Flash Of Genius Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Flash Of Genius script is here for all you fans of the Greg Kinnear windshield wiper movie. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some Flash Of Genius quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

Flash Of Genius Script

On the Maryland Giant,

I'm the Fryman in the morning,
and it's time for sports!

The Orioles continue to shoot
skyward like a Saturn V.

Having locked up the
pennant over a week ago,

last night in Municipal Stadium
in front of over 19,000.

Excuse me, sir. Can I
speak with one of your passengers?

Sure. Go ahead.
Go in back.

I'll go back there now.

Robert Kearns?

Dr. Kearns?


Sir, your family's very
concerned about you.

Why don't you
come with us?

The Vice President asked
me to come to Washington.

Yes, sir,
we understand.

You should
come with us.

I suppose I could.


I'll take that
for you.

Be careful.

That's for my kids.

Don't you worry, sir.
We'll take good care of it.

Scott, you and Louise want to
come to our place for dinner tonight?

Well, what
about the Pistons game?

No, I gave my tickets to my kids.

Prices where they are,
you gotta be kidding.

Hiya, Bob.

- How's the teaching going?

Oh, good.

How many Kearns kids
are there now? 13?

I can divine it.
- Oh, you can divine it.

What Scott here divines is that
the Knicks have two guys out

with ankle injuries,
right, Bob?

Mmm. You talking
about basketball?

you probably mean that.

I do.

As I look out over
this sea of familiar faces,

I see men from
G.M., A.M.C.,

Ford, Chrysler,
Jeep and Dodge

all under one roof,
as it should be.

And it brings to
mind the apostles.

What was it that brought these
very different men together as one?

Father Rooney was good
today, huh? He was funny.

He was great.
He really was.

Can I pinch you?

No, dipshit.
- Mom, make him stop calling me...

What did you just say?

Dipstick. It's an
automotive term, Mom.

Well, say that one more time and
I will have your chassis waxed.

Okay? That's an
automotive term, too.

Look at this.

I turn this thing off, seconds later, I can't see.

I can't see, either.

So you turn it back on,

and now the
windshield's clean,

but the wipers are dragging.

You hear that, that screeching?
- Mmm-hmm.

Yeah, I hear it, I hear it.
- Yeah, it's annoying.

All right, so it's raining
and I turn it back off.

But now I can
barely see.

I can't... I can't see anything, sweetie.
- I can't, either.

Sweetie, turn them on.
- Right now, I can't see a thing.

If I don't turn this thing on
right now, we'll hit somebody.

Turn it on, honey. Please.

Look at this!

Okay, that's
not funny at all.

Whoa. All right.
All right. All right.

Ten thousand engineers
in Detroit,

you'd think they'd know
how to design an automobile.

What are you doing?

Oh, I was thinking
about how eyes work.

We blink about every four, six seconds,
and there's this lachrymal fluid and...



And what are you
thinking about?

I'm thinking we should
make another kid.

- Yeah.

Oh, that's good.
You're funny.

I'm gonna be
right back.

Huh? Huh?
- Yeah.

Spell "giant."

- G-I-A-N-T. It's so easy.

Is your name Kathy? Is it
your test? I don't think so.

It's Kathy's test.
Kathy, what's the next one?


Puppy or science? Puppy's
too easy. Do science.

Hi, poop.
- Okay. S-C-I-E-N-C-E.

Six minutes, you guys.
Come on, let's really hustle.


When is
Calvin's sleepover?

Friday. I have to call his mom.
- Can I go...

"Police described the
badly decomposed body..."

I don't think so today,
sweetie. I don't know.

"...as one of the most gruesome crimes..."
- What time?

What is that?
- My current event.

I thought we agreed we weren't
doing murders for a while.

Mom, what
about after school?

Honey, good morning.
- Hey.

You tired?
- No, I'm fine.

What time did
you come to bed?

I don't really know.
Are you substituting today?

Yeah, fourth
grade. Eat something.

No, no. I'll get something
at school. That seems like a lot.

No, they called.
It's at Pat's school,

and so I can pick
them up after anyway.

Well, who's gonna watch him?
- And I'm gonna take him to the...

Don't worry about it.
Eat something, honey.

Okay. Hey.

Bye, kids.
All right?

See you, Dad.
- Bye, Dad.

Bye, Dad.
- Don't use your wipers today.

Bob, what?

Yeah, I needed
the motor.

Honey, what
if it rains?

No, no. It's
not gonna rain.

Good morning, everybody.
I want to welcome you all

to the first day of the quarter
for Applied Electrical Engineering.

My name is Dr. Robert Kearns

and I'd like to start by
talking to you about ethics.

I can't think of a job or a career
where the understanding of ethics

is more important
than engineering.

Who designed the artificial
aortic heart valve?

An engineer did that.

And who designed the gas
chambers at Auschwitz?

An engineer did that, too.

One man was responsible for helping
save tens of thousands of lives,

another man
helped kill millions.

Now, I don't know what any of you
are gonna end up doing in your lives,

but I can guarantee you
that there will come a day

where you have
a decision to make,

and it won't be as easy as deciding
between a heart valve and a gas chamber.

Everything we do
in this classroom

ultimately comes back to
that notion. All right?

Grades count, too.

Hi, Jerry.
- Dr. Kearns.

I'm gonna make a donut run.
Are you interested?

Mmm, you can't do
it mechanically.

Can't do what?

That's the pause between wipes.
That was my mistake.

Can't do it mechanically. You might
be able to do it electronically.

Oh, probably.
You want a donut?

No, thanks.


Dennis, stop it.
Timmy! Cut it out. Get over here.

Okay, Dennis,
problem again?

To make it pause
between sweeps.

And solution?

Well, I guess we could change the speed.
- Yeah.

Yeah, except it would be the wrong
approach and it wouldn't work.

What do I
always say?

"Who farted?"

Besides that.

Uh, look for
the unobvious.

Yeah. So you do listen.
All right. Well, we're just looking

for a measured,
consistent pause.

Like your eye, right there.
See that?

The way it blinks
away a tear?

And we could try
a bimetallic timer

that responds
to heat changes.

But then, of course, what
do we do on a cold day?

Put the ball down.
Sit down here.

I want you to
put this together.

I want you to solder this, all right?
Dennis, help him out. Get over here.

Here we go. Here we go.
We got Team Kearns here!

Yeah, this is hot, this is hot.
So, careful, all right?

That's got a transistor and a
capacitor, and resistors in there.

That's as simple as I can get it.
That's when you get real beauty.

When less is more.

Will it work?

It works up here

We got resistors, each one
rated at a different tolerance.

And each one should work in a wiper
motor. Where are the meter cords?

Uh, just over there.

Of course, there's a thousand
different combinations.

Our job is to find
the one that works.

And there is one
that'll work in theory.

You know, Marconi spent seven
years trying to perfect the radio.

Timmy, stop with
the ball, please!

Well, what do you
know about that?

One, two,
three, now!

- One, two...

Honey, it's so great.
It really works.

Two, three, now!

That's it,
it's going.

It's alive!

It moves!

It pauses!

It's alive!
Alive! Alive! Alive!

What do you think?

Let's go out and
celebrate in real style.

- Yeah.

I'm gonna
buy a diamond ring.

Thank you, Peggy.
- You're only six.

You got a little ways to go, sweetie.
- I got the burger, right?

Can I have
some more Pepsi?

Uh, me, too, please.

Sure, if your parents
say it's okay.

All right this time.
- Did you get a pickle?

You know why I wanted so many kids?

Because I had six in my
family and you loved my family?

I missed that growing up.

I think you're all caught up.

Hey. Hey. Listen up!
- Look at him. Look.

There's 20 million cars built
in this country every year,

and every one of them
is gonna need our wiper.

- Huh?

And guess who's gonna
manufacture those.

Who, Dad?


We are?

Yeah, we are.
In fact, here you go.

I want to toast to the
Kearns Corporation right here

and its board
of directors.

Lou Galin's two weeks
late on that glass shipment.

What do you
want me to do?

Well, why don't you give
him a call? He's your buddy.

Did you pay him?
- Yeah. Half.

I'll call him.

Well, that's the
damnedest thing.


Get this, it's also possible to build
a timing control into the wiper column

so that you could adjust
the time between movements.

Well, why?

Well, because it obviously rains
at different intensity levels.

- Right.

That's part of
the whole idea.

What do you want
to do with it?

Well, Bob wants
to manufacture it.

So from our end, we just put
up the dough for the patents,

research and development, all
of which goes through Kearns,

and we also seed the
money for manufacturing.

And I could be ready
to go very soon.

Yeah, it's a pretty
simple deal. The fact is,

if we can nail a quarter of cars
in America at, what, 50 bucks a pop?

Think about it.

Just curious, do you have any
manufacturing experience, Mr. Kearns?

Inventing, with all due respect,
is one thing, but building is...

Well, Bob's background's in
engineering, so I don't see how...

Gil, Gil, let Bob talk,
for Christ's sake.

Right, right. Bob?
- Yeah, um...

Well, no actual
experience, no, not yet.

But, uh... Look, I know I'm
not your ordinary businessman.

I don't have
an MBA, but...

No apologies, Bob.
You're doing great.

We'll hold his hand
the whole time.

It's not gonna be a problem.
Yeah, it's a bet.

But so was the kidney
machine that keeps Dad alive.

Barely alive.
What are you gonna call it?

The Kearns Blinking
Eye Wiper.

Yeah. Well,
I'm not sure about the name.

You look sensational, hon.


You're a little
nervous, huh?

Aren't you?


Welcome, ma'am.
- Thanks.

Welcome, sir.

Sir? Here you go.

Funny, we've never been
inside here before.

Oh, yeah. I never
thought about it.

Well, start thinking
about it.

I want to be able to take
you to more places like this.


No, really. This is a big
deal. Start of a new life.

You gonna quit teaching?

You think I should?

I think you should take
it a step at a time.

Oh, so you're saying
it's not gonna last.

No! I'm saying I'll
love you either way.

Which is French for
"be prepared to fail."

- No.

I just want to do
something important.

You will.

Will you love me
more if I do?

No. I'll love you
more if you're rich.

I married a gold digger.
What do you know about that?

Oh, I just...
They're driving me crazy.

They don't want to go to
the rec center anymore,

and at least when school starts,
that takes care of four of them.

And then we've just
got the two little ones at home,

but we have fun.

Well, ours are up at Harbor Springs.
They just love it up there.

Oh, I bet!
But you don't go with them?

Well, that's the problem.
It's just hard to find time to get away.

Right, Bob? They think it's
like summer camp up there.

I don't even think they
notice we're not there.


Do you see Robert's eye?
Yeah, is that bothering you?

- Do you know the story of Robert's eye?

Oh, Phyll, Phyll, forget it.
- The story of our wedding night?

It's such a funny
story, honey!

So, it's our
wedding night,

and I'm getting
ready in the bathroom

and putting on my
little negligee.

Okay, okay, okay!

And Robert's in the next room,
opening a bottle of champagne.

Well, I'd never
opened one before.

Figures. Bob had never opened a bottle
of champagne before his wedding night.

So I had it down between my
legs, and I look down and, pow!

Cork goes off
right in my eye,

and I fall back on the sheets.
I was bleeding.

I come out and
start screaming.

Screaming bloody murder, Phyllis.
- I don't know what's happened.

But it all
turned out okay

and he made it
up to me later.

Hey, hey!

Good evening, everyone.
My name is Joe Warwick,

and I'm the guy who leaned
on you to come out tonight.

And I'm glad I did.

I want you to give yourselves
a big hand, because tonight,

we raised $11,000 for
the Children's Hospital.

Now, let's do some more dancing to
the sound of the Telegraph Five!

Hey, let's dance.
- No.

It's okay, it's okay, come on.
- No, Phyllis. Phyllis.

Come on.

Hey. Say, Bob.
Phyllis, you look lovely.

Would you mind if Gil and I dragged
Bob outside for some business chat?

Where we can hear
ourselves think.

Go on.

We've got some real
interesting news for you.

Paul, when are they gonna
fix that seventeenth green?

I'm tired of playing
on that temporary green.

I'm on it, I'm on it. I took it to
the board. It'll get taken care of.

Bob, you don't play
golf, do you?

Uh, no, no.

So, Bob, we got some really
good feedback on the feelers

we put out for
the Blinking Eye.

Yeah, it turns out the concept
isn't as unique as we first thought.

The Big Three have assigned
their windshield wiper teams

to come up with an
intermittent wiper.

That's what they call it.
The Intermittent Wiper.

The Intermittent Wiper.
I'll be damned.

No, it's fine. More than anything,
now we know there's a demand for it.

Until now, your wiper
seemed like a clever gadget.

But they want it. And more importantly,
they haven't cracked it yet.

Mercury's been working on one for over
a year and they still haven't beaten it.

So we want to set up
a demonstration.

Now, Ford is very interested
in seeing what we have.


You didn't mention
anything about...

Are you ready?

Wow, Ford. Wow.

I don't know.
I mean, it needs some more work.

More consistency.

I can assure you we won't
sell it if we don't show it.

Yeah, but should we be showing them ours if
they're already working on their own version?

Well, that's
up to you.

But maybe it's a good reason
to show it sooner than later.

I don't know, Gil.

Kearns, I'd hate to see
you if you got bad news.

We're not gonna let
anybody take it apart,

especially after the money
we've put into the patents.

We'll just give them a peek.
Cat stays in the bag.

Now, Paul's real
excited about this.

In fact, I haven't seen him
quite like that in a long time.

Well, I got
a lot to do.

No, I know, know.
By the way, this is yours.


For now. No more
aquariums, Bob.

Just throw the unit in
here and take it to Ford.


Sal here'll help
you put it in.

Just tell us what you want,
Mr. Kearns.


He'll be here.

We're very busy
here, Mr. Previck.

This is him, yeah?
- Yeah.

Hiya, Bob.
- Hey, Gil.

Frank Sertin, Vice President
of Research and Development,

meet Bob Kearns,

the inventor of the
Intermittent Windshield Wiper.

Oh, we'll see.
We'll see.

It's a real pleasure.
- Good. Thank you.

All right, Bob, let's
see what you got.

All right.
- And, Bob!

We want you to do it
with the engine running.

We've found that the heat can play havoc
with some of the systems we've tried.

Right now?

Right now.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Where... Where's he going?

Bob's real
big on security.


Okay, Bob!
Come on, let her rip!

What's going on?
- I don't know.



I don't know.


- Yeah?

Oh, here! It's a fuse.

It's the fuse.
- It's a fuse!

Yeah, we're good.

It'll do that all day,
engine running or not.

Well, that is...

That's good.

We call this
"variable speed."

Variable speed.

"Variable dwell."

That is very

Gil, how about giving us a
little look under the hood, huh?

Sorry, Frank,
we can't do that.

He's not doing that
manually, is he?

Bob? Bob!

Uh, would you get
out of the car?

They think you might be
manipulating the controls.

Well, I am.

That is very
good, Bob.

That is very, very good.

I think we should get
you a copy of our specs.

But I can tell you this, though.
At a minimum, at a minimum,

it's gonna have to run a
million and a half cycles

under real-time

And operate...
Uh, excuse me.

What's the maximum
temperature under the hood?

It's, uh...
- Two hundred and seventy degrees.


If it operates in
the field like it did here...

Where'd you get
your degree?

Uh, Case Western.

I'm gonna look
under the hood.

Sorry, we'd rather not.

It's nothing against Ford, sir.
I've admired the company my whole life.

No problem.

But I'll get to work right away,
just as soon as I get the specs.

Okay, good, good.

Listen, I know that we are
gonna be in touch with you.

Yes, sir.
- Very good. Gil.


Dr. Kearns?
Case Western.

That's a...
That's a good school.

Get out of the car.
Get out of the car.

You did a hell
of a job, pal.

Hell of a job.

Thank you.

I'll see you.

Well, there's
a difference between

a good idea and
a good product.

I've had a lot
of good ideas.

Just nothing that's quite
clicked, you know?

It makes you wonder what it
is makes a man successful.



Of course, there's a lot of unsuccessful
talents running around out there.

Maybe this is the one.

Maybe this'll get you where
you want to be, you know?


But I don't know. I look at you
and I look at us and I just think

you're a success.
Don't you feel that way?

Maybe it's some
other thing.

Like luck, timing.

Some intangible
thing like that.

It haunts me a little.

I'm gonna get some more tea.
Do you want anything?

No, I'm good.
- No? Okay.

I explained it to
her, and then she just, like...

Patrick, come on
with that paper!

I'm good, I got it!

Okay, it's Tuesday,
"Cold, clear and sunny.

clear and warmer."

Hey, hey, hey.
- Hey, give it back!

Let him have it.

Okay, "Thursday, clear.

"Friday, partly cloudy and
colder, and a clearing on Sunday."

Well, we
need some rain.

Maybe instead of grace, we
should say a prayer, Dad.

Didn't we just say grace already?
- Yeah.

No, no, that's okay.
That's okay. Let's do that. Come on.

Let's do a little prayer here, huh?

When you say a prayer, you're
supposed to fold your hands.

Dear God, thank you for all the
sunshine you've been sending.

We know in your
infinite wisdom,

you managed to create the elasticity
of rain water different than tap.

If you could see it
in your good graces

to, you know,
send us some rain

so that we can test the Blinking
Eye in real-life conditions,

we'd appreciate it.


Do you think he heard you,

My luck,
he's a G.M. man.

Go, go, go!

Careful! Dennis, in the
back! Maureen, be careful!

And it's working, too.
Watch that, watch that.

I can adjust the speed, too.
I can adjust it.

Look at that.
- Yeah.

- That was awesome.

Hey, hey, hey! Hey, you see
that car across the street?

Oh, yeah.

Look at the driver.
He's staring right at us.

He thinks I'm turning
the wiper on and off here.

You think he can tell?

Look at this. No, no!
Look here.

Look at that, mister. No hands! He's
wondering what the heck's going on!

How's he doing that?

No hands.
- Hi.

How the heck are
they doing that?

We got ourselves a winner here,
I'd say.

Ford Motor Company.
How can I help you?

What's the deal?

Well, he's got it,
and it really seems to work.

And you've gone
through it completely?

As close as we could
from a distance.

He hasn't
actually let us do any surgery.

Why not?

He's nervous about
people getting too close.

Mack, he is a particular kinda guy.

Well, whatever.
We gotta get this puppy moving.

The marketing department's all over me.
They think they can sell the shit out of it.

What's he want?

To build it.

He wants to manufacture it?

Apparently, that's
his dream, yeah.

Okay, well,
we'll deal with that later.

Right now we need
to get him on board.


Come on in,
guys. Bob, Dick Gordon.

There you go.
- Nice to see you again.

Gil, nice to
see you again.

You, too, Macklin.

This is
Dr. Bob Kearns.

Bob Kearns, winner of the
wiper competition. Congrats.

Bob, I've been going over the reports on your
Intermittent. It looks like you cracked it.

Have you worked up
a unit price yet?

No. Not yet.
I'm hoping to...

Good. And you do want
to manufacture it?

Yes, sir.
I want to come through for Ford.

And we like that. So let's
get a unit price, then.

Frank, have you sent a
working unit to Washington?

No, Mack, we haven't.
Bob's... He's not comfortable with that.


Now, Bob, you do understand
this is a safety device.

And before we can install any
safety device on any of our cars,

we have to submit it to
Washington for approval.

And that means we're gonna
need a working unit from you.

I understand that. And I understand
I'll need your cars for my wipers.

But I thought that,
uh, if we had a...

We like to work closely
with our people, Bob.

That's the deal.

Nothing else would make sense.
I'm sure Gil will tell you that

we have a very close relationship
with Previck Automotive.

Bob knows that.
That's why we came here first.

He's right, though,
Bob. It does need to be approved.

We're interested in offering the
Intermittent as an option on at least

one model next year. From there, our
plan is to expand it to the entire line.

Now, that means we're working
under a serious deadline.

So we're gonna need a unit
from you as fast as possible.

Okay. Yeah,
I can do that.


Let's get started on
the legal right away.

Right, gentlemen?
- Absolutely.

Thank you.
Thank you so much.

I'll get my demo and
research over to Mr. Sertin.

Excellent. This is what it's all
about, Bob. Corporate "can do."

How about that?

Now, remember. There's a right way
and a wrong way to do this, okay?

Whatever you do, don't let
them think that it's perfect.

But what if it is?

Hey, listen to
your father now.

Here, you wanna take him?
No, I'm serious about this.

Be very careful
what you say, okay?

The moment they think they got a
sucker in the line, you're dead.

Here he comes.

Just everybody take it easy.
Let him come to us a little bit, okay?

We'll be fine.
Let me do the talking.

What's new about that?

Hey! No back talk.
Come here.

- Hi.

How are you? Bob Kearns.
- Nice to meet you, Bob.

How big is it?

Thirty thousand
square feet.

Structurally, this is as sound as
any building you'll find in Detroit.

The loading ramps are more than
ample for any job you may have.

Sure looks like it
needs a lot of work.

We're concerned about the price.
Is it the best you can do?

Well, we can probably work out an eight
cents per foot improvement, Mrs. Kearns.

What do you think, guys?
- How much is it?

Fifty cents
a square foot.


No, we were figuring
on a lot less than that.

I think the owners
might come down a bit.

Well, we'll have to think about it.
- Hey!

You hear that echo?
This place is solid!

It's perfect, Michael.
Absolutely perfect! I love it.

It's such a simple idea.

I'm amazed no one's cracked it before.
Where did you do your research?

My basement.

So, these S.D. 25s
are fixed costs?

Yes, we can do a discount
after 400,000 units.

I assume you'll put the Ford contracts up
against costs. They're backing it, right?

Oh, yeah. We're down the road on
all that. My biggest concern is

that you'll be able
to provide us with

the necessary transistors
and circuits that we need.

Mr. Kearns, Motorola is the biggest
electronics manufacturer in the world.

I think if we can supply the
Pentagon, we can supply you.

The who?
- The...

That's a good one.

Hiya, Bob.
- Hi.

The gentleman at Motorola put me in
touch with their finance department.

Yeah. Yeah. Bob?

No, I'm serious about this.
We should talk about cash flows...

Want me to take your order?
- Yes.

Actually, do you mind
giving us a second?

- Thanks, hon.

Sorry, I'm starving.

They want out, Bob.

Who wants out?
- Ford.


They're just not
interested anymore.

Wait, wait, what... What do
you mean? Well... What happened?

I'm not sure.

Well, who did
you talk to?

Tyler. Yeah.
- Macklin?

What did he
say exactly?

Like I said,
they want out.


They're not ready yet, and they're
not gonna make a move until they are.

They gave me a line like, you know,
"It's not the Ford style."

Out, or ready, Gil?
Which one is it?

Hang on a second.
I'm in this, too.

They have the unit.

We'll get it back.
- When?

I don't know.

I closed on the
operating loan.

Well, don't forget,
I thought you should slow down on that.

They're loading
in transistors.

We're gonna figure this out.
All we gotta do is take it to another...


Listen. Chrysler,
A.M.C., G. M...

My kids. It's my kids.

Ford was our best bet.
We both know that. But we're not done.

Okay, but they... They strung us along,
and they looked at my work.

I know.

I know.

We had a deal.

I think they might be
negotiating here, Gil.

No. They're not.

You sure? Because I haven't...
- Yeah.

It's dead there, Bob.

My God.

All the boxes are going in
the cage until you know where they go!

Professor Kearns.
Find what you want?

Yes, Louis, thanks.

"State Highway System:
History and Facts."

This for one of
your classes?

No, I'm just doing some work for the
state, analyzing pavement erosion.

Nothing too exciting.

Yeah, but they're paying
you to come up with stuff.

Sounds pretty good to me. You know,
I'm sort of a amateur idea man myself.

A few of us even have
an inventors' club.

Maybe I can call you sometime,
ask you some questions.


Hey, you guys are late.
Take it around the back entrance.

Have your invitations
out and ready, please.

Hey, folks,
welcome to Ford.

Got your invitation, sir?
- Yeah. Right here.

There are
tons of options.

Excuse me, sir.
Please don't touch the car.

It comes with Select Air
air conditioning in all the models,

and many options
are available.

What about the tires?

Oh, beautiful
Magnum 500 wheels...

Go, go, go, go!

Come on and fly with me

Go, go, go, go!

And take a drive with me

Go, go, go, go!

And try a Ford with me
Don't stop! Don't stop!

Go, go, go, go!

Go, go, go, go!

Our Fords
are bright tonight

Go, go, go, go!

They're outta sight tonight

Go, go, go, go!

They're really right tonight
Don't stop! Don't stop!

Go, go, go, go, go!

Ladies and gentlemen,
members of the Ford family.

Introducing the new, the
redesigned, the finest

Ford Mustang in the history
of the Ford Motor Company.

With more options
than ever before.

Stereo, rear window defroster

and the brand-new electronic Intermittent
Windshield Wiper. Let's give it a hand!

Ladies and gentlemen, have you seen
anything that's sexier than that?

And I'm talking about the car
now, not the Mustang girls,

who, by the way, know these
automobiles inside out.

Don't hesitate to ask them any
questions you have, and remember,

in the main auditorium we have
all of next year's exciting buys!

Excuse me, sir.
Could I see your invitation?

Uh, I'm with,
uh, Mr. Tyler.

Why don't we talk
about it outside?

No, I'm with Mr...

Mr. Tyler!

Sir, please.
Right this way.

Mr. Tyler!

Right this way, sir.

Sir, outside.
Thank you.

Okay. Easy.

Step outside.
- Easy!

Their story is that they
went with another design,

one they had in the
works before ours.

Yeah, and that's...
- Or yours.

...just what it is.
It's a story.

It's a goddamn lie.

Come on.

No, no, I took apart
one of their motors, Gil.

You know what I found inside?
Transistors, capacitors, variable resistors.

Now, that is my design!

What about the patents?
Aren't they worth anything?

Legally, they're
Previck's patents.

What is that
supposed to mean?

Nothing. It's
a technical term.

Barney's putting together
another letter. It's tougher.

You can take a look at
it once it's drafted.

Another letter?

A letter? Gil, they
stole this from us!

Whoa! Let's be careful
with our language.

Let's not use words
like "steal."

Who the hell is this guy?


Who the hell are you?
What's your angle?

Bob! We gotta be really
strategic about this. Methodical.

And whatever you say
reflects on all of us.

So we're gonna fight it, but
we're gonna do it the right way.

How long is it gonna
take to get an answer?

First, this is Ford.
It won't be quick.

Second, patents.
Christ, they're a minefield.

Not to mention, the patent
courts are totally jammed.

It's gonna take
some time.

Well, whatever it takes.
The point is, this is all gonna be okay.

Good. And in the meantime, let's
go a little softer on the language.

So, a lot of these formulas work
in opposition with one another.

So that a capacitive

uh, varies inversely
with the product

of both...

Uh, frequency?

Yeah. Did I
call on you?


Frequency, yes.
And capacitance. Make a note of it.

I'm gonna take
a quick break.

Mr. Previck would appreciate
your patience in this matter.

Yes, well, I'd appreciate it if Mr.
Previck could return my phone call.

Who is it?
- It's Mr. Kearns.

Come in, Mr. Kearns.

Oh, hi, Wade.
- Hi.

Wade, did you
ask who it was?

He did, Jean. Hi.

Hi. Bob!
What's going on?

Uh, is Gil here?

It's not really a great time
right now. You should have called.

Jean, hon, do you mind
getting me a refill?

Sure, hon.

Thanks, hon.
I'll just be a second.


I'm sorry. I...
- Hang on a second.

I thought we were gonna stay
in communication here, so...

Don't you think it's a little outta
line, you coming over like this?

Okay, well, you haven't
returned my calls in six days.

I'm not sure
I like your tone.

I'm through waiting. I'm not
gonna sit around and do nothing.

You're not
doing nothing.

You called the lawyer,
you pulled Taylor out of a mock trial.

You're on everybody.

You even called my father,
for crying out loud. He's sick!

Tell me one thing.
Are you backing out of this?

What I'm doing is
looking at our options

like any sensible
person would.

Of course they're stonewalling us.
What do you expect?

So then we take
them to court!

Is that right?

This is Detroit, Bob.
I did $17 million in business last year.

You want to guess what
I'm gonna do next year

if I start taking my
customers to court?

This is not about money. This is
about right and wrong, and you know it.

For Christ's sake,
you're my friend!

That's right. I am.

Did you ask to be
involved in this deal?

You need some

You need to take a hard look at reality
and realize what we're up against.

It's not your
only good idea.

You've been coming up with stuff
like this since you were 14.

Now, I need to get back to my
dinner, so we'll continue this later.

I'll go it alone.

No. Leave it
alone. Bob?

It's not over yet.

I'm not gonna
back off of this.

We don't have the money to
bring in lawyers right now,

so we're gonna have to do the
legwork ourselves, and then...

Are you talking about
suing Gil Previck?

No. No, we're gonna go
after the Ford Motor Company.

They're the ones that screwed us.
- What?

Gil just let me down.

Robert, slow down.

No, no, we're gonna have
to dig up everything

that's ever been
written about me. Okay?

Character stuff,

This is my number one priority, Phyllis.
Whatever it's gonna take.

Josh, I'm gonna need at
least 10 new wiper motors.

And some of the
earlier versions, too.

Sure, Professor.
Not a problem.

Good. And
circuit boards.

Yeah, they just trash
the test models anyway.

All right, um, where
are we gonna do this?

I'll meet you at the first
lab on the second floor.


Where's the
itemization file?

All the files
are in here, hon.

You should see a doctor.

Oh, I'm fine.
Let's keep going.

Previck Automotive
Legal Affairs.

Something to bring their attention
that various automotive manufacturers

are considering using
electronic intermittent wiper...

I don't have it yet.

Considering using electronic
intermittent wiper control...

Do you want to list who?
- Yes.

And that these are in direct
violation of patents jointly held

by both Previck and
Kearns Corporation.

As the inventor of the
Intermittent Wiper, I ask, no...

I demand that they take
immediate legal action.

"Demand" is too strong.
They're our friends.

What difference
does it make?

They're not gonna
read it anyway.

Then why are
we doing this?

Because it makes
me feel better.

Does it?

What is this file?
What is this?

Kathy won it in the swim meet.
She wanted you to see it.

This is a bad
case of psoriasis.

Now, Phyllis, I want you to take
care of yourself. Use the medication.

Here's the sample.
- Thanks.

And I'm going to write
you a prescription.

How long do I
take that for?

Well, just a month.

I don't know what's going on with you,
Phyllis, but this is all stress-related.

You understand me? You have to
take the stress level way down.

I'll be fine.

Hello, Jean.
- Phyllis.

How are the kids?
- Good.


Why is Bob
doing this?

He can't stand
being called a liar.

Well, nobody's
saying that he is.

They might as well be.

Oh, for God's sake, Phyllis,
it's Ford. He can't win.

Take care, Jean.

Oh! God!

Med school gives them to us.

We use them
for crash tests.

You should see it when we
drop them down elevator shafts.

It's very instructive.

I'll try that sometime.
Did you get the boards?

What the hell is this?

I know, it's just motors.
I couldn't get any circuit boards.

Why not?

They didn't have any extras. Didn't
have any complete units. I don't know.

These are nothing.

Hey, man, this is
the best I could do.

This doesn't
help me, Josh!

I'm sorry.

What does that mean?

Wait a minute.

Did somebody
talk to you?

Did you have a
conversation about me?


Are you working
with them?

Huh? You even know
who they are?

Man, I gotta go.

They're the...

They're the ones who don't
give a shit about you!

Hey! Hey!

Come on!

What the hell are you doing?
Hey! Hey!

Look at this lady.
She had five babies at the same time.

That's quintuplets,
that's what they're called.


Is this
Mrs. Robert Kearns?


Mrs. Kearns, this is Trooper Dale with
the Maryland State Police Department.


We've located your husband, ma'am.

Is he okay?

Well, he was found on a bus
outside of Brunswick.

A bus? Where is he?
May I speak to him, please?

Uh, no, ma'am,
he's not here.

He's being transported
to a hospital facility in Rockville.

What happened?

Sorry, I don't know exactly, but you'll
hear from the hospital when he arrives.

Will you be at
this number?

Yes, we'll be here.
Thank you so much.

Thank you, Mrs. Kearns.

Thank you.
- Bye.

Hey, Bob.

Chair or couch today?

Your choice.

How's it going?
- Okay,

I guess.
- Good.

I don't feel like I need
to talk about it today.


It is hard getting past it.

I'm sure it is.

Did you write any
of these books?

I did. There's a thesis and several
binders full of journal articles.

How would you feel if another
doctor took credit for those?

Just came along and
put his name on there.

I take your point.

But at the same time, if getting
my name back on those articles

overwhelmed my responsibilities
here at the hospital,

or kept me from
creating new work,

would that be worth it?
Would it be healthy?

I don't know.

I can't answer that.

Do you want to
continue fighting this?


No. No, I don't.

Thank you.
- Mmm-hmm.

Who is that?

Come on, you
guys. Tim?

Come here, you. How you doing?
- Hi, Daddy.

Hi, how are you guys?
- Daddy, I made you a picture

- I'll get the bag.

No, I got
the bag. Tim, let go!

You look good.
- Where's Dennis?

You okay? He's coming later.
He's just late.

How are you, buddy?
- You okay?


What do you say we round up the
board of directors and go for a ride?

Kearns Corporation.
- Mmm.

No, I'm fine.

Let's see here.


How do you pronounce
your name? Kee-urns?


Mr. Kearns.

An inventor.

What have you invented?

A lot of things.

Yeah, my brother-in-law
does a lot of that.

Never sold anything, though.
He's actually in pest control.

You really a doctor?



Well, Doctor, take a look
at your information.

Make sure it's correct.
Sign at the bottom.

You'll probably get your
first check in about six weeks.

Proceed to the third
window on your left.

Thank you.

Move forward.


Can I talk to you
for a second?

Am I in trouble?


I know you're mad at me.
Is it because I embarrassed you?

Because I got sick?

I don't like
you like this.

Okay. Well, that's why
I want to talk to you.

I didn't like it like
it was before, either.

I didn't do
anything wrong.

Look, Dennis, if I don't fight
back, if I don't do something,

I'm afraid I'm gonna start
feeling like I did before.

And I can't
handle that.

I got a lawyer.
And it's gonna be difficult.

And it's gonna be
tough on your mom.

And I may not be around as much.
And I need your help.

You're just starting this all over again.
- No, this is different.

Is that all you
have to say?


And I'll tell you something.
Now, I'm old-fashioned.

I'm not out for the quick score.
This firm is in this for the long haul.

That's why I'm very glad that
you're here today, Mrs. Kearns.

From several phone calls with
Bob, I think I understand now

what his level
of commitment is.

But this is part
of your life, too.

I'd like to know where
you stand on this.

I want to understand
exactly what this would be.

What it would
mean for us.

Well, as long as
you know that

suing one of the most powerful
corporations in the world is...

It's not something you take on lightly.
I mean, let's be clear about this.

Ford is just the first.

We're gonna be bringing suits
against every automobile company

that's infringed on your
husband's patents.

But Ford's number one.

Once they decided to put your
husband's invention on their car,

they gave a green light to
every auto company in the world.

"To hell with your husband,"
is what they said.

Let me tell you something, Mrs. Kearns.
I believe in what I do.

I believe in a little
thing called justice.

These bastards think they can
walk all over anybody they want.

But we're here to tell them that
they can't, that it stops right here.

And I don't want you
to worry that this

is gonna take over your time or
your life, because that's my job.

All right? That's why
I went to law school.

Ian, this is Dr. Bob Kearns
and his wife, Phyllis.

This is Ian Meillor.
- How do you do?

He's gonna be working
on this with me.

I just want to
thank both of you

for giving us the opportunity
to really make a difference here.

One of the first items on our
agenda's gonna be discovery.

Yeah, I cannot wait to see
what they've got in those files.

We're gonna jump right into
it starting this afternoon.

Thank you very much.

And one other thing, I'd like to
stay as involved in this as possible.

Of course. Of course, Dr. Kearns,
your help will be invaluable.

In fact, we have to
get... What is it?

Previck Auto.

Yeah. We have to
get them on board ASAP.

Think you can do
any good there?

I'll see.

Very good to meet you.
Thanks for coming in.

Thank you so much.
We're relieved. Thank you.

I mean, Jesus Christ,
Bob, it's just a windshield wiper.

To you, maybe. To that bartender up
there. But to me it's the Mona Lisa.

Well, you know what I mean. But I
just thought that when you got back,

you'd have a different perspective.

I do. I'm handling
it differently.

Maybe you are.
I don't know.

So what are
you gonna do?

I don't know. Maybe
I'm out of options.

Why don't you sue me?

Kearns versus Previck.
Got a nice sound to it.

Well, then
why wouldn't you?

You've sued everybody else.
What's wrong with me?

Nothing. Other than that
I've known you for 25 years.

Maybe you ought
to think about it.

Get your lawyer to draft a
letter threatening to sue us.

If we're lucky, we'll get a
quick settlement. You understand?

Then you can have
your damn patents.


Okay, but, Bob, you gotta forget
my name when it comes to Ford.

We're not gonna testify against them.
We're not gonna appear.

I mean it.
Well, say it.

You won't testify.
Previck won't be involved in any way.

All right.

All right.

Dear Dr. Kearns,

Previck Automotive has
received your demand letter

concerning the Kearns
Blinking Eye Wiper.

While Previck has acted in accordance
with the terms of our agreement,

in order to avoid litigation,

we have decided to assign to you our
rights to the registered patents.

You will now be the sole
owner of the patents.

Best regards, Gil Previck.

No, you had back
there a nice bread

that's all twisted up with salt on it.
I don't know.

Yeah, we could
do that.

No, wait, there they are!
There they are. Phyllis, hi.

Hi. So good to see you.
- Hello, Bob.

Thank you, Jimmy. And would
you bring us a bottle of Mot?


Sit down, sit down.
- Sounds like good news.

I'd say it is. In fact, you could
call this a celebration dinner.

This is exciting.

Would you like to know who
called me on the phone today?

Charlie Defao.

Well, you may not
know that name,

but he's the man Macklin Tyler
calls when it's closing time.

And he's not a man to waste
his time on trivial matters.

Bob, Phyllis,
I'm very pleased to report to you

that Ford has offered
to settle for $250,000.

Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
Oh, my gosh.

Settle? Now, what does that
mean in practical terms?

'Cause I thought we
weren't gonna pursue that.

No, that was
our agreement.

And we didn't do anything
to seek this settlement.

This is Ford's offer.

And, frankly, we're
a little surprised.

We're goddamned shocked,
excuse the language.

Happily shocked,

Okay, but in this offer, do
they admit it was my invention?

That they lied about it.

In a settlement
like this,

it's customary that both sides
are enjoined from commenting.

What that means is, they don't
say it wasn't your invention.

No, absolutely not. No. No, no,
no, no. We wouldn't allow that.

But they won't say
they stole it.

No, but if they're
offering $250,000,

I think we can see
$350,000. Maybe four.

That's wonderful,
I think we'd like to think about it.

Sure, of course.

Phyllis is right. You should
think it over. It's been a rough 15 rounds.

No, there's nothing to think about.
Tell them no.

Bob, let's take a bird's
eye view for a moment, okay?

First off, if you're really thinking
of turning this down and going to court,

that's a very
expensive proposition.

It's not a good...
It's not a good play.

I'm not talking about
play, Mr. Lawson.

Let me just tell you something
for future reference, Bob.

I don't appreciate the
way you're talking to me.

You don't have the most
charming personality.

And at least four times a
week, I get a call from you

telling me what
the law is.

You're not a lawyer,
Dr. Kearns.

Now, from a real lawyer, from a 45-year
member of the bar, I can tell you,

this firm has spent more time on
your case than you can comprehend.

Maybe. But you're getting
money for this case.

Only if we settle.

Bob, think it over.
It's essential.

Three, maybe $400,000, it's
enough to change your whole life.

I'm sure it would.

It certainly seems
like a lot.

It doesn't matter.

Look, I'm sure you men think
this is a bunch of hogwash,

but this is about
more than money.

I always thought I was put here
on this earth for a purpose.

I thought it was to be an engineer.
Or maybe an inventor.

But that's not it.
And now I know what it is.

God put you here to sue
the Ford Motor Company?

Look, I brought these here, thinking
that you had different ideas.

Edwin Armstrong
invented the FM radio.

Somehow R.C.A. ended
up with the patent.

He jumped out a 13-story window.
This was a good man!

He was an inventor.
And, look, I have letters from people.

People who've had their
ideas taken from them.

They've heard about us. They're in
their backyards and their garages,

and they're counting on me.
Please, just look at this.

Thank you very much. I really don't
need to look at these right now.

Let's just get to
the point. Okay?

This settlement offer
is very, very generous.

And if we did get
this before a jury,

if we prevailed,

if the jury gave you the
recognition you so obviously crave...

That's insulting.

...it is doubtful that
you would do any better

than you would right now
with this settlement.

And whatever happened to this little
thing called justice you talked about?

This is justice, Bob. This is how
justice is dispensed in this country.

With checkbooks.

There are no brass bands, you know.
There are no ticker tape parades.

The mayor doesn't give
you the key to the city

and call you a hero.
You get a check.

And that check makes the lives of
you and your family a little easier.

A little more pleasant.
It's that simple.

Well, I'll make it simple, too.
Forget the check.

Get an admission that they stole it
and give me the right to manufacture

my wipers and
this'll all be over.

Bob, since I bought this wasted champagne,
just indulge me for a moment, okay?

Just think about
this scenario.

Your lawsuit is over.
But you know what?

You're no longer
a young man. Why?

Because you're fighting a
corporation that, that does not

know the meaning
of years. Or money.

They'll bury you with motions,
injunctions, countersuits.

They'll drown you in so many irrelevant
documents that you'll wake up,

with cold sweats.

And five years from now,
you won't be any closer

to seeing the inside of a
courtroom than you are right now.

Your hair will turn gray.

Life will pass you by.
And for what?

Go home and talk about this with
your lovely wife. Sleep on it.

And then make your decision. And if you
make the decision that I hope you will,

this'll all be over
in a few days.

I'll show you what we got here
in the stacks on patent law,

but there's a load more over
at the university library.

And here you go.

Oh, so it's all this?

Nope, and those shelves, too.

And that one there.
And half of that one, I think.

Thanks, Louis.

You're welcome.

I'm sorry it's so late.

Uh-huh. I couldn't sleep.

Well, no turning into me.

No turning into me.

Honey, I think we
should take the deal.

Well, I know you do.
But I don't.

Robert, it's gone on
long enough now.

We could really use the money.

Since when has this
been about money?

It's not just about the money.
It's about our family.

Well, why do you
think I'm doing this?

How am I supposed to teach my
kids about doing the right thing

if I let these guys
get away with this?

I'm not sure that's exactly
what we're teaching them.

They like this.
The kids like being involved in it.

No, they just don't want to let you down.
I don't want to let you down.

We're fine.

It's like he said.
They have all the time. We don't.

We're gonna be fine.

Is that the Journal?
- Yeah, 1949.

Gerald Reed vs.
Lansing Tech.

Seems relevant, huh?

Seems like it to me.

Dr. Kearns,
I'm really glad you're doing this.

The truth is, if you don't fight,
the rest of us will never stand a chance.

- Hey.

How you doing?

Good. Mr. Lawson called.

Okay. Where are the kids?

I took them to Deb's.

Okay. I'm gonna grab a...


I wrote you a letter.

And I threw it away, 'cause
I don't know what to say.

It's just become
so destructive.

Okay, listen.
I heard everything you said last week,

and I agree with it.
I'm trying to change...

No, I know.
I know you want to change.

I don't think you know how.

You can't.
- This is just how it has to be.


I'm leaving.
- No.

Because I think this is the right thing.
Please understand.

This has overwhelmed us.
- Goddamn it, I need you right now!

You've stopped supporting
me ever since I got home!

You don't believe in this case anymore.
It's not, this isn't fair.

It's not fair!
- It's not fair to me.

There are seven other people in this
house, and you just don't get it.

We're close. We're so close.
They're calling us right now!

Honey. No.
- Phyllis, no, Phyllis.

Come here.
We're okay.

I can't do it without you.

You're gonna be fine.

I can fix it.

Okay. You fix it.
And then we'll see, okay?

For now, this is best.

You still love me?

I love you.

What did Lawson say?

He officially
resigned the case.

Yeah, so, I'm going
back to my room real quick,

and then I'll meet
you at the library.



I'll catch up with you guys.

Yeah, see you later.

Hey. What's going on?

Can we get
a cup of coffee?

Sure. Yeah.

It's a long article, Dad.

Just keep reading.

- Well, down here.

Look. Okay?

"Among other things,
the new courts are

"designed to free up
the logjam of patent cases

"that have been clogging
the federal courts."

Do you know what that means?
We can actually get to court.

They've been waiting me out.
They're waiting for my patents to expire.

And if we can get them to court
soon, they lose a very big advantage.

How soon?
- Months. Months, not years.

That's great, Dad.

Well, I'm not ready yet.

And I can't do this by myself.


We used to talk about the Kearns
Corporation. You remember that?

That was a joke, Dad.

Not to me.
That was never a joke.

We weren't a corporation.
We were a family.

We haven't even been that.

I need help, Dennis. I submitted
a request to Ford for one document.

They sent me back 357 pages. I had to read
through every one to find the relevant page.

That is all you care about.
That's all you ever cared about, Dad.

Thanks for the coffee.
I gotta get to class.

Okay. I'm fine.

Go ahead. Go to your class.
I don't need the help.

Can I help you?

I hope so.

Bob Kearns?
My name is Charlie Defao.

What do you want?

A conversation. We tried calling, but
you don't answer your phone much, do you?

Who are you?

I'm here at the request
of the Ford Motor Company.

You think we could go inside
and discuss a few things?

Discuss what?

How about putting
all this behind you?

So you can move
on with your life.

And so, frankly, Ford can stop
devoting so much time to your concerns.

Well, they can if they want.

They want.

And to prove it, they've authorized me
to come here and offer you a lot of money.

On top of your legal expenses.

I accept.


On one condition.

As long as Ford takes out an ad in
the Detroit Free Press,

saying that they stole
Robert Kearns' invention,

and have done everything they
can to deny me my day in court.

The only problem with that

is that it'd
be a lie. Huh?

To say they stole your
invention would be an insult.

To every engineer, stockholder, every
single man and woman at the company.

Bob, Ford is genuinely sorry
if you've ever felt mistreated.

And to resolve the situation, they're
willing to take the first step.

A big step.
Frankly, an amazing step.

A million dollar step.

I have work to do and
you're keeping me from it.

I hate to use these words,
but in this case,

this actually is a take
it or leave it offer.

Bob, you don't want
this in court, okay?

Going to the law library's not
gonna make you a lawyer, Bob.

Look, I'm gonna leave you my card,
okay? I've put my home number on it.

So I want you to call
me anytime. Day or night.

Doesn't matter.

Just call me. I'll be waiting
for your call, Bob, okay?

Just not for long.



There he is. Hey, Dad!

Hi, honey.

Hey, Dennis.

Hey, Dad.

You want to come in?

No, I'll see you, okay?

Okay. How are you?

I'm good.
- Yeah?

How you doing?

Dennis, hold up!

- Hey.

Thanks for bringing
Kathy over.

You're welcome.

Yeah. Thanks for bringing
her over the last time, too.

You know?

I know you've carried a pretty
big load for the family, Dennis.

It's okay, Dad.

I just want you to know
you're pretty good at it.

You're better than
most guys I know.

Thank you.

I'll see you.

See you.

Everything all right?

What do you want to do?

Don't you have a lot of work?
I just figured I'd help out.

Hey, you work too much.

Too much typing.
Let's, go have some fun.

I hear there's a... There's a
car show at the Historical Museum.

We could...

Wow! That is something

Oh, that's very funny.

Hey, Dad.


You scared the hell out of me.



I got some coffees for us.
Looks like a long night.

Thank you.
Uh, yeah, son.

Right. Okay.

Mr. Finley, Dr. Kearns,
please step up into the well.

Civil action, Robert Kearns
vs. the Ford Motor Company,

will begin on August 14th.

United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Michigan.

So, Dr. Kearns, I'm not
sure why, since you seem like

a reasonable man, but I understand
you'll be representing yourself.

Yes, sir.
My son Dennis will be helping me out.

Okay, then if you're up for it, let's make
it a good clean fight, shall we, gentlemen?

Of course we will, Your Honor.

I don't understand.

It's just an expression,
Dr. Kearns.

August 14th.
We'll see you then.

Thank you very much,
Your Honor.

Thank you very much,
Your Honor.

How's Mom?

She's fine.

You want the dates on these?


Quit your bitching.
You're only carrying one.


Hey, put those by the wall.
- There you go.

Is it Chrysler?
- Hell if I know.

Watch your language.
She'll be coming to the trial, right?

Look, Dad, I told you not to
get your hopes up about Mom.

Well, what does that mean?

You know what that means.

No, I really don't.

She's busy.
She's doing a lot of substituting.

Is she seeing someone?

It's been four years, Dad.

Well, that's not
an answer, Kath.

Well, anyway, it's okay.
Just let her know. It'd be nice.


What a piece of crap.

It's perfect.

Hi, Phyllis. Um, I know it's
late. The kids are asleep,

and I think I've been putting off
this call hoping you would be, too.

I just wanted you to know
that the trial starts tomorrow.

Okay. Good-bye.

Hey, Dad!

Hey, Dad wait up!

Hey. How are you?

Good. How are you?
- Hello, Patrick.

- I'm doing pretty good.

You get some rest?
- Oh, a little bit.

Most of the testimony you'll be hearing at
this trial will be highly technical in nature.

Although you may have noticed a
less technical piece of evidence

in the form of half
of an automobile.

The plaintiff in this case
is Dr. Robert Kearns.

Dr. Kearns charges that the Ford Motor Company
infringed five patents that he holds.

If you decide in Dr. Kearns'
favor, you will also decide

what damages, if any,
are due to Dr. Kearns.

Dr. Kearns has voluntarily chosen
to represent himself at this trial.

You are not to draw any inferences
either for or against Dr. Kearns,

simply because he
is representing himself.

Yes, Dr. Kearns?

I just wanted to thank you for
allowing me to represent myself

and introduce my son,
Dennis Kearns.

Is that all, Dr. Kearns?

I appreciate the jury giving their
time to the community like this.

The jury is the
conscience of the community.

Are you finished?

You might be more comfortable
seated, don't you think?

Please keep in mind you're not to discuss
what you hear at this trial with anyone else.

Not amongst yourselves, not in the
jury room, not in the hallway...

Now, this array of electronic parts
and this combination of circuitry

has been used by American auto
manufacturers since the 1950s.

Obviously since Ford
engineers designed it,

they had knowledge of it long before
their first meeting with Dr. Kearns...

Would you agree that Dr. Kearns
was the first person in the world,

to your knowledge,
to propose that combination?

I believe it's possible that
it was Motorola and Ranco.

They may have.
The motor makes one

revolution to get one wipe out
of 360 degrees. It's very simple.

We worked on that
for two weeks.

Well, certainly it is important to
understand that within the Ford organization,

it takes some time
to get written...

Well, when you start the car,
the transistors come on automatically

and supply 50 times
as much current.

To reiterate, you've worked in the
automobile industry for well over 20 years

and you've been an executive at the company
for a number of those years, correct?

That's correct.

Mr. Tyler, to be clear,
did you ever tell Mr. Kearns

that he had, quote,
"Won the wiper competition"?

It doesn't sound much like me, so, no, I
really don't recall making that comment.

I mean, I certainly tried to be encouraging
to Mr. Kearns. I respected the man.

Hell, I still do, but to say
that there was a competition

is, I think,
pretty big stretch.

I should also point out that
Mr. Kearns's apparent intention

was to manufacture
his device himself.

That simply would have
been impossible for us.

So, to be clear, there's no
chance that Ford would have ever

entertained the notion of Mr. Kearns
manufacturing his own windshield wiper?

No chance.

Ford putting its name in the
hands of an inexperienced supplier?

That would have been a
disaster waiting to happen.

Thank you, Mr. Tyler.

Dr. Kearns?
Your witness.

Mr. Tyler, did you ever
ask Dr. Kearns to

come up with a cost
unit basis for his wiper?

I don't recall specifically
everything I asked him.

I may have asked him.

Well, why would you
have asked for that?

If I did, it would have been because Mr. Kearns
was going on and on about manufacturing,

and I would have been trying
to point out the impossibility.

Well, wouldn't asking a
question like that...

Unless you have a document to hand to
the witness please stay at the lectern.

Uh, what...

Well, wouldn't asking a question
like that imply a contract or a,

an agreement of some sort?

No, not really. Uh, I'd say it's no
more a commitment to buy his wipers

than I would be committed to buy
someone's tie if I asked him how much it cost.

Did you ever ask Dr. Kearns
how much his tie cost?

No, not that I recall, and I'm
not sure he was even wearing one.

But you did ask him how
much his wiper cost, right?

Like I said, in a rhetorical
way, it may have been possible.

So it's not the same as
a tie at all, is it?

I'm sorry. What?

Thank you.

You have a Ph.D in electronic
engineering, is that correct?

Uh, that's correct. I've taught
for the past several years...

No, that's fine, sir. Your credentials
are already part of the record.

Now, when you said earlier that Mr.
Kearns didn't create anything new,

could you explain what
you meant by that?

Yes. As you can see,

Dr. Kearns's basic
unit consists of a capacitor

a variable resistor
and a transistor.

Now, these are basic building
blocks in electronics.

You can find them
in any catalog.

All Mr. Kearns did was to arrange
them in a new pattern, you might say.

And that, that's not the same thing
as inventing something new, however.

Did Mr. Kearns
invent the transistor?

No, sir, he did not.

Did Mr. Kearns
invent the capacitor?

Again, no, he did not.

Did Mr. Kearns invent
the variable resistor?

No, he did not.
- Thank you, Professor.

You may step
down, Professor Chapman.

We will resume
testimony after lunch.

Dr. Kearns, your
cross-examination, please.

Dr. Kearns.

Yes, sir.


I have here a book.
It's by Charles Dickens.

It's called
A Tale of Two Cities.

Have you, have you
ever read this book?

Objection, Your Honor.
It's not relevant.

Your Honor, please,
if I could just continue?

How long will it take to
get to the point, Doctor?

Not very long at all.

Okay. Let's see
what happens.

Have you ever read this?

Yes. Read it in high
school. Very good book.

Yes, it is. I'd like to read you
the first, few words, if I may.

"It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,

"it was the age of wisdom, it
was the age of foolishness."

Let's start with the
first word, "It."

Did Charles Dickens
create that word?


What about "was"?

Your Honor, is Mr. Kearns gonna
go through the whole dictionary?

Please, if I could just
continue. I do have a point.

You may answer the question.



- "Best"?

- "Times"?

Look. I got a dictionary here.

I haven't checked,
but I would guess that

every word that's in this book
can be found in this dictionary.

Well, I suspect that's
probably true.

Okay, so then you agree
that there's not,

probably a single
new word in this book.

Well, I don't know,
but that's probably true.

All Charles Dickens did was arrange them
into a new pattern, isn't that right?

Well, I admit I haven't,
thought about it in that way.

But Dickens did create
something new, didn't he?

By using words.

The only tools that
were available to him.

Just as almost all inventors in
history have had to use the tools that

were available to them.

Telephones, space satellites
all of these were made from

parts that already existed,
correct, Professor?

Parts that you might buy
out of a catalog.

Technically that's true,
yes, but that does...

No further questions.

You may step
down, Professor Chapman.

Dad, how old do you
think that Finley guy is?

I don't know.

Hey, Dr. Kearns?

I brought some guys
from the inventors club.

Oh, that's great, Louis.
- See you in there.

Hey, Dad!

Oh, there you are.
- Hey.

How you guys doing?
- Hey. Good. How are you doing?

Hi, Dad.
- Good.


How are you?

Yeah, good. Good.

I guess I should be thinking
about going to law school.

They said it's been
going great. I'm glad.

Yeah. Thank you for coming.

Go. Go.

- Yeah, I'll see you.

A minute, Dennis.

Okay. Bye, sweets. Okay.
- Okay. Bye, Mom, see you later.

All right, let's go.

Dr. Kearns
is our next witness.

Because Dr. Kearns is
representing himself,

he is obligated to proceed
in a question and answer form.

It may seem a little odd, but
you must carefully distinguish

between the question being
asked and the answer being given.

Dr. Kearns?

Thank you, Your Honor.

Dad, don't forget the jury.

Could you please state your
name and tell us where you live?

My name is Dr. Robert Kearns
and I live in Detroit, Michigan.

Do you need my address?

No, that won't be necessary,
but we would like a...

Dr. Kearns.
Why don't you just have a seat?

Relax and do your
examination from there.

Thank you.

Dr. Kearns, was the Intermittent
Wiper your first invention?

No, it was not, but it
was probably my best.

Objection, Your Honor.
Counsel's leading the witness.

What? Overruled. Proceed.

Thank you. Uh, could you describe
for the court your first invention?

My first invention
was in college.

Back then, uh, yellow margarine,
because of the dairy lobby,

couldn't be sold in stores, because
it would look like, like butter.

So I came up with a bag, basically a
plastic bag, with a little seal on the top,

and you would insert
a tab of yellow dye

in order to make the margarine
appear to look like butter.

Dr. Kearns.

But it wasn't.
It was margarine.

Could we move on to the reason
why we're all here? The wiper?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Could you, Dr.
Kearns, please explain your concept

for the Intermittent Wiper?

In 1941, the Supreme Court
came up with the notion that,

somewhere in the process of inventing,
the inventor must experience some sort moment.

What they called "a flash of genius,"
in order to qualify for a patent.

And I probably owe
my flash to my honeymoon.

I was very much in love, and my
wife Phyllis and I were at a hotel.

And I was opening a bottle of
champagne and not paying attention.

I was probably thinking
how lucky I was.

And popped the cork and it
went off, hit me in the eye.

This one right here.
About knocked me out.

I was bleeding everywhere and
they operated on me that night.

And they saved my eye. And the first
thing I saw the next morning was Phyllis.

Yeah. I'm legally
blind in my left eye,

and I've thought about the human
eye because of that ever since.

And years ago, I was riding back
from church with my family and

it was drizzling outside,
and I had a thought.

Why couldn't a wiper
work like an eyelid?

Why couldn't it blink?

That's how I came up with it.

Hello, jury.

Why are you here?
What are you doing here?

What am I doing here?
What are we all doing here?

I'm here because my mother
and father and their

mother and father and
Uncle Wiggly and...

Good evening, Dennis.
My name is Charlie Defao.

I know who you are.

Right. May I come in?

Let him in, son.

Hello, Bob.
- Mr. Defao.

Good evening.

Bob, what do you say,

we take the guesswork and the anxiety out
of the situation, for everybody's sake?

Can we do that?

What's going on?

No, just...

Bob, $30 million.

Thirty million?
- Yep.

I'm here tonight to offer your father,
essentially this family, that much money.

The trial goes away.
We don't leave this to a jury.

We settle this here tonight.

But no statement
of my invention?

Or, or the time or energy,
my ruined reputation...

And more money than you
can have ever imagined.

Bob, I am telling you, if you
trust this to a Detroit jury,

you could walk
away with nothing.

Okay? Now, look
at these guys.

Can you imagine what that
would mean for their future?

What do you kids think?
I've put you through all this.

You've certainly earned the right
to say anything you want to say.


I don't know, Dad.
It's a shitload of money.

Don't do it, Dad.

Hell with it, Dad.
We've come this far.

Well, Mr. Defao, you don't
have much luck in this house.

Bob, let me ask...

No. I'll see you tomorrow.

This is insane. I mean 20 years of
litigating, this family takes the cake.

Well, gentlemen, I'm looking
forward to your final arguments.

Dr. Kearns, Mr. Finley.

The defense would like to recall
a witness to the stand, Your Honor.

Mr. Robert Kearns.

No! Is that procedure?

Is this really necessary?

I have to say that I certainly
think it is, Your Honor.

We'll be brief,
but it is quite pertinent.

Your Honor, I'm ready for
my summary right now.

Well, it'll have
to wait, Dr. Kearns.

Please take the stand.

Please keep in mind you're
still under oath, Dr. Kearns.

Mr. Kearns, you have
testified here that Mr. Tyler

told you that you had, quote,
"won the wiper competition."


And you firmly believe that
that's the truth, don't you?

Yes, I do.

It couldn't have been
something that misheard?

Something that
you imagined?


Do you recall being removed from a bus
in Maryland by police four years ago?


And do you remember what you
told the officers at the time?

That you were on your way to
Washington, D.C. and

that it was at the request
of the White House?

Do you remember
that, Mr. Kearns?

Yes. And at that time...

Just answer the
questions please.

Was it at the request
of the Vice President?

No, it was not.

And were you subsequently treated
for a nervous breakdown and

confined to the Rockville
State Mental Facility?


And that was because you
were mentally unstable, right?

I was seeking medical
treatment at the time.

But you were convinced
that the White House

wanted you to come to
Washington, D.C., weren't you?


Just as you were convinced that Mr. Tyler
told you that you won the wiper competition.

Thank you, Mr. Kearns.
No further questions.

I'm gonna get a soda or something.
You guys want anything? Dad?

Fuck Charlie Defao.

I took some time off yesterday
and went to my mother's for dinner.

On the way over there,
I thought back to

how when I was a kid my mother
used to make lemon meringue pie.

But not just any old
lemon meringue pie.

The best lemon meringue
pie in the world.

See, she had one of
those hand squeezers,

and she would crank out that
lemon juice, all for that pie.

After I finished school and I started
making my own way in the world,

one of the first things I did is I went out
and I bought my mother an electric juicer.

And you know what?

She still makes the best lemon
meringue pie in the world.

And it would never occur to me,
to claim credit for that pie.

And that's what this
case is all about.

Who really baked
that lemon pie?

And there is no question,
what the evidence shows.

Who engineered,
designed and tested

windshield wipers with the
self-parking features back in the 1940s?

Ford Motor Company.

Who engineered, tested, produced
and sold windshield wipers

with what was called "depressed
park" back in the 1940s?

Ford Motor Company.

Now, I am truly proud of a system where
a layman, a dedicated college professor,

who has taught for many years, can
come in here and state his case.

Unfortunately, as we
have proven earlier,

he sometimes confuses
reality with fiction.

Fortunately, he has sought
professional help in those cases.

But the sad fact of the matter
is that Robert Kearns,

a good and decent man, has
dragged us all into this courtroom

over patents that have
been proven invalid.

Invalid. And that's what
this case is all about.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen,
for your time and attention.

Oh, and you want to know who really
baked that lemon meringue pie?

Ford Motor Company.
Thank you.

Dr. Kearns.

Okay, Dad, let's go.

One of Mr. Finley's
facts is undeniable,

I never baked a lemon meringue
pie in my entire life.

Why are we here?

I am asking why
you and I are here.

Why have our lives crossed?

Well, one thing
I can tell you.

We are not here
because of anything

Ford did or didn't do
back in the 1940s.

Mr. Finley over here has made it
an art out of talking about all

the things that
I didn't invent.

But what Mr. Finley
has a very hard time

talking about are
the things I did invent.

And why is that?
Because he can't, that is why.

But we are here because
the Ford Motor Company,

used their influence, and their
money, and all their corporate power

to take advantage
of the situation.

Ladies and gentlemen, what
they did was downright wrong.

They claimed another
man's work for their own.

And now, all these years
later, after getting caught,

they have the arrogance to sit
here and look you in the eye

and say, "No, no, no, the Ford,
Ford Company didn't do anything wrong."

No, they knew it all along.

They, had everything they
needed to build this invention.

They knew it already. But I can tell
you that they did not know everything.

They did not know everything
on that hot summer day

that I showed up in their parking
lot with my partner, Gil Previck,

and an early version of what I
called the Kearns Blinking Eye Motor.

And now, with all these great
impressive lawyers over here,

they're trying to tell you
that my patents were expired.

That the patent office
made a mistake,

not one time, not two times,
but five times

when they issued
me my patents.

And now they're trying
to make you believe

that they're worthless,
that they're nothing.

That my life's work
is nothing.

They want you to believe that,
because that is what they believe.

Well, I want you, uh...

I want you to know something.

When I walked into
this courtroom,

I was wearing a
badge right here.

You couldn't see it.
It said I was an inventor.

A contributor to society.

And I know that you couldn't
see this when I walked in here.

And right now there are
people still in this courtroom

who can't see that badge.

Mr. Finley, well,
he can't see that badge.

None of the men
at that table can.

But I'd like to believe that
after everything that you've heard,

and everything that you've listened
to for these past few weeks,

that you can see it,
you can see this badge.

That's what I hope.

I can see you're tired.

And I'm tired, too.

So I'm not gonna sit up
here and try and interpret

everything you've heard
for these past few weeks.

I'm just gonna ask you
to use your memory

and your good sense

to do the right thing.

That's all I could
ask of anybody.

Yeah. Thank you.
Thank you.

Thank you, Dr. Kearns.
Thank you, Mr. Finley.

Has the jury
reached a verdict?

We have, Your Honor.

Would you please read it?

In the Robert Kearns vs.
the Ford Motor Company,

we find that the Ford Motor
Company did infringe on...

...did infringe on patents
held by Robert Kearns.

In consideration of these
non-willful infringements,

we award the plaintiff

I can't believe we won.
- We really did it.

That's amazing!
- We won, Daddy.

Bob. Congratulations.

Hell, you earned it.
I'm really happy for you.

Thank you, Gil.

Phyllis? Phyllis!

Congratulations, Robert.

You finally got everything you wanted.
And you deserve it.

Well, not everything.

I don't get the last
12 years back.

I suppose not.

But it's over.

I don't
think so. No.

It'll never be over.
There'll always be another battle.

That's just you.


I've been thinking
about that.

I don't know if I can
go through this again.

Dr. Kearns?
Dr. Kearns!

- Wow!

- Wow!

We just wanted to
congratulate you.

Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you.

A bunch of us, we got
together and we got you this.


You were just excellent in
there. I mean, I don't think

they know what hit them back there.
We were just talking about it.

Like, we were talking about
it as the whole thing happened.

That was something else.
Thank you. Thank you.

It's just great.

There was like,
19 reporters there.

Yeah, I saw
a guy from CNN.

There were some other
television studios, too.

Well, that's what I meant.

I had chocolate.

Oh, thanks.
- I had strawberry.

I know, you guys, I know.
- We know.

Might I be able to get
a hamburger, too?

I think we can work
on that for you, sure.


So, uh, anyone see Kathy kiss up to
that guy from the Washington Post?

Oh, yeah.

He wasn't from there.
He was from Channel 7, actually.


Did you get your face
up in there, big enough?

No, I don't
think I did actually.

Uh, I don't
have a spoon.

Well, you could have
mine but I just used it.

There was a guy
from England, too.

Uh, The London Times, actually.

Special thanks to SergeiK.