The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979) - full transcript

Respected liberal Senator Joe Tynan is asked to lead the opposition to a Supreme Court appointment. It means losing an old friend and fudging principles to make the necessary deals, as well as further straining his already part-time family life. But it could be a big boost to his career, so he takes it on. Helping him prepare the case is pretty southern researcher Karen Traynor, and their developing relationship further complicates and compromises his life.

Black men and women between 20
and 24 are trying to find jobs...

to support themselves
and their families.

What are we here for gentlemen?

10 million people are not able
to put food on their tables.

Are we here for them?

Now, I know this bill
is not a cure all.

According to the estimates made By
the Congressional Budget Office...

between 66,000 and 70,000 jobs...

will be created for every
billion dollars spent.

So at best this will only
create a million jobs.

Only a million.

But the question is, can we afford
to subsidise that many jobs?

Well, let me ask my distinguished
colleague from Arizona.

How many children can this
nation afford to let go hungry?

If we're not here
for these children...

for these families...

what are we here for?

Mr President I yield the floor.

Do you realise I got
the Works Bill passed?

Do you know how many people
have tried? And I got it passed.

I think you must be a genius.
Really darling. That must be it

I've got clout.

My little subcommittee has power.

What? I don't have any covers.

- No kidding?
- What are you doing?

It's called getting you attention.

Oh, really?

You can't get enough of me, right?

- Well...
- Power makes women crazy.

It's certainly making you crazy.

Do you realise that I got
a bill passed today...

and it's going to put a
million people to work?

You know how I did it?

I said one word.


No. Subcommittee.

- Oh my God. Don't say that word.
- Why?

It drives me...


Stop it.

I'm gonna give you 6 seconds to
do something wonderful to my body.

After that I start
playing rough. Ok?

- 6, 4, 3...
- Come here.


- How's that? That better?
- Yes.

Do you know there
are dozens of men

in their beds
wishing they were me?

Just wishing they had their
names on that Public Works Bill.

- That's it.
- What?

- That's it.
- What?

- No, no, no.
- Come on.

Nobody pushes Joe
Tynan out of bed.

Oh yeah?

- How do you do that?
- I jog.

I have very strong legs.
You want to try again?

Am I sleepy.

- Come here.
- I won't.

- Yes.
- No.

- I'm a virgin.
- Not for long.


You look too good.
You're gonna lose votes.

Proxmire can do 60 of these.

Have you seen this?

Edward Anderson, yeah.

The President assured me he
was going to nominate him to...

fill Perkins' place
on the Supreme Court.

But he wasn't going to
announce it until next week.

I wonder why this leaked?

I don't know.

Can I see you in
your private office?

Yeah, sure Senator. Come on.

Good morning, Senator.

What's going on here? Who's
trying to block Anderson?

You think somebody's
trying to block him?

20 years ago, Anderson said
some things during a campaign...

that wouldn't sound so good today.

But the man's moderate. You
don't have to worry about him.

Senator, I don't know the man.

Now look I don't care if
you vote against him...

just don't make him
a problem for me.

Like what?

Like leading the opposition.

I shouldn't have any
trouble with this...

unless some flaming liberal
like you makes a fuss.

I'll give Anderson my most
careful consideration.

- You keep any bourbon down here?
- Sure.

You know, Joe...

some folks back home are saying
I'm beginning to get too old.

That my stroke has left me feeble.

That's a lot of bull, but...

They got somebody very
attractive running against me...

And I'd rather not take this
man on if I can avoid it.

I'm wondering if you
can guess who he is.

- Edward Anderson.
- If he's on the Supreme Court...

he's out of running for life...

and he happens to be
eminently qualified.

I understand, Sir.

- Can I count on you?
- Sure.

Well you vote against
him if you like, but...

just don't start a
crusade, alright?

Fine, Senator.

Are you with me?

I won't oppose you.


Piss on them, with their self
satisfied talk of old age.

They think they ain't gonna get

old? They just have
to wait a while.

Don't take any talent to get old.

Whence that idea of eternal youth?

Answer me that, mon vieux.

I don't speak French, Senator.

You vote against him, but
just don't make a fuss.

Listen my friend...

it's not worth the trouble.

You should read what
Stendhal said about it.

It's all there. He said it all.

I won't oppose you on this.


And I told him you
wouldn't come out

against Anderson?
You told him that?

Maybe he won't remember.

His guy just had me on
the phone nailing it down.

Goddammit. Can I have that
file on ageing please?

I wish you'd make him ask twice,
at least he'd owe us something.

Angela, I have the status of the

bills on ageing in
the House for you.

- Ok. I'll write it up for you.
- Thank you.

How bad can Anderson be?

Arthur Briggs of the NAACP
told me he's a racist.


The man has come out publicly
in favour of segregated schools.

Jesus Christ.

Senator Henry Goodfellow...

director of the National Civil
Rights Coalition is on three.

Says it's urgent. Can you take it?

His name is Henry?

Henry, how are you?

No, I have not come out in favour
of Anderson. It's only a rumour.

Joe Tynan is not
gonna back a racist.

Yeah. Henry, how's Florence?

Yeah, give her my best.

Ok. Bye bye.

Francis, if I fought Birney
on this, I'd be against the...

most powerful man in the
Senate, and the President.

I'd get my brains knocked out.

If you were to establish yourself
as the big kid on the block...

- Birney's the one to beat.
- He's also a friend.

Yeah, well...

Of course, this is a decision
that no one can make for you.

Let's see what Arthur
Briggs has to say.

Anderson may be a moderate
to Senator Birney...

but he's certainly
no moderate to us.

I'm still not convinced
the man is all that bad.

I mean people do
rise to the office.

I would like to
read you something.

"In my heart, I have never
accepted integration...

and I never will."

How would you feel about
the man who said that?

Not so good.

Mrs Traynour is a
fine labour lawyer.

She's also our local
Counsel in Louisiana.

She knows Anderson's background.

Whoever leads a fight
against Anderson

is going to get a
lot of attention.

Someone's getting a
lot of ink out of this.

But, if you choose
not to take him on...

we're gonna release a statement
to the press ourselves.

Then, as the fiery
liberal from New

York, I'll have to go him anyway.

That will be up to you, Senator.

Very nice, Arthur.

I would need more than this. I
can't quote him out of context.

There's film on him saying this.

And there has to be a consistent
pattern showing him unfit.

You'll have it, Senator.

Get me that, and I'm with you.

Senator, thank you.
We'll be in touch.

I'll call you at
the end of the week.

Nice to meet you, Mrs Traynour.


Looks like we're in for a fight.

- This man's not a racist.
- He is to them.

And it's also a hell
of an opportunity.

I don't think I should betray a
friend just for an opportunity.

Politics and politicians...

it's not a popular subject,
particularly on talkshows.

Everyone wants entertainment and
to forget about their problems.

For so long the
public hasn't trusted

their public officials, but...

of all the people in politics...

the public loves you. We
see it in your mail...

when you've been on in the past.

Thank you. That's high praise.
You talk to some of the best.

I'm curious, somebody just told
me, your son ran for President.

- Of his class, yes.
- Oh, of his class.

It was really very interesting.
A great wave of anxiety at home.

Because we wanted him to win...

We took a speech of mine
and tailored it for him...

to give in the class...

and he really was
wonderful with that speech.

He gave that speech about as
well as it could be given.

- How'd he do?
- He lost.

Oh shit.

I'm sorry, Paul.
Did I embarrass you?

He lost gracefully.

And that's one of
the best things to

learn, is how lose with a smile...

and he smiled right up until
the point he broke down.

I want to get a little personal.

You're private about
your home life.

And you live in Westchester.

What is it?

How's everything going with you?


Why? What's the matter?

- You want to know?
- Yeah.

- Really?
- Janet, what's the problem?

Life sucks.

I see.

What do you mean, life sucks?

It sucks.

In what way exactly does it suck?

Every way.

You're not being very explicit.

I'm not very happy, ok?

Whatever you're going through Mum

and I have probably
gone through it.

Use us.

- Maybe I'll talk to Mama.
- Ok. I'll get her.

No. I mean someday.

You don't have to tell us
anything personal you know.

But when you're ready...

a little hint. Ok?


I'll see you later.


Karen Traynour,
Congresswoman Cenza.

- Hello.
- Oscar Harris.

- Nice to meet you.
- You know Francis.

Ok, Joe. We'll be in touch.

- Good to see you again.
- Goodbye, Joe.


Find out if Halloren is
gonna be against us on this.


- Sorry if I was interrupting.
- No, you're right on time.

- Can I get you a cup of coffee?
- No thanks.

Too cold out here for you?

No, I love the cold.


How's it going?

I'm not crazy about
admitting it, but

I'm having trouble
getting that film.

If it's not there, it's not there.

It's there. Somebody's holding
it back. A black woman.

I can't believe it.

- Can you get to her?
- It's Carla Willis. You know her.

- Yeah, she's going for Congress.
- Yeah.

Somebody on her
staff can a hold of

a kinescope of him making that...

"in my heart" speech. She won't
use it and won't give it up.

I think she's made a deal.

How would you feel
about talking to her?

- I don't know.
- I think you should.

I think you are the most exciting

political figure in
the country today.

And when I think
about the splash you

could make if you had this film...

I get weak in the knees.

And of course, it's
the right thing to do.

I'm speaking in Houston
on Friday right?

That's right.

I come to New Orleans on Saturday,
and we'll talk to her. How's that?

Senator, this is gonna
make a big difference.

Mrs Traynour, that film is ours.

You and your stupid friends,
just stay out of my stuff, ok?

- I'm not even in your room.
- You're always in there.

- Bullshit.
- Will you stop swearing you shit.

What is going on up there?

He probably read one of her love
letters. They'll work it out.

Jesus Christ.

Joe, they can work this
thing out without a parent.

They don't need a parent,
they need a referee.

Hey, come on. Cut it out.

Joe, come here. Sit down.

What are you doing?

I'm trying to figure out my
reactions to one of my patients.

Everyday I make the same
notes over and over.

Nothing new.

It's like following
you in a campaign.

Listening to you make that
same speech day after day.


Didn't I read in
Time magazine that

you have a great sense of humour?

That's why I'm not laughing.

That's good.

That's good.

I may not like politics,
but I love you.

- Excuse me.
- That's alright.

Yeah, but you know,
I'm a politician.

I mean, I am politics.

You're a good, decent
man who's in politics.

If you ever are politics...


Would you still love me?

I'll have to get back
to you on that one.

If she touches my
racket once more,

I'll break her camera. Got that?

- Right.
- Just so you know that.

Oh God.

When will we all
grow up? Any of us?

- Do you mind if I drive?
- No, not at all.

- How long you been flying?
- Long time.

I think 2 weeks is a
long time, don't you?

I was right about Carla Willis.

- She made a deal.
- How do you know?

I asked her Louisiana
Democratic Chairman.

And he told you?

He's my daddy.

Full of surprises, aren't you?

So you've been in
politics all your life?

When I was a little girl, I used
to go campaigning with my daddy...

on every one of those
roads down there.

- Wasn't that hard on you?
- It was that or never see him.

- This is flying, isn't it?
- Yeah, this is great.

I can't buy a
Congressional campaign

on what I make from soy beans.

I need the support of the
Democratic organisation.

The man is headed for
the Supreme Court.

He'll affect this country
for as long as he lives.

Times have changed.
He's not that bad.

How bad does he have to be, Carla?

I was in Catahoula
parish when my daddy...

came down here and supported
you for legislature.

I remember what
you said that night

about the people you grew up with.

You remember that?

How bad does he have to be?

You ask your daddy...

if I get the Democratic nomination
if I help you destroy Anderson.

Mrs Willis, I didn't want
to go after Anderson either.

I have a lot to loose
if I fail on this.

But you have a lot
to gain if you win.

And I won't forget you when I win.

And I will win.

He's gonna win.

I want the voters of
this county to know...

that regardless of what
I've said in the past...

or that I might say
in the future...

in my heart, I have never accepted
integration and I never will.

- I guess I better get that.
- Alright.

I don't answer it any more.

One of Joe's
constituents called once

and offered to blow up our house.


There's a lot of pressure
in a political family.

Joe's a public figure. I'm
trying to do other things.


Yeah Francis?

You've become a
psychologist lately?

I've just been
accepted as a fellow

at the Karen Horney Institute.

I have my own case load.
It's very exciting.

How did you get interested
in that? Were you in therapy?

I was. Yes.

A lot of political people are
reluctant to talk about therapy.

I certainly don't
think treatment's

anything to be ashamed of.

It's my profession.

Has it been difficult
being a political wife?

It was at the beginning, yes.

During Joe's first campaign they
had me out stumping for him.

We were running ourselves
ragged, I had a miscarriage.

Joe couldn't take
me to the hospital.

One of his aides checked me in.

It was a nightmare for both of us.

Just get them on, alright. Tell
them that's part of the deal.

Alright. Goodbye.

Is that when you
went into therapy?

I thought I needed a few
sessions to get my head straight.

6 years later I was thinking it
would go on till after my death.

I guess I'm not too
thrilled with politics.

I'm sorry. What did I miss?

I've heard it all before.

I guess you can tell Ellie
is a very special woman.

Ok. Come on. What is it?

It's your life. I'm not gonna
tell you not to talk about it.

I think that's a good idea.

You know what it costs to
talk like that to reporters.

To say I've been in
therapy? 60 votes.

I didn't say you were in therapy.
That would mean 1000 votes.

Analysis is 6000 votes.
Lithium is 20,000 votes.

Electroshock go for 60,000 each.

I know what things cost.

Look, these people
ask anything they can.

Don't dig into your bowels for

every question
about the furniture.

She wasn't asking about the

furniture. She was
asking about me.

It's taken me 7 years, but I think
I know how to tell the difference.

How could you get her to let
you run down politics like that?

I didn't want to do the
interview. I told you that.

Ellie, how much do
I ask you to do?

You live a life entirely
apart from politics.

No I don't. I can't
escape it for a minute.

I can't call a plumber
without being Mrs Joe Tynan.

"Yes, Mrs Tynan. I worked on the
Senator's toilet a few years ago."

I'm living in a fish bowl.

It's a bit late to think of that?

When was I supposed
to think of it?

When you decided to run for
Senate without asking me?

When I heard your decision to run
for re-election on television?

I discussed that with you.

You said you were
thinking about it.

What did you expect me to
do? It was there, wasn't it?

You're never gonna give anything
any thought as long as it's there?

What about today, Ellie?

I was asked questions
about my life. I answered.

Next time, for God's
sake, handle it.

Help a little.

Next time you handle it.

And next week when
they come to take

our pictures for that interview...

stand with your arms around
your administrative assistant.

This is sensational.

Where did you get all this stuff?

A lot of digging.


Thank you.

I'll tell you what I would like.

I would love to work with
you when you make your move.

I think we would knock them
right on their fannies.

You really like to win, don't you?

When I want something,
I go get it.

Just like you.

I have some more
notes in my briefcase.

I have a 1970 decision
on segregation...

that makes him look really bad.

What are you smiling at?

I'm not sure.

What do you think
you're smiling at?

Well, I think that...

something may be happening
that we didn't expect.

What do you think?

I was hoping we were gonna have
the brains not to mention it.

We don't have to do
anything about it,

but there's no harm
in being honest.

You have no idea
how many times I've

thought of you since New Orleans.

Yeah I do.

You know, I have a husband.

I'm not suggesting anything.

However, I do notice that I...

I want this Anderson
thing to go on forever.

I think I'm infatuated with you.

You remind me of John F. Kennedy.

Oh boy.

I've never heard that one before.

You do.

If you looked just behind his

eyes... His
intelligence, his wit...

his compassion, just like you.

Did you make a pass at Kennedy?

Is this a pass?

- I think this is a pass.
- Yeah.


I'll have to call later.

Alright. Ok. Yeah. Put
him through down here.

It's my son. He said
it's an emergency.


What? What rabbit?

Oh yeah. What's the matter?

Why won't she let you
keep it in your room?

It's gonna smell
up the whole house.

No wait. I can't talk
to her right now.

Ok. Alright. Put her on.


Maybe you can keep it in the

basement. You won't
smell it there.

Maybe it's not the
rabbit, it's him.

Ellie, I'll be home
for the weekend.


Me too.

I'll see you in a
couple of days. Bye bye.

Joe, I think I'd better go.

No, wait a minute.
Just a second. Please.

You weren't faking with her.

So, I don't think I
want you faking with me.

What would you think about
living in Washington?

You mean move there?

I think I need you down there.

No. I wanted to move to Washington

when you first got
elected Senator.

You said to stay here so we could
have the weekends to ourselves.

Now we don't have weekends
any more. I have to lecture.

You "have" to lecture.

Do you think I can live on
what I make as a Senator?

And what about my work?

Isn't there a psychoanalytic
institute in Washington?

I guess there is, but...

the one that's accepted
me is in New York.

And the man I work
with, the man who's

brought me along to this point...

is also in New York.

I don't just work
in a building. There

are people who mean
something to me.



Think about Washington, will you?

- You got your raincoat?
- It's in my bag.

You gonna have some coffee?

I haven't got time, honey.

- Isn't that your line?
- Yeah.

It's probably the office.

I'll call them back later. Can
I drive you to the airport?

I have a driver
downstairs. Thanks.

Where will you be going?

New York, Rome then Tunis.

Didn't my girl send
your girl the itinerary?

She probably couldn't believe it

was our only means
of communication.

When you get to
Italy, you call me?


- Goodbye.
- Bye.

- Hello?
- Karen, its' Joe.

- Hi.
- You're kind of hard to reach.

- Yeah.
- Listen on the Anderson thing...


I need to do more with you.
Can you come up to Washington?

I can't, Joe.

The hearings are
in 3 weeks. I need

your help with a
line of questioning.

- Nobody else can do that?
- You did most of the research.

I don't see how I can. When
would you want me there?

How about tomorrow?

No, I have a problem. I'm
trying to settle a strike.

I thought that's
what this call was.

Ok, Wednesday.

I really need you. I
need your expertise.


You're not gonna quit when we're
so close to winning, are you?

Alright. Alright. Wednesday, Joe.

- But listen...
- Yeah?

This is just work, right?

Karen the hearings are
in 3 weeks. I need help.

I mean if you sit on
the couch and I don't...

- that's not gonna make you smile?
- Why would that make me smile?

I'll see you Wednesday, Joe.

I'm not sure it's worth
the extra expense.

I think she'll work out fine.

I think Karen Traynour
is terrific, but...

I don't know if we can get
much more mileage out of her.

No, I want to work some more
with her on this, Francis.

I've already asked her.


I'm sure she's very knowledgeable.

Yeah. She can make a difference.


I'll get her a room at the Fairfax
and you can work with her there.

- Fine.
- I'll take care of that myself.


- Hi.
- Hi.

I spent a lot of time on the plane
working on notes for this meeting.


We'll... We'll go
over it together.

Yeah, good.

- This place have a bedroom?
- I don't know. I just got here.

Oh God, you taste good.

Can you... I can't get my arm out.

- What?
- I can't get my arm out.

Listen, I'm gonna...

I'm gonna sound like an idiot
talking about this now...

but I want to be honest with you.

I know. You're married.

I know. So am I.

That's ok.

You're very demonstrative.

You never love made
love to a Democrat?

This affair's gonna
put 20 pounds on me.

How come you don't just smoke
after, like normal people?

I'm very oral.

So I noticed.

What's his name?

- My husband?
- Yeah.


Barry? Sounds very upper.

He works his way upper.
You'd probably like him.

What's he doing while you're here?

He's in...

Tunis. He travels a lot.

That I like.

Is your wife as smart as they
say in all the magazines?

Sorry, I wish I could tell you
she had the brains of chorus girl.

Unfortunately, just
the body of one.

That's cute. That's really cute.

Jesus. I think you froze it.

You alright? Come here.

Yeah, it's true. Things
do contract in the cold.

You southerners are all nuts.

I talked to my daddy.

I got some terrific stuff
you can use against Anderson.

Yeah? Like what?

Campaign contributions...

Two corporations made
secret contributions.

That's great. We don't
even have to use it.

- I can just tell them I got it.
- Yeah.

Yeah, that's good.

Oh my God. You are gonna be
so fantastic in this hearing.

Do you know how far
you're gonna go with this?

When you get there...

clip me a rose from the rose
garden and send it to me, ok?

She had the biggest
tits I ever saw, Joe.

If I ever fell into a pot of
honey, that was it. I said...

"Look here young
lady, I am US Senator.

What if someone comes in here and
finds me in the public toilet...

in flagrant poontang while
I'm flying over my state?"

Then, Christ. She threw a fit

it was wonderful.

She acted so needy. I just had
to give in, you know what I mean?


Afterwards she gave me this
card that says I'm a...

member of the Mile High Club.

For doing it over 6000 feet.

You are the genuine article.

It was a religious experience.

Son, I felt close to God.

Today I had a visit from some
guys representing labour unions.

They tell me that they have
you on this Anderson thing.

- They had me?
- I said, "Listen...

it's high time the South was
represented on the Supreme Court.

This means a lot to Senator Birney
and it means a lot to me too.

I'm sure Senator
Tynan will talk this

over before coming out against us.

Well, Hugh...

I'm sure Birney will get what
he wants. He usually does.

What do you say we go partners
on those two over there?

I'll give you 60 bucks if
that blond ain't a screamer.

Are you crazy? That's
somebody's wife.

Ain't nobody's wife
any more than I am.

That's Hutchin's wife, the
freshman from Minnesota.

Jesus H.

Goddamn hippies don't even marry
women that look like wives.


- Hey Joe.
- Althena.

Come sit next to me for a minute.

I really don't think you ought to

be seen talking to
that horse's ass.

- Which one?
- My husband.

Look at him talking
to that shit Cardoza.

He's got the same
taste in business

associates that he does in women.

Why don't you come over
to my house sometime...

and we'll have an affair?

When was the last time you and
Hugh took a vacation together?

Took a vacation together?

I won't sleep with him, I won't
even drink out of the same cup.

- You want to do me a favour?
- What?

Get me another...

glass of this bourbon.

Are you sure?

Why don't you just
go screw yourself?

Would you get me another
real big glass of bourbon?

- Yes, Madam.
- Thank you.

Can I get you something to eat?

And spoil all this good
bourbon? Don't be silly.

Go on. Mingle, Joe.

Oh my God.

Would you look at that one?

Who in the hell do you
suppose brought her?

I don't think anyone brought her.

I see. She's freelancing.

That lady might stand to make
60 dollars real easy tonight.

That is if she can get up
the stairs 10 or 12 times.

You know Congressman Tiller?

- Yes, how are you?
- How are you Senator.

Senator Joe Tynan, Karen Traynour.

Yes, we've met.

- How are you?
- Fine. How have you been?


- You know Mary Cenza.
- Hello.

I am starving. They
got any food here?

In the other room
they have chicken

salad in the shape of Louisiana.

You want to stay? There's a
good restaurant at your hotel.

That sounds convenient.

Why don't we see what
they have inside first?

- Excuse us.
- Nice to see you again.

Let's give her room.

Look out. Give her room. Get
this thing out of her way.

Watch out, honey.

Hold it.

Hold it. Jesus.

What an asshole.

How could you go there with him?

I thought you weren't
gonna get involved.

How could you go anywhere with
him? The man is a renown jerk.

He was perfectly adequate
for what I needed him for:

Someone to past the evening with.

- How do you know him?
- He's my Congressman.

You're in bigger
trouble than I thought.

So are you.

Senator Kittner always
lands on his feet.

I don't know sometimes.
He's driving me nuts.

He's a wildman. Instead of talking
legislation, he talks about sex.

I'm trying to go over
his defence bill...

and he wants to bet 16 dollars the
waitress isn't wearing panties.

Francis, Senator
Tynan isn't gonna go

out in front against
Anderson, is he?

No, he's just voting against him.

I'm sure that's as
far as it'll go.

Francis, how big a
problem do I have?

Is your boss gonna make
a big thing out of this?

Nothing that your guys
can't handle. Sure, John.

Oh shit.


We've got a problem.

We've lost Senator Tynan
on the Anderson thing.

John, I'm kinda busy
now. I'm reading here.

I don't mean we've just lost his

vote, He's gonna
lead the opposition?


Well, John...

I'm reading here from my pad.

Senator, we could have a real...?

Maybe we could discuss this later.


I'm reading right now.


Well I'll just... Right.

Would you ask Tynan to
come down for some gumbo...

in my private office?


My private office in the basement.

Right. I'll get right on it.


- Close the door when you go out.
- Yeah.

I got a red pepper in here grows
only on the shores of hell.

- Here it comes.
- Not for me.

I might need my stomach later.

How bout it, Joe?
You only live once.

- Hugh, I can't.
- Come on.

I just swallowed the
roof of my mouth.

- Have some good Southern cooking.
- Jesus H.

In Baton Rouge this is baby food.

Hugh, you are so full of
shit I can't believe it.

- You haven't had one spoonful.
- Son...

- I'll match you bite for bite.
- Go ahead, Hugh.

Divide that in half.

In half? There's almost
4 pounds in here.

I know, for a country boy like
you this is just an appetiser.

You're never gonna
see... Oh, my plate.

You're never gonna see the
bottom of this dish, kid.

I'll give the winner a buck for
every second under 2 minutes.


Come on, Joe.

Get him.

Think I'm gonna be sick.

This here's a Goddamn
Shriner's convention?

Can I get something for you?

What about a noise
maker and a hat.

Never happened to me before.
I think I have the flu.

Must be it.

It's not my opinion this man
is gonna change his mind...

just because you two
have thrown up together.

Are you gonna fight us on
Edward Anderson or not?

You know how much I respect you...

Yes or no?

- I'll answer you but...
- Listen, my friend.

I asked you a very
simple question.

- Senator, now hold it.
- Yes or no?

Hurry up, sir. I am fed up...

Cut it out.

You understand what I'm saying?

Yeah, I do.

I sure as hell don't.

He just don't want to
be pressured that's all.

Who does?

Thing is, I think
we can find a way

to see each other's point of view.

Don't you think we can?

Sure. Why not?

How about a beer, Senator?

- You're my favourite Senator.
- How are you?

You're wonderful. Would you give
me your autograph for my daughter?

- Yeah.
- She thinks you're wonderful.

And you're wonderful too.

I've read your a psychologist.
My son's interested in that.

Ok, thank you. Goodbye.


May I help you, Senator?



- Where's the pro shop?
- Out the front door, to the left.

Out, it's to the left here.

Why are we going to the Pro shop?

Because the guy who just waved at
me is Senator Aikers of Minnesota.

- So now we're gonna play golf?
- I don't know how to hold a club.

No, got to go.

Hello. Hi. Jesus.

Hi, Senator. Can I help you?

Yes, we'd like to rent some
clubs and a golf cart and...

balls and things.

Sure, you want to come over here?

You want to hold it down?

Try to look like a golfer.

People don't laugh like
that on a golf course.

- Where are we going?
- I'm looking for privacy.


- Oh no.
- There.

¡No. ¡No.


Oh God.

Will you stop laughing?

I can't.

I can't help it.

What do we have to eat?


Remove that.


- Hi. You need a lift?
- Hi.

- Where you going?
- Just seeing some friends.

I don't want to get
your defences up,

but what are you
doing hitch-hiking?

Don't worry, I'm careful.

You're not allowed to hitch-hike.

Why not? It's really dumb.

I'm not gonna get murdered.

You're not gonna go round
doing anything you damn please.

You're getting your wings clipped.

What does that mean?

We're going to start
living a normal life.

How? What are you talking about?

I'm talking about the whole
family living in the same house.


I'm thinking of
moving to Washington.

No. No way.

I'm not going.

It's not gonna be
easy on any of us.

Mum, no. I don't
want to go. I can't.

You can't make me leave
my friends. Please.


It's not good for us like this.

- Dad misses us a lot.
- Then let him move.

- He can't. His work is there.
- I'm not going.

- I'm not going.
- No, Janet.

Close that door.

That door now.

Come on home with me, ok?

We'll have a cup of
tea and we'll talk.

About what?

About nothing.

We'll just calm down.

- What's for desert?
- Fruit compote.

Terrific. I haven't had
that in a long time.

- Don't give me any.
- Why not?

It's got prunes in it.

When was the last
time you tried it?

When I was too little to fight
back. Don't even let me smell it.

- Try it. It's good for you.
- Where's your curiosity?

- Dad's right, it's an adventure.
- Eating prunes is an adventure?

Not really. We lie.


I don't want this. It's got sugar.

Where are you going?

Sit down. Let's have
a little conversation.

What do you want to talk about?

Whatever comes up. Sit down. I
haven't been home in 3 weeks.

How was that paper you did on
Roosevelt? How'd it turn out?

I told you. I got an A on it.

Right, I forgot. I'm
sorry. Can I read it?

They're keeping it for the student
fair. Are you coming to that?

- When is that?
- I told you, May 11.

No, I can't. I got
to be in Washington.

- I'm sorry.
- No, that's ok.

I think you made a really
good choice with Roosevelt.

He's a really fascinating man.

- He had...
- Can I go?

You always talk about things
that don't interest me.

So we'll include you.

How's your bike? Did
you fix the chain?

In that case, can I go?
I'm sick of his bike.

- Why don't you shut it?
- Goodbye.


Dad, that game's on.

Go ahead. I'll talk to you later.

I really love a close
knit family like this.

You were rushing them. You have
to talk about what interests them.

I tried to talk about
what interests them.

You were doing all the talking.

- Senator.
- Sorry, can't right now.

Pardew, the coal mine safety
measures and health standards.

He's giving up some ground but

what he's got left
is still strong.

Ok. Fine. Hi, how are
you? Good to see you.

- How's it look?
- Head count not so good.

Write me up something and
we'll use it later, ok?

- Mr Treadwell.
- No.

Mr Travis.


- Mr Tynan.
- Aye.

- How's it going, Ed?
- They're killing us.

- It's an excellent amendment.
- Mr Arthur Lewis.


- It'll save a few lives.
- Mr Ervin.

If you don't get it passed this
session, you will next time.

- I won't be here next session.
- Mr Mc Carro.

I've had enough.

After a while you start to
forget what you're here for.

Then getting clout and
keeping it is all there is.

You start lying to your
constituents, your colleagues...

to everybody...

and you forget what you thought
you cared most about in life.

Among the courtesy calls
Mr Anderson made today...

was one to the office
of Senator Joe Tynan.

Why didn't somebody tell
me to get my cowlick down?

I think you look sincere this way.

Look at that.

I had a very frank and very
useful talk with Mr Anderson.

I find him a straightforward man.

- Will you support his nomination?
- No, I'm afraid I can't.

Are you going to lead the
opposition against Mr Anderson?

Well if I can be of any
help to my colleagues...

I'd be happy to confer
with them on this.

Well, there it is.

I wonder if Birney's
heard this yet.

Can't expect to loose votes
at home. The man's a realist.

If the President
likes Mr Anderson...

he should be considered carefully.
We're not gonna be capricious.

Senator Birney's
office just called.

He wants to see you right away.

- That was quick.
- Good luck.

- I'll be back in half an hour.
- Give them hell.

You see the Boy
Scouts in 46 minutes.


Does the opposition have enough
to go against the President?

Senator, I'm not
looking to dethrone you.

I've always thought
we were friends.

So have I.

What will you do if the Senate

starts lining up
against you on this?

I was counting on
you to stop them.

Isn't that asking a lot?

Of a friend?

Joe, they're after me.

I stand convicted
of being an old man.

Joe, I need your
help. I'll owe you.

Why does this have to be over
Anderson? He could destroy me.

I didn't draw the
lines for this battle.

I didn't either. I'd
hoped you'd remember that.

I can't let you do this to me. Not
with the whole Senate watching.

This would hurt me
very badly at home.

You can live with this.

I know you can because
I've lived with worse.

You just want to get some
mileage out of this...

Save the country from a
disastrous appointment...

- make yourself a hero.
- No I don't, Senator.

The hell you don't.

If I were you I wouldn't put the

Presidential seal
on my shorts yet.

You do this...

and no bill of yours will
ever get out of my committee.

It'll take time, but I got a
lot of friends around here...

and your little subcommittee
ain't gonna have much of a budget.

You'll look about
as glamorous as a

toad with a tyre
track on its back.

How does that sound to you?

Thanks for the bourbon, Senator.

Is this a direct quote?

Yeah. Look, stay away
from voter registration.

He's got himself covered
there. Stick to schooling.

Here, "Laycock vs. Louisiana".

Just read him that,
ask him if he said it.

"Nothing can compel a community
to open its doors to any group...

which it fears for
its very survival.

This is the principle of self

defence which
precedes all others."

Did you say that, Mr Anderson?

You're quoting me out
of context, Senator.

I am not, sir.

Let me ask the clerk to hand
you a copy of your opinion...

in "Laycock vs. The
State of Louisiana".

You can read any sentence
you like, Mr Anderson.

Mr Anderson...

Wasn't your decision in this case
overturned by a higher court...

in a matter of hours?

Yes, Senator.

And hours after that I directed
the State of Louisiana to comply.

In just hours?

What about the fact that
it's been 20 years...

since the Supreme Court ordered
your schools integrated?

You can't change
old ways overnight.

You have to learn to
crawl before we can walk.

20 years, Mr Anderson.
We got people

on the moon and
you can't walk yet?

We will have quiet in this room.

There will be no more outbursts
or we will clear the room.

In as much as Senator
Birney has returned...

we will return the gavel to
the Chairman of this committee.

Mr Anderson...

when you were Attorney General
of the State of Louisiana...

you worked to tone down a...

desegregation plan, didn't you?

Yes sir, I did.

Would you tell us
why, Mr Anderson?

Because the schools would
have closed Senator.

Forced integration didn't
work in Boston today...

and it wasn't working in
the South 16 years ago.

I found a compromise...

that allowed children of both
races to continue to go to school.

Mr Chairman, I'd like to point
out I still have 6 minutes...

under the rules to
question the nominee.

Certainly, Senator
Tynan. Go right ahead.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

I felt that you are a decent man.

I'm not impugning
your basic motives.

But do you feel in
your public life,

you've devoted
yourself to carrying...

out the spirit of the lay?

To the best of my
ability, Senator.

When you said...

"if the Supreme Court wants to put
crime in the schools, let them...

but we don't have to send
our children there...

was that to the best
of your ability?

Was it when you raised funds
for segregated private schools?

When you said, "In my heart, I've
never accepted integration...

and I never will", was that
to the best of your ability?

Now that is untrue.

Would you like to see the film
I have of you saying that?

What about the Law of the Land?

What about simple human justice?


- I have no further questions.
- Order.

Can I have order here.

I want order.

Order, we will have here.

These proceedings will be
conducted with dignity.

I remind our guest that
this is a Senate hearing.

And not a circus.

This is not a roman circus.

In what manner are we conducting
our meetings, my friends?

Allow me to remind you
this is not a comedy.

- Mr Chairman.
- Let us remember...

the words of Mr Stendhal...

with which he begins
la "Rouge et Noir".

- Mr Chairman.
- "The village of Verrières...

may be one of the most
beautiful of the French County.

It is a sense of
peace I seek here."

Mr Chairman, if I may...

"in it's white houses with
their pointed roofs...

of red tile, spread
over the hillside..."

Mr Chairman.

"Where the hardy chestnut trees...

mark a grand sinuosity".

"Monsieur" La Chairman.

In a victory for
Senator Joe Tynan...

the President withdrew
the nomination

of Anderson to the Supreme Court.

And has instead submitted
the name of Richard Emerson.

Confirmation is
expected within days.

Might this be a trampoline
into a presidential office?

I'm glad the governor
has confidence in me...

but I think that's premature.

Isn't it true that Professor
Woodruff from Harvard...

has come to Washington to advice
you on foreign policy matters?

Yes, that's right.

If you have no ambitions
for higher office...

why the sudden need for
a foreign policy advisor?

Richard, I think that...

this is the greatest
deliberative body in the world...

because it doesn't simply concern
itself with parochial interests.

We're not only concerned with our
states, but with world events.

I think every Senator
has that responsibility.

Senator, someone has said you've

engaged a speech
coach of some kind.

- Is that true?
- You think I need one, Frank?

- Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
- Thank you.

First of all let's
kill the speech coach.

Let's set up some
interviews with...

the editorial boards of a
few good newspapers, ok?

- You know whatever.
- Ok.

Let's start hitting the
people we got cards on.

- Money letter?
- No. Not yet.

Let's send a letter to
their special interest.

"Dear Clyde, I've
been giving a lot of

thought to the state
of our nation...


whatever... pollution, racism,
whatever we have him coded for.

"I need your ideas, your
intuition, your passion."

Then we'll hit them for money.

Senator Joe Tynan speaks on
our national energy crisis.

6 seconds.

Why should an 86 year old
woman freeze to death...

in her own apartment
in Pennsylvania?

Don't open your
eyes wide like that.

It's honest and sincere,
but it's not fatherly.

You've got to show
a quiet strength.

Don't be afraid to be a
little bit more butch.

You're head is tilted. You
got to keep it straight.

That's butch.

Bring it around to foreign
entanglements, that sort of thing.

Why should such
important decisions...

Senator Joe Tynan of our State
of New York is with us...

Senator, the President's
calling on line 2.

There's a call for you in the
control room. It's your wife.

- Ellie?
- Hi.

We've got a problem.

It's Janet.

She woke up with a fever of 104.

- Did you call Sam?
- He just left.

He thinks she has viral hepatitis.

What makes him so sure it's that?

Her skin is yellow.

It seems she's had
herself tattooed.


- That's what I said.
- Tattooed?

I never saw any tattoos on her.

It's on her behind.

- Put her on the phone.
- I can't. She's sleeping.

- I want to talk to her.
- Joe, she's sleeping.

What's she got it on her behind
for? Who's gonna see it there?

I was wondering the same thing.

I mean... What is it?
Does it say something?

It's a flower. A tulip.

Jesus. A tulip.

On her behind.

One second.

Hi. What?

I just wanted to see how
you're doing. Can I come in?

Can I call you back in a few
minutes? Yeah. Ok. Bye-bye.

- You're fever's down.
- Yeah. I'm bored to death.

- To get well, you have to rest.
- No kidding?

Can I ask you a question?
Why did you get a tattoo?

No. You can't ask me.

What's that?

I got you some daisies
from the garden.

- Oh yeah?
- I wasn't very smart.

I've got anything to put them in.

Put them in the water glass.


They're nice.

You know?

We ought to know more about what's
going on in each other's lives.

Yeah? Like what?

You're seeing a boy and
I don't really know him.

You don't know him at all.

I'd like to meet him sometime.

- Why?
- Because you're my daughter.

Will you just leave me alone?

No, I'm not gonna leave you
alone. Goddammit, I love you.

Don't you think I'm old
enough my own friends.

Of course you are. I
just want to meet them.


So I can know what
you're going through.

- What for?
- Because I love you, Goddammit.

I'm sorry I raised my voice.

And every time you tell me you
love me, you say "Goddammit".

I don't understand what
went through your head.

You must have known that
a tattoo doesn't come off.

I don't want it to come off.

How are you going to
explain that later?

I don't have to explain
my Goddamn ass to anybody.

- Calm down.
- It's my ass, isn't it?

As long as your ass is in this
house I have to watch out for it.

Will you just leave me alone?

I'm not leaving until I get
some kind of response from you.

Yeah? Ok.

- That's not what I had in mind.
- Get out.

- Go on.
- Alright. Calm down.



Don't you know that I love you...

that I just want to
be closer to you?

Don't you understand that?



You're not here
that much, are you?


Open the door.


Just for a second,
please. Then I'll go.



How did I lose her?

You didn't. She adores you.

She says I'm never here.

Why don't you take
her away next weekend?

Up to the barn, alone.

Talk with her. Picnic.

Have some fun.

I have a fundraiser at
the Hilton next weekend.

Tell them your sick.

What are you doing?



No. Everything's fine.

Listen, that fundraiser
at the Hilton next week...

I want to cancel that.

Why not?

Well so what?

Who do I represent? The
White House or New York?

Tell him I can't.


Why? What are they offering?

Yeah. Is that definite?

I'll call you later.

What are they offering you?

There's a lot of bullshit
going back and forth.

But what it boils down to
is if I do a selling job...

on the New York Committee...

then I can give the nominating
speech at the Convention.

What about Janet?

Come on, Ellie.

Talking about the
nominating speech.

Jesus. What do you want me to do?

Nothing, Joe. I want you
to do whatever you want.

I guess what makes my husband
special is how much he cares.

Not just about the people who
can afford 100 dollars a plate...

but about people who
cannot afford to eat.

I'm very proud of
being Mrs Joe Tynan.

Thank you for
honouring us tonight.

You were just great.

Senator, I just wanted
to pay my respects.

Dick Harman, I'm Chairman of
the Louisiana state committee.

- Yes. How are you?
- Delightful speech, Mrs Tynan.

I want to thank you for your help.

Not at all.

I think you know my daughter.

- Oh yes, hello.
- Don't get up.

Rolf, how are you?

Ellie, this is Karen Traynour.
She gave us help on Anderson.

She was wonderful.

It was a wonderful job you did.

Mrs Traynour is a lawyer.

Is it Mrs Traynour or Miss?

Mrs - Mrs., right.

And she gave us all this great
stuff on Anderson, that...

May I have your attention, please?

Daddy, I think we'd better go.

- Glad to see you, Senator.
- Nice to meet you.

- Keep punching.
- Ok.

I now have an honour that
comes too seldom in politics.

A chance to introduce a man...

who deserves all the good words
that you can find for him.

Six years ago this guy tried to
have me thrown out of the Senate.

He is a man who believes in
putting the people first.

And now ladies and gentlemen...

Senator Joe Tynan.

He'll just be another minute.

He started leaving 26 minutes ago.

It's great though, isn't it?

Holding his coat?

No, how things are moving.
He can go all the way now.

All the way where?

We're giving him a
more national image.

We've got a new press aide.

We've got an advisor
on international

affairs. We're really moving.

Is that so?

Listen we have to
have a little talk.

We're starting to play for
really high stakes now.

We have to watch what kind of
face we present to the media.

I got hold of that McCall's
interview you gave.

I was really floored.

I mean, she had you in analysis.

- What's wrong with that, Francis?
- Analysis is usually a code word.

It means you have a
drinking problem or worse.

That was our fault really.

From now on you won't give an
interview without one of us.

We can't just throw you
to the wolves like that.

Would you excuse me please?

Don't worry. I fixed it.

All the article says now is that

you have an interest
in psychology.

It's ambiguous. It
could mean anything.

Look, I know you're
not crazy about this...

but don't you think
we should discuss it?

There's only one thing I have to
say to you and it's not ambiguous.


What the hell is the idea leaving

me 30 miles from
home without a car?

You son of a bitch.

Jesus Christ. You broke it.

Get out.

- Cut it out.
- Out.


Take this crap out of my bedroom.

Ellie. Stop it. Christ.

What's going on?

Go back in your room. Go to sleep.

Will you stop it? Jesus.

When were you planning to tell me
you were running for President?

- At the inaugural ball?
- Stop it.

You tell her, and
you won't tell me?

What are you talking about?

The lawyer you're screwing
you son of a bitch.

You want to wreck this house?

Don't tell me you care about
this house or anything in it.

I hated you tonight, to think you

would let that
woman into our life.

It's like someone has broken into

my house and gone
through my things.

A stranger who knows
everything about me.

My habits, my weaknesses,
even how I'm like in bed.

How much does she mean to you?

I don't really know.

But I know what you mean to me.


Ellie, everything I care about
in my life, we've made together.

Do you think anything could
ever mean as much to me as you?

Not until tonight.

I know how much I've hurt you.

But it doesn't have to
happen again, and it won't.

Ellie, What can I
say? What can I do?

Nothing, Joe. I don't
expect anything of you.

I'm sorry, I don't.

I know you don't really
have any reason to, but...

Please give me another chance.

All I wanted was for you
to love me. That's all.

Ellie, I do.

I do love you.


Room 402 at the Raleigh.


- Hi, it's me.
- Hi.

Guess who can stay
the whole weekend.

Oh God. I wish I could.
I have to go home.

My daughter's come
down with hepatitis.


Look, I think you ought
to be with your wife.

You don't have to make up stories.

I'm not, she has hepatitis.

She had hepatitis 4 weeks
ago. How long does that last?

She's not really over it.
I'm not making up stories.

I've seen this before.

You're falling in
love with your wife.

Look, I need to talk to you.

I'll be right over there.

No. Maybe you better not.

No, I have to talk to
you. I'll be right there.


Joe, I'm sorry.

I got to go.


Oh hi.

Is this 402?

Sure is. I saw your yesterday
on the Mike Douglas show.

It's nice to see you again.

Mr Hasse, please come to the
counter of United Airlines.

You have a call.

I heard you got them
to hold my plane.

You left without saying goodbye.

I thought I would be
the first to leave...

while there was still time.

I have to go home.

- I have to.
- I know.

I've been ditching them
in little ways and I...

I can't. It's too...

I had a speech prepared for this
but I can't say it in an airport.

That's ok. I've heard it before.


Cut it, but make sure
it's good. Ellie.


Make sure the teleprompter
guy gets that changed.

- There's less than 6 minutes.
- Fine.

Where's Janet?

She couldn't come.
It's complicated.

My fellow Americans...

we have a new vision in
this great land of ours...

a new spirit, a new hope...

and shining confidence
that justice and decency...

will guide us in our public hours.

Francis, will you take...

- Take Paul to his seat, will you?
- Sure, Senator.

I just want to talk
to Mum for a minute.

Senator, here's our
schedule for today.

After you speak,
you're meeting with

the national Chairman
and his staff.

Then interviews
with the "Washington

Post" and "New York Times".

Ok. Fine.

I'll see you. I'll
sit by the podium.

Folks, I need this room for a
minute. Can I have the room?

- Where's Janet?
- I couldn't get her to come.

- I've done a great job with her.
- She'll be alright.

- Will you be alright?
- Yes, fine.

What's the matter?

Let's talk about it later, ok?

No, tell me now.

Not right before
you go out. Later.

No. Not later. Now.

Go ahead, say it.

Joe, I love you, but I
can't take it any more.

Ellie, don't do this.

You have to give
me another chance.

I can...

I can slow down. I can make time
for the things I care about.

You think so?

2 months ago you
were in tears because

you'd thought you'd lost Janet.

You were gonna take
her away. Did you?

Then what is it you
really care about?


Ellie, I love you.

Please stay.

We're not married any more.
Why should I stay with you?

Because you've put 19
years into this marriage.

You have a responsibility
to it. And so do I.

And I'm going to be there.

Until Francis calls
with another offer?


I can take the energy that I put

into work, and put
it into our life.

But will you?

Ellie, I love you. Please stay.

You're on, Senator.


Do well out there.


I'll take you to your seat.

You'll be terrific.

There is a man who has
come to symbolise...

that hope for justice and
decency in government...

and hope for humanity...

to the cold grey halls of the Law.

It is my great privilege
to present to you...

Senator Joe Tynan.

We want Joe. We want Joe.

We want Joe...