Fear and Desire

Synopsis: A ficticious war in an unidentified country provides the setting for this drama. Four soldiers survive the crash-landing of their plane to find themselves in a forest six miles behind enemy lines. The group, led by Lt. Corby, has a plan: They'll make their way to a nearby river, build a raft, and then, under cover of night, float back to friendly territory. Their plans for getting back safely are sidetracked by a young woman who stumbles across them as they hide in the woods, and by the nearby presence of an enemy general who one member of the group is determined to kill.
Genre: Drama, Thriller, War
Director(s): Stanley Kubrick
Production: Joseph Burstyn Incorporated
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
62 min

There is war in this forest.

Not a war that's been fought,

or one that will be,

but any war.

And the enemies who struggle

here do not exist,

unless we call them into being.

This forest, then,

and all that happens now,

is outside History.

Only the unchanging shapes of fear

and doubt and death

are from our world.

These soldiers that you see

keep our language and our time,

but have no other country

than the mind.

Do you think they're looking for us?

It's one of ours alright.

He can't see us.

But maybe they saw

a plane back there.

There isn't much left of it to see,

'less it's still burning.

Even if they could spot us, there isn't

anything they could do to help us here.

Yeah. Six miles behind the enemy lines.

- Well, that's not too far.

- Not too far?

In those six miles there's probably

thousand of guys

and every one of them was taught

to shoot at uniforms like this.

If you're so worried about that,

why don't you keep your voice down?

I'm not worried.

What's going to happen, Lieutenant?

Somebody around who saw

our plane go down.

They might be looking for us

in the woods already!

It'd be a lot easier if ours

knew where to start.

It isn't very much.

Too bad you fellows didn't get

your rifles out of the plane.

Let's see what can be done.

Once you understand

how a mousetrap works,

if you're clever enough,

you can use it as a springboard.

Here are the front lines.

From our position just

before we crashed,

we should be in this general area.

Our own lines are here

and we should be about here.

There's a river that runs East

of where we are now, I think.

That river cuts through the front lines

and winds up on our side.

Now, as I see it,

we could use our reconditioned

mouse trap on the river.

Is that your idea?

To go down the river?


But how? How can we get down it?

I can't swimm very well.

And Fletcher.

We could do it on a raft.

At night.

Well, we'll never make it

any other way.

It's suicide to try to walk out.

I wouldn't have the vaguest idea

of how and where to start.

This way we'd cruise through together

in a few hours and arrive in one piece.

- Well, by my computations...

- Your computations...

With your brilliant figuring

that got us here in the first place.

They must be somebody's pet.

It has a collar.

Ney, make a better watch dog.

Seems friendly enough.

We can't use a mascot

in this trip.

Hurry up! We don't have all day.

If no one has a better suggestion,

let's head for the river.

Some more animals might show up.

It's hard. One foot fights the other.

- Get there, before it burns in

the bushes! - I could do it alone.

- Nobody's safe here.

- Are they watching me?

- Getting hungry.

- What's up?

- They're all scared.

- How hungry...

- Who'll they look out to later?

- Oh, the cracking in my head.

- I bet he was wounded.

- I don't run for no reason.

What's gonna hang

from the trees tonight?

- Hurry!

- We'll die in the woods!

- Don't die here!

- They're scared.

Alright, alright. Lead them on!

After we get past this road,

the river isn't much further.

Mac! Get down on the road

and take a look.

You know? There's nothing so refreshing

as an afternoon out of doors

in enemy territory.

It's really too bad that the sun doesn't

burn us green instead of brown.


Well, if you see some strange faces

across the way, wave to them casually

and try to look as native as possible.


Lieutenant! Come here.

Bring your binoculars.

- What do you want?

- I'd like you to see something.

Around the river bend.

- What? - I can't make out

exactly what it is,

but I think you'll be interested.

Come on!

Over there.


Looks like some kind

of small air strip.

Yes, you're right.

Lots of rank around.

It looks like a General!


A General! He is a General!

Let's get back and help with the raft.

Mac, let's go!

All we need now is Huckleberry Finn.

- This oughtta see us through.

- Yeah, it doesn't look bad at all.

Should we make sure it floats?

Rafts always float.

It's unfortunate that we don't have

a fine bottle to christen it with.

We could give it a name...

He must have seen us!

If we stay here, we'll get killed!

It's starting to get dark.

Perhaps they didn't see us.

But it's too dangerous

to wait here until we find out.

What are we gonna do?

How are we gonna get back?

Hurry up, let's go!

That plane must have landed

down that house we saw before.

What's the difference?

There must be something big

going on down there.

Maybe the General is having

a convention tonight.

We didn't see this on the way

to the river.

We've been running in a new direction.

Whatever they're jumping,

sure smells good.

Like mother's own.

Those guns look even more jummy

than the food does.

I've got an idea...

No matter what we do from here on,

we're much better off with some guns.

- You better hurry. Others maybe

around. - I'm gonna have some stew first.

Sidney, better grab something to eat.

It may be a long tima 'till our...

next feast.

We better eat something.

How's the stew, Mac?

Kinda cold, but cold stews

are alright.

Cold stew on a blazing island.

We've just made

a perfect definition of war, Mac.

That's cocky!

A blazing island with a tempest

of gunfire around it.

Perhaps if we could...

- Somebody must have heard us.

- Grab those guns and let's get going.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Howard Sackler

Howard Oliver Sackler (December 19, 1929 – October 12, 1982), was an American screenwriter and playwright who is best known for writing The Great White Hope (play: 1967; film: 1970). The Great White Hope enjoyed both a successful run on Broadway and, as a film adaptation, in movie theaters. James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander both starred in the original Arena Stage production of the play in Washington, DC, then brought their roles to Broadway and later to the film version. Both Jones and Alexander received Academy Award nominations for their work in the movie. Born in New York City and a graduate of Brooklyn College, Sackler was the recipient of many awards and prestigious grants including both a Pulitzer Prize (1969), a Tony Award for Drama (1969), and a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for The Great White Hope. Prior to this, Sackler won the Maxwell Anderson Award (1954) and Chicago's Sergel Award. In addition, he was the recipient of grants from both the Rockefeller Foundation and the Littauer Foundation. The original production for The Great White Hope, produced at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, was substantially funded by two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Broadway production, however, was funded, at least in part, by Sackler himself using $225,000 from his screenwriting proceeds for the film version.Sackler's work encompassed many other films and plays including the play Goodbye Fidel in 1980 and the films Jaws 2 in 1978 and Stanley Kubrick's Fear and Desire in 1953. His filmography also includes Gray Lady Down (1978) and Saint Jack (1979), which he co-wrote with Paul Theroux for Peter Bogdanovich. Sackler was also responsible for an uncredited rewrite of Peter Benchley's script for Jaws (1975), and conceived of Quint's "Indianapolis" monologue about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II.Sackler's plays have been produced throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. He also directed over 200 recordings for Caedmon Audio, various theater productions, and the LP version of an NBC television special entitled Shakespeare: Soul of an Age. His Caedmon productions included a vivid 1968 recording of John Dos Passos' 42nd Parallel.On October 12, 1982, Sackler was found dead in his studio in Ibiza, Spain, where he lived for the better part of the year. According to his New York Times obituary, there was no evidence of foul play, although an autopsy was to be performed. Sackler, survived by his wife and two children, was working on Klondike, a farcical play about the Gold Rush, when he died. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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