Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964–1969): Season 1, Episode 9 - Survival of the Fattest - full transcript

It's Survival Training for the platoon, for 5 days partners have to rough it. Thinking Gomer will bring down the rating for the platoon, Sgt Carter takes Pyle as his own partner. Carter soon learns that Gomer's small-town, backwoods upbringing turns out to be an asset

(MARCHING BAND PLAYING)

MALE ANNOUNCER:
Gomer Pyle - USMC.

Starring Jim Nabors
as Gomer Pyle.

Also starring Frank
Sutton as Sergeant Carter.

Well, here, for example, is some
tree bark that would be edible.

And water that you'll
find when you dig

for underground
streams will look like this.

However, after you've filtered it
with a piece of cloth and boiled it,

it would be safe for drinking.

Now then,

the reason for this
particular briefing



is because of the special operation
this platoon has been chosen for.

It's a survival test, and it's
just what the name implies.

It's a rigorous,
challenging test

to survive under the most
adverse and primitive conditions.

(IN SOUTHERN
ACCENT) Sounds like fun.

We feel this is an essential
part of your training.

It's not uncommon for a group
to find itself in the wilderness

with inadequate
equipment and no food.

Under those conditions
you have one main function:

to survive, to
live off the land.

In the test, this platoon
will be abandoned

in a totally uninhabited
area for a period of five days.

You will operate
in teams of two.

How well each team
comes out of the test



will depend on their
resourcefulness.

Any questions? Sir, is that the only
kind of food we can expect to find?

Roots and berries? Correct.

Berries, edible roots, the bark of
some trees. Certainly enough to sustain.

However, I must point out, you'll probably
all come back five or six pounds thinner.

That's to be expected.

I always lose it
in my face first.

Do you have a question, Private?

No, sir, I was just saying I
always lose it in my face first.

My cheeks get all hollow.
It's nothing to worry about.

I never feel as bad as I look.

We'll bear that in mind.

Now, during the coming week,

your troop leader will put
you through a training program

to prepare you for this test.

You will receive instructions
in mapping, foraging.

All phases of survival.

(INAUDIBLE)

(INAUDIBLE)

Carry on. Good luck.

Thank you, sir.

Corporal.

All right, Corporal,
these are the teams.

Slater is all right on first
aid. He can go with Peters.

He can take care of the mapping.

Burnside. Sailing, was it?

Well, he can team up with
Fletcher. He'll handle the foraging.

Pyle.

Pyle.

Let's see, uh... What
was he good at, huh?

Pyle. I'd better go with you.

He picked me over everybody.

Lucky you.

You know, him and me just
hit it off good right from the start.

Just one of them lucky things, I
guess, to find a buddy like that,

somebody to watch over
you and to look after you

and to keep an eye on you.

CARTER: Pyle, you're in
attention! Keep that mouth shut.

See?

CARTER: All
right, first team out.

You guys have a lot of
fun down there, hear?

MAN: Watch out. Watch
that snake in the grass.

Okay, Pyle.

All right, Charley.

Do you want me to get out
my compass now, Sergeant?

No, Pyle, don't you do anything.

But I can read my
compass real good now.

Fine, fine. Just do as I tell
you, and life will be beautiful.

Yes, sir. This is really gonna
be fun out here, just you and me.

This might be all right.

This sure is pretty.

Reminds me of a spot
in the hills back home

where we buried Grandpa Stokes.

Peaceful and shady.

We'll make it here.

Grandpa Stokes would
have liked it here, too.

We can set up the tent right
over here, next to this tree.

That's how we buried Grandpa
Stokes, right near a tree.

I'll go out and do some
foraging, and you set up the camp.

Maybe if I was to
forage some, too, sir.

You set up the camp.

But, sir, I was
thinking... Pyle!

Sit down, Pyle.

(SIGHING)

Pyle, we're gonna be cooped
up out here for five days.

Five long days.

Just you and me. Nobody else.

Now, we don't wanna get on
each other's nerves, do we?

Oh, no, sir.

And you ain't got a thing
to worry about neither, sir.

'Cause not one time have
you ever got on my nerves.

Not once.

That's real good news.

I've enjoyed serving
under you, sir.

Good. Now, you'll
fix up the camp, huh?

Yes, sir. And I'll fix it
up just as nice as I can.

Good.

And, sir,

it won't look nothing
like a burying place

like where we buried
Grandpa Stokes. No, sir.

All right.

I thought it'd make
it look kind of homey.

Pyle, in case it hasn't
been made clear to you,

this is a military operation.

We're not setting
up housekeeping.

No, Sergeant, but...

Pyle, suppose we were suddenly
surrounded by the enemy,

and they started shooting at us.

Gosh. You'd be caught with
a helmet full of snapdragons.

Black-eyed Susan.

You see, the petals
is a little smaller.

Get rid of them! It's a
different fragrance entirely...

I said get rid of
them! Yes, sir.

There must be some underground
streams around here someplace.

What if we don't find any?
We're down to half a canteen.

We'll find one. It's
just a matter of looking.

Instead of looking together,
maybe if I was to go out by myself...

Not again, Pyle.

Double our chances.

Look, Pyle, this kind of
thing takes experience.

Now, I've been through it.

It's not just the soggy ground
and the way the plants look.

You've almost
got to be able to...

(SNIFFING)

smell the water in the air.

Believe me, you
wouldn't find it.

You don't have that experience.

I could try that smelling, too.

Okay, okay,

keep your eyes open
for some more berries.

More berries?

Five days of
berries, it looks like.

Nobody said this
was gonna be a party.

Are you complaining?

No, Sergeant.

Pyle, maybe I better
tell you the facts of life

about this project just in
case you don't remember.

We're gonna be out
here for five days.

We're gonna have to find
our own food and water.

There are gonna be times when
we are hungry, thirsty, and tired.

It's gonna be rough.
It's gonna be hard.

We're gonna have
to suffer a little.

But it has to be that
way. It that clear?

Yes, sir. Good!

And I can't think of
nobody I'd rather be with

during trying times like that.

Thank you, Sergeant.

(SIGHING)

Hey, Sergeant.

Phew.

Looks like we both
took the same directions.

Yeah? Well, I found some.

Well, I sure got to
hand it to you, sir.

I couldn't find no
underground streams no place.

You just wouldn't
believe me, huh?

I kept looking at the
ground and smelling.

It must be a
knack, like you said.

Here we are.

Strain it and boil
it, and we're all set.

We can fill a canteen
every day, easy.

Well, we don't really have
to go to all that trouble.

No?

We could just call room service

and ask them to send
up a pitcher of ice water,

or we can call one of them
bottled water companies

and ask for home delivery.

But since we
can't do that, we'll...

It's what I was trying
to tell you, Sergeant.

I couldn't find one of them
underground streams no place,

so I done the next best thing.

I found one of them
over-ground streams.

You don't have to
boil mine or nothing.

I know. I know.

(SIGHING)

That there over-ground stream,
I bet there's some fish in it.

Maybe.

Trout, most likely.

There could be smoked salmon,
but without a hook and a line,

they got nothing to worry about.

Yes, sir.

Raspberries don't stay
with you very long, do they?

Sort of like what folks say
about that there Chinese food.

Are you complaining?

No, Sergeant. No, sir.

It's just that I don't seem to
have as much get up and go

as I done yesterday.

And it's gonna be worse
tomorrow and worse the next day

and worse the day after that.

Get used to it, buddy. We're
on raspberries from here on out.

Yes, sir. Still,

I sure wouldn't mind having one of
them there Chinese dinners right now.

Some of that egg foo
yong and chow mein.

I bet that'd stick to your
ribs better than raspberries.

Pyle, stop thinking
about other kinds of food.

It only makes it worse.

I wasn't thinking about other
kinds of food. Only Chinese.

I wasn't even thinking
about baked ham

or chicken or sweet potatoes,

corn bread or... Pyle!

Eat your raspberries.

The main thing is to
save your strength.

Rest whenever you can.

Yes, sir.

I bet they'd run
around 10 inches.

Trout, that is.
Rainbow, most probably.

I've been thinking.

I might go back there and try
to scoop some out of the water

with my hands or my
helmet or something.

Pyle, when you're on short
rations, you got to save your energy.

It don't make sense

to hike all the way back to
that creek and then strike out.

So let's drop it, huh?

But if I was to...
Drop it! Drop it!

Yes, sir.

I might have been a
little hasty in my judgment.

They could run 12 inches easy.

I just wanted you to
have the facts straight, sir.

I don't wanna hear
one more word.

Not one more word, do you hear?

I'm... Not one more word!

Yeah?

Well?

You sure were right about
that scooping, Sergeant.

I must have tried for an
hour, and I didn't catch a thing.

I knew you wouldn't.

You know, it's funny
how the mind works.

We were talking
about this before,

but when I was waking up just
now, I could have sworn I smelled fish.

It's funny how the mind works.

That's what you call the,
uh, power of suggestion.

What's that?

I sharpened my key ring on
a rock, and it worked just fine.

You caught those?

Yeah, Sergeant.

With, uh... Yeah.

Well, are they done yet?

Pretty near.

Good. Let's have 'em.

Well, do you know
something, Sergeant?

I couldn't decide whether to
pan-fry them in their own oil

or to fillet 'em and broil 'em
on a stake over a low fire.

Let's have 'em.

Or I could have rigged up some
kind of cover and steam-baked them.

Let's have 'em.

Or there's... Pyle, let's
have 'em. Let's have 'em!

Yes, sir.

In another mile, we ought
to reach the given point.

Not a sign of a
berry or nothing.

It's too bad we had to
leave that stream back there.

There's fish in there that's
just begging to be caught.

Chew on your bark. It
ought to hold you for a while.

Are you sure this
is the right kind?

It seems like I've carved my initials
on more nourishing stuff than this.

At the moment, it's all
we've got. Eat your bark.

It'd be funny if we
really got to like it.

Might turn into half
man, half termite.

CARTER: Hey.

Hey, Sergeant. Did
you find something?

Plant roots. I told you I'd
find something, didn't I?

What do they taste like?

They taste like plant
roots. What did you expect?

What's that for?

To put on the fire.

You don't cook plant
roots. You eat 'em raw.

But, Sergeant. Yeah?

I got to thinking back there.

There might be some
rabbits here in this wood,

so I made me a trap
to try to snare one.

Pyle, don't tell me.

You caught seven rabbits,
they all weigh 10 pounds,

and each has a head
of lettuce in his mouth,

so we can have our salad.

Oh, no, Sergeant.

Pyle, there are no
rabbits in these woods.

You're right, there sure aren't.

I wasted my time
even thinking about it.

You should have asked me first.

Yes, sir, I didn't catch no
rabbit. I knew you wouldn't.

But I did catch a
wild pheasant. Huh?

Look good?

Hey, we can have your
plant roots on the side,

do you know, like greens?

My mama said you always ought
to have greens with your meal.

Lucky thing you found 'em.

Hey, Sergeant, do
you want a cigar?

Those are homemade cigars

made right here in these woods.

I found some tobacco
down the road there a ways,

and I picked us a whole supply.

You wanna know how I made it?

No.

GOMER: Hey, guys! Here we are!

Hey, did you miss me?

Boy, I sure missed you all.

We really did have fun.
Did y'all have fun, too?

MAN: 157.

It's the usual.

They all seem to
lose about five pounds.

174.

Try again. He was 169.

Right here's
where it all is, sir.

Wait over there a moment.

Yes, sir.

Sergeant.

167.

That's a gain of six pounds.

Really, sir?

You men were a
team, weren't you?

Yes, sir.

Did you take rations with you?

No, sir. You sure?

We took no rations, positively.

You left the designated area.
You bought food, didn't you?

No, sir.

All right, I'll stop guessing,

and you tell me how you
go out on a survival test

and gain six pounds.

Well, uh...

For one thing, I
found a lot of berries.

Lots of berries.

And on the second day, I
come across this trout stream.

But you didn't have
any equipment.

Well, sir, I tried scooping
them out with my hands,

but like the Sergeant said, that
wasn't no good, so here's what I done...

I also discovered
some edible roots.

I cut off this branch, and I
got one of my shoe strings

and tied on the end of it.

And for a hook, I sharpened off
my key ring and I attached that...

few hours later, there
was this wild pheasant

settin' in there in that snare,
just as pretty as you please.

Pyle, I must say, you
certainly were resourceful.

That's amazing.
Absolutely amazing.

I also discovered some bark.

No wonder you picked
Pyle to be your teammate.

Pretty sly.

Yes, sir.

And then I found
some plant roots.

We work real good
as a team together.

Pyle, I want you to put
this all down in detail.

Yes, sir. Hey, you want a cigar?

I made it myself.

Wanna know how I made it?

I was walking along,
and I found this tobacco...

Hey, Sergeant.

I just can't figure it out.

That's the way he's been to
me ever since we come back.

So? You know something?

I don't think he
likes me no more.

Did he ever? Well, sure.

Used to, when he was
always yelling at me,

I knew we was good friends.

But he ain't yelled
at me in two days.

He don't like me no more.

You wanna know why he
doesn't like you anymore?

Yeah. Why?

You hurt his pride. What?

That's right. On
the survival test.

Don't you know why he
took you along with him?

'Cause we was always
hitting it off so good, I thought.

No, Gome. That's not the reason.

He went along with
you to protect you,

to make sure you
got through it okay.

He did? Yeah.

And then what happens?
You go out there,

and you're like
another Daniel Boone.

You get all the
praise and everything.

The Captain makes
a big deal over you.

Well, it... it hurt the
Sergeant's pride, Gomer.

Shazam.

I sure didn't mean
to do nothing like that.

(KNOCKING ON DOOR)

Come in.

Sergeant. Yeah?

I was just over to see
Captain Hathaway.

Yeah? What for?

Well, sir,

to talk about that there
survival test we was both on.

Yeah?

Wanted some more compliments?
Get a few more pats on the back?

Make sure you get
all the credit. Is that it?

Oh, no, sir. I went to
tell the Captain the truth.

The truth? Yes, sir.

What I done in the
woods back there,

catching the fish and
the pheasant and all,

shoot, there wasn't
nothing to that.

Back home, any 10-year-old young
one could have done the same thing.

We was practically
brought up in the woods.

But it was you, Sergeant, that
really got us through the thing.

Huh?

All that mapping
and compass work,

and arriving where
we was supposed to,

I couldn't have done
that for the life of me.

I remember a couple of times
there that I would have gone off

in an altogether
different direction.

I would have gotten
lost, sure as the dickens.

I didn't know where I was going.

You told all this
to the Captain?

Yes, sir. I told him I'd have still
been out there if it hadn't been for you.

Well,

you don't have any
scouting experience is why.

Well, you're right, sir,

but what I'm trying to
say is, Sergeant, that

I just couldn't have gotten through
the thing if it hadn't been for you.

The Captain really
appreciated hearing that.

He did, huh?

Okay, Pyle, you better
get back to your quarters.

Yes, sir, and if we go on one
of them survival tests again,

I wanna go with you.

Yeah, all right, Pyle.

'Cause you really
know your way around.

Yeah. Yes, sir.

You're the one I
wanna buddy up with.

All right, Pyle.

On account of you know
how to get there and back.

Fine, I think you better be...

I'd still have been lost out
there if it hadn't been for you.

Pyle, don't you have
anything better to do

than to stand around here
running off at the mouth?

Get out of here.
Move! Move! Get!

Out. Out. Out...

Can't you find anything
to do around here?

Hey, fellers. Yeah?

He likes me again.
He really likes me.

Great, buddy. Swell. Good.

(KNOCKING ON DOOR)

Come in.

Sir, Private Pyle
reporting as ordered.

Here are your supply reports.

Oh, thank you, Pyle.

Are you rolling yourself
a cigar, Sergeant?

Yeah.

Well, if I may suggest, sir,

what you do is you start
with the point at the end

when you go to put
on the outside leaf.

Oh, yeah? Yes, sir.

And be sure you
start her slanty enough

so she'll point out
proper at the end.

And then you tuck it like so.

And it comes out like this. See?

Yeah.

I declare, Sergeant, you
make 'em better than I do.

You really roll
'em good. Yes, sir.