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Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo
EXT. DEVON, ENGLAND. A SUMMER’S DAY, 1912. The bucolic magnificence of the Devon countryside. We fly low over the high, thick hedges untouched for hundreds of years. The thick verdant countryside in all its splendor, ancient woodlands, fields of corn, and finally a paddock in a typical Devonshire dale. We come to rest beside three farmers standing over a pregnant mare. The mare is in distress - she is about to give birth. The farmers calm the mare and tend to her gently with assurance and authority. We pull back to see, ALBERT, a fifteen-year-old farm boy, watching the whole drama with delight from the paddock gate. FARMER Come on, easy, girl. Easy. Easy, girl.
The men hold the mare firmly, but clearly this is a difficult birth. FARMER 2 This is a stubborn one, huh? FARMER 3 There we go. Who’s a clever girl? Moments later - the summer’s sun glints off the wet, sticky hide of the foal (JOEY) - red hide, four white socks and a distinctive white cross on its forehead. Soon the creature is attempting its first clumsy steps. It is both awesome and comical to see the new born creature struggle to his feet, but eventually, he succeeds. Title: WAR HORSE
EXT. PADDOCK/FIELD, DEVON. VARIOUS. We follow Joey’s progress over the course of his first year. His initial fearfulness, his connection with his mother, the intimacy of their relationship. As Joey gets strong they run together, frolicking gayly in the last dregs of summer. Albert looking on. Joey notices him at the fence and they share a moment of connection. Spring: flowers are beginning to sprout by the hedgerows. Our boy Albert runs into the field. He takes an apple from his pocket - he holds it out tentatively. Joey approaches Albert with suspicion. Albert gently encourages him.
His mother paws the ground and neighs at Joey. He turns and runs over the field at her beck and call. Albert tosses the apple to himself, ruefully - watches in awe as Joey races away with his mother. He is a magnificent one year old. His distinctive red coat gleaming, now it is clear that he is half thoroughbred. He runs quickly around the field enjoying his own power and strength. Later - the three farmers open the gate and come into the field. Both Joey and his mother instinctively canter over to the two men, expecting food. The three men gently greet the horses and pet them, then we see one man has a noose made of a rope. He slips it round Mum’s neck. She pulls back, Joey is shaken and bewildered but before he knows what’s happening the second farmer is trying to get a similar rope around his neck. Joey balks and pushes the farmer aside, distressed to see his mother tethered. The farmer grabs Joey again and struggles with him, enlisting the help of the second farmer. With some effort they get the rope around his neck and calm him down. FARMER 2 Easy does it. Easy does it. Come on, steady does it. Unused to being tethered Joey pulls at the rope but the farmers are solid and firm. They gently lead Joey and his mother across the field to the gate and out into the road. The whole road becomes overtaken by a flock of sheep on their way to the market. In the distance we hear the bustle of Market Day. EXT. THE MARKET. THE SAME. The farmers lead Joey and his mother through the chaos of the market and into an auction pen. They find themselves amongst a hoard of pigs, sheep and cows. Joey is agog at all of these creatures and all this life he had no idea existed. The farmers lead the horses into a stall to await the auction. Joey is bewildered by all the noise - buttressed against a couple of mules and a cow. He is uncomfortable in this tight space. An AUCTION WORKER holds a clipboard out for the lead farmer. AUCTION MAN 1 Mornin’, pop. Put your mark here. Good luck.
EXT. JOEY’S PEN. THE SAME. Two men approach the pen. AUCTION MAN 2 Get the colt... One man grabs Joey and pulls him out of the pen. Suddenly there is a look of horror on his face. His terrified mother realises they are being separated. Joey panics and desperately tries to get back to his mother, he rises up throwing the man who is leading him aside. Joey is out of control. The man regains control of Joey. Whoa! AUCTION MAN 3 Whoa!
He pulls Joey away from his mother, who lets out a heartrending cry, paws the ground, and crashes her foreleg against the fence. Joey remains disoriented in the midst of the market day chaos. AUCTION MAN 3 (CONT’D) Easy... INT. MAIN AUCTION RING. THE SAME. The auction ring is full of people of all shapes and sizes. There is a sense of celebration and busyness about market day. We concentrate on two men - Ted Narracott (DAD), in his forties, clearly both the cares of the world and alcohol have worn him down before his time, and SI EASTON, his more solid friend, both working farmers. Just behind Si is his 15 year old son, ANDREW. Ted has a drink in his hand. They all look at Joey bridling against the men who are trying to hold him. DAD Now that’s a beauty. SI EASTON Forget it, Ted. He’s half thoroughbred and not got a day’s work in him. (points to a plow horse next to Joey) Now, there... There’s your ticket. In contrast to Joey, the solid and bulky plow horse stands like a rock. But Dad remains fixated on Joey. DAD But look at him, Si. Look at that creature.
Indeed, Joey is magnificent, his power clearly emerging because of his upset. SI EASTON Don’t be daft. You need something solid to plow a field. DAD (fixed on Joey) Yeah, but he’s something else, that one. The AUCTIONEER announces the start of the auction... AUCTIONEER Alright gentlemen - settle down - settle down - horses on my right - men with money in their pockets on my left - it’s the perfect combination. Is Fred Goddard here? FRED shouts his reply from the crowd. FRED YES! I’s here. AUCTIONEER Good - more money than sense. Dave Hill? I’m here. DAVE Yes!
AUCTIONEER Bugger off, you tight bastard - you've been coming here for 20 years - never bought so much as a pork scratching. The crowd are loving all this. Dad notices a figure across the ring, LYONS, clearly a man of money. You can see something light up in Dad’s eyes - a combination of dislike and alcohol. Joey is led into the auction pen. AUCTIONEER (CONT'D) Okay - first up today - a gorgeous young horse - prettiest thing I've seen since my wife on our wedding day. Let’s get going, shall we? Who wants this wonderful creature. But no-one bids. DAD One guinea.
AUCTIONEER One guinea, one guinea, one guinea... YOUNG ANDREW EASTON I thought you needed a plow horse, Mister Narracott. AUCTIONEER Any advance on one guinea? advance on one guinea? Any
Joey is still trying to get back to his mother. A voice from the crowd pipes up: LYONS Two guineas. DAD Three! SI EASTON Ted Narracott - it’s completely the wrong animal. Lyons whispers to his son, DAVID, 15, next to him. David eyes Joey skeptically. DAD Si Easton - I’m not gonna let that bastard see me off. LYONS Five guineas. DAD Six! SI EASTON Oh for the love of...! Joey is straining to get to his mother, the men are pulling him back. LYONS Seven. DAD Greedy sod thinks he can just buy anybody. (bidding) Eight.
you can’t be picking fights with him. LYONS Shall we say . Lyons isn’t listening to David. I don’t care for him. smartly dressed. SI EASTON Well. he’s too. AUCTIONEER Do I hear twelve guineas? Twelve guineas? SI EASTON That’s top price for a workin’ animal. Which will it be? AUCTIONEER Do I hear any advance on eleven guineas? All eyes are on Lyons and his son .let’s have a pint.he’s your landlord . Nice try. he’s got you there.. He smirks at Dad. he’s looking hard at Ted..twenty five? The crowd gasps. dad. DAD Eleven guineas. LYONS Ten guineas.David is 15. Lyons looks over. Let’s go home . from as good a man as any in this town. This is clearly personal. . Ted. SI EASTON You haven’t got the money. There is now tension in the crowd as they sense a Battle Royal for the horse. jumpy. SI EASTON Stop it . DAVID LYONS Just let him go.6. They all look at Lyons in his suit and bowler hat. sir. Ted! Save it for the shire! DAD There are big days and there are small days.
He breaks into a sweat. . Lyons appears at Dad’s shoulder.. Ted. raises an eyebrow.to Mister Ted Narracott. EXT. Dad does not acknowledge Lyons. Ted holds his reins numbly. He bangs his gavel. digging up some carrots. AUCTIONEER Going. Lyons smiles and walks away with son David. going. Ted? What have you done? Dad doesn’t acknowledge Si. Gave him a run for his money. Si shakes his head at Dad. tips his hat and walks away.7. But when he looks at Ted. Going going gone . Ted’s eyes are locked into the eyes of his rival. I’ll be around for it when it comes due. Who simply smiles. Moments later . SI EASTON What have you done. when she sees Ted returning. who looks back. But what you gonna do with him . his bad leg always moving slightly to the side. NARRACOTT’S FARM. It’s a done deal. He stares hard at Lyons. MRS. Thirty. Ted. LYONS Quite a beast. Dad walks down the hedged lane as the sun sets pulling Joey with him.on a working farm? I hope you got the rent. AUCTIONEER Thirty guineas..Ted stands staring at Joey. Suddenly. ANDREW You were great. And our Rosie’ll never forgive you. Mr N. and his cronies. DAD Thirty guineas! Total silence. accepts his receipt from the auction man in a kind of daze. NARRACOTT kneels in her garden. there. SI EASTON You’re a fool. SUNSET. Thirty guineas. It dawns on Dad that he’s won the auction.
MRS. You have to take him back right now now. NARRACOTT (CONT’D) He’s not worth ten! Are you out of your mind? What about the rent? DAD He’s a strong one. NARRACOTT What’d you pay for him? Albert is totally taken by the horse. Look at the way he holds his head! MRS. ALBERT You bought him? MRS. but clearly her life is always hard. MRS. NARRACOTT Thirty guineas! She is stunned. NARRACOTT What have you done? Dad stands shamefaced as Albert . Ted Narracott? DAD I won’t tell you a lie . intelligent woman. NARRACOTT You were supposed to buy a plow horse. MRS. Mrs.you have to take him back. Narracott looks in horror and bewilderment at Joey and then at Dad.and he just nods. MRS.though I would love to. Thirty guineas. NARRACOTT How the hell are we gonna pull anything with that? Ted .8.runs out of the house to join them.the boy we have already met . . She looks at Ted . NARRACOTT (CONT’D) How much. Rosie. ALBERT No. She is a good-looking. ALBERT That’s Mooney’s colt! MRS.
you stay out of this.the weight of the mistake heavy on their shoulders . dazed. Albie. you’ve got one month to break him in or I’m taking him back myself.. Please let me. Narracott turns back towards the house. NARRACOTT You have to get down on your knees and beg for our money back.but Albert quickly steps forward. . MRS.we’re gonna lose it all. MRS. Joey bridles at the raised voices but Albert takes the rope and tries to calm him.. No.. ALBERT Please. After all we’ve been through . Well. Mrs. DAD We can’t take him back till he’s broken in. then stops. He is a man lost.what other fool bid you up that high? DAD It was Lyons. I can do it. Mum. (She turns to the house. NARRACOTT No. ALBERT No. MRS. NARRACOTT We’re gonna lose everything. DAD We have to keep him. Suddenly we see Dad’s dejection. speaking almost to herself.9. NARRACOTT And how are you gonna train a horse with that leg? ALBERT I’ll train him. NARRACOTT Right. MRS. please don’t take him back. MRS.) How did you get to thirty . We’ve no choice. She turns back to the others . but then. You don’t know nothing about horses..
. Cos I’m ‘ere. He shows the food. Go on . Albert slowly backs towards Joey.10. Albert takes a new tact. It’s alright. ALBERT (CONT’D) Come on. across the yard to the barn. that is. first time your mum. NARRACOTT Well. EXT.. ALBIE Don’t worry. you. ALBERT (CONT’D) I bet you’re missing your Look at you. Joey catches the scent on the air. almost turning his body fully away from Joey. Albert loads some oats into a bucket and approaches Joey in the field.. you better. ALBERT (CONT’D) It’s alright. Joey nervously runs in circles. STABLES.. but keeping the bucket extended. drunk and bewildered. Mum . As Albert approaches.I’ll raise him . Narracott storms into the house. are fact. This time. speaking gently all the while. ALBERT (CONT’D) It’s oats. First time away But you’re not alone. It’s beef and gravy to us! Albert squats down.. . In Feeling safer. but still hesitates and shies away. See if a child can undo what your fool of a father’s done to this family of ours.. Mrs. Dad leads him off. looking at Albert suspiciously. LATER. Joey moves toward the bucket of oats and starts to eat. then stops on a dime. mother. Right. Albert immediately goes to stroke Joey but the nervous horse draws back uncomfortably. Very tasty.and I’ll raise him good. without from home. MRS.get started. ALBERT Let’s make a start then.
Albert stares at the distinctive white cross on Joey’s forehead. with a hangover. PADDOCK. EXT. Joey. Joey. Stay. Albie. ALBERT Right. feeling safe with the boy. Come on. And with a slight start. DAY. You’re mine.11. Mum looks on. You’re mine now. Dad. ANOTHER DAY. THE FARMYARD. ALBERT (CONT’D) I’m gonna call you Joey. Back you go.” Albert patiently leads Joey back to his starting position. That’s it. (MORE) . Of course when Albert walks away. ANDREW Hey. A game of “Grandma’s footsteps” ensues as Albert patiently places Joey then walks away. FARMYARD. I want you to stay there. It all seems to be going well. HAROLD the goose snaps at his heels. Dad dismisses him with a stare and heads for the stables. the horse relaxes into Albert’s hand. sits on a rock with an apple in hand to watch the training. And I’m Albert. As he reaches the gate. Andrew Easton. hobbles off to work the fields. come on. you’ve got it. That’s you. It’s alright. Albert reaches out his hand and touches Joey. The training episode: Albert walks Joey around the yard on the rope. NEXT DAY. Albert strokes Joey’s forehead. He’s playing “Grandma’s Footsteps. ALBERT Whoa. Back you go. Joey calms. That’s it. Albert sets Joey in a spot and tells him to wait. EXT. Joey lifts his head and the two stare at each other in close proximity. Albert is clearly proud of his progress. Albert’s friend. EXT. look at him. Joey follows. Good boy. Understand? Joey.
understand? Albert walks away again. impressed. understand? ANDREW My dad had a dog who stayed when you called him. Good. ALBERT No.12. Right. You’ve gotta stay there. He used to run up behind you when you weren’t looking. Joey remains still. you’ve gotta come. He whistles again. ANDREW Don’t think he fancies your owls. ALBERT (CONT’D) That’s it. ALBERT He’s not a dog.. Finally Joey stays put. Joey. Andrew smiles. Good boy. I read it in a story. Joey. Albert whistles like an owl. frustrated. ALBERT (CONT’D) Now. Albert walks back to Joey. Good boy. and uh. ALBERT Come now. ALBERT (CONT'D) You’re all right. You’ve got it. He gently strokes Joey’s nose. ANDREW Good boy. ALBERT (CONT’D) You can come now. when I whistle. Joey stands completely still. It’s how the Indians used to summon their horses. Come on. Good boy. Whistle. (to Albert) Now call him. He’s just puzzling it through. That’s it. Joey. ..
sometimes not. Albert begins to train Joey to react to the owl whistle without his prompting. QUICK MONTAGE .Mrs. After a moment. It’s not all easy going . DAD The rest will come. Dad sees Albert welcome Joey by the haystacks. LYONS You know by rights I could take this farm back today. Dad heads out to the fields with a rake on his shoulder. Albert runs further away than before and whistles. Joey trots over to him. DAD It will come. Andrew smiles broadly. NARRACOTT Albie. Dad walks on. Lyons is there with his son. then promptly spills it when Joey trots past her in response to an owl whistle. David. LYONS There’s only fifteen here. Lyons begins loading up his ledger into his bag. Joey trots up a path. After several more calls. Narracott. MRS. She calls off. LATER. don’t you? And I’m a great believer in my rights. FARM HOUSE. ANDREW Look at you. pursuing another owl call. LYONS If you drank less beer and bought fewer horses you might be able to look your landlord in the eye. Brilliant. his expression inscrutable. frustrated. stroking his nose affectionately. Dad and Mum look chastened. INT. Narracott fills a bucket at the pump. There’s an owl call and Joey trots past him in the background. With the basis established. and his unlikable cronies.sometimes Albert makes progress. Albert laughs. . He holds a meager handful of cash. The mood is sombre.13. until he cranes his neck up and sees Albert sitting in a nearby tree. he still can’t spot Albert.
almost beaten. Dad stands up from his chair. I’ll pay every penny I owe you. Mrs.there’s a war coming. MRS. Narracott interjects. desperate. LYONS How you going to plow it? Not with that fancy animal of yours? DAD He’ll do it. Please. sir. Even drunk on a Tuesday night.Ted and Rosie. Only stones down there. And I can’t wait for the money . Lyons takes his time.if that fancy plows that field I’ll give you till October to set things straight. you know that. let alone pulling a plow. NARRACOTT Please. DAD No. With interest. LYONS Bottom field’s rock hard. but Albert stands in his way. ALBERT What if he doesn’t? LYONS I’ll take the horse on the day he fails. DAD I said I’ll pay you. Just give me ‘til the autumn. resolute. We got to plant the bottom field. We’ll plant it with turnips. He looks at them both . And the money will be yours when harvest comes. DAD I promise you that field will be plowed. (beat) (MORE) . LYONS Very well . Lyons heads for the door. we’re going to plow it.14. LYONS You’ll not get that one in a harness.
now. Harold the goose attacks Lyons and his men.15. you’re scaring him. They quickly Ted stands in the kitchen immobile with upset. you can’t. Joey is completely confused and frightened. ALBERT You can’t harness him.I got you down in my book! Albert knows he has to back down. THE NARRACOTT FARM. please. Dad. ALBERT No. EXT. jerks the harness from the wall. THE SAME. Dad starts to grapple with Joey desperately flailing in an attempt to get the harness onto Joey. pile into his car and drive off. (desperate) He can’t take a plow! Joey tries to push Dad out of the way. LYONS Now. He. lad.are you bladdered as well?! Ted Narracott . You’re scaring him. you can’t do that. DAD He’s got to be collared. now. Dad frustrated by this hits Joey hard with the harness. Sir.. Dad throws open the stable door. LYONS (CONT'D) And I’ll take your father’s farm and give it to working men who can hold their pints and hold their heads high in decent company. throws open Joey’s stall and starts to lunge at the horse. Albert runs in to try to stop him.. ALBERT No. What . Lyons walks past him and leaves with David and his cronies. Lyons tries to move past. DAD He’s got to plow! . but Albert grabs his arm. Look. STABLES. MOMENTS LATER. EXT.
It’s He Dad is mad with anger and frustration ... . Joey rears up and kicks Dad. ALBERT He won’t be able to do it . NARRACOTT I knew this would happen soon as I laid eyes on him. Mrs. MRS. No. NARRACOTT (CONT’D) Ted. boy. Narracott returns the harness MRS. he’s not worth a damn thing! ALBERT Dad? He grabs the rifle. alright. Narracott quickly pulls the gun aside. but Albert wrestles for it again. Mrs. It’s alright. Dad raises the rifle.. But then she notices Dad has returned. ALBERT Dad. to its hook.and in pain. DAD Move aside. but Dad shoves him away. Furious with frustration Dad throws Albert to the ground and takes aim at the horse. He has a gun. Joey wrestles with Albert.he’s too young he’s not even been backed yet. NARRACOTT Ted! Albert grabs Joey’s bridle.. Who falls to the ground... MRS. no! DAD He’s worth nothing to me! If he won’t take the collar. ALBERT It’s alright. NARRACOTT You shoot that horse we have nothing. staggers to his feet and leaves. MRS.16. It’s alright. Albert calms Joey down. Ted. Stop.
too. it's cold out there. if it's tough for you . Joey? I don't know much about life. Some days are best forgotten. Today ain’t one of them. We’ll show you.but this well. frozen.right in front of the gun’s barrel. Ted takes out his flask. NARRACOTT (CONT’D) NO! Dad pauses his finger just in time. and. And most days are small days. Mrs.” And he will! You’ll see. And talks to Joey as he prepares the harness.enters. They exit the stable together. Albert gently holds the barrel of the gun. So I'm going to take this off (he takes off his coat) Well.it should be tough for me. MRS. ALBERT You were right what you said. ALBERT How are you today. STABLES.17. DAWN. He’ll show you. MUM Let go. well. Well. Speaks calmly. For a second we think Albert will be inadvertently shot. “He’ll plow that field. We’ll get it done..and hands it to Albert. this is a big one. MRS. Dad.” you told Lyons. Dad looks at him. This is our big day. Dad whips the gun back towards Joey to find Albert standing between them . boy. “He’ll do it. . Come on. But Rosie takes it from him gently. Narracott eases the gun away from him Let go. they don't matter much to anyone . telling him MUM (CONT’D) Go back to the house. leaving Joey in his stall. .. He doesn’t resist. INT. NARRACOTT Here. Albert walks towards the stables . here. but I do know that there are big days and there are small days./ EXT. As Albert leaves.
ALBERT (CONT'D) That’s it. SI EASTON Too large. Even a sturdy plow horse’d never manage it alone. Albert looks around the field .it is overgrown. Good boy. There. They come to a rusty. Steady.. Look at me.. Albert leads Joey out across the yard. See? You’ve got it. ALBERT (CONT’D) Boy. He is left in just a loose-fitting white shirt. It is a moment between them. primitive plow left in the grass.. Harold the goose enters the stable to watch. EXT. Albert comforts him and show there is nothing to fear. The horse looks Albert in the eye. As he approaches Joey with the harness.. it seems to go on forever . then yields. THE SAME. Here we go. Si Easton and Andrew stroll up the road to watch. Here we go.. Joey instinctively balks. too rocky. boy. You’ve got it. I’m gonna teach you how to plow and you’re gonna learn. but Albert is stern with him. See? See? You’ve just gotta put your nose through.even if Joey was a plow horse this would be a heavy task. Albert approaches gently and slowly puts the harness over his own neck and shoulders to demonstrate ALBERT (CONT’D) Easy. which is how I believe things are meant to be. It is a grey day as they walk across the plowed fields towards the huge lower field. Harold honks his approval.. Is that understood? And then we can be together. matted with grass roots.18. ALBERT (CONT’D) Now. easy. .. LOWER FIELD. through the broken gate. Joey. Finally he gets the harness in place.
Albert steadies Joey and starts to tie on the heavy plow. picture of his father. he is: not a dollop of ordinary sense but that thick stubbornness that’ll lead him to insist on the impossible. LYONS (CONT'D) Wasn’t a farmer in Devon didn’t admire you. and Andrew walk towards Dad. David. A team of two might manage. loyal to your mate. that you drink? (MORE) . isn’t it. He stands beside him and begins to talk gently. Lyons gestures at David to stay back and walks over to Ted alone. Si. (smiling at his son:) It’s a fine thing. You’ve fettle enough for twenty men. Albert continues to prep the plow. you’ve raised him up a true Narracott. LYONS Ted too squeamish to watch. Their driver remains inside. LYONS Well. is he? SI EASTON ‘Course he’s watching. but with a gimpy leg and the drinking for the pain. given a month and good weather. Lyons.19. who looks on anxiously from a nearby hedgerow. It just seems too big and bulky for Joey’s sleek frame. I say. leaving your brothers that fine farm and setting yourself at this stoney patch of unpromising ground. They’re interrupted by the honk of a horn as Lyons and David pull up in a car. ANDREW Yet he will. SI EASTON You’d swear he’d sprout wings and fly if Albert had told you so. Si nods in the direction of the house. Even if he is a bit barmy. Lyons and David get out. Down in the field. Ted. Albert sets Joey right and fixes the plow. myself among ‘em.
ALBERT (CONT’D) Walk on. positioning Joey. checking the tethers. ALBERT Walk on. Walk on. Ted. LYONS (CONT'D) . Joey doesn’t move. throwing the rear leather harness over his own neck. but that pretty little wife of yours. not only looking at you. digging the rusty plow in the earth. confused by the whole affair. Ted hasn’t acknowledged Lyons for a second. young lad. That’s it. Walk on! Walk on. Narracott opens an upstairs window to look on.20. Mrs. boy.yeah. only looks at Albert. He simply stands and walks away as Lyons concludes: LYONS (CONT'D) And now your son’s sinking into the selfsame bog that’s swallowing you. Joey. anxiously. Walk on.I got the collar. standing alone by the fence. walk on. ALBERT See Joey . walk on. Come on. Come on. me old pal. he’s never taken his eyes off Albert. thought you were a spark. boy. none of us could have anticipated an ending better than this. too! Albert gently snaps the reins. Albert has been meticulously preparing everything. ALBERT (CONT’D) Come on. He takes his position behind the plow. Makes me question the wisdom of the charity that urged me to rent you this place. Joey! Walk on! Come on. Joey. boy. At the house. TED (to himself:) It’ll take the whip to move him. . walk on. she did. LYONS You’d be better off startin’ at the top of the hill and goin’ down! Gravity’s the only friend you’re gonna have today.
setting the plow right again. Good boy. Later . Narracott looks back at Albert. right by the farmhouse. grimly determined. INTERCUT . Narracott moves away from the window. only in a useless circle.21.Albert has made no progress. ashamed. we’re all with ya! Albert tries to encourage him forward but Joey still isn’t pulling sufficiently. He glances back at her. snaps the whip at Joey. Townsfolk begin arriving. The plow spins to its side. Joey’s ears prick up. Narracott looks on from the house. pulls Albert off his feet. Mrs. but ALBERT Good boy. mortified. Good lad. and picks up her knitting. Joey panics and bolts. takes a seat. Albert. . Just as Ted is saying this. Andrew calls out. boy! You’ll make even better time comin’ down!! He continues past Dad. Joey is moving.Mrs. bruised. Good lad. More townsfolk clamor to the fence. Now walk on. as if hearing his father. Ted looks down. ANDREW Albie. Mrs. The plow skips uselessly over the surface stones. takes a breath and then abruptly produces a whip. He doesn’t even turn to his son. Her face is full of angry concern for their son. Lyons. starts laughing and can’t stop. LYONS Look look look! The plow hasn’t even cut yet! As Albert struggles with the plow. yelling. Albert. he sees Dad walking up the hill behind the spectators. laughing. Joey drags them all the way to the top of the hill. LYONS Bravo! You’ve reached the top of the hill! Off you go again. climbing the hill to the lower field.
tenderly folds it and puts it between Joey’s shoulder and the collar. Albert rushes to his side. That’s why he bought you.I believe we can do it. I knew when I first saw you that you’d be the one who’d save us. tears a piece off it. Whoa. He knows you’ve all the courage he never had. Give you a day to close it up. he’ll destroy that horse.22. One of Lyons’ cronies holds his umbrella as he returns to his car. We sense the strain on the horse and the inappropriateness of the task. that’s a bit rough. lad. You’re more of a man than your father. ignoring the leaving crowds. Give it up now. A SYMPATHETIC NEIGHBOR hands her: . But Joey perseveres. SI EASTON Come on now. The plow limps along. You’ve done well. I knew when I first saw you that you’d be the best of us. LYONS (CONT’D) I’ll be over Thursday. ALBERT (CONT’D) Whoa. He’ll not turn over half an acre. isn’t it? LYONS (a shrug:) Well. Albert examines the collar . Narracott emerges from the house and heads to the fence holding her knitting in the rain. The crowd’s beginning to disperse. He passes Ted. Lyons calls from the crowd as rain starts to fall. ALBERT Do you know . Lyons. You’ve tried hard. The plow skips and Albert falls. Mrs.he sees it is ripping into Joey’s flesh. LYONS You’ve got no chance. Joey’s legs buckle and he goes to his knees. Mr. Joey strains as Albert pushes with all his might. Joey. He grabs his shirt.
Albert notices a large rock in their path. . boy! You’ve got to do it. so I’m gonna have to do the knowing for you when the rest of our lives depend on this! So get set to pull . whoa whoa whoa! Joey.23. ANDREW Walk on! Walk on! on. Lyons passes behind her. the plow bites deep into the soil. NEIGHBOUR Your wool. Joey! Whoa. Joey. ALBERT (CONT’D) Walk on. Joey! Walk on! Walk At the fence.the rain has softened the earth. ALBERT (CONT’D) Now. runs through the rain to shout at Joey. (then) I’m sorry. ANDREW (CONT’D) (yelling) Go around it!! ALBERT Whoa. ALBERT Now. too. Narracott looks on in amazement. Mrs. You don’t know. Rosie. As the rain intensifies. Albert digs his toe into the wet soil and notices how it has softened. almost speaks. Joey! Walk on! That’s it! Good boy. boy! Go! Joey pulls firmly and finally the inertia is broken . stop! You’ll break the blade Andrew sees it. Joey! Good boy! Finally. Suddenly something flashes through Albert’s mind. He leaps into action. Joey! Joey! Joey. but then thinks better of it.and pull straight! And pull hard! He races back to the plow and sets himself.
straining and lurching until the plow blade splits the rock completely in half and now the plow moves more easily through the wet ground. NARRACOTT Come on. Andrew is loving it. Lyons stares at her. Lyons. Lyons notices and looks out from his car . Soon Albert and Joey are making great progress. Lyons turns towards the car gestures. if you carry on prating at me how to manage my son! Or my plow. watching Albert plowing.. The wet earth slipping open beneath them. or my field. he gets out of his car and walks over to Mrs. backing him up. gape-mouthed. a smile breaking slowly across her face. David remains on the running board. who runs forward with the umbrella to shield his boss from the rain. ANDREW Get it done. speaks in wonder. but Joey throws his flanks forward. Mr. Albie! Get it done! . The boy and the horse are working as one..24. Narracott brandishes her knitting needles. The plow speeds through the earth. or my farm! Dad sits nearby. He could lose a foot! Mrs. or my horse. Annoyed at the progress Albert’s making. With great disdain he says: LYONS I’d not let a child of mine slip in the mud alongside a plow blade.sees the plow digging through the field. Narracott. MRS. It is a moment of triumph. as she turns her attention back to Albert. to his driver. Narracott looks very happy. The ground yields. The crowd begins to return. frustrated. ROSIE NARRACOTT You’ll likelier lose an eye. ANDREW Will you look at you? Mrs. Albie! Push on through! The rain becomes torrential. Albert hauls back on the reins. watching this exchange with silent approval.
soaked to the skin. Rosie is putting antiseptic on Albert’s wrists and shoulders. They are lifting Albert up between them. ALBERT Stumbling about. supporting Albert. my pair of fools. glowing with pride. Albert. followed by Si Easton. As the others help Albert up. sits next to Joey. DAY. Albert washes Joey and tends the wounds and sores on his body. As Lyons’ car passes. and Ted pats the horse and gently begins to unbuckle the harness. Andrew. EXT. Andrew tousling his filthy hair. crying. EVENING. charges through the gate up to Albert. The rain has abated. laughing. Si Easton planting a kiss on Albert’s muddy cheek. He looks over to his son and. The others stagger away. ALBERT And where’s Dad? ROSIE Still in the bottom field. removes his cap and slightly bows his head.25. She helps Si and Andrew lift Albert and slings her son’s arm over her shoulder. when Mrs. takes in the scene. We pull back to see they have made only the smallest dent in the enormous field. They are both covered in mud. and almost smiles. Narracott arrives with Ted. I suppose. THE LOWER FIELD. ROSIE You’re as battered and bloodied as he is. Joey bristles but is soothed by Albert’s care. STABLES. Dad steps forward. Albert. INT. overjoyed. that makes him stumble - . Ted tends to Joey. ROSIE Oh. My mighty fools. ROSIE It’s not the drink. after a moment.
. As she begins to untie the yarn. The first. It’s his campaign pennant. There aren’t words for some things. so might you if you’d been where he’s been. a change comes over her: her irritated determination gives way to sadness. Rosie stalks over to a pile of broken equipment in a corner of the stables. ROSIE Well. ROSIE And that is the Queen’s South Africa Medal. blue and orange ribbon.. MRS. Sit down. ROSIE (CONT’D) The mice’ve been at it. hanging from a red and black ribbon. Every man who fought in the Boer War got one of those.. He were Sergeant. seen what he’s seen! ALBERT Well.. Imperial Yeomanry. ROSIE (CONT’D) That’s the Distinguished Conduct Medal.26. Albert comes to her and kneels beside her as she gently opens the paper. Seventh Battalion. NARRACOTT Here. Come here. Inside there’s a red and tan pennant. But this. mum. They sit together on a step. knotted and fringed at both ends. She rummages until she finds a waterstained brown paper parcel tied with yarn. with the profile of Victoria. he don’t talk to me about it.. She brushes away some mouse turds. Then with great care she unfolds the sash to reveal two silver medals. ALBERT (abruptly) He drinks. She holds up the other medal. hangs from a red. ROSIE He don’t talk about it because he can’t.
dear. She hands Albert the Distinguished Conduct Medal. ROSIE (CONT’D) See. After he’d been hurt. She returns the things in the footlocker. ALBERT (confused:) I’d be proud. If I’d gone and saved my mates. But what he done. ALBERT Not dad’s? ROSIE Well it ain’t mine. puts it in the sash.27. whatever it was. Hard as it surely was. . pennant in hand. and so you should be. astonished. he refuses to be proud of killing.. She takes the medal back. my splendid boy. If I’d gone off to war. He takes it. he takes no pride in it. tossed them out. But the first day he got home he just. I don’t know what else. First day he could walk. what you done today. I suppose.. He got that after the fighting at Transvaal. Albert nods. She heads back to Albert. Think how brave he is for refusing to be proud. and wouldn’t hear a word I said not to.. he threw ‘em straight in the dustbin. and he’d saved some other lads.. closes it. and well.. looking at the medal and campaign pennant. and ROSIE Well. you and Joey. he won’t tell me either. It’s good to be proud when you done something good. you’re chuffed up now.. in Africa. whether or not you think you’d do the same thing as him. and however much pain it’s cost him. and begins to wrap it again.
Albert and Joey pull up beside a sleek red car. every inch the expensivelytailored rural gentry. ROSIE (CONT'D) You keep looking after Joey and he’ll always be looking after you. FIELD. Albert holds the pennant in wonder. Early morning. And he drinks to forget the mistakes that he’s made . . now packed with a strong and sturdy crop. EXT. As both Joey and Albert gain confidence they pick up speed. And today. NARRACOTT FARM. EXT. As she leaves. Albert pushes Joey on. The sun is breaking through and Joey starts to run across the field and up a small incline. DEVON COUNTRY MONTAGE.28. Dad hobbling across the furrows. Albert looks again at the pennant.but he never gave up and he does that for us. I’ll give it back to him. ALBERT (CONT’D) I’m not stealing it. Albert yells with the exhilaration of it all. planting the field by hand. Albert and Joey are now in a meadow. (amazed. Seventh Battalion. They trot past the field he plowed. Joey? It’s been through an entire war. Imperial Yeomanry. ALBERT (softly:) Sergeant. to Joey:) You see this. being driven by David Lyons. Joey races flat out across the countryside. they are going faster and faster. she drapes the pennant over Albert’s shoulder. It’s Lyons’ car. ROSIE (CONT’D) Oh. alone. someday. which Ted tends to. Albert hanging on for dear life. you showed the world it’s all been worth it. your dad makes mistakes. DAY.
Albert glances at David. The sound of the acceleration and Albert’s eagerness to impress the young woman make Joey go faster. encouraging him. On the other side of the wall. David Lyons. let’s show her how to fly! They head right for the wall. but allows himself a small smile. No one else drives but me. but he’s much more interested in the very pretty young woman seated next to David. concerned. You’re lucky that you’re in it. But not for long. the girl gasps and covers her mouth. her hands trying to control her hair. presenting him and Joey with an obstacle. David Lyons looks to see Albert and Joey running alongside his car. David says nothing. pushes the accelerator down. ALBERT Come on. Albert encourages Joey to go faster. Back in the car.29. flying in the wind. but unfazed. Forgetting himself momentarily. boy. and the car edges ahead of Joey. I’m not normally allowed to drive it ‘cause it’s so Albert urges Joey to go faster. I’m the only boy that drives in the village. YOUNG WOMAN Oh. Albert stands a bit battered. He feigns disinterest. The woman turns to David: YOUNG WOMAN Is he a friend of yours? She smiles at Albert. till they’re neck and neck beside the car. The young woman grins at Albert. yeah? DAVID That’s right and this is my dad’s car. Joey balks and comes to a dead standstill. . annoyed. racing it. Up ahead Albert sees that the wall alongside of which he’s been racing turns the corner. but at the very last moment. sending Albert sailing over the wall. Albert stares at her. DAVID Um. dazzled. and again he moves out ahead of the car.
and there is Harold the goose. The ground squelches beneath their feet.. Albert and Dad walk across the field. EXT. INT. The entire crop is flat . Mrs. ALBERT We can try planting something else. Another crack of thunder . Narracott digs through the mess.and a piece of wood in the roof gives way .30. storm clouds stretch to the horizon. the door suddenly swings open with the violence of the storm..ruined by the storms. ALBERT (CONT’D) Well. Dad doesn’t answer. Harold. LOWER FIELD. Angry . lighting blasts across an angry sky. The rain is falling in torrents.water gushes in . MRS. Lyons’ rent? Ted doesn’t turn around. NIGHT. smashing against the wall . Shoo. NIGHT. shoo.you’re clearly not gonna be a jumper. NARRACOTT Shoo. or we could hire ourselves out to Uncle Bob.Dad and Rosie turn . driving sheep before them. FARMHOUSE. NARRACOTT FARM. He shakes his head and limps away. EXT. As Albert leads Joey to the stable. NIGHT. At that moment.Dad rushes to support the roof as the wind forces a window open. shoo! The thunder cracks again and. NARRACOTT FARM. DAY. who scuttles in without his usual arrogance and hides himself in a corner. Thunder starts to rumble ominously in the background. The whole field is a write off.. Albert and Joey return.. ALBERT (CONT’D) How else we gonna pay Mr. EXT.
A motorbike rumbles along the lane at huge speed creating a cloud of dust as it goes. KITCHEN. The rider takes off his goggles. THE VILLAGE. It can be heard fields away and everyone is drawn to this completely unheard of sound. MOTORBIKE RIDER It’s war! The bike comes to a stop in the market place.and then never ring them again until the war is over. an unfamiliar sound. . Mrs. The rider takes off his goggles: MOTORBIKE RIDER (CONT’D) They’re going to ring the bells at six o’clock . You hear? England is at war with Germany. NARRACOTT What we gonna do? DAD I used to believe that God gave each man his fair portion of bad luck. The motorbike whizzes through the village. Shock and amazement. with great curiosity. Men of the village start to flock around the machine. Rose.. Then somewhere in the distance. Narracott makes some coffee.. Heads turn in astonishment. (pause) You’ll stop loving me. And I won’t blame you when you do. The noise of the motorbike is drawing attention from all over the valley. EVENING. MOTORBIKE RIDER (CONT’D) We are at War with Germany. I might hate you more . ROSE Well. MRS.but I’ll never love you less. EVENING. Ted sits alone on a chair.31. EXT. I don’t feel that any more. LANE LEADING TO THE VILLAGE. EVENING. INT. EXT. I’ve had more than my share.
knowledgably. He is a handsome. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS is in the square inspecting Joey. . DAWN. EXT. The Union Jack is flying up the flagpole. but her face gives everything away. INT. Eager young men crowd a table staffed by recruiting officers: RECRUITING OFFICER Last name first. EXT. his feet and finally. As Albert enters the stables. Everyone across England knows that their lives are about to change. He checks Joey’s teeth. last. EXT. His mother stares out the window. The market square is full of military men. SQUARE OF A MARKET TOWN. Albert runs out. Narracott tears up again. THE SAME. First name./ INT. FARM YARD. attractive. upper class man. FARM YARD. THE SAME. Dad stands beside him. modest. it’s the Tavistock Fair! Albert opens the doors and stops dead. DAY. middle name. ALBERT What has he done with him? She says nothing. Albert races to the stables. Albert in a panic turns and runs out into the lane. STABLES. She has been crying. excited with the campaign pennant. He looks at the empty stables. He rushes into the kitchen. Mrs. Dawn rises over the farm. EXT.32. DAY. looks him straight in the eye. he calls out: ALBERT Look smart. Joey lad. KITCHEN / YARD. A group of girls has gathered to check out the army boys.
THE SAME. he’s mine! I trained him! . Ted grabs him. Their business concluded. Albert bursts into the square just in time to see Nicholls and Dad shake hands. Captain. EXT. DAD Oh. SQUARE OF A MARKET TOWN. SAM PERKINS.finest horse in the parish. is physically inspecting Joey. and very fine animal?! DAD Forty. good feet and teeth. sir . no splints. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS And how much are you charging. Captain Nicholls has immediately connected with Joey and puts him at his ease. He’s as sound as a bell. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS I’ll give you twenty and not a penny more. strong. sir. Thirty five and he’s yours. he rides. ALBERT You can’t! You can’t. He looks at his father in anger and betrayal. Finest horse I ever seen. DAD Take my word for it . I promise you that.. a tough sergeant. DAD Twenty is no good to me. decent. You’ll be astonished. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Thank you. Albert fights to get free.for this strong. Albert races towards Joey. decent. very fine. Splendidly. fighting back grief) Finest horse in all of Devon. Goes like a racer..33. SAM PERKINS No curbs. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS I don’t even know how he rides. (his heart’s in his throat.
Albert snaps to attention. lad. sir! And I. neither. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS And how old are you. But. Albert? ALBERT Nineteen. I’ll get you money. too.34.I’ll work for it! I’ll work for it. ALBERT Well.I’m not afraid of anything. if Joey’s going. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS I’m afraid it’s too late. I will..he shies at every sound! CAPTAIN NICHOLLS I’m sorry. I’ll. sir! And I’m strong. sir.. sir. I’ll get you money. DAD Albert.. I’m volunteering. Nicholls interjects: . lad? ALBERT Albert. I’m going. ALBERT You can’t have him.. sir.. He. but I look nineteen and I’m bigger than most nineteen-yearolds. (to Nicholls:) He won’t obey anyone else. CAPTAIN NICHOLS Is that the truth? ALBERT No sir. He’s my horse. What’s your name.. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS I see. He won’t be any good in the war. ALBERT (to Ted:) Please. Albert is hysterical. I’ve just paid thirty guineas for him.
boy. Thirty guineas isn’t nearly enough to purchase a horse as fine as your Joey. that I’ll look after him as closely as you’ve done. Will you lease him to me. Albert kisses Joey. The Sergeant pulls Joey. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS (CONT’D) Now say goodbye. reminiscent to the separation from his mother. I know that. Albert.35. (to Joey) Come on. Rose? ROSIE It’s the way you did it. earnest) I promise you. I’ll respect him and all the care that you’ve taken with him. man to man. Ted senses her silent judgment. Now. But it’s all I’ve got. turn it in. Sam Perkins pulls Joey away: SAM PERKINS All right. to be my own mount? (he removes his cap. They disappear into the crowd and Rosie is suddenly there. Nicholls walks away into the crowd. His reaction is implacable. Albert. DAD But we’re at war. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS I don’t doubt your qualifications. but the law is very clear about the proper age for soldiering. Albert looks at him. DAD Do you want to lose the farm. You know that.. He’s a horse. Although Nicholls speaks with authority he has a kindness which Albert recognizes. .I’ll return him to your care.. not a dog. on your way. and your father’s done what he had to do. eh? That’s enough. And if I can . ALBERT It’s all right. But at that moment. Perkins leads Joey away. but Joey does not want to be separated from Albert.
ROSIE Aren’t we just.. Everyone of every age .36. . And I will bring you home! And then they are past him.it is a song they all know. something relating specifically to the lives they have led together. ALBERT This isn’t the end. I.sling your hook! But Nicholls intervenes from his car.full of soul a song of harvest or a Celtic hymn. Albert watches from the bank of the stream. Albert watches Joey. solemnly swear we will be together again. He runs up to Joey ALBERT Joey.everyone in the village knows this song . As Perkins leads Joey across a stone bridge.a whole generation of young men is marching off to war.. leaving him behind. Perkins. VILLAGE SQUARE. The recruits march through town under pennants and the strains of a familiar song(”The Jolly Plowboy”) . CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Let him be.it is theirs. She looks at Albert. One girlfriend rushes up to kiss her leaving boyfriend. Implacable.. This isn’t the end. Forever.and tucks the pennant into Joey’s halter. Nicholls passes in his car and we see those they are leaving behind .. Wherever you are. then remembers the campaign pennant dangling from his pocket. EXT. I’ve told you . SAM PERKINS Here now. which means a lot to them . I will find you. Joey balks one last time - . my brother. Albert Narracott. THE SAME.cheering .
Topthorn . and jerks him back to attention.then Perkins leads him away. son. He bucks.this is Joey. I don’t want to sour him.. THE SAME.the beginning of one of the most important relationships in his life. a magnificent black stallion. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Gently.. Walk on! Walk on now. next to Major Stewart’s horse..‘cause once we’re over there. Joey is handed off to a groom. Joey is amazed by the scale of the building. leaving Albert behind. Like the debris of a party you are already beginning to regret. Each horse has a large stall and is being tended to assiduously. The very last recruits leave the village . Joey rears up in his stall. Easy easy.. But Perkins cuts him off. SAM PERKINS (CONT’D) Joey . you get it over with . He pushes him into his stall.37. Steady now. good boy. Easy.meet Topthorn. and gallops away. Joey! Stop muckin’ about. TOPTHORN. GROOM Whoa whoa whoa. SAM PERKINS (CONT’D) Good boy. ARMY STABLES. Perkins. SAM PERKINS Whoa whoa whoa. grabs his halter. come on! . Relax. throwing the groom to the ground.leaving the debris of this army’s visit strewn on the square. INT. you hear? If you want to fight. SAM PERKINS Whoa. come on. back up. Joey looks around at the hundreds of men and horses around him and panics. Easy easy. Steady. you’re gonna need everything you’ve got for Fritz! This is the first time that Joey has had to deal with another horse since his mother . you hear? Yer in the army now. steady. . Sort out who’s in charge between the two of you. Steady steady.
upper class but completely benign. Glad he’s on our side. Not bad at all. CHARLIE WAVERLY I actually think my Blenheim is faster than the pair of them. Nicholls is joined by his friend LIEUTENANT CHARLIE WAVERLY. Still not a patch on my Topthorn. . CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Who? CHARLIE WAVERLY Perkins. MAJOR STEWART Clear off! He suddenly turns from the joking into the efficient senior officer he is. MAJOR JAMIE STEWART. He’s my horse. He sizes up Joey. He’s certainly got the bit between his teeth. confident officer. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS I wouldn’t be so sure.38. They’re both joined by a tall. I think he’s got potential. but I want him fit and shining. Nicholls passes his gloves and crop to his bat boy who is there to assist him. SAM PERKINS There’ll be nothing gentle about the war. Sergeant. sir. CHARLIE WAVERLY Scares the living daylights out of me. MAJOR STEWART Not bad. He is sweet and friendly . And there’ll be nothing gentle about this one either! SAM PERKINS (CONT’D) I understand that. SAM PERKINS (CONT’D) Sir.
the gathering is huge. Everything tells us the same story..39. listen here. gentlemen. Both Nicholls and Joey are dressed up like something from the last century. SAM PERKINS Sir. CHARLIE WAVERLY As if. SALISBURY PLAIN. They leave. then. MAJOR STEWART (CONT’D) All right. out of the Boer War. The day is hot. Nicholls looks at his friend tolerantly. looking pretty good on Blenheim. Finally. Nicholls and Charlie reach Stewart and Topthorn waiting in position. SAM PERKINS Yes. shall we? . from Waterloo to Omdurman. sir! MAJOR STEWART No excuses. Everybody is in their ceremonial uniform. EXT. It all has the feeling of the Changing of the Guard rather than anything related to a real battle.the first attack can and should be the decisive one. They gather before hundreds of men and horses all lined up to be inspected. The whole regiment is gathered. Captain Nicholls. from Pickett’s Charge to the Battle of Mars La Tours . MAJOR STEWART All right. MAJOR STEWART Thought you two had bottled out. DAY. let’s see what you two jokers are made of. no mistakes . Perkins. Charlie joins them. even the Charge of the Light Brigade. Nicholls is proud and confident. the plains are quiet and beautiful..every horse groomed and fit for presentation! I want a full practice charge tomorrow. resplendent in full uniform rides Joey out over the vast expanse of the plain. there is a real sense of pride and anticipation.
Nicholls and Stewart and Charlie prepare themselves for the charge. the deafening thunder of hooves.swords! Nicholls raises his sword. Topthorn and Joey glance at each other. ahead of all the other horses in the line. we enjoy the speed and the splendor of the mass of men and horses. Everyone is highly charged.. Bugles. The competition between Stewart and Nicholls seems to have been absorbed between the horses. The soldiers shout in glee and excitement.. Every man follows suit. Each man pushes his horse to out-run those around him.point! Every sword is pointed directly ahead at arm’s length. We see the scale of the operation. It is exhilarating.. Joey will never catch them. Nicholls and Stewart seem locked in mortal combat. Dust and earth rise up behind them. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Draw.. confidently. It glints in the summer air. It seems to hang there forever. Topthorn and Joey square up for the practice charge like two athletes before a race. The huge line of horses start running straight ahead of them. MAJOR STEWART Over to you. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS (CONT’D) Give. Joey and Topthorn run off at top speed. Nicholls smiles at Stewart. CHARLIE WAVERLY I’ll wait for you two at the Duke of York. Topthorn starts to pull away. Topthorn seems too strong. Nicholls is determined not to be beaten. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS (CONT’D) Charge!!!! A roar goes up from the men and a deafening pounding of hooves breaks the silence. Topthorn bristles at Joey. Joey and Topthorn size up to one another. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS This is what quiet confidence looks like. .40. Nicholls pushes Joey on. Captain Nicholls. ready to charge.
he slightly holds his head up in victory.. Now both riders are going at their top speed. They have crossed the enemy line. Stewart’s Then suddenly they race over the line..they fight for every inch of advantage. He starts to catch up with Topthorn and draws along side. we sense the heat. Nicholls looks back at Stewart. The two men enjoy the moment of rivalry and the exhilaration of it all. frustration shows. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS (CONT’D) Come on. The horses are nose to nose. There is a real sense of achievement and congratulation amongst the regiment. Joey. boy! Come on! He pushes Joey on. Nicholls is ecstatic. Joey inches forward till he is almost a length ahead of Topthorn. letting Topthorn know that he knows he won. face to face rub against each other for the first time. A bond has been formed. And Joey is no soft touch . Joey digs in and finds hidden strength and speed. Nicholls pushes Joey on and Joey pulls away. Nicholls spears a ring decorated with a blue ribbon and pulls Joey to a halt. grinning. Topthorn and Joey are brought together by the effort. Come on. I know you’ve got it. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS (CONT’D) Come on. We sense Topthorn’s newly minted respect for Joey. Nicholls laughs. The effort is enormous. Topthorn comes to Joey’s side. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Nice of you to turn up.I’ll give him that. MAJOR STEWART He’s got speed.. every fibre of their being invested in the race.41. snorting. MAJOR STEWART Whoa. The other horses come charging in. Nicholls and Stewart exchange tense looks. the exertion. But . The two horses. boy! Stewart is amazed and pushes Topthorn harder. They are neck and neck .. very happy. Whoa. He knows he is beaten. has he got stamina? CAPTAIN NICHOLLS He has everything.
.though actually at this moment.42. Before that. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Of course. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Charlie. He casually acknowledges him. DAY.they’ll need to be at the docks at 5 am. he is making a little pencil drawing of Joey to enclose with it. MAJOR STEWART Before we take him away across the Channel to face a million Germans guns.buttons. MAJOR STEWART What are you up to? CAPTAIN NICHOLLS I’m writing a letter. and a large map of Western Europe that depicts how the English troops are crossing the channel to confront the Germans near Belgium. helmet buckles. CHARLIE WAVERLY Jamie. A phonograph plays “Roses of Picardy.. . I want to show him how wonderful he’s looking. he passes Charlie. MAJOR STEWART Charlie.. MAJOR STEWART With a picture in it? CAPTAIN NICHOLLS It’s to the boy who owned Joey. stirrup irons . INT. As Stewart leaves. Transport detachment .. Nicholls is writing a letter .travelling with the Dragoon Guards and the Royals. OFFICERS’ STUDY.” The walls are decorated with etchings of famous battles. MAJOR STEWART 4 a. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Yes. Stewart enters. Check all kit.m. start tomorrow . I want nothing to flash in the sun and give us away. Battle orders: no polishing .let ‘em all go dull.
. DAY. Charlie checks his new cap in the mirror.one of them really is wearing a very stylish cap indeed!” You might shoot the other one instead. QUIÉVRECHAIN EXT. CHARLIE WAVERLY Oh. I quite like it. CHARLIE WAVERLY What do you think of the cap? He shows the bright red lining to Nicholls. EXT. Charlie removes the cap. DAY. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Or. Think about it you’re a Boche. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS I’m not sure it’s going to make a lot of difference to the Germans.“I fancy that cap” and kill you first of all. I don’t know about that. Pause. DIRT ROAD. alternatively.1914. think . ROAD. EXT.43. CHARLIE WAVERLY Hadn’t thought of that. ROAD.“Good Lord .and you thought . Topthorn and Joey sense the grim change of atmosphere. Nicholls and Stewart and Charlie ride on a smooth road past a series of posts screened with cloth. The regiment are tense and nervous as they gingerly make their way along the country road. Nicholls returns to his sketch. TITLE: FRANCE . just working out which of two chaps to shoot . Three hundred horses and their charges in a slow march in the middle of the most pristine French countryside. CHARLIE WAVERLY (CONT'D) Silk lining. They’re silhouetted against the setting sun. FRANCE.
tell the men. the advantage is ours. MAJOR STEWART Excellent. The day they have worked for.. EXT. Our officers just have a second to take in the news. for so long. A taken out for Stewart and his officers. Good. DAY. above a plain stretching for miles. the better we have no assurance they’ll still be there tomorrow morning. MAJOR SINGH That is our target .and we could slide in behind the German lines and come at them from the South at Geluveld. MAJOR STEWART In regiments of horse and men.a turbaned Indian with a magnificent ceremonial garb . But the sooner we move. Charlie . The day has suddenly arrived. We have been watching them and they have pitched tents for the night and lit cooking fires.the German 11th Division .. MAJOR SINGH And we have surprise on our side. SGT. Knock them out . CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Twice our size.44. CHARLIE WAVERLY Salisbury formation? .explains the lines of SGT. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Numbers? SGT. Infantry. MAJOR SINGH About six hundred.at the moment bivouacked three miles to the east of the Menin Road. . They are in woodland small table has been SERGEANT MAJOR SINGH moustache dressed in battle on a map. MAJOR STEWART Right.today it is. So . WOODLAND ABOVE A PLAIN.
Nicholls accepts Joey from an attending soldier. never better. (calling after) Jamie! Nicholls catches up to Stewart. As Stewart departs: CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Thank you. Charlie? CHARLIE WAVERLY Never been better. let’s do it quickly. I understand the surprise is everything. Time spent on reconnaissance is rarely wasted. Singh.he is afraid. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS (CONT'D) Are you alright. concerned. are you. MAJOR STEWART Prepare to mount! Mount! As the cry is echoed throughout the regiment. We worry for him . . Sergeant Major. We’ll charge through them and secure the ground behind. Nicholls notices Charlie nervously attending his horse. SGT. MAJOR SINGH The grass to the left is taller than we are .it’s perfect cover. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS (CONT’D) They have no idea we’re coming. MAJOR STEWART Excellent work. MAJOR STEWART Salisbury formation. Literally. Stewart rides through the lines astride Topthorn. Jim? CAPTAIN NICHOLLS No. MAJOR STEWART Not having scruples.45. But if it must be done.
They are in fact our soldiers.. Then Nicholls just turns to his two friends and almost whispers. MAJOR STEWART Draw swords! The men draw their sabres in silence.march! The regiment begins moving through the field. waving in the gentle breeze. Fear God.46. Cut to an elegant field of tall grass. The birds chirping. OVER GROWN CORN FIELD. and his fallen comrades proud! Be brave. And then. oblivious. his King. my friends. Minutes later . Make the Kaiser rue the day he dared to cross swords with us. (to Joey) Hey... MAJOR STEWART Gentleman. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Good luck. DAY. his country.Stewart addresses the men.. My bonny boy. aren’t you. . Joey. mounting their horses but the horses are invisible in the height of the grass. You’re all right. Standley. MAJOR STEWART Forward. Let every man make himself. Honor the King! EXT. Stewart gives a signal. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS Thank you. Joey? Hey? Nicholls takes the red campaign pennant from his pocket and threads it through Joey’s reins. He pats Joey’s side. We see the intense anticipation on his face.. He takes out his sabre.. Then suddenly three hundred men seem to rise out of it. to walk! Walk. Honor the King! TROOPERS (in unison shout) Fear God. It is an honour to ride beside you.
swept along by their invisible horses. The regiment sweeps through the encampment. The first row of unprepared Germans are falling.the immense power of the galloping horses .silence explodes into a violent crashing of hooves. The noise is immense.. the German troops look terrified . We see them scramble back towards tents. swords are flying in the air. But then we see.at least twenty guns. new. sandbagged apart ... TWO SOLDIERS wake to the sound of hoofbeats. The surprise attack is a huge success. others prepare to stand their ground. in the shadows of the forest behind the camp -A machine gun. modern defence of a garrison. . One German drops some dirty dishes into a wash pot.the logical. a line of machine guns .. On the German side. CAPTAIN NICHOLLS CHARGE! The British head in for the kill.. MAJOR STEWART (CONT’D) Forward to canter! Canter. until.one man pulling up his trousers rushes for cover.some run in panic.47. the fleeing Germans have manned the guns. the men scream battle cries with sheer exhilaration. cutting down soldiers and driving the rest in a panicked retreat to the tree line. No. Suddenly they emerge from the tall grass . In an instant. The Germans are totally unprepared. Hundreds of horses racing towards the German encampment. The swords and uniforms glint in the sun. Nicholls and Stewart yell as they approach the enemy. We see the horses at close quarters running with all their might. They pull their tent flap aside to find the invincible charge coming towards them. All now firing..march! The men start to float over the grass . rush towards their guns . screaming: GERMAN SOLDIER Kavallerie! Topthorn and Joey race each other like a rerun of their practice on Salisbury Plain.
The bullets keep coming. Around them. the fields are littered with dead soldiers and horses. but suddenly rears up in the confusion. decimating the horses and their riders.at the guns that surround him and throws down his sabre. Joey runs on . sabre in hand. speaks perfect English: GERMAN OFFICER (outraged) What? Did you think that a garrison on open ground would go undefended? Look at yourself! Who do you think you are?!! Stewart looks at the Officer . Stewart wheels back around on Topthorn. is quickly surrounded by several Germans with their rifles trained on him. too. But he. The Germans take Stewart from Topthorn. Near him. now suddenly half of the regiment are on the ground.he has not realized that Nicholls is gone. surrounded by Germans.. No one bothers to attack him as the German’s concentrate their efforts on the cavalry behind him. A score of men and horses are suddenly on the ground.. Joey leaps and dances nimbly through the German ranks.all of them now riderless. it happens almost so quickly Joey and Topthorn don’t realize anything’s wrong and find themselves racing straight towards the guns. The bullets whizz around his head. .48. but he still runs directly ahead. stabbing it into the ground. Nicholls watches helplessly as one of the barrels swings towards him.we pan up to see he is running on riderless . A furious GERMAN OFFICER storms over. The noise of the blast of bullets drowns out everything else. surviving English officers are hauled from their horses. Joey is now running through the German lines. The line of machine guns fire as one. His face goes slack as he realizes he is about to die. Horse after horse races past the guns into the woods. A moment later. We would always know him by the red pennant Nicholls tied on his saddle.
perhaps we could use some of them with the ambulances . he rears up and bolts from his new German handler. but both rear up again as they are separated and led past a young German soldier.49. BATTLEFIELD. sir. Gunther. the young private. DAY. GERMAN OFFICER Will they take the harness? GUNTHER I’d like to try. The officers move away . CUT ON . He is with MICHAEL. sir? GERMAN OFFICER The others you round up and take to base camp . Suddenly.possibly as young as 14. shoot them. What do we do with the horses? GERMAN OFFICER If they’re injured. A slightly more JUNIOR OFFICER approaches the outraged senior officer. Topthorn appears disoriented and frightened. GERMAN OFFICER Then shoot them also. .which is like a giant wagon to carry humans. interjects.they will pull guns. He zeroes in on them. GUNTHER. the finest horses. Near a wooden ambulance . The horses briefly nuzzle. his brother . a very young soldier.Gunther is now with Joey and Topthorn. THIRD OFFICER You’ll never get fancy horses like these to pull guns. JUNIOR GERMAN OFFICER And the others. galloping over to Joey. GUNTHER Sir . now standing behind them. JUNIOR GERMAN OFFICER.to get the injured men off the field... EXT.that’s enough talk about horses.
whoa. whoa. well. And instinct for survival. DAY. Topthorn balks violently.. removes it. GUNTHER Well. GUNTHER (CONT’D) Whoa. Whoa. turnips from their three acre crop. we see a hand gripping a battered. MICHAEL You won’t get the harness on. Si Easton lets himself in through the gate. easy. Amongst the wounded. Whoever taught you this has just saved your life. Gunther turns to Joey. Ted pulls up . wounded but alive. now. Michael. easy now.Gunther and Michael are returning from the battlefield with Topthorn and Joey. Easy.50. Easy now. DEVON. pulling an ambulance with British and German wounded.and tries to get Topthorn into it. which helps to calm Topthorn enough that Gunther can slip the collar onto the big black horse.they’re cavalry GUNTHER Let’s try. and places it in his pocket. folds it. NARRACOTT’S FARM. EXT. silk lined hat. Gunther lifts a heavy pulling harness . Englishman. MICHAEL Gunther! It’s hopeless . with his strange self assurance and self sacrifice.we can’t help them. It is Waverly. And suddenly Joey moves up and presents himself. MICHAEL It won’t work . Gunther spots the red ribbon in Joey’s saddle. look at you. impressed. He sniffs the harness and places his head through it. whoa.. GUNTHER Come on. Later .
who’d be sending me a parcel over there? DAD Well.. It’s hard work. ALBERT It’s a sketchbook. never! ALBERT (excited) And there’s a letter. go on then. from the.and I thought I could go up that way in the morning. is also engaged in the harvest.here it is. Albert opens the parcel and pulls out a leather sketchbook. just across a furrow. open it and see. (reading) “Dear Albert Narracott. I . wiping her brow) Hello.. from the. SI EASTON Hello the farm! ROSIE (looking up. ROSIE Well. (gasp of realization) That’s Captain Nicholls’ sketchbook! See that? That’s a picture of Joey! ROSIE It’s a picture of Joey. Mrs. Rosie. go on. (MORE) Well..51.. from over there .. ALBERT Well. Si holds a parcel. And . Allen said a parcel had come for Albert.. Si Easton! Albert passes carrying a crate laden with turnips. but pulls up short when he hears: SI EASTON I was at the post office and while I was there. ALBERT All right.
EVENING. her heart breaking for him. ROSIE You weren’t to know it was bad news. Dad returns to the harvest without a word. Rosie looks at her son.you. Albert looks off to the horizon and . Everybody falls silent. ALBERT (CONT'D) Captain Nicholls. ALBERT ”In action.” it says. But it’s Gunther the Officer wants to talk to.. BASE CAMP OFFICER.. Si Easton drops his head guiltily. Full marching orders. GERMAN BASE CAMP. Get moving! As the soldiers hop to their orders. not you . Albert goes to the fence and looks down at the sketches of Joey.. Come.A step stool. who died in action today left you this. Rosie catches this. removes their harnesses and carries them across the road. Gunther dashes over and pulls him up just before a military convoy pulls into the camp. Michael mounts the stool next to Joey and Topthorn.over there. who died.Captain Nicholls. running over the tack.52. Gentlemen! We move forward to the frontline tonight. The BASE CAMP OFFICER appears on a motorbike. BASE CAMP OFFICER (CONT’D) No. ROSIE You don’t know that he was riding him. the officer turns to Schroeder! BASE CAMP OFFICER Schroeder! Both Michael and Gunther turn to him. CLOSE -. Sergeant Sam Perkins. . Michael slips and falls into the mud. Yours. ALBERT He was riding Joey when he died. EXT..
Gunther is stricken by the news. he’s also very good with horses. He walks away. You are best with the horses and we need to move the camp quickly if the enemy continue to push through from the west. packing together. Soldiers are lifting up their equipment . GUNTHER Yes. that you’re a boy. We leave tonight. (to Michael) Get moving. GUNTHER They’re pushing through? BASE CAMP OFFICER I’m told. Gunther can’t really speak. And there are Gunther and Michael. BASE CAMP OFFICER Oh no no. Gunther. GERMAN CAMP / VARIOUS. but Michael is excited. I’ll tell them you are only fourteen. Michael is just a boy. GUNTHER You are not going. EVENING.53. We will move later when we find where the horses are needed most. Not necessary. MICHAEL Father signed me in. Gunther picks up the dropped harnesses as he approaches. -and so do they.gathering . BASE CAMP OFFICER (CONT’D) I’m keeping you here. a few last soldiers are packing. He knew my age . sir. Perhaps I can keep my brother here with me.moving in the same direction. In a quiet tent. EXT. As he leads Joey past his brother: MICHAEL It’s all right.
talking in almost a whisper. that you would be safe with me. I made her a solemn promise. Gunther pulls the red pennant from his pocket and follows Michael out of the tent to where the soldiers are lining up in the road.slip underneath the bed until they move out.. GUNTHER I’m giving this to you. I just wasn’t listening. I’ll see you at the front. Looking round. MICHAEL (CONT’D) Gunther. MICHAEL (CONT’D) Gunther. The moment to leave has come.. With me. GUNTHER (CONT’D) They’ll never make a head count. the tent is now empty. And when all the machines break down and they call up the horses. Gunther ties the pennant to the back of Michael’s pack as he forms up. .. GUNTHER (CONT’D) To keep you safe. MICHAEL (CONT’D) Mother obviously never taught you how to fold a shirt. The process of packing is their way of coping with the shock. Gunther is folding one of Michael’s shirts. it will be fine. Gunther heads to the tent opening. There are too many of us. And now the case is packed. For luck. GUNTHER Of course she did. But you need to listen now! I promised her.54. Michael takes it back. Michael!! He leans close to Michael. We’ll be together again.. You can stay here . MICHAEL Then what? Michael carries on with his packing.
on the Western Front. This was his plan all along.he looks at the skyline of violence ahead. WOODS. LATER. And now.. the two of them are fully on Topthorn. BASE CAMP OFFICER Im schnellschritt! Marsch.Michael is following his brother. swept along.Gunther is on Topthorn . The two horses are uneasy .tears in his eyes. They leave a jumble of soldiers in their wake as the officers try to restore order.he passes Gunther.can’t believe what they have done . These soldiers moving into the darkness and towards death.. Gunther speeds toward him.pulling him upwards. as he is yanked out of the line and dragged along the ground. Suddenly we see the galloping legs of two horses. The brothers look at each other .. Marching towards Ypres. Michael looks at the soldiers beside him . A few minutes later .55. a red pennant unfurled and flapping in the wind. Michael smiles at him and begins to march.and has hold of Joey. Gunther looks on .sensing tension. And Michael and Joey and Gunther and Topthorn charge on to freedom. following Gunther on Topthorn. He remains eager. galloping beside him. . desperately close to Joey’s pounding hooves.. Michael now rides Joey. tied onto Michael’s pack. vier! We settle on young Michael .in line . spots what he is looking for. GERMAN OFFICER Get back in line! Line! EXT.but before he can decide. But it is goodbye. They spot a lonely house and burst past a line with some drying clothes. galloping along the line of soldiers. Back to the soldiers.Gunther grabs a saddle and throws it onto Joey’s back. Gunther. he feels his brother’s arm . It’s clear what is happening . he suddenly finds his arms and legs akimbo.links! Zwei. They whip past the back of the line of marching soldiers. And in an instant he is beside him and without Michael ever realizing. on a loose rope. drei. doesn’t know if it is right.
though all too soon day starts to break in the far distance. they grab civilian shirts and jackets and trousers. MICHAEL And us? What about us? Gunther looks at him . As they ride. They see a very dilapidated windmill. MICHAEL I’m hungry. waiting for sleep. DAWN. the clothes pegs pinging off and falling to the ground. But in the end. They reach the windmill. he will be glad. MICHAEL Will Father be ashamed? GUNTHER He will pretend to be. Michael fingers the pennant on Joey’s reins. WINDMILL. The machinery of the windmill creaks in the dawn. MICHAEL What about the women? . careful now that it is light outside. INT. The brothers untether the horses. I was proud to go.56. Maybe at first he will be.but doesn’t reply. They aim for it as the sun begins to seriously break over the horizon. / EXT.They sit in silence. GUNTHER Yes. Did you bring food? GUNTHER I’m sorry... Then. And on they ride . Later . MICHAEL (CONT’D) The food in Italy is good. As Michael removes Joey’s saddle: MICHAEL (CONT’D) I was ready to go. It feels very unused. in a very small voice) I wanted to go. (after a beat.
DUSK. Goodnight. .we have a big night of riding ahead.they’ve eaten too much of the food? GUNTHER You are too young for war. GUNTHER Go.. WINDMILL.. Head-lamps filter through the cracks in the windmill walls stabbing the brothers awake. Hei! GERMAN SOLDIER In die windmühle! Michael swats him away. MICHAEL (CONT’D) What? GUNTHER Go to sleep . Not anymore. MICHAEL Because. but as he settles in the hay: MICHAEL Night night. And you’re too young for women! Gunther laughingly pushes him over. go. Suddenly something awakens Joey. MICHAEL I don’t feel so young. Michael and Gunther are stirring in their sleep as we hear a car and several motorcycles approaching.57. Hear the sound of engines and see lights through the slats sweeping across Joey’s face. Michael. GUNTHER Not as good as the food. speaking in terrified whispers.. Michael. EXT. He stirs and then rises. MICHAEL Okay.. He jokingly strokes Michael’s cheek. Gunther and Michael sleep. MICHAEL (CONT’D) The boys spring up. go. Gunther.
THE WINDMILL. Then the windmill doors are thrown open. he lights a cigarette. They cower as they hear boots tromping up the steps outside. WINDMILL. The two horses turn. INT.the doors of the windmill creak. Through the turning arms of the windmill. DAY. reflected in Joey’s eye. but GUNTHER A promise.the bodies on the ground. BASE CAMP OFFICER A mistake? He’s offering an excuse. BASE CAMP OFFICER Ja. but Michael stumbles against a table..and we see. we see what they see: A German car two motorcycles. They race up a nearby ladder. Six Germans. The officer accepts this grimly. DAY. pinning them in the bright headlights of the vehicles. It clatters loudly. The door opens a little . As the boys are taken away. nods.. thirteen-year-old country girl (EMILIE). sir. we glimpse the double execution. EXT. closing the big door behind her. GUNTHER Yes. INT. And she walks straight out again. still waiting. There are Joey and Topthorn. They stare straight back at her. She stares at the horses. beautiful. As they’re marched out. Four rifles fire . OUTSIDE THE WINDMILL. NIGHT. immensely aware of the break in the silence.flashes of the soldiers shooting . And then suddenly . BASE CAMP OFFICER Schroeder. Joey and Topthorn settle for a moment. . including the officer who was in charge of them.58. upsetting some gear. Complete stillness in the empty countryside. a very delicate.
Joey and Topthorn are in a slightly different place . You say you aren’t worried but it’s clear you are. EMILIE Grandpére. Grandpére. it’s just a trick of the wind. small fields. GRANDFATHER Here. You shouldn’t lie to me. sugar. He enters the kitchen . DAY. burdened with a basket of berries heading back towards the farmhouse.which is rough. She empties her clean berries into a bowl.but this time she comes in carrying two buckets full of water. Time transition . It is the same little girl .” He retrieves a bottle of medicine from the mantle.it’s moving away from us. “Oh. INT.and the door opens again. EMILIE (CONT’D) It’s closer today. GRANDFATHER The wind plays tricks with the noise . and there is no wind. planted with different fruit crops. FARMHOUSE / FARM. but full of the paraphernalia of jam-making .a wind so strong it will lift you off the ground.far in the distance the STORM OF WAR is in the sky.jars. sieves.. EMILIE You lie about everything. A small humble farmhouse . He heads towards the side-board. We see an old man (GRANDFATHER). dumps the two bags and lifts the first handful of fruits on to the counter. explosions outside. Emilie is at the sink. EMILIE I can hear it.59. / EXT. I know the war is approaching but you say. Notes the . washing berries. But over there . There is no wind here. pectin.and round it. A SOUND CAUSES HIM TO LOOK OUT ACROSS THE FARM -..
EMILIE (CONT'D) They’re dead. But you won’t say so. This is François (Joey) and this is Claude (Topthorn). COURTYARD.60. She sticks her wet finger in the sugar and sucks it to help with the taste of the medicine. They were standing in the windmill waiting for Don Quixote. .who stand in the small courtyard outside the house. GRANDFATHER (CONT'D) .who is the one telling lies! EXT. Do you think I’ll die if you tell me the truth? GRANDFATHER The truth is He feeds her a spoonful of the medicine. putting his hands on his hips) Now . Grandfather looks stunned as he paces in front of JOEY AND TOPTHORN . SAME. GRANDFATHER In the windmill? EMILIE Yes. GRANDFATHER (smiling) Did I say that? EMILIE You started lying when Mama and Papa went away.you should speak to your elders with respect. She pours a load of sugar into a bowl with the fruit. I will tell you the truth about the big horses I’ve been keeping in the windmill. EMILIE If you tell me the truth about the war. GRANDFATHER (standing.
GRANDFATHER Yes. EMILIE I named them after two boys who broke my heart last Summer. GRANDFATHER Emilie. You cannot EMILIE Mother used to tell me how my bones would give way with the slightest bump or fall. Emilie. GRANDFATHER Yeah.. That’s right.one day. Grandpére. EMILIE It will only be settled when I decide which one to ride first. EMILIE And if no one comes to get them by night-time.so I will be fair and wait -.61. . Emilie. GRANDFATHER But it’s ..Over my dead body! EMILIE At least I won’t have long to wait.. They are not unicorns . GRANDFATHER They must belong to someone.but then calmly leads the horses back to the windmill. then they belong to me. ride. -.I know.. So it is settled? She kisses his cheek -GRANDFATHER (CONT'D) Good girl. Horses like this don’t just appear from a fairy-tale. GRANDFATHER Look at me. EMILIE Yes .
(to Claude) Unfortunately he was in love with a girl called Marie. When I call you. Grandfather watches Emilie from inside the house as he makes jam. She fell for a boy called Claude . The big one for Joey and a little demonstration obstacle for herself. but Joey doesn’t move. Joey stands quietly as Emilie hobbles to the big jump.a bit away from the farm house . Emilie is with the horses in the little stable at the end of the courtyard .62../EXT.S. EMILIE (CONT’D) Today we learn to jump.who had your lovely eyes.not very nice gruel.be very brave and leap over it. FIELD IN FRONT OF FARMHOUSE. EXT. DAY.. . Emilie has fashioned two jumps. That is the end of the conversation as far as she is concerned. DAY. EMILIE (to Joey) I was in love with a boy called François .that she has spent no time around horses. And who I intend to marry one day. The red pennant hangs from the stick. She leads Joey to a starting point about 30 yards in front of some crates supporting a stick about four feet off the ground..) Eyes on me. who had your teeth. WE SEE THAT SHE IS HESITANT WITH THEM . Grandfather chuckles..who broke my heart. She claps. EMILIE (CONT'D) This is your jump. No talking.. FARM HOUSE. Outside. Emilie indicates the larger barrier. making a jumping gesture with her hand. INT. EMILIE (O. Did you know the French cleared one meter eightyfive at the Paris Olympics to win the gold medal? Today we will beat that record..she is feeding them out of a bucket .
EMILIE (CONT'D) Leap over it! Watch me. (Emilie looking down at how far off the ground she is) You are. He laughs and goes back to work.very tall. she slings the carrots over her shoulder. BARN. we will show him. FARMHOUSE. she carries a small wooden step ladder. She turns to her demonstration jump and easily steps over her six-inch high barrier. JUMP TO: Emilie returns Joey to the starting line and runs back behind the big jump. Joey slowly emerges from the barn with Emilie out in front leading him with one hand. She takes a bite herself. LATER. frustrated. EMILIE (CONT’D) (Her voice shaking) No need to be afraid. DAY.. . EMILIE (CONT’D) And now it’s your -She turns to find Joey already stepping over her mini-jump. stopping in front of her. Grandfather is watching through the window as he prepares his strawberry jams.63. From behind her back she produces three big carrots dripping soil. He’s only interested in the apple in her hand. Joey’s ears perk and he takes off quickly but at the last moment veers right and passes between the two jumps. JUMP TO: EXT. In the other hand. BACK TO FIELD Aware she’s being watched. EMILIE He doesn’t think we can do it. won’t we? But Emilie unfolds the ladder beside Joey and shakily starts climbing to the top of it. INT..
The bikes arrive first. Two trucks led by a German motorcycle are approaching the farm.and the new year’s crop is ready. Before she can swing her leg over Joey’s back GRANDFATHER You’ll kill yourself. Grandfather pushes over the jumps and jams the pennant into his pocket. come off the ladd-A SOUND from far down the road. GRANDFATHER (CONT’D) Find somewhere to hide them. just missing Emilie as she leads the horses behind the house. As they walk past. Halt! GERMAN OFFICER Und aussteigen! The people . GRANDFATHER My name is Bonnard . The trucks arrive.at just the moment all the work has brought forth fruit .one of the soldiers in the front jumps out and opens the back. GRANDFATHER Oh please. Grandfather looks. move out of the truck.20 of them. Emilie turns to look too. Emilie turns. they avoid the eye of the Grandfather. EMILIE Only if you get in my way to make me fall. all seeming to be poor French peasants. blocking the hurdle.picking all the fruits .this is my land. or using the aprons they wear .the 20 peasants spread out and move through the field . Why are you here? SOLDIERS Food for the soldiers at the front. . now standing hands on hips.64. mainly women. and there. Everyone must give their share. is Grandfather. And suddenly we see what is going to happen .with either bags. And do it quickly!!! As Emilie races off with the horses. pull round . who approaches the soldiers.
We have no animals. GERMAN SOLDIER But there’s fresh hay in your barn. black-currants. where the Germans continue to raid their other supplies. GERMAN SOLDIER A pot is a pot. One German picks up waterbath canner -. the officer in charge of the unit.65.the aprons and baskets are getting full. gooseberries. overhearing. Where are the horses? Pause. EMILIE What horses? The sound of jars breaking draws Grandfather and Emilie into the kitchen. Watching from his car and calmly smoking a cigar is BRANDT. casually using his finger to scoop jam from an open jar. GRANDFATHER They are taking everything. They move through the rows of fruit like a plague of locusts. Back to the Grandfather . We’ll find some use for it. Emilie enters. GERMAN SOLDIER Her grandfather? . In a few minutes. Sir. EMILIE We use it to replace the mattress stuffings. GRANDFATHER I make jam. everything he lives by will be gone. Raspberries.inspecting it. Cut to the fields . GERMAN SOLDIER What is it? GRANDFATHER Leave it if you don’t know what it’s for.and out of the house comes Emilie. where’s the livestock? Brandt sits quietly.
when a clumping noise from somewhere in the house begins. . GRANDFATHER An old house creaks. GERMAN SOLDIER You know. GERMAN SOLDIER Where are her parents? EMILIE (breaking in) They’re dead. The soldier picks up the GERMAN SOLDIER She’s sickly. Emilie runs out of the room.66. They died. no? GRANDFATHER If you or any of your friends harm her. medicine bottle. I was going to give you back your pot. GRANDFATHER It plays tricks in the Brandt licks his finger and tests: BRANDT There is no wind. The soldier looks shocked and then begins to laugh. GERMAN SOLDIER What is that? The wind. as old as I am. But now I’m going to keep it.close the shutters. putting the pot back where he found it. The German nods and is about to take his leave. (to Emilie) Go . For soup. He slaps the medicine flask into Grandfather’s chest. GRANDFATHER Yes. attic. He slings the huge pot he had put back up on his shoulder and leaves the house with the other soldiers. I will kill you.
are the two horses.and there. You are a coward. A huge bombardment somewhere in the deep distance. The distant. Grandfather doesn’t respond. to be have this war - . Did you know the French the best carrier pigeons? And could be the difference in the our messages getting through. To my mother and father. They look huge tiny room. And tomorrow’s my birthday! They died fighting. It was your parents who were brave. malicious giants of war growl.67. GRANDFATHER Maybe there are different ways brave. It is like a lightning storm on the horizon.you do nothing. EMILIE Tell me what happened to them. Yes. we cut to the upstairs bedroom where lies curled up on the bed . aren’t you? GRANDFATHER Yes. didn’t they? But when the soldiers come She finally turns to face him. The kitchen has been emptied. The war has finally come to them . I make jams. But much closer than before. EMILIE And you’ve never done a brave thing in your life? He eases himself into a chair and shrugs. As the Emilie either in the Germans leave. INT. LATE THAT NIGHT. BRANDT We will be back in the new season. standing on side of the bed . KITCHEN.and we can see it on Emilie’s face. EMILIE (CONT'D) . On my birthday. EMILIE (CONT’D) You said you would tell me how they died. The sound of shells exploding.
MORNING. He sweeps aside a rug from the barn floor. FARMHOUSE KITCHEN. Then. THE BARN.and you know you can never look down. he lifts a big ungainly object. Can you imagine such a thing? Here you are flying over so much pain and terror . EMILIE I looked like an ugly nun. Emilie comes down the stairs as Grandfather waits proudly by the stove. EMILIE I hope you have not bought me a disgusting dress that I then have to wear like last year.this is all they know. EMILIE I don’t want to hear about the birds. GRANDFATHER They are released at the front and told to go home . GRANDFATHER (laughing) It was disgusting? Yes.68. . You have to look forward or you’ll never get home. to reveal a trap door.what could be braver than that? Emilie sheds a single tear. DAWN. But to get there they must fly over a war. strokes Topthorn’s nose as he passes. INT. She stops when she sees the OBJECT COVERED BY THE RUG. Emilie moves toward the object that is covered. I ask you . EMILIE What is that? GRANDFATHER A present. covered in another rug. he opens it. Grandfather enters the barn. INT. Now from out of the trap door.
I promise. GRANDFATHER It was your mother’s. I want you to ride very slowly. of course. She runs her hand along the saddle -. All at once. we have no money. the boss. I’ll put it back. EMILIE I promise. And promise me you won’t go far -Of course. It’s just an old thing I found . She pulls off the rug that is covering the big thing and. GRANDFATHER To the top of the hill and straight back again. EMILIE Okay. Her face explodes with a gorgeous smile. JUST BEYOND THE FARMHOUSE. .don’t worry yourself . then you can buy me jewels and carriages. (she takes it in hers) Grandpére. NEAR THE WINDMILL. Emilie. Now Emilie is alone and she can’t help it when she brings her eyes back to the object covered by the rug. Grandfather helps to swing Emilie up and into the saddle. A HILL. my sweet one. He leaves the room. very carefully. Anything-you-say! You are. Then she stops herself and turns to Grandfather with a parental rebuke.it is a gorgeous old saddle. When the war is over. releasing her hair to spill down her back and shoulder. EMILIE (CONT'D) Give me your hand.can hardly believe it. Emilie unties her hair and tosses the red pennant to Grandfather. INT. She looks back over her shoulder to make sure she’s not being watched and then lifts one corner of the rug. I hid it.. so as not to encourage you. The grandfather smiles and gives Emily a hug. GRANDFATHER Anything you say.69. the Grandfather’s charity evaporates.leave it.. DAY.
and charges off following.and then over the top of a nearby hill . The Grandfather running . tries to get to Joey. She rides . EMILIE (CONT’D) My hero. but a brutal line of German soldiers .and motorbikes. GRANDFATHER (CONT’D) Emilie! Topthorn suddenly rears up .she speeds over it and out of sight. who bucks and rears.. very worried. alien fear. He hears an indistinct scream from Emilie! He reaches the top of the hill . sensing danger. astride a panicked Joey.70. who is being roughly led away by a German soldier. Another one holds Topthorn.and quickly spurs him to a gallop. And there amongst them is Emilie. Grandfather starts to run in the direction of the hill. which he has been fearing.a sudden change of mood. GERMAN COLUMN NEAR THE WINDMILL. Grandfather starts down the hill towards his granddaughter.out of breath. No movement.past the windmill . Back to the hill . It is like a line of Indians in a Western total.. no returning girl. surrounded by soldiers.slowly. unhorsed... GRANDFATHER Slowly. Topthorn charging over the brow of the hill. GRANDFATHER (CONT’D) Emilie! Cut again to the top of the hill. Emilie. EXT. She sets off on Joey . An empty shot. then back to the Grandfather.comes over the brow . but to no avail. No! EMILIE Let go of me! No! .and there is not the fallen body of Emilie. THE SAME The Germans are moving through the horses they have gathered.
There are so EMILIE You don’t need them! many others! Emilie is still sobbing. GRANDFATHER It will never be over! BRANDT You have your answer then. He tries to calm her down.71. Brandt approaches. in tears. GRANDFATHER (calling after) What will happen to them? BRANDT They will pull artillery until they die EMILIE (coughing) François! BRANDT . Joey is tied up as is Topthorn.in horror that she is now struggling so hard for breath.or until the war is over. Emilie is kicking and screaming . Emilie screams at him. A soldier roughly shoves Emilie at him. The motorbikes start up and drive off. please! Don’t hurt her. You are breaking my granddaughter’s heart. Grandfather hugs her . The Grandfather hugging tiny Emilie as she coughs. stop! Don’t hurt her. She is screaming. GRANDFATHER Please. GRANDFATHER She is my granddaughter! Emilie. . BRANDT (leaving) The war has taken everything from everyone.but also desperately short of breath. take the bigger one and leave the smaller one. Grandfather grabs her.
He marvels at Topthorn. FRIEDRICH (CONT’D) Such a pity. You can see in their eyes the confusion. In a strange way. GERMAN CAMP. joined by little echoes throughout the film. this is a moment like when soldiers arrived to liberate the prisoners who had been kept in Changi prison by the Japanese during World War 2. BRANDT They look strong .. Two grooms trail Brandt. FRIEDRICH You are beautiful. He sighs..huge. . EXT. but also just one. FRIEDRICH (CONT’D) It’s a pity they found you. FRIEDRICH Yes. sir. But then he looks to the other horses penned nearby. FRIEDRICH is an unprepossessing.should last a month or two.. And then they go over a ridge . BRANDT Heiglemann . For Joey and Topthorn. leading Joey and Topthorn toward a makeshift corral. He turns to Joey. LATER. massive guns and cannons and artillery being dragged by teams of horses that are in a terrible condition. This is a whole different world.and we suddenly see the explanation of Friedrich’s comment. They have never seen horses in this condition. haggard and weak.these are yours.. there are many humans Joey meets.and it is a scene of horse horror .72. chubby man. He takes the leads of the pair of them. The Germans disappear up the lane leaving the old man and the child bereft in the bitter cold. The road they can see below them is the main through road of the area . where horses can turn into creatures that look like this. the spirit of goodness and consideration for animals.
Friedrich leads Joey and Topthorn in the wake of THE HUGE MORSER . It has come to this.because he always fights through. For Joey it is another level of knowledge . bring up another horse! BRANDT That one! Friedrich begins leading Joey up the hill. The big black one! Friedrich hauls Topthorn.73. This may be the moment the mighty Topthorn begins to lose hope. bring up another one! ARTILLERY OFFICER Heiglemann.pulled by a particularly wretched group of horses. one of the lead horses collapses he will never get up again. but -BRANDT (CONT’D) No. And it is also a vision of their future. . Brandt steps up. EXT.another mighty thing he will fight through . BRANDT Heiglemann. ARTILLERY OFFICER Pull together! A soldier calls from the front of the heavy cannon . ARTILLERY SOLDIER Halt! Halt! Stop! Lower down the hill. Topthorn. Stop! FRIEDRICH Stop! At the front of the Morser. pulls a revolver out of his pocket and shoots the horse dead. STEEP INCLINE. Brandt shouts to Friedrich from the road. Joey. DAY. no. and all the other horses are spooked by the pistol shot. while Joey watches. Friedrich waves down the rest of the column. hesitantly.an elaborate 15 ton monstrosity with a six inch bore. It takes a team of six horses to haul it with a dozen men pushing from behind.
Joey feels the dead weight of the gun. (calling off) Hook him up. These are several tons of cast iron . sir. As Joey is hooked to the gun. .giving up his life to save his friend. sir. Friedrich notices. BRANDT Private. FRIEDRICH His leg is not good enough. sir. But if you move him up to the heavy gun. he looks back to Friedrich who leads Topthorn back down the hill. He gallops up the hill to the gun . BRANDT You should never give a name to anything you are certain to lose. and Joey’s. STEEP INCLINE. this one is stronger. Brandt takes up Friedrich. His leg. FRIEDRICH As you see. LATER. sir. He bucks and rears. this grim circus struggles along the pot-holed country road in the rain. The convoy struggles up the hill. BRANDT You have given them names? FRIEDRICH Yes. Prince is already losing condition. sir.offering himself up to save Topthorn. Friedrich turns to Brandt. you will do as you are told. As he reaches Brandt: FRIEDRICH He’s a good horse.almost dwarfing the horses. EXT. Friedrich has no choice but as he starts to lead Topthorn. Joey rears up and escapes his groom.74. It is his “Tale of Two Cities” moment . offer BRANDT Hook him up. he will be no use at all. Together.
Soldiers strain at the sides of the gun. Joey leads the team up the incline. Joey finally staggers over the top . Friedrich watches anxiously. over rough scree.it feels as though the tethers are going to snap with the strain .75.. EXT. Soldiers scurry around the giant gun. the cannon always in danger of rolling back. the crest of the hill.Fitzcarraldo-like . And then from another. The going. DAY. is very tough indeed.and secure it. THE BATTLEFIELD. ARTILLERY OFFICER (CONT’D) And. ARTILLERY OFFICER (CONT’D) Position! The barrel of the giant gun ratchets upward. One throws boards under the wheels to aid in traction. preparing it. For the first time we see the big picture .but at last the cannon reaches the peak.over the hill. Each step is an immense effort. but his experience in Dartmoor comes into play and although he almost loses his balance several times he stays upright and hauls the cannon . As they reach the top of the hill it almost seems the effort is too much. OFFICER Halt! Halt! Take the horses away! ARTILLERY OFFICER Shell! Friedrich observes with Topthorn as a giant shell is carried to the gun’s breech. We follow his progress step by step.the line of assembled cannons of which they were just one tiny part.fire! The shell explodes from the barrel.. ARTILLERY OFFICER (CONT’D) And load! The men wrestle it into place Back! . It is very difficult for Joey to get a foothold on the loose ground. ARTILLERY OFFICER (CONT’D) Case! . And another.
Explosions light the dirty faces of British boys in uniform. A boy we knew. a PADRE is giving them communion. The deafening noise of shelling all around. one after the next. Each gun recoils violently as they shoot their shells into oblivion . SERGEANT MARTIN Valuables in the bucket. with Albert happy young British soldiers that are are ordered back on the line. you’ll get them back.1918. Albert gets his grenades and walks further along the trenches. The sound of the explosions takes us to EXT.the line seemingly endless . Albert and Andrew move down the trench in a line of soldiers who are given ammo belts and grenades. some money. EARLY DAWN. We see Albert’s addressed to “Ted and Rose Narracott” in Devon. We follow him in real time as he passes a bunch of soldiers who are kneeling in the ankle deep water. further on letters letter posts it . Smoke wafts from the guns as we see the explosions in the distance.this massive merciless thing. If you live. Good lads. Each light fading out before the next great blast illuminates another anonymous face -then another and then another . you’ll get them back. A gruff sergeant (SERGEANT MARTIN) walks the trench with a bucket and each soldier puts in their valuables and personal belongings. BRITISH TRENCHES. Hold on him for extra moments before he fades completely. lads. This is what the horses have been feeding .as soon as one shell is fired another is loaded the noise is deafening . TITLE: FRANCE . etc. ANDREW Maybe it’s a drill. NIGHT. Albie. One a lighter.an obscene production line of death. THE SOMME With the barrage huddled in a low Andrew Easton is far cry from the lifted. and he’s shaken and terrified.76. We keep following Albert’s progress in real time there is a post box where they all put their final home in identical green envelopes. EXT. If you live. the sub-trench. He in a battered metal post box. Maybe it’s a drill like last time.and then ALBERT. BRITISH TRENCH.
now in charge of this small group of men. ALBERT Don’t you remember? . An officer approaches: DAVID Love letter? ALBERT That’s my business.Lyon’s son . Anyone who comes back gets to share it out. There was. I’ve lost my needle in a haystack. ALBERT (CONT’D) Remember that day me and Joey raced you in your car? DAVID I remember you somersaulting through the air. Still arrogant . ALBERT Who was that girl you were with? DAVID There was a girl? Albert nods. Andrew can’t help but giggle. DAVID I hear you and your mate were doing bird imitations again. and I could use some help. ALBERT (to Andrew) Stay here.and clearly enjoying his superior rank. You gonna write a letter to your horse? Albert ignores him. It is David . DAVID (CONT’D) Anything valuable. DAVID (CONT’D) After you find your horse. Albert follows David down the trench. David takes up a bucket and walks down the line of soldiers.looking older than Albert in his uniform .77.
keep your eyes open and God and the King will keep an eye on you. Now David leads his troop through the trenches to the front line where they stop. SERGEANT MARTIN Be ready! Be ready! Let’s go. Narracott. lean against the enemy-side wall nervously and wait .and every man fixes the brutal shining bayonet to the end of his gun. boys. DAVID It was just some girl. David points to him. DAVID Hold your nerve. I suppose. Sergeant Martin moves along the lines. There’s a way through. DAVID (CONT’D) You see? Always entertaining.each man in private contemplation. smirking. As David walks on. I don’t recall which one. I’ll give you that. Andrew keeps smiling until a large shell explodes nearby. I do remember you falling on your bum in a ditch. Andrew smiles at Albert. ALBERT You know what it reminds me of out there? . Then Albert turns to Andrew. men. ANDREW You did that? You fell on your bum? Albert leaves without answering. Company will fix bayonets! Fix bayonets! The echo of ‘fix bayonets’ goes down the line .78. keep your wits about you. Remember. Troops surge towards their ladders as officers scream indistinct orders. Andrew laughs amiably. pushing men forward. it’s not far to go. get ready to go! Get ready to move out! Stay in position! David calls out from atop a trench ladder. (he moves down the line) Run fast.
He slips it inside his shirt. that’s our ticket. boys.79. too. always. ANDREW And this here is the worst day of my life. yeah? We have the pluck but they have the luck. come on. and you’re here cheering me on. Narracott. DAVID You. Andrew and Albert pass by the bucket. They throw some valuables in. Albert goes back to the bucket and pulls something out . (to Andrew) And you. But a moment later. too. Andrew particularly feels as though he is on the very edge now.a worn piece of paper . David urges them forward. about to begin.it is the little sketch that Captain Nicholls drew of Joey the night before they left for France. Us two. ANDREW What? ALBERT That bloody impossible lower field the day me and Joey plowed it. And then the fear takes over again. next to his heart. . He nods at David Lyons. David turns to Albert and Andrew. ladder! To the ALBERT (to Andrew) Stick close to the gentry. Best day of my life that was and you were there. Stay on the flanks. SOLDIER Yes. They both smile. DAVID Once you’re in no man’s land.he unfolds it . who gives instructions to another soldier. And him. sir. go to the flanks. DAVID Come on.
but manages to nod. The COMMANDER arrives. SERGEANT (CONT’D) Up there. followed by the next man and the next. He puts his foot on the ladder. Understand? Andrew looks ready to cry. on your ladders. ALBERT It’s good. SERGEANT MARTIN (CONT'D) If anybody turns back. Andrew turns towards a ladder. mounts his ladder and blows a whistle to signal the charge. son. only to be pushed back by the sergeant. That’s it. your ladder to your work! Up Albert looks nervously back at Albert. SERGEANT MARTIN Listen to your sergeant! He pulls Andrew aside. checks the time on his AIDE’s watch. DAVID (CONT’D) Come on. Do you understand? SOLDIERS Yes. Is retreating. SERGEANT Do you understand me? Do you understand what I’m telling you. then hauls himself over the top. Albert steels himself. David now heads up the ladder first.he is first in line. In you go. Andrew. it’s good. As fate and placement would have it . On your ladders. if any one of our boys come running towards you you take this rifle and you shoot them dead. sir! The sergeant pushes in on Andrew. Up your ladder. . Today. son? You take this rifle and you shoot them dead. comforting. speaking so that everyone can hear. Albert turns to him. private and intense. when suddenly the Sergeant stops him. Andrew! Andrew! Nobody.80. Gun fire overhead. in you go. Andrew! Nobody’s retreating today. boy. A BAGPIPER plays as the men go over the top.
and then. Other men are running and falling. DAVID (CONT’D) Just leave me. Bullets fly past him. Albert. His experience. They run together.terrified . You’ll be safe. back out of the mist step two men .David screaming at the pain . David is hit. they had forgotten that death was waiting for them if they turned back. He tries to run but his feet sink into the mud. DAVID Yeah. It’s all right. We are him.in the terror of the assault. They suddenly catch sight of Andrew waiting there with his gun pointed towards them. Albert races onward.. ALBERT It’s all right. Someone’ll come for ya. Immediately machine gun fire whistles past.heading back towards him. Back at the trench. We follow Albert. Albert looks round and suddenly. Albert sees cover in a huge shell-hole so dives into it for a moment’s reprieve from the gun fire. listen. Shells explode around them as they stumble on.. we hear the screams of the first men who are shot. Leave me! Albert grabs him and drags him onwards with him . His vision. Albert staggers forward. . Bullets shower all around him. screaming. Felled men are screaming at his feet in fear and agony. They slow down . Andrew waits . yeah? David looks at Albert as though seeing him for the first time.. DAVID Albert. I’m shot! DAVID No! Albert instinctively goes to help. ALBERT You’ll be all right here. He falls to the ground. Then a third.. there are bodies all around him.81.Albert grimly determined. He sits in still terror for a moment. David is now right by him. We’re Devon boys. The ground is blasted.
Albert runs through the trench. Now he’s very close to the machine gun position.past the three men. We see the explosion and the machine gun stop. stalking through the mist. ignoring their warnings.Andrew shifts his gun from pointing at one . Albert is alone. ready for action. RANDOM SOLDIER Get down! Albert continues forward to dive into another shell hole. A sudden all around him. firing enemy. Albert spins round. He finally gets the pin out and he hurls the grenade at the machine gunner. Time seems to slow down . who makes his way to the edge of the shell hole. They are all just boys really. among them Andrew. He chooses his death barrage of machine gun fire Andrew . Albert takes a grenade.82. recovers it. Bullets whizz past forcing him to duck. towards the instead of theirs.he charges up the . Andrew charges past other soldiers. and forward. Bullets whizz inches from his head. All the dead wear More British soldiers drop into the trench. Albert readies his bayonet but the man is dead. drops his rifle. and races through the trench. which seems curiously empty. He glimpses Albert ahead of him. He scrambles from shell hole to shell hole. but there is only the ghostly sight of dead German soldiers. ANDREW NO! . his bayonetted rifle in front of him.we see their individual faces. He looks over to see a German machine gun position to his right. everyone else is dead. Andrew breaks into a smile and rushes forward. He stumbles in the mud. Albert swings round as he sees the startling face of a gasmasked German holding a rifle on him.to the other . Albert sprints over the top again and makes it all the way into the German trench. instinct hits ladder. nearer to the German line. And suddenly. prompting Albert to whirl with his rifle raised. Cut back to Albert. gas masks. slumped backwards against the side of the trench still upright. fumbles with the pin as his hands tremble.
Friedrich stops to check on him. A moment later. GERMAN OFFICER Hey. leading Topthorn and Joey. deadly cloud encompasses Albert. We made it. can barely whisper: ALBERT We made it. Topthorn is limping. Friedrich is walking along. the white. . several inches deep. slogging through muddy water. shouting in panic.83. there’s no stopping here. Andrew grabs Albert and holds him up. the pair of them hurry through the trenches.he coughs badly. a gas cloud blasts through the trench. An instant later. EDGE OF THE BATTLEFIELDS. ALBERT (CONT’D) Andrew.before he takes the full power of it. Albert spots more comrades around a corner and calls ahead to Andrew. DUSK.Topthorn seems to be failing . Albert . Andrew is closest. Something is wrong .. turns to Albert with a helpless ANDREW Albie.. SOLDIER Gas! Gas! Gas! An instant later. overwhelmed. embracing him. Keep them moving. this way out! Suddenly ANOTHER SOLDIER leaps from a trench branch between them.. Albert pauses just in time. An officer notices. EXT. It spreads towards them. Then he collapses against the side of the trench. Close on hooves and boots.. ANDREW (CONT’D) Albie. too powerful to avoid. Andrew and Albert look in horror. too. breathes strangely.
one needs to rest.84. as if trying to pull him upright. Stay on your feet. Stay on No no no. Move them along! Instead.. Friedrich solemnly strokes the horse. FRIEDRICH Sir. GERMAN OFFICER They’re coming! Leave it. please. FRIEDRICH Please.. Joey deeply upset nuzzles his nose into Topthorn but the life drains out him. FRIEDRICH (CONT’D) Please please. he pulls at him desperately not understanding that Topthorn has died. Friedrich tries to help Topthorn valiantly struggling to get up but finally sinks to the ground again. He is dying.all the German soldiers stream back past their position. This time he lies semi-conscious.. He pulls at Topthorn’s reins. please. This GERMAN OFFICER There’s no rest for them. scrambling to get their guns and helmets. Topthorn collapses. Joey will not give up. Friedrich pulls at Joey. your feet. private! Friedrich tries to pull Joey away to safety but Joey will not leave Topthorn’s body. but Joey is too lost in his grief to care about or even notice the danger. Friedrich looks around. . Friedrich is in panic at Topthorn’s quick decline: Come on. Chaos . Suddenly. Friedrich leads the horses under the cover of a low bridge for a brief respite.. For a moment we think Topthorn will come round but he slips away and all life leaves his body. No. FRIEDRICH (CONT’D) Please please. Joey pushes Topthorn as if to stop him falling into unconsciousness. Joey does not understand. Friedrich continues to stroke Topthorn’s head. knowing all is lost. screaming orders at Friedrich. Topthorn’s body is inert.. An officer charges down the bank next to the bridge. Move them along. his head falls to the earth. there’s something wrong. please. A moment later..
and he leaps entirely over a trench. He is about to die.and finds himself charging towards a German company. And then suddenly .the sky lights up in the direction he is heading.but there is blood pouring from his leg. .and he races through it . He attempts to run up the banks.. Run! Run! Run! But this is all background noise to Joey’s profound refusal to accept Topthorn is dead. heading right for Joey. Both sides are equally startled . He has left it too late. he screams at Joey: FRIEDRICH (CONT’D) Run. Joey keeps on running.in countryside . galloping down the streambed.85. and into a trench . rushes away from the fighting.he finds himself crashing downwards. a horse standing over his best friend in a field.a dead end.from around a blind turn in the streambed.a leap he learnt from Emilie. as well. Then scrambles up and over it and leaps down behind. He runs on . He is wild. A shell explodes next to him. He is suddenly in the thick of battle. finding a live horse careering through them.and once again. but the tank keeps advancing.Joey charging through a thin trench lined with German soldiers the soldiers. a huge. He bolts.suddenly there are explosions to the left of him . until he reaches a barbed wire barrier . But as he charges on .. frightened.this fast. Another explosion sends him leaping. clearly torn by his encounter with the tank. but not far enough . COUNTRYSIDE / VILLAGE / TRENCH. He paws at the ground next to Topthorn.it is becoming night .. In desperation. Leave it! GERMAN OFFICER (CONT’D) Come with me! FRIEDRICH Go to hell! The officer nods to two other soldiers who pull Friedrich to safety. Joey is free .leaps over it . The tank is about to crush Joey. he runs straight towards the tank and. but they’re blocked. remorseless tank turns. and he will never leave him. Joey scrambles out of the trench . THE SAME. EXT. But then. counter-intuitively.. He rears up. elegant creature simply runs through the gaps between explosions. As he’s dragged away.
He rises up.confusion . stand to A young soldier. SOLDIER (handing over periscope) Well.he flips and lands amongst even more barbed wire. He cannot see. He crashes through it . wild.shells are exploding all around.S. BRITISH TRENCH. SOLDIER What the hell would a cow be doing out there? We see what he sees . GEORDIE SOLDIER (CONT’D) There’s something moving. He alerts his colleague in his thick. northern.he is stumbling as he runs there is blood mixed with the mud on his legs. pulling him up short .) Stand to. a beast fighting for his life. He cannot move. what is it? . He is in pain. But now it is very dark indeed . GEORDIE SOLDIER (O. He is completely trapped. And suddenly sees in front of him barbed wire.more he bursts through again . SOLDIER What the hell is it? GEORDIE SOLDIER It looks like a cow.fog . It feels like an end. It is Joey in the distance SOLDIER 2 That definitely isn’t a cow. EXT. Newcastle accent. THE SAME. The more he pulls. He falls. Now it is total night . He passes the periscope to the second soldier.now dragging barriers behind him the barriers tangle. the more firmly he is trapped.nothing but morning mist on the surreal landscape . He looks through a periscope.he jumps again. And now everywhere there are potholes . is on look-out duty.86.the land is massively uneven .and something strange. He pulls and turns to release himself but it is impossible. magnificent. a Geordie.
THIRD GERMAN It’s a horse. PETER Yeah. GEORDIE SOLDIER Lads. bugger me. THE SAME. it’s a horse. BRITISH TRENCHES.it’s a horse. GERMAN TRENCH. sees . It isn’t a horse. We see an almost identical scene of several German soldiers looking out at Joey just as the British soldiers had done. EXT. SECOND GERMAN It can’t be a horse. A third German (PETER) lowers his binoculars. The second German looks through the periscope. followed by all of his comrades. Even the captain joins in.Joey in the mist: SECOND GERMAN Yes . EXT. THE SAME. We see what he . THIRD GERMAN It isn’t a horse. BRITISH CAPTAIN Well. The first German looks through his periscope. BRITISH TRENCHES. Now all the soldiers are gathering to look out at Joey. A CAPTAIN now has the periscope. stunned. GERMAN TRENCH.87. Nothing alive could be out there. The Germans hear the clicks and respond with a chorus of whistles. They all try to attract Joey’s attention with tongue clicks. THE SAME. THE SAME. we should call him. Now both sides are whistling. EXT. EXT. BRITISH SOLDIER How do you call a horse? The Geordie starts clicking his tongue. It’s a horse.
GEORDIE SOLDIER Oh sod it. PETER He’s caught on the wire. . THE SAME. Peter lowers his binoculars.. BRITISH TRENCHES. sir. pain. I don’t think so. Geordie climbs up the side of the trench. THE SAME. Joey tries to rise. PETER What’s he doing? SECOND GERMAN It’s a trap. EXT. I think he’s The second German cocks his rifle and starts to take aim. NO MAN’S LAND. and waves a white handkerchief tied to the end of his bayonet. EXT. THIRD GERMAN Scare him back into his hole. We can’t leave him. GERMAN TRENCH. EXT. trying to help.88. He waves the handkerchief to clearly signal he is no threat. BRITISH SOLDIER Listen to him. PETER No. The second German takes a shot aimed over the Geordie’s shoulder. is emboldened to stand up. that’s an order! Get back! Get He whinnies in Geordie. GERMAN TRENCH. The Germans look at the young soldier making his way over No Man’s Land.. but remains entangled. not receiving fire. EXT. THE SAME. do you hear me? Corporal. THE SAME. BRITISH CAPTAIN What do you think you’re doing? back.
he leadeth me into green pastures. Don’t buck and wriggle so. Joey freaks out and begins thrashing about. he lay me down beside the still waters. the Geordie marches forward towards Joey: GEORDIE The Lord is my shepherd. It’s alright. He reaches Joey and surveys the formidable tangle of wire in which Joey’s bundled. waving his handkerchief more frantically. you stupid git! There’s no fire from the German trenches. I shall not want. watches Geordie approach. waving the handkerchief. NO MAN’S LAND. Muttering to himself. threatening to slash it. The Geordie walks very slowly across the mud . still moving his head up and down. wrapped head to toe in barbed wire.. Joey whinnies a high scream of pain. lying on his side. THE SAME. The Geordie calls out in a soothing voice: GEORDIE (CONT’D) Poor beastie. EXT. . Joey calms a little. covered in mud.there are bodies . BRITISH CAPTAIN Get back. He waves his handkerchief as he walks. GEORDIE (CONT’D) You’ll blind yourself. you’re only shredding yourself. is all! The Georgie marshals his courage and stands again.. Joey. because wire is cutting into his hide in several places. Particularly worrisome is a strand that’s wrapped around his head. He crosses a narrow bridge that spans a flooded bomb crater. trying to figure out where to begin.the ground squelches beneath his feet. crossing right over his eye. When Geordie gets too close. The Geordie soothes and at the same time gingerly tests other strands. GEORDIE It’s a white flag. ent it? You see the white flag!? I’m just after tending to this here horse. The Geordie crouches for cover. and as he thrashes it cuts him deeper.89. It’s alright. Poor babbie.
He returns to Joey. still frightened. holding some wire cutters. and they’ll coil back rather violently. Then he points to two other wires. The Geordie. yeah I. OW! DAMN! GEORDIE (CONT’D) OW!! There’s a noise behind him. GEORDIE (CONT’D) Bugger me worthless . GEORDIE (CONT’D) Thanks.. Ummm. and this.. He holds out the wire cutters.and this. PETER I thought perhaps you might need these. nervous about turning his back. He lifts a long strand of wire that wraps around Joey’s neck. thanks. He puts the wire in the crux of the cutters and is preparing to snip when Peter steps closer to him.. PETER That. PETER (CONT’D) For the barbed wire? GEORDIE Yeah. He tries to figure out where to begin cutting. Cheers. which I’m afraid will only wound the poor fellow further. . When you cut it. it’s going to release this He points to a wire wrapped around the wire the Geordie’s lifting. similarly entangled: PETER (CONT’D) . He reaches out and takes the proffered cutters. stares stupidly at them...I didn’t think to bring gloves or something to cut the He stabs his hand on one of the barbs.That’s a very long strand. stretches across his shoulder and torso and around one of his front legs. Cheers. and the Geordie turns around to see the Peter (the German from the trench) standing several feet away.90..
six pairs of cutters come soaring through the air and splash into the watery crater. Then I could cut the wire here He points to one of the wires entangled with the strand he’d been prepared to cut. If you could cut here. it won’t coil back and cut Joey. . Peter positions himself to be able to cut the two wires in quick succession. each with a pair of cutters.91. holding this wire He points to wires that intersect the wire that crosses Joey’s eye. GEORDIE You speak good English. three.Peter and the Geordie kneel beside Joey. PETER (CONT’D) What if we cut his head free first? So he won’t try to stand up and blind himself? And then GEORDIE Pity you didn’t bring a second pair. (re: the cutters) May I? The Geordie hands them over and Peter surveys the wires. The Geordie positions himself across Joey’s body so that when he’s cut the wire. The Geordie nods. PETER (CONT’D) His blind spot. Joey is calming down again. PETER I speak English well. Joey’s completely still now. holding the first wire to stop it from springing back. Peter points between Joey’s eyes. The cutters won’t frighten him. Then he points to the wire across Joey’s eye. two. Peter stands and shouts in the direction of his trench. Moments later . PETER WE NEED MORE WIRE CUTTERS! All at once one.
I’m right behind you. We read. do you not. you are. Both men smile at this while Joey is completely still. Besides. strictly speaking. if ever you need any more rats. GEORDIE Big strapping German girls. the Geordie says to Joey: GEORDIE (CONT’D) And you understand what’s happening. There’s a lad. PETER (CONT’D) I could GEORDIE Say no more. GEORDIE (CONT’D) So how’s things in yonder trench? PETER Delightful. we can always send ours over. ‘Cause we’ve more than we need. There’s a lad. . helping us help you. they scare off all the pretty girls.92. we knit sweaters. and we train our rats to perform circus tricks. GEORDIE Well. Joey returns his gaze. PETER Our girls aren’t afraid of rats. PETER Every Thursday! And they bring rum cake on your birthday. The Geordie looks into Joey’s huge eye as he and Peter get to work on their cutting. cutting the horse’s head free of the wire. As they reposition themselves. eh? Kind what gives robust massages? They laugh. O Best Beloved? That you must lay so very nice and still. in concert. There’s a remarkable lad. they work quickly. you’re a remarkable horse.
PETER War horse. War horse. He’s English. This is fair. no? GEORDIE In a pig’s eye. the horse is mine. . The two soldiers help as the horse staggers upright. Joey raises his head. PETER And now? GEORDIE I take him back with me. neighs and then stirs a little. The two soldiers smile at one another. GEORDIE Yet we taught ‘em opposite. PETER Oh. Look at muscles They’re Runnin’ GEORDIE that horse! Look at the he’s got. though Joey shows no sign of running. plain to see. made for running. And you’re none too clean yourself. The Geordie grabs hold of Joey’s halter. gives it a shake. away from danger. What a strange beast you’ve become. Running into the fray. Joey is finally free. The two men look at each other. The Geordie cuts through the last wire binding Joey’s legs. Then they set about cutting the rest of the wire. PETER Running away is all they have.93. you mean because he’s so filthy? GEORDIE Because he’s so smart. yeah? PETER Since I supplied the cutters. GEORDIE Yeah. it’s much easier now. And there he is. horses. them long legs.
PETER You call it. GEORDIE Heads. PETER We could box.it is Peter. (pause) (MORE) . Must be careful not to start a war. They look down. who looks at it. GEORDIE Peter .I’m Colin. PETER My name is not Fritz . PETER That’s the face of my Kaiser and he does not look pleased with me. The horse is yours. (patting his pockets:) Do you have a coin of any sort? PETER Coin toss? GEORDIE Yeah. GEORDIE (CONT’D) All right. pet.you’re on. Fritz . They collect their helmets as snow begins to blow around them. The Geordie smiles. thanks. resigned. Peter spins it in the air and lets it fall into the mud. Peter shakes his head. GEORDIE Gone quiet. Colin.94. He takes a coin from his pocket. hasn’t it? PETER Yes. He flips the coin back to Peter. And the winner gets the horse. hands it to the Geordie. GEORDIE No.
yes? GEORDIE I will. the A GEORDIE (CONT’D) I’ll use ‘em back in the garden in South Shields. now. PETER Our strange beast. and walks back to his trench. mate. as well. Geordie calls after him: As he goes. PETER (CONT’D) Cheerio. then Peter shakes with him. GEORDIE I’m a terrible shot. (re Joey:) You’ll take good care of him. calling: PETER Remarkable! A remarkable horse! The Geordie leads Joey towards the British trenches. Peter tosses Geordie his cutters. He notices the Geordie has offered his hand. Peter turns back briefly. He hands back the cutters. Peter nods. PETER (CONT'D) But wait half an hour and we’ll be shooting again. You keep your head down.in memory of your handsome friend from Dusseldorf. GEORDIE And you take care of your own strange self. Pete. don’t believe I’ll ever hit the target. beat.95. Pete me lad! As he walks away. GEORDIE Thanks. PETER Thanks. PETER Colin! A pair of German cutters . .
EXT. As Joey makes his journey through the trenches soldiers excitedly gather to watch him come by. The Geordie leads him through the snowy streets. splashing about in the ankle deep water. DAVID The gas got him . TRENCHES. Sergeant Martin is there . It is a surreal image.96. taking pleasure in the saving of this single life. HOSPITAL AREA. . Move on. (bellowing to the men) All walking wounded. MEDICAL OFFICER This can’t be all of us. looking stricken. dumbfounded.as one man helps a wounded soldier into a medical area. THE SAME. He seems enormous in this cramped labyrinth. SERGEANT MARTIN This is all. TRENCHES. hobbling and looking shell-shocked. but Martin waves him on.we had to wait till morning. He is led past the broken and wounded soldiers who look at him with amazement. The waiting soldiers gather to view the strange spectacle of the horse. The medic moves to Sergeant Martin. Joey is led into the hospital area beyond the trenches. SERGEANT MARTIN We’re full up. Another wounded soldier approaches. Andrew is nowhere to be seen. THE SAME. The horse where horses shouldn’t be. LATER. His eyes are bandaged and he’s wheezing. As a MEDICAL OFFICER checks Albert:. We arrive at a section we recognise as the place from where Albert set off only the night before. who now seems in worse condition. wounded soldiers waiting for attention. Joey is now in the trenches. It is David. David is seated next to Albert. away to the dressing station! Away to the dressing station! EXT. EXT. Bandaged men strewn around.
It’s no good. this horse can pull through anything. At one of the dressing areas. you can see that. Joey looks frail and exhausted. Elsewhere. one of them turns toward the commotion. The Geordie soldier stops outside a makeshift hospital. Blinded by gas. corporal. his foreleg clearly injured. sir The Doctor heads back into the hospital. A DOCTOR storms over from his patients. INTENSIVE CARE TENT.97. EXT. DOCTOR What’s this doing here? GEORDIE We need a vet. GEORDIE He’s cut all over. SAME. ALBERT What is it? . DOCTOR There are no vets. eyes bandaged. We’ve scarcely any horses left. DOCTOR It’s probably tetanus. but this leg here’s got the worst of it. Geordie strokes Joey as the Doctor examines him. The doctor absorbs his earnest appeal. DOCTOR I’ve all these men to take care of. a NURSE tends to Albert’s damaged eyes. sir. GEORDIE Please. a line of soldiers waiting for medical assistance are curious about what is going on. dismissive. Behind him. It is Albert. Joey limps. we see Joey pass in the street. sir. can’t you? GEORDIE Please. but Albert doesn’t know it.
breathing very deeply.” GEORDIE (to the doctor:) He was alive. The doctor looks at the Geordie and frowns shaking his head “no. he’s . The Doctor sadly addresses a nearby Sergeant. ALBERT What kind of an horse? AN ORDERLY Bloody miraculous kind of an horse. wandering about in No Man’s Land. DOCTOR It’d be a mercy. Put him out of his misery. The Geordie is broken hearted.98. . The Doctor touches his wounded leg. Joey stands . but I can’t. sir.Well. Albert lies there. HOSPITAL AREA. lad. so to me and me mates. we have high hopes for him DOCTOR You should shoot him now.. but can’t let go of the thought: ALBERT Miraculous horse. Nothing makes it out of No Man’s Land. that leg’s not going to mend. DOCTOR (CONT’D) Sergeant. AN ORDERLY It’s a horse they found. y’see. sir. to the men. SAME. GEORDIE Oh. The men from all over the medical area gather around Joey concerned about their new hero’s pain. EXT. (easing him back onto a cot) Down you go. be my guess. where nothing survives..
walking forward blindly . Suddenly there is a strange owl like whistle from fifty yards away. urging them away. Even the doctor notices this time. The sergeant.before he steps forward to take aim. if you please. the crowd parts . The sergeant draws breath . The sergeant turns Joey’s head back around. The horse nuzzles into him.but can’t take their eyes off it. And now they find that they’ve gathered for an execution . Total silence from the crowd who have gathered. checks that it’s loaded. back off. The Doctor approaches with the Geordie. SERGEANT FRY (CONT’D) All right. his eyes bandaged . Joey trots over to Albert. becoming very still.another owl whistle and we see Albert. Where you been then. Joey. The doctor nods his head towards Joey. Joey turns. the whistle again. ALBERT Joey? And this time. raises his pistol once more. Back off.99. One soldier urges Albert gently. ALBERT (CONT’D) (softly:) Hello. hey? Where in the world you been? He strokes Joey’s mane. Hello boy. The Geordie is the last to step away from Joey. takes his gun from his holster. SOLDIER Go on. Slowly. .guided by the hands of the crowd. He turns to some nearby NURSES. Do it again. SERGEANT FRY Ladies. They thought they were there to see something wonderful. One more whistle. Joey responds. SERGEANT FRY. Joey looks around startled. The sergeant cocks his pistol. sensing the atmosphere. The Sergeant waves them back. Then. Albert can’t see Joey but he touches him. Joey is totally still.
100. ALBERT He’s not random at all. badly injured. GEORDIE You can’t see ‘cause of the The Geordie looks around. DOCTOR Take him back. sir! He’s my horse. Wait! mud. revealing the socks. look at his legs! He’s got four white socks. spots a bucket of water. no. Sir.. the orderly) man in your care? AN ORDERLY Yes. I raised him. turns to the doctor.and he has a white mark here like so. ALBERT Narracott. clearly he thinks he’s dealing with a traumatized. he’s brown all over (points to his own forehead) . . Private Albert Narracott. in Devon. AN ORDERLY Come on. gently. Narracott. DOCTOR (CONT’D) What’s your name? Albert. realizing he’s being addressed. The Doctor speaks to Albert. The Geordie looks at the doctor. grabs it and uses a rag to clean Joey’s legs. The doctor turns to the orderly. son. sir. He makes the shape of a diamond with his hands. This is and too (to Is this DOCTOR a random horse.. sir. possibly crazy soldier. DOCTOR (to the Geordie:) Do you know this man? The Geordie shakes his head.
revealing the white diamond mark. EXT.Albert. Shock from the troops. sir? He’s not random at all. but no longer bandaged. Treat him like the soldier he is. The doctor steps up to him. the doctor returns to the hospital area. in two minutes time ..and holsters his pistol. Albert enters. SERGEANT FRY All right. We have been victorious .101. and Sergeant Fry all lead Joey through the snowy street together. Not the explosion of emotion you might have expected. With one last amazed look at Albert and Joey. Moments later . break it up. SERGEANT FRY Gentlemen! Gentlemen! It falls on me to give you some important news.the War will come to an end. the lot of ya. ALBERT You see. MESS HALL. Strangely muted. GEORDIE (CONT’D) Four white socks! The doctor takes a rag himself and wipes Joey’s snout. At eleven o’clock today. DOCTOR We will attend to your horse.even if at a higher price than many of us might have imagined. his eyes still red. (MORE) . Clear off. The Sergeant takes this in. EARLY MORNING. ALBERT Thank you.. Patch him up best we can. SERGEANT FRY (CONT’D) The King and Queen thank you for your service. Sergeant Fry strides into the middle of the throng of soldiers. the Geordie. sir.
102. SERGEANT FRY (CONT’D) When the bells ring out - and they will in a moment, for the first time for four years let us remember our brothers fallen in the field. And thank God for the end of this struggle and victory.
And, in the distance, the church bells ring. INT. STABLES. THE SAME. Joey stands tall, eating some hay, now healed. INT. FIELD OFFICE. DAY. Complete change of atmosphere. Silence. Tension. Albert stands at attention with Sergeant Fry. A severe Major is behind his desk. ALBERT I don’t understand, sir. MAJOR TOMPKINS Officers’ horses only. All other horses are to be auctioned immediately. SERGEANT FRY That is a complete and bloody outrage. It’s the lad’s horse, sir, from Devon. He raised him up from a pup, he did. Trained him right up to the day when the army came to town. MAJOR TOMPKINS These aren’t my orders, sergeant. (to Albert) You’ll have to take him to market. That’s all. INT. STABLES, DAY. Albert puts on a brave face as he collects Joey and leads him out of the stables in silence. EXT. THE STABLES, THE SAME. As Albert comes out the men have gathered. There’s a strange sense of optimism, for such a gloomy moment. The Geordie comes up to Albert and hands him a sheaf of pound notes. GEORDIE We’ve all clubbed together. It’s everything we have. There’s twenty-nine pounds there. Buy him back.
ALBERT Does the Major know? GEORDIE The Major put in ten. The Geordie flashes a sly wink. GEORDIE (CONT’D) Mum’s the word where the Major’s concerned. Your friend on the crutches over there He turns to indicate David Lyons, who nods at Albert solemnly. GEORDIE (CONT’D) - even asked the Major to say that Joey was his, an officer’s horse, so that he could go back with the others. Albert is amazed. He is about to show his gratitude when the sergeant major shouts: SERGEANT FRY Come on, Narracott! Get a move on. We don’t want to miss the show. Albert snaps to attention and begins to lead Joey out of the parade ground with the other horses. As they walk off, the sergeant silently adds some of his own money to the notes in Albert’s hand. EXT. MARKET PLACE. DAY. The intense bustle of the market. Farmers are gathered, bidding for horses. AUCTIONEER Seven pounds! Seven pounds there! Seven pounds! Eight pounds here! A groom leads Joey to the auction pen with other horses. AUCTIONEER (CONT’D) Eight pounds! Ten pounds here! advance? Sold! INT. AUCTION PEN. THE SAME. Albert waits anxiously, the Geordie lad by his side, as Joey is led into the pen. Any
GEORDIE You’re alright. Nobody’s gonna bid more than fifteen for a thoroughbred. They want work horses. The auctioneer starts the bidding on Joey. AUCTIONEER Next one. We start at four pounds. Four pounds. The farmers seem disinterested, shaking of heads. The bidding starts. Five pounds, six, seven, now it goes slowly, eight, nine, ten. Albert looks pleased at how it’s going. He feels the cash in his hand. It seems to stick on ten, then a new hand comes up at the back of the auction - it is a nasty looking moustached man. THE BUTCHER Eleven. Sergeant Fry scowls. SERGEANT FRY It’s the butcher from Cambrai. He’s been bidding for the best all morning. AUCTIONEER Eleven. Eleven pounds. Eleven pounds. SERGEANT FRY Let me handle this, private. (he calls out) ) Fifteen, and let that be an end to it. He looks daggers at the Butcher. AUCTIONEER Fifteen pounds. BUTCHER Sixteen. AUCTIONEER Sixteen pounds. SERGEANT FRY Seventeen. BUTCHER Twenty of your English pounds. And let THAT be the end of it, my friend.
It is Emilie’s Grandfather. . SERGEANT FRY Twenty Five. Everyone looks at Albert who is devastated. from the back.. and suddenly we see who it is. AUCTIONEER Twenty pounds. He hears the auctioneer repeat the final amount and brings down his gavel. I will sell my farm and bid to a thousand. I will sell the coat on my back and bid to one hundred and ten.. another. There’s not much left. And if you bid against me again. new French voice. SERGEANT FRY Twenty nine.105. The men are all looking very worried. BUTCHER Twenty eight. AUCTIONEER Twenty eight pounds. AUCTIONEER Twenty five pounds.. He steps to the front of the crowd. BUTCHER Twenty Six. SERGEANT FRY Twenty seven. AUCTIONEER Twenty six pounds. GRANDFATHER And sir. BUTCHER And thirty. FINAL BIDDER One hundred pounds. Albert is reeling. if you bid against me.. AUCTIONEER Any advance at thirty pounds? Then.
The soldiers slowly disperse. firmly but not wildly. on the rein the grandfather’s holding. THE SAME. Going. Joey pulls. GRANDFATHER When I heard about the miracle horse. I’ll give you twice GRANDFATHER You don’t know anything about him. going. to collect himself. . I’ll give you all your money. The Grandfather leads Joey away. I traveled three days because I knew whose horse it was. The grandfather lets go. ALBERT Oh. Everything you paid when we get back to England. EXT. gone. Albert and the Geordie stand in front of the grandfather. The Grandfather finishes paying for Joey. sir. He pauses. AUCTIONEER One hundred pounds. leaving Albert to stare at Joey. but you’re wrong. My granddaughter’s. you found him! I heard you found a horse in the wire between the armies GEORDIE No. He is all that I have left of her. briefly. She saved his life! He was everything to her. THE AUCTION.106. It really is all over. GEORDIE Where is your granddaughter? GRANDFATHER The war has taken everything from everyone. ALBERT Sir. I found him. I know everything! GRANDFATHER Yes. he raised him The Grandfather goes to Joey and takes his reins.
sir.107. GRANDFATHER You may have this. The Grandfather watches carefully... I found you. boy. Albert takes the pennant and looks at it. Albert puts his face right near Joey . It’s his regimental pennant. Always have been. sir. didn’t I. ALBERT Don’t be worried. then takes the regimental pennant from his pocket: GRANDFATHER Do you know what this is? Albert’s amazed. Hey. his eyes filling with tears. They have a moment together. I won’t worry over you none.speaks gently. ALBERT (CONT'D) God be with you.. . How did you come by this. He watches as Joey walks to Albert and nuzzles him. Now go on. and you found me. ALBERT It’s my father’s. ALBERT Thank you ever so much for this. Lucky since the day I met you. The grandfather looks at Albert. ALBERT (CONT’D) And we’ll both.. He leads Joey back to the Grandfather. ALBERT (CONT’D) We’re the lucky ones. sir? Grandfather hands Albert the pennant. He quietly hands over the reins. Grandfather softens and begins to wonder about this soldier. when I go. we’ll both know that we made it through.
. He belongs to you. And then slowly embrace. Mrs. as men. Grandfather laughs. as father and son. what my little girl would have wanted. That is. GRANDFATHER (CONT’D) No no. . DEVON. And she was the boss. And this. almost mute with disbelief. He reaches for his money. He hands Albert Joey’s reins. Albert turns to face him. Albert slips something from his pocket and lets it unfurl in his hand Ted’s campaign pennant. A figure approaches. Mrs. Albert dismounts and removes his cap. EXT. ALBERT What was her name? GRANDFATHER Emilie. Albert approaches. then turns and slowly walks away. THE SAME.. DEVON. Suddenly. Narracott is hugging him for all that her life is worth.. then notices as the figure makes its way up the road to the farm. On a magnificent horse. and stops a slight distance away. of course. GRANDFATHER (with a sigh) . silhouetted against the setting sun. A man in uniform. Naracott gathers the harvest. Mrs. Albert gently embraces Joey. DUSK. ANOTHER PART OF THE FIELD. Ted opens the gate to stand before his son.. Dusk light. Ted accepts it quietly. then offers his hand to Albert. EXT. Narracott meets them at the gate and we can finally see them clearly Albert and Joey. (turns back with a smile) Her name is Emilie. we are back in the village in Devon.shaky. FIELD.108. Ted sees them and makes his way to the field gate. They shake. not necessary. in the fold of the valley. An instant later.
a small family and a beautiful horse.109. THE END . Mrs. finally home. Narracott joins them as Joey looks on .
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