Wartime sitcom. An enemy aircraft crash-lands in the local reservoir, testing Captain Mainwaring's communication system.
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# Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler, If you think we're on the run?
# We are the boys who will stop your little game,
# We are the boys who will make you think again,
# 'Cause who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler, If you think old England's done?
# Mr Brown goes off to town on the 8.21,
# But he comes home each evening And he's ready with his gun,
# So who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler, If you think old England's done? #
# Britain is in danger And the enemy has sworn to take our land,
# But when Britons know their country is in danger... #
-Fall the men in!
Platoon, fall in!
-Very sloppy, indeed.
-Take that man's name.
All right, sir.
-Fall the men in.
All right, sir. Platoon, fall in!
Right, platoon. Atten-shun!
-Very sloppy, indeed.
-Take that man's name!
-Fall the men in.
Right. Platoon, fall in.
-Very sloppy, indeed.
-Take that man's name.
-Right, sir. William Potter, died 1910, sir.
-Fall the men in.
Right, sir. Platoon, fall in!
A first-class exercise in camouflage.
Today's lecture is on communication.
In an invasion, enemy paratroopers will try to capture these points.
The gasometer here, the railway bridge, the telephone exchange and the water reservoir there.
Without those, the town would be crippled - no gas, no trains, no telephones and no water.
-Now, very few of us can survive for long without water to drink.
-I've managed it for years!
In short, these are all vital, so the object of our exercise is...
To prevent the enemy taking control of our vital parts!
Yes...I suppose you could put it that way.
We shall station two men at each of these strategic points.
In the event of an attack, one man phones me here at the Church Hall.
If one man is phoning you, what happens to the man who is left behind?
-He'll be rushing the other way!
-Walker, Walker, this is not a matter for levity.
The other man will pin the enemy down with constant, withering fire.
That might be difficult, sir. We've only got 5 rounds each.
We'll have to make each shot tell, won't we?
I have pinpointed the nearest telephone box to each point.
100 yards from the railway bridge, 50 yards from the gasometer and one at the reservoir gates.
Our problem is the telephone exchange. The nearest one to that is over half a mile away.
-Inevitably, there will be a delay.
-Maybe we could use a telephone in the exchange.
-It would save time.
-Well done, Wilson (!)
When I get the call, I will come with a swift, mobile attacking unit.
See that your bicycles are in good working order.
What happens if the phone box is out of action?
We'll just have to improvise. Anyone got any suggestions?
-Wilson, write this down.
-Permission to speak, sir?
Why not climb the gasometer and heliograph down to the Church Hall?
That's a long way to heliograph!
-I don't quite follow you, Jones.
-You get the rays of the sun on a mirror. We did it in India.
-We were fighting the Pathans. They had knives and they'd stick...
-Yes, yes, all right. Thank you.
-We could heliograph.
-You can't see the gasometer from the Church Hall.
-Couldn't one of us be on top of the church tower?
-Good. That's very good. Make a note.
There is one snag. All these points are facing in different directions. You might be looking the wrong way.
-You might be walking around.
-What have we got so far?
-Jones is on top of the gasworks flashing his...heliograph.
There's a man on top of the tower just...walking around!
-I'm not too happy about Jones' heliograph. It might be raining.
-What about tick-tack?
Like at the racecourse when they signal the odds. All you need is white gloves.
I have a rather nice pair of white evening gloves I could let you have.
I used to wear them at the Civil Service Stores staff party.
People don't bother now, but a gentleman is never properly dressed without his gloves.
-Shoot a hole in the gasometer and set it on fire. It'd show for miles!
-You're into the realms of fantasy.
That's nice, innit (?)
All right, Jones. Just...
To signal from the bridge, tap the railway line.
You'll hear it for furlongs if your ear is on the line.
But a train may hit you! You'd hear it coming!
-ARGUMENT BREAKS OUT
-Settle down now.
At least it's a lively discussion.
Just assume the phones are working.
Sir, I can't use public phones. Mum says they're unhygienic. You can catch things.
-Hold it away from your face.
-I tried that once. I couldn't hear.
-How do you make calls?
-Uncle Arthur lets me use the one at the bank.
-Not often. Only when I phone my auntie in Scotland.
-I'll speak to you later, Wilson.
I'm no good with them, either. I always get so muddled up. I'm quite hopeless at machines.
Yes...(!) Well, I'll have to show you how to use a telephone box.
-It's for the benefit of those who don't know. Pay attention.
You can get mastiffs in your ear!
I think we'd better do it by numbers.
On the command, one, you pick up the receiver.
-On two, put the coins in the box. Ching, ching.
-Ching, ching... What's this ching, ching thing?
The coins dropping into the box! Don't be put off by this noise.
The operator will say, "Number, please?" and you give this number.
-Yes, I know the number!
Then the operator will say, "I'm connecting you" and when I answer, press button A. Clear?
-Right, let's have a go. You be the operator, Wilson.
-Pick up. Two...
-ALL: Ching, ching, ching, ching.
-Come on, Wilson!
-Oh, number, please?
ALL: Warmington-on-Sea 333.
-Get on with it, Wilson!
-I'm connecting you!
-Sorry. I'm connecting you.
You can't put tuppence in until the operator says so. You put the pennies in first!
We'll do it under combat conditions. We'll assemble at the telephone box outside the gates of the reservoir.
Fall the men in.
Fall out and get your equipment.
# It's grand to know the thumbs are up in England,
# The sign that shows that everything's okay... #
Sgt Wilson, Corporal Jones, come with me at once.
How dare you swim in there! Do you realise we drink that water?
We're not doing any harm. Why can't we swim in it?
Clear off at once.
Do what the soldiers say. Soldiers(?) Jones the butcher and frosty-face from the bank!
Clear off! Platoon, fall out.
Take this boy's name, Sergeant.
Left, right, left... Mark time in front. Platoon, halt!
Now, we're going into the telephone box two at a time.
Er, Pike and Godfrey first.
-Form the rest of the men up in a queue.
-Come along, Pike and Godfrey.
-Form a queue outside!
Right, you go in first, Pike.
Take the receiver in your left... Pike, I can't talk to your back, boy. Turn round.
-I'm sorry, sir. I can't.
-We'll go out and start again.
Right, Godfrey, you go first.
Now, take the receiver in the left hand... Godfrey!
Godfrey, will you take your arm from my throat?
-It's the way I came in.
-Well, go out and start again!
Take the receiver in the left... Look, it's no use. I'll have to take you one at a time.
Go out, Godfrey.
Now then, Pike, where...?
Right, now, take these two pennies, lift the receiver with your left hand...
Get it up to your ear, boy! It won't harm you.
Now, I want you to phone me at the Church Hall. There will be no answer, because I'm not there.
So you can press button B and get your money back. Ready?
Just a moment.
-Tell that boy to go away.
If you have to do that, would you do it somewhere else?
Put the pennies in.
Oh, just like you said, sir. It went ching, ching!
-'Number, please?' Warmington-on-Sea...? I've forgotten it!
-You stupid boy!
It's Warmington-on-Sea... Just a moment.
-Just checking on the number.
-Oh, yes? 333, sir.
Warmington-on-Sea 333, please. 'I'm trying to connect you.' Thank you.
Now, just let it ring for a bit, then press button B.
-Why did you press button A ?
-Well, somebody answered.
-Where are you, Frank?
-In a phone box at the waterworks.
-I told you never to use them!
-Mr Mainwaring made me!
-I'll have a few words to say to him.
-He's here now.
-Put him on.
-My mum wants to speak to you, sir.
-What are you doing in my office?
-I brought Frank's clean scarf down and I heard the phone ring.
-Why is he using a public telephone? He's never...
Wilson! Come and sort this out. It's Mrs Pike on the telephone.
-Come on, boy!
-Frank, come along.
-Oh, it's you, Arthur. I thought you'd have known better.
-It's not my fault...
-You mollycoddle him far too much.
-Capt Mainwaring agrees.
-You're being rather silly.
-Silly, am I?
-Am I only here to administer to your little comforts?
-You think I'll come running.
-I've never asked you to run, Mavis.
You take me for granted, Arthur. I won't stand for it any longer!
Please... She's hung up. What will I do?
I don't know! I can't sort your domestic squabbles out!
Will the next one kindly come in?
Of all the absurd ideas! Showing us how to use a telephone box (!)
It's a good job we didn't have any telephones in the Sudan.
The fuzzy-wuzzies would have come and cut it off!
If it wasn't for that stupid boy, Pike, and that old fool, Godfrey, we wouldn't be stuck here!
-What are you queuing up for?
-We're waiting to make phone calls!
-What did he say?
-They're queuing for phone calls.
- What are they waiting for? - Phone calls!
Taffy, you take my place.
-Why are you queuing for phone calls?
-Haven't you heard? They're going on ration tomorrow.
-Hear that? They're going to ration phone calls.
-They're going to ration phone calls!
-Make as many as you can. After today, you'll only get one a month.
We'll only be allowed one a month!
Good job we joined the queue!
-I'll stand guard outside and you make as many as you like. A tanner a time.
-That's ever so kind of you.
-I'll take the bookings now.
-Here's half a crown. I'll have five.
-I'll have ten.
I'll have twenty. I'm not surprised!
-I'll have some more.
-I'll have another three.
PLANES FLYING OVERHEAD
What's the matter? It's your turn on watch.
There'll be a heavy raid on London tonight. Listen to all those planes.
Let's hope a few less of them come back!
Joe! Look! There's one come down in the reservoir!
One of us has to phone the Captain and the other must keep up a constant, withering fire.
Take my five rounds. Have you got change for the phone? Never mind. I'll reverse the charges!
-Well done, Fraser. What's happened?
-Nothing, sir. I'm keeping it under observation.
-It's a Dornier.
-You can tell by the outline.
-Right, Wilson. We all know you came top in aircraft recognition.
-I was top! He was second.
-All right. Where's Walker?
-He went to phone you.
-That was half an hour ago.
-I expect he's run off.
That's cowardice. You'll have to tie him to the wheel of a gun carriage!
We don't have a gun carriage!
-We'll have to improvise!
-Quiet! Why hasn't the plane sunk?
The reservoir is half-empty. The plane is sitting on the bottom.
-When the reservoir is full, it's 16 feet.
I'm not interested in details of the waterworks.
-Excuse me, sir.
-Do you think I might...?
-Oh, yes, go on.
No sign of anybody in the plane. Perhaps they parachuted out.
Permission to speak, sir. Why don't you call them to surrender?
If they do not answer, you will be cognisant of the fact that they are not there.
-What's the German for surrender?
-I don't know, sir. If they want your hands up, they shout, "Handy hock!"
Yes. You've told us that before. It's worth a go, I suppose.
-Handy hock! Handy hock!
-HIS VOICE ECHOES
-It's too dark. They wouldn't see us. Anybody wearing a white shirt?
-Take that scarf off.
-I'll catch me death!
-My mum'll be furious! And she's not forgiven you, Uncle Arthur.
-All right, Frank.
I want you to wave this, Corporal, and we'll all shout in unison. Right, come on.
ALL: Handy hock! GUNFIRE
-Permission to speak, sir?
-There IS someone on the plane.
-Let me have a pot at them, sir!
-No! Take them alive.
-I've never heard you swear before.
-I've never felt like this before. Damn foreigners!
They come over here and then have the cheek to fire at us!
-Time they were taught a lesson.
-They're up against us this time. People with guts.
-Go and phone GHQ for help at once.
-Wait, you don't know the number.
-It's Warmington-on-Sea 333.
-Don't be silly! That's the Church Hall !
-Here you are - 166.
-Commit that to memory and after you've used the phone, destroy it.
-Memorise and destroy the phone.
-The paper! Destroy the paper!
-Spread out, men.
-Keep well down.
He was a Free French pilot? What did you say?
I said, "Free French maybe, but it's still one and nine to see the film!"
-Doreen, cash up now. Don't forget to put down all the servicemen who got in half-price.
How many have we got tonight?
2 sailors and 12 soldiers, plus that nice Major that comes in. PHONE RINGS
Oh, yes. Major Brookes.
Major Brookes? Can you help me?
-Certainly, sir. Tonight "One Of Our Aircraft Is Missing".
-I thought it was one of theirs?
-It went out five minutes ago.
-Well, it's come down now.
It doesn't come down till 10.30. You can just catch it. Eric Portman and Googie Withers are in it.
Are they? Why are they shooting at us?
-They're not still shooting it. It's finished.
-It isn't. Listen.
-It's one of them!
-How about that?
You put that phone down or I'll send a policeman round!
Major Brookes? Don't go!
Drat! I've run out of pennies!
"In case of emergency, lift receiver and press button."
Emergency. What service would you like? Fire, police or ambulance?
An enemy plane has gone down in the reservoir! I want General HQ Headquarters!
I'm sorry. I can only get you fire, police or ambulance.
-Is the plane on fire?
-You won't want the fire service.
-What about ambulance? Anybody hurt?
-No, nobody hurt. No.
GUNFIRE Well, they might be now.
I don't think they'll send an ambulance just on the off-chance.
-Is it causing an obstruction?
-Well, what's it doing, then?
-It's shooting at us!
Oh, I'm ever so sorry.
I wish I could help you, but I only deal with emergencies. Ta-ta.
No, no, come back. Put that light out! >
Who's that? Oh, it's you!
There's planes overhead! They're down here, too!
What? One crashed in the reservoir! Do something about it!
Why are you hiding here? Hiding!? I'm trying to get GHQ Area Command!
Shove over! I'll get it. I'll think of something.
-Where are they?
-They must have been held up.
-I don't know how we'll get them to surrender.
-I'm from GHQ. Lieutenant Hope Bruce, Coldstream Guards.
-Captain Mainwaring, Home Guard.
-How do you do?
-Are they still shooting?
-Yes. They've been at it for an hour.
Are we in position? Yes, they're surrounded.
-Get your men back, Mainwaring. This is a job for the Regular Army.
-We managed pretty well up to now.
They haven't surrendered yet!
-Why haven't they sunk?
-The reservoir is half-empty. They're just sitting on the bottom.
I can see that, Sergeant! I'm not a complete fool !
We'll just have to lob a few mortar bombs on board. Right, sir.
-You can't do that!
-You'll crack the bottom of the reservoir!
-I don't want your opinion.
Sergeant! Cancel the mortar bombs.
-Where were you?
-Seeing the bloke in charge of the reservoir. It cost me five bob, but he's done it.
Opened the sluices. In two hours' time they'll have to swim for it!
-Or sit on the aerial !
Mainwaring, we're going to sit here and starve them out.
-Hardly necessary. I expect them to surrender in two hours' time.
The fact is, they do not like it up them. They can't stand it, you see.
I think we can leave the mopping up to the Coldstream Guards!
Subtitles by BBC - 1992