Synopsis: Anthony "Swoff" Swofford, a Camus-reading kid from Sacramento, enlists in the Marines in the late 1980s. He malingers during boot camp, but makes it through as a sniper, paired with the usually-reliable Troy. The Gulf War breaks out, and his unit goes to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield. After 175 days of boredom, adrenaline, heat, worry about his girlfriend finding someone else, losing it and nearly killing a mate, demotion, latrine cleaning, faulty gas masks, and desert football, Desert Storm begins. In less than five days, it's over, but not before Swoff sees burned bodies, flaming oil derricks, an oil-drenched horse, and maybe a chance at killing. Where does all the testosterone go?
Genre: Biography, Drama, War
Director(s): Sam Mendes
Production: Universal Pictures
  6 wins & 12 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min


A story.

A man fires a rifle

for many years...

and he goes to war.

And afterward,

he turns the rifle in

at the armory...

and he believes

he's finished with the rifle.

But no matter what else

he might do with his hands...

love a woman, build a house...

change his son's diaper...

his hands remember the rifle.


You are no longer black,

or brown, or yellow or red!

You are now green!

You are light green

or dark green!

Do you understand?


Sir, yes, sir!


Sir, yes, sir!

You the maggot whose father

served in Vietnam?

Sir, yes, sir!


Did he have the balls

to die there?

Sir, no, sir!

Too f***ing bad!

He ever talk about it?

Sir, only once, sir!

Good! Then he wasn't lying!

Are you eyeballing me

with those baby blues?

Are you?

Sir, no, sir!

Are you in love

with me, Swofford?

Sir, no, sir!

You don't think I look good

in my uniform, Swofford?

Sir, the drill sergeant

looks fabulous

in his uniform, sir!

So you're gay, then,

and you love me, huh?

Sir, I'm not gay, sir!

Do you have

a girlfriend, Swofford?

Sir, yes, sir!

Guess again, motherf***er!

Jody's banging her right now!

Get on your face

and give me 25...

for every time

she gets f***ed this month.

Down on your face!


It was shortly after meeting

Drill Instructor Fitch...

that I realized that joining

the Marine Corps...

might have been

a bad decision.

What in the f***

is this?


it's a recruit's drawing

of a footlocker, sir!

Jesus, Joseph

and doggie-style Mary!

That is a pile

of dog sh*t.

Sir, the recruit's

never been good

at drawing, sir!

Why the f***

are you my scribe, then?

Isn't my scribe

supposed to know

how to draw?

Sir, the recruit

doesn't know!

The recruit thought

the scribe was supposed

to write, sir!

Of course the recruit

doesn't know!

The recruit doesn't know

because I haven't told him!


All right,


show me exactly

where your Skivvies

and running shoes go.

Sir, the recruit

can't think...

while the drill instructor

is hitting him

on his head, sir!

You can't think

while I'm giving you

a few love taps?

How the f***

are you going to

fire your rifle...

when grenades are going off

in your face?

What the f***

are you even doing here?

Sir, I got lost

on the way to college, sir!

##[Don't Worry Be Happy



So, now my hands

were dick skinners.

A flashlight was a moonbeam.

A pen was an ink stick.

My mouth was a cum receptacle.

A bed was a rack.

A wall was a bulkhead.

A shirt was a blouse.

A tie was still a tie,

and a belt a belt.

But many other things

would never be the same.

[Marines sounding off]

[Marines sounding off]

Swofford. What kind of

f***ing name is that?

It's English.

My great-grandfather

came over here

in the 19th century.


I'm putting you

in Golf Company.

It's full of retards

and f*** ups.

Maybe you can elevate

the sons of b*tches a little.

Or maybe not.


[Marines chattering]



Slang for "Marine. "


From the resemblance

to a jar...

of the regulation

high-and-tight haircut.

The Marine's head,

by implication, therefore...

also a jar.

An empty vessel.

[Marines exclaiming]


May I help you?

Yeah, I was assigned

to Second Platoon.

Second Platoon?


What's going on, boss?

Nothing much, man.

Welcome to Second Platoon.

Thanks, man.

Hey, boys!

Fresh f***ing meat!

What kind of meat?

We don't want you!


Boo, motherf***er!

[Marines hooting]

Get some!


Oh, f***.

Rate this script:(3.50 / 2 votes)

William Broyles Jr.

William Dodson "Bill" Broyles Jr. is an American screenwriter, who has worked on the television series China Beach, and the films Apollo 13, Cast Away, Entrapment, Planet of the Apes, Unfaithful, The Polar Express, and Jarhead. more…

All William Broyles Jr. scripts | William Broyles Jr. Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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