Pharaoh's Army (1995) Movie Script

"Pharaoh's Army"
In the sweat of thy face
shalt thou eat bread
Till thou return
unto the ground,
For out of it we was taken.
Dust thou art,
And unto dust
shalt thou return.
Heavenly father,
Pick this child up
on the healing side.
Put the grave behind
For the promise
on the other side,
That she might live
and abide with you.
When sister died,
There weren't none but
women and old men to bury her.
All of the able-bodied men
Had gone off
to fight the Civil War.
I know something
about the Civil War.
The story
I'm about to tell is true
As best I remember it.
We buried sister
in the spring of 1862.
Later that night,
Some Yankee bastards
dug her up
And tossed her out
like a rag doll,
On account of Paps
siding with the south.
In these
Cumberland mountains
Down near
the Tennessee line,
Half the folks
sided with the south,
The other half
sided with the north,
The neighbors turned
against their neighbors,
And it was rough
through here.
We heard.
We can bury her again.
Israel can stand guard.
We're gonna
take her home.
There'll be hell
to pay.
So we brung sister
back home to our place
Up at the end
of Meshack Creek.
Ma was mad about things.
She held it in,
And we went on
With the work
of feeding ourselves.
Mama, men coming.
They'll steal
everything we got.
Will they hurt us?
Maybe not.
Go on! Go on!
Are you Sarah Anders?
I am.
Ma'am, they say
your husband's fighting
Against his country.
We have orders
to resupply
With contraband
from the enemy.
That means we'll take
forage provisions from you.
We got some hungry boys
down in Cumberland Gap.
I apologize
for your hardship.
How many you got here
with you?
How many?
Me and my boy.
Where is he?
Boy, you go stand
by your mother.
Come here.
Come here.
Ma'am, I will not hurt you
or your boy
If you give us no trouble.
All right.
Take no prisoners.
You got a nice place.
I got a piece
of bottomland
Across the River.
Ohio River.
Brown County, Ohio.
Raise hogs, corn,
sorghum, mostly.
You should stay there.
Uh, there weren't no hams
in the smokehouse.
And there's no cows or pigs
in the stall.
Just cow shit and pig shit.
see what's in there.
Mmm. Bread.
She don't own nigs.
He work like them.
What you think
he is fighting for?
Keep us from stealing
his chickens?
That's a good reason.
Johnny dog.
meet the elephant.
That a fresh grave?
I'll tell where
our cow is.
Well, I've seen
all kinds of hiding places.
She's up there.
A cow is
up there somewheres.
Neely, Chicago,
come on up.
we take the mule?
Ma'am, I apologize for
the things this war makes.
Oh! Oh, no!
I fell off!
I fell off!
I fell off!
Roll him on his side.
Rodie, keep
that leg still!
All right, somebody...
Somebody get him
something to bite.
Oh, no! No!
Here, Newt,
chew on this.
You all ready?
1, 2, 3!
Oh, no!
Let's get him
to the house.
It hurts! It hurts.
Spin him!
There's a damn dog
under the bed.
Well, I'll kill
the sum'bitch!
rip up that pillowcase!
Yes, sir.
Ma'am, you got
some liniment oil?
You got some whisky?
can you boil water?
Get the turpentine
out of the harness shed.
get some water.
Neely, light
that damn fireplace.
Hold still!
What's she got
up there?
A ham and a rifle.
All right,
all right, soldier.
All right, all right.
Settle down.
It burns, don't it?
You want a chew?
Look, he's sweating.
We can't move him
until the fever breaks.
You can sleep in there
if you want to.
I told the men
to sleep in the barn.
I'm gonna keep ahold
of this musket of yours.
I don't like this
at all...
Staying here.
We've got
plenty to eat.
Maybe them buzzards
will, too.
Is he gonna die?
Like Jesse?
If the skinny Yankee
gets well,
He might be the one
shooting at your pap.
You wash your face?
One day your pap will
come around up the creek.
Until then,
you're the man around here.
You need to sleep.
Got to bear up.
It's me, Rodie.
Damn, Neely.
the woman's gone.
The woman's gone?
You should try
and get some sleep.
I'll look for her.
Yes, sir.
Who's there?
It's me.
Corporal Neely said
you was gone.
Am I under arrest?
Who's buried here?
Excuse me for asking.
First Yankee that dies
in Altmara,
I'm gonna go down,
And I'm gonna dig up
the son of a bitch.
We buried her in Altmara.
The Yankees living down there
wouldn't abide that...
Her mixed in
with their damn Yankee kin.
Your daughter?
They dug her up.
We brought her back here.
Her pap don't even know.
She smelled so bad.
There'll be hell to pay.
Use the damn outhouse.
There's a woman about.
Yes, sir.
It burns like hell,
don't it?
Damn, it hurts.
Well, it's
supposed to, now.
Is that fresh milk?
He can't keep
the hard stuff down.
Thank you, ma'am.
Whoa, whoa.
Well, the Yankees could
steal what we had,
But not what
we hadn't got yet,
So I was
determined to put in
Next year's corn crop.
I was young
but I was stout,
And I could handle a mule
as well as any man.
Your reins are too tight.
That's why she's drifting.
Whoa, whoa.
You need three fingers
of slack right here.
I got a matched pair
of sorrel mules back home
That turn on a skinny dollar.
Must be about 10, huh?
That old, huh?
Put some salt in his feed,
And you might get
A couple more crop years
out of her.
Come on, come on!
The Yankee captain
Asked if he could turn
a few rows.
I didn't see
the harm in it.
It made my job easier,
you see.
And that morning
was the first
I seen mama
wear her green dress
To the plow field.
Hyah! Hyah!
How's Newt?
You ain't been in
to see him?
Bad luck.
This is not bad luck.
He is not dead.
It's a gut wound.
Ain't nothing you can do.
What's he doing out there?
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
He is a widower.
He's, um... Brushing
off the cobwebs.
He ain't
much of a soldier.
Whoa, whoa.
Thank you, sir.
Where's your husband
The army of Tennessee.
Was he at Shiloh?
That was a bad mess.
You was there?
No... No.
No, we never been
in a big scrape.
"meet the elephant,"
boys call it.
Ma'am, last night,
What you said
about your little girl.
I'm real sorry.
Sorry don't do nothing.
Don't stop you
from taking our cow or ham,
Killing our chickens.
you have a corn crop.
Some have it worse.
So that's it?
You's out here
blistering up your hands
To make you feel better
about stealing from us?
If I was you,
I'd take advantage.
These blisters can't
hold out much longer.
Come on.
Hell, Neely,
they were starting to smell.
Go ahead. Smell.
You can't leave dead chickens
in a rucksack for 2 days!
Uh... Uh, captain?
Them chickens
are starting to smell.
Well, pluck 'em.
Uh, pluck 'em, sir?
How do you do this?
I ain't.
I might.
They say you cannot know
who does and who don't.
It will surprise you.
You ain't running
From the elephant,
are you?
Yeah, you.
You get shot a lot easier
showing them your backside.
And you know something
about this?
I joined up to fight.
No, I ain't running.
Yeah, I know
something about it.
Rodie, we ain't soldiers.
We are chicken thieves.
You kiss my brown spot.
I joined up to fight.
My brother saw action.
Wildcat, mule springs,
He said
you become a new man
With your first shot.
Dead and dying hardly
get a passing thought.
cool and deliberate.
You hear it?
Hear what?
Whoa, whoa. What?
There was shooting
from over there.
Squirrel hunters
most likely.
Go ride over
and find out.
Ride over?
Might run straight up
to an ambush.
I'm in charge.
Neely, only reason
you got that stripe
Is you
too bold-ass dumb
To think for yourself.
Are you a general?
General, huh?
No, just a captain.
How many men you killed?
You really want to know?
You feel
cool and deliberate?
Nothing's moving.
We should...
We should bury them.
We'd have to hang
around to do that.
You want
to hang around?
Want a chew?
Thank you.
There was
a farm burnt down.
Some old man and his wife
were killed.
No more than
5 Miles up the creek.
You know
whose place it is?
they weren't Yankees.
Just some old farmer
and his wife.
They sent two boys
into the union army.
They were just farmers.
Like I said, the war
was rough through here.
How'd you sleep?
You're going to be fine,
Uh, how's Newt?
We're out of turpentine.
what do we do?
Oh... I don't know.
We need to feed the boys
back at the Cumberland gap.
And that old farmer
and his wife,
We should report back
That there's
some guerrilla outfit
Running around
killing unionists.
I think we got
to wait Newt out.
He's too sick to ride.
We could hitch up the wagon
to the mule,
Haul Newt out.
Giddyup, giddyup.
I won't let
that woman and boy
Root hog or starve.
No. No, sir.
Will you
let me do that?
I don't need your help.
Well, I like
working with mules.
How's your hands?
on top of blisters.
Let me see.
Let me see.
All right.
That's fine. Thank you.
Come on!
I told you I got you.
I told you.
Newt took a poop.
I guess
that's a good sign.
Rodie, make sure
you clean up this porch.
My stomach hurts.
Worse than yesterday?
Oh, you'll be fine.
You're not as hot.
How's he doing?
He's fine.
I'll make you
some sassafras tea.
She's pretty.
You are feeling better.
Hey, Johnny,
I'm sorry.
You crossed
my artillery line there.
I'll let you spit back.
Go ahead.
You're scaring the boy.
No, he ain't scared.
Are you, Johnny?
Go ahead... Spit.
you got a mean streak.
Cool and deliberate.
Uh, chicken's cooked.
Yes, yes.
I told you it was going
to get burnt.
You are looking
rather well this evening.
Leave him alone!
Go to hell.
Hey, hey, hey!
Is she crazy,
Rodie hit her dog.
That damn Johnny dog
ate my food, captain.
Soldier, I want you
to apologize.
I'm telling you, captain,
that woman is crazy.
If you want another plate,
you'll apologize.
She hit me
with a damn bucket!
Common decency tells you
you don't pick up a woman
And throw her
against a wall!
Private, you're dismissed!
Hope you get a piece.
What'd you say, soldier?
Rodie, shut up.
Spent your
whole damn day, what?
Plowing her corn.
You cut her wood.
I'm sure she thinks you're
a damn good samaritan.
You know what I think?
I think you just want
a little poke.
Rodie, stop it!
Come on, Rodie!
I hope you kills
each other.
You rot in hell.
You rot in hell!
Come here.
Come here.
We can't just sit by.
I want you
to go tonight
To preacher's house
And tell him that
there's Yankees here,
And he should get word
to our people.
Don't talk to anyone
but preacher.
And you have to be back
before sunup.
You understand me?
Yes, ma'am.
These are yours.
Go on.
And I'm sorry.
There was some ugly things
said tonight about...
They weren't true.
Don't think
they were true.
Your little girl died,
Well, my wife died
3 years ago.
I miss her.
Miss my farm, my boy.
I come here
to your place,
And it looks
a lot like my place...
We ain't
gonna be friends.
Let's just keep
to being enemies.
Yes, ma'am.
I forgot.
You have
a better memory.
Is Newt asleep?
You know,
I don't think Rodie
Mean to be disrespecting.
His brother was killed
by a rebel sniper.
He get crazy thinking
about it. He's...
Where are you from?
No, I mean before that.
This small village
in Poland.
It's just very small.
You damn foreigner.
Why get mixed up
in this?
I think I get
to see new places,
I get tired
of chopping sausage.
Pretty thin reason
to get shot at.
You got a better one?
I've heard
your big reasons.
To save the union.
This is what
the generals say.
To free the slaves?
Nobody that I know
want to get killed
To free a bunch of nigs.
It's a mess, ain't it?
Why did you... Sign up?
Brought a runaway slave
into our church
And ripped off
his shirt.
Showed off the ugliest
damn strap scars.
Right there
from the pulpit,
The minister asked
for volunteers,
And I stood up,
and here I am...
Stealing chickens.
Hold on!
Who's there, Israel?
It's Miss Anders' boy.
They came up the creek
on horses.
How many Yankees
is there?
4... 5.
One's hurt real bad.
Pharaoh sent his army
to smite Israel.
And they drowned
in the red sea.
It was wrong what
they done to your sister.
God's will
is a powerful thing.
Mama, mama.
Where's your shoes?
What did preacher say?
That's it's going
to be all right.
Is he going to get word
to our people?
To your pap?
I think so.
Don't be so thick.
What did he say?
I can't understand him.
Rodie, you can get shot
for desertion.
You ain't gonna
do it.
What makes you so sure?
You ain't sure.
You ain't no killer.
They wouldn't send
no fighting man
To rob widows
and orphans.
You can't even do that.
If you desert,
I'll kill you.
Got to go, captain.
Shit! A sniper!
God dang it, get down!
Get inside, get inside!
Come on!
Go, go!
What is it?
keep your head down!
It's a damn sniper.
Is it pap?
I don't know.
Just keep still.
What the hell
are you all shooting at?
We can't see
the sons of bitches!
It's the elephant.
It is.
It's just a damn sniper.
I believe he's up
on that hill.
Anybody here hurt?
You know
who's up there?
You know
who's out there?
You need
to say something?
You think Rodie's dead?
I don't know.
What are we going to do?
You's all as good as dead.
It's time
to meet the elephant.
I'll need one of you
To keep a gun
on these... Rebs.
And I need the other
to cause a faint.
Faint... What is?
It's a decoy to draw
the enemy's fire.
Chicago, I think
you better do the decoy.
Yes, sir, captain.
You shoot them
if they try to run for it.
Ready... Go, go!
Get on!
Get out!
Get out!
Hold it!
What the hell?
It's a nig.
for the wrong side.
#when the reaping
is done #
#and the harvest
is o'er #
#at the feet of the son
#we will labor no more
#serving faithfully...
You killed my boy.
And he killed
a federal soldier.
You'll burn in hell
for your sins.
Then I guess
we'll meet again.
Next time
don't send your boy.
Fight your own fights,
you rebel bastard.
#when the reaping
is done #
We ought to string up
that damn rebel preacher.
#and the harvest
is o'er #
#at the feet of the son
#we will labor no more
#serving faithfully
You get that wagon
and mule ready.
We're hauling Newt
out of here.
#what a Joy it will be
#when the reaping
is done #
You can't take
our mule.
Oh, get him away
from her!
Get him away!
Stop it.
Get him away!
Stop bein'
so damn stubborn!
All right?
They're dead!
They're dead!
You son of a bitch!
You hear me?
You stop that!
Get away from me!
Boy, you get!
There'll be hell to pay.
you said that before.
Go on in there.
Make sure she don't
strangle Newt.
Yes, sir, captain.
Hitch up that mule,
bring the wagon around.
Yes, sir.
We're getting
out of here, Newt.
I'm gonna
miss the dog.
Sorry, Newt.
Captain, we are ready.
Should we say some words?
You say it for yourself.
Bye, Rodie.
What do you
expect us to eat?
I says, what do you
expect us to eat?
that husband of yours...
Why don't you
bring him home?
We'll all eat good.
I'm leaving your rifle.
Maybe the boy
can shoot squirrels.
I took your powder.
Let's go.
I thought
she was sweet on him.
No, you can't trust
Come on, mule.
Whoa, shit!
What the hell happened?
I want you both
to stay here.
Yes, sir.
What's he doing?
I think he's wanting
to kill somebody.
What'd you do?
What'd you do?
I shot.
Shot what?
I heard shooting.
I shot a Yankee.
Do they know it was you?
Do they?
I don't know.
Come on! Come on!
Sarah Anders!
Did you forget something?
Newt was shot
About a mile down
the creek.
You know
anything about it?
Where's your boy?
I sent him up
the spring.
Boy! Come here!
Your pants are wet.
I was up at the spring.
He was up
at the spring.
Come here, boy.
Come here!
did you kill Newt?
You look at him.
Did you kill Newt?
Your mother might tell you
that it's all right
To kill Yankees,
But I just want you to know
that that boy,
He had a brother
just like you.
And he had a family
just like you!
And he never hurt
a fly in his life!
And he wouldn't be dead
If you hadn't come down here
stealing from us!
We was doing fine
until you showed up.
Don't blame it on...
Go ahead...
Kill us.
You know it scares me.
'cause I could.
I really could.
I just hope
whoever killed Newt
Has the common decency
To give him
a Christian burial.
What'd you do to them?
You heard the shots.
Get that damn Yankee
out of our yard.
The captain asked us
to do the decent thing.
I don't guess the Civil War
was about being decent.
We dug up
the big redhead
And floated him
down Meshack Creek.
Ma said he come up that creek
to cause trouble,
And we sent him back down
where he come from.
We drug the skinny Yankee
up a hill
To a sinkhole,
Where a big sycamore tree
had fallen over
And turned up its roots.
We throwed the skinny Yankee
in the sinkhole,
Throwed some dirt on him.
I don't guess ma
hated the skinny Yankee
As much as the big redhead.
Pap never made it back.
That war was a widow-maker.
Ma told me
to never never tell anyone
What we had done.
And I don't think
I ever did,
Except maybe once
or maybe twice.
#temptation ceased
#calling her song
#the road to the battle
lays down #
#sweet Jesus,
sweet child #
#take this one here
#we give it to you
this day #
#when the reaping is done
#when we labor no more
#when the reaping is done
#when we labor no more
#when the reaping is done
this day #
#sweet Jesus,
sweet child #
#take this one here
#we give it to you
this day #
#we give it to you
this day... #