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In 1941 Hawaii, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second in command are falling in love.
Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Nobody ever lies about being lonely.
Karen Holmes: You certainly chose a lovely spot for our meeting. I've had three chances to be picked up in the last five minutes.
Angelo Maggio: I just hate to see a good guy get it in the gut. Cpl. Buckley: You better get used to it, kid. You'll probably see a lot of it before you die.
Sergeant Maylon Stark: Leva tells me you've been eyeing the Captain's wife like a hound dog at hunting time.
Angelo Maggio: Only my friends can call me a little wop!
[Warden brings papers to Holmes' house for his signature, knowing that only his wife would be there] Karen Holmes: Are these really important? Sergeant Milton Warden: Yes, but not important they get signed today. Tomorrow's okay. [She rips them up] Sergeant Milton Warden: I have copies at the office, so it won't be much work to fix 'em up. Karen Holmes: That's what I like about you, Sergeant: you have confidence. It's also what I dislike about you. Sergeant Milton Warden: It's not confidence, ma'am; it's honesty. I just hate to see a beautiful woman going all to waste. Karen Holmes: Waste, did you say? There's a subject I might tell you something about. I know several kinds of waste, Sergeant. You're probably not even remotely aware of some of them. Would you like to hear? For instance, what about the house without a child? There's one sort for you. Then there's another... You're doing fine, Sergeant. My husband's off somewhere, and it's raining outside, and we're both drinking now. You've probably only got one thing wrong. The lady herself. The lady's not what she seems. She's a... washout, if you know what I mean... and I'm sure you know what I mean! Sergeant Milton Warden: You going to cry? Karen Holmes: Not if I can help it. What are you doing? Sergeant Milton Warden: I'm leaving. Isn't that what you want? Karen Holmes: I don't know, Sergeant. I don't know. [He kisses her]
Alma: Sit down and - and get comfortable. I'll make you a martini and see what's to cook for dinner. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Hey, this is like being married, ain't it? Alma: It's better.
Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: A man don't go his own way, he's nothing. Sergeant Milton Warden: Maybe back in the days of the pioneers a man could go his own way, but today you got to play ball.
Karen Holmes: Don't try to be gallant, Sergeant. If you think this is a mistake, come right out and say so... Well, I guess it's about time for me to be heading home, isn't it?... Well, isn't it? Sergeant Milton Warden: What's the matter? What started all this, anyway? You think I'd be here if I thought it was a mistake? Taking a chance on 20 years in Leavenworth for making dates with the company commander's wife? And her acting like - like Lady Astor's horse, and all because I got here on time! Karen Holmes: Well, on the other hand, I've got a bathing suit under my dress... Sergeant Milton Warden: Me too!
Karen Holmes: I never knew it could be like this! Nobody ever kissed me the way you do. Sergeant Milton Warden: Nobody? Karen Holmes: No, nobody. Sergeant Milton Warden: Not even one? Out of all the men you've been kissed by? Karen Holmes: [giggling] Now that'd take some figuring. How many men do you think there've been? Sergeant Milton Warden: I wouldn't know. Can't you give me a rough estimate? Karen Holmes: Not without an adding machine. Do you have the adding machine with you? Sergeant Milton Warden: I forgot to bring it.
Angelo Maggio: Let's go to a phone booth or something, huh? Where I will unveil a fifth of whiskey, I have hidden here under my loose, flowing sports shirt.
Sgt. James R. 'Fatso' Judson: Tough monkey. Guys like you end up in the stockade sooner or later. Some day you'll walk in; I'll be waiting. I'll show you a couple of things.
Karen Holmes: Come back here, Sergeant. I'll tell you the story; you can take it back to the barracks with you. I'd only been married to Dana two years when I found out he was cheating. And by that time I was pregnant. I thought I had something to hope for. I was almost happy the night the pains began. I remember Dana was going to an officers' conference. I told him to get home early, to bring the doctor with him. And maybe he would have... if his "conference" hadn't been with a hat-check girl! He was drunk when he came in at 5 AM. I was lying on the floor. I begged him to go for the doctor, but he fell on the couch and passed out. The baby was born about an hour later. Of course it was dead. It was a boy. But they worked over me at the hospital, they fixed me up fine, they even took my appendix out - they threw that in free. Sergeant Milton Warden: Karen... Karen Holmes: And one more thing: no more children. Sure I went out with men after that. And if I'd ever found one that... Sergeant Milton Warden: Karen, listen to me, listen. Karen Holmes: I know. Until I met you I didn't think it was possible either.
Sgt. Pete Karelsen: I'm getting sick and tired watching you being a stooge for Holmes. Sergeant Milton Warden: You won't see it much longer. I'm getting sick and tired of it myself. I'm through, Pete. Any day now. And I mean it. Sgt. Pete Karelsen: [laughing] Sergeant Milton Warden: Listen, if Holmes let me, I'd transfer out of here tomorrow. Half a dozen companies in this regiment would grab me, and in grade, too. Sgt. Pete Karelsen: Oh, sure. I could be Chief of Staff, too. Only I just can't think of leaving my old buddies. Sergeant Milton Warden: Where're you going, Little Sir Echo? Sgt. Pete Karelsen: To take my shower, if the stinking First Sergeant has no objections. Where do you think? To the movies in this towel? Sergeant Milton Warden: Hurry up. We'll get some beer. Sgt. Pete Karelsen: I wouldn't drink with you if it was the last beer in the world. Sergeant Milton Warden: I'm buying. Sgt. Pete Karelsen: That's different.
Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Put your clothes on, alright? Angelo Maggio: [drunk] Give 'em back to the Indians. The Indians need the clothes. All they wear is G-strings.
Captain Dana Holmes: You know why you were assigned to G Company? Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: No, sir. Captain Dana Holmes: I pulled a few strings. I'm the regimental boxing coach, you know. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Yes, sir. Captain Dana Holmes: I saw your fight with Connors in the Bowl, year before last. You should've won it. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Thank you, sir. Captain Dana Holmes: Our regiment got beaten in the finals last December, but I mean to win this year. All I've needed is a top middleweight. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: I'm sorry, sir. I quit fighting. Captain Dana Holmes: Quit fighting? When? What for? Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Well, over a year ago. Maybe you heard about what happened with Dixie Wells? Captain Dana Holmes: You mean that fellow that got hurt? Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Yes sir. Captain Dana Holmes: Yes, I heard about that. It's too bad. I can understand how you feel, but those things happen. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: That's WHY I decided I would quit, sir. Captain Dana Holmes: You might as well say stop war because one man got killed!
Sgt. James R. 'Fatso' Judson: Are you sore about something? Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: I don't like the way you play the piano. [Fatso laughs] Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Remember Maggio? Sgt. James R. 'Fatso' Judson: Oh, the wop? Yeah, real tough monkey. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: You killed him. Sgt. James R. 'Fatso' Judson: Did I? Well if I did, he asked for it. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: The Army's gonna get you sooner or later, Fatso. But before they do, I want a piece of you myself. [Fatso pulls out a switch blade] Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: I figured that. [pulls out a switch blade] Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: See this knife? This is the one you pulled on Maggio.
Karen Holmes: Why don't you tell the truth, you just don't want the responsibility. You're probably not even in love with me. Sergeant Milton Warden: You're crazy! I wish I didn't love ya; maybe I can enjoy life again.
Sergeant Milton Warden: [as Captain Holmes walks out the door] He'd strangle in his own spit if he didn't have me around to swab out his throat for him.
Alma: [Maggio offers her a drink] No, thanks, I don't drink. [Maggio gives her a look] Alma: I think it's a weakness. Angelo Maggio: I grant ya that. Alma: [to Prewitt] You don't like weakness do you? Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: No, I don't like weakness... but I like to drink!
Sergeant Milton Warden: [to Sgt. James 'Fatso' Judson, holding a broken beer bottle neck] O.K. Fatso, if it's killin' ya want, come on.
Sergeant Milton Warden: [Prewitt and Warden are sitting in the middle of a road, very drunk] There's this girl, and she wants me to be... wants me to be... Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Be what? Sergeant Milton Warden: An officer! Can you believe that? Can you see *me* as an officer? Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Well... yeah, I can see you as an officer. You'd be a good officer... Sergeant Milton Warden: Well, you can both see more than I can! I don' wanna be an officer! I'm happy where I am!
Karen Holmes: [to Sgt. Warden standing outside her porch in the pouring rain] Well, you'd better come inside... you'll get wet.
Annette: That'll be four bucks, babyface. Two for initiation fee, two for this month's dues. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: What do I get for it? Annette: Members are entitled to all privileges of the club, which includes dancing, snack bar, soft drink bar, and gentlemanly relaxation with the opposite gender - so long as they ARE gentlemen, and no liquor is permitted, got it?
Sergeant Milton Warden: Rose, do you know why I like to have you serve me beer? So as I can watch you when you walk away.
Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: A man loves a thing that don't mean it's gotta love him back.
Alma: Prew, it's true we love each other now, we need each other, but back in the States it might be different. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: That ain't the real reason. Alma: You're right, it's not. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: What is the real reason? Alma: I - I won't marry you because I don't want to be the wife of a soldier. Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Well, that... would be about the best I could ever do for you. Alma: Because nobody's going to stop me from my plan. Nobody, nothing. Because I want to be proper! Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Proper. Alma: Yes, proper! In another year I'll have enough money saved. Then I'm going to go back to my home town in Oregon, and I'm going to build a house for my mother and myself, and join the country club and take up golf. Then I'll meet the proper man with the proper position, to make a proper wife, and can run a proper home and raise proper children. And I'll be HAPPY because when you're PROPER you're SAFE! Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: You've got guts, honey. I hope you can pull that off. Alma: I do mean it when I say I need you. 'Cause I'm lonely. You think I'm lying, don't you? Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Nobody ever lies about being lonely.
Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: Well, what am I? I'm a private no-class dogface. The way most civilians look at that, that's two steps up from nothin'.
Karen Holmes: If you're looking for the captain, he isn't here. Sergeant Milton Warden: [eyes Karen coyly] And if I'm not looking for him? Karen Holmes: He still isn't here.
Robert E. Lee "Prew' Prewitt: A man should be what he can do.