51 EXT. DA NANG STREET, VIETNAM--DAY
Vietnamese civilians. Swinging her hips with exaggerated sexiness, an
attractive HOOKER in a mini-skirt walks toward a cafe' table
on the pavement where JOKER and RAFTERMAN are seated.
Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking."
The girl stops at JOKER's table.
Hey, baby, you got girlfriend
Not just this minute.
Well, baby, me so horny. Me so horny. Me
love you long
time. You party?
Yeah, we might party. How much?
Fifteen dollars for
both of us?
No. Each you fifteen dolla. Me love
time. Me so horny.
too boo-coo. Five dollars each.
Me suckee-suckee. Me love you too much.
is all my mom allows me to
What do we get for ten dollars?
Everything you want.
Well, old buddy, feel
like spending some of
your hard-earned money?
Just a minute.
RAFTERMAN raises his Nikon and starts
JOKER and the HOOKER.
The girl strikes quick poses for the camera and
JOKER puts his arm around her.
know, half these gook whores are serving
officers in the Viet Cong.
The girl coughs again.
The other half have got
T.B. Make sure you
only fuck the ones that cough.
vietnamese boy walks up behind
RAFTERMAN and grabs the Nikon camera
The boy runs to an accomplice sitting on a waiting
motorbike and tosses the camera to him. Then in
mockery the BOY
excecutes a few, Bruce Lee moves
before jumping on the bike and zooming
52 EXT. U.S. MARINE BASE--DAY
The main gates of the base. High-security fencing.
trucks. A military helicopter lands.
53 EXT. DA NANG
JOKER and RAFTERMAN walk down the base street
past rows of
hootches and other buildings. In the
background some marines play
That little sucker really had some
him, didn't he?
Yeah ... You
know what really pisses me off
about these people?
We're supposed to be
helping them and they
shit all over us every chance they get ... I
just can't feature that.
Don't take it too hard,
Rafterman. It's just
I hate Da
Nang, Joker. I want to go out into
the field. I've been in this
three months, and all I do is take handshake
shots at awards ceremonies.
You get wasted your
first day in the field and
it'd be my fault.
A high school girl could do my job. I want to
get out into the shit.
I want to get some
If you get
killed, your mom will find me after
I rotate back to the world and
she'll beat the
shit out of me. That's a negative, Rafterman.
INT. SEA-TIGER HUT--DAY
A Quonset hut. An editorial meeting of The Sea
Tiger, the official marine newspaper, is in progress
presided over by
JOKER, RAFTERMAN, and six other marine
correspondens are seated around a large messy
table covered with
newspapers artd magazines.
Okay, guys, let's keep it short and sweet
today. Anybody got
There's a rumor going around that
ceasefire is gonna be cancelled.
A bro in Intelligence says
Charlie might try to
pull off something big during the Tet holiday.
They say the same thing every year.
There's a lot of talk about it, sir.
wouldn't lose any sleep over it. The Tet
holiday's like the Fourth
of July, Christmas
and New Year all rolled into one. Every
zipperhead in Nam, North and South, will be
banging gongs, barking
at the moon and
visiting his dead relatives.
All right ...Ann-Margret and entourage are
due here next week. I
want someone to be
there on the airfield and stick with her for a
couple of days. Uh, Rafterman, you take it.
Get me some good low-angle
stuff. Don't make
it too obvious, but I want to see fur and early
"Diplomats in Dungarees--Marine engineers
helping hand rebuilding Dong Phuc
villages . . ." Chili, if we move
they are evacuees. If they come to us to be
evacuated, they are refugees.
I'll make a note of
Deserts After Reading
Pamphlets --A young North Vietnamese Army
regular, who realized his side could not win
the war, deserted from
his unit after reading
Open Arms program pamphlets." That's good,
Dave. But why say North Vietnamese Army
regular? Is there an
irregular? How about
North Vietnamese Army soldier?
I'll fix it up, sir.
Show's gonna go out on TV in
two weeks. Dave, do a hundred words on
AFTV'll give you some background stuff.
We're Eating--N.V.A. learn
marines on a search and destroy mission
like to be interrupted while eating chow."
destroy. Uh, we have a new
directive from M.A.F. on this. In the
place of"search and destroy," substitute the
"sweep and clear." Got it?
Got it. Very catchy.
And, Joker ... where's the weenie?
The Kill, JOKER. The kill. I mean, all
the grunts must've hit something.
Didn't see 'em.
Joker, I've told you, we run
two basic stories
here. Grunts who give half their pay to buy
gooks toothbrushes and deodorants--Winning
of Hearts and
Minds--okay? And combat
action that results in a kill--Winning the
Now you must have seen blood trails ... drag
It was raining, sir.
why God passed the law of
probability. Now rewrite it and give it a
ending--say, uh, one kill. Make it a sapper or
Whichever you say.
Grunts like reading about dead officers.
Okay, an officer. How about a general?
A few laughs.
Joker, maybe you'd like our guys to read the
feel bad. I mean, in case you didn't
know it, this is not a
particularly popular war.
Now, it is our job to report the news that
these why-are-we-here civilian newsmen
Sir, maybe you should go out on some ops
yourself. I'm sure you
could find a lot more
blood trails and drag marks.
JOKER, I've had my ass in the grass. Can't say
it much. Lots of bugs and too
dangerous. As it happens, my present
keep me where I belong. In the rear with the
55 EXT. DA NANG BASE--DUSK
Rows of hootches. In the
The Year of the Monkey. Vietnamese
Lunar New Year's Eve. Down in
gooks are shooting off fireworks to celebrate.
56 INT. HOOTCH--NIGHT
JOKER, RAFTERMAN, PAYBACK and the
others are in
their bunks, reading, lazing, smoking grass. JOKER
writing in a notebook.
I am fucking bored to death, man. I gotta get
in the shit. I ain't heard a shot fired in
anger in weeks.
Joker's so tough he'd eat the boogers out of a
man's nose ... then ask for seconds.
(John Wayne voice)
Listen up, pilgrim. A day without blood is like
a day without sunshine.
thinks the bad bush is
between old mama-san's legs.
He's never been in the shit. It's hard to talk
it, man. It's like on Hastings.
Aw, you weren't
on Operation Hastings,
Payback. You weren't even in country.
Eat shit and die, you fucking Spanish-
fucking poge! I was there,
man. I was in the shit with the grunts.
(John Wayne voice)
Don't listen to any of
Rafterman. Sometimes he thinks he's John
You listen to Joker, new guy. He knows
Very little. You know he's never been in the
he ain't got the stare.
The thousand-yard stare. A marine gets it
been in the shit for too long. It's like
... it's like you've really
seen beyond. I got it.
All field marines got it. And you'll have it
Payback. How do you stop five black
dudes from raping a white chick?
Fuck you, Stork.
They are startled by the dull boom of mortar
That ain't outgoing!
Some closer explosions, much louder.
That ain't outgoing!
Now what I just
The men grab their helmets, flak jackets and
weapons and run
Joker, is this for real?
Yes, it is, Rafterman.
57 EXT. DA NANG BASE--NIGHT
running everywhere. Sirens. A mortar round
lands in the distance, then
others nearer. Fires
are breaking out.
58 INT. BUNKER--NIGHT
loads an M-60 machine gun, then hunches
down watching the main gate of
Hey, I hope they're just fucking
with us. I
ain't ready for this shit.
The sound ofa truck approaching.
The marines get set.
smashes though the gates.
The marines open fire.
The truck is hit
by a hail of automatic fire; it
explodes and starts burning.
troops follow the truck through the gate.
The attackers are cut down
by a withering fire
from the marines.
The attack peters out.
People yell, "Cease fire."
The firing trails off:
EXT. DA NANG BASE--DAWN
JOKER and RAFTERMAN walk through the wreckage
of the night's battle.
Prisoners are led past.
The enemy has very deceitfully taken
the Tet ceasefire to launch an
offensive all over the country. So
had it pretty easy here. But we seem to be
60 INT. SEA-TIGER OFFICE--DAWN
Dirty and still in. their
combat gear, JOKER,
RAFTERMAN, PAYBACK and the other correspondents
are slumped in, their chairs around the table.
Charlie has hit every major military target
Vietnam, and hit 'em hard. In Saigon, the
United States Embassy has
been overrun by
suicide squads. Khe Sahn is standing by to
overrun. We also have reports that a divi-
sion of N.V.A. has
occupied all of the city of
Hue south of the Perfume River. In
gic terms, Charlie's cut the country in
civilian press are about to wet
their pants and we've heard even
going to say the war is now unwinnable.
words, it's a huge shit sandwich,
and we're all gonna have to take a
Long, serious pause.
Sir ... does this
mean that Ann-Margret's not
Joker.... I want you to get
straight up to Phu
Bai. Captain January will need all his people.
And Joker, you will take
off that damn button.
How's it gonna look if you get killed wearing
a peace symbol?
Sir? Permission to go with
Thank you, sir.
not to take Rafterman with
here? Vanish, Joker, most ricky-tick,
and take Rafterman with you.
responsible for him.
61 EXT. HELICOPTER SHOTS--DAWN
military helicopter flies past a huge sun.
62 INT. AERIAL
JOKER Sits looking out the door.
frightened and airsick.
The DOORGUNNER laughs and yells as he fires
M-60 machine gun.
We see Vietnamese below running and falling.
Get some ... get some ... get some ... get
yeah ... yeah ... get some ... get
After a while the
DOORGUNNER stops firing and
grins at JOKER.
(shouting to be heard)
Anyone who runs is a V.C. Anyone who
stands still is a well-disciplined V.C.
guys oughtta do a story about me
Why should we do a story about you?
I'm so fucking good! That ain't no
shit neither. I've done got me
and fifty-seven dead gooks killed. And fifty
buffaloes, too. Them're all certified.
Any women or children?
How can you shoot women and children?
Easy. You just don't lead 'em so much.
Ain't war hell?
63 EXT. LZ HUE--DAY
JOKER and RAFTERMAN jump out, duck down low
move away through pink smoke blown by the
by carrying wounded on stretchers.
Top, we want to get in the shit.
Down the road, two-five.
Outstanding! Thanks, Top.
64 EXT. ROAD TO HUE--DAY
road next to a small canal on the outskirts of
and marines are moving into the city
past a column of refugees heading
the other way.
JOKER and RAFTERMAN catch up to a Lieutenant,
him and walk alongside.
Excuse me! Sir ... we're
looking for First
Platoon, Hotel two-five. I got a bro named
You people one-one?
No, sir. We're reporters for Stars and Stripes.
Stars and Stripes.
I'm Cowboy's platoon commander. Cowboy's
the road in the platoon area.
Oh. You mind if we
tag along, sir?
No problem. Welcome aboard.
By the way, my
name's Schinoski. Walter J. Schinoski. My
call me Mister Touchdown. I played a
little ball for Notre Dame.
here to make Cowboy famous?
Ha! Never happen,
Well, if you people came looking for a
this is your lucky day. We got Condition Red
definitely expecting rain.
Outstanding, sir. We
taking care of business?
Well, the N.V.A. are
dug in deep. Hotel
Company's still working this side of the river.
Street by street and house by house. Charlie's
definitely got his
shit together. But we're still
getting some really decent kills
We heard some scuttlebutt, sir, about the
N.V.A. executing a lot of gook civilians.
That's affirmative. I saw some bodies about
half a klick this side
of Phu Cam Canal.
Can you show me where, sir?
Here's the canal...
65 EXT. MASS GRAVE--DAY
stands looking down into a large open grave
at a row of white,
Journalists, marines and civilians are grouped
around the grave.
A work detail leans on their shovels, their faces
covered with bandanas against the stench.
The dead have been covered with lime. The
only know one thing. It is better to be
JOKER approaches a
young lieutenant-- CLEVES.
Excuse me. Good
I make it twenty. Is that the official body
What outfit are you men with?
Sir, we're reporters from Stars and Stripes.
Oh, I see.
Sergeant Joker and this photographer's
starts shooting pictures of the
I'm Lieutenant Cleves. I'm from Hartford,
Have you got a body count, sir?
We think it's twenty.
Do you know how it
Well, it seems the N.V.A.
came in with a list
of gook names. Government officials,
policemen, ARVN officers, schoolteachers.
They went around their
houses real polite and
asked them to report the next day for
re-education. Everybody who turned up got
they buried alive.
A marine COLONEL who has been watching JOKER
turns from the group arourzd the grave and strides
up. JOKER snaps to
Marine, what is that button on your
A peace symbol, sir.
Where'd you get it?
What is that you've got written
"Born to Kill," sir.
You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and
you wear a
peace button. What's that
supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?!
You'd better get your head
and your ass wired
together, or I will take a giant shit on you!
Now answer my question or
you'll be standing
tall before the man.
think I was trying to suggest something
about the duality of man,
duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir.
side are you on, son?
Our side, sir.
Don't you love your country?
Then how about getting with the program?
Why don't you jump on the team and come
on in for the big win?
Son, all I've ever asked
of my marines is that
they obey my orders as they would the word
of God. We are here to help the Vietnamese,
because inside every
gook there is an
American trying to get out. It's a hardball
world, son. We've gotta keep our heads until
this peace craze blows
JOKER and RAFTERMAN Walk through a field
toward a pagoda.
67 EXT. PAGODA--DAY
Marines are moving supplies. Some men are rest-
ing on the ground. A helicopter flies overhead.
Music: Sam the Sham's
Hey, bro, we're looking for First
Around the back.
JOKER and RAFTERMAN lualk to the back of the
(to another marine)
Yeah, through there.
68 INT. PAGODA COURTYARD--DAY
Through a moon-door opening on to the pagoda
courtyard, We see COWBOY
shauing. Other marines
are sprawled around the courtyard walls.
JOKER walks up behind COWBOY.
Hey, Lone Ranger.
You old motherfucker.
It's the JOKER.
They hug each other.
Boy, I hoped I'd never see
you again, you
piece of shit!
What's happening, man?
just waiting to get back to the land
of the big PX.
Yeah? Well, why go back? Here or there,
Been getting any?
Only your sister.
Well, better my sister than my mom, though
my mom's not
COWBOY leads JOKER to the center of the courtyard.
This is my bro Joker from the Island. And
...Rafterman. They're from
Stripes. They'll make you famous.
Adlibs of "All
We're the Lusthog Squad. We're
We shoot 'em full of holes and fill 'em full of
A big grunt, ANIMAL MOTHER, approaches JOKER.
Are you a photographer?
I'm a combat correspondent.
Oh, you seen much combat?
JOKER returns the smile.
Well, I've seen a little on TV.
The other marines laugh.
You're a real comedian.
Some more laughs.
Well, they call me the JOKER.
"Oooooooooo!" and laughter.
Well, I got a joke for you. I'm gonna tear you
Well, pilgrim ... only after you ... eat the
of my shit!
Loud laughs and shouts.
(moves in close)
You talk the talk. Do you walk the walk?
Anticipatory adlibs of "Ooooh!" and "Whoooa!"
EIGHTBALL, a black
grunt, gets up and steps between
JOKER and ANIMAL MOTHER.
Now you might not believe it but
Animal Mother is one of the finest human
All he needs is
somebody to throw hand
grenades at him the rest of his life.
EIGHTBALL leads ANIMAL MOTHER away.
Come on, sit down. Come on, new guy.
ANIMAL MOTHER sit down together.
jungle bunny. Thank God for the sickle
CRAZY EARL sits on the ground next to a
sprawled in a chair.
photographer! You want to take a
good picture? Here, man ... take
... is my bro.
CRAZY EARL lifts the hat which has
the man's face. We see he is a dead N.V.A. soldier.
This is his party. He's the guest
Today ... is his birthday.
Adlibs: "Happy Birthday,
I will never forget this
day. The day I came
to Hue City and fought one million N.V.A.
gooks. I love the little Commie bastards, man,
I really do. These
enemy grunts are as hard
as slant-eyed drill instructors. These are
great days we're living, bros!'We are jolly
green giants, walking
the earth with guns.
These people we wasted here today ... are
the finest human beings we will ever know.
After we rotate back to
the world, we're gonna
miss not having anyone around that's worth
69 EXT. A FIELD, OUTSKIRTS HUE CITY--DAY
advancing towards the city in a
sweep formation behind tanks.
of the squad, nervous and alert.
Mortar rounds explode ahead.
LIEUTENANT TOUCHDOWN is hit and goes down.
The platoon dives for
DOC JAY crawls to him and starts mouth-to-mouth.
MURPHY crawls up, has a look, moves to
the back of the tank and picks
up a field radio.
The platoon stays flat.
Delta Six Actual, this is Murphy. Over. Delta
Six Actual, this is
Delta Six, we are receiving incoming fire from
ville. The Lieutenant is down. We're going
to stop here and check
out what's in front of
CRAZY EARL, keeping low,
scrambles up to the
Lusthog Squad, listen up! We're gonna
move up these two roads here
and check the
ville. I want the third team up this road here.
First and second fire team behind me up this
other road, okay?
Adlibs of "Right!" and "Okay!"
Let's get it done!
Bending low the squad moves out past the tanks,
leapfrogging toward some ruined buildings a couple
of hundred yards in
front of them.
HAND JOB peers cautiously around the corner of a
house and is killed instantly by a burst of
MOTHER opens fire with his M-60 machine
gun at some windows where the
shots came from.
Everyone opens fire, blasting chunks out of the
building with a zillion rounds.
T.H.E. ROCK fires an M-79 grenade,
blowing out a
RAFTERMAN photographs the action, his Nikon
The fire slackens.
Then it gets quiet.
their senses alert, everyone watches the
building, listening hard.
As CRAZY EARL reloads he spots six V.C. dashing
the street fifty yards away. They are out of
sight in a second.
Having missed his first chance, CRAZY EARL gets
set hoping for another.
Two more V.C. rush out into the open. He fires a
long burst from his
M-16 and they both go down.
CRAZY EARL turns to the squad with a big
Music: "Surfin' Bird" by the Trashmen. This car-
through the next scene.
70 EXT. LOW WALL--DAY
The platoon are
hunched down behind a low wall.
Tanks fire at some distant buildings. A
TV crew, ducking low, moves past them, filming.
(John Wayne voice)
Is that you, John Wayne? Is
Hey, start the cameras. This is
Yeah, Joker can
be John Wayne. I'll be a
can be a rock!
I'll be Ann-Margret!
Animal Mother can be a rabid buffalo!
I'll be General Custer!
who'll be the Indians?
Hey, we'll let the
gooks play the Indians!
71 EXT. HUE CITY RUINS--DAY
The bodies of LIEUTENANT TOUCHDOWN and HAND
JOB laid out on ground
sheets. The LUSTHOG SQUAD
are gathered around them. The camera moves to
each man, pausing for them to speak.
going home now.
We're mean marines, sir.
Go easy, bros.
Better you than me.
at least they died for a good cause.
cause was that?
Flush out your head gear, new guy. You think
gooks for freedom? This is a
slaughter. If I'm gonna get my balls
for a word ... my word is "poontang."
Tough break for Hand Job. He was all set to
get shipped out on a
What was the matter with him?
He was jerkin' off ten times a day.
It's no shit. At least ten times a day.
week he was sent down to Da Nang to
see the Navy head shrinker, and
fucker starts jerking off in the waiting room.
Instant Section Eight. He was just waiting for
his papers to clear
72 EXT. HUE CITY--VARIOUS PLACES--DAY
The television crew
interviews members of the
Hue City interviews. Roll thirty-four.
Well ... like, like you see, you know, it's a
major city, so we have
to assault with, uh ...
tanks. So, they send us in first squad ...
make sure that there are no little Vietnamese
like, B-40 rockets that blow the
tanks away. So we clear it out and
we roll the
tanks in and ... basically, blow the place to
When we're in Hue ... when we're in
... it's like a war. You know like what I
about a war, what I thought a war
was, was supposed to be. There's
Well, I don't think
there's any question about
it. I mean we're the best. I mean all
bullshit about the Air Cav ... When the shit
the fan, who do they call? They call
Mother Green and her killing
Do I think America belongs in
... I don't know. I belong in Vietnam. I'll tell
Can I quote L.B.J.?
"I will not send American boys eight or ten
thousand miles around
the world to do a job
that Asian boys oughtta be doin' for
Personally, I think, uh ... they
want to be involved in this war. I mean ...
sort of took away our freedom and gave it
to the, to the gookers,
you know. But they
don't want it. They'd rather be alive than free,
I guess. Poor dumb bastards.
Well, the ones I'm
... I'm fighting at are some
pretty bad boys. I'm not real keen on
of these fellows that are . . . supposed to be on
side. I keep meeting'em coming the other
I mean, we're getting killed for these people
don't even appreciate it. They think
it's a big joke.
Well, if you ask me, uh, we're shooting the
Well, it depends on the situation. I
I'm--I'm here to take combat photos. But if
the shit gets
too thick, I mean, I'll go to the
What do I think about America's involvement
in the war? Well, I
think we should win.
I hate Vietnam. There's not
one horse in this
whole country. They don't have one horse in
Vietnam. There's something basically wrong
Well, if they'd send us more
guys and maybe
bomb the hell out of the North, they might,
they might give up.
I wanted to see exotic
Vietnam, the jewel of
Southeast Asia. I wanted to meet interesting
and stimulating people of an ancient culture
and ... kill them. I
wanted to be the first kid
on my block to get a confirmed kill.
EXT. WRECKED MOVIE THEATER--DAY
The marines are seated outside the
theater on rows
of broken movie seats.
A motor-scooter, driven by a
young ARVN soldier
with a pretty teenage Vietnamese HOOKER sitting
behind him, and pulls up in front of the LUSTHOG
gets off slowly, swinging her hips as she
Adlibs, hoots anal
More hoots and hollers.
Good morning, little schoolgirl. I'm a little
Adlibs and laughter.
What you got there,
The girl stands facing them, hands on hips.
Do you want number one fuckee?
Adlibs and laughter.
Hey, any of you boys want number one
Oh, I'm so horny. I can't even get a piece of
Hey! Hey! Me want suckee.
fuckee, smoke cigarette in the
pussy, she give you everything you
you want! All right! How much
Fifteen dolla each.
Number ten. Fifteen dolla beaucoup money.
Five dolla each.
Come on. She
love you good. Boom-boom long
time. Ten dolla.
No. Ten dolla.
Be glad to trade you some ARVN rifles. Never
and only dropped once.
Laughter and derisive adlibs.
Okay, five dolla. You give me.
EIGHTBALL, a black grunt, walks up to the
Let's get mounted.
(speaks in Vietnamese)
Something wrong there, chief?
She says, uh, no boom-boom with soul
Hey, what the mother fuck?
say soul brotha too boo-coo. Too boo-coo.
Hey, what is this, man?
I think what he's trying to tell you is that
you black boys pack too
Too boo-coo. Too
Oh, shi-i-i-t! (laughs) This
like she could suck the chrome off a trailer
She say too boo-coo. Too
Uh, excuse me, ma'am. Now what we
here, little yellow sister, is a magnificent...
(takes out his dick)
. . specimen of pure Alabama blacksnake.
But it ain't too goddamn boo-coo.
The girl looks at it.
Okay. Okay. Emjee.
(mimicking Vietnamese word)
Okay! Okay! Emjee! Emjee!
Adlibs of "Emjee."
EIGHTBALL starts to
lead her away.
All right! This is my boogie!
Hey, we need a batting order.
ANIMAL MOTHER grabs the
girl's arm, EIGHTBALL
holds on to the other one.
I'm going first.
Hey, now back
off, white bread. Don't get
between a dog and his meat.
MOTHER slaps EIGHTBALL on the wrist like
he's a naughty boy and pushes
the girl into the
All fucking niggers must fucking hang.
Adlibs of "Fuck
you!" and laughter.
Hey, hey! I won't be
long. I'll skip the
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