Wartime drama. Two rural brothers' boisterous bond becomes tested when they are called up to fight in the First World War.
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BOMBS EXPLODE IN DISTANCE
This field general court martial finds the accused, Private Peaceful,
guilty as charged in accordance with Section 4 of the Army Act.
You will remain in custody until sentenced.
These proceedings are now terminated, take away the prisoner.
Sir, prisoner and escort, left turn.
Left, right, left, right, left.
Left, right, left, right, left, right, left.
Left, right, left, right, left, right...
Ten to midnight.
I shan't sleep.
I won't dream it away.
Tonight, more than any other night of my life...
..I want to feel alive.
Let's go. Before we get caught.
My land, my pheasants.
We should be out, working in the fields.
We'll learn more at school. It's not so bad.
Whenever you say honest, Charlie,
I know it's not true.
Fred. All right, Pete.
Watch where you're going, Peaceful.
BELL RINGS KID: Mr Munnings is coming!
You do not come to school in bare feet.
You do not lie.
You do not cheat.
These are my commandments.
Do I make myself clear?
ALL: Yes, sir.
Great British heroes.
Fighting for king and country.
"Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
"O, what a panic's in thy breastie!"
"Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!"
"The present only toucheth thee."
Why you be talking foreign, miss?
It's not foreign, it's about a mouse.
And where is Scotland?
I can do it, Charlie.
Double knot, so it will never come undone.
Is he your brother?
What does your dad do?
-My dad's a rat catcher.
Like the Pied Piper?
Yes. Only he don't like children.
That's lovely, Joe.
Oranges and lemons...
-He's got a loony for a brother.
-What did you say, Jimmy Parsons?
Your brother's a loony, your brother's a loony.
-No, he's not.
-Yes, he is.
What the blo...?!
Jimmy Parsons won't be doing that again, Tommo.
Got him in the goolies.
Your wife, sir.
Can't we stay outside in the fresh air a little longer?
It's far too cold.
And what did you boys get up to at school today?
Oh, this and that.
What have you done to your face, Tommo?
Bread and butter pudding, my favourite.
How was the shoot, James?
Ask the boys.
We were at school. Honest.
Colonel saw the best of it.
He's a silly old fart.
Mad old duffer.
He may well be a silly old fart,
but it's the Colonel who pays your wage
and puts the roof above your head.
It's not his money, he married into it.
-He's a silly old bugger.
You must show more respect.
Well, I show my respect where respect's due, my love.
"'What big eyes you have, Grandma,'
"said Little Red Riding Hood.
"'All the better to see with,' said the wolf.
"'What big teeth you have, Grandma.
"'All the better
"'to gobble you up.'"
We're too old for this.
Big Joe don't get stories like you do at school.
Will you come up to the woods with me on Saturday, Tommo?
We'll clear the dead trees.
The only dead wood around here needs clearing's in Tommo's head.
I thought you were putting the boys to bed?
What are all you men looking at?
ALL SHOUT AT ONCE
Seems sad to chop down the old trees.
Well, it clears space for the walnuts.
I don't like walnuts.
Walnut trees are special.
-It's the grain of the wood.
It makes fine furniture.
Come on, Biddy, these ladies haven't got all day.
Yes, Miss Far.
Some may not even have that long.
And what might you be after, Hazel Peaceful?
More blacking for the stove.
Well, you'll have to take your turn like everyone else.
Come on, Joe.
The Colonel's usual, if you please.
I'll deliver it myself.
There you go.
Ah. My deliverer.
Your pinch of snuff, Colonel.
I'd like to pinch you, Miss Far.
Don't mind him, he's the soul of discretion.
How is your good wife?
Not long to go, I fear.
I love it here.
Just the two of us.
It's a damn sight more peaceful, just the one of you.
-Which one of us do you love the most?
Me or Charlie?
Or Big Joe?
-Or Big Joe.
-Well, you know, Big Joe is special.
You know, I've had three sons, Tommo.
And each one I've loved so much that when the next one's come along,
I didn't fathom how I had any more love in me.
But since you ask...
..I love my heir apparent, Charlie, the most.
I hate you. I hate you!
I'm teasing, Tommo!
"Wee, sleekit, cowrin...
TEACHER'S VOICE: "Sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
"O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
"Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
"The present only toucheth thee."
Stay back! Run!
Run! Tommo, run!
He should wear his Sunday best.
And there's a button missing.
Very James Peaceful, I must say.
CHURCH CONGREGATION SINGS
ALL: # ..lie with thee. #
James Peaceful was a good man.
One of the finest workers I have known.
Always cheerful as he went about his work.
The Peaceful family have been employed by my family,
by my wife's family...
And in all the 20 years,
he worked as gamekeeper and forester on the estate...
..James Peaceful was a credit
to his family and his village.
We shall remember him.
-We now commit his body to the ground.
Earth to earth. Ashes to ashes.
Dust to dust.
In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life...
..through our Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
I have no wish to intrude upon your grief, Mrs Peaceful,
and forgive me if this seems a little indelicate.
But there is the matter of the cottage.
Strictly speaking, it's a tied cottage.
Tied to your husband's employment on the estate.
-Now, of course, that he's gone...
-You want us out?
Well, not if we can come to an arrangement.
There's a position up at the house that might suit you.
Lady's maid to my dear wife.
That's very good of you, Colonel, but I have my children.
I have considered that.
And I'm pleased to offer Charles employment in my hunt kennels.
Thomas, of course, is still at school.
As for the other one,
well, there's always the lunatic asylum.
I could never do that, Colonel, never.
You do understand the position you're in, Mrs Peaceful?
Yes, I do.
My condolences, Mrs Peaceful.
Miss Far, good day.
You married the first man that turned your head.
Nothing but a forester.
He couldn't even do that properly.
I'll need your help, Auntie.
Where has she got to?
-Come along now, eat up.
-I'm not hungry.
-Waste not, want not.
-I want bread and butter pudding.
Potatoes is all you'll be getting from now on.
Coarse and vulgar, and no manners.
-Not now, Joe.
I don't know what the Colonel was thinking of.
A lady's maid at your age.
-Please don't go yet.
-I have no time, Hazel.
I have a business to run, you know that.
One day, the woodcutter's sons spied the evil old Colonel
pushing his harmless, dear little wife into the lake
-to drown her.
And so the nasty Colonel and horrible Grandma Wolf
lived unhappily ever after.
And had lots of monster children
with hairy whiskers coming out of their nostrils.
I've been thinking about Father?
How he died.
What are we going to do?
About Grandma Wolf, being hungry all the time.
We'll scavenge in the forest.
We can tickle for trout in the river.
It's the Colonel's river. His land.
You work for him.
No-one owns the wildlife, Tommo.
GENTLE MUSIC PLAYS
-Come here, Tommo.
-Come on, Charlie.
The late Queen's birthday.
God bless her.
Today, we remember the warriors
who died with honour fighting for their country overseas.
And God bless the British Empire
and the taming of the natives to the greater glory of civilisation.
But whilst we must cherish our past...
..we must all look forward to the future
and the greatness that lies therein.
And with that, I now declare
the Empire Garden Fete well and truly open.
CHEERING / SHOUTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Who are you?
Queen of the Amazons.
Molly Monks, my father's the Colonel's new gamekeeper.
-Where are you from?
This is my little brother, Tommo.
-I'm nearly 11.
-She's called Molly, and she's from Peru.
And I'm Charlie Peaceful.
Meet Charlie in the barley for a parley?
This is my older brother, Big Joe.
-Pleased to meet you, Peaceful brothers.
-What does your father do?
-He was the Colonel's gamekeeper.
Have you got brothers and sisters?
No, I haven't even got a mother.
Hey, no secrets, Tommy Peaceful.
Tommo. I'm Tommo.
-Come on, Charlie.
-Where are you off to?
Shite and onions.
-That was your fault.
-What did I do?
Monks, the gamekeeper.
No, Charlie, if one goes, we both go.
You best stay put then. cos I'm going nowhere.
What do you think of Molly?
She's all right for a girl.
MAN SPEAKING IN DISTANCE: Morning.
I'm the bearer of sad news.
It's the lady of the house, she passed away.
-She's been unwell, you know.
The Colonel wishes you to do the linen and the laundry.
Goodbye, Mr Monks.
What is it, Mother?
The Colonel's wife has passed away.
-I don't believe it.
-The Colonel killed her.
No, of course he didn't.
What a terrible thing to say, Tommo.
She's been frail for a long while now.
She died peacefully in her sleep.
So, that's it then.
You lost your job, the Colonel's throwing us out.
-No. You're to stay on in his hunt kennels.
And I'm to take in the Colonel's laundry, here.
So I can look after Big Joe again.
And what about Grandma Wolf?
-Now, don't call her that.
She prowls around in sheep's clothing
whenever the Colonel's watching.
What will she get up to now?
What did you do that for, Jimmy Parsons?
Go on, then, Peaceful.
-You're not worth it.
-Need your big brother to fight for you?
Form a scab and drop off, dung breath.
There, you keep it.
Keep it forever.
I will. Till the day I die.
You'll need to wash it before then.
How did your mother die, Molly?
She died as I was born.
She gave me life, Tommo.
Don't you feel bad that you...
I feel sad that she isn't here to love me.
I still love her.
Like you still love your father.
Can I tell you something, Molly?
Tell me what?
-I think you're...
-Boo! Race to the river!
Wait for me.
MOLLY AND CHARLIE GIGGLE
I dare you to take off all your clothes.
-I will if you will.
Come on in, the water's lovely.
Come on, boys, be a man.
See, it's not that cold.
Come on in, Tommo, the water's lovely.
Don't worry, Tommo, the fish won't nibble your bits.
See, it's not that bad.
It's freezing, I'm turning blue.
I said no peeping.
I want to die.
Right here and now.
Because no tomorrow could ever be as good as today.
I'm going to tell the future. I've seen gypsies do it.
The stones say that as long as we stick together,
we'll be lucky and happy till the day we die.
Do the stones say who you'll marry?
-Crossed fingers, Molly's stones.
They're just as reliable or unreliable as praying to God.
I want to see my brother.
I don't think so.
I want to see Charlie.
I didn't hate my father.
He died trying to save me.
Fathers and sons.
Fathers and sons.
Your father is in God's hands now.
As we're all destined to be, my son.
I don't believe in heaven.
I'm not sure I've ever really believed in God.
At church, I'd look up at Jesus hanging on the cross...
..and wonder why God...
..who is supposed to be his father...
..almighty and powerful...
..would let them do that to him.
Would let him suffer so much.
If there is a God, why was my father killed?
Why does this war happen?
Why won't morning come?
Happy in your work, Thomas Peaceful?
Mind out, you clot.
-Don't you call me that around here, Thomas.
Makes me sound old and crotchety.
When really you are young and kind-hearted.
I can hear you, Thomas Peaceful.
The Colonel wants tea for two.
And how do I take my tea?
Same as yesterday, ma'am.
-Same as the day before...
-Stop muttering, Molly Monks.
Well, he's old and slow. He's no use for hunting.
-No use to anyone.
Well, you know what to do.
What is it, lad?
He's done you no harm.
The hounds are my property, I decide whether they live or die.
Yes, you do, sir.
-But he's Molly's favourite.
-That's sentimental rot.
He's a useless old beast.
-I got him, sir.
Take care of it.
Bring the car out!
Go on now, go on now, boy!
He had no idea, Charlie, we did it.
That's it, run! Run!
A proper job, Tommo.
I'll make an apple pie to go with the stew.
Here, boy, in here, in here.
Get out of my way!
Get him inside, get him inside.
The Colonel's following.
He's not just following you, Charlie Peaceful,
he's right behind you.
I've got the sheets ready for you now, Colonel.
I'm not here for the blasted linen.
-This dog had run away, sir, honest.
Liars as well as thieves.
-I beg your pardon, Colonel.
-I had to do it, Mother.
-Do what, Charlie?
-He told me to shoot him.
-I can do as I like with him.
-He stole one of my hounds, Mrs Peaceful.
And as magistrate of this village...
So, am I to understand, Colonel,
that if you were to shoot this hound,
then he was of no use to you at all?
No, no use.
Joe, would you fetch the money mug from the mantelpiece, please?
JOE: Money mug.
-Thank you, Joe.
There you are, Colonel. Six pence.
Not a bad price for a useless old dog.
So now he's not stolen, is he?
You're both fired.
I don't know what you're so pleased about.
You've both just lost your jobs.
-Thomas Brass, sir.
Any work for a young labourer?
No, I've got no work for you here, lad.
-No, I've got my men, I don't need no more. Sorry, lad.
And another pint then, please.
No. You better make that a half.
To your health.
Nice one, Jimmy.
-I did it for you, Fred. We're a team.
-Buck up, Nipper.
Nice one, Freddo.
-All right, Tommo?
-Out of a job, is it?
Well, you know, Pete.
There's a card game Friday fortnight against the King's Arms.
We could do with a reserve.
Old enough now to play with the lads, are you?
I'll have a go.
-What'd you play that for?
You're supposed to be counting the cards.
Looks like someone's lost their place on the card team, Jimmy.
Better luck next time there, Jimmy.
Well done, Tommo.
So, how is the farm? Hard on your own?
I'll get by.
-There's always help at harvest.
-It's a lot of work, though.
-And you're not getting any younger, mind you.
How about I come and work for you?
I suppose that'd serve the Colonel right,
if I did take you on.
-Both of you.
-Both of us?
But one wage, mind.
We brought our hound to see you, look.
Hello, Billy old boy.
You smell sweet.
That pong's not Billy, it's you.
That's horse poo.
-It's better than dog shite, mind.
We don't want you Peacefuls here.
Bothering our Molly.
She don't want to see you. Go on.
Come on, Billy.
How are we going to see Molly again?
It's good to have women out of your hair.
-Don't be late, though, Tommo lad.
Get up there, boys.
-I think Molly might meet us later.
Play your little daft games without me, Tommo, all right?
Oh, damned Hun.
Call in the cavalry.
We shall be fighting with the Frenchies against the Bosch.
-Make yourself scarce.
-Hey, come here.
I miss you, both.
Come here. Come here!
Come on, girls. That's right.
There's one. There's one.
There's two, there's two.
Come on in, girl.
Bring us another one. Bring us another one. That's it.
-Come on, girl.
-There she is.
Ooh er, look at this at one.
-I think I'm in love.
I think I'm in love.
Well, which one? Her?
You're far too young to be in love, Tommo.
All right, boy?
Come on, girls.
HE BREATHES LOUDLY
MOLLY ECHOING: I dare you to take off all your clothes.
Come on, boys, be a man.
That's strange, Joe.
Horses and guns.
That's how we beat the Boer in the Cape
and how we knocked the stuffing out of the Zulu in Natal.
Horses and guns.
But we work with cart horses, you daft old bug...
You'll need hunters, not ploughers.
Our horses will no sooner charge into battle
than I skip home before last orders.
It's not just the cavalry.
How do you move the great guns,
the ammunition trains, the supply magazines?
The army needs all the horses it can get.
And all the men.
Fit, able-bodied young men, ready to fulfil their patriotic duty.
(The old fart.)
Up the revolution!
YOUNG MEN LAUGH
-They've thrown her out.
Her father and the Colonel have thrown her out.
-It's your fault, Charlie.
-Why? What's going on?
What's going on is that she's going to have your baby.
That's what's going on.
I didn't want to hide it from you, Tommo.
-But you did hide it from me.
-She didn't want to hurt you.
Cos you love her, don't you?
But I love her, Tommo.
She loves me.
She's not a girl any more.
-I hate you.
-No, you don't, Tommo.
And besides, who'll be my best man?
-You're getting married?
But not to Jimmy Parsons.
he left school sooner than you wanted.
And now he's gone and got a nice girl pregnant.
Who does that remind you of?
No wedding bells?
INDISTINCT CHATTER IN OTHER ROOM
Are you awake?
Father died because of me, Joe.
It was my fault.
SLEEPILY HUMS: # Oranges and lemons...
# ..say the bells of... #
-SINGS WITH VOICE BREAKING:
-# You owe me five farthings, say the bells of St Martin's.
# "When will you pay me?"
# Say the bells of Old Bailey. #
Who would shoot their own soldiers?
-Itchy sods, lice.
-Could be worse.
Could be crabs.
I see the French
and they shoot their lot for cowardice all the time.
What good's that do?
And the generals and the politicians...
..they think it stops us
from asking what we're doing out here in the first place.
Well, it bloody doesn't.
Why don't you just let him off?
Let him sit out the war behind bars?
# Here comes a candle
# To light you to bed
# And here comes a chopper
# To chop off your head. #
KIDS SINGING: # Chip chop chip chop
# The last man's dead! #
Don't sweep up where I just cleaned then.
Well, do it yourself then.
Come on, Tommo, go on and punch me.
Come on, yourself.
Come on. Come on, then, Tommo.
Come on, Tommo.
-Come on, then, boy.
-I'm not a boy.
Break it up, lads. Break it up!
It's official. War Office, they want my horses.
You can't argue with them, Charlie.
We dance to their tune.
"Calling all horse herders."
I need you to deliver them to market.
I'll do it.
MILITARY MUSIC PLAYS
-That's quite all right. Thank you.
Look after 'em, won't you?
MAN: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.
I shan't beat about the bush.
I shan't tell you it's all tickety-boo out there in France.
It's an 'ard slog.
There's only one question you need to ask yourselves about this war.
Who would you rather see marching through your streets?
Us lot? Or the Hun?
Because if we don't beat them over there,
they'll come marching through right here,
burning your houses, violating your women, killing your children.
They've not only beaten brave little Belgium,
but now they've taken a fair slice of France, too.
If we don't beat them at their own game,
they'll gobble us up as well.
Well, do you want the Hun here?
-Do you? ALL:
-Shall we blast them to kingdom come? ALL:
Then we shall need you.
And all the brave lads out in France need you, too.
And remember one thing, lads, and I can vouch for this...
..all the ladies love a soldier.
Now, who'll be the first brave lad
to come and take the King's shilling?
I'm looking for boys with hearts of oak,
lads who love their king and country,
men what hates the lousy Hun.
Go on, son. Go and fight.
It's every man's duty to fight when his country calls.
You're not a man.
Farmer Cox sent me to market. The army was there recruiting.
Jimmy Parsons joined up, and Pete, Fred.
Don't worry about it, Tommo. They can't make you go.
You're too young, anyway.
I'm nearly 16.
You gotta be 19 to serve overseas, Tommo. They don't want boys.
I'm not a boy.
-Baby boy, baby boy...
-Stop it now, Joe.
Anyway, that's what the professional army's for.
They're a brave lot, though, the volunteers.
If women had their say, there wouldn't be war in the first place.
-Charlie, you wouldn't go, would you?
-No, don't be daft.
I'd shoot a rat, because it might bite me.
I'd shoot a rabbit, cos I could eat that.
But why would I want to shoot a German?
I never met a German.
You've seen the lists, Tommo? All the killed and wounded?
What's it for?
So a few little rich men can hang on to power a little while longer
while they bleed us dry?
-I don't know about that, Charlie.
-No, it ain't right.
I couldn't bare the loss. Not with James gone.
It's better than shovelling shit.
It's better than breaking your back all your life working someone else's land.
-It's better pay, too.
-It's not a job that lasts forever, though, is it?
-Who wants to get stuck here forever?
-Here is home, Tommo.
-This is where you're from.
-Who would you rather see walking through the streets?
-Us lot or the Hun?
-Grow up, Tommo, please.
You're a coward, Charlie Peaceful.
And you're tired, Tommo.
So don't say anything you'll regret in the morning.
-Date of birth?
-Fifth of October.
Fifth of October, 1895.
Now report to the doctor.
Date of birth?
Fit as a fiddle.
Stand up straight, lad.
There you are. 5'10".
MUM: Come along, Tommo!
I love you, Molly.
What, you're not embarrassed to kiss me in front of your pals?
No, why should I be?
Charlie, what's bothering you?
All the lads are going off to war, and I'm staying here.
Charlie, they're not about to become fathers!
My little boy.
What have you done?
It's what Father would've wanted.
I'm not so sure, Tommo.
There. Your father wanted you to have it...
..when you were grown up.
I don't smoke.
Put that bloody fag out! You want your head blown off?
No smoking in the trenches at night!
Because Fritz will snipe your cobblers off, you berk!
But we're not in the trenches, Sergeant, and it's daytime.
Stand still! Chest out!
Stomach in! Look to the front!
Are you the best they can send us these days?
And I'm supposed to make bloody soldiers out of you.
Peaceful, Sergeant. Private Tommo Peaceful.
-You want your head blown off, Peaceful?
-You want your nuts blown off, Peaceful?
-You want your arse blown off, Peaceful?
-Then you do what I say, when I say it.
-Thank you, Sergeant Hanley.
-Captain Wilkins, sir!
You've all had a long voyage, men.
A hard march.
You have leave to visit the local estaminet.
-The what, sir?
-The pub, and the first round's on you.
MEN SINGING INDISTINCTLY
Who are they?
Indians, Tommo. Soldiers like you and me.
-Are those fellows singing foreign?
No, I don't understand a word they're saying anyway.
-Hey, Tommo lad!
-What the hell are you doing here?
-Someone had to look after this one.
-I can look after myself.
-And what took you so long, mate?
Parsons. Better late than never.
If you'd left it much longer, the war would've been over.
-Where'd you get that?
-Mother. It's the best watch in the world.
It's Father's watch.
And she is the hors d'oeuvres.
DUTCH ACCENT: You are a fighting boy, Tommy?
Not Tommy. Tommo.
I do not understand.
But I think you are too young to be in a war.
I'm old enough. I'm fighting here with my pals and my brother.
Go home, Tommy.
No likey, Monsieur Bum Fluff.
Vous likey un tumble dans the hay avec moi.
You're just boys.
-Anna, where is the...?
- Here! More beers.
That is my daughter.
I'd rather have a cider.
Five beers, one cider.
- And what are you laughing at, baby face?
Parsons, you've got a face like an old whore's arse.
Stuff a sock in it.
Hey, here's to home.
And Mr Munnings.
And the Colonel. May they all suffer the misery they so richly deserve.
-Yeah, I'll fetch the beers.
What's your name, Private?
Peaceful. Private Peaceful.
Are you being funny?
You know what these three stripes are, boy?
That makes you a sergeant, which means you'll never make an officer.
Which makes you one of the lads.
Good luck, Sergeant.
Here he is.
Right, to Molly.
That's for me to say. To Molly.
SOLDIERS SING: # Pack up your troubles
# In your old kit bag
# And smile smile smile
# While you've a Lucifer
# To light your fag
# Smile, boys, that's the style
# What's the use of worrying? #
-Off home, lads?
England's that way, boys. Do send our love.
SERGEANT: Platoon, halt!
-CHARLIE AND TOMMO:
Sentry duty. Both of you.
Well, what do we do then?
If you nod off, it'll be a court martial
if Fritz doesn't shoot you up the arse first.
OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYS
Fine night for poaching, Tommo.
What happened to all the trees?
What's the matter, Peaceful? Scared of mice?
Parsons, save that for them, all right?
Big man, Private?
Not exactly, Sergeant.
I'm just a country boy, like yourself.
-Why are we here?
SOLDIER: I'm sure it's important.
As you were.
We have orders to send out a patrol into the trench opposite
to bring back a prisoner for questioning.
HQ need to know what enemy regiments have been deployed.
There's a double rum ration in it for anyone who does.
-I'm in then, hell.
-SOLDIER: Me, too.
The old village card team, eh?
Jimmy, Fred, with the Sergeant.
Fetch the stretcher bearers on the double. Keep your heads down, lads.
Keep your head down, Sergeant.
-Come on, Sarge! I've got you.
Up you get. On your feet, sir.
Come on, Sergeant. Come on up, Sergeant.
Leave me, get yourselves out.
One goes down, we all go down. Ain't that right, Sergeant?
Come on, come on!
Keep his head down, fellas. Keep it down. Come on, come on.
-Thank you, Peaceful.
-Anything for an officer.
Gas! Gas! Gas!
Follow the drill!
Don't panic, Tommo.
Tommo, listen. Listen! Stick with me, all right? Come on!
Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!
Don't shoot me, mister, please!
-I don't shoot boys. Go, boy.
Go, Tommy, go. Go!
-I'll kill you.
I'll kill you, you German bastard!
MAN: All clear!
SERGEANT: Prepare for counterattack!
-Stretcher bearers. Stretcher bearers.
You'll be all right, Charlie Peaceful.
All right, good luck, Fred.
Private Peaceful, Doctor. I was in the gas attack.
Let's take a look at you.
Breathe in and out.
You didn't catch a whiff of it. Next!
I can't see straight. I can't breathe.
Calm down, man. You were lucky. Take a look outside.
-All right, come on.
Charlie! What happened?
Bled like a pig, boy. They're sending me back.
-Congratulations, Peaceful. Your ticket home.
I'll be sure to send your love, Sergeant.
They're not taking you now, Charlie?
Tommo, you'll be all right.
Hey, Tommo, keep your chin up. I'll write to you.
Better still, you write to me.
Well, we'll see you soon, Charlie.
Don't any of you other yellow bastards
go shooting yourselves in the foot.
Hey, hey, hey!
All right, don't you worry, Sergeant, we won't.
All right, come on. Come on, Tommo.
All that fighting, no gain on either side.
Have another beer.
-Here's to a horrible bloody Hanley.
I'm going after Charlie.
And how will you get there? Swim?
I'll find a way. I'll get back somehow.
But that's desertion, Tommo. They shoot deserters.
Hang on! Tommo!
-Well, he won't have gone far.
-You gave me a fright. What are you doing here?
Er... You are ill?
Hiding from your friends?
I've seen you before, I think.
My name is Anna.
So, it's true then. Every English soldier is called Tommy.
No, not Tommy. I'm Tommo.
And what do you do when you're at home, Tommy-Tommo,
when you're not playing soldiers?
-I work on a farm.
-You're a farmer?
No, I'm not really. I work on Farmer Cox's farm.
In the fields. Sheep, horses.
ROMANTIC SCORE PLAYS
HE SPEAKS DUTCH
SHE SPEAKS DUTCH
You promise you return? Yes?
SHOUTING / WHISTLE BLOWS
"They brought young children to Christ, that he should touch them.
"And his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
"But when Jesus saw it, he was displeased,
"and said unto them, 'Suffer the little children to come unto me,
"'for of such is the kingdom of God.'"
"And he took them up in his arms"
"and blessed them."
THE COLONEL: And who's left to make the ammunition?
See, the problem with Kitchener's army is they're all amateurs.
In my day, we were a regular army. Professionals.
Well, the Hun would be on the run now
if these young scamps were as brave as we were then.
Just one big push.
You're a silly old fart, Colonel.
I beg your pardon.
The world's changing, old man.
When you lot stop ruling our bloody lives, England will change, too.
There'll be no more empire.
No more landowners exploiting the labour of the masses.
And there'll be no more bloody war!
Call me what you like, Colonel.
You can blast us to smithereens out there on the front line,
but you'll not stop us.
We're fighting the Germans,
but we're at war with your kind, too.
And the whole world's about to be ripped apart by the likes of me!
-You're a grandfather.
-"One day, when this war is over, we shall all be together again,
"and young Tommo will see his uncle for the first time and smile.
"Big Joe already smiles at him.
"And little Tommo has Big Joe's great grin,
"and Charlie's nose and your blue eyes.
"Because of all this, I love him more than I can say.
-All right, Tommo?
-All right, boys.
Anna? The girl that works here?
We had a rendezvous.
She's with her other gentlemen friends, lover boy.
Monsieur. Anna? Where's Anna?
HE SPEAKS DUTCH
HE SPEAKS DUTCH
Gone? Gone where?
God. Anna's dead.
I don't understand.
Dead? Dead! My daughter is dead!
How? What happened? She can't be dead.
Fetching eggs from the next village.
For you soldiers. For your supper.
One big bomb shell. Boom, and she's dead.
-Go to hell, Tommy.
Go to hell, you English, you Germans, you French.
And take your war with you. The hell...
-Silly man! You know I do...
They won't want you back. You were injured.
And little Tommo?
LITTLE TOMMO CRIES
You think I should just stay here and let them fight without me?
-That'll make our son proud?
-I just want everything to be as it was.
And then you'll love me?
I do love you, you silly man. You know I do.
Well, be more loving then, Mol.
Christ's sake, there's a bloody war on.
LITTLE TOMMO CRIES
You've upset little Tommo with your bickering.
No, we're not bickering, Mum. Honest.
Charlie, being married is hard,
but not having a husband and a father for your children
is the hardest of all.
So listen to what your wife has to say
before making promises to yourself and your pals.
-You curse the filthy Hun!
You insert your bayonet,
you twist it, you pull it out clean again.
I'm the best bloody teacher you lads will ever have.
All right, now.
These old lads will now show you the ropes.
Which am I then, Sergeant?
A new lad or an old clown?
Well, well, well, Private Peaceful.
Back for second helpings?
Well, I wasn't going to miss this, Sergeant.
I'm warning you.
I've got my eye on you.
One step out of line...
Don't you worry about me, Sergeant.
I'll be good as gold.
Cross my heart and hope to die.
-Get to the end of the line, soldier.
-How's Molly? Little Tommo?
-Don't ask me about them.
I can tell you plenty about home.
Hedgerows are untrimmed, fields lie fallow.
There's no-one to plough the fields, is there? There's no lads.
Just don't ask me about them, Tommo.
Not out here.
They don't belong here.
They belong back there at home.
Do you understand?
SERGEANT: Port arms!
Private Peaceful, rifle above your head, now!
Doubling at the double!
Double! Double! Double!
Double! Double! At the double!
Get up! Get up! Get up!
You drop that rifle, Private Peaceful,
you begin the punishment again.
-Do you hear me?
-I didn't hear you!
Now move your feet!
You get up.
Get up. Get up!
You want to try it, Sergeant? You want to pick on someone? Leave him be!
Leave it, Charlie.
You were saying, huh?
-Leave it, Charlie.
-The rest of you men, fall out!
Steady up there.
Insubordination in a time of war is mutiny.
And mutiny is punishable by death by firing squad.
Now, this time, Peaceful's been let off lightly.
Field punishment number one.
Fall the men out, Sergeant.
Not so cocky now, are you?
Don't outdo me now.
He seemed to like you. Thank you.
Thank you very much indeed. Cheers.
WHISTLE BLOWS Move! Move, soldier!
Move it, Parsons!
Come on, boys.
Keep going! Come on, boys!
Come on, boys!
GUNSHOT / APPROACHING MISSILE
Fred! Fred! Pete!
Dig, men! Dig!
Tommo! Tommo! Come here, lad.
Come on. Come on. Come on, boy!
All right, come on!
Hold the line!
All right. All right, all right. It's all right, Tommo.
We thought we lost you, Tommo lad.
We're in the middle of bloody no-man's land.
We'll get you home, Tommo.
Home? We're on a bloody holiday.
We've gotta get out of this, lads!
-No, we can't move.
-Well, then we better stay put then, hadn't we?
Stay put? We're only 50 yards from the German trenches.
I want all of you on your feet, now!
What the hell is the matter with you lot?
You send us out there, Sergeant,
watch the machine guns mow us all down.
On your feet! Are you disobeying my order, Private Peaceful?
Are you disobeying my order?
He can't walk, Sergeant, let alone run. He's wounded!
I want all you men on your feet now,
or it's a court martial, Peaceful.
Do you hear me?
Let's go! Go! Go!
I want you over the top!
MACHINE GUN FIRE
Charlie, I have to tell you.
I heard about the girl.
Her name was Anna.
She was lovely.
But it's not her.
You still have feelings for Molly.
-I'll love her till the day I die.
Father needn't have died.
He was trying to save me.
If only I'd have ran when he called out to me,
the tree wouldn't have fallen on him.
He'd have lived.
It was that tree that killed him, Tommo.
I want you to have this.
It's such a wonderful watch.
You wind it regular and time will never stop.
You have to promise to look after it, though, Tommo.
-Keep going, Tommo.
-Come on, Charlie.
Shoot him. Kill the bastard!
He'll put Tommo on charge.
SOLDIERS MARCHING Left, right, left, right, left!
Left, right, left, right!
Escort, two paces to the rear. March!
I, Major Fitzpatrick, convene this field general court martial
to try the case of cowardice in the face of the enemy
against Private Peaceful.
He disobeyed my orders, sir,
the order from High Command, to press home the attack.
Peaceful, you're a worthless man.
This field general court martial
finds the accused, Private Peaceful, guilty as charged.
-Take away the prisoner.
RUSTLING / CLANKING
I can't stop thinking of home.
Mother, Big Joe.
Will they know?
No tears, Tommo lad.
Both brothers were charged, both were imprisoned.
So why bring only one of them to trial, sir?
Shouldn't both cases be dismissed?
We cannot have soldiers disobeying orders in the face of the enemy.
I must pass the maximum sentence,
then the final decision is for the General.
And Haig could show mercy.
Then why bother to recommend the firing squad, sir?
I'm not recommending it, I'm bound by the Army Act,
you blame the government.
This army runs on strict discipline.
But we're not inhuman.
An hour is all we give him?
One hour for a man's life?
General Haig has confirmed the sentence.
"Private Peaceful will be shot for cowardice in the face of the enemy"
"at 6.00 on the morning of the 25th of June, 1916."
I said fall out.
LITTLE TOMMO COOS
Tommo, wait for us.
They say there's going to be an almighty push.
We'll push them away from the Somme all the way back to Berlin.
I will survive somehow, Charlie.
I have promises to keep.
Wartime drama adapted from the Michael Morpurgo novel. Brothers Charlie and Tommo Peaceful grow up in poverty without their father in a quiet Devon village. Both are in love with their childhood friend Molly, but it's older brother Charlie who wins her. When the First World War breaks out, Tommo enlists and is sent to the front in Flanders, with Charlie following his little brother to the trenches soon after.