The Guardian (I) (2006)
Jake Fischer: What's your real number?
Ben Randall: 22.
Jake Fischer: 22? That's not bad. It's not 200 but...
Ben Randall: 22 is the number of people I lost, Jake. The only number I kept track of.
Ben Randall: Ya know, there never was anyone else Mag's.
Maggie McGlone: Like hell, Ben, you're a bigamist. You've been married to the coast guard all along. Now gimme that shoulder. Prolly swum it out of socket tryin to prove you was still nineteen.
Ben Randall: When the heck did we get old?
Maggie McGlone: Hell, I've always been old Ben. Ya' know what though, I don't mind. I mean if my muscles ache, it's because I've used 'em. It's hard for me to walk up them steps now, its 'cuz I walked up 'em every night to lay next to a man who loved me. I got a few wrinkles here and there, but I've layed under thousands of skies with sunny days. I look and feel this way, well cuz I drank and I smoked. I lived and I loved, danced, sang, sweat and screwed my way thorough a pretty damn good life if you ask me. Getting old ain't bad Ben. Getting old, that's earned.
Jake Fischer: [voice-over] The Coast Guard conducted the largest search and rescue missions for a single man in its history, but the body of Senior Chief Ben Randall was never found. What makes a legend? Is it what someone did while they were alive? Or how they're remembered after they're gone? Some people actually believe Senior Chief made the swim to the Aleutian Islands, that he's standing on a distant beach somewhere with a fishing pole in his hand. But I found my answer a couple of weeks later.
[Jake pulls a victim into the helicopter]
Drowning Victim: Where is he?
Jake Fischer: Huh? There's nobody else out there, man.
Drowning Victim: No, he was there! He was with me the whole time! He said he would hold on till help arrived. He never let go!
Jake Fischer: [voice-over] There is a legend of a man who lives beneath the sea. He is a fisher of men, a last hope for all those who've been left behind. He is know as the Guardian.
Ben Randall: Save the ones you can Jake. The rest, you've got to let go.
Ben Randall: [refering the the accident that killed Jake's friends] I've read the report Jake. Your blood alcohol level was zip that night. I'm guessing there was a flip for designated driver, you lost.
Jake Fischer: I guess that just makes it all go away, huh?
Ben Randall: No, it doesn't make it all right, it just makes it an accident. At least that's how it reads. You were 16 years old Jake. I'm not your priest, but if I was I think maybe you deserve a pass.
Jake Fischer: You're giving me a pass. You think you know everything, with your psychobabble bullshit. Why am I here? Why are you here, huh? Your too old to be doing this, you washed up here. You don't want to be teaching a bunch of kids in a pool, am I right? I don't give an eff what you read or who you talked to. You don't know about me.
Jake Fischer: I have me under control.
Ben Randall: I can see that. The only difference between you and me is that I don't wear the ones I lost on my arm. I know where your at Jake. I'm there myself. I ask myself everyday why I was the one who survived.
Jake Fischer: And?
Ben Randall: And if I can't answer that for me, I'm certainly not going to try to answer that for you. Have a seat. I want you to start being a member of this team. The team you have now. You have a gift Jake. You're the best swimmer to come through this program, hands down, by far, and you've got a whole record board to prove it. But you know what I see when I look at it? I see someone fast enough who's going to get there first. I see someone strong enough who's going to last. I see someone who can save a life maybe no one else could. You really want to honor then initials on your arm? Then honor your gift. Save the ones you can Jake. The rest, you've got to let go.
Jake Fischer: Hey, there was a question I wanted to ask you back as school, but I didn't. When you can't save 'em all, how do you choose who lives?
Ben Randall: It's probably different for everybody Jake. Its kind of simple for me though. I just, I take the first one I come to or the weakest one in the group and then I swim as fast and as hard as I can for as long as I can. And the sea takes the rest.
Jake Fischer: Do you think I'm ready?
Ben Randall: I'm not your teacher anymore Jake. I'm just your fellow swimmer.
Jake Fischer: That's not exactly the answer I was looking for there.
Ben Randall: If I did not think you were ready, I would not put you in the Bering Sea
Capt. William Hadley: There is a legend of a man who lives beneath the sea. He is a fisher of men, the last hope of all those who have been left behind. Many survivors claim to have felt his gripping hands beneath them; pushing them up to the surface; whispering strength until help could arrive. But this, of course, is only a legend.
Jake Fischer: You do *not* want to hear about my day.
Emily Thomas: Yeah, I do.
Jake Fischer: Man, this guy Randall, you know, it doesn't matter what I do. It's just not good enough.
Emily Thomas: Maybe he's just trying to push you to be better. We teachers do that to the ones we believe in.
Jake Fischer: No, it's personal with me. He's knows that I'm better then he was. I mean, today I broke every one of his records. I owned them all.
Maggie McGlone: Not all of them. There's one record you won't break.
[takes a picture off the wall]
Maggie McGlone: This is 'The Aegis'. Medical ship. Caught on fire. It was a nightmare; people burning in their beds. And Ben Randall got every one of those people out of there, except for this one guy. And right when the ship started to go down, he reaches down and grabs this guy. He's hanging from the cable with this man's life in his hands, and the winch jams. It's twenty minutes to the base. The man's screaming, but Ben looks him dead in the eye, and do you know what he said? He said "I won't let go."
Emily Thomas: What happened?
Maggie McGlone: Dislocated his shoulder, tore every tendon in his hand, but he didn't let go. Twenty minutes, just fingertips. You break that record, and you give me a call.
Jake Fischer: ...My day was alright.
Billy Hodge: [after hitting his teacher in the face] United States Coast Guard I'm here to help you.
Ben Randall: There will come a time when you might have to decide who lives and dies out there. It's a terrible responsibility but it's one you will have to make as a rescue swimmer. The bigger reality is, its also something you are going to have to live with as a human being. There will come a time when you will have to say no. The most important person to keep alive is yourself. You'll be facing crews from 5 to 20 all saying 'save me, save me.' They're looking for a miracle. How old are you Hodge?
Billy Hodge: 24.
Ben Randall: At 24 years old you have to become that miracle. You have to find a way to be that miracle.
Jake Fischer: You gotta make a move!
Billy Hodge: I can't. I get nervous.
Jake Fischer: You're tellin' me you can jump outta helicopters but you're afraid to go talk to a girl?
Billy Hodge: Uh... pretty much, yea.
Capt. Frank Larson: Out of the 39 000 men and women that make up the United States Coast Guard there are only 280 rescue swimmers. This is because we are the Coast Guard's elite. We are the best of the best. When storms shut down entire ports, we go out. When hurricanes ground the United States Navy, we go out. And when the holy Lord himself reaches down from heaven and destroys his good work with winds that rip houses off the ground, We. Go. Out.
Ben Randall: [Later in private, quoting him:] "When God rips houses off the ground?"
Capt. Frank Larson: I was rollin'.
Maggie McGlone: If my muscles hurt, it just means I've used them. If it hurts to walk up the stairs, it's just cause I've done it a hundred times to lay down next to a man who loved me. My face may have wrinkles, but I have laid under hundreds of skies on sunny days. I look like this, well, because I drank and I smoked and I lived and I loved and I screwed my way through a pretty damn good life. Getting old isn't bad. It's earned.
Jake Fischer: That guy who holds all them records, is he still alive?
Capt. Frank Larson: Why do you ask?
Jake Fischer: Just thought you ought to let him know I'm about to knock his name off that board.
Capt. Frank Larson: Why don't you let him know yourself? He's standing right behind you.
Ben Randall: [reading off his class roster] Fischer. Why are you here, Fischer?
Jake Fischer: I'm here to exceed your expectations, Senior Chief. I'm a rescue swimmer at heart, born, bred, and water-fed. Hoorah!
Ben Randall: [dryly] Wow. I bet you practiced that all morning.
Ben Randall: [to his class] Can someone tell me the Rescue Swimmer's Motto?
Jake Fischer: So others may live, Senior Chief!
Ben Randall: Ooohhh, I feel safer already.
Man in cave: I don't swim so good.
Ben Randall: You don't swim so good?
Man in cave: No, sir.
Ben Randall: It's okay. I swim pretty good.
Pilot Mitchell: We're low on fuel. The rulebook says we cut our losses. What do you think, Ben?
Ben Randall: When we go home, they die.
[Ben has just rescued Jake and they are being hoisted up to the helicopter]
Jake Fischer: I thought you were going fishing!
Ben Randall: What do you call this?
[the cable starts to fray and Ben makes a snap decision - to unhook himself and fall so Jake will get up safely]
Jake Fischer: What are you doing? Don't even think about it!
Ben Randall: It's not gonna hold us both.
Capt. Frank Larson: If by some miracle you actually have what it takes to become one of us, then you get to live a life of meager pay with the distinct possibility of dying slow, cold and alone somewhere in the vast sea. However, you also get the chance to save lives, and there is no greater calling in the world than that. So, ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Welcome to A- school.
Danny Doran: Can you die from chlorine poisoning?
Billy Hodge: I can't feel my legs. I'm serious.
Jake Fischer: I don't know about you guys, but I feel good.
Ken Weatherly: This Randall guy, he's operating on some whole other cylinder. What is it, two weeks, and he's failed half the class already?
Ken Weatherly: He's a legend. They say he's got something like 200 saves.
Danny Doran: I heard it was 300.
Jake Fischer: Who cares what his number is? If he's such a stud, what's he doing here?
[Cadets jog and sing as Jake runs in late]
Jack Skinner: Airman Fischer's coming in late, yeah!
Cadets: Airman Fischer's coming in late, yeah!
Jack Skinner: Must be nice to go out on a date, yeah!
Cadets: Must be nice to go out on a date, yeah!
Ben Randall: I've been trying to peel the layers back for a while now and I, I just don't get it. I mean this kind of work seems a little remedial for someone like yourself. A big swim champ offered to every Ivy League, you give it up to be here with us. Why?
Jake Fischer: I'm here to save lives Senior Chief.
Ben Randall: I spoke to your coach Jake.
Jake Fischer: You spoke to my coach?
Ben Randall: Yeah I spoke with your coach. Something in your file just kept hanging me up. You will the state championship your freshman and sophomore years then you don't swim the next two. I'm just a public school guy, so uh pardon me, but it didn't add up until now.
[shows a newspaper with a headline of "swim team killed in fiery crash - one survivor"]
Ben Randall: Kick Holloway, 100 medley winner, thrown through the passenger window. Abe Ikeman, first team All-American, lungs crushed. Carl Sandables, 50 meter freestyle champ, made it all the way to the hospital, died of internal bleeding.
Jake Fischer: I guess you just know everything then.
Ben Randall: I know what it's like to lose a team.
Jake Fischer: Yeah, what about living in a small town where everyone thinks you killed their brother, or their son, or their best friend? You know about that?
Ben Randall: The kind of small town where everyone waves at each other, just not to you.
Jake Fischer: Does this mean you're not going to fail me.
Ben Randall: For what? Backing up a buddy at a bar? Then I've got to bigger problems than you.
Ben Randall: I can't sleep.
Maggie McGlone: Of course you can't. Your wife left you, your best friend died; you sound like a damn country song. If you had a dog, he'd be run over by now.
Jake Fischer: How do you choose who to save?
Ben Randall: I swim as fast and as hard as I can, for as long as I can. And the sea takes the rest.
Ben Randall: [as Jake is supposed to be performing CPR on a dummy] Why aren't you breathing, Fischer?
Jake Fischer: I wasn't aware it was possible for someone to still be alive and hold their breath for fifteen minutes, Senior Chief.
Ben Randall: Are you a coroner? I didn't think so. It isn't our job to decide if they're dead. Keep breathing.
Ben Randall: There will come a time when you have to decide who lives and who dies.
Jack Skinner: Mr. Fischer is our high school swim champ. He's had scholarships to every Ivy League.
Ben Randall: [*very* sarcastically] Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that he was so qualified. I mean, you set records in a pool? That's amazing. I'll bet it was like, what, eight feet deep in the deep end? What if your nose plug didn't work? What if another swimmer had cut into your lane? For the love of God, you could've been killed.
Ben Randall: Whatever decision you make, you make as a team.
Emily Thomas: What do you have, an art gallery over here? What is this "2"?
[looking number two tattooed on Jake's shoulder]
Jake Fischer: It's so the guy behind me knows what place he's coming in.
Ben Randall: I don't care who you are, where you're from, or where your going. I care about one thing, and one thing only. That is the future victims that you will be asked to save. If i think that you will fail them. Then i will fail you. Understood?
A-School Recruits: Yes Senior Chief!
[Hodge drunkenly repeats Captain Larson's speech, trying to hit on the female bartender]
Billy Hodge: We go to "A" School, which is the most difficult school in the military. The attrition rate's like... what is it, 50 percent?
Jake Fischer: 50 percent.
Billy Hodge: Over 50 percent. We're still here. Cause we're the best of the best. When storms shut down entire ports, you know who goes out? Uh, we do. When hurricanes ground the US Navy, these little guys over there, guess who goes out? That's right, we do!
Bartender: Look honey, you'd better keep it down in here.
Billy Hodge: Okay, honey.
Billy Hodge: She called me 'honey'!
[to the bartender]
Billy Hodge: Okay, honey! But when God himself reaches down from heaven... What does he do, Jake?
Jake Fischer: [trying not to laugh] Rips houses off the foundations.
Billy Hodge: When God himself rips houses off the foundations, we go out! Because we are rescue swimmers, and that's what we do.
[Ben takes Jake to the same Navy bar he got in a fight in earlier that night]
Jake Fischer: You gotta be kidding me.
Ben Randall: What was it they called you?
Jake Fischer: "Puddle pirates", but it's not - I'm way over it.
Ben Randall: Class 5506, will you come find me if I am lost?
Cadets: Yes, Senior Chief!
Ben Randall: Will you come save me if I am drowning?
Cadets: Yes, Senior Chief!
Ben Randall: I believe you would.
Ben Randall: I had a case a while back, a couple was drowning. By the time I got there, the husband was dragging his wife under, just trying to stay afloat. Pure survival instinct. It took me a long time to understand that that man was me.
Jake Fischer: You're going to kick me out for defending the Coast Guard?
Ben Randall: The Coast Guard has been around for 200 years. I doubt a couple of knuckleheads like yourself are going to defend it.
Jake Fischer: So do you have a name?
Emily Thomas: Yes, "Don't forget my money"...
Jake Fischer: OK... Do you have middle name?
Ben Randall: I don't know about you but I could use a fucking drink.
Ben Randall: [after Jake peers up at Randall] Oops.
Ben Randall: We are going to consider everything tonight off-duty and off-record...
[after Jake stares blankly at Randall]
Ben Randall: That was an invite.
Jake Fischer: [with a surprised reaction] oh.
Capt. Frank Larson: Ben, come in. You work fast. Lyons? He was one of our top candidates.
Ben Randall: Sometimes you gotta shoot a hostage.
Jack Skinner: Look, we all know that you're a... legend and all, but our program has been proven to work.
Danny Doran: Here's to our gal, Lindsey. You can rescue me anytime.
Cate Lindsey: You know what, Doran? You I might actually let drown.
Emily Thomas: How does Jake Fischer become a guy who wants to jump out of helicopters?
Jake Fischer: I killed a couple guys and had to get out of Dodge.
Emily Thomas: You're lying.
Jake Fischer: There is that possibility.
Emily Thomas: The truth?
Jake Fischer: My bull riding career was going down the drain.
Jake Fischer: [chanting in the pool, while pouring a jug of water over himself as Randall sprays him with water] I'm a rescue swimmer, yes I am. I'm here to get your ass out of this jam. I jump from the helo and swing from the cable.
[throws jug of water down]
Jake Fischer: I'm not Tarzan, I'm just willing and able!
Jake Fischer: Hey, I wanted to apologize for what I said earlier about you being old and washed up.
Jake Fischer: ...Is there anything you'd like to say to me?
Ben Randall: Like what?
Jake Fischer: I don't know, I apologized to you, I just thought that, you know, there might be something you've said or done that you'd like to apologize to me for...
Ben Randall: Why?
Jake Fischer: Cause... that's how's it's done, I... you suck at apologizes.
Jailer: [as Skinner and the Jailer approach the jail cell with Jake pressed up against the bars] We could come back. Give you boys time for a smoke and some pillow talk.
Jake Fischer: Evening, ma'am. Can I buy you a drink?
Emily Thomas: I don't think so.
Jake Fischer: You don't know what you're missing.
Emily Thomas: You sure you wanna go with that one? That's, like, your top-of-the-line, A-game material? See, the way I see it, you've got two choices here. Walk away from me, or walk out of here with me and split the cash.
Jake Fischer: [bluffing] Cash? What cash?
Emily Thomas: The money you bet your friends you could pick me up.
Emily Thomas: Hey, Mags, can I have a beer?
Jake Fischer: Well, well. So you are gonna have a drink with me.
Emily Thomas: No, I'm having a drink near you. Entirely different thing.
Jake Fischer: You're a real little lightening-rod, aren't you? What's your name?
Emily Thomas: Daisy Buchanan.
Jake Fischer: You're lying, Daisy Buchanan.
Emily Thomas: There is that possibility.
Jake Fischer: No, that was a sure-fire lie.
Emily Thomas: So I take it you've read 'The Great Gatsby'. Where's my money?
Jake Fischer: It's not on me, but it is close, if a very safe place. Now, I've drawn a map with a complex set of clues. Each one is more fiendishly clever then the last...
[Emily reaches into his pocket and pulls out the money]
Jake Fischer: ...That works too.
Emily Thomas: [jump cut. they are now at a table and Emily has the *map*] This is just a picture of your pants.
Jake Fischer: Yeah, but it's a *bad* picture, which is what makes it so fiendishly clever.