Joyeux Noel (2005) Poster


Guillaume Canet: Le lieutenant Audebert



  • Horstmayer : I heard last night about your wife. If you like, I can get a letter through to her.

    Lieutenant Audebert : Why would you do that? If you got caught...

    Horstmayer : [scoffs]  One letter won't stop us winning the war. And anyhow, when we'll have taken Paris and it's over, you can invite us for a drink in Rue Vavin.

    Lieutenant Audebert : You don't have to invade Paris to drop round for a drink.

  • Le Major : Everyone to their posts!

    Gordon : [a moment of indecision]  Every man to his post!

    Le Major : Quickly!

    [the Scottish soldiers get in position along the trench wall] 

    German Soldiers : [Someone in the German trench stands up and walks into No Man's Land]  No, stay here! What're you doing? Come back!

    Le Major : Well, what the hell are you doing! Shoot the bloody Kraut!

    [the Scottish soldiers look at each other; they don't fire] 

    Le Major : What are you waiting for? Shoot him, God damn it! Holidays are over!

    [the soldiers shoot in the air to warn the man in No Man's Land, who begins to run toward the French trench] 

    Le Major : What the hell do you think you're playing at? Shoot him!

    [Again the soldiers look at each other, shake their heads, and don't fire] 

    Le Major : Shoot him!

    [Jonathan shoots the man, who falls midway between the French and German trenches] 

    Le Major : Stand down from your posts.

    [They do] 

    Le Major : Shame on you, Gordon. Shame on you.

    [Ponchel's alarm clock rings in No Man's Land. Gordon looks out to see Lieutenant Audebert running to help the man Jonathan shot - Ponchel in a German uniform] 

    Ponchel : Be silly to die disguised as a German, eh?

    Lieutenant Audebert : What the devil were you doing?

    Ponchel : I had a German help me. I saw my mother. We drank a coffee, just like before... You have a son.

    [Lieutenant Audebert can no longer keep from crying] 

    Ponchel : His name is Henri.

    [Ponchel dies, and Lieutenant Audebert sobs even harder. Gordon and the Major look on from their trench, Gordon grave, the Major baffled] 

  • [the Lieutenant lights a lamp, revealing the General seated in a corner. The Lieutenant notices him, resigns himself] 

    General Audebert : How did you let yourself...

    Lieutenant Audebert : If you came to preach, leave now!

    General Audebert : Don't you realize the gravity of this? It's high treason! Punishable by death.

    [the Lieutenant just looks at him for a moment, continues with his business] 

    General Audebert : Only we can't execture 200 men. That's all that saves you. Not counting all the other cases of fraternization reported since. If public opinion hears of this...

    Lieutenant Audebert : Have no fear, no one here will tell.

    General Audebert : I hope not! Who'd want to?

    Lieutenant Audebert : Want to? The men involved feel no shame. If they won't tell, it's because no one would believe or understand.

    General Audebert : I don't understand you. Carousing with the enemy while the country's partly occupied!

    Lieutenant Audebert : The country? What does it know of what we suffer here? Of what we do without complaint? Let me tell you, I felt closer to the Germans than those who cry, "Kill the Krauts!" before their stuffed turkey!

    General Audebert : You're talking nonsense.

    Lieutenant Audebert : No, you're just not living the same war as me. Or as those on the other side.

    General Audebert : You and your men will rejoin the Verdun sector. You're right about one thing. I don't understand this war. My corps was the cavalry. You should have made a career of it, like I said. Today, I'm asked to fight a way where the shovel outweighs the rifle. In which people swap addresses with the enemy to meet when it's all over. Plus the cat we found with a note from the Germans, "Good luck, comrades!" I was ordered to arrest the cat for high treason... until further notice.

    [He turns to leave] 

    Lieutenant Audebert : You're a grandfather, Dad.

    [the General stops and looks at him. The Lieutenant tries not to cry] 

    Lieutenant Audebert : His name is Henri.

    [He grins through his tears] 

    General Audebert : What are you on about? How do you know that?

    Lieutenant Audebert : You wouldn't understand.

    General Audebert : Henri? Not bad. Henri Audebert. Let's try and survive this war for him.

See also

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