The Majestic (2001)
[Inside the abandoned movie theater]
Harry Trimble: That's why we call it The Majestic. Any man, woman, child could buy their ticket, walk right in. Here they'd be, here we'd be. "Yes sir, yes ma'am. Enjoy the show." And in they'd come entering a palace, like in a dream, like in heaven. Maybe you had worries and problems out there, but once you came through those doors, they didn't matter anymore. And you know why? Chaplin, that's why. And Keaton and Lloyd. Garbo, Gable, and Lombard, and Jimmy Stewart and Jimmy Cagney. Fred and Ginger. They were gods. And they lived up there. That was Olympus. Would you remember if I told you how lucky we felt just to be here? To have the privilege of watching them. I mean, this television thing. Why would you want to stay at home and watch a little box? Because it's convenient? Because you don't have to get dressed up, because you could just sit there? I mean, how can you call that entertainment, alone in your living room? Where's the other people? Where's the audience? Where's the magic? I'll tell you, in a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it.
Roland the Intrepid Explorer: ["Luke" watches Sand Pirates of the Sahara, starting to remember who he is when he knows the lines before the characters say them] Oh, Emily.
Sandra Sinclair: [as Emily] Oh, Roland!
Peter Appleton: [fully remembers who he is] Oh, shit!
Peter Appleton: The 5th Amendment is out of the question. But there is another Amendment that I'd like to invoke. I wonder if anyone here is familiar with it. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
Congressman Doyle: Mr. Appleton, you're out of order, Sir!
[Congressman Doyle continues to berate Appleton as he continues his speech]
Peter Appleton: [reading from Adele's book of the Constitution] "Congress shall make no law... respecting... and establishment of religion... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof... or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press... or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Congressman Doyle: You will not presume to lecture this Committee, Sir!
Peter Appleton: That's the First Amendment, Mr. Chairman. It's everything we're about if only we'd live up to it!
Elvin Clyde: [speaking softly to Congressman Doyle] Let him, let him talk. He's just hanging himself.
Peter Appleton: It's the most important part of the contract every citizen has with this country. And even though these contracts - the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights! - even though they're just pieces of paper with signatures on them... they're the only contracts we have that are most definitely subject... to renegotiation... not by you, Mr. Chairman...
Congressman Doyle: Mr. Appleton!
Peter Appleton: Not by you, Mr. Clyde...
Congressman Doyle: You will stand down, Sir!
Peter Appleton: Not by anyone, ever. Too many people have paid for this contract in blood!
Congressman Doyle: Enough, Sir! You are out of order!
Peter Appleton: [holds up Luke's Congressional Medal of Honor] People like Luke Trimble... and all the sons of Lawson, California.
Stan Keller: [in Mabel's Diner in Lawson, with Mabel, Bob, Mayor Doyle, and Stan listening to the radio] You're damn right. And they deserve better than this.
[looks at Bob working the grill]
Stan Keller: All you boys do.
[Mayor Doyle is speechless as a tear rolls down his cheek]
Congressman Doyle: [banging his gavel] I will have order or I will clear this chamber!
Peter Appleton: When you get right down to it, fellas... that's all I have to say to you.
[turns and begins walking out of the courtroom]
Congressman Doyle: You are not excused, Sir. The witness will resume his seat, you are not excused, Sir!
[the crowd in the courtroom stands and begins to applaud as Appleton nears the exit]
Congressman Doyle: You will resume your seat! You...
[Congressman Doyle cuts off as he realizes no one is listening]
Luke Trimble: When bullies rise up, the rest of us have to beat them back down, whatever the cost. That's a simple idea, I suppose, but one worth giving everything for.
Peter Appleton: I'm sorry... but it occurs to me that there is a bigger issue today than whether or not I'm a Communist.
Elvin Clyde: Bigger issue? Mr. Appleton, there 'is' no bigger issue.
Peter Appleton: Actually, not to be contrary, I think there is... Gosh, I don't quite know what to say.
[Peter takes a drink of water]
Peter Appleton: The fact is I... I've never been a man of great conviction. I never saw the percentage in it... and quite frankly, I suppose I, uh... lacked the courage. See, I'm not like Luke Trimble. He had the market cornered on those things. I never met the guy, but I feel like I've gotten to know him. The thing is, I can't help wondering what he'd say... if he were standing here right now. You know, I think what I think he'd probably tell you: the America represented in this room... is not the America he died defending.
[the crowd noise in the background rises]
Peter Appleton: I think he'd tell you your America is bitter...
[Congressman Doyle begins banging his gavel]
Peter Appleton: and cruel... and small.
Congressman Doyle: The chamber will come to order!
Peter Appleton: I know for a fact that his America was big... bigger than you could imagine... with a wide open heart
[Congressman Doyle bangs the gavel again]
Peter Appleton: ... where every person...
Congressman Doyle: Mr. Appleton! You are out of order!
Peter Appleton: [Speaking over Congressman Doyle] ... has a voice! Even if you don't like what they have to say.
Congressman Doyle: Enough, Sir! You are out of order!
Peter Appleton: If he 'were' here, I wonder how you'd respond... if you could explain to him what happened to his America.
Congressman Doyle: Mr. Appleton, you are skating on the very thin edge of contempt.
Peter Appleton: Well that's the first thing I've heard today that I completely agree with!
Kevin Bannerman: Mr. Chairman... Mr. Chairman... Mr. Chairman... Mr. Chairman, my client is clearly under an enormous strain as a direct result of the belligerent questioning of Mr. Clyde, and he is therefore not responsible for his comments. At this time, we wish to invoke the Fifth Amendment.
Peter Appleton: No, no we don't.
Kevin Bannerman: Yes, Pete, we do.
Peter Appleton: No, Kevin, we don't, so knock it off!
[pounds his fist on the table for punctuation, quieting the crowd]
Peter Appleton: [in a quieter voice] Just shut the hell up and let me get through this.
Peter Appleton: I thought this was a democracy.
Leo Kubelsky: The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, they're all just pieces of paper with signatures on them. And you know what a piece of paper with a signature is: a contract. Something that can be renegotiated at any time. Just so happens that the House un-American activities committee is renegotiating the contract this time around. Next time it will be somebody else, but it will always be somebody.
Peter Appleton: Republicans, Democrats, Communists. They all look alike to me.
Adele: You remember movies but you don't remember your life?
Peter Appleton: I can't take this constant nagging. I'm leaving you, Jerry. I'm leaving you - and I'm taking the monkey with me.
Adele: This is a free country, you can be a communist if you want to be a communist!
[Instead of a piano piece by Franz Liszt, Luke plays a boogie-woogie tune]
Irene Terwilliger: Really, Luke! That's no way to treat Mr. Liszt. Stop that! Stop it, stop it! Who taught you to play like that? I demand to know. Where on earth did you learn to play such a thing?
Emmett Smith: I taught him that... when you weren't looking!
Bob Leffert: I knew Luke Trimble. I didn't like him much. Not saying he's a bad guy. Just rubbed me the wrong way. You know that feelin'? Somebody rubs you the wrong way, and you can't even explain why? You kinda rub me that way. Not that it makes you Luke. So, I wanna know is what kinda game are you runnin'? Who are you really?
Peter Appleton: Just a guy trying to figure things out.
Bob Leffert: This town's had enough heartbreak. Too much. Me, I think you're settin' everybody up for more. I hope I'm wrong. I haven't had to kill anybody since the war.
Jerry the Bartender: I wouldn't know J. Edgar Hoover if he walked in here wearing a dress.
Congressman Doyle: Are you asking this committe to believe that you attended the meeting of a communist organization because of a girl?
Peter Appleton: Yes, sir... I'm sure that even a majority counselor like yourself has familiar with the concept of impressing a girl!
Emmett Smith: [after Peter comes down the stairs] You found me.
Peter Appleton: Oh, sorry. I didn't know who was down here.
Emmett Smith: Just me and the dog.
Peter Appleton: What's his name?
Emmett Smith: Dog.
Doc Stanton: Your face really does seem... familiar.
Peter Appleton: [looking in the mirror] Wish I could say the same thing.
Emmett Smith: [coming downstairs] Luke, something's wrong! Harry missed the reel change.
Peter Appleton: [distracted] What?
Emmett Smith: Harry missed the reel change.
Peter Appleton: [running up to the projector's booth] Harry?
[he enters the projector's booth and see's Harry on the floor]
Peter Appleton: Harry. Jesus!
[he kneels by his side, he turns to Emmett]
Peter Appleton: Go get Doc!
Emmett Smith: [calling] Doc! Doc! Harry's in trouble! Come quick!
[Doc heads for the projector's booth]
Harry Trimble: [weak] Oh, no. No.
Peter Appleton: What, Harry? What?
Harry Trimble: I missed the damn reel change.
Peter Appleton: [quietly] It's all right. You just lay still. Doc's on his way. I'm here.
Peter Appleton: [Seeing Adele at the cemetery] I didn't know anyone was here.
Adele: I was just... saying goodbye.
Peter Appleton: Adele, I'm sorry the way things turned out. I never meant to hurt anyone, least of all you.
Adele: People get hurt sometimes, we can't always help it. So are you really a communist?
Peter Appleton: No, I'm really not.
Adele: I didn't think so. Only a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist could have gotten The Majestic up and running.
Peter Appleton: Great endorsement. Can I call you as a witness?
Adele: Eh, if it helps. So what will you tell the committee?
Peter Appleton: Tell them what they want to hear: "Sorry, I won't do it again, blah, blah."
Adele: You're not serious.
Peter Appleton: What's wrong with it?
Peter Appleton: Could you be a little more specific?
Adele: Aside from the fact that this is a free country, and you can be a communist if you want to be a communist - leaving that aside, if you're accused falsely you have a duty as well as a right to stand up and suggest they drop dead.
Peter Appleton: Emile Zola, you feel strongly about this.
Adele: Damn right I do!
Peter Appleton: Great, but it doesn't make the game any less rigged. There's a reason it's called a witch-hunt.
Adele: And there's burden of proof, innocence before guilt.
Peter Appleton: Maybe in law school. But the rest of us have to live in the real world and in the real world, I mess with these guys, I go to jail.
Adele: All the more reason to fight them.
Peter Appleton: Like Luke would've done? Go ahead, say it.
Adele: Yes. Like Luke would have done.
Peter Appleton: God, here it comes. Tell me again what a great guy Luke was, 'cause God I haven't heard that enough!
Adele: He wouldn've stood up to them.
Peter Appleton: Yeah well, he's not here... to vouch for that, is he? We have to take your word for it! And forgive me but everybody's memory of Luke is a little rose-colored in this town. Besides, I'm not Luke. While he was liberating Europe, I was running the PX. He couldn't wait to save the world! Me, I was happy not to go overseas!
Peter Appleton: [gesturing to the graveyard of soldiers] Because I didn't want to end up like him. I wanted to survive! You stand for a cause, you get mowed down. Look. Look! That's the real world. I want my Goddamn life back, Adele...
Studio Executive: What about the kid?
Studio Executive: What kid?
Studio Executive: You know, the kid who rings the bell.
Studio Executive: What kid? What bell? What are you talking about?
Studio Executive: The kid. After the mine caves in. The kid. He runs up the hill. He rings the bell to alert the town.
Studio Executive: Is that in the script? What page are we on?
Studio Executive: What if we gave the kid - a disease.
Studio Executive: A disease?
Studio Executive: A *disease*. Braces on the legs, that sort of thing.
Studio Executive: But he runs up the hill.
Studio Executive: He could hobble.
Studio Executive: Hobble is good.
Harry Trimble: [as "Luke Trimble" with amnesia, hesitantly reading dilapidated unlit neon signboard] 'HEM JESTI'.
Peter Appleton: 'THE MAJESTIC'. A few of the letters are missing.
Harry Trimble: [skeptically] We live in a movie theater?
Harry Trimble: No, in the apartment above it.
Adele: So what was your question?
Peter Appleton: I forget
[they kiss to the crowd's applause]
Peter Appleton: He says I'm a communist. In fact, this very moment, some grey little FBI guy, in a grey little FBI suit, is hunched over my screenplay, checking it, line by line, for the poisonous Marxist propaganda which surely lurks therein. Hope they check the spelling. I can always use help with that.
Jerry the Bartender: You're babbling, pal.
Peter Appleton: 'Ashes to Ashes', my movie! Could've been good, even with the stupid dog. My 'Grapes of Wrath', my shot at doing something really good, something...
[pause, then in greater anguish]
Peter Appleton: Something!
Peter Appleton: [semi-drunk, to grinning monkey plush-toy] Sound good? Oh, you're just saying that. I'm talking to monkey.
Adele: Dad, what is it? Oh my God, did somebody die?
Doc Stanton: Well... somewhat the opposite, actually.
Adele: Come on.
[opens window leading down to Town Hall's basement]
Adele: You first.
Peter Appleton: [pause, suspiciously] Why me?
Adele: [deadpan] Well, in the case the vicious guard dogs haven't been fed.
Peter Appleton: [silent, looks horrified]
Adele: So you can be a gentleman and help me down.
Adele: I'm trying to make up my own mind, about you being Luke.
Peter Appleton: [rolls eyes] Join the club. So what you do think?
Adele: The jury is still out.
Peter Appleton: Fair enough.
Peter Appleton: [reading official letter] "Adele Louise Stanton has passed the State Bar Examination."
[then deadpan, to Adele]
Peter Appleton: Wow! Does this mean you're qualified to tend bar?
Peter Appleton: Why didn't you dance with her?
Bob Leffert: Excuse me?
Peter Appleton: Mabel. Why didn't you dance with her? Seems to me a pretty girl asks you to dance and you say no... you came home more crippled than you thought.
Bob Leffert: [turns as if to walk away, then punches Peter Appleton hard with his remaining left hand]