The D.I. (film)

1957 film by Jack Webb

The D.I. is a 1957 film about one of the toughest drill instructors on Parris Island and the thorn in his side, a private who always seems to foul up when the pressure's on.

Directed by Jack Webb. Written by James Lee Barrett, based on his teleplay The Murder of a Sand Flea.
Give him 12 weeks. He'll give you a Few Good Men.
"Try"? We don't try in this Marine Corps, we either do or we don't! We don't straddle any fences, understand that?

Captain AndersonEdit

  • It's hard to be a man when you've never had to be.

Technical Sergeant Jim MooreEdit

  • Sergeant Braver, my trusted companion, is going to allow you to double-time to chow this morning! Allow them to eat. After chow, permit them to return. When they return, grant them 2 minutes to prepare, square this area away, and stand by to fall out for close-order drill, DO YOU HEAR ME?! Because you were slow this morning, the smoking lamp will not be lit after morning chow. Now if you people don't show me anything today, if I keep getting this slow deal- we're gonna get together tonight and bust that sound barrier! DO YOU HEAR ME?!
  • I have told you people time and again! Your rifle is your best friend! You let it down and it'll sure let you down!


Sgt. Moore has just entered the squad bay to wake up his trainees.
TSgt Moore: Rise and shine, another day to serve the Corps! Just like a bunch of little girls! Again. (Moore shuts the light off in the squad bay, enabling the recruits to climb back into their bunks) Get up! (He turns the light back on and begins beating on the inside of a garbage can with his swagger stick, and the recruits all get up but not to the sergeant's liking) Again! (Moore repeats the process, then shakes his head in disappointment and replaces the shit can lid You people are too slow! If you were that slow in combat, you would be dead! Dead!
(Moore begins walking down the line of recruits.)
TSgt Moore: You burr-headed idiots do not appreciate my cheerful good morning. When my back is turned, you call me bad names. But I won't hear you call me bad names, because if I do, I'll go to the brig! But I'll be thinking about you people all the time. Do you hear me?
Recruits: YES, SIR!
TSgt Moore: I can't hear you!
Recruits: YES, SIR!
TSgt Moore: I am not your mother. I will not wake you up like your mother does. Do you hear me?
Recruits: YES, SIR!
TSgt Moore: Now, when the lights go on in the squad bay, you clowns are supposed to be at attention! But no! Oh, no! When the lights come on, where are ya? You're crawlin outta them racks! I gota a hundred-year-old grandma who gets outta her sack faster than you people! Doesn't she?!
Recruits: YES, SIR!
TSgt Moore: [To a Recruit] You better steady your head and eyeballs, boy. Get 'em on that bulkhead. How long you been shavin'?
Recruit: Well, since-
TSgt Moore: What's the first word outta that filthy mouth?
Recruit: Sir!
TSgt Moore: How long you been shavin'?
Recruit: Sir, since I was sixteen, sir!
TSgt Moore: Well, those sideburns come off, boy, you understand? We don't wear sideburns in this Marine Corps.
Recruit: Yes, sir.
TSgt Moore: You know who wears sideburns, don'tcha?
Recruit: Yes, sir.
TSgt Moore: Well, you ain't got no guitar.
Recruit: Yes, sir.
TSgt Moore: Now you get it off, even that peach fuzz. In this Marine Corps you shave from your ears all the way down to your collarbone, you hear?
Recruit: Yes, sir.
TSgt Moore: The only thing you do not shave is your eyebrows.
[Moore resumes his walk down the squad bay, heading in the opposite direction.]]
TSgt Moore: Out on that drill field yesterday, you people were miserable! You people ain't even a mob. A mob's got a leader. You clowns are a herd. I'm gonna get me a sheep dog! I've seen better maneuvering in a Chinese fire drill! Well, I just wantchya to know, today it's gonna be different! You're gonna drill, drill, drill, and you're gonna do it RIGHT! Do you hear me?!
Recruits: YES, SIR!
TSgt Moore: You ain't here for no picnic! This ain't no summer camp! But you wish it was a summer camp, don't you?
Recruits: NO, SIR!
TSgt Moore: You wish you could listen to radios, eat pogey bait, and smoke cigarettes, don't you?
Recruits: NO, SIR!
TSgt Moore: You wish you could go to the movies, take women out, and booze it up in a slop chute, don't you?
Recruits: NO, SIR!
TSgt Moore: You like this training, don't you?
Recruits: YES, SIR!
TSgt Moore: All right, tigers, gimme a growl!
Recruits: RAAR!

Sgt O'Neil: Been to chow?
TSgt Mooore: Yeah.
Sgt O'Neil: Woo-ee. Rough day today, Gunny. Heavy schedule.
TSgt Moore: Yep. Twelve weeks to square away what nobody ever finished. Twelve weeks to make a man out of Junior.

Sgt. O'Neil: What's your name, idiot?
Pvt. Madison: Sir, Private Madison, sir!
Sgt. O'Neil: Moore your D.I.?
Pvt. Madison: Sergeant Moore is my Drill Instructor, sir!
Sgt. O'Neil: Sergeant Moore a good D.I.?
Pvt. Madison: Sergeant Moore is my Drill Instructor, sir!
Sgt. O'Neil: That's not what I asked, you idiot! I said, Sergeant Moore a good D.I.?
Pvt. Madison: Sergeant Moore is my Drill Instructor, sir!
Sgt. O'Neil: What's your ninth general order?
Pvt. Madison: Sir, my ninth general order is to call the Corporal of the Guard in any case not covered by instructions.
TSgt. Moore: Checkin' on me, O'Neil? [O'Neil looks at him] Well, as long as you're checking let's do a good job. Spit out those general orders, clown! Sound off!
Pvt. Madison: Sir! My first general order is, to take charge of this post and all government property in view! Sir, my second general order is, to walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing. Sir, my third general order is, to report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce! Sir! My fourth general order is, to repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guard house than my own! Sir, my fifth general order is, to quit my post only when properly relieved! Sir! My sixth general order is, to receive, obey and pass on to the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the Commanding Officer, Officer of the Day, Officers, and Non-Commissioned Officers of the guard only! Sir! My seventh general order is, to talk to no one except in the line of duty! Sir! My eighth general order is, to give the alarm in case of fire or disorder! Sir! My ninth general order is, to call the Corporal of the Guard in any case not covered by instructions! [Moore mouths a kiss at O'Neil and walks away.] Sir! My tenth general order is, to salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased! Sir! My eleventh general order is, to be especially watchful at night, and, during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority!

Drill Instructor Sergeant: Sergeant Moore's been havin' flea trouble, Anne. He just can't seem to keep those fleas alive. Move out, Moore! Ain't no one wanna listen to you cry!
TSgt Moore: Look, you've been on once tonight, Junior, you keep your mouth dry! [To Annie] Now, look, I just wanted to try to- [The DI Sgt. stands up and punches Moore; he hits back and shoves the Sergeant back in his chair.] You oughta have better manners. Now you go ahead, you tell 'er why you think you hate me. Go ahead! Tell her! [To Annie] Joey's got his own platoon now. He just made sergeant, only he grew too fast. Now the next time you jump me, Joey, you have the decency to make it look like something!
[Moore leaves. The D.I. Sergeant looks after him.]
Drill Instructor Sergeant: He's a damn good D.I. One of the best down here. Guess I'm jealous.
Annie: What's his first name?
Drill Instructor Sergeant: Jim.
Annie: Do you really hate him?
Drill Instructor Sergeant: No. But the way he's going now he's gonna drive himself right out of the Corps. And it's too bad, because the Corps's all he has.

Pvt. Owens: Sir, I... I try.
TSgt. Moore: "Try"? We don't try in this Marine Corps, we either do or we don't! We don't straddle any fences, understand that?
Pvt. Owens: Yes, sir.

Mrs. Owens: So you see, Captain Anderson, when a woman has lost her husband and two of her sons, when a woman is as much a part of the Marine Corps as I am, then her right to visit a Marine base is hardly questioned.
Cpt. Anderson: I see.
Mrs. Owens: I hoped you would. We Marines understand each other, don't we, Captain?
Cpt. Anderson: Not always, I'm afraid. You have a son in my company. He is the reason for your being here. Am I right?
Mrs. Owens: Yes. My son. My third son. How is he, Captain?
Cpt. Anderson: Well, I can't help but believe that you know as well as I do.
Mrs. Owens: Yes, his letters do paint a rather dark picture.
Cpt. Anderson: And he wants out.
Mrs. Owens: Yes. He does want out.
Cpt. Anderson: If your visit had been yesterday, or the day before, you'd have gotten an argument. But I won't argue with you today. It seems to have reached that stage. No. I won't argue. You can have him back. I have the papers on my desk, and I'm recommending your son for discharge.
Mrs. Owens: You will do no such thing!
Cpt. Anderson: I beg your pardon?
Mrs. Owens: You will not discharge him!
Cpt. Anderson: But isn't that why you're here? I mean, I thought-
Mrs. Owens: I don't care what you thought. You saw me, Captain, you said to yourself, "Here's a mother who wants her little boy back." No, Captain, no. My son is going to stay here and see this through. My husband did, my first two sons did, my third son will be no different! Captain Anderson, surely you know if he doesn't see this through, he'll never be any good. Surely you must know what his record is. He must stick this out. He must! I have made many mistakes with him. Too many. He's all I have left. Without realizing, I made a momma's boy out of him.
Cpt. Anderson: Mrs. Owens-
Mrs. Owens: I am not the kind of a mother who all of her life thinks of her sons as "my little boys"! My sons are men! All my sons are men!

Cpt. Anderson: Well, Owens?
Pvt. Owens: I didn't mean to bang the door, sir!
Cpt. Anderson: Then why did you do it? You always do things you didn't mean to do, Owens?
Pvt. Owens: Sergeant Moore, sir. He said on the double, and-
Cpt. Anderson: But he didn't tell you to bang my door, did he?
Pvt. Owens: No, sir.
Cpt. Anderson: Did you bang my door just to irritate me?
Pvt. Owens: No, sir.
Cpt. Anderson: Now, you were supposed to knock, weren't you?
Pvt. Owens: Yes, sir.
Cpt. Anderson: Then get outside and knock!
Pvt. Owens: Aye-aye, sir!
[Owens goes outside and shuts the door. He knocks three times on the door frame.]
Cpt. Anderson: I can't hear you! [Owens hits the frame three times, harder.] I still can't hear you! [Owens hits the door three times, very loudly.] Get in here!
Pvt. Owens: Sir, Private Owens reporting as ordered, sir!
Cpt. Anderson: You know what this is, Private Owens?
Pvt. Owens: No, sir.
Cpt. Anderson: This is a general discharge. Your discharge. It's all filled out. The only thing stopping it from going through is my signature. Do I sign it?
Pvt. Owens: Sir, I-
Cpt. Anderson: If I sign this, Owens, it'll be the end of this island for you. No more training, no more Sergeant Moore. You'll be a playboy again. You want that very badly, don't you? Yes, all I have to do is sign it. You're such a baby, you'll probably break down and cry if I don't sign it. Do I sign it, yes or no?
Pvt. Owens: Yes, sir.
Cpt. Anderson: You're wrong, Owens! I don't sign it. [Tears up the discharge] Not for you, never for you. It's your country, Owens. That's what country it is.


  • Give him 12 weeks. He'll give you a Few Good Men.
  • This is T/SGT. Jim Moore, toughest of the tough-guy Drill Instructors. One of the most powerful of all screen performances.


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