Castle Keep

Synopsis: Toward the end of World War II, a small company of American GI's occupy an ancient castle. Their commander has an affair with the countess in resident. One guy falls in love with a Volkswagon. A baker among them moves in with another baker's wife. A group of shell shocked holy rollers wander the bombed out streets. A GI art historian tries vainly to protect the castle and its masterpieces.
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Sydney Pollack
Production: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min

Did you hear a scream?

Like a wild bird, maybe an eagle.


...I hate this jeep.

I bak ed an eagle once.

Made out of bread.

Finocchi's Bak ery in Los Angeles.

This nut from the Wildlife Federation

ordered it.

We came to the wrong war.

If we harness that mother,

he'll pull us to Maldorais.

Easily. Maldorais is just there,

beyond the hill.

I see Sainte-Croix on the map.

I don't see Maldorais.

Because Maldorais is not a village.

It is a castle.

- A castle?

- Oh, we're gonna barrack in a castle.

It is my castle.

We're going to barrack

in your castle.

The Germans did the same.

We're Americans.

I am Henri Tixier,

Comte de Maldorais.

- Captain Beckman.

- Lionel Beckman, the art historian.

Castles interest him.

And this is Major...

Falconer. Let's go.

Keen horse you got there,

Mr. Tixier.

Thank you.

The Germans had no Negro.

These kind gentlemen rescued me

from a slaver off of Santo Domingo.

Went down with all hands.

They thought they could

learn Swahili from me.

Private Benjamin wants to be a writer,

so he talks like a writer.

He thinks the war was invented

so he could write a book about it.

Yes, it is Maldorais.

Hey, how long was

the Hundred Years' War?

Exactly 215 years.

There are rooms off the great hall.

The enlisted men can

live in the keep.

- The keep?

- Castle keep, the tower.

All right, gentlemen.

Has anyone got the exact time?

There you are, Benjamin,

a title for your book: Castle Keep.

Not bad.

Castle Keep.

By PFC Alistair P. Benjamin.

Once upon a time...

...eight walking wounded misfits

of the American Army...

...entered a castle in Belgium.

But this cannot be a Gothic tale,

because it was the Second World War.

Doesn't it give everything

another dimension?


Maybe the duke

could put in an elevator.


And a flush toilet.

Think my living here

will lower the real-estate value?

You trained for the ministry,

didn't you, lieutenant?

Then why aren't you a chaplain?

And then the snow came.

It was a good time to write.

All of us had been killed twice.

Some of us three times.

Maybe that's why

we were at the castle.

We had been sent to the castle

as a replacement company.

Or maybe we had

just been put there...

...away from everything... nurse our wounds

and sit out the war.

That was three weeks ago

when the castle was occupied.

No one knows when the major

occupied the countess.

But no one was surprised.

- Yes, Captain Beckman?

- I'm sorry, sir, I didn't know.

You'll learn, Beckman.

It's 6:
00, sir. I'm sorry.

You can't do anything about that,


- The men in the chapel?

- Not yet, sir.

Three minutes.


Sergeant Rossi, he's on the way down.

Do you have a pack

of cigarettes for me?

I have a chocolate bar.

Do you want it?

The major wants everybody

to get his ass in the chapel!

It isn't necessary that we

admire each other.

This is where one U.S. Division

is holding a 23-mile front.

If the Germans decide not to lose

the war so fast, they'll counterattack.

They'll hit that green division

and those people will not stop them.

The Germans' first objective...

...will be to secure the hub of the

road net in the Ardennes.

This town, Bastogne.

The easiest way to Bastogne

is through Verviers.

But they're not coming that way.

Last night there were star shells over

Sainte-Croix. You may have noticed.

They lit the crossroads.

It interests them.

I just want to explain those star shells

to you.

It means this is the way they're

coming. Right here. This castle.

- Any questions?

- I thought the war was over.

- That's not a question.

- Sir...

...I think you ought to let the

Indian express himself.

- Make him feel part of the group.

- Express yourself.

The Germans couldn't move

that many men...

...without our intelligence

knowing it.

- Right. Now you're part of the group.

- I have a question.

If they counterattack, wouldn't we be

more valuable at the Meuse River?

Saving the castle, the paintings,

the sculpture...

...has nothing

to do with your strategy.

Frankly, yes, it does.

Well, that's a business about

which I understand nothing.

We were put here

to service replacements.

But there are no replacements.

So we'll dig in, like real soldiers.

I want the terraces

and gardens mined.

Major Falconer.

Maldorais must not become

a battleground.

Not a battleground, duke,

an island of resistance.

I'll make a diagram of the mining

tonight. Also a patrol roster.

Any weapons left behind by the

Germans I want put in firing condition.

Meantime, keep the men occupied.

Find something. Anything.

Put on a play.

I got a good play.

This army stops at a castle.

They're embattled.

They can surrender

and save the castle...

...or they can hold.

- It won't work, sir.

It should be about screwing.

Screwing was invented by the Swedes

during World War I.

- I got a play.

- Tell it.

A small man comes on stage

with a great erection.

Then what?

That's all I got.

Just the first act.

That won't carry the play by itself.

Well, suppose it goes down

and down in each succeeding act.

- To infinity.

- Nope.

Any actor who could play the part

would get better offers.

Track of the animal.

A boar?

No, a German.

Why not an American?

Those are hobnailed boots.

We don't wear them.

- Should we not return for help?

- No, it's a patrol.

They probably broke

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Daniel Taradash

Daniel Taradash was born on January 29, 1913 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Daniel Irwin Taradash. He was a writer, known for From Here to Eternity (1953), Picnic (1955) and Bell Book and Candle (1958). He was married to Madeleine Forbes. He died on February 22, 2003 in Los Angeles, California, USA. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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