Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) Script

Chances are you've never heard of Preston Thomas Tucker, dreamer, inventor, visionary.

A man ahead of his time.

Pretty, ism it?

Mr. Tucker's car has everything: pop-out safety windows, rear motor.

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

The first time he ever saw an automobile, he was just a young boy.

In his excitement, he found himself with the wheels of that automobile passing over his feet.

But he muddy road was soft.

He wasn't hurt.

And that was the first view of the machine that was to mold his thoughts and actions for most of the years of his life.

Determined to learn how cars were made, he went to Detroit, where he met Vera Fuqua, who worked for the telephone company.

They were married, and, wasting no time, began a family.

But he never lost sight of his dream, which was to design and manufacture the finest automobile ever made.

He spent every minute he could at the Indianapolis Speedway and teamed up with the automobile legend Harry Miller, one of the greatest designers of racing cars who ever lived.

In 1936, Mr. Tucker saw the war clouds Booming on the horizon and began working on a high-speed combat car.

It was bulletproof, had air conditioning, and mounted a power-operated gun turret.

The combat car was turned down by the military.

It had one drawback, they said.

It was too fast.

The War Department's policy at that time was no combat oar should go over 35 miles an hour.

His gun turret, however, was immediately put into service.

Who can say how many brave Americans boys owe their lives to the Tucker turrets?

And where were those turrets built?

In the most practical place Tucker could think of, in the barn next to his home in Michigan where he and his family lived.

Oh, my God.

Hold that tiger Hold that tiger Hold that tiger Hold that tiger Hold that tiger Come on out, girl.

What's this?

Did you put this in my car?

No.

Did you? What is this thing?

Open it.

What is it?

My friends, you are in for one doozie.

What can I call this?

This is history in the making.

Is there anything you want to explain first about the dogs?

Oh.

Well, I traded the old Packard for them.

Oh.

One dozen trained dogs.

What are we going to do with a dozen trained dogs?

What difference does it make?

You can't walk away from a trade like that.

Are you dying to know whafs in here? Huh? No?

Yes. Yes.

All right. You're dying, huh? Yes.

Gallup took a poll last week to find out what Americans want most when the war's over.

Eighty-seven percent of the people in this country said the first thing they want is a new car.

Now, which would the public rather buy'?

The same old models Detroit has been giving us before the war or...

the car of tomorrow... today.

Looks like it's going 90 mph standing still.

And you know who's going to build these cars?

We are.

In five years, we're gonna put the Big Three out of business.

Who we gonna sell them to? Buck Rogers?

Under the hood, we've got luggage.

The engine is in the rear where it ought to be.

Look at this. Individual torque converters.

And that-- You're crazy!

You'd have to have a wheel track 70 inches wide.

Dinner's ready!

All right. Come on, let's go!

How many?

Everybody.

How about the US Army'? You boys hungry?

Orville, call your mother. You stay too.

Oh, Millie! Millie!

And our best dog food, huh?

Hold that tiger Hold that tiger Hold that tiger How much you going to tell him?

I'll tell him everything. Watch out. Coming through.

Got dirty dishes. They'll fall on you. It's all here.

Don't trip!

The fenders... lights.

Who's this guy Karatz?

He's a business man.

Karatz, huh? I met him on the commuter train.

Finance.

Finance?

Come here, Junior.

Who's that? The man I've been talking about.

Abe Karatz.

Good luck, honey.

We'll be in the den.

Look at him.

Yeah. He's scary.

He's not scary. He's from New York.

Abe.

I appreciate you stopping by.

How long between trains?

You like this? Living here in the middle of nowhere?

You want a cup of coffee at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, you'd die first.

Yeah, or you go in the kitchen and you make one.

Who wants coffee at 2:00 in the morning?

You sit there, you read the paper, you chew the fat with the waitress.

Here you look around, there's nothing but scenery.

We're stuck with the scenery. How do you like your coffee?

In the city.

Double fives again, and he does it.

Cars?

You brought me here for cars?

Does that look like a car to you?

That is a gold mine I'm handing you on a silver platter.

Forget it.

You got no chance.

How can you say that? You haven't even heard my ideas yet.

Ideas?

Einstein's in the idea business.

He makes up numbers so high only a dog can hear them.

But what's it cost him?

A piece of paper, a couple of pencils.

To manufacture a car, you need millions of dollars.

Well, that is what Wall Street is for, to float stock issues, Abe.

Who are you?

What do you know about business?

Any experience on Wall Street?

It's so revolutionary. This is how cars are going to be made from now on.

Abe, and with your connections--

I don't have connections.

I have connections who have connections.

Speaking for them, myself, and who do you believe, God?

Him, too... forget about it.

You got no chance.


Well, think about it.

Drive safely.

Yes, sir.


Preston?

Preston?

Pile in, cutie.

Who wants ice cream? Let's go to Doc's!

Everybody!

Man your positions. Watch out, Junior.

Let's see if we can break our record time.

Come on! Hurry up! Get up there!

I've got my position.

It was pathetic how he loved the idea.

Embarrassing to see a man like that trying so hard to play on my harp strings.

Anything to get in on the deal!

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

Watch this baby accelerate!

Whoa! Whoa!

Hold that tiger Sounds like Tucker again.

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

Hold that tiger Hold that tiger Hold that tiger Where's that tiger Where's that tiger Here's that tiger Where's that tiger Here's that tiger Where's that tiger Here's that tiger

Who wants ice cream?

How you doing, Doc?

I'm okay, if you don't include everything.

How about sodas all around?

Triple scoops tonight.

Triple scoops.

You can have chocolate, pistachio, strawberry.

You can mix them all up, okay? Strawberry soda.

Hey, Tucker, ain't those prefab houses something?

Anybody seen one of these houses? How do you know they're any good?

They're not even built yet.

So what? It says so in the magazine.

Johnny, stop.

Yuck! He spilled it.

Noble, stop eating my sundae.

Stop it, Johnny.

Hey, does anybody want strawberry?

Hold that tiger Hold that tiger Working with a writer he knew, Tucker got an article about the car published in Pic magazine.

But nobody, not even Tucker, was prepared for what happened.

Within a week, more than 150,000 letters poured in from all over the country.

“How can I see a Tucker?“ “I want a Tucker.“

"Where can I buy a Tucker?"

"How can I get a dealership?"

Overnight, the nation had gone Tucker crazy.

Just because this Tucker can build a car in his barn doesn't mean he can mass produce it.

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

Well, we need a car.

A car we got.

A working prototype?

Says so in the magazine.

We also will have to have some big Detroit names for the board, you know, for the prospectus.

Like who can we get?

Well, there was a fellow, vice president at Ford for many years, Robert Bennington.

He's the president at Plymouth at the moment, but I hear he's being kicked upstairs.

Maybe we can get him.

As window dressing... Will he want a say in running the company?

Want a say? Bennington? He'll run the company.

I'm not sure Tucker is gonna go for that.

People don't buy stock.

They buy people they can trust or believe they can.

Now, if this what's-his-name--

Tucker. Tucker.

If he's going to be a pain in the ass about it, we might just as well forget it.

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

What else do we need?

We need a factory?

The car we got. You get Bennington, whatever it takes.

I'll get the factory.

Thank you.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk, Virginia.

Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha, Nebraska.

Wow.

Look, here's one from Anchorage, Alaska.

Oh! That's the first one from there.

Abe should have been here an hour ago.

You know the trains now, darling. They're always late.

Who's that?

I was wondering, sir, if I can have just a few moments of your time?

I'm waiting for somebody.

Just five minutes, sir. Bye, Daddy!

What for?

I'd like to sell you something, sir.

What?

Me.

All right. Five minutes.

Thank you. I'm Alex Tremulis, sir.

Sir, I'll be getting out of the Air Force in just a few weeks.

Before that, I was studying automotive engineering.

And when I saw that article about your car in that magazine, sir, it's been driving me crazy ever since.

So I made a few 3-D perspective drawings.

If you wouldn't mind, sir, taking a look at them.

What you did, sir, with the streamlining I think was fantastic.

But if we took that one step further, if we could apply real aerodynamics, let's say, like a rocket ship to a family car--

You changed my doors.

Yes, sir, because you only have 31 inches headroom.

A family car for an average-size person needs 36.

But every time you open the door, they hit the curb.

So I made them open up, out into the roof, like an airplane here.

Time's up, kid.

Just two, two more minutes, sir.

What do you want, a job? Yes.

You got it.

In the design department?

Kid, you are the design department.

Abe! Did you find it?

Tucker.

Do I have a lot to tell you.

It was a good meeting.

Jimmy! Hello.

Jimmy Sakiyama.

Abe Karatz, my partner.

Hi. Nice to meet you.

How do you do?

Jimmy, if you see Eddie, tell him we'll be in the dining room.

You bet.

Hey, didn't they put the Japs in camp someplace?

He's not a Jap. Really?

He's an engineer.

He's still a Jap.

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

I got him in my custody to work on the turrets.

But his mother, his father, his 12-year-old sister, they're in a swell relocation camp in Colorado, if that makes you feel better.

Meshugana.

Hi there, Mr. Karatz.

How are you?

Which leaves three war surplus plants we got a shot at.

Now, it's a long shot because everybody in the country is trying to get them, but it's worth a try.

One of them is perfect.

Nice, little.

The other is too big.

Costs twice as much to retool, but... we could swing it if we had to.

What's the third?

Impossible.

The Dodge plant where they made the B-29s in Chicago.

What's wrong with that?

For one thing, it covers 475 acres with 16 buildings.

One of them is 73 acres long.

One building.

It's the biggest building in the world under one roof.

It's perfect.

You'll love it in Chicago.

Listen, they've got a department store, one of the biggest in the world.

Oh, everybody shops there.

Wait until you see it. You'll love it.

Fantastic!

Oh!

I can build everything I ever dreamed of in this plant, Abe, sports cars, family cars, convertibles, trucks, even airplanes!

Now, all we gotta do is talk the government into giving it to us.

Abe, what did they say? Did you reach them?

Yep. We finally got our meeting with the War Assets Administration in Washington.

When? Monday. Three o'clock.

Oh, that's no good. What?

It's got to be lunch someplace.

Do you realize the trouble I went through just to get this meeting?

Do y0u-- With roast beef.

Rare. Very rare.

Every 25 seconds somebody is killed or crippled in an automobile accident.

Now 60% of all nighttime accidents... Excuse me.

...happen on the curb because there is a two-second blind spot between the time you turn the wheel and the time your headlights get to where you're going.

Now, in a Tucker, when you turn the wheel, you also turn the fenders and the headlights.

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

This woman was thrown through the windshield of her car.

Tucker windshields pop out.

And to make sure nobody's face gets cut, we have shatterproof glass.

We also have seat belts.

Now, why'?

Tell me why, gentlemen, has the Big Three in Detroit been allowed to make billions of dollars without spending one dime on safety?

What I know, what you know, what the public knows... is that they don't give a damn about people.

All they care about is profits.

Let me tell you something, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, the entire automobile industry of America is guilty of criminal negligence.

And if it were up to me, they'd be tried and convicted of manslaughter.

Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you for the time you've given me.

I appreciate it.

Congratulations.

They hate you like poison, and so do I.

How did I ever let you talk me into such a crazy--

I'm Oscar Beasley, special assistant to the administrator.

Could you be in my office at three o'clock tomorrow afternoon?

Well... sure.

Good. See you there.

Mr. Beasley.

See how much you know. They loved it.

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

You're talking logic. This is Washington. A Punch and Judy show.

Why would he want to see us again? Politics!

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

We got no chance.

How could we kid ourselves into thinking anyone would give us a loan?

All we've got are debts and more debts. All of them, so far, past due.

How does he do it, the genius you married?

No matter how much he makes, he always manages to spend twice as much.

Yeah.

Hello?

Where the hell were you? I was about to hang up.

How did it go?

Sweetheart, I had them eating out of my hand.

By the time I left, I could've asked for California and gotten Arkansas to boot.

Oh, darling, I'm so sorry.

It's not dead yet.

Completely. Got another meeting tomorrow.

What does Abe think?

What does he know?

Hey, did you get the loan?

They're gonna think it over.

You're a worse liar than I am.

Can you please come home soon, Preston?

Please?

I will, doll.

I love you.

I love you, too.

I'll see you soon, sweetheart A/I right.

Bye.


Mr. Tucker, in brief, the committee has voted to give you the plant in Chicago, provided that you have certified assets of no less than $15 million.

And to qualify as a legal manufacturing company, you'll be required to produce at least 50 cars one year after taking possession.

Is that satisfactory?

Well I...

Sure, I mean...

Fine.

Papers will be ready for signature five o'clock tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you.

Abe, why don't we let Mr. Beasley get back to work?

Klondike 436.

Go ahead. I'll hold on.

This is her husband, Preston Tucker.

Hey, Tucker. United Auto Workers told Roosevelt if he wants the labor vote next election, he's got to give the plant to a car company and only a car company.

Why me? Why not Ford, General Motors, one of the Big Three?

They don't want it. It's too big.

How can nobody want a plant like that?

Everybody wants it, but believe it or not, you're the only lunatic in the country dumb enough to want to make cars in it.

Doll? Yeah.

Yeah, he's right here.

Hold that tiger What is it? What?

Hey! Preston.

Hold on, babe.

How soon can you get the car to New York? Monday, Tuesday, when?

Babe, hold on.

I got the best press agent in the business on the phone.

To kick off the sale of the stock, he wants to unveil a car on the street outside the Stock Exchange with a hundred-piece band, the Rockettes, enough razzmatazz to make every investor in the country get down on his knees and beg to buy those shares.

Love, you hear that?

You bet I did! We got it!

The biggest damn plant in the whole world and we're the ones who got it!

Oh, that's wonderful!

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

That's all, huh? That's it.

You love me? I love ya!

I love you too. I'll see you soon, sweetie.

All right.

We need a oar?

Let's go out someplace to celebrate. Have a drink.

Do we have a car or don't we?

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

Frank, I'll call you back.

You all right, Abe?

Huh?

Anything else you want to tell me?

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

You all right? Huh?

Oh!

Fifty thousand dollars for one car'?

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

How much you need to get started? Forget the $50,000.

To get started'?

At least ten.

I'll give you six.

If it turns out you're right, we could sell a few dealerships now, which frankly sounds crazy to me.

Why would anybody in his right mind pay money for a car that isn't even in existence yet?

I'm sitting here writing a check in my own handwriting calling them crazy?

One thing.

We need it absolutely in 60 days.

Absolutely. Any problem?

Problems?

It's impossible.

Sixty days?

Or never.

Why?

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

But the letters, all the excitement when the article came out.

Tucker, there's people who buy cars and there's people who buy stock.

And right now, no major investor will even consider us.

Yeah, but why 60 days?

I mean, why not-- Because in 60 days, June 1, we take possession of the plant.

And on that day, and not until that day, will the mystery car, the car of the century, be unveiled.

Uncle Abe? Yeah.

I was wondering why you always do that with your nose all the time.

Noble. What with my nose?

Move it up and down like a rabbit.

Okay, everybody upstairs. I do that?

Oh, murder.

Students to the grindstone.

Noble.

Bye.

Goodbye.

Tell me, do I do that?

You don't do that with your nose. All right.

Mr. Tucker, sir, it takes Ford nine months to go from model to prototype. Nine months.

Call every pilman we know in Indy.

I can get Carrigan, Milton, maybe Tully.

All right. Have them here by tomorrow. All right.

We gotta get moving right away. Buy clay. We gotta get started on that model.

What about steel? We got enough left over from the turrets?

Just about.

There are 24 hours in every day.

Now, is there anybody in this room who can look me in the eye and tell me we can't do it?

We can't do it!

Except you.

Better get with it.

We can't do it! We can't do it!

Dad, I've... thought...

Mr. Tucker?

E> -...about college.

Dad, I've been trying to talk to you about something that's been on my mind, and each time I try and bring it up...

Look.

What's this?

It's the answer from Notre Dame.

I got accepted.

But l0ok-- Hey! Congratulations!

I don't want to go!

Look, I want to learn everything about cars from you.

I don't want to become President of the United States or something.

That's not what I want to do. Who wants you to become president?

I thought you did.

As far as I'm concerned, the two crummiest things a person can be is a lawyer or a politician.

Why the hell would I want you to be President of the United States?

Most of them are both.

So it's okay.

Sure. You can stay with me.

I'm going to depend on you.

They just won't sell us any clay. That's it.

Can't build a model without it and can't build a prototype without the model.

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

Doug!

Chris!

Want you fellas to meet Alex. He's head of the design department.

These fellas are the best damn bodyknockers in the business.

They can go from your sketch straight to metal.

-Isn't that right, boys? Yes, sure.

How's this for a frame?

It's okay for a start.

Face this right now, Pres.

You got problems with this engine.

Our own engine? I should talk you out of building one from scratch.

Can't talk him out of falling off a cliff once he's made his mind up.

The rear engine is the heart of the whole car.

Just work the damn thing out.

Come on, you can do it, Eddie.

"You can do it, Eddie."

But I'm offering you the opportunity of a lifetime, a new car dealership.

The most revolutionary car in automotive history.

It's called the Tucker. Excuse me, sir'?

I'll be right with you.

It's got all kinds of safety features, torque converters on every wheel...

Double torque converters won't work.

We need a transmission.

Why the hell won't they?

If I had more time, but we don't have time to work it out.

You remember the Cord 810 transaxle?

That's the only transmission I can think of.

Yeah, if you could find one.

What choice do I have?

But only for now.

The minute we finish that show in Chicago, we're gonna start building the car we advertised.

Now you're talking.

$7,500.

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

Hey!

I didn't make the fenders move with the wheels like you wanted to, sir.

Why the hell not?

Remember Frank Lockhard, when he was driving the Stutz?

At high speeds they acted like rudders. He got killed in the crash.

It was very dangerous, sir.

What I did was, I made the light in the middle turn with the wheels instead which does what you want and it works fine.

And it's safe.

You ever do that again, something I told you not to, so help me...

I'll give you a raise.

Hey!

No reverse!

Can we fix it?

Not by Monday.

You'll get it. Come on, Junior, give me a hand here.

All right, we'll get it.

Push!

Abe, I still don't like this idea.

We've got to do it, Tucker.

We need someone from Detroit with experience or we won't sell any stock.

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

Mr. Tucker.

I've always admired innovative men who are willing to take risks.

You know, I myself introduced nylon seat covers in our new line.

So, when do I get to see the car?

Soon, Mr. Bennington.

Well, I hope it'll be soon.

The car has to be shown in less than a week, doesn't it'?

The piston load during compression is three times the normal family car.

It needs a 24-volt battery to start it, which don't exist.

How many volts in those? Six, right?

Yeah. What about truck batteries? They're 12.

Use two truck batteries. That's 24.

Vera?

What do you think of these pictures in these brochures that they brought?

I want to talk to you about that.

That board of directors they stuck me with...

I don't know if Bennington's an undertaker or one of the stiffs he embalmed.

Preston.

How many years of testing? Fifteen?

I've been thinking about that car a lot longer than 15 years.

Thinking about it is not exactly testing.

It's advertising. You're not supposed to believe it.

I mean, if you're selling candy, what do you advertise? It rots your teeth?

You caught me, didn't you?

Don't you give me that crooked little smile you stole from Clark Gable.

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

I saw you many times practicing when you thought I wasn't looking.

Oh, now, this smile here. See?

This is my downfall.

The real you. The canary who ate the cat.

That smile made you do that?

Every time.

You know what this smile makes me want to do?

Just punch you.

Let's stick with the canary.

Mr. Bennington, members of the board, we have one major problem.

Yes, Mr. Tucker?

Just what sort of problem is that?

Well... they're putting the squeeze on-- Detroit.

We can't buy clay, Mr. Bennington. We can't buy steel.

We can't buy anything. Not enough to build a kiddie-car with.

That doesn't surprise me.

So, what I've done is, I've made an appointment with Senator Ferguson.

Well straighten this thing out eyeball to eyeball.

Wait. No, you wait, Abe.

When you spot trouble, you've gotta nip it in the bud.

What are you thinking? A big smile and a pat on the back is gonna make him forget he's a senator from Detroit?

We're making cars in Chicago.

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

The senator will see you now.

Very good.

This way? Yes, sir. Right through that door.

Senator.

Preston Tucker.

Mr. Tucker.

A.H. Karatz.

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

Sit down, gentlemen. Sit down.

Let's get right to the point.

You're one of the most powerful men in Washington, I know that.

Oh.

I also know that your main job is to make sure that the Big Three--

Limo's here, Senator.

Well, I'm sorry, gentlemen. It was just getting interesting.

But my plans changed on me since we made this appointment, as they always do every two seconds.

So I'm not going to be able to-- Alice?

Did you take care of...

First thing in the morning, sir. Good.

Huh? Walk me to the car?

Good day.

Senator, don't forget the four o'clock meeting with Congressman Miller.

I got it.

Senator?

Just put everything in the sheet. Bring it to the plane.

You... you like Jack Benny?

Senator!

Yeah, he's my favorite.

Tickets. Very funny.

Oh, thank you.

"Problems are just opportunities in work clothes."

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

Karatz. Afternoon, Senator.

Oh, you get that thing we talked about?

I got a phone call.

Call Tim. Tell him I told you, huh?

When you were in Washington, did you meet Harry Macdonald, head of SEC?

No, not yet.

Local boy, good man, loyal.

So, who's your favorite comedian, Mr. Tucker?

So this is the way you keep that figure.

That's one way, Senator.

It's quite an idea of yours, selling dealerships for cars that don't exist.

You remember that song?

Music goes round and round Oh, oh, oh, 0h, oh And I! comes out here

The Big Three should be indicted for manslaughter, huh?

Funny line.

What was that all about?

Did he say anything? What did he say?

He said stay out of the car business, or he'll cut your nuggies off.

All right. Now what?

I can't give you a fuel injection.

No fuel injection?

You want the car on time, the only hope we got is twin carburetors.

Goddamn it!

Where is my car?

What's left of it, anything?

Hi, Abe.

Vera, how are you? Great. Come on in.

Uncle Abe! Uncle Abe!

Wha--

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

My goodness.

Whoa, look what I have for you.

It's from Chicago.

For me? Yeah.

I hope you like it.

Oh, I love it, Uncle Abe. I love it.

Is it all right? I mean, what do I know about ladies' dresses?

Can I try it on? Of course.

Well, well, well. Oh!

Oh! You got me.

I got a present for you, Noble.

Something for you.

Well, tell me gently.

Do we have a car?

Well... we've got something.

Does it look like the car in the ads, at least?

Looks like it.

So why are you worried? Why you worried? All they have to do is see it.

Made you a martini, Abe.

A drink. Come.

To the car.

To the car. To the car.

Don't you just love it?

Thank you, Uncle Abe. You're welcome.

Thank you. Don't you just love it?

It's beautiful, sweetie.

Dad! Where's Dad?

Dad.

Oh, hi, Abe. You better get out there. Oil's leaking from the rear main seal.

We just blew a head gasket. The whole thing's falling apart.

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

Where's Eddie?

Eddie!

What is it?

It's just what we expected.

What the hell? What the hell was that?

Are you okay?

Are you all right? Huh?

You okay'?

I could've gotten killed.

Totaled the suspension.

You're all right. All right.

With all that weight, I should've... Where's Dutch? Dutch.

We need four new arms machined from solid stock.

Can you do it? No sweat.

What the hell is happening to you?

That kid Alex came this close to getting his brains splattered all over this floor.

You don't even notice.

For what? That pile of junk?

That's all it is... a pile ofjunk.

Listen to me. Are you listening to me? Carefully?

Now, we are going to build that car, the one we dreamed of, exactly the way we want it.

Do you believe me?

Are you feeling better? That's what I came down here for.

To cheer you up. I'm fine, I'm fine.

Are you cheerful?

I'm plenty cheerful.

Too cheerful.

You think that's cheerful? Watching a middle-aged man lose his mind?

You know what's even more cheerful?

Having ringside seats at your own crucifixion, which...

I might have in Chicago.

How's it going?

This is Frank the press agent.

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

Frank. Please.

These are the security guards?

Two dozen. Three shifts around the clock.

Nobody, absolutely nobody, gets near this car. You told them that?

I told them.

Oh! Frank.

Naughty, naughty-

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

This is Stan. He's making a promotional film about you.

Nice to meet you. A pleasure.

It's a puff kind of a promo film.

Sales meetings, dealerships, that kind of thing.

Tucker, if you have any family albums, snapshots...

Home movies?

You just shut up.

Snapshots, home movies, anything like that we could use.

What's the point?

Selling stock.

I'm not selling stock in my family.

We're not just selling cars either. We're selling you. An image.

Which includes your family. Tucker.

Who do you think got that newsreel thing of you in the White House?

You think the President woke up at night yelling, "Get me Tucker!"? Come on! You can't buy that kind of publicity.

You did.

Yeah. For money.

Sure.

Nothing you say makes any sense. How come I always know what you mean?

Because you talk worse than me the same language.

Mr. Tucker.

I wanna get some shots of you looking up at the sign.

Dignified, serious, confident, a regular captain of industry.

Broadcasting live from the Tucker auto plant.

The largest parking lot in the world, completely filled.

People coming here from everywhere.

They're here from Washington, D.C., New York.

These people are here with their families, all looking very excited about seeing the innovations they've heard so much about in the Tucker automobile.

There were 300 people invited, and over 1,000 have shown up.

Since the age of 13, when he was office boy for the Vice President of Cadillac, Preston Tucker has been identified...

Noble, you sit here.

What did you get me into?

The biggest day in automotive history, my friend.

What's going on here? I didn't expect anything like this.

Wait till you see. Wait till you see.

Okay, push it.

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

The damn wheels are locked.

Come on. Let's try rocking it.

Come on, Jimmy.

Rock it!

All right. Try the other way. Rock it, now.

Come on. Rock it.

Nah, Junior, you got to go underneath.

Eddie, get that socket.

Eddie! Here.

Having a little trouble back there, seems like.

Been up all night, poor bastards, trying to hold that pile of junk together.

It won't even back up. No kidding. No?

No reverse.

Okay, jack it up! Get in.

Say, how would you like to help me out?

Let me know what goes on.

We want the car! We want the car!

Let's go! Come on!

Abe, what the hell is going on?

I don't know, but the board of directors is getting impatient.

Senator Ferguson.

Preston, get this thing started now!

Get out there. Do something. Stall. Anything.

Bennington is going crazy.

Eddie! Signal me when you're ready from that corner.

That corner? Yeah.

We gotta take out some weight!

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen.

I'm Preston Tucker.

I'm sorry for the delay.

Perhaps this will perk you up. The Tuckerettes!

What are Tuckerettes?

They're girls.

Girls!

The back tires can't move with all that weight on the rear wheels.

Junior?

Try this for a brace.

Let's hear it for the Tuckerettes!

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

We're set!

Aren't they lovely creatures?

Dad!

Back here! Back here!

Dad, we got it. We're set.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the history-making moment you've all been waiting for.

Okay, come on. Let's push, guys. Come on!

Hold it, Eddie! We got a leak again.

Tell your dad to hold it. We got a leak. Tell him to hold it.

Dad! Dad! Dad, hold it! Hold it. Stop. Hold it.

But first, you don't mind if I introduce my family, do you?

My lovely wife, Vera.

My daughter, Marilyn Lee.

Isn't she lovely?

Junior, get the soldering iron.

My eldest son is backstage.

Asleep in the car?

Ladies and gentlemen, the oar everyone calls the Tucker...

All right, let's go.

But first...

Dad! Dad!

We're set.

Does anybody want to see the car?

Hold it! We got a fire!

Get the fire extinguishers.

But first...

I'd like to show you the car's many features.

Ladies, the Detroit-mobile.

You're standing on my foot.

You're on my foot. Don't stop the fire!

Because of the revolutionary Tucker rear engine...

Stop. There's no more fire there.

What took you so long? Were you playing checkers?

Drive your Tucker to the dumbest mechanic anywhere in the world, and he will be able to remove the whole engine in one piece and replace it within 2O minutes.

That's out! Didn't you tell him we're not doing that?

What's he saying that for?

Let's hear it for the Tuckerettes.

Come on!

Boo!

We want the car! We want the car!

Come on, Tucker.

We want the car! Bring us the oar!

...that dreams can come true.

Ladies and gentlemen, don't let a Tucker pass you by.

Ladies...


Whoa.

That's pretty good.

Get up here. Come on. Sweetie.

Come on!


And now, ladies and gentlemen, my love, my inspiration, my wife...

Vera.

Yeah! Yeah!

I usually don't take a bath till Saturday.


We are pleased to say this newly christened car gets over 20 miles per gallon, is capable of 130 miles per hour, and hasn't even been opened up yet.

The car features seat belts, a rear motor, has a safety chamber, and has a sponge-rubber crash panel.

Buy a Tucker.

Don't let the future pass you by.

This man Tucker is a loose cannon.

He just doesn't understand how a corporation runs.

He's not much of an engineer either.

Yeah, you're right.

If we don't watch out, we'll never build those cars in time.

Listen, he needs to get exposure in the paper.

Why don't we let him go off on a nice long publicity tour?

Not a bad idea. I like it.

All right.


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

Preston Tucker. Mrs. Mellon.

Mr. Preston Tucker, the key to our fair city and this beautiful plaque to commemorate your achievements.

Thank you.


The Tuckers are here.

Sir.

Wow.

This is it. Chicago.

This has got to be 100 stories high.

This way, ma'am.

Well, how do you like it, huh?

Holy mackerel! I got a real buy on it.

Hello, Millie! Hi! How are you?

How are you, darling?

Hi, Millie.

In here, the kitchen.

You got an elevator goes up and down.

Strap-work ceilings. Beautiful.

That's why I got it so cheap, from a vaudeville family.

Very wealthy, but... midgets.

I want to buy a steel plant. Steel?

We need one.

I'll check with Beasley over at War Assets and see if we can't find another plant.

How you gonna do that? How do you get one'?

Well, they go to the highest bidder.

May I?

That's a hell of a lighter.

Here are the new specs from Mr. Bennington.

Sixty-four inches high instead of 56.

And the wheel track--

Wait a second. Who are you exactly?

I'm from Engineering upstairs.

Take a look at what we've done up there.

Goddamn it!

Damn it!

Hey, what's the matter?

Hey, this is better.

The engine definitely can't go in the rear. We can't do it.

No rear engine?

No rear engine?

We can't get it to work.

No rear engine!

We represent Mr. Tucker. This is very important.

I'm sorry. You can't see him. He went out.

Next time Bennington goes out, you should tell him to take his body with him.

I'm not so sure that we are appropriate--

Mrs. Tucker.

Well, well... what a nice surprise.

I'm...

I'm really delighted to see you.

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

Mrs. Bennington has complete charge of our social visits.

There's nothing social about this visit.

Sit down, gentlemen. We can skip the minuet.

What is this?

And this? And this? And this is ridiculous.

I admire this very much when the little woman takes a keen interest in her husband's business affairs.

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

And the colors.

You know, waltz blue happened to come from the color of one of my dresses.

Mrs. Tucker, your husband's fantasy of a rear-engine car, well, it just doesn't work, that's all.

I'm afraid there's very little likelihood it'll ever work.

I'm really sorry about that.

What about this?

Preston promised the public that his oar would sell for $1 ,000.

In this memo from you to the sales department, you've doubled the price.

My wife and I would be delighted to have you as our guest for dinner some evening.

I'll buy my own dinner, Benny.

Answer the question. Why?

Steel.

We just can't get any of it.

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

Really, Mrs. Tucker, I don't mean to be rude, but were in the middle of a rather crucial meeting here.

When you're riding in a Tucker When you're riding in a Tucker When you're riding in a Tucker The car of tomorrow The oar of tomorrow Today The car of tomorrow Today

Hi, folks. I'm Preston Tucker.

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

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

But seriously...

W ho wrote this? Okay, out.

I'll think of my own stuff to say.

Call for Mr. Tucker.

I'll call them back.

It's your wife. She says it's important.

All right.

We can do better than this, fellas.

- Hey, doll. Honey.

You better get back here right away.

Dad, Benningt0n's changed the designs to a standard V-8 front-mounted engine.

He's changed the whole body and everything.

Junior, don't worry. It's all right.

Alex told me that if Bennington keeps tooling up for his 1940 Plymouth version he's gonna build, it'll cost millions for us to retool for our car.

Junior, the only thing that matters now is selling stock.

If we don't, there's not gonna be any car to ruin. Forget about Bennington.

The minute I get home, H! send him back to the mortuary with the rest of the undertakers.

One more thing.

Bennington says to double the price you advertise the car would sell for because we're being charged twice as much for steel.

Will you turn that down!

And, Preston, no waltz blue.

What?

Our color.

Doll, I'm on my Way back.

All right.

The rear engine is out.

Your own engineers admit that 589 engine is a failure.

The chair will recognize no further discussion on that matter.

The chair? Who made him the chair?

Also denied and eliminated from any further discussion are disc brakes, fuel injection, hydraulic valve lifters, seat belts--

Seat belts?

How can you object to seat belts?

Our marketing department says they imply the cars are unsafe.

People are unsafe.

Bennington, if one person is killed in a Tucker because of some safety feature you eliminated, I swear to God...

May I remind you... I'm gonna drag you by the teeth...

...you have no voice in matters of policy here.

I'm in complete charge of this company.

What company'? My Company?

I think you'll find it stated unequivocally in my contract.

Is that true?

We needed his name to sell the stock. You knew that.

We needed a man with experience to run things, but...

Tucker, I give you my word, I swear to God, I didn't know that was in his contract.

You can't have Falstaff and have him thin, Mr. Tucker.

What does that mean?

Well... little boats should be kept near the shore.

He talks like a fortune cookie.

This is my company, Bennington.

That means seat belts, disc brakes, fuel injection, and a rear engine.

We'll see about that, Mr. Tucker.

That son of a bitch is not gonna take over my company!

Daddy.

Just take it easy. Forgive me, sweetie.

Hello.

Hold on.

Dad, ifs for you.

He says he's Howard Hughes.

Hello.

Is this some kind of--

I'll be right there.

Well, I'll be.


Hi.

Howard Hughes.

What do you think of it, kid?

It's big.

That's what they tell me.

Here, do you like pistachio nuts?

Lawyers.

All they can think about is whether it will fly or not.

Who cares whether it flies?

That's not the point.

And...

Spruce Goose.

Now, why do they call it that?

Does that seem funny to you?

I can't tell anymore.

People.

Did I change, or... did the cosmic sense of humor?

I used to laugh when they did.

This... prick...

Homer Ferguson.

He's after me, too.

Subpoenaed me for a congressional investigation... which either I show up for, in person, or he's going to send me to jail.

I'm already in jail.

Steel.

That's what I called you about.

There's a helicopter plant in Syracuse, called the Air-Cooled Motor Company.

And they're not connected to any government agency, so...

the politicians can't screw you out of it.

Well, this helicopter company has all the steel you need.

And they're on their ass financially, so... if you hurry up, they're ready to deal.

And they... they make a really fine aluminum engine.

But listen, now.

For God's sake, now, you don't--

I wonder...

I wonder how they get the blood off.

Well, what do you think, Jimmy?

It's a helicopter engine.

It needs to be converted from air-cooled to water.

But as a starting point, maybe.

It's small, which is good. Simple.

Take it apart, Eddie. I'll work on the drawings.

Oh, time. Time.

Fighting Bennington in court would take years.

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

The only way to build this engine is to do it right here in the barn, out of Bennington's sight.

The Senate War Investigating Committee, headed by Senator Homer Ferguson, has subpoenaed aircraft designer Howard Hughes.

The committee will investigate charges...

We need a new cam shaft.

Intake manifolds going to have to be reworked.

Excuse me, but in a helicopter, doesn't the engine stand straight up?

If we lay ours sideways, we're gonna need an oil pan down there.

Okay, whatever we do has got to fit into the Franklin assembly line.

That's it, gentlemen.

Hey, come on! Eddie, come on.

We only got till tomorrow to get this thing together.

Click it over.

Get another battery.

Hey. hey!

Got it!

Go ahead! Go ahead!

There he goes!

Just like a swan. I want it smooth like a swan on the--

Get out of here! What's the matter with you?

You're in the shot! Get out!

Go, Eddie!

Sounds mighty nice.

Hey, Eddie! Yeah?

We can drive in relays.

Twenty-four hours without a stop and push her!

Push her to the limit!

Go!

I hope it holds up.

Good. Good.

It's neat.

Enjoying? Yeah.

What do we got now?

Seventeen and a half hours.

To go?


Goddamn!

All right, all right. Stay with him.


Charlie? Homer.

That son a bitch Tucker built the damn thing.

Well, not everything he advertised, not yet.

But enough to cost billions just to keep up with him.

Don't worry about it now. I'll take care of him.

We did it!

Eddie!

Oh, my God!

Hold the camera!

Eddie!

Eddie, are you all right?

Get an ambulance quick!

All right. Now, watch out.

Watch it. Hold it up. Watch yourself.

You okay'?

Yeah.

Popped out just like we said.

Look at that thing.

I can't believe it.

I bet you two bucks it still runs.

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

Told ya.

All right!

It's a hell of a car.

It's one hell of a damn car!

That's a hell of a ride there, partner.

You got it, didn't you?

We got it. Yeah, we got it!

No, you look like you didn't get it! Did you get it?

Yeah, we got it. I hope so.

We got it, right?

We didn't get it.

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

Keep everything the same, the rear engine, etc.

Except for these numbers:

Thirteen-- Tucker, what is going on here?

I see you've resumed production on your rear-engine car.

May I ask by whose authority are you doing this?

According to my lawyer, that's the car you signed to make, that's the car we're making.

If you think you're going to get away with this, Tucker, you may be in--

"Little ships fine," Confucius say.

"Rowboats long in tooth make big noise, go nowhere."

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

You can count on that.

Good morning, sir.

Nothing can stop us now.

"You're going to hear from my attorney."

This beautiful shot of the grill.

Now watch, you go to the side, we get this beauty.

This is the beauty shot of the side.

Then this attendant. Wait till you see, he's coming out.

He was right. He's much better than that fat guy was.

Wait till you see this shot. You won't believe it.

It's a great one. It's great.

He puts down the rag, throws it down' I took out the kicking the tire.

- I didn't want to do that. Oh, no!

- Why? This is the best. Watch.

Look! Look at his eyes.

Now watch.

Here, I don't know. You point.

I'm thinking of putting a close-up of your finger.

I don't know why you left the tire out?

The finger. You look good. I don't know if we need the finger.

Not the finger, but the tire.

Abe, come here. I want you to see this.

Stan's promo film. He just finished it. It's great.

Come here. Come here.

All right! All right!

Turn it off. I'll come back in a minute and see the end later.

What?

Did you like it when he went...

Yes.

What's all this cloak and dagger business now?

Your office is wired.

The board room, the whole plant, even washrooms.

What?

Ever since you road-tested the new car, 40 G-men have been following you around the clock.

What for'? You made the car too good.

That's the whole idea, isn't it? To build a better mousetrap.

Not if you're the mouse.

What are you talking about? We did it. We won.

In two weeks, we're gonna have 100 cars come out of this plant a day.

I just got off the phone with Frank the press agent.

In two weeks, you're gonna be dead and buried by the Big Three.

Here.

It's my resignation.

Take it. You're bailing out, is that it?

Captains go down with their ships, not businessmen.

Look me in the eye.

You're too good a salesman, Abe, not to look a customer in the eyes.

You think I'm playing games here?

Yeah! I think you're trying some double-whammy hustle backwards! Why?

You gonna make me say it?

Yeah. Let's start from there.

Okay-

I did three years in the pen for bank fraud.

So what?

So they'll use it against you.

What, you think because of this little piece of paper, they're not going to?

Just leave me alone, will you?

The whole ten years since I've been in the pen, it never bothered me for two seconds I'm an ex-con.

Why should it?

Who cared?

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

I'm ashamed.

Abe, come on.

When I was a little kid, maybe five years old in the old country, my mother used to say to me, she'd warn me, she'd say, "Don't get too close to people.

You'll catch their dreams."

Years later, I realized I misunderstood her.

"Germs", she said, not "dreams." "You'll catch their germs."

I want you to know something, Tucker.

I went into business with you for one reason, to make money.

That's all.

How was I to know...

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

Here.

If you want to know how they'll finish you off, listen to Drew Pearson tomorrow night on the radio.


Noble, bring it in!

Don't yell at him.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. This is Drew Pearson.

The hottest news in Washington today is about Preston Tucker, that promotion-happy self-styled genius and revolutionary auto maker.

For several months, he has been under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

And now they're ready to blow the lid off one of the slickest, most cynical, multimillion-dollar frauds ever perpetrated on the American people.

Not only does the car have none of the futuristic features advertised, but it was put together, piece by piece, from parts found in city dumps and junkyards.

Local wags, who have dubbed it the Tin Goose, find it particularly amusing that what Mr' Tucker calls the car of tomorrow can't even back up.

- Bull! Neither can Mr. Tucker at this point.

Senator Homer Ferguson, head of the powerful War Surplus Committee will spearhead a congressional probe to find out exactly what happened to the $26 million Tucker raised.

One thing for certain, he didn't spend it making cars.

On a lighter note, the rumor around Capitol Hill this week--

They can't say that.

We'll kill 'em.

Are you going to let them say that, Pop?

Who do they think they're dealing with here, some cream puff'?

They don't know it, but they just opened Aunt Dora's box.

We love you, Daddy.

But it's Pandora's box.

Oh, no.

Good morning, Miss Yanpaulski.

When did they take the files, last night?

The SEC? Nobody touched anything here.

I called all the departments the minute I got in this morning.

Get me the editor on the phone. Yes, sir.

Can you believe that?

Nice day.

Wait a minute! You come back here!

You can't go in there! You have no right to go in there.

Mr. Tucker, Mr. Tucker.

We're from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

We have a court order confiscating all files, letters, accounting books, memos, all... if you simply cooperate with us, we'll get our work done as quickly as possible.

That's one hell of a newspaper you got there, mister.

It's the only one I ever saw that prints the news before it happens.

So, speaking for myself and the other members of the board, we hereby submit our resignations, effective immediately.

What about the hundreds of dealers filing suit against you?

Any comment on the district attorney confiscating the assets of the company?

Ladies and gentlemen, please.

Address questions to Mr. Bennington.

How long will the plant stay open?

The plant is officially closed.


Hey, he)'- Hey, hey!

It's Dad!

Yeah.

Let's see your driver's license.

Swell. Where's the girls, huh?

He comes alone.

Here, hold that.

This is a great interior.

In a week all we'd have to do is push a button and be turning out 100 cars a day.

Well, tell me something.

If we got 50 cars ready by June 1, they can't take the plant away, right?

Not according to the contract.

So, how many cars are ready right now?

Assembled. Forty-seven.

We only need three more?

Who's going to do it, though?

Won't be the first time we've worked for free.

We can't assemble three cars in four weeks? Ha!

Can anybody in this car look me in the eye and say we can't do it?

We can't do it.

Except you.

Will you grow a beard?

Who's he talking to, me? Yeah, you.

You look old enough to be a department head.

Hello.

Who's this'? You?

Abe?

Tucker, don't go home.

There's two police cars waiting for you. They're going to arrest you.

Don't go home? And this you won't believe.

Outside the police station, maybe there's 50, a hundred reporters, photographers, newsreels even.

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

You're kidding me.

Get out of there! Go someplace they can't find you.

Go!

They want headlines! I'll give them a beaut!

Dad, what are you doing?

I'm going home.

One of you wouldn't happen to have a light on you, would you?


Which way did he go?

I don't know.

We lost him.


All right! All right! Back off! Back off!

Pipe down!

Quiet!

Thank you.

Now, what is going on here?

Ask these officers about the 100-mile-an-hour chase I just gave them in this poor old patched together junkyard wreck.

How about cuffing me, boys?

Get in there!

And in the local news, Preston Tucker goes on trial this morning in the same courthouse where AI Capone was convicted.

Tucker has been charged with 25 counts of using the mails to defraud, five counts of Securities and Exchange Commission violations, and one count of conspiracy to defraud.

If convicted, Tucker, who is out on $25,000 bail, faces a maximum sentence of 155 years in prison plus a $60,000 fine.

Be sealed.

And regarding his revolutionary designs, we shall prove Mr. Tucker only designed an elaborate scheme to defraud.

All he wanted was the publids money for nothing, and that's exactly what the public got. Nothing.

The government has said that Mr. Tucker's purpose was to con the public into believing a great car was coming.

His real purpose was to lie and get money.

Are you all right, Mommy?

It's very hot in here.

Your father might say it's not the heat, it's the humility.

The Tucker Corporation was started in good faith.

The defendant intended to mass produce cars.

His failure to do so was caused by a lack of adequate financing due to serious outside interference.

I wouldn't put $7,500 down on a car dealership without a guaranteed supply of cars.

They were going to put out 1,000 cars a day.

I run a service station and sell a few used cars.

The person who walked into your station and sold you that dealership, do you see him in the courtroom?

Him.

Let the record state that the witness identified Mr. Abe Karatz.

Did he disclose that he sewed three years in a federal penitentiary for bank fraud?

Objection. Guilt by association.

Overruled.

Mr. Karatz, is it not true that you were convicted in June of 1935 of conspiring to embezzle funds, and you served three years of a one to five-year sentence in a federal penitentiary?

That's true.

Tell me, as a convicted felon, do you expect one person in this entire courtroom to believe what you say?

One.

A well-run corporation doesn't waste money to research innovations, unless, of course, keeping up with the competition demands it.

Here is a man, Mr. Tucker, who had the responsibility for forming a well-run corporation.

He has the largest factory in the world, containing two foundries, a dozen tool and die shops, every piece of equipment ever made.

Can you suggest why he would choose to build his engine in a barn?

Objection!

Which had so little equipment-- Sustained.

...most of the work had to be done on a kitchen stove.

Please confine your remarks to questioning the witness.

This whole trial has been bought and paid for.

Wrapped up like a Christmas present Detroit gave itself.

I'll be lucky to gel ten or 15 years in jail.

He hasn't proven anything yet.

Not legally.

He has if they think he has.

I'm an investigating accountant for the SEC.

What was the amount the Tucker Corporation paid for the engine and transmission prototype which we have established was built entirely from parts found in junkyards?

$223,000.

What?

That's a lie.

Who was all of this money paid to?

Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Company.

Can you describe their factory?

What factory?

It's a barn.

I can't believe they would go that far in forging an entire set of books.

I've got every receipt, invoice, check, bank statement.

Exactly to the penny how much money came in and what we spent, which is nowhere near what they said.

Why would they do something stupid like that if they know we can prove it's a lie'?

People believe what they read in the papers, even if they don't believe it.

Which doesn't make any sense, right?

But if enough headlines say that I'm a crook, well, that's the end of me and the car. Which is what this is all about, right?

I'm gonna go home and bring back every scrap of paper from the files.

If they make headlines with lies, we can make bigger headlines with truth.

I couldn't sleep.

Good.

We could use some help.


And all of the evidence suggests that Mr. Tucker diverted, for his own personal use, over a million dollars of the stockholders' money.

I have here a copy of The Detroit News with a story about the SEC investigation of the Tucker Corporation, which contains a number of specific details which seem to be verbatim from the SEC report admitted as evidence.

Can you tell me how The Detroit News might have got a hold of this information?

I have no idea.

Mr. Blue, I have here a deposition from one Susan McNamara.

I believe shes your private secretary, in which she states that she saw you hand a copy of the report to the writer of that article for The Detroit News.

And furthermore, you instructed her to supply him with an office in a federal building in which to write that article.

Now, why, ladies and gentlemen, would the SEC release information about Mr. Tucker, which may or may not be true, when it is against SEC policy to do so?

Objection. The SEC is not on trial here.

If the SEC can release information about Mr. Tucker for the purpose of slandering Mr. Tucker's name, then lie about it, like you heard Mr. Blue do right now, how can we possibly...

Mr. Kirby! -...believe Mr. Tucker stole money.

Mr. Kirby, you know that's not permissible.

Ladies and gentlemen, I remind you the statements of the attorneys are not evidence.

Mr. Kerner, any further witnesses?

The prosecution rests.

Number three!

And that makes number 50.

I'm so proud of you.

Hey!

We did it!

A week before the deadline.

It's a real beauty.

Tomorrow, ifs our turn at bat.

We're gonna chop 'em up like cat food.

We've subpoenaed Ferguson, his wife, everybody we need to prove who started this thing, why, and how.

I want every one of these cars, all 50 of them, lined up in front at the courthouse tomorrow morning at 8:30.

Hold that tiger Hold that tiger Hold that tiger Where are they? Where are the cars'?

We can't wait any longer.

Any comment about the news? No comment.

What news?

Didn't you read the paper? Here.

"Led by Senator Homer Ferguson, a special commission appointed by President Truman ordered the War Assets Administration to evict the Tucker Corporation from the former aircraft factory and give it to the Lustron Corporation for the development of low-cost prefab housing."

Hey, Dad!

Come on! Around the corner! Around the corner! Come on!

Come on. Hurry up. Hurry up.

Around the corner, okay? Hurry up.

Hey! Hey, hey, hey-

Wouldn't you know it, they're digging up every street in town.

We had to go plumb to China and back.

I don't get it. This is only the 24th. I thought we had till the 1st.

We had till they dropped the other shoe.

Forget it. It's my choice.

I won't let you do it. We've got an airtight defense.

They had no legal right to take that plant. They changed the rules--

Forget the plant.

The Tucker car is dead. That's over. That's politics.

This is a court of law. I won't let you cut your own throat.

You don't understand how powerful the forces are that are working against us here.

Look, I won't let you do it.

Tucker, look at me.

Preston, I'm serious.

If you're not careful, you're going to spend 20 years of your life in prison.

We will be developing prefab houses.

Good to see you, Senator Ferguson.

These will be for people with low income.

Well, that's something I thought I'd never live to see.

A politician with his hands in his own pockets.

The defense has chosen not to call any witnesses because we feel the prosecution has failed to make its case.

And in addition, Your Honor, the defendant would like to beg the court's permission to make the closing statements himself in the feeling that perhaps only he can put this trial in its proper perspective.

No objection.

Well, permission granted.

But if anything you say is unacceptable in a court of law, I'll stop you.

Thank you, Your Honor.

Thank you, Senator.

Tell them an honest attempt means not guilty.

The prosecution... claims that I never had any intention at all of building any cars, that all I wanted was to take the money and run.

If you decide that they're right, well, I'm guilty.

But according to the law, if I tried to make the cars, even if they weren't any good, even if I didn't make any... but if you believe that I tried, well, then, I'm not guilty.

It's not against the law, thank God, to be wrong or stupid, which I was both, building that prototype.

But what nobody has said in this whole trial is that after the prototype, I built the car that I said I would, and there are 50 of them, right now, parked on Adams Street.

All the judge has to do is to let you walk down there and take a ride in one of them and that's it! The trial's over. Okay, Your Honor?

Objection. This is a closing statement. Evidence is no longer admissible.

Sustained.

Would you allow the jury, please, to just look out the window?

Objection.

You can see them from here, Your Honor.

Will the defendant please--

This whole thing's about whether I intended to build the cars or not.

Will the defendant abstain from this flagrant misuse of the courtroom!

Mr. Tucker!

Bailiffs, restrain the defendant.

Wha... Why did l..

Let the man speak! Let the man speak!

Let's hear the rest of it!

If this behavior continues, I may have no choice but to declare this a mistrial.

I will not tolerate one more outburst of any kind from anybody in this courtroom!

I'm sorry.

You have one minute, Mr. Tucker.

Thank you, Your Honor.

When I was a boy I used to...

I used to read all about Edison and the Wright brothers, Mr. Ford... They were my heroes.

Rags to riches, that's not just the name of a book, that's what this country was all about.

We invented the free enterprise system where anybody, no matter who he was, where he came from, what class he belonged to, if he came up with a better idea about anything, there's no limit to how far he could go.

I grew up a generation too late, I guess, because now the way the system works, the loner, the dreamer, the crackpot who comes up with some crazy idea that everybody laughs at, that later turns out to revolutionize the world, he's squashed from above before he can even get his head out of the water.

Because the bureaucrats would rather kill a new idea than let it rock the boat.

If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he'd be thrown in jail for sailing a kite without a license.

It's true.

We're all puffed up with ourselves now 'cause we invented the bomb.

Dropped the...

Beat the daylights out of the Japanese, the Nazis.

But if big business closes the door on the little guy with a new idea, we're not only closing the door on progress but we're sabotaging everything we fought for!

Everything that the country stands for!

One day, we're gonna find ourselves at the bottom of the heap instead of king of the hill, having no idea how we got there, buying radios and cars from our former enemies.

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

I can't believe it because... if I ever stop believing in the plain old common horse sense of the American people, there'd be no way I could get out of bed in the morning.

Thank you.

Why did I let you do that?

Be sealed.

Has the jury reached a verdict?

We have, Your Honor.

Will the defendant please rise.

We, the jurors... find the defendant...

Preston Tucker...

not guilty.


How about every one of you take a ride in one of those Tucker cars that don't exist?

Look.

They love the cars, the people.

Drives me crazy.

The Tucker Motor Company is dead.

They'll never be made.

We made them.

Fifty cars.

Well, what's the difference, Fifty or 50 million?

That's only machinery.

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


Hey, what's that? What are you up to now?

If we could figure a way to make these kerosene refrigerators cheap enough so the poorest people in the world could afford them.

Just big enough for two bottles of milk, see'?

That's all.

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

Daddy's at it again. Here we go.

Hold that tiger Hold that tiger