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March or Die (1977) Poster

(1977)

Quotes

[last lines]

[facing a line of new recruits, citing Major Foster's earlier speech]

Marco Segrain: Some of you men will try to quit. Others will try to run away. No man in this command as ever succeeded. If the Legion doesn't get you, the desert will. If the desert doesn't, the Arabs will. And if the Arabs don't, then I will. I don't know which is worse.

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El Krim: [showing Foster and his patrol the dead body of a legionnair] One of my men got restless.

Maj. William Sherman Foster: [an Arab walks over to the body and spits in his face. Suddenly Segrain shoots the Arab at point blank range. Everyone is pointing weapons at everyone] One of my men got restless.

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Maj. William Sherman Foster: [to El Krim] I see you've learned to enjoy watching men suffer.

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François Marneau: Your Excellency, I have devoted my life to enhancing France's prestige as the cultural center of the world - not only for our pleasure and education, but also for the vast sums of money these treasures create.

Minister: Monsieur Marneau, exactly what was there at Erfoud?

François Marneau: A city, which has been covered by the desert sands for almost three thousand years. Where the Berber "Joan of Arc" is buried. They call her "The Angel of the Desert." And legend has it, that entombed with her is an incalculable fortune in gold and jewels, which is most certainly worth far more than what France just spent to win the war.

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Minister: [Reassuring Marneau that, in spite of Major Foster's lack of cooperation, the Foreign Legion will be used to help provide military security for Marneau's intended archaeological excavation at Erfoud] We can certainly risk a few Legionnaires for France. After all, they are mostly foreigners.

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Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Recounting bits of his past, in a somewhat rambling manner, to a prostitute who has been sent to his room] I was in Morocco for 12 years. Do you know what a trench is? I dug trenches all over Europe. I ate in them, and I slept in them... I should have been a general in the U.S. Army. I was named after a general - - William Sherman... The Legion is my army now. Not the *vaunted* army of America - those bastards threw me out. All I did was tell them what I thought of them.

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Ship's captain: [Major Foster and others are sitting down to dine with the ship's captain as they transit to North Africa] Ah, an American in the Foreign Legion, eh?

Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Testily] Yes... That's why they call it the "Foreign" Legion, Captain.

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François Marneau: Major Foster is a hero of the War.

Maj. William Sherman Foster: I'm afraid there are no heroes in war - only survivors.

Mollard: Come now, Major. You needn't be modest with us.

Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Testily] "Modest"? I took 8,000 men with me. I came back with 200. I think I've earned my modesty.

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Ship's captain: You are going to excavate in Morocco, is that correct?

François Marneau: Yes.

Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Butting in] Grave-robbing, actually. That's what I call it where I'm from.

Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Now turning to look at Murneau] We are in the grave business, aren't we? I mean, you dig them up, and I fill them in.

François Marneau: [Remaining composed] What you call "grave-robbing," Major, is the search for our classical heritage - that is, the secrets of our forefathers.

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Maj. William Sherman Foster: The Legion... is the most disciplined army in the world!

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Simone Picard: [Marco has cleverly found a way to get from the troop car to the first class train car] What else can you do besides steal and climb like a monkey?

Marco Segrain: I read palms. I'm part gypsy.

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Maj. William Sherman Foster: [El Krim and some of his tribesmen have stopped the train on which Major Foster and his Legionnaires are traveling] I have orders to continue the excavation at Erfoud.

El Krim: And I have orders from higher authority to stop you... from Allah. I marvel at the audacity of the French. They think they have the right to divide up other lands, peoples. You can bring 10,000 trains of Legionnaires - you still will not take anything from our homeland.

El Krim: [Making a sweeping gesture, and continuing in an ominous tone] The desert welcomes you, Foster.

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Lt. Fontaine: [Top Hat has collapsed during an open desert march; Marco, without Fontaine's permission, falls out of formation to help his comrade] Leave that man alone! In the Legion, you march, or die!... Get his pack and rifle, and rejoin the column.

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Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Marco has rescued Top Hat and brought him back to the Legion's fort. Major Foster is not impressed with this "heroism"] On a march a man dies where he falls. We don't go back for stragglers.

Marco Segrain: [Somewhat mockingly] I'll remember that, sir.

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Ivan: [Somberly recounting the murder of the Czar Romanov royal family due to the Russian Revolution, recently happening in his home country] I should have been there.

Marco Segrain: Where?

Ivan: I was special guard, for royal family. I am away. They take them. I walk Russia. I cannot find them. July, this year, they kill them. All of them... ALL of them.

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Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Handing over to El Krim and his men a significant piece of the archaeological treasure that Marneau has just recovered at Erfoud] From the French - a gift to your people.

El Krim: How can you make gift of something that is already ours?

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Sgt. Triand: [El Krim's mounted tribesmen are growing in number and coming dangerously close to the Legionnaires holed up in the compound. Major Foster seems indecisive] Please, sir, the orders?... The men are waiting for your orders.

Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Showing signs of disorientation, with WWI flashback] Are the men in their trenches?

Sgt. Triand: [Impassively] There are no trenches, sir.

Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Getting agitated] Why haven't the trenches been dug?

Sgt. Triand: [Calmly reminding Foster that the men were building the wall that Major Foster himself had ordered built a few days earlier] The men were building a wall for protection, sir.

Maj. William Sherman Foster: [Bursting with agitation] For protection? For protection from WHAT?... These are dead men. They wanted to die. That's why we joined the Legion - not to live, but to die. And we shall... all die. And for what? So that some fat, overstuffed Frenchman can belch his lunch on the sight of gold in the Louvre!

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El Krim: [Major Foster is mortally wounded; a few survivors of the disastrous siege stand nearby. El Krim approaches to pay his respects] I am sorry, old friend. But it was the only way. And now our tribes are together: Bedouin, Berber, Rif... We will resist ALL foreigners, until we prevail.

El Krim: [Now turning to address the surviving Legionnaires] I let you live so that what happened today could be known, to the entire world.

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Maj. William Sherman Foster: El Krim, I cannot be intimidated. I came to reason with you. Let the French have what they want - let them build you roads and schools. Let them give you medicine and food.

El Krim: Roads with French signs? Schools that teach French? French food and medicine from French doctors? That is a much more subtle rape of our heritage, Foster. The friendship of France has too high a price.

Maj. William Sherman Foster: Is the price too high to take your people into the 20th Century?

El Krim: The French 20th Century? What is so glorious about that? Your 20th Century is not even twenty years old and look what that civilization has brought to your world - DEVASTATION!

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[first lines]

[a battered group of legionares marched through a train station, while the crowd chanted the French national anthem; the first actual lines are about 4 minutes within the movie]

Sgt. Triand: [to a line of German prisioners] If you join the French Foreign Legion, remember: there are no questions asked. Come! Join the Legion!

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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