Wag the Dog (1997)
[discovering that their "hero" is actually a convict]
Winifred Ames: When we asked for "special programs", they gave us special prisons.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Yeah, well... little bit of a difference.
Winifred Ames: Has he been in jail long?
Stanley Motss: [reading a file] Twelve years.
Winifred Ames: Does he have much longer to serve?
Stanley Motss: Mmm.
Winifred Ames: What did he do?
Stanley Motss: He raped a nun...
Winifred Ames: Oh, God. Oh, God. Jes... oh, God!
Stanley Motss: And...
Winifred Ames: "And"? I don't want to know an "and". Why is there an "and"?
Stanley Motss: Look, look, look, look, look. He's fine as long as he gets his medications...
Winifred Ames: And if he doesn't get his medications?
Stanley Motss: He's not fine.
Stanley Motss: [referring to Schumann] Oh, god, he's dead. Oh, my god... oh, my... oh...
Stanley Motss: Wait a minute, wait a minute, he's not dead. He's all right...
Stanley Motss: Strike that.
Stanley Motss: It's all, you know, thinking ahead thinking ahead.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: It's like being a plumber.
Stanley Motss: Yea, it's like a plumber: do your job right and nobody should notice. But when you fuck it up, everything gets full of shit.
Stanley Motss: I'm in show business, yes? Why come to me?
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Well I'll tell you why, Mr Motss. '54-40-Or Fight', what does that mean?
Stanley Motss: It's a slogan, it's from the, uh...
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: 'Remember the Maine'!
Stanley Motss: Oh yeah, that's from - that's gotta be from the, uh...
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: 'Tippecanoe and Tyler Too'!
Stanley Motss: No, that's not, uh...
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: They're war slogans, Mr. Motss. We remember the slogans, we can't even remember the fucking wars. You know why? That's show business. That's why we're here. Naked girl covered in Napalm. 'V for Victory'. Five Marines raising the flag, Mt. Suribachi. You remember the picture 50 years from now, you'll have forgotten the war. The Gulf War, smart bomb falling down a chimney. 2500 missions a day, 100 days. ONE video of ONE bomb Mr. Motts, the American people bought that war. War is show business - that's why we're here.
Stanley Motss: And what do you for the President?
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: You watched the Gulf War, what do you see day after day? The one smart bomb falling down the chimney. The truth? I was in the building when we shot that shot - we shot in a studio, Falls Church, Virginia. One-tenth scale model of a building.
Stanley Motss: Is that true?
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: How the fuck do we know? You take my point?
Winifred Ames: Why Albania?
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Why not?
Winifred Ames: What have they done to us?
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: What have they done FOR us? What do you know about them?
Winifred Ames: Nothing.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: See? They keep to themselves. Shifty. Untrustable.
Stanley Motss: The war isn't over 'til I say it's over. This is my picture - this is NOT the CIA's picture. You think you're in a tight spot now? Alright, Conrad, try making The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse - tell 'im, King.
Fad King: Three of the horseman died.
Stanley Motss: Hear what he's saying? Three of the horseman DIED. Two weeks before the end of principal photography. This is NOTHING. This is nothing, this is - this is - this is just, "Act One, The War". Now we really do need an Act Two.
Stanley Motss: Look at that! That is a complete fucking fraud, and it looks a hundred percent real. It's the best work I've ever done in my life, because it's so honest.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Stanley, don't do this. You're playing with your life here.
Stanley Motss: Fuck my life! I want the credit.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: You're goddamn right, then it's got nothing to do with the B-3 Bomber!
John Levy: There is no B-3 bomber.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: [Knowingly] I just said that! There is no B-3 bomber, and I don't know why these rumors get started!
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Well, if Kissinger can win the Peace Prize, I wouldn't be surprised to wake up and find out I'd won the Preakness.
Stanley Motss: Well, yes but, our guy DID bring peace.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Yeah, but there wasn't a war.
Stanley Motss: All the greater accomplishment.
Tracy Lime: What would they do to me if I did tell someone about this?
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: They could come to your house in the middle of the night and kill you.
[the plane has crashed, leaving Winifred, Stanley, and Connie alone at night in the rain with an "ill" William Sherman]
Winifred Ames: Oh, God. What do we do now? Huh? Huh? What do we do now, huh, boy producer? Huh? Mister win-an-Emmy, social-conscience, whale-shit, save-the-rain-forest, peacenik-commie, fuckin'-hire-a-convict-shithead? Huh? What do we do now, liberal, affirmative action, shithead, peacenik commie fuck? What do you want to do now?
Stanley Motss: This is nothing! Piece of cake! Producing is being a samurai warrior. They pay you day in, day out for years so that one day when called upon, you can respond, your training at its peak, and save the day!
[all notice a mini TV in the wreckage, playing the opposition's commercial demanding that they produce Schumann]
Winifred Ames: [Winifred takes the TV from Connie and throws it down to the ground] Fuck you!
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Leave it alone! What did television ever do to you?
Winifred Ames: It destroyed the electoral process!
Stanley Motss: You take the fruit of forty years - hard lessons, mistakes - and you call it wisdom.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Would you go to war to do that?
CIA Agent Mr. Young: I have.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Well, I have, too. Would you do it again...? Isn't that why you're here? I guess so. And if you go to war again, who is it going to be against? Your "ability to fight a Two-ocean War" against who? Sweden and Togo? Who you sitting here to Go To War Against? That time has passed. It's passed. It's over. The war of the future is nuclear terrorism. It is and it will be against a small group of dissidents who, unbeknownst, perhaps, to their own governments, have blah blah blah. And to go to that war, you've got to be prepared. You have to be alert, and the public has to be alert. Cause that is the war of the future, and if you're not gearing up, to fight that war, eventually the axe will fall. And you're gonna be out in the street. And you can call this a "drill," or you can call it "job security," or you can call it anything you like. But I got one for you: you said, "Go to war to protect your Way of Life," well, Chuck, this is your way of life. Isn't it? And if there ain't no war, then you, my friend, can go home and prematurely take up golf. Because there ain't no war but ours.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: What difference does it make if it's true? If it's a story and it breaks, they're gonna run with it.
Stanley Motss: Oh, it's better than lovely. This guy made a deal with Governor Knee-High of Vermont...
Faye: [Corrects him] Senator Leahy.
Winifred Ames: So when we touch down tomorrow, Big Bird is going to meet Schumann at the airport, huh?
Stanley Motss: Big mistake, big mistake. You gotta bring them in by stages. Big mistake to reveal Schumann before the election.
Winifred Ames: How so?
Stanley Motss: Sweetheart, Schumann is the shark. Okay? Schumann is Jaws, you know? You have to tease them. You gotta tease them. You don't put Jaws in the first reel of the movie. It's the contract, sweetheart. The contract of the election, whether they know it or not, is "Vote for me Tuesday, Wednesday I'll produce Schumann." See, that's what they're paying their seven bucks for.
Fad King: We're locked into Albania - Why?
Johnny Dean: Albania's hard to rhyme.
Stanley Motss: What are you looking at me for? It's the name of the country.
Johnny Dean: [sighs resignedly, then sings] "Albania, Albania..."
Stanley Motss: That rhymes.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Who killed Kennedy? I read the first draft of the Warren report. It said he was killed by a drunk driver.
Stanley Motss: [looking at a television where Senator Neal is having a press conference] Suck on this, you Howdy Doody looking vonce!
[Commissioned to write a propaganda song about war with Albania]
Johnny Dean: Albania's hard to rhyme.
Winifred Ames: [as their "war hero", William Schumann, slurps anti-psychotic pills out of her hand] What have you done to me?
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Winifred...
Winifred Ames: *What* have you done to me?
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: All combat takes place at night, in the rain, and at the junction of four map segments...
Winifred Ames: *What* are you going to do?
Johnny Dean: [after being asked to write an entirely different song] I was just on my way to get drunk.
CIA Agent Mr. Young: There are two things I know to be true. There's no difference between good flan and bad flan, and there is no war.
Stanley Motss: I bet you're great at chess.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: I would be if I could remember how all the pieces moved.
CIA Agent Mr. Young: When the fit hits the shan somebody's going to have to stay behind after school.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: I'm working on it.
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: We're not gonna have a war, we're gonna have the appearance of a war.
Winifred Ames: How are we going to explain that when the world is watching?
Stanley Motss: Fuck the world. Try a ten a.m. script meeting, coked to the gills, no sleep and you haven't even read the treatment.
TV Commercial: Why change horses in midstream?
Conrad 'Connie' Brean: Now folks, folks, this is a shitty business and it needs no ghosts come from the grave to tell us that but Lord willing and Jesus tarries eight days from now I'm going to be taking you folks into the second term. Wait 'til you hear the speech tonight, the 303 speech - great!
Stanley Motss: Haven't had this much fun since live TV!