Francis Goes to West Point (1952) Movie Script

Let me see your pass.
- You Peter Stirling?
- Yes, sir.
- You're new here?
- My third day, sir.
Okay, Gregg.
Don't let it worry you, fellow. They make
every new man feel like a criminal.
With the work we're doing,
the government can't be too careful.
That's right.
Francis, you decent?
I'm sorry I'm late, but I stopped by
the store to get some carrots.
- What's the matter?
- Slow bunch of plugs.
What a cheesy kinescope. Turn it off.
Well, the little breadwinner.
How'd you do at the plant today?
- Fine. Look at these. Blisters.
- On you, they look good.
Too bad
you're gonna lose your job.
Lose my job?
But the foreman said I was doing swell.
Foreman's losing his job, too.
That's impossible.
He's been there since it opened.
No plant, no job.
No plant, no job?
What are you talking about?
Somebody's gonna
blow up the place tonight.
Pete, get me a carrot.
For a moment I thought
we were gonna be fired.
Blow up the plant? You're not serious?
I hope to kiss a duck I'm serious.
You sound like a hot rod.
Slow down or you'll blow a gasket.
- Yeah, but who?
- Couple of wrong guys.
- But why?
- 'Cause they don't like Uncle Sam.
Yeah, but how?
I don't know yet,
but I'm going to find out soon.
There goes that gasket. Come
here, Pete. I want to tell you something.
At 10:15 the plant is gonna go boom-boom.
How do you know?
For the love of mud,
don't you think I get around?
10:15, why,
that's only four hours from now.
- Why didn't you notify the police?
- That's your job.
- Why me?
- I guess it's the mother in me.
I wanna see my little boy
become a hero.
So get going and notify plant protection.
But remember, leave me out of this,
or you'll be getting in trouble again.
Well, Mr. Stirling, it's after 10:15,
and nothing has happened.
- I know, sir...
- If you ask me, nothing will happen.
Army Intelligence has brought in
every available man.
We've left other places undermanned.
So did the Federal Agency.
I'm supposed to be on another case.
I've got three police shifts.
A flea couldn't get into this plant
without us knowing.
I can't understand.
He's never been wrong before.
- Who?
- Who're you talking about?
- Speak up, man.
- I can't tell you.
If you don't tell us,
you'll be in serious trouble.
I'll be in worse trouble if I do.
- A mule told me.
- A mule?
I don't know whether you belong
in a nuthouse or the lockup.
But as soon as I call off this clambake,
I'll find out.
- Mule indeed. I'm pulling my men out.
- I'm taking my details home.
I'll be back to take care of you.
In the meantime, don't try to go bye-bye.
- We've got every road covered.
- Yes, sir. I mean, no, sir.
I'll be here. Yes, sir.
Hey, fellow.
Francis, do you...
What a mess you got me into this time.
- What's your trouble?
- Nothing's happened. That's the trouble.
It's after 10:15.
- You mean you're not a hero yet?
- A fine hero.
I'm either going to
prison or a booby hatch.
- Do you realise...
- Watch it, bub.
Hi, there.
What's all the excitement around the gate?
It's a sabotage rumour.
But I guess it's a false alarm.
Some guy always starting something.
Nice fellow, yeah.
Yeah, very nice.
But never mind him, what about me?
Real honest-looking.
Just the type they'd pick.
What am I gonna do?
You could stop that water truck.
You got me into this...
Stop the truck? What for?
Drink some of that water
and play jump rope, and you'll find out.
Play jump rope?
One jump and you'll be splashed
all over the scenery.
- You mean, it's an explosive?
- I mean it.
- Will you stand there gibbering?
- No. Hold that truck!
Hold that truck.
It's you. Now what is it?
- Don't let it through.
- Why not?
- The water isn't water.
- Water isn't water?
- Look...
- What's the trouble?
- This crackpot's blown his cork.
- It's the water, sir. It's not water.
What are you talking about?
Just drink some and play jump rope.
You'll find out.
Play jump rope? Get him out of here. Go on.
You can't. You mustn't.
There's no harm in checking.
I'd like to open a few bottles.
Go ahead. Ralph will give you a hand.
Mr. Mortenson, these men
have been working here a long time.
- It's kind of crazy, if you ask me.
- I'm not asking you.
I guess the water is water.
Can I help you?
No, thanks.
- I'll try this one here.
- Okay, help yourself.
I'll let you know.
Let's try this one here.
- But look, we've gone...
- Will you open it, or do I?
Don't tilt that bottle.
Get your hands up.
Drop your guns
and get your hands up.
All right, get in the shack, boys.
Any funny business, I'll plug
one of those bottles and blow you to bits.
- Go.
- Get this gun out of here.
Get in there.
Drop those guns.
Drop those guns or I'll drop this!
I said, drop them.
I'm sorry, I guess I got the wrong bottle.
We all owe you a tremendous debt, Stirling.
It was nothing. I only
did my duty as I saw it.
Stirling, that fantastic story
about a mule tipping you off...
- I wish you'd forget about that.
- Of course.
It was a clever way
of covering your source of information.
The way you figured out
that water gimmick was brilliant.
I've recommended you be
transferred to the Police Department.
Not so fast. I've already
sent a report in on Mr. Stirling.
We want him as a Government Investigator.
We need men like Stirling
in Army Intelligence.
Keen, alert, courageous.
What do you say? The Police Department?
- Government work?
- The Army?
I don't know. This is a big decision.
You're A.U.S., are you not?
- What's that?
- A.U.S. Army of the United States.
Yes, sir.
Have you ever thought of going
in the regular Army?
What do you mean?
I personally will arrange
an appointment for you...
to the United States Military Academy
at West Point.
Me? At West Point?
Okay, up the hill, men.
Come on.
All right, man, up the hill.
On your way.
- Born?
- Yes, sir.
- Where?
- Pastoria.
- Where?
- Pastoria, Kansas.
- I said, are you married?
- No, sir.
Have you ever been married?
Take a deep breath, young man.
Turn around.
Deep breath.
Strange, I can't find your lungs.
Detail, halt.
G Barracks, fall out.
Forward, march.
You, Mr. Dumbjohn.
You thinking about buying this place?
I didn't even know
it was for sale.
- What's your name?
- Peter Stirling.
From now on, it's
Mr. Stirling, sir. Understand?
Yes, sir. Mr. Stirling, sir.
Drop those bags. Now straighten up.
Throw those shoulders back. Don't slouch.
You're gonna learn
to carry yourself correctly...
and the sooner the better.
- Suck in that gut. Harder.
- Get that chin in.
Straighten those fingers.
- A sorry-looking specimen.
- I quite agree, Thompson.
This one looks as if he belongs,
pardon the expression, at Annapolis.
Pick up those bags.
Put down those bags.
Pick up those bags.
Well, how do you like that?
- Your quarters, Mr. Dumbjohn.
- Yes, sir.
Excuse me, I didn't know.
It's quite all right. Come right in.
No singles in this hotel.
- Just royal suites.
- Well, thank you.
Beat you to it. Your sumptuous couch.
Oh, sorry.
There's no time like the present
to get acquainted.
- Name's Bill Norton.
- My name's Stirling.
Peter for short.
Mr. Stirling, allow me to show
you the premises.
This is the main drawing room,
furnished in exquisite early Grand Rapids.
Careful. Watch how you step
on that Oriental rug.
The last tenant sunk in over his head
and was never seen again.
And this is the solarium.
You notice the delightful southern exposure
in the bay windows?
And over here?
Over here we have the study,
and I do mean study.
- Hi.
- See what the stork brought us.
- Another bouncing boy.
- Mr. Van Allen.
Stirling. Looks like they've teamed us up.
I'm sorry. William Norton,
this is Wilbur Van Allen.
- Hi, Bill. Glad to meet you.
- Hi, Bill.
Gentlemen, seeing that
I've already staked my claim...
you two can fight it out for what's left
while I relax.
Afraid you won't have much time
for relaxing. We still have lots to do.
Quartermaster, orderly rooms,
uniforms, supplies, formations.
- WILBUR; Then, after we're sworn in...
- What did you do? Read the menu?
My father's a West Point man.
He's retired now.
There was a Gen. Van Allen in Burma
during the war.
- His men used to call him Gen. Granite.
- His family still does.
We better be nice to this roommate of ours.
- He's got connections.
- Don't bother.
The Point is one place where
family connections don't mean a thing.
Col. Daniels, the Commandant of Cadets,
is Dad's closest friend.
And either one of you has a better chance
to get in to see him than I do.
Anyway, you can keep us
from pulling boners.
Number one is, don't let the Beast Detail
find you relaxing.
What about this Beast Detail?
Part of the plebe system.
They teach the men discipline.
I got into West Point out of
the Army through competitive examination...
and I have no time for that kid stuff.
I'm here to study,
maybe play a little football, and relax.
Did you hear that, Thompson?
West Point is fortunate enough to have
a football star in our midst.
- On your feet, mister.
- Sure.
- It's yes, sir.
- Okay, yes, sir.
- What's your name?
- Bill Norton.
It's Mr. Norton, sir.
If that's the way you want it.
Wipe that smile off your face.
You'll speak when spoken to.
- Now, straighten up and fall in there.
- Yes, sir.
And what's your name, mister?
- Mr. Van Allen, sir.
- And your rank?
A Fourth Classman in the
United States Military Academy.
What gave you the idea a plebe
could give commands to an upperclassman?
It was my mistake, sir,
and I accept full responsibility.
Do you happen to know
what a plebe ranks, Mr. Van Allen?
Yes, sir. The superintendent's dog,
the commandant's cat...
the waiters in mess hall...
the Hellcats and all
the admirals in the Navy.
Where did you learn that?
- From my father, sir.
- From a military family.
Ransom, we're very lucky.
We have a football hero,
and a military hero in one room.
Our humble institution is honoured.
And you, Mr. Stirling.
What kind of a hero are you?
Me, sir? I'm not a hero at all.
Come, come, Mr. Stirling.
You're being too modest.
No, I'm not really. Honest.
Rumour has it
you're the daring young hero...
who single-handed saved a defence plant
from destruction.
Suppose you tell us
how you achieved this magnificent deed.
Well, if you don't
mind, sir, I'd rather not.
- Come, come, Mr. Stirling. No false modesty.
- It's not modesty, sir, I just can't tell you.
- This is an order, Mr. Stirling.
- Yes, sir.
You see, sir, I have a
friend, a sort of a mule.
What do you mean, a sort of a mule?
He is a mule.
- The four-legged kind, Mr. Stirling?
- Yes, sir.
- And you say this mule is a friend?
- Yes, sir.
When he heard of the plot to blow up
the atomic plant, naturally he told me.
- The mule told you?
- Yes, sir.
As one jackass to another, eh, Stirling?
Just as you're speaking to me, sir.
It seems, Ransom, we have
what is vulgarly known as a wise guy.
- Gentlemen, I...
- Mr. Stirling...
the way you get along with West Point
depends on...
how West Point gets along with you.
- There's no place for wise guys.
- Then what are you doing here?
- Were you talking to us?
- I was.
- Why don't you lay off him?
- Stay out of this, Stirling.
Evidently, you're not acquainted with
the rules concerning the plebe system.
I'm acquainted with one rule.
Until I'm sworn in, I'm not a cadet.
And there's no rule says
I can't knock your blocks off.
Class dismissed.
- Mr. Stirling.
- Yes, sir?
I think you better stop in
and see Maj. Squires this afternoon.
Maj. Squires, sir?
Yes, sir.
As your Company Tactical Officer,
I want you to know...
that in the few weeks you've been here,
you've set a new record.
- Thank you, sir.
- You are now 687th in your class.
- And do you know why, Mr. Stirling?
- No, sir.
Because there are only 687 men
in your class.
I feel it only fair to advise you that
unless there's a miraculous improvement...
before the examinations in two weeks...
you'll be found deficient
and dropped from the Academy.
In two weeks, sir?
- In two weeks, Mr. Stirling. That will be all.
- Yes, sir.
"At a distance of 640 yards, it
strikes solid oak with a density of .77."
"Disregarding atmospheric resistance,
how far will it penetrate the wood?"
What wood? What for?
Mr. Dumbjohn, your morale is dragging.
- What are you doing here at West Point?
- Don't be silly. I work here.
- You work here?
- In a way.
I'm standing in for one of the mascots.
He's a cousin of mine,
and he needed a little vacation.
- Yeah, but how in the world...
- Pete, I know my way around.
Now, what's wrong with you?
You look like you're 687th in your class.
- I am.
- That figures.
I guess I'm not very smart.
That's the understatement
of the year. Let's get started.
Open that book.
We're going to play school.
- You're going to help me?
- If that's possible.
Now, tell teacher
where it hurts the mostest.
- Listen to this.
- All right.
"A bullet weighing 145 grains
leaves the muzzle of a rifle barrel...
"60 centimetres long
with a velocity of 2850 feet per second."
"At a distance of 640 yards, it
strikes solid oak with a density of .77."
"Disregarding atmospheric resistance,
how far will it penetrate the wood?"
I could've solved that
before I was allowed out of my stall.
- Get your pencil.
- I got it.
Let's see. Let X equal the depth
of the penetration...
Class dismissed.
Hi, chum. What's the big problem today?
What particular phase
of that subject bothers you?
All of it.
Let's start with the birds and bees.
We're starting way before that.
This has got to do
with the singular cell life of moles.
Pete, it's
single-cell molecular life.
- You know everything.
- Thanks.
I can't even pronounce it,
let alone know how it works.
Neither did Adam and Eve,
but they managed to get things started.
What has that got to do with biology?
Silly boy.
Repeat in French. I am a soldier.
- Je sweeze on sold out.
- Sold out?
I knew a Hungarian
organ-grinder once...
whose monkey had a better accent
than yours.
Je suis... I don't know. The hollow in my
mouth won't let the words come out right.
The hollow in your head
won't hold anything.
Let's try something easy.
Suppose you met
a beautiful French girl and you said:
"My dear,
you are beautiful. I adore you."
- Shut the door.
- Shut the door?
I understood that.
If you think I'm so stupid, why bother?
Only because I feel a certain
obligation to the American taxpayer.
Get on with your French lesson.
I am a soldier. Sound off.
Je sweeze on sold out.
Je sweeze on sold out.
Je sweeze on sold out.
I sent for you,
because in the last two weeks...
you've established a new record
at the Academy.
- I'm sorry, sir. I've been trying my best.
- Sorry? It's miraculous.
From the bottom of the class to 24th
in two weeks.
- If you can improve your drilling...
- I've been trying. Every opportunity.
Then there's no reason
why you can't wind up as honour man.
Thank you, sir.
Do you mind telling me
how you've accomplished it?
I've been getting
a little permissible tutoring.
From one of the instructors, no doubt?
No, sir.
- He's not exactly a cadet.
- Then who is it?
Do I have to tell, sir?
- Not if you don't wish to.
- I don't wish to, sir.
That's your privilege.
But whoever he is,
ask him to drop in to see the professor.
- I'll recommend he be made an instructor.
- An instructor?
I really don't think
he'd be interested, sir.
- That will be all, Mr. Stirling.
- Yes, sir.
You, Mr. Dumbjohn, halt.
- I want to have a little talk with you.
- Yes, sir?
They tell me you've become the wizard
of the plebe class.
- I wouldn't say that, sir.
- What's your system?
System, sir?
- You must be getting good coaching.
- Yes, sir. A little, sir.
Since you're not allowed off post,
it's somebody here at the Academy?
- Yes, sir.
- Who?
I don't have to tell that.
Maj. Squires just said so.
That's quite right, Mr. Stirling.
Just between us, I could use
some permissible coaching myself.
- That's too bad, sir.
- Yes, it is.
And if you were a real smart plebe, you'd
give me a crack at this miracle worker.
But you see, sir,
he doesn't take any other cadets, sir.
But I am sure you could talk him into it, if
he thought it was a special favour to you.
I'll ask him, sir,
and let you know what he says.
- Okay, Stirling. On your way.
- Thank you, sir.
- So?
- Ransom's already got it in for me.
- If you'd help him, maybe he'd lay off.
- No soap, Pete.
I'd wind up tutoring half the cadets
at the Point, or even worse.
- What do you mean, even worse?
- They might decide to make me a professor.
You've already got the offer.
- Now look what a spot I'm in.
- Spot you're in? What about me?
We got company.
I heard you talking to someone, Mr. Stirling.
I thought it might be your tutor.
My tutor, sir? My tutor. Yes, I was.
What did he say about taking me on?
- He said no, sir.
- Well, where did he go?
- I'm sure I can talk him into it.
- I'm afraid not, sir.
When he makes up his mind, that's it.
That goes for me too, Mr. Stirling, and
I want to talk to this character myself.
Very well, sir.
You can try, but I don't think Francis
will talk to you.
There he is.
There who is? Where is he?
I don't see any Francis.
The mule, sir.
So, Mr. Stirling, playing
the funnyman again?
- Don't know anything but mule jokes?
- It's not a joke, sir.
That's too bad, Mr. Dumbjohn,
because you're gonna need a few laughs...
while you're walking the area
the rest of the month.
Thank you, Gen. Ransom.
Just as a little extra bonus, we'll extend
the tour till Christmas, Mr. Stirling.
I don't think he likes you.
Now look what you've done.
Reminds me of a sergeant I hated
at boot camp.
You've fixed it for me to walk punishment
till I wear my feet off.
- Do you some good.
- Good?
Build up your leg muscles
to match the ones in your head.
Very funny.
You, Mr. Stirling.
What do you think you're doing,
walking your baby back home?
Forward, march! Hut, two, three, four.
Come in.
- At ease, Colonel.
- Teatime already?
- Over here, Jason.
- Yes.
- And time for you to relax, Dad.
- Cynthia, I've too much to do.
There's nothing in the regulations that
says the Com has to neglect his daughter.
It's a good thing
I only have you here occasionally.
This sort of thing
could easily become habit-forming.
No more business today.
I'll take care of this.
- Miss Cynthia.
- Yes, Jason.
- A cadet to see the Colonel.
- All right, Jason.
Come in.
Cadet Stirling reporting to the Commandant.
Maj. Squires' orders, sir.
Here you are. That's all.
- He's cute.
- Cute?
What a way to describe a young man.
He comes to us from the Army.
Combat in Burma, if I remember correctly.
I still say he's cute.
He's one of Bill Van Allen's
I meant to ask about Bill.
How's he getting along?
Don't you two write each other?
You know how busy a plebe is, Dad.
And Wellesley doesn't give us
much time either.
- How's he getting on?
- The way a Van Allen should.
- He'll make a fine soldier.
- That ought to please his father.
Hasn't he asked you
to the Plebe Hop?
He hasn't.
The moment he knows
you're here, he will.
You and Gen. Van Allen are determined
to cook up a romance between us.
The General and I are merely...
There's nothing in the regulations that says a
girl can't watch the review this afternoon...
and see for herself
how Cadet Wilbur Van Allen looks.
Detail, halt.
Well, if it ain't my little soldier boy
marching to and fro.
Why ain't you out there
with the rest of them guys?
I was Messenger of the Guard in Grant Hall.
I just got through.
My Company Tactical Officer said
to improve my drilling to make honour man.
The idea of you becoming honour man
gives me mule pimples.
- Why?
- It'd set West Point back 50 years.
You need some boning up
on that Garand rifle...
to match the bones in your head,
and that's plenty bony.
So, attention!
Right shoulder arms!
Present arms! Port arms!
Port arms!
Pete, grab
that rifle by the balance.
Don't you know
where the balance is?
- This is all they gave me.
- There's the balance.
- The rest of it.
- No, the balance.
From here to here and
here to here, the rifle weighs the same.
There's some of it, and
there's the rest of it.
- Rifle is all there?
- Yeah.
- The rifle is positively all there?
- Definitely.
But you're not.
- I'm the balance.
- Attention!
- Right dress! Front! Count off!
- Four.
- Where'd you get that?
- That's where I always stand.
When I give the command
to port arms, take hold of that rifle...
and pop it, snap it, make it talk.
Do you understand
what I'm talking about?
Just what did I say?
Your trouble is
when you get an order...
a command around here
never goes north of your neck.
- Maybe they're aiming too low.
- Never mind.
Stand up
and throw out your chest.
Pull in your chin.
There are only two bum cadets
at this whole Academy, and you're both.
- We thank you.
- Never mind.
Attention! Right shoulder arms!
About face! Right face!
Forward, march!
To the rear, march!
To the rear, march.
To the rear, march.
By the left flank, march.
To the right flank, march.
To the rear, march.
By the left flank, march.
By the right flank, march.
To the rear, march.
To the rear, march.
To the rear, march.
To the rear, march.
Column left, march!
Forward march.
By the left flank, march.
To the right flank, march.
- What, may I ask, is the idea?
- Idea, sir?
Shouting commands, disrupting the review.
But it wasn't me, sir.
I didn't do a thing, sir.
It was either you or that mule.
I know it couldn't be the animal.
But it was, sir.
Come on, Mr. Stirling.
Pick them up and lay them down.
I like to hear the patter of little feet.
Forward, march!
Hut, two, three, four.
Poor Mr. Stirling.
I don't know when I've seen Dad so furious.
Pete might've been in real trouble
if it wasn't for his scholastic standing.
- Is he coming to the dance?
- If he isn't still walking the area.
You know, Bill,
Dad's taking for granted you'll invite me.
- I guess my father is, too.
- Don't sound so tragic.
Now, if you've made other plans,
I can always tell them I've got a headache.
Could you?
- I mean... I don't mean...
- Poor Bill.
No life of his own.
Whatever it is you wanna do now,
why don't you go ahead and do it?
Thanks, Cynthia. I do have something
important, terribly important.
Mr. Stirling, I don't like to intrude
on your dreams...
but this is going to cost you
four extra hours.
Start walking.
I'm tired of this.
He's gotta know the truth sooner or later.
We aren't gonna wait nearly four years
for him to be in the mood.
We're gonna be married
as soon as it can be arranged.
You're talking nonsense, Bill.
You know we can't.
- You'd be thrown out of West Point.
- Fair enough.
That's how I got into West Point.
I was given no choice.
At least I can resign on my own initiative.
And you can also get yourself
another girl while you're at it...
- because I'm not gonna be around to cheer.
- Well, fine.
That's fine business when a fellow's
fiance takes sides with his father.
Listen, Mr. Dumbjohn,
there are no sides to take.
Why don't you face the facts?
You're a Van Allen and you belong here
at West Point...
just as your son will belong here,
if I'm to be his mother.
Well, if you aren't, I'll disown him.
That's for sure.
Bobby, I'm the luckiest guy in the world.
Just for that, I'll give you two
extra dances tomorrow night.
- Now what?
- Something I forgot to tell you.
I can't take you to the dance.
You're only the girl I'm engaged to.
I have to take the Com's daughter.
I'm a Van Allen, remember?
And West Point and my father's cronies
come first.
I bet half the plebes at the Point...
would welcome the chance
to take Cynthia Daniels.
If you get me a date
half as attractive, I won't kick.
Look. Cadet Stirling's
sitting all by himself.
Why don't you park me with him
and go have fun?
- I couldn't do that.
- Don't be silly.
Besides, I'd like to talk to
Cadet Stirling. I think he's cute.
Gosh, Cynthia. You're really a swell kid.
On account of you're
so cute, Mr. Stirling...
I'll let you have the rest
of this dance with Miss Daniels.
You are? I mean, you are.
That's wonderful. Thank you.
- Excuse me, please.
- Yes.
Why don't we sit this
one out, Mr. Stirling?
That tour of yours today
must've taken a lot of footwork.
Why, I knew you'd understand.
Pardon me, mister.
You don't have to if you don't wanna,
you know.
Well, maybe I'd better.
I'll say you'd better.
You know, it's amazing how rested
I feel now.
- Would you like to dance, Miss Daniels?
- Why don't we?
Take it, maestro.
One, two.
- Stop it, please.
- What's the big idea?
You can't treat him
this way. It's not human.
- Nobody's going to hurt him.
- He likes it.
- Just having a little fun.
- You're spoiling all the fun.
Fun? It's no fun for him. He doesn't
like this kid stuff. It upsets him.
I suppose he's confided
all this to you personally.
I warn you, if he loses his temper,
you'll all be sorry.
- Come on.
- One moment, gentlemen. Gentlemen!
- Mr. Stirling?
- Yes, sir.
What is your objection
to a little harmless fun with this mule?
Would you think it harmless, sir...
if he'd been your friend for years?
- If who'd been my friend for years?
- Francis.
The mule?
Yes, sir.
He dislikes being made ridiculous.
- Neither do I, Mr. Stirling!
- But, sir. I didn't mean...
You mustn't let them
annoy Francis anymore, sir. You mustn't.
Did I hear you correctly, Mr. Stirling?
"I mustn't?"
Yes, sir.
I just can't leave without saying goodbye.
You're out of luck.
You know regulations.
There's nothing that says
he isn't permitted to listen.
I know there's no regulation
that says he can't listen.
Mr. Stirling.
I just wanted to say that I'm
sorry we didn't get to finish our dance.
But I'll be coming back
in the fall for the Navy game.
Well, I hope
we'll be dancing together again.
I hope you don't get into
any more trouble.
Goodbye, Peter.
- Goodbye, Cynthia.
- Excuse me, Mr. Stirling!
About face!
Forward, march!
Halt! Mr. Stirling, we've got
a little rule around this place...
that says you're not supposed to talk
while on punishment tour.
Not even one teensy-weensy whisper.
The way things look, you're going to be
pounding this area through next summer.
So, Mr. Stirling, start walking.
Forward, march!
Hut, two, three, four.
- Glad to have you with us. Congratulations.
- Thank you, Ransom.
- I hope I wasn't too rough on you.
- No, not at all.
- Sorry we made it so rough.
- Thank you, that's all right.
You're wearing that midriff
a little high, Duchess.
Visitors. Quick, get out.
Oh, no, boy!
Well, if it isn't Space Cadet Stirling
ready for interplanetary combat.
What do you mean?
This is my lacrosse uniform.
Well, get ready for the takeoff, mister.
I just got here.
Aren't you gonna coach me?
Not in that Splash Gordon outfit.
Come on, canary, get out of that cage.
It's a good thing I like you, Pete.
Otherwise we'd have nothing in common.
Norton's try
for a point is good.
With two minutes left to play,
Army will kick off.
A 20-yard return by Miller
to the 27-yard line. Tackled by Allen.
Twenty-one, twenty-five.
If we could only get the ball again,
we'd still have a chance.
Yeah. There isn't much time.
Signals. 15, 19, 42.
Fumble recovered by Army.
Norton, there's only
time for one more play.
- Make it a deep pass to the left.
- Right.
Army's ball, first and 10.
You're all wet, Coach.
They're all set for a pass.
Make it a handoff to Norton
around right end. They're wide open there.
Who said that?
Brunelli, tell Norton to make it a handoff
around right end. They're wide open.
Thirty seconds
remaining to play.
Ready, set. One, two, three, four!
Thank you.
That's all right.
You don't suppose I'm cracking up,
do you, sir?
Nonsense, Chad.
You've never had a sick day in your life.
I know, but something's happened.
- Colonel, I hear voices.
- Voices?
It's a spirit or something.
It tells me what to do.
Whatever it is, more power to it.
Nobody else has the nerve.
I tell you it's there every time.
No matter where we play, that voice.
- Get hold of yourself.
- That play that beat Harvard...
that 45-yard field goal against Penn...
discovering the weakness
on the left side of the Dartmouth line...
that wasn't me, Colonel, it was the voice.
Somebody's idea of a joke.
Some sort of ventriloquism.
But there's never anybody else there
when it happens. Nobody, except a mule.
Chad, I'm afraid you're just... A mule?
There was some incident about a mule.
One of the cadets, yes, Stirling.
- Something about a mule.
- What sort of something?
Just what was it? Don't remember exactly.
An incident in Burma.
Combat fatigue. Slight head injury...
- hallucinations about a talking mule.
- A talking mule?
Maybe there is something
to this reincarnation business.
- Yes, sir.
- Get me the complete file...
- On Stirling.
- Yes, sir.
And have him report to me
at once.
- Stirling?
- Yes, sir?
Neither Coach Chadwick nor I believe
a word of your preposterous story.
I'm sorry, sir. I didn't think you would.
- But Francis can talk if he wants to, sir.
- Make him say something.
- I said he could, I didn't say he would.
- He'd better talk!
Yes, sir. Excuse me.
You heard what the Commandant said,
Francis. You'd better speak.
You'd better.
He's in one of his stubborn moods, sir.
Perhaps if you order him to speak.
- Order him?
- Yes, sir.
- Do you take me for an idiot, Stirling?
- Please, sir, for my sake try it.
Snap to it, mule. What's your name?
As Commandant of Cadets,
I order you to speak.
That's a command, mule! Speak!
I hope that satisfies you, Chad.
- And as for you, Mr. Stirling...
- But, sir.
- May I make a suggestion?
- Well?
If you and Coach would solemnly swear
not to tell anyone Francis can talk...
- Give an oath to a mule?
- At least promise him, sir...
that he won't have to become a cadet.
And what's wrong with becoming a cadet?
Nothing, except you wind up
a second lieutenant.
And what's wrong with...
- That wasn't you, Stirling.
- No, sir.
It was the mule.
I hope to kiss a duck,
it was the mule.
- It's the voice! It's him!
- Keep your jersey on, Coach.
I've been meaning to talk
to you anyway.
About that Navy game now.
When those midshipmen...
Don't just stand there.
Do something.
Boy, did I have a rough session
with Squires today. I'm groggy.
Still boning away, Bill?
Yeah, and I haven't even
got around to my math yet.
Cheer up.
You've only got three more years of it.
Remind me to drop you
in the Hudson next time it goes by.
Gentlemen, I'm off to the library.
All right, Mr. Duco, suck in that gut.
Straighten those
shoulders. Pull in that chin.
- How many lights in Cullum Hall?
- 340 lights, sir.
How many gallons in Lusk Reservoir?
92.2 million, sir, when the
water is flowing over the spillway.
- How many names on Battle Monument?
- 2,240 names, sir.
Right face.
These plebes are getting bigger every year.
As you were, mister.
- Mail, sir.
- Thank you.
- Bad news, Bill?
- I'm not sure.
- We never figured on a baby.
- A baby?
You can't have a baby.
It's against regulations.
Not me, dumbbell, my kid sister.
I'm gonna be an uncle.
Then cheer up, fellow.
There's no pain to becoming an uncle.
That's what you think.
Dad doesn't even know sis is married.
- Gen. Granite isn't going to like that.
- No, he'll blow his top. Poor sis.
She's on her way home from college
to break the news.
The kid's worried stiff
because of his health. Here.
I don't think she should face Dad
alone. I'm gonna ask for leave.
When I get home, I might as well tell him
about Barbara and me.
- What're you talking about?
- We're gonna be married.
I've suspected that. But look, Bill.
I wouldn't throw the book at your old man
now, when he's not well.
And besides, maybe the new grandchild
will have him all softened up...
- by the time you graduate.
- I'm not gonna wait for graduation, Bill.
I'm gonna make Barbara marry me now.
Why you're kidding.
They'll kick you out of the Academy.
- I know.
- If you feel that way...
you shouldn't have come here
in the first place.
If you ever meet my father, tell him that.
Hiya, fellows. I'm back.
What's wrong? You guys look like
you were caught in the Com's cookie jar.
See you later.
- What's eating him?
- Skip it, Pete. I gotta get off to practice.
More practice?
Hey, you think we can beat Navy?
He's gonna have a baby.
That's right. A baby?
"Dear Bill, I don't know how you'll take
the news, but I've just been to the doctor."
"He says I'm gonna have a baby."
"That means we can't keep the marriage
a secret much longer."
Marriage? Baby?
Poor Norton.
One, two, three!
That's enough!
Get to the showers. And drown!
- The same thing every time, a fumble.
- Yeah?
- Gee, I sure felt sorry for the Coach.
- I don't like it.
- It's not a good play?
- It's a great play. I invented it.
It's Bill Norton, and if he plays
like that Saturday, it's Navy by 20 points!
Francis? Suppose he...
Well, what if something happened
and he couldn't play at all?
- It'll be Navy by 40 points.
- He's that important to the game?
Important, the boy asks. Why,
we built our whole offence around him.
Hey, Pete, what's this
about Norton not being able to play?
I was just wondering.
Well, I'll talk to you later.
So long.
I'd sure wonder what's on that kid's mind,
if he had one.
I'll be right back.
- Barbara, what are you doing here?
- I had to see Bill...
to talk some sense into the idiot's head.
They told me at Grant Hall he'd already left.
Yes, on special leave.
Well, listen to the telegram he sent me.
"Darling, meet me in Boston tomorrow
to get the license. Love, Bill."
- That crazy guy!
- What's happened...
to make him start off
on this marriage business again?
- He got a letter from his sister.
- About the baby.
Yes. She was scared to death
to face her father alone.
I guess Bill figured he could draw
half the General's fire...
with a surprise attack of his own,
and marry you ahead of schedule.
But that's all so stupid.
Because down deep inside...
- he loves the Point as much as you do.
- I'm sure of it.
- But how to make him realise it?
- I'll do it, even if I have to...
- Break our engagement to do it.
- You're quite a gal, Barbara.
You'll make something of my roommate yet.
At least you won't have to worry about
our marriage anymore.
But I'm afraid to think of how the news of
the expected baby's going to be received.
And you gathered that one of Norton's
roommates is married to the young lady?
- Yes, sir.
- And expecting a baby, sir.
Norton has two roommates:
Cadets Van Allen and Stirling.
Norton has left with the squad
for Philadelphia. Van Allen is on leave.
Looks like
we'll have to start with Mr. Stirling.
- Expecting a baby?
- Yes, sir.
Stirling? You're directed to report
to the Com"s office at once.
The Com's office? Thanks, pal.
Hey, Stirling? You seem very cheerful.
I'd be worried if the Com sent for me.
But I know why he wants me. I finally made
top man in scholastic standing.
Cadet Stirling, 3rd class,
reporting, sir.
Mr. Stirling,
I understand congratulations are in order.
Thank you, sir. I only did my best.
- This is not a matter for joking.
- Indeed not, sir. I worked hard for it.
Of course, I did have a little assistance.
- Assistance?
- Yes, sir. You know, Francis.
Mr. Stirling,
I don't know what you're referring to.
- But I'm talking about your wife and baby.
- Thank you, sir.
My wife?
- There must be some mistake.
- Indeed. We have good reason to believe...
either you or one of your roommates
is a married man and an expectant father.
But, sir.
Gentlemen, I'm... If you could only wait
till after the game tomorrow, sir...
We're giving you a chance to
clear yourself, Mr. Stirling. Speak up!
I have nothing to say, sir.
Mr. Stirling, there is no room at West
Point for a man whose code of honour...
is less than that of the Academy itself.
The U.S. Military Academy does not merely...
produce second lieutenants and generals.
But it prepares leaders and statesmen.
The history of this country is glorious
with the record of West Point graduates.
If discipline is stern, it is because of
the high standards set by those men.
Perhaps to some, the rule against allowing
married men as cadets may seem too severe.
But West Point is an exacting taskmaster.
It demands all a man's time...
all his diligence, and all his loyalty.
Mr. Stirling, as a married man you
have remained at this Academy fraudulently.
West Point will not tolerate a man whose
personal integrity is not of the highest.
It is therefore necessary that you
resign immediately or face a court-martial.
I hate to wake you, but I couldn't
leave without saying goodbye.
I bet you
say that to all the mules.
Hey, I'm over here.
That mule happens to be Jackson,
whose real name is Katie.
Not that it matters, no.
- It's so dark in here, I couldn't see.
- I can see plenty.
What are you doing out of
uniform, and what's this goodbye routine?
Well, I've resigned from the Academy.
I'm taking the 8:40 train to New York.
You ain't taking nothing nowhere
till I find out what this is all about.
- Come on, level.
- Well, nothing I can tell you.
I've resigned from the
Academy, and that's it.
- Just like that?
- Yeah.
You're not kidding me. I know how
hard you've worked to stay at the Point.
You're not walking out just 'cause
you don't like them prunes for breakfast.
I'm not walking out.
I'm just doing what I have to do.
You know, it's gonna seem
kind of strange without you, Francis.
You and I have been through
an awful lot together.
- You've almost been like a mother.
- Oh, shucks!
I've gotta go, otherwise
I'll miss the train.
Keep well, Francis.
I'll write and let you know where I am.
And Francis?
You and the Coach help Bill Norton
all you can, will you?
Well, bye.
Here I go again. Yeah.
Come on, Francis, on the double!
Hey. Open the window.
I wanna talk to you, Com.
- What on earth...
- I'm sorry to disturb you...
but my pal Stirling just said goodbye
and told me he'd resigned.
But he wouldn't say why.
What's the lowdown, sir?
Well... Just a minute.
- Didn't you know he was married?
- Married? I don't believe it.
- Who said so?
- Stirling is not only married...
- but an expectant father.
- He, an expectant father?
- These things do happen.
- So they tell me.
And I'll bet
my last bale of hay...
Pete has no more firsthand knowledge
on that subject than I have.
- He must be covering for someone.
- But why? Covering for who?
For whom, Colonel. For whom.
I don't know,
but I'm sure as heck going to...
if I have to take him out
behind the woodshed to do it.
- You know where he's gone?
- I know every bone in his head.
He'll be around that stadium,
rooting for that team.
- You won't find him in that crowd.
- I'll find him, all right.
Would you give him a break, and hold up
his resignation till after the game?
- Well...
- Come on. Be a good Joe, will you?
Well, I guess the boy's record entitles him
to that much consideration.
Thanks. I better be getting back
to my stall before I'm reported AWOL.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- And thanks.
- You're...
- Come in. Yes, Jason?
- A lady to see you, Colonel.
A lady? Who is it, Jason?
What lady could it be, Colonel?
- Why, Cynthia.
- Dad.
I thought you planned to go
straight to Philadelphia for the game.
I thought it would be much more fun
to go to the game with the Com.
- Let me take your coat.
- All right. By the way, Dad...
you'd better report
one of the mascots running loose.
I saw him come around the corner
of the house and take off down the street.
It was Francis headed for the stable.
Could've been Jackson or one of the
other mules, for all I could tell.
How did you know which one it was
and where it was going?
'Cause I was just talking with him.
- Talking with him, Dad?
- Yes.
Discussing a cadet's resignation.
Who did you say
you were discussing it with?
With whom, my dear.
The mule. He was very upset.
Naturally, darling.
And you're very upset, too.
There's nothing you can do
if a cadet wants to resign.
But I am doing something. Francis thinks
the boy's protecting someone...
so I'm giving him until after the game
to find out.
- I'm sure Francis will do all he can.
- I know he will.
Stirling has a very
fine friend in that mule.
Stirling? It's Peter Stirling
you've been talking about?
- Yes.
- But why would he want to resign?
I just got a letter from him the other day
that he'd reached tops in scholastic standing.
Yes, but his extracurricular activities
have borne fruit, too.
A wife and expectations.
Peter. Married? I can't believe it.
What's up, Com?
Here I am.
- Sorry to disturb you.
- That's all right.
But I made the mistake
of telling my daughter, Cynthia...
about our talk regarding Cadet Stirling...
which immediately convinced her
that I was... Well, that I may be...
A little off your rocker, Com?
Aren't we all.
Don't worry about your dad.
He's got all his marbles and then some.
My dear,
what do you think of Francis now??
It's either a recording, or you've taken up
ventriloquism as a hobby.
Stick around, miss. You'll catch on.
Hey, Com, come here a minute.
I never did ask how this marriage
business of Pete's was discovered.
Did a cadet report it?
- It's true. He talks.
- What did I tell you, my dear?
Francis, it seems that
just before the team left today...
William Norton and a young woman named
Barbara something-or-other...
were overheard by a couple of officers
as they very frankly...
discussed her marriage to
Norton's roommate.
They didn't mean Peter, Dad.
It's Bill Van Allen.
Sure. He and Barbara Atwood
have been in love for ages.
If she's married to anyone,
it certainly isn't Peter.
Why don't you talk to Bill?
He can straighten this out for you.
Well, unfortunately he's gone home
on an emergency leave of absence.
- Call Boston. Get him on the phone.
- Now you're on the ball, honey. You bet you.
I think I'm gonna faint.
Well, come on, Com.
Don't just stand there. Do something.
Snap into it. On the double.
Say, Bob, you got any idea...
why they dropped Pete Stirling
from the Academy?
- I didn't know they had.
- Dropped Pete? What do you mean?
- You mean, you didn't know?
- No.
- Do you know anything about this, Coach?
- He was dropped yesterday, Bill.
I was hoping you wouldn't find out
until after the game.
- I know what good pals you two were.
- Why did they drop him?
Nobody knows yet. Don't let it throw you,
boy. This game's too important.
I'll be all right, Coach.
- How about you? Do you know anything?
- No, it's news to me, too, Bill.
But I can't understand it.
He's a swell little guy.
All right! Let's get warmed up, boys.
Everybody out. Let's go. Come on.
Here they come. Here, take this.
Francis, Norton just found out
Stirling was dropped.
He's edgier than ever.
Do you think I ought to
take a chance on him?
What do you say? Shall I risk it?
Don't let me down.
I need your help, fellow.
Don't be a fair-weather friend.
Hey, what's with the Coach?
- Looks like he's blown his marbles.
- Yeah.
- I'll never forgive you for this! I...
- Sorry, sir. We need Jackson.
The Corps is marching in.
- Jackson?
- Yes, sir.
- I thought it was Francis.
- No, this is Jackson.
- Come on, Jackson. Let's go.
- Come on, boy. We're late.
I wonder where
that knucklehead could be.
Navy wins the toss
and elects to kick.
Army will defend the south goal.
They're lined up for the starting kickoff.
And there's the whistle.
In a moment we'll see.
Navy recovers.
Smith recovers Norton's fumble for Navy.
Navy's ball on Army's 24-yard line.
Jones takes it over
for Navy. Navy six, Army nothing.
Norton's handoff to Tubor
good for 23 yards.
What's Norton got up his sleeve now?
One, two, three, four.
Norton's pass
intercepted by Bradley.
104 yards. Bradley scores for Navy.
Navy 13, Army nothing.
They're lining up to kick for extra point.
Hedley's back to convert.
There's less than a minute to play
in the first half.
Army's last chance to score.
It's still Navy 13, Army nothing.
And it looks like
Army will have to try another pass.
Three, four, five!
Norton smeared
by the Navy line.
This lad is certainly off his game today.
It's now fourth down,
and Army will have to kick.
Bill's sure upset about that baby.
I wish Francis would give him a pep talk.
Ball goes out of bounds. There's
the gun for the end of the first half.
Norton looked pretty bad on that play.
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Coach
Chadwick replaces him for the second half.
- Well, fancy meeting you here.
- Francis.
What's left of me after scraping my flanks
to the bone...
on about 20 miles of automobiles
looking for you, Cadet Stirling.
I'm not a cadet anymore.
I told you last night I resigned.
But I want the real reason.
I don't buy this phoney marriage business.
Well, I am married. I've got a stork,
and he's expecting a wife.
I mean, I am married and I've got a wife,
and she's married, too.
Look, the Com talked to Van Allen
on the phone and got the truth.
- They're letting Bill Norton play?
- Letting him play?
Well, yes. I thought if they knew he was
married, he'd be dropped and couldn't play.
- You said they needed the team...
- Hold it.
Did you think it was Norton
who was married?
Yes, I did.
So you took a wife and a stork
on your shoulders...
to keep him in the clear for the game?
Is that it?
- Well, what else could I do?
- Drop dead.
My aching back.
Pete, it's Bill Van Allen's sister
who's having the baby.
Not Bill Norton!
I wouldn't mind so much if I help Bill...
or something, but if he has nothing
on his mind, why is he playing so badly?
He's probably heard
about you resigning.
Go over to the locker room
and tell him it's okay.
- Yeah.
- Get going, and start explaining.
And you thought
you were taking the rap for me, Pete?
But all it accomplished was to keep you
worrying about me for the first half.
It'll be different now, Bill,
with both your roommates off your mind?
- The General took your sister's news okay?
- Took it? He's thriving on it.
You'd think he was the only
expectant grandfather in New England.
Hey, the Coach
must be going wacky.
- He's talking to the mule again.
- Never mind that.
It looks like the mule
is talking to the Coach.
You must be going wacky yourself.
- We better be off. Good luck, Bill.
- Thanks.
- That goes for me, too.
- And Pete, it was swell of you.
- Thanks.
- Goon.
All right, let's get organised, men.
I've done my part. Now it's up to you.
Here's where we sink
the Navy. Touch, Pete.
Man for man, you're just as good as Navy.
But you're not gonna prove it...
unless you get out there and play
the kind of game I know you're capable of.
Now, boys...
I want you to listen to Francis.
- Listen to Francis?
- You heard what the man said.
Look, Coach, we don't have any time
for jokes. We need strategy now.
What you need
is a dancing teacher.
So I'm wacky? I told
you I saw the mule talk.
- It has to be ventriloquism!
- Yeah. It's a gag.
- Pipe down!
- It's impossible.
Why should it be impossible for
me to talk? All you flatheads do.
But you're a mule.
And you're supposed to be
a right guard.
So what?
I can't figure this thing.
This must be a joke.
I think I better explain, boys. Francis is
a good friend of Stirling's and mine.
- Thanks.
- He has helped me with the backfield.
- Helping you?
- Well, he's not the first jackass...
to try to tell me how to run the team.
Snap out of it, Norton! Didn't you
ever see a backfield coach before?
One more fumble out of you,
and I'm going to do a little kicking.
- Do I make myself clear, Norton?
- Yes, Coach.
Now, just what do you guys think
you were doing out there? A ballet?
Of all the slippy, slipshod,
jumble-fingered football...
you guys take the fur-lined pigskin.
Now, I think those Navy boys
would be suckers...
for a reverse-end run with
a double-lateral. You get it?
First, I want the right half
to cut across the field to the left.
Then reverse. Quarterback falls
back with the ball, and then...
Navy 13, Army six.
Norton passes for 30 yards.
No. This is a swell spot
for an optional pass or a run.
- Get Norton on it.
- Stewart.
Tell Norton to call an optional pass
or run to the right.
Ready, set! One, two, three!
It's a tie!
Norton's kick can win for Army.
- We sunk the Navy, Coach!
- We did that, boy.
Coach, please.
It is going to be with a great
sense of loss that I turn over...
the Academy's most unusual cadet
to the field of research.
But with the cooperation I know
Francis will give you...
- great strides should be made.
- This will no doubt go down, Col. Daniels...
as a great day in the annals of science.
Who can predict the magnitude
of future discoveries and experiments?
- Prof. Hopkins?
- Who indeed, Doctor?
Even a new species is not
beyond the realm of possibility...
- in this great age we live in.
- Excuse me, gentlemen.
Just imagine what we could do, Major,
with a few thousand Francises in battle.
Just give them instructions and a road map.
Well, shall we join Francis
in the lecture hall...
for some round-table discussion
before science takes over?
Hey, you!
Francis, you just marched out.
I was so unhappy for you. Who was that?
- Jackson. My gift to research.
- Jackson?
If they get that moronic mule to talk,
they'll really do something for science.
Well, I'm off to far places
where corn is free, and mules is mules.
Mules are mules, Francis.
You said it, boy.
Now that I've got you tuned up
and hitting on all cylinders...
all you gotta do is to keep your head up
and stay in the middle of the road.
I'll try, Francis.
You know, I'm gonna miss you.
- Shucks.
- No, you've really been swell.
Wasn't nothing.
I don't know what I would've
done without you.
Forget it. Be seeing you
come graduation, Cadet Stirling.