American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939)

 

Senator Jefferson Smith Collapses and Filibuster Ends

Audio mp3 delivered by Jimmy Stewart

Smith: I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr. Paine. All you people don't know about lost causes. Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for. And he fought for them once, for the only reason any man ever fights for them. Because of just one plain, simple rule: "Love thy neighbor."

And in this world today full of hatred, a man who knows that one rule has a great trust. You know that rule, Mr. Paine. And I loved you for it -- just as my father did. And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any others. Yes, you even die for them -- like a man we both knew, Mr. Paine.

You think I'm licked. You all think I'm licked! Well, I'm not licked. And I'm going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause, even if this room gets filled with lies like these; and the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place. Somebody will listen to me.

[Smith collapses]

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.