Fear and Desire (1953) Movie Script

There is war in this forest.
Not a war that's been fought,
or one that will be,
but any war.
And the enemies who struggle
here do not exist,
unless we call them into being.
This forest, then,
and all that happens now,
is outside History.
Only the unchanging shapes of fear
and doubt and death
are from our world.
These soldiers that you see
keep our language and our time,
but have no other country
than the mind.
Do you think they're looking for us?
It's one of ours alright.
He can't see us.
But maybe they saw
a plane back there.
There isn't much left of it to see,
'less it's still burning.
Even if they could spot us, there isn't
anything they could do to help us here.
Yeah. Six miles behind the enemy lines.
- Well, that's not too far.
- Not too far?
In those six miles there's probably
thousand of guys
and every one of them was taught
to shoot at uniforms like this.
If you're so worried about that,
why don't you keep your voice down?
I'm not worried.
What's going to happen, Lieutenant?
Somebody around who saw
our plane go down.
They might be looking for us
in the woods already!
It'd be a lot easier if ours
knew where to start.
It isn't very much.
Too bad you fellows didn't get
your rifles out of the plane.
Let's see what can be done.
Once you understand
how a mousetrap works,
if you're clever enough,
you can use it as a springboard.
Here are the front lines.
From our position just
before we crashed,
we should be in this general area.
Our own lines are here
and we should be about here.
There's a river that runs East
of where we are now, I think.
That river cuts through the front lines
and winds up on our side.
Now, as I see it,
we could use our reconditioned
mouse trap on the river.
Is that your idea?
To go down the river?
But how? How can we get down it?
I can't swimm very well.
And Fletcher.
We could do it on a raft.
At night.
Well, we'll never make it
any other way.
It's suicide to try to walk out.
I wouldn't have the vaguest idea
of how and where to start.
This way we'd cruise through together
in a few hours and arrive in one piece.
- Well, by my computations...
- Your computations...
With your brilliant figuring
that got us here in the first place.
They must be somebody's pet.
It has a collar.
Ney, make a better watch dog.
Seems friendly enough.
We can't use a mascot
in this trip.
Hurry up! We don't have all day.
If no one has a better suggestion,
let's head for the river.
Some more animals might show up.
It's hard. One foot fights the other.
- Get there, before it burns in
the bushes! - I could do it alone.
- Nobody's safe here.
- Are they watching me?
- Getting hungry.
- What's up?
- They're all scared.
- How hungry...
- Who'll they look out to later?
- Oh, the cracking in my head.
- I bet he was wounded.
- I don't run for no reason.
What's gonna hang
from the trees tonight?
- Hurry!
- We'll die in the woods!
- Don't die here!
- They're scared.
Alright, alright. Lead them on!
After we get past this road,
the river isn't much further.
Mac! Get down on the road
and take a look.
You know? There's nothing so refreshing
as an afternoon out of doors
in enemy territory.
It's really too bad that the sun doesn't
burn us green instead of brown.
Well, if you see some strange faces
across the way, wave to them casually
and try to look as native as possible.
Lieutenant! Come here.
Bring your binoculars.
- What do you want?
- I'd like you to see something.
Around the river bend.
- What? - I can't make out
exactly what it is,
but I think you'll be interested.
Come on!
Over there.
Looks like some kind
of small air strip.
Yes, you're right.
Lots of rank around.
It looks like a General!
A General! He is a General!
Let's get back and help with the raft.
Mac, let's go!
All we need now is Huckleberry Finn.
- This oughtta see us through.
- Yeah, it doesn't look bad at all.
Should we make sure it floats?
Rafts always float.
It's unfortunate that we don't have
a fine bottle to christen it with.
We could give it a name...
He must have seen us!
If we stay here, we'll get killed!
It's starting to get dark.
Perhaps they didn't see us.
But it's too dangerous
to wait here until we find out.
What are we gonna do?
How are we gonna get back?
Hurry up, let's go!
That plane must have landed
down that house we saw before.
What's the difference?
There must be something big
going on down there.
Maybe the General is having
a convention tonight.
We didn't see this on the way
to the river.
We've been running in a new direction.
Whatever they're jumping,
sure smells good.
Like mother's own.
Those guns look even more jummy
than the food does.
I've got an idea...
No matter what we do from here on,
we're much better off with some guns.
- You better hurry. Others maybe
around. - I'm gonna have some stew first.
Sidney, better grab something to eat.
It may be a long tima 'till our...
next feast.
We better eat something.
How's the stew, Mac?
Kinda cold, but cold stews
are alright.
Cold stew on a blazing island.
We've just made
a perfect definition of war, Mac.
That's cocky!
A blazing island with a tempest
of gunfire around it.
Perhaps if we could...
- Somebody must have heard us.
- Grab those guns and let's get going.
- Why did you have to shoot?
- Forget it. Let's move!
We spend our lives running our fingers
down the lists and directories,
looking for our real names,
our permanent adresses.
No man is an island?
Perhaps that was true a long time ago,
before the Ice Age.
The glaciars have melted away
and now we're all islands,
parts of a world made of islands only.
How long are you gonna
hang around here?
We're in a fine mess now!
I'd give anything to trade places
with that dog we chased yesterday.
Seems like whenever people get in a hole
they get to get jealous of dogs.
I admit that our prospects
aren't very cheerful.
But how about going back to see
if our raft is still there?
Look, if we were spotted, they'll have
a trap waiting for us when we show up.
It's a chance. Trying to walk out
is as risky today as it was yesterday.
We'll scout around the river
and make certain.
Then, what? Even if we find
the raft there.
Even if none of them
is waiting for us. Then, what?
We have to sit tight until it gets dark,
and hope that we don't have a full moon.
We can sing old songs
if we get restless waiting.
What's the matter, snowcoombs?
I heard that they're cannibals.
- So even if we get caught you're
pretty safe. - Leave me alone!
We may be in the woods, McClellan,
but let's try to remain civilized.
Yeah, I suppose you're right,
Anyway, there won't be many days
left to be civilized in.
If we stick around
these woods much longer.
- She'll see us!
- Shut up!
Don't be afraid,
we're not going to hurt you.
She's quite nice.
Don't you think so, boys?
What are we supposed to do with her now?
I've got a wife at home.
I'm afraid she's become
our unvited guest.
I must say I've had worse guests
at better parties.
All right, Corby, all right.
Let's not forget where we are.
"Even if we're lost in the woods
let's try to remain civilized."
Well, we can't stay here.
- Shall we leave her fish here?
- There'll be plenty.
What are you gonna do with her,
Give me your belt.
You too, Fletcher.
Please, don't beat her!
She's scared like we are.
She doesn't even talk.
Get a grip on yourself, no one's gonna
punish her. I simply wanna tie her up.
Now give me your belt.
Let's hurry it up.
My arm's getting tired.
Be careful not to hurt her.
I hope she doesn't start screaming.
She's a pretty little thing.
Why don't we just leave her here
and get going?
Don't rush me.
If we can make her understand us,
perhaps she can tell us
whether they found the raft.
You speak Spanish?
I'll handle this, Sidney. I'm
quite sure she wasn't educated abroad.
You - see - boat?
Our - boat?
- Boat?
- Yes, that's it, boat.
You - see - boat?
Don't tell me
she doesn't understand you.
If she can't tell us anything,
let's let her go.
Sure, so she can run down stream
to that command post and tip our hand.
You kids and your ideas!
- Maybe she was going there in the
first place. - With the fish, you mean?
Sure. A general gets what he wants
for dinner, no matter what.
If it's fish cod or fresh strawberrys
or gold plates...
This is hardly the time
to become a revolutionary.
We oughtta continue to see about
the raft, but we can't let her go yet.
Why? What she'd do to us? If she could
understand she would have told you.
Mac already told you why.
Sidney, you'll stay here with
the young lady until we come back.
Here, take this.
You're gonna leave me here?
Yes, I told you, to watch the girl.
You're gonna make me stay
and then not come back.
I know because of yesterday.
Keep calm, kid!
If we're not back by night
just get in touch with
her old man about a wedding.
Maybe you can settle down in a treehouse
and raise some monkeys.
- Leave him alone, Mac. - Remember
you promised to come back, Fletcher.
I want you to stay here
and keep an eye on her, because
she may prove very useful
if the raft has been discovered.
We'll be back in a couple of hours.
Just relax.
Don't get panicky.
See you later, Sidney.
I'm really glad they let me stay.
I'm not fooling!
Please, don't be afraid
to like me.
That's why they let me stay.
They thought you'd like me.
The troops are gone
and I can't go home!
Don't do that! Don't move away,
it's not my fault!
I stopped them from beating you.
Don't scowl.
Watch, I'll make you laugh.
Look, I'm the General.
Hey, watch me!
Attention, the General is here!
Glad to have you with us, Sir.
Quite frankly, the situation
is desperate.
I don't think I can cope with it alone.
Isn't funny?
Isn't it?
Orderly, more fat fish that
the girl caught for me.
The General, I'm the General.
You don't even smile.
What do you want?
I'm lost...
Lost... on this terrible island.
If you have to hate me,
please, try to like me also.
They must have been reading
a magazine in that plane.
I wouldn't have believed.
Mac, better take a look
around the river bend.
Be careful.
We'll get to work camouflaging the raft.
I'm a little worried about
Sidney back there with the girl.
I don't like the way he's been acting.
You're not going softheaded and thinking
about taking her along with us tonight?
You're beginning to sound like Sidney.
No. If she can bring three friends,
But as it is, she'll remain lodged
in the forest, like we were.
That must be the one
that almost nailed us.
There he is again. It's him!
A cocky little king.
And me holding binoculars
like a lady watching an opera.
Binoculars! Soon he'll
go into his palace
with all his iron lap dogs.
If only this was a rifle sight
and I could make the red eye
between his ears.
Then he'd see McClellan!
Girls always love stories,
but it's so hard to finish
and wait for words...
You wanna hear more?
Do you?
Then the spirit in magician's power
goes back to the island
and tells Miranda
that her father's dead.
The spirit sings how he's dead
at the bottom of the ocean.
His bones are coral,
his eyes are pearls,
and Miranda, her father's dead.
Can't you understand anything?
Now d'you understand?
All clear?
Everything's alright.
- I'd like to talk to you about
the house. - What house?
That house down there.
The one where we saw
that General yesterday.
Wait around, Mac. Right now I'd
like you to go back to Sidney.
I didn't like the way he was acting
when we left.
I'm a little concerned.
- But don't you think...
- Do as I say, will you?
As soon as we're through here
we'll join you.
I don't want anything
to go wrong back there.
Here, I brought you some water.
Now you like me, don't you?
I'll get you loose.
Just a minute.
You'll put your arms around me.
I know. Wait.
I knew you'd like me.
Just a minute.
Don't run away!
Don't make me stay!
You're going to tell the General!
You're gonna tell him
I made fun of him!
Come back, don't tell the General!
I won't let you!
Blood... Blood...
No word. It's just broken
with blood.
What's the matter?
Where's the girl?
Answer me!
What have you done? Tell me
or I'll pulp you to a jelly!
She was tired.
She went to lie down.
Over there.
Don't annoy her, Mac.
Come here.
It wasn't my fault! The magician did it.
Prospero the Magician!
First we're a bird, and then
we're an island.
Before I was a general,
and now I'm a fish!
Hoorah for the magicians!
The river...
It's blood, Mac!
I'm going for a swim.
Come on in, Mac!
Listen to them...
It's blood!
What happened?
Where's Sidney and the girl?
The kid must have gone
out of his head.
When I got back, he was
just laying there.
The girls is dead.
- Over there. He shot her.
- Where is he?
He's gone.
He yelled something about
how the magician does it.
Before he was something
and now he's a fish.
Before I could stop him
he ran away towards the river.
- He kept laughing and screaming.
- We can't do anything abut it now.
Let's move again.
I'm expecting the raft to be
the best way to wait 'til night.
I guess there's gonna be more
elbow room than I thought.
And I wanna talk to you about that
house down the river and the General.
- Kill him.
- Yeah.
No, I won't hear anymore about it.
I don't know what's gotten
into you, Mac.
So you saw a General. So what?
Raft is all set.
In a couple of hours we'll be on it.
Raft, raft, raft!
Can't you see any further?
A General... Why, he...?
How many times do I have to go
over this? Must I tell you again?
What's one of their Generals to me?
He's cheap in my rate of exchange,
but our lives aren't.
Your rate of exchange...
You make me laugh!
- If you had any guts... - Look,
I don't wanna talk about it anymore.
Forget about the General for a minute.
What about the plane you saw?
That's right!
What about that plane?
We've already been over this.
It looks like a two seater with
that small field built in the clear.
One of us can take the raft down
stream to the field when it gets dark
and start shooting to draw
the sentries from the house.
The other two can plug that guy
and get away in the plane,
while I keep 'em busy
from the raft.
- You?
- Sure, me.
They'd get you.
You'd never make it back alive.
Who else could do it the way I could?
You couldn't.
You'd be riding home sitting down
nice and comfortable up in a cockpit
looking down on what's
going on. Sure.
You'll recite a few tags you picked up
and everything will be alright.
I'll just as soon make the trip
back myself, on a raft.
Do you think you have any chance at all
to get away with it alive?
I don't know.
Here I am.
I'm 34 years old.
I've never done anything
important. Nothing!
When this is over I'll fix
radios and washing machines.
- They'll see.
- Good boy, Mac. That's all.
I don't care if they
got a million Generals.
There's one two miles from here.
If his heist is gonna keep me from
going nuts like Sidney.
Only in a different way,
I'm gonna pull up my own heist.
But why should we?
The raft's still there.
As soon as it gets dark, it can take
us all back tonight.
If I draw 'em down to the river,
you and Fletcher can do the job
and get away in a plane.
What do you say, Fletch?
Well, not that I wanna seem important.
Half the trouble in the world happens
because of what some people do,
but I think half the good things
happen that way too.
If we're gonna get away with it
it would sure be better.
I don't know the words to say
what I mean, but...
This is something for me.
Sure, I guess we could all probably make
it back on that thing, but...
When you walk and walk
through the woods and
then suddenly they dangle a General
in front of you like magic,
and you know it's only
for this once,
you can't turn your back on 'em.
None of us asked to be here,
but we all have to gamble.
It's not as if we could refuse.
We had to gamble once we crashed,
a General raised the stakes
and we've been so lucky.
Why shouldn't we put up
a little more than we have to?
What are you living for anyway?
To make talk? Why?
Why is your life so precious?
Why? The only reason is
to hunt for the reason.
But, can I stand in the way of a man
with a reason to die?
- You'll do it. Won't you, Corby?
- Do it for me.
Well, we have nothing to lose
but our futures.
OK, I guess we leave you now.
Remember, don't start for
a half an hour.
If the plane isn't still there,
we'll have time to get back to you.
Don't worry, it'll be there.
Good luck, Mac.
See you soon.
Try not to get your feet wet.
- You look out for your head.
- OK, fellow.
So long.
- Mac, I hope that sometime...
- You talk too much.
I guess we both do a little.
Sometimes, talk
is an indispensable medicine.
Yeah, but you get sicker later.
Good luck.
I didn't really mean what
I said before about guts.
Yes, you did, but only
to bother you.
- Take it easy, fellow.
- Yeah.
The plane's still there so I guess there
is no really good excuse to go back.
I guess not.
- Can you see?
- Hold it, hold it!
Yes, there he is.
What time is it?
We have about 10 minutes
before Mac begins. Let's hurry!
It's better...
It's better to roll up your life into
one night and one man and one gun.
It hurts too much to keep hurting
everyone else in every direction
and to be hurt with all
the separate hates
exploding day after day.
You can't help it.
A curse buzzes out of your mouth
with every word you say
and nobody alive can tell which is which
or what you mean.
You try door after door when
you hear voices you like behind them,
but the nobs come off in your hand...
Go in!
Where did you find him?
One of the men did down by the river.
He was very busy baying at the moon.
Dear Proteus, aren't you
ashamed of yourself?
Staying away without leave
for two whole days.
- Have a drink, Captain.
- Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
You must never, never
do that again, Proteus.
Don't you know that there are
evil spirits without bodies...
roam the forest looking
for unsuspecting dogs like you?
And that when you open your jaws
to disturb the moon
they leap into your mouth
and possess you?
Then you could become a spy,
a murderer,
or even a traitor.
Not your dog, sir.
He knows his allegiance.
Have you been alert, Proteus?
Have you detected all
the distant marchings?
Has your wet nose become aware
of all the blood on the grass?
What else can you tell us
beside your puppy dog sadness?
Wish he could tell us where those enemy
soldiers from that wrecked plane are.
They've been bothersome
for the last two days.
They'll soon grow tired
of starving and being hunted.
Even Proteus grows tired of it
after two days.
See that Lieutenant Proteus
gets something to eat.
Yes, sir.
Nobody's gonna cry for me later
or cheer for me now.
Nobody else is me.
I know that.
Who else but me is buried under
the chain of everything I ever did?
I didn't mean any of it.
It was all wrong.
Good riddance!
Oh, what a trade,
him for me!
What a thing to come to
at the end,
like building a bridge
or stealing the crown jewels.
Thanks, General!
Thanks! I'll take the tombstone
if it's really mine.
Waiting to kill...
Waiting to heal...
Waiting to die...
Awaiting in the North
with four divisions.
One by one the men turned black
through waiting for
the last snowflake to dissolve.
Across the valley, our enemies
blew on their cold hands
until no more breath came.
Then they were dead.
And they knew it.
We were so well prepared for death
that the armistice was
a mutual disappointment.
Now he's in his cotton house,
taking up the cartridges on his maps,
full of his supper.
They'll get him soon.
A duck at a shooting gallery,
and I'll be the wheeler rolling
the ducks in all the bull's eyes.
I should talk. A clay pigeon
on a slow raft.
Frankly, I still become uneasy
when I find myself trapped
directing the courses
of frightened men.
I cannot quite admit that it is I
who am creating a
slaughter in this abyss,
or that I left the road,
that I ordered this and that.
I'm trapped.
What is a prison for me?
I make a grave for others.
To your health, sir.
It's the only way to finish up.
Alone, like the North Pole
in the middle of the night.
The river is helping me out of my life.
Sometimes, these maps...
Sometimes, as I look at these maps,
I wonder if my own grave
isn't being planned.
Or here...
Or here.
No more Sundays.
No more a thousand things.
I'm a little scared though.
Just a little...
like kissing my great grandma
when she was dying.
Come on out here,
bunch of half-witted cannibals!
I missed him, I think
he's only wounded!
We have to finish him off.
But they stopped shooting at the river.
They'll be here any minute.
I surrender!
Come on, let's go!
Please, please,
we don't have any time.
You going back?
Can I come?
I won't be any bother.
Sure, kid.
Hop on,
there plenty of room.
You look tired.
Thanks a lot for stopping.
There was so much noise in there...
All right, Mac. You rest.
I'll be quiet.
You know?
I lost my watch!
Mac, don't close your eyes!
The trees! They're naked!
They're naked, Mac!
And what happened to the Sergeant?
I don't know, sir.
He might make it.
Sir, with your permission, I'd like
to go down to the river
and watch for him
for a while.
Yes, sir, the same goes for me.
You most certainly have
the right to it if you wish.
Do you think he'll come back?
I don't know.
I'm not sure yet whether
even we've come back.
I think we've all travelled too far
from our own private boundaries
to be certain about
these other things anymore...
Or come back to ourselves.
Part of me is glad, but...
I'm glad in a way too.
And I feel free all of a sudden.
But somehow I don't want
what I wanted before.
I know it's good. There's
nothing else I can want.
I'm all mixed up...
I wish I could want
what I wanted before.
Is your head bugging you?
No, it's something else...
What's that?
I guess I'm not...
built for this.
Nobody ever was.
It's all a trick we perform
when we'd rather not die...
Come on!