Carry On Sergeant (1958) - full transcript

Sergeant Grimshaw wants to retire in the flush of success by winning the Star Squad prize with his very last platoon of newly called-up National Servicemen. But what a motley bunch they turn out to be, and it's up to Grimshaw to put the no-hopers through their paces.

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---
Wedding March.

"Congratulations. May all
your troubles be little ones

and remember, the
first 10 years are

the worst. With love from Granny."

"In accordance with warning
notice already sent to you,

you are required to report to

Heathercrest National
Service Depot."

Charlie, it's your call-up.

What do you mean, my call-up?

But it's our wedding day.

How can it be my call-up,
Dad? You sent off an



application for an
extension for the wedding.

- Didn't you?
- Me? No, you did.

- I asked you to do it.
- No, you said you would.

Why doesn't somebody do something?

Argh. Please. Please. A draught.

But it's stifling in here.

Please. My eardrums are
very thin, very weak.

The least suspicion of a
draught and I'm finished.

Cor.

Thanks, mate.

- Argh. Don't.
- Now what?

Please. Do you mind
not smoking? It

affects me. I've got
a weak stomach.

- Now, look here...
- Catarrh pastille?



I haven't got catarrh.

You don't know
you're living, mate.

Are you going to hospital?

- Into the army.
- The army?

- Yeah.
- Ha. So am I.

How did you pass the
medical? Influence?

Medical. Ha. A farce.

A criminal farce.

A-1. Me. A-flaming-1.

Army doctors.

I tell you, mate,
two of everything

you should have two
of and you're in.

We don't deserve your
congratulations.

It was luck. Pure luck.

What a lot of rubbish.

Luck doesn't enter into it.

Sure it does, Grimmy.
Take you, now.

Six years a Training Sergeant.

And never had a Champion Platoon.

- It's bad luck.
- Oh, no, it isn't.

Listen, Paddy, every man has the
instinct of soldiering in him.

- Right?
- Right enough.

You've all done it.
You've all had a

Champion Platoon at
one time or another.

So shall I. With my next platoon.

Why? What's the hurry?

It's my last platoon.

I shall be leaving the army in ten
weeks and it's my last chance.

Don't set your heart on it.

Now listen, when I
want your advice...

Like to bet on it?

- I don't bet as a rule.
- What, scared?

Not a bit of it.

All right. 50 quid says
no Champion Platoon.

Sergeant Grimshawe, sir. Can I
give you a lift to the mess, sir?

Well, that's extremely
civil of you, Sergeant.

Thank you, sir.

- Let me take the bag, sir.
- Thank you, Sergeant.

Bye, darling.

Well, a very nice place
you have here, Sergeant.

Finest depot in the command, sir.

That's encouraging.

Well, Sergeant, where do I report?

That's the officers'
mess over there, sir.

Very nice too, but I happen
to be a National Serviceman.

Get in the back of that
truck, will you? Fast.

Thank you, Sergeant.

Charlie. Charlie.

- Did you see? Did you hear?
- What? Where?

She called to me.
From a laundry van.

Look... Look, keep
calm, Charlie boy.

Look... Just a little while
longer? You'll see the MO.

Oh, stop pawing me. I'm
not ill. I did see her.

Go round the back, go on.

Round the side. Go on.

Yes, and about time
too, I'm thinking.

- You're the new girl, aren't you?
- Are you the manageress?

No, I'm Nora.

My name's Mary.

I don't care what your name is,
as long as you can cut chips.

Your overall's in that cupboard.

Thanks.

Here, where's your
labour exchange card?

It's coming in the post.

Don't you know how it works, love?

Yes.

Oh, I'm not really the new girl.

But please don't give me
away. Please help me.

Oh, there, there, love. Come
on, tell Nora all about it.

Now, look. You've got
to face up to it.

You are an obsessional
with visual complications.

Look, once and for all, I
got married this morning,

there was a muddle
over my deferment.

Now, Mary must have
followed me to the camp.

She's a very determined girl.

Well, personally,
chaps, I believe him.

Please. Do you mind belting up?

You don't know nothing
about psychiatry.

Possibly not, but I do
know a bit about women.

You know, there are
certain chaps who

are always being chased by women.

- I know exactly how you feel.
- Thank you.

Judging by their names,
they should be a fine lot.

There's a lot in a man's name,
Corporal. Gives him character.

Strong, Sage, Bailey,
Heywood, Galloway, Golightly.

- Golightly?
- Golightly.

What's in a name?

Corporal Copping,
you know how much

depends on the success
of this platoon.

- 50 quid, Sergeant.
- That's only money.

There's my reputation,

and perhaps er...
your recommendation

for promotion when I leave,

and possibly a slight
percentage for you if I win.

- When you win, Sergeant.
- That's the spirit, Copping.

Now er... let's have a look at
our Champion Platoon, shall we?

All right, stand by your beds.

All right, at ease, lads.

I'm Sergeant Grimshawe.

And this is Corporal Copping.

Right?

Now, I'm a quiet,
reasonable, humane man.

I know. My mother told me.

Oh, yes. I had a
mother and a father,

even though I am a sergeant.

Only one thing rubs
me up the wrong way,

and that's a man that doesn't
pull his weight in my platoon.

In that respect, I'm a
veritable Jekyll and Hyde.

But somehow, looking around me,

I don't think that
nasty side of my

character's going to
rouse itself this time.

I judge a body of men on sight.

And I don't mind telling
you lads I feel

distinctly encouraged
at the prospects.

Don't disappoint me.

- Right, any questions?
- Can I report sick, please?

- What's your name?
- Strong.

Horace Strong.

- Corporal Copping.
- Sergeant.

Private er... Strong...
on sick report tomorrow.

- Anyone else?
- Ooh er... please, sir.

And don't call me
sir. Sergeant to you.

- Are you feeling sick too?
- Oh, no, Sergeant.

I want some leave.

Leave? Why, you've only
just arrived, son.

But it's vital, Sergeant.
Compassionate. What happened...

All right, all right, you don't
have to tell the world. Copping.

This man to see the
Company Commander.

Thank you, Sergeant.

Not now. When you're sent
for. Get back in line.

- But, Sergeant...
- Quiet.

I never did.

What's that?

Haven't you ever seen a guitar,

Sergeant? Where've
you been living?

Right here, you
numbskull. Where you're

gonna live for the next ten weeks.

- With that banjo out of sight.
- Banjo?

Yes. Out of sight. Understand?

- I dig.
- You'll dig, all right.

I'll see to that.

- We've met.
- Yes, Sergeant.

And no more skylarking, right?
Or you're for it, got it?

Yes.

Sergeant.

Corporal. Empty bed.

- Where's that man?
- Er... I don't know, Sergeant.

- What's his name?
- His name's Golightly.

- I might have known it. Find him.
- Sergeant.

Golightly.

At the double. Private Golightly.

I'm so sorry.

Hello. Did someone call?

- Golightly, where have you been?
- Must I say?

Come here.

At the double.

Where have you been?

Well, I... got
locked in somewhere.

You see, I... Oh, dear.
Have you hurt yourself?

- I've got some lotion here.
- Quiet, the lot of you.

Oh, do stop shouting, please.

- You there.
- Is that remark addressed to me?

Stand to attention
when I'm talking.

Why?

Why? Do as you're told,
you're in the army, son.

Oh, not quite. I'm still a
civilian. With civilian rights.

Don't shout, please.

What is your name?

Please.

Bailey. James Bailey.

- How do you do?
- Fine. Absolutely bloody fine.

But I'll feel even better
once you're in uniform.

Thank you, Sergeant.

All right, carry on, Corporal.

As you were.

The Sergeant doesn't
seem to like us.

I wonder why.

I dunno. Why does it happen to
me? Isn't there any justice?

You don't want to worry,
Sergeant. It'll be all right.

It'll be what? You were
there. You saw them.

Out of 24 men, I'm lumbered
with one hypochondriac,

one natural-born candidate
for the glasshouse,

a rock 'n' roller, a shadow of a
man haunted by Lord knows what,

and a popsy-chasing layabout,

and some idiot who gets himself
locked in... well, you know where.

Yes, but I mean, look...

Any one of those clots
could sabotage the squad.

But I've got 'em all. About turn.

We're 24 per cent non-effective
before we start.

How in the name of
Aldershot can it work out?

Well, it's got to. Your
reputation depends on it.

My reputation, my foot.

What about my 50 quid
riding on that lot?

No, that's true. Oh, well.
There's only one thing for it.

Chase the living
daylights out of them.

Oh, no, no, no. That's no
good. That'd be fatal.

Half the mob in the
guardroom's no good to me.

- Yes, but Sergeant...
- Will you have hush.

No, Copping, we've
got to be... subtle.

Subtle.

We must be kind. Considerate.

- Kind?
- Yes.

These are delicate
blooms, Copping.

- Are they?
- Yes.

Hello. You must be the new lot.

- Greetings, cat.
- Cat?

No, my name's not Cat.

- Are you in our platoon?
- No, not Cat.

Brown. Herbert Brown.

- What did you say?
- Are you in our platoon?

No. I just live here.

Yeah, I think I can
understand him.

You er... received
a severe blow on

the head as a child, didn't you?

No, that was my brother.

Horace, old man, can't you forget
psychiatry for one minute?

I was only trying to help him.

Oh, I don't need any help, thanks.

Well, ta-ra, fellas. See
you at the NAAFI perhaps.

- Hello, corp.
- Don't get lost.

Here, Corporal. Who
was that soldier?

Ta.

That was no soldier,
that was Herbert.

I give up.

Don't worry, so did the army.

Here we are, chaps.
Help yourselves.

Thank you.

I wonder where Charlie's got to.

With his wife, of course.
Love will find a way.

Look here, mate. You
don't really think

that that woman's on
this camp, do you?

- I tell you, it's just...
- An hallucination. We know.

All right, all right.
You can laugh.

I should never have let him go.

He's probably cutting
his throat now.

Bleeding to death
in the ablutions.

I hope not. I have to sluice
them out every morning.

I clean up everywhere in
the camp. That's my job.

- Are you a regular?
- No. National Service.

Here, what about your training?

Don't do it any more.

Haven't done it for... for months.

I want to try again.

Again? How many courses
have you been through?

Three. I think.

But now I...

Look.

There's my "excused webbing" chit.

My "excused marching" chit.

"Excused handling
of firearms" chit.

Chit for...

Blimey. You're just
an heap of chits.

Well, go on, say it.

I'm crackers.

No luck?

Does it look as if
I've had any luck?

This place is vast.

I've tramped over
every inch of it and

not so much as a lock of her hair.

Well, go on, say it. I'm crackers.

It was all my imagination.

Oh, well, now, this is a great
step forward, Charlie boy.

You see, now that you realise
there's something wrong with you,

well, there's a chance of a cure.

Yes, now, you are a er...

uxoriamaniac, obsessed
with the idea of marriage.

Wouldn't you be, if you
were married this morning?

Oh, shut up, please.

- Who's this?
- That's Herbert.

- Hello, Herbert.
- Hi.

- Let's get drunk.
- Dangerous. Dangerous.

Cor. Drinking on top
of an obsession.

Why don't you shut up?

It's her. It's Mary.

He's off again. Stop him.

- Charlie.
- Mary.

Oh, Charlie.

Don't worry, miss. I'll take
care of him. Very sad case.

He's... very, very unbalanced.

Don't you talk that
way about my husband.

Husband?

Good night, Horace.

Anything I can do
for you, soldier?

Darling, how on earth
did you get here?

Never mind how I got
here. I'm here.

And tonight's our wedding night.

You don't mean...

Darling, you don't think I came
here just to become a NAAFI girl.

Well, no, but... but how? Where?

I mean, there's over a
dozen blokes in my hut.

- Nora. She's arranged everything.
- Ooh.

Who's Nora?

- What's the matter?
- I'm in love.

Congratulations.

Must be the aura created
by your happiness.

After three years wearing
out my eyeballs looking

at each lot of new
recruits that comes in,

at last I've found him.

We're very happy for you.

It was that chap
that was with you.

Horace?

H... Oh.

Oh, time stands still
when I say that name.

Not for Charlie and me it doesn't.

Oh.

Oh, yes, of course. Now listen.

It's all arranged.

There's a spare room, but you've
got to be ever so careful...

Darling.

Don't pretend you're asleep.

Darling. Oh, darling, don't tease.

Wouldn't you rather have the
light on, Charlie, darling?

Bashful.

Mary. Darling.

Right. Now, then,
what's wrong with you?

It's my floating kneecap.

Take off your trousers.

- Efficient.
- We do our best.

You can go in when
you hear the bell.

Righto.

What's wrong with you?

Fell on my elbow. I don't
think it's broken.

Take off your tunic,
roll up your sleeves.

I'll clean that up.

Oh.

What's the matter?

Why didn't you warn me?

Corporal. What's the
matter with this man?

I'm sorry, Captain Clark.

Oh, the shock. Oh, my
heart. My heart, my heart.

Hurry up, man. Hurry up.

I want to change my doctor.

This isn't the National
Health Service.

Either you see Captain
Clark or you don't

report sick at all.
It's up to you.

Left... Left wheel.

Squad halt.

Halt.

So sorry. I was miles away.

You know how it is sometimes.

Come back here, you stupid,
sleepwalking son of a...

Delicate blooms.

Private Golightly,
now you really must

try and concentrate
from now on. Right?

Oh, yes. I'll try.

Thank you.

All right, go in there
and get your kit.

Dis... missed.

Concentrate.

Give this to the Corporal
on your way out.

Oh, thank you, ma'am.

You've come to the right
place. Just in time.

- For physiotherapy?
- For physical jerks.

Get on with training. There's
nothing wrong with your knee.

But, ma'am. I can
feel it floating.

Let me know when you
feel it sinking.

One. Beret, one.

Towels - one.

Dressing, field - one.

Drawers, cellular. Pairs, three.

Knives, clasp, one.

Got everything? Sign there.

Drawers, cellular. Pairs, three.

- I say, really. Does one have to?
- Yes, one does.

Next.

- Knives, clasp - one.
- Ooh, thank you.

I say, look.

A knife for getting
things out of a horse's

foot. I've always wanted
one of these. Argh.

Field dressing, one.

Size of head?

I haven't the faintest
idea. I never wear a hat.

- Big.
- Charming.

Next.

- One housewife.
- Housewife?

Oh, Mary.

That's the lot, boys. Tea break.

- What do you want?
- I want my kit, Sergeant.

- Why are you late?
- Well, I had to report sick.

- You fit now?
- The Doctor says I am.

She'd better be right.

- Why?
- Take a deep breath.

You're about to become
the fastest kitted-out

soldier in the British
Army. Hey, boys.

One recruit coming
up. Full kit, on

the double. Before you go to tea.

Ok, boys?

Right, let's go.

Cor.

Hey, mate.

- Do me a favour, please.
- What's that?

Point me in the direction
of my barrack room.

Ta. Right.

Left, right, left, right,
left, right, right wheel.

What's the matter with you?

Get into line up there, will you?

Platoon...

halt.

Stand still. What's the
matter with that man?

Moving about? What do you
think it is, a dance floor?

Platoon, left... turn.

All present and correct, Sergeant.

Platoon, stand at ease.

Stand easy.

Now you're about to meet your
Company Commander, Captain Potts.

Some men live for drink,

and some for women.

Quite frankly, I don't know why
some men bother to live at all.

There's no doubt, however,
why Captain Potts lives.

It's for efficiency.

He's known throughout
the command as

Potts the Perfect.
The Perfect Potts.

All right, that's
enough, that's enough.

Now you lads are in uniform
for the first time.

And I think you'll
all agree with me

that you don't yet
look like soldiers.

It would be stupid of
me to expect that.

It would that. He's very fair.

That man there.

Private Golightly, someone
should have told you.

You're not to talk when
you're on parade. It's

not the custom. So don't
do it. Understand?

- Oh, yes, I understand.
- Right.

Now, where was I?
What was I saying?

How stupid you are.

Stop talking on parade.

Or I'll carve the Queen's
Regulations all over your scalp.

Didn't you hear what I
just told you, Golightly?

Right.

Now, it would be nice when
Captain Potts arrives

if you could stand at ease
and attention properly.

Show him what you can
do. Be efficient.

So we'll try it once
or twice, shall we?

Corporal.

Demonstrate.

Now pay attention, all of you.

Stand at ease.

Attention.

Oh, good. Very good.

All right, Corporal.

Now, let's see what you can do.

Platoon, brace yourselves,
brace yourselves.

Platoon, attention.

Private Golightly, don't go
quite so lightly next time.

Very good.

Joke's over. Joke's over.

Platoon, stand at ease.

Attention.

Get up, you clumsy,
quarter-witted,

half-baked mooncalf.

One more hammer-toed move
like that and I'll...

Er... 50 quid.

Delicate blooms.

All right, now. Here comes Captain
Potts. Do your best, lads.

Company, at ease.

Platoon, attention.

Well, all of you are half asleep.

Like a lot of flamingos.

Not half as clever.

Flamingos go to sleep on one leg.

You lot are all asleep on two.

How many legs does a
flamingo sleep on?

Erm...

- Slow, slow.
- Quick, quick, slow.

Silence.

Alert mind plus responsive
body equals efficient soldier.

- Who are you?
- Galloway, sir.

Useless answer. Two factors
omitted - number and rank.

A soldier without a number and
rank is like a man without a soul.

- Who are you?
- 4277309, Private Galloway, sir.

What, no Christian
name? Are you heathen?

Andy. A.

Slow. Watch this man,
Sergeant. Slow-witted.

Stand up. 'Shun.

At ease. 'Shun. At ease.
'Shun. At ease. 'Shun.

Still in dreamland.

- Do you dream?
- Yes, sir.

- What about?
- Blood.

- Whose?
- Mine.

Timorous spirit of
aggression needs rousing.

You should dream of the enemy's
blood. Close your eyes.

- What comes into your head?
- Blood.

- Whose?
- Yours. Er... Mine. Mine, sir.

- The enemy's...
- Be decisive.

Try sleeping on your
stomach. Proper rest

plus exercise equals
integrated instincts.

- Who are you?
- 4277312, Private Sage, C, sir.

- Now say it backwards.
- Er... Er...

- Come on, come on, come on.
- 3-1-2... Er... 7-3... 3-7...

If you can't think backwards, how
can you think the proper way?

Watch this man. Rigid mental
processes achieve flexibility.

Flexibility plus discipline
equals initiative.

It does, sir? I
mean, it does, sir.

It does, yes.

- You.
- Yes?

- What? Who are you?
- James Bailey. BSc, Economics.

Your number.

It was given to me.
I earned my degree.

Your rank.

Well, that's a matter of opinion.

- Look at this, man.
- You've nothing to complain of.

Look at the suit they've
given me. Look at this.

Plumped on my head, without
even the pretence of fitting.

As a good soldier, I accepted
it without complaint.

As a good officer,
what do you think?

Well, pride in appearance
plus confidence

in one's superior
equals good start.

Fall out. Get yourself a new hat.

Excuse me.

What?

Well? Who are you?

4277298, Private Heywood, M, sir.

Heywood? Ever heard
of General Heywood?

My father, sir.

- Really? Rear Admiral Heywood?
- My grandfather, sir.

- Air Commodore Heywood.
- My uncle, sir.

Quick test. What first
comes into your head?

Women, sir.

A soldier, by tradition and
instinct. Watch this man.

Right, left, right.

Atten... tion.

Platoon, right... turn.

I want you to go in there

and stand by your beds for a
hut and a kit inspection.

Platoon, dis... missed.

Well, here we are, chaps.

Here's how we lay out our kit.

One diagram among 24
people? Not very helpful.

'Allo, Jim. Are you joining us?

I thought you'd be
in the cooler by

now, all nice and individualistic.

I changed my mind.

Sociologically, it's
important for me to find out

just how far one can retain one's
individuality in the army.

And biologically, it's
important I get my leave.

Oh, please, let's make
this inspection good.

If anything goes wrong, my leave
might go up the spout as well.

Poor old Charlie.

Watch yourself, you
big, clumsy ox.

Cut the bull, Charlie.
Imagine you being

worried about keeping a bed tidy.

Get out of it.

Here you are, Horace, you'd
better check yours. Properly.

Let's see. Now for the hut.

Tables, deal - two.

Yeah.

- Here you are, you can have this.
- Oh, ta.

Would you like me
to give you a hand?

I seem to have more
kit than anyone else.

Pete, why don't you
go and help Charlie?

Ok, Miles. Thank you.

Extinguishers, fire - two.
Extinguishers, fire - two.

Peter...

- There's no fire extinguishers.
- Perhaps this place is fireproof.

Yeah, but it's not Potts-proof.

Extinguishers, fire
two, it says, and

extinguishers, fire
two, he'll want to see.

I'm not taking any chances. Come
on, we're gonna borrow a couple.

Oh, bear up, dear.

Perhaps he's had his
interview for leave by

now and you'll be off
together in no time.

Better late than never.

Oh, I shouldn't go on like
this. At least I'm married.

While you...

Oh, I'm suffering the
pangs of first love.

Painful, but... oh,
it's exquisite.

Don't worry about me,
dear. Or Charlie.

Oh. There he is, look.

Oh, Mary. Oh, I'm so
relieved to see you.

Is everything all right, darling?

No.

- No fire extinguishers.
- Fire extinguishers?

Everything depends on them.

I'm only borrowing them.
I... You see... Goodbye.

Ta-ta.

Heywood. We must
concentrate on Heywood.

I wasn't wrong. He's got
officer written all over him.

Yes. If we can get
him recommended for

Officer Cadet, we're home and dry.

And it'll help towards Champion
Platoon rating and maybe...

- Carry on, Sergeant.
- Very good, sir.

Stand by your beds.

- Sergeant?
- Sir.

Turn it off. Turn it off.

Turn it off. Turn it
off. Turn it off.

Left, right. Left, right.

Party, halt.

Private Sage, sir.

- Ah, Sage.
- Sir.

Application for leave on
your first day, man? Why?

Compassionate reasons, sir.

You see, my girl...

You want leave to get
married, do you?

Oh, no, sir. No, sir. It's just
that I want to... arrange things.

Oh...

You dirty rotter.

Oh, no, sir. Please, sir.
You don't understand.

I understand perfectly.

Respectable girl
plus sex-mad youth

multiplied by a
charabanc outing equals

three lives ruined.
See the chaplain.

Oh, but I've already
seen the chaplain, sir.

Is this true, Sergeant?

No, sir. Not to my knowledge, sir.

You'd better watch yourself,
Sage. Lying won't help.

I'm not lying, sir.

Then why say you'd
seen the chaplain?

Well, I have seen the chaplain,
sir. Not this chaplain, sir.

Oh. Oh, army chaplain
not good enough?

Oh, no, sir. Please listen, sir.

Well, come on, then. Sharp. Sharp.

I'm already married, sir.

Oh, and stringing
along another girl.

No. No, sir. I am
married, sir, but...

I'm not married, sir, if
you know what I mean.

I don't know. How can you be
married and not married?

It's easy, sir, when you got
called up on your wedding day.

Oh, well... Yes, well, I think
I'm in the picture now, Sage.

Manoeuvres cancelled, what?

I should have applied
for a deferment,

sir, but it got all
mixed up and...

Oh, please, sir. If I
could just have a few

hours' er... days' leave,
sir. Oh, please, sir.

Well, I think in
the circumstances,

Sergeant, seven days' leave.

- Any questions?
- Now, sir?

No, no, no, no.
Carry on, Sergeant.

Very good, sir.

Party, left turn.
Left, right, left,

right, left, right, left, right.

Get them up. Come on, come
on. Faster than that.

Up, up, up.

All right, stop.

All right, now listen.

When I say move, go
through those beams

and round behind the
inner semicircle.

Move.

All right now, move. Quick.

First four up the ropes.
First four up the

ropes. Quick, quick,
quick. Up you go.

That's it. Come on, get up there.

Corporal, have I got to
go all the way up there?

What's the matter with you? Sick?

What, me?

- Come on, get up.
- All right. Ooh.

- What are you doing?
- Ooh. The strain.

Get off.

Corporal. Corporal.

Corporal.

Oh, no.

- No hope.
- Not today.

You're all right.

But... Doctor. I can
feel a definite thump.

- Regularly? A boom-boom-boom?
- Boom-boom-boom. That's it.

Yes.

Strong, that's your
heart beating normally.

- Hello.
- Hello.

- Lovely day.
- Passable kind of day, I suppose.

If you haven't got great
spots in front of your eyes.

Oh, never mind.

I'm sure it won't
interfere with your

reading your letters
when the post comes.

- Letters? Post? Me?
- Why not?

Don't tell me that you haven't
got a girlfriend or a wife?

Me?

You haven't?

Oh, good.

Er...

From a honeymoon back to
this. Must be terrible.

We'll have a whip-round, buy
him a hot-water bottle.

I say, he does look pale.

Wouldn't you?
Thinking of nine more

weeks without your little wifey?

How was it, Charlie boy?

Well, if you really
want to know...

We spent a good deal of
time in labour exchanges,

fixing Mary up with a
proper temporary job

in the NAAFI here for
the next nine weeks.

Anyone for bayonet practise?

Right, now. Think of all
the things you love.

Freedom. The day of your release.

The Cup Final.

Me. Anything you like.

This evil monster stands
between you and it.

He'll kill you rather
than see you get it.

So you have to kill him.
You have no choice.

Corporal.

Argh. Argh. Argh.

- Right, you're away. That's it.
- All right, now. One at a time.

Remember you're soldiers,
fighting for everything you love.

Fuelled with noble savagery.

All right, let's have ya.

En garde.

- Charge.
- Oh, dear.

On your feet.

Catch.

Right, next.

En garde. Charge.

Get back in line,
will you? Not that

way. Round the back of the dummy.

All right, next.

En garde. Charge.

Argh. Argh.

Pick it up.

En garde. Charge.

Next.

En garde. Charge.

Don't you think this is
a trifle out of date

in a world bristling
with H-bombs, Sergeant?

Shut up.

Now, then. You beast.
Pest. Commoner.

Have at you, varlet. Hand
back that Cup Final ticket.

Private Bailey, in
answer to your question,

I'd back him against
the H-bomb any day.

You beast. Peasant. Commoner.

Don't just stand there.
Help me get him out.

Take that. And that.

Let go, this is my turn.

Let go. Do you want
to kill someone?

Now this is nice and slow,
so even you lot can manage.

All right, Corporal. Demonstrate.

Now pay attention.

Slow... march.

All right, Corporal.

Now this is used on funerals.

Work at it. If you're very lucky,
you'll be doing it at mine.

You there.

Now let's try it, shall we?

Platoon.

Platoon, to atten... tion.

Left turn.

Slow... march.

Left... right.

Left... right.

- Left...
- Ooh.

You kicked me.

I didn't mean it.
It was your fault.

Halt.

Blind, lame, that's what
you are. All of you.

Now stand still.

Now, as you were.
Right, dress off.

At the double.

You misbegotten misfits.

What do you think this is?

What do you think
I'm made of? Iron?

I ought to bung the lot
of you in the guardroom.

For persistent, unrelenting,
blundering, malicious stupidity.

I'll paralyse the lot of you.

Look at you. Standing
as if you're pregnant.

It wouldn't surprise me,
the way I'm mucked about.

- Shut up.
- Sergeant.

All right. Let's try
it again, shall we?

Platoon. Platoon, attention.

All right, pay attention.

This morning, we're going on with

lesson one on the
light machine gun

commonly known as the Bren.

Now, during this period, I'm gonna
show you how to strip it...

and assemble it.

Right, now for
normal stripping, we

divide the gun into
four major parts.

Number one...

What's the matter
with you, soldier?

Smell of the oil.

I've got an allergy to it.

Well, I've heard of some
dodges in my time...

Er... excuse me.

What's your trouble?

Well, just a suggestion.

Why doesn't Private Strong
change places with me?

Are you taking the mickey?

Well, let's see, shall we?

Private Strong is affected by
the odour of oil, I am not.

I make a suggestion intended
to help him and you.

Is that taking the mickey...

Sergeant?

- Does it really turn you up, son?
- Something rotten.

Yeah.

What are you sitting
down there for?

Change places with
the man at the back.

Now, then. Number one.

Remove the piston
group and place it

on the right-hand side of the gun.

Right. Number two.

The barrel group. Lift up the

barrel-locking nut as
high as it'll go.

Take up the carrying
handle, and ease

the barrel forward
until it is clear.

And place it on the right-hand
side of the piston group.

Number three. The butt.

Lift up the gun gently, and pull
the butt back away from the body,

and lay it on the right-hand
side of the barrel group.

Right, number four.

To remove the last two groups,

grip the biped in
the left hand, and

turn the body of the
gun towards you,

and it'll come apart.

Place the body of the gun on the
right-hand side of the butt group,

and the biped on the
right-hand side of the body.

There you are. You
now have your gun

stripped down into its
four major groups.

Now are there any...

Hey, you at the back. Hey, you.

Sir. Sergeant.

What are you gawping
out the window for?

I was listening, Sergeant.

Then you'll know all about it,
won't you? Up on your feet.

Come here.

So you know all
about the Bren gun?

Yes, Sergeant.

There it is. Look at it.

I've stripped it down
for you, haven't I?

Yes, Sergeant.

Well, put it together again.

Sergeant.

Shut up, all of you.

Well... looks as though you
was listening, after all.

I wasn't listening.

I used to work in the factory
where they make these things.

- Good evening.
- Evening.

Good evening, Mrs Sage.

If you say that again,
I'll give you a thick ear.

- No one's supposed to know.
- Oh. I'm sorry.

I'd like a bar of
chocolate, please, miss.

I say. She didn't
ask for the money.

Fourpence.

- Well?
- You see?

I can't keep my hand closed.

Every time I shut
it, it flies open.

- Because you want it to open.
- No, I don't.

Look, this is a
terrible affliction.

A hand with a will of its own.

It's psychosomatic.

Or maybe it's because
tendons are like elastic.

Nonsense.

Oh. Look, this one's starting now.

Open your hands.

Listen to me, Strong.

This is frightening.

There's nothing wrong
with your hands.

- I want an X-ray.
- Dismissed.

You've got no feeling
for the sick.

I remind you I am an officer.

And I remind you
that I'm a sick man.

Dismissed.

See you tomorrow.

Fire.

Number two gun. Fire.

Number three gun. Fire.

Detail, unload.

Two short of target and one outer?

That's bad. Wasteful.

This squad plus ammunition
equals increased army estimates.

- Number one gun clear, sir.
- Number two gun clear, sir.

- Number three gun clear, sir.
- Carry on, Sergeant.

Detail, change.

Number one gun, load.

I said number one
gun, load. Get down.

But the ground's damp, Sergeant. I
suffer from recurrent rheumatism.

You'll suffer from life
imprisonment if you

don't get down. Now get
down there and load.

Number two gun, load.

Raise your back sight, man.

He said your back sight.

Number three gun, load.

Excuse me.

So sorry. I'm all thumbs today.

Champion Platoon.

Carry on, Corporal.

All right. Now just like
that. One at a time.

No delays. Let's have you.

- Thank you, Sergeant.
- Get back in line.

Right, next.

All right, next one.

Next.

Jump, man, jump.

Jump, man, jump.

Come on, jump. It's all right for
you. You haven't had a go yet.

- My bones are weak.
- Jump.

Let go. Let go.

Let go.

Nora would have loved to have
been on that rope with Horace.

Short of being trapped together,
she'll never get with him.

He even avoids going
into the NAAFI now.

Oh, Charlie. I do wish we
could do something for Nora.

She's so terribly unhappy.

Darling, I'd like to help, but
if he won't even talk to her...

He could be... what
did you say, trapped?

Did I say that? What are you
going to trap him with, a net?

- A rope.
- Oh, now wait a minute, darling.

- We mustn't interfere.
- Ssh, darling. I'm thinking.

You haven't finished
the bread yet.

Oh, never mind about that.

But you've got an important
message to deliver.

From Sergeant Grimshawe.

I was told to report
here for fatigues.

Oh.

Well, come on in, then.

You can help with
these, if you like.

Jim, what's that word?

Obtuse.

- What's it mean?
- Unteachable.

Oh.

That's me.

I wish I was like
you. You're clever.

Knowledge in a nutshell, it says.

But I can't get it into my nut.

Jim... I've been meaning
to ask you for weeks.

- What's the secret?
- What secret?

How to learn.

There's no secret,
you... you just learn.

I don't.

I've been in three squads and I
don't seem to learn nothing.

Take the rifle, for instance.

Sergeant Russell says with one
of these things in my mitt,

I'm a danger to everyone
except the enemy.

- Then he's an idiot.
- No, I'm the idiot.

Sergeant Russell said I was.

So did Sergeant O'Brien.

Do you mean to tell
me that neither

of them could show
you a simple thing

like the workings of a rifle?

Oh, they showed me. So
did Sergeant Grimshawe.

But I was always at the back,
and they don't half talk fast.

Now, look. There's nothing to it.

For a start, this is
the safety catch.

Now, nothing can go wrong
once it's this way.

Oh.

That way.

- What are you on fatigues for?
- Cos I wouldn't let go of a rope.

- You don't talk much, do you?
- What's there to talk about?

- Oh... life.
- Life.

Huh. Infection.

Decay... and death, that's life.

- What's your name?
- What's it to you?

I'm just an anonymous blob of
khaki, that's all. I'm just a...

No, you're not. I know
your name anyway.

How?

I made it my business to find out.

Why?

Can't you guess?

There. That's it.

- Looks easy enough.
- It is.

Actually, it's quite
well designed.

Let me have a go.

- Like that, Jim?
- That's it.

Cor.

I've been trying to tell you
ever since I first saw you.

- You're on my toe.
- Oh, I'm sorry.

But you're in my heart. Here.

Don't. You'll do
yourself an injury.

Oh, what does it
matter? If you don't

respond to me, I might
as well be dead.

Oh, Horace, I'm a woman.

Violent and passionate
and I'm yours.

Let's got on with the fatigues.

There aren't any. It was a trick.

A trick?

Oh, I was desperate
to be alone with you.

The message from the
Sergeant - it was from me.

What? Charlie.

Charlie, you rotten sw...

Oh, Horace. Oh, I do love you.

What? I'll murder him. I will.

I'll breathe germs on him.

Why are you so frightened
of love, Horace?

Let me get out.

I'm ill. I've got to take a pill.

Oh, no, it's not a pill that
you need, my darling. It's me.

Oh, imagine the bliss
of having someone

to love you, someone
to take care of you.

Please. Someone might hear you.

Oh, let the whole world hear.

But we must give ourselves time
to get to know each other.

Say about half an hour?

Wh...

- What's your name?
- Oh. Oh, at last.

It's Nora.

- Nora.
- Mm.

Good night.

Oh, Horace. Come back.

Ah, there's nothing to it.

With his background, Heywood will
be an absolute cakewalk for...

Hey. That man.

Horace. Horace, come back. Horace.

Well, I'm glad he's
useful at something.

Left, right. Party, halt.

- Private Heywood, sir.
- Ah, Heywood.

I've asked Sergeant Grimshawe
to keep an eye on you.

He has, and so have I.

Despite certain
unfortunate incidents in

which you were
involved, you're here.

Yes, sir. Why, sir?

Can't you guess?

I haven't the faintest idea, sir.

Modest. Honest. I think we're
right about this man, Sergeant.

Thank you, sir.

Fill this in, Heywood.

I don't have to, do I, sir?

What? Well, I...

It's not an order, Heywood,
but er... surely...

Oh, well, that's all
right, then, sir.

I don't want to be
an officer, sir.

The principle of heredity
shattered. Explain.

Well, sir, what were your
father, grandfather and uncle?

Oh.

Potts, Potts and Potts.
Porcelain manufacturers.

And you're in the army.

Of course. The army's
my whole life.

Principle of heredity
shattered, sir. Just like me.

My people are senior
officers, sir, but er...

general plus air commodore plus

rear admiral equals
me, I'm afraid.

Just an ordinary
National Serviceman. I'm

just not a leader
of men. Sorry, sir.

Dismissed.

Carry on, Sergeant.

Yes, sir.

Party, left turn.
Quick march. Left,

right, left, right, left, right.

- Morning.
- Morning.

- What's wrong?
- Stomach.

- Too often?
- Not enough.

- Number nines.
- Complications.

- Give them time.
- See you tomorrow.

Dismissed.

Button undone.

That man.

Take your hands out
of your pockets.

I beg your pardon?

Take your hands out
of your pockets.

Oh, I'm so sorry, Sergeant.

Get your hair cut in the morning.

I've seen better.

Here, didn't he say
pierce the tin?

- I heard what he said.
- On your feet.

Well, there's one job you
couldn't make a mess of?

Well, it's not too
bad. Hope for you yet.

Perseverance plus
common sense equals...

- Morning, Strong.
- It's my scalp.

- I've got a kind of nervous itch.
- Oh, really?

Look.

Aren't you even gonna examine me?

No.

I'm taking you for a ride.

Come on, then.

Platoon. Platoon, attention.

Stand them at ease,
please, Sergeant.

Platoon, stand at ease.

Well, this is your
last day of training.

Tomorrow you'll get proficiency
tests and a passing-out parade.

And you'll finish the worst
of all the platoons here.

Someone's got to be bottom. Get
that cut in the morning. You.

Someone's got to be bottom, but
this is absolute extremism.

Utter disgrace.

Platoon's a shambles.

Worst we've ever had
here at Heathercrest.

Glad to see the back of you.

Clumsy fools plus innate
idleness... equals you.

All of you.

Carry on, Sergeant.

Well, you heard.

Gentlemen, this is the
case in question.

Private Horace Strong.

He has reported sick
every day for ten weeks.

His ailments are
varied and elusive,

so far as I, a mere
GP, can diagnose.

You gentlemen are specialists.

I thank you for
agreeing to help by

means of a thorough examination.

He's all yours.

Oh, I do apologise, ma'am. I...

I've misjudged you. You've got
a real feeling for the sick.

Oh, I can't tell you how
much I appreciate...

All right, turn around.

Now, breathe deeply.

In, out.

- Say 99.
- 99.

- Oh.
- Something's wrong?

Congratulations. You have a
perfect heart and lungs.

Wh...? No, Doctor.

My heart hangs by a thread.

- By a rope, my boy.
- Rope?

What's he mean?

He doesn't understand. My heart...

Lie down.

Ooh.

Good.

How's that?

Remarkable. Stand up.

Stand still.

Cough.

- Aha.
- Aha. You see?

- Fantastic.
- What is?

Your stomach's a
model. You've got a

digestive system
like an incinerator.

No sign of hernia, pulse
normal. Next cubicle.

Pulse normal? But, Doctor, I'm
in a state of nervous tension.

All the more remarkable.

Sit down. Roll up your sleeve.

Sphygmomanometer's
ready, Dr Clark.

Good.

- Sphymom?
- Relax, Strong, relax.

Now we'll see something, ma'am.

Only your blood pressure.

- 120.
- That's high.

- 80.
- That's low.

120 over 80. Textbook
reading. It's quite normal.

But, Doctor. Please.

The blood's singing in my ears.

I'm not surprised. It
should be very happy.

Stand there.

- Ever been a blood donor?
- Who'd want that?

Everybody. Haemoglobin
is a hundred per cent.

I'm getting out of here.
They're just a bunch of vets.

Ah, splendid. Open
up here, please.

Come along here.

That's fine. Hands on hips.

Good Lord. Gentlemen,
you must look.

Strong.

Gentlemen, look at this.

Superb.

- What a rib cage.
- Magnificent.

If only it were in colour.

Oh, Doctor, please.

No, the machine's all wrong.

Look, my ribs are all
short and they're sharp.

I live in constant dread of
'em puncturing my lungs.

Out of the question. Your bones
are in perfect proportion.

Besides, your lungs have
the texture of asbestos.

No. I'm ill.

I'm ill, I tell you.

Gentlemen, there's only one
avenue left open to us.

- Psychiatry.
- Psychiatry.

Oh, Doctor. You'll understand.

Yes, yes, of course. Lie down.

Relax.

What's the first
thing you remember?

My mother.

- What was she doing?
- Sneezing.

I see. Now, association test.

Say whatever comes into
your mind after what I say.

- Mother.
- Cold.

- Cold.
- Sneezing.

- Sneezing.
- Me.

- You.
- Pills.

- Pills.
- Water.

- Water.
- Wet.

- Again. Water.
- Washing up.

- Washing up.
- Nappy.

- Nappy.
- Nora.

Nora.

Cor. Nora.

Hi, baby.

Come here.

Whatever's the matter with you,
Horace? Are you ill or something?

Ill? What, me?

Your marbles must be loose.

Ooh, whatever's happened
to you, Horace?

You answer the questions, kid.

Wanna be my doll?

Doll?

Yeah. But not the sort that
goes "Mama" when I squeeze her.

Ok?

I'll have to have time
to think about it.

Ok. Think.

- Time's up. Through there. Move.
- Ooh.

Ooh, Horace.

What a right bunch
they turned out to be.

Oh, just luck. Rotten bad luck.

I must have stood
under a ladder and

kicked 13 black cats
some time or other.

Well, don't worry,
sarge, it'll all

be behind you this time tomorrow.

Your last day in the
army. I wish it

had turned out the
way you wanted it.

You know. You at the head
of a Champion Platoon.

Yes. It isn't given to
every man to achieve

his life's ambition.
Certainly not to me.

However, I hope when
you get the other one

up, you'll have better
luck than I had.

- Good night.
- Good night, sarge.

Don't be daft, Herbert.

Characters like Grimshawe
don't leave the

army. They can't.
They've taken root.

Listen, I heard 'em
talking about it.

Tomorrow's his last
day in the army.

Well, best of British
luck to the old b...

Oh, all right, then.

Perhaps he isn't such
a bad old buzzard.

Best sergeant I ever served under.

Let's give him a present.

I know what he'd like. Us. The
Champion Platoon tomorrow.

What a hope.

Aye, he would like
that. I heard him

saying just that to
Corporal Copping.

No, it's impossible.

In any case, why should
we knock ourselves

out after the way he's
chased us around?

When did he ever chase you, Andy?

Or any of us, for that matter.

He's yelled a lot, but
sergeants can't talk quietly.

If he'd wanted to,
he could have had

all of us inside
over and over again.

Yeah, that's right. I
wonder why he didn't.

Excuse me.

Perhaps he's been trying a
sociological experiment too.

As Miles said.

Grimshawe could have made life
purgatory for us. He didn't.

- Why?
- Why, Jim?

My theory is this.

With us, his last platoon,
Grimshawe tries the experiment

of deliberately putting a brake
on his disciplinary powers,

relying, instead, purely
on his personality.

In my opinion, such an
experiment deserves success.

Boys... we shall be
Champion Platoon tomorrow.

You're barmy.

We can but try. If the others
will cooperate. What do you say?

- Go on, boys. Try.
- Ok.

What have we got to lose?

- Nothing.
- Come on, let's tell the others.

Blimey. We'd forgotten
Horace. That's torn it.

Wait a minute.

Horace, we've decided
to knock their eyes

out tomorrow, to come
right out on top.

Ok.

You know, everything.

Ropes, bayonet, grenades. The lot.

Yeah.

Ropes...

bayonet... grenades.

The lot.

Ok.

Cor. Nora.

You understand what I'm saying,
Corporal, don't you? I...

- Well?
- You're a man short, Sergeant.

That's right. One man
sick. Appendicitis.

I'm taking his place.

- Who sent you?
- No one. I'm volunteering.

On top of everything, this.

Well, what have we got to lose?

- All right, Brown, get in there.
- Thank you, Sergeant.

Well, I shan't be needing these
chits any more, Corporal.

I hope he's got his braces on.

Platoon.

Platoon, attention.

Move to the left in threes.

Left turn.

By the right, quick march.

I don't believe it.

Come on.

Left, left, left.

Number three gun, fire.

- 15 bulls.
- 15 bulls?

- Maximum.
- Maximum.

Well, carry on, Sergeant.

Detail.

Detail, change.

- Number one gun clear, sir.
- Number two gun clear, sir.

All right, boys. Show
'em what you can do.

En garde. Charge.

Charge.

Charge.

En garde. Charge.

En garde. Charge.

En garde.

Very military.

Well done, lads.
You're doing well.

And remember, it's
our last chance.

So do your best.

Right? And good
luck to all of you.

Right, brace up. Brace up.

Platoon.

Platoon, attention.

Platoon, slope arms.

Move to the left in threes.

Left turn.

By the right, quick march.

Parade... halt.

Doesn't Charlie look smart?

But look at my Horace.

Parade.

Parade... 'shun.

Slope arms.

Band, attention.

In threes, right... turn.

By the left, quick march.

Left turn.

Parade, left.

Number one platoon, eyes right.

Number two platoon, eyes right.

Eyes right.

Parade... halt.

Left turn.

Shoulder arms.

Stand at... ease.

Prize-giving for the 60th intake.

The Champion Platoon
of the 60th intake

is Able Platoon.

Platoon Sergeant,
Sergeant Grimshawe.

Here.

50 quid.

Cor blimey.

Well, this is the last
time I shall see you all.

You're as fine a body of
men as I ever have seen.

I'm proud of you.
Broken all records.

Special recommendations.
Outstanding. Sage.

Sir.

Recommended for
training as armourer.

Sir.

- Bailey.
- Sir.

- Recommended for Education Corps.
- Sir.

- Strong.
- Sir.

Recommended for Physical
Training Instructor.

Sir.

Brown.

We're sorry to lose
you. But heartiest

congratulations.
Remarkable persistence.

Succeeded in passing
your preliminary

training test on the
eve of your release.

Excuse me, sir. I'm not
leaving altogether.

When my leave's over, I'm
coming back. As a regular.

Ah, we... What?

Oh, magnificent show.

Well, enjoy your leave,
Brown. You deserve it.

Thank you, sir.

But all the lot of you, all
work and no play makes Jack...

Well, I think we all know what
the army says about Jack, what?

- Carry on, Sergeant.
- Sir.

Platoon.

Attention.

Platoon, dismissed.

Well, thank you very much.

And er... if you're
ever Leighton Buzzard

way, you know, feel
like looking in,

always pleased to see you.

Thank you, sir.
I'll remember that.

- Goodbye, sir.
- Goodbye.

Good luck.

Where's the Sergeant?

Good old Herbert.

Excuse me, Sergeant.
Er... this is for you.