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Enviromentalist Anne Richards goes to Washington D. C. to fight for getting legislation passed to save the last remaining sanctuary of the almost-extinct California Condor. She enlists the aid of Johnnie Adams, an engraver, and Washington's most successful party-crasher, and Steve Bennett, a lobbyist for the opposition who comes over to Anne's side. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have to take issue with the review by Matt_Wall, which stated it was "hard to believe this script was written in the early 1950s." The plot is about gas companies vs. conservationists trying to save the California condor. Gas was first drilled for in 1821, and there have been conservationists since before Thoreau, so this was an old story by 1950. Furthermore, California's Audubon Society had been fighting to preserve the condor's habitat since the 1930s. So Mr. Wall seems to be among the disturbingly long list of people who assume nothing much of interest happened before their own era.
What's more, this environmentally conscious movie is hardly a first for Hollywood. To name a very famous example, which this film resembles, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) centered around the establishment of a national boys' camp against dam-builders.
The script, credited to I.A.L. Diamond among others, has enough wit so that it hardly needed the screwball spin (or the accompanying silly musical score). Victor Mature at his oiliest is perfect to play the Washington lobbyist named Steve, though he's not exactly a light-footed comic actor. On the other hand, Edmund Gwenn and Patricia Neal bring their reliable gifts to their roles; both exude intelligence, dignity, and disarming honesty.
The IMDb entry for "Memorable quotes" is empty, but there are more than a few good lines in this all-but-forgotten film:
"No one has ever accused me of being unpatriotic. In fact, I was the first man in the House to speak out against the Japanese beetle."
Congressman: "Is it your practice to distribute gifts to people in high places?" Lobbyist: "Only to those who accept them."
"You know how it is in Washington. The more you deny something, the more everybody believes it."
(Said of a widow) "That's quite an accomplishment, surviving a Southern congressman."
(After a wolf whistle) "That's the mating call of the Potomac night owl."
"That's no worse than a politician masquerading as a statesman."
Journalist: "You'd barbecue your grandmother on the Capitol steps for a buck." Lobbyist: "And you'd be right there with your little notebook taking down her last word."
(Said of the lobbyist) "Steve hasn't an enemy in the world, but I like him anyway."
TV: "Keep well stocked with Hammerschlagger's beer. Remember, in beer, it's the water that counts." Barfly: "And Hammerschlagger beer is practically all water."
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