R.P.M. (1970) - full transcript

R.P.M. stands for (political) revolutions per minute. Anthony Quinn plays a liberal college professor at a west coast college during the heady days of campus activism in the late 1960's. Radical students take over the college, the president resigns, and Quinn's character, who has always been a champion of student activism, is appointed president. As the students continue to push the envelope of revolution, Quinn's character is faced with the challenge of restoring order or abetting the descent into anarchy.

What is it this time, Rossiter?

Don't tell me
our president can't read.

Dr. Tyler...

...Rossiter's group and Hudson Afro
have occupied this hall to present...

...12 demands.

I'll hear them
when you leave the building.

And we'll state them
when you leave the campus.

Buzz off, Tyler.

Pack up your dishrags and go.

I'm shocked.

Really shocked.

I mean, we all are.

Never in my wildest dreams.
Did you expect this, Dean Cooper?

These demonstrations
have been a terrible strain.

President Tyler has a heart condition.
His wife....

Well, there it is,
the president's resignation is final.

Tyler made some promises
to the students last term...

...and we haven't done everything
he said we'd do.

We are the trustees,
hit them with a burst of discipline.

Why don't we try to focus
on the real problem?

We need someone to deal
with these students.

Oh, dean, didn't you mention
the students had drawn up a list?

Of sorts.

Can we hear it?

Yes, I'm curious to know
who they do respect.

- "Che Guevara."
- My God.

Oh, they know he's dead.

- Who's the second choice?
- Eldridge Cleaver.

Why do we take this?
They're out to bug the establishment.

Anybody else?

Paco Perez.

- Who?
- F.W.J. Perez.

- Our own sociology man?
- Yes.

Why is he on that oddball list?
He's a very noted scholar.

- He's also a very noted oddball.
- And a radical.

Sure. Some of this faculty
is farther out than the students.

Gentlemen, I do feel compelled
to mention one other factor.

Perez likes undergraduates.

What's wrong with that?

I mean he likes undergraduates.

You mean sexually?

Sexually, yes.

Boys or girls?

Well, girls, of course.
I mean, Paco....

Look, to be perfectly fair...

...the current lady
is not an undergraduate.


...25 and a graduate student
in sociology.

Well, it could be worse,
couldn't it, gentlemen?

And a man's private life, after all,
is his own business.

Business, yes, in business.
But a university president?

Acting president.

Gentlemen, face facts.
We're in trouble.

And this is the man
who can reach the students.

All right, I'd better get that.

- Paco, don't.
- Come on. Don't--

Come on. Now, cool it, cool it, baby.

Where the hell's the phone?

I don't know.

Oh, dear.

- Hey.
- What?

Pull your gut in, will you?

How is that, baby?

I'm coming.

Okay, okay.

For God's sakes.

Where the hell is it?

It's me.

George who?

Well, hello, dean.

What does he want at this hour?

Well-- What is it, George?

A meeting?

Right--? Right now?

But, George, it's past midnight.

- Tell him to shove it.
- Will you shut up?

What? Yeah.

Oh, yeah. I see.

Okay, George, just hang in there.

Oh, God.

I'm sorry, honey, I have to go.

A meeting at this hour.

What was that all about?

I don't know.
Some kind of emergency.

Man, you really are a fake.

What does that mean?

The second he gets a call
from the dean...

...the big non-conformist,
the independent thinker...

...hops lickety-split
over to the dean's office.



Where do you get your vocabulary?

I'll wait up for you.

If I'm not too late.

Will you put on your pants?

This better be important, gentlemen.
I was in the midst of a project.

It is, Paco.

I believe you know most everyone.

Oh, I believe so. Hello, Reverend.

- Welcome.
- Thank you, sir.

- Brown.
- Mr. Brown.

- Please sit, Dr. Perez.
- Don't call me that.

- You are a Ph.D.
- I still don't like to be called doctor.

It only flatters my dentist.

What is it, fellas?

They've taken over
the administration building again.

- Who?
- Friends of yours.

Rossiter's group and Hudson Afro.


Well, that's-- That's fantastic.

Paco, we need you badly.

Well, perhaps it's due...

...to the essentially anti-cybernetic
nature of the academic institution.

Amen, brother.

That's why you called me, right?
To give you the jargon?

Paco, Tyler has resigned.

He meant well, didn't he?

So you want me to explain
the dynamics of his failure?

No, Paco.

Come on.
It's the response of the paper liberal.

"Professor Keniston, or Riesman,
or Perez...

...tell us where we went wrong."

- But, professor--
- Look, don't cop out with consultations.

Put some backbone
in your leadership.

That's why we want you to take over.


Who the hell thought of that?

They did, the students.
It was their first demand.


What's the matter
with Eldridge Cleaver?

Come on, professor,
this is a serious situation.

Yes, I know it is, sir,
and I feel for you.

Let me remind you,
these are anarchists.

Their avowed intent
is to destroy society.

No, sir, they are revolutionaries.

They're students fighting
to find out who they are...

- ...so they can function in this place.
- They can shut down this place.

- The computer's in there.
- What did we do before computers?

Bribe them.

Gentlemen, I'm....

Really, I'm flattered,
but I'm sure that you don't want me.

I wanna remind you...

...that I was with the students
in that chemical sit-in.

Paco, you're constantly writing
about social action...

...solving conflicts between groups.

- George, that's--
- Take Studies in Alienation.

- What's that?
- My book, just came out in paperback.

Either you believe what you've written
or you don't.

We've got to blow the whistle
on these kids.

Well, what do you mean
blow the whistle?

I mean it's you or the police.

Sir, one thing you never do
in a college campus...

...and I say never...

...is to call in the police.

We don't want the police here
any more than you.

That's why we're asking you
to accept.

Surely even a sociologist feels
some obligation to the university.

Sir, my obligation is to teach.

You know Rossiter.

You speak his language.

They'll listen to you, Paco.

It could avoid a great deal of trouble.

Gentlemen, I'm not the type
to be the president.

Acting president.

Who knows what type is supposed
to be president these days.

You've got a point, sir.

This is F.W.J. Perez.

Will you please call my housekeeper
and tell her I'll be home...


These are confidential
student records.

I wanna see if Rossiter's IQ...

- ...is higher than mine.
- Well, wait a minute.

It is.

Well, at least I'm better in bed.

Don't bet on it.

You know, it's really curious
how fast you went for power and glory.

What power and glory?

I bet you even go out and buy a tie.

Now, what do you think I am?

You think you're F.W.J. Perez...

...eminent social...


That's what it says
in Who's Who, kiddo.

Yeah, but they don't see
behind the phoney faculty front.

What the hell does that mean?

It means that you're a 50-year-old
fanny-pincher about to discover...

...that the one thing better than sex
is power.

I've written four books
on social action.

I just wanna see if my theories work.

They won't.

They will.

And why not?

You work for the board of trustees now,
you're part of the establishment.

Oh, Christ. That again?

I see you without your pyjamas.

I'm your link with reality, Mr. Perez.

That's not reality, honey, that's flab.

Flab is reality.

Admit it, you pompous ass.

You're snowed with yourself.

You'll probably have it on billboards
all over Spanish Harlem.

Perez, presidente.

Come on, I'm bushed.

All right, you guys, open up.

Good morning, president.

Mr. President to you.

Well, what are you bringing?

An open mind.

Yeah, Paco.

- Go, Paco. Go, Paco.
- Much too mellow, I see.

- Yeah. Yeah.
- Paco!

- You'll do the job for us, Paco?
- I'll try, gang.

Look what the revolution drug in.

- Paco, power to the people.
- Hey, big man.

- Hey, Emily. How are you?
- Hey.

All right.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Okay, okay.

I see you've been doing
your homework.

How have you been, Rossiter?

Same old pain in the university ass,
I guess.

Oh, the wages of leadership, huh?

Well, don't I get a chair?

Oh, thank you, thank you.

Hi, Ben, Gary.

Well, I see a lot
of familiar faces around.

I understand
you have some demands.

Yeah. And you'll get yours.

- You're not gonna like this.
- State your case.

We'll shake the Hudson tree
till the apples fall.

Here are the apples.

All 12.

An even dozen?

Well? How about it?

Dempsey, I am no speed-reader.

Just, easy.

Yeah, that's good, that's good.

Boy, we could use that.

"Twenty inner city scholarships.

University investment programme."
I couldn't agree with you more.

"No military research."

Well, nothing wrong
with them apples.


Oh, here's a-- Here's a good one.

That's a funny one.

You guys got a sense of humour.
How can we get a black trustee...

...when we haven't really got
any black graduates?

It won't be easy, will it?

No, it won't.

I'll lay it on the board.
I think we can bat about 500...

...maybe even 750.

Nobody bats higher than that

Except you, Paco.

Succinct but not relevant.

Any more questions?

- Yeah.
- What?

You haven't said anything
about the last three.

You mean "students' rights to hire
and fire faculty, student trustees...

...abolish formal courses."
Put a lot of professors out of work.

Come on.
There are a lot of old half-steppers...

...that should've been out of business
20 years ago.

- Right on.
- Nothing personal, I hope, fellas.

I'll lay it on the board.
What can I do?

Hey, Paco.

How come you took this job?

- How come you asked for me?
- I didn't think you'd take the job.

I must say, I surprise myself.

I only hope I won't disappoint you.

I hope not too.

Okay. See you around.

This is absurd.

For chrissake, it's wild. Don't they
know some of these are impossible?

I think so.

I'm no bigot, I've got
the Brotherhood Awards to prove it.

But don't they realise we just can't
come up with a black trustee?

- That's probably one of the wild points.
- I already tested them on that one.

- And?
- They didn't budge.

Where does that leave us?

With Larabee of Rutland.

- I beg your pardon?
- Samuel Larabee, MA, '56.

Say, I remember him.

He was black.

George, he still is.

What's this tired old line about our
supporting racism in South Africa?

The university owns some stock
in companies that do business there.

They've named the firms.

I've got shares
in Frederick & Gardner myself.

They make paper. Maybe they sell
their bathroom tissue in South Africa.

- What am I supposed to do?
- That's up to your conscience.

They're only demanding that
the university not support racism.

Toilet paper?


Suppose we promise
to re-examine our portfolio.

That sounds reasonable.

Do I sense a rather provocative tone
in numbers 10, 11 and 12?

Provocative tone?

Students bouncing faculty?
Granting degrees?

That's already happened
at several schools.

They want to run the show.

I think you get the gist of it.

Listen, we can't let
these radicals take over.

- Rossiter's an obvious commie.
- My God, Mr. Perry.

That's not the Chinese Red Guard
up there.

Just a minute.
I think I have a special right to speak--

And it's no secret.

There's been no more loyal supporter
of this institution than me.

Christ, I've endowed chairs
in subjects I can hardly pronounce.

What's your point, Mr. Brown?

I will not see this place turned over to
a bunch of adolescent troublemakers.

Now, if this is going to be
a student power situation...

...look for your support elsewhere.

You mean financial support?

To put it bluntly.

You know, Mr. Brown,
that's like the man who tells his son:

"You do it my way.
I'm your father and I pay the bills."

- That's amateur psychology, Mr. Perez.
- I'm no amateur, Mr. Brown.

Gentlemen, may I point out
that we approached Dr. Perez--

If your dentist
will permit you the title.

--precisely because he was in touch
with the issues.

Now, Paco...

...I'd like to know how you personally
feel about these final three demands.



- Well, let me say--
- They're outrageous.

Look, you can label them
anything you want...

...but this is the voice of the students
and they deserve to be listened to...

...and discussed.

Tell Mr. Rossiter and his gang...

...that I think number nine
is the frontier to Freaksville.

Mr. Brown, we're reaching
new frontiers every day.

Just as we're sitting,
the world is changing around us.

What do you want from us, Paco?

- Gentlemen, I want some leeway.
- Well, that seems to be fair.

- You can't have carte blanche.
- Mr. Perry, you asked me to negotiate.

Then let me negotiate
the final round.

Isn't that why we appointed him?

We'll stand behind your decision,
Mr. Perez.

Thank you, Mr. Hewlett.

But for chrissake,
hold them at number nine.


- How are you?
- All right.

- Really?
- Yes.

I've tried to call you.

I've been busy studying.
That's the way it is, no?

- You cut your hair.
- Yes.

Let me see. I like it.

Thank you.

Well, I'll be seeing you.

You too, Paco.
Regards to your family.

Thank you.

Hump-da-dee-dee out there!

Come on, O'Shea,
get your ass into it.

Move the sled.

Hey, Williams,
keep your people moving in there.

Hump-da-dee-dee out there!

Hello, McCurdy.

- Hi, Paco.
- Hey, man, they look good.

They're a fine bunch of boys.

- Go.
- So, Paco...

...they've handed off the greasy pig
to you.

I love your phraseology, McCurdy.

Yeah, well, we're not fools
down at this end, Paco.

Come on, Arthur,
give me some hustle and muscle.

I want some power in there.

Hudson power!

You were saying, Paco?

No, you called my office
so I responded by showing up.

Don't think I don't appreciate it, Paco.
I only hope I can help you out.

Start by letting me know
why you called.

I told you to move those people.
Get them moving in there. Come on.

Give me some Hudson power,
will you?

Oh, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, what?

Yeah, I know your situation
inside and out.

Oh, outside,
you've got the mass mediums...

...just itching to pounce on
this sordid kind of Hudson scandal.

"Termites in the ivory tower"
kind of thing.

And inside, you've got a motley crew
of unwashed shaggies.

And they have no values, those kids.

No ethics, no morals
and no decency.

And no school spirit.

They're not fans of yours either,
you know.

More's the pity, Paco.

A few callisthenics
might firm up that soft generation.

Well, that's what they are, you know.
They're soft.

The parents have raised those kids
on Dr. Spock.

Oh, you know about Dr. Spock?

We're not out of touch
at this end, Paco.

- I....
- I consider myself an educator too.

In my humble way, I'm teaching
these boys to have values...

- ...to have morals.
- To take showers.

Every single day.

Well, keep up the good work,

Wait, Paco.
You haven't heard my plan.

I'm sorry.

Well, shoot.

You feel free, Paco.

Feel free?

Feel free to call upon this end...

...to send our people in
to clean that place out.

Now, lots of my people--
And I mean offensive and defensive.

Lots of them feel pretty strongly about
this maggots-in-the-cheese sort of thing.

And we'd like to keep it in the family.

You follow me?

- In essence, yes.
- Good.

Well, you know where I'm at, Paco.

I certainly do, McCurdy.

- Hump-da-dee-dee with the coffee.
- All right, all right.

- What's eating you?
- What I'm eating is eating me.

This is unworthy
of a university president.

So next year,
hump a Home Economics major.

- I tried.
- And?

The food is good,
but the talk is lousy.

Are you gonna wear that outside?

Oh, you're embarrassed.

- You're funny.
- Yeah.

How come you never got married?

Same reason you never did.

Can't even let your hair down
for a second, can you?

All right.

Well, I was too involved
with my work.

Too involved to get involved?

Sort of.

Wasn't there somebody sometime?


Yeah, what?

Yeah, there was.


So now you know.

You know what I think
that your generation suffers from?

- No. Please tell me.
- You keep everything locked up.

You're defensive about everything.
Too many no-nos.

Your whole professional life deals...

...with the development of the self,
and you completely neglect your own.

May I remind you
that you are who you are...

...and that I am F.W.J. Perez?

Listen, F.W.J. Perez...

...what did you do for sex
before you were famous?

Is this relevant?

From what I understand...

...your activities increased
in proportion to your bibliography.


What did you do
before you were published?

I saved it up.

You know, I believe it.

I even believe
that Paco Perez is a virgin.

Oh, my God.

It's only the F.W.J. part of you
that gets laid.

Do me a favour.
Spend less time on my head...

...and a little more time
on my digestive system?

- Oh, Paco.
- Yeah?

I'm writing my 131 term paper...

...on "Technological Pressures
on Personality Development."

Christ, what a pompous title
for 10 pages.


Listen, what should I read?

Read Talcott Parsons.

What specifically?

Social System.
Structure and Process.

Can you give me his gist?

Listen, do I have to do your homework
for you?

Do I have to do your housework
for you?

Well, we'll have a drink later
and discuss it around 9.

- What'll I do till then?
- Read Talcott Parsons.

You're gonna see Rossiter,
aren't you?


Suppose he won't listen.

I'll send you in to cook for him.

See you.

And do me a favour.

Put on a bra, will you?

Yeah, operator. London, England.

325-8311. They haven't
disconnected the phones yet.

- Better talk fast.
- Charge that to Professor Walter Allen.

Hey, Rossiter,
have you heard from the man yet?

I don't care what anyone says.

I don't believe in God, or America
as the centre of the universe.


You can get away with not believing
in one of those, but not both.

Hey, Rossiter.

- Yeah?
- How long will this go?

All the way.

- I mean, how long?
- As long as it takes, man.

Hey, listen, man,
it's gotta be over by Saturday.

- Why?
- I got a date coming down from Smith.

Oh, hurt me, hurt me.

Oh, I love that commitment.

Hey. Hey, hey. Don't mention ass
around the underprivileged.

- So who's underprivileged?
- Me.

Why is the good ass never radical
and the radical ass never good?

Present ass excluded, Jan.

I beg your pardon.

Hey, Evans. Come on.
Desegregate yourself.

We promise not to rape you.

Marya, baby.

- Man, I wanna take it.
- Hello, group.

Hey. Hello, professor.
How are things in the real world?

I thought you guys
were the real world.

I was coming to ask you.

- Did you lay it on the board?
- Oh, very heavy.

In no uncertain terms.

- I'd love to have a tape recording.
- The comedy album of the year.

Yeah. Well, their hearts
are in the right place.

But not their balls.
They got empty scrotes.

I notice the vocabulary of the revolution
is somewhat groin-oriented.

Hey, Paco.

- What's happened?
- Yeah.

Well, I felt around,
I sounded out...

...and, gentlemen, I think I can deliver
points one through nine.

- One through nine?
- Yeah.

I had a feeling you were gonna cop out
on those last three demands.

What copout?
The board agreed on nine points.

And that impossible one
about the black trustee? We got one.

How black?

- What?
- He said, how black?

Hey, hey, talk English.

- Is this cat an Oreo cookie?
- Is he schooled for the brothers?

How black?

You want a skin sample?
A pigment count?

What we do not want is a real live
nephew to my Uncle Tom.

- Yes, I know.
- So who is this dude?

Samuel Larabee, MA, '56.

- Never heard of him.
- Teaches education at Rutland State.

- Rutland State?
- Rutland State.

- Why only an MA, professor?
- What do you mean?

Isn't it usual at Hudson
to follow a master's with a doctorate?

- What's the problem with Mr. Larabee?
- Hudson racism, maybe.

Did he write a dissertation?

Yes, he did.

- And?
- It was lousy.


...how does it feel to be a member
of the establishment?

I've fought the establishment 30 years,
I still don't know what it means.

Maybe because it's you.

Steve, it's Samuel Larabee
or nothing.

- We'll take nothing.
- The hell we will.

I beg your pardon.

- No.
- Are you the black spokesman here?

Dempsey, when we went in,
we agreed on 12 demands.

I'll be damned if I'll let them put
some dumb nigger on that board.

It's not me, man, it's the movement.
I don't think you understand.

Will you dig this cat?

Gets a sniff of tear gas at People's Park
and already he's Robespierre.

You don't seem to know your ass
from your elbow about revolution.

I know you'll have one
if you don't let me handle this.

- Better believe it.
- For real.

Gentlemen, I hate violence.

Just let me know when you decide.

Look, a black admissions officer.
It'll help with recruitment.

Now, is that possible?

Yeah, it's possible.

Okay then. We change number eight
to read "a black admissions officer."

All right, Robespierre?

All right.

Have you got somebody in mind
for the job?

- All picked out.
- How black?

Well, how black is Steve.

That could be pretty funny.

- What do you mean?
- If you can trust Stephen Dempsey...

...as of now,
he's your demand number eight.

Cool move, professor.


Yeah. Thanks.

Okay, now, that's decided?

Now, ladies and gentlemen, about....

Ten, 11 and 12 maybe?

Ten, we want something to say
about the hiring and firing of faculty.

Eleven, we want something to say
about the granting of degrees.

Twelve, we want a whole new deal
on the curriculum.

Something that's relevant to now.

we're supposed to be negotiating.

We didn't use that verb.

Paco, the word was demand.

Sam, that's not very intelligent.

I wish demands could be negotiable.
They can't be and be intelligent.

How can you negotiate ghettos
or nerve gas?

Oh, come on, let's not wage the whole
social revolution in one sitting, huh?

I mean, we can start a dialog--

The university, the whole system
is corrupt. You know it.

Then let's change it.
Let's not destroy it.

It's too late, man.

To build from the bottom,
you start with a new foundation.

You mean dynamite everything?

Like the good builders do.

Yeah, but they don't blow up
the people inside.

I don't see any people.

that's precisely your problem.

You don't see people.

Look, we do have a few Neanderthals
on the board...

...and I'm gonna do my best now,
but just where do we stand?

I hear you're a lousy lay, Perez.


Rhoda Greene's told everybody
you're a lousy lay.

Well, come on, smartass.

Hey, Henry.

- Hello, Mr. President.
- Yeah.

What are you made up for?

Just exercising.

- My wife said she was a blond.
- Yeah.

Look, I came down here
to ask you something.


Well, it's about...

...evacuating a building.

Call Allied Van and Storage.

I'm talking about people, Henry.

Getting people out of a building.

Alive or dead?

Christ, Thatcher,
you have a morbid imagination.

Well, Paco,
my answer depends on your answer.

Alive. A group of undergraduates,
alive and kicking.

Kicking. Kicking whom?

Go on playing dumb,
you'll have me convinced.

All right, let's just say alive.

But you do imply
they're not willing to leave.

No. I just....

Maybe. I mean, how would you do it,
you know, peacefully?

No way.

Henry. Henry.
You're supposed to be a pro.

That's exactly why I'm telling you.
No way.

I'll get a real expert.

You implying I'm a fake expert?

Well, somebody smart
should be able to pull it off.

- Houdini is dead.
- Well, I'll find somebody.

I'm sure you will.

I promise you, he'll tell you...

...if you want a sure-fire
peaceful evacuation...

...call Allied Van and Storage.

Cut it out, will you?

Will you slow down?

Come on, now. Easy, now.

Who was that guy?

My connection. I was getting a fix.

Come on, you don't even inhale
when you lick a postage stamp.

Listen, I don't have
to tell you everything, you know.

You'd be better off if you did.

Hey, let's go for pizza.





Casey's for suds, huh?


Where then?




What does "eventually" mean?

It means you sometimes forget
I'm over 50 years old.

Oh, I never forget that.

It's this damn exercising.

You're wearing yourself out.

Why add a hernia
to your other problems?

Listen, how many guys my age
do you know in the shape I'm in?

I don't know many guys your age.

It's clear, basic and elemental.
Move them out of the building.

We might form a committee to consider
strong faculty recommendation.

The important thing is to preserve
the university at all costs.

- Define those terms.
- Which?

Preserve. University. Costs.

Well, a university is a sanctuary
for the free exchange of ideas.

That's the medieval notion.

Well, it starts with Plato, actually.

It's archaic, ancient and irrelevant.

- Semantically acceptable.
- I'd move them out of the building.

If a concept lasted so long,
it must be valid, res ipsa loquitur.

Sophistry. The university
establishment is mired in tradition.

Isn't tradition
what makes a university great?

Define "great."

Define "tradition."

Define "definition."

A committee of department heads...

...to appoint a committee
to recommend faculty action.

These kids are 100 percent right.

As a faculty,
we're paralyzed by definitions...

...caught in a quagmire
of rhetorical quicksand.

To use their vernacular,
the world is burning and we're flaming.

Semantically unacceptable.

But why must we
be ipso facto the culprits?

Why must the onus fall on us?

We're culpable, reprehensible
and quintessentially at fault.

- You may have something there.
- Thank you, Dr. Perez.

Well, no one from the School
of Engineering is sitting in up there...

...it's English and Psych people
that make trouble.

Miss Vickers. Miss Vickers.

You will keep talking to them,
won't you?

- That's what a university is, isn't it?
- I'm afraid so.

A committee to appoint a committee.

False logic.
Tautological and casuistic.

No engineers sitting in up there.

We're absentee slumlords
in the ghetto of the mind.

Semantically acceptable
and unacceptable.

You will keep talking,
won't you, Dr. Perez?

Miss Vickers, I will talk
till my wazoo goes limp.

All right.

We've exhausted
numbers one through nine...

...and believe me,
they've exhausted me.

Now, I'd like to say a few words
about the next three demands.

- Now, Rossiter and company...
- Yeah!

...claiming to speak for all of you...

...want the students
to have powers...

...like firing the faculty.

They deny that a teacher
just might know...

...more than a freshman,
because all men are equal.

Well, all men are equal
in the state of nature.

But this is not a state of nature.

This is a civilised society...

...and civilisation implies certain rules,
certain limits...

...and, damn it,
the acknowledgment of some authority.

Now, the job of a university
is to seek the truth.

And we get there
by making value judgments.

Now, value judgments imply values.

Now, if we do have values...

...then everything or everybody
can't be equal...

...not in the simplistic sense
they argue for or we'd have chaos.

Now, what they call freedom,
I call chaos.


Thank you. Thank you.

Now, John Dewey--

And you can see how that dates me.

Well, anyway, he was....

He was my spiritual mentor.

But he sure as hell had a sense
of what education was all about.

And he said:

"The measure of a civilisation
is the degree...

...to which cooperative intelligence...

...replaces brute force."

Now, I'd like to repeat that again.

"The measure of a civilisation...

...is the degree
to which cooperative intelligence...

...replaces brute force."

Now, at point number 10,
I think, for all of us...

...education is on the line.

Point number 10 is the time
to stop confronting...

...and start cooperating.

And now we come down
to the gut question.

Do you want a university?


I didn't hear you.


Come on, louder.


Let's hear it again.


Tell it to them.


Tell them!

Hey, it's really kind of weird, isn't it?
I mean--

I mean, how about
all that sheer demagoguery?

You know, Mussolini was also
great with crowds.

No, they voted. The majority voted.

The majority is afraid to commit.
Five percent start a revolution.

Remember that one, Paco?

We're the little pebbles who end up
making all those great big waves.


And you all really think
it's that simple, huh?

Well, tell me, is there any basis...

...on which we can start
a reasonable discussion?

Ten, 11 and 12.

Sam, you know if you got 10, 11 and 12
you'd still come up with 13, right?

And 14 and 15, Paco.

The revolution
of rising expectations.

You just wanna make big waves
at any cost, huh?

Paco's starting to flame
like the rest of them.

Every time he opens his mouth,
all I hear is "oink, oink."

Oink, oink, oink.

Steve, can I talk
to the Afro guys alone?

- Wait a minute, Paco--
- Mr. Rossiter...

...I'm capable of handling myself
with Dr. Perez.

Just maintain.

- Shall we...?
- No.

Say what you have to say
to all of us.

I know what you've been through.
I know what you guys want.

Come on, man. Get off it.

You wrote the books,
that's not knowing.

Nowadays, it's very chic
to talk ghetto.

Look, don't you give me that.

I grew up in East Harlem
when Afros and Hispanos...

...were still called
niggers and spics.

You know, you know,
when I was a kid...

...I was lucky to have a college floor
to scrub, much less to sit in on.

- That's a heartbreaking story, Paco.
- It's a real crusher, man.

- Just like Daddy.
- Ladies and gentlemen, tell me...

...do you really think
life has changed that much?

I mean,
are things really so different?

I really would like to understand.

I mean, can somebody
explain it to me?

I can't explain it to him.
Hey, can you explain it to him?

No. I can't explain it. You?

It would take till the 12th of never.

Well. Oh, Mr. Rossiter,
will you oblige?

Mr. Perez, I can't.

Steve, I want you to consider
the gains you've made...

...in points one through nine.

I'm asking you not to blow it.
I'm asking you to walk out right now.

Well, say, now.

How about that, Stephen?

Do you really trust Perez?

You show me a black man
who trusts any white man...

...and I'll show you a black man
who should be in a mental institution.

Well, then you can't trust Rossiter.

You know, I trust him
more than I trust you.

Why is that, Steve?

Well, Rossiter's pretty freaky,
but at least he's straight with us.

Name one instance
when I wasn't straight with you.

Right now.

You're trying to split us
and that is such an old trick.

I'm not trying to split you.
I'm asking you to listen to reason.

Revise your textbooks, professor.
Today's black man doesn't cop out...

...as soon as his personal ass
is sitting on silk.

- We're in this together.
- Right on.


I really don't understand.

I'm suddenly being treated
like I don't know where it's at.

Do you?

I wanna remind you
my name is Franklin Perez.

Oh, big deal.

Thank you. Yes, thank you.
Thank you very much.

But don't forget, I told you.

- Yesterday.
- Past tense.

Now, don't hang
that "discarded liberal" rap on me.

I still know where it's at.

- Maybe you're not there anymore.
- Right.

Clean out your locker, Paco.

Your fly's open, professor.

Why don't you just shove it,
Uncle Paco.

- Yeah.
- That's right.

You know, for three days
I've been dealing in good faith.

And all I've gotten in exchange
is a shower of verbal garbage...

...straight off toilet walls.

Now, I can sympathize with protest.

I can understand hostility and rage.

But I cannot--

I cannot tolerate total stupidity.

Now, you people,
you've stopped thinking.

- You've turned off your minds.
- Up yours.

- Hang it up, Grandpa.
- Yeah.


And you wanna run a university?

Well, all right.
As far as I'm concerned you can all sit.

You can all sit on your asses...

...till the 12th of never.


They said it to me.

Rhoda, I was with it
before those little bastards knew...

...whether they were overcoming
or overgoing! Don't. Don't "shh" me.

I marched
for the Textile Workers Union.

I mean, I fought against Franco.

And I had no lousy job security
when I spoke out against McCarthy.

You spoke against McCarthy?

The bad McCarthy.

That's before you were born.

That again.

Yeah, yeah. That again.

You snotnoses don't wanna hear
about anything that happened...

...before a week ago, last Tuesday.

Casey, another.

You know,
I was marching and fighting.

I was speaking and working...

...before any Rossiter-come-latelys
were even born.

Well, as far as I'm concerned, they
can sit on their ass up there forever.

Goddamn it.

Did you ever say I was a lousy lay?

- What?
- Did you?

It's all right if you did.


I might have thought it
but I never said it.


Never mind.

You want another drink?

Neither do you.

You know what, honey?


I am a fake.

Come on, Paco.

They should farm me out
to teach freshmen...

...at Weehawken High School.

You're F.W.J.

Big-time professor.

The only thing I can profess
is the inability to....

To reach these kids.

They're right.

What they want is right.
But somebody has to teach them...

...they can't get what they want
by doing what they're doing.

But they're just sitting.

And you said they could sit forever.


But I know they won't.

Hudson U, I love you



Hudson U

You drive, huh?

- I can't drive.
- What do you mean?

- What do you major in?
- Sociology.

- Sociology?
- Yeah.

Now, what the hell good is that?

You should have chosen
something relevant...

...like auto mechanics.

- Well, there's no such major.
- Oh, there isn't?

Well, you just call Rossiter
and he'll demand it.

He'll have a mechanics major
right over.

A black auto mechanics major...

...who's also a trustee
on a scholarship from South Africa.

- I'm calling a cab.
- Hey.

Paco Perez doesn't take cabs.

- How about the university president?
- Yeah, what about him?

- You.
- Yeah, me.

Not the way you're acting.

Well, I'm only acting president.

You get it?

- Come on, get on.
- You're gonna kill us.

No, I hate violence.

- Hey, where are you going?
- Shortcut.

- Damn it, you leaned the wrong way.
- It figures.

- You all right?
- Yeah.

- Professor Perez?
- Who are you?

- Mr. President, sir?
- That's right.

I have a message
from Mr. Rossiter, sir.

I guess I'm not drunk enough,
I keep hearing Rossiter's name.

Maybe he's got something for you.

What's the message?

He asked me to deliver this.

Thank you, sir.

What's that?

The bluebird of happiness.

What's this all about, Paco?

It's a message from Mr. Rossiter.

No words?

You ought to read Marshall McLuhan.
We're in a post-verbal age.

Is this spool of tape
from our computer?

That's right, Mr. Hewlett.

Retail value roughly $15,

If programmed, as this one is,
value maybe $600.

You mean they're gonna wreck
that computer?

That's the way I read the message.

That's a 2-million-dollar machine.

Yes, it is.

My God.

Mr. Perez, you have no choice.

Do you?

You can't, Paco.

You just can't do this.

But I can and I did.

I hear it, but I can't believe this.
You said that was the last thing--

Rhoda, look, it's been a long day
and I'm bushed...

...and I'd like to get a couple
of hours sleep, okay?

Paco, don't do this to me, please.

Now, what the hell has this
got to do with you?


...my whole life was like a case
from one of your textbooks.

My father's a schmuck.

My mother bakes her brains out
under the hair dryer.

And their values....

They'd die if my brother
burned his draught card...

...but they're proud as hell, man,

...when he joined up
and went off to burn people.

And they don't even see
a contradiction.

Rhoda, Rhoda, must you lay out
your whole life?



...I went to two colleges...

...not knowing
where my head was at...

...or where I could even turn
to find one simple truth.

And then I came to Hudson...

...and I took Soc 1
and read "by F.W.J. Perez."

Our own F.W.J. Perez.

I read you.

Not just the book assigned...

...but every fricking thing
you ever wrote.

Your goddamn thesis, even.

All right, honey, all right-- What--?

What are you trying to say, huh?


You were like...

...a fixed star for me.

You showed me where I was.

And now the whole campus
calls you...

...Paco's pillow.

I don't give a damn about that.

I don't wanna just live with you.

I wanna live like you.

And now when I--

When I finally feel that my head
is on straight....

Rhoda, there's a bit more involved
than just you.

Yeah. There's you.

Yeah, you're right. There is me.

That's why I won't let Rossiter destroy
everything I've believed in for 53 years.

What the hell can anyone believe in
for 53 years?

That's a good question.

Maybe not much. But at least I can
distinguish between right and wrong.

And I'm not afraid to act.

Why do you have to act at all?

Because I have the responsibility.

You see, at my age, I don't have
the luxury you have.

I can't cop out with theories


My God, Paco...

...what's more important...

...machinery or people?

You have the audacity...

...to ask me that question?


...you know, it all boils down
to the same old trip.

A wet handkerchief,
an open mouth...

...Vaseline around the eyes.
That's the best way to handle gas.

I mean, there's gotta be tear gas.

Oh, yeah...

...and don't panic.

That's the key thing.

Try to stay loose.

I mean, really, really, really loose.

Okay, my friends,
that's the sum of just about...

...everything I learned
while getting my BA at Berkeley.

Hey, listen...

...I'm sorry if I overhassled
some of you guys along the way.

But I'm really glad
we got in it together.

I mean, everybody knows
I'm an irresponsible hothead...

...a commie...

...puking out the silver spoon
he was born with.

Yeah, okay. Okay. They can dismiss me
as easily as they can expel me.

But what about a nice chick
like Jan?

Or a guy like Matson?

Why would nice kids like that
wanna hurt somebody else's computer?


...because you have to put
your body on the line...

...if you want people to listen.

And maybe if a few people listen...

...that'll mean we did it.

- We brought it off.
- Right on.



- You look like you got a bad day going.
- Hey, kid, how do I look?

You look like you're gonna kill them.

- Hey, you scared?
- Yeah.

You were in a couple scrapes
in Vietnam for chrissake.

Yeah, I didn't like that either.

Yeah, I know these kids.
Some of them are real kooks. Kooky.


One night I had Alison Dubey,
she's one of them.

I had her in the back seat
of my car...

...like that, Peter.

A pair of knockers like that.

Yeah? What happened?

- I was like on the five-yard line.
- Yeah.

Then she looked up at me.

I swear to God, now, she looked up
at me and she said, "Ricky...

...not unless
you burn your draught card."

I don't know why we need all this
equipment for a bunch of kids.

They're not such kids.

Frankly, if any of your people in there
give me guff, it'll be equal treatment.

I'm sure of that, John.


I dig.

Under the law.


...you're the only one
who's taught me anything.

I'm grateful.

Then why don't you just settle
for the nine points?

You taught me to think for myself,

I mean, that's the best thing
any student could ever tell a professor.

Yes, it is.

You're in a hell of a bind.

- I am?
- You are.

It's like Socrates having to defend
the health value of hemlock.

I appreciate the reference
to Socrates...

...but what I'm defending
is not exactly poison.

It's a--

An idea of a university in which...

...I deeply believe.

So when you start in
about tearing it down...

...that's when I leave the revolution.

Correction, Paco.

That's where the revolution
leaves you.


...I hate violence.

I grew up in it...

...and I don't like it.

People get hurt.

I know that.

Which violence, Paco?

The war?

The ghettos?

The machine back there?

You know, it depends on
where you're sitting, doesn't it?

All right,
like smashing these machines.

You know, whenever you destroy
anything, for whatever the reason...

...the first thing you destroy
is yourself.


That is a machine.

An object.

A thing.

A thing that can send you to jail.

All of you.


...now, until we kick them
where they feel...

...until they feel,
nothing ever happens. Right?

And who's supposed to decide that?

I mean, at least Joan of Arc,
she heard voices.

I don't hear any voices, Paco.

No voices at all.

Paco, some of us are 18...

...20, 22, 24 years of age
and we've never heard a sound.

I mean, the silence is deafening.

I agree.

All right, look, me and my
Hiroshima generation, we failed.

We screwed it up.

At least, for chrissakes...

...learn from us.

Professor, do you really think
we haven't learned from you?

Well, man,
the Blue Meanies are out there.

I know.

You also know what happens
when blue meets black?

Yeah. You get all black and blue.

That's right.
And on colour television.

Front door.
I think somebody's coming out.

You told your men no violence?

I gave strict orders.

Some of those kids up there are....

They're pretty scared.

So are some of them, Paco.

I got some young ones too.

I'm gonna say something
you won't like.


We once had a talk
about what you did.


Studying group reactions
to different stimulants.




You're the expert, Paco.

Now, you know I did more
than just give orders.

They had a two-hour lesson
in motivations.

But you also know the other factors.

You tell me.

I can't, Henry.

Then you'd better step over there.

- Attention.
- Shut off your bullhorn.

Attention in the building.

This is Chief Henry J. Thatcher

You students....

You students are trespassing
on university property...

...and I have an order
for your immediate evacuation.


An order obtained at the request
of the president of this university.

Franklin Perez.

You have three minutes
to leave peacefully.


Hey, we heard your message,
Chief Thatcher...

...and we wanna thank you, sincerely
thank you, for being here today.

- Right on.
- Yeah.

We've always been told that
the university is the bastion of truth.

Well, it sure in hell hasn't been.

We wanna thank you
for giving us that proof.

This place is no less corrupt
than the world outside.

But their violence is an open fact of life
and we were numb to it.

And now, thanks to you,
Chief Thatcher...

...and to our noble president...

...maybe the citizens of this town...

...who are so unmoved by our use of
force overseas and in our own cities...

...maybe they'll wake up when they see
hobnail boots in the Garden of Eden.

Well, today,
at least we've got the proof.

This is what we are!

Stand back from the window.
This is a warning.

And fire!

Dr. Perez, how in the name of God
did you let this thing happen?

I wonder, sir.

Tell me what you ever did for me.

I got bar mitzvah'd, for chrissake.

I'm sorry, Dad, I really am.


I'll be with you in a minute, Paco.

You simply don't understand.

I understand one thing, what you need
is a good swift kick in the ass.

Who sprung for the bail?

We didn't hear from your family.
The university paid for it.

A black admissions officer, right?

That's what I said.

I'll bet that job won't last very long.

- Thatcher, what's the ruling?
- It's a mass-arrest deal.

- They'll all be out on bail.
- Good.

- Paco.
- Yeah.

- Heard about the seven in the hospital?
- Yeah, I heard.

I got four men there too.


Are you all right?

How do you feel?


...and pressing 54.


Well, at least it's over.

I think we can appreciate
how you feel, Paco.


An unpleasant business.


These bail guarantees
need your signature, Paco.

Oh, look, some of the kids got hurt,
but they're all right.

It's not serious.

Do you really think they would've
smashed the computer?

Hell of a time
to ask that question, Hewlett.

It was rebellion. Out-and-out rebellion.
What else could you have done?

I could have stayed in there
with them.

To help them break the computer?

To help them get what they want.

What the hell do they want?

Oh, they....

They wanna keep us awake at night.

What's that supposed to mean?

If we can sleep at night
with what is happening...

...then we accept what is happening.

They won't.

Stay loose, kid.