Meet John Doe Screenplay

MEET JOHN DOE

screenplay
by Robert Riskin

based on a story by
Richard Connell and Robert Presnell

Shooting Draft, 1941

FADE IN:

EXT. BULLETIN OFFICE – SIDEWALK

CLOSE-UP: Of a time-worn plaque against the side of a
building. It reads:

THE BULLETIN
“A free press for a free people.”

While we read this, a pair of hands come in holding
pneumatic chisel which immediately attacks the sign. As
the lettering is being obliterated,

DISSOLVE TO:

CLOSE-UP: A new plaque on which the lettering has been
changed to: THE NEW BULLETIN “A streamlined newspaper for
a streamlined era.”

CUT TO:

INT. BULLETIN OUTER OFFICE.

MED. SHOT: At a door at which a sign-painter works. He is
painting HENRY CONNELL’s name on the door. It opens and a
flip office boy emerges. The painter has to wait until the
door closes in order to resume his work.

FULL SHOT: Of the outer office. The activity of the office
seems to suddenly cease, as all eyes are centered on the
office boy.

MED. SHOT—PANNING: With the office boy—who has a small
sheet of paper in his hand. He walks jauntily to a desk,
refers to his paper, points his finger to a woman, emits a
short whistle through his teeth, runs a finger across his
throat and jerks his thumb toward managing editor’s office.
The woman stares starkly at him while her immediate
neighbors look on with sympathy. The office boy now goes
through the same procedure with several other people. All
watch him, terror written in their eyes.

MED. SHOT: Toward CONNELL’s office door where painter works.
It opens and three people emerge. Two men and a girl. The
girl is young and pretty. All three look dourful. The
painter again has to wait for the door to shut before
resuming his work. The two men exit. The girl suddenly
stops.

CLOSE SHOT: Of the girl. Her name is ANN MITCHELL. She
stands, thinking, and then suddenly, impulsively, wheels
around. CAMERA PANS with her as she returns to CONNELL’s
office door, flings it open and disappears. The painter
remains poised with his brush, waiting for the door to
swing back. There is a slight flash of resentment in his
eyes.

INT. CONNELL’S OFFICE

FULL SHOT: CONNELL is behind his desk on which is a tray
of sandwiches and a glass of milk, half gone. Near him
sits POP DWYER, another veteran newspaperman. ANN crosses
to CONNELL’s desk.

CONNELL
(on phone)
Yeh, D. B. Oh, just cleaning out
the dead-wood. Okay.

ANN
(supplicatingly)
Look, Mr. Connell . . . I just
can’t afford to be without work
right now, not even for a day.
I’ve got a mother and two kid
sisters to . . .

Secretary enters. (Her name is Mattie.)

SECRETARY
More good luck telegrams.

ANN
Well, you know how it is, I, I’ve
just got to keep working. See?

CONNELL
Sorry, sister. I was sent down
here to clean house. I told yuh I
can’t use your column any more.
It’s lavender and old lace!
(flicks dictograph
button)

MATTIE
(over dictograph)
Yeah?

CONNELL
Send those other people in.

MATTIE
(over dictograph)
Okay.

ANN
I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I get
thirty dollars a week. I’ll take
twenty-five, twenty if necessary.
I’ll do anything you say.

CONNELL
It isn’t the money. We’re after
circulation. What we need is
fireworks. People who can hit with
sledge hammers—start arguments.

ANN
Oh, I can do that. I know this
town inside out. Oh, give me a
chance, please.

She can get no further, for several people enter. They are
cowed and frightened. ANN hesitates a moment, then, there
being nothing for her to do, she starts to exit. She is
stopped by CONNELL’s voice.

CONNELL
All right, come in, come in! Come
in!
(to Ann)
Cashier’s got your check.
(back to others)
Who are these people? Gibbs,
Frowley, Cunningham, Jiles—
(to Ann at door)
Hey, you, sister!

Ann turns.

CONNELL
Don’t forget to get out your last
column before you pick up your
check!

ANN’s eyes flash angrily as she exits.

INT. OUTER OFFICE.

MED. SHOT: ANN storms out. The painter again has to wait
for the door to swing back to him.

INT. ANN’S OFFICE.

FULL SHOT: ANN enters her office and paces around, furious.
A man in alpaca sleeve-bands enters. His name is JOE.

JOE
You’re a couple o’ sticks shy in
your column, Ann.

ANN
(ignores him,
muttering . . .)
A big, rich slob like D. B. Norton
buys a paper—and forty heads are
chopped off!

JOE
Did you get it, too?

ANN
Yeah. You, too? Oh, Joe . . . oh,
I’m sorry darling . . . why don’t
we tear the building down!

JOE
Before you do, Ann, perhaps you’d
better finish this column.

ANN
Yeah. Lavender and old lace!

Suddenly she stops pacing. Her eyes widen as a fiendish
idea strikes her.

ANN
Wait, Joe—wait!

She flops down in front of her typewriter.

ANN
(muttering)
Wants fireworks, huh? Okay!

She begins to pound furiously, her jaw set.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. Eyes flashing as she types.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOE, watching her. The wild look in her eye
and the unnatural speed of her typing causes him to stare
dumbly at her.

MED. SHOT: ANN bangs away madly. Finally she finishes. She
whips the sheet out of the typewriter, hands it to JOE.

ANN
Here.

As JOE takes it, ANN begins to empty the drawers of her
desk.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOE reading what ANN has written.

JOE
(reading)
“Below is a letter which reached
my desk this morning. It’s a
commentary on what we laughingly
call the civilized world. ‘Dear
Miss Mitchell: Four years ago I
was fired out of my job. Since
then I haven’t been able to get
another one. At first I was sore
at the state administration because
it’s on account of the slimy
politics here we have all this
unemployment. But in looking around,
it seems the whole world’s going
to pot, so in protest I’m going to
commit suicide by jumping off the
City Hall roof!’ Signed, A disgusted
American citizen, John Doe.'”

JOE pauses to absorb this.

JOE
(continues reading)
“Editor’s note . . . If you ask
this column, the wrong people are
jumping off roofs.”

JOE glances up toward ANN, in mild protest.

JOE
Hey, Ann, this is the old fakeroo,
isn’t it?

FULL SHOT: ANN has just about accumulated all her things.
JOE stares at her, knowing it’s a fake.

ANN
Never mind that, Joe. Go ahead.

JOE shrugs, shakes his head, and exits. ANN stuffs her
things under her arm and also goes.

INT. OUTER OFFICE

MED. SHOT: Voices ad lib—”Awfully sorry you’re not going.”
“Good-bye.” (Laughing)

ANN comes out. Suddenly, she stops, gets another idea,
picks up a book from a desk, and reaches back to heave it.

MED. SHOT: At CONNELL’s office door. The sign-painter has
just finished CONNELL’s name, and as he leans back, pleased,
wiping his brushes, the book flies in. The painter lifts
his head slowly, his wrath too great to find utterance.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. GOVERNOR JACKSON’S OFFICE

CLOSE-UP: Of two of GOVERNOR’S ASSOCIATES.

MAN
(reading newspaper)
” . . . and it’s because of the
slimy politics that we have all
this unemployment here.”
(agitated)
There it is! That’s D. B. Norton’s
opening attack on the Governor!

2ND MAN
Why Jim, it’s just a letter sent
in to a column.

JIM
No, no. I can smell it. That’s
Norton!

While he speaks, the GOVERNOR has entered.

GOVERNOR
Good morning, gentlemen. You’re
rather early.

MEN
‘Morning. ‘Morning, Governor.

GOVERNOR
You’re here rather early.

JIM
(pushes paper over
to him)
Did you happen to see this in the
New Bulletin, Governor?

He emphasizes the word “new” cynically.

GOVERNOR
Yes. I had it served with my
breakfast this morning.

2ND MAN
Jim thinks it’s D. B. Norton at
work.

JIM
Of course it is!

GOVERNOR
Oh, come, Jim. That little item?
D. B. Norton does things in a much
bigger way . . .

JIM
This is his opening attack on you,
Governor! Take my word for it!
What did he buy a paper for? Why
did he hire a high-pressure editor
like Connell for? He’s in the oil
business! I tell you, Governor,
he’s after your scalp!

GOVERNOR
All right, Jim. Don’t burst a blood
vessel, I’ll attend to it.
(flips button on
dictograph)
Get me Spencer of the Daily
Chronicle , please.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. SPENCER’S OFFICE

MED. SHOT: SPENCER is on the telephone

SPENCER
Yes. Yes. I saw it, Governor . . .
and if you ask me that’s a phoney
letter. Why, that gag has got
whiskers on it. Huh? Okay, I’ll
get the Mayor and maybe the Chamber
of Commerce to go after them.
(into dictagraph)
Get Mayor Lovett on the phone!

INT. MAYOR’S OFFICE

MED. SHOT: Of MAYOR’s secretary.

SECRETARY
(picking up phone)
Hello? Sorry, the Mayor’s busy on
the other phone.

CAMERA PANS over to the MAYOR who is fatuous and excitable.

MAYOR
(into telephone)
Yes, I know, Mrs. Brewster. It’s a
terrible reflection on our city.
I’ve had a dozen calls already.

SECRETARY enters scene.

SECRETARY
Spencer of the Chronicle .

MAYOR
Hold him.
(into phone)
Yes, Mrs. Brewster, I’m listening.

The SECRETARY lays down the receiver.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CORNER OF A BEDROOM

CLOSE SHOT: Of MRS. BREWSTER—stout and loud. She is propped
up in bed—a breakfast tray on her lap—the newspaper by her
side.

MRS. BREWSTER
Insist that this John Doe man be
found and given a job at once. If
something isn’t done. I’ll call
out the whole Auxiliary — yes, and
the Junior Auxiliary, too. We’ll
hold a meeting and see—

CUT TO:

INT. MAYOR’S OFFICE

MED. SHOT: Of MAYOR. He lays the receiver down and we
continue to hear MRS. BREWSTER’s voice. MAYOR picks up
SPENCER’s phone.

MAYOR
Yes, Spencer. Who? The Governor?
Well, what about me? it’s my
building he’s jumping off of! And
I’m up for re-election, too!

SECRETARY
Shh!

MAYOR
(to Secretary)
What are you doing? Get Connell at
the Bulletin !
(to Spencer)
Why, he’s liable to go right past
my window,
(suddenly—to
Sec’y—excitably)
What was that?!

SECRETARY
What?

MAYOR
Out the window! Something just
flew by!

SECRETARY
I didn’t see anything.

MAYOR
(semi-hysterical)
Well, don’t stand there, you idiot.
Go and look. Open the window. Oh,
why did he have to pick on my
building?

The SECRETARY, telephone in hand, peers out window.

MAYOR
Is there a crowd in the street?

SECRETARY
No, sir.

MAYOR
Then he may be caught on a ledge!
Look again!

SECRETARY
I think it must have been a sea-
gull.

MAYOR
A sea-gull? What’s a sea-gull doing
around the city hall? That’s a bad
omen, isn’t it?
(picks up Mrs.
Brewster’s phone)

SECRETARY
Oh, n-no, sir. The sea-gull is a
lovely bird.

MAYOR
(into telephone)
I-it’s all right, Mrs. Brewster.
It was just a sea-gull.
(catches himself)
Er. nothing’s happened yet! No,
I’m watching. Don’t worry. Ju-just
leave it all to me!

The SECRETARY holds out another phone. The MAYOR drops
MRS. BREWSTER’s phone again, and her voice is still heard.

MAYOR
(into Spencer’s
phone)
Spencer, I’ll call you back.

Secretary has gotten CONNELL on the phone—hands phone to
MAYOR.

MAYOR
Hello! Connell! This is—

(TO SECRETARY)
What are you doing?
(back to phone)
This is the Mayor.

INT. CONNELL’S OFFICE

FULL SHOT: CONNELL is on the phone. POP DWYER is draped in
a chair nearby.

CONNELL
Yes, Mayor Lovett! How many times
are you gonna call me? I’ve got
everybody and his brother and sister
out looking for him. Did you see
the box I’m running?

He picks up the front page of the Bulletin; we see a four
column box on the front page.

CONNELL
(reading)
“An appeal to John Doe. ‘Think it
over, John. Life can be beautiful,’
says Mayor. ‘If you need a job,
apply to the editor of this paper
. . .'” ” and so forth and so forth
. . . Okay, Mayor. I’ll let you
know as soon as I have something!
What? . . . Well, pull down the
blinds!
(he hangs up)

The door opens and a man enters. His name is BEANY. Walks
fast, talks fast and accomplishes nothing. Outside, we see
the painter trying once more to get his sign painted. He
reaches in—and pulls the door to.

BEANY
I went up to Miss Mitchell’s house,
boss. Boy, she’s in a bad way.

CONNELL
Where is she?

BEANY
Hey, do you know something? She
supports a mother and two kids.
What do you know about that?

CONNELL
(controlling his
patience)
Did you find her?

BEANY
No. Her mother’s awful worried
about her. When she left the house
she said she was going on a roaring
drunk. Er, the girl, I mean!

CONNELL
(barking)
Go out and find her!

BEANY
Sure. Hey, but the biggest thing I
didn’t tell you . . .

CONNELL picks up telephone.

CONNELL
Hello! . . . Yeh?

BEANY
Her old man was Doc Mitchell. You
know, the doc that saved my mother’s
life and wouldn’t take any money
for it? You remember that? Okay,
boss, I’ll go and look for her.

BEANY exits, knocking over an ash-stand.

CONNELL
(into phone)
Holy smokes, Commissioner. You’ve
had twenty-four hours! Okay,
Hawkshaw, grab a pencil. Here it
is again. She’s about five foot
five, brown eyes, light chestnut
hair and as fine a pair of legs as
. . .

The door opens, ANN stands there—CONNELL sees her.

CONNELL
(into phone—staring
at Ann)
. . . ever walked into this office.

Med. Shot: At door. The sign painter is slowly beginning
to lose patience. He again reaches in—pulls the door
shut—glaring at ANN.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN.

ANN
(innocently)
Did you want to see me?

WIDER SHOT: CONNELL, without moving, stares at her.

CONNELL
(quietly—sizzling)
No. I’ve had the whole army and
navy searching for you because
that’s a game we play here every
day.

ANN
I remember, distinctly, being fired.

CONNELL
That’s right. But you have a piece
of property that still belongs to
this newspaper. And I’d like to
have it!

ANN
What’s that?

CONNELL
The letter.

ANN
What letter?

CONNELL
The letter from John Doe.

ANN
Oh!

CONNELL
The whole town’s in an uproar.
We’ve got to find him. The letter’s
our only clue.

ANN
(simply)
There is no letter.

CONNELL
We’ll get a handwriting expert to—
(suddenly realizes
what she has said)
What!

ANN
There is no letter.

He stares at her for a moment, flabbergasted—exchanges a
look with POP—crosses to the back door—shuts it—then comes
back to face her.

CLOSE SHOT: – ANN and CONNELL.

CONNELL
Say that again.

ANN
There is no letter. I made it up.

CONNELL looks at her a long moment and then up at POP.

CONNELL
(repeating dully)
You made it up.

ANN
Uh-huh. You said you wanted
fireworks.

WIDER SHOT: As he recovers from the shock, and then wheels
on ANN again.

CONNELL
Don’t you know there are nine jobs
waiting for this guy? Twenty-two
families want to board him free?
Five women want to marry him, and
the Mayor’s practically ready to
adopt him? And you . . .

As CONNELL glares at her the door springs open and BEANY
enters.

BEANY
just called the morgue, boss. They
say there’s a girl there—

CONNELL
Shut up!

CLOSE-UP: Of BEANY. He is startled by this—and then stares
popeyed as he sees ANN.

BEANY
Ann! Say, why didn’t yuh—

CONNELL
Beany!

Med. Shot: At the door. The painter is beginning to grind
his teeth. He pulls the door shut, viciously.

WIDER SHOT: To include all.

POP
Only one thing to do, Hank. Drop
the whole business quickly.

CONNELL
How?

POP
Run a story. Say John Doe was in
here, and is sorry he wrote the
letter and—

CONNELL
(jumps in quickly)
That’s right. You got it! Sure! He
came in here and I made him change
his mind. “Bulletin editor saves
John Doe’s life.” Why, it’s perfect.
I’ll have Ned write it up.
(into dictograph)
Oh, Ned!

NED’S VOICE
Yeah?

CONNELL
got a story I want yuh to—

ANN
Wait a minute!

She rushes over—snaps the dictograph off.

MED. SHOT: Of ANN, leaning on CONNELL’s desk.

ANN
Listen, you great big wonderful
genius of a newspaperman! You came
down here to shoot some life into
this dying paper, didn’t you?

CONNELL blinks under the attack. POP and BEANY move into
the scene.

ANN
Well, the whole town’s curious
about John Doe and, boom, just
like that you’re going to bury
him. There’s enough circulation in
that man to start a shortage in
the ink market!

CONNELL
(thoroughly
bewildered)
In what man!

ANN
John Doe.

CONNELL
What John Doe?

ANN
Our John Doe! The one I made up!
Look, genius— Now, look. Suppose
there was a John Doe—and he walked
into this office. What would you
do? Find him a job and forget about
the whole business, I suppose! Not
me! I’d have made a deal with him!

CONNELL
A deal?

ANN
Sure! When you get hold of a stunt
that sells papers you don’t drop
it like a hot potato. Why, this is
good for at least a couple of
months. You know what I’d do?
Between now and let’s say,
Christmas, when he’s gonna jump,
I’d run a daily yarn starting with
his boyhood, his schooling, his
first job! A wide-eyed youngster
facing a chaotic world. The problem
of the average man, of all the
John Does in the world.

TWO SHOT: ANN and CONNELL. Despite himself, he’s interested
in her recital.

ANN
Now, then comes the drama. He meets
discouragement. He finds the world
has feet of clay. His ideals
crumble. So what does he do? He
decides to commit suicide in protest
against the state of civilization.
He thinks of the river! But no,
no, he has a better idea. The City
Hall. Why? Because he wants to
attract attention. He wants to get
a few things off his chest, and
that’s the only way he can get
himself heard.

CONNELL
So?

FULL SHOT: Of the whole group. BEANY grins in admiration.
CONNELL has leaned back in his chair, his eyes glued on
ANN.

ANN
So! So he writes me a letter and
I dig him up. He pours out his
soul to me, and from now on we
quote: “I protest, by John Doe.”
He protests against all the evils
in the world; the greed, the lust,
the hate, the fear, all of man’s
inhumanity to man.

Arguments will start. Should he commit suicide or should
he not! People will write in pleading with him. But no!
No, sir! John Doe will remain adamant! On Christmas Eve,
hot or cold, he goes! See?

She finishes, takes a deep breath—awed, and at the same
time proud of her accomplishment.

CLOSE SHOT: Of CONNELL. He just stares at ANN.

CONNELL
(after a
pause—quietly)
Very pretty. Very pretty, indeed,
Miss Mitchell. But would you mind
telling me who goes on Christmas
Eve?

ANN
John Doe.

CONNELL
(loses
control—screams)
What John Doe?

ANN
(screams right back)
The one we hire for the job, you
lunkhead!

There is silence for a moment.

CONNELL
(breaking
silence—speaks
with a controlled
patience)
Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Lemme
get this through this lame brain
of mine. Are you suggesting we go
out and hire someone to say he’s
gonna commit suicide on Christmas
Eve? Is that it?

ANN
(nodding)
Well, you’re catching on.

CONNELL
Who, for instance?

ANN
Anybody! Er, er—Beany’ll do!

CLOSE-UP: BEANY. He is petrified.

BEANY
Why sure—Who? Me? Jump off a—Oh,
no! Any time but Christmas. I’m
superstitious.

FULL SHOT: BEANY backs away from them—and when he gets to
the door—makes a dash for it.

INT. OUTER OFFICE

MED. SHOT: At door. As BEANY comes dashing out, he almost
upsets the painter from the stool. When the door is shut,
the name of “Connell” which he has been printing is all
smudged over. The painter stares at it, helplessly for a
second, and then—unable to stand it any more, rises, throws
his brush violently to the floor—after completely smearing
the sign himself.

FULL SHOT:

CONNELL
(sighing)
Miss Mitchell, do me a favor, will
you? Go on out and get married and
have a lot o’ babies—but stay out
o’ newspaper business!

POP
Better get that story in, Hank,
it’s getting late.

ANN
(to CONNELL)
You’re supposed to be a smart guy!
If it was raining hundred dollar
bills, you’d be out looking for a
dime you lost some place.

CONNELL
Holy smokes! Wasting my time
listening to this mad woman.

He crosses to his desk just as NED enters from the back
door.

NED
Look, Chief! Look what the Chronicle
is running on John Doe. They say
it’s a fake!

CONNELL turns sharply.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She was just about giving up, when she
hears this—and her eyes brighten alertly.

MED. SHOT: At CONNELL’s desk. CONNELL—reading the
paper—becomes incensed.

CONNELL
Why, the no-good—low-down—
(reading)
“John Doe story amateur journalism.
It’s palpably phoney. It’s a wonder
anyone is taking it seriously.”
What do yuh think of those guys!

ANN has walked into scene while CONNELL is reading.

ANN
That’s fine! That’s fine! Now
fall right into their laps. Go
ahead. Say John Doe walked in and
called the whole thing off. You
know what that’s going to sound
like on top of this!

CONNELL
(doesn’t like Ned
hearing all this)
That’s all, Ned. Thank you.

NED
All right.

NED, puzzled, exits. CONNELL comes away from his desk and
walks around.

CONNELL
(fighting spirit)
“Amateur journalism”, huh? Why,
the bunch of sophomores! I can
teach them more about—

But he is interrupted by the front door being flung open.
On the threshold stands BEANY.

BEANY
Hey, boss. Get a load of this.

CONNELL
(joins him in the
doorway)
What?

BEANY
Look!

MED. SHOT: – OVER THEIR SHOULDERS. In the outer office
are a large group of derelict-looking men. Some
standing—some sitting—some leaning. It looks like the lobby
of a flophouse had been transplanted.

CLOSE SHOT: Beany and Connell.

CONNELL
What do they want?

BEANY
They all say they wrote the John
Doe letter.

MED. SHOT: POP and ANN have walked over and also peer out.

CONNELL
(amused, turns)
Oh, they all wrote the letter?

ANN pushes CONNELL aside—talks to BEANY.

ANN
Tell them all to wait.

She shuts the door and turns to CONNELL.

ANN
Look, Mr. Connell—one of those men
is your John Doe. They’re desperate
and will do anything for a cup of
coffee. Pick one out and you can
make the Chronicle eat their words.

CLOSE-UP: Of CONNELL. A broad smile slowly spreads over
his face.

CONNELL
I’m beginning to like this.

MED. SHOT: POP looks worried.

POP
If you ask me, Hank, you’re playing
around with dynamite.

CONNELL
No, no, no, the gal’s right. We
can’t let the Chronicle get the
laugh on us! We’ve got to produce
a John Doe now.
(muttering)
Amateur journalism, huh!
(starts for door)
I’ll show those guys.

ANN
Sure—and there’s no reason for
them to find out the truth, either.
(significantly)
Because, naturally, I won’t say
anything.

CONNELL turns sharply, stares at her a moment puzzled,
then grins.

CONNELL
(grinning)
Okay, sister, you get your job
back.

ANN
Plus a bonus.

CONNELL
What bonus?

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She takes the plunge. She is a little
frightened at her own nerve, but she is going to brazen it
out.

ANN
(tries to drop it
casually)
Oh, the bonus of a thousand dollars
the Chronicle was going to pay me
for this little document. You’ll
find it says, er: “I, Ann Mitchell,
hereby certify that the John Doe
letter was created by me—”

MED. SHOT: As she speaks, she gets the “little document”
out of her bag, hands it to CONNELL who glares at her,
takes the paper and starts to read. Ann leans over his
shoulder. POP peers over his other shoulder.

CONNELL
I can read. I can read!

ANN
Sorry.

She backs away. CONNELL continues reading her confession.

CONNELL
So you think this is worth a
thousand dollars, do you?

ANN
(very carelessly)
Oh, the Chronicle would consider
it dirt cheap.

CONNELL
Packs everything, including a gun.
(flings paper on
desk)
Okay, sister, you’ve got yourself
a deal. Now let’s take a look at
the candidates. The one we pick
has gotta be the typical average
man. Typical American that can
keep his mouth shut.

POP
Show me an American who can keep
his mouth shut and—I’ll eat him.

CONNELL
(opens door)
Okay, Beany, bring ’em in one at a
time.
(he steps back and
rubs his hands in
anticipation)
Wipe to: Montage: Half a dozen
different types of hoboes appear—and
in each instance ANN shakes her
head, negatively.

WIPE TO:

CLOSE SHOT: Of a TALL CHAP, head hanging shyly.

TWO SHOT: Of ANN and CONNELL. They are impressed.

FULL SHOT: ANN and CONNELL exchange hopeful glances and
begin slowly walking around the new candidate.

CLOSE-UP: Of TALL CHAP. He feels awkward under this
scrutiny.

WIDER SHOT: CONNELL stops in his examination of the man.

CONNELL
Did you write that letter to Miss
Mitchell?

TALL CHAP
(after a pause)
No, I didn’t.

ANN, CONNELL and POP evince their surprise.

CONNELL
What are you doing up here then?

TALL CHAP
Well, the paper said there were
some jobs around loose. Thought
there might be one left over.

They study him for a second, then ANN walks over close to
him.

TWO SHOT: ANN and TALL CHAP.

ANN
Had any schooling?

TALL CHAP
Yeah, a little.

ANN
What do you do when you work?

TALL CHAP
(slight pause)
I used to pitch.

ANN
Baseball?

TALL CHAP
Uh-huh. Till my wing[4] went bad.

ANN
Where’d you play?

TALL CHAP
Bush leagues mostly.[5] Med. shot:
To include the rest of them. They
have their eyes glued on his face.
ANN is very much interested.

CONNELL
How about family? Got any family?

TALL CHAP
(after a pause)
No.

CONNELL
Oh, just traveling through, huh?

TALL CHAP
Yeah. Me and a friend of mine.
He’s outside.

CONNELL nods to the others to join him in a huddle. He
crosses to a corner. They follow.

CLOSE THREE SHOT: They speak in subdued voices.

CONNELL
Looks all right—

ANN
He’s perfect! A baseball player.
What could be more American!

CONNELL
I wish he had a family, though.

POP
Be less complicated without a
family.

ANN
Look at that face. It’s wonderful.
They’ll believe him . Come on.

CLOSE-UP: Of TALL CHAP. He is a strange, bewildered figure.
He knows he is being appraised, but doesn’t know why. He
fingers his hat nervously and looks around the room.
Suddenly he is attracted by something.

CLOSE-UP: Of tray of sandwiches on CONNELL’s desk.

CLOSE-UP: Of TALL CHAP. He swallows hard. His eyes stare
at the sandwiches hungrily.

MED. SHOT: Over his shoulder. Shooting toward the huddling
group. It breaks up. They walk toward him.

MED. SHOT: – ANOTHER ANGLE

CONNELL
What’s your name?

TALL CHAP
Willoughby. John Willoughby, Long
John Willoughby they called me in
baseball.

ANN
Er, would you, er, would you like
to make some money?

JOHN
Yeah, maybe.

NOTE: Henceforth in this script he shall be referred to as
JOHN DOE.

ANN
Would you be willing to say you
wrote that letter—and stick by it?

JOHN
Oh, I get the idea. Yeah, maybe.

There is an appraising pause, and CONNELL again signals
them to join him in a huddle. They exit to their corner.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. His eyes immediately go to the
sandwiches.

CLOSE-UP: Of tray, with sandwiches and milk, on desk.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. His eyes riveted on tray. He glances,
speculatively, over toward them and then back to the tray.

MED. SHOT: Of the huddled group.

ANN
That’s our man. He’s made to order.

CONNELL
I don’t know. He don’t seem like a
guy that’d fall into line.

ANN
(it’s significant
to her)
When you’re desperate for money,
you do a lot of things, Mr. Connell.
He’s our man, I tell you.

Suddenly, they are startled by a loud thud: they all look
around sharply.

ANN
He’s fainted! Get some water
quickly!

As all three rush to him.

CONNELL
Hurry up, Pop.

ANN
Oh.

CONNELL
(to John)
Right here. Sit down.

JOHN
Huh?

ANN
Are you all right?

JOHN
Yeah, I’m all right.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. ANN’S OFFICE.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN—sitting at ANN’s desk, just completing a
meal—and still eating voraciously.

CAMERA draws back and we find another bindle-stiff sitting
beside JOHN, packing food away in silence. He is the friend
JOHN referred to. He is much older and goes by the name of
COLONEL.

CAMERA continues to PULL BACK revealing ANN who sits nearby,
watching them sympathetically.

CLOSE SHOT: JOHN and the COLONEL. They continue eating.
JOHN glances up and catches ANN’s eye. He smiles self-
consciously.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She, too, smiles warmly.

MED. SHOT: They continue to eat silently.

ANN
How many is that, six? Pretty
hungry, weren’t you?

COLONEL
Say, all this John Doe business is
batty, if yuh ask me.

ANN
Well, nobody asked yuh.

COLONEL
Trying to improve the world by
jumping off buildings. You couldn’t
improve the world if the building
jumped on you!

JOHN
(to Ann)
Don’t mind the Colonel. He hates
people.

ANN
He likes you well enough to stick
around.

JOHN
Oh, that’s ’cause we both play
doohickies. I met him in a box car
a couple o’ years ago. I was foolin’
around with my harmonica and he
comes over and joins in. I haven’t
been able to shake him since.

FULL SHOT: SUDDENLY, he starts to play the overture from
“William Tell.” The COLONEL whips out an ocarina and joins
him. ANN stares, amused. The door opens and CONNELL and
BEANY barge in, followed by half a dozen photographers.

CONNELL
All right, boys, here he is.

ANN
(jumping up)
No, no, no! You can’t take pictures
of him like that—eating a
sandwich—and with a beard!

She waves the photographers out, and shuts the door.

CONNELL
But, he’s gonna jump off a building!

ANN
Yes, but not because he’s out of a
job. That’s not news! This man’s
going to jump as a matter of
principle.

CONNELL
Well, maybe you’re right.

ANN
We’ll clean him up and put him in
a hotel room—under bodyguards.
We’ll make a mystery out of him.
(suddenly)
Did you speak to Mr. Norton?

CONNELL
(nods)
Thinks it’s terrific. Says for us
to go the limit. Wants us to build
a bonfire under every big shot in
the state.

ANN
Oh, swell! Is that the contract?
(seeing paper in
CONNELL’s hand)

CONNELL
Yes.
(sees the COLONEL)
What’s he doing here?

ANN
Friend of his. They play duets
together.

CONNELL
Duets? But can we trust him?

ANN
Oh!

JOHN
I trust him.

CONNELL
Oh, you trust him, eh? Well, that’s
fine. I suppose he trusts you,
too?

ANN
Oh, stop worrying. He’s all right.

COLONEL
(insulted)
That’s—

CONNELL
Well, okay. But we don’t want more
than a couple o’ hundred people in
on this thing. Now the first thing
I want is an exact copy of the
John Doe letter in your own
handwriting.

ANN
I got it all ready. Here.

CONNELL
Well, that’s fine. Now I want you
to sign this agreement. It gives
us an exclusive story under your
name day by day from now until
Christmas. On December twenty-sixth,
you get one railroad ticket out of
town, and the Bulletin agrees to
pay to have your arm fixed. That’s
what you want, isn’t it?

JOHN
Yeah, but it’s got to be by Bone-
Setter Brown.

CONNELL
Okay, Bone-Setter Brown goes. Here,
sign it. Meanwhile, here’s fifty
dollars for spending money. That’s
fine. Beany!

BEANY
Yeah, Boss?

CONNELL
Take charge of him. Get him a suite
at the Imperial and hire some
bodyguards.

ANN
Yeah, and some new clothes, Beany.

BEANY
Do you think we better have him de-
loused?

CONNELL
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

BEANY
Both of ’em?

CONNELL
Yes, both of ’em! But don’t let
him out of your sight.

ANN
Hey, Beany, gray suit, huh?

BEANY
Yeah.

CONNELL
Okay, fellows.

ANN
Take it easy, John Doe.

JOHN and the COLONEL follow BEANY out.

CONNELL
(turns to Ann)
And you! Start pounding that
typewriter. Oh, boy! This is
terrific! No responsibilities on
our part. Just statements from
John Doe and we can blast our heads
off.

ANN
(interrupting)
Before you pop too many buttons,
don’t forget to make out that check
for a thousand.

CONNELL
(grimaces)
Awwwww!

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LIVING-ROOM OF SUITE

FULL SHOT: The door opens and BEANY enters. He is followed
by JOHN and the COLONEL. JOHN glances around, impressed.
The COLONEL looks glum.

MED. SHOT: At door. As JOHN exits scene into the room,
tailed by the unhappy COLONEL. BEANY beckons someone out
in the corridor.

BEANY
Okay, fellas.

Three bruisers stand in the doorway.

BEANY
Now, lemme see. You sit outside
the door. Nobody comes in, see.
You two fellas sit in here.

AS THEY REACH FOR CHAIRS,

CUT TO:

MED. SHOT: JOHN is pleased as his gaze wanders around the
room

JOHN
Hey, pretty nifty, huh?

COLONEL
You ain’t gonna get me to stay
here.

JOHN
Sure, you are.

COLONEL
No, sir. That spot under the bridge
where we slept last night’s good
enough for me.

While he speaks, JOHN has managed to get a glimpse of
himself in a mirror—admiring his new suit.

BELL HOP
Hey, what’ll I do with this baggage?

BEANY
Aw, stick ’em in the bedroom.

COLONEL
Gimme mine. I ain’t staying! You
know we were headed for the Columbia
River country before all this John
Doe business came up. You remember
that, don’t yuh?

JOHN
Sure. I remember . . . Say, did
your ears pop coming up in the
elevator? Mine did.

COLONEL
Aw, Long John . . . I tell you—it’s
no good. You’re gonna get used to
a lotta stuff that’s gonna wreck
you. Why, that fifty bucks in your
pocket’s beginning to show up on
you already. And don’t pull that
on me neither!
(as John brings out
harmonica)

JOHN
Stop worrying, Colonel. I’m gonna
get my arm fixed out of this.

WIDER SHOT: As BEANY enters scene with box of cigars.

BEANY
Here’s some cigars the boss sent
up. Have one.

JOHN’s eyes light up.

JOHN
Hey, cigars!

He grabs one and stuffs it in his mouth.

BEANY
(to Colonel)
Help yourself.

COLONEL
Naw.

JOHN flops into a luxurious chair—and immediately ANGELFACE
holds a light up for his cigar. JOHN looks up, pleased.

JOHN
Say, I’ll bet yuh even the Major
Leaguers don’t rate an outfit like
this.

ANGELFACE
(hands him a
newspaper)
Here. Make yourself comfortable.
(turns to the Colonel)
Paper?

COLONEL
(sharply)
I don’t read no papers and I don’t
listen to radios either. I know
the world’s been shaved by a drunken
barber and I don’t have to read
it.

ANGELFACE backs away, puzzled.

COLONEL
(crosses to John)
I’ve seen guys like you go under
before. Guys that never had a worry.
Then they got ahold of some dough
and went goofy. The first thing
that happens to a guy—

BEANY
Hey, did yuh get a load of the
bedroom?

JOHN
No.

BEANY beckons to him to follow, which JOHN does with great
interest.

INT. BEDROOM

FULL SHOT: As BEANY and JOHN puff luxuriously on their
cigars and examine the room.

COLONEL
(in doorway)
The first thing that happens to a
guy like that—he starts wantin’ to
go into restaurants and sit at a
table and eat salads—and cup
cakes—and tea—
(disgusted)
Boy, what that kinda food does to
your system!

JOHN pushes on the bed and is impressed with its softness.

COLONEL
The next thing the dope wants is a
room. Yes sir, a room with steam
heat! And curtains and rugs and
‘fore you know it, he’s all softened
up and he can’t sleep ‘less he has
a bed.

CLOSE-UP: Of BEANY. He stares, bewildered, at the COLONEL.

WIDER SHOT: JOHN turns and crosses to window.

JOHN
(as he goes)
Hey, stop worrying, Colonel. Fifty
bucks ain’t going to ruin me.

COLONEL
I seen plenty of fellers start out
with fifty bucks and wind up with
a bank account!

BEANY
(can’t stand it any
more)
Hey, whatsa matter with a bank
account, anyway?

COLONEL
(ignoring him)
And let me tell you, Long John.
When you become a guy with a bank
account, they got you. Yes sir,
they got you!

BEANY
Who’s got him?

COLONEL
The heelots!

BEANY
Who?

JOHN
(at the window)
Hey. There’s the City Hall tower
I’m supposed to jump off of. It’s
even higher than this.

BEANY
Who’s got him?

COLONEL
The heelots!

CLOSE-UP: JOHN opens window and leans out.

CLOSE-UP: Of BEANY. His eyes pop; he’s petrified.

MED. SHOT: JOHN stretches far out of the window, and quickly
bounces back.

JOHN
Wow!

At the same time BEANY springs to his side and yanks him
back.

BEANY
Hey, wait a minute! You ain’t
supposed to do that till Christmas
Eve! Wanta get me in a jam?

JOHN
(twinkle in his eye)
If it’s gonna get you in a jam,
I’ll do you a favor. I won’t jump.

He exits to the living room.

INT. LIVING ROOM

FULL SHOT: As JOHN enters, flicking ashes from his cigar,
grandly, the COLONEL leaves the doorway, still pursuing
his point.

COLONEL
And when they get you, you got no
more chance than a road-rabbit.

BEANY
(dogging the COLONEL)
Hey. Who’d you say was gonna get
him?

JOHN
Say, is this one of those places
where you ring if you want
something?

BEANY
Yeah. Just use the phone.

The thought of this delights JOHN.

JOHN
Boy! I’ve always wanted to do this!

He goes to the phone.

BEANY
Hey, Doc, look. Look, Doc. Gimme
that again, will yuh? Who’s gonna
get him?

COLONEL
The heelots!

BEANY
Who are they?

TWO SHOT: The COLONEL finally levels off on BEANY.

COLONEL
Listen, sucker, yuh ever been broke?

BEANY
Sure. Mostly often.

COLONEL
All right. You’re walking along—not
a nickel in your jeans—free as the
wind—nobody bothers you—hundreds
of people pass yuh by in every
line of business—shoes, hats,
automobiles, radio, furniture,
everything. They’re all nice,
lovable people, and they let you
alone. Is that right?

CLOSE-UP: Of BEANY—nodding his head, bewildered.

COLONEL’S VOICE
Then you get hold of some dough,
and what happens?

BEANY instinctively shakes his head.

TWO SHOT: The COLONEL takes on a sneering expression.

COLONEL
All those nice, sweet, lovable
people become heelots. A lotta
heels.
(mysterioso)
They begin creeping up on you—trying
to sell you something. They’ve got
long claws and they get a strangle-
hold on you—and you squirm—and
duck and holler—and you try to
push ’em away—but you haven’t got
a chance—they’ve got you! First
thing you know, you own things. A
car, for instance.

BEANY has been following him, eyes blinking, mouth open.

COLONEL
Now your whole life is messed up
with more stuff—license fees—and
number plates—and gas and oil—and
taxes and insurance—

CLOSE SHOT: Of the LUGS at the door. One of them listens
with a half-smile on his face. The other, more goofy, looks
bewildered. He has been listening—and now, slowly rises,
ears cocked, frightened by the harrowing tale. CAMERA
retreats before him—as he slowly walks nearer to BEANY and
the COLONEL. Meantime, we continue to hear the COLONEL’S
voice.

COLONEL’S VOICE
and identification cards—and
letters—and bills—and flat tires—and
dents—and traffic tickets and
motorcycle cops and court rooms—and
lawyers—and fines—

WIDER SHOT: The LUG steps up directly behind BEANY—and the
two horrified faces are close together—both staring at the
COLONEL.

COLONEL
And a million and one other things.
And what happens? You’re not the
free and happy guy you used to be.
You gotta have money to pay for
all those things—so you go after
what the other feller’s got—
(with finality)
And there you are—you’re a heelot
yourself!

CLOSE SHOT: Of the two heads of BEANY and the LUG. They
continue to stare, wide-eyed, at the COLONEL.

WIDER SHOT: As JOHN approaches the COLONEL.

JOHN
(smiling)
You win, Colonel. Here’s the fifty.
Go on out and get rid of it.

COLONEL
(as he goes)
You bet I will! As fast as I can!
Gonna get some canned goods—a
fishing rod, and the rest I’m gonna
give away.

ANGELFACE
(aghast)
Give away?

JOHN
(calling)
Hey. Get me a pitcher’s glove! Got
to get some practice.

ANGELFACE
Say, he’s giving it away! I’m gonna
get me some of that!

BEANY
Hey, come back here, yuh heelot!

JOHN
(on the phone)
Will you send up five hamburgers
with all the trimmings, five
chocolate ice cream sodas, and
five pieces of apple pie? No, apple,
with cheese. Yeah. Thank you.

JOHN hangs up.

The COLONEL has just reached the door when it flies open
and Ann comes in with photographer EDDIE—she sees JOHN all
dressed up.

ANN
Hello there. Well, well! If it
isn’t the man about town!

EDDIE
All set, Ann?

ANN
(coming out of it)
Huh? Oh, yes. Let’s go.
(she backs away)
Now, let’s see. We want some action
in these pictures.

JOHN
Action?

ANN
Um-hum.

JOHN winds up in pitching pose—his left leg lifted up high.

EDDIE
That’s good.

ANN
No, no, no. This man’s going to
jump off a roof.

EDDIE
Oh.

ANN
Here. Wait a minute. Let me comb
your hair. Sit down. There. That’s
better.

CLOSE SHOT: She combs his hair—straightens his tie—etc. He
inhales the fragrance of her hair and likes it—winks to
the others. She poses JOHN’s face and looks it over.

ANN
You know, he’s got a nice face,
hasn’t he?

ANGELFACE
Yeh—he’s pretty.

JOHN gives him a look and starts to get up slowly.

ANN
Here. Sit down!
(to ANGELFACE)
Quiet, egghead!
(back to JOHN)
All right, now, a serious
expression.

JOHN
(laughing)
Can’t. I’m feeling too good.

ANN
Oh, come on, now. This is serious.
You’re a man disgusted with all of
civilization.

JOHN
With all of it?

ANN
Yes, you’re sore at the world.
Come on, now.

JOHN
Oh, crabby guy, huh?

He tries scowling.

ANN
Yeah. No, no!
(laughing)
No! No, look. You don’t have to
smell the world!
(the men laugh)

JOHN
Well, all those guys in the
bleachers think—

ANN
Never mind those guys. All right,
stand up. Now let’s see what you
look like when you protest.

JOHN
Against what?

ANN
Against anything. Just protest.

JOHN
(laughing)
You got me.

ANN
Oh, look. I’m the umpire, and you
just cut the heart of the plate
with your fast one and I call it a
ball. What would you do?

JOHN
(advances toward
her)
Oh, yuh did, huh?

ANN
Yes!

JOHN
Why can’t you call right, you bone-
headed, pig-eared, lop-eared, pot-
bellied—

ANN
Grab it, Eddie, grab it!

Eddie takes the picture.

A MONTAGE: OF NEWSPAPER INSERTS FEATURING JOHN DOE’S
PICTURE.

“I protest against collapse of decency in the world.” “I
protest against corruption in local politics.” “I protest
against civic heads being in league with crime.” “I protest
against state relief being used as political football.” “I
protest against County Hospitals shutting out the needy.”
“I protest against all the brutality and slaughter in the
world.”

CLOSE-UP: SUPERIMPOSED over all of the above is a
CIRCULATION CHART—showing the circulation of the Bulletin
in a constant rise.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. GOVERNOR’S STUDY

MED. SHOT: The GOVERNOR paces furiously. In front of him
are several associates.

GOVERNOR
I don’t care whose picture they’re
publishing. I still say that this
John Doe person is a myth. And you
can quote me on that. And I’m going
to insist on his being produced
for questioning. You know as well
as I do that this whole thing is
being engineered by a vicious man
with a vicious purpose—Mr. D. B.
Norton.

As he finishes saying this,

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. D. B.’S ESTATE

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. NORTON. Camera pulls back and we find
him on horseback.

REVERSE LONG SHOT: We discover that he is watching the
maneuvers of a motorcycle corps who are in uniform. They
are being drilled by TED SHELDON.

MED. SHOT: As a groom rides toward D. B.

GROOM
Mr. Connell and Miss Mitchell are
at the house, sir.

D. B.
Oh, they are? All right, come on.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. D. B. ‘S STUDY

MED. SHOT—PANNING: As ANN, D. B. and CONNELL enter and
cross to D. B. ‘s desk.

ANN
(as they walk)
Personally, I think it’s just plain
stupidity to drop it now.

They reach D. B. ‘s desk and stop.

ANN
You should see his fan mail!
Thousands! Why, it’s going over
like a house afire!

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. He studies her a moment before he turns
to CONNELL.

D. B.
What are you afraid of, Connell?
It’s doubled our circulation.

WIDER SHOT: To include all three.

CONNELL
Yeah, but it’s got everybody sore.
Ads are being pulled—the Governor’s
starting a libel suit—what’s more,
they all know John Doe’s a
phoney—and they insist on seeing
him.

ANN
Well, what about it? Let them see
him! We’ll go them one better.
They can also hear him.
(to D. B.)
You own a radio station, Mr. Norton.
Why not put him on the air?

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. He admires her fight.

CONNELL’S VOICE
Watch out for this dame, D. B.
She’ll drive you batty!

ANN
Ohh!

WIDER SHOT: To include all three.

CONNELL
Look. We can’t let ’em get to this
bush-league pitcher and start
pumping him. Good night! No telling
what that screwball might do. I
walked in yesterday—here he is,
standing on a table with a fishing
pole flycasting. Take my advice
and get him out of town before
this thing explodes in our faces!

ANN
If you do, Mr. Norton, you’re just
as much of a dumb cluck as he is!
Excuse me.

CONNELL
(to Ann—hotly)
No, you’ve got yourself a meal
ticket and you hate to let go.

ANN
Sure, it’s a meal ticket for me. I
admit it, but it’s also a windfall
for somebody like Mr. Norton who’s
trying to crash national politics.
(she turns to D. B.)
That’s what you bought the newspaper
for, isn’t it? You wanta reach a
lotta people, don’t you? Well,
put John Doe on the air and you
can reach a hundred and fifty
million of ’em. He can say anything
he wants and they’ll listen to
him.

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. Fascinated by ANN.

WIDER SHOT: CONNELL stares at her derisively. D. B. is
completely absorbed.

ANN
All right, let’s not forget the
Governor, the Mayor and all small
fry like that. This can arouse
national interest! If he made a
hit around here—he can do it
everywhere else in the country!
And you’ll be pulling the strings,
Mr. Norton!

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. His eyes have begun to light up with
extensive plans.

WIDER SHOT: D. B. continues to study ANN with deep interest.
Then he turns to CONNELL.

D. B.
Go down to the office and arrange
for some radio time.

CONNELL
(protesting)
Why, D. B., you’re not going to
fall for—

D. B.
(interrupting sharply)
I want it as soon as possible.

CONNELL
(shrugging)
Okay. I just came in to get warm,
myself. Come on, let’s go.

He starts out. ANN picks up her bag, prepared to follow
CONNELL.

D. B.
Er, don’t you go. I want to talk
to you.

CONNELL goes. ANN waits, somewhat nervously.

D. B.
(when CONNELL is
gone)
Sit down.

MED. TWO SHOT: ANN and D. B. D. B. studies her for a moment.

D. B.
. . . Er, this John Doe idea is
yours, huh?

ANN
Yes, sir.

D. B.
How much money do you get?

ANN
Thirty dollars.

D. B.
(probingly)
Thirty dollars? Well, er, what are
you after? I mean, what do you
want? A journalistic career?

ANN
Money.

D. B.
(laughs)
Money? Well, I’m glad to hear
somebody admit it. Do you suppose
you could write a radio speech
that would put that fellow over?

ANN
Oh, I’m sure I can.

D. B.
Do it, and I’ll give you a hundred
dollars a week.

ANN
A hundred dollars!

D. B.
That’s only the beginning. You
play your cards right and you’ll
never have to worry about money
again. Oh, I knew it.

ANN’S eyes brighten with excitement. They are interrupted
by the arrival of TED SHELDON, in uniform.

D. B.
(to TED)
Hello. Whenever there’s a pretty
woman around, er—
(laughing)
This is my nephew, Ted Sheldon,
Miss Mitchell.

ANN
How do you do.

TED
How do you do!

D. B.
All right, Casanova. I’ll give you
a break. See that Miss Mitchell
gets a car to take her home.

TED
Always reading my mind, aren’t
you?

ANN
(laughing)
Thank you very much for everything.

D. B.
And, Miss Mitchell—I think from
now on you’d better work directly
with me.

ANN
Yes, sir.

They exit. D. B. walks to the door, a pleased expression
on his face.

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. His face wreathed in a victorious smile.

FADE-OUT:

FADE IN:

INT. ANNE’S LIVING ROOM

CLOSE SHOT: Of ANN. She sits at a typewriter reading
something she has written. Suddenly, impulsively, she yanks
the sheet out of the machine and flings it to the floor.
As she rises, camera pulls back. We find the floor littered
with previously unsuccessful attempts to get the speech
written. For a moment, ANN paces agitatedly, until she is
interrupted by a commotion.

MED. SHOT: At door. ANN’s two sisters, IRENE and ELLEN,
aged nine and eleven—and dressed in their sleeping pajamas,
dash in, squealing mischievously. Camera pans with them as
they rush to ANN and leap on her.

ANN
Oh! Hey! Oh, hey! I thought you
were asleep!

ELLEN
We just wanted to say good night,
Sis.

They embrace and kiss her.

ANN
Oh, oh! Oh, you little brats! You’re
just stalling. I said good night!

MED. SHOT: At door. ANN’S MOTHER appears in the doorway.
She is a prim little woman—her clothes have a touch of the
Victorian about them—her hair is done up in old-fashioned
style, her throat is modestly covered in lace.

MOTHER
(above the din)
Come, come, come, children. It’s
past your bedtime.

ELLEN
Oh, all right.

MOTHER
Go on!

ELLEN
Come on, Pooch! Come on, come on.

MOTHER
Now, keep Pooch off the bed.

The CHILDREN exit, squealing. ANN’S MOTHER goes to ANN’s
desk and searches for something.

ANN
Stick a fork through me! I’m done.
I’ll never get this speech right.

MOTHER
Oh, yes you will, Ann dear . . .
you’re very clever.

ANN
Yeah, I know. What are you looking
for?

MOTHER
Your purse. I need ten dollars.

ANN
What for? I gave you fifty just
the other day.

MOTHER
Yes, I know, dear, but Mrs. Burke
had her baby yesterday. Nine pounds!
And there wasn’t a thing in the
house—and then this morning the
Community Chest lady came around
and—

ANN
And the fifty’s all gone, huh?
Who’s the ten for?

MOTHER
The Websters.

ANN
The Websters!

MOTHER
You remember those lovely people
your father used to take care of?
I thought I’d buy them some
groceries. Oh, Ann, dear, it’s a
shame, those poor—

ANN
You’re marvelous, Ma. You’re just
like Father used to be. Do you
realize a couple of weeks ago we
didn’t have enough to eat ourselves?

MOTHER
Well, yes, I know, dear, but these
people are in such need and we
have plenty now.

ANN
If you’re thinking of that thousand
dollars, forget it. It’s practically
gone. We owed everybody in town.
Now, you’ve just gotta stop giving
all your money away.

Her MOTHER looks up, surprised at her tone.

MRS. MITCHELL
Oh, Ann, dear!

CLOSE-UP: ANN realizes she has spoken sharply to her MOTHER
and immediately regrets it. Her face softens.

MED. SHOT: As ANN crosses to her MOTHER—and places an arm
around her shoulder, tenderly.

ANN
Oh, I’m sorry, Ma. Oh, don’t pay
any attention to me. I guess I’m
just upset about all this. Gee
whiz, here I am with a great
opportunity to get somewhere, to
give us security for once in our
lives, and I’m stuck. If I could
put this over, your Mrs. Burke can
have six babies!

MOTHER
Do you mean the speech you’re
writing?

ANN
Yeah, I don’t know. I simply can’t
get it to jell! I created somebody
who’s gonna give up his life for a
principle, hundreds of thousands
of people are gonna listen to him
over the radio and, unless he says
something that’s, well, that’s
sensational, it’s just no good!

MOTHER
Well, honey, of course I don’t
know what kind of a speech you’re
trying to write, but judging from
the samples I’ve read, I don’t
think anybody’ll listen.

ANN
What?

MOTHER
Darling, there are so many
complaining political speeches.
People are tired of hearing nothing
but doom and despair on the radio.
If you’re going to have him say
anything, why don’t you let him
say something simple and real,
something with hope in it? If your
father were alive, he’d know what
to say.

ANN
Oh, yes, Father certainly would.

MOTHER
Wait a minute . . .

ANN
Huh?

MRS. MITCHELL crosses to a desk, finds a key and unlocks a
compartment. ANN watches her, curiously.

CLOSE SHOT: MRS. MITCHELL extracts a diary from the
compartment, which she handles very tenderly.

CAMERA PANS with her as she goes back to ANN.

MOTHER
That’s your father’s diary, Ann.

ANN
Father’s . . . I never knew he had
a diary.

MOTHER
There’s enough in it for a hundred
speeches, things people ought to
hear nowadays. You be careful of
it, won’t you dear? It’s always
helped keep your father alive for
me.

ANN
(holds MOTHER’s
hand to her cheek)
You bet I will, Ma.

Her mother abruptly leaves.

CLOSE-UP: ANN turns her attention to the diary. As she
opens it, her eyes sparkle expectantly. She becomes
interested in the first thing she sees.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CORRIDOR OF HOTEL

MED. SHOT: At door of JOHN’s suite. A crowd of people are
around the door trying to crash it. The LUG on guard stands
before the door.

LUG
Wait a minute. John Doe don’t wanta
sign no autographs.

INQUIRER
Well, what does he do all day?

LUG
What does he do all day? He’s
writin’ out his memories!

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM

MED. SHOT: BEANY is on the telephone. He is apparently
weary from answering them all day.

BEANY
Sorry, lady. you can’t see Mr.
Doe. He wants to be alone. No, no,
he just sits around all day and
commutes with himself.

CAMERA SWINGS around to JOHN. He stands in the middle of
the floor, his pitcher’s glove on, playing an imaginary
game of ball. He winds up and throws an imaginary ball.

CLOSE-UP: Of the COLONEL. He wears a catcher’s mitt—and
smacks it as if he just caught the ball.

BEANY
(umpiring)
Ba-ll!

COLONEL
I don’t know how you’re gonna stand
it around here till after Christmas.

FULL SHOT: At the door are the two LUGS, watching the
imaginary ball game. The COLONEL takes a couple of steps
over home plate, and throws the “ball” back to JOHN who
picks it up out of the air.

COLONEL
(as he steps back
behind the plate)
I betcha yuh ain’t heard a train
whistle in two weeks.

He crouches on his knees—and gives JOHN a signal.

BEANY
St-rike!

COLONEL
I know why you’re hangin’
around—you’re stuck on a girl—that’s
all a guy needs is to get hooked
up with a woman.

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. He shakes his head, and waits for
another sign. When he gets it, he nods. He steps onto the
mound—winds up and lets another one go. This is apparently
a hit, for his eyes shoot skyward, and he quickly
turns—watching the progress of the ball as it is flung to
first base. From his frown we know the man is safe.

CLOSE SHOT: Of the two LUGS, ANGELFACE and MIKE. ANGELFACE
is seriously absorbed in the game. MIKE leans against the
wall, eyes narrowed, a plan going on in his head.

ANGELFACE
(seriously)
What was that? A single?

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN.

JOHN
(explaining)
The first baseman dropped the ball.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANGELFACE.

ANGELFACE
(shouting at
“firstbaseman”)
Butterfingers!
(back to John)
That’s tough luck, Pal.

MED. SHOT: JOHN disregards him completely. He is too much
absorbed with the man on first. He now has the stance of a
pitch without the windup.

COLONEL
When a guy has a woman on his
hands—the first thing he knows his
life is balled up with a lot more
things—furniture and—

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. He catches the “ball”—gets into
position—nods to his catcher—raises his hands in the air,
takes a peek toward first base—and suddenly wheels around
FACING CAMERA, and whips the “ball” toward first base.
Almost immediately his face lights up.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANGELFACE.

ANGELFACE
Did you get him?

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He winks.

BEANY
(umpiring)
You’re out!

FULL SHOT: JOHN flips the glove off his hand so that it
dangles from his wrist—and massages the ball with his two
palms.

ANGELFACE
That’s swell! What’s this—the end
of the eighth?

JOHN
Ninth!

He steps into the “pitcher’s box”.

WIDER SHOT: Just as they take their positions, the LUG,
from outside, partly opens the door.

LUG
Hey, Beany! There’s a coupla lugs
from the Chronicle snooping around
out here!

BEANY immediately comes from background.

BEANY
Come on, Angelface! Gangway!

As they reach the door, the LUG speaks to ANGELFACE.

LUG
What’s the score, Angelface?

ANGELFACE
Three to two—our favor.

LUG
Gee, that’s great!

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He has heard this and grins
mischievously. He starts winding up for another pitch.

CLOSE-UP: Of MIKE. He looks around mischievously, then
turns to JOHN.

MIKE
You’ve got swell form. Must have
been a pretty good pitcher.

WIDER SHOT: JOHN is just receiving the ball.

JOHN
Pretty good? Say, I was just about
ready for the major leagues when I
chipped a bone in my elbow. I got
it pitchin’ a nineteen-inning game!

MIKE
Nineteen!

JOHN
Yep. There was a major league scout
there watching me, too. And he
came down after the game with a
contract. Do you know what? I
couldn’t life my arm to sign it.
But I’ll be okay again as soon as
I get it fixed up.

MIKE
(picks up
newspaper—sighing)
That’s too bad.

JOHN
What do you mean, too bad?

MIKE
(pretending
distraction)
Huh? Oh, that you’ll never be able
to play again.

JOHN
Well, what are you talking about?
I just told you I was gonna get a—

MIKE
(interrupting
carelessly)
Well, you know how they are in
baseball—if a guy’s mixed up in a
racket—

JOHN
(walking over)
Racket? What do you mean?

MIKE
Well, I was just thinking about
this John Doe business. Why, as
soon as it comes out it’s all a
fake, you’ll be washed up in
baseball, won’t you?

JOHN
Y-yeah. Gee, doggone it, I never
thought about that. Gosh!

MIKE
And another thing, what about all
the kids in the country, the kids
that idolize ball players? What
are they gonna think about you?
(shakes his head)
Close shot: Of the COLONEL. He has
dropped his glove—flopped into a
chair—and has taken out his ocarina.

JOHN’S VOICE
Hey, did you hear that, Colonel?

The COLONEL nods, disinterestedly, and begins to play.

WIDER SHOT: JOHN ponders his dilemma for a second.

JOHN
I gotta figure some way out of
this thing!

COLONEL
The elevators are still runnin’.

MIKE
(carelessly)
I know one way you can do it.

JOHN
How?

MIKE
Well, when you get up on the radio,
all you have to do is say the whole
thing’s a frame-up. Make you a
hero sure as you’re born!

John thinks this over, but something troubles him.

JOHN
Yeah, but how am I gonna get my
arm fixed?

MIKE
Well, that’s a cinch. I know
somebody that’ll give you five
thousand dollars just to get up on
the radio and tell the truth.

COLONEL
(eyes popping)
Five thousand dollars?

MIKE
Yeah. Five thousand dollars. And
he gets it right away. You don’t
have to wait till Christmas.

COLONEL
Look out, Long John! They’re closing
in on you!

JOHN
(ignores COLONEL)
Say, who’s putting up this dough?

MIKE
Feller runs the Chronicle .
(takes it out of
his pocket)
Here’s the speech you make—and
it’s all written out for you.

JOHN takes it.

CLOSE-UP: Of the COLONEL.

COLONEL
(eyes heaven-ward)
Five thousand dollars! Holy
mackerel! I can see the heelots
comin’. The whole army of them!

MIKE
It’s on the level.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BROADCASTING STATION

CLOSE SHOT: TELEPHONE OPERATORS.

1ST GIRL
No, I’m sorry. Tickets for the
broadcast are all gone. Phone the
Bulletin.

2ND GIRL
Sorry. No more tickets left.

MED. SHOT: Crowd chattering—they recognize JOHN DOE coming
in.

CLOSE SHOT: At a side door in broadcasting station. As the
COLONEL and MIKE take their places.

INT. OFFICE IN BROADCASTING STATION

FULL SHOT: JOHN is led by BEANY into the office. They are
immediately followed by several photographers.

BEANY
Here he is.

ANN
Hello, John. All set for the big
night? Swell!

PHOTOGRAPHER
Turn around.

2ND PHOTOGRAPHER
One moment—hold it! Now stand still,
Mr. Doe.

ANN
Okay, Beany, take them outside.

TWO SHOT: JOHN and ANN.

ANN
Now, look, John. Here’s the speech.
It’s in caps and double-spaced.
You won’t have any trouble reading
it. Not nervous, are you?

JOHN
No.

ANN
Of course not. He wouldn’t be.

JOHN
Who?

ANN
John Doe. The one in there.
(pointing to speech)

BEANY
Hey, don’t let your knees rattle.
It picks up on the mike!

ANN
Oh, Beany! You needn’t be nervous,
John. All you have to remember is
to be sincere.

WIDER SHOT: Man pokes his head in.

MAN
Pick up the phone, Miss Mitchell.
It’s for you.

ANN
(takes phone)
Hello? Yes, Mother. Oh, thank you,
darling.

FULL SHOT: While she speaks on the phone, MRS. BREWSTER
barges in, accompanied by two other ladies.

MRS. BREWSTER
Oh, there he is, the poor, dear
man! Oh, good luck to you, Mr.
Doe. We want you to know that we’re
all for you. The girls all decided
that you’re not to jump off any
roof a’tall. Oh, we’ll stop it!

ANN completes the phone call—crosses to MRS. BREWSTER.

ANN
Sorry, ladies. Mr. Doe can’t be
bothered now. He’s gotta make a
speech out there, and—

While she gets them out—MIKE slips into the room.

CLOSE SHOT: MIKE and JOHN.

MIKE
Have you got the speech I gave
you?

JOHN
(taps breast pocket)
Yeah.

MIKE
Now, look. I’ll give this money to
the Colonel just as soon as you
get started. We’ll have a car
waiting at the side entrance for
you.

JOHN
Okay.

FULL SHOT: ANN turns away from the door.

ANN
(to MIKE)
How’d you get in here?

MIKE
Huh? Oh, I just came in to wish
him luck.

ANN
Come on, out. Out!
(turning to John)
Mother says good luck, too. John,
when you read that speech, please,
please believe every word of it.
He’s turned out to be a wonderful
person, John.

JOHN
Who?

ANN
John Doe, the one in the speech.

JOHN
Oh. Yeah.

ANN
You know something? I’ve actually
fallen in love with him.

FULL SHOT: They are interrupted by the arrival of CONNELL.
He is accompanied by several photographers—and a beautiful
girl in a bathing suit. A banner across her front reads:
“Miss Average Girl”.

CONNELL
All right, there he is, sister.
Now, come on—plenty of oomph!

The GIRL, all smiles, throws her arms around JOHN’s
shoulder—and strikes a languid pose. The flashlights go
off.

ANN
What’s the idea?

CONNELL
No, no, no. Now that’s too much!

PHOTOGRAPHER
One moment, please.

ANN
This is no time for cheap publicity,
Mr. Connell!

CONNELL
Listen. If that guy lays an egg. I
want to get something out of it.
I’m getting a Jane Doe ready!

ANN
(trying to get rid
of them)
That’s fine, honey. Now, get out!

PHOTOGRAPHER
All right. I need one more.

ANN
Go right ahead.

While there is this confusion, the COLONEL pushes in and
stands in the doorway.

COLONEL
How’re you doin’?

CONNELL
(calls to Beany
outside)
All right, Beany—bring ’em in!

While CONNELL speaks, two MIDGETS push the COLONEL out of
the way and enter the room. The COLONEL glances down—and
nearly jumps out of his skin. BEANY follows them in.

COLONEL
Holy smoke! A half a heelot!

BEANY
There you are, Boss, just like you
ordered. Symbols of the little
people.

CONNELL
Okay. Get them up.

BEANY lifts them and places them, one on each of JOHN’s
arms. The flashlights go off.

ANN
This is ridiculous, Mr. Connell!
Come on, give him a chance. The
man’s on the air!

While she speaks, she tries to shove the photographers
out.

BOY MIDGET
(to girl midget)
Come on, Snooks—you better bail
out.

GIRL MIDGET
(coquettishly)
Goodbye, Mr. Doe!

BEANY lifts her off—and ANN pushes them all out—just as
the STAGE MANAGER reappears.

STAGE MANAGER
Better get ready. One minute to
go!

TWO SHOT: JOHN and ANN. ANN turns quickly to JOHN.

ANN
Wow! One minute to go, and the
score is nothing to nothing! Now,
please, John, you won’t let me
down, will you? Will you? ‘Course
you won’t. If you’ll just think of
yourself as the real John Doe.
Listen. Everything in that speech
are things a certain man believed
in. He was my father, John. And
when he talked, people listened.
They’ll listen to you, too.
Funny—you know what my mother said
the other night? She said to look
into your eyes—that I’d see Father
there.

STAGE MANAGER
Hey—what do you say?

ANN
Okay! We’re coming. Come on! Now,
listen, John. You’re a pitcher.
Now, get in there and pitch!
(kisses his cheek)
Good luck.

For a moment he just stares at her, under a spell. Then,
turning, he exits. After a second of watching him, ANN
follows.

STUDIO OFFICIAL
Give him room, let him through.
Come on.

Int. broadcasting stage: Med. shot: Camera retreats in
front of JOHN and the official, as they leave the office
and proceed to the microphones. Everyone stares curiously
at JOHN—whispering to each other.

MED. SHOT: Shooting through glass partition, toward control
booth. We SEE the TWO MEN at the board. They glance
nervously at their watches—then at the clock on the wall.

CLOSE SHOT: Of ANN. She has taken a position at a table
near the mike. Next to her sits CONNELL. ANN watches JOHN
with intense interest.

The COLONEL has followed JOHN up to the microphone.

COLONEL
(to John)
Hey. Let’s get out o’ here. There’s
the door right there.

M.C.
Hey, what’re you doing here?

COLONEL
That’s what I’d like to know!

M.C.
Come on, out. Out.

JOHN
Say, he’s a friend of mine.

ANN
(at John’s elbow)
Never mind. Let him alone. He’s
all right. I’ll be right over there
pulling for you.

JOHN starts to follow ANN away from mike. ANN leads him
back to mike again.

ANN
No, John—over here.

2ND M.C.
Stand by.

MED. SHOT: At door. The COLONEL surreptitiously tries the
door, to see that it opens readily. Standing near him is
BEANY and the others.

MED. SHOT: Group around SPENCER. They wait expectantly.
Their eyes sparkling with excitement.

SPENCER
Phone the Chronicle . Tell ’em to
start getting those extras out.

MED. SHOT: Toward control booth. The man with the earphones
on has his hand up ready to give the signal. He listens a
moment, then abruptly drops his hand.

CLOSE-UP: The man near the announcer throws his HAND up as
a SIGNAL to someone off scene.

MED. SHOT: An orchestra in a corner. The conductor waves
his baton—and the orchestra blasts out a dramatic fanfare.

CLOSE SHOT: ANNOUNCER and JOHN. ANNOUNCER holds his script
up and the moment the music stops he speaks dramatically.

ANNOUNCER
(rapid-fire)
And good evening, ladies and
gentlemen. This is Kenneth Frye,
speaking for the New Bulletin .
Tonight we give you something
entirely new and different. Standing
beside me is the young man who has
declared publicly that on Christmas
Eve he intends to commit suicide,
giving as his reason—quote: “I
protest against the state of
civilization.” End quote. Ladies
and gentlemen, the New Bulletin
takes pleasure in presenting the
man who is fast becoming the most
talked-of person in the whole
country, JOHN DOE!

The man next to him waves his hand—there is an outburst of
music.

A FLASH: Of ANN—she looks at JOHN intently.

MED. SHOT: Group around BEANY. They all applaud, except
for MIKE and the COLONEL. MIKE, with his hand hanging down,
nudges the COLONEL.

CLOSE SHOT: Of their hands meeting and we SEE the envelope
change hands. CAMERA PANS up to the COLONEL’s face which
is twisted into a miserable grimace.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He glances around, uncertainly.

CLOSE SHOT: Of MIKE and the COLONEL. MIKE elbows the COLONEL
to throw his signal. The COLONEL looks toward JOHN and
nods his head.

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. He catches the COLONEL’S signal and
quickly his hand goes to his pocket. Just as he is about
to bring it out, his hand pauses. He turns and looks at
ANN.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. A warm, pleading look in her eyes.

MED. SHOT: Around JOHN. He is still staring at ANN, when
the ANNOUNCER reaches over and nudges him—pointing to the
mike. JOHN snaps out of it—turns his face to the mike—pushes
the paper back in his pocket—and starts reading ANN’S
speech.

JOHN
(reading speech)
Ladies and gentlemen: I am the man
you all know as John Doe.
(clearing his throat)
I took that name because it seems
to describe—because it seems to
describe
(his voice unnatural)
the average man, and that’s me.
(repeats,
embarrassedly)
And that’s me.

MED. SHOT: The COLONEL and MIKE. The COLONEL realizes JOHN
is not going to make SPENCER’S speech, and his face breaks
into a broad grin. He takes MIKE’S hand and slaps the
envelope into his palm. Over the shot we hear JOHN’S voice.

JOHN’S VOICE
Well, it was me—before I said I
was gonna jump off the City Hall
roof at midnight on Christmas Eve.
Now, I guess I’m not average any
more. Now, I’m getting all sorts
of attention, from big shots, too.

MED. SHOT: To include JOHN and ANN.

MED. SHOT: Around SPENCER, as MIKE enters to him and hands
him envelope.

MIKE
(whispering)
We’ve been double-crossed!

SPENCER stares at the envelope, frothing at the mouth.

SPENCER
We have!?

MED. SHOT: Featuring JOHN and ANN.

JOHN
The Mayor and the Governor, for
instance. They don’t like those
articles I’ve been writing.

Suddenly they are startled by SPENCER’s voice.

SPENCER’S VOICE
You’re an imposter, young fella!
That’s a pack of lies you’re
telling!

QUICK FLASHES: Of reaction from audience, CONNELL and
others.

SPENCER
Who wrote that speech for you?
(pointing accusing
finger at JOHN)

CONNELL
Beany, get that guy!

MED. SHOT: Around SPENCER. It is as far as he gets. Several
attendants, BEANY among them, have reached him and start
throwing him out.

CUT TO:

INT. D. B. NORTON’S STUDY

MED. SHOT: D. B. and TED SHELDON are listening to JOHN’s
speech over the radio. D. B. is astonished at the
disturbance in the program.

D. B.
(recognizing the
voice)
That’s Spencer!

CUT TO:

INT. BROADCASTING STAGE:

CLOSE SHOT: Of ANNOUNCER.

M.C.
Ladies and gentlemen, the
disturbance you just heard was
caused by someone in the audience
who tried to heckle Mr. Doe. The
speech will continue.

MED. SHOT: Featuring JOHN and ANN.

JOHN
Well, people like the Governor
(laughing—ad libs)
People like the Governor and that
fella there can—can stop worrying.
I’m not gonna talk about them.

ANN smiles admiringly.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He is becoming strangely absorbed in
what he is saying.

JOHN
I’m gonna talk about us, the average
guys, the John Does. If anybody
should ask you what the average
John Doe is like, you couldn’t
tell him because he’s a million
and one things. He’s Mr. Big and
Mr. Small. He’s simple and he’s
wise. He’s inherently honest, but
he’s got a streak of larceny in
his heart. He seldom walks up to a
public telephone without shoving
his finger into the slot to see if
somebody left a nickel there.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. Her eyes are glued on JOHN.

JOHN’S VOICE
He’s the man the ads are written
for. He’s the fella everybody sells
things to. He’s Joe Doakes,[8] the
world’s greatest stooge and the
world’s greatest strength.
(clearing throat)
Yes, sir. Yessir, we’re a great
family, the John Does. We’re the
meek who are, er, supposed to
inherit the earth. You’ll find us
everywhere. We raise the crops, we
dig the mines, work the factories,
keep the books, fly the planes and
drive the busses! And when a cop
yells: “Stand back there, you!”
He means us, the John Does!

CUT TO: INT. D. B. ‘S STUDY:

MED. SHOT: D. B. and TED listen near the radio. TED’s eyes
flash angrily.

TED
Well, what kind of a speech is
that? Didn’t you read it?

D. B. stops him with a gesture of his hand. He doesn’t
want to miss a word.

CUT TO:

INT. BROADCASTING STAGE

MED. SHOT: Toward JOHN.

JOHN
We’ve existed since time began. We
built the pyramids, we saw Christ
crucified, pulled the oars for
Roman emperors, sailed the boats
for Columbus, retreated from Moscow
with Napoleon and froze with
Washington at Valley Forge!
(gasping)
Yes, sir. We’ve been in there
dodging left hooks since before
history began to walk! In our
struggle for freedom we’ve hit the
canvas many a time, but we always
bounced back!

MED. SHOT—PANNING: Around audience—to get a variety of
interested faces.

JOHN’S VOICE
Because we’re the people —and we’re
tough!

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN.

JOHN
They’ve started a lot of talk about
free people going soft—that we
can’t take it. That’s a lot of
hooey! . . . A free people can
beat the world at anything, from
war to tiddle-de-winks, if we all
pull in the same direction!

MED. SHOT: To include radio announcer and other radio
officials. Their interest centers on JOHN.

JOHN
I know a lot of you are saying
“What can I do? I’m just a little
punk. I don’t count.” Well, you’re
dead wrong! The little punks have
always counted because in the long
run the character of a country is
the sum total of the character of
its little punks.

INT. D. B.’S STUDY

MED. SHOT: D. B.’s expression of disturbance has vanished.
It is now replaced by one of thoughtfulness and interest.
He looks off toward the foyer, and impulsively goes in
that direction.

CUT TO:

INT. FOYER

MED. SHOT: D. B. crosses to a pantry door and pushes the
swinging door open slightly.

INT. PANTRY

MED. SHOT: All we can SEE through the slightly open door
is one side of the room. Clustered around the radio on a
table are all the household help. They listen, fascinated.

INT. FOYER

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. His eyes begin to brighten with an idea.
Meantime, over the foregoing shots, JOHN’s voice has
continued.

JOHN’S VOICE
But we’ve all got to get in there
and pitch! We can’t win the old
ball game unless we have team work.
And that’s where every John Doe
comes in! It’s up to him to get
together with his teammate!

CUT TO:

INT. BROADCASTING STATION – MED. SHOT:

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN.

JOHN
And your teammates, my friends, is
the guy next door to you. Your
neighbor! He’s a terribly important
guy, that guy next door! You’re
gonna need him and he’s gonna need
you . . . so look him up! If he’s
sick, call on him! If he’s hungry,
feed him! If he’s out of a job,
find him one! To most of you,
your neighbor is a stranger, a guy
with a barking dog, and a high
fence around him.

MED. SHOT: Somewhere in audience.

JOHN’S VOICE
Now, you can’t be a stranger to
any guy that’s on your own team.
So tear down the fence that
separates you, tear down the fence
and you’ll tear down a lot of hates
and prejudices! Tear down all the
fences in the country and you’ll
really have teamwork!

MED. SHOT: Around BEANY and the LUGS. They, too, are
interested.

JOHN’S VOICE
I know a lot of you are saying to
yourselves: “He’s asking for a
miracle to happen. He’s expecting
people to change all of a sudden.”
Well, you’re wrong. It’s no miracle.
It’s no miracle because I see it
happen once every year. And so do
you. At Christmas time! There’s
something swell about the spirit
of Christmas, to see what it does
to people, all kinds of people . .
.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. Her eyes go from JOHN to the audience—as
she watches their reaction.

FULL SHOT: Shooting toward audience over JOHN’s shoulder.

JOHN
Now, why can’t that spirit, that
same warm Christmas spirit last
the whole year round? Gosh, if it
ever did, if each and every John
Doe would make that spirit last
three hundred and sixty-five days
out of the year, we’d develop such
a strength, we’d create such a
tidal wave of good will, that no
human force could stand against
it.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He has become visibly affected by the
speech himself.

JOHN
Yes, sir, my friends, the meek can
only inherit the earth when the
John Does start loving their
neighbors. You’d better start right
now. Don’t wait till the game is
called on account of darkness!
Wake up, John Doe! You’re the hope
of the world!

He has finished—but does not move. He drops his head to
conceal the moisture in his eyes.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She, too, remains seated. Her moist eyes
riveted on JOHN.

MED. LONG SHOT: Of Audience. There is no outburst of
applause. All continue to stare forward, emotionally
touched.

MED. SHOT: Of ANN. She runs over to John.

ANN
John! You were wonderful!

MED. SHOT: Of the audience. They too realize it is over—and
gradually they rise and applaud him wildly, and the radio
station rings with cheers.

MED. SHOT: JOHN and ANN. JOHN stares at ANN, then turns to
COLONEL.

JOHN
(as he reaches
COLONEL)
Let’s get out of here.

They exit through the door at which the COLONEL has been
on guard.

COLONEL
Now you’re talking!

MED. SHOT: At side door. The COLONEL opens it, and a little
crowd of autograph hounds wait for JOHN.

COLONEL
Gangway, you heelots!

They push their way to a taxi waiting at the curb.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She stares at them leaving, follows and
tries to stop them, but her efforts are unsuccessful.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. UNDER A BRIDGE

MED. SHOT: JOHN and the COLONEL are in a secluded spot.
The lights of the city can be seen in the distance. The
COLONEL is building a fire.

COLONEL
I knew you’d wake up sooner or
later! Boy, am I glad we got out
of that mess.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He reaches around and pulls his pitcher’s
glove out of his back pocket, and starts pounding his fist
into it.

JOHN
I had that five thousand bucks
sewed up! Could have been on my
way to old Doc Brown!
(imitates Ann)
“You’re a pitcher, John,” she said,
“Now go in there and pitch!
(self-beratingly)
What a sucker!

Wider shot: To include the COLONEL, who has quite a mound
of twigs built, under which he lights a match.

COLONEL
Yeah, she’s a heelot just like the
rest of them. It’s lucky you got
away from her.

JOHN
What was I doin’ up there makin’ a
speech, anyway? Me? Huh? Gee, the
more I think about it the more I
could . . .

COLONEL
Tear down all the fences. Why, if
you tore one picket off of your
neighbor’s fence he’d sue you!

JOHN
Five thousand bucks! I had it
right in my hand!

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. D.B.’S STUDY

CLOSE-UP: D.B. on telephone.

D.B.
What do you mean, he ran away?
Well, go after him! Find him! That
man is terrific!

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. A BOX CAR (PROCESS)

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN and the COLONEL. They play a duet on
their instruments.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

EXT. A SMALL TOWN STREET — DAY

Med. shot: As JOHN and the COLONEL come from around a
corner. Camera pans with them as they enter “Dan’s Beanery”.

INT. DAN’S BEANERY

FULL SHOT: They enter and flop down on stools. Half a dozen
other customers are present.

MED. SHOT: Kids dancing to phonograph.

COLONEL
Jitterbugs.[9] Close shot: JOHN
and the COLONEL.

JOHN
Yeh. Say, how much money we got
left?

COLONEL
Four bits.

JOHN
Better make it doughnuts, huh?

COLONEL
Yeh.

DAN
What’ll it be, gents?

JOHN
Have you got a coupla steaks about
that big and about that thick?
(measuring)

COLONEL
Er, yeh, with hash-brown potatoes
and tomatoes and—and apple pie and
ice cream and coffee—

DAN
And doughnuts! I know. Hey, Ma!
Sinkers, a pair!

MA’S VOICE
Sinkers, a pair, coming up.

COLONEL
Glad he took the “T” out of that.

JOHN
(sees something
off—nudges the
Colonel)
Hey look!

LONG SHOT: Shooting from their view through the store
window. In the street outside, a delivery wagon is passing.
On its side is a sign reading “JOIN THE JOHN DOE CLUB”.

INT. DAN’S BEANERY

CLOSE-UP: JOHN and the COLONEL.

COLONEL
Join the John Doe Club.

JOHN
John Doe Club?

CLOSE SHOT: Of the WAITER standing near the coffee urn.
From back of it he has taken a local paper—on the front
page of which is JOHN’s picture. The WAITER looks at it
and then turns his head to JOHN.

TWO SHOT: JOHN and the COLONEL. They turn and see the waiter
watching them peculiarly.

COLONEL
Oh-oh.

WIDER SHOT. As the WAITER approaches them.

WAITER
Are you John Doe?

JOHN lowers his head.

COLONEL
Who?

WAITER
(pointing to paper)
John Doe.

COLONEL
You need glasses, buddy.

WAITER
Well, he’s the spittin’ image of—

COLONEL
Yeah, but his name’s Willoughby.

DAN
Oh!

JOHN
Long John Willoughby.
(takes glove out of
pocket)
I’m a baseball player.

COLONEL
Sure.

DAN
(eyes brightening)
Oh, no. I’d know that voice
anywhere. You can’t kid me! You’re
John Doe! Hey, Ma! Ma! That’s John
Doe!

MA
John Doe?

DAN
Yeah. Sitting right there, big as
life.

CUSTOMER
Who’d you say it was?

DAN
John Doe! The big guy there!
Picture’s in the paper!

JOHN gives the COLONEL the office and they hastily exit.
Several customers, who had gathered around, now evince
interest. DAN identifies JOHN as JOHN DOE, and the people
follow JOHN out into the street. DAN hastily seizes the
phone.

DAN
Hey, Operator? Dan’s Beanery.
Look. Call everybody in town. John
Doe was just in my place. Yeh. He
ordered doughnuts.

LONG SHOT: Shooting out of window toward street. We see
JOHN and the COLONEL as they hurry away, being followed by
the crowd which is gradually growing larger . . . as we
see people crossing the street to get to them—

TOWNSPEOPLE
There he is! John Doe!
There he is! Come on! Gotta see
John Doe!

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. SIDEWALK

MED. SHOT: Millville City Hall. The sidewalk is crowded
with people. Those near the entrance are trying to force
their way in. MAYOR HAWKINS guards the door.

MAYOR HAWKINS
I know, you all voted for me and
you’re all anxious to see John
Doe. We’re all neighbors, but my
office is packed like a sardine
box.

GIRL
What does John Doe look like, Mr.
Mayor.

MAYOR HAWKINS
Oh, he’s one of those great big
outdoor type of men. No, you can’t
see him.

MAYOR notices one member of the crowd particularly.

MAYOR HAWKINS
You didn’t vote for me the last
time. Shame on you—get off my front
porch!
(turning)
Mr. Norton come yet? What’s keeping
him? He should of been here fifteen
minutes ago. Oh, there he comes
now. Now, everybody on your dignity.
Don’t do anything to disgrace us.
This is a little town, but we gotta
show off.

WIDER SHOT: Of curb. From off-scene we hear the wail of
sirens, and as the crowd on the sidewalk turn they see two
motorcycle cops drive in, followed by a limousine.

TWO SHOT: ANN and D. B.

ANN
Better let me talk to him.

D. B.
All right, but present it to him
as a great cause for the common
man.

ANN nods as they start toward building. Camera pans with
them as the cops break through the curious mob.

MED. SHOT: MAYOR HAWKINS endeavors to assist them.

MAYOR HAWKINS
Ah, here he comes! Give him room
down there! Give him room, folks!
How do you do, Mr. Norton! I’m the
Mayor—

COP
(to Mayor)
Come back here!

MAYOR HAWKINS
(to cop)
Let me go, you dern fool! I’m the
Mayor! Mr. Norton! I’m Mayor
Hawkins. Your office telephoned me
to hold him.

INT. CITY HALL

Med. shot: As they walk toward MAYOR’S office.

D. B.
(to Mayor Hawkins)
Well, that’s fine. How is he?

MAYOR
Oh, he’s fine. He’s right in my
office there. You know, this is a
great honor having John Doe here,
and you too. Haven’t had so much
excitement since the old city hall
burned down.
(chuckling)
People were so excited, they nearly
tore his clothes off.
(turns to secretary)
Oh, Matilda darling, phone the
newspapers. Tell them Mr. Norton
is here. Step right inside, Mr.
Norton—my office is very comfortable
here, Mr. Norton. Just had it air-
conditioned. Gangway, please. Make
room for Mr. Norton. Gangway,
gangway. Here he is, Mr. Norton,
well taken care of. The neighbors
are serving him a light lunch.

INT. MAYOR’S OFFICE

FULL SHOT: JOHN and the COLONEL are surrounded by a room
full of people, including the SHERIFF in full uniform and
several policemen. JOHN sits at the MAYOR’S desk, which is
filled with edibles. D.B., ANN and the MAYOR enter. JOHN,
upon seeing ANN, gets to his feet.

ANN
Hello, John.

JOHN
Hello.

D. B.
Mister Mayor, if you don’t mind,
we’d like to talk to him alone.

MAYOR
Why, certainly, certainly. All
right, everybody, clear out.

They all start to shuffle out—the MAYOR excitedly egging
them on.

MAYOR’S WIFE
Quit pushing.

MAYOR
Don’t argue with me here. Wait
till we get home.

WIFE
Don’t you push me around like that!
Even though I’m your wife, you
can’t push me around—

MAYOR
Ohhhh!

They all shuffle out, and D.B. shuts the door. JOHN watches
him, doesn’t like his proprietary manner.

JOHN
Look, Mr. Norton, I think you’ve
got a lot of nerve having those
people hold us here.

D. B.
There’s nobody holding you here,
Mr. Doe.
(laughing)
It’s only natural that people—

JOHN
Well, if there’s nobody holding us
here, let’s get going. Incidentally,
my name isn’t Doe. It’s Willoughby.

ANN
(gets in front of
him—pleads)
Look, John. Something terribly
important’s happened. They’re
forming John Doe Clubs. We know of
eight already and they say that
there’s going—

JOHN
(interested despite
himself)
John Doe Clubs? What for?

ANN
Uh-huh. To carry out the principles
you talked about in your radio
speech.

JOHN
(regains his former
attitude)
I don’t care what they’re forming.
I’m on my way and I don’t like the
idea of being stopped either.

ANN
Oh, but you don’t know how big
this thing is. You should see the
thousands of telegrams we’ve
received and what they’re saying
about you.

JOHN
Look, it started as a circulation
stunt, didn’t it?

ANN
Uh-huh . . .

JOHN
Well, you got your circulation.
Now, why don’t you let me alone?

ANN
Oh, it started as a circulation
stunt, but it isn’t any more. Mr.
Norton wants to get back of it and
sponsor John Doe Clubs all over
the country. He wants to send you
on a lecture tour.

JOHN
Me?

ANN
Uh-huh.

D. B.
Why, certainly. With your ability
to influence people, it might grow
into a glorious movement.

JOHN
Say, let’s get something straight
here. I don’t want any part of
this thing. If you’ve got an idea
I’m going around lecturing to
people, why you’re crazy! Baseball’s
my racket, and I’m sticking to it.
Come on, Colonel, let’s get out of
here.

ANN
John!

The beaming COLONEL starts to follow him to the door. When
they get there, the door suddenly flies open and a crowd
of townspeople push their way in—with the MAYOR and the
SHERIFF trying to hold them back.

MAYOR
Please, please! I just got rid of
one crowd.

WOMAN
Oh, but please. Mr. Mayor, tell
him the John Doe Club wants to
talk to him.

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. He gets an idea. These people might
influence JOHN.

D. B.
Let them in, Mr. Mayor. Let them
come in.

FULL SHOT: As the MAYOR and the SHERIFF back away.

MAYOR
Okay, folks, but remember your
manners. No stampeding. Walk slow,
like you do when you come to pay
your taxes.

MED. SHOT: Of the group. They shuffle forward grinning
happily. Those in the rear rise on tiptoes for a better
look. The men doff their hats as they come forward.

MED. SHOT: Of JOHN, the COLONEL, ANN and D.B. John glances
around nervously. The COLONEL is worried.

MED. SHOT: Of the townspeople. They just stand there,
awkwardly, some grinning sheepishly, others staring at
JOHN. Finally someone nudges a young man in the foreground
and whispers.

SOMEONE
Come on, Bert.

BERT
Okay. All right, give me a chance.

WOMAN
(making room for
him)
Come right in.

WIDER SHOT: As the group around JOHN wait expectantly.

BERT
(clearing throat)
My name’s Bert Hansen, Mr. Doe,
I’m the head soda jerker at
Schwabacher’s Drug Store.

CLOSE SHOT: Of BERT—as he plunges into his story.

BERT
Well, sir, you see, me and my wife,
we heard your broadcast, and we
got quite a bang out of it,
especially my wife.

WIDER SHOT: To include JOHN and the others.

BERT
Kept me up half the night saying
“That man’s right, honey. The
trouble with the world is—nobody
gives a hoot about his neighbor.
That’s why everybody in town’s
sore and cranky at each other.”
And I kept saying, “Well, that’s
fine, but how’s a guy gonna go
around loving the kind of neighbors
we got? Old Sourpuss for instance!”
(laughing)
You see, Sourpuss Smithers is a
guy who lives all alone next door
to us. He’s a cranky old man and
runs a second-hand furniture store.
We haven’t spoken to him for years.
I always figured he was an ornery
old gent that hated the world cause
he was always slamming his garage
door and playing the radio so loud
he kept half the neighbors up.
(laughing)

CLOSE-UP: Of BERT.

BERT
Well, anyway, the next morning I’m
out watering the lawn and I look
over and there’s Sourpuss on the
other side of the hedge
straightening out a dent in his
fender and, er, my wife yells to
me out of the window. She says,
“Go on. Speak to him, Bert.” And
I figured, well, heck, I can’t
lose anything—so I yelled over to
him “Good morning, Mr. Smithers.”
He went right on pounding his
fender, and was I burned! So I
turned around to give my wife a
dirty look and she said, “Louder,
louder. He didn’t hear you.” So,
in a voice you could of heard in
the next county, I yelled. “Good
morning, Mr. Smithers!”

MED. SHOT: Featuring JOHN and BERT. JOHN is very interested.

BERT
Well, sir, you coulda knocked me
over with a feather. Old Sourpuss
turned around surprised like, and
he put on a big smile, came over
and took my hand like an old lodge
brother, and he said. “Good morning,
Hansen. I’ve been wanting to talk
to you for years, only I thought
you didn’t like me.” And then he
started chatting away like a happy
little kid, and he got so excited
his eyes begin waterin’ up.

MED. SHOT: Of a group of neighbors. They smile
sympathetically.

BERT’S VOICE
Well, Mr. Doe, before we got
through, I found out Smithers is a
swell egg, only he’s pretty deaf,
and that accounts for all the
noises.

WIDER SHOT: To include BERT, JOHN and others.

BERT
And he says it’s a shame how little
we know about our neighbors, and
then he got an idea, and he said,
“How’s about inviting everybody
some place where we can all get
together and know each other a
little better?” Well, I’m feeling
so good by this time, I’m ripe for
anything.

CLOSE SHOT: Of ANN and D. B. They listen, amused and
excited.

BERT
So Smithers goes around the
neighborhood inviting everybody to
a meeting at the school house and
I tell everybody that comes in the
store, including Mr. Schwabacher,
my boss.
(laughing)
Oh, I’m talking too much.

MED. SHOT: JOHN and BERT.

BERT
Well, I’ll be doggoned if over
forty people don’t show up. ‘Course
none of us knew what to do, but we
sure got a kick out of seeing how
glad everybody was just to say
hello to one another.

BERT’S WIFE
Tell him about making Sourpuss
chairman, honey.

BERT
Oh, yeah. We made Sourpuss chairman
and decided to call ourselves The
John Doe Club. And, say,
incidentally, this is my wife.
Come here, honey.

His WIFE comes forward and stands beside him.

BERT
This is my wife, Mr. Doe.

MRS. HANSEN nods her head shyly—and JOHN acknowledges the
introduction by a half wave of his hand.

WIFE
How do you do, Mr. Doe . . . Er,
Sourpuss is here, too.

BERT
(turns around)
Oh, is he?

WIFE
(pointing)
Uh-huh.

MED. SHOT: Of a group around SOURPUSS. He is as described,
except when he smiles, his whole face warms up. Those around
him push him forward. At first he looks bewildered, then,
understanding, he starts toward BERT, grinning sheepishly.

MED. SHOT: Around BERT—as SOURPUSS comes forward.

BERT
This is Sourpuss. Er, excuse me.
Er, Mr. Smithers, Mr. Doe.

SOURPUSS
Th—that’s all right. If you didn’t
call me Sourpuss, it wouldn’t feel
natural.
(laughing)
There are snickers from the
background.

BERT
Well, anyway, I—I guess nearly
everybody in the neighborhood came,
except the DeLaneys. The Delaneys
live in a big house with an iron
fence around it and they always
keep their blinds drawn, and we
always figured that he was just an
old miser that sat back counting
his money, so why bother about
inviting him? Until Grimes, the
milkman spoke up and he said, “Say,
you’ve got the Delaneys all wrong.”
And then he tells us about how
they cancelled their milk last
week, and how, when he found a
note in the bottle he got kinda
curious like and he sorta peeked
in under the blinds and found the
house empty. “If you ask me,” he
says, “they’re starving.”

SOURPUSS
Old man Delaney has been bringing
his furniture over to my place at
night, one piece at a time, and
selling it.

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. Profoundly impressed by this.

WIDER SHOT: BERT clears his throat.

BERT
Yeah. And, well, sir, a half a
dozen of us ran over there to fetch
them and we got them to the meeting.
What a reception they got. Why,
everybody shook hands with them
and made a fuss over them, and,
well, finally, Mr. and Mrs. Delaney
just sat right down and cried.

He smiles, embarrassed, and JOHN, as well as the others,
clear their throats.

SOURPUSS
And then we started to find out
about a lot of other people.

BERT
Yeah, sure. Er, you know Grubbel,
for instance.

BERT’S WIFE
Grubbel’s here. See?
(pointing)

BERT
Yeah. That’s—that’s him. Of course,
you don’t know Grubbel, but he’s
the man that everybody figured was
the worst no-account in the
neighborhood because he was living
like a hermit and nobody’d have
anything to do with him. Er, that
is until Murphy, the postman told
us the truth. “Why, Grubbel,” he
says, “he lives out of garbage
cans because he won’t take charity.
Because it’d ruin his self-respect,”
he says.

BERT’S WIFE
Just like you said on the radio,
Mr. Doe.

SOURPUSS
Well, sir, about a dozen families
got together and gave Grubbel a
job watering their lawns. Isn’t
that wonderful? And then we found
jobs for six other people and
they’ve all gone off relief!

BERT
Yeh. Er, and my boss, Mr.
Schwabacker made a job in his
warehouse for old man Delaney—

WIFE
And he gave you that five dollar
raise.

BERT
Yeah! Wasn’t that swell!
(laughing)

MED. SHOT: Around MAYOR HAWKINS. He steps forward.

MAYOR
Why, Bert, I feel slighted. I’d
like to join but nobody asked me.

MED. SHOT: Around BERT and SOURPUSS.

SOURPUSS
Well, I’m sorry, Mayor, but we
voted that no politicians could
join.

BERT’S WIFE
Just the John Does of the
neighborhood. Cause you know how
politicians are.
(becomes embarrassed)
Close-up: Of the MAYOR—completely
deflated.

SOURPUSS
Yeah . . .

MED. SHOT: Around JOHN. As they smile, amused at the MAYOR’S
discomfiture.

MED. SHOT: Around BERT. He looks over at JOHN, hesitates a
moment, and then speaks.

BERT
Well, er, the reason we wanted to
tell you this, Mr. Doe, was to
give you an idea what you started.
And from where I’m sitting, I don’t
see any sense in your jumping off
any building.

GROUP
No!

SOURPUSS
No!

BERT
Well, thank you for listening.
Goodbye, Mr. Doe. You’re a wonderful
man and it strikes me you can be
mighty useful walking around for a
while.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. Deeply touched. Shifts awkwardly, unable
to say anything.

MED. SHOT: As D. B. and ANN watch his face to see the
effect.

GROUP
Well, goodbye.

SOURPUSS
Goodbye Mr. Doe.

BERT has turned to go, and the rest follow suit. They all
shuffle silently out.

MED. SHOT: Of an old couple who remain looking up at JOHN,
as those around them leave. The old lady takes the old
man’s arm and starts toward JOHN. Camera pans with them
until they reach him.

OLD LADY
I’m Mrs. Delaney, Mr. Doe . . .
and God bless you, my boy.
(she gently kisses
his hand)
The two OLD PEOPLE leave.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He swallows a lump in his throat. He
watches the old people until they have left, then with a
quick glance at his hand—and self-consciously in front of
the others, stuffs his hand into his pocket.

FULL SHOT: As they all watch him, without speaking. JOHN
runs his hand through his hair, stealing a fleeting glance
at the others, and grins awkwardly.

CLOSE SHOT: Of D. B. as he signals to the MAYOR and the
SHERIFF, who have remained, to leave.

MED. SHOT: Of the MAYOR and the SHERIFF, who receive the
signal and discreetly exit.

FULL SHOT: They wait for JOHN to speak, but JOHN begins
walking around, profoundly thoughtful.

CLOSE-UP: Of the COLONEL watching him, concerned.

TWO SHOT: Of D. B. and ANN. Their eyes glued on him,
expectantly.

FULL SHOT: JOHN still paces, disturbed by clashing emotions.
He stops, glances at the door, a soft, thoughtful expression
in his eyes. Then, as his thought shifts, he runs his left
hand over his pitching arm.

JOHN
Gee, whiz—I’m all mixed up—I don’t
get it. Look, all those swell people
think I’m gonna jump off a building
or something.

He looks toward the door.

JOHN
I never had any such idea. Gosh!
A fella’d have to be a mighty fine
example himself to go around telling
other people how to—Say, look,
what happened the other night was
on account of Miss Mitchell, here.
She wrote the stuff.

ANN walks over to JOHN.

TWO SHOT: ANN and JOHN. She faces him, looking up into his
face.

ANN
Don’t you see what a wonderful
thing this can be?
(softly)
But we need you , John.

CLOSE-UP: Of the COLONEL. He stares at JOHN, sees him
weakening, and grimaces disgustedly.

WIDER SHOT: The COLONEL watches JOHN as he continues to
turn it over in his mind.

COLONEL
(suddenly)
You’re hooked! I can see that right
now.

They all look up, startled.

COLONEL
They got you. Well, I’m through.
(crosses to
door—stops, turns)
For three years I’ve been trying
to get you up to the Columbia River
country. First, it was your glass
arm. Then it was the radio. And
now it’s the John Doe clubs. Well,
I ain’t waiting another minute.

He opens the door and when he sees the townspeople still
gathered outside, he yells to them.

COLONEL
Gangway, you heelots!

He pushes his way out.

JOHN
(calling)
Hey, Colonel! Wait a minute!

He starts after the COLONEL, but when he gets to the door,
the townspeople surge toward him and block his way.

JOHN
Hey, Colonel!

CROWD
Oh, please, Mr. Doe—

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN.

JOHN
(calling futilely)
Hey, Colonel!

He tries to peer over the heads of the townspeople who go
on chattering. There is a trapped look on JOHN’s face.

TWO SHOT: D. B. and ANN. They exchange victorious glances:

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. OFFICE OF HEADQUARTERS

CLOSE SHOT: Of large map of the U.S. over the top of which
WE READ: “John Doe Clubs.” There are a dozen pegs scattered
over the map, indicating where the clubs are. We hear D.
B.’s voice.

CAMERA DRAWS BACK and we find D. B. talking to a group of
men in front of him.

D. B.
I want you personally to go along
with John Doe and Miss Mitchell
and handle the press and the radio.

CHARLIE
(an experienced
promoter)
Me?

D. B.
Yes. I don’t want to take any
chances. And Johnson?

JOHNSON
Yes. D. B.

D. B.
Your crew will do the mop up job.
They’ll follow John Doe into every
town, see that the clubs are
properly organized and the charters
issued.

CHARLIE
Right.

D. B.
There are only eight flags up there
now. I want to see that map covered
before we get through!

MED. SHOT: D. B. is still speaking as CAMERA MOVES DOWN to
the MAP again, which constantly remains a background for
the montage following. As the montage proceeds, pegs begin
to appear in abundance on the map.

A MONTAGE: ACCOMPANIED BY A FANFARE OF MUSIC.

1. FLASHES of banners reading: “JOHN DOE COMING”—”JOHN DOE
TONIGHT” “GOODBYE JOHN DOE, CALL AGAIN”

2. CLOSE-UPS of JOHN speaking—superimposed over long shots
of audiences of various types.

3. FLASHES of ANN typing.

4. FLASHES of sheets of paper being ripped out of a
typewriter.

5. FLASHES of JOHN on the radio—with ANN by his side.

6. FLASHES of people listening.

7. FLASHES of people applauding.

8. SERIES of SIGNS being nailed up: “JOHN DOE CLUB—BE A
BETTER NEIGHOR.”

9. SUPERIMPOSED SHOTS of JOHN and ANN riding in trains,
planes and automobiles.

10. Against STOCK SHOTS of these cities, the names zoom up
to the fore-ground of Kansas City, Chicago, Buffalo,
Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York.

11. SUPERIMPOSE MAP over the above titles, showing the
states they are in being covered with pegs.

12. A PICTURE of JOHN DOE on front page of Time magazine,
with a caption under it reading: “MAN OF THE HOUR.”

13. CONFERENCE ROOM.

SPEAKER
This has been growing like wildfire!
If they only made demands, but the
John Does ask for nothing!

14. A man sits at a desk on which is a nameplate reading:
“Relief Administrator.”

MAN
People are going off relief! If
this keeps up, I’ll be out of a
job!

15. STOCK SHOT—of Capitol Hill.

16. CORNER OF A CLUB SMOKING ROOM. A group of
legislators—some sit—some stand. The room is filled with
smoke.

MAN
As soon as he gets strong enough,
we’ll find out what John Doe wants!
Thirty every Thursday—sixty at
sixty—who knows what!

17. INSERT: SIGN READING: DEMOCRATIC HEADQUARTERS. A man
reports to the boss behind the desk.

MAN
I’m sorry, boss. they just won’t
let anybody talk politics to them.
It’s, it’s crazy.

18. INSERT: SIGN READING: REPUBLICAN HEADQUARTERS. A man
at a desk talks to several in front of him.

MAN
We’ve got to get to them! They
represent millions of voters!

DISSOLVE TO:

INSERT: Of Map. Nearly every state in the union have pegs
in them, varying in volume. Camera pulls back and we find
the map is on a stand near a door, the sign on which we
see in reverse. It reads: “OFFICE OF JOHN DOE HEADQUARTERS.”

INT. JOHN DOE HEADQUARTERS

MED. SHOT: D.B. standing behind his desk, speaking to a
group of people in front of him. We recognize the MAYOR,
and the President of the Chamber of Commerce.
Representatives of several other branches of the City
Administration are also present. CONNELL sits near D.
B.—scrutinizing him thoughtfully. On the other side of D.
B. is TED SHELDON.

D. B.
I tell you, ladies and gentlemen,
this thing has been nothing short
of a prairie fire. We’ve received
so many applications for charters
to the John Doe Clubs we haven’t
been able to take care of them.

MAYOR LOVETT
I’d hate to have that many pins
stuck in me!

Group laughs.

D. B.
This John Doe convention is a
natural. It’s gonna put our city
on the map. Why, over twentyfour
hundred John Doe clubs are sending
delegates. Can you imagine that?
You, Mr. Mayor, will be the official
host. You will make the arrangements
for decorating the city, parades
and a reception for John Doe when
he gets home! And—don’t wear your
high hat!

MAYOR LOVETT
(disappointed)
No high hat?

D. B.
No high hat. And from you, Connell,
I want a special John Doe edition
every day until the convention is
over.

(DISMISSING THEM)
And now, if you will please just
step into the outer office and
look your prettiest because there
are photographers there to take
pictures of this committee.

They start to exit. The MAYOR is full of excitement.

MAYOR
Don’t worry, D. B. Everything’ll
be taken care of!

D. B.
Good.

COMMITTEE WOMAN
Isn’t it all too wonderful?

The group, chattering, exit into outer office.

PHOTOGRAPHER’S VOICE
(from the outer
office)
Oh, Mr. Mayor, would you step right
in the front row, please? Will you
ladies get close to him? That’s
it!

CLOSE-UP: Of CONNELL. To inter-cut with above speech. He
has been watching D. B.—deeply disturbed about something.

WIDER SHOT: All have left except CONNELL, TED, and D.B.
CONNELL rises from his chair—with a deep sigh.

CONNELL
(shaking his head)
Well, I don’t get it.

D. B.
Huh? Get what?

CONNELL
Look, D. B. I’m supposed to know
my way around. This John Doe
movement costs you a fortune. This
convention’s gonna cost plenty.

D. B.
(annoyed)
Well?

CONNELL
Well, I’m stuck with two and two—but
I’m a sucker if I can make four
out of it.
(cocking his head)
Where do you come in?

D. B.
Why—uh—

(SUDDENLY SMILES)
Why, I’ll have the satisfaction of
knowing that my money has been
spent for a worthy cause.

CLOSE-UP: of CONNELL. He stares at D. B. a moment. He
realizes he has been told to mind his own business.

TWO SHOT: CONNELL picks up his hat.

CONNELL
I see. I’d better stick to running
the paper, huh?

D. B.
I think maybe you’d better. And
Connell—I’d like to have the John
Doe contract, all the receipts for
the money we have advanced him and
the letter Miss Mitchell wrote,
for which I gave her a thousand
dollars.

CONNELL
Yes. Sure.

CONNELL leaves.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. A HOTEL LIVING ROOM NIGHT

FULL SHOT: ANN’s luggage is packed and ready to be taken
out. She stands near a desk stuffing papers into a
manuscript case. She seems lost in worried thought. The
door opens as CHARLIE, high pressure exploitation man,
enters.

CHARLIE
Well, we leave for the airport in
half an hour. Is that Johnny-boy’s
room? I’d better hustle him up!

ANN
He’ll be ready on time. He’s packing
now.

CHARLIE
Ah, good!
(crosses to Ann)
Did you see his picture on the
cover of Time ?

ANN
Yeah.

CHARLIE drops the magazine on the desk in front of her.
ANN glances at it, unenthusiastically. CHARLIE goes to a
table where there are several bottles of coca-cola and
starts to pour himself a drink.

CHARLIE
I gotta give you credit, Annie-
girl. I’ve handled a good many big
promotions in my time . . .
everything from the world’s fair
to a channel swimmer, but this one
has certainly got me spinning. And
now a John Doe Convention! Wow!
Say! If you could only get him to
jump off the City Hall roof on
Christmas Eve, I’d guarantee you
half a million people there.

ANN
Charlie!

ANN is lost in troubled thought.

CHARLIE’S VOICE
Huh?

ANN
(nods toward door)
What do you make of him?

TWO SHOT: CHARLIE and ANN.

CHARLIE
Who, Johnny-boy?

ANN nods.

CHARLIE
Well, I don’t know what angle you
want, but I’ll give it to you quick.
Number one, he’s got great yokel
appeal; but he’s a nice guy. Number
two, he’s beginning to believe he
really wrote that original suicide
letter that you made up. Number
three, he thinks that you’re Joan
of Arc or something!

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. This is definitely troublesome to her.

ANN
(hoarsely)
Yeah, I know.

WIDER SHOT: ANN walks away—pacing perturbedly.

CHARLIE
Number four, well, you know what
number four is. He’s nuts about
you. Yeah, it’s running out of his
ears.

ANN runs her hand through her hair. Suddenly she wheels
around to CHARLIE.

ANN
You left out number five. We’re
all heels, me especially.

She returns to her packing. CHARLIE watches her a second.

CHARLIE
Holy smoke!

They are interrupted by a knock on the door.

ANN
(calling)
Come in.

JOHN enters, carrying a suitcase.

JOHN
I’m all packed.

CHARLIE
(starts out)
Good. I’ll go and get Beany-boy.

JOHN
(kidding him)
Okay, Charlie-boy!

CHARLIE
Huh?
(laughing)

CHARLIE winks good-naturedly and exits. JOHN turns to ANN,
who concentrates on her packing.

MED. SHOT: He looks at ANN with great interest, and walks
toward her, camera panning with him. ANN feels him coming,
but does not turn.

JOHN
(after a pause)
Can I help you pack?

ANN
No, thank you.

JOHN wanders over to a chair and sits on the edge—watching
her.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She is conscious of his eyes on her and
fumbles with her packing. Finally she turns.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He stares at her, a warm smile on his
face.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She becomes self-conscious and resumes
her packing.

MED. SHOT: JOHN.

JOHN
Do you care if I sit down out here?

ANN
No.

A broad smile appears on JOHN’S face.

JOHN
(laughing)
You know, I had a crazy dream last
night. It was about you.

ANN
About me?

JOHN
(laughing)
Sure was crazy. I dreamt I was
your father.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. The fact that he has seen himself in the
image of her father disturbs her. She turns slowly.

TWO SHOT: JOHN clears his throat nervously.

JOHN
There was, there was something I
was trying to stop you from doing.
So, er, so I got up out of bed and
I walked right through the wall
here, right straight into your
room.
(laughing)
You know how dreams are.

ANN stares at him—fearful of the trend his dream is taking.

JOHN
And there you were in bed.
(quickly apologizing)
But you—you were a little girl.
You know—about ten.

He pauses and recalls the scene.

JOHN
And very pretty, too. So, I shook
you, and the moment you opened
your eyes, you hopped out of bed
and started running like the devil,
in your nightgown. You ran right
out the window there. And you ran
out over the tops of buildings and
roofs and everything for miles,
and I was chasing you.
(laughing)
And all the time you were running
you kept growing bigger and bigger
and bigger—and pretty soon you
were as big as you are now. You
know— grown up. And all the time I
kept asking myself, “What am I
chasing her for?” And I didn’t
know.
(laughing)
Isn’t that a hot one? Well, anyway,
you ran into some place, and then
Iran in after you and—and when I
got there, there you were getting
married.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He suddenly becomes aware he is treading
on sensitive grounds.

JOHN
(awkwardly)
And the nightgown had changed into
a beautiful wedding gown. You sure
looked pretty, too.
(laughing)
And then I knew what it was I was
trying to stop you from doing.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She, too, begins to feel uncomfortable—not
quite knowing how to handle it.

TWO SHOT: JOHN glances at her.

JOHN
Dreams are sure crazy, aren’t they?

ANN smiles, noncommittedly.

JOHN
Well, would you like to know who
it was you were marrying?

ANN
(forced lightness)
Well, a tall handsome Ubangi, I
suppose.

JOHN
No, not that bad. It was a fella
that sends you flowers every day.
Er, what’s his name? Mr. Norton’s
nephew.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She recognizes the significance in this.

ANN
(quietly)
Ted Sheldon.

JOHN
Yeah, that’s the one.

ANN turns back to her packing.

WIDER SHOT: JOHN starts to chuckle.

JOHN
But here’s the funniest part of it
all. I was the fella up there doing
the marrying. You know, the Justice
of the Peace or something . . .

ANN
You were? I thought you were chasing
me?

JOHN
Well, yes, I was. But I was your
father then, see? But the real
me, John Doe, er, that is, Long
John Willoughby, I was the fellow
up there with the book. You know
what I mean?

ANN
(amused)
I guess so. Then what happened?

JOHN
Well, I took you across my knee
and I started spanking you.

ANN turns and stares at him, eyes widening.

JOHN
(quickly explaining)
That is, I didn’t do it.
(correcting himself)
I mean, I did do it, but it wasn’t
me. You see, I was your father
then. Well, I laid you across my
knee and I said: “Annie, I won’t
allow you to marry a man that’s,
that’s just rich, or that has his
secretary send you flowers. The
man you marry has got to swim rivers
for you! He’s got to climb high
mountains for you! He’s got to
slay dragons for you! He’s got to
perform wonderful deeds for you!
Yes, sir!”

BEANY enters and stands back of him, listening.

JOHN
And all the time, er, the guy up
there, you know, with the book,
me, just stood there nodding his
head and he said, “Go to it, Pop,
whack her one for me, because that’s
just the way I feel about it, too.”

So he says, “Come on down here and whack her yourself.” So
I came down and I whacked you a good one, see? And then
he whacked one—and I whacked you another one, and we both
started whacking you like . . .

He demonstrates by slapping his knees, first with one hand
and then with the other. Suddenly he becomes aware of BEANY
and stops, embarrassed.

BEANY
(interrupting)
Well, if you’re through whacking
her, come on, let’s get going.
(to bell boys)
Okay, fellows, right in here.
(to JOHN)
You go out the side entrance.
There’s a bunch of autograph seekers
out front. We’ll be down with the
bags in a minute. Come on!
(speaking to boys)
Don’t make a government project
out of this!

The bell boys have lifted her luggage and all exit.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He has been left with his proposal
unfinished.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. AIRPORT LUNCHROOM — NIGHT

MED. SHOT: Scene opens with BEANY entering airport lunchroom
to end of counter at which CHARLIE is seated.

CHARLIE
How’re you, Beany?

BEANY
When does our plane take off again.

CHARLIE
In a couple of minutes.

CAMERA MOVES DOWN COUNTER to pick up JOHN and ANN at table.
They sit silently for a moment. We hear the strains of
music from a “juke” box.

JOHN
(after a pause)
How many people do you think we’ve
talked to already, outside the
radio, I mean?

ANN
I don’t know. About three hundred
thousand.

JOHN
Three hundred thousand? What makes
them do it, Ann? What makes them
come and listen and, and get up
their John Doe Clubs the way they
do? I’ve been trying to figure it
out.

ANN
(in an effort to
disillusion him)
Look, John—what we’re handing them
are platitudes. Things they’ve
heard a million times: “Love thy
neighbor,” “Clouds have silver
linings,” “Turn the other cheek.”
It’s just a—

JOHN
(sincerely)
Yeah, I’ve heard them a million
times, too, but—there you are.
Maybe they’re like me. Just
beginning to get an idea what those
things mean.

ANN is deeply concerned. She watches him, helplessly.

JOHN
(continuing)
You know, I never thought much
about people before. They were
always just somebody to fill up
the bleachers. The only time I
worried about them was if they—is
when they didn’t come in to see me
pitch. You know, lately I’ve been
watching them while I talked to
them. I could see something in
their faces. I could feel that
they were hungry for something. Do
you know what I mean?

ANN nods.

JOHN
Maybe that’s why they came. Maybe
they were just lonely and wanted
somebody to say hello to. I know
how they feel. I’ve been lonely
and hungry for something practically
all my life.

ANN forces a smile. The moment threatens to become
awkward—until they are saved by the pilot’s voice.

PILOT
All aboard, folks!

They suddenly snap out of their mood—and as they rise:

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

INT. D. B.’S DINING ROOM

FULL SHOT: As D. B., ANN and TED SHELDON enter and cross
to table. ANN starts to sit and notices a fur coat flung
over the back of the chair.

ANN
Oh, somebody else sitting there?

D. B.
No, no, no—that’s your seat.

TED
And this is your coat.

ANN
Mine?

D. B.
A little token of appreciation.

Ann pauses a moment, glances toward D. B.—while TED throws
the coat over her shoulders.

ANN
(glances into a
mirror)
Oh! Oh, it’s beautiful, D. B. Well—I
don’t quite know what to say . . .

D. B.
Well, don’t say anything at all.
Just sit down.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She sits down, picks up her serviette—and
something she sees suddenly makes her look with surprise
at D. B.

Camera pans down to a jewel box which had been under the
serviette.

CAMERA PANS back to ANN. She glances up at D. B. somewhat
bewildered.

ANN
Oh!

D. B.
Go ahead, open it, open it.

ANN opens the box and holds up a lovely diamond bracelet.
Her eyes dance.

ANN
Oh! Oh, it’s lovely!

TED
And a new contract goes with it.

WIDER SHOT: D. B. and TED exchange satisfied glances. ANN
admires the bracelet on her wrist—and then turns to D. B.,
looks directly at him.

ANN
(shrewdly)
Well, come on, spring it! You’ve
got something on your mind.

D. B. laughs.

ANN
Must be stupendous.

WIDER SHOT: As D. B. roars with laughter.

D. B.
You know, that’s what I like about
her. Right to the point, like that!
All right, practical Annie, here
it is.

He leans forward. ANN waits. TED watches her face.

TWO SHOT: ANN and D. B.

D. B.
Tomorrow night, before a crowd of
fifteen thousand people, and talking
over a nation-wide radio hook-up,
John Doe will announce the formation
of a third party.

ANN
(eyes widening)
A third party?

D. B.
Yes. The John Doe Party.

WIDER SHOT: TED watches ANN, expectantly.

D. B.
Devoted entirely to the interests
of all the John Does all over the
country. Which practically means,
ninety per cent of the voters. He
will also announce the third party’s
candidate for the presidency. A
man whom he, personally, recommends.
A great humanitarian; the best
friend the John Does have.

ANN
(in an awed whisper)
Mr. D. B. Norton!

D. B. verifies her guess by leaning back, a pleased grin
on his face, his huge chest expanded.

D. B.
Yes.

Ann looks from one to the other, a little awed by the size
of the project.

ANN
(on her breath)
Wow!

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BROADCASTING BOOTH—BALL PARK — NIGHT

MED. SHOT: The place is a bee-hive of activity. Announcers
walk about with “mikes” in their hands—all speaking at
once—as they describe the scene below.

CLOSE SHOT: Of N.B.C. ANNOUNCER

N.B.C. ANNOUNCER
And although the opening of the
convention is hours off, the
delegates are already pouring into
the ball park by the droves, with
lunch baskets, banners and
petitions, asking John Doe not to
jump off any roof . . .

CAMERA PANS over to KNOX MANNING.

KNOX MANNING
It is still a phenomenal movement.
The John Does, or the hoi polloi
as you’ve heard people call them,
have been laughed at and ridiculed
but here they are, gay and happy,
having traveled thousands of miles,
their expenses paid by their
neighbors, to come here to pay
homage to their hero, John Doe.

CAMERA PANS over to JOHN B. HUGHES.

JOHN B. HUGHES
And in these days of wars and
bombings, it’s a hopeful sign that
a simple idea like this can sweep
the country, an idea based on
friendliness, on giving and not
taking, on helping your neighbor
and asking nothing in return. And
if a thing like this can happen,
don’t let any of our grumbling
friends tell you that humanity is
falling apart. This is John B.
Hughes, signing off now and
returning you to our main studio
until nine o’clock when the
convention will officially open.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. ANN’S LIVING ROOM

MED. SHOT: At Door. ANN’s MOTHER opens it and JOHN stands
on the threshold. He has a small box of flowers in his
hand. Water drips from his hat.

MRS. MITCHELL
Oh, John. Come in.

JOHN

SAY, I’M KINDA—IT’S RAINING OUT A LITTLE—

MRS. MITCHELL
That’s all right.

WIDER SHOT: MRS. MITCHELL lays his hat down somewhere.
John takes a few steps inside the room, not quite knowing
what to do.

MRS. MITCHELL
(turning to him)
It’s good to see you. Sit down.

JOHN
(mumbles)
Thanks.

He sits on the edge of a sofa, still clinging to the little
box. Then holds box out awkwardly.

JOHN
(awkwardly)
It’s for Ann . . .

MRS. MITCHELL
(taking the box)
Oh, how nice! Thank you very much.

JOHN
Flowers.

MRS. MITCHELL
I’m terribly sorry she isn’t here.

JOHN
She isn’t?

MRS. MITCHELL
No, she just left. I’m surprised
you didn’t run into her. She went
over to Mr. Norton’s house.

JOHN
Oh!

MRS. MITCHELL
Did you want to see her about
something important?

JOHN
Yeah. I, uh, well . . . No. It’ll
wait.
(suddenly)
Say, he’s a nice man, isn’t he?
Mr. Norton, I mean. He’s, er, he’s
done an awful lot for the—

CLOSE-UP: Of MRS. MITCHELL. She watches him, amused.

JOHN
Say, my coat’s pretty wet. I’m
afraid I might have wet the couch
a little.

WIDER SHOT: JOHN is still struggling to find conversation.

JOHN
Well, I guess I’ll see her at the
convention later.

MRS. MITCHELL
Yes, of course. I’ll see that she
gets the flowers.

He rises and looks around for hat on the floor and back of
the chair.

JOHN
Thanks. Good night, Mrs. Mitchell.

MRS. MITCHELL
(finds his hat and
gives it to him)
Good night, John.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He starts away and suddenly stops,
speculatively. He glances out of the corner of his eye
toward MRS. MITCHELL.

JOHN
(going back to her)
Say, Mrs. Mitchell, I, er, I’m
kinda glad Ann isn’t here. You
see, I was, I came over here hoping
to see her alone and kinda hoping
I wouldn’t, too. You know what I
mean? There was something I wanted
to talk to her about. But, well,
I—It’ll wait, I guess. Good night.

CLOSE-UP: Of MRS. MITCHELL. She begins to sense what is on
his mind, and her face becomes serious.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He smiles helplessly. Starts toward
door.

MRS. MITCHELL’S VOICE
Good night, John.

TWO SHOT: JOHN and MRS. MITCHELL. He stares at her a second.

JOHN
(suddenly)
Say, look, Mrs. Mitchell, have you
ever been married?
(catches himself)
Oh, sure you have.
(grins sheepishly)
Gosh! That’s pretty silly! I guess
you must think I’m kinda batty!

JOHN shakes his head at his own stupidity.

JOHN
(can’t get over it)
Well, I guess I’d better be going
at that!

He bows again, and starts for the door. When he gets there,
he is stopped by MRS. MITCHELL’s voice.

MRS. MITCHELL’S VOICE
John. My husband said: “I love
you. Will you marry me?”

JOHN
(whirls)
He did? What happened?

MRS. MITCHELL
I married him.

JOHN comes right back to her.

TWO SHOT: JOHN and MRS. MITCHELL.

JOHN
(full of excitement)
Oh, yeah. That’s what I mean. See?
It was easy as all that, huh?

MRS. MITCHELL
Uh-huh.

JOHN
Yeah, yeah, but look, Mrs. Mitchell,
you know I love Ann and it’s gonna
be awfully hard for me to say it
because, well, you know, she’s so
wonderful, and, well, the best I
ever was was a bush-league pitcher.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN.

JOHN
And you know, I think she’s in
love with another man, the one she
made up. You know, the real John
Doe. Well, that’s pretty tough
competition.

TWO SHOT: JOHN and MRS. MITCHELL. She is terribly fond of
JOHN and deeply sympathetic.

JOHN
I bet you he’d know how to say it
all right. And me, I get up to it
and around it and in back of it,
but, but I never get right to it.
Do you know what I mean? So the
only chance I’ve got is, well, if
somebody could kinda give her a
warning sort of, sorta prepare her
for the shock!

MRS. MITCHELL
You mean you’d like me to do it,
huh?

JOHN
Well, I was thinking that—Yeah,
you know, sort of break the ice.

CLOSE-UP: Of MOTHER. She doesn’t know how she can, with
her present strained relationship with ANN, but JOHN’s
sincerity touches her.

MOTHER
Of course I will, John.

TWO SHOT: JOHN’s face lights up, gratefully.

JOHN
Gee whiz! Thank you, Mrs. Mitchell.
(grabs her hand)
Gee, you’re—uh—you’re okay!

He exits from scene—but almost immediately he is back. He
plants a kiss on her cheek and goes.

CUT TO:

EXT. SIDEWALK – FRONT OF ANN’S APARTMENT

MED. SHOT: An automobile stands at the curb, in front of
which is BEANY. Also waiting, are four motorcycle policeman.

BEANY
(to the other men)
This John Doe meeting is gonna be
one of the biggest things that
ever happened.

As JOHN appears in the doorway of the apartment house, he
pretends to throw a baseball at them.

BEANY
Why, they’re coming from all over;
trains, box cars, wagons—

(SEES JOHN)
look out!

MED. SHOT: Reverse angle. As BEANY holds the door open for
JOHN.

JOHN
Hello, bodyguards! Hey, had your
dinner yet?

BODYGUARD
Not yet.

JOHN
Well, look. No. Go ahead and have
your dinner. I’ll—

He is about to enter the car when a voice from off-scene
stops him.

CONNELL’S VOICE
Wait a minute, John.

CAMERA PANS over to a taxicab which has just driven in.
CONNELL hands the driver a bill and walks, rather unsteadily
toward JOHN.

MED. SHOT: Around BEANY’s car. CONNELL ambles into the
scene.

JOHN
Hello, Mr. Connell.

CONNELL
Hiyah, John.
(broad wink)
John, I want to have a little talk
with you.
(lurches—John holds
him up)
What’s the matter—are you falling?
Come here.

Takes his arm to lead him off.

BEANY
(protesting)
Hey, Boss.

CONNELL
Oh, quiet, quiet, quiet.
(to John)
Say, tell me something did you
read that speech you’re gonna make
tonight?

JOHN
No, I never read the speeches before
I make them. I get more of a kick
out of it that way.

CONNELL
(wisely)
Uh-huh. That’s exactly what I
thought. Beany, go on down to the
office, tell Pop to give you the
speech. There’s a copy on my desk.

BEANY
(protesting)
Gee whiz, Boss, you know Mr. Norton
told me not to leave him, not even
for a minute.

CONNELL
(shooing him away)
Go on, go on, go on. And we’ll be
at Jim’s Bar up the street.

He points in the general direction and again takes JOHN’s
arm. JOHN watches him, rather amused to see CONNELL off
his milk diet, and allows himself to be led away.

WIPE TO:

INT. A BARROOM

CLOSE SHOT: In a corner booth, JOHN and CONNELL sit, close
together, drinks in front of them. JOHN’s drink has remained
untouched. CONNELL is just taking a long swig. From off-
scene we HEAR the strains of an old-fashioned torch ballad,
coming from an automatic piano.

CONNELL
(after a pause)
You’re a nice guy, John. I like
you. You’re gentle. I like gentle
people. Me? I’m hard—hard and tough.
(shakes his
head—disparagingly)
I got no use for hard people. Gotta
be gentle to suit me. Like you,
for instance.

JOHN smiles, amused at him. CONNELL starts to light his
cigarette, which is bent. He hold the match up, but it
never reaches the tip of the bent cigarette. He puffs,
satisfied.

CONNELL
Yep, I’m hard. But you want to
know something? I’ve got a weakness.
You’d never guess that, would you?
Well, I have. Want to know what it
is?

JOHN nods.

CONNELL
The Star Spangled Banner.
(looks directly at
John)
Screwy, huh?
(turns back to his
glass)
Well, maybe it is. But play the
“Star Spangled Banner”—and I’m a
sucker for it. It always gets me
right here—
(thumps his diaphragm)
You know what I mean?

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. His face has become serious.

JOHN
Yeah.
(points to back of
neck)
It gets me right back here.

TWO SHOT: JOHN and CONNELL. CONNELL speculates about this
with his head cocked.

CONNELL
Oh, back there, huh?
(shrugs, dismissing
it)
Well, every man to his own taste.

JOHN smiles at him. CONNELL tries lighting his bent
cigarette again—with the same result—while JOHN watches,
amused.

CONNELL
You weren’t old enough for the
first world war, were you?

JOHN starts to answer, but CONNELL goes right on.

CONNELL
Course not. Must have been a kid.

He pours JOHN’s drink into his own glass.

CONNELL
I was. I was just ripe. And rarin’
to go.
(takes drink)
Know what my old man did when I
joined up? He joined up too.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He finds himself intensely interested.

CONNELL’S VOICE
Got to be a sergeant.

TWO SHOT: JOHN and CONNELL.

CONNELL
(as he raises his
glass)
That’s a kick for you. We were in
the same outfit. Funny, huh?

CLOSE-UP: Of CONNELL. He lifts his glass to his lips, and
without drinking, lowers it.

CONNELL
(voice lowers)
He was killed, John.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. His face enveloped in an expression of
sympathy.

TWO SHOT: CONNELL stares down at the glass which he revolves
between his palms.

CONNELL
I saw him get it. I was right there
and saw it with my own eyes.

Without glancing at JOHN, he lifts the glass and drains
it.

CONNELL
(turns to JOHN)
Me? I came out of it without a
scratch. Except for my ulcers.
Should be drinking milk.
(picks up his glass)
This stuff’s poison.

As he holds up his glass, he realizes it is empty.

CONNELL
(yelling to bartender)
Hey, Tubby!

BARTENDER’S VOICE
Yes, Mr. Connell?

CONNELL
(indicates the empty
glass)
Whadda you say?

TUBBY
All right.

CLOSE SHOT: JOHN and CONNELL. CONNELL looks around
guardedly, to make certain he is not overhead.

CONNELL
(confidentially)
Yessir. I’m a sucker for this
country.
(gets a little sore
about it)
I’m a sucker for the Star Spangled
Banner—and I’m a sucker for this
country.
(taps table with
his middle finger)
I like what we got here! I like
it!
(emphasizes each
point)
A guy can say what he wants—and do
what he wants—without having a
bayonet shoved through his belly.

MED. SHOT: As he leans back and nods his head, satisfied
he made his point.

CONNELL
Now, that’s all right, isn’t it?

JOHN
You betcha.

The BARTENDER comes in with drink and departs.

CONNELL
All right. And we don’t want anybody
coming around changing it, do we?

JOHN shakes his head.

JOHN
No, sir.

TWO SHOT: JOHN and CONNELL.

CONNELL
No, sir. And when they do I get
mad! I get b-boiling mad. And right
now, John, I’m sizzling!

JOHN looks at him, puzzled.

CONNELL
I get mad for a lot of other guys
besides myself—I get mad for a guy
named Washington! And a guy named
Jefferson—and Lincoln. Lighthouses,
John! Lighthouses in a foggy world!
You know what I mean?

JOHN
(huskily)
Yeah, you bet!

CONNELL takes a drink and looks at JOHN a moment before he
speaks.

CONNELL
(leans on the table)
Listen, pal—this fifth column
stuff’s pretty rotten, isn’t it?[11]

JOHN
Yeah. It certainly is.

CONNELL
And you’d feel like an awful sucker
if you found yourself marching
right in the middle of it, wouldn’t
you?

JOHN glances up sharply.

CONNELL
And you, of course you wouldn’t
know it because you’re gentle. But
that’s what you’re doing. You’re
mixed up with a skunk, my boy, a
no-good, dangerous skunk!

JOHN’S resentment vanishes—and is replaced by puzzlement.

JOHN
Say, you’re not talking about Mr.
Norton, are you?

TWO SHOT: JOHN and CONNELL.

CONNELL
(emphatically)
I’m not talking about his
grandfather’s pet poodle!

CONNELL again makes an effort to light his bent
cigarette—and again is unsuccessful.

JOHN
You must be wrong, Mr. Connell,
’cause he’s been marvelous about
the John Doe Clubs.

CONNELL
(sarcastically)
Yeah?
(suddenly)
Say, you’re sold on the John Doe
idea, aren’t you?

JOHN
Sure.

CONNELL
Sure. I don’t blame you. So am I.

CLOSE-UP: Of CONNELL.

CONNELL
(sincerely)
It’s a beautiful miracle. A miracle
that could only happen right here
in the good old U.S.A. And I think
it’s terrific! What do you think
of that! Me! Hard-boiled Connell!
I think it’s plenty terrific!

TWO SHOT: John is rather pleased to hear him say this.

CONNELL
All right! Now, supposing a certain
unmentionable worm, whose initials
are D. B., was trying to use that
to shove his way into the White
House. So he could put the screws
on, so he could turn out the lights
in those lighthouses. What would
you say about that? Huh?

JOHN
Nobody’s gonna do that, Mr. Connell.
They can’t use the John Doe Clubs
for politics. That’s the main idea.

CONNELL
Is that so? Then what’s a big
political boss like Hammett doing
in town? And a labor leader like
Bennett? And a lot of other big
shots who are up at D. B.’s house
right now? Wolves, John, wolves
waiting to cut up the John Does!
(snorting)
Wait till you get a gander at that
speech you’re gonna make tonight!

JOHN
You’re all wet. Miss Mitchell writes
those speeches and nobody can make
her write that kind of stuff.

CONNELL
(cynically)
They can’t, huh?
(then barking)
Who do you think writes ’em? My
Aunt Emma? I know she writes them.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. His jaw stiffens, angrily.

CONNELL’S VOICE
And get a big bonus for doing them,
too. A mink coat and a diamond
bracelet.

JOHN glares at him, his rage mounting.

CLOSE-UP: Of CONNELL. Unaware of JOHN’s wrath.

CONNELL
Don’t write ’em? Why, that gold-
grabbin’ dame would double-cross
her own mother for a handful of
Chinese yen!

JOHN
(in an outraged
outcry)
Shut up! If you weren’t drunk I’d—

Simultaneously his hand comes in and grabs the startled
CONNELL violently by his shirt front, lifting him out of
his seat. CAMERA PULLS BACK to include JOHN—who towers
over CONNELL.

WIDER SHOT: JOHN is still holding CONNELL, glaring down at
him, enraged, when BEANY runs into the scene.

BEANY
(holding out the
envelope)
Hey, Boss! Here’s the speech, Boss.

Suddenly he sees what’s happening, and stares open-mouthed.

BEANY
Hey!

MED. SHOT: As JOHN pushes CONNELL back into the seat,
snatches the envelope from BEANY, and exits.

CONNELL
Go on and read it, John, and then
start socking!

WIDER SHOT: As JOHN exits from place. BEANY suddenly
realizes he has gone—and chases after him.

BEANY
Hey, wait a minute, Mr. Doe!

CONNELL
. . . Tubby?

BEANY’S VOICE
Yes, sir?

CONNELL
Better bring me a glass of milk.

CLOSE-UP: Of CONNELL. He stares at his unlighted
cigarette—grimaces unhappily.

CONNELL
(mumbling)
I’m smoking too much.

He grinds out the unlighted cigarette in the tray.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. D. B.’S DINING ROOM

CLOSE SHOT: Of D. B., who is at head of table, talking on
phone.

D. B.
(into telephone)
. . . Yes, Charlie? You’ve got
everything all set? Fine! Has John
Doe been taken care of? Good! How
many people do you think will be
there?

A pleased expression comes over his face.

D. B.
Fifteen thousand? Oh my, that’s
fine. Now, listen, Charlie, as
soon as John Doe stops talking
about me, I want you to start that
demonstration. And make it a big
one, you understand?

As D. B. hangs up.

WIDER SHOT: Including TED SHELDON.

TED
Don’t worry about that, D. B. My
boys are there. They’ll take care
of it.

D. B.
(into telephone)
What? yes, I’ll be there fifteen
minutes after I get your call.

CAMERA DRAWS BACK as he speaks. We see that dinner has
been concluded. His listeners, besides TED and ANN, are
half a dozen distinguished looking men, some with cigars
stuck in their mouths, others sip from champagne glasses.
ANN sits to D. B.’s right.

CUT TO:

INT. FOYER

MED SHOT: At D. B.’s front door. A butler is opening the
door for JOHN.

BUTLER
Why, Mr. Doe . . .

JOHN
Where are they?

BUTLER
In the dining room, sir.

JOHN strides toward the dining room. Camera pans with JOHN,
who is dripping wet, as he crosses the foyer until he comes
within sight of the open door of the dining room. JOHN
stops.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. D. B.’S DINING ROOM

WIDER SHOT: D. B. addressing the group at the table.

D. B.
Well, gentlemen, I think we’re
about ready to throw that great
big bombshell—

SOMEONE’S VOICE
Yeah, well it’s about time.

D. B.
Even a conservative estimate shows
that we can count on anywhere
between ten and twenty million
John Doe votes. Now, add to that
the labor vote that Mr. Bennett
will throw in . . .

He indicates BENNETT who nods, importantly.

D. B.
and the votes controlled by Mr.
Hammett and the rest of you
gentlemen in your territories—
(emphatically)
and nothing can stop us!

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She seems distressed. She apparently has
been listening to things that have caused her considerable
anxiety.

WIDER SHOT: WESTON leans forward and speaks to D. B.

WESTON
As I said before, I’m with
you—providing you can guarantee
the John Doe vote.

D. B.
Don’t worry about that.

BENNETT
You can count on me under one
condition. Little Bennett’s gotta
be taken care of!

D. B.
Didn’t I tell you that everybody
in this room would be taken care?
My agreement with you gentlemen
stands!

BARRINGTON
I’m with you, D. B., but I still
think it’s a very daring thing
we’re attempting!

D. B.
These are daring times, Mr.
Barrington. We’re coming to a new
order of things. There’s been too
much talk going on in this country.

SOMEONE’S VOICE
Exactly—

ANN glances up at D. B., a startled look in her eyes.

CLOSE SHOT: D. B.’s audience beams with satisfaction as he
continues.

D. B.
Too many concessions have been
made! What the American people
need is an iron hand!

WESTON
You’re right!

BENNETT
That’s true. You’re quite right,
D. B.!

D. B.
Discipline!

GROUP
Quite right! Exactly!

There are cries of: “Hear, hear!” and applause.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. She is completely seized by panic—and
although she attempts applauding, it is feeble.

MED. SHOT: Shooting through open door toward dining room.
Prominently in view is ANN, still lost in troubled thought.
D. B. is still on his feet.

D. B.
And now—
(lifting champagne
glass)
may I offer a little toast to Miss
Ann Mitchell—the brilliant and
beautiful lady who is responsible
for all this!

The men rise.

GROUP
Miss Mitchell! Miss Mitchell!

ANN
Mr. Norton, I’d like to talk to
you alone for a moment.

D. B.
Oh, oh.

(CHORTLING)
Miss Mitchell has something to say
to us.

GROUP
Well, that’s fine. Speech! Speech!

Ann spots John.

D. B.
(spotting John)
Hello?

ANN
John! I’m so glad to see you. I—I
was terribly worried.

JOHN
(showing her a copy
of the speech)
Did you write this?

ANN
Yes, I did, John. But I—I had no
idea what was going on.

JOHN
You didn’t?

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. His mouths screws up bitterly.

JOHN
(quiet contempt)
That’s a swell bracelet you’re
wearing.

He leaves her, abruptly.

INT. DINING ROOM

FULL SHOT: JOHN enters and looks the men over appraisingly
as he goes toward D. B. They all stare at him.

D. B.
John—
(concerned)
Why aren’t you at the convention?

JOHN doesn’t answer.

D. B.
Is there anything wrong?

JOHN
(after a pause)
Oh, no. Nothing’s wrong.
Everything’s fine! So there’s
gonna be a new order of things,
huh? Everybody’s gonna cut himself
a nice, fat slice of the John Does,
eh?
(turns toward D. B.)
You forgot one detail, Mr. Big
Shot—you forgot me, the prize stooge
of the world. Why, if you or anybody
else thinks he’s gonna use the
John Doe clubs for his own rotten
purpose, he’s gonna have to do it
over my dead body!

D. B.
Now, hold on a minute, young man!
Hold on! That’s rather big talk! I
started the John Doe clubs with my
money and I’ll decide whether or
not they’re being properly used!

JOHN
No you won’t! You’re through
deciding anything!

D. B. cannot believe his ears.

JOHN
And what’s more, I’m going down to
that convention and I’m gonna tell
those people exactly what you and
all your fine-feathered friends
here are trying to cook up for
them!

He looks up at ANN—and starts tearing the speech in his
hand.

JOHN
(strongly)
And I’ll say it in my own words
this time.

He flings the torn paper toward ANN—and starts out.

HAMMETT AND OTHERS
Stop him, somebody! He’ll ruin us,
D. B.!

MED. SHOT: At Door. As JOHN reaches it, TED steps up in
front of him.

TED
(menacingly)
Wait a minute, young feller—my
uncle wants to talk to you.

D. B. walks up to JOHN.

D. B.
Listen to me, my son! Before you
lose your head completely, may I
remind you that I picked you up
out of the gutter and I can throw
you right back there again! You’ve
got a nerve accusing people of
things! These gentlemen and I know
what’s the best for the John Does
of America, regardless of what
tramps like you think! Get off
that righteous horse of yours and
come to your senses. You’re the
fake! We believe in what we’re
doing! You’re the one that was
paid the thirty pieces of silver!
Have you forgotten that? Well, I
haven’t! You’re a fake, John Doe,
and I can prove it! You’re the big
hero that’s supposed to jump off
tall buildings and things! Do you
remember? What do you suppose your
precious John Does will say when
they find out that you never had
any intention of doing it? That
you were being paid to say so?
You’re lucky if they don’t run you
out of the country! Why, with the
newspapers and the radio stations
that these gentlemen control, we
can kill the John Doe movement
deader than a doornail, and we’ll
do it, too, the moment you step
out of line! Now, if you still
want to go to that convention and
shoot your trap off, you go ahead
and do it!

FULL SHOT: D. B. leaves JOHN and returns to his chair.
JOHN stares at him, unbelievingly.

CLOSE SHOT: of JOHN.

JOHN
(after a pause)
Do you mean to tell me you’d try
to kill the John Doe movement if
you can’t use it to get what you
want?

D. B.’S VOICE
You bet your bottom dollar we would!

JOHN
(cynically)
Well, that certainly is a new low.
I guess I’ve seen everything now.

WIDER SHOT: As JOHN’s lips curl up contemptuously and he
steps up to the table.

JOHN
(throwing his hat
on the table)
You sit there back of your big
cigars and think of deliberately
killing an idea that’s made millions
of people a little bit happier! An
idea that’s brought thousands of
them here from all over the country,
by bus and by freight, in jallopies
and on foot—so they could pass on
to each other their own simple
little experiences.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. Her eyes light up happily.

JOHN’S VOICE
Why, look, I’m just a mug and I
know it. But I’m beginning to
understand a lot of things. Why,
your type’s old as history. If you
can’t lay your dirty fingers on a
decent idea and twist it and squeeze
it and stuff it into your own
pocket, you slap it down! Like
dogs, if you can’t eat something,
you bury it!

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. His voice is pleading.

JOHN
Why, this is the one worthwhile
thing that’s come along. People
are finally finding out that the
guy next door isn’t a bad egg.
That’s simple, isn’t it? And yet
a thing like that’s got a chance
of spreading till it touches every
last doggone human being in the
world—and you talk about killing
it!

FULL SHOT: They listen to him—unmoved.

JOHN
Why, when this fire dies down,
what’s going to be left? More
misery, more hunger and more hate.
And what’s to prevent that from
starting all over again? Nobody
knows the answer to that one, and
certainly not you, with those slimy,
bolloxed-up theories you’ve got!
The John Doe idea may be the answer,
though! It may be the one thing
capable of saving this cockeyed
world! Yet you sit back there on
your fat hulks and tell me you’ll
kill it if you can’t use it! Well,
you go ahead and try! You couldn’t
do it in a million years, with all
your radio stations and all your
power! Because it’s bigger than
whether I’m a fake! It’s bigger
than your ambitions! And it’s bigger
than all the bracelets and fur
coats in the world!

WIDER SHOT: ANN runs to JOHN.

ANN
(sincerely)
You bet it is, John!

JOHN starts to exit.

MED. SHOT: Shooting toward door.

JOHN
(turning to them)
And that’s exactly what I’m going
down there to tell those people!

As JOHN reaches door, TED SHELDON jumps in front of him.

CLOSE SHOT:

TED
Wait a minute, you ungrateful rat!
My Uncle’s been too good to—

While he speaks, JOHN looks down at the fist clutching his
shirt, and then, with a suddenness that startles TED, he
steps aside and clips TED on the jaw. TED’s knees buckle
and he goes down. JOHN exits.

WIDER SHOT: As several men rush to TED’s assistance. D. B.
does not move.

MAN
He’s getting away!

ANN
John!

EXT. ENTRANCE TO D. B.’S HOUSE

MED. SHOT: As JOHN hurries out. He goes by half a dozen
members of TED SHELDON’s motorcycle troops who wait around
to escort D. B. to the convention.

INT. DINING ROOM

FULL SHOT: The room is full of commotion. ANN is running
out of the room, going after JOHN. Several men bend over
TED. D. B. glares toward door, his face hardening. HAMMETT
is barking at him.

D. B. reaches under the table, lifts up two phones. Hands
one to HAMMETT.

D. B.
Get the Bulletin !

He, himself, dials the other phone.

ANN
John!

BARRINGTON
I’ve always told you, D. B. you’re
playing with dynamite!

D. B.
(calling to men)
Don’t let that girl get away!

The butler rushes out.

WESTON
Before he gets through tonight
he’ll ruin us all!

BENNETT
You’ve got to stop him, D. B.!

D. B.
I’ll stop him! I’ll stop him cold!
Don’t worry, I’ve been ready for
this!

CUT TO:

EXT. D. B.’S ENTRANCE—AT GATE

MED. SHOT: As ANN runs alongside JOHN.

ANN
John! Oh, John, please listen to
me! Please—I can explain
everything, John. I didn’t know
what they were going to do! Let me
go with you, John! John, please!

JOHN gets into taxi—slams door—ANN runs beside cab as it
starts off.

JOHN
Go ahead, driver! Ball park!

ANN
John, please let me go with you!
Please, John!

Several troopers grab ANN.

TROOPER
Mr. Norton wants to see you.

ANN
Oh!

As the men get a firmer grip on her and ANN fights to get
loose:

CUT TO:

INT. D. B.’S STUDY

MED. SHOT: D. B. is on the phone. The others pace around,
perturbedly. HAMMETT has the second phone in his hand.

D. B.
(into phone)
Listen to me, Mayor Lovett, you do
as I say. I want them both arrested.
You tell the police department to
pick up Connell. I’ve got the girl
here.

HAMMETT
(holds out phone)
I’ve got the Bulletin !

D. B.
(hotly)
I don’t care what you charge them
with! If you’re worried, let them
go in the morning, but keep them
in jail over night!

He bangs up the receiver. Grabs another phone from HAMMETT.

D. B.
Hello, Bulletin ? Put Pop Dwyer
on.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. ENTRANCE TO BALL PARK:

MED. SHOT: Over the entrance gate a huge banner reads:
WELCOME TO JOHN DOE CONVENTION

People come from all directions and pour through the gates.
Some carry umbrellas over their heads, others have their
coat collars turned up. Women hold newspapers over their
heads to protect their hats. It is a misty, drizzling rain.

EXT. BALL PARK

LONG SHOT: Shooting from ANNOUNCER’s view down at the
Speaker’s platform which has been erected on “Home Plate.”
On it, in the rear, is a brass band. In front of it is a
speaker’s table, over which dangles the microphone of a
public address system. Attached to the table are several
microphones with names of broadcasting stations on them.

MED. SHOT: Shooting toward audience. They sing: “Oh,
Susanna.”

MED. SHOT: Toward people seated in grandstand. They join
in the singing.

ANOTHER ANGLE: Toward a third section. They also pick up
the song.

LONG SHOT: Taking in as many as possible. Everyone sings,
and the volume has risen considerably.

MED. SHOT: Shooting down an aisle. A stream of people take
up the song, as they march to their seats.

MED. SHOT: At entrance to Park. Crowds are coming in—and
they, too, begin singing. They are also joined by the
policemen posted at the gates.

MED. SHOT: A second entrance to Park. Another crowd is
entering, also singing.

MED. SHOT: Of BERT and SOURPUSS in the foreground of a
group on platform, all of whom sing. BERT has a large rolled-
up scroll in his hand.

CLOSE-UP: Of the COLONEL. Sitting in a corner somewhere,
looking around speculatively, with a stubborn mental
reservation that they are still all heelots.

SEVERAL CLOSE SHOTS: Of small groups—with their wet faces
held high, singing lustily, eyes sparkling.

LONG SHOT: Shooting from the platform down toward the
audience. The song finally comes to a climax—and
immediately, lusty cheering starts, as they see JOHN coming
on platform.

MED. SHOT: Toward platform. JOHN goes to the microphone of
the public address system.

MAN
Three cheers for John Doe!

JOHN
Listen, ladies and gentlemen!

Before he can go any further, the band strikes up the strain
of “AMERICA” and immediately the large assembly begins
singing it.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. As his lips form the words. His
expression is solemn.

VARIOUS SHOTS: Of groups, singing.

LONG SHOT: As people sing. Finally the song is ended, and
an enthusiastic cheer is emitted by the crowd.

MED. SHOT: On platform. JOHN again steps toward the
microphone and makes another effort to speak, but the
CLERGYMAN places a detaining hand on his arm.

CLERGYMAN
Just a moment, John. We begin with
a short prayer.

LONGER SHOT: Shooting over the heads of the audience toward
the platform in the background. Gradually the cheering
subsides.

CLERGYMAN
(speaking into public
address system)
Quiet, please. Ladies and
gentlemen—let us have a moment of
silent prayer for the John Does
all over the world . . . many of
whom are homeless and hungry. Rise,
please. Everybody rise.

The CLERGYMAN and JOHN, standing next to him, immediately
bow their heads.

LONG SHOT: Shooting toward audience. As far as the Camera
eye can see, heads are bowed in prayer. The reflection on
the wet umbrellas creates a strange and mystic light.

SEVERAL CLOSE SHOTS: Of small groups—in silent prayer.

CLOSE-UP: Of the COLONEL. Rather grudgingly, he has his
head lowered.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. His eyes are shut—his face wreathed in
an expression of compassion.

MED. SHOT: At press section. They, too, bow respectfully.
The reporters are quiet for the first time.

EXT. STREET

LONG SHOT: Directly in front of entrance to ball park. A
stream of news trucks pull up, filled with newsboys—they
immediately alight.

EXT. STREET

MED. SHOT: In front of another entrance. More trucks
arrive—packed with newsboys.

EXT. STREET

MED. SHOT: Shooting toward entrance. As an army of newsboys,
each carrying a stack of newspapers, run toward us yelling:

NEWSBOYS
Extry, extry! Read all about it!

MED. SHOT: Toward another entrance. Another swarm of
newsboys dash in, also shouting.

NEWSBOYS
Extry! John Doe a fake!

LONG SHOT: Of audience with their heads still bowed. Slowly,
they begin turning around, puzzled, as from all directions
and down every aisle, boys are running, waving papers in
the air.

NEWSBOYS
(shouting)
Here you are! John Doe a fake!
Read all about it! John Doe movement
a racket!

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. He looks up, terror-stricken.

MED. SHOT: At press section. Great excitement prevails
here.

ANNOUNCER (JOHN B. HUGHES)
Newsboys! Hundreds of yelling
newsboys are swarming into the
park like locusts! They’re yelling,
“John Doe’s a fake! Fake!”

MED. SHOT: Of audience. As newsboys are distributing papers
to the baffled people.

NEWSBOYS
Here you are! No charge! John Doe
a fake!

MED. SHOT: Of a second group. Some already have papers and
peer, unbelievingly, at the headlines. Others grab papers
from newsboys’ hands.

MAN
(reading)
“Federal investigation urged by
Chamber of Commerce.”

MED. SHOT: Speaker’s platform. SOURPUSS and BERT, reading
paper.

SOURPUSS
How could he be a fake?
(laughing)

BERT
It must be some kind of a gag.

SOURPUSS
A what?

BERT
A gag. A gag!

EXT. SOMEWHERE INSIDE BALL PARK

LONG SHOT: We hear the shrieking of sirens and almost
immediately a limousine, escorted by Sheldon’s motorcycle
troops, pulls up. Directly behind it is a string of cars.

MED. SHOT: The door of the limousine flies open and D. B.
comes out. He immediately heads for the platform.

CAMERA PANS OVER and we see troopers pouring out of the
cars with TED SHELDON directing them.

TED
Come on, come on, step on it! Step
on it! Step on it! You all know
your places now, so let’s get going!
Wait for the signal!

MED. SHOT: DRUNK with a balloon. He holds balloon up to
TED, getting in TED’s way.

DRUNK
Hey, mister, will you autograph my
balloon?

TED
Sure!
(and breaks balloon)

TROOPER
(pushing drunk aside)
Gangway!

EXT. PARK

MED. SHOT: At Speaker’s platform. JOHN is in front of the
microphone trying to make himself heard over thousands of
voices, all speaking at once.

JOHN
Ladies and gentlemen! This is
exactly what I came down here to
tell you about tonight. Please, if
you’ll all just be quiet for a few
minutes I can explain this whole
thing to you. As you all know,
this paper is published by a man
by the name of D. B. Norton . . .

MED. SHOT: Shooting towards audience. Down an aisle stalks
D. B., his hand waving in the air.

D. B.
(shouting)
Don’t listen to that man! He’s a
fake!

CAMERA PANS with him as he hurries down the aisle to the
platform—all eyes turned toward him.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. As he stares at D. B. approaching, too
flustered to know what to do.

MED. SHOT: Toward platform. As D. B. runs up the few steps
and proceeds to the microphone, troopers clearing the way
for him.

TROOPER
(drags John from
mike)
Stand back!

D. B.
Wait a minute! Everybody wait a
minute! Wait a minute, ladies and
gentlemen! My name is D. B. Norton
. . . you all know me! I accuse
this man of being a faker! We’ve
been taken for a lot of suckers!
And I’m the biggest of the lot!
I spent a fortune backing this man
in what I believed to be a sincere
and worthy cause, just as you all
did! And now I find out it’s nothing
but a cheap racket! Cooked up by
him and two of my employees for
the sole purpose of collecting
dues from John Does all over the
country!

JOHN breaks away from the troopers and gets to the mike.

JOHN
That’s a lie!

D. B.
It’s not a lie! Nickels and dimes!
To stuff into their own pockets!
You can read all about it in the
newspapers there!

JOHN
That’s a lie! Listen—don’t believe
what he says . . .

D. B.
(overlapping above
speech)
Let go of me! This man had no
intention of jumping off of the
top of a building! He was paid to
say so!
(turning to John)
Do you deny that?

JOHN
That’s got nothing to do with it!

D. B.
Were you paid for it—or weren’t
you?

JOHN
Yes! I was paid! But the—

D. B.
(over-lapping above
speech)
And what about the suicide note?
You didn’t write that, either!

JOHN
What difference does that make?

D. B.
Did you write it—or didn’t you?

JOHN
No, I didn’t write it, but—

D. B.
Ah, you bet your life you didn’t!
You look in your papers, ladies
and gentlemen, and you’ll find
Miss Mitchell’s signed confession
that she was the one that wrote
it!

JOHN
Listen, folks, it’s a fact that I
didn’t write the letter, but this
whole thing started—

D. B.
There! You see? He admits it! You’re
a fake, John Doe! And for what
you’ve done to all these good
people—they ought to run you out
of the country—and I hope they do
it!

He leaves the platform—followed by his troopers.

SEVERAL SHOTS: Of groups as they stare at JOHN, silent and
stunned, waiting for him to speak.

FULL SHOT: The whole park full of people wait in breathless
anticipation. From somewhere in the distance we hear a
single voice of a man.

VOICE
Speak up, John! We believe you!

MED. SHOT: Under the platform. We see several of D. B.’s
troopers pulling at the cables of the public address system.

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. He speaks into the microphone.

JOHN
Please listen, folks! Now that
he’s through shooting off his face,
I’ve got a couple of things to
tell you about—

CLOSE SHOT: Under the platform. One of the troopers
disconnects the public address system by cutting the cable.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He realizes the loud speaker is dead,
and looks around helplessly.

MED. SHOT: Somewhere in audience TED SHELDON directs
troopers.

TED
Come on! The rest of you get in
here and riot! Break this crowd
up! Come on!

MED. SHOT: Of a group of John Does. They still stare
uncertainly. Suddenly, the head of one of SHELDON’s troopers
appear—and cupping his hands over his mouth, he yells toward
platform.

TROOPER
John Doe’s a fake! Boo! Boooooo!

LONG SHOT: From ANNOUNCER’s view. Shooting toward audience.
The crowd is all yelling at once now.

MED. SHOT:

ANNOUNCER
I’m sorry, folks, but we can’t
hear him any more. Something’s
gone wrong with the loudspeaker.

MED. SHOT: Of JOHN. Trying to talk over microphone.

JOHN
Say, they can’t hear me! The thing’s
not working!
(shouts)
Ladies and gentlemen! Look—this
thing’s bigger than whether I’m a
fake—
(turns to BERT)
Look, Bert, you believe me, don’t
you?

BERT
(cynically)
Sure, I believe you. Walking my
legs off digging up five thousand
signatures for a phoney!

Suddenly, nervously, he begins tearing up the petition in
his hand.

BERT
Well, there you are, Mr. Doe!
(flinging crumpled
petition at him)
Five thousand names asking you not
to jump off any roof!

He turns to leave.

CLOSE SHOT: Of SOURPUSS, who, heartbroken, stops BERT.

SOURPUSS
It makes no difference, Bert—the
ideas’s still good. We don’t have
to give up our club.

BERT
(harshly)
Yeah? Well, you can have it!

He exits.

LONG SHOT: From ANNOUNCER’s view. Crowd is yelling wildly.

ANNOUNCER
They’re starting to throw things!

2ND ANNOUNCER
Somebody’s going to get hurt!

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He looks helplessly down at the hostile
crowd.

INT. POLICE STATION

FULL SHOT: ANN and CONNELL are surrounded by several
policemen. A sergeant sits at his desk, on which is a radio.
ANN’s face is haggard and desperate as she listens to the
radio announcer.

ANNOUNCER
I’m afraid it’ll be John Doe. Listen
to that mob!

Unable to stand it any longer, ANN suddenly jumps out of
her seat.

ANN
I’ve got to go to him!

OFFICER
Sorry, lady—I can’t let you out.

ANN
(sobbing)
Oh, let me go! Let me go to him!
Oh, please, please let me go!
They’re crucifying him! I can help
him!

OFFICER
Sorry, sister. We got orders to
hold you.

ANN
Orders from who? Can’t they see
it’s a frameup?

She is still desperately struggling to get free—when her
mother comes hurrying in.

MRS. MITCHELL
Ann, darling!

ANN
Oh, Mother! They won’t let me go!
They won’t let me go!

The police release her and she throws herself into her
mother’s arms.

EXT. BALL PARK.

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. He still attempts to get himself heard.

JOHN
Listen, folks! You gotta listen to
me, everybody!

MED. SHOT: Of a group of John Does.

A MAN
(yelling toward
JOHN)
Back to the jungle, you hobo!

2ND MAN
(disgustedly)
Just another racket!

JOHN’S VOICE
Stick to your clubs!

MAN
(shouting)
We’ve been fed baloney so long
we’re getting used to it!

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. He disregards the missiles that fly
around his head.

JOHN
(supplicatingly)
The idea is still good! Believe
me, folks! . . .

EXT. BALL PARK.

MED. LONG SHOT: Toward platform. The crowd pushes menacingly
around the platform, with policemen struggling to control
them. JOHN still stands there, pathetic and helpless.
Missiles of all kinds fly into the scene. The members of
the band are scrambling off the platform—as well as the
others, until John is left alone.

LONG SHOT: Shooting toward audience. They still boo and
yell.

MED. SHOT: Of the COLONEL. Fearful for JOHN, he starts
pushing his way through the crowd toward him.

MED. SHOT: Of a group of people. Suddenly a woman reaches
into a lunch basket she carries and takes out a tomato.

WOMAN
(shouting)
You faker!

She reaches back to throw the tomato.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. His voice is gone. His eyes are glassy.
He is making one last effort to speak.

JOHN
(hoarsely)
Listen . . . John Does . . .
(weakly)
You’re the hope of the world . . .

As if in challenge to that statement, the tomato flies in
and strikes him on the forehead. It seems to stun him. He
remains motionless, staring before him with sightless eyes.
The red smear of the tomato trickles down his face.

MED. SHOT: Of the COLONEL, amidst the crowd. He sees JOHN
hit and winces. Then, setting his jaw, he pushes people
violently aside, trying to reach JOHN.

MED. SHOT: On platform, JOHN stares futilely before him.
The COLONEL reaches his side and glancing sympathetically
up at his face, starts to lead him off the platform. A
squadron of policemen also rush to his rescue and precede
JOHN and the COLONEL.

TRUCKING SHOT: Down the aisle—as police disperse the crowd
who boo and threaten JOHN from the sidelines.

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. He is oblivious of the jeering,
shouting mob—and of the wet newspapers flung in his
direction.

MED. SHOT: At dug-out exit—as the police finally manage to
get him safely out of the park.

MED. SHOT: ANNOUNCER’s booth.

JOHN B. HUGHES
The police finally manage to get
him out of the park! If that boy
isn’t hurt, it’ll be a miracle!

INT. POLICE STATION.

MED. SHOT: ANN and her mother sit on a bench. A policeman
is in the background. ANN stares into space. Her mother
has an arm around her.

ANNOUNCER’S VOICE
Ladies and gentlemen, this certainly
looks like the end of the John Doe
movement.

A policeman snaps the radio off.

CONNELL
(lifts glass of
milk)
Well, boys, you can chalk up another
one to the Pontius Pilates.

TWO SHOT: ANN and her mother.

ANN
(sobbing)
I should have been there. I could
have helped him.
(desolately)
He was so all alone!

Her MOTHER draws ANN consolingly to her, and lays her head
on her breast.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. A HIGHWAY

MED. SHOT: Of BERT’s car on the way home.

INT. CAR

CLOSE SHOT: BERT and SOURPUSS. They both look depressed.
After a silence, SOURPUSS speaks.

SOURPUSS
(throatily)
A lot of us are going to be mighty
ashamed of ourselves after tonight.
We certainly didn’t give that man
much of a chance.

They lapse again into silence. BERT stares grimly at the
road.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CLEARING UNDER THE BRIDGE.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He sits on a rock, his head bent low,
tears streaming shamelessly down his cheeks. Camera draws
back and we find the COLONEL before the fire, boiling water
in a small tin pan.

COLONEL’S VOICE
Have some more coffee, Long John?

JOHN
No, thanks, Colonel.

JOHN lifts his eyes skyward, stares profoundly, a curious
expression over his face.

DISSOLVE TO:

A MONTAGE:

LONG SHOT: Of JOHN, a lonely figure, walking dejectedly.
As he walks, faces begin to appear one by one, to taunt
him. Their accusing voices are heard.

WOMAN’S VOICE
Faker!

MAN’S VOICE
Racketeer!

2ND VOICE
Liar!

3RD VOICE
Cheat!

4TH VOICE
Imposter!

5TH VOICE
Why don’t you jump!

GIRL’S VOICE
Christmas Eve at midnight!
(she laughs,
sneeringly)

DISSOLVE TO:

ANOTHER SHOT: OF JOHN WALKING, HIS EXPRESSION IMMOBILE.
OVER THE SHOT APPEAR SEVERAL SCENES THROUGH WHICH JOHN HAS
LIVED:

1. BERT shaking hands with him, saying:

BERT
You’re a wonderful man, Mr. Doe.

2. MRS. DELANEY kissing his hand and saying:

MRS. DELANEY
May God bless you, my boy.

3. ANN in Broadcasting Station, kissing him:

ANN
Now, get in there and pitch!

4. D. B. issuing his tirade at JOHN:

D. B.
You’re a fake, John Doe, and I can
prove it! You’re the big hero that’s
supposed to jump off tall buildings
and things. You remember? What do
you suppose your precious John
Does will say when they find out
that you never had any intention
of doing it—that you were being
paid to say so?

5. Again the girl who laughed appears:

GIRL
Christmas Eve at midnight?

And again she laughs sneeringly.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CITY HALL TOWER—NIGHT

LONG SHOT: It is a picturesque scene of the City Hall
outlined in silhouette against the sky. A peaceful mantle
of snow silently descends upon it. Over the shot we hear
the plaintive voices of children singing “Holy Night.”

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. OUTSIDE OF D. B.’S HOUSE

MED. SHOT: Outside D. B.’s Study—through window. A group
of eight young carolers sing “Holy Night.” It is a
continuation of the music from previous scene.

CUT TO:

INT. D. B.’S STUDY.

MED. SHOT: In the dimly lit room, we see the lonely figure
of D. B., as he stands near a window staring out,
meditatively. The voices of the children singing Christmas
carols are faintly heard.

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. He peers into the night, enveloped by
disturbing thoughts. After a moment, he takes out his watch
and glances at it. Then, as if annoyed by his own
apprehension, he shoves it violently back into his pocket.

CAMERA RETREATS in front of him as he crosses, determinedly,
to a humidor, takes a cigar and shoves it into his mouth.
Just as he is about to light it, he becomes aware of the
signing, and cocks his head, listening.

WIDER SHOT: As he drops the match and the unlighted
cigar—and starts toward door. Just then the BUTLER comes
through.

BUTLER
Merry Christmas, sir.

D. B.
Oh. Merry Christmas.

D. B. hands him a bill and nods toward the children. The
BUTLER exits.

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. Staring out into space moodily. We hear
the voices of the children saying, “Thank you, sir! Merry
Christmas!” D. B.’s mouth screws up, unhappily. It is far
from a “merry” Christmas. It is a very lonely, conscience-
stricken one.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. POLICE STATION

MED. SHOT: A SERGEANT sits in front of his desk. Opposite
him is a POLICEMAN. Their rummy game has been interrupted
by a phone call which the SERGEANT is now answering.

SERGEANT
Who? John Doe? Is that screwball
still around?
(laughing)

POLICEMAN
(with disgust)
Aw, that dame’s been callin’ all
day.

DESK SERGEANT
Sure, sure, I know. Yeah. At
midnight, huh? Okay, lady. We’ll
have the place surrounded with
nets.

He hangs up the phone—twirls his finger at his temple,
shrugs—and reaches for a card.

CUT TO:

INT. ANN’S BEDROOM

CLOSE SHOT: ANN is in bed. She looks wan. Her hand still
rests on the phone.

CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal a doctor by her side and her
mother at the foot of the bed. They watch her—concerned.

ANN
Oh—they’re laughing at me!

Impulsively, ANN picks up the receiver and starts dialing
again.

DOCTOR’S VOICE
You’re a sick girl, Ann. You’d
better take it easy.

MRS. MITCHELL
Whom are you calling now? You called
that number not ten minutes ago!

ANN
(into phone)
Hello. Mr. Connell? Have you seen
him yet? Have you—

CUT TO:

INT: CORRIDOR OF CITY HALL

MED. SHOT: Toward a telephone booth. CONNELL speaks into
the phone.

CONNELL
Now listen, Ann—he can’t possibly
get in without our seeing him. I’m
watching the side door and the
Colonel’s out front, so stop
worrying.

INT. ANN’S BEDROOM – CLOSE SHOT:

ANN
Thank you.

She hangs up the receiver, despairingly. Then, suddenly,
she jumps out of bed and runs to a clothes closet—grabbing
a coat and scarf.

MRS. MITCHELL
Why, Ann! . . .

DOCTOR
Ann, don’t be foolish!

DISSOLVE TO:

INSERT: The City Hall tower clock registers 11:45.

CUT TO:

EXT. HIGHWAY

MED. SHOT: BERT’s car driving in the snow.

INT. CAR

FULL SHOT: BERT HANSEN drives. In the car with him are his
wife, SOURPUSS and several others.

BERT
(complainingly)
If this isn’t the craziest, the
battiest, the looniest wild goose
chase I ever heard of?

MRS. HANSEN
Oh, shut up. Bert. Sourpuss is
right.

BERT
Yeah? Well, if he is, I’m a banana
split!

SOURPUSS
That man is gonna be on that roof.
Don’t ask me how I know. I just
know. And you know it as well as I
do.

BERT
Sure, sure. I’d like to believe in
fairy tales, but a guy that’s fake
isn’t gonna jump off any roof.

MRS. HANSEN
I don’t think he was any fake—not
with that face. And, anyway, what
he stood for wasn’t a fake.

BERT
Okay, honey, okay.

CUT TO:

INT: MAIN FLOOR CORRIDOR, CITY HALL

FULL SHOT: It is vast and empty, except for a colored
porter, scrubbing.

MED. SHOT: At entrance. As ANN enters from outside.
Determinedly, she starts toward elevators.

CLOSE SHOT: At elevator. ANN pushes button impatiently.
She feels weak, and has to brace herself to stay on her
feet. Suddenly, she is startled by the COLONEL’S voice.

COLONEL
Elevators ain’t running.

CAMERA PANS OVER to the COLONEL, who sits on the stairs,
next to the elevator.

MED. SHOT: ANN walks over to him, her face lighting up
hopefully.

ANN
Colonel!

COLONEL
You shouldn’t have gotten out of
bed, Miss.

ANN
Has he been here?

COLONEL
No.

ANN
Have you seen him?

COLONEL
(sadly)
I ain’t seen him for a week.

ANN
Where’s Connell?

COLONEL
He’s watching the other door.

ANN
Oh. Gee, you’re swell! Oh.

ANN stares at him a moment, then, impulsively, she starts
to pass him to go up the stairs.

COLONEL
(grabs her)
No sense in going up there! I been
here for hours. He ain’t here!

ANN
(pulls away from
him)
Oh, let me go, will you!

COLONEL
(calling after her)
Now, that’s crazy. It’s fourteen
floors!

But ANN vanishes. The COLONEL shakes his head and resumes
his post.

MED. SHOT: At entrance. As the MAYOR, followed by D. B.,
HAMMETT, and the others, enters. Camera pans with them as
they go toward the elevator.

MED. SHOT: They arrive at the elevator. The MAYOR takes
out his keys and unlocks the elevator door.

CLOSE SHOT: Of the COLONEL. He watches them, puzzled. Can’t
figure out what they are doing here.

CUT TO:

INSERT: Of elevator dial—as the light flicks on to number
14, indicating 14th floor. Camera pans down to elevator
door, which opens and the men come out.

MAYOR
This is as far as the elevator
goes. We’ve got to walk up to the
tower.

He indicates the stairway.

CUT TO:

WIDER SHOT: As they cross to stairway, silently.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CITY HALL ROOF

FULL SHOT: The men enter. They glance around searchingly—and
then slowly move toward the edge of the parapet.

CLOSER SHOT: The men look obviously self-conscious. No one
speaks for a while.

BENNETT
(breaking the silence)
That tramp is probably full of
Christmas cheer and asleep in some
flop house.

There is again silence. After a few minutes, the MAYOR
speaks.

MAYOR
Let’s go. I’ve got to decorate my
tree.

CUT TO:

INT. CORRIDOR — 14TH FLOOR

MED. SHOt: Outside Men’s Washroom. JOHN comes out, and as
camera pans with him he proceeds to letter chute next to
elevator. We see that it is the top of the chute, and from
the elevator being there, we know it is the 14th floor.
JOHN drops the letter into the chute.

EXT. CITY HALL ROOF

FULL SHOT: The place is silent except for occasional
scraping of feet as several of the men move around. They
continually refer to their watches. Finally, D. B. gives
up impatiently.

D. B.
Well, I give up. I don’t know what
gave us the idea that he—he’d
attempt anything like this.

WESTON
I guess you’re right. I’m afraid
the joke’s on us. Let’s go.

D. B.
I hope nobody finds out we’ve been
here.

They all start to exit, when suddenly D. B. stops. He puts
his hand out, and they all stop to listen. They hear
footsteps, and back into the shadows.

MED. SHOT: Shooting toward stairs. JOHN appears around the
bend and mounts the last few steps.

MED. SHOT: Of the huddled group. They watch breathlessly.
In the darkness, their eyes dominate the scene.

MED. SHOT: Over their shoulders. As JOHN, expressionless,
his cigarette in his hand, crosses to the parapet, and
looks out. He takes a puff of his cigarette and exhales
the smoke.

MED. SHOT: Of the huddled group. The MAYOR is for stepping
forward, but D. B. with an extended hand stops him,
indicating for them to wait and see what happens.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He takes the envelope out of his pocket
and examines it.

CLOSE SHOT: Of the group. Their eyes glued on him tensely.

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. He stares at the envelope.

INSERT: Of envelope. On it is written: “TO JOHN DOES
EVERYWHERE”.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He replaces the envelope in his pocket.

INT. TOWER

CLOSE SHOT: The group. Their eyes riveted on JOHN. They
feel the moment has come. Several of them glance toward D.
B.

WIDER SHOT: To include them all, and JOHN. He drops his
cigarette on the ground, and bending over, crushes it with
his foot. Just as he straightens out again, D. B. speaks.

D. B.
(restrained voice)
I wouldn’t do that if I were you,
John.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. As he turns sharply, startled. He stares
blankly at the five people.

MED. SHOT: Of the group. They move slightly forward and
stop.

D. B.
It’ll do you no good.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He continues to stare at them, strangely.

WIDER SHOT: To include them all.

D. B.
The Mayor has policemen downstairs
with instructions to remove all
marks of identification you may
have on your person. You’ll be
buried in Potter’s Field[12] and
you will have accomplished nothing.

CLOSE SHOT: Of JOHN. After a moment, he speaks.

JOHN
(in a sepulchral
voice)
I’ve taken care of that. I’ve
already mailed a copy of this letter
to Mr. Connell.

MED. SHOT: Of the group. Amazed that he thought of this.
They feel themselves helpless. D. B. tries taking an
authoritative tone.

D. B.
(his throat is dry)
John, why don’t you forget this
foolishness?

He steps forward as he speaks.

JOHN
(quickly—threatenin
gly)
Stop right where you are, Mr.
Norton, if you don’t want to go
overboard with me.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN’s face. His eyes have a wild, maniacal
look in them.

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. He stares into JOHN’s eyes and a
terrified expression covers his face.

WIDER SHOT: As D. B. instinctively backs up.

JOHN
(throatily)
I’m glad you gentlemen are here.
You’ve killed the John Doe movement,
all right, but you’re going to see
it born all over again. Now, take
a good look, Mr. Norton.

INT. LANDING TO TOWER

MED. SHOT: As ANN practically has to pull herself up to
the last step. Her face is wet from fever and exhaustion.

ANN
(an outcry)
John!

INT. TOWER

FULL SHOT: As everyone, startled by the outcry, turns. ANN
staggers into scene.

ANN
(crying)
John!

She rushes and throws her arms around him.

ANN
(muffled sobs)
Oh, John, darling. No! No!

CLOSE SHOT: JOHN and ANN. He stares down at her, blankly.
ANN clutches him, her head buried in his shoulder.

ANN
(muffled sobs)
I won’t let you. I love you,
darling.

MED. SHOT: Of the group. They remain motionless, watching.

CLOSE SHOT: JOHN and ANN. She emits wracking sobs, then
lifts her eyes up to him.

ANN
(in a desperate
plea)
John. Please, John, listen to me.
We’ll start all over again, just
you and I. It isn’t too late. The
John Doe movement isn’t dead yet.

Suddenly she becomes conscious of the others present, and
she turns her head.

CAMERA PANS OVER to what SHE SEES. The group of men
watching, silently.

CAMERA PANS BACK to ANN. Her eyes widen slowly. She looks
from them to JOHN and back again, and her face takes on an
excited, breathless look, as the reason for their being
there becomes comprehensible to her.

ANN
(excitedly)
See, John! It isn’t dead, or they
wouldn’t be here! It’s alive in
them . They kept it alive. By being
afraid of it. That’s why they came
up here.

CLOSE SHOT: ANN and JOHN. He continues to stand with his
hands at his sides, looking at her, while she clings to
him desperately. While she speaks, he turns his face from
her and stares at the men.

ANN
Oh, darling. Sure, it should have
been killed before. It was
dishonest.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He is staring strangely at the group of
men—as slowly, gradually, the curtain is being lifted from
his clouded brain.

ANN’S VOICE
But we can start clean now. Just
you and I. It’ll grow again, John.
It’ll grow big. And it’ll be strong,
because it’ll be honest!

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. Her strength is fast ebbing away. She
clings to JOHN more tenaciously.

ANN
(last bit of effort)
Oh, darling, if it’s worth dying
for, it’s worth living for. Oh,
please, John . . .

She looks up at his face, seeking some sign of his relenting-
but she finds none.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN, who still clinging to him, lays her cheek
on his chest—and lifts her eyes heavenward.

ANN
(a murmured prayer)
Oh, please, God—help me!

FLASH: Of the men—as they stare transfixed, waiting
breathlessly.

MED. SHOT: At entrance. BERT, SOURPUSS and others
appear—having run up the stairs breathlessly. Their eyes
are filled with apprehension. CONNELL and the COLONEL are
with them. When they see the scene before them, they stop,
awed.

CLOSE-UP: Of ANN. Suddenly she stares before her—as a divine
inspiration comes to her. Her eyes light up with a wide,
ecstatic fire.

TWO SHOT: ANN and JOHN. ANN turns and glances up at JOHN’s
face.

ANN
(tensely)
John!

She takes his face in her two hands and turns it to her.

ANN
John, look at me. You want to be
honest, don’t you? Well, you don’t
have to die to keep the John Doe
idea alive! Someone already died
for that once! The first John Doe.
And He’s kept that idea alive for
nearly two thousand years.

CLOSE SHOT: BERT, his WIFE and SOURPUSS. The cynical
expression on BERT’s face begins to soften.

ANN’S VOICE
(with sincere
conviction)
It was He who kept it alive in
them —and He’ll go on keeping it
alive for ever and always! For
every John Doe movement these men
kill, a new one will be born!

TWO SHOT: ANN and JOHN. JOHN remains grimly unmoved. ANN
continues.

ANN
(ecstatically)
That’s why those bells are ringing,
John! They’re calling to us—not to
give up—but to keep on fighting!
To keep on pitching! Oh, don’t you
see, darling? This is no time to
give up!

SEVERAL FLASHES: To intercut with ANN’s speech—one of BERT;
his WIFE; CONNELL; D. B.

MED. SHOT: Toward ANN and JOHN. ANN’s strength is slowly
waning.

ANN
You and I, John, we can—
(suddenly)
No, John, if you die, I want to
die, too!
(weakly)
Oh, I love you so—

Her strength leaves her—and as her eyelids slowly shut,
she collapses limply in his arms.

MED. SHOT: Of BERT’s group, as they react to this. BERT
stares, profoundly moved.

MED. SHOT: JOHN and ANN—as he stares bewildered, at ANN at
his feet. Mechanically, he reaches down and lifts her in
his arms.

BERT’S VOICE
Mr. Doe . . .

JOHN vaguely becomes aware of BERT’s presence and glances
toward him.

MED. SHOT: BERT, his WIFE and SOURPUSS.

BERT
(his voice
choked—haltingly)
You don’t have to—Why, we’re with
you, Mr. Doe. We just lost our
heads and acted like a mob. Why,
we . . .

BERT’S WIFE
(jumping in)
What Bert’s trying to say is—well—we
need you, Mr. Doe. There were a
lot of us didn’t believe what that
man said.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN—as he listens to her, expressionless.

WIFE’S VOICE
We were going to start up our John
Doe Club again whether we saw you
or not.

MED. SHOT: BERT, his WIFE and SOURPUSS.

WIFE
Weren’t we, Bert?

BERT nods.

WIFE
And there were a lot of others
that were going to do the same
thing. Why, Mr. Sourpuss even got
a letter from his cousin in Toledo,
and . . .

SOURPUSS
(joining—eagerly)
Yeah, I got it right here, Mr.
Doe!

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. The bewildered look in his eyes has
vanished. It is now replaced by an expression of softness
and understanding.

WIFE’S VOICE
(choked)
Only—only it’ll be a lot easier
with you. Please—please come with
us, Mr. Doe!

JOHN remains standing, thoughtful.

MED. SHOT: Of BERT’s group. They all look supplicatingly
at him.

CLOSE-UP: Of JOHN. He stares at BERT’s group and, shifting
his gaze, looks at D. B. and his crowd. Then, turning back
to BERT, his eyes light up and something of a warm smile
appears on his face.

FULL SHOT: As JOHN, having decided on his course, starts
forward with ANN in his arms. The church bells chime loud
and victoriously.

MED. SHOT: Around BERT. Their eyes brighten ecstatically
as JOHN walks toward them. They all speak at once.

BERT’S GROUP
(ad-lib)
Mr. Doe! She’ll be all right!

We’ve got a car downstairs . . .

They follow JOHN out, chattering excitedly. Only CONNELL
and the COLONEL remain.

COLONEL
Long John!

CLOSE-UP: Of CONNELL. He glares at D. B. defiantly.

CLOSE-UP: Of D. B. awe-stricken by the scene he has
witnessed.

MED. SHOT: CONNELL and the COLONEL.

CONNELL
(to D. B.—defiantly)
There you are, Norton! The people!
Try and lick that! Come on, Colonel.

They exit, arm in arm, as the music swells—suggesting
emergence from darkness and confusion to light and
understanding.

FADE OUT:

THE END