Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964–1969): Season 1, Episode 15 - Grandpa Pyle's Good Luck Charm - full transcript

Gomer's grandpa offers pointers on drilling a platoon.


Gomer Pyle - USMC.

Starring Jim Nabors
as Gomer Pyle.

Also starring Frank
Sutton as Sergeant Carter.





That's sweet. That's really nice.

Okay, okay, Gomer.
Who's the letter from?


Who's the letter from?
Blonde, brunette or redhead?



It's from my grandpa. Grandpa?

Grandpa Pyle, my
grandpa on my daddy's side.

And you know what?

He's comin' here in
his trailer and everything

just to see me.

See, he travels
around in a trailer.

Listen to this.

"When I stopped at Mayberry,

"they said my
favorite fishin' partner

"was in the Marines.

"Fishin' wasn't the same.

"I couldn't look a
worm in the face

"without thinkin'
of you. Ha, ha."

You and your grandpa
are really close, huh?

Closer than two front teeth.

Grandpa and me,
we done a lot of huntin'

and fishin' and
talkin' together.

I learned a lot from Grandpa.

He knows just about
everything there is to know.

And you know something else?

He was a cavalry sergeant
in World War number one.

A cavalry sergeant, huh?

In the U.S. Army.

Listen to this.

"So, you joined
the Marine Corps.

"I thought I learned
you better. Ha, ha.

"The doughboys

"used to have a joke
about the Marines,

"but I won't tell it to you,

"as your mama
wouldn't like me to.


All right, men! Fall under the
rear of the barracks on the double.

Hey, Sergeant, I just got
me a letter from my grandpa.


He's coming here to visit.


Bless his heart. Pyle, fall in.

Yes, sir.

At ease.

All right, listen up.

The battalion headquarters has
decided that we should find out

if any of you are potential
noncom or officer material.

If they'd just asked
me, I could've told them.

But they decided that you should
have a chance to lead this squad,

to see if you can
take over my job.

So for the next few days,
that will be our project.

Each man will get a chance to
lead this squad in close-order drill,

and I will be observing.

We'll proceed alphabetically.

Abrams, we'll start with you.

Squad, ten-hut.

Abrams, front and center.

Nice feller, Abrams.

He writes home regular,

but he ain't no Sergeant Carter.

Quiet in the ranks.

Take charge of the squad.

Right face.

Forward, haw!

ABRAMS: One, two, three, four.

By the right flank, haw.

By the right flank, haw.

By the right flank, haw.

Squad halt.

Not bad, Abrams. Not bad at all.

Fall in.

Next man, Bronson.
Front and center!

He ain't no Sergeant
Carter, neither.

Quiet in the ranks.

Hey, Sergeant. Can
I see you a minute?

What do you want, Pyle?

Well, sir, I'd
like to talk to you

about my turn at
leadin' the squad.

What's to talk about? I
told you it was alphabetical.

You'll get your turn
when the P's come up.

What's your hurry? Get
back to your quarters.

No, Sergeant.
That ain't it at all.

What is it, then?

Well, I'd just as
soon not have a turn.


I'd just as soon not have
a turn at leadin' the squad.

Just like that, you'd just
as soon not have a turn?

Well, it ain't that I
don't want to do it.

I do, but I'm afraid
I'll disappoint you,

and then I'll feel just awful.

Will you really?

Uh-huh. So even
though I do want to do it,

I don't think I should do it,

'cause of the way I'd do
it, I'm sure to be doin' it

the way you don't want it done.


I said that even though
I do want to do it...

Never mind.

Pyle, we are talking
about a battalion order,

not ladies' choice at
a dancing academy.

Every man in this
platoon will, repeat, will

drill his squad in
close-order drill.

You are in this platoon.

You will take your
turn when it comes up.

Well, I'd like to,
Sergeant, but I...

Pyle, do you know the
reason for this program?

It's to train you to take over.

Now, what if something
happened to me in combat?

Who would take over?

Golly, Sergeant.

If something happened to
you, I just wouldn't want to go on.

Now, isn't that touching?

See, Sergeant,

the reason that I'm
beggin' off is, well,

I just don't think I got
them qualities of leadership.

Now, followership,
that's something else.

I follow real good.

That's enough.

You'll take your turn in this new
program just like everybody else.

Yes, Sergeant.

But I sure follow
better than I lead.


♪ Katy ♪ K-K-K-Katy

♪ You're the only
g-g-g-girl that I adore

♪ When the m-moon shines... ♪


Come in.

Hey, Grandpa. Guess who?

Gomer. Come in here, boy.

Come in here, boy. Come in here.

Good night alive.

Oh, Lordy.

Let me take a look at you.

Let me take a look at you.

Still growin'.

Are you six foot?

Uh-huh. You look six foot.

Hey, what you got
in there, a anvil?

Well, you know what
they say, Grandpa.

"The Marine Corps builds men."

You got a weekend
pass, ain't you?

Yep, I got the whole weekend.

Good. You sure
growed up nice and tall.

I'm six foot.

You look six foot.

Hey, Gomer,

I got a present for you, right over
there on the couch. That's for you.


"Sweet dreams from
the Grand Canyon."

GOMER: Ain't that pretty?

Oh, and it's got
a picture of it, too.

Yeah, I was there
a couple weeks ago.

That's a big ditch, son.

It sure is pretty, Grandpa.

Thank you.

It's real thoughtful of you.

Oh, it ain't nothing. Let's
settle down and get to talkin'

'bout that there
Marine Corps you're in.


How are you gettin' along?

Well, tolerable. Just tolerable.

Today wasn't a very good day.

Why? W-What happened?

Well, we got this new program

where each man gets to
close-order drill the squad.

What they're doin' is,
they're lookin' out for fellers

that could take over
in case they had to.

Good. Good.

What's the problem?

Well, I ain't got no
leadership to display.


It's true, Grandpa.

For goodness sakes.

Gomer, the Pyles has been
knowed as leaders for generations.

Not me.

I just couldn't get out
there in front of all them men

and pretend I'm the sergeant.

Tell me one thing. Would
you like to be able to do it?


I'd like to more than anything.

But I know I can't.

I just ain't got
the bellow for it.

Gomer, stop talkin' like that.

It ain't befittin' a Pyle.

I'll show you how to
bellow out them orders.

Grandpa, I don't
know. I just can't...

Son, it's easy.

You've got to make it
come from down here.

Now, listen.

Prepare to mount.


Come on. Get up. Try it.

Get up now and try it.

Go on.

Prepare to mount.


A little lower,
now, a little lower.

Draw sabers.

Draw sabers.

A little lower. A little lower.

Bugler, blow "Charge."

Bugler, blow "Charge."

See? Don't that
sound just awful?

No, it don't.

I-It's just that, uh...

Well, you need a little
practice before you can practice.

Tell you what. We'll work
on it over the weekend.

I'll get you some
people to drill with.

Who would you get?

Why, I'll get...

I don't know, but I'll
get you some people.

Now, you can do it, son.

Oh, you can, too.

A big boy like you, six foot.

You are six foot, ain't you?


You look six foot.

Grandpa, I don't
know about this.

Go on, boy. You
can do it. Try it.

Go on. They're waitin' for you.

Put 'em through their paces.

Squad, attention.

That means attention. You
all got to stand up straight.

Left face.


Everybody's got...
Everybody's got to turn this way.

That's right.



No, that means you all got to
move out in that direction, that way.

Come in here.

Everybody, everybody,
come back over here.

Everybody get back
over here and stand here.

Do you know what's the
matter? You're too easy on 'em.

Now, them troops you're gonna
drill are just like these kids here.

You got to show 'em who's boss.


All right, straighten
up them ranks there.

You, down there. Get
that smile off your face.

Suck in your stomach.

Stand up straight.
I'm talkin' to you.

Pay attention to
me. You hear me?


Hey, come back here.
Come on back here.

You bellowed so loud, Grandpa,

you scared the troops clean off.

Well, at least they know
they've been bellowed at.

And you can do it, too, boy.

I'll sure try, Grandpa.

You can do it, too.

You're a big boy.
You're six foot, ain't you?


You look six foot.

We'd better get
back in the trailer.

Squad, ten-hut!

Forward, haw!

One, two, three, four.

By the left flank, left.

Left flank, haw!

To the right flank, haw!

Left flank, left, haw!

Forward, haw!

Golly, Duke.

You sure can bellow.

I wish I could do that,
but I know I'll mess it up.

Ah, you got to stop
worrying about it, kid.

All right, all on
close-order drill.

That means you, too,
Pyle. Especially you.

Come on, Gomer. You can do it.

Come on.

OLIVER: Squad, halt.

Right face.

Oliver, that was good.
That was real good.

Of course, you ain't
me, but then, who is?

Fall in.

At ease.

Let's see who we're down to.

Pyle, front and center.

Take charge of the squad.

Hey, fellers.

Forward march.

They ain't movin'.

They're still at ease.

Oh, I forgot.

Squad, attention.

Right face.

Right face.

Right face.

Right face.

At ease.

Pyle. March 'em.

Drill 'em.

Squad, attention.

Right face.

Forward march.

One, two, three, four.

To the rear, march.

To the rear, march.

To the rear, march.

To the rear, march.

To the rear, march.
To the rear, march.

To the rear, march.

To the rear, march.

Give them something else!

Right flank,


Hey, fellers, whoa.





Let's face it, Grandpa,

there's no two ways about it.

I'm just a failure as a leader.

Now, you stop sayin'
that. You ain't a failure.

You're a good, strong boy.

You got a good head
on your shoulders.

You're six foot.

There's just one thing
that you don't have,

one little thing, and
that's confidence.

And, now, son, there's
where I can help you.

I don't know, Grandpa.

If you don't have confidence,

nobody can give it to you.

Well, I don't know
about that. I...

Gomer, we ain't licked yet.

All you need is confidence.


Yes, sir, my boy,
with a little confidence,

you can do anything, anything.

And this is gonna
give it to you.

What's that?

GOMER: "Excelsior."

That's right. "Excelsior."

It means high, up, up.

Gomer, Gomer, would
it surprise you to know

that that was a emblem
on my daddy's regiment

in the Spanish-American War?


Rode up San Juan Hill

attached to your
great-grandpa's saddle,

right alongside
of Colonel Teddy.

This here emblem?

That there emblem.


Great-granddaddy Pyle
was a brave man, wasn't he?

Brave leader.

Gomer, you know, when I
first went into World War I,

I never had a dime's
worth of confidence.

I was just as scared as you are.

Oh, that couldn't be, Grandpa.

Oh, yes.

Until my daddy gave me this.

He said, "As long
as you have that,

"you'll be a leader."

And I carried it, and I was.

That little emblem right there.

You mean it's magical-like?

Well, that's one
way to describe it.

Put it in your pocket.

Now, recollect, son,

that ain't no ordinary
piece of metal you got there.

When that was attached to
your great-grandpa's saddle,

he was fightin' his
way up San Juan Hill,

yard by yard, fightin'
like a man inspired.

Colonel Teddy turned to him.

He said, "Pyle, you're
fightin' like a man inspired."

That's what he said.

Bullets was a-flyin'
every which way.

Men was turnin' back,
but not your great-grandpa.

And when the smoke
of battle cleared,

there he was, plantin' Old Glory

smack on top of San Juan Hill.

And that little emblem
you got in your pocket

was with him every
step of the way.

Now, can you tell me

that havin' that emblem don't
make you feel no difference?

Don't you feel
about ten foot tall?

I do, Grandpa. I declare, I do.

You look ten foot.

Try a couple of commands.

(BELLOWING) Squad, ten-hut!

Right face.

Did you hear that, Grandpa?

I sure did, boy.

You know, with
that in your pocket,

when you get out
there to drill them troops,

you'll make that Sergeant
Carter look like a recruit.


What's the matter, son?

I just happened
to think, Grandpa.

You only get one chance
at leadin' the squad,

and I've already had mine.

Well, don't you worry.
You'll get a second chance.

But how? Well, you'll...

Well, I don't know, but
things has a way of happenin'

to the folks that
has that emblem.

They have? Yes, sir.


Come in.

Come in, sir. What
can I do for you?

I-I'd like to talk
to you, Sergeant.

Yes, sir. Let me
get you a chair.

Uh, no need to get
a chair. I'll just stand.

Well, I just thought you'd
be more comfortable.

The only time I'm more
comfortable sittin' down, Sergeant,

is on a horse.

You can sit down
if you're tired.

No, I'm not tired.

You spend quite a lot of time
behind the desk, don't you, Sergeant?

Not any more
than most. I mean...

You know, it's funny, you're
shorter than I figured you'd be.

How tall are you? Huh?

You six foot? No, I'm...

You don't look six foot.

Of course, you make up for it

by bein' bigger
around the waist.

I always keep myself in
perfect physical condition.

In my day, sergeants
was tough as hardtack.

Of course, you're
in pretty good shape

for the shape you're in.

Look, would you mind telling me

what you want to
talk to me about?

And I didn't get the name.

Pyle. Sergeant Otis Pyle.

U.S. Cavalry, retired.

Pyle? Y-you mean...

Gomer's grandpa. That's right.

You know, the reason I come
over to talk to you, Sergeant,

after hearing Gomer talk,

I decided you was the
brightest noncom around.

And, now that I've
met you, I'm sure of it.


The way you keep
them young fellers

from havin' a
chance to take over

is a work of genius.


Now, wait a minute.
I give them a chance.

Right now, we're
conducting leadership tests.



It's just the old army game.

You give 'em one chance,

and if you see they're
beginnin' to catch on,

you slam the door.
Huh? Is that it?

Beginning to catch...


that grandson of yours,
he had his chance.

And you know what he did?

He blew it.

Of course he did.

And not givin' him
a second chance

is a smart way to play it.

Now, just a minute.

You might be a little
soft around the middle,

but not up where it counts.

Your grandson will
get a second chance.

Tomorrow is an inspection day.

The men will have their rifles.

He will really get a chance.

And it will be a pleasure
to see what he does with it.

A real pleasure.

And it will also be a
pleasure to have you

as my personal guest, Mr. Pyle.

Sergeant Pyle,
U.S. Cavalry, retired.

Pyle, front and center.

All right, Private,
they're all yours.

(BELLOWING) Squad, ten-hut!

Right face.

CARTER: Hurry it up, Pyle.

Right shoulder, arms!

Forward march!

One, two, three, four!

To the rear, march!

Left shoulder, arms!

Hey, wait.

To the rear march!

Squad, halt!

Forward march!

One, two, three, four.

To the right, march!

One, two, three, four.

By the right flank, march!

By the left flank, march!

One, two, three, four.

One, two, three, four.

Gosh, Grandpa, I can't thank
you enough for all you done for me.

I just done what one good
soldier would do for another.

Well, I don't know.

If you hadn't have brought

good luck piece for me...

It sure done the trick.

You think that emblem
was what done it, huh?

Of course it was, Grandpa.

Well, I don't know about that.

Come over here, Gomer.

Let me have it.

Ain't you gonna let me
carry it in my pocket no more?

You won't be needin' it no more.

Let's put it back
where it belongs.


(CHUCKLING) That's right.

Now that you know
what you can do,

you won't be lackin'
confidence no more.

Then it wasn't Great-granddaddy's
emblem that made me do it at all.

No, and it wasn't some dingus

off a refrigerator
door, neither.

Just recollect, son,

it ain't what you got in
your pocket that counts.

It's what you got in there.



Hey, Duke, looky here.

It's a letter from Grandpa.

Good. You wanna read it?

No. Then I'll read it to you.

"Dear Grandson,

"it was sure good to visit
you at the Marine Corps base.

"I am glad I got to
meet your sergeant.

"Always remember, boy,

"there is one man who will always
stand behind you no matter what,

"and who will help
you with your problems

"no matter how big or small.

"And that man is
me. Your grandpa.

"As for your
fat-headed sergeant,

"just follow his
loudmouth orders,

"and you will be all right.

"I hope to come
back in a few weeks

"and see how you are do-doin'."

Hey, Sergeant.

A letter from Grandpa.

You wanna read it?