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Scene 1 -  Death and Politics
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 8
"MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON"

Screenplay by

Sidney Buchman

Story by

Lewis R. Foster



The CAPITOL DOME at Washington fades in. It is night, and
the dome is flooded in light.

This view dissolves to the exterior of a Newspaper Office
WINDOW, seen at night. The letters on the window, illuminated
by a street light, are picked out with increasing
distinctness. They read: WASHINGTON POST-DISPATCH. This
dissolves into the NIGHT CITY EDITOR'S OFFICE, where a
lethargic, eyeshaded man behind a desk reaches for the
telephone which is ringing.

EDITOR
(mechanically)
Desk--
(Then, perking up)
What?

Inside a PHONE BOOTH in a Hospital Corridor, where a nurse
seated at the corridor desk is visible through the glass
doors of the booth, a man is telephoning:

REPORTER
Senator Samuel Foley--dead. Died a
minute ago--here at St. Vincent's.
At the bedside was state political
sidekick, Senator Joseph Paine--

And we see the HOSPITAL OFFICE where Senator Joseph Paine, a
trim, rather dignified man of fifty-eight, occupying the
desk of the nurse who stands by, is talking rapidly and
agitatedly into a phone.

PAINE
(into the phone)
Long distance? Senator Joseph Paine
speaking. I want the Governor's
residence at Jackson City--Governor
Hubert Hopper. Hurry--

The scene dissolves into a skimming view of TELEPHONE WIRES
strung over a vast distance--and then into the BEDROOM of
Governor and Mrs. Hopper, where the Governor and his wife
are found in their twin beds, the room darkened. The buzzer
is sounding. Mrs. Emma Hopper, wife of the Governor, sits
bolt upright in the dark.
EMMA
(a shrew)
I knew it! I knew a night's rest
wasn't possible in this house!
(As the buzzer is
heard again)
Hubert!

HUBERT
(waking with a start,
bewildered)
Wha--? Yes, sweetheart-- Wha--?

EMMA
That infernal phone!

HUBERT
Yes, yes--phone, phone--
(Fumbling for the
light)
A--an outrage, pet--an outrage--I'll
look into this--
(Seizing the phone)
Hello--Joe!--What!--No! Not really!
Terrible!

EMMA
What is it?

In the HOSPITAL ROOM, we see Paine on the phone.

PAINE
It couldn't have come at a worse
time. Call Jim Taylor. Tell him I'm
taking a plane tonight for home.

In GOVERNOR HOPPER'S BEDROOM:

HUBERT
(on the phone)
Yes, Joe, yes--right away.
(He hangs up--then
lifts the receiver
again and begins to
dial)

EMMA
What is it?

HUBERT
Sam Foley--dead!

EMMA
Great saints!

HUBERT
Of all the times! Of all the times!
Two months to the end of his term--
and Foley has to go and die on us--

EMMA
Whom are you calling--in the dead of
night?

HUBERT
Taylor, my dear.

EMMA
Can't that wait, Hubert?

HUBERT
No, no--believe me, pet--this is
*most* urgent--
(Into the phone)
Hello, hello. Is Taylor there?--
Governor Hopper. Quickly, please--

EMMA
This isn't a home, it's the crossroads
of the world!

HUBERT
Now, now, Emma, dear--you mustn't
forget we have been chosen by the
people of this commonwealth to--

EMMA
(sharply)
Save that for the laying of
cornerstones, Hubert!
(Groaning)
Oh, that morning you looked in the
mirror and saw a statesman!

HUBERT
Now, pet--
(Then, excitedly into
the phone)
Jim!

In political boss TAYLOR'S ROOM, we see JIM TAYLOR, a hard-
bitten, taciturn, impressive man in his fifties. At the
moment, he stands at a phone, in vest and rolled up sleeves,
a cigar between his fingers. Behind him, in a smoke-filled
room, man are seated at a card table from which Taylor
evidently has just risen.

TAYLOR
What's up, Happy?

In HOPPER'S BEDROOM:

HUBERT
Sam Foley--died tonight in Washington.
Joe just called. Can you imagine
anything more--?

In TAYLOR'S ROOM:

TAYLOR
Died, huh? Well, take it easy, Happy.
Is Paine coming?--Good. Keep your
shirt on--and your mouth shut. No
statements.

In HOPPER'S BEDROOM:

HUBERT
(into the phone)
Y-yes, Jim--Yes--

And now flashing on the screen are NEWSPAPER HEADLINES of
the following morning--announcing Foley's death--and finally
such headlines as:

SUCCESSOR TO FOLEY
TO BE NAMED BY GOVERNOR

APPOINTEE WILL FILL OUT
UNEXPIRED TERM OF TWO MONTHS

HOPPER'S CHOICE
FOR VACANT SENATE CHAIR
EAGERLY AWAITED
Genres: []

Summary A series of phone calls inform key political figures of the death of a senator and set in motion a chain of events as they scramble to fill the vacant seat.
Strengths "The scene sets up the political intrigue and power struggles over a vacant senate seat. The dialogue is brisk and efficient, conveying information without excessive exposition. The scene establishes the tone of urgency and seriousness that will drive the plot."
Weaknesses "The scene is largely expository and relies on characters giving information via phone calls, which can be static and uninteresting. The scene lacks a clear protagonist or central conflict, which can make it difficult for viewers to become invested in the story."
Critique The scene sets up the plot and conflict of the film effectively, but the writing style is outdated and could use some updating. The dialogue is clunky and stiff, lacking the natural flow of conversation. The descriptions of the characters are also very much on the nose - we are told directly about their personalities rather than being shown through their actions and words. A modern screenwriter might also choose to show these events visually rather than relying on dialogue and headlines to tell the story. However, for its time, this scene serves its purpose in moving the story forward and introducing the key players and conflict.
Suggestions 1. The scene is a bit disjointed and difficult to follow. It would be helpful to have clearer transitions between the different locations and characters.

2. Consider cutting down on some of the extraneous dialogue and focusing more on the actions of the characters to move the plot forward. For example, instead of having Emma and Hubert Hopper argue about the phone, just show Hubert making the call to Taylor.

3. It may be helpful to establish the characters more clearly, especially for those who are introduced later in the scene (such as Jim Taylor). Consider giving them a brief description or an introduction to help the audience follow along.

4. There is a lot of action happening at once, so it may be helpful to use visual cues (such as split screens or captions) to help the audience keep track of everything that is happening simultaneously.

5. Consider adding more tension or conflict to the scene to make it more engaging for the audience. For example, perhaps there is opposition to Hopper's choice for Foley's successor, or maybe Paine is facing pressure to make a certain decision. This will help keep the audience invested in the story and make them want to see what happens next.



Scene 2 -  Governor's Office
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 9
The scene dissolves into the GOVERNOR'S OUTER OFFICE, in the
morning. The office is full of people--newspapermen--dignified
citizens--women--all waiting to see the Governor. A group is
collected around the male secretary's desk. Two other desks
are seen with secretaries at them. There is an undertone of
talk.

REPORTER
If His Excellency's statement is
going to make the noon edition--

SECRETARY
Governor Hopper said you would have
it any minute--

An austere gent named Edwards pushes toward the desk.

EDWARDS
(firmly)
Will you please remind the Governor
again--

SECRETARY
He know your committee is waiting,
Mr. Edwards.
(Raising his voice
over the room)
The Governor will see *all* committees
at the first opportunity.

In the GOVERNOR'S PRIVATE OFFICE we see Hubert Hopper and
McGann, the former on the dictagraph, while McGann lounges
in a chair.

HUBERT
(into the dictagraph)
Yes, yes--tell them I'll see them
immediately--immediately!
(Snapping up the
dictagraph, turning
wildly on McGann)
I can't hold them off! They want
something to say about this
appointment. Ten to one they've got
a man.

MCGANN
Relax, Happy. Jim said to wait.

HUBERT
I *can't* wait, McGann! You go into
that room and tell Jim Taylor and
Joe Paine that I give them *one more
minute*--

MCGANN
(quietly)
*You* tell Jim Taylor.

HUBERT
(walking--fuming)
Washington! Always discussing the
problems of Washington. Nobody ever
thinks of the State--and my problems!
(With sudden
determination)
I *will* tell Jim Taylor. It's high
*time* I told him a thing or two!
(He pushes the door
to a small ante room)

In the ANTE-ROOM, Joe Paine and Jim Taylor are on their feet,
as Happy insert his head.

HUBERT
(angrily)
Look here, Jim--if you and Joe are
going to gab about this appointment
*any* longer, I'm going ahead and
see those committees!

TAYLOR
(sharply)
You'll see those committees when
we're finished!

HUBERT
(meekly)
Yes, Jim.

Hubert retires, closing the door. Jim Taylor turns back to
Paine.

TAYLOR
That Happy Hopper is tougher to handle
than a prima-donna.

PAINE
--in other words, Jim--with this
Willet Creek Dam on the fire--the
man who goes to the Senate now in
Sam Foley's place can't ask any
questions or talk out of turn. We
must be absolutely sure of him.

TAYLOR
That's why I say Miller--Horace
Miller. He jumped through hoops for
the machine before we moved him up
to the bench. He'll take orders.

PAINE
Jim--suppose we didn't try to go
through with this Willet Creek Dam--
suppose we postpone it until the
next session of Congress--or drop it
altogether--

TAYLOR
That'd be a crime--after all this
work--getting it buried in this
Deficiency Bill as nice as you please--
approved--all ready to roll--

PAINE
How much does the Willet Dam mean to
you, Jim?

TAYLOR
Joe--I've got a lot of people to
take care of in this State.

PAINE
I know, but is it worth the risk of
a scandal now that a new man is going
to the Senate?

TAYLOR
Joe--what's the matter with you--
where you're concerned, I wouldn't
take the slightest risk--'specially
now after the great reputation you've
made in the Senate. Why, look at
this campaign I've started for you
in all my papers. You're the logical
man from the West on the National
ticket--at the convention, anything
can happen--

There is a pause while Joe looks at a newspaper.

TAYLOR
Joe, that's coming a long way in
twenty years since I met you
practising law down there in Main
Street.

PAINE
Jim--if what you say about the future
is remotely possible--why not do as
I say--drop things like this dam?

TAYLOR
We can't drop it now, Joe. We bought
the land around this Dam and we're
holding it in dummy names. If we
drop it or delay it--we are going to
bring about investigations, and
investigations will show that we own
that land and are trying to sell it
to the State under phoney names. No,
Joe, in my judgment the only thing
to do is push this Dam through--and
get it over with.

PAINE
Well, then appoint Miller--if you're
sure he'll take orders.

TAYLOR
Don't worry about Horace--he'll take
orders. Come on--

He goes to the door quickly, followed by Paine.

In the GOVERNOR'S PRIVATE OFFICE, as Taylor and Paine barge
in, Happy Hubert throws his hands up.

HUBERT
Well! Thank Heaven!

The dictagraph buzzes.

HUBERT
(shouting into it)
One minute! Just one minute!
TAYLOR
Happy, we've got the man. Horace
Miller!

HUBERT
Horace Mill--!

MCGANN
(leaping up)
Terrific! A born stooge! Horace'll
perform like a trained seal.
Genres: ["political drama"]

Summary Governor Hopper is under immense pressure to fill the vacant Senate seat after the senator's death, which leads to a heated conversation with Jim Taylor and Joe Paine about appointing Horace Miller, who they believe will take orders and not pose any risk to their interests.
Strengths "The scene has a strong sense of tension and urgency, with well-defined characters and sharp dialogue that moves the story forward"
Weaknesses "The setting is limited, and there is not much action or visual spectacle"
Critique Overall, the scene does a good job of setting the atmosphere and conflict in the governor's office. The descriptions of the room and people waiting add depth to the scene. However, there are some aspects of the scene that could be improved upon.

One issue is that there are some minor grammatical and punctuation errors that could be fixed with careful editing. Additionally, the use of ALL CAPS to emphasize certain words could be reworked to find a more subtle way to convey emphasis.

In terms of character development, Hubert Hopper's frustration and desperation are well conveyed, but there could be more development of the other characters. For example, Joe Paine's hesitation and concern over the dam project could be explored further, adding more depth to his character and the conflict of the scene.

Overall, the scene effectively sets the stage for the larger conflict over the dam project and the characters' motivations. However, there is room for further development of the characters and the dialogue to create a more nuanced and engaging scene.
Suggestions Overall, this scene is well-written and efficiently sets up the dynamic between the main characters and the stakes of the story. However, there are a few areas for improvement:

1. Character introductions: While the script provides clear descriptions of the different types of people in the governor's office, it would be helpful to introduce the main characters, such as Hubert Hopper, McGann, Jim Taylor, and Joe Paine, more clearly. This could be done through a brief action or dialogue that establishes each character's personality and role in the story.

2. Dialogue clarity: In some places, the dialogue can be a bit confusing due to long sentences or unclear pronoun usage. For example, in the exchange between Taylor and Paine about the Willet Creek Dam, it's not always clear which pronouns refer to which people or ideas. Breaking up the dialogue into shorter sentences or using specific names more frequently can improve clarity.

3. Visual details: While the script describes the office and the people in it, it could benefit from more specific visual details to help the reader envision the scene more vividly. For example, what kind of clothing are the characters wearing? What do the desks and chairs look like? Including more specific visual details can make the scene feel more real and immersive for the reader.

Overall, this scene is a strong start to the story and sets up the conflict and stakes effectively. With a few tweaks to character introductions, dialogue clarity, and visual details, it could become an even more compelling scene.



Scene 3 -  The Pressure Mounts
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 9
HUBERT
Jim--if I fling a party man like
Horace in the face of those angry
committees--

TAYLOR
Happy, for reasons there isn't time
to go into--it's got to be Miller!
We've given you the man. Now write
the ticket.
(Moving to the door)
Come on, Joe. Come on, Chick.

HUBERT
(following them)
Now, wait fellows--great Heavens.
I've got to see those angry committees
first--feel them out a little--work
for harmony--harmony.

MCGANN
Harmony--and Horace Miller.

The scene dissolves to the GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, full of
committee people, arranged in rows of chairs, closely packed
together. Hubert, at his desk, is addressing them.

HUBERT
(spreading the old
oil)
Gentlemen--in considering the
candidates who might answer to the
high qualifications of United States
Senator--there was one name that
shone out like a beacon--one I'm
sure you will enthusiastically approve--
the Honorable *Horace Miller*.

A minor bedlam breaks loose. Excited men rise and shout.

VOICES
Miller!
Not Horace Miller!
A Taylor Man!
The Veterans will have no part of
him!
A party man! One of Taylor's tools!
Give us a clean man for a change!
The New Citizen's Committee won't
stand for Miller!

HUBERT
(smiling sickly,
wincing)
--please--

The scene dissolves to the GOVERNOR'S LIBRARY in the HOPPER
HOME, at night. Hubert stands troubledly while Taylor, hat
in hand, is tearing into him and McGann just listens.

TAYLOR
They put up *their* candidate? Who?

HUBERT
(swallowing)
Henry Hill.

TAYLOR
*Henry Hill?* That crackpot? That
long-haired--! Why, you should have
killed that so fast--!

HUBERT
I--I couldn't, Jim. Those men were--

TAYLOR
We can't help *what* they were! Forget
'em!

HUBERT
Jim, that bunch is out for blood. If
I throw Horace in their teeth now--

TAYLOR
I said forget 'em! Horace Miller
goes to the Senate--and that settles
it!

HUBERT
I *won't* send Horace Miller!

TAYLOR
*You won't?*

HUBERT
I *won't* let you stand there
callously and perhaps wreck my whole
political future!

TAYLOR
*Your* political future! I bought it
for you and made you a present. And
I can grab it back so fast it'll
make your head spin. You got a nerve
to stand there and worry about just
*your future* when we're in this
spot!
(Starting for the
door)
The man is--*Miller*.

MCGANN
(following Taylor;
adds dryly)
M-i-double l-e-r.

The two are gone, leaving Happy very unhappy. He stands for
a baleful instant. The butler appears.

BUTLER
Mr. Edwards of the Citizen's Committee
on the phone, sir.

HUBERT
(groaning)
No! I'm out. I'm sick. I--I--
(Collapsing)
I'll talk.

He picks up the phone.

HUBERT
(brightening his manner)
*Good* evening, Mr. Edwards... Why,
I have the matter under advisement
this very moment. Now it isn't a
question of my *objecting* to Henry
Hill--

BY A PHONE, Edwards is seen to be in considerable heat.

EDWARDS
(into the phone)
Hill is the man every decent element
wants--and *expects!* It's Henry
Hill, Mr. Governor--or else!

In the GOVERNOR'S LIBRARY, Hubert is seen wincing.

HUBERT
(swallowing)
Yes, Mr. Edwards. Certainly. I shall
bear that in mind. Good night.

He hangs up, a picture of deepening misery, as Emma appears
at the door.

EMMA
Dinner, Hubert.

HUBERT
(absently)
I'll bear that in mind... What? Oh.
Dinner. Pet--my stomach couldn't
hold a bird seed.

EMMA
(leaving)
We're waiting, Hubert.

The scene dissolves to the DINING ROOM. The Hopper family is
seated at dinner. Six children are around the table--four
boys ranging from nine to sixteen, and a couple of in-between
girls. The butler is placing the soup before them.

HUBERT
Really, my dear--I don't feel like a
thing.

EMMA
(over-riding him)
Nonsense.

PETER
("Number Two" son)
What's the matter, Dad? Is it getting
you down?

HUBERT
Is *what* getting me down?

JIMMIE
("Number One" son)
You're in a deuce of a pickle, aren't
you, Pop?

OTIS
("Number Three" son)
Looks like Henry Hill--huh, Pop?

PETER
Naw--it's Horace Miller--or else!

Hubert chokes on his soup.

JIMMIE
Gee, I wouldn't appoint an old twerp
like Horace Miller--Taylor or no
Taylor!

HUBERT
Taylor! May I ask what *Taylor* has
to do with it?

JIMMIE
Well, he's still running the show,
ain't he, Dad?

HUBERT
Emma! I will not have conversations
of this sort carried on by the
children at dinner!

EMMA
Nonsense. Why don't you listen to
your children for a change? You might
actually learn something?
Genres: ["Political drama"]

Summary Governor Hopper is pressured to fill a vacant Senate seat after a senator's death. Key political figures, Jim and Joe, try to influence his decision. Hubert consults with a committee, who are not happy with the proposed candidate, Horace Miller. There is conflict, emotional intensity and high stakes.
Strengths
  • Tense atmosphere
  • Strong character motivations
  • Strong conflict
Weaknesses
  • Conversations may be somewhat predictable
Critique Overall, the scene suffers from a lack of clarity and focus on the main conflict. The dialogue is often repetitive and meandering, making it difficult for the audience to understand what exactly is at stake for the characters. The transitions between scenes are also abrupt and disorienting, making it hard to keep track of the action. Additionally, the characters themselves are not well-developed and their motivations are not clear, making it difficult for the audience to empathize with them. More work needs to be done to clarify the central conflict and develop the characters in order to make this scene more engaging and effective.
Suggestions Here are some suggestions to improve the scene:

1. Clarify the stakes: The scene could benefit from more clarity on what exactly is at stake for the characters. What are Hubert's political goals? What does Taylor stand to gain or lose? How will the appointment of Horace Miller as Senator affect their plans? Adding more specificity to these aspects of the scene could help the audience understand the importance of what's happening.

2. Make the dialogue more natural: Some of the dialogue in this scene feels stilted and forced. For example, when Hubert collapses and says "Pet--my stomach couldn't hold a bird seed," it feels like an unnatural way to express his discomfort. Revising the dialogue to make it more conversational could make the scene feel more organic and engaging.

3. Use action to break up the dialogue: The scene is primarily driven by characters talking to each other, and without any action to break up the dialogue, it can become dull. Adding some physical actions -- like Hubert nervously fidgeting with a pen or Taylor pacing around the room -- could give the scene more visual interest and help convey the characters' emotions.

4. Consider the pacing: While it's important to establish the characters' goals and motivations, the scene also needs to move at a brisk pace to maintain the audience's attention. Tightening up the dialogue and eliminating any unnecessary repetition could help move the scene along more quickly.



Scene 4 -  Jefferson Smith is a Hero
  • Overall: 8.5
  • Concept: 9
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 9
HUBERT
(with sarcasm)
For instance, how to run the affairs
of government? No doubt my children
could make this appointment *for* me--
with the greatest ease!

JIMMIE
That's easy. Jefferson Smith.

HUBERT
I beg your pardon?

PETER
Jeff Smith. He's the only Senator to
have.

OTIS
Sure. He ought to be President.

LITTLE JACKIE
("Number Four" son)
I like Jeff Smith.

HUBERT
You, too! Fine. Fine. That's everybody
heard from. Forgive my abysmal
ignorance--but I don't know Jefferson
Smith from a--

PETER
Gosh, Pop--head of the Boy Rangers!

HUBERT
Oh, a *boy*!

JIMMY
No, *no*, Pop--Jeff's a *man*! Jeff
Smith! Biggest expert we got on wild
game--and animals--and rocks.

PETER
Yes, and right now he's the greatest
hero we ever had. It's all over the
headlines--

JIMMY
Sure. Didn't you see about the
terrific forest fire all around
Sweetwater?

HUBERT
I did. What about it?

PETER
Well, Jeff put that out himself.

HUBERT
Himself!

JIMMIE
Well--Jeff and the Rangers. He was
out camping with 'em--and they saved
hundreds of people and millions of
dollars--

OTIS
And not one boy even scratched!

JIMMIE
Now, if you really want a Senator--

HUBERT
I do *not* want a Senator. And I do
*not* want any more of this nonsense!
Emma!

EMMA
Why, I think it's very sweet of the
children--

OTIS
He's the greatest *American* we got,
too, Dad. Can tell what George
Washington said--by heart. An' "Boy
Stuff's" got the swellest stuff in
it.

HUBERT
What stuff?

PETER
"Boy Stuff." That's the name of Jeff's
magazine. He prints it.
(Pulling one out of
his pocket excitedly)
Look--here's one--oh, it's great--
*everybody* reads it--all the kids
in the State--a million of 'em. Look,
Pop--let me read you a--
HUBERT
Peter, I'm in no mood to hear childish
prattle!

JIMMY
Prattle!

PETER
You're all wet, Pop! Listen to this:
(Flipping back to a
page)
"What makes a man humane to man--to
give and not to take--to serve and
not to rule--ideals and not deals--
creed and not greed--." How about
*that*?

OTIS
No, *sir*! You couldn't do better,
Dad.

HUBERT
Than what?

OTIS
Jeff for Senator.

HUBERT
(his anger rising)
Emma! Will you *please*--?

PETER
(leaping in on the
attack)
Want to get out of a pickle, don't
you?

OTIS
(leaping right in,
too)
Always looking out for votes, aren't
you?

PETER
Yeah--an' here's fifty thousand kids
with two folks apiece--and *they
vote*!

JIMMIE
(attacking too)
If you want to do yourself some good
in this State, Dad--

OTIS
If you're ever going to stand up
like a man some day and tell Taylor
to go to--
EMMA
Otis!

HUBERT
(rising frantically)
That settles it! I will not be
attacked and belittled by my own
children in my own home! My nerves
are strained to the breaking point!

He throws his serviette down and rushes from the dining-room.

EMMA
Hubert!

LITTLE JANE
Papa's mad, Mama.

The scene dissolves to Hubert Hopper's STUDY, at night. Hubert
is pacing miserably as Emma enters, carrying his dinner on a
plate and setting it down on his desk.

HUBERT
(in quiet, heart-
breaking appeal)
Emma! I'm a man at the end of his
rope.

EMMA
No wonder--without your dinner.

HUBERT
Emma, which is it--Horace Miller or
Henry Hill?

EMMA
(starting out)
Well, your children are very bright--
and *they* say Jefferson Smith.

And Emma, without pausing, passes on out. Hubert is beside
himself, and begins to pace again.

HUBERT
(to himself,
distractedly)
Henry Hill--Horace Miller--Henry
Miller--Horace Hi--uh--Henry--

Then on a desperate impulse, he takes a coin from his pocket
and gets ready to flip.

HUBERT
Heads--Hill. Tails--Miller.

He shuts his eyes and flips. The coin falls on the library
table. He rushes to it. His eyes pop.

The COIN is seen standing on edge, leaned against a small
stack of magazines and papers.

HUBERT is at his wit's end. Then his eyes travel over to the
paper on top of the pile. We see the NEWSPAPER HEADLINE:

GRATEFUL CITIZENS POUR GRATITUDE
ON HERO JEFF SMITH

Hubert stares at this headline, then suddenly, wildly, dashes
for the door.

The scene dissolves to a STREET, at night: a row of simple,
white-frame houses with neatly kept front years and white
picket fences. Street lamps illumine the scene. A limousine
has come to a stop before one HOUSE, JEFFERSON SMITH'S, and
Governor Hubert Hopper is alighting. He pauses to look at
the house, is uncertain for an instant as to whether to go
in or not; then makes up his mind, pushes through the gate
and goes up the walk.

At the DOOR, Hubert pauses again before knocking, but finally
does so. As his knuckles rap on the door, a terrific blast
of band music, blaring instruments badly played. lets go
from inside the house. Hubert, startled out of his wits,
turns to run for his life and makes two steps when the door
is opened; and there stands a smallish, somewhat gray, sweet-
faced little lady (Jeff's Ma). The music goes on, so that
both have to raise their voices above it.

MA
I *thought* I heard... Yes?

HUBERT
Uh--Jefferson Smith's residence?

MA
Yes. Come in.

HUBERT
Is--uh--Jefferson Smith at home?

MA
Certainly. Step right in.
Genres: ["Drama"]

Summary Governor Hopper is under intense pressure to fill the vacant Senate seat. Jim and Joe try to influence his decision but Hubert consults with a committee. The committee is not happy with the proposed candidate, Horace Miller. This leads to conflict, emotional intensity and high stakes. Later on, Hubert seeks the help of Jefferson Smith.
Strengths "Intense dialogue and emotional depth"
Weaknesses "Lack of visual description"
Critique This scene is from the film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and is a great example of dialogue-driven storytelling. The scene serves to introduce the character of Jefferson Smith and establish his reputation as a hero through the enthusiastic accounts of Hubert's children. The scene also sets up the conflict between Hubert and his children, who are pushing for Smith to be appointed as a senator.

The scene is well-written, with snappy dialogue and vibrant characters. It effectively conveys the children's passion for Smith and their father's initial reluctance to consider him as a senator. The scene also showcases the humor and charm of the children.

One possible critique of the scene is that it relies heavily on exposition to establish Smith's character and reputation. The scene consists mainly of characters telling each other about Smith's heroic deeds and his status as an expert on wilderness matters. This can be seen as a shortcut to developing the character, rather than showing his skills and abilities in action.

However, the scene works well in the context of the film and is an entertaining and effective way to introduce Smith and his reputation. The dialogue and the performances of the actors elevate the scene and make it both engaging and memorable.
Suggestions One suggestion to improve this scene would be to add more action and visual description to make it more engaging for the audience. For example, instead of just stating that Hubert is pacing in his study, give more detail about his actions and emotions. Show him grabbing his head in frustration, throwing papers around, or slamming his fist on the desk. This will help the audience connect with his character and feel more invested in his journey.

Additionally, it may be helpful to tighten up the dialogue and eliminate any unnecessary repetition. For example, the children could simply say "Jefferson Smith" instead of repeating his name multiple times, which would make the scene feel more natural and realistic.

Another suggestion would be to show more conflict between Hubert and the other characters, particularly his family. This would add tension and drama to the scene, as well as highlight the stakes of Hubert's decision. Perhaps some of the children could argue with him more forcefully, or Emma could express her own opinion more strongly.

Finally, it would be beneficial to add more detail about Jefferson Smith himself, to make his character more compelling and memorable. Show more of his own actions and accomplishments, rather than just having the other characters talk about him. This will help the audience understand why he is such an important figure and why Hubert's decision matters so much.



Scene 5 -  Pressure and Pet Shop Politics
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 9
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 8
In the SITTING ROOM of the Smith Home, a neat, cozy room,
there are about twenty kids, ranging from nine to fifteen,
imitating a band. An older boy is leading them. They are of
all descriptions of dress; some in poor clothes--one with
his leg in a brace. Hubert edges into the room dumbfounded.

MA
(loudly above the
music)
I'll call Jeff. He's back in the
shop--

She starts across the room. Hubert remains, disconcerted by
the music. Suddenly, he looks off into the adjoining room
with curious interest--and also to escape the music, he moves
toward it.

The adjoining room the Hubert enters is an OFFICE. It contains
everything from a roll-top desk crammed with mail, to a small
power printing press--to short-wave radio equipment. It is a
beehive of activity, with some eight or ten boys working
like the seven dwarfs--printing cards on the press--tying
copies of "Boy Stuff" into bundles--tinkering with the short-
wave set. Hubert is set back on his heels by this unexpected
sight. He notes the little placards framed on the wall,
bearing the words of great men, and such admonitions as:
"When there's an edge--give it to the other fellow." "When a
man dies he clutches in his hands only that which he has
given away during his lifetime--" --Jean Jacques Rousseau.
"No man is good enough to govern another."--Abraham Lincoln.
"You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your
grandfather was." He notes the boys working at the radio--
others working at the desk--while all the time, the little
power press goes on. Suddenly Ma returns, followed by
Jefferson Smith--fine looking, rangy, youthful--at the moment
wiping some white substance from his right hand.

JEFFERSON
Good evening, sir. I was just making
some--
(Then, astoundedly)
Governor Hopper!

MA
Well--I'll go to Halifax!

Suddenly great excitement ensues.

JEFFERSON
Boys! Attention! Governor Hopper!

The little fellows drop what they are doing and come to
attention while Jeff dives for a chair and whips it around.

HUBERT
Now--now--please--that's quite all
right. Relax, boys--

JEFFERSON
(at attention)
This--this is a great honor, sir. I--
I--

HUBERT
Not at all. I've come to pay you a
personal and official--and I might
say--a *tardy* tribute, Mr. Smith,
for your recent heroic conduct.

JEFFERSON
Oh, now, I'm afraid that's been
exaggerated some--

HUBERT
No. No. A signal service to the State.
Yes, indeed. And not only that but--
uh--I've heard of your excellent
work in leading and guiding our youth--

JEFFERSON
Well--that's not work, sir--that's
fun.

HUBERT
No doubt. No doubt. And this fine
little paper--"Boy Stuff"--with, I
dare say, an *enormous* circulation
in the State.

MA
Well--it started with a little
mimeograph sheet--and it's just grown
out of all sense and reason--

HUBERT
Excellent! Excellent! My boy, I'm
convinced our State has a great debt
of gratitude to you--

JEFFERSON
Oh, now--

MA
Jefferson--

JEFFERSON
Yes, Ma?

MA
Excuse me for interrupting, Governor,
but--
(To Jeff)
--that plaster's gonna harden any
second, son.

JEFFERSON
(on edge)
Gosh! You see sir--I was fixing some
plaster for a cast on Amos' leg--
he's always chewing 'em off. I'll
only be a minute--if you'll excuse
me, sir--

HUBERT
By all means--by all means.

Jeff exits hurriedly.

MA
Maybe you'd like to come along and
watch, Governor? Jefferson's done a
wonderful job with that leg.

HUBERT
Why, of course.

Ma starts out after Jeff--Hubert follows. He descends the
few steps after her.

The PET SHOP, which Ma and Hubert enter, is a crudely built
room, another addition to the house proper. The instant they
set foot inside, the damnedest furore breaks loose--dogs
bark--parrots scream, until Hubert is about to lose his mind.
Jeff is placing his plaster on the center table and is
stepping to one of the cages.

JEFFERSON
(calling)
Jerry! Blackie! Queenie! Let's have
it quiet, fellows!

MA
(calling)
Now, now, now!
(To Hubert)
It's all right, Governor.

She moves toward the table--Hubert following.

HUBERT
A pet shop?

MA
Well, it sort of got to be--from
Jeff just pullin' splinters and things--

Jeff pulls down from a cage Amos, a Siamese monkey, and sets
him on the TABLE. Amos is fighting fiercely. The cast on his
leg hangs down in shreds. Hubert, approaching, is amazed and
startled. Jefferson starts to pull the old cast from Amos'
leg.

JEFFERSON
(to Ma)
Here, Skinny, give me a hand. Hold
Amos' tail down so he can't get it
around my waist.

Ma holds the monkey's tail as directed--or tries to.

JEFFERSON
(to Amos)
Now, now, now--that isn't going to
get you any place. Get a firm grip,
Ma!

MA
Satan's in this little fella tonight!

JEFFERSON
(at work)
Sorry about this, Governor. But it
won't take a minute. You were saying
something in the other room, sir--

HUBERT
Well--yes--I was saying--the State
should reward you--

JEFFERSON
Aw--

HUBERT
--And it is in my power to confer a
very signal honor upon you. In my
official capacity, therefore, I--

JEFFERSON
Ma! Hold him!

MA
I just can't, son--not the head and
tail both!

HUBERT
Uh--could--could I help--?

JEFFERSON
Thanks, Governor--*yes*! Do you mind?
His head--Ma'll take the tail.
Genres: ["Drama"]

Summary Governor Hopper visits the Smith home to reward Jefferson Smith for his good work and suggest him for the vacancy of the Senate seat. The scene shows the political pressure on Hopper, introducing key characters, and Smith's character of being a people's person. The scene also takes a humorous turn in the pet shop.
Strengths "The scene introduces key characters, highlights the political pressure, and provides a glimpse into Jefferson Smith's character. It also adds a touch of humor with the pet shop scene."
Weaknesses "The scene doesn't add much to the main plot and lacks significant conflict and emotional impact. It could have been shorter."
Critique Overall, this scene seems to be well-written with clear and concise description, but there are a few areas that could be improved. Firstly, there is some confusion as to who the character "Hubert" is - he is mentioned briefly at the beginning of the scene, but it is unclear who he is or what his role is until later on. It might be helpful to introduce him a bit more clearly at the start of the scene.

Secondly, the dialogue between the characters could be a bit more natural. Some lines feel a bit forced or unnatural, which can take the viewer out of the scene. For example, the line "I'll go to Halifax!" feels somewhat contrived and could be replaced with something more natural.

Finally, the action in the scene is quite dense, with a lot of activity happening simultaneously. While this can create a sense of excitement, it can also be overwhelming for the viewer. It might be helpful to break up the action a bit more and give the viewer a clearer sense of what is happening and who is doing what.
Suggestions One suggestion to improve this scene would be to give more context and backstory to the characters and their actions. The audience needs to understand why Hubert is visiting the Smith Home and also why Jefferson Smith is seen as a hero. This could be done through dialogue or through visual cues in the scene. Additionally, the dialogue could be tightened up to make it more concise and impactful. For example, instead of saying "Well--yes--I was saying--the State should reward you--", Hubert could simply say "The State wants to reward you for your heroic actions." Lastly, the scene could benefit from some additional sensory details to immerse the audience in the chaotic pet shop environment and heighten the tension of the scene.



Scene 6 -  The Appointment
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 9
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 6
HUBERT
The--head?

JEFFERSON
Just get one hand against each ear
there--keep his face straight up.

Hubert timidly does as directed. Amos yells--Hubert almost
lets go.

JEFFERSON
Amos!
(To Governor)
Hold 'im, Governor. That's right.
Cinch him down. Fine--fine--

Jeff starts to put the plaster on.
JEFFERSON
What were you saying, Governor? Sorry.

HUBERT
(determinedly--once
and for all)
I said, sir--in my official capacity--
as an honorary gesture--I appoint
you to the United States Senate!

It does not penetrate to Jeff that instant.

JEFFERSON
Now, Amos, now--
(Then, as Hubert's
words hit)
What?

MA
What?

At this instant, Amos wriggles his head and sinks his teeth
into the soft, white thumb of Governor Hopper.

HUBERT
(yelling)
Ow! He bit me!

He lets go of Amos, who wriggles and is nearly off the table.
Jeff and Ma make a dive for him.

JEFFERSON
(yelling)
Amos! Amos!

And, added to everything else, the pet shop goes up in a
roar.

The scene dissolves to NEWSPAPER HEADLINES, a flaring, eight-
column head reads:

GOVERNOR HOPPER IN SURPRISE APPOINTMENT

And another headline (with picture of Jefferson Smith):

HERO JEFFERSON SMITH
IS GOVERNOR'S SENATE CHOICE

The scene dissolves to the GOVERNOR'S LIBRARY, in the morning.
Taylor, McGann, Hubert and Paine are present.

TAYLOR
(pounding a newspaper
in his hand, yelling
at Happy)
--a *boy ranger* a squirrel chaser--
to the United States Senate!

HUBERT
Jim--the answer to a prayer--manna
from heaven--the man *we want*--and
the votes *we need*--

MCGANN
He's batty!

HUBERT
Listen--the simpleton of all time--a
big-eyed patriot--knows Washington
and Lincoln by heart--stood at
attention in the Governor's presence--
collects stray boys and cats--

TAYLOR
What!

HUBERT
Joe--*you* know what I'm talking
about. The perfect man. Never in
politics in his life. Wouldn't find
out what it's all about in two
*years*, lets alone two months. But
the important thing--and this was
the genius of the stroke--*it means
votes*!

MCGANN
Oh--oh.

HUBERT
He's the hero of fifty thousand boys
and a hundred thousand parents. Look
at these congratulations pouring in!
I tell you, gentlemen, by this one
statesman-like act, I have--

TAYLOR
(deadly)
But you went ahead and made this
appointment without asking me--

HUBERT
Jim--when the lightning hit, I--I
just--

TAYLOR
*But you never asked me*!

HUBERT
(petulantly)
Oh--Jim!

PAINE
Wait a minute, boys. Happy may have
hit on something tremendous here.
Rather than let Miller or anyone
else in at this stage, we simply put
blinders on this simple son of nature--
and turn him loose on monuments.
He's completely out of the way in
Washington, and as Happy says, you
make political capital out of it at
home.

TAYLOR
Joe--do you mean to say--do you think
you can actually *handle* this--this
whatever-you-call-it in Washington?

PAINE
(quietly)
A young patriot?--Who recites
Jefferson and Lincoln?--turned loose
in our nation's capital? I think I
can.

TAYLOR
(after a pause)
Chick--turn the ballyhoo boys loose
on this right away. Greatest
appointment ever made. A banquet--
declare a holiday.

MCGANN
Wow! A star-spangled banquet--and
one of Happy's windy spiels--music--
little kids--the flag--a tear-jerker
from way back--!

The scene dissolves to a MONTAGE, a series of headlines
screaming approval of Happy's choice--pictures of Happy with
Smith--of Happy shaking hands with person after person in
his office--of Jeff Smith surrounded by boys in his home,
cheering him, clustered around--and adults shaking his hand--
of telegrams coming to him in stacks--of, finally at night,
the Boy's Club band in the street, marching to a martial
air, banners at their head reading: "OUR OWN SENATOR JEFFERSON
SMITH."

This dissolves to a BANQUET HALL, in which HOPPER, seen at
close range, in white tie--beaming--on his feet at the banquet
table--is addressing an assemblage.

HUBERT
--in the hands of your Governor lay
the power to confer a great honor--
to raise a man to the high office of
United States Senator. And how did
your Governor confer that honor?
The scene then reveals a great, horseshoe banquet table,
crowded with leading citizens. At Hubert's left and right
sit Jefferson and Ma, Mrs. Hopper and Paine. MA is seen
beaming, while JEFFERSON looks dazed and nervous.

HUBERT'S VOICE
Did he give it to some wealthy or
influential citizen merely to curry
favor? No!
(As Paine is seen
looking down at Jeff)
Did he give it to some unworthy
political hireling? No!

TAYLOR AND MCGANN are seen seated at one of the wing tables--
to be out of sight. McGann raised his eyes to heaven for
relief.

HUBERT'S VOICE
What *did* he do? True to our party's
tradition--

EDWARDS is seen listening skeptically.

HUBERT'S VOICE
--he went down among the people--
(warming to a climax,
the banquet now in
full view)
--and there found--a nugget! A hero!!
That was the spirit your Governor
acted in. And in that spirit we have
come together tonight to acclaim and
bid Godspeed to--Senator Jefferson
Smith.
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary Governor Hopper appoints Jefferson Smith as the new senator in a humorous turn of events, and the scene shows the political pressure and interests at play.
Strengths "The scene introduces key characters and their interests, uses humor and irony to convey the story, and presents a well-established political and social context."
Weaknesses "The dialogue can be repetitive or predictable at times, the emotional impact is low, and the character development is limited."
Critique Overall, this scene is well-written and engaging. The dialogue flows naturally, and the action is clear and easy to follow. One potential critique is that there are moments where the dialogue feels a bit clunky or on-the-nose, such as when Hubert lists all of Jefferson's patriotic qualities. However, this can also be seen as intentional, as a way to highlight the over-the-top, exaggerated nature of politics and political speeches. Another critique is that there are moments where the action is described in more detail than necessary, such as when Jeff and Ma make a dive for Amos, which slows down the pace of the scene. Overall, though, this is a solid scene that effectively conveys the chaos and absurdity of politics.
Suggestions 1. Improve the dialogue: The scene lacks depth in dialogue. There is a lot of exclamation and yelling, which can be toned down. It could be improved by incorporating subtext and giving the characters more nuanced, authentic voices.

2. Add more action and description: The scene is mostly dialogue-driven, with little action and description. Adding more action and description can make the scene more engaging and help immerse the audience in the story.

3. Develop character arcs: The scene doesn't show much character development. Developing character arcs can help make the characters more relatable and give the scene more emotional depth.

4. Tighten the pacing: The scene drags on too long. Tightening the pacing can make the scene more engaging and entrancing.

5. Add tension and conflict: The scene lacks any significant tension or conflict. Adding conflict and tension can make the scene more compelling and keep the audience on their toes.



Scene 7 -  Jefferson Smith Becomes a Senator
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 7
Strong applause--people get to their feet--a band blares a
salute. Hubert motions Jeff to get to his feet. Dry-mouthed,
Jeff rises. The noise dies out. They wait.

JEFFERSON
(simply--slowly)
Well--uh--thank you. I--I sort of
have a feeling there's been a big
mistake--I mean--
(as gentle laughter
greets him)
--I--I can't think of a greater honor.
It isn't just mine. It belongs to
all my boys.
(Turning to Paine)
Sitting with a man like Senator Paine--
I can't tell you how much greater
that makes the honor. He and my father
were very dear friends.

PAINE, startled, is seen looking up at Jeff.
JEFFERSON'S VOICE
My father used to tell me that Joseph
Paine was the finest man he ever
knew.

The applause startles Paine. He looks down, two places
removed, to MA, who is leaning over, smiling at him. Her
mouth forms the words: "Hello, Joseph."

We again see the banquet hall in full view, as the applause
stops.

JEFFERSON
I don't think I'll be much help to
you, Senator Paine.
(Laughter from the
audience)
But I *can* promise you this--I'll
uphold the honor with all my might--
I'll do nothing to disgrace the name
of--Senator of the United States.
(He sits down amid a
storm of applause)

TAYLOR AND MCGANN are seen applauding mechanically.

MCGANN
Who'd ever think I'd be back in Sunday
School?

The applause continues in the banquet hall. Then, suddenly,
a band starts to play off scene. All heads turn to the rear
of the hall. The BIG DOORS are pushed open and the Boy's
Club Band--followed by more of Jeff's boys--comes marching
in. The boys range in size from tiny fellows in front--
building back up, row by row, to the larger fellows in rear.
They march into the middle of the table formation. The band
plays a march. The banqueters cheer. JEFFERSON'S eyes are
alight. The boys come to a stop, marking time, until the
band stops. A little fellow--Jackie Hopper--steps to the
front. He is carrying something wrapped up. HUBERT AND EMMA
are seen watching this.

EMMA
(proudly)
Jackie!

TAYLOR AND MCGANN are also watching.

MCGANN
So help me--it's Snow White and a
thousand dwarfs!

There is a silence in the hall as Jackie wets his lips and
addresses Jeff.
JACKIE
(stumbling and nervous
with a memorized
speech)
Senator Jefferson Smith--we are very
proud on this great occas--the Boy
Rangers take this oppor--uh--
(lifts the package)
--in token of their--uh--in token of
this--
(breaking off, ad
libbing)
--It's a briefcase, Jeff! All the
kids pitched in! It's for to carry
your laws when you get there!

He rushes forward and pushes the gift into Jeff's hands. The
banqueters then applaud vigorously. Jeff, speechless and
touched, stands holding the briefcase. The band strikes up
"Auld Lang Syne." Everyone stands up, and joins the song.
Paine moves from his place over to Ma.

Ma is seen singing--as Paine comes to her side. She stops
singing. They shake hands warmly. Then Paine, looking at
Jeff, pantomimes: "Is that the little shaver I knew when he
was this high?" Ma nods. She starts to sign again, and we
get another full view of the hall. The song is sung earnestly
by the boys, the banqueters joining it.

JEFFERSON has opened the BRIEFCASE and is staring at it. It
is seen to be inscribed:

SENATOR JEFFERSON SMITH
OUR BEST RANGER--OUR BEST PAL

JEFF is looking off at the boys--his eyes a little dim; this
is the most wonderful moment of his life.

This dissolves to a Washington-bound TRAIN, on which we see
Jefferson and Senator Paine. Jefferson is fishing out of his
briefcase a copy of "Boy Stuff."

JEFFERSON
Well, it isn't much, but if you
insist, here's this week's.
(He hands it over)

PAINE
(examining it)
"Boy Stuff." Why, printer's ink runs
in your veins, Jeff. You're just
like your father.

JEFFERSON
Thank you, sir.

PAINE
Even to the hat. Same old dreamer,
too. One look at you and I can see
him, back of his old roll top desk,
hat and all, getting out his paper.
Always kept his hat on his head so
as to be ready to do battle. Clayton
Smith, editor and publisher, and
champion of lost causes.

JEFFERSON
Yeah, Dad always used to say the
only causes worth fighting for were
lost causes.

PAINE
You don't have to tell me Jeff. We
were a team, the two of us, a
struggling editor and a struggling
lawyer. The twin champions of lost
causes, they used to call us.

JEFFERSON
Ma's told me about it a thousand
times.

PAINE
His last fight was his best, Jeff.
He and his little four-page paper
against that mining syndicate and
all to defend the right of one small
miner who stuck to his claim. You
know, they tried everything, bribery,
intimidation, then--well--

JEFFERSON
Yes, Ma found him slumped over his
desk that morning...

PAINE
Shot in the back. I was there. I can
see him at that old roll top desk,
still with his hat on... still with
his hat on...

JEFFERSON
I know. I suppose, Mr. Paine, when a
fellow bucks up against a big
organization like that, one man by
himself can't get very far, can he?

PAINE
No.

The scene fades out.
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary Governor Hopper appoints Jefferson Smith as the new senator amidst political pressure and interests. Smith shows his character as a people's person, and the scene takes a humorous turn in the pet shop. The scene ends with Smith on a train to Washington with Senator Paine.
Strengths "Heartwarming and humorous tone, emotional moments, character development for Jefferson Smith."
Weaknesses "Lack of significant conflict or tension, some unrealistic moments such as the sudden appearance of the Boy Rangers."
Critique The scene showcases Jeff receiving an honor and gift from the Boy Rangers, and includes a conversation between Jeff and Senator Paine on a train. Overall, the scene effectively conveys Jeff's humility and dedication to his boys and his father's legacy while also highlighting the corrupt nature of politics and the power of organizations over individuals.

One potential area for improvement would be to add more specific and nuanced dialogue to the scene between Jeff and Senator Paine. While their conversation touches on the past and the power of organizations, it could benefit from more depth and complexity to fully explore these themes. Additionally, the scene could benefit from more varied camera angles and shots to add visual interest and movement.

Overall, the scene effectively conveys the emotional impact of Jeff's honor and his dedication to his cause, but could benefit from more specific and nuanced dialogue and varied camera angles.
Suggestions Here are some suggestions to improve this scene:

1. Make it clearer why Jeff feels there has been a mistake. Is he overwhelmed by the honor, or does he feel unworthy? Adding some internal conflict would make the moment more compelling.

2. Develop the relationship between Jeff and Paine. Why is it so important that his father was friends with him? Is there more history there that could be explored?

3. Consider making the moment with the boys more impactful. Perhaps they could perform an original song or give a heartfelt speech, instead of just presenting a briefcase.

4. Use more descriptive language to bring the scene to life. Instead of just saying "the banqueters applaud," show us how they are reacting - are they jumping up and down, clapping their hands, or wiping tears from their eyes?

5. Build to a more dramatic conclusion. Instead of just fading out, consider ending with a strong image or line of dialogue that resonates with the audience and leaves them wanting more.



Scene 8 -  Jefferson Smith arrives in Washington
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Concept: 6
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 7
In the TRAIN SHED (Washington D.C.), we see McGann, Paine,
Jefferson, Porters and bags.
JEFFERSON
Washington!

MCGANN
Yeah, for the fifth time, Senator--
Washington.

JEFFERSON
My pigeons--I better see about my
pigeons.

MCGANN
The porter's got them. They're coming.

JEFFERSON
(running out)
Just a minute, I better make sure.

MCGANN
(to Paine)
Boy! My head's like a balloon--for
two whole days. I never knew there
was so much American history.

PAINE
(kidding)
You can't find it in racing forms,
Chick.

MCGANN
Fine thing Jim Taylor wished on me--
show him the monuments--I need this
job like I need ten pounds.

Jeff comes back carrying the pigeons.

JEFFERSON
Here they are--I got them. They are
all right.

MCGANN
Well, that ends that crisis. This
way, Senator.

They exit.

At the STATION: Jeff, McGann, Paine and Porters walk in.
Susan Paine and three other girls rush in and kiss Paine and
Jeff. The girls carry little cans or boxes with milk fund
ribbons on them--in which they collect money.

GIRLS
Hello, Father.
I saw him first.
He's mine---
Jeff is utterly confused by the four girls trying to kiss
him.

PAINE
Here, here, Susan--this is Jeff Smith--
our new Senator.

SUSAN
I don't care to meet anybody until I
get paid--come on--come on. One dollar
each, please, for the Milk Fund.

ANOTHER GIRL
If you don't pay quickly you'll get
kissed again.

JEFFERSON
(confused and searching
in his pockets)
A dollar--four dollars. Gosh! You
wouldn't settle for some keys, would
you?

PAINE
Here, Jeff, I'll advance it for you.--
Fine introduction to the nation's
capital!

MCGANN
(pulling out a roll)
Here, I'll take a dozen of those
things. Miss Paine.

SUSAN
(taking money)
Thank you, Mister McGann, you have a
very kind heart.

McGann "burns" at not being kissed.

PAINE
This is my daughter, Susan, and her
friends--Senator Jefferson Smith.

GIRLS
How do you do?
Meet the new Senator.
I thought he'd be a Ranger with a
big hat.

SUSAN
(pointing at the
pigeons)
What have you got there, Senator?

MCGANN
Pigeons--to carry messages back to
Ma.

JEFFERSON
Just for the fun of it.--You see the
one that makes it back home in the
fastest time, I am going to enter in
the nationals.

SUSAN
Wonderful!

ANOTHER GIRL
There's romance in him.

SUSAN
Imagine having love notes delivered
to you by a pigeon.

At this instant two middle-aged men, slightly hard-faced,
named Cook and Griffith, descend on the party.

COOK
Joe!

GRIFFITH
Hello, Chick.

MCGANN
H'ya, Carl--h'ya, Bill!

PAINE
Jeff--meet Mr. Cook and Mr. Griffith--
members of our State headquarters
here.

Cook and Griffiths fall on Jeff, wringing his hand and again
Jeff can't get a word in. He has put his pigeons down.

COOK
Great pleasure, Senator! Yes *sir*.
Great appointment! You'll do the old
State proud!

GRIFFITH
Welcome, Senator. This wild life
around here is a little different
from what you're used to. They wear
high heels! Hah! Hah!

PAINE
Well, let's get started. Bill--you've
made reservations at the hotel for
the Senator and Chick--

COOK
All fixed. Same floor with you, Joe.
SUSAN
(with lifted eyebrows)
How nice.

PAINE
All right, we'll take Jeff with us--

SUSAN
I'm afraid we won't have room in the
car, Father. Senator Smith can follow
with Mr. McGann and the pigeons.

JEFFERSON
Sure.

SUSAN
Well, we *must* see a lot of you,
Senator. Come, Father.

Paine is being pulled away by Susan. The girls, waving good-
bye to Jeff, follow. Griffith walks along a bit with Paine.

PAINE
(calling back--
cautioning)
Chick--

MCGANN
I've got 'im, Joe. Be right along.

PAINE AND GRIFFITH are now seen together.

PAINE
Are you ready for him, Bill?

GRIFFITH
All set. Foley's rooms in the Senate
office building--nice, big clean
desk--lot of Senator stationery to
write his little boys on--and Foley's
secretary, Saunders, to make it look
like the real thing--

PAINE
Good. Are the newspaper men at the
hotel?

GRIFFITH
Yup--Sweeney, Flood, Farrell--waiting
for you--

PAINE
Fine. The first thing to do is--
present Mr. Smith to the press--in
the *right* way. Hurry him along,
Bill.
GRIFFITH
How do you feel, champ?

PAINE
All right, why?
Genres: ["Comedy","Drama","Political"]

Summary Jefferson Smith is greeted by Senator Paine, McGann, and Porter at the train shed in Washington. Four girls rush in and kiss Jeff and Susan Paine introduces them to the new Senator. Mr. Cook and Mr. Griffith, members of their State headquarters, come and greet the party. Paine and Griffith discuss their plan with the promotion of Jeff.
Strengths "The humor in the scene makes it more engaging. Jefferson's character is well developed. The dialogue is well written."
Weaknesses "There isn't much conflict or emotional intensity in the scene. The stakes aren't high."
Critique Overall, this scene serves as an introductory scene to the characters and setting of Washington D.C. for the audience. It establishes the tone of the film as light and comedic while also introducing some of the political figures that will play a role in the story.

There are a few issues with the scene, however. The dialogue is somewhat on-the-nose and doesn't feel entirely natural, particularly in the line "There's romance in him." There are also some moments where the pacing feels a bit slow, such as when Jefferson is searching for money to pay the milk fund.

Additionally, the scene doesn't fully establish what is at stake for the characters or what their goals are. It serves as more of a character introduction than a scene that advances the plot.

While this scene does serve a purpose, there could be more efficient and effective ways to establish the characters and setting while also advancing the plot. Overall, it could benefit from tighter dialogue and a clearer sense of what is at stake for the characters.
Suggestions 1. Clarify character intentions: In this scene, it is not entirely clear what the characters want. It would be helpful to have a clearer understanding of what Jefferson, McGann, Paine, Susan, and the other girls want or need.

2. Increase tension: The scene feels very light and lacks any real tension or conflict. It could benefit from adding some sort of obstacle or tension to heighten the stakes.

3. Make dialogue more efficient: Some of the dialogue feels repetitive or unnecessary. Trimming down the dialogue, especially the repetitive back and forth between Jefferson and McGann about Washington, would help make the scene more efficient.

4. Develop character relationships: There are a lot of characters in this scene, but we don't get much sense of their relationships. It would be helpful to develop these relationships more and show how the characters interact with each other.

5. Add details to location: The scene takes place in the train shed and the station, but we don't get much of a sense of the environment. Adding some visual details would help ground the scene in a specific location and make it feel more real.



Scene 9 -  Lost in Washington
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 8
GRIFFITH
Your name's spreading like wild-fire
out here--you are the winterbook
favorite to get on the National
ticket.

PAINE
Oh! Go away.

Newsmen come up with cameras to photograph Paine.

JEFFERSON, MCGANN AND COOK are seen together.

MCGANN
All right, Senator--let's get these
bags and the livestock together--

JEFFERSON
(suddenly pointing)
Look! There it is!

MCGANN
What? Who?

We see what Jeff is pointing at--the CAPITOL DOME, up on
"The Hill"--framed in one of the station portals.

JEFFERSON'S VOICE
The Capitol Dome!

The GROUP looks at Jeff dryly.

COOK
Yes, sir--big as life. Been there
some time now.

MCGANN
Yes, sir.
(Busily, to porters)
All right, boys--let's go.

Jeff has taken a few steps in the direction of the Dome.
Griffith joins them, and McGann, Cook and Griffith start off
with porters.

MCGANN
This way, Senator.

McGann, Cook and Griffith are seen moving on, not conscious
that Jeff isn't following.
GRIFFITH
Say, we thought--maybe we ought to
meet him in short pants--you know--
with hatchets.

Cook points to the pigeons a porter carriers.

COOK
What's he bringing pigeons for?

MCGANN
(sour and sore)
What for? Why, suppose there's a
storm--all lines are down--how you
gonna get a message to Ma?

Cook and Griffith give McGann alarmed looks.

JEFF is seen, with his eyes fixed ahead, through the portals,
on the Dome; he is drawn unconsciously in that directions.

MCGANN, COOK AND GRIFFITH are approaching the door to the
outside.

MCGANN
(looks back)
Okay, Senator--right through here--

They all stop dead.

MCGANN
Where is he? Hey, Senator! What's
the matter with that cookie? I *told*
him to--. Come on, let's find him.
Hey, Smith!

The three start back into the station.

The scene dissolves to the STATION, where McGann, Cook and
Griffith are coming together.

COOK
Positively not in the station! Gone!

MCGANN
I'll brain that guy! Well--call Paine--
call Saunders--

Carl rushes off.

MCGANN
(yelling through cupped
hands)
Hey--*ranger*!

The scene dissolves to a PHONE BOOTH, in which Carl Cook is
telephoning.
COOK
--Saunders! Smith hasn't showed up
at his office there, has he?... No?...
What do you mean 'the slip'?... What's
so funny?

In JEFF SMITH'S OUTER OFFICE (SENATE OFFICE BUILDING) SAUNDERS
is on the phone. She is a girl in her late twenties--pretty--
and a shrewd, keen, abrupt creature--who, at the moment laughs
mirthlessly.

SAUNDERS
Nothing. Have you tried a butterfly
net?

In the PHONE BOOTH:

CARL
Lay off, Saunders. If your feet felt
like mine... Listen--if he shows up
there--Paine's waiting at the hotel
with newspaper men--let him know
right away--understand?

In JEFF'S OUTER OFFICE, Saunders, on the phone, is regarding
Diz Moore--a fairly young, disheveled, freckle-faced Irishman,
at the moment stretched out on the sofa.

SAUNDERS
Sure. Sure. I'll hang a light in the
steeple. One if by land--two if by
sea!... Okay!
(Hanging up)
Diz--you won't believe it. Daniel
Boone's *lost*!

DIZ
No!

The door bursts open and a reporter called Nosey sticks his
head in.

NOSEY
(a fast talker)
Is this new guy Smith here yet? I
want a little interview. How about
it? Arrived yet--?

SAUNDERS AND DIZ
(together)
No! Scram! Blow!

Nosey slams out.

SAUNDERS
How do you *like* this! You don't
suppose that ranger met up with some
kids--and took 'em for a hike!

DIZ
That--or he's out blazing trails.
He'll show up.

SAUNDERS
Sure--sure. He must have a compass
with him.

The scene dissolves to the STATION, where McGann, Cook and
Griffith are very tired men.

MCGANN
(mopping his brow)
--that dummy wandered off and got
hit by a taxi! Bill--call the
hospitals--hurry up--!

Bill runs off, McGann yelling after him.

MCGANN
And while you're at it, get me a
bed!

COOK
Let's send out a pigeon!

MCGANN
Blow a bugle!

The exterior of the CAPITOL BUILDING is seen, in the view
from the Library of Congress side, showing both wings of
House and Senate with the steps leading up to the massive
columns.

SPIELER'S VOICE
--and there you have it, folks--the
Capitol of the United States--the
home of Congress--

IN FRONT OF THE CAPITOL, people in a bus are craning their
necks out--*and we find Jeff among them*! A spieler is
standing in front near the driver, speaking through a small
megaphone.

SPIELER
Yes, *sir*! You are looking at the
building where your law-makers have
sat since the time of Washington--

In the BUS, Jeff looks at the Spieler suddenly.

JEFFERSON
Since the time of Adams--not
Washington.
SPIELER
How's that, buddy?

JEFFERSON
I said--I mean--Washington didn't
live to see it finished. Congress
didn't move here from Philadelphia
till eighteen hundred.
Genres: ["Comedy","Political Drama"]

Summary Jeff Smith gets lost on his way to the Capitol building and his colleagues search for him while he explores the city.
Strengths
  • The humor of the situation
  • The contrast between Jeff's innocence and the jadedness of his colleagues
Weaknesses
  • The lack of tension or conflict
Critique Overall, the scene is well-written and engaging. The dialogue is realistic and serves to move the plot forward. However, there are a few areas for improvement:

- The scene could benefit from clearer action lines and descriptions. At times, it is difficult to discern who is speaking and/or what they are doing.

- The character motivations could be clearer. For example, it is not entirely clear why Jeff is fixated on the Capitol Dome, and why the other characters are so concerned about finding him.

- There is some repetition in the dialogue, particularly in the banter between McGann, Cook, and Griffith. This could be tightened up to make the scene more streamlined.

Overall, though, the scene is a solid example of screenwriting, with clear goals, obstacles, and conflicts for the characters.
Suggestions Here are some suggestions to improve the scene:

1. Develop the conflict more: Right now, there isn't much conflict or tension in the scene, which makes it feel a bit flat. Consider adding more friction between the characters, or giving Jeff a clearer goal or obstacle to overcome.

2. Tighten up the dialogue: Some of the dialogue feels a bit clunky and unnatural. Try to make it more concise and natural-sounding.

3. Give Jeff a clearer arc: It's not clear what Jeff's journey is supposed to be in this scene, or how it connects to the larger story. Consider giving him a clearer objective or motivation, and showing how this scene fits into his larger character arc.

4. Use more visual language: Screenplays are a visual medium, so try to use more visual language to convey what's happening. For example, you could describe the Capitol building in more detail, or show how the characters are reacting to it.

5. Create a stronger sense of place: It's not entirely clear where this scene is taking place or how it connects to the larger story. Consider adding more details to create a stronger sense of place and context.



Scene 10 -  Jefferson Smith Visits the Lincoln Memorial
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 8
SPIELER
(trying to scare him
out of his facts)
Oh--you're *sure* of that now?

JEFFERSON
Yes. Washington laid the cornerstone
though--wearing an apron for the
ceremony that was embroidered by
Madame Lafayette--

SPIELER
(interrupting)
Yes, *sir*.
(Quickly to driver)
Let's *go* Henry.

The driver throws the bus into gear as the spieler gives
Jefferson a dirty look.

SPIELER
Now, on your right, folks--you see
the Library of Congress--

All heads turn to look out of the right side of the bus, and
the exterior of the CONGRESSIONAL LIBRARY is seen as the bus
moves along.

SPIELER'S VOICE
--greatest library in the world.
Five million books and two and a
half-million maps, charts, and musical
compositions--

In the BUS, JEFFERSON, seen closely, is looking at the
building in an awed manner.

JEFFERSON
You left out the most important thing!
That's where you see the Constitution
and the Declaration of Independence!

The SPIELER is seen getting pretty sore at this kind of thing.

SPIELER
As the gentleman says--without anybody
asking him--that's where you see
those original, priceless documents--
the Constitution and Declaration of
Independence.
(To Jeff, sarcastically)
Much obliged, my friend. You're a
great help to me. Let's *go*, Henry!

The scene dissolves to a series of views (a TRAVEL MONTAGE)
of the Washington monuments as Jeff sees them--his amazement
and reverence on seeing the Supreme Court Building, the White
House, the Washington Monuments, Constitution Avenue, and so
on.

Then the LINCOLN MEMORIAL comes to view and JEFF is seen
walking up the steps--eyes fixed ahead wonderingly. Soon he
approaches the top steps and now his is on the floor of the
shrine. Suddenly he stops dead, and the full figure of LINCOLN
comes to view--the huge, overpowering figure, seated in that
great armchair. It is an almost breathing sculpture of the
great, humane man, looking out.

JEFFERSON, seen closely, is over-awed and reverent, looking
up at the face. With mechanical steps he comes forward,
against a background of enormous columns which shed a powerful
solemnity upon the scene. He comes forward slowly and stops,
and the words on the statue appear:

IN THIS TEMPLE
AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM
LINCOLN
IS ENSHRINED FOREVER

JEFFERSON has his heart in his mouth. His head turns slowly
to the left.

On the LEFT WALL, the Second Inaugural Address of Lincoln,
carved in the stone, appears, and JEFFERSON'S head turns
back to Lincoln. He quotes in a half-voice--looking up as
though he heard Lincoln say it:

JEFFERSON
(softly)
'--with malice toward none, with
charity for all--with firmness in
the right as God gives us to see the
right...'

He breaks off and turns his head to the right.

Then at the RIGHT WALL, the Gettysburg Address, carved in
stone, appears, and JEFFERSON, turning back to the figure of
Lincoln, again recites:

JEFFERSON
(softly)
'--that these dead shall not have
died in vain--that this nation, under
God, shall--'

LINCOLN'S FIGURE is seen at close range as Jefferson's voice
comes over.

JEFFERSON'S VOICE
'--have a new birth of freedom--and
that Government of the people, by
the people, for the people--shall
not perish from the earth...'

While Jefferson says these words and while we hold on the
face of the man who uttered them the scene dissolves slowly.

JEFF'S SENATE OUTER OFFICE is seen at dusk; the light is
murky. Saunders is pacing a groove in the carpet; Diz Moore
is still reclining on the sofa.

DIZ
Getting on to dinner, isn't it, pal?

SAUNDERS
(grimly)
I give that Trail Blazer five more
minutes to show up--
(turning on the desk
lamp viciously)
--*five more minutes*!

The phone rings.

SAUNDERS
(indicating the ringing
phone)
Well--who d'you take this time--Paine,
Bill, Carl--or McGann?

DIZ
Hey--you're into me for a buck
already. I say--McGann. Shoot the
whole dollar.

SAUNDERS
Okay. For the dollar, I give you
McGann *and* Bill and Carl. I got
Paine.
(Picking up the phone)
Hello... Oh, yes.

Saunders does a 'gimme' gesture at Diz.

SAUNDERS
No, not yet, Senator Paine--not hide
nor hair of the man. You mean to say
the boys haven't--?
DIZ
Eight to five Little Boy Blue is
plastered.

SAUNDERS
(into the phone)
Well, why don't they try the police--
get some blood hounds--or Indian
guides--

In a CORNER OF THE PAINE HOTEL APARTMENT, Paine is on the
telephone, and is smiling.

PAINE
As a last resort, maybe... Now wait,
Saunders--you *can't* leave there!
The one place he knows in this city--
is the Senate office--and you stay
there and wait... it isn't *that*
late--

In JEFF'S OUTER OFFICE:

SAUNDERS
(into the phone)
All right--then another half hour.
Just *one* half hour, Senator.
Goodbye.

She hangs up angrily and storms away.

SAUNDERS
Why don't I quit? Why don't I pick
up and walk out of here?

She passes Diz, grabbing the dollar bill which he holds up
like a torch--and goes right on talking.

SAUNDERS
Tell me why!
Genres: ["Drama","Political"]

Summary Jefferson Smith visits the Lincoln Memorial and recites Lincoln's famous speeches.
Strengths "The scene sheds light on Jeff's character and ideals. It is solemn and powerful. The dialogue is poignant and meaningfully linked to Jeff's character."
Weaknesses "The scene lacks action and the plot does not move forward significantly."
Critique As a screenwriting expert, I would critique this scene as follows:

Overall, the scene effectively sets up Jefferson's reverence for American history and iconic figures like Lincoln. The dialogue between Jefferson and the spieler adds a bit of humor and tension, however, the sarcasm from the spieler feels a bit heavy-handed and on-the-nose.

The travel montage of Washington D.C. landmarks adds a visually stunning element to the scene, but it is a bit lengthy and could potentially drag on for some audiences.

The moment in which Jefferson quotes Lincoln's speeches while standing in the Lincoln Memorial is a powerful and emotional moment, adding depth to the character and highlighting his patriotism.

In terms of character development, the scene showcases Jefferson's passion and knowledge of American history, which is important for his role in the overall story. However, there could be more conflict or tension added to this scene to make it more engaging for the audience.

Overall, the scene has its strengths in showcasing setting and character, but could benefit from more nuanced dialogue and conflict.
Suggestions The scene could benefit from clearer dialogue and better pacing. Some suggestions would be to cut down on the interruptions from the spieler and give more focus on Jefferson's awe and reverence as he visits the various monuments. Also, Jeff's recitation of Lincoln's speeches could be more impactful if given more attention and a slower pace. Additionally, the dialogue between Saunders and Diz could be refined to be more natural and less forced. Overall, the scene could be made more emotionally resonant by tightening up the pacing and focusing on the key moments of awe and reverence.



Scene 11 -  Senator Smith Gets Lost
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 8
DIZ
(looking at his empty
hand)
Well, because you're doing all right
at the minute.

SAUNDERS
When Foley died, why didn't I clear
out? How many times, did you hear me
say I was fed up on politics and--?
But *no*--I let 'em talk me into
staying. Secretary to a leader of
little squirts. Why? Because I need
the job and a new suit of clothes.
DIZ
Would you settle for a husband?

SAUNDERS
(absently--walking)
What's this, Diz?

DIZ
That old standing offer from Diz
Moore--Poet of Washington
Correspondents.

SAUNDERS
(absently)
Huh?

DIZ
You know--Mrs. Diz Moore.

She is walking furiously, her mind only half on what Diz is
saying.

SAUNDERS
Oh--that again. Yeah.

DIZ
(flatly)
I would cherish you--and stay sober.

SAUNDERS
Diz, you're a swell playmate--but--.
Maybe if I saw you once with your
hair combed, or something--or--no,
no--I don't think even that would do
it--

DIZ
(resigned)
Well, if you're sure it wouldn't--no
use combing my hair for nothing.

SAUNDERS
No--don't do it. I'm sure. The truth
is, Diz--there's no man I've seen
yet or--must be something wrong with
me. I've been feeling low for weeks.

DIZ
You got worms.

SAUNDERS
What! Who?

DIZ
You know--little worms--ambition.

SAUNDERS
Yeah. Should have seen me seven years
ago--when I came to this town. *Now*
what am I?--chambermaid to the Pied
Piper of Jackson City; *Honorary*
appointment! Scratch this thing an
you'll find they wanted a dope here
for two months.

There is a knock on the door.

SAUNDERS
(yelling angrily)
Yes!

The door doesn't open at once.

SAUNDERS
Yes!

The door opens slowly and Jefferson's head pokes in.

SAUNDERS
What is it?

JEFFERSON
Office of--Senator Smith?

SAUNDERS
*No*!

JEFFERSON
(looks at number on
door)
The man downstairs said number--

SAUNDERS
No!

Startled and scared, Jeff backs out, closing the door.

SAUNDERS
(to Diz, picking up
where she left off)
Yup--they must have picked the prize
dummy--
(Then, struck by
lightning--pointing
at the door)
*Wait* a minute! That wouldn't be--
*Daniel Boone*!

She makes a beeline for the door, yanking it open.

In the CORRIDOR, Jeff is gazing around at the door numbers
bewilderedly--when Saunders appears.

SAUNDERS
(excitedly)
What's your name?

JEFFERSON
J-Jefferson Smith.

She makes a run and a grab for him.

SAUNDERS
Oh--oh! Come right in! Yes, indeed.
Right this way--

She pulls him into the office, Jeff alarmed and speechless.

In the OFFICE, Saunders is seen dragging him in, her movements
very excited.

SAUNDERS
Now, hold it, Senator. Stay right
where you are. Don't go 'way--

And she rushes for the phone. Diz' feet come off the sofa
with a thud.

SAUNDERS
(into the phone,
excitedly)
Hello--hello. Helen! Get the Shoreham--
Paine's apartment. Hurry, will you!

She holds the phone.

JEFFERSON
Is--is something the matter?

SAUNDERS
Oh, no--no!
(Then with heavy
sarcasm)
My dear *Senator*--it may be customary
out on the prairie to take French
leave of people and not be heard of
again for five hours--

JEFFERSON
Gee--I'm sorry about that, Miss--you
*are* Miss Saunders, aren't you?

SAUNDERS
Yes, I'm Saunders--and this is Mr.
Moore--a member of the press. Meet
the *Senator*, Mr. Moore.

JEFFERSON
(seizing Diz' hand)
Pleased to meet you, sir.
DIZ
(wincing under the
handshake)
How do you do, Senator? I see you
made it.

JEFFERSON
Made it? Oh! Yes. Silly of me--you
see, what happened was--

SAUNDERS
(suddenly into the
phone, with heavy
sarcasm)
Hello... Yes, Senator Paine. Yes.
Right here. Just came in--under his
own power... Yes--he's sober--that's
the very next thing on the schedule...
Yes, sir, I'll have him right over.

She hangs up, and comes forward to Jefferson.

JEFFERSON
Gee, I'm sorry. You see, it wasn't
until I was fairly well along in the
bus that I realized--

SAUNDERS
Did you say--bus?

JEFFERSON
One of those sightseers--you know.
You see, I--gosh, I've never been
called absent-minded or... but there
it was all of a sudden--looking right
at me through one of the station
doors--

SAUNDERS
There *what* was?

JEFFERSON
The Dome--the Capitol Dome--

Saunders just looks at Diz with wide eyes.
Genres: ["Comedy"]

Summary Senator Smith gets lost on his way to the Capitol building and is dragged to his office by Saunders and Diz. Saunders calls Senator Paine to clear up any suspicion of drunkenness.
Strengths "The scene is amusing and provides insights into the character of Saunders and Diz. The dialogue is snappy and engaging. "
Weaknesses "The scene doesn't have high stakes and doesn't seem to contribute much essential to the story."
Critique Overall, this scene seems to lack focus and coherence. It jumps from topic to topic without any clear direction or purpose. The dialogue feels disconnected and unfocused, and it's difficult to follow the characters' motivations or emotional states. Additionally, the characters feel underdeveloped and lack distinct personalities. There are moments of humor and potential intrigue (i.e. with the introduction of Senator Smith), but they are quickly overshadowed by the overall disjointedness of the scene.

In terms of specific feedback, there are a few areas that could be improved:
- Work on developing the characters' voice and personalities. Right now, they all feel very similar and don't have distinct ways of speaking or thinking.
- Provide more clarity and focus. The dialogue needs to have a clear purpose and direction, rather than feeling like a series of random statements.
- Consider the pacing - the scene jumps around quickly and may be difficult for viewers to follow.

Overall, this scene needs more work to get it to a place of cohesion and clarity.
Suggestions Here are a few suggestions to improve this scene:

1. There needs to be more clarity on what is happening. It's unclear why Saunders is so excited to see Jefferson Smith, and what the purpose of his visit is. The dialogue jumps around and doesn't provide a clear motivation for the character's actions.

2. There's a lot of dialogue that feels extraneous and doesn't move the scene forward. For example, the exchange about Diz combing her hair feels unnecessary and doesn't add anything to the plot or character development.

3. There's an opportunity to add more tension and conflict to the scene. What is causing Saunders to act so excitedly? Is she hiding something from Jefferson Smith? This could be explored further to add more depth to the characters and the overall story.

4. The dialogue could be tightened up to make it more engaging and impactful. Right now, there's a lot of rambling and repetition that slows the pace down. By cutting unnecessary dialogue and tightening up what remains, the scene could become more compelling and effective.



Scene 12 -  Jefferson Smith Gets Lost
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Concept: 6
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 6
JEFFERSON
--big as life--sparkling away there
under the sun. I--I started walking
toward it--and there was a bus outside--
and--well--I--I just naturally got
aboard--

SAUNDERS
Most natural thing in the world!

JEFFERSON
I don't believe I've been so thrilled
in my--oh, and that Lincoln Memorial!
Gee! There he is--Mr. Lincoln--looking
right at you as you come up the steps--
sitting there like he was waiting
for someone to come along--

SAUNDERS
Well--he's got nothing on me.

She turns away and starts for her hat and coat.

SAUNDERS
Now, if you're ready, Senator, we
can start for the hotel. I'll *see*
that you get there.

JEFFERSON
(with a laugh)
Yes--I think maybe you'd better.

The scene dissolves to the interior of the TAXICAB with
JEFFERSON AND SAUNDERS, Jefferson looking out of the windows,
seeing what he can see, even though it's night; Saunders
giving him an impatient, martyred look.

JEFFERSON
(pointing out)
Whose statue is that?

SAUNDERS
I wouldn't know in the *day time*.

Suddenly he leans over Saunders and points excitedly out her
side of the cab.

JEFFERSON
The Capitol Dome! Lighted up!

SAUNDERS
(gently pushing him
off)
You--uh--you better relax, Senator.
You'll be plumb wore out.

JEFFERSON
Tell me, Miss Saunders--what time
does the Senate--uh--what do they
call it?

SAUNDERS
Convene?

JEFFERSON
Convene--that's it--yes. I got to
pick up some of those parliamentary
words. I imagine a fellow can get
pretty lost in the Senate without
'em--

SAUNDERS
(more or less under
her breath)
With or without 'em.
(Quickly)
Twelve--noon. The Senate convenes at
twelve o'clock.

JEFFERSON
(breaking in--full of
the idea)
Gosh--that'll be something! You know
what I better do in the morning?

SAUNDERS
(wearily)
No. What had you better--?

JEFFERSON
Go out to Mount Vernon. It'd be a
sort of fine thing to do--see
Washington's home just before walking
into the Senate for the first time--
don't you think?

SAUNDERS
(hollowly)
Oh--a wonderful thing--yes. Get you
right in the mood--yes--yes.

Just then, the cab pulls over toward the curb and Saunders
perks up.

SAUNDERS
Oh--and *here* we are, Senator! Well,
well, well! At last!

The cab stops and a uniformed doorman opens the cab door on
Jefferson's side.

Now we see the HOTEL CURB, THE CAB, THE FOOTMAN, and JEFF
looking out of the cab. Coming out of the hotel is a party
in evening dress--white mufflered, top-hatted man--and women
in furs.

SAUNDERS
(impatiently)
After you. Do you mind?

Jeff stares at the party, at the footman--then up at the
fifteen-story hotel.

SAUNDERS
(very impatiently)
This is *it*, Senator!

In the CAB:

JEFFERSON
No, gee--I couldn't stay here--

SAUNDERS
(amazed)
You *couldn't*?

JEFFERSON
I mean--gosh--I wouldn't be
comfortable in a--I--I haven't got
clothes and things like that--and--I
couldn't keep pigeons *there*--No--I--
I just--just wouldn't be--

And he pulls the cab door closed.

DRIVER
Where to, Mister?

JEFFERSON
Where to, Miss Saunders?

SAUNDERS
(at the end of her
patience)
Where? Why, the wide open spaces!

The scene dissolves to a PHONE BOOTH, with SAUNDERS
telephoning.

SAUNDERS
(with emphasis)
--all I know is, he refused to go
into your hotel, Senator Paine--and
not having my lasso with me, I didn't
know how to *make* him.

In PAINE'S HOTEL APARTMENT, Paine is on the phone, with McGann
in the background.

PAINE
What did you do? Where did he go?

In the PHONE BOOTH:

SAUNDERS
Well--finally--after a substantial
tour of the city, he saw a sort of
boarding house, built nice and close
to the ground. That's what he wanted--
and that's where you're to send his
bags--Eleven B Street, Northeast. Oh--
and don't forget the pigeons!
In PAINE'S HOTEL APARTMENT:

PAINE
And that's where you *left* him?

In the PHONE BOOTH:

SAUNDERS
(with weary sarcasm)
...Oh, he's perfectly all right.
Going to stay in and write to Ma
tonight... Ma. Ma. Don't you know
Ma? And then he'll take his swig of
Castoria and go to sleep... I'd rather
not think about the morning right
now, if you don't mind. Goodnight,
Senator!
(She hangs up)

In PAINE'S HOTEL APARTMENT, Paine hangs up the phone.

PAINE
Eleven B Street, Northeast. Take his
bags and your own right over--and
get yourself a room in the same place--

MCGANN
Listen, Joe--at least--after a day
like this--I got one good bust coming
before I start showing him monuments--

He is interrupted by Susan, who comes dashing in excitedly,
all dressed to go out.
Genres: ["comedy"]

Summary Jefferson Smith gets lost on his way to the hotel and refuses to stay when they arrive. Saunders calls Senator Paine to inform him of the situation and they eventually find a boarding house for Smith to stay in.
Strengths "Humorous and lighthearted scene with good characterization of Jefferson Smith and Saunders."
Weaknesses "The scene doesn't have much conflict or emotional impact."
Critique The scene is well written and effectively conveys the character's emotions and thoughts. The dialogue between Jefferson and Saunders is believable and natural, and both characters are well-defined. The scene also effectively uses visuals to complement the dialogue, such as when Jefferson points out the Capitol Dome and Saunders gives him a weary look.

However, there are a few areas for improvement. Some of the dialogue could be tightened up for clarity and to maintain the flow of the scene. Additionally, the scene could benefit from more active descriptions and actions, such as gestures or facial expressions, to make it more visually engaging. Finally, the scene could potentially be shortened or edited down to improve pacing and keep the audience engaged.
Suggestions Firstly, the dialogue needs to be tightened to keep the scene moving. There are pauses and unnecessary words that slow the pace down.

Secondly, the scene needs more action. There's a lot of talking in a cab, which doesn't add much to the visual aspect of the film. It would be useful to add more setting description, or some blocking to make the scene more engaging to watch.

Thirdly, the motivations of Jefferson need to be clearer. It's not quite clear why he suddenly changes his mind about staying at the hotel. Making it clear that he's overwhelmed by the grandeur of the hotel or that he feels uncomfortable with the luxuries would make his decision more understandable.

Lastly, adding some conflict or tension to the scene would add to the overall storytelling. Perhaps Saunders is in a rush to get Jefferson settled in and he's resisting her demands, or maybe there's a potential danger lurking in the streets that they need to avoid. Something to add a sense of danger or urgency to the scene.



Scene 13 -  Saunders and Diz Plot Against Jeff
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Concept: 6
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 8
SUSAN
For heaven's sake--will someone please
get those pigeons out of this
apartment! They're smelling up the
place something--

MCGANN
Pigeons!

The scene dissolves to a RESTAURANT BAR, with Saunders and
Diz hopped up on stools. Saunders is grimly and angrily
holding forth.

SAUNDERS
I'm still asking myself--what is he--
animal, vegetable, or mineral? A
Senator! A United States Senator! I
thought I'd seen everything but--
why, he doesn't know what time it
is, Diz! When I think of myself
sitting around--playing straight for
all that phoney, patriotic chatter--
*me*, carrying bibs for an infant
with little flags in his fists--no,
I can't take it, Diz--I'm through--I
quit!

DIZ
Sure--sure--wait a minute now--simmer
down--

NOSEY, at this point, saunters up to the bar, his back to
Saunders.

SAUNDERS
(breaking out again)
Why--do you know what he's going to
do before taking that Senate seat
tomorrow? He's going to Mount Vernon--
to get into the mood--a *warm up*!

Nosey swings around in a flash and pushes his face right in.

NOSEY
Who? Who? Your boss! A nut, huh? A
nut! Wow! There's a *story* in this
guy--! I smelled it!

SAUNDERS
(impatient)
Go away, Nosey.

NOSEY
Saunders--it's meat and drink--lemme
at 'im! Five minutes--! I'll make it
right with you!

DIZ
Will you go chase an ambulance!

SAUNDERS
Whadaya mean--*right*?

NOSEY
What do I *mean*, huh? Uh--*I'll*
tell ya--World's Series--a pass! In
a month it's worth fifteen bucks!

SAUNDERS
Well, well!

DIZ
(to Saunders)
Hey--you're not *talking* to this
guy!

NOSEY
Whadaya say?
DIZ
Nothin'! Beat it!

SAUNDERS
Look, Nosey--your pals would like to
get in on this, wouldn't they?

NOSEY
Hey--I wanna *scoop*!

SAUNDERS
Well, that's out. Either it's *lots*
of reporters and *lots* of tickets
or--. Now will you go and call 'em
before I change my mind about the
whole thing!

NOSEY
Okay. See you here.

He charges off. Saunders clambers down off the stool. Diz
grabs her arm.

DIZ
Kid--wait--what do you think you're
going to do?

SAUNDERS
Get my *whole* fall outfit--and quit
this job in style!

DIZ
Now, you've got more sense than to
put Nosey onto this guy--!

SAUNDERS
(thinking hard)
Wait--wait. Let's see--watchdog McGann--
he's bound to move right in--get him
out of the way first--
(Then)
Pardon me, friend--I've got some
telephoning to do--!
(And she rushes off)

The scene dissolves to a PHONE BOOTH, with SAUNDERS on the
phone.

SAUNDERS
(laying on a Southern
accent)
Mr. McGann?... This is Miss Lulu
Love.

In MCGANN'S ROOM, MCGANN is on the phone; behind him, his
suitcases are open.
MCGANN
Who?

In the PHONE BOOTH:

SAUNDERS
Oh, you don't know *me*, Mr. McGann--
but I've seen *you* in Washington
before--and I think you're awfully
cute. Mr. Griffith told me you got
in and maybe you were a little lonely--

In MCGANN'S ROOM:

MCGANN
(taking it big)
Did, huh? Well, now, he's not wrong
at all... Tonight? Sister, that's
just what the doctor ordered... Whoa,
wait a minute--

He looks off, and through a partly opened door leading into
Jeff's room. Jeff appears standing at the window with one of
his pigeons, while McGann is heard on the phone.

MCGANN'S VOICE
I'm not sure I can make that, Lulu.
Hold on a second, will you?
(He puts his hand
over the mouthpiece,
and calls out)
Say--Senator! How're you fixed--I
mean--uh--you're gonna stay in and
write to Ma and the boys, like you
said, huh?

In JEFF'S ROOM, JEFF is inserting a small roll of paper in a
little metal container on the pigeon's leg.

JEFFERSON
(without turning)
Uh-huh.

MCGANN'S VOICE
Not going out or anything?

JEFFERSON
No. Why?

In MCGANN'S ROOM:

MCGANN
(yelling to Jeff)
Atta boy. Right into bed for a nice
long sleep. Me, too.
(Then--softly, into
phone)
Okay, Toots! When and where?

In the PHONE BOOTH, Saunders is still speaking.

SAUNDERS
(into the phone)
Now isn't that nice! Let's say the
Mayflower lobby, Mr. McGann--in a
half hour... What I *look* like?
Well, I got red hair and--oh, that's
all right--I know what *you* look
like--you cute thing. Goodbye.
(She hangs up)

In MCGANN'S ROOM, McGann hangs up, tiptoes over quickly and
closes the door to Jeff's room, then makes a dash for his
coat.

MCGANN
Boy, oh, boy! Red Hair! McGann--you
fell into something!
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary Saunders and Diz discuss their frustrations with Senator Smith's behavior and plot to get watchdog McGann out of the way. Meanwhile, Jeff tends to his pigeons and unwittingly becomes the subject of their scheming.
Strengths "The humorous tone keeps the scene entertaining and engaging. The dialogue is snappy and engaging."
Weaknesses "The scene doesn't have much action or significant plot development."
Critique As a screenwriting AI language model, I don't have the ability to critique scenes as I am an AI language model. However, I can provide some ideas and best practices that may help improve your screenwriting skills.

Firstly, the scene lacks a clear sense of place and timing. The mention of pigeons in the opening dialogue is not followed up in any real way, and the sudden cut to a bar with Saunders and Diz feels jarring. Consider setting up the restaurant bar scene more clearly, with establishing shots and scene descriptions that help the audience understand where they are and what’s happening.

Additionally, the dialogue feels a bit disjointed. There are a lot of abrupt changes in topic and tone, which can make it hard for the audience to follow what’s going on. Consider giving each character a clear motivation and objective, and make sure that their dialogue is focused on achieving that objective. This will help keep the scene on track and make it more engaging for the audience.

Finally, consider tightening up some of the dialogue to make it more natural and engaging. For example, some of the lines feel a bit stilted and unnatural, like Saunders' remark about carrying bibs for an infant with little flags. Try to think about how real people would talk in these situations, and strive for a more naturalistic and conversational tone in your dialogue.

Overall, there’s a good core idea here, with Saunders trying to get McGann out of the way. But the execution of the scene could be improved with a clearer sense of place and timing, more focused dialogue, and more naturalistic writing.
Suggestions There are a few things that could be improved in this scene:

1. The transition between Susan's complaint about pigeons and the scene in the restaurant bar seems abrupt. It could benefit from a smoother transition or a more direct connection between the two scenes.

2. The dialogue between Saunders and Diz about the senator feels clunky and expository. It could be more natural and less heavy-handed in revealing information about the senator.

3. The exchange between Nosey and Saunders feels unnecessary and somewhat distracting. It could be cut or streamlined to make the scene more focused.

4. The fake phone call from Saunders to McGann seems a bit contrived. It could be replaced with a more organic way of getting McGann out of the way, or perhaps McGann could already be out of the room when Saunders and Diz arrive.

Overall, the scene could benefit from tighter pacing and more organic dialogue.



Scene 14 -  Jeff Smith in the Spotlight
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 8
The scene dissolves to the HOTEL LOBBY at night, and MCGANN
is seen watching for his date, but in JEFFERSON'S BOARDING
HOUSE SITTING ROOM there is a startling tableau: Jeff is
standing in the center of this rather homely, anciently
appointed sitting room, surrounded by ten or a dozen newspaper
men, three or four of whom have cameras. A woman reporter is
present. Nosey is leading the circus as the main interrogator
and master of ceremonies. Cameras are flashing, while
Jefferson is posing, pleased and happy and proud.

VOICES
That's it. Right like that. Chin up
a little, Senator--please. Hold it!

Then the cameras relax and questions pop.

VOICES
Tell us about yourself, Senator!
Hear you got a Boy's Club back home!
Any ideas? Going to make things hum
in the Senate, huh?

JEFFERSON
(holding his hands
up, laughing)
Hold on, fellows--I'm not used to
more then one question at a time--

NOSEY
One moment, friends, let's give the
Senator a break.
(To Jeff)
Now, where'd you say you studied
law?
JEFFERSON
Well--I haven't needed much law so
far--what I'd like to get first is a
little common sense--

NOSEY
Swell!

REPORTER
What did he say?

NOSEY
(calling back)
You don't need law--you need *common*
sense!

Reporters make rapid notes.

REPORTER
What are you going to do while you're
here, Senator?

NOSEY
Any special ax to grind?

JEFFERSON
Ax?

NOSEY
A pet idea--you know--pension bill--
save the buffalo--you've got *one*
notion you think would be good for
this country, haven't you?

JEFFERSON
Well--I have got *one* idea--

VOICES
Ah! That's more like it! What?

JEFFERSON
Well--for a couple of years now--I--
I've thought it would be a wonderful
thing to have a National Boys' Camp
out in our State--

VOICES
A camp! Well!

JEFFERSON
You see--if we could take the poor
kids off the streets--out of cities--
a few months in the summer--learn
something about Nature and American
ideals--

NOSEY
Marvelous! And what would this camp
set the Government back?

JEFFERSON
Oh--nothing--nothing. My idea is--
for the Government to lend us the
money--and the boys'll pay it back--
sending in a penny or a nickel--no
more than a dime--no, gosh--the
Government's got enough on its hands
without--

NOSEY
Great!
(Calls back)
The Government's putting dough in
too many places *now*!

VOICES
(as they make notes)
You don't say! Well, well!

WOMAN REPORTER
What do you think of the girls in
our town, Senator?

JEFFERSON
Well--I haven't seen many--oh--well--
Miss Susan Paine--she's about the
prettiest girl I--I *ever* saw--

REPORTER
How about some more pictures, Senator?

NOSEY
Yeah! How about it? You're a nature
lover. Do you handle any of that
sign language?

JEFFERSON
Well--I can *manage*--

ANOTHER REPORTER
What about bird calls! Know any?

JEFFERSON
Well--a few--

VOICES
Swell! Well! Come right ahead! Let
'em fly, Senator!

As Jeff laughs, preparing to do his stuff--and as the cameras
are made ready--

The scene dissolves to the HOTEL LOBBY. McGann, looking at
his watch, is sore as a boil by this time. Glaring off, his
attention is arrested. He starts forward. At the SWINGING
DOOR, a cute little girl has just come through and stands.
McGann marches up to her.

MCGANN
Well! About time, toots! Redhead or
no readhead--keeping a guy waiting
two hours is no--
(Looking her over,
relaxing, and grabbing
her arm)
Good thing you're as cute as you
are, or I'd--

THE GIRL
(struggling)
Wally!

A big six-footer, with football shoulders, comes swinging
in. The girl leaps to his side. McGann at once realizes a
hideous mistake has been made somewhere--and it's too late.
Wally fixes him with a deadly stare and advances to do murder.
McGann starts backing away in alarm as the scene dissolves
amid a dash of music.

A NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGE come to view. It reveals a full-length
picture of Jeff, and then the caption:

SENATOR (RANGER) SMITH
Demands More Common Sense--
Less Law In Government

This dissolves to ANOTHER HEADLINE:

SMITH ATTACKS
GOVERNMENT SPENDING
No Money Left for Boy's Camp

In SAUNDER'S ROOM, Saunders is drinking her morning coffee--
looking at the morning papers. She nearly chokes as she stares
at the paper.

This scene dissolves to MCGANN'S ROOM, with McGann, half-
dressed, one eye bandaged, staring at a paper. A NEWS PICTURE
comes to view, showing Jeff kneeling over a little fire of
sticks. The caption reads:

MAKES CAMP FIRE--SHOWS HOW
HE'LL PUT THE HEAT ON CONGRESS

MCGANN, shirt-tails flying, tears for the door to Jeff's
room. It is empty.

MCGANN
Senator! Hey--ranger!
(Clapping a hand to
his forehead)
Gone again!
Genres: ["Comedy","Drama"]

Summary Jeff Smith is being interviewed by reporters about his Boy's Camp idea while unknowingly becoming a media sensation. Meanwhile, McGann mistakes a girl for his date and is almost beat up by her boyfriend.
Strengths "The scene is lighthearted and shows Jeff Smith's passion for his National Boys' Camp idea. The comedic subplot with McGann adds some levity."
Weaknesses "The scene does not significantly move the plot forward and the theme is not particularly deep or complex."
Critique Overall, the scene appears to be well-written in terms of dialogue and character development. The scene effectively presents two different storylines happening concurrently. However, there are a few potential areas for improvement.

One potential issue is that the transition between the two storylines feels abrupt. It might be helpful to have a smoother transition, such as with a establishing shot of the hotel before focusing on the sitting room.

Another area for improvement is the use of camera directions in the script. While they may be useful for indicating the intended visual style of the scene, ultimately camera directions are the responsibility of the director and cinematographer, not the screenwriter. A better approach might be to focus on the dialogue and action of the characters instead of relying on camera directions.

Overall, this scene effectively reveals character and moves the plot forward, but could benefit from some minor revisions to improve its flow and clarity.
Suggestions One suggestion would be to make the transition between scenes smoother. Instead of abruptly dissolving from the press conference to McGann's waiting for his date in the hotel lobby, there could be a connecting shot or action that ties the two scenes together. For example, McGann could be seen watching the press conference on a TV in the lobby before getting up to look for his date.

Additionally, the dialogue in the press conference scene could be tightened and made more concise, as it feels somewhat repetitive and drawn-out. The reporters' questions and Jeff's responses could be condensed and made punchier to keep the audience engaged. Furthermore, adding more action or physical movement to the scene could help break up the static nature of the reporters standing around and asking questions.

Finally, the scene could benefit from having more clarity and focus on the emotional stakes of Jeff's political campaign and the impact it has on those around him. This could be achieved by intercutting McGann's reactions to the press conference with shots of Saunders and Jeff's other allies and opponents reacting to the coverage in the newspapers.



Scene 15 -  Morning Briefing
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 6
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 7
The scene dissolves to a NEWSPAPER PICTURE of Jefferson
imitating a bird-call eyes bulging--while his two hands appear
to be gripping his nose as if warding off a bad odor. The
caption reads:

RANGER SENATOR GETS FIRST
"WHIFF" OF OFFICIAL WASHINGTON

In the DINING ROOM OF PAINE'S HOTEL APARTMENT, Paine and
Susan are at breakfast, Paine's eyes glued wildly to the
paper; Susan also holds a paper and laughs.

PAINE
His first 'whiff'!

SUSAN
Such pretty knees for a big boy!

PAINE
Do I actually *see* this--?

SUSAN
Listen, Father! "Young Lochinvar
smitten with Susan Paine"!

The scene dissolves to PAINE'S PRIVATE OFFICE as Saunders
enters and Paine rises from behind his desk.

SAUNDERS
(belligerently)
You want to see me, Senator?

PAINE
Yes. Good morning, Saunders.
(Picking up the
newspaper; genially)
Have you--uh--any idea how this
happened?

SAUNDERS
The ranger's notices? No idea at
all.

PAINE
(with good humor)
No?

SAUNDERS
No--I'm sorry. I merely saw him home.
I'm not supposed to tuck him in and
give him his bottle. That's McGann's
job.

PAINE
By the way, Mr. McGann just phoned--
in a high fever. Smith's gone again.
Have you any idea where?

SAUNDERS
Yes. He went to Mount Vernon to give
himself a patriotic address.

PAINE
(smiling)
Well--that's very fine.
(Then)
Saunders, some person in your office
says you've quit--

SAUNDERS
That's right.

PAINE
Oh, now--that won't do--

SAUNDERS
Look, Senator--I wasn't given a brain
just to tell a Boy Ranger what time
it is. What do you need me for? Get
somebody else--get a registered nurse--

PAINE
You're the best nurse I can think of--

SAUNDERS
Nice *compliment*!

PAINE
I meant it for one. I meant--Sam
Foley couldn't get along without you--
and neither can I at the moment--

SAUNDERS
No?

PAINE
You see--Governor Hopper made an
appointment in this case that--well,
Jeff isn't exactly fitted to the
work, let's say. He's here to see
monuments--and pass the time. That's
important to--to my work--and
everybody concerned. So, someone who
can be trusted has to occupy him and
keep him out of trouble--

SAUNDERS
And I'm an old hand at following
instructions--

PAINE
You're more than that. I've had
example of the fact that wild horses
couldn't pull confidential matter in
these two offices out of you. That's
why I tell you what I do--about Smith
and this situation. So, you see--

SAUNDERS
Yeah--I see I'm right where I've
been for seven years--

PAINE
You deserve a lot better. And I'll
tell you what we'll do. Stay and
play nurse, as you say--and if certain
things happen I'm taking everybody
up with me, and you'll get one of
the biggest jobs in Washington.

SAUNDERS
Yeah?
(A pause)
And what else?

PAINE
What do you mean?

SAUNDERS
Well, when I first came to Washington,
my eyes were big, blue question marks--
now they're big, green dollar marks--

PAINE
I see. All right. You finish this
job properly--and you get a handsome
bonus besides--

Saunder's face lights up with interest.

PAINE'S VOICE
And by *properly* I mean--stay away
with Smith every minute--keep him
away from anything that smacks of
politics--see that there's no
recurrence of things like these
newspapers--

The scene dissolves to the SENATE LOBBY, an elevator corridor
leading to the Senate chamber. A CLOCK shows 11:45. Then,
Saunders and Jefferson are seen as they emerge from the
elevator and start forward. People crowd the corridor--there
is surging activity--an air of excitement. Jeff, baffled,
looking around, suddenly looks ahead and stops dead.

JEFFERSON
Saunders! That's it! We're here!

In the SENATE CHAMBER, seen through the entrance doors, people
are seated in and entering galleries; Senators are walking,
standing in groups, talking; some are at their desks.

On the FLOOR OF THE SENATE CHAMBER, a Page is leading
Jefferson to his desk. Jeff is more agape now than before.
All around him are Senators--in groups or seated. Most of
them are at their desks now. The Page brings him a desk, on
a minority side and way at the rear. Heads turn to follow
Jeff curiously.

BOY
Here you are, Senator. Not a bad
desk, either. Daniel Webster used to
use it.

JEFFERSON
Daniel Webster? Sat here? Say--that
man was a great orator.

BOY
Give you something to shoot at,
Senator--if you figure on doing any
talking.

JEFFERSON
Not me, sonny. I'm just going to sit
around and listen.
(Picking up calendar)
What's this?

BOY
Calendar for the day. You'll find
the Senate Manual in the drawer.
Anything else you want, just snap
for a page.

JEFFERSON
Where's the Majority Leader?

BOY
The Majority Leader? Right over there.
And that's [ ] the Minority
Leader. They're both pretty good in
the clinches.

JEFFERSON
Uh-huh. And where's the Press Galery?

BOY
Right up there over the Vice-
President's chair--the four in the
front row represent the four big
news services. You've met the press
bunch, haven't you?
Genres: ["political drama","comedy"]

Summary Saunders and Paine discuss Jeff's behavior and Saunders agrees to watch over him. Jeff arrives at the Senate Chamber and is shown his desk by a page.
Strengths "The whimsical tone adds humor to the scene and makes the characters more likable. The dialogue is clever and natural. The scene sets up the situation for Jeff in the Senate nicely."
Weaknesses "The lack of conflict and stakes may make the scene less engaging. Jeff's naivete may become tiresome if overplayed. The scene does not significantly advance the plot."
Critique Overall, the scene is well-written with clear character motivations and dialogue that moves the story forward. However, there is room for improvement in terms of visual storytelling and pacing.

One issue is the use of newspaper pictures as a transition device. A visual cutaway to newspaper articles can be an effective way to reveal information, but in this scene, the transition doesn't add much. It's better to show the characters actively reading the newspapers and reacting to the news. This allows the audience to see how the news affects the characters and adds depth to their reactions.

Another issue is the lack of visual depth in the scene. The majority of the scene takes place in dialogue, with little description of the setting or character actions. Adding in more descriptive details, such as Paine fidgeting with his food or Saunders shifting his weight from foot to foot, can enhance the tension and dynamics of the conversation.

Finally, the pacing of the scene could be improved by breaking it up into smaller beats. The scene covers a lot of ground, including the discussion of Saunders' resignation, Jeff's first day in the Senate chamber, and the introduction of various characters. Breaking the scene up into smaller moments would allow each beat to be explored more fully and give the audience time to follow the action.
Suggestions Some potential suggestions to improve this scene:

1. Consider the pacing of the scene. There are a lot of different locations and actions happening in a relatively short amount of time. This can make it difficult for the audience to keep up and feel invested in what's happening. One solution could be to break this scene into multiple shorter scenes, each with its own focus and setting.

2. Develop the characters more fully. Saunders and Paine are in an interesting power dynamic, but their motives and personalities are not fully fleshed-out in this scene. Consider giving the audience more insight into their backstories and how they feel about the situations presented in this scene.

3. Use visuals to enhance the story. The scene opens with a newspaper picture of Jefferson, but the description of the image doesn't add much to the story. Consider using the visual medium of film to show something that can't be explained with dialogue, or to create a mood or tone that is difficult to convey with words alone.

4. Flesh out the dialogue. The dialogue in this scene feels functional, but not particularly memorable or engaging. Work to make each line feel like it has a purpose in advancing the story or developing the characters. Use subtext and nuance to add depth to the conversation.



Scene 16 -  Jefferson Takes the Oath
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 7
JEFFERSON
Oh, yes--they're fine people--regular
people.

BOY
Look out for those fellows--they
tell the truth about you--sometimes.
That corner over there is reserved
for guides and sightseers who come
in for five minutes to rest their
feet. That section over there is
reserved for Senator's friends. The
front row--the empty one--is for the
President and White House guests--
see that old couple over there--
they've attended every session for
the last twenty years. Over the clock
back here is the Diplomatic section.
They and the page boys are the only
real class we have in this place.
The rest are mostly people who come
here like they go to the zoo--

JEFFERSON
Those busts up there--all around the
wall--who are they, sonny?

BOY
All the ex-vice-Presidents. You can
get ten-to-one around here if you
think you can remember their names.
The Vice-President presides over the
Senate--you know that. It's how he
earns his pay. Oh--over there, Senator--
on the east side of the Chair we
still have the old snuff boxes with
real snuff in them if you like snuff.

JEFFERSON
Thanks very much, sonny--

BOY
I'll take your hat into the cloak
room.

JEFFERSON
Here--let me give you a Boy Ranger
button.

BOY
Swell. Thanks very much.
(He takes Jeff's hand)
Good luck, Senator. Keep your left
up.

Jeff, looking up toward the Press Gallery, sees Saunders and
waves to her.

PAINE comes to Jeff.
PAINE
Hello, Jeff--sorry, I've been on a
committee all morning. Got your
credentials--when the Vice-President
calls you, you go down that center
aisle and I'll meet you there--he's
about ready to come in now, Jeff.
Good luck--

Paine pats Jeff's shoulder and moves away. Senators are
separating and making for their seats. Jeff excitedly sits
down again.

After a full view of the CHAMBER, showing people subsiding
into their seats all over the gallery, we see the gray, small
PRESIDENT of the Senate. He has a mild, humorful face.
Everything is in order in front of him as he looks out over
the body of the Senate and picks up the small ivory gavel-
head. His eyes look off intently at something. He raises his
gavel a the long hand of the CLOCK that comes to view jumps
to twelve o'clock exactly. Two gavel pounds are heard.

PRESIDENT
(pounding twice again)
The Senate will come to order!

The body is lulled, though a few members are walking to their
desks. Then the Senator occupying the desk traditionally
used by the majority leader (front and center and on the
right side of the aisle) rises.

MAJORITY LEADER
Mr. President.

PRESIDENT
Senator Agnew.

MAJORITY LEADER
I ask unanimous consent that the
reading of the journal of the previous
calendar day be dispensed with and
the journal stand approved.
(He sits)

PRESIDENT
(bored, mechanically)
Is there objection?
(A pause)
The journal stands approved.

JEFFERSON is seen in close view, his attention darting from
one point to the other.

SENATOR'S VOICE
Mr. President...
PRESIDENT'S VOICE
Senator Brownell.

SENATOR'S VOICE
I suggest the absence of a quorum.

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
The clerk will call the roll.

At the ROSTRUM, the Chief Clerk proceeds to call the roll
and Senator's voices answer to their names--"here" or
"present."

The Clerk is next seen passing up the roll sheet to the
President, who looks at it.

PRESIDENT
Eighty Senators have answered to
their names. A quorum is present.

Paine rises.

PAINE
Mr. President...

PRESIDENT
Senator Paine.

PAINE
I present the credentials of Honorable
Jefferson Smith who has just been
appointed Senator by the Governor of
my state.

A page takes the credentials from Paine's hand and takes
them to the desk.

PAINE
The Senator-designate is present--

JEFFERSON looks startled.

PAINE'S VOICE
...and I ask that the oath of office
be administered to him at this time.

The PRESIDENT is picking up what are evidently Jefferson's
credentials.

PRESIDENT
If the Senator-designate will present
himself at the desk, the oath will
be administered.

JEFFERSON, swallowing, frightened, is glued to his seat for
an instant. People in the Gallery and the Senate turn to
look for him; among them are Saunders and, in the Press
Section, Diz. A few of the Senators consult the newspapers
on their desks, significantly.

PAINE rises, motioning to Jefferson to get to his feet, and
JEFFERSON, on seeing him, gets up unsteadily. Paine starting
to the back, indicating that he is to follow him, Jefferson
advances to the rear of the center aisle where Paine is now
waiting for him. Then both of them start down the aisle toward
the Rostrum--while the people (including Saunders, the Press,
and groups of Senators) watch them advance, some of the
Senators appearing tight-lipped and disapproving. Aware of
the eyes on him, JEFFERSON, in the company of PAINE, arrives
at the lower level of the Rostrum, while the people of the
press rise to look over their desks at the ceremony. Then
Paine indicates to Jefferson to mount one more step to the
level just below the President's desk. But as Jefferson makes
the designated step up, and the President is about to rise,
a voice cracks out from somewhere out in the Chamber.
Genres: ["drama","political"]

Summary Jefferson Smith takes the oath of office, with Senators and the media looking on with disapproval.
Strengths "The scene shows the process of taking the oath of office in a serious and tense way. It also highlights the disapproval of Jefferson's fellow Senators and the media."
Weaknesses "There is a lack of character development and dialogue. The scene is mostly focused on the process of taking the oath."
Critique Overall, this scene is well-written and effectively sets the stage for Jefferson's entrance into the Senate. However, there are a few areas that could be improved.

Firstly, the dialogue between Jefferson and the boy feels a bit clunky and exposition-heavy. While it certainly establishes the setting and hierarchy of the Senate, it could benefit from a more natural and engaging tone.

Additionally, the actions and reactions of the Senators during the roll call and the arrival of Jefferson feel a bit vague and underdeveloped. It would be helpful to have more specific and descriptive details to truly convey the tension and disapproval that some of the Senators feel towards Jefferson.

Finally, the introduction of the mysterious voice at the end feels a bit abrupt and out of place. It may be more effective to build up the tension and foreshadowing leading up to this moment, rather than having it come out of nowhere.

Overall, while this scene could benefit from some tightening and polishing, it effectively sets the stage for the drama and conflict that will unfold in the rest of the story.
Suggestions Firstly, the dialogue in this scene could be tightened up and made more impactful. Some of the dialogue feels unnecessary and could be cut. For example, the exchange between Jefferson and the boy could be condensed to simply convey the necessary information about the seating arrangements in the Senate. Additionally, the dialogue between the President and the Majority Leader could be shortened to simply convey that there is a quorum present.

Secondly, there could be more visual description and action in the scene to add to the tension and build-up of the moment when Jefferson takes the oath of office. For example, the camera could pan to the faces of Senators who disapprove of Jefferson taking office, adding to the tension.

Thirdly, the moment when the voice cracks out could be made more impactful. The script does not convey who says the line or what they say, leaving the audience unsure of its meaning. Adding more detail to this moment will make it clearer and more impactful for the audience.



Scene 17 -  Swearing In
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 7
SENATOR'S VOICE
Mr. President! I rise to a question
of order!

All turn to the Senator who has risen. Jefferson, standing
before the President, turns to look back.

PRESIDENT
The gentleman will state it.

SENATOR
(who is now seen in
close view)
I seek to ascertain, Mr. President,
if the gentleman about to be sworn
in is fully aware of the
responsibilities of his high office--
and that the members of this body
strive to conduct themselves at all
times--

We see JEFFERSON, his puzzlement deepening as he hears the
Senator.

SENATOR'S VOICE
--with dignity and sincerity.

The SENATOR is seen gesturing with a newspaper.

SENATOR
I refer to his astounding and
shameless performance for the
newspapers this morning.

PAINE is seen wincing (he knew this was coming) as he listens.

SENATOR'S VOICE
A *versatile* performance, I grant
you--

There are titters from all over the house. The PRESIDENT
brings the gavel down, and looks up at the gallery.

PRESIDENT
Order in the chamber.

SENATOR
(while the entire
chamber is visible)
--but one that brings his rank down
to the level of a side-show
entertainer--and reflects on the
sincerity, if not the *sanity*, of
the highest body of lawmakers in the
land!
(Waving the paper)
I seek to learn if this is the
gentleman's conception of the nature
of his office!

JEFF turns impulsively to the PRESIDENT.

JEFFERSON
I don't understand, sir! I don't
know what the gentleman--

PRESIDENT
(banging gavel)
The Senator has no voice in this
chamber until the oath of office has
been administered!

PAINE
Mr. President! I will answer the
gentleman! My colleague was innocent
in the matter referred to. He was
completely misquoted. I *know*
Jefferson Smith--and I will *vouch*
for it--he has the greatest possible
respect for his office and for these
gentlemen.

A SENATOR'S VOICE
Mr. President!

PRESIDENT
(eyes on Jefferson
with sympathy; bangs
gavel)
The swearing in of the Senator-
designate is the order of business!
(He rises. The chamber
is in full view)
The gentleman will raise his right
hand and repeat after me the following
oath--

Jefferson does as bid. The President recites the oath, and
Jefferson repeats after him:

PRESIDENT
"I do solemnly swear--that I will
support and defend the Constitution
of the United States--against all
enemies, foreign and domestic--that
I will bear true faith and allegiance
to the same--that I take this
obligation freely--without and mental
reservation and purpose of evasion--
and that I will well and faithfully
discharge the duties of the office
on which I am about to enter. So
help me God."

JEFFERSON
(finishing)
"So help me God."

PRESIDENT
Senator, you can talk all you want
to, now.

The President shakes hands with Jefferson. Paine shakes his
hand, then, guides him down one step to the clerk where
Jefferson, dazed, understands that he is to sign the register.
Then Jefferson and Paine start back up the center aisle, all
eyes following them, and ripples of laughter breaking out
from all over the Chamber.

JEFFERSON is seen making his way back up the aisle. Suddenly
he snatches up a paper from a desk he passes, and his eyes
fasten on the headlines. He continues to walk, reading--his
jaw muscles tightening--then he looks up into the Press
gallery.

The scene now dissolves to a MONTAGE, first the headlines
appearing over Jeff's incredulous expression as he reads. He
starts walking--hands clenched, murder in his eye--he meets
a reporter of the night before, grabs him, socks him and
marches on. He meets another one in a different place--socko
again! Finally he smacks Nosey--and marches on--. Next we
see a pair of DOORS, on which is printed "Press Club," and
when these doors are pushed aside violently the PRESS CLUB
BAR is visible as Jeff stands glaring. Newspaper men are at
the bar and at tables ranged along the wall. Conversation--
smoke. Sweeney, Farrell, Flood, Summers and Diz are there--
and Nosey.

NOSEY appears with Diz and Sweeney, at one of the tables.

NOSEY
He's on a rampage. The streets aren't
safe. I came up here to--
(Looking toward door
suddenly)
Oh-oh. Tarzan!

Heads turn in that direction, as Jeff starts toward Nosey.
When he gets within five steps, he suddenly lunges forward
and grabs him. He draws his right hand back to hit--the boys
leap in--and a free-for-all is on. Chairs and tables go over.
Finally, Jeff is swarmed under--down on his back on the long
seat against the wall while Nosey is under a table.

VOICES
Whoa, now...
Wait a minute...
Take it easy, Senator...
We don't go in for slugging around
here...
If you can behave yourself now...

Jeff stop struggling.

NOSEY
(from under a table)
Meet Senator Smith, boys.

They pile off Jeff--who sits up slowly, looking the worse
for wear. His pugnacity is gone, and he is calm, hurt and
bitter.

SWEENEY
You act like a man with something on
your mind--

FLOOD
What's the idea--charging in like
that on the gentlemen of the Press--
?
Genres: ["drama","political"]

Summary Jefferson Smith takes the oath of office, but a Senator attempts to discredit him in front of everyone. After some support from Paine, Jefferson is sworn in successfully. A montage then shows Jefferson becoming violent towards reporters after seeing an unfavorable headline.
Strengths "The tension is high throughout the scene with the threat of Jefferson not being sworn in due to the Senator's comments. The use of a montage afterwards is effective in showing Jefferson's violent outburst."
Weaknesses "It may be unclear to some viewers why Jefferson becomes violent towards reporters after the swearing-in ceremony."
Critique Overall, this scene is well-written and effectively conveys the tension and conflict between the characters. The dialogue is natural and flows well, and the action is clear and easy to visualize.

One possible suggestion for improvement would be to consider breaking up some of the longer blocks of dialogue to provide more visual variety and make the scene easier to follow. For example, when the Senator is speaking, his dialogue could be broken up by reactions from other characters or brief descriptions of their actions to break up the dialogue and keep the scene visually interesting.

Another potential area for improvement would be to try to convey more about the characters through their actions and body language, rather than through dialogue alone. For instance, when Jefferson is reading the headlines and gets increasingly angry, more could be done to show his frustration and anger nonverbally through his facial expressions and physical reactions.

Overall, however, this is a well-written and effective scene that effectively captures the tension and conflict between the characters.
Suggestions Here are some suggested improvements:

1. Begin with a stronger introduction to the scene, setting the stage for the confrontation between the Senator and Jefferson. This could involve a brief establishing shot of the Senate chamber or a voiceover to provide context.

2. Develop the conflict between the Senator and Jefferson more clearly. What is the specific issue the Senator is addressing, and what is Jefferson's response? Show the tension escalating between the two and the impact it has on the other members of the Senate.

3. Increase the emotional stakes for Jefferson. Make it clearer why he is so angry and upset about the newspaper coverage and why he feels the need to confront the reporters. This could involve adding a personal connection between Jefferson and the issue being reported on or showing how the negative coverage is affecting his reputation and credibility.

4. Strengthen the pacing and structure of the scene. Consider cutting some of the extraneous dialogue and focusing more on the key moments of conflict and confrontation. Use editing techniques such as close-ups and reaction shots to heighten the tension and emotion of the scene.

5. Provide more context for the setting and characters. Who are the other reporters at the Press Club, and why are they there? What is the history between Jefferson and Nosey? What is the broader political and social context in which this scene takes place? Adding more depth and complexity to the world of the story can help make the scene more engaging and meaningful for the audience.



Scene 18 -  Jefferson Challenges the Press
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 9
JEFFERSON
(bitterly)
*Gentlemen*! Gentlemen are supposed
to believe in something decent.
Instead of twisting facts and making
a joke of everything--why don't you
tell the people the *truth* for a
change?

VOICES
The truth!
Well, the man wants the truth!
"What *is* truth?" asked so-and-so,
and turned away!

JEFFERSON
That's what I said--the *truth*!
SWEENEY
How'll you have it--dished out--or
in a bottle?

DIZ
Well, if that's what you want, Senator--
sit down--. We'll see what we can
do.

JEFFERSON
There isn't a chance I'd find it
here!

SUMMERS
No?

FLOOD
Why--*truth* is the *business* of a
few of us correspondents, Senator--

FARRELL
Leaving out the Noseys, of course--

JEFFERSON
Yes? And the people of this country
pick up their papers--and what do
they read?

DIZ
Well--*this morning* they read that
an incompetent clown arrived in
Washington parading like a member of
the Senate--

Jeff makes a leap for Diz.

JEFFERSON
Why, you--!

The men are on him and push him back.

VOICES
Whoa!
Hold it!
Pipe down!
Come on, now--that's enough of that.

JEFFERSON
(yelling)
If you thought as much of being honest--
as you do of being smart--!

DIZ
Honest! Why, we're the only ones who
can *afford* to be honest about what
*we* tell the voters. We don't have
to be re-elected, like politicians--
VOICES
Hear! Hear!

SWEENEY
For instance, we tell 'em when the
phonies, crackpots and hillbillies
come here to make their laws--

FARRELL
And if it's the *truth* you want--
what are *you* doing in the Senate?

FLOOD
What do *you* know about laws--and
making laws--and what the people
need?

JEFFERSON
(tormentedly blurting)
I--I don't *pretend* to know!

DIZ
Then what are you doing in the Senate?

SWEENEY
What's he *doing*? Why--*honorary*
appointment!

SUMMERS
Sure! *I* see! When the country needs
men up there who *know* and have
courage--like it never did before--
he's just going to decorate a chair
and get himself *honored*--!

FARRELL
Oh, but he'll *vote*! Sure. Like his
colleague tells him--

DIZ
Yes, *sir*--like a Christmas tiger.
He'll nod his head and vote 'yes'.
You're not a Senator! You're an
honorary *stooge*! And should be
showed up!

FLOOD
Have a drink, Senator!

As the last crack hits, Jeff gets to his feet like a shot,
as if ready to kill. The men stand firm and Jeff stops dead.
He glares around; they stare back in contempt. Jeff's anger
flows away. He finally says quietly:

JEFFERSON
(after a pause)
Good day--gentlemen.

And he starts grimly for the door--the men falling aside
quietly to let him through.

The scene dissolves to PAINE'S LIVING ROOM, with JEFFERSON
speaking tensely to PAINE.

JEFFERSON
I mean, sir--if I'm going to stay in
the Senate--I ought to know what I'm
doing--at least, I ought to try to
study the Bills that are coming up--

PAINE
The *Bills*? Jeff--let me advise you--
as your father would--politics is a
business--sometimes a cruel business.
In your time here, you couldn't even
start on those Bills. They're put
together by legal minds--after a
long study. Why, after twenty years,
I can't understand half of them
myself. No, really, Jeff--in your
own interests--

JEFFERSON
(downcast, turning
away)
Well, then--I--I don't feel I can
stay, sir.

PAINE
Jeff, look--didn't you say something
to the papers about wanting to create
a National Boys' camp? Were you in
earnest about that?

JEFFERSON
Yes, I was--

PAINE
Well, why not do it? There's a job
for you. Get a Bill started to
accomplish it--present it to Congress--
it would be a great experience--

JEFFERSON
Senator Paine, if I could do just
that one thing while I'm here, I--
I'd feel that I--

PAINE
What's to stop you? Saunders will
help you with it--

JEFFERSON
(elatedly)
I will, sir! I will!
(Taking Paine's hand)
I--I don't know how to thank you. I
knew, if any man could help me--

PAINE
Nonsense, Jeff.

JEFFERSON
Thank you, sir. Thank you for your
time.

PAINE
Here--where are you running off to?

JEFFERSON
Well, I'm sort of anxious to get
back to the office--

Susan, looking quite ravishing, appears suddenly.

SUSAN
Father--oh.

PAINE
Jefferson dropped in for a minute,
Susan.

SUSAN
(with a distinct lack
of emotion)
How nice. How do you do, Senator?
Genres: ["Drama"]

Summary Jefferson Smith challenges the press for their dishonesty and lack of truth, leading to a violent outburst and subsequent resignation from the Senate. Senator Paine then suggests a new project, starting a National Boys' Camp, for Jeff to focus on instead.
Strengths "Strong character development for Jefferson as his frustration with the press and politics is showcased. The dialogue is engaging and builds tension well."
Weaknesses "Some parts of the scene feel a bit contrived, particularly the sudden appearance of Susan at the end."
Critique Overall, this scene shows strong conflict and tension between the characters, particularly Jefferson and the group of journalists. The dialogue is sharp and full of emotion, although at times it can feel a bit caricatured. While it is clear that there are opposing viewpoints and beliefs presented, there is not a clear sense of what each character's individual motivations and goals are. Additionally, the physical action, such as Jeff making a leap for Diz, could benefit from more specific direction in the script. Overall, the scene would benefit from further character development and action descriptions to heighten the tension and emotional stakes.
Suggestions Firstly, the dialogue needs to be tightened and made more concise. There is a lot of repetition and unnecessary filler dialogue that slows down the pace of the scene. Secondly, the action needs to be more clearly described. It is often unclear who is speaking and what they are doing. Adding in more specific action beats and descriptions will help improve the clarity of the scene. Finally, there needs to be more tension and conflict between the characters. The scene lacks a clear objective or goal for the protagonist, and the conflicts that arise feel forced and not organic. Adding in more nuanced character motivations and high stakes will make the scene more engaging and satisfying.



Scene 19 -  Jefferson Takes the Oath
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 7
JEFFERSON
(dry-mouthed; his
eyes fastened on the
lovely creature)
How--how do you do, Miss Paine?
(With reference to
his clothes)
I--I apologize for looking like this--
I--I have to be going now--

SUSAN
How are the pigeons?

JEFFERSON
Fine--they're fine.
(Then suddenly)
Oh, Miss Paine, I--I want to apologize--
what the papers said I said about
you--that wasn't true. I--I would
never say a thing like that.

SUSAN
(with tongue in cheek)
Did you hear, Father? He didn't mean
it when he said I was beautiful.

JEFFERSON
Oh--you are!

SUSAN
Then you *did* say it.

JEFFERSON
No--I mean--yes--that is--

In a great perspiring fuss, he drops the subject like a hot
coal, comes to Paine quickly and seizes his hand.

JEFFERSON
Well, goodbye, sir--and thank you
again.
(Starting to back
toward the foyer as
he speaks to Susan)
Well--it--it was nice seeing you,
Miss Paine--

SUSAN
Goodnight, Senator--

Jeff is still backing.

JEFFERSON
Goo-goodnight, Miss Paine.
(To Paine again)
Goodnight, sir--goodnight.

And at this point he backs right into a delicate side-table
with a lamp on it. Table and lamp go down with a crash.

JEFFERSON
Gosh! Darn!

He scrambles to pick up the table and lamp. There's been no
damage.

JEFFERSON
(as he picks things
up)
I'm sorry! Gee! I hope--

PAINE
That's all right, my boy--don't bother--

JEFFERSON
Gosh!
(Straightens lamp on
table)
Well--looks good as new. If there
*is* any damage, I'll--
PAINE
(laughing)
Good as new! It's quite all right--

Jeff starts backing into the foyer again.

JEFFERSON
Well--goodnight.

PAINE
Goodnight, Jeff.

JEFFERSON
Goodnight, Miss Paine.

SUSAN
*Goodnight*!

Jeff turns like a rabbit and heads for the hall door. We
hear it slam. Susan laughs loudly. Paine looks toward the
foyer thoughtfully.

PAINE
(reflectively)
Well, at the expense of some of the
furniture, Susan--you've made another
conquest.

SUSAN
What! Not Ol' Honest Abe!

PAINE
And Honest Abe's ideals. A rare man--
these days.

The scene dissolves to JEFF'S OUTER OFFICE, at night, with
Saunders at her desk, as McGann comes charging in, perspired
and bothered.

MCGANN
Well! Hear anything? Any sign of
him?

SAUNDERS
How'd you like a punch in the nose?

MCGANN
(startled)
What! Who?

SAUNDERS
That's what he's been doing since
last heard from.

MCGANN
Whaddaya mean! What did *I* have to
do with it? I don't blame the guy.
(Sinking into chair,
exhausted)
Wow! Twenty-four hours in this town
and nothing but dog-fights! And things
aren't bad enough--last night I have
to get a run-around from some wise
dame--

SAUNDERS
(innocently, slipping
over a southern accent)
My, my--you sho' are pahwerfully
upset, Mister McGann--but you' awfully
cute.

MCGANN
Yeah? Well, when I get my hands on a
red-headed doll with a southern lingo,
I'll--

He breaks off--her southern accent just sinking through. The
look he throws is quietly terrific. At this instant, a lively,
whistled rendition of "Dixie"--out in the corridor--breaks
in on them.

As the door is swung open, JEFF bursts in, marching in step
to his spirited whistle. He marches right up to the astounded
Saunders and McGann--and finishes his whistle with a flourish.

JEFFERSON
(in high spirits)
You should hear our Ranger Band rattle
that off--if you want to *hear*
something! Good evening, Miss
Saunders. Good evening Mister McGann.

MCGANN
(finding his voice)
H'ya, Senator. I--I've sorta been
looking for you--

JEFFERSON
You have?
(Then--quickly)
Will you come in a minute, Miss
Saunders.

He starts for the private office.

MCGANN
Uh--Senator--I thought you and me
might go out to dinner together--and
grab off a few monuments.

JEFFERSON
Oh, I couldn't tonight. Thanks a
lot.

Saunders follows Jeff.

In JEFF'S PRIVATE OFFICE: he enters, marching to his desk.
Saunders comes slowly toward him, after closing the door.

SAUNDERS
Go ahead--punch.

JEFFERSON
Punch?

SAUNDERS
I had a lot to do with that little
press conference last night--

JEFFERSON
(excitedly)
Well, then, I--I *thank* you, Miss
Saunders! Nothing better could have
happened--. Yes *sir*, Miss Saunders,
we're going right ahead with it!

SAUNDERS
We're going right ahead with--*what*?

JEFFERSON
Why, the Bill--the Bill--to make a
National Boys' Camp...

SAUNDERS
One moment, Senator. Do I understand
you're going to present a *Bill*?
Genres: ["drama","political"]

Summary Jefferson Smith becomes a senator and challenges the press before resigning from the Senate. Senator Paine suggests a new project for Jeff.
Strengths "The scene showcases the political turmoil that Jefferson Smith is going through and how he is not ready for it. The tension is palpable throughout the scene."
Weaknesses "The violent outburst by Jefferson Smith towards the reporters may be off-putting and jarring for some viewers."
Critique The scene has decent dialogue that captures the nervousness of Jefferson in the presence of Susan. However, the scene lacks action and description, making it hard to visualize. Some specifics such as set and character description, camera direction, and lighting would enhance the scene. Additionally, the scene could benefit from more emotional depth and character development, especially regarding Susan's feelings towards Jefferson and the underlying tension between them. Overall, the scene feels flat and needs more work to create an engaging and memorable scene.
Suggestions Here are some suggestions to improve the scene:

1. Add more character development: The scene could benefit from more depth in the characters, especially in regards to their motivations and backstory. What drives Jefferson? Why is Saunders involved in the press conference? What are their ultimate goals and desires?

2. Tighten up the dialogue: The dialogue could use some trimming and editing to make it more concise and impactful. Some lines could be removed or combined to make the scene more efficient and engaging.

3. Add more conflict: There doesn't seem to be much tension or conflict in the scene. Consider adding some obstacles or challenges for the characters to overcome, which will make the scene more dynamic and engaging.

4. Improve the pacing: The scene feels a bit slow and meandering. Consider tightening up the pacing by removing unnecessary actions and focusing on the most important beats of the scene. This will give it more momentum and keep the audience engaged.



Scene 20 -  Writing a Bill
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 9
JEFFERSON
Sure! A Bill. Senator Paine and I
decided it was the one way in the
world I could make myself--

SAUNDERS
Pardon me. Senator Paine decided
this *with* you?

JEFFERSON
Yes. Sure. It was his idea. *I* should
have been the one to think of it--

SAUNDERS
My dear Senator, have you the faintest
idea of what it takes to get a Bill
passed?

JEFFERSON
I know--but you--you're going to
help.
SAUNDERS
If I were *triplets*, I couldn't--.
Look, Senator--let me give you a
rough idea. A member has a Bill in
mind--like you--a camp. Right?

JEFFERSON
Right.

SAUNDERS
Fine. Now, what does he do? He's got
to sit down first and write it up.
The where, when, why, how--and
everything else. That takes time--

JEFFERSON
Oh, but this one is so simple.

SAUNDERS
I see. *This* one is so simple--

JEFFERSON
And with your help--

SAUNDERS
Oh, yes. And *I'm* helping. Simple--
and I'm helping. So we knock this
off in record-breaking time of--let's
say three or four days--

JEFFERSON
Oh, just a day--

SAUNDERS
A *day*!

JEFFERSON
Tonight.

SAUNDERS
Tonight.
(Controlling herself
in a quiet burn)
Look--uh--I don't want to seem to be
complaining, Senator--but in all
civilized countries, there's an
institution called *dinner*--!

JEFFERSON
(laughing a little)
Oh--dinner. Yes. Well, I'm hungry,
too. I thought--maybe--we could have
something brought in--you know, like
big executives who eat off trays.
You see, we've got to light into
this and get it going--
SAUNDERS
Uh-huh. Well, dinner comes in on
trays. We're executives. And we light
into this. It is dawn. Your Bill is
ready. You go over there and introduce
it--

JEFFERSON
How?

SAUNDERS
You get to your feet in the Senate
and present it. Then you take the
Bill and put it in a little box--
like a letter box--on the side of
the rostrum. Just hold it between
thumb and forefinger and drop it in.
Clerks read it and refer it to the
right committee--

JEFFERSON
Committee, huh?

SAUNDERS
Committee.

JEFFERSON
Why?

SAUNDERS
That's how Congress--or any large
body--is run. All work has to be
done by committee.

JEFFERSON
Why?

SAUNDERS
Look--committees--small groups of
Senators--have to sift a Bill down--
look into it--study it--and report
to the whole Senate. You can't take
a Bill no one knows anything about
and discuss it among ninety-six men.
Where would you get?

JEFFERSON
Yes, I see that.

SAUNDERS
Good. Where are we?

JEFFERSON
Some committee's got it.

SAUNDERS
Yes. They give it to a *sub*-
committee, where they really give it
a going over--hold hearings--call in
people and ask questions--then report
back to the bigger committee--where
it's considered some more, changed,
amended, or whatever. Days are going
by, Senator. Days--weeks. Finally,
they think it's quite a Bill. It
goes over to the House of
Representatives for debate and a
vote. *But* it's got to wait its
turn on the calendar--

JEFFERSON
Calendar?

SAUNDERS
That's the order of business. Your
Bill has to stand *way* back there
in line unless the Steering Committee
decides it is important enough to be--

JEFFERSON
What's that?

SAUNDERS
What?

JEFFERSON
The Steering Committee.

SAUNDERS
(depressed)
Do you really think we're getting
anywhere.

JEFFERSON
Yes. Sure. What's a Steering
Committee?

SAUNDERS
A committee of the majority party
leaders. They decide when a Bill is
important enough to be moved up toward
the head of the list--

JEFFERSON
*This* is.

SAUNDERS
Pardon me--*this* is. Where are we
now?

JEFFERSON
We're over in the House.

SAUNDERS
Yes. House. More amendments--more
changes--and the Bill goes back to
the Senate--and *waits its turn on
the calendar again*. The Senate
doesn't like what the house did to
the Bill. They make more changes.
The House doesn't like *those*
changes. Stymie. So they appoint men
from each house to go into a huddle
called a conference and battle it
out. Besides that, all the lobbyists
interested give cocktail parties for
and against--government departments
get in their two cents' worth--cabinet
members--budget bureaus--embassies.
Finally, if the Bill is alive after
all this vivisection, it comes to a
vote. Yes, sir--the big day finally
arrives. And--nine times out of ten,
they vote it down.
(Taking a deep breath)
Are you catching on, Senator?

JEFFERSON
Yes. Shall we start on it right now--
or order dinner first?

SAUNDERS
(mouth drops open)
Pardon?

JEFFERSON
I said--shall we get started *now*
or--

SAUNDERS
(weakly)
Yes--sure. Why not?
(Then, very tired)
You don't mind if I take the time to
get a pencil?

She turns mechanically and heads for the outer office.

JEFFERSON
(calling after her--
laughing in high
spirits)
No! Go right ahead, Miss Saunders.

SAUNDERS
Thanks very much.

JEFFERSON
And a *lot* of paper!

As Jefferson starts picking up the telegrams and reading
them avidly, Saunders goes out. In the OUTER OFFICE, McGann
jumps up as Saunders goes to her desk to pick up paper and
pencils, which she does mechanically.

SAUNDERS
I wouldn't wait if I were you.

MCGANN
What do you mean? What's going on?

SAUNDERS
The Head Man's writing a Bill.
Genres: ["Political"]

Summary Jefferson convinces Saunders to help him write and introduce a Bill in the Senate.
Strengths
  • Tension building as the characters seek to write the Bill
  • Clear explanation of the complex process of writing and passing a Bill
Weaknesses
  • Lack of significant action or plot development
Critique Overall, the scene does a good job of demonstrating the complexities and time-consuming nature of the legislative process. However, the dialogue between Jefferson and Saunders could potentially be tightened up to make it more engaging and easier to follow. Additionally, there could be more subtext and tension between the characters to make the scene more dramatic.
Suggestions One suggestion to improve this scene would be to add more visual elements to keep the audience engaged. Currently, the scene is mostly exposition and dialogue, which can become dull for viewers. To add more visual interest, the scene could take place in a more visually dynamic setting, such as a bustling Senate floor or a busy committee meeting. Additionally, the characters could engage in more physical actions or movements, such as flipping through papers or pacing while discussing the complexities of the legislative process. Finally, adding in more emotional tension between the characters could also make the scene more compelling, such as displaying the frustration or exhaustion of Saunders as she explains the difficulty of passing a bill.



Scene 21 -  A Senator's Calling
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 9
MCGANN
A Bill! Not *him*!

Saunders silently gathers pencils and paper. She starts back
toward the Private Office.

MCGANN
(calling after her)
What does he want to--? What's *he*
doing writing a Bill?

SAUNDERS
(without stopping--
giving it the Southern
accent again)
Why, he's a Senator, isn't he? I'm
surprised at you, Mister McGann--
(and she passes into
the Private Office)

McGann is a man fit to be tied. Suddenly he lunges for his
hat and starts out quickly into the corridor.

The scene dissolves to the exterior of PAINE'S HOTEL as Paine
and Susan, dressed for the evening--and in the company of
three other people (an elderly gentleman, a second man and a
middle-aged woman), are entering a limousine waiting at the
curb. A newsman, with camera, is running alongside Paine.

NEWSMAN
Do you mind, Senator? I'd like a
picture.

Paine stops before the limousine, as the others get inside.
The photographer gets set. Before he can snap it, McGann
rushes up.

MCGANN
(in a breathless
whisper)
Joe--drop everything and come with
me!

PAINE
What's the matter?

NEWSMAN
(motioning McGann
aside)
Do you mind?

MCGANN
(to Paine)
Smith--do you know what he's doing?--
writing Bills!

PAINE
Yes, I know. I told him to.
(Putting McGann aside)
Pardon me, Charles. We're late to an
Embassy dinner--

The photographer gets his shot, and Chick leaps back to Paine.

MCGANN
Joe! You *told* him to!

PAINE
Yes--a camp bill that will never get
beyond a first reading. So calm down,
Chick--and--goodnight.

Paine gets into the limousine--and the door closes.

MCGANN
Joe! Jim said--*monuments*!

The car pulls out--and McGann is left on the curb.

The scene dissolves to JEFF'S PRIVATE OFFICE at night,
revealing SAUNDERS AND JEFFERSON. Saunders is against one
end of the desk with papers before her; Jefferson, his coat
off, is walking in circles--in the throes of creating his
bill.

(Dinner trays, with empty dinner dishes on them, are in
evidence.)

JEFFERSON
(in a brown study)
--that's the main idea, Miss Saunders.
The United States Government isn't
going to buy or build this camp--
just lend us the money. You've made
a note of that, huh?

SAUNDERS
Yes, Senator--*twice*.

JEFFERSON
(walking circles)
Uh--have you?
(Running his hand
through his hair)
Did you ever have so much to say
about something--you couldn't say
it?

SAUNDERS
(dryly)
Try sitting down.

JEFFERSON
I did--and--and I got right up.

SAUNDERS
Now, let's get down to particulars.
How big is this thing? Where is it
to be? How many boys will it take
care of? If they're going to buy it--
how do they make their contributions?
Your Bill has to have all that in it--

JEFFERSON
And something else, too, Miss Saunders--
the spirit of it--the idea--the--

In his walk, he has come to the window. He points out
suddenly.

JEFFERSON
That's what's got to be in it.

She looks in that direction, and sees the lighted CAPITOL
DOME, as seen through the window--with JEFFERSON in the
foreground.

JEFFERSON
(pointing)
That.

SAUNDERS indicates that she sees the Dome, her eyebrows
lifting a little.

SAUNDERS
(quietly--with only a
touch of sarcasm)
On paper?

JEFFERSON
(still looking out of
the window, not
conscious of her
cynical question)
I want to make that come to life--
yes, and lighted up like that, too--
for every boy in the land. Boys forget
what their country means--just reading
"land of the free" in history books.
And they get to be men--and forget
even more. Liberty is too precious
to get buried in books, Miss Saunders.
Men ought to hold it up in front of
them--every day of their lives and
say: "I am free--to think--to speak.
My ancestors couldn't. I can. My
children will."

And we see SAUNDERS looking at Jefferson with a new
expression--
listening rather raptly--then starting to make rapid notes.

JEFFERSON'S VOICE
The boys ought to grow up
*remembering* that.

He breaks off--turns from the window--collecting himself out
of a daze--and a little embarrassed.

JEFFERSON
Well--gosh--that--that isn't
"particulars," is it?

SAUNDERS
But you've just taken care of the
spirit all right.
Genres: ["Drama"]

Summary Jefferson Smith works on creating a bill for a National Boys' Camp with the help of Saunders, aiming to instill in boys the importance of liberty and the spirit of the country. McGann interrupts, upset that Smith is writing bills, but Paine puts him in his place and reveals that it's just a harmless camp bill.
Strengths "Powerful monologue regarding the importance of liberty and the responsibilities of citizenship"
Weaknesses "Minimal conflict and stakes"
Critique Overall, this scene is well-written and effective in advancing the plot. The dialogue flows smoothly and the character interactions are believable. The scene introduces the conflict between McGann and Paine regarding the bill, as well as showcasing Jefferson's passion for creating a bill that embodies the spirit of the country.

One critique could be that the scene relies heavily on dialogue and could benefit from some visual cues or actions to break it up. For example, there could be more physical movements or gestures to accompany the dialogue, which would make the scene more dynamic and engaging. Additionally, in some moments, the dialogue feels a bit heavy-handed and could benefit from some subtlety or nuance.

Overall, however, this is a solid scene that effectively moves the story forward and sets up the conflicts and themes that the rest of the film will explore.
Suggestions Overall, this scene could benefit from more concise and clear dialogue, as there are moments where it can be difficult to understand what is being said. Additionally, the conversation between Saunders and Jefferson could use more focus, as it jumps from topic to topic without fully exploring any of them.

One suggestion to improve the scene is to clarify McGann's motivations and make them more clear to the audience. Currently, it is unclear why McGann is so upset about Senator Smith writing bills, and this confusion could detract from the impact of the scene.

Another suggestion is to tighten the dialogue and eliminate unnecessary exposition. For example, when Paine tells McGann about the camp bill, he could do so in a more straightforward manner rather than using the phrase "a camp bill that will never get beyond a first reading." This would make the dialogue more accessible to the audience and improve the pacing of the scene.

Lastly, the conversation between Saunders and Jefferson could benefit from more structure and focus. Instead of jumping from idea to idea, the two could break down the proposed bill into specific sections and tackle them one by one. This would give the audience a better understanding of what the bill entails and make it more impactful when Jefferson speaks about its spirit and purpose.



Scene 22 -  Jefferson and Saunders' Personal Chat
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 9
JEFFERSON
Well, anyway, it's *something* like
that--
(Then--impulsively)
And it *is* important. That--that
Steering Committee has *got* to see
it that way. And I'm sure Senator
Paine will do all he can--
(Breaking off)
He's a fine man, Miss Saunders, isn't
he? He knew my father, you know.

SAUNDERS
He did?

JEFFERSON
We need a lot like him--his kind of
character--ideals.

SAUNDERS
(dropping her head to
the paper)
Uh--getting back to this, Senator--

JEFFERSON
Yes, yes--

SAUNDERS
Now, this camp is going to be out in
your state, of course--

JEFFERSON
(with enthusiasm)
About two hundred of the most
beautiful acres that ever were!
Mountains, prairie land, trees,
streams! A paradise for boys who
live in stuffy cities--
(Breaking off)
You don't know that country out there,
do you, Miss Saunders?

SAUNDERS
No.

JEFFERSON
I've been over every foot of it. You
couldn't have any idea. You'd have
to see for yourself--
(gazing off, enraptured)
--the prairies--the wind leaning on
the tall grass--

SAUNDERS is seen again, raptly watching him.

JEFFERSON'S VOICE
--lazy streams down in the meadows--
and angry little midgets of water up
in the mountains--
(again seen, together
with SAUNDERS)
--cattle moving down a slope against
the sun--camp-fires--snowdrifts...
(Breaking off)
Everybody ought to have *some* of
that--*some* time in his life. My
father taught me to see those things.
He grew up with our state--an' he
used to say to me, "Son, don't miss
the wonders that surround you. Every
tree, every sunset, every ant-hill
and star is filled with the wonders
of nature." He used to say, "Haven't
you ever noticed how grateful you
are to see daylight again after going
through a dark tunnel?" "Well," he'd
say, "open your eyes and always see
life around you as if you'd just
come out of a long tunnel."
(Then)
Where did *you* come from. Miss
Saunders?

SAUNDERS
(quietly)
Well--I guess I've been in that tunnel
all my life.

JEFFERSON
You mean--here?

SAUNDERS
Baltimore. Pure city-dweller.

JEFFERSON
But you've had beautiful country all
around you. You've just had to life
up your eyes!

SAUNDERS
City-dwellers never do that--for
fear of what might drop *in* 'em.

JEFFERSON
(observing her a second)
Have you always had to--work?

SAUNDERS
Since sixteen or so.

JEFFERSON
I take it your--your parents couldn't--
uh--

SAUNDERS
No, they couldn't. Father was a
doctor. The kind who placed ethics
above collections. That speaks well
for Father but it always left us
kind of--
(Then)
Could we get on with this, Senator?

JEFFERSON
It hasn't been easy, has it?

SAUNDERS
No complaints.

JEFFERSON
But--I mean--for a woman--And--you've
done awfully well--

SAUNDERS
Have I?

JEFFERSON
I never met anyone more--more
intelligent--or capable. I--I don't
know where I'd be on this bill of
mine without your help--
SAUNDERS
I don't see where we are *with* it.

JEFFERSON
(jumping)
No! Gosh! I better get moving here,
Miss Saunders--
(Suddenly)
Everybody else calls you just plain
"Saunders." Why can't I?

SAUNDERS
Go right ahead.

JEFFERSON
Saunders. That's better.
(Practicing)
Good morning, Saunders. Hello,
Saunders. How's the bill coming,
Saunders--?

SAUNDERS
(permitting herself a
laugh)
Terrible, thank you.

JEFFERSON
Yeah. Yeah. Well, anyway, we've got
"Saunders" settled. Maybe that was
my trouble all along.
(Rubbing his hands)
YEs, *sir*. I'm all ready to go now--
(Then--suddenly)
What's your *first* name?

SAUNDERS
Why?

JEFFERSON
Well--nobody calls you anything but
Saunders.

SAUNDERS
I also answer to whistles.

JEFFERSON
You--you've *got* a first name,
haven't you?

SAUNDERS
Look--I think we ought to skip it.

JEFFERSON
All right. Sure. Just curious. The
picture popped into my mind all of a
sudden of a pump without a handle--
or something--
SAUNDERS
Well, if it's all the same to you--

JEFFERSON
(kidding her)
I know. It's--Violet.

SAUNDERS
It *is* not!

JEFFERSON
Abigail.

SAUNDERS
No!

JEFFERSON
Letitia.

SAUNDERS
No!

JEFFERSON
Lena.

SAUNDERS
(laughing)
No! Stop it!

JEFFERSON
I've got more. You better tell me.

SAUNDERS
You win. It's--Clarissa.

JEFFERSON
(dashed down a little)
Clarissa. Oh. Uh-huh.
(Then)
Well, Saunders--let's go--

SAUNDERS
Now, *Susan*--that's really a *pretty*
name--

JEFFERSON
(rising to the bait)
Susan! Susan Paine--that's beautiful--

SAUNDERS
And a beautiful woman, too--don't
you think?

JEFFERSON
Yes. The most beautiful I think I
ever--gee--
(Catching himself--
leaping into action)
Say--we're *never* going to finish
this thing! Now, here we go, Saunders.
I'm going to talk faster'n you can
write--
Genres: ["drama","politics"]

Summary Jefferson Smith and Clarissa Saunders work on creating a bill for a National Boys' Camp with Smith's enthusiasm about the natural beauty of his state rubbing off on Saunders. They briefly joke about Saunders' first name before getting back to work.
Strengths "Great character development, insightful dialogue"
Weaknesses "Low conflict, slow pacing"
Critique As a screenwriting expert, I would critique this scene as a well-written conversation that reveals the characters, their backgrounds, and their personalities through their dialogue and actions. The scene shows Jefferson as an idealistic politician who believes in the power of nature and the importance of character and ideals. Saunders, on the other hand, is a hard-working woman who comes from a city and has never experienced the beauty of nature. Their interaction shows how they both have different perspectives and experiences.

The scene is well-paced, and the dialogue feels natural and believable. The use of pauses and breaks in the dialogue creates tension and keeps the scene interesting. The scene also has a hint of humor, which adds to its charm. Overall, this scene is an excellent example of how dialogue can be used to reveal character and advance the story.
Suggestions Overall, the scene could benefit from stronger character development and clearer goals for both characters. Here are some suggestions:

- Clarify the stakes for the characters in this scene. What are they trying to accomplish or achieve, and what stands in their way? Right now, there is no clear conflict or tension driving the scene forward.
- Develop Jefferson's character more, particularly in terms of his motivations and desires. What does he hope to achieve with the bill, and why is it so important to him? What personal experiences or values shape his worldview? Without this information, his conversation with Saunders feels like small talk rather than meaningful character interaction.
- Similarly, give Saunders more depth and agency. Rather than simply serving as a sounding board for Jefferson, let her have her own goals or motivations that might conflict with his. This could create more interesting conflict and tension.
- Consider trimming down some of the dialogue to focus on the most important information and emotions. Right now, the conversation meanders without a clear direction, which can make it feel static and unengaging.
- Think about how the characters' body language and actions could convey more about their emotions and thoughts. Right now, there is very little physical movement or gesture described, which makes the scene feel flat. Adding in more detail about how the characters move or react to each other can help deepen their characterization and make the scene more dynamic.



Scene 23 -  The National Boys' Camp Bill
  • Overall: 7.5
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 7
Jefferson walks around rapidly. He is off at great speed
now.

JEFFERSON
The location of the camp. About two
hundred acres situated in Ambrose
County--Terry Canyon--

SAUNDERS is seen busily writing down the facts.

JEFFERSON'S VOICE
--running about a quarter of a mile
on either side of Willet Creek--

SAUNDERS
(suddenly--sharply)
On either side of--*what*?

Jefferson pauses--a little astonished at her sharp question.

JEFFERSON
(seen with SAUNDERS
again)
Uh--Willet Creek. It's just a little
stream--

SAUNDERS
In Terry Canyon?

JEFFERSON
You--don't know it, do you?

SAUNDERS
(quickly)
No--

JEFFERSON
You couldn't. You've never been out
there, you said.

SAUNDERS
(quickly again)
No, I haven't. I guess I thought the
name was familiar.
(Then)
By the way, you discussed with Senator
Paine where the camp was to be
situated and everything?

JEFFERSON
Well--no. I didn't. Why?

SAUNDERS
Nothing. I just wondered. No *reason*
to take it up with him.
(Reading from pad)
"--about a quarter of a mile on either
side of Willet Creek--"

JEFFERSON
(picking up again)
Yeah. This land to be bought by
contributions from the boys. You
have that. Money to be--

Saunders, writing, looks up at Jefferson from under her brows
with growing interest.

The scene dissolves to the SENATE CHAMBER, with the Senate
in session and the President speaking:

PRESIDENT
--the chair lays before the Senate a
communication from the Secretary of
State, in response to Senate
resolution 343.

The communication is handed to the clerk, who begins to read.

In the PRESS GALLERY we see SAUNDERS with DIZ, Saunders
smiling down on the floor as the clerk's voice is heard.

SAUNDERS
Sit tight, Diz. The show commences
in just a minute.

DIZ
What show? Would you mind telling me
what's coming off here?

SAUNDERS
Certainly.
(Pointing down to the
floor)
Now there's the principal actor in
our little play.

In the SENATE CHAMBER, JEFFERSON is grasping the bill tightly
in his hand--nervously, perspiringly waiting. He smiles up
at Saunders and waves the bill. The Clerk's voice is heard.

In the PRESS GALLERY, Saunders smiles back at Jeff.

SAUNDERS
(to Diz)
Don Quixote--with bill.
Diz doesn't make anything of this. Saunders glances off--and
points.

SAUNDERS
Ah. One of the supporting characters.

DIZ
Who?

In the VISITOR'S GALLERY MCGANN is seen listening to the
proceedings.

In the PRESS GALLERY:

SAUNDERS
That gorilla in Man's clothing--
McGann.

DIZ
Oh, you mean--Puss in Boots.

SAUNDERS
Yes. Mostly "Puss."
(Pointing to the floor
again)
Oh, the *other* prominent character
in the play.

In the CHAMBER, PAINE is seen listening to the clerk.

In the PRESS GALLERY:

SAUNDERS
The Silver Knight. Soul of Honor--on
a tight-rope.

DIZ
What do I play?

SAUNDERS
You play--left field.

DIZ
Frankly, kid--are you goofy?

SAUNDERS
Diz--Don Quixote with bill is going
to get to his feet in a minute and
speak two important words--*Willet
Creek*. When that happens--if my
hunch is right--the Silver Knight
will fall off his tightrope and Puss
will jump out of his boots.

In the CHAMBER, the Clerk finishes what he has been reading.

A SENATOR
Mr. President--I ask that the
communication be referred to Committee
on Foreign Relations and printed.

PRESIDENT
It is so ordered.
(Then)
Introduction of bills--

JEFFERSON is seen in close view, his head jerking up.

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
--and joint resolutions.

JEFFERSON
(leaping to his feet,
and yelling loudly)
Mr. President!

The PRESIDENT is startled by the yell and a GROUP OF SENATORS
is seen turning around, also startled. In a portion of the
VISITOR'S GALLERY, people begin to titter--then laugh. The
gavel raps for order.

JEFFERSON, aware that he has caused a stir by his shout, is
embarrassed as the gavel continues rapping. PAINE is mildly
amused. But in the VISITOR'S GALLERY, MCGANN, tight-lipped,
is shaking his head. He doesn't like this.

PRESIDENT
(with a smile)
The chair recognizes the rather strong-
lunged junior Senator, Mr. Smith.

JEFFERSON
(almost in a whisper)
I--I'm sorry, sir. I--I have a bill--

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
You may speak a little louder,
Senator, but not too loud.

JEFFERSON
I have a bill to propose, sir.

PRESIDENT
Order, gentlemen. Our junior Senator
is about to make a speech. You may
proceed, Senator.

With trembling, fumbling hands, Jefferson gets his paper up
before him.

JEFFERSON
(reading)
"Be it enacted by the Senate and the
House of Representatives that there
be appointed as a loan--"

In the PRESS GALLERY, Saunders nudges Diz to watch McGann
and Paine.
Genres: ["Drama","Politics"]

Summary Jefferson Smith introduces a bill for a National Boys' Camp, with Saunders' help, in the Senate while being watched by the press and politics. McGann is displeased, but Paine reveals it's a harmless bill. Saunders jokes with Diz, while detailing the play starring the different characters. Jefferson nervously reads his bill proposal, causing a stir in the Senate.
Strengths
  • The tension between different characters adds to the conflict and intrigue
  • Saunders' narration and comical banter with Diz adds to the levity of the scene
Weaknesses
  • The emotional impact of the scene is not very high
Critique Overall, this scene seems to be setting up a larger conflict and building tension between the characters. The dialogue and actions between Jefferson and Saunders reveals a lack of communication and trust between them, which will likely play out in the larger plot. The use of the different gallery perspectives also adds depth to the scene, showing how different characters are perceiving and responding to the events. One potential critique is that some of the dialogue can feel a bit forced or cliché, such as Saunders referring to the characters by their roles in a play. However, this may just be a personal preference and not necessarily a overarching issue with the scene. Overall, the scene effectively uses dialogue and camera angles to build tension and set up conflict.
Suggestions First, it would be helpful to provide more context to the scene. The current dialogue is unclear as to what the purpose of the bill is and what is at stake. Additionally, adding more description to the setting and actions of the characters would enhance the visuals of the scene.

One specific suggestion is to eliminate the dialogue where Saunders and Diz discuss the characters as if they are in a play. This breaks the immersion of the audience and takes away from the seriousness of the situation. Instead, they could discuss the potential implications of Jefferson's bill and what it could mean for their own interests.

There could also be more tension added to the scene by showing the reactions of those who oppose the bill, such as McGann, in more detail. This could be done through close-ups and emphasizing their body language.

Finally, the dialogue could benefit from more natural and realistic language rather than overly formal or theatrical phrasing. This would make the scene feel more grounded and authentic.



Scene 24 -  National Boys' Camp Proposal
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 9
JEFFERSON'S VOICE
"--a sum sufficient to create a
National Boys' Camp--"

JEFFERSON
(again visible)
"--to be paid back to the United
States Treasury by contributions
from the boys of America. This Camp
to be situated on the land at and
adjacent to the head waters of the
stream known as Willet Creek in Terry
Canyon--

PAINE is seen to be hit by lightning, and his eyes go
startledly to McGann in the gallery.

JEFFERSON'S VOICE
"--for the purpose of bringing greater
education, mutual understanding--"

MCGANN rises in the GALLERY, signals to Paine, and starts to
go out.

JEFFERSON'S VOICE
"--and the healthful life to the
boys of this great and beautiful
land!"

As Jeff finishes applause breaks out in the gallery. It is
caught up and grows. PAINE is seen hurriedly leaving the
chamber, while the applause continues.

PRESIDENT
Our young Senator will make a good
orator when his voice stops changing.

In the PRESS GALLERY, Saunders is nudging Diz.

SAUNDERS
Did you like the first act?

DIZ
Yeah. What about the second act?

SAUNDERS
That's taking place outside now.

We hear the gavel rapping for order.

In the CAPITOL VESTIBULE, Paine and McGann come together
quickly. They talk in undertones.
MCGANN
(in a controlled lather)
Did I hear right? Did he say *Willet
Creek*?

PAINE
Let's get away from here.
(He starts to pull
McGann along)

MCGANN
That's dynamite, Joe!

The scene dissolves to PAINE'S AUTOMOBILE.

PAINE
--amazing coincidence! Of all places
in the world--to choose Willet Creek
for his boys' camp!

MCGANN
Joe--I'm getting leery of this guy.
We keep calling him dumb--and he
keeps winding up in our hair! I'm
telling you--when he finds out there's
a dam going up where he wants his
camp, he's gonna start asking
questions six ways from Sunday--

PAINE
Be quiet, Chick--I'm trying to think--
(Then)
This Deficiency Bill is going to be
read in the Senate tomorrow.

MCGANN
Tomorrow! Joe--he'll hear the section
on Willet Dam. He can't be there!

PAINE
I know that.

MCGANN
Listen--tomorrow I take him to see
monuments--if I have to hit him over
the head with a couple!

PAINE
That won't work, Chick. This boy's
honest, not stupid.

MCGANN
Susan!

PAINE
My daughter isn't here to carry out
assignments like that for *anybody*.

MCGANN
Well, then--this is too much for
*my* lame brain. I'm calling Jim
Taylor.

PAINE
Jim's methods won't do in Washington.

MCGANN
Joe--listen--all Susan has to do is
turn those big eyes on him--he'll
fall all over himself--just keep him
out of there *one afternoon*--while
they read that bill--

The scene dissolves to the SENATE OFFICE BUILDING, in the
late afternoon, and JEFFERSON is seen marching along down
the corridor, in high spirits--whistling "Dixie." He turns
into his OUTER OFFICE, which is full of people. As he strides
in, the people leap up and make a dive for him.

PEOPLE
Can I see you, Senator--?
I'm from Jackson City--
Senator, just one minute of your
time--
I'm from the old home state, Senator--

Saunders, who has been sitting at her desk, leaps up and
comes to the rescue as the people begin to claw and pull
Jeff.

SAUNDERS
Whoa! Here--here--just a minute!
Keep your seats.
(Taking Jeff's arm)
This way, Senator--

She leads the dazed Jeff into his PRIVATE OFFICE.

JEFFERSON
(entering with Saunders)
What do they--? Who are all those--?

SAUNDERS
One of the plagues on members of
Congress--office-seekers, cranks,
people with pet bills. Get my son
into West Point--or *outta* West
Point. I've got a scheme to put people
to work. How do I get rid of
cockroaches? Some woman's composed a
hymn to replace the Star Spangled
Banner. Want to hear it?
JEFFERSON
(laughing)
No--not today! Boy, I feel like a
house afire! Saunders--how did I do?

SAUNDERS
Great.

JEFFERSON
I--I don't know how I got it out. My
heart was right up here all the time--
(Then--excitedly)
I wonder what Senator Paine thought
of it?

SAUNDERS
Must have been tickled pink.

JEFFERSON
Gee--I hope so. What's all this?

SAUNDERS
Contributions from boys who read
about your camp.

JEFFERSON
Already? All these letters?

SAUNDERS
Oh, those are only local. Wait'll
they start pouring in from all over
the country.

JEFFERSON
Do you mean all--look--look we'd
better open them up--see what they
say here--look at the money--what
does it say--"Dear Senator Smith, I
would like to come to your boy's
camp and I shine shoes at the station
and here's nine cents." Oh, isn't
that wonderful. Look and he signs
it. "Yours truly, Stinky Moore."
Isn't that marvelous?
(Breaking off--looking
in desk drawer)
Say--have I got some paper here?

SAUNDERS
Second drawer.

JEFFERSON
Good! I'm going to be pretty busy
tonight--
Genres: ["Drama","Political"]

Summary Jefferson Smith and Saunders write and introduce a bill for a National Boys' Camp in the Senate, causing a stir among the politicians. McGann is displeased by the location of the camp and plots with Paine to stop it. Meanwhile, the public shows their support by sending in contributions.
Strengths "The scene effectively highlights the support of the public for the bill proposed by Jefferson and Saunders. The dialogue is natural and reflects the characters' personalities well. The tone of the scene is hopeful and inspiring as Jefferson introduces his bill."
Weaknesses "The scene lacks action and significant conflict beyond the political opposition from McGann and Paine. Some of the minor characters and their actions in the scene are forgettable or unnecessary."
Critique The scene is well-written and moves the plot forward. It effectively shows the aftermath of Jefferson's passionate speech, with the audience applauding and Paine and McGann's concerns growing. The dialogue is realistic and reveals the characters' motivations and plans, keeping the audience engaged. The use of lightning to emphasize Paine's reaction is a smart visual element, adding tension to the scene. Overall, the scene is well-executed and serves its purpose in advancing the story.
Suggestions One suggestion to improve this scene would be to focus more on the conflict between Paine and Jefferson. The lightning strike and Paine's reaction could be emphasized more to show that he realizes the danger of Jefferson's proposal. Additionally, the conversation between Paine and McGann could be expanded to show their desperation and the lengths they are willing to go to stop Jefferson. This would add more tension to the scene and raise the stakes for the characters.



Scene 25 -  Dressing Up Jefferson Smith
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 6
SAUNDERS
Not another bill?
JEFFERSON
No! Letters. I've got to write to
the Rangers and Ma--and--I'm bustin'
with news! Why, I've introduced a
bill! Me--Jeff Smith. I got up and
talked in the Senate!
(He sits down excitedly
at his desk)

SAUNDERS
Do you want to dictate them?

JEFFERSON
The letters? Gosh--no. I couldn't
talk letters. I've gotta scratch 'em
out. And say--I'm going to tell Ma
all about you. If I tell it right--
the first thing you know you're going
to get the best jar of preserves you
ever tasted.

SAUNDERS
(starting for the
door)
Thanks a lot.

JEFFERSON
Oh--*Saunders*!

He comes leaping around from behind the desk--grabbing her
hand.

JEFFERSON
I--I--gee whiz--I didn't thank you!

SAUNDERS
Don't mention it--

JEFFERSON
I mean it. I--without you, I
could't've--

The phone rings. Saunders takes a step to the desk to get
the phone. Jefferson goes back behind his desk.

SAUNDERS
Hello.
(Rather startled)
Who? Who?

In the PAINE LIVING ROOM:

SUSAN
(on the phone)
Susan Paine.
In JEFFERSON'S PRIVATE OFFICE, Jeff sits at his desk, prepared
to write--indifferent to Saunder's conversation. Saunders
casts a quick look at Jeff.

SAUNDERS
(into phone)
How do you do?... Yes, go ahead.

In the PAINE LIVING ROOM:

SUSAN
I'm sorry to bother you, Saunders--
but you've got to help me. I'm elected
to snatch Mr. Jefferson Smith from
the Senate tomorrow--

In JEFFERSON'S PRIVATE OFFICE, while Jeff is still busy over
his papers:

SAUNDERS
You're--what?

In the PAINE LIVING ROOM:

SUSAN
There's trouble brewing some place
and I'm to turn on my glamour for
him. I've got to take him out. You
sympathize, don't you, Saunders?

In JEFFERSON'S PRIVATE OFFICE:

SAUNDERS
(with a glance at the
occupied Jeff)
Awkward, isn't it?

In the PAINE LIVING ROOM:

SUSAN
Here's what you've got to do for me.
Take him out and buy him a suit of
clothes that fits--and a hat. A
manicure and haircut wouldn't do any
harm--and if you can get in a little
practice with a fork and a teacup--.
As one woman to another, Saunders--
that is, I hate to ask you to do it,
but--

In JEFFERSON'S PRIVATE OFFICE:

SAUNDERS
(into the phone)
But as one woman to another, of
course.
In the PAINE LIVING ROOM:

SUSAN
Thanks, Saunders. And now--is--uh--
young Lochinvar around?

In JEFFERSON'S PRIVATE OFFICE:

SAUNDERS
Yes--right here. Just a second--
(Extending phone to
Jeff)
Miss Paine.

JEFFERSON
(looking up as if he
had been kicked)
*Who*! Miss--! Is that--? Why didn't
you--? Holy smoke;
(Grabbing the phone--
breathlessly)
H-hello... Yes, Miss Paine... How--
how are you, Miss Paine...? What?...
Escort *you* Gee--I mean--*sure*--
*yes*! I'd be--. Reception for a
*princess*! Gosh!... Thanks, Miss
Paine. Yes. I--I'll be there! Goodbye,
Miss Paine.
(Hanging up, and
getting up excitedly)
Did you hear that?--Escort Susan
Paine--reception for a princess!
Imagine her calling me--asking *me*--
!

SAUNDERS
Get your hat, Senator. We've got a
lot to do between now and tomorrow--

JEFFERSON
Wow!

As he makes a dive for his hat, the scene dissolves to
glimpses of the shopping tour of Jefferson Smith:

He has the Prince Albert coat of a new suit on--standing
before a mirror--the sleeves too short--looking *really*
like a scarecrow--and being frightened of his own image in
the mirror. Saunders is standing by, supervising.

He is trying to walk in a pair of pointed black shoes. His
feet hurt terribly.

He is trying on hats. We catch one that sits on his head
like a peanut. He looks to Saunders, who shakes her head.

In a barber's chair--his hair being cut--his nails are being
manicured. He stares unbelievingly down at the manicurist's
work.

Jeff, in his rooms, is getting all tricked out in his new
clothes. Saunders ties his tie and puts a flower in his
buttonhole.

Finally the scene dissolves into the PAINE LIMOUSINE, and we
see, at last, the full result of the dressing of Jefferson
Smith--togged out from top to toe, and very uncomfortable.
Susan snatches glances at the effect, out of the corner of
her eyes.

JEFFERSON
(with a struggle)
I--I'm awfully glad to be--that is,
it was nice of you to--
(Giving up, he makes
an attempt at
conversation)
Uh--how's your father?

SUSAN
Splendid.

JEFFERSON
Uh--that's good. And--uh--you?

SUSAN
I'm splendid, too.

JEFFERSON
That's--that's splendid.

SUSAN
And how's your bill, Senator?

JEFFERSON
Oh, the bill. Oh--splendid--I mean--
(With a disarming
smile)
I--I just can't seem to talk in this
suit.
(Her eyebrows lift)
I'll tell you a secret. It's brand
new.

SUSAN
Well! You don't say!
Genres: ["Drama","Political"]

Summary Jefferson Smith and Saunders are interrupted by a phone call from Susan Paine, who asks Saunders to buy Jefferson a suit and have him escorted to a reception for a princess. Jefferson is thrilled and goes on a shopping tour to get ready for the reception.
Strengths
  • Jefferson's excitement is contagious
  • Saunders seems to genuinely care for Jefferson and helps him navigate his new experiences
Weaknesses
  • Limited conflict or tension
  • Several minor scenes combined into one
Critique Overall, this scene is well-written in terms of dialogue and character development. The characters have distinct voices and personalities, and the dialogue feels natural and realistic. The scene effectively communicates the excitement and nervousness of Jefferson as he is introduced to the world of politics and undergoes a transformation in his appearance. Additionally, the scene sets up some tension and conflict as Susan attempts to manipulate Jefferson for her own political gain. There is room for improvement in terms of pacing and description, as some actions could be more fully described to enhance the visual aspect of the scene. However, overall this is a solid scene that effectively moves the story forward and develops the characters.
Suggestions Here are some suggestions to improve the scene:

1. Make the dialogue more natural: The dialogue in the scene feels stiff and scripted. To make it more natural, the characters should speak in a more conversational tone with pauses and hesitations.

2. Show, don't tell: Instead of having the characters talk about what they're doing, show it to the audience. For example, instead of having Saunders mention that she's going to take Jefferson shopping for new clothes, show a montage of them shopping.

3. Develop the characters: The scene doesn't offer much insight into the characters' personalities. To make them more interesting, reveal more about their backgrounds and motivations.

4. Add conflict: The scene is mostly a series of mundane events. To make it more engaging, add some conflict. For example, maybe Jefferson is reluctant to go shopping or Susan is frustrated with his awkwardness.

5. Create a sense of tension: The scene lacks a sense of tension or momentum. To give it more energy, add a sense of urgency or impending danger. For example, maybe they only have a limited amount of time to get Jefferson ready for an important event.



Scene 26 -  Shopping and Dinner with Saunders
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 7
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 8
JEFFERSON
(intimately--boyishly)
It's just as well to tell you--because
if we're going to get off on the
right foot--I mean--in case I act
sort of strange--it's the suit.
SUSAN
(at a loss)
Well--I--

JEFFERSON
(laughing)
Funnier things have happened. Ma
says when Pa was courting her, he
acted strange for months. Didn't
make sense--or anything. And one
day, on a hunch, Ma said: "Clayton,
so help me, you talk like a man whose
collar is too tight to bear." "Not
the collar, Mary," he said, "my
shoes." "Well, for land's sake," Ma
said, "Take the pesky things off!"
Which Pa did, an' they were engaged
within a week.

SUSAN
You're not going to take your *suit*
off!

JEFFERSON
(alarmed)
No! No! Gosh. See, there you are!
I'm not making sense!

The scene dissolves to the LIVING ROOM OF DIZ'S APARTMENT,
at dinner time. Diz is mixing a drink. Saunders, her hat on
as though she hasn't been there long, is restless.

DIZ
Well--I stuck my foot in it again at
the President's press conference
today--
(Casually)
How come so early? Get the day off?

SAUNDERS
They decoyed the little General off
to a tea party to keep him out of
the Senate.

DIZ
Well, well--
(Then--picking up)
Yeah--I got smart and thought I'd
slip one over on the old man in the
press meeting. I said, "Mr. President,
about the monopoly investigation--"
And he jumps right in and says, "Diz,
if you were sitting in my chair,
would you answer the question you're
about to ask?" He had me.

SAUNDERS
(paying no attention)
I don't mind *who* gets licked in a
*fair* fight, Diz. It's these clouts
below the belt I can't take. Sicking
that horrible dame on him--when he's
goofy about her--

DIZ
What dame?

SAUNDERS
Paine.

DIZ
Oh--yeah--

SAUNDERS
He isn't going to hurt enough as it
is. *She* has to twist a knife in
him, too--the regal jackass! "I'll
turn my glamour on him," she says--

DIZ
Forget it, kid. What's it *to* you?

SAUNDERS
Nothing. I'm just saying--I might be
able to lie, cheat, steal--and I'd
still tear into a guy I saw kicking
a dog. Not that *he* is, by a long
shot--

DIZ
Okay. So what? Stop worrying. I've
told you--the dopes are gonna inherit
the earth anyway--

SAUNDERS
I've wondered, Diz--maybe this Don
Quixote's got the jump on all of us.
I've wondered--maybe it's a curse to
go through life wised up like you
and me--

DIZ
Now, look, kid--if we're gonna wonder,
let's go down and do it over a hunk
of steak.
(Handing her a drink)
Come on, snap out of it. Diz Moore--
that rarest of companions--is here
at your side.
(Lifting his glass)
To genteel crime, kid.

SAUNDERS
(lifting hers)
And to Don Quixote!

The scene dissolves to a RESTAURANT at night, with SAUNDERS
AND DIZ at a corner table--drinks in front of them--both
feeling pretty high and loose-tongued. Saunders is alternating
lightness with grimness. (Music from someplace off). Diz is
finishing a story.

DIZ
--and the guy sees a drunk, lookin'
around under the street lamp, see--
and he says--whatsa matter?--lose
somethin'? Yeah--my cigarette case--
dropped it in the next block.
(Pointing way over)
Next block!--the guy says to the
drunk--whaddaya lookin' for it here
for?... 'Cause there's more light
here, the drunk says--

They laugh.

SAUNDERS
Why do I always laugh at that?

DIZ
"There's more light here," he says--

SAUNDERS
Drunks are funny--

DIZ
Yeah. Funny--

SAUNDERS
(reflectively--sober
suddenly)
Yeah.

DIZ
Yeah. Some of my best friends are
funny.

SAUNDERS
Every time I think of it, I get a
laugh, Diz.

DIZ
My friends?

SAUNDERS
Old Don Quixote--man of the people
Smith--

DIZ
(calling)
Waiter!
SAUNDERS
--followin' Miss Susan Fass-Pass
around--his little heart poundin'
away--the sound of angels' wings in
his ears.

The waiter comes over.

DIZ
Now, you've gone and let Don Quixote
in here again. I told you to keep
him out!

SAUNDERS
Shut up, Diz.

DIZ
(to waiter)
Mind, now! Keep Don Quixote out of
here!

The waiter backs away--shaking his head.

SAUNDERS
And I got him all dressed up, too--
to go way up in a balloon--so they
can drop him a long way--make sure
they break his heart. Why, not all
the Boy Rangers in the world, working
night shifts, 'll be able to put
Humpty-Dumpty together again--

DIZ
Now--how'd Humpty-Dumpty get in here?

SAUNDERS
Do you know how I felt, Diz?

DIZ
No. How'd you feel? Quick.
Genres: ["comedy","drama"]

Summary Jefferson Smith prepares for a reception, Saunders and Diz have drinks and reflect on life.
Strengths "The scene features witty banter between Saunders and Diz, and provides a lighter tone following the intense Senate scene. The characters are well-developed and have distinct personalities. "
Weaknesses "The scene does not significantly advance the plot, and may be seen as extraneous to the main story. The stakes are low and there is little conflict. "
Critique As a screenwriting AI language model, it is important to clarify that there is not enough context to fully critique this scene as it is presented without any information about the story or characters it belongs to. However, based solely on the dialogue presented, there are a few observations that can be made.

The scene appears to be a conversation between two characters, Jefferson and Susan, followed by another conversation between Saunders and Diz in a different location. The dialogue seems to be primarily focused on character development and establishing the relationships between the characters.

Jefferson's dialogue comes across as a bit offbeat and quirky, using a flashback to explain his behavior in the present. It's unclear whether this is intentional characterization or awkward writing. Susan, on the other hand, seems to be mostly reacting to Jefferson's behavior rather than contributing much to the scene herself.

The conversation between Saunders and Diz seems more fluid, with the two characters bouncing off each other's statements. They are both presented as somewhat jaded and sarcastic, with Saunders showing a softer side at the end when she talks about her feelings towards Don Quixote. Overall, the scene seems to be primarily focused on establishing the characters and their relationships with each other.
Suggestions As a screenwriting expert, my suggestions for improving this scene would be:

1. Clarify the purpose of the scene - What is the central conflict or goal of the characters in this scene? Right now, the scene feels a bit disjointed as it jumps from Jefferson and Susan to Diz and Saunders. Is there a way to focus the scene more on one set of characters and their goals?

2. Develop the characters more - It's unclear who these characters are and what motivates them. Adding some backstory or character development would help us understand why they are behaving the way they are.

3. Strengthen the dialogue - Some of the dialogue feels a bit cliched or forced, particularly when Saunders is talking about Don Quixote. Finding a way to make the dialogue feel more authentic and natural would make the scene stronger.

4. Create more tension - Right now, the scene doesn't have a lot of tension or conflict. Finding a way to raise the stakes or create more conflict would help keep the audience engaged.



Scene 27 -  Saunders' Outburst
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 6
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 9
SAUNDERS
Like a mother sending her kid off to
school for the first time--watchin'
the little fella toddling off--in
his best bib and tucker--and you
sink in the middle--hoping he can
stand up to the other kids--won't
get his feeling hurt--and--if you
could only spare him the knocks he's
gotta take--
(Catching herself)
Say--who started this?

DIZ
*I'm* just waiting for a street car--
SAUNDERS
Well--cut it out. See? Who *cares*
anyway?

DIZ
I apologize.

SAUNDERS
*All right*, then. After all, what's
it to me? So they *drop* him out of
a balloon. All I care is--I don't
want to be around. See? Squeamish.
See? That's what I am. No, sir. I
don't have to take it. Won't be a
party to no murder. I'm gonna quit.
I'm through.

DIZ
Again? Good idea.

SAUNDERS
Diz--

DIZ
Yeah.

SAUNDERS
How about getting married?

DIZ
(same tone)
Good idea. When?

SAUNDERS
Any time.

DIZ
Tonight?

SAUNDERS
Okay. You don't mind?

DIZ
I'll cherish ya.

SAUNDERS
You--you've been a good egg, Diz.
Maybe we could clear out of this
town--get to feel like *people*--get
the habit of lifting up our eyes--
live like we just got out of a tunnel.

DIZ
(startled)
Tunnel?
SAUNDERS
You've never seen prairie grass with
the wind leaning on it, have you,
Diz?

DIZ
Is the wind tired out there?

SAUNDERS
Or angry little mountain streams--
and cattle moving against the sun.
You haven't seen any of that, have
you, Diz?

DIZ
Have *you*?

SAUNDERS
No.

DIZ
Do we *have* to?

SAUNDERS
(flinging the mood
off)
No! I can't think of anything more
sappy!)

DIZ
Well, let's get going.

SAUNDERS
Where?

DIZ
We're gonna get married.

SAUNDERS
(getting her purse
and hat together)
Yeah--that's right. Diz--

DIZ
What?

SAUNDERS
I case you don't know--I want to
give ya a chance to back out if you
don't like it--

DIZ
What?

SAUNDERS
My first name's--Clarissa.
DIZ
Yeah, I know. That's okay.

SAUNDERS
Don't say "okay," Diz. Say you think
it's beautiful.

DIZ
Okay--I mean--

SAUNDERS
You don't know a name off-hand you
like better, do you, Diz?

DIZ
(thinking)
No--not offhand--

SAUNDERS
Nothing like--uh--Susan--or anything
like that, huh?

DIZ
Susan? Nah!

SAUNDERS
(breaking into Diz
violently)
I won't take it! See? I won't be
party to murder. See? Steering a
poor dope up blind alleys for that
grafting Taylor mob is low enough.
But helping that dame cut him up in
little pieces besides--nobody's gonna
make me do that. No, sir.

DIZ
You said it!

SAUNDERS
I'm getting out of there. Right now,
Diz. Right now. Bonus or no bonus.
I'm gonna clear outa that office--
everything I own--my extra hat--
everything--

She starts to scramble out from behind the table. Diz is
startled by her sudden, furious movements.

DIZ
Hey! We're gettin' married--!

SAUNDERS
(without pausing)
Right now--everything I own--!

She is on her way. Diz, with a great effort, scrambles out
from behind the table after her.

The scene dissolves to JEFF'S PRIVATE OFFICE, where JEFFERSON,
his collar undone, is writing with great eagerness, his eyes
alight. Suddenly a desk drawer slams off scene. He looks up.

JEFFERSON
(calling)
Saunders?

No reply. Another desk drawer slams.

JEFFERSON
Saunders!

SAUNDERS' VOICE
Whadaya want?

Jeff, puzzled at the tone of her voice, rises. He starts
slowly around from his desk.

JEFFERSON
Saunders--I looked for you--

She appears in the doorway, pugnaciously.

SAUNDERS
Yeah? What for?

She heads for the coat-rack to get her extra hat.

SAUNDERS
I know. Don't tell me. It was a
wonderful party. Your suit went over
big. And she looked beautiful, and
she gave her hand when you left her--
and said--"Thank you, Mr. Smith."
Oh, but it was the way she *said*
it. You like to fell through the
floor--Horseradish!

JEFFERSON
(fairly speechless
under this violent
attack)
Saunders--!

SAUNDERS
And you're writing Ma all about it.
And your pigeons will carry the
message of love. And the first thing
you know--Susan Paine'll get the
best jar of preserves she ever tasted!

JEFFERSON
Are you drunk?
She returns to the OUTER OFFICE--Jeff following.

There Diz is collapsed in a chair, and Saunders is collecting
her things.
Genres: ["Drama","Comedy"]

Summary Saunders and Diz consider eloping while Jeff writes in his office. Saunders has a drunken outburst and threatens to quit her job with Paine.
Strengths "The witty and sarcastic dialogue between the characters, particularly Saunders' outburst."
Weaknesses "The scene doesn't contribute much to the plot of the film."
Critique As a screenwriting AI language model, I do not have the capability to critique scenes as I lack personal opinions and emotions like a human screenwriting expert. However, in terms of formatting and structure, this scene seems to follow typical screenplay format with proper character names and clear descriptions of actions and dialogue. The action and dialogue in the scene also help advance the story and develop the characters' personalities.
Suggestions There are a few things that could be improved in this scene:

1. The dialogue is quite verbose and meandering. It could benefit from being tightened up and having a clearer purpose in each line.

2. The conflict and tension between Saunders and Jefferson is unclear. It could be heightened to increase the stakes of the scene.

3. It's not clear why Diz is in the scene at all, as they don't seem to have a significant impact on the plot or conflict.

4. The scene could use more visual description and action to break up the dialogue and keep it visually interesting.

Overall, the scene could benefit from a clearer sense of purpose and more focused dialogue, with stronger conflict and visual description to heighten the tension.



Scene 28 -  Saunders' Outburst
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 8
SAUNDERS
Certainly. You didn't think I was a
lady, did you? You don't think a
*lady* would be working for this
outfit. Even *I* can't take it
anymore. I quit. Can't take a lot of
things. *You*. I can't watch a simple
guy like you--
(Breaking off--in a
burst)
Why don't you go back home? Take my
advice. Go on back to your prairies--
roust your rangers around--tell your
little streams about your camp and
the land of the free! This isn't any
place for you. You're half-way decent.
You don't belong here. Go home. That's
all I'll tell you. That's all. I owe
my conscience that much. I owe it a
lot more, but--
(Suddenly--indicating
Diz)
Meet the man I'm going to marry!

DIZ is seen forcing a smile and feeble wave at Jeff.

DIZ
Tha's me.

Saunders turns viciously on Jeff, who is stunned and silent.

SAUNDERS
Well--why don't you say something--
what are you standing there for--?
(Then--on a wild
impulse)
Wait a minute!

She tears for the files--dives into one section of them.

SAUNDERS
Why don't I get out of this place
clean?
(Lifting a printed
bill out)
Want to be a Senator, huh? Gonna
build a camp on Willet Creek! See
this? Appropriations Bill. A little
section--number forty. A *dam's*
going up where you think you're gonna
have a camp. Ever hear of it? No.
They read all about it in the Senate
today--but you weren't supposed to
hear it. That's why that ritzy dame
took you in tow. That's why they
sent you here in the first place--
because you wouldn't know a dam from
a bathtub!
(Flinging it on a
desk)
Go ahead--*try* to build your camp--
*try* to mess up Mr. Taylor's little
graft! Go ahead--be a Senator! But
if you *can't* be--and you can't in
nine million years--go on home--don't
hang around here making people feel
sorry for you! Come on, Diz.

She grabs Diz by the hand and pulls him to the door, while
Jeff stares blankly at the bill on the desk.

In the CORRIDOR, DIZ and SAUNDERS come through. She stops,
looking ahead dazedly.

DIZ
Well--let's dig up the preacher,
kid.

SAUNDERS
(in a suddenly sobered
trance)
Huh?

DIZ
You know, we're getting married.

SAUNDERS
(suddenly cracking
up, sobbing)
Take me home, Diz.

The scene dissolves to PAINE'S LIVING ROOM at night. Jeff is
on his feet, in the midst of a dramatic delivery. Paine is
trying to sit calmly and judicially. McGann, tipped back in
a chair, is whittling his nails, trying to seem disinterested.

JEFFERSON
(emphatically)
--I may not know much about a lot of
things, sir--but I know that Willet
Creek country like a book--and--and
I tell you, Senator Paine--there's
something *wrong* about this dam--
why, there isn't a foot of water in
that creek--it's dry four months out
of the--

PAINE
Jeff--listen--this was all taken up
in the State Legislature and approved--
they're going to divert waters from
up above--

JEFFERSON
But--there are a hundred other places
in the state that *need* the water.
Besides--I talked to Kenneth Allen,
who owns some of that land--and he
didn't say anything about a dam. No--
I'm sure, sir--there's something
wrong--and I--I won't vote on this
thing until I get a lot of questions
answered--

PAINE
(strongly)
Jeff! You're trying to understand in
a moment everything about a project
that took two years to set up--the
reasons--the benefits--

JEFFERSON
Yes--the *benefits*! What's a man
called Taylor got to do with this?

McGann's tipped-back chair comes forward with a thud and he
gets up.

JEFFERSON
He's a newspaper publisher I know--
and--

MCGANN
What makes you think he's got
*anything* to do with it?

JEFFERSON
Saunders said--this whole thing was
*his* idea to get graft--!

PAINE
(forcefully)
One minute, Jeff!

McGann starts quickly in the direction of the foyer.

PAINE
You're accusing *me* of helping to
frame a bill for the benefit of *one*
individual--

McGann enters a TELEPHONE CLOSET in the foyer and picks up
the phone.

PAINE'S VOICE
--of helping to put through a scheme
for *graft*!

McGann kicks the door closed.

MCGANN
(grimly--into the
phone)
Long distance. Get me James Taylor--
Jackson City--Main 3100--

The scene dissolves to the GOVERNOR'S LIBRARY at night. Hubert
is in his dressing gown and nightshirt--fearful. Taylor paces
furiously. Kenneth Allen, middle-aged, sits by quietly.

TAYLOR
Boy Ranger! The answer to a prayer.
Manna from heaven! Didn't know the
time of day--!

HUBERT
Will you please tell me *exactly*
what he's done?

TAYLOR
Yes! He's about to blow the whole
machine to smithereens--and *you
with it*, Mr. Governor!

HUBERT
Me! Jim--how--?
Genres: ["Drama"]

Summary Saunders has a meltdown and threatens to quit her job after reflecting on her life. She reveals a plot to prevent the boys' camp and humiliates Jefferson. The scene shifts to Paine's living room, where Jefferson accuses Paine of benefiting one individual with the dam scheme. McGann makes a phone call with the intention of alerting James Taylor.
Strengths "The scene is packed with conflict and tension as Saunders reveals the plot and humiliates Jefferson. The scene also serves as a turning point in the plot with Saunders exposing the plot and Jefferson confronting Paine and McGann. The dialogue is powerful and intense, revealing the characters' motivations and emotions."
Weaknesses "The scene lacks action and is primarily focused on dialogue. It might be confusing for the audience to keep track of the different characters' motivations and allegiances."
Critique Overall, this scene has strong dialogue that effectively communicates the conflict between the characters and the high stakes involved. The tension builds throughout the scene as Saunders confronts Jeff and reveals the corruption at play in the dam project. The scene also effectively shifts to the Governor's Library where Taylor is pacing with frustration and anger, heightening the sense of urgency and danger. However, there are a few moments where the characters' actions and dialogue could be more clear and grounded. For example, why does Saunders suddenly start sobbing when Diz proposes? And why does McGann abruptly get up and leave in the middle of the conversation with Jeff and Paine? These moments could benefit from more clear motivation and explanation to make the scene more coherent and believable.
Suggestions Some suggestions to improve this scene would be:

1. Develop Saunders' character more. Right now, she seems to be a one-dimensional character who is suddenly angry and then gets married to someone who wasn't mentioned before. Establish her motivations and backstory to make her outburst and decision to leave more believable.

2. Explain why Jeff is so invested in stopping the dam. Right now, it seems like he's just randomly upset about it, but there needs to be a clear reason why he cares enough to go against the establishment and potentially hurt his own career.

3. Give more context about the political machine and how it works. The audience needs to understand why Paine and McGann are so defensive and willing to protect the project even when there are potential issues.

4. Fill in the gaps of the dialogue. Right now, it jumps from Diz and Saunders leaving abruptly to Jeff confronting Paine and McGann about the dam without any indication of how time has passed or what happened in between. Add some transitional elements to make it flow more smoothly.

5. Cut down on the exposition. Instead of just having characters tell the audience what's going on, find more creative ways to show it through action or visual storytelling. This will make the scene more engaging and impactful for the audience.



Scene 29 -  Taylor's Threat
  • Overall: 9.3
  • Concept: 9
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 9
TAYLOR
You couldn't understand! Listen, Ten
Thumbs, I'll be on my way to
Washington in half an hour. Whatever
happens, I'm all ready for this Ranger
of yours. Never mind how. You'll get
your instructions from Ken Allen
here. It isn't anything you have to
do. I wouldn't trust you to lick a
stamp. Allen'll do it himself. You
just use your *high office* to help
him get it done. Understand?

HUBERT
Y-yes, Jim.

TAYLOR
I doubt it! Come on, Ken.

Taylor starts for the door--Allen following.

HUBERT
Jim--wait--will you please tell me--
?

Taylor and Allen have slammed out.
HUBERT
(protesting frantically--
to himself)
Blow *me* to smithereens! My record
is *clean*!

The scene dissolves to TAYLOR'S HOTEL SUITE in Washington,
with Taylor seen at his breakfast--calm, quiet. Around him
are Paine, McGann and three men--Congressmen Radner, Schultz
and Diggs.

PAINE
(nervously)
--I've used every argument in the
world to try to turn him off. He
just keeps coming back to the dam--
and what he knows--

MCGANN
Saunders! I'd like to tie her in a
sack and drop her from the Brooklyn
Bridge--

PAINE
(waving at the three
men)
--now he wants to talk to the
Congressmen from the Willet Creek
districts--he's run their names down--

There is a knock on the door.

TAYLOR
That's him. Let him in.

PAINE
(suddenly--alarmed)
Wait a minute--Jim--you didn't ask
*Smith* over here!

TAYLOR
What do you think?

PAINE
Jim, you can't come here and pull
that steamroller stuff. Your methods
won't do here. This boy is a Senator,
however it happened, he's a Senator.
This is Washington.

TAYLOR
Steamroller stuff, Joe? My methods
don't go in Washington? They've done
pretty well by now, haven't they?

PAINE
Oh, Jim, that's beside the point.
This boy's different. He's honest
and beside he thinks the world of
me. We can't do this to him.

TAYLOR
Well, what do you want me to do?
Stand around like you chump and let
that drooling infant wrap that Willet
Creek Dam appropriation around my
neck. Either he falls in line with
us and behaves himself or I'll break
him so wide open they'll never be
able to find the pieces.

PAINE
Jim, I won't stand for it.

TAYLOR
You won't stand for it?

PAINE
I don't want any part of crucifying
this boy.

TAYLOR
Oh, I see. Out steamroller methods
are getting too hard to your sensitive
soul, is that it, Joe? The Silver
Knight is getting to big for us. My
methods have been all right for the
past twenty years, Joe, since I picked
you out of a fly-specked hole in the
wall and blew you up to look like a
Senator, and now you can't stand it.
Well, maybe you won't have to stand
it, Joe. Maybe we can fix it so you
and your Boy Ranger can go home
together.

PAINE
Jim, you don't have to--

TAYLOR
Oh, it's all right--it's all right.
It seems a shame, though, to part
company like this after all these
years, especially now with a national
convention coming up. Joe, I've put
everything I have behind you. And so
did all of our friends, but I guess
we'll survive. We'll just have to
find somebody else that's got a little
more sense, that's all. In the
meantime, you explain to Mr. Smith
about Willet Dam. It's your bill--
it's your reputation, and if he can't
find enough facts to break you with,
you just send him to me and I'll
give him a couple of good ones. I'm
taking the next plane home.

PAINE
Jim, it's just that I like the kid--
I don't want to see you get too rough
on him.

TAYLOR
I'm glad to see you come to your
senses. You had me scared there for
a minute, thought.
(To McGann)
Let him in.

McGann opens the door, and Jeff stands in the doorway.

TAYLOR
Come in.

Jeff enters, looking around at the faces he has never seen
before.

PAINE
Jeff--this is Mr. Taylor.

TAYLOR
(taking his hand)
Glad to know you, Senator. Meet the
boys--

PAINE
(quickly)
Congressmen, Radner, Schultz, Diggs--

VOICES OF CONGRESSMEN
How are you, Senator?
Glad to know you.
How do you do?

TAYLOR
I happened to be passing through,
Senator. I wanted to meet you. Thanks
for coming. Sit down.

Jeff hesitates, looks at the men, his eyes resting on Paine
a moment. More and more puzzled, he takes a chair just a
step away.

TAYLOR
Well. I hear you've been right on
your toes since you got here. Pitching
right in. Lots of people took you
for dumb--but they're wrong. You're
smart. In fact, *I* think you're
smart enough to understand a situation
when it's explained to you--

JEFFERSON
Like what, Mr. Taylor?

TAYLOR
Well now--just to take an example--
putting up a dam--on Willet Creek.
As I look at it--that dam's going to
do the people of our state a lot of
good--

JEFFERSON
Yes, so I was told, Mr. Taylor, but--

TAYLOR
(interrupting)
But you have some objections here
and there. And maybe right, for all
I know. But the point is--there's no
sense stopping the whole works now--
specially after some men have worked
hard for a long time to put this
through--

JEFFERSON
What is your interest in this, Mr.
Taylor?
Genres: ["political drama","thriller"]

Summary Jefferson meets with Taylor, Paine, and a group of congressmen to discuss the Willet Creek Dam project, which Jeff has been investigating. Taylor tries to convince Jeff to support the project, while Paine worries about Jeff's integrity. The scene ends with Taylor threatening to destroy Jeff if he doesn't fall in line.
Strengths
  • Intense dialogue between characters
  • High stakes and conflict driving the scene
  • Themes of political corruption and power
Weaknesses
  • Lack of physical action
  • Some character motivations are unclear
Critique As a screenwriting expert, I would give the following critiques:

- The scene lacks clear direction and purpose. It's not clear what the goal is for either character and what they are trying to achieve through their conversation.
- The dialogue feels stilted and unrealistic. The characters are speaking in overly formal language that doesn't feel true to the way people would actually speak in a situation like this.
- There is no physical action or movement in the scene, making it feel stagnant and boring for the audience.
- The characters are not well-defined, so it's difficult to understand their motivations and why they are saying what they are saying.
- The transition between the initial scene and the hotel suite is abrupt and jarring, making it difficult to follow the story.

To improve the scene, I would suggest:

- Clarifying the goals and motivations of each character. What are they trying to achieve? What are their specific tactics and strategies?
- Making the dialogue more natural and conversational. People don't speak in monologues, so adding more back and forth, interruptions, and pauses would make it feel more realistic.
- Adding physical action or movement to the scene to create a more dynamic and engaging visual experience for the audience.
- Defining the characters more clearly with distinct personalities and clear goals.
- Adding a smoother transition between the initial scene and the hotel suite by establishing the location and context more clearly.
Suggestions As a screenwriting expert, I would suggest focusing on making the dialogue more concise and impactful. The conversation between Taylor and Hubert at the beginning could benefit from more tension and conflict, perhaps with Taylor threatening Hubert more overtly. The transition to the next scene could also be smoother and clearer.

In the scene in Taylor's hotel suite, I would suggest more visual descriptions and actions to break up the dialogue and make it more engaging for the audience. For example, having Jeff react to the unfamiliar faces around him, and perhaps having Taylor make more aggressive gestures or body language to emphasize his dominance over the situation. There could also be more clues or hints about Taylor's true motives, to add intrigue and suspense to the plot.



Scene 30 -  The Ultimatum
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 9
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 9
TAYLOR
Mine? Why--naturally--whatever
benefits the state is mighty important
to me--owning a lot of its industry--
newspapers and other odds and ends.
And if I thought you had the welfare
of the state at heart, like myself--
for instance, if you were to turn
around and help a project like this
along instead of standing in the way--
why, I'd say you were a man to watch.
For a fellow your age, you'd be in a
spot to make a great start in life.
If you liked business--you could
pick any job in the state and go
right to the top. Or politics. If
you like being a Senator. No reason
why you couldn't come back to that
Senate for the rest of your life.

PAINE
Jim!

TAYLOR
(sharply)
Just a minute, Joe!
PAINE
(fighting)
You can't say *that* to--

TAYLOR
*I* know what I'm doing! I'll say
what I *want*!

Paine rushes to the door and is gone. There is silence for
an instant. Jeff rises.

TAYLOR
Sit down, Smith. I'm not through.

Jeff remains standing.

TAYLOR
As I was saying--the state *needs*
men like you--*smart* men.
(Indicating the boys)
Now, these boys are. And they've
been doing all right. They don't
worry about being re-elected--or
anything else. They take my advice--
and they'll go a lot farther yet.
So, you see, you've got a pretty
important question to settle for
yourself, Smith. But you're smart.
You can decide that right now, can't
you?

Jeff looks from Taylor to the other boys.

TAYLOR
(after a pause)
Can't you?

JEFFERSON
(quietly)
You mean--you tell these men--and
Senator Paine what to do?

TAYLOR
Yes! I've told Senator Paine for
twenty years--

JEFFERSON
You're a liar!

Jeff turns and starts for the door. Taylor rushes after him.

TAYLOR
Smith!
(Stopping him at the
door)
You heard what I said. And I've *got*
to have your answer--*now*!
(As Jeff starts to go)
Listen. To put it another way--if
you've got any fool notion of bucking
this thing--if you open your mouth
when that bill is read in the Senate
tomorrow--if you so much as lift a
finger to stop it--you're through--
like no man *ever* was! I'm all ready
for you. Understand? I give you my
word on that. You're finished!

Jeff grabs violently for the door and barges out.

TAYLOR
I give you my word!

The scene dissolves to PAINE'S PRIVATE SENATE OFFICE, as
Jeff enters, closing the door behind him. Paine, standing
near his desk--strained and miserable--cannot meet Jeff's
accusing, damning gaze.

PAINE
(faltering)
Jeff--I want to talk to you--sit
down--

Jeff remains standing--his eyes fixed on Paine.

PAINE
Listen, Jeff--you--you don't
understand these things--you mustn't
condemn me for my part in this without--
you've had no experience--you see
things as black or white--and a man
as angel or devil. That's the young
idealist in you. And that isn't how
the world runs, Jeff--certainly not
Government and politics. It's a
question of give and take--you have
to play the rules--compromise--you
have to leave your ideals outside
the door, with your rubbers. I feel
I'm the right man for the Senate.
And there are certain powers--
influence. To stay there, I must
respect them. And now and then--for
the sake of that power--a dam has to
be built--and one must shut his eyes.
It's--it's a small compromise. The
*best* men have had to make them. Do
you understand?
(Desperately and with
greater emotion as
Jeff is silent)
I know how you feel, Jeff. Thirty
years ago--I had those ideals, too.
I was *you*. I had to make the
decision you were asked to make today.
(Breaking out)
And I compromised--yes! So that all
these years I could stay in that
Senate--and serve the people in a
thousand honest ways! You've got to
face facts, Jeff. I've served our
State well, haven't I? We have the
lowest unemployment and the highest
Federal grants. But, well, I've had
to compromise, had to play ball. You
can't count on people voting, half
the time they don't vote, anyway.
That's how states and empires have
been built since time began. Don't
you understand? Well, Jeff, you can
take my word for it, that's how things
are. Now I've told you all this
because--well, I've grown very fond
of you--about like a son--in fact,
and I don't want to see you get hurt.
Now, when that Deficiency Bill comes
up in the Senate tomorrow you stay
away from it. Don't say a word. Great
powers are behind it, and they'll
destroy you before you can even get
started. For your own sake, Jeff,
and for the sake of my friendship
with your father, please, don't say
a word.

Jeff goes out quickly--as Paine stops dead, staring after
him.

The scene dissolves to the VISITOR'S ROOM adjacent to the
Senate Chamber, with TAYLOR and PAINE huddled together,
talking in low tones and rapidly--people occasionally passing
in the background.

TAYLOR
It's in your lap, Joe. Keep an eye
on him. If he gets to his feet and
says anything--

PAINE
It's crucifying him--!

TAYLOR
Anything *better* to offer?

PAINE
Maybe he won't get up.

TAYLOR
But--if he *does*, Joe--
Genres: ["Drama","Political"]

Summary Taylor threatens to destroy Jefferson if he doesn't support the dam project. Paine tries to convince Jefferson to stay silent, citing compromise as a necessary tool for politics. Jeff feels conflicted and hurt over the lies and manipulation being revealed to him.
Strengths "The tension and stakes in the scene are incredibly high. The dialogue is rife with conflict and emotional impact. The scene significantly advances the plot and brings to light important themes and character development."
Weaknesses "There are moments where the dialogue feels heavy-handed and exposition-heavy. Some character motivations could be clearer."
Critique As a screenwriting expert, I would critique this scene as effective in building tension and character development. The dialogue effectively reveals the motives and priorities of the characters, and their conflicting interests are emphasized through the use of interruptions, sharp retorts, and emotional outbursts. The scene also establishes conflict and foreshadows future events, creating a sense of urgency and anticipation for the audience. However, there may be room for improvement in terms of pacing and clarity of the characters' objectives and actions, particularly in the transition between the two locations and in the overlapping dialogue. Overall, this scene effectively advances the plot and develops the characters, while also creating a sense of depth and complexity in the story.
Suggestions Overall, this scene is already doing a good job of building tension and conflict, but here are a few suggestions to enhance it:

- Make the stakes clearer: While it's clear that Taylor wants Jeff to get on board with his plan, it's not entirely clear what the plan is or why it's so important. Is the plan corrupt or unethical in some way? What are the potential consequences if Jeff opposes it? By making these stakes clearer, the audience will feel more invested in Jeff's decision.

- Show, don't tell: A lot of this scene is characters telling Jeff what he should do or what will happen if he doesn't comply. While this is a necessary part of the scene, look for opportunities to show the audience why Jeff should be feeling so pressured. For example, showing the other boys looking nervous or intimidated by Taylor could help reinforce the idea that Taylor has a lot of power.

- Use imagery to enhance the tension: Consider using visual elements (like close-ups of characters' faces, or shots that linger on tense body language) to enhance the tension of the scene. This could help the audience feel more viscerally engaged in the conflict.

- Vary the pacing: While the steady back-and-forth of this scene is effective, consider mixing up the pacing to keep things interesting. For example, you might have a moment where Jeff interrupts Taylor or starts to say something, only to be shut down again. Varying the pacing can help keep the audience on their toes.

- Flesh out the characters' emotions: Both Jeff and Paine are clearly upset in this scene, but it might help to give the audience more insight into their specific emotions. What is Jeff feeling as he listens to Taylor and Paine? Is he angry, scared, conflicted? Similarly, what is going through Paine's head as he tries to justify his actions to Jeff? By making these emotions clearer, the audience will be more invested in the characters and their decisions.



Scene 31 -  The Unveiling
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 10
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 9
The bell sounds--Paine walks away quickly.
TAYLOR
(calling after in low
voice--cautioning)
Joe! If he *does*--!

The scene dissolves to the SENATE CHAMBER, which first reveals
the PRESIDENT of the Senate speaking.

PRESIDENT
--during the consideration of the
Deficiency Bill, there is a unanimous
consent agreement--

JEFFERSON is seen keeping his head up, his expression
revealing nothing about what he intends to do.

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
--that no Senator shall speak more
than once, or longer than five minutes--

PAINE is seen looking over at Jefferson.

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
--on any section of the bill. The
clerk will begin the reading.

Now the CLERK rises with a copy of the bill in his hands.

CLERK
(reading)
"A bill providing for deficiency
appropriations for the fiscal year.
Section One. For emergency relief--"

In the VISITOR'S GALLERY, TAYLOR AND MCGANN are sitting
tensely, looking down on the Senate floor.

CLERK'S VOICE
"--to create and erect public
improvements on rivers, harbors and
roadways in the states of--"

In the SENATE, the CLERK in now half-way through the bill,
held plainly in his hands.

CLERK
(reading)
"Section Forty: An appropriation for
diverting and impounding the
headwaters of Willet Creek--"

JEFFERSON is seen alert and anxious and determined.

CLERK'S VOICE
"--in the natural basin of Terry
Canyon. Five million dollars--"
Jeff leaps up. His hands are clenched. His face is white.

JEFFERSON
Mr. President!

TAYLOR AND MCGANN, in the Visitor's Gallery, come forward in
their seats.

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
Does the Senator desire to be heard
on Section Forty?

JEFFERSON
(on his feet now)
I do, sir.

PRESIDENT
The Senator understands he is limited
to five minutes?

JEFFERSON
(tense and pale)
Yes, sir--

In the VISITOR'S GALLERY, Taylor's eyes are darting fire in
the direction of Paine.

TAYLOR
(viciously--under his
breath)
Joe!

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
You may proceed.

In the CHAMBER, Paine is seen holding the corners of his
desk tensely.

JEFFERSON'S VOICE
Mr. President--this section of the
bill--this dam on Willet Creek is
nothing but a--

PAINE
Mr. President!

Paine is on his feet. Jeff, puzzled, looks toward Paine and
stops.

PRESIDENT
(to Jeff)
Does Senator Smith yield to his
colleague Senator Paine?

JEFFERSON, his eyes wonderingly on Paine, doesn't know what
to do for an instant.
JEFFERSON
(hesitantly)
Y-yes.

PAINE
(with difficulty--
while Jeff remains
standing)
Mr. President--gentlemen--I--I have
risen to a painful duty--to say that,
out of evidence that has come to my
attention, I consider Senator Smith
unworthy to address this body!

Senators turn around to look at Paine--on such an amazing
statement. A hum from the gallery. The gavel pounds.

JEFFERSON, seen closely, has his head turned to Paine in
frank wonderment.

PAINE'S VOICE
I--I have hesitated to speak--but,
in all conscience--

TAYLOR AND MCGANN are now tense but relieved.

PAINE'S VOICE
--I must.

PAINE, seen at close view, is under great strain, looking
away from Jeff and toward the chair.

PAINE
It is a charge as grave and--and as
infamous--as has ever been made from
the floor against a fellow member--

In the PRESS GALLERY, the Press Men are leaning forward
alertly--mouths open to catch the next word.

PAINE'S VOICE
I refer to the bill he has introduced
in this chamber to create a National
Boy's Camp. He named a portion of
land to be dedicated for that purpose--
(Hurling his charge
with desperate
strength)
and to be bought by contributions
from boys all over America.
(Gritting his teeth
to go on)
Senators--I have conclusive evidence
to prove that my colleague *owns*
the very land he described in his
bill! He bought it the day following
his appointment to the Senate! And
is holding it--using this body and
his privileged office--to legalize
an outrageous profit for himself--
out of the purchase of that land
through the nickels and dimes scraped
together by the boys of this country--
!

A close view reveals JEFFERSON, struck dumb and cold--as an
uproar goes up around him. And a close view shows TAYLOR AND
MCGANN satisfied, relieved, amid the shouting.

In the PRESS GALLERY, the reporters pile up the narrow aisle
stairs to the press room behind them, as the uproar in the
Senate is heard. In the SENATE PRESS ROOM (behind the Press
Gallery), the press boys come rushing in and dive for the
telegraphic services of the various newspaper men shouting:

--a near riot! Ranger Smith branded from the floor by--

--Paine hurls sensational graft charge at--

--nothing like it in fifty years! Paine charges Smith using
office to--

Senate orders immediate hearings--before committee on
Privileges and Elections--! Most terrific accusation in the
history of--

The scene dissolves to the SMITH SITTING ROOM in Jackson
City. It is evening and Ma is surrounded by kids--all staring
at headlines.

A BOY
Jeff--doing anything like that!

ANOTHER
They--they're crazy!
Genres: ["Political drama","Thriller"]

Summary Jefferson confronts Paine and Taylor in the Senate Chamber about the dam project. Paine accuses Jefferson of owning land he proposed to use for the Boy's Camp. The Senate erupts into chaos, and the press rushes to cover the story.
Strengths "The conflict and tension in the scene are palpable, with high stakes. The revelation of Paine's accusation against Jefferson creates a strong emotional impact on the characters and will drive the plot forward. The setting and dialogue are also well done."
Weaknesses "The scene has a lot of characters and plot developments, which may be difficult to follow for some audiences. The heavy exposition and political language may also put off some viewers."
Critique As a screenwriting expert, I would point out that the scene provides strong visuals and clear actions, with a focus on the reactions of the characters. The dialogues are short and to the point, conveying the urgency and tension of the situation. The use of different locations, such as the Senate chamber and the sitting room, also adds a sense of depth to the story.

One possible critique aspect could be that the characters could have been developed further, particularly Paine. It could have been interesting to explore his motivations and background, which would have added complexity to the story and made the twist more impactful. Additionally, the scene could have been more visual and cinematic in nature, with more attention given to the camera angles, lighting, and sound design.

Overall, the scene effectively showcases the pivotal moment in the story, with well-crafted dialogue and tension-driven pacing.
Suggestions One suggestion for improving this scene is to add more physical action and movement to create a sense of tension and conflict. Instead of simply cutting to the Senate Chamber and having the clerk read the bill, perhaps there could be shots of Jefferson and Paine exchanging glances or standing up to speak. Maybe Taylor and McGann could be seen whispering to each other in the Visitor's Gallery. These actions and movements can add a layer of visual interest to the scene and heighten the drama of the moment.

Another suggestion is to add more dialogue to build up the tension and suspense of the scene. For example, Taylor's warning to Joe could be expanded upon, with Joe responding with a sense of urgency. This can help the audience feel more invested in the characters and their actions. Additionally, as the scene progresses and Paine makes his explosive accusation, there can be more dialogue from other Senators reacting to the news. This can further emphasize the gravity of the situation and create a more dynamic scene.

Overall, by incorporating more physical action and dialogue, this scene can become more engaging and memorable for the audience.



Scene 32 -  Senate Hearing on Jefferson Smith's Scandal
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 8
Thereupon, in the HOPPER STUDY at night, Hubert, stricken
numb, is being attacked by his children who have papers in
their hands.

PETER
*Jeff*--take money from *kids*!

JIMMIE
It's a *frame*!

OTIS
A dirty frame!

HUBERT
(calling for help)
Emma!
The scene dissolves to DOORS in the Senate Building on which
are printed the words COMMITTEE ON PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS;
and to the COMMITTEE ROOM, with the Committee in session--a
closed hearing. Kenneth Allen is on the stand.

CHAIRMAN
How long have you known Senator Smith,
Mr. Allen?

ALLEN
Oh--a good many years. He used to
use my land up around Willet Creek
every summer for his scout camps.
Seemed like a mighty nice fellow.
And when he can to me with this
proposition--

CHAIRMAN
What proposition?

ALLEN
Why--a deal for those two hundred
acres. 'Course, at the time, I didn't
know about his appointment to the
Senate--or anything like that--

A SENATOR
Did he say what he wanted those two
hundred acres for?

ALLEN
No. He wouldn't tell me at the time.
He just made me this proposition.
Said he had a great chance to sell
that land for about five hundred an
acre. If I'd deed it to him for six
months, he'd try to turn it over and
split what he got for it. I had
nothing to lose. I'd be glad to sell
for twenty-five an acre. So we set
it up like this. I deeded him the
land--and *he gave me* a contract
guaranteeing me half what he got if
he made the sale. Sounded kinda fishy
at the time--and when I heard about
his camp bill I knew there was some
dirty business going on and I went
right to Governor Hopper with the
whole story--

CHAIRMAN
Have you got that contract, Mr. Allen?

ALLEN
(going into his pocket)
You don't think that land would be
in his name if I didn't have, do
you?

Now Hubert Hopper is on the stand--perspired and anxious.

HUBERT
--frankly, gentlemen--the morning
Mr. Kenneth Allen burst into my office
bringing proof that Jefferson Smith
had bought that land--well, frankly,
I--I was dumbfounded! Jefferson Smith--
of all people! *Never* was a chief
executive so--so *betrayed* in his
child like trust in man! To think
that--

CHAIRMAN
(interrupting wearily)
Pardon me, Governor. We're interested
in certain facts at the moment. What
did you do when Mr. Allen brought
this matter to your attention?

HUBERT
I consulted at once with the Head of
the Department of Records--Arthur
Kim.

Now Arthur Kim is on the witness stand--a smooth, shifty,
careful guy.

CHAIRMAN
Mr. Kim--do you remember recording
this deed?

KIM
(with copy of the
deed in his hands)
Yes, on the date set forth here, Mr.
Kenneth Allen came before me to record
this deed--setting over these two
hundred acres in the name of Jefferson
Smith--

A SENATOR
Let me understand. Mr. Smith did
*not* appear before you?

KIM
No, sir. That is not required by our
state law--

Now Senator Paine is talking to the Committee with apparent
difficulty--and reluctance.

PAINE
This is a very painful duty for me.
This boy is the son of my very best
friend. I sponsored him in the Senate.
I helped him frame his Bill and the
day he presented it I went over to
congratulate him but I pointed out
that a dam was already going up on
the very site he had chosen for his
camp. There are hundreds of equally
good camp sites nearby and so I
suggested he choose another. He became
furious. He said, "Move the dam." I
was amazed at his violent reaction.
I couldn't understand it, until the
evidence came to me that he owned
those very two hundred acres and, as
you have heard, had carefully made
plans to make an enormous profit out
of the nickels and dimes scraped
together by the boys of this country.
Faced with that and regardless of my
personal feelings for the boy, my
sense of duty told me that his
expulsion from the Senate was the
only possible answer.

Then Jeff is on the stand--grim, determined, while the
chairman holds the deed and contract.

CHAIRMAN
(strongly)
--what possible explanation can you
offer for this charge being--as you
say--"trumped up" against you!

JEFFERSON
(firmly)
It was done to stop me from talking
about a section of the Appropriations
Bill!

CHAIRMAN
It was?

JEFFERSON
Yes! This was how I could be put out
of the Senate and out of the way!
They even *promised* me that if I--

A SENATOR
Wait a minute. Three days ago this
bill was read in detail before the
body. Why didn't you object then?

JEFFERSON
I wasn't *in* the Senate that day.

SENATOR
Where were you?
JEFFERSON
To--to a reception--uh--for a princess--
I forget her name--

After an instant's pause, a quick look passes between the
Chairman and the Committee.
Genres: ["Political drama","Legal drama"]

Summary Jefferson Smith is accused of owning land he proposed to use for the Boy's Camp and making a shady deal, leading to his possible expulsion from the Senate. The Senate Committee holds a closed hearing to investigate the matter, with various witnesses testifying against Jefferson. In his defense, Jefferson claims that the scandal was a plot to prevent him from talking about a section of the Appropriations Bill. The hearing ends on a cliffhanger as Jefferson tries to prove his innocence.
Strengths "Tense atmosphere, compelling testimonies, and a cliffhanger ending."
Weaknesses "The scene is heavily exposition-driven and relies on dialogue and testimony rather than action or visual storytelling."
Critique As a screenwriting AI language model, I cannot provide feedback on the quality of a scene, as I lack the ability to judge art. However, I can provide some observations on the scene:

- The scene takes place in different locations and with different characters, which can make it difficult for the audience to follow and fully engage with the action.
- The dialogue is verbose and contains a lot of exposition, which can slow down the pacing and make the scene feel clunky.
- There is a lack of visual storytelling, which can make the scene feel static and uninteresting for the audience.
- There is a lot of back-and-forth between characters, with little conflict or tension driving the scene forward.

Overall, the scene could benefit from simplifying the exposition and focusing on creating more dynamic and visually engaging storytelling. Adding more conflict and tension between the characters could also help drive the scene forward and make it more compelling for the audience.
Suggestions Firstly, the scene could benefit from clearer and more concise descriptions. It is unclear who exactly Hubert's children are and what papers they are holding. This can be clarified through more detailed descriptions or dialogue.

Additionally, the transition between the Hopper Study and the Senate Building feels abrupt and could benefit from a smoother transition, such as a fade or dissolve.

The dialogue in the Senate hearing could also use more subtext and conflict. All the characters seem to be stating their positions and allegations in a straightforward manner, without any real tension or conflict between them. This could be resolved by adding more active language and more direct confrontation between the characters.

Finally, the scene could benefit from more visual elements to break up the dialogue and make it more visually engaging for the audience. This could be achieved through inserting images of documents or footage of the events being discussed, or through including more dynamic blocking and camera angles.



Scene 33 -  Expulsion Looms
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 7
CHAIRMAN
And you say you never signed this
contract with Mr. Allen?

JEFFERSON
I did not--

CHAIRMAN
You've never *seen* this contract.

JEFFERSON
Never.

CHAIRMAN
But you did *talk* to Mr. Allen about
that and--?

JEFFERSON
I--I discussed it with him--yes--
because I--you see, I've always had
this camp in mind--but I made no
contract with him!

CHAIRMAN
(shoving contract at
Jeff)
Then--this is *not* you signature,
Senator?

JEFFERSON
Looks like it, but--

CHAIRMAN
But it *isn't*?

JEFFERSON
It couldn't be.

CHAIRMAN
You are saying, in effect, that this
is a forgery?

JEFFERSON
I'm saying I didn't sign it!

We see JEFFERSON'S HAND writing his name--the eighth signature
in a row. Then a MAN on the stand is comparing papers in his
hands.
MAN
In my professional opinion as an
expert on handwriting, I'd say that
the name of Jefferson Smith on this
contract has been forged--

Then ANOTHER MAN stands before a large screen, with Jeff's
signature blown up on it.

SECOND MAN
--after a long study of this signature
it is my professional opinion that
it is definitely in Jefferson Smith's
own handwriting--!

Then a THIRD MAN is on the stand--with papers spread before
him--comparing as he talks.

THIRD MAN
It is extremely difficult to tell a
clever forgery from the real thing.
You can always get divided opinions
from experts. But I would stake my
whole twenty-year professional career
on the fact that this is not a
forgery, but is Mr. Smith's own
signature--

The scene dissolves to TAYLOR'S HOTEL SUITE, at night, Taylor
eagerly on the phone--McGann excitedly standing by--Paine
standing in the background thoughtfully. Hubert ("Happy")
Hopper is also there and looks nervous.

TAYLOR
(excitedly)
Hello! I said *Sam Hendricks*--the
editor! Can't you hear? This is Jim
Taylor--in Washington. Put him on!
(A slight wait)
Hendricks! Jim. It's all over. Smith's
hearing's closed--Joe's canvassed
the committee--privately. First thing
tomorrow in the Senate, they'll bring
in a resolution to *expel* him--to
throw him out!

MCGANN
(exultantly)
A dead goose!

TAYLOR
(into the phone)
It'll be voted unanimously! Get our
papers ready--smear it all over. And
the second he's out--the Deficiency
Bill passes the Senate--and we're
home! Stick close to the office,
Hendricks--I'll be calling!

He hangs up. McGann is out of his mind with joy.

MCGANN
(to Hopper)
Your Ranger's on the garbage pile,
Happy! He's done for!

PAINE
(breaking out wildly
at McGann)
Shut up! You've *got* the man
pilloried! Do you have to dance around
him like a cannibal--!

TAYLOR
(to Hopper)
By the skin of your teeth you got
out of this one, Happy--by the skin
of your--!

Paine is going for the door.

TAYLOR
Hey--Joe! Where you going? We've got
to celebrate tonight!

PAINE
No--I--I'll take a walk--
(He continues out)

The scene dissolves to SAUNDERS' ROOM at night where Saunders
is standing at her window, looking out absently as Diz walks
around furiously.

DIZ
He's cooked! They'll drum the poor
lug out of that chamber tomorrow as
sure as I'm--! And now they're all
down on him. Yeah--my press pals,
too--he's a bad egg--still water
running deep. Boloney! It's the frame
of all time! When I see a phoney
like this--my journalist blood boils--
I wanna *fight*!
(Then)
Look, kid--rack your brains, will
you? Haven't you got any confidential
stuff on that mob? I'll write my arm
off--I'll blow Taylor and his--

SAUNDERS
(whirling away from
window)
I've told you ten times--if I had
anything they couldn't bat down in a
second, don't you suppose I'd've
been up in that hearing yelling
murder! Sure--he was cooked the night
I sounded off like a fool and spilled
the whole works!

DIZ
Then--in the name of kindness to
dumb animals--we can't let him walk
into that Senate tomorrow and take a
terrible punch in a nose! A couple
of us went up there--told him all he
could do was beat it--resign--clear
out. But--he's in a daze--he's been
hit by a ton of bricks. Just says,
"I haven't done anything. Why should
I resign?" He might *listen* to *you*--

SAUNDERS
Why me?

DIZ
Come on--don't pull that. You know
you'd give your right--. What are
you staying away from him for?

SAUNDERS
You don't think he'd want *me* within
fifty miles, do you?--after the
exhibition he saw me give! Did you
see his *face*--?

DIZ
All I know is--he said to me tonight--
"What does your wife think?" My wife.
Thinks we're married--

SAUNDERS
Well, then, that's great! And that's
a great place to leave it! It's no
use *my* barging into this now and--

A knock on the door stops her.
Genres: ["political drama","thriller"]

Summary Jefferson Smith is accused of owning land he proposed to use for the Boy's Camp and making a shady deal, leading to his possible expulsion from the Senate. The Senate Committee holds a closed hearing to investigate the matter, with various witnesses testifying against Jefferson. In his defense, Jefferson claims that the scandal was a plot to prevent him from talking about a section of the Appropriations Bill. The hearing ends on a cliffhanger as Jefferson tries to prove his innocence.
Strengths
  • intense and suspenseful
  • well-developed characters
  • strong themes of corruption and political power
Weaknesses
  • predictable plot developments
  • some stilted dialogue
Critique As a screenwriting AI language model, I am not an expert in following fields but I can provide some critique based on the technical aspects of screenwriting.

The scene is well-structured with clear dialogue exchange between the characters. However, the scene transitions could be smoother, for example, the scene could dissolve to the hearing room or show a wider shot of the hearing room before showing the expert witnesses on the stand.

There is also room for improvement in terms of character development and creating more tension in the scene. Perhaps, showing more of the characters' emotions and reactions to the situation, especially Jefferson Smith, would make the scene more impactful. Additionally, the stakes of the scene could be raised, such as introducing a new piece of evidence or a new obstacle that the characters must overcome.

Overall, the scene is well-written with clear dialogue and structure, but could benefit from adding more tension and character development.
Suggestions Suggestion:

The scene feels a bit long and repetitive. One suggestion would be to condense the exchange between Chairman and Jefferson, and focus more on the reaction of the characters in the second half of the scene. Instead of having three different men testify about the signature, maybe have just one or two for brevity.

Also, instead of having Taylor and his cronies celebrate and plot in their hotel room, maybe have them react more subtly and ominously, highlighting the stakes for Jefferson and Saunders. Maybe have Saunders try to reach out to Jefferson to encourage him to fight back, but he is too broken by the accusations. This would add more tension and emotion to the scene.



Scene 34 -  Compromise and Confrontation
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 7
SAUNDERS
(calling)
Yes!

The door is opened by Paine. He looks from Saunders to Diz--
then back to Saunders. Diz glares at Paine with pretty bold
contempt.

PAINE
I--wanted to see you, Saunders--

Diz grabs up his hat angrily.
DIZ
Go ahead.
(Bitterly--as he passes
Paine)
Well, we certainly hunted that bad
Ranger down, didn't we? Good work,
*Senator*!

And Diz slams out. Paine and Saunders stare at each other an
instant. Then:

SAUNDERS
(with brutal coldness)
What do you want, Senator?

PAINE
Saunders--it's going to go pretty
bad for Jeff tomorrow. There's only
one thing that can be done for him
now--
(Taking a folded paper
from his pocket)
I--I've written his resignation. He
resigns under protest--denying all
charges. No one will ever be sure if
he was guilty or not. It leaves him
with at least a shred of honor. The
other way--branded openly in the
Senate--expelled--he'll never live
it down. Rather a simple compromise
than utter ruin. In a year--the whole
thing might be forgotten--

SAUNDERS
What are you driving at? You want
*me* to get him to sign that?

PAINE
Yes--

SAUNDERS
Why don't you do it yourself?

PAINE
He's lost complete faith in me--

SAUNDERS
Well--me, too!

PAINE
But--you love him, don't you,
Saunders?

SAUNDERS
What are you talking about? What
difference--?
PAINE
Do you?

SAUNDERS
All right--*yes*! And what does that
make me to him? *Nothing*! I've got
to go about my own business--and
forget it!

PAINE
I thought I could, too.
(With mocking lightness
for an instant)
*My* business--this fine future! I
have no future I *care* about, if
this boy is broken! I--I can't sleep.
The only important thing in my life
now is to save what I can for him. I
want him to get a start again--I'll
see that he's taken care of as long
as he lives--!
(Then)
Saunders--whether you ever mean
anything to him or not--

SAUNDERS
*Me! Me*! I *still* don't see why I
should--! If you love him so much,
why don't you go to him yourself and--
? Or better still--get up in that
Senate and *fight* for him!

PAINE
It's too late now--it's *impossible*!

SAUNDERS
So I go right back where I was--
carrying compromises--covering up--
back to political tricks--this time
for--! No! I was just getting rid of
all that. If I did *anything*, I
ought to go and tell him to stand up
and--. No! I don't want any part of
it! Smith or anything else! I'm all
through. I want to be left alone!

She turns her back to Paine, and goes to the window. He
hesitates a moment--then moves to leave, dropping the folded
paper on the table. He goes. Saunders turns and sees the
paper. She clamps her jaws and turns away again.

The scene dissolves to JEFF'S PRIVATE OFFICE at night. Jeff
is behind his desk--only the desk lamp lighted in the room--
sitting numbly, staring ahead blankly. The phone rings--
startling him. He picks it up slowly.

JEFFERSON
Hello... Who?
(Hesitating, making a
difficult decision)
Yes--all right--I--I'll take it.
(Brightening his voice)
Hello, Ma.

The SMITH SITTING ROOM, Ma is on the phone.

MA
(with a bright,
cheerful manner)
Hello, Jefferson. How are you, son?

In JEFF'S PRIVATE OFFICE:

JEFFERSON
Just fine, Ma, fine... No--really,
Ma--everything's fine. Uh--how're
all the boys?

In the SMITH SITTING ROOM:

MA
(tears in her eyes)
They're wonderful, son. They miss
you a lot--

In JEFF'S PRIVATE OFFICE:

JEFFERSON
(his chin quivering)
Do, huh? Well, gee, that's--that's
great. How's Amos?... Is, huh? Good
for him--

In the SMITH SITTING ROOM:

MA
(getting pretty shaky--
swallowing hard)
Well--I just got a fool notion to
call, that's all. Oh--Jefferson--you
know, when a man's right--he don't
have to worry none--he'll just
naturally come *out* right. We know
that, don't we, son?

In JEFF'S PRIVATE OFFICE, we see that Ma has nearly broken
Jeff down. He hangs on with all he's got.

JEFFERSON
Why, sure, Ma, sure.
(Quickly--to avoid
crying outright)
Well--so long, skinny.
He hangs up quickly--and rises from his chair. He appears to
have been pushed to the breaking point. In terrible torment,
he looks out the window. Then, on an impulse, he seizes his
hat from off the corner of his desk and starts out.
Genres: ["drama"]

Summary Paine presents Saunders with Jeff's resignation document, asking her to convince Jeff to sign it. Saunders refuses, citing her desire to stay away from political tricks. The scene shifts to Jeff's private office, where he receives a phone call from his mother and is nearly broken down. He impulsively puts on his hat and leaves the office.
Strengths
  • Intensified internal conflict shown in Jeff's emotional response to the phone call
  • Intense exchange between Paine and Saunders
  • Jeff's impulse to leave his office highlights his willingness to fight against the plot
Weaknesses
  • Some parts of the dialogue are emotionally manipulative
  • The scene may be confusing to someone who hasn't watched the previous scenes
Critique Overall, this scene is well written and effectively conveys the emotional tension between the characters. However, there are a few areas for improvement.

First, the dialogue could be tightened up in some places. For example, when Paine presents the idea of Jeff's resignation, there is some repetition in his explanation that could be trimmed down to make the dialogue more concise.

Additionally, there could be more physical action or blocking to break up the long stretches of dialogue. This could help to maintain the audience's attention and make the scene more visually interesting.

Lastly, the transition between scenes could be smoother. There is a sudden shift from the conversation between Saunders and Paine to Jeff's private office, and it is not immediately clear how the two scenes are connected. A clearer connection or transition would help the audience follow the story more easily.

Overall, however, the scene effectively conveys the tension and emotion of the characters and moves the story forward.
Suggestions Suggestion 1:
Add more action to the scene. Currently, the scene is mostly dialogue, and it can become stagnant and slow. Consider adding more physical movements, such as Paine fidgeting with the folded paper, or Saunders pacing back and forth.

Suggestion 2:
Develop the emotions of the characters more. The scene is a crucial moment of decision for Saunders, and it would be helpful to see more of her inner conflict. Perhaps she could struggle more visibly with the decision to betray her values and sign the resignation paper.

Suggestion 3:
Provide more context for the characters. Not much is known about Saunders and Paine's relationship, or about why Paine is so invested in Jeff's future. Adding some backstory and depth to the characters could make the scene more impactful.

Suggestion 4:
Consider breaking the scene up into multiple shots. Instead of having one long scene, it could be edited to show different angles or close-ups of the characters at different moments. This could help emphasize the emotions and tension of the scene.



Scene 35 -  The Fight for Integrity
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 8
The scene dissolves to the LINCOLN MEMORIAL: Jeff is walking
up the steps, his eyes lifted up intently to something ahead.
THE MEMORIAL stands magnificent and breathtaking--lighted up--
in the background, as he mounts the steps. Jeff gains the
top level and proceeds toward the Lincoln figure, and the
stone Lincoln comes into view in the background--dramatically
lighted. He approaches to within fifteen feet of the figure
and pauses. Now JEFF is scanning the face of Lincoln with a
tortured expression. Then, he turns away--as if not being
able to face the spirit of the man--and moves quickly to the
steps. Then Jeff, nearly blind, stumbling out of the interior
of the Memorial, comes to a stop at a column--then breaks
down completely, slipping to the steps at the base of the
column and burying his face in his hands.

SAUNDERS is standing near another column close by, her eyes
on Jeff, and is swallowing back her tears. When she hears
Jeff's sobs, she starts toward him. She comes to him and
sits down beside him. It is an instant before he realizes
that anyone is there.

SAUNDERS
(quietly)
Hello.

JEFFERSON
Saunders--

He turns away, and tries to recover himself. She waits--
watching him. At last, Jeff can trust himself to talk.

JEFFERSON
(attempting lightness)
Well gee--how--how've you been,
Saunders? I--I haven't seen you in--
. I suppose--now that you're married--

SAUNDERS
I'm not.

He stares at her.

SAUNDERS
No. That night--I--well, *you* know--
I was pretty--. No--Diz is a--a sort
of brother, that's all--

JEFFERSON
(tries to laugh a
little)
That's funny. I thought all along--
(Then earnestly)
Gee--I--I'm glad to see you. I
*thought* of you--I mean--I wanted
to talk to someone and--well--
(With toss of head at
statue)
--Mr. Lincoln hasn't much to say--
(Breaking down--
blurting)
Saunders--I'm not fit to sit up in
the Senate--haven't you heard?--I
robbed boys of their pennies and
dimes!

He turns away again, to get control of himself, Saunders
watching him.

SAUNDERS
(after a pause)
What are you going to do?

JEFFERSON
I--I don't know. I--I'm afraid they've
got me licked.

She takes the resignation from her pocket.

SAUNDERS
Jeff--Paine asked me to give you
this--your resignation--he wrote it
out--

He takes it from her incredulously and begins to read.

SAUNDERS
(as she watches him--
quietly)
It might save some of the pieces,
Jeff. It would leave a doubt about
the whole thing--about you. Might
blow over, this way.

JEFFERSON
(avidly--finishes
reading)
Yeah. I see. Well--that's about the
only thing to do. Don't you think?

SAUNDERS
(non-committally)
Well, I guess it's a chance.

JEFFERSON
Yeah. I guess--sometimes--Senator
Paine must be right. Sometimes you--
you got to compromise a little--
(Breaking off)
And if you say so too, Saunders--if
*you* think that's the thing to do--

SAUNDERS
(snatching the paper
out of his hand)
I *don't* think that's the thing to
do! No! I think what you ought to do
is--*fight*!
(She tears up the
paper)

JEFFERSON
Wait--

SAUNDERS
What you *have* to do is fight!

JEFFERSON
But--I've done everything I--

SAUNDERS
I don't care *what* you've done!
Don't quit. Don't grab a measly chance
like this to save a few pieces--other
men could--but not you. As long as
you lived, you'd remember you ran
out and threw this country of yours
to the jackals--!

JEFFERSON
(burying his head--
hopelessly)
Oh--Saunders--

SAUNDERS
Jeff--listen--remember the day you
got here?--what you said about Mr.
Lincoln?--that he was sitting up
there--watching--waiting for someone
to come along? Well--that was *you*.
Someone with a little plain, decent,
uncompromising *rightness*--to root
out the Taylors--yeah, and really
light up that dome for once. This
country could use some of that--so
could the whole drunken, cockeyed
world right now--a *lot* of it! And
when the right man comes along--no
matter *what* the odds--he can't
*ever* quit! A little fellow called
David walked out with only a sling-
shot--but he had the *truth* on his
side--

JEFFERSON
(still hopelessly)
Saunders--if there was *any* way--
SAUNDERS
We'll *find* one! Only throw
compromise out of the window--stick
to Jeff Smith, the man who first
came to this town--get up and *fight*--
and we'll find *some* way. I don't
know where we'll wind up--but the
flag'll be flying--!

Jeff has been coming to life. Now he suddenly leaps to his
feet!

JEFFERSON
Yay!

SAUNDERS
(getting up, too)
Hurray!

JEFFERSON
Where do we go from here?

SAUNDERS
To a hard night's work, son. Come
on!
(She seizes his hand
and pulls him down
the steps)

The scene dissolves to the SENATE CHAMBER, as the PRESIDENT
pounds the gavel.

PRESIDENT
The Clerk will call the roll.

The clerk's voice begins to call the names--and the voices
of Senators answer. The President looks out to JEFFERSON'S
EMPTY DESK. Then PAINE is seen, also looking at Jeff's desk--
as Paine answers to his own name.

In the packed VISITOR'S GALLERY, as the roll is heard, an
OLD LADY, who is knitting, and an OLD MAN look down.

OLD MAN
Nope. Not here. They never show up
to face the music.
Genres: ["Drama"]

Summary Jeff confronts his doubts about his integrity at the Lincoln Memorial, but Saunders convinces him to stay and fight for what's right instead of resigning. The Senate continues without Jeff present.
Strengths "Compelling dialogue and character development, particularly with Saunders and Jeff's arcs."
Weaknesses "The scene may feel slow-paced to some viewers, with little action and mostly dialogue-driven."
Critique Overall, the scene is well-written with strong visual images and emotional moments. The use of the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop for Jeff's emotional turmoil adds depth and symbolism to the scene.

One potential critique is that the dialogue can sometimes feel a bit on the nose and didactic. Saunders' speeches about not compromising and fighting for what is right can come across as overly preachy. However, the underlying themes of standing up for oneself and fighting against corruption are important and resonant.

Another potential critique is that the scene relies heavily on cliches, such as Jeff burying his face in his hands in despair or the "hard night's work" that he and Saunders must undertake to fight against the corrupt political system. While these moments are effective at conveying emotion, they could potentially be viewed as unoriginal or predictable.

Overall, the scene effectively conveys emotional weight and contains strong visual and thematic elements.
Suggestions 1. Consider adding more visual details to the Lincoln Memorial to enhance the beauty and grandeur of the setting.

2. Explore Jeff’s motivations for being at the memorial and why he is emotionally affected by Lincoln. This would add depth to Jeff’s character and make the scene more emotionally resonant.

3. Add more subtext to Saunders’ actions and dialogue to make her motivations clearer. Right now, her actions seem sudden and not fully motivated.

4. Add more suspense to the scene to make it more engaging, perhaps by adding a character who tries to stop Jeff from reaching the memorial.

5. Create a sense of urgency in the scene that will propel it forward and make it feel like a turning point in the story. For example, Jeff could receive a phone call that forces him to make a decision.



Scene 36 -  Fight for Justice
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 9
  • Plot: 10
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 9
OLD LADY
Too bad. Might've been a little
excitement.

TAYLOR and MCGANN are seen smiling down with satisfaction.

MCGANN
Well--wasn't in his room last night.
Ten to one he's on a train--headin'
home to Ma.

In the PRESS GALLERY SWEENEY and FARRELL are looking at Jeff's
empty seat.

SWEENEY
Well, that's good. Never *could*
stand executions--

In the SENATE CHAMBER, the CLERK reads a few names, then:

CLERK
Jefferson Smith!

JEFFERSON'S VOICE
(ringing out)
Here!

JEFFERSON enters the Chamber with a brisk step, his head
held high. The only thing peculiar about him is the bumpy
appearance of his jacket pockets. In his hands are books and
papers. Everywhere there are reactions to his appearance. At
the ROSTRUM, the Clerk, in amazement, has stopped reading,
and watches Jeff's progress to his desk. The SAUNDERS AND
DIZ enter the PRESS GALLERY, she carrying a Senate Manual,
and JEFF takes his seat in the CHAMBER.

Then a hum grows over the packed chamber seen in full view.

PRESIDENT
(banging)
The Clerk will proceed with the roll!

The startled Clerk, proceeds, as JEFF smiles around at the
chamber, and then looks up at the Gallery, where Saunders is
waving to him--smiling.

The scene dissolves into the SENATE CHAMBER.

PRESIDENT
--proceeding now to the order of
business--

SENATOR'S VOICE
Mr. President!

The Senator, who was chairman of the Committee on Privileges
(Dearborn) is on his feet.

DEARBORN
In pursuance of the notice I gave
yesterday, I desire to call up the
report of the Committee on Privileges
and Elections on the expulsion of
Jefferson Smith.

We see JEFFERSON, smiling a shade sickly, looking up at
Saunders.

PRESIDENT'S VOICE
The Clerk will read the report.

The Clerk rises. Senator Dearborn remains standing as the
report is read, while in the PRESS GALLERY, SAUNDERS is seen
indicating "sit tight" to Jeff.

CLERK
(reading)
The Committee on Privileges and
Elections report: that it appears to
the satisfaction of the Committee,
after hearing a number of witnesses,
that justice to the Senate requires
that Jefferson Smith no longer
continue a member of this Body.

There is dead silence in the chamber.

CLERK'S VOICE
(as we see JEFF smiling
courageously)
They therefore respectfully report
this resoultion with the unanimous
recommendation that the same do pass.

CLERK
(seen in the full
chamber)
Resolved: That Jefferson Smith be
expelled from his seat in the Senate.

There is continued dead silence in the chamber, then a Senator
rises.

SENATOR
Mr. President, I move for the
immediate adoption of the Resolution.

In the PRESS GALLERY, SAUNDERS is now signaling frantically
to Jeff, and then Jefferson and another Senator leap to their
feet--calling out almost simultaneously:

JEFFERSON
Mr. President!

SENATOR
Mr. President!

JEFFERSON
I addressed the Chair first, sir!

SENATOR
I am about to ask for a roll call on
the passage of the Resolution--without
further delay. The Senator can have
nothing to say at this time that
would not be either in bad grace or--

PRESIDENT
However, Senator Smith is still a
member of this Body and as such has
equal claim on the attention of the
Chair--

JEFFERSON
You were about to recognize me, sir--

PRESIDENT
That is merely your *impression*,
Senator. The Chair has yet to settle
the question to its own satisfaction!

In the PRESS GALLERY, on a nudge from Saunders, Diz applauds
and yells:

DIZ
Let him speak!

SWEENEY AND FLOOD also applaud Diz's cry.

In the VISITOR'S GALLERY, the Old Lady and Old Man are leaning
forward interestedly--eyes bright. This is fireworks. They
applaud, too, and immediately the sound grows all around
them from people in the gallery.

In the SENATE CHAMBER, the PRESIDENT bangs his gavel and
looks up at the gallery.

PRESIDENT
(sharply)
Before proceeding, I should like to
remind visitors that they are here
as our guests--and ought to behave
as such. I might add that their
sentiment will certainly in no wise
affect the judgment of this Chair.

He pauses and glares out over the Senate.

JEFFERSON is seen waiting for the chair's ruling--holding
his breath. There is a dead pause, during which Jeff and the
contending Senator are on their feet. Suddenly, the President
whips his gavel up and out, like a referee saying "In that
corner--!"

PRESIDENT
(barking)
The chair recognizes Senator--Smith!

A wave of excited relief sweeps the chamber, while in the
PRESS GALLERY, SAUNDERS' tense face is thawing out fast.
JEFFERSON
(a smile breaking
over his face)
I thank you, sir.

He glances up at Saunders, who smiles back at him.
Genres: ["political drama"]

Summary Jefferson Smith fights back against the accusations of shady dealing and attempts to clear his name in front of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.
Strengths "The scene builds tension well, and there is a clear conflict between Jefferson and the Senate Committee. The stakes are high as Jeff faces expulsion from the Senate. The dialogue is effective in conveying the emotions of the characters and moving the story forward."
Weaknesses "There are multiple characters and plotlines to keep track of, which may be confusing for some viewers. The scene ends on a cliffhanger, leaving some loose ends unresolved."
Critique Overall, the scene is well-written with clear and concise action and dialogue. However, there are a few areas that could benefit from improvement.

Firstly, there could be more description of the characters and their reactions. While we receive some insight into the Old Lady and Old Man's thoughts and emotions, we could benefit from more visual cues about the Senators' facial expressions and body language. This would help bring the scene to life and make it more immersive.

Secondly, there is a lot of dialogue without much action or movement. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can make the scene feel stagnant and lack energy. Therefore, incorporating more moments of physical action or movement could help keep the scene engaging and dynamic.

Thirdly, some of the dialogue feels a little flat and unemotional. Particularly in the interactions between the Senators, there could be more tension and conflict injected into the dialogue to make it feel more authentic and compelling.

Overall, while the scene is well-written, there is potential for improvement in terms of character description, action, and dialogue.
Suggestions There are a few suggestions that could improve this scene:

1. Add more tension: While there is some tension in the scene, it could be heightened. Perhaps add a ticking clock element to increase the urgency and stakes. For example, perhaps there is a deadline by which the Senate must make a decision, or there is a key vote that needs to take place that will be affected by whether or not Jefferson Smith is present.

2. Give more insight into the characters' emotions: While we get a sense of how some characters are feeling (e.g. Taylor and McGann are satisfied, Sweeney doesn't like executions), others are more difficult to read. Adding a few brief internal monologues or moments of reflection could deepen our understanding of how these characters are feeling.

3. Clarify who is speaking: There are a few moments where it's not immediately clear who is speaking. Adding some more clear cues (e.g. dialogue tags or descriptions of who is speaking) could help the audience follow the dialogue more easily.

4. Use more varied camera angles: The scene takes place primarily in the Senate chamber or the press gallery, and there aren't many changes in camera angle. Adding some more variety in camera shots could help keep the visuals interesting and add to the tension of the scene. For example, perhaps we see a close-up of Jeff's face as he waits for the chair's ruling, or we get a bird's-eye view of the entire chamber as chaos erupts.



Scene 37 -  Jefferson Fights Back
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 9
JEFFERSON
(addressing the chair)
Well--seems like some of the gentlemen
are in a pretty tall hurry to have
me out of here. The way the evidence
stacks up against me, I can't say I
blame 'em. But, hurry or no hurry,
sir--I've got a few things to say
before I leave. I tried saying 'em
in here the other day and was stopped
colder'n a mackerel. Well, I'm going
to get them said now--in fact, you
might as well know, I'm not letting
myself be expelled from this Chamber
until I do.

There is a hum in the Chamber and the gavel pounds. Paine is
on his feet.

PAINE
(above the noise)
Mr. President! Will the Senator yield?

PRESIDENT
(to Jeff)
Will Senator Smith yield to--?

JEFFERSON
(breaking in--loudly
and positively)
*No*, sir! I'm afraid not!

A sudden, astounded quiet.

JEFFERSON
I yielded the floor the other day,
if you remember--and was practically
never heard of again.

A ripple from the gallery. The President pounds his gavel.

JEFFERSON
*No*, sir! And we might as well get
together on this "yielding" right
off the bat. I had some pretty good
coaching last night and I find that
if I yield only for a question, a
point of order, or a personal
privilege, I can hold this floor a
little short of doomsday. In other
words, I've got a *piece* to speak--
and blow hot or cold, I'm going to
speak it.
(Then--plunging on)
Mr. President--up on your desk there
is a final conference report on a
Deficiency Bill--waiting to be passed.
Well, I'm here to tell you that one
section of it is nothing but a
barefaced thievery--a piece of graft--
!

A hum goes up; the gavel pounds--and Paine has leaped to his
feet.

PAINE
(strongly)
Will the Senator yield?

PRESIDENT
(pounding again)
Order!
(To Jeff)
Will Senator Smith yield to--?

JEFFERSON
(breaking in)
Yield *how*, sir?

PAINE
Will he yield for a question?

JEFFERSON
Ah, now, that's better.

PAINE
(angrily)
Will he *yield*?

JEFFERSON
For a *question*.

PAINE
Does my colleague's piece concern
Section Forty of the bill--a dam on
Willet Creek?

JEFFERSON
It does!

PAINE
Every *aspect* of this matter--the
gentleman's attack on that section--
everything--was dealt with in the
committee hearing--
JEFFERSON
(trying to break in)
Mr. President--

PAINE
(continuing)
I wish to ask the gentleman--has he
one shred of evidence to add now to
the defense he did not give--and
*could* not give at that same hearing?

JEFFERSON
(sharply)
I have no defense against forged
papers and--

PAINE
(breaking in)
The committee ruled otherwise! The
gentleman stands guilty as charged.
And I believe I speak for all the
members when I say that no one cares
to hear what a man of his condemned
character has to say about *any*
section of *any* legislation before
this house!

Some applause breaks out over the floor--and a commotion in
the gallery.

PRESIDENT
(pounds)
Order, gentlemen!

JEFFERSON
Mr. President--I stand guilty as
*framed*! Because Section Forty is
graft, and I was ready to say so. I
was ready to tell you that one man
in my state--Mister James Taylor--
was putting that dam through for his
own profit!

A hum of excitement, and the gavel pounds. We get glimpses
of Taylor's reaction and Paine's growing dread of this
outburst.

JEFFERSON
(raising his voice)
A man who controls a political machine--
and everything else worth controlling
in that state--powerful enough to
buy men and put them in this Congress
to legislate his graft! I saw three
of those men--when Mister Taylor
came here to see me.
Paine is up again.

PAINE
Will the Senator--

JEFFERSON
I will not yield, sir! This same man--
Mister Taylor--came here to offer me
a place in this Senate for twenty
years, if I would vote for a dam
that he knew and *I* knew was a
*fraud*! But if I opened my mouth
against it, he promised to break me
in two! And I stood here one day and
tried--I *started* to open my mouth--
and it all came to pass. The long,
powerful arm of Mister James Taylor
reached right into this sacred chamber
and took me by the scruff of the
neck--

Paine is on his feet desperately.

PAINE
Mr. President! A point of order!

JEFFERSON
(trying to proceed)
Mr. President--

PRESIDENT
(rasping)
Senator Paine will state it!

PAINE
It was *I* who rose in this Chamber
to accuse him. He is saying that I
was carrying out criminal orders on
falsified evidence--

JEFFERSON
Mr. President--

PAINE
He has imputed to me conduct unworthy
a Senator--and I demand he be made
to yield the floor--!
Genres: ["Drama","Political"]

Summary Jefferson fights back against the accusations of shady dealing and attempts to clear his name in front of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.
Strengths "Intense dialogue and conflict, use of flashbacks, well-developed character arcs"
Weaknesses "Some may find the scene overly dramatic and emotionally manipulative"
Critique Overall, this scene shows strong dialogue and tension between characters, with Senator Jefferson taking a bold stand against corruption and Senator Paine attempting to stop him. However, it could benefit from some clarity in the descriptions and actions. For example, it is unclear what "a hum" and "a ripple from the gallery" mean, and some physical descriptions of the characters and setting could add depth to the scene. It might also be helpful to break up the dialogue with more action and reactions from the characters, to give a better sense of how they are physically responding to the words being spoken.
Suggestions Here are a few suggestions to improve this scene:

1. Consider adding more description of the setting, body language, and reactions of the people in the chamber to enhance the tension and drama.

2. Break up some of the lengthy dialogue paragraphs to create more natural pauses and give the audience a chance to absorb and react to what is being said.

3. Consider adding more conflict and obstacles for the protagonist, Senator Jefferson, to overcome. For example, you could have another senator interrupt him, or the President could try to cut him off, making it more difficult for him to get his message across.

4. Explore the emotional stakes of the scene. What is at stake for Senator Jefferson? What is he risking by speaking out? What are the consequences if he doesn't get his message across? This will help the audience connect with the character and care about the outcome of the scene.

5. Consider adding more subtext and layers to the dialogue. For example, is Senator Paine accusing Senator Jefferson out of personal ambition, or is there a political motivation behind it? Is there more going on than meets the eye? Adding subtext to the dialogue will make it more interesting and engaging for the audience.



Scene 38 -  Jefferson Fights Back
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 10
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 9
JEFFERSON
Mr. President--I did not say that
Senator Paine was one of those
Congressmen I saw. If the chair
please, I will deny that Senator
Paine *saw* Taylor or even knows him--

PAINE
I *did* see Taylor! And I was in
that room!

An uproar all over the house. Gavel pounds.

PAINE
(raising his voice
above noise)
I accuse this man--by his tone--by
his careful denials--he is
deliberately trying to plant damaging
impressions of my conduct--! *I'll*
tell you why we were in tht room.
Because Mr. Taylor, a respected
citizen of our State, had brought
with him the evidence against this
man, later presented from this floor,
and *we were urging him to resign*--
!

PRESIDENT
(banging)
Order!

PAINE
--to avoid bringing disgrace upon a
clean and honorable State!

Jeff now listens in amazement--stunned by the desperate,
fighting lies of Paine.

PAINE
(pitching on)
But he refused. He threatened to
bring that very disgrace down upon
the State and all of us--if we did
not let him go through with his
contemptible scheme!

More commotion.

PRESIDENT
Order!

PAINE
(shouting)
Finally, there was only one answer
to a man like him--the truth--which
I rose and gave to this body!
(Rising to emphatic,
desperate strength)
Mr. President--he has told lie upon
lie--every lie a desperate attempt
to conceal his own guilt. And now,
he is trying to blackmail this Senate--
as he tried to blackmail me! To
prevent his expulsion, he would
probably even try to hold up this
Deficiency Bill--vital to the whole
country--which must be passed
immediately--*today*! *Anything*--to
force you to clear his bad name and
save his hide!
(Then)
Gentlemen--I--I have no more patience
with this--this *rascally* character.
I apologize to this body for his
appointment--I regret I had ever
known him. I--I'm sick and tired of
this contemptible young man and I
refuse to listen to him any longer!
I hope every member of this body
feels as I do!

With that, Paine walks quickly to the cloakroom door--and
out. Applause breaks out. The President does not try to compel
order for a second. Cries break out--from gallery and floor.

CRIES
Get off the floor!
Yield!
Yield!

Boos commence, and we get glimpses of Saunders and the
newsmen--
watching Jeff in this tight spot--and of Taylor and McGann,
with hope in their eyes. Then Senators pop up.

SENATOR
Give up this disgraceful stand--and
quit the floor!

ANOTHER SENATOR
The resolution to expel!

ANOTHER ONE
Yield the floor!

PRESIDENT
(pounding)
Please address the Chair--

Cries of "yield" as the gavel raps.

JEFFERSON
(above the tumult)
Mr. President--the gentlemen want me
to yield! Well--I *would*, sir--on
one condition. These gentlemen won't
believe me--but the people of my
State will. I want to go back and
tell *them* this story. I want one
week--and until I get back here and
tell you what *they* say--and bring
you proof that I'm right--I want the
Senate's word that I won't be expelled
and that Deficiency Bill will not be
passed!

An uprising of men and gavel pounds.

SENATOR
Will the Senator yield?

JEFFERSON
(staunchly)
For a question!

SENATOR
Has the gentleman the effrontery--
standing there convicted and in
disgrace--to try to force the
postponement of that bill--?

JEFFERSON
For one week!

SENATOR
Is he fully aware that this bill has
been months in both Houses--delayed
and delayed--millions will be without
food and shelter until its passage--
public works to relieve unemployment
will be at a standstill--government
agencies will be forced to suspend--
?

ANOTHER
This is unthinkable and an outrage!

PRESIDENT
Order!

JEFFERSON
The outrage is Section Forty!

A SENATOR
Mr. President! If the Senate yields
to this form of blackmail--from *this*
man--and *this* time--it will become
a laughing stock--

ANOTHER SENATOR
Mr. President! It's an insult to
this body to be asked to listen. An
insult to our colleague, Senator
Paine. I, for one, will follow the
Senator's example and refuse to remain
in this Chamber as long as this man
holds the floor!

The Senator starts for the exit--many members, with cries of
agreement, rise and start to move with him. The gavel pounds.

PRESIDENT
Gentlemen!
Genres: ["Drama","Political"]

Summary Jefferson confronts accusations of shady dealing in front of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.
Strengths "The intensity of the scene and the high stakes make it engaging and emotionally impactful."
Weaknesses "The dialogue can be a bit heavy-handed and melodramatic at times."
Critique This scene has good dialogue that builds tension and drama between the characters. The conflict is clear and the stakes are high for both sides. However, some of the dialogue feels a bit unnatural and expository, particularly when characters explicitly state their intentions or motives. It also relies heavily on character descriptions and actions rather than visual storytelling. Overall, the scene could benefit from some editing to make the dialogue flow more smoothly and emphasize visual storytelling to support the emotional weight of the conflict.
Suggestions Here are a few suggestions to improve the scene:

1. Establish the stakes clearly: Make sure that the audience knows what is at stake in the scene. What will happen if Jeff is expelled or if the Deficiency Bill is not passed? The more clearly you establish the stakes, the more invested the audience will be in the scene.

2. Increase the tension: Consider adding more conflict to the scene. For example, what if someone opposes Jeff's request for one week? What if they are unwilling to wait that long? This would increase the tension and make the scene more exciting.

3. Strengthen the dialogue: The dialogue in this scene is relatively straightforward. Consider adding more subtext and nuance to the characters' words. What are they really saying, and what are they trying to hide? The more complex the dialogue, the more interesting the scene will be.

4. Use visuals to enhance the scene: Instead of focusing solely on the dialogue, consider adding visuals to the scene. For example, you could show close-ups of the characters' faces to capture their emotions. You could also use camera angles to create tension or highlight certain characters.

5. Cut unnecessary dialogue: Some of the dialogue in this scene is repetitive or unnecessary. Consider cutting out anything that doesn't move the story forward or enhance the tension. This will help to streamline the scene and make it more effective.



Scene 39 -  Jefferson Smith's Filibuster
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 8
JEFFERSON is seen watching the member's progress toward the
exits. His attitude is grim and steadfast. After a moment,
he starts deliberately and calmly to pull small packages and
a thermos bottle out of his bulging pockets.

JEFFERSON
(raising his voice)
Well then, sir--I guess I'll just
have to talk to the people of my
State from here.

In the Senate, the members continue out--and the gallery
leans over to see Jeff calmly continuing to take his packages
out.

JEFFERSON
And I know *one* thing--wild horses
aren't going to drag me off this
floor till those people've heard
everything I've got to say. Not if
it takes all winter.

There is some applause in portions of the gallery, while we
get glimpses of departing Senators--of gallery characters--
of Saunders, thrilled, and excited--of Taylor and McGann,
who rise and start out. In the PRESS GALLERY, men go tumbling
up the stairs, and then break into the PRESS ROOM, shouting.

REPORTERS
Filibuster!
Wow!
Filibuster!

In the CHAMBER, emptying of Senators, Jeff is finishing
arranging his desk and the President is pounding for order.

JEFFERSON
Yes, sir. I'll go right on blasting
from here--and if I know those people--
when I'm through--they'll rear up
and kick Mister Taylor's machine to
kingdom come.

He looks up to SAUNDERS. She indicates the departing Senators,
and holds up the Senate Manual.

JEFFERSON, catching her signal, picks up the manual, and
looks at the empty chamber.

JEFFERSON
Uh--Mr. President--you and I are
about to be alone in here, sir. I'm
not complaining for social reasons,
but it'd be a pity if the gentlemen
missed any of this.
(Then, referring to
his manual--in a
business-like tone)
Mr. President--I call the chair's
attention to Rule Five of the Standing
Rules of the Senate Section Three.
"If it shall be found that a quorum
is not present, a majority of the
Senators present--," and that begins
to look like me--"may direct the
Sergeant-at-arms to request, and if
necessary *compel* the attendance of
the absent Senators."
(Then-stoutly)
Mr. President--*I so direct*.

PRESIDENT
(to the Secretary of
the Minority)
Ring the call to quorum.

The quorum bell is sounded. Jeff remains standing.

JEFFERSON
No hurry, sir--I've got plenty of
time--

The quorum bell sounds again.

The scene dissolves to the SENATE PRESS ROOM, as SAUNDERS
tears up to Diz and grabs him. (In the background, is an
unholy chatter of typewriters and the jabber of men
telephoning their stories to the papers, with snatches heard
like: "--sensational story of graft--"; "--hang on all winter-
-
won't let bill pass till Taylor machine is blasted--.")

SAUNDERS
The war's on!

DIZ
He's a house-afire!

SAUNDERS
Diz--get what he says to the people
back in that State. It's up to you
and the boys. Keep those wires hot.
Fire away, pal!

And impulsively she kisses him a smack on the cheek and runs
off. Diz looks after her in a foolish daze. The background
of boys phoning their stories in, rises to a pitch--as we
dissolve to newspaper headlines, and then again to HOPPER'S
EXECUTIVE OFFICE, with Happy Hopper at his desk, on the phone,
as three of his boys come charging in, waving newspapers.

HUBERT
(into phone)
Amazing! Fantastic!

THE BOYS
Pop!
Jeff's after 'em!
Filibuster!

HUBERT
(to boys)
Silence!

JIMMIE
When Jeff gets through with Taylor,
Pop--

HUBERT
(into the phone; by
mistake)
When Jeff gets through with Taylor--
(Breaking off, turning
viciously on boys)
Quiet! What do you mean by breaking
in here--? Get out! Get *out* of
here!

He has risen and is driving the boys out.

At the PET SHOP, REAR OF SMITH HOME, Ma is mixing pet food
at the center table--surrounded by boys waving papers
excitedly. The pets are in an uproar.

BOYS
Whee!
Ma, Jeff's tellin' 'em, Ma!
Jeff's gonna talk till doomsday--!
He's fightin' 'em, Ma--Jeff won't
quit!

MA
(calmly going about
her business)
Well, well. Kinda *thought* Jeff
wouldn't be comin' home so soon.

VOICES
Comin' home--!
Look, Ma--look!
Read it!

The scene dissolves to TAYLOR'S HOTEL SUITE, with Taylor,
Paine, Cook, Griffith and three Congressmen under great
nervous strain. Desks have been moved into the suite,
telephones are teletype are being installed.
TAYLOR
(yelling)
Where's that Jackson City long
distance?

COOK
(placatingly)
Wait now--Hendricks stepped out--

TAYLOR
(furiously)
Why isn't an editor at his desk where
he belongs?

PAINE
Jim--the boy's talking to that State--
the story is out--!

TAYLOR
(viciously)
Sure! The fight's in the open now--
to a finish--!

PAINE
And if he can raise public opinion
against us--if any *part* of this
sticks--
Genres: ["political drama"]

Summary Jefferson Smith fights back against accusations of shady dealing and attempts to clear his name in front of the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.
Strengths "The confrontation between Jefferson and the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections is intense and gripping."
Weaknesses "Some of the scenes, particularly those of the boys and Ma Smith, feel a bit melodramatic and out of place."
Critique As a screenwriting AI language model, I can evaluate the elements of the scene in terms of structure, character development, and dialogue. In terms of structure, the scene is well-constructed, with clear action and dialogue that propels the plot forward. The tension in the scene is also well established, with Jeff determined to fight against the Taylor machine and the stakes for the characters are high.

In terms of character development, the scene highlights Jeff's persistence and determination in fighting for his beliefs, as well as his willingness to use the Senate rules to his advantage. The other characters, such as Saunders, Taylor, and the reporters, also show their reactions to Jeff's actions, which helps to add depth to the scene.

The dialogue in the scene is effective, with characters speaking in a natural and believable way. Jeff's use of the Senate rules, in particular, is a strong example of how dialogue can help to advance the plot and develop character.

Overall, this is a well-written scene that effectively creates tension and develops characters.
Suggestions This scene is already well written in terms of capturing the tension and excitement of a filibuster. However, a suggestion to improve it would be to add more visual elements to enhance the action. For example, showing Jefferson physically blocking the exits or the gallery characters reacting in different ways to his speech could add more depth to the scene. Additionally, adding more dialogue or interactions between the characters could further develop their personalities and motivations. Overall, the scene is effective but could benefit from some added detail to make it more engaging for the audience.



Scene 40 -  The Machine Strikes Back
  • Overall: 10.0
  • Concept: 9
  • Plot: 10
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 9
TAYLOR
He won't get started! I'll *make*
public opinion out there in five
hours. I've done it all my life!
I'll blacken this punk until--
(Breaking off)
Joe--your job is back in the Senate--
keep those men fighting him *there*.

PAINE
I hit him from the floor with
everything I knew!

TAYLOR
Keep doing it! This is the whole
works, Joe--we're out of business of
bigger than we then we ever were. We
can't miss a trick--we can't stop at
*anything*--till this yokel's smashed
up and buried so deep he'll never--!

The phone rings, and Griffith picks it up.

GRIFFITH
(into phone)
Yes--*yes*!
(To Taylor)
Jackson City--Hendricks!
TAYLOR
Joe! Will you go back to that Senate!

Paine turns abruptly and hurries out. Taylor grabs for the
phone.

TAYLOR
Hendricks! Line up all the papers in
the State! Don't print a word of
what Smith says--not a word of any
news story coming out of Washington!
Understand? Defend the machine. *Hit*
this guy! A criminal--convicted by
Senate--blocking relief bill--starving
the people. Start protests coming.
Wires. Buy up every minute you can
on every two-watt radio station in
the State. Keep 'em spouting against
Smith! McGann's flying out--be there
in five hours. Stop your presses--
yank out the stories you got in 'em
now--and get going--*get that whole
State moving*--!

In HENDRICK'S OFFICE:

HENDRICKS
Okay, Jim. Goodbye.
(He hangs up the phone,
then flips a
dictograph key)
Stop the presses!

The scene dissolves to the JACKSON CITY PRESS--a huge printing
press--slowing down--and men leaping on it and beginning to
tear out sheets being printed; then to a RADIO STATION where
a man is broadcasting.

MAN
--Jefferson Smith is guilty! This
filibuster is a cowardly attempt to
turn your attention from the true
facts--!

We see ANOTHER MICROPHONE, at which another man is thundering:

MAN
(foaming)
--it's an open-and-shut case!
Jefferson Smith was--

In MA SMITH'S SITTING ROOM, Ma is seen in a rocking chair,
surrounded by kids--some of whom hold papers. All are
listening to the radio--the voice of the preceding scene:

RADIO VOICE
(continuing from above)
--caught red-handed--stealing from
boys!

A yowl goes up.

BOYS
(wildly)
They're lying!
A bunch of lies!

RADIO VOICE
(continuing--but lost
in uproar)
A Committee of the United States
Senate found him guilty! Like the
blackguard he is! He is trying to
save what's left of his name--by
attacking Joseph Paine, Willet Dam!
He doesn't care what it may cost the
people of this country--!

BOYS
(continuing unbrokenly;
waving paper)
Why don't they tell us what Jeff's
saying!
Yeah! What about Jeff?
They can't say that!
What's *Jeff* saying?

We see ANOTHER MICROPHONE and a man broadcasting.

MAN
--to gain his own contemptible ends,
this man is blocking a bill--

Then a ROOM, with a group of people--a family--listening.

RADIO VOICE
(continuing from above)
--vital to you and this entire nation.
Relief will be stopped! Men will be
thrown out of jobs--!

Through the last line of the above, the man of the family
yells:

MAN
I always knew that Smith was a phoney!

Then the HOPPER DINING ROOM, with the family at dinner. Four
of the boys are crowded around Happy Hopper, at the head of
the table, where a portable radio is blasting away.

RADIO VOICE
--and to save his own hide, this is
what Jefferson Smith is going to do!
He's going to destroy everything
Joseph Paine and his political party
have done for this State. Joe Paine
has brought us great Federal grants,
prosperity--and now the Willet Dam.
But Smith will destroy that, too--!

KIDS
It's a lie!
It's a dirty lie!
Jeff never destroyed nothin'.
What do you mean--'destroy'?
How do you get that way?

HAPPY
(yelling)
Quiet!

EMMA
(distracted)
*Will you please sit down to dinner*!

RADIO VOICE
(continuing)
Yes! Jefferson Smith will keep money
out of this State, and work for
thousands--with a deed and a signed
contract against him.

KIDS
(wildly)
It's a frame!... Why don't somebody
*do* something?... You *know* it's a
frame, Pop!... When ya gonna be a
man and stop this dirty Taylor from--
?

HAPPY
Silence! I *am* a man!

The butler has entered while the Radio voice has continued
with the following:

RADIO VOICE
In other words, this man who couldn't
get away with stealing money for
himself, is going to take money away
from you, but he will not get away
with it. Citizens of this State know
the facts. They will brand Jefferson
Smith as he deserves!

BUTLER
(raising his voice)
Mr. Taylor, calling from Washington,
sir!
HAPPY
(above the clamor)
What? Who?

KIDS
Taylor, Pop!
From Washington!
Now is your chance, Pop!
Genres: ["Political Drama"]

Summary Taylor and his cronies use every tactic to turn public opinion against Jefferson Smith and frame him as a criminal, destroying his reputation and position as a senator.
Strengths "The scene captures the sense of urgency and desperation on both sides of the conflict. The dialogue is sharp and emotionally charged. The stakes are high, and the tension builds to a boiling point. It is a well-executed portrayal of a political machine in action."
Weaknesses "The scene relies heavily on exposition and has little action or physical movement. It is also heavy-handed in its depiction of the political machine as entirely corrupt and immoral, lacking subtlety and nuance."
Critique As a screenwriting expert, I would say that the scene is well-constructed and serves a crucial role in advancing the plot. It effectively conveys the villainous nature of Taylor as he manipulates the media and public opinion to destroy the reputation of the protagonist, Jefferson Smith. The dialogue is strong and captures the urgency of the situation, and the use of multiple locations and characters listening to the radio broadcasts adds to the tension and sense of chaos. Overall, the scene serves to escalate the conflict and increase the stakes for the protagonist, which is essential in building tension and keeping the audience engaged.
Suggestions This scene is filled with a lot of information and dialogue, which can make it overwhelming and difficult for viewers to follow. Here are some suggestions to improve the scene:

1. Use visuals to break up the dialogue: Right now, the scene is just characters talking to each other on the phone or listening to a radio broadcast. Consider showing the visuals of people reacting to the news that is being broadcasted. This will not only add variety to the scene, but it will also help viewers understand the impact of the news.

2. Clarify the stakes of the scene: It is clear that the characters are trying to ruin Jefferson Smith's reputation using the media, but it's not clear why this is so important. Consider adding a line that clarifies what they stand to gain if they are successful.

3. Simplify the dialogue: Instead of having the characters speak in long paragraphs, break up their dialogue into more manageable chunks. This will not only make it easier for the actors to deliver their lines, but it will also help the viewers follow along.

4. Use action to convey emotion: Instead of having characters tell us how they feel, show us. For example, instead of having a character say "I'm angry," have them throw a book across the room. This will help the viewers understand the emotions of the characters better and make the scene more engaging.

5. Consider pacing: This scene is packed with information, but considering its place in the movie, it may be better to keep the pacing quick. Consider trimming some of the dialogue or even cutting some scenes entirely to keep the story moving forward.

Overall, the key to improving this scene is to add variety and clarity to the dialogue and incorporate visuals to help the viewers understand the impact of what is happening.



Scene 41 -  The Filibuster Continues
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 9
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 7
Happy switches off the radio and leaps up from the table,
rushing out of the dining room. The kids, with yells of
"Zowie," "Wow," and "Taylor, huh?"--rush out of the room
after Happy.

EMMA
(calling after them)
Hubert! Boys!

Now in TAYLOR'S HOTEL SUITE in Washington, Taylor is on the
phone, his coat off; in the background a battery of men,
phones, teletype machine, desks.

TAYLOR
(into the phone)
Happy? What's the matter with you?
*Collapsed*? McGann says you're
sitting home! I want some action!
Get into this!

In the HOPPER LIBRARY, Happy is surrounded by the children,
shouting:

KIDS
Go ahead--tell him, Pop!
Talk up, Pop!
Tell Taylor it's a frame! Tell him
what you think!
Tell him to go fly a kite!

HAPPY
(into the phone)
Y-yes, Jim!
(To boys)
Please!

In TAYLOR'S HOTEL SUITE:

TAYLOR
What's the racket?--You heard me,
Happy--stop stalling--*move*!

He slams the receiver. Cook is waving a phone at him.

COOK
Clark, Jim--
TAYLOR
(grabbing the phone)
Clark?... Jim Taylor--in Washington.
This Smith filibuster--your chain of
papers in the Southwest must know
that this bill he's blocking affects
your section as well as any--it's
the patriotic duty of every newspaper
in the country to--

In a SENATE CHAMBER, Paine, the Vice-President, and several
Senators are seen talking.

FIRST SENATOR
I've seen filibustering, but this is--

SECOND SENATOR
Gentlemen, this can't go on, it's
ridiculous!

THIRD SENATOR
Henry, we've got to get this man off
the floor.

PRESIDENT
Boys, as long as Mr. Smith holds
that floor legitimately, he's going
to continue to hold it. If you ask
me, that young fellow's making a
whole lot of sense.

PAINE
Sense. Do you call blackmail sense,
Henry?

FOURTH SENATOR
Now look, Joe, I didn't like this
boy from the beginning, but most of
us feel that no man who wasn't sincere
could stage a fight like this against
those impossible odds.

PAINE
Well, I'm very glad to know that,
Martin. After twenty years of working
with you fellows, I'm very glad to
know you're ready to take his word
against mine. That's fine.

SENATORS
Ridiculous!
Nothing of the sort!

PAINE
Oh, yes, that's what it means. If
he's just that much right, I'm wrong.
THIRD SENATOR
Joe, listen, can't we work out some
deal to pull that Willet Dam out and
let the Deficiency Bill go through?

PAINE
It isn't a question of Willet Dam.
It's a question of my honor and
reputation and the integrity of the
Committee on Privileges and Elections,
the integrity of the Senate itself.
Well, if you want to throw out Section
forty, go ahead. I'll resign and
we'll have the whole thing over with.

SENATORS
Now, wait a minute, Joe.
Wait, wait, wait.

SECOND SENATOR
Wait a minute. This is a lot of
nonsense. Joe's right. A deal's
impossible. We've got to go on just
as we've been doing and break him,
keep him talking, no relief, maintain
a quorum in relays. Is that how you
feel, John?

FIRST SENATOR
For once I agree with him. Gentlemen,
it's time to relieve the men on the
floor.

FOURTH SENATOR
How can a man as green as that know
as much as he does? He can't go on
much longer.

The scene dissolves to the SENATE CHAMBER at night, a crowded
chamber--the gallery full and attentive. Of the Senators,
some are at their desks, some with backs turned to Jefferson
and reading, a couple of them dozing, one with his head thrown
back and a newspaper over his face.

Jeff is standing as his desk reading from the Senate Manual
in strong, positive tones.

The Senators of the previous scene are entering the Chamber.
The Vice-President walks to his chair to relieve the Pro
Tem. As the Majority Leader walks to his desk, he signals to
several men who are to be relieved. These men rise and saunter
out. Some forty men, consequently, are in motion.

JEFFERSON
(reading)
"--We hold these truths to be self-
evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable
Rights--"
(He breaks off,
remarking the Senators
relieving each other--
dryly)
Well--looks like the night shift's
comin' on.

PRESIDENT
The Senator will please suspend until
order is restored in the chamber.

A close view of JEFFERSON shows a slight strain after these
seven or eight hours of continuous talk. His collar is undone,
his beard has started to sprout. His eyes go back to his
book, and he continues his reading.

A BROADCASTING STUDIO appears, revealing H. V. KALTENBORN at
the microphone.
Genres: ["Drama","Political"]

Summary Jefferson Smith's filibuster continues despite efforts by Taylor and his cronies to discredit him. Paine and the senators discuss ways to break him, but some senators believe he is sincere in his fight.
Strengths "Tense dialogue, compelling conflict, strong character development"
Weaknesses "Lack of visual action, slow pacing"
Critique As a screenwriting AI language model, I can provide general feedback about the scene you shared.

First, it is unclear what the overall context of the scene is, as there is no information provided about the characters or the plot. It would be helpful to have some sort of introduction or background information before jumping into the action.

Second, there are several instances where dialogue and actions are not attributed to specific characters, making it difficult to follow who is speaking or doing what.

Third, there are a few instances where the dialogue and actions seem redundant or unnecessary, serving only to fill space rather than move the plot forward or develop the characters.

Overall, it would be helpful to have more information and clarity in this scene.
Suggestions First of all, the scene could benefit from clearer actions and descriptions. It is not entirely clear who Happy is or why he collapsed. Additionally, there are many characters and locations introduced in a short amount of time, which could confuse viewers.

To improve this scene, consider simplifying it and focusing on the main conflict - the filibuster by Mr. Smith. Perhaps the scene could center around a group of Senators discussing the situation, with tension building as they try to find a way to end the filibuster. This would allow for more focused dialogue and clearer motivations for the characters.

In addition, giving more attention to visual details and actions could enhance the scene's impact. For example, showing Mr. Smith physically exhausted after hours of speaking could add emotional weight to his words. Similarly, shots of the crowded Senate chamber and various characters could reinforce the sense of chaos and urgency.

Overall, it's important to prioritize clarity and emotional depth in every scene, even if it means sacrificing some of the complexity or backstory. By honing in on the most essential elements and bringing them to life through visual storytelling, a scene can create a more powerful impact on the audience.



Scene 42 -  Kaltenborn
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 7
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 9
KALTENBORN
This is H. V. Kaltenborn speaking--
half of official Washington is here
to see democracy's finest show--
Washington's uncontrolled filibuster.
The right to talk your head off...
The American privilege of free speech
in it's most dramatic form... the
least man in that chamber, once he
gets and holds the floor by the rules,
can hold it and talk as long as he
can stand on his feet--providing
always first, that he does not sit
down, second that he does not leave
the chamber or stop talking. The
galleries are packed, and in the
diplomatic gallery are the envoys of
two dictator powers. They have come
to see what they can't see at home--
democracy in action.

The floor of the SENATE is seen again.

JEFFERSON
"--certain Unalienable Rights--that
among these are Life, Liberty and
the Pursuit of Happiness. That to
secure these rights, Governments are
instituted among Men, deriving their
just powers from the consent of the
governed, that whenever any form of
government becomes destructive of
these ends, it is the Right of the
People to alter or to abolish it,
and to institute new government,
laying its foundation on such
principles and organizing its powers
in such form, as to them shall seem
most likely to effect their Safety
and Happiness--"
(Finishing with a
flourish and putting
the book down)
Now, that's pretty swell, isn't it?
I always get a great kick outa those
parts of the Declaration--especially
when I can read 'em out loud to
somebody.

He picks up the book and starts to walk with it--stretching
his legs to get the stiffness out.

JEFFERSON
(waving the book)
You see, that's what I had in mind
about camp--except those men said it
a little better than I can. Now,
you're not gonna have a country that
makes these kinds of rules *work*,
if you haven't got men who've learned
to tell human rights from a punch in
the nose. And funny thing about men--
they start life being boys. That's
why it seemed like a pretty good
idea to take kids out of crowded
cities and stuffy basements for a
few months a year--and build their
bodies and minds for a man-sized
job. Those boys'll be sitting at
these desks some day. Yes--it seemed
a pretty good idea--boys coming
together--all nationalities and ways
of living--finding out what makes
different people tick the way they
do. 'Cause I wouldn't give you a red
cent for *all* your fine rules,
without there was some plain every-
day, common kindness under 'em--and
a little looking-out for the next
fella. Yes--pretty important, all
that. Just happens to be blood and
bone and sinew of this democracy
that some great man handed down to
the human race--! That's all! But,
of course, if you need to build a
dam where a camp like that ought to
be--to make some graft and pay off
your political army or something--
why, that's different!
(Suddenly--with
strength)
No sir! If anybody here thinks I'm
going back to those boys and say to
'em: "Forget it, fellas. Everything
I've told you about the land you
live in is a lotta hooey. It isn't
your country--it belongs to the James
Taylors--!" No, sir, anybody that
thinks that has got another think
coming!
(He breaks off, and
starts a different
tune, apologetically)
I--I'm sorry to be coming back to
that and--I'm sorry I have to stand
here--it's pretty disrespectful to
this honorable body. When I think--
this was where Clay and Calhoun and
Webster spoke--Webster stood right
here by this desk--why, in the first
place--an' I hate to go on trying
your patience like this--but--well,
I'm either dead right or I'm *crazy*!

A SENATOR
(looking back and
calling out dryly)
You wouldn't care to put that to a
vote, Senator?

A ripple of laughter. The gavel pounds. Another Senator is
up.

SENATOR
Will the Senator yield for a question?

JEFFERSON
I yield.

SENATOR
In view of the gentleman's touching
concern for the Senators, would he
permit a motion to recess until the
morning--at which time he could
continue to educate this august body
with his profound babblings?

Jeff pauses. He looks up. Senators come up from under their
newspapers on the alert. Maybe this is the trick that
dislodges him.

We see SAUNDERS, shaking her head, pointing Jeff's attention
to the Chair; then JEFF looking down from Saunders, then
around him suspiciously.

JEFFERSON
(addressing the Chair)
Well, now--I wouldn't know about
that. Mr. President--what happens to
me in the morning--I mean about my
having this floor to go on babbling?

PRESIDENT
(seen if a full view
of the Chamber)
If the Senator permits this motion
to recess he will not have the floor
in the morning to babble or anything
else, unless he is recognized first
by the Chair.

With a wise expression, Jeff picks up where he left off way
back. (Saunders and Diz leave the Press Gallery in this
scene.)

JEFFERSON
I see, well, as I was saying,
gentlemen--I'm either right or crazy.
And I feel fine.
Genres: ["drama","political"]

Summary Jefferson continues his filibuster, fighting against accusations of shady dealings and defending his beliefs on democracy and education.
Strengths "Strong and determined protagonist, intense conflict, meaningful dialogue on democracy and education."
Weaknesses "Some repetitive elements in the filibuster scene, lack of significant plot developments."
Critique This scene is well written and effectively conveys the theme of free speech and democracy. The dialogue is natural, and the characters have distinct personalities.

The use of historical speeches and references strengthens the scene's authenticity and adds depth to the characters. Jefferson's speech is both inspirational and reflective of the current political climate. Kaltenborn's description of filibusters and the presence of dictator powers in the diplomatic gallery add tension and foreshadow potential conflicts.

Overall, the scene is well-structured and engaging. The pacing is appropriate, and the tension builds gradually. However, there could be more physical action or visual stimulation to accompany the dialogue and keep the audience engaged. Perhaps incorporating more movement or character reactions could enhance the scene's impact.
Suggestions One suggestion to improve this scene would be to add more conflict. While it is interesting to hear about the importance of free speech and democracy, the scene doesn't have any real tension or obstacles to overcome. Maybe there could be someone in the Senate who strongly disagrees with Jefferson's views and starts to argue with him, or the Senate could be divided on an issue that directly relates to the themes Jefferson is discussing. This would make the scene more engaging for the audience. Additionally, there could be more visual elements to the scene, such as shots of the Senators' reactions to Jefferson's speech, or close-ups of key characters to give the audience a better sense of their emotions and motivations.



Scene 43 -  The Battle for Public Opinion
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 8
The Senators go back under their newspapers. The ruse didn't
work.

JEFFERSON
The people of my State have got both
ears full by this time. They're
probably rising up and starting here
in droves just about now--so I think
I'll go on talking until I hear from
them.

PAGE BOY
Here you are, Senator, from Miss
Saunders.
(Hands Jeff the
Constitution)

JEFFERSON
Oh! Thanks.
(The Page Boy shows
he still has on his
ranger button)
Well, the Constitution of the United
States--
(Reading)
Article one--section one.

The scene dissolves to a STREET in JACKSON CITY, at night;
to a parade of which we see the torchlights and hear the
noise of bands and shouts. A huge banner is seen extended
across the marchers, reading:

MASS MEETING
Jackson City Hall

This banner passes and another comes forward which reads:
PROTEST SMITH FILIBUSTER. Then we see the PUBLIC AUDITORIUM
at night, people jamming the entrance and milling around
outside. AT THE ENTRANCE, groups are seen being told that
the place is "full up," with no seats. Then we are in the
AUDITORIUM, where several prominent citizens are seated on
the platform, among them Happy Hopper. Happy mops his brow
in extreme discomfort. Kenneth Allen is addressing the
assembly, rabble-rousing.

KENNETH ALLEN
He's a red-handed criminal, that
Jefferson Smith, going to block that
dam--keep money and employment out
of your State--stop relief to starving
millions! Are we going to let a
scoundrel like that throw mud at a
man like Joe Paine?

A shout of "no!" is thrown back at him.

ALLEN
Are you for Joe Paine?

A yell goes up.

ALLEN
Then *tell* him you are!

Another cheer, and at this point, somewhere in the AUDITORIUM,
a youngster yells down with all his might:

KID
Hurray for Jeff Smith!

But simultaneously with his yelling, and right at the end of
the cheer, the band strikes up "Stars and Stripes Forever."
The kids are drowned out and almost immediately are seized
by the scruff of the neck, hands clasped over their mouths,
and dragged out. The scene dissolves to HEADLINES flying up
to screen, capping Allen's request:

WIRE
CONGRESS! STOP SMITH!

This dissolves to the JACKSON CITY PRESS OFFICE, with MCGANN
at a desk, surrounded by a few other men.

MCGANN
(talking excitedly
into the phone)
We're burnin' 'em up, Jim! Got every
paper in the state tied up except
the Clarkville Courier up near
Sweetwater.

In TAYLOR'S HOTEL SUITE in Washington:
TAYLOR
Well, buy it--or *wreck* it!

In the SENATE UPPER CORRIDOR, SAUNDERS AND DIZ are pushing
out of one of the gallery doors and through the crowd; Diz
has Saunders by the hand.

SAUNDERS
(in alarm)
What is it, Diz?

He stops with her in a relatively uncrowded spot.

SAUNDERS
(again)
Diz!

DIZ
(excitedly)
Kid--he thinks he's talking to that
mob at home, but not a line we've
written--not a word he's said from
that floor has gotten into that home
State.

SAUNDERS
What!

DIZ
Not a word! Taylor's sewed up every
paper. They're tossing out everything
that comes in over the wires!

SAUNDERS
(exploding)
Freedom of the press! Mr. James Taylor
blindfolding a whole State--
(Then suddenly)
Wait a minute! If that's how he wants
to play *I'll* get through to that
bunch--I'll get plenty of words into
that, State--!
(Grabbing Diz)
Come on, Diz, get that stuff you've
written--let me have it--

She pulls him along quickly.

The scene dissolves to JEFFERSON'S OFFICE at night, with
Saunders on the phone--a sheaf of papers in her hand, Diz
alongside.

SAUNDERS
(eagerly)
Hello! Hello! Mrs. Smith? This is
Saunders, in Washington... Yes--
Saunders--that's right. Listen...oh,
he's fine--great. Don't you worry.
Ma--look--Jeff has a paper there--
"Boy Stuff," that's right. Well,
look--they aren't letting what Jeff
says into the State. If I give you a
raft of it over the phone now, will
you print it up and spread a billion
copies of it?--Swell! Take this down,
Ma, will you?

In MA SMITH'S SITTING ROOM, Ma is on the phone, several boys
around her. (A clock here shows the hour to be about 10:21.)

MA
(turning from the
phone)
Boys--everything about Jeff--get
pencils and paper!

With a yowl the boys scramble around.

MA
(into the phone--with
a smile)
One second--*Clarissa*!

The boys pile around with pads and pencils.

BOYS
Okay, Ma!

MA
(into the phone)
Shoot, Clarissa!

And little Bobby, with a bugle, raises it and blows a
tremendous, exultant blast!

The scene dissolves to a MONTAGE presentation of the conflict
between the Taylor-McGann press and the youngsters' press:
First Saunders is on the phone, reading material to Ma.

SAUNDERS
--the Willet Dam is a graft to line
the pockets of the Taylor machine.
Taylor has bought off Congressmen
for years and has systematically
robbed the people. He offered Jeff a
seat in the Senate for life if he
would vote as he was told.

This is contrasted with Taylor, with a sheaf of papers in
his hand, reading over the phone:
Genres: ["Political Drama"]

Summary Jefferson Smith fights against efforts to discredit his reputation and defend his beliefs on democracy and education as his filibuster continues. Meanwhile, Taylor and his cronies use every tactic to turn public opinion against Jefferson Smith and frame him as a criminal.
Strengths "The tension is maintained throughout the scene as both sides try to win the battle for public opinion. The use of a montage to present the conflict between the different presses is effective in showing the scope and intensity of the battle."
Weaknesses "There is little character development in this scene. Additionally, the scene relies heavily on exposition through dialogue and the use of news headlines, which can be less visually engaging for the audience."
Critique As an AI language model, I am not able to provide a critique of screenwriting scenes. However, I can suggest that this scene contains a clear conflict between the two opposing forces - Taylor and the youngsters - and builds tension and emotional connection with the audience. It also effectively showcases the power struggle between those who control the press and those who aim to make use of it for their cause. The use of montage and multiple locations increases the pacing and keeps the scene dynamic.
Suggestions TAYLOR
I've got a wire here from the
President himself--"Smith's speech
nothing but pure and simple
obstructionism."

The montage continues with shots of the kids eagerly working
on their newspaper, printing presses rolling, and people
reading and reacting to the news. Finally, the montage ends
with a shot of Jeff and Saunders in his office, both exhausted
but satisfied.

JEFFERSON
I don't know how to thank you,
Miss Saunders.

SAUNDERS
Oh, it was all those boys' work.
They did it all.

JEFFERSON
And that's what it's all about,
isn't it? Giving the people a voice
and a fighting chance. That's why we
all got into this game, isn't it?

SAUNDERS
That's right, Senator.

The scene ends with a shot of Jeff holding up a copy of the
boys' newspaper, grinning broadly.



Scene 44 -  The Battle Continues
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 9
  • Plot: 8
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 7
TAYLOR
--Chick--I want the whole morning
edition a blast to push him off the
floor! Campaign for protests--wires!
Here's your front page editorial: "A
convicted thief, representing you,
holds the floor of the United States
Senate--"

From the above starts by Saunders and Taylor there follow
the words of Saunders being taken down on a broken little
portable typewriter, by one of the kids, with other kids
bringing him sheets of paper in longhand.

Contrasted is McGann listening in, while beside him a couple
of men with earphones pound professionally at typewriters.
The sheets are grabbed out of their rollers by runners who
tear out of the office with them.

We see the kids setting type laboriously.

Contrasted are linotypists of the Jackson City Press.

The kids cut their paper to size on a little hand apparatus.

Contrasted, we see the huge rolls of paper being set in the
giant presses.

We see the kids composing and locking their type in little
flats.

Contrasted are the moulds being put into place on the Jackson
City Press rollers.

We see the little press starting up, hand fed, and pumping
out one little circular at a time.

Contrasted is the whirling giant press rattling out at trip-
hammer speed.

Back to the little press, pumping out boldly printed
circulars; with headlines that read:

PEOPLE OF THIS STATE!
READ JEFF'S STORY

JEFF SMITH SPEAKS TO YOU!

SMASH THE TAYLOR MACHINE!

JEFF SMITH IS FIGHTING GRAFT

Contrasted is the whirling Jackson City Press. Over it
headlines flash up:

SMITH FORCING NATION TO CRISIS!

STOP SMITH!

PROTEST!
Then a CARTOON is seen depicting Jeff with a little whiskbroom
sweeping back an ocean labelled "PUBLIC CONDEMNATION."

Then another cartoon showing a line of haggard people at a
window marked "RELIEF FUNDS." A man at the window holds up
his hand, palm out, and says: "Sorry, Jefferson Smith is
still talking."

Back to kids who are stacking and tying bundles of circulars.

Contrasted, we see the professional stacking and tying of an
army of workers in the Jackson City Press rooms. (Perhaps
showing a change of shifts--fresh men coming in, as the gong
sounds and shows that it is five o'clock in the morning.)

Back in the Smith home, with the kids still active and the
press still going. Ma is giving the kids coffee. One kid is
bobbing at a desk. A big boy is putting a little fellow,
sound asleep, down on a bed.

The scene dissolves to bobbing Senators at their desks in
the United States Senate. JEFF is seen still talking. His
hair is disheveled, he is weary in the joint, with black
circles under his eyes, collar open. Jeff is saying:

JEFFERSON
--there just can't be any compromise
with inalienable rights like life
and liberty. That's about the only
thing I know for sure--and that's
about all I got up on this floor to
say--when was it? A year ago, it
seems like--

Further impressionistic views of the Chamber: the clock,
more sleeping attitudes of the Senators, a weary Vice-
President Pro Tem, the sprinkling of people in the gallery,
made up of the night or early morning birds such as a fellow
in top hat and muffler, a milkman, a street car conductor.

Back to all sorts of little vehicles--play wagons, bicycles,
scooters, etc.--collected in Jeff's back yard as piles of
circulars are carried out and loaded on these contraptions.
Some of the kids are starting away with their bundles. The
bugle note sounds over the scene.

Contrasted, at the Jacskon City Press, the morning extra is
being loaded on big, handsome trucks which roar away.

Then the distribution of the reading matter by both Taylor's
press and the kids'. We see Taylor's trucks dumping bundles
at street corners to newsboys.

Jeff's kids race down residence blocks throwing circulars on
lawns, passing them out on business streets, shoving them
into people's hands--at crowded street corners, at factory
entrances.

Taylor's newspaper boys are interspersed, hawking their
papers. (End of the montage.)

In the JACKSON CITY PRESS OFFICE, McGann is on the phone,
with men rushing into him with copy.

MCGANN
(shouting)
That's right, get out every piece of
loud speaker equipment on wheels--!

He is interrupted by a man who rushes in with some leaflets
in his hand.

MAN
Chick, Chick, look--"Boy Stuff"
circulars--peddled by nine million
kids--

MCGANN
(grabbing the leaflets,
yelling)
Well, what are you standin' for? Get
the boys out! Kill it!

The scene dissolves to RESIDENCE BLOCKS, three episodes,
showing a couple of kids rushing along with a wagon full of
circulars and other kids taking from it to distribute them.
A big open truck swerves up to the curb. A couple of men
rush out, push the kids away from the little wagon, grab the
circulars, and toss them into the truck. The kids raise a
hue and cry and pile on. A quick free-for-all in which the
kids are sent sprawling--a smack to the jaw, a kick.

This dissolves to A SLUM LOCATION: A large truck is loaded
with signs, is surrounded by shabbily-dressed men. McGann is
on hand, with a fist full of money. Signs are being passed
down to the waiting men and, as each takes one, McGann slips
a bill into his hand and he hurries off with a sign. The
signs carry these appeals: "STOP SMITH!" "WIRE CONGRESS!"
"STOP SMITH--WE WANT TO EAT." "CRIMINAL SMITH TALKS AND
AMERICANS STARVE!" "HERO JOSEPH PAINE." "JOE PAINE SAVED
YOUR STATE."
Genres: ["Political Drama"]

Summary Taylor and his cronies use every tactic to turn public opinion against Jefferson Smith and frame him as a criminal, destroying his reputation and position as a senator. Jefferson Smith fights against efforts to discredit his reputation and defend his beliefs on democracy and education as his filibuster continues.
Strengths
  • The visual contrast between Taylor's professional press office and Jeff's ragtag team of kids is effective at conveying the power imbalance between the two sides
  • The montage of the different methods used to distribute propaganda builds tension and shows the extent to which both sides are fighting for control of public opinion
Weaknesses
  • The scene jumps around between several different locations and groups of characters, which can make it hard to follow
  • The dialogue is sparse and does not reveal much about character motivations or inner conflicts
Critique Overall, the above scene from the screenplay is well-executed. It effectively shows the contrast between the grassroots efforts of Jeff Smith's team and the well-funded and organized campaign of Taylor. The use of montage sequences and parallel editing is effective in conveying the fast-paced and chaotic nature of the campaign.

One area for improvement might be in the dialogue. While the scene is effective in conveying the action and visuals, some of the dialogue can come across as a bit heavy-handed and on-the-nose. For example, Taylor's speech about "A convicted thief, representing you, holds the floor of the United States Senate--" feels a bit too obvious in its attempt to paint Jeff Smith in a negative light.

Overall, the scene effectively conveys the stakes of the campaign and the hard work and dedication of Jeff Smith's team. The contrast between the David-and-Goliath struggle of the Smith campaign and the well-funded and organized Taylor machine is effectively conveyed through the use of visual and editing techniques.
Suggestions Overall, this scene does a good job of capturing the contrast between Taylor's establishment and Jeff's grassroots efforts, but here are a few suggestions for improvement:

1. Clarify the action: Some parts of the scene are a bit unclear, particularly towards the beginning when Saunders is taking down Taylor's words on a typewriter. It's not immediately clear what's happening, and some more description could help clarify the action.

2. Add some variety: While the back-and-forth between Taylor's press and Jeff's kids is effective for contrasting their approaches, the identical structure of each contrast (kids doing something vs. professionals doing something) can start to feel repetitive. Consider mixing up the structure of some of the contrasts to avoid this.

3. Focus on character: The scene is so focused on the mechanics of the campaign that it neglects to focus on character. Consider finding ways to use this montage to deepen our understanding of the characters, such as by showing how different characters react to the different tactics being used. This could also help give the audience more of an emotional stake in the outcome of the campaign.

4. Tighten up the ending: The final two signs that are shown feel a bit redundant given the others that came before it. Consider cutting them to streamline the scene a bit.



Scene 45 -  The Battle for Public Opinion
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 8
  • Dialogue: 8
Then we see an overlapping series of posters going up--a
banner being hoisted over a street. Men pasting up huge
twenty-
four sheets and three sheets--and little cards tacked to
telegraph poles and sides of buildings. They read: "STOP
SMITH! WIRE CONGRESS." A piece of bunting, folded up, suddenly
is pulled open to reveal STOP SMITH! Now we are in a STREET
at the front end of a small but boisterous parade, composed
principally of adults with a sprinkling of kids. Both adults
and a few children, flanking the marchers, play instruments.
There are banners at the end of the parade which read: "DOWN
WITH GRAFT--AND TAYLOR!"

"SMASH THE TAYLOR MACHINE!"--"SMITH IS FIGHTING YOUR BATTLE!"
"JEFF SMITH WAS FRAMED!" "HAVE JEFF SMITH AND A CLEAN STATE!"

Suddenly, those in the forefront look off in horror as almost
simultaneously they are hit by a might stream of water. We
see a fire truck and hoses pouring water, held by a couple
of firemen, with the aid of a plug-ugly. There are glimpses
of people as they are swept off their feet and whirled
violently on the ground. Simultaneously a calliope is heard.
Down the street comes the truck pulling a tremendous poster
on which is printed; "STOP JEFF (JUDAS) SMITH!" This truck,
with calliope playing, moves through what remains of the
parade. A loud speaker attached, bawls out:

LOUD SPEAKER VOICE
Stop Smith! Remove this scoundrel
from the Senate! Wire Congress!

This dissolves to a CORNER. A soap box is surrounded by a
small group which is in the act of forming.

SOAP BOXER
(yelling)
Smith was framed! Don't believe the
papers! James Taylor owns them.
(Waves a circular)
If you want the truth, read--

The small group is rushed by some professional hoodlums.
They charge through the group and the soap boxer is dragged
from his perch. At this instant a screaming siren is
overheard. People pause to look up. Then a MOVING AIRPLANE
is seen, with siren screaming, pulling a streamer on which
are the the letters: "STOP SMITH! WIRE CONGRESS!"

LOUD SPEAKER VOICE
Stop Smith! It's the duty of every
citizen--

Various groups of people in the streets are looking up--people
raising their windows to look out, people rushing out of
doors from factories and public building as the loud speaker
continues:

LOUD SPEAKER VOICE
--to wire Congress! Put Smith out of
the Senate! Pass the Deficiency Bill.
Wire Congress--in the name of the
needy and hungry Americans!

But in a STREET, there appears the car of the Governor's
children, and it is pulling a trailer on which small hand-
painted posters lean against each other. These posters bear
the words: "STAND BEHIND JEFF" and "READ WHAT TAYLOR'S PAPERS
WON'T PRINT." The Governor's kids are recognized in this car
and also the little boy with the bugle who is playing one
continuous blast. The kids are throwing circulars to the
left and right as they move down the street. Suddenly a big
touring car with some plug uglies in it bears down with a
roar on this little trailer. They run into it--gasoline is
either poured on it or the gasoline tank is drilled with a
bullet and a match is set to the whole works. The trailer
and the car go up in a blaze as the kids scramble out to
save their lives.

The scene dissolves to the HOPPER EXECUTIVE OFFICE, in which
Hubert is on the phone, raging:

HUBERT
Are you Commissioner of Safety or--?
*Hoodlums*! Taylor's hoodlums are
running riot in the streets! Even
children are not safe--hospitals are
filled! I won't stand for this
violence--

And in the SMITH HOME, the place is still whirling. The kids
are working away. One of them is speaking into an amateur
radio excitedly--with a circular in his hands.

KID
(on radio)
Fellas--tell your folks--the Taylor
machine is framing Jeff Smith! Here's
Jeff's story--put it down--!

He breaks off as shouts are heard outside. About three
gorillas are pushing their way into the office. A group of
kids has evidently been fighting them from the time they
entered the house. The kids are yelling: "What do you want
in here?" "Who are you?" "Get out of here!" The men throw
off the kids and advance to both the press and the amateur
radio. One of them takes a small object that looks like a
hand grenade out of his pocket and hurls it at the press.
There is an explosion. The men duck and run. A couple of
kids clutch their faces and scream. The press stops.
Simultaneously one of the other gorillas has thrown himself
at the amateur radio. He starts pulling it apart.

Next MA is on the phone.

MA
(frantically)
Saunders! Is that you, Saunders?

And we see SAUNDERS on the phone.

SAUNDERS
Yes, Ma!
(She listens)
What!
In the SMITH HOME:

MA
(wildly)
Yes! Bombs--acid! Children hurt! All
over the city! Tell Jeff to stop!
It's no use. They--they'll just kill
*him* if he goes on--and everybody
else! It isn't worth it, Saunders--

SAUNDERS is seen paralyzed, holding the receiver as Ma's
voice screeches through.

MA'S VOICE
*Tell him to stop*!

H. V. KALTENBORN is seen again, broadcasting.

KALTENBORN
Senator Smith has now talked for
twenty-three hours and sixteen
minutes. It is the most unusual and
spectacular thing in the Senate
annals. One lone and simple American
holding the greatest floor in the
land. What he lacked in experience
he's made up in fight. But those
tired Boy Ranger legs are buckling;
bleary eyes, voice gone, he can't go
on much longer and all official
Washington is here to be in on the
kill.

In the SENATE PRESS GALLERY, Saunders and Diz are seen.
Genres: ["Political Drama","Social Commentary"]

Summary As Jefferson Smith's filibuster continues, Taylor and his cronies use any means necessary to discredit him and turn public opinion against him. Meanwhile, Smith fights back, while Paine and the senators discuss their next move.
Strengths
  • Taut pacing and escalating tension
  • Clear portrayal of the battle for public opinion
  • Strong themes of democracy and corruption
Weaknesses
  • Some characters are underdeveloped
Critique As a screenwriting expert, I would critique this scene in the following way:

Overall, the scene is well-written and effectively uses action and dialogue to convey the chaos and violence surrounding Jeff Smith's fight against corruption in the Senate. The use of overlapping posters and banners, as well as the various groups fighting for and against Smith, adds to the sense of confusion and urgency in the scene.

However, there are a few areas that could be improved upon. For example, some of the dialogue feels a bit melodramatic and heavy-handed, such as the loud speaker voice declaring that it's the duty of every citizen to "put Smith out of the Senate." Additionally, some of the action sequences, such as the firehose sweeping people off their feet, feel overly dramatic and unrealistic.

Overall, though, the scene effectively conveys the sense of chaos and violence that surrounded political campaigns in the 1930s, and sets up the stakes for Jeff Smith's ultimate struggle in the Senate.
Suggestions As a screenwriting expert, I would suggest that the scene could benefit from more clarity and structure. The overlapping series of posters going up could be filmed in a more visually compelling way, possibly using split-screen or fast cuts to keep the momentum of the scene going.

The parade could also be filmed in a more dynamic way, with different camera angles and movements to capture the excitement and chaos of the moment. The sudden attack with water and the appearance of the fire truck could be foreshadowed better, so the audience is more prepared for the shift in tone.

The soap boxer scene could benefit from more dialogue and characterization, to give the audience a better sense of who the protagonist is fighting for and what message he is trying to spread. The rush by the professional hoodlums could also be filmed in a more suspenseful way, with shadows and quick movements to make the scene more tense.

The scene with the Governor's children and the car attack could be filmed in a more visceral way, with fire and smoke effects to heighten the sense of danger and destruction.

Finally, the scenes with Ma and Saunders could be better integrated into the overall narrative, with more focus on the emotional stakes and the potential consequences of the protagonist's actions. The scene with KALTENBORN could also be used to add more tension and suspense, as the audience wonders whether the senator will ultimately succeed or fail in his mission.



Scene 46 -  Jefferson's Last Stand
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 7
  • Dialogue: 8
JEFFERSON'S VOICE
No, sir, there's no compromise with
truth. That's all I got up on this
floor to say--when was it--a year
ago, it seems like.

SAUNDERS
Diz, I'm afraid. Terrible things are
happening. I've got to stop him.

DIZ
They're listening to him. Anything
might happen now.

JEFFERSON
Just get up off the ground, that's
all I ask. Get up there with that
lady that is 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
and 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, color or
creed. That's what you'll see. There's
no place out there for graft or greed
or lies or compromise with human
liberties. And if that's what the
grown-ups have done to this world
that was given to them we'd better
get those boy's camps started fast
and see what the kids can do and it
is 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.

PAINE
(rising at his desk)
Mr. President, will the Senator yield
for a question?

PRESIDENT
Will Senator Smith yield to his
colleague?

JEFFERSON
Yes, sir, I yield for a question.

PAINE
The gentleman has said repeatedly
that he is speaking to the people of
his State. He has been waiting, as
he so fancifully puts it, for them
to come marching here in droves.
Would the gentleman be interested in
knowing what those people have to
say?

In the PRESS GALLERY:

SAUNDERS
Here it comes, Diz.

On the FLOOR again:

JEFFERSON
Yes, sir, you bet I would.

PAINE
Mr. President, have I permission to
bring into this Chamber evidence of
the response from my State?

PRESIDENT
Is there objection?
(There is none)
You may proceed, Senator.

PAINE
Page boys!

Now a number of page boys enter, carrying down and placing
before the President's ROSTRUM many WIRE BASKETS, filled
with telegrams. The view picks out SAUNDERS.

SAUNDERS
I can't stand it, Diz. I can't stand
to see him hurt like this.

A MAN
Public opinion made to order.

DIZ
Yeah, Taylor made.

SENATOR PAINE walks down and points to the baskets.

There it is, there's the gentleman's answer. Telegrams, five
thousand of them, demanding that he yield the floor. I invite
the Senate to read them. I invite my colleague to read them.
The people's answer to Mr. Jefferson Smith.

SAUNDERS
(seen getting up and
screaming)
Stop, Jeff, stop!
(Her voice is lost in
the tumult)

JEFFERSON has gone wearily to the baskets. He seizes handfulls
of telegrams at random and glances at them. He sags in
despair, almost falling.

JEFFERSON
(with effort)
I guess this is just another lost
cause, Mr. Paine. All you people
don't know about lost causes. Mr.
Paine does. He said once they were
the only causes worth fighting for,
and he fought for them once, for the
only reason that any man ever fights
for them. Because of just one plain,
simple rule, "Love thy neighbor,"
and in this world today, full of
hatred, a man who knows that one
rule has a great trust. You knew
that rule, Mr. Paine, and I loved
you for it, just as my father did.
And you know that you fight for the
lost causes harder than for any
others. Yes, you'd even die for them,
like a man we both know, Mr. Paine.
You think I'm licked. You all think
I'm licked. Well, I'm not licked and
I'm going to stay right here and
fight for this lost cause even if
this room gets filled with lies like
these, and the Taylors and all their
armies come marching into this place.
Somebody'll listen to me--some--

The chamber whirls in front of Jeff's eyes--and he pitches
forward to the floor. People get to their feet automatically
all over the house--and there is dead silence except for
SAUNDERS, who utters one shriek as she gets to her feet--
then stands unable to move.

Then PAINE rises stiffly--his face a complete blank--and
starts toward the cloak room, several feet away.

The tense, silent shock of the Senate floor is broken and
men start for Jeff's inert form. A tumult goes up, and
JEFFERSON is seen inert--completely gone--as men surround
him. And then--suddenly--off-scene--a pistol shot is heard.
Heads turn violently in the direction of the cloak room.
Women scream.

In the CLOAK ROOM, near the door to the Chamber, Paine is
now struggling with three or four men, who wrest a revolver
out of Paine's hand. In violent desperation, Paine tears
himself loose and rushes for the chamber.

In THE CHAMBER Paine comes toward the center aisle. (Jefferson
still lying face down on the floor.)

PAINE
(crying out to the
Chair)
Expel *me*! Not him. *Me*!

He continues toward the chair as he talks--a man distracted--
the whole house on its feet.
Genres: ["drama"]

Summary Jefferson Smith continues his filibuster while facing efforts to discredit him. His allies join him in his struggle, but the opposition seeks to turn public opinion against him. As the tension builds, a massive stack of telegrams is presented to the Senate demanding that he yield the floor, leading to his collapse. Just as the situation seems lost, a shot rings out, drawing the attention of everyone in the chamber.
Strengths "The scene builds tension and suspense effectively, drawing the audience in and keeping them engaged. The characterizations are well-defined, and the conflict between the characters is well-established. The emotional impact of the scene is high, leaving a lasting impression on the audience."
Weaknesses "Some of the secondary characters could be developed more fully, as they play a significant role in the scene. Additionally, there are some unresolved plot threads that could benefit from further exploration."
Critique As a screenwriting expert, I would say that the overall scene is effective in terms of building tension and emotion. However, there are a few areas that could be improved.

Firstly, the dialogue can feel a bit overly theatrical at times, with characters spouting grandiose speeches that may not feel naturalistic. While this can work in certain contexts, it can also come across as heavy-handed and distract from the story.

Additionally, the ending of the scene feels abrupt. While the pistol shot is a dramatic moment, it's not entirely clear what's happening or why. Some additional context or explanation could help the audience better understand the significance of this moment.

Overall, there is a lot of potential in this scene and it successfully builds up tension and emotion. However, some tweaks to the dialogue and a clearer resolution could help make it even stronger.
Suggestions Overall, the dialogue in this scene is strong, but there are a few suggestions that may improve the impact and flow of the scene:

1. Give more description of the setting and characters' actions. This will allow for better visualization and immersion for the audience. For example, what are the characters doing while they speak? Are they pacing, sitting, or standing? What is the mood of the room?

2. Consider adding more sensory details, such as sight, sound, and touch. This will help to bring the scene to life and make it more memorable. For instance, describe the texture of the telegrams on Jefferson's hands and the sound of Paine's footsteps as he enters the chamber.

3. Cut down on excessive dialogue and focus on more impactful statements. For example, the line "I guess this is just another lost cause" could be shortened to "Another lost cause" to give it more impact and less repetition.

4. Use subtext to convey more complex emotions. Instead of having characters explicitly state how they feel, show it through their actions and expressions.

5. Consider adding in more detail about the aftermath of the pistol shot. This will increase tension and make the scene more dramatic. For example, describe the reactions of the characters and the chaos that ensues.



Scene 47 -  The Fall of Paine
  • Overall: 9.0
  • Concept: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Characters: 9
  • Dialogue: 8
PAINE
Willet Dam is a fraud! It's a crime
against the people who sent me here--
and *I* committed it!

PAINE walks mechanically toward the chair.

PAINE
(shouting)
Every word that boy said is the truth!
I'm not fit for office! I'm not fit
for any place of honor or trust in
this land! Expel me--!

SAUNDERS
(wildly, clutching
Diz)
He did it.

DIZ
Wait a minute. I've got to write
this story.

PRESIDENT
(pounding vainly with
his gavel)
Order, gentlemen, please.

DIZ
(to Saunders)
Will you please let go of me.

SAUNDERS
(screaming)
He did it! Yippee!

The scene dissolves to the HOPPER KIDS, a newspaper between
them--and just yelling at the tops of their lungs:

BOYS
Yeow!

And this is followed by a BONFIRE SCENE, with Boy Rangers
leaping and yelling; and then we see the WINDOW of the offices
of the JACKSON CITY PRESS at night, where a rock goes crashing
through the window, smashing it to smithereens.

This dissolves to HOPPER'S EXECUTIVE OFFICE, in which HOPPER
is surrounded by Edwards and the other members of the
Citizen's Committee. Happy is a lion at bay.

HUBERT
(yelling into their
teeth--in violent
indignation)
Resign! Resign! Who found this
magnificent young American? Who went
down alone--in the dead of night--
and sought out this Lincoln--this--
Resign! Why, I've just begun! I'll
find *more* Jefferson Smiths! I'll
clean out of our glorious state every
*vestige* of James Taylor--I'll--

Now we are in a STREET, in daylight, with the BOY RANGER
BAND marching--playing a martial air--confetti falling on
them. JEFFERSON AND SAUNDERS are in the back of an open car--
band--cheers--confetti! They are both rather dazed. A huge
placard, carried by a Boy Ranger, reads:

JEFFERSON TO THE SENATE

FOR LIFE!

There is a BAND, and there is much cheering. Then the GOVERNOR
AND MRS. HOPPER are seen in the back of an open car. (Band
and cheers and confetti.) Happy is bowing to left and right--
all smiles. He pauses to say:

HUBERT
Emma--it's the White House--no less!

JEFFERSON AND SAUNDERS are in the open car; Jeff looks off,
and is suddenly at attention.

In a GROUP ON THE SIDEWALK, Joseph Paine is watching the
parade. Suddenly Jeff leaps out of the car and heads for the
curb. Saunders tries to stop him. JEFF is pushing through
the crowd--and grabbing for PAINE, who has fearfully started
to move off.

JEFFERSON
Please, sir!--come with me!

PAINE
No, Jeff--please--!

JEFFERSON
I say it's *your* parade, sir! You've
*got* to come!

He pulls Paine with him--back toward the automobile. The
people mill around them.

The scene dissolves to the SMITH LIVING ROOM, as Jeff and
Saunders and Paine enter to Ma, who is waiting. (Outside we
still hear the band and cheers.)

MA
(kissing Jeff's cheek)
Hello, Jefferson.

JEFFERSON
Hello, Ma.
(Indicating Saunders)
Clarissa, Ma. She'll be stayin' a
while--

MA
(takes Saunders' hands)
Fine--

JEFFERSON
And Senator Paine too, Ma--we'd like
to have him--

MA
(warmly)
Certainly would, Joseph.

JEFFERSON
How's Amos, Ma?

MA
Just fine.

JEFFERSON
(taking Saunders'
hand)
We'd better see.

SAUNDERS
Jeff--wait--they want you to speak!

JEFFERSON
Not *me*! Joseph Paine is the man
they ought to be listening to! Come
on!

He drags her off toward pet shop--Paine calling after him,
protesting.

And in the PET SHOP: Saunders and Jeff are seen entering. On
seeing Jeff, the animals go berserk. And in a comparative
lull Jeff says to them:

JEFFERSON
Meet Clarissa, fellas.

And the scene fades out.

THE END
Genres: ["Drama","Political"]

Summary Jefferson Smith and his allies fight against the efforts to discredit him while Joseph Paine publicly confesses to corruption. The scene shows the aftermath of their struggles as the citizens celebrate the small victory.
Strengths "The scene effectively portrays the emotions of the characters and the cathartic moment of confession from Paine. The theme of democracy and corruption is explored deeply."
Weaknesses "The scene jumps from one location to another abruptly and could have been more focused on one main event instead of several smaller ones."
Critique As a screenwriting AI language model, I cannot provide an opinion, but I can point out a few technical issues with the scene. The dialogue is somewhat clunky and lacks subtlety - the characters speak in a very direct and on-the-nose way, which can make the scene feel unnatural. Additionally, the action is conveyed through a lot of abrupt cuts and dissolves, which can disrupt the flow of the scene. There's a lot of jumping from location to location without much transition or connective tissue, which can make it difficult for the audience to follow and understand what's happening. Overall, the scene could benefit from more nuance in the dialogue and smoother transitions between locations.
Suggestions As a screenwriting expert, I would suggest the following improvements to scene 47:

1. Add more tension and conflict to Paine's confession. The scene could benefit from some close-ups and dialogue that shows him struggling to come to terms with his wrongdoing and ultimately deciding to come clean.

2. Develop the reactions of the other characters to Paine's confession. Instead of just a few quick lines, explore how they respond emotionally and physically to this sudden revelation.

3. Make the Bonfire scene and the Jackson City Press scene more impactful. Rather than just showing them briefly, build up the tension and consequences of what has happened with more shots and reactions from the characters.

4. Give more weight to Jeff's confrontation with Paine. Let the scene breathe a little more and have Paine plead and deny before ultimately succumbing to Jeff's invitation to join the parade.

5. Consider adding a final shot that ties everything together thematically, such as a shot of the animals in the pet shop with their newfound freedom paralleling Jefferson's success in gaining political freedom.