Tales from the Crypt (1989) s03e14 Episode Script


Firing squad present arms.
Hello, creeps.
I was just about to fire off tonight's dead-time story.
It's about a young soldier who doesn't want to be in the army anymore.
I can't imagine why not.
I mean, war's a great equal-opportunity destroyer.
Now, where was l? Oh, yes.
Ready maim and here's my favorite part fire! I call tonight's tale "Yellow.
" G Flank, hold your ground! Soldier, you seen the Lieutenant? Damn! Soldier where's the Lieutenant? Damn! You seen the Lieutenant? Back over there.
Damn! Goddamn! -Drink, Sergeant? -Lieutenant, our orders are to take that hill.
The charge is stalled.
What are you doing here, sir? What's that, Sgt.
Ripper? You'll have to speak up.
The Germans are shooting the crap out of us.
Or haven't you noticed? We should climb the hill! You want us to stop? No, I do not want the men to just stop.
The Huns have us zeroed in.
They're cutting us to ribbons.
I want you to order the men to retreat.
I can't do that, sir.
The General ordered us to take that hill.
I'm telling you to retreat.
Now do it! Our orders are to take the goddamn hill.
Damn the orders and damn the General! We're the ones being shot and killed out here! Come on, Sergeant.
Fire the flare.
Thank you, Sergeant.
Take care of the wounded! Looks like von Furstenberg is putting all his resources in his left flank, General.
Spotters are reporting patrols massing here, here, and here.
Of course, he may be stealing a page from your book, sir -and feigning an attack.
-No, that's not von Furstenberg's style.
If he's showing an attack there, that's where he intends to go.
The son of a bitch always does it eins, ewei, drei.
I don't know if we're going to be able to hold out, sir.
Already the Hun artillery positions are zeroing right in on our trenches.
Any word from the line yet? No, sir.
They should be reaching the top of Round Hill right about now.
You think von Furstenberg will buy what we're selling him? I hope so, Captain.
You see, if the Germans think we're going on the offensive they may hesitate just long enough for us to regroup.
Brilliant ploy, sir.
If we can stay on that hill.
What's the meaning of this? Begging the Captain's pardon, sir.
I thought the General should hear my report straightaway.
At ease, Sergeant.
Cigarette? Thank you, sir.
Well how'd it go? I'm afraid the counterattack up the hill failed, sir.
We never got there.
Never got there? No, sir.
We were forced to retreat.
-Retreat? -Who ordered a retreat? Well, Sergeant? Lt.
Kalthrob, sir.
Kalthrob? Are you saying my son ordered a retreat? Yes, sir.
My men, sir, what's left of them, are exhausted.
General, if this is the case -we may have to concede this battle.
-Concede? I have never given up my entire life.
Now, how would it look to the high command if we don't take that hill? Maybe we can try one more time.
Let's move B Company up here.
Get B Company on the line.
The line's dead, General.
Probably the Germans, sir.
They've been sending out patrols.
Probably cut the line.
Captain have the Lieutenant take the Sergeant a couple of wiremen find the break and fix it.
General, with respect I don't think it's a good idea to send your son on that mission.
And why is that? -He's a section lieutenant, isn't he? -I realize that, sir, but.
Sergeant, tell him.
Yes, sir.
The Lieutenant, as you know, is my superior officer, sir-- Get to the point, Sergeant.
Begging the General's pardon, sir, I don't know how to put this-- -Just spit it out, man! -He's yellow, sir.
Get him in here.
You wanted to see me? Have you forgotten how to report? I see.
Martin Kalthrob reporting as ordered, sir.
At ease.
Is it true what the men are saying about you? It depends, sir.
What are the men saying? They're saying, Lieutenant, that you're yellow.
That you're a coward.
The men can say what they like, sir.
I don't really give a damn.
-I give a damn.
-That is your prerogative, sir.
Is it true that you ordered Sgt.
Ripper to signal a retreat this afternoon? Yes, sir.
I saved the company.
If we had continued up that hill none of us would be alive now.
There's no way we could have reached the objective.
Lieutenant, the purpose of that attack was to pin the Germans down, while the rest of the division fell back.
Well, we fell back anyway.
What's the difference? What's the difference? The difference is a lot of my men died with bullets in their backs.
Would you have been happier if I'd been one of them? You know that isn't true.
I don't know.
But I do know I can't kill anyone and I certainly don't want to be killed.
But you've got a job to do.
Father I don't want to be in the army anymore.
I want a discharge.
-A discharge? -Yes, sir.
I can't do that! You can't do anything for me, can you? You never could.
Don't you understand? What you're asking would seriously undermine my command.
-What's that got to do with me? -I'll tell you what it's got to do with you.
First you're going to assemble a patrol and lead it to the German lines.
-But I just-- -Don't interrupt.
Second there's a break in that communication cable out there.
I want you to locate it and repair it.
What? Sir, with all due respect I will put together that patrol for you but I am not going out there.
I don't have to.
I'm an officer.
God damn it, it's because you're an officer that you must go! I can't! I won't.
Martin, listen to me.
I can't give you a discharge.
But if you do this for me if you lead this patrol I'll transfer you to the rear to get you off the front lines.
You're going to transfer me? If you do this one thing for me.
Any sign of Cpl.
Meade? Corporal, did you find the break in the line? Yes, sir.
About 100 yards out.
Just where that fence doglegs to the left.
Did you see any Germans? They're all over the goddamn place, Lieutenant.
You want my opinion? The Huns are up to something.
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the sons of bitches came at us tonight.
Good work, Corporal.
Good luck, sir.
Okay, men.
Let's move out.
We all right? Can you see the break? Over there where that sergeant is crucified on the wire.
Christ! The Germans have moved their lines forward.
What? How do you know? I can smell them.
Sergeant, I don't see the point of going on now.
I mean, the break is obviously too close to the German line.
I think we should go back.
It's only about 50 yards ahead, sir.
It's too close to the German lines, God damn it.
We're going back.
We got to do this.
You've got to do this.
We need you.
Listen why don't you stay here guard the rear, sir? Let the men and me go fix the cable.
Someone's got to cover us, all right? If you see any Huns, blow this.
Yeah, but this thing is gonna give away my position.
How long is this thing gonna take? Not more than a few minutes, sir, once we find the break.
Make it quick.
Blow the whistle.
I'll hear it.
Corporal how's that repair patrol coming? Don't know, sir.
Can't see a thing.
Let me have a look.
Come on, you guys.
No report from the patrol yet, huh? It's still dead, sir.
Hurry up, God damn it.
Hurry up.
Oh, my God! Lieutenant, what's going on? Come and get it! No! You were supposed to warn us.
Why didn't you blow the whistle? You were supposed to warn us.
Why didn't you warn us? Why? I can't see a bloody thing out there.
It sounded like a couple of German grenades going off -a shotgun blast, Mausers.
Don't shoot! It's Lieutenant.
-Lieutenant, what happened? -Germans everywhere! They ambushed us.
Ripper and the others, they're all dead.
Corporal, get a stretcher patrol together.
-Perhaps they're only wounded.
-Yes, sir.
No! They're dead, for Christ's sake! I saw them die.
The goddamn Germans.
They're everywhere! Where's the General? They were waiting for us.
The German patrol.
-lt was an ambush.
-Ambush, huh? Yes, sir.
I tried to save the men, sir.
I shot as many of those goddamn Germans as I could.
I just kept firing and firing.
I barely made it back here alive.
You did all you could, Lieutenant.
That's all I can ask.
Now do you know why I had to send you out there again? I couldn't let those men think you were a coward.
How could I ask of them what I couldn't ask of my own son? Now you've shown them what you're made of.
You've shown me.
Thank you, sir.
You're still gonna transfer me out of here, though, aren't you? Of course I will.
I always keep my word to my men.
And now, no one can ever call you a coward again.
I'm proud of you, son.
Easy, Sergeant.
What the hell is going on here? You yellow bastard.
Get the medics! -They're on their way, sir.
-No! You goddamn coward! -Ripper-- -No! He saw the German patrol come around behind us.
He could have warned us but he didn't! -He's yellow! -Martin -is this true? -No, sir.
Look, the Sergeant's obviously delirious.
He's a coward.
He gave the Germans his own men.
That is a goddamn lie, sir.
I told you, I shot the Germans.
You're a liar.
You left me there to die.
You yellow.
Medics, see to the Sergeant's remains.
Sir, I'm telling you the truth.
I killed those Germans.
Besides, it's his word against mine, right? The Lieutenant does have a point there, sir.
Is that the weapon you used to shoot the Germans? Yes, sir.
This weapon's never been fired.
Arrest this man.
-Please come with me, Lieutenant.
-I'm your son! -Escort him to the provost.
-You can't do this! -Captain -I'm your son! notify my officers to report to the church.
What are you doing? The court-martial of Lt.
Kalthrob will commence in one hour.
Captain, has the court reached a verdict? Yes, sir, we have.
The accused will rise.
The tribunal finds the accused Lt.
Martin Kalthrob guilty, as charged with dereliction of duty desertion under fire and cowardice in the face of the enemy.
According to the dictates of military law it is my duty as the commander of this division to inform you, Lt.
Kalthrob that you've been found guilty of the charges lodged against you.
The penalty for this crime is death by firing squad.
In light of our imminent pullback sentence will be carried out at sunrise.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Captain, select a firing squad of six men and have them report here at 0600.
Take away the prisoner's shoelaces.
I don't want him hanging himself.
You're a disgrace to your uniform.
I never wanted to wear it.
You wanted me to.
General, perhaps you should think about this.
Nothing to think about.
I mean, with respect, sir aren't you being a bit hasty? I won't have cowards in my army! Hello, Father.
What brings you down here? You don't mind me calling you Father, do you? Well, let's see.
You already got my shoelaces.
Milligan came and took away my belt.
I told him he was wasting his time.
I mean, I'm here because I'm afraid to die.
I don't think he saw the joke, Father.
Martin, this isn't easy for me.
It didn't look too terribly difficult condemning me to death.
The panel found you guilty.
I had no choice.
I had no choice.
All my life everything I've ever done was to make you happy.
To please you.
I wasted my whole life.
I went to military school I went to West Point and now this.
And all I ever wanted from you was just a little pat on the back.
That's all.
A pat on the back.
Is that all you ever wanted? It would have been a beginning.
Can I let you in on a little secret, General? You were not much of a father.
That makes us even, son.
-You weren't much of a lieutenant.
-Why? Because I'm afraid to die? Christ! Two hundred men leave the trenches and 30 of them, they come back arms missing, legs missing.
Anybody who goes out there and says they're not afraid are either a fool or a liar.
But you let fear get the better of you, and everybody knows it! That is what I'm really guilty of, isn't it, Father? Huh? That the whole world knows that the son of the great Gen.
Kalthrob is afraid to die! Well, I am afraid to die! Martin you're right.
I haven't been much of a father to you.
And I wasn't around most of the time.
And when I was young I never saw much of my father.
But that's the way it is in military families.
All I ever wanted from you, or for you was to see you follow the line.
I was wrong.
I see that now.
I was wrong to force you into that mold and I'm sorry.
Well, it's a little late for you to be thinking about that.
In about an hour, I'm going to die.
No it's not too late.
You're not going to die.
What? Do you think I'd kill my own son? Martin, listen to me.
There's always a blank in one of the rifles in the firing squad.
Leaves a question of doubt as to who fired the fatal shots.
And I'm the one who loads the rifles.
This time, I'll load them all with blanks.
When the squad fires, I want you to pretend you're dead.
The division will be moving out almost immediately.
I've already issued orders.
Now, listen to me.
I'll make up a pack for you.
New identity card, some money, rations.
I'll put it in the ditch where you fall.
As soon as the company moves out you take off.
Understand? You're really going to do that for me? Sure.
But there's one thing I want you to do.
Face that firing squad like a man.
I want you to show them that you have courage.
Show them that you're not afraid.
You can do that can't you, son? Yes, sir.
Port arms! Present arms! Looks like a nice day to die, Father.
Firing squad, two steps forward march! Left face! Forward march! Squad, halt! Right face! In the name of the American people, the American Expeditionary Force the 101st lnfantry Regiment having been found guilty of cowardice in the face of the enemy you are to be executed by rifle fire immediately in accordance with the judgment of the military court-martial.
-You want a cigarette? -No, thank you.
But I would like a drink.
May l? Very well.
Blindfold, Lieutenant? No.
Thank you, Captain.
Do you have anything to say before the sentence is carried out? Yes, I do.
Very well.
Carry on.
I tried but I'm not the man my father is.
I'm sorry and I apologize.
My fear of dying got in the way of my responsibility to my men and the obligations to my commanding officers.
I know now what Shakespeare meant: "Cowards die many times before their deaths "The valiant never taste of death but once" I'm ready.
Firing squad, post! Thank you, Father.
Ready! Aim! Fire! If you'll permit me, General -he died like a man.
My son is not yellow.
All right, Lieutenant! We got to move this company out now! On the double time! We do have a hill to take! I guess Martin finally learned his lesson.
No guts, no gory.
Well, got to go, kiddies.
It's time for my shots.
Fire! Yes.
Oh, yes.
Boy, I get a bang out of that! English
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