Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964–1969): Season 3, Episode 29 - One of Our Shells Is Missing - full transcript

A live mortar shell goes missing. When Gomer goes off alone looking for it, everyone fears the worse when they hear a distant explosion.

Starring... as Gomer Pyle.

Also starring... as
Sergeant Carter.

♪ ♪

Okay, now if all you
mortar teams are all set up,

base plates secure,
we can get ready to fire.

Now, as some of you
men may have heard,

this'll be our last day
out here of practice

on the old Iron Farm.

Tomorrow morning,

a construction crew will be here
to start work on a new highway.

Some of the greatest
mortar teams in history

have left their
craters out there.

Guys who could
put a mortar shell

down a gopher hole blindfolded.

So, for old times' sake,

let's make this last barrage
a day that will go down in...

Pyle, just what do
you think you're doing?

Oh, hey, Sergeant.

I was just signing
the mortar shells.

You're what?!

I'm ammo man today,

and I was just signing
my shells like I always do.

Is he kidding me, Slater?

No, Sarge. Gomer
thinks it brings us luck.

Luck, huh?

Oh, yes, Sergeant.

I saw John Wayne
do this very same thing

in Let's Go Leathernecks,

and not only did he
capture the enemy,

but he also got the girl.

Well, you're not John Wayne,

and you're not
going to get the girl.

But you're going to
get something else

if you don't start
firing, and now!

Oh, that's fine
with me, Sergeant.

There's nothing I like better
than firing these mortars.

Putting that shell
down the barrel,

and when it comes
out going whoosh,

and when it hits going boom.

Whoosh-boom! Whoosh-boom!

Pyle, in exactly five seconds,

I'm going to give
the order to fire,

and if your weapon
doesn't go off,

I'm going to have the
next round directed at you!

Now, get ready to fire!

All right, the rest of you men,

commence fire!


(loud explosions)

Ah, looks like our
guys are doing great

for the last time out.

Most of those shells
are right on target.


Well, it's like I
always say, Boyle,

you give the men
a little pep talk,

the benefit of
your experience...

They'll come through
for you every time.

It's sort of what you call

giving them
confidence, you know?

Who's that?

What are they doing?

They're probably looking
for old shell casings.

They collect them for
souvenirs, you know.

Yeah? Well, this
ain't a souvenir shop.

They can get hurt down there.

Hey, you kids!

Get away from that truck!

Now, go on, beat it!

Don't come back until
you're old enough to join up!

Beat it! Move! Move!
Move! Move! Move!


Bradford, three shells.

Let's keep it moving, guys.

We want to be back
in time for noon chow.

Dembrowski, three shells.

That's it, Dembrowski,
easy does it.

Hey, look, Boyle,
they're back again.

Hey, you kids, this is
government property!

Now, clear out of here, or
I'll have you under arrest!

Probably a bunch of dropouts.

All right, let's keep
that ammo moving.

Pyle, three shells.

No, Sergeant, just two.

What do you mean two?!

Where's the other
one? The other one?

Well, I've only got two.

See? Look for
yourself. One, two.

I Know, Pyle. I can count.

But you're supposed
to have three shells.

What happened to it?

I don't know, Sergeant.

Are you sure I'm supposed
to have three shells?

Pyle, every ammo man
was given 20 rounds.

We fired 17.

17 from 20 leaves three!

That's right, Sergeant.

Then how come I only got two?

That's what I'm
trying to find out, Pyle.

Now where's the missing shell?!

Well, I don't know, Sergeant,

unless I left it out there
on the mortar range.

But that's not like me,
leaving loose shells around.

Oh, really?

I think it sounds
very much like you.

All right, everybody,
out on the range!

Come on, Pyle, Boyle,
let's go have a look.

I know we'll find it, Sergeant.

It's just got to be
out there somewhere.

All right, Pyle, where it is?

What did you do with it?

Well, I just can't
figure it out, Sergeant.

It's got to be around
here somewheres.

Well, it doesn't seem
to be around here.

How anybody can be so stupid

as to lose a
12-pound mortar shell?

That's what I'd like to know.

How, Pyle? Huh? How?

I know how upset you
are with me, Sergeant,

and believe me, if
we don't find that shell,

I'll be more than
happy to pay for it.

Oh, that's real
nice of you, Pyle.

And while you're
paying for the shell,

maybe you can
pay for the bulldozer

that's liable to blow up!



Or have you forgotten

about that construction
unit that's coming in?

If one of their bulldozers

should accidentally
run over that shell,

you know what's going to happen?

(imitating explosion)

Oh, that's terrible,
Sergeant, just terrible!

And while you're
paying for the bulldozer,

you might as well chip in

for the driver's
funeral expenses.

Oh, don't say any
more, Sergeant.

And do you know who's to
blame for this stupidness, Pyle?

I am, Sergeant, I am.

No, Pyle, I am.

You may pull a stupid stunt
like losing a mortar shell,

but me... I'm your sergeant,

the one in charge, the
guy who's responsible.

When word of this gets
back to headquarters,

it's me that's going to
be called on the carpet.

Hey, Sarge, maybe
somebody walked off with it.

Walked off with it?!

What are you
talking about, Boyle?

Who would walk off with a shell?

Well, maybe those
kids you chased away.

Could be one of them
had sticky fingers.

He saw the loose
shell lying around,

picked it up, and took off.

Oh, come on.

What would some kid
want with a live mortar shell?

Blow up his high school?

No, Sarge.

They take them into town

and sell them to these
war surplus stores.

Huh? War surplus?

Oh, I don't know, Boyle.

It seems like such a long shot.

Please, Sergeant, please?

Let's go downtown and look.

The shell might be down there,

and just think how upset we'd be

if they sold it.

Please, Sergeant? Okay, okay.

I guess anything's worth a try.

Come on, Pyle.

We're probably the
only Marines in history

that ever went shopping
for a mortar shell!

(cash register bell dings)

MAN: Thank you very much, sir.

Uh, can I help you boys?

Yeah, listen... Has
anyone been in here

trying to peddle a mortar shell?

Could be, Sergeant.

We carry a complete
line of shells,

but we're always in
the market for more.

Uh, you've got some for sale?

Oh, well, no, we
haven't, but we...

But do you know

where you can get your
hands on some, right, huh?

Well, you've come to the
right place. We pay top dollar.

No, look, I'm
trying to tell you,

we don't have any shells.

No shells? All right.

I'm always in the
market for mess kits,

pup tents, rifles, helmets,

thermal underwear...

Say, uh, you know
what I could really use?

A grenade launcher.

A grenade launcher?

Why in the world would
you want one of those?!

Well, it's for a special
customer of mine,

a big game hunter.

Goes hunting for
bear every year.

Uses nothing but grenades.

It's tough on the skins,

but he always gets his quota.

Look, Mister, I'm
trying to tell you,

we don't want to
sell you anything.

We're just trying to...

Oh, I get it. You're
a little shy, right?

But when you do business
with the T & L Surplus Store,

we ask no questions.

Just ask the guy who
came in here a year ago

and sold me a staff car.

A staff car?

An officer's staff car?

Look, where he
got it is his business.

He used to come
in here every week

with a... with a
duffle bag full of parts.

We assembled the whole
thing out in the back yard,

then sold it to a used car
dealer in Pasadena. Huh?

Okay, okay. Look,
Mister, we're wasting time.

We're looking
for a mortar shell,

and if you don't have it...

W-Wait a minute. Mortar shells!

Why didn't you say so?

Have you tried our
ammo department?

Ammo department?

Are you kidding?

Right this way, boys.

Here you go.

Now you boys just browse
around, make yourselves at home.

Help yourself,
and don't forget...

We give trading stamps.

Wait a minute,
Sergeant. I think I see it.

Where, Pyle? Right here.

Right down at the
bottom of this pile. Here.


Hold that.


Unload these
things, get right to it.



Just a couple of more, Sergeant.


Here it is.


My mistake.

This is from World War I.

Pyle, get out of here!

Well, I'm just trying
to help, Sergeant.

Never mind. I'll do the looking.

Just get out of here!

(quiet groan)

Well, I see you found our
military accessory department.

Anything in particular?

Well, not really, thank you.

I was just looking.

Say, how about a nice
set of captain's bars?

Really impress
the folks back home

when you're on a furlough.

Why, I couldn't do that.

Impersonating an officer?

Why, I'd never
dream of such a thing!

You're right. Good boy.

I was just testing
your moral character.

Then, do you like war souvenirs?

I got just the thing for you.

Huh? Look at that.

Gee, a Japanese sword!

That's more than a sword, pal.

That's a genuine Samurai.

Captured from a
famous Japanese general

on the island of Hayakawa.

Feel the heft. Huh?

Look at that. Handcrafted.

Uh, well, it's been in a war.

But, uh, don't worry.

We've got a lot of other
things you'll be nuts about.

Well, thank you. Not today.

Maybe some other time.

Uh, let me show you
something back here

that's very interesting.

I guess that's just about it.

It's not here, Pyle, and
that's all there is to it.

Come on, let's get out of here.



Pyle, what are you
doing in that crazy outfit?!

Well, he just wanted
me to try it on, Sergeant.

Said there was no obligation.

I'll make him a good
deal on it, too, Sergeant.

Even throw in an Iron Cross.

Get out of that stuff,
and let's get out of here!

Boyle and his
war surplus stores.

Some wild-goose chase
this turned out to be.

Wait a minute, Sergeant!


Look. Look over here
in the pawnshop window.

What's in the window?

Right there next to the ukulele.

I think... I think... I think

that's it, Sergeant.
I'm sure that's it.

It's the shell. It's
the mortar shell!

Yeah, it's a shell,
all right, Pyle,

but are you sure
it's the right one?

Well, you see those
white marks on it?

Those are probably chalk marks.

You know, where
I autographed it?

All right, Pyle, all right,
if you're really sure.

But just let me handle it.

The guy probably doesn't
even know it's a live shell.

There's no sense in scaring him.

Now, come on.

Ooh, hi, fellas.

What can I do for you?

Well, uh, we saw
something in your window.

That thing that
looks like a big bullet.

A big bullet?

Yeah, it's really a 12-pound,

81 millimeter mortar shell.

Oh, yeah, I know what
you're talking about.

Now, yeah, sure.

There you are.

This what you're talking about?

Yeah, that's it. How much?

Well, this is sort
of a rare item.

You know, not too
many stores have this.

I don't blame 'em.

Those things can
really be dangerous.

Yeah, I guess maybe
if it falls on your foot.

(laughs) Well, tell you what.

Being you're servicemen,
I'll let you have it for $5.00.

We'll take it. That's
more than fair, Mister.

The government paid a
whole lot more for it than that.

Here you go, Mister.
Okay. Now, wait, now wait.

No, thanks. We'll
take it just like it is.

No... We're in kind of a hurry.

Yeah, but you don't under...

No, this is fine. Thanks
a lot. But-but I got...

Boy, we're really
lucky, Sergeant.

We are really lucky.

Yeah, it was one
chance in a million, Pyle,

and we hit it.

What's this cord doing here?

A cord?!


What's going on here?!

What is this thing?

What did you try to sell us?

Sergeant, that's what
I was trying to tell you,

but you wouldn't
give me a chance.

It's nothing without this.

A lampshade?!


You mean that thing is a lamp?!

You don't think I'd try
to sell you a live shell?

I know what you're
thinking, Sergeant,

but that might not look
too bad on your desk.

I don't get it.
Where could it be?

I mean a mortar shell just
can't disappear into thin air.

Well, there's only one
thing left for me to do.

I'll just have to write a
letter to headquarters.

A letter? What kind of a letter?

"To Colonel Gray,
from Sergeant Carter.

"Dear Sir, it is my
duty to inform you

"that because of the stupid

"carelessness of
one of my stupid men,

"there is now a live mortar
shell floating around the base.

"I realize, as platoon sergeant,

"that I am fully responsible
for this stupid act,

"and I stand ready
and willing to accept

the stupid consequences."

Please don't send a
letter like that, Sergeant.

You just can't go around taking
the blame for something I did.

Wait a minute, Sarge,
I've been thinking.

What if that shell were
still out on the range?

What are you
talking about, Boyle?

We searched every inch
of that range this morning.

Well, I know that,
but what if somehow

it got buried out there? Buried?

Well, yeah, it could've
accidentally got covered up.

Well, maybe it got covered
up, but how do we find it now?

By the time we get back
out there, it'll be pitch dark.

We can look for it first
thing in the morning.

The construction crew
will be there in the morning.

By then, it'll be too late.

No, wait a minute, Sarge.

You don't have
to wait till morning.

I just got an idea.

Do you hear anything
yet, Sergeant?

How can I hear anything, Pyle,

with you yakking in my ear?

If you ask me, this whole thing

is just a big waste of time.

Oh, don't say that, Sergeant.

I just know if that
shell's buried out here,

this mine detector will find it.

I'll go over this way and look.

Sergeant! Sergeant!

What's the matter,
Pyle, you find it?

No, but I just
stepped on a lizard.

A lizard?!

I give up.

This is just another one
of Boyle's stupid ideas.

Let's get this stuff
back to the jeep

and get back to the base.

Oh, let's don't
give up, Sergeant.

Let me try it, just for
a few more minutes.

Well, all right.

Here, take this.

Put these on.

I'll look over this way first,

where the ammo truck was parked.

I hear something, Sergeant.

Where, Pyle? What did you hear?

I don't know, Sergeant,

but it's just clicking
away like crazy right here.

Well, come on, Pyle,
let's start digging.

I got it, Sergeant.

You found it, Pyle?

Good luck, good luck, good luck.

You found it, Pyle?
You found the shell?

No, Sergeant, but I
found a horseshoe.

Lucky us.

A horseshoe?

That does it. I've had it.

Come on, let's get
back to the base.

Well, can't we look just a
little bit longer, Sergeant?

I just know we'll come
up with something.

Oh, sure we will.

Like maybe a rusty can of nails

and some other kind of junk.

Come on, let's get
back to the jeep.

All right, stow that
gear in the jeep

and get in, it's freezing.

What are we going
to do now, Sergeant?

I'll tell you what I'm
going to do, Pyle.

First thing in the morning,
I'm calling headquarters

and they'll call off
those bulldozers.

How does that
make you feel, Pyle?

All because of you,

those bulldozers
will not roll tomorrow.

Well, I don't know
what to say, Sergeant.

If I knew where that
shell was, I'd go over there

and kick it just
to blow myself up.

Would you Pyle? Really?

That would be the
first sensible thing

you've done all day.

Now, get in.




Gomer, is that you?

Oh, I'm sorry, Duke.

I didn't mean to wake you up.

What are you doing?

Well, you remember this morning

I lost one of my shells out
there on the mortar range?

Mm-hmm. Well, what I was
doing is I was reconstructing

the whole day hoping
that way I'd remember

what I did with that shell.

Well, did you figure it out?

No, we've looked everywhere,
the sergeant and me.

I just don't know what to do.

What does the sarge say?

Well, that's what's
bothering me.

If that shell don't turn up,

Sergeant Carter will
be held responsible.

He'll have to take the blame.

Well, fine, let him.

If the sarge is going to
be the goat, why worry?

I couldn't do that, Duke.

The whole thing's my fault.

Look, Gomer, go to sleep,

we'll take about
it in the morning.

But I'm telling you,
if the sarge is willing

to take the rap, let
him, you're in the clear.

(loud bang)

Hey, Sarge, what's the matter?

I'm sorry, Boyle.

It's the darn shell.

I can't figure out
what happened to it,

and it's driving me crazy.

Look, Sarge, you did
everything you can do.

Tomorrow morning, you'll
report it to headquarters.

They'll tell them to hold
off on the bulldozing work,

and that's it.

Yeah, that's it.

Well, what's the matter?

Stupid Pyle.

He's going to get the
book thrown at him.

Huh? Look, Boyle, he's
goofed up in the past,

but this time it's
serious, real serious.

He might even face
a court-martial for this.

Who knows, he could
get thrown in the brig.

That's true.

I suppose I should
just forget about it

and let him go hang,
'cause he's in trouble,

real trouble, and
he knows it, too.

You should've seen him tonight.

He was ready to kill himself.

Well, he's not
going to kill himself.

So what do you
say, in the meantime,

we get some sleep, huh?

Yeah, I suppose so.

There's nothing more
we can do about it tonight.


Boyle, did you hear that?

Yeah. What's going on?

I'll tell you what's going on.

Somebody just set
off a mortar shell!

Huh? How could they do that?

How should I know?

Maybe they ran
over it with a jeep.

A jeep!

It's gone!

Our jeep, it's gone!

Well, why would
anyone take the jeep?

I just got an idea,
and I hope I'm wrong.

DUKE: Hey, Sarge,
that explosion?

What was it?

Nothing, nothing.

A truck just backfired.

Go back to sleep.

That's what I was afraid of.

It was Pyle.

The somebody that ran over
the mortar with a jeep was Pyle.

How do you know it's him, Sarge?

How can you be sure?

I'll tell you how come, Boyle.

Put two and two together.

The jeep's gone, Pyle's gone.

But, Sarge... He pleaded with me

to let him go back out there.

I said, no, but he went anyway.

He actually went out there.

But, Sarge, how do you know?

Then where else is
he, Boyle, huh, where?

No, I guess he was determined

to go out there and find it.

Well, he found it, all right.

Sarge... No, he
was plenty worried.

He must've realized he would
get a court-martial for this.

Well, what would be so terrible
about a court-martial, huh?

At least he'd be alive.

But Sarge, you're taking
so much for granted.

Why don't we go out
there and take a look?


Sergeant Carter!
Sergeant Carter!

Hey, Sergeant Carter.
Boy, am I glad to see you.

Hi, Corporal Boyle.
Pyle, are you okay?

Sure, I'm okay, but just wait
till you hear the good news!

I found the missing shell.

I know, Pyle, I heard.

You're lucky you weren't killed.

What made you go out
there looking all by yourself?

Well, I couldn't let you accept
the blame for something I did.

I mean, how could
I live with myself?

Okay, okay, now what happened?

Where was the shell?

How did it go off? How?

You'll never guess, Sergeant.

You'll just never guess.

No, games, Pyle.

It's 3:00 in the
morning. Where was it?

I was back in the barracks,
and I was reconstructing

my whole day out there
on the mortar range.

And there I was firing
my mortar, then suddenly

I remembered that one of my
"whoosh-booms" was missing.

Pyle, what are
you talking about?

Well, rather than explain
it to you, Sergeant,

if you'll get in the
jeep, I'll show it to you.

So then, I came back over
here to the Weapons Room

to look for my mortar.

And praise be,
Sergeant, I found it.

You found the mortar?

No, the shell.

You mean the
shell was right here

in the Weapons
Room all the time?

No, it was stuck right
here in my mortar.

Don't you get it, Sergeant?

One of my
"whoosh-booms" was missing

because my shell never fired.

I'll be darned.

You had a misfire.

And then, just like
the manual says,

I came over here
and kicked the mortar

with the heel of my
boot and off she went.

You had a misfire.

You see, Sergeant? All this time

we were worrying
ourselves sick over nothing.

Makes you feel
kind of silly, don't it?

Wait a second.

If you fired this mortar off
in here, that means that...


I know what's going
through your mind, Sergeant,

but I'm sure we can get it fixed

before the rainy
season gets here.

Sarge, what makes you
think we're going to find

a missing jeep here in town?

Because we looked
all over the base, Boyle,

and it wasn't there, and
you know what happened?

Stupid Pyle left it parked
somewhere last night

with the keys in it,
and somebody stole it.

You think so? Yeah, I think so.

It didn't drive off all
by itself, you know.

It was stolen, Boyle, stolen!

Hey, you see what I see?

Come on.

How do you like this guy?

Has he got guts? What?

It's our jeep, Boyle.

He gave it a fresh coat of paint

and put this
canopy over it. Huh?

Oh, is he going
to hear it from me.

Hello there, Sergeant.

I see you looking her
over. Are you interested?

I'll let you have her cheap.

Oh, you will, huh?

And you know what I'll
to let you have, Mister?

A few years in
jail, that's what.

What? You're going to cut out

robbing this government
property once and for all, you crook!

Police! Robbing? Wait a minute.

Hold him, Boyle,
while I get a cop.

Will you wait a
minute? Police! Police!

Sergeant Carter!
Sergeant Carter!

I found it, Sergeant.

Guess where it was?
At the motor pool.

You see, I parked it in back
of the Weapons supply shack

and one of the fellas
from A Company

had driven it over there.

See, I told you we'd find it.

It's all right, Sergeant.

A perfectly honest mistake.

And I'm willing to
overlook the whole thing

if you'll do me
one, little favor.

Can you get your
hands on a tank?