Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
Script - Dialogue Transcript
Voila! Finally, the Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Frank Capra movie
with Jimmy Stewart. This script is a transcript that was painstakingly
transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally
tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to
drop me a line. You won't
hurt my feelings. Honest.
Senator Samuel Foley died a minute ago
here at St Vincent's.
At the bedside was political sidekick
Senator Joseph Paine.
Senator Joseph Paine speaking. I want
the Governor's residence, Jackson City.
Oh, Joe! Oh no!
It couldn't have happened at a worse
time. Tell Jim Taylor I'm coming home.
- Yes, Joe. Right away.
- What is it?
Sam Foley's dead. Of all times...
Foley had to go and die on us.
- Who are you calling this late?
- Taylor, my dear.
- What's up?
- Sam Foley died tonight.
That's too bad.
Don't get excited. Is Paine coming?
Yes, Jim. Yes, Jim. Yes, Jim.
He'd drop dead
if you ever said no to him.
This is no time forjokes.
I've got to appoint a new senator.
The Governor will see all committees.
The Governor will see all committees.
Tell the governor
I won't wait any longer.
I guess Taylor's telling him what to do.
Tell them to wait.
I'll see them immediately.
I've got to see those citizens. They
want a say in who goes to the Senate.
- Ten to one they've got a man.
- Relax, Happy. Stop having kittens.
Tell Jim Taylor and Joe Paine they have
one more minute to make up their minds.
- You go and tell Jim Taylor.
- I will tell him.
It's high time
I told Jim Taylor a thing or two.
If you and Joe'll gab on about this
appointment, I'll see the committees.
- See them when we're finished.
- Yes, Jim. But hurry, will you?
That's telling him, old boy.
With this Willet Creek dam coming up. -
- The man who goes to the Senate can't
ask any questions or talk out of tone.
- We have to be absolutely sure of him.
- I say Horace Miller.
He'll take orders all right.
Suppose we don't
go through with this dam?
Postpone it until next session
of Congress. Or drop it all together.
That would be a crime, Joe...
After all the work we put in on it.
Burying it in this deficiency bill
as nice as you please. -
- Having it approved. It's rolling
along... like taking candy from a baby.
Is it worth the risk of a scandal?
What's the matter with you?
I wouldn't take the slightest risk -
- Now you've made such a great
reputation for yourself in the Senate.
Look at the campaign I've started
for you in all of my papers
- It's a little obscure, isn't it?
- I don't know... Maybe.
But after all, you're the logical man
from the West for the national ticket.
At the convention anything can happen.
If what you say about the future is
possible, why not drop this dam?
We can't do it. We've been quietly
buying up all the land around it.
Holding it in dummy names.
If we drop it now,
it'll bring about an investigation.
It will show that we were going to sell
it to the state under phoney names.
The smartest thing for us to do is
to push it through the way it's going.
All right. Appoint Miller
if you are sure he will take orders.
Don't worry. He'll take orders.
- Just one more minute.
- Happy, we've got your man.
- Horace Miller.
- Horace Miller?!
A born stooge!
Horace'll perform like a trained seal.
- What did I tell you, Joe?
- But if I throw a party man like...
For reasons I can't go into now,
it has to be Horace Miller.
I've given you the man,
make out your ticket.
But I have to see those angry
committees first! Work for harmony!
Considering the candidates who answer to
the high qualifications of senators. -
- One name shone out like a beacon.
- The honourable Horace Miller.
- He's Taylor's stooge!
- The veterans'll have no part of him!
The New Citizens Committee
won't stand for him!
So... they named their own candidate.
- You won't like him.
- Henry Hill.
- That crackpot, that longhead!
- You should have killed that so fast.
- I couldn't. Those men...
Never mind. Forget it.
That bunch is out for blood...
I said: Forget about them.
Horace Miller goes to the Senate.
- I won't send Horace Miller.
- Oh, you won't?
No, I won't.
I won't let you stand there callously
and wreck my political future.
Your political future?
I gave it to you as a present.
I can grab it back so fast
it'll make your head swim.
You've got a nerve worrying about
your future when we're in this spot.
The man is Miller.
Is it getting you down?
- Is what getting me down?
- You're in a pickle, Pop.
- Looks like Henry Hill or else...
- No, it's Horace Miller or else!
I wouldn't appoint an old twerp
like Miller. Taylor or no Taylor.
- What's Taylor got to do with this?
- He's still running the show, ain't he?
I won't have this conversation
carried on by the children.
Won't you listen to them for a change?
No doubt my children
could make this appointment.
- That's easy, Dad. Jefferson Smith!
- He's the only senator to have.
- He ought to be president.
- I like Jeff Smith.
- Me too.
- Now everybody's been heard from.
Forgive my ignorance, but I don't
know him from a hole in the ground.
- Head of the Boy Rangers.
- A boy?
No, Jeff's a man. Biggest expert we got
on wild game, animals and rocks.
Right now he's the greatest hero.
It's all over the headlines.
Didn't you see about the forest fire
all around Sweetwater?
Jeff put that out. Himself.
- If you really want a senator...
- I do not want a senator.
- No more of this nonsense!
- He's the greatest American we got.
He knows what George Washington said
by heart and Boy Stuff is swell.
- What stuff?
- That's the name of Jeff's paper.
Look, here's one. It's great!
Everybody reads it. A million kids.
- Let me read you...
- I'm in no mood for childish prattle.
- Prattle! You're all wet.
- You couldn't do better.
- Better than what?
- Jeff for senator!
You want to get out of your pickle.
kids with two folks a piece!
And they vote!
- You want to do some good.
- If you'll ever stand up like a man...
That settles it. I will not
be belittled by my own children.
All my nerves are strained
to the breaking point.
Henry Hill, Horace Miller...
Miller, Hill... Hill, Miller.
Heads Hill, tails Miller.
That's good enough for me.
- Good evening.
- Is Jefferson Smith at home?
Yes. Won't you step in?
A boy ranger to the Senate?
A simpleton. A big-eyed patriot.
Knows Lincoln and Washington by heart.
Stands at attention
in the Governor's presence.
Even collects stray boys and cats.
You know what I mean. A perfect man.
Never in politics in his life.
Wouldn't know what it was all about
in two years, let alone two months.
This was the genius of the stroke:
It means votes.
The hero of boys
Just look over those congratulations.
I tell you, gentlemen...
- You made the appointment without me.
- When the lightning struck...
You didn't ask me!
Wait a minute, Jim. Happy may have
hit on something tremendous here.
Do you really think you can handle him
in Washington? That it's all right?
I think it's all right. A young patriot.
Recites Lincoln and Jefferson.
Turned loose in our nation's capital.
Yes... I think it's all right.
Turn the ballyhoo boys loose.
It's the greatest appointment ever made.
- Give a banquet and declare a holiday.
- A star-spangled banquet!
Who did your governor grant that honour?
Some wealthy, influential citizen
merely to curry favour?
Did he give it
to some unworthy political hireling?
No! What did he do?
He went down among the people.
And there he found...
We are gathered here tonight -
- To acclaim and wish God's speed
to Senator Jefferson Smith.
Thank you, I...
I can't help feeling
there's been a big mistake somehow.
Of course I never could see why we
needed two senators from this state -
- When we have a man like Joseph Paine
representing us already.
He probably doesn't remember me.
He knew my father well. Clayton Smith.
They went to school together
and were very good friends.
Just to sit here with him
is a very great honour for me.
Because Dad used to tell me Joe Paine
was the finest man he ever knew.
Get up, Joe. Take a bow.
I don't think I'll be much help to you
down in Washington, Senator.
I'll do my best.
Although, with all my might...
I can promise you one thing:
I'll do nothing to disgrace the office
of United States Senator.
Senator Jefferson Smith.
The boy rangers are very proud
to take this oppor... occasion...
We are happy
to take this opportunity...
...to resent this... small token
of our affection and esteem.
- To the best...
Oh, heck. It's a briefcase, Jeff.
To carry your laws
when you get to Washington.
It isn't much, but if you insist.
Here's this week's.
Printer's ink runs in your veins, Jeff.
You're just like your father.
Even to the hat.
Same old dreamer too.
One look at you and I can see him.
Back at his old desk, hat and all,
getting out his paper.
Always kept his hat on,
so he was ready to do battle.
Clayton Smith, editor and publisher.
Champion of lost causes.
Dad always said
those were the only worthy causes.
You don't have to tell me.
We were a team.
The struggling editor
and the struggling lawyer.
- The twin champions of lost causes.
- Ma has told me a thousand times.
His last fight was his best.
He and his little four page paper
against that mining syndicate.
And all to defend the right of
one small miner who stuck to his claim.
They tried everything.
Yes, Ma found him
slumped over his desk that morning...
Shot in the back.
I was there... I can see him.
At that old roll-top desk,
still with his hat on.
Still with his hat on.
I suppose when a fellow bucks up
against a big organisation like that. -
- One man by himself can't get very far.
- Washington, huh?
- Yes, Senator, for the fifth time.
- I'd better see about my pigeons.
- They're coming along.
My head is like a balloon.
Two whole days! I never knew
there was so much American history.
- I got them. They're all right.
- That ends that crisis. Come along.
Let me get to him.
- Susan, this is Jefferson...
- I don't care, I want my money now.
One dollar each for the milk fund.
- That's five dollars.
- You've got five dollars?
- Can't seem to find anything but keys.
- Jeff, this is my daughter Susan.
- Not the new senator?
What have you got there, Senator?
to carry messages back to Ma.
The one that makes it home in the best
time I'll enter in the naionals.
- Hello, Joe!
- I'm glad to see you.
Meet Mr Cook and Mr Griffith,
members of our state headquarters here.
A pleasure. You'll do the state proud.
Welcome. The wildlife here
is not like you're used to.
They wear high heels.
We must see a lot of you
and your little feathered friends.
Thank you very much.
- Come on, father.
- I've got him. We'll be along.
- Good luck, Senator.
- Things sure happen fast around here.
- You must get yourself out of low gear.
Let's get these bags
and livestock together.
- Look! There it is!
- Who? What?
- The capitol dome.
- It's been there a long time, sir.
Yes, sir. This way, Senator.
Maybe we ought to meet him
in short pants with hatchets.
What did he bring his pigeons for?
Suppose there's a storm, all the lines
are down, how will you reach Ma?
This way, Senator. Where is he?
I told that cookie to...
Come along. Let's find him.
- Positively not in the station.
- What happened to him?
Did you look in the inn?
I'll brain that guy.
Call Paine, call Saunders.
Call the marines, call somebody.
Call the marines, call somebody.
Saunders, it's McGann.
Has Smith shown up at his office yet?
- What do you mean? What's so funny?
- Nothing. Try a butterfly net.
If he does show up,
Paine's waiting with the newspaper men.
Let him know right away.
Sure, I'll hang a light in the belfry.
One, if by land. Two, if by sea.
Diz, what do you think?
Daniel Boone's lost.
Lost in the wilds of Washington.
If your boyfriend'll blaze trails,
I'll go to the press club.
Stick around. He might want to go
hiking. Don't miss out on the exercise.
Every time I think of exercise, I have
to lie down until the feeling leaves me.
- Wouldn't it be fun if he was lost?
- The boy ranger? He'll show up.
He must have a compass with him.
Where would I go if I was a boy ranger?
- Boy, am I tired!
- Call all the hospitals. Hurry up.
- Get me a bed while you're at it.
- Will you hold this a minute, please?
Come back, here!
"...that from these honoured dead
we take increased devotion -
- To that cause for which they gave
the last full measure of devotion -
- That we here highly... resolve that
these dead shall not have died in vain.
That this nation, under God,
shall have a new birth of -
- Freedom -
- And that government of the people,
by the people, for the people -
- Shall not perish from the earth."
Why don't they try the police, call out
some bloodhounds or Indian guides?
The one place he knows is the office.
You stay there and wait.
All right, Senator.
Just one half hour more.
- Why don't I quit?
- Eight to five he's plastered.
When Foley died, why didn't I clear out?
I'm fed up with politics -
- And now I've let them
talk me into staying.
Secretary to a leader of squirts.
Because I need the job
and a new suit of clothes.
- Would you settle for a husband?
- I sure would.
You know my standing offer. Diz Moore,
poet of Washington correspondents.
- That again.
- I'd cherish you and I'd stay sober.
Diz, you're a wonderful egg. Maybe if
I saw you once with your hair combed.
- I don't think even that would do it.
- No point in combing my hair then.
Honorary appointment. They just need
a dope here for a couple of months.
- What do you want?
- Office of Jefferson Smith?
- The man downstairs...
They must have picked the prize dummy.
Say, wait a minute.
That wouldn't be Daniel Boone?
- Say, mister. What's your name?
- Jefferson Smith.
Come right in, Mr Smith.
Right this way.
Hold everything. Stay there.
Now don't move!
Helen, get me the Madison.
Senator Paine. Hurry up.
- Is anything the matter?
- Oh, no. No!
Dear Senator, it may be customary on the
prairie to not show up for five hours.
I'm very sorry about that, Miss...
You are Miss Saunders, aren't you?
Yes, I'm Saunders.
This is Mr Moore, member of the press.
- Meet the senator.
- I'm very happy to know you, sir.
You cut your way through that forest.
Senator Paine, we've got him.
He's right here and he's sober.
Yes, I'll have him right over there.
I'm awfully sorry. It wasn't until
I was fairly well along on the bus...
- Did you say bus?
- It was one of those sightseers.
I've never been called
But there it was all of a sudden.
Staring right at me at the station.
- There what was?
- The dome. The capitol dome.
Big as life.
Sparkling away under the old sun.
I just started to go towards it,
and there was a bus outside. -
- And I just naturally got aboard.
Most natural thing in the world.
I don't think I've ever been
so thrilled in my life.
And that Lincoln memorial...
Mr Lincoln, there he is.
He's just looking straight at you
as you come up those steps.
Just... sitting there like he was
waiting for somebody to come along.
- Well, he's got nothing on me.
- I'm sorry.
If you're ready, we'll go over
to the hotel. Paine's waiting for you.
- Is this my office?
- No, you have a private office.
A private office, huh?
Right in this door?
All right, Senator. Where is he?
Has he gone out again?
He's in there. See you later.
I'll go out and drink this over.
- Whose statue is that?
- I wouldn't know in the daytime.
Look, the capitol dome!
It's all lighted up!
You better relax, Senator.
You'll get yourself plumb wore out.
so many things happening all at once.
- What time does the Senate...
Boy, that'll be something.
- You know what I'll do in the morning?
- What will you do?
I'll go out to Mount Vernon.
It will be a fine thing to do.
Visit Washington's home before walking
into the Senate for the first time.
It'll put you right in the mood.
Oh, movie houses...
I'm still asking myself? What is he:
Animal, vegetable or mineral?
Me sitting around playing straight
for that phoney patriotic chatter.
Carrying bibs for an infant
with little flags in his fist.
- I can't take it. I quit.
- Take it easy, simmer down.
Here. Take this.
You know what he'll do tomorrow
before taking that Senate seat?
Go to Mount Vernon to get in the mood.
Your boss? A nut?
I knew there was a story in that guy.
Go chase an ambulance.
Let me at him, five minutes.
I'll make it right with you.
Here's what I'll do.
A World Series pass. In a month
it'll be worth bucks.
- You're not talking to this guy.
What do you say?
- Your pals want to get in on this?
- I want a scoop.
Either it's lots of reporters
and lots of tickets or...
- Call them before I change my mind.
- Okay. I'll see you right here.
- What are you gonna do?
- Get my fall outfit and quit in style.
You've got more sense
than to put Nosey on to that guy.
That's it! Open your eyes!
That's it! Open your eyes!
- Tell us about yourself.
- I hear you've got a boys club.
Have you got any special axe to grind?
Save the buffalo, pension bill?
You must have one idea
for the good of the country.
Well, I have got one idea...
I think it would be a wonderful idea -
- To have a national boys camp
out in our state.
If we could get the poor kids off the
streets for a few months every summer -
- And let them learn something
about nature and American ideals.
What would this set the government back?
Nothing at all. My idea is
that the government lends us the money -
- And then the boys pay it back
by sending pennies and nickels.
The government's got enough
on its hands already without...
That's great. The government's
putting dough in too many places.
Senator, what do you think of
the girls in this town?
Four of them came up and kissed me
when I got off the train.
Were they pretty?
That Miss Susan Paine is about
the prettiest girl I ever did see.
How about some more pictures?
You're a nature lover.
Can you handle some sign language?
Do you know any bird calls?
- Can you make a sound like an eagle?
- Well, here's one...
I'm the only one in the state
who knows this one.
His first whiff of Washington?
- Do I actually see this?
- What is it?
- Did you want to see me?
- What's this about you quitting?
- I'm not a registered nurse.
- How did this happen?
The ranger's notices.
I haven't the slightest idea.
I merely took him home.
It's not my job to tuck him in.
McGann's out of his mind.
Smith's gone again.
He went to Mount Vernon
to give himself a patriotic address.
Stop this nonsense.
Go back to Smith's office -
- And get him to the Senate by twelve.
I wasn't given a brain
to tell a boy ranger what time it is.
If certain things happen, you'll get
one of the biggestjobs in Washington.
When I came here,
my eyes were big blue question marks.
- Now they're big green dollar marks.
- Smart girl.
Finish this job properly
and you'll get a handsome bonus.
Keep Smith away from anything
that smacks of politics.
Including Willet Creek dam?
Including Willet Creek dam.
Go back to your work.
- This is it, Senator.
- The United States Senate.
- Mr Carson, this is Senator Smith.
- How do you do, Senator?
Glad to see you.
Show Senator Smith to his seat.
Yes, sir. Right this way, sir.
- Well, goodbye.
- Wish me luck.
- That's the boy wonder?
- What is the Senate coming to?
- You got Daniel Boone in all right.
- Daniel in the lion's den.
Nice job you and the ambulance chasers
did in the papers this morning.
Here you are, Senator. Not a bad desk.
Daniel Webster used to use it.
Daniel Webster sat here?
Give you something to shoot at.
If you'll do any talking.
- I'll just sit around and listen.
- That's the way to get re-elected.
This is the calendar for the day.
You'll find the Senate manual in here.
Anything else you want,
just snap for a page.
- Where's the majority leader?
- Right over there. Senator Agnew.
Next to Senator Barnes,
the minority leader.
- Where's the press gallery?
- Above the Vice- President's chair.
- Front row is the big news services.
- What's that up there?
That corner is for guides and sightseers
who come in to rest their feet.
Over there the Senators' friends sit.
Front row, the empty one, is for
the president and White House guests.
Back there is the diplomatic section.
They and the page boys
are the only real class in the place.
- I'll take your hat to the cloak room.
- I'll give you a boy ranger button.
- What's your name?
- Richard Jones.
- Dick, thanks ever so much.
Good luck, Senator.
- See you in the White House, Joe.
- No kidding.
Sorry, I was in committee.
I see you had a little publicity...
Have you got your credentials?
- Saunders gave them to me.
- That's... that's fine.
When the Vice-president calls you,
I'll meet you in the centre aisle.
This is Daniel Webster's desk.
Did you know that?
He won't mind.
The Senate will come to order.
The chaplain will pray.
Oh, God, our heavenly Father.
In these critical days,
when our beloved country labours with -
- Such grave and disturbing problems,
look upon us, we beseech Thee. -
- And give us the light and strength
to be just and merciful.
So that we may best serve our people
and our fellow men everywhere. Amen.
I ask that the reading of the journal
be dispensed with and stand approved.
Is there objection?
The journal stands approved.
I suggest the absence of a quorum.
- The clerk will call the roll.
- Mr Agnew? Mr Albert? ...
A quorum is present.
I present the credentials of
honourable Jefferson Smith -
- Who has just been appointed senator
by the governor of my state.
The senator is present. I ask that the
oath of office be administered to him.
If the senator designate
presents himself at the desk. -
- The oath will be administered.
I rise to a question of order.
I seek to ascertain if the gentleman
about to be sworn in -
- Is fully aware of the responsibilities
of his high office.
I refer to his shameless performance
for the newspapers.
A performance that his party
no doubt will applaud.
But one that brings him down to
the level of a sideshow entertainer -
- And reflects on the sincerity and
sanity of the highest body of lawmakers.
Is this the gentleman's conception of
the nature of his office?
I don't understand...
The designate has no voice until
the oath of office has been administered.
I will answer. My colleague was innocent
in the matter referred to.
He was completely misquoted. I know
Mr Smith and personally vouch for him.
He has the greatest possible respect
for his office.
The swearing in of the senator
is the order of business.
The gentleman will raise his right hand.
Do you solemnly swear to support and
defend the constitution of the USA -
- Against all enemies,
foreign and domestic. -
- And that you will bear true faith
and allegiance to the same?
That you take this obligation freely
without mental reservation -
- And that you will faithfully discharge
the duties of the office -
- Upon which you are about to enter,
so help you God?
You can talk all you want to now.
Meet the majority leader.
He'll be a good friend.
Any friend of Joe's is a friend of mine.
Don't worry about the others,
they're just senators.
The shameless way in which the
deficiency bill has been delayed -
- Is nothing short of criminal.
The country agencies
are in desperate need of these funds.
The prime business of this body
is the immediate passage of...
- Who let you in?
- Why aren't you chasing ambulances?
Smith is punching everybody he meets.
Boys, meet Senator Smith.
- You have something on your mind?
- Why don't you tell the truth for once?
- The truth!
- The man wants the truth!
"What is the truth?" said jesting pilot
and would not stay for an answer.
- You want it dished out or in a bottle?
- What do people read in the paper?
This morning they read
that an incompetent clown had arrived. -
- Parading like a member of the Senate.
If you thought as much about being
honest as you do about being smart...
We're the only ones
who can afford to be honest.
We don't have to be re-elected.
We tell them when phoneys come
to make their laws.
- You don't get the truth in the Senate.
- What do you know about making laws?
- I don't pretend to know.
- Then what are you doing in the Senate?
When the country needs men
who have courage like never before. -
- He's just gonna decorate a chair
and get himself honoured.
He'll vote, sure.
Just like his colleague tells him to.
Yes, sir! Like a Christmas tiger.
He will nod and vote yes.
You're not a senator!
You're an honorary stooge.
You ought to be shown up.
- Have a drink, Senator?
- It will taste better than the truth.
don't let it get you down.
A hundred years from now,
nobody will know the difference.
The point is, they're right.
I'm just decorating a chair.
If I'm going to vote,
I ought to study some of the bills.
- The bills?
- Otherwise I'm just a Christmas tiger.
These bills are put together
by legal minds after long study.
I can't understand half of them
and I used to be a lawyer.
I'll advise you how to vote.
I know you will, that's just the point.
There's no reason for me to be here.
Didn't you talk about a boys camp?
You were earnest about that.
- Why don't you do it?
Get a bill started.
Present it to Congress.
It'll be great experience for you.
I've been aching to mention it to you.
If I could just do that one thing...
What's to stop you? Saunders'll help.
I will do it. I knew that
if anyone could help me, you could.
Thank you again for your time, sir.
- Where are you running off to?
- I'm anxious to get back to the office.
- Oh, the man on the front page.
- He just dropped in for a minute.
How do you do, Miss Paine?
I'm on my way to the office.
- How are the pigeons?
- They're fine.
I released one this morning.
He flew straight up in the air -
- And went around the capitol dome
and then he headed west like a bat...
Just like a rifle shot. By this
time he's probably over Kentucky.
Isn't that wonderful, father?
And was the letter to your girl?
I don't have a girl.
- I'd better hold this for you.
- No, I'd better go. Good night.
Doggone! ...I'm sorry, sir.
That's all right.
- Gee, I'm sorry. Good night.
- Good night, Jeff.
Oh, father. Oh, dear me.
At the expense of the furniture,
you've made another conquest.
- Not old Honest Abe.
- And with Honest Abe's ideals.
A rare man these days, Susan.
We're going right ahead with
my bill for a national boys' camp.
- Where's my briefcase?
- You're going to present a bill?
- Yes, Senator Paine and I decided...
- Senator Paine decided this with you?
It was his idea.
Dear Senator, have you got any idea
what it takes to get a bill passed?
- No. You're going to help me.
- If I were triplets I could.
Senator Paine said you'd help me.
Now, what books do we have to have?
May I give you a rough idea of
what you're up against?
A senator has a bill in mind.
Now, what does he do?
He has to sit down and write it up.
Why, when, where, how?
- That takes time.
- But this one is so simple.
And with your help...
It's simple and I'm helping. -
- So we knock it off
in three or four days.
- A day.
- A day?!
I don't want to complain, but there's
an institution called dinner.
I'm sort of hungry myself.
Couldn't we have something brought in
on trays like big executives?
Sure. Dinner comes in on trays.
We're big executives.
We finish the bill before morning.
It's dawn. Your bill is ready.
You introduce it.
You get to your feet in the Senate,
take a long breath and start spouting.
Not too loud, a couple of the Senators
might want to sleep.
Then a pageboy takes it to the desk
where a long-faced clerk reads it. -
- Refers it to the right committee.
Committees are small groups of senators
who sift a bill down and report back.
You can't take a bill nobody's heard of
and discuss it among men.
- I see that.
- Where are we?
- Some committee's got it.
Days are going by, Senator.
Finally they think it's quite a bill. It
goes to the House of Representatives -
- For debate and a vote. But it has to
wait its turn on the calendar.
That's the order of business.
Your bill has to stand in line -
- Unless the steering committee
thinks it's important.
What's the steering committee?
- Do you think we're getting anywhere?
- Oh, yes, Miss Saunders.
- What's the steering committee?
- Committee of the majority leaders.
They decide if it's important
and should be moved up on the list.
- This is.
- Pardon me... this is.
- Where are we now?
- Over in the House.
and the bill goes back to the Senate.
The Senate doesn't like
what the House did.
The House doesn't like
what the Senate did... stymied.
They appoint men from each House
to go into conference.
They battle it out.
Finally, if your bill is still alive. -
- It comes to a vote.
Yes, sir. The big day finally arrives -
- And Congress adjourns.
Catching on, Senator?
Shall we start right away
or order dinner first?
- Pardon me?
- I said, shall we start...
Sure. Why not? Do you mind if I take
the time to go and get a pencil?
- Go right ahead.
- Thank you very much.
And lots of paper too.
Have you ever had so much to say
you just couldn't say it?
Try sitting down.
Let's get down to particulars. How big
is this thing? Where should it be?
- You have to have all that in it.
- Yes, and something else.
The spirit of it.
The idea... how do you say it?
That's what has got to be in it.
The capitol dome.
- On paper?
- It should come to life for every boy.
All lighted up too.
Boys forget what their country means -
- By just reading "Land of the Free"
in history books.
Men forget even more.
Liberty is too precious a thing
to be buried in books.
Men should hold it up in front of them
every single day and say:
"I'm free... to think and to speak.
My ancestors couldn't. I can.
And my children will."
Boys ought to grow up remembering that.
That steering committee have to see it
like that. I know Senator Paine'll help.
He's a wonderful man.
He knew my father very well.
We need a lot more like him.
His kind of characters, his ideals.
Let's get on with this.
- This camp is gonna be in your state.
- About of the most beautiful acres.
You've never been there, Miss Saunders?
I've been over every single foot.
You have to see it for yourself.
The prairies, wind leaning on the grass.
Lazy streams, angry little midges
of water up in the mountains...
Cattle moving down the slope against
the sun, campfires and snowdrifts...
Everybody ought to have some of that.
My dad had the right idea.
He had it all worked out. He said:
"Son, don't miss the wonders
that surround you.
Every tree, every rock,
every anthill, every star -
- Is filled with the wonders of nature."
He said, "Have you ever noticed
how grateful you are to see daylight -
- After coming through
a long dark tunnel?"
"Well," he said, "always try to see life
as if you'd just come out of a tunnel."
- Where do you come from?
- I've always lived in a tunnel.
- You mean here?
- Baltimore. Pure city-dweller.
- You've always had to work?
- Since I was about sixteen.
Your parents couldn't...?
No, father was a doctor. He thought
more about ethics than collections.
Speaks well for father, but it wasn't
so... We'd better get back to this.
- It hasn't been easy, has it?
- No complaints.
- For a woman you've done awfully well.
- Have I?
I've never known anyone
as capable and intelligent.
I don't know where I'd be with this bill
if it wasn't for your help.
- I don't know where you are with it...
- Oh, yes. Gee whiz, we gotta get going.
All right, now. Let's see.
Everybody calls you plain Saunders,
why can't I?
Saunders... Hello, Saunders.
Good morning, Saunders. Much better.
- How's the bill coming, Saunders?
I've got that Saunders business
straightened out now.
- What's your first name?
- Everybody just calls you Saunders.
- I also answer to whistles.
- You have a first name, haven't you?
- Yes, but we'd better forget about it.
Darn it... I was just curious.
A picture popped into my mind
of a pump without a handle.
- I know what it is... Violet.
- No, it isn't.
- No, stop it.
- You might as well tell me.
All right. You win.
All right, Saunders. Let's go.
- Susan's an awfully pretty name.
- Susan Paine? Oh, that's beautiful.
She's a beautiful woman.
She's probably the most beautiful girl
I've ever... No, Saunders.
We've got to get started on this. Get
set, I'll talk faster than you write.
Are you ready?
The location of this camp. About
acres situated in Terry Canyon -
- Running on either side
of Willet Creek.
- Willet Creek. Just a little stream.
- In Terry Canyon?
- You don't know it, do you?
- You couldn't. You've never been there.
- You've discussed this with Paine?
Nothing. There's no reason
to talk it over with him.
"A quarter of a mile
on either side of Willet Creek..."
The land to be bought
by the contributions from the boys. -
- The money to be loaned
by the government of the United States.
- What did you get me out of bed for?
- The show is about to commence.
- Mind telling me what's going on?
- There's the principal actor.
Don Quixote Smith. Man with a bill.
Over here, one of the supporting actors.
That gorilla in man's clothing, McGann.
- You mean puss in boots?
- Yes, mostly puss.
Another prominent character.
The Silver Knight.
- Soul of honour on a tight rope.
- You wouldn't be a little bit goofy?
Don Quixote with bill will speak
two important words: Willet Creek.
The knight will fall off his tightrope;
Puss will jump out of his boots.
Introduction of new bills
and joint resolutions.
The chair recognises the...
rather strong-lunged junior Senator.
- I'm sorry, I have a bill...
- Speak a little louder, Senator.
But not too loud.
I have a bill to propose, sir.
Order, gentlemen. Ourjunior senator
is about to make a speech.
You may proceed, Senator.
Be it enacted by the Senate
and the House of Representatives -
- That there be appropriated
as a loan a sum sufficient -
- To create a national boys' camp
to be paid back -
- To the United States Treasury
by contributions from boys of America.
This camp, to be situated on the land
at and adjacent to the stream -
- Known as Willet Creek
in Terry Canyon -
- For the purpose of bringing
together boys of all walks of life. -
- From various parts of the country.
Boys of all creeds,
kinds and positions -
- To educate them in American ideals
and to promote mutual understanding -
- And to bring about a healthful life
to the youth of this beautiful land.
The Senator'll make a good orator
when his voice stops changing.
I'm getting leery of this guy.
He keeps winding up in our hair.
When he finds out our dam
is at his boys camp -
- He'll start asking questions.
Quiet. I have to think. This deficiency
bill will be read tomorrow.
He'll hear that section on
the Willet dam. He can't be there!
I'm taking him out to see monuments.
Might hit him on the head with one.
It won't work.
This boy's honest, not stupid.
My daughter doesn't carry out
assignments like that.
if you'll let me handle publicity...
Sit down, everybody.
- Who are all those people?
- Washington plagues, office seekers...
Now, this machine creates a fever
ten miles away, it'll make your fortune.
Long distance fevers...
A woman out there has composed a song
to replace "The Star-spangled Banner".
I feel like a house on fire.
Even went down to see Mr Lincoln again.
How did I do?
My heart was right up to here.
- What do you think Paine thought?
- He must have been tickled pink.
- What's all this?
- Contributions from boys.
Those are local. Wait till they start
pouring in from all over the country.
We'd better open one up.
What does it say here?
"Dear Senator Smith.
I would like to come to your camp.
I shine shoes at the station
and here's nine cents."
Isn't that wonderful?
And he signs it:
"Yours truly, Stinky Moore".
Isn't it marvellous?
If there's money in each one...
What are we going to do with it?
- Here you are.
- That's perfect.
You see how important
this bill's going to be?
- Do I have any paper around here?
- Second drawer.
- I'll be pretty busy tonight.
- Not another bill?
No, letters. I'm busting with news!
I introduced a bill!
- I got up and spoke in the Senate!
- You want to dictate them?
No, I couldn't talk letters, I have to
sit here and scratch them down.
I'm going to tell Ma all about you.
If I tell it right, you'll get the best
jar of preserves you ever tasted.
- Thank you very much.
- Oh, and Saunders...
- Gee whiz, I forgot to thank you.
- Don't mention it.
No, no, without you I couldn't have...
- Susan Paine.
How do you do?
I can talk. Go right ahead.
Sorry to bother you, but I'm elected to
snatch Smith from the Senate tomorrow.
I'm to take him out
and turn my glamour on for him.
Take him out and buy some clothes
and a hat that he can hang on to.
A manicure and a haircut
wouldn't do any harm.
I hate to ask you to do this,
- As one woman to another, of course.
- Thanks, Saunders.
- Just a minute. Miss Paine.
- Susan Paine?
- She wants to talk to me?
Hello, Miss Paine.
How are you?
Would escort you?
Yes, I'd be... delighted.
Yes, all right.
Reception for a princess.
She wants me to...
Goodbye, Miss Paine.
She wants me to go to a reception
for a princess. Imagine her asking me!
Get your hat, Senator.
We have a lot of shopping to do.
- Where are your bitters?
- Behind the sink.
I don't mind who gets licked
in a fair fight.
It's the clouts below the belt I can't
take. Sicking that horrible dame on him.
- When he's goofy about her.
- What dame?
Be nice to that girl. Her old man is
the party choice for the White House.
She may be the next first lady.
Imagine reading "My Day"
by Susan Paine-in-the-Neck.
As if he isn't going to be hurt enough,
she has to twist a knife in him too.
- "I'll turn my glamour on him."
- What's it to you?
- Then stop worrying.
The dopes are going to
inherit the earth anyway.
Maybe this Don Quixote has got
the jump on all of us.
I wonder if it isn't a curse
to be wised up like you and me.
If you're going to wonder,
let's go and do it over a steak.
Snap out of it. Drink up.
Here's to bigger and better dopes.
And to Don Quixote.
- Do you know how I felt?
- How did you feel? Quick!
I felt just like a mother sending the
kid off to school for the first time.
Watching her little fellow toddling off
in his best bib and tucker.
Hoping he can stand up
to the other kids.
Say, who started this?
- I'm just waiting for a streetcar.
- Cut it out.
- Who cares anyway?
- I apologise.
All right, then.
After all, what's it to me?
They drop him out of a balloon.
I just don't want to be around.
That's what I am.
I won't be party to no murder.
I quit. I'm through!
Again? It's a good idea.
- Let's get married.
- It's a good idea. When?
- Any time.
- Okay, you don't mind?
- I'd cherish you.
- You're a good egg, Diz.
- I know.
Maybe we could clear out of this town.
Get to feel like people.
- Live like we just got out of a tunnel.
- A tunnel?
You've never seen prairie grass
with the wind leaning on it, have you?
Does the wind get tired out there?
Or angry little mountain streams,
or the sun moving against the cattle.
- You've never seen anything like that?
- Have you?
Do we have to?
- I can't think of anything more sappy.
- Okay, then let's get going.
- We're getting married.
Yes, that's right.
In case you don't know, you get the
chance to back out if you don't like it.
- My first name is Clarissa.
- I know, it's okay.
- Don't say "okay", say it's beautiful.
- Okay. I mean...
You don't know any name
offhand you like better?
- No, not offhand.
- Nothing like Susan or any of that?
I won't take it!
I won't be party to murder!
Steering a poor dope up blind alleys
for that grafting Taylor mob is enough.
But helping that dame
cut him in little pieces...
- Nobody's gonna make me do that!
- You said it.
I want to get out of there right now.
Bonus or no bonus.
I'm clearing out of that office
everything I own.
Hey, wait a minute!
We're getting married!
See you later.
- What do you want?
- Boy, you should have been there.
It was a wonderful party. Your suit
went over big, she looked beautiful.
When you left, she said,
"Thank you, Mr Smith."
But it was the way she said it.
You nearly fell through the floor.
What are you looking at?
Did you think I was a lady?
A lady wouldn't work for this outfit.
Even I can't take this. I quit!
There are a lot of things I can't take.
Can't take a simple...
Why don't you go home?
Tell your little streams about the camp.
This is no place for you.
You're halfway decent.
That's all I want to tell you.
Meet the man I'm going to marry.
Don't just stand there like a...
Wait a minute.
Why don't I do this right?
You want to be a senator
and build a camp on Willet Creek.
See this? Deficiency bill.
Section number .
A dam where you think
your camp's going to be.
Ever hear of it? No. They read
all about it in the Senate today. -
- But you weren't suppose to hear.
That's why that dame took you in tow.
That's why they sent you here.
You don't know a dam from a bathtub.
Go ahead, be a senator.
Mess up Mr Taylor's little graft.
But if you can't...
and you can't in nine million years. -
- Go home! Don't stay around here
making people feel sorry for you.
Come on, Diz.
Hey, this way!
Come on, kid. We'll dig up a preacher.
- We're gonna get married.
- Oh, yeah.
Okay. Come on, I'll take you home.
There are a hundred other places
that really need the water!
I talked to the owner of the land.
He didn't say anything about a dam.
Doggone, I know there's something wrong!
I won't vote on it
until I get my questions answered.
You're fighting windmills.
You try to understand a project it took
two years to set up. The benefits.
- The benefits... Who's Taylor?
- What's he got to do with this thing?
- Why should he be involved?
I've been told the whole thing
is his idea to get graft.
Are you accusing me of helping to
frame a bill for the benefit of one man?
To put through a scheme for graft?
Get me Mr James Taylor, Jackson City.
Boy ranger, answer to our prayer.
Didn't even know the time of day, huh?
Exactly what has he done?
He's about to blow the whole machine
to smithereens and you with it!
- You wouldn't understand that.
In about half an hour
I'll be on my way to Washington. -
- And I'm all ready for that boy ranger.
Never mind how.
You take your instructions from Allen.
I wouldn't trust you to lick a stamp!
Use your high office
to help Allen get things done.
- Yes, Jim.
I doubt it.
I haven't been able to
show him a single monument!
He's been on our tail.
You've got to keep him off us.
Since he found out we're behind it,
he's been running us ragged.
I told you I'd handle him.
I object to you coming here.
You proved how you can handle him.
You started him writing bills.
- That's him. Let him in.
- You didn't ask Smith here?
- What do you think?
- Don't open that door, Chick.
- You can't do this.
- Let him in, Chick.
All right, Jim. Count me out.
Good morning, Senator. Come right in.
What did you mean "count me out"?
You can't pull that steamroller stuff.
Your methods won't do here.
However it happened, this boy's
a Senator. This is Washington, Jim!
My steamroller methods don't go here?
They've done pretty well by you.
This boy is different.
He thinks the world of me.
We can't do this to him!
Should I just stand around
and let that drooling infant -
- Wrap that Willet Creek dam
appropriation around my neck?
Either he falls in line or I'll break
him so open they won't find the pieces.
- Jim, I won't stand for it.
- You won't stand for it?
I don't want any part of
crucifying this boy.
Our steamroller methods are getting
too hard for your sensitive soul?
The Silver Knight
is getting too big for us.
My methods have been all right
for the past twenty years.
Since I picked you out
of a hole in the wall -
- And blew you up to look like
a senator. And now you can't stand it.
Maybe you don't have to. You and
the boy ranger can go home together.
- Jim, you don't have to...
- It's all right.
Seems a shame to part company
after all these years.
with a national convention coming up.
I put everything I have behind you
and so did all of our friends.
We'll survive. We just have to find
someone else with more sense.
You go in and explain to Mr Smith
about Willet dam.
It's your bill. It's your reputation.
If he can't find enough facts to
break you with, I'll give him a couple.
I'm taking the next plane home.
Come here, will you.
It's just that I like the kid. I don't
want to see you get rough on him.
I'm glad to see you come to your senses.
You had me scared for a minute.
You go back to your office.
I'll call when I'm through with Smith.
The Silver Knight!
Senator, I was just passing through
I thought I'd like to meet you.
You've met all the boys, I suppose?
They tell me you've been on your toes
since you got here.
Some people told me you were dumb.
I think you're smart.
Smart enough to understand a situation
when it's explained to you.
building a dam on Willet Creek.
What's your interest in this?
Anything that benefits the state
is mighty important to me.
Owning a lot of its industry
If you had the welfare of the state
at heart, like I have. -
- I'd say you were a man to watch.
What do you like? Business?
If you like business, you can pick
any job and go right to the top.
If you like being a senator. -
- You can come back to the Senate
and stay there as long as you want to.
If you're smart.
Take the boys here or Joe Paine.
They're doing all right.
They don't worry about being re-elected.
They take my advice.
You tell these men and
Senator Paine what to do?
Joe Paine has been taking my advice
for the past twenty years.
You're a liar.
- I have to see Senator Paine.
- Senator Paine is out of town.
He couldn't be.
Hello, Jeff. Come in.
Did you have a talk with Taylor?
He said he'd told you what to do
for twenty years. I called him a liar.
- Come over here and sit down, son.
- I don't feel like sitting down.
I know how you feel.
I was hoping you'd be spared all this.
That you'd see the sights, absorb a lot
of history and go back to your boys.
You've been living in a boy's world.
For heaven's sake, stay there!
This is a man's world, a brutal world.
You have no place in it.
You'll only get hurt. Forget Taylor
and what he said about the dam.
But you still haven't answered me.
Can Taylor tell you what to do?
Now... listen, please.
And try to understand.
It's tough to run head-on into facts. -
- But you must check your ideals outside
the door like you do your rubbers.
Thirty years ago, I had your ideals.
I was you.
I had to make the same decision
you were asked to make today.
I made it. I compromised.
So that I could sit in that Senate
and serve the people in an honest way.
You've gotta face facts.
I've served our state well, haven't I?
We have the lowest unemployment
and the highest federal grants, but -
- I've had to compromise.
You can't count on people voting.
Half the time they don't vote.
That's how states and empires
have been built since time began.
You can take my word for it.
That's how things are.
I've told you all this because...
I've grown very fond of you.
About like a son, in fact.
I don't want to see you get hurt.
When that deficiency bill
comes up tomorrow, don't say a word.
There are great powers behind it.
They'll destroy you.
For your own sake, and for the sake
of my friendship with your father. -
- Please... don't say a word.
Owing to the urgency of the deficiency
bill, there's a unanimous agreement -
- That no senator will speak for more
than five minutes on any section.
The clerk will read.
The bill providing for deficiency
appropriations for the fiscal year.
Section one: Emergency relief.
To create public improvements -
- On rivers, harbours and roadways.
Section : An appropriation for
diverting and impounding -
- The headwaters of Willet Creek
in Terry Canyon. million dollars.
Senator Smith desires to be heard
on Section ?
Does the Senator understand
he's limited to five minutes?
You may proceed, sir.
Mr President, this section on the dam
on Willet Creek is nothing but...
Does Senator Smith wish to
yield to his colleague Senator Paine?
- Yes, sir.
- You may proceed, Senator.
I have risen to a difficult task.
Evidence has come to our attention -
- That Senator Smith is unworthy
to address this body.
Get the senators.
Something's going on inside. Come on.
The Senator will please suspend
until order is restored in the chamber.
All the senators
are wanted on the floor.
What's going on, Joe?
You may proceed, Senator.
I refer to the bill he has introduced
for the creation of a boys' camp.
He named a certain portion of land -
- To be bought by contributions
from boys all over America.
Senators, I have evidence that he owns
the very land described in his bill.
He bought it the day following
his appointment to the Senate -
- And is using his privileged office
for his own personal profit!
- Boy ranger had a racket.
- This doesn't make sense.
Accordingly, I offer a resolution
for an immediate inquiry -
- As to the fitness of my colleague
to continue to sit in this chamber.
Mr President, I...
Order... The chair will clear the
galleries unless order is restored.
Ranger Senator branded
by colleague Senator Paine!
Senator Paine to expel Senator Smith.
Saunders must have the low-down on this.
She packed up and left town.
Paine accuses Smith of introducing
a boys camp bill for his own profit!
Paine's asked for a hearing before the
Committee of Privileges and Elections.
Frankly, my dear Senators. -
- When Mr Kenneth Allen
burst into my office -
- And proved that Jeff Smith had
a deed to that site, I was dumbfounded.
What did you do
when it was brought to your attention?
I consulted with the head of the
Department of Records, Mr Arthur Kim.
do you remember recording such a deed?
Yes. On the date set forth here,
Mr Allen came to record this deed. -
- Setting over these acres
in the name of Jefferson Smith.
- How long have you known Senator Smith?
- A good many years.
He used my land up around Willet Creek
for his boy rangers.
Seemed like a nice fellow.
One day he said he had a great chance
to sell that land for an acre.
I'd be glad to get for it.
So we set it up like this:
I deeded him the land and
he guaranteed me half of what he got -
- If he made the sale. The whole thing
sounded fishy at the time.
Have you got that document?
The land wouldn't be in his name if I
didn't. Yes, sir, signed and delivered.
- I never signed any contract!
- He certainly did.
After a long study of this signature,
it is my professional opinion -
- That it is definitely
in Jefferson Smith's own handwriting.
As an expert on handwriting,
I'd say the name Jefferson Smith -
- On this contract...
has been forged.
I would stake my whole
twenty year professional career -
- On the fact that
this is not a forgery. -
- But is Mr Smith's own signature.
This is a very painful duty for me.
This boy is the son of my best friend.
I sponsored him in the Senate.
I helped him frame his bill.
On the day he presented it,
I congratulated him.
But I pointed out that a dam was
going up on the very site he had chosen.
There are a hundred good campsites.
I suggested he choose another.
He became furious and said,
"Move the dam!"
I was amazed at his violent reaction -
- Until the evidence came to me
that he owned those very acres.
He'd laid plans to make an enormous
profit out of the nickels and dimes -
- Scraped together by the boys
of this country.
Faced with that... regardless of
my personal feelings for the boy. -
- My sense of duty told me
that his expulsion from the Senate -
- Was the only possible answer.
Beautiful, that Taylor machine...
Senator Smith, please.
Will you take the chair, please?
The committee is ready to hear you now,
Keep your seats, gentlemen.
The committee is not adjourned yet!
That ranger never knew what struck him
when Jim Taylor opened up on him.
Which one of you girls wants this?
- Do you want it?
- Oh, yes!
- Hello, Saunders.
- I had a hunch I'd find you here.
When you weren't any place else.
- How have you been, Saunders?
- All right.
- How is your husband?
- What? Oh, old Diz? We're not married.
It's a good thing I got back now.
You know what I found waiting for me?
- A jar of preserves from your mother.
- You did, huh?
Was it strawberry?
It's the best kind.
Well, I... see by the papers
you certainly got to be a Senator.
You had the right idea about me
when you told me to go back home -
- And fill those kids full of hooey.
Just a simple guy,
still wet behind the ears.
Full of a lot ofjunk about American
ideals. A lot of junk all right...
- Now look, Senator...
- This is a whole new world to me.
What are you going to believe in?
When a man like Senator Joseph Paine
gets up and swears -
- That I've been robbing kids
of nickels and dimes.
A man I've admired and worshipped
all my life.
There are a lot of fancy words here.
Some of them are carved in stone, some
of them men like Taylor put up there. -
- So suckers like me could read them.
Then you find out
what those men actually do.
I'm getting out of this town so fast.
Away from all the words, the monuments,
the whole rotten show.
- What will you tell the kids back home?
- The truth.
They might as well
find out now as later.
I don't think they'll believe you.
They're liable to look at you
with hurt faces and say:
"Jeff, what did you do? Quit?
Didn't you do something about it?"
What do you expect me to do?
An honorary stooge like me
against the Taylors and Paines. -
- The machines and the lies.
Your friend Mr Lincoln
had his Taylors and Paines.
So did every man who ever tried
to lift his thought up off the ground.
Odds against them didn't stop them,
they were fools that way.
All the good in this world
came from fools with faith like that.
You can't quit now. Not you.
They aren't all Taylors and Paines,
that kind just throw big shadows.
You didn'tjust have faith in Paine or
any other man. It was bigger than that.
You had plain, decent,
everyday common rightness.
This country could use some of that.
So could the whole cock-eyed world.
A lot of it.
Remember the first day you got here?
What you said about Mr Lincoln?
You said he was sitting there
waiting for someone.
You were right. He was waiting for a man
who could see his job and sail into it.
A man who could tear into the Taylors
and root them out into the open.
I think he was waiting for you, Jeff.
He knows you can do it, so do I.
Do what, Saunders?
Say you won't quit and I'll tell you.
I've been thinking about it all day.
It's a forty foot dive into a tub
of water, but I think you can do it.
- Clarissa... where can we get a drink?
- Now you're talking.
Come on over to my place.
Mr Durnell? Mr Dwight?
So they'll expel Smith today.
Where's the guillotine?
In fact, where's Smith?
Smith hasn't stopped running
since he left that committee room.
- Mr Smith?
- That guy's batty!
- The clerk will continue the roll-call.
Is this one of your shenanigans?
What's the matter?
- Pray, Diz. If you know how.
- Did you bring that guy in here?
Are you crazy?
have answered to their names.
A quorum is present.
Proceeding now to the regular order.
- Mr President.
- Senator McPherson.
I desire to call up the report of the
Committee on Privileges and Elections -
- On the expulsion of Jefferson Smith.
The clerk will read the report.
on Privileges and Elections reports -
- After hearing a number of witnesses,
thatjustice to the Senate requires -
- That Jefferson Smith no longer
continue as a member of this body.
They therefore recommend
that the same do pass.
Resolved, that Jefferson Smith be
expelled from his seat in the Senate.
Mr President... I move for the
immediate adoption of the resolution.
- Mr President!
- I have the floor!
I'm about to ask for a roll-call
on the passage of the resolution.
The Senator has nothing to say
at this time!
Senator Smith is still a member -
- And as such has an equal claim
on the attention of this chair.
You were about to recognise me, sir.
Let him speak!
Before proceeding further,
I'll remind the visitors in the gallery -
- That they are here as our guests
and should conduct themselves as such.
Their sentiments will in no way affect
the judgement of this chair.
The chair recognises -
- Senator Smith.
Here we go.
The gentlemen are in a hurry
to get me out of here.
The way the evidence is piled up
against me, I can't say I blame them.
I will go when they vote it that way.
But before that happens
I have a few things to say.
I've tried to say them before,
and I'd like to get them said this time.
I won't leave this body
until they're said.
- President, will the Senator yield?
- No, sir, I'm afraid not!
I yielded once before and was
practically never heard of again.
We might as well get together on
this yielding business right off the bat.
I had some good coaching last night -
- And if I yield only for a question
or a personal privilege -
- I can hold this floor until doomsday!
I've got a piece to speak and
blow hot or cold, I'm gonna speak it!
- Will the Senator yield?
- Yield how?
- Yield for a question?
- All right.
I wish to ask
if this piece he intends to speak -
- Concerns Section
that dam on Willet Creek?
Every aspect of this matter
was dealt with in committee hearing.
I wish to ask my colleague if he has
one scrap of evidence to add now -
- To the defence
he could not give at that hearing?
- I have no defence against forgery!
- The committee ruled otherwise!
The gentleman stands guilty as charged.
I believe that no member -
- Cares to hear
what a man of his condemned character -
- Has to say about any section
before this House!
I stand guilty as framed
because Section is graft!
I was ready to tell you that a certain
man in my state, a Mr James Taylor. -
- Wanted this dam for his own profit.
A man who controls a political machine!
He controls everything else in my state!
He's powerful enough
to control congressmen.
I saw three of them in his room.
- Will the Senator yield?
- No, sir, I will not yield!
James Taylor offered me a seat in
this Senate for the next twenty years. -
- If I voted for a dam
that he knew, and I knew, was a fraud.
If I dared to speak against that dam,
he promised to break me in two.
I got up and started to speak
and the long powerful arm of Taylor -
- Reached into this sacred chamber
and grabbed me by the neck.
- Mr President, a point of order.
- Mr President...
- Senator Paine will state it.
- I rose in this chamber to accuse him.
- Senator Paine will state it.
- I rose in this chamber to accuse him.
I carried out criminal orders!
He accuses me of unworthy conduct!
He should be made to yield the floor.
I did not say that Senator Paine was
one of the Congressmen in that room!
I was in that room!
I accuse this man.
By his tone, by his careful denials. -
- He has been trying to plant
damaging impression of my conduct.
I'll tell you why we were in that room.
Mr Taylor, a respected citizen. -
- Had brought the evidence against
this man and we urged him to resign.
Why? To avoid bringing disgrace upon
a clean and honourable state.
- But he refused.
- Mr President, have I...
There was only one answer
to a man like him. The truth.
Which I rose and gave to this body.
He is trying to blackmail this Senate
as he tried to blackmail me.
To prevent his expulsion,
he'll hold up this deficiency bill. -
- Vital to this country,
which must be passed today!
- Have I the floor?
- I have lost all patience with him.
I apologise for his appointment.
I am sick and tired of
this contemptible young man!
I refuse to stay here and listen to him!
I hope every member of this body
feels as I do.
Yield the floor!
Gentlemen, please address the chair!
What does the gentleman want?
I want a chance to talk to people
who'll believe me.
The people of my state
know me and Mr Taylor.
When they hear my story, they'll kick
Mr Taylor's machine to kingdom come.
I want one week to bring you proof -
- And your promise that I will not be
expelled and the bill won't be passed.
- Will the Senator yield?
- For a question.
You have the effrontery
to stand there convicted -
- And try to force postponement
of the deficiency bill?
I appeal to the Senator.
Is he fully aware -
- That this bill has been months
in both Houses, delayed and delayed?
- Many'll be without food and shelter.
- Shall we keep relief from the country?
The people of my state
need permanent relief from crooked men!
If we yield to blackmail from this man,
we'll become a laughing stock!
It is an insult to this body
to have to listen to this.
I will follow the Senator's example
and refuse to remain in this chamber -
- As long as that man holds the floor!
I guess I have to speak to the people
of my state from right here!
Wild horses won't drag me off this floor
till those people have heard me -
- Even if it takes all winter.
Well, Mr President, we seem to be alone.
I'm not complaining
for social reasons. -
- But it's a pity if these gentlemen
missed any of this.
I call the chair's attention to -
- Rule of the standing rules
of the Senate, Section .
"If it shall be found
that a quorum is not present. -
- A majority of the senators present...
and that looks like me. -
- May direct the serjeant-at-arms
to request, and if necessary, compel -
- The attendance of
the absent senators."
Mr President, I so direct.
The absence of a quorum
Ring the call to quorum.
There's no hurry, Mr President.
I've got plenty of time.
Quorum called! Quorum called!
The clerk will call the roll.
Mr Agnew? Mr Albert? Mr Alford?
Smith got the floor and is holding it!
- Just as they were to kick him out!
- Isn't it wonderful?!
It's terrific! A filibuster!
This is the miracle I wanted.
Get everything he's saying
back to that home state!
They're going to hear this in Patagonia!
In protest the Senate walked out...
No, not that straight stuff!
Kick it up! Get on his side!
- You love this monkey, don't you?
- What do you think? Now go to work.
It's the most titanic battle of modern
times! A David without a slingshot -
- Rises to battle the mighty Goliath,
the Taylor machine. -
- Allegedly crooked inside and out! ...
For my money, cut out "allegedly".
We're bringing everybody up
from state headquarters.
- Did you get Hendricks?
- They're looking for him.
Why isn't he at his desk?
Don't you think you'd better get back?
The boy is talking to the state.
He can raise public opinion against us.
He'll never get started.
I'll make public opinion out there.
I've done it all my life.
I'll blacken this punk so he'll...
You leave public opinion to me.
You better go back into the Senate.
I hit him from the floor
with everything I knew.
I haven't got the stomach for it.
If he starts convincing those senators,
you might as well blow your brains out!
This is the works! Either we're out of
business or bigger than ever before.
We can't stop at anything
until we've smashed this yokel...
Go back to the Senate, Joe.
The chips are down. I want you
to keep everything that Smith says -
- Out of all our newspapers and all the
others you can line up in the state.
Those broken-down opposition papers
who don't want to play ball with us. -
- I want you to tie up for hours.
Stall their deliveries,
push them off the streets!
Bury them for hours, give me time!
You defend the machine. Hit this guy!
The usual thing, criminal,
blocking a relief bill. -
- Starving the people.
Joe, will you get back into that Senate!
Get the hoi polloi excited.
Have them send protests, letters...
Buy up every minute
of every radio station in the state -
- And keep them spouting against Smith.
I don't care what it costs!
Get the whole state moving!
This filibuster is a cowardly attempt to
turn your attention from the true facts.
Smith was caught red-handed
stealing from boys.
Relief will be stopped.
- I've seen filibustering...
- This can't go on, it's ridiculous.
We've got to get this man off the floor.
As long as Mr Smith holds that floor
legitimately, he'll continue to hold it.
That fellow is making a lot of sense.
You call blackmail sense, Henry?
I didn't like this boy to begin with,
but no man that wasn't sincere -
- Could stage a fight like this
against all odds.
After twenty years work with you
you take his word against mine?!
That's what it means.
If he's just a bit right, then I'm wrong.
Can't we work out some deal
to pull that Willet dam out -
- And let the deficiency bill go through?
It isn't a question of Willet dam.
It's a question of my honour. -
- The integrity of the committee
and the integrity of the Senate!
If you want to throw out Section
Wait a minute. This is nonsense.
Joe is right.
A deal is impossible. We have to keep on
what we've been doing and break him.
Keep him talking, no relief.
Maintain a quorum in relays.
Is that how you feel, John?
Let's relieve the men on the floor.
- A man as green as that...
- He can't go on much longer.
"...with certain unalienable rights.
Among these are life, liberty
and the pursuit of..."
Looks like the night shift's coming on.
The Senator will please suspend
until order is restored in the chamber.
Half of official Washington
is here to see -
- Democracy's fine show: the filibuster.
The right to talk your head off.
Free speech in its most dramatic form.
The least man in that chamber,
once he gets and holds that floor. -
- Can talk as long
as he can stand on his feet.
Providing that he does not sit down. -
- Does not leave the chamber
or stop talking.
The galleries are packed.
In the diplomatic gallery
are the envoys of two dictator powers.
They have come to see what they can't
see at home: democracy in action.
"...the pursuit of happiness.
That, to secure these rights,
governments are instituted among men. -
- Deriving their just powers
from the consent of the governed; -
- That whenever any form of government
becomes destructive to these ends. -
- It is the right of the people
to alter or abolish..."
How am I doing?
Quit stalling and move!
- Mr Taylor.
- Wait a minute.
Tell Senator Paine.
About this Smith filibuster.
Your chain of newspapers must realise
that this bill he is trying to block -
- Will affect your section.
It's the patriotic duty
of every newspaper in the country!
We've got to keep hammering at this man
until we smash him!
I always get a great kick out of that
part of the Declaration of Independence.
You're not gonna have a country that
can make these kinds of rules work. -
- If you haven't got men who can tell
human rights from a punch in the nose.
That's the headline.
It's a funny thing about men.
They all start life being boys...
I wouldn't be surprised if some of
these senators were boys once.
That's why it's a good idea to get boys
out of the crowded cities -
- For a couple of months of the year.
Build their bodies and minds
for man-sized jobs.
They'll be behind these desks some day.
It seemed like a pretty good idea.
Boys from all over the country,
of all nationalities and ways of life.
Getting them together to find out
what makes different people tick.
I wouldn't give two cents
for all your fancy rules -
- If behind them they didn't have
plain, ordinary everyday kindness.
And... a little looking out for
the other fellow too.
That's pretty important,
It's the blood, bone and sinew
of this democracy -
- That great men handed down
to the human race!
But if you've got to build a dam
where that boys camp ought to be. -
- To get some graft
to pay off some political army...
If you think I'll go back
and tell those boys in my state:
"Forget it. All this stuff I've been
telling you about this land -
- Is a lot of hooey!
This country belongs to the Taylors."
Not me! Anybody who thinks I'll do that
has another think coming!
That's all right. I just wanted
to find out whether you still had faces.
I'm sorry, gentlemen...
I know I'm being disrespectful
to this honourable body...
A guy like me should never be allowed
to get in here in the first place!
I hate to stand here
and try your patience. -
- But either I'm dead right
or I'm crazy!
You wouldn't care to
put that to a vote, Senator?
- Will the Senator yield for a question?
- I yield.
In view of the gentleman's concern
for the senators -
- And the fact that he's been talking
for / hours and must be tired. -
- Would he permit a motion
to recess until the morning. -
- At which time he may be better able
to continue his profound babbling?
what happens to me in the morning?
I mean, about my having this floor
to go on with my babbling.
If the Senator permits this motion. -
- He won't have the floor
to babble with or anything else.
Unless he's recognised first
by this chair.
As I was saying, gentlemen...
I'm either dead right or I'm crazy.
- I feel fine. What have you got?
- From Miss Saunders.
Is the Senator yielding the floor?
Yield the...? Oh, no.
I feel fine.
"The Constitution of the United States".
Page one, top left-hand corner:
"We, the people of the United States,
in order to form a more perfect union."
Yeah? Buy it or wreck it!
- Holy smoke!
- What's the matter?
This is murder. You've got to
call him off. He's getting nowhere.
Not one word of what he's saying
is being printed in that state!
Taylor has every paper lined up
and he's feeding them doctored-up junk!
- One man muzzling a whole state?
- And how!
Freedom of the press!
I've got an idea! Come on.
- Jeff has a paper there. Boy Stuff.
They aren't letting what Jeff says
get printed in the state.
If I give you a raft of it now
over the phone. -
- Can you print it up
and spread a billion copies of it?
Get ready to take it down, Mrs Smith.
Everything about Jeff.
Get pencils and paper, quick!
Here we go.
- All ready, Clarissa.
- She called me Clarissa!
Jeff tells truth.
Shows up Taylor.
I want the whole morning edition
a blast to push him off the floor.
Willet dam is a fraud to line
the pockets of the Taylor machine.
Here's your front page editorial:
A convicted thief representing you
holds the floor of the U.S. Senate.
All right, boys, hurry up.
Come on, bring on the paper.
...charity waters not itself. -
- Is not puffed up -
- And now abideth
faith, hope, charity.
The greatest of these is charity.
Read about Jeff Smith!
- Distributed by nine millions kids!
- Get the boys out. Do it!
Look out, fellows.
Come on, get these papers out of here.
Read all about it!
Jeff Smith lies in Senate!
Are we going to let a man like that
throw mud at a man like Joe Paine?
Are you for Joe Paine?
Hurrah for Jeff Smith!
Children hurt all over the city!
Tell Jeff to stop!
Yes, all right.
Senator Smith has now talked
for hours and minutes.
It is the most spectacular thing
in the Senate annals.
One simple American
holding the greatest floor.
What he lacked in experience,
he's made up in fight.
But those tired
boy ranger legs are buckling. -
- Bleary eyes, voice gone,
he can't go on much longer.
All Washington is here
to be in on the kill.
There's no compromise with the truth.
That's all I got the floor to say.
When was it?
A year ago, it seems like...
- Diz, terrible things are happening.
- They're listening to him now.
Just get up off the ground.
Get up there with that lady
on top of the Capitol dome. -
- That lady that stands for liberty.
Take a look at this country
through her eyes.
You won'tjust see scenery.
what man's carved out for himself -
- After centuries of fighting
for something better than jungle law.
Fighting so he can stand
on his own two feet, free and decent.
Like he was created. No matter
what his race, colour or creed.
That's what you'll see.
There's no place out there
for graft or greed or lies. -
- Or compromise with human liberties.
If that's what the grown-ups
have done with this world. -
- We have to start those boys' camps
and see what the kids can do.
It's not too late.
This country is bigger than the Taylors,
you or me or anything else.
Great principles don't get lost
once they come to light.
They're right here.
You just have to see them.
will the Senator yield for a question?
- Will Senator Smith yield?
- Yes, I yield for a question.
The Senator says he is speaking
to the people of his state.
He has been waiting for them
to come marching here in droves.
Is the gentleman interested
in knowing what those people say?
- Here it comes, Diz.
- Yes, sir. You bet I am.
Have I permission to bring
evidence of the response from my state?
Is there objection? ...
You may proceed, Senator.
Come on, pageboys. All of you.
I can't stand to see him hurt.
- Public opinion made to order.
There it is. The gentleman's answer.
that he yield this floor.
I invite the Senate to read them.
I invite my colleague to read them.
The people's answer
to Mr Jefferson Smith.
Stop, Jeff, stop!
I guess this is just another lost cause,
All you people
don't know about lost causes.
Mr Paine does.
He said once they were
the only causes worth fighting for.
And he fought for them for the only
reason any man ever fights for them.
Because ofjust one plain, simple rule:
Love thy neighbour.
In this world full of hatred a man who
knows that one rule has a great trust.
You know that rule, Mr Paine. I loved
you for it, just as my father did.
You know that
you fight harder for the lost causes.
You even die for them.
Like a man we both knew, Mr Paine.
You think I'm licked.
You all think I'm licked.
Well, I am not licked!
I'll stay and fight for this lost cause.
Even if this room
gets filled with lies like these -
- And the Taylors and all their armies
come marching into this place.
Somebody will listen to me.
He's okay. He just fainted.
I'm not fit to be a senator!
I'm not fit to live!
Expel me! Expel me, not him!
Willet dam is a fraud.
It's a crime against the people
who sent me here! I committed it!
Every word that boy said
about Taylor and me and graft -
- And the rotten political corruption
of my state is true!
I'm not fit for office! I'm not fit for
any place of honour! Expel me!
Hurrah! He did it!
Order, gentlemen, please.