Sgt. Bilko

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Sgt. Bilko is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Jonathan Lynn and written by Andy Breckman. It is an adaptation of the 1950s television series The Phil Silvers Show, often informally called Sgt. Bilko, or simply Bilko.

Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko[edit]

  • [On the phone] Listen, that M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle is property of the United States Army; I want it back on the post by tonight! We have rules! Rules and regulations! [Turns to light a match on a sign that says "NO SMOKING", then lights a cigarette] I have your rental agreement right here. And if you blow anything up, it's coming out of your deposit! [Hangs up and sighs irritably] Teenagers. So irresponsible!
  • Relax, it's just Army stuff. It's got nothing to do with us!
  • All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work.
  • Ah, Doberman. The son I never wanted.

Colonel John T. Hall[edit]

  • You know, for all the differences I've had with Bilko over the years, I have to admit- I've always kind of liked him. The way he kept up the men's morale; the way he'd pretend to cry, when I went on leave. The way- every year, on my birthday- he'd have the men mow my name on the main lawn, with a big heart around it.
  • The Pentagon? How did they get my number?

Major Colin Thorn[edit]

  • [On Bilko's skill at eluding Thorn and his team of investigators] It's like nailing Jell-O to the wall!

Dialogue[edit]

MSG Bilko: What's the matter with you? You were full of energy at 6AM.
PFC Wally Holbrook: I don't think the guys like me.
MSG Bilko: Well, what makes you say that?
PFC Wally Holbrook: They wrote me a note. "Wally, we don't like you." And they all signed it.
MSG Bilko: [Looks at the note] Yep, that's Doberman's X.
PFC Wally Holbrook: Speaking of Doberman, can I please have another roommate?
MGS Bilko: Why, what's wrong with Doberman?
PFC Wally: He wet his bed!
MGS Bilko: Oh, well, once in a while...
PFC Wally Holbrook: No, he did it from across the room.

[MAJ Thorn is preparing to take a helicopter back off Fort Baxter after witnessing the hovertank fail an attempted test; COL Hall and CPT Moon are trying to dissuade him.]
COL Hall: Major, let me be frank. A negative report from you at this time would be the death knell for Fort Baxter. See, we've been in sort of a slump lately, and I-
MAJ Thorn: Nine years without a single successful test? That's not a slump, Colonel,; that's a tradition.
COL Hall: Look, Major- think for a minute. About the men; their careers! My career.
MAJ Thorn: Look, Colonel, you play the hand you're dealt. This isn't exactly the career I had in mind when I got out of OCS; shining a seat with my ass in D.C., visiting every dumpy little post- I thought I'd be a colonel by now, or maybe even a general. Sorry, Colonel; what I saw this morning was a dust cloud that cost $70 million. Good morning.
COL Hall: Ah, wait! You know, there's more to Fort Baxter than just R&D, Major. We have an award-winning, Hooah commissary!
CPT Moon: Try the chicken casserole!
COL Hall: And our softball team won the division title last year; Sergeant Bilko's platoon is in the Glee Club finals!
MAJ Thorn: [Visibly bored] I'll certainly keep that in mind.
[MAJ Thorn walks off towards the helicopter and gets inside; one of the aircrew shuts the door. Suddenly, Thorn reaches out and opens it again.]
MAJ Thorn: [Shouting over the rotors] Did you say Bilko?!
COL Hall: Yes...?
MAJ Thorn: Is that Ernie Bilko?!
COL Hall: One and the same!
MAJ Thorn: [Gets back out of the helicopter] Maybe I will stay for lunch!

[Bilko and Henshaw are playing golf in the middle of the base, using locations like a parade ground and the grounds of a barracks.]
SGT Henshaw: Hey, you're eight over par, Sarge!
MSG Bilko: Well, fix it.
PFC Wally Holbrook: Sarge, they let you do this?
MSG Bilko: I never asked. They'd probably say no; it is an Army post.

[Bilko and Wally are visiting MAJ Ebersole's facility, where the experimental hover tank is being kept.]
MAJ Ebersole: Wait, wait! This is a $70 million piece of equipment! You think I'm gonna just let one of your men mess around with it? I think not.
MSG Bilko: [Unconcerned] Mm. Hmm. [Takes out a few pieces of paper, and starts patting his forehead with them] Oh, boy- is it hot in here or what? Oh, wait, what's this? It's the IOU's from the poker game!
MAJ Ebersole: Would you like to use my tools?

[MAJ Thorn is holding a surprise inspection of Bilko's platoon's barracks; they have switched signs with one of Alpha Company's barracks to avoid having their messy rooms and barracks discovered. In the room SGT Henshaw is claiming as his, MAJ Thorn finds a pink bra and high heels.]
MAJ Thorn: [Holding the high heels and bra up] Are these yours?
SGT Henshaw: It is my understanding that you can no longer ask me these questions, sir.
COL Hall: [Shrugs] It's a new Army, Major. We're all adjusting.

[Bilko has rigged a demonstration of the HTX-1 Hover Tank, showing it off to members of Congress, various dignitaries and a four-star general and his staff. MAJ Thorn notices the rigged demonstration and gets up to say something to GEN Tennyson.]
MAJ Thorn: Wait! The demonstration was rigged!
MSG Bilko: [Hurrying Tennyson away from Thorn] Ah! Do I see politics in your future, sir? Perhaps a run at the Oval Office?
GEN Tennyson: You know, I've never really given that serious consideration-
MAJ Thorn: [Catching up with them] Wait! General, he faked it! Didn't you see? The gun was aimed at Target Three, but they blew up Target Four!
GEN Tennyson: Yes, I did.
MSG Bilko: Well, you remember Einstein's theory, sir- space is curved?
GEN Tennyson: Yes.
MSG Bilko: And these are smart weapons. [Makes cutting motions with his hand, indicating the shot changed course.]
MAJ Thorn: Oh, cut the crap! He faked it! It's just another one of his scams!
GEN Tennyson: That's a serious charge. Colonel, what about this?
COL Hall: Well, General, I must tell you, in all my years in the service, I have never- not once- publicly berated a fellow officer. But I realise now, from the very first moment Major Thorn set foot on Fort Baxter, he engaged in a person vendetta against Master Sergeant Bilko. I find his conduct inexcusable; and I'm going to recommend an Article 32 investigation.
GEN Tennyson: I see.
MAJ Thorn: You don't understand. He doesn't know what's going on, he never knows what's going on! This sergeant leads him around by the nose!
GEN Tennyson: Major! You are the most insubordinate officer I have ever met.
MAJ Thorn: [Grabs Hall] I'm telling you... he's a BOOB! He doesn't get it! They faked the whole thing!
GEN Tennsyon: I'd like to see just one piece of solid evidence, to support these idiotic allegations!
MAJ Thorn: Idiotic. How's this for idiotic!? [Pulls a part of the tank's electronics out of his pocket] The Fire Control and Super Elevator Board! I took it out last night; so HOW CAN IT WORK?!
[GEN Tennyson and a crowd of officers and dignitaries are now staring right at Thorn; he starts to notice this, too late.]
COL Hall: So you deliberately sabotaged this project, Major.
MSG Bilko: [Producing a tape recorder] I got it all on tape. Lucky!

External links[edit]

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