A Midnight Clear Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the A Midnight Clear script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the movie directed by Keith Gordon and starring Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinise, Frank Whaley, etc.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Midnight Clear. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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A Midnight Clear Script



It's too hot.



When I get back,

I'm gonna put it...






Mother's the oldest

in our squad.



He just had his   th birthday, and

two days later his baby was born dead.



We call him Mother... Wilkins...



because he's always hounding us

for being sloppy, bugging us...



about leaving things around.



They're a little bent.



You want me

to turn you in, Vance?



Between the stuff you did

and the stuff I make up...



I could at least get you

to a psychiatrist in some hospital.



Couldn't fool anybody.



Wouldn't let me do

all this shit.



Only you were here.



Doesn't really count.



You sure fooled me, Mother.

I'll tell you that.



You also broke a squad rule.



What rule?



Well, you said "shit."



What would Father say?



Father Mundy invented our squad

'no obscenity"rule.



We wanna make it clear

we're not actually part of this army.



Yes, we have a squad father too.



Mother Wilkins, Father Mundy.



Father Mundy was gonna be a priest,

but never made it through the seminary.



The next guard was taken by Bud Miller,

our mad mechanical genius...



and resident wit...



and Stan Shutzer,

our avengingJewish angel.



They're supposed to be    in

Intelligence and Reconnaissance squads.



Ours is down to six.



Mel Avakian,

our best remaining soldier...



became corporal to our squad

at the same time I made sergeant.



It wasn't

for anything we did.



Except stay alive.



He hasn't sewn on

his stripes either.



Our regimental commander

is Major Griffiin.



Griffiin was a mortician

in civilian life.



His main passion now

seems to be generating business...



for his army counterparts.



It's thanks to Griffiin

and his military mortuary skills...



that I've made my recent

headlong leap to three stripes.



We lost half our squad, attempting one

of his map-inspired, ill-conceived...



recon patrols.



When I say 'lost,"

I mean 'killed."



Nobody in the army ever admits

that someone on our side is killed.



They're either lost,

like Christopher Robin...



hit, as in a batter

hit by a pitched ball...



or they get 'it"

like in hide-and-go-seek.



Or maybe they get it

as with an ambiguous joke.



Not one of the six killed

had an army intelligence score...



of less than    .



We gained a few miles

of European real estate...



and lost the beginnings to untold

generations of very bright people.



I think the army

considered this a good deal.



So now we've been moved north

into the Ardennes Forest...



to await replacements.



It's become a kind

of frontline halfway house...



for straightening out

our nerves.



I'm not sure

I can be straightened out.



I'm scared all the time now.



It's mid-December,     .



My family name is Knott.




My parents named me William.



By the third grade,

I was Will Knott.



I've learned to live with it.



What I wasn't prepared for

were the guys of the I & Rplatoon...



who decided I was

to be known as 'Won't."



Let's go, Knott!



Back in Camp Shelby

before we shipped out...



Lieutenant Ware was told that

Intelligence was doing a lousy job.



He figured if he filled the squad

with intelligent soldiers...



he'd get better Intelligence.



He searched the regimental records for

the soldiers with the highest scores...



on the intelligence test...



and requisitioned us

as a squad.



Of course, six of us are dead.



So what's intelligence?



Jesus Christ, Knott.



Haven't you got them fucking

sergeant stripes sewn on yet?



The supply sergeant says they're all

out. They're waiting on a new shipment.



Well, get some staff sergeant

stripes and cut 'em down.



That'd be destruction

of government property, sir.



Well, I just hope to hell that

son of a bitch Griffin doesn't see it.



It's amazing how much profanity

goes on in the army...



when you're tuned to hear it.



Yeah, at ease, gentlemen.



Well done.

And, Corporal, if we could...



I'd like the water

a little warmer tomorrow.



Give that razor a fighting chance

up there against the whiskers.



Okay. Lieutenant Ware,

Sergeant Knott.



Gentlemen, I'd like you

to disregard...



all the rumors you've been

hearing around camp lately...



because now there's talk

of a imminent all-out enemy offensive.



Of course, the natural route for

any such offensive in this sector...



would obviously be

up these two roads...



and through this path

in the forest.



With that in mind,

three days ago, I sent out a patrol.



Now, that patrol

has not returned...



and, unfortunately,

they have not reported back.



Accordingly, I've made

the following decisions.



Sergeant Knott...



at this particular clearing

in the forest...



is a house.



I'd like you to move into that house

with your reduced squad.



Take yourself two jeeps

and a week's rations.



And from that house...



you're to report on any and all

enemy activity within that sector.



Lieutenant Ware...



you're to maintain constant

radio contact with Sergeant Knott.



- Is that clear, gentlemen?

- Yes, sir.



Sir, is there any evidence

of enemy occupation at that house?



Well, now, Sergeant Knott...



that's something you're just

gonna have to find out, isn't it?



Right, sir.



We drive for hours

through the snow.



Mother and I haven't talked about our

cross-country jaunt through the woods.



He just acts

as if it never happened.



That's all right. Just thinking

about something like that scares me.



What's going on, Mother?



I don't know.

There's something up the road.



- What is it?

- You can't see it from here.



All right, stay here.



What is it?






Check it out.



Why do I always have

to check it out?



Jimmy Brunowski

from Griffin's patrol.



Looks like

he finally found a date.



I don't get it.



What's going on?



Those filthy, Nazi...




motherfucking bastards!



Give me a hand.



May God have mercy

on your souls.



I don't see anything.

No smoke, no movement.



What do you think?

Head on up with the jeeps?



Actually, I thought

maybe shoot through an eye.



We head down the road a ways,

circle around the back...



then come down the front of the road

and check for mines.



Is that okay with you?



- Yeah. We'll cover you.

- Great.



If Mel hadn't gotten trench foot,

he'd sure as hell be squad leader.



And that's the way

it should be.



Or maybe he'd be dead.



I'm not exactly sure

what country we're in.



It could be Belgium,

Luxembourg, France or even Germany.



I don't know what day it is. I have no

watch, so I don't know what time it is.



I'm not even sure of my name.



The next thing you know,

they'll be making me a general.



We find four mattresses

and satin-quilted covers...



along with some wine

and cases of sardines.



The I & Rplatoon,

or what's left of it...



will be living in luxury

for a few days.



Wow. Sheets and pillows.

I haven't had that since home.



Mel, come on.

Show 'em how we did it for the old USO.



USO, huh?



They call it

theJersey Bounce



The rhythm

that really counts



The temperature

always mounts



Whenever they play that crazy rhythm

they play



It started onJournal Square



Somebody heard it there



They put it

right on the air



And now you hear it







Back at Camp Shelby,

when we finally realized...



they really were going

to ship us overseas...



we went into a mild

state of panic.



The thing that

bothered us most was that...



with the exception of Mother Wilkins,

we were all eleven virgins.



I don't know

if this was normal...



or if there's some sort of correlation

between a lack of sexual precocity...



and what is known as intelligence.



I think Shutzer came up with the idea.

Or maybe it was Eddie.



Eddie was the youngest

of all of us.



Four of us managed a weekend pass

and headed into town...



to find a nice, complacent whore

who could put us out of our misery.



We kept it to four. We figured any more

would be some kind of gang bang.



And, well, we had

more romantic aspirations.



We had fifty dollars.

We spent ten on the room...



and left the rest

for the investment.



There was much discussion

as to the kind of woman.



I think we were all scared

that we'd end up with a real woman...



and not be able to manage it.



And the 'B"girls

in the bars were out.



We were well-conditioned

by the army VD films.



Avakian and Shutzer

were to handle the search.



Eddie and I waited.



What time is it?



- One.

- You're kidding.



We got company, guys.



Oh, shit.



I know right then I won't

be able to do it. I'm glad I'm third.



So we'd just about given up...



when we see this girl

down by the bus station.



Just sitting there

on one of those wooden benches.



Anyway, we got around to talking

about what we'd been doing all night.



And right then,

out of the blue...



she just volunteered

to come back here with us.



I thought she was kidding,

but she's serious.



Well, I got an extra rubber

you can use if you want, Stan.



I got my own rubbers.



You've gotten as bad

as Mother Wilkins.



Actually, I can use one.



I should have known Edward

was gonna take forever.



What the fuck

are they doing in there?



Watch your language, Stan.

What would Father Mundy think?



Fuck Father Mundy.



Hey, Eddie,

how you doing in there, huh?



Maybe she rolled him

or something.



Knockout drops

or a blackjack.



Would you at least

say something?



Her name's Janice.



She was engaged

to a boy named Matt.



She found out last week that he was

killed in the invasion of Sicily.



She came down to Shelby

to get his stuff...



and decided to kill herself.



But she couldn't

work up the nerve.



All she has now is a bus ticket

back home to Pittsburgh.



Janice has only made love

to one boy, Matt, just before he left.



Now she's volunteering herself

to all of us...



insisting it's what

she wants to do.



Of course

we're so guilty and scared...



we end up subjecting

this simple, lovely idea...



to every kind

of spurious rationale.



We wind down before dawn

and sleep.



Then just before the morning,

Janice comes quietly...



privately to each of us.



We pass through

the mythical barrier...



between boys and men...



men and death.



Janice takes us with her.



After a luxurious

mass breakfast in bed...



we walk Janice to her bus.



None of us talk

about what happened.



And I think I'll always feel strange

about my first sexual experience...



masquerading as a dead boy

named Matt.



- Knott.

- Yeah.



I'll cook lunch if you can get me

some wood for the fireplace.



No, Mother. All we need

is a bunch of smoke...



to let the Germans

know we're here.



Will, if we don't light a fire,

we're gonna freeze our butts off.



And it's very hard to kill Germans

with a frozen butt.



All right.



The smoke's bad,

but not as bad as I thought.



You're taking a little long putting

that back together, aren't you, Bud?



I'm not working

for speed right now.



This wine tastes

like sardines.



Well, here. The sardines

taste sort of like wine.



I sit here trying

to work out four bridge hands.



Miller invented the game, calling it

'compact, cardless, duplicate bridge."



When we lost half the squad,

we also lost our only deck of cards.



They were on Eddie.



He died in the fiield hospital.



With his left arm gone

and his face the way it was...



I don't think he tried

very hard to stay on.



Hi, Bud.



Did Mother and Avakian

set up all right down there?



They seemed fine to me.



Good. Listen. You have got to be more

careful lighting cigarettes, all right?



Some German could sneak up from

behind you, pop one in your head...



while you're pretending

to be Walt Whitman.



I think my eyeball's frozen.



- Yeah?

- Is that you, Will?



- Yeah. What's going on?

- I don't know. I think I saw something.



- What did you see, Mother?

- I'm not sure, Will.



I don't know. I think I saw something

move on the hill across from us.



Did Avakian see it?



No. Just me.



All right, Mother, hang tight.

I'll call up top.



Oh, shit.



- Father?

- Yeah?



Yeah. Mother says he saw something

on the opposite hill there.



- Did you see anything?

- No. Nothing.



Wilkins must have eyes like an owl.

I can't see my hand in front of my face.



All right.

Could be he's only jumpy.



Just keep an eye

on their backs, all right?



Okay, Will.



Hey, Bud. Relax. Relax.



Mother's pretty nervous.

It's probably nothing.



Probably nothing?

That's real reassuring, Will.



Well, what do you think?



I don't know.



Maybe I should tell them

about Mother's run through the woods.



The news of his baby being dead

did him in for sure.



- Yeah?

- We're hearing something down here.



Mother thinks it's the Germans

signaling back and forth.



All right, Mel, hold on.

We'll be right down.



- Bud. Bud, wake up.

- What?



Listen. Mel says he's

hearing some noises, all right?



I want you to call Shutzer, tell him

I'm going down to the lower post.



Then call Mother and Avakian back and

remind them not to shoot me, all right?



Come on. Get up.






Did you hear any more?



Not since the last one.



It's closer that time.






Easy, Mother. Easy.



What do you think?

Maybe they're gone?



I don't know.



Maybe they're

just being quiet.






Let's you and me go

check out the road, all right?



Hey, Will, you go if you want.

I'm fine right here.



If they're gone, they're gone.



If they're not,

I'm not walking into an ambush.



Put that pin

back in that grenade.



- No, it wasn't.

- They do shit like this all the time.



- I know, but that wasn't the case.

- How do you know?



Do you think

it was five of'em?



- Yeah, yeah.

- What the hell is going on?



Mel said they were actually talking

to you. What did they say?



I don't know. First it was,

"Hey, Americana."



Then when they left, they started

saying something like "slap guder."



It didn't make any sense.



Shit, that's Yiddish.

It's schlaf gut.



It's 'sleep well."



"Sleep well"?



Yeah, Will. 'Sleep well."

Get it?



Holy shit. These fucking Nazis.

They're softening us up for the kill.



Will, wake up.



Ware's on the phone.

He doesn't sound real happy.



- Is Mother out there alone?

- Yeah.



- Why?

- Why? It's the day.



You don't need to leave two guys out

there during the day. What's the point?



I don't know, Bud.

How about the Germans?



What do you want, Will?

You wanna lose one guy, two guys?



I'm just really glad we talked about

this. I'm glad we could work this out.






It's up to you, Bud.

Bid or pass?



I pass.



Able   to Able  . Over.



I tell Ware about our nighttime

encounter with the Germans.



Bad idea.



Griffiin's desperate

for information...



so Ware orders us out

to find their command post.



We decided to head south

down the pass.



It's as good a guess as any, and that's

where their voices seem to come from.



Of course that could be seen as a good

argument for heading the other way.



I'm having my usual trouble...



noticing how beautiful the world is

just when I might be leaving it.



Just this side of the road.



Don't worry.



I'm just enjoying having

a fucking Nazi in my sights.



I think I'm getting a hard-on.






I know we could've killed

those three guys and gotten away.



I'm also sure they could've done

the same thing to us last night.



What I don't know in both cases

is why it didn't happen.






Fuck! Here we fucking go!



You're gonna get us killed here.

You got to relax.



I said you got to relax.

You gotta shut up. You gotta shut up.



- Shut up, Stan!

- You're gonna get us all killed.



You're gonna get us all killed.

You gotta shut up!



Stan! You gotta...



Come on!



What happened?



- You find any Germans?

- Yeah, we found them all right.



And they found us.

Krauts nearly blew our heads off.



Oh, shit.



I lost the scope and the map.



Great. Injury to insult.



- What happened, Bud?

- What happened?



Germans found us,

had a dead in their sights.



They could've killed all of us

and they just let us go.



- That's what happened.

- They had you and then they let you go?



What are you complaining about?

You should be happy.



We should be happy?



Oh, okay, Mundy, we're happy.



We're happy! Yippee!




You feel better now?



All right, Stan, come on.



- What the hell is that?

- That's just Mother.



Clumping around in the attic again.

It's fine.



- Did you find the stuff?

- They must've come back after we left.



There's all kind of tracks.

They took the scope and the map.



What did you do? Crawl around

on your hands and knees looking for it?



No. I could see right off

the stuff wasn't there.



I got wet working out a little

surprise for our Teutonic friends.



What, a trap?



I built a snowman.



Right where

we dropped our stuff.



I used pine needles

for a mustache.



And then a branch,

like an arm giving the Nazi salute.



I even put a few

pine branches over one eye.



- It's not a bad resemblance.

- Jesus, Stan.



They could've come up from behind, made

a few well placed critical comments...



and one more

ventilated whiz kid.



Even stamped out a message

in front of my snowman.












Made exclamation points

with pine branches.



- Where's Mother?

- He's upstairs in his attic.



- What's he doing there?

- I have no idea, Will.



Actually, he's been kind

of quiet lately.



Maybe he hung himself,

huh, Father?



Are you all right, Mother?



Look at the paintings, Will.









Somebody cared.



Somebody made something...



probably not even for money.



For love.



Sometimes I didn't believe

there was any love left.



Try to remember

who the real enemy is, Will.



Christ, I thought we lost

both of you up there.



What did you do,

start a family?



Father, you're on next.



Unless anyone objects, Bud...



I think we should go back to at least

two on the lower post for now.



All right?



It's too weird out there

for one guy alone.






What the hell's going on?



The explosion was me throwing a grenade.

They haven't fired back yet.



Can you hear that?



Can you hear that?



We can hear without the phone.

What are they yelling about now?



I think they're yelling "Fuck Hitler"

the way your grandmother would say it.



There's this crazy guy in the cemetery,

pretending grenades don't hurt.



Maybe you should send out

some straitjackets.









- We're having a snowball fight.

- What?



You don't think maybe the war's over

and they're not telling us, do you?



- I mean, they wouldn't do that.

- You sure you're okay down there?



Goddamn it, Shutzer! You're the one

that started this "Fuck Hitler" shit.



Schlaf gut, Kraut.



You got that map?






I'll be a son of a bitch.






I've been trying to figure out all

this crazy shit that's been going on...



for the past couple of days,

and only one answer makes sense.



Remember the frozen American

and the Kraut dancing together?



See, it's like a message.

They wanna get together.



- It's crude, but remember who they are.

- So?



So then they come around with that

schlaf gut bit the first night.



It's like they're saying

they know that we're here...



but they're not

so mad about it.



- Yeah.

- Well, listen.



Okay. Just try to think of one reason

they didn't mow us down...



or at least take us prisoner.



I think they're telling us

that they wanna talk...



maybe even surrender.



- What?

- If I'm right...



they want us to meet them

in this clearing at      hours.



What if it's a trap?



If they wanted to kill us,

they could've done it a couple of times.



We could've shot them. We didn't.

That doesn't mean we wanna surrender.



They could be stalling

for reinforcements.



With a snowball fight?



A snowball fight

doesn't mean surrender.



Yeah, but look at this.



- I'll mention it to Ware.

- Come on, Won't.



We don't wanna get officers involved

in this, screwing everything up.



You know,

I think we got a chance...



to make something good

come out of this for everybody...



if we just use our heads.



What do you say we just go out there

and see what's going on?



Just the two of us.

I'll take all the risks.



- I still say I should call Ware first.

- What do you think Ware is gonna do?



- He'll tell Griffin.

- And you know damn well...



that Griffin is gonna come charging

out here and arrange everything...



so he looks like General Patton

winning the war single-handed.



That's the way it is, Stan. There's

nothing we're gonna do about that.



Suppose that one of us captures all

the Germans single-handed, all alone...



then we build this guy

into a second Sergeant York?



It's got to be worth

at least a Silver Star.



Maybe even a trip home

as a returning war hero.



- How does that sound?

- Sounds like a court-martial.



How are they ever

gonna catch on?



You know, for Mother's sake,

I think we should at least try.



For Mother?



Sure. Who else?



Oh, boy, that would be perfect.



We testify that the Germans

had us pinned down...



and Wilkins comes in the nick

of time and saves the whole show.



And we'd have a genuine mob

of enemy soldiers to back up our story.



Yeah, okay. For right now

we don't tell anybody, okay?



It's just the two of us.



Look, if it doesn't work,

at least we tried.



Sneaking out is easy.



Mother's back upstairs

by himself...



and Father and Miller

are asleep.



We decide we'll have to tell Avakian,

who's on guard at the lower post.



You're gonna tromp out there,

set up an armistice conference...



and turn Wilkins

into a war hero.



What, are you

out of your tiny minds?



- I don't think so.

- It all makes sense.



It's a theory. You're gonna get

your butt shot off for a theory.



Well, I'm going.



Will, listen to me.

I'm the one guy here who knows...



Mel, I said I'm going.



Okay, fine.



But even if you do

pull this off...



how are you going to get

Mother to go along with it?



- We tell him?

- No. No, he's right.



We'll have to draw straws

or something and rig it.



Wilkins will never accept it

if he thinks it's charity.



Plus, you tell him,

he's gonna want to tag along.



I don't think you want Mother

facing any Germans.



So what do you think, Sarge?



It's then I tell them about Mother's run

through the forest back at headquarters.



I don't think

we should tell him.



Okay, look, when we go

to get the Krauts...



we'll leave Wilkins here to guard

the chateau and mind the radio.



- It's all gonna seem perfectly natural.

- What makes you so sure this will work?



What makes you

so sure it's not?



Okay, fine.



Give two quick shots and one more

if you need any help.



Then what?



Then I'll miss you.



Hey, have fun, boys.

Don't get killed.



Hey, just calm down!



They want to talk

to our officer in charge.



- I don't speak German or Yiddish.

- It's okay. I'll translate.



I don't have stripes on my arm.

They won't believe I'm an officer.



I just don't think they're very happy

about surrendering to a Jew, okay?



Did they say

they want to surrender?



Just stuff about wanting

to talk to our officer in charge.



- What was all the yelling about?

- I'm not sure.



- You're not sure?

- Look!



I'm doing the best I can, okay?



Look, just...

Just come over with me.



I'll tell them our officer's

back at the chateau.



You look goy enough. Maybe they'll

come out more with you around.



Okay? Come on.



This is, uh, meine friend.




He's in the 'schtieb,"

you know?



Okay, I think I got it.

There's seven of them.



They just got sent back

from the Russian front...



where it sounds like they got

the shit knocked out of'em.



He keeps talking about that

big offensive south of here...



and he doesn't want

any part of it.



They think the war's almost over

and they don't want to get killed...



in the last few days.



I told him we'd bring our leader here

tomorrow at   :   a.m.



We're going

to bring Ware here?



Look, just get Mother

out on guard duty...



and get the squad together,

all right?



What are we gonna do

about an officer?



I don't know about this.

Why can't Will just do it?



I don't know about this.

Why can't Will just do it?



- He's the leader, for Christ's sake.

- They've already seen him.



Besides, no Kraut's ever gonna believe

that a guy like Will is an officer.



- Take a look at him.

- Thank you, thank you.



Then let's let Mel just do it.

He's a natural leader type.



Hey, wait a second. I'm not even sure

I want to be part of this plan.



Besides, I don't look

like an Aryan god.



What is this?

Father, it's all stripes and no rocker.



- What's that mean?

- It's something new, Miller.



You're our bastard sergeant minor.

Besides, we don't have any rockers.



What if it's like some kind of...



"capture the commander" scheme

the Krauts have worked out?



You know, put a bullet in my head

or something.



Hey, look, Bud, why don't you

just try walking now?



- The man walks like a soldier.

- Put more pigheaded asshole into it.



- That I can do.

- Chest out, chest out.



Yeah, that's it!

That'll do just fine.



Just stand there like an SOB

and nod occasionally.



You know, you actually do

look like an officer.



- I actually feel like an asshole.

- That's about the same thing.



Mother gets off post in five minutes.



- Let's not blow his Christmas present.

- Sure this is a good idea?



I can't stop worrying.



God, I hope we're doing

the right thing.



- Yeah.

- Will, listen.



There are five or six of them

down here working like crazy.



They got something big with them.

Could be a mortar.



I think maybe you better have somebody

man that upper post to cover us.



Shit. Mel, you and Mother

go up to the upper post.



Stan says they're

setting up a mortar.



All right. Listen. Mother and Avakian

are going to the upper post.



You want me down there?



- Father?

- Yeah, Will.



Get your butt down here.

You of all people shouldn't miss this.






Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.



For you. Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.



Merry Christmas.



Merry Christmas

Happy New Year.



Thank you.

Merry Christmas.



Merry Christmas.



Holy night



All is calm



All is bright



Round yon virgin



Mother and child



Holy infant



- So tender and mild

- Merry Christmas.



Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.



Sleep in heavenly peace



Sleep in heavenly peace



O come ye

O come ye



To Bethlehem



Hey, Father, they teach you

German in the seminary?



What the hell were you two

talking about?



I just kept saying "Merry Christmas"

and "Happy New Year."



I said it maybe    times.



- What did he say to you?

- Well...



he said something

that sounded like...



"Throw me a why not."



And then, when he tried

to hand me his gun, he said...



"Why not go shrink."



"Fröhlich Weihnachten"

is 'Merry Christmas..."



and "Weihnachtsgeschenk"

is 'Christmas present."



I wonder what the Germans

thought Father was saying.



What's going on?



Couldn't get anybody

to answer the phone.



Oh, my God.

Mother, I'm sorry.



I forgot all about you

up there.






I heard singing.



- Everything okay?

- Yeah.



The Germans just wanted

to spread a little holiday cheer.



Father even did some

present exchanging.



They gave us sausages,




- Is that what happened, Will?

- Yeah, that's it.



This particular branch

of the German army...



seems to believe in turning off

the war every once in a while.



I don't know if I can take

this kind of war.



I'd rather we kept out of each other's

way, except when we have to fight.



Oh, shit.



This is meine kommandier.



Hey, Will, come over here.



Okay. Okay,

they do want to surrender.



As soon as possible.

Today. They...



He's convinced that this German push

is coming through here any time now.



There's a kicker.



It's a big kicker.



The young ones are scared shitless

that if the Germans come through here...



and it looks like they

surrendered without a struggle...



it's gonna be taken out

on their families.



Everything is nuts back home and they

don't want their parents to get shot...



or put in camps because

their sons were cowards.



Well, do they have a suggestion?






They want us to take 'em

in a fake skirmish.






Just make some noise, leave some

spent cartridges, grenade fragments.



No. No, absolutely not.



- Will...

- No! It doesn't make any sense.



Just calm down. Now you're gonna

blow the whole operation here.



- It's crazy!

- Be quiet! Quiet!



- Shut up!

- You wanna get us killed?



We're not gonna do it!

And don't tell me to shut up!



Will, I know it sounds nuts,

I know, but...



I think it's the only way

they're gonna go for it.



They're just kids.

They're just scared.



They're just scared kids.

Look at 'em.



I don't know.



You trust these

fuckin' Nazis, Stan?



- What does that mean?

- He said they're not Nazis.



They're just regular German army.

They're regular army like we are.



I say we do it.



What if it's a trap?



It's not much of a trap, having us

both come fully armed to a skirmish.



I mean, at best, it's just

mutual suicide, right?



What if they're using the noise

to bring in reinforcements?



No. If they wanted to do that,

they could've done that the first night.



He's right, Will, he's right.

And take a look at 'em.



Things must be bad in the vaterland

to have an army of old men and boys.



- Okay, what do we do?

- Just give a little nod.



We agree to come

this afternoon...



make a lot of noise with rifles

and grenades and take them in.



Able   to Able   over.

Able   to Able   over.



Yeah, you got anything yet, over?



Yes, sir, I think we're gonna

be able to take a prisoner, sir.



We found some tracks.

Our plan is to hit their outpost...



around  :   this afternoon.



- Over.

- Good. Do it.



I'll come out. Maybe Griffiin too.

We'll bring the prisoner back. Over.



No, sir, I don't think

that's necessary, sir.



Tell Major Griffin that...



No sense in him taking the risk

coming all the way out here.



We'll have the jeeps ready

with the chains...



and we'll get that prisoner

to you, sir, over.



- I'll tell him.

- Over and out.



Over and out.



I tell Mother we're going out

to try for a prisoner.



I tell him if we're not back in

two hours to call Ware at the base.



He's obviously glad

not to be on the patrol.



We hide Miller's officer outfit

under his snow poncho.



Now what? Walk down there

and knock on the door?






here I go.



I'm not sure what to do

so they don't shoot me.



- Try yelling "comrade."

- Is that it?



Well, Stan, you could

wave a white fag.



Then it would look like

the wrong group was surrendering.



We're right here covering you.

Good luck.



Oh, boy.



We wait.

There's nothing else to do.



- What's going on? Everything all right?

- Yeah.



He wanted to talk to our officer

"Herr Muller" here.



You know, I'm sure

it's because I'm a Jew.



All right, you nick-prickJew-type,

take me to my Aryan friends.



All right,

if they're really giving up...



why are they

putting a guy on post?



Who are they

guarding themselves from?



Maybe other Germans.



They probably have

a Major Griffin of their own.



Ubergruppenfuhrer Griftoch

or something.



Don't worry.



Come on.



- That's nice.

- Okay, here's how it's gonna work.



They'll wind up in front of the cabin.

Miller and I will stay as protection.



All right, now, you go on out

with the rest of the squad.



When old Shickelgruber here and I

signal, we all start firing.



When we signal again,

we all stop.



Then you guys come down the hill,

we disarm them and take them in.



All we need is a nod from Miller

and they'll get their stuff together.



Dismiss me.

I'll go inform Father and Mel.



- What?

- Dismiss me.



Will, why don't you get up on that hill

and go inform Father and Will... Mel.




Hold your fire!



Go check on

Shutzer and Miller.



Hang in there, Father.



We're gonna get you wrapped up

and get you outta here.



You warm enough?



Anybody else hit?



Everybody's fine, Father.



- Are the Germans dead?

- Don't worry about that.



You all right?



God have mercy

on those poor Germans.



God have mercy on us.



- Don't... Don't tell Mother.

- I won't.



- Don't tell Mother.

- I won't.



Don't tell...

Don't tell Mother.



Promise me.



I won't.



Is he dead?



I think so, Vance.



He ran out to warn me.






I don't understand.



I had a perfect position.



I don't get it.



He's stupid, Vance.



He does stupid things.



What a mess.



Shit! It looked so easy.



Looks like our friend here

got a million-dollar wound.



The one guy who wants

to fight these bastards...



and I get

the million-dollar wound?



Isn't it the way?



How's Mundy?



He's dead. He died fast.

There was nothing I could do.



What a fuckup.



Father said don't tell Mother.



That's what we'll do.



We were pinned down,

and he saved us.



That's the plan.



Mother tells us

why he came out after us.



Ware and Griffiin are at the chateau,

looking for their prisoner.



Well, we've got one,

if he stays alive.



It's hard to look at Father.



I keep waiting

for his eyes to open...



waiting for him to tell me

it'll be all right if I just have faith.



Sergeant Knott.



- Yes, sir.

- Get some men out on post.



The enemy camp may have heard

that skirmish and sent out a patrol.



Well, sir, before the prisoner

went into shock...



he told Shutzer that an enemy attack

was expected at any time.



Well, now, holy shit, soldier!



Just when the fuck

were you gonna tell us that?



I thought this was an I & R platoon,

for Christ's sake!



Lieutenant, get me Regiment

on the horn immediately.



Whiz kids, my ass!



Able   to Able   over.



- Able   to Able   over.

- Corporal Leary here, over.



Son, this is Major Griffin.

You take down this message...



and get it to Regimental Command

on the double-quick, over.



Wilco, sir. Over.



"Have contacted enemy

and taken prisoner.



Have suffered casualties.

One dead, one wounded.



Have destroyed enemy outpost.



Prisoner claims impending enemy attack

through this sector at any moment.



Repeating. Prisoner claims impending

enemy attack at any moment.



Am leaving immediately with prisoner and

wounded for base. Signed, Major Griffin."



- Get that to the regimental commander.

- He ain't gonna make it.



Over and out. Let's go.



Sergeant Knott...



have your men transfer the chains

from your jeep to my vehicle.



We have a long way to go,

and the road's gonna be very rough.



- Yes, sir.

- Son...



I am shocked by

the conditions of these quarters.



This is private property.



The United States government

is responsible for it.



It was in bad shape

when they moved in, Major.



Are you finished, Lieutenant?



Because there is ample evidence

to indicate a dereliction of duty...



and conduct not becoming

an American combat troop.



I'll be dead honest

with you here, son.



I wonder if your fucking men even know

there's a war going on outside.



Were it not for extreme

extenuating circumstances...



I would see that this soldier,

as noncom in charge...



were brought before a military

review board and severely disciplined.



And where the fuck

are your stripes?



I'll be goddamned if you haven't

had enough time to sew them on.



Yes, sir.



- I'll get on it.

- No! You know what you'll do?



You will march your ass outside...



and transfer those chains from your jeep

to my vehicle on the double-time.









do not ever contradict me

in front of the men again.



All right, buddy,

you're almost home.



What do you think, Mel?

Is he gonna be all right?



Yeah, Shutzer's strong.

He'll be okay.



They won't fall out

if you're careful, sir.



It's a rough trip, but it'd help

if you'd loosen the tourniquets...



every once in a while.



- We'll do the best we can, Knott.

- Thank you, sir.



Don't worry, Knott.

You done a good job.



I don't think so, sir.



Knott, Major Griffin wants you

to keep the squad here...



until the Krauts attack.



Stay here, sir?



What do we do

when the attack comes?



You contact us by radio.

We'll give you our position...



then you get the hell out,




- Understood, Knott?

- Yes, sir.



Lieutenant Ware, goddamn it!



Are you going to baby-sit

or drive this fucking jeep?



- Be right there, sir, on the double.

- Get your ass in here!



Good luck, Knott.



Did you ever think about

how many dead people there must be?



Looks like Father just joined

the great majority.



Father told me he still wanted

to be a priest.



He just didn't think

he was pure enough.



You know, I've been thinking

maybe Father's the lucky one.



I mean, is this whole world

run by shits like Griffin?



If we get through this,

is that the way it's gonna be?



What's the tree for?

You gonna burn it?



Vance thought

a little Christmas cheer...



would pick things up

around here a little bit.



Thought we could roast some chestnuts

and stuff ourselves with turkey.



You first, Will.



You aren't the rankest, but...



you do have rank on us.



It's a...



It's a Christmas present.



We try to turn off the war.

We don't even keep a guard on.



We figure when the attack starts,

we'll hear it.



I asked Ware to put you in

for a citation.



I hope that's okay.



I think Father or Stan

should get it.



No. You should.



The Germans had us pinned down,

and you saved our asses.



I only shot twice.



After Father went down,

l... I didn't shoot anymore.



My glasses were all fogged up.



- I don't even know if I hit anybody.

- It doesn't matter.



Just stick with the story.



You shot them all.

That's what I told Ware.



Maybe if you get decorated,

we can get you pulled out of here.



Two-thirds of the squad is gone now.

I don't see how we're gonna make it.



I'll make you a bet, Vance.



I'll bet you that

in six months...



you're back with Linda,

and she's pregnant...



and this will all be something

you hardly remember.



I doubt that.



I'll bet you $   .



Who has $   ?



You can pay me off

a bit at a time.



We'll start

New Year's Day,     .



- It's a bet.

- Yeah.



Able   to Able   over.



Able   to Able   over.



Able   to Able   over.



- Able   to anybody, over.

- Will, we got to go.



Pull up the phones and the wires.



Miller, if anybody can get

through on this thing you can.



Just keep trying, all right?

Let's get Father out to the jeep.



- Come on.

- Able   in.



Able   come on.

Able   to Able  .



- Come on!

- Come on, Will! Let's go!






Come on, Will, move it!

Move it!



Fuckin' Griffin

took the chains off the jeep!



Christ! There they are!



- Oh, fuck!

- You all right?



- I think so.

- Father got some.



Another     yards

and we'll be out of range!



- Straighten out.

- I can't! It's not doing anything!



Straighten out!

Jesus Christ!



- You guys all right?

- Hold it! We're about to slide over.



Put some weight on the back,

Mother, on the back!



Let's go. Let's go.



- All right?

- Let's get Father and get out of here!



Well, Sergeant Knott,

what the fuck do we do now?



I can't believe

they'd just leave.



Mel, what do you think?



I don't know,

but we'd better keep moving.



- I have no idea where we are.

- Just go.



- We could be heading for Berlin.

- Just go!



We're out of gas.



We'll probably have

to surrender any time now.



Miller insisted on

rigging up the.   caliber.



But without a real mount...



it probably wouldn't sit still

long enough to hit anything.



We can't stay here long,

and the jeep is dead.



I wish Shutzer were here.

He might know what to do.



I'm through playing soldier.



Did you see those markings?

That was honest-to-shit SS.



What do we do now, Will?



We stay away from them.



What, you think they were

advancing or retreating?



I wonder what they'll think?



Maybe this will convince them

I am over the edge.



We'll have a mutiny.



I'll join it.



- Thirty caliber?

- We'll bury it.



- Radio?

- Bury it.



- Rifes too?

- There's no other way.



Even if we pull this off and get back,

what are we going to say?



We'll say we were captured and they

took our weapons and then we escaped.



But I'm thinking with

all this confusion going on...



there's not gonna be

too many questions.



We do it together or nothing.



If anybody has any objections,

any at all, speak up now.



Well, for what it's worth,

I say we do it.



Yeah, me too.



I mean, the idea's so wild, I'd be sorry

for the rest of my life if I didn't try.



Of course, the rest of my life

could be today.



Mother, don't let us pressure you.

You make up your own mind.



I already have. I was only

waiting on the other guys...



so I wouldn't

put pressure on them.



This could be the deepest finesse

in squad history.



I've never seen a better smile.



It's the smile I need to make myself

do what we're gonna do.



All right.






Bleacher, goddamn it!



We don't know the counter.

We're from another sector.



Stay where you are.



We're Americans.



Is that blood?



We give him our escape story.



They tell us to take Father

to the grave registrar.



They drive us back

to our own regiment.



I'm sent straight to Ware,

and I tell him our story.



I wander into

the kitchen tent...



and curl up to sleep behind

the warm pots of hot water.



Just wanted to let you know

it's all settled.



Since you weren't in a POW compound,

you won't have to go through clearance.



You can go right back

out in the field.



I'm gonna fill out your platoon

with an antitank group they broke up.



I put in for a Bronze Star

for Wilkins.



Had him reassigned to the motor pool.

He's gonna be okay.



Thank you, sir.



Just wanted you to know I did my best

to radio you before we pulled out...



but Griffin said

there wasn't any time.



How's Shutzer doing?



Real tough shit. He was dead

before we even got back.



Kraut was dead too. Didn't even

have time to interrogate him.



Before I go, you're gonna have to

fill out a statement of charges...



for the jeep, radio and phones.



We'll be moving out soon.



Gonna push those fucking Kraut

bastards all the way back to Berlin.



Merry Christmas, Knott.

Special help by SergeiK