Classic wartime sitcom. Captain Mainwaring is annoyed when a death elevates Sergeant Wilson to the fringes of the aristocracy.
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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? #
Right. Can I call the meeting to order?
We're here to discuss arrangements for the visit of this Russian chap to Walmington-on-Sea.
As Town Clerk, it has fallen to my lot
to find a suitable man to mastermind and co-ordinate our arrangements.
Now, everyone I've spoken to is of the same opinion. There is one man and he's sitting here
who is outstandingly suitable.
I'll ask him, with your approval, I'm sure, to take the chair.
Captain George Mainwaring.
Ladies and gentlemen...
Why should HE be Chairman!? Russians don't want officers, bank managers and all that snobbish rubbish!
Well, from my enquiries it seemed Capt. Mainwaring was the best choice.
We need an ordinary bloke, like a greengrocer.
Do we KNOW a greengrocer?
If there's any dissent, I'll gladly stand down.
I suggest you vacate the chair, I take the chair and we take a vote.
Musical chairs (!)
Right, all in favour of Captain Mainwaring?
Captain Mainwaring will take the chair, which I shall now vacate. APPLAUSE
-# La-di, la di, la... #
-Ladies and gentlemen...
-You said that already!
We are assembled here to honour the Russian worker Vladislov... Vla...Vlad... V...
Well, his name is immaterial.
What is important is that he is a Hero of the Soviet Union.
That doesn't necessarily mean that he's brave. It means that his team have made 5,723 tanks.
-He's been very busy.
Now, among other cities, he will be visiting Walmington-on-Sea and...
-Awfully sorry I'm late.
-Come in. You know Mr Wilson, don't you? My Chief Clerk and Sergeant.
-You said half-past.
-I said quarter-past! You don't listen.
-Old Hodges tried to give Mainwaring the elbow.
-I'd have liked to have seen that.
-As I was saying, what form should our welcome...?
Sorry I'm late. I've had one of those days.
I've a batch of new sausage skins. They're a bit too diaphanous.
Sit down, please, Mr Jones.
The question is, what form should the welcome
to Mr...er...er...er... to our Russian visitor take?
I've given this careful thought
and I am prepared to offer him
a voucher worth £10 towards the cost of a funeral.
Blimey, he'd have to peg out!
That is a risk I've got to take.
That's a good start, I'm sure, but what I had in mind was the broader aspect of welcome.
Mr Chairman, I represent the WVS.
I think we should not try to be all British and reserved. I think we should smile a lot.
Y-e-s. Yes, that would be very nice.
Personally, I'm not altogether sympathetic to Reds. Let's not go too far.
There was a time I felt the same about Bolshies and the like.
-But they ARE on our side.
-Why don't we give him the freedom of Walmington?
He could get into the pictures for nothing. He's only here a couple of hours!
They could put on a Mickey Mouse.
Will you excuse me a moment?
Pike, you're not on this committee. You're here as a messenger.
Only trying to be helpful.
Another word and I'll make you go into that office and shut the door.
-Sorry about that. Now, I think that was a very good suggestion of Sergeant Wilson's.
What form should the freedom take?
How about a parchment scroll, tied up with red ribbon?
-I think I know where I can lay me hands on some.
-How about a key?
-Cardboard or wood, easy. Brass, a bit of a problem.
Right, let's have a wooden one.
The Mayor can say a few words of welcome and I will hand over the key.
-You got in there quick!
The band could play Russian music and I could dress up as a Cossack and do cobblers.
Cobblers, sir. It's a highly difficult kicking and dancing step.
Cossacks do a lot of it, sir.
-I'll show you.
-There's no need...
-It's all right, it's quite easy.
They crouch down and the music goes rum-ta-toom, HOI! HOI...!
I shall have to practise, of course.
-OW! Where's me chair!?
The Home Guard will parade. I don't suppose the wardens will want to.
Sergeant Wilson can demonstrate acrobatic motorcycle riding (!)
We haven't managed to persuade Wilson to mount the platoon motorcycle.
We need music. The band can play and the choir can sing "The Red Flag".
My choir will not sing that! I quite agree, Vicar.
You should hear what they sing behind the scout huts! Make your hair stand on end!
Oh, sorry, Vicar.
Can't they la-la it? That would be silly.
Well, things seem to be taking shape.
I shall co-ordinate all your ideas. I'm sure that, as usual, Walmington will rise to the occasion.
-And bore everybody stiff.
I'm sorry, Mr Livings. I cannot let you issue a cheque for £32.
You've only 1/4d in your account!
You'd better come in and see me. Thank you.
-Ask Mr Wilson to come in, please.
-He's not back from lunch yet, sir.
-He's not back from lunch!?
-It's 2:20. Send him in immediately he arrives.
-Yes, sir. The 12 o'clock post just arrived.
-Someone's playing a joke on Uncle Arthur "The Honourable A. Wilson."
-Let me see that.
-"The Honourable A. Wilson. Private."
-But he's a sergeant!
It's a private letter, stupid boy!
-He knows I don't approve of private mail coming through the bank!
Did I leave my bunji here?
-That rubbing-out thing.
-Come in, Wilson.
-I left it...
-Will you tell your friends to keep their jokes out of my bank?
That wretched solicitor! I told him not to use the title on my letters!
-What are you talking about...?
-Well, I suppose you were bound to find out.
-I haven't finished talking to you!
-Oh, haven't you? I'm so sorry.
-Are you saying this isn't a joke?
-It certainly isn't.
You really ARE an Honourable...?
Yes. Silly, isn't it?
Leave the office, Pike.
Perhaps you'd care to explain.
Yes. You see, one of my uncles died so my side of the family moved up one place, so to speak.
So I am now the Honourable.
-Bless my soul!
-I don't see why it should make a difference to US.
You bet your bottom dollar it won't!
And where have you been for lunch!?
I had a bite at the golf club.
-The golf club!?
-Who took you!?
-I'm a member.
When they heard about this title thing, they asked me to join.
Oh...! I've been trying for YEARS to get in there!
Yes, they're awfully particular.
You don't even play!
No, but I shall enjoy the food. They had smoked salmon today.
Smoked salmon at the golf club!
-had for lunch!?
-I had a snoek fishcake!
The Honourable Arthur Wilson, eh?
-Being a member of the aristocracy explains a lot about your character.
-They're a muddle-headed, ambling lot.
-Surely not all of them...
-Mum...! They phoned me! You're Honourable!
-I KNEW you could do it!
-Pike, how dare you use the bank's phone for improper use!?
-Will you wear one of those uniforms with velvet knee breeches?
-Mavis, don't fuss!
-Kindly leave my office!
but I had to touch that NOBLE face!
-Arthur...will it make a difference?
-Of course not. Now please go home.
-Make a difference to WHAT?
Sorry about that, sir.
-Don't apologise. And you're right, it won't make any difference.
I'm still the manager and you're still the Chief Clerk.
-So go about your work.
-What do you want, Pike?
-The Area Manager's on the phone.
He's been hanging on while you were talking to Honourable Uncle Arthur.
Hello. ..Yes, I'm sorry to have kept you waiting. I was in conference with my Chief Clerk.
Yes, that's right, Wilson.
Well, as a matter of fact it's the Honourable Arthur Wilson.
Yes... Well, I pick my staff very carefully, you know.
When I was a regular soldier, we had lots of Honourable officers. At least, they was called that.
They used to stand there in a haughty manner.
They was good at keeping stiff upper lips.
One officer had his head blown off, but his upper lip was as stiff as cardboard.
He still calls me Frank, just like he was an ordinary common person.
It won't change him. He was a fool before and he's a fool now.
I used to serve a few Honourables in the Army and Navy Stores.
The only difference with them was you couldn't get the money.
-Right, fall in! Look sharp about it.
Permission to speak, sir?
-Sir, would you settle a small technical discussion?
Is it the Honourable Sergeant Wilson or Sergeant the Honourable Wilson?
-I just want to be like an ordinary sergeant.
-I'm sure that would suit us ALL.
Sir, may I ride the motorcycle instead of Uncle Sergeant the Honourable Arthur?
-I don't mind giving up my turn, sir.
Prefer a Rolls Royce, would you (?)
YOU will ride that motorcycle!
Now, I've been doing some research into the way the Russians show their appreciation.
They don't, it seems, cheer as we do, but apparently they do applaud.
So I think that's what we should do.
Excuse me, sir. If we're to present and then start applauding, we'll have a lot of blue toes!
-I hardly need to be told that.
-Why don't we GROUND arms, sir?
-I was just about to suggest that!
Can we have a practise, then we can all get familiar?
Good idea. Patrol, 'SHUN!
ALL: One, two, three, UP!
I was waiting for him!
My knees have gone asphyxiated, sir.
Applause for the Russian visitor.
Stop... Stop it! Walker! This isn't a football match!
Start again. Applause...begin.
Oh, thank you very much, gentlemen. Can I have a word with you, Captain Mainwaring?
-Certainly. Carry on, Wilson.
-Good evening, SIR.
-Nice to see you.
-Go through the whole manoeuvre three or four times.
-How can I help you, Mr Town Clerk?
-I hope you won't take this amiss.
We feel that since Mr Wilson came into a title,
and there aren't any other titled people in Walmington, well... we feel HE should present the key.
Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no.
I couldn't possibly allow that.
-The Mayor hoped you wouldn't take it the wrong way.
-Tell the Mayor and his Corporation
that I'm not taking it AT ALL!
-This interview is at an end.
-If that's how you feel...
Ah, I've altered the drill a little bit.
What do you think? Russians, welcome.
-That's enough. Wilson, when I want you to rewrite the drill book, I'll let you know.
The part where I present the key...
-Answer that, Pike.
Captain, why are YOU presenting the key? I think the Honourable should do it.
No, I don't agree...
It's a good thing to have a change.
Although Sergeant Wilson has three stripes on his Honourable arm,
you've got three pips on your common shoulder.
So, although you're more common than he is, you've got better insignia.
And THAT is the status quo.
Finished (?) Now listen to me. I...
Excuse me, my lord.
-Can the vicar have an audience?
-What's going on!?
I wondered if the Honourable Arthur would join the Church Council.
-And would he approve a crest for his own private pew?
-I'm in the middle of a parade!
It's the Civil Defence Authority. It's urgent.
Take over, Corporal. Wilson, come with me. I don't trust you! I'll deal with YOU later.
-It was awfully nice of you to ask, but it's rather awkward...
-Come with me!
Get out of the way!
-I represent the Breakaway Committee.
-Breakaway from WHAT?
We want the Honourable Arthur to present that key!
Hold on a minute... Wilson, tell this man once and for all you are not presenting the key!
-Right... I am NOT presenting the key.
Good day, Hodges! You've engineered all this, haven't you!
I wish it had never happened!
I didn't ask to join the golf club. I'm now getting begging letters.
Mrs Pike wants me to buy a pipe, a tweed hat and a Labrador! Life isn't worth living!
Don't give me all that soft soap! You're revelling in it!
If I had a title I'd be on the board, not managing some tinpot branch with a crackpot clerk!
-Remember Jones' words!
-Which particular words?
I've got three of THESE and you've got three of THOSE!
I'M going to present that key and YOU'LL ride that motorbike!
And I'll tell you when you can smoke!
There you are, with nearly a full tank.
-If he falls off and breaks his leg, can I have it for a bit?
-Where is he?
Blimey, Amy Johnson!
Right, get him on.
-You've time for an hour's spin before the ceremony.
-Wouldn't ten minutes be enough?
Just get on with it.
-Do it again.
Squeeze the clutch with your left hand,
kick the gear with your right foot,
then rev up with your right hand by doing this sort of motion THRUM-THRUM, THRUM-THRUM.
Then release the clutch as if you was unsqueezing a lemon.
-Sir, should I follow on a bicycle with this?
-No, it's time he learned to fend for himself.
You silly man!
WARDEN BARKS INSTRUCTIONS
-If you've killed Uncle Arthur, Mum'll never forgive you.
-It's not like him not to phone.
-Of course. It will all go like clockwork.
-I hope I didn't offend you by suggesting the Honourable Arthur do this?
-I'm not a vindictive man.
-Where is Wilson?
-He hasn't finished his motorcycle training yet. He's not 100 per cent reliable.
-Who'll command the platoon while you perform the ceremony?
-Will he be all right?
-Oh, yes, yes.
That looks like the staff car now. >
BAND PLAYS "THE RED FLAG"
Wait till the car door opens.
One, two, three, UP!
Clapping the Russian visitors, BEGIN!
"THE RED FLAG"
All right! I say! That's enough! ..Thank you.
Pray silence for His Worship the Mayor of Walmington-on-Sea.
He's promised to be brief.
Mr Vladislovski, on behalf of Walmington-on-Sea, welcome.
He's kept his promise.
TRANSLATION INTO RUSSIAN
Mr Vladislovski, you and I are comrades in the common struggle,
even though we live poles apart.
He had to mention the Poles (!)
-We welcome you...
Just...just a moment, please!
We are proud to give you this key,
which symbolises the freedom of Walmington-on-Sea.
SHE TRANSLATES HIS SPEECH: I represent the workers of the Soviet Union.
You who are sitting here are not workers. You have soft faces.
Your hands are soft. You are bourgeois middle class.
You are giving me honours.
Honour your own workers!
I say...! You don't understand...!
BAND PLAYS "THE RED FLAG"
SPEAKS FONDLY IN RUSSIAN
Here is a man in the uniform not of an imperialist, but of a worker!
I'm so sorry I'm late, sir.
He has the dirt of a worker on his hands, the sweat of a worker on his brow.
HE shall have your honour!
Thank you! Very kind of you, sir.
Subtitles by BBC