The Great Santini (1979) - full transcript

In 1962, the Marine Corps family, the Meechums - parents Lieutenant Colonel Wilbur "Bull" Meechum and Lillian Meechum, and their four children Ben Meechum, Mary Anne Meechum, Karen Meechum and Matthew Meechum - are moving like they do most years, this time to Beaufort, South Carolina. Bull - nicknamed "the Great Santini" - is known as a great pilot, but has gotten into much trouble in the past for his sophomoric behavior. He runs his family much as a military commander, where they are all to obey his orders without question. Everything he does within the family context he reasons is to build character, but in reality everything ends up being about him. The oldest Ben, approaching manhood, is the one of his offspring who has the greatest issue with his father. Ben wants his respect, but isn't sure if he really loves him. As Ben goes through his senior year in high school, his attempts to play varsity basketball and an incident between black Toomer Smalls - his friend and their cook Arrabella Smalls' son - and racist Red Petus may forever change the dynamic between father and son.

I have bogies approaching,
30 miles,

240 degrees.

Come right 40.

O.k., let's not get
too anxious today.

This is marines
against Navy, 1-v-1.

Try not to shoot down
your wingman.

Watch out.

Watch out, squids.
I'm hot today.


O.k., meechum,
close it up.

I have Navy bearing 120,
20 miles.

Come right 30,

spreads a fighting wing.

Navy 4, I have bogies closing.

18 miles, 240 degrees.

Roger. I got 'em.

They must be under this stuff.

It's breaking up ahead.

Bogies 8 miles.

Come right 90.

Leader has tally.

One o'clock low.

Preacher has tally.

O.k. Fight's on.
Go get them.

Buenos dias, rustpickers.

Come on.
Make your move.

Let's see what you got, buddy.

Let's see it.
Let's see it.

Not bad.

It's not bad.

Not bad.

You'd better kick it, Navy.

Too late.
Got you now, sucker.

You watching US, leader?


Yes. Hold still.


O.k. I take a shot...

Right there.

Right up your six, rustpicker.

That's a kill, meechum.

O.k., o.X.
I got this guy nailed.

Press him.
Stay with him.

Coming up for the shot,

and coming up,
and right, right...

Right there!

That's a kill.

Looked good, sweetheart.

O.k., o.X.,
you clowns.

Knock it off.
The fight's over.

Join on me.

Outstanding, gentlemen!
On your feet!

To the greatest marine
fighter pilot

that ever crapped
between two shoes.

Some of you know him
by his nom be guerre...

The great santini.

Some of you know him
by names too foul

to be repeated
outside of this August company.

Here's to our victory today
over Navy.

Here's to his new assignment

as commander
of the 312 squadron.

I give you bull meechum!

Senores, senores!
Por favor!

The noise is too much, you know?

The other guests complain.

Oh, dearie.

They don't like to hear US
throw glasses?

No, senor.



Beat it!

Maybe we should hold it down.

I'd hate for you to get in trouble
your last night in Spain.

That would be just
awful, wouldn't it?

To the corps elite.

To that special breed
of sky devil

known and feared
throughout the world,

the marine dogfighter.

To the bravest men
who ever lived.

There's not a force
who could defeat US,

deny US victory,
or interrupt our destiny.


To victory!

Who's in charge here?

He is, sir.
Right through there.

What's wrong with this man?

He's had the flu, sir.
It's weakened him.

Don't get smart
with me, colonel.

My wife and I

and the other people out there

would like a quiet,
pleasant dinner,

and we'd appreciate
your clearing out

and taking your ungentlemanly
conduct with you.

Sir, this is
a going-away party for me.

Drink up and move out.

Yes, sir.

Could we have
one last drink at the bar

if we promise
to behave, captain?


I don't want you anywhere
near after that.

Thank you, sir.

O.k., you sweet,
young things.

I want you to go out to the bar

and act like perfect gentlemen.

You'll see a floor show

that'll make
marine corps history.

Button up and go on out.

Two of you take care
of the skipper.

That's good.

All right, there.

There you are.

After you, colonel.

To all squids and rustpickers...

Harooga, harooga, harooga!


Care to dance with the
great santini, ma'am?

I don't...

David. David!

Get your hands off my wife!


Oh, my god!

Chow down on me, hogs.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, mother of god,
pray for US sinners

now and at the hour
of our death. Amen.

Oh, if dad's plane crashed,

we'd never forgive ourselves

for not saying
that extra hail Mary.

Stand up straight, Ben.

Come on. Don't slouch.
That's it.

I don't want to leave
grandma's house.

I want to stay here in Atlanta.

We'll be back to visit.

That's what you said
about cherry point.

We'll be back
to cherry point as well.

That's what you told Karen
when we left camp lejeune.

Don't spread dissension,
Mary Anne.

I want dad's homecoming
perfect, do you hear?

Want me to punch her, mom?

They'll Bury you in a matchbox.

Did you hear that?

Mary Anne, stop it.

I don't know why
Matthew's so sensitive.

He's practically a giant
for a midget.


Mary Anne, let's take a walk.

That's a splendid idea.

You know, Benny boy,
I've been thinking lately.

Mind against mind,
I maul you every time.

Just remember I could knock
every tooth out of your face,

and there's very little
you can do about it.

Big, brave jock.

So what?
I'd get you back.

I'd steal your clearasil.

Within 48 hours,

your pimples
would multiply so fast,

you'd be dead.

There it is.

There it is.

Hey, mom!

There it is!

Oh, I see it, sugar, I see it.

Get in line.

He'll probably hold inspection.

Ben, stand up straight.

Girls, check your hair.

All right, now, remember,

when he gets off,
we will walk...

Walk, please...

Walk to meet him,

I'll go first, then the girls,
then the boys.

I'll give him a big juicy,
and then the girls,

and you boys shake hands firmly

and say,
"welcome home, colonel."

Better get a chair
for Matt to stand on.

You're going to get it.


Oh, for heaven's sakes.

Stand up here and let me
get your hair combed.

All right. Take it, now.

Hurry up. Hurry up.

Stand by for a fighter pilot!


Hey, hey!

I missed you, lil.
I missed you.

Oh, yeah?

Me, too.

Do you know when
the worst times were?


In the morning, just like now,

before the kids got up.

Oh, just lying here
listening to that quiet,

staring up at the ceiling...

Aching for the feel of you.

We got a lot of
catching up to do, lady.

Oh, my.

Colonel, sir,
I'm at your disposal.

Oh, my...

You've waited a long time

for this command, haven't you?

Too long.

Too long.

I'm so proud of you.

Proud of you.

Proud of you.
You know I am.

Colonel, sir...

You think we'd try a little bit

of that catching up now?

Well, honey, sugar dumpling,

bull meechum don't try nothin'.

He just do.

I know that. Oh!

Oh, no!

For heaven's sakes, bull,
what time is it?

Come on.
Up and at 'em.

I am not going anywhere
at 3:00 in the morning.

I want to be at the
air station by 1600.

Come back to bed.
It doesn't make any sense.

Moving day!
Let's go, hogs!

Everybody at the car
in five minutes!

Great to have you home, dad.


All right!

What's the next song,
sports fans?


What a horseshit song.

Watch your language.


Dixie's a loser's song.

Sing something else.


You sing Dixie, and I'll sing

battle hymn of the republic.

I'll sing a winner's song.

You sing a loser's song.

It's not a loser's song.

Hey, Ben, wake up.

Quit pretending you're asleep.

Come on.

I am asleep.

Let's talk.

What do you want to talk about?

The white sox won yesterday.


That's great, dad.

Hey, dad, are you ever
afraid when you fly?

Hell, yes.

That's what makes me
so damn good.

You'll know what
I'm talking about

when you're a marine pilot.

What if I decide
not to go into the corps?

Well, you're going in.

Four years, right after college.

If you want out
after that, well,

that's your choice,
but you're going in.

Would you like to be
killed in action, dad?

It's better than dying of piles.


I hate this place.

Now, sugar,

you've got to
open yourself to a town.

You've been in the corps
long enough to know that.

I am not in the corps.

Says you!

Shut your yaps.

This is it, sports fans...
Beaufort, s.C.

To think I mistook it
for Paris, France.

Look. Look at this guy.

See if y'all
can guess which house

the great santini has
rented for his family.

Since the great santini has the
worst taste in the free world,

it should be easy.

Has the great santini
ever let his family down?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

You do not trust
the great santini?

No! No! No!

Then have a look at this.




Oh, bull!

Oh, my god!

Care to have a look, Scarlett?

I'd be charmed, sir.

Just like you always wanted.

I got a cheap lease
from a rich colonel

nailed with a far east

looking for a classy tenant.

I probably reminded him
of Rhett Butler.

I'm sure.

What have you done?
What have you done?

What have you...

Oh, my lord.

They don't build them
like this anymore.

You can say that again.

What did you do?
What did you do?

All for you, Petunia.

Oh, my god.

You have outdone yourself.

Give US a big juicy.

O.k., hogs, I've listened
to you bellyache

about moving to this new town.

This said bellyaching
will end as of 1530 hours,

will not affect the morale
of this squadron henceforth.

Do I make myself clear?

Yes, sir!

I know it's rough
to leave your friends

and move every year,

but you are marine kids
and can chew nails

while other kids
are sucking cotton candy.

And you're meechums.

A meechum is a thoroughbred,
a winner all the way,

gets the best grades,
wins the most awards,

and excels in sports.

A meechum never gives up.

I want you hogs to let this burg
know you're here.

I want these crackers to wake up

and wonder what the hell
blew into town!

O.k., hogs, by nightfall I want
this camp in inspection order.

Do you read me loud and clear?

Yes, sir!

I said, do you read me
loud and clear?

Yes, sir!


Sergeant, dismiss the troops.


He does remind me of
someone from the movies,

but it's not Rhett Butler.

Who's that?


Colonel hedgepath in, sergeant?

No, sir.

Where is he?

He's indisposed
at the moment, sir.

I asked where he was,

not for your mastery
of the English language.

In the head down the hall, sir.

Hey! Hey!
Goddamn it!


What the hell?
Goddamn it!

You're probably wondering
why I attacked you, right?

Yes, sir.

What's your name, corporal?

Atchley, sir.

Atchley, do you realize
several marines were killed

by the Japanese at Pearl harbor

while taking craps?

No, sir.

A fighting man must be
vigilant to surprise attack

no matter where he is.

The survival of our nation

depends on the readiness
of marines all over the world.

Also, and more important,
you only wiped yourself twice.

Grossly insufficient.

Right now, germs with names
you can't even pronounce

are preparing to launch
a devastating attack

that will render you helpless
in defending your country.

Do you read me?

Yes, sir.

Good. I'm colonel
John j. Jones.

I'm only here for the day.

I fly around the country
testing the readiness of troops.

This is a strictly
confidential test,

classified top secret.

Tell no one, atchley,

and if you ever attack
a senior officer again,

I'll have you court-martialed.

But you attacked me, sir.

Dismissed! Good luck
in your career.

Be proud, atchley...

Proud of yourself
and proud of the corps.

Now get out.

Yes, sir.

You silver-tongued bastard.

Shame on you.

Is he back yet, cop?

Yes, sir.
He's expecting you.


Close that door, sergeant!

I don't want to
humiliate this man

any more than I have to.

Now, colonel, repeat after me...

Bull meechum
has menstrual cramps.

Kiss me where
the skin turns pink,

you worthless scum!

What kind of man
assaults corporals

with their pants down?

I want to know about that one.

How are you, virg?

I'm good.

Good to see you, buddy.

Welcome aboard, bull.

Tell me who put me
in varney's group.

He hates my guts.

I know. I know.

The squadron's in trouble.

Used to be one of the best,

but the last two c.O.S
really let it slip.

Varney's in line
for a star, you know.

He knows if he's going
to make general,

he'll have to
shape up the 312th.

It's that simple.

You heard I got passed over?

Passed over?

You're lucky
you didn't get busted.

I heard about
that mushroom soup stunt.



Go ahead and grin, dummy.

I'm telling you, bull,

you better watch
your six from now on.

You've got your squadron, right?

Just keep your nose
clean for a change.

Yes, sir.

And don't go raping any more
corporals in the latrine,

colonel Jones.

Yes, yes.

My god, you never change.

What are you thinking, colonel?

Nothing, sir.

Yes, you are, wilbur.

You're thinking, "why
doesn't that son of a bitch"

"quit reading those damn papers

and welcome me aboard
this station?"

Isn't that what
you were thinking?

Yes, sir. That's exactly
what I was thinking, sir.

Sit down.

O.k., now understand
this, wilbur.

The only reason I picked
you for this job...

Despite the fact

that you're a
disgrace to the corps

and on your way to
being an alcoholic...

Is that you're a fair leader
and a crackerjack pilot.

Thank you, sir.

Just sit there and shut up.

Cuba is hot.
Very hot.

If it pops, we'll be right
in the middle of it.

Now, I want you to start getting
these pilots into shape.

As much as I need this job done,

it won't break my heart if
you fall on your butt again.

That way I can end your career

with a poor fitness report.

Do you read me?

Yes, sir.

That's all.


Get your trousers
pressed, colonel.

Yes, sir.

Rise and shine, split tails!

Inspection at 0900
by commanding officer.

0900! Lillian!

I'm hungry!
Rise and shine!



Hey, Lillian, the little homo's
sleeping naked!

Let's go! Up and out!

Let's shake it out, hog.
Inspection at 0900.

Let's go!

Stand by for a fighter pilot.

What you say, captain?

I am the great santini!

I's arrabelle smalls,
your new maid.

Never worked for
no Italian before.

Pure Irish.

Madam, you're
a solid-looking woman.

I can punch hard as a man.

You want to hit my shoulder?

This is a marine
you're talking to.

I might cause internal bleeding.

Shoot, man.

You go on and hit
arrabelle's shoulder.

Come on down here.

O.k., lady, watch out.

You are solid as a rock.

Now it's my turn.

Right here. Go on.


Wait! You call
that punching?

You want me to do it again?

Hell, no.
If you hurt your hand,

I'll have to pay
the doctor bills.

What is going on out here?

Oh! Why, you must be
Mrs. Smalls.

I is.

I'm Lillian meechum,

and this is my husband
lieutenant colonel bull meechum.

My kind of woman.

Oh, yeah?
That says a lot.

Erline grantham
spoke very highly of you.

She said you spent
a lot of time in jail

for stealing silver
out of nice houses.

Miss erline don't put no
trash mouth on me, captain.

You'll get used to
his teasing or you won't.

It'll be there
one way or the other.

Lillian, I want chow.
It is I, santini!

Beast of beaufort
wants his breakfast!



Well, I hope you like children.

We have four.

Children is the only
perfect people there is.

I got me a fine boy.

He sells honey and
flowers hereabouts.

Is he the one that drives
a wagon and mule?

That's him.
That's my boy toomer.

Castro, you bearded fag!

I'd like to chase you down the
main street of Havana in my f-4!

And be gaulle!

God, why do you put so
many jerks in the world

at the same time?

Kind of peculiar, ain't he?

He's just reading
his paper. Come on in.

Attention on deck.

Seats, gentlemen.

You men have the privilege

of serving under the meanest,
toughest, screamingest

squadron commander
in the marine corps... me.

Now, I don't want you
to consider me

as just your commanding officer.

I want you to look on me
like I was...



If I say something,

you pretend it's coming
from the burning bush.

Now, we're members
of the proudest,

most elite group
of fighting men in the world.

We are marine corps
fighter pilots.

We have no other function.

That is our mission,

and you're either
going to hack it...

Or pack it.

Do you read me?

Within 30 days,
I'm going to lead

the toughest, flyingest
sons of bitches in the world.

The 312 werewolf squadron
will make history,

or it will die trying.

Now, you're flying
with bull meechum now,

and I kid you not...
This is the eye of the storm.

Welcome aboard.

Carry on.

Come on! Hey, hey, hey!

Hey, hey, hey!

O.k., Benny boy!

Come on, now.

Dad, dad, dad!

Dad, dad, dad!

Come on, now.

The reason I'm going
to beat you, dad,

is because you're
getting a little fat.

Yeah? Yeah?

One. That's one.

How about that, sports fans?

We know you can do that.

Go, Benny boy!

Hey, hey, foul!

Foul. He's starting
to cheat.

2-1. No foul.

Did you see that?

No foul.

No foul. 2-1.

Who's for me?
Who's for me?

Let's hear it!

Stay in there.

That's dirty play.

8-6, hog.
You're finished.

Says you.

How do you feel, dad?

You look a little tired.

Look a little ragged.



Don't worry, colonel,

you can always get
a disability pension.

Don't goad him, Ben.

Come on, just play.

Last shot, jocko.
Give up?

Stay close, Ben.
Now, watch him.

Whip his Fanny, Ben!

It is I, the great bentini!

Do you know, dad,

not one of US has ever
beaten you at a single game?

Not checkers, not
dominoes, not softball.

Watch it, Ben.
He's getting that look.

Come over here. Come
over here to daddy bull.

It's all over, colonel.

You played a great game, dad.

Get out of here before I knock
every freckle off your face.

That's mean.

Wasn't that great?

Come on, jocko. You got
to win by two baskets.

You said one.

I changed my mind.
Let's go.

Don't cheat the boy
out of his victory.

Who the hell asked you anything?

Don't you talk to me like that!

I'll play him, mom.

No. He beat you, and
it was beautiful.

You better get in the house
before I kick your butt.

Now, I mean it.
Come on.

Let's go. Hurry.
Come on.

You better move, woman.

All right!

Come on. Let's go.

He beat you.

Get out of here!

Kind of like winning, dad?

Get smart with me,
I'll kick your butt.

Guard me. You got
to win by two.

I'm not going to.
I won.

Mamma's boy, I bet
you're going to cry.

Come on, mamma's boy.
Let's see you cry.

Squirt a few.
Come on, cry.

Come on, cry.

Come on! Just a few.
Come on.

Squirt a few. Come on.

Come on, cry.

1, 2, 3, cry.
1, 2, 3, cry.

Come on! Cry.

Come on, baby.

Come on, little girl, cry.


You're my favorite
daughter, Ben.

I swear to god you're
my sweetest little girl.

This little girl just whipped
your ass good, colonel!

How are you feeling, sugar?

I'm o.X., mamma.

How are you?

Oh, I'll live through the night.

You know what I was thinking?


I was praying we'd
all go to war again

so king Kong out there

could fight somebody besides me.

Shame on you. That's
a terrible thing to say.

Your father loves you very much.

He's got a fabulous way
of showing it, ma.

You're going to cut off

all your circulation doing that.

Do you love him?

Of course.

Of course I do.

I think he treats you crappy.

Oh, harsh words were
never fatal to anybody.

Well, what about
harsh kicks, mamma?

He was getting ready...

Well, he didn't.

Ben, your father has
never hit me once

during our entire married life.

Oh, honey.

What happened today

won't make any difference
in five years.

He does what he does
because he loves you,

and he wants you to be the best.

Oh, sure.

"I love you, Ben."


"I want you to be
the best, Ben."


"And, Ben, I think
you're great, Ben."

Bounce the basketball
off of my head.

Oh, stop it. Hasn't
there been enough?

Come over here.

You know why he's down there?

No, ma'am.

Well, I'll tell you.

He is admitting to you

that the gap is closing,

that he's going to
have to practice

if he beats you from now on.

He's admitting to you
that he's getting older,

and that is the hardest
thing in the world

for a man like bull.

Well, mamma, that doesn't
change anything.

Well, it should.

Don't you think he knows that
you're up here watching him?

You've got
a strange father, Ben.

Well, that's the only way
he knows how to say,

"I'm sorry, son."

And let me tell you,

there isn't another person
in god's good world

that he would do that for.

You try to think of that when
you feel he doesn't love you.

Get out of those clothes?

Take a shower.

Do you want anything to eat?


I love you.

O.k, close it up.
I want you right up his six.

Stay on him.
Stay on him, wizard.

Close! Close!

Left, milkman, left.

Now turn. Turn!

No, no. Anticipate.

See that bogy, wizard.

Bleed him, bleed him.

O.k., you're lined up.

He's on you, milkman.
Do something.

Come left. Tighter.

Tighter, wizard.

Press him. Push him!

There's a shot. There it is.

It's all over, milkman.

That's a kill.

Go lay down and die, milkman.
You're finished.

That's a kill.

What are you boys
doing down there?

Take him into the sun, barstool.

Up, up. That's it.
Watch your six.

Watch your six!

What the hell? Watch...


What's the matter with you guys?

Kill the bogy, not your leader.

You fly like a bunch of pussies!

Jesus Christ!


Hush up.

That's about the ugliest
cat I ever did see.

That's the ugliest looking cow

pulling that wagon
I ever did see.

A cow! Why, this
here is man o' war,

winner of the Kentucky derby.

That there is rin tin tin,

star of stage, screen, and TV.

Hey, toomer.

Hi, mamma.

Mrs. Meechum, this
here's my son toomer.

Why, toomer, it is a pleasure.

How are you, ma'am?


These here are for you.

Why, how lovely.
Bless your heart.

Well, where you heading, son?

I thought I'd do me
some f-f-fishing.

You bring me back
some nice flounder

so I can fix for this family.

You done much fishing, Ben?

Not in salt water.

Well, why don't you go?

You want to come along,
dribbling man?

We be out all night.

Could I, mom?

Well, sure.

Get your jacket
and some blankets.

Right with you.

That poor boy has lived in
cities and on bases so long,

he's never really
tasted the south.

Oh, thank you, toomer.

I'm going to fix you some sweet
potato pie this weekend.

Thank you.

Thank you
for these. Bye.

See you, mamma.


Look coming here.

Hey, t-t-toomer.

How you d-d-doing, b-b-boss?

Who was that?

He ain't nobody.

Name's red pettus.

Him and his family
h-h-hate a black man

j-j-just for being black.

They's shrimp folk.

Old red... can't
even talk to him.

How many dogs you got here?

Don't rightly know.

12, 14.

Maybe more. Some
comes and goes.

Is that where you live?

Home sweet home.

You got to make friends
with the gray.

Who's the gray?

See him?

What's he mad about?

He don't like white folks much.

Come on, boy.

Come on. Come on.

Here. Feed him this.

Boy, you act like you're
feeding an alligator.

He looks kind of mean.

What you talking about, mean?

He... he... he
just prejudiced.

Good boy.

You know what, toomer?

This is terrific.

There's a shooting star.

That ain't no star, boy.

That's the tear of
infant Jesus falling,

on account of it's such a
sinful and hateful world.

This sure is one fine night,

ain't it, white boy?


This is one fine night.

God, they're all staring at US

like we're freaks or something.

No, they're not.

Just pick someone out,
go on up to them and say,

"hi. My name's
Mary Anne meechum.

I'm new in town.
I'd like you for a friend."

Why don't you?

Look at this.
Look at this.

My, my, my, my, my, my.

It's Ansley Matthews

and Jim Don Cooper,
the varsity fullback.

So what?

Jesus, I'm in love.

Have you told him yet?

That's funny.
Very funny.

Mr. and Mrs.
Neanderthal. Cute.

Hey, shake it out, hog.

Let's go.

What's the matter?

God, dad, it's 4:00.

Happy birthday, boy.

You woke me up
at 4 A.M.

To give me my birthday present.

That's great.

What is it?

It's a training bra.
Open it.

I've been saving it
for you for 18 years.

Looks good.

That was my first.

I wore it in wwii when
I flew with the cobras.

It's great, dad.

They don't make them
like that anymore.

It's part of the old corps.

Christ, you're 18, Ben.

I woke up thinking about
the day you were born.

I was on a hop, and all
I heard when I landed

was that your mother
was in a hospital.

So I went crazy.

I hit 100 miles an hour
getting there,

knocking nurses out of the way,

running over the small children,

crashing into patients

on the way
to the operating room.

And you're screaming
your head off.

I'm banging on the window
trying to get your attention,

bragging to everybody
who'd listen

that the toughest little
fighter pilot in the world

had been born.

Then I ran down to see
how your mother was,

expecting her to look like...

Horseshit from hell after
punching you out of her system.

Hell, she was sitting up,

looking prettier
than I'd ever seen her.

That was 18 years ago.

18 years ago today.

I was 23.

That was some day.

I got to register for the
draft within 10 days.

I'll take you down.

I want you to meet me
at the club at 1700

for a little
celebration, o.X.?


Tell mamma we'll be home

for supper and
the cake cutting at 1830.

Wear a coat and tie.

Yes, sir.

Go back to sleep.

My dear son, my dear Ben,

my dear friend
who becomes a man today.

I wanted to write you
a letter about being a man

and what that means
in a Fuller sense.

I wanted to tell you

that gentleness is the quality
I most admired in men,

and then I remembered
how gentle you were,

so I decided to write
something else.

It's just this...

I want you to know
that whatever you do

or wherever you go,

you walk with
my blessing and love.

I've had my regrets
and many sadnesses,

but I will never regret
the night you were born.

I thought I knew about love
and the boundaries of love

until I raised you
for these past 18 years.

I knew nothing about love.

This has been your gift to me.

Happy birthday. Mamma.

Hey, sports fan, over here.

What the hell
you grinning about?

This is really my day.

I made the varsity team.

Of course you did.

You only had the greatest
coach in the world.

Congratulations on your 18th.

Thanks, colonel.

What will you have?

Dr. Pepper.

I didn't bring you
down here to drink soda pop.

You're old enough to drink now.

Mom will get mad, dad.

Besides, I'm in training now.

If he doesn't want to drink...

There's those that got them,
and those that don't.


Gonads, son.
Big brass ones.

Bartender, I'll have a double
Martini up with a twist.

Do you know what
a double Martini is?


Will you leave him alone?

It's made out of liquor.

You bet.

You got
an I.ID., son?

Sure, I got an I.ID.

Happy birthday, kid.

Just a minute, Ben.



I would like you

to join me in a toast
to my oldest son,

who's 18 today.

He just ordered his first drink.

Before he begins drinking it,

I would like to
wish him a long life,

a wife as fine as his mother,

and a son as fine as he's been.

To my son.

Happy birthday!

Hear! Hear!


Congratulations, kid.

How is it, big man?

It's fit to drink,
but I've tasted better.

let's have another here.

Slow down, Ben.
That's an alligator of a drink.

That's why I ordered it, Virgil.

It's colonel hedgepath
to you, mister.

Sir. Sir, my apologies.


This is great, really great.

Hey, waiter,
another drink for my son.

Lillian's going
to scalp you, bull.

Heck, virg, come on.

I don't even have a buzz on yet.


Hey! Hey!

This is really great, dad.

You like it?

Really great, really great.

Sober up, dad.

Drink up, son.

Drink up?

You know what I was thinking?


I think it's really great.

I think it's great.

Virg, virg,
I think this is great.


Great! God!

What about it?

Dad. Hey, dad.

O.k. Almost.

Here they come!

Oh, my gosh.
Turn out the light, quick!

When I say "now,"

turn on the lights,
and then we start singing.

Come on, now.

Oh, for heaven's...
I blew one out.

Look at that.
Isn't that silly?

They won't go fast enough

when you need them to, do they?

Get down quickly.


On behalf of my illustrious,
though somewhat inebriated son,

I thank you
for this joyous display.

However, as the hour is late

and seeing as how Ben

made the varsity
basketball team today,

he is in training,
badly in need of rest.


I will take him to bed

where he can partake
of same straightaway.

Thank you all...
And we love you.

You know, lil, he's got it all.

He's fast.
He's got balance.

He's got smarts.

I think you gentle him too much.

It screws up his instincts
and his timing.

If there's one thing

I want to give my sons,

it's the gift of fury.

I want them to
gobble up the world,

eat life, or it will eat them.



So this fella says,

"who was that woman
I seen you with last night?"

He say, "she one
of the Lee sisters."

"Yeah? Then her first name
must be ug."

Ug. I get it.

What you dancing around
like that for?

A bee ain't gonna mess with you.

He doing his job.

See, the bee's
like the preacher man.

He go from the girl flower
to the boy flower,

and everywhere he touch,
they be married,

and they say,
"thank you, preacher bee.

"Here, why don't you
have some honey

for your pay?"

And that's
the perfect way of it.

Toomer, you are a
poet, you know that?

Well, ain't every
natural born liar?

Well, I'll see you folks
with the sun.

Good luck, Ben.

Thank you, arrabelle.

Good night, miss meechum.

Good night.

Better check her purse
for the silver.

Good night, captain.

Good night, arrabelle.

Meechum sees his mother
making an apple pie,

dribbles left.

There's dad,
reading the newspaper.

Get off your feet.
Go take a nap.

This helps me relax.

It doesn't help me relax!

I couldn't sleep last night.

I was so worried
about the big game.

I woke up in a cold sweat

with a fever and three
types of cancer

and a touch of rabies!

Dad, I got an "a"
on my English theme.

Would you read it?

I'm reading my paper.

Dad, I can eat
a whole can of peaches

in less than 60 seconds.

Want to bet me?

Would you two please go upstairs

and do your homework

so you'll have it done
before the game?

Go on now.

Your father is very
nervous about this game.

Look at me, young lady.

You've got to learn to interpret

the signals he gives off.

He always gives off the signals

of a psychopathic killer,

so it doesn't matter
how you interpret them.

Shame on you!

Hey, dad, why do you love me

more than your other children?

Beat it. I'm reading
the sports page.

Let's have a conversation, dad.

Let's bare our souls
and know one another.

I don't want you
to get to know me.

I like being an enigma,

like a chink.

Am I a meechum, dad?
Can girls be real meechums?

Girls without jump shots?

Or am I a simple form of meechum

like in biology?

Mary Anne,
the one-celled meechum.

Mary Anne, scram.

I'm starting to lose my temper!


Dad, I'm pregnant.

I'm pregnant by a negro, daddy.

His name is Rufus.

I didn't want to tell you,

but since we're baring
our souls to each other,

Rufus is a pacifist...

A pacifist homosexual.

Jesus h. Christ!

Lillian, I'm going to the club.

I'll see you all at the game.

Can't stand it around here!

You'll get to like him
after a while, dad.

Dwarves are easy to like,

especially when they're bald

and cross-eyed.

Dad. Dad.


Jim Don, I hear Lou Ellen alston

has got the hot uterus for you.


There are scouts out there

from four different colleges.

We're trying to get ready, dad.

We want 40 big ones.

We'll help him.

Atta-boy, art.

The best ballplayers

have their greatest games

against the best teams.

Thanks, dad.

See you out there.


He gets excited
at times like this.

You think he's excited?

My dad hasn't taken a crap
for three days.

Boy, he's really tanked up.

Nah, he's just excited.

Shit. I know a drunk
when I see one.

O.k. O.X. O.X.
Shut that thing off.

You guys,
get your buns around here.

All right, coach.

I want you boys
to hit that court hungry.

I want you starving.

I want US to win and win big!

I want to make our school proud.

I want to make
our parents proud,

our grandparents proud,

our first and second cousins

our poontang proud,
and ourselves proud!

You hear what I'm saying?

Yes, sir!
Yes, sir!

Get out there and eat them up!

Go! Go! Go! Go!

Eagles! Eagles!

You ain't going to
score, meechum.

I'll be on you
like stink on shit.

Stink is the word.


Hey, that's a foul!


Play some defense!

That's a foul.


We'll take three
on that one, ref.

Oh, oh, oh!

That's o.X.
We'll get the second half.

Hanging in there.
I'm proud of you.

You're doing a good job.





Look at that son of a bitch!

That's a foul!
Let's get with it, ref!

Let's get with it!





Foul. One shot.

Let's go.

Meechum, I'm taking
you out of this game

bulldozer style.

It's a shame the rest of you

don't work as good
as your mouth.

That's a foul!
That's a foul!

They did it on purpose.

You o.X., meechum?

Sure, I'm fine.

Give him some air.

Get that punk.
Put him on the deck.

You get him, or I'll get you.

Get him, or you don't come home.

Get him!
Put him on the deck!

Number 25!

Number 25, you got to
put him on the floor,

or don't come home tonight!

You hear me?
Put him down, Benny!

Put him down!

Abbott's got a broken
arm, piss ant.

They're out there

beating our tails off.

I'm sorry.

God. I'm sorry.

You messed up bad, boy.

I know.

This team had a chance tonight

against a school that's been
crappin' on US for 10 years.

Then along comes this idiot

who hasn't got the guts

to tell his father

to take a flying jump

when that father's wrong.

What do you think I ought to do?

Kill me.

Do you think it's fair

if I dump you from the team?

Yes, sir.

Well, I don't!

I don't think it's a fair
exchange for a broken arm.

But we're just going
to leave it like that.

Hi, toomer.


Hey, toomer.
How you doing?

Good morning, toomer.

I need two...


Right there.

I brung four jars of honey.

Put them on the bench.

I never heard
of a p-p-p-pail before.

What's that, toomer?
Some kind of new word?

I hear your friend meechum

got kicked off
the team for good.

You two have been
tight as ticks.

I figured it must be love.

Let me help you.

I don't need no help from you.

Y-y-y-you don't?

All right, then.
I won't help you.

There's two more jars.
Here's the difference.

Let it go, toomer.
It just ain't worth it.

Damn, that's clumsy
of me, toomer.

I was just trying to
be a good neighbor.

Y-Y-You ain't m-m-mad
at me, are you?

You move, red,

and I'll tell man o' war to go,

and she'll take
your head with her.

Hey, nigger!

Don't touch him!
He'll do it!

Let him go, toomer.
Just do it, son.

None of these boys
are going to hurt you.

Go on.

I'll get you, you gimp nigger!

I'll get you for that!
I'll get you, you hear?

You hear me?

You make me sick, pettus.

I'll get you, toomer!
You hear me talking to you?


Get up.


Look at me!

Thanks a lot, pinkie.
Guys. See you.

Ben! Ben, hurry!

What's the matter?

It's toomer!

He made red pettus holler today.

Miss erline
heard them pettus boys

running their mouths
about paying him back.

You know with all them dogs,

they ain't going out there

You got to
bring him back to my house.

Is mom home?

Gone to novena
with Mrs. Grantham.

Where's dad?

At the base.

I better call him
in case I run into trouble.

Negative. Negative.

Dad, they might have guns.
I'll take mom's car.

No, I don't want you

getting between
the niggers and grits.

I've got to go!

Toomer can take care of himself.

Don't leave that goddamn house!


I gave you a direct order, hog.




Don't answer when he calls back.

I'm going. I'll get him.

Son of a bitch.

Give me the bottle.

Where's them damn dogs?

Thought they'd be all over US.

Remember, daddy said

you're just to scare him.

Yeah. I'm going to
scare him, all right.

Come on.

Come on. Oh, yes.

We... we got a surprise
for y'all, don't we?

C-C-Come on.

He's got them all inside.

Good. That will
make things easier.

What are you going to do?

Shoot me some hounds, cuz.

Come on now.
Come on.

Come right ahead, pettus.


Let's get the hell out of here!

No, sir.

I ain't gonna let that trash
hurt my children.

This is plain dumb, red.

Get the hell out of there.
Let's go home.

I've got business
to take care of here.

Y'all chicken-shits
want to go, then go.

Just leave my car.

Come on, will you?

Not until I kick
that son of a bitch's ass.

You're on your own.

I'm tired of fighting
your fights.

Go to hell.

Same to you, brother.

Hush up! Hush!

Hush! Hush! Hush!
They's gone!

Ain't nobody out there.

They're gone, I told you.

Get down.

I've got to hurt you, toomer,

like you hurt me...
Even Steven.

Ain't you done h-had
enough of this, red?

Why don't you go on now

before something happens?

You made them people
laugh at me,

and now I got to
teach you a lesson.


I'm going to get you, red.

I'm going to hurt you for that.

That was just the first one.

Time I get done,

you ain't gonna have one left.

Get away!

Jesus, toomer!

I didn't mean to hit you.
It was the dog.

Oh, god.

Oh, I didn't mean to hit you.

Toomer, I didn't mean to hit...


O.k., red.
Even Steven.

Oh, god!





Ben... Ben...

It look like...
We can't go shrimping

on... on Friday.

Sure we can.
You promised.

Dead men don't make
too good of fishermen.


I'm taking you to the hospital.

Doc tatteree's
going to fix you right up.

Oh, god. I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, man.
I'm sorry.


You lost a lot of blood, toomer!

Oh, god!


Come on! Damn!

All right.

B-Ben, hurts. Hurts.

I was trying to be careful.

I'm trying to be careful.
Honest, toomer. Honest.


All right. All right.

Don't worry about a thing.

They'll fix you up
in no time, toomer.



Oh, god!



Toomer, dad...

You disobeyed
a direct order, hog!

A direct order
from your commanding officer!

Yes, sir.

You knew
you'd catch hell for it.

You did it anyway.
I want to know why.

Because I thought...
I promised arrabelle.

I thought toomer
might be in trouble


And what?

And because I was your son.

What the hell's that mean?

Because santini
would have done it.

We're not talking
about me, goddamn it!

I'm a meechum.

A meechum's a thoroughbred,

a winner all the way.

He chews nails.
He never surrenders.

He never gives up.

You disobeyed a direct order!

I thought toomer
might be in trouble.

I told you he can
take care of himself.

Yes, sir.

That's what you told me.

Is that him in the car?

Yes, sir.

Hey, toomer.
How you doing, sports fan?

Jesus h. Christ.

Better take him to the hospital.

I'll get the sheriff
and tell arrabelle.

Why didn't you tell me?

Why didn't you say something?

Nobody tells you anything, dad.

It took a lot of guts

for him to go out there tonight.

You should be proud.

Virg, if you want to
drink with me, fine,

but skip the bilge,
o.X., sir?



Virg, old buddy,
I've recently observed

that for certain throwbacks

of the species,

certain gung-dinosaurs,

of which I proudly
number myself as one,

being a warrior without a war...

Has its problems.

Don't you think

it's smart of me
to observe that?



You bastard!

You shut up!
You just shut up!

You didn't have
a conscience, did you?

You know he did what was right!

You don't have
any concern for life!

You don't feel anything!

Shut up!
Just shut up!

I'm a fighter pilot,
don't you understand?

How long does it take you

to understand that?

Take your hands off her!

Come on!

Don't you touch him!

Get him!
Get him!

Stop it, daddy!

Bull! Bull! Bull!
Bull! Bull! Bull!

Stop it!

Stop it, daddy! Stop it!

It's all right now. Hush.

It's all over. It's
all over. Hush now.

I'm getting worried.

I hope he dies out there

with the rest of the snakes.

I want you to go
and look for him.

Give me a gun,
and I might oblige you.

I want you to go bring
your father home, Ben.

I'm not going to do that, mamma.

Yes, you are.

Now. Before
the sun comes up

and somebody finds him.





Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Happy birthday to you.

Defense. Defense.

What, buddy?

Yes, sir.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

Colonel w.P. Meechum
reporting as ordered.

As ordered, sir.

No, no, lil, honey.
You just don't understand.

It's dangerous out there.

You gentle him too much.
Too much.

He won't make it.

Colonel w.P. Meechum.

Terror of the skies.




Hey, you guys.

Lil, you kids,
I'll tell you what.

You do my caring for me, deal?







Just watch out.
You got to be fast...

'Cause the bogies will get you.

Defense. Defense.

You got to work
that defense, Benny.

You got to watch your six.

Now you guard me.

O.k., buddy.

Benny, you guard me, will you?


Hey, I'm sick. Jesus.

I'm sick, boy.

Come on, dad.

Let's go home.
You and me.

Dad. I think
I understand now, dad.

I love you, dad.

Did you hear what I said?

I love you!

Did you hear me?

Did you hear me, santini?

Watch your six now.
Guard me, dad. Guard me.

Guard me.
Here I come.

Come on.
Take another swing, dad.

Come on, dad.
I'm right here.

This bogy's got you zeroed.

Come and get me.
Come and get me.

This bogy, dad.
This one.

I love you, dad.

I love you,

and there's nothing
you're going to do about it.

I love you, dad.
I love you.

Come on. Look out.

Look out.

The dead bug is down.

So come on.

Let's go home.

Let's go home.

South Carolina?


North Carolina?



O.k. Good. Uruguay?

That's where
you were stuck last time.




And Afghanistan?



Hey, looking good, sports fans.

Where's Mary Anne?

Getting dressed.

She's been getting
dressed for three days.

She really likes
the gown you bought.

It was too expensive.

Only the best for my hogs.

Let your mother complete
the inspection.

Madam, how do I look?

Like a prince.
Turn around.

Like a queen.

Stop that. Practice those
steps once more, o.X.?

Remember, left foot first.

Now, don't look down.
Look up at me.

One, two. One...

Not so close.

So close?

Oh, any girl would be proud
to go to the prom with you.

Wouldn't she?

Mamma. Mamma.


You just look so wonderful.

Mary Anne acts like she's mad

I asked her.

Oh, you look absolutely
stunning, sugar.

I didn't know you were
so stacked, sports fans.

Hush, bull.
My god.

How sicko sexual can you get?

Wait until I get my Kodak.

You look beautiful, Mary Anne.

I'm so tired of people
admiring my beauty,

being homecoming queen
for two years in a row.

A homecoming queen?

Go find a toadstool
to sit under, grub.

Old four eyes

gets a knuckle sandwich

for that one.

Get together now.
Hold still.

Where are your glasses?

They detract
from my heavenly beauty.


Better hurry.

Your reservations are at 1900.

Flying tonight?

Routine night flight.

Give me a kiss.
Get going.

You look beautiful.


See you at breakfast,
sports fans.

Have a nice time.

Mary Anne.



You look nice.

Thank you.


Have fun, sports fans.


Can you believe
dad bought me this dress?

He can be so childishly
sentimental sometimes.

Isn't this ridiculous?

Get ready, sports fans.

One, two, three...

My big-city move.

My darling, that's an
enormous booger in your nose.

I am santini, the great santini.

I come at night from the moon,
from behind the clouds...


Out of the black, watch out!

Watch out!
Hee hee hee!

Hey hey!

Beaufort approach.

Werewolf one inbound
to sand dollar fix.

Request tacan approach.

Roger, werewolf one.

Descend and maintain
flight level 240.

Cleared for tacan penetration.

Beaufort approach,
this is werewolf one.

I have a fire warning light.

I'm declaring emergency.

Request immediate penetration.

Roger, turn right to 330.

Cleared to 2,000 feet.

Coast control, werewolf one.

Steady on the heading 330.

Request gca pickup.

Roger, werewolf one.

Come on, sweetheart,
settle down.

Don't do this to me.

Mayday, werewolf one,
I'm on fire!

Skip the gca.
I'm coming straight in.

This thing is coming apart.
I got to get out.

Punch out. Punch out.

Forget it.
I'm over the town.

I'm going to try to get
this thing to the water.

I lost your boy, gunny.

Tower, any fires
near the runway?


Angel five, angel five,

we have an aircraft down

approximately five miles
east of runway 32.

Mom? Mom?

Come on in, sugar.

What are you doing up so early?

I think something's
happened to dad.

Colonel varney and colonel
hedgepath are downstairs.



Yes, mamma?

Go and wake up the children.

Tell them to come down here.

I have something to tell
you about your daddy.

Yes, ma'am.

Go on now.

Holy Mary, mother of god,

pray for US sinners now
and at the hour of our death.


Glory be to the father
and the son and the holy ghost.

As it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be.

World without end. Amen.

Now I want to say something.

Tomorrow will be
very hard on all of US.

But the meechum family
will conduct itself honorably

at the funeral.

We will not cry in public.

Bull would not have liked it.

He would want US to be strong.

Our grief will be private.

Now, if you wish to cry,
you cry now.

Cry here at the house,

cry with each other
and with our friends,

but tomorrow
there will be no tears.

You will remember at all times

that you are
the children of bull meechum,

and you will act accordingly.

Can't I just sniffle
once or twice?

Don't you dare smart-mouth me

at a time like this, Mary Anne.

You and your brother take
the children and go upstairs

so I can say
my prayers in peace.

Yes, ma'am.

Come on, kids.


Ain't you going to bed?

In a while, sugar.
In a while.

Can't you sleep?

Come and sit down.


Yes, darling?

I got to tell you something.


I... I... I...

Used to pray...

For his plane to crash.

I really did.


And I just...

Keep thinking that...

One of those prayers...

Was up there
floating around, and he...

He accidentally ran into it.

No, it wasn't.

Mamma, mamma,

mamma, I feel so terrible...

That he h-h-had to die

for me to be free.

Now, listen.
It was not his dying.

Listen to me now.

You were free

the night that
you went to help toomer.

Now look at me.

You know that's true, don't you?

All right, now.

He died because
he stayed with his plane

till it was clear of the town...

Because he was a true marine
and because he cared.

I want to tell you,
Ben, Mary Anne,

Matthew, Karen, and Lillian

that I'll like the world less
without bull.

It will be a duller,
more colorless place.

We'll all remember him,

and we'll honor that memory.

Detail, attention!

Ready! Aim! Fire!

Aim! Fire!

Aim! Fire!

Detail, attention!

There's one missing.

That's where papa should be.

Good-bye, house.

Good-bye, beaufort.

Matt, did okra
go to the bathroom?

How should I know?

Did you all go to the bathroom?

You want an affidavit?

We're not going to be stopping
every 15 seconds.

Why do we always have
to leave at 3 A.M.?

Because there's no traffic,
and we make better time,

so stop complaining.

I'll never see Mary,
Helen, or Alice again.

We'll be back, sugar.
We'll come back for a visit.

That's what you said about
cherry point and new river.

Hush now, hush.