The Adventures of Gerard (1970) Movie Script

Fire! Fire!
The Emperor entered Spain to forestall
an invasion of France from the south.
Napoleon Bonaparte was the master of all Europe...
except for some stubborn British beefeaters...
under the command of Milord Wellington.
It is not for us soldiers to think of politics...
but it always seemed to me, Etienne Gerard...
Colonel of the Hussars of Conflans,
that there was something a trifle...
topsy-turvy about that war in Spain.
The sun-kissed climate was against us.
The British Army wore skirts against us.
The entire people waged guerilla war against us.
Even the very outlaws were against us.
Disguised as friars on a pilgrimage...
they infested the mountains led by
a renegade English officer...
known as Marshall Millefleurs...
a fitting candidate for the gallows.
And how did the Emperor manage in this crisis?
I did not blame him for his ill humor.
His voice thrilled through each of us.
Never was he more harsh, more menacing.
More sinister.
A letterfor the Empress.
No, on the cheek...
keep your mouth closed while you're doing it.
A gallant man says nothing
of another's private life...
but when I consider Andre Massena...
Marshall of France, the truth must be told.
Wellington! Wellington!
What kind of Marshall are you?
The greatest of Napoleon's generals...
he'd been given orders
to drive the British into the sea...
but instead, he got cut off laying siege
to the castle of Morales...
the key position in the British lines.
It is not for a soldier to question his superiors...
but the reason eludes me why Massena chose...
to parade his starving infantry
within the range of enemy guns.
A touch of spice was added by the lovely Teresa...
Countess of Morales,
whose uncle owned this impregnable castle.
A hussar could wish no fairer enemy.
It was said of my regiment...
that we could set a whole population running.
The women towards us and the men away.
We hussars were the pick of the cavalry...
the officers were the pick of the hussars...
and I was the pick of the officers.
The Emperor's Spanish campaign
is well-documented...
yet the remarkable part that I, Etienne Gerard,
played in it...
has somehow been overlooked.
Truth now compels me to fill the gap...
with a few details of that kind
which distinguish fact from fantasy.
If he's too stupid, the English or the Spaniards
will catch him at once.
A written message, it must be that.
Otherwise, when he is caught and tortured,
the fool may play the hero...
and not reveal it.
Come here.
I have asked Lasalle and his staff to join us.
Thank you, Sire.
I suppose, Lasalle, you have some gallant...
young officers in your command.
They are all that, Sire.
Are they all fools?
No, they're not all fools.
I want one that is.
Where the devil are you?
You shall be taught your drill, you know.
Now, some behavior from you, you rascal.
I confess to a single tear.
I am not ashamed to have you know
I am filled with emotion...
at the approach of my Emperor.
A single tear for what he is about to see.
And he has not had me wait one single minute...
over the hour.
We have come together,
myself and those unfortunate fellows in red...
and my Emperor.
Savor it now!
Do you see me, my Emperor?
Do you see me?
Etienne Gerard of the Hussars of Conflans...
ride down your enemies.
Do you know that clown there?
Colonel Gerard of hussars.
Has he been with us,
served with us for some time?
His first shout was on the field of Marengo.
What did he shout, hmm?
Long live Bonaparte!
Has he ever been wounded in the head?
I expect so, it's a very popular place.
His brains are not in his head.
Fine fellow, your Emperor.
- We would die for him!
- He knows.
- He must know.
- He does know.
Colonel Etienne Gerard, Hussars of Conflans.
Colonel Russell, Coldstream Guards.
You are in a pickle, sir.
You hold your doggie.
What slaughter.
You must be done up.
Hey, hey!
I will enjoy a bout with you.
Do you find a chance of it tomorrow,
when we're both free of duty.
Of course.
I am delighted to have met your Emperor.
I shall kill you here tomorrow.
But my Emperor may not come again this week,
this particular place.
Should we come up before sunrise...
early in the morning, before the sun is hot...
as it is now.
I may have Lord Wellington see us.
I salute Lord Wellington!
- Most of us do.
- Of course!
- Indeed.
- Oh, dear fellow.
- What a splendid horse.
- Your dog.
- Your sword.
- My sword!
- Your scars.
- My scars!
I have no scars.
I am a nonentity.
Funny fellow, eh, Whig?
He's a funny little French fellow.
- Colonel!
- Papilette!
I need a scar.
- My backside is worn to a thread.
- Long live the Emperor!
I've got some lice, of course.
I need a scar, Papilette.
Hero of 100 fights...
up and down the battlefields of Europe...
and I haven't a single scar.
Would you like one like mine, Colonel?
Um, a little more befitting my, um...
rank, Papilette.
My trustworthy Papilette!
I love my Emperor more than I can express!
I have seen Napoleon 10 times on horseback
and once on foot...
and I think he does wisely
to show himself to his troops in this fashion...
for he cuts a very good figure in the saddle.
I believe you are the very man.
Hmm? Hmm?
Brave and clever men surround me on all sides.
He holds my medals.
He makes them sing for him.
What woman could compare to this?
With his big, round head
and his clean-shaven face...
and his body that is too long for his legs.
He looks more like a professor of the Sorbonne...
than the first soldier of France.
You've been with me since, mmm...
Marengo, I believe.
I believe you saw me this afternoon.
You saw me!
So you won this medal at Marengo?
And this one at Jena.
And this one at...
Uh, Austerlitz.
- Austerlitz?
- Austerlitz.
And this one at...
Fried... Friedland?
What are these medals compared to this?
- That?
- This!
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
You shall be given the opportunity to win this.
Fifty thousand Spaniards against one man.
The star of the Legion of Honor.
All medals are mere tinsel compared to this.
If I have not yet received the star...
it is not for want of having deserved it.
I would give half my arrears
of pay to have my mother see me now.
I am to be emissary of the Emperor!
Is he?
You are.
I shall show you your route.
I was aware that the Emperor had
no great respect for my wits...
and I longed to show him he had done me
an injustice.
This was my opportunity.
The destiny of France lay heavily on Napoleon...
and I was invited to share it.
I did not move an inch.
One round. Canister.
You shall not kill a bull of Spain.
Not by heaven.
By shot, never.
Ole! Ole!
Hey, toro!
Madame, you hold the Emperor's map.
- Madame...
- I do not wish your thanks.
Well, how can I repay you?
You can leave Spain.
Then I shall leave you.
I was not aware, madame,
that you'd ever been with me.
Are you of society?
If you are of society...
you shall not ever be rude.
I am the Countess of Morales.
And I shall be as rude as I think fitting.
Well, then, Countess...
how can I express my gratitude for your...
You may give me a safe conduct to Morales.
I do not wish to be robbed, rifled and raped
by your common soldiers.
Sire, it is fortuitous.
I shall have the honor
to accompany the Countess.
I am the emissary of the Emperor.
My route will take me by way of Morales...
Excellent, Lasalle, we couldn't have made
a wiser choice.
What do you make of it, Colonel?
Oh, I make a lot of it.
I am to be the trusted carrier of dispatches...
for the Emperor of the French.
My dolman bursts with pride.
Who should clink his spurs and rattle his saber...
if not I? Etienne Gerard.
Aim! Fire!
The chosen swordsman of the Light Cavalry.
The trusted and well-beloved
confidant of the Emperor.
But why should the Emperor tell us his plans?
- Aim!
- Because he recognizes our work.
I am smitten with doubts, Colonel.
Not like you, old Papilette.
I wish you would tell me of them, that I...
with my officer's quicker intelligence...
might set the matter straight.
But the whole army knows that
you are to carry a message.
Who doesn't know can tell by your own strutting.
Fetch me a girl who'll undress herself
and stand in the way for Spain!
- Do you see it?
- No, I don't see it.
Do you?
Yes, I do.
Colonel, I'm afraid I saw it all...
being a good bit short on your hand.
- My apologies.
- What is that hussar's name?
I do not know, sir.
He is newly joined.
It is a standing order that no Hussar of Conflans,
and certainly not one of mine...
shall enter any place
of ill repute or lewd entertainment.
Yes, sir.
Now pick up his saddle and follow me.
Yes, sir.
Pay attention, Papilette.
Danger lurks in every doorway.
What is your route? How much ammunition, boy?
Do you carry? It is vital.
Come here and I'll tell you.
What rations, please?
How many guns, men, horses?
I am a soldier of France.
I am a woman of Spain!
You should not be flirting.
I shall be flirting for Spain.
How she blossomed out in my presence,
this woman.
Like a flower before the sun.
She lit up all of our faces with her beauty.
She must have read the admiration in my eyes...
and I fancied I read something of the same
in her own.
Where's the Colonel?
My Colonel is in the hay, sir.
Well, get him out of the hay!
My Colonel. A gentleman.
Always takes his boots off.
Sound the charge.
Papilette, and in splendid time.
To horse, sir, not to hay.
Hop! Hey!
Third button from the top.
This dispatch to Marshall Massena in the south.
You will take your troupe down to the Sierra Morena.
Then you ride on your own.
You face overwhelming odds.
Marshall Massena has not been reached by courier
for weeks.
I am delighted.
- I think you are.
- You know I am.
I shall guard the Emperor's dispatch with my life.
I am the emissary of the Emperor!
Papilette, first 12, follow me.
Sir. First 12. Remainder, fall out.
To Maillard, hat maker, Rue St.Honore...
I shall not pay any more bills for any more hats...
and you are very close to treason to suggest
that I do.
To Marshall Massena...
To Marshall Massena,
I say that I have this day set in motion...
a subterfuge to have you out of the grip of Morales.
What I have done is have the biggest fool in my army
carry to you a false dispatch.
You're to get yourself out of your spot you're in
when you see movements...
set about by the capture of my false dispatch.
Marmaluke, how many?
Eight, Sire.
Mmm, that's not bad.
Madame, you have your safe conduct.
Will you not give me one glance from...
the most beautiful eyes in Spain?
Colonel, this poor soul's got a bullet in his brain.
Who had done this?
The enemy? Guerillas?
Millefleurs' bandits?
Fighting should be done between one army
and another.
What glory is there in killing an ignorant peasant?
Papilette, see to the men.
Their wants.
A merry night if they wish, but a short one.
- Sir. - That house. The windows.
A watch fire. Two sentries.
The horse line's lit.
Two women. Don't be choosy.
The first two over twelve. And no wine.
- Papilette.
- Sir.
Create a disturbance.
Come in.
I'm a friend to the French.
We are likeable people.
We inspire devotion.
Even so, monsieur, you will have to share a room.
Tell the lady she need have nothing to fear.
Madame, Colonel Etienne Gerard,
Hussars of Conflans.
I am to share your bath... Bed.
Which may fill you with dread.
But you need have no fear.
My Emperor is here.
I intend to keep my boots on.
Sir, would you oblige me and pull off my boots.
Do you wrinkle your nose?
Do you have no courtesy, sir?
Thank you, sir.
You are polite.
Now, um...
- I should shave you.
- No!
Indeed, yes!
- It is my pleasure.
- I have no beard to speak of.
You're obviously making heavy weather of it.
I know what it is.
A day in the sun...
the face raw, all tug and scratch.
Not in the least, sir.
Come now, young man.
My mother would not have used this
to slice a sausage.
I shall now be on my way.
With your face still soaped?
Leave my nose alone.
I will shave you, sir.
That is no reason for you
to make free with my nose.
If you must shave me, then do so,
but keep your finger and thumb...
where they belong, which is not on my nose.
Very well?
Very well.
Was it not close enough for you?
No. I mean, yes.
Is it over?
I think it is about to begin.
You would kiss me?
You are not agreeable, eh?
You flirt like a young woman
and you are not agreeable.
I am not agreeable to any such thing.
I am a lady...
Lad. Lad.
Now, nurse, quick.
When my beautiful horse Rataplan is in a lather...
and a sweat, what a horse.
What quarters on him.
When he is in a sweat, I walk him.
- In the dark?
- In the moonlight. Often.
Moonlight is the perfect mirror.
What is seen is there.
You cannot know what I see.
I know what you see.
If you stay a moment longer...
Then I am free to go?
To my regret.
Your right to leave has never been in question.
I have been carrying out my mission to Massena...
in an honorable manner.
But now I have done that which a gentleman
would condemn.
I have passed on letters of tender love...
from ladies the length and breadth of the Empire
as Massena's dispatches.
I can only offer a soldier's excuse.
One cannot avoid stooping low in guerilla warfare,
even to deceive a woman.
"Darling, darling, darling, darling."
A simple code, senora.
Four darlings, four French regiments.
"I am longing to feel your head between my breasts."
The French army between the two sierras.
"And your arm around..."
Napoleon's headquarters.
"Must I tell you again and again?
"My husband is a weak,
poor, jealous creature."
"I am greatly mortified at his conduct."
"He dragged me onto his terrible person..."
I must have that Frenchman.
Good morning, my Emperor.
Good day, Colonel Gerard, and how is your wounds?
Is they healed?
My wounds never heal.
And why is that, sir?
Because... I always have new ones.
- Papilette!
- First two forward.
The way is clear, sir.
It's hopeless, Colonel.
Run, Colonel, run!
Run? Never. Not ever.
But, Colonel, you ride for the Emperor.
The dispatch.
Papilette, bravo.
You're perfect, madame.
Stop! Stop!
I'll see you hanged!
I am no ordinary-looking man.
In the whole Light Cavalry...
it would be hard to find a finer pair of whiskers.
I do have a way about me.
Whig, come here, damn you.
Up and down and round back by Dublin.
Whig! Where the devil are you? Come here.
Have them watered two by two.
What's your name?
You and your common fellows may settle over there.
But do not have any man jack touch himself
in that pond...
until I have had my kettle pot filled.
Hey, Whig.
Leave the fellow to rest, eh?
- What was that?
- A wheel.
One of ours?
What have you got, Whig?
You got a birdie, have you?
You've got a roast birdie.
Now if it's a fresh roast birdie...
we must find the owner at once
and pay him for it.
It is a fresh roast birdie.
Set it down, Whig.
Come on, set it down.
Come now, Whig, set it down...
will you, you scapegrace.
Very well, Will.
Here you are.
And do you poor people look after
your things you eat?
Give me my wheel.
Colonel Russell, Coldstream Guards.
I have not your wheel.
You are surrounded by French.
- Oh, come now.
- You are. Certainly.
And you, fellow?
Do not have any person blamed
for your improvidence but yourself.
You deserve to starve.
Spain is burning, tortured, raped, defiled...
by such as you and your kind.
Your hands smear blood across our country.
What is Spain to you?
To Napoleon? To Wellington?
To that peacock Gerard?
I don't think that is quite fair.
I have seen the horror you bring with your scum.
You dishonor our churches.
Drink your tea, Englishman.
Ally. Friend to Spain.
Whilst through your line, a Frenchman sneaks.
The dispatch for Massena from Napoleon is carried
through under your nose.
But I wish victory for none but Spain.
I am lost to you.
I knew... as soon as we set foot ashore...
that we were not in any way welcome.
You shall have your sneaking Frenchman.
What a fine woman you are,
with your rant and rave...
and society.
I am enraptured.
I am captured.
Whig? Whig.
Come on, Whig!
Pedro. Assault me!
Come. It is for Spain.
The man who can mix daring with timidity...
who can be outrageous with an air of humility...
and presumptuous with a tone of deference...
that is the man who mothers have to fear.
Get this man off me.
One moment, please.
And now we find out what information you have.
You are caught by your own chivalry.
Always, madame.
I can never fight a lady.
The dispatch to Massena.
Tell me.
I shall say please.
I think not.
Very well.
I shall have you whipped.
With that, madame, you will achieve nothing.
Perhaps. But with this.
I am the barber now.
I think not.
I think so.
The Emperor himself approved my mustache.
Very well.
Tell me where you have the dispatch?
In my head, madame.
You may cut my mustache.
I shall never give way to you.
Not ever, though you shave the whole of my head.
Marshall Millefleurs.
By the grace of God...
English spoken.
Do you know a young man called Soubiron?
A tallish youth, light hair, your regiment.
I do.
I do.
We buried him.
Thank you.
Poor Soubiron.
How did he die?
We buried him. Alive.
Hey, senora! Senora...
Senora, remember to feed the horse!
Your clean linen is in the lowest drawer
of the bedroom drawer.
My mother...
What shall I do with him?
Keep holding him.
I have never been a religious man...
but I was distressed to see the old monastery
now a nest of bandits.
Millefleurs had a delicate sense of hearing.
He delighted only in the shrieks of the tortured.
Whimpers for mercy.
Screams of the dying.
He also had a reputation for cruel wit and ingenuity.
I long to measure my own again his.
A saber's length would be enough.
And now who's going to play for the woman.
If only your Emperor could see you now.
I accept.
You, Frenchman.
You will fly through the air tomorrow...
but tonight you may sleep with your woman.
You two, bind them.
Don't kiss me.
I can't kiss you.
There will be a time when you may kiss me.
My Emperor.
Colonel Etienne Gerard is through to the mountains.
Your dispatch is on its way to Marshall Massena.
What pigeons were sent to Massena?
Is it important, Sire?
It is important!
What do you mean?
What kind of Marshall are you?
You cannot even get me bonbons from Paris.
Marshall Massena.
Marshall, Marshall...
You've got to stop your soldiers from banging off
their dreadful cannon.
I would be delighted to stop them.
Most of the time it is aimed at me by the English.
- Stop them at once.
- Go away.
- I met be killed.
- Marshall...
- Go away!
- A dispatch from the Emperor.
The pigeons have arrived.
Long live the Emperor!
We are saved.
We are...
We must acknowledge this at once.
My carrier pigeons.
My pigeons.
My pigeons?
My pigeons!
A fine blue sky.
Can you see where you're going?
At least I die alone.
It would have been nicer.
Women split easier.
Feel my very pulse.
Ah, truly magnificent.
In the name of His Britannic Majesty!
What a servant he would have made.
Both boots off my feet in one.
We meet at last.
My funny little French coward.
I think not, sir.
I am the best blade in the six Light Cavalry
brigades of Napoleon.
And I am an indifferent hack and thrust man...
from His Majesty's Foot Guards.
He is my prisoner.
You may have whatever you wish, Countess.
- I want him.
- Thank you.
Oh, I could not do that.
- He is mine.
- I am.
What do we have that you want him so?
Ha, ha!
The dispatch to Massena.
Are those Massena's guns?
I never know.
They all sound much the same to me.
You are a splendid little fellow.
If only you'd been born
on the right side of the Channel.
But I was!
You could have killed me.
You were very late.
I was not expecting it.
You've never done that before.
I have other, more urgent business to attend to.
I salute you, sir.
I salute you, sir.
I shall be at your pleasure in half of an hour's time.
At this very place.
At this very place.
It was convenient for me to disengage...
and complete my mission to Massena.
Stop or I'll shoot.
You were lucky to be out of my range.
And now we will wait for him.
I am the carrier of dispatches to Marshall Massena.
Etienne Gerard, the Hussars of Conflans.
You are dead.
I am not dead.
They all tried, but I am not.
Captured, tortured, near split down the middle.
Englishmen, ladies, Spaniards,
they all found nothing.
My Emperor's dispatches.
It is better you were dead, young man.
Far better.
The Emperor expects you dead.
You were meant to die.
Your message captured.
The English tricked into leaving the castle...
of Morales.
Madeleine, look at me.
I shall die now!
Very well.
I command you to die, young man.
Mount your horse.
Clear your mind.
Kiss your mother.
Do not have any hate.
Forgive your debtors.
Put a brave face on it.
And shouting as loud as you can...
so you do not hear yourself crying.
Ride from here to a place
where you will be shot and stripped...
by the English.
There's a good boy.
For France.
It's the only way you may face us all.
Your Emperor. The armies of France.
Dead is the way.
I shall die!
But I shall destroy the castle of Morales with me.
Lord Wellington, please.
Damn me, if I ain't got a hold on him.
I've got Boney.
He can't flank me by marching.
He can't carry Morales by storm
because he ain't got the men.
He can't actually avoid it in any main event...
so he's got to come.
The Emperor was marching with irresistible force...
against the immovable beef of Old England.
He would make a meal of them,
and I intended to cut my slice.
I would show him that if he thought
I had the thickest head in the army...
I also had the stoutest sword arm.
Russell would be my hors d'oeuvres (appetizers).
The English and their cup of tea.
What is this elixir that commands everything
to come to a complete halt?
War. Lovemaking. Dueling.
For a good Beaujolais, a glass of champagne,
a final brandy, yes...
but a cup of tea?
What singular enemies the English make.
Really, for all their chivalry,
one cannot cross sabers...
with a teaspoon.
Do you box?
Do you kick?
What about...
Hurry... or they will kill each other.
- My horse against yours.
- Done.
Sword against sword.
Saddle, bridle and stirrups.
And my freedom?
I have won.
I hold the king.
On the contrary, it is I who have won,
for my king holds you.
And by dawn...
unless you've spiked every gun that I've got...
I'll have that other little fellow.
The one with the big hat and little legs
that kisses you all.
My Emperor.
Courage. Courage, my brave boy.
You're not a colonel of hussars at 28...
because you can dance cotillion.
You're a picked man, Etienne,
a man who's come through more than 200 affairs.
And this little one is surely not going to be the last.
So that we might continue.
You are at an immediate disadvantage, sir.
It worries me not a jot, sir.
It worries me greatly, sir.
You are considerate, sir.
- I deem it a pleasure.
- Thank you, dear fellow.
Dear friend...
do you happen to know which key is yours?
This one.
It is for France.
Who is there?
Who is there?
It's me, Uncle.
Yes, Uncle.
There is someone else.
No, it's only me.
I can hear...
another heartbeat.
You are wrong, Uncle.
I am alone.
Who is with you?
Colonel Etienne Gerard,
of Napoleon Bonaparte's army.
A Frenchman?
A Frenchman.
In the castle of Morales?
It is for Spain.
I did not expect to be received socially
anywhere in Spain.
We French were not invited to this country.
Though I am used to the surprises of war...
never before did I confront a blind adversary.
It would have been ill-bred
and tactless to saber the uncle of a future wife...
of a colonel of hussars.
I am beginning to understand how...
Yes. I too begin to understand...
that, uh...
what matters in a man's life is not only war.
There is love.
Yes, there is love.
I want to tell you now...
Yes, tell me.
In the name of His Britannic Majesty...
open this door.
Colonel Russell.
Sir John.
Sir John.
Teresa, Sir John.
I am beginning to understand...
what matters most of all in a man's life is not war.
Yes, I know.
It's love.
Yes, love.
Get up, Frenchman.
There is no need to dishonor the lady.
- Russell.
- Guard!
I will not fight with rabble before a lady.
Countess, I shall return in splendor!
To be executed as a common spy
dressed in a hated red coat...
not even a soldier's death.
What would the Emperor say?
Oh, what an end, what a dismal end...
for the finest swordsman in France.
I refuse to die dressed in this costume!
About turn!
Thank you.
It is for you, not for Spain.
Hounds, dogs of war...
the unfamiliar cut of the red coats
and the strange hats...
would appear like some new regiments
preparing a sortie.
But no, the English were about to go a-hunting...
across a battlefield.
A charge, Sire?
A few horsemen attacking my army?
Bring up a battery.
I confess.
Amid all the danger...
there is something ridiculous about the situation.
Truly they are an extraordinary people,
the English.
And yet, at this moment, it is upon me,
this spirit of sport...
this desire to excel, this hatred of the fox,
the cursed animal.
Your hour has come!
Do you ride with me?
Leave them all and ride with me.
I can never leave my Emperor.
Still there.
Disappointed me again, that Massena.
I trust you've not hurt yourself, madame.
Some day, I hope to have the opportunity...
to relate to you of the dangers which I overcame...
to deliver your orders to Marshall Massena.
Yes, just let me assure you that he has
received them safely.
And as a result...
Chance was about to make one of those
random gestures...
the Emperor appreciated.
Did he not always prefer
lucky generals to good ones?
There are times when the most supreme impudence...
is the highest wisdom.
The castle of Morales...
will blow up.
To have the acclaim of the entire army...
and that my Emperor should see me,
it brings tears to my eyes.
And here, Sire, is my good English friend...
Colonel Russell to surrender his forces to you.
That was not very sporting of you.
I was only doing my duty, Russell.
The castle had to be destroyed.
That. What I mean is, you do not ride uninvited
with the hunt...
and snatch away the fox.
It is not done.
It is not...
It is not our day, Colonel.
I fear it is not, Countess.
And now, may we please have him back?
Hmm? Ah.
Thank you, sir.
I ask you to come down.
I have nothing to offer you beyond myself...
my devotion.
But this is surely no mean thing.
It is not a mean thing.
He who has your devotion has a very fine thing.
But I...
I love you, Teresa, Countess of Morales.
You don't love me, Colonel Etienne Gerard...
you love him.
I suppose you've earned your star after all.
Wear it.
And what will you do now?
I will...
I will remain here.
It is for Spain.
My Colonel!