This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Radio dramatization of book by John Dos Passos. Radio adaptation by Edward M. Goldberger (d. 2004). Directed by Mitchell Grayson. With David Eaton as Andrews, Charles Trayner as Chrisfield, and Ralph Elliott as Fuselli. Also in the cast: Gene Logan, Alan Harvey, George Madison, Nathan Ackerman, Shelly Hall, and Wyman Holmes. Engineers: David M. Wright, Joe R. Lewis. Special effects by Frank Birmingham.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 39321
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
Life and Work in a small broadcasting system of the operation with the public libraries of the art that's another miniseries a dramatization of the great American often not present three soldiers by John Dos possible specially adapted for radio by Edward Goldberg or directed by Mitchell Grayson with David Atlas Andrew Hall of Famers Pittsfield I lost Eliot I think that it now. The Year nine hundred seventy America at war the place to live in a training camp in the pit. The OK. OK. OK. OK. The OK I am the the. The. That was bought and you will serve the getting that Kaiser once we get on the other side just like the boys in the movie we saw tonight I don't forget. For you next week I mean that was popular here at the ott. It was a pretty good picture I seen it before the first comics I really think I was baby's first that's funny oh. Yeah right the little bit as funny I'll write a minor one and. What got me and oh yeah yeah this fall on me. In front of me that I've picked on and I'm at it you know the medical book will be getting transferred but it's a regular copy I guess what I wanted to get out of it yeah I want to get over that spoiler everything's awful pretty like the trust that pulled and the people with hasn't passed I had an uncle once used to tell me all about it he came from three where is that I don't know Italy something just how long does it take to get a week or two. As it takes time anyway what you want to get over there. That's what I'm in the Army for a good thing but you talk like a volunteer. And yet I'm on the draft. Thing is if you're going I mean you're supposed to be right. But I think I'd kind of like the excitement of it. I don't know about this exciting stuff but me I figured I'd get some place in this man's army I'm going to get me a couple strikes before long and I'll be on my way. Think I want to go places in this I mean that's what I want Paul Boyd made and that's my girl back home she's going to be proud as place for me when I get them stripes I don't seem to have any ideas about the Army. I just joined up because they pulled my number here I. Don't know. I don't like it much you are. Right it is but it's just like a big machine and it takes them in under the wheels and I'll come out alive. Then go. I would like to think of myself as an individual. It goes against the grain Maybe it's like that for us but privates but non-coms a different point I get the when we get overseas Yeah we get over. There on the army stuff like study overseas but it's great to be a soldier you can do anything appealed. The selling eye and stick built sides to me down here to the infirmary to get some stuff some guys that are real sick too sick to move off a lot of sickness in this post this morning that they're stable and buried him yet to roughly what they die of spinal something and then many gutters it sounded like a that's awful catch and it sure is your swells up and then you just both still fall over here there are many guys in many parts to no good worst of it being a film of the shocks I got all right up to that even if it is water I'm gonna write a great if I like it was a dead dog they got a right to do anything they don't pleased by this is beyond me and who is going to stop them yeah I feel sick I can't hear anything. They never seem to think this but it always will be like this I guess when there's only so many Michael Dunn any time any minute. This would be I was thinking. If you feel stabbed you feel my hands no no there it is. All right what do you think never seen this before this time with. The like this I feel so well what's good I don't want to die I don't want to die like this I'll take it easy it will be all right. I wish I never did so in this man's army I wish I never joined it was so black. All right. Now I'm starting to. Make it snappy but I remember the let's. Start on that last stop the nice. Guy said real heroes I want to have a look. Like this. Let's get going. Listen. I don't want to go in there let's get out of. Here this guy I don't feel so I feel sick come on. OK I'll. Get on. My foot slipped. Down here. Are they all like that all of them. Famous made and just I never thought they'd be like that he's like yes. Pretty package Yeah let's get this one out. OK. And have been. Listening to him You don't even know what he's talking about or he's leery of you don't know. If you got. What if you're like me you got to have a place. To go to the front so do you. Want to know about that you know that's going to. Not OK I got. A promotion you want to know it and maybe they will. Listen to him Listen to how can I help. Stop. Until. We. Do you think this will happen. What should I know maybe anything can happen you know what happened I mean I don't want nothing like that to happen to me. I am. So worst thing I have a singer was pretty bad. To get sent to the front for that stuff and I don't know I don't think I could stand much of it go it's the army you can't be all you know but if get to the front and stuff like that well I don't think I could stand it that sort of can't go A.W.O.L. the desert I wouldn't want that I don't know what to do I don't know where you guys been but a step back and what is our economy. Going to put the part better start packing Yeah yeah well let's go find a way to accept it I mean I. Think. One of my going to do I can't I can't. But I'm afraid I'm going to do my bit and I want to get them but. It was awful Yeah I know how you feel but what can you do about it I think just let me think about it. I got a little over there I'm going to be surprised to find out something when we get a doctor that we did last. Night and let me see him look I'm probably what you're put on let me see that guy what you want to see him for you when you look at yourself in the line let me see that guy bloody. To look at the map but. It's still. There it's OK Thanks a lot that's OK not some trick Boy I wish I would do that than enough and it's my business. Just what is something you know what the little guys with optical experience I do know you would not mind if I just set up and pull off what is that but look this sort of they want guys with optical experience to Headquarters Company that's what Headquarters Company and you know what that means if you're out boy you're transfer right over there when you get out of going up to the front but I get over there past oh yeah I'm going I'm going right now for a night a lucky guy is all right at the last minute here's my chance I don't have to go to the front I guess I'm lucky I've. There's a train up for selling we'll find the baggage carts the front end unload the stuff and then report back to me there what time we had no right to. Say hey wait you guys go on their web page but they don't we're looking at. It whether you fellas get over here about four months ago they are a member you're out of fuel reserves we was a training camp together remember him and I show you how you make it out there down final money after the apartment I got those Corporal strike yet not yet anybody will come someday I'm a headquarters company now and that's a job where I can show what I can do I'll be wearing them soon enough and boy one might get that we've been right on over the border all the last twelve months and now we're on our way to see what it's like oh well I don't envy you boy I've heard some story little bit about a love that friend and. I sure got sick of that. And say no thanks on that stuff or to join the army to fight oh yeah there was a drill that's all you'll remember you're in the. Display and if. Every night I was thinking out loud again. That's us we better get going oh. Look at that I sat at the right place good luck that. I forgot them sympathize. A little break out of a land that's a drop not like boarded up well I made is because of our There wasn't time for the grass to grow. Their loft yard like the Lebanese capital well we might ask them to let us off the army to Blighty that way and be like that up above. They are a long way but honest very much of the lost track at the time what's the matter you getting old You've been here for days and five nights and we've got half a day's rations left though we must be getting down with a lot of uptown that's all I've been. Told you've created on. The old man get well and point. They were down in the town. They don't look like honest men the burials of the four of them is the first one we came over saying get a good look at that period after four months or less before we will be able to tell the civilian a little bit. Again. The old. Ones of my fifty what's left of both of them but but that would be a move on that from oh no more of that. For added. The family with pride. But that smell could be life after all. You know that reminds me of Indiana bring time if they like that out there when they get out in the alleyway with but we wouldn't let that out Carnivale those eyes they got here and I'd like to see Indiana in the springtime a limb you'd come on now when the war is over that's guys is all but what do you say and why you bet I would if I know what they have mapped out for the pipe that's why I don't know we never get through it it's all drill for drill and I got more hike that gets pretty slick at that end of the army Chris that's what you've got to spend your all the time standing like that. Was Butler when I mentioned very you know me and they don't understand Oh it's nothing for it except that I'm an individual in the army wasn't made for it. They want everybody to be like everybody else but the machine cutting everyone down to the size of the smallest one but I don't feel why people shouldn't be all alive that graft about that's all of one part of it well maybe not great but I'm a musician I've got to have freedom for my brain or else I'm up I've got to be able to think of myself not think and act like everybody else the way the Army wants that I do that and I'm licked I'm not a musician any more. Do you what can you do about I don't know. I don't know what I can do. And I certainly can't fight a whole lot. And by all then I mean once you join your licked I thought of no. I should have known it would be like. How many. Say to you now that these men. I believing for the front tonight. I know it's not right I don't have anything for the fun tonight and there's one thing I'd like to say on the subject of president and the subject of President is well I'll leave that to you just remember just remember what they did and built poor bleeding build you and I might argue that we've been enough emergency rations that it's a more prisoners you get no less human you get to eat that's all men all right so I'm just going to just missed. Do you hear what he said Chris It almost makes me sick world war a no no but it isn't cold blooded murder either is it and as for why a death. That's not one that is wounded warrior even that is the offensive that's a funny as I heard says I've been in this man's funny I think it's a best piece of luck that ever happened to him maybe you're right depends on where you hit that's my leg or the right one would be fine if it just didn't hurt all the time say My name's Andrews mine's up on what you think is here dump of ospital while it's all right I'll say it's all right but in there when scribes write all they were to get your I got a one on No I don't give a hoot I did my less than I do you mean I used to drive a taxi Oh my city what are you going to do no I don't know they're releasing me this afternoon I'll find something when I get home oh I wish I were going out that I want to go home. If I could get out of uniform out of the Army I don't blame me a bit well next time I'll know better you know me too. There's nothing to do about democracy that's the mark was the perfect democracy. I tell you I don't do to be the goat you know but there's so many more goats and anything else is a sucker born every minute you know not driving a cab if you don't learn has announced now listen I'm going into politics but this afternoon I think I'll go over and look over the town now I got the chance I wish I were going with you. Fellows the law is over for him all right I don't pull out some of that so I thought the war is over there was over I tell you all right let's go home shut up another fell asleep. And then the war ended at four o three this morning the armistice was signed down with the car. Well what do you think of it as nothing why. I've been talking away but besides just going you know what's wrong with me no TB and move me to the TB warden that's the truth home I would never go home you know what I wish I was there were drawn to every one of them was killed every one of whom And then you got to hold me here what's the use even if every other human being was dead they didn't attention by here any more noise from this water I'll check out every one of you men out of this hospital if you can't walk you'll have to crawl this war may be over but you men are in the army and don't like. John Private First Class reporting from hospitals on the Took you long enough sergeant at once Thank you sir. Can you tell me anything about a scheme to send enlisted men to colleges over here they were talking about it at the hospital when I left can you tell me who to apply to according to what General Orders and why I come to see me about it I'll have you heard anything about it so no no nothing definite I'm busy now anyway that's one of the anon comes to find out about it now get out of him yes. Hey buddy you know John Andrews Well I'm busy now I've got to see my stodgy look you kept on me what a cap I'm you not that I know of what school did you go to Harvard I guess we haven't got a chapter there I'm from north west and anyway you want to go to school in France and so do I yes college men got to stick together anyway I'm sure if everybody finds out we're through we've got to keep it dark it's a shame you're not a kept on new though I'll keep it dark enough when it's almost too good to be true the general order isn't out yet but I've seen a preliminary circular I work in the office you see now what school you want to go to Sorbonne That's the stuff Now here's what you got to do you write an application I'll make that out for you on the typewriter you signed it once and handed it to your sergeant see that's just a preliminary when the order comes out you'll have to make another but you're in ahead anyhow I see I guess once you ought to get out every guy in the army will apply That's right but the colonel has to approve them finally and if he'll case it your sect Well I'll do my best this is a chance I've been waiting for I won't be out of the army but it's a closest thing to it and I'll have a chance to study music music and yes Colonel tell me about the honest Oh I don't know before you want to go to Paris is not on this new scheme yes go home still as fast what only came out this morning as a matter of fact the list of men is all made out what a shame I didn't know about your piano playing with all it's only under the colonel Oh what is it well I just heard there's a name been crossed off the list sounds like friends at headquarters a Ender's Well if you commission your sergeant I know there isn't time so the travel orders are being made out this minute right now because you Sergeant OK Colonel you don't know how important it is I'm a musician by trade if I can't get into practice again before being demobilized I won't be able to get a job my family is dependent on me it's only by being high up in my profession that I can earn enough and a man in your position in the world must know what even a few months of study in Paris means to a piano that's the replication. Yeah you can get this to the sergeant major in time well and good I wish you luck. What is it it's an application for school at the Sorbonne Sergeant Colonel Wilkins told me to run up to you with it run said he was very anxious to have a go in the media tonight but the Colonel said it had to go and help that it's too late is the name Andrew Sergeant own blazer should I know because I've got it in the orders already I don't know how it got in well then why bother me about it I mean that paper all right you leave tomorrow top of the autos go to your company in the morning before you leave a better. John Andrews hello Henslowe How are you what are you doing here I'm studying here I'm in the school detachment of the UN are you too that's right G M dad would like to say you know I haven't seen anybody from New York in years have you heard from anyone back home any of the other boys and I'll bunch I know not of them so how long you've been in Paris all about a month and you I just got in yesterday what do you do with yourself outside of studying music I mean nothing just sit around and watch the world go by as a prize man Paris Well that's all right for you I want to go and see the people at the Scala can talk all there's plenty of time for that later Wu always did take your music too seriously never make anything out of it that way and besides I need money to get that I've got low Plenty of a bowl of it let's eat and I'm almost dead from hunger you want let's sit down on the boulevard and think about where we want to have lunch to celebrate freedom from the Army practically any way you think of it hands the butcheries over and you and I and everybody else can begin to think about being human again human no more than eighteen war is going on at the moment how do you mean I haven't seen a paper in ages people fighting to beat the cats everywhere except on the western front lights where I come in travels my dish I'm joining the Red Cross and what about the Sorbonne Sorbonne can go to Hollyhock Well that's one way of looking at it. So if I don't eat soon I'm going to pass out right here that is if the uniforms don't blind me first look at them all French American English Australian Romanian every was sure I tell you Wendy this war's been a great thing for the people who knew how to take advantage of it I guess I don't know how to make a good thing out of the piece to probably say that reminds me if you heard the latest about the conference I got it straight from a man who's in the room when the conference goes on conference what conference peace conference of course told me that the president is going to walk out going to call them black adds to their faces and walk right out what's the difference sure what's the difference we're in Paris in Paris in the spring and we're. No I mean no machine nothing but cars and music I feel like like a whole new fresh made and I feel like John Andrews again after. The. Name is Andrew is any oh yeah I remember last time I saw you you were going up to the lines on a train with Chris Field Chris we used to call him a condom to remember yeah sure I do and what happened to him he's a corporal now Corporal Well what do you know I was going to be a couple once and here I am on a label to tell you all that's tough luck and I got it wrong I guess but they don't put you in a labor battalion just for that I got sick and yes I am yet around Geo forty two. They had given out the way they treat a fellow like he was lower than dirt or you would call in all the time all that's tough luck you sure is one dumb I guess you saw a lot of fighting Yeah I was in some other boy what a time I had when they found out court martial was plenty Stephon after the armistice to I Why can't I let a guy go home I'd like to see Mable again and I don't hear but get drunk as a pig every week but isn't that bad for what's the matter with you I don't give a hoot now what's the use don't seem like nothing's of anything anymore and what are you doing now I'm in the school detachment Right now I'm on my way to the opera school the tach she I'm glad I ain't going to school again I like it it's the only good thing I've gotten out of the Army yeah I see what you mean. Well I don't mind the Army so much no more don't nothing mean much to me anymore I just don't give a hoot that's all I just don't give. The. Pardon me what I hated the steady a charming reverie meeting on a part of my day. Oh I'm so. It's the music you see I never heard tell us with warrant it. Well it's like a whole new paradise for one thing you're a musician Yes and I suppose it sticks out in spite of the uniform. My name's Andrew John and I'm Genevieve Rod My family's been musical for ages but most of it just flipped through my head like cost of and that's a pity you should retain sound of try anyway so I try all right but doesn't seem to want to stick I have a house down a prize it just loads of wonderful stuff they have bought can be used to get it and lots of others I've never even heard of on I'd like to see that stuff sometime do you play piano but I'm more interested in composition right now. Why bother you with it if you're not bothering me I'd like to hear about it really I live well for years I've been fascinated by flow bears temptation of Saint Anthony do you know it of course but there's a description of the Queen of Sheba I render SOB You remember well that's what I'm trying to put into music is it the thirst thing you've done I think it's a wonderful idea I'd love to hear it well it's the first thing that's at all pretentious I suppose you had it in your head all through those dreadful glorious days at the front must be wonderful to be able to be like that well frankly I didn't see much wonderful in it just the way I am writing music is part of me it's something inside that I've got to put down on paper somehow though this this thing this uniform cramps and it gets in my way I'm going to get out of the Army as soon as I can and then I'll find a little place in the country and work what I wish I would. There's a bell for the next act now when I see you afterwards I hope so a lot more in the future being and so to avoid regulation it's the only good thing about it mother was very doubtful about letting me come with you she said to Dia if you want to be so very lucky she always gets frightened at the last minute my awful thing where all this come through and then reappear I see a piano yes a very old and think the one I'd like to play you some more of the Queen of Sheba. You seem to be able to help me with it more than anyone else ever had because I'm interested I think you'll do something someday maybe but I lack technical training was that so important do you think well maybe it is and I don't know I think it always comes sooner or later if you feel it intensely enough I suppose oh look there's a cathedral it's. It's it's like all my dreams of freedom come true the way it's sort of it's sort of sings against the sky it's Mark you know this is the first time I've really seen now standing here with you it's the first time it's really meant anything to. I'd like to write a song about it a song for this whole wonderful bit about being with you and about this conceivable only I don't think I could do one that was beautiful enough and have no matter how hard I tried John let's say a fast funny but let's see a past Are you an M.P. what I look like President Wilson Well I'm in the saw bond attachments a bond attachment watch that it's. A look Genevieve Something's come up I'll have to go see the officer and explain you go back to your aunt's and I'll come as soon as I settled it all right see you later then good bye for now tough luck but she's a good look at OK I'm in the so abundant attachment and pets and I came down here without a pet is there anything I can do about it you know about it you know just come along with me school detachment that no one. The. The. Family does and they keep it going to save a battalion on the I long as I please I guess sometimes I think I'd rather go to Leavenworth I can't stand this there's so much stuff is too heavy for me funny thing. I nearly as bad as I thought it would be I stuck me in those without even a trial or anything just pushed me right into it but it's not as bad as I expected. Things I don't remember him at the moment and well after a while you get so you can put up with just about everything that's one thing they teach you in the army good lots of people put up with things and that's right not me though no sir not me he helped me with his bag. Jesus stuff discern of heavy careful here comes God Now so what with him. Doing Now yeah I guess you're right you know I I can without an educated guy like you you've been to college and I got to think you'd be able to get out of a mess like this well I guess it doesn't really make much difference about education a man suffers as much whether he can read and write or whether he can yeah say ever think of cutting. Too risky I got in this fix taking a risk and I don't think I can face another one what more can I do. Yeah really but how can we do it when. We're on the river all week yeah. You know I think it's rather funny I was loading cement to build a stadium for America to present to the French but sorry I got no time for jokes now it just struck me funny and I laugh later now the God turns around and he's bound to drop into the water can you swim I used to swim way out in Chesapeake Bay when I was a boy I get in the water make for that string of arches. Just tell him we are no he's on the other way now I am. And he come on the side of the barge like you are right yes let me help you stuff no no there's some to the bottom now OK let's go. Behind me. I mean. Hello Chris what are you doing in Paris she and. I thought you was a Frenchman all dressed up like that I guess you got your just judge them right I'm glad I'm glad I look like a Frenchman Anyway I spent my last cent on these clothes you can only long Chris know I done flew the coop bandy deserted since when couple of weeks I'll tell you about it I was coming to see any if I'm broke or look I'll be able to help you sue matter of fact that's what I came to Paris for I'm out to what do you mean I haven't got a discharge Chris I'm through with it all I've deserted That's funny you and me both doing it and why did you do it and you took off your uniform to do you know that's taken an awful chanted it's twenty years in Leavenworth with a catch I don't care Chris I couldn't take any more of it now it's a way it is. Why do you go A.W.O.L. I was getting pretty full up with that me and Rado boy shucks he's less than a dog to most of these ere offices and stuff and. I'm as good as them any time why should I have to salute them and kowtow to him every time I turn around you know I was getting pretty sick of the army and well I guess you're right about that part of it course I'm right so what are you going to do now well I don't rightly know I won't stand. Maybe just long enough to get some money I guess then I'll to a place called process. There's a girl I want to look up out there and I see it better be careful I don't catch it Leavenworth as they do I know but I've got to find some peace some quiet I've got to find myself again and maybe I can write some you yeah you was all of talk and music I'll remember what are you going to do Chris all I'll get along somehow. I want to go back to Nana somehow I got to get home oh I wish you luck that's what I gotta do I've got to go home I've got to go home. Yeah. The eat. Eat Eat. Back with John Gray Genevieve it. It's good to see you again how Brown you are you know I thought I'd lost you you might kissed me just so he let out of prison and demobilized Why did you write where you stay I did find me down here oh hold on one of the time I'm going to answer all those questions at once the where are you staying in an old and on the road. That's it I'm working again on the render saga Oh God it's wonderful to be working again yes and how is it coming all right all right what are we standing here for is not silly remember what you said you wanted to see all those old scores we had that was the first time we met at the opera remember oh yes I remember and he was standing on my dress train and mooning about how its new look so spirituelle But come in come in and I'll show you the scars and maybe I'll play a little fun oh my my fingers are a little stiff but you must play for me all right I'll play. When we demobilized I'm not you know no I'm a deserted. Deserted Yes and if you're caught send me to prison I suppose at least twenty years and speak of it so easily like that it's not a new idea to mine I ever made you do such a thing I couldn't stand the treadmill any longer that's all. You have no patriotism patriotism as you mean it none. Genevieve how silly Those words are pompous words what happened anyway things reached the breaking point it was all I just couldn't stand discipline any longer it was like a millstone around my neck so I cut it out when I I guess maybe go to the house after all I just remembered we have company and you wouldn't want me to be that observant of that you know John. Maybe some other day when the house isn't so crowded when for instance tomorrow no no not tomorrow but sometime sometime it has made a difference my being a dessert it has NO NO. John this is fight for you would have been such a great composer that well I would have been if I can pull through six months I'm so ashamed of the danger of being without I'm ashamed of a lot of things in my life but I'm proud of this for you know I can't understand I think it's a shameful thing. About Genevieve I guess I'd better go back when I see you again at some time. We'll meet some other I don't know. The. Current. And it's just. I don't know the least known facts right and when you pay me now if you pay me no mature bunker I told you I had no money if you wait a day or two I'm sure to get some in the mail it can't be more than a day or two and I have here that study the I didn't try to get some work at the farms around here you know that if there was this week you don't you play me or I have another games here when you come to that but I haven't used death has to go away without paying but he jumped down at that and I hope they would cut into prison for nothing but I'm not like that you know that you need to I. Hope not if you don't pay up it's what I told I have to be that guy get the money out or what it would be as I say if you pay his bill you know it will be with Otherwise you'll get it tomorrow as soon as the money because Bill why is these young doctor. Their first movement finished Oh I feel tired. What do you want to do. Stand down you know right away OK so he meant he met. Coming and I beg your pardon and you know the American Yes the guy downstairs said he thought to have papers wasn't in very good order I mean well but I haven't looked at that as he was right. I'm a dessert and I get just stuff together I have nothing OK fluff downstairs in front of me and walk slow as it. And I know what that means money is on the jug for you what do I care for sure Leavenworth prison for differences that make after the army What's a prison and I can write news anywhere not ending point. You have been listening to a dramatization of three soldiers by John Doerr spots last especially adapted for a deal by Edward Goldberg or undirected by Michel Grayson they didn't play the part of Andrew's fault train it was Christie on the role of Purcell it was played by Roth. Others in the cast were Dean Logan Alan Harding George Madison Nathan Ackerman. Lime and hope that I would like to do engineer Have a listen effect and go our look at the recording of this production. This next week at this hour for the next broadcast of life and work. Next Sunday Life and Work will be joined other in the series of damages they for the knowledge by a great American author is that in cooperation with the public libraries of New York Illinois announcing that the Minnesota broadcasting for.