1950 Hollywood on the Buyout of Democracy
I’ve been thinking this week about an old movie I saw recently: Born Yesterday, in which a boorish, unscrupulous business tycoon goes to Washington to wreak some havoc and perhaps make a few ill-gotten bucks. If only that pesky press would stop bothering him with little annoyances like facts and ethics…
Oh, and his trophy mistress gets a civic education of sorts and discovers she has a brain. Well, anyway.
With apologies for completely spoiling the ending (the video below is bookmarked at the climactic penultimate scene within the full movie), the dialogue here is gold.
I think my favorite line is uttered by Judy Holliday’s newly conscientious ingénue: “This country with its institutions belongs to the people who inhibit it!” – a malapropism that may at times contain an ironic degree of truth.
This toast is one for the books too:
“To all the dumb chumps and all the crazy broads, past, present and future, who thirst for knowledge and search for truth, who fight for justice and civilize each other, and make it so tough for crooks like you – and me.”