Based on the Robert Penn Warren novel. The life of populist Southerner Willie Stark, a political creature loosely based on Governor Huey Long of Louisiana.

Jack Burden: You only get a couple of moments that determine your life. Sometimes only one. And then it's gone. Forever.
Jack Burden: [to Anne, explaining what happened to his marriage] A lot of tangled bedclothes and unspoken loathing, then spoken loathing and no tangled bedclothes.
Jack Burden: To find something, anything, a great truth or a lost pair of glasses, you must first believe there would be some advantage in finding it. I found something a long time ago, and have held on to it for grim death ever since. I owe my success in life to it; it put me where I am today. This principle: what you don't know, won't hurt you. They called it idealism in a book I read.
Sadie Burke: The world is full of sluts on skates.
[repeated line]
Willie Stark: Nail 'em up!
Jack Burden: The friend of your youth is the only friend you'll ever have. For he doesn't really see you. He sees in his mind a face which doesn't exist anymore, speaks a name... Spike, Bud, Red, Rusty... Jack... that belongs to that now nonexistent face. He's still the young idealist you used to be, still sees good and bad in black and white and men as sinners or saints but never both and feels superior in the knowledge that you no longer can distinguish the two. That's what drives you to it. To try to stick the knife in. There is a kind of snobbery in failure like the twist to the mouth of a drunk.
Willie Stark: Time brings all things to light, I trust it so.
Willie Stark: They fooled you 1,000 times, just like they fooled me. But this time, I'll fool somebody. I'll stay in this race. I'm on my own and out for blood. Listen to me, you hicks! Lift up your eyes and look at God's blessed and unfly-blown truth. This is the truth! You're a hick. Nobody ever helped a hick but a hick himself. Listen to me, listen to me! They were going to use me to split the vote. But I'm standing here now on my hind legs. Even a dog can learn to do that. Are you standing on your hind legs? Have you learned that yet? Here it is, you hicks! Nail up anybody who stands in your way. Nail up Joe Harrison! Nail up McMurphy! If they don't deliver, give me the hammer and I'll do it. I want his throat cut from ear to ear.
Willie Stark: Remember, it is not I who have won, but you. Your will is my strength, and your need is my justice, and I shall live in your right and your will. And if any man tries to stop me from fulfilling that right and that will, I'll break him. I'll break him with my bare hands, for I have the strength of many.
Adam Stanton: What is my weakness?
Jack Burden: You can't look at something that's broke without having to fix it.
Adam Stanton: Why is that a weakness? WHY IS THAT A WEAKNESS?
Jack Burden: It makes you do things you don't wanna do.

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