Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Roar Power
Jurassic World unleashed on iTunes
Halo 5 Guardians
The Master Chief returns
Classic Scene


"I'm not licked"

SETTING THE SCENE  James Stewart plays Jefferson “Jeff” Smith, an idealistic young politician battling corruption. Framed and discredited, he fights back by appealing to ordinary citizens from the floor of the U.S. Senate. After holding the floor for “23 hours and 16 minutes” he is near collapse when he makes his desperate closing speech…

There's not compromise with the truth. That's all I got up on this floor to say, when was it, a year ago it seems like. Just get up off the ground, that’s all I ask. Get up there with that lady that's up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won’t just see scenery. You'll see the whole parade of what man’s carved out for himself after centuries of fighting. Fighting for something better than just jungle law, fighting so’s he can stand on his own two feet free and decent like he was created, no matter what his race, colour or creed. That's what you'd see. There's no place out there for graft or free or lies or compromise with human liberties. If that's what the grownups have done with this world that was given to them then we’d better get those boys' camps started fast and see what the kids can do. It's not too late because this country is bigger than the Taylors or you or me or anything else. Great principles don't get lost once they come to light. They’re right here, you just have to see them again... I guess this is just another lost cause. Mr. Paine. All you people don't know about lost causes. Mr. Paine does... you knew that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any others. Yes, you even die for them, like a man we both knew, Mr. Paine... you think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked! Well I'm not licked! I’m going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause even if this room gets filled with lies like these and the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place. Somebody will listen to me! Some... (He faints dead away and, vindicated by Sen. Paine’s sudden confession, is carried out to tumultuous cheers...)

Back to Classic Scene selection

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

The 666 Greatest Horror Movie Characters
Be afraid, be very afraid...

14 Things You Didn't Know About Mad Max: Fury Road
George Miller unveils the secrets of his apocalyptic wasteland

A-List Directors, interviewed by Sam Mendes
Nolan, Spielberg, Fincher, Whedon and more…

Stephen Frears On The Program
'To me, this was a crime story'

Empire's Best Horror Films For Halloween
An unlucky thirteen triple-bills

Emily Blunt Talks Sicario
On the five-star thriller, puke acting and taking Tom Cruise to The Box

Denis Villeneuve Talks Sicario
On his cartel thriller and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)