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Guns at Batasi (1964) - full transcript

Regimental Sergeant-Major Lauderdale is a spit-and-polish, by-the-book disciplinarian, who seems like a 19th Century anachronism in a sleepy peacetime African outpost of the modern British Commonwealth. He is ridiculed behind his back by his subordinate NCO's and must play host to a liberal female MP making a tour of the base. However, when an ambitious African officer, who happens to be a protege of the MP's, initiates a coup d'etat against Captain Abraham, the lawful African commandant, the resourceful RSM uses all his military training to arm his men despite being under house arrest and rescue the wounded commandant from a certain firing squad. When Lt. Boniface, the leader of the mutiny surrounds the sergeants mess with two Bofors guns, it looks like Lauderdale will have to surrender unless he again disobeys orders and takes the initiative.

♪ She'll be comin' round the mountain
when she comes ♪

- ♪ She'll be comin' ♪
- Can't you sing in tune?

♪ Round the mountain
when she comes ♪

Here, Ben, you know
I was just thinkin'.

Back home they wouldn't let me drive
a scooter without taking a test.

Marvellous, isn't it?


Here, Ben, look.

Get out of it,
you bunch of stupid...

Blimey. He was exceeding
the speed limit.

Hey, watch the road!

You say there's
reckless abuse of power!

And to free ourselves.
To free ourselves from...

Sorry, gents,
no passengers allowed.

Hey, Ben, what do you
reckon they're up to?

I don't know.

They got rid
of our government.

Perhaps they wanna
get rid of their own.

- Come on, lads. Let's be havin' ya.
- Good trip, Sergeant?

Dusty. Get 'em cracking
with the unloading, Corp.

- Yes, Sergeant. Hurry up!
- Corporal. Corporal.

When you've done that,
here's the mail for the officers' mess.

Right. Hurry up.

- You got any mail for me?
- Who'd write to you, Dig?

Blimey, I'd forgotten what women
smelled like. Where's it from?


One, two, one... Ben?

- Ben!
- Nothing this time, Muscles. Sorry, mate.

Come on! Louder yourselves up!
One, two! One, two!

So, our head man
is the prime minister.

- Your head man is the...
- President.

Now, our prime minister works
in Parliament.

- Your head man works in...
- House of Assembly.

Good. Splendid. Now, one of our members
of Parliament is coming to this camp.

- I'm sure she'll want to talk to you.
- She, sir?

Oh, yes, a woman.
A woman member.

Oh, women in Parliament
have their uses, you know.

What uses, sir? To carry water?

Yes, well, uh, we won't go
into that one now.

Class dismissed.


- Hey, Ben, is that for me?
- Yeah. What is it then?

- Good, that's my degree course.
- Oh, blimey, haven't you had enough education?

Come on, Abou.
What about that dirty pint?

I got a mouth on me
like a gorilla's armpit. Ben? Schoolie?

- No, thanks.
- All right. Just a quick one.

- Been down to the railhead?
- Eighty miles of dust track.

- Enough to boil your brains.
- And there's something queer
going on down in Batasi.

When we came through
the main square just now...

it was choked up with Africans
running all ways and hollering.

- Yeah?
- Fill 'er up, Abou.

Ta. Some of them tried
to stop us and all.

Probably celebrating something.
Maybe one of those durbars.

No, these characters
were dead serious.

They were really giving it big licks.
Banners and drums and all.

Look out, here comes the R.S.M.
We'll have to get changed.

If he comes in and catches us like this,
he'll do his tank.

Remain there!

Come here!

When you pass
a commissioned officer...

you don't wave your end about
like a pregnant penguin.

You execute a salute
in the following manner.

Raise the right hand
by the longest route...

till the second finger
rests one inch above the right eye.

Turn your head and eyes
in the direction of the officer.

When past the officer, return eyes to the front
and hand to the right side. ls that clear?

- Yes, sir.
- Right.

Let's see you do it then, lad.
Come along. Come along!

Salute me by numbers...


One! Two!

Put that in the file, will you?

- A message from Command, sir.
- Oh, thank you.

- You'd better wait.
- Sir.

Come in.

Priority signal
from Command, sir.

Oh, read it out, Tony,
will you?

Yes, sir. "Serious political riots
reported in the capital.

"For the duration
of these disturbances...

"British personnel will retire
to their respective messes...

"and take no part
in regimental activities.

"British officers commanding
African formations...

"will hand over command
forthwith to senior African officer...

and await further instructions
from this H.Q."

It's all right. We made it.
He's still at it.

One! Two!

- What'll you have, Dodger?
- A pint, please, Digger.

And the usual for Ben.

Well, this will be
my last queen's birthday dinner.

- So, you're really off? They won't let you extend?
- No, mate. Too bloody old.

Ah, we'll come and see you off
at the airport.

We'll sink a few pints that day.

I reckon old Ben's got himself
a smashing job out there.

No, they've got no time
for hairy old soldiers in civvy street.

Now, mate, you'll be all right.
Once they see you standing up there...

straight as a ramrod, holding your gut in,
slammin' your feet down, they'll say...

Give this man a kick
in the crotch out of here.

Why don't you become a doorman, Ben?
I know a bloke, he's knockin' off 16 pounds a week.

Right. Stand around a doorway all day, saluting
every stray bastard that comes and goes?

Not likely I'm chucker
with that bloody lot.

Never mind, Ben. The great British public
will see that you get your reward.

Slap your foot down.
Slap it down hard.

R.S.M.'s getting carried
away out there.

He's three and a half
minutes late.

Must have fractured
his elbow by now.

He wouldn't let a little thing
like that hold him up.

You won't get away with that.
He'll spot it in two minutes.

You want a bet?
Pints all around.

- You're on.
- Right.

- There's nothing for you, old man of muscle.
- Now leave off.

- Why don't you call me Muscles
like everybody else?
- Muscles?

- Yeah?
- You notice anything different?

Why? What's going on?

- Evening, gentlemen.
- Evening, sir.

What's it gonna be, sir?

- I'll have a whisky for me.
- Sir.

How's the marriage prospects,
Corporal Abou?

Oh, very fine.
Thank you, sir. Very fine.

- Dodger, weren't you supposed
to have the lawn mower repaired?
- Yes, sir.

I tried it this afternoon.
I regret to say it wouldn't cut up butter.

We'll have to get some more table mats.
Down at Command HQ...

they've got some new ones stamped
with the regimental crest.

These old ones are shabby.
They're a disgrace.

Silver could do with a polish too,
Corporal Abou.

- Sir.
- Anybody got a light?

Yes, sir.

Now tell me which bloody fool among
you removed Her Majesty's portrait?

I'm afraid that was me, sir.
I bet Ben pints all around...

- you wouldn't spot it under two minutes, sir.
- Put it back!

Yes, sir.

I'll have proper respect
shown in this mess.

You may think you know me, gentlemen.
You may think you can see me coming.

But let me tell you this.

There's no alteration celebration,
no argumentation...

and no qualification in this mess
that escapes my little eye.

Read, learn, and inwardly bloody digest,
I've seen Calcutta!

I've eaten camel dung,
my knees are brown...

my navel is central,
my conscious is clear.

And my will is with my solicitors,
short and curly.

I believe you're
on the chair, Dodger.

Guard, stand at ease!

Come in.

- You sent for me, sir?
- Yes, Captain Abraham.

Take a look at that.

"Serious political riots
in capital.

British personnel will take no part
in regimental activities."

Few political hotheads, sir.
"Will hand over command...

to senior African officer."

You will assume command
of this battalion...

as of now, 1900 hours.

This is quite a shock, sir.

- I'll, uh, call my officers together.
- Right.

I would, uh, welcome
your advice, sir.

Of course.
Anything I can do.

- Thank you, sir.
- All right, Abraham.

Come on, Charlie.


Come on!
Move! Move!

- Ah, get stuffed!
- Don't seem to like us very much.

Of course they do. It's just their way
of expressing themselves.

Proud as a peacock, he was.
Saluted like a guardsman.

Thought I was back at the depot for a minute.
Except for his colour, of course.

That's what you need in the army.
Isn't that so, Ben? Pride.

Remember the church parades
in Singapore before the war?

Everybody marching through the town
on Sunday morning...

beyond the band and drums,
bags of swank.

Siamese, Catholics, anti-Baptist,
everything bloody thing.

There was a man
name of Smith, 279.

Refused to go to church
on the grounds he was an atheist.

I had to whip him up in front
of the colonel, of course.

Old Colonel Killinback, it was.
He was a wicked old bastard.

When Smith said
he was an atheist...

old Killinback
looks at his documents.

You stated you were ch...

"You stated you were Church of England
when you enlisted," he says.

Smith says,
"I know, sir...

but I've changed my mind
in the meantime."

"In this regiment,"
says old Killinback...

"only the officers
change their mind...

and even they have to get
permission in writing."

- Twenty-eight days glasshouse they gave him...
- The best station...

which was something
to shout about in those days.

Wonderful station, Singapore.

- What was your favourite station, Muscles?
- Sir?

The best station I ever knew
was mortared before the war.

The navy used to go on fleet manoeuvres
and leave their wives behind.

All soft and pink...
and willing.

We made sure they never got lonesome.

You didn't have time
to wipe your boots.

You couldn't beat India
though, you know, Ben.

"Jewel of the East" they used to call it.
What a pity they had to give it away.

Well, gentlemen,
do you all understand the new situation?

- Yes, sir.
- Good.

I just want to remind you
of one thing.

It is your duty to carry out the orders
of the elected government.

It is not for us to concern ourselves
with politics.

- Is that quite clear?
- Yes, sir.

Very well. I shall want to see you all again
at 9:00 sharp tomorrow morning.

That is all.

- Boniface.
- Sir?

Boni, your company's
on duty tonight.

- Yes, sir.
- Treble all pickets...

put guards on the arms
and ammunition stores.

Don't issue any ammo
except on my instructions.

Somebody might shoot somebody.

Recall "A" and "B" Companies.
Here's the signal.

- Will that be all, sir?
- For the moment.

- You'll come back later,
we'll do rounds together.
- Sir.

Well, the battalion seems
to be in very capable hands.

I'll put Mr. Lauderdale
in the picture...

and then we can get changed
for the party and relax.


Yes, yes, he's here right now.
It's for you, sir.

Oh, thank you.

Colonel Deal speaking.

Yes, well, I could be there
in a couple of hours, sir, but...

Well, won't he wait
until morning?

Very well, Sir William.

- Damn.
- What's the trouble, sir?

The deputy commissioner
wants to see me... tonight.

Oh, uh, phone Mr. Lauderdale
and say I'll call in on my way.

- Right, sir.
- Oh, blast.

I nearly forgot.
The Barker-Wise woman.

She wants to spend an evening
in the sergeants' mess.

- Lay on the transport, will you?
- With pleasure, sir.

What bad luck, sir, you having
to go off this evening.

I mean, with the nurses
coming to dinner and everything.

Yes, it is bad luck.

For you too, Tony.
You're coming with me.

Now you wouldn't credit
a sausage fly had brains, would you?

But this little beast landed
on my shoulder three times running.

- Real tame, sir.
- How do you know it's the same one?

Well, I can tell, can't I, sport?

Sergeants' mess.
One moment, sir.

Sergeant Major Lauderdale,
it's for you, sir.

Here, let's try and see
if we can get him plastered, shall we?

Regimental Sergeant Major.

Get your laughing gear around that, mate.

Very well, sir.
C.O.'s on his way over.

Ben, be ready to offer him a drink
as soon as he comes through this door.


Good evening, Mr. Lauderdale.

Evening, sir. Would you care
to come in for a drink, sir?

Well, there's nothing I'd like better,
but I'm afraid it'll have to keep.

- The war office have got a flap on.
- What, again, sir?

Squad, halt!

In the meantime,
you will be responsible...

for the safety
of the members of your mess.

There shouldn't be any complications
if we keep our heads down...

until this little spot
of bother blows over.

- And then we can carry on as usual.
- Yes, sir.

Oh, and don't forget what I told you
about Miss Barker-Wise.

She's a member of Parliament...

so tell your chaps
to be a bit, uh, diplomatic.

I'll tell them, sir.

Ah, look,
he can hardly walk straight.

He's got the hiccups now.

- Oh! The little bastard bit me.
- Oh.

What the hell's going on? If I had
the colonel with me, I'd have bit you.

You were so long, sir, we couldn't think
what was happening.

Does the gallant colonel
bring good news from the front, sir?

He has marvellous news.
News to set your little ears a-tingling.

Pay attention!

- You're all confined to the mess
until further notice.
- What have we done, sir?

Nothing you've done.
It's due to the political situation.

- Well, how long's till further notice, sir?
- In this case...

till order's restored
down in the town.

Marvellous, isn't it?
Bloody marvellous.

Two hot chocolate mechanics
chuck bricks at each other...

- and the whole British Army's immobilised.
- May I remind you, Sgt. Brown...

they are not hot chocolate mechanics,
they're Africans.

And you're not the whole
of the British Army. Thank God.

- Corporal Abou.
- Sir.

I want an extra place laid for dinner.
We shall be entertaining a lady.

- Yes, sir.
- A lady?

- Blimey, a woman?
- Not one of those nursing bits from the hospital.

We're entertaining a member
of the House of Commons, Miss Barker-Wise.

- Oh, blimey.
- Right. I want this place tidied up.

- Digger, sling those empties
over the bar. Muscles?
- Sir.

Get rid of these pinups.
Schoolie, hide these disgusting magazines.

- Dodger, make yourself useful.
Come along. Come along.
- Sir?

Now remember this.
If I catch any member of this mess...

drifting about the hardships
of a soldier's life...

into the ear of a certain member
of Her Majesty's government...

You're sure she's not a member
of the opposition, sir?

I don't care if she's a member
of the Royal Ballet.

If I catch anybody
belly... bellyaching...

it'll be harder after she's gone.

The army's a great life,
and don't you forget it.

Right. Here she is.

Now, I want you all behaving
like Little Lord Fauntleroy.

No blasphemy. No obscenity.

And above all, no bad language.

Who the bloody hell are you?

Evening, Sergeant Major.

Step inside.
Let's have a look at you.

Evening, all.

- What's your name, lad?
- Wilkes. Private Wilkes.

- I shan't be Private Wilkes for much longer.
- Oh, really?

What will you be then?
Field Marshal Montgomery?

Stand at attention!

Identification card.

Yes, well, Private Wilkes 714.

- What are you doing here?
- In transit, back to England for demob.

- Sir!
- Sir!

What's this?


Uh, this is Miss Eriksson, sir.
She's, um...

She's on her way back to Paris.
She got stranded at the airport. Same as me.

- No planes taking off.
- That's right.

Mr. Wilkes was kind enough
to look after me.

Well, this is, uh,
all highly irregular.

This is a military establishment,
not a hotel.

I couldn't do much else,
could I, sir? She's, uh...

She's with the United Nations.

We're supposed to keep in
with them.

Well, they are on our side.

Aren't they?

I came out as a secretary with a team
of United Nations observers...

and I stayed on
for a little holiday.

Yes, well, we'll talk
about that later.

- Perhaps you'd like a clean-up.
- Oh, yes, please.

Then we'll see what
we can arrange.

- Ben? Ben!
- Sir.

Show her the ablutions.

This way, miss.

The rest of you stand fast.

- When are you due for discharge?
- Day after tomorrow.

Doesn't look as though
you're gonna make it, lad, does it?

It's all highly irregular having
a private soldier in the sergeants' mess.

You'd better kip down
in the rations store through there.

Yes, sir.

- Wilkes!
- Sir?

Hang on to your card, lad.
Never move without your B2601.

Chin up, chin up!

Now understand this, Wilkes.

I can always stomach
a good soldier, whatever his faults.

What I can't stomach
are Bolshies, skivers...

and bughouse barristers.

I've broken more of them
than you've had eggs for breakfast.

If I take a liking to you, lad...

I'll be your good friend
and counsellor.

If you offend me...

I'll pull out
your sausage-like intestines...

hang 'em round your neck and prick 'em
every so often like they do real sausages.

Good evening.

Good evening, ma'am.
Regimental Sergeant Major Lauderdale.

- You're Miss Barker-Wise.
- I do hope I'm not interrupting anything.

No, ma'am. We were just having
a discussion on discipline.

- May I introduce Sgt. Prideaux.
- How do you do?

Sgt. Brown. Sgt. Drake. Sgt. Dunn.
Colour Sergeant Smith.

- How do you do?
- And this is Pri... At ease!

- Private Wilkes.
- How do you do?

Take your cap off.
Won't you sit down, ma'am?

- Thank you.
- What about a noggin?

- May I have a whisky?
- Corporal Abou.

Large whisky.
What about you, Wilkes?

That's very kind of you, sir.
I'll have a large whisky too, please.

- And the usual, Corporal.
- Sir.

Come on, lads.
Quite informal.

This is the first time we've had the honour
of entertaining ladies in this mess.

- Ladies.
- All right, sit down. Sit down.

Yes, there'll be another one
out in a minute, typist.

Got stranded at the airport.
This is quite an occasion.

Well, it's an occasion for me too.

It's not often one gets the chance
of seeing things for one's self.

Especially the new African Army.

Perhaps after dinner we could all
sit round and I'll fire questions at you.

Yes, well, as long as we don't come against
the Official Secrets Act, of course.

Oh, I don't think we shall do that.

No, what I'm most interested in is how
you get along with your African colleagues.

How soon they'll be ready to take over
completely. You know, that sort of thing.


Come in.

Boni, ready for rounds?

What the...

Captain Abraham,
you are under arrest...

in the name
of the new government.

He's got it - discipline.
You can't run anything without discipline...

from an army
down to a coffee store.

That's the trouble
with the world today, isn't it, Ben?

They don't know the meaning of the word.
Why, the first church parade I was ever on...

I fainted, dropped down
in front of General Arnott.

What does the general do?
Has me charged with leaving...

the appointed place of parade without
permission - Section 40 of the Army Act.

I never fainted again.

Well, now they've abolished church parade,
the general must feel quite frustrated.

Oh, he's dead. Got blown off the sea wall
at Ramsgate in a gale.

Broke his neck.
Very sad.

It's a bit cooler out here, isn't it?


- Get over that taxi ride yet?
- Just about.

But I'm glad you were with me.

I couldn't have done much if they'd got
the door open except... except bark at them.

They were very angry,
weren't they?

Yeah. And laughing their heads off
the next minute.

I take it, Sergeant Major, that you
do not believe that all men are equal.

Equal, ma'am, but different.


you take the horse and zebra.

They're equal
in a manner of speaking.

But if you was
to plunk them down, side by side...

feed 'em on the same grub,
in the same climate...

one of them would turn his toes up,
wouldn't he, ma'am?

But there are thousands
of Africans living in our climate...

eating our food,
and they don't turn their toes up.

My group entertains
dozens of them every weekend.

Your own Lieutenant Boniface
has been to my house on many occasions.

And you'd hardly suggest
he was incapable of inventing the wheel.

No one is allowed to leave
the confines of the mess.

- Is that understood?
- Who the hell are you to issue orders?

I have an armed platoon
surrounding the building.

I don't have to remind you of the penalty
for armed mutiny, Mr. Boniface.

I don't have to remind you of the penalty
for armed mutiny, Mr. Boniface.

No, you don't.
But this isn't mutiny.

Let's us call it
a change of structure.

You can call it
what you like!

I advise you to go back to your party
and await further orders.

What do you think?

Get on the sergeants' mess.

Hello? Line's dead.

They've got us.
Not a gun in the place...

and cordoned all around
and a dozen nurses on our hands.

They might keep us here for days.

Now that's a thought.

Young Masai, this one, ma'am. Lives on milk
and bull's blood. Damn good fighter.

This chap, he comes from the northern district.
One of the Turkana chiefs.

And this...

Yes, well, time for dinner.

Dodger, tell the bugler
to sound the mess call.


That's a good one, Wilkie.
What's his name?

- It's Archie, our company mascot.
- Go on, make him talk.

I don't wish to interrupt
the entertainment, Wilkie...

but you haven't seen
a bugler anywhere about, have you?

- A what?
- A bugler, Wilkie. You know,
a man that plays the bugle.

There's been no one here but Wilkie...
Private Wilkes and myself, Sergeant.

Right. Well, thank you, miss.
Thank you.

That private's gonna get there first
if somebody doesn't watch it.

The bugler hasn't reported, sir.

Hasn't reported? Put him on company orders
in the morning.

- Yes, sir.
- Ah, Private Wilkes.

You don't, amongst your many
other accomplishments, happen
to play the bugle, do you?

- No, sir.
- No.

I'm pretty good
on the harmonica though.

Are you having me on?

- No, sir.
- The prestige of the British Army...

has taken a bit of a pasting
in the last few years...

but it's not going to think to having
its bugle calls played on a spittle trap!

Still, we can't go into dinner
without a mess call.

- Muscles!
- Sir.

Put on that record
"Bugle Calls of the British Army."

- It's got the mess call on that.
- There's a lot of others, sir.

- "Last Post" and...
- Never mind. Turn it on.


- My handbag.
- There.

Marvellous, isn't it? The privates
get the crumpet. The officers get it.

Look what we get.

Oh, I don't know.
She's looking better every minute.

Nothing to be ashamed of, Muscles.

Turn it up
so people can hear it.

- Sergeant Major, take these men
to the guard room.
- Sir!

Keep them under double guard. Tomorrow
they'll be taken to Batasi and charged.

- Charged with what, Mr. Boniface?
- Treason...

against the new people's government.


Everybody got a little
something in their glass?

- Yes, thank you.
- Good.

Well, this is a very special occasion,
you know.


Sit down.

What's going on out there,
Sergeant Major?

Night firing exercise
on the range, ma'am.

Well, uh, as I was saying...

this is a very special occasion.

This is the first time that we've had
the company of ladies in the mess...

on the occasion
of Her Majesty's birthday.

Yes, well, we mustn't let the talking
interfere with the eating, as they say.

But, um, before
we get down to it...

as president of this mess...

it falls to me to have the honour
to propose the loyal toast.

if your glasses are charged...

uh, perhaps you'd all care
to be up standing.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Her Maj...

- Do what you can for him, Ben.
- Right.

- Give him a hand, Muscles. Schoolie, first-aid kit.
- Sir.

Abou, you and your boys
out of sight. Stay there.

- Come along then. Come along.
- Sir.

- Digger. Gentle with him, lads.
- Sir?

- See if it's clear out the back.
- Can I help, Sergeant Major?

- I've had training.
- Thank you, ma'am. Thank you very much.

- Dodger, those lights in there.
- Sir.

- Wilkes?
- Sir?

Get your rifle.

- Got a pair of glasses in my kit bag.
- Right. Get 'em.

Good. Follow me.


I can't recognise the bastards.

Going back the way it came.
Probably to Company H.Q.

All right, Wilkes,
you stay out here.

If you see
anything moving, yell.

You don't have to be polite
and wait for me to stop speaking, yell.

Right, sir.

- Dodger, your truck still out in the back?
- Yes, sir.

Get away from that window.
Get it started as quiet as you can.

- What's going on out there, sir?
- Did you spot anything, sir?

- See anything out in the back, Digger?
- No, sir, nothing.

- Hello?
- He's pretty rough.

- Hello. Say who did it?
- Not a dicky bird.

Still unconscious.

Mutiny, Ben.

It's like the Loch Ness Monster.

Heard of it,
but never actually ran across it.

What are you going to do, sir?

Well, before I do anything,
we're gonna get a hold of some weapons.

How are we going to do that?

Drive up to the arms store
and draw 'em.

- Just like that?
- Just like that. Fluff it out.

Truck started up, sir,
but I don't understand what you want...

You don't have to understand.
You have to drive.

- How are we for spud bags, Ben?
- Plenty in the storeroom.

Take 'em out to the sand bunker and get
'em filled. Schoolie will give you a hand.

Private Wilkes!
Oh, Ben, before you go, I'll need your keys.

Muscles, Digger,
you're coming with me.

Now then, lad, keep your eyes skinned.
You're on your own for a bit.

- Yes, sir.
- I suppose you know how to use that thing.

Well, I know how to use it, but I've never
yet fired one in anger, as they say.

God, what an army.

- You're with me, lads.
- Sir.

Oh, get it in the sack.
We're not building sand castles.

Come on.

Come on. Get a move on.
We'll be here all bloody night with you.

Oh, give us that
before you rupture yourself.

I'll shovel and you grunt.

Let's slow down, Dodger.

Come on then, get out of the way.
You've seen my face before.

- Lieutenant Boniface said no...
- Come on. Come on!


Hmm, that was
Corporal Ntimba.

Never make a sergeant...
no initiative.

Who goes there?

Open up, Digger.

Take your thumb off the bolt,
Private Juma.

How many times have I told you?
Right, stand at ease, lad.

You cannot go in there, sir.
Lt. Boniface gave me orders.

Here. Let's have a look at that.

- How's...
- It doesn't look clean to me. Did you oil this bolt?

You'll have to do
better than that, Juma.

Corporal Ntimba!

Rifles, Digger. Three of them.
Muscles, see to the ammo.

- Done.
- Keys?

- Here you go, Sterlings.
- Digger, magazines.


Give me one.

Quiet a minute.

Right. You two carry on.
And lock up after you.

Watch your back.

Watch your back.

Corporal Ntimba, come any closer
you get brambles up your pipe.

Right, lads.
Let's get back.

Oh, then.

The old man missed the Siege of Tobruk.
That's his trouble.

Don't hang around doing nothing. Get those bags
and start setting up some firing posts.

This isn't a holiday camp, you know.
Right, get a wiggle on.

Come on. Come on.

Here they are.

- Stay with him, will you, Miss Eriksson?
- Yes, of course.

- Don't strain yourself.
- Oh, so you're back.

Get these guns cleaned, lads.
Dodger, I want that one first.

- Muscles, get the grenades out of the truck.
- Sir.

Well, ma'am,
how's Captain Abraham?

I demand to know what's going on?
What exactly are you doing?

Well, at this precise moment, ma'am,
I'm charging an S.M.G. Magazine.

Has it occurred to you that the rebels,
or whatever you choose to call them...

were leaving us alone
because we were unarmed?

That what you are doing
can only provoke more bloodshed.

Well, that's a matter of opinion.

I'm surprised at you, ma'am. I thought
you believed in all men being equal.

- Of course I do. That's exactly the point.
- Dodger!

Well, they had guns
and we didn't.

- That wasn't very equal, was it?
- Sir?

Private Wilkes? Put the safety catch on
next time, Dodger.

- Know what this is?
- Yes, sir. It's a Sterling S.M.G.

- I've even fired one.
- Well, that doesn't make you unique.

Everyone in this room's fired one,
except Miss Barker-Wise, of course.

- Take it and get back on guard.
- There must be some way to stop this madness.

Why don't you at least make an attempt
to contact the other side.

I've already done that, ma'am.

- You have?
- Give me another box of nine millimetre.

- Why didn't you tell me? What happened?
- What's the matter with that?

- This barrel's in a hell of a state, sir.
- Let's have a look.

- Give it another pull through and take a chance.
- Will you tell me what happened?

Nothing much, ma'am. We ran into
Lt. Boniface's party down at the ammo dump.

Boni? Is he in charge?

Rust. I'll have somebody on a fizzle
when this lot's over. Dodger!

Is Lt. Boniface in charge?

Well, he gave me
that impression, ma'am, yes.

- Thank God. Thank God.
- I wouldn't be too hasty about doing that.

Let me go and talk to him.
He's a civilised and cultured man.

He'll listen to me.
Please arrange the transport.

You'll be safer here
for the moment, ma'am.

Safer? In the middle of this gunpowder plot
you're organizing?

- Very well, I'll walk.
- Muscles, stand by the door.

Do you intend
to keep me here by force?

Now listen to me, ma'am.

You're not in Parliament now.

This isn't England. And I know
more about these people than you do.

And don't run away with the idea I've got a down
on them because their skin isn't the same colour.

Their best is as good
as our best.

But their bad's as rough as ours,
and that's pretty rough.

Now, I'm responsible for your safety
while you're in this mess...

so while you're here,
you'll obey my orders!

- And if you don't like it, you'll have to lump it.
- This is intolerable.

I agree, ma'am.
But don't blame me.

Blame your harmless
little Africans.

Blame them? Who put guns into their hands?
Who taught them to shoot? You.

And if it wasn't
for people like us...

you wouldn't be able to walk around,
spouting your smarmy, silly...

bloody, half-baked ideas!

That remark, Sergeant Major,
may well cost you your rank.

Stay with her, Muscles, until she quiets down.
See she doesn't leave the mess.

- Sir.
- Ooh, what a right old cow.

No wonder the officers
dumped her onto us.

All those nurses up there, I bet they don't
mind being cooped up for a year.

As long as somebody can knit.

I must admit,
the old bag's got guts.

I only hope to God she doesn't
get to be prime minister.

- Russell.
- Colonel Deal.

Glad you've arrived.
Sir Williams waiting to see you.

- You're in for a long party tonight.
- I'm afraid so.

A change in government
can affect an awful lot of people.

- Is it as close as that?
- Yes, I think so.

All right. Keep me informed.

- Hello, John.
- Sir William.

- Tony.
- Hello, sir.

- You made good time.
- Well, it sounded serious.

Yes, it is. Things have happened fast
since I spoke to you. Whisky?

- Oh, fine.
- Thank you, sir.

To put it mildly, the position is,
well, delicate.

I've just heard the buzz that the president is
on his way out of the country.

Taking his wives with him.

That'll leave the rebels
a clear field.

I think we should get out
of the habit of calling them rebels.

By the morning,
they may well be the government.

That's fantastic.
In less than 36 hours.

Yes, well, no doubt
it was well prepared at first.

Harry Jobila has saw to that.

Seems to be no stopping him now.

Oh, excuse me.


When did you hear this?

All right. Ring me back.

The Afro-Britannia mines.

The new boys
have just taken over.

You know what that means?
The wealth of this country.

- Harry Jobila is no fool.
- It doesn't make sense.

Five years in jail and within six months
of coming out...

he's on his way
to the president's palace.

He spent that six months here as a gardener.
Got to know him pretty well.

Lousy gardener.
I hope he'll make a better president.

Anyway, going to jail is considered
a shortcut to power these days.

I hope it never happens
in the army.

Come in.

Radio message from the airfield, sir.
Jobila's men are in control.

- Any casualties?
- No, sir.

- Good.
- Get on to the camp, Tony.

- Is that all right, sir?
- Yes, yes, use this one.

I want to talk
to Captain Abraham.

Get me Batasi Camp, please.

What's gonna happen?
In the future, I mean.

I should think that once
the position is stabilised...

they'll want us
to carry on as usual.

And Jobila will need all the support
and advice he can get...

if he's gonna fulfill some
of those promises he's made.

The thing to do is to hang on.
And above all, keep our noses clean.

Excuse me, sir. There's something wrong
with the line to the camp.

They can't make contact.

Give me that.

Halt! Who goes there?

Squad, halt!

Sergeant Major?

Armed party, a dozen men.

Who goes there?

Lieutenant Boniface.

Advance, sir, unarmed,
and be recognised.

You two, come with me.

- Muscles?
- Sir?

Go back and keep your eyes
on Miss Barker-Wise.

See she doesn't come in
until these people are gone.

- Understand?
- Sir.

Good evening, Sergeant Major.

I hope this call
isn't too inconvenient.

It's a pleasure, sir.

Let us hope it will remain one.

Indeed, sir.

- Good evening, gentlemen.
- Evening, sir.

Now, sir.

Sergeant Major,
I've come to inform you...

that I've taken over command
of the battalion from Captain Abraham.

You'll therefore regard me
as your commanding officer.

I've only got one C.O., sir,
that's Colonel Deal.

As far as I'm concerned, Captain Abraham
is in temporary command of the battalion.

As far as I'm concerned,
Captain Abraham is a traitor.

Anyway, he's dead.

I'll believe that
when I see the casualty return.

In the meantime, sir,
will you please remove your headdress...

while in the sergeants' mess
and request your escort to do the same?

Leave them on.

Sergeant Major, I'm not interested
in points of etiquette at the moment.

Mr. Boniface...

I've been a member of this mess
for 23 years, sir.

In all that time, I've never seen anybody...
man, woman or child...

sergeant or field marshal
or prime minister...

walk into this mess
with his hat upon his head!

I do not see you now, sir.

All right.

If it worries you.

Now, sir, can I be of service?

I wish you'd understand,
Sergeant Major...

I will give you protection
if you cooperate with me.

Your future in my country
is very limited, you must appreciate.

Limited, did you say, sir?
That's a very elastic word.

No doubt you'll be sent back
to your own country in due course.

At this very moment, the new president
is considering the matter.

And where do you come in, Mr. Boniface?
You as a loyal officer.

- So, where do you come in?
- Loyal to whom?

To the corrupt lackeys
your government left to lead us...

when they granted us
our so-called independence?

So you consider that soldiers
should not be revolutionaries.

Your Cromwell was a soldier,
wasn't he?

Did he not grab Ireland,
Sergeant Major?

Well, you know, sir,
it was only for their own good.

The micks have always been obstinate, sir.
Very obstinate.

As for myself, I'm a soldier.

- I don't understand politics.
- Well, I do understand them, Sergeant Major.

And for my political education,
I'm obliged to one of your compatriots...

Miss Barker-Wise.

However, I did not come here
to discuss politics.

I've come to tell you all
that you must remain here...

until I receive further instructions
from the new government.

My men will surround the mess
and they will shoot anyone who tries to leave.

In the meantime, I am taking possession
of the camp in the name of the new republic.

Sergeant Major, you will deliver to me
all your arms and ammunition.

And I will be responsible for your safety.
Is that understood?

Also, I shall withdraw your servants
who will be required to carry arms.

Corporal Abou.
Private Daniel.

You will collect
all the mess silver...

and your kit, and report
to me in the orderly room.

Do you hear me?

- Yes, sir.
- Yes, sir.

Now, Sergeant Major...

if you will leave all your weapons on the veranda,
I will send a squad to collect them.

- I will inform you of any later developments.
- Just one moment, sir!

If you please.


Now you listen to me,
Mr. Boniface.

I'm a professional soldier,
born across the road from Wellington Barracks.

I enlisted when I was 17.
By the time I was 24...

I was a sergeant serving
on the northwest frontier of India!

Sometimes, Mr. Boniface, I'd lay awake
in my tent with a hurricane lamp...

sometimes in the middle
of a blizzard...

reading about the exploits
of other British soldiers.

Sometimes I'd be lying there
in my freezing cold tent actually sweating.

Beads of sweat pouring down my face
from a battle 200 years old!

And later on I had a little active service
of my own to take notice of.

Now, what I'm coming to,
sir, is this...

All this experience of warfare,
imaginary and otherwise...

gives me a certain amount of experience
to face this misunderstanding...

with a certain amount
of sangfroid!

It's a fly on the wall, sir,
a fight with a feather!

- I refuse to...
- As far as the weapons are concerned...

I was ordered by my C.O.
to keep them to swat flies with.

And until I get further instructions,
I intend to hang on to them.

- Now look here, sir...
- Will you please listen to me!

You seem to have gained control
of this battalion by an act of mutiny. Very well.

You're entitled to the mess servants
because they're your countrymen, not mine.

You're entitled
to the mess property...

because it stands
on your soil.

But if you think for one moment that
I'm gonna hand over the lives of these people...

to the custody of a half-cooked,
jumped-up, sad, little...

blackboard warrior
like yourself...

you're very much mistaken!

Do I make myself clear?

Absolutely clear, Sergeant Major.

I always knew that one
would turn out to be a savvy boy.

Squad, about face!

That's fixed him for a bit.

Provided the servants
don't tell him we've got Abraham.

Abou won't.
Abou's the same tribe as Abraham.

Boniface comes from the coast.

Abou's people look on all the coastal tribes
as several grades lower than bush rat.

Let's hope you're right.

Sergeant Major,
what right has this man...

to keep me confined
to that room?

My authority, ma'am.

Am I under arrest then?

Not yet, ma'am, not yet.

Sergeant Major, I can end
this ridiculous nonsense in five minutes...

and get Captain Abraham
to hospital.

I implore you,
please send me to Boniface.

No, ma'am,
and for a very good reason.

It'd be a waste of time.
He's already been to see us.

- That boy? You mean he's been here?
- He left a few moments ago.

He wanted to tell me that he'd seised control
of the battalion by mutiny.

And if we'd all be good little boys and girls,
he'd see we didn't come to any harm.

I sent him off
with a flea in his ear.

You did what, you bloody fool?
Why didn't you let me talk to him?

I know Boniface
like my own son.

- Did you tell him about Captain Abraham?
- I did not.

- Why?
- If you'll excuse me, I've gotta
get on with battalion orders.

- If he doesn't get to doctor, he'll die.
- We've all gotta die sometime.

If I handed him over to your pal Boniface,
he wouldn't stand a hope in hell.

Nonsense. He's a very humane man.
His principles are very sound.

- And they've all got a bullet up the spout.
- Let me tell you this.

Your stupidity is placing
all our lives in danger.

When you talk of principles
with a bullet up the spout...

that's a perfect example
of your own mentality.

You're a... a living gun.
They've turned you into a human rifle.

They've taken away your personality,
Sergeant Major, bit by bit down the years...

and replaced it with
a sort of military stuffing.

"Left, right, about turn,
obey, fight, kill!"

- Don't be impertinent, ma'am!
- That's all you know!

You're an instrument, ready primed
to put to someone's shoulder!

- A royal trigger in waiting.
- Just you be careful, ma'am, that I don't go off.

What's your life?

A dull routine round of boot licking,
waiting for a war.

The only way you'll ever fulfill yourself
is to die in action!

What are you huddling about
there for like a brood of wet hens?

Wilkes, get back on guard!

Schoolie, get that ammo
stored away.

Miss Eriksson.

- Do you cook?
- Oh, yes.

I expect the dinner is spoiled by now,
but perhaps you do what you can.

- Yes, sir.
- Muscles! Digger!

Get that table tidied up.
It's the queen's birthday.

And even if we have to have paraffin
and brick dust sandwiches...

we're gonna celebrate it...

with or without
our distinguished guest.

Dodger, don't stand
there like a spare wig at a wedding!

- Get me a drink.
- Yes, sir.

What the hell do you
think you're doing?

Now just do what you're told
and you'll have nothing to worry about.

Throw down your revolvers,
both of you!

Oh, no.
By what authority?

The authority of
the new government.

Now you listen to me.

This revolver is staying
where it is...

until I see some signed order
from a legal member...

of your government.

All right, Colonel.
Now get moving.

Meanwhile, you might get your men
to change that wheel.

- Private Wilkes!
- Sir?

You better hear this. I've drawn up guard
detail and battalion orders for tomorrow.

Right. Now, about
the sleeping arrangements.

Miss Eriksson will go
in your room, Dodger.

You go in with Digger.

First time I get a bird in my room,
I'm posted absent.

Ben, Miss Barker-Wise
will be in your little nest.

- You can go in with Muscles.
- That's a happy release.

Schoolie, you stand fast,
and I'll be in here.

Now, you'll all sleep fully clothed,
and that includes boots.

If anything does happen, I don't want anybody
to get a burst up the backside...

when you're bending down
looking for your boots.

0600 hours.

The last man on guard can have
a nice long lay till half past. Right.

Ben, as soon as you've changed
over your kit, you relieve Wilkes.

Carry on.

- Come on, darling. Let's go to kip.
- Get out of here!

- Got a light?
- Yes, of course.

I suppose you realise this
is strictly against Queen's regulations.

I'd better be
getting back in.

Good night.


You know what you wanna do
if it gets too hot in your bedroom?

No. What?

Just... just leave
your window open.

All right, all right, Wilkes.
I'm relieving you.

I put opalescence in the rations's door,
so you better go get some kip.

Well, I... I think
I'll just take a stroll before I turn in.

Take a stroll?
You've been strolling for two hours.

What's the matter with you?

- Insomnia.
- What?

- Chronic insomnia.
- Wait. You wanna see a quack about that.

You might get rings
under your eyes.

Good night.

Good night.

Good night.

You crafty basket weaver.

Who is it?

It's all right.
It's only your blind Uncle Charlie.

- Hello, Wilkie.
- Hello.

Now wait a minute.

- Schoolie.
- Huh?

All quiet, Schoolie?

Quiet as the proverbial grave, sir.

Yes. Never mind the proverbs.
I didn't get my rank on a proverb.

- No, sir.
- Unless it's "God helps them
that help themselves."

Miss Barker-Wise?

Will you please tell these men
to take their hands off me?

You must forgive them. I gave orders
no one was to leave the mess.

- Please sit down.
- Thank you, Boni.

I had to come and see you.

- What about, ma'am?
- Captain Abraham.

- Captain Abraham?
- He arrived at the mess last night.
He'd been wounded.

Perhaps it was an accident.
I don't know.

But he must have
immediate medical attention.

That's no problem.
I'll see that he's removed immediately.

There. That's settled.

Thank you, Boni. I knew it was only
a matter of common sense and reason.

If you'll give me an escort, I'll go see that
Captain Abraham is ready for the ambulance.

I'm afraid I can't allow that. I must ask you
to stay here.

I don't understand.

Squad, halt!

Is that how you're gonna
fetch Captain Abraham?

- If necessary.
- What's gonna happen to him?

He'll be charged with treason.
If he's found guilty, he'll be shot.

- But what has he done?
- He's known to have opposed
the National Unity Party.

Is that all?

I forgot you're
a member of Parliament.

We do things a little differently here.
Perhaps we're in more of a hurry.

But, Boni, I...

I don't understand. You...

When you were in England,
you were... so different.

I was one of your African
mascots then, wasn't I?

Sitting at your feet, listening to you talk.
My God, how you talked!

No one talks better than the British.
They drug you with talk.

When you wake up,
they still have their heel on your neck.

- Now, if you'll excuse me.
- But, Boni...

Now you listen to me,
the lot of you.

Owing to a gross piece of negligence,
Barker-Wise has escaped from the mess.

I don't blame one man
any more than the rest.

You've all been walking
around in your sleep, so watch it!

Keep your eyes rolling and your minds ticking!
Be sure to check your guns.

Excuse me, sir.

Very well. Dismissed.
Now, what do you want?

Mr. Boniface is here, sir,
with an armed party.

He's coming in on his jack.

Don't hang around the windows!
Disperse yourselves round the room!

Digger, Muscles,
on the other side.

Good morning, gentlemen.

Sergeant Major, I'll come quickly
to the purpose of this visit.

I understand from my friend, Miss Barker-Wise,
that she's been kept here under duress.

For her own safety, sir.

I'd be obliged if you'd have
her restored to my custody.

- She insisted on returning
to Batasi, Sergeant Major.

There is something more
important for us to discuss.

You have here a wounded officer,
Captain Abraham. Not so?

Miss Barker-Wise
informs me that this is so.

- Well, she must be mistaken.
- Women of her intelligence
do not make such mistakes!

I understand that Captain Abraham
is badly in need of medical treatment.

If you'll hand him over
to my custody, I'll see...

- There is no officer of that name here.
- Now don't waste my time!

I insist that you hand over
Captain Abraham!

He's required to answer
for crimes against the new republic!

That's his hardship, not mine.

You are being very stupid!

The affair of Captain Abraham
is the affair of government.

You will hand him
over at once!

Mr. Boniface...

suppose for the sake of argument
Captain Abraham was wounded...

and had come to me
for protection.

In that case, sir...

I wouldn't be at liberty to hand him over
without an order from Colonel Deal!

You will appreciate that it is I who give
the orders, and you who will obey!

For the first time in the history
of my country, Sergeant Major...

it is the African who is putting the shell
into the breech...

and giving the order to fire!

Really, Mr. Boniface?

I don't think I've ever come
across a misfit...

of your size and quality before.

You missed your vocation.
You ought to be in Hyde Park!

If you do happen to go putting
a shell into the breech, sir...

I sincerely hope you'll remember
to put the sharp end to the front.

You are in great danger,
all of you!

You have already refused
to give up your weapons...

now you refuse to hand over
an officer who's wanted for treason.

Sergeant Major, I will give you an hour
to change your mind.

If you haven't delivered Captain Abraham
into my charge by that time...

I will destroy the sergeants' mess
and everyone in it!

One hour, Sergeant Major.

Squad, about face!

Do we get any danger money
for this caper?

- No. He's probably bluffing.
- Bluffing like bloody hell he was!

They can't do this.
It's not in Queen's regulations.

It's there somewhere, boy.
They've got everything taped in there.

We oughta let him have Abraham
on a written guarantee of safe conduct.

- Then we're in the clear.
- Safe conduct? How long do you think that'd last?

It's no skin off our nose.

We could always say they broke
their promise. It's no concern of ours.

No concern of ours.

You stupid...

Pitch a man into the arms of a firing squad
and you say it's no concern of ours.

You're bloody keen, aren't you?
What's he ever done for you?

- I'll tell you what he did for me!
- Men!

Look. I had a skinful one night.

Around 4:00 in the morning, I felt somebody
shake me while I was sleeping.

It was Abraham.
You know what he said? I'll tell you.

He said, "Colour Sergeant,
I just had a strange dream.

A dream that I went to the arms store
and helped myself to 100,000 rifles."

I didn't need any second telling.

I got up and bolted round the armoury
and found I'd forgot to lock it.

If it was anyone but Abraham on duty,
I would have got court-martialed for negligence.

You tell me one European officer
that wouldn't have stuck it on his report.

Thank you, Sergeant.

Are you all right, sir?
You shouldn't be walking about.

I'm all right.


I'm sorry, sir.

I can't allow you
to leave the mess.

You cannot prevent it,
Sergeant Major.

Don't you see that
while I remain...

I'm involving you
in my own affairs?

- Is that good ethics?
- I'm not interested in good ethics or bad ethics.

Or politics, I trust.

Well, you're lucky.

Thank you for your hospitality.


Before you go, sir.

Yes, Sergeant Major? Wha... what is it?

I've given you the protection
of this mess, sir.

If you insist on going
against my advice...

would you please sign a chit
to say you do so willingly?

All right.

But I must ask you to hurry.

Yes, of course.

I, Captain...

on this, uh...



do hereby...

Declare that i...

leave the...


Sergeants' mess...

at my own...


Now, sir...

would you please
sign this, sir?

Just here.

I've signed for many things
in the army, Sergeant Major.

First time I've signed for myself.

Muscles, give him a hand!

Take him back to his room.

I thought for one nasty moment
he was gonna get off the hook.

There are more ways of killing a cat
than sticking a poker in his ear, lad.

I think I'll have this framed.

Sir, take a look at this.

The ack-ack guns.
The Bofors.

So that's what the bastard meant when
he talked about putting a shell in the breech.

The only weapons
in this battalion...

capable of blowing us
all to blazes.

Not that the gunner's
very smart, but...

you can't very well miss a sergeants' mess
at a hundred yards in broad daylight.

Now, the quickest way
to put a Bofor out of action...

is to shove a 36 grenade
in the breech - simple as that.

There are two guns.

So, it will need two of us.

I know you're all itching
to get out there and get stuck in...

so I'll offer it
to the first volunteer.

Well, come on, lads.
Come along. Don't be shy.

What's the matter with you?
Lost your tongue?

Surely I don't have to
detail somebody.

Well, gentlemen...

you amaze me.

You honestly amaze me!

I do honestly declare to you I've never seen
anything like this in all of my service life!

Holy suffering!

The first chance we get
for a bit of action...

instead of sitting on our duffs
like a lot of prised billy goats...

and there's not a man
among you.

Not one man who's even got
the guts to admit he's a coward.

I'll tell you what it is, sir.

In the war, all you had to do was go out and
find the enemy and give him the chopper.

But these blokes are
supposed to be on our side.

- We don't know if we're on foot or horseback.
- I'll go.

- Come on. Let's toss.
- I said I'll go.

Steady on, Ben. I'll go.

After all, Ben,
you're a bit old for this job.

- I'm what?
- Well...

- Drop it, would ya!
- You got a family...

Ben, you've only got 10 days to do in the army,
and I take that into full consideration.

If you want to leave it to Dodger or Digger,
it's all right with me.

Leave it to them?
They couldn't fix a rat in a drain pipe.

- Sir?
- Yes, what is it?

It would be simpler to toss for it,
wouldn't it?

Well, is anybody against
tossing up for it?

All right, get a move on.






The queen, God bless her.

All right, lad,
that's you and me.

- Now is your chance to get smothered in glory.
- Wilkes.

The 36's are ready, sir.

Right. We better take two each,
just in case only one of us gets through.

- Layout to the camp, sir.
- Good. Follow me, Wilkes.

The sergeants' mess is here,
the guns there.

If we come up from the front,
they'll make jam of us.

So we go out of the back
around there.

How you gonna get
across the road?

Will you stick a boomerang
in that great Aussie cakehole of yours.

They're just lining up on us.

Right. We come out the back where there's
plenty of cover and make our way round to there.

Now this is the tricky bit.
Ben, give us two minutes to get here.

Then I want you
to attract their attention.

If you can hold it for even five seconds,
we'll be across this road.

- How 'bout some cover fire, sir?
- With two Bofors sticking right up our jumpers?

No, no, no. Make out
you're otherwise engaged.

A fight, a party,
I don't care. Do a dance.

- Wilkes? All right so far?
- Yes, sir.

I wonder they didn't
make you a sergeant.

I had a stripe once.
Lost it after a fortnight.

After this is over, you'll probably get it back.
Not too late to stay on, lad.

Once we're across this road, we'll make
our way through the firing butts.

- And then?
- There's plenty of cover there.

We'll play it by ear. Ben, we'll be at the end
of the buildings in two minutes.

And then we'll wait
till you start your fracas.

And keep it going
till those guns go up.

I make it...

10 seconds short of 0633.

So, zero from... now.
Come on, Wilkes.

Good luck, sir.

Give me a hand
with the piano.

All right, Wilkes.

A minute and a half to go.

- Wilkes!
- Sir.

Come on, Wilkes.

Right. Come on.

Ten seconds.
Digger, open those windows.

I want them to get
the full benefit of the choir.

Schoolie, come and do your stuff.

Three, two, one.

♪ Glorious, victorious ♪

♪ One pint of beer
between the four of us ♪

♪ Glory be to God
there isn't any more of us ♪

♪ 'Cause one of us could drink the bloomin' lot ♪

♪ I'll be there
I'll be there ♪

♪ With beers on the table
I'll be there ♪

- ♪ Glorious, victorious ♪
- Sing up!

♪ One pint of beer
between the four of us ♪

♪ Glory be to God
there isn't any more of us ♪

♪ 'Cause one of us
could drink the bloomin' lot ♪

♪ I'll be there
I'll be there ♪'

♪ With beers on the table
I'll be there ♪

- Now then, through the trench.
- The danger flag's up.

Well, keep your head down then.

- They won't get in the top 10
with that little number.
- Quiet!

♪ And his soul
goes marching on ♪

♪ Glory, glory hallelujah ♪

That'll teach me to go
peeping through keyholes.

Let's get out of here before they send
someone to set the target up again.

♪ Glory, glory hallelujah ♪

♪ Glory, glory hallelujah ♪

♪ Glory, glory hallelujah ♪

♪ And his soul
goes marching on ♪

A bit tawdry.

What do we do now, sir?

That's torn it. His nibs.

He couldn't have done it better
if we'd asked him.

♪ Glorious, victorious ♪

♪ One pint of beer
between the four of us ♪

♪ Glory be to God
there isn't any more of us ♪

♪ 'Cause one of us
could drink the bloomin' lot ♪

- Pick it up! Come on!
- ♪ I'll be there ♪

♪ I'll be there ♪

♪ With beers on the table
I'll be there ♪

Good morning.

Is Mr. Lauderdale about?

Um, he's, uh...
He's doing something outside, sir.

I take it
you've heard the news.

News, sir?
What news?

That we have a new government.

The old lot have
already surrendered.

We got through the crisis
without being involved.

And good show.

Tell Mr. Lauderdale I'd like to see him
when he's finished, would you?

Well, go on,
Colour Sergeant. Go on.

Get on! The guns are going off!
Get on!

What in God's name...


I think the sergeant major's
finished, sir.

- Wilkes.
- Sir?

Put your betty on.
Put your button up.

Well, Miss Eriksson,
thank you for your help.

- Good-bye, Sergeant Major.
- Bon voyage.

Good-bye, sir.

Uh, Wilkes.

Remember, some folks
sleep light.

Next time, don't sling
your boots around, lad.

- Good morning, Sergeant Major.
- Good morning, ma'am.

I'm leaving you today.

I trust your fact-finding tour
has provided you with a few facts.

Perhaps one or two concerning
Lieutenant Boniface.

Colonel Boniface, Sergeant Major.

If it's any consolation to you, I disapprove
of his methods as much as I do of yours.

- Colonel Boniface?
- Yes, Mr. Lauderdale.

I see that you're already dressed
for the ceremonial parade.

Yes, sir. What's it all about, sir?

Well, it's a bit
of a rush job, actually.

It's to celebrate the coming to power
of the new government.

Colonel Boniface
will be taking the salute.

He's now military governor
of the province.

I think under the circumstances...

it might be better if you handed over
the parade to the colour sergeant.

Very good, sir.

You'll be glad to hear the new government
has elected to stay in the commonwealth.

So, of course, we shall be
carrying on as before.

Very well, sir.

What's going to happen
to Captain Abraham, sir?

Well, the new president
has given him safe conduct...

out of the country.

That's good, sir.

Yes, but...

we, um, had to compromise.

General McClellan told me
this morning that Boniface had demanded...

that you leave the country
within 48 hours.

The general considers the request
completely unjustified.

Boniface also wants us
to take disciplinary action against you.

What does that mean, sir?
A court-martial?

Oh, no, no, of course
it won't come to that.

We've asked for time to consider
the matter, naturally.

But the general thinks
it would be wise...

if you were on the first available plane
back to England.

Very well, sir.
I'll get my gear together.

I don't suppose it's any comfort to you,
Mr. Lauderdale...

but in your place
I'd have done exactly as you did...

step for step.

- Muscles.
- Sir?

- Digger,
- Sir?

Get the weapons
back to the store.

- Schoolie.
- Sir?

- Get busy emptying them sandbags.
- Yes, sir.

- Dodger.
- Sir?

Check your vehicles
and let me have a list of deficiencies.

Yes, sir.


See what you can do about the mess silver,
will you, please?

And, Ben.

You'll be taking
the parade this afternoon.

Pour me a whisky,
will you please, Corporal Abou.

That'll be all, lad.