S.O.S. Tidal Wave (1939) - full transcript

And there's the start

of another trans-Atlantic flight.

The wheels are off the
ground, he's trying hard

to clear the runway.

With 1,000 gallons of fuel in the tanks

will he get the nose up in time?

No, it's a crash!

Cut your switch, cut it!

Too late!

It's nosed over in a fire.

There goes the crash wagon.

He's been thrown clear.

Keep the sidewalk clear, please.

It's Jeff
Shannon's news broadcast.

- Oh.
- It wasn't a happy landing.

It won't stop the progress

- of aviation.
- Oh!

We seem to have plenty of fires

in the television news reels today.

$300,000 damage was the result of this one

at the Lincoln warehouse.

Firemen fought eight
hours to check the blaze

which was fed by hundreds
of gallons of paint

and fanned by a high wind.

It might have turned into another one

of those million dollar blazes,

if that efficient little fire boat,

the John D. Adamson
hadn't steamed up in time.

In Uncle Sam's proving ground,

the Army puts the power of
beast versus machine to a test.

It's glory or the glue
factory for the horses.

It's horsepower or
horse flesh that's going

to decide who pulls the artillery

when those caissons go rolling along.

Maybe old dobbin is doomed.

Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.

Who's the fried fish, here?

Shut up, Butch, Jeff Shannon's on.

He seems to be holding his own.

Can't tell yet whether
it's oats or gasoline

that has more power.

There goes the rope.

There goes the tank,
and there go the horses.

It looks like the machine's gone berserk.

Look out, fellas, it's coming at ya!

What's this, a bath on Friday?

Here, I'll give ya a hand.

Hurry up before that tank
comes back and snaps at ya.

Don't you know enough to keep

out of the horse trough
with that nice new uniform?

What'll the colonel say?

So the day ended in sudden
showers for all concerned.

Well, what do you think of him, George?

You can stop crowing, JC.

I'll admit he's the biggest
single attraction on the air.

And I'm willing to pay your price.

I'll give you your choice
of 15 first-class programs,

but Shannon's time is not for sale.

Why he's worth more to me to
build goodwill for the station.

He's certainly doing it.

Yes, sir, he's my prima dona.

A self-contained unit.

He photographs his own stuff, projects it,

and describes it.

There's not another man like him.

You've just seen the latest news events,

brought to you, as usual,

by your television newsreel
reporter, Jeff Shannon.

And so tomorrow at this
time, look for me again

on your television screen.

Wait a minute folks, stand by.

Election returns.

We've just received the official returns

on today's primary elections.

On the citizen's ticket, Clifford Farrow,


James Ross, 422,423.

So there's the lineup,
Farrow against Ross,

and the election's next month.

May the best man win.

Well, goodbye, everybody.

Here's looking at you until
tomorrow at the same time.

Well, we might as well
make over the front page,

now that Shannon has
broadcast the latest figures.

He wasn't a bad newspaper man, either,

when he worked for us.

Yes, sir, he sure packs a wallop.

His broadcast is heard by more people

than know how to read a newspaper.

You know, Roy, with Jeff's help,

we stand a chance to
keep Farrow and his gang

from plundering this city.

We have only until November.

Why don't you talk to Shannon?

Appeal to him on the
basis of civic conscience.


He hasn't got any.

Well then, on his basis
of his loyalty to the paper

that gave him his start.

I don't think
he has any of that, either.

Hey, Mike, look.

Wanna find somebody Jeff
is loyal to, here he is.

You're right, Roy.

Soon as we put the paper to bed,

I'll go over and see Jeff at his house.

Don't be late for
dinner tonight, Peaches,

we're eating early on account of Buddy.

Imagine my kid having his
sixth birthday party already.


Yep, the sands of time certainly
does fly under the bridge.

Hey, I betcha that's Mable.

I'll have her meet me
halfway to save some time.

Hello, Mable?

Yeah, on account of we
could save some time,

will you meet me?

The last time you asked me to meet you,

you got lost and didn't
show up for two hours.

Well, you know where
Cherry runs into Vine?

I tell you Cherry does run into Vine.

Over near North Mulberry.

No, honey bear.

It's not a fruit market.

Look, Mable, you know where Orange Grove

runs into Walnut, over near main?

Yeah, sure.

Yeah, well that's not the corner.

Look, it's where Cherry runs into Vine.

Yes, that's
clear, as a mud pack.

Oh, I'll meet ya in 10 minutes,

just stay where you are.

Well, where are ya?

Hello, operator, trace that call, will ya?

- Hello?
- Come on, come on.

Oh, women ain't got
no sense of direction.

She don't know east from her elbow.

I was tellin' Mable where--

You're always telling Mable.

Isn't she worn out enough to say yes?

Well, sure, she's worn out enough,

er, I mean, sure, she'd marry me anytime,

if I just put my foot down,

but you know how love is.

You've gotta give it time to ripen.

Someday I'll give her the ring.

Aren't those supposed to be diamonds?

Well, some people like diamonds,

but personally, I like
atheists and satires.

Hello, Uncle Dan,
you're early, aren't you?

Yeah, I know.

I wanted to catch you before you got away.

We'll be over to Buddy's party, tonight,

soon as I'm finished.

Great, Buddy and Laurel
are counting on that.

Mable and me are gonna be there, too.

Well, now, that's an attraction.

Gonna have a birthday
cake for Buddy, Jeff?

Sure, with six candles on it.

And you can blow 'em all out.

Last time I blew out birthday candles,

Uncle Dan's breath lit
up like a neon sign.

I don't get it.

Oh, just a second, Jeff.

I got something I want to ask you.

Sure, what is it?

When are you gonna give me a hand

at keeping that crook
Farrow out of the City Hall?

Are you still harping on that?

I'll never stop.

You're sure making it
awfully tough for me to refuse.

Now, I've never asked
you for anything before,

but in your position, with
all your representatives

getting you the facts--

You can ask me for anything you like,

except to use part of my time on the air

for political speech-making.

How would I sound?

You'll sound great, as you always do.

And you'd have the thanks of
the whole city if you do it.

I'll do without their thanks
and they can do without me.

Well, I'm sorry.

Why don't you do the
campaigning yourself?

You've got a half an hour
and plenty of listeners.


You know what I am?

I'm just a comic ventriloquist.

I amuse children, I try to.

Getting modest at your age?

Uncle Dan, you're wanted
in the rehearsal hall.

I'll see ya later.

Throw the switch, Mommy.

Hello, honey.

That was a swell broadcast, Jeff.

At least I know I'll
always have one fan.

- You tired?
- A little.

Happy birthday, son.

Same to you.

Here comes the express, Daddy, look out.

He's just crazy about that
train Uncle Dan gave him.

I'll go.

You're my old boss, Mike,

and I've always listened
to you with respect,

but as far as my going on the air

to campaign against Farrow,

well, frankly, I'm not interested.

Well, didn't the way that Farrow bought

and slugged his way into the
primaries teach you anything?

Yep, an old lesson:

that it's none of my business.

Look, your old friend, Uncle Dan

seems interested enough.

Read what he says.

He told me all about it.

If he wants to get into
trouble with his sponsors,

I can't stop him.

After all, he's free,
white, and well over 21.

Well, you're independent.

Yep, and I'm going to stay that way.

When you worked for me,

you knew the difference
between something crooked

and something on the level.

But I'm not a newspaper man, anymore.

Well, even an ex-newspaper
man has opinions.

And a smart ex-newspaper
man keeps them to himself.

I'm sorry, Mike, I'm not playing.

Now let's forget all
about this politics talk,

and come in and enjoy the birthday party.

You know the old Shannon hospitality.

No, not tonight.

Nor any night.

All I'll take from a guy I've
lost respect for is my hat.

Who was it, dear?

Uh, somebody peddling something.

Pointing out that a
civic emergency looms

in the coming elections, Uncle Dan Carter,

noted radio artist said late today,

"It becomes the duty of every citizen

"to judge the merits of
the candidates carefully.

"Farrow's criminal background
is a direct challenge

"to all decent voters."

What have you got to say to that?

I'll give a statement to the press

refuting the baseless
charges of this radio comic.

Nevermind what you'll say.

We'll write that out for you.

It's ridiculous.

That man doesn't know
me or anything about me.

Well, what does he mean
by a criminal background?

Sheer fiction, an empty threat.

- I'll bring an action--
- Quiet.

Now, if this guy's got anything on you

that I haven't got, I
wanna know right now!

Not later!

Now spill it.

Why, of course he hasn't, Melvin,

but just the same, those
irresponsible charges

should be stopped.

That's all I wanted to know.

Don't give out any
statements to the press.

But this Uncle Dan,
he'll keep hammering.

Nevermind about him, he'll stop.

Well, you gonna make a wish

and blow out the candles?

Uh huh, can Felix blow, too?


Well, go ahead, make your wish.

I wish the stork would
bring me a brother,

just like Felix.

The stork.

Hasn't anybody ever--

Uncle Dan, this one isn't loaded,

but the next one will
be if you don't lay off.

A fan.

Hey, Jeff.

Those shacks we shot down
by the railroad tracks

turned out swell.

Fine, we'll run it later.

You don't mean to tell me that the mug

that owns those slums down there

is gonna run for mayor of this town?

Yeah, and when he sees
this pictures tonight,

he'll lose that nerve.

How 'bout the other stuff?

Oh, it's all cut, all ready to go.

200 feet of people goin' in
out of those gambling houses

run by Farrow/Sutter combine.

And then there's those
horse race betting parlors.


If that doesn't put
Farrow out of the running,

I've got something else, here.

A wire from a private
detective in Keellersville,

fellow named Mason.

Seems to have plenty on
Farrow from a way back.

I hope you know what you're...


What do you mean?

Heh, puttin' stuff like that
on a television news program.

Well, it's graphic material, isn't it?

You're the boss.

Did you see the late city edition

of the News Tribune?


Jeff Shannon joins fight against Farrow.

Noted television reporter
to wield powerful influence.

He will,

that's putting it on
a bit thick, isn't it?

Sounds like you wrote that article.

Now Mike Halloran wrote that himself,

and he told me to say that he'd forgotten

all about last night.

I'm sorry about it, too.

Well, I go on in 17 minutes.

That gives me just time to check my notes.

Well, I'll listen on your set.

Uncle Dan, when you get there,

would you tell Laurel
I'll call her, later?


- Good luck, Jeff.
- Thanks.

I'll put these on the projector, Jeff.


I'm busy.

I recognize you without
that, I'm still busy.

Well, I won't take much of your time.

- Thanks.
- But I could use

that 15 minutes you're
doing on the air, tonight.

So could a lot of other people.

You're pretty much sold

on this anti-Farrow broadcast, aren't you?

You get to a television
set in the next 10 minutes

and you'll find out.

Oh, I'll do that.

I'm one of your fans.

Maybe you're also
one of Uncle Dan's fans

who admires him so much
he sends him fruit?

It's a great guy, that
Uncle Dan with that dummy.

That's a great gag.

I'll tell him you like him.

Right now, I'm busy.

You know, you're working too hard.

You should relax for a
while from politics, anyway.

- Is that a threat?
- No, just good advice.

That's a nice-looking kid.

Your wife, I suppose?

Let that alone.

Oh, I'm sorry.

We're still friends?

On in two minutes, Mr. Shannon.

Uncle Dan, can me and Felix listen, too?


With this broadcast,
your dad will be a hero.

Come on, sit over here with Felix.

And in
conclusion of this number,

station KBQ will take
pleasure in presenting

as its television feature, the
appearance of Jeff Shannon.

Oh, I'm prouder of him now
than I've ever been in my life.

You know he'd do anything in
the world for you, Uncle Dan.

No, Laurel, whatever Jeff
does is for you and Buddy.

That's right and proper.

Quiet, Felix.

My Pop's on the air.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,

this is Jeff Shannon,
your television reporter,

and you're just in time to hear the...

The keynote address by
Mrs. Robert G. Eaton,

president of the Commonwealth Club.

Madame Chairman, ladies
of the Commonwealth Club,

my task is to review
the last quarter century

of our achievements.

And in conclusion, we
must dedicate ourselves

as wives and mothers to hold fast

to the ideals of our founder,

the saintly Consuela J. Haverstraw.

I can't understand it.

That isn't the kind of thing
Jeff is accustomed to showing.

Don't worry, he's just
building up to the Farrow thing.

This type of aircraft carrier

is said by experts to be the
most efficient of its kind,

was launched today at the
Philadelphia shipyard.

Watch her as she slides
gracefully down the waves,

to take her place in the battle fleet.

What's Jeff giving us?

Yeah, where's the stuff about Farrow

we've been reading about?

That's what I'm waiting for.

We can see ship launchings any place.

Watch them as they roll around

that wooden saucer in what
they call a six-day bike race.

And where'll they be
when the six days are up?

Just where they started.

I can't make it out, after
what he promised to do.

Neither can I.

See, he's only got a
couple of minutes left.

Call up the station.

And that's all for
tonight, ladies and gentlemen,

you'll be hearing and seeing me again

at the same time tomorrow.

Is my dad a hero, now?

Is he?

You'd better say goodnight
to Uncle Dan and Felix, Buddy.

It's your bedtime.

Goodnight, Uncle Dan.

Goodnight, Buddy.

Goodnight, Felix.


Hello, Jeff.

My, what a gay, cheerful
place I came into.

Why doesn't somebody talk?

I don't know what there is to say, Jeff.

What's the matter,
didn't you like my program?

Oh, it's alright.

I know it isn't what
I promised to put on,

but, well, I just
decided I couldn't do it.

Well, you don't have
to give me any excuses.

I don't intend to.

But you promised Uncle Dan.

So what?

You want me to get down
on my knees and apologize

because I didn't blast the
air full of political talk?

Oh, it's alright, Jeff.

Doesn't look alright
from where I'm standing.

Anybody'd think I committed a crime.

It isn't that, but someone

who commands public
attention must expose Farrow.

Well, what about you?

You seem to take this Farrow opposition

as a personal matter.

I do.

But what could I go on the air with?

Alright, you asked for it.

I'll give you what was offered to me:

the so-called precious evidence
from Mason, Keelersville.


Good night, Laurel, good night, Jeff.

Jeff, you shouldn't have
said things like that.

You know you forgot yourself.

Yes, I guess I did.

I'm sorry it happened in this house.

He's been like a father to
you, and what Buddy thinks

- of him--
- But can't you see I,

I just couldn't go on with that program.

No, I can't see.

And I'm not going to ask you why.

That's strictly your business.

Joining forces with the News Tribune,

Uncle Dan Carter's broadcast
will be uncensored,

and sensational disclosures
regarding Farrow's background

are promised.

- Wanna hear some more?
- No.


Uncle Dan will make his headquarters

in the editorial office
of the News Tribune

where he'll receive any information

regarding the campaign from
now until election day.

By gosh, I'm gonna call him up

and wish him that he throws
a natural the first time up.

Go ahead.

News Tribune?

Gimme Uncle Dan.


What was that?

What happened there?

It sounded like an explosion.

Hello? Hello!

Yes, Jeff Shannon speaking.

Okay, thanks.

Peaches, grab your stuff
and head to the truck.

What is it?

The News Tribune building
has just been bombed.

Come on, Peaches, we gotta step on it!

Stand back, you don't wanna get hurt!

Grab the small camera,
Peaches, and come on.

Coming through, folks,
coming through, folks,

coming through, television
newsreel coming through,

if you please.

- Go ahead, Shannon.
- Alright, hurry up!

Get those folks to a hospital, quick!


What happened, Mike?

They got to us.

You see, Jeff?

Who was that guy?

Well, they've caught
him, that's all we need.

Let me get this straight--

Oh, stop asking foolish questions.

You know the setup as well as I do.

Somebody tried to blow
up half the News Tribune.

I know who did it and so do you.

Don't make any
statements you can't prove.

Now Farrow did this work.

And it'll be proved as soon as that guy

tells who his boss is.

Be careful, this is a newsreel.

- Eh.
- And you're staying neutral.

Well, where's
Curley's confession?

You've got a long wait, boys.

Applebee's in there flashing
a Superior Court writ.

Judge Martin's signature
carries more weight

than your affidavit, Mr. Halloran.

- You're letting him go?
- Yeah.

We're gonna give him the key to the city.

Wait a minute, Curley, I
suppose you want to say something

to your television audience, don't you?

Oh, sure.

You got a beautiful jail here, folks.

Only I wasn't in but for
one meal, it was fine.

Even the rats got indigestion.

So long, folks.

Tough break.

We had him cornered and he was going

to talk plenty when Applebee
busted in with the writ.

Next time we grab him, I'm gonna see

that he takes up where he left off.

You saw that, didn't you, Jeff?

You know who Applebee works for.


Something has happened to you, boy,

made you blind to what's going on.

You're wrong, something
happened that opened my eyes.

What was all that patter
you was giving Sutter

over the telephone?

I had to tell
him you were sprung, didn't I?

Yeah, but you didn't tell him nothin'

about me poppin' off, did ya?

I mean, I wasn't gonna say anything.

I was just stallin' for time.

I know, Curley.

I know.

Gee, Mel, I was worried for a while.


So was I.

- Thanks for springin' me.
- Forget it.

We're still friends.


The murder of Curley Parsons

is one thing, but the dynamiting

of the News Tribune
building with serious injury

to three innocents
person is something else,

something which should
cause all citizens--

- Hello, darling.
- Oh, Jeff, you frightened me.

To wonder if their loved ones

could ever be safe.

By this time tomorrow,
I expect to have proof

of every one of my
accusations against Farrow.

It will be documentary proof.

What's the matter, Jeff?

Where's Buddy?

Why I put him to bed.

That's right.

I'd rather see him in bed than down here

listening to that wild-eyed junk cooked up

by Mike Halloran.

Why, that's Uncle Dan.

I know it is.

Can't I even be free of it in my own home?

Had any visitors today?

Why, no, Jeff, no.

You didn't get this on a news stand.

Mike Halloran left it.

Why did you say nobody was here?

I'm sorry, I should've told you.

Mike wanted me to talk to you again.

He thought perhaps
after what you've seen--

The next time Mike Halloran calls,

tell him to see me at my office,

and not come sneaking around my home.

He convinced me that
even the great Jeff Shannon

has a duty as a private citizen.

I'm not interested in
what he thinks my duty is.

Neither were those
people who were walking

past the News Tribune building,

but three of them were almost killed.

Are you waiting until something happens

to Buddy or me before
you come to your senses?

Please, Jeff.

What are you doing?

Leaving, and when my home
is no longer a political club,

let me know.

Good morning, television KBQ.

Mr. Branch?

One moment, please.

Go ahead.

Television KBQ.

Well, don't bawl me out, lady,

you called me, I didn't call you.

Good morning, Hazel, my boss in?

Not yet.

He ain’t?

- Well, did he phone?
- No.

Aw, shucks, I wanted him to be the first

to congratulate me.

Now you get the break.

Well, I'm waitin'.

Go ahead.

What happened, did you get a raise?

Oh, I'm not that lucky.

I'm gonna get tied.

Well, and you're certainly fit to be.


Yep, any day now, for sooner or later,

I'm steppin' into the halter.

The halter is right.

- Anyhow, congratulations.
- Thanks.

Say, who's the lucky girl?

I am.

Or I mean, was I?

You know, when she said
okay, I sure was embezzled.

You know, all I gotta do
now is pick up the license.

Price is no object.

I want the best.

They're all the same price, $2.

$2, say, that's awful reasonable.

You know, I paid $5 for a hunting license

and had to buy a gun besides.

Television KBQ.

Emergency call for Mr. Shannon?

- Here, I'll take it.
- Go ahead.

Hello. What?

Where? Thanks!

We'll be right over!

Say, an oil derrick just caught fire

over at field number nine.

Get Jeff's house, quick, will ya?

No, Peaches, he isn't at home.

I haven't any idea where he is.

He hasn't been home all night.

Gee, he never done that before.

Well, you just leave
everything to me, Laurel.

Yeah, I'll handle him.

Sure, yeah, I'll send him home to ya.

Don't worry, goodbye.

Felix, how would you
solve the traffic problem?

Well, I'd bar every car off the street

that wasn't paid for.

But Felix, credit is the
lifeblood of the nation.


Oh, yes, Peaches.

Hey, somethin' awful's happened.

There's a four-alarm blaze
down at the oil field

and 100,000 gallons of crude
waitin' to go up in flames.

Well, that's Jeff's department.

Why are you--
That's what I'm comin' to.

I can't find Jeff.

Him and Laurel had a few
snappy words last night.

Well you try him at the Looneyville bar.

There's where I'd go to
think up some answers.

And let me know.


Special delivery for Dan Carter.

Sign here, please.

Thank you.



Felix, it's all here:

enough dynamite to blast
Farrow right out of politics.

Come on.

We'd better stop rehearsing right now.

This is a fine how-have-I-been.

Leave me alone.

It's me, Peaches.

Do you remember? How do you do?

Oh, come on, Jeff, you
gotta snap outta this.

- Why?
- Well, the,

the oil field's burnin' down.

Let it burn.

Oh, you got Laurel worried sick.

So she thinks I'm yellow.


Naw, you're not yella.

You're green.

Hey Jim.

Gimme a pitcher of ice water, will ya?

- Quick.
- Water?

What are you gonna use for a chaser?


Peaches, don't ever
get to where you gotta be

a tin god to a woman.

Oh, ho, ho, me?

I have already.

Mable said yes last night.

Ain't that somethin'?

Who is Mable?


Ah, it ain't good for ya.

Thanks, Jim.

What are you tryin'
to do, put me on ice?

No, no,.

I was mindin' my own business
and a couple of guys came in,

and a fight started, and--
Oh, so this is the way

you spend your time advancing television.

- Oh, let me--
- And letting me wait

all morning for you at the license bureau.

- Lemme explain, will ya?
- Oh, the engagement's off.

Here, take your cheap ring.


I'll have you know that cost 85 bucks.

85 what?

Honest, I'll show you the summons.

Alright, if that's the way you
feel about it, I'm through!

Ain't dames impregnable?

I'm through with 'em, that's what I am.

Why she wouldn't even give
me a chance to explain.

- Let's get drunk.
- Right.

Oh, no, no, we can't do that.

We got work to do if we
don't wanna get scooped.

Oh, so you don't wanna work, huh?

You wanna play.

Get your late News Tribune, here.

Dan Carter cracks down, read all about it.

Have paper, television out to get Farrow.

Read all about it.
Hey, right here.


Extra, read all about it,
Dan Carter cracks down.


When I tell you that those
papers are not for sale,

I don't mean that I'm holding
out for a higher offer.

Now don't tell me
you can't use 20 grand.

You're right, I can't.

The things young men want to do with money

don't interest me at my age.

I'm interested in only one thing, now:

keeping Farrow out of City Hall.

So it's no deal.

Oh, yeah.

I've got a counter-offer.

I'll give you those papers,
and it won't cost you a cent,

but first I want a public
statement from Farrow

to the effect that he's
withdrawing as a candidate.

Now look at the position I'm in.

If you have definite proof that Farrow's

an ex-criminal, I want to
withdraw as his campaign manager.

After all, this may be
a trick on your part.

And if it isn't, I think
that the fair thing to do

is to show me the evidence.

Oh, no.

After Felix and I get
through broadcasting tonight,

the next person to see those affidavits

will be the federal district attorney.


Is that final?

That is final.

We're still friends?

If Jeff would only call
up or let me hear from him

so I could let him know how sorry I am,

I wouldn't care whether
I was right or wrong.

Well, I've no business to
meddle between the two of you,

but if it'll give you
any comfort to know it,

you are absolutely right.

Well, that's consolation
coming from you,

but it doesn't bring Jeff home.

Well, let me interfere once again,

maybe for the last time.

Why don't you and Buddy ride
down to the studio with me?

Jeff ought to be getting
back there just about then.

Alright, Uncle Dan.

When I put these on the air tonight,

I believe I'll have done the
most important job of my life.

Well, let's go.

Come on, Buddy.

You can carry Felix.

There you are.

Come on, Felix,
we're gonna see my dad.

That's him, let's go.

I think a family of woodpeckers

are building a nest in my head.

Me too, only mine got a
concrete mixer on the job.

Why don't you call Laurel?

How many feet of film did you get

in that storage tank blowup?

800, but that's changin' the subject.

I said we needed more film.

Aw, talkin' to you like is wavin' a bull

in front of a red flag.

Then don't argue.

Call up Sergeant Mike
Reilly at headquarters

and see what's going on.

Alright, alright.

Hello, Sarge?

Yeah, yeah.

Oh, a hit-and-run crash at
Prospect and Woodard, huh?

Ambulance followup.

Say, you couldn't give out with a nice big

tenement house fire or a good riot, maybe?

No, you couldn't, huh?

Okay, goodbye.

What's doing?

Hit-and-run crash.

No good.

Well, there's 10 of those
in this town every day.

You said we needed more film.

I know, but, oh, well, alright.

Come on, let's go.

Couldn't anybody get the license number?

The street was
empty, I come running.

Oh, really?

Take that thing, will you?

Alright, alright, nevermind.

Come on, Jeff, let's get set up.

Why that's Uncle Dan's car!

Is Uncle Dan in there?

Here, you can't get in there.


Laurel, Laurel, what happened?

Uncle Dan?

Oh, Jeff, darling, it was terrible.

Are you alright?

Only my arm.

But, Buddy--

Take it easy, Jeff.

You couldn't have stopped it, Jeff.

Whoever did, we'll find him.

You don't have to look any further.

I did it.

I started something I
was too yellow to finish

that boomeranged.

Hit me where it hurt the most: Buddy.

Please sit down, Jeff.

You're not helping anyone.

- Is it over, doctor?
- All over.

Nothing more to worry about.

Ain't I been tellin' ya?

I'm gonna make a reservation
here in case anything happens.

You're not booked up, are ya, doc?

What did I say, now?

You and Mrs. Shannon can see
your boy in a little while.

Thank you, doctor.


I'm here, darling, Daddy and Felix, too.

Hello, Daddy.

Hello, son.

Did Felix get hurt?

Just bruised a little,
but he's all better now.


Hello, Felix.

What's the matter, Felix?

What did I do?

Mommy, what's the matter?

Why won't Felix talk to me?

Maybe Felix doesn't feel like talking.


When you get well, then Felix'll...

You'll have to leave, Mr. Shannon.

We can only allow Mrs. Shannon to remain.

It's alright.

Buddy's asleep, he's resting nicely.

I'm going in and tell Uncle
Dan he's out of danger.

Uncle Dan is dead.

What did you say?

He died five minutes ago.

It was like I killed him.

Oh, buck up, Jeff.

We've gotta stop and
figure what we can do.

Whatever it is, it's for me to do.

Now, don't rush away blindly.

Those papers that Farrow was after,

they're gone, they're burned.

I don't know, there
might have been photostats.

Mason, in Keelersville, the
man I should've contacted,

he gave Uncle Dan that evidence.

He knows what's in it.

I'll get him.

Keep ringing, operator, keep ringing.

If I could only get some
shut-eye around this place.

Oh, listen, you.

That poor kid in there
isn't getting any more sleep

than you are.

Have you heard about Buddy?

Laurel's in there now,
trying to get him to sleep.

Buddy was just crying for Felix

to tell him a bedtime story.

I wish Uncle Dan was--

Peaches, I've got something to do.

Be a good fellow and stand by, will ya?

Take care of Laurel.

I don't want anything to happen to her.

Well, what are you gonna do?

Never mind, I'll see that he sticks.

Thanks, Mable.

Come in, Shannon.

What are you doing here?


Why, I'm not here.

Right now, I'm at the Farrow
campaign headquarters,

having a conference.

I asked you what you wanted here.

Oh, I just wanted to be sure,

without violence, of course,
that those affidavits

burnt up in the accident
weren't just copies.

Is that what you want to know, too?

That's all, huh?

I couldn't bring anybody over

to crack open that sardine box,

but fortunately, you know the combination.

Sure, I know the combination.

Well, then since we're both
looking for the same thing,

why waste time?

You know, I'm glad to see
you're reasonable about it.

Why not, since you're over
at Farrow's headquarters.

Mm hm.

Now, let's see.

10 to the right, seven to the left.

I've got it, seven to the right.

Well, there seems to be nothing here

but some old oil stocks
Uncle Dan's had for 30 years.

You wanna look?

Might as well, not
that I don't believe you.

Yes, I guess you're right.

The originals were burnt.

- Satisfied?
- Yes.

I, I didn't like to do this.

Oh, I can see that.

So, we're still friends?

Would you mind seeing who that is?

I'll fix
ya, prowlin' around here.

Peaches, hold it.

Where's that third guy?

Lemme at him, I'll fix him.

If he wasn't at Farrow's
headquarters all night,

I'd swear it was Sutter.

Well, who was it?

We'll find out in a minute.

Well did you get his indemnity?

If I didn't, that camera did.

Come on.

The magazine is gone!

Peaches, there was no film in the camera.


We're still friends.

You said it, boy.

Look, Buddy, a drummer-boy.

Yes, sir, rubba-dub-dub, rubba-dub-dub.

When you get home, we're
gonna buy you a real drum.

How's the little fella, today?

Just fine, doctor.

Hello, Mr. Shannon.

I know he seems perfectly
well to you, doctor,

but I've never seen him this
way before, listless and sad.

He's a child.

The memory of what
happened won't last long.

But he's never been able to
understand about Uncle Dan.

If there was only some way

to make him understand gradually,

or if there was something
pertaining to Uncle Dan

that might reawaken his interest.

I wonder if that would work.

What are you thinking of?

Well, he could see Uncle Dan again.

He used to rehearse on talking film

so that he could criticize himself.

Yes, Uncle Dan's rehearsal film.

Say, that's right.

I could get Peaches to
bring over a projector.

Why couldn't we give
all the kids a show?

Fine, I'll make arrangements.

Would you have time, tomorrow, Jeff?

Election day and all?

Well, you know, all I can do now

about the election is sit around

and watch Farrow's majority roll up.

I'll get the film right now.

Say, tomorrow about 11?


Bye, son.

Bye, kids.


Well how did a shrewd fellow like you

manage to lose out on the primaries?

Crooked politics, if you must know.

Well, how's that?

I offered a buck a vote.

And the Farrow crowd offered two bucks.

It was a terrible blow to reform.

Well, you must know, Felix,

that life isn't just a series of jokes.

Not on this program, anyway.

Well, there comes a time when life

must be taken with grave seriousness.

Speak up, Uncle, let's
have it with both barrels.

Well, we're soon going
to have the final election

for mayor of this city.

Alright, kids, another reel comin' up.

How's it look?

You can mark the 12 to the 18 districts

in the Farrow column.

That gives us an overwhelming lead.

Yes, but nothing's in the
bag 'til the polls close.

The heaviest vote, and also the slowest,

is in the mid-town sections.

A convicted thief, a
man who is alive today

only because he bribed a
jury who would have sent him

to the gallows for murder,

could have the criminal insolence to run

for the highest public office in our city.

The proofs, I've got it, every bit of it,

right here in my possession.

Here is the original
warrant for his arrest

on that charge.

It gives his real name: Stanley Morgan.

20 year ago, he was a small-town swindler.

A man who demanded an accounting
for Morgan was killed.

Morgan was tried for murder,
but he escaped the charge.

And I have proof here
that he bribed the jury

which acquitted him, after
which Morgan disappeared.

Peaches, stop that film.

Hang onto that reel.

What are you going to do, Jeff.

I'm not gonna do
anything, but Uncle Dan is.

He's going back on the air.

Morgan disappeared.

Three years later, and 1,000 miles

from the scene of his crime,
he became Clifford Farrow.

For years these fingers have been dirty

with vice, graft, and corruption.

Today, his campaign manager
tried to bribe me into silence.

He murdered once to gain his ends,

and he may again, but he can't scare me

into withholding this evidence.

And you mustn't be misled
into voting for him.

Storm signals have been hoisted

all along the Atlantic Coast.

The Weather Bureau reports heavy rainfall

and winds of hurricane violence.

So that's what they got on ya.

If I woulda known this,
I wouldn'ta touched you

with a 10-foot pole.

We can quash all that
when Cliff takes office.

After that, he won't poll another vote.

We'll be lucky
if this doesn't land us

all in the state pen.

Southern resort towns

in the path of the hurricane
that is sweeping northward

toward New York have been abandoned.

An 85-mile-an-hour gale rages.

New York storm drains are taxed

by the heaviest downpour in years.

But that's nothing to what
has happened further south,

or might happen right here in New York,

which lies in the direct
path of the hurricane.

You know the trouble with you guys is

that you quit before you're licked.

Well, gentlemen, I'm not licked yet.

But after the evidence--

Sutter is right, that
wouldn't be admitted

as evidence in any court, particularly

- after I'm elected.
- Shut up.

Elected, how do you expect to be?

- Why, uh--
- Shut up.

He's in the lead, now.

- That right?
- Yes.

Well, gentlemen, he's
going to stay in the lead.

Come on.

Well, you did it, Jeff.

What a Garrison finish.

Just came from Farrow's
office, he's not seeing anybody.

I guess nobody's seeing him, either.

What's going on outside?

Somebody giving something away?

The reserve's waiting for
an extra on your scoop-a-roo.

- Great.
- It's too bad

we can't get this through to New York.

It's a national story.

Yeah, some storm we're having, huh?

Let me at him!

Let an old man embrace this
all-conquering hero, 'eh?

So you finally let them have
it with both barrels, 'eh?

Farrow won't get another
vote all afternoon.

If Dan were only here to see it.


He deserves every bit of credit for this.

Oh, I almost forgot Laurel called.

She's the proudest woman
in the world, Jeff.

I'll call her.

That storm in New York is
turning into an earthquake.

Earthquake in New York?

It's on the television.

Come on, let's take a look.

Not KBQ, the network station.


Men and women of America,

something ghastly has happened!

It's coming! It's here!

An earthquake in New York.

Oh, those millions of
human beings down there

in the heart of the city!

Death is underfoot, in the air!

It's indescribable!

Nothing can stop it!

Oh, why didn't we listen
when they warned us?

It's too late now, there's no escape!

The Naval Observatory
reports a tidal wave coming!

If that's true, then there
won't be a soul left alive!

Ships at sea confirm the
report of a tidal wave.

The air is crackling with SOS, tidal wave,

SOS, tidal wave, SOS, tidal wave!

The Empire State Building, it's crumbling!

The tidal wave, the
tidal wave, it's coming!

We'll all be killed!

The tidal wave!

A panic started, they're running wild!

- Where are you going?
- Gotta get out of here!

Well what's the use of running?

You can't reason with
a panic-stricken mob.

Well, get everybody on the roof.

If it's coming, that's
a good a place as any.

Get the people out of the press room!

Everybody! Quick!

Gotta get Laurel and Buddy.

But, here, you can't get
across town in this mob.

Try the phone.


Flash mob, the nation
place, tidal wave sighted

sweeping over Staten Island.

It's thundering onto Manhattan.

Warning, all states within 100 miles

of the Atlantic Coast plan to evacuate

the entire population at once!

The tidal wave will sweep inland.

National Guard and
American Legion commanders

report to the nearest Army
post for emergency service!

Tidal wave!

Run for your lives!

Tidal wave!

- What'd he say?
- Tidal wave, she comes!

Smash here, everybody!

The tidal wave has struck!

The whole Atlantic Ocean is pouring

into the New York harbor!

The city is doomed and the millions in it!

All of humanity!

Tidal wave, it's coming.

New York has been wiped out!


Come on, I've got a
car outside, come on!

Hurry up, Grandpa, hurry up!

There's the Jorgensen building,

the last one standing on Chamber Street,

going over like an old warrior.

It's impossible to see
anything past 14th Street, yet.

The peak of the flood water
is just now reaching there.

The Hudson River has swollen to a height

of 30 feet above tide.

Weehawken is the westward
path of the wave.

Attention, this may be the last warning

we'll have time to give!

The tidal wave is traveling rapidly.

Its direction is south by west,

and there goes what remains
of the Central Depot.

It's hard to watch that breaking up.

It must have been crowded with people

hoping to escape by train.

But no train, no train could outrace

the mad speed of the tidal flood waters.

Yes, but I must get
through to my husband.

Can't get a line through.

And it's rising fast.

We'll try to keep our equipment
dry as long as we can.

New York's highest point above sea level,

Washington Heights, is under water.

I guess the finish is near.

We'll take you down to the Bay again,

but it's hard to tell where it begins.

There's only one thing visible.

Men and women of America, this is the end.

What's that clicking?

The New York Teletype.

That's funny.

Hey, Jeff!

But that's impossible.

I just saw the Stock
Exchange building wrecked

in the television.

Confirm immediately.

Has tidal wave hit New York?

Hey, Chester.

What do you make of this?

A guy thinks we've had a tidal wave.


Somebody's idea of a gag.

They're answering.

Quit kidding, been raining
cats and dogs, here.

Some wires down, but if
there's been a tidal wave,

we didn't even get wet feet.

Yours must be cold.

That broadcast's a fake.

But why should anyone want
to pull a phony like that?

I don't know unless,
boy, have we been dumb.

What's the quickest way to get the people

away from the polls?

A panic!

You don't think that Farrow would be--

No, Farrow wouldn't, but Sutter would.

I'm going across the street to KNR,

and find out what is going on.

Meanwhile, you round up your gang

and get out a special bulletin.

We may need it.

But you better take Roy

and a bunch of my hustlers.

Will you stop shooting
that stuff and come on?

I should turn away from danger

and have my back face-to-face with it.

Why this is the most stupendous stuff

I ever shot in my life!

Yeah, but what good is it?

There won't be anybody left to show it to.

Look, honey, get lost, will ya?

Peaches, bring your still camera, quick.

You can't come in here.

Where do you think you're going, wise guy?

Just as I thought.

A city of eight million,

eight million souls, built by the toil

of 10 generations of men,

engulfed in one mad
moment of nature's fury.

What do you mean,
bursting into my station?

So, this little stunt
had station cooperation,

'eh, Miggins?

Here's your tidal wave, a movie.

How do you expect to get
away with that library film?

We forgot to announce it
was a film transcription.

And broadcasting a film isn't any crime.

Deliberately inciting a panic is.

You've gotten away with larceny, bribery,

and murder, but this time,
you tripped yourself up.

Now wait a minute, you can't interfere

with a legitimate television program.

We can until the polls close, tonight.

We'll try to bring the
people to their senses.

After that, the Grand Jury can have a look

at your legitimate little program.

You sure you got film in
the camera, this time?

Ah, plenty.

Then take another picture
of this legitimate enterprise

for the district attorney's office.

Jeff! Look out!

Peaches, don't let him get away!

Attention, everybody, attention.

This is Jeff Shannon,
your television reporter.

There is no disaster, you're in no danger.

The tidal wave broadcast was a fake!

Farrow, tell the people what happened.

It was intended as harmless amusement.

We didn't anticipate anybody
would take it seriously.

There's no cause for alarm.

You may return to the
polls in perfect safety

and cast your ballot for Clifford--

So you see, folks, there is no disaster.

No danger.

Nobody is threatened except

by Farrow's crooked political machine,

led by Melvin Sutter.

So go back to the polls, do
your duty as citizens and vote!

As your new mayor, I pledge myself

to complete the work that was begun

when the courts indicted
those who were guilty

of the cruel murder of my
good friend, Dan Carter.

The work in which he so nobly aided,

and the great sacrifice that he made

will never be forgotten.

Not in this house, anyway.

Not for two generations.

Look, Mommy!

Mable, I gotta talk to you.

Well, go ahead, but
I don't have to listen.

Aw, let's forget and forgive.

Oh, I bet you read that somewhere.

No, no, I still got the ring.

I just made another payment on it.

Let's see that dim light
that you're calling a ring.


Pretty, huh?

Now that we're alone, how
'bout a little kiss, huh?


Well, a kiss like that would cost a buck

and a half in the taxi.