The Deserter is a 2004 modern day silent independent comedy film. It was produced and directed by Eric Bruno Borgman an American actor and filmmaker.

The Deseter was shot in the style of a 1920's silent comedy in color and without title cards. The whole story is told visually.

The story revolves around a British drummer during the American Revolutionary War who accidentally deserts his regiment and is hunted down for execution.

Although the main storyline of the film is basically comic the war scenes were shot seriously. One scene is twelve minutes long and features hundreds of troops engaged in battle.

The film was shot in the United States on some actual Revolutionary War battle fields including Trenton, New Jersey. Also filming took place in New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

One bit of trivia is that the British comic character actor Bernard Fox was in discussions with the director about making a cameo in the film and to have the only audible line of dialog however it fell through at the last moment when Fox got a recurring role on a soap opera in Calfornia.

The music for the film was performed by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra directed by Rick Benjamin and the Middlesex County Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps.

It was shown at the Brussels International Festival of Contemporary Silent Film in June 2004. And is released on DVD.

XIII. The Deserter

“What sound awakened me, I wonder,
   For now ‘tis dumb.”
“Wheels on the road most like, or thunder:
   Lie down; ‘twas not the drum.”

“Toil at sea and two in haven
   And trouble far:
Fly, crow, away, and follow, raven,
   And all that croaks for war.”

“Hark, I heard the bugle crying,
   And where am I?
My friends are up and dressed and dying,
   And I will dress and die.”

“Oh love is rare and trouble plenty
   And carrion cheap,
And daylight dear at four-and-twenty:
   Lie down again and sleep.”

“Reach me my belt and leave your prattle:
   Your hour is gone;
But my day is the day of battle,
   And that comes dawning on.

They mow the field of man in season:
   Farewell, my fair,
And, call it truth or call it treason,
   Farewell the vows that were.”

“Ay, false heart, forsake me lightly:
   ‘Tis like the brave.
They find no bed to joy in rightly
   Before they find the grave.

“Their love is for their own undoing,
   And east and west
They scour about the world a-wooing
   The bullet to their breast.

“Sail away the ocean over,
   Oh sail away,
And lie there with your leaden lover
   For ever and a day.”

A.E. Housman, Last Poems

Public domain: first published in 1922.

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