Courage Under Fire

Synopsis: The pilot of a rescue copter, Captain Karen Walden, died shortly before her helicopter crew was rescued after it crashed in Desert Storm. It first appears that she made a spectacular rescue of a downed helicopter crew, then held her own crew together to fight off the Iraqis after her copter crashed. Lt. Colonel Serling, who is struggling with his own demons from Desert Storm, is assigned to investigate her worthiness for the Medal of Honor. But some conflicting accounts, from her crew and soldiers in the area, cause him to question whether she deserves it.
Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Edward Zwick
Production: Columbia Pictures
  9 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
116 min

(Peter Arnett)

You may hear the bombs now.

Ifyoure still with us,

you can hear the bombs now.

They are hitting the centre of the city.

(second reporter)

Now we can hear explosions... in the distance

to the west of central Baghdad.

Clearly l 've never been there,...

..but this feels like

we 're in the centre of hell.

(radio chatter)

(President Bush) The 28 countries...

..with forces in the Gulf area...

..have exhausted all reasonable efforts... reach a peaceful resolution,...

..have no choice...

..but to drive Saddam

from Kuwait by force.

(Iraqi spokesman)

A great battle has been initiated.

The mother of all battles.

(Bush) Our objectives... the Persian Gulf area clear,...

..our goals defined.

Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait...

..completely, immediately,...

..and without condition.

(Bush) The liberation of Kuwait...

..has now entered a fllnal phase.

l have therefore directed

to use all forces available,...

..including ground forces,... eject the Iraqi army from Kuwait.

(Peter Arnett)

At this point it seems inevitable...

..that the ground war is only hours away.

Peter Arnett, Baghdad.

Don't ever for one minute

underestimate the enemy,...

..but remember, we're better soldiers.

We're fighting with better equipment,

we're better trained and a lot smarter.

Sleep deprivation.

Our soldiers been up 46, 48 hours,... stay on top of 'em.

Maintain your intervals.

Any questions?

Let's have a Little prayer.

Dear God, protect us... we protect our country

we so dearly Love.

Keep us safe that well all get home

to see our famllies and our chlldren.



- Let's kill 'em all.

- (all) Hu-ah!

You all right, Boylar?

Hell, yeah.

- Let's heat 'em up, Nat.

- See you in Baghdad.

Yes, sir.

(engines starting)

Battle-carry Sabot.

Sabot bullet coming up, sir.

- Sabot loaded.

- Indexed.

Crew report.

- Driver ready.

- Loader ready.

Gunner ready to give Saddam

a new way to hurt.

- Hu-ah!

- Hu-ah!


All right, Boylar?

Roger that.

All Cougar elements, this is Cougar-6.

Report Red Con 1. Over.

All Sabre elements, this is Sabre-6.

Move out.

(radio chatter)

Sabre-6, this is Cougar-6.

No joy over here.

Permission to try an alternate route. Over.

Roger that, Cougar-6.

Work your way to phase line hammer.

- (Nat) No surprises. Copy?

- Roger that.

I'm taking up the right flank.

Ill get back to you. Out.

Contact. I see flashes, 3,500 metres, sir.

- All right.

- Hold on. They got no range.

Ready to lase and blaze.

Contact, sir. He's in range.

- Come on, let me kill his ass.

- Fire!

On the way!

Yeah! Yeah!

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

- Find me another target, Patella.

- Loaded!

- Identified.

- Fire.


(Patella) Got him! We got him!

Sabre-6, Liberty-6.

We got enemy tangos retreating...

..vicinity grid 2-4-9er-8.

Your pursuit should intercept

their retreat, grid 7-6-5.

Roger that, Liberty-6.

- Troops!

- Troops!

Cease fire! Cease fire!

(shouting in Arabic)

Come on! Come on!

Sabre-6, this is Cougar-6.

Go ahead, Cougar-6.

I have got mines. Repeat, mines.

I gotta get the f*** out of here.

(Nat) Work your way to gridline Charlie.

Cougar-6 to all Cougar elements.

Let's get the hell out of here.

(shouting in Arabic)

Whoa! What the...

Oh, sh*t!

All Sabre units, this is Sabre-6.

We just lost a tank.

Anybody see the shooter?

- I didn't see anything.

- Where they coming from?

Who the hell is shooting at us?

Liberty-6, we got enemy tanks...

..retreating grid 7-6...

- Patella, that one of our tanks?

- Hard to tell.

Make it out, and fast!

Oh, sh*t! We're almost browning out.

Nat, what's happening?

Liberty-6, we got enemy tanks on our flank.

We have contact.

This is Cougar-6.

Enemy tangos at phase line delta. Over.

- Patella, find me a target.

- I think I got one, sir.

Do you or do you not have a target?

I think so!

Gunner, Sabot, tank.

Identify! Up!


He just fired, sir.

They're firing at us!

- Loader!

- Up, sir!


Yeah! That's the one!

All right.

(radio) Sabre-6, we just lost Cougar-6.

- We got him.

- Sabre, you just lit up a friendly!

I heard you! We... what?

Oh, my God.

You just lit up Boylar, goddamn it!

(radio) Sabre-6, Nat, what's happening?

Patella, was that one of our tanks?

He fired, sir.

At us or at the T-72s?

I don't know.

At us or at the T-72s?

I don't know!

(Patella) Oh, Jesus f***ing Christ.

(radio) Colonel Serling, report status now.


They have range on us, sir.


Oh, Christ, Colonel...

I gave the order to fire.

So with your thermal equipment,...

..confused by burning tanks

and smoke obscuring your visual ID,... couldn't tell the difference

between the T-54 and the Abrams.

I believe that, uh, we...

l should have known the difference,...

..even with the night scope.

If we weren't under attack,...

But, under the circumstances,

there was no way to tell the difference.

Under the circumstances,...

..I suppose there was

no way to tell the difference, but...

There was no way to tell the difference.

Thank you, Colonel.

That's all we need.

(Patella) Were almost browning out!

(Boylar) We got enemy tanks on our flank.

We have contact.


We just lost Cougar-6!

You just lit up a friendly!

(knock on door)

Colonel Serling?


You OK? Can I get you something?

Yes, I'm fine. Fine.

Uh, yes, you can get me a cup of coffee.

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Patrick Sheane Duncan

Patrick Sheane Duncan (born 1947) is an American writer, film producer and director.A graduate of Grand Valley State University in Allendale Charter Township, Michigan, Duncan's career has been influenced by his Vietnam War experiences, which inspired the television mini-series Vietnam War Story (1987) and its sequel Vietnam War Story: The Last Days (1989) and the films 84C MoPic (1989) and Courage Under Fire (1996). Additional writing credits include A Home of Our Own (1993), The Pornographer (1994), Nick of Time (1995), Mr. Holland's Opus (1995), and the television movies A Painted House (2003), Elvis (2005), and the Little Red Wagon. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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