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An impressionistic montage:
A SILHOUETTED MAN in front of mirror dons his Marine dress blues. Spit=
polish shoes laced. Medals clipped to jacket. All in CLOSE-UP. We never=
see him fully.
The Man puts HIS HAT squarely on his head. EYES glint.
On the man's dresser: MARINE MEMORABILIA. Three Purple Hearts, photos of a=
WOMAN (his wife), PHOTOS OF MARINES in combat locales. TIGHTER into the=
photos, we HEAR PANICKED VOICES, EXPLOSIONS, NOISES OF BRUTAL=
Through smoke, a desperate MARINE PRIVATE who knows he will never be=
rescued... TWO MARINES walk up to a farmhouse door; through the screen we=
see a MOTHER AND DAUGHTER who know what the news will be...
A MARINE COLOUR GUARD carries a COFFIN... Now we are the coffin as=
a FLAG drapes down on us.
placed into a YOUNG WOMANIS HAND.
Now we're in ARLINGTON CEMETERY. Images of the cemetery are reflected in=
wet puddles, as the SPIT-SHINED SHOES walk past images of the TOMB OF THE=
UNKNOWN SOLDIER a ROW OF GRAVES comes into focus
A1G CLOSE-UP on the MARINE'S HAT, and his EYES. Suddenly AN
EXPLOSION and we see --
A MARINE in a jungle, radioing for help: ,You gotta get us outta here sir,=
Jesus, they're all over us... ! And an' EXPLOSION ends the communication=
AII CLOSE-UP on the MARINE'S EYES and FADE IN:
EXT. ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY - MORNING
Two groundskeepers on "ride 'em" lawn mowers, BENNIE and MARLIN, smoke=
Camels and watch the MARINE OFFICER from the opening montage. He's alone,=
across the cemetery.
You'll get used to him. Every Sunday morning - rain, snow, holidays nothin,=
keeps him Away.
ACROSS THE CEMETERY
Brig. Gen. FRANCIS XAVIER HUMMEL stands before a headstone:
BARBARA MCLEAN HUMMEL 1946-1996.
Hi Barb. The house sold yesterday. I know, I know, the market's=
(cont I d) Anyway, I'm leaving the area. Some things I have to do. Things=
I couldn't do while you were here. Maybe you would have approved. Hell, I=
know you wouldn't have.
I've tried everything and I can't seem to get their attention. But now=
they'll learn how it feels on the other side. Let's hope it elevates their=
Hummel puts new flowers on the grave. Walks off.
EXT. ACCESS ROAD TO ARMY WEAPONS COMPOUND - NIGHT
Heavy rain. A road next to a heavily guarded bunker facility. A canvas=
covered ARMY TRUCK blows a tire in the road. The DRIVER gets out. =
Inspects the tire.
INT. ARMY TRUCK - NIGHT
FOUR MARINES in black suits dive through a hole in the
truckbed floor into a MANHOLE IN THE ROAD.
EXT. ARMY WEAPONS COMPOUND - FRONT GATE - NIGHT
Three ARMY M.P.s at the front GUARDHOUSE. GENERAL HUMMEL pulls up in a=
SUBURBAN. The M.P.s immediately recognise him and stand more=
ARMY M. P.
General Hummel, sir. It's an honour.
Is the Colonel expecting you, sir?
Held better be. This is a security
ARMY M. P.
The M.P. waves Hummel in, saluting crisply.
INT. GRATED STORM DRAIN IN BUNKER COMPOUND - NIGHT
The four marines from the truck are waiting, readying arms. The leader is=
looking at his watch. Gives a hand signal to the others, and up they go=
EXT. BUNKER COMPOUND - NIGHT
The four marines emerge from the storm drain and move toward
covered positions in the compound.
200 YARDS AWAY - TWO ARMY "MAGAZINE CHECKERS" emerge from a
building with clipboards, on routine check.