Adventure Story (1961) Movie Script

Sir, this is Perdiccas. Can you hear me?
This is Perdiccas, sir.
Make a sign if you understand.
Will you name your successor?
Try again.
Sir, the time has come
for you to name your successor.
Who is it to be?
Alexander, you are dying.
Dying? Alexander dying?
-In a bed.
Alexander dying of a chill at 33?
Yes, Ptolemy?
Name your successor.
Who shall I condemn to death?
PERDICCAS: He's feverish.
Pythia, mouthpiece of Apollo.
Get the physician.
Right at the beginning,
why didn't you tell me
it would end like this?
Pythia, where did I go wrong?
Pythia of Delphi. Delphi... Delphi...
You have no right in this place, sir.
This is forbidden ground.
-I'm here under orders.
-No one gives orders in Delphi,
save the God Apollo
through his chosen mouthpiece, myself.
My, master has come to Delphi
to consult the Oracle
and he demands an audience at once.
The mystery of the Oracle is a holy boon
to be craved of the God,
not demanded as a favour
from a hired fortune teller.
-But, Madam, I...
-What's the delay?
I thought I told you to stay outside.
So this is the holiest spot in Greece,
is it?
Ah! It's rather impressive,
I must admit.
-Are you this man's master?
-If you mean am I King Alexander?
I am not.
My name is Philotas and he, if he hasn't
told you already, is Hephaestion.
We're both of us, as you've no doubt
already recognised from our armour,
officers of his majesty's personal
bodyguard, the companion cavalry.
Your armour, sir, is unknown to me
but your manners
are unmistakably Macedonian.
This Alexander
is the new King of Macedon?
He is.
And elected Captain General
of all Greece.
-May I escort you to him, madam?
-No, sir.
But I thank you for the offer.
Have the outer doors opened,
these gentlemen's are leaving.
(SCOFFING) You know, it surprises me
that so obviously sensible a lady
should be prepared
to run so drastic a risk.
The only risk I run, sir,
is of condoning a blasphemy.
And the longer you two gentlemen
remain in this holy place
the greater is my peril.
I must apologise for my friend.
You may tell your king
I mean him no discourtesy.
I shall be pleased to pay my respects
to him at a more appropriate time
in a more appropriate place.
He won't like it.
This is the first time
I've let him down.
-You are afraid of him?
-Afraid of Alexander?
He's my best friend.
I see. You are proud to have
a king as a best friend.
No, I'm very proud to have Alexander
for my best friend.
Bolt and bar the doors.
You are the Pythia?
Oh, please don't ring that,
there's no need.
-You are Pythia?
-Yes, I am.
I'm Alexander of Macedon.
King Alexander, you have
desecrated this temple.
I must ask you to leave at once.
Oh, yes, all right. I'll go in a moment
when I've got what I came for.
I was told to submit
my question in writing,
so I have scribbled it out for you here.
Is this seriously the question you wish
to put to the God Apollo?
Very well,
I shall put it before the council.
-But why can't you answer it now?
-Because it is impossible.
I see.
Well, if you're not going
to answer my question,
I'd like it back please.
I don't want this
falling into the wrong hands.
Do you think I keep the King of Persia's
agents in this temple?
-Darius's spies are everywhere.
-Poor Darius.
How he would tremble
if he could read that threat of war.
Now you're making fun of me.
But you'll see.
-How many men will you have?
-With luck about 35,000.
-And Darius?
-Quarter of a million.
It could be two million but I shall
never give him time to raise so many.
-Or perhaps the necessity.
-Yes, you laugh at me. Everyone does.
But perhaps you won't
when Persia crumbles into dust.
-The strongest empire in the world.
-Giants cannot move as fast as pygmies.
I shall meet Darius in the field,
beat him and kill him.
And after you have killed Darius,
what will you do?
I shall found a new order in Asia.
With yourself at the head.
Oh, yes, I suppose. I hadn't thought.
(LAUGHING) It's not important.
-Do you think I'm mad?
-No, no, just very young.
Are you sure
you can't give me your answer?
I can give you it, if you like,
King Alexander,
but not the God Apollo.
If you answered it alone,
it would be no.
Everyone in the world
would agree with you.
Why must you do this madness?
At the wedding banquet,
when my father married again
after divorcing my mother...
He made me attend, of course,
he wouldn't miss a chance like that.
His new father in law made a speech
in which he said,
"All King Philip's loyal subjects
could at last hope
"for a legitimate heir to the throne."
There were 300 people there
and I was alone,
none of my friends
had been allowed to come.
So, I stood up and said,
And what does that make me, a bastard?"
I threw my wine in his face.
My father was rather annoyed.
He got to his feet
and staggered towards me
with his sword raised...
His foot slipped
and he fell in a drunken heap.
But your father is dead now.
But I must still prove to him that
I am the legitimate heir, dead or not.
Are you still determined
not to answer my question?
-I have given you my answer.
-But the God's answer?
Oh, if only I had enough money
to build Apollo another new temple.
But, the truth is, I even had to borrow
money to finance my campaign.
My army has swallowed up
my royal revenue.
-Have you nothing left?
-Only my hopes.
I shall remember that.
-Pythia, please give me your answer.
You must. You must.
And if you do, I shall remember you
in my prayers forever. I promise.
I'll lead the virtuous life,
I'll sacrifice to Apollo every night.
Alexander, you're invincible.
I shall pray to the God
to let me give you his answer.
Thank you. There's no need now.
The Oracle has already spoken.
-Goodbye, Pythia.
-But that was not the God.
-The God spoke. Goodbye and thank you.
Remember, Alexander,
there's always the last battle.
But I shall win it.
I'm invincible
and I'll build you a temple in Babylon.
You know, this boy has
the most wonderful insolence.
-I begin to admire him.
-What's he done now?
It's a story in this dispatch
from Asia Minor. True, I gather.
No, Darius, don't tell us.
Find something more pleasant
to talk about
than the antics of a lunatic school boy.
But this is amusing, Mother.
I must read it to Bessus,
he'll enjoy it.
Bessus. Bessus, wake up!
Your Majesty is mistaken.
I was not asleep, I was thinking.
-What of?
-The coming campaign against Alexander.
Nonsense, dear cousin.
You were dreaming of the girls
you're going to meet in Syria.
There, you see,
you've shocked the queen, Bessus.
This dispatch comes
from a spy in Gordium
where Alexander is in winter quarters.
It's rather charming.
There's a local superstition
concerning the ancient farm wagon
preserved in the citadel.
According to this legend,
the empire of the world
will go to anyone who can untie the knot
which binds the ox yolk to the pole.
Alexander decided to attempt the puzzle.
And I arranged that he should be
followed by a large crowd of townspeople
to watch his defeat.
A little too clever, I'm afraid. Listen.
After inspecting the knot
for a few seconds,
Alexander treacherously severed it
with one blow of his sword.
Well, Bessus, isn't there an element
of Old World bravado in this gesture
that rather pleases you.
I can't say that it all together
pleases me, sir.
Those sort of madmen
are the most dangerous.
Dangerous? Yes!
At the head of an army,
a megalomaniac is always dangerous.
Hardly at the head
of a skirmishing force.
What has he had
in the way of re-enforcements
since the Battle of the Granicus?
A polite way of reminding me
that his skirmishing force
has already defeated a Persian army.
Alexander didn't win that battle,
you know.
Those fools on our general staff
lost it.
All reports agree that Alexander's
generalship was idiotic.
Hurling himself and the Companions
straight at our heavy chariots,
yelling Homeric battle cries. (LAUGHING)
Cavalry against chariots, imagine!
I shudder to think
what his losses must have been.
Why don't you let the boy
rot where he is?
He can't get through the mountains
except by the Cilician Gates
and they're impregnable.
After a while,
he'll get tired and go home.
And you'll have saved yourself
a lot of money.
I'm afraid my prestige will hardly
allow me to do that, my dear.
Oh, I can assure you I have
no wish to go campaigning.
But that defeat has got to be avenged.
What shall I do with Alexander
when I've caught him, my child?
-Put him in a cage with Marduck.
-And who is Marduck?
-Her pet lion cub.
-Are you taking Marduck with you?
-No, Darius. I told her that she can't.
I don't see why not.
I'm certainly not having him
in my quarters.
I didn't realise you were
taking your family, sir.
Didn't you, Bessus?
You should know I wouldn't be parted
from them, even for three months.
Is your Majesty quite sure
of the wisdom?
After all, accidents can happen.
-What accidents?
-Oh, epidemics, bad roads.
Nonsense, Bessus.
I rather enjoy these outings.
Are you going on this campaign
entirely unaccompanied?
Well, sir, not only is the young lady
quite accustomed to hardship,
but she's...
Also very useful at secretarial work
and that sort of thing.
I think we'd better leave the subject,
don't you?
What would you like to do
with the captive Alexander, Mother?
Kill him, of course.
I think I shall make a friend of him.
He would rather amuse me.
Darius, a barbarian?
I believe the Greeks
talk of us as barbarians.
What is it, Darius?
He has broken
through the Cilician Gates.
-But how could he?
-A surprise attack by night.
He covered seventy miles in two days.
-Impossible, isn't it?
You know,
I'm looking forward
to meeting this young man.
I'm looking forward to it
very much indeed.
Mazeres, some wine.
(EXHALING) I took you from Darius,
didn't I, my friend?
After the victory of Issus,
I took everything from Darius.
Even his throne.
You trying to be funny?
That might not be so healthy.
No, master, I do not try to be funny.
I only try to...serve you.
-Hey, you speak Greek.
-Yes, master.
Then I suppose I shall have to kill you.
-Why, master?
-You might be a spy.
If I were a spy,
I would not tell you I spoke Greek.
Yeah! Something in that, I suppose.
-Who are you?
-I'm the King's chamberlain, Mazeres.
What outlandish names
you barbarians do have.
That you haven't seen, do you hear?
I haven't seen anything, master.
Why are you guarding this tent?
SOLDIER: Orders, sir.
PARMENION: All right,
you can let me through.
SOLDIER: Sorry, sir.
Damn it, man, don't you know
the Chief of General Staff?
That's General Parmenion.
These were Darius's own quarters,
I suppose.
Yes, sir.
Um, I thought I'd better put them under
guard, sir, until the King got here.
Uh, I didn't want anything touched.
Um, a little souvenir, sir, that
I was going to send home to my wife.
-Um, it's got Darius's arms on it, sir.
That should certainly interest her
very much.
Darius knew how to live.
Father, have you ever seen anything
like this in all your life?
No, my son.
Not exactly the style of living
one would expect
from a commander in chief in the field.
-I agree, disgusting.
-I call it magnificent.
-You would.
-Who's this?
-Darius's personal servant, sir.
-I found him here.
-Does he speak Greek?
Yes, sir!
-Where are King Darius's documents?
-Burnt, master.
-Burnt? Who burnt them?
-I burnt them, master.
-Why, you treacherous...
-All right, all right, Cleitus.
He could still be useful.
What's in that chest?
Would you like to open it, master?
Yes, you go in there
and wait till we call.
Ye, Gods!
Well, gentlemen, looks as if we'll have
a chance to settle some arrears of pay.
-Obliging of Darius, I must say.
-Why, he's got all this bullion here.
Imagine what there must be at Damascus,
his forward base.
Oh, the wealth of these barbarians
makes one sick.
Not me, it doesn't.
Father, don't you think
it's rather strange of the Persians
to bring their women to war with them?
Oh, they've always done it.
It's very bad for morale.
-Bad for theirs perhaps, not for ours.
-I don't agree.
In fact, I have half a mind
to order our men back to camp at once.
Oh, if you did, you'd had a mutiny.
Ask Cleitus.
He's be among the first
to disobey that order.
-What do you mean by that?
-You know exactly what I mean.
I saw you, you wicked old man.
(GIGGLING) And I saw where you put them.
Three? Cleitus.
(GIGGLING) In a tent out there
guarded by his own phalanx men.
Which reminds me, Cleitus,
you'd better watch out.
You know what your phalanx men are.
PARMENION: Well, Cleitus?
Well, sir, the females
to whom your son is referring
happen to be three
rather important prisoners
that I thought it best
to keep under guard,
till the King could see them himself.
Oh, Father Cleitus, you old rouge.
Reserved for our chaste monarch.
You ought to have thought
of something better than that
to celebrate our conquest.
We haven't conquered anything today.
Except a breathing space.
What, with 60 or 70,000 dead
and prisoners pouring in?
Half of them got away.
-And Darius still lives.
-Unless Alexander caught him up.
Oh, he hadn't got a chance.
Did you see that narrow gorge?
It was choked with men and animals
and Darius had a clear start.
No human being could have ridden
through that mess.
-Alexander might have done it.
-The God Alexander.
No, just Alexander.
So, this is what it is to be a king.
Parmenion. Philotas.
Oh, you forestalled me I see.
You did wonders, both of you.
-Are you hurt, sir?
-Oh, it's nothing.
Father Cleitus.
Oh, you are safe, thank god.
There was a rumour you were killed.
Oh, it'll take more
than a rumour to kill me.
I knew it wasn't true.
Even the Persian wouldn't have the heart
to take Father Cleitus from me.
-Hey, let me look at this wound.
-Ah, now don't fuss.
show them what you're holding.
-This wound needs dressing.
-Yeah, just in a minute.
No, now. Hey, you, what's your name?
Fetch me a bowl of water
and some bandage.
Gentlemen, you're now looking
at the bow and the mantle of Darius.
-You've got him?
-No, there wasn't the chance.
But I found his chariot
abandoned in a ditch.
He must have got away on horseback.
What do you think of the mantle?
Handsome, is it not?
Try it on.
-How does it suit me?
-It might have been made for you.
MAZERES: The water, master.
Yeah, let me see that.
Yeah, I admire his Persian Majesty's
taste in camp furniture.
-Oh, Father.
-Oh, yes!
Yes, there's another item
of camp furniture here,
that I think you'll admire even more.
Well, let's see it.
-How much? Enough for arrears?
-More than enough.
Splendid! Give every man a bonus then.
Oh, surely that would be
most unwise, sir.
-I mean, we must have a reserve.
-A reserve. Whatever for?
-Well, for future.
-The future will provide for itself.
Have that chest taken back to our camp
under guard and organise pay parades.
Not tonight, huh?
Yes, as soon as possible.
I think you'll find it an effective way
of getting our men back to camp.
Very effective, I should think.
Four of you take that chest.
Er, don't you think
you ought to count it first?
For heaven's sake,
don't ask whatever for
or I might have to tell you.
Yes, all right, Philotas.
You can take what you like.
Oh, now, of course,
I can't touch a thing.
All right you lot,
come on, quick, march.
You're mad, Alexander.
-Clean out of your head.
-Yes. So many people think.
You're an expert nurse, father Cleitus.
You'd better let me have
another look at it tomorrow.
-No, perhaps about it.
You do what I say.
-Ah, I've got a little surprise for you.
-Yes, what is it?
Never you mind. You just wait here.
Shan't be a second.
What's his surprise?
I gather it's a special reserve
of female captives.
Oh, isn't that typical of Cleitus.
Why do so many of my men
expect me to behave like an animal?
You know, Parmenion, sex and sleep
are the two things of this world
that make me most conscious
of my mortality.
You didn't sleep at all last night?
have I ever slept before battle?
-At least you'll sleep tonight.
Parmenion, from the bottom of my heart,
I thank you.
-Thank me, sir, what for?
-For winning my battle for me.
-That's not true.
-Isn't it?
Well, anyway we won it and I thank you.
-Thank the Gods, sir, not me.
-Well, I thank both.
Go and stop Cleitus
making a fool of himself
-with his female captives, will you?
-I will, sir, if I can find him.
-And then come back to dinner.
Oh, God, if there is any justice
in heaven let my father know
what I have done today.
Let him see me here and now
in Darius's tent,
wearing Darius's mantle.
And let his eyes
(SHOUTING) burn with the sight.
do you ever think I'm a bit mad?
-Sometimes, Alexander.
-So do I, sometimes.
-Give me some wine.
-That's a rare request for you.
Well, I'm thirsty.
What a horrible taste wine has.
I don't know how people
can drink that stuff.
what shall I send home
to my dear mother?
-That cloak?
I wouldn't part with it.
Something with the royal arms on it.
-Well, I know what I'm sending home.
-A lion cub.
-A lion cub?
Yes, with the most beautiful
jewelled collar.
He's in my tent now.
Probably eating all my clothes.
-Imposing, isn't it?
It's a strange object
to bring on active service.
The master of the world
must keep his state.
-I wonder where he is now?
-Probably hiding in a ditch somewhere.
How can a man become a God?
By doing what is impossible
for a man to do.
To lead thirty five thousand against
a quarter of a million and win.
Have I done the impossible, Hephaestion?
Your divinity is assured,
your translation into a fiery chariot,
I only hope you don't find it
too cold on Olympus.
-Cold and lonely?
-Oh, no! Surely not lonely.
-On Olympus?
-Not on Olympus, on Earth, I meant.
The true Emperor, he is a God among men.
That seat,
it must be a very lonely place.
-It needn't be.
-It must be.
Then why, knowing that,
should a man want to sit on it?
If today I had killed Darius...
-How near him did we come?
-About 20 paces.
Twenty paces
within the empire of the world.
(LAUGHING) Well, well, next time
we must pray for better luck.
Oh, do stop wailing, you brat,
or I'll give you some to wail about.
All right, you can go.
Now stand over here.
There, that's better.
Now kneel down.
Yes, that's right.
-Your Majesty?
-ALEXANDER: Yes, what is it?
Certain prisoners await
Your Majesty's pleasure.
Oh, Cleitus, you clown.
I sent Parmenion to stop you.
Oh, did you?
Well, I wasn't to be stopped anyway.
-How do you like them, eh?
-Very much but please take them away.
Didn't you even want to ask their names?
No, I don't want to ask their names.
Please don't kneel. Stand up.
Cleitus, take them
out of here, will you?
Mother, he's wearing father's cloak.
-Cleitus, you're under arrest.
-How dare you do this?
-Sir, I thought you'd be pleased.
(SHOUTING) Get out, you barbarian.
If there's anything I can do
to wipe out this insult,
you must tell me and it shall be done.
There is no insult, sir.
We are your prisoners
and you may deal with us as you please.
-You are the Queen Mother of Persia?
-I am.
Your son is not dead nor is he captured.
He fought bravely
but the Gods were not on his side.
-He... He's safe then?
-Yes, madam, he lives to fight again.
I'm placing these ladies in your charge.
Where were your proper quarters?
They were in the two tents
next to this one.
Escort them there,
put a guard of honour on duty.
Find them servants and see that they are
given every comfort they are used to.
Is there anything else
that I myself can do for you?
Yes, please.
Can you find Marduck?
-And who is Marduck?
-My lion cub. I think he's been stolen,
because I heard him making
a terrible noise.
Yes, I think I can find Marduck for you.
What is more,
I think I can find the thief.
If I do,
what would you like done to him?
-Put him in Marduck's cage.
-Excellent idea.
Hephaestion, see that order carried out.
Yes, sir.
It is wrong of me to ask, I know,
but my son,
you're not hiding the truth
to save our feelings?
Is he really alive and safe?
I can assure you of that, madam.
I saw him escape myself.
Well, in that part of the field,
he was outnumbered.
I see. Thank you, sir.
Your Majesty...
Hey, you in there.
-Yes, master?
-Find out if my bath is ready yet.
All is in readiness
for Your Imperial Majesty.
Come and watch me take my imperial bath.
I may not have another until Egypt.
We shall liberate
Darius's richest province,
hit him where it hurts.
Well, don't you think
the crown of pharaoh would suit me?
Cilicia, Syria and now Egypt!
The envoy of Alexander,
king of Macedon, awaits your pleasure.
Let him approach.
Darius, you should receive him
in the throne room in state.
I'm tired of state.
You should have had yourself
announced by your titles.
My titles are not very likely
to impress the envoy
of the man who is already
usurping most of them.
All the more reason to give yourself
your rightful style.
Is master of the world
still my rightful style?
With my wife, my daughter
and my mother in his power.
They will be returned to you soon.
At the price of nearly half the world
of which you say I'm still the master.
The offer was far too generous, sir.
If you remember,
I spoke against it in the council.
Yes, yes, you did, Bessus, you did.
But then, you see,
it was not your family who were captive.
-You are welcome to Babylon, sir.
-Thank you.
-You arrived last night, I understand.
-That is so.
-You came direct from Egypt?
-Yes, in 11 days.
You travel very fast.
-Your king is in Memphis?
-No, in Alexandria.
It's a new city
we are building on the Nile delta.
It's going to be the greatest port
in the world.
Ah, I should have thought
you would have heard of it.
No, my spies seem to have been very lax.
Where is the exact site?
Do you know Egypt?
You are speaking, sir,
to the pharaoh of Egypt.
Oh, yes, of course.
That was one of your titles, wasn't it?
Yes, it was.
-Where is the site?
-Between Lake Mareotis and the sea.
An admirable choice.
Well, now, sir,
I won't detain you any longer.
No doubt before our conference tomorrow
you have many matters
to discuss with your staff.
My staff? I haven't any staff.
-You're alone?
-Of course.
But these negotiations,
involving, as they do,
the questions of boundaries,
may be very complicated.
I don't think
you'll find the negotiations
as complicated as you think.
I see.
What's more, I have to start back
for Egypt tomorrow at first light,
so I think, with your permission,
I shall come to business straightaway.
-You have my permission.
-Thank you.
King Alexander replies to your
tenders of peace in the following way.
Regarding the ransom
of 10,000 camel loads of gold,
which you offer for your family,
he says that he is
in no immediate need of money,
but that, if he were, he would find
some other means of acquiring it.
-By robbery?
-By conquest.
DARIUS: Go on.
Regarding the suggestion you make
of a possible future marriage
between your daughter and himself,
he thanks you, but asks me to state
that should he ever consider
making such a match,
it would certainly not occur to him
to ask his father-in-law's consent.
By the Gods, you're a brave man
to come here on such a mission!
-Go on, sir.
-Thank you.
Finally, regarding the offer you make
of Egypt, Asia minor and the lands
west of the Euphrates,
he thanks you again
but finds it hard to understand
why you should have troubled yourself
to offer him what is already his.
Should you on the other hand offer him
the lands of the Persian empire
east of the Euphrates, he will accept.
In addition,
he asks that you surrender
your person to him
and desires me to assure you that,
should do so,
no harm will come to you.
On any terms other than these,
war between you must continue.
He is demanding that I surrender
my whole empire without condition?
The condition is that
you, yourself, will come to no harm.
Come to this parapet, sir.
Look down on the plain.
-What do you see?
-An army camp.
-The size of it doesn't impress you?
-Mere size very rarely does.
I have over half a million men
under arms,
they've been in training all the winter.
More are joining the colours every day.
Does your king really believe
that, if he crosses the Euphrates
in the heart of this vast continent,
thousands of miles from his base
and meets such an army on
the great plains of Babylon,
does he really believe that
he would have more than one chance in a
million of getting back to Greece alive?
Evidently, he must.
Or I should hardly have been
commissioned to bring you this message.
And what answer shall
I take back to him?
Tell him this.
My offer to him was fair,
sincere and generous.
I made it for one reason only.
Because he holds in his possession
the three people
who are dearest to me in all the world
and without whom I cannot live.
For their sake,
I was prepared to betray my country
and make a dishonourable peace.
Now he has relieved me of the choice
and I feel strangely glad.
I shall fight Alexander
without mercy for him
or thought for my family.
And, of course, I shall win.
For it cannot be otherwise.
My chamberlain will escort you
back to your quarters.
One moment, sir, before I go.
I have some painful news
that I must tell you.
Your wife...
You had heard that she was not well?
I had heard.
I'm afraid she...
Everything that could possibly be done
for her was done.
She didn't seem to recover
as she should.
It was just a fever, that was all.
It wasn't the doctor's fault.
They said she didn't want to live.
-I see.
-I'm sorry.
I should have delivered
this news less clumsily.
I'm not used to these
diplomatic missions.
I'm commanded by His Majesty
to express his deepest sympathy for you
in your irreparable loss.
You must thank His Majesty for me.
I will.
Here are some private letters for you.
I need hardly tell you, sir,
what I feel for you at this moment.
Thank you, Bessus.
Call the council for tonight.
-I shall decree general mobilisation.
-Yes, sir.
And training must be intensified.
We have six months
before he can cross the desert.
This time we'll take no chances.
Alexander must be killed!
PRINCESS: The funeral was very sad
for Grandmother and me.
Mother was given all the royal honours.
Alexander was there
and he was crying dreadfully.
Afterwards he came home with us
and played games to cheer me up.
And then he came every day
after that for a week,
with a different present
for me every time.
He's so gentle and kind.
Not a bit like a soldier.
I wish he wasn't your enemy.
Otherwise you would love him, I know,
as Grandmother and I do.
What kind of a man are we fighting?
ALEXANDER: So, gentlemen,
I don't think I need spend any more time
on the general situation.
On the left wing, Parmenion and Cleitus.
In the centre, Ptolemy and Perdiccas.
Myself and Hephaestion on the right.
One mile away,
in front of the village of Gaugamela,
the enemy has deployed an army
roughly twice the size of the one
he used against us at Issus.
It could have been four times as large,
but our crossing of the desert
in summer has surprised him.
Nevertheless we are faced by
nearly a quarter of a million men.
Here, in the heart of Asia, there can
be no question now of evading battle.
We must destroy that army
or that army will destroy us.
Our objective will be
the death or capture of
the enemy commander in chief.
Are there any comments?
Well, I'm not going to criticise
your plan, sir.
I think against an army outnumbering us
by nearly five to one,
it is the best of its kind
that can be devised.
-But I would suggest another.
-Yes, what is that?
Our troops are trained
in night fighting.
-Why not attack now?
-No, this is what Darius is expecting.
Let the Persians
stand to arms all night.
We attack in the morning.
Are there any other comments?
If anything should happen to me,
you will take over the special duties
assigned to Parmenion
who, of course,
will automatically assume
the responsibility
of commander-in-chief.
And after you, Perdiccas.
-I understand.
-Yes, sir.
Gentlemen, no doubt you wish to issue
your orders for tomorrow.
Might it be an idea to take a couple
of patrols out into the Persian lines?
I could easily organise
a bit of a panic out there.
Yes, organise that, Philotas,
but don't go yourself.
I don't want you a casualty
before the battle.
I wouldn't have suggested it
if I thought you'd do that to me.
One word more.
This is our last battle.
If we win it, the world is ours.
If we lose it, we're dead.
I don't think I need say any more.
Goodnight, gentlemen,
a pleasant rest till dawn.
-Goodnight, sir.
Hephaestion, are you ready
for another all-night vigil?
Of course.
I wonder how many hours of sleep
I've robbed you of in your lifetime?
You've robbed me of nothing, Alexander.
Good. Come back then. I shall need you.
take proper care of yourself tomorrow.
Don't go charging chariots like you did
at the Granicus.
Because you won't be on my wing to save
my life, Father Cleitus?
It's not you I'm thinking about,
it's us.
If we lose you here
in the middle of Asia,
I don't know how we'll find
our way back home to Greece.
-Goodnight, Cleitus.
Take care of yourself.
-Shall I prepare Your Majesty's bed?
No, I shall remain in here.
Why are my hands shaking?
God, God, take this fear from me.
What is it I fear?
Capture? Wounding?
Pain? Death?
I've never feared them before,
why should I fear them now?
It's the thought of losing my battle,
is that it?
I can't lose it, I'm invincible.
Is it the thought of wining my battle,
is that it, God?
If it is, then my fear is nothing.
Tomorrow, I'm master of the world,
the mortal partner of the Gods.
Or I'm dead.
Either way, there is nothing to fear.
So take this agony from me.
Father, Father Philip,
I invoke you then,
look down at me now and sneer.
Say, "What a weak, effeminate coward
I have for a son."
Say it, Father!
You said it often enough
in your lifetime.
Say it now and help me
by making me angry!
Thank you, dear Father.
I am very grateful.
I gave orders I was not to be disturbed.
I have two things, sir,
and they both concern your life.
Well, the first is this,
our agents report that
Darius has made a selection
of his special horse guards,
the so-called Immortals,
whose single aim in the battle tomorrow
will be to cut their way through
to wherever you may be,
and hack you down
at whatever charge to themselves.
Each man has taken a separate vow
to kill you or die.
Then I suppose they'll die,
which, for Immortals, should
prove an interesting experience.
I must beg of you, sir,
to take the threat seriously.
I would suggest that tomorrow
you neither wear your red cloak
nor ride Bucephalus.
-They make you so conspicuous.
-Well, exactly.
And so if I might suggest, sir,
perhaps someone else might...
And who do you suggest?
-Well, if I was to shave my beard off...
Oh, no.
You're still 40 years too old
and much too ugly.
Besides, old Bucephalus
would never forgive me
for allowing someone else
to ride him into battle.
No, I appreciate the offer, Parmenion.
-What was the other thing?
-That's more serious, sir.
A plot against your life,
here in the camp.
Go on.
A Persian spy, whom we caught yesterday,
confessed under torture
that his mission was to achieve
your death by poison.
And how was he going to do that?
-Through an agent.
-What agent?
The Queen Mother of Persia.
(LAUGHING) Poor man.
What a forlorn mission they gave him.
He was on his way back to the Persian
camp when they caught him.
The Queen Mother had promised to do
what he asked.
I realise that this has come
as a great shock to you, sir.
How was it to be done?
I understand she's in the habit
of preparing you
some kind of drink each evening,
isn't she?
You may have noticed that
she hasn't done so tonight.
-You haven't?
I've left her for you to deal with.
And you haven't said
anything to her at all?
No, sir. I merely had the sentry
prevent her bringing you the drink
a few minutes ago.
I said you were still in council.
She was angry I may say.
She said it would get cold.
Yes, master?
Tell the Queen Mother
I'm now ready for my drink.
-I'm very sorry, sir, I realise...
-Yes, thank you, Parmenion.
You did your duty.
Leave me now, will you?
Yes, sir.
Here's a verbatim account
of the interrogation,
if you should wish
to confront her with it.
Go now, please.
Perhaps, as a precaution, we might have
the sentries inside the tent?
No. Good night, Parmenion. Until dawn.
Her Majesty awaits your pleasure.
Let her pass the guards
and have the curtains drawn.
-Ah. Then it didn't get cold.
-I kept it warm.
-Have you seen the Persian camp fires?
Thousands of them.
Beautiful sight, isn't it?
Sit down, will you?
-You read Greek, don't you?
-You know I do.
Read that, will you? To yourself,
while I drink this.
Alexander, that was
a foolish thing to do.
-This report might have been true.
It might.
You have no right
to take risks like this.
-Did you see this man?
-Did he ask you to poison me?
And you said you would?
If I hadn't, he would have
asked someone else.
I'm not the only Persian in your camp.
Why didn't you try to kill me?
Tomorrow, I'm going
to try to kill your son.
Alexander, why must you fight him?
He's less than a mile away out there.
I could go to him now,
I could offer him peace.
He would be a fool to accept it.
He would from me.
I'll go Alexander, I'll go gladly,
if you'll only let me.
No, Mother, I won't let you.
What harm has he ever done?
Then why do you hate him?
I don't hate him.
If he's anything like you,
I think I might love him.
And yet you must?
I must.
Tell me,
did Darius hate his father?
No, he...he loved his father.
Why? What made you think...
I was just wondering.
-When did he die?
-Oh, it must be nearly 20 years ago now.
-Did you love him too?
-Yes. Very dearly.
Goodnight, Mother.
Goodnight, my son.
Hephaestion, Hephaestion!
There they are, straight ahead.
The chariots, the chariots!
They're coming now.
Let them pass, phalanx, let them pass.
Destroy them, now! Destroy them.
Companion cavalry,
Darius. Darius.
Wake up, wake up,
we haven't a moment to lose.
Water, water.
Only a sip, it's precious.
We shall have to ride through the day.
-That's enough.
No, we can't spare it.
Now listen, Darius,
you must try to understand.
Alexander is only
an hour or two behind us.
-Did you hear what I said, sir?
He left the road at the last village
and is riding straight for us.
-The short way through the open desert.
-You said that was impossible.
I said no man in his senses
would try it.
-You remember what I said, Bessus?
-Yes, you were right and I was wrong.
-Now get up, sir, please.
-I said,
"He is neither a man nor in his senses."
Get on to your feet, sir.
Isn't it strange, Bessus,
that, as he is a god,
it should have taken him
so long to catch us.
He hasn't caught us yet.
If we can get into the mountains,
he never will.
Not even if he was Mithra himself.
Courage, sir, courage.
-How far to the mountains?
-About 800 miles.
-How short a way you make it sound.
-We've already come twice that distance.
I've forgotten my empire was so wide.
-Let me go back to my cart and sleep.
-Wake up! Wake up!
Leave me, Bessus. Save yourself.
Thank you for all you have done for me
but leave me now, let me sleep.
Sir, your men are
waiting for your orders!
My men? How many men
have I this morning?
No more desertions? 300 is a large army.
With it, if I were Alexander,
I could conquer the world.
Darius can still reconquer the world.
Reach the mountains, you can have
an army of many, many thousands.
Less than a mile away,
riding straight for us.
-How many?
-About 50.
-Is Alexander with them?
-A black horse, a red cloak.
The Gods have delivered him
into our hands.
Darius? Darius, did you hear that?
Alexander is riding straight for us.
50 against 300.
Get the men into battle formation.
Sir, they are out of hand.
Some have ridden off, the others...
Darius, Darius, order your men to fight.
Soldiers of Persia,
hear your King Darius.
Soldiers of Persia, I, Darius,
great King of Persia and lord of Asia,
order you to lay down your arms
and surrender yourselves to Alexander.
Where is my horse? Lead me.
-My King!
-I am your king.
Lead me to my horse.
Bessus, Bessus.
Why am I alone?
Come quickly, someone, come quickly.
The master of the world is dying
and he must name his successor.
Where are my attendants?
Mazeres, where are you?
Someone must hear
to whom I bequeath my empire!
Who are you?
The enemy. Come here, my friend,
and listen.
I'm dying and you must listen
to what I have to say.
-I'm listening.
-I, Darius, great King of Persia...
Do you still hear me, Greek?
I, Darius, great King of Persia
do hereby name,
as my lawful and true successor,
Alexander of Macedon.
And I solemnly adjure him in my name.
What are you all staring at?
Have none of you ever seen
a dead Persian before?
Darius, it wasn't you I fought.
Try to believe that.
If you can't,
try to understand
that what I have done, I had to do,
because I could not do otherwise.
He shall be taken to Persepolis.
He shall be buried in the tomb
of the kings beside his wife.
We must return to Babylon
and break the news to his mother.
I never thought it would end like this.
In a farm cart.
You remember Gordium?
The knot on the wagon in the citadel?
Yes, I remember.
The empire of the world in a farm cart.
-And there it is.
-Yes, there it is.
I took your mantle once,
now you must take mine.
After all,
I never did solve that puzzle, did I?
How can a man
solve a puzzle with a sword?
Alexander, King of Macedon,
Captain General of Greece,
Pharaoh of Egypt, King of Babylonia,
Lord of the Lands, Great King of Persia,
and Master of the World,
does hereby pronounce that you, Bessus,
former Satrap and Prince of Bactria,
have been found guilty of all the crimes
of which you've been accused before him.
To wit,
first, that you did make an armed
and treacherous rebellion
against your rightful sovereign,
King Alexander.
BESSUS: Alexander
is not my rightful sovereign.
And that you did thereby cause the death
of many of his Majesty's loyal subjects
in the ensuing lengthy campaign.
Second, that you did for the aim
and purpose of making
the same armed rebellion,
usurped yourself the force
and sacrilegious style
of Artaxerxes the IV,
rightful Great King of Persia.
Third, that it was you who committed
the blasphemous crime of murder
against the royal and sacred person,
his late Imperial Majesty,
For all these crimes,
he does now sentence you
to be taken from here
to the city of Ecbatana
and there to be put death
in whatever manner
the High Council of the Medes and
Persians in session there shall devise.
former Prince of Bactria, have you
anything to say against this sentence?
-I have a favour to ask.
-Ask it.
I am a soldier.
All that I have done,
even the killing of Darius,
has been done in fighting for my country
against my country's invader.
I'm ready now to meet my death.
But I would rather meet it as a soldier,
not as a felon.
possessing, as I do,
a fairly close knowledge
of Persian judicial customs,
possibly closer than the present
Great King of Persia himself...
That's enough.
It is therefore not hard for me
to guess the sort of death
which the Council of Medes and Persians
may devise for a regicide.
It will be, to say the least,
I'm not afraid of it.
I would just rather not meet it.
The favour I ask,
is to be allowed a military execution
here in your camp.
The favour is refused.
So much for King Artaxerxes the IV.
God help him.
-Yes, Cleitus?
I think you might
have granted his request.
-It wasn't unreasonable.
-It was unreasonable.
-He killed Darius.
You seem to forget
I'm his lawful successor.
He nominated me.
-(LAUGHING) In a delirium.
-He knew what he was saying.
-Well, who believes it anyhow?
-No one yet, but the whole world will.
I don't see why it's so important.
-Do you want to get home, Cleitus?
-You know I do.
Yes, I know you do,
I know that all of you do.
Now that Darius is dead
and Bessus is captured
and we're all of us rich,
why can't we go home?
That's what your all asking
-when I'm not there.
And don't trouble to deny it, Ptolemy.
My ways of finding these things out,
I need to have.
Now, gentlemen,
I take it you've received your orders
for our march into Samarkand.
By the first days of spring,
you must be ready to cross
the mountains into India.
India? So the rumours are true.
Yes, Ptolemy, the rumours are true.
And what comments have you to make?
None, sir, none at all.
Except that I'm informed,
the Indians are rather
-So were the Persians.
India! Ye Gods!
Now we'll never get home.
I thought as much.
I don't know what my poor wife's
going to say.
In Samarkand, I shall have
my plan of campaign ready.
We can discuss it then.
Now, gentlemen, is there anything else?
Yes, sir.
I've had a report this morning
from Bactria. Serious, I'm afraid.
Our garrison at Herat
has been wiped out by rebels,
led by a powerful Bactrian chieftain.
-Not Oxyartes?
Why, the old rat!
And I negotiated terms with him!
Ptolemy, organise a punitive expedition.
In view of the march into India,
Herat must be made safe.
Yes, sir!
Is there no way of pacifying
this devil's country?
Did you not take hostages from this man?
Yes, sir, I took his daughter.
Throw him her head then as a present.
Where is she? In the camp?
Uh, yes, sir,
as a matter of fact she's...
I, uh, imagine, sir,
you'll be rejecting that order
you made just now.
Why should you imagine that?
Well, sir, in the circumstances...
Her father is a traitor,
her life is forfeit,
no circumstance can alter that.
You heard that, my girl?
I'm sorry,
but your father's been a wicked man.
I doubt if she understands
Greek or Persian.
Probably only speaks
some weird mountain dialect.
It's a pretty enough face, I will say.
Well, well, this is a sad business.
The murder of my garrison
was a sad business too.
Of course it was, sir, of course it was!
But, you know, the killing of hostages
doesn't seem to do much good
in this part of country, does it?
It must be made to do much good.
What do you suggest?
That I send this girl
back to her father with my blessing?
(SIGHING) No, sir,
that would be stupid but...
Well, look at that face, sir.
It does seem a shocking waste.
We're wasting time.
You're a soft-hearted, old idiot.
we've 3,000 miles
between us and our base.
Clemency is a luxury
we were able to afford in Babylon.
But not here,
at the eastern limits of the world.
Now, gentlemen, is there anything else?
Yes, sir, just a word.
It seems to me
that Cleitus was talking sense just now.
That'll be enough from you,
young Ptolemy.
We're all agreed the situation
needs a pretty drastic solution.
If there's a league between four or five
of these mountain chieftains
and they get across our
lines of communication,
we'll none of us
will see our homes again,
much less India.
Now that's a development
that could happen at any moment
-and we've a right to fear it.
-I never said I feared anything.
ALEXANDER: Quiet, Cleitus. Go on.
There are two alternative policies, sir,
terrorism and conciliation.
Terrorism has failed
because we haven't enough men.
In the name of the Gods, Ptolemy,
what would you have me do?
I can't make advances
to the whole Bactrian race.
-That's exactly what you can do, sir.
Through the very
attractive person of this Bactrian lady.
If you want to pacify Bactria
in a few days, at no cost whatever
and for good, here's your way.
Ptolemy, you're surely not suggesting...
Certainly, I am.
That Alexander should marry this girl?
Why, it doesn't have to be
a proper marriage.
At least, not according to our rites.
King of Macedon and Emperor of the World
to marry a barbarian peasant girl?
She's not a peasant girl.
She's the daughter of an important
Bactrian chieftain. A sort of
princess in her own right.
-(LAUGHING) Aren't you?
Oh, it'll make Alexander
the laughing stock of the world.
I don't think somehow whatever
Alexander did he could be quite that.
Besides, we can make up
a very fine story about it,
love at first sight,
chivalrous conqueror
insisting on marriage. All that.
I'm glad you've remembered
that the prospective bridegroom
might be expected
to have some say in the matter.
(LAUGHING) Of course, sir,
naturally it's for you to decide.
And I shall, Ptolemy, thank you.
Leave me now, will you?
Have the next prisoner brought in.
-Oh, shouldn't we stay for that?
-No. I must see Philotas alone.
-Better have the sentries in.
-You insult me, Perdiccas!
Do you think I'm afraid
of an unarmed man?
-A desperate man.
-So am I a desperate man.
Yes, sir.
Think over my suggestion,
won't you, sir?
-It would be a terrible risk.
-Alexander, frightened of a risk?
Of this one, he is.
-I think I'll decide no.
-Good boy!
I mean, Your Majesty
has made a very wise decision.
Think it over, sir.
"Love at first sight.
The chivalrous conqueror."
You'd have one valuable asset as a wife,
you can't talk.
Go away.
Go away.
Ah, thank god you're back.
When did you arrive?
About an hour ago.
Well, you look well.
Was it a troublesome journey?
It was a long one. You've covered a good
deal of ground since I saw you last.
Oh, I shall have covered a lot more
in the next few months.
Why is he wearing chains?
General Ptolemy's order sir, a week ago.
How dare he give such an order.
Philotas, you believe me when I say
I had nothing to do with this?
Yes, Alexander, I'll believe you.
How are you, Hephaestion?
You might have come to see me in prison.
Alexander did, often.
He even wept over me once.
Of course, he hasn't been this last week
to see me wearing my new decorations.
I couldn't have come,
I've been in Babylon.
In Babylon? Did you see my father?
Yes. He sent many messages.
-He doesn't know?
-Good. How is he?
-Very well.
Have these things taken off his hands.
So, it's true then?
-Didn't you get my dispatch?
-Yes, but I thought that perhaps...
-I found it hard to believe.
-Well, I had no doubt you would.
And what was it you thought, "perhaps"?
I thought perhaps you'd have him
arrested for a day or two,
to teach him a lesson.
And he'd be free by now.
Philotas was arrested two months ago.
His trial is next week.
-He is guilty then?
-Of what?
-Of plotting against your life.
-No, he is innocent of that.
Thank god.
Yes, I know of him now
to be innocent of that charge.
-There are others?
Are they serious?
The High Council of the army
believes so.
-What do you believe?
-What I believe is not important.
-But, of course it's important.
-I shan't be at the trial.
-Have some wine.
-You saw Parmenion in Babylon?
You didn't mention
anything about his son.
Of course not.
And the Queen Mother,
she's still determined
to punish me for the death of Darius?
She says I'm to tell you that
her feelings for you have not changed.
But she will not speak to me,
write to me or ever see me again?
Has she forgotten I can command her
to do all these things?
No. She is still the mother of Darius.
Well, perhaps,
I'd better teach her who I am.
-Sit down, Philotas.
-Yes, it might be as well.
(SIGHING) Some of your interrogations
recently have been a little severe.
They are not my interrogations.
You're in the hands
of the High Council of the army.
It has nothing to do with me.
Oh, hasn't it?
-Have some wine.
-Have you ever known me to refuse?
Thank you.
You know I've been trying lately
to remember what wine tasted like.
I'm glad to find that the reality
is better than my imagination made it.
Yes, I've no doubt
the same is true of other pleasures.
How is my sweet Antigone, by the way?
She's well, I believe.
I think you might have
allowed her to see me.
The council refused permission.
She's a witness against you.
(SCOFFING) And I loved that bitch.
Philotas, I want to help you.
Well, help me then. Set me free.
Give me back my commands,
punish my accusers.
You are your own chief accuser.
Shall I read you some of the things,
you're reported to have said about me?
Ah, what a man says in bed
should never be held against him.
These things weren't only said in bed,
nor only to Antigone.
-You want me to read them?
-If you must.
Uh, let me have
another cup of wine, meanwhile.
I better make
the best of these few minutes.
"The greatness of a man,
is to be measured not by what he does,
"but by what he is.
"On that premise, Alexander is
about as great as my little finger."
Yes, yes, I remember when I said that.
It was at a banquet in Egypt,
I was drunk.
Not too drunk to remember
having said it.
"People see Alexander as a God.
"Surely the place
for a God is on Olympus
"not on the throne of Asia."
Hmm, an unexceptionable sentiment,
I should have thought, from an atheist.
The council may not find it so.
-Is it a crime to make a joke?
-Was it a joke?
As much of a joke
as people saying you're a god.
"We began as the companions
of a Macedonian adventurer.
"We've ended as the slaves
of an Oriental despot."
Was that too a joke?
No, I think that was true.
See, Hephaestion, what can I do?
He's bent on self-murder.
Philotas! It is you who are making
an Oriental despot of me.
Can't you forget for a moment
who and what I am now?
And think of me as the simple
Greek soldier who was once your friend?
Yes, Alexander, I can.
A little too easily, perhaps,
for my peace of mind.
For all that, I'm still your friend,
and determined, if I can,
to save you from yourself.
What I have done
I shall not allow to be destroyed,
either by the actions of my enemies
or the taunts and jeers of my friends.
Which is why, in a few days' time,
you, my dear friend, may have to die.
That document will be your death
warrant, if I give it to the council.
Oh, then why give it to them?
I'll burn it,
if you fulfil one small condition.
That I fall down in public
and worship you as a god?
No! But you make a speech at your trial
in which will retract
every word you've said against me.
And that you'll give me
your most solemn oath now
that you'll never say another
as long as you live.
But that's just what I said, Alexander.
That I fall down in public
and worship you as a god.
Thank you for the wine. Guard!
-Take the assassin back to his jail.
-Philotas, I beg of you.
-Think before you do this.
-Oh, I've thought, Alexander.
I've thought quite long enough.
What else do you suppose I do
in my cell all day and all night?
I'm tired of thinking.
What I ask of you is not a great thing
to ask of a friend.
If you were Darius,
I should be a fool
not to save my life on such terms.
But you're not,
you're Alexander.
What you ask is greater
than the world we've conquered together.
-And you expect me to have mercy on you?
-No, I understand what you must do.
Then have pity on me,
if not for yourself.
I have, strange to say.
Pity on both of... Oh.
(GROANING) I shouldn't have had
that second cup of wine.
It's a mistake on an empty stomach.
I've enjoyed the adventure.
I wish I could've seen how it ended.
Goodbye, Hephaestion.
Philotas, I beg you,
do what Alexander wants.
I'm not Alexander, that's the trouble.
I can't do the impossible.
Come on, my friend! Forward march!
I didn't try to kill you, you know.
But if you should be fool enough
to pardon me now, I would.
And I wouldn't bungle it either.
Hephaestion, I'm giving you an order.
Yes, Alexander?
You will return to Babylon,
take a battalion of foot guards
and put Parmenion under arrest.
-Yes, Parmenion!
-Why, what has he done?
Then on what charge am I to arrest him?
Protective custody.
The men's anger will be so great
when they hear of Philotas's treachery,
that they may turn on Philotas's father.
But you don't believe that, do you?
Parmenion is worshipped by his men.
It's not good for a mortal
to be worshipped.
Did you not hear Philotas say that?
And Parmenion has far too many men
to worship him.
-But you're not afraid of Parmenion.
-He controls the heart of my empire.
Damn all the Gods,
why did I leave him there?
I must've been mad.
I'd stake my life
on Parmenion's loyalty.
You'd better not.
Your life is too precious to me.
But why must you think...
Oh, in the name of the Gods,
Hephaestion, you enrage me sometimes!
I am not trying to shirk the duty.
Let me go to him alone,
unarmed, without an escort
until I break the news.
And present a prospective rebel
with the most valuable hostage
I have to give?
I don't believe
he's a prospective rebel.
I don't intend to wait to find that out.
I shall declare I have definite proof
that Parmenion, like his son,
had been plotting against me.
Had been!
He must die resisting arrest.
-There's no other way.
-No, Alexander.
-You think I like to give this order?
How can I risk an open trial
when I have no evidence?
How can I have him
guarded by one battalion
in a town where 15,000
of his own men are under arms?
He must be killed on the spot,
it's the only possible thing to do.
Then you must find
someone else to do it.
-Not myself.
-You must.
You're the only one I can trust.
-In this, you can't trust me.
-But I'll take that risk.
I won't.
What, you'll disobey an order?
This order...
Why don't you have me killed too?
I must leave that to the Gods.
Surely they must envy
such...dazzling virtue?
Such nobility of character
in a mere mortal.
It's a wonder
they let you live so long, Hephaestion.
I must remember this moment.
This is the moment
Alexander first discovered
he hadn't a friend in all the world.
And that, from this moment,
he must stand alone.
(SIGHING) Leave me now.
And, for all I care,
you need never come back again.
Send in Perdiccas.
You remember the night before Gaugamela?
Yes, Majesty.
That night you saw my hands shaking
with fear. Do you remember, Mazeres?
Well, Majesty!
Well, my hands are shaking now
and I have no battle to fight tomorrow.
If only I had.
Fill that, will you?
Ah, Roxana.
So, you've appointed
yourself my cup bearer.
I thank you.
What toast shall I give you?
A loyal toast?
"Death to all the King's enemies?"
Yes, I think that will do very well.
-Here's death to all the King's enemies.
Which course includes your father,
doesn't it?
That's rather a pity, but then there's
nothing we can do about that, is there?
You love your father, Roxana?
Does he love you?
I see, you find
the very idea ridiculous.
And who am I to blame you. Sit here.
Let's you and I drink to his
perdition in a loving cup.
I have many enemies to attend to,
you know that, Roxana?
The Master of the World
has many enemies.
He doesn't want to have enemies,
he wants everyone to love him.
But he also wants to remain
Master of the World.
Go away. Go away.
See in my hand a ring?
A very pretty ring.
It belonged to my mother.
In this hand, a dagger.
Also a very pretty one.
It belonged to my father.
Now, you and I will play a little game.
You will decide which hand.
Yes, Roxana.
I think you'll make a splendid wife.
You also, I see,
are blessed with the quality of luck.
-You sent for me, sir?
-Yes, Perdiccas.
You will return to Babylon
with these orders.
So, General Perdiccas,
I am your prisoner.
Oh, no, ma'am, the King has simply
expressed a wish to see you
before he leaves for India.
When a King expresses a wish
in such terms,
it is better described as a command.
And when he sends
one of his most trusted generals
and a battalion of guards
to carry it out.
Escorting you to the King
is not my only duty in Babylon, ma'am.
I...I have another.
Oh, what?
(LAUGHING) I suppose I mustn't ask.
Very well, General,
and when do we leave?
-I see.
Your journey will be
as comfortable as I can make it.
Thank you, sir.
It would have been kinder of Alexander
to have sent Philotas on this mission.
His father is very lonely
here in Babylon
and I know would have given much
for a sight of him.
Philotas is under arrest.
-Under arrest? What is the charge?
-High treason.
I see.
Poor Alexander.
-I said, poor Alexander.
-I don't understand you, ma'am.
-I hardly thought you would, General.
I will not detain you,
I know you have other...
Duties to perform.
I have.
I shall be ready for you at dawn.
-You wanted to see me, sir?
-Ah, Hephaestion!
Yes, about the wedding ceremony.
You've read what your part in it
is to be?
Well, there's a wedding banquet
and I shall expect you to attend.
Very well.
And, Hephaestion,
I shall expect you
to sit at my right hand.
I see. Thank you. Is that all?
I see I must humble myself.
Will you forgive me, Hephaestion?
There is nothing to forgive.
Oh, in the name of the Gods!
What do you want me to do?
Rend my clothes, pour dust on my head,
roll on the ground at your feet?
I will, if you like.
The truth is...
The truth is I am not as invincible
as I believed.
You've won. I admit defeat.
And I would like to salute my conqueror.
Sit down. No, up here.
Parmenion is dead. I heard this morning.
Philotas was executed a month ago.
Yes, I had heard that.
I know what you must be
feeling about me at this moment.
Not about you, Alexander...
For you, that's all.
Thank you.
I've needed you, you know,
these last few weeks.
I'm sorry.
Ptolemy and Cleitus can't help much
with this kind of burden.
But I am not a murderer.
-Will you believe that?
-Have some wine.
-No, thank you.
Come, everybody must get drunk
on my wedding night. Cleitus!
The bride is ready, sir.
She wants to show herself
to her loving spouse to be.
-May she come in?
Let us inspect Her Majesty.
Her Majesty?
She's not going to be that, is she?
-Just for the ceremony.
-Oh, I see.
(LAUGHING) I was going to say,
"A Persian, that would never do, eh?"
All right, my girl, you can come in now!
Your loving husband salutes you.
I admire your face and figure
almost as much as I do your dowry.
-HEPHAESTION: Her dowry?
Thirty thousand lives
and six months campaigning,
I'd call that valuable enough,
wouldn't you?
I certainly would.
And if you've brought me six months
nearer home, my dear, I salute you too.
I must have some more wine.
It's a very complicated ceremony,
you know.
I haven't learnt my part yet
as I should.
I only wish the Queen Mother was here
to help me.
Dear Mother.
How I long to see her again.
Why do you call her
your mother, Alexander?
Your mother is a Macedonian.
The Queen Mother of Persia
is my mother, Cleitus,
-just as she is your queen.
-My queen?
Olympus of Macedon is my queen.
-Not a wretched Persian.
Cleitus, come here.
I meant no disrespect, sir,
you know that.
But all this bowing and scraping
and kneeling to barbarians,
it makes me sick!
What's the matter
with the old man tonight?
Apart from wine?
I'm afraid I told him about
your intention to form
a core of Persian companions
for the Indian expedition.
Ah! So that's what it is, eh?
Ah, I heard you. Persian companions.
What are we fighting
this war for anyhow?
Now that's what I want to know.
(LAUGHING) Persian companions.
I suppose they'll be giving them Greek
slaves to curl their beards next.
Oh, Cleitus, come...
Oh, we'll be having
Indian companions before we know.
Hephaestion, what do you think
of my choice of bride?
Very good.
You're carrying her crown
at the procession, aren't you?
No, no.
No, it's your crown I'm carrying.
Oh, yes, of course.
Well, who's carrying hers?
-Cleitus, is it you?
-What's that?
Are you carrying Roxana's crown
in the procession?
(CHUCKLING) That's right.
I've got it all pat.
I'll walk in front of her all the way,
carrying her crown on a cushion
high in the air.
My arms will drop off before long.
And when I get to the platform,
I step aside, let her go up the steps
and sit down.
Then I go up
and I put the crown on her head.
-Correct, sir?
-Correct, save for one thing.
-You've forgotten your obeisance.
-Obeisance? What's that?
You've to kneel down
in front of the throne,
put your head on the ground...
Oh, good heavens, man,
you've seen it done often enough.
I must have seen it done often enough
but I'm not going to do it.
-You must!
-To a Persian? Not on your life.
-Oh, Cleitus, don't be a fool.
-Fool I may be,
but I'm not chewing any dirt
in front of any little barbarian.
Cleitus, have a care.
You volunteered for the duty.
Oh, I did.
But I wouldn't have done, if there was
going to be all this mumbo-jumbo.
ALEXANDER: The mumbo-jumbo,
as you call it, is very important.
The Great King of Persia
is taking a wife.
The ceremony must be carried out
according to the rights and usages
of his Persian ancestors.
"His Persian ancestors?"
Holy Gods above,
that I should live to hear
the son of Philip use such words.
-Get him out of here.
-PTOLEMY: Come on, Cleitus.
"Persian ancestors!"
It's a pity your Persian ancestors
didn't win the Battle of Marathon,
-isn't it?
Then they might have saved us
all this fighting we've been doing,
these last eight years.
Oh, stop it, Cleitus, for heaven's sake.
The King didn't mean that.
I know what the King meant.
He meant, he's forgotten
he's the Captain General of Greece.
And this is the man
who talks about barbarians.
I tell you this girl here is 100 times
more civilised than he is.
Oh, let me take his part
in the ceremony and he can take mine.
All right. But get him out of here now.
(SARCASTICALLY) All right, I'll go,
Great King and Master of the World!
And I'll carry your crown for you
this evening.
I'll not kneel in the mud
in front of you either.
I'm a free born Macedonian!
I'd sooner die!
That may not be so difficult to arrange.
Oh, yes.
I don't doubt you could
have me murdered, as you had Parmenion.
If you don't like the truth,
you shouldn't ask Macedonians
to drink with you.
You should stick to your Persian slaves.
Take him out or I'll kill him.
Thank God Philip isn't alive
to see the shame of his son!
-Let me go.
Unlike his son,
Philip at least was a man!
Call out the guard!
Kill Cleitus, I say.
It's just that I am rather drunk.
You shouldn't have thought that I...
This has happened before.
The wedding banquet.
I've killed my father.
He came at me with his sword,
he tried to kill me and I killed him.
You were there, Hephaestion. You saw it.
I've killed my father! I must die!
Be careful with that now.
Perdiccas, thank God you're back.
-Why are you breaking camp?
But that wasn't
to be for another six weeks.
We move at first light.
But it's far too early in the year
to cross those mountains,
even the foothills
will still be snowed up.
We'll just hope that the Gods are kind.
What's made him
change his mind like this?
-You heard about that?
It's had a bad effect on the army.
Was Alexander going
to move off without me then?
Yes, you're three days late.
It's not our fault.
You should see what the rivers are like.
And what's going to happen
to the Queen Mother?
Are we going to leave her in this place?
"Alexandria, the end of the world,"
or whatever it's called?
She's to follow the march to India.
-Gods above! She'll never survive that.
-I've told him so.
What's the matter with him?
Has he gone off his head or something?
(LOUDLY) How was your commission?
Uh, can't say I enjoyed it very much.
You've saved yourself a court-martial,
by a matter of hours.
I'm sorry, sir,
but the rivers are in flood.
I didn't care to take risks
because of the Queen Mother.
-Where is she?
-I've arranged her old accommodation.
Bring her here.
-She might be asleep, sir.
-So might I, but I'm not.
-Bring her here.
-Yes, sir.
-How long till dawn?
-About two hours.
Oh, this night seems endless.
-Do you know the order the march?
See the men take the usual precautions
against frostbite.
Yes, the orders were issued.
I shall ride Bucephalus tomorrow
as if we were going into battle.
Yes. I shall ride Bucephalus.
Poor, old Bucephalus.
Leave us.
see that we're not disturbed.
Ah, I apologise for the discomforts
of your journey.
I hope they were not too great?
I see. Very well. As you please.
I have no doubt there'll be moments
on the march through
the Himalayas to India,
when you may feel
inclined to break your silence.
Yes, Mother, India!
You don't think I'd be fool enough
to leave an avowed enemy like yourself
behind me in Babylon.
An enemy who can still command
a certain amount of allegiance
from her former subjects.
I may be as mad as people say I am,
but I'm not that mad!
Have some wine.
Since I saw you last, I've rather taken
to the drinking of wine.
I have no doubt in Babylon
you've been hearing rumours
that I've become a drunkard.
But it isn't true.
Wine does not make me drunk.
It just makes me
see things more clearly.
What's that you're holding in your hand?
For me?
I recognise that.
It belonged to my father.
He gave it to... (CLINKING)
It's dangerous to do such things to me
in my present mood.
I killed a man the other day
with my own hands for less!
Go, now.
No! Don't pick it up!
Let it lie there and rot.
Like its owner's body.
Go and be ready to move off
within two hours.
Mother, please turn around.
Come here.
Look at me, Mother. Please look at me.
I command you,
lift your eyes and look at me.
What do you see?
Tell me, am I so very changed?
Is this the Alexander you used to know?
Tell me. Only you can tell me that.
Speak, Mother, speak.
-You're not so very changed, Alexander.
-I am changed, I know.
But there's nothing I could have done
to save myself.
Once you had started,
there was no turning back.
-Before Gaugamela, I could have.
Before Gaugamela.
And you suggested it, do you remember?
That you should walk through
the darkness to the Persian camp
and make peace with your son.
Why didn't I let you do that?
Everything would have been all right,
I know.
I don't think it would.
The devil that's in you
wouldn't have let you rest.
What am I going to do now?
Go on to the end.
-Will the end be bitter?
Well, what does it matter,
provided I conquer the world?
And now that you're with me,
I shall conquer India.
Yes, my son, I'm sure you will.
And after India, Africa,
after Africa, the North.
There's plenty yet to do.
I must have action! When the Gods
give me action, I'm happy!
No time for thinking.
Just doing, doing, doing.
That's all that matters in this world.
That's all that matters
in Alexander's world.
Alexander's world is good enough
for Alexander.
-For him, it's the best world there is.
-Perhaps because he knows no other.
Well, if he did, he'd conquer it!
I humbly beg pardon, sir,
but I have been asked
to present a petition to you
from the second division
of Thessalonian Horse.
As they were the first contingent
to cross the Hellespont,
they beg to have the honour of leading
the march on India.
-The request is granted.
-Yes, sir.
And, Perdiccas, you will join us
in India at the earliest opportunity.
-Join you?
-Yes, from Babylon.
But I've just come from Babylon.
You will return there
escorting the Queen Mother.
-It's 1,000 miles!
-All right, Perdiccas.
Yes, sir.
Mother, you must go back to your world.
I must go on.
Give me your blessing.
Bless you, my son.
-I have some new orders for you.
-Yes, sir?
Oh, don't call me "sir." You know how
it annoys me coming from you.
Now, I've noticed that the men have
accumulated far too much baggage.
Yes, the under officers have already
been told about it but they say...
But they say that
if Alexander has twenty cartloads,
why shouldn't they have one?
-Yes, well, I'll tell you what we'll do.
You and I will go outside now
and build a bonfire.
An enormous bonfire! Like the ones
we used to make as boys, remember?
As well as you do.
Then we'll take these 20 cartloads
and we'll put it on to it, one by one.
And, last of all, we'll put this tent.
This tent?
Yes, it should make a marvellous
bonfire, don't you agree?
And, on top of it all,
I shall put this throne.
Yes, I should like to see that throne
on a bonfire.
-But would it burn, do you think?
-I pray to God it will.
So do I, Hephaestion. So do I.
But it didn't burn.
There's no way of burning
a conquered throne.
Hephaestion, where are you?
You were at my side
as we sailed down the Indus,
crowned with the laurels of victory.
Hephaestion? Hephaestion?
But Hephaestion is dead, sir.
He died of a fever.
Was it a fever?
Or was it a broken heart?
Alexander, will you tell us who is
to succeed you on the throne of Asia?
Who is to be Master of the World?
"Who is to be Master of the World?"
Who shall I condemn to death?
His lips moved again
but I heard nothing.
Will you repeat that, sir?
No one.
Let them fight it out for themselves.
Goodbye then.
The adventure is over
and the adventurer
would like to go to sleep.