Platoon Homepage


Time Log


Scholarly Articles


Comparative Films


Reviews


Web Sites

Lapel Grabbing 
Monologues

Words From Actual Movie Script

Movie Monologues Soon To Come...


8:30     First Letter to Grandma

CHRIS  (Voice over as he digs) Somebody once wrote Hell is the impossibility of 
Reason.  That’s what this place feels like.  I hate it already and it’s only been a week.  Some goddamn week, grandma…(checking his raw blisters)… the hardest thing I think I’ve ever done is go on point, 3 times this week- I don’t even know what I’m doing.  A gook could be standing 3 feet in front of me and I wouldn’t know it, I’m so tired.  We get up at 5 a.m., hump all day camp around 4 or 5 p.m., dig foxhole, eat, then put out and all-night ambush or a 3-man listening post in the jungle.  It’s scary cause nobody tells me how to do anything cause I’m new and nobody cares about the new guys, they don’t even want to know your name.  The unwritten rule is a new guy’s life isn’t worth as much cause he hasn’t put his time in yet- and they say if you’re gonna get killed in the Nam it’s better to get it in the first few weeks, the logic being: you don’t suffer that much.  I can believe that…If you’re lucky you get to stay in the perimeter at night and then you pull a 3-hour guard shift, so maybe you sleep 3-4 hours a night, but you don’t really sleep… I don’t think I can keep this up for a year, grandma- I think I’ve made a big mistake coming here…
 
 

14:30   Second Letter to Grandma

CHRIS (Voice over)   … ‘Course Mom and Dad didn’t want me to come, they 
wanted me to be just like them- respectable, hard-working, making $200 a week, a little house, a family.  They drove me crazy with their goddamn world, grandma, you know Mom, I don’t want to be a white boy on Wall Street, I don’t want my whole life to be predetermined by them.  I guess I have always been sheltered and special, I just want to be anonymous.  Like everybody else.  Do my share for my country.  Live up to what Grandpa did in the First War and Dad in the Second.  I know this is going to be the war of my generation.  Well here I am- anonymous all right, with the guys nobody really care about- they come from the end of the line, most of ‘em, small towns you never heard of- Pulaski, Tennessee, Brandon, Mississippi, Pork Bend, Utah, Wampum, Pennsylvania.  Two years’ high school’s about it, maybe if they’re lucky a job waiting for ‘em back in a factory, but most of ‘em got nothing, they’re poor, they’re the unwanted of our society, yet they’re fighting for our society and our freedom and what we call America, they’re the bottom of the barrel- and they know it, maybe that’s why they call themselves ‘grunts’ cause a ‘grunt’ can take it, can take anything.  They’re the backbone of the country, grandma, the best I’ve ever seen, the heart and soul- I’ve found it finally, way down here in the mud- maybe from down here I can start up again and be something I can be proud of, without having to fake it, maybe… I can see something I don’t yet see, learn something I don’t yet know… I miss you, I miss you very much, tell Mom I miss her too- Chris.
 

53:00   Execution

Barnes turns his attention on the other villagers, his intentions apparent.  Everybody feel sthem.  They’re next.  Barnes is unperturbed, very much in command of the situation, no rage, no emotions expressed.

Chris has never seen such a thing in his life- but can’t react.  Can’t stop it, just watches it like he’s not quite there.

The same goes for Lieutenant Wolfe, for all of them.  They very outrageousness of Barnes’ killing seems to quell all protest.

ACE (sensing the impending massacre)  Hey Sarge can we get in on this.

Tony advances, the hairy Italian kid from Boston.

TONY  Let’s go all the way, let’s go for it!  Let’s do the whole fucking village.  Come 
on, Sarge!

Chris’ eyes… Rodriguez next to him, neutral but willing.

Francis is hesitant.

Fu Sheng and Junior are ready to go for it.  Lt. Wolfe is powerless, frozen.

The Villagers know it, kneel in prayer, mutter.

Barnes suddenly grabs and drags a young 19 year-old Woman, the Village Chief’s daughter, across the pen, throws her down on her knees, in front of the stunned Village Chief.  She is screaming.

BARNES  This is his daughter, right?

Lerner nods.  Barnes pulls his .45, puts it alongside her head.

BARNES (to the Village Chief)  You lie… You Vee Cee…I caca dao Vee Cee!

He chambers the .45, the Woman begging Barnes for her life, cradling his knees.  He sticks the gun down above her skull.

Chris wanting to cry out, to do something- but can’t!

ELIAS  BARNES!!!

Barnes looks around.  They all look around.

Elias walks right up to him, followed by his men- King, Rhah, Crawford, others form the rear party.  He looks around.  The corpse of the Wife…the Young Daughter sobbing.

ELIAS  WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!

BARNES (pissed)  Stay out of this Elias.  This ain’t your show.

ELIAS  YOU AIN’T A FIRING SQUAD, YOU PIECE OF SHIT!!

The mock of his riffle swings up fast and hard smacking Barnes full in the face, breaking two teeth.

Barnes staggers back, hurt, bleeding.  Elias is on him like a leopard.  Battering him with his fists.

They struggle in the dust, two titans, their faces equally consumed with rage, clawing, spitting, punching, kicking, pounding each other’s skulls in the dirt.  A dust storm swirls around them, the men closing around like excited apes at a bloodfeast.

Most of the men seem to be pulling for Barnes- Chris just watching, neutral.

LT. WOLFE  BREAK IT UP! ELIAS! BARNES!

But they both roll on, smashing each other’s faces in.  Both quick, fast, agile, mean fighters. Sgts. O’Neill and Warren drag them apart.

Wolfe and Big Harold jump in, hold them apart.

BARNES  You’re dead, you’re fucking dead Elias!

ELIAS  YOU- you’re going to fuckin’ jail, buddy, you ain’t getting away with this 
one!!!!!

WOLFE  All right! All right! All right!!! NOW BREAK IT UP.  LET’S GO…
 

58:00  Burning the Village

In a ditch running alongside the Village, partially concealed by foliage and anthills, Tony, Morehouse, and the ubiquitous Bunny have a 12-year old Vietnamese girl pinned to the ground, gagged and squirming, naked.  They are fucking her to death.  Junior looks on, both curious and disgusted, but doesn’t take part.

TONY  Take her up the ass…

As the roll her over, like excited dogs in heat.

Chris, coming up, sees their heads dipping up and down on the other side of the anthill, knows what they’re doing.  He makes a conscious decision to do something.  He runs over.

CHRIS  LET HER GO! YOU HEAR ME! YOU ASSHOLE! LET HER GO!

He strides right into them, shoves them off hard.  The girl is in tears.

TONY  What the fuck you want- she’s a dink.

CHRIS  NO- YOU STUPID FUCK…DON’T…DON’T…YOU TOO BUNNY. 
MORHOUSE. OFF! NO!…NO!  DON’T…DON’T!

He seem disconnected, dazed by the sun, like he’s talking to dogs- loud, repetitive words coming out of an anger he can barely control, trying to restore some sanity to a world gone totally nuts today.  Don’t they understand?  Don’t they have any sense of a mind?  Any kind of decency?

The men looking at him as if he’s the one who’s gone nuts, not them.  Bunny looking at Morehouse looking at Tony looking at Junior.  The irony is lost on them, as Chris pushes through to help the poor girl put her scanty clothes back on.
 
 

1:01     Stars

ELIAS  … we been kicking other people’s asses so long I guess it’s time we got our own 
kicked. The only decent thing I can see coming out of here are the survivors- hundreds of thousands of guys like you Taylor going back to every little town in the country knowing something about what it’s like to take a life and what that can do to a person’s soul- twist it like Barnes and Bunny and make’em sick inside and if you got any brains you gonna fight it the rest of your life cause it’s cheap, killing is cheap, the cheapest thing I know and when some drunk like O’Neill starts glorifying it, you’re gonna puke all over him and when the politicians start selling you a used war all over again, you and your generation gonna say go fuck yourself ‘cause you know, you’ve seen it, and when you know it, deep down there, you know it till you die… that’s why the survivors remember. ‘Cause the dead don’t let em forget.
 
 
 

1:53    Departure

CHRIS (Voice over)   I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy, we fought 
ourselves- and the enemy was in us… The war is over for me now, but it will always be there- the rest of my days.  As I am sure Elias will be- fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called possession of my soul… There are times since I have felt like the child born of those two fathers… but be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach others what we know and to try with what’s left of our lives to find a goodness and meaning to this life…