Parer's War (2014) Movie Script

Crikey, Norm, you can see
everything from this lookout!
Japs' whole base!
Troop movements, shipping -
the works.
Move out.
Shh, shh!
Come on. Let's go. Get down.
That'll have to do, Damien.
We need to ankle out of here fast.
Mind what you do with that film
you took from the lookout.
It's a vital post and we're
all dead if the Japs find it.
Yeah, too bloody right, Norm.
I won't use it
till you say it's cleared.
Sorry, Cotter.
Might write tomorrow.
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Ha! 7th Division.
Oh, thank Christ for that.
Mate, Parer, DOl.
General Rowell's taking command?
Yeah, someone who knows what
he's doing for a bloody change.
Got some film here. What do you
want me to do with this?
Off as soon as you can, mate.
Department of Information's
waiting on it.
Get there a darn sight sooner
if you take it with you.
Nah, I'm not going back.
Cable they sent this morning
says you are.
Shit and derision.
Walked all the way home, have you?
From Libya, by the look of it.
Hoping you'd be here by now.
What the hell am I meant to do
about that?
I don't think this will suit
General Rowell, old man.
No. No, out of the question.
We can't afford to lose you now,
Damien. Or you, Chester.
We're gonna need
your ABC broadcasts,
and your pictures, Damien.
I want this undermanned,
undersupplied cock-up
I've inherited on the record.
It's a fuckin' shambles,
as you'd both appreciate.
These troops should have been here
months ago.
And I've got no clear idea what
the devil's going on up at Kokoda.
And no competent liaison officers
to get up there
and assess the situation for me.
You boys have covered the war
in the Middle East.
You've enough military nous
to know what you're looking at.
I wouldn't miss it for quids, sir,
but that's an order.
I'll deal with the Department.
Who's your superior?
Bob Hawes.
Thank you, sir.
You just get up to Kokoda
and get those pictures for us
so that bloody fool at GHQ can see
what sort of war he's got up here
and stop pushing for
a swift victory.
In this terrain?
And a lot of poor bastards will
have to get killed to provide it.
Just how much strife are we in
up at Kokoda, Chester?
I think that's what he's asking us
to tell him, old son.
Hope you brought your hiking boots.
Down here.
I can't find you.
A bit of water if you've got any.
Struth, mate,
what are you doing off the track?
Just having a rest. Wouldn't have
any morphine, would you?
All I've got's this.
where the hell are you?
Here. Take this.
We'll come back for you.
Thanks, cobber.
Father, forgive me.
Deus meus, ex toto corde poenitet
me omnium meorum peccatorum...
For God's sake, man!
I thought I'd lost you.
We've got to keep moving.
.. eaque detestor, quia peccando...
This is not what people
want to see, Damien.
It's sordid.
Nothing good about it.
It's what they're bloody well
gonna see, Bill.
The complacency back home -
they need kicking out of it.
Good God! Where's this?
Halfway up to Myola.
It's a bastard of a trek, Kokoda.
It's one razorback after another.
There's your out.
Hang on, Ken.
Should be a bit more here showing
how visible their uniforms are.
It's bloody hopeless.
The yellow fellas
in jungle-green camouflage...
.. and our chaps' desert gear
standing out like dog's balls.
You need to put that
in the dope sheet
so we know what we're looking at.
Might need that
for the commentary.
That's Eora Creek
when we got the order to withdraw.
Just didn't have enough damn film
to show the scale of it.
They're the wounded coming back from
the forward lines. Bloody hundreds.
All this damn panning, Damien.
How do you suppose we cut it?
I think we need the whole shot, Ken.
It's just more truthful that way.
Fair enough.
This is all out of order.
That's up at Efogi.
What are they saying?
They're telling the officer
what they're up against.
It's a new kind of warfare.
We need to see it.
Is there any action footage?
You can't get action, Ken.
They're fighting blind.
You can't even see the enemy
when he's 10ft away
and then you're dead.
That's what they're telling him.
Look, these shots,
they're all over the place.
We've gotta get these bloody reels
in order.
Perhaps we should take a break,
Let's grab half an hour,
get a bite.
I know!
And I said to him, 'Didn't you
take dance classes at school?'
And he just looked at me
like I was crazy!
Don't know what's going on
with this government.
Tobacco's getting more and more
expensive, if you can get it at all.
It's a bloody joke.
Yes, but straight out of
the field? He's stonkered, Ken.
The propaganda boys want
it out as fast as we can do it.
Well, I've got his dope sheets.
I could leave the commandos
until later
and do a rough assembly on this
over the weekend
while he's taking a break.
Where have you been, you scoundrel?
Forgotten how to write?
Yeah. Sorry, got a bit sidetracked.
Oh, is that what you call it?
Just stringing some negs
in the darkroom.
Get yourself a drink.
And something to eat.
You look like
that mangy yellow dog
who hangs around the cookhouse.
Get yourself cleaned up. There's
a shaving kit in the bathroom.
A lot of people want to catch up
with you tonight.
Marie's gonna be there.
Look out!
I need a drink!
Marie, over here!
Hello, Maxey.
Damien told me he'd won
a jitterbug contest in Cairo,
which sounds like absolute rot.
I've done a fiver
betting he couldn't.
Oh, well, Ronnie was there too.
Didn't he warn you?
Not a word.
Gosh, what a stinker!
There you are, Cotter.
Yeah, and here you are,
give the girl a rest!
I was wondering
what was keeping you.
Oh, you know, work, things to do,
and possibly being the last person
to find out he's back from Max.
Damien, I despair!
Serve you darn well right
if I ran off with her.
Such a rotter!
Ah, she already knows that.
Hey, Damien!
Silkie, you scallywag!
Where the devil have you been?
Come on,
Marie. Let's practise!
Well, I've got an exhibition dance
to live up to,
so I'm gonna get back
into practice.
And then Frank Hurley,
Frank decides he wants to do the
whole thing in a re-enactment...
Hello, mate.
Borrow him for a tick, if I may?
What are you doing?
That's no way to treat a girl.
Especially not THE girl.
Oh, keep trying to make up my mind
for me.
No. But someone else will,
if you're not careful.
That'd settle it, then.
I know she doesn't love me.
Spare me the hairshirt, Damien.
You've been doing that for how long?
The kid is mad about you!
Always has been.
So you keep telling me.
She never has.
Of course she's not gonna put
herself on the line like that,
when Lord knows if you'll ever
pop the question.
Don't be such an ass.
You ask me to look after her
while you were away, so I do.
We talk, mainly about you.
Great party, mate.
Thanks a lot, Damien.
Yep. Take care.
Hooroo, mate. Cheerio, Max.
Thanks, mate.
Damien and I
lost our hearts there.
Ah, Bill. Thanks, mate.
Athens in spring has a flavour
and beauty all of its own.
He's extensively well travelled,
aren't you?
You mean for the war? Yeah, well,
it does count, you know.
I mean, they have time to shop.
Behave, Cotter.
You're being naughty.
I just thought it
worth mentioning.
Ah, Cotter, I'll take you home.
Well, you don't have to, you know,
considering you didn't bring me.
This is how Silkie
told me how to drive...
.. in North Africa.
Jeepers, Damien!
For heaven's sake, slow down!
Look! Aah-ha-ha-ha!
Don't! Damien!
How much have you had to drink?!
Not enough! Ha-ha!
I suppose
I'll have to marry you now.
Have to?
You most certainly do not.
I mean, as you darn well know,
you've never even
properly kissed me before.
No, I didn't mean it like that.
What an awful thing to say!
I meant we should think about it.
How could you even ask me
when you're drunk?
No, I thought you wanted...
To be insulted?
'Oh, yeah, Cotter's
the sort of girl
who's no better
than she should be. '
I'd never talk about you like that.
Is that why you stopped writing
and you didn't tell me
when you were back?
Well, then why?
I don't know why.
Well, that makes two of us.
Why don't you try and talk to me
when you're sober,
if you even remember!
You shouldn't be out here like that.
Oh, Father, forgive me,
for I've really sinned.
Not only parking with my boyfriend
and improperly dressed,
in fact, I'm not dressed at all.
Although I can't see Mum's chenille
inspiring anyone to lust.
But I could be wrong.
And would it be an actual occasion
of sin
if Dad was watching us
the whole time?
He'd let you come out
and sit with me like that?
No, of course not.
He told me to fetch you in before
all the neighbours are up,
or you'll cause talk.
For love is heaven,
and heaven is love.
Isn't Diana just everything?
I think I've truly lost my heart
this time.
Well, then
you're a lucky bastard.
You have to let it happen, Damien.
I think I asked Cotter to marry me
last night.
You think?
I made a real muck of it.
Go and take her for a picnic
or something, old fella.
Try and come home to us
for a while.
You lose!
Not likely.
Ah. Race you back up.
Hey! Hang on!
What happened to 'ready, set, go'?
So you can get a head start?
I don't think so!
You spoilsport!
Hurry up! What's keeping you
so long?
Come on, Cotter! Pull your weight!
You are a cheat!
It'll take a penance
and an act of contrition
to get you out of that one.
Come on.
Here. Help me.
Help me!
Help me, Damien.
Take this.
What is it, darling?
It's nothing.
Sometimes I think I'm not much good
to you, or anyone, for that matter.
I know, but I've got
to do something
for the war effort, don't I?
You'll find no useful answer
in questioning God's purpose
for us.
What purpose is there
in so much suffering?
There's not an ounce of mercy in it.
It's not a fair go.
He tests our faith.
Every day of our lives, son.
I can cop that, Father,
but not when he tears apart
some other bloke to do it.
You'd be thinking
they're never gonna make it,
then they'd dig their big toe in
and inch their way up.
You've spent a lot of footage
on these native bearers.
Almost as many shots as you have
on the troops.
Because that's the story, Ken.
'No boongs, no battle,'
the boys reckon.
Natives' word.
Do we know what it means?
It's 'brother'.
We'd be wiped off the map up there
without 'em.
We need to be saying that.
And everyone back here
complaining about bloody smokes,
the price of things.
They have no idea
how much danger this country's in.
Didn't get the half of it.
Sorry. Thought it was better
than this, Ken.
Well, it lacks a bit of action.
Don't you worry about that.
You wait and see what we do
with it.
Yeah, well, it's just not there.
Not how it was.
But it will be.
If you introduce it, just the way
you've been telling it to us.
What, on screen?
No, no. I don't think
I'd come out well enough, Ken.
But you've got conviction
in your voice. That's all we need.
Not if I make a muck of it.
We'll bring you up to scratch.
Have a think about it.
Go stretch your legs.
Terry, you and I can move on to
the second film.
Put up the commando footage.
Terrific action.
I missed the real thing.
They're re-enacting it for me here.
Yeah, well, you wouldn't know.
Look at their faces,
how confident they are.
It's not how it is
when they go into battle, Ken.
Well, it'll work for us.
There's your out, Terry.
Who's this fella?
No, hang on.
This is from the lookout tree.
It's gotta go. We can't use that
shot until it's cleared, so...
It's on the dope sheet.
Yeah, I've got it as a cut.
I've seen that image before.
The stupid,
incompetent bloody goats!
Mr Hawes!
Sir, I gave those men my word.
They trusted me to make sure
their lookout
wasn't given away to the Japs.
I can't understand
how it could have been missed.
If it's our mistake.
I can't see how
if we'd been properly informed.
It's written on the dope sheet,
for God's sake.
'Pictures from scouts' tree
cannot be used
until they cease to use this place,
as it would endanger scouts' lives. '
I mean, how much clearer
does it have to be?
There's no need for that tone,
Mr Parer.
If indeed you're correct,
it's most unfortunate.
Of course, we'll investigate
how to...
I don't care how it happened,
Mr Hawes.
Just get the pictures removed
from the press immediately.
And alert the military censor
so the boys can be warned
if it's not too late.
I'll decide the appropriate course
of action, Mr Parer. Not you!
You are an employee
of this department.
You do the job you're assigned
and go where you're told to.
When you're directed to return
to Brisbane, that's where you go.
And don't you think a cable
supposedly from General Rowell
fools anyone.
If anything's happened to those men,
God forgive him.
Keep moving. He's still watching.
And you'd better know that
he released that lookout footage
to the Yanks too.
Oh, shit and derision!
If it's gone that far,
there'll be a lot of explaining
to do if he withdraws it.
Very likely. Oh, Chester rang
from the ABC looking for you.
He's back.
Bloody Hawes.
Petty little shit so full of his own
importance, nothing else matters.
The military censor
has to be alerted.
Anything else is unthinkable.
You'd reckon.
I just don't trust him to fix it.
Well, we'll see about that.
Jane, Chester here.
Yes, would you get me
George Prentice
at the military censor's office?
Thank you.
Thank you.
I suppose you've heard
General Blamey's on the point
of replacing Syd Rowell.
Instead of listening to him?
Yeah, that's the rumour.
He's argued the conditions at
Kokoda we reported back to him,
but Blamey and MacArthur
are refusing to listen.
George, old man.
Yes, I've got a rather urgent matter
I think you'd want to know about.
I wasn't going to do it,
but I bloody am now.
'General Rowell was on the job, and
now we had a really fine command. '
Will Ken Hall let you say this?
I don't think I'm gonna tell him
why I want to say it.
Ken won't want to get mixed up
in the politics.
No. I don't blame him.
DOl won't like the flak either.
Oh, to hell with them!
I'm giving it a good go.
Is this our young lass?
What's taken you so long, Cotter?
I got held back at work
for an air raid drill.
Just smile and nod.
You won't get a word in edgewise.
Marie, this is Chester.
How very nice to meet you.
Yes, I know who you are.
You're the one who tells me
everything he doesn't.
Ah! A discerning listener.
Mmm, a bit too much.
I was half expecting you
to still be 'slimed in mud,
unwashed for weeks
and odorous as a polecat'.
Ah. Thankfully not.
I assume you heard my account
of Damien's cooking prowess
with bully beef and hardtack.
Mmm, and weevils.
Well, I admire your courage.
Lord knows what's in these pots
he's prepared for us.
I didn't know that
you listened to Chester.
Well, of course we all listen.
Chester's the first thing we talk
about at work the next morning.
All the girls?
He'd like that.
I'll bet.
Well, everyone knows about someone
who's missing or hasn't come back.
It's just as well you're not in
all the fighting,
so I don't have to worry
about that.
Oh, not likely.
It's just me stooging around with
a camera, making a pest of myself
when it's all over.
Yeah, that's what Ronnie said.
Eight days ago, I was with our troops
on the withdrawal from Kokoda.
No. I still don't like it.
Sounds too much like 'retreat'.
The way MacArthur's PR department
are getting it out there,
it is not the story
we want to tell.
Let's go again.
Slate one, take two.
Eight days ago, I was with our
advanced troops in the jungle,
facing the Japs at Kokoda.
It's an uncanny sort of warfare.
You never see a Jap,
even though he's only 20 yards away.
They are complete masters
of decept... of...
Oh, bugger!
It's 'camouflage and deception'.
Go easy on yourself. Relax.
Remember the story.
It was the spirit of our troops
and the knowledge that
General Rowell was on the job,
and now that we had
a really fine command.
Was that better?
It'll do.
Eight days ago,
I was with our advanced troops
in the jungle,
facing the Japs at Kokoda.
It's an uncanny sort of warfare.
You never see a Jap,
even though he's only 20 yards away.
They are complete masters
of camouflage and deception.
When I returned to Moresby,
I was full of beans.
It was the spirit of our troops
and the knowledge that
General Rowell was on the job
and that we now had
a really fine command.
There seems to be
an air of unreality,
as though the war were
a million miles away.
It's not.
It's just outside our door.
Jungle warfare
is a new kind of warfare.
The rarely seen enemy is close.
Green uniforms,
faces and hands painted,
hidden in treetops, slinking
through the green wilderness.
Where the patrols go,
the bearded Parer goes too,
so that this strange,
uncanny warfare
may vividly be brought to
the outside world.
What's that shot doing there?
Where was all this filmed?
Mubo, with the commandos
five months ago.
Shh, quiet!
.. business of man
against man, kill or be killed.
If only
everybody in Australia
could realise
this country's in peril,
we might forget about
the trivial things
and go ahead with
the job of licking them.
Let's get out of here.
Bloody Ken.
Cutting in those phoney shots.
Is that Damien Parer?
Creative treatment of actuality,
Yeah, too bloody creative.
What are the men gonna think?
Well done.
Well done, Damien.
Well done, mate!
Yeah, thank you.
Thank you, thank you.
Very good. Very good.
Absolutely loved it.
Thank you.
Well done, sir.
Well done, Mr Parer.
I'm afraid we really must get
going. Thank you, Mr Parer.
Ken's perfidy aside, old man,
it does seem to be concentrating
their minds.
We didn't have those pictures,
and we needed something
of our men in action.
It's not the truth, Ken.
Commandos were nowhere near Kokoda.
The shots don't belong in this film.
Well, they do when the story coming
out of MacArthur's headquarters
is that our boys
don't have the guts for a fight.
Is that the go now? What sort of
dimwits are running this show?
Not all of them, apparently.
There's a General Eichelberger
who's been looking for you.
He's seen the film.
He wants to have a chat
to you about camouflage.
What, for the Americans?
It would seem
we've gingered things up a little.
Damien, if you could paint
a bit of a picture
of the Pacific theatre of war...
There is the very real
potential that men will be killed.
I understand the risks, Colonel.
The integrity of my office
has been compromised
by the involvement
of the Minister...
Hey, what's going on?
Military censor.
There's quite a stink about
the release of that shot
from the lookout.
Well, Hawes can't piss him off,
can he?
God, man! Of course the minister's
had to be involved!
And that's not all.
The FBI raided our New York office
and confiscated the lookout footage
for the duration of the war.
Hell's bells, they don't
muck around, do they?
You just keep that powder dry,
Damey boy.
I think we know
who to thank for this.
You do not take matters like this
into your own hands, Mr Parer.
It is an act of gross disloyalty
to myself and this department.
I've tried to be loyal to my country,
Mr Hawes.
This department represents
your country to you, Mr Parer.
You'd be very unwise
to forget that.
I haven't finished.
If I decide you're not fit
for this job, you will be finished.
There'll be no future
left for you here.
You'll be put straight in the Army.
I doubt that suits your ambitions,
Mr Parer.
And there'll be no more
giving interviews to the press
without departmental approval.
Don't load the gun for him.
Oh, Ronnie, he threatened me
with the Man-Power Act.
To put me in the Army, as though
that's the lowest form of human life
doing the lowest job
he could imagine.
That's what he thinks
of our soldiers.
He's just a silly, ignorant clot,
who only wonders which end
of the camera the bullet comes out.
Stay out of it, Ronnie.
He'll go after you too.
Oh, good. You made
a special effort for tonight.
Well, come on, you're not gonna
talk me out of it again.
I told Chester we'd meet him
at the Union club.
Oh, no, you don't! You promised.
Everyone at work's seen your film
except me.
Oh, well, then go
on your bloody own, then.
Look, the last thing I wanna do
is see the damn thing again.
Yeah, well, I'm starting to think
it's me you don't want to see it.
What's it got to do with you?
You don't understand a thing,
do you?
Oh, pardon.
Am I not clever enough?
I don't know what goes on
in your bloody head.
I don't even know
if you really like me.
Well, no, I don't always,
if you want to know,
when you're so rude!
I don't think you even know
what love is. Real love.
I don't know?! Oh!
Give me strength!
Coming from someone who gets drunk,
insults me?
I mean, what is the matter with you?
Why are you doing this?
If that's the way you feel, then you
can go and do better for yourself.
Don't think
it hasn't crossed my mind!
Well, there you go!
If you think I'm gonna marry you,
you've got another think coming!
Oh, no, I haven't!
I am... I am hardly gonna marry
a man I don't love anymore!
Not that you'd have
the foggiest why!
Well, that settles it, then.
Come on.
Let's go and look at
all the pretty girls.
Go on like this, and you'll
end up with a gallery of girls
who might have been,
and no-one to love you.
Oh, just leave it be, Ronnie.
Cotter's perfect for you.
If it's marriage or nothing,
you must get married.
You being such
a fine example of it.
A renegade Catholic with a wife
and Lord knows what else.
I'm not you, Damien.
I never could live the faith.
You do. So does she.
What's this really about, Damien?
Are you still worried
you're going to cop it
next time you're at the front?
More about coming back
minus bits and pieces.
What girl would want you
in that state?
If that's what's holding
you back... Oh, forget it.
I've been such a bastard this time,
it's well and truly over.
I could have a talk to her.
If you could just keep an eye out
for her, make sure she's alright.
That might not be so easy.
There's a liaison position
coming up in the Canberra office.
Away from Hawes? Ah! Take it.
What about you?
The sooner I'm back in the field,
the better.
Men are sweating, suffering,
dying in that jungle,
so that it cannot happen here.
Are they getting all the support
they deserve
from the mines, from the factories,
from the ordinary civilian?
Can every man and woman
in this country truthfully say,
'I've done all I can,
given all I can'?
I've seen the war.
I know what your husbands,
sweethearts and brothers
are going through.
If only everybody in Australia could
realise this country's in peril,
that the Japanese are a
well-equipped and dangerous enemy,
we might forget about
the trivial things.
Listen, Ronnie,
I don't want to talk about it.
Well, I do.
All those letters about who he's
met and which units they're in
and which mess he had drinks in -
it's all rubbish!
If you seriously think we're gonna
tell our women we're scared,
filthy, and haven't had
a decent feed in weeks...
But he didn't tell me that he loves
what he's doing
or that he wants to be there,
did he?
Marie, you have to!
You have to love it!
Or you can't keep doing it.
Why do you think I came back
and I took a desk job?
I thought he'd met someone else.
How was I supposed to know
the other woman's a darn camera?
Yes, it is a darn camera,
and it always will be.
You can't change him.
You take it or you leave it.
It's your choice.
Where is there room on the plane
for him?
Uh, standing in the well
behind the pilot's seat
shooting over
Torchy Uren's shoulder.
Struth! Silly bugger.
That's a bit risky.
Terrific pictures.
Think we could be looking at
two films
from this Bismarck Sea footage.
When's he back?
Next week.
Thank you.
What the hell's so important
it couldn't wait?
This is.
We've won an Academy Award...
.. for Kokoda Front Line!
My oath, we have.
Looks like the real thing.
But where's mine?
For what precisely, George?
The religious iconography
that he pinched
for that shot of the bearers.
And will again, Silkie.
You're a bloody inspiration.
What a coup for you blokes, eh?
And the Department,
I think you mean, Mr Silk.
Well done, of course, Mr Parer.
Thank you.
But I do hope it's understood,
there's no question
of the Department
securing the award for you
personally, being an employee.
Uh, yeah, well...
I think the award goes to Ken Hall
as the producer, Mr Hawes.
Who edits the film that belongs
to this department.
If you would, Mr Parer.
Isabel, Cinesound, please.
I'm sorry. It's insufficient.
You'll just have to do it again.
You asked me to make out a case,
and I have.
A case, Mr Parer. Not a blank
application for increased allowance.
Just a tip, mate.
Mr Hall might want to circle the
wagons around that award of his.
The Department seem to think
they have claim on it.
Sir, this is just the...
Detailing all expenses
incurred by you in doing the job.
Taxis, phone calls...
I'm not in the habit of claiming
taxis or phone calls.
But you must.
You're entitled to it.
I mean, these native porters,
donkeys, all of it.
Of course we'll reimburse
your out-of-pocket expenses
on proof of payment.
Receipts? From the native carriers
who don't read or write?
Or the villagers
that we have to buy food from?
I'm trying to help you, Mr Parer.
I can't justify it otherwise.
It's up to you to find a way
of working to Department rules,
not the Department working to you.
Well, it just can't happen
like that.
Not in the field,
let alone on the front.
You're not the only cameraman
here, Mr Parer.
If you can't manage
your assignments,
there are others who will.
I'm stuck here
in bloody Moresby
doing one fluff piece
after another.
They're not gonna let me back
with the infantry.
Damien, you should be
with the Americans.
I belong with the Aussie troops,
George. That's where my film is.
What it's really like inside
a good front-line unit.
But right in there with them,
getting the truth of it.
Like my submarine story.
Focus on just three or four boys
on patrol,
dead beat after a hard show,
the comradeship...
It's all in their eyes, George.
The camera's gotta get closer.
If you're not getting that,
you're not...
It's good to see you again, Norm.
Is it?
It was written
on the damn dope sheet.
What use is that?
I just shouldn't have filmed it.
Best you hadn't.
Didn't take much for the Nips to get
a back bearing off that picture.
Straight to our lookout.
It was fucking close.
Andy got winged.
I won't ever trust them again.
With anything. Ever.
Well, best not.
Or no-one will
fucking trust you again.
I wouldn't ask them to.
I'll just have to censor myself
if I ever get back on the front.
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Tell me what to do, Mother.
Blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
I just can't see how
to bust this thing up.
How can I quit when I owe Ken?
Holy Mary,
guide me to do what's right.
You sure resigning's the answer?
I'm rooted if I don't, George.
I'm never gonna last there.
They'll make sure of that.
Thought about where you're going?
Not yet.
I've got three months notice
to serve out of the DOl.
And then I'm off to make my infantry
film, whether they like it or not.
Is that all you can manage?
That Double Mountain track's
worse than Kokoda, Warfey.
Then I won't have to explain
why you're living on hard rations
if that at all.
It's our bloody supply trail.
Ha! Good-o.
Any chance of a cuppa?
This is Damien, Scotty.
He's a good bloke.
Try not to lose him.
He wants to take some pictures
up at Ambush Knoll.
We're dug in just up here.
I wouldn't have thought
stand-and-defend was the go
for you punch-and-piss-off boys.
Ah, it is if Warfey says it is.
Lieutenant Garland here?
Ah, Damien Parer, this is Judy.
He wants to dope out
the Japs' earthworks.
And Judy's men, they had a big hand
in taking this place.
Must have taken a bit of dash
to do that.
Crikey! How did you manage
to winkle them out of this possie?
We didn't have to.
They decided to leave.
It wasn't worth their while.
Can you spot 'em from here?
Not unless we can bait them into
lobbing something our way.
Yeah, just don't tempt 'em
too close, Hughie.
What, and spoil the fun?
Right five degrees.
Got it. Here she comes.
They're still ranging too low.
Move over, then,
you smart bastard.
Here go the Beaufighters.
Our camera's going to ride in one,
capturing some of the most
sensational pictures of the war.
Nice shooting, skipper.
They're feeling awful sick.
They're throwing back plenty
at us,
and lead is whistling all around.
Away to port,
there's an untouched ship.
The staff aboard and others
are not so happy about the war.
I think you should write to him.
I will not. He hasn't written to me.
I couldn't care less.
Well, how can he, Marie,
when you haven't even told him
where you are now?
Marie, wasn't it fantastic?
Um... I thought you would have.
With the Oscar all over the news,
you don't feel it's a trifle
churlish of an old friend
not to offer congratulations?
Living in hope, are you?
It's in the eyes, Jock.
How many Yanks you have to kiss
to get hold of this, Damien?
He's a trollop, Doc.
Middle of Tobruk, he shows up
with a camera in one hand,
suitcase full of grog in the other.
Get a good look at
those Jap earthworks?
It's like a fortress.
Beats me how Garland's crew dug...
how many Japs out of there?
Between him and Hughie's crew,
a couple of hundred.
What did Brigade have to say?
Any chance of relieving those boys
in the morning?
If there was, I would have done it.
Any mail for them down there?
A bit of news from home
would give 'em a lift.
Platoon can take it up
in the morning.
There's one there
waiting for you too, Damien.
Not for me.
I've gotta get back up that ridge.
No more targets of opportunity,
Johnny. Conserve every shot.
Hey, Jonno.
Yeah, mate.
Afternoon shift, eh?
Oh, shut up.
G'day, mate.
Get out of there.
Get out of there!
Get back to the fallback position!
Aah! NO!
Jock, get out of there!
I'm sorry, Damien. I'm really
sorry. Can it be fixed?
No, I don't think so. Not here.
I just didn't see you.
Really bloody sorry.
It's alright. I'm... I'm rooted.
It's no use crying over spilt milk.
There's no filming for me here.
Either of you cop a hit?
No, just his camera.
That's a bastard.
Anything you can do about it?
No. I'll have to head back
to Moresby
and see if I can get it fixed.
Then you'd better get going
tomorrow morning.
The Nips are pouring out of
Salamaua like bloody ants.
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Blessed art thou amongst women.
Holy Mother, pray for us sinners.
It's not looking too good here.
Watch over these men,
and grant them with your protection.
Lost the phone to Ambush Knoll.
Line's gone dead.
They've cut the line? That means
that they're on our supply trail.
How are we supposed to
get that gear up there now?
I've told young Judy to hold on,
we're coming.
So that's what has to happen.
You can hear the rate
of fire up there,
so you know they've had the dick
with no resupply.
Our supply lines are gone.
And north's the only approach
the Japs won't be expecting,
'cause only a fucking idiot
would try to climb it.
Any takers?
Too right.
Yes, sir. I'm in.
Yeah, mate.
Yes, sir.
Right. Get to it.
Bugger off, Damien.
What are you still doing here?
I thought I'd stick around
and make myself useful.
Oh, did you? Well, you'll be bloody
asking for it going up there.
I'm just as likely to cop it trying
to get out of here, George.
I reckon he's volunteering, boss.
Look, see, I'll do what Scotty says
and scoot if it gets too hot.
For God's sake, don't get knocked,
or I'll be for the chop.
There's ammo!
Water and bully beef too!
Knocks it out of you, eh?
I haven't cracked a fat in months.
Half your luck.
Here, boys.
Thanks, Doc.
I've got a girl back home
who mightn't be too happy about it.
She's in the Land Army.
Country girl?
Never got her hands dirty
in her life.
Reckons I might not know her
when I get back.
You getting married?
Yeah, one day.
What about you?
You got a girl back home?
Try not to think about it.
Go on, mate.
You've gotta have something better
to think about
than this bloody life.
Hey, load me up too, will you?
Hughie, ammo!
I'm coming for you!
You're gonna die tonight!
Get stuffed, Tojo!
Have a go then, you bastards!
Hang in there, boy.
Any time you're ready, Damien.
What are we doing?
Not another bloody thing,
for the rest of today, anyway.
Nips have given it up
as a bad joke.
They've withdrawn?
Four hours ago.
We've just relieved the boys
up there.
They named that north-facing
feature Parer's Bowl,
seeing as how you wore
a fuckin' road through it.
So what's the story
with this busted camera of yours?
You did a good job of it, Jock.
Yeah, you wouldn't want to
get in his way when he's bolting.
You know, I reckon we could fix
this. It'll need some soldering.
Thought that'd do the trick.
Oh, you bloody beaut!
Oh, lost my favourite lens,
but I could make it work.
Bench Cut recce patrol.
Jock Erskine's copped a load.
Oh, that's a bastard.
How far away?
About an hour up the track.
It's an LMG load.
Won't be a tick.
You coming?
Course I bloody am.
Looks like you've scored yourself
a homer, Jock.
Righto. Let's get him back.
You're right, mate.
You'll be right.
You'll be right, Jock.
We'll be doing a stalk
on the vermin for this one.
The more, the bloody better.
Get your head down,
you idiot!
Nice and slow.
Timbered Knoll's gonna be
a tougher nut than Ambush.
You sure you wanna take him
all the way in with you?
It's what he wants.
I reckon he's earned it.
Christ, he's like a fuckin'
border collie herding sheep.
Damien! Back here!
Mate, you'll cop it if you're
the first target the Japs see.
Don't stop him, boss. Some galah's
gotta get out there, act as bait.
I thought that was your job, Scotty.
When we get out there,
I want you behind me.
Yeah, understood.
But it's in their eyes, Johnny.
Gotta get a bit of that.
Keep an eye on him. He's starting
to take a few too many risks.
Not that way.
It's bloody suicide.
Go around the back.
We'll flank 'em.
Cheeky bastard!
Keep your bloody head down,
Keep moving through, boys.
Keep your eyes open.
This one's still alive.
Two men down on this point.
Losing light. It's getting a bit
dark for any more pictures.
Some things I can't trust 'em
They don't even
get their own wounded out.
They just leave 'em for the rats.
Well, it's done.
But it bloody cost us.
I saw Hooksie cop it.
Alright. Get any comms.
Who else?
Bucks and Bonny Muir.
The wife?
Who bloody knows?
That definite?
Oh, maybe one day,
she'll take me by storm,
if I come back still in one piece,
not missing bits and things.
Yep. Yep, same.
If I'm still around.
Something the boys souvenired
off a Jap officer on the Knoll.
Ah, she's a beaut.
They want you to have it.
Well, I'm blowed.
There's one more thing
we'd like you to do.
Above all,
taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able
to quench
all the fiery darts
of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit.
I am the Resurrection and the life,
saith the Lord.
He that believeth in me,
though he were dead,
yet shall he live.
And whomsoever liveth
and believeth in me
shall never die.
As the rain seeps down,
comrades whose memories
will never dim
are laid to eternal rest.
Tread softly, for the valiant
sleep in hallowed ground,
and before them,
men's mute homage to a majesty
of their giving.
How in God's name
could those drongos at DOl
have been stupid enough
to lose him?
They are your men,
your sons, husbands, brothers.
Working for the Americans,
I still have to earn a living, Ken.
And how else am I gonna stay
on the front line filming the boys?
Well, the Yanks are no place
for you, Damien.
Yeah, but I gave them my word,
and they're the ones
that gave me a lifeline.
And you will serve out
your contract with Paramount.
But you are a mug if you think
they will let you film
Australian boys
on an American payroll.
There's more chance there
than with Hawes and the Department.
I had to go AWOL to get this film.
Just like Kokoda.
Bide your time, Damien.
We'll have you back.
But next time, on your own terms.
'All my love... Marie. '
Now, you have rung Cotter?
She does know you're coming?
Yes. I'm picking her up after work.
You're quite certain?
No bottling out this time.
I think I've been a bloody fool,
She's the best thing
that's ever come into my life,
and it's a pretty empty one
without her.
Have you told her that?
Well... not yet.
Not in so many words.
You said you were going to
write to her.
Yeah, I know, but it's a bugger
trying to write things like that.
You managed to write it
perfectly well to me.
Well, didn't you tell her?
It's not me she's going to be
asked to marry, Damey boy.
I rather think she needs to
hear it from you.
I will. Course I will.
And preferably without it
leading to another bust-up.
There's one or two other things
we need to talk about as well,
given the monastic life you've led.
Oh, he's nice.
Yeah, he's mine.
Oops. Sorry.
Here I am, Cotter.
You look nice.
I can't have changed that much
in a year and a half.
Well, come on, then.
We can't keep Ronnie waiting.
Oh, heavens,
we can't have that, can we?
We're meeting Ronnie for a drink
at the Kurrajong
and then on to dinner
with Ken Slessor.
And Chester's at the War Memorial.
He's working on my film.
So he's gonna join us too.
How does that sound?
I thought you were coming
to see me.
There's plenty of time for that.
I like the hat.
Yeah, so do I.
You said you wanted to talk.
Yeah, I just thought we should,
you know, chat about things.
What sort of things?
Oh, the way I treated you in
the past, it was a pretty poor show.
You could have said that
on the phone.
I'm listening.
There you are. I haven't changed
at all. I'm still pushing you.
...and now we're gonna have to bring
the 39th back to the beaches.
The 6th Army are gonna have
to come over. Why?
Because they're not doing
the proper research.
I mean, it's just ridiculous.
Yeah, but forget about
what you're hearing at HQ.
The mad Major has an unenviable
record of losing his men, Damien.
Oh, yeah, but look at
what he's got to work with.
Warfe's the best attack commander
they've got,
so they give him the worst job.
There's a certain truth in that.
Look at the footage that we're
re-editing from the Timbered Knoll.
That's all he's gotta take to place
with. Those boys in the...
And of course the casualties
are high. They're bloody awful.
But nowhere near
what they should have been.
You're quite right. They played
merry hell with that Jap gun.
The point is, OK,
he's got damned all to work with
and no hope of reinforcements.
If you'll excuse me for a moment.
Are you deliberately trying to
start a blue with her?
But the men couldn't hope for
a better commander.
Is that for me, Willy? Goodness!
Actually, it's my Liszt.
There's only a handful of boys
up on the Knoll.
16 men, for goodness sake.
And who are the officers up there?
What on earth's taking Marie
so long?
Um... Hughie, he copped it.
And Ron Garland.
Winterflood came later, I think.
Cotter, come back to the table.
You can't leave Damien like this.
Oh, can't I?
He's wondering where the devil
you've got to.
Well, he can come
and find me himself.
This is not the way to do it.
Do what?
You know perfectly well
why he's come here.
No, as a matter of fact,
I don't...
Outside, Cotter.
Now, if you please.
We both know he's been
a bit of a mess
and he mucks it up every time,
but do you have to give him
the brush-off
just when he has finally
decided to live!
I will not put up with it again.
I mean, look how he's behaving!
He couldn't care less
if I'm here or not.
And you rise to the bait
as always. That's helpful.
Well, the only reason
he came to see me
is because you and Max
told him to.
Did he say that?
More or less.
Just marry him, Marie,
before he drives us all mad.
Well, how am I supposed to do that
if he doesn't ask me?!
You're a woman!
Make him!
As you all do. Take charge.
Are you cold?
No, I'm quite alright, thank you.
You should have brought a jacket.
I'm due back in Sydney tomorrow.
Yes, you already said.
I don't suppose I can see you in?
No. Not unless you want a bunfight
with the guardian.
She's a light sleeper.
Think I'd rather risk a run-in
with the Japs.
Yeah. Much safer.
Well, goodnight.
No, I don't think so, Damien.
Well, if that's how you feel,
why didn't you say so when I rang?
What's the point in me coming down
here if you're just gonna fob me off?
No, we're not doing that, Damien.
You're not picking a row
to try and get out of it.
Don't know what you mean.
Yes, you do.
Well, are you going to see me off
in the morning, or not?
We're not doing that either.
I'm either coming with you
to see my parents,
or nothing at all.
I suppose I'll marry you.
Of course you will.
These ridges rob a man of half his
strength before the fight begins.
Those native boys are cutting a path
to take the wounded back to Wau.
The company commander
sends Jock out to reconnoitre.
Johnny's platoon won't go out
until Jock gets back.
And there's that
blasted woodpecker again.
There's Jock.
Machine guns got him.
It's bad.
Doc knows he's not gonna make it.
This is the final assault
on Timbered Knoll.
Wasn't that hilarious?
I mean, that they were showing
Kokoda Front Line at the cinema.
Well, at least Chester
didn't book us into a shanty.
I was half expecting that.
Yeah. Ha!
I, um... I wasn't too sure myself.
I don't suppose you feel like
a bite of supper?
Uh, not really. Unless you do.
No. Just, um...
No. Just thought you might.
Oh, now, there's a sensible idea!
A proper shoe rack down the bottom.
Don't do that.
Can you please just put it back on?
Isn't that what I'm supposed to do,
I think we should say
a decade of the Rosary first.
When else are we gonna
consecrate the union?
Damien, whatever it is
you're supposed to do,
just come here and do it.
Damien, everyone must know
what we're doing.
I reckon if we have a child out of
this, he's bound to be a comedian.
Go! Go, go, go!
Keep it up!
Move, move, move!
Well, she's making
such a song and dance out of it!
I promise you, I'm not.
He opens with,
'This ship life is so boring,
I've got quite keen
on reading a good mystery.
Could you send me
a Sherlock Holmes omnibus?'
That's not asking too much, is it?
No, but then he goes on
to mention in passing
that they're also in the middle
of being bombed and strafed.
And your mind
flew to Sherlock Holmes,
not which side of the ship
my lifeboat is on?
That's what I thought!
Right, yes, look at the time.
He's off at the crack of dawn.
Oh, good Lord, it's that late.
So it is.
Is two pairs enough, my love?
Oh, make it three, darling.
If it's Guam,
I'll be sweating buckets.
You know that chest of drawers
from Mum's?
Mm-hmm. Toss you for it.
Well, I was gonna use it
for your things,
but we might need it for the baby.
We're having a baby?
He's on the way already?
Come here.
12 weeks now.
You can guess when that happened.
We should ask them to send you home
between assignments more often.
Oh, my beautiful wife.
Why didn't you tell me earlier?
I would have skited to the boys.
Not ready for that yet.
We need to be a bit careful now,
don't we?
No, not that careful.
# Listen to me, baby
# You'd better drop
just what you're doing
# Got one last thing to say
Before I set my plans...
What is it?
I don't know
if this is gonna last.
Now, don't you start that again.
You never thought
we'd be together.
Here we are, my beautiful man.
Your wife again?
Jeez, you got it bad, buddy.
You guys with us again tomorrow?
Yeah, we've told Division we're
gonna stick with your platoon,
if that's alright with you boys.
Alright, we'll brief you
in the morning, first light.
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Get your head down!
My dearest darling wife,
it's a wonder to me every day
that you could love me,
that it could be like this.
I never thought it possible
I could feel this way.
Can you send me another photo
of yourself?
I have no picture except
the very first one you sent,
which seems to lack life
to me now.
It's not the dearest girl
that holds me in her arms.
Well, that's all for now,
my love.
Until we're together again,
darling, know that I love you
now and forever,
my sweet, dearest Marie.
Love and goodnight, sweetheart.