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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington(1939)

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Quotes

  • Jefferson Smith  

    You see, boys forget what their country means by just reading The Land of the Free in history books. Then they get to be men they forget even more. Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books, Miss Saunders. Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: I'm free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't, I can, and my children will. Boys ought to grow up remembering that.

  • Jefferson Smith  

    Either I'm dead right, or I'm crazy!

  • President of Senate  

    The Chair recognizes... Senator Smith!

  • Jefferson Smith  

    Thank you, sir.

  • Clarissa Saunders  

    Diz, here we go.

  • Jefferson Smith  

    Well, I guess the gentlemen are in a pretty tall hurry to get me out of here. The way the evidence has piled up against me, I can't say I blame them much. And I'm quite willing to go, sir, when they vote it that way -- but before that happens I've got a few things I want to say to this body. I tried to say them once before, and I got stopped colder than a mackerel. Well, I'd like to get them said this time, sir. And as a matter of fact, I'm not going to leave this body until I do get them said.

  • Senator Joseph Paine  

    Mr. President, will the Senator yield?

  • Senator Joseph Paine  

    I wish to ask my distinguished colleague, has he one scrap of evidence to add now to the defense he did not give and could not give at that same hearing?

  • Jefferson Smith  

    I have no defense against forged papers!

  • Senator Joseph Paine  

    The Committee ruled otherwise! The gentleman stands guilty, as charged. And I believe I speak for every member when I say that no one cares to hear what a man of his condemned character has to say about any section of any legislation before this House.

  • President of Senate  

    Order, order, gentlemen.

  • Jefferson Smith  

    Mr. President, I stand guilty as FRAMED! Because section 40 is graft! And I was ready to say so, I was ready to tell you that a certain man in my state, a Mr. James Taylor, wanted to put through this dam for his own profit. A man who controls a political machine! And controls everything else worth controlling in my state. Yes, and a man even powerful enough to control Congressmen -- and I saw three of them in his room the day I went up to see him!

  • Jefferson Smith  

    Oh, Mr. President, we seem to be alone. I, I'm not complaining for a social reason; it's just, I think it'd be a pity if these gentlemen missed any of this, and...

  • Jefferson Smith  

    And, uh...

  • Jefferson Smith  

    I, I call the chair's attention to... to, uh... Rule 5 of the Standing Rules of the Senate, Section... Section 3. "If it shall be found that a quorum is not present, a majority of the Senators present" -- and that looks like me -- uh, uh, "may direct the Sergeant-at-Arms to request, and if necessary compel, the attendance of the absent Senators." Well, Mr. President, I so direct.