"In retrospect, we really shouldn't have painted targets on all our ships..."


"In retrospect, we really shouldn't have painted targets on all our ships..."

DUNKIRK

The Abridged Script

EXT. STREETS OF DUNKIRK, 1940 – ONE WEEK FROM… SOMETHING

A troop of BRITISH SOLDIERS march their way down the STREETS while HANS ZIMMER rests an ELBOW on his SUSPENSE SYNTHESIZER.

TITLE TEXT

Roughly 4.3 billion Allied soldiers have retreated to the city of Dunkirk, awaiting evacuation. Supplies are dwindling, morale is low, and expectations for this movie are high because Interstellar was kind of meh. Fortunately for the audience, Christopher Nolan deleted all of the boring parts from the script. Unfortunately, for the characters…

INVISIBLE GERMANS begin SPRAYING the streets with BULLETS like a 13-year old COUNTER STRIKE PLAYER, until only young FIONN WHITEHEAD is left. He narrowly escapes to the BEACHES, and instead of reporting the loss of his platoon to his COMMANDER or reacting with any EMOTIONS, he decides his first priority is to take a SHIT.

Nearby, he notices fellow soldier ANEURIN BARNARD burying a casualty.

ANEURIN BARNARD

(gazes with a look of resigned determination)

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(returns the gaze with an undercurrent of somber acknowledgement that this stranger half-buried in the dirt could have been either of them, subject as they are to whims of chance)

ANEURIN BARNARD

(offers a shovel, a tentative plea for two strangers to bond over a shared act of compassionate humanity in these impossibly extreme conditions)

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(accepts the shovel, trying not to think about pooping)

They bury the soldier together. On the beach nearby, COMMANDER KENNETH BRANAGH talks to COLONEL JAMES D’ARCY about the situation.

KENNETH BRANAGH

Alright, James. Give me the straight dick. How fucked are we?

JAMES D’ARCY

Fuckedness increases hourly, sir. Food stocks are low, medical supplies are lower, and stiff-upper-lippedness dwindles at an alarming rate.

KENNETH BRANAGH

We need to keep those lips stiff, dammit! We could be here all week.

JAMES D’ARCY

All week?! We can’t possibly survive that long! Can’t we just green screen in some more ships to take us across the channel?

KENNETH BRANAGH

Nolan doesn’t do green screen, James. We’re stuck with whatever actual ships he could rent for this movie.

JAMES D’ARCY

So this whole film is just going to be about watching a bunch of sad soldiers get the runs on a beach for seven days?

KENNETH BRANAGH

Don’t worry, chum. Old Chris doesn’t do CGI chicanery, but his SCRIPTS are gimmicky as all hell! I’m sure we’ll get to the time-jumpy nonsense any moment n-

EXT. QUAINT ENGLISH WHARF, ONE DAY FROM… SOMETHING

Civilian mariner MARK RYLANCE and his SON, TOM GLYNN-CARNEY, are loading their PLEASURE BOAT while NAVY MEN with OMINOUS CLIPBOARDS come towards them down the DOCK.

MARK RYLANCE

Grab those life vests, boyo. We’re shoving off.

TOM GLYNN-CAREY

But why, da? Can’t we let the Navy take our vessel for the rescue operation?

MARK RYLANCE

No chance, son. My character’s based on one of the real-life heroes of the Titanic. I need some redemption.

TOM GLYNN-CAREY

Wait, really? That’s awesome! That isn’t going to be explored in backstory or anything?

MARK RYLANCE

This movie doesn’t do backstory, Tom. And believe me, it’s all the better for it. Shove off.

TOM pushes the boat away, but young BARRY KEOGHAN slips onboard at the LAST MOMENT.

BARRY KEOGHAN

Please let me come along, sir! I want to do something heroic with my life!

MARK RYLANCE

Hmm. Do your parents know you’re going into an active warzone?

BARRY KEOGHAN

No sir! Movie’s so thin on backstory I probably don’t even HAVE parents!

MARK RYLANCE

Fine. Just don’t die stupidly.

BARRY KEOGHAN

Don’t worry, sir! You don’t have a thing to worry ab-

BARRY trips over a RAKE and gets one foot STUCK in a BUCKET and falls face first into the boat’s ANTIQUE CHINA and GUN CABINET, causing a STRAY BULLET to shoot BACKWARDS IN TIME and KILL ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND.

BARRY KEOGHAN

Apologies, sir!

MARK RYLANCE

Sit in the boat basement and play with some Legos.

BARRY KEOGHAN

Can do, si-

EXT. SPITFIRE SQUADRON OVER THE CHANNEL, ONE HOUR FROM… OH NOW I GET IT

RAF PILOTS TOM HARDY, JACK LOWDEN, and a SURPRISE BONUS VOICE CAMEO GEE WHO COULD IT BE fly across the CHANNEL to give AIR SUPPORT.

TOM HARDY

Alright, chaps. Those Dunkirk boys need air support, what. Time to give those Gerries a right good rogering up the old Kaiser roll.

JACK LOWDEN

Love to. But gotta say, you lose a bet with the director by any chance? I see you still can’t show your face in a Nolan flick, with the flight mask, what-what.

TOM HARDY

Geezer tells me I’m too pretty for the screen.

MICHAEL CAINE’S VOICE

Think he’s having you on, chap.

TOM HARDY

Knickers, is that Sir Michael I hear? I think we’re going for mostly unknowns in this flick, old bean. You’re a shade too impression-friendly.

MICHAEL CAINE’S VOICE

Righto.

MICHAEL dutifully plows his plane into the OCEAN.

TOM HARDY

Shame about the old boy. Moment of silence?

JACK LOWDEN

Only fair.

They continue ONWARD.

EXT. BEACH – THE PAST

Soldiers are being loaded onto a HOSPITAL BOAT, set to depart at SUSPENSE O’CLOCK.

NURSE

All aboard! All aboard! Next stop, jolly old England, land of tea and curry in everything! Please don’t bother with any sort of identification, we’ll let any old bugger on this thing long as they’re carrying a wounded!

FIONN and ANEURIN notice a WOUNDED SOLDIER lying abandoned on the sand.

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(gazes at Aneurin, morosely weighing the cost of their own safety with taking the place of other, more deserving soldiers in the limited space on the boat)

ANEURIN BARNARD

(glances from Fionn to the men gathered around them, a silent acknowledgment that they cannot all be saved, and it is best to be guilty among the living than dead with conscience clear)

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(hoists the soldier onto a stretcher, his fate now bound to his silent companion and the dying stranger who is both their salvation and their charge)

ANEURIN BARNARD

(hoists the other end of the stretcher, mouthing “fucking move” while jerking his head towards the leaving boat)

They plow their way down the CROWDED PIER and narrowly manage to board the craft before it DEPARTS.

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(pants, exhausted, casting a satisfied grin at his friend)

ANEURIN BARNARD

(returns the grin, breathing easy for the first time in too long to say)

GERMAN AIRCRAFT

(has other, bullet-related ideas)

The MEDICAL BOAT starts sinking. FIONN and ANEURIN exchange SIGHS and HOP OVERBOARD. They find themselves hiding under the PIER as men SWIM all around them.

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(desperately tries to pull survivors from the water)

ANEURIN BARNARD

(stares dejectedly into the middle distance, his empathy sorely tested when surrounded by so much death)

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(glares accusingly at Aneurin)

ANEURIN BARNARD

(sighs)

(pulls Harry Styles of One Direction from the water)

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(winces)

ANEURIN BARNARD

(tosses him back, furiously wiping his hands)

HARRY STYLES

You bloody sods!

EXT. OPEN SEA – ABOARD THE S.S. OSCAR BAIT

MARK, TOM, and BARRY notice a TIME RIFT open nearby the ship. It spits out a shivering and shell-shocked SOLDIER.

MARK RYLANCE

Pull him aboard, boys! One down, three hundred thousand to go!

BARRY KEOGHAN

Right away, sir!

BARRY tries to LASSO the soldier but ends up GARROTING HIMSELF slightly. TOM untangles him and manages to snag the SOLDIER, who is in fact…

CILLIAN MURPHY

(hugging himself and rocking)

They came out of the trees, man! I still hear the screams! Forget it, Jake! It’s Chinatown!

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

What’s wrong with him, da!

MARK RYLANCE

Took a hit of his own fear toxin, it seems, boyo. Anything could set him off.

BARRY KEOGHAN

We probably shouldn’t tell him we’re taking him back to Dunkirk then, should we sir?!

CILLIAN MURPHY

(spit-takes a gallon of seawater)

WHAT?! We can’t go back to Dunkirk! You can’t HANDLE the truth!

MARK RYLANCE

Calm down there, laddie. Go play with some of Barry’s soft toys.

CILLIAN MURPHY

GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!

CILLIAN freaks out a little and knocks BARRY down the STAIRS. TOM rushes to his side.

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

Barry! You alright there?!

BARRY KEOGHAN

(holding his brains in with one hand)

Never better!

(vomits out spleen)

MARK RYLANCE

I hope you’re happy with yourself.

CILLIAN MURPHY

Yep. I’m good. I’ll just chill in the corner for the rest of the movie.

MARK RYLANCE

You do that.

EXT. SKY – FUTURE

TOM and JACK rush towards DUNKIRK.

JACK LOWDEN

Oy there, geezer. Seems we’ve a spot of company at three-fifteen. And not the kind you boil the kettle for, what.

TOM HARDY

Righto. Engaging.

They do some extremely dignified AERIAL COMBAT. The GERMAN PLANES are DOWNED.

TOM HARDY

Well-flown, old boy. Though it seems they’ve managed to hit my gas meter. Can’t tell how much fuel I have left. Doubt that’ll come into play later.

JACK LOWDEN

Lucky bugger. Gerries jammed my damn cockpit hatch. What I wouldn’t give for a cracked gas meter right now.

TOM HARDY

Oh bless me, what a pickle you’re in! Hope you know they bloody-well jammed my landing gear too! Jammed hatch sounds like a bloody treacle tart, what-what!

JACK LOWDEN

My bloody engine’s gone off, you shit!

TOM HARDY

Fair enough. Been a pleasure.

JACK LOWDEN

Righto.

JACK plows his PLANE into the OCEAN. TOM continues on ALONE.

JACK LOWDEN

Hm? Not rapping on the Pearly Gates, am I? Bloody brilliant! Now to just pop out of this sinking death trap and-

But HANS ZIMMER rests BOTH ELBOWS on his SUSPENSE SYNTHESIZER.

JACK LOWDEN

Bloody hell, my hatch won’t open. Seems I’m off to meet Davey Jones.

MARK RYLANCE

Not if me and my time-traveling boat have anything to say about it!

They RESCUE JACK!

JACK LOWDEN

Bloody fantastic! Best regards, you old-

He TRIPS over BARRY.

MARK RYLANCE

(facepalms)

EXT. BEACH – NIGHT TIME

FIONN and ANEURIN have managed to sneak onboard a BATTLESHIP for some TEA and TOAST.

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(smiles at Aneurin, confident they have found safety at last)

ANEURIN BARNARD

(returns the smile, his toast tasting better than a feast of ambrosia and blowjobs)

HARRY STYLES

(doing a surprisingly good acting job being a tool)

TORPEDO

(casually tries to join the conversation)

The SHIP EXPLODES and SINKS! The TRIO swim to a RESCUE BOAT where they discover…

CILLIAN MURPHY

I’m sorry, boys, we can’t let you onboard. Best we can do is drag you back to the beach.

The boys get DRAGGED back to the BEACH just in time to watch CILLIAN’S BOAT EXPLODE, flinging him into a TIME RIFT. They chill on the beach for a few days until finally…

HARRY STYLES

Alright, fuck this. As the only speaking member of this troupe, I’m making an executive decision. We’re getting some other cute white boys you can barely tell apart and hiding in that beached trawler outside the perimeter.

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(glares at him, his eyes reflecting all manner of dangers they might face)

HARRY STYLES

Oh come on. What are the odds THREE boats would explode on us?

They head towards the BLUE TRAWLER. Oh, also, um, TOM HARDY saw a BLUE TRAWLER earlier and it was SINKING. This script is COMPLICATED, okay?!

EXT. DECK OF THE S.S. OSCAR BAIT

TOM cradles BARRY as he lies on the deck, his condition worsening.

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

You’re gonna be alright, Barry. You hear me? You’re gonna go home to your friends or parents or dog or whatever. I don’t know much about you.

BARRY KEOGHAN

All I ever wanted was to do something important…

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

Uh, Barry, you might want to stow the monologues.

BARRY KEOGHAN

Do something my dad could be proud of…

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

For real, Barry. Nolan trimmed ALL the war movie clichés from this script. There isn’t even a proper firefight. You’re dangerously close to becoming a bonus feature on the DVD!

BARRY KEOGHAN

War isn’t some great adventure. It’s just senseless killing. Senseless, PG-13 killing. With a kickass Hans Zimmer score. And name actors. And surprisingly little blood…

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

Dammit, Barry, don’t do this!

BARRY KEOGHAN

(dies)

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

YOU FELL LIKE FIVE FEET, YOU IDIOT! YOU GOT OSTEOPEROSIS IN YOUR SKULL OR SOMETHING?!

TOM reverently slides his friend under the COUCH and goes above decks.

MARK RYLANCE

How’s Barry?

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

(shakes his head)

MARK RYLANCE

Thank god. Kid would probably burn the boat down making tea. I mean, oh dear, how tragic or something.

CILLIAN MURPHY

Ahem. Um. I’m better now. How’s Barry?

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

(pause)

(chooses the Paragon dialogue option)

He’s fine.

CILLIAN MURPHY

Good. But the kid’s probably gonna burn the damn boat down…

INT. S.S. FUCKED, THE BLUE TRAWLER FROM BEFORE

FIONN, ANEURIN, HARRY, and some OTHER INDISTINGUISHABLE BRITISH BOYS all rest in the HOLD of their TRAWLER, waiting for the tide to come carry them to sea.

HARRY STYLES

Why didn’t we think of this before?! This is great! Who would have thought the Germans would be nice enough to leave us this perfectly functional boat out here in enemy territory where anyone could-

BULLETS

Guten tag! Mind if I join you?

HARRY STYLES

SHIT! EVERYONE PANIC! EVERYONE SCREAM AND ARGUE AND ACCUSE EACH OTHER OF BEING SPIES OR WHATEVER!

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(signals for silence, noticing the bullets holes are clumped tightly together, indicating the Germans are merely practicing marksmanship and have not in fact noticed they are in the hold)

HARRY STYLES

No. Fuck that. I’ve decided someone in here is a spy! And I’m guessing it’s Aneurin, since we’ve been on this beach an entire week and apparently he hasn’t said a single word! For real!

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(brow furrows so hard he gives himself a headache)

(mouths “the fuck” at Aneurin while jerking his thumb at Harry)

(pauses)

(tries to think of something Aneurin has actually verbally said in the week he’s known him)

(draws a complete blank)

HARRY STYLES

Go on. Say something, Aneurin, if that IS your real name!

ANEURIN BARNARD

Pourquoi?

(pause)

Merde.

HARRY STYLES

Fuckin’ knew it! Toss him over, boys! Let’s see if frogs can swim.

But just then, the TIDE rolls in with SURPRISING SPEED! The BOAT is FLOATING! Until a moment later when it realizes it’s full of BULLET HOLES and starts SINKING!

HARRY STYLES

EVERYONE PANIC IN THE DIRECTION OF THE BULLET HOLES!

They try to PLUG the HOLES but it DOESN’T WORK.

HARRY STYLES

EVERYONE PANIC ABOVE DECK!

They all try to climb the LADDER at the SAME TIME. This is INEFFECTIVE.

HARRY STYLES

PANIC HARDER! PUSH AND SHOVE! THE HERKY JERKY EDITING WILL SAVE US IF THIS SCENE IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FOLLOW!

They all jump into the WATER and get TANGLED TOGETHER and THRASH ABOUT and then they are surrounded by OIL and then an OCTOPUS starts juggling them and then some of them DIE but because they are ALL WAN BRITISH BOYS COVERED IN OIL its basically impossible to tell WHO. Meanwhile on the DOCK…

KENNETH BRANAGH

You hear that, James? That incessant ticking sound? And that swelling synth track?

JAMES D’ARCY

I do, sir. Seems old Zimmer passed out face down on the Suspense Synthesizer.

KENNETH BRANAGH

Bloody hell, we’re right todgered now. And lo and behold, a lone German plane’s decided to cause a ruckus on the beach. Not much to be done. Been a pleasure, James.

JAMES D’ARCY

Same to you, sir. But lo, what’s that I spy on the horizon!?

MARK RYLANCE

(blowing a war horn)

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

Yep, we’re here! Sorry we didn’t bring backup, it’s just little old us. Wait, what the hell?

Suddenly they are joined out of nowhere by dozens of ACTUAL DUNKIRK BOATS. Yes, ACTUAL BOATS used in the ACTUAL DUNKIRK RESCUE. That’s pretty fucking COOL.

Now heavy-laden with TROOPS, MARK turns his craft back towards ENGLAND.

MARK RYLANCE

Hold on now, lads. Tricky editing made the hour-long process of loading the boat go by in mere seconds, so it looks like that plane is coming back this way!

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

What’ll we do, da?!

MARK RYLANCE

Hang on tight! We’re going to do an evasive maneuver! Three… two… one… NOW!

MARK jerks the BOAT out of the way of the APPROACHING PLANE with the speed of a SNAIL on HEROIN. The GERMAN PILOT laughs so hard he FORGETS ABOUT THEM.

They sail towards HOME.

Meanwhile back on the DOCK again…

JAMES D’ARCY

Good lord! The plane’s coming back around! Again!

KENNETH BRANAGH

I’m running out of “shocked” faces! We can’t survive another assault!

TOM HARDY

Only got one shot at this.

TOM flies headlong at the GERMAN CRAFT. They DUCK, DIVE, ROLL, SPIN, SWOOP, WHIRL, and do all manner of AERIAL NAMBY PAMBY until…

MICHAEL CAINE’S VOICE

Use the Force, Tom…

TOM HARDY

Righto, old bean.

He DROPS the PLANE!

TOM HARDY

Huzzah! Take that, Fritz!

Which ignites the OIL some of the SOLDIERS were SWIMMING IN!

TOM HARDY

Blast. Sorry, boys. I’d spare a moment of silence but my fuel’s gone dry. Time to glide this girl down into the-

EXT. ENGLISH DOCKSIDE

FIONN and HARRY are let off at the DOCKS with hundreds of other SOLDIERS.

HARRY STYLES

I’m so ashamed. We did nothing but cower on a beach for a week. They’ll spit on us when we get home.

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(leers, exhausted, at his former enemy turned ally, the understanding creeping upon him that while the day was won, the war is far from-)

EXT. SKY

TOM HARDY

What? Bloody hell, not now. I need to land this girl inside friendly lines! The old time-skips are playing hell with my concentra-

EXT. DOCKS OF DUNKIRK

KENNETH BRANAGH

Well, it’s been marvelous warring with you, James. But I think it’s time you toddled.

JAMES D’ARCY

Aren’t you coming with, Commander?

KENNETH BRANAGH

Not yet. Need to stay behind for the French evacuation. Poor buggers, they’ve been through so-

INT. TRAIN – ENGLAND

HARRY STYLES

Hey, that reminds me, where’s Aneurin?

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(shrugs)

(mimes choking to death)

HARRY STYLES

Oh yeah, he drowned. Lucky sod. Better to die a heroic death than be branded a coward, as we’ll surely be.

But it turns out the LOCALS are SUPER HYPED to see them!

HARRY STYLES

Sweet! Adulation! And beer! This is awesome! Come on, Fionn! Grab a brew and celebrate!

FIONN WHITEHEAD

(reminisces on the sacrifices made by so many great men to ensure they got home)

Look, personally, I think-

INT. MARK’S HOUSE

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

Look, da! Barry’s in the paper! He’ll be known as a hero for all time!

MARK RYLANCE

They spelled it “Barney”.

TOM GLYNN-CARNEY

Goddammit, Barry.

EXT. SKY

TOM HARDY

ALRIGHT, WE DONE WITH THE OTHER PLOTS YET? BECAUSE I REALLY NEED TO FOCUS ON LANDING THIS PLANE RIGHT NOW AND I CAN’T DO IT WITH ALL THE-

GERMAN SOLDIERS grab him from either side. He landed the PLANE twenty minutes ago and is being taken PRISONER.

GERMAN SOLDIER

(giggling)

‘Vas getting captured part of your master plan?

TOM HARDY

Shut up.

END.

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