Tunes of Glory (1960) - full transcript

Major Jock Sinclair has been in this Highland regiment since he joined as a boy piper. During the Second World War, as Second-in-Command, he was made acting Commanding Officer. Now the regiment has returned to Scotland, and a new commanding officer is to be appointed. Jock's own cleverness is pitted against his new CO, his daughter, his girlfriend, and the other officers in the Mess.

[bagpipes playing]


- It's me, Sergeant Finney.
- Ah, Miss Sinclair.

- Will I ring through to the mess?
- No.

- Something wrong, miss?
- No.

No, I'll only be five minutes.

- Is that Colonel Sinclair's daughter?
- Aye.

- Shall I ring through to him?
- No.

No, I wouldn't do that.

[bagpipes continue]

- [bagpipes stop]
- [pounding on table]


- Colonel?
- For God's sake,

smoke that bloody thing like a man!

Stop puffing at it like a ruddy debutante.

Go on, laddie. Smoke it, smoke it.

Draw it in. Draw it in.

- [coughs]
- [all laughing]

Am I coarse, Simpson?

Am I, Charlie?

Away you go, lads. You're no so bad.

You can have a drink.

Oh, for Pete's sake, then.
Where's me whiskey?

Corporal, colonel's whiskey!

[men pounding table]

I think Lieutenant Colonel
Jock bloody Sinclair, DSOMN...

is a terror, that's what he is.

- He's a great man.
- Och, he's a terror, I'm telling ya.

Is that right he used to be a piper?

He played pibroch on the wireless.

Well, I'm no a corporal.
I never get to hear the wireless.

Is that right, the sergeants
are gonna get the TV?

- Are you not drinking?
- I'll be back in a wee while.

Is it a rendezvous you have,
Corporal Fraser?

You'll no get the TV that way,
I'm telling you.

[men chattering, laughing]

[sighs] It's no good. They're settling in.

Can you not get away?

[chuckles] You know
what your father's like.

I'll be piping all night.

- Will I wait?
- No, no. You can't wait here.

- Was it all right about last night?
- No bother. He was in late himself.

- Are you angry I came?
- Morag, I'm not scared of him.

Let me tell him.
I'll speak to him straight.

He's got to know sooner or later.

It's not right like this.

- You're hot.
- Oh, listen to what I'm saying.

Look, Ian, he'll not take it, not yet.

I'll speak to him when the moment comes.

[Jock] You're a white-kneed shower,
you are.

- [men laughing]
- I've got to go now.



[men chattering]

- Miss Sinclair?
- Yes?

Oh, it's you, Pipe Major.

Miss Sinclair,
a barracks is a very small place.

It's not the first time you've been
inside at night, I know that.

But if your father found out,
there might be bad trouble for you.

You've no right to speak
to me like that, have you?

- I'm only trying...
- It's nothing to do with you, is it?

I'm speaking to you as a friend,
Miss Sinclair. I didn't mean to interfere.

And I didn't mean to be rude.

Sorry, Pipey.

- Good night.
- Good night.

[men chattering, laughing]

- Well, gentlemen, I have news for you.
- [chattering continues]

- All of you!
- [chattering stops]

You ignorant men.

News that'll affect you all.

Tomorrow, there's a new colonel coming...

and he'll be taking over the battalion.

Are you receiving me loud and clear?

No, Jock, you're pulling our leg.

It's true what I'm telling you.

Ask the adjutant there.
Jimmy knows right enough.

It's true.

It doesn't surprise me.

They were bound
to catch up with him sometime.

- Let 'em try...
- I didn't call for comments,

one way or the other.

- It's just a fact.
- Who is it, Jock?

Uh, Basil Barrow.

Major Barrow? I remember him.
He lectured at Sandhurst.

He's a stickler for detail,
but a marvelous lecturer.

He was out east.
He's an expert on jungle warfare.

Half his family were colonels here.

Well, he... He's really quite all right.

I mean, he's...
He's frightfully bright upstairs.

Aye, he's a great success...

as a lecturer.

Quite a turn with the cadets.

Colonel Barrow, Eton and Oxford,
joined the regiment in 1933.

He was only with it a year or two
before being posted on special duties.

It's as Simpson says.
He's bright upstairs.

That's his, uh, granddad's ugly mug

hangs halfway along the hall there.

Aye, I know all about him, you see that.

Well, he's to command the battalion.
And I'll have another dram.

- What about you...
- Aye, and what about me, china?

- Are you staying on?
- Unless you're gonna get rid of me, Jimmy.

[all laughing]

I thought there might have been
a chance of it.

Staying on as second in command, you mean?

So may it please you, Captain Simpson.

- I'm glad you're not leaving us, sir.
- Thank you, Eric.

- And, Eric.
- Yes, sir?

No "sirs" in the mess.

Christian names, except for me,
and I'm Colonel.

I call you what I like. Understood?

Yes, Colonel.

"Yes, Colonel."

Go on, Charlie. We'll go through the way.

Jock's last day.

Well, gentlemen, we'll have
a round of drinks on Jock. Corporal.

- Sir?
- Whiskey for the gentlemen that like it,

and for the gentlemen
that don't like it...

- whiskey.
- [laughing]

I'm no use at talking
at my best of times, Charlie...

but tonight, I'm no coping at all.

- Will we have the pipers back?
- Your night, old boy.

Aye, my night. Old boy. Old boy. Old boy.

Well, I say we'll have the pipers.

- Laddie, call the pipers.
- This minute, sir.

- Just "sir." That's all you need to say.
- Sir.

Aye, Charlie, we fought a war together...

- do you know that?
- Uh-huh.

And you will have a tune,
and I'll have a tune,

and MacMillan there'll have a tune.

- Thank you very much.
- And I'll have another tune.

Charlie, why the hell'd
you shave the whiskers off?

Oh, I don't know. Tickled the ladies.

[laughing] I love you, Charlie.

You're no a great talker, right enough,
but you're a lovely man.

- Aye, pipers, and where have you been?
- The pantry, sir.

- Are you sober?
- Sir.

You bloody well better be,
and that's a fact.

You're no here to get sick drunk
the same as the rest of us.

We'll have a reel to sweat it out.

- Aye!
- "The Duke of Perth."


Aye. That's right.
Hankies for the lassies.

And a prettier lady I never saw.


[whooping, hollering]

Officers' mess pantry, man. Quick now.

- Mess pantry.
- Tell them Colonel Barrow's just arrived.

Sure, I'll tell them.

Sir, Colonel Barrow's here, sir.

- Who?
- Colonel Barrow, sir.

- Colonel.
- What is it?

Get back to your proper place!

- Colonel's here.
- Of course, I'm here.

You're drunk, laddie! [laughing]

No, Jock, it's him.

But, damn it, he's not due till the morn.

Pipers! Pipers, that's enough for you.

[bagpipes stop]

Good evening, gentlemen.
My name is Barrow.

[stamps floor]
Jock Sinclair, acting colonel.

How do you do?
I've heard a great deal about you.

He might have given us a warning.

Do you fancy the waistcoat?

- Uh, Jimmy Cairns, adjutant.
- Sir.

- How do you do?
- Charlie Scott, second in command.

- Colonel.
- Scott.

Aye. Uh, Dusty Miller, mess president.

- How do you do?
- Sir.

- What company?
- C Company, sir.

There are too many damn subalterns
to introduce. That's the deluge.

- Colonel.
- Sir.

How do you do?

And now, Colonel,
may we have your permission

to resume the dance that was interrupted?

Oh, for heaven's sake, please.
I'm not here officially until tomorrow.

Thank you. Carry on, pipes.

Charlie, we'd better break off.

- You'll join us in a drink, Colonel.
- Thank you.

[bagpipes resume]

Straight or with water?

I'd rather have a soft drink, if I may.
Anything will do.

- Not a whiskey?
- Not a whiskey.

But we all drink whiskey
in this battalion.

Yes, I remember that. Whiskey doesn't
really agree with me, I'm afraid.

- A lemonade for Colonel Barrow.
- Sir.

This is my farewell party, you understand.

There's no a carry-on
like this every night.

[whooping, hollering]

Aye, so you found your way here all right.

Oh, yes. I've been here before, you know.

- Aye? When was that?
- I came as a subaltern.

- From Sandhurst?
- From Oxford, as a matter of fact.

From Oxford. Fancy that.

So you came in that way,
with a university degree?

- For what it was worth.
- Well, I came in the other way,

by Sauchiehall Street,
boot-boy, band boy and Barlinnie.

- Barlinnie Jail?
- Just the cooler.

Armistice night, 1933.

Dead drunk and disorderly.

Sounds a much better training.

- Happy days.
- Good luck.

It'll be some time since you were
with the battalion, I'm thinking.

Yes, indeed. I feel quite a new boy.

It's a while since I've been
with any battalion.

I've been sitting behind a desk
for some time now.

One of the lads said
you used to teach at Sandhurst.

- Simpson?
- Aye, you're right now.

And what was it you said you did before?

I don't think I did say.

- You didn't?
- Like you, Sinclair, I was in jail.

A prisoner-of-war camp, eh?

Officers' privileges
and amateur dramatics.

It's no quite the same thing.

I think I would have preferred
Barlinnie Jail.

Good night.

- Scott.
- Colonel.

[whooping, hollering]

[clock chiming]

- The bottle's three-quarters empty.
- Nonsense. It's a quarter full.

Have I been such a bad colonel, Charlie?
Have I?

- [chuckles] Never knew a better.
- Och, man. Stop your fibbing.

- Honest to God. Why, the war, old boy...
- Old boy, old boy, old boy.

You asked me and I told you.
For God's sake, chum.

- Do you really think that, Charlie?
- Sure. Absolutely.

It's no right.

You nurse them from Alamein to Cassino,
from Dover to Berlin,

just to get some spry wee gent
put over your head at the end.

It's no fair, it isn't.

[sighs] Och. He's here now.

The "new boy," he called himself...

all in his mufti.

I fancy the poor laddie's
got tabs in place of tits.

Pass the bottle. There's a good chum.

Do you think we can dispense with glasses?

- Aye.
- Hmm?

If anyone has the right
to get fool tonight,

it's Jock Sinclair
and his friend Charlie Scott.

Did you hear him say that
about the whiskey?

- He doesn't drink it, says he.
- Sad.

He had no right to come blowing in here
like that without warning.

- It was bad form, that's what it was.
- Hmm.

And whatever way you look at it,
they'd no right to put him in above me.

That makes me angry, Charlie.

- It makes me very, very...
- [clattering]


Who's that through there?

Who's that through there saying,
"Who's that through there?"

- Whisht, man.
- [clattering]

Who is it?

Corporal Fraser, sir.

What the hell are you doing here
at this hour of night?

- Waiting, sir.
- Waiting? Who for?

For you, sir. You told me to wait.

Did I now?

And you've been waitin'

and cussing and binding and swearing...

Och, man. I know, uh...

- I've been a piper myself.
- Sir.

You got a girl downtown, Corporal?

You got a piece of cherry cake?

Have we kept you away from her?

Well, Corporal, have you got
a tongue in your head?


- Have you got a lassie?
- Sir.

Is that not dandy, Charlie,
the corporal's got a lassie?

- Good for the corporal.
- No, no, Major Scott.

You should say, um...

good for the lassie.

It's not every lassie
gets a corporal piper.

No, it's not.

Is she bonny, Corporal?

I think so, sir.

"I think so," he says.

Tell me, Corporal, um...

are your intentions strictly honorable?

Yes, indeed, sir.

Then you're a bloody fool,
that's what you are.

You leave honorable intentions
to fathers like me.

It's latish, old chum.

Are you failing, you miserable man?

Are the lights going out all over,

Mmm. And all over barracks.

- It's after 3:00, old boy.
- Is that so...

old boy? [chuckles]

Corporal, you see before you

the body of a major...

and the ghost of a colonel.

They instruct you to dismiss.

To some of us, sir,
you will always be the colonel.

Corporal Fraser,
the penalty for mutiny is death.


I-I'm thinking when
I-I'm talking to the corporal there...

it's the pipe major I should have been.

And I would have been good, I would.

But that was not the way of it. [sighs]

Hitler saw to that.

And Rommel...

one desert night.

[fire crackling]

Well, this is my battalion.

I've acted colonel,
and I should be colonel,

and by this hand, Charlie boy,
I bloody well will be colonel, so I will.


Oh, you bastard.

- [murmurs]
- You bastard.

And you're no a good listener, either.

[bugle: "Reveille"]

Were you late again last night?

[Jock] Ish. Latish.

I had to stay to keep the others company.

- You're a bad man.
- I'm on parade now, spick and span.

- Do I have to finish all this?
- You do, every spoon of it.

- What's he like?
- Who?

- The new colonel, of course.
- How the hell'd you know he'd arrived?

A wee birdie told me.

Was anyone here last night,
someone from the barracks?

- Nobody.
- Did you go there, then?

- Did you? I've told you before...
- Let's not have all this over again.

You'll no go near the place
without telephoning me first.

There's only one sort of girl
seen hanging about a barracks.

I'm not a child.

I know you're not. That's what I'm saying.

I'll go where I want!

You'll go where you're told
just yet a while.

Where were you half the night?
Tell me that.

Down at the theater
with that actress, I suppose.

I'll no have that!
I'll no have impertinence from you!

Now, you listen to me, Morag!


Oh, lassie. Oh.

Don't turn away from me. Don't do that.

Morag, I only make the rules to help you.

But you've got to keep them.

Well, say something.

- Yes, Father.
- [clock chimes]

- It's time you went.
- Aye.

That's a fact.

Away out to the car, lad,
and we'll give you a lift.


- What's he like?
- Barrow? Och, he's a wee man.

- Father, it had to be.
- I just said...

he's a wee man.

- It had to be.
- As a matter of fact, I'm no with you.

It need never have been.

But it's my opinion
he'll no be CO for very long.

- Father, you'll not do something stupid?
- Oh, for Pete's sake, lassie.

You expect me to hang out a flag?

- Out! Out! Out!
- [man shouts]

- And!
- [chanting continues]

Feet together! Next exercise! Begin!

- One. Up, right.
- [man shouting]

Up left. Up right.

I was never very keen on the ballet.

- Up right. Up left.
- [man shouts]

If you can't do it that way,
get down on your knees and do it!

- On your knees! Down, up, down!
- Jankers, I'd almost forgotten.

- Ah, poor laddies, eh?
- No doubt they deserve it.

[drill sergeant]
You'll never see a woman again.

[Barrow] Who's that man?

Jim Cameron.

The best heavyweight we ever had till
he got a bullet in his guts in the desert.

Someone should tell him
to put his hat on straight.

[shouting continues]

Off! Come on! Off!

- Pick up! Off!
- Put your leg in it.

Pick your chin up.

[man yells]


Left arm stiff, lad. Do it again!
Put some guts into it!

Here, here.

- Have you got a mother-in-law, soldier?
- No, sir.

- Do you hate anyone?
- Don't think so, sir.

What about the regimental sergeant major?

Sir. [grunting]

- Have you no teeth, Corporal?
- Sir!

Then smile, laddie. Even under
king's regulations, that's allowed.

- [bugle playing]
- [gunfire]

According to the timetable,
shouldn't they have finished at 10:00?

Dusty's mob's always ten minutes
behind the rest of us.

That's a tradition
goes back to Alamein, boy.

There's Greenwich time and summertime
and army time and Dusty time.

- You'll get used to it, Colonel.
- I don't promise that I will.

- Major Miller!
- Colonel.

Off! Off!

It is seven minutes past 10:00.

Aye, it's quite late, Colonel. It is.

Three minutes to go, eh, Dusty?

This period finishes at 10:00.

- I like things to be exact.
- Sir.

[bagpipes playing]

You can hear it for yourself.
It's a great band.

Not a wrong one anywhere. Here...

Tell me. Are there any regulations as to
what should be worn to band practice?

Och, no. You see,
it's the piping that's important.

Are there any regulations, Pipe Major?

Well, the hair sporran and the
glengarry, sir, but during the war...

I see three, four, five men...

in tam o'shanters improperly dressed.

- Take their names.
- Sir.

- Colonel, there's a tradition here...
- I'm all in favor of good traditions.

I've always let the pipers wear pretty
well what they please at band practice.

Because you've let them wear
what they like, Jock,

doesn't make it a tradition.

Jimmy, I think we'd better tackle
some of that paperwork.

[yawning, chuckling]

Tired, Dusty?

You know what the Barrow boy
made us do this morning?

Double halfway back from the ranges
in full marching order.

He's inspected A Company three times
in the last five days.

Yes, it's been a somewhat harassing
two weeks, what?

Typical of him. He's beginning
where he means to finish.

Well, if he's finishing
on three inspections a week,

I'm going after
the commissionaire's job at the Royal.

You wouldn't get it, Dusty.
You'd have to keep your buttons clean.

Well, what's he want us for anyway?
I've got better things to do...


Sit down, please.

- All here, Jimmy?
- All present, sir.

Major Sinclair?

- Why...
- He's not been in, Colonel.

I didn't think the order
affected him, sir.

I see.

Well, gentlemen...

I've only got two announcements
to make this afternoon,

one perhaps a little less popular
than the other.

When I came here as a subaltern,
the social responsibilities of an officer

greatly outweighed his military duties.

Now, this was quite common before the war,

and the last thing I want to do
is to reestablish that order.

Hear! Hear!

We are first and foremost soldiers...

and the greater part of our energies
must naturally be devoted to training.

On the other hand, gentlemen...

it is important that we remember

to play our part in the social life
of the locality.

On the 20th of February, therefore,

a month tomorrow...

I have decided
we will have a cocktail party.


Now, the next point is a minor one...

but quite an important one, I believe.

One of the great things
about a battalion such as this...

is that it's had its headquarters
in the same place

for more than 200 years.

For this reason, gentlemen,

it is essential that we maintain
certain standards.

We have the reputation
for being tough men in war.

We must also maintain our reputation
for being gentlemen in peace.

- What's he gettin' at?
- Old school tie.

- Please don't talk!
- Colonel.

In this connection...

I would mention the way we dance.

I'm well aware
that you all know the steps...

but some, I feel, need reminding
that dancing should be considered

a social grace...

rather than a noisy ritual.

Therefore, starting tomorrow...

each Tuesday, Thursday
and Saturday morning,

at 0715 hours...

there will be dancing for three quarters
of an hour before breakfast.


No one will raise his hands above his head
except in the foursome reel.

No shouting. No swinging on one arm.

The pipe major will take the parade...

and you will report dressed
as you are now, but with plimsolls on.

Subalterns turn out, I presume, Colonel?

- All officers.
- [murmuring]

I've been dancing reels for 30 years.

I thought he said his visit
the other night was unofficial.

- You said something, Captain Rattray?
- Sir.


I said I thought you said your presence
at Jock's party was unofficial, sir.

It was unofficial.

But I warn you, that sort of remark
is extremely ill-advised!

That's all, gentlemen. Thank you.

- [frustrated groan]
- [chattering]

- The way we dance is our business.
- Sure it is.

- I said he was a sassenach.
- Oh, for crying out loud!

Steady, steady, steady.

I'm afraid they're not gonna like it, sir.

- Who aren't going to like what?
- I think you know what I mean, sir.

That block over there,

- band block, isn't it?
- Sir.

The windows are filthy.
You can see from here.

- Colonel, I...
- I wouldn't do it

unless I thought
it was absolutely necessary.

- Colonel, it's almost an insult.
- I don't think so.

Some of them have been dancing
for 30 years or more.

Then it's a pity they haven't learned
to dance like gentlemen.

- Surely the officers of field rank...
- You will not contradict me!

Do you understand?


Kindly tell the pipe major
I want to see him.


- [man] Order!
- [men shouting]

- Pipe Major.
- Good afternoon, sir. Can I help you?

- CO wants a word with you.
- Oh, certainly, sir. Now?

- Right away.
- Yes. It's a pleasure, sir.


Stand still, will you? Dozy lot.

- Stand out! Right! Corporal.
- Sir.

- March 'em off.
- Sir.

Attention! Left turn.
And a quick march. Left wheel.

Left, right, left, right, left, right!

Get a move on there,
you idle, scruffy lot, you!

- CO?
- With your permission.

- March in, Mr. MacLean. March in.
- Oh, thank you, Mr. Riddick.

That's just what I'll be doing.

- [knocking on door]
- You.

- What are you doing with that?
- Oh, it's tea, sir.

What do you suppose
I thought it was? Beer?

Tea break 1530 hours. The time now, 1525.

- Sir.
- In there. Put it on the desk.

You will not fetch tea
until the proper time. You understand?

- Sir.
- And wear your hat!

March out.

All the pipers are good, sir.
And we'll send along Corporal Fraser.

- He's tactful, you know.
- Very good, Pipe Major.

Thank you, sir. It's, uh...

It's some time since we had
a subalterns' parade of this kind, sir.

- It isn't only subalterns, you understand.
- Oh.

Oh, but surely the senior officers...

The order affects all officers.

All the officers, sir. I see, sir.

Oh, come in, Jimmy. We've finished.

- Oh, Pipe Major.
- Yes, sir.

One other thing. The windows
of the band block could do with a wash.

Oh, aye, sir.
I'll mention that to the drum major.

We'll have them seen to straightaway.

- It's a terrible...
- Straightaway.

Thank you very much, sir.

Cup of tea, Mr. MacLean?

Oh, that's very kind of you, Mr. Riddick.

Ah, there's enough there for one.

Hello. Hello. That's trouble.
You mark my words.

Hello, Jock.

Uh, do I intrude?

What can we do for you?
No, don't go, Jimmy.

I was wondering if you wanted me
for anything this afternoon.

Oh, thank you. No, I don't think there are
any more queries just at the moment.

I'm afraid this must be
a terrible bore for you just now.

[sighs] What have you been doing the day?

Oh, nothing much. This and that.

Jimmy and I have just been running over
some of the fire precautions.

I noticed on the chart here there aren't
any extinguishers in the NAAFI.

There are three or four there.
I remember them well.

- They're not on the chart here.
- You'll find them there, right enough.

- Is that not correct, Jimmy?
- Quite right. We've been over and checked.

Well, what the hell, then?

I was never any good
at the paperwork anyway.

I don't enjoy paperwork much myself.

Is that so? I would have thought
Whitehall would give a man a taste for it.

Would you?

Well, Jock, thanks for calling in.
We mustn't keep you.

This, uh, dancing caper,
I just heard about it.

- You don't expect me to turn up, do you?
- All officers.

It's not on, boy.

I'm not looking forward
to 7:15 myself very much,

but I think we'd best all turn up.

Is that an order?

If you like to put it that way.

- Now, look here, boy...
- Colonel!

I prefer to be addressed as Colonel,
if you don't mind.

- Very well, Colonel. If you and I...
- And if I may suggest some other time.

[stamps floor]

White-kneed, wee lily-boy. That he is.

With his "if I may suggests"

and "some other times"!

All the caper.

What's the matter with you two?

Exactly as I said, Mr. MacLean.

I've seen change of commanding officer
before today.

Always trouble.

But this one will be better, I tell you.
Better by far.

Uh, that's your opinion, Mr. Riddick, eh?

Yes, and shall I tell you why?

- Well, I'm thinking we'll not agree.
- Right. I will.

Because he's a gentleman, that's why.

You're the terrible snob, Mr. Riddick.

It's always the same with you people
who started in the Brigade of Guard.

You're such terrible snobs.

- Och, it's wicked.
- Are you attempting

to insult my late regiment?

- Tell me that, Mr. MacLean.
- No, I am not.

If you want to insult my late regiment,
then we'll meet in the gymnasium!

Peter Pan. That's what we should call you.

Och, man, you're far too old
to be going to the gymnasium.

Away home and watch your television set.

Muffin the Mule is on at 5:00.

By God, you impudent man.
I'll march you right inside!

Left, right, left, right, left, right!

- You!
- [gasps] Sir?

You horrible, filthy little man, you.

You're dirty! That's what you are! Dirty!

- Sergeant! Take his name!
- Sir.

- What's your name?
- [sighs] Goring, E.

♪ Kiltie, kiltie, kiltie ♪

A fine night, soldier.

[together] ♪ Kiltie, kiltie, cold bum
Kiltie, kiltie, cold bum ♪

- Off it!
- I'm just a wee lassie.

And you've no right to be.
Away you go, all of ye! Aye!

[screaming, laughing]

- [knocking]
- Come in.

Hello, Mary.

Hello, stranger.
Have you been drinking for long?

No, lass, I have not been
drinking for long.

- You've just been drinking all day.
- I have not.

- Well, you've certainly had a few.
- How'd you know?

- Your eyes.
- Oh, that's very romantic.

- They're pink.
- You're bloody rude, that's what you are.

"Will you have a seat, Jock?"
"Oh, thanks very much."

- [man] Good night.
- [women together] Good night.

- Surprised to see me?
- Yes.


- You're looking very well, Mary.
- Well, I can't think why.

I've had two shows today.

Has Miss, um, what's her name,
Rosie, your roommate, gone?

She's not in this play.

"My Sister Eileen." Is that it?

- Next week's.
- Oh, very good.

And are you Eileen?

- Eileen's 18.
- You're Eileen. Sure, you are.

I hear you've got
a new colonel up the road.

- So we have.
- Are you sore?

What's he like?

Och. He's a stupid, wee man.

For instance?


he's making us take dancing lessons.

- Me too.
- [laughing]

I'll put you over my knee.

- And no just to spank you.
- You can forget that.

- Have you got a whiskey?
- No.

In the drawer, is it?

Now, Mary, I'll pay for it.

- Oh, for heaven's sake.
- No, I will.

Course you won't.

For old times' sake, eh?

Shall we away out one of these nights,
the Highlander and the Welcome Hotel?

- For auld lang syne.
- It'll be cheaper at your own home.

Well, you know I don't drink there.

- You mean you won't take me there.
- Oh, Mary, that's not it.

I'm no the man to drink
in front of a young daughter.

[chuckling] You're a liar, Jock Sinclair.

But I'll say this for you...
You're a bad liar.

Oh, Mary.

It's been a long time.

- Could we no lock the door?
- We could not.

- [man] Good night, Mary.
- Night.

I could make you if I wanted to.

Jock Sinclair, you're the most
conceited man I've ever met.

You're not all that great shakes.

And there's lots know that,
I can assure you.

- Argh. [chuckling]
- Aah!

Now, definitely no.

You didn't used to say no.

- You didn't used to be a stranger.
- But, Mary, I'm back.

And stinking. You left stinking,
and you're back stinking.

You can't turn the clock back.

- We could wind it up again.
- Oh, Mac'll want to put the lights out.

Oh, come on, come on.

Go on, now. Away out of here
before you get me sacked.

I mean it.

Away you go.

Well, good-bye it is.

And I mean good-bye.

Good night.

Jock. Yo-ho-ho, yo-ho-ho.

- Oh, you're a bloody woman.
- [laughing]

[bugle: "Reveille"]

[bagpipes playing]

[Simpson shivers]

- Dusty! Dusty!
- [groans]

- Come on. Reveille's sounded.
- Eh?

- Reveille.
- Nonsense.

Reveille's not for another ten minutes.
I just heard it.

That was ten minutes ago.
It's dancing class.

We're on in three minutes.

Oh, here. [grunts]

Hand me my kilt of burning gold.

Where are my plimsolls of desire?

It's cruelty. That's what it is, cruelty.

- Margot Fonteyn couldn't suffer more.
- I must go up. I'll be on the carpet.

[man] Feet together! Next exercise. Begin!

Now, gentlemen, form up in your set.

We'll begin with the simplest part first.

That is the first lady in the middle
facing your partner.

- [Jock] Dusty!
- It's eight turns round and back.

Ready, and...

one, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, around.

One, two, three, four, five, six,
set your partner.

Set, two, turn, two.

And set, two, turn, figure three.

One, two, three, four...

five, six, seven and round.

One, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight.

Captain Rattray, that little dance
you're doing in the middle there.

The hands at the sides,
if you please, not above the head.

But surely, Pipe Major,
that's a question of individual style.

I've put my hands up
ever since I learned to dance.

Yes, I know, sir, but it's just
these little points of style

that we're trying to make consistent.

You know, Mr. MacLean, I'm darn sure

the hands should be above the head
in the eighth.

It is known, Major Sinclair,
but before the war, at the balls, I mean,

the gentlemen did not
put their hands above their head.

I still think Captain Rattray's right.

Come along, Pipe Major.
It's far too cold to hang about.

- Am I keepin' 'em up, then, or what?
- Of course you are.

Isn't he, Mr. MacLean?

Kindly don't interrupt the pipe major.
He's in charge of this parade,

and we will all follow his instructions.

- Carry on, Pipe Major.
- Sir. Corporal, with music this time.

Back to your places now, gentlemen.
And it's the same again.

- [bagpipes playing]
- Are you ready?

And one, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, back.

One, two, three, four,
five, six and set. Set!

Two, turn, two.

Set, two, turn, reel of three.

One, two, three, four,

five, six, seven and round.

[bagpipes playing]

- Good night, Colonel.
- Oh, good night, sir.

I'm sorry you have to go so soon.

And we're very sorry, too, Colonel Barrow.

If I'd known it was going to be
such a delightful evening,

we'd have canceled our second function.

Look, here's the pony. In the mess too.

Yes, actually, he's collecting for
the soldiers, sailors and airmen's fund.

Oh, a most worthy charity.

- Excellent idea.
- Good night again.

- Have you got a bob, Enid?
- Oh, yes.

- [bagpipes stop]
- [applause]

Oh, you dear wee thing.

- You enjoying yourself, Miss Sinclair?
- It's a wonderful party.

Such a good idea having the dancing.

It's a pleasure to watch you.
I can see you're an expert.

Me? I'm nothing of the kind.

I've just been complimented on my dancing.

- Oh, aye?
- Most sincerely.

What the hell does he know
about Highland dancing, eh?

- Aye. That's a question I'd like...
- I don't care what he knows.

It was nice of him to say so.
I think you're being unfair to him.

Oh, fine. But there's no need
to bow and scrape.

He's no the brigadier, you know.
Just another colonel.

Och. Father.

She's looking really lovely tonight, Jock.

- Keeping all the lads on their toes.
- You can cut that out!

Jock, you dancing?


- I'm dancing, all right. Come on.
- Mmm.

Uh, Colonel Barrow...

I've been standing here envying you.

The first postwar party.

The fruits of victory, eh?

- [man hollers]
- And the same day too.

February 20th every year,
come snow or ice, the barracks party.

- Right up to 1941.
- [hollering continues]

But I'm teaching my grandmother
how to suck eggs.

I should think the first Colonel Barrow
started the tradition.

- [men whooping, hollering]
- You'll carry it on now, won't you?

- Every year? You promise?
- [Jock shouting]

- We'll insist, my friend.
- [men hollering, laughing]

I beg your pardon, sir.
I'm afraid I was interrupted.

I was simply saying
by putting on a show like this

you're giving us all a taste for it again.

- I'm very glad you're enjoying it, sir.
- [hollering continues]

It was the same with the Camerons
up in Inverness.

The barracks party was always
the best of the lot.

[whooping, hollering continue]

Excuse me, sir, please.

Jimmy, what's going on out there?

Och, it's only one or two of them,

It sounds like a bullfight.

They'll quieten down. They've had a dram.
Mustn't be chafed.

Good evening, Sir Alan.

I will not tolerate this sort of behavior.

- I made it perfectly clear.
- Colonel, I agree. But not now.

- The guests don't mind, sir.
- It's rank disobedience.

- I won't let it pass.
- We could have it out in the morning, sir.

Don't argue with me!

[whooping, hollering continue]

Wendy, are you bruised? Come on, then.

Stop it! Stop it!

- Stop the dancing!
- [shouting, indistinct]

- Sinclair, do you hear me?
- Sir...

Shut up! Sinclair!

[bagpipes stop]

You called me, Colonel?

I did!

[stamps floor]

I've never seen such an exhibition!
You'll see me tomorrow!

Pipes, fall out!

I... I'm, uh...

I'm sorry. The...

The party's over.

It's, uh... It's late.

I'm sorry that, uh,
it should end like this.

I, um...

I apologize to my guests.

We were just beginning
to enjoy ourselves, Colonel.

Who said that?

I did.

- Adjutant, take that officer's name.
- Sir.

- What the hell's the man on?
- [murmuring]

- I was in my rights.
- You were nothing of the sort.

That was damn bad form, that's
what it was. In front of all the guests.

What'll I say in the morn, eh?
What'll I tell him?

Jock, man,
you'd no right to behave like that.

Wee Jimmy, are you telling Jock
how to behave? Is that it?

Oh, for God's sake.


Colonel Barrow.

[tires squeal]

I know you'd walk the plank for him.
But I don't care what you say.

- He'd no right behaving like that.
- Och.

- It was awful.
- Never heed. It's not your fault.

- Are you sure you can make it?
- Yes, but I have to go home first.

- Three-quarters of an hour?
- All right.

Bridge Hotel, private bar, okay?

[tires squealing]

Well, fast driving's one way
of getting something out of the system.

What a ghastly thing to do.

Och, people always do silly things at
mess parties. It's part of the tradition.

- Hmm. I remember somebody once...
- Not the colonel.

Why not? The colonel's human,
the same as the rest of us, isn't he?

Ridicule is always the finish.

Och, now, who said anything
about ridicule?

They behaved badly,
and you tore a strip off them.

Is there anything wrong in that?

Strange I should stop at this spot.

I used to come here sometimes.

- When was that?
- Oh, years ago...

when the future was bright.

I had one pip and no chips on my shoulder.

Did you ever dream
when you were a subaltern, Jimmy?

Oh, aye. Big brave deeds...
I was gonna win the VC and die a hero.

When you're dying...

When you really believe you're dying,
you think of the most absurd things.

In my war, I never had time to think.

In mine they gave me time, all right,
again and again.

When I was in the prison camp...

nearly drowned me,
then they brought me round.

Then they put a wet cloth over my mouth

and kept it wet
until I nearly drowned again.

And the only thing that pulled me through

was the thought that one day I'd come back

and sit in the middle of that table
as colonel of this battalion.

Like my grandfather
and his father before him.

Only I was gonna be the best of the lot.

Well, it did pull you through.
You survived.

- Surely nothing could seem too hard now.
- Who said I survived?

Oh, come on, sir.
You're here to tell the tale.

I was married once, you know.

That's all finished now.


I, uh...
I've been rather lonely since that.

I think that's why I was
looking forward to this job so much.

I'm sorry.

You're a very patient man, Jimmy,
and I'm very...

I'm very grateful.

You've got no coat. I'm sorry.

[engine starts]

I thank you, Mr. Scoby. Cheers.


Uh, Export and orange, please.

[Scoby] Export and an orange.

- Where on earth did you meet her?
- At the ice rink.

- She was there and...
- And you talked to her, eh?

No, no. No, I went back the next day.

- And then you talked to her.
- No, I had to go back the third day.

So you must be getting very proficient
at the ice-skating, eh?

- [both chuckle]
- Well, you're a good piper

and a good corporal, and a soldier's
private life is his own, but, uh...

you're asking for trouble, Ian.

Do you have to go on seeing her?

Thank you.

Yes, Pipey, I do.

[men] ♪ For we're no' awa' ♪

- See you later, Pipey.
- Aye, see you later.

♪ For we're no' awa' tae leave ya ♪

♪ For we're no' awa' tae bide awa' ♪

♪ We'll aye come back an' see ye ♪

Party, eyes right!

Hold a minute!

You're a shower, you are.

So the band still goes to the Bridge.

- Sir.
- Aye, it's a long tradition, that one.

I went myself as a piper.

Come on in. I'll give you all a dram.

- Now, sir?
- That's what I'm saying.

Uh, it's late, sir.

That's it, sir. It's too late.
Right enough.

Ah, there's time.
We'll all have a drink on an ex-piper...

no a colonel at all.

For God's sake, can you not stop him?

Lounge bar.

Hey, lounge bar, sir.

- No the priva'? We always used to...
- It's the lounge bar we use now, sir.

Aye, it's, uh, very cozy
and, uh, respectable.

Good evening.
What's it to be, then? Whiskey?

- There's no chance of that, sir.
- Still under the counter, then.

Mr. Scoby's an old friend of mine.

- Have you any whiskey for us?
- I have not.

- [scoffs]
- Just a beer for me, sir.

- Corporal.
- Same, sir.

- Rum, sir.
- Rum, sir.

- Rum, sir.
- You all take rum, then?

- Aye, sir. It's our hobby.
- [laughs]

Oh, I'm losing count.
Uh, that's, uh, two beers, Mr. Scoby,

and a dram for an ex-piper,
and, uh, three rums.

Would you care for a cigarette, sir?

- You bloody wee liar!
- Father, I can tell you why I'm here.

- Sir, I've been meaning...
- You're a liar!

Sir, it's my fault, sir...

You keep your nose out of this!

[crowd chattering]

I hate you! I hate you!

I hate you!

[all chattering]

I'll no have any brawls in my hotel.

Wait in the other bar, lads.

And see to the lassie too.

We'll just be one minute, Mr. Scoby.

Off you go now.

[all chattering]

[man] Bring the cold water over here.

I cannot understand it at all, a man
of your experience to do such a thing.

Such a... stupid thing.

What do you think made me do it, eh?

Did you not know about that young man?

- No.
- Did she no tell you?


Och, well,
maybe it was just the shock of it all, eh?

Aye, just that.

He was in his uniform, wasn't he?

- I'm afraid he was. Aye.
- [man] I saw what happened.

[chattering continues]


Jock! What on earth are you doing here?

- Is something wrong?
- Aye, Mary.

I've done a stupid thing. Can I come in?

Oh, Jock, I don't want you in
at this hour. I, um...

- Well, what is it you've done?
- I've bashed a corporal.

- You've what?
- In a pub.

I don't know what came over me.

- And the lad was in uniform.
- Oh, Jock, that's serious.

It's more than that. It's suicidal.

Well, you'd better come in.

- As a matter of fact, I've got company.
- Oh, who?

It's all right. It's a friend.

Charlie Scott? What are you doing here?

Visiting, old boy. Just visiting.

Take a pew.

With you two all cozily tucked up?

Hell, I'm no as sorry for myself
as all that.

I'm only sorry I intruded.

Oh, don't judge everybody
by yourself, Jock.

Charlie, Jock's bashed a corporal.

Not wise, old man.

And maybe any minute
he'll bash a major too.

Fibbing, smooth, auld stoat.


Och, never worry.

I'll no kick him.
He's a terror with the ladies...

our Charlie.

Oh, you're just jumping to conclusions.
Charlie, what can we do about this?

Jock hit him in a pub.

You'll do nothing about it.

Jock can see the score,
and Jock's away out of here.

- Charlie.
- Night, old boy.

To hell with the civilities, old boy.

Jock. Jock.

- You all right?
- I'm all right, lassie.

Dinna fash yourself.

[yelling in unison]
Take arms! Arms to the right!

Arms to the right, then turn!

Right, turn!

Any news?

The report went through
to Barrow's office an hour ago.

- Oh, hell. And Jock?
- Taken cover.

The Barrow boy will fix him,
by what right I don't know,

after his exhibition last night.

- Not the same thing, chum.
- [men continue yelling]

Shouting and screaming
at a cocktail party, that's one thing...

but thou shalt not bash a corporal.

That's different. That's the law.

It's very unpleasant.
My motives are bound to be suspected.

That's neither here nor there.

I shan't be swayed by
any personal considerations.

One wants to try and get
an objective view of the thing.

That's why I've asked Scott over.

It's all a great pity.
It's easy to be lenient,

but striking a corporal in uniform
in a public place,

that is damn serious, Jimmy.

I see that, but I'm sure Charles will take
the same view as myself...

- Well, I...
- [knocking on door]

Come in. Hello, Scott.

- Colonel.
- You heard about last night?

I heard.
High jinks at the pipers' hideaway.

The question now is,
do we forget the incident, or do we go on?

Jimmy here has expressed his views,
but before I make up my own mind,

I'd like to have your opinion.

You realize that if we do go on,
it will probably mean a court-martial.

Certain to, I'd say.

That sort of thing doesn't do
the battalion's name any good.

It does its name more harm
if the story leaks out

and we've done nothing about it, Colonel.

- You think so?
- Of course.

But, Charlie, Jock's a special case.

Is he? In a pub,

in uniform, in front of witnesses.

- Am I right?
- Perfectly correct.

Oh, I know, I know, but...

Look, if Corporal Fraser
had put in a complaint,

then there'd be nothing we could do,
but he hasn't and I don't think he will.

It wasn't really
a military matter at all, Charlie.

Afraid I can't agree with you, old man.

- Of course, it's your decision, Colonel.
- Yes, of course.

It won't make you very popular,
I'm afraid.

That's the fate of a commanding officer.

I hope that won't sway me
from doing my job properly.

- Well, thank you, Scott.
- Colonel.

- Now, look, Charlie, before you go...
- Just a minute, Jimmy.

Tell the sergeant major
I've made up my mind,

and make the necessary arrangements
to collect all the evidence.

There will be a formal inquiry
and papers passed up to brigade.

- [Charlie] Don't take it too hard, chum.
- [door closes]

[Jimmy, outside]
Of course I take it hard, Charlie.

Didn't he lead us? Didn't he teach me
all the soldiering I ever knew?

[doorbell rings]


- Jock, are you there?
- [Jock] Hello.

Mary, what the hell
are you doing here, lass?

- What the hell are you doing there?
- Me? I'm cleaning my teeth.

In your greatcoat,
at this hour of the morning?

Laddie, what are you up to?

It's me own kind of NAAFI break.

Come in, come in.

I'd offer you some coffee
if I knew where it was.

- Or some booze.
- Never mind.

I think Morag must hide it.

- Do you not have an orderly these days?
- I sent him away.

Morag's gone, you know. Uh...

gone to stay with a friend, shall we say.

- Poor wee lassie.
- Jock.

- I've told Charlie he's had it.
- You what?

Well, he'd no right to do it.
I'm through with him.

Barrow would never have dared
to move without him.

- I could see that a mile off.
- You mystify me, woman.

What are you trying to tell me?

Charlie hasn't told you?

You tell me.

Well, Barrow had Charlie in this morning,
he asked him what he thought...

and Charlie came down against you.

- Charlie told you this?
- I was on the phone to him.

He never told me.

- Maybe he isn't going to.
- That's an awful thing to say.

Charlie is no a sneak.

Did he tell you what Barrow said?

There's going to be a formal inquiry.



that's it.

That's the finish.

But Charlie'd never do anything
out of spite.

You see us when we're drunk
and playing the fool.

You don't see the other side.

He's a good officer, Charlie.

- You know I never make trouble.
- I know nothing about you.

Nothing at all.

Oh, Mary dear...

I'm sorry.

I shouldn't have said that.

I'm sorry. No, really, I am.

- Oh, it's no business of mine anyway.
- Oh, lassie.

You can't have officers bashing corporals.
I know that fine.

I'd have done the same as Charlie.

Never in a hundred years, Jock.

That's the whole difference.

You always think good of them,
but there's none of them live up to you.

- You're away out in front.
- Hmm. I'm tired.

Fair bashed.

Look at me.

Man, it was you that taught me
that you could always go on.

You had a word. Resilience.

The front teeth.

The ones you hang on with, eh? [chuckles]

Och, I'll be all right.

I had the hell of a night.

But you've gotta go back in there...

if it's only for my sake.


I lay in bed this morning
with my eyes closed...

and I looked down a list of men
that's too long by half...

and I asked myself what the hell
I can show at the end of it...

except for wear and tear.

And I stopped at your name.

And I said out loud to the ceiling...

I've been held in the arms of a man...

who was truly brave.

For heaven's sake,
don't take that away from me too.

Oh, lassie.

- I'm no coping at all.
- No matter.

I'm not here to tell you that I love you.

I'm not even here for the old invitations.

I'm just here to say
that it's not possible

for Jock Sinclair to be too tired.

Spit and polish, eh?

That's it.

Shoeshine and shave and back in there.

I'm no good at the compliments, Mary dear.

Does it sound more like an insult...

if I say you're a soldier's girl?

- No, Jock.
- Oh, it's not meant to anyway.

If it doesn't say
one hell of a lot for your chastity...

it's a load about the heart.

- Come on.
- Eh.


Away and run your bath.

Right, left, right, left, right, left!

Right, left!

Eyes left!

Eyes front!

Pick it up, gentlemen!

Left, right, left, right, left, right!

[men chattering]

Good morning, gents.


Well, that's a fine, cheerful greeting.

Dusty, would you be so kind
as to press that on the wall,

and we'll see if I can get myself a drink?

Certainly, Jock. Certainly.

[Jock whistling "Skye Boat Song"]

Uh, Charlie, was it you
trying to telephone me this morning?

Me, old boy? No.

[resumes whistling]

"Dear Mummy, my chilblains are terrible."

- Good morning, Corporal.
- Good morning, sir.

Are you feeling the heat, Corporal?

- It's cold, sir.
- No wonder it's cold, lad. You're naked.

- Do up your collar buttons.
- Sir.

Then you can bring me
one hell of a whiskey.

- Sir.
- Steady, lad. Steady.

- What are you drinking, Charlie?
- Actually, I've had lunch.

What are you drinking?

I'm asking something
that's a question of fact,

not just a rumor.

- What's in your glass?
- Brandy.

And one hell of a brandy.

- Old boy.
- Jock, man, can I have a word with you?

- What is it?
- Not here.

- Is it shop?
- Sort of.

Is it shop? I'm asking.

- Aye, it is.
- Then not now. Not in the mess.

Well, well, well, well, well.

And what's news today?

Is there no news?

Surely some wee bit of gossip, eh?


It snowed.

Plus 10 for observation. Oh, laddie.

Look, Jock, I've got to talk to you.
It's dead important.

Jimmy, Jimmy, lad,
nothing's that important.

Nothing at all.

And maybe I don't want to know.

This might be important, Jock.
Really, quite.

God knows what you all think I am.

You must think I'm deaf...

and dumb and blind.

Do you think I don't know what's going on?

- Good morning, Colonel.
- Good morning.

Won't you join us?

Uh, thank you, but I've just had lunch.

- A brandy, perhaps?
- No, thank you.

Actually, I'm shooting this afternoon.
I won't, if you don't mind.

Just some coffee.

Would Charlie like a coffee too?

No, no, Major Scott. I'll get it.

Excuse me, Colonel.

Charlie doesn't take cream in his coffee.

That's very sophisticated, isn't it?

- I really wouldn't know, Jock.
- [Jimmy] Jock.

- Eric, is that no sophisticated?
- Not especially, I shouldn't have thought.

[imitates English accent]
"Not especially, I shouldn't have thought.

Naturally. In point of fact."

If you know what I mean, old boy.

To hell with you, Charlie Scott.
You can get your own coffee.

Jock's going to lunch.

Who'll keep him company? Jimmy?

Not me, Jock. Uh, I'm sorry. Early parade.

Have I got to eat alone then?

I'll keep you company, Jock.

Me too.

Alec Rattray's not the lad
to let you down.

Oh, my babies.

[door closes]

[boisterous laughter]

[men chattering]

For the last time, Mr. MacLean,
I tell you it is not for us to interfere.

And I tell you, Mr. Riddick,
it's your duty as senior warrant officer

to express the opinion of every other
noncommissioned officer in this battalion.

I'll not do it, Mr. MacLean.

Then I shall, Mr. Riddick.

You'll do no such thing, you impudent man!

March in, Mr. Riddick. March in.

[knocking on door]

Come in.

[stamps floor]

- Permission to speak, sir, please.
- Yes, Mr. Riddick. What is it?

Sir, been talking with the pipe major. I
believe he's had a word with the adjutant.

Well, go on.

Perhaps we're being a little hasty
with this inquiry, sir.

What did you say?

Wouldn't express an opinion of this sort

unless it was the opinion
of all the noncommissioned officers, sir!

It does seem as how they feel
such an inquiry would...

Mr. Riddick, you astonish me.

I thought I gave an order
that the evidence would be collected.

- Sir! I understood the order, sir!
- Then obey it!

- [stamps floor]
- Mr. Riddick...

I realize this can't be a popular order,
but it is an order.

It's the good of the battalion
we must think of.

Begging your pardon, sir. It was the good
of the battalion we were considering.

Feel the battalion might best be served

if you were to deal with
this little matter yourself.

There's no question of that,
do you hear me? No question of it.

Damn it!
The sergeants' mess isn't a senate!

For God's sake, Mr. Riddick,
if an officer strikes another rank,

he has to pay for it, hasn't he?

- Well, hasn't he?
- Sir.

- Well, get cracking with it.
- Sir!

[stamps floor]

[bugle plays call]

[knocking on door]

Come in.

Please, sir, would you like
a doughnut with your tea?

- A what?
- A doughnut, sir.

Some of the lads have doughnuts
with their teas

on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

They cost fourpence each, sir,
but they're very good.

- I could arrange it, sir.
- Not for me.

- Oh, I strongly recommend them, sir.
- No, thank you.

Very good, sir.
I just thought I would ask you.

Colonel Sinclair always used to like one
with his tea.

- I'm sorry to disappoint you.
- Sir.

[men, to the tune of "Scotland The Brave"]
♪ I saw a woman in a big golden hayfield ♪

[singing continues, indistinct]

- Hello. You chaps been playing squash?
- [singing stops]

The nearest squash court, sir,
is 30 miles.

Been for a run, Colonel.

You haven't by any chance
seen Major Sinclair, have you?

- Jimmy said he was in the mess.
- He's sleeping it off in Dusty's room, 21.

Ah. Thank you, Simpson. Thank you.

I'm glad to see that some of my officers

take some energetic exercise
in the afternoons.

I don't see why you should always
be so damn rude, Alec.

After all,
it's a tricky situation for him.

Dusty's no here.

I gathered that. I came to see you.

Did I wake you?

You did.

Well, I'm sorry,
but I think it's important.

- I'm afraid that I haven't, um...
- There's a packet in me pocket there.

What's the time, Colonel?

Uh, 4:00.

On a gloomy afternoon.

I thought you were out shooting
whatever it is gentlemen shoot.

I decided not to go.

This is quite unofficial, you understand,
but I want to have things out in the open.

If you're trying to bewilder me, Colonel,
you're doing fine.

I'm not trying to bewilder you.
On the contrary, I, uh...

This isn't easy for me, you know.

What do you think it is for me?
A bloody picnic?

No, I don't think that.

Jock, I'm sorry. Really sorry.

Whatever the circumstances,
no reasonable man

can be expected to enjoy
the business of hurting a brother officer.

Oh, for Pete's sake.

All right. You're sorry. Good for you.

You haven't told me yet
what you've done anyway.

Mr. Riddick is collecting formal evidence
with a view to court-martial.

- I'm afraid I had no choice.
- What do you mean, "no choice"?

You could deal with it yourself,
couldn't you?

- I wish I could.
- You're the colonel, aren't you?

That's exactly what I mean,
and I put it to you:

Under the given circumstances,
can you find any possible reason

why I shouldn't send you up for trial?

If one of my officers had done it,
I'd give him one such hell of a row.

I took my orders from brigade, but I
never had to take my dirty washing there.

There were civilian witnesses present.
If I...

Oh, to hell with you, Barrow boy.

What are you? A man or a book?

You come in here to say sorry in one
breath and ax me down with the next.

You'll be away to brigade
in a year or two anyway.

What does commanding the battalion
mean to you? Nothing.


You may have come in here
as a boy piper, Sinclair,

but I was here before you.

I was born with this regiment,
born into an idea.

The bandaged feet at Corunna,

the square at Waterloo,
the thin red line...

the charge of our Highlanders
hanging onto the cavalry's stirrups,

and "Scotland the Brave."

the mud at Passchendaele,
in which my own father fell.

And I've kept up with the history.

I even know the chapter
where you took over in the desert...

sitting on the edge of a bren gun carrier
like a... bobby at a tattoo.

Accuse me of anything you like, Jock,
but don't accuse me of not caring.

I've eaten, walked, slept
and dreamt this regiment

since my first toy soldier.

I'm sorry.

Oh, no, no. No, don't be sorry.

Perhaps it's rather late for apologies
on either side.

But if I could, with honor,
find a way out...

I assure you I would take it.

No, no, no, no, Colonel.

But I'm lying here thinking, uh...

who's hurt by the headlines?

Ex-colonel strikes lover-boy corporal, eh?

And I'll tell you who suffers most.

Not Morag, not the corporal,
not me, but the, um...

Uh, you express yourself better than me.

Uh, not just the battalion.
What was it you said?

The idea.

That's it.

The idea of the battalion.

The living and the dead, all together.

The regiment.

That's what suffers most.

Colonel, I've made
a bloody fool of myself.

I know that fine.

But I'll not do that twice.

Not if I get the second chance.

I'd be behind you, Barrow.

We'd make a good team.

You've Jock's word on that.

All right.

You mean you won't press it further?

That's what I seem to have said.

Oh, God, man!

You won't regret it.

You won't regret it, Colonel.
I promise you that.

I hope you're right.

"Toy soldier."

[boisterous laughter]

[laughing continues]

Any more talk of lasses in the mess, lad,
and we'll have the kilt off you.

Is that not so, gentlemen?

Aye, we'll sit him on the table
and have him dancing in his bare butt.

[Dusty] MacKinnon, let's see you do...

Where the hell have they all got to?

Waiter. You won't know what's
coming to you. Bring me a whiskey.

And we'll have another round on me.

[Rattray] Careful, that's the second round
you've had this month.

[Jock] Are you accusing me of being mean?

- Oh, never that. Never.
- Oh, no.

[Jock] Oh, you wicked bastards!

I'll blow you all out of the universe,
I will.

[all chattering]

- I surrender.
- Now I've got you where I want you.

The, uh... The colonel here
is the expert in the pentathlon.

Oh, aye, the pentathlon.

I... I reckon you'll have to
train a team yourself, sir.

Who do you think?
How about Rattray down there, eh?

Uh, yes. Uh, yes, he'd do. He'd have
to get into pretty strict training.

- A few cross-country...
- Come on, Jock. Give us a song.

[Jock] Oh, no. I want to hear
young MacKinnon here sing.

No, Jock, Dusty's the one for the song.

[Jock] I'd rather sing myself
than hear Dusty sing.

♪ A Gordon for me
A Gordon for me ♪

♪ Ifyou're nae a Gordon
You're nae use to me ♪

[all] ♪ The Black Watch are braw
The Seaforths an' a' ♪

♪ The cocky wee Gordon's
The pride o' them a' ♪

Come on, Alec.

♪ A Gordon for me
A Gordon for me ♪

♪ Ifyou're nae a Gordon
You're nae use to me ♪

♪ The Black Watch are braw
The Seaforths an' a' ♪

♪ The cocky wee Gordon's
The pride o' them a' ♪

[singing continues, distorted, echoing]

Sit down, please.

[singing continues]

[men, to the tune of "Scotland The Brave"]

♪ I saw a lassie
In a big golden hayfield ♪

[pool cue clicks, balls rattle]

[singing continues, indistinct]

Not taking part in the celebration, Scott?

Celebration, Colonel?

I didn't know
there was anything to celebrate.

You think I've made
the wrong decision, don't you?

It's not for a company commander to judge.
"Theirs not to reason why."

There's a world of difference
between strength and obstinacy.

I didn't want to take action
just for the sake of showing

it was in my power to do so.

In a way, commanding a battalion is a...

question of compromise,
keeping a team together.

Oh, absolutely.

[man] Aye, he's hoisted
on his own petard. Good old Jock!

[men laughing]

It sounds as though
it's a popular idea anyway, Colonel.

Do you think I made it for my popularity?

Do you really think
that's why I made this decision?

My dear colonel, we didn't know
you'd made any decision.

But... you must have heard
the matter's not to go to brigade.

- Yes, we heard that.
- Well?

But we thought that was Jock's decision.

Why, my dear fellow,
we didn't even realize you were there.

In my own humdrum life,
I frequently flunked...

doing something which I ought to do.

Told myself after, the reason I hesitated

was for humanity or loyalty
or even Christianity.

Not very dignified.

One would have hoped a colonel
would be older than that.

[billiard balls clacking]

You really mustn't get so upset, Colonel.

Jock's in a sweat
of loyal affection through there.

Why not go back
and join the rest of his cronies?

He'll give you a great welcome, I'm sure.

[bugle playing call]

[men chattering, laughing]

- [Jock] Where's the colonel gone?
- [man] Barrow? He went right through.

- [man 2] In the billiard room.
- [Rattray] Let him sulk.

[Jock] No, no, no.
He must have a dram tonight.

Search the saloon.

- Right wheel.
- [Dusty whistling]

Away. Away. Away.

- Where's he gotten to then?
- Och, he must be hiding.

- Here, search parties.
- [all laugh]

Rattray, take that room,
MacKinnon under the table...

Oh, look. Snooker.

- Oh, the snooker, is it?
- Is that not part of the pentathlon?

Charlie Scott,
what are you on your ain for?

- Are you low, Charlie?
- Right as a cricket, old boy.

- Low, tonight?
- Are you sad, Charlie?

Shh, shh, shh, shh.

Charlie Scott, you interest me.

Have you been having words with him
that's lost, me colonel, me benefactor?

I have.

[all wolf whistle]

And what did he talk about?

He talked about compromise,

not being prejudicial to good discipline.

And you disapproved.

Didn't twig, old boy.
Too big words for me, you know.

[all laughing]

But you still think
it should go to brigade, don't you?

I thought his reasons
for changing his mind hard to follow.

But you still think
I ought to be court-martialed.

Of course, old boy.

- [Rattray] So we have the truth, have we?
- Shh, shh, shh.

You're a cool one, Charlie Scott.

- What else did he say?
- Nothing much. Just walked out.

Gone into the garden,
shouldn't wonder, to eat worms.


What was that?

Who's the orderly officer?


Go upstairs to Colonel Barrow's room.

Then come back and report to me.

[all murmuring]

- Has somebody gone up?
- The orderly officer.

[whistling "Skye Boat Song"]

[hurried footsteps approaching]


He's not in his room.
He's in the tub room.

There's blood, sir.

He shot himself.

Wait here.

[water dripping]

The stupid wee beggar.

Have you seen a shot man before?

- No, sir.
- Come on, then.

First we'll make sure he's dead.


He's gone, all right.

Laddie, you going to faint?

- I...
- Don't be ashamed.

I-I don't think so, sir.

Then you can make your debut.

If you're gonna be a soldier, lad,

you must learn to handle
both the living and the dead.

For that's your stock-in-trade.

No, don't turn away.

Look down at him straight.

Now away and get the doctor.

It's no the body worries me.

It's the ghost.


Bonnets off. Sit down.

Information: Colonel Barrow was found dead
on the evening of February the 21st,

and on February the 23rd was
adjudged of having committed suicide

while the balance of his mind
was disturbed.

Inquiries were made of his wife...

and it was her wish that the funeral
arrangements should be made and executed

by the officer
now commanding the battalion.

The battalion will bury their colonel.

Joke? Funny joke?

I'm sorry, Colonel.

Method: The colonel will be given
the full honors of a martial funeral.

We can divide the operation
into three distinct parts:

before the ceremony, the burial itself,

the return to barracks.

Before the ceremony...

the regimental sergeant major
will parade the battalion in line,

A Company on the right,

carrying party
and pipes and drums in the rear,

the color party under Mr. MacKinnon.


The carrying party itself
will be comprised

of the eight senior sergeants
acting as bearers

with a full platoon of men drawn from
all companies to pull the gun carriage.

Good grief.

[Jock] I didn't ask for comments.

On my command, the battalion will move
to the right in columns of three

and slow-march out of barracks.

There will be a rehearsal tomorrow
at 1000 hours. We'll deal with...

Permission to interrupt, sir.


1000 hours is battalion orders, sir.

There will be
no battalion orders tomorrow.

Begging your pardon, sir.
There are several men under arrest.

Don't answer me back, Mr. Riddick.

Not now, not ever.

The battalion will proceed
at the slow march down to the crossroads

turning left off Stewart Road
along Bridge Road to the high street

- where the drums...
- [drums playing]

The drums.

The battalion will halt...

- in Lothian Terrace.
- [man yelling commands]

Honor arms.

Officers of field rank
will detach themselves...

- following the padre...
- [bagpipes playing]

...and the band contingent...

to the grave site.

[bagpipes: "The Flowers Of The Forest"]

"The Flowers of the Forest."

[bagpipes fade]

- Mr. MacLean.
- Sir.

Who's the best piper?
Who's the picked piper to be?

Let me think now there.
They're all good pipers, sir.

[laughs] Jock's the best piper.

Oh, yes. Oh, yes, I'm sure of that, sir.

Have you no teeth?
You're allowed to smile.

You're permitted to be of good cheer.

So says the training manual,
who got it from St. Paul.

- Have you picked him?
- Yes, sir. He's next door.

I'll get him in, sir.

What's the matter, Major Scott?

Nothing, Jock.

I prefer to be addressed as Colonel.

Colonel. Quite an elaborate do, this.

[Dusty whispers]
It's a funeral for a field marshal.

[stamps floor]

You never said it was Corporal Fraser.

He's my best piper, sir.


Where did I get?

Is no one listening to the orders, then?

After the ceremony itself, sir.

Thank you, Captain Simpson.

Uh, thank you, Eric.

- Corporal.
- Sir.

- You're the picked piper.
- Sir.

Are you married, Corporal, or single?

Single, sir.

Colonel, we're short of time.

I like to have things out in the open.

Oh, for Pete's sake,
there's no secret now.

Seeing that we've come to an interval,

I wonder if this isn't too big a show
you're proposing?


Well, it isn't as though
Barrow was with us a long while.

- He was a good man, all that...
- It's whatever you think, Colonel.

It's right he should have
a proper burial, but...

but the whole battalion, sir,
and the gun carriage...

Maybe a more private ceremony
would suit better.

Surely the circumstances
of his death alone...

The circumstances of his death?
What does that mean?

Well, sir, there's been
enough talk already.

Well, I know it was one of unsound mind.

I mean, whichever way
you look at it, sir, it was suicide.

No, it damn well wasn't.

It was something else.

What was it, Jimmy?

Aye. Murder.

And I may be the murderer.

But you are the accomplices.

All of you.

Except Jimmy here.

He served him better
than the rest of us put together.

Whatever it was, Colonel, brigade
will never permit this sort of a do.

To hell with brigade. The way we bury
our colonels is our business, ours alone.

Colonel, Major Scott is right.
Brigade'll never stand for it.

Well, brigade won't know about it
till it's over.

Can you not see? Can you not understand?

Fifteen years after he left Scotland,
he came back to it.

Fifteen years after he left
this battalion, he came back to it.

The battalion that's known
as the friendly one.

And you'd grudge him his burial.

We'll bury him the way
I say we'll bury him.

That's an order, and that's a fact.

[drums, faint]


- Part three.
- [bagpipes playing]

The return to barracks...

you mean men.

The death, they say,

is a victory.

The death, they say, is the great triumph.

- We'll march back to a strong tune.
- [bagpipes: "The Black Bear"]

"The Black Bear" will pull us together...

- and "Scotland the Brave" and...
- [bagpipes: "Scotland The Brave"]

...some others, Pipe Major.

- "Cock of the North," sir?
- Yon's a cheesy tune. You'll no play that.

And we'll no have
"Charlie is My Darling" either.

[bagpipes continue]


"The Gathering of Loch Eil."

We'll have all the tunes of glory...

to remember the more clearly.

- Sure, we will.
- [bagpipes continue]

Back along the high street.

Bridge Road...

and Stewart Road.

We'll have the quick marches.

The heads in the air.

- "Ho Ro, My Nut Brown Maiden"...
- [bagpipes continue]

- ...and the bonnets of "Bonnie Dundee."
- [boots marching]

The marching must be perfect, Mr. Riddick.

[bagpipes fade]

- All the people will be watching.
- [marching fades]

Do you hear? Perfect.

And when you and I are long forgot...

they'll say,
"You should have heard them playing.

You should have seen them marching then."

Then it'll snow again.

But it'll no break till after the parade.

When we come back from the hill...

it'll be bitter cold...

and a wee bit misty maybe...

and pink over the roofs.

I see it fine.

The aprons over the kilts...

and the daft purple of the drapes...

over the kettledrums.

[drums playing]

Just the drums.

A whole battalion...

coming home.

A whole battalion of us...

at a slow pace.

- [drums continue]
- There's just the four kettledrums...



with a dae...

dit-dit, dae...

dit-dit, dae...

dit-dit... [sobs]

Aye, Colonel.

It'll be done exactly as you've said.

Oh, laddie.

Jock. Jock, old chum.

You're all right, laddie.
Come on. Keep the heed.

Oh, for Pete's sake, I'm bashed.

No. No, you'll be fine.


Oh, my babies.

Take me home.

[man yells] Arms out!



Left, right, left,
right, left, right, turn!

Left, right, left,
right, left, right, turn!

And turn!


[bagpipes: multiple songs overlapping]

[bagpipes continue]