Three Kings

Synopsis: Just after the end of the Gulf War, four American soldiers decide to steal a cache of Saddam Hussein's hidden gold. Led by cynical Sergeant Major Archie Gates (George Clooney), three of the men are rescued by rebels, but Sergeant Troy Barlow (Mark Wahlberg) is captured and tortured by Iraqi intelligence. The Iraqi rebels beg for the American trio to help fight against the impending arrival of Hussein's Elite Guard. The men agree to fight in return for help rescuing Troy.
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  8 wins & 19 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.1
Metacritic:
82
Rotten Tomatoes:
94%
R
Year:
1999
114 min
Website
473 Views


FADE IN:

EXT. IRAQI DESERT - DAY

WIDE ANGLE POV of wide open desert, flat grey sky.

THE CAMERA is running forward, toward a big sand berm in the

distance. There are O.S. sounds: SOLDIER'S EQUIPMENT

CLANKING, BOOTS RUNNING ON SAND. Hear a MAN's BREATHING.

The back of his helmeted head and his uniformed shoulders

APPEAR in the BOTTOM of the FRAME, running. This is TROY

BARLOW, Sargeant, U.S. Army, 25 years old. On his helmet is

a photo-button with a photo of a newborn baby.

Suddenly, on the sand berm 100 meters ahead, an IRAQI SOLDIER

stands. Troy stops in his tracks, out of breath, and stares

at the figure on the berm. The Iraqi flutters a white flag

over his head, then puts it down and picks up a gun. Troy

turns around, we see his face for the first time.

TROY:

Are we shooting people, or what?

SOLDIER #1 (O.S.)

Are we shooting?

TROY:

That's what I'm asking you.

SOLDIER #1 (O.S.)

What's the answer?

TROY:

I don't know the answer. That's

what I'm trying to find out.

PAN TO THREE SOLDIERS 40 yards away -- ZOOM IN --

SOLDIER #1 unwraps a stick of gum and puts it into his mouth.

TWO OTHER SOLDIERS put out their hands and get pieces of gum.

PAN TO 100 yards away -- ZOOM IN -- SOLDIER #2 stands with

his head tilted back while SOLDIER #3 looks into his eye.

SOLDIER #3

It looks like a grain of sand, but

I don't know how I'm gonna get it

out--

CAPTAIN VAN METER, 37, crab-like, is in the far distance.

CAPTAIN VAN METER

If they surrender, don't shoot, if

they don't surrender, then shoot.

PAN BACK TO Troy, faces the CAMERA, CLOSE, scared, then turns

back to the dune and runs a few yards.

Stops and stares, raises his rifle. He aims at the figure on

the horizon.

POV THROUGH RIFLE SCOPE

The Iraqi soldier in the cross hairs. Hear Troy's breathing,

loud, as he pulls trigger slowly. Slow motion RIFLE sound.

Silent pause. The Iraqi soldier stands there, then his neck

explodes like a sack of blood. Silent, except for sound of

Troy's LOUD BREATHING as he walks toward the big berm, and up

to the crest. All we hear are his footsteps and breathing.

SOLDIER #3 (O.S.)

That guy just shot a towel head.

SOLDIER #4 (O.S.)

Bullshit.

YOUNG IRAQI SOLDIER

lies on the ground. A piece of his neck is blown away. He is

rasping, a flag is clasped in one hand; a rifle in the other.

He is looking up at Troy, who looks down at him.

SMASH CUT TO:

FANTASY - INT. HOSPITAL, TORRANCE, CAL. - DAY

A WHITE BABY GIRL, covered in blood and placenta, is pulled

from between the legs of Troy's WIFE, DARLENE. THE NURSE

holds the SCREAMING BABY aloft, proud and happy.

VIG (V.O.)

(deep southern accent)

Congratulations, you got yourself

a rag head, my man.

EXT. IRAQI DESERT - DAY (PRESENT)

The rasping Iraqi dies.

PAN TO CONRAD VIG, 18 or 20, wiry, intense, deep south,

wearing Army issue glasses, out of breath.

VIG:

Dag.

Troy turns, upset, murmurs "I Get Around" by the Beach Boys.

TROY:

"Gettin' bugged drivin' up and

down the same old strip, gotta

find a new place where the kids

are hip, I get around --"

SOLDIER #1

I didn't think I'd see anyone get

shot over here.

VIG:

It looked like the guy's head blew

three feet into the air --

FANTASY SEQUENCE IN SLOW MOTION

The Iraqi's head pops three feet into the air.

BACK TO THE SCENE

SOLDIER #1

Bullshit, that's not what happened.

VIG:

I said it looked like that

happened, but then we got here and

he was still breathing.

SOLDIER #2

Oh, my God, it's just like

'Predator,' where the guy, the

black guy --

SOLDIER #3

Carl Weathers. His arm gets shot

off.

VIG:

And when it hits the ground, his

hand keeps on firing.

SCENE FROM 'PREDATOR'

Carl Weathers arm is shot off and keeps firing.

BACK TO THE SCENE.

SOLDIER #5

Take my picture.

VIG:

Do you still want to sell pictures?

TROY:

(distracted monotone)

For twenty.

SOLDIER #5

Twenty dollars, man, what's the

meaning of life?

TROY:

You're lucky you got to see

anybody shot in this war.

VIG:

War's been over five days, Jim,

ain't gonna be much more of this.

SOLDIER #5

Bobby, take my picture.

He holds the camera out.

SOLDIER #4

If he shot the guy, it's up to him.

SOLDIER #5

It's not like he shot a f***ing

deer. It's the enemy.

VIG:

Troy's enemy, yours for twenty.

Soldiers get their cash out, Troy takes it.

TROY:

Accept no substitute, this is the

real thing, oh, Jesus [winces] --

VIG:

What's wrong?

TROY:

I got a really bad headache all of

a sudden--

SOLDIER #7 bends next to the corpse and holds his camera out

at arm's length.

VIG:

No free pictures, motherf***er.

Vig shoves the soldier away and the two wrestle as they roll

down the sand berm.

"I Just Want to Celebrate" by Rare Earth comes on LOUD.

Troy walks away holding his temple in pain; SOLDIERS gather

to stare at the dead Iraqi, getting their cameras out.

EXT. IRAQI DESERT ROAD - AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN COMBAT GEAR

dance on a road in the desert. "I Just Want to Celebrate"

BLARES as the CAMERA DOLLIES THROUGH the soldiers.

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David O. Russell

David Owen Russell (born August 20, 1958) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. His early directing career includes the comedy films Spanking the Monkey (1994), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Three Kings (1999) and I ♥ Huckabees (2004). more…

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