Hilts 'The Cooler King'
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Quotes for
Hilts 'The Cooler King' (Character)
from The Great Escape (1963)

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The Great Escape (1963)
Hilts: I'm going... out.

Hilts: I haven't seen Berlin yet, from the ground or from the air, and I plan on doing both before the war is over.

Von Luger: Are all American officers so ill-mannered?
Hilts: Yeah, about 99 percent.
Von Luger: Then perhaps while you are with us you will have a chance to learn some. Ten days isolation, Hilts.
Hilts: CAPTAIN Hilts.
Von Luger: Twenty days.
Hilts: Right. Oh, uh, you'll still be here when I get out?
Von Luger: [visibly annoyed] Cooler!

Hilts: How many you taking out?
Bartlett: Two hundred and fifty.
Hilts: Two hundred and fifty?
Bartlett: Yeh.
Hilts: You're crazy. You oughta be locked up. You, too. Two hundred and fifty guys just walkin' down the road, just like that?

Hilts: Wait a minute. You aren't seriously suggesting that if I get through the wire... and case everything out there... and don't get picked up... to turn myself in and get thrown back in the cooler for a couple of months so you can get the information you need?
Bartlett: Yes.

Bartlett: Hilts, how do you breathe?
Hilts: Oh, we got a steel rod with hinges on it. We'll shove it up and make air holes as we go along.
[to Ramsey]
Hilts: G'night, sir.
[Walks out]
MacDonald: Why didn't anyone think of that before? It's so stupid, it's positively brilliant!
[face falls]
MacDonald: Oh, but it'll bring every goon in the camp down on top of us!
Bartlett: I don't know. Perhaps we're being too clever. If we stop all the breakouts, it will only convince the goons we must be tunneling.
Ramsey: I hope it works. If it doesn't, those two will be in the cooler for an awfully long time.
[cut to Hilts and Ives being escorted back to the cooler covered in dirt]

Hilts: Hold on to yourself, Bartlett. You're twenty feet short.
Bartlett: What do you mean, twenty feet short?
Hilts: You're twenty feet short of the woods. The hole is right here in open. The guard is between us and the lights.

Bartlett: What about the goon towers?
Hilts: That's a chance you're gonna have to take. But they're gonna be watching the compound, not the woods.

Stratwitch: What are you doing over here by the wire?
Hilts: Well, like I told Max here, I was trying to get my...
German Soldier: [Voice] Achtung!
[Von Luger enters]
Von Luger: What were you doing by the wire?
Hilts: Well, like I told Max... I was trying to cut my way through your wire because I want to get out.

Bartlett: Virgil, isn't it?
Hilts: Hilts. Just make it Hilts.

[gathering wood to shore up the tunnels, Hilts removes the wooden slats from bunk beds in the sleeping area of the prisoner barracks, holding a stack of them, and walks carefully out into the hallway]
Cavendish: [passes Hilts in the hallway on his way to his bunk bed] Five gold rings. Four calling birds - bloody singing, I've never worked so hard in all my life. Hi, Hilts!
Hilts: [turns and tries to warn him] Say, Cavendish...
Cavendish: Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtledoves, and a partridge in a pear - Alley-oop!
[Cavendish climbs to the top bunk, and vaults onto the unsupported mattress, which collapses under his weight through the bed frame, as well as the two beneath it. Hilts approaches the doorway and sees Cavendish on the floor]
Hilts: Never mind.
[Leaves]

Bartlett: It's possible for one man to get out through the wire, even get away, but there are in fact a considerable number of people besides yourself in this camp who are trying to escape.
Hilts: I appreciate that.
[pauses, looks at Bartlett]
Hilts: Something's coming. I can feel it, and it's coming right around the corner at me, Squadron Leader!

Cavendish: [Hilts has just taken some boards out of all the beds and Denys walks in after singing] 5 golds rings, 4 calling birds, bloody singing, hi Hilts.
Hilts: Denys, wait...
Cavendish: 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge, alley-oop!
[jumps on to bed and falls through all three]
Hilts: [sees that Denys has fallen through bed] Never mind.

Hilts: [tasting the moonshine, speaks in a raspy voice] Wow!
Hendley: [tasting the moonshine, speaks in a hoarse tone] Wow!
Goff: [tasting the moonshine, is wracked with coughing and weakly says while still coughing] ... wow...

Hilts: What do they call a mole in Scotland?
Ives: A mole?
Hilts: Aye.

[last lines of part one]
Hilts: [after Ives is killed] Sir, let me know the exact information you need. I'm going out tonight.
Bartlett: Right.
[to Danny]
Bartlett: Open up Harry. We dig. Around the clock.

Hilts: [tasting their moonshine] Wow!
Hendley: Wow!
Goff: [starts coughing uncontrollably] Wow!