Very Long Engagement Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Very Long Engagement script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the movie by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tautou.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Very Long Engagement. 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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Very Long Engagement Script




Saturday the 6th of January, 1917,     



five condemned soldiers

were escorted to Bouchavesnes



at the Front in the Somme.



Watch out for the wire!



The first,

once cheerful and adventurous,



wore the tag number     .

He was drafted from the Seine area.



On his feet were boots,

taken from a dead German.



Before becoming     

he was known as Bastoche



and was hooked on a pretty redhead,



a certain Véronique Passavant.



He was a carpenter.



Taking a break from his woodwork,

they'd go for a beer



at Little Louis' bar,

in Golden Hand St.



He'd taken his boots from an enemy

who no longer needed them.



Stuffed with straw or newspaper,



they replaced his old clodhoppers.



He was court-martialed

for self-mutilation.



Gunpowder had been found

on his wounded hand.



He faced the death sentence.



Watch out for the wire!



The second soldier

was tag number     



also from near the Seine.



He was a welder

for the State Railways, in Bagneux.



His name was Francis Gaignard,



nicknamed Six-Sous.



He knew the poor build the canons

of their own destruction,



but it's the rich who sell them.



He tried to explain it to the troops,



but he wasn't a good speaker.



And cheap wine,

poverty's best friend,



deadened the soldiers' eyes,



making it difficult

to get through to them.



Number      was surely the bravest

and the toughest of them all.



He had once

killed a fellow officer...



an officer who kicked the dead.



Get up!



You swines!



You lazy cowards!



You! Get up!



Attack! Attack!



You! Get going!



No one ever found out.



Benoît Notre Dame was a farmer

from Dordogne.



One August morning,



they came to get him at his farm



and sent him off on a train.



Watch out for the wire!



The telephone wire is the only link

to the land of the living.



A flimsy wire, their only chance

for President Poincaré's pardon.



Even if the only one

to still believe in it



is him.

Number      recruited in Corsica.



Angel Bassignano.



According to all who'd known him,



he was no angel at all.



He was a liar, a cheat, a show-off,



a sneak and a troublemaker.



Before all this,



Tina Lombardi worked as his whore.



He'd received a  -year sentence for

an affair of either love or honour,



depending on who he was talking to.



It was, in fact, a conflict

between village pimps.




common-law criminals were enlisted



to beef up regiments

melted in the fires at Verdun.



They gave him the choice.



It's been shitting shells

round here!



No, it's been rather quiet.



Who are those for?



Well, actually...

you'll be attacking tomorrow.



We're getting a head start.



Watch out for the wire!



The fifth was a "Cornflower",

the nickname for the class of '  .



He was five months shy of   .



These days, everything scared him.



French canons short-firing,



the wind that heralded

the mustard gas attacks,



executions to set an example.



He hadn't been like that before,



quite the opposite,



braving storms as he helped

lighthouse keepers.



And then came one shell too many.



There you go... The winning ticket

back to your fiancée.



The ticket for a court-martial.



Turn a blind eye, Sarge.

He's been through enough.



They could execute him.



- Be human for once.

- Shut up!



Please, Sarge!



Shut up!



The first time

Mathilde and Manech made love,



he fell asleep,

his hand on her breast.



Each time his wound throbs,



Manech feels Mathilde's heart

in his palm.



Each beat brings her closer to him.



If Manech were dead,

Mathilde would know.



Since the death notice,



she stubbornly holds on to her

intuition, like to a flimsy wire.



She never gets discouraged.



And Mathilde

is of a cheerful disposition.



If that wire doesn't lead her

to her lover, never mind...



she can always use it as a noose.



In June      Mathilde received

a letter from a nun.



A patient at the Rennes hospital

wants to see her.



He'd met Manech in January '  

at the Front in the Somme.



August     .



Handsome, wasn't I?



It's a De Dion,



with direct drive.



Please, tell me about Manech.



In January '  



I escorted five condemned soldiers.



He was one of them...






I was to take them

to a front-line trench.



Gendarmes were waiting

with the prisoners



near a bombed-out cemetery.



What are you doing

with those German boots?






What for?



Poincaré's pardon? You'll wait!



He'll sign it!



I shouldn't

even have been condemned.



I'm Corsican, not French!



Leave him be.



He's lost it,

but that's for the best.



Finished, Lieutenant?



The cold has saved that one.



Gangrene would've got him

in summer.



And Manech?



Was he in pain?



They had to cut off two fingers,



but he wasn't suffering anymore.



I led them to a trench,



called "Bingo Crépuscule".



Bloody hell!



Couldn't you have lost them

on your way?



A kick in the ass

to get rid of them!



My orders

are to bring you these five.



And I'll tell you my orders!



I'm to throw these guys over the top



and leave them to die like dogs



between our line and the Jerries'!



Those are my damned orders,




You see, Sergeant, with the Jerries,



It's a little too calm?

Let's start the fireworks



and watch all hell let loose!



Soup, guys!

You're lucky, it's still warm.



Beetroot and fennel.



What can I get for you?



A large hot chocolate

and some bread with honey.



I'd kill my parents to get you that!



Do you mind, Lieutenant?



He's an orphan!



He'll get it. Célestin Poux

is the "Mess Hall Marauder",



the "Kitchen Raider".



Fifteen minutes later,

he came back with it all.



Salted Guérande butter,



lavender honey,






cocoa from Nigeria!






Tell me, Cornflower,



you've no one to write to?

A fiancée?






Her name is Mathilde.



I hear her heart beating,

like Morse code.



We're engaged.



Luckily, we won't have to wait

till the end of the war.



Now I can go straight home

after the execution.



Should I spare you the rest?



I'm lame, not dim.



What happened?



We opened the barbed wire



and equipped the five

against the cold.



Célestin Poux gave up a red woolen

glove to protect your fiancé's hand.



Are they far?



Too far for grenades,

too near for artillery.



Gas is out of the question.

The gasser always gets it!



Think they'll make it?



If they're not blown to bits,

they'll starve and freeze.



Either way, it'll amuse the Jerries.



A Corporal gave Bastoche,

the carpenter, a hug.



It was Corporal Gordes.



They clearly knew each other

before the war.



And then,



over they went.



- Shit...

- Shut up.



- Shit!

- Shut up!



September '  .



    pound weight, easy!



And I wasn't at my best!



But that morning,



in January '  

was Manech still alive?



At dawn,

Favart called out their names.



Apart from the Dordogne farmer,

they all replied.












What now?






Yeah, still here!



The Cornflower,

hide yourself better.



Notre Dame!



That's all I know.



I wrote up my report

with a heavy heart.



About time, Esperanza! The Brits

are replacing us, we're off.



So, Bingo-thingy?



What's that?



The condemned prisoners' list,

signed by Capt. Favourier.



Give it to me.



Don't just stand there like that.

This isn't Pompeii!



You've been promoted.

You're off to the Vosges.



Even so, Sir,



this expedition is going to be

hard to swallow.



Lucky you.



Where you're going, there's

mustard gas and throat lozenges.



The famous Vosges sweets.






A few months later,

I was wounded, in the Somme.



I ended up in the same ambulance

as Chardolot,



a corporal from Bingo Crépuscule.



But he only had

a few days left to live.



It's me. Esperanza.



Bingo Crépuscule, remember?



Sorry, I don't recognize you.



The five thrown over

into no-man's-land,



what happened to them?



What do you think?



No one made it.



Your conscience bothering you,




You should've stuck around.



You'd have seen capital Ms,



underwear being waved

and a flying albatross.



You're delirious with fever!



We sent over five men

and recovered five stiffs.






My eyes are gone but I can imagine

your expression and I like it.



He really spoke of capital Ms

and an albatross?



And underwear.



Here you go, Miss.



In here



are the prisoners' belongings

I was to return to their families.



My health's prevented it.



That's the letter

the Dordogne farmer, Notre Dame,



wrote to his wife.



I sent the original

just after Bingo.



You're here

because of the mustard gas?



Not even. Damned Spanish flu!



Death moves in mysterious ways.



If you can't cry, try talking.



If you can't talk, say nothing.



But sometimes,

talking can bring on the tears.



Tears say what you can't say,



if you get my drift?




you can just keep that sour-face!



Little Louis,

tell Véro I'm thinking of her.



Shame she won't talk to me.



Saw Biscuit, we patched things up.



Adieu, my friend. Bastoche.



"Benoît Notre Dame, number     .

I won't be writing for a long time."



Tell old Bernay

I want to settle up by March.



His manure's too costly,

watch out for him.



Tell my Baptistin that I so love



that he'll be fine

if he listens to his dear mother.



She's the kindest person I know.

Love you. Benoît.



"For Tina Lombardi,

from Angel Bassignano."



If Chickpea comes in before

dinner's called, Manech is alive.



I'm not hungry.



Dinner's ready.



Mathilde, dinner!






Mathilde was born

the   st of January,     .



It's easy for calculating her age.



In      her parents died

in the n°    bus accident.



Since then,



Mathilde often says to herself,



"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust!

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust..."



Her uncle and aunt,



Sylvain and Bénédicte,

have raised her,



with her parents' life insurance

invested by Pierre-Marie Rouvière.



When she was five,

Mathilde came down with polio.



She was bedridden for months,



despite mustard compresses...






and four-leaf clover infusions.



Today, Mathilde is twenty.



She plays the tuba.



It is the only instrument capable

of imitating a distress call.



Chickpea, the dog,

farts in his sleep.



When she hears it,

Bénédicte never fails to say,



Doggie fart, gladdens my heart.



Mathilde needs daily treatment.



Since the Armistice, Georges Cornu,

a swimming champion,



massages her.



She used to get embarrassed,

but she got over it.



Mathilde sometimes imagines

that Georges admires her,



tormented with desire.



What's more, he once said,



You do have a fine figure, Miss.



And I've kneaded quite a few.



After that,

how should she call him?



Dear Georges...



My dear Georges...







before falling asleep,



she imagines herself

in arousing situations.



Mathilde doesn't need

to fantasize for very long



before reaching fulfilment.



Since his disappearance,



she can't bear to think about her

fiancé as she satisfies herself.



That's the way it is...



If I were you, Mathilde,

I'd forget him.



Why chase pipe dreams?



If he was alive,

you'd have heard from him.



He was taken prisoner.



And stayed with a German girl

with braids and big boobs!



A Breton boy eating sauerkraut!






- Can I help?

- Keep your feet on the ground.



I stand on my own two feet!



- What?

- Never mind.



I heard you anyway.



But your dreams don't stand up.




can't have been taken at Bingo.



Our men took the trench facing it.



Normally, it's the winners



who take prisoners.



So he's lost his mind.



Or he's in hiding,

to avoid hard labour.



Stop dreaming, Mathilde!



Face up to it.



You'll find a husband, despite...



Something's off-key.



I'll find the "Mess Hall Marauder",

Célestin Poux.



What can I get for you?



Or the Corsican's whore.

She might know more than me.



Tomorrow, I go to Paris.



What for?



To find a survivor

from Bingo Crépuscule.



Germain Pire, Private Detective

The Peerless Pry



I'm used to handling

red-hot affairs.



I've a cupboard full.



Scandals that would've been

brushed under the carpet...



brought to light by Pire's prying.



Take this big affair...



very delicate.



In '   a train derails.

    soldiers on leave, dead.



The enquiry reveals how

an officer ordered the departure,



despite faulty brakes.



A total cover-up

by Poincaré's government.



The victims' families only hope

of finding the officer?



Germain Pire!



The Peerless Pry.



Peerless, Miss.

I found their officer,



to the military's great displeasure.



Granted, he was dead and buried.



I'll just pack my bags and be on

my way to track down Poux Célestin



and the Corsican's fiancée.



And your fees, Mr. Peerless Pry?



The Pry only bleeds dry

sitting ducks, Miss.



For you, I can do...



   francs a day.



Plus expenses, of course.



Why so kind?



Hélène, come and say hello.



Don't worry about expenses.

Germain Pire eats little,



doesn't drink and tips sparingly.



Notre Dame de Paris?



Not Notre Dame de Paris!



I'm calling from Paris

about Notre Dame Benoît!



Benoît Notre Dame!



A strapping,

good-hearted farmer.



Died for his country.



I've lost many a parishioner.



Are his wife and Baptistin

still there?




Miss Minet, I can't hear a thing!



No. She upped and left one day,

with no forwarding address.



Is that a choir I hear?



Of course, it's a choir!

We are in a church, Miss!



But that's no hymn at your end!



Thank you, Father. Goodbye.



Bingo Crépuscule!



I can't make head nor tail of it!



I thought you liked defending

lost causes.



Your impertinence

was charming at    not at   !



Then start taking me seriously.



You're wasting your money

on a grotesque crusade!



Bingo Crépuscule!

Why not Yippee doodle-doo?



I want access to army archives.



Let's say

there's an ounce of truth in this.



If one man has survived,

he risks hard labour!



And you know it!



Your prying would put him

in great danger!



Be reasonable.



Your parents entrusted me...



"Ashes to ashes..."



That's just it.



They entrusted you

with my happiness.






Thank you, Pierre-Marie.



Don't be like that,

my dear Mathilde.



I'm thinking of your future.



Sorry to see your health's worsened,

despite the massages.



I'll see what I can do.



It doesn't only happen in Lourdes!



I'm looking for Tina Lombardi.

I knew her when she was little...



Ladies, I'm Tina Lombardi's uncle



and I'd like to know...



Excuse me...



I look after

the Lombardi family's interests



and I'm looking for Tina.



She's come into some money.



You're the one

looking for Tina Lombardi?



Well, actually...



Ever been to Corsica?



Very pretty, very picturesque.



But Tina's walking the street



somewhere else.




a highly-placed member of the Police



picked up her trail in Bar-Le-Duc.



Valentina Emilia Maria Lombardi,

aka Tina,



was registered in     



near the   rd regiment's camp

of Marseilles.



Since the Armistice,

the chick has flown the coop!



I've lost her trail,

but I've been busy.



She's disappeared into thin air.



So, you're giving up.



Not at all.



Pire never admits defeat.

Pire is stubborn.



Pire's peer doesn't exist.



Perfect! Thank you.



Just a little bit.



Not my eyes.



Careful with that!



What can I get you?



This is my fiancé.



And him,



the carpenter...



I think you know him.



My throat's dry.



- "Good glass of wine..."

- "Keeps the doctor in line."



My great-aunt's motto.



Died in      in Besançon,

she was   .



Never sick a day...



Good luck.



Touch wood.



The war?



A hyena in the Botanical Gardens.



I was showing off, stroking it.



Bastoche and Biscuit made this.






His best friend. They met in     



during the floods,

saving a lady's life.



Bastoche was talented



but Biscuit... a genius.



A magician with a chisel!



He pegged all the articulations.



This is for you.




tell Véro I'm thinking of her.



"Shame she won't talk to me.



"Saw Biscuit, we patched things up.



"Adieu, my friend. Bastoche."



To patch things up means

they'd argued. You know why?



A mystery.



They went through hell together,



the Marne, the Woëvre, the Somme...



Then one day, and who knows why,

they stopped talking.



Biscuit was transferred.



He died

in a military hospital bombing.



I'm glad they finally

patched things up.



They won't be queuing up outside,




Pour me one?



She's thirsty!



A wooden hand, a heart of gold.



To love.



True love!



But who was Véro?



Véronique Passavant.

His regular, his woman.



They often came in together.



Why would they have argued?



He may have strayed

and she wouldn't forgive him.



There you go. '   this way.



What exactly are the red files?



Secret defence.



You need a mandate

from someone high up.



Of course, they're upstairs!



Go and help him.



Let's say

you were someone high up...



then you could give us the mandate.



If I thought like that,

I wouldn't be an officer.



Consider yourself lucky

you've been allowed in.



It usually takes months.



It looks tidy

but it's really a mess.



So, the Somme...



The Bouchavesnes sector,

trench    .



What a state...



Look at this. Appalling!



May I help?



Thank you for replying favourably

to the General...



We're very good friends.




two friends of mine died there.




the battles in that trench...



Paris wasn't much better.



Couldn't even find a taxi

after the opera.



So I heard!



We'd like information on trench    .



Posting slips, trenches        .



Trench    . Where's    ?



Trench    .



How annoying,

it's written on both sides!



Trench    .



"Dug by the Germans,

taken by us in      and renamed



"Bingo Crépuscule."

Why not Yippee doodle-doo?



"January  th, nothing to report.



"The  th, heavy combat with losses.



"Killed in action:

Capt. Favourier, history teacher.



"Lt Benoît Estrangin,

insurance agent.









Certain losses

are filed confidential.



Confidential? You mean...






Can't you...



Sorry, we can't look any further.



Not even the General.






Thank you for the time you've taken.



You're welcome.



Nothing here of interest.

Posting slips, commissary bills.



The routine.



I assumed as much.



It was to be expected.



You've gone too far!



I do hope this paper

wasn't filed secret defence!



You must tell me if it's important.



It's nothing.



Just a leave.



From the President?



That's right.



President Poincaré

sometimes granted a leave



to a deserving soldier.



End of story!



I'll see you out.



Corporal Bouquet Kléber...



Corporal Gaignard Francis...



Private Notre Dame Benoît...



Private Bassignano Angel...



Private Langonnet Manech...



For self-mutilation,

you are sentenced to death.



lf, before the count of  

the train hasn't entered the tunnel,



or the ticket inspector hasn't come,



Manech is dead!









Ticket, please!



April fool!



When the newspaper strike is over,

we can place your ad.



"Reward for information concerning

Bingo Crépuscule."



Encouraging her

won't bring back her appetite.



Take her to the Quimper Fair.



What for?



A change of scenery.



You might meet a nice boy.



What for?



To get married and have children.

Tell her!



Can you pour me one?



You drink now?



"Glass of wine

keeps the doctor in line."



Where's that from?



Dead-Hand barman

with a wooden hand.



His aunt's motto. Died at a hundred,

in Besançon,     .



Repeat that?



In Besançon, in     



a    year-old lady left behind

a wooden-handed nephew,



owner of the Dead-Hand bar,

in Golden Hand St,



to whom she often said

what Sylvain just asked me.



She's already drunk!






An albatross is stubborn.



He knows he can outlast the wind.



Hey, my gravel!



My gravel!



Véronique Passavant,

  th of July,     .



I'm writing from Little Louis' bar.

He told me about you.



I must tell you about an encounter



which left me quite shaken up.



I headed for Bastoche's workshop.

I was feeling down.



I want to talk to Bastoche.






He died. At the Front in the Somme.

Didn't you know?



I know something else.






From the hospital,

where I care for dying syphilitics,



a patient sends you this.



If you don't want to die, covered

with oozing sores, answer me!



The comrade hiding

with your Bastoche...



Tell me...



tell me he's Corsican.



I was already traumatized by nuns

when I was little!



Tina Lombardi

knows something we don't.






The Lombardi girl...



she knows something we don't.



That would prove

Bastoche had escaped.



With another condemned prisoner.



That hussy obviously thinks

it's her Angel.



But if Bastoche had escaped,

he'd have looked out for Manech.



If he escaped...



Give me that.



With "ifs",

a flea could carry an elephant.






But without "ifs",

might as well hang myself.



Thanks to you, I spend my time

picking gravel out of the lawn!



When I see gravel, I make it a point

of arriving in style.



For the Miss.



Leprince Hardware,

Paris,   th of July,     .



Sunday lends itself to writing.

I'm replying regarding



Célestin Poux and other survivors

from Bingo Crépuscule.



I knew the fellow.

The smartest thief I ever met.



Thanks to him,

I never went without!



Olivier Nergeton,

Animated Toys.



Célestin Poux was our salvation,



aka the Mess Hall Marauder

or Justa Bit More.



He falsified losses,



making up numbers

to give double rations.



If you should see him,

tell him we'll never forget him.



Etienne Morillon, teacher,

 rd of August,     .



He always had us laughing.



He had even trained

the company's mascot for us!



Good morning. What weather!



Germain Pire, private detective.



Mathilde has spoken of you.






Tell Mathilde to come down.



That Mr. Pry is here to see her.



Poux's been hopping around.



Two days in Dreux,

then Troyes, Castre,



five days in Sète.



It'll take luck and patience

to land him.



Too bad.



Hélène, some savoury biscuits.



Taste them.



Tell me what you think.



The kitchen's more comfortable.



Thank you, Bénédicte.



I'll leave you.



Poux can't stay in one place,

whereas Tina Lombardi...



she's got us running in circles.



I know.

And she's the queen of disguise.



Anything new on Biscuit?



That's Benjamin Gordes.



The day he won



the Carpentry Prize

for the sixth consecutive year.



That's right.






Bastoche's best friend,



is none other than Benjamin Gordes.



A soldier from their company



said they were like brothers

before it went sour.



- Why won't you tell me?

- Stop it!



Tell me!



I don't want to fight you,

so stop it!



Why won't you talk?



Whose idea was it?




No, it was your idea!






It was his idea!



All because of a woman!



Véronique Passavant

finished with Bastoche in June '  .



And just after, he fought like

a mad dog with Benjamin Gordes.



Don't need to be Pythagoras!



They didn't meet again

before Bingo Crépuscule?



Where it all ended!



No, where it all begins, Mr. Pire.



Where it all begins...



Tina Lombardi is sure

Bastoche is alive.



What made him different

from the others that evening?



He was the only carpenter?



Something made Bastoche

different from the others.



His German boots!



He was the only one

with German boots!



Of course. You're right!



Tina Lombardi's discovered that

a man with German boots survived!



I bet he was seen with a comrade!



I saw two soldiers

who looked like tramps.



One wore boots taken from a Jerry.



He was holding up the other.



We also know Bastoche had patched

things up with his best friend!






Did it change the course of events

that night?



If I don't break the peel,



Gordes managed to save

Bastoche and Manech.



I'm never going to get that pie

in the oven!



I must go back to Paris.



I must go back to Paris.




That money's going up in smoke.



"Ashes to ashes..."



Pilot fish!



Excuse me, Elodie Gordes?



Over there, selling carrots.



Thank you.



Never seen him!



Which one don't you know?



Him, by any chance?



Why did Bastoche and Biscuit argue?

Was it over you?



I have nothing to say!



- I want to know!

- Leave me alone!



They last met at Bingo Crépuscule.



My fiancé was also there.

With Bastoche.



In that shithole of a trench!



I want to understand.



I want to understand!



It's not what you think.



I can't talk about it.

Give me your address.



My spelling's terrible



but I'll explain it all in a letter.



I promise.



Go ahead! My gravel!



Nothing for me?






Nothing for me?



Just the newspaper.



They talk about everything

except Elodie Gordes.



Very funny!



You should read it,

one can learn things!



Has the President opened an inquest

on Bingo Crépuscule?



He might have done,



if he hadn't fallen from a train

in his pyjamas.



Well, he wears pyjamas!



He wears pyjamas!



We recovered five stiffs.






We knew you were a thief.

But a pyromaniac?



All for me?



No. Just this one.



If I'm not picking up gravel,

I'm picking up the postman!



The gravel's gone? A fair fight.



Fighting is never fair.



- Can I offer you a short one?

- Won't say no.



Miss, I beg you to keep my secret

to yourself.



When I met my husband,

he already had four children.



None were his.



Out of kindness,

he'd married a widow with TB.



She was Polish, like me.



He adopted her children

before her death.



I was also an unmarried mother.



He then found himself

the father of five,



though he couldn't have any

of his own.



You're going to run me over!



We had four years of tenderness.



We had plans.



We dreamt

of seeing the sea together.



Then the war came.



I thought Bastoche

would take care of him,



their being posted together.



But during his leave,

in September,     



just after the battle of Artois,



I knew

nothing would ever be the same.



Over there,

it's all we have to keep going.



Once, in a burning field,

I saw some comrades...



Their cartridge belts

exploded like fireworks.



Once, we even had to use

the body of a friend



as a shield.



There had been something

on his mind.



He came out with it

on the second night.



If I desert, the gendarmes

will come and get me.



My only way out

is to have a sixth child.



If you have six children,

they send you home.



As I said,

he couldn't have children.



I didn't dare think

what was on his mind,



but he just wouldn't let it go.



It's not betrayal if I'm asking you.



Especially if it's with Bastoche.



Don't touch!



The five aren't mine,

so why not a sixth?



You'd have nine months to wait.

The war will be over by then.



It will never be over. Never!



They'd be nine months of hope.

Have you no heart?



And then one day, I found a note

from Kléber Bouquet,



known as Bastoche,



saying to tie a coloured cloth at

the window if he wasn't to come up.






I'd love some!



- After you.

- Please.



Thank you.






No, thank you.



It's mother of pearl?



Yes, Benjamin made it.



- It's odd...

- How strange we never met.



The children aren't here?



Yes, but...



they're playing outside.



- A pick-me-up?

- Please.



No, no... Sorry.



I don't fancy one.



Neither do I.



Elodie, we'll say we've done it.



It'll calm him down.



It will make things easier

for you, for me...



for everybody.



Funny how your smile

opens the parentheses.



I'll close them

as late as possible...



In two days, at the train station.



Come on...



give me one last smile.



To close the parentheses.



I didn't even get pregnant!



But soon, fear no longer tormented

my husband.



It was jealousy.



"Where? When? Often?

Which positions?"



"Did you enjoy it?" It became

a living hell for both of us.



Now, Bastoche is dead,

as you know,



and my husband was killed

in a hospital bombing.



It's a relief to confide in you.

At times, I think I'm going mad.



Elodie Gordes.



Matti! Hurry up.



Mr. Rouvière is on the phone.

He's waiting.



Come on!



Mathilde? Pierre-Marie here.



I have some bad news.



Not really bad... News you're

already supposed to know.



But news you can no longer ignore.



You were right about one thing...



Manech and his four comrades

were in that absurdly named trench.



They were buried

in the Herdelin cemetery,



after being temporarily buried

under a tarpaulin in a bomb crater.



That's that, my dear Mathilde.



In June,     

Mathilde is   years old.



Manech Langonnet is   .



Does it hurt when you walk?



It's Friday, or Saturday...



Mathilde can't remember.



Do you have any friends?



I can be your friend.



Do I stink of fish?



Ever been

to the top of the lighthouse?



I can carry you

to the top of the stairs.



Because my dad's the keeper!



Be stuck-up then! Church mouse!

Country bumpkin!



Do you want a kick in the pants?



Can you see far from the top?



I'm going to gobble up your ears!



I'll throw you in the dungeon!



I am the squid's servant!



Doggie fart, gladdens my heart!



Manech's Marrying Mathilde!



Mathilde's Marrying Manech!



- I don't smoke.

- I know, but take it...



It'll help you make new friends.



If I reach the bend before the car,



Manech will come back alive!



If I reach the bend...



If I reach the bend

before the car...



Manech will come back alive...



If I reach the bend...



You used to brag

about being one year older than me.



Now I'm older than you.



The man who gave you his glove

is called Poux.



Célestin Poux.



Funny, isn't it?



The man I hired to find him is Pire.



Germain Pire.



Strange name, too.



Either way, he hasn't found him.

Nor the Corsican's whore.



The wire's snapped, Manech,



but I'm not giving up.



I still believe

that Tina Lombardi's a lead.



I need to be sure.



You understand, right?



That's why

I must find Célestin Poux.



You can be really annoying,

you know.



We would be

so much better in Brittany.



Let's go, Mathilde.



You'll catch cold.






What do you want?



Who are you?



Was it you who phoned?



Who are you?



The days go by.

Still no news of Célestin Poux.



Mathilde's sadness is overwhelming.



She must eat.

She's making herself ill.



Leave her the marrowbone.



Her sadness is beginning

to rub off on us.



And so,



in the middle of the night

on the   th of September,     



the wire is re-tied.




I've finally found the roaming Poux.



"Sent by the grace of God

and Davidson motors.



"All expenses paid, of course.

Germain Pire."



Célestin Poux, Terror of the Tarmac!



The ad was yours?



Mathilde tightly clasps her hands,



to keep from shaking and crying



and making a fool of herself.



I didn't actually see

your fiancé get hit.



I went to get the stew



and ran into Lebègue,

a guy I met in the Vosges.



A native of the Meuse.

Or rather a naïve of the Meuse.



Even so, he could tell good coffee

from a stomach remedy.



I know. I tried to sell him

a mixture of coffee and charcoal



in exchange for

some Dutch tobacco.



So, the last time you saw Manech,



he was alive?



You couldn't miss him.



Carving Ms on a burnt tree trunk,



smack in the middle

of no-man's-land.



He carved three Ms

before the albatross got him.









"Great sweeping sea bird,



"indolent traveling companion,



"gliding with ships



"upon bitter deep."



It's a poem by Baudelaire.



It was also a Jerry bomber.



The machine gun was at the rear.



We couldn't shoot yet

through the propeller.



It was you who gave him the glove?



A thick woolen red one.



My fiancée spent her time

knitting scarves and mittens for me.



I traded them

with frostbitten Senegalese



in exchange for Germans' gold teeth.



I melted them down

after the Armistice.



They paid for my Harley.






are you sure Manech's dead?



A comrade told me,

with a wound like that...



he didn't stand a chance.



I only saw three of them get killed

with my own eyes.



I surrender!



I surrender!



Don't shoot!



I beg you! I surrender!



Let me through!



I'm on your side!



I'm not French, I'm Corsican!



I've nothing against you!



Poor bastard.



So, he's not French!



Let's cancel his birth certificate.



A French corporal dealt with him...



Thouvenel. A trigger-happy swine!



He had a heart made of stone,

but a sharp eye.



Poor bastard!



I guess you like it.



I'd kill my parents for a good stew!



Don't worry, he's an orphan.



The same goes for truffles.



If you like truffles,

I have one from Périgord...



Which ones did you see die?



The one with gangrene.






Yes, the welder.






Before dying...



I have a final request.



I want to piss standing up.



Like a man!



And then, you can fire away

to your heart's content!



So long to life, so long to love



So long to all those women



It's all over



Done forever



This shameful war



At Craonne, on the plateau



That's where we'll leave our skins



For we've all been sentenced



We are the sacrificed



And Bastoche?



He was so well hidden,



we couldn't locate him.



Even at dawn,

when he answered roll call,



no one knew where he was.

A ventriloquist!



No, he was a carpenter.



No matter.



He was shot down by the Albatross,

along with your fiancé.



The Albatross caught fire

and crashed on the enemy line.



Return to sender.



What about the Dordogne farmer?



He played dead from the beginning.

Not that it saved him.



The Jerries didn't appreciate

the grenade.



Don't look!

lt'll only make it worse.



When I got back with the stew,

bullets were flying everywhere.



Heavy shelling had begun.



Damn! No one can imagine

what it's like.



Can't move your legs, your heart

beats like a scared animal.



Then I saw the Dordogne farmer

shatter into pieces.




before we're all slaughtered.



Prepare bayonets!



All that was nothing

compared to what followed.



For France!






We'd passed

the five prisoners bodies



when the Jerry machine guns

started spitting bullets.



We were wiped out!



That Lavrouye bastard!

He kept the paper to himself.






What paper?



That's all he said.



That evening, there was enough food

to feed an army.



Favart and Chardolot

were counting losses.



Why do those five

show up on our battalion list?



We're only following orders.



Something stinks here.



Something stinks?

Lavrouye stinks.



This food doesn't.

Dig in before it gets cold.



It's cold!



So you only saw

three of them get killed.



With your own eyes.



False hope

will only make you suffer.



They're not false!



You'll taste my cake?



I don't know if I should.



With a bit of fresh cream.



If you insist...



I like people

who appreciate my food.



I'll put her to bed.



Let's all get some sleep.



Slow down!



You lack control, no style...



You're better at raking

than skidding!



Hey, Postman! I'll drop you off

at the next letterbox.



And my bike?



Leave it to me. I fought in the war!

I don't have a desk job.



It's not my fault. I'm asthmatic!



An asthmatic who rides a bike!



- By the sea.

- Sure, by the sea!



Célestin, it's not a sidecar.



Those men, they never grow up...



As long as they don't play soldiers.



"Tell old Bernay... settle up

by March. His manure's too costly..."



He wouldn't write such trivialities.

Don't you agree?



There must be a code.



Except lovers' codes



can't be cracked with brains

or divine intervention.



And Bastoche?



If he was seen with his German

boots, he must have survived.



Not so, Miss.



Gordes didn't let him go over

the top with those boots.



If the Jerries see these,



they'll know

you've stripped one of their dead.



So Tina Lombardi's

on the wrong track.



The one with the boots



wasn't Bastoche.



It was Gordes!



That's right, Miss!



He was with a boy,



from the class of '  ...




I'd met some stretcher-bearers

who'd just passed them.



Are you from Bingo?



Might be.



Tell them Gordes is wounded.



- He's with a boy who's worse off.

- Desrochelles.



- They're off to first-aid.

- With German boots!



Long Live Anarchy!






What's happened, Matti?



What did I say?



Open up!



Be reasonable.



- What did you do?

- Nothing.



You've known he's dead

for three years.



I call that stubbornness.



No, I call that hope.



Poux has just killed it.



If I can do anything...



You can.



Take me to Bingo Crépuscule.



An Indian princess on her elephant.



With her hunters,

on the Trail of Sorrow.



It was there!



Right there!



At a hundred yards, facing Bingo,



was Erlangen, the Jerry trench.



Where's the burnt tree trunk?



All the stumps and debris



were used to fill in the trenches.



We found the five over there,

under a tarpaulin,



covered with earth.



- Not a pretty sight.

- No doubt!



The youngest was only a boy.



Was he wearing a glove?



A red, woolen glove?



They all had

one bandaged hand, but...



nothing on the other.

I can't remember seeing a glove.






I don't like him digging like that.



Around here,



you never know what junk

you might come across,



that can blow off an arm or a leg.



It's the crypt!



There was a chapel

between the two trenches.



It was in ruins.




I don't recognize a thing.



Could Manech have lost the glove

as he fell?



It was tightly knitted

and tightly fitted.



I used the other one in the kitchens

until the end of the war.



Maybe he took it off to carve?



I couldn't say.



But I don't think so.



What sort of red was it? Bright red?



A flashy red.



With white dots.

Looked like maggots on an apple!



Sorry to disturb you like this.



My husband's family

suffered greatly in the war.



I didn't want to go over



to a French soldier's table

in front of him.



What can you tell me?



Before dying, my brother Gunther



saw your fiancé carve

those three letters on a tree.



He was wearing a red, spotted glove.



A comrade of Gunther's

told me the story.



When our plane

shot down your fiancé,



they were sick to the stomach.



After that,



it was a nightmare.



God spared

that French soldier twice.



Then... your side attacked.



They killed my brother.



He was    years old.



I came to see his cross

at the cemetery.



I'm sorry.



Time heals all. You'll see.



I'll get back,

he'll be getting worried.



Seems I haven't killed it.









What now?



Tina Lombardi.

She's going to the guillotine!



They call her the "Officer Killer".



She's killed Lavrouye and Thouvenel.



And planned to kill Maréchal Pétain.



When I think you sat in a wheelchair

to soften me up!



I'll talk only to you,



because I know we're very similar.



We'll leave them alone.



What I did,

you could've done, too.



I don't think so.



I'd be too scared.



I'm not scared.



And I regret nothing.



Except my hair.



I'll be treated to a bowl-cut

before the execution.



I'll look like Joan of Arc

when I see my Angel!



Why did you want to kill Pétain?



Throwing mutilated soldiers

over the top was his idea.



Why not Poincaré?



He refused them a pardon.



You don't know?



He did pardon them.

All five!



It's just a leave.



Lavrouye kept the paper for himself.



Why did that dog Lavrouye do that?



Because dirty dogs play dirty.

That's all.



Trust me on this.



I took care of him!



You and I have been running

the same investigation.



Each in our own way.



Looking for survivors from Bingo,



I picked up a male nurse

who'd treated Angel and the others.



This guy, Phillipot,

was sure he'd seen one of them.



A big man, with a head wound.



He was a big man.

Head wound, German boots...



He wore German boots and

was carrying a thin-built soldier.



I think that's about right.

I'm even sure of it.



A big man, head wound...



His superior told him

to keep his mouth shut.



You can imagine

how overwhelmed with hope I was.



And then, I met the man

who shattered my dreams.



Chief Sergeant Favart.



He told me how that pig Thouvenel

had shot my Angel, just like that!



Like taking a leak.



I took care of him, too!



It was an obsession.



Kill all those who hurt my man.



Your Angel left you this.



"Vengeance is pointless.

Try to be happy,



"and don't ruin your life for me.



"Your Angel from Hell."



Departure for Paris,

Platform  .



Gordes, the one who switched boots

with Bastoche...



was he big?



Biscuit? He was no athlete.

Just a guy like you or me.



And you have no news

of Desrochelles?



He didn't make friends easily.

He lived alone with his mother.



I must go. I'm boarding in an hour

for Venezuela.



Good luck, Célestin!



To you too!



When I think

you hid Poincaré's pardon!



I didn't want to throw salt

on the wound.



I'd like one last favour.



I suppose it concerns Bingo-thingy?



Son of bookseller,

Desrochelles Paul,



born in Sarreguemines,



died in February,     ...



That's it, Desrochelles Jean!






In Saintes.



In the Charentes.



Tell me, Mr. Pire, Tina Lombardi...

You had an inkling



of what she was up to.



Luckily, your paths didn't cross.



He who pries, flies,

when danger lurks.



He who pries, pries,

but, from a distance.



I've a new lead for you.



Jean Desrochelles. Evacuated from

the Front on the  th of January '  .



His only next of kin was his mother,

the widow Desrochelles.



She lives at    rue de I'Abbaye.

Saintes, in the Charentes.



All the work's been done!



You've tried to reach me?



My brother's comrade,

the one I told you about...



He remembered something

that might interest you.



The two French soldiers

escorting him that morning,



wanted to go back through




They saw the prisoners' bodies.



One was in a kind of small cellar.



The French soldiers

seemed surprised.



I don't know if that can help you.



Thank you.



"Tell old Bernay

I want to settle up by March.



"His manure's too costly,

watch out for him."



"His manure's too costly..."



There must be a code.



Your Mr. Pry called!



He's run into a dead-end in Saintes.



I know!



Hello! Go ahead.



Yes, Miss. I remember you.



Old Bernay? No, never heard of him.



Benoît Notre Dame

used the manure from his animals.



He never bought it!



Thank you, Father.



I must decode this letter.



I think we're getting hot.



Will be - Bernay - March



Sell - Everything



Say - Nothing



Listen - No one






Excuse me,

the "End of the World" farm?



The last house

at the end of the road.



And if he doesn't come?



He'll come, don't worry.



Come back in two hours.



Hello, Mathilde.



It's dangerous

to want to bring back the dead.



When I saw your ad in the paper,



I knew, in time,

the gendarmes would come.



Don't worry.



I had the chance

to do away with you...



I let it go.



We knew you were a thief.

But a pyromaniac?



I couldn't kill you.



Now, even the rabbits and chickens,

my wife has to do it.



The war's taken it out of me.



You know what I want to hear.



Is he alive?



The last time I saw him,

he wasn't doing well.



But he's stronger than he looks.



Don't stay together.



When things calmed down,

I tried to get some sleep.



- Gaignard!

- You think we're at the whorehouse?



- Bouquet!

- What now?



Notre Dame?



Then the pimp tried to surrender.



And the welder

from Paris was killed.



Your fiancé started carving

on the tree.



Then, the Jerries' Albatross arrived.



I came to,

when the ground started shaking.



I don't know what happened.

I just saw that trapdoor



the shell had half-opened.



For France!






They entered no-man's-land.

At the second German line,



the machine guns got them.

A few hours later,



a voice woke me.



My God! Bastoche is dead!



We can't leave him here.



We'll come back.

He's not going anywhere.



Bastoche is dead.



Look, this one's still moving.



It's the Cornflower.

He's a goner as well.



A shell had ripped the door off.



One of the guys arrived,

in bad shape.



Bastoche is dead!



We're all going to die.



I recognized Bastoche's friend.



The one who'd taken

his German boots.



After eating, I smoked his tobacco.



Then, I heard more voices.



Let's go look over there.



Look here!



Damn it!



It's not the Cornflower.



What's he doing in there?



Where's the Dordogne farmer?



- I'm cold.

- Don't worry.



He was really messed up,



but your fiancé wanted to live.

I saw it in his eyes.



I put him on my shoulders

and set off through the trench.



He was burning with fever.



I felt the heat on my back.



And he was delirious.



Spoke of a heart

beating in his hand.



Hey, Corporal!



Only     yards to the hospital.



Want us to put your friend

on the stretcher?



No, thanks.



If you see any officers from Bingo,



tell them Corporal Gordes has gone

to the hospital with Desrochelles.



Have it your way!



I arrived just before the explosion.



Headquarters had the good idea

of setting up hospital



in a hangar containing

a hydrogen-packed zeppelin.



The Cornflower

has just been evacuated.



Will he make it?



His hip wound isn't too bad. But

he has a severe case of pneumonia.



You're both registered

according to your tag numbers.



I don't want to know anything else.

But good luck anyway!



Block the pulley!



Please !



After that, I walked to Bernay.



I had no idea if my wife

had received my letter,



so each day I waited for her

at the bus-stop.



With the money from the sale,

we bought a farm here.



The most isolated one we could find.



They call it "The End of the World".



That's it.






How strange.



You shot a hole

right through your lifeline.



Of course.



I died. At Bingo Crépuscule,

like your fiancé.



If ever you find

Jean Desrochelles alive somewhere,



let me know.



You know where to find me.



Make yourself at home!



At Christmas,

come down the chimney!



For Miss Mathilde.



I'll give it to her later.



If I were you...



I would wake her up.



What is it?



"He's alive.



"Stay where you are, Mathilde.



"Just stay where you are.



"I'm on my way.



"Germain Pire."



How silly I am!



Peerless on the prowl,

faster than a whippet!



He's well and truly alive,

but he's lost his memory!



Total amnesia. He even had to learn

to read and write again.



The psychiatrists treating him

since '   aren't hopeful.



But who knows?



There are as many amnesias

as amnesiacs.



Where is he?



In Milly-la-Forêt.



Orphaned for the second time.

He's just lost his adopted mother.



Pierre-Marie, do you know Mr. Pire?



By reputation.



An honour.




I'll believe it when I see it.



"With my own eyes!"



When Jean Desrochelles was born,



his mother was   

and had no other children.



When the gendarmes took him...



To replenish the troops in Ardennes.



She became depressed.



One day,

a comrade of her son visited her...






Unfortunately, it was Jean.



A shell had got him. He'd already

been dead for a few hours.



I should also tell you...



Maybe the youngest prisoner

has taken Jean's identity...



exchanging tag numbers.



She went off her rocker

the day the hospital rang her,



asking to come to her son's bedside.



He's sleeping. I'll leave you.



Who are you?



Your mother, my darling.



I'm your mother.



I ran my own little investigation.



Mrs. Desrochelles died

two months ago.



Run over by a truck

after a fight with a shopkeeper.



And I'm not guessing!



- It's in the report.

- We already knew that.



Don't get upset.



Mrs. Desrochelles didn't suffer,

she died straight away.



It's not that.



I feel so guilty!



I didn't believe you,

my dear Mathilde!



I should have known!



I'm so sorry.



In what she would refer to as

her "Milly Expedition",



the sun, the sky

and nature are with her.



As a true lady, she made

every effort to look her best.



Dressed in white for freshness,



lipstick for the occasion,

eyebrows shaped.



But none of that black

which lengthens the eyelashes.



She knows that tears

can make a mess of it.



He knows about your visit.



We said a young girl

he'd dearly loved was coming here.



He asked your name

and found it very beautiful.



He's in the garden.

He's waiting for you.



Does it hurt when you walk?



Want to see what I'm doing?



I'll show you later,

when it's finished.



But why are you crying?



Mathilde leans back

against her chair,



folds her hands in her lap

and looks at him.



In the sweetness of the air,

in the light of the garden,



Mathilde looks at him.



She looks at him...



She looks at him...

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