The Last Hurrah (1958) Movie Script

Skeffington, Skeffington
Cast your vote
for Skeffington
He's the man
with a plan
The one for you and me
He's true blue
He's for you
He's our favorite son
Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up
vote for Skeffington
Skeffington, Skeffington
Cast your vote
for Skeffington
He's the man
with a plan
The one for you and me
He's true blue
He's for you
He's our favorite son
Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up
vote for Skeffington
Well, Winslow,
is the lark on the wing this morning?
Not for the readers of
Mr. Amos Force's morning news.
The paper seems
to be in mourning.
Ah, what a pretty picture it makes.
Just think of all those red and angry
faces sputtering over their coffee cups.
The day ruined before it begins
is a thought to warm the cockles
of an old man's heart.
Hmm. No picture.
- Good morning, Dan.
- Good morning, sir.
Bye. Right. I'll be seeing ya.
- John!
- Good morning, Ellen. How are you?
- Himself is in there.
- Hello, Ellen.
- Ellen.
- Hello.
- Well, greetings, greetings.
- Good morning, boss.
- How are you?
- There's the coffee.
Helen! I could do with
a cup myself, Helen.
Ditto! Why, you're
a changed man!
It's the hamburger.
Like your very own, mayor. Brand new!
Ditto, we certainly
are look-alikes.
You ought to be careful.
Somebody will shoot you someday.
Oh, Your Honor. I hope so!
All of these, we should be getting
a kickback from Western Union.
I spoke to them about it
last year. Negative.
Your signature, sir.
Oh, I'm afraid my signature will never
become as rare as Button Gwinnett.
What's that?
Before your time, Ditto.
A colonial gentleman who apparently
signed only one thing in his life:
the Declaration
of Independence.
And, as they say
in show business, Ditto,
what could he
ever do to top it?
- Why don't you have a cup of coffee?
- Thanks.
"My Dear Mrs. Lathrop."
No, no no.
"My Dear Lady,"
always "My Dear Lady."
Yes, sir.
"E. Myron Goldfarb.
Dear Manny." That's right.
You might add to this that I am looking
forward to his boy's bar mitzvah.
Frank, you're not going to see all those
people out there today, are you?
Now, John, you wouldn't have me
break with tradition, would you?
Remember the first day
we took public office?
Frank Skeffington is available to every
man and woman in this state.
Well, uh, uh...
Let's have a look at those candidates.
Who've I got to beat?
As I see it, there's only one.
Frank Collins.
The rest are nebbishes.
Didn't I tell you
about Collins?
He's agreed to sit this one out if we
support him next term for the senate.
Who is Willard Chase?
Oh, that's a laugh. President of
the Planned Parenthood Association.
And he wants to be
mayor of this city?
An Arab would have a better chance
of being mayor of Tel Aviv.
Don't discount the possibility.
Remember the recent lord mayor of Dublin.
I see we still have Charles J. Hennessey
with us, as usual.
Nutty as a fruitcake
and gettin' worse.
Now, that brings us
to Kevin McCluskey.
Nothing? Nothing?
Oh, come on, now.
You must know something about him.
- Boss.
- Yes, Ditto?
I know a little bit about him,
not that there's much to know.
Married, he is,
to one of the Russell girls: Agnes Mary.
Four lovely children.
Three of them
is female girls.
And the lad is studying
to be an altar boy.
Very bright at school,
he is.
Uh, McCluskey?
No! The son, Gregory.
He went to the college, you know.
Not that place across the river,
but the regular college.
Later, to law school.
Uh, now, th-th-this is not the son
you're talkin' about, this is McCluskey.
- Yeah.
- He later became a lawyer.
Since the war, that is.
And a very fine war record.
"Distinguished," as they say.
- Oh, that so?
- Oh, yes indeed.
Never missed a day at the Navy yard.
Nine to five.
You could set your watch by him.
And neat!
He got a promotion for it,
from ensign to second lieutenant.
I see him every Sunday
at St. Malacky's.
He passes the plate
on left center.
And always a smile on his face,
whether it's a coin or a dollar bill.
Not like that sourpuss Duffy
passes on right center.
I was mentionin' the same
thing to him last Sunday,
when the car came up,
and offhe went.
Well, that seems to be the extent
of our dossier on McCluskey,
not that it's very much.
Shall I let
them in now, sir?
By all means.
Who's the first one?
Mrs. Rocco Santagata, age 46, widow,
owns small candy store on Atlas Road.
- Her boy's in some school trouble.
- She a registered voter?
- Yes, sir.
- Well, let's not keep the lady waiting.
Yes, sir.
Mrs. Santagata.
Ah. Good morning,
Mrs. Santagata.
And we will continue these
editorial attacks on the front page...
- until further notice.
- Yes, Mr. Force.
Two: No pictures of Skeffington
will be permitted in the paper...
for any reason whatever.
Three: I want
an immediate investigation
of his income tax returns
for the last 20 years.
You remember, that was done
twice before, sir.
On Sunday, the Evening News will announce
its support of Kevin McCluskey for mayor.
It will say we believe
he's the best qualified
of all the candidates
opposing Skeffington.
- The reasons why we believe this are...
- Yes, sir?
- The reasons will have to be found.
- Yes, sir.
Five: On Monday, we'll begin
the life story of Kevin McCluskey.
- It'll be warm, appealing, inspirational.
- Appealing, inspirational.
The man you assign to write it
will make it so. Caulfield!
You want
to see me?
Yes, I do.
Caulfield, I had occasion
to return to the paper late last night.
The light in your office had been left on.
How do you explain that?
Well, I'd say the explanation
was simple enough:
I simply neglected to turn it off.
I don't think there's any clause
in my contract about that, is there?
- Because if there is, you know, I...
- I didn't say that!
I didn't say that at all.
Mr. Force, let me
ask you something.
Did you know Frank Skeffington
was my uncle when I came to work here?
No, Caulfield,
I did not.
By the time I did find out, your column,
unfortunately, had caught on.
Personally, I never
could understand why.
Oh, thank you very much.
That's something that's always puzzled me.
It may interest you to know that ever
since we began syndicating your column,
the paper's made a tidy little profit
on your services.
Mmm. I've known that
for some time, sir.
That's why I always
leave the light burning.
- Anything else?
- Yes, Caulfield.
When next you see your uncle,
will you tell him for me...
that I'm delighted that he decided
to run again for mayor of our city.
I was afraid he might
retire undefeated...
and deprive me of
the immense personal satisfaction
of seeing him lose this election.
Do you mind telling me
just why you hate him so much?
I don't mind at all.
Your uncle's a common scoundrel.
It's a known fact he has over $2 million
secreted in a vault in Mexico City!
Ah, listen, the last time
I heard that story...
it was $4 million,
and the vault's in Toronto!
Now, you don't believe that,
because if you did...
you would have proved it
and printed it a long time ago!
- What's the real reason?
- Why don't you ask him?
- Good morning, Adam.
- Morning, Mr. Winslow.
Go right in.
Your nephew, sir.
Hello, Adam.
Well, well, well.
- Nice to see you.
- Morning, Uncle Frank.
Ah, here. Let me take that stuff.
- Sit down. Sit down.
- Oh, thank you.
- Will you have a cigar?
- Oh, no thanks. I smoke a pipe.
How's your wife?
Oh, Maeve? She's fine. Fine.
And how is your
father-in-law these days,
the eminent Roger Sugrue?
Well, I don't know
if you've heard his latest,
but last week he was trying to get
some little parish priest transferred...
because the poor man actually
dared to enter a golf tournament.
Well, that doesn't
surprise me a bit.
Just think of the disgrace
if he had been beaten...
by a mere Baptist
or Episcopalian.
Adam, I asked you
over here today...
because I've got a little proposition
to put up to you.
You've never been very much
interested in politics, have you?
Well, if you mean politics
generally, no, sir.
Of course, I've always had a certain
rooting interest where you're concerned.
- Did you?
- Well, naturally.
You seem surprised.
Well. Perhaps I am.
And very grateful.
Although, mind you,
this little proposition I have...
is in not in any way contingent
upon your political support.
Now Adam,
you're a sportswriter.
You write up these bean bag games
they have between Harvard and Vassar...
Go on, Uncle Frank. You're not hurting
my feelings. I'm from Northwestern.
Now, tell me this.
What would you consider the greatest
spectator sport in the country today?
Would you say it was what, baseball?
Basketball? Football?
Hmm. I think basketball's
the largest paid attendance.
It's politics.
That's right. Politics.
Millions and millions of people...
following it every day in the newspapers,
over the TV, on the radio.
Now, mind you,
they wouldn't get mixed up in this
themselves for all the tea in China.
But they know the names
and numbers of all the players.
And, uh, what they can't tell
the coaches about strategy.
You should see
some of the letters I get.
- I can imagine.
- I doubt that. I doubt it.
But nevertheless,
politics is an exciting game to watch.
And, uh, I thought it might
be even more exciting...
if you knew one
of the players, or, uh,
or if he happened to be a relative.
Say, uh, an uncle?
You're inviting me to take
a seat in the stands, is that it?
Better than that.
Not in the stands and not
on the sidelines, but on the inside.
And that's a view
that very few people get.
Now mind you, I am not suggesting
that you take any part in the campaign,
other than from
a spectator standpoint.
You can approach it
in any way you like.
Entertainment, purely,
or a study ofpeople.
Or, perhaps from
its historical interest.
What do you mean by "historical,"
Uncle Frank?
Well, Adam, it's my guess that
the old-fashioned political campaign,
in a few years,
will be as extinct as the dodo.
It'll all be TVand radio.
It'll all be streamlined,
and nice and easy.
Mind you, I use the TV
and the radio sometimes.
But I also get out into the wards.
I speak in fight arenas,
armories, street corners...
anywhere I can gather a crowd.
I even kiss babies.
That's the way I've always done it.
And, I must say,
it's usually paid off.
But there's no use
kidding myself about it.
It's on its way out.
Just as I am.
Aw. Come on, Uncle Frank.
This is my last campaign.
The last hurrah.
So, I, uh...
I suppose what I'm saying
to you is that, uh,
this is your last chance
to catch the act.
Yes I am, Uncle Frank.
Very much.
There's only one thing, though,
and that's the paper.
- I do have to work for a living.
- Oh, of course, of course.
Why, there's nothing
compulsory about this.
You'll drop in
whenever you feel like.
And I'll give you a call if something
comes up that I think might interest you.
- If you're clear, fine.
- All right. Fair enough.
Oh, yes. I bear greetings
from my publisher.
He asked me
to convey his worst.
Mm-hmm. Thank you.
Well, better than his best.
Somehow, I think I'd be embarrassed,
being endorsed by a former Klansman.
Oh, come on now. Is that on the level?
Did he really belong to the K.K.K.?
Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Years ago.
And I've never been certain
why he quit, exactly,
although I've always suspected it was
because he had to buy his own sheet.
Little things like that, you know,
drive a man to tolerance.
- Adam, it was nice of you to come in.
- Um, Uncle Frank.
Would it be imposing too much
on the role of spectator...
to ask just why Force
dislikes you so much?
No. No.
Not at all.
It all dates back
to a social circumstance.
The fact that at one time
my mother, your grandmother,
was employed as a maid
in his father's house.
You didn't know that?
Well, no, sir, I didn't.
We're not all descended
from kings, you know.
She didn't work
there long, though.
Old Caleb Force fired her.
For stealing.
Oh. Why, that's ridiculous.
I mean, well,
what did she do about it?
Surely in those days,
people must have had some protection.
Oh, yes. They did, they did.
But you see, in your grandmother's case,
there was a slight complication.
She was guilty.
- Comes as a surprise, huh?
- Yes, sir.
Well, I wouldn't worry
too much about it.
Your grandmother really
was not a hardened criminal.
What she did was
common practice in those days.
As a matter of fact,
you might even say it was a necessity.
You see, you have to remember
the existing conditions.
Our people were immigrants.
They were poor.
The men worked on the docks and the women
hired out as maids and cooks...
for wages that were next to nothing.
So, sometimes in the evening,
when they'd go home to their families,
they'd take a bit of leftover food
with them.
No one thought very much about it.
Everybody knew about it.
I don't imagine anybody thought
it was one of those crimes...
that called
for vengeance from heaven.
But Caleb Force
was made of sterner stuff.
And so, when he apprehended
your grandmother...
leaving the house with two
overripe bananas and a small apple,
he decided to make
an example of her.
He summoned the rest
of the servants...
and in their presence he fired her,
after first reducing her to tears
by telling her she was not only a thief,
but an ingrate
who had betrayed the trust...
of a fine and generous employer.
Now, as for Amos,
I guess he has never been able
to forget my mother's crime...
nor to accept the fact that in time...
her son became the mayor of this
great city and governor of the state.
He has a long memory.
But so have I.
I, uh...
I wouldn't say exactly that
I have made his life a bed of pain,
but I think I can say, with all modesty,
that it has been considerably more painful
than if I hadn't been around.
Well, all I can say is
I hope you keep up the good work.
You have my hand on that.
Now, give my best
to your young lady.
Thanks, Uncle Frank.
I will.
Oh, um, we were just talking
about you last night, before you called.
I know that father of hers
has raised her to think...
that I was something that should
have been banned in Boston,
but maybe in time
I can convince her...
that I'm just a peace-loving,
harmless man.
Yeah... Except when
you think of Amos Force.
Except when I think of Amos Force.
My goodness,
who are all those people?
Oh, gangsters, I imagine.
Racketeers, sex fiends,
dope addicts.
All the other criminal elements
from whom my uncle derives support.
Adam, you're being unfair.
I never said that.
It's no great matter to get out a crowd
when you give them free entertainment...
and bands and girls in short skirts...
shaking their... batons.
Who's that on the platform?
It's Monsignor Flannery!
I shall have a fine word to say
to the cardinal about that!
And look at him.
Sitting between
a minister and a rabbi!
Adam, where are you going?
I'm going out for a little air.
It's stuffy in here. Very stuffy.
If you're not feeling well, I'm sure Daddy
will excuse us and we can go home.
What's the matter?
You ill?
No, sir, I feel just fine
and I don't want to go home.
I'd like to go to that rally. If you'd
like to go, you're most welcome.
Get into that mob and listen to a lot
of hypocritical promises? No, thank you.
- I'll pick you up on the way home.
- Don't bother; I can take a taxi.
That's Skeffington
coming onto the platform now.
Ah, go on! Smile!
Take your bows!
You'll take none after this election,
I warrant ya!
And on my way down
to my office this morning,
I happened to notice
on the front page of the morning news...
a newspaper... by the way,
of understandably small circulation...
that myyoung opponent
had played to an overflow crowd...
in the Jewel Room
of the Colonial Hotel.
Now, that does
sound impressive, doesn't it?
- Good night, doll!
- Night, doll.
- Night, doll.
- Night, doll.
- Tomorrow night, dolls?
- Right, doll.
Boy, oh, boy.
What a combo. Wow!
- Yeah, Dad? Hi!
- Well, what do you say?
Say? Say about what?
You didn't see me on TV tonight?
Ooh, I knew there was somethin'.
10:00, wasn't it?
Dad, itjust slipped. I was listening
to this new combo theygot at the Blake.
Mad, real mad!
You can fill me in now.
What's the scoop?
Oh, it's not important.
Good night, Junior.
Roger. Night, Dad.
Here's the schedule.
Between now and election day you're
booked solid for luncheons and dinners.
I couldn't avoid
a certain overlapping.
You're down for two luncheons
on the third, the fifth,
- the 12th, the 17th...
- Oh, spare me the grim details.
I don't eat
at them anyway.
We estimate about six speaking stops
a night, besides the dinners...
- clubs, block parties...
- Say, Frank?
As a special favor
to my wife's cousin,
next Thursday night Post 15
of the United Jewish War Veterans are...
Well, they're gonna
raffle an automobile.
Could you pick the winning ticket? I mean
would you? You know, in the drawing.
Not a chance, Sam.
Not a chance. Not a chance.
Frank, you've
gotta make that one.
Oh, no, no, no.
I'll show up.
I'll even buy a book of tickets.
But do the drawing? Not I.
Just my luck to come up
with a name like Paddy Murphy...
and I've lost the Jewish vote.
They'll swear I palmed it.
Tell this fella no.
Yes, sir.
Thursday, Jewish War Veterans.
9:20 p.m., Mr. Weinberg.
Ten minutes. No more.
I'll take it. Frank?
Just happen to have
a set of tickets here for you.
Your nephew Adam, sir.
Hello, Adam.
I was just going to call you.
Adam, what are you doing
this evening, say about 7:30?
- I want you to meet some of my staff.
- Well, you see the trouble is...
Caulfield? I want you to meet
our next mayor, Mr. Kevin McCluskey.
- Very pleased to meet you, I'm sure.
- How do you do?
Um, can you hold it a second,
Uncle Frank?
Yeah, I've just met...
your rival candidate,
Kevin McCluskey.
No, no. He's right
here in the office.
What's that?
Um, my uncle, the mayor,
wants to wish you luck.
That's very nice of him.
He says with Amos Force
behind you, you'll need it.
- Any reply, Mr. Force?
- No reply.
Mission accomplished,
Uncle Frank.
Yeah, score another
for Grandmother.
See you later, Adam.
Well, I wouldn't have believed it if
I hadn't heard it with my own three ears.
Don't tell me
that you're going in forpolitics.
- Oh, not necessarily.
- Well, your Maeve told my Nancy you were.
Well, look, buddy boy,
I haven't decided a thing.
You, uh, slept on the couch last night,
didn't you, sport?
Why is it women
can't keep their mouths shut?
Look, we've been friends
for a long time, sport,
and as a high mucky-muck
in the Good Government League,
I know I should tell you that politics
is the business of every good citizen.
- I know it.
- But...
Thank you.
Don't louse up your marriage to Maeve
for Frank Skeffington.
It just so happens
that I like my uncle very much.
I also think that he's
a much more able man...
than that dope McCluskey
your outfit's backing.
Well, who's arguing with you?
But ability is one thing
and principle is another!
See, the trouble with
your uncle is that politically,
he's living in
the age of the dinosaur!
Is that all you
have against him?
He's an old-fashioned
politician. Come on.
I thought you were gonna give me
those stories of graft and corruption...
- and 10 million bucks in Mongolia.
- No, no, no. I know better.
Your uncle's a relatively poor man.
He gets his salary, period.
And he probably gives
half of that away every morning...
to that lineup
in front of his house.
But getting back to Maeve
and your marriage...
Look, Jack.
I know you mean well,
but if I have to take her father,
I don't know why she can't take my uncle!
Nobody takes your uncle.
He takes them.
I was born here, Adam.
Your father-in-law,
the eminent Sir Roger,
was born down there.
Oh, that, of course, was before
it became a Chinese laundry.
- See those two windows?
- Uh-huh.
Martin Burke.
- You mean, the cardinal?
- Mm-hmm.
Yes, this is it. We were all
born down here together.
Then drifted
our different ways somehow.
Still there.
I guess I was about six years old
when I met your Aunt Kate.
I've loved her ever since.
Run down to the firehouse.
Tell your old man the mayor's
at Knocko Minihan's wake.
- Hurry up, now. Beat it!
- Okay, Ma!
It's, uh, a little early yet.
He's in the parlor.
He looks fine.
Hmm. Lovely.
They should use it
for a window display.
Hmm. Lovely and lavish.
And guaranteed, no doubt,
against the hydrogen bomb.
Well, Knocko,
you finally made it.
Wait here.
I have to see Gert a minute.
You mean, wait h...
Come here!
Come here!
I'm Delia Boylan.
I knew your pa,
and I knew your ma...
and I knew you
when you was a baby.
You was homely
as spit!
Oh. He looks grand
with his cheeks...
all puffed out
like that, don't he?
Of course,
I never knew him when he was alive.
Oh, a runt, he was.
Thin as a snake
and no color to him at all,
God be good to 'im.
He was mean as a panther,
good luck to 'im.
He was a good man, Frank.
A good man.
Yes, Gert.
But the fact is
he left you with nothing?
Not even any insurance?
There was some once,
but I think it's gone.
They were charging him too much
for the premiums, he said.
Yes, yes. Mm-hmm.
He was a good man, Frank.
He had such bad luck.
Yes, yes.
You know, Gert,
just before Kate died,
she left you
a present.
She asked me to hang onto it
until I was sure you would need it.
Well, I think now
that time has come.
I won't take it, Frank.
Well, I can't force you
to take it, of course, Gert,
but if you didn't take it,
I'd be breaking
my word to Kate.
I don't think you'd want me
to do that, would you?
I saw Kate
before she died.
She said nothing about
leaving me any money.
It comes from you, Frank.
And I thank you for the offer.
But, no.
Oh, now, wait a minute.
Wait a minute.
I am not an ungenerous man,
but, I mean, $1,000...
That's a little rich
even for my blood.
And for a friend
as good as you... No, no.
This is from Kate,
left to you on her deathbed.
It seems to me it would be
a mortal sin to refuse it.
Was it Kate's, Frank?
Do you swear it?
Oh, I do.
God bless you, Frank.
I hope he will, Gert,
but certainly not for this.
I'm just the messenger boy.
The blessing
belongs to Kate.
There. I'll run along
out front again.
I think maybe you ought to
come out yourself after a little while.
I will.
- Ooh!
- The Carmichael girls!
They always come early.
That is, as a general rule.
Johnny! Johnny?
Johnny Degnan!
Johnny Degnan,
the undertaker.
- Frank Skeffington's nephew, Johnny.
- How do you do?
- His sister's boy.
- Mortician. Pleased to meet you, sir.
- I've always been a great admirer of...
- Ah, skip the blarney!
Knocko looks grand, Johnny.
Tell me, did he take a lot of doin'?
Really, Mrs. Boylan.
You laid him out in the big coffin.
You finally got rid of it.
It's a good thing Knocko
don't know what it's costin' 'im.
It'd kill him!
Mr. Minehan was a prominent figure
in the community. Very prominent.
Ah, he was the cheapest
old skinflint that ever lived,
and well do you know it.
Well, the poor man's gone now.
You did an elegant job on him, Johnny,
- no matter what you charged.
- Yes.
Yes, well, um, it's been a pleasure
to have met you, sir.
A pleasure indeed.
I sincerely hope to see you again.
Any friend of His Honor's
is a friend of mine. Mrs. Boylan.
Ah, there goes
a great rogue, that one.
Give 'im the chance
and it would be the big coffin,
ten limousines and the
Holy Name Choir to sing 'em to sleep!
Watch them cakes, I tell ya.
Watch them cakes!
Is that all you've got?
Oh, no, boss. The rest
is out in the ambulance.
We got three turkeys,
a couple of hams...
and the prime ribs
is comin' over from the city jail.
- Good.
- Oh, and three cases of booze...
- compliments of the Customs House.
- Booze?
- I'm tendin' bar myself, Your Honor.
- Are you out of your mind?
Gert Minehan's never served
a drink in this house in her life.
Get it out of here. Get rid of it!
- Okay, boss, if you say so.
- Get rid of it!
- I'll get rid of it.
- No, not you. Not you! You get rid of it.
- You make the sandwiches.
- Look, boss. Where are they gonna eat?
What would you think
of the dining room as a place to eat?
That's a swell idea!
You hear that? Go on.
And watch the cakes, will you please?
You heard what His Honor said.
Get rid of it!
- Frank!
- Well, Delia,
I'm glad to see you're bearing up
under the strain.
Oh, I'll live.
Me and your nephew...
have been havin' a lovely talk about
poor old Knocko, the old tightwad!
I knew that you would.
Delia's presence at these affairs...
is almost as invariable as the corpse's.
Hee, hee, hee!
I never miss a one, do I?
Nice to have a hobby.
We'll leave you to your prayers.
It's a great loss.
Poor Knocko, a great loss.
- Yes, yes. It certainly is. Captain...
- Shanahan, Michael J.
Twenty-eighth precinct.
We're with you to a man.
Thank you, Captain.
Thank you, boys.
Hello. Hello.
- How's it going?
- It's a sellout.
- Hello, John. Go right inside.
- Hello, Harry. Nice of you to come.
- Go right in there, please.
- Hello, Prima.
- Hello, nice to see you.
- How are you? Bye-bye.
- Hello, Tom. How are you?
- Go right in there, please.
- It was nice of you to come.
- Go right in there.
- Go right inside there, please.
- There's one upstairs.
If you want the street roped off,
Your Honor, just give me the word.
Michael, thank you.
- Oh, I don't smoke.
- Smoke it!
Hello, John.
We just thought we'd drop in
to pay our respects to poor Knocko.
- Is the mayor here?
- He is.
But you're late.
The cops beat you to it.
Well, if it isn't the distinguished
journalist in the field of letters.
Well, hello, Ditto.
Hasn't this turned out
to be a grand evening?
Um, with the possible
exception of Knocko Minehan.
Ah, poor Knocko.
A lovable man.
His friends were legend.
That's funny. I was under the impression
he wasn't popular at all.
Might I ask who would be givin' you
an idea like that?
- My uncle.
- Now, who would know better?
I remember he said to me
at a church raffle once,
"Ditto," says he,
"that Knocko Minehan has a bad eye."
And he had. But forgive
and forget, as the motto is.
So here we are, the two of us,
letting bygones go by the boards.
You're in charge of the precinct
all the way through.
Jackson, you take care of your people,
just as you've always done.
Dinello, you remember all these
people that you've put in charge?
Now, let me see.
Remember what I've told you right along?
No matter what's happened tonight, still
keep right along the same lines, see?
You gotta keep the ward
right in line at all times.
- Yes, sir.
- Excuse me, please.
Excuse me.
Thinkin' of gettin'
a bit of fresh air? I'll join ya.
I know it's none of my business,
but you'd be makin' a mistake
to run off like that.
Why? Because it might
be disrespectful to the deceased?
What do you call
this thing anyway?
This isn't a wake.
It's a political meeting.
Now, now, it's only natural.
After all, there is an election comin' up.
Well, maybe so, but this is
Knocko Minihan's wake,
and you'd think he'd at least figure
in the conversation.
Besides, people standin' around saying,
"Oh, doesn't Knocko look grand?"
Well, it would be
the pious thing to do, no doubt.
But if you knew Knocko...
Well, the less said, the better.
Well, if he's all that unpopular,
then why the turnout?
Well, they're here, the most of them,
for the same reason as yourself.
I know. I'm here because
my uncle brought me here.
That's what I'm tryin' to tell ya.
You mean, it's Knocko's wake,
but it's really my uncle
who's the main attraction?
It is.
Yeah, all right, I was right.
This is a political meeting.
It's just another way of getting votes
and using that poor guy's casket...
as a speaker's platform!
You have things a bit twisty,
if you don't mind my saying so.
And you're bein' a bit hard
on your uncle.
I don't think so.
He doesn't have to go to wakes
to collect a crowd about him.
All he has to do is stop
at any street corner...
and light a cigar and 50 people'll
come out on the cement and say,
"How are ya, Frank?
What can you do for me today?"
And as for votes, sure there's not
a man or woman in that house...
whose vote he hasn't had
in his pocket these last 20 years.
All right, if that's true,
then why all this?
Well, I'll tell ya.
Your uncle came here tonight
for only one reason.
He came to Knocko's wake
so the widow would feel a little better...
thinkin' about all the friends
her husband had.
Oh, I'll admit that politics is...
well, it's not the most
diplomatic thing to discuss...
But if it wasn't that,
it'd be sports,
or the high cost of livin'
or-or somethin' else.
Now, you wouldn't want a room full of men
to go on talkin' indefinitely...
about what a terrible thing death is,
now would ya?
No, I suppose not.
- Good evening, Monsignor.
- Ah, good evening, John.
This is Adam Caulfield,
the mayor's nephew.
Adam, this is Monsignor Killian.
- Monsignor.
- Happy to know you, Adam.
Say, I enjoy that column of yours.
It's very well written.
Thank you.
Except I can't say that I agree with
that all-American team you picked.
Well, I had a tackle and
a guard from Notre Dame,
and that back
from Holy Cross.
Yeah, but I'm from Marquette.
See you after the rosary.
We'll be in shortly,
Well, now,
as I was sayin'.
No, no, no, no,
wait a minute.
I... I wanna
apologize to ya.
- No harm done, lad.
- No, really pretty stupid of me.
No harm at all. But there is
one more thing I'd like to add.
In a little while now, they'll be
offerin' up the prayers for the dead,
and a hundred times more people will be
prayin' than would've been there...
without your uncle and the politics.
Oh, I don't say they'd all be prayin' away
as holy as St. Francis,
but I have a suspicion that Knocko Minihan
is in no position to reject...
anything along that line
that might come his way.
Shall we go in now?
Well, Monsignor,
what a nice surprise.
- Nice to see you.
- Thank you.
How's your boss these days?
His Eminence is very well, thank you.
I'll tell him you inquired.
You do that. You better
be ready to duck, though.
Between the two of us, Mr. Mayor,
the Cardinal's bark
is far worse than his bite.
Well, I wouldn't know about that.
I've never been bitten.
Although I guess he has directed
a few snaps in my direction.
It's really very nice to see you,
and I appreciate very much
your coming here tonight.
Oh, but I was here last night
and the night before as well.
Mrs. Minihan is my friend too.
- Cuke.
- Yeah, boss.
- Wipe the egg off my chin, will you?
- Sure.
- Well, there ain't none on it.
- There ain't, huh?
Hello, hello, my dear man!
You must be the literate member
of the family. I see the resemblance.
- You have the Skeffington ear.
- How do you do?
I'm Hennessey, the Honorable
Charles J. Hennessey.
How do you do, sir?
Vote for me
and atone for your uncle's sins.
Ditto, my good buffoon,
one of those nickel cigars.
Well, hello, Charlie. How are you?
Nice to see you.
I understand
you're using a sound truck this year.
Yes, yes, yes. Tellin' the facts
to the public day and night.
Telling the facts about you, my dear man,
and that nut boy, McCluskey.
Oh, I thought his life
was an open book...
with all of the pages blank.
Yes, yes, nice boy.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Fine boy, fine boy.
But when he adds up two and two,
he always gets five and a half
for an answer.
Like when he sued the city
for Danny Dacey two years ago,
he lost poor Danny in the chase because
he thought the banks were closed...
closed on Groundhog Day.
He thought Groundhog Day
was a legal holiday.
- Good heavens, so did I. Isn't it?
- I don't know, Your Honor.
Well, we'll make it one.
- Look out, Charlie. Gert's comin' in.
- Oh, the widow is comin' in.
May I suggest you extend
your sympathies, sir, quickly.
But stay around for the rosary.
The ease and dispatch
as he hands out the marching orders.
The man's to the manor born.
Just a few
of Knocko's friends, Gert.
- Good night, Gert.
- Good night, and thank you, Frank.
Well, good night.
Well, I think we can say
everything went well. Very well, indeed.
Yes, yes, I think everything
went very well, indeed.
Uh, there's one little thing about
your work that troubles me a bit, Mr...
- Degnan, Degnan.
- Mr. Degnan.
Uh, and that's the cost.
Doesn't it seem to you that the
arrangements are rather splendid...
for anyone in such
reduced circumstances?
Well, Your Honor,
I always like to feel...
that the final homage
should be such that...
the deceased himself
would have been proud of it.
You've discussed all of this,
of course, with Mrs. Minihan.
- Oh, well, no. You see...
- Mr. Degnan, let me ask you something.
You... You... You have officiated...
probably at a great many
of these last homages.
Oh, yes, yes.
In other words,
you have buried a lot of people.
W-Well, yes.
What would you say is the cheapest
you ever buried anyone for?
- The cheapest?
- The cheapest. Yes, the cheapest.
Well, I don't think I...
Would you say, for example,
would you say, oh, $35?
- Thirty-five dollars?
- Thirty-five.
You couldn't possibly
bury anyone for $35 today.
Oh, now, now, now, now.
I'll bet you could
if you really tried.
And just to show
my confidence in you,
that's what I'm gonna
ask you to do right now.
But... But the costs.
Everything has been arranged.
The limousines, the... the... the choir.
Now, look, I'm willing...
I'm willing to cooperate.
But what you ask
is utterly impossible.
Oh, impossible.
You mustn't say that word, Mr. Degnan.
That does not belong
in the bright lexicon of youth.
And besides, it's a...
it's a contagious thing.
You know, a thing like that
could get out to the general public.
It might even get
to your licensing board.
Oh, no, no, let's not say "impossible,"
Mr. Degnan.
Let's just say $35.
And I'm sure it'll be a last homage
of which you'll be very proud.
Good night and thank you,
Mr. Degnan.
Well, anyway,
they can't say we didn't give
old Knocko the grand send-off.
It must've been
a proud moment for him,
as he looked down on us
this day.
"As he looked down?" Your sense
of direction's a little off, isn't it?
- What's wrong?
- This came in right after you left.
The banks have refused
the loan for the housing development.
"Further study."
Why, they've had six months.
Get Norman Cass at Consolidated Trust.
Frank, you can't let him
get away with this.
I couldn't
face the people.
I've been promisin' and promisin'
any week now...
any day they'll start to work.
All right, John, John.
Now, have I ever let you down?
What are you waiting for?
Mr. Cass is having lunch
at the Plymouth Club.
- Well, call him there.
- Quite out of the question.
House rule 12,
passed in the year 1797. I quote:
"Members whilst at sup, shall not
suffer interruption for any reason,
"save it be for matters
of grievous import,
such as fire or flood
or piracy or Indian attack."
And that goes
for telephone calls.
Are you kiddin'?
Well, I was a member there
once myself.
Of course,
that was pre-Skeffington.
Oh, yes, you might be interested
in who else was having lunch
with Mr. Cass today.
Mr. Fortman of First National,
Blair of Citizens Savings,
Arthur Palmer of Mechanics
and diverse others.
Now this might be
just coincidence.
Fire, flood
and Indian attacks, huh?
Get your hat.
- Come on, Ditto.
- Ditto!
Frank, he'll never get by the door!
They'll throw you out on your ear!
Don't bet on that, will you, John?
What are you waiting for?
Coming, sir.
Come on, Sam.
- Mr. Skeffington!
- Don't worry. It's not a holdup.
- All right, come on, beat it!
- But...
I beg your pardon!
I'm a member here!
Remarkable. Still breathing the same air
they brought over on the Mayflower.
Hello, Robert.
I believe Mr. Norman Cass...
is having lunch here today
with some of his friends.
Yes, sir, Mr. Winslow,
in the Cotton Mather Room.
The Cotton... You're joking.
Honest to God.
hat do they use
for decorations up there, huh?
Burning witches?
Dunking stools?
I wouldn't be surprised.
Pick yourselves a nice
comfortable pillory, gentlemen.
I'll be down presently.
Mr. Skeffington!
Gentlemen, I bring alarming news.
- The Redcoats are coming.
- Oh, but, sir, you can't go up there.
No person who is not a member
may go beyond the first floor.
And I don't wonder.
The place is obviously a firetrap.
Look at those banisters.
Just look. Flimsy.
And that door?
Is that a fire door?
Don't you know that every fire door is
required by law to be covered by metal?
- Inspector, make a note of that.
- I will, sir.
- Look at that.
- Got a pencil on ya?
Settle the matter.
Read my editorial this afternoon...
Please forgive this intrusion.
But I claim the privileges
of House rule 12,
and I come on a matter
fully as important as...
fire, floods and Indian attack.
Mr. Mayor, Mr. Mayor,
you'll never cease to amaze me.
Well, gentlemen, do we invite His Honor
to join us in a cup of coffee,
or shall we just sit here
in outraged dignity?
I, for one, refuse to sit
at the same table with him.
Sit down.
Since you admit it is an intrusion,
Mr. Skeffington, what do you want?
Well, not coffee at any rate.
Thank you very much, Bishop Gardiner.
What I want, very simply,
is what your distinguished ancestors,
the Pilgrim fathers, wanted...
when they came to these shores
300 years ago:
better living conditions,
specifically in ward nine.
- I call this confounded impudence!
- Amos, please.
You had your answer
to that this morning.
Well, I came in the hope that
you might change your mind.
Are you, uh, are you speaking
for Consolidated only, Mr. Cass?
I believe I'm speaking for us all.
- Indeed, you are.
- I don't see no reason to change.
Oh, oh, oh, well, now that...
that does pose a problem.
I-I hate going
to the press...
and reporting that the city's leading
bankers are opposed to slum clearance.
You may report, sir,
that the banks do not consider
this city a good financial risk...
under your administration.
We prefer to wait until
the municipal situation has changed...
at least to some extent.
Uh, to the extent of a new mayor?
Is that it?
Now if you'll have...
Oh, I can't say that I blame you entirely
for wanting me out of office.
But gentlemen, please don't use
this housing development...
as a political football.
I tell you, there isn't a day goes by
that some kid isn't run over down there,
playing in the street, because
he has no place else to play.
And do you know how many cases
we took out of those cold-water flats
last year alone?
Would you have it on your
conscience that because...
Mr. Skeffington.
Before appealing
to our conscience,
I suggest that you consult
your own.
We have not jeopardized
the city's credit.
There is nothing wrong with
the city's credit, and you know it.
On that, we happen to differ.
On that,
and one or two other points.
But it really all boils down
to one, doesn't it?
The fact that the city
is no longer yours. It's ours.
You have this musty shrine
to your bluenosed ancestors,
but my people have
the City Hall.
And that's what sticks
in your craw.
You can't swallow it,
and you can't forget it.
Well, I'm gonna
make you eat it.
That housing project
is going up as planned,
and it's going to open
on schedule.
And you know what day that's going to be?
St. Patrick's Day.
And I am going to lead
the parade...
right down here
past those windows...
to remind you of this promise
I am making now.
And now, gentlemen,
I'll bid you good day.
Mr. Mayor.
Aren't you being
a bit too Irish?
Certainly what you said
may have been true once.
The jealousy, the resentment we
old-time Yankees had for your people...
when you first began
crowding in.
I'd say it was natural enough,
but look at what's been happening.
Our boys and girls are going to
same schools and colleges.
They're intermarrying,
raising families.
No child of mine will
ever marry one of them.
That's not surprising, Amos,
considering that you're a bachelor.
There's just one thing more,
Mr. Mayor.
We Yankees have been termed
hard and flinty.
Our Puritan heritage, no doubt.
But we love this city just as deeply...
as you more sentimental Irish
claim to love it.
Claim to?
You don't think that I honestly do?
Yes, I honestly think you do.
You know, you haven't won
entirely by the Irish vote.
I've occasionally
voted for you myself.
I may again.
Thank you, Bishop.
Mr. Skeffington, in spite of the fact
that you're the mayor this city...
- Oh, beat it.
- You have no right...
- A derby, wasn't it, Your Honor?
- Yes, yes.
Whose is that,
Sir Thomas Lipton?
Didn't know he was a member.
How did he get in?
Oh, no, Your Honor.
That's Mr. Norman Cass Junior's,
the commodore.
Oh, of course,
the commodore, yeah.
Yes, the c... You remember the commodore.
Uh, uh, classmates.
- If you must rub it in, yes.
- Yeah. Yeah.
- Take the commodore's hat and find him.
- He'd be in the bar.
- Have him in my office... in an hour.
- But...
I wonder if I could leave a little message
with you for Mr. Cass Senior.
Would you tell him that
I shall expect him at the City Hall
the first thing in the morning?
First thing, at the City Hall.
Yes, Your Honor.
I will, sir.
And Your Honor,
don't let on, but...
Ah, you're a man
after me own heart.
Ah. Ah, thanks.
Max says we gotta have 'em back by 5:00.
You know, the parade tomorrow.
He'll have 'em back by 5:00.
Don't worry.
- Mr. Norman Cass, Junior.
- Beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it.
Well, well.
Well, well, at long last...
I'm going to have the pleasure of meeting
our foremost yachtsman.
So you heard about me
winning the Sloop Race Sunday?
"The Floop Rafe?"
Oh, the Sloop Race!
Well, indeed, I did.
Indeed, I...
And do you know the thing that interested
me most about that race. Mr. Cass?
The fact that it was won by a banker.
A banker, Winslow.
Here we go along,
blundering day after day,
thinking of bankers only as staid,
conservative indoor men.
And then along comes
a man like Mr. Cass...
to show us that they're
also men of daring.
Quick to chart their course
and bold enough to hold it.
And those are qualities
we need in this city, Mr. Cass.
And we need them today.
Well, I must say, that's extremely
generous of you, Mr. Mayor.
Sit down. Do sit down.
Now I realize that you're
an extremely busy man,
so I'm going to come
directly to the point.
I have taken this up with
the best minds in the city, Mr. Cass,
and they're all agreed.
May I call you Norman?
- Oh, please do.
- Norman.
We want to make you
our fire commissioner.
Fire Commissioner? I?
Fire Commission...?
But there must be
some mistake, sir.
Fire Commissioner?
- You've heard of the fire department?
- Why, yes, but...
And I'll wager
you know what it does.
Well, I-I know it puts out fires.
Winslow, there you are.
Have you ever heard
a more cogent description...
of the functions
of the fire department?
It puts out fires.
Winslow, what did I tell you?
But I-I'm a banker.
Now, Normy, remember what
Clemenceau once said about war.
That it was much too important
a matter to trust to generals.
And that is precisely the way
I feel about our fire department.
Now, I am not
going to pretend...
that this position does
not have its disadvantages,
particularly to
a man like yourself...
who prefers to keep out
of the public eye.
You would, of course,
have to attend all of the major fires...
and wearing this helmet...
in the commissioner's
white uniform,
shouting your orders
to the men.
You would, I'm afraid,
be the center of attention.
It is one of the penalties
of command.
Then, too,
on your daily rounds,
you would, of course, have to use
the commissioner's big red car,
equipped with siren...
and accompanied
by two uniformed firemen.
Siren? Did you say siren?
I was afraid Norman
wouldn't go for the siren, Mayor.
Oh, I know, I know
it's... it's bothersome,
but you must realize...
that the fire commissioner could not be
stopped by a thing like a traffic light.
Once that siren sounds,
every car on the road must move over.
Those are regulations.
I feel you would
get used to it in time.
Oh, I'm sure I could.
I'm sure I could, Winnie.
Ah, I was hoping you'd say that.
Now, I-I don't wanna stampede you
into any quick decision,
but I have prepared
a little letter of acceptance,
if you'll just sign right there.
I suppose every citizen
must make some sacrifices...
- Yeah.
- in these circumstances.
I wish I could tell you
how happy this makes me.
Now I wonder if we could get a couple
of pictures for the press release.
- Winnie, tell Mr. Gillen...
- Mr. Gillen?
Cuke. Now I know that I can trust you
not to breathe a word of this...
until I make the announcement,
not even to your father.
Not a single syllable.
Gentlemen, His Honor
would like to see you.
Oh, gentlemen,
our new fire commissioner.
Hold it.
Mr. Commissioner.
Pleased to make
your acquaintance, Commish.
Come on inside.
I want to get another picture of you.
My, won't Father be surprised
when he hears the news?
Still on the city's payroll,
I find it infinitely preferable
to being on yours, Cass.
And you might take off
your hat.
Mr. Norman Cass, Senior.
What's all this nonsense about
my son and some appointment?
Well, we may announce
the appointment later today.
I'll let you know.
Call you later.
Did you say "nonsense"?
Don't you consider it
a laudable ambition?
Your son wishes
to serve the city.
What the well-dressed
fire commissioner will wear.
You may have this
ifyou'd like.
It might look well on the walls
ofyour bank or on the front pages.
Well, Cass, when do I announce
the appointment?
You can't bluff me.
You have no intention of appointing him.
On the contrary,
I have every intention of appointing him.
Of appointing him
and then leaving him strictly on his own.
How long do you think
that boy will last?
How long before I'll have to step in
and save him, or what's left of him...
and what's left of you
and your family name?
May I say this, sir?
I consider this outright blackmail.
Cheap and vicious! And typical of you
and everything you represent!
Don't you try
to pull that on me!
What am I supposed to do?
Redden with shame...
at the prospect
of playing dirty pool...
with a fine and distinguished
gentleman like you?
It so happens, I know your record
from "A" to "Z," Cass!
I wouldn't touch it
with a garbageman's gloves!
Now let's get down to cases!
I've got you chest-high
to a wringer, and you know it.
All right now,
I'm waiting.
We'll reconsider the city's application
for the housing loan.
- Not good enough! Try again!
- We'll draw up the loan!
Now you're talking.
This picture.
I want the negative
and whatever he signed.
They'll be returned the day
the loan comes through.
Very well.
May I use your phone?
Why not? As a taxpayer,
that's your privilege.
Uh, local call,
Get me Amos Force.
Norman Cass!
You may consider this a victory, but I can
tell you it's one you'll live to regret.
One more regret at my age
won't make much difference.
Amos, that candidate
of yours...
Kevin McCluskey.
Count me in.
I'll back him to whatever extent
is necessary.
You have an open check.
One, two, three hundred thousand,
four hundred thousand.
Cost is no object. Right.
Good day, sir.
Or, more accurately, good-bye.
That's it. Come on here.
Get right up here. Oh!
No, right here in the chair. That's it.
Now you just sit there quietly
and don't give us any trouble.
- What shall I call the dog?
- Fido. Call him Fido.
How are you? Set over here?
Cards... Get 'em over on that side.
Gimme the mike.
Oh, yeah, we're about set.
Hit the lights, fellas.
Uh, Will, open on this camera.
I'll take it on the red light. Okay?
Turn the thing on.
Channel five, he says.
The impudence. The affrontory.
Why must I have to depend upon
that horrible man, Roger Sugrue,
for my information?
- I couldn't say, Your Eminence.
- Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
Once again, we welcome you
into the home of Kevin McCluskey,
the Coalition candidate for mayor.
And believe me,
ladies and gentlemen,
it's a pleasure to be associated
with this fine American boy.
Naval hero.
And, in this quiet
religious home,
in the place of honor
over the hearth,
is a picture ofHis Eminence,
the Cardinal.
It is.
It is my picture!
How dare he hang my picture
on his wall?
But, Your Eminence, I don't believe
there's any law forbidding the use...
Of course there's a law.
I refuse to sit here
and be exploited.
Why doesn't he pin up a picture of
the Holy Father, while he's about it?
- Shall I turn it off?
- No, no, no.
And now,
ladies and gentlemen,
the Coalition candidate
for mayor,
Kevin McCluskey.
Won't you sit down,
Mr. McCluskey?
Now, uh...
Tell me,
Mr. McCluskey,
how do you feel the campaign
has been going?
I, uh, I feel fine.
I... I honestly do.
And it's my honest belief that
it's been a wonderful campaign.
And, and, Jack, I honestly believe,
speaking in all sincerity,
that when people...
- realize the issues of...
- Honest government?
of honest government...
that they will... they will
flock to the polls...
in great numbers.
And now, ladies and gentlemen,
Mrs. McCluskey.
Uh, dear.
- Mignon?
- Mrs. McCluskey.
Mrs. McCluskey!
Well, Mrs. McCluskey,
I see you're being the dutiful wife.
Ah, Charlie.
Isn't that a darlin' picture
of American home life?
We'll win in a walk.
A posterior for posterity. I'll have one
enlarged for your headquarters.
Get away with that thing.
Tell me, are you enjoying
this campaign?
Well, how does it feel to be the wife
of the candidate for mayor?
"Oh, it feels absolutely
wonderful, Mr. Mangan.
"It makes me very proud
of my husband.
But then I have always been
proud of him."
- "And of the children."
- Yes.
I understand they just
came downstairs with you.
Did you have any trouble
with them, Mrs. McCluskey?
- Oh, no, except for Valerie.
- Uh-huh.
"Valerie. I was just putting
Valerie to bed,
but nothing would do
but that she come too."
Well, she's a wonderful little tyke.
Oh, there they are.
Come right in, children.
Come on, children. Come right in now.
Valerie, come on.
Come on, Valerie. That's a girl.
- That's a cute little one there.
- There you are.
- All right, now, curtsy girls.
- How are you?
Oh, that's it. Go to Daddy.
Ladies and gentlemen,
the lovely family...
of Kevin McCluskey,
your next mayor!
- Good night, Ernest. Good night.
- Good night.
- Good night, Bishop.
- Thank you, Graves.
I was watching your man on television.
The answer is no.
Perhaps you didn't understand my call.
We're not asking for money.
- Merely your endorsement of his candidacy.
- That's right, Bishop.
Just a statement from you as one
of our most prominent churchmen.
- You mind telling me why?
- I don't like him.
We don't expect you
to adopt him.
I'd almost rather do that
than vote for him.
Of course, I have nothing
against him personally.
But I would have a great deal
against him as mayor.
At least you'll concede
he's the lesser of two evils.
Mm, I'm not so sure
about that.
To be quite honest, I'd prefer
an engaging rogue to a complete fool.
I shall not vote for Skeffington,
of course,
nor will I vote for what
your Mr. McCluskey represents.
- You sure you know what he represents?
- Yes, quite sure, Norman.
Both what and whom.
You know I know.
We're neither of us children.
So just let's say
I don't choose to play.
Good night, Norman.
Good night, Amos.
You bungled it.
You should've applied pressure.
His endorsement
would've meant everything.
What pressure do you suggest?
Burning a fiery cross in his front lawn?
Stop talking nonsense.
The hope of the future:
a mealymouthed maneuverable
piece of dough.
- Is this the best we can do?
- Pardon, Your Eminence?
This McCluskey.
Is he typical of what we're turning out
of our colleges these days?
Is he a specimen of this educated
young laity I keep hearing so much about,
but never seem to encounter?
Typical of some, perhaps.
Certainly not the best.
Then where are the best?
Well, not in politics,
that's for sure.
Times have changed,
Your Eminence.
Once, politics was the only way our
young men could climb out of the slums.
Yes, indeed.
That was the way
Frank Skeffington chose.
And I'll not be forgetting,
so did I.
Good night, my boy.
Skeffington, Skeffington
Cast your vote
for Skeffington
He's the man with the plan
The one foryou and me
He's true blue, he's for you
He's our favorite son
Hurry up, hurry up
Hurry up, vote
For Skeffington
Skeffington, Skeffington
Cast your vote for Skeffington
He's the man with the plan
The one foryou and me
He's true blue, he's for you
He's our favorite son
Hurry up, hurry up
Hurry up, vote for Skeffington
Maeve, honey,
we've got company.
Well, how do you do, Mister...
Uncle Frank? So nice to see you again.
- Thank you. Thank you, thank you.
- Won't you come in?
- Nice to see you again.
- Honey, let's get something to eat.
Do you know...
your mother was the prettiest girl
who ever lived in the Third Ward?
Except one.
And that was her mother, Ellen.
Your grandmother.
And do you know that you...
you look exactly like her?
- Do I really?
- Indeed, you do.
But my father says
you try to be all things to all people.
Oh, no, no. No, no.
I've tried to be only one thing:
their mayor.
Well, of course, sometimes that
requires a little juggling, you know?
You know, the trick, Maeve,
is to, uh,
know what the people want,
and, uh, then
what you can settle for.
You see, you can always
promise the first.
But you really only
have to deliver the second.
But what if people want
entirely opposite things?
How can you satisfy
Then you depend upon
man's greatest friend: the compromise.
I can give you
a case in point.
Do you remember, Adam,
the statue I promised for them...
down in the park
at Little Italy?
Uh, yeah, that was
Christopher Columbus, wasn't it?
Well, uh, yes, his name,
uh, was mentioned,
but that happened to be at a communion
breakfast of the Knights of Columbus.
You know?
Now, the next day,
the Sons of Italy got ahold of me,
and, of course,
they plugged for Garibaldi.
The following day,
the Athletic Club called me,
and they wanted
Rocky Marciano.
And then a band of enthusiasts
got together, believe it or not,
and suggested the Cardinal.
Now, Maeve, w-what would you do
in a situation like that...
and still not make enemies?
I don't know.
What did you do?
Well, I'm going to make
my announcement tomorrow.
Going to be the first act
of the newly elected mayor.
The statue is going to be
of Mother Cabrini.
- Mother Cabrini.
- For goodness sakes.
First American saint.
Let's see somebody
fool around with that one.
All right, now you tell me the truth.
Who did you vote for?
Wouldn't you
like to know?
Mr. Degnan.
Why, Mr. Degnan,
how nice to see you again.
And isn't it a fine day?
Well, I suppose we're both here
for the same reason.
You know, Frank Skeffington
thinks the world in all of you.
He told me so himself.
You know, it means a great deal to have
a friend in a man like Frank Skeffington.
Do you want one
up against the...
Well, if it isn't the faithful knight,
Sir Roger?
Do you mind stepping aside
while these gentlemen record
this great moment in history?
Speaking of history, do you suppose
there's ever been a candidate...
who voted for the other fella?
Now they've blinded me.
I may not be able to find my own name.
Oh, yes, I can find it,
all right.
Well, Footsie, I'm sorry to tell you
that I have just nullified your vote.
Good day.
Come on.
Up. Up.
There's the boy.
Well, at least
we got rid of that mutt!
- Hiya, Dad.
- Hello there. You voted already?
Ha. This'll kill ya. I forgot to register.
How dumb can ya get?
But you don't need my vote, do ya?
You'll win in a walk.
See ya.
For Mr. Caulfield, sir.
He said it was from his grandmother,
and you'd know what to do with it.
Gentlemen, please!
Quiet, please! Gentlemen!
Quiet, please! His Honor, the mayor,
is entering the building.
Quiet, please! Quiet!
Pay attention!
Pay attention!
Now the minute he hits the door,
I want everybody... all of you...
three rounds of cheers,
and here he is!
Oh, it's good to see you.
Ditto, Ditto, I thought
I was looking into a mirror.
Oh, we can't lose with the gray
hamburgers, can we, Your Honor?
- We never have.
- Oh.
Please, please, gentlemen!
Get one of these.
One, one, one, one. One, two, one, two.
One... It works.
I wanna thank you all
for your confidence,
for your enthusiasm
and for your support,
especially your support
at the polls this morning.
Now I realize, of course,
that some of you...
couldn't give me all of the support
that you wanted to,
but we're working under rather
restrictive measures this year:
only one vote
to a customer.
Now, when the results are all in,
we'll have a real celebration.
Thank you,
thank you very much.
That's great.
Well, Frank, tonight we don't
need a crystal ball. You're in.
- Not by a landslide, but you're in.
- John?
That's the way I call it, Frank.
Eighty thousand, maybe ninety.
Oh, now, wait a minute.
You may be a little high there.
I don't like to disagree with your
prognosis, but 50,000 will suit me fine.
That'll do it.
How about some coffee?
Come in, Adam.
Let him in, boys. Let him in.
Oh, hello, Ditto.
Well, what have you been doing all day?
Who me? Oh, I and the boys
have been roundin' up the shut-ins,
the crippled up ones with no cars.
The lame and the halted,
as they say.
Oh, His Honor's very particular
when it comes to that.
He wants everyone to be a first-class,
"A" - number-one American citizen...
- when it comes to votin'.
- Who are those fellas over there?
That's the Marching Chowder
and Total Abstinence Society.
From the third ward.
They're gonna lead the victory parade.
Oh, that's a nice boy.
Here we go, boys.
Quiet, quiet, please! Quiet.
The first returns are in...
from the 31st ward.
The Honorable
Charles J. Hennessey:
Kevin, that is... 367.
Skeffington: 28.
I-I don't see what they're all
laughing about. I don't think...
Don't pay any attention to that.
Those are the blue bloods, the swells.
You know, from across the tracks.
Doesn't mean a thing.
Oh, hi, Uncle Frank.
Adam, Adam, Adam,
is Junior with you?
Uh, well, no, sir.
I haven't seen him.
Oh, oh. Well, come in
and have a cup of coffee.
Sir, the returns
from ward six are coming in!
Yeah. Yeah.
All right.
Returns from ward six,
My district.
Hennessey: four.
McCluskey: 87.
Skeffington: 987!
Evidently, every little vote has a meaning
of its own. Is that right, Uncle Frank?
- Yes, that's right. Winslow!
- Sir.
You don't suppose your people
over in ward six are still mad at me...
for putting up those public comfort
stations on South Beach, do you?
- It was resented, sir.
- Ah, they oughta be grateful.
Get Quiet Mike.
Why don't you call Farino?
You want a cup of coffee? We always
have coffee. Sometimes it's cold, but...
Quiet, quiet!
Fourteenth ward, complete.
McCluskey: 684.
Skeffington: 987!
Final returns from ward 17,
Hennessey: nine.
McCluskey: 519.
Skeffington: 168.
- But Dan.
- No, I checked. It's right.
Well, check it again.
Let's check those figures.
Listen, Dan, Dan. There must be a mistake
here. I don't care what anybody says.
Whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo.
Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello.
Still works.
Now, I don't think
we should, uh,
get too excited
about these first returns.
After all, my opponent has spent most
of the campaign sitting on his settee.
He should have at least
one good sprint in him.
Well, go and find out. Get off your butt
and get out in that ward.
What? What? You sure?
Okay. We got stories, boss.
I know we got trouble.
How much trouble?
The kid's begun to pull in about 60
precincts. In two, he started to snowball.
- Which ones?
- That's the trouble.
They're scattered:
16th and 107th.
- And 40th and 207th.
- Quiet Mike says we could turn any minute.
Patty! Say, P...
I don't care about any of that, Patty.
Five thousand!
You told me you could deliver 15,000.
You better hope, Patty. You and I are
gonna be out of a job come January 1.
Yeah, yeah.
Johnny Montgomery, east end,
he says we're safe enough there.
Thirty precincts we can lose.
Sixty precincts we can lose.
A hundred precincts we can lose.
Well, sixty anyway.
Beyond that, we've got a battle.
What are we afraid of?
Come on, come on.
Let's get busy. Let's get going.
Sam, what are
you talking about?
The votes are in.
It's all over.
There's nothing for us to do
but sit and wait.
But what went wrong?
Where was the mistake made?
As a campaign, this was a classic.
For the books.
Not one wrong move!
Boss, I'll tell you.
It was a double cross.
- Quiet, quiet, quiet.
- This was not a double cross!
Boss, boss,
the fife and drum corps.
The marching club from the third ward
is outside, ready to go.
- Should we start the victory parade?
- Wait a minute.
Ditto, I think it's a little early
to start the victory parade.
But I tell you what I'll do.
I'll let you know the minute we go.
Right, boss.
John, if I had your money
to spend in my ward...
Quiet, quiet, qu...!
What are you talking about?
If you had the money?
What is this?
Why, you're acting like
a couple of...
I'm sorry.
It's not always like that.
You know, responsibilities
can always be fixed later. Let's not...
Better go out and talk
to the faithful few, I guess.
Kinda quiet out there,
isn't it?
Nothing but the sound of their
fallen hopes. Come on, Adam.
Now knock it off!
I mean it!
Come on. Drink some of that coffee.
It'll cool you off.
I still say
it was a double cross.
Go ahead, read it.
I'll go ahead.
Final returns from ward 26,
McCluskey: 1,192.
Skeffington: 675.
Yes, I got it.
Hiya, Dad.
Hello, Adam.
Great night, isn't it?
I sure get a kick out of this.
Everybody working so hard and everything.
Telephones ringing,
typewriters, microphones.
Hey, Dan! What a cool emcee.
Gosh, it's been a long time
since I saw a blackboard.
- Hiya, Charlie.
- Junior.
Well, how's the election going,
Take a good look,
- Figures.
- Read it. Read it.
120 wards out of 385.
Skeffington: 114,238.
McCluskey: 152, 119.
Your old dad's
taking quite a beating.
Aw, come on,
that's not even a third of the vote.
You'll win. You always do.
Well, look, I voted for you, didn't I?
Well, I... Hey, would you like
to meet Helen?
She's a swell girl,
and, boy, can she cha-cha.
Well, not right now, Junior.
Some other time.
You... You run along
and have a good time.
- We'll... We'll cha-cha later.
- Okay.
Oh, hey, Adam.
Why don't you give me a buzz sometime...
and you and your wife can step
out with me some night, huh?
Yeah, we'll do that sometime.
Pictures. Get away.
Will you please? Thank you.
Hey, hey, will you get out of there,
please? Will you beat it?
- Thank you.
- A little higher, please.
- One more.
- Thank you.
Dig that girl
gettin' her picture taken.
- Thank you!
- You know, she's kinda bashful.
- One more.
- Thank you.
Helen hasn't been bashful
since she posed on a bathmat...
when she was three months old.
Frank, east end's gone.
- Fifteen out of twenty precincts.
- Mm-hmm.
- What are you gonna do?
- Well, I don't have many choices, do I?
Ward six, ward six.
McCluskey: 861.
- Skeffington: 307.
- Hey, Dan, you must be kidding.
All right, go ahead.
Dan, you're doin' a first-class,
"A"- number-one job.
His Honor'd be
the first one to say so.
Well, thanks anyway.
Hey, boss. There's a television outfit
out there acting kinda fresh.
How's it for me to bounce
a couple of 'em out on their ears?
- I would like to.
- Now, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
You're gettin' yourself
all excited for no...
Come on. Let's go out
and meet 'em.
- Hello, Frank.
- Hello, Clete. Nice to see you.
Frank, do you mind
if I make a statement?
No, no, go right ahead.
After all, you have to work for a living.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I'm reporting from the headquarters
of Frank Skeffington.
The vote is still piling up
against him.
McCluskey is leading by about
60, 000 votes at this point.
It looks like we're on the edge of
the biggest political upset...
in the history ofour city.
What's he mean?
You heard, didn't you?
Now, His Honor,
Mayor Frank Skeffington.
Thank you.
Uh, ladies and gentlemen,
it appears from the vote
that McCluskey's won
and is going to be
your next mayor.
I wish to offer Mr. McCluskey my heartiest
congratulations and good luck.
Of course, he does't need
the congratulations.
He may, however,
need the luck.
And now,
I want to take
this opportunity...
of thanking each
and every one of you...
who went to the polls
to vote for me this morning.
- Thank you.
- Just one question, Mayor Skeffington.
Have you made any plans
for the future?
Well, yes, yes.
As a matter of fact, I have.
I hadn't intended
to say anything about it tonight,
but, uh,
I suppose I might
just as well talk about it now.
Would you like to
move in a little?
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am going to run
for governor of the state.
And, I might add,
I expect to win.
Thank you,
and good night.
What did he say?
That he's going to run for governor,
and he expects to win.
Frank Skeffington is
leaving his campaign headquarters now.
- Come on. Let's go.
- With him are all ofhis loyal supporters,
those who have fought alongside
of him in this campaign.
There's an air of defeat here,
but it was not shared by the candidate.
There's only one way to describe him:
that he was victorious in defeat.
Of course there's an air of victory at the
recently elected McCluskey's headquarters,
and for that picture, I take you
to my colleague John Connor.
Come in, John.
Good night.
Good night.
Boss! Boss!
- Ditto! Ditto!
- I'm on my way to McCluskey headquarters.
I'm gonna step up and poke him in the
mush. I'm gonna tell him to his face...
he's a siphon, a veritable siphon!
Ditto, Ditto, Ditto.
Now, come on, Ditto.
Get ahold of yourself.
After all, remember,
everything is fair
in love and war.
Now, here.
You take your hamburger and you go home
and get a good night's sleep.
Remember, I'll be needing
you in the morning.
Good night, Ditto.
- Good night, Charlie.
- Good night.
Say, Uncle Frank,
I think Maeve is still up.
How about coming in for a cup of coffee?
Oh, no. Not tonight.
I really feel a little tired.
I think I'll just take a little walk
and turn in.
I'm... I'm sorry the show
didn't have a happier ending.
Maybe I can do better
next time, Adam.
- Good night.
- Good night, Uncle Frank.
I don't think we'll move him
to the hospital.
In his present condition,
he'll do just as well here.
- Is it bad?
- Any coronary is bad.
And this isn't his first attack,
or did you know that?
No, no, I didn't.
Three years ago.
It wasn't too severe,
but it was the warning, at least
I tried to make him see it that way.
Tom, you're sure he'll
pull through all right. I-I mean...
He has a chance.
How good a chance...
depends largely on
the next few days.
Absolute rest; no visitors. None, John.
And I don't want that doorbell ringing
every five minutes.
Don't worry.
There'll be a cop at the door.
- Cuke, call Jack Fitzgerald and...
- Yeah?
Tell him to keep
the street clear of traffic.
And have that thing muffled.
- Oh, and Adam.
- Yes, sir?
About Junior,
when he wakes up,
caution him about
his father's need for quiet.
- Yes, I'll talk to him.
- I'll be back around noon.
Um, do you think it would be all right
for me to see him just for a moment?
Don't talk too much.
- You have my number?
- Yes.
One thing in our favor:
his will to live.
He'll never quit.
Ah, that he'll not.
Um, I know you all
want to see him.
The doctor knows best.
Well, I'll tell him
that you're here.
- Hi, Uncle Frank.
- Hi. Nice to see you.
It's nice to see you too,
but I'm sorry
it had to be this way.
- How's the weather?
- Fine, but...
you're not supposed
to talk now, so...
You just take it easy, all right? And
I'll be back after you've had your nap.
G-Go away!
Beat it!
I don't know what
to tell you!
- Adam, you decide this. I can't.
- This house is...
Hey, it's against orders,
but get a load of that.
They started lining up
out there about ten minutes ago.
Theygot the news over the radio.
And I told 'em there was
nobody allowed to come in here.
All they wanted to do was to bring
their presents and be on their way.
- Go out and talk to those people, will ya?
- What?
Go out and talk
to those people.
Why can't they come in one at a time?
They're our own.
Oh, All right.
Ditto! Come on! Bring my lid.
Rafferty! Gangway!
Oh, Mrs. Minihan, how are you?
Let me help you crash the gate.
No, no, no.
It's all right. I'll stay here.
I brought him these. They were
Mrs. Skeffington's favorite flowers,
so I know they'd be his too.
Gladiolas. He'll love them.
Now he's resting. His Honor's resting.
And if you'll all be quiet, please.
Now folks, if you'll please be very quiet
and come in one at a time,
I know His Honor will appreciate
them lovely, lovely flowers.
Nice and easy, now.
That's pretty.
How are ya, Tom?
Now, be very quiet when you're inside.
Oh, I know
he'll love them.
Yes, he really will.
Take it easy, now.
One at a time,
and be very quiet
because he's resting.
And he's asleep now.
Tell me the truth.
How is he?
He's about the same.
The doctor's with him now.
Adam, you're sure
you don't want me to come over?
No. I'll uh...
I'll talk to you later, all right?
Hi, Adam!
Whew! Do we have to keep all these
flowers? It smells like a funeral parlor.
Mr. Gorman's made arrangements
to distribute them to the hospital.
He's gonna send
a truck around.
Junior, you're not
going out, are you?
I just thought I'd step out for a walk,
a breath of fresh air.
- You won't be gone too long?
- Roger.
Say, Adam, I've been thinking.
You know what Dad needs
is a good rest.
You know, a cruise
to the West Indies or someplace.
Sort of forget politics for awhile.
I think I'll stop by the travel agency
and pick up some of those folders.
Say, how about you and your wife?
Would you like to go along?
- It's an idea.
- Boy, oh boy, I sure like to hear
Some of that real calypso
Buh-buh-buh, buh-buh-buh
Tom, come on.
Let's cut out all this...
medieval mumbo-jumbo.
I want to have a few words with you.
You know this gets a little bit dull...
for an ac...
an active man like me, Tom.
Lying here all day, you know?
So I was thinking that...
I would like to invite
a few of the boys in this evening.
No. Not a chance.
Now, let's not talk
about it anymore.
You run the city.
Leave your health to me.
Kind of short-term employment
for both of us.
Let's quit kiddin', Tom.
We both know the score.
Come on.
Stop wastin' time.
my job is to keep you alive.
Now, stop that.
I don't want to
argue with you.
How long are you going
to keep me alive...
if I don't see
these people?
An hour? Two hours?
Twenty-four hours?
what's the matter
with you?
I want to see
a few of my old friends,
to say good-bye to them.
What's wrong with that?
Now, be reasonable, Frank!
Wait awhile. Tomorrow, we'll...
No, no, no,
I won't wait awhile. No, no.
You know, I just don't want
them to see me.
I want to see them.
Now, you'd better get 'em
in here, Tom,
or I'm liable to start
tearing this place apart.
And I don't imagine that would be too good
for a man in my condition, would it?
So that's it!
Moral blackmail, huh?
I don't exactly like that word
"blackmail," but...
you wouldn't have me change
the habit of a lifetime, would you, Tom?
All right. You win.
But just this once, Frank. Please.
I doubt very much if, uh,
a repeat performance...
will ever be an issue, don't you?
Festus Garvey! It's the likes of you
that'd come at a time like this to gloat.
John Gorman, if we're
not welcome here, we'll go.
Your Uncle Frank Skeffington and I
were in opposite camps for 40 years.
- But I would like to wish him well.
- Easy. Easy.
I'm sure my Uncle Frank
would like to see you, Mr. Garvey.
And you too, Mr...
The Honorable Charles J. Hennessy.
Mr. Hennessy.
Five minutes, John.
Five minutes.
Ahh. Hail, hail,
the gang's all here.
Well, gentlemen,
nice of you to come.
You too, Festus.
I'm touched.
They told us you were sick.
You don't look any worse to me
than Hennessy here does.
Ignorance, my dear man.
High color's no index of health.
Look at you... red as a beet,
veins twitching away.
Stop it, now.
We're not here to discuss me but him.
How are ya, Frank?
Well, the doctor says
I'm progressing very nicely.
In a short time, I'll be as well
as most Republicans.
Well, let's talk about
my run for governor.
Let's talk about
the next campaign.
Who do I have to beat?
Come on. You-You fellows are
supposed to be the experts. Tell me.
What about this crumb upstate?
This Rutherford K. Allen?
Allen? The one
they call "Sonny" Allen?
Fancy that, Frank.
The man wants to be the governor,
and he still calls himself "Sonny."
What we could do
with that one.
It'll be a dark day for Sonny.
Frank, just say the word,
and I'll throw in with you.
Radio, Frank!
The visit's over.
Bear it in mind, Frank.
Sound trucks! That's the thing.
Will you stop it?
Can't you see the man's tired?
And no wonder.
You take care of yourself, Frank.
L 'Chaim, Sam.
So long, boss.
So long, Cuke.
You've done grand things,
Grand, grand things.
Among other things.
But no regrets.
No regrets.
Thanks for everything.
This is not
the last good-bye, Frank.
Well, if it's not,
it's a pretty
reasonable facsimile.
How do you thank a man
for a million laughs?
Who's that,
Your Honor?
No matter.
- New?
- No, it's the same old hamburger.
He... He just went out
for a little while, Uncle Frank.
He ought to be back any minute.
Is there anything I can do for you?
He always had
a great sense of timing.
His Eminence,
the Cardinal.
No, no, no, no, no, no.
Stay there.
Well, now, Frank.
Perhaps I ought
not to have come.
But I'm here
on a matter of conscience.
Yours, Martin, or mine?
Well, I'm gratified to hear
you admit to one.
However, I feel
I owe you an explanation...
of why I have opposed you
these many years.
Now, Your Eminence,
I asked the priest
to come here...
to hear my confession,
not yours.
- Well, bless my soul.
- I do indeed.
And if you don't mind,
I'd like Monsignor Killian...
to do the same for mine.
All right, Frank.
Just the same, you've eased
my conscience tremendously.
Anytime, Martin.
- Maeve.
- Adam.
Daddy didn't think
I should come alone.
I didn't think
you should come at all...
- but certainly not alone.
- Why, you fake!
Look, if you're afraid of
being contaminated, go home.
Adam, please. Not now.
How is he?
Monsignor Killian's
with him now.
Your Eminence.
You've come to the house
of Frank Skeffington?
A prince of the church,
I can hardly believe
the evidence ofmy own eyes.
Roger Sugrue,
I wish I were free to give you
evidence of a stronger kind...
but a man is dying.
Your Eminence!
I'm sorry, my son.
You have my deepest sympathy.
What's the matter? Dad?
It's all right.
It's all right, son.
Well, at least he made
his peace with God.
There's one thing
we can all be sure of:
If he had it to do all over again,
there's no doubt in the world...
he would do it
very, very differently.