The Honourable Man Dad's Army


The Honourable Man

Classic wartime sitcom. Captain Mainwaring is annoyed when a death elevates Sergeant Wilson to the fringes of the aristocracy.


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Transcript


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# Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler,

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# If you think we're on the run?

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# We are the boys who will stop your little game,

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# We are the boys who will make you think again.

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# 'Cause who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler,

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# If you think old England's done?

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# Mr Brown goes off to town on the 8:21,

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# But he comes home each evening and he's ready with his gun.

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# So who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler,

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# If you think old England's done? #

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NOISY CHATTER

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Right. Can I call the meeting to order?

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We're here to discuss arrangements for the visit of this Russian chap to Walmington-on-Sea.

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As Town Clerk, it has fallen to my lot

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to find a suitable man to mastermind and co-ordinate our arrangements.

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Now, everyone I've spoken to is of the same opinion. There is one man and he's sitting here

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who is outstandingly suitable.

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I'll ask him, with your approval, I'm sure, to take the chair.

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Captain George Mainwaring.

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HEARTY APPLAUSE

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Ladies and gentlemen...

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Why should HE be Chairman!? Russians don't want officers, bank managers and all that snobbish rubbish!

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Well, from my enquiries it seemed Capt. Mainwaring was the best choice.

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We need an ordinary bloke, like a greengrocer.

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Do we KNOW a greengrocer?

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ME!

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If there's any dissent, I'll gladly stand down.

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I suggest you vacate the chair, I take the chair and we take a vote.

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Musical chairs (!)

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Right, all in favour of Captain Mainwaring?

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Against?

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..Carried.

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Captain Mainwaring will take the chair, which I shall now vacate. APPLAUSE

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-# La-di, la di, la... #

-All right!

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-Ladies and gentlemen...

-You said that already!

-Order, please!

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We are assembled here to honour the Russian worker Vladislov... Vla...Vlad... V...

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Well, his name is immaterial.

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What is important is that he is a Hero of the Soviet Union.

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That doesn't necessarily mean that he's brave. It means that his team have made 5,723 tanks.

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-He's been very busy.

-Precisely.

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Now, among other cities, he will be visiting Walmington-on-Sea and...

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-Awfully sorry I'm late.

-Come in. You know Mr Wilson, don't you? My Chief Clerk and Sergeant.

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-You said half-past.

-I said quarter-past! You don't listen.

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-Old Hodges tried to give Mainwaring the elbow.

-I'd have liked to have seen that.

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-As I was saying, what form should our welcome...?

-'Evening, everybody.

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Sorry I'm late. I've had one of those days.

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I've a batch of new sausage skins. They're a bit too diaphanous.

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Sit down, please, Mr Jones.

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The question is, what form should the welcome

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to Mr...er...er...er... to our Russian visitor take?

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I've given this careful thought

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and I am prepared to offer him

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a voucher worth £10 towards the cost of a funeral.

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Blimey, he'd have to peg out!

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That is a risk I've got to take.

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That's a good start, I'm sure, but what I had in mind was the broader aspect of welcome.

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Mr Chairman, I represent the WVS.

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I think we should not try to be all British and reserved. I think we should smile a lot.

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Y-e-s. Yes, that would be very nice.

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Personally, I'm not altogether sympathetic to Reds. Let's not go too far.

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There was a time I felt the same about Bolshies and the like.

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-But they ARE on our side.

-Why don't we give him the freedom of Walmington?

-Ah-ha!

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He could get into the pictures for nothing. He's only here a couple of hours!

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They could put on a Mickey Mouse.

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Will you excuse me a moment?

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Pike, you're not on this committee. You're here as a messenger.

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Only trying to be helpful.

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Another word and I'll make you go into that office and shut the door.

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-Sorry about that. Now, I think that was a very good suggestion of Sergeant Wilson's.

-Hear hear!

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What form should the freedom take?

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How about a parchment scroll, tied up with red ribbon?

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-I think I know where I can lay me hands on some.

-How about a key?

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-Better still.

-Cardboard or wood, easy. Brass, a bit of a problem.

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Right, let's have a wooden one.

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The Mayor can say a few words of welcome and I will hand over the key.

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-You got in there quick!

-All right!

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The band could play Russian music and I could dress up as a Cossack and do cobblers.

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..Do what!?

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Cobblers, sir. It's a highly difficult kicking and dancing step.

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Cossacks do a lot of it, sir.

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-I'll show you.

-There's no need...

-It's all right, it's quite easy.

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They crouch down and the music goes rum-ta-toom, HOI! HOI...!

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I shall have to practise, of course.

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-Sit down...

-OW! Where's me chair!?

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The Home Guard will parade. I don't suppose the wardens will want to.

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We will!

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Sergeant Wilson can demonstrate acrobatic motorcycle riding (!)

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We haven't managed to persuade Wilson to mount the platoon motorcycle.

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We need music. The band can play and the choir can sing "The Red Flag".

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My choir will not sing that! I quite agree, Vicar.

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You should hear what they sing behind the scout huts! Make your hair stand on end!

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Oh, sorry, Vicar.

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Can't they la-la it? That would be silly.

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Well, things seem to be taking shape.

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I shall co-ordinate all your ideas. I'm sure that, as usual, Walmington will rise to the occasion.

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-And bore everybody stiff.

-OUT!

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I'm sorry, Mr Livings. I cannot let you issue a cheque for £32.

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You've only 1/4d in your account!

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You'd better come in and see me. Thank you.

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-Ask Mr Wilson to come in, please.

-He's not back from lunch yet, sir.

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-He's not back from lunch!?

-No.

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-It's 2:20. Send him in immediately he arrives.

-Yes, sir. The 12 o'clock post just arrived.

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-Someone's playing a joke on Uncle Arthur "The Honourable A. Wilson."

-Let me see that.

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-"The Honourable A. Wilson. Private."

-But he's a sergeant!

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It's a private letter, stupid boy!

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-He knows I don't approve of private mail coming through the bank!

-KNOCK >

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Did I leave my bunji here?

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-Your what?

-That rubbing-out thing.

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-Come in, Wilson.

-I left it...

-Will you tell your friends to keep their jokes out of my bank?

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That wretched solicitor! I told him not to use the title on my letters!

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-What are you talking about...?

-Well, I suppose you were bound to find out.

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-I haven't finished talking to you!

-Oh, haven't you? I'm so sorry.

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-Are you saying this isn't a joke?

-It certainly isn't.

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You really ARE an Honourable...?

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Yes. Silly, isn't it?

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Leave the office, Pike.

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Perhaps you'd care to explain.

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Yes. You see, one of my uncles died so my side of the family moved up one place, so to speak.

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So I am now the Honourable.

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-Bless my soul!

-I don't see why it should make a difference to US.

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You bet your bottom dollar it won't!

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And where have you been for lunch!?

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I had a bite at the golf club.

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-The golf club!?

-Yes.

-Who took you!?

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-I'm a member.

-Since when!?

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When they heard about this title thing, they asked me to join.

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Oh...! I've been trying for YEARS to get in there!

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Yes, they're awfully particular.

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You don't even play!

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No, but I shall enjoy the food. They had smoked salmon today.

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Smoked salmon at the golf club!

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-Know what

-I

-had for lunch!?

-No.

-I had a snoek fishcake!

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The Honourable Arthur Wilson, eh?

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-Being a member of the aristocracy explains a lot about your character.

-Really?

-Oh, yes.

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-They're a muddle-headed, ambling lot.

-Surely not all of them...

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-Mum...! They phoned me! You're Honourable!

-Mavis...

-I KNEW you could do it!

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-Pike, how dare you use the bank's phone for improper use!?

-Sorry...

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-Will you wear one of those uniforms with velvet knee breeches?

-Mavis, don't fuss!

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-Kindly leave my office!

-I'm sorry,

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but I had to touch that NOBLE face!

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-Arthur...will it make a difference?

-Of course not. Now please go home.

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-Go on.

-Make a difference to WHAT?

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Sorry about that, sir.

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-Don't apologise. And you're right, it won't make any difference.

-No.

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I'm still the manager and you're still the Chief Clerk.

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-So go about your work.

-Certainly.

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Thank you.

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-What do you want, Pike?

-The Area Manager's on the phone.

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He's been hanging on while you were talking to Honourable Uncle Arthur.

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Hello. ..Yes, I'm sorry to have kept you waiting. I was in conference with my Chief Clerk.

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Yes, that's right, Wilson.

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Well, as a matter of fact it's the Honourable Arthur Wilson.

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Yes... Well, I pick my staff very carefully, you know.

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When I was a regular soldier, we had lots of Honourable officers. At least, they was called that.

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They used to stand there in a haughty manner.

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They was good at keeping stiff upper lips.

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One officer had his head blown off, but his upper lip was as stiff as cardboard.

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He still calls me Frank, just like he was an ordinary common person.

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It won't change him. He was a fool before and he's a fool now.

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I used to serve a few Honourables in the Army and Navy Stores.

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The only difference with them was you couldn't get the money.

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-Right, Corporal.

-Right, fall in! Look sharp about it.

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Permission to speak, sir?

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-Sir, would you settle a small technical discussion?

-What's that?

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Is it the Honourable Sergeant Wilson or Sergeant the Honourable Wilson?

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-I just want to be like an ordinary sergeant.

-I'm sure that would suit us ALL.

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Sir, may I ride the motorcycle instead of Uncle Sergeant the Honourable Arthur?

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-Certainly not!

-I don't mind giving up my turn, sir.

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Prefer a Rolls Royce, would you (?)

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YOU will ride that motorcycle!

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-Sir.

-Right!

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Now, I've been doing some research into the way the Russians show their appreciation.

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They don't, it seems, cheer as we do, but apparently they do applaud.

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So I think that's what we should do.

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Excuse me, sir. If we're to present and then start applauding, we'll have a lot of blue toes!

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-I hardly need to be told that.

-Why don't we GROUND arms, sir?

-I was just about to suggest that!

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Can we have a practise, then we can all get familiar?

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Good idea. Patrol, 'SHUN!

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Ground arms!

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ALL: One, two, three, UP!

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I was waiting for him!

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My knees have gone asphyxiated, sir.

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Applause for the Russian visitor.

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Stop... Stop it! Walker! This isn't a football match!

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Start again. Applause...begin.

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Oh, thank you very much, gentlemen. Can I have a word with you, Captain Mainwaring?

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-Certainly. Carry on, Wilson.

-Yes, right.

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-Good evening, SIR.

-Nice to see you.

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-Go through the whole manoeuvre three or four times.

-Yes, sir.

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-How can I help you, Mr Town Clerk?

-I hope you won't take this amiss.

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We feel that since Mr Wilson came into a title,

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and there aren't any other titled people in Walmington, well... we feel HE should present the key.

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Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no.

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I couldn't possibly allow that.

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-The Mayor hoped you wouldn't take it the wrong way.

-Tell the Mayor and his Corporation

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that I'm not taking it AT ALL!

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-This interview is at an end.

-If that's how you feel...

-I do!

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Damned impertinence!

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Ah, I've altered the drill a little bit.

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What do you think? Russians, welcome.

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All right!

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-That's enough. Wilson, when I want you to rewrite the drill book, I'll let you know.

-Sir...

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The part where I present the key...

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-PHONE RINGS

-Answer that, Pike.

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Captain, why are YOU presenting the key? I think the Honourable should do it.

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No, I don't agree...

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It's a good thing to have a change.

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Although Sergeant Wilson has three stripes on his Honourable arm,

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you've got three pips on your common shoulder.

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So, although you're more common than he is, you've got better insignia.

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And THAT is the status quo.

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Finished (?) Now listen to me. I...

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Excuse me, my lord.

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-Can the vicar have an audience?

-What's going on!?

0:19:550:19:59

I wondered if the Honourable Arthur would join the Church Council.

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-And would he approve a crest for his own private pew?

-I'm in the middle of a parade!

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It's the Civil Defence Authority. It's urgent.

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Take over, Corporal. Wilson, come with me. I don't trust you! I'll deal with YOU later.

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-It was awfully nice of you to ask, but it's rather awkward...

-Wilson!

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-Come with me!

-I...I'm coming.

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Get out of the way!

0:20:390:20:42

Mainwaring here.

0:20:430:20:45

-I represent the Breakaway Committee.

-Breakaway from WHAT?

-From YOU!

0:20:450:20:52

We want the Honourable Arthur to present that key!

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Hold on a minute... Wilson, tell this man once and for all you are not presenting the key!

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-Aren't I?

-Tell him!

-Right... I am NOT presenting the key.

0:21:080:21:14

Good day, Hodges! You've engineered all this, haven't you!

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I wish it had never happened!

0:21:210:21:24

I didn't ask to join the golf club. I'm now getting begging letters.

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Mrs Pike wants me to buy a pipe, a tweed hat and a Labrador! Life isn't worth living!

0:21:300:21:37

Don't give me all that soft soap! You're revelling in it!

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If I had a title I'd be on the board, not managing some tinpot branch with a crackpot clerk!

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-Remember Jones' words!

-Which particular words?

0:21:520:21:57

I've got three of THESE and you've got three of THOSE!

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I'M going to present that key and YOU'LL ride that motorbike!

0:22:040:22:10

And I'll tell you when you can smoke!

0:22:100:22:15

There you are, with nearly a full tank.

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-If he falls off and breaks his leg, can I have it for a bit?

-Be quiet!

0:22:230:22:28

-Where is he?

-Getting ready.

0:22:280:22:31

Blimey, Amy Johnson!

0:22:350:22:38

Right, get him on.

0:22:380:22:40

-You've time for an hour's spin before the ceremony.

-Wouldn't ten minutes be enough?

0:22:400:22:48

Just get on with it.

0:22:480:22:51

-ENGINE FAILS

-Do it again.

0:22:530:22:56

ENGINE STARTS

0:22:560:22:59

Squeeze the clutch with your left hand,

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kick the gear with your right foot,

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then rev up with your right hand by doing this sort of motion THRUM-THRUM, THRUM-THRUM.

0:23:060:23:14

Then release the clutch as if you was unsqueezing a lemon.

0:23:140:23:19

-Sir, should I follow on a bicycle with this?

-No, it's time he learned to fend for himself.

0:23:270:23:34

You silly man!

0:23:400:23:42

WARDEN BARKS INSTRUCTIONS

0:24:110:24:16

-If you've killed Uncle Arthur, Mum'll never forgive you.

-Silence!

-It's not like him not to phone.

0:24:160:24:24

-Everything ready?

-Of course. It will all go like clockwork.

0:24:240:24:30

-I hope I didn't offend you by suggesting the Honourable Arthur do this?

-I'm not a vindictive man.

0:24:300:24:38

-Where is Wilson?

-He hasn't finished his motorcycle training yet. He's not 100 per cent reliable.

0:24:380:24:45

-Who'll command the platoon while you perform the ceremony?

-Corporal Jones.

-Will he be all right?

-Oh, yes, yes.

0:24:450:24:53

That looks like the staff car now. >

0:24:530:24:56

STAND BY!

0:24:560:24:59

BAND PLAYS "THE RED FLAG"

0:24:590:25:03

WORDS INAUDIBLE

0:25:040:25:08

Wait till the car door opens.

0:25:080:25:11

PLATOON, 'SHUN!

0:25:130:25:18

Nurses, 'SHUN!

0:25:190:25:22

GROUND ARMS!

0:25:220:25:25

One, two, three, UP!

0:25:250:25:27

Clapping the Russian visitors, BEGIN!

0:25:360:25:40

"THE RED FLAG"

0:25:450:25:49

Not you!

0:26:160:26:18

All right! I say! That's enough! ..Thank you.

0:26:230:26:29

Pray silence for His Worship the Mayor of Walmington-on-Sea.

0:26:330:26:38

He's promised to be brief.

0:26:390:26:42

Mr Vladislovski, on behalf of Walmington-on-Sea, welcome.

0:26:420:26:48

He's kept his promise.

0:26:490:26:52

TRANSLATION INTO RUSSIAN

0:26:520:26:57

Mr Vladislovski, you and I are comrades in the common struggle,

0:26:590:27:06

even though we live poles apart.

0:27:060:27:09

He had to mention the Poles (!)

0:27:090:27:12

-We welcome you...

-TRANSLATION...

0:27:120:27:17

Just...just a moment, please!

0:27:170:27:20

We are proud to give you this key,

0:27:220:27:25

which symbolises the freedom of Walmington-on-Sea.

0:27:250:27:30

TRANSLATION

0:27:300:27:33

SHE TRANSLATES HIS SPEECH: I represent the workers of the Soviet Union.

0:27:330:27:41

Hear hear!

0:27:410:27:43

You who are sitting here are not workers. You have soft faces.

0:27:460:27:53

Your hands are soft. You are bourgeois middle class.

0:27:550:28:01

Damned cheek!

0:28:010:28:05

You are giving me honours.

0:28:060:28:09

Honour your own workers!

0:28:150:28:19

I say...! You don't understand...!

0:28:210:28:26

Play!

0:28:260:28:28

BAND PLAYS "THE RED FLAG"

0:28:300:28:34

SPEAKS FONDLY IN RUSSIAN

0:28:360:28:40

Here is a man in the uniform not of an imperialist, but of a worker!

0:28:400:28:46

I'm so sorry I'm late, sir.

0:28:460:28:49

He has the dirt of a worker on his hands, the sweat of a worker on his brow.

0:28:500:28:57

HE shall have your honour!

0:28:570:29:00

Thank you! Very kind of you, sir.

0:29:030:29:06

SHUT UP!!

0:29:120:29:15

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0:29:570:30:00

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