Meet John Doe (1941)
Ann: [Ann is pleading with John not to commit suicide] Please don't give up. We'll start all over again. Just you and I. It isn't too late. The John Doe movement isn't dead yet. You see, John, it isn't dead or they wouldn't be here. It's alive in them. They kept it alive by being afraid. That's why they came up here. Oh, darling!... We can start clean now. Just you and I. It'll grow John, and it'll grow big because it'll be honest this time. Oh, John, if it's worth dying for, it's worth living for. Oh please, John... You wanna be honest, don't ya? Well, you don't have to die to keep the John Doe ideal alive. Someone already died for that once. The first John Doe. And he's kept that ideal alive for nearly 2,000 years. 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. 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. You and I, John, we... Oh, no, no, John. If you die, I want to die too. Oh, oh, I love you.
Beany: What's a helot?
The Colonel: You've ever been broke, sonny?
Beany: Sure, mostly often.
The Colonel: All right. You're walking along, not a nickel in your jeans, your free as the wind, nobody bothers ya. Hundreds of people pass you by in every line of business: shoes, hats, automobiles, radios, everything, and there all nice lovable people and they lets you alone, is that right? Then you get a hold of some dough and what happens, all those nice sweet lovable people become helots, a lotta heels. They begin to creep up on ya, trying to sell ya something: they get long claws and they get a stranglehold on ya, and you squirm and you duck and you holler and you try to push them away but you haven't got the chance. They gots ya. First thing ya know you own things, a car for instance, now your whole life is messed up with alot more stuff: you get license fees and number plates and gas and oil and taxes and insurance and identification cards and letters and bills and flat tires and dents and traffic tickets and motorcycle cops and tickets and courtrooms and lawers and fines and... a million and one other things. What happens? You're not the free and happy guy you used to be. You need to have money to pay for all those things, so you go after what the other fellas got. There you are, you're a helot yourself.
Ann: If it was raining hundred dollar bills, you'd be out looking for a dime you lost someplace!
The Colonel: 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.
Long John Willoughby: Hey, stop worryin', Colonel, fifty bucks ain't gonna ruin me.
The Colonel: I've seen plenty of fellas start out with fifty bucks and wind up with a *bank* account!
Beany: Hey, what's wrong with a bank account, anyway?
The Colonel: And let me tell you, Long John, when you become a guy with a bank account, they gotcha! Yes sir, they gotcha!
Beany: Who's got him?
The Colonel: The helots!
Henry Connel: Lighthouses, John. Lighthouses in a foggy world.
D. B. Norton: What the American people need is an iron hand!
Long John Willoughby: Well, that certainly is a new low. You sit there with your big cigars and think of deliberately killing an idea that has made millions of people a little bit happier. An idea that has brought thousands of em here from all over the country... By bus and by freight and jalopies and on foot, so they can pass onto each other their own simple, little experiences. While look, Im just a mug and I know it - but im beginning to understand alot of things. Why, your types as old as history! If you cant lay your dirty fingers on a discent idea and twist it and squeeze it and stuff it into your own pocket, you slap it down! Like dogs, if you cant eat something - you bury it! Why, this is the one worthwhile that that's come along! People are finely finding out that the guy next door isnt a bad egg. That's simple, isnt it? And yet a thing like that has gotta chance to spread till it touches every last dog on human being in the world - and you talk about killing it! Well, when this fire dies down whats going to be left? More misery! More hunger and more hate! And whats to prevent that from starting all over again? Nobody knows the answer to that one. Well, then certainly not you or those flammy bullock theories youve got! The John Doe idea may be the answer though, it may be the one thing capable of saving this cockeyed world yet you still back there on your fat hulks and tell me you'll kill it if you cant use it! Well, you go ahead and try - you couldnt do it in a million years with all your radio stations, and all your power.
Long John Willoughby: 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 shovin' his finger into the slot to see if somebody left a nickel there. He's the man the ads are written for. He's the fella everybody sells things to. He's Joe Doakes, the world's greatest stooge and the world's greatest strength. Yes sir, yes sir, we're a great family, the John Does. We are the meek who are 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 buses, and when the cop yells, 'Stand back there you,' he means us - the John Does. 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. 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 because we're the people - and we're tough.
Mayor Hawkins: O.K. folks, but remember your manners. No stampeding. Walk slow, like you do when you come to pay your taxes.
Angelface: [after Willoughby gives the Colonel the $50 to give away] Say, he's giving it away. I better get me some of that
Beany: Hey, come back here you helot.
D. B. Norton: You'll play your cards right and you'll never have to worry about money again.
D. B. Norton: From now on, I think you'd better work directly with me.
The Colonel: $5,000. Holy mackerel! I can see the helots coming now. A whole army of them.
Ann: Everything in that speech is what a certain man believed in. He was my father. When he talked people listened. They will listen to you too.
Henry Connel: Listen, if that guy lays an egg I want to get *something* out of it! I'm getting a Jane Doe ready.
Mayor Hawkins: No you can't see him, you didn't vote for me in the last election. Shame on you.
Henry Connel: I should be drinking milk, you know. This stuff is poison.
Henry Connel: There you are, Norton - - the people, try and lick that.
The Colonel: I've seen guys like you before. Guys that never had to worry. Then they get a hold of some dough and go goofy.
Mayor Hawkins: Why, Bert. I feel slighted. I'd like to join, but nobody asked me.
Sourpuss Smithers: I'm sorry, Mayor, but we voted that no politician could join.
Mrs. Hansen: Just the John Does of the neighborhood because you know how politicians are.
[Discussing the contract with John Doe]
Henry Connel: On December 26th, 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?
Long John Willoughby: Yeah, but, it's gotta be by "Bonesetter" Brown.
Long John Willoughby: [addressing the public] Why can't that spirit, that warm Christmas spirit, last all year long?
The Colonel: [criticizing John's anti-separatism speech] Tear down fences... why, if you tore one picket off your neighbor's fence, he'd sue you!
Long John Willoughby: [gets carried away spanking his own knees as he describes his dream to Ann]
Long John Willoughby: So I came down and I whacked you a good one, see? Then he whacked you, and I whacked you another one, and we both started whackin' you like...
Long John Willoughby: [stops abruptly when he realizes Beany is standing right behind him]
Beany: Well if you're through whackin' her, c'mon let's get goin'.
Pop Dwyer - Connell's Aide: Show me an American that can keep his mouth shut and I'll eat him.