The Devil's Disciple (1959) Movie Script

The year 1777 was the one in which
the passions roused by the breaking off
of the American colonies from England,
more by their own weight
than their own will,
boiled up to shooting point,
the shooting being idealized in minds in England
as suppression of rebellion
and in the colonists as the defence of liberty.
Both sides being therefore convinced
that the most high minded course
for them to pursue
was to kill as many of one another as possible.
Come on.
Back - you, gal.
Well. We live in wonderful time, eh, chaplain?
And therefore send this to General Philips:
I am obliged to remove the oxen for his cannon
because a soldier without food is of no more use
than of artillery without ammunition.
We shall eat his oxen, sir,
and replace them with horses.
And my compliments to Mrs. Philips.
I hope, she's ... comfortable.
Come on, sir.
My compliments, sir.
Everything is ready.
Ready? Everything? Nothing is ready,
Major Swindon, nothing at all!
- For the ... eh ...
- Hanging?
- Oh, the eh ...
I should be glad to have a support
of your presence this morning, sir.
Not particularly ... lively business -
hanging this poor devil.
No, sir, it is not.
It is making too much
of these people to hang them.
Martyr themselfs is what they like.
It is the one way
to achieve fame without ability.
However, as you have
committed us to hanging him:
the sooner he is hanged the better.
At such a time we must remember ...
we are all made of good and evil.
Each man believes
himself to be in a right.
And that's man enemy has the same beliefs.
But when this conflict is over
we can be sure in one thing ...
justice will prevail.
God cannot be set aside.
What is it, Christy?
It's a matter of life and death.
- Oh ... I'll wait when you finish your service.
- Christy!
- What is happen?
- Father has been arrested,
by the army, in Springtown.
- They say he is a rebel.
- What!?
They killed uncle Peter and
they go to hang father!
I don't know what mother will say when
she hears that I'd been interrupted the service.
- Your father is no rebel.
We all know that.
- They don't. And they won't beleive me!
He was with uncle Peter, and you
know what uncle Peter's like.
I'll go there myself and speak with the authorities.
They'll believe me.
William Dudgeon, will you come with us?
As relatives we are deeply shocked,
but what can we do?
We might be in danger ourselfs.
- He's right, Mr. Anderson!
- Perhaps you're right.
- My friends, I must leave.
The blessing of God be with you.
- Amen.
After all, our families
had never been very close.
Is your mother at home?
- Yes. Oh!
She could not come to church,
she's not very well.
My wife will look after her.
Judith, go to Mrs. Dudgeon and stay
with her till I bring her husband home.
Tell her that Christy and I
are gone to Springtown.
We'll be there within an hour.
- You take care.
- Nothing will happen to me, or to Timothy Dudgeon.
He is an innocent man.
Advance! Stand! Ho!
General Burgoyne,
my name is Parshotter,
I am the minister here.
I have always preached
loyalty to the crown.
Without sufficient eloquency, I gather.
That wretched, misguided fellow
not one of my flock, sir.
Not a Springtown man,
he's from Websterbridge.
Ah, no, no, Springtown is loyal, sir.
Non a violation to non-concord here.
In our church here we pray for king George,
and of course his armed forces.
Thank you, sir. Most helpful.
If you don't mind, minister.
Swindon, if you could now
get the matter for your attention.
We're good enough to do up tents for the garrison.
It may be necessary to leave troops
here when we move up.
We already gave them one good example, sir.
There will be now no trouble here.
- I'm glad you take that view.
- Do I understand, sir, that
in your opinion there will be further breaches ...
- I do not express my opinion.
I never stoop to that habit of profane
language which unfortunately
coarsens our profession.
If I did, sir, perhaps I should be
able to express an opinion
of a war office that supplied me ,
with a twice as many cavalry man
than I have horses and
a weight of cannon so large that
half of roads in this country
are not suited to support it.
How do you feel, sir, if we had
to confront a colonial army
in our present condition?
Before we have made contact with General Howe.
Our dragoons are on foot, sir
and our artillery not even in sight.
Count on me, General, the British soldier
will give a good account of himself.
And therefore, I suppose, sir, the British
officer need not know his business:
the British soldier will get him out
of all his blunders with the bayonet.
In future, sir, I must ask you to be a little
less generous with the blood of your men,
and a little more generous
with your own brains.
Do you at all realize, sir, that we have
nothing standing between us and destruction
but our own bluff and the ignorance
of these backwards men?
They are men of the same
British stock as ourselves:
six to one of us,
six to one, sir,
and half our troops are Hessians,
Brunswickers, German dragoons,
and Indians with scalping knives.
Suppose the colonists find a leader,
what shall we do then?
Our duty, sir, I presume.
May I ask are you writing
a melodrama, Major Swindon?
- No, sir.
- What a pity! WHhat a pity!
Now. Go on. Way back a little.
Give back there. Go on. Back.
Get them out of there!
Get your cart of the bridge!
Come on!
Here! Here!
Take the reins, Christy.
They killed father, too.
Before we even got here.
Stay here, Christy.
- Who is the officer in charge here?
- Come on man, move away from me, and
- it's all over.
- I want the officer.
- Go about your business.
- Officer! Sir!
- Right, carry on.
- That man was from my parish.
I am his minister.
- Really?
- It's gross injustice. He is innocent.
- He was found guilty. Simple as clear.
- In the meantime I'll clear ...
- Mr. Hawkins!
- What is it?
- It's that minister of yours, from Websterbridge. He stirred up trouble.
Damn that man!
- Out of the question. The body remains.
- I cannot believe you mean it.
Anderson, don't be a fool!
Sergeant at arms,
arrest that man!
- You can't leave that body there!
- Anderson.
Indeed, Lieutenant, this man does not
understand military necessity.
He is a minister. A minister!
The man of peace!
Is he? Parshotter, you vouch
for that too, I am sure.
- Ehm ... Yes.
- He's of Websterbridge,
I've been there, that's a small village.
We don't see much of the world.
- Timothy Dudgeon ...
- The church must support any measures
designed to save human life.
- Don't you agree, Mr. Parshotter?
- Ehm ... Yes.
Will you leave man's body hanging there...?
It's a warning - to others!
- Precisely.
- You must think before you
do anything to endanger the lifes of
innocent men and women.
- My flock, Mr. Anderson.
- I am sure that we can vouch
for the Pastor, Lieutenant.
- Very well. Get back to your posts.
- Thank you, sir.
Thank you, Mr. Hawkins.
There's nothing more
to be said, my friends.
Let us all go about our business.
Halt! Halt!
Stop him! Stop him!
Halt! Halt!
Come on! Come on!
There he is!
Stop him!
Home at last. I thought you'll
never get back from Springtown.
Mrs. Dudgeon hardly spoke all that time.
It's been a long day.
You must be tired.
Come straight to bed.
Who's there?
Good evening, minister.
- Allow me to present myself.
- Richard Dudgeon!
You remember me! I thought that good
people of Websterbridge found more
convenient to forget me, eh?
Oh, my father - you know quite well,
I believe. I found him in Springtown -
at a ... loose end... In fact, he ... eh ...
- I was there.
- So you were.
With a musket in your hand?
Then you remember
your Christian duty, eh?
Ah, poor father.
Red coats did him too much credit.
He had not stomach for a rebel either.
If you cared so little for your father,
why did you risk your life for his body?
To annoy the English,
what ever reason?
If you've been caught
they would hang you too.
You think it would be
any great loss, minister?
I think a man's life is worth saving
whither it belongs to.
Would you come inside?
We'd given you some supper.
You know, another Minister would ask you
to supper and treat you to a sermon.
Bury him quickly, before
the memory of his death
makes you forget
that you are a man of peace.
Your father shall have a Christian burial,
Mr. Dudgeon.
as you intended.
How like a parson. All you so eager
to be the best of his fellow men.
Save your breath, pastor,
you can't convert me!
I was fond of a good psalm
singing in a little church choir,
but I saw that the world cringed
before your Almighty only through fear.
And I made the devil's acquaint.
Yeh, I knew that he was my
natural master, captain and friend.
And I prayed secretly to him,
and he comforted me.
I promised him my soul, and
swore an oath that I would
stand up for him in this world
and stand by him in the next.
That promise and that oath
made a man of me.
Tony, I saw someone, did you?
Tony, who was he?
Richard Dudgeon.
In Websterbridge?
What did he want?
Brought back his father's body.
Do you mean that ...
But how?
Go to bed, Judith.
I'll tell you all about in the morning.
But they said it could not be taken.
He didn't ask.
There's no need to reproach yourself.
You did everything you could ...
for Mr. Dudgeon.
- Judith ...
- After all the people break
the law of the country ...
Judith, we don't seem to understand
what that fighting means.
- We don't ...
- No, we don't expect to so.
Let's hope we never will.
You so long have been there.
Did you talk to him?
What did he say?
Nothing, Judith.
Nothing you want to hear.
And I to remember.
And now we commit his body to the ground.
- Amen.
- Aye.
- Amen.
This is the last will and testament
of me, Timothy Dudgeon.
And I hereby revoke all former wills made by me
and declare ...
- Who asked you here?
Good morning, mother. Keeping up
appearances as usual. That's right.
- That's right.
- Leave my house.
- How do you know it's your house until the will is read?
My dear relatives!
Sit down, sit down.
Well, all here for the feast.
Even little cinder girl. Hello Essie.
Uncle William! I haven't seen you
since you gave up drinking.
Uncle Titus, you old horse thief!
The minister! I should have accepted
your invitation to supper the other night.
I understand your wife has a most
ungodly allowance of good looks.
You are in the presence of my wife, sir.
Your servant, madam:
You deserve your reputation,
but I'm sorry to see by your expression
that you're a good woman.
All the same, Pastor,
I respect you more than I did before.
- Be a shame on yourself, sir.
- Oh, I am, I am, but - proud
of my relatives.
Proceed Mr. Hawkins, proceed.
and declare: this is my real will
according to my own wish
and affection.
- For what we are about to receive,
may the Lord make us truly thankful.
I give and bequeath to my younger son Christopher
fifty pounds to be paid him
on the day of his marriage to
Sarah Wilkins if she will have him.
How if she won't have him?
She will if I have fifty pounds.
Very good, brother.
Proceed, Mr. Hawkins.
I give and bequeath my house at Websterbridge
and all the rest of my property soever
to my eldest son and heir,
Richard Dudgeon.
The calf, minister, the fatted calf.
Finally I gave and bequeath my soul
into my Maker's hands,
humbly asking forgiveness
for all my sins, and hoping that
I have not done wrong in the perplexity
of my last hour in this strange place.
- Amen.
- Amen.
My mother does not say "Amen".
He had nothing of his own.
His money was the money
I brought him as my marriage portion.
- And this is my reward!
- Mrs. Dudgeon, I ...
- You let him rob me!
Mr. Hawkins, is that true,
Do you have a rightful legal will
leaving everything to Mrs. Dudgeon?
There is such a will.
And the new one? Is that ...
Is that a proper will?
The courts will sustain it
against the other.
the courts will sustain
the claim of any man -
and that man the eldest son -
against any woman, if they can.
Good day, thank you.
That's right! Eat, drink, be merry.
Maybe a last chance.
I passed the soldiers within
six miles on my way here.
What have we to fear from that, sir?
Well, we're all rebels,
and you know it.
- Oh, no, no!
- Yes, you are.
You haven't damned King George
as I have, no one has
the courage to fight, but you all wait
for the outcome before you pay your taxes.
It's treason enough for his majesty.
Mark my words, Parson, it won't be
long before Major Swindon's
gallows for rebels
wrap around all the village green.
Wolf right in your own fold.
What for a good shepherd do then? Eh?
- Mother, where are you going?
- Your mother has the sight that
she doesn't want to stay.
Mother ...
My curse on you!
You cannot leave that girl there.
To live with him in the house?
Essie will come to no harm.
Have you come back for something?
That child is not here safe even if you are.
Don't be afraid, Essie.
Mrs. Anderson wants to rescue you
from the house of a devil.
She's had enough of a self-righteousness.
Like all little lambs all she knows that you will stab her.
Was there anything else, Mrs. Anderson?
I wish to go.
I shan't stop you.
I can't get him out of my mind.
He insulted you: he insulted me:
he insulted his mother.
- Try not to upset yourself, my dear.
- Oh, I know it's wrong to hate anybody, but -
It's worst to be indifferent.
It's worst sin of all -
not to care about the people.
I don't like Richard.
I don't like what he says
and the way behaves.
There is something about him that makes
me respect him in spite of this all.
In spite of insult too.
I don't think he'd like that.
You not so wicked,
as you think, I am sure.
They say that hate is very close to love.
I am sure you are fonder of Richard
than you are of me, if you only knew it.
Don't say that!
All right my dear. He's a bad man,
and you hate him as he deserves.
Shall we have our tea?
What's the matter, Judith?
You always think the best of everyone.
I am going to change now.
Nail the proclamation to the church door.
Hey, you!
Come here!
Hold it.
- You better tell to parson to read that.
- Sir.
Martial law. Curfew!
- The army will be before nightfall. Here!
- But, sir ...
Sir, that's the man we hanged, from Springtown!
His body's buried here!
All right, sergeant, carry on.
I'll report that to Major Swindon.
- What is it, Essie.
- They saw the grave. Mr. Richard brought the body.
They'll hang him!
- Is he at the farm?
- I don't know where he is!
I'll find him. You go home. If the soldiers
come tell them that Richard is gone.
You understand? Left the village alltogether.
Go home, Essie.
It was not very far from
Springtown to Websterbridge.
General Burgoyne and his army
had only to pass through the forest.
While they were all civilized, disciplined
and well trained troops, however,
their military thinking was no match to that of
uncivilized, indisciplined and undrilled enemy.
And it had not occured to them,
that the Yanks on occasion
could be mightier than they thought.
What the devil you do in idling there?
We got to get through here by the night.
- Get these men to work!
- Yes, sir!
Get those carts out of the way!
Sergeant, get your's men on their feet.
I hope I didn't deafen you, my dear.
- Sir?
- Major Swindon, are you professioned at all in arithmetics?
- Arithmetics, sir?
If you are, sir, you will be as aware as I am
that it is a fourth obstruction in these many miles.
At this rate we'll be lucky
to reach Albany by Christmas.
You and your men, sir, are
charged with protection of our column.
Picked troops against a few colonial
ruffians and what is the outcome?
Trees fell at our path every night,
snipers in the ...
- Both together now apparently.
- Get the Indians. Come on! Quick! Quick!
More, more, more! More, more, more!
The Indians will get him, sir.
Will they? Will they indeed?
From past observations, sir, they appear
to believe that any scalp is welcome.
Whig or Tory, man, woman or child.
Unfortunately, they seem to pick more often
on those of his Majesty's friends than his enemies,
and the snipers continue to flourish.
- What's there?
- The patrol from Websterbridge, sir.
At last. Find out how many trees
we shall have to continue to move
to get from here to there.
I shall wait in Websterbridge for my artillery.
I presume General Philips can find horses
enough in Springtown even for his
requirements though they are weak.
What soup is this?
- Rattlesnake, sir.
- It's delicious.
Well, Swindon.
Some further disaster, I take it.
- What is it now? Wolfs?
- It's rebellion, sir.
- You don't say so.
The man, Dudgeon, he's been buried in Websterbridge.
Taken from Springtown, as you know, sir, and buried there.
- Against my orders!
- Deplorable!
Your orders apart, however, what chance is that
we are reaching this place before sundown?
And what with the road? Is it clear?
Perfectly clear, sir.
Perfectly clear, isn't it?
You heard that, I think.
The sound that keeps me awake
every night since we left Canada.
They are felling them in the daytime
now, Swindon. In the daytime!
With your permission, sir, I shall make
an example at Websterbridge.
Do what you please in Websterbridge,
man, but get us there. Get us there!
Yes. We don't keep much.
You'll be lucky if you keep anything.
- Requisition order: salt, tea, sugar,
tobacco, grain. Where's the storeroom?
- In back here.
- What about payment?
- Just see the paymaster.
He'll pay you!
We have just nothing left.
They can't do this to us, can they? ...
Mr. Hawkins!
Some is legally surprised ...
Eh, Mr. Hawkins?
Just access the paymaster,
and he'll pay you.
Nice fresh paper money.
Legal tender, isn't that so, Mr. Hawkins.
Of course you can't buy anything
with it and you can't eat it,
smoke it and make tea with it but
you have no legal complaint just the same.
Isn't it so, Mr Hawkins?
One case of best imported Indian tea.
And then what they take over: your crutch,
your livestock, your liquer, even your wives -
it's all in the name of the law!
There is only one way
to change the law of that sort -
get rid of the people who make them.
And that's illegal, isn't it, Mr. Hawkins?
Mr. Hawkins has no answer.
Some of our countrymen
think they found one.
There's been some ... fighting
or so they tell me.
Ha! That's no game for pious men,
good citizens, law abiding lawyers, no...
- As you have so strong views, why
don't you stop talking and do something.
- Me?
I've no respect for any sort of law, so
what do I care what kinds enforce them.
Reminds your home, that it? ... Eh,
you've come a long way, gentlemen? ...
Long way is to go back.
- Hey, corporal, how long were you off home?
- One year and four months.
That's much they gain when they enlist ...
Your wife might have lost her looks.
Poor one might even lost his wife.
All right, Corporal, don't take me seriously.
If he did, he'd be insulting his own wife.
Oh, british soldier's wife
knows her duty I'm sure.
Oh, I'm sure.
Ah, now here's the man
you should speak to.
He wears an uniform too, in his own way,
and he has a wife pretty enough to put
him some problems. Hey, minister.
- By the way, Mr. Dudgeon,
I have a message for you.
- Good evening, minister.
- Hello, Paddy.
- What message?
- From Essie.
- Well, deliver it. Why not? I have nothing
to hide from my friends here.
- She wants you.
- Thank you. I should be at home.
I advise you to come now.
Minister, you're not at your pulpit here.
We had a conversation once, Mr. Dudgeon,
when I invited you in to supper.
The matter that brought us together
at that time has a reason again.
It has?
I thought it was ... buried,
and done with.
It might be too late for supper this time.
Will you come?
- Your wife at home?
- Yes.
- How can I refuse!
Gentlemen, I wish you
the fortunes of war -
death or glory.
Take my advice - write to her.
Even the letter is something to take to bed.
Tony, I began to wonder ...
- He is in danger.
- Oh, he's wrong.
It's your husband who is in danger.
- Tony ...
- He's only trying to fright you.
The stew ready?
Take of your coat and hang by the fire to dry.
My wife will excuse your shirtsleeves.
The devil's disciple
under the parson's roof.
Who'd think of looking for me here.
A hot cup of tea will keep out
the cold, Mr. Dudgeon.
- Sit down.
- Thank you.
I observe that Mrs. Anderson
is not quite as pressing ...
Welcome for my husband's sake.
Hm ... I know I am not
welcome for my own.
I don't think I'll break bread here, minister.
There is something in you that I respect,
and that makes me desire
to have you as my enemy.
I understand you very well.
On those terms, I'll accept any man's enmity.
Please, sit down.
Oh, Mr. Anderson ...
- What are you doing here?
- Christy, Mrs. Anderson doesn't want
the whole family to tea at once.
Mother is very ill.
- She wants to see Richard?
- No.
- She wants to see the minister.
- Yeah.
You go on there.
I'll catch with you later.
- Judith!
- It's stopped raining.
Give Mr. Dudgeon his tea.
I'll have mine when I come back.
- Tony, must I ...?
- The soldiers saw the grave and they'll be after him.
You must keep him here.
- Tony ...
- I know I can depend on you.
But ...
Mrs. Anderson, I am perfectly aware
of your feelings towards me.
I will not intrude on you.
No, no. Don't go:
please don't go. I ...
I ... I want you to stay, but
it is not because I like you.
- I see.
- I had rather you did go than
mistake me about that.
I hate you and disapprove of you
and my husband knows it.
If ... If you are not here when he comes back,
you think ... I disobeyed him and drove you away.
Whereas, of course, you've ...
been so kind and considerate
that I, I really want to go
out of mere contrariness?
Well, erm, shall we go to tea
like a quiet respectable couple,
and wait for your husband's return?
Ha-a, watch what I've missed, haven't I, ...
the truism of domesticity.
I expect that if any stranger
came in now, he would take us
for man and wife.
- If you mean that you are
more my age than he is, I ...
- Oh, I, ...
I see there is another side
to domestic bliss.
I, I'd rather be married to someone
that everyone respects than - than -
Than the devil's disciple and you are right.
But then your love helps him to be a good man,
just as your hate helps me to be a bad one.
My husband has been very good to you.
Can't you forgive him for being
so much better than you are?
How dare you belittle him
by putting yourself in his place?
- Did I?
- Yes, you did.
You said that we could, ... we could ...
Don't do that!
Here ...
- Tea?
- Please.
Do you take sugar?
No, but plenty of milk.
- Why do you laugh?
- Oh, I think you are afraid that even tea and toast
for a man of my reputation might lead you astray.
That's the worst of conducting one's life
on the very highest principles.
One false step and
you have such a long ways to fall.
Are you afraid of heights, Mrs. Anderson?
Do they keep tempting you to throw
yourself over the precipice?
I think you find the view
down below almost irresistable.
So you take yourself and
your principles higher and higher
in the hope to getting away from it.
Of course the higher you go
the more irresistable it becomes.
Doesn't it? ...
You see! The toast is harder
to swallow then the truth! ...
Leave me alone!
Oh, leave me alone!
Can you ever do one kind thing for someone?
All you do is just ...
Sorry to disturb you, mum!
Anthony Anderson: I arrest you
in King George's name as a rebel!
- But he is not ...
- Come on, parson.
Put your coat on and come along.
- But that is not ...
- Sergeant ... forgive me asking
what active rebellion exactly
have I committed?
That's not for me to say, sir.
But we don't arrest unless
we don't have to hang them.
You can't do this!
I leave one good thing for someone.
Sergeant, did you ever arrest a man of my cloth before?
Well, no sir.
At least, only an army chaplain.
Four in!
One gentleman to another, sir.
Wouldn't you like a word with
your missis before you go?
The last chance.
Oh, my love. This ... This gallant
gentleman has been kind enough
to allow us a moment of leavetaking.
- Yes, but ...
Get your husband safely out of harm's way.
You understand?
He can't save me.
They will hang him.
And they will not spare me.
Tell him that from now on
he better give the devil its due.
I am sure the sergeant will not believe
that you love me like a wife unless ...
you should give me one kiss before I go.
I can't!
- Sergeant, quickly.
- March!
- Where is Mrs. Dudgeon?
- Mrs. Dudgeon is critical. Very critical.
- Where is my husband?
- Mrs. Anderson! What's happened?
- Oh, it's Richard, he ..., he ..., he ...
- The scoundrel! He should be horsewhipped. The minister's wife ...
- No, no!
- What he did you?
- My husband!
I must see my husband.
- Yes, yes, directly ...
What happened to you?
Are you hurt?
You should not have left him
in the house with her.
He is not to be trusted.
Judith, did he ...?
No, no, you don't understand!
He did nothing!
- He's been arrested!
- Arrested?
- What we are going to do?
- Where they've taken him?
- No ... no, you mustn't go, you mustn't go!
He said you couldn't save him. You'd get out of
harm's way, he said that they will hang him and
not spare you. But there must be some other way.
Judith, Judith,
the man without much good,
but the least I can do is to talk to him.
But they want you! They will not
let you see him: they will arrest you
the moment you give your name!
- Nonsense, my dear.
- It's not, it's not, it's God's truth!
It was for you the soldiers came.
- For me?!
- They gave your name.
We were there together ... and
soldiers thought he and I were ...
He put on your coat,
he went with them, to save you!
What is in there something we can do?
Get the people at the village together?
Against the army?
Do no such thing, Mr. Anderson!
Leave all alone.
- Sh-Sh ...
- Yes, yes my dear.
- You can't help him, minister, but you are free.
- Tony, you can't leave Richard now!
You can lie low somewhere
till it is safe to come back,
somewhere right clear of the village.
- Tony!
- Christy, help me to get out the buggy.
We'll leave your horse here.
Confound Richard!
- Tony! He's trying to save your life!
- Yes, he's put me in a debt I can never repay.
- What he thinks I can do? What is he expecting?
- I don't know, but you must do something!
- You must save him!
- Stop hollering, girl!
Judith, ... Judith, listen to me.
If you can get word to him by
pretending to be his wife, do it.
The longer he'll hold his tongue,
the more start he will give me.
- Tony, what are you going to do?
- Judith, go home.
He's gone!
He's not going to the village!
He's run away!
My God, he's not such fool as I thought!
Mr. Hawkins!
- Mr. Hawkins! ... Mr. Hawkins!
- Come in, sir!
Mr. Hawkins, they've arrested Richard Dudgeon.
- You must go to the military.
- God, is that only what you want.
- Get the horses ready.
- What minister talks?
- He's no our friend of record.
- Mr. Hawkins, tell them I'll give myself up ...
if they release him.
- I am sorry but I can't help you. You better go yourself.
Get yourselfs down, in hurry.
You don't understand.
They thought he was me.
- If I go they'll hang us both, if you go to the ...
- I haven't time! Now, will you forgive me!
You haven't time
to save a man's life?
- Hawkins!
- More than one good man
will die in the next 24 hours!
John, you go to the Nevilsons
and bring up their equipment.
Tom, you go to Collings Hill
and around you go to river.
So you with the rebels.
- But before, in Springtown ...
- It was at the moment but
it's all very different - now.
- Hawkins, wait ...
- I am fighting a war and I can't jeopardize success
for the sake of your troubles or Richard Dudgeon!
- Mr. Hawkins!
- Oh God! Go back to your church,
minister and pray.
No, don't you fret, mummy:
he slept like a child, and
has made a rare good breakfast.
- He is in good spirits?
- Tip top!
The chaplain looked in to see him
last night, and he won seventeen
shillings off him at a backgammon.
He spent it among us
like the gentleman he is.
- Well, my little wife.
- Richard!
Sergeant, how long do you allow
a brokenhearted husband for leave-taking?
As long as we can, sir.
We shall not disturb you till the court sits.
And General Burgoyne has not come back yet, sir.
Gentlemanly Johnny we call him, mum, he
won't have done finding fault with everything
to least come of half past. I know him, sir.
Is your husband safe?
Is he clear of the village?
Well, that's good.
He is no longer my husband.
- He's run away.
- Poor lad. They'd only have hanged us both.
- Why did you let them take you last night?
- Upon my life, Mrs. Anderson, I don't know.
- I've been asking myself that question ever since.
- It was for my sake, wasn't it?
Well, you ... had a hand in it.
It must have been a little for your sake.
- I can't let you. I'm going to tell them.
- Mrs. Anderson!
They'll never kill you when they know
how valiantly you have acted!
But if I don't go through with it,
where will the heroism be?
I shall simply have tricked them,
and they'll hang me anyway.
Serve me right too!
- Do you realize you're going to kill yourself?
- The only man I have any right to kill.
Bless you, nobody cares for me.
My mother's last word to me was her curse.
My other relatives will not grieve much on my account.
Ah, Essie will cry for a day or two,
but I have provided for her:
I made my own will last night.
I will give them a few surprises.
- And I!
- You?
Am I not to care at all?
I'll give you credit for liking me a
little more than you did, but
my death will not break your heart.
What can I do to show you
how wrong you are?
Save yourself ... for my sake.
I'll come with you to ...
to the end of the world.
- Judith.
- Yes.
Judith, listen to me. If I said - to please you -
that I did what I did ever so little for your sake,
I lied ... as men always lie to women.
I've seen even most worthless men
can rise to some sort of goodness
when they were in love.
That has taught me to set
very little store by the goodness
that only comes out red hot.
What I did last night, I did in cold blood,
caring not half so much for your husband,
or for you as I did for myself.
I had no motive ... and no interest:
all I can say certainly is that when it
came to the point whether I would
put another man's neck into the noose ...
I could not do it. I have been brought up
assured by the law of my own nature, and I
could not go against it, gallows or no gallows.
I would have done the same thing
for any other man in the place ...
or any other man's wife.
You understand?
Do you really think I believe it?
- Time's up, I am afraid.
Court's to take to sit.
- Thank you, Sergeant.
Halt! Left! Front!
Good morning, gentlemen.
Sorry to disturb you, I am sure.
Very good of you to spare us a few moments.
Will you preside, sir?
No, sir: I feel my own deficiencies
too keenly to presume so far.
If you will kindly allow me,
I will sit at the foot of the table.
Right turn!
Escort, take position!
Who is that woman?
Prisoner's wife, sir.
She asked to be allowed
to be present, and I ...
- I thought that ...
- You thought it would be a pleasure for her.
Quite so, quite so.
Give the lady a chair, and make
her thoroughly comfortable.
Your name, sir?
- You don't mean to say that you've brought
me here without knowing who I am?
- As a matter of form, sir, give your name.
As a matter of form then,
my name is Anthony Anderson ...
Presbyterian minister of this parish.
Indeed! Pray, Mr. Anderson, what
do you gentlemen believe in?
I shall be glad to explain if time is allowed me,
but I cannot undertake to complete your
conversion in less than a fortnight.
We are not here to discuss your views.
- I stand rebuked.
- Oh, not you, sir.
- Pray, don't mention it.
Any ... political views, Mr. Anderson?
I understand that that is just
what we are here to find out.
Do you mean to deny
that you are a rebel?
- I am ... an American.
- What might expect you to think
of that speech, Mr. Anderson?
I never expect a soldier to think.
I advise you not to be insolent, prisoner.
Oh, you can't help yourself, General.
When you make up your mind to hang a man,
you put yourself at a disadvantage with him.
Now, why should I be civil with you?
I may as well be hanged
for a sheep as a lamb.
You have no right to assume that
the court has made up its mind
without a fair trial.
And please do not address me as General.
I am Major Swindon.
My deepest apology, sir.
I thought I had the pleasure of
addressing Gentlemanly Johnny.
I believe I am Gentlemanly Johnny, sir.
My more intimate friends
call me General Burgoyne.
You will understand, sir, I hope,
since you seem to be a gentleman
and a man of some spirit
in spite of your calling, that if we
do have the misfortune to hang you,
we shall do so as a mere matter of political
necessity and military duty,
without any personal ill-feeling.
- Oh, that makes all the difference in the world, of course.
- How CAN you?
- Judith!
You believe me, madam, your husband
is placing us under the greatest obligation
by taking this very disagreeable business so
thoroughly in the spirit of a gentleman.
Give Mr. Anderson a chair.
You are aware, I presume, Mr. Anderson,
of your obligation as a subject of
His Majesty King George the Third.
I am aware, sir, that His Majesty King George
the Third is about to hang me because
I object to Lord North's robbing me.
- That is a treasonable speech, sir.
- I meant it to be.
Now, don't you think, Mr. Anderson, that
this is rather - if you will forgive the word -
a vulgar line to take?
Why should you cry out robbery
because of a stamp duty and
a tea duty and so forth are drawn?
It is the essence of your position as
a gentleman that you pay with a good grace.
It is not the money, General.
But to be ... swindled by a pig-headed
lunatic like King George.
Chut, sir ...
- Silence!
- Silence!
That, now, is another point of view.
My position does not allow of
my going into that, except in private.
But of course, Mr. Anderson,
if you are determined to be hanged
there's nothing more to be said.
- An unusual taste!
- Shall we call witnesses?
Eh, what's the need for witnesses?
If the villagers had listened to me,
you would have found the place barricaded,
the houses loopholed, people in arms ...
- Very well, sir, we shall teach you and
your villagers a lesson they won't forget.
- Do you have anything more to say?
- I think you might have the decency
to treat me as a prisoner of war,
shoot me like a man instead of
hanging me like a dog.
Now there, Mr. Anderson,
you talk like a civilian,
if you will excuse my saying so.
Have you any idea of the average
marksmanship of the army of
His Majesty King George the Third?
If we make up a firing
party, what will happen?
Half of them will miss you: and the rest
will make a mess of the business and
leave you to the provomarshal's pistol.
Whereas we can hang you in a perfectly
workmanlike and agreeable way.
Let me persuade you ...
to be hanged, Mr. Anderson.
I thank you, General: that view of
the matter had not occur to me.
I withdraw my objections.
Hang me, by all means.
- Will 12 o'clock suit you, Mr. Anderson?
- I shall be at your disposal.
Nothing more to be said, gentlemen.
- You can't do this without proper trial for him!
- My good lady, our only desire
is to save unpleasantness.
You don't care what you do.
You think you can murder a man
as long as you do it in uniform.
- Tell them the truth! Tell them!
- You promised!
- He's not my husband!
- Gentlemen! I assure you she will not
believe that she cannot save me.
One moment, gentlemen.
One moment, Mr. Anderson.
Let me understand you clearly, madam.
Do you mean that this gentleman
is not your husband or merely -
I wish to put this with all delicacy -
that you are not his wife?
I don't know what you mean, but you
can ask anybody in the village, they'll
tell you that he is not my husband -
my husband has escaped and
this man took his place to save him.
- Escaped! Where?
- I don't know, I don't know,
and I even if I knew, I don't care!
might I suggest that a brief recess
might be in order.
The lady will then have a chance
to regain her composure.
And you might even find the time
to discover with a little more accuracy
who it is we have been trying half a morning.
May I beg your pardon, sir.
Should I release the gentleman?
What? Certainly not!
He's condemned himself out of
his own mouth, where he is.
The sentence remains unchanged.
The hang's at twelve.
Give a Major Swindon enough rope ...
and he will always hang somebody.
Give a Hawkins the choice and
he will always like any other patriot
prefer killing orders to
saving a fellow countryman.
Cannon! What can we do?
Back, all of you.
- Mr. Hawkins, woudn't it be better ...
- Oh, get out!
Turn to the right!
Come on! Come on, hey you!
Minister, you best get inside.
Mr. Anderson,
This is most fortunatous!
The church needs more than
one poor pair of hands today.
Where do you go?
- There's no one there.
- Good.
Winnigh, get the wounded inside.
Take that bloody gunpowder.
More powder ...
Mr. Anderson!
Don't come near -
there is ammunition outside,
gunpowder, it's highly inflammable.
Mr. Anderson!
You will be reminded on a pyrissication.
This kind of thing unknownly ...
Return to the line!
Corporal should always set an example!
Attending in company at once!
Open the door!
Quick, quick!
I call you to an action.
Hold there!
He's a rebel!
Get him!
No! Not him! Him!
Don't you fire! You'll hit me!
Masquerading for minister in time of war!
Hold your tongue!
It will be my pleasure to have you taken outside,
put up against a nearest wall and shot!
General Burgoyne headquarters?
- And who're you?
- A loyal subject of King George,
giving assistance to his troops.
Look, I have important message from
General Howe for General Burgoyne.
This way, sir.
Come on! Come on!
Come on!
- Anderson!?
- After the men! Go with the rally.
- What are you waiting for?
- Yeah, go, come on.
Everything is ready, sir for the, ... Ah ...
- Oh ... the ...
- It likes but two minutes ... to twelve, sir.
Thank you, time's up.
I am punctual.
I should never dream of hanging any
gentleman ... by an American clock.
I really must congratulate you, Swindon.
Despite your deplorable error
and the prisoner's undoubted innocence
at the start of the proceedings,
you managed to provoke him
into guilts by the end of them.
A forensic triumph.
I am sure our country is indebted to you.
This is not a place for a man of your profession.
Try to control yourself and
submit to the divine will.
Sacred music ...
and a clergyman to make
murder look like piety!
You talk to me of Christianity
when you are in the act
of hanging your enemies.
Was there ever such blasphemous nonsense!
Prisoner, I appeal to you,
have you any sense of decency left?
- Man that is born of woman ...
- Thou shalt not kill.
I think, Mr. Brudenell, that as the usual
professional observancy strike the prisoner
as somewhat incongruous under the circumstances,
you had better omit them until ...
he can no longer be inconvenienced by them.
Does that suit you, Mr. Anderson?
- Dudgeon.
- Dudgeon.
- Dudgeon is the name well known to us.
You hanged my father,
that's what you mean?
We seem to be somewhat unfortunate
in our relations with your family.
- But I assure you, Mr. Dudgeon
we are only doing this ...
- Because you're paid to do it.
- You insolent ...
- Ah, I am really sorry that you
should think that, Mr. Dudgeon.
If you knew what my commission
cost me, and what my pay is,
you would think better of me.
Escort! Four in.
Quick ... march!
Carry on.
But you don't understand!
It's my husband, I ...
Release my friend here!
- What the devil it is?
- Untie him!
Get back to your post!
Who're you?
- Antony Anderson.
- Indeed ...
- Then you are just in time to
take your place on the gallows.
- I'm here to meet General Burgoyne.
Arrest this man!
- Seize him!
- My safe-conduct.
- Safe-conduct?
From General Philips in Springtown.
What in the name of ...
- What is the meaning of this?
- The rebels, sir - a surprise attack.
We were outnumbered.
- They are holding General Philips?
- We had draw us for truce.
- What?
- Monstrous!
- Take me to General Burgoyne.
Wait here.
As for the prisoner - he was convicted
on his own account, not on yours.
And he hangs accordingly.
Carry on, Sergeant!
Carry on, I mean.
Sorry, Mr. Dudgeon, but
you see how it is.
Prisoner and escort ...
slow - march!
Richard, I ...
I want to pay you very sincere
apologies, sir, for arresting
this gentleman in your place.
I ... found him in your house with the lady,
very much at home it seemed to me and
the way they carried on ever since I could
only think that they are man and wife.
I am afraid that they may caused you
some domestic troubles, sir.
However, in one way of course,
they will soon be disposed of.
The general has graciously convented you.
You know the situation, General.
Would you not give the orders accordingly?
I am delighted to meet you,
Mr. Anderson ... but I confess
I am a little puzzled.
I understood, when we supposed
to be having you in custody
and you were a clergyman ...
It is in the hours of trial, sir,
that a man finds his true profession.
Now our terms that I want to be agreed upon
before even we discuss the rest.
You stop this execution.
- I already told you, sir ...
- Swindon ...
I can hardly agree to one term, Mr. Anderson,
before I know whether there is an alike to
that agreement upon the others.
I must know the full extent of your demands.
Very well.
Evacuation of Springtown in 6 hours.
- All prisoners to be returned,
all cannon to be left behind.
- What?
- Together with all stores,
ammunition and livestock.
- What?
And immediate unconditional
release of Mr. Richard Dudgeon.
- Monstrous impudence.
- A little stiff, Mr. Anderson,
if you permit me say so.
You may enjoy a temporal superiority,
but I am about to join forces
with General Howe in Albany,
then in two days I shall have the advantage ...
And the whole campaign will be over within a week.
- It may. The General Howe's not in Albany.
- What?
- General Howe is still in New York.
- You expect me to believe that?
I expect you to believe this.
Where did you get this?
One of His Majesty's dispatches.
General Howe is now still in New York.
He believes you to be still in Springtown.
They sent it to you there.
And now you take the rope of the ...
American citizen.
Stop the drum ...
Release the prisoner!
Don't take too much heart, Captain Anderson.
You got only one scrummage.
You may occupy towns
and win battles, General,
but you cannot conquer a nation.
We shall see.
General Howe's still in New York?
How could he disobey orders?
He received no orders, sir.
Some gentleman in London
forgot to dispatch them.
He's been leaving town for
his holiday, I understand.
So to avoid upsetting his arrangements
England will lose her American colonies,
and in a few days you and I will be
at Saratoga with 5,000 men to face
18,000 rebels in an impregnable position.
I can't believe it!
Take it quietly, Swindon ...
your friend the British soldier,
can stand up to anything ...
except the British War Office.
And what will History say?
History, sir?
Will tell lies, as usual.
Mr. Dudgeon.
Escort, forward!
Don't think it's end, Judith.
The only one day was lending
truth about ourselfs.
The reverend Anderson no longer exists.
It's the Captain Anderson
from the Springtown militia.
It won't not stand in your way.
Ah, Captain Anderson!
What can I say?
You ... given me my life.
Judith ... I have very little to offer you.
Even my small reputation as a nearly
well is in jeopardy, it seems.
But! I shall do my best to get it back.
And the world is waiting for us.
Shall we go for ...
Ah, Mr. Dudgeon!
Since we can't hang you
perhaps you will care to take tea
with me this afternoon.
- I should be delighted.
- Good. At four o'clock then ...
and bring Mrs. Anderson with you.
General Burgoyne surrendered
three weeks later.
The reasons for his defeat
are now matter of history ...
and on that of course it is impossible to rely.
But the rest in this story is pure fiction.
You can safely believe every word in it.