The Stranger (1946) — Dinner Party
Here's a clip followed by a fairly complete transcription of its dialogue:
|Mr Wilson||(Edward G. Robinson)||…||undercover agent of the Allied War Crimes Commission|
|(Orson Welles)||…||fugitive Nazi official, living under an assumed identity|
|Adam Longstreet||(Philip Merivale)||…||Justice of the SCotUS|
|(Loretta Young)||…||daughter of Judge Longstreet,|
newlywed bride of Charles Rankin
|Noah Longstreet||(Richard Long)||…||son of Justice Longstreet|
|Jeffrey Lawrence||(Byron Keith)||…||town doctor|
|Sara||(Martha Wentworth)||…||head housekeeper|
|unnamed woman||(unknown)||…||serving woman|
(Clip begins inside a church tower.)
Noah Longstreet: His name isRankin.
(Later, in the home of Justice Longstreet. Longstreet and Wilson are standing by a hearth, Wilson examining a piece of colonial silver.)
Justice Longstreet: It's nice to be able to show it to someone who knows what Revere silver is all about. But, personally, my speciality is pewter.
Wilson: Oh, yes, uh, pewter. Uh ah, the Revere workmanship, although uh ah sometimes heavy in design, almost invariably shows the sign of a master craftsman. It— it's beautiful.
Mary Rankin (entering with Charles): Noah.
Noah (coming on-screen): Hello, Mary.
Mary: Hello, honey.
Justice Longstreet: Ah, Mary dear. Mr. Wilson, my daughter Mary, …
Mary: Oh, how do you do, Mr. Wilson? I'm glad to meet you.
Wilson: How do you do?
Justice Longstreet: … my son-in-law, Charles Rankin.
Wilson: How do you do?
Charles Rankin: How do you do?
Wilson: I hope you don't mind my intruding on your home-coming.
Charles: Not at all.
Jeffrey Lawrence (entering): Good evening, Mary.
Mary: Jeff! How are you?
Jeffrey: Fine. You're looking good.
Sara (coming on-screen): Welcome home, Miss Mary, dear!
Sara (to others): If you don't sit down, it'll get cold!
Mary: Come on, gents.
(All head to table.)
Sara: I'm so glad to see you!
Justice Longstreet: Well, Sister, how were the mountains?
Mary: They were perfectly marvelous. Oh, Mr. Wilson?
Wilson: Yes, Mary.
Mary: Will you come sit over here on my right? Jeff, your usual place. And, darling, you're right there.
Mary: You oughta see Charles on skis; he's absolutely wonderful!
Charles (chuckling): No!
Mary: Yes, darling, you are. And I'm pretty good, too, aren't I?
Mary: Well, For a beginner.
Noah: Did you remember to keep your knees together and your apparatus in?
Mary: Yes, freshie, I did.
Justice Longstreet: Mr. Wilson here is compiling a catalogue of Paul Revere silver.
Mary: How nice!
Noah: Mr. Wilson is also an authority on clocks.
Mary: Oh, really? That's Charles' hobby, too.
Wilson: Yes, so your brother tells me. I understand you're going to fix the one in the church tower.
Rankin: Well, I may try.
Wilson: Well, that's quite an undertaking.
Mary: Show the kind of a wife I am: I hope he fails. I like Harper just the way it is, even to the clock that doesn't run.
Charles: Have you been in Harper long, Mr. Wilson?
Wilson: Um, since Friday, a week ago.
Jeffrey: You lost a day; I patched you up on Friday. By the way, how's the head?
Wilson: Oh, very much improved, thanks to you, doctor.
Jeffrey: You were hurt on Thursday, remember? The day of the wedding.
Wilson: Yes, that's right. Uh, Wednesday I left Bangor.
Charles: You were hurt, Mr. Wilson?
Wilson: Oh, nothing serious.
Jeffrey: Well, serious enough to raise a bump on his head the size of a billiard ball.
Wilson: The usual door.
(Red comes up to Mary on her right.)
Justice Longstreet: It's a good thing you're back, Sister; that dog of yours has been inconsolable.
Mary (laughing): Well, all right, Red. Wait a minute. Here ya are. This for missing me. How's that? There, that's a good boy. How was your meeting, Adam?
Justice Longstreet: Oh, irritating. Foreign Policy Association.
Noah: I read that fellow's report.
Justice Longstreet: Standish, yes.
Noah: I think he's full of prunes.
Justice Longstreet: Well, that's the way we used to talk in the 1930s, Noah.
Wilson: The, uh, London Times man in Berlin.
Justice Longstreet: Yes. Of course, he was quoting rumors, mostly. Men drilling by night, underground meeting places, pagan rituals.
Noah: Do you believe him, Pa?
Justice Longstreet: Well, eh, anything's possible.
Jeffrey: I'm sorry, sir, but I think it's ridiculous.
Jeffrey: Oh, there may be some fanatics, but no German in his right mind can still have a taste for war.
Wilson: Do you know Germany, Mr. Rankin?
Charles: I'm sorry, I— I have a way of making enemies when I'm on that subject. I get pretty unpopular.
Wilson: Well, we shall consider it the objective opinion of an objective historian.
Charles: Historian? A psychiatrist could explain it better. The German sees himself as the innocent victim of world envy and hatred — conspired against, set upon by inferior peoples, inferior nations. He cannot admit to error, much less to wrongdoing, not the German. We chose to ignore Ethiopia and Spain, but we learned, from our casualty list, the price of looking the other way. Men of truth everywhere have come to know … for whom the bell tolled. But not the German. No, he still follows his warrior gods, marching to Wagnerian strains, his eyes still fixed upon the fiery sword of Siegfried. And [glances at Jeffrey] in those subterranean meeting places that you don't believe in, the German's dreamworld comes alive and he takes his place in shining armor, beneath the banners of the Teutonic Knights. Mankind is waiting for the Messiah; but, for the German, the Messiah is not the Prince of Peace. No, he's… 'sanother Barbarossa, another Hitler.
Wilson: Well, then, you, uh, you have no faith in the reforms that are being effected in Germany.
Charles: I don't know, Mr. Wilson. I can't believe that people can be reformed except from within. The basic principles of equality and freedom never have, never will take root in Germany. The will to freedom has been voiced in every other tongue [Wilson nods.] —All men are created equal,liberté, égalité, fraternité— but in German—
Noah: There's Marx:Proletarians, unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains.
Charles: But Marx wasn't a German; Marx was a Jew.
Justice Longstreet: But, my dear Charles, if we concede your argument, there is no solution.
Charles: Well, sir, once again, I differ.
Wilson: Well, what is it, then?
Charles: Annihilation. Down to the last babe in arms.
Mary: Oh, Charles, I can't imagine you're advocating a … Carthaginian peace.
Charles: Well, as an historian, I must remind you that the world hasn't had much trouble From Carthage in the past … 2,OOO years.
Justice Longstreet (chuckling): Well, there speaks our pedagogue.
Mary: Well, uh, speaking of teachers, Mr. Wilson, …
Wilson: Yes, huh?
Mary: The faculty is coming for tea next Tuesday. If you have nothing better to do, would you like to join us?
Wilson: Uh, I'd like to, but my work here is finished. [Charles smiles faintly.] I'm leaving Harper tomorrow.
(Later, Charles and Mary Rankin enter their home.)
Mary: Extraordinary, isn't it, clocks being Mr. Wilson's hobby, too?
Charles: Yes, isn't it?
Mary: Well, Red, how do ya like your new house?
Charles: He loves it. Come here, Red; I think I'll take you for a walk. Come here, boy.
Mary: Oh, darling, you don't have to take him out. Just let him out. He won't run off.
Charles: I need the walk; I'm restless. Come on, boy.
(At Wilson's room.)
Male voice from phone: That's good. How are you coming along?
Wilson: I'll be in Washington tomorrow afternoon. You were right about Rankin. He's above suspicion.
(Charles walks a barking Red to the wooded area where earlier he had buried the man who had led Wilson to Harper. Charles looks at the grave, then begins to walk away.)
Charles: Here, Red.
(Red becomes interested in the grave.)
Charles: Red, c'mere!
(Red, instead of coming, begins to dig at the grave. Charles, furious, chases Red, who continues to try to dig at the grave. Charles kicks Red.)
(Wilson, in bed, suddenly opens his eyes, sits-up, looking perturbed, and then lurches to the phone.)
Wilson: Uh, give me long distance. Uh, I want Washington, D.C.
(In the woods, Charles, a bit disheveled, sits and smokes. Then he arises.)
(Back in his room, Wilson speaks into the phone.)
Wilson: Well, who but a Nazi would deny that Karl Marx was a German because he was a Jew? I think I'll stick around For a while.