Castle Keep (1969) Movie Script

Did you hear a scream?
Like a wild bird, maybe an eagle.
...I hate this jeep.
I bak ed an eagle once.
Made out of bread.
Finocchi's Bak ery in Los Angeles.
This nut from the Wildlife Federation
ordered it.
We came to the wrong war.
If we harness that mother,
he'll pull us to Maldorais.
Easily. Maldorais is just there,
beyond the hill.
I see Sainte-Croix on the map.
I don't see Maldorais.
Because Maldorais is not a village.
It is a castle.
- A castle?
- Oh, we're gonna barrack in a castle.
It is my castle.
We're going to barrack
in your castle.
The Germans did the same.
We're Americans.
I am Henri Tixier,
Comte de Maldorais.
- Captain Beckman.
- Lionel Beckman, the art historian.
Castles interest him.
And this is Major...
Falconer. Let's go.
Keen horse you got there,
Mr. Tixier.
Thank you.
The Germans had no Negro.
These kind gentlemen rescued me
from a slaver off of Santo Domingo.
Went down with all hands.
They thought they could
learn Swahili from me.
Private Benjamin wants to be a writer,
so he talks like a writer.
He thinks the war was invented
so he could write a book about it.
Yes, it is Maldorais.
Hey, how long was
the Hundred Years' War?
Exactly 215 years.
There are rooms off the great hall.
The enlisted men can
live in the keep.
- The keep?
- Castle keep, the tower.
All right, gentlemen.
Has anyone got the exact time?
There you are, Benjamin,
a title for your book: Castle Keep.
Not bad.
Castle Keep.
By PFC Alistair P. Benjamin.
Once upon a time...
...eight walking wounded misfits
of the American Army...
...entered a castle in Belgium.
But this cannot be a Gothic tale,
because it was the Second World War.
Doesn't it give everything
another dimension?
Maybe the duke
could put in an elevator.
And a flush toilet.
Think my living here
will lower the real-estate value?
You trained for the ministry,
didn't you, lieutenant?
Then why aren't you a chaplain?
And then the snow came.
It was a good time to write.
All of us had been killed twice.
Some of us three times.
Maybe that's why
we were at the castle.
We had been sent to the castle
as a replacement company.
Or maybe we had
just been put there...
...away from everything... nurse our wounds
and sit out the war.
That was three weeks ago
when the castle was occupied.
No one knows when the major
occupied the countess.
But no one was surprised.
- Yes, Captain Beckman?
- I'm sorry, sir, I didn't know.
You'll learn, Beckman.
It's 6:00, sir. I'm sorry.
You can't do anything about that,
- The men in the chapel?
- Not yet, sir.
Three minutes.
Sergeant Rossi, he's on the way down.
Do you have a pack
of cigarettes for me?
I have a chocolate bar.
Do you want it?
The major wants everybody
to get his ass in the chapel!
It isn't necessary that we
admire each other.
This is where one U.S. Division
is holding a 23-mile front.
If the Germans decide not to lose
the war so fast, they'll counterattack.
They'll hit that green division
and those people will not stop them.
The Germans' first objective...
...will be to secure the hub of the
road net in the Ardennes.
This town, Bastogne.
The easiest way to Bastogne
is through Verviers.
But they're not coming that way.
Last night there were star shells over
Sainte-Croix. You may have noticed.
They lit the crossroads.
It interests them.
I just want to explain those star shells
to you.
It means this is the way they're
coming. Right here. This castle.
- Any questions?
- I thought the war was over.
- That's not a question.
- Sir...
...I think you ought to let the
Indian express himself.
- Make him feel part of the group.
- Express yourself.
The Germans couldn't move
that many men...
...without our intelligence
knowing it.
- Right. Now you're part of the group.
- I have a question.
If they counterattack, wouldn't we be
more valuable at the Meuse River?
Saving the castle, the paintings,
the sculpture...
...has nothing
to do with your strategy.
Frankly, yes, it does.
Well, that's a business about
which I understand nothing.
We were put here
to service replacements.
But there are no replacements.
So we'll dig in, like real soldiers.
I want the terraces
and gardens mined.
Major Falconer.
Maldorais must not become
a battleground.
Not a battleground, duke,
an island of resistance.
I'll make a diagram of the mining
tonight. Also a patrol roster.
Any weapons left behind by the
Germans I want put in firing condition.
Meantime, keep the men occupied.
Find something. Anything.
Put on a play.
I got a good play.
This army stops at a castle.
They're embattled.
They can surrender
and save the castle...
...or they can hold.
- It won't work, sir.
It should be about screwing.
Screwing was invented by the Swedes
during World War I.
- I got a play.
- Tell it.
A small man comes on stage
with a great erection.
Then what?
That's all I got.
Just the first act.
That won't carry the play by itself.
Well, suppose it goes down
and down in each succeeding act.
- To infinity.
- Nope.
Any actor who could play the part
would get better offers.
Track of the animal.
A boar?
No, a German.
Why not an American?
Those are hobnailed boots.
We don't wear them.
- Should we not return for help?
- No, it's a patrol.
They probably broke
through our lines.
- Is there a place we can fort up?
- The summerhouse.
- Does it have a clear field of fire?
- Yes.
Then we'll decoy them
to the summerhouse.
What have you got there?
- Han vase.
- What?
Second dynasty.
They're high, about 2 o'clock.
- How's the vase?
- Intact, commandant.
They'll rush us when they
get into position.
That's harassing fire
to keep us down.
- I've been in a war, commandant.
- Then get rid of that junk.
It's cocked and ready to fire.
Wait till you've got a clear target.
I've got them all spotted.
They had no leader.
One man is missing.
I don't think so.
There were only four tracks.
They wouldn't send a patrol
this deep without an officer.
Their officer left them earlier.
Perhaps he went to the castle.
- To what purpose?
- Maybe a mission of his own.
What is it, Captain Beckman?
Jealousy, I'm afraid.
In a chapel?
I've always wanted to live with...
In a place like this.
Now that I'm here, I feel as if...
No, I am an intruder.
We are...
Captain Beckman, you are the one
who belongs at Maldorais.
I've got the German spotted.
- Where?
- Under the topiary tree near the moat.
Just left your
wing of the castle.
He's waiting to see
if it's all clear.
He has a rifle, but he doesn't know
where the shooting came from.
I'd estimate his range at 200 yards.
- My wing of the castle?
- Yes.
- Is everything correct?
- Everything is correct, duk e.
You shot well, commandant.
He has been a visitor,
when the Germans occupied the castle.
He treated the castle with respect.
Your niece seems upset.
My niece is my wife, commandant.
I think you'd better see
to your wife, duke.
God is neutral, along with the pope.
But as a traditionalist,
he must respect the hierarchy.
The Maldorais.
The Maldorais line must continue.
And God must know
where the Americans fit.
Americans are brave and that is why
they seem lik e children.
They are young, wild animals.
So, what can you expect?
I can expect a child.
After the war,
the flowers will be dead.
And the husbands will take over.
Excuse me, sir.
I'd like your permission
to hang this Delacroix...
...and some other paintings
in the parlour for my lecture.
Your lecture?
I'm organizing an entertainment
program for the men.
If it is a matter
of their requirements...
That can be taken care of in the village
at La Reine Rouge.
- The Red Queen?
- The whorehouse.
- A cigar, captain?
- No.
- Hobbema.
- Yes, a very early one, isn't it?
You live with such things, count.
Works I've read about, second-hand
descriptions that don't do them justice.
I've begun an inventory. Unbelievable.
A Botticelli, two Corots.
- Fragonard...
- We are in danger.
Do you intend to do anything
about it, captain?
Wait! That's the count's car!
- Enlisted men can't steal his car.
- Right.
- Where you going at this hour?
- Drilling, sir.
- Drilling?
- Drilling the girls at the Red Queen.
So now we were
on the way to Sainte- Croix.
The cowboy,
the 24-karat Indian, the cook...
... the bak er and myself.
The rage of Paris, France,
and all women everywhere.
Bring out early in your book
that you're very young and Negro...
...unscrewed and unpublished.
I hate this car.
Who's home to welcome the heroes?
Hey, Rossi.
Where there's a bakery,
there's a baker's wife.
The place is closed.
- Where do you come from?
- We come from the castle.
To where are you going?
To the ends of the Earth.
And I think we're there.
Parlez English?
I'm a baker.
I'm a baker's wife.
Where's the baker?
That's what a man needs.
A baker's wife, kid, family, home.
Come to bed.
I've been making an inventory too,
Captain Beckman.
You should be interested
in that inventory.
If those Americans
don't hold that ridge...
...your inventory will be shot to hell.
- We don't have to defend here.
- We can drop back to...
- I do, Beckman.
Major, I don't think you know
what this castle means.
It stands on the most important
crossroads in the Ardennes.
- Isn't that...?
- On the road to Bastogne.
- I think we should pull back.
- Don't think, Beckman.
If something isn't saved,
then what's it all for?
You can't save anything
by giving it to the Germans.
If you give them anything,
you have to give everything.
Is that what you wanna do,
You know all about this...
But you don't know how to hold it.
You want it in ruins. Everything.
Do I, Beckman?
My purpose is madness.
It's the only way you can tell
what really happened in war.
By lying, you can open the door
a little crack on the truth.
Right, baby.
I love the Red Queen.
Red Queen is lovely.
Everybody loves the Red Queen.
Hey, where's Elk?
You're standing on him.
This whole thing has an ineffable,
dreamlike quality.
Like I've been here before.
This place, this queen, girls...
- Major Falconer is a warmonger.
- Yeah.
- Besides that, he's immoral.
- What?
Three of them. It just ain't right.
Three of them.
- Who?
- Major Falconer and the duchess.
- Well, that's only two.
- No, the duke is there.
Probably tucks them in.
It just ain't right.
I see. Two people is okay,
three people, then it's dirty?
For chrissake, Alistair,
can't you see it ain't natural?
Besides that, she's his nephew...
Niece. Anyhow, it just ain't right.
A cowboy like you. American cowboy.
So that's what goes on in that big,
wide, wide, outdoor brain.
The movies never told us
this about cowboys.
- You wanna fight?
- Not now, I'm thinking.
- I could whip your ass.
- Yeah, that doesn't concern me.
Right now I'm working on your
moral indignation.
- What the hell is that?
- Your evangelists.
- My evangelists?
- The evangelists of the American Army.
Hey, you're waking everybody up!
Go back to your outfit!
- Excuse me?
- You're waking everybody up.
Go back to your outfit.
We have no outfit.
We've withdrawn.
- We don't believe in fighting.
- Well, who believes in fighting?
We believe in God.
That frightens you, doesn't it?
All you believe in
is fornication and killing.
- What?
- We're conscientious objectors.
You mean you conscientiously
object to fornicating?
Hey, didn't you tell them?
They're supposed
to excuse you from combat.
They said that our sect
was too small!
- Your what was too small?
- Sect! S-E-C-T!
Let the people of the city sleep.
The hell's the matter with you,
Can I tell you something?
I wish I had the courage
to go to the Red Queen's.
It would be a way of breaking away
from my father.
How does one get the courage,
Captain Beckman?
You have to be an enlisted man.
Cinderella left the ball in such
a hurry, she forgot her glass eye...
Slipper. Now, that's how the prince
traced her. She had the smallest eye...
- Foot in the world.
- Wait a minute.
You say at midnight,
if we don't get back to the castle...
...we're gonna turn into soldiers?
- No, we'll turn into soldiers anyway.
It'd be nice to be in the castle
when it happens.
- Where do you come from?
- My bakery.
- To where are you going?
- To that table where my buddies are.
Everybody should eat more bread.
It feeds the heart.
And remember, the heart's the second
most important organ in the body.
It disturbs you,
my wife and the major.
You find me degenerate.
Or worse, French.
No, I am only impotent.
And I want a son.
What could be more bourgeois,
Puritan, even American, than that?
- You're how old? Twenty, 21?
- Twenty-three.
There ought to be an age limit
on the killing.
That doesn't interfere with you,
does it?
The German officer under
the topiary tree threw his life away.
He made it difficult not to kill him.
He was billeted here?
In this room?
Well, how do you feel?
I don't understand.
You don't show much, do you?
What do you want me to do?
I guess there isn't much you can do.
You're not 20 or 23.
You're 1000 years old and you're
trying to keep a castle, aren't you?
The war came close today.
I would like to end it.
For a little while, if I can.
You want to end it, don't you?
For a little while.
For a night.
Just before the end of the world,
Captain Beckman gave us soldiers...
... a lecture on the history of art.
Here was a captain
in the American Army...
... talking about strength and the force...
Private Benjamin, if you feel
more qualified to give this lecture.
Thank you, sir. No, sir.
I'm sorry. Go ahead, sir.
Thank you, Private Benjamin.
We have the privilege of living
in this monumental tribute... man's concept of beauty.
I want you to note the connubial chase
in Rubens' finest, most supple style.
That must've been his horny period.
Sergeant Rossi.
Gentlemen, I suspect
10 years from now, or 20... some American Legion
convention... of your nightmares will be
that day in the Ardennes...
...when you weren't blown up
by a bomb... were bored to death by
Captain Beckman.
Now, the purpose of my talk... to shock you.
- Sir?
Isn't the purpose to be sure the troops
don't get an hour off?
The function of all art
is to disturb and awake.
- Now, if I may make a small analogy...
- You do that, sir.
Corporal Clearboy. Was your estimate
General Patton planned in advance...
...his breakthrough out of Normandy?
- I don't know, sir.
I wanted to hear you say that.
He was with General Patton.
He and I were never close, sir.
It makes my point.
There's the same kind of spontaneity
in war as in art.
War is an art of becoming,
a culmination.
An orgasm?
Yes, art is like a sexual experience.
And the sexual experience, like art,
cannot be culminated alone.
You certain about that, sir?
You gentlemen recall the training film
Lieutenant Amberjack showed you?
- The one on sex, sir?
- I'd like to link that to the art of war...
...which the film didn't cover.
When you have a sex film,
you can't cover everything.
No, but I mean seriously, gentlemen,
sex without love... art without feeling,
is nothing more than masturbation.
- Shall we write that down?
- I'm just throwing things out.
Could we pursue
that sexual thought further?
- No. No, no, no, no. My point is that...
- Sex is an art.
- No, no.
- Masturbation...
- No, no, De Vaca.
- Sir...
...what would you say if your best girl
were sleeping with a 4F?
I don't have to answer that.
I want to get back to the war.
But I'll leave you with a thought
that might do some good.
I'll say to you bums that if you ever
lecture an hour to a bunch of idiots...
...then resign your commission.
- I'd like to be alone, Alistair.
- You're a fun guy.
- Your talk on art turned me on.
- I don't particularly wanna be fun.
- You mind if I sit down, sir?
- No, you can stand.
You took your lecture too hard.
Is war a subjective thing, sir?
That's a good point.
You know...
- You comfortable?
- Do you mean that facetiously?
No, I mean, you being a private
and me being a captain and everything.
- And everything?
- Yes.
The enemy and the American Army
is out there and we're talking...
Never underestimate the intelligence
of the American soldier, sir.
- You get that in a training manual?
- You shouldn't be bitter, sir.
If a soldier didn't value art,
he wouldn't be much of a soldier.
Napoleon before Venice said, " If my
cannon destroy but one statue...
...I would rather not take Venice."
Did Napoleon say that?
- Doesn't sound like Napoleon.
- Oh, well, no.
- But I thought it would cheer you up.
- I appreciate that.
But Napoleon was a louse.
- I think soldiering is a bore, don't you?
- Yes, sir.
But I see you have the Purple Heart
and Silver Star.
I got excited. For a whole year I was
out of my mind, but I've recovered now.
But you'd fight for this castle.
I don't know who.
I don't know which side
would want to destroy it.
One thing more, sir.
Sorry I couldn't help
during the lecture.
That's beyond and above
the call of duty.
- Still...
- When you write your book... can rescue me.
No, don't bother.
Just write well about this castle
and how we kept it.
It's really not a bad title,
Castle Keep.
Thank you, sir.
Castle Keep.
We will try, sir.
Will that be all, captain?
That is all.
No one knew exactly when...
... Corporal Clearboy fell in love
with the Volkswagen.
But there he was one morning...
... petting it, shining it up
lik e a silver whore.
I understand you've been sleeping
with the Volkswagen.
Yes, sir. Is there a regulation
against it, sir?
- Sodomy?
- That's animals.
There's a regulation against using
enemy equipment. Creates confusion.
Sir. She's a beautiful car, sir.
You must love the Volkswagen
very much, Clearboy.
Thirty-six horses.
No water, sir. Hides her engine
in her rear, air-cooled. No water, sir.
Is the world suffering
a water shortage?
Not now, sir, but suppose this war
just goes on and on and on...
...destroys everything in the world.
Since the Volkswagen
gets along without water...
...she'll survive
when other creatures die off.
Someday the world will be populated
with nothing but Volkswagens.
You've figured that out, Clearboy?
Very well, Corporal Clearboy,
keep it.
Clearboy has a thing
about the Volkswagen.
- Why doesn't he see a doctor?
- Think that's abnormal?
I think it's frustrating as hell.
- Amberjack. I want patrols stepped up.
- Yes, sir.
Be on the lookout for infiltrators
slipping into town in advance of attack.
The place for infiltrators
is the Red...
Exactly. That's where I'd go.
Sir, you want me to go
to the Red Queen's?
No, come back here and play the flute
while Beckman saves statues.
That's the way to fight a war.
Seen any infiltrators lately,
honey, baby, pussy-lamb?
I gotta draw a lieutenant
to lead a patrol who's a flutist.
I gotta draw a lieutenant
who plays the "flaute."
Hey. Knock it off, you men.
I'm a German.
All right.
You knock it off too.
- May I a criticism make?
- No.
The " Brahms' Lullaby" goes:
I studied music in London.
- What are you doing here?
- Surrounding the castle.
- What century is it?
- 20th, for chrissake.
He means the castle.
Beckman says the north wing is 15th.
Lionel Beckman, the art historian?
- Yeah.
- Have you read his book...
... Twelfth-Century Iv ory Miniatures?
- It's wonderful.
- No, I haven't.
Right, tell him nothing.
If you will throw me your flute,
I will fix it for you.
I studied under Mayerhorn.
He's a good man.
He's liable to toss back a grenade.
Never trust a Kraut.
I'm not trusting a Kraut.
I'm trusting a colleague.
Suppose a high-ranking officer came
and asked what you did with the flute.
What would you tell him?
The stops were not smooth.
Now listen:
What did you do that for?
That's what we do for a living,
- What were these old tunnels built for?
- Escape.
One branch there comes out
behind Maldorais.
In the swamp. This one goes under
the moat to the northeast.
Toward the German lines.
You're a collector, Beckman.
I try to be selective, sir.
Suppose you were
without an education.
I'd probably collect...
...old string, newspapers.
Fallen women.
Don't judge her, Beckman.
She's not a work of art.
- You guys hear something?
- Probably a goldfish spawning.
I hate myself for doing this.
I'll come back after the war
and salvage it.
- What do we do?
- Keep our heads.
Volkswagen can't swim.
It's just showing off.
It's still showing off.
Look, if we put a bullet
right below the water line, it'll sink.
Put one below the water line.
- Jesus Christ, reverend, it's still alive.
- Give me that.
It won't do any good. We're dealing
with something supernatural.
Hey. My Volkswagen.
They're drowning her.
Through there. It's faster.
I didn't know there's a stair here.
Probably a goldfish spawning.
What are you gentlemen
doing down there?
Simplistic, lieutenant.
Play it simplistic.
- What's that?
- Tell him we're not here.
Who's that with you, Amberjack?
Private first class
Alistair P. Benjamin, sir.
- What does the P stand for?
- Pearsall, sir.
Have you been drinking?
We stopped at the Red Queen
to look for infiltrators.
I want you to go home,
sleep it off.
Will you see that Benjamin...
...gets to bed, Amberjack?
- Yes, sir.
Will you see the lieutenant home...
...Private Alistair P. Benjamin?
- Yes, sir.
- Sir, I have a report to make.
- Keep it simplistic.
There are three Puerto Ricans
at the Queen's.
- New girls?
- No, sir. All soldiers.
That's a very succinct report,
Lieutenant Amberjack.
- Good night.
- I haven't finished my report yet, sir.
Very well, lieutenant,
finish your report.
The Germans have broken through
in the Ardennes.
Good night, gentlemen.
- Good night, sir.
- Good night, sir.
The castle is strong.
It has never failed.
No, and you've never failed the castle,
not in 1000 years.
- But the end of a castle must come.
- Civilization?
Falconer will try to stop the army
of the Nazis right here...
...if it costs a castle.
What's one castle?
Major Falconer is mad.
He looks like a buffalo, doesn't he?
Well, they've been close
to extinct for a long time.
He could be extinct.
He fights that way,
out of a kind of desperate doom.
And I wonder who is mad.
Major Falconer has the war
on his side.
And we have history.
We have the truth, captain.
The beauty.
How many guns does truth have?
How many troops, mortars, grenades,
antitank weapons?
When does beauty fight?
And who the hell wants history
on his side?
We could sit here sipping wine through
the whole war and win it with words.
If the situation called for bravery,
I would be brave.
I am the bravest man I ever knew.
And yet...
...l've never committed
what you would call a brave act.
And what wars have you won?
Therese is pregnant.
We are going to have a child.
My home is a ranch on the slopes
of the Jemez Mountains.
Where you can see everything.
Almost 100 miles.
It's a country of red and white mesas,
sharp arroyos...
...and mountain meadows
that roll all the way home.
It's a country of mud houses
and hogans and tents of the Apaches.
And a sky that goes straight up blue
for a million miles.
It's a country where you see
and feel so far... think you've seen
and felt everything.
Then they start a war and you
come to another planet to end it.
And you see all these castles.
- What's that?
- What?
A plane?
Don't do it.
Don't do it?
Don't defend the castle.
You mean you want to save it too.
I want to save you.
You wanna save me
and you wanna save the castle.
I want to save you.
Thank you.
Thank you very much.
- Beckman.
- Yes, sir?
Go up on the roof. Man the.50 calibre
machine gun, shoot that bastard down.
- Anything more, sir?
- Yes, I'll be up when I'm dressed.
- Beckman.
- Yes, sir.
Do I have to take you by the hand?
- No, but I was thinking...
- Don't think.
Yes, sir.
Get your ass up on the roof.
You're low, Beckman. Bring her up.
You're not leading, Beckman.
Lead 10 yards.
Ignore it, Beckman. Get the engine.
Perfect, Beckman. Perfect.
You did a beautiful job, Beckman.
Thank you, major. I still don't think we
should defend... Destroy the castle.
I warned you about thinking, Beckman.
Yes, major. Yes, you did.
What do you see out there,
- No Krauts yet, sir.
- You never will.
You're a dreamer, Beckman.
They'll get you first.
Take care of your arm. I'll see you
in the chapel. Every man.
Very good, sir.
I want you to set up in town. Hold.
Damage the Germans' lead elements...
...before you're cut off, fall back.
- Fall back where, sir?
Right here, gentlemen.
We'll pull up the drawbridge.
Yeah. That'll drive the Germans crazy.
Give my compliments to the
baker's wife. Tell Rossi to re-enlist.
Sir, what happened to that division
on the ridge?
They're in town, Clearboy.
But they're not holding.
If I can pick up stragglers
from the retreat...
... they can help
defend the castle.
- They say we have no vehicle.
- Correct, sir.
- Catch me a horse.
- My castle for a horse.
- What's that, Beckman?
- Nothing.
Catch me a horse.
We're gonna try to hold it.
Hold this.
It seems to me that with the
front collapsing you could...
...think of something else to do.
- There's plenty to do.
I want to give you an order.
Yes, sir.
I'd like a piece of bread.
I've got no place to go.
No place to retreat to.
Give me 10 men,
I can hold this whorehouse.
You want the day's communiqu
to read, "The whorehouse is ours"?
Commands the town.
I haven't got 10 men. We got us four.
We're trying to stop the German army
with a cowboy, an Indian...
...a book.
- The book bother you, sergeant?
- Yes, sir. It does, sir.
What the hell happened to you,
- German tanks will be here any minute.
- We better have a drink.
- Or is it the "most reverend"?
- The very most.
We should state the things
of this world with precision.
- What's wrong?
- I'm okay.
- Did you hear a bird cry?
- No.
Jesus! I see a buffalo riding a horse!
Looking at us from on top
of that white horse.
Looking at me, Billy Byron Bix,
who knows the word.
Billy Byron Bix, who is not a fornicator.
Who is not up on a white horse.
That man on the white horse
wants to protect his castle.
Wants to protect his fornication.
I have the word! The word...
I was born again, born with the word.
They think that I'm a chaplain!
They think I'm still Billy Byron Bix,
the lieutenant from...
- Where to, soldier?
- Following my captain.
- Your captain's dead.
- Yes, sir. He's up ahead.
They don't know that I have been
reborn again!
The prophet and the...
- Where's your outfit, lieutenant?
- Where is everybody else, sir?
Go to that drugstore.
The one right behind you.
Wait for me. The one
with the red bottle in the window.
- The red bottle.
- Yes. We've got a castle here to defend.
- Red bottle and wait. Thank you, sir.
- That's right.
They want their Sodom and Gomorrah!
- This your horse?
- Yes, lieutenant. Now do as I say.
You got a castle and a white horse
and you want me to do as you said.
Yes, general.
The man on the white horse,
my enemy, he has lost the war!
Yet he is unafraid!
And he has something too!
It is not the word!
But he has something.
Bonjour, Monsieur Honey.
Bring the girls over here.
Clearboy, see if you can drum up
a can of gasoline.
- Anything else, sir?
- Yes. Make it back.
We'll have a reception for the German
tanks. They're brave sons of bitches...
...and we should not allow their
heroic actions to go unsung.
- They should all have a cocktail.
- Cocktail?
- Cognac bottles filled with gasoline.
- Who will the damage pay?
- I will the damage pay.
- But you will away go.
Fine. We'll blow the caf.
We'll put it in the street.
That'll stop the Germans for a while.
Okay. I'll help. Venez, venez, girl.
The corporal will come back with
gasoline. Fill each bottle, then cork it.
Tie a wick around the neck
just like this.
Then get made up so the Germans
can see how beautiful you are.
Go up to the balcony, light this.
Drop it.
When it hits the tank,
the war will end.
No, Monsieur Major Honey.
The war, it will begin.
And the woman was arrayed
in scarlet colours...
...and decked in gold!
And then across her forehead
was written, " Mystery...
...Babylon the Great,
the Mother of Harlots!"
- You need help.
- We've come to save.
Come back to the castle,
there's protection.
Germans will shoot you,
you'll make lousy prisoners.
It's too late for that.
Did you think about that
while you sinned?
- I've got a job for you.
- Sorry, major.
You don't have to be sorry.
You're gonna do it.
- You threatening me?
- I'll blow your brains out...
...if you don't follow orders.
- What orders?
Those people are in shock,
they'll follow something.
A group, a noise.
That tambourine, a drum.
Now, sing something, play something.
Lead them to the castle.
I'll do it under protest.
I don't care how you do it,
you just do it.
- "Shall We Gather at the River"?
- That's fine.
Yes, you're going up
the gangplank to home.
Your castle, your ship, has arrived!
There stands all that hope rising up
to infinity and all the beauty...
...all that love and hope and surcease!
It's all in the book,
all writ in the book!
And the end too.
Remember the ending?
That terrible ending?
That's all in the book!
I'll see you gentlemen at the castle.
Gentlemen, what are you doing?
We'd like some bread.
Elk and I have a plan to end the war.
- What's that?
- Win it.
It's been tried before.
Winning is for children,
generals and recruits. Get over that.
Settle for a meal, for a drink, a lay,
a house. A castle for a horse.
We thought we'd bring the major
a German tank on our shield.
What are we, in the Middle Ages?
Is Major Falconer some knight
with a flower in his ass?
Sorry, reverend.
Cut it out, sergeant.
He's a soldier.
He looks like a buffalo.
But we can't let him try it alone.
No man alone.
None of us a goddamn island.
I know the bit.
Who's gonna take care of the bakery?
You're entitled to one day off
for the war, Rossi.
Don't you wanna end the war,
I tried it. When I landed in North Africa,
I was gonna win the war that day.
In Normandy it was gonna be
the next day, the next week.
At the Siegfried Line I figured,
" Maybe it'll take me a year."
When I saw it becoming centuries,
I came here and started a family...
...and a reasonable business.
End the war.
Game, Rossi?
How you gonna take a tank away
from the Germans? It's theirs.
Aim for hitting a track.
They bounce off the armour.
- You game, Rossi?
- Yes, but I'm not crazy.
Screw the castle.
I've got a better idea.
My idea is that we stay here
and pass out bread to both sides.
We can't do that, Rossi,
it would upset the whole war.
...we had our idea first.
Are you ordering me
into a German tank?
No. Just give us some more bread.
Bread, bread, bread!
Bread is for people that wanna live.
No bread?
Then we'll count you out.
- Did you hear a scream?
- No.
Like a woman. Or an eagle.
Or a world coming to an end.
Everything I've never heard.
- I don't wanna be alone.
- Then we'll count you in?
Yeah. We'll shove the castle
up their ass.
Tell the major, the cowboy, that
knight... Tell the buffalo to deal me in.
Let's get a bazooka.
It was so quiet around here.
And business was so good.
You think she'll throw the cocktails?
There's been a lot of sentimental junk
wrote about whores.
But they're just plain defeated women.
Those defeated women
are serving cocktails.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
And though I walk in the valley
of the shadow of death...
...I shall fear no evil,
for thou art with me.
- Are you finished with it?
- And surely...
...goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life.
Fire at the son of a bitch!
I'll be back, Suzanna, baby,
While I win the war,
you make the bread.
Save the cat.
Punch David.
- Why did they send us to this castle?
- Because we're...
We're soldiers who would
defend a meaningless castle.
We ought to check out
that second panther.
It's in church.
- I'm gonna make a run for that cellar.
- Okay.
When they start firing at me,
you fire at them.
Yes, sergeant.
- Then follow me.
- Okay.
Thank God we got rid of him.
We'll run this tank right up
Major Falconer's drawbridge.
What's so hard about operating a tank?
I used to run a tractor for years.
Why don't we take him
one of our abandoned tanks?
Theirs are better.
If we don't get out of this church,
we'll be dead of carbon monoxide.
If we get caught, can they shoot us
for wearing a German tank?
This holding action is over!
Pull back to the castle!
Red Queen!
You're the only Red Queen
in the world!
You are with them now.
They planned this war...
...because there was something
they hadn't yet smashed.
The enemy's neither side.
To them, the enemy's
something in between.
They don't want to destroy each other,
they want to finish us.
Who are we, Henri?
We are the keepers.
Why, Captain Beckman?
To stop the tanks.
But I had counted on you.
They'll grow back in 50 years.
Captain Beckman, you are a traitor.
- What's wrong, Beckman?
- Everything. It'll all be destroyed, sir.
- Will it, Beckman?
- Europe is dying.
No, Beckman, she's dead.
That's why we're here.
Don't you read the newspapers?
- See anything, sir?
- Paths of glory.
We're fighting a war in a garden.
When it's over, I'm gonna give up
punching cows and buy a gas station...
...and water the goddamn gas.
That's good, Corporal Clearboy.
Now, move on up into position.
- Sergeant De Vaca.
- Sir?
I think that mortar would be better off
up on the battlement.
Lieutenant Amberjack,
that's good enough.
Private Benjamin, put your book away.
Don't fire on the first rush.
Wait till they hit the wire.
- I'm gonna have a look.
- Check the duke.
- He's harmless.
- No. He's not gonna let this happen.
The duke will have
the Germans build a wooden horse.
We'll be so curious
we'll bring it in the castle.
At night the duke will let the Germans
out and they'll conquer the castle.
And the castle will not be destroyed
by the battle.
Private Benjamin, up here.
Drop two-zero.
- You leave to tell me this?
- There's no wooden horse...
...but he knows that passage
under the German lines.
We'll blow the passageway.
Let the water from the moat
into the cellar.
That's where I hid the Corots,
two Fragonards, Delacroix.
Fine. We'll let the Germans
take everything.
But we'll save your paintings.
Great, Captain Beckman, great.
There will be no more private wars,
Captain Beckman.
Private wars are over. You lost yours.
That's how that one ended.
Attach the detonating wires to the
blast charges in the passageway.
You'll find the detonator box inside,
under the main entrance.
You wanted to save the castle.
Where is Major Falconer?
Probably throwing rocks
at the Germans.
Kicking their teeth in as they
come over the hedgerows.
Staring them down. Preparing vats
of boiling oil to pour down on the Huns.
The duke is being helpful.
He's delaying the fight.
He's going to give us a bunch of
Germans in the passageway.
- He won't be with them?
- They don't trust him.
- Therese, I want you to...
- No.
I won't leave.
Everything is here.
- You are here.
- Private Benjamin.
Stay. But you'll have to watch
with these.
The Germans will enter
by that motte of woods.
I want you to count to about 50
and then signal Captain Beckman.
Captain Beckman
will blow the passageway, Therese.
I know.
Let me see you.
Private Benjamin.
- Right here, sir.
- Come with me.
You goddamn Indian!
I knew all along
the war would never end.
Rossi, you got any bread?
The best.
They let the drawbridge up.
I can't see. There's too much smoke.
You don't shave, do you, Alistair?
No, sir. I don't have to yet.
Alistair, you're gonna come out
all right.
- Do you still have your little book?
- Yes, sir.
You can finish it.
- That's what you are, isn't it? A writer?
- Yes, sir.
Then you must have
imagination, insight.
But you don't have a weapon.
Where's your gun?
Here, sir.
When it's all over,
I want you to get her out.
Take her through the passageway.
The one that comes out at the swamp.
There are boats.
They're getting ready to attack again.
They're regrouping behind that statue
of the naked woman.
You see it, Alistair?
Yes, sir. It's beautiful, isn't she?
They'll try to come through
the rose garden.
Clearboy, Amberjack
and Rossi are holding.
- Hold my ass!
- Or we can swim the moat.
The moat? What the hell war is this?
- I can't swim.
- What the hell war is this?
Beckman, get De Vaca.
- We're screwed.
- I got a plan.
- Jesus.
- My plan is take my Volkswagen... it to the Red Queen's
and buy a drink.
- We could go back to the bakery.
- The bar.
I got a family there.
- Jesus, it's hot.
- Where's Elk?
Listen, battles are lost
because people get excited.
There's one way to calm the situation
down: Go to bed with a woman.
- Afterwards, I can concentrate.
- Ever occur to you there's a war on?
Easy, lieutenant.
I'll take care of everything.
I've told Alistair how to write a book...
...and Beckman where to hide a statue.
- Where's Elk?
Now I've gotta tell Falconer
how to win a war.
You're hit again, Clearboy.
You better get back to the castle.
Go down that column of roses
and across the moat.
- Yes, sir.
- Can you make her?
No. I can't swim, sir.
Can you, Rossi?
If I have to.
Look, I'll swim the moat,
drop the drawbridge, you dash in.
We'll cover you.
Keep your helmet on so the Americans
in the castle can see you're one of us.
Get going.
- Take the bread.
- All right, get going.
One thing, lieutenant:
If I were to get badly hurt or even
killed, what would the report say?
- " Killed crossing a moat"?
- You won't get killed.
- The report will say you took a castle.
- To get wine for the bread.
Clearboy, in minutes now,
Rossi will swim the moat.
He'll scale the chain, lower the
drawbridge and we'll cross it to safety.
The castle's rescued us. Right?
- Lf it'll make you feel any better.
- I don't need your crap, Clearboy.
Very well, lieutenant.
- Does it hurt real bad?
- Yes, sir.
It should just be a minute now.
Lieutenant, they tell me
you're a goddamn preacher.
Don't talk.
They tell me you're a preacher.
Tell me a story about a castle.
Keep your eyes open.
I'm pretty bad, aren't I?
Yes, you are.
Did I talk bad?
Yeah, you did.
We're doing lousy, aren't we?
Where's all my buddies?
Where's Rossi? Elk?
De Vaca? Where's Benjamin?
As long as the band plays,
I wanna play.
Easy. You'll be more comfortable
lying down.
- On the bench.
- I don't think you can stay on it.
There'll be plenty to eat in the castle.
And drink.
And the duke's young wife
will be there too.
She's his sister, actually.
The French.
Egyptians used to do it too.
- Cleopatra slept with her brother.
- Did she?
You ain't using obscene language
anymore, Clearboy.
What's wrong?
I'm tired.
Well, we'll have you asleep
in a nice, warm bed in the castle.
It'll be very nice.
Thanks, lieutenant.
I think I hear Rossi swimming.
Do you hear him swimming, Clearboy?
He swims beautifully, doesn't he?
He must have got up the wall
when we weren't looking.
Soon he'll drop the bridge.
- Will you be strong enough to make it?
- Sure.
I've always followed you...
...haven't I, lieutenant?
There goes the bridge.
We're home.
Follow me, Clearboy.
They both got up in the forest
of dead roses...
... and moved toward
the strick en castle.
They walk ed and staggered
fine formation to the moat.
The water was cool and clear, blue.
They swam beautifully
across the cold moat.
They entered the castle and
marched up the wide marble stairs...
... clear to the high alone turret on top...
... where they could see
all the way home.
Amberjack, Rossi and Clearboy
are all dead in the rose garden, sir.
Now we can raise the drawbridge.
Hang out banners on the outside walls!
And the cry is still, "They come!"
Our castle's strength
will laugh a siege to scorn.
Get Beckman.
- You've come to reinforce the castle?
- Yes.
Now, you behave yourself, sir.
- Private Benjamin.
- Yes, sir?
Get the rest of that gasoline
in the moat right away.
Bring me more ammunition.
Probably better if you keep busy.
Can they do this, sir?
They're doing it, Beckman.
- Benjamin!
- Sir!
Look for her.
In the chapel.
- Isn't that where you said, Beckman?
- When I took De Vaca down, she was.
- I want you to get out too, Beckman.
- I can't.
- How do you feel?
- I feel all right, sir.
There's only something wrong
with my legs. They won't move.
- Where's Alistair?
- Here, sir.
We can hold till you make it down.
Sir, we could all make it down
through the passageway.
No, we can't. Beckman and I are hit.
- Sure you can't make it out, Beckman?
- I'm certain, sir.
Alistair Pearsall Benjamin.
Major Falconer?
- Get going.
- Captain Beckman?
Get going.
No! No!
How you doing, Beckman?
Keeping busy, sir.
Castle Keep, by Alistair P. Benjamin.
"Once upon a time,
eight walking wounded misfits..."