Sir?

The man we saw here yesterday and the man his wife described.

Two different men. His wife?

Yeah, I was just talking to her.

And I'm glad I did, too, because that man out there and her Cargill...

Well, her Cargill just doesn't commit treason.

Well, maybe her Cargill changed, sir.

Of course he changed. But how? Why?

Well, perhaps it was a causative factor that...

"Causative factor"? Evans, where'd you ever dig up a dusty phrase like that?

Well, my father was a lawyer.


It's not so unusual, sir.

There are about 200,000 lawyers in this country.

So it shouldn't surprise you so.

Everything about you surprises me, Evans.

Sir, we were talking about a causative factor.

Oh, yeah. Yeah, we were.

What I was going to say is that something happened to change Cargill.

Something big and obviously rather sudden because...

Hey, wait a minute. Yes, sir?

Miller's testimony yesterday. Yes, sir.

There was something in there when he was describing how Cargill went over.

Didn't he say something like, "Somebody..."

"Somebody means business now." Wasn't that it?

Well, if he said it, I can find it.


You got it? Here it is, sir.

I can't read this. I'm sorry.

"Don't be such heroes, this man means business now."

That's it. That's it. That's it.

"This man means business now."

And this man has got to be Colonel Kim.

Colonel Kim means business now.

And it happened suddenly. They all said suddenly, didn't they?

I think so, sir. I'll check.

And the important word is now.

Not a month ago or a week ago, but now.

That's the word. You got it?

"The thing happened very suddenly, it took us all by surprise."

"It happened suddenly. It took us all by surprise."

Suddenly, suddenly, suddenly, suddenly...

Sir. What?

I don't want to interfere with your train of thought...

No, don't worry about that, go ahead. What've you got?

Well, sir, speaking of repetitive wordage...

What do you mean, repetitive wordage?

Well, sir, it's true they all said it happened very suddenly.

But there's something else, too. What?

Well, when you were talking about...

When the men were describing the...

The deaths of Harvey and Connors, they all used very similar phrases in describing the disease and its consequences like bacillary dysentery and dehydration...

Well, that's only natural. They didn't have any doctors, they had to be familiar with all kinds of...

Repetitive wordage.

Did you make a note of those places, Evans? Yes, sir, I did.

Captain Mike Stewart's testimony, sir.

All right.

"Question. How did Lieutenant Harvey die?"

"Answer. He died following an acute case of dysentery."

"Bacillary dysentery, dehydration."

You got another one, Evans? Lieutenant Poleska's.

"Died following an acute case of dysentery."

"Bacillary dysentery."

What's this one? And here, sir, Lieutenant Harper's.

"Died following an acute case of dysentery."

An acute case.

Never a bad case or a violent case, it's always an acute case. Yes, sir, I know.

I think you're right, Evans. There are too many witnesses using exactly the same words.

I thought it was significant, sir.

You see, when you type the same phrase over and over, it begins to make an impression.

Corporal, any time you want to interfere with my train of thought, I mean, if you notice anything that strikes you as being peculiar...

So your father was a lawyer?

Yes, sir.

I hope I'm not interrupting anything, Bill, but I want to talk to you.

Yes, of course, sir.

Didn't you tell me that Lieutenant Miller was your last witness on the Cargill case? That's right, sir.

Then why did you go to see Cargill's wife?

There's not much around this post that escapes Sergeant Fleischacker, you should know that.

Well, Cargill refuses to defend himself. I...

I thought his wife might be helpful.

So now you're concerned with his defense?

Well, sir, if I'm to do my job fairly I...

Are you suggesting that I'm asking you not to do your job fairly?

No, sir. Bill, we've worked together for years.

You know me as well as anyone does. I...

I try to be fair-minded. You are.

I've let you take your time even when I thought you were taking more time than was necessary.

But Mrs. Cargill is hardly a competent witness to something that happened in a Korean prison camp 9,000 miles away.

Bill, I don't want to do this, but now I feel compelled to ask you officially for the first time, what's going on in this case?

I just can't make any recommendation, sir, until I have all the facts.

Then get 'em. Fast.

Finish your investigation and let's have the court-martial.

General, we can't investigate fairly if we start out by saying there's going to be a court-martial.

That's prejudging the evidence.

You mean there's even a possibility you'll not recommend a court-martial?

Well, all I'm saying, sir, is that it's too early to tell.

When there is clear evidence of collaboration?

Photostats of his signature on confessions, recordings of his own voice making broadcasts for them?

There are unexplained things, too, sir.

Insufficient motive, for one. Insufficient motive?

Yes, sir.

Maybe the motive was so obvious it hasn't occurred to you.

Maybe it was planned this way.

Sir? I think Cargill may have been one of them before he ever got to Camp Gee Gee.

Well, there's nothing in the records to indicate that, sir.

And I see nothing to indicate otherwise.

They could make a big thing out of an American officer, a major, a mature, responsible man going over to them.

Bill, this would be a lot easier on both of us, certainly on me, if this case had been assigned to another post.

But the Pentagon assigned it here and here it is.

We can't change that.

I know. I understand that, sir.

All right, then let's get it finished up with efficiency and dispatch.

After all, Bill, there's a human side to this, too.

Those men, after the hell they went through in that prison camp, now we keep it hanging over them.

The knowledge that they'll have to relive it all by testifying.

That's quite an ordeal.

Believe me, if you could have seen that Lieutenant Miller yesterday at the Officer's Club, you'd know what I mean.

Why, he almost broke down and...

He almost broke down and cried when he talked about my boy.

Told me that one of the men at the camp had died.

At the funeral, when they...

When they were covering up the body, Joe stood there at the grave site and said, "My brother dies that I may live."

"May I be worthy of his sacrifice."

Yes, that's a...

That's a very fine sentiment, sir.

Well, I... I don't mean to talk about my son.

The only point I was making is we can't keep these innocent men sweating it out.

It isn't fair to them.

So let's get this over with fast and let them pick up their lives again. That's all I'm asking.

I'll try, sir. Good.

I knew you would.

But I still have to be thorough.

Thorough? I think you better get Cargill's file and come to my office immediately.

He said immediately, sir.

I know.

The Cargill file, sir.


Hey, sir... Get Cargill in here before Miller shows up.

I don't want those two meeting yet.

Sir, what about the General...

Look, Baker, just this once, let me handle it, will you?

Okay, sir.

What's going on here,

The General's fanning his tail?

Hello, reception, Scotty?

Scotty, you got a Major Cargill down there?

Yeah. Send him up, will you? Right.

What's happening?

Okay. All right, don't tell me.

You know, I don't have to be a genius to figure this one out.

He's bucking a General.

He's sticking his neck out for a traitor who won't even defend himself.

Won't even tell him the truth, right?


I tell you, I've been in this man's army a long time and when...

Well, excuse me, sir.

Sir, the Colonel asked if you wouldn't like to wait in his office, sir.

Baker... Hey, you stay out of this.

Major, sit down, sir. Make yourself comfortable.

Like a cigarette, sir?

Baker, would you file these for me, please?

Oh, come on. Outside, later?

All right, all right, have it your way.

Sir, we have what is commonly known as a situation around here.

As a matter of fact, the Colonel is down in the General's office right this minute.

And he's in the act of what's described in military language as getting...

He's being chewed out, as they say, sir, severely chewed out.

Now, this doesn't seem to bother you at all, does it?

Baker, please. Now, half the army knows the General is blowing his top, why shouldn't he?

I beg your pardon, sir.

Sure you don't want a cigarette? No, thank you.

King size? Filter top? No, no. No, thank you.

Oh, you can't catch anything from these things, Major.

It's got 100% purified cellulose, it's got activated charcoal, radioactive M3.

I mean, you positively couldn't catch a thing from these.

After all, sir, I wouldn't want to see you get cancer of the lungs.

That's very kind of you to be so solicitous.

Oh, sir, this is the...

This is the most solicitous branch in the Army.

You know what we do around here, sir? We worry, don't we?

Even about traitors.

Take the Colonel, for example. He worries about you.

He's knocking himself out on your case and I mean out.

So, you know what I was thinking, sir?

Well, you're obviously a very deep thinker, Sergeant.

I wouldn't even try to guess.

I was thinking, sir, that you could show your appreciation for what the Colonel's doing for you by talking, you know, just start to tell him the truth.

Of course, if you don't feel like doing that, sir, I've got another suggestion for you.

What would you suggest?

Well, I'm very glad you asked me because I'll tell you.

I'll tell you why I wouldn't want you to get cancer of the lungs, sir.

It just takes too long.

Baker. Leave him alone, Corporal.

Thank you, sir. Now, if you'd like my suggestion, get a heart attack, get run over, get lost, get something.

That's what you can do, sir.

Baker, that's insubordination.

Oh, is it?

You know what happens to colonels who buck generals?

You let the General give him one bad efficiency rating and he's stuck at colonel for the rest of his time.

Well, if that's the worst thing that can happen...

Oh, but it isn't. Comes a time when he's forced to retire.

So? Well, now, that might be all right with you, but it wouldn't be all right with him.

I'm going to explain something to you, Miss Phi Beta Kappa.

When one is retired by the Army, one does not put an ad in The New York Times saying, "US Army man with top experience wants a job in another army."

There's only one army in this country.

It's a monopoly.

It might be illegal but it's true.

So for an ex-Army man, there's no other place to go.

Now, the Army needs guys like the Colonel, because he's fair, he listens and he'll give a guy a break.

So for the Army's sake, I wouldn't want to see him get fouled up and especially not because of anybody like you.

You got it, sir?

You know, he's right about one thing.

If you talked, you'd make it easier for the Colonel.

Look, all he's asking you to do is tell the truth, so he can make a fair recommendation.

Truth? It can only help you.

Why does everybody put such store in the truth?

Why is truth considered to be so bright and shining and wonderful?

Truth can be rotten and destructive and more vicious than any lie.

Because a lie might die one day, but the truth never dies.

So don't urge the truth on me. I've seen it.

The filth, the torture, the misery, what one man can do to another.

There's your truth.

But if it could save you or if it could help you in some way...

You can take a piece of granite and put it under pressure until the heat that's created will turn that stone to liquid.

Did you know that? Granite!

They call that a scientific phenomenon.

Well, there's another phenomenon.

It has to do with something much less durable than granite.

It has to do with the mind of man.

Now, you put that under enough pressure and it turns to water.

When that happens, they don't call that a scientific phenomenon.

They just say he's a coward, no good, rotten.

They never understand.

Well, the Colonel wants to understand.

He wants to know what kind of pressure was put on you.

Look, you can talk to him.

Why don't you defend yourself? Why don't you care anymore?

It isn't any one thing that makes a man not care anymore.

It isn't that simple. So nobody's asking for any simple answers.

There aren't any answers!

Just let it go at that.

Sit down, Cargill.

If I remember correctly, you smoke, don't you, Major?

No, thank you.

I want to apologize for yesterday.

I mean about running that tape recording so long.

I didn't realize you were so sensitive about it.

I only hope you've recovered sufficiently so that today you can answer some questions.

I don't know any more today than I did yesterday.

Then perhaps today you'll tell me a little more of what you do know.

Look, I told you yesterday, I'm guilty.

Now I don't see any point in going over the same ground again.

Oh, we're not going over the same ground, Major.

I'd like to touch on some things that we didn't even mention yesterday.

Like a certain sequence of events which becomes very striking.

Sequence of events? A definite pattern of life in that prison camp.

Brainwashing, starvation, sickness, death.

For nine months. Yet no man broke.

And there was a period of three months when nobody died.

And then suddenly, very suddenly, as a matter of fact, in a 48-hour period, Lieutenant Harvey died, Captain Connors died, and you broke.

That's right.

Was there any connection between the deaths of Harvey and Connors and your breaking? None.

Your breaking followed their deaths so closely, I think there must be a connection.

I'm telling you there wasn't.

All right.

I accept it.

Incidentally, how did Harvey die?

I don't remember.

You don't remember?

A man can't remember everything.

No, of course not.

Major, at whose burial did you say, "My brother dies that I may live.

"May I be worthy of his sacrifice"?

They told you that, did they?

There can't be any harm in admitting you said it, can there?

I said it. Why?

If you were to give some reason as to why you broke, what would that reason be?

I suppose that some men are weaker than others.

You mean then, that you were the weakest man in your shack?

Evidently. You signed confessions, you made broadcasts, you gave lectures, all because you were weak?

A man wants to stay alive.

And in your desire to stay alive, you didn't think of the effect of what you did?

Effect? It didn't trouble you that probably 200 million Asiatics were hanging in the balance?

That your words were weapons against everything you ever believed in. That didn't matter?

No. It didn't matter. It didn't matter that you might be endangering the lives of millions of your own countrymen, because that's what it'll cost if Asia falls to the enemy.

That didn't matter? I told you before.

How many times do I have to tell you? It didn't matter.

Well, tell me again, Major Harry Cargill, specialist on germ warfare.

Shut up!

What's the matter, Major? Don't you like the sound of it?

Do you know what I think?

I think you were frightened by that recording yesterday, because it haunts you.

I think you're haunted by the ghosts of dead minds as well as dead bodies.

Minds that you helped to kill by your broadcast.

Minds that were pushed over the brink by you.

Isn't that right, Major?

I told you to shut up! Answer me. Isn't that right?

I don't have to answer. Answer me!

What kind of an inquisition is this?

You'd like it to be an inquisition, wouldn't you?

But it's not going to be.

You're going to be defended, whether you like it or not, because we've got a standard of justice we'll follow in spite of you.

Standard of justice?

You poor fool. That's ancient history, Colonel.

You're out of style, you and your standards.

You're obsolete.

It's a new kind of world. Kill, destroy, dog eat dog.

And maybe that's the way it ought to be, because I don't think mankind deserves any better.

You really believe that? Yes, I believe that!

"Who kills one man kills the whole world.

"How many worlds have I killed"?

Where did you hear that?

Your wife.

My wife?

You leave her out of this...

I'll get my information any way I can, Cargill.

Now get in here.

You had no right. I don't care what you do to me, but you've got no... Now, that's an order!

Miller here yet? Yes, sir.

All right, get him in here. Sir, here are the carbons from Miller's testimony. Okay, thanks.

Get Baker, too. Yes, sir.

Come in, Lieutenant.

Sit down.

There isn't much we have to cover today.

I was just going over your testimony last night.

I'd like to clear up a few minor points.

Well, I'll do anything I can to help, sir.

That's fine. I knew you would.

Now first, when Cargill said, "This man means business now," what was he referring to?

Cargill said that? That's what you told me yesterday.

No, sir. I don't think I said that. Oh, yes.

Yes, you did, Lieutenant. You said...

You said, "Cargill said,"

"'Don't be such heroes. This man means business now."'

Well, if it's in there, I guess I must have said it.

I'm sorry, sir. I forgot, I guess.

What did he mean by that?

Well, that's pretty obvious, isn't it? Is it?

Well, yes.

The way I figure, Colonel Kim must have been getting impatient.

You know, all that time had gone by, nobody cracked or anything, so he's getting ready for his showdown. And was he?

I don't know, sir. It was Cargill that said it, not me.


Speaking of things Cargill said.

"My brother dies that I may live. May I be worthy of his sacrifice."

Did Cargill say that? Yes, sir.

Or did Captain Connors say that?

No, sir. Cargill said it.

But you told the General his son said it.

Sir, with all...

With all due respect to the General, he must've misunderstood me, because it was Cargill that said it.

I see.

Now another thing, Miller.

In the 48 hours before Cargill broke, two men died.

Lieutenant Harvey and Captain Connors.

That's right, sir. I told you about that yesterday, sir.

Yes, I know you did. Now I wonder if you'd mind telling me how Harvey died.

I told you that, too. Yesterday.

You can tell me again, can't you?

Yes, sir. Go ahead.

Lieutenant Harvey died following an acute case of dysentery.

And Connors? Same thing.

An acute case of dysentery?

Yes, sir. You're sure of this?

Yes, sir, I'm sure. I was there.

Come in.

By the door, Baker.

All right, Major, come in.

Stand over there.

Now, Miller, I'd like you to tell me how Lieutenant Harvey and Captain Connors died.

I told you. I want to hear it again.

Not everyone seems to have the same memory of it.

They died of dysentery.

You see, sir, in cases of bacillary dysentery, the incidence of death is pretty high.

Especially when there's no medicine.

You see, what happens is...

Dehydration sets in.

Dehydration sets in.

And a sick man suffers.

He suffers from a general wasting away.

Go ahead, Lieutenant.


You see, sir, there wasn't much anything we could do.

He's... We didn't have any choice.

Well... We had to... We had to pool our rice...

And we had to pool our water and we...

We tried to keep the sick ones alive. We...

You told him, didn't you?

Didn't you? You told him, didn't you?

I didn't tell him anything.

Yes, he did tell me. He told me he doesn't remember Harvey and Connors dying of dysentery.

He doesn't remember that at all.

So, come on, Miller, the truth! Come on, let's have it!

Talk. Don't!

Come on, the truth. No lies.

No memorized speeches, just the truth. Spill it.

Don't say anything! I told him nothing.

It wasn't only me. You gotta believe that.

All right, it wasn't only you. Now, come on, everything.

The rest of it. Everything.

We were all in it together. All of us. I swear that's the truth!

We all voted for it!

We had to do it.

Everybody agreed to do it. Everybody except him!

You can't do it!

Now, this is it.

You can't draw lots for a man's life.

Why not? He's guilty.

Now you had your say, and you got outvoted.

Now shut up.

Whoever gets this one, he's the man.

Now, we're all in this together.

Nobody talks. Ever.

That includes you, Cargill.


You better understand.

Come on.

Come on.

Hurry up. Hurry up, he's coming.

Take one.

Come on.


Remember, we're all in this together.


Who's got it?

Come on.


Not me.


Hurry up!

You know what to do.

Miller, no. You can't do this.

Don't do it...


Hi, fellas.

Tough couple of days.

Really put me through the wringer.

Connors, get out...

Hey, what's wrong?

Miss anybody?

No, nobody.

Well, take another look.

Take a good look.

Yeah, while you're looking around, Connors, take a look in that corner.

Where's Harvey?

Where do you think he is, Connors? He's dead.

Last night I told him not to try to escape.

It was suicide.

It was just one chance in a thousand.

You're wrong, Connors. He didn't have any chance.

What do you mean? You know what we mean.

Shut up!

You hear me? Shut up!

Will you?

How did they know that Harvey planned to make a break for it?

I don't know.

I never mentioned his name. What did you mention?

Nothing. Then how did they know?

I don't know.

Well, someone tipped them off.

And you're the only guy who's been out of this shack since yesterday morning.

The only one, Connors. That doesn't prove a thing.

Ten guys tried breaking out of here, not one of them made it.

Harvey didn't have a chance. You guys know that.

There's something you ought to know.

Harvey never tried to escape.


Harvey wasn't going to make a break for it. We talked him out of it.

He'd be alive now except for you.

No, no, no...

You told them, Connors, because when they came here, they knew exactly what to look for.

They were looking for a guy with a knife on him.

They found the knife on Harvey and they shot him in the back because you tipped them off.

No, listen. Kim promised he wouldn't do it.

He promised he wouldn't kill him. He told...


No, no!

Okay, hold him.

No, Miller!

Hold him.

No, no, no!

No, Miller!

No, no.

No, Miller. Miller, no. No! No!

I didn't want to. I didn't want to. I didn't.

I had to do it.

I had to. I swear that's the truth.

I'm sorry I had to do this to you.

I don't care. I'm glad I told.

It's no rotten secret anymore.

Will they try me for murder?

No, I don't think so.

You sure?

Evans, the notes.

Miller, I want you to see this.

There'll be no record in the file.

We'll just forget it. The evidence is inadmissible.


Come on, Lieutenant.

Lieutenant, come on, sir.

George, I'm sorry. Don't you touch me.

Lieutenant, Lieutenant. Come on, sir. Come on, sir.

Let me go.

All right, Cargill, that's part of the story. Now, what's the rest of it?

It wouldn't help. It might help you.

You just take my word for it. It wouldn't.

What happened after Connors was killed?

There were no more stool pigeons.

Don't stall. The other men were there, they know what happened. They'll talk.

Will they? Oh, no, Colonel.

Whatever Miller did, they're accessories to it.

Now, what are you gonna do, force it out of them, too, and then apologize?

Just talk. Fast. There's no time anymore.

I just don't care. Well, you're gonna have to care.

What happened after Connors was killed?

You're wasting your time. Talk!

Please, Colonel Edwards. It wouldn't do any good.

Please, Colonel Edwards.

Let me in there, please. Colonel Edwards...

Lieutenant... Only get them into trouble.

Believe me, they're good men, decent men.

But when the pressure got too much for them, they started killing each other.

Well, I can't condemn them for that.

I'm not condemning or condoning. I'm only trying to help you.

All right, then tell me this.

What's gonna happen when they start putting pressure on the whole human race?

Did I see the beginning of the end, and am I the only one who knows it?

Sergeant? Colonel Edwards! Now, look, the only thing that counts now is the truth. When we...

All right, take it easy. Take it easy.

They're gonna try me for murder. All right. All right.

I'm not the only one. We were all in it together.

Tell 'em. Tell 'em.

Knock that off, will you?

What's the matter with you? You too good for the rest of the world?

Too good to kill a lousy stool pigeon?

But in the end, you were the traitor. Not us.

Now they're gonna try me for murder, well, they won't.

What do you mean, murder?

Murder... Who was murdered?

The lousy stool pigeon.

Miller, shut up. Let him talk.

Look, sir, the man's in no condition to talk about anything.

We killed him, that's what about.

He told on some poor guy who was planning to escape and so we killed him. And your son, your wonderful son...

All right. All right, come on.

Come on, Lieutenant. Come on.

All right, Baker, get him out of here. Yeah.

What was he going to say?

Sir, the man was hysterical.

Anything he was going to say would have meant absolutely nothing.

You wouldn't have hit him if you didn't know what he was going to say.

It was something about my son planning to escape.

What was it?

It wouldn't do any good, sir.

Colonel, I'm ordering you to give me information relative to a case under my jurisdiction.

Do you refuse?

No, sir. Very well, then.

The name of the man who betrayed my son.

You see what I mean about the truth?

You keep your clever remarks to yourself, Major.

Believe me, sir, I was not trying to be clever.

That's all for now, Cargill. You're excused.

Just a moment, Major.

You feel pretty safe and smug here, don't you, Cargill?

Hiding behind due process of law. Please, sir.

It galls me to see traitors like you being coddled here.

Sir, I beg you to leave this man alone.

Suppose you tell me who betrayed my son, Major?

I insist you leave him alone.

I'm interrogating him, Colonel.

All right, Major. Who was it?

Who betrayed my son?


I can't answer that, sir.

Can't you? Honor among traitors, is that it?

One dirty swine protecting another? One lousy collaborating...

Damn it, sir, stop it!

I'm sorry, sir. But I...

I just couldn't let you go on that way. Not without knowing the truth.

Your son wasn't betrayed.

He wasn't killed by the enemy.

He was killed by his own men.

He was the stool pigeon.

It's a lie. No, sir. It's the truth.

It's a lie you made up to protect this man.

It's the truth, sir.

You have no proof. I have.

Conclusive proof.

Every man has his limit, sir.

There's no crime in being human.

He was my son.

He was raised to know better, to be better.

I can't forgive cowardice, especially in my own son.


That's right. Why?

Why are we always so much quicker to blame those we love rather than those we hate?

Is it because weakness in them is somehow weakness in ourselves?

Is that it?

I didn't love your son, General, but I didn't hate him, either.

So maybe I'll be allowed to speak a few words on his behalf.

A man can be a hero all his life, but if in the last month of it or the last week or even the last minute, the pressure becomes too great and he breaks, then he's branded for life.

You can't ask a man to be a hero forever.

There ought to be a time limit.

There is no defense for treason.

I wouldn't use words like treason if I were you.

And I would never set myself up to judge anybody.

Just don't be a hero on somebody else's time, General.

And don't ever hate a man for what he does under pressure.

Your son was a hero. I give you my word.

Hundreds of days he was a hero. And only one day did he break.

Well, in the name of God, aren't all those other days worth something?

Does he lose his standing in the human race because he broke on that one last day?

They didn't understand, so they killed him.

But at least they thought they had a reason.

To save their lives.

But what reason have you got, General? A set of rules, a code?

Well, it's not enough.

Because you don't have a code that fits a man to face them.

Your code doesn't have all the answers. Not all the answers.

All right, Major, you've said enough.

No, sir, I've not said enough.

Your son was a human being, and somebody's going to speak for him.

My son is dead.

And there's a dignity in that, no matter how he died.

But you, Major, are alive.

And I'll be damned if I'll stand here and allow you to attack a code that better men than you have lived and died by.

The Code? The... How much does the Code ask of a man?

Everything, if the man is a soldier. His life.

His life? You think that's the most that a man can lose?

What are you talking about?

I'll tell you.

I'll tell you what I'm talking about.

You're in a prison camp. Nobody breaks.

Months and months of cold and torture and starvation and nobody breaks.

And then one day, a man does break and his own men kill him for it.

And the commander of the camp is furious because he's been robbed of the one victory he's been able to achieve.

So he calls in the ranking officer and he says to him, "I have reached the limit of my patience."

"Either you cooperate or I kill all sixteen men."

What would you do, General?

I want an answer. What would you do?

Stand fast? Let them all be killed?

That is a chance you have to take.

Maybe. Maybe.

Maybe that's the answer, for heroes.

But I was no hero.

I couldn't take that chance.

To me, those sixteen men, the wives, the families, they seemed important.

They still seem important.

How many lies for a man's life?

I don't know. I just gave them everything they wanted.


I had a feeling, sir.

On his record, he wasn't the kind of man who'd do something like this for a selfish reason.

He couldn't defend himself without incriminating sixteen other men.

I'm sorry about this man and everything that's happened to him.

And it's precisely because I'm sorry that I know why we need the Code.

I want your recommendation at once.

General, this is an extremely harsh application of the rule.

Is it? This man's had it.

No man's exempt.

Not this man, not my son, no one.

Because after you've said everything that could be said, the fact would remain, he did help the enemy.

Sir, I think it's only fair to tell you, if he's brought to trial, I'd like to defend him.

That's your privilege, Bill.

Major Cargill,

you asked me a question.

You at least deserve an answer.

The choice that you had to make in that prison camp was no different than the choice that confronts every military leader.

The decision involving the life or death of his men.

You're a sensitive man. A humane man.

I sympathize with that man. But you're also a soldier.

And as a soldier, you have failed, just as my son failed.

You talk to me of sixteen men.

Multiply that by thousands. Try carrying that weight on your shoulders.

Try sleeping with the cries of those wives and children in your ears.

I've done that, Major.

Every wartime commander has done it.

Because until a better world is built, it's got to be done.

That is why we have the Code, Major.

The Code is our Bible and thank God for it.

I'll be waiting for your recommendation, Bill.

Under the circumstances, I will, of course, disqualify myself.

The General's right.

I was wrong and I should be tried.

Reasons don't matter.

Reasons do matter.

When a man's mind is attacked, how does he protect himself?

How does he fight back?

You didn't tell the other men why you went over, did you?

Part of your deal with Colonel Kim?

Evans, take this, will you?

Concerning the charges in the case of Major Harry Cargill, recommendation is as follows.

Considerable evidence has been amassed to prove that Major Cargill willingly collaborated with the enemy.

There is now also evidence to indicate that he did so unselfishly and to preserve the lives of his fellow prisoners.

Although he was mistaken in his judgment, he was surely no traitor.

Therefore, I personally recommend that all charges be dropped and no court-martial be convened.

Now, don't let that recommendation fool you.

There'll be a court-martial.

Oh, I expect that.

It's just good to know that somebody understands.

Well, we've got a long way to go.

Can you be here tomorrow morning?

Yes, sir, I'll be here. We free at 8:00, Evans?

Yes, sir, we're free.

8:00, then.

And, Major,

give my regards to your wife.

Yes, sir.

Colonel, do you think we can get the answers this way?

Well, I can promise you one thing, Major.

They'll know we asked the questions.