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Meet John Doe
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Meet John Doe

Warner Brothers, 1941, 125 minutes

Produced and directed by Frank Capra

Written by Robert Riskin, based on a story by Richard Connell and Robert Presnell

Photography by George Barnes

Music by Dimitri Tiomkin

Edited by Daniel Mandell

Musical direction by by Leo F. Forbstein

Art direction by Stephen Gooson

Gowns by Natalie Visart

Special effects by Jack Cosgrove

Cast: Gary Cooper (Long John Willoughby ), Barbara Stanwyck (Ann Mitchell ), Edward Arnold (D.B. Norton ), Walter Brennan (The Colonel ), Spring Byington (Mrs. Mitchell ), James Gleason (Henry Connell ), Gene Lockhart (Mayor Lovett ), Rod La Rocque (Ted Sheldon ), Irving Bacon (Beany ), Regis Toomey (Bert Hanson ), Ann Doran (Mrs. Hanson ), J. Farrell MacDonald (Sourpuss Smithers ), Warren Hymer (Angelface ), Harry Holman (Mayor Hawkins ), Andrew Tombes (Spencer ), Pierre Watkin (Mannett ), Stanley Andrews (Bennett ), Charles C. Wilson (Charlie Dawson ), Vaughn Glaser (Governor ), Sterling Holloway (Dan ), Mike Frankovich, Knox Manning, Selmer Jackson, John B. Hughes (Radio Announcers ), Pop Dwyer (Aldrich Bowker ), Mrs. Brewster


578

(Mrs. Gardner Crane ), Pat Flaherty (Mike ), Carlotta Jelm, Tina Thayer (Ann's Sisters ), Bennie Bartlett (Red, Office Boy ), Sarah Edwards (Mrs. Hawkins ), Edward Earle (Radio M.C. ), James McNamara (Sheriff ), Emma Tansey (Mrs. Delaney ), Frank Austin (Grubbel ), Edward Keane (Relief Administrator ), Lafe McKee (Mr. Delaney ), Edward McWade (Joe, Newsman ), Guy Usher (Bixler ), Walter Soderling (Barrington ), Edmund Cobb (Policeman ), Billy Curtis (Midget ), Johnny Fern (Lady Midget ), John Hamilton (Jim, Governor's Associate ), William Forrest (Governor's Associate ), Charles K. French (Fired Reporter ), Edward Hearn (Mayor's Secretary ), Bess Flowers (Newspaper Secretary ), Hank Mann (Ed, A Photographer ), James Millican (Photographer ), The Hall Johnson Choir.


579

Ext. Bulletin Office - Sidewalk.

Close-up: Of a time-worn plaque against the side of a building. It reads:

THE BULLETIN
"A free press for a free people."

While we read this, a pair of hands come in holding pneumatic chisel which immediately attacks the sign. As the lettering is being obliterated,

Dissolve to: Close-up: A new plaque on which the lettering has been changed to:

THE NEW BULLETIN
"A streamlined newspaper for a streamlined era."

Cut to: Int. Bulletin outer office. Full shot: Of a mid-western newspaper office.

Med. shot: At a door at which a sign-painter works. He is painting HENRY CONNELL's name on the door. It opens and a flip office boy emerges. The painter has to wait until the door closes in order to resume his work.

Full shot: Of the outer office. The activity of the office seems to suddenly cease, as all eyes are centered on the office boy.

Med. shot—panning: With the office boy—who has a small sheet of paper in his hand. He walks jauntily to a desk, refers to his paper, points his finger to a woman, emits a short whistle through his teeth, runs a finger across his throat and jerks his thumb toward managing editor's office. The woman stares starkly at him while her immediate neighbors look on with sympathy. The office boy now goes through the same procedure with several other people. All watch him, terror written in their eyes.

Med. shot: Toward CONNELL's office door where painter works. It opens and three people emerge. Two men and a girl. The girl is young and pretty. All three look dourful. The painter again has to wait for the door to shut before resuming his work. The two men exit. The girl suddenly stops.

Close shot: Of the girl. Her name is ANN MITCHELL. She stands, thinking, and then suddenly, impulsively, wheels around. Camera pans with her as she returns to CONNELL's office door, flings it open and disappears. The painter remains poised with his brush, waiting for the door to swing back. There is a slight flash of resentment in his eyes.

Int. CONNELL's office. Full shot: CONNELL is behind his desk on which is a tray of sandwiches and a glass of milk, half gone. Near him sits POP DWYER, another veteran newspaperman. ANN crosses to CONNELL's desk.

CONNELL

(on phone)

Yeh, D. B. Oh, just cleaning out the dead-wood. Okay.


580

ANN

(supplicatingly)

Look, Mr. Connell . . . I just can't afford to be without work right now, not even for a day. I've got a mother and two kid sisters to . . .

Secretary enters. (Her name is Mattie.)

SECRETARY

More good luck telegrams.

ANN

Well, you know how it is, I, I've just got to keep working. See?

CONNELL

Sorry, sister. I was sent down here to clean house. I told yuh I can't use your column any more. It's lavender and old lace![1]

(flicks dictograph button)

MATTIE

(over dictograph)

Yeah?

CONNELL

Send those other people in.

MATTIE

(over dictograph)

Okay.

ANN

I'll tell you what I'll do. I get thirty dollars a week. I'll take twenty-five, twenty if necessary. I'll do anything you say.

CONNELL

It isn't the money. We're after circulation. What we need is fireworks. People who can hit with sledge hammers—start arguments.

ANN

Oh, I can do that. I know this town inside out. Oh, give me a chance, please.

She can get no further, for several people enter. They are cowed and frightened. ANN hesitates a moment, then, there being nothing for her to do, she starts to exit. She is stopped by CONNELL's voice.

CONNELL

All right, come in, come in! Come in!

(to Ann)

Cashier's got your check.

(back to others)

Who are these people? Gibbs, Frowley, Cunningham, Jiles—

(to Ann at door)

Hey, you, sister!

Ann turns.


581

CONNELL

Don't forget to get out your last column before you pick up your check!

ANN's eyes flash angrily as she exits.

Int. Outer Office. Med. shot: ANN storms out. The painter again has to wait for the door to swing back to him.

Int. ANN's office. Full shot: ANN enters her office and paces around, furious. A man in alpaca sleeve-bands enters. His name is JOE.

JOE

You're a couple o' sticks[2] shy in your column, Ann.

ANN

(ignores him, muttering . . .)

A big, rich slob like D. B. Norton buys a paper—and forty heads are chopped off!

JOE

Did you get it, too?

ANN

Yeah. You, too? Oh, Joe . . . oh, I'm sorry darling . . . why don't we tear the building down!

JOE

Before you do, Ann, perhaps you'd better finish this column.

ANN

Yeah. Lavender and old lace!

Suddenly she stops pacing. Her eyes widen as a fiendish idea strikes her.

ANN

Wait, Joe—wait!

She flops down in front of her typewriter.

ANN

(muttering)

Wants fireworks, huh? Okay!

She begins to pound furiously, her jaw set.

Close-up: Of ANN. Eyes flashing as she types.

Close-up: Of JOE, watching her. The wild look in her eye and the unnatural speed of her typing causes him to stare dumbly at her.

Med. shot: ANN bangs away madly. Finally she finishes. She whips the sheet out of the typewriter, hands it to JOE.

ANN

Here.

As JOE takes it, ANN begins to empty the drawers of her desk.

Close-up: Of JOE reading what ANN has written.


582

JOE

(reading)

"Below is a letter which reached my desk this morning. It's a commentary on what we laughingly call the civilized world. 'Dear Miss Mitchell: Four years ago I was fired out of my job. Since then I haven't been able to get another one. At first I was sore at the state administration because it's on account of the slimy politics here we have all this unemployment. But in looking around, it seems the whole world's going to pot, so in protest I'm going to commit suicide by jumping off the City Hall roof!' Signed, A disgusted American citizen, John Doe.'"

JOE pauses to absorb this.

JOE

(continues reading)

"Editor's note . . . If you ask this column, the wrong people are jumping off roofs."

JOE glances up toward ANN, in mild protest.

JOE

Hey, Ann, this is the old fakeroo, isn't it?

Full shot: ANN has just about accumulated all her things. JOE stares at her, knowing it's a fake.

ANN

Never mind that, Joe. Go ahead.

JOE shrugs, shakes his head, and exits. ANN stuffs her things under her arm and also goes.

Int. Outer office: Med. shot: Voices ad lib—"Awfully sorry you're not going." "Good-bye." (Laughing)

ANN comes out. Suddenly, she stops, gets another idea, picks up a book from a desk, and reaches back to heave it.

Med. shot: At CONNELL's office door. The sign-painter has just finished CONNELL's name, and as he leans back, pleased, wiping his brushes, the book flies in. The painter lifts his head slowly, his wrath too great to find utterance.

Dissolve to: Int. GOVERNOR JACKSON's office: Close-up: Of two of GOVERNOR'S ASSOCIATES.

MAN

(reading newspaper)

" . . . and it's because of the slimy politics that we have all this unemployment here."

(agitated)

There it is! That's D. B. Norton's opening attack on the Governor!

2ND MAN

Why Jim, it's just a letter sent in to a column.

JIM

No, no. I can smell it. That's Norton!

While he speaks, the GOVERNOR has entered.


583

GOVERNOR

Good morning, gentlemen. You're rather early.

MEN

'Morning. 'Morning, Governor.

GOVERNOR

You're here rather early.

JIM

(pushes paper over to him)

Did you happen to see this in the New Bulletin, Governor?

He emphasizes the word "new" cynically.

GOVERNOR

Yes. I had it served with my breakfast this morning.

2ND MAN

Jim thinks it's D. B. Norton at work.

JIM

Of course it is!

GOVERNOR

Oh, come, Jim. That little item? D. B. Norton does things in a much bigger way . . .

JIM

This is his opening attack on you, Governor! Take my word for it! What did he buy a paper for? Why did he hire a high-pressure editor like Connell for? He's in the oil business! I tell you, Governor, he's after your scalp!

GOVERNOR

All right, Jim. Don't burst a blood vessel, I'll attend to it.

(flips button on dictograph)

Get me Spencer of the Daily Chronicle , please.

Dissolve to: Int. SPENCER's office: Med. shot: SPENCER is on the telephone.

SPENCER

Yes. Yes. I saw it, Governor . . . and if you ask me that's a phoney letter. Why, that gag has got whiskers on it. Huh? Okay, I'll get the Mayor and maybe the Chamber of Commerce to go after them.

(into dictagraph)

Get Mayor Lovett on the phone!

Int. MAYOR's office: Med. shot: Of MAYOR's secretary.

SECRETARY

(picking up phone)

Hello? Sorry, the Mayor's busy on the other phone.


584

Camera pans over to the MAYOR who is fatuous and excitable.

MAYOR

(into telephone)

Yes, I know, Mrs. Brewster. It's a terrible reflection on our city. I've had a dozen calls already.

SECRETARY enters scene.

SECRETARY

Spencer of the Chronicle .

MAYOR

Hold him.

(into phone)

Yes, Mrs. Brewster, I'm listening.

The SECRETARY lays down the receiver.

Dissolve to: Int. corner of a bedroom: Close shot: Of MRS. BREWSTER—stout and loud. She is propped up in bed—a breakfast tray on her lap—the newspaper by her side.

MRS. BREWSTER

I insist that this John Doe man be found and given a job at once. If something isn't done. I'll call out the whole Auxiliary[3] —yes, and the Junior Auxiliary, too. We'll hold a meeting and see—

Cut to: Int. MAYOR's office: Med. shot: Of MAYOR. He lays the receiver down and we continue to hear MRS. BREWSTER's voice. MAYOR picks up SPENCER's phone.

MAYOR

Yes, Spencer. Who? The Governor? Well, what about me? it's my building he's jumping off of! And I'm up for re-election, too!

SECRETARY

Shh!

MAYOR

(to Secretary)

What are you doing? Get Connell at the Bulletin !

(to Spencer)

Why, he's liable to go right past my window,

(suddenly—to Sec'y—excitably)

What was that?!

SECRETARY

What?

MAYOR

Out the window! Something just flew by!

SECRETARY

I didn't see anything.


585

MAYOR

(semi-hysterical)

Well, don't stand there, you idiot. Go and look. Open the window. Oh, why did he have to pick on my building?

The SECRETARY, telephone in hand, peers out window.

MAYOR

Is there a crowd in the street?

SECRETARY

No, sir.

MAYOR

Then he may be caught on a ledge! Look again!

SECRETARY

I think it must have been a sea-gull.

MAYOR

A sea-gull? What's a sea-gull doing around the city hall? That's a bad omen, isn't it?

(picks up Mrs. Brewster's phone)

SECRETARY

Oh, n-no, sir. The sea-gull is a lovely bird.

MAYOR

(into telephone)

I-it's all right, Mrs. Brewster. It was just a sea-gull.

(catches himself)

Er. nothing's happened yet! No, I'm watching. Don't worry. Ju-just leave it all to me!

The SECRETARY holds out another phone. The MAYOR drops MRS. BREWSTER's phone again, and her voice is still heard.

MAYOR

(into Spencer's phone)

Spencer, I'll call you back.

Secretary has gotten CONNELL on the phone—hands phone to MAYOR.

MAYOR

Hello! Connell! This is—

(to Secretary)

What are you doing?

(back to phone)

This is the Mayor.

Int. CONNELL's office: Full shot: CONNELL is on the phone. POP DWYER is draped in a chair nearby.

CONNELL

Yes, Mayor Lovett! How many times are you gonna call me? I've got everybody and his brother and sister out looking for him. Did you see the box I'm running?


586

He picks up the front page of the Bulletin; we see a four column box on the front page.

CONNELL

(reading)

"An appeal to John Doe. 'Think it over, John. Life can be beautiful,' says Mayor. 'If you need a job, apply to the editor of this paper . . .'" " and so forth and so forth . . . Okay, Mayor. I'll let you know as soon as I have something! What? . . . Well, pull down the blinds!

(he hangs up)

The door opens and a man enters. His name is BEANY. Walks fast, talks fast and accomplishes nothing. Outside, we see the painter trying once more to get his sign painted. He reaches in—and pulls the door to.

BEANY

I went up to Miss Mitchell's house, boss. Boy, she's in a bad way.

CONNELL

Where is she?

BEANY

Hey, do you know something? She supports a mother and two kids. What do you know about that?

CONNELL

(controlling his patience)

Did you find her?

BEANY

No. Her mother's awful worried about her. When she left the house she said she was going on a roaring drunk. Er, the girl, I mean!

CONNELL

(barking)

Go out and find her!

BEANY

Sure. Hey, but the biggest thing I didn't tell you . . .

CONNELL picks up telephone.

CONNELL

Hello! . . . Yeh?

BEANY

Her old man was Doc Mitchell. You know, the doc that saved my mother's life and wouldn't take any money for it? You remember that? Okay, boss, I'll go and look for her.

BEANY exits, knocking over an ash-stand.


587

CONNELL

(into phone)

Holy smokes, Commissioner. You've had twenty-four hours! Okay, Hawkshaw, grab a pencil. Here it is again. She's about five foot five, brown eyes, light chestnut hair and as fine a pair of legs as . . .

The door opens, ANN stands there—CONNELL sees her.

CONNELL

(into phone—staring at Ann)

 . . . ever walked into this office.

Med. shot: At door. The sign painter is slowly beginning to lose patience. He again reaches in—pulls the door shut—glaring at ANN.

Close-up: Of ANN.

ANN

(innocently)

Did you want to see me?

Wider shot: CONNELL, without moving, stares at her.

CONNELL

(quietly—sizzling)

No. I've had the whole army and navy searching for you because that's a game we play here every day.

ANN

I remember, distinctly, being fired.

CONNELL

That's right. But you have a piece of property that still belongs to this newspaper. And I'd like to have it!

ANN

What's that?

CONNELL

The letter.

ANN

What letter?

CONNELL

The letter from John Doe.

ANN

Oh!

CONNELL

The whole town's in an uproar. We've got to find him. The letter's our only clue.

ANN

(simply)

There is no letter.


588

CONNELL

We'll get a handwriting expert to—

(suddenly realizes what she has said)

What!

ANN

There is no letter.

He stares at her for a moment, flabbergasted—exchanges a look with POP—crosses to the back door—shuts it—then comes back to face her.

Close shot: ANN and CONNELL.

CONNELL

Say that again.

ANN

There is no letter. I made it up.

CONNELL looks at her a long moment and then up at POP.

CONNELL

(repeating dully)

You made it up.

ANN

Uh-huh. You said you wanted fireworks.

Wider shot: As he recovers from the shock, and then wheels on ANN again.

CONNELL

Don't you know there are nine jobs waiting for this guy? Twenty-two families want to board him free? Five women want to marry him, and the Mayor's practically ready to adopt him? And you . . .

As CONNELL glares at her the door springs open and BEANY enters.

BEANY

I just called the morgue, boss. They say there's a girl there—

CONNELL

Shut up!

Close-up: Of BEANY. He is startled by this—and then stares popeyed as he sees ANN.

BEANY

Ann! Say, why didn't yuh—

CONNELL

Beany!

Med. shot: At the door. The painter is beginning to grind his teeth. He pulls the door shut, viciously.

Wider shot: To include all.


589

POP

Only one thing to do, Hank. Drop the whole business quickly.

CONNELL

How?

POP

Run a story. Say John Doe was in here, and is sorry he wrote the letter and—

CONNELL

(jumps in quickly)

That's right. You got it! Sure! He came in here and I made him change his mind. "Bulletin editor saves John Doe's life." Why, it's perfect. I'll have Ned write it up.

(into dictograph)

Oh, Ned!

NED'S VOICE

Yeah?

CONNELL

I got a story I want yuh to—

ANN

Wait a minute!

She rushes over—snaps the dictograph off.

Med. shot: Of ANN, leaning on CONNELL's desk.

ANN

Listen, you great big wonderful genius of a newspaperman! You came down here to shoot some life into this dying paper, didn't you?

CONNELL blinks under the attack. POP and BEANY move into the scene.

ANN

Well, the whole town's curious about John Doe and, boom, just like that you're going to bury him. There's enough circulation in that man to start a shortage in the ink market!

CONNELL

(thoroughly bewildered)

In what man!

ANN

John Doe.

CONNELL

What John Doe?

ANN

Our John Doe! The one I made up! Look, genius— Now, look. Suppose there was a John Doe—and he walked into this office. What would you do? Find him a job and forget about the whole business, I suppose! Not me! I'd have made a deal with him!


590

CONNELL

A deal?

ANN

Sure! When you get hold of a stunt that sells papers you don't drop it like a hot potato. Why, this is good for at least a couple of months. You know what I'd do? Between now and let's say, Christmas, when he's gonna jump, I'd run a daily yarn starting with his boyhood, his schooling, his first job! A wide-eyed youngster facing a chaotic world. The problem of the average man, of all the John Does in the world.

Two shot: ANN and CONNELL. Despite himself, he's interested in her recital.

ANN

Now, then comes the drama. He meets discouragement. He finds the world has feet of clay. His ideals crumble. So what does he do? He decides to commit suicide in protest against the state of civilization. He thinks of the river! But no, no, he has a better idea. The City Hall. Why? Because he wants to attract attention. He wants to get a few things off his chest, and that's the only way he can get himself heard.

CONNELL

So?

Full shot: Of the whole group. BEANY grins in admiration. CONNELL has leaned back in his chair, his eyes glued on ANN.

ANN

So! So he writes me a letter and I dig him up. He pours out his soul to me, and from now on we quote: "I protest, by John Doe." He protests against all the evils in the world; the greed, the lust, the hate, the fear, all of man's inhumanity to man.

Arguments will start. Should he commit suicide or should he not! People will write in pleading with him. But no! No, sir! John Doe will remain adamant! On Christmas Eve, hot or cold, he goes! See?

She finishes, takes a deep breath—awed, and at the same time proud of her accomplishment.

Close shot: Of CONNELL. He just stares at ANN.

CONNELL

(after a pause—quietly)

Very pretty. Very pretty, indeed, Miss Mitchell. But would you mind telling me who goes on Christmas Eve?

ANN

John Doe.

CONNELL

(loses control—screams)

What John Doe?


591

ANN

(screams right back)

The one we hire for the job, you lunkhead!

There is silence for a moment.

CONNELL

(breaking silence—speaks with a controlled patience)

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Lemme get this through this lame brain of mine. Are you suggesting we go out and hire someone to say he's gonna commit suicide on Christmas Eve? Is that it?

ANN

(nodding)

Well, you're catching on.

CONNELL

Who, for instance?

ANN

Anybody! Er, er—Beany'll do!

Close-up: BEANY. He is petrified.

BEANY

Why sure—Who? Me? Jump off a—Oh, no! Any time but Christmas. I'm superstitious.

Full shot: BEANY backs away from them—and when he gets to the door—makes a dash for it.

Int. Outer office: Med. shot: At door. As BEANY comes dashing out, he almost upsets the painter from the stool. When the door is shut, the name of "Connell" which he has been printing is all smudged over. The painter stares at it, helplessly for a second, and then—unable to stand it any more, rises, throws his brush violently to the floor—after completely smearing the sign himself.

Full shot:

CONNELL

(sighing)

Miss Mitchell, do me a favor, will you? Go on out and get married and have a lot o' babies—but stay out o' newspaper business!

POP

Better get that story in, Hank, it's getting late.

ANN

(to CONNELL)

You're supposed to be a smart guy! If it was raining hundred dollar bills, you'd be out looking for a dime you lost some place.

CONNELL

Holy smokes! Wasting my time listening to this mad woman.


592

He crosses to his desk just as NED enters from the back door.

NED

Look, Chief! Look what the Chronicle is running on John Doe. They say it's a fake!

CONNELL turns sharply.

Close-up: Of ANN. She was just about giving up, when she hears this—and her eyes brighten alertly.

Med. shot: At CONNELL's desk. CONNELL—reading the paper—becomes incensed.

CONNELL

Why, the no-good—low-down—

(reading)

"John Doe story amateur journalism. It's palpably phoney. It's a wonder anyone is taking it seriously." What do yuh think of those guys!

ANN has walked into scene while CONNELL is reading.

ANN

That's fine! That's fine! Now fall right into their laps. Go ahead. Say John Doe walked in and called the whole thing off. You know what that's going to sound like on top of this!

CONNELL

(doesn't like Ned hearing all this)

That's all, Ned. Thank you.

NED

All right.

NED, puzzled, exits. CONNELL comes away from his desk and walks around.

CONNELL

(fighting spirit)

"Amateur journalism", huh? Why, the bunch of sophomores! I can teach them more about—

But he is interrupted by the front door being flung open. On the threshold stands BEANY.

BEANY

Hey, boss. Get a load of this.

CONNELL

(joins him in the doorway)

What?

BEANY

Look!

Med. shot: Over their shoulders. In the outer office are a large group of derelict-looking men. Some standing—some sitting—some leaning. It looks like the lobby of a flophouse had been transplanted.

Close shot: Beany and Connell.


593

CONNELL

What do they want?

BEANY

They all say they wrote the John Doe letter.

Med. shot: POP and ANN have walked over and also peer out.

CONNELL

(amused, turns)

Oh, they all wrote the letter?

ANN pushes CONNELL aside—talks to BEANY.

ANN

Tell them all to wait.

She shuts the door and turns to CONNELL.

ANN

Look, Mr. Connell—one of those men is your John Doe. They're desperate and will do anything for a cup of coffee. Pick one out and you can make the Chronicle eat their words.

Close-up: Of CONNELL. A broad smile slowly spreads over his face.

CONNELL

I'm beginning to like this.

Med. shot: POP looks worried.

POP

If you ask me, Hank, you're playing around with dynamite.

CONNELL

No, no, no, the gal's right. We can't let the Chronicle get the laugh on us! We've got to produce a John Doe now.

(muttering)

Amateur journalism, huh!

(starts for door)

I'll show those guys.

ANN

Sure—and there's no reason for them to find out the truth, either.

(significantly)

Because, naturally, I won't say anything.

CONNELL turns sharply, stares at her a moment puzzled, then grins.

CONNELL

(grinning)

Okay, sister, you get your job back.

ANN

Plus a bonus.

CONNELL

What bonus?


594

Close-up: Of ANN. She takes the plunge. She is a little frightened at her own nerve, but she is going to brazen it out.

ANN

(tries to drop it casually)

Oh, the bonus of a thousand dollars the Chronicle was going to pay me for this little document. You'll find it says, er: "I, Ann Mitchell, hereby certify that the John Doe letter was created by me—"

Med. shot: As she speaks, she gets the "little document" out of her bag, hands it to CONNELL who glares at her, takes the paper and starts to read. Ann leans over his shoulder. POP peers over his other shoulder.

CONNELL

I can read. I can read!

ANN

Sorry.

She backs away. CONNELL continues reading her confession.

CONNELL

So you think this is worth a thousand dollars, do you?

ANN

(very carelessly)

Oh, the Chronicle would consider it dirt cheap.

CONNELL

Packs everything, including a gun.

(flings paper on desk)

Okay, sister, you've got yourself a deal. Now let's take a look at the candidates. The one we pick has gotta be the typical average man. Typical American that can keep his mouth shut.

POP

Show me an American who can keep his mouth shut and—I'll eat him.

CONNELL

(opens door)

Okay, Beany, bring 'em in one at a time.

(he steps back and rubs his hands in anticipation)

Wipe to: Montage: Half a dozen different types of hoboes appear—and in each instance ANN shakes her head, negatively.

Wipe to: Close shot: Of a TALL CHAP, head hanging shyly.

Two shot: Of ANN and CONNELL. They are impressed.

Full shot: ANN and CONNELL exchange hopeful glances and begin slowly walking around the new candidate.

Close-up: Of TALL CHAP. He feels awkward under this scrutiny.

Wider shot: CONNELL stops in his examination of the man.


595

CONNELL

Did you write that letter to Miss Mitchell?

TALL CHAP

(after a pause)

No, I didn't.

ANN, CONNELL and POP evince their surprise.

CONNELL

What are you doing up here then?

TALL CHAP

Well, the paper said there were some jobs around loose. Thought there might be one left over.

They study him for a second, then ANN walks over close to him.

Two shot: ANN and TALL CHAP.

ANN

Had any schooling?

TALL CHAP

Yeah, a little.

ANN

What do you do when you work?

TALL CHAP

(slight pause)

I used to pitch.

ANN

Baseball?

TALL CHAP

Uh-huh. Till my wing[4] went bad.

ANN

Where'd you play?

TALL CHAP

Bush leagues mostly.[5]

Med. shot: To include the rest of them. They have their eyes glued on his face. ANN is very much interested.

CONNELL

How about family? Got any family?

TALL CHAP

(after a pause)

No.

CONNELL

Oh, just traveling through, huh?

TALL CHAP

Yeah. Me and a friend of mine. He's outside.


596

CONNELL nods to the others to join him in a huddle. He crosses to a corner. They follow.

Close three shot: They speak in subdued voices.

CONNELL

Looks all right—

ANN

He's perfect! A baseball player. What could be more American!

CONNELL

I wish he had a family, though.

POP

Be less complicated without a family.

ANN

Look at that face. It's wonderful. They'll believe him . Come on.

Close-up: Of TALL CHAP. He is a strange, bewildered figure. He knows he is being appraised, but doesn't know why. He fingers his hat nervously and looks around the room. Suddenly he is attracted by something.

Close-up: Of tray of sandwiches on CONNELL's desk.

Close-up: Of TALL CHAP. He swallows hard. His eyes stare at the sandwiches hungrily.

Med. shot: Over his shoulder. Shooting toward the huddling group. It breaks up. They walk toward him.

Med. shot: Another angle.

CONNELL

What's your name?

TALL CHAP

Willoughby. John Willoughby, Long John Willoughby they called me in baseball.

ANN

Er, would you, er, would you like to make some money?

JOHN

Yeah, maybe.

NOTE: Henceforth in this script he shall be referred to as JOHN DOE.

ANN

Would you be willing to say you wrote that letter—and stick by it?

JOHN

Oh, I get the idea. Yeah, maybe.

There is an appraising pause, and CONNELL again signals them to join him in a huddle. They exit to their corner.


597

Close-up: Of JOHN. His eyes immediately go to the sandwiches.

Close-up: Of tray, with sandwiches and milk, on desk.

Close-up: Of JOHN. His eyes riveted on tray. He glances, speculatively, over toward them and then back to the tray.

Med. shot: Of the huddled group.

ANN

That's our man. He's made to order.

CONNELL

I don't know. He don't seem like a guy that'd fall into line.

ANN

(it's significant to her)

When you're desperate for money, you do a lot of things, Mr. Connell. He's our man, I tell you.

Suddenly, they are startled by a loud thud: they all look around sharply.

ANN

He's fainted! Get some water quickly!

As all three rush to him.

CONNELL

Hurry up, Pop.

ANN

Oh.

CONNELL

(to John)

Right here. Sit down.

JOHN

Huh?

ANN

Are you all right?

JOHN

Yeah, I'm all right.

Dissolve to: Int. ANN's office. Close-up: Of JOHN—sitting at ANN's desk, just completing a meal—and still eating voraciously.

Camera draws back and we find another bindle-stiff sitting beside JOHN, packing food away in silence. He is the friend JOHN referred to. He is much older and goes by the name of COLONEL.

Camera continues to pull back revealing ANN who sits nearby, watching them sympathetically.

Close shot: JOHN and the COLONEL. They continue eating. JOHN glances up and catches ANN's eye. He smiles self-consciously.

Close-up: Of ANN. She, too, smiles warmly.

Med. shot: They continue to eat silently.


598

ANN

How many is that, six? Pretty hungry, weren't you?

COLONEL

Say, all this John Doe business is batty, if yuh ask me.

ANN

Well, nobody asked yuh.

COLONEL

Trying to improve the world by jumping off buildings. You couldn't improve the world if the building jumped on you!

JOHN

(to Ann)

Don't mind the Colonel. He hates people.

ANN

He likes you well enough to stick around.

JOHN

Oh, that's 'cause we both play doohickies.[6] I met him in a box car a couple o' years ago. I was foolin' around with my harmonica and he comes over and joins in. I haven't been able to shake him since.

Full shot: Suddenly, he starts to play the overture from "William Tell." The COLONEL whips out an ocarina and joins him. ANN stares, amused. The door opens and CONNELL and BEANY barge in, followed by half a dozen photographers.

CONNELL

All right, boys, here he is.

ANN

(jumping up)

No, no, no! You can't take pictures of him like that—eating a sandwich—and with a beard!

She waves the photographers out, and shuts the door.

CONNELL

But, he's gonna jump off a building!

ANN

Yes, but not because he's out of a job. That's not news! This man's going to jump as a matter of principle.

CONNELL

Well, maybe you're right.

ANN

We'll clean him up and put him in a hotel room—under bodyguards. We'll make a mystery out of him.

(suddenly)

Did you speak to Mr. Norton?


599

CONNELL

(nods)

Thinks it's terrific. Says for us to go the limit. Wants us to build a bonfire under every big shot in the state.

ANN

Oh, swell! Is that the contract?

(seeing paper in CONNELL's hand)

CONNELL

Yes.

(sees the COLONEL)

What's he doing here?

ANN

Friend of his. They play duets together.

CONNELL

Duets? But can we trust him?

ANN

Oh!

JOHN

I trust him.

CONNELL

Oh, you trust him, eh? Well, that's fine. I suppose he trusts you, too?

ANN

Oh, stop worrying. He's all right.

COLONEL

(insulted)

That's—

CONNELL

Well, okay. But we don't want more than a couple o' hundred people in on this thing. Now the first thing I want is an exact copy of the John Doe letter in your own handwriting.

ANN

I got it all ready. Here.

CONNELL

Well, that's fine. Now I want you to sign this agreement. It gives us an exclusive story under your name day by day from now until Christmas. On December twenty-sixth, you get one railroad ticket out of town, and the Bulletin agrees to pay to have your arm fixed. That's what you want, isn't it?

JOHN

Yeah, but it's got to be by Bone-Setter Brown.

CONNELL

Okay, Bone-Setter Brown goes. Here, sign it. Meanwhile, here's fifty dollars for spending money. That's fine. Beany!


600

BEANY

Yeah, Boss?

CONNELL

Take charge of him. Get him a suite at the Imperial and hire some bodyguards.

ANN

Yeah, and some new clothes, Beany.

BEANY

Do you think we better have him de-loused?

CONNELL

Yeh, yeh, yeh.

BEANY

Both of 'em?

CONNELL

Yes, both of 'em! But don't let him out of your sight.

ANN

Hey, Beany, gray suit, huh?

BEANY

Yeah.

CONNELL

Okay, fellows.

ANN

Take it easy, John Doe.

JOHN and the COLONEL follow BEANY out.

CONNELL

(turns to Ann)

And you! Start pounding that typewriter. Oh, boy! This is terrific! No responsibilities on our part. Just statements from John Doe and we can blast our heads off.

ANN

(interrupting)

Before you pop too many buttons, don't forget to make out that check for a thousand.

CONNELL

(grimaces)

Awwwww!

Dissolve to: Int. Living-room of suite.

Full shot: The door opens and BEANY enters. He is followed by JOHN and the COLONEL. JOHN glances around, impressed. The COLONEL looks glum.

Med. shot: At door. As JOHN exits scene into the room, tailed by the unhappy COLONEL. BEANY beckons someone out in the corridor.

BEANY

Okay, fellas.


601

Three bruisers stand in the doorway.

BEANY

Now, lemme see. You sit outside the door. Nobody comes in, see. You two fellas sit in here.

As they reach for chairs,

Cut to: Med. shot: JOHN is pleased as his gaze wanders around the room.

JOHN

Hey, pretty nifty, huh?

COLONEL

You ain't gonna get me to stay here.

JOHN

Sure, you are.

COLONEL

No, sir. That spot under the bridge where we slept last night's good enough for me.

While he speaks, JOHN has managed to get a glimpse of himself in a mirror—admiring his new suit.

BELL HOP

Hey, what'll I do with this baggage?

BEANY

Aw, stick 'em in the bedroom.

COLONEL

Gimme mine. I ain't staying! You know we were headed for the Columbia River country before all this John Doe business came up. You remember that, don't yuh?

JOHN

Sure. I remember . . . Say, did your ears pop coming up in the elevator? Mine did.

COLONEL

Aw, Long John . . . I tell you—it's no good. You're gonna get used to a lotta stuff that's gonna wreck you. Why, that fifty bucks in your pocket's beginning to show up on you already. And don't pull that on me neither!

(as John brings out harmonica)

JOHN

Stop worrying, Colonel. I'm gonna get my arm fixed out of this.

Wider shot: As BEANY enters scene with box of cigars.

BEANY

Here's some cigars the boss sent up. Have one.

JOHN's eyes light up.

JOHN

Hey, cigars!


602

He grabs one and stuffs it in his mouth.

BEANY

(to Colonel)

Help yourself.

COLONEL

Naw.

JOHN flops into a luxurious chair—and immediately ANGELFACE holds a light up for his cigar. JOHN looks up, pleased.

JOHN

Say, I'll bet yuh even the Major Leaguers don't rate an outfit like this.

ANGELFACE

(hands him a newspaper)

Here. Make yourself comfortable.

(turns to the Colonel)

Paper?

COLONEL

(sharply)

I don't read no papers and I don't listen to radios either. I know the world's been shaved by a drunken barber and I don't have to read it.

ANGELFACE backs away, puzzled.

COLONEL

(crosses to John)

I've seen guys like you go under before. Guys that never had a worry. Then they got ahold of some dough and went goofy. The first thing that happens to a guy—

BEANY

Hey, did yuh get a load of the bedroom?

JOHN

No.

BEANY beckons to him to follow, which JOHN does with great interest.

Int. bedroom: Full shot: As BEANY and JOHN puff luxuriously on their cigars and examine the room.

COLONEL

(in doorway)

The first thing that happens to a guy like that—he starts wantin' to go into restaurants and sit at a table and eat salads—and cup cakes—and tea—

(disgusted)

Boy, what that kinda food does to your system!

JOHN pushes on the bed and is impressed with its softness.

COLONEL

The next thing the dope wants is a room. Yessir, a room with steam heat! And curtains and rugs


603

and 'fore you know it, he's all softened up and he can't sleep 'less he has a bed.

Close-up: Of BEANY. He stares, bewildered, at the COLONEL.

Wider shot: JOHN turns and crosses to window.

JOHN

(as he goes)

Hey, stop worrying, Colonel. Fifty bucks ain't going to ruin me.

COLONEL

I seen plenty of fellers start out with fifty bucks and wind up with a bank account!

BEANY

(can't stand it any more)

Hey, whatsa matter with a bank account, anyway?

COLONEL

(ignoring him)

And let me tell you, Long John. When you become a guy with a bank account, they got you. Yessir, they got you!

BEANY

Who's got him?

COLONEL

The heelots!

BEANY

Who?

JOHN

(at the window)

Hey. There's the City Hall tower I'm supposed to jump off of. It's even higher than this.

BEANY

Who's got him?

COLONEL

The heelots!

Close-up: JOHN opens window and leans out.

Close-up: Of BEANY. His eyes pop; he's petrified.

Med. shot: JOHN stretches far out of the window, and quickly bounces back.

JOHN

Wow!

At the same time BEANY springs to his side and yanks him back.

BEANY

Hey, wait a minute! You ain't supposed to do that till Christmas Eve! Wanta get me in a jam?


604

JOHN

(twinkle in his eye)

If it's gonna get you in a jam, I'll do you a favor. I won't jump.

He exits to the living room.

Int. living room: Full shot: As JOHN enters, flicking ashes from his cigar, grandly, the COLONEL leaves the doorway, still pursuing his point.

COLONEL

And when they get you, you got no more chance than a road-rabbit.

BEANY

(dogging the COLONEL)

Hey. Who'd you say was gonna get him?

JOHN

Say, is this one of those places where you ring if you want something?

BEANY

Yeah. Just use the phone.

The thought of this delights JOHN.

JOHN

Boy! I've always wanted to do this!

He goes to the phone.

BEANY

Hey, Doc, look. Look, Doc. Gimme that again, will yuh? Who's gonna get him?

COLONEL

The heelots!

BEANY

Who are they?

Two shot: The COLONEL finally levels off on BEANY.

COLONEL

Listen, sucker, yuh ever been broke?

BEANY

Sure. Mostly often.

COLONEL

All right. You're walking along—not a nickel in your jeans—free as the wind—nobody bothers you—hundreds of people pass yuh by in every line of business—shoes, hats, automobiles, radio, furniture, everything. They're all nice, lovable people, and they let you alone. Is that right?

Close-up: Of BEANY—nodding his head, bewildered.


605

COLONEL'S VOICE

Then you get hold of some dough, and what happens?

BEANY instinctively shakes his head.

Two shot: The COLONEL takes on a sneering expression.

COLONEL

All those nice, sweet, lovable people become heelots. A lotta heels.

(mysterioso)

They begin creeping up on you—trying to sell you something. They've got long claws and they get a strangle-hold on you—and you squirm—and duck and holler—and you try to push 'em away—but you haven't got a chance—they've got you! First thing you know, you own things. A car, for instance.

BEANY has been following him, eyes blinking, mouth open.

COLONEL

Now your whole life is messed up with more stuff—license fees—and number plates—and gas and oil—and taxes and insurance—

Close shot: Of the LUGS at the door. One of them listens with a half-smile on his face. The other, more goofy, looks bewildered. He has been listening—and now, slowly rises, ears cocked, frightened by the harrowing tale. Camera retreats before him—as he slowly walks nearer to BEANY and the COLONEL. Meantime, we continue to hear the COLONEL'S voice.

COLONEL'S VOICE

 . . . and identification cards—and letters—and bills—and flat tires—and dents—and traffic tickets and motorcycle cops and court rooms—and lawyers—and fines—

Wider shot: The LUG steps up directly behind BEANY—and the two horrified faces are close together—both staring at the COLONEL.

COLONEL

And a million and one other things. And what happens? You're not the free and happy guy you used to be. You gotta have money to pay for all those things—so you go after what the other feller's got—

(with finality)

And there you are—you're a heelot yourself!

Close shot: Of the two heads of BEANY and the LUG. They continue to stare, wide-eyed, at the COLONEL.

Wider shot: As JOHN approaches the COLONEL.

JOHN

(smiling)

You win, Colonel. Here's the fifty. Go on out and get rid of it.


606

COLONEL

(as he goes)

You bet I will! As fast as I can! Gonna get some canned goods—a fishing rod, and the rest I'm gonna give away.

ANGELFACE

(aghast)

Give away?

JOHN

(calling)

Hey. Get me a pitcher's glove! Got to get some practice.

ANGELFACE

Say, he's giving it away! I'm gonna get me some of that!

BEANY

Hey, come back here, yuh heelot!

JOHN

(on the phone)

Will you send up five hamburgers with all the trimmings, five chocolate ice cream sodas, and five pieces of apple pie? No, apple, with cheese. Yeah. Thank you.

JOHN hangs up.

The COLONEL has just reached the door when it flies open and Ann comes in with photographer EDDIE—she sees JOHN all dressed up.

ANN

Hello there. Well, well! If it isn't the man about town!

EDDIE

All set, Ann?

ANN

(coming out of it)

Huh? Oh, yes. Let's go.

(she backs away)

Now, let's see. We want some action in these pictures.

JOHN

Action?

ANN

Um-hum.

JOHN winds up in pitching pose—his left leg lifted up high.

EDDIE

That's good.

ANN

No, no, no. This man's going to jump off a roof.

EDDIE

Oh.


607

ANN

Here. Wait a minute. Let me comb your hair. Sit down. There. That's better.

Close shot: She combs his hair—straightens his tie—etc. He inhales the fragrance of her hair and likes it—winks to the others. She poses JOHN's face and looks it over.

ANN

You know, he's got a nice face, hasn't he?

ANGELFACE

Yeh—he's pretty.

JOHN gives him a look and starts to get up slowly.

ANN

Here. Sit down!

(to ANGELFACE)

Quiet, egghead!

(back to JOHN)

All right, now, a serious expression.

JOHN

(laughing)

Can't. I'm feeling too good.

ANN

Oh, come on, now. This is serious. You're a man disgusted with all of civilization.

JOHN

With all of it?

ANN

Yes, you're sore at the world. Come on, now.

JOHN

Oh, crabby guy, huh?

He tries scowling.

ANN

Yeah. No, no!

(laughing)

No! No, look. You don't have to smell the world!

(the men laugh)

JOHN

Well, all those guys in the bleachers think—

ANN

Never mind those guys. All right, stand up. Now let's see what you look like when you protest.

JOHN

Against what?

ANN

Against anything. Just protest.

JOHN

(laughing)

You got me.


608

ANN

Oh, look. I'm the umpire, and you just cut the heart of the plate with your fast one and I call it a ball. What would you do?

JOHN

(advances toward her)

Oh, yuh did, huh?

ANN

Yes!

JOHN

Why can't you call right, you bone-headed, pig-eared, lop-eared, pot-bellied—

ANN

Grab it, Eddie, grab it!

Eddie takes the picture.

A Montage: Of Newspaper inserts featuring John Doe's picture.

"I protest against collapse of decency in the world."
"I protest against corruption in local politics."
"I protest against civic heads being in league with crime."
"I protest against state relief being used as political football."
"I protest against County Hospitals shutting out the needy."
"I protest against all the brutality and slaughter in the world."

Close-up: Superimposed over all of the above is a circulation chart—showing the circulation of the Bulletin in a constant rise.

Dissolve to: Int. GOVERNOR's study: Med. shot: The GOVERNOR paces furiously. In front of him are several associates.

GOVERNOR

I don't care whose picture they're publishing. I still say that this John Doe person is a myth. And you can quote me on that. And I'm going to insist on his being produced for questioning. You know as well as I do that this whole thing is being engineered by a vicious man with a vicious purpose—Mr. D. B. Norton.

As he finishes saying this, Dissolve to: Ext. D. B.'s estate:

Close-up: Of D. B. NORTON. Camera pulls back and we find him on horseback.

Reverse long shot: We discover that he is watching the maneuvers of a motorcycle corps who are in uniform. They are being drilled by TED SHELDON.


609

Med. shot: As a groom rides toward D. B.

GROOM

Mr. Connell and Miss Mitchell are at the house, sir.

D. B.

Oh, they are? All right, come on.

Dissolve to: Int. D. B. 's study: Med. shot—panning: As ANN, D. B. and CONNELL enter and cross to D. B. 's desk.

ANN

(as they walk)

Personally, I think it's just plain stupidity to drop it now.

They reach D. B. 's desk and stop.

ANN

You should see his fan mail! Thousands! Why, it's going over like a house afire!

Close-up: Of D. B. He studies her a moment before he turns to CONNELL.

D. B.

What are you afraid of, Connell? It's doubled our circulation.

Wider shot: To include all three.

CONNELL

Yeah, but it's got everybody sore. Ads are being pulled—the Governor's starting a libel suit—what's more, they all know John Doe's a phoney—and they insist on seeing him.

ANN

Well, what about it? Let them see him! We'll go them one better. They can also hear him.

(to D. B.)

You own a radio station, Mr. Norton. Why not put him on the air?

Close-up: Of D. B. He admires her fight.

CONNELL'S VOICE

Watch out for this dame, D. B. She'll drive you batty!

ANN

Ohh!


610

Wider shot: To include all three.

CONNELL

Look. We can't let 'em get to this bush-league pitcher and start pumping him. Good night! No telling what that screwball might do. I walked in yesterday—here he is, standing on a table with a fishing pole flycasting. Take my advice and get him out of town before this thing explodes in our faces!

ANN

If you do, Mr. Norton, you're just as much of a dumb cluck as he is! Excuse me.

CONNELL

(to Ann—hotly)

No, you've got yourself a meal ticket and you hate to let go.

ANN

Sure, it's a meal ticket for me. I admit it, but it's also a windfall for somebody like Mr. Norton who's trying to crash national politics.

(she turns to D. B.)

That's what you bought the newspaper for, isn't it? You wanta reach a lotta people, don't you? Well, put John Doe on the air and you can reach a hundred and fifty million of 'em. He can say anything he wants and they'll listen to him.

Close-up: Of D. B. Fascinated by ANN.

Wider shot: CONNELL stares at her derisively. D. B. is completely absorbed.

ANN

All right, let's not forget the Governor, the Mayor and all small fry like that. This can arouse national interest! If he made a hit around here—he can do it everywhere else in the country! And you'll be pulling the strings, Mr. Norton!

Close-up: Of D. B. His eyes have begun to light up with extensive plans.

Wider shot: D. B. continues to study ANN with deep interest. Then he turns to CONNELL.

D. B.

Go down to the office and arrange for some radio time.

CONNELL

(protesting)

Why, D. B., you're not going to fall for—

D. B.

(interrupting sharply)

I want it as soon as possible.


611

CONNELL

(shrugging)

Okay. I just came in to get warm, myself. Come on, let's go.

He starts out. ANN picks up her bag, prepared to follow CONNELL.

D. B.

Er, don't you go. I want to talk to you.

CONNELL goes. ANN waits, somewhat nervously.

D. B.

(when CONNELL is gone)

Sit down.

Med. two shot: ANN and D. B. D. B. studies her for a moment.

D. B.

 . . . Er, this John Doe idea is yours, huh?

ANN

Yes, sir.

D. B.

How much money do you get?

ANN

Thirty dollars.

D. B.

(probingly)

Thirty dollars? Well, er, what are you after? I mean, what do you want? A journalistic career?

ANN

Money.

D. B.

(laughs)

Money? Well, I'm glad to hear somebody admit it. Do you suppose you could write a radio speech that would put that fellow over?

ANN

Oh, I'm sure I can.

D. B.

Do it, and I'll give you a hundred dollars a week.

ANN

A hundred dollars!

D. B.

That's only the beginning. You play your cards right and you'll never have to worry about money again. Oh, I knew it.

ANN'S eyes brighten with excitement. They are interrupted by the arrival of TED SHELDON, in uniform.


612

D. B.

(to TED)

Hello. Whenever there's a pretty woman around, er—

(laughing)

This is my nephew, Ted Sheldon, Miss Mitchell.

ANN

How do you do.

TED

How do you do!

D. B.

All right, Casanova. I'll give you a break. See that Miss Mitchell gets a car to take her home.

TED

Always reading my mind, aren't you?

ANN

(laughing)

Thank you very much for everything.

D. B.

And, Miss Mitchell—I think from now on you'd better work directly with me.

ANN

Yes, sir.

They exit. D. B. walks to the door, a pleased expression on his face.

Close-up: Of D. B. His face wreathed in a victorious smile.

Fade-out.

Fade-in: Int. ANN's living room: Close shot: Of ANN. She sits at a typewriter reading something she has written. Suddenly, impulsively, she yanks the sheet out of the machine and flings it to the floor. As she rises, camera pulls back. We find the floor littered with previously unsuccessful attempts to get the speech written. For a moment, ANN paces agitatedly, until she is interrupted by a commotion.

Med. Shot: At door. ANN's two sisters, IRENE and ELLEN, aged nine and eleven—and dressed in their sleeping pajamas, dash in, squealing mischievously. Camera pans with them as they rush to ANN and leap on her.

ANN

Oh! Hey! Oh, hey! I thought you were asleep!

ELLEN

We just wanted to say good night, Sis.

They embrace and kiss her.

ANN

Oh, oh! Oh, you little brats! You're just stalling. I said good night!


613

Med. shot: At door. ANN'S MOTHER appears in the doorway. She is a prim little woman—her clothes have a touch of the Victorian about them—her hair is done up in old-fashioned style, her throat is modestly covered in lace.

MOTHER

(above the din)

Come, come, come, children. It's past your bedtime.

ELLEN

Oh, all right.

MOTHER

Go on!

ELLEN

Come on, Pooch! Come on, come on.

MOTHER

Now, keep Pooch off the bed.

The CHILDREN exit, squealing. ANN'S MOTHER goes to ANN's desk and searches for something.

ANN

Stick a fork through me! I'm done. I'll never get this speech right.

MOTHER

Oh, yes you will, Ann dear . . . you're very clever.

ANN

Yeah, I know. What are you looking for?

MOTHER

Your purse. I need ten dollars.

ANN

What for? I gave you fifty just the other day.

MOTHER

Yes, I know, dear, but Mrs. Burke had her baby yesterday. Nine pounds! And there wasn't a thing in the house—and then this morning the Community Chest[7] lady came around and—

ANN

And the fifty's all gone, huh? Who's the ten for?

MOTHER

The Websters.

ANN

The Websters!

MOTHER

You remember those lovely people your father used to take care of? I thought I'd buy them some groceries. Oh, Ann, dear, it's a shame, those poor—


614

ANN

You're marvelous, Ma. You're just like Father used to be. Do you realize a couple of weeks ago we didn't have enough to eat ourselves?

MOTHER

Well, yes, I know, dear, but these people are in such need and we have plenty now.

ANN

If you're thinking of that thousand dollars, forget it. It's practically gone. We owed everybody in town. Now, you've just gotta stop giving all your money away.

Her MOTHER looks up, surprised at her tone.

MRS. MITCHELL

Oh, Ann, dear!

Close-up: ANN realizes she has spoken sharply to her MOTHER and immediately regrets it. Her face softens.

Med. shot: As ANN crosses to her MOTHER—and places an arm around her shoulder, tenderly.

ANN

Oh, I'm sorry, Ma. Oh, don't pay any attention to me. I guess I'm just upset about all this. Gee whiz, here I am with a great opportunity to get somewhere, to give us security for once in our lives, and I'm stuck. If I could put this over, your Mrs. Burke can have six babies!

MOTHER

Do you mean the speech you're writing?

ANN

Yeah, I don't know. I simply can't get it to jell! I created somebody who's gonna give up his life for a principle, hundreds of thousands of people are gonna listen to him over the radio and, unless he says something that's, well, that's sensational, it's just no good!

MOTHER

Well, honey, of course I don't know what kind of a speech you're trying to write, but judging from the samples I've read, I don't think anybody'll listen.

ANN

What?

MOTHER

Darling, there are so many complaining political speeches. People are tired of hearing nothing but doom and despair on the radio. If you're going to have him say anything, why don't you let him say something simple and real, something with hope in it? If your father were alive, he'd know what to say.


615

ANN

Oh, yes, Father certainly would.

MOTHER

Wait a minute . . .

ANN

Huh?

MRS. MITCHELL crosses to a desk, finds a key and unlocks a compartment. ANN watches her, curiously.

Close shot: MRS. MITCHELL extracts a diary from the compartment, which she handles very tenderly.

Camera pans with her as she goes back to ANN.

MOTHER

That's your father's diary, Ann.

ANN

Father's . . . I never knew he had a diary.

MOTHER

There's enough in it for a hundred speeches, things people ought to hear nowadays. You be careful of it, won't you dear? It's always helped keep your father alive for me.

ANN

(holds MOTHER's hand to her cheek)

You bet I will, Ma.

Her mother abruptly leaves.

Close-up: ANN turns her attention to the diary. As she opens it, her eyes sparkle expectantly. She becomes interested in the first thing she sees.

Dissolve to: Int. corridor of hotel.

Med. shot: At door of JOHN's suite. A crowd of people are around the door trying to crash it. The LUG on guard stands before the door.

LUG

Wait a minute. John Doe don't wanta sign no autographs.

INQUIRER

Well, what does he do all day?

LUG

What does he do all day? He's writin' out his memories!

Cut to: Int. living room.

Med. shot: BEANY is on the telephone. He is apparently weary from answering them all day.


616

BEANY

Sorry, lady. you can't see Mr. Doe. He wants to be alone. No, no, he just sits around all day and commutes with himself.

Camera swings around to JOHN. He stands in the middle of the floor, his pitcher's glove on, playing an imaginary game of ball. He winds up and throws an imaginary ball.

Close-up: Of the COLONEL. He wears a catcher's mitt—and smacks it as if he just caught the ball.

BEANY

(umpiring)

Ba-ll!

COLONEL

I don't know how you're gonna stand it around here till after Christmas.

Full shot: At the door are the two LUGS, watching the imaginary ball game. The COLONEL takes a couple of steps over home plate, and throws the "ball" back to JOHN who picks it up out of the air.

COLONEL

(as he steps back behind the plate)

I betcha yuh ain't heard a train whistle in two weeks.

He crouches on his knees—and gives JOHN a signal.

BEANY

St-rike!

COLONEL

I know why you're hangin' around—you're stuck on a girl—that's all a guy needs is to get hooked up with a woman.

Close shot: Of JOHN. He shakes his head, and waits for another sign. When he gets it, he nods. He steps onto the mound—winds up and lets another one go. This is apparently a hit, for his eyes shoot skyward, and he quickly turns—watching the progress of the ball as it is flung to first base. From his frown we know the man is safe.

Close shot: Of the two LUGS, ANGELFACE and MIKE. ANGELFACE is seriously absorbed in the game. MIKE leans against the wall, eyes narrowed, a plan going on in his head.

ANGELFACE

(seriously)

What was that? A single?

Close-up: Of JOHN.

JOHN

(explaining)

The first baseman dropped the ball.

Close-up: Of ANGELFACE.


617

ANGELFACE

(shouting at "firstbaseman")

Butterfingers!

(back to John)

That's tough luck, Pal.

Med. shot: JOHN disregards him completely. He is too much absorbed with the man on first. He now has the stance of a pitch without the windup.

COLONEL

When a guy has a woman on his hands—the first thing he knows his life is balled up with a lot more things—furniture and—

Close shot: Of JOHN. He catches the "ball"—gets into position—nods to his catcher—raises his hands in the air, takes a peek toward first base—and suddenly wheels around facing camera, and whips the "ball" toward first base. Almost immediately his face lights up.

Close-up: Of ANGELFACE.

ANGELFACE

Did you get him?

Close-up: Of JOHN. He winks.

BEANY

(umpiring)

You're out!

Full shot: JOHN flips the glove off his hand so that it dangles from his wrist—and massages the ball with his two palms.

ANGELFACE

That's swell! What's this—the end of the eighth?

JOHN

Ninth!

He steps into the "pitcher's box".

Wider shot: Just as they take their positions, the LUG, from outside, partly opens the door.

LUG

Hey, Beany! There's a coupla lugs from the Chronicle snooping around out here!

BEANY immediately comes from background.

BEANY

Come on, Angelface! Gangway!

As they reach the door, the LUG speaks to ANGELFACE.

LUG

What's the score, Angelface?

ANGELFACE

Three to two—our favor.


618

LUG

Gee, that's great!

Close-up: Of JOHN. He has heard this and grins mischievously. He starts winding up for another pitch.

Close-up: Of MIKE. He looks around mischievously, then turns to JOHN.

MIKE

You've got swell form. Must have been a pretty good pitcher.

Wider shot: JOHN is just receiving the ball.

JOHN

Pretty good? Say, I was just about ready for the major leagues when I chipped a bone in my elbow. I got it pitchin' a nineteen-inning game!

MIKE

Nineteen!

JOHN

Yep. There was a major league scout there watching me, too. And he came down after the game with a contract. Do you know what? I couldn't life my arm to sign it. But I'll be okay again as soon as I get it fixed up.

MIKE

(picks up newspaper—sighing)

That's too bad.

JOHN

What do you mean, too bad?

MIKE

(pretending distraction)

Huh? Oh, that you'll never be able to play again.

JOHN

Well, what are you talking about? I just told you I was gonna get a—

MIKE

(interrupting carelessly)

Well, you know how they are in baseball—if a guy's mixed up in a racket—

JOHN

(walking over)

Racket? What do you mean?

MIKE

Well, I was just thinking about this John Doe business. Why, as soon as it comes out it's all a fake, you'll be washed up in baseball, won't you?


619

JOHN

Y-yeah. Gee, doggone it, I never thought about that. Gosh!

MIKE

And another thing, what about all the kids in the country, the kids that idolize ball players? What are they gonna think about you?

(shakes his head)

Close shot: Of the COLONEL. He has dropped his glove—flopped into a chair—and has taken out his ocarina.

JOHN'S VOICE

Hey, did you hear that, Colonel?

The COLONEL nods, disinterestedly, and begins to play.

Wider shot: JOHN ponders his dilemma for a second.

JOHN

I gotta figure some way out of this thing!

COLONEL

The elevators are still runnin'.

MIKE

(carelessly)

I know one way you can do it.

JOHN

How?

MIKE

Well, when you get up on the radio, all you have to do is say the whole thing's a frame-up. Make you a hero sure as you're born!

John thinks this over, but something troubles him.

JOHN

Yeah, but how am I gonna get my arm fixed?

MIKE

Well, that's a cinch. I know somebody that'll give you five thousand dollars just to get up on the radio and tell the truth.

COLONEL

(eyes popping)

Five thousand dollars?

MIKE

Yeah. Five thousand dollars. And he gets it right away. You don't have to wait till Christmas.

COLONEL

Look out, Long John! They're closing in on you!


620

JOHN

(ignores COLONEL)

Say, who's putting up this dough?

MIKE

Feller runs the Chronicle .

(takes it out of his pocket)

Here's the speech you make—and it's all written out for you.

JOHN takes it.

Close-up: Of the COLONEL.

COLONEL

(eyes heaven-ward)

Five thousand dollars! Holy mackerel! I can see the heelots comin'. The whole army of them!

MIKE

It's on the level.

Close-up: Of JOHN.

Dissolve to: Int. broadcasting station:

Close shot: TELEPHONE OPERATORS.

1ST GIRL

No, I'm sorry. Tickets for the broadcast are all gone. Phone the Bulletin.

2ND GIRL

Sorry. No more tickets left.

Med. shot: Crowd chattering—they recognize JOHN DOE coming in.

Close shot: At a side door in broadcasting station. As the COLONEL and MIKE take their places.

Int. office in broadcasting station: Full shot: JOHN is led by BEANY into the office. They are immediately followed by several photographers.

BEANY

Here he is.

ANN

Hello, John. All set for the big night? Swell!

PHOTOGRAPHER

Turn around.

2ND PHOTOGRAPHER

One moment—hold it! Now stand still, Mr. Doe.

ANN

Okay, Beany, take them outside.

Two shot: JOHN and ANN.


621

ANN

Now, look, John. Here's the speech. It's in caps and double-spaced. You won't have any trouble reading it. Not nervous, are you?

JOHN

No.

ANN

Of course not. He wouldn't be.

JOHN

Who?

ANN

John Doe. The one in there.

(pointing to speech)

BEANY

Hey, don't let your knees rattle. It picks up on the mike!

ANN

Oh, Beany! You needn't be nervous, John. All you have to remember is to be sincere.

Wider shot: Man pokes his head in.

MAN

Pick up the phone, Miss Mitchell. It's for you.

ANN

(takes phone)

Hello? Yes, Mother. Oh, thank you, darling.

Full shot: While she speaks on the phone, MRS. BREWSTER barges in, accompanied by two other ladies.

MRS. BREWSTER

Oh, there he is, the poor, dear man! Oh, good luck to you, Mr. Doe. We want you to know that we're all for you. The girls all decided that you're not to jump off any roof a'tall. Oh, we'll stop it!

ANN completes the phone call—crosses to MRS. BREWSTER.

ANN

Sorry, ladies. Mr. Doe can't be bothered now. He's gotta make a speech out there, and—

While she gets them out—MIKE slips into the room.

Close shot: MIKE and JOHN.

MIKE

Have you got the speech I gave you?

JOHN

(taps breast pocket)

Yeah.


622

MIKE

Now, look. I'll give this money to the Colonel just as soon as you get started. We'll have a car waiting at the side entrance for you.

JOHN

Okay.

Full shot: ANN turns away from the door.

ANN

(to MIKE)

How'd you get in here?

MIKE

Huh? Oh, I just came in to wish him luck.

ANN

Come on, out. Out!

(turning to John)

Mother says good luck, too. John, when you read that speech, please, please believe every word of it. He's turned out to be a wonderful person, John.

JOHN

Who?

ANN

John Doe, the one in the speech.

JOHN

Oh. Yeah.

ANN

You know something? I've actually fallen in love with him.

Full shot: They are interrupted by the arrival of CONNELL. He is accompanied by several photographers—and a beautiful girl in a bathing suit. A banner across her front reads: "Miss Average Girl".

CONNELL

All right, there he is, sister. Now, come on—plenty of oomph!

The GIRL, all smiles, throws her arms around JOHN's shoulder—and strikes a languid pose. The flashlights go off.

ANN

What's the idea?

CONNELL

No, no, no. Now that's too much!

PHOTOGRAPHER

One moment, please.

ANN

This is no time for cheap publicity, Mr. Connell!


623

CONNELL

Listen. If that guy lays an egg. I want to get something out of it. I'm getting a Jane Doe ready!

ANN

(trying to get rid of them)

That's fine, honey. Now, get out!

PHOTOGRAPHER

All right. I need one more.

ANN

Go right ahead.

While there is this confusion, the COLONEL pushes in and stands in the doorway.

COLONEL

How're you doin'?

CONNELL

(calls to Beany outside)

All right, Beany—bring 'em in!

While CONNELL speaks, two MIDGETS push the COLONEL out of the way and enter the room. The COLONEL glances down—and nearly jumps out of his skin. BEANY follows them in.

COLONEL

Holy smoke! A half a heelot!

BEANY

There you are, Boss, just like you ordered. Symbols of the little people.

CONNELL

Okay. Get them up.

BEANY lifts them and places them, one on each of JOHN's arms. The flashlights go off.

ANN

This is ridiculous, Mr. Connell! Come on, give him a chance. The man's on the air!

While she speaks, she tries to shove the photographers out.

BOY MIDGET

(to girl midget)

Come on, Snooks—you better bail out.

GIRL MIDGET

(coquettishly)

Goodbye, Mr. Doe!

BEANY lifts her off—and ANN pushes them all out—just as the STAGE MANAGER reappears.

STAGE MANAGER

Better get ready. One minute to go!


624

Two shot: JOHN and ANN. ANN turns quickly to JOHN.

ANN

Wow! One minute to go, and the score is nothing to nothing! Now, please, John, you won't let me down, will you? Will you? 'Course you won't. If you'll just think of yourself as the real John Doe.

Listen. Everything in that speech are things a certain man believed in. He was my father, John. And when he talked, people listened. They'll listen to you, too.

Funny—you know what my mother said the other night? She said to look into your eyes—that I'd see Father there.

STAGE MANAGER

Hey—what do you say?

ANN

Okay! We're coming. Come on!

ANN

Now, listen, John. You're a pitcher. Now, get in there and pitch!

(kisses his cheek)

Good luck.

For a moment he just stares at her, under a spell. Then, turning, he exits. After a second of watching him, ANN follows.

STUDIO OFFICIAL

Give him room, let him through. Come on.

Int. broadcasting stage: Med. shot: Camera retreats in front of JOHN and the official, as they leave the office and proceed to the microphones. Everyone stares curiously at JOHN—whispering to each other.

Med. shot: Shooting through glass partition, toward control booth. We see the two men at the board. They glance nervously at their watches—then at the clock on the wall.

Close shot: Of ANN. She has taken a position at a table near the mike. Next to her sits CONNELL. ANN watches JOHN with intense interest.

The COLONEL has followed JOHN up to the microphone.

COLONEL

(to John)

Hey. Let's get out o' here. There's the door right there.

M.C.

Hey, what're you doing here?

COLONEL

That's what I'd like to know!

M.C.

Come on, out. Out.


625

JOHN

Say, he's a friend of mine.

ANN

(at John's elbow)

Never mind. Let him alone. He's all right. I'll be right over there pulling for you.

JOHN starts to follow ANN away from mike. ANN leads him back to mike again.

ANN

No, John—over here.

2ND M.C.

Stand by.

Med. shot: At door. The COLONEL surreptitiously tries the door, to see that it opens readily. Standing near him is BEANY and the others.

Med. shot: Group around SPENCER. They wait expectantly. Their eyes sparkling with excitement.

SPENCER

Phone the Chronicle . Tell 'em to start getting those extras out.

Med. shot: Toward control booth. The man with the earphones on has his hand up ready to give the signal. He listens a moment, then abruptly drops his hand.

Close-up: The man near the announcer throws his hand up as a signal to someone off scene.

Med. shot: An orchestra in a corner. The conductor waves his baton—and the orchestra blasts out a dramatic fanfare.

Close shot: ANNOUNCER and JOHN. ANNOUNCER holds his script up and the moment the music stops he speaks dramatically.

ANNOUNCER

(rapid-fire)

And good evening, ladies and gentlemen. This is Kenneth Frye, speaking for the New Bulletin . Tonight we give you something entirely new and different. Standing beside me is the young man who has declared publicly that on Christmas Eve he intends to commit suicide, giving as his reason—quote: "I protest against the state of civilization." End quote. Ladies and gentlemen, the New Bulletin takes pleasure in presenting the man who is fast becoming the most talked-of person in the whole country, JOHN DOE!

The man next to him waves his hand—there is an outburst of music.

A flash: Of ANN—she looks at JOHN intently.

Med. shot: Group around BEANY. They all applaud, except for MIKE and the COLONEL. MIKE, with his hand hanging down, nudges the COLONEL.


626

Close shot: Of their hands meeting and we see the envelope change hands. Camera pans up to the COLONEL's face which is twisted into a miserable grimace.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He glances around, uncertainly.

Close shot: Of MIKE and the COLONEL. MIKE elbows the COLONEL to throw his signal. The COLONEL looks toward JOHN and nods his head.

Close shot: Of JOHN. He catches the COLONEL'S signal and quickly his hand goes to his pocket. Just as he is about to bring it out, his hand pauses. He turns and looks at ANN.

Close-up: Of ANN. A warm, pleading look in her eyes.

Med. shot: Around JOHN. He is still staring at ANN, when the ANNOUNCER reaches over and nudges him—pointing to the mike. JOHN snaps out of it—turns his face to the mike—pushes the paper back in his pocket—and starts reading ANN'S speech.

JOHN

(reading speech)

Ladies and gentlemen: I am the man you all know as John Doe.

(clearing his throat)

I took that name because it seems to describe—because it seems to describe

(his voice unnatural)

the average man, and that's me.

(repeats, embarrassedly)

And that's me.

Med. shot: The COLONEL and MIKE. The COLONEL realizes JOHN is not going to make SPENCER'S speech, and his face breaks into a broad grin. He takes MIKE'S hand and slaps the envelope into his palm. Over the shot we hear JOHN'S voice.

JOHN'S VOICE

Well, it was me—before I said I was gonna jump off the City Hall roof at midnight on Christmas Eve. Now, I guess I'm not average any more. Now, I'm getting all sorts of attention, from big shots, too.

Med. shot: To include JOHN and ANN.

Med. shot: Around SPENCER, as MIKE enters to him and hands him envelope.

MIKE

(whispering)

We've been double-crossed!

SPENCER stares at the envelope, frothing at the mouth.

SPENCER

We have!?


627

Med. shot: Featuring JOHN and ANN.

JOHN

The Mayor and the Governor, for instance. They don't like those articles I've been writing.

Suddenly they are startled by SPENCER's voice.

SPENCER'S VOICE

You're an imposter, young fella! That's a pack of lies you're telling!

Quick flashes: Of reaction from audience, CONNELL and others.

SPENCER

Who wrote that speech for you?

(pointing accusing finger at JOHN)

CONNELL

Beany, get that guy!

Med. shot: Around SPENCER. It is as far as he gets. Several attendants, BEANY among them, have reached him and start throwing him out.

Cut to: Int. D. B. NORTON's study: Med. shot: D. B. and TED SHELDON are listening to JOHN's speech over the radio. D. B. is astonished at the disturbance in the program.

D. B.

(recognizing the voice)

That's Spencer!

Cut to: Int. broadcasting stage:

Close shot: Of ANNOUNCER.

M.C.

Ladies and gentlemen, the disturbance you just heard was caused by someone in the audience who tried to heckle Mr. Doe. The speech will continue.

Med. shot: Featuring JOHN and ANN.

JOHN

Well, people like the Governor

(laughing—ad libs)

People like the Governor and that fella there can—can stop worrying. I'm not gonna talk about them.

ANN smiles admiringly.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He is becoming strangely absorbed in what he is saying.


628

JOHN

I'm gonna talk about us, the average guys, the John Does. If anybody should ask you what the average John Doe is like, you couldn't tell him because he's a million and one things. He's Mr. Big and Mr. Small. He's simple and he's wise. He's inherently honest, but he's got a streak of larceny in his heart. He seldom walks up to a public telephone without shoving his finger into the slot to see if somebody left a nickel there.

Close-up: Of ANN. Her eyes are glued on JOHN.

JOHN'S VOICE

He's the man the ads are written for. He's the fella everybody sells things to. He's Joe Doakes,[8] the world's greatest stooge and the world's greatest strength.

(clearing throat)

Yes, sir. Yessir, we're a great family, the John Does. We're the meek who are, er, supposed to inherit the earth. You'll find us everywhere. We raise the crops, we dig the mines, work the factories, keep the books, fly the planes and drive the busses! And when a cop yells: "Stand back there, you!" He means us, the John Does!

Cut to: Int. D. B. 's study:

Med. shot: D. B. and TED listen near the radio. TED's eyes flash angrily.

TED

Well, what kind of a speech is that? Didn't you read it?

D. B. stops him with a gesture of his hand. He doesn't want to miss a word.

Cut to: Int. broadcasting stage:

Med. shot: Toward JOHN.

JOHN

We've existed since time began. We built the pyramids, we saw Christ crucified, pulled the oars for Roman emperors, sailed the boats for Columbus, retreated from Moscow with Napoleon and froze with Washington at Valley Forge!

(gasping)

Yes, sir. We've been in there dodging left hooks since before history began to walk! In our struggle for freedom we've hit the canvas many a time, but we always bounced back!

Med. shot—panning: Around audience—to get a variety of interested faces.

JOHN'S VOICE

Because we're the people —and we're tough!

Close-up: Of JOHN.


629

JOHN

They've started a lot of talk about free people going soft—that we can't take it. That's a lot of hooey! . . . A free people can beat the world at anything, from war to tiddle-de-winks, if we all pull in the same direction!

Med. shot: To include radio announcer and other radio officials. Their interest centers on JOHN.

JOHN

I know a lot of you are saying "What can I do? I'm just a little punk. I don't count." Well, you're dead wrong! The little punks have always counted because in the long run the character of a country is the sum total of the character of its little punks.

Int. D. B.'s study. Med. Shot. D. B.'s expression of disturbance has vanished. It is now replaced by one of thoughtfulness and interest. He looks off toward the foyer, and impulsively goes in that direction.

Cut to:
Int. foyer.

Med. shot: D. B. crosses to a pantry door and pushes the swinging door open slightly.

Int. pantry: Med. shot: All we can see through the slightly open door is one side of the room. Clustered around the radio on a table are all the household help. They listen, fascinated.

Int. foyer: Closeup of D. B. His eyes begin to brighten with an idea. Meantime, over the foregoing shots, JOHN's voice has continued.

JOHN'S VOICE

But we've all got to get in there and pitch! We can't win the old ball game unless we have team work. And that's where every John Doe comes in! It's up to him to get together with his teammate!

Cut to: Int. broadcasting station:

Med. shot: Closeup: Of JOHN.

JOHN

And your teammates, my friends, is the guy next door to you. Your neighbor! He's a terribly important guy, that guy next door! You're gonna need him and he's gonna need you . . . so look him up! If he's sick, call on him! If he's hungry, feed him! If he's out of a job, find him one! To most of you, your neighbor is a stranger, a guy with a barking dog, and a high fence around him.

Med. shot: Somewhere in audience.


630

JOHN'S VOICE

Now, you can't be a stranger to any guy that's on your own team. So tear down the fence that separates you, tear down the fence and you'll tear down a lot of hates and prejudices! Tear down all the fences in the country and you'll really have teamwork!

Med. shot: Around BEANY and the LUGS. They, too, are interested.

JOHN'S VOICE

I know a lot of you are saying to yourselves: "He's asking for a miracle to happen. He's expecting people to change all of a sudden." Well, you're wrong. It's no miracle. It's no miracle because I see it happen once every year. And so do you. At Christmas time! There's something swell about the spirit of Christmas, to see what it does to people, all kinds of people . . .

Close-up: Of ANN. Her eyes go from JOHN to the audience—as she watches their reaction.

Full shot: Shooting toward audience over JOHN's shoulder.

JOHN

Now, why can't that spirit, that same warm Christmas spirit last the whole year round? Gosh, if it ever did, if each and every John Doe would make that spirit last three hundred and sixty-five days out of the year, we'd develop such a strength, we'd create such a tidal wave of good will, that no human force could stand against it.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He has become visibly affected by the speech himself.

JOHN

Yes, sir, my friends, the meek can only inherit the earth when the John Does start loving their neighbors. You'd better start right now. Don't wait till the game is called on account of darkness! Wake up, John Doe! You're the hope of the world!

He has finished—but does not move. He drops his head to conceal the moisture in his eyes.

Close-up: Of ANN. She, too, remains seated. Her moist eyes riveted on JOHN.

Med. long shot: Of Audience. There is no outburst of applause. All continue to stare forward, emotionally touched.

Med. shot: Of ANN. She runs over to John.

ANN

John! You were wonderful!

Med. shot: Of the audience. They too realize it is over—and gradually they rise and applaud him wildly, and the radio station rings with cheers.


631

Med. shot: JOHN and ANN. JOHN stares at ANN, then turns to COLONEL.

JOHN

(as he reaches COLONEL)

Let's get out of here.

They exit through the door at which the COLONEL has been on guard.

COLONEL

Now you're talking!

Med. shot: At side door. The COLONEL opens it, and a little crowd of autograph hounds wait for JOHN.

COLONEL

Gangway, you heelots!

They push their way to a taxi waiting at the curb.

Close-up: Of ANN. She stares at them leaving, follows and tries to stop them, but her efforts are unsuccessful.

Dissolve to: Ext. under a bridge: Med. shot: JOHN and the COLONEL are in a secluded spot. The lights of the city can be seen in the distance. The COLONEL is building a fire.

COLONEL

I knew you'd wake up sooner or later! Boy, am I glad we got out of that mess.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He reaches around and pulls his pitcher's glove out of his back pocket, and starts pounding his fist into it.

JOHN

I had that five thousand bucks sewed up! Could have been on my way to old Doc Brown!

(imitates Ann)

"You're a pitcher, John," she said, "Now go in there and pitch!

(self-beratingly)

What a sucker!

Wider shot: To include the COLONEL, who has quite a mound of twigs built, under which he lights a match.

COLONEL

Yeah, she's a heelot just like the rest of them. It's lucky you got away from her.

JOHN

What was I doin' up there makin' a speech, anyway? Me? Huh? Gee, the more I think about it the more I could . . .

COLONEL

Tear down all the fences. Why, if you tore one picket off of your neighbor's fence he'd sue you!

JOHN

Five thousand bucks! I had it right in my hand!

Dissolve to: Int. D.B.'s study: Close-up: D.B. on telephone.


632

D.B.

What do you mean, he ran away? Well, go after him! Find him! That man is terrific!

Dissolve to: Ext. a box car (process). Close shot: Of JOHN and the COLONEL. They play a duet on their instruments.

Fade out:

Fade in: Ext. a small town street—day: Med. shot: As JOHN and the COLONEL come from around a corner. Camera pans with them as they enter "Dan's Beanery".

Int. DAN's Beanery: Full shot: They enter and flop down on stools. Half a dozen other customers are present.

Med. shot: Kids dancing to phonograph.

COLONEL

Jitterbugs.[9]

Close shot: JOHN and the COLONEL.

JOHN

Yeh. Say, how much money we got left?

COLONEL

Four bits.

JOHN

Better make it doughnuts, huh?

COLONEL

Yeh.

DAN

What'll it be, gents?

JOHN

Have you got a coupla steaks about that big and about that thick?

(measuring)

COLONEL

Er, yeh, with hash-brown potatoes and tomatoes and—and apple pie and ice cream and coffee—

DAN

And doughnuts! I know. Hey, Ma! Sinkers, a pair!

MA'S VOICE

Sinkers, a pair, coming up.

COLONEL

Glad he took the "T" out of that.

JOHN

(sees something off—nudges the Colonel)

Hey look!


633

Long shot: Shooting from their view through the store window. In the street outside, a delivery wagon is passing. On its side is a sign reading "JOIN THE JOHN DOE CLUB".

Int. DAN's beanery: Close-up: JOHN and the COLONEL.

COLONEL

Join the John Doe Club.

JOHN

John Doe Club?

Close shot: Of the WAITER standing near the coffee urn. From back of it he has taken a local paper—on the front page of which is JOHN's picture. The WAITER looks at it and then turns his head to JOHN.

Two shot: JOHN and the COLONEL. They turn and see the waiter watching them peculiarly.

COLONEL

Oh-oh.

Wider shot. As the WAITER approaches them.

WAITER

Are you John Doe?

JOHN lowers his head.

COLONEL

Who?

WAITER

(pointing to paper)

John Doe.

COLONEL

You need glasses, buddy.

WAITER

Well, he's the spittin' image of—

COLONEL

Yeah, but his name's Willoughby.

DAN

Oh!

JOHN

Long John Willoughby.

(takes glove out of pocket)

I'm a baseball player.

COLONEL

Sure.

DAN

(eyes brightening)

Oh, no. I'd know that voice anywhere. You can't kid me! You're John Doe! Hey, Ma! Ma! That's John Doe!


634

MA

John Doe?

DAN

Yeah. Sitting right there, big as life.

CUSTOMER

Who'd you say it was?

DAN

John Doe! The big guy there! Picture's in the paper!

JOHN gives the COLONEL the office and they hastily exit. Several customers, who had gathered around, now evince interest. DAN identifies JOHN as JOHN DOE, and the people follow JOHN out into the street. DAN hastily seizes the phone.

DAN

Hey, Operator? Dan's Beanery. Look. Call everybody in town. John Doe was just in my place. Yeh. He ordered doughnuts.

Long shot: Shooting out of window toward street. We see JOHN and the COLONEL as they hurry away, being followed by the crowd which is gradually growing larger . . . as we see people crossing the street to get to them—

TOWNSPEOPLE

There he is!
John Doe!
There he is! Come on!
Gotta see John Doe!

Dissolve to: Ext. sidewalk: Med. shot: Millville City Hall. The sidewalk is crowded with people. Those near the entrance are trying to force their way in. MAYOR HAWKINS guards the door.

MAYOR HAWKINS

I know, you all voted for me and you're all anxious to see John Doe. We're all neighbors, but my office is packed like a sardine box.

GIRL

What does John Doe look like, Mr. Mayor.

MAYOR HAWKINS

Oh, he's one of those great big outdoor type of men. No, you can't see him.

MAYOR notices one member of the crowd particularly.

MAYOR HAWKINS

You didn't vote for me the last time. Shame on you—get off my front porch!

(turning)

Mr. Norton come yet? What's keeping him? He should of been here fifteen minutes ago. Oh, there he comes now. Now, everybody on your dignity. Don't do anything to disgrace us. This is a little town, but we gotta show off.


635

Wider shot: Of curb. From off-scene we hear the wail of sirens, and as the crowd on the sidewalk turn they see two motorcycle cops drive in, followed by a limousine.

Two shot: ANN and D. B.

ANN

Better let me talk to him.

D. B.

All right, but present it to him as a great cause for the common man.

ANN nods as they start toward building. Camera pans with them as the cops break through the curious mob.

Med. shot: MAYOR HAWKINS endeavors to assist them.

MAYOR HAWKINS

Ah, here he comes! Give him room down there! Give him room, folks! How do you do, Mr. Norton! I'm the Mayor—

COP

(to Mayor)

Come back here!

MAYOR HAWKINS

(to cop)

Let me go, you dern fool! I'm the Mayor! Mr. Norton! I'm Mayor Hawkins. Your office telephoned me to hold him.

Int. City Hall: Med. shot: As they walk toward MAYOR'S office.

D. B.

(to Mayor Hawkins)

Well, that's fine. How is he?

MAYOR

Oh, he's fine. He's right in my office there. You know, this is a great honor having John Doe here, and you too. Haven't had so much excitement since the old city hall burned down.

(chuckling)

People were so excited, they nearly tore his clothes off.

(turns to secretary)

Oh, Matilda darling, phone the newspapers. Tell them Mr. Norton is here. Step right inside, Mr. Norton—my office is very comfortable here, Mr. Norton. Just had it air-conditioned. Gangway, please. Make room for Mr. Norton. Gangway, gangway. Here he is, Mr. Norton, well taken care of. The neighbors are serving him a light lunch.

Int. MAYOR's office. Full shot: JOHN and the COLONEL are surrounded by a room full of people, including the SHERIFF in full uniform and several policemen. JOHN sits at the MAYOR'S desk, which is filled with edibles. D.B., ANN and the MAYOR enter. JOHN, upon seeing ANN, gets to his feet.


636

ANN

Hello, John.

JOHN

Hello.

D. B.

Mister Mayor, if you don't mind, we'd like to talk to him alone.

MAYOR

Why, certainly, certainly. All right, everybody, clear out.

They all start to shuffle out—the MAYOR excitedly egging them on.

MAYOR'S WIFE

Quit pushing.

MAYOR

Don't argue with me here. Wait till we get home.

WIFE

Don't you push me around like that! Even though I'm your wife, you can't push me around—

MAYOR

Ohhhh!

They all shuffle out, and D.B. shuts the door. JOHN watches him, doesn't like his proprietary manner.

JOHN

Look, Mr. Norton, I think you've got a lot of nerve having those people hold us here.

D. B.

There's nobody holding you here, Mr. Doe.

(laughing)

It's only natural that people—

JOHN

Well, if there's nobody holding us here, let's get going. Incidentally, my name isn't Doe. It's Willoughby.

ANN

(gets in front of him—pleads)

Look, John. Something terribly important's happened. They're forming John Doe Clubs. We know of eight already and they say that there's going—

JOHN

(interested despite himself)

John Doe Clubs? What for?

ANN

Uh-huh. To carry out the principles you talked about in your radio speech.


637

JOHN

(regains his former attitude)

I don't care what they're forming. I'm on my way and I don't like the idea of being stopped either.

ANN

Oh, but you don't know how big this thing is. You should see the thousands of telegrams we've received and what they're saying about you.

JOHN

Look, it started as a circulation stunt, didn't it?

ANN

Uh-huh . . .

JOHN

Well, you got your circulation. Now, why don't you let me alone?

ANN

Oh, it started as a circulation stunt, but it isn't any more. Mr. Norton wants to get back of it and sponsor John Doe Clubs all over the country. He wants to send you on a lecture tour.

JOHN

Me?

ANN

Uh-huh.

D. B.

Why, certainly. With your ability to influence people, it might grow into a glorious movement.

JOHN

Say, let's get something straight here. I don't want any part of this thing. If you've got an idea I'm going around lecturing to people, why you're crazy! Baseball's my racket, and I'm sticking to it. Come on, Colonel, let's get out of here.

ANN

John!

The beaming COLONEL starts to follow him to the door. When they get there, the door suddenly flies open and a crowd of townspeople push their way in—with the MAYOR and the SHERIFF trying to hold them back.

MAYOR

Please, please! I just got rid of one crowd.

WOMAN

Oh, but please. Mr. Mayor, tell him the John Doe Club wants to talk to him.

Close-up: Of D. B. He gets an idea. These people might influence JOHN.


638

D. B.

Let them in, Mr. Mayor. Let them come in.

Full shot: As the MAYOR and the SHERIFF back away.

MAYOR

Okay, folks, but remember your manners. No stampeding. Walk slow, like you do when you come to pay your taxes.

Med. shot: Of the group. They shuffle forward grinning happily. Those in the rear rise on tiptoes for a better look. The men doff their hats as they come forward.

Med. shot: Of JOHN, the COLONEL, ANN and D.B. John glances around nervously. The COLONEL is worried.

Med. shot: Of the townspeople. They just stand there, awkwardly, some grinning sheepishly, others staring at JOHN. Finally someone nudges a young man in the foreground and whispers.

SOMEONE

Come on, Bert.

BERT

Okay. All right, give me a chance.

WOMAN

(making room for him)

Come right in.

Wider shot: As the group around JOHN wait expectantly.

BERT

(clearing throat)

My name's Bert Hansen, Mr. Doe, I'm the head soda jerker at Schwabacher's Drug Store.

Close shot: Of BERT—as he plunges into his story.

BERT

Well, sir, you see, me and my wife, we heard your broadcast, and we got quite a bang out of it, especially my wife.

Wider shot: To include JOHN and the others.

BERT

Kept me up half the night saying "That man's right, honey. The trouble with the world is—nobody gives a hoot about his neighbor. That's why everybody in town's sore and cranky at each other."

And I kept saying, "Well, that's fine, but how's a guy gonna go around loving the kind of neighbors we got? Old Sourpuss for instance!"

(laughing)

You see, Sourpuss Smithers is a guy who lives all alone next door to us. He's a cranky old man and runs a second-hand furniture store. We haven't spoken to him for years. I always figured he was an ornery old gent that hated the world cause he was always slamming his garage door and playing the radio so loud he kept half the neighbors up.

(laughing)


639

Close-up: Of BERT.

BERT

Well, anyway, the next morning I'm out watering the lawn and I look over and there's Sourpuss on the other side of the hedge straightening out a dent in his fender and, er, my wife yells to me out of the window. She says, "Go on. Speak to him, Bert." And I figured, well, heck, I can't lose anything—so I yelled over to him "Good morning, Mr. Smithers." He went right on pounding his fender, and was I burned! So I turned around to give my wife a dirty look and she said, "Louder, louder. He didn't hear you." So, in a voice you could of heard in the next county, I yelled. "Good morning, Mr. Smithers!"

Med. shot: Featuring JOHN and BERT. JOHN is very interested.

BERT

Well, sir, you coulda knocked me over with a feather. Old Sourpuss turned around surprised like, and he put on a big smile, came over and took my hand like an old lodge brother, and he said. "Good morning, Hansen. I've been wanting to talk to you for years, only I thought you didn't like me." And then he started chatting away like a happy little kid, and he got so excited his eyes begin waterin' up.

Med. shot: Of a group of neighbors. They smile sympathetically.

BERT'S VOICE

Well, Mr. Doe, before we got through, I found out Smithers is a swell egg, only he's pretty deaf, and that accounts for all the noises.

Wider shot: To include BERT, JOHN and others.

BERT

And he says it's a shame how little we know about our neighbors, and then he got an idea, and he said, "How's about inviting everybody some place where we can all get together and know each other a little better?" Well, I'm feeling so good by this time, I'm ripe for anything.

Close shot: Of ANN and D. B. They listen, amused and excited.

BERT

So Smithers goes around the neighborhood inviting everybody to a meeting at the school house and I tell everybody that comes in the store, including Mr. Schwabacher, my boss.

(laughing)

Oh, I'm talking too much.

Med. shot: JOHN and BERT.


640

BERT

Well, I'll be doggoned if over forty people don't show up. 'Course none of us knew what to do, but we sure got a kick out of seeing how glad everybody was just to say hello to one another.

BERT'S WIFE

Tell him about making Sourpuss chairman, honey.

BERT

Oh, yeah. We made Sourpuss chairman and decided to call ourselves The John Doe Club. And, say, incidentally, this is my wife. Come here, honey.

His WIFE comes forward and stands beside him.

BERT

This is my wife, Mr. Doe.

MRS. HANSEN nods her head shyly—and JOHN acknowledges the introduction by a half wave of his hand.

WIFE

How do you do, Mr. Doe . . . Er, Sourpuss is here, too.

BERT

(turns around)

Oh, is he?

WIFE

(pointing)

Uh-huh.

Med. shot: Of a group around SOURPUSS. He is as described, except when he smiles, his whole face warms up. Those around him push him forward. At first he looks bewildered, then, understanding, he starts toward BERT, grinning sheepishly.

Med. shot: Around BERT—as SOURPUSS comes forward.

BERT

This is Sourpuss. Er, excuse me. Er, Mr. Smithers, Mr. Doe.

SOURPUSS

Th—that's all right. If you didn't call me Sourpuss, it wouldn't feel natural.

(laughing)

There are snickers from the background.

BERT

Well, anyway, I—I guess nearly everybody in the neighborhood came, except the DeLaneys. The Delaneys live in a big house with an iron fence around it and they always keep their blinds drawn, and we always figured that he was just an old miser that sat back counting his money, so why bother about inviting him? Until Grimes, the milkman spoke up and he said, "Say, you've got the Delaneys all wrong." And then he tells


641

us about how they cancelled their milk last week, and how, when he found a note in the bottle he got kinda curious like and he sorta peeked in under the blinds and found the house empty. "If you ask me," he says, "they're starving."

SOURPUSS

Old man Delaney has been bringing his furniture over to my place at night, one piece at a time, and selling it.

Close shot: Of JOHN. Profoundly impressed by this.

Wider shot: BERT clears his throat.

BERT

Yeah. And, well, sir, a half a dozen of us ran over there to fetch them and we got them to the meeting. What a reception they got. Why, everybody shook hands with them and made a fuss over them, and, well, finally, Mr. and Mrs. Delaney just sat right down and cried.

He smiles, embarrassed, and JOHN, as well as the others, clear their throats.

SOURPUSS

And then we started to find out about a lot of other people.

BERT

Yeah, sure. Er, you know Grubbel, for instance.

BERT'S WIFE

Grubbel's here. See?

(pointing)

BERT

Yeah. That's—that's him. Of course, you don't know Grubbel, but he's the man that everybody figured was the worst no-account in the neighborhood because he was living like a hermit and nobody'd have anything to do with him. Er, that is until Murphy, the postman told us the truth. "Why, Grubbel," he says, "he lives out of garbage cans because he won't take charity. Because it'd ruin his self-respect," he says.

BERT'S WIFE

Just like you said on the radio, Mr. Doe.

SOURPUSS

Well, sir, about a dozen families got together and gave Grubbel a job watering their lawns. Isn't that wonderful? And then we found jobs for six other people and they've all gone off relief!

BERT

Yeh. Er, and my boss, Mr. Schwabacker made a job in his warehouse for old man Delaney—


642

WIFE

And he gave you that five dollar raise.

BERT

Yeah! Wasn't that swell!

(laughing)

Med. shot: Around MAYOR HAWKINS. He steps forward.

MAYOR

Why, Bert, I feel slighted. I'd like to join but nobody asked me.

Med. shot: Around BERT and SOURPUSS.

SOURPUSS

Well, I'm sorry, Mayor, but we voted that no politicians could join.

BERT'S WIFE

Just the John Does of the neighborhood. Cause you know how politicians are.

(becomes embarrassed)

Close-up: Of the MAYOR—completely deflated.

SOURPUSS

Yeah . . .

Med. shot: Around JOHN. As they smile, amused at the MAYOR'S discomfiture.

Med. shot: Around BERT. He looks over at JOHN, hesitates a moment, and then speaks.

BERT

Well, er, the reason we wanted to tell you this, Mr. Doe, was to give you an idea what you started. And from where I'm sitting, I don't see any sense in your jumping off any building.

GROUP

No!

SOURPUSS

No!

BERT

Well, thank you for listening. Goodbye, Mr. Doe. You're a wonderful man and it strikes me you can be mighty useful walking around for a while.

Close-up: Of JOHN. Deeply touched. Shifts awkwardly, unable to say anything.

Med. shot: As D. B. and ANN watch his face to see the effect.

GROUP

Well, goodbye.

SOURPUSS

Goodbye Mr. Doe.


643

BERT has turned to go, and the rest follow suit. They all shuffle silently out.

Med. shot: Of an old couple who remain looking up at JOHN, as those around them leave. The old lady takes the old man's arm and starts toward JOHN. Camera pans with them until they reach him.

OLD LADY

I'm Mrs. Delaney, Mr. Doe . . . and God bless you, my boy.

(she gently kisses his hand)

The two OLD PEOPLE leave.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He swallows a lump in his throat. He watches the old people until they have left, then with a quick glance at his hand—and self-consciously in front of the others, stuffs his hand into his pocket.

Full shot: As they all watch him, without speaking. JOHN runs his hand through his hair, stealing a fleeting glance at the others, and grins awkwardly.

Close shot: Of D. B. as he signals to the MAYOR and the SHERIFF, who have remained, to leave.

Med. shot: Of the MAYOR and the SHERIFF, who receive the signal and discreetly exit.

Full shot: They wait for JOHN to speak, but JOHN begins walking around, profoundly thoughtful.

Close-up: Of the COLONEL watching him, concerned.

Two shot: Of D. B. and ANN. Their eyes glued on him, expectantly.

Full shot: JOHN still paces, disturbed by clashing emotions. He stops, glances at the door, a soft, thoughtful expression in his eyes. Then, as his thought shifts, he runs his left hand over his pitching arm.

JOHN

Gee, whiz—I'm all mixed up—I don't get it. Look, all those swell people think I'm gonna jump off a building or something.

He looks toward the door.

JOHN

I never had any such idea. Gosh! A fella'd have to be a mighty fine example himself to go around telling other people how to—Say, look, what happened the other night was on account of Miss Mitchell, here. She wrote the stuff.

ANN walks over to JOHN.

Two shot: ANN and JOHN. She faces him, looking up into his face.


644

ANN

Don't you see what a wonderful thing this can be?

(softly)

But we need you , John.

Close-up: Of the COLONEL. He stares at JOHN, sees him weakening, and grimaces disgustedly.

Wider shot: The COLONEL watches JOHN as he continues to turn it over in his mind.

COLONEL

(suddenly)

You're hooked! I can see that right now.

They all look up, startled.

COLONEL

They got you. Well, I'm through.

(crosses to door—stops, turns)

For three years I've been trying to get you up to the Columbia River country. First, it was your glass arm. Then it was the radio. And now it's the John Doe clubs. Well, I ain't waiting another minute.

He opens the door and when he sees the townspeople still gathered outside, he yells to them.

COLONEL

Gangway, you heelots!

He pushes his way out.

JOHN

(calling)

Hey, Colonel! Wait a minute!

He starts after the COLONEL, but when he gets to the door, the townspeople surge toward him and block his way.

JOHN

Hey, Colonel!

CROWD

Oh, please, Mr. Doe—

Close-up: Of JOHN.

JOHN

(calling futilely)

Hey, Colonel!

He tries to peer over the heads of the townspeople who go on chattering. There is a trapped look on JOHN's face.

Two shot: D. B. and ANN. They exchange victorious glances:

Dissolve to: Int. office of headquarters. Close shot: Of large map of the U.S. over the top of which we read: "John Doe Clubs." There are a dozen pegs scattered over the map, indicating where the clubs are. We hear D. B.'s voice.

Camera draws back and we find D. B. talking to a group of men in front of him.


645

D. B.

I want you personally to go along with John Doe and Miss Mitchell and handle the press and the radio.

CHARLIE

(an experienced promoter)

Me?

D. B.

Yes. I don't want to take any chances. And Johnson?

JOHNSON

Yes. D. B.

D. B.

Your crew will do the mop up job. They'll follow John Doe into every town, see that the clubs are properly organized and the charters issued.

CHARLIE

Right.

D. B.

There are only eight flags up there now. I want to see that map covered before we get through!

Med. shot: D. B. is still speaking as camera moves down to the map again, which constantly remains a background for the montage following. As the montage proceeds, pegs begin to appear in abundance on the map.

A montage: Accompanied by a fanfare of music.

1. Flashes of banners reading:
"JOHN DOE COMING"—"JOHN DOE TONIGHT"
"GOODBYE JOHN DOE, CALL AGAIN"

2. Close-ups of JOHN speaking—superimposed over long shots of audiences of various types.

3. Flashes of ANN typing.

4. Flashes of sheets of paper being ripped out of a typewriter.

5. Flashes of JOHN on the radio—with ANN by his side.

6. Flashes of people listening.

7. Flashes of people applauding.

8. Series of signs being nailed up: "JOHN DOE CLUB—BE A BETTER NEIGHOR."

9. Superimposed shots of JOHN and ANN riding in trains, planes and automobiles.

10. Against stock shots of these cities, the names zoom up to the fore-ground of Kansas City, Chicago, Buffalo, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York.

11. Superimpose map over the above titles, showing the states they are in being covered with pegs.

12. A picture of JOHN DOE on front page of Time magazine, with a caption under it reading: "MAN OF THE HOUR."


646

13. Conference Room.

SPEAKER

This has been growing like wildfire! If they only made demands, but the John Does ask for nothing!

14. A man sits at a desk on which is a nameplate reading: "Relief Administrator."

MAN

People are going off relief! If this keeps up, I'll be out of a job!

15. Stock shot—of Capitol Hill.

16. Corner of a club smoking room. A group of legislators—some sit—some stand. The room is filled with smoke.

MAN

As soon as he gets strong enough, we'll find out what John Doe wants! Thirty every Thursday—sixty at sixty—who knows what!

17. Insert: Sign reading: DEMOCRATIC HEADQUARTERS. A man reports to the boss behind the desk.

MAN

I'm sorry, boss. they just won't let anybody talk politics to them. It's, it's crazy.

18. Insert: Sign reading: REPUBLICAN HEADQUARTERS. A man at a desk talks to several in front of him.

MAN

We've got to get to them! They represent millions of voters!

Dissolve to: Insert: Of Map. Nearly every state in the union have pegs in them, varying in volume. Camera pulls back and we find the map is on a stand near a door, the sign on which we see in reverse. It reads: "OFFICE OF JOHN DOE HEADQUARTERS."

Int. JOHN DOE headquarters. Med. shot: D.B. standing behind his desk, speaking to a group of people in front of him. We recognize the MAYOR, and the President of the Chamber of Commerce. Representatives of several other branches of the City Administration are also present. CONNELL sits near D. B.—scrutinizing him thoughtfully. On the other side of D. B. is TED SHELDON.

D. B.

I tell you, ladies and gentlemen, this thing has been nothing short of a prairie fire. We've received so many applications for charters to the John Doe Clubs we haven't been able to take care of them.

MAYOR LOVETT

I'd hate to have that many pins stuck in me!

Group laughs.

D. B.

This John Doe convention is a natural. It's gonna put our city on the map. Why, over twentyfour hundred John Doe clubs are sending delegates. Can you imagine that? You, Mr. Mayor, will be the official host. You will make the arrangements for decorating the city, parades and a reception for John Doe when he gets home! And—don't wear your high hat!


647

MAYOR LOVETT

(disappointed)

No high hat?

D. B.

No high hat. And from you, Connell, I want a special John Doe edition every day until the convention is over.

(dismissing them)

And now, if you will please just step into the outer office and look your prettiest because there are photographers there to take pictures of this committee.

They start to exit. The MAYOR is full of excitement.

MAYOR

Don't worry, D. B. Everything'll be taken care of!

D. B.

Good.

COMMITTEE WOMAN

Isn't it all too wonderful?

The group, chattering, exit into outer office.

PHOTOGRAPHER'S VOICE

(from the outer office)

Oh, Mr. Mayor, would you step right in the front row, please? Will you ladies get close to him? That's it!

Close-up: Of CONNELL. To inter-cut with above speech. He has been watching D. B.—deeply disturbed about something.

Wider shot: All have left except CONNELL, TED, and D.B. CONNELL rises from his chair—with a deep sigh.

CONNELL

(shaking his head)

Well, I don't get it.

D. B.

Huh? Get what?

CONNELL

Look, D. B. I'm supposed to know my way around. This John Doe movement costs you a fortune. This convention's gonna cost plenty.

D. B.

(annoyed)

Well?

CONNELL

Well, I'm stuck with two and two—but I'm a sucker if I can make four out of it.

(cocking his head)

Where do you come in?

D. B.

Why—uh—

(suddenly smiles)

Why, I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that my money has been spent for a worthy cause.


648

Close-up: of CONNELL. He stares at D. B. a moment. He realizes he has been told to mind his own business.

Two shot: CONNELL picks up his hat.

CONNELL

I see. I'd better stick to running the paper, huh?

D. B.

I think maybe you'd better. And Connell—I'd like to have the John Doe contract, all the receipts for the money we have advanced him and the letter Miss Mitchell wrote, for which I gave her a thousand dollars.

CONNELL

Yes. Sure.

CONNELL leaves.

Dissolve to: Int. a hotel living room—night. Full shot: ANN's luggage is packed and ready to be taken out. She stands near a desk stuffing papers into a manuscript case. She seems lost in worried thought. The door opens as CHARLIE, high pressure exploitation man, enters.

CHARLIE

Well, we leave for the airport in half an hour. Is that Johnny-boy's room? I'd better hustle him up!

ANN

He'll be ready on time. He's packing now.

CHARLIE

Ah, good!

(crosses to Ann)

Did you see his picture on the cover of Time ?

ANN

Yeah.

CHARLIE drops the magazine on the desk in front of her. ANN glances at it, unenthusiastically. CHARLIE goes to a table where there are several bottles of coca-cola and starts to pour himself a drink.

CHARLIE

I gotta give you credit, Annie-girl. I've handled a good many big promotions in my time . . . everything from the world's fair to a channel swimmer, but this one has certainly got me spinning. And now a John Doe Convention! Wow! Say! If you could only get him to jump off the City Hall roof on Christmas Eve, I'd guarantee you half a million people there.

ANN

Charlie!

ANN is lost in troubled thought.

CHARLIE'S VOICE

Huh?

ANN

(nods toward door)

What do you make of him?


649

Two shot: CHARLIE and ANN.

CHARLIE

Who, Johnny-boy?

ANN nods.

CHARLIE

Well, I don't know what angle you want, but I'll give it to you quick. Number one, he's got great yokel appeal; but he's a nice guy. Number two, he's beginning to believe he really wrote that original suicide letter that you made up. Number three, he thinks that you're Joan of Arc or something!

Close-up: Of ANN. This is definitely troublesome to her.

ANN

(hoarsely)

Yeah, I know.

Wider shot: ANN walks away—pacing perturbedly.

CHARLIE

Number four, well, you know what number four is. He's nuts about you. Yeah, it's running out of his ears.

ANN runs her hand through her hair. Suddenly she wheels around to CHARLIE.

ANN

You left out number five. We're all heels, me especially.

She returns to her packing. CHARLIE watches her a second.

CHARLIE

Holy smoke!

They are interrupted by a knock on the door.

ANN

(calling)

Come in.

JOHN enters, carrying a suitcase.

JOHN

I'm all packed.

CHARLIE

(starts out)

Good. I'll go and get Beany-boy.

JOHN

(kidding him)

Okay, Charlie-boy!


650

CHARLIE

Huh?

(laughing)[10]

CHARLIE winks good-naturedly and exits. JOHN turns to ANN, who concentrates on her packing.

Med. shot: He looks at ANN with great interest, and walks toward her, camera panning with him. ANN feels him coming, but does not turn.

JOHN

(after a pause)

Can I help you pack?

ANN

No, thank you.

JOHN wanders over to a chair and sits on the edge—watching her.

Close-up: Of ANN. She is conscious of his eyes on her and fumbles with her packing. Finally she turns.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He stares at her, a warm smile on his face.

Close-up: Of ANN. She becomes self-conscious and resumes her packing.

Med. shot: JOHN.

JOHN

Do you care if I sit down out here?

ANN

No.

A broad smile appears on JOHN'S face.

JOHN

(laughing)

You know, I had a crazy dream last night. It was about you.

ANN

About me?

JOHN

(laughing)

Sure was crazy. I dreamt I was your father.

Close-up: Of ANN. The fact that he has seen himself in the image of her father disturbs her. She turns slowly.

Two shot: JOHN clears his throat nervously.

JOHN

There was, there was something I was trying to stop you from doing. So, er, so I got up out of bed and I walked right through the wall here, right straight into your room.

(laughing)

You know how dreams are.

ANN stares at him—fearful of the trend his dream is taking.


651

JOHN

And there you were in bed.

(quickly apologizing)

But you—you were a little girl. You know—about ten.

He pauses and recalls the scene.

JOHN

And very pretty, too. So, I shook you, and the moment you opened your eyes, you hopped out of bed and started running like the devil, in your nightgown.

You ran right out the window there. And you ran out over the tops of buildings and roofs and everything for miles, and I was chasing you.

(laughing)

And all the time you were running you kept growing bigger and bigger and bigger—and pretty soon you were as big as you are now. You know— grown up. And all the time I kept asking myself, "What am I chasing her for?" And I didn't know.

(laughing)

Isn't that a hot one? Well, anyway, you ran into some place, and then Iran in after you and—and when I got there, there you were getting married.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He suddenly becomes aware he is treading on sensitive grounds.

JOHN

(awkwardly)

And the nightgown had changed into a beautiful wedding gown. You sure looked pretty, too.

(laughing)

And then I knew what it was I was trying to stop you from doing.

Close-up: Of ANN. She, too, begins to feel uncomfortable—not quite knowing how to handle it.

Two shot: JOHN glances at her.

JOHN

Dreams are sure crazy, aren't they?

ANN smiles, noncommittedly.

JOHN

Well, would you like to know who it was you were marrying?

ANN

(forced lightness)

Well, a tall handsome Ubangi, I suppose.

JOHN

No, not that bad. It was a fella that sends you flowers every day. Er, what's his name? Mr. Norton's nephew.


652

Close-up: Of ANN. She recognizes the significance in this.

ANN

(quietly)

Ted Sheldon.

JOHN

Yeah, that's the one.

ANN turns back to her packing.

Wider shot: JOHN starts to chuckle.

JOHN

But here's the funniest part of it all. I was the fella up there doing the marrying. You know, the Justice of the Peace or something . . .

ANN

You were? I thought you were chasing me?

JOHN

Well, yes, I was. But I was your father then, see? But the real me, John Doe, er, that is, Long John Willoughby, I was the fellow up there with the book. You know what I mean?

ANN

(amused)

I guess so. Then what happened?

JOHN

Well, I took you across my knee and I started spanking you.

ANN turns and stares at him, eyes widening.

JOHN

(quickly explaining)

That is, I didn't do it.

(correcting himself)

I mean, I did do it, but it wasn't me. You see, I was your father then. Well, I laid you across my knee and I said: "Annie, I won't allow you to marry a man that's, that's just rich, or that has his secretary send you flowers. The man you marry has got to swim rivers for you! He's got to climb high mountains for you! He's got to slay dragons for you! He's got to perform wonderful deeds for you! Yes, sir!"

BEANY enters and stands back of him, listening.

JOHN

And all the time, er, the guy up there, you know, with the book, me, just stood there nodding his head and he said, "Go to it, Pop, whack her one for me, because that's just the way I feel about it, too."

So he says, "Come on down here and whack her yourself." So I came down and I whacked you a good one, see? And then he whacked one—and I whacked you another one, and we both started whacking you like . . .


653

He demonstrates by slapping his knees, first with one hand and then with the other. Suddenly he becomes aware of BEANY and stops, embarrassed.

BEANY

(interrupting)

Well, if you're through whacking her, come on, let's get going.

(to bell boys)

Okay, fellows, right in here.

(to JOHN)

You go out the side entrance. There's a bunch of autograph seekers out front. We'll be down with the bags in a minute. Come on!

(speaking to boys)

Don't make a government project out of this!

The bell boys have lifted her luggage and all exit.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He has been left with his proposal unfinished.

Dissolve to: Int. airport lunchroom—night. Med. shot: Scene opens with BEANY entering airport lunchroom to end of counter at which CHARLIE is seated.

CHARLIE

How're you, Beany?

BEANY

When does our plane take off again.

CHARLIE

In a couple of minutes.

Camera moves down counter to pick up JOHN and ANN at table. They sit silently for a moment. We hear the strains of music from a "juke" box.

JOHN

(after a pause)

How many people do you think we've talked to already, outside the radio, I mean?

ANN

I don't know. About three hundred thousand.

JOHN

Three hundred thousand? What makes them do it, Ann? What makes them come and listen and, and get up their John Doe Clubs the way they do? I've been trying to figure it out.

ANN

(in an effort to disillusion him)

Look, John—what we're handing them are platitudes. Things they've heard a million times: "Love thy neighbor," "Clouds have silver linings," "Turn the other cheek." It's just a—


654

JOHN

(sincerely)

Yeah, I've heard them a million times, too, but—there you are. Maybe they're like me. Just beginning to get an idea what those things mean.

ANN is deeply concerned. She watches him, helplessly.

JOHN

(continuing)

You know, I never thought much about people before. They were always just somebody to fill up the bleachers. The only time I worried about them was if they—is when they didn't come in to see me pitch. You know, lately I've been watching them while I talked to them. I could see something in their faces. I could feel that they were hungry for something. Do you know what I mean?

ANN nods.

JOHN

Maybe that's why they came. Maybe they were just lonely and wanted somebody to say hello to. I know how they feel. I've been lonely and hungry for something practically all my life.

ANN forces a smile. The moment threatens to become awkward—until they are saved by the pilot's voice.

PILOT

All aboard, folks!

They suddenly snap out of their mood—and as they rise:

Fade out.

Fade in: Int. D. B.'s dining room. Full shot: As D. B., ANN and TED SHELDON enter and cross to table. ANN starts to sit and notices a fur coat flung over the back of the chair.

ANN

Oh, somebody else sitting there?

D. B.

No, no, no—that's your seat.

TED

And this is your coat.

ANN

Mine?

D. B.

A little token of appreciation.

Ann pauses a moment, glances toward D. B.—while TED throws the coat over her shoulders.


655

ANN

(glances into a mirror)

Oh! Oh, it's beautiful, D. B. Well—I don't quite know what to say . . .

D. B.

Well, don't say anything at all. Just sit down.

Close-up: Of ANN. She sits down, picks up her serviette—and something she sees suddenly makes her look with surprise at D. B.

Camera pans down to a jewel box which had been under the serviette.

Camera pans back to ANN. She glances up at D. B. somewhat bewildered.

ANN

Oh!

D. B.

Go ahead, open it, open it.

ANN opens the box and holds up a lovely diamond bracelet. Her eyes dance.

ANN

Oh! Oh, it's lovely!

TED

And a new contract goes with it.

Wider shot: D. B. and TED exchange satisfied glances. ANN admires the bracelet on her wrist—and then turns to D. B., looks directly at him.

ANN

(shrewdly)

Well, come on, spring it! You've got something on your mind.

D. B. laughs.

ANN

Must be stupendous.

Wider shot: As D. B. roars with laughter.

D. B.

You know, that's what I like about her. Right to the point, like that! All right, practical Annie, here it is.

He leans forward. ANN waits. TED watches her face.

Two shot: ANN and D. B.

D. B.

Tomorrow night, before a crowd of fifteen thousand people, and talking over a nation-wide radio hook-up, John Doe will announce the formation of a third party.


656

ANN

(eyes widening)

A third party?

D. B.

Yes. The John Doe Party.

Wider shot: TED watches ANN, expectantly.

D. B.

Devoted entirely to the interests of all the John Does all over the country. Which practically means, ninety per cent of the voters. He will also announce the third party's candidate for the presidency. A man whom he, personally, recommends. A great humanitarian; the best friend the John Does have.

ANN

(in an awed whisper)

Mr. D. B. Norton!

D. B. verifies her guess by leaning back, a pleased grin on his face, his huge chest expanded.

D. B.

Yes.

Ann looks from one to the other, a little awed by the size of the project.

ANN

(on her breath)

Wow!

Dissolve to: Int. broadcasting booth—ball park—night. Med. shot: The place is a bee-hive of activity. Announcers walk about with "mikes" in their hands—all speaking at once—as they describe the scene below.

Close shot: Of N.B.C. ANNOUNCER

N.B.C. ANNOUNCER

And although the opening of the convention is hours off, the delegates are already pouring into the ball park by the droves, with lunch baskets, banners and petitions, asking John Doe not to jump off any roof . . .

Camera pans over to KNOX MANNING.

KNOX MANNING

It is still a phenomenal movement. The John Does, or the hoi polloi as you've heard people call them, have been laughed at and ridiculed but here they are, gay and happy, having traveled thousands of miles, their expenses paid by their neighbors, to come here to pay homage to their hero, John Doe.

Camera pans over to JOHN B. HUGHES.


657

JOHN B. HUGHES

And in these days of wars and bombings, it's a hopeful sign that a simple idea like this can sweep the country, an idea based on friendliness, on giving and not taking, on helping your neighbor and asking nothing in return. And if a thing like this can happen, don't let any of our grumbling friends tell you that humanity is falling apart. This is John B. Hughes, signing off now and returning you to our main studio until nine o'clock when the convention will officially open.

Dissolve to: Int. ANN's living room. Med. shot: At Door. ANN's MOTHER opens it and JOHN stands on the threshold. He has a small box of flowers in his hand. Water drips from his hat.

MRS. MITCHELL

Oh, John. Come in.

JOHN

Say, I'm kinda—it's raining out a little—

MRS. MITCHELL

That's all right.

Wider shot: MRS. MITCHELL lays his hat down somewhere. John takes a few steps inside the room, not quite knowing what to do.

MRS. MITCHELL

(turning to him)

It's good to see you. Sit down.

JOHN

(mumbles)

Thanks.

He sits on the edge of a sofa, still clinging to the little box. Then holds box out awkwardly.

JOHN

(awkwardly)

It's for Ann . . .

MRS. MITCHELL

(taking the box)

Oh, how nice! Thank you very much.

JOHN

Flowers.

MRS. MITCHELL

I'm terribly sorry she isn't here.

JOHN

She isn't?

MRS. MITCHELL

No, she just left. I'm surprised you didn't run into her. She went over to Mr. Norton's house.

JOHN

Oh!


658

MRS. MITCHELL

Did you want to see her about something important?

JOHN

Yeah. I, uh, well . . . No. It'll wait.

(suddenly)

Say, he's a nice man, isn't he? Mr. Norton, I mean. He's, er, he's done an awful lot for the—

Close-up: Of MRS. MITCHELL. She watches him, amused.

JOHN

Say, my coat's pretty wet. I'm afraid I might have wet the couch a little.

Wider shot: JOHN is still struggling to find conversation.

JOHN

Well, I guess I'll see her at the convention later.

MRS. MITCHELL

Yes, of course. I'll see that she gets the flowers.

He rises and looks around for hat on the floor and back of the chair.

JOHN

Thanks. Good night, Mrs. Mitchell.

MRS. MITCHELL

(finds his hat and gives it to him)

Good night, John.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He starts away and suddenly stops, speculatively. He glances out of the corner of his eye toward MRS. MITCHELL.

JOHN

(going back to her)

Say, Mrs. Mitchell, I, er, I'm kinda glad Ann isn't here. You see, I was, I came over here hoping to see her alone and kinda hoping I wouldn't, too. You know what I mean? There was something I wanted to talk to her about. But, well, I—It'll wait, I guess. Good night.

Close-up: Of MRS. MITCHELL. She begins to sense what is on his mind, and her face becomes serious.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He smiles helplessly. Starts toward door.

MRS. MITCHELL'S VOICE

Good night, John.

Two shot: JOHN and MRS. MITCHELL. He stares at her a second.

JOHN

(suddenly)

Say, look, Mrs. Mitchell, have you ever been married?


659

(catches himself)

Oh, sure you have.

(grins sheepishly)

Gosh! That's pretty silly! I guess you must think I'm kinda batty!

JOHN shakes his head at his own stupidity.

JOHN

(can't get over it)

Well, I guess I'd better be going at that!

He bows again, and starts for the door. When he gets there, he is stopped by MRS. MITCHELL's voice.

MRS. MITCHELL'S VOICE

John. My husband said: "I love you. Will you marry me?"

JOHN

(whirls)

He did? What happened?

MRS. MITCHELL

I married him.

JOHN comes right back to her.

Two shot: JOHN and MRS. MITCHELL.

JOHN

(full of excitement)

Oh, yeah. That's what I mean. See? It was easy as all that, huh?

MRS. MITCHELL

Uh-huh.

JOHN

Yeah, yeah, but look, Mrs. Mitchell, you know I love Ann and it's gonna be awfully hard for me to say it because, well, you know, she's so wonderful, and, well, the best I ever was was a bush-league pitcher.

Close-up: Of JOHN.

JOHN

And you know, I think she's in love with another man, the one she made up. You know, the real John Doe. Well, that's pretty tough competition.

Two shot: JOHN and MRS. MITCHELL. She is terribly fond of JOHN and deeply sympathetic.

JOHN

I bet you he'd know how to say it all right. And me, I get up to it and around it and in back of it, but, but I never get right to it. Do you know what I mean? So the only chance I've got is, well, if somebody could kinda give her a warning sort of, sorta prepare her for the shock!


660

MRS. MITCHELL

You mean you'd like me to do it, huh?

JOHN

Well, I was thinking that—Yeah, you know, sort of break the ice.

Close-up of MOTHER. She doesn't know how she can, with her present strained relationship with ANN, but JOHN's sincerity touches her.

MOTHER

Of course I will, John.

Two shot: JOHN's face lights up, gratefully.

JOHN

Gee whiz! Thank you, Mrs. Mitchell.

(grabs her hand)

Gee, you're—uh—you're okay!

He exits from scene—but almost immediately he is back. He plants a kiss on her cheek and goes.

Cut to: Ext. sidewalk. Front of ANN's apartment. Med. Shot: An automobile stands at the curb, in front of which is BEANY. Also waiting, are four motorcycle policeman.

BEANY

(to the other men)

This John Doe meeting is gonna be one of the biggest things that ever happened.

As JOHN appears in the doorway of the apartment house, he pretends to throw a baseball at them.

BEANY

Why, they're coming from all over; trains, box cars, wagons—

(sees JOHN)

look out!

Med. Shot: Reverse angle. As BEANY holds the door open for JOHN.

JOHN

Hello, bodyguards! Hey, had your dinner yet?

BODYGUARD

Not yet.

JOHN

Well, look. No. Go ahead and have your dinner. I'll—

He is about to enter the car when a voice from off-scene stops him.

CONNELL'S VOICE

Wait a minute, John.

Camera pans over to a taxicab which has just driven in. CONNELL hands the driver a bill and walks, rather unsteadily toward JOHN.

Med. shot: Around BEANY's car. CONNELL ambles into the scene.


661

JOHN

Hello, Mr. Connell.

CONNELL

Hiyah, John.

(broad wink)

John, I want to have a little talk with you.

(lurches—John holds him up)

What's the matter—are you falling? Come here.

Takes his arm to lead him off.

BEANY

(protesting)

Hey, Boss.

CONNELL

Oh, quiet, quiet, quiet.

(to John)

Say, tell me something did you read that speech you're gonna make tonight?

JOHN

No, I never read the speeches before I make them. I get more of a kick out of it that way.

CONNELL

(wisely)

Uh-huh. That's exactly what I thought. Beany, go on down to the office, tell Pop to give you the speech. There's a copy on my desk.

BEANY

(protesting)

Gee whiz, Boss, you know Mr. Norton told me not to leave him, not even for a minute.

CONNELL

(shooing him away)

Go on, go on, go on. And we'll be at Jim's Bar up the street.

He points in the general direction and again takes JOHN's arm. JOHN watches him, rather amused to see CONNELL off his milk diet, and allows himself to be led away.

Wipe to: Int. a barroom. Close shot: In a corner booth, JOHN and CONNELL sit, close together, drinks in front of them. JOHN's drink has remained untouched. CONNELL is just taking a long swig. From off-scene we hear the strains of an old-fashioned torch ballad, coming from an automatic piano.

CONNELL

(after a pause)

You're a nice guy, John. I like you. You're gentle. I like gentle people. Me? I'm hard—hard and tough.

(shakes his head—disparagingly)

I got no use for hard people. Gotta be gentle to suit me. Like you, for instance.


662

JOHN smiles, amused at him. CONNELL starts to light his cigarette, which is bent. He hold the match up, but it never reaches the tip of the bent cigarette. He puffs, satisfied.

CONNELL

Yep, I'm hard. But you want to know something? I've got a weakness. You'd never guess that, would you? Well, I have. Want to know what it is?

JOHN nods.

CONNELL

The Star Spangled Banner.

(looks directly at John)

Screwy, huh?

(turns back to his glass)

Well, maybe it is. But play the "Star Spangled Banner"—and I'm a sucker for it. It always gets me right here—

(thumps his diaphragm)

You know what I mean?

Close-up: Of JOHN. His face has become serious.

JOHN

Yeah.

(points to back of neck)

It gets me right back here.

Two shot: JOHN and CONNELL. CONNELL speculates about this with his head cocked.

CONNELL

Oh, back there, huh?

(shrugs, dismissing it)

Well, every man to his own taste.

JOHN smiles at him. CONNELL tries lighting his bent cigarette again—with the same result—while JOHN watches, amused.

CONNELL

You weren't old enough for the first world war, were you?

JOHN starts to answer, but CONNELL goes right on.

CONNELL

Course not. Must have been a kid.

He pours JOHN's drink into his own glass.

CONNELL

I was. I was just ripe. And rarin' to go.

(takes drink)

Know what my old man did when I joined up? He joined up too.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He finds himself intensely interested.

CONNELL'S VOICE

Got to be a sergeant.


663

Two shot: JOHN and CONNELL.

CONNELL

(as he raises his glass)

That's a kick for you. We were in the same outfit. Funny, huh?

Close-up: Of CONNELL. He lifts his glass to his lips, and without drinking, lowers it.

CONNELL

(voice lowers)

He was killed, John.

Close-up: Of JOHN. His face enveloped in an expression of sympathy.

Two shot: CONNELL stares down at the glass which he revolves between his palms.

CONNELL

I saw him get it. I was right there and saw it with my own eyes.

Without glancing at JOHN, he lifts the glass and drains it.

CONNELL

(turns to JOHN)

Me? I came out of it without a scratch. Except for my ulcers. Should be drinking milk.

(picks up his glass)

This stuff's poison.

As he holds up his glass, he realizes it is empty.

CONNELL

(yelling to bartender)

Hey, Tubby!

BARTENDER'S VOICE

Yes, Mr. Connell?

CONNELL

(indicates the empty glass)

Whadda you say?

TUBBY

All right.

Close shot: JOHN and CONNELL. CONNELL looks around guardedly, to make certain he is not overhead.

CONNELL

(confidentially)

Yessir. I'm a sucker for this country.

(gets a little sore about it)

I'm a sucker for the Star Spangled Banner—and I'm a sucker for this country.

(taps table with his middle finger)

I like what we got here! I like it!


664

(emphasizes each point)

A guy can say what he wants—and do what he wants—without having a bayonet shoved through his belly.

Med. shot: As he leans back and nods his head, satisfied he made his point.

CONNELL

Now, that's all right, isn't it?

JOHN

You betcha.

The BARTENDER comes in with drink and departs.

CONNELL

All right. And we don't want anybody coming around changing it, do we?

JOHN shakes his head.

JOHN

No, sir.

Two shot: JOHN and CONNELL.

CONNELL

No, sir. And when they do I get mad! I get b-boiling mad. And right now, John, I'm sizzling!

JOHN looks at him, puzzled.

CONNELL

I get mad for a lot of other guys besides myself—I get mad for a guy named Washington! And a guy named Jefferson—and Lincoln. Lighthouses, John! Lighthouses in a foggy world! You know what I mean?

JOHN

(huskily)

Yeah, you bet!

CONNELL takes a drink and looks at JOHN a moment before he speaks.

CONNELL

(leans on the table)

Listen, pal—this fifth column stuff's pretty rotten, isn't it?[11]

JOHN

Yeah. It certainly is.

CONNELL

And you'd feel like an awful sucker if you found yourself marching right in the middle of it, wouldn't you?

JOHN glances up sharply.


665

CONNELL

And you, of course you wouldn't know it because you're gentle. But that's what you're doing. You're mixed up with a skunk, my boy, a no-good, dangerous skunk!

JOHN'S resentment vanishes—and is replaced by puzzlement.

JOHN

Say, you're not talking about Mr. Norton, are you?

Two shot: JOHN and CONNELL.

CONNELL

(emphatically)

I'm not talking about his grandfather's pet poodle!

CONNELL again makes an effort to light his bent cigarette—and again is unsuccessful.

JOHN

You must be wrong, Mr. Connell, 'cause he's been marvelous about the John Doe Clubs.

CONNELL

(sarcastically)

Yeah?

(suddenly)

Say, you're sold on the John Doe idea, aren't you?

JOHN

Sure.

CONNELL

Sure. I don't blame you. So am I.

Close-up: Of CONNELL.

CONNELL

(sincerely)

It's a beautiful miracle. A miracle that could only happen right here in the good old U.S.A. And I think it's terrific! What do you think of that! Me! Hard-boiled Connell! I think it's plenty terrific!

Two shot: John is rather pleased to hear him say this.

CONNELL

All right! Now, supposing a certain unmentionable worm, whose initials are D. B., was trying to use that to shove his way into the White House. So he could put the screws on, so he could turn out the lights in those lighthouses. What would you say about that? Huh?


666

JOHN

Nobody's gonna do that, Mr. Connell. They can't use the John Doe Clubs for politics. That's the main idea.

CONNELL

Is that so? Then what's a big political boss like Hammett doing in town? And a labor leader like Bennett? And a lot of other big shots who are up at D. B.'s house right now? Wolves, John, wolves waiting to cut up the John Does!

(snorting)

Wait till you get a gander at that speech you're gonna make tonight!

JOHN

You're all wet. Miss Mitchell writes those speeches and nobody can make her write that kind of stuff.

CONNELL

(cynically)

They can't, huh?

(then barking)

Who do you think writes 'em? My Aunt Emma? I know she writes them.

Close-up: Of JOHN. His jaw stiffens, angrily.

CONNELL'S VOICE

And get a big bonus for doing them, too. A mink coat and a diamond bracelet.

JOHN glares at him, his rage mounting.

Close-up: Of CONNELL. Unaware of JOHN's wrath.

CONNELL

Don't write 'em? Why, that gold-grabbin' dame would double-cross her own mother for a handful of Chinese yen!

JOHN

(in an outraged outcry)

Shut up! If you weren't drunk I'd—

Simultaneously his hand comes in and grabs the startled CONNELL violently by his shirt front, lifting him out of his seat. Camera pulls back to include JOHN—who towers over CONNELL.

Wider shot: JOHN is still holding CONNELL, glaring down at him, enraged, when BEANY runs into the scene.

BEANY

(holding out the envelope)

Hey, Boss! Here's the speech, Boss.

Suddenly he sees what's happening, and stares open-mouthed.

BEANY

Hey!


667

Med. shot: As JOHN pushes CONNELL back into the seat, snatches the envelope from BEANY, and exits.

CONNELL

Go on and read it, John, and then start socking!

Wider shot: As JOHN exits from place. BEANY suddenly realizes he has gone—and chases after him.

BEANY

Hey, wait a minute, Mr. Doe!

CONNELL

 . . . Tubby?

BEANY'S VOICE

Yes, sir?

CONNELL

Better bring me a glass of milk.

Close-up: Of CONNELL. He stares at his unlighted cigarette—grimaces unhappily.

CONNELL

(mumbling)

I'm smoking too much.

He grinds out the unlighted cigarette in the tray.

Dissolve to: Int. D. B.'s dining room. Close shot: Of D. B., who is at head of table, talking on phone.

D. B.

(into telephone)

 . . . Yes, Charlie? You've got everything all set? Fine! Has John Doe been taken care of? Good! How many people do you think will be there?

A pleased expression comes over his face.

D. B.

Fifteen thousand? Oh my, that's fine. Now, listen, Charlie, as soon as John Doe stops talking about me, I want you to start that demonstration. And make it a big one, you understand?

As D. B. hangs up.

Wider shot: Including TED SHELDON.

TED

Don't worry about that, D. B. My boys are there. They'll take care of it.

D. B.

(into telephone)

What? yes, I'll be there fifteen minutes after I get your call.

Camera draws back as he speaks. We see that dinner has been concluded. His listeners, besides TED and ANN, are half a dozen distinguished looking men, some with cigars stuck in their mouths, others sip from champagne glasses. ANN sits to D. B.'s right.

Cut to: Int. foyer: Med. shot: At D. B.'s front door. A butler is opening the door for JOHN.


668

BUTLER

Why, Mr. Doe . . .

JOHN

Where are they?

BUTLER

In the dining room, sir.

JOHN strides toward the dining room. Camera pans with JOHN, who is dripping wet, as he crosses the foyer until he comes within sight of the open door of the dining room. JOHN stops.

Cut back to: Int. D. B.'s dining room. Wider shot: D. B. addressing the group at the table.

D. B.

Well, gentlemen, I think we're about ready to throw that great big bombshell—

SOMEONE'S VOICE

Yeah, well it's about time.

D. B.

Even a conservative estimate shows that we can count on anywhere between ten and twenty million John Doe votes. Now, add to that the labor vote that Mr. Bennett will throw in . . .

He indicates BENNETT who nods, importantly.

D. B.

 . . . and the votes controlled by Mr. Hammett and the rest of you gentlemen in your territories—

(emphatically)

and nothing can stop us!

Close-up: Of ANN. She seems distressed. She apparently has been listening to things that have caused her considerable anxiety.

Wider shot: WESTON leans forward and speaks to D. B.

WESTON

As I said before, I'm with you—providing you can guarantee the John Doe vote.

D. B.

Don't worry about that.

BENNETT

You can count on me under one condition. Little Bennett's gotta be taken care of!

D. B.

Didn't I tell you that everybody in this room would be taken care? My agreement with you gentlemen stands!

BARRINGTON

I'm with you, D. B., but I still think it's a very daring thing we're attempting!


669

D. B.

These are daring times, Mr. Barrington. We're coming to a new order of things. There's been too much talk going on in this country.

SOMEONE'S VOICE

Exactly—

ANN glances up at D. B., a startled look in her eyes.

Close shot: D. B.'s audience beams with satisfaction as he continues.

D. B.

Too many concessions have been made! What the American people need is an iron hand!

WESTON

You're right!

BENNETT

That's true. You're quite right, D. B.!

D. B.

Discipline!

GROUP

Quite right! Exactly!

There are cries of: "Hear, hear!" and applause.

Close-up: Of ANN. She is completely seized by panic—and although she attempts applauding, it is feeble.

Med. shot: Shooting through open door toward dining room. Prominently in view is ANN, still lost in troubled thought. D. B. is still on his feet.

D. B.

And now—

(lifting champagne glass)

may I offer a little toast to Miss Ann Mitchell—the brilliant and beautiful lady who is responsible for all this!

The men rise.

GROUP

Miss Mitchell! Miss Mitchell!

ANN

Mr. Norton, I'd like to talk to you alone for a moment.

D. B.

Oh, oh.

(chortling)

Miss Mitchell has something to say to us.

GROUP

Well, that's fine. Speech! Speech!

Ann spots John.


670

D. B.

(spotting John)

Hello?

ANN

John! I'm so glad to see you. I—I was terribly worried.

JOHN

(showing her a copy of the speech)

Did you write this?

ANN

Yes, I did, John. But I—I had no idea what was going on.

JOHN

You didn't?

Close-up: Of JOHN. His mouths screws up bitterly.

JOHN

(quiet contempt)

That's a swell bracelet you're wearing.

He leaves her, abruptly.

Int. dining room: Full shot: JOHN enters and looks the men over appraisingly as he goes toward D. B. They all stare at him.

D. B.

John—

(concerned)

Why aren't you at the convention?

JOHN doesn't answer.

D. B.

Is there anything wrong?

JOHN

(after a pause)

Oh, no. Nothing's wrong. Everything's fine! So there's gonna be a new order of things, huh? Everybody's gonna cut himself a nice, fat slice of the John Does, eh?

(turns toward D. B.)

You forgot one detail, Mr. Big Shot—you forgot me, the prize stooge of the world. Why, if you or anybody else thinks he's gonna use the John Doe clubs for his own rotten purpose, he's gonna have to do it over my dead body!

D. B.

Now, hold on a minute, young man! Hold on! That's rather big talk! I started the John Doe clubs with my money and I'll decide whether or not they're being properly used!

JOHN

No you won't! You're through deciding anything!

D. B. cannot believe his ears.


671

JOHN

And what's more, I'm going down to that convention and I'm gonna tell those people exactly what you and all your fine-feathered friends here are trying to cook up for them!

He looks up at ANN—and starts tearing the speech in his hand.

JOHN

(strongly)

And I'll say it in my own words this time.

He flings the torn paper toward ANN—and starts out.

HAMMETT AND OTHERS

Stop him, somebody! He'll ruin us, D. B.!

Med. shot: At Door. As JOHN reaches it, TED steps up in front of him.

TED

(menacingly)

Wait a minute, young feller—my uncle wants to talk to you.

D. B. walks up to JOHN.

D. B.

Listen to me, my son! Before you lose your head completely, may I remind you that I picked you up out of the gutter and I can throw you right back there again! You've got a nerve accusing people of things! These gentlemen and I know what's the best for the John Does of America, regardless of what tramps like you think!

Get off that righteous horse of yours and come to your senses. You're the fake! We believe in what we're doing! You're the one that was paid the thirty pieces of silver! Have you forgotten that? Well, I haven't!

You're a fake, John Doe, and I can prove it! You're the big hero that's supposed to jump off tall buildings and things! Do you remember? What do you suppose your precious John Does will say when they find out that you never had any intention of doing it? That you were being paid to say so? You're lucky if they don't run you out of the country!

Why, with the newspapers and the radio stations that these gentlemen control, we can kill the John Doe movement deader than a doornail, and we'll do it, too, the moment you step out of line! Now, if you still want to go to that convention and shoot your trap off, you go ahead and do it!

Full shot: D. B. leaves JOHN and returns to his chair. JOHN stares at him, unbelievingly.

Close shot: of JOHN.


672

JOHN

(after a pause)

Do you mean to tell me you'd try to kill the John Doe movement if you can't use it to get what you want?

D. B.'S VOICE

You bet your bottom dollar we would!

JOHN

(cynically)

Well, that certainly is a new low. I guess I've seen everything now.

Wider shot: As JOHN's lips curl up contemptuously and he steps up to the table.

JOHN

(throwing his hat on the table)

You sit there back of your big cigars and think of deliberately killing an idea that's made millions of people a little bit happier! An idea that's brought thousands of them here from all over the country, by bus and by freight, in jallopies and on foot—so they could pass on to each other their own simple little experiences.

Close-up: Of ANN. Her eyes light up happily.

JOHN'S VOICE

Why, look, I'm just a mug and I know it. But I'm beginning to understand a lot of things. Why, your type's old as history. If you can't lay your dirty fingers on a decent idea and twist it and squeeze it and stuff it into your own pocket, you slap it down! Like dogs, if you can't eat something, you bury it!

Close-up: Of JOHN. His voice is pleading.

JOHN

Why, this is the one worthwhile thing that's come along. People are finally finding out that the guy next door isn't a bad egg. That's simple, isn't it? And yet a thing like that's got a chance of spreading till it touches every last doggone human being in the world—and you talk about killing it!

Full shot: They listen to him—unmoved.

JOHN

Why, when this fire dies down, what's going to be left? More misery, more hunger and more hate. And what's to prevent that from starting all over again? Nobody knows the answer to that one, and certainly not you, with those slimy, bolloxed-up theories you've got! The John Doe idea may be the answer, though! It may be the one thing capable of saving this cockeyed world! Yet you sit back there on your fat hulks and tell me you'll kill it if you can't use it!


673

Well, you go ahead and try! You couldn't do it in a million years, with all your radio stations and all your power! Because it's bigger than whether I'm a fake! It's bigger than your ambitions! And it's bigger than all the bracelets and fur coats in the world!

Wider shot: ANN runs to JOHN.

ANN

(sincerely)

You bet it is, John!

JOHN starts to exit.

Med. shot: Shooting toward door.

JOHN

(turning to them)

And that's exactly what I'm going down there to tell those people!

As JOHN reaches door, TED SHELDON jumps in front of him.

Close shot:

TED

Wait a minute, you ungrateful rat! My Uncle's been too good to—

While he speaks, JOHN looks down at the fist clutching his shirt, and then, with a suddenness that startles TED, he steps aside and clips TED on the jaw. TED's knees buckle and he goes down. JOHN exits.

Wider shot: As several men rush to TED's assistance. D. B. does not move.

MAN

He's getting away!

ANN

John!

Ext. entrance to D. B.'s house: Med. shot: As JOHN hurries out. He goes by half a dozen members of TED SHELDON's motorcycle troops who wait around to escort D. B. to the convention.

Int. Dining room: Full shot: The room is full of commotion. ANN is running out of the room, going after JOHN. Several men bend over TED. D. B. glares toward door, his face hardening. HAMMETT is barking at him.

D. B. reaches under the table, lifts up two phones. Hands one to HAMMETT.

D. B.

Get the Bulletin !

He, himself, dials the other phone.

ANN

John!


674

BARRINGTON

I've always told you, D. B. you're playing with dynamite!

D. B.

(calling to men)

Don't let that girl get away!

The butler rushes out.

WESTON

Before he gets through tonight he'll ruin us all!

BENNETT

You've got to stop him, D. B.!

D. B.

I'll stop him! I'll stop him cold! Don't worry, I've been ready for this!

Cut to: Ext. D. B.'s entrance—at gate. Med. shot: As ANN runs alongside JOHN.

ANN

John! Oh, John, please listen to me! Please—I can explain everything, John. I didn't know what they were going to do! Let me go with you, John! John, please!

JOHN gets into taxi—slams door—ANN runs beside cab as it starts off.

JOHN

Go ahead, driver! Ball park!

ANN

John, please let me go with you! Please, John!

Several troopers grab ANN.

TROOPER

Mr. Norton wants to see you.

ANN

Oh!

As the men get a firmer grip on her and ANN fights to get loose: Cut to: Int. D. B.'s study: Med. shot: D. B. is on the phone. The others pace around, perturbedly. HAMMETT has the second phone in his hand.

D. B.

(into phone)

Listen to me, Mayor Lovett, you do as I say. I want them both arrested. You tell the police department to pick up Connell. I've got the girl here.

HAMMETT

(holds out phone)

I've got the Bulletin !


675

D. B.

(hotly)

I don't care what you charge them with! If you're worried, let them go in the morning, but keep them in jail over night!

He bangs up the receiver. Grabs another phone from HAMMETT.

D. B.

Hello, Bulletin ? Put Pop Dwyer on.

Dissolve to: Ext. entrance to ball park: Med. shot: Over the entrance gate a huge banner reads:

WELCOME TO
JOHN DOE CONVENTION

People come from all directions and pour through the gates. Some carry umbrellas over their heads, others have their coat collars turned up. Women hold newspapers over their heads to protect their hats. It is a misty, drizzling rain.

Ext. ball park: Long shot: Shooting from ANNOUNCER's view down at the Speaker's platform which has been erected on "Home Plate." On it, in the rear, is a brass band. In front of it is a speaker's table, over which dangles the microphone of a public address system. Attached to the table are several microphones with names of broadcasting stations on them.

Med. shot: Shooting toward audience. They sing: "Oh, Susanna."

Med. shot: Toward people seated in grandstand. They join in the singing.

Another angle: Toward a third section. They also pick up the song.

Long shot: Taking in as many as possible. Everyone sings, and the volume has risen considerably.

Med. shot: Shooting down an aisle. A stream of people take up the song, as they march to their seats.

Med. shot: At entrance to Park. Crowds are coming in—and they, too, begin singing. They are also joined by the policemen posted at the gates.

Med. shot: A second entrance to Park. Another crowd is entering, also singing.

Med. shot: Of BERT and SOURPUSS in the foreground of a group on platform, all of whom sing. BERT has a large rolled-up scroll in his hand.

Close-up: Of the COLONEL. Sitting in a corner somewhere, looking around speculatively, with a stubborn mental reservation that they are still all heelots.

Several close shots: Of small groups—with their wet faces held high, singing lustily, eyes sparkling.

Long shot: Shooting from the platform down toward the audience. The song finally comes to a climax—and immediately, lusty cheering starts, as they see JOHN coming on platform.

Med. shot: Toward platform. JOHN goes to the microphone of the public address system.


676

MAN

Three cheers for John Doe!

JOHN

Listen, ladies and gentlemen!

Before he can go any further, the band strikes up the strain of "AMERICA" and immediately the large assembly begins singing it.

Close-up: Of JOHN. As his lips form the words. His expression is solemn.

Various shots: Of groups, singing.

Long shot: As people sing. Finally the song is ended, and an enthusiastic cheer is emitted by the crowd.

Med. shot: On platform. JOHN again steps toward the microphone and makes another effort to speak, but the CLERGYMAN places a detaining hand on his arm.

CLERGYMAN

Just a moment, John. We begin with a short prayer.

Longer shot: Shooting over the heads of the audience toward the platform in the background. Gradually the cheering subsides.

CLERGYMAN

(speaking into public address system)

Quiet, please. Ladies and gentlemen—let us have a moment of silent prayer for the John Does all over the world . . . many of whom are homeless and hungry. Rise, please. Everybody rise.

The CLERGYMAN and JOHN, standing next to him, immediately bow their heads.

Long shot: Shooting toward audience. As far as the Camera eye can see, heads are bowed in prayer. The reflection on the wet umbrellas creates a strange and mystic light.

Several close shots: Of small groups—in silent prayer.

Close-up: Of the COLONEL. Rather grudgingly, he has his head lowered.

Close-up: Of JOHN. His eyes are shut—his face wreathed in an expression of compassion.

Med. shot: At press section. They, too, bow respectfully. The reporters are quiet for the first time.

Ext. street: Long shot: Directly in front of entrance to ball park. A stream of news trucks pull up, filled with newsboys—they immediately alight.

Ext. street: Med. shot: In front of another entrance. More trucks arrive—packed with newsboys.

Ext. street: Med. shot: Shooting toward entrance. As an army of newsboys, each carrying a stack of newspapers, run toward us yelling:


677

NEWSBOYS

Extry, extry! Read all about it!

Med. shot: Toward another entrance. Another swarm of newsboys dash in, also shouting.

NEWSBOYS

Extry! John Doe a fake!

Long shot: Of audience with their heads still bowed. Slowly, they begin turning around, puzzled, as from all directions and down every aisle, boys are running, waving papers in the air.

NEWSBOYS

(shouting)

Here you are! John Doe a fake! Read all about it! John Doe movement a racket!

Close shot: Of JOHN. He looks up, terror-stricken.

Med. shot: At press section. Great excitement prevails here.

ANNOUNCER (JOHN B. HUGHES)

Newsboys! Hundreds of yelling newsboys are swarming into the park like locusts! They're yelling, "John Doe's a fake! Fake!"

Med. shot: Of audience. As newsboys are distributing papers to the baffled people.

NEWSBOYS

Here you are! No charge! John Doe a fake!

Med. shot: Of a second group. Some already have papers and peer, unbelievingly, at the headlines. Others grab papers from newsboys' hands.

MAN

(reading)

"Federal investigation urged by Chamber of Commerce."

Med. shot: Speaker's platform. SOURPUSS and BERT, reading paper.

SOURPUSS

How could he be a fake?

(laughing)

BERT

It must be some kind of a gag.

SOURPUSS

A what?

BERT

A gag. A gag!

Ext. : Somewhere inside ball park: Long shot: We hear the shrieking of sirens and almost immediately a limousine, escorted by Sheldon's motorcycle troops, pulls up. Directly behind it is a string of cars.


678

Med. shot: The door of the limousine flies open and D. B. comes out. He immediately heads for the platform.

Camera pans over and we see troopers pouring out of the cars with TED SHELDON directing them.

TED

Come on, come on, step on it! Step on it! Step on it! You all know your places now, so let's get going! Wait for the signal!

Med. shot: DRUNK with a balloon. He holds balloon up to TED, getting in TED's way.

DRUNK

Hey, mister, will you autograph my balloon?

TED

Sure!

(and breaks balloon)

TROOPER

(pushing drunk aside)

Gangway!

Ext.: Park. Med. shot: At Speaker's platform. JOHN is in front of the microphone trying to make himself heard over thousands of voices, all speaking at once.

JOHN

Ladies and gentlemen! This is exactly what I came down here to tell you about tonight. Please, if you'll all just be quiet for a few minutes I can explain this whole thing to you. As you all know, this paper is published by a man by the name of D. B. Norton . . .

Med. shot: Shooting towards audience. Down an aisle stalks D. B., his hand waving in the air.

D. B.

(shouting)

Don't listen to that man! He's a fake!

Camera pans with him as he hurries down the aisle to the platform—all eyes turned toward him.

Close-up: Of JOHN. As he stares at D. B. approaching, too flustered to know what to do.

Med. shot: Toward platform. As D. B. runs up the few steps and proceeds to the microphone, troopers clearing the way for him.

TROOPER

(drags John from mike)

Stand back!

D. B.

Wait a minute! Everybody wait a minute! Wait a minute, ladies and gentlemen! My name is D. B. Norton . . . you all know me! I accuse this man of being a faker! We've been taken for a lot of suckers! And I'm the biggest of the lot!


679

I spent a fortune backing this man in what I believed to be a sincere and worthy cause, just as you all did! And now I find out it's nothing but a cheap racket! Cooked up by him and two of my employees for the sole purpose of collecting dues from John Does all over the country!

JOHN breaks away from the troopers and gets to the mike.

JOHN

That's a lie!

D. B.

It's not a lie! Nickels and dimes! To stuff into their own pockets! You can read all about it in the newspapers there!

JOHN

That's a lie! Listen—don't believe what he says . . .

D. B.

(overlapping above speech)

Let go of me! This man had no intention of jumping off of the top of a building! He was paid to say so!

(turning to John)

Do you deny that?

JOHN

That's got nothing to do with it!

D. B.

Were you paid for it—or weren't you?

JOHN

Yes! I was paid! But the—

D. B.

(over-lapping above speech)

And what about the suicide note? You didn't write that, either!

JOHN

What difference does that make?

D. B.

Did you write it—or didn't you?

JOHN

No, I didn't write it, but—

D. B.

Ah, you bet your life you didn't! You look in your papers, ladies and gentlemen, and you'll find Miss Mitchell's signed confession that she was the one that wrote it!

JOHN

Listen, folks, it's a fact that I didn't write the letter, but this whole thing started—


680

D. B.

There! You see? He admits it! You're a fake, John Doe! And for what you've done to all these good people—they ought to run you out of the country—and I hope they do it!

He leaves the platform—followed by his troopers.

Several shots: Of groups as they stare at JOHN, silent and stunned, waiting for him to speak.

Full shot: The whole park full of people wait in breathless anticipation. From somewhere in the distance we hear a single voice of a man.

VOICE

Speak up, John! We believe you!

Med. shot: Under the platform. We see several of D. B.'s troopers pulling at the cables of the public address system.

Close shot: Of JOHN. He speaks into the microphone.

JOHN

Please listen, folks! Now that he's through shooting off his face, I've got a couple of things to tell you about—

Close shot: Under the platform. One of the troopers disconnects the public address system by cutting the cable.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He realizes the loud speaker is dead, and looks around helplessly.

Med. shot: Somewhere in audience TED SHELDON directs troopers.

TED

Come on! The rest of you get in here and riot! Break this crowd up! Come on!

Med. shot: Of a group of John Does. They still stare uncertainly. Suddenly, the head of one of SHELDON's troopers appear—and cupping his hands over his mouth, he yells toward platform.

TROOPER

John Doe's a fake! Boo! Boooooo!

Long shot: From ANNOUNCER's view. Shooting toward audience. The crowd is all yelling at once now.

Med. shot:

ANNOUNCER

I'm sorry, folks, but we can't hear him any more. Something's gone wrong with the loudspeaker.

Med. shot: Of JOHN. Trying to talk over microphone.

JOHN

Say, they can't hear me! The thing's not working!


681

(shouts)

Ladies and gentlemen! Look—this thing's bigger than whether I'm a fake—

(turns to BERT)

Look, Bert, you believe me, don't you?

BERT

(cynically)

Sure, I believe you. Walking my legs off digging up five thousand signatures for a phoney!

Suddenly, nervously, he begins tearing up the petition in his hand.

BERT

Well, there you are, Mr. Doe!

(flinging crumpled petition at him)

Five thousand names asking you not to jump off any roof!

He turns to leave.

Close shot: Of SOURPUSS, who, heartbroken, stops BERT.

SOURPUSS

It makes no difference, Bert—the ideas's still good. We don't have to give up our club.

BERT

(harshly)

Yeah? Well, you can have it!

He exits.

Long shot: From ANNOUNCER's view. Crowd is yelling wildly.

ANNOUNCER

They're starting to throw things!

2ND ANNOUNCER

Somebody's going to get hurt!

Close-up: Of JOHN. He looks helplessly down at the hostile crowd.

Int. police station: Full shot: ANN and CONNELL are surrounded by several policemen. A sergeant sits at his desk, on which is a radio. ANN's face is haggard and desperate as she listens to the radio announcer.

ANNOUNCER

I'm afraid it'll be John Doe. Listen to that mob!

Unable to stand it any longer, ANN suddenly jumps out of her seat.

ANN

I've got to go to him!

OFFICER

Sorry, lady—I can't let you out.


682

ANN

(sobbing)

Oh, let me go! Let me go to him! Oh, please, please let me go! They're crucifying him! I can help him!

OFFICER

Sorry, sister. We got orders to hold you.

ANN

Orders from who? Can't they see it's a frameup?

She is still desperately struggling to get free—when her mother comes hurrying in.

MRS. MITCHELL

Ann, darling!

ANN

Oh, Mother! They won't let me go! They won't let me go!

The police release her and she throws herself into her mother's arms.

Ext.: Ball park. Close shot: Of JOHN. He still attempts to get himself heard.

JOHN

Listen, folks! You gotta listen to me, everybody!

Med. shot: Of a group of John Does.

A MAN

(yelling toward JOHN)

Back to the jungle, you hobo!

2ND MAN

(disgustedly)

Just another racket!

JOHN'S VOICE

Stick to your clubs!

MAN

(shouting)

We've been fed baloney so long we're getting used to it!

Close shot: Of JOHN. He disregards the missiles that fly around his head.

JOHN

(supplicatingly)

The idea is still good! Believe me, folks! . . .

Ext.: Ball park. Med. long shot: Toward platform. The crowd pushes menacingly around the platform, with policemen struggling to control them. JOHN still stands there, pathetic and helpless. Missiles of all kinds fly into the scene. The members of the band are scrambling off the platform—as well as the others, until John is left alone.


683

Long shot: Shooting toward audience. They still boo and yell.

Med. shot: Of the COLONEL. Fearful for JOHN, he starts pushing his way through the crowd toward him.

Med. shot: Of a group of people. Suddenly a woman reaches into a lunch basket she carries and takes out a tomato.

WOMAN

(shouting)

You faker!

She reaches back to throw the tomato.

Close-up: Of JOHN. His voice is gone. His eyes are glassy. He is making one last effort to speak.

JOHN

(hoarsely)

Listen . . . John Does . . .

(weakly)

You're the hope of the world . . .

As if in challenge to that statement, the tomato flies in and strikes him on the forehead. It seems to stun him. He remains motionless, staring before him with sightless eyes. The red smear of the tomato trickles down his face.

Med. shot: Of the COLONEL, amidst the crowd. He sees JOHN hit and winces. Then, setting his jaw, he pushes people violently aside, trying to reach JOHN.

Med. shot: On platform, JOHN stares futilely before him. The COLONEL reaches his side and glancing sympathetically up at his face, starts to lead him off the platform. A squadron of policemen also rush to his rescue and precede JOHN and the COLONEL.

Trucking shot: Down the aisle—as police disperse the crowd who boo and threaten JOHN from the sidelines.

Close shot: Of JOHN. He is oblivious of the jeering, shouting mob—and of the wet newspapers flung in his direction.

Med. shot: At dug-out exit—as the police finally manage to get him safely out of the park.

Med. shot: ANNOUNCER's booth.

JOHN B. HUGHES

The police finally manage to get him out of the park! If that boy isn't hurt, it'll be a miracle!

Int.: Police station. Med. shot: ANN and her mother sit on a bench. A policeman is in the background. ANN stares into space. Her mother has an arm around her.

ANNOUNCER'S VOICE

Ladies and gentlemen, this certainly looks like the end of the John Doe movement.

A policeman snaps the radio off.


684

CONNELL

(lifts glass of milk)

Well, boys, you can chalk up another one to the Pontius Pilates.

Two shot: ANN and her mother.

ANN

(sobbing)

I should have been there. I could have helped him.

(desolately)

He was so all alone!

Her MOTHER draws ANN consolingly to her, and lays her head on her breast.

Dissolve to:

Ext.: A highway. Med. shot: Of BERT's car on the way home.

Int.: Car. Close shot: BERT and SOURPUSS. They both look depressed. After a silence, SOURPUSS speaks.

SOURPUSS

(throatily)

A lot of us are going to be mighty ashamed of ourselves after tonight. We certainly didn't give that man much of a chance.

They lapse again into silence. BERT stares grimly at the road.

Dissolve to: Ext.: Clearing under the bridge. Close-up: Of JOHN. He sits on a rock, his head bent low, tears streaming shamelessly down his cheeks. Camera draws back and we find the COLONEL before the fire, boiling water in a small tin pan.

COLONEL'S VOICE

Have some more coffee, Long John?

JOHN

No, thanks, Colonel.

JOHN lifts his eyes skyward, stares profoundly, a curious expression over his face.

Dissolve to: A Montage. Long shot: Of JOHN, a lonely figure, walking dejectedly. As he walks, faces begin to appear one by one, to taunt him. Their accusing voices are heard.

WOMAN'S VOICE

Faker!

MAN'S VOICE

Racketeer!

2ND VOICE

Liar!

3RD VOICE

Cheat!


685

4TH VOICE

Imposter!

5TH VOICE

Why don't you jump!

GIRL'S VOICE

Christmas Eve at midnight!

(she laughs, sneeringly)

Dissolve to: Another shot: Of JOHN walking, his expression immobile. Over the shot appear several scenes through which JOHN has lived:

1. BERT shaking hands with him, saying:

BERT

You're a wonderful man, Mr. Doe.

2. MRS. DELANEY kissing his hand and saying:

MRS. DELANEY

May God bless you, my boy.

3. ANN in Broadcasting Station, kissing him:

ANN

Now, get in there and pitch!

4. D. B. issuing his tirade at JOHN:

D. B.

You're a fake, John Doe, and I can prove it! You're the big hero that's supposed to jump off tall buildings and things. You remember? What do you suppose your precious John Does will say when they find out that you never had any intention of doing it—that you were being paid to say so?

5. Again the girl who laughed appears:

GIRL

Christmas Eve at midnight?

And again she laughs sneeringly.

Dissolve to: Ext.: City Hall tower—night. Long shot: It is a picturesque scene of the City Hall outlined in silhouette against the sky. A peaceful mantle of snow silently descends upon it. Over the shot we hear the plaintive voices of children singing "Holy Night."

Dissolve to: Ext.: Outside of D. B.'s house: Med. shot: Outside D. B.'s Study—through window. A group of eight young carolers sing "Holy Night." It is a continuation of the music from previous scene.

Cut to: Int. D. B.'s study. Med. shot: In the dimly lit room, we see the lonely figure of D. B., as he stands near a window staring out, meditatively. The voices of the children singing Christmas carols are faintly heard.


686

Close-up: Of D. B. He peers into the night, enveloped by disturbing thoughts. After a moment, he takes out his watch and glances at it. Then, as if annoyed by his own apprehension, he shoves it violently back into his pocket.

Camera retreats in front of him as he crosses, determinedly, to a humidor, takes a cigar and shoves it into his mouth. Just as he is about to light it, he becomes aware of the signing, and cocks his head, listening.

Wider shot: As he drops the match and the unlighted cigar—and starts toward door. Just then the BUTLER comes through.

BUTLER

Merry Christmas, sir.

D. B.

Oh. Merry Christmas.

D. B. hands him a bill and nods toward the children. The BUTLER exits.

Close-up: Of D. B. Staring out into space moodily. We hear the voices of the children saying, "Thank you, sir! Merry Christmas!" D. B.'s mouth screws up, unhappily. It is far from a "merry" Christmas. It is a very lonely, conscience-stricken one.

Dissolve to: Int.: Police station. Med. shot: A SERGEANT sits in front of his desk. Opposite him is a POLICEMAN. Their rummy game has been interrupted by a phone call which the SERGEANT is now answering.

SERGEANT

Who? John Doe? Is that screwball still around?

(laughing)

POLICEMAN

(with disgust)

Aw, that dame's been callin' all day.

DESK SERGEANT

Sure, sure, I know. Yeah. At midnight, huh? Okay, lady. We'll have the place surrounded with nets.

He hangs up the phone—twirls his finger at his temple, shrugs—and reaches for a card.

Cut to: Int.: ANN's bedroom. Close shot: ANN is in bed. She looks wan. Her hand still rests on the phone.

Camera pulls back to reveal a doctor by her side and her mother at the foot of the bed. They watch her—concerned.

ANN

Oh—they're laughing at me!

Impulsively, ANN picks up the receiver and starts dialing again.

DOCTOR'S VOICE

You're a sick girl, Ann. You'd better take it easy.


687

MRS. MITCHELL

Whom are you calling now? You called that number not ten minutes ago!

ANN

(into phone)

Hello. Mr. Connell? Have you seen him yet? Have you—

Cut to: Int: Corridor of City Hall. Med. shot: Toward a telephone booth. CONNELL speaks into the phone.

CONNELL

Now listen, Ann—he can't possibly get in without our seeing him. I'm watching the side door and the Colonel's out front, so stop worrying.

Int.: ANN's bedroom. Close shot:

ANN

Thank you.

She hangs up the receiver, despairingly. Then, suddenly, she jumps out of bed and runs to a clothes closet—grabbing a coat and scarf.

MRS. MITCHELL

Why, Ann! . . .

DOCTOR

Ann, don't be foolish!

Dissolve to: Insert: The City Hall tower clock registers 11:45.

Cut to: Ext.: Highway. Med. shot: BERT's car driving in the snow.

Int.: Car. Full shot: BERT HANSEN drives. In the car with him are his wife, SOURPUSS and several others.

BERT

(complainingly)

If this isn't the craziest, the battiest, the looniest wild goose chase I ever heard of?

MRS. HANSEN

Oh, shut up. Bert. Sourpuss is right.

BERT

Yeah? Well, if he is, I'm a banana split!

SOURPUSS

That man is gonna be on that roof. Don't ask me how I know. I just know. And you know it as well as I do.

BERT

Sure, sure. I'd like to believe in fairy tales, but a guy that's fake isn't gonna jump off any roof.

MRS. HANSEN

I don't think he was any fake—not with that face. And, anyway, what he stood for wasn't a fake.


688

BERT

Okay, honey, okay.

Cut to: Int: Main floor corridor, City Hall. Full shot: It is vast and empty, except for a colored porter, scrubbing.

Med. shot: At entrance. As ANN enters from outside. Determinedly, she starts toward elevators.

Close shot: At elevator. ANN pushes button impatiently. She feels weak, and has to brace herself to stay on her feet. Suddenly, she is startled by the COLONEL'S voice.

COLONEL

Elevators ain't running.

Camera pans over to the COLONEL, who sits on the stairs, next to the elevator.

Med. shot: ANN walks over to him, her face lighting up hopefully.

ANN

Colonel!

COLONEL

You shouldn't have gotten out of bed, Miss.

ANN

Has he been here?

COLONEL

No.

ANN

Have you seen him?

COLONEL

(sadly)

I ain't seen him for a week.

ANN

Where's Connell?

COLONEL

He's watching the other door.

ANN

Oh. Gee, you're swell! Oh.

ANN stares at him a moment, then, impulsively, she starts to pass him to go up the stairs.

COLONEL

(grabs her)

No sense in going up there! I been here for hours. He ain't here!

ANN

(pulls away from him)

Oh, let me go, will you!


689

COLONEL

(calling after her)

Now, that's crazy. It's fourteen floors!

But ANN vanishes. The COLONEL shakes his head and resumes his post.

Med. shot: At entrance. As the MAYOR, followed by D. B., HAMMETT, and the others, enters. Camera pans with them as they go toward the elevator.

Med. shot: They arrive at the elevator. The MAYOR takes out his keys and unlocks the elevator door.

Close shot: Of the COLONEL. He watches them, puzzled. Can't figure out what they are doing here.

Cut to: Insert: Of elevator dial—as the light flicks on to number 14, indicating 14th floor. Camera pans down to elevator door, which opens and the men come out.

MAYOR

This is as far as the elevator goes. We've got to walk up to the tower.

He indicates the stairway.

Cut to: Wider shot: As they cross to stairway, silently.

Dissolve to: Ext.: City Hall roof. Full shot: The men enter. They glance around searchingly—and then slowly move toward the edge of the parapet.

Closer shot: The men look obviously self-conscious. No one speaks for a while.

BENNETT

(breaking the silence)

That tramp is probably full of Christmas cheer and asleep in some flop house.

There is again silence. After a few minutes, the MAYOR speaks.

MAYOR

Let's go. I've got to decorate my tree.

Cut to: Int.: Corridor—14th floor. Med. shot: Outside Men's Washroom. JOHN comes out, and as camera pans with him he proceeds to letter chute next to elevator. We see that it is the top of the chute, and from the elevator being there, we know it is the 14th floor. JOHN drops the letter into the chute.

Ext.: City Hall roof. Full shot: The place is silent except for occasional scraping of feet as several of the men move around. They continually refer to their watches. Finally, D. B. gives up impatiently.

D. B.

Well, I give up. I don't know what gave us the idea that he—he'd attempt anything like this.

WESTON

I guess you're right. I'm afraid the joke's on us. Let's go.


690

D. B.

I hope nobody finds out we've been here.

They all start to exit, when suddenly D. B. stops. He puts his hand out, and they all stop to listen. They hear footsteps, and back into the shadows.

Med. shot: Shooting toward stairs. JOHN appears around the bend and mounts the last few steps.

Med. shot: Of the huddled group. They watch breathlessly. In the darkness, their eyes dominate the scene.

Med. shot: Over their shoulders. As JOHN, expressionless, his cigarette in his hand, crosses to the parapet, and looks out. He takes a puff of his cigarette and exhales the smoke.

Med. shot: Of the huddled group. The MAYOR is for stepping forward, but D. B. with an extended hand stops him, indicating for them to wait and see what happens.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He takes the envelope out of his pocket and examines it.

Close shot: Of the group. Their eyes glued on him tensely.

Close shot: Of JOHN. He stares at the envelope.

Insert: Of envelope. On it is written: "TO JOHN DOES EVERYWHERE".

Close-up: Of JOHN. He replaces the envelope in his pocket.

Int.: Tower. Close shot: The group. Their eyes riveted on JOHN. They feel the moment has come. Several of them glance toward D. B.

Wider shot: To include them all, and JOHN. He drops his cigarette on the ground, and bending over, crushes it with his foot. Just as he straightens out again, D. B. speaks.

D. B.

(restrained voice)

I wouldn't do that if I were you, John.

Close-up: Of JOHN. As he turns sharply, startled. He stares blankly at the five people.

Med. shot: Of the group. They move slightly forward and stop.

D. B.

It'll do you no good.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He continues to stare at them, strangely.

Wider shot: To include them all.

D. B.

The Mayor has policemen downstairs with instructions to remove all marks of identification you may have on your person. You'll be buried in Potter's Field[12] and you will have accomplished nothing.

Close shot: Of JOHN. After a moment, he speaks.


691

JOHN

(in a sepulchral voice)

I've taken care of that. I've already mailed a copy of this letter to Mr. Connell.

Med. shot: Of the group. Amazed that he thought of this. They feel themselves helpless. D. B. tries taking an authoritative tone.

D. B.

(his throat is dry)

John, why don't you forget this foolishness?

He steps forward as he speaks.

JOHN

(quickly—threateningly)

Stop right where you are, Mr. Norton, if you don't want to go overboard with me.

Close-up: Of JOHN's face. His eyes have a wild, maniacal look in them.

Close-up: Of D. B. He stares into JOHN's eyes and a terrified expression covers his face.

Wider shot: As D. B. instinctively backs up.

JOHN

(throatily)

I'm glad you gentlemen are here. You've killed the John Doe movement, all right, but you're going to see it born all over again. Now, take a good look, Mr. Norton.

Int.: Landing to tower. Med. shot: As ANN practically has to pull herself up to the last step. Her face is wet from fever and exhaustion.

ANN

(an outcry)

John!

Int.: Tower. Full shot: As everyone, startled by the outcry, turns. ANN staggers into scene.

ANN

(crying)

John!

She rushes and throws her arms around him.

ANN

(muffled sobs)

Oh, John, darling. No! No!

Close shot: JOHN and ANN. He stares down at her, blankly. ANN clutches him, her head buried in his shoulder.

ANN

(muffled sobs)

I won't let you. I love you, darling.


692

Med. shot: Of the group. They remain motionless, watching.

Close shot: JOHN and ANN. She emits wracking sobs, then lifts her eyes up to him.

ANN

(in a desperate plea)

John. Please, John, listen to me. We'll start all over again, just you and I. It isn't too late. The John Doe movement isn't dead yet.

Suddenly she becomes conscious of the others present, and she turns her head.

Camera pans over to what she sees. The group of men watching, silently.

Camera pans back to ANN. Her eyes widen slowly. She looks from them to JOHN and back again, and her face takes on an excited, breathless look, as the reason for their being there becomes comprehensible to her.

ANN

(excitedly)

See, John! It isn't dead, or they wouldn't be here! It's alive in them . They kept it alive. By being afraid of it. That's why they came up here.

Close shot: ANN and JOHN. He continues to stand with his hands at his sides, looking at her, while she clings to him desperately. While she speaks, he turns his face from her and stares at the men.

ANN

Oh, darling. Sure, it should have been killed before. It was dishonest.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He is staring strangely at the group of men—as slowly, gradually, the curtain is being lifted from his clouded brain.

ANN'S VOICE

But we can start clean now. Just you and I. It'll grow again, John. It'll grow big. And it'll be strong, because it'll be honest!

Close-up: Of ANN. Her strength is fast ebbing away. She clings to JOHN more tenaciously.

ANN

(last bit of effort)

Oh, darling, if it's worth dying for, it's worth living for. Oh, please, John . . .

She looks up at his face, seeking some sign of his relenting-but she finds none.

Close-up: Of ANN, who still clinging to him, lays her cheek on his chest—and lifts her eyes heavenward.

ANN

(a murmured prayer)

Oh, please, God—help me!


693

Flash: Of the men—as they stare transfixed, waiting breathlessly.

Med. shot: At entrance. BERT, SOURPUSS and others appear—having run up the stairs breathlessly. Their eyes are filled with apprehension. CONNELL and the COLONEL are with them. When they see the scene before them, they stop, awed.

Close-up: Of ANN. Suddenly she stares before her—as a divine inspiration comes to her. Her eyes light up with a wide, ecstatic fire.

Two shot: ANN and JOHN. ANN turns and glances up at JOHN's face.

ANN

(tensely)

John!

She takes his face in her two hands and turns it to her.

ANN

John, look at me. You want to be honest, don't you? Well, you don't have to die to keep the John Doe idea alive! Someone already died for that once! The first John Doe. And He's kept that idea alive for nearly two thousand years.

Close shot: BERT, his WIFE and SOURPUSS. The cynical expression on BERT's face begins to soften.

ANN'S VOICE

(with sincere conviction)

It was He who kept it alive in them —and He'll go on keeping it alive for ever and always! For every John Doe movement these men kill, a new one will be born!

Two shot: ANN and JOHN. JOHN remains grimly unmoved. ANN continues.

ANN

(ecstatically)

That's why those bells are ringing, John! They're calling to us—not to give up—but to keep on fighting! To keep on pitching! Oh, don't you see, darling? This is no time to give up!

Several flashes: To intercut with ANN's speech—one of BERT; his WIFE; CONNELL; D. B.

Med. shot: Toward ANN and JOHN. ANN's strength is slowly waning.

ANN

You and I, John, we can—

(suddenly)

No, John, if you die, I want to die, too!

(weakly)

Oh, I love you so—

Her strength leaves her—and as her eyelids slowly shut, she collapses limply in his arms.

Med. shot: Of BERT's group, as they react to this. BERT stares, profoundly moved.


694

Med. shot: JOHN and ANN—as he stares bewildered, at ANN at his feet. Mechanically, he reaches down and lifts her in his arms.

BERT'S VOICE

Mr. Doe . . .

JOHN vaguely becomes aware of BERT's presence and glances toward him.

Med. shot: BERT, his WIFE and SOURPUSS.

BERT

(his voice choked—haltingly)

You don't have to—Why, we're with you, Mr. Doe. We just lost our heads and acted like a mob. Why, we . . .

BERT'S WIFE

(jumping in)

What Bert's trying to say is—well—we need you, Mr. Doe. There were a lot of us didn't believe what that man said.

Close-up: Of JOHN—as he listens to her, expressionless.

WIFE'S VOICE

We were going to start up our John Doe Club again whether we saw you or not.

Med. shot: BERT, his WIFE and SOURPUSS.

WIFE

Weren't we, Bert?

BERT nods.

WIFE

And there were a lot of others that were going to do the same thing. Why, Mr. Sourpuss even got a letter from his cousin in Toledo, and . . .

SOURPUSS

(joining—eagerly)

Yeah, I got it right here, Mr. Doe!

Close-up: Of JOHN. The bewildered look in his eyes has vanished. It is now replaced by an expression of softness and understanding.

WIFE'S VOICE

(choked)

Only—only it'll be a lot easier with you. Please—please come with us, Mr. Doe!

JOHN remains standing, thoughtful.

Med. shot: Of BERT's group. They all look supplicatingly at him.

Close-up: Of JOHN. He stares at BERT's group and, shifting his gaze, looks at D. B. and his crowd. Then, turning back to BERT, his eyes light up and something of a warm smile appears on his face.

Full shot: As JOHN, having decided on his course, starts forward with ANN in his arms. The church bells chime loud and victoriously.


695

Med. shot: Around BERT. Their eyes brighten ecstatically as JOHN walks toward them. They all speak at once.

BERT'S GROUP

(ad-lib)

Mr. Doe!
She'll be all right!
We've got a car downstairs . . .

They follow JOHN out, chattering excitedly. Only CONNELL and the COLONEL remain.

COLONEL

Long John!

Close-up: Of CONNELL. He glares at D. B. defiantly.

Close-up: Of D. B. awe-stricken by the scene he has witnessed.

Med. shot: CONNELL and the COLONEL.

CONNELL

(to D. B.—defiantly)

There you are, Norton! The people! Try and lick that! Come on, Colonel.

They exit, arm in arm, as the music swells—suggesting emergence from darkness and confusion to light and understanding.

Fade out.


696

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