Second World War drama with Bruce Willis. A lieutenant with a background in law has to defend a black officer after a murder occurs in the POW camp to which they have been sent.
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This programme contains some strong language.
ROOSEVELT ON RADIO: '..are pounding the Germans with relentless force.
'We do not expect to have a winter lull in Europe.
'We expect to keep striking,
'to keep the enemy on the move and hit him again and again.'
'I was miles from the front and a stranger to war.
'Troops, fuel dumps, enemy units -
'they were pins on a map to me.'
Are you trying to score a few points?
Just trying to aid the war effort, Hart.
The Captain needs back to the 106th. Can you find a driver?
I can take him, sir.
Funny. I had a feeling you'd say that.
There hasn't been much movement today, sir.
So I see. Captain.
Don't forget, sir. You wanted to send champagne along.
Yes, thank you for reminding me, Tom.
The general should get a kick out of that.
ROOSEVELT: 'Troops are now fighting along a battle line
'of 300 miles in Holland, France and Germany.
'Within ten weeks after the first landings in France last June,
'the Allies have landed nearly two million men.'
You know what this army could use, sir? Snowplough services.
What we could use is half a million gallons of gasoline
and a road that wasn't paved with Bouncing Bettie's.
You ought to spend a night
on the line sometime, Lieutenant.
I know that, sir.
Of course, it's not too likely, is it?
The Colonel says your father is a senator,
so I guess you won't spend too many nights in a foxhole, will you?
It's nothing to be ashamed of, son.
That's a hell of a father to have.
Where to, sir?
I'm afraid you've gone the wrong way, sir.
St Vith is due west.
I'm pretty sure St Vith is due east.
Sergeant, it's straight ahead.
SENTRY: Can I see that, sir?
I drove this route yesterday.
Get your hands up.
SHOUTING IN GERMAN
MAN: Are you in great pain?
First Lieutenant, Thomas Hart.
Would you care for a cigarette?
Your train is an eight-kilometre march from here.
Of course, with some shoes on,
you might be all right.
First Lieutenant, Thomas Hart.
Serial number, 1841287.
Thank you, Lieutenant.
But we both know
there is much more to you than that.
Show me the locations of the fuel dumps.
Just point and we can end all this.
I'll have your clothes returned to you immediately.
When you are dressed, we'll have another chat.
Our last one, I hope.
Smile, Joe. For you, the war is over.
This will help against the cold.
No thanks, soldier. I'll be all right.
No, you won't. Come on. Take it.
Just till you warm up.
Take it, sir.
Hey, Captain, does somebody tell our folks
about us being captured?
Germans give a list to the military
and the military notifies the families.
Is that voluntary, sir?
How do you mean, Lieutenant?
Uh, I mean, can you ask them not to?
I don't think so.
Have to put some straw in there.
Straw in your shoes, for frostbite.
Another slave detail, sir.
Next batch of shells you turn out,
nothing but duds this time, all right? Mortars no boom boom, ja?
Captain, P-51 incoming.
Everybody stay down! Keep low!
Captain, what's happening? Why are they shooting?
They can't read the roof.
CAPTAIN: All right, get the doors!
Everybody get the doors!
Come on, now!
CAPTAIN: Get down!
CAPTAIN: Hart, help out!
CAPTAIN: Come on!
MAN: Moving out!
Get the other cars!
Get the other cars!
Get those men out!
We're spelling out!
Round up your men now!
We're spelling out our position!
We're spelling out!
Hart, get that man clear of here.
Let's get in line!
Assemble on me!
Assemble! Move it! Move it!
All right, men! Let's get back in line!
It's not helping.
Come on, men!
Are you OK?
Keep looking at me. Look at me.
Look at me.
CAPTAIN: Oh, shit. Shit.
All right. Are you all right?
MAN: They're telling us to march.
Probably ought to take his boots, Lieutenant.
Lieutenant! Take his boots.
Cos either you or some Jerry's gonna get 'em. Take 'em, sir.
While you still got feet to put 'em on.
His socks, too.
Ain't gonna help him any.
MAN: Stay together.
"DEUTSCHLAND UBER ALLES" PLAYS ON LOUDSPEAKERS
I'm forced to remind you escape is not a sport.
Think of it this way.
Now these Russians have a chance
at a happy new year.
Those are dogs you're saluting, Colonel.
My country doesn't make those kinds of distinctions, Colonel.
They're our allies, Colonel.
Oh, yes. You and your allies.
Let me tell you about you and your allies.
The Ministry of War has just released the figures
from our offensive in the Ardennes.
200,000 Allied killed or captured.
Your Third Army, Patton, in full retreat.
And the Wehrmacht has captured
enough abandoned fuel to retake Paris,
perhaps even drive your troops
back to the sea.
Might be a bit crowded around here this winter.
Turn around, Joes.
Yes. Turn around.
Ross and Hart.
I'm Captain Ross.
Debriefing. Officer's hut. On the double.
RADIO: 'The German counterattack on the American Third Army front
'is still going on. The entire front, stretching about 30 miles,
'is in motion. On our side, countermeasures are being taken.
'On the enemy's side, more strafes are being flown in.
'This is a major German effort.
'Some of the best units in the German army
'were involved in this penetration...'
At ease, soldier. Sit down.
Thank you, sir.
So tell me, Lieutenant, how come you're not dead?
First you survive crashing that jeep,
then Hans and Fritz take your boots.
You got a rabbit's foot in your pocket?
Two horseshoes and a four-leaf clover, sir.
By the way, you might want to
take it easy on that bread.
You haven't had anything solid for a while.
Wouldn't want you to wind up in the infirmary.
I don't know, sir.
After the march I just made,
an infirmary might look like the Waldorf to me.
A stomach can shrink quite a bit in 17 days.
That's the number, isn't it? 17 days?
Six days on the train. Another six days of marching.
What was it, Joe? Five days of interrogation?
Well, anyway. Easy does it.
Yes, sir. Thank you.
So this interrogator they threw at you,
his name wasn't Schumann, was it?
Schumann was a real prick.
Almost broke me in two.
MAN: Platoon, up.
GERMAN BARKS ORDERS
RECORD PLAYER PLAYS BIG BAND MUSIC
Not much for small talk, I guess.
You come to appreciate that.
LUTZ: Would you care for a cigarette?
Again, Lieutenant, I need to ask you.
The fuel dumps...
So, this Captain Lutz, he know much about
about your operations at the chateau?
He knew everything, sir.
Fuel dump locations?
He knew what I'd had for breakfast before my capture.
LUTZ: Point and we can end all this.
Just name, rank, and serial number.
Good enough. You're excused, Lieutenant.
Unfortunately, we won't be able to quarter you here.
We're full up. We're gonna have to put you in barracks 27.
Isn't that for enlisted men, sir?
Yes, it is, but as you can see,
the Germans are doing a rather brisk business these days.
You'll be comfortable there.
Point or say hello to stumps
for the rest of your life.
SHOUTING IN GERMAN
CROMIN: Don, are you in? I called.
Hold your water, Joe.
Looks like a whole division just surrendered.
Who's in charge here?
Hey, how many we up to?
Three lovely ladies, big shot.
I'm looking for who's in charge here.
From the looks of things, I'd say Adolf Hitler.
I'm Lieutenant Tom Hart.
It's OK, folks.
Staff Sergeant Vic Bedford. Good to meet you.
Come in from Ardennes?
Colonel sent me over to bunk in here.
Officers' barracks are full.
Well, in that case, welcome to Rio.
Hope you don't mind, sir.
All we have is this middle bunk right here.
It looks fine.
I'm betting you're a Lucky Strike man.
You bet right.
Care for some hooch, Lieutenant?
Ringing in the new year.
Uh, thanks. I'm fine.
Fermented raisins, mostly.
A little turpentine thrown in for flavour.
MAN: We got anybody left at the Front, sir?
How are you doing, Lieutenant?
Give him a break, fellas. He just got here.
Lieutenant, guard 'em with your life.
They double for cash - especially with the guards.
Excuse me a second.
Fellas, listen up.
Lieutenant Hart here is going to be staying
with us for a while.
Hello, sir. Men.
Say, what's it take to get in that poker game?
I expect we can work something out.
Sir, are you about a size ten?
Why? They got a Woolworth's behind one of these barracks?
You never know.
Just piss on him, sir.
It's the only thing that gets him moving.
Happy New Year.
GERMANS BARK ORDERS
Happy New Year!
Ten and a half is the best I could do.
The holiday season.
PATRIOTIC GERMAN SONG PLAYS OVER LOUDSPEAKERS
Look at the smile on this guy.
Could have used those in Hurtgen.
What's the matter, you don't like trench foot?
Sure, it's just that once my toenails turned black
I didn't have a single purse that matched.
MUSIC ABRUPTLY STOPS
Square 'em up, Major.
Look at this.
They've got those poor bastards
going around the clock now.
See that factory up past the north tower?
The Germans are making bombs right under our noses.
It's supposed to be a shoe factory.
Instead, they've got the Russians running
in and out making mortar shells.
What the hell is that?
One of their flyers.
Wait a minute, they've got niggers flying airplanes now?
332nd Fight Squadron. I read about them in Yank magazine.
I'll be damned.
Well, we got us some nigger officers.
Fucking Jerry's right. We must be losing this war.
RAGTIME PIANO MUSIC
Five, six, seven, eight. Lift! Lift!
Looks like it'll be a good show.
Yeah, it does.
It's high stakes around here, sir.
What do you mean?
Half the smokes in camp are riding on where you're putting the new men.
Where do you think we should put them?
I think I'd give them their own billet tent, sir.
We can't do that.
I was thinking about putting them in 27 with you.
Sir, wouldn't they be better off in the officers' barracks?
I don't carry enough weight to move two officers out of 22.
I can't make them the only two officers
in the enlisted men's barracks.
You're in 27.
Figure you can keep an eye on them for me.
Sir, I'm still new to that barracks.
Don't carry a lot of weight with the men yet.
You've got bars on your shoulder, Lieutenant.
That ought to be weight enough.
Be done. Come on.
Tastes like chicken, right?
No, you've got maggots.
It's protein. Eat.
Yeah. What do you got?
Gonna have to make some room in here, fellas.
Come on in, men.
We got two more guests.
Second Lieutenants Lamar Archer and Lincoln Scott.
You've got to be kidding, sir.
They're gonna live here?
Two officers just entered the barracks. Where's your salute?
What's the big idea, sir?
We're all full up in here.
Not anymore. Croutch, Krasner.
BOTH: Yes, sir.
You've been reassigned. Barracks 28.
The Colonel wants you situated before lockdown.
What were you flying?
P-51 bomber escorts.
Must be a shitload of dead bomber crews scattered across Europe.
You see these bars, Sergeant?
Bars don't make you fit to share the same roof with white folks, boy.
That's Lieutenant Boy. You got that?
Call yourself whatever you want.
You're still just a nigger to me.
I didn't quite catch that, Sergeant. What was that?
All right! That's enough!
Just let it go.
Nice. Very nice!
Lieutenant! Mind grabbing that, boy?
What are you doing?
Nice one, sir!
More bread. More bread.
Das ist verboten!
Das ist verboten, Bedford!
MCNAMARA: Nobody moves!
How bad, sergeant?
Yeah, it's just a nick. I'll be fine.
You all right? Yeah.
MAN SHOUTS IN GERMAN
Go get that hand looked at.
MEN SINGING ON RADIO
You're a regular bank, Vic.
How's the hand?
Is that really what you came over here to ask me?
No. Major Clary told me that you went to see him
to lodge a complaint Yeah.
About Lieutenants Archer and Scott.
I'm sure he'll take it up
with Eisenhower the first chance he gets.
They don't belong here.
Nobody belongs here.
But this is where the colonel put them.
Yeah. I bet you wish the colonel would have given you
that open bunk in the officers' barracks
right about now, Lieutenant.
I mean, this is hardly the Waldorf.
Ain't that right?
We're not going to have a problem
about this, sergeant, understood?
What did you do before the war for a living?
I was in law school. Second year.
Meet many coloureds up there?
Yeah, well, I dealt with their kind.
Two years I was on the police force
in east St Louis, and I know what they are.
So let's not pretend like we're fucking neighbours.
You finished, sergeant?
No, I'm not finished.
Never did settle on a price, did we,
for them boots and socks?
I mean, might be as cold as the North Pole around here
but that don't make me Santa Claus.
What do you want?
I'll take your watch.
This was a gift from my father.
I bet your daddy can afford you another one.
Is this going to buy me a little civility, sergeant?
FILM NARRATOR SPEAKING GERMAN
Not much of a picture, is it?
Well, we do feel a little misled, sir.
The guard told us they'd be showing
the life and time of Jesse Owens.
You know, you men can sit up front with everyone else.
Yeah. We're fine, sir.
Nobody's going to bother you.
I said we're fine, sir.
MEN SHOUTING COMMANDS IN GERMAN
GUARD: Take your places!
That was nice, CW, that was 18 inches.
Ah, come on, Joe. It was two feet, at least.
Hey, either way, my record still stands.
MAN: Cut it out, you guys.
Up, up, up.
Everybody. Out of the way.
Out! Out of the bunks.
Attention near the bunks.
Now, now, now, now!
Who is the ranking man in here?
HART: Lieutenant Thomas Hart.
One of your men
was out on the compound tonight, Lieutenant.
He was spotted on the east field
removing a spike from one of the billet tents.
Your men are aware of this camp's policy
concerning the possession and concealment of weapons,
are they not?
Major, no-one has left this barracks.
Whoa, wait a minute. What the hell...
But this is a plant. Somebody put that...
You bastard, I heard you go out.
I should have seen this coming.
Major, where are you taking this man?
Examples must be made, Lieutenant.
We take the safety of our men very seriously.
Major, where are you all taking him? Major!
What did he do?
DOGS BARKING, MEN SHOUTING IN GERMAN
SHOTS RING OUT
I'll kill you.
I'll fucking kill you, Bedford.
You put that spike...
Watch your mouth, nigger.
You put that spike there. Get off of me.
Lincoln, look at me. Lincoln!
Get off of me!
Can I let you go?
It's a minor offence, Colonel.
This man deserved 15 days in the cooler, not execution.
He attempted escape.
You dragged him out of his barracks barely clothed.
Your men lined him up and shot him.
This man wasn't trying to escape
any more than those Russians you hung the other day.
Is he a dog?
A lesser race?
That's a word you Americans use,
as I remember.
But of course, your country
doesn't make such distinctions.
And neither do you, I'm sure.
He was an officer,
a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps.
Yeah. That's why you were so eager
to welcome him and the other one
into your barracks.
Look it up, Colonel.
We have every right to question a man
for concealment of a dangerous weapon.
This man had rights, too.
The Geneva Convention
specifically forbids summary executions.
Take a look around you, Colonel.
THIS is not Geneva.
Where are you going?
To check on my men.
You're welcome to do so, of course.
In the meantime, I'll be looking in on YOUR barracks
to listen to what's on the BBC this evening.
Now, go see your men, Colonel.
GERMAN ON LOUDSPEAKERS
# Not to love the Fuhrer is a great disgrace
# So we heil, heil right in the Fuhrer's face
# Is we not the supermen?
# Aryan pure supermen?
# Ja, we is der supermen
# Super-duper supermen
# Is this Nazi land... #
How's Scott holding up?
It's hard to tell.
He isn't saying much.
He was asking about the body.
And there's some personal effects - dog tags.
SHOTS RING OUT
MAN: Fly over again! Come on!
Come on, boys!
Take that, you bastard!
SCOTT: Careful, Bedford.
That's a nigger you're rooting for.
Tail's painted red
Means he's 99th, right out of Tuskegee, boy.
MEN SHOUTING LOUDLY
MAN: Come on, let's get him out!
Get them out of there!
MCNAMARA: Get him to the doc, now!
Come on! One man down here!
Put this out. Come on!
MAN: More buckets, more buckets. Quickly, come on.
MEN SPEAKING GERMAN
Move around this corner.
MAN: Yes, sir.
Do you know where I wish I'd never been?
Where is that?
The goddamn Waldorf.
It's not personal.
He just can't stand being lied to.
I never lied to him.
Don't. You hung yourself the minute he debriefed you.
That guy Lutz they threw you in with,
he was a Level One interrogator.
McNamara had him, too.
When a guy won't talk,
they just keep kicking him up the ladder.
Level 2, Level 3.
It takes weeks.
He was in there for a month.
The only guy you saw was Lutz,
and he spit you out of there in three days.
All I gave them was name, rank, and serial number.
See, the thing about the colonel is
he's not like you and me.
He's West Point, fourth generation.
He was raised on all this.
So crap like this,
catching a junior officer in an obvious lie,
all it does is remind him of how far away he is
from the real war -
the one he's supposed to be fighting.
Damn it, Lincoln.
MAN: What are you doing?
You should have sold some tickets for this one.
MEN SHOUTING IN GERMAN
MAN SHOUTING IN GERMAN
Raus! Raus! Move it, move it!
MEN SPEAKING GERMAN
VISSER: Two of your men dead in two days, Colonel.
It seems you've lost control of your company.
Will Lieutenant Scott be granted the right
to stand trial and face this charge?
Major Fussel saw him standing over the body.
I would say he's HAD his trial.
Any prisoner accused of a crime
against another prisoner has a right to a trial.
And if the boy were being held in Alabama,
there wouldn't be any trial at all.
Is this not so?
Yeah, maybe you're right, Colonel.
Maybe we should just forget the trial.
Let's just drag him out of the barracks
and shoot two holes in his chest
like you did with Lieutenant Archer.
Like in your American movies?
Yeah, something like that.
That should be fun.
All right, Colonel.
You may conduct it in your theatre here.
Colonel, my men are in this theatre every day.
With your permission,
we'd like to erect a billet tent
to house the proceedings.
Your theatre will do quite nicely.
You have until the end of the week
to conduct your trial.
It's a capital charge, Colonel.
The trial will take more than a few days.
1,000 more American prisoners from the Ardennes
will be arriving over the weekend,
and I am putting them in your theatre.
Colonel, I just explained to you...
Colonel, Saturday, your theatre is mine.
This is a murder site.
I beg your pardon, Lieutenant.
I said this is a murder site.
The body and everything around it
are now evidence.
This area cannot be disturbed
until everything is photographed.
I'm appointing you counsel for Lieutenant Scott.
Sir, I'm not a lawyer.
You sounded like one a minute ago.
I could be a material witness.
I mean, I heard the lieutenant going out.
The lieutenant needs our help.
I've appointed you counsel.
SCOTT: And this guy that's prosecuting me,
this Captain Sisk,
is he a real lawyer?
That sounds about right.
I think we have to paint this thing as a fight, Scott.
It's a fight that got a little out of hand.
You're supposed to ask me if I did it, first.
Look, I came here to kill Nazis.
If it was some crackers that I wanted to kill
I could have stayed in Macon.
Major Fussel ID'd you standing over the body.
Fussel is a Nazi!
No. Fussel is a witness.
And he's enough to hang you.
Look, all I'm saying is if it was a fight
that got a little out of hand,
then it's not murder. It's manslaughter.
Do you understand that?
Man, oh, man.
Can I fire you?
Now, look, Scott, I'm just trying...
If it's a coloured guy on trial,
and it's a white man who's been murdered,
there's no such thing as manslaughter.
Don't you know that?
Or is that something that they teach you
in the third year of law school?
What do you expect from me, anyway?
A "Hey, yes, sir, boss."
Or "Why, thank you, boss. You're mighty kind."
Is that the way a railroaded coloured man acts
where you're from?
Nobody's railroading you, Scott.
Then how come the only real lawyer
is the guy that's prosecuting me,
and I'm stuck with you defending me?
That's how the Colonel wanted it.
Yeah, but I ain't being railroaded.
MEN SHOUTING IN GERMAN
I'll meet you back at the barracks.
I'm gonna need a few things, sir.
Who has Bedford's personal effects?
I'll need to see them,
and the photographs that were taken of the scene,
and of course, his body.
What did Scott tell you?
You were with him all day. What did he tell you?
I'm sorry, sir. I can't reveal that.
Sure you can.
Attorney-client privilege, sir.
Only an attorney has attorney-client privilege.
I need to be briefed on everything
that Scott intends to testify to.
Sir, you're going to be president
of the court-martial.
How can I possibly discuss our case with you?
Are you suggesting
that I would betray Lieutenant Scott?
That I would share details of his case
with the prosecution?
Scott followed Bedford out through the night latrine.
If he testifies to that fact,
every German in this camp will know how we get in
and out of the barracks after dark,
and every man in this camp would be compromised
because of that.
Are you following this, Lieutenant?
Yes, sir. Good.
Now, Scott will testify that he went out
through a hole beneath the stove
in the barracks.
And you will make certain that he is clear on that.
Do we understand each other, Lieutenant?
We do, sir.
Permission to speak, sir.
Scott thinks this is all just for show.
He thinks you passed sentence
as soon as the body hit the ground.
Is he right?
Bedford's footlocker is in my barracks.
I'll make sure you get it.
VISSER: Not much to look at, is he?
Did you know him?
But my guards certainly seemed to.
These are for you.
Your guards, you said they knew him. How well?
Well, you'd have to ask them about that.
This is yours, too, I believe.
We found it on his wrist.
But with the inscription
and those new boots on your feet,
I made the assumption.
It's a little hard to imagine, Colonel,
your guards sitting for an interview.
I can arrange it.
I can arrange anything you like.
It seems only fair -
what with your colonel throwing you to the wolves.
I'm not sure I follow you.
Yale isn't in the habit of accepting half-wits.
At least it wasn't
when I was studying there.
The oldest member of the class of '28.
My fellow students voted me hardest worker.
But we can swap stories
some other time, can't we?
Right now we've got a trial to prepare for.
It's a sincere offer, Lieutenant.
Anything I can do to help...
SISK: And exactly where were you, Major Fussel,
on the night in question?
FUSSEL: I was walking the area
behind this theatre and the Australian compound.
SISK: At about what time?
Maybe about 1:00 in the morning.
And can you tell the court what you saw?
The schwarz Lieutenant Scott
was kneeling over the body.
It looked to me like he was checking
that the man was dead.
I blew my whistle, and he started to run.
And what did you do next?
I would have shot, but it was dark.
And so was he.
HART: Major Fussel,
how well did you know Sergeant Bedford?
A little, I think.
HART: You traded with him regularly.
Cigarettes for a pair of boots.
Chocolate for some spare parts.
No. I never did this.
A Kriegie trading with a German soldier?
I never saw it.
PRIVATE: Am I allowed to repeat
what he actually said, Captain?
You may, Private.
Lieutenant Scott said, "I'll kill you.
"I'll fucking kill you, Bedford."
Corporal, have you ever heard any other man
threaten a fellow soldier during your time in the army?
"Better shape up or I'll kill you."
"I'll kill you if you touch my cigarettes again."
That sort of thing?
CORPORAL: Yes, sir.
I'll bet you've even made such a threat yourself
once or twice.
I suppose so.
Corporal, did you ever
actually kill any of the men
you threatened in this manner?
But I'm not coloured.
I can control myself.
So, you, too, had heard the threats
made by the accused against Sergeant Bedford?
HART: Your honour, this being
the fourth prosecution witness
called to testify in this matter,
if the defence will stipulate
that the accused did indeed threaten the life
of Sergeant Bedford,
could we dispense with any further testimony
to his having done so?
Your honour, Sergeant Webb is being called
as an eyewitness to the crime itself.
Is that right, Sergeant?
Sir, that's a lie.
SISK: Your honour, the sergeant will testify
that on the night of the murder
he watched through a window in barracks 27
as Lieutenant Scott accosted Sergeant Bedford
outside the theatre and broke his neck.
Your honour, he did no such thing.
I was standing right beside Sergeant Webb
at the exact time of the murder.
He saw nothing of the sort.
The hell I didn't.
You don't know what I saw.
Sir, I request that this court
instruct this witness as to the consequences
of perjuring himself in a court...
MCNAMARA: He put his hand on the bible
and swore to tell the truth, Lieutenant.
That's good enough for me.
We've had no prior notice...
Sit down, Lieutenant.
HART: Your honour, his bias alone...
Sit down, please.
I'll catch up.
FIRST MAN: I gotta go make some trades in barracks 18.
SECOND MAN: See if you can get me some smokes.
You're a lying sack of shit, you know that?
Yeah, and maybe you ought to mind
your own business.
This doesn't concern you, West.
Or you. Any of you.
What do you know, Joe?
George S Patton just showed up.
Return to your barracks, Corporal.
Take your two friends with you.
So, what is it, Webb?
Up there today.
You think you owe it to Vic?
Why are you so bent
about that flying bellhop anyway?
He's a soldier.
Vic Bedford was a soldier.
He fought. He had courage.
You wouldn't know too much about that,
would you, Lieutenant?
You lied in there today.
You didn't see what happened any more than I did.
I didn't have to. I know.
Not good enough.
It's good enough for McNamara.
Sorry about what happened in there today, Lincoln.
I didn't see it coming.
You're saying that's the first time
you seen a man lie through his teeth
holding his hand on the bible?
I was writing a letter to my father.
Figured I should tell him first.
He was part of the 369th Infantry
in the last war, the old 15th.
They was the first negro troops
to go into action in France.
Did your father serve?
Mm. My father was in headquarters.
He had an 8 on his shoulder, too.
His father made sure of it.
That's how we do things in our family.
That's a shame.
Got your testimony to prepare.
Lieutenant, how are you?
Not too well, I imagine.
Come on up.
That was quite a beating
you took today.
It's warm inside.
You've read Mark Twain?
Colonel, I have witnesses to prepare for.
Yes. I know.
That's why I wanted to see you.
We keep a library
of all American military manuals.
I thought this one
might be of particular use to you.
I can't accept this, Colonel.
We have a policy about fraternizing...
Lieutenant, without this, your client
will face the firing squad.
Would that be better?
Where's he fighting?
He is not anymore.
The Russian front.
I killed my share
of English and French, I suppose...
in the first war.
They had fathers, too.
It's verboten, you know...
These might be the only copies
of their kind in the entire Reich.
But I'm quite fond of them.
Nice to read by, anyway.
Takes a man right back.
Take a seat.
Thank you for your time, Colonel.
Enjoy the manual.
Come to order, gentlemen.
Captain Sisk, is the prosecution
prepared to call its next witness?
We are, your honour.
Begging the court's pardon, sir.
HART: Before we continue, your honour,
it's been brought to my attention
that the court may have overlooked
a few procedural matters yesterday.
I'm referring to the US Army Manual
Chapter 12, sections 57, 58.
MCNAMARA: Make your point.
According to these sections, your honour,
the court was obliged yesterday
to ask the accused if he wished to challenge
any members of the court
for peremptory disqualification
before any pleas were entered.
A little late in the game for that,
isn't it, Lieutenant?
Nevertheless, it is a right
specifically granted to the defendant.
Does the accused wish to challenge
any member of the court now?
HART: We do, your honour.
Request denied. Proceed, Captain Sisk.
HART: Sir, according to Chapter 12, Section 58d,
defence is allowed one peremptory challenge
of the board, and this challenge is not subject
to any ruling by the court itself.
MCNAMARA: Request denied, Lieutenant.
HART: Then the court must address section 58e
which states the defence may disqualify
a member of the board for cause
if that member has displayed a bias
toward the accused or his case.
This court has shown no bias
in this case, Lieutenant.
HART: The court has demonstrated
in ex parte conversations before the commencement
of this hearing a distinct prejudice
against the accused, his case,
and his counsel, sir.
MCNAMARA: Very well.
We'll take a short recess to consider the matter.
Lieutenant Hart. Sir?
Can I see you outside for a moment, please?
Listen to me, you pampered little shit,
I will not be laughed at. Not by him.
Sir, I'm just trying to protect my client.
Your client's about to lose his lawyer, Lieutenant.
Article 32: Contempt of court.
Article 70: Intentional delay.
I know the book, too.
Forwards and backwards.
Then you must know, sir, that...
Shut up and listen to me, Lieutenant.
You will not accept anything
from that commandant again.
Is that clear?
You will not allow him to participate
in these proceedings, is that clear?
You will never set foot in his office again
without my permission.
We understand each other?
RADIO VOICE: '..And propaganda reported by them...
'and by the Germans over Strasbourg.
'One minute you can hear Hitler himself
'announcing that he will be in Strasbourg
'by January the 30th,
'the anniversary of the Nazis coming to power in Germany.
'The next, the Nazis are claiming that two new divisions
'are advancing on Strasbourg
'and that the Americans are in full flight over Marseilles.
'The closer they get, the more violent they become.
'The Nazi menace and the more honeyed of their promises.
Come in. Have a seat.
RADIO: 'We've checked German...'
Have a drink.
Maybe you can help me
decipher some of this code
coming through the BBC tonight, yeah?
I don't think you need my help, Colonel.
Seems pretty clear what they're saying.
It would seem so.
Or perhaps it's all propaganda.
How about that?
Strange thing about war wounds.
The older you grow,
the less proud you become of them.
BLUES MUSIC PLAYS
Got another one of these around here somewhere?
Good. Why don't you and I take a walk
out on your compound
and have ourselves an old-fashioned duel?
That would be fitting, wouldn't it?
But surely you can think of a more clever way
out of this camp than that, yes?
You think the war will wait for you,
is that it, Colonel?
It won't, you know.
They never do.
But I'm seeing things very clearly.
You know, sometimes I think
your Lieutenant Scott
might have been better off in Alabama.
Lynchings are over in minutes.
The kind of justice he's suffering here
is far crueller.
Is that why you gave Lieutenant Hart the manual?
I was merely trying to help the lad.
He's got enough to worry about
without providing you with amusement.
He's got you to worry about, hasn't he?
Stay out of our business.
Forgive me, Colonel, but you're hardly
in a position to hand out orders.
Especially to me.
Unless, of course, you think that's just
the sound of propaganda falling out there.
SCOTT: 'Well, the idea was to follow Bedford
'and catch him on the compound.
'I wanted to drag him back under the barracks
'and put his face in the mud.
'Well, by the time I got to him
'he was already dead behind the theatre.'
His neck had been snapped.
That's when everything blew up.
Dogs, you know, hands up, and that was that.
Lieutenant, did you apply anything
to your face or hands
before going out that night?
Shoe polish? Soot?
Defence exhibit one, your honour.
Photos of the deceased taken in the camp morgue.
The court will note black smudges
on Bedford's right cheek and jaw.
SISK: Your honour, what is the relevance of this?
To demonstrate to the court
that whoever killed Vic Bedford was white.
I'd like to ask the court's permission
to conduct a demonstration, your honour.
I'd also ask the trial judge advocate
to rise, if he would.
Based on Bedford's wounds and the fact
that nobody reported hearing him cry for help that night,
we have to assume that he was either
friendly with his assailant
or that whoever killed him did so from behind -
the positioning being something like this.
Captain, if you wouldn't mind grabbing at me -
at my face to get me to stop.
Now, of course, the killer had the benefits
of leverage and surprise, so the neck was snapped
and Bedford fell, and the smudge went with him.
It was also on his fingers. Captain?
At this time, I would like the court
to note the following for the record:
whoever killed Vic Bedford
had such a substance on his face
on the night of the murder,
which raises two questions.
First, what call would Lincoln Scott have
for darkening his face?
To look more black?
Second, if he had done so, when did he take it off?
Your honour, you stood face to face with him
immediately after his capture.
His face was clean.
I think it's fair to conclude
that whoever killed Vic Bedford
was not only white
but was waiting behind this theatre
face blackened to avoid detection by the guards.
Nothing further, your honour.
Lieutenant, you say that Sergeant Bedford
sneaked out through a loose board
beneath the barracks' stove.
Is that right?
And you took that same route on the night in question
after he'd gone out.
Yes, I did, sir.
What did you find down there, Lieutenant?
SCOTT: Excuse me, sir?
What was down there on the ground?
You stated that it had been your intention
to put the victim's face in the mud
until he begged you to stop,
so there was mud down there,
isn't that right, Lieutenant?
I suppose so.
And a fair amount of soot from the stove itself.
So it's possible that Sergeant Bedford,
having descended through a hole lined with soot
and then having crawled facedown
beneath the barracks wet with mud,
might have emerged with mud and soot on his face.
Nothing further, your honour.
Thank you, Captain Sisk.
Will you step down, Lieutenant?
You know how hard they tried
to wash us out of flight school - the coloured flyers?
Your testimony's been entered, Lieutenant.
You can step down.
It was test after test.
I mean, anything they could come up with
to turn us into the cooks or the drivers
or the shit shovellers.
Your honour, this is highly unnecessary.
the witness has already...
SCOTT: But I refused to wash out.
So did Archer. I mean, come hell or high water.
We hit the books.
We were just determined
that we were not going to spend the war
being some niggers.
That's enough, Lieutenant. You will take your seat.
SCOTT: With all due respect, sir,
I would like to exercise my right
and address this court.
Now, I've been sitting down ever since I got here.
And you know, I should have stood up and said something
the moment that you threw us in with the enlisted men
instead of quartering us properly as officers.
But it's OK.
You see, coloured men expect to have to jump
through a few hoops in this man's army.
Archer knew that. We all did.
There's a camp right outside of Macon, where I'm from,
and there the army sends the German POWs.
Puts them to work picking cotton.
But what's strange is every once in a while
we'd see them walking through town
going to movies, eating in diners.
But if I wanted to go to those same movies
I had to sit way off in the balcony.
And those diners were closed to me even in uniform.
But German POWs were allowed to sit there and eat.
And this must have happened
to at least half the guys at Tuskegee.
But the thing is we just kept telling ourselves
that no matter what, as long as we did our jobs,
it'd all be worth it,
because hey, the war would end, we could go home
and be free to walk down any street in America
with our heads held high as men.
So that's what we did.
We did our jobs.
We served our country, sir,
Archer and I.
And what you let happen to him...
What you allowed to happen to him...
And so is this.
At ease, Lieutenant.
How are they treating you?
No worse than the men in my barracks, sir.
I can probably find you another blanket.
No. I'm fine.
New order, gentlemen.
Before you proceed, your honour, the defence hasn't rested yet.
Still like to call one last witness.
Defence calls Oberst Werner Visser.
This some kind of joke, Lieutenant?
He's material to our case, sir.
Unless, of course, the Colonel refuses to testify.
He does not.
Colonel, could you tell us
the nature of your relationship with Vic Bedford?
I'll be happy to. I didn't have one.
And what about your guards, Colonel?
Major Fussel, for instance?
Were you aware of his dealings with Vic Bedford
at night after lockdown?
That would be impossible in this camp, Lieutenant.
Do you remember the conversation we had
in the camp morgue four days ago?
I asked you if you knew Vic Bedford
and you said,
"No, but my guards certainly seem to."
So, in your words,
no guard ever traded with Vic Bedford,
and yet he was able to acquire winter boots,
thick socks, fresh milk,
and parts for a hidden radio.
isn't that a fact?
Lieutenant, I'm sitting here
as a gesture of military courtesy.
If it is your intention to paint me as a liar...
It is my intention to establish
that Vic Bedford built up enough of a rapport
with your Majors Wirtz and Fussel
to engage in the framing of Lamar Archer,
conspiring with them in the tent spike incident,
which resulted in Archer's death.
Lieutenant Archer was shot while attempting escape.
Lieutenant archer was executed
in return for information.
Five minutes later,
Colonel Visser and Major Wirtz enter barracks 22
and destroy a hidden radio
that they had been trying to locate for months.
Can you tell the court anything
about these items, sir?
Identification papers, some currency.
What of them?
Perfect German-made ID papers and Reichsmarks.
Two thousand of them.
More than enough cash to make it through the country.
Vic Bedford kept those in a stash beside his bunk.
Again, can you tell the court the nature
of your relationship with Vic Bedford?
I did not have one, Lieutenant.
Do you have any idea
how he may have gotten these items, sir?
If they didn't come from you,
and if he never had any dealings with your guards,
the fact is, Colonel,
Vic Bedford traded with you and your men regularly.
Objection, your honour!
As soon as he came up dry on you,
you ordered his murder.
Isn't that right, Colonel?
I thought you tried marvellously
to establish that the killer had blackened
his face with soot.
Now, if any of my guards,
or even I wanted to kill one of my prisoners -
Vic Bedford in this case -
we would hardly need to blacken our faces to do it.
Move. In the corner, Webb.
German uniforms, explosives.
Yes, Captain, I see.
The trial's got nothing to do with Lincoln Scott, does it?
It's the way it had to go.
We're out of time, Hart.
We lose this theatre tomorrow.
Uh-huh, and I'm supposed to keep Visser and his men distracted
while half the camp goes out.
Is that it, Captain?
I'm asking the wrong fucking guy.
I've just seen the tunnel, Colonel.
In here, Lieutenant.
Everything in this place is a lie.
Oh, Jesus Christ.
First he told the Germans about the radio.
It was only a matter of time
before he told them about the tunnel.
You killed Bedford.
If you fuck with this operation in any way,
I'll kill you, too.
You will sit in that courtroom
as Captain Sisk drags out these proceedings.
Make whatever summation you like, but that's it.
When that board breaks to deliberate,
35 men go under the wire.
And Lincoln Scott will be dead.
That's war, Lieutenant.
The war's at the front, Colonel.
We're not even in it anymore.
Speak for yourself!
You know those Russians
they march in and out of here every day?
You know where they go?
The army thinks it's a goddamn shoe factory.
I don't want to see Scott dead any more than you do.
But if one man has to be sacrificed
to take out that target,
then that's the way it has to be.
I agree completely, sir.
But I think that one man should be you.
And don't worry. I'll play my part.
But at the end of the trial,
you're going to tap your little gavel.
You're going to stand up
and you're going to confess to the murder.
Your duty demands that.
Fuck you, Hart.
What the fuck would you know about duty?
I'll see you in court, sir.
MAN YELLING COMMANDS
I got a better question.
What was in that goddamn soup last night?
I got 20 men with food poisoning.
Nicht mein problem.
Colonel? Whoa! Colonel!
You're in no shape for the trial, sir.
I'm fine. Really, I'm fine.
Let me go.
We'll convene as scheduled after the Appell.
Square 'em up.
Come to order, gentlemen.
Is the prosecution ready to present its summation?
We are, your honour.
I'm sorry, gentlemen.
The court needs a five-minute recess before summations.
Let's get him back to the barracks.
Get his coat.
Get some rest, sir.
All right, come on. Get back to the barracks.
We need an extension, Colonel - he's very ill.
The agreement was the end of the week.
It's a matter of courtesy, Colonel.
The agreement was today!
I need to talk to you.
Are you any good at poker, Lincoln?
There's an escape going to take place later on this afternoon.
Escape? How's that?
Down a tunnel through that burned theatre wing...
while the jury's in deliberations.
So what you mean?
This whole thing's been a joke?
But Archer and Bedford are dead for real.
Is that part of this big joke, too?
Look, we haven't got time now.
During deliberations, you're going out under the wire
with 35 other men.
Is McNamara, too?
Yeah, McNamara, too.
It's funny. I was just writing my son,
and in the letter I was trying to explain to him
what the word honour means.
It would be a hell of a thing, wouldn't it,
to find out that your father helped 35 men
escape from a place like this, wouldn't it?
You're going out, too, Lincoln, you got that?
I can't do that, Tommy.
Suppose the board comes back
and there's nobody sitting
in the defendant's chair anymore?
It doesn't matter. You'll already be out.
Then the search begins,
and all those men, they won't have a chance.
Lincoln, if you stay, you'll be convicted.
If I stay, those men are gonna have a chance.
And you'll be executed.
Lincoln, listen to me, please.
Everything's fine, Tommy.
Everything's really OK...
Just as long as he knows what happened here.
As long as there's somebody to tell him.
How far could I get anyway? A coloured man
running through the German countryside?
It'd be target practice.
HART: It started with a noble idea.
Letting coloured men join the fight.
But no-one in the Air Corps ever considered what might happen
if one of those Tuskegee men ever got shot down.
No-one ever asked what would happen
if a coloured officer was suddenly captured
and sent to a Stalag like this one.
But Lincoln Scott was shot down,
and he was sent to a Stalag
and once here,
he wasn't just thrown in
amongst white enlisted men,
he was quartered with them.
Men like Staff Sergeant Vic Bedford.
Bedford, the real Bedford,
was a man unknown to us.
with a bigotry that ran bone-deep.
A man who simply couldn't stomach the thought
of sharing a roof with coloured officers.
So he badgered Scott, baited him,
even refused to respect Scott's rank...
Then conspired to kill the only friend Scott had in this camp.
That's why Scott followed Bedford out
the night in question,
crept up behind him and snapped his neck.
Members of the board, we take no pleasure
in prosecuting Lieutenant Scott,
but a capital charge requires
that we put aside our passions and sympathies,
wedding ourselves solely to the truth.
It is this.
Lieutenant Scott was positively
and unimpeachably identified at the scene of the crime.
He had motive, he had opportunity,
and he had an animus for the victim
which was confirmed even by his own testimony.
Lincoln Scott is an officer,
he is a soldier,
but he is also a murderer.
HART: There's a tenet
that was drummed into all of us
from our first day in Basic:
Sometimes one man must be sacrificed
for the good of the men around him.
Someone has to be first to hit the beach
or to jump on a grenade
or to draw enemy fire
so coordinates can be drawn for mortar teams.
I think Bedford learned that tenet, too,
except Vic got it backwards.
Vic thought that sometimes a few hundred
must be sacrificed for the good of one...
For Vic the watchword was expediency.
One day he'd trade with our captors
to get hard-to-find parts for a radio,
earning him the loyalty
of our commanding officer and his staff.
Then Vic would tell the Germans
where to find that radio...
In exchange for the murder of Lamar Archer.
The army has its share of cowards...
and Vic Bedford was one of them.
It also has heroes,
soldiers like Lincoln Scott.
Lincoln Scott, who wanted nothing more
than to serve his country.
And serve he did.
nine downed German fighters,
until one of those missions landed him here,
where Vic Bedford and the sad sacks
Bedford called friends were lying in wait.
Scott was a target from the second he got here.
He suffered insults, threats,
but he did not retaliate.
He did not kill Vic Bedford.
Someone beat him to it.
It could've been any number of people...
the guard who thought that Bedford had cheated him,
a fellow Kriegie who discovered Bedford's treachery,
even one of our ranking officers
as punishment for ratting out that radio.
So this, then, is our victim?
Enemy of every Kriegie in camp.
The question is,
who hated him enough to kill him?
ROSS: Wait a minute,
what are you saying, Lieutenant?
I killed Vic Bedford, sir.
Come on, Colonel. Here.
VISSER: I want every man in the compound present
for the execution of Lieutenant Hart.
Very brave, indeed.
SISK: Colonel, this man has rights.
This court still has to deliberate the matter.
I am the court now!
Now. Get him up. Get him up. Get him up.
Get out, get out, get out.
SHOUTING IN GERMAN
SHOUTING IN GERMAN
I want every man
who participated in that court-martial
removed from the line.
SHOUTING IN GERMAN
VISSER: Line them up for execution.
Line them up, now.
ROSS: These men knew nothing, Colonel.
Line them up!
You will be the first.
These men knew nothing.
You will be the first!
Colonel, they knew nothing!
MAN: Herr commandant!
your men are saboteurs as well?
they're just soldiers.
They were following my orders.
I assume complete responsibility.
That's very noble of you.
Seems you've won our duel
after all, Colonel.
We both lose,
And now you wish to trade your life
Yes, I do.
SHOUTING IN GERMAN
HART: 'We buried the Colonel
'in a marked grave behind the camp.
'Three months later, the German Army surrendered.
'Our Stalag was liberated.
'The war was over.
'We returned home,
'to our families.
'Lincoln Scott got the chance
'to explain the word "honour" to his son.
'Honour and courage, duty, sacrifice.
'Lincoln's son came to understand those words,
'and so have I.'
Second World War drama. Arriving in a German POW camp, Lt Thomas Hart is forced to defend himself and two black officers. After one of the pair is shot for concealing a weapon, the other is found standing over the dead body of the camp scrounger. Hart stands up for him in a court-martial. Was it murder, or was he framed?