The Fourth War (1990) Movie Script

What the hell kind of a salute,
do you call that, Sergeant?
Do you know the origin of
the salute, Sergeant?
No, sir.
In the days of chivalry, when two
Knights met on the road...
they raised the visors of their helmets,
it meant peace.
If they lowered them,
it meant war.
Why don't you try
that salute again...
and put something more into it,
besides your stump.
First turn, on your right.
Last building on your right.
Thank you.
[ gavel pounding in courtroom ]
Gentlemen, Major, Look...
I don't want to get
into an arguement,
with military council, alright?
Jack Knowles was a hard-ass.
I'll give you that.
But, only with his senior officers.
His men thought,
he was one helluva' leader.
And for two very simple reasons.
He knew his job and
he was a warrior.
Good afternoon, Sir...
Colonel Knowles,
knew how to fight a war.
He breached with
more ambush patrols,
he hit hard,
and returned with a minimum
of casualities.
- Can I have a glass of water?
- Thank you.
But, there's no denying,
there was a problem.
Lieutenant Colonel Foster,
the executive officer.
Maybe, it was because
his marriage failed or...
maybe, it was the war.
However, there's not a classroom
from here, to Fort Benning...
that teaches a course on,
the Art of Defeat.
[ gavel pounding in courtroom ]
So, the army's answer was,
to put him in mothballs.
An assignment so far out of the way,
you couldn't find him on a map.
But, when we met last summer,
he had done an about-face...
and brought every indication,
that he had his shit together.
[ gavel pounding in courtroom ]
So, I gave him a command
in Camp Clayton.
Now, it's hardly the
glamour as a NATO counselor,
but, I wanted to get him back to
doing what he does best.
Leading troops.
To figure his way out of obscurities.
He dug his way out
of a theory, alright, but,...
it wasn't what I had in mind.
What's the problem, sergeant?
What's the problem?
Clogged fuel line, sir.
Happens all the time.
No, big deal.
No, big deal, huh?
This Trac is leading this convoy.
If it breaks down under fire,
it's all our asses' in a shit hole.
You got that?
- Yes, sir.
All right.
Fix it!
Move it out!
- Yes, sir.
It's seems unfortunate, sir,
but uh,
the sense of responsibility
seems now, to be a thing of the past.
That business back there with the Trac...
- You can't blame those kids!
It's the Instructors they got.
You can't teach them
combat discipline,
if you haven't given
them any combat.
It's a joke.
How did you get
your commission, Colonel?
Academy, sir. Class of '70.
West Point, huh?
Brass factory.
It was my grandmother's doing.
She figured the only way to get to
the top, was to start there.
I take it, grandma never
heard of evolution, huh?
Well, she heard about it, sir,
but, she fought back.
She made a fortune
marketing a creme rinse...
that claimed to
straighten black folks hair.
Who won?
Evolution, sir.
After 10 days, over half of the
customers finally found out.
So, she gave up the fight
and switched to wigs.
Stop here.
- Listen up!
- Smoke 'em, if you got 'em.
Want to give me an overview, as to
what's going on over there?
- Yes, sir.
Well, what we have, is a typical
Eastern blocked border.
However, there is one puzzling item
in the pass.
The Czech's can advance
into neutral territory.
Right up to our blue border markers.
Of course, if they
were pursuing someone.
We don't have a reciprocal agreement.
Why would we want one?
Who the hell would want
to go over there?
Well, sir.
You're right, of course
Blue for us, red for them.
Well, that's clear enough.
Nothing else is very clear, anymore.
Do you know what a guy told me
on the flight coming over here?
They're bringing
American football to Moscow.
I don't know.
Maybe, I'm out of whack.
Czech defector, making a run for it.
- Paul! Hey, man!
Check it out!
Help this man out!
Come on!
- Shit, man! You can do it!
- Let's do it!
- Take it home, man!
- Take it home!
- Oh, no way!
- Oh, shit!
- Do your best!
- Aw, man! Come on!
- Keep coming!
- Keep on coming!
- Yes! Yes!
- Come on, bro!
- Oh! No! No!
Oh, man!
They need five to catch him!
- Come on! Keep running!
- Keep coming!
Prepare to engage enemy aircraft!
- What?
You heard me, sergeant!
Lock it on, sergeant!
Locked and loaded, sir!
The Rules of Engagement don't allow...
Stop doing my job or
get the hell out of here!
Oh, no! Let's get him!
No, sir!
Just do your job!
- Lower those weapons!
Put 'em down!
- Colonel!
He must have played
in the Cuban league.
Duty Detail!
Stand Fast!
Right! Face!
Forward! March!
Left! Right!
Left! Right!
Left! Right! Left!...
Welcome, to Stuttgart, Colonel.
I'm off to Hamburg.
Let's take a little walk.
How are you, Roger?
- Good, Jack.
What about you?
Here we go again.
Damn near started
World War 3 out there.
Some serious allegations have
been filed, that tag you...
as an irresponsible malcontent.
- Can I see that report, sir?
- Hell no.
Scrapped it.
I was the one who got you
this assignment, remember.
And you assured me, you could
handle it, goddamn it.
What the hell happened out there?
They shot a man in cold blood,
right in front of us.
Well, not the Soviets.
They don't do shit like that.
He was shot by a Czech.
I know they were Czechs.
They played Czech and mouse with him,
before they killed him.
So, what the fuck else is new?
Maybe, the guy was a criminal.
Who the hell knows?
It's different now, Jack.
Them Czechs have got alot
more freedom.
They let 'em have passports...
and shopping guides to Vienna,
for christ sakes.
And what about this shit, about you
throwing a snowball at Colonel Robinson?
I missed.
The son-of-bitch threw one back.
I don't have time for this shit, Jack.
At least I got a feeling,
that the next time...
Yeah, well, you better get the feeling
that things have changed...
and you better change, too.
Otherwise, you're going to be
out on your ass.
It's pick and shovel work now,
no more heroics.
You're a patrol officer, for
all practical purposes.
A patrol officer in a nunnary.
You got that?
Roger, I've been in the service
half my life.
I've learned to play on the white keys
and the black keys.
Now, I'm expected to play in the cracks?
That's it exactly.
That's just where we are right now.
In the cracks.
Excuse me.
Excuse me.
- Congratulations, to both of you.
- Thanks very much, sir.
- Congratulations.
- Thank you.
Many happy returns, sir.
What does that mean?
It's your birthday, sir.
Have you forgotten?
How did you know that?
This is the date
you were born, sir.
Yes, I know that!
But, how the hell did you know it?
Sir, with all due respect,
maybe, we can discuss this later.
I want to know it now!
- I happen to see your 201 file.
- Snooping in my 201 file.
- I wasn't snooping.
- You damn well, were.
You filed a report on me and you sent it
to divisional headquarters didn't you?
Sir, now, is not the time, or place...
You filed a report on me outside of
the chain of command.
Now, I want to know under whose
authority did you do that...
and I want to know it now!
Sir, first of all,
you imbreached a regulation...
Did you tell the General that the Russians
came across the border? No you didn't.
Did you tell the General that...
the attack helicopter shot rocks
in our face?
No you didn't!
Did you?
Did you?
'Sir, if you allow me to finish.
- Please.
And second of all, sir,
and I hope you can appreciate this...
we have gone through extraordinary lengths
as not to be seen as an American.
And finally, sir. You should know,
that I was not merely snooping.
And I certainly wasn't trying to
louse up your authority.
I was simply following orders.
The General's orders.
You've been hidden in the Far East...
we have more of a public relations role
to play here.
Perhaps the General
has explained this to you.
I'd like to explain something to...
Gentlemen, gentlemen.
Or may I call you officer and gentlemen.
If you don't mind?
We are here to celebrate these happy days
which belong to Dwayne and Hannelore.
With deep respects.
I'm sorry, about this whole thing.
I don't want to join the army
I don't want to go to war
I just want to hang around
Picadilly Underground
Livin' off the ends
of some high born ladies
I don't want no bullet up the asshole
I don't want my buttocks shot away
I want to stay in London
Jolly Jolly London
And fornicate me fuckin' life
[ phone rings ]
Yes, I said, me fuckin' life
And fornicate me fuckin' life away !
[ phone rings ]
[ phone rings ]
Knowles here.
Yeah, operator.
That's right.
Dexter Academy.
In Vermont, yeah.
You got him?
Well, put him on.
How are ya?
Ha, ha. Of course it's me.
You got some other old man,
stationed in West Germany?
Wait, wait, wait, you gotta talk
louder, I can't hear you.
What's that racket?
Look, you guys are suppose to
be studying, at this hour.
that's what it's about.
I'm fine.
But, but... listen, listen.
Do you know what day this
happens to be? Huh?
Yeah, it's Tuesday, alright.
But, it also happens
to be my birthday.
No, no, no, that's alright.
I... Listen, no, no.
I forgot it, too.
I forgot my own birthday.
Your mother?
We haven't talked, in about 4 years.
But listen, listen,
how's the little guy?
How's Bobby?
How's my little, Bobby?
What did he think of
that bike I sent him, huh?
Mm... hm.
Mm... hmm.
In the school yard?
You mean, they just walked up to him
and took it away?
And he didn't do anything about it?
Well, Jesus H. Christ!
I don't care, if it was three to one.
Shot them?
What do you mean,
I would have shot them?
That supposed to be funny?
A few drinks?
Is that what you call it?
Let me give you an education, pal.
Colonel Knowles, was whacked
out of his skull.
He had been tying one on,
from the moment he got into the base.
And let me tell you something else...
even if he'd been stone cold sober,
he still would have done it.
It was a challenge he had to accept.
Gentlemen, look at it this way...
we all know, we're talking about
a man who's trained...
to react, do you understand?
Drilled into him.
From the day, he hit basic training,
he was told...
Hey, that's the enemy, bucko!
Go get him!
Jack Knowles, is a soldier,
for christ sakes!
Not, some candy-ass diplomat,
whose got his suit inside out.
without taking his hands
out of his pockets.
Look at his war record!
You think every one had a good
time in Vietnam?
Talking with CBS news?
Colonel Knowles, crossed that border
because he was looking to get even.
He loves me.
He loves me not.
He loves me.
He loves me not.
[ gun clicks ]
Drop 'em.
Drop 'em!
Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
Neither do I.
What's that?
- Jes radio.
... smart boy.
I'll take that.
I've got sons' your age, who can't
even speak their own language.
At least, not to me.
Here we are.
The 14 foot tall giants
of modern combat.
The troops...
who everybody knows, that are
the best soldiers in the world.
In all of my military career, you guys
have been hanging over my head.
Kneel down!
You won't be needing them.
Now, boys.
Put these on.
Put 'em on!
Come on! Come on!
Come on! Hurry up!
We haven't got all night!
Hustle it up!
This is a once in a year event,
do you know that?
Gimme that.
I like that one.
my name is Knowles.
Jack Knowles.
Colonel Knowles.
Say it... Knowles...
Jack Knowles,
Colonel Jack Knowles.
I want you to remember that.
So, you can report it to
your Colonel Valachev.
Listen. Listen.
Today, is my birthday.
And we're going to celebrate it,
in song.
- In English?
- Das li...
Do you comprende, das li?
You're going to sing me
" Happy Birthday. "
And I don't care in what language
you sing it in...
just so long as you don't forget
Jack Knowles, okay?
Jack Knowles.
Got that?
Alright, now.
Here, we go. All together now.
Repeat, after me.
Happy Birthday to you
Happy ... Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Jack Knowles
Happy Birthday...
One more time
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Jack Knowles
Happy Birthday to you
That was nice.
Now, we got to
blow out the candles.
It just helps to blow out the candles.
It's bad luck, if you don't
blow out the candles.
too late!
- Sergeant Major!
- Sir!
Sergeant Major,
who ordered this?
Colonel Knowles did, sir.
And when was it installed?
Last night, sir.
Actually, early this morning, sir,
at 01:30 hours.
He had the Alert Force put it in.
Thank you, Sergeant Major.
That'll be all.
Very well, sir.
- Come on people,
this ain't no Rest Home.
A real beauty, isn't she?
You know, it's sorta like
carrying coal in Newcastle.
I purchased that car in Indiana
and brought it over here.
Have you ever driven one of those?
Never have, sir.
Well, that one is known to be a
little tricky in tight corners, but,
other than that, it's a great car.
Maybe, we'll go for a spin some day.
You know, Colonel, I decided to...
forget about that matter
the other day.
That report you sent to headquarters
it was dismissed...
in fact,
it ended up in the shredder.
You didn't do yourself
much good there.
You were not a success.
As I have trouble coping with
sudden failure...
I'll just do my best to
forget the incident as well, sir.
Sir, we got the word,
that you were missing.
That's what it said, sir.
Colonel Clark, ordered a search party.
He said, you were missing.
Do I look missing?
Good afternoon, sir.
Follow me.
Yes, sir.
You put out an Alert on me?
The jeep you were driving
was found by a patrol, sir.
It was on fire
and you weren't in it.
What the fuck are you up to, Clark?
I was concerned about
your safety, sir.
I thought something
had happened to you.
The jeep caught fire, that's all.
The patrol said, that the...
The jeep caught fire, period!
I suppose you reported this
to Division as well?
Yes, sir, I did.
Is that what they teach you
at the Point?
Not specifically, sir.
They teach you to develop
your skills to a level where...
mistakes are things
other people make.
- One, two, three, four!
- One, two, three, four!
- One, two, three, four!
- One, two, three, four!
- One, two, three, four!
I'm looking for the Colonel.
I've not seen him, sir.
Do you know,
if he slept here last night?
I don't reckon he was here, sir.
His bed wasn't slept in.
Please, let me go.
They will kill me.
Who's they?
Come on!
Wake up.
We have to go.
The patrol just went by.
You went out like a light.
I'm sorry.
You must have needed it.
I don't know who you are...
but, it's very important,
not to run like that again.
You've seen these
border guards are serious.
Do you understand,
what I'm talking about?
I understand.
I used to live there.
How'd you get here
in the first place?
- Bus?
They don't allow buses'
on the border.
I came by the bus, from Regensburg.
And in Diefenbach, I...
That's what I did.
You lived in Regensburg?
I worked in Regensburg.
For three years, now.
I used to live in Prague.
Well, if that's where you're headed,
you better find a different route.
Because, if it's this way,
you're only going to get shot.
I must go back to Czechoslovakia.
And they must not know
I'm coming.
It's a political situation.
And my little girl is there.
She has no one to take care of her.
Who's taking care of her now?
My mother, but she is ill.
She cannot anymore.
No one else you can ask?
There is no one. Nothing.
Get in the car.
These communist countries will
take the responsibility...
whether you like it or not.
Whether you like it or not?
Sounds wonderful.
I didn't say it was wonderful.
Would you want them to
take your daughter?
Look, I just think
things are better now, that's all.
And do you believe it?
I think it's bullshit.
It is bullshit.
Big bullshit.
Drink this.
This is my number at the base.
Call me, if you need any more help.
And for god's sake, don't come
across that border again.
There is no other way.
If there was, I would have
done it long ago.
Why do you have to do this?
In Prague, I did translations.
For the
Revolutionary Underground Press.
We published a newspaper.
Prominent Student Youth Committee.
Committee to get rid of the Soviets.
It is a printing village,
which is outside the city...
to avoid detection.
One night, we arrived at the press
at the house of a friend.
The police were there.
Waiting for us.
I was able to escape, but, I had to
leave the country at once.
" Capiche? "
Yes, I understand.
And I'm very very sorry,
I can't help you.
I wish you and your daughter,
much luck.
But Colonel, could you not...?
Believe me.
I can't.
- GO! GO!
- Yay! Yay!
It should be done like this!
- Yay! Yay!
Good afternoon, General.
Welcome onboard, sir.
Gentlemen, I apologize for taking
you away from the game,
but, my schedule was bird-dogged
by a storm...
that's been screwing my ass
all the way from Frankfurt.
So, Clark.
Carry on, Sergeant Major.
Everybody, enjoy the day.
Where's Colonel Knowles?
In his quarters, sir.
I've been reading
your report, Colonel.
Yes, sir.
- You're a West Pointer, right?
- Class of '70, sir.
Well, that's a little after me.
- Who sponsored you?
- Senator Jordan of Maryland, sir.
- No shit.
- That's right.
Sam Jordan? Oh my god!
Sam and I go way back.
We used to chase
the ladies together.
Met his new wife, Mary Beth?
Haven't had the pleasure, sir.
She's the balls of the family, now.
Old Sam told me, when he got
remarried to that Mary Beth...
half his age, it would really
straighten his ass out.
The Senator was never anything,
but, straight with me, sir.
Well, alright.
Thank you, Colonel.
That's not the Jack Knowles
I ever remember.
We'll have that cleaned up
right away, sir.
Will coffee do?
It would be fine, Jack.
They're keeping you busy, huh?
That's right.
Back to Frankfurt,
then on to Stuttgart by 17:30.
Never a second to stop moving.
There was a time
when I could relax.
Take in a little golf...
sleep til noon on Sunday's.
Now, my wife, you met, Rachel?
- Mm... hmm.
Well, she is insisting that
I attend church.
Even got me to read the bible.
Right up there, in front of
the whole damn congregation.
So, I decided, I'd better brush-up
a little bit on the Good Book.
And I found myself,
trudging through all those " begets."
In the book of Genisis.
Then I thought of you.
I don't understand.
" Begets, " Jack.
The past tense of " beget."
It means, to produce "off-spring."
Abraham beget Isaac,
Isaac beget... it's all there...
It's in the beginning of the Bible, Jack.
Don't you read your Bible?
I always thought, that a man of
your spirit,
in spirit, would have it
within arm's reach.
Night and day.
What's your point, Roger?
Who do you think, "beget" you, Jack?
Well, if I don't know,
you're going to tell me.
You're the off-spring of
the war in Vietnam.
Now, mind you,
you're not the only one.
But, war, also "begets" loonies.
And cowards...
and big heroin trafficker's.
Iowa farm boys, with their
first dose of "crack."
But, most important,
it "beget" heroes.
And you are one of them.
No, no, no,
you are a hero, Jack.
Most definitely.
And I can attest to that.
Because, you put your life
on the line for me...
many times under my command.
Do you want to know something?
I've been trying to
save your life, ever since.
I don't see what
your driving at, Colonel.
Like shit, you don't.
You can't be trusted
for five minutes.
You've been shuffled
through the army,
more times,
than a deck of cards!
Bangkok, Manila, ...Guam!
And on each and every assignment,
you caused trouble.
You can't be referring
to the jeep?
Of course, I'm referring
to the god damn jeep!
You war mongering, son-of-bitch!
It exploded!
It caught fire!
I have the evidence.
It was shelled by
a rocket propelled grenade.
RPG fragments were found
in the fuel tank.
I didn't know that.
You're a god damn liar.
And you also know, who did it,
don't you, Colonel.
Becuse there is only one army,
on the face of god's green earth...
who uses rockets, like some
old lady uses suppositories...
and that's
the armed forces of the U.S.S.R.
You see, right over there,
where I am pointing...
there's another hero...
just like you...
but, he didn't go to Vietnam.
He went to Aftghanistan.
And it was a fucking mess.
And when he got home,
nobody came out to cheer him.
And he thought,
what did I bust my ass for?
Why didn't I die and
Boris loose a leg?
So, now we got, two disillusioned,
pissed off heroes.
And I can understand that,
because I am disillusioned
and pissed-off.
But I do not understand...
and will not tolerate...
two malcontent...
who think they have the right...
to start their own
private little dress war...
while the rest of us
poor sons-of-bitches...
are in danger of being
turned into French fries.
What then?
Send them an apology?
Too late, for that shit.
After the investigation,
you're going to be god damn lucky
if you're not apologizing
to a General Court Martial.
If that happens, Jack,
I'm not going to have any room
to maneuver in your behalf.
The most I'm going to
be able to do, at best...
is to keep you out of Leavenworth.
And buy you a subscription to
Soldier of Fortune magazine.
[ phone rings ]
Clark here, sir.
While you were having your
meeting with, General Hackworth...
Miss Elena called.
She didn't leave a number,
she said,
you would know how to
reach her, yourself.
That's it, sir.
... across the border.
Sit down, Private.
Before, you fall down.
Oh, Colonel, I was...
Can I speak to you
for a moment, please.
What are trying to do?
Involve that kid?
Colonel, I was not.
- I was explaining...
- Don't lie to me, I saw you.
You tried to get him,
to take you across the border.
I was not.
He's only a kid, for christ sakes.
The only place he is going to take you,
is to a Senior Prom.
I do not know
what I am doing, anymore.
No, I think you don't.
Why do you not help me?
You're always looking
for some battlefield.
Why do you not fight
on what could save a life?
I do not want to.
But, I must.
Because, I want to see my daughter.
There's nothing I can do.
How much for that room?
Good evening.
Good evening.
You've been making such a habit
of coming to me.
I thought it was my turn,
to return the compliment.
And meet this fine example
of the American fighting forces.
As a witness to this encounter.
You see, I have made a study of
your Commander's career.
And believe me,
there are no surprises.
Your commanding officer,
is a joke.
There's a name for him
at the divisional headquarters.
His wife has a name for him, too.
I think that's just about enough.
When I'm done, Colonel,
then, it's enough.
This is the Colonel's,
Czechoslovakian whore.
She's looks good for the part,
don't you think.
You really should look for
more honest work.
Why don't you clean the spot
off my boot.
Clean it!
Until you can see
your face on them!
What's it like with him?
Was it sad?
Very pathetic.
Now, listen to me, Colonel.
If you come over the border,
one more time...
you're never going to get back.
Because, I.. personally,
will kill you.
What happened?
Well, we searched the room again.
The same old story.
We only found uh.. personal effects
with some ..............
As a matter of fact, we found
out hardly anything at all.
What the hell is
wrong with you, Hector?
I was just afraid, right when
the guy pointed a gun at my head.
If you had a little bit of confidence,
you gotta be alright.
Sergeant, this way.
- Yes, sir.
contact Division, I need
transportation to Stuttgart, immediately.
- Did they find his Porsche, sir?
- No, but we will.
We did find out alot about his life,
back at his quarters.
Sergeant, full up.
- Yes, sir.
This is the church.
You'll be safe here.
I'll be fine.
Nobody uses it anymore.
I'll just stay indoors
and sing a few hymns.
I won't be long.
My little girl is at school,
which is not far.
Stay right on the main road,
by the town hall,
just past the collections.
I understand.
I'll see you then.
I'll be here.
About time.
Well, it's all over
for him then, isn't it?
You know...
one time in Vietnam...
we were fighting in the highlands
out of Ban Me Thout...
when Jack was wounded.
I went out to see
how he was doing.
And on his pillow, was a medal.
Son of a gun, I said, he won an award
as the Distinguished Service Cross.
and he opened his eyes
the first time in days and he said...
I don't give a god damn
what kind of medal, he said.
just so long as I don't die in a shirt
with one of those...
little alligators on the front.
Well, Clark,
you take over his command.
at least, until we get this
shit straightened out.
Recommendation, full Colonel.
Thank you, sir.
You brought me
one hell of a day, Clark.
Can't wait for the sun to go down.
And painful, as it is to conflict
we're expected to do something
to save the situation.
We get to act like
we never heard of him.
Just keep driving,
until we get across that border.
I could not...
Don't get upset with her.
She was just doing her job.
You're the one who blew it.
And you blew it back at the Inn,
when you called her...
my little Czechoslovakian whore.
She's a whore, alright.
But, how did you know,
where she was from?
That's the 5 km fence.
Why do you think
they're guarding it?
You will not cross it,
without my permission.
They will have your permission yet.
Colonel Clark,
sir, we got major movement
up on the Czech' border.
Are you positive, Corporal?
It's Knowles.
Son of a bitch!
Muster, the Alert Force.
- No point.
Do it, Sergeant Major.
They fought with everything, that day.
It was a survival,
unique for it's time.
With no regrets.
When they were out of ammunition,
they went for... anything,
they could get their hands on.
You know,
I remember the Commandant
of Cadets at West Point, telling me..
that Einstein, was onced asked,
what type of weapons,
would be used in World War III?
And he said...
I don't know.
But, the Fourth War,
will be fought with stones.