You are already dead speech, delivered by Gregory Peck in the movie Twelve O’clock High. In this story of the early days of daylight bombing raids over Nazi Germany, General Frank Savage must take command of a “hard luck” bomber group. Much of the story deals with his struggle to whip his group into a disciplined fighting unit in spite of heavy losses, and withering attacks by German fighters over their targets. Actual combat footage is used in this tense war drama.
General Frank Savage: [Addressing the 918th for the first time at 0800] There will be a briefing for a practice mission at 1100 this morning. That’s right, practice. I’ve been sent here to take over what has come to be known as a hard luck group. Well, I don’t believe in hard luck. So we’re going to find out what the trouble is. Maybe part of it’s your flying, so we’re going back to fundamentals. But I can tell you now one reason I think you’ve been having hard luck. I saw it in your faces last night. I can see it there now. You’ve been looking at a lot of air lately… and you think you ought to have a rest. In short, you’re sorry for yourselves. I don’t have a lot of patience with this, “What are we fighting for?” stuff. We’re in a war, a shooting war. We’ve got to fight. And some of us have got to die. I’m not trying to tell you not to be afraid. Fear is normal. But stop worrying about it and about yourselves. Stop making plans. Forget about going home. Consider yourselves already dead. Once you accept that idea, it won’t be so tough. Now if any man here can’t buy that… if he rates himself as something special, with a special kind of hide to be saved… he’d better make up his mind about it right now. Because I don’t want him in this group. I’ll be in my office in five minutes. You can see me there.
The actual speech starts 41 seconds in.
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