Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) - full transcript

Based on a true story. Shortly after World War II, Preston Tucker is a grandiose schemer with a new dream, to produce the best cars ever made. With the assistance of Abe Karatz and some impressive salesmanship on his own part, he obtains funding and begins to build his factory. The whole movie also has many parallels with director Coppola's own efforts to build a new movie studio of his own.

Chances are

you've never heard of
Preston Thomas Tucker...




a man ahead of his time.

Pretty, isn't it?

Mr. Tucker's car
has everything...

pop-out safety windows,
rear motor.

Oh, but I'm getting
ahead of my story.

The first time
he ever saw an automobile,

he was just
a young boy.

In his excitement,

he found the wheels
passing over his feet.

The muddy road was soft.

He wasn't hurt.

That was the first view
of the machine

that was to mold
his thoughts and actions

most of his life.

Determined to learn
how cars were made,

he went to Detroit,

where he met Vera Fuqua.

They were married,

and, wasting no time,
began a family.

He never lost sight
of his dream

to design
and manufacture

the finest automobile
ever made.

He spent
every minute he could

at the Indianapolis

teaming up
with Harry Miller,

one of the greatest
designers of racing cars

who ever lived.

In 1936, Mr. Tucker
saw the war clouds

looming on the horizon

and began working

on a high-speed
combat car.

It was bulletproof,
had air conditioning,

and mounted
a power-operated gun turret.

The combat car was
turned down by the military.

It had one drawback,
they said.

It was too fast.

The War Department's
policy then was

no combat car should go
over 35 miles an hour.

His gun turret,

was immediately
put into service.

Who knows how many
brave Americans

owe their lives
to Tucker's turret?

Where were they built?

In the most practical
place Tucker imagined...

the barn
by his Michigan home

where he
and his family lived.

[Horn Honks]

Oh, my God.

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %

Come on out, girl.

What's this?

Did you put this
in my car?


Did you?
What is this thing?

Open it.

What is it?

My friends,
you are in for one doozie.

What can
I call this?

It's history
in the making.

Is there anything
you want to explain

about the dogs?

Oh... well, I traded
the old Packard for them.

One dozen
trained dogs.

What will we do
with a dozen dogs?

It was a great trade.

Are you dying
to know what's in here?

Huh? No?

- Yes.
- Yes.

You're dying, huh?

Gallup took a poll

about what Americans want
when the war's over.

87% of Americans said

the first thing
they want is a new car.

Which would the public
rather buy?

The same
old models made

before the war or...

the car of tomorrow...


- Ooh!
- Whoa!

Looks like he's going
90 mph standing still.

Know who's going to
build these cars? We are.

We'll put the Big Three
out of business.

Who will we sell
them to? Buck Rogers?

Under the hood,
we've got luggage.

Engine's in the rear
where it ought to be.

Look at this.
Individual torque converters.

You're crazy!

You'd have to have wheel tracks
70 inches wide.

Dinner's ready!

All right.
Let's go!

How many?


How about
the U.S. Army?

You boys hungry?

Oh, Millie!

And our best
dog food, huh?

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger... % % % %

How much you going
to tell him?


Coming through.
Got dirty dishes.

They'll fall on you.

Don't trip!

The fenders...

Who's this guy,

He's a business man.

I met him
on the train.



Come here, Junior.

Who's that?

The man I've been
talking about.

Abe Karatz.

Good luck, honey.

We'll be
in the den.

Look at him.

Yeah. He's scary.

He's not scary.

He's from New York.


I appreciate
your coming.

How long
between trains?

You like living in
the middle of nowhere?

You want coffee at
2 a.m., you'd die first.

Yeah, or make one.

Who wants coffee
at 2 a.m.?

You chew the fat
with the waitress.

Here you
look around,

there's nothing
but scenery.

We're stuck
with that.

How do you like
your coffee?

In the city.

Double fives again,

and he does it.


You brought me
here for cars?

Does that look
like a car to you?

That is a gold mine
I'm handing you

on a silver platter.

Forget it.

You got no chance.

How can you
say that?

You haven't even
heard my ideas.


in the idea business,

numbers so high

only dogs hear them.

But what's it
cost him?

Paper, pencils.

To manufacture a car,

you need millions
of dollars.

Well, that is what
Wall Street is for...

to float
stock issues, Abe.

Who are you?

What do you know?

Any experience
on Wall Street?

It's revolutionary.

This is how cars are
going to be made.

Abe, and with
your connections...

I don't have

I have connections
with connections.

Speaking for them,
myself, and God...

Him, too...
forget about it.

You got no chance.

Well, think about it.

Drive safely.

Yes, sir.



Pile in, cutie.

Who wants ice cream?

Let's go to Doc's!


Man your positions.

See if we can break
our record time.

Hurry up! Come on!

I've got
my position.

It was pathetic
how he loved the idea.

to see a man like that

trying so hard to
play my harp strings.

I'm going to make him
sweat a while first.

Watch this baby

- Whoa!
- Whoa!

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %

Sounds like Tucker again.

Yep! That's him.
Let's go!

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %


% % Where's that tiger% %

% % Where's that tiger% %

% % Here's that tiger% %

% % Where's that tiger% %

% % Here's that tiger% %

% % Where's that tiger% %

% % Here's that tiger% %

% % Do do do do
do do do do% %

% % Do do do do
deedle da da dum% %

% % Da da da
deedle da da da% %

% % Deedle da da dum... % % % %

Who wants
ice cream?

How you doing, Doc?

Ok, if you don't
include everything.

How about sodas
all around?

Triple scoops

Triple scoops.

pistachio, strawberry.

You can
mix them all up, OK?

Strawberry soda.

Hey, uh...

ain't those
prefab houses something?

How do you know
they're any good?

They're not
even built yet.

It says so
in the magazine.

Johnny, stop.

Yuck! He spilled it.

Noble, stop
eating my sundae.

Stop it, Johnny.

Hey, does anybody
want strawberry?

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %

Working with a writer,

Tucker got an article
about the car published

in pic magazine.

But nobody,
not even Tucker,

was prepared
for what happened.

Within a week,

150,000 letters
poured in

from all over
the country.

"I want a Tucker."

"Where can I
buy a Tucker?"

"Can I get
a dealership?"

Overnight, the nation
had gone Tucker crazy.

Just because Tucker
builds a car

doesn't mean he can
mass produce it.

So... what do we need
to make this work?

Well, we need a car.

A car we got.

A working prototype?

Says so
in the magazine.

We, uh, also
will have to have

some big
Detroit names

for the board...
the prospectus.

Like who?

Well, there was a fellow,

vice president
at Ford many years,

Robert Bennington.

He's president at
Plymouth right now,

but he's being
kicked upstairs.

We might get him.

Will he want a say
in running things?

A say?

Bennington will
run the company.

Tucker may not
go for that.

People don't
buy stock.

They buy people
they can trust

or believe they can.

If what's-his-name...


If Tucker's going to be
a pain in the ass...

Don't worry.
He's a good man.

What else do we need?

We need
a factory, hmm?

You get Bennington,
whatever it takes.

I'll get the factory.

Thank you.






Wow. Look.

Here... here's one
from Anchorage, Alaska.

Oh! That's the first
one from there.

Abe should have
been here an hour ago.

You know the trains
now, darling.

They're always late.

[Dogs Bark]

Who's that?

Could I have
a few moments with you?

I'm waiting
for somebody.

Five minutes.

Bye, daddy!

What for?

To sell you
something, sir.



All right.
Five minutes.

Thank you.
I'm Alex Tremulis, sir.

I'll be getting out
of the Air Force

in a few weeks.

Before that, I studied
automotive engineering.

Since I saw that article
about your car,

it's been
driving me crazy.

I made some 3-D
perspective drawings.

If you
wouldn't mind, sir,

taking a look at them.

What you did
with the streamlining

was fantastic.

But if we took that
one step further,

if we applied
real aerodynamics,

like a rocketship

to a family car...

You changed my doors.

Yes, sir.

You only have
31 inches headroom.

An average-size
person needs 36.

But every time
you open the door,

they hit the curb.

I made them open up
like an airplane.

Time's up, kid.

Two more minutes, sir.

Want a job?
You got it.

In the design

Kid, you are
the design department.


Did you find it?


I have a lot
to tell you.

It was
a good meeting.



Jimmy Sakiyama,

Abe Karatz,
my partner.

Hi. Nice to meet you.

How do you do?

Tell Eddie we'll be
in the dining room.

You bet.

Hey, didn't they
put the Japs

in camp someplace?

He's not a Jap.

He's an engineer.

He's still a Jap.

Jimmy and me,
we've been together 15 years.

He's in my custody
to work.

But his parents,
his 12-year-old sister,

they're in a relocation camp
in Colorado,

if that makes you
feel better.


Hi there,
Mr. Karatz.

How are you?

Which leaves three
war surplus plants.

It's a long shot.

trying to get them,

but it's
worth a try.

One of them
is perfect.

Nice, little.

The other
is too big.

Costs twice as much
to retool.

We could swing it
if we had to.

What's the third?

Ah, impossible.

The Dodge plant

where they made
the B-29s in Chicago.

Hmm. What's wrong with that?

For one thing,

it covers 475 acres
with 16 buildings.

One of them
is 73 acres long.

One building...

the biggest building in the world
under one roof.

It's perfect.

You'll love it
in Chicago.

Listen, they've got
a department store...

one of the biggest
in the world.

Oh, everybody
shops there.

You'll love it.



I can build everything
I ever dreamed of

in this plant, Abe...

sports cars, family cars,
convertibles, trucks,

even airplanes!

Just talk the government
into giving it to us.

Did you reach them?

Yep. We finally
got our meeting

with the War Assets Administration
in Washington.

Monday. 3:00.

Oh, that's no good.


It's got to be
lunch someplace.

Do you realize the trouble
I went through?

With roast beef.

Rare. Very rare.

Every 25 seconds

is killed or crippled

in an automobile accident.

Now 60%
of all nighttime accidents

happen on the curb

because there's
a blind spot

between the time
the wheel's turned

and the time your headlights
get where you're going.

When you turn
a Tucker wheel,

you also turn the fenders
and the headlights.

You see where you're going
before you get there.

This woman was thrown

through the windshield
of her car.

Tucker windshields
pop out.

And to make sure
nobody's face gets cut,

we have shatterproof glass.

We also have seat belts.

Now, why?

Tell me why, gentlemen,

has the Big Three
in Detroit

been allowed to make
billions of dollars

without spending one dime
on safety?

What I know,
what you know,

what the public knows...

is that they don't
give a damn about people.

All they care about
is profits.

Let me tell you

and I mean this
from the bottom of my heart,

the entire
automobile industry

is guilty
of criminal negligence.

And if it were up to me,

they'd be tried and
convicted of manslaughter.

Thank you, gentlemen.

Thank you for the time
you've given me.


They hate you like poison,
and so do I.

Why did I let you
talk me into...

Oscar Beasley,

special assistant
to the administrator.

Could you be in my office
tomorrow afternoon?

Well, uh...
uh, sure.

Good. See you there.

Mr. Beasley.

They loved it.

Would they want to see us again
if they didn't?

You're talking logic.
This is Washington.

Why see us again?


We're being set up for
something, believe me.

We got no chance.

How could we
kid ourselves

into thinking anyone
would give us a loan?

All we've got are debts
and more debts.

How does he do it,
the genius you married?

No matter
how much he makes,

he spends twice as much.

[Telephone Rings]


Where the hell
were you?

How did it go?

They were eating
out of my hand.

I could've
asked for California

and gotten
Arkansas to boot.

Darling, I'm so sorry.

It's not dead yet.

Got another meeting tomorrow.

What does Abe think?

What does he know?

Did you get the loan?

They'll think it over.

You're a worse liar
than I am.

Can you please
come home soon, Preston?


I will, doll.

I love you.

I love you, too.

I'll see you soon,


Mr. Tucker,

in brief,
the committee has voted

to give you the plant
in Chicago,

provided that you
have certified assets

of no less
than $ 15 million.

And to qualify as a legal
manufacturing company,

you'll be required
to produce at least 50 cars

one year after
taking possession.

Is that satisfactory?

W-well I, uh...

sure, I mean, uh...


Papers will be
ready for signature

5:00 tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you.

Abe, why don't we
let Mr. Beasley

get back to work?

- Yippee!
- Hyah!

Klondike 436.

Go ahead.
I'll hold on.

Preston Tucker.

United Auto Workers
told Roosevelt

if he wants
the labor vote,

he's got to give the plant
to a car company.

Why not Ford,
General Motors?

They don't want it.

How can nobody want
a plant like that?

Everybody wants it,
but you're the only lunatic

dumb enough
to make cars there.

Yeah, he's right here.

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% %

% % Hold that tiger% % % %

Hold on.

When can you get the car
to New York?

I got the best press agent
in the business.

To kick off
the stock sale,

he wants to unveil the car
with enough razzmatazz

to make investors beg
to buy those shares.

You hear that?

You bet I did!

We got it!

The biggest damn plant
in the world!

Oh, that's wonderful!

All we need now
is $ 15 million and a car.

That's it.

You love me?

I love ya!

See you.

All right.

We need a car?

Let's celebrate.
Have a drink.

Do we have a car?

Well, no, it's
not a matter of...

Frank, I'll
call you back.

You all right, Abe?


Anything else
you want to tell me?

I don't have a dime
to build it with, uh...

You all right? Huh?


$50,000 for one car?

It's a prototype.
Hand-built, don't forget.

How much you need
to get started?

Forget the $50,000.

To get started?

At least 10.

I'll give you 6.

If it turns out
you're right,

we could sell dealerships now,
which sounds crazy.

Why would anybody
pay money for a car

that isn't even
in existence yet?

I'm sitting here writing
a check in my handwriting

calling them crazy?

One thing...

we need it absolutely
in 60 days.

Any problem?


It's impossible.

60 days?

Or never.


We haven't sold enough stock
to buy a dead herring.

But the letters,
all the excitement...

Some people buy cars.
Some people buy stock.

No major investor
will consider us.

But why 60 days?

Because in 60 days...
June 1 st...

we take possession
of the plant.

And not
until that day,

will the mystery car,

the car of the century,
be unveiled.

Uh, Uncle Abe.


I wondered why you do that
with your nose?

What with my nose?

Move it
like a rabbit.

OK, everybody upstairs.

Oh, murder.

to the grindstone.



Do I do that?

You don't do that
with your nose.

Mr. Tucker, sir,
it takes Ford nine months

to go from model
to prototype.

Call every pitman
we know in Indy.

Carrigan, Milton,
maybe Tully.

All right.
Have them here by tomorrow.

Buy clay.
We got to start on that model.

What about steel?
Enough left from the turrets?

Just about.

There are 24 hours
in every day.

Is there anybody
in this room

who can tell me
we can't do it?

We can't do it!

Except you.

Better get with it.

We can't do it!

We can't do it!

Um, Dad, I've,
uh... thought...

Mr. Tucker?

Excuse me, son.

About college.


Dad, I've been
trying to talk to you,

and each time I try
and bring it up...


What's this?

It's the answer
from Notre Dame.

I got accepted.

But look...

Hey! Congratulations!

I don't want to go!

l... I want to learn

about cars from you.

I don't want to become president
or something.

Who wants you
to become president?

I thought you did.

The two crummiest things
a person can be

are lawyers
or politicians.

Why would I want you
to be president?

Most of them
are both.

So it's OK.

Sure. You can stay with me.

I'm going to
depend on you.

They won't sell clay.

Can't build models
without it.

Can't build prototypes
without a model.

Take it easy, kid.
Life's full of surprises.



Want you
to meet Alex,

Head of the Design Department.

These are the best bodyknockers
in the business.

They'll go from your sketch
straight to metal.

How's this
for a frame?

It's OK for a start.

Face this now, Prez.

You got
engine problems.

I should talk you out of
building one from scratch.

You couldn't,
once he's made his mind up.

The rear engine's
the heart.

Just work
the damn thing out.

You can do it, Eddie.

You can do it, Eddie.

I'm offering you the opportunity
of a lifetime...

a new car

The most
revolutionary car

in automotive


I'll be right with you.

It's got safety features,

torque converters
on every wheel...

double torque converters
won't work.

We need a transmission.

Why the hell
won't they?

We don't have time
to work it out.

You remember the cord 18

That's the only transmission
I can think of.

Yeah, if you
could find one.

What choice do I have?

But only for now.

The minute
we finish that show,

we'll build the car
we advertised.

$ 7,500.

I never thought
I'd live to see the day.

I didn't make the fenders move
with the wheels

like you
wanted to, sir.

Why the hell not?


Remember Frank Lockhard
when he drove the Stutz?

At high speeds
they acted like rudders.

It was very dangerous.

So I made
the middle light

turn with the wheels,

and it works fine.

And it's safe.

You ever do something
I told you not to,

so help me...

I'll give you a raise.


No reverse!

Can we fix it?

Not by Monday.

You'll get it.

give me a hand here.

All right,
we'll get it.


Abe, I still don't
like this idea.

We've got to do it, Tucker.

We need
Detroit experience,

or we won't
sell any stock.

As long as he doesn't
try to run the company.

Mr. Tucker.

I've always
admired innovative men

who are willing
to take risks.

I myself introduced nylon seat covers
in our new line.


So, when do I get to see
the car?

Soon, Mr. Bennington.

The car has to be shown

in less than a week,
doesn't it?

The piston load
during compression

is three times
normal family cars.

It needs a 24-volt
battery to start,

which don't exist.

How many volts in those? Six.

Use two truck batteries.
They're 12.

That's 24.

What do you think

of these pictures
in these brochures?

I want to talk
about that.

That board
of directors

they stuck me with...

I don't know if Bennington's
an undertaker

or one of the stiffs
he embalmed.


How many years
of testing?


I've been thinking
about that car

longer than 15 years.

not exactly testing.

It's advertising.

You're not supposed
to believe it.

If you're selling candy,

what do you advertise,
rotting teeth?


You caught me,
didn't you?

Uh-huh. Don't you give me
that crooked little smile

you stole
from Clark Gable.

What? I didn't steal that
from Clark Gable!

I've caught you

You thought
I wasn't looking.

Oh, now,
this smile here. See?

This is my downfall.

The real you.

The canary
who ate the cat.

That smile
made you do that?

Every time.

You know what this smile
makes me want to do?

Punch you.

Let's stick
with the canary.

Mr. Bennington,
members of the board,

we have one
major problem.

Yes, Mr. Tucker?

Just what sort
of problem is that?


they're putting
the squeeze on.


We can't buy clay.
We can't buy steel.

We can't buy anything.

That doesn't
surprise me.

So I'm meeting
with Senator Ferguson.

We'll straighten this thing out
eyeball to eyeball.


You wait.

We'll nip this
in the bud.

You think a smile
will make him forget

he's a senator
from Detroit?

We're making cars
in Chicago.

He's my senator, too,
don't forget.

The senator
will see you now.

Very good.

This way?

Right through
that door.


Preston Tucker.

Mr. Tucker.

A.H. Karatz.

K-A-R-A-T-Z, huh?


Sit down, gentlemen.
Sit down.

Let's get
to the point.

I know you're a powerful man
in Washington.


I also know that
your main job is...

Limo's here, Senator.

Well, I'm sorry,

It was just
getting interesting.

My plans changed on me
since we made this appointment,

as they do
every two seconds.

I'm not going to
be able to... Alice?

Did you take care of...

First thing
in the morning.

Huh? Walk me to the car?

Good day.

Senator, don't forget
the 4:00 meeting.

Got it.


Just bring everything
to the plane.

You, uh...
you like Jack Benny?


He's my favorite.


Oh, thank you.

"Problems are just opportunities
in work clothes."

That's a quote from my friend
Henry J. Kaiser.


Afternoon, Senator.

Get that thing
we talked about?

Got a phone call.

Call Tim.
Tell him I told you, huh?

In Washington,

did you meet Harry Macdonald,
head of S.E.C.?

Not yet.

Local boy,
good man, loyal.

Who's your favorite
comedian, Mr. Tucker?

That's how
you keep that figure.

That's one way,

Quite an idea
of yours...

selling dealerships for cars
that don't exist.

You remember
that song?

% % Music goes
round and round% %

% % Oh, oh, oh,
oh, oh% %

% % And it
comes out here% % % %

The Big Three should be indicted
for manslaughter, huh?

Funny line.

What was that all about?

Did he say anything?
What did he say?

He said stay out
of the car business,

or we cut
your nuggies off.

All right.
Now what?

I can't give you
a fuel injection.

No fuel injection?

You want the car
on time,

the only hope we got
is twin carburetors.


God damn it!

Where is my car?

What's left of it,

Hi, Abe.

Vera, how are you?

Great. Come on in.

Uncle Abe! Uncle Abe!


Whoa, whoa, whoa.

My goodness.

Whoa, look what I have for you.

It's from Chicago.

For me?

I hope you like it.

Oh, I love it, Uncle Abe.

Is it all right?

What do I know
about ladies' dresses?

Can I try it on?

Well, well, well.



You got me.

Here's a present
for you, Noble.

Something for you.

Well, tell me gently.

Do we have a car?


we've got something.

Does it look like
the car in the ads?

Looks like it.

So why are
you worried?

All they have to do
is see it.

your martini, Abe.

A drink. Come.

To the car.

- To the car.
- To the car.



Don't you
just love it?

Thank you,
Uncle Abe.

You're welcome.

Don't you just love it?

It's beautiful,


Where's dad?

You better
get out there.

Oil's leaking from
the rear main seal.

We just blew
a head gasket.

The whole thing's
falling apart.

What's going on?
I leave for one minute.

Where's Eddie?


What is it?

It's just what
we expected.

What the hell
was that?

Hey, are you OK?

Are you all right?

You're OK?

We could've
gotten killed.

Totaled the suspension.

You're all right.
All right.

With all that weight.
Dutch. Where's Dutch?

We need
four new arms

from solid stock.

No sweat.

What the hell's
happening to you?

That kid nearly got
his brains splattered.

You don't even notice.

For what?
That pile of junk?

That's all it is...
a pile of junk.


Listen to me.
You listening? Carefully?

We're going to
build that car,

the one we
dreamed of,

exactly the way
we want it.

Feeling better?
That's what I came down for...

to cheer you up.

I'm fine.


I'm plenty cheerful.

Too cheerful.

You think
that's cheerful...

watching me
lose my mind?

Know what's
even more cheerful?

Having ringside seats

at your own

which I might
have in Chicago.

How's it going?

This is Frank
the press agent.

Abe. He thinks
"Frank the press agent" is one word.

Frank. Please.

These are the security guards?

Three shifts
round the clock.

Absolutely nobody
gets near this car.

I told them.

Ooh! Frank.

Naughty, naughty.

No, no. Down, down.
Now, move that.

This is Stan.

He's making a promotional
film about you.

Nice to meet you.

It's a puff kind
of a promo film...

Sales meetings, dealerships,
things like that.

If you have
any family albums,

uh, snapshots...

Home movies?

You just shut up.

Home movies,
anything like that we could use.

What's the point?

Selling stock.

Selling stock
in my family?

We're not just selling cars.
We're selling you...

which includes your family.

That newsreel of you
in the White House?

You think
the President's yelling,

"Get me Tucker!"?

You can't buy
publicity like that.

You did.

Yeah. For money.


Nothing you say
makes sense.

How come I always
know what you mean?

Because you talk worse than me
the same language.

Mr. Tucker.

Some shots looking up
at the sign.




a regular captain
of industry.

Broadcasting live
from the Tucker auto plant.

The largest parking lot in
the world, completely filled.

People coming here
from everywhere...

Washington, D.C.,
New York.

They're here
with their families,

all looking very excited

about seeing
the innovations

they've heard
so much about

in the Tucker

300 people were invited,

and over 1,000
have shown up.

Since 13,
when he was office boy

for the Vice President
of Cadillac,

Preston Tucker's
been identified...

Noble, you sit here.

What did you
get me into?

The biggest day
in automotive history.

I didn't expect this.

Wait and see.
Wait and see.

OK, push it.


How much longer?
We're an hour late already.

The damn wheels
are locked.


Come on.
Let's try rocking it.

Come on, Jimmy.

OK. Try the other way.
Rock it, now.

Come on. Rock it.

Nah, Junior, you got
to go underneath.

get that socket.


Having a little trouble
back there, seems like.

Been up all night,
poor bastards,

trying to hold that pile
of junk together.

It won't even back up.
No kidding.

No reverse.

Jack it up!
Get in there.

Would you like
to help me out?

Let me know
what goes on.

We want the car!

We want the car!

Let's go!
Come on!

What's going on?

Who knows?
The board's getting impatient.

Senator Ferguson.

Preston, get this thing
started now!

Do something. Stall.

is going crazy.

Signal when ready
from that corner.

That corner?


Take out some weight!

ladies and gentlemen.

I'm Preston Tucker.

Sorry for the delay.

Perhaps this will perk
you up... the Tuckerettes!

What are

They're girls.


The back tires can't move

with all that weight
on the rear wheels.

Try this
for a brace.

Let's hear it
for the Tuckerettes!

OK, Junior. Tell your dad.
Let's go.

We're set!

Aren't they
lovely creatures?


Back here!

Back here!

Dad, we got it.
We're set.

And now,

ladies and gentlemen,

the history-making moment
you've all been waiting for.

OK, come on,
let's push, guys.

Hold it, Eddie!

We got a leak again.

Tell your dad
to hold it. Hold it.

Dad! Dad!
Dad, hold it!

Hold it. Stop.

But first, you don't mind

if I introduce
my family, do you?

My lovely wife Vera.

My daughter Marilyn Lee.

Isn't she lovely?

get the soldering iron.

My eldest son
is backstage.

Asleep in the car?

Ladies and gentlemen,

the car everyone
calls the Tucker...

let's go.

But first...



We're set.

Does anybody want
to see the car?

Hold it.


Get the fire

But first...

I'd like to show you
the cars many features.

Ladies, the Detroit-mobile.

You're standing
on my foot.

You're on my foot.

Because of the revolutionary
Tucker rear engine...

Stop. There's no more fire there.

What took you
so long?

Drive your Tucker
to the dumbest mechanic

anywhere in the world,

and he'll be able
to remove the engine

and replace it
within 20 minutes.

Didn't you tell him
we're not doing that?

Let's hear it
for the Tuckerettes.

Come on!


We want the car!

We want the car!

Come on, Tucker.

We want the car.

We want the car.

We want the car.

We want the car.

We want the car.

We want the car.

...that dreams
can come true.

Ladies and gentlemen,

don't let a Tucker
pass you by.


[Trumpet Fanfare Plays]


That's pretty good.

Get up here.
Come on. Sweetie.

Come on!

And now,
ladies and gentlemen,

my love,

my inspiration,

my wife...


Yeah! Yeah!

I usually don't take a bath
till Saturday.

We are pleased to say
this newly christened car

gets over
20 miles per gallon,

is capable
of 130 miles per hour,

and hasn't even
been opened up yet.

The car features seat belts,
a rear motor,

and has a sponge-rubber
crash panel.

Buy a Tucker.

Don't let the future
pass you by.

This man Tucker
is a loose cannon.

He just
doesn't understand

how a corporation runs.

He's not much
of an engineer either.

If we don't
watch out,

we'll never build those cars
in time.

Why don't we
let him go off

on a nice long
publicity tour?

Not a bad idea.

All right.

Preston, I'd like you
to meet Mrs. Mellon.

Preston Tucker.

Mr. Preston Tucker,

the key to
our fair city

and this
beautiful plaque

to commemorate
your achievements.

The Tuckers are here.



This is it...

This has got to be
100 stories high.

This way, ma'am.


how do you
like it, huh?

I got a real buy
on it.

Hello, Millie.

How are you,

Hi, Millie.

In here,
the kitchen.

You got
an elevator

goes up
and down.

Strap-work ceilings.

That's why I got it so cheap,

from a vaudeville

Uh... very wealthy,

but, uh...


I want to buy
a steel plant.

We need one.

I'll check with Beasley
at War Assets

and see if we can't
find another plant.

How do you
get one?

They go to
the highest bidder.

May I?

That's a hell
of a lighter.

Here are the new specs
from Mr. Bennington.

64 inches high
instead of 56.

And the wheel track...

Who are you exactly?

I'm from Engineering upstairs.

Take a look
at what we've done.

God damn it!

Damn it!

Hey, what's the matter?

Hey, this is better.

The engine definitely
can't go in the rear.

No rear engine?

No rear engine?

We can't
get it to work.

No rear engine!

We represent
Mr. Tucker.

This is very important.

I'm sorry.
You can't see him.

He went out.

Next time Bennington goes out,

tell him to take
his body with him.

Mrs. Tucker.

Well, well...

what a nice surprise.

I'm, uh...

l-I'm really
delighted to see you.

Uh, but, um...

would you be good enough
to give my wife a call?

Mrs. Bennington
has complete charge

of our social visits.

There's nothing social
about this visit.

Sit down, gentlemen.

We can skip
the minuet.

What is this?

And this?

And this?

And this is ridiculous.

Ha ha ha.

I admire this
very much

when the little woman
takes a keen interest

in her husband's
business affairs.

Why did you change the design
of my husband's car?

And the colors.

Waltz blue
came from the color

of one
of my dresses.

Mrs. Tucker,

your husband's fantasy
of a rear-engine car,


it just doesn't work,
that's all.

There's very little likelihood
it'll ever work.

I'm really sorry
about that.

What about this?

Preston promised his car would sell
for $ 1,000.

In this memo,
you've doubled the price.


my wife and I

would like to have you
as our guest for dinner.

I'll buy my own dinner,

Answer the question. Why?


We just can't get
any of it.

It's costing us twice as much
as the Big Three.

Oh, really, Mrs. Tucker,

I don't mean
to be rude,

but we're
in the middle

of a rather
crucial meeting.

% % When you're
riding in a Tucker% %

% % Doo-doo-do% %

% % When you're
riding in a Tucker% %

% % Doo-doo-do% %

% % When you're
riding in a Tucker% %

% % Ooh-ah% %

% % The car of tomorrow% %

% % The car of tomorrow% %

% % The car of tomorrow% %

% % Today% %

% % The car of tomorrow% %

% % Today% % % %

Hi, folks.

I'm Preston Tucker.

It's not polite
to blow your own horn...

[Horn Honks]

So I'll let the soundman
do it for me.

[Honk Honk]

But seriously...

who wrote this?

I'll think
of my own stuff to say.

Phone for Mr. Tucker.

I'll call them back.

It's your wife.

She says
it's important.

All right.

We can do better
than this.

Hey, doll.

Get back here
right away.

Dad, Bennington's
changed the designs

to a standard
front-mounted engine.

He's changed the whole body
and everything.

Don't worry.
It's all right.

If Bennington
keeps tooling up

for his 1940 Plymouth
version he's building,

it'll cost millions
for us to retool.

We have to sell stock.

there won't be a car to ruin.

When I get home,

I'll send him back
to the mortuary.

Bennington says
we'll have to double the price

because we're being
charged double for steel.

Turn that down!

And, Preston,
no waltz blue.


Our color.

Doll, I'm on my way back.

All right.

The rear engine is out.

Your own engineers
admit that 589 engine

is a failure.

The chair recognizes
no further discussion.

Who made him the chair?

Also denied

and eliminated
from any further discussion

are disc brakes,

fuel injection,

hydraulic valve

seat belts...

Seat belts?

How can you object
to seat belts?

Our marketing department

says they imply
the cars are unsafe.

If one person is
killed in a Tucker

because of some safety
feature you eliminated...

May I remind you,

you have no voice
in policy matters.

I'm in complete charge
of this company.

What company? My company?

Ha ha ha.

I think you'll find it stated

in my contract.

Is that true?

We needed his name
to sell the stock.

We needed a man
with experience

to run things, but...

to run things, but...

Tucker, I give you my word,

I swear to God,

I didn't know that
was in his contract.

You can't have Falstaff

and have him thin, Mr. Tucker.

What does that mean?


little boats should
be kept near the shore.

He talks like
a fortune cookie.

This is my company.

That means seat belts,

disc brakes,

fuel injection,
and a rear engine.

We'll see about that,
Mr. Tucker.

That son of a bitch
isn't getting my company!

That son of a bitch
isn't getting my company!


[Telephone Rings]

Forgive me, sweetie.


Hold on.

Dad, it's for you.

He says he's Howard Hughes.


Is this some kind of...

I'll be right there.

Well, I'll be.


Howard Hughes.

What do you think
of it, kid?

It's big.

That's what
they tell me.

Here, do you like pistachio nuts?


All they can think about

is whether it will
fly or not.

Who cares
whether it flies?

That's not the point.


Spruce Goose.

Why do they
call it that?

That seem funny to you?

I can't tell anymore.


Did I change, or...

did the cosmic
sense of humor?

I used to laugh
when they did.



Homer Ferguson.

He's after me, too.

Subpoenaed me
for a congressional investigation

which either
I show up for,

in person,

or he's going
to send me to jail.

I'm already in jail.


That's what
I called you about.

a helicopter plant

in, uh, Syracuse,

called the Air-Cooled
Motor Company.

And they're not connected to any
government agency,


the politicians can't
screw you out of it.

Well, this helicopter company

has all the steel you need.

And they're on their ass
financially, so...

if you hurry up,

they're ready to deal.

And they...

they make a really
fine aluminum engine.

But listen, now.

For God's sake, now,

you don't...

I wonder...

I wonder how they
get the blood off.

Well, what do you think, Jimmy?

It's a helicopter

It needs
to be converted

from air-cooled
to water.

But as a starting point, maybe.

It's small,
which is good. Simple.

I'll work on
the drawings.

Oh, time. Time.

Fighting Bennington
would take years.

Meanwhile, he's retooling his car
as fast as possible.

We'll have to build
this engine right here

out of Bennington's sight.

The Senate War
Investigating Committee

has subpoenaed aircraft
designer Howard Hughes.

The committee will
investigate charges...

We need
a new cam shaft.

Intake manifold's going
to have to be reworked.

Excuse me,
but in a helicopter,

doesn't the engine
stand straight up?

If we lay our sideways,

we'll need an oil pan
down there.

Ha ha ha!

OK, whatever we do

has got to fit
into the Franklin assembly line.

That's it, gentlemen.

Hey, come on!
Eddie, come on.

We only got
till tomorrow

to get this thing

Click it over.

[Engine Sputters]

Get another battery.

[Engine Starts]

[Engine Races]


Hey, hey!

Got it!

[Engine Revs]

Go ahead! Go ahead!

There he goes!


Just like a swan.

I want it smooth
like a swan.

Get out of here!

You're in the shot!

Go, Eddie!


Sounds mighty nice.

Hey, Eddie!


We can drive in relays.

24 hours without a stop
and push her!

Push her to the limit!


I hope it holds up.

Good. Good.

It's neat.

Having fun?


What have we
got now?

171/2 hours.

To go?

God damn!

All right, all right.
Stay with him.

Charlie? Homer.

That son a bitch Tucker
built the damn thing.

Well, not everything
he advertised, not yet.

But enough
to cost billions

just to keep up
with him.

I'll take care of him.

We did it!

Hey, Eddie!

Oh, my God!

Hold the camera!


are you all right?

Get an
ambulance quick!

All right.
Now, watch out.

Watch it. Hold it up.
Watch yourself.

You OK?



Clocked out
just like we said.

Look at that thing.

I can't
believe it.

I bet you 2 bucks
it still runs.

Go ahead. Start it up.
Let's see.

[Engine Starts]



Told ya.


All right!


It's a hell
of a car.

It's one hell
of a damn car!

That's a hell of a ride there,

You got it, didn't you?

Yeah, we got it!

You look like
you didn't get it!

We got it.

We got it, right?

We didn't get it.

That's right.

We're going to go back
to the original drawings.

Keep everything
the same...

the rear engine,
et cetera,

except for
these numbers...


Tucker, what is going on?

I see you've
resumed production

on your rear-engine car.

By whose authority
are you doing this?

That's the car
you signed for,

that's the car
we're making.

If you think
you'll get away with this...

"Little ships fine,"
Confucius say.

"Rowboats long in tooth
make big noise,

go nowhere."

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Mr. Tucker, you're going to hear
from my attorney.

You can count
on that.

Good morning, sir.

Nothing can
stop us now.

"You'll hear
from my attorney."

This beautiful shot
of the grill.

Now watch this beauty shot
of the side.

Wait till you see
this attendant.

He's much better
than that fat guy was.

Wait till you see
this shot.

It's great.

He puts down the rag,
throws it down.

I took out
kicking the tire.

This is the best.

Aw! Aw!

Look at his eyes.

Now watch.

Here, I don't know.

What about a close-up?

Why did you leave
the tire out?

The finger.
Do we need it?

Not the finger,
but the tire.

Abe, I want you
to see this.

Stan's promo film.
It's great.

Come here.
Shh. Come here.

All right!
All right!

Turn it off.
I'll see the end later.

[Movie Stops Playing]


Did you like it
when he went...


What's all this cloak and dagger
business now?

Your office is wired.

The board room,

the whole plant,
even washrooms.

Ever since you road-tested
the new car,

40 G-men have followed you
around the clock.

You made the car
too good.

The whole idea is building
a better mousetrap.

Not if you're
the mouse.

What are you
talking about?

We did it.
We won.

In 2 weeks,
100 cars will come out a day.

Frank the press agent
says in two weeks

you'll be dead and buried
by the Big Three.


It's my resignation.

Take it.

You're bailing out,
is that it?

Captains go down
with their ships,

not businessmen.

Look me in the eye.

You're too good
a salesman

not to look a customer
in the eyes.

You think
I'm playing games?

You're trying some double-whammy
hustle backwards! Why?

I have to say it?

Yeah. Let's start from there.


I did three years
in the pen

for bank fraud.

So what?

So they'll use it
against you.

What, you think because of this
piece of paper,

they're not
going to?

Leave me alone,
will you?

The whole 10 years since
I've been in the pen,

it never bothered me for two seconds
I'm an ex-con.

Why should it?

Who cared?

But for you and Vera
and the kids to know...

I'm ashamed.

Abe, come on.

When I was
a little kid,

maybe 5 years old
in the old country,

my mother would warn me,

"Don't get too close
to people.

You'll catch
their dreams."

Years later,
I realized I misunderstood her.

Germs, she said,
not dreams.

"You'll catch
their germs."

I want you to know
something, Tucker.

I went into business
with you to make money.

That's all.

How was I to know...

if I got too close,
I'd catch your dreams?


If you want to know
how they'll finish you off,

listen to Drew Pearson
tomorrow night on the radio.

Noble, bring it in!

Noble, bring it in!

Don't yell.

Good evening.
This is Drew Pearson.

The hottest news
in Washington today

is about Preston Tucker,

that promotion happy
self-styled genius

and revolutionary
auto maker.

- Yay!
- Yay!

For several months,

he has been
under investigation

by the Securities
and Exchange Commission.

They're ready
to blow the lid off

one of the slickest
multimillion dollar frauds

ever perpetrated
on the American people.

Not only does the car

have none of the futuristic
features advertised,

but it was put together

from parts found
in city dumps.

Local wags, having dubbed it
the Tin Goose,

find it
particularly amusing

that Mr. Tucker's
car of tomorrow

can't even back up.


Nor can Mr. Tucker
at this point.

Senator Homer Ferguson

will spearhead
a congressional probe

to find out exactly
what happened

to the $ 26 million
Tucker raised.

One thing for certain...

he didn't spend it
making cars.

The rumor around
Capitol Hill this week...

[Radio Switched Off]

They can't say that.

We'll kill 'em.

Are you going to let
them say that, pop?

Who do they think
they're dealing with,

some cream puff?

They don't know it,

but they just opened
Aunt Dora's box.

We love you, daddy.

But it's Pandora's box.

Oh, no.

Good morning,
Miss Yanpaulski.

When did they take the files,
last night?

The S.E.C.?

Nobody touched
anything here.

I called all
the departments myself.

Get me the editor
on the phone.

Can you believe that?

Nice day.

You come back here!

You can't
go in there!

We're from the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

We have
a court order

all files,

accounting books.

If you
simply cooperate,

we'll work quickly.

That's quite
a newspaper, mister.

It's the only one
that prints the news

before it happens.

So, speaking for myself

and the other members
of the board,

we hereby submit
our resignations,

effective immediately.

What about
the dealers

filing suit
against you?

What about
the district attorney

the company's assets?

Ladies and gentlemen,

Address questions
to Mr. Bennington.

How long will
the plant stay open?

The plant is
officially closed.

[Tires Squeal]

Hey, hey.

Hey, hey!

It's dad!


Let's see your
driver's license.

Swell. Where's the girls, huh?

It comes alone.

Hold that.


This is a great interior.

In a week

we could
push a button

and produce
100 cars a day.

Well, tell me

If 50 cars are
ready by June 1 st,

they can't take
the plant?

Not according
to the contract.

How many cars are
ready right now?


We only need
three more?

Who's going to
do it, though?

We've worked
for free before.

Assemble three cars
in four weeks? Ha!

Can anybody
look me in the eye

and say we can't?

We can't do it.

Except you.

- Will you grow a beard?
- [Telephone Rings]

Who's he talking to, me?

Yeah, you.

You'd look old enough
for a department head.

Ha ha ha.

[Telephone Rings]



Who's this? You?


don't go home.

The police are waiting there
to arrest you.

Don't go home?

This you
won't believe...

the police station,

maybe there's 50,
100 reporters,

newsreels even.

They're going to
drag you out in leg irons.

You're kidding.

Get out!

Go somewhere
they can't find you.

They want headlines.

I'll give them a beaut!

Dad, what are you doing?

I'm going home.

[Revs Engine]

One of you fellows
have a light?

Where did he go?

I don't know.

We lost him.

All right!
All right!

Back off!
Back off!

Pipe down!


Thank you.

Now, what is
going on here?

Ask these
officers about

the 100
mile-an-hour chase

I gave them
in this poor wreck.

Want to cuff me, boys?

Get in there!

In the local news,

Preston Tucker
goes on trial this morning

in the same courthouse
Al Capone was convicted.

Tucker has been charged

with 25 counts
of mail fraud,

five counts
of S.E.C. Violations,

and one count
of conspiracy to defraud.

If convicted, Tucker,
who is out on $ 25,000 bail,

faces a maximum sentence
of 155 years in prison

plus a $60,000 fine.

Be seated.

And regarding his
revolutionary designs,

we'll prove Mr. Tucker
only designed

an elaborate
scheme to defraud.

He only wanted the public's money
for nothing,

and that's exactly what
the public got... nothing.

The government
has said

Mr. Tucker's purpose
was to con the public

into believing
a great car was coming.

His real purpose
was to lie

and get money.

You all right,

It's very hot
in here.

Your father might say
it's not the heat,

it's the humility.

The Tucker Corporation
was started in good faith.

The defendant intended
to mass produce cars.

His failure to do so

was caused by a lack
of adequate financing

due to serious
outside interference.

I wouldn't put
$ 7,500 down

on a car dealership

without a guaranteed
supply of cars.

They were going to produce
1,000 cars a day.

I run a service station

and sell
some used cars.

Do you see
the person

who sold you
that dealership?


Let the record state

that the witness
identified Mr. Abe Karatz.

Did he disclose
he'd served

three years
for bank fraud?

Guilt by association.


Is it not true you were convicted
in June of 1935

of conspiring
to embezzle funds,

and you served
three years

in a federal

That's true.

Tell me,
as a convicted felon,

do you expect one person
in this entire courtroom

to believe what you say?


A well-run corporation
doesn't waste money

to research innovations,

unless, of course,

keeping up
with the competition

demands it.

Here is a man, Mr. Tucker,

who had
the responsibility

for forming
a well-run corporation.

He has the largest
factory in the world,

containing two foundries,
a dozen tool and die shops,

every piece of equipment
ever made.

Can you suggest
why he'd choose

to build his engine
in a barn?



Which had
so little equipment...

Please confine
your remarks

to questioning
the witness.

This trial's
bought and paid for...

a Christmas present
Detroit gave itself.

I'll be lucky
to get 15 years.

He hasn't proven
anything yet.

Not legally.

He has if they
think he has.

I'm an investigating
accountant for the S.E.C.

What was the amount
the Tucker Corporation paid

for the prototype
engine and transmission

which was built entirely from parts
found in junk yards?



That's a lie.

Who received
this money?

Ypsilanti Machine
and Tool Company.

Ypsilanti Machine
and Tool Company.

Can you describe
their factory?

What factory?

It's a barn.

I can't believe they'd
forge sets of books.

I've got every
receipt, invoice,

bank statement.


Everything to prove
what we spent,

which is nowhere
near what they said.

Why would
they do that

knowing we can
prove otherwise?

People believe
the newspapers,

however unbelievable.

If headlines
say I'm a crook,

me and the car
are finished.

That's the whole
idea, right?

I'll bring every paper
from the files.

If they make
headlines with lies,

you'll make bigger
headlines with truth.

I couldn't sleep.


We could use
some help.

The evidence suggests
Mr. Tucker diverted

for his own
personal use

over a million dollars

of the stockholders'

I have a copy of The Detroit News

with a story about
the S.E.C. Investigation

of the Tucker Corporation,

which contains a number
of specific details

which seem to be verbatim

from the S.E. C report
admitted as evidence.

How did The Detroit News
get this information?

I have no idea.

Mr. Blue, I have here
a deposition

from one
Susan McNamara.

I believe she's
your private secretary,

in which she states

she saw you hand
a copy of the report

to the writer
of that article.

you instructed her

to supply him
with an office

in a federal building

in which
to write that article.

Now, why,
ladies and gentlemen,

would the S.E.C. Release

about Mr. Tucker,

which may
or may not be true,

when it is against
S.E.C. Policy to do so?

The S.E.C.
Isn't on trial.

If the S.E.C.
Can release information

for the purpose
of slandering Mr. Tucker's name,

then lie about it,
like Mr. Blue did...

Mr. Kirby!

Then we can't believe
Mr. Tucker stole money.

You know that's
not permissible.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I remind you

the statements
of the attorneys

are not evidence.

Mr. Kerner,

any further witnesses?

The prosecution rests.

Number three.

Number three.

And that
makes number 50.

- Yay!
- Yay!

- Yay!
- Yay!


I'm so proud
of you.



We did it!

A week
before deadline.

It's a real beauty.

it's our turn at bat.

We'll chop them up
like cat food.

We've subpoenaed
Ferguson, his wife,

everybody we need to prove
who started this thing,

why, and how.

I want all 50
of these cars

lined up in front

at the courthouse
tomorrow morning.

- Yay!
- Yay!

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Where are they?
Where are the cars?

We can't wait
any longer.

Any comment
about the news?

What news?

Didn't you read
the paper? Here.

"Led by Senator Homer Ferguson,

a special commission

appointed by President Truman

the War Assets Administration

to evict
the Tucker Corporation

from the former
aircraft factory

and give it
to the Lustron Corporation

for the development
of prefab housing."

Hey, dad!

Come on!

Around the corner!
Around the corner!

Come on.
Hurry up. Hurry up.

Around the corner, OK?
Hurry up.


Hey, hey, hey.

They're digging up
every street in town.

We had to go plumb
to China and back.

I don't get it.
This is the 24th.

I thought we had
till the first.

We had till they dropped
the other shoe.

It's my choice.

I won't let you...

They had no right
to take that plant.

Forget the plant.

The Tucker car is dead.
That's politics.

I won't let you cut
your own throat.

You don't understand how
powerful the forces are

that are working
against us here.

I won't let you do it.

Tucker, look at me.

Preston, if you're not careful,

you're going to spend
20 years in prison.

We will be developing
prefab houses.

Good to see you,
Senator Ferguson.

These will be for people
with low income.

I never thought
I'd see a politician

with his hands
in his own pockets.

The defense has chosen
not to call any witnesses

because we feel
the prosecution has failed

to make its case.

And in addition,
your honor,

the defendant
would like

to beg
the court's permission

to make the closing
statements himself

in the feeling
that perhaps only he

can put this trial
in its proper perspective.

No objection.

Well, permission granted.

But if anything you say
is unacceptable

in a court of law,
I'll stop you.

Thank you,
Your Honor.

Thank you,

Tell them an honest attempt
means not guilty.

The prosecution...

claims that I never had
any intention

of building any cars,

that all I wanted was
to take the money and run.

If you decide
that they're right,

well, I'm guilty.

But according
to the law,

if I tried
to make the cars,

even if they weren't
any good,

even if I didn't
make any...

but if you believe
that I tried,

well, then,
I'm not guilty.

It's not against the law
to be stupid,

which I was,
building that prototype.

What nobody has said
is that after the prototype,

I built the car
that I said I would.

There are 50 of them
parked on Adam Street.

All you have to do
is see them,

and the trial's over.
OK, your honor?

Inadmissible evidence.


Please allow the jury
to look out the window.


You can see them
from here.

This whole thing's
about whether I intended

to build the cars.

Will the defendant abstain
from this flagrant...

Mr. Tucker!

restrain the defendant.

Wha... why did l...

Let the man speak!

Let's hear
the rest of it!

If this
behavior continues,

I may have to declare this
a mistrial.

I will not tolerate
one more outburst

of any kind from anybody
in this courtroom!

I'm sorry.

You have one minute,
Mr. Tucker.

Thank you,
Your Honor.

When I was a boy
I used to, uh...

I used to read
all about Edison

and the Wright brothers,

Mr. Ford...

they were my heroes.

Rags to riches,

that's not just
the name of a book,

that's what this country
was all about.

We invented the free
enterprise system

where anybody,
no matter who he was,

where he came from,
what class he belonged to,

if he came up
with a better idea

about anything,

there's no limit
to how far he could go.

I grew up a generation
too late, I guess,

because now the way
the system works,

the crackpot who comes up
with some crazy idea

that everybody laughs at,

that later turns out
to revolutionize the world,

he's squashed from above.

The bureaucrats would
rather kill a new idea

than let it
rock the boat.

Today, Benjamin Franklin
would be arrested

for sailing a kite
without a license.

It's true.

We're all puffed up
with ourselves now

'cause we
invented the bomb.

Dropped the...

Beat the daylights
out of the Japanese, the Nazis.

But if big business

closes the door
on the little guy

with a new idea,

we're closing the door
on progress

and sabotaging
everything we fought for,

everything that
the country stands for.

We're going
to find ourselves

at the bottom of the heap,

having no idea
how we got there,

buying radios and cars
from our former enemies.

I don't believe
that's going to happen.

I can't believe it

if I stop believing
in the common horse sense

of the American people,

there'd be no way

I could get out of bed
in the morning.

Thank you.

Why did I
let you do that?

Be seated.

Has the jury
reached a verdict?

We have, Your Honor.

Will the defendant
please rise.

We, the jurors...

find the defendant...

Preston Tucker...

Not guilty.

How about all of you

take a ride in
one of those Tucker cars

that don't exist?


They love the cars,
the people.

Drives me crazy.

The Tucker Motor Company's dead.

They'll never be made.

We made them.

50 cars.

Well, what's
the difference,

50 or 50 million?

That's only machinery.

It's the idea
that counts, Abe...

and the dream.

What are you
up to now?

If I could figure out

how to make these kerosene
refrigerators cheap enough

so poor people
could afford them.

Big enough for
two bottles of milk.

That's all.

So their kids won't
have to get rickets, see?

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