The Hasty Heart

Synopsis: It's 1945, Burma, the day the war is over! For many this means they've survived and will be going home. But not for everyone. A Scottish soldier, Corporal Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan is the victim of a wound to the lower back on this day. He's moved to a M.A.S.H. unit and undergoes surgery. As time goes by he begins to recover and watches, in dismay as soldiers pack up and head for home. The doctors have told him he needs to remain "for observation". The Colonel takes Sister Parker, the unit head nurse, into his confidence and tells her that the real reason Cpl. MacLachlan can't go home is because the wound he sustained destroyed one of his kidneys and the other one is defective and will shut down in three to four weeks. He asks her to put Lachlan up with some other soldiers she has waiting to go home so that he can spend his last days with friends. But Cpl. MacLachlan wants nothing to do with friends and prefers his own privacy to "idle chat". He's a hard nut to crack and their work i
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Vincent Sherman
Production: Warner Home Video
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations.
102 min

This is Burma, 1945.

Mountains, jungle,

more mountains, more jungle.

A hundred miles of it. Two hundred.

Five hundred. A thousand.

Measured in inches and sweat.

A full-time job.

A dirty, relentless backbreaking job,

24 hours a day.

Until everything blends into a weary haze,

and all that's important

is getting it over with.

Days become weeks,

the weeks become months.

It rains, keeps on raining.

Then it's blistering hot.

Half the year you're drowning,

the other half you fry.

This is how it is in Burma.

They go by endlessly,

Chinwits, Indians, Gurkhas,

Chinese, Basutos,

Scots, Australians, New Zealanders,

Americans, Canadian, English,

and many others.

Tired, dirty, indomitable.

There are only two classifications

in the jungle, friends and enemies.

- MacLachlan?

- Aye.


Keep your eye on my pipes.

And remember,

they're my own personal, private property.

In Burma, in 1945, the fighting,

working and suffering

have become a routine.

A way of life.

If a man falls, he's taken away.

The battle goes on.

The road to victory is a long road

that sometimes ends at a hospital.

It's been like this a long time now.

There's a feeling it may go on forever.

But there's an end to everything.

It's finished now. The war is over.

Aye? Would you repeat that, chum?

The war is over.

Blimey! Thanks. Thanks very much.

Hey, it's over. It's over!

- What's over?

- The war is over.

Hey! Hey! The war is over!

It's over!

It's over, Sarge. It's over!

- What?

- The war is over.

It just came through the blower.

The war, over! Oh, boy!

- Morning, Sister.

- Morning, Sister.

- Wanna come along with us?

- I wish I could.

- We're gonna miss you.

- I'll miss you too.

- What about us?

- I'll miss you all.

- Goodbye, Sister.

- Goodbye.


- Good morning.

- Good morning, Sister.

The matron asked me to report

to Colonel Dunn.

- Is he up yet?

- Yes, I think so.

- I'll see if I can find him.

- Thank you.

Good morning.

- I'm here to see the Colonel.

- He isn't in at the moment.

I can see that. Where should I find him?

What is it? Perhaps I can help you.

I'm here to examine

his medical certificate.

- What's that?

- Did I not make myself clear?

But why?

Do you see they men?

They're going home,

every last man jack of them.

Everyone but me.

What may I ask is wrong with me

that I should be kept by force

in this foul-smelling den?

I'm sure the Colonel

has his reasons for keeping...

Aye, observation, he says.

But I'm hale and hearty,

and fit as ever I was.

- So why can I not go home?

- Now, look here.

I know how anxious you must be.

We all are. But don't you see...

Oh, what's the good of talking?

You're all the same in this army.

First it's days and days

of parading and saluting,

and learning how to handle

a deadly weapon.

Then it's months of waiting

to be shipped out.

Then it's 5,000 miles around the world

to a godforsaken spot

in the middle of nowhere.

And then, the day before the war ends,

I get a small wound in my back.

And now I'm bogged down

in a mass of medical red tape!

Yeah, I wasted my time, surely!

- Good morning, Sister.

- Good morning, sir.

- How many patients left in your ward?

- Five, sir.

Five. Should be enough.

What are they like?

- What are they like, sir?

- Yes.

Are they a decent crowd, you know?

- Kind, friendly, sympathetic?

- Yes, sir.

They seem to be.

Well, we shall just have to take it

for granted that it'll work out.

It's rather a delicate situation.

Now, to begin with,

I'm thinking of sending you over

a new patient this morning.

Rate this script:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Ranald MacDougall

Ranald MacDougall (March 10, 1915 – December 12, 1973) was an American screenwriter who scripted such films as Mildred Pierce (1945), The Unsuspected (1947), June Bride (1948), and The Naked Jungle (1954), and shared screenwriting credit for 1963's Cleopatra. He also directed a number of films, including 1957's Man on Fire with Bing Crosby and 1959's The World, the Flesh and the Devil, both of which featured actress Inger Stevens. more…

All Ranald MacDougall scripts | Ranald MacDougall Scripts

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Hasty Heart" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 26 Jan. 2021. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    The Marketplace:

    Sell your Script !

    Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.