Hope and Glory (1987) Movie Script

In the dim light of early morning...
...perhaps also in the dim light
between peace and war...
...the king returns to London.
A few hours later, His Majesty
holds a Privy Council.
While hour by hour, the tension grows
all over the world.
Before lunch, Mr. Chamberlain returns
from an audience with the king.
In the afternoon, Parliament assembles
to write a new page in its long history.
There has been no doubt that every
British citizen would play his part.
London prepares its defences
against attack from the air.
It's every citizen's duty to know
what to do should an air raid come.
Do you know the warning signal? To
remind you, we repeat them, softly...
...to av oid alarming anyone who
might hear them outside this theatre.
All clear.
Have you brought your gas masks
for your family?
It was all they talk ed about,
getting ready for war...
...but nothing ever happened.
It was all words and no action.
Hopalong Cassidy,
on the other hand...
...now that was the real thing.
Sunday, the 3rd of September, 1939.
Everyone who is old enough
and was there...
...remembers exactly what they
were doing at that moment.
I had just gunned down
a couple of rustlers.
And then I slipped back
a few centuries...
...and I was riding
through an enchanted forest.
The magician Merlin
suddenly appeared before me...
...and my horse reared up in terror.
Then something even more
extraordinary happened.
All the Sunday-morning lawnmowers
suddenly stopped.
This is London. You will now hear
a statement by the prime minister.
I am speaking to you from
the Cabinet room in 10 Downing Street.
This morning,
the British ambassador in Berlin...
...handed the German government
a final note...
...stating that unless we heard
from them by 11:00...
...that they were prepared at once
to withdraw their troops from Poland...
...a state of war would exist
between us.
I have to tell you now...
...that no such undertaking
has been received...
...and that consequently,
this country...
...is at war with Germany.
His actions show convincingly...
Stop that, Sue!
She just sings it,
she doesn't even know what it means.
Where are my stockings?
I can't find my stockings.
Dawn, pet, they've started war.
Have they? That's not my fault.
I still need my stockings, don't I?
I don't want to hear
about your stockings!
It's an air raid!
Good God. They've started already.
Air raid!
Get down! Stay down!
It's the all clear.
They were just testing.
We all expected to be bombed right
away, but nothing happened for ages.
It was a perfect summer's morning...
...and everyone said, "Fancy starting
a war on such a beautiful day. "
Such a beautiful day to...
A few lawnmowers started up again,
but they didn't ring true somehow.
Nothing would ever be
the same again.
Are you gonna give me a hand,
Mac, or not?
Dad, it's full of water again.
Oh, blast!
Comes up through the clay.
You should've sealed it with hot pitch.
Caulked it, like the hull of a ship.
It's not fair on them.
It's selfish to keep them with you.
You remember that aunt
I told you about in Australia?
- Well, she has offered to have them.
- Snap it up.
Great chance for them.
I mean, a lot more future out there.
It's so far away.
I couldn't bear it.
Building an air-raid shelter
is hungry work, Grace.
Well, a few bombs
might wake up this country.
Take more than a few bombs
to wake up Dawn on a Sunday morning.
- This phoney war gets on my nerves.
- Morning.
If we're going to have a war,
I wish they'd start.
- Now, now, Dawn.
- Just ignore her, Mac.
Well, this waiting about's
getting us all down.
We'll have to wait
about 10 minutes for lunch.
- Still remember your drill, Mac?
- There you are.
Hup, two, three, dash.
You see that?
The moths haven't got this, then.
You kept the old Sam Browne
all these years?
- Certainly.
- And kept it polished.
Might come in useful.
Oh, steady. Steady.
Having received
His Majesty's permission...
...I have formed an administration
of men and women of every party...
...and of almost every point of view.
- Now one bond unites us all:
- Dad.
To wage war until victory is won...
...and never to surrender ourselves
to servitude and shame...
...whatever the cost...
- Come on.
...and the agony may be.
Bloody gin.
Always makes me cry.
Couple of crossed wires.
She only weeps when she's happy.
Oh, stop it, Molly.
You'll start me off now.
Now, Grace, Grace...
It's duty, Mac. It's our duty.
For a mug, Clive.
We did our bit in the last lot.
King and country call, Mac.
You'll go as soon as I will.
What did we know?
Couple of kids, 17.
I heard the drum and fife
yesterday, Mac...
...marching past.
Made my hair stand on end.
There we go.
There we go, Mol.
- We've been asleep for 20 years.
- Go to hell!
Come on.
- Good night, Molly.
- Good night.
Do you know what time it is?
Go to bed this minute.
Don't worry, Sue. We're not gonna be
like them when we grow up.
We're not even like them now.
We're standing in the pouring rain
off the side of...
- A road squelching with mud
and lined right away...
...over the plain to the far skyline with
the inevitable double row of poplars.
A few lorries only are splashing by
to and from the forward areas.
Coming down the road towards us...
...is a battalion that I know
to be the famous Irish Regiment.
They're marching in threes.
And in their full battle dress and kit...
...they blend with the dripping
green grass of the roadside...
...and the brown haystacks.
I rode into battle with a drawn sword
against the Turks.
Don't be a mug.
We did our bit in the last lot.
- Don't be a mug.
- I heard the drum and fife yesterday.
- This country...
- Marching past.
- Made my hair stand on end.
... is at war with Germany.
- A couple of kids, 17.
- I fought against the Turks.
- Your place is with Grace and the kids!
... wage war until victory is won.
Uncle Mac.
- Dad.
- Get up, boys.
- Well, it's lovely to see you.
- Absolutely smashing to see you.
- Take care of yourself.
- And you.
- See you in uniform, eh?
- Yeah.
- Take care.
- Take care.
Hello, kids.
Oh, sorry, kids.
I joined up.
I needed some Dutch courage
to tell your mother.
- Never say "die. "
- Steady the Buffs.
Up the arsenal!
He's one of the best.
Get away.
Daddy, you shut his hand
in the door.
Silly beggar.
We're trying to win a war...
...and you start off by shutting
your fingers in a car door.
My hand. Sorry.
That's it for the duration.
Pop in and give her a polish,
Billy boy...
...just now and then.
A car needs to be cherished.
Has Sue got it right?
What's that?
- You joined up.
- Oh, that.
I wish you could have
told me yourself.
Oh, Grace, it's not for long.
They say it'll be over by Christmas.
No, leave me...
I don't want...
Stop it.
Don't be daft. Act your age.
I can't cope on my own.
I better let the children go.
Nice catch, Billy.
...before I go, there's something
I want to tell you.
You're not quite old enough, but...
It's the googly.
Your hand is too small to master it.
But you can make a start.
Anyway, I'm gonna pass on the secret
now, father to son, in case...
In case anything happens to me.
All right.
You know the leg break, right?
And the off break.
Now, the googly
looks like a leg break...
...but it's really an off break. Got it?
Like this.
- That's like telling fibs.
- That's it.
When you tell a lie,
you want to get away with it.
But when someone else does,
you want to find them out.
A good batsman will spot a googly.
A good bowler will hide it.
Always remember that, son.
Bye, Grace.
Oh, Grace.
Tap's running.
Must go.
Be good.
- Bye-bye, Daddy.
- Bye, Dawn. Take care of Susie.
Bye, Billy.
- Goodbye, Billy.
- Billy.
Don't forget what I told you.
Bye-bye, darling. There you are.
- I wish I could pack you up.
- Bye-bye. You take care, won't you?
- Bye-bye.
- Bye.
We used to go away on our own
all the time, didn't we, Grace?
Ever so young.
You survive that lot,
the war should be no problem, son.
- Time to go.
- Oh, let's see them off.
Here is a special announcement.
Parents bringing children to the 4 p. M.
Special freight train to Southampton...
...are ask ed to leave their children
at the barrier to platform nine.
We regret that no parents can be
allowed onto the platform.
Please leave your children
at the barrier...
...and ensure that they carry the
correct labels for their destinations.
- Thank you.
- Bye.
Say goodbye and pass them through.
All right, Bill.
It won't be long, darling.
It won't be long, Susie.
Here, take the case, Bill.
Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Bye-bye, Susie.
I'll see you soon. Promise.
I'm gonna miss the war.
And it's all your fault.
Parents may not go
beyond the barriers.
Come on through.
Let's have a look at your label.
- I can't do it. What's the point?
- Grace, Grace.
Let me through. I want my family!
No one goes in there.
You signed the forms, didn't you?
Yes, I did.
And now I want them back!
- Come on.
- It's too late.
They're very lucky
to have got a place at all.
- Mac!
- Wait there.
Susie. Susie!
Come on, Susie, we're going home.
Here, take...
Leave me alone. I want to go.
I want to go.
In front of everybody!
They were all looking at us.
Why did you have to do it?
Please yourself.
- Come on!
- Grace.
- Changed your mind again?
- Yes, I have.
- Come on, let's go.
- Well, you're too late. Apply again.
On your head, be it.
Come on, kids.
Come on. It's all right.
Billy, come on, now. I'm sorry.
Wake up. Out of bed.
Susie, come on, darling.
Come on, up you get.
We better go down to the shelter.
- There we go.
- There we go.
Come on, Dawn, get your things.
It's freezing out.
All right, under the stairs.
In you get, Susie.
All right, Billy, light the candle.
There we go.
What would we do if a German
came into the house?
- Oh, Dawn, don't be silly.
- Well...
...why do you always bring
the carving knife in here?
Well, you never know.
It's getting closer.
Got him.
It's all right. She's only teasing, pet.
Carpet bombing.
Two and three...
...four and five...
...and six and...
I should have taken you
down to the shelter.
And four and five and six...
Why didn't I let you go to Australia?
- And three and four and five
and six and...
The next one's ours.
Either it hits us or it goes past.
Oh, please, God, not on us.
Drop it on Mrs. Evans. She's a cow.
Well, I'm not going to die in here
like a rat in a trap.
- Let me out. I'm going outside.
- No. Dawn. Dawn.
- I'm going. I'm going out.
- Dawn.
It's lovely. Lovely. Come and see
the fireworks, Billy.
Cor, look at that.
Get out of there!
It's still hot.
Get back!
Stay right where you are.
Susie, don't you move.
Come in at once.
I wash my hands of you
if you don't go in.
Come on!
Come on!
Get that water pressure up!
- Stand back.
- Get inside.
Get inside.
That poor woman.
Poor old London.
I think it's safe. Have you
got your sandwiches, Susie?
Now, Billy...
...keep to the pavement
and don't dawdle. Off you go.
- Bye, Mom.
- Bye-bye, Dawn.
- Could have been us, Evelyn.
- That's right.
There's so much shrapnel.
I'm so sorry, Peggy.
Come with us
and have some breakfast.
That's from a land-mine.
- Fuck.
- But...
Oh, God.
Line up. Line up. Get in line.
Come on, now.
Dressing from the right.
Late. My study before prayers.
Eyes front.
Keep still down there, you little ones.
It's discipline that wins wars.
Right turn.
Quick march. Left, right.
Left, right. Left, right.
Swing those arms.
O God, bring destruction
to our enemies.
Make these young ones
true soldiers of the Lord.
Guide Mr. Churchill's hand
in the cunning of war.
Let our righteous shells smite down
the Messerschmitts and the Fokkers.
Lord, send troublesome dreams
to Herr Hitler.
Let him not sleep
the sleep of the innocent.
And comfort our warriors
at the fronts.
Brighten their swords and burnish
their bullets with your fire.
We beseech thee, O Lord,
to have mercy on these, thy children.
We dedicate our studies this day
to the war effort.
Hymn number 540.
"Fight the Good Fight
With All Thy Might. "
Pink. Pink.
What are all the pink bits? Rohan?
- They're ours, miss.
- Yes.
They're British Empire.
What fraction of the Earth's surface
is British?
Don't know, miss.
Jennifer Baker.
- Two-fifths, miss.
- Yes. Two-fifths.
That's what this war is all about.
Men are fighting and dying
to save all the pink bits...
...for you ungrateful little twerps.
Page 17. "The British Empire. "
Books away. Scramble.
Come on, quickly.
Now, come along.
You all know the drill.
Don't push me!
Stop it!
Come on.
Settle down. Settle down. Be quiet.
Gas masks on.
These masks are given us...
...to filter away
the abominations of the enemy.
When you breathe,
you breathe slowly. In. Out.
Don't panic.
In. Out.
Now, we'll do our nine times table.
One nine is nine.
Two nines are 18.
Three nines are 27.
Four nines are 36.
Five nines are 45.
Six nines are 54.
Seven nines are 63.
Eight nines are 72.
Nine nines are 81.
Look, Sue!
Stand by.
Stand by. Move away.
- Starboard crew ready.
- Take up the slack.
Undo these binds.
- What's it for?
- When the German planes...
...fly in at night,
they can't see the cables.
Look out. I can't hold it.
I hope it stays through
the whole of the war.
- Get these children out of here, please.
- Get back! Back!
I have to let it go.
Rohan, what are you doing here?
This is our territory.
- Looking for shrapnel.
- Get him!
Take him to HQ,
but blindfold him first.
What have you got?
Look. It's a detonator.
You won't see through this.
- You were spying.
- I never was.
Yes, you were.
We'll make him talk.
Live ammunition,.303.
Bring him here.
- Talk or else.
- Talk.
- Yeah, talk.
- I know a secret.
I'll tell you a secret.
What's that?
The Germans are dropping men
on the bomb sites.
Who told you that?
My uncle's in the War Office. He said,
"Don't go on the bomb sites.
Boys are going missing all the time. "
- They're not.
- Are they?
If you find them hiding,
they'll cut your throat.
- Would they?
- No, they don't.
They have to, or they get found out.
I wish one would come
through the door right now.
- Do you wanna join our gang?
- Don't mind.
- Do you know any swear words?
- Yes.
Say them.
Go on.
Say them.
You can't join if you can't swear.
I only know one.
Well, say that one, then.
Go on.
That word is special.
That word is only used
for something really important.
Now, repeat after me:
Bugger off.
Bugger off.
- Bloody.
- Bloody.
Now put them all together:
Bugger off, you bloody sod.
Bugger off, you bloody sod.
- Okay, you're in.
- Yeah.
Let's smash things up.
Get your things.
Easy, easy.
- Can't we just see the end?
- They've got the real thing outside.
It's not the same.
A dogfight.
You can't see what's happening.
German plane. It's been hit.
Look, look.
- He's bailed out. Look.
- What's all the noise?
There are people
trying to sleep up here.
- We got one! An Me-109.
- A parachute.
- Hey.
- Hey. Watch it, now.
- What's all this, then?
- It's a German pilot.
Go and get him.
- Look out.
- Here, watch it.
- That's it, yeah.
- That's it, you get onto him.
Go on.
Behind you, boy.
All right.
You prisoner of war.
This way.
Mind Brussels sprouts.
This way.
- Parachute silk.
- Parachute silk.
Parachute silk!
It's all crooked, Billy.
There. Now, do it again.
- Well, don't stop. Keep going.
- Nobody's gonna see that far up.
Don't be so sure. When I jitterbug...
That was great for me.
How was it for you?
Bit too quick.
Well, now we can do it slow.
Those some kind of new stockings
you're wearing?
- They might be.
- I mean, no garters.
They just kind of disappear
up your ass.
Hey, stop it! Help me, guys.
- This girl is beating on me.
- Get her. Get her.
- Enemy on your tail, Billy.
- Where? Where?
- Tak e av oiding action.
- I don't know how.
I can't.
I can't do it.
U se the googly, lik e I showed you.
Mind my shrapnel.
I'm starting my own collection.
That's Canadian.
Where did you get it?
None of your business.
Susie, wakey-wakey.
Quick. Quick as lightning, now.
There we go. Billy.
Come on, Billy. Wakey-wakey.
Quick, quick. Quick, march.
Dawn. Air raid.
Dawn, what have you been up to?
Come on.
I'm not going to that shelter.
I'd sooner die.
Dawn, come down here at once.
Quick. Quick! Come on.
Oh, please, God. Please, God,
take me, but spare them.
Wait. Wait, Billy. Wait.
Run. Run.
- Get up, Billy.
- Mama!
Billy, are you all right?
You don't care if I die.
- Susie.
- How could you leave me there...
...even if you don't love me?
Tell me the truth.
You had to get married, didn't you?
Because of me.
The ideas you get into your head.
That's why you never liked me.
I'm different from you.
Well, everything's different now,
so it doesn't matter. So there.
- Rohan!
- Oh, dear, have a cup of tea.
Pauline's mum got killed last night.
- She didn't.
- She did.
- Didn't she, Jennifer?
- Yes, she did. Killed stone-dead.
You can ask her. Ask Pauline.
Isn't that right?
Your mum got killed last night.
There you are. Told you.
Do you feel rotten, Pauline?
She does feel rotten.
- Go and ask her if she wants to play.
- Ask her yourself.
No, you ask her. You're a girl.
- Do you want some shrapnel?
- No.
- Do you want to play?
- Go away.
Pauline's mum got killed last night.
- She never.
- She did too.
You can ask her.
Come on, luvvy,
you can't stay here all day.
- I live here. I live here.
- Of course you do.
Come on, now. Come on.
...booze, football and the other thing.
- Mum. Mum.
- Oh, Molly.
- Mummy, Mummy.
- Soon have this lot sorted out for you.
- Look at this mess.
Mummy, Mummy,
Pauline's mummy got killed.
The East End's been burning
for three nights.
And Sendry's down there.
- Count your blessings, Grace.
- I do, Molly, I do.
Know what they're doing now?
- Still not been hit, Mrs. Evans?
- Touch wood.
We had a near miss the other night.
Dropping diseased rats
on the bomb sites.
Billy found this tiny little parachute.
So that's what it was for.
Is the piano all right, Grace?
It's covered in dust.
- Let's have a listen.
- Play something, Grace.
Recognize that, Dawn?
Never used to sing so much
before the war, did we?
Not in the daytime, anyway.
- Dawn's come on fast.
- That's the war for you.
Quick, quick, quick.
Didn't I see you
with a soldier, Dawn?
Just doing my bit for the war effort.
I won't have this vulgar talk
in my house.
It's only a joke, Mummy.
I'm 15, I'm still at school.
I want to be a nun when I grow up.
Come on, Grace.
Give us a few bars of old Fred.
- But my hand, Mac.
- Come on, Mummy.
Oh, all right.
- Tell them about Pauline's mum.
- No.
Not now. They wouldn't believe me.
Look, I found the photograph
of George.
Beau, come on! Look what I've got!
Intruder. And it's a girl.
Take her to our den.
I thought we said no girls allowed.
We got a bed.
Oh, leave me alone.
No. I won't.
- Come on, Pauline, be a sport.
- No. I won't.
There's too many of you.
- One at a time, then.
- No.
- I'll give you something.
- What?
Let go of me.
All right, then. Line up.
On the board.
I've seen better than that.
Ants in your pants.
Well, come on, then. It won't bite.
Pack it in.
It's time to smash things up.
Total destruction, men!
Go away.
- Hey! What is this?
- Fuck!
Come on.
You stupid little critters! Stop it.
Come on. Come on.
To the rescue.
He got me.
You'll swallow this, stupid little kids.
- Good shot.
- Stop it.
You hear me, you knuckleheads?
Stop it.
What a strike.
Teach him a lesson. Think they can
come over here and take our women.
Wasn't that your sister, Rohan?
And where do you think
you're going?
Go upstairs this minute
and take off that lipstick.
No. I won't.
You wouldn't dare defy me
if your father was here.
Get up the stairs.
Get up those stairs.
If you've finished, I'm going.
You bitch.
Why is it I can never ever
get hold of you?
Why is it that I cannot get
a hold on you anywhere?
I want him! I want him so much!
I'll kill myself if I don't have him.
There, there.
Oh, my baby.
Go, if you want.
What does it matter?
We may all be dead tomorrow.
I can't go like this.
You'd better bring him home
if you really do love him.
Don't kill love.
You'll regret it
for the rest of your life.
Who said anything about love?
God, what a mess our street's in.
I've been on a bike...
...for five hours.
- Mum! Mum!
I've only got a 36-hour pass.
Hand me my backpack, Bill.
- What's that?
- Jam.
- Jam! Jam! Jam!
- Jam? What kind of jam?
- It's not like any jam I know.
- German jam.
It's German jam.
Well, it's all right.
Came from a German ship.
Got sunk, this stuff washed ashore.
Crates of it. Jam.
Our boys found it on the beach
by the rifle range.
- We don't know anything about it.
- Well, it's off ration. We know that.
How do we know they didn't plant it
there? They know we are mad on jam.
They could poison half the country.
Come away, kids. I don't want you
standing too close while he opens it.
Come here, Susie.
It looks foreign.
Jam is jam! It's just...
- Well, I'm not having any.
Even if it's not poisoned, I don't
think it's right. It's not patriotic.
You don't like jam.
You never eat jam.
- You hate jam.
- That's not the point.
Taste it. Why don't you taste it.
You taste it.
Give us some, Dad.
That's it. Come on.
You mean they let you go through
the officers' training course...
...and then said you were too old
for a commission?
That's it.
Why didn't they say that
before you started?
I wasn't too old
when I started the course...
...I was too old when I finished it.
- What are you going to be, then?
- A clerk.
I'm doing a typing course.
I shall be typing for England.
Poor Clive.
And you wanted it so much.
You're such a baby.
It's nice jam. It's nearly as nice
as English jam.
You know what I always say:
Jam is jam the world over.
- Hello, Bruce.
- Hi.
Bruce, this is my father.
Dad, this is Corporal Bruce Carey.
Private Rohan.
Bruce, look,
Dad got some German jam.
We thought it was poisoned.
All the poison was at the bottom.
- Here's a peg, Mummy.
- Thank you, Susie.
When do you think
you'll get leave again?
Not till Christmas, I don't suppose.
I'm glad you didn't send them
to your aunt.
- Hello.
- Welcome home, pet.
Hello, darling. You look marvellous.
- Hello, Clive.
- Hello, Mac, old boy.
- Good to see you.
- Look what Moll's got.
Tears before bedtime.
Dad, come to the bomb site now.
You promised.
Careful, Billy.
What kind of war is it, Mac?
Dad, up here.
Up there in Cumberland,
we never see an air raid.
The worst problem I have
is getting a new typewriter ribbon.
When I rode in against the Turks,
I knew what it was about.
Did you? You thought you did.
We've been gypped
all our lives, Smiler.
- Take your street.
- What about it?
Rosehill Avenue:
No roses, no bloody hill,
and it's certainly not an avenue.
- Why not?
- Well, you need trees for an avenue.
There was talk of planting some
when we first came.
Propaganda. We've been had.
How's your war, Mac?
Never done better.
On the fiddle, same as everyone else.
- Except for servicemen.
- Naturally.
Don't understand.
- Is there no point to any of it?
- There is, all right. This Hitler fellow.
We've gotta winkle him out...
...get shucked of some of our lot
at the same time.
Look how wild that boy's got.
As for Dawn, 16, going around
with a soldier.
Keep an eye on them for me,
Mac, will you? There's a pal.
I made a mess of it all.
I'm such a bloody fool.
You always were, Smiler.
Steady the Buffs.
Bugger the Buffs.
Dad, look. The barrage balloon.
A rogue balloon.
- The fins are punctured.
- Yeah, it's lost stability.
- What is it?
- It's a rogue balloon.
A rogue balloon?
- Oh, no!
- It's coming this way.
- Don't panic. Keep your heads.
- I will if you will.
Bloody hell.
Get back. Come on. Get back.
Come on, get back a ways.
It's wonderful.
Aren't they lovely when they're full,
and isn't it sad when they sag?
He just got fed up and decided
it was time to have some fun.
There we go.
Look at its bonny...
Get back. Get back.
Home Guard coming through.
- Get back.
- Get inside.
Oh, leave it alone.
Why did they have to go and do that?
Not Dawn again.
It's Bruce.
What's he doing here?
I suppose they're still learning.
That's why they keep moving about.
- It's easy. I've done it.
- Who with?
- Pauline.
- Liar.
Mummy keeps still
and Daddy moves on top of her.
That's what they do
when they know how.
- That was some air raid.
- Air raid?
You didn't feel the house rock?
You must have seen
all those shell bursts.
Let's get married.
We can live in Montreal.
I could teach you French.
Don't get smoochy. You'll spoil it.
We had a week,
a whole wonderful week.
The most wonderful honeymoon
any couple ever had.
- I love you so much.
- Goodbye, my darling.
Promise you will be careful.
- Chin up. There's a brave girl.
- Lf anything should happen to you...
She's outgrown this.
Can I change it for a bigger one?
- Yes. Leave that one.
- Hello, Evelyn.
- Oh, hello, Grace.
- All right.
God, how I hate all this
scrimping and squalor.
I don't mind it.
It was harder before the war...
...trying to keep up appearances.
Now, well, it's patriotic to be poor.
Well, I'm looking for something
with a little oomph.
- Don't you like it? What's wrong?
- I don't know how you cope.
Three kids, army pay, on your own...
You know something, Molly?
I like it on my own.
It's true.
I never got used to sharing my bed.
Not really.
I love a man in bed.
The smell of him.
The hairiness rubbing against you.
The weight of him.
Then when they do it to you
in the night...
...and you're not sure if you're
dreaming or if it's really happening.
That's the best. No guilty feelings.
Not that I should have any
wide awake.
...I'm not talking about Mac.
He hadn't touched me for ages,
and not often ever.
My life started
when he went on night work.
You're having me on, Molly.
Am I?
- Look at this one. This is nice.
- Isn't that nice, yes.
- That's nice.
- I saw it first.
Give it to me.
It's not fair. It's not fair.
- I love pink.
- You're not developed enough for this.
Well, I am.
Oh, look!
How dare you do that?
Oh, Mac, that was wonderful.
- I haven't been to a concert since...
- Since I took you to the proms.
That's right.
Not since then.
Not since I got married.
Shine more brightly...
...than it does now.
- Her eyes don't close.
Nor fortitude...
...nor sacrifice...
...nor sympathy...
...nor neighbourly kindness.
May God...
...bless you...
- He was a lot better this year.
- You say that every year, Dad.
The land and the king are one, my son.
If he stutters, we falter.
He's getting better. So are we.
Dad's furious.
It was "God Save the King. "
Come on, Billy.
- Think.
- Come on. First word.
- Choices.
- Second word.
Second word.
- What a lovely couple of tarts.
- Jam tart.
Time. Time for my annual toast.
Charge your glasses.
- Dadda, please. Come on, now.
- Oh, no. Don't, Dadda.
To Mary MacDonald.
- Thelma Richardson.
- Mama, please stay.
Bobo Hinds.
- Lily Sanders.
- George, stop it now.
This is my house.
I will not permit such behaviour.
Little Sarah what's?...
There was spirit.
- And Marjorie Anderson.
- That's enough, now. Sit down.
And Henry Chapman's girl.
Was it Thelma?
I can see those cornflower eyes.
I've lost your name, my sweetness.
Do we have to listen
to this nonsense every year?
You're drunk, Dadda. Sit down.
Betty Browning.
Betty. Let me tell you something.
I'm 73 years old.
I've seen half the wonders
of the world.
And I've never laid eyes
on a finer sight...
...than the curve
of Betty Browning's breasts.
My girls...
...dead you may be,
or old and withered...
...but while I live...
...I will do you honour to the last.
Bless all of you.
Bless all of you.
It was Sheila, Grandpa.
- What's that? What's that?
- Henry Chapman's daughter.
It was Sheila,
I remember from last year.
So it was.
Yeah, this boy will go far.
Yeah, Sheila.
Something's wrong. What is it?
We're not supposed to say.
But we're being
shipped out tomorrow.
- Where?
- I don't know.
- You do. You're just not saying.
- I swear I don't know.
Here's your Christmas present.
You expect me to spend
the rest of the war...
...sitting at home, staring at a ring.
And you'll meet some French girl
who speaks your own language.
Well, no, thank you.
Please yourself.
- Prepare to lose.
- You got it.
- What is it, pet?
- For God's sake.
He's been posted.
And I was horrible to him.
Don't leave it like that.
Go after him, Dawn.
Come on, now. Swallow your pride.
What is it now?
We've missed them. They've gone.
Can't you tell me where?
You can see I'm not a spy.
I would if I could, eh?
But I can't.
- He'll write as soon as he can.
- Yeah, sure, he will.
You'll meet again.
Don't know where
Don't know when...
In the meantime
I'll be free tomorrow night...
Come on.
Bye, Dad.
That letter this morning,
was it from Bruce?
What did he say?
He said I was right.
I shouldn't wait for him.
It was better to make a clean break.
Well, probably very sensible
under the circumstances.
Well, now he's gone and made me
fall in love with him.
Which I never wanted to do.
I told him that.
The ring!
I found the ring.
You needn't have bothered, Bill.
- You can run quite fast, Mum.
- When I first met your mother...
...she could stand on her hands.
- Really?
Perhaps I still can.
- Oh, stitch! It's ages since I have.
- You'll never know until you try.
No, no, no.
What's that?
Big Berthas shelling France.
Twenty-five-mile range they've got.
Send a few over every day
just to remind them we're still here.
Each shell costs the price
of a Ford Eight.
- Who pays for them?
- We will...
...you will, the rest of our lives.
Remember this beach, Mac?
All those summers.
Just the two families together.
Happy days, Grace.
Now there's just the two of us.
Thanks for today, Mac.
When you get bigger, Billy,
I'll teach you the googly.
There goes another Ford Eight,
Uncle Mac.
Mac, did you ever find out
who Molly went off with?
Ran off with a Polish pilot.
Sounds like one of those bad jokes
on the wireless.
You miss her.
Well, I know I do.
She said, " I know you love me, Mac.
But you never loved me enough. "
Not loving enough.
It's a terrible thing to do
to someone.
I suppose I did it to Clive.
I always held something back.
All better left unsaid, Grace.
You were never apart, you and Clive.
He kept asking and asking.
I kept waiting and waiting
for you to say something.
But you never did.
Clive had a job. I didn't.
I couldn't.
We did the decent thing, Grace.
This war has put an end
to decent things.
We can't change what's past.
Not even the war can do that.
Oh, we did the proper thing.
But we lost love.
And that's sad, Mac.
Dawn! Dawn!
- Mum?
- Grace.
Oh, Mum!
Oh, thank God you're safe.
Was that your house, madam?
- I didn't know there was an air raid.
- Oh, it wasn't a bomb. Just a fire.
What? What do you mean, a fire?
It happens in wartime as well,
you know?
- Will my shrapnel melt?
- I shouldn't think so.
I just wish I'd worn my nylons.
- My ration books are in there.
- Grace! No, Grace!
- Just a minute.
- Get out of my way.
- I want my ration books.
- I don't want to lose you as well.
Here, Grace. Take Sue.
- Come on.
- Oh, so sad.
Have you got somewhere to go?
- It's all right. She's with me.
- Good.
- Hey, Roger, look.
- Good.
Oh, look. A melted wireless.
This is my house.
What are you doing here?
- Billy. Billy, stop that.
- You lot, out of there now.
- Run.
- Billy. Billy, that's enough. Come on.
That's enough, Bill.
Run for it.
The sewing machine
doesn't look too bad.
All my lead soldiers have melted.
Mac. Mac, well...
...some of the snaps are saved.
Poor things.
This coat should fit you.
And here's a few bits
for the kitchen.
- Thanks ever so much, Evelyn.
- Look, Mum.
Here, Dawn. Try this.
What's this, then?
My lead soldiers.
They're only things.
We still have each other.
I don't care about the house.
I just hate all these people
watching us.
And being nice.
Deliverance is at hand!
All will be well!
Different world, eh, Billy?
Not 20 miles from Piccadilly.
Catch the line. Pull it in.
Tie it up now.
Are you strong enough
for another shock?
You're going to be a grandma.
Hello, Grandma.
I don't believe
this is happening to me.
It's only a house.
And a ghastly one at that.
They should all be burned and bombed
and the builder hanged.
What did I do to deserve this?
You married that fool, Clive.
That's what.
Never mind. Never mind.
You can stay with us.
- How long?
- Three and a half months.
As long as that?
Well, all right. Why not?
It's nearly summer.
Let the nippers run wild.
Bless you, Mac.
- What would I have done without you?
- You might still have a house.
I wish it all
could have been different.
Take care, Grace.
Push off.
Jump in.
Well done, Billy.
All I have left in the world
is in this little boat.
Can I have a try?
Put your hand on mine.
Get the knack of it.
I shall teach you
the ways of the river.
Another year in that awful suburb
and you'd have been past saving.
Look. They're coming this way.
The future on the march.
I curse you, volt, watt and amp.
Billy. Come here. Have a listen.
See if you can hear anything.
You're freezing cold.
A shock like that
could give me a miscarriage.
That's an idea. Do it again.
Breakfast, all.
- Morning, Grandma.
- Sleep well, darling?
Yeah. Morning, Grandpa.
Did they say how long it would take
to get the new ration books, Grace?
About six weeks, I think.
- How are we going to cope?
- Nettle soup.
Like we did in the Great War.
Very nourishing.
Bill and I will catch fish. The river fowl
will be laying eggs soon.
We'll hunt, we'll forage,
we'll overcome.
And what about tea and sugar,
clever Dick?
Keep still. Nobody move.
Mother, fetch my gun.
- Blast the wily devil!
- Dadda, really.
Never let a rat creep up on you, Bill.
I think you hit him, Grandpa.
He was limping when he ran off.
I'm so sorry.
Up, two, three.
Throw the pole forward.
Let it slide through your fingers.
Don't push until it hits the bottom.
Such nice boys...
...with straw boaters and blazers.
And all the punts on the river lit up
with Chinese lanterns, like fireflies.
Up, two, three.
Throw the pole forward.
Let it slide through your fingers.
Don't push until it hits the bottom.
And the gramophone
going on one of the boats.
Always the Charleston.
- Charleston, Charleston
- Charleston...
Oh, you girls.
Wasn't it lovely?
Now check that spinner.
No luck, Grandpa.
Up, two, three.
Now you have a go, lad.
Put your might and main behind it.
Hold it steady.
Now down with it. That's it.
Now push.
Sit up.
Two, three, four.
He's getting better, isn't he?
Let it slide through your fingers, lad.
Let it slide.
Up, two, three. Come on, now.
Let it slide through your fingers.
That's it. Now push, push.
- It's stuck, Grandpa.
- Well, pull it out, lad. Pull it out.
Pull it out, lad. Let it go.
Let it go. Stay put. Hang on.
Now, there's a lesson for life:
- Never give up the punt for the pole.
- Oh, Billy.
Hello, my darlings.
- How are you?
- It's so lovely to see you.
I'm so excited.
Wonderful things.
I was so worried.
- Hello.
- Welcome.
She gets bigger and bigger.
What about Dawn?
No word from Bruce, my pet?
All men are beasts, darling.
- That's what I like about them.
- Say hello to your Dadda.
- Hello, Dadda.
- Charity.
- Hello, Dadda.
- Hope.
Afternoon, Faith.
All hens and no cocks.
Too many women in our family.
They're a different species
from us, Bill.
Don't you love them?
Oh, yes, love them.
But don't try to understand them.
That road leads to ruin.
You said we could have
a game of cricket.
So I did. Come on.
I bought this one.
This one? But you look
so good in it yourself.
Look at the colour.
Do I want it?
You look frustrated, Faithy.
That husband of yours
still can't rise to the occasion?
He's a menace.
He ought to be locked up.
Don't let him get his claws
into Billy, Grace.
I won't have their husbands here.
All four girls married duds,
including your mother.
They'll tame you if they can,
cage you and feed you titbits.
I bat first.
- Come along, my dears. Tea's ready.
- Come on.
Middle and leg.
- Six and out in the river, Grandpa.
- Certainly not.
- That was a googly.
- I know.
You're a dark horse,
bowling googlies at your age.
Toss me up another.
No, Grandpa. You're out.
It's my turn.
A thousand curses.
You want to know why they're called
Faith, Hope, Grace and Charity?
Six. Why?
Your grandmother. She named them
after the virtues I lack. That's marriage.
Eight? You're damned
impossible, lad.
- Mummy, can I have the yellow cake?
- Yes, darling.
Whatever you like, my darling.
It's so wonderful...
...to have you all here.
Blast you. Damnation.
Damn child.
Lost ball. Stop running.
It's only a game, Grandpa.
Six and out. Six and out.
Those clothes are
really, really good.
This is just like old times.
- Where's the fish?
- We got some eggs, Grandpa.
Never mind the eggs.
Catch some fish.
Be off with you.
And don't come back empty-handed...
...or there's no supper.
Did you get a bite, Bill?
- No. Did you?
- No.
I'm scared to go back
without any fish.
I hate Grandpa.
A stray bomber.
German. Must've lost
his squadron.
Fish! Millions of them!
- This is going too far, young man.
- But you said, Grandpa.
Well, I... I'll concede I was insistent.
But how the devil?...
- Dadda, it's wonderful.
- It looks a bit fishy to me.
Could we salt them or smoke them,
do you think?
It's like the feeding of the 5000.
It's a miracle.
Well, so it's miracles now, is it?
They'll stink the place up
by morning.
Why don't you invite all your friends
round for supper, Grandpa?
I have no friends. Only relations.
Oh, Dadda.
Dawn! It's me.
Just ignore him.
Bill, will you bring
that canoe over here?
Keep going, Billy. Stick to this bank.
Come on!
Will you give me a chance
to explain?
Faster, Billy. Faster.
I'm going to kill you, Sue Rohan.
I couldn't write.
It was secret posting.
I came as soon as
I heard about the baby.
Go away!
I've deserted.
I went AWOL to be with you.
I hate you!
Bruce! Bruce!
Bruce, Bruce. What have I done?
Nobody can hold
their breath that long.
Oh, I missed you.
I missed you so much.
I missed you, baby.
Be careful.
So glad you could come.
Here we are. All together again.
- Happy as can be in the old groove.
- You're gonna be a grandfather, eh?
And I'm still just a lad myself.
Don't bother to grow up.
It's no fun at all.
You know, I believe
Elsie Drinkwater's buried here.
That trollop.
- Here, Billy.
- Take a snap now. Quick, quick.
All right, line up for
a photograph, everybody.
Smallest in the front.
Come on. Quick, quick.
- All right.
- Just a couple snaps.
- Crank it forward, crank it forward.
- Quickly.
- Break it up.
- Bruce.
- Bye-bye, Bruce.
- Be brave.
- Bye.
- Don't worry, now.
Keep smiling.
Left. Left.
- Bye.
- Bye.
Come on, boys. Left, left.
"What can you do with
four daughters," I asked myself.
Four daughters.
A string quartet was all
I could come up with.
And they hated me
for making them learn.
And now we're glad you did.
Here's to music.
And absent friends.
- And absent bridegrooms.
- And...
...the bride.
- The bride.
- The bride.
And... Wait for it.
Here's to my CO.
He's wangled me a posting
close to home.
He said, "Your house burns down,
your daughter gets married...
...you're always away
on compassionate leave.
Pack up your typewriter...
...fight the bloody war
down there. "
I found this little bungalow
to rent down the towpath.
I never want to leave the river again.
The children had such
a wonderful summer.
Fair enough.
The river.
- The river.
- The river.
And loyal friends.
And good and faithful wives.
We hope and trust.
And grumpy grandfathers.
Since you're shortly to join our ranks,
I throw down the gauntlet.
A cricket match.
You and Mac against Bill and me.
You know, Mac played
for Surrey seconds.
And I opened for the Indian Army.
- We've heard that a thousand times.
- Class will tell.
It's an olive branch. Take it.
It's the best he can do. Come on.
- We're putting you in to bat first.
- I always get the staccato wrong.
- No, it was me.
- No, it was me.
- All right, it was you.
- She's not feeling too good.
- Darling. Come and lie down.
- Poor thing.
Fine delivery, Billy.
It was a good length.
Turned a bit too.
- He'll make a good player.
- Give him the you-know-what.
All right, Grandpa.
- That was a googly!
- A googly?
You didn't spot it, Clive.
I taught him how.
And now he turns it against me.
The law of life. Cruel, isn't it?
- You wicked old devil.
- Well done, lad.
- I'm proud of you.
- Clive.
- Quickly, Clive!
- What's up?
- Hurry up!
- All right. We're coming.
Don't panic. Clive!
- What is it?
- Clive, fetch the doctor.
- Are you ill?
- Not me. Dawn.
She's in labour.
- Hot water. Lots of hot water.
- What for?
I don't know. They always say that
in the pictures.
- Breathe deeply.
- Yes, push.
Why? It's coming on its own.
It doesn't hurt.
- Home Doctor. It's all here. Childbirth...
- Oh, go away, Dadda.
There it is.
It's all sticky.
There it is.
It's a little boy.
It's a little boy.
Get out of it!
Go around the other way!
Go on, get him! Go on, get him!
Now, this is not the end.
It is not even the beginning...
...of the end.
But it is perhaps
the end of the beginning.
I scrumped it. I nearly got caught.
They chased me for ages.
Oh, you did that for me?
And on the last day of your holidays.
Well, for the baby, really.
Well, thank you, Billy.
From the baby and me.
You're not that bad really,
are you, Billy?
Oh, you miserable little tripehound.
I'm the one who should be fed up...
...sacrificing my last sup
of black-market petrol...
...to take you to school.
I've gotta live in
Rosehill Avenue as well.
Only till they get you
into the local school.
With Mrs. Evans. I hate her.
You'll be home for the weekends.
Now shut up...
...or walk.
Great, strapping fellows playing
silly buggers with a war on.
All you do is knock the sense
out of them and...
And... And fill them up with muck!
Where are you going?
Oh, my God.
Not my school!
- Rohan! Rohan, hey!
- This is anarchy!
It was a stray bomb.
- Thank you, Adolf.
- The school has been destroyed!
Teachers, keep them away
from that fire. Teachers, fall in!
Get them into their lines!
Where's your discipline?
You'll all be punished!
This is war!
And it's not a laughing matter!
Get them into their lines!
Will you get into your lines!
Who threw that at that teacher?
Who threw that box? You, stop it!
You'll regret this.
Get out. Stop that!
In all my life, nothing
ever quite matched...
...the perfect joy of that moment.
My school lay in ruins...
...and the river beck oned
with the promise of stolen days.