Interior: Jack Burden’s Desk, The Chronicle, Day
Jack Burden is looking over the morning edition of “The
Chronicle.” He reads the society page. A man enters and leans
across his desk.
Burden! Jack Burden! The boss wants
to see you.
He folds his paper, rises, and walks by the presses into
Interior: Madison’s Office, Day
Madison, the city editor, is correcting copy at his desk.
Hey, Jack, ever hear of a fellow
called Willie Stark?
No. Who’d he shoot?
Oh, county… uh… treasurer, or
something like that.
What’s so special about him?
They say he’s an honest man. What I
want you to do is to hop into your
Why, you promised me a vacation.
Well, that can wait.
Yeah… but there’s a… a girl I
He opens his newspaper to the society page and shows Madison
a photograph of Anne Stanton.
Oh… Well, she can wait too.
Jack takes the paper back and looks at it.
The question is… can I?
The answer is… get up there.
(starts to go)
Oh… uh… what did you say his
The fellow’s name.
Oh, the… uh… Stark… Willie
Madison goes on with his work.
(as he leaves)
Exterior: Kanoma City, Day
As Jack Burden’s jalopy pulls up before the Kanoma County
Courthouse of this back-country, one-street small town.
I found him in Kanoma City. A typical,
hot, dusty, backwoods county seat.
He gets out of the car, and notices a crowd of people gathered
around a platform in the town square. As he walks over the
begins to hear the words that Willie Stark is speaking.
…to lie to them in order to line
their own dirty pockets with the
taxpayers’ money. When have the
citizens of Kanoma County ever
witnessed a campaign like this? Why
is the opposition so anxious to defeat
me? Why have they used every dirty
method known to make sure I’m not
elected county treasurer? Well, I’ll
tell you why…
A man in shirt sleeves and suspenders, Tiny Duffy, comes out
of the local poolroom, listens for a moment to Willie’s
speech, and signals to two uniformed men to go over and break
up the gathering.
Jack Burden stands close to the platform, next to Willie’s
son, Tom, who waits patiently to distribute handbills.
…Because they’re afraid of the
truth… and the truth is this.
They’re trying to steal your money.
Yeah, I said steal. The county
commissioners rejected the bid on
the schoolhouse. Why? Well, they’ll
tell you their reason is the job
will be done better. The county
commissioners would have you believe
that they’re interested in public
welfare. They’re interested in
welfare, sure. But it’s their own.
Let’s look at the reason in the light
of the facts and the figures. That
brick factory is owned by one of the
commissioners. That same brick factory
uses convict labor.
The sheriff and his deputy push through the crowd.
Sorry, Willie, you’ll have to move
City Ordinance Number One-Oh-Five:
more than five people congregating
is disturbing the peace.
If you folks’ll be so kind as to
read these handbills, my boy will
pass them out among you.
There’s an ordinance against that
(his face grim)
Pass ‘em out, Tom.
The sheriff pushes Tom back, grabbing the handbills out of
his hand. Willie jumps down off the platform.
Let him alone!
The sheriff collars Willie, then notices Jack on the platform
snapping a picture.
Get that camera! Willie, you’re under
He takes Willie by the arm and leads him away. The crowd
follows them to the courthouse. Tiny Duffy wipes the sweat
off his neck and goes back into the poolroom.
Interior: Kanoma City Poolroom, Day
Two of Duffy’s men, Pillsbury and a local commissioner, are
playing pool as Jack enters.
Where can I find Tiny Duffy?
Right over there, mister.
He walks over to Duffy. Some townspeople, who followed him
there, gather around him to listen.
Uh, they told me I could get my camera
Who told you that?
People. Can I?
You the reporter that’s been snoopin’
Are you Tiny Duffy?
You sure come a long way to stick
your nose into other people’s
That’s true… Only my boss on the
paper can’t see it that way.
It ain’t any of his business either.
Whose business is it?
Them as is tendin’ to it. County
commissioners that the voters of
Kanoma County elected to tend to
their business and not take no buttin’
in from nobody.
You a commissioner?
Yeah. Name’s Pillsbury. Dolph
Me too. I’m a commissioner too.
Who isn’t a commissioner?
He’s the head man.
Then you’re in a position to know
He’s in a position to know nothin’.
And to say nothin’.
I thought you said he was head man?
He uses my head.
Oh, Tiny, you’re a card… Ain’t he
a card? Yeah, he’s a card… Now,
who thought up those city ordinances
about arresting someone for making a
Who’s arrested? Nobody’s been
(looks toward the
Willie enters, accompanied by the sheriff and his deputy.
The others in the room, including Sugar Boy in his bartender’s
apron, step aside to let him pass through.
Did you apologize to Willie?
Yeah, I apologized to Willie.
Did you give him his handbills back?
Yeah, I gave ‘em back.
Give him back his flag and his bag
(points to Jack)
give this man his camera.
I’m going to be on that same street
corner tomorrow, Mr. Duffy.
You go right ahead, Willie. We all
believe in free speech. We got to…
it’s in the Constitution.
My boy is out distributing those
It’s a free country, Willie. If you
can convince the people to vote for
you… you go right ahead.
What did you want to see me about,
I wanted you to meet a fella came
all the way up from the state capital
to meet you. A reporter. Wants to
write you up… maybe put your picture
in the paper.
(turns to Jack)
I’m happy to know you, sir.
Burden’s my name… Jack Burden. Can
we go somewhere where we can talk?
Now that ain’t polite. Don’t you
want to hear both sides of the story?
Jack examines the camera that has just been returned to him.
I know your side.
(finds the plate
What happened to the plate your men
took from my camera?
Must have dropped out. Oh, come on,
fellas, let’s relax. It’s a hot day…
Hey, Sugar Boy…
Bring some cold beer for the boys.
None for me, thank you kindly.
Now you know Willie don’t drink,
Tiny. His wife don’t favor drinking.
And Willie’s the teacher’s pet, ain’t
I’ll have some orange pop if you
Duffy roars with laughter.
Orange pop! All right, Sugar Boy.
Bring him some orange pop.
Th-th-the p-p-pop’s s-s-sold out.
Did you hear that, boys? The p-p-
pop’s s-s-sold out.
They all laugh.
Now ain’t he a card?
(his face hard)
He stutters, Mr. Duffy, but you…
you don’t say anything.
Let’s go, mister.
They turn and go out.
Exterior: Dirt Road, Day
Jack is driving Willie home to his farmhouse. They pass a
farmer and his family walking by the side of the road. Willie
smiles and waves to them.
Exterior: Stark Farmhouse, Day
As the car pulls into the drive we see Pa Stark in his rocking
chair on the porch, and Lucy, who stands at the top of the
steps, waiting to welcome Willie.
(as they go up the
This is my wife, Lucy, Mr. Burden.
JACK AND LUCY
How do you do?
That’s my pa.
Jack reaches out to shake his hand.
Interior: Stark Farmhouse, Night
Willie finishes chewing his food, pats his mouth with a
napkin, and pushes his plate back.
Now we’ll talk.
Camera pulls back to include Jack, Lucy, and Pa, all seated
around the dinner table.
You’ve been talking for a long time,
Willie’s got a lot to say.
You sleepy, Pappy? You want to have
No, I want to hear it.
Lucy gets up and turns on a light in the kitchen.
I’m worried about Tom. It’s getting
dark. He should have been home.
He’s a strong boy. Don’t worry about
him. He can take care of himself.
How old is the boy?
How long have you been married?
Willie grins at Jack’s look of surprise. Lucy comes back
into the room.
He was a neighbor’s boy. They were
poor folks. Both died. I couldn’t
have any children, so… He’s a good
Oh, he’s the best. I couldn’t love
him any more if he was my own flesh
And now you, Mrs. Stark?
Oh, there isn’t very much to tell
How did you meet?
I was teaching school and one day a
pupil walked in. It was Willie. I
couldn’t have a grown man in the
class and Willie wanted to learn so
badly… so I married him.
Is that the only reason?
Except that I loved him.
Get the coffee, Lucy.
She goes back into the kitchen.
When did they fire you, Mrs. Stark?
(as she serves the
A couple of weeks ago. I’d been
teaching for a long time and nobody
ever said I wasn’t all right. But I
don’t care. I don’t want to teach in
a schoolhouse that they built just
so somebody can steal some money.
And Willie doesn’t want to be
Treasurer, either, if he has to
associate with those dishonest people.
I’m going to run. They can’t keep me
If you don’t mind the truth, Mr.
Stark, you haven’t much of a chance.
I’m going to run. They’re not going
to kick me around like I was dirt.
I don’t care if Willie loses… just
so he gets the truth to the people.
Isn’t that true, Willie?
Willie is silent. Jack looks at him.
Isn’t it, Willie?
Hmmm?… Yeah, yeah, sure, that’s
Well, if you lose you can give a
little more time to studying your
Oh, you studying law too?
By myself, at night.
Willie’s a smart boy.
If I ever find the time I’m going to
take a course at the university.
The door opens slowly and Tom comes in from the porch. His
clothes are torn and his face is dirty and bloody. He still
carries some of the handbills. They rise to their feet and
cluster around him.
What happened, Tommy boy? What’s the
(head down, muttering)
I gave out the handbills, Pa.
Speak up. Speak up.
Let him tell it his own way. Go on,
This time they were waiting for me.
They took them away from me. Threw
them in the dirt and beat me up. I
brought some of them back.
(pats him on the back)
Good boy. Have you eaten yet, Tom?
Let him wash up first.
As Tom and Pappy go into the other room, a rock comes crashing
through the front window, shattering the glass. Willie, his
face filled with anger, throws open the door and stalks out
onto the porch. Jack stands at the door, watching Willie
shout into the darkness around him.
I’m going to run… and you’re not
going to stop me. I’m gonna run even
if I don’t get a single vote.
Interior: Jack Burden’s Desk, Day
Jack’s fingers type out a story, the last line of which reads
“an honest man with courage.” He pulls the sheet out and
hands it to Madison.
Here you are… the last of the Willie
Stark articles. Now can I go?
Yes. You’ve earned your vacation.
You’ve been writing these like you
really mean them.
Jack rises and walks toward the door.
Exterior: Ferry To Burden’s Landing, Day
Jack’s car is ferried across the bay to the slip of Burden’s
I hadn’t been home in a long time.
Only a hundred and thirty miles from
Kanoma City. It was separated from
the mainland by a body of water. For
the first time I wondered if it wasn’t
separated by more than that.
Exterior: Mrs. Burden’s Home, Day
As Jack arrives, Mrs. Burden and her husband, McEvoy, are
seated at a lawn table near the boat landing.
She runs forward to meet him.
Floyd, Jack’s home. Oh, he looks
fine… doesn’t he look fine?
(to Jack, coquettishly)
How do I look, Jackie boy?
You look beautiful, Mother.
I’ve got so many things planned for
you… parties and… it’ll be just
like old times. But first, let’s
have a drink.
Can’t that wait until this evening?
She goes ahead and pours the drinks.
Floyd… honey… my son’s home.
How long do you plan on staying?
Two or three weeks. If that’s all
right with you.
I’m sure your father would be —
Now, Jackie… here we all are. Floyd,
(raises her glass for
To the best time we’ve ever had
They drink. Mrs. Burden gulps hers down avidly. Jack looks
at her and then at McEvoy.
Excuse me… I…
He turns and walks back toward the shore. He boards a small
motorboat and heads toward a house that can be seen across
Exterior: Stanton Home (Burden’s Landing), Day
As the boat approaches the shore. Adam Stanton reaches down
and pulls the boat up on land. He throws his arm around Jack,
and the two climb the hill toward Judge Stanton, who stands
waiting to greet him.
Dr. Stanton, I presume.
Is my shingle showing?
Good to see you, boy. Very good.
Good to see you, Judge. How have you
been? What have you been doing?
They walk back together to the patio tables.
Oh, just sitting here… waiting for
all of you to come home. You know,
when a man starts to get old his
eyes stray and play funny tricks on
him. As I watched you in that boat I
thought sure I saw a boy of twelve
with a fishing rod in his hands. And
I was sure the first thing he’d say
Jack catches sight of Anne Stanton walking down the path. He
runs to meet her. As they embrace, he looks back at the Judge.
Do you mind if I kiss your niece,
He kisses her, and they turn and walk away.
Exterior: Tennis Court (Burden’s Landing), Day
Anne gracefully returns a ball to Jack, then runs to embrace
him at the net. Adam, seated near the court, smiles
Exterior: Gulf (Burden’s Landing), Morning
Jack and Judge Stanton in a rowboat, on their way to do some
Exterior: Gulf (Burden’s Landing), Day
Adam is at the wheel of his sailboat, with Jack and Anne
Interior: Stanton Living Room (Burden’s Landing), Night
A party in the Stanton living room. Adam plays the piano. He
plays a waltz. Jack and Anne hold each other tightly as they
move among the other couples.
Interior: Burden Dining Room, Night
A formal dinner, attended by Jack and Anne, Mrs. Burden and
McEvoy, Judge Stanton and Adam. Mrs. Burden is proposing a
To all the good times we’ve had
together at Burden’s Landing. And
especially to this one. Because my
Thank you, Mother. Thank you very
Monty, Anne and I have been discussing
Jack’s career. What do you think he
ought to go in for? Shall he be a
Jack looks at Anne.
We were just discussing whether you
(to his mother)
I like what I’m doing, Mother.
You do very well at it. I read your
articles about this fellow… Willie
Stark. Very convincing… Too
convincing for my tastes.
A lot of people like them.
A lot of people are fools. Articles
like that shouldn’t be permitted.
They only tend to incite people.
What are you afraid of?
I thought they were very good. I was
proud of you, Jack. I was particularly
interested in Stark’s ideas on health
and medicine. You know the conditions
at the hospital I work in. They’re
intolerable. I’d like to meet this
Willie Stark. He sounds like an honest
Honest man? This state is full of
these log-cabin Abe Lincolns with
price tags on them. The louder he
yells the higher his price.
You think you can buy anything, don’t
Yes, don’t you?
There is a silence. Then McEvoy turns to the Judge.
What do you think, Judge?
I think this state could stand a few
(his face white)
Well, I’ll tell you what I think —
Oh, please… let’s not talk politics.
Anne is right. I absolutely forbid
any more of it. I know what we need,
we need another toast.
(to the Judge)
You propose it, Monty… you’re so
good at it.
The Judge picks up his glass and stands up.
To the young people… to Anne, to
Jack, to Adam… To what lies before
them. To the world they’ll make…
in spite of the mistakes we’ve made.
The mistakes you’ve made, not me.
You’re all still pretty high and
mighty, aren’t you? You all think
this state needs a change. You don’t
like the way it’s run. Well, who’s
going to run it? Willie Stark? The
You? You can be bought too. As a
matter of fact you have been. And
with my money.
Jack’s answer is to throw his liquor in his stepfather’s
face. There is a pause. McEvoy wipes the liquor off with his
That’s a waste of good liquor.
(looks at Mrs. Burden)
Your mother wouldn’t approve.
Jack turns and leaves the room.
She hurries after him.
Exterior: Veranda, Night
As Mrs. Burden comes out after Jack. Anne stands in the
Jack… you go back in and apologize.
Apologize? I’d rather die.
I’ve got to live with him.
Well, I don’t. Neither do you. You
don’t love him, Mother. You never
Son, don’t spoil anything now… He
can help you.
I can get along without him. You
need this house. And the parties.
And the cars and the clothes and the
lies. I don’t. It’s the truth, Mother,
face it. For once in your life, face
Mrs. Burden appeals to Anne.
Anne, please… please make him
Anne says nothing. Mrs. Burden goes back into the house.
Interior: Stanton Living Room, Night
Anne and Jack sit alone in the room, beneath the portrait of
the old Governor Stanton.
Anne, Burden’s Landing is a place on
the moon. It isn’t real. It doesn’t
exist. It’s me pretending I live on
what I earn. It’s my mother trying
to keep herself young, and drinking
herself old doing it. It’s you and
Adam living in this house as though
your father were still alive. It’s
an old man like the Judge dreaming
of the past… Anne, come away with
And do what?
And live in a shack and eat red beans.
Anne, what do you want me to do?
Oh, Jack, Jack, you haven’t been
sure. You’ve gone from one thing to
the other… a year at law school,
and now this job as a reporter…
Are you afraid I can’t make a living?
Oh, no, Jack, it isn’t that. I don’t
care about the money. It… it’s
just that I… I want you to be
What is it you want me to be?
I don’t know. It’s just that I want
you to be… to do… something
Jack looks up at the portrait of Governor Stanton.
Like your father. All right. I’ll
run for governor.
Anne, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I said
All right, Jack. I’ll go away with
you. I’ll do anything you want me to
Anne, I’ve wanted you to say that
more than anything in the world, and
now that you’ve said it… Anne, I
guess you were right. I’m not sure
of anything, including myself. I’m
not sure I could live up to the…
(looks again at the
Anne, wait for me. Please wait for
I’ll wait for you.
Interior: Madison’s Office, Day
Madison is at his desk as Jack enters.
Hello, Jack. Cut your vacation short,
By the way, Jack, the fellow you
wrote the articles about… uh…
Well, I guess that’s the end of Willie
He turns around and walks off toward his desk.
Interior: Stark Farmhouse, Night
Lucy and Willie are seated together at the table. Willie has
his law books open before him.
…Measure of the damages is caused
Of an agreement…
Of an agreement…
To sell personal property…
(slams the book shut)
Oh, two years of this.
(leaning over to him)
Oh, go on, Willie, go on.
He opens the book again.
Interior: Willie’s Law Office (Kanoma City), Day
Willie positions the framed diploma on the wall. The camera
pulls back to show Tom and Lucy, looking on.
Willie Stark… Bachelor of Law…
Exterior: Kanoma City Farm, Day
Close shot of Willie, talking to a farmer.
If you’ll just let me take your
Exterior: Farm, Day
Willie walks beside a farmer who is plowing his field.
Really, I’ll wait for my fee. Just
as long as you want me to.
Interior: Willie’s Law Office, Night
Through the window, on which is printed “Willie Stark:
Attorney at Law,” we see Willie, alone, pacing back and forth
in his office.
Go on, Willie, go on.
They’re not going to kick me around
like I was dirt.
If you lose you can give a little
more time studying your law books.
I’m going to be on that same street
corner tomorrow, Mr. Duffy!
By all means. Free speech, free
That brick factory is owned by a
brother-in-law of one of the
commissioners. The county
commissioners rejected the low bid
on the schoolhouse.
Willie crumples a piece of paper in his hand and tosses it
against the window.
Exterior: Schoolhouse (Kanoma City), Day
A plaque on the school wall reads KANOMA CITY GRAMMAR SCHOOL
Interior: Schoolroom, Day
Teacher faces her class. The clanging of a fire bell is heard.
All right, children, this is a fire
The children rise and start to march out of the room in double
Remember now, walk quietly.
Exterior: Schoolhouse, Day
The children’s feet, as they climb down the fire escape.
Camera pans past children to an iron rod supporting the fire
escape. The brick around the rod starts to crumble and it
rips loose. The children scream out in fear and agony.
Exterior: Cemetery, Day
The whole town is there. Willie Stark, Lucy, Tom stand
modestly in the background. Quiet sobbing is heard as the
minister reads from the Bible. When he finishes the prayer,
he walks past the line of mourners, shaking their hands. The
ceremony is over. As they start to go, a man spots Willie,
goes over to him, and lifts Willie’s arm in the air.
Oh, Lord, I’m punished for voting
against an honest man.
This sudden action brings response; women begin to cry and
people push their way forward to grab Willie by the hand.
VOICES OF THE MOURNERS
God bless you, Willie. If we had
only listened to you, Willie. You
were right, Willie. Let me shake
your hand, Willie. We should have
listened, Willie. You were right all
On Willie’s face is the realization that something important
has happened to him.
Interior: Stark Farmhouse, Night
An article is pasted in a scrapbook. It reads: “VOICE IN THE
WILDERNESS. Recent school tragedy is a potent reminder that
a man named Willie Stark…” A hand draws a pencil underneath
A voice in the wilderness. A man
named Willie Stark…
Camera pulls back to show Willie at the table busy with his
scrapbook. He looks up at Lucy.
How about that, Lucy, that’s me.
She looks at him, unsmiling, and sits down to help him clip
various articles from other papers.
Interior: Stark Farmhouse, Night
A series of clippings are being pasted in the scrapbook.
A. SCHOOL VICTIMS SUE COUNTY: STARK FILES DAMAGE SUIT
“Will prove graft cause of tragedy,” says Attorney Stark.
B. CITIZENS COMMITTEE FORMED
Draft Stark to lead fight to rid state of graft.
C. CITIZENS COMMITTEE DEMANDS STATE-WIDE INVESTIGATION
D. Large photograph of Willie. Under it, the caption: RURAL
AREAS IN REVOLT
Interior: Madison’s Office, The Chronicle, Day
The clippings are spread out on Madison’s desk. He looks up
Get up there. Get up there fast.
Your friend, Willie, is hotter than
Jack starts toward the door.
Stay there with him.
Interior: Harrison’s Political Headquarters (State Capital),
A politician points to a map on the wall.
Look, before this Kanoma City business
we had this whole area tied up. Now
we’re losing to Hickville.
Camera pulls back, revealing the candidate, Harrison, Tiny
Duffy, and a woman, Sadie Burke.
We must find a way to split that
Well, all I know is, the way it is
now it looks like I’m not going to
I know a way… find a dummy.
Find a dummy.
(looks at Harrison)
That’s what we’ve got.
A guy from the sticks… strong enough
to grab some votes and dumb enough
not to ask questions.
If you want to listen to a boy from
the sticks, I know just the guy.
They crowd around to listen.
Interior: Stark Farmhouse, Day
Jack sits at the dinner table, with Willie and Lucy. Tom
stands next to Willie. Pappy dozes in his chair.
No more politics, eh, Willie?
No, I worked too hard in my time to
get there. I think I’ll just go on
practicing law and make a little
The question I’d like to know is,
why all the speeches you’re making
around the countryside?
Willie is about to answer when he hears the sound of
Wonder who that is?
He goes to the window, and we see a big black limousine
turning into his drive. He opens the door and waits as Sadie,
Duffy, Dolph Pillsbury, and other politicians climb the steps
to meet him.
Brought some people all the way up
from the state capital just to meet
(turns to others)
Folks, I want you to meet Willie
Stark, the next governor of our state.
Willie, Lucy, and Tom beam happily. Jack looks skeptically
at Sadie, whose only reaction is to smile, politely.
Exterior: Country Road, Day
Close shot of three posters on a billboard. They read ELECT
JOE HARRISON (HAPPY JOE) GOVERNOR FOR GOVERNOR ELECT McMURPHY
WILLIE STARK FOR GOVERNOR.
The camera pans to the road, where an old Model T comes
bouncing along. As it passes we see a poster stuck on its
back: WILLIE STARK — GOVERNOR.
Exterior: Railroad Station, Day
Willie Stark walks out on the platform at the rear of the
train and talks to some of the townspeople who have gathered
at the station.
Folks, if you’ll just bear patiently
with me for a couple of minutes, I’d
like to tell you what this state
needs. It needs a balanced tax
program. Now I’d like to give you
the facts and the figures.
Some of the townspeople start to move away.
Interior: Train, Day
As the train pulls away from the station, Willie turns around
How did it sound, Jack?
Fine, Willie, fine.
Say… I forgot to send a telegram
to Lucy… Conductor!
Jack and Sadie exchange looks.
Interior: Train Club Car, Day
Willie, jacket off, works over a speech with Duffy as
Pillsbury and Sadie look on.
Now right here… right here I’d
like to add something about last
year’s taxes… eh?
I wouldn’t add a thing. Just give
them the facts.
Yeah… and the figures.
Sadie sips her drink.
Exterior: Street Corner (Upton), Day
Willie stands on a platform, next to an American flag, reading
from his prepared speech.
What this state needs is a balanced
tax program. Last year, last year
the state claimed to have spent on
Sadie turns and walks away, no longer able to listen. Jack
follows her toward the hotel.
Interior: Hotel Lobby (Upton), Day
As Jack and Sadie cross the street, enter the lobby, and sit
down next to the front window. We can still see Willie and
his small street-corner audience in the background.
Do you mind if I sit with you, Sadie?
Thanks… Tell me, what are you on
this merry-go-round for?
I take notes.
For those who pay me.
Oh, yeah. Anybody that pays me is
You don’t have to be smart to frame
a guy like Willie Stark.
No. No, brother, you don’t.
(lights a cigarette)
It is a frame, isn’t it?
Why don’t you give me a cigarette?
(gives her the pack)
To split the vote and win the election
for Harrison, huh?
If you know, why do you ask?
I just want to make sure.
Look, why don’t you tell the boys
back home to save their money. Willie
couldn’t steal a vote from… from
Abe Lincoln in the Cradle of the
I wish the poor… had enough sense
to have somebody give him a good
greasing for the beating he’s going
to get. ‘Cause this way all he gets
out of it is the ride.
(looks at Willie
through the window)
Hey, those speeches! Ain’t they awful?
Ain’t they just plain awful? Question
to you: if somebody told him he was
a sucker, do you think he’d quit?
Willie has just finished his speech and is on his way over
to the hotel.
I don’t know, Sadie. I really don’t
(as he comes into the
Did it sound all right, Mr. Burden?
Fine, Willie, fine.
He and Jack go upstairs together. Sadie watches them.
Interior: Sadie’s Hotel Room (Upton), Night
Sadie lies on her bed, listening to Willie in the next room,
rehearsing one of his speeches.
Now, friends, if you will bear
patiently with me for a few minutes,
I’ll give you the figures. What we
need is a balanced tax program…
No, Willie, no.
Sadie pulls off a shoe and hurls it at the wall.
What I need is some sleep. Shut up!
Interior: Jack’s Hotel Room (Upton), Same Time
Willie lies on his bed. Jack finishes shaving in the bathroom
as he continues to rehearse him.
(shouting back at
Shut up yourself!
(goes to bed, shakes
Listen, Willie, try it on your feet
Oh, no. Wait a minute. My feet are
killing me. Let me stay here, huh?
All right… Look, Willie, you tell
‘em too much. Just tell ‘em you’re
going to soak the fat boys and forget
the rest of the tax stuff.
That’s what I say.
But it’s the way you say it. Willie,
make ‘em cry. Make ‘em laugh, make
‘em mad, even mad at you. Stir ‘em
up and they’ll love it and come back
for more. But for heaven’s sake don’t
try and improve their minds.
A man don’t have to be governor.
A man don’t have to be governor.
Well, they haven’t counted up the
Oh, I’m going to lose, Mr. Burden. I
know that. Don’t try and fool me.
I’m not going to lie to you. I wanted
it. I wanted it so badly I stayed up
nights thinking about it. A man wants
something so badly he gets mixed up
in knowing what he wants. It’s
something inside of you. I would
have made a good governor. Better
than those other fellows.
There is a knock on the door.
(almost to himself)
A great governor.
Sadie enters. She immediately spots the liquor, and pours
herself a drink.
Since you won’t let me sleep you
might at least give me a drink.
Build them highways… greatest system
of highways in the country.
I’ll build schools.
Nothing… except Willie here has
been saying as how he’s not going to
(directly, to Jack)
So you told him.
I don’t tell anyone anything… I
(goes to Willie)
Who told you?
Told me what? Told me what?
That you’re not going to be governor.
Jack! Told me what?… Told me what?
Jack says nothing. Sadie gulps down her drink, bangs the
empty glass on the bureau top, and turns to face Willie.
All right! That you’ve been framed,
you poor sap.
Willie looks at her steadily for a moment.
And how! Oh, you decoy, you woodenhead
decoy! And you let ‘em. You let ‘em
because you thought you were the
little lamb of God. But you know
what you are?
(she waits for his
answer; he has none)
Well, you’re the goat! You are the
sacrificial goat! You are a sap…
because you let ‘em.
Sadie! That’s enough.
Enough? He didn’t even get anything
out of it. Oh, they’d have paid you
to take a rap like that, but they
didn’t have to pay a sap like you.
Oh, no, you were so full of yourself
and hot air, all you wanted was a
chance to stand up on your hind legs
and make a speech: my friends, what
this state needs is a good five-cent
cigar. What this state needs is a —
Is it true?
(prayerfully, to the
He wants to know if it’s true.
Is it true?
That’s what they tell me.
There is a long pause. Willie looks almost as if he is going
to cry. Sadie pours out another drink, a stiff one.
(handing it to him)
Willie drinks it all.
Hey, lay off that. You’re not used
He’s not used to a lot of things.
Are you, Willie?
Why don’t you lay off of him, Sadie?
Are you, Willie? Are you? Are you…
are you, are you, are you?
She shoves the bottle at him. He takes it and pours himself
Interior: Sadie’s Hotel Room (Upton), Morning
Willie is snoring on the bed. Sadie’s coat is thrown over
him. She is in the bathroom, applying lipstick. Jack enters.
Well, things seem to have quieted
Yeah, I quieted him down.
Yeah. How was he? Noisy?
Oh, he reared some. He’s been telling
me all the things he’s going to do.
He’s going to do big things, this
fella. He’s going to be President.
He’s going to kill people with his
bare hands. I quieted him down…
Hey! Who’s Lucy?
He talks like she’s his mammy…
she’s going to blow his nose for
Jack sits on the bed next to Willie.
Well, I’ll take him from here on in.
They’re waiting for him at the
Sadie pulls her coat off Willie and goes to the door.
Yeah, well give me a receipt for the
body and I’ll be on my way.
She leaves. Jack bends over Willie, who continues to snore.
Hey, Willie, Willie… come on, wake
up, Willie. Come on, Willie.
Exterior: Fairgrounds (Upton), Day
A crowd mills about underneath a banner that reads HEAR WILLIE
STARK MAMMOTH BARBECUE — UPTON FAIRGROUNDS
Exterior: Fairgrounds, Day
Willie, staggering a bit, hung over, reacts painfully to the
staggering height of the Ferris wheel. He leans on Jack for
support, and they walk on.
Exterior: Fairgrounds, Day
Willie takes a seat on the children’s swing as Jack goes off
to get some coffee. Two little girls stare curiously at him.
Willie waves them off. Jack returns with the coffee and pours
some whisky in it. Willie tips his hand, forcing him to pour
more, then gulps his drink down.
Exterior: Bandstand (Upton), Day
Duffy, Pillsbury, and the other politicians stand on the
platform, waiting for Willie. A band plays march music. Duffy
goes over to Sadie, who is standing on the steps of the
Where is he?
There he is.
Escorted by Jack, Willie approaches the platform and stumbles
up the steps past Sadie.
Is he drunk?
Never touches the stuff. Lucy doesn’t
Duffy follows Willie up on the platform.
How’d you get him here? He was out
Hair of the dog that bit him.
Hair? He must have swallowed the
On the platform, Duffy looks uneasily at the bleary-eyed
Willie. The band suddenly plays a fanfare, and the chairman
steps up to the microphone.
Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me a
great deal of pleasure to introduce
to you that true man of the people,
the next governor of the state…
There is scattered applause as Willie steps forward to speak.
He turns his face from side to side, and fumbles in the right
side of his coat pocket to fish out his speech.
My friends… I…
He tries to focus on the speech, which he clutches before
his eyes with both hands. Then he lifts his head, and looks
directly at the people who have come to hear him. As he
speaks, the camera focuses on the faces of these people: the
farmers, workers, hicks, red-necks who are Willie’s audience,
I have a speech here. It’s a speech
about what this state needs. There’s
no need in my telling you what this
state needs. You are the state and
you know what you need… You over
there… look at your pants. Have
they got holes in the knees? Listen
to your stomach. Did you ever hear
it rumble from hunger?… And you,
what about your crops? Did they ever
rot in the field because the road
was so bad you couldn’t get them to
market?… And you. What about your
kids? Are they growing up ignorant
as dirt, ignorant as you, ‘cause
there’s no school for them?… No,
I’m not going to read you any speech.
He throws his speech away. Duffy looks alarmed.
But I am going to tell you a story.
It’s a funny story…
(from the steps)
…So get ready to laugh.
What’s he up to?
Get ready to bust your sides laughing,
‘cause it’s sure a funny story. It’s
about a hick… a hick like you, if
you please. Yeah, like you. He grew
up on the dirt roads and gully washes
of a farm. He knew what it was to
get up before dawn and get feed and
slop and milk before breakfast…
and then set out before sunup and
walk six miles to a one-room, slab-
sided schoolhouse. Oh, this hick
knew what it was to be a hick, all
right. He figured if he was going to
get anything done, he had to do it
himself. So he sat up nights and
studied books. He studied law because
he thought he might be able to change
things some… for himself, and for
folks like him.
Sugar Boy listens intently, sharing in the anger in Willie’s
No, I’m not going to lie to you. He
didn’t start off thinking about the
hicks and all the wonderful things
he was going to do for them. No. No,
he started off thinking of number
one. But something came to him on
the way. How he could do nothing for
himself without the help of the
people. That’s what came to him. And
it also came to him, with the powerful
force of God’s own lightning, back
in his home country, when a
schoolhouse collapsed because it was
built of politics… rotten brick.
It killed and mangled a dozen kids.
But you know that story. The people
were his friends because he fought
that rotten brick. And some of the
politicians down in the city, they
knew that… So they rode up to his
house in a big, fine, shiny car and
said as how they wanted him to run
Jack, electrified, grips Sadie’s arm.
Sadie, he’s wonderful… wonderful…
Duffy fidgets as Willie continues to pace and speak, his
face filled with conviction, and with fury.
…So they told the hick… and he
swallowed it. He looked in his heart
and he thought in all humility how
he’d like to try and change things.
He was just a country boy who thought
that even the plainest, poorest man
can be governor if his fellow citizens
find he’s got the stuff for the job.
Well, those fellows in the striped
pants… they saw the hick and they
took him in.
He points his finger at Duffy, who is coming over to speak
Willie, what are you trying to do?
Willie turns on him, roaring.
There he is! There’s your Judas
(he pushes Duffy across
Look at him… lickspittle… nose-
Duffy gestures frantically to the band.
(pushing him again)
Look at him!
The band starts to play, adding to the pandemonium. Willie
shouts above it.
Look at him! Joe Harrison’s dummy!
Look at him!
That’s a lie!
Look at him!
Duffy signals to some of his goons standing near the platform.
Go get him, boys… go get him.
Sugar Boy leaps up on the platform, his pistol drawn and
pointed at Duffy’s men. Willie throws up his arms to silence
Now, shut up! Shut up, all of you.
Now, listen to me, you hicks. Yeah,
you’re hicks too, and they fooled
you a thousand times, just like they
fooled me. But this time I’m going
to fool somebody. I’m going to stay
in this race. I’m on my own and I’m
out for blood.
The camera moves in close on Willie’s face.
Listen to me, you hicks…
Exterior: Willie’s Speeches, Day and Night
A series of close-ups of Willie’s face as he shouts and jeers
his message, always accompanied by the loud and frenzied
cheers of the crowd. Superimposed over his face is the figure
of Jack Burden, at his desk, typing out his stories.
Listen to me and lift up your eyes
and look at God’s blessed and
unflyblown truth… And this is the
truth. You’re a hick. And nobody
ever helped a hick but a hick himself.
Loud cheers and yells.
All right, listen to me… listen to
me. I was the hick they were going
to use to split the hick vote. But
I’m standing right here now on my
hind legs… even a dog can learn to
do that. Are you standing on your
hind legs? Have you learned to do
that much yet? Here it is, here it
is, you hicks. Nail up anybody who
stands in your way! Nail up Joe
Harrison! Nail up McMurphy! And if
they don’t deliver, give me a hammer
and I’ll do it myself.
There is a photograph of Willie and a headline that reads
STARK CHANCES BOOMING
Superimposed over the newspaper is a shot of a crowd
applauding and yelling for Willie.
Interior: Joe Harrison’s Campaign Headquarters, Night
Duffy, Pillsbury, and other aides stand looking at a poster
I want his throat cut, from ear to
Exterior: Willie’s Campaign Montage
Rock crashes through a window, knocking down a poster of
Poster being torn off the side of a building.
A man is attacked as he tries to distribute leaflets.
Exterior: Jack Burden’s Desk, The Chronicle, Night
Jack is working on a story when Madison comes to his desk.
No use going any further, Jack. We
aren’t printing them any more.
I thought the Chronicle line was —
Divide and conquer? Stark is getting
too big for his britches and the
hicks are getting too smart. We’re
now supporting Harrison.
How do you square that?
I work here.
(putting on his coat)
Well, I don’t… not any more.
Jack, you fool.
If you had any guts you’d print
I work here. I take orders.
I know. You’ve got a wife and three
kids and your boy goes to Princeton.
You won’t find it easy to get another
I’m too rich to work.
Exterior: Street Outside State Capitol, Day
NEWSPAPER HEADLINE READS
HARRISON WINS CLOSE RACE
STARK SWEEPS RURAL AREAS
CITY VOTE DECIDES ELECTION
Superimposed over newspaper is a crowd cheering at Harrison’s
victory parade. Willie, raincoat thrown over his shoulders,
looking grim, and Sadie and Sugar Boy are part of that crowd.
They turn away and walk toward a bar.
Interior: Bar, Day
Jack is already at the bar. Willie, Sadie, and Sugar Boy
join him there.
We didn’t do so good.
(sitting next to Jack)
Same for me.
And a beer.
I hear you got fired from the paper.
You heard wrong, Willie. I quit.
(passing the beer
back to Sugar Boy)
You’re smart. ‘Cause before I’m
through with that mob they’re not
going to have enough money left to
pay the boy that cleans the spittoons.
How do you feel, Willie?
I feel fine, fine. You see, Jack, I
Willie and Sadie exchange looks.
Close shot of Willie.
How to win.
Exterior: Road, Day
Jack stands on the side of the road, thumbing a ride.
I didn’t see Willie again until his
second campaign… four years later.
Interior: Office, Night
Jack turns in some copy to a man at a desk.
I drifted from job to job…
Exterior: Street, Day
Jack and others in front of an employment agency.
…That is, whenever I could find
Interior: Bar, Night
Jack, at the bar, looking haggard and disheveled, picks up a
newspaper and turns to find a photograph of Anne. The caption
reads STANTONS ARRIVE HOME.
But always further and further away
from Anne, and the life at Burden’s
Exterior: Street, Day
Camera pans with Jack as he trudges along the street.
But Willie wasn’t drifting. He knew
where he was going.
We see an insert of a newspaper. It has a caricature of
Willie, swinging a sledge hammer. The caption reads
STARK ATTACKS ADMINISTRATION
CHARGES OLD MACHINE STILL CORRUPT
He had his foot in the door and he
kept right on pushing to get in. He
had lost the election but he had won
the state… and he knew it… and
the people knew it.
MONTAGE: WILLIE’S LIFE
Writing on a fence: THE PEOPLE’S WILL SHOULD BE THE LAW OF
THE STATE… WILLIE STARK Painted on a rock: KNOWLEDGE BELONGS
TO THE PEOPLE… WILLIE STARK
Lettering on a barn: FREE MEDICINE FOR ALL PEOPLE — NOT AS
A CHARITY BUT AS A RIGHT… WILLIE STARK
Poster on a building: MY STUDY IS THE HEART OF THE PEOPLE…
They were all hopping on his
bandwagon… even Tiny Duffy.
Newspaper caricature: it shows Willie on a bandwagon headed
for the state capitol. Everyone is trying to climb aboard.
Caption is THEY’RE ALL FOR WILLIE NOW. Huge poster on the
side of a building: MY STUDY IS THE HEART OF THE PEOPLE.
Camera pans up to photograph of Willie on the poster.
Yep, Willie came back like he said
Interior: Willie’s Office, Day
Willie is being interviewed by a group of reporters. Sugar
Boy lounges nearby, leaning against the wall.
Do you want to know what my platform
is? Here it is: I’m going to soak
the fat boys and I’m going to spread
Exterior: Circus Grounds, Day
We see balloons with inscriptions reading “I’m for Willie,”
and a large banner stretching overhead, saying FREE CIRCUS
TODAY — COMPLIMENTS OF WILLIE STARK. The crowd moves about,
gazing at the clowns, animals, the trapeze act.
Willie was right — he’d learned how
Exterior: Park, Day
A truck loaded with beer kegs pulls into the park. On the
back of the truck is a sign: BIG STARK RALLY TODAY — FREE
BEER — FREE FOOD — EVERYBODY INVITED. Superimposed over
this is the image of dollar bills floating through the air.
He spent a lot of money doing it…
an awful lot of money… I was
beginning to wonder where he got it
Montage: Willie’s Second Campaign
Hand holding check made payable to Willie Stark Campaign
Fund… $7000. Willie’s hand reaches out and takes it.
Hand holding check payable to cash for $5000. Superimposed
is Willie, looking on, and his hand endorsing the back of
Another check to the Stark Campaign Fund for $3500. Poster
of Willie is superimposed.
There were rumors throughout the
state that Willie was making deals
with all kinds of people… strange
deals… for Willie Stark.
Crowd milling about circus grounds, with Willie’s poster
Fireworks exploding. Crowd cheers.
The second time out, it wasn’t a
campaign… it was a slaughter. It
was Saturday night in a mining town.
Huge poster is affixed to the side of a building. It bears
Willie’s face, and his slogans.
Exterior: Hotel (State Capital), Day
Crowd stands about as Willie and Jack make their way into
He came back and he took me with
Interior: Hotel Lobby, Day
The lobby is packed as Willie, Jack, Sugar Boy, and Pillsbury
enter. Willie makes signals to Duffy to tag along with the
entourage. Willie leans over to speak to the room clerk.
This is Jack Burden, a friend of
mine. From now on he’s going to live
here. Give him anything he wants.
The group starts up the stairs, past the officers who are
standing guard. Duffy stops to speak to one, pointing his
finger at some of his men standing below.
Let these boys through, officer.
Duffy works for me now.
It looks like everybody works for
They start up the second flight of stairs.
No. No, not yet. But I want to keep
him around. He reminds me of something
I never want to forget.
Willie stops and looks around at Duffy’s men hurrying up the
Come on, come on, come on, come on.
Are these the boys?
These are the boys that can get the
How many do you think we can get?
Five dollars a head.
(to Sugar Boy)
What do you think, Sugar? Do they
look like good boys?
T-t-they b-b-better be.
Get a hundred… All right, go on,
all of you. Blow. Blow, blow. You
too, Duffy. Go on.
Duffy and his men turn and go downstairs.
If they all look like them I’d hate
not to take one.
That’s the object. Not like when
they beat up my boy Tom.
How is Tom?
Oh, he’s fine. He starts college in
Oh. And Lucy?
Willie’s expression changes. He starts up the stairs.
Interior: Willie’s Campaign Office In Hotel, Day
The place is a beehive of activity, with typists and
messengers scurrying about, all supervised by Sadie.
Hey, I need a boy… Where’s a boy?
(boy runs up)
Take that downstairs; they’re waiting
for it. Right away, on the double.
Listen, baby, you’ve got to double-
space all of this… he can’t read,
The door opens and Willie, Jack, and Sugar Boy come in.
And they need four copies.
Hi, Jack. How are you?
Sadie is my secretary now.
(to messenger, trying
to squeeze by)
Oh, pardon me.
As Willie and Jack walk toward adjoining room, Sadie calls
Fix your tie, Willie.
Interior: Bedroom Hotel Suite, Day
Willie and Jack enter from the office.
Sugar Boy appears in the doorway. Sadie slips by into the
Keep everybody out of here. I want
to talk to Jack and Sadie alone.
He walks over to Jack, who leans back on the bed.
From now on you’re working for me.
I don’t know. Something will turn
up, won’t it, Sadie?
Yeah. We need a college man around…
How much did they pay you on that
Three hundred dollars a month.
I could buy you cheap, couldn’t I?
For a bag of salt.
No. No, I don’t play that way. I
like you, boy. I always have. I’ll
tell you what I’ll do. I’ll give you
four hundred dollars a month and
You throw money around like it was
Willie gets up and walks to the window.
Money?… I don’t need money. People
give me things.
Because they believe in me.
Exterior: Burden’s Landing, Day
Willie’s car is on the ferry crossing the bay to Burden’s
Landing. Sugar Boy drives the car off the ferry and up the
road toward the house.
I was going home again. But this
time it was different. Now I had a
feeling that maybe the waiting was
over… for me, and for Anne.
Interior: Stanton Living Room (Burden’s Landing), Night
Close shot of Willie standing in front of the fireplace,
beneath the portrait of Governor Stanton.
It’s a far cry from where I come
from… to this house.
Camera pulls back. The room is crowded with people, all of
them friends of the Stantons. Anne, Adam, Judge Stanton,
Mrs. Burden, and McEvoy are part of the audience sitting
around the fireplace. Jack stands next to Willie.
And standing here under the portrait
of one of the greatest governors of
this state, talking to you people…
well, it’s an honor I never thought
Are there any questions?
No, I have no questions.
A few… but it will hold.
I have a question.
A lot of people in this state have
been saying that you’ve been making
deals… some of them with the very
groups that you claim you’re against.
Is that true?
Adam, you know how rumors start…
Yes. Yes, that’s true. I have nothing
to hide. I’ll make a deal with the
devil if it’ll help me carry out my
program. But believe me, there are
no strings attached to those deals.
You’re sure about that?
Doc, Jack here has been telling me
how you feel about things… how
you’d like to see a new hospital
built, a hospital that’s the biggest
and best that money can buy. You
want those things, Doc, because,
well, because you’re a man who wants
to do good. Now, I’d like to ask you
The guests laugh good-naturedly.
Do you know what good comes out of?
You tell me, Mr. Stark.
Out of bad… that’s what good comes
out of. Because you can’t make it
out of anything else. You didn’t
know that, did you?
No, I didn’t… There’s another
question I’d like to ask you. You
say there’s only bad to start with
and the good must come with the bad.
Who’s to determine what’s good and
what’s bad?… You?
Why, that’s easy. Just… just make
it up as you go along.
More laughter. Willie smiles and goes on.
Folks, there’s a time to talk and
there’s a time to act. I think the
time to act is right now. And with
your support, I not only will win
but I will do all of the things I
promised. I need your help. Oh, I
need it badly. But I’m not going to
beg for it. In the name of this state
which we love… in the name of the
governor in whose house we meet… I
There is immediate applause. Anne is the first to rush over
and shake Willie’s hand.
Exterior: Stanton Home, Night
The last of the guests are leaving. Jack and Willie remain
with the Judge, Anne, and Adam.
Well, what do you say, sir?
You’ve got to say yes. With you in
I’m an old bird… I…
But a game one.
Look, I’ll give you complete power
as attorney general. You can do
anything you see fit. I’ll swing the
ax to clear the way for you. Is that
The Judge smiles, then puts out his hand.
It’s a deal.
They shake hands.
Jack, we have to get back to town…
a lot to do.
(shakes hands with
Jack kisses Anne on the cheek. Anne comes over and shakes
I’m very glad to have met you.
Interior: Hotel Lobby (State Capital), Day
People stand before the election return board in the hotel
lobby. Camera pulls back, revealing a newspaper picture of
Willie, and the headline
STARK ELECTED GOVERNOR
Exterior: Street Outside Willie’s Hotel Balcony, Night
A crowd stands below Willie’s hotel window, chanting together:
We want Willie! We want Willie!
A high angle from the balcony shows Anne, Jack, and Adam in
the center of the excited crowd, looking expectantly upward.
Some of the people around them are carrying torches. Arc
lights play over the dome of the state capitol in the
background. In response to the chants, Willie appears on the
balcony. With him, standing on the balcony, are Tom and Lucy.
The crowd erupts into cheers as he steps outside.
(raises his hands for
This is not a time for speechmaking.
I should get on my knees and ask God
to give me strength to carry out
Loud cheers. Adam watches Anne. She applauds. Willie looks
down at the crowd and continues his speech.
This much I swear to you. These things
you shall have. I’m going to build a
hospital. The biggest that money can
buy… and it will belong to you.
That any man, woman, or child who is
sick or in pain can go through those
doors and know that everything will
be done for them that man can do. To
heal sickness. To ease pain. Free.
Not as a charity, but as a right.
And it is your right that every child
shall have a complete education.
That any man who produces anything
can take it to market without paying
toll. And no poor man’s land or farm
can be taxed or taken away from him.
And it is the right of the people
that they will not be deprived of
The crowd applauds, and Willie waves. We see Anne, face aglow,
turn to Jack.
Does he mean it, Jack? Does he?
(as he walks away)
That’s his bribe.
Anne and Jack watch Adam as he leaves.
Montage: Willie Becomes Governor
Willie, Sadie, and Jack leaving their old campaign
Willie, Sadie, Jack, and others going upstairs in the
governor’s mansion. The ousted politicians are just packing
up and leaving.
What if it was his bribe! He swept
the old gang out of office. What if
they hollered like stuck pigs? He
jammed through bill after bill and
the people got what they wanted.
Willie yelling at the legislators during a session.
I demand that this bill be passed.
Nobody’s going to tell me how to run
Road excavation — a bulldozer clears away dirt.
A huge crane maneuvers over a dam site. Men are seen working
on the girders of a large power plant.
He started to build the roads, the
schools, the power dams, to change
the face of the state from one end
to the other… His methods?
Shots of uniformed policemen roughing up citizens. Willie
and Sugar Boy move in on a man being held by cops.
Willie looks on as Jack thumbs through his little black book.
Politics is a dirty game… and he
played it rough and dirty. Willie’s
little black book was a record of
sin and corruption. And me, Jack
Burden? I kept the book and added up
Willie in a nightclub, surrounded by some show girls. A
photographer takes a picture of Willie with a girl balanced
on his knee.
Willie leads a marching band out onto a football field.
Clown, show-off, playboy, they yelled
at him. Building football stadiums.
Fiercely proud of his son who played
Shot of Tom in football uniform running across the field
with the ball. Willie, in the stands, hugs Lucy.
Oh, look at him go. He’s going to be
Willie makes an inspection of the police. He stops to adjust
an officer’s tie.
They said he was building up a private
army. But he was building, always
Sign at building excavation reads HERE ON THIS SITE WILL BE
ERECTED THE GOVERNOR STARK HOSPITAL — “TO HEAL SICKNESS. TO
EASE PAIN. FREE. NOT AS A CHARITY — BUT AS A RIGHT”… WILLIE
Always playing up to the crowd.
Letting them trample on tradition.
Well, tradition needed trampling on.
A square dance at the governor’s mansion. Willie dances with
The crowd loved it… Willie loved
it… and so did I.
Interior: Executive Office Corridor, Day
Jack walks down the corridor on the way to Willie’s offices.
Interior: Willie’s Executive Offices, Day
As Jack enters from the corridor, Sadie is coming out of
Willie’s private office.
(through open door)
You low-down, no-good redneck…
She slams the door hard. We hear Willie laugh.
What goes on here?
That’s what Sadie wants to know.
(she shows Jack
photograph of Willie
at the nightclub)
The boss poses for too many pictures.
Jack grins, then walks into Sadie’s office.
I’ll kill him.
Why, Sadie, I’m surprised at you.
I’ll kill him.
She goes to the door to yell to the secretary.
I hate all women.
She slams the door again, and returns to her desk.
Was she pretty?
Jack shoves the paper at her. She ignores it.
Was she pretty?
If I met her on the street I’d never
Was she pretty?
How should I know? I wasn’t looking
at her face… Look, if it’s going
to cause all this grief, why don’t
you let him go?
Let him go? I’ll kill him. I’ll drive
him out of this state.
Just because a guy’s sitting with a
couple of girls on his knees in
Public or private… I know him. How
about what happened in Chicago? That
girl on skates… and the time you
both went to St. Louis… There’s a
new invention, you know, Photography
and newsreels. Willie Stark in a
nightclub… Willie Stark with a
You could always bleach your hair.
I could also break every bone in his
neck. After all I’ve done for him…
Now he goes two-timing me.
He’s been two-timing Lucy. So there’s
another kind of arithmetic for what
he’s doing to you.
If she had her way he’d be back in
Kanoma City slopping the hogs right
now. And he knows it. He knows what
she’d do for him. She had her chance.
You seem to think Lucy’s on her way
out, don’t you?
He’ll ditch her… Give him time.
You ought to know.
She slaps his face.
Hey, you got the wrong guy. I’m not
the hero of this piece.
The door to Willie’s office bursts open and Willie dashes
All right, come on, both of you.
Let’s go, hurry it up.
They go out through the reception room, pick up Sugar Boy,
and head down the corridor.
Come on. Pillsbury put his hand in
the pork barrel and got caught. You
know, I never did trust that guy.
Some newsmen are waiting on the top landing.
Have you heard about Pillsbury? What
do you intend to do about Pillsbury?
How about it, Governor?
Willie pushes by them.
Later, boys, later.
Say, Jack, go back and get the Judge.
Let’s get him over to my hotel just
as soon as you can.
They all hurry after Willie as he rushes down the stairs.
Interior: Lobby State Capitol, Day
Anne is about to go up the stairs when she meets Willie and
the others on the way down.
I waited for you.
(she sees Sadie)
(back to Willie)
You promised we could… uh… discuss
my charity project… Children’s
Well, I’m very sorry. Something very
important came up. You’ll call me
later, won’t you?
Anne watches as they cross the lobby and exit.
Interior: Stark’s Hotel Suite, Night
Close shot of Willie, seated, with his feet propped up on a
table. Pillsbury stands before him. Jack, Sadie, Duffy, and
Sugar Boy are also in the room.
Look at you, Pillsbury. Fifty years
old, gut-sprung, teeth gone, never
had a dime. If the Almighty had
intended for you to be rich he’d
have taken care of that a long time
ago. The idea of you being rich…
that’s plain blasphemy. Ain’t that a
Pillsbury doesn’t answer.
Louder, man. Don’t mumble. Speak up.
Say it’s a fact, a blasphemous fact.
It’s a fact, a blasphemous fact.
Sugar Boy laughs loudly. The phone rings and Sadie picks it
Yeah?… Oh, I see.
Dumond can’t come. He says his wife
I don’t care if she’s dying. Sugar,
get the car. Get him and bring him
Sugar Boy exists. Willie turns back to Pillsbury.
Now, you know what you’re supposed
to do, don’t you, Pillsbury? You’re
supposed to stay poor and take orders.
Oh, there’ll be some sweetening for
you from time to time… but Duffy’ll
take care of that. Don’t you go
setting yourself up on your own again,
do you understand that?
Louder, man. And say, I understand
I understand that.
Give him a pen and some paper, Sadie.
There is a knock on the door.
See who that is, Duffy.
Judge Stanton enters.
Oh, hello, Judge. Sit down. I’ll be
with you in just a couple of seconds.
(back to Pillsbury)
Now write what I tell you to write…
Dear Governor Stark. I wish to resign
as auditor due to ill health, to
take effect as soon as you can relieve
me. Respectfully yours.
(after a pause)
Did you sign it?
Well, sign it! Don’t put any date on
it. I can fill that in when I need
Pillsbury signs the paper.
Now bring it to me.
Pillsbury moves slowly, so Sadie yanks the paper out of his
hand and passes it to Willie.
Now get out.
Pillsbury slinks out of the room.
The papers have the story.
Yeah, I know.
They’re talking about impeachment
This time, Pillsbury.
I got that “this time,” Judge.
How true is it?
It’s too true.
The phone rings.
(hands phone to Willie)
This is it, Willie. Jeff Hopkins on
Willie takes the phone, but puts his hand over the mouthpiece
so that he can speak to Jack.
What have we got on Hopkins, Jack?
(as Jack riffles
through the black
Hello, Jeff. About that Pillsbury
(reads from black
book Jack holds out
Here’s what I want you to do when it
comes up in the legislature. Now,
wait a minute, wait a minute. You
listen to me.
(still reading from
You got a mortgage coming due on
that place of yours in about five
weeks, haven’t you? You’d like to
get it renewed, wouldn’t you?
All right, Tiny’ll talk to you in
He grins and hangs up the phone.
Get going, Tiny.
You haven’t answered my question.
Why are you saving Pillsbury’s hide?
I’m not a bit interested in
Pillsbury’s hide. It’s something
much more important than that. If
the McMurphy boys get the notion
they can get away with this, there’s
no telling where they’ll stop.
Or where you will… Pillsbury is
guilty. As attorney general of this
state, it’s my job to prosecute.
Judge, you talk like Pillsbury was…
was human. He isn’t. He’s a thing.
You don’t prosecute an adding machine
if the spring goes busted and makes
a mistake. You fix it. Well, I fixed
him. I’m not a bit interested in
Pillsbury. It’s something much bigger
Yes, it is.
He’s right, Judge. Can’t you see
that he’s right?
He’s right because you want him to
be right. Because you’re afraid to
admit you’ve made a mistake. Do it
now before it’s too late.
I’m offering my resignation as
attorney general. You’ll have it in
writing by messenger in the morning…
It took you a long time to make up
your mind, Judge. A long time. What
made you take such a long time?
I wasn’t sure.
And now you are?
The Judge nods.
I’ll tell you what you are. You’re
scared. You sat in that big easy
chair of yours for thirty years and
played at being a judge. Then all of
a sudden I came along and put a bat
in your hand, and I said, go ahead,
Judge, start swinging. And you did.
And you had a wonderful time. But
now you’re scared. You don’t want to
get your hands dirty. You want to
pick up the marbles… but you don’t
want to get your hands dirty. Look
at my whole program, Judge. How do
you think I put that across?
I knew how, but I never knew why.
He starts to leave.
You’re not by any chance thinking of
going over to McMurphy’s boys, are
I’m through with politics.
I’m happy to hear that.
(extends his hand)
No hard feelings.
(ignores the hand)
Are you coming with me, Jack?
Jack turns away.
You’re making a mistake.
He goes. Willie closes the door behind him.
Do you think he means it when he
says he’s through with politics,
No. No, I don’t.
What about you, Jack?
I’ve known the Judge all my life.
He’s always meant everything he’s
All right. All right. Take it easy.
I’ll take your word for it.
Exterior: Willie’s Hotel, Night
Willie’s car draws up to the curb. Sugar Boy hops out to
open the door for Willie.
Sadie is watching him from a window upstairs in the hotel.
Anne is in the back seat; Willie leans down to talk to her.
Sugar, take Miss Stanton home.
When am I going to see you again?
She doesn’t answer.
What’s the matter, Anne?
Please take me home now, Sugar Boy.
You’ve got to understand me.
I understand you. It’s myself I don’t
Do you think I like sneaking around
corners any more than you do? But
right now, with the Pillsbury business
and with your uncle quitting… If I
got a divorce…
Maybe we’d better stop seeing each
No. No, we won’t stop seeing each
other, will we?
Because you believe in what I tell
(puts her hand on his)
Because I believe what you tell me.
Good evening, Governor Stark.
(looks at Anne, but
talks to Willie)
I thought you might like to know
that Judge Stanton kept his promise.
(directly to Willie)
He gave the story to every paper in
Sugar, meet me at the hotel as soon
as you can.
ATTORNEY GENERAL RESIGNS:
STANTON ACCUSES STARK OF
QUASHING PILLSBURY GRAFT
Interior: State Legislature Assembly Room, Day
Duffy stands in the forground, looking in on the uproar and
confusion of the assembly.
These are serious charges that Judge
Stanton has given to the press. This
legislature is entitled to a complete
and full report on the Pillsbury
affair. Let the truth be known.
Let it come out.
I move that we adjourn.
I second the motion.
All those in favor, say aye… Motion
carried. The house is adjourned.
As Duffy turns and walks away, other senators rise up in
their seats in protest.
MONTAGE: PILLSBURY SCANDAL
Sign on building reads: CITIZENS COMMITTEE MEETING, Subject:
PILLSBURY SCANDAL, 8 P.M. Tonight — Town Hall.
A man pastes a strip across the sign: CANCELED.
A man is making a speech to a small group of people.
If you let Willie Stark get away
with the Pillsbury graft, there’s no
Thugs break up the meeting. The speaker is beaten up. Jack
Burden turns through the pages of the little black book.
Interior: Stark’s Hotel Suite, Day
Willie is lying on the bed. Jack is seated. Sadie and Sugar
Boy stand nearby.
But we beat the Pillsbury rap…
These things are never over. I’ll
tell you what I want you to do, Jack.
I want you to start a new page in
that black book of yours… under
then name of Judge Stanton.
You’re crazy. There’s nothing on the
Why? Because his name is Stanton?
What if I won’t do it?
You know, some of this has rubbed
off on you.
What are you going to do? Have me
No… no… but I’ll have to get
myself a new boy.
I tell you there’s nothing on the
Jack, there’s something on everybody.
Man is conceived in sin and born in
It’s a waste of time.
What’s the matter, Jack? Are you
afraid you might find something out?
Jack stares at him.
Exterior: Burden’s Landing Ferry, Night
Jack’s car is seen coming across on the ferry.
I kept saying to myself that Willie
was wrong about the Judge. If there
was anything left at Burden’s Landing,
it was honor. I had to believe that.
Interior: Stanton Living Room, Night
Jack and Anne stand together in the living room.
Anne, I want to ask you a question.
Was the Judge ever broke? Really
Why do you want to know?
I don’t want to know, but I’ve got
Did he tell you —
Did who tell me?
I don’t know. I… how should I know
if the Judge was ever broke?
She walks away from him. Adam enters, carrying bundles of
food and two wine bottles.
Hello… Come on, Anne, take this
food and start cooking. I’m hungry.
Anne takes the grocery bundles. Jack grabs the wine.
Me, I’m on the thirsty side. Bring
some glasses, Anne, quick.
He joins Adam, who has opened the piano.
It’s been a long time since I played
this thing. What do you say we wake
up the ghosts, huh?
(calling to Anne)
Another glass, Anne, for a ghost.
(starting to play)
Remember the last time I played this?
You and Anne were dancing?
Anne returns with three glasses. Jack grabs her around the
waist and whirls her around.
Shall we dance?
Let’s… let’s have a drink first.
Adam starts to pour the wine.
No, no… keep playing. Anne and I
want to hear this, don’t we, Anne?
(Jack pours the wine)
Adam… ghost… and me.
What shall we drink to?
To the ghost?… To Adam, to the
director of the new medical center.
(bangs the piano keys)
Don’t you ever stop working for him?
I came up here to get away…
I’m sorry, Adam.
Well, I’m not. What’s wrong with
being the director of the new medical
Nothing, except that I’m not going
to take it.
Why? Because your uncle resigned?
That’s partly it. There are other
What other things?
(looks at her)
Yes, me too.
Anne, if Adam doesn’t want to discuss
it, let’s not.
All right, let’s discuss it.
Calmly. Go ahead, Jack. Why do you
think he wants me?
Because you’re the best man for the
It could have nothing to do with my
name being Stanton?
It could have. Let’s grant that.
That’s your answer.
No, it’s not. If that were the only
answer I wouldn’t be with him any
more. There’s another side of it.
I’ve learned something from him. You
can’t make an omelet without cracking
But at least a hospital will be built,
and the sick will be cared for.
At what price?
At any price.
Do you really believe that, Jack?
I really believe that Stark wants to
do good. You do too. It’s a matter
of method. Many times out of evil
comes good. Well, pain is an evil.
As a doctor you should know that.
Pain is an evil; it is not evil. It
is not evil in itself. Stark is evil.
The people of the state don’t think
How would they know? The first thing
he did was to take over the newspapers
and the radio stations. Why be so
afraid of criticism? If Stark is
interested in doing good, he should
also be interested in the truth. I
don’t see how you can separate the
two. No, Stark is not for me.
No, Stark is not for you. Well, what
is for you? Pride. Pride, that’s all
it is… foolish, stupid pride. All
you’ve ever talked about is what you
could do if… if somebody would
tear down and build. All right, all
right, somebody has, and he’s given
it to you. But he’s not for you. No,
he’s not for you.
She throws down her glass and runs crying from the room.
Adam goes after her.
Interior: Stanton Hallway and Stairs, Night
Anne runs upstairs and Adam follows. The Judge comes out of
his room to see what has happened, sees Jack standing at the
foot of the stairs, hesitates a moment, and then goes back
to his room without speaking.
Interior: County Recorder Room, Day
Jack enters and speaks to a clerk, who then directs him to
one of the files. He starts to look through the files marked
Will I find anything, Judge? Will I?
I didn’t find it all at once. It
takes a long time to go through old
courthouse records and musty deeds…
a very long time. But it wasn’t too
hard for me. I was well trained in
research, especially this kind.
He pulls out a file.
I found what I didn’t want to find.
He takes the file back to the clerk.
Have some photostat copies made of
these. I’ll be back tomorrow for
Interior: Jack’s Hotel Bedroom, Day
Jack is lying on his bed, looking over the documents that
relate to the Judge. He looks haggard and worried. There is
a knock on the door. Jack doesn’t answer; the knock is
Who is it?
It’s me, Sadie Burke.
Wait a minute.
He hides the documents under his pillow.
All right, come in.
She comes in, sniffs the air.
Phew! Awful lot of smoke. Awful lot
of whisky. You sober?
I’ll have one with you.
(starts tidying up
What are you hiding out for?
I’m not. I’ve been sleeping.
For four days? You’ve been back in
town for four days.
Willie knows everything.
Willie’s worried about his boy.
Willie’s boy is worried about Willie’s
Well, why don’t you put something on
the phonograph — a low-down, mean
blues. Play it over and over again
until you’re sick of it. Then crack
it and go back to work.
I do it all the time.
That’s not my problem.
No, it isn’t your problem.
(gets up again)
I’ll wait for you if you want to
powder your nose.
Jack goes into the bathroom.
I’ll be with you in a minute.
Sadie wanders around. She goes to the dresser, upon which is
a photograph of Anne Stanton. She picks up the picture and
places it so she can see it in the mirror and compare it
with her own reflection.
Hmmm. Yeah, I can see it. I’ve got
to look in the mirror to be able to
see it. Soft, white skin… not like
(runs her hand across
I had smallpox when I was a kid.
Where I lived it seemed nearly all
the kids had smallpox…
Jack watches her through the open bathroom door.
It leaves your face hard. Then she’s
got poise. Look at the way she holds
her head… at just the right angle.
That takes training. That takes years
Jack, towel in hand, comes out and stands behind her. He
looks at her in the mirror, puzzled.
I see what Willie sees. Willie’s got
big ideas, Jack.
What do you mean?
A girl like that could be a governor’s
wife. Or even a President’s.
What are you talking about?
He ditched Lucy, he ditched me, and
he’ll ditch you.
He’ll ditch everybody in the whole
world because that’s what Willie
wants. Nobody in the world but him.
What are you talking about?
You and your high-tone friends. What
do they know? What do they know about
anything? Why did you have to mix
You’re crazy, Sadie. You’re out of
Am I? Well, why don’t you go down
and ask her. Or ask him. Ask Willie.
Go ahead, ask him.
He slaps her hard.
Ow-oo… oh… oh.
She starts to laugh.
Exterior: Football Field, Day
A football team is practicing on the field. Willie watches
from the bench. A player kicks the ball and Tom misses it.
Jack walks over to Willie.
He’s off today.
It’s only practice. He’ll be all
right tomorrow… You been gone a
long time, Jack.
Yeah. I figured if you needed me
Why’d you lay around the hotel?
What did you find on the Judge?
You sure you didn’t find anything on
Yeah, I’m sure.
You’re going to keep trying, aren’t
If you want me to.
I want you to. There’s something
else I want you to do too.
What? Bucket boy? Towel slinger?
(looks at him closely)
What’s eating you, Jack?
What else do you want me to do?
If you’ve got something on your mind,
boy, spit it out. We’ve been together
too long to play games.
What do you want me to do?
I hear your pal Adam Stanton turned
down the job as director of the
hospital. That’s bad. Especially at
a time like this.
Oh? How did you hear it?
Why? What difference does it make?
I just wanted to know.
I heard it around.
How did you hear he turned it down,
Out on the field the boys have stopped playing and are huddled
around the coach.
I’ll be right back, Jack. I want to
see what’s happening here.
He goes over to the group on the field. The coach is talking
You going to practice the way I tell
I’m going to do it the way I want to
Willie comes up to them.
Tom, come here. What’s going on here?
I don’t care if he is your son,
Governor… No special rules for
It doesn’t make any difference to me
either way… whether I play or not.
Well, it does to me.
What do you want him to do?
To behave himself. Like the rest of
the boys. Four times this season
he’s broken training. He comes on
the practice field half potted.
Tom, you’re going to have to obey
the rules. Do you hear me? You’re
going to obey the rules.
I put ‘em across, don’t I? Every
Saturday I put ‘em across and I can
still do it, drunk or sober. That’s
all you want, isn’t it… for me to
put ‘em across so you can big-shot
it around? Isn’t that all you want?
He walks away.
He’s a little high-strung.
(goes after Tom)
Tom, come here. Tom!
Exterior: Highway, Foggy Day
Sign in foreground reads: WILLIE STARK HIGHWAY U.S. 56. A
car swerves around a bend and careens down the highway.
Tom and his girl friend Helene are in the car. Tom is
Come on, Tommy… let’s go faster.
The car goes across a bridge, weaving. Two motorcycle cops
parked there start to give chase.
Tom’s car swerves out of control and crashes through a fence.
The two motorcycle cops ride out to the field to the wrecked
car. They find Tom and Helene, unconscious. One of the cops
picks up the empty bottle and hands it to the other.
(looking at Tom)
It’s the governor’s son.
He throws the bottle away.
GOVERNOR’S SON HURT:
GIRL NEAR DEATH IN CRASH
Below the headline is a picture of Helene Hale’s father.
Another picture of Mr. Hale on the front page. Caption reads:
GIRL’S FATHER CLAIMS DRUNK DRIVING CAUSE OF WRECK
ADMITTANCE TO HOSPITAL DENIED PRESS
Interior: Governor’s Mansion, Night
Lucy and Mr. Hale walk across the large reception room toward
Willie. Jack, Sugar Boy, and Duffy stand around in the
Willie, Mr. Hale’s here to see you.
Willie comes to meet them, a drink in his hand. He is
Go on upstairs, Lucy. I have some
business I want to talk over with
What I’ve got to say anybody can
listen to… Where’s your boy?
Now… now, don’t get excited.
(to Sugar Boy)
Get me another drink, Sugar.
My daughter may die.
She’s not going to die. She’ll get
the best medical attention there is.
No expense will be spared.
Where’s your boy?
I’ll get him.
Wait a minute, Lucy. He’s asleep.
And the doctor said after a good
night’s sleep he’ll be all right.
No, he won’t be all right unless you
make him all right. I’ll get him.
You care for a drink?
Accidents will happen, you know.
Accidents? Your boy was drunk.
I saw the police report. There…
there was nothing about drunkenness
on the police report.
Whose police and whose report? I say
the boy was drunk. And I know it.
Tom comes down the stairs, with Lucy.
Right here before your father… I
want you —
Mr. Hale —
Tom, the doctor says you need rest,
(turns on him)
I don’t want you to try to cover up
for me. I was wrong… that’s all
there is to it.
You don’t know what you’re talking
about. I saw the police report —
I don’t care what the police report
says. I was driving and I was drunk.
It’s all my fault.
Anything you want to do to me, you
can do. Whatever you want me to do,
Nobody has to do anything. Stop
worrying. I’ll take care of
I don’t want you to take care of
Tom looks ill; he presses his hand to his forehead.
Tom, go on upstairs and get some
rest, boy. Go on… go on… go on.
Tom walks slowly toward the stairs.
Sugar, help him… Mr. Hale, come on
over and sit down. You sure you
wouldn’t care for a drink, Mr. Hale?
Hale sits down, shakes his head.
Hey, Tiny, go home. Go on, out of
here… out of here. Go on.
Duffy leaves, disgruntled. Willie sits on a coffee table. He
pours himself another drink.
What business did you say you were
I didn’t say.
What business are you in?
Trucking business. Trucks run on
state roads. If a man in the trucking
business had a contract with the
state, a big one, that would be pretty
good, wouldn’t it?
Go on, Jack. Tell him what would
Jack is silent.
Go on, tell him.
You’re trying to bribe me, aren’t
No, no. No, I’m not trying to bribe
you. I’m… I’m only talking things
over with you, that’s all.
You’re pretty good at talking. I
remember when you first started
talking. A place called Upton. You
did a lot of talking then and the
things you said made sense, to me
and a lot of other people. I believed
in you… I followed you… and I
fought for you. Well, the words are
still good. But you’re not.
And I don’t believe you ever were.
He walks out of the room.
(after a pause)
Sugar, follow him. Keep calling in.
Sugar goes, leaving just Jack and Willie. Willie, very drunk,
tries to get up but falls against the piano.
He staggers up the long stairway. Halfway up he tumbles,
groaning. Jack helps him to his feet.
I’d like Anne to see you now. I’d
like Anne to see you now, you drunken
(drags him up the
Photograph of Helene Hale on front page. Headline reads:
GIRL CRASH VICTIM DIES
Under the photograph there is a caption:
FATHER MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARS AFTER BARING BRIBE OFFER BY
Exterior: Governor’s Mansion, Day
Willie, Jack, and Sugar Boy are accosted by a group of newsmen
as they come down the stairs.
What about the girl’s father,
Governor? Have you a statement to
All right, all right, gentlemen.
I’ll give you a statement. This whole
thing is a mess of lies. It’s a frame.
The man that made that statement…
have him repeat it to my face. He
can’t. He vanished. Let me ask you
some questions. Where has he gone?
Where is he?
Maybe you could answer those questions
Sugar Boy makes a move for the reporter but Willie holds him
I won’t dignify that question with
One more question, Governor… Where’s
At the football stadium, where he’s
supposed to be. He’s going to play
for State University, which this
administration is responsible for.
He’s not hiding from anybody,
gentlemen. He’ll be out there in
full view of seventy thousand cheering
(starts down the stairs)
One of which will be me. See you,
He leaves, followed by Jack and Sugar Boy.
Exterior: Football Field, Day
The game is in progress and the stands are packed. But there
is no cheering. Instead we hear boos, and shouts for Tom.
Where’s Stark? How about Tommy Stark?
Hey, Willie, send your boy in.
Exterior: Willie’s Box
Willie, Jack, Sugar Boy, and Lucy are in one box. Sadie and
Duffy sit in the adjoining one. Willie is standing up. The
crowd continues to heckle him.
Why don’t they put him in!
Come on, Willie… send your boy in.
A drunk comes over to his box.
What’s the matter, Willie… is your
little boy ashamed to show his face?
Willie signals angrily to the police.
Get that man out of here! Come on,
get him out of here.
The man is dragged away. The crowd boos, and Willie gets up
and leaves the box, followed by Jack.
Interior: Stadium Dressing Room, Day
Tom is sitting on one of the massage tables with a towel
around his shoulders as Willie and Jack come in. The sound
of the boos can still be heard.
They’re booing you.
(holds his head)
Ever since the accident, my head…
The doctor said it was nothing.
Get dizzy… can’t see… dizzy…
You’re scared… plain scared.
(looks up angrily)
Get out of here!
Atta boy… get mad. Show some spirit.
Jack, tell him what his playing means.
Go on, tell him.
You can never tell about a head
injury. Maybe the boy’s hurt.
He’s hurt? I’m hurt. It wasn’t me
that wrapped that car around the
tree. It wasn’t me that got drunk.
But me, I’m takin’ the rap.
(softer, to Tom)
Go on, kid. Get out there and play.
Show ‘em the kind of stuff a Stark
is made of.
I wouldn’t know.
Enraged, Willie slaps him. Tom fights back, and Jack has to
pull them apart.
Tom… cut it out!
All right, I’ll play. Now get out of
Camera holds on Tom as Jack and Willie leave. He picks up
his uniform, stops, then rubs his head.
Exterior: Football Stadium, Day
Tom is on the field. He runs up to the coach.
Stark’s going in!
The boos turn to cheers. The crowd applauds.
Willie signals from his box to the coach. He wants Tom sent
in. Tom runs out on the field and joins the team. The players
are lined up, in position to play. Tom shakes his head, as
if trying to clear it.
Exterior: Football Stadium, Time Lapse
The crowd yells excitedly. Tom, looking weary, gets the ball
and runs with it downfield. Three players tackle him hard
and fall on him. A silence falls over the stadium as he fails
to get up with the others.
In Willie’s box, everyone is standing.
Tommy… Tommy… Tommy!
Willie rushes out onto the field and kneels beside Tom as
the doctor and stretcher bearers arrive.
Interior: Hospital Waiting Room, Night
Lucy and Willie are waiting for news about Tom. Sugar Boy
comes in with a paper bag and sets it on a table.
B-b-boss, you gotta eat. You g-g-
Willie motions him away.
I’m the one that made him play. I
sent him in.
Sit down, Willie. Please sit down.
I sent him in.
What difference does that make now?
Jack comes in.
What goes on?
There isn’t a plane flying.
They gotta fly. This is my son. He’s
got to live.
Adam Stanton enters.
I just got a call from Dr. Birnham.
The earliest he can possibly get
here will be tomorrow morning.
Isn’t there anybody else we can get?
I still think Dr. Stanton should
That’s up to Governor Stark. He wanted
another doctor… a specialist. I
sent for one.
How bad is it really, doctor?
He’s unconscious… and paralyzed.
Lucy slumps in her chair.
Has he got a chance?
To live? Yes.
What do you mean?
Even if the operation’s successful —
that is, if he lives — I think he’ll
be paralyzed for life.
You’ll do everything you can, won’t
you? Anything between you and me..
that won’t count, will it? It doesn’t
have to. Look, doc, anything you
want in the world you just ask for
it and you got it. Go on, doc… ask
There are some things, Governor Stark,
that even you can’t buy. Do you want
me to operate, or don’t you?
Yes… I want you to operate.
Please, may I see Tom now?
They leave together.
How much does the doc know?
Oh, you know what I’m talking about.
About Anne and me.
(after a pause)
He doesn’t know a thing… not a
Jack turns and walks away.
Exterior: Hospital, Night
Anne has been waiting outside the hospital. She turns to
Jack as he comes out the door.
Jack, how is he?
Oh, thank God. How is —
He blames himself, doesn’t he?
(as he walks down the
He’ll find someone else to blame in
a few days.
Oh, I tried to call here at the
hospital, but I just…
They walk together, along the waterfront.
Anne… Anne, why did you do it?
He wasn’t like anybody I ever knew
You mean he wasn’t like me.
He wasn’t like anybody I ever knew
before. I love him, I guess. I guess
that’s the reason.
Everybody loves him.
He wants to marry me.
Are you going to?
Not now. It would hurt him. A divorce
would hurt his career.
Jack… Jack, what are you going to
do? You can’t leave him now. He needs
you now more than he ever did before.
What Willie needs, Willie’s got.
You don’t know him. You’ve known him
all these years and you don’t really
know him at all.
What about Adam?
Well, you don’t have to worry about
him. If Adam finds out it’ll be easy
to prove a Stanton is no different
than anybody else.
(gives her the papers
on the Judge)
Just show him these. Willie was
right… a man is conceived in sin
and born in corruption. Even Judge
Stanton. Show them to him, Anne.
Change the picture of the world that
Adam has in his head, just like our
picture of it has been changed.
He grips her by the shoulders.
Wipe out everything he’s ever believed
in. It’ll be good for him. There’s
no God but Willie Stark. I’m his
prophet and you’re his…
(pushes her aside,
then feels sorry and
walks after her)
Oh, Anne… Anne, I’m sorry. I didn’t
A policeman comes over.
What’s going on here?
Jack catches up to Anne. He takes her arm and they start to
walk back together.
It’s all right, officer… we both
work for Willie Stark.
Exterior: Hospital Site, Day
Willie, Anne, Adam, and Jack inspect a construction site.
There are newsmen and photographers present.
Right over there, that’s going to be
the main building… fifteen stories
high, like on the model. Over there,
that’s the laboratory. Finest
technical equipment in the world.
What are you trying to convince me
of? I’ve taken the job.
My reasons are my own. Why are you
building a hospital?
To do some good for the people of
And get some votes.
Oh, there are lots of ways to get
Yes, I know… I won’t stand for any
I won’t interfere. I may fire you,
but I won’t interfere.
If that’s a threat, you’re wasting
your time. You know what I think of
Yes, I know. I’ll tell you what…
You stay on your side of the fence;
I’ll stay on mine. Is that a deal?
They climb up onto the platform, where the newsmen gather
around to take pictures. Willie and Adam shake hands.
Now he had us all… me, Anne, and
Adam. Now we all worked for him.
Interior: Projection Room, Day
Willie, Jack, and Sugar Boy are watching a newsreel, similar
in style to the March of Time newsreels. A producer, his
assistant, and two policemen are also in the room.
And so the eyes of the entire nation
are now focused upon Governor Willie
Stark, an amazing phenomenon on the
American political scene. The whole
state is filled with his
accomplishments — each of them, of
course, bearing his personal
signature, to make sure that no one
will ever forget who gave them to
MONTAGE: THE NEWSREEL
Large plaque on side of the highway: THIS BRIDGE WAS BUILT
DURING THE FIRST ADMINISTRATION OF GOVERNOR STARK. A TOLL
BRIDGE STOOD HERE FOR FIFTY YEARS… NOW THE PEOPLE TRAVEL
Camera pans to shot of the bridge.
Plaque over college entrance: STARK COLLEGE… THAT EVERY
MAN, WOMAN, OR CHILD, RICH OR POOR, SHALL HAVE AN EDUCATION…
Shot of library — lettering reads WILLIE STARK LIBRARY.
KNOWLEDGE BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE Shot of bad road running
through dry, barren land.
This is the way the roads used to
be. But there are those who claim
that they were adequate for the
people’s needs, that you don’t need
a four- or six-lane highway for a
horse and buggy.
Shot of horse pulling a plow.
The empty, untraversed STARK HIGHWAY.
When Stark boasts of his great school
system, his critics say: you can’t
go to school and work in the fields
at the same time. And they question
the benefit of these projects,
charging that the need and the poverty
of the people is as great as before.
Shot of large school. Camera cuts to men working in the field,
then to ramshackle barn, and to a farmer walking across his
Willie Stark has never forgotten the
source of his power: the people who
Willie talking to the farmers.
He still keeps in touch with these
people of the backwoods, making
periodic trips to such places as
Kanoma City, now famous as his
Willie’s official car and escort speeding through a street.
Sign reads: KANOMA CITY, BIRTHPLACE OF WILLIE STARK
Shot of Willie having his picture taken with Lucy and Pappy
on the porch of the old farm.
Willie mending the fence on the farm. Willie feeding the
For those who say that Willie Stark
is a man of destiny, there are others
who claim that he is a man of evil,
a man who cares neither for the people
nor the state, but only for his own
personal power and ambition.
Willie making a speech to a huge crowd of cheering people.
Willie inspecting his police force.
Willie pounding the desk in the state legislature.
Obviously, these ambitions go far
beyond the boundaries of the state.
Just how far, only time will tell.
Meanwhile, he is here…
Big close-up of Willie as he delivers a speech.
…and from the looks of things, he
is here to stay. Willie Stark: messiah
The picture goes off and the lights in the room come on.
How do you like it, Governor?
Willie stands and faces the producer.
How many theaters will this play in?
All over the country.
Hear that, Jack. All over the country.
They start to leave. Willie stops for a moment.
Oh, there’s one thing in there I
didn’t like too well. That messiah
That’s our point of view, Governor.
And that’s the way it stands.
There is a silence. Willie’s face is hard. Then he grins.
All right, all right, that’s the way
it stands… as of now.
STARK BEGINS RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN
STATEWIDE TOUR STARTS WITH VISIT TO KANOMA CITY
EXTERIOR: STARK FARMHOUSE, DAY
Tom and Pappy Stark are seated on the porch. Tom is in a
wheelchair. Lucy comes onto the porch as the sound of sirens
is heard, and Willie’s two cars, motorcycle escort, and the
car of reporters turn onto the drive. Tom, upset, flips his
cigarette away as the cars stop in front of the porch. Lucy
puts her hand on his shoulder to calm him. Then Willie climbs
up the steps to greet Lucy.
Hello, Lucy… How are you making
it, Pa?… How are you, Tom?
Tom doesn’t answer. Lucy offers her cheek to Willie. Sadie,
Jack, and Sugar Boy wait at the bottom of the steps, along
with the reporters.
I made some refreshments for your
friends. I’ll get them.
No, thank you. Thank you kindly.
If you don’t mind, Mrs. Stark… the
boys have to get back to make the
Set ‘em up on the porch, fellows.
We’ll take some pictures out here,
He starts arranging the family for the picture.
Mrs. Stark, please… All right,
fellows, take one down there, will
you please… Shoot it up this way.
The cameras click.
Interior: Stark Farmhouse, Night
Willie is finishing his meal, seated at the table with his
family and Jack. Sugar Boy stands behind Willie. Sadie has
left the table and is examining the room.
(on the last bite)
You’re still a great cook, Lucy.
Well, I guess I better be getting
back to town. Nice to have spent the
day with the family.
(kisses Lucy on the
(extends his hand to
(ignores the gesture)
Take care of yourself, Pappy. Oh,
uh… how do you like the new radio
I got you?
(walks over to it)
You know how it works? You can get
police calls on it. Come here, come
here… I’ll show you.
Pappy leans over as Willie demonstrates how it works.
This one for police calls up here.
He turns the dial.
Car sixty-two, proceed to five-
eighteen Oak Street. Tom Jones beating
his wife again.
Pappy laughs delightedly. He reaches out to turn the dial.
All right, go ahead, go ahead.
We interrupt this program to bring
you a special announcement. This
afternoon, the body of Richard Hale,
father of the girl who died in the
automobile accident involving the
governor’s son, was found. A medical
examination revealed he was beaten
Tom starts to wheel toward Willie, but Lucy restrains him.
The ugly charge of “official murder”
has been hurled at the administration
by a coalition of Stark’s opponents,
led by Judge Stanton, lately an
outspoken critic of the
Your friend, the Judge.
Thus an almost forgotten incident
provided the spark that might set
off the explosion needed to rock
Willie Stark out of power. The latest
report is that impeachment proceedings
may be instituted…
Willie turns off the radio. There is a silence. Then Willie
turns to Lucy.
How long will it take you to pack? I
want you to go back to Capital City
with me tonight.
Because I need you.
(still speaking to
I’ll explain all of that later. Now,
Lucy, do like I say.
I’ll wait outside.
You stay right here, Jack. I want
you bear witness to what I’ve got to
She can be a witness too.
(starting toward the
I’m going back to the capital and
get hold of Duffy.
You stay right here, Sadie.
Somebody’s got to go back to the
capital. I’ll go in the other car.
All right, then tell Duffy not to do
anything or say anything until I get
Now he needs us. Now that he’s in
trouble he needs us, so he can lead
us around like monkeys with rings in
our noses. So he can say to people,
look at me, feel sorry for me…
just a family man with a wife and a
Why don’t you leave us alone?
Tom wheels himself into his own room. Lucy starts to follow.
Leave him alone. How many scrapes
have I gotten him out of? How many
It’s not him they’re after. It’s me.
How many halfwitted apes do you think
I’m going to have to pay to square
this one? What do you think this is
going to cost me?
What do you think it cost him?
Suddenly Willie turns his face away.
(in a broken voice)
A man builds for his son. That’s all
he builds for.
(turns and goes into
Willie looks up at Jack and Pappy.
Give me a drink, Jack.
Jack hands him a bottle and he takes a slug.
Pappy shakes his head.
No good, Willie. No good.
Exterior: Stark Farmhouse, Night
Pappy stays behind on the porch as Tom is carried in his
wheelchair down the steps and into Willie’s car. Lucy follows.
The motorcycle escort leads them away from the farm.
Exterior: Highway, Night
As the cars speed to Capital City.
Interior: State Legislature, Night
There is great excitement in the assembly room. One senator
steps forward and addresses the speaker of the house.
Mr. Speaker, I offer a house
resolution. Whereas Willie Stark,
governor of this state, has been
guilty of incompetence, corruption,
and favoritism in office — yes, and
other high crimes — that he is hereby
impeached, and ordered to be tried
by the senate.
His resolution is met with a mixture of cheers and boos.
Exterior: State Capitol, Night
A huge crowd is gathered outside. Pillsbury, Sadie, and Duffy,
waiting with the crowd, step forward as they see Willie’s
car approach. Newsmen take pictures as Willie gets out of
(as he meets Duffy)
What’s the score?
They’re lined up against you solid.
They had a meeting.
How do you know? Were you there?
Me? What would I be doing there?
Selling me out.
He starts up the steps of the building.
Interior: Willie’s Executive Offices, Night
How many votes have we got?
(going through some
We need twenty.
We might be able to dig up a few
Yeah. Do you know how?
Willie turns to Jack.
Oh, Jack. Come here. What have you
got in your black book about that
old friend of yours?
Who do you mean?
You know who I’m talking about…
your old friend, the Judge.
If and when you need it.
If and when? I need it right now.
He’s got four senators wrapped up in
his hip pocket. Come on, come on,
boy… what have you got?
I’m going to give him a break. If he
can prove it isn’t true, I won’t
I ought to bust you, Jack.
I promised two people I’d do it this
Who are they?
Myself… and someone else. It doesn’t
matter who. I’m going to give him a
All right, give him a break. But if
you got the facts, you got the facts.
The truth is sufficient… just like
it says in the Bible.
That’s the way it’s going to be.
All right, boy… I’ll trust you.
Where are you going?
(on his way out)
I’ll be around.
Willie turns to go into his private office.
Who else do you think he promised,
You’d be smart… play square with
him. You’re going to need people
like us around.
(as he shuts his door)
Are you sure?
MONTAGE: THE IMPEACHMENT
Willie’s car speeding down a road.
Willie, with Lucy and Tom seated behind him, addressing crowd.
Willie speaking from the back of a train to a railroad station
The chips were down, and Willie knew
it. He was fighting for his life. He
roared across the state making one
speech after another. And all of
them added up to the same thing…
“It’s not me they’re after, it’s
Close-ups of Willie, speaking to the people.
Willie hollered foul. Willie knew if
you hollered long enough, hard enough,
and loud enough, people begin to
believe you. Just in case they didn’t,
he organized spontaneous
Sign on back of a car: FIGHT WITH WILLIE
Crowds carrying signs: WIN WITH WILLIE
Willie talking on the telephone. Sadie listens.
Tell the boys to get the hicks out.
Bring ‘em in from the sticks, empty
the pool halls. Turn ‘em out. Turn
the yokels out.
More men with WIN WITH WILLIE signs. Man directing crowd
from top of bus. Other bus loads of people are seen, all of
them bearing signs.
In case anyone hollered back, he
organized spontaneous slugging. Willie
pulled every trick he ever knew —
and added a few more.
Crowd looks on as two uniformed police drag a man away.
Willie’s car waiting. Two thugs talk things over with a man
on his doorstep.
Willie discussing matters with a man in his office. Two cops
stand with him.
Willie and Jack in the car. Sugar Boy drives. It is night.
Sugar Boy drives fast, and has to swerve to avoid colliding
with a truck.
You’ll never live to be impeached!
Boy, I’ll live to be President…
Jack and Sugar wait in the car as Willie leans out the car
window to talk to a senator. He offers the man a piece of
I’ve got fourteen senators to vote
against impeachment. If I win, you’re
out of politics.
(refuses to sign)
I’ll do whatever the Judge says.
Exterior: Highway, Night
Willie’s car, as it races down the highway.
And always the trail led to one
place… Burden’s Landing… and the
Exterior: Ferry to Burden’s Landing, Night
Willie’s car coming across on the ferry.
Exterior: Stanton Home, Night
As Willie’s car stops and they all get out.
You sure you don’t want me to go in
Well, hurry it up, boy. We’ve got
places to go.
Jack goes into the house alone.
Interior: Judge Stanton’s Study, Night
Jack and the Judge are seated opposite each other.
Judge, I beg you, as a favor to
yourself, to me… call up, release
I made a mistake once, Jack… when
I resigned. It was too easy then,
just resigning, pulling out. No,
Jack, I’ve made my choice. I have
nothing more to lose.
Judge, you know what Stark is capable
of. Think it over. I’ll leave now.
I’ll come back tomorrow and we’ll
talk about it again. You can give me
your answer then.
The door opens and Willie and Sugar Boy enter.
I can’t wait until tomorrow. I’m a
very impatient man.
I told you not to come in here.
Is it true, Judge, that you’re behind
the impeachment proceedings?
Yes, it’s true.
Willie takes a seat in an easy chair.
I wanted to hear you say it with
your own silver tongue.
Well, you’ve heard it. If that’s all
you came to hear you could have saved
yourself a trip.
Willie picks up a decanter off the table.
Mind if I pour myself a drink? How
about you, Judge, will you have one?
You better… You’re going to need
Jack and Judge Stanton remain standing, silently watching
What’d he say, Jack?
You’ll get your answer tomorrow.
Are you kidding? Did you show it to
him, or didn’t you?
Show me what?
That’s what I figured. Let’s get
down to cases, Judge. Do you remember
a man with the name of Littlepaugh?
The Judge shakes his head. He doesn’t.
Remember the Fortune Electric Company?
Of course. I was their counsel for
over ten years.
Remember how you got the job?
How did you find out?
(hands the Judge some
Do you remember how you got the job?
The Judge examines the papers.
You know, Judge, dirt’s a funny thing.
Some of it rubs off on everybody.
How did you get the job, Judge?
I swear I never even remembered his
name. Isn’t that remarkable, Jack? I
never even remembered his name. It’s
all so long ago it’s hard for me to
realize it ever happened.
Yeah. But it did.
Yes, it did. But it’s difficult for
me to realize it.
For me too, Judge.
Thanks for that much.
Well, I guess you know what the next
move is, don’t you?
Yes, I do. Jack Burden. Willie Stark’s
I asked you… how did you find out?
This would never stand at law, not
for a minute. It happened over twenty-
five years ago, and you could never
get any testimony. Everybody is dead.
Everybody except you, Judge. You’re
alive. And people think you’re a
certain kind of man. And you just
couldn’t bear for people to think
Ever since then I… I’ve done my
duty. I… I’m responsible for many
(looks at the papers
But I also did this.
Yes, yes, you did.
Judge, I beg of you, call and release
your votes, for your sake.
You have tender sensibilities for a
(goes to the door)
Good night, gentlemen.
How about my answer?
You’ll have it in the morning.
I want it tonight.
In the morning. Good night, gentlemen.
There is silence. Then the three men get up to go. The Judge
closes the door behind them.
Interior: Stanton Hallway, Night
As the three men walk to the front door.
How did you find out?
We’ve got a lot to do. It’s getting
late, Jack. Let’s get back to town.
You know we’re through, don’t you?
Aw, you don’t mean that, boy.
The front door opens, and Adam and Anne come in.
What are you doing here?
It’s all right, doc. Just here to
discuss some politics with the Judge.
Oh, I see.
Well, good night.
Did you give him —
Wait a minute, Jack —
Answer me. Did you give —
A shot is fired. They turn and rush into the Judge’s study.
They find the Judge face downward in his leather chair. Adam
and Jack kneel beside him. Willie, holding on tightly to
Anne’s arm, stands in the doorway. Jack picks up the Judge’s
pistol and looks at Adam.
Exterior: Stanton Home, Night
Jack comes out of the house, followed by Anne and Adam.
Aren’t you going back with him?
Why not? You belong with him. Jack,
how could you have done it? When
Anne brought me those papers she
told me you promised not to tell
Yeah. I know.
Well, I kept my promise.
Adam looks unbelievingly at Anne. She looks away.
Interior: Jack’s Hotel Room (State Capital), Day
Jack looks out the window. A portable radio is blaring out
From all over the state they’re
streaming in. From the hill country
and farms, the lumber camps… by
boat, by train, by horse, and on
foot. Willie Stark’s army.
Through Jack’s window we see the street blocked with cars
and people, all headed for the State Capitol Building. Anne
is in the crowd, trying to get across the street. Seeing
Jack in the window, she pushes her way across and enters the
hotel. He slams the window shut and comes back into the room.
The state capital is filled with
rumors, one of which is that Stark
is planning to seize power by force.
As commander of the state militia,
he has —
Jack turns it off. He goes over to his bed and starts putting
clothes into a valise. There is a knock on the door. He
ignores it. Another knock.
Come in. The door’s open.
What do you want?
She starts to cry. He grabs her, pulling her face close to
No, I want to see you cry.
He lets her go and she falls to the bed, sobbing.
I called you. All afternoon I’ve
been calling you.
I know. I was here.
You’ve got to tell Adam. You’ve got
to see him.
Tell him what?
He knows about me and…
About you and Willie?
I tried to explain to him. I… I
tried to explain to him that it wasn’t
the way he thought it was.
How was it, Anne? You tell me.
He hit me, Jack. My own brother…
he hit me.
Your brother is an old-fashioned
man. He believes in his sister’s
honor. Me, I’m a modern man.
(slams clothes into
The twentieth-century type. I run.
I’m frightened, Jack.
For who? Your brother, or Willie?
Who’s through with who?
He called me this afternoon. He’s
going back to Lucy. He said it was
better that way.
Better for who? Him.
Both of us.
Did he tell you that too when he
asked you to betray the Judge? At
least I walked out on him.
Oh Jack… help me, please, please.
Adam’s all I’ve got left now. Oh,
Jack, if you ever loved me…
If I ever loved you.
I’ll go find Adam.
He takes up his coat.
EXTERIOR: HOSPITAL SITE, DAY
A large billboard. It reads HERE ON THIS SITE WILL BE ERECTED
THE GOVERNOR STARK HOSPITAL — TO HEAL SICKNESS — TO EASE
PAIN — FREE. NOT AS A CHARITY BUT AS A RIGHT. WILLIE STARK
Adam enters, looks at the sign, and walks on.
Exterior: Street Near Capitol Building, Day
Crowds of people headed toward the building, some with WIN
WITH WILLIE signs. A marching band plays music for them.
Exterior: Capitol Building, Day
Crowd waiting outside the building. Mounted policemen keep
them in line. From a large platform, loaded with people,
comes the chant “We want Willie, we want Willie.” Jack pushes
his way through the people and speaks to a policeman standing
guard on the Capitol steps.
Where do you think you’re going?
Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t recognize
Do you know who Dr. Stanton is?
Did he try to come through here today?
Haven’t seen him, sir.
Well, can you check the other
There’s no other entrances today.
The other entrances are blocked off.
Orders are to take no chances.
If you care to come inside and wait,
Mr. Burden, we can find you a seat.
No, thanks. I’ll wait out here. If
Dr. Stanton shows up, let me know.
Pass the word along to the boys,
Jack turns and looks at the large crowd. A voice from a public
address loudspeaker begins to yell out commands to the crowd.
All right now. Everybody… that
means everybody… let’s let Willie
know we’re here! All together: WE
WANT WILLIE. WE WANT WILLIE.
The chant is picked up enthusiastically by the crowd.
Interior: State Legislature, Day
The speaker is trying to speak over the clamor of the
We will first proceed to take the
judgment of the senate on the question
of the impeachment of the governor.
Mr. Speaker, this is a farce to ask
us to vote in the face of the kind
of intimidation and pressure that
has been exerted here in the past
few weeks. Even that crowd outside,
yelling on cue, is part of that
We want Willie. We want Willie.
Willie gets up, and goes to the window.
Exterior: State Capitol, Day
The crowd, with Jack in the foreground. The crowd suddenly
goes wild as they see Willie appear at the window. In the
growing darkness he seems only a shadowy figure as he raises
his hands to wave to the crowd.
We see various shots of people straining to get a little
closer to the steps in order to see him better. Willie then
turns and goes back into the room.
Exterior: State Capitol, Day
The crowd again, still waiting. The camera pans upward to a
Attention, please. Attention, please.
This is a special announcement from
Willie Stark to you people out there.
He doesn’t want any one of you to
The camera moves over the faces of the people listening.
He wants you to stay in front of
this state Capitol until the fight
is over. If you want Willie Stark to
win, stay where you are.
They cheer. Camera picks up Jack watching the crowd’s
reaction, then up to a plaque over the entrance to the Capitol
Building. It reads THE PEOPLE’S WILL IS THE LAW OF THIS STATE —
Do you hear me… stay where you
are. Don’t go away. Stay where you
are. Don’t go away.
Exterior: State Capitol, Night
Newsmen, photographers stand about, bored. The crowd, every
bit as large, is quiet but expectant. Everyone holds still
as the announcer’s voice is heard again.
Attention, please. Attention, please.
The balloting on the impeachment
proceedings against Governor Stark
has just ended. This is the result:
Willie Stark has won.
The crowd explodes. People break through the police barriers.
Mounted policemen ride in quickly to prevent a riot. Camera
picks up Anne in the crowd, trying to push through.
Jack stands on the steps of the Capitol, watching it all.
Suddenly Willie appears at the top of the steps, followed by
Sugar Boy. Sadie, Duffy, Pillsbury follow close behind. Willie
grabs hold of the mike and addresses the suddenly hushed
They tried to ruin me. But they are
ruined. They tried to ruin me because
they did not like what I have done.
Do you like what I have done?
Loud applause, and cries of “yes.”
Remember, it’s not I who have won,
but you. Your will is my strength,
and your need is my justice, and I
shall live in your right and your
will. And if any man tries to stop
me from fulfilling that right and
that will, I’ll break him. I’ll break
him with my bare hands. For I have
the strength of many.
Having finished, he waves at them all. Then he notices Jack
and comes down the steps to greet him.
Hello, Jack boy, I’m glad you’re
here. I knew you’d come back.
He walks back up the steps, his arm around Jack’s shoulders.
They start to go into the building that way when Willie sees
someone. He smiles and puts out his hand.
Oh, doctor, I’m very glad to see
Adam is seen, waiting at the entrance of the building. Before
Willie has taken a step Adam fires several shots into him.
Willie falls to the ground and Sugar Boy whips out his pistol
and fires at Adam. Three policemen with tommy guns open fire,
shooting into Adam’s already fallen body. Then they turn and
point their guns at the mob of people rushing toward Willie,
forcing them back.
Stand back, everybody. Stand back.
Sugar Boy kneels beside Willie. Sadie stands against a pillar,
looking down on him.
D-does it hurt m-much, boss? D-d-
does it hurt much?
Jack looks up to see Anne struggling through the screaming
mob to get to Adam. She looks at Adam for a moment, then
Anne, Anne… Where are you going?
She doesn’t answer, only walks away. He runs after her and
catches hold of her arm.
I don’t know. Leave me alone.
To do what?
I don’t care.
No, that’s too easy.
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t
Leave me alone, please.
No, no more.
My brother’s dead.
We’ve got to go on living.
So that Adam’s death has meaning, so
that it wasn’t wasted. Anne, our
life has to give his death meaning.
Don’t you see that? Look at those
He turns her around so that she can see the crowds still
struggling to get a look at Willie.
Look at them! They still believe in
him. And we’ve got to make them see
Willie the way Adam saw him, or
there’s no meaning in anything…
A policeman approaches.
Mr. Burden… the governor’s asking
for you. You better hurry. He’s going
Will you wait here?
Will you wait here?
She nods her head slowly. Jack walks through the building to
the pillar against which Willie has been propped. Sugar Boy
is still beside him. He stands behind Sadie and Duffy, looking
down at Willie.
It could have been the whole world,
Willie Stark. The whole world…
Willie Stark. Why did he do it to
me… Willie Stark? Why?
His head droops to the side and he dies.