The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956) - full transcript

Laura Partridge is a very enthusiastic small stockholder of 10 shares in International Projects, a large corporation based in New York. She attends her first stockholder meeting ready to question the board of directors from their salaries to their operations. These are not the questions which the board expected to be asked of them, especially since they are all crooked, except for Edward McKeever, the current CEO who has resigned in order to take an advisory position at the Pentagon. Following the meeting, he bumps into Laura and offers to drive her home. On the way there, Laura displays her enthusiasm for being a stockholder, as a result, Edward takes a liking to her. With Edward in Washington, John Blessington and Clifford Snell establish their hold on International Projects - They see greater riches now that Edward has influence with the US senate, especially with the awarding of federal contracts, unfortunately for them he is honest, and won't do their bidding. In the meantime, Laura continues to be a nusance to the board. Blessington believes the only way to silence her, is to give her a high paying position with the company. The idea is for her to do absolutely nothing - Laura has other plans. She begins to correspond with other small stockholders in the company - a problem for the board. They decide to use her influence on Edward and send her to Washington to get contracts. Laura now knowing their true intentions for her, has her own agenda, that is, get Edward back in charge of the company.

Ladies and gentlemen,
in this country today...

more people are investing
in the stock market than ever before.

I imagine some of you folks own stock
in one company or another...

but for those of you who don't,
I'd better explain a couple of things.

This building is owned
by a very rich company...

called International Projects Limited.

This young lady is a typical stockholder...

on her way to attend
the annual stockholders' meeting.

If the stockholders cannot attend in person,
they can mail in their proxies...

designating the management
or some other person to vote for them.

It is to the small stockholders,
the backbone of American industry...

that this story is dedicated.

In a moment, you'll see how
a typical stockholders' meeting operates.

The officers of the company
are now entering the meeting room.

They are: Alfred Metcalfe, Vice President.
I wouldn't trust him with a quarter.

Clifford Snell, Vice President and Treasurer.
Him, I wouldn't trust with a dime.

This gentleman is the new head
of the company, John T. Blessington.

President and Chairman of the Board.
Him, not a nickel.

Warren Gillie, Vice President and Secretary.

This crook, even the other three don't trust.

And Edward L. McKeever,
the founder of International Projects.

He's a very honest man.

In fact, he's so honest
he doesn't even have to stop.

And, now, the meeting is about to begin.

Order, please.
The meeting will come to order.

The annual meeting of the stockholders
is hereby declared in session.

Friends, my first duty
as your new chairman...

is a sad one.

I must bid goodbye
to our former President and Chairman...

Edward L. McKeever.

As you know,
the President of the United States...

has asked him to come to Washington where
his brilliant talents will be employed...

by the Department of Defense.

In his 19 years as head of this company...

he has seen it grow
until it now manufactures everything...

from pins to automobiles...

from a nail file to tractors and locomotives.

Edward L. McKeever. Ed.

We, of International Projects family...

have a little gift for you
as a token of our appreciation.

It's this gold master key
which opens every door...

in the International Projects building.

A symbol of the fact
that you are always welcome to return.

Thank you very much.

It's we who should thank you.

Next, we will read
the minutes of the last meeting.

I move we dispense with the reading.

- I second.
- All in favor?

I have proxies here representing
1,400,000 shares of stock.

Speaking for these stockholders,
I say, "Aye."

Any opposed?

We will dispense
with the reading of the minutes.

And now the report of the man
you're really waiting to hear from...

your Treasurer, Mr. Clifford Snell.

Thank you, Jack.

I guess I'm the fellow
you either like or dislike...

depending upon
the size of your dividend checks.

Let's see what we did last year.

You've all been given copies
of our annual report.

Suppose we all
sort of thumb through it together?

Now, here's Page 11 for example. Assets:


Now, I think that's pretty good, don't you?

Let's take a look at Page 32.
That's a good page.

Inventory. Runs through right to Page 50.

And we have: Gross profits, net gains,
salaries, interest charges...

dividend payments, accrued income,
fixed income, amortization...

and Page 172,173,174,175...

all the way through to Page 190: Miscellany.

Well, folks, that's the story.

Thank you, Mr. Snell,
for your intelligent analysis.

Will anyone move for the adoption
of Mr. Snell's report?

- So moved.
- I second.

It has been moved and seconded
that the report be adopted.

If there are any questions,
bring them up now.

I see there aren't any, so we'll vote.

- All in favor?
- Proxies vote "Aye."

Any opposed?

The motion is...

Yes, madam?

My name isn't madam. It's miss.
Miss Laura Partridge.

- Miss Partridge, do you have a question?
- Yes, I do.

It says here that the salary
for the Chairman of the Board...

will be $175,000 next year.

Yes. What is your question?

My question is, "Why?"

As Treasurer,
would you like to answer that one?

Yes, indeed. Happy to oblige.

Could I hear the question again, please?

I don't want anybody to think I'm nosy...

but is it true
that he's going to make $175,000 next year?

I mean, it just seems like
such a lot of money.

I see.

In a company of this size
that is not considered a large salary.

Not a large salary at all.

I believe that answers the question.

It certainly does.

Now, there is a motion...

I hate to be a pest, but what does
the Chairman of the Board do?

I beg your pardon?

What do you do?

Well, as Chairman of the Board,
I preside over the Board.

Oh, I see. Thank you very much.

I'm glad you're satisfied.
We're always happy to...

How often do you do it?

I beg your pardon?

How often do you preside over the Board?

About four times a year, isn't it, Gillie?

Yes. Four times a year,
plus the annual stockholders' meeting.

That's about 10 hours work.

Boy, talk about being overpaid.

One question, Miss Partridge.
Are you a stockholder?

I certainly am.

I own 10 shares outright.

Certificate Number 18973635.

I was just asking, Miss Partridge,
just asking.

- What about you?
- Me?

It says here that you're going to earn...


You don't believe that I'm worth $100,000?

Not if we can get somebody for less.

I hardly think that is a matter...

Can just anybody make a motion?

- Yes.
- Oh, good. Well...

I move that the salaries are too big.

It's not the proper form for a motion.
But, if somebody seconds it...

Do I hear a second
to Miss Partridge's motion?

I second it.

You cannot second your own motion.

Why not? I'm for it.

It's a matter of parliamentary law.

I don't know what they do in Parliament.
I just think the salaries are too big.

- I don't think that you quite...
- I'd like to say something.

Now, it's true that I've resigned
from the company, I've sold all my stock.

I read about that in the paper.

But for a very good reason.

Sure. The Senate made you.

I sold my stock because I wanted
no hint of favoritism...

connected with my work in Washington.

What I'd like you to know,
ladies and gentlemen...

is that I have been associated
with these gentlemen for many years...

and I can assure you
they are worth every cent they're getting.

And if I may,
I would like to move a vote of confidence...

Oh, no. You're out of order!

- I move that this move can't be moved.
- Why not?

Because you're not a stockholder,
so you're unparliamentary.

If you don't mind, I would like to...

Anyway, you're going to Washington.

You're not gonna be worrying about
the company.

No matter where I may be, Miss Partridge,
International Projects...

will always mean a great deal to me.

Then why didn't you pay attention
to the meeting?

I watched you.

You didn't pay attention to anything
but that sandwich you were eating.

You were gulping it down
like an express train.

You're out of order.

If he keeps eating like that,
he'll be out of order.


Miss Partridge, we still have
a lot of business to take care of.

I haven't finished about the salaries yet.

I don't think the directors
should make so much money...

unless they happen to be movie directors,
like Cecil B. DeMille.

And I think we all ought to get together...

and form a kind of stockholders' committee,
or something, to look into...

This meeting is adjourned.

Ladies and gentlemen, this was
not exactly a typical stockholders' meeting.

Well, honest Ed McKeever
was off to Washington...

completely unaware
that his trusted associates were...

Did I tell you they were crooks?

I'd like to repeat it.

Boy, are they crooks.

- Don't worry about a thing.
- Jack, take my advice.

Ralph Riggs is the ideal man
for that vacancy on the Board.

- Shrewd operator.
- I intend to speak to him.

If there's anything else,
you know where to find me.

- We'll call you.
- Don't worry about a thing.

- Well, goodbye.
- Goodbye.

- Have a good trip.
- Goodbye.

Goodbye, Ed.

I'll meet you at the car.


I almost didn't recognize you
with your hat on.

- Yes.
- Laura Partridge?

- From the meeting, remember?
- Vividly.

It was a wonderful meeting, wasn't it?

Oh, yes, wonderful. Miss!

Oh, I hope you understand.

I didn't mean anything personal,
about you and the sandwich.

I just thought it would be bad for you.

- Thanks.
- Yes, sir?

Something you want?

Bicarbonate of soda.

I bet the government is paying you
a terrific salary...

to get you to leave International Project.

As a matter of fact,
I'm working for a dollar a year.

It's quite a cut, isn't it?

You know, this was
my first stockholders' meeting.

- I didn't know it could be so exciting.
- They usually aren't.

Why, what was different about this one?

- You.
- What did I do?

I only asked a few questions.

After all, I think more people
ought to take an interest.

- No, please don't.
- It's perfectly all right.

- Please don't pay for it.
- Don't mention it.

- Thank you.
- You're welcome.

Tell me, do you own stock
in any other companies...

or does International Projects
have you all to itself?

Oh, no. I only own International Projects.

My landlady thought I ought to
sell the stock and buy government bonds.

But I did a little investigating
and I found out...

that International Projects refrigerators...

cost $80 more than any other refrigerator.

So I figured that any company
that overcharged like that...

must be making lots of money.

Miss Partridge, you're remarkable.
I've enjoyed meeting you.

- Me, too.
- Goodbye.

I'd drop you off,
only I'm on my way to the airport.

- That's all right. I'll be fine.
- Good.

Which way are you going?

- Which way are we going?
- 59th Street Bridge, sir.

59th Street Bridge.

If you took the Triborough Bridge
you'd go right past my house.

- But the Triborough costs a quarter.
- It does?

- Well, I think we can swing that. Hop in.
- Thank you.

Just tell George
where you want him to stop.

549 East 86th Street, please.

- Very good, miss.
- This is very nice of you.

It's nothing. I want to add a few things
to that memo to the department heads...

Especially after the meeting.

That's your prerogative,
you're a stockholder.

I sure am.

How did you happen to buy
International Projects?

I didn't buy it. I was given it in a will.

You see, this man, Mr. Tobey,
he used to live next door to me...

and when he was sick
I used to play checkers with him...

and sometimes
I'd make him a little soup or something.

And, then, when he died...

he left me Mirabelle, his cat,
and these shares in International Projects.

- That was nice of him.
- You were saying, sir?

Yes, I want to get immediate estimates
on base installation equipment...

from Jones Thompson, Williamson,
Transcontinental Corp...

I worked for them.

- Who?
- Transcontinental.

I demonstrated a stove on television.

"Try this Transcontinental gas range...

"with the ever-loving oven."

You're an actress.

Well, if you want to call it acting.

No, but I am an actress.
But not just television.

- The stage is my field.
- Really? Are you in anything now?

Well, at the moment
I'm in menswear at Bloomingdale's.

Just part-time.

Show business is a little slow,
anyway for me.

You know, I'm a very unusual type.

Yes. Well, aren't there
a lot of little theaters off-Broadway...

you know groups...

Sure. I used to belong to one last year,
The Young Shakespeareans.

You know what they did?
Nothing but Shakespeare.

Do you like Shakespeare?

- I've read a lot of it.
- Take my advice, don't play it.

It's so tiring.

They never let you sit down
unless you're a king.

So then after that I played summer stock
in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

The whole company lived in one house.
We ate nothing but fish.

But I played some small parts,
painted scenery, cleaned fish.

But I did get to meet Josh Logan,
and I went up to him one day and said:

"Mr. Logan, I'd like to be
in something of yours."

And he said... Well, here's my house.

- He said that?
- No, I said it.

This is where I live.

Thanks very much for the...

Excuse me.

Thanks very much for the ride.

It was a pleasure talking to you,
and good luck in your career.

Thank you. And good luck in Washington.

- Hello, Miss Partridge.
- Hello, Mrs. Ryan.

That's my landlady.
She'll be so impressed with this car.

Yes, well, it was a real pleasure,
Miss Partridge.

It was a real pleasure for me, too.
Well, goodbye.


Don't worry about the company.

I'm going to attend every single meeting.

I'm going to look after things.

I'm sure the Board of Directors
will be most appreciative.

I hope so.


Where were you, Miss Partridge?
To a funeral?

You know, in a way,
I'm almost sorry to be going to Washington.

I think I'm going to miss all the fun.

Well, McKeever was right.
He did miss a lot of fun.

Certainly Laura Partridge had fun
attending all the meetings.

But the directors were not amused.

Those boys were a bad audience.

Miss Partridge, you're out of order!

If that girl comes to one more meeting...

I tell you, Jack, we've got to do something
about this woman.

- Don't worry, Clifford.
- Don't worry?

She's interfering with every plan
we've made.

Did you hear her when I announced
we were voting ourselves bonuses?

She practically called us crooks.

You know, I wouldn't put it past her
to form that stockholders' committee.

- Oh, dear, don't mention that.
- She keeps threatening to.

And at a time like this.

Boys, I'm aware of the situation,
and I have it well in hand.

Any minute now
our problems will be solved.

- I'd like to see Mr. Blessington.
- Mr. Blessington?

- Who shall I say is calling?
- You shall say Laura Partridge.

If you have a solution,
you should let us in on it.

After all, this calls for drastic...

- Yeah?
- Miss Laura Partridge is here.

- She's here?
- Send her right in.

- Yes, sir.
- Send her in?

What's she here for?

I sent for her.

You're out of your mind.

Miss Partridge doesn't know it yet,
but I'm going to hire her.

You're what?

There's one rule in business:
If you can't crush them, join them.

If you can't kill them, acquire them.
We can't kill Miss Partridge.

How do we know until we've tried?

Look, boys,
we won't have to keep her forever...

just until the quarterly meeting is over.

You don't want her around,
asking questions...

when we bring up that stock option deal,
do you?

Miss Partridge.

Miss Partridge, how nice of you to come.

- Gentlemen, you all know Miss Partridge.
- Yes. How do you do?

On your call to Mr. McKeever...

- I can't reach him.
- Keep trying, it's important.

Are you going to speak to Mr. McKeever?
How is he?

- I don't know. We haven't heard from him.
- He must be very busy.

Yes, very busy indeed, passing out
defense contracts to all our competitors.

Everybody's getting business from him
but us.

We're here to talk about you, Miss Partridge.

- I imagine you were surprised to...
- Jack, there must be something I can do.

I've been in there for...

- I'm sorry, I didn't know you were busy.
- That's all right, Harry.

Miss Partridge, this is Mr. Harry Harkness...

a new member of our Board of Directors.
Harry, this is Miss Partridge.

- So nice to know you.
- How do you do?

Don't stockholders elect new directors?

We intend to present him for approval
at the next meeting.

Good. Not that I don't think
you're qualified...

What are your qualifications?

You understand that's nothing personal.

It's just that I don't think
we should hire a pig in a poke.

Miss Partridge, we will discuss
Mr. Harkness' qualifications at the meeting.

I'd be very happy to tell Miss Partridge
my qualifications.

For three years running...

I've taken second place
in the Bermuda Yacht Races.

I'm on the Board of
the New York Polo Association.

Took Best of Breed at the Westminster.

If there's anything else,
just ask my brother-in-law.

- Who's your brother-in-law?
- Why, Jack Blessington.

Now, we're wasting a lot of time,
and getting away from the real business...

of this particular meeting.

Have a chair, Harry.

Miss Partridge, I'll come right to the point.

At the stockholders' meetings...

you've been showing
a lot of intelligent interest...

in the operations of our company.

We're so delighted with your grasp
of the company's problems...

that we'd like you
to be more closely associated with us.

How would you like to come and work here?


What kind of work would I do?

Well, it would be sort of general work.

Nothing really specific,
but you would be in charge of it.

That sounds very interesting.

And you could also help a lot...

in getting goodwill for the company
from other small stockholders like yourself.

I'd like that.

I've never worked in an office before.

I can only type with one finger.

You'd have a secretary.

A secretary.

Oh, well, if you really want me.

We're very anxious to have you.
Aren't we, gentlemen?


What salary would you pay for this job?

Clifford, that's your department.

Well, shall we say $75 a week?

I think we could do a little better.

Suppose we say $100,
do you think that's too much?

No, I guess it's not too much.

Well, if that's not too much,
then I'd like $125.

$125 it is.

And you can start tomorrow.
It'll be a pleasure to have you with us.

- Thank you.
- Welcome to the firm.

- Same here.
- Thank you.

Miss Partridge, glad to have you aboard.

- Aye, aye, sir.
- Goodbye, Miss Partridge.

And, so, just like Cinderella,
Laura went to the party.

I know to you folks
it's just another job in an office...

but believe me, she's going to have a ball.

Miss Shotgraven,
I want to emphasize one thing.

Even though Miss Partridge
is to be employed by this company...

we want her activity to be very, very slight.

It will be your duty as her secretary
to see to it that she does little or nothing.

- Even that may be too much.
- I understand, Mr. Snell.

If you see or hear anything unusual,
I want you to be sure to report it to me.

Here we are, Miss Partridge.
This is your office.

- Good morning, Miss Partridge.
- Good morning.

And this is your secretary,
Miss Amelia Shotgraven.

- How do you do?
- Well, how do you like it?

It's very nice.
Of course, I couldn't expect anything...

- as big as your office, not right away.
- No, not right away.

I never got billing before.

- Let me help you.
- I'll take your coat.

- Well, here I am.
- You certainly are.

Yes, indeed.

- Now, make yourself right at home.
- I will.

I like coffee.

- Well, we'd better plug it in.
- Yes.

- There's a plug under the desk on the floor.
- Good.

If I have the coffee right here...

then I don't have to be running out
all the time...

and I can just concentrate on business.


I take it black.

- Now I'm ready to start work.
- Good.

- Good luck, Miss Partridge.
- Thank you.

Goodbye. Wait a minute.
What am I supposed to do?

Yes. I'm sorry.

We've decided to make you
Director of Stockholder Relations.

What's that?

Those small stockholders we talked about,
like yourself.

It will be your job to keep them happy,
make friends for the company.

Will they be coming in here?

No, but occasionally they write letters...

and when they do,
they'll be turned over to you to answer.

That'll be fun.

We thought you'd be pleased.

Good luck.
We're so happy to have you with us.

- Thank you. Goodbye.
- Goodbye.

- Come again.
- Yes.

Well, to work.
Where are the letters from the stockholders?

Hey, I've always wanted
one of these merry-go-round chairs.

- What's that?
- Your Dictaphone.

Whenever I'm busy, instead of dictating
to me personally you use that...

- then I transcribe it later.
- How do I do it?

Well, you turn this...

and press this. Now say something.

- What'll I say?
- Anything.

All right.

Peter Piper picked
a peck of pickled peppers. Come in.

If Peter Piper picked
a peck of pickled peppers...

then where's the peck of pickled peppers
Peter Piper picked?

- Mr. Jenkins.
- How do you do?

- How do you do?
- Mr. Jenkins is our office manager.

- I hope you're comfortable.
- Very comfortable.

I have some things for you.

This is the key to...
This is your employee's identification card.

Thank you.

- Your group insurance card.
- Thank you.

Your membership in the dining room...

your membership in the Welfare Club,
your withholding tax form...

your social security form...

and your key to the washroom.

Thank you.

I'm sure you'll have no trouble
as long as Amelia's taking care of you.

I know.

Amelia's the most efficient girl
we have here.

Thank you, Mr. Jenkins.

- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.

- Goodbye, Amelia.
- Good morning, Mr. Jenkins.

You like him, don't you?

I beg your pardon?

You like him.

Shall we begin?


Where are the letters from the stockholders?

- There are no letters.
- Mr. Blessington...

He said if any should come in
you would get them.

What am I supposed to do, just wait?

Well, perhaps there are some other letters
you would like to dictate?


- Can I ask you a question?
- Of course.

Do you always wear your hair that way?

- Yes, I do.
- Well, it's easy to fix.

Mr. Jenkins seems like a nice man.
How long have you known him?

I don't understand
why you're so interested in Mr. Jenkins.

I'm not interested in him, you are.

I think you're stuck on him.
Why don't you tell him?

If he knew you liked him,
he'd fall apart like a soggy donut.

Miss Partridge, I'd prefer
to keep our relationship on a business level.

I'm here purely as your secretary.

I'm sorry.

Now, who can I write a letter... I know.

- Dear Jimmy.
- To whom is this going?

To Jimmy.

May I have his full name and address?

That's his only name,
I don't know his other name.

And I don't know his address.

- Then how will this reach him?
- Through the milk bottle.

Dear Jimmy.

I would like you to leave two quarts
of Grade A milk tomorrow...

and a quarter of a pound of butter...

as I am no longer just working off and on...

but have accepted a position
as an executive.

Thank you. Signed: Laura Partridge.

- Mr. McKeever's coming on.
- They've finally gotten hold of him.

It's about time.

Hello, Ed?

- He's coming on now.
- Be nice to him.

- Nice? Nothing. Give him the facts.
- Don't you worry, I will.

- Hello, that you, Ed?
- Yeah, this is me.

Gosh, it's nice to hear your voice again.

We're just sitting around in your old office...

Cliff, Al, Warren, Harry.

- Harry Harkness.
- What do you want with that idiot?

Fine, Ed, fine. I'll tell him you said hello.

Jack, I haven't got time to play games.

I'll be up in New York in a week or so
for some hearings.

We can talk then,
unless it's something that can't wait.

Now, look, Ed, I want to talk to you now.

That was quite a picture of you
on the cover of Newsweek.

- Very impressive...
- For heaven's sake, let me talk to him.

Hello, McKeever, this is Cliff Snell.
We can't understand...

why we haven't been awarded
any new government contracts this year.

Naturally, we don't want you
to be obvious in favoring your old firm...

Have you ever heard of
the United States Senate?

Why should we be penalized
because you go to Washington?

It should be the other way around.
And if you... Hello?

He hung up. He wouldn't even listen.

Old Ed can be pretty stubborn.

I think it's disgraceful
how little he cares for this company.

It's the truth. We're the only ones
that have any loyalty or integrity.

Let's go to lunch.

Wait a minute, chaps.

All right, let's go.

Well, Laura proved to be a fine employee.

Every morning she arrived early,
her pencils sharpened...

her paper out, her secretary on tap...

then she'd sit there for eight hours
trying to think of something to do.

Dear Mother.
Well, Mother, I still like my job...

comma, but up to now
I really haven't had very much to do.

However, I do have a plan...

that should keep me a lot busier
from now on.

Hello, Amelia.

Hey, you look wonderful.

What's the matter?

Mr. Jenkins.

I ran in to him in the hallway.
He asked me to go to lunch.

- Did he really?
- I wonder why he suddenly...

Well, you know, these things
sometimes just happen like that.

Amelia, how can I get hold
of some of the names of the stockholders?

Well, we have a stockholders list.

Good. Would you get it for me, please?

I'm really not supposed to.

Come on, Amelia. We changed your hair,
we can change a lot of things around here.

All right.

Maine, Maryland, New York...

Rhode Island, Texas.

We ought to get somebody from Texas.
That's a big state.

The people there must be very lonely.

- I don't quite...
- Miss Emily Woodbury.

That's a nice friendly-sounding name.

Twenty five shares. That's good.

- Amelia, take a letter.
- To a stockholder?

Why not? I'm tired of waiting
for stockholders to write to me.

- Why can't I write to them for a change?
- Well...

Anyway, Mr. Blessington
said to make friends for the company.

It's sort of irregular,
but if you say so, Miss Partridge.

Dear Mrs. Woodbury.

My name is Laura Partridge...

and I am a woman, just like you are...

except that from your name being Mrs.,
you are probably married.

I am not married as yet
because of my job as a career woman.

I work here at International Projects...

Excellent. That's what I call advertising.

- I'm glad you like it, Mr. Blessington.
- Real sound advertising.

Say, Jack, I want to talk to you. What's this?

Part of our new advertising campaign.

- Do we make bathing suits?
- It's not for bathing suits, it's for...

Miss L'Arriere, tell Mr. Harkness the slogan.

I had my swimming pool dug by
an International Projects steam shovel.

It's a darling shovel.

See? It's an ad for our steam shovels.

Then why don't you show a steam shovel?

Because nobody would want to look
at a steam shovel.

Thank you, Miss L'Arriere.
Let's see the next one.

I want to tell you something.
I think you'll be pleased by it.

We've been having trouble with a little outfit
called the Apex Clock Company.

It seems that they've...

Not now, Harry. We'll talk about that later.

- Very good.
- What's the slogan for this one?

My train is pulled
by an International Projects diesel engine.

That's why I'm such a happy engineer.

- Excellent.
- Jack, did you know...

- I hear McKeever's in town.
- That's right. He's going to drop in on us.

Thank you. Let's see the next one.

We're gonna have to put it to McKeever
this time.

Do you know what our corporate earnings
are gonna look like?

We've just got to
get some government contracts.

Ed will come through for us.
I've known him for 20 years.

I'm glad you have confidence in him.

Now, what are we going to do
about Laura Partridge?

- We've taken care of Miss Partridge.
- "We've taken care of Miss Partridge."

Do you know that she cost us
$300 last week in postage?

$300 a week?

She's writing hundreds of letters
to all the stockholders.

I didn't tell her to write to them.
I said if any letters came in...

She's not waiting for them to come in.

Have you read the letters? What's in them?

I've seen some of them. Things like,
"How are you, how's your family...

"do you have any suggestions?"
Stuff like that.

It sounds harmless enough.

Harmless? We don't want suggestions
from the stockholders.

I'm afraid of all these letters. It's not safe.

What can we do about it? We can't fire her.

We can take her secretary away from her.
We can do that.

Let her try writing 600 letters a day by hand
and see how she likes it.

Where did she get the stockholders list?

I don't know. I'm going to find out, though.

This is Mr. Snell. Tell Miss Shotgraven
to come to my office immediately.

I'll meet her there.

What's she supposed to be?

Tell him the slogan, Miss L'Arriere.

I am a typical
International Projects stockholder.

Typical stockholder. I wish she were.
Laura Partridge.

You let me know when McKeever gets here.

Thank you, Miss L'Arriere.
That will be all for now.

Jack, I was telling you something.

Yes, Harry?

What you said last week about getting rid
of competition really impressed me.

Thank you, Harry.

I found out we were taking a trimming from
a clock manufacturer up in New England.

Apex Electric Clock Company,
Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

What about Apex Clock?

I felt they were hurting our Western Clock
Company, so I forced them out.

I undersold them by 50%,
and I kept on doing it until they cried uncle.

And, yesterday, they went into bankruptcy.

Apex Clock.
You forced them into bankruptcy?


Promise me
you won't say a word about this to anyone...

until we've straightened it out.

Why? I'm kind of proud of it.

Harry, you idiot. If this gets out, it'll ruin us.

Apex Clock is one of our own companies.
It belongs to us.

For the out basket, Distribution A.

Amelia, are you ready for lunch?

No, I have to go to Mr. Snell's office first.
He sent for me. I don't know what he...

I've been dying to talk to you, Amelia.
She wants to meet you tonight.

She wants me to bring you over for dinner,
my mother.

Your mother?

What's happened to the discipline
around here?

Hello. How are you, Mark?

Good to see you, Mr. McKeever.
You look well.

You look like
you're doing pretty well yourself.

- Excuse me. I have to see Blessington.
- Let me show you...

- I know. It's my old office, remember?
- Yeah.

Amelia, would you please type this for me
before you go to lunch?

Laura, I have to see Mr. Snell.

- What do you want to see him for?
- I don't know. He just said...

- Miss Partridge.
- It's you.

Yes, it's me, but you.

It's me, too.

Mr. McKeever, I'm so glad...

Come here, I've got to show you something.

Never mind, Amelia, I'll see you later.

See you here at 6:00.


- What do...
- Wait till you see the inside.

Very nice.

This is a happy surprise.
I thought you were in Washington.

I came for some government hearings,
and I promised the boys I'd drop in.

- Sit down.
- I only have a second.

- Sit down anyway.
- All right.

I don't understand this.
I mean, what do you do?

I am Director of Stockholder Relations.

- Director of...
- Right.

I write letters to the stockholders
telling them about the company...

- and they write me back.
- That's quite an idea.

Who hired you
and what happened to your acting career?

- What... Would you like some coffee?
- I'm due in Blessington's office.

- How about a sandwich?
- No, really.

It's delicious.
It's peanut butter and smoked salmon.

I make it myself.

- No, just some coffee. Black, no sugar.
- All right.

How did this all come about?

Well, do you remember
that first meeting I went to?

I remember.

I enjoyed that meeting so much
that I went to lots of other meetings.

I'm sure.

And then pretty soon,
they just became so impressed...

with my intelligent grasp
of the company's business...

and by the questions that I asked,
that they offered me a job.

Smartest thing they could do.

What do you mean by that?

Nothing. I think it's a great idea.
Very important.

I've always felt we neglected
the small stockholders.

- Always wanted to do something for them.
- You did?

Certainly I did, and this personal touch
is just what we needed.

You know, it's fascinating work.

You have no idea
of the problems that come up.

And the questions that I have to answer.

Look at this letter. Listen to this:

"Dear Miss Partridge, thanks for writing me.
I have a problem.

"I have 10 shares
of International Projects stock...

"and my sister-in-law just bought 20 shares
of the same stock.

"Would you advise me to buy some more?
Yours truly, Maybelle Rogers."

Now what would you answer her?

- Well, l...
- Go ahead.

You were once head of the company.
What would you tell her?

I'd advise her to buy more stock because
of the soundness of the corporate set-up...

and the prospects of future earnings.
It's very simple.

It's all wrong.

That's not right for a little lady stockholder.

This is what I wrote her.

"Dear Mrs. Rogers,
in answer to your question...

"I think you should buy
10 more shares of stock...

"because if your sister-in-law
has more stock than you...

"she will be impossible.

"Also, it's a very good investment.
Yours truly, Laura Partridge."

- See?
- I think I do.

I took care of that Shotgraven woman.

- Miss Shotgraven, the stockholders list.
- Yes, good.

- Did you hear from McKeever yet?
- Not yet.

He should have been here by now.
I can't imagine...

I'll wait.
I want to be here when you talk to him.

You'd better get the others in here, too.

I wish he'd hurry.
I have an important luncheon engagement.

Yes, I know.

Even if I didn't have, I'm hungry.

- Smoked salmon and peanut butter. Not bad.
- It's a little different.

It's a little sticky, too.

Just a minute.
Sorry, I don't have any napkins.

- I left out the mayonnaise, too.
- You know, I never noticed it.

Do you bring your own lunch everyday?

I'm flattered.

You're the first cover of Newsweek
I ever met personally.

And most people have a picture of their wife
and children on their desk...

and I don't have a wife and children.

I'm certainly flattered. Really, I am.

It was a wonderful article
they wrote about you.

- Made you sound so important and busy.
- I am busy.

Only thing, it was hard for me
to figure out what you were busy at.

Me, too. Most of my time is spent in Senate
Committee rooms answering questions.

What kind of questions?

Mainly they want to know
why I'm not getting things done.

Why aren't you getting things done?

Because I'm always at the Senate
answering questions.

They giving you a hard time?

Not really.
It's just that Washington's different.

The minute
a guy tries to throw his weight around...

there are 10 guys ready to stop him.

You know, the big man stuff
doesn't go too well down there.

Actually, though,
in a way, it's been good for me...

really has.

You're a nice man, McKeever,
a really nice man.

Well, thank you, Miss Partridge.

- And you know, you're nice-looking, too.
- Come, now.

Sure you are.
Listen, this could be a picture of an actor.

It's a picture of just what I am.
An ex-grease monkey who got lucky.

No, this could be...

William Holden.

I think your eyes have gone back on you.

It's funny, though, you saying
that it could be a picture of an actor...

because when I was a kid
I thought I'd give it a whirl.

- The theater, I mean.
- What happened?

I don't know.
All of a sudden I was a businessman.

- Gee, just like me.
- That's right.

People used to say I was pretty good
for an amateur.

I did recitations on Friday afternoons
in school.

There was one piece I had, they used
to applaud like anything when I finished.

Spartacus to the Gladiators.

- What?
- That's the name of the piece.

Spartacus to the Gladiators
by Elijah Kellogg.

You know, I still remember it.

"Ye call me chief..."

It's funny, things that stick in your mind.

- Would you like to hear me do it?
- Sure.

Of course, you know, if you don't like it,
just say so and I'll stop.

I haven't done it for years, you know.
Not since I was a boy.

I know, go ahead. Go on.

Spartacus to the Gladiators.

"Ye call me chief,
and ye do well to call me chief...

"who for twelve long years
has met in the arena every shape of man...

"and beast the broad Empire of Rome
could furnish...

"and never yet has lowered his arm.

"But I was not always thus,
the savage chief of still more savage men.

"My early life ran quiet
as the brook by which I sported...

"and when, at noon, I had gathered
the sheep beneath the shade...

"and played upon my shepherd's flute,
there was a friend...

"the son of a neighbor,
who joined me in my pastime.

"That night
the Romans landed on our coast.

"And I saw the bleeding body of my father...

"cast upon the burning rafters
of our dwelling.

"Today in the arena I killed a man.

"And when I broke
his helmet clasp, behold...

"it was my boyhood friend.

"He knew me...

"smiled faintly, gasped, and died.

"I told the praetor
that man had been my friend.

"I begged the body that I might bear it
away and burn it on the funeral pyre...

"and mourn over it in silence.
Aye, amid the dust of the arena...

"did I beg this poor boon.

"The praetor drew away from me
as though I were pollution...

"and sternly said, 'Let the carrion rot.

"'There are no noblemen but Romans."'

What did you think?


- No good?
- I wouldn't say that.

You mean you liked it?

I wouldn't say that either.

I wanted you to be honest.

Don't feel bad.
After all, you're Edward L. McKeever.

That's a wonderful thing to be.

I wouldn't want you to be some actor
named Rock McKeever or something.

You know...

all of a sudden I have a feeling
I want to kiss you.

You do?

I'm sorry. What an idea,
wanting to kiss you in your office.

It's all right. I'm on my lunch hour.

I have to see the boys.

Amelia, is Mr. McKeever married?


Amelia, what's the matter?
Are you in trouble?

Bad trouble?

Who's the man?

Mark Jenkins.

It's all my fault.
I made you change your hair.

Maybe if we could make it go back
the way it was...

No, it isn't Mark Jenkins. It's Mr. Snell.

- Mr. Snell!
- Yes.

- Did you tell him?
- Tell him what?

- About your condition.
- What condition?

What... You mean you're not...

Laura, how could you think such a thing?

Amelia, where I come from...

when a girl says she's in trouble,
she's in trouble.

Oh, no.

No, you have it all wrong.

All right, Amelia,
what did Mr. Snell do to you?

He fired me.
He fired me, and now Mark and I...

We were going to be married.
Now we can't afford it.

- Mark has to support his mother.
- Why did he fire you?

Because... I'm so ashamed.

Come on, Amelia.
Pull your head together. Tell me about it.

Laura, I was put in here to spy on you.

They hired you only to keep you from
upsetting these stockholders' meetings.

You weren't supposed to do anything.

You must have sensed that.


I don't get suspicious of people
if they're nice to me.

I wanted to say something
but you were so happy in your work.

Smartest thing they could do.

Amelia, I want to write one more letter.

- Take it down, please. It's a memo.
- What kind of a memo?

It's from Laura Partridge
to Mr. Clifford Snell.

Dear Mr. Snell... Make that "Mr. Snell."

- I'm resigning from the company...
- You don't have to resign...

Take it down, Amelia.

I am resigning from your company
as of here and now.

My reason for doing this...

is because I no longer wish to work
with such mean, unethical people as you.

Kindest regards, Laura Partridge.

Laura, you don't have to resign
just because they fired me.

This is a very rich company.

You can just sit here
and collect your paycheck every week.

Type it up, Amelia.

I still can't understand your attitude.

Boys, that's it. I won't discuss it anymore.

No one can accuse you
of making any personal profit.

- You've sold your stock.
- Let's not go over it again.

I don't think it's right
and I'm not going to do it.

Now if you'll excuse me,
I have an appointment.

I don't think you're being fair, Ed,
not fair at all.

I mean, here we are working hard
for the company day and night...

For heaven's sake, Jack,
when are we going to lunch?

Day and night?

Amelia, I got the craziest letter.
Listen to this:

"I'm writing to you again so soon
because the strangest thing has happened.

"My husband lost his job
after 22 years with the same company.

"Everyone at the factory is saying
it was International Projects...

"that forced them out of business.

"The strange part is that only two years ago,
International Projects bought..."

Does International Projects
own something called Apex Electric Clock?

As a matter of fact...

- Look it up.
- I'll check.

"...two years ago International Projects
bought Apex Electric Clock.

"Why would they do a thing like this
to their own company...

"is what I want to know.
Please answer as soon as possible."

It is our company, all right.
Here it is in our directory.

How could they do a thing like that?

What am I saying?
Of course they could do a thing like that.

Boy, what I could do with this
at a stockholders' meeting.

Mr. Snell.

- Where is my resignation?
- In Mr. Snell's box.

- Get it back.
- I can't, it's locked.

- Break it open. Get a hatchet.
- Laura, you're staying.

Of course, I'm staying. Somebody's
got to keep an eye on these big geniuses.

I want to speak to Mr. Snell, please.

Gone for the day?

It's pretty early
for him to be waltzing out, isn't it?

Yes, you can take a message.

This is Laura Partridge.
The message is, "Who does he think he is...

"and where does he get off
firing my secretary?"

And you tell him I want to see him
first thing in the morning!

And he better have those
four other dummies with him. Whoops.

All right then, gentlemen,
we understand each other...

Miss Shotgraven gets her job back.

Miss Shotgraven gets a raise.

I get all the postage I need
for writing to the stockholders...

and you'll never put another
of our companies out of business.

Laura, how many form letters
for Women No. 8's do you think we'll need?

I think about 1,000 will do it.
Amelia, take a letter, please.

Colonel William B. Butler...

17 Ashton Street, Natchez, Mississippi.

My dear Colonel,
I was mighty pleased to hear from you...

It's ridiculous.
She has a bigger office staff than I have.

It's ridiculous.
She has a bigger office staff than I have.

$800 last week on postage.

The stationery bill was just...

No telling what awful things
she's been writing in those letters.

You and your brother-in-law.

Clifford, don't let's start on Harry again.

You should have thrown him out
on his foolish face.

Cliff, you know how my wife
is about her darling baby brother.

I've been having enough trouble with her
as it is.

- Why don't you try staying home nights?
- No, he'd rather keep Harry.

I just can't do anything about Harry now.

You're going to have to do something
about Laura Partridge!

Yes. We can't have her around here
any longer, snooping and prying.

- Couldn't we send her someplace?
- Say, he's got something there.

Maybe we could send her
on a tour of the plants or something.

Hello, chaps.

We could send her
to one of our other companies.

- We've got a cannery in Alaska.
- Unless Harry decided to close it, too.

Let's be serious for a moment, Clifford.

Now, I do think you fellows
have an interesting idea.

Miss Partridge might enjoy working
in the field for awhile.

- The problem is where to send her.
- I could use a drink.

I wish you fellows
would drink your own stuff.

My expense account
is beginning to look outrageous.

Yes. $1,175 last month. I checked it myself.

Who told you to stick your nose
into my business?

I'm the treasurer, remember?

Yes. We all got to watch our expenses
this coming quarter.

If McKeever doesn't get us contracts,
there'll be a lot of other cutting down here.

You know, Jack, I was thinking.

It seems to me that if you went down
to Washington and saw him personally...

- That's it.
- You mean you'll go?

- Not me. We'll send Laura Partridge.
- What?

We'll ask her to go to Washington
and appeal to McKeever...

for some orders
on behalf of the small stockholders.

- Just a minute, Jack.
- Say, Jack, that's good.

You know that woman's
liable to talk him into it.

He always spoke of doing something
for the small stockholder.

- Do you suppose she'll go?
- Why not?

She's beefing about how the cut
in the dividend is hurting her stockholders.

Here's her chance to do something for them.

We'll give her an expense account,
let her buy herself some clothes and things.

She'll go.

It's not a bad idea. I hate to admit it, Jack,
but it's not a bad idea at all.

Thank you, Clifford.
Now get me Miss Partridge, please.

There's only one flaw
in sending Miss Partridge to Washington.

- What's that?
- She'll be back.

So we'll send her someplace else,
like you suggested, Warren...

on a tour of the plants, as Ambassador
of Goodwill from the home office.

- She could tour the country.
- And our foreign branches.

She could be gone for years.

Hello, Miss Partridge?
This is Mr. Blessington.

Hello, Mr. Blessington.

Miss Partridge,
I'd like to see you this afternoon...

if you don't mind.

The Board of Directors
have decided to entrust you...

with a very important and delicate mission.

A mission? What kind of a mission?

It would be sort of ambassador...

like Clare Boothe Luce.

So Laura flew to Washington to help
her company and the small stockholders...

and incidentally, to take another crack
at her Prince Charming.

He was having troubles of his own
at the Pentagon.

Not all his own,
the Senate was helping a little.

- Get me Harrington on the private line.
- Yes, Mr. McKeever.

McKeever. Joe? Oh, General.

I'm sorry. General, I'll call you back.

McKeever. Joe?
I've been expecting to hear from you.

What? I can't let you
know on the equipment...

until I hear from the Senate
about the new appropriation.

How do I know? If I can wait, so can you.

- What have you got?
- Maj. Gen. Beckley called...

Tell him it's okay.

The French Ambassador
asked about Thursday.

Tender my regrets.

Then some personal calls.
I didn't know if you'd want to talk.

- Mr. Wilkins?
- No.

- Mr. Hanover?
- No.

- General Aldrich?
- No.

- Madame Dupont?
- No.

Miss Laura Partridge.
Harry Walker, Prince Michael...

- Agnes Wilkinson.
- Wait a minute.

- What was that name?
- Agnes Wilkinson.

No, before that.

- Prince Michael.
- No.

- Harry Walker?
- No.

- Miss Laura Partridge?
- That's it. When did she call?

She's called three times.

- From New York?
- No, she's here in Washington.

She's been trying to see you,
didn't say why.

Told her it'd be at least two weeks.
I knew you wouldn't want to see her.

What do you mean you knew
I wouldn't want to see Miss Partridge?

Why ever would you?

I don't know, but see if you can find her.
Never mind. McKeever.

What? Now wait a minute.

I did not say the Ambassador is a baboon.
I simply stated...

that I thought the country
would be better represented by a baboon.

All right, so I'm tactless!


Williams! What is it?

- Sen. Simpkins is here, and...
- Send him in.

You may go in, Senator.

- Hope I'm not disturbing you, Ed.
- Not at all, Senator.

This lady's been trying to see you
so I brought her.

Hello, Mr. McKeever.

Your secretary kept saying you weren't here.

I remembered you told me
the Senate was always dragging you there.

So I went over there. But you weren't there.

Then I asked Sen. Simpkins
if he could help me find you...

and he took me back over here
and it turns out here you are, here.

I'm glad you're here.

Thank you for bringing her over.

No trouble at all, Ed.
I was going to drop over anyway.

We may have good news for you
on that appropriation very shortly.

- Yes, but when?
- Don't know. You have to be a little...

- I know, patient.
- Yeah, that's it. You're catching on.

- Goodbye, Miss Partridge.
- Goodbye, Senator. Thank you.

It was my pleasure.

You know, Ed,
this little lady certainly has a way with her.


Won't you sit down?

Thank you.

He's a nice man, the Senator,
but your secretary...

He's trying to protect me.

He doesn't have to protect you against me.

He doesn't know that.
And I'm not so sure about it myself.

- I guess you're surprised to see me.
- I certainly am.

Excuse me. McKeever.

No, I can't give you the NATO on dato...

the dato on NATA, the data on NATO.


These phones. Where were we?

You said...

No, I said, were you surprised to see me...

and you said you certainly am.

I was hoping to talk to you again...

because the last time I saw you, I...

- It was an abrupt departure.
- It was abrupt. You ran like a thief.

Miss Partridge, you see,
I'm a businessman...

and all my life
I've concentrated on business.

Now, this has necessarily forced me...

to devote more of my time to some things
and less to others.

- You understand?
- Sure. You're scared of girls.

Miss Partridge, I'm a very busy man.

If you're here on business,
state your business.

All right, I'll state my business.
The Board of Directors of International...

- What's "aha"?
- The Board of Directors. That explains it.

They sent you down here, didn't they?

Sent you to get business for the company.

That's a nasty thing.
A young girl comes to Washington...

to try and get an innocent, honest
businessman to do something unethical...

to entice him with her wiles.

My wiles. I didn't try to use
one single, solitary wile on you.

Then what are you all dressed up for?

- I'm not dressed up. It's just an old rag.
- It's brand-new and expensive, too.

- You came here as a temptress to tempt me.
- I did not.

And that's a new perfume, too.
What's the name of it?

- Temptation.
- I thought so.

- New hat, shoes. Where'd they come from?
- Okay, the company...

The company. They outfitted you in silks
and perfumes to break down my morale.

They sent Delilah to call on Samson.
You're here to give me a haircut!

- You're crazy!
- Go ahead.

Go ahead what?

Why are you afraid?
You said I'm scared of girls.

You want business? So go ahead.

Break down my morale!
Tamper with my ethics!

All right!

There. I tampered with your ethics, okay?

Miss Partridge,
I just can't give you any business.

I don't want any business.

- You don't want any?
- I do, but the way things are, I don't.

I don't follow you.

The Board of Directors said
they sent me down here to get business...

but the real reason
was to get me out of the office.

But the really real reason that I came down...

was to get you to do something.


I want you to come back
and take over International Projects again.

- You what?
- We really need you.

The little stockholders...


What? Say that again.

Yes, Senator, you were right.
Yeah, you were right.

Thank you.

Yes, sir.

Our appropriation came through.

Release all those contracts
we've been holding.

- Laura, you brought me luck.
- I did?

If you knew what I've been going through
trying to get this finalized.

- You mean it's done?
- Done? It calls for a celebration.

- It certainly does.
- I'll show you the town.

I'd like to see it, too.
All I've seen so far is the Senate.

- Lf your job here is finished, then...
- Let's leave.

That means there's no reason
why you can't come back to the company.

I don't want to talk about the company.
Let's do the town.

Now, what's the first thing you'd like to see?

I'd like to see the Senate.

- Sure you want to see the Senate?
- Yes, I want to...

- But all those steps?
- Come on.

And so, gentlemen, this project,
as I have outlined it to you here today...

should prove a boon
to my state and to the nation.

And within 10 years
it will have begun to pay for itself...

at a saving
to the Department of Agriculture...

of some $12 million a year.

And now if there are any questions...

- Mr. Congressman, I'd like to know why...
- No.

- I hate to say this...
- Then don't say it.

But I really have to catch that last plane.

Stay over. You can go back in the morning.

Where'll I stay?

I can get you a room in my hotel.

I didn't even bring a toothbrush.

I just bought 3 million toothbrushes
for the United States Army.

I think we could spare one.

I'm very glad to be staying at your hotel.

- You are?
- Yes.

This is beautiful.

It looks like something in the movies.


You must have an awful lot of pull
to get something like this.

I think you'll be comfortable here
for tonight.

Will I? And how did you ever dig this up?

One of my military aides got it.
Probably requisitioned it from his wife.

This never belonged to any wife.

Sleep well, Laura. Good night.

Don't go yet. Please stay a little bit longer.

- Please.
- Lf you...

I really haven't had a chance to talk to you.

You've got to listen to me.

All right, don't listen to me!

You listen to me!

Laura, you've got to understand.

I was appointed to this job by the President
of the United States. It's a great honor.

What do you mean "aha?"

So that's it. You're all blown up...

with your own importance,
just like a ham actor.

You've done what you set out to do.

Now you want to stick around Washington
and bask in your glory.

That wasn't a very nice thing to say,
and it's not true.

All right, then let me ask you this.

If you do stay in Washington...

will you give International Projects
government contracts?

If I feel the Government needs
International's output...

I'll give them all the business
they can handle.

- Don't you dare.
- What?

As a United States citizen, I protest.

Now you've got me thoroughly confused.

If you let those dopey directors
do business with Washington...

they'll close down the government
like they did Apex Clock.

Like they did Apex Clock?

Now, don't be ridiculous.
Apex Clock is one of our own companies.

Sit down, McKeever.

I've got something to tell you.
And if this doesn't do it, nothing will.

Once upon a time,
there was a little lady stockholder...

- Who is it?
- McKeever.

What's the matter?

What is it?

What are you prowling around in the middle
of the night for? Are you all right?

Are you sick or something?
Answer me, what is it?

Laura, I've made a decision.

I'm going back to the company.

You're going to resign
from the Government?

What's the matter?

You just can't keep anything secret
in this town.

But it's wonderful.
Why should it be a secret?

It's the smartest thing you've done.

But it can't come out in the papers...

until after I've spoken to the President.

And also, I don't want Blessington
and the boys to know...

I'm coming back until I'm right
on the scene, ready to move in.

We'll slip out of the hotel quietly
first thing in the morning.


- Thanks for coming to Washington.
- You're welcome.

Good night, McKeever.

- But I'm not running this time.
- No, I am.

Thanks, anyway.
Good night, Laura, and get some sleep.

Who can sleep?

You know, plane reservations
are very hard to get.

Look, not a word until we're out
of the hotel, you know how...

How long will it take you to clean out your...

There he is now!

Close the doors!

No, open the doors!

Close the doors.

- Now what?
- The basement.

- Yes, sir.
- How do you think they knew?

Who knows?

- How do you get out of here?
- Why, there's a door over there.

And now, the 8:00 news roundup,
Bill Parker reporting.

And now, the 8:00 news roundup,
Bill Parker reporting.

And a very good evening to you,
ladies and gentlemen.

And now let's have a look
at the top story of the day.

This afternoon, in the nation's capital,
one of the Government's key figures...

Edward L. McKeever,
handed in his resignation.

Members of both parties were stunned
by the suddenness of McKeever's decision...

to return to private industry.

And now here are
the first films of McKeever...

as he left his Washington hotel
this morning.

- Come on!
- There's McKeever!

We want to ask you a couple of questions.

- Wait a minute!
- Give us a story!

All right! Now, one at a time, boys.

Do you have anything to add...

to Drew Pearson's report
of your resignation?

I haven't exactly resigned yet.

I'm on my way to the President
to do that now.

And I don't think
I should say anything beforehand.

- But you are resigning?
- What are your plans?

I think I can serve my country best
by going back to International Projects.

- Who's this lady, Mr. McKeever?
- Just a business associate.

Anyway, ladies, this is the part of the story
that will fascinate you.

Anyway, ladies, this is the part of the story
that will fascinate you.

Late yesterday afternoon...

Mr. McKeever arrived
at La Guardia Airport from Washington.

And still accompanying him was,
that's right...

the mystery woman
who left Washington with him...

after having, by a strange coincidence...

spent the night
at the same hotel in Washington.

She even went to the Pentagon with him.

And here we see a picture of Mr. McKeever...

leaving the Pentagon
after closing up his office.

There she is, ladies.

This whole story has...

such a wonderfully exciting romantic flavor.

And now, ladies,
let me tell you about Double Tint...

the new hair dye
that can turn you into a mystery woman.

Real smart. Very smart,
sending her to Washington.

How did I know
she was going to bring him back?

You chaps seen the papers?

No, Harry, we haven't seen the papers.

For the past 24 hours,
we've been living in a tree.

Mother landed
a record-breaking bluefin tuna off Florida.

- It weighed over...
- Harry!

I would suggest you look at the front page.

Then turn to the want ads.

McKeever's here. He's in the building.

He's losing no time.

He'll want to be chairman
of the board again.

And president of the company.

And I shall be vice president.

We'll all be moved back.

- What about me?
- He'll fire you.

That cheers me up a little.

Look, we chaps aren't going to
take this lying down.

After all, we've got the votes, haven't we?

Well, you do.

For once in his life,
your brother-in-law may have something.

- How do you mean?
- What are we scared of?

McKeever was boss for so long,
we're shaking in our boots...

but now we're in the driver's seat.
He's got no stock.

That's true.

- How will we handle this?
- We don't pull any punches.

- We get right...
- I'll handle it.

All right, you do the talking.
Be as diplomatic as you want.

Just don't weaken!

Very well, boys.
Now this isn't going to be pleasant.

- Yeah.
- Mr. McKeever's here.

Send him right in, please.

Now let me do the talking.

Boys, McKeever is back.

Would you care to make
a small wager on that?

Please, Harry, I'm doing the talking.

It's been so exciting, Laura.

All those pictures of you
in the paper and on television.

And those terrible headlines,
weren't they wonderful?

The phone hasn't stopped ringing.
LIFE magazine called up, and LOOK...

and several television producers called,
and a lot of theatrical agents.

- Agents called me?
- Sure, lots of them.

Tell me, Laura, is it true that Mr. McKeever
is coming back to the company?

Sure. Hello.

What's the matter?

- Frozen out of my own company.
- What?

What happened?

I'm out and they're in.
That's what happened.

Jack Blessington telling me
I was all washed up.

And that Snell, throwing in his two cents.

Clifford Snell.

I should have fired him 15 years ago,
when I caught him taking home paper clips.

- I don't understand what happened.
- It's very simple to understand.

I spent half my life building this company,
and now I'm out.

Didn't you bring up Apex Clock?

The way Snell has juggled the books...

the Apex Clock deal
looks like a stroke of financial genius.

Brother, did I underestimate those guys.

They're more crooked
than even you thought they were.

- It's my fault.
- Nonsense.

Yes, it is.
I made you come back from Washington.

You were right.
I had to come back to find out for myself.

- Isn't there anything you can do?
- Like what?

What are you doing?

Packing. If you're through, so am I.

Look, I'm not going to roll over
and play dead for these guys. I'll get them.

Sure you will. They're not so smart.

I'm sorry, Laura.
I know how much you love this job.

Don't be silly. Here, unplug the coffee pot.

Laura, look at this. I'm fired again.

They're closing down the whole department.

Why did they do this?

You see, Amelia...

when the directors sent me to Washington
to see Mr. McKeever...

Wait a minute. Repeat what you just said.

- You see, Amelia...
- No, to me.

You see, Amelia...

when the directors sent me to Washington
to see Mr. McKeever...

- That's it!
- That's what?

We can get them out
for committing a criminal act.

- They did send you to Washington.
- Yes.

They bought you clothes,
gave you an airplane ticket.

Sent you to pressure me
into giving them government contracts.

- That's right.
- Will you testify to that in court?

- Of course.
- Then we've got them!

There happens to be a law against that,
Laura, a federal law.

I know, the Mann Act!

Please, ladies and gentlemen.


Miss Partridge, it seems to me
that you're being very evasive.

It doesn't seem that way to me.

Let's try again.

Mr. Snell's testimony,
corroborated by his colleagues...

states that the decision to go to Washington
was entirely your own.

That the company
would not dream of sending...

an unregistered lobbyist to Washington.

He says the directors of the corporation
did not even know...

you had gone to Washington
till they read about it in the papers.

Oh, brother!

Do you mean to tell the court...

that men of my client's prestige
and integrity...

would deliberately falsify the facts?

I think they'd deliberately falsify
their own mother.

Miss Partridge, is it not true
that you went to Washington...

because you were anxious
to see Mr. McKeever again?

Miss Partridge, I am saying
that you and Mr. McKeever were lovers.

- Now, wait a minute!
- Mr. McKeever.

- I object to this line of questioning.
- I do, too.

Your Honor, I'm simply attempting
to establish Miss Partridge's motive...

in taking this so-called lobbying trip.

Objection overruled.

Thank you, Your Honor.

I ruled against you.

You're making a big mistake.

Miss Partridge, it's perfectly obvious
why you went to Washington.

Your mad passion grew so strong...

you couldn't bear the separation
from your lover.

And so, wildly, impatiently,
you flew into his arms.

You're crazy.

It took me hours to get in to see him.

The reason I went to Washington...

was because they sent me
to get government orders.

Your Honor, I would like to present
to the court at this time...

a sworn statement by the night watchman
in the Washington Hotel.

Here is one by the elevator operator...

one by the headwaiter
of a Washington restaurant...

one by the busboy.

And here is the last one.

A statement and a bill
from a well-known lingerie shop...

for one sheer black nightgown.


That's not true.

That was just a regular
requisitioned GI nightgown...

that Mr. McKeever's military aid...

Miss Partridge, I'm going to ask you
one more question...

and I want you to remember
you're under oath.

Are you in love with Mr. McKeever?

- Your Honor?
- Yes?

How much can I get for perjury?

Miss Partridge,
I think you had better answer the question.

Are you in love with Edward L. McKeever?

Yes, I am.

- I didn't hear you.
- Yes!

- I rest my case.
- Now he quits.

I'd like to see him get up here
and let me ask him a few sneaky questions.

You may be excused, Miss Partridge.

There's nothing you guys wouldn't stoop to.

Please, ladies and gentlemen,
we must have quiet.

If it please the court...

we don't want to rush things, Your Honor...

but my clients' annual stockholders'
meeting takes place at 2:00 this afternoon.

Not only is it necessary
for them to be there...

but they feel it'd be most gratifying
to the stockholders of their firm...

if they'd bring back a decision
in this matter...

and announce it at the meeting.

If Mr. McKeever has no objection.

- Have you a word for our viewers?
- Yes, I have.

I would like to say
that justice has been done.

I thought we won.

The judge threw the entire case out of court.

We have been vindicated completely.

I doubt if Edward L. McKeever
will ever trouble us again.

Got to get away from those newspapermen.

Probably be a million of them
waiting for me at my house.

Let's go to my place.
Nobody'll bother us there.

- Take us to my place, will you, please?
- Very good, miss.

You can be alone there
and have a chance to think.

Did you mean it?

Mean what?

You know, what you said in court.

Of course, I meant it.
I was under oath of perjury.

Then let's get married.

Just because I...

I mean, that doesn't mean
you have to marry me.

- Of course, it does.
- Why?

Because I want to.

It doesn't sound like it.

I'm trying to tell you I love you.

- McKeever, I know how you feel.
- Certainly, I just told you.

No, not about me, about the company.

What company? I don't have a company.

That's what I mean.

How can you know how you feel
when you're so upset like this?

Laura, I know how I feel.

Thank you.

You're welcome.

This is it. It's a mess, isn't it?

I'm sorry. Excuse me.

There isn't much I can do about it.

Being a businesswoman
and a housekeeper isn't easy.

I'll be right back. Hello, Mirabelle.

Why don't you sit down?

I'm sorry.

Just a minute. Mail.

Mr. Jenkins forwards it to me
from the office.

I haven't had a chance to catch up with it
since this court business and...

I'd take it down, but it's still wet.

How about some lunch?

- I've got tuna fish and...
- Nothing for me, thanks.

I'm very tired.

Yeah, I know.

I guess in business it doesn't matter how
much time a man has given to a company.


My gold key
to the International Projects building.

Open any door in the place.

A symbol
that I am always welcome to return.

"To Ed from the boys."

Laura, let's go away. Marry me.

- I can't.
- Why not?

You're out of work.

Makes no difference.
I've got plenty of money.

What's money got to do with it?
Not that I'm against it.

A man needs more than money.

A man needs a job to go to, a job he loves.

And he needs a home to come home to,
a happy home.

But if he has no job to go to,
how can he come home to a happy home...

if he's been sitting home
all day to begin with?

I don't understand you.

Look, you'd hate yourself...

If you don't think very much of yourself...

then you'll think
I don't think very much of you.

Then you begin to hate me. Oh, no.

- Suppose I start a new company?
- That's no good.

International Projects is like your baby.

If you let those... take it away from you...

you would hate yourself...

and you'd be absolutely right.

What can I do?

How should I know?

- Think of something.
- Like what?

The stockholders
are having a meeting this afternoon.

Go down there and fight.

That's the most idiotic suggestion
I ever heard.

See, already you're impossible to live with.

I'm sorry.

I know you must be very tired.

All right, Laura. Just forget it.

Maybe you can forget it, but I can't.
It's not just a business to me.

All these people that write me letters...

they're my friends, all these stockholders...

- they trust me. You've seen these letters...
- Yes.

Look, now here's a letter
from Mrs. Weaver, here.

"Dear Miss Partridge, how are you?
I am fine.

"My arthritis is feeling much better
ever since I changed doctors.

"I have been taking
some very expensive pills...

"but I think good health is more important.

"I am enclosing my proxy
for the next stockholders' meeting.

"I don't usually bother sending
these proxies, Miss Partridge...

"but since you and I
have been corresponding...

"I feel much closer to the company."

Thirty shares.

They're all like that. Here's another one
from Mrs. Howard in Biloxi.

It's the same thing.

"Dear Miss Partridge, I am glad to tell you...

"that my husband is feeling much better.

"I am enclosing my proxy
with your name on it.

"I know you will cast my vote
for the best man there."

Seventy-five shares, 40 shares.
This is very interesting.

Yes, it is. I kept telling them
what a great man you were...

and how you wouldn't let them down.

- Hello.
- Laura, this is Amelia.

Hello, Amelia.

Something's happened
you should know about.

- What?
- Mr. Snell fired Mark.

- When?
- Just a few minutes ago.

Just a minute.

Snell just fired Mark Jenkins.

That makes four of us out of work
and you still sit there.

Hello, Amelia. What did he fire him for?

- It was about your mail. Mark...
- My mail?

Why would they fight about my mail?

Wait a minute. Let me have that.

Miss Shotgraven? McKeever.
Is Jenkins with you?

- Yes, he is.
- Put him on.

Jenkins, this is McKeever.
Give it to me fast. What happened?

I tried to get Laura's mail
out of the mailroom and Snell caught me.

There's an awful lot of mail
and he had it moved to his private office.

- I got it. Meet me at the office in 20 minutes.
- What'll we do?

Get something to throw mail into.

- Get what?
- Anything.

How do I know? Make it snappy.

- Is this all right?
- Yeah, that's fine. Hold it.

What are we going to do?

Never mind.
Do what I tell you, and be quick about it.

Now, McKeever, that's what I call love talk.

- Mark, where's the stuff?
- In Mr. Snell's office.

- Where's Snell?
- Down in the auditorium...

at the meeting.
It must be due to start any minute.

- You can't go in there.
- It's locked.

- Mr. Snell's not in.
- That's the best time to be here.

- The key, I left it at your place.
- No, I've got it.

I wouldn't leave it lying around. It's gold.

You see, it's been piling up like this
for days.

- I should've told you about this sooner.
- These are all mine?

Sure, when I saw
what happened in that courtroom...

Proxies. Fifty shares.

- Here's one for 100 shares.
- Forty shares.

- Mrs. Johnson had twins.
- Two hundred.

Get down to that stockholders' meeting...

- as quick as you can.
- What'll I do?

Stall till we open them all.
Talk, sing, dance, anything...

but don't let the meeting end
till we get there!

Yes, sir! Mr. Chairman!

Order, please.
The meeting will come to order.

The annual meeting of the stockholders
is hereby declared in session.

The next order of business
is reading the last meeting's minutes.

I move we dispense with the reading.

- I second.
- All in favor?

Proxies vote "Aye." Any opposed?

We will dispense
with reading of the minutes.

And now with the report of your Treasurer,
Mr. Clifford Snell.

Thank you, Jack.

I guess I'm the fellow
you either like or dislike...

depending upon the size
of the dividend checks.

I will admit that, of late...

the dividends have not been as high
as we would like.

However, as you all know,
that is the fault of Mr. Edward L. McKeever.

Now that Mr. McKeever
is no longer connected...

with International Projects,
nor is he in Washington...

I feel that we will find
that things are looking up.

Now let's see exactly
what we did do last year.

You've all been given
a copy of our annual report.

Suppose we all start to
thumb through it together. Now I'm...

Just a moment, ladies and gentlemen. Yes?

Mr. McKeever and Miss Partridge
are in your office.

We feel we've already taken up
too much of your time...

so we'd like to end this as fast as possible...

so you can all go home.
It's a very simple report.

On Page 11, you will find
that we have assets...

of $9,001,842,960.74.

The inventory runs
from Page 32 through Page 58.

Then we have gross profits, etc.

That's all there is to it.
Now that this is completed...

- I'd like to hear a motion on its adoption...
- So moved.

- Seconded.
- Proxies vote "Aye."

On approval of the treasurer's report,
let's re-elect the directors.

- Mr. Chairman, I move.
- Second.

I move the entire slate be returned to office.

- Second.
- You've heard the motion. Any opposed?

Mr. Chairman!

I got a question.

We haven't asked for questions.

- I have a question anyway.
- There's a motion on the floor.

- I've got a question about the motion.
- What's the question?

What's the motion?

Miss Partridge, you're out of order.

Miss Partridge, are you Miss Partridge?

- Hello, how's your daughter?
- She's fine.

Let's have order.
There's a motion on the floor.


Will you all please sit down?

Mr. Snell will be furious.

- You tell Mr. Snell to go...
- Twenty-five!

Don't just stand there trembling,
open those envelopes as fast as you can.

- Sixty.
- One hundred.

Order! Let's have order.
There's a motion on the floor.

Order! Let's have order.
There's a motion on the floor.

- I have a question.
- No.

- Let her ask a question.
- Yeah.

The Chairman rules that
Miss Partridge's question is out of order.

We will now vote on the motion
to re-elect the Board of Directors.

All in favor?

One million, six hundred thousand proxies
vote "Aye."

- Any opposed?
- I'm opposed!

Mr. Chairman, we try to run
these meetings democratically...

but I scarcely believe
there are enough votes...

among these nice people here...

to override our total of 1,600,000.

Count the votes! We have a right
to have the votes counted.

Very well. If you will all please
fill in your ballots...

and pass them up here,
your secretary and I will count them.

- Forty-five.
- Two hundred.

- Two hundred. This is Mr. Jenkins.
- Fifteen.


Send a service cart to Mr. Snell's office.

- Forty. Right away.
- Fifty.

- Fifty, you said?
- Yes.

You heard me, right away!
What'd you say, Amelia?

- Seventy-five!
- One hundred.

- Laura sure has a lot of friends.
- And some strange ones.

- Five shares.
- Five shares.

Mr. Bill Moran, 50 shares, opposed.

Mrs. Arnold Weatherby,
100 shares, opposed.

Mr. John Deery, 200 shares, opposed.

Mrs. Margaret Donna, 50 shares, opposed.

Miss Laura Partridge, 10 shares, opposed.

Mrs. Thomas Smith, 15 shares, opposed.

And that's it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've been keeping
the totals as we've gone along.

The total of those opposed
comes to exactly...

Fourteen thousand,
one hundred and sixty-five shares...

certainly not enough to win out
over our total of...

one million, six hundred thousand.

I want the figures checked.
I demand a re-count.

Miss Partridge, you're...

Ladies and gentlemen,
the vote on the motion is as follows.

One million, six hundred thousand
vote "Aye" and...

Three million, six hundred and fifty
thousand proxies vote "no"!

All votes from the little stockholders...

all giving Miss Partridge
the right to vote their stock!

Miss Partridge, you are in control
of the entire company.

I am?

That's really wonderful.

In that case, I'd like to make a motion.

You heard Miss Partridge,
she wants to make a motion!

What's the motion?

The motion is, you're all fired!

Second the motion!
And I want to make a motion.

- What's the motion?
- This!

And when the next stockholders' meeting
rolled around...

And when the next stockholders' meeting
rolled around...

This substantial increase in the dividend...

is due to the expansion
of International Projects' operation.

Respectfully submitted,
Laura Partridge McKeever...

Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

And so our Cinderella
and her Prince Charming went home...

to their palatial estate on Long Island.

But they didn't go in a coach
drawn by six white horses.

They went in the little stockholders'
wedding gift to the bride:

A solid gold Cadillac.

What else can you give a girl
who has everything?