A Man of Action Dad's Army


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A Man of Action

Classic wartime sitcom. Captain Mainwaring declares martial law when a bomb drops on the outskirts of Walmington-on-Sea.


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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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# Cos 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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I ain't half hungry, Mr Jones!

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You're always hungry! I'll finish this off and we'll report back.

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-They're nice pears, aren't they?

-Mm.

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Do you think we'll ever have bananas again?

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Of course, when the war's over.

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Mm.

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I used to love bananas and cream.

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I used to mash 'em all up lots of cream and sugar.

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I'd squeeze a mouthful through the gaps in my teeth.

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Do you like squeezing bananas through your teeth?

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No. I don't mind blancmange.

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Jelly?

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Jelly's all right. But not bananas, not with this upper set. It's too risky!

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And chocolate cream?

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Lovely!

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And talking of that, I'll tell you something

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reminds me of when I was in the Boer War.

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Christmas 1900 it was.

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Queen Victoria sent all of us lads a tin box with a slab of chocolate in it.

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I never touched that chocolate for 25 years. I kept it unopened for 25 years!

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Right through the Boer and the First World wars.

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When I went into hospital, I gave it to Charlie Higgins to look after.

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-You never ate it?

-I never touched it for 25 years!

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Then one day I said to myself, "I fancy a bit of chocolate!"

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I opened the tin. It was full of sand!

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Charlie Higgins had eaten it while I was in hospital!

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-But I got my revenge on him!

-What did you do?

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Every year, when we had the Old Comrades Association reunion,

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I used to look Charlie Higgins full in the face and sing...

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-#

-..Comrades, comrades, ever since we were boys

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-#

-Sharing each other's sorrow, sharing each other's...

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-#

-..CHOCOLATE!!

-#

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He used to go all red and look on the ground!

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Wasn't a great rhyme, but it did the trick!

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Talking about chocolate...when I was a kid, I was passing this spot with my mum and I asked for chocolate.

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She said no, so do you know what I did?

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I put me head through those gate bars and pretended I couldn't get it out!

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-What did your mum do?

-She said she was going to call the fire brigade!

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I took me head out and laughed!

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Then she hit me!

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Kids are always getting stuck in railings!

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All I did was ask for chocolate, she said no,

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so I went over to the gate and stuck me head through, that's all!

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It's time to get back, come on!

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Mr Jones!

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What's up?

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I'm stuck!

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There's no time to play funny jokes! They'll be wondering where we are.

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I'm not playing a funny joke! I can't get it out! Look, I can't get it out!

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Blimey!

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Ooh! Don't do that! Don't, please!

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I can't understand it, it came out all right last time!

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-How old were you last time?

-Twelve.

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Your head's grown since then.

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I didn't think heads grew! DON'T you're pulling my ears off! What are we going to do?

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Twist it round and try.

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-I can't!

-Go on, twist it!

-Watch the spike!

-Pull now! Pull, pull!

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-Not that way!

-Don't move the gate then! What are we going to do?

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Don't panic! Don't panic!

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Don't panic, I'll...

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..I'll, er...

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..I'll telephone that Mr Mainwaring on the telephone and, and...

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..whatever you do, don't go away.

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Don't move and don't panic!

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-I think you're making a big mistake, sir!

-Oh, you do?!

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You're asking for trouble. Why did you agree to it?

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I didn't want to offend. When that editor said he wanted to do a piece on us, I jumped at the chance.

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If the reporter is a temporary member of the platoon, he'll be with us all the time!

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That's my idea! If he's one of us, he can write the articles from first-hand knowledge.

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-Isn't that dangerous?

-How do you mean?

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If he's here all the time, how are you going to be able to cover up your, er...mistakes?!

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I'll pretend I didn't hear that remark!

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-KNOCK ON DOOR

-Come.

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-I've brought you some cocoas. They're hot.

-Thank you so much.

-Thank you, Frazer. Thank you.

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Your reporter fella's outside.

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Send him in.

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Captain Mainwaring, I may have said some harsh things in the past,

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but I'd like to say, here and now, I admire your courage!

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I don't quite understand, Frazer.

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You're a very brave man to let that reporter fella watch your every move!

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-You're either very brave, or else...

-Or what?!

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Nothing, sir. Nothing at all!

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I admire you.

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All the same, I cannae help thinking you're running a terrible risk, that's all!

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What do you think he meant by that?

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I've no idea.

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-KNOCK ON DOOR

-Come in.

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Mr Cheeseman, of the Eastbourne Gazette.

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STRONG WELSH ACCENT: Good day!

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Hello. All ready to start work?

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Yes, indeed!

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Good! You will be a temporary trainee recruit. Have you measured him for his uniform, Godfrey?

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No, we've only one spare suit!

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Oh!

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Well, measure him for that!

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I thought I'd call the first article, "Captain Mainwaring, Man Of Action!"

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Excellent title!

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Yes, it is, sir!

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It'll look awfully good in print!

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"Man Of Action?"

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No, there's no question mark after the title, Frazer.

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A photograph!

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Good idea! Would you like me sitting down, or standing up in a fashionable manner?

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YOU'RE not in this!

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-Right, sir.

-Officers only!

-Right.

-Should I be working at my desk?

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That's good!

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Should I wear the gloves or not, do you think?

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Won't it look strange, writing with gloves on?!

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This pen's no good, anyway! Lend me your gold pen.

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You know that I never ever lend my pen to anyone it hurts the nib!

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Not to use! I only want to hold it.

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Just keep the top on!

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How can I have a photograph taken, writing with a pen with the top on?!

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I think, perhaps, I should be on the telephone.

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Yes! Get on the phone, that's good!

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Is there no limit to his conceit? I think he looks noble!

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How's that?

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Oh, yes! Very Churchillian! Yes, indeed!

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Hello!

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Permission to speak, sir?

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Jones? Get off the telephone. I'm having my photograph taken!

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Is there something wrong?

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No! It's just a patrol phoning in. The whole thing works like a smooth, well-oiled machine!

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Ooh!

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Jones, give me your report.

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Pike's got his head caught in the park gates.

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I see.

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Did you hear me, sir? Pike's got his head caught in the park gates.

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Good, good! Excellent!

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Good...?! What's good about it?

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I don't understand! What shall I do, Mr Mainwaring?

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Can't you remove the obstacle?

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Well, I've tried pulling, sir, but it's his ears they're in the way!

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Anything wrong?

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No, nothing wrong at all. One of my patrols got hung up, that's all.

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Something is exposed which shouldn't be exposed.

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Well, well!

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It shouldn't be exposed, cover it up. Camouflage! I'll be along as soon as I can.

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What is it that's exposed?

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Don't ask questions like that in front of a civilian! I'm going to investigate.

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-I'll come too!

-No civilians I'm afraid.

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You see, the thing which is exposed which shouldn't be exposed is highly secret.

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I'm a member of the platoon now.

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-You're not a member until I've sworn you in.

-Swear me in now then!

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-No time for that! Stay here, I'll swear you in later.

-Righto, boy!

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What are you covering me up for, Mr Jones?

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It's got nothing to do with me! Mainwaring said you've got to be camouflaged! Hang on to that!

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-Oi, eh!

-What?

-Couldn't you find a bush with no prickles on it?!

-I'll go and find some.

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Where is he?

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I'm here...! I'm sorry!

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Stupid boy!

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-Why didn't you say that Frank had got stuck?

-In front of that reporter?!

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Why the camouflage?

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-AIR RAID WARNING

-Because we'd have been a laughing stock!

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GODFREY: There they are again!

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Right, get your tin helmets on, men!

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-What about me?

-We must take shelter.

-What about me?

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Be quiet, Pike! Put your helmet on.

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I could run back to the workshop and bring my hacksaw.

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That'll waste time. It'll take hours. Why not get the fire brigade?

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They've more important things to do. Anyway, I don't want people to know!

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I told you to put your helmet on!

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-It won't go through.

-Put it sideways!

-How can I see which is sideways?!

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Don't you use that tone of voice to me, Pike!

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Jones, help him with his helmet.

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Yes, sir.

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If we smeared Vaseline on his head, he might slip through.

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That's a very good idea! Wilson, Frazer...grease Pike's head.

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What are you fiddling about like that for?

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-Whenever I put his helmet on, it falls off!

-Give it to me!

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Hey, that's cold!

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All right! It's only Vaseline!

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Don't just dab at it, like some Nancy-boy! Smear it in!

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I am!

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-I'm going to tell my mum about this!

-Be quiet!

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Don't be soft!

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No! Eugh!

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Grab his legs and bring your full weight to bear.

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No, not your full weight!

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-Get what parts as you can.

-Right, sir.

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Ready...

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..PULL!

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Me ears!!

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It's no good.

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Don't give up! Try again...PULL!

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Ooh, no, no!

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-PULL!

-NO!!

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LOUD EXPLOSION

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That was too heavy for a bomb.

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Sounded like a land mine.

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I thought it was Pike's head exploding!

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FRAZER: We'll have to get this boy under cover, sir!

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Yes, I'm well aware of that, Frazer!

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Gather round me "O" group, here.

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We've got to get this boy out of the railings. Any suggestions?

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-Permission to speak, sir?

-Yes.

-Desperate times need desperate measures.

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-The only thing stopping us getting Pike's head out is his ears.

-Yes.

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So I suggest we remove them.

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What do you mean?

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Cut 'em off!

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Jones, for heaven's sake!

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We only need to cut one off.

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Don't talk rubbish! Pike can't go about without any ears!

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It's better than not having a head!

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Eh! Eh! You're talking about me, aren't you? What are you saying?

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Mind your own business!

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Eavesdropper!

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If we lifted the gate off the hinges, we might be able to march with it back to the church hall.

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Well done, Wilson! I was waiting to see who would spot that one first. Come on!

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Wh-what are you doing? What are you doing?

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Eh!

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My head!

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-When we lift, don't go up with it. Slide your head down the rails.

-You should have said!

-Lift!

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It's coming, sir, it's coming!

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-That's got it! Right...

-Be careful!

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Let's get back to the church hall as quick as we can and hope to goodness nobody sees us!

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By the left, quick march!

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Left, right! Left, right! Left, right!

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Right wheel!

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Right wheel!

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Left, right! Left, right! Keep in step, Pike!

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INAUDIBLE

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Left, right! Left, right!

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Left, right! Left, left!

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Left, right! Left!

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Down on your right.

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-Do not juggle the private!

-Don't juggle me!

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Stand easy. Right. Put it down gently there.

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God!

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-My arms have been dragged out of their sockets!

-What about my head?!

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-Stop grumbling!

-Yes, stop grumbling!

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We cannae stand here like this all night!

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-Permission to speak?

-Mm.

-Let's get two ropes and tie it to the beam.

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Good idea. Sponge, go and get two lengths of rope.

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Yes, sir.

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They did that in the Sudan hang prisoners up with nothing to drink!

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-I don't want that!

-You'll do as you're told!

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I could bring him water from time to time.

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Godfrey, don't put YOUR head through!

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Heavens, what on earth's going on in the office?!

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Yes, indeed! Yes, indeed!

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Oh, thank goodness you're here, Captain Mainwaring!

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-Who's this?

-Private Pike.

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How are you?

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Nice to meet you!

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Yes, indeed!

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Why is his head stuck in the gate?

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-It's highly secret!

-Well, you can tell ME!

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-I can't. I haven't sworn you in!

-Do it now, then!

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There's no time for that now! What's going on in there?

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-The chief warden is holding a meeting...

-How dare he?! Wilson! We'll soon sort this out!

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EXCITED TALK

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-­ Where have you been?

-How dare you hold a meeting in my office?!

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It's MY office!

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-­

-And MINE!

-And MINE, and I'M holding an emergency meeting!

-What emergency?

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You mean you haven't heard?!

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< Do you know these gentlemen?

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-Nice to see you! It was fun last night, wasn't it? Connie wears well, doesn't she?!

-Never mind Connie!

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-What's happening here?

-A land mine has landed on the railway line!

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­ It's destroyed 100 yards of track!

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Gas and water supplies have been cut off!

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If they drop fire bombs, that's it!

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-I'm getting on to GHQ.

-The telephone lines are down too!

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I've just heard no gas, no water, no telephones. The town's cut off! We're marooned, marooned!

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-What are we going to do?

-All right, Mr Town Clerk, don't panic!

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Somebody must do something!

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THEY ARGUE

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-Something's got to be done!

-It certainly has!

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-I shall have to take charge.

-I agree.

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-That's the sort of remark... what?!

-I quite agree.

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Without you in charge, God knows what will happen!

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-Thank you, Wilson!

-Not at all.

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Get Frazer, Jones and Godfrey in here, at the double. Rifles and bayonets.

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Frazer, Jones, Godfrey, at the double! Rifles and bayonets.

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There we are, sir. How was that?

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-I could hardly believe my ears! Is this really you?!

-Yes, sir!

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When the occasion demands, I can bawl and shout...just like you!

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Now, Vicar... Vicar, I'm very sorry to do this...

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-Jones.

-Sir.

-Frazer.

-Yes.

-Clear my desk!

-Clear the desk!

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How dare you threaten the vicar with a bayonet?!

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I'm threatening YOU too! Clear off!

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I think we'd better humour him! Captain Mainwaring has gone mad!

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Form a tight group behind me.

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In a tight group, behind the Captain, at the double!

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Are you all right, sir?

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Not as tight as that!

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THEY CHATTER

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Get their attention!

0:20:000:20:02

Come along, you hanged Sassenachs! Come along!

0:20:020:20:06

-All right!

-All right, Frazer, that's enough!

0:20:060:20:10

Captain Mainwaring would like to make an announcement.

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As from now, this town is under martial law.

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ALL: Martial law?! Meaning?

0:20:190:20:21

I'm in charge!

0:20:210:20:23

­ He's been leading up to this for years and now he's finally done it!

0:20:230:20:29

You won't get away with it, Napoleon!

0:20:290:20:32

Inspector, arrest that man!

0:20:320:20:34

Captain Mainwaring, you really can't do this, you know!

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If anyone should take charge, the police should! Anyway, where's your authority?

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There's my symbol of authority!

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And I have 15 fully-armed men behind me! What have you got?

0:20:500:20:54

Well, there's me and my sergeant, two constables...

0:20:540:20:58

Dick and George! Dick and George!

0:20:580:21:02

Captain Mainwaring man of action, I'm right behind you, boy! The power of the pest, remember!

0:21:020:21:10

Thank you, Mr Cheeseman!

0:21:100:21:12

-Sergeant Wilson, bring some paper and pencils.

-Right.

-The rest of you, follow me!

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Pay attention, everybody!

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This town is now under martial law.

0:21:220:21:25

Stop him, we can't let him take over the town! The man's a tyrant!

0:21:250:21:30

< Look how he punishes his men!

0:21:300:21:33

No, I'm not being punished!

0:21:330:21:35

Be quiet, Pike!

0:21:350:21:38

Now...Wilson, Jones, Frazer!

0:21:380:21:40

You will take these orders, then you will get on your bicycles

0:21:400:21:45

and shout these messages all round the town!

0:21:450:21:49

Wilson, start getting it down.

0:21:490:21:52

-This town is under martial law.

-"This town..."

0:21:520:21:55

-All looters will be shot on sight!

-"All looters..."

0:21:550:21:59

I demand that he is stopped! He's behaving like a dictator in some South American banana republic!

0:21:590:22:08

Does that mean we're going to have bananas again?

0:22:080:22:12

There's been damage to gas and water supplies, so there is a danger of cholera.

0:22:120:22:18

-Drinking water must be boiled.

-"Drinking water must be boiled."

0:22:180:22:23

-How can they boil it without gas?

-That's their business!

-"That's..."

-No, no!

0:22:230:22:30

-No baths without a permit.

-"No baths without a permit."

0:22:300:22:34

Jones, you're in charge of those permits.

0:22:340:22:38

-Captain...

-Be quiet, Godfrey!

0:22:380:22:40

-All rumour-mongerers will be imprisoned!

-"All..."

0:22:400:22:45

-All defeatists will be imprisoned!

-"All..."

0:22:450:22:48

-Anyone not obeying military law...

-"Anyone..."

-..will be imprisoned!

0:22:480:22:54

We've only got two cells!

0:22:540:22:56

I'm going to see the mayor about this!

0:22:560:23:00

-No more than five persons at any gathering!

-"Five persons at any..."

0:23:000:23:05

But I have ten in my congregation! Nine one's expecting her fifth.

0:23:050:23:11

He'll try and stop that an' all!

0:23:110:23:14

Take the warden's name!

0:23:140:23:17

Here's another one no alcohol to be sold without my permission.

0:23:170:23:22

Ah, no, no!

0:23:220:23:24

That is undemocratic!

0:23:240:23:27

-Frazer will be in charge of permits.

-I'm right behind you, Captain!

0:23:270:23:32

Now...when you have shouted these messages around, report back.

0:23:340:23:39

-My HQ will be in the town hall.

-Why the town hall?

0:23:390:23:43

Because he who holds the town hall, holds Walmington-on-Sea!

0:23:430:23:47

Right, come along men! We march on the town hall!

0:23:470:23:52

Left! Left! Left!

0:23:530:23:56

Left! Left!

0:23:560:23:59

Mr Godfrey, I don't know how much more I can take

0:24:020:24:06

hanging here with my head in a gate!

0:24:060:24:09

You must be brave, Frank, and hang on as long as you can!

0:24:090:24:13

Somebody had better do something soon!

0:24:130:24:17

Ever so soon!

0:24:170:24:19

I quite appreciate how you feel!

0:24:200:24:23

You have my most sincere sympathies!

0:24:230:24:26

No baths without a permit!

0:24:280:24:31

-No baths without a permit!

-Yes, all right, Jones, you can stop it now. We're here, you see!

0:24:310:24:38

I never knew you had such a loud voice!

0:24:380:24:41

Uncle Arthur! Have you thought how to get me out?

0:24:410:24:46

Frank, will you stop moaning! I promise you, I'm working on it!

0:24:460:24:51

Ooh, er...

0:24:520:24:53

..excuse me.

0:24:530:24:55

What are you doing out at this time, Mr Bluett?

0:24:550:24:59

Well, I was going to have a bath,

0:24:590:25:02

and, er, I got one foot in...

0:25:020:25:05

..and I heard this voice telling me I had to have a permit!

0:25:050:25:10

I really don't think...

0:25:100:25:12

He must have a permit! It's what I've been shouting about!

0:25:120:25:17

This thing is getting ridiculous!

0:25:170:25:20

Make your mind up because the water's getting cold!

0:25:200:25:24

The trouble is that I haven't got any bath permits at the moment!

0:25:240:25:29

Wait a minute, hang on!

0:25:290:25:31

The wife gets in after me. Does she need a permit too?

0:25:310:25:36

No, one permit will be all right.

0:25:360:25:39

I hereby give you permission to take a bath.

0:25:390:25:43

Yours sincerely, Jack Jones, Lance Corporal.

0:25:440:25:48

-There you are!

-Ta!

0:25:480:25:51

Er, who do I give it to?

0:25:510:25:54

Ah!

0:25:550:25:56

I think you'd better give it to me!

0:25:560:26:00

That's all right, then.

0:26:010:26:03

You see, I'm a very law abiding man. I like to obey the rules.

0:26:030:26:09

I wouldn't like to end up being punished like him!

0:26:090:26:13

-Well, goodnight all!

-Goodnight, Mr Bluett.

-Good night.

0:26:130:26:17

This whole thing's become a complete farce!

0:26:170:26:20

You're back early, sir! I thought you'd taken over the town hall!

0:26:200:26:25

It was closed. It doesn't open until nine in the morning.

0:26:250:26:30

I got a photograph of the captain at the door and the town clerk going like this!

0:26:300:26:37

I'll deal with him first thing in the morning!

0:26:370:26:41

-What about me?

-Be quiet! You'll be dealt with in due course.

0:26:410:26:46

Captain, I think you're behaving in an undemocratic and unconstitutional manner,

0:26:460:26:53

and thus usurping the power of the land!

0:26:530:26:56

I think Frazer's absolutely right.

0:26:560:26:59

You can't shout at people and threaten to shoot them! You're behaving like a dictator!

0:26:590:27:07

I'm simply asking people to do as they're told!

0:27:070:27:11

Permission to speak, sir?

0:27:110:27:13

You are within your rights to uslurp the power of the land and carry out the coup de tart.

0:27:130:27:20

Thank you.

0:27:200:27:23

Someone has to take over in this emergency. And that someone is me.

0:27:240:27:29

As soon as the civil powers are able to cope, I shall relinquish control.

0:27:290:27:34

People must knuckle down! It's for their own good!

0:27:340:27:39

-I'm Captain Swan.

-Captain Mainwaring, how do you do?

0:27:390:27:43

I've come to take over control and distribution of services.

0:27:430:27:47

Martial law?

0:27:470:27:49

You could call it that. Here's a note about it.

0:27:490:27:53

The usual illegal assembly, looting...

0:27:530:27:56

I've arranged all of this. I'm in command.

0:27:560:28:00

Then all I've got to do is to take over from you. Where's your office?

0:28:000:28:05

Over there!

0:28:050:28:07

Thank you.

0:28:070:28:09

-You don't mind if I borrow your desk?

-Now, look here...

0:28:100:28:14

This is monstrous! Monstrous!

0:28:200:28:23

It's unconstitutional, undemocratic, and against everything we're fighting for!

0:28:230:28:29

I intend to see my MP at once!

0:28:290:28:32

I wouldn't worry too much, sir. You'll just have to knuckle down!

0:28:320:28:37

It's for your own good!

0:28:370:28:40

Subtitles by Sarah Burleigh 1993

0:29:320:29:36