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Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.
Rufus T. Firefly: Not that I care, but where is your husband? Mrs. Teasdale: Why, he's dead. Rufus T. Firefly: I bet he's just using that as an excuse. Mrs. Teasdale: I was with him to the very end. Rufus T. Firefly: No wonder he passed away. Mrs. Teasdale: I held him in my arms and kissed him. Rufus T. Firefly: Oh, I see, then it was murder. Will you marry me? Did he leave you any money? Answer the second question first.
Rufus T. Firefly: I got a good mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it.
Rufus T. Firefly: Married. I can see you right now in the kitchen, bending over a hot stove. But I can't see the stove.
Ambassador Trentino: I didn't come here to be insulted! Rufus T. Firefly: That's what you think!
Secretary of Labor: The Department of Labor wishes to note that the workers of Freedonia are demanding shorter hours. Rufus T. Firefly: Very well, we'll give them shorter hours. We'll start by cutting their lunch hour to 20 minutes.
Mrs. Teasdale: As chairwoman of the reception committee, I extend the wishes of every man, woman, and child of Freedonia. Rufus T. Firefly: Never mind that stuff. [He takes out a deck of cards] Rufus T. Firefly: Take a card. Mrs. Teasdale: [as she takes one] Card? What will I do with the card? Rufus T. Firefly: You can keep it. I've got fifty-one left. Now what were you saying?
Prosecutor: Something must be done! War would mean a prohibitive increase in our taxes. Chicolini: Hey, I got an uncle lives in Taxes. Prosecutor: No, I'm talking about taxes - money, dollars! Chicolini: Dollars! There's-a where my uncle lives! Dollars, Taxes!
Chicolini: Now I aska you one. What has a trunk, but no key, weighs 2,000 pounds and lives in a circus? Prosecutor: That's irrelevant. Chicolini: Irrelephant? Hey, that'sa that answer. There's a whole lot of irrelephants in the circus.
Minister of Finance: Here is the Treasury Department's report, sir. I hope you'll find it clear. Rufus T. Firefly: Clear? Huh. Why a four-year-old child could understand this report. [to Bob Roland] Rufus T. Firefly: Run out and find me a four-year-old child, I can't make head or tail of it.
Rufus T. Firefly: Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot. I implore you, send him back to his father and brothers, who are waiting for him with open arms in the penitentiary. I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth. Chicolini: I'll tell you what I'll do: I'll take five and ten in Woolworth.
Rufus T. Firefly: Take a letter. Bob Roland: Who to? Rufus T. Firefly: To my dentist. [Roland writes out the following] Rufus T. Firefly: Uh... Dear dentist, enclosed find check for $500, yours very truly. Send that off immediately. Bob Roland: I'll, um, I'll have to enclose a check first. Rufus T. Firefly: You do and I'll fire you.
Rufus T. Firefly: Where's my Stradivarius? Officer: Here, sir. Rufus T. Firefly: I'll show 'em they can't fiddle around with old Firefly! [he pulls a tommygun out of his violin case and opens fire] Rufus T. Firefly: Look at 'em run! Now they know they've been in a war! Bob Roland: Your Excellency! Rufus T. Firefly: Hahahahahaha, they're fleeing like rats! Bob Roland: But sir, I've got to tell you... Rufus T. Firefly: Remind me to give myself the Firefly Medal for this! [he fires again] Bob Roland: Your Excellency, you're shooting your own men! [Firefly fires again] Rufus T. Firefly: What? Bob Roland: You're shooting your own men! Rufus T. Firefly: Here's $5, keep it under your hat. [holds out his hat to take the $5 back] Rufus T. Firefly: Never mind, I'll keep it under my hat.
Rufus T. Firefly: Go, and never darken my towels again!
Rufus T. Firefly: Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honour, which is probably more than she ever did.
Rufus T. Firefly: [into radio] This is Rufus T. Firefly coming to you through the courtesy of the enemy. We're in a mess folks, we're in a mess. Rush to Freedonia! Three men and one woman are trapped in a building! Send help at once! If you can't send help, send two more women! [Pinky enters and raises three fingers] Rufus T. Firefly: Make that three more women!
First Judge: That sort of testimony we can eliminate. Chicolini: Atsa fine. I'll take some. First Judge: You'll take what? Chicolini: Eliminate. A nice, cold glass eliminate.
Rufus T. Firefly: Well, that covers a lot of ground. Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself. You better beat it - I hear they're going to tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here? You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.
Lemonade Vendor: I'll teach you to kick me! Chicolini: You don't have to teach me, I know how! [He kicks him]
Rufus T. Firefly: Awfully decent of you to drop in today. Do you realize our army is facing disastrous defeat? What do you intend to do about it? Chicolini: I've done it already. Rufus T. Firefly: You've done what? Chicolini: I've changed to the other side. Rufus T. Firefly: So you're on the other side, eh? Well, what are you doing over here? Chicolini: Well, the food is better over here.
Bob Roland: Message from the front, sir. Rufus T. Firefly: Oh, I'm sick of messages from the front. Don't we ever get a message from the side? - What is it? Bob Roland: General Smith reports a gas attack. He wants to know what to do. Rufus T. Firefly: Tell him to take a teaspoonful of bicarbonate baking soda and a half a glass of water.
Rufus T. Firefly: And now, members of the cabinet... [pounds gavel] Rufus T. Firefly: we'll take up old business. Cabinet Member: I wish to discuss the tariff. Rufus T. Firefly: Sit down, that's new business. No old business? Very well... [pounds gavel] Rufus T. Firefly: we'll take up new business. Cabinet Member: Now, about that tariff... Rufus T. Firefly: Too late, that's old business already. Sit down.
Rufus T. Firefly: Now that you're Secretary of War, what kind of an army do you think we ought to have? Chicolini: Well, I tell you what I think, I think we should have a standing army. Rufus T. Firefly: Why should we have a standing army? Chicolini: Because then we save money on chairs.
Rufus T. Firefly: Hey! Do you want to be a public nuisance? Chicolini: Sure! How much does the job pay?
Rufus T. Firefly: I'm in a hurry! To the House of Representatives! Ride like fury! If you run out of gas, get ethyl. If Ethel runs out, get Mabel! Now step on it!
Rufus T. Firefly: [to Chicolini] Come on up here, I wanna scare the cabinet.
Rufus T. Firefly: [on the phone] Get me headquarters. Not hindquarters, headquarters!
Rufus T. Firefly: [with his head stuck in a vase] The last time this happened to me I was crawling under a bed.
Rufus T. Firefly: [to Trentino] Now, how about lending this country twenty million dollars, you old skinflint? Ambassador Trentino: Twenty million dollars is a lot of money. I'd have to take that up with my Minister of Finance. Rufus T. Firefly: Well, in the meantime, could you let me have twelve dollars until payday? Ambassador Trentino: Twelve dollars? Rufus T. Firefly: Don't be scared, you'll get it back. I'll give you my personal note for ninety days. If it isn't paid by then, you can... keep the note.
Chicolini: [sees Firefly giving water to the ailing Mrs. Teasdale] Hey, take it easy! That's the only water we got! Rufus T. Firefly: This is the only woman we've got!
Prosecutor: Chicolini, when were you born? Chicolini: I don't-a remember. I was just a little baby. Prosecutor: Isn't it true you tried to sell Freedonia's secret war code and plans? Chicolini: Sure, I sold a code and two pair of plans.
Rufus T. Firefly: Don't look now, but there's one man too many in this room, and I think it's you.
Mrs. Teasdale: Notables from every country are gathered here in your honor. This is a gala day for you. Rufus T. Firefly: Well, a gal a day is enough for me. I don't think I could handle any more.
Rufus T. Firefly: I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows till you come home.
Rufus T. Firefly: You're a brave man. Go and break through the lines. And remember, while you're out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we'll be in be in here thinking what a sucker you are.
Rufus T. Firefly: Here are the plans of war. They're as valuable as your life. And that's putting them pretty cheap. Watch them like a cat watched her kittens. Have you ever had kittens? No, of course not, you're too busy running around playing bridge. Can't you see what I'm trying to tell you, I love you.
Chicolini: Well, you remember you gave us a picture of this man and said, 'Follow him?' Ambassador Trentino: Oh, yes. Chicolini: Well, we get on-a the job right away and in the one hour - even-a less than one hour... Ambassador Trentino: Yes? Chicolini: We lose-a the picture. That's-a pretty quick work, eh?
Ambassador Trentino: Have you been trailing Firefly? Chicolini: Have we been trailing Firefly? Why, my partner, he's got a nose just like a bloodhound. Ambassador Trentino: Oh really? Chicolini: Yeah, and the rest of his face don't look so good either.
Ambassador Trentino: You didn't shadow Firefly? Chicolini: Oh, sure we shadow Firefly - we shadow him all day. Ambassador Trentino: But what day was that? Chicolini: Shadowday! [laughs loudly] Chicolini: That's-a some joke, eh, boss? [Trentino buries his face in his hands]
Rufus T. Firefly: How would you like a job in the mint? Chicolini: Mint? No, no, I no like a mint. Uh, what other flavor you got?
Rufus T. Firefly: I'll see my lawyer about this as soon as he graduates from law school!
Ambassador Trentino: I've said enough, I'm a man of few words. Rufus T. Firefly: I'm a man of one word: Scram!
[Firefly emerges from a vase that has been stuck on his head] Rufus T. Firefly: Any mail for me while I was gone?
Rufus T. Firefly: Oh, uh, I suppose you would think me a sentimental old fluff, but, uh, would you mind giving me lock of your hair? Mrs. Teasdale: A lock of my hair? Wh-why, I had no idea. Rufus T. Firefly: I'm letting you off easy: I was going to ask for the whole wig.
Ambassador Trentino: But I asked you to dig up something I can use against Firefly. Did you bring me his record? [Pinky hands him a gramophone record] Ambassador Trentino: No, no! [Trentino flings the record away like a clay pigeon skeet. Pinky takes out a rifle and blasts it out of the air. Chicolini rings a bell on the desk and awards Pinky a cigar] Chicolini: And the boy gets a cigar!
Rufus T. Firefly: Lieutenant, why weren't the original indictment papers placed in my portfolio? Bob Roland: Why, uh, I didn't think those papers were important at this time, your excellency. Rufus T. Firefly: You didn't think they were important? Do you realize I had my dessert wrapped in those papers?
Freedonia's Secretary of War: How about taking up the tax? Rufus T. Firefly: How 'bout taking up the carpet? Freedonia's Secretary of War: I still insist we must take up the tax. Rufus T. Firefly: He's right, you've gotta take up the tacks before you can take up the carpet.
Bob Roland: We've got to get rid of that man at once. Now I've got a plan. You say something to make him mad, and he'll strike you... and we'll force him to leave the country. Rufus T. Firefly: That's a swell plan... why couldn't you arrange for me to strike him? Bob Roland: Ambassador Trentino is a very sensitive man. Perhaps if you insult him. He's very easy to insult. Why, I said something to Vera Marcal in his presence once, and he slapped my face. Rufus T. Firefly: Why didn't Vera slap your face? Bob Roland: She did. Rufus T. Firefly: What'd you say to her? [Roland whispers it in his ear. Firefly slaps his face] Rufus T. Firefly: You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Where'd you hear that story? Bob Roland: Why, you told it to me. Rufus T. Firefly: Oh yes, I remember. I should have slapped Mrs. Teasdale's face when she told it to me.
Rufus T. Firefly: [after Pinky drives off without him for the third time] This is the only way to travel.
Mrs. Teasdale: Your Excellency! I thought you'd left. Chicolini: [Impersonating Rufus T. Firefly] Oh, no, I no leave. Mrs. Teasdale: But I saw you with my own eyes! Chicolini: Well, who you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?
Chicolini: Mister you no understand. Look, he's a spy and I'm a spy, he work-a for me. I want him to find out-a something, but he no find out what I wanna find out. Now how am I gonna find out what I wanna find out if he no find out what I gotta find out?
Mrs. Teasdale: As chairman of the reception committee, I welcome you with open arms. Rufus T. Firefly: Is that so? How late do you stay open?
Mrs. Teasdale: Oh, your Excellency! Rufus T. Firefly: You're not so bad yourself.
Rufus T. Firefly: [to Chicolini] I wanted to get a writ of habeas corpus, but I should have gotten a-rid of you instead.
Rufus T. Firefly: Just for that, you don't get the job I was going to give you. Chicolini: What job? Rufus T. Firefly: Secretary of War. Chicolini: All right, I take it. Rufus T. Firefly: Sold.
Ambassador Trentino: Chicolini, your partner has deserted you but I'm still counting on you. There is a machine gun nest near Hill 28. I want it cleaned out. Chicolini: All right, I'll tell the janitor.
Rufus T. Firefly: Chicolini, I need you badly right now. What'll you take to come back and work for me again? Chicolini: I'll take a vacation. Rufus T. Firefly: Good, you're hired.
[Firefly and Mrs. Teasdale hear music coming from downstairs] Mrs. Teasdale: What's that? Rufus T. Firefly: Sounds to me like mice. Mrs. Teasdale: Mice? Mice don't play music. Rufus T. Firefly: No? How about the old maestro?
Rufus T. Firefly: [locked in a bathroom] Let me out of here! Hey, let me out of here or throw me a magazine!
Chicolini: [to Rufus T. Firefly] Peanuts to you!
Rufus T. Firefly: Maybe you can suggest something. As a matter of fact, you do suggest something. To me you suggest a baboon. Ambassador Trentino: What? Rufus T. Firefly: I, uh, I'm sorry I said that; it isn't fair to the rest of the baboons.
[reporting on shadowing Firefly] Chicolini: Monday we watch-a Firefly's house, but he no come he wasn't home. Tuesday we go to the ball game, but he fool us: he no show up. Wednesday HE go to the ball game, but we fool him, WE no show up. Thursday it was a double-header, nobody show up. Friday it rained all day, there was no ball game, so we stayed home, we listen to it over the radio.
Ambassador Trentino: I am willing to do anything to prevent this war. Rufus T. Firefly: It's too late. I've already paid a month's rent on the battlefield.
Rufus T. Firefly: Chicolini, give me a number from one to ten. Chicolini: Eleven. Rufus T. Firefly: Right!
Rufus T. Firefly: [trying to decide if Chicolini, Firefly, Pinky, or Bob Roland will make a suicidal run into no-mans-land to get help] One of us has got to go get word to General Cooper and his men. One of us has got to go and risk his life for his country! Bob Roland: Let's draw straws. Chicolini: No! I gots an idea. We have a runspot to see who we choose to go. Okay, here we go. Rrrrrrringspot! One-sa, two-sa, zig-zag-zav, poptie, gimmega, tin-lie, tav, harem, scarem, moychan, tarem, tare, tore... [realizes that he's about to land on himself] Chicolini: I did it wrong. Wait, wait, wait... I start here! Rrrrrrringspot! One-sa, two-sa, zig-zag-zav, poptie, gimmega, tin-lie, tav, harem, scarem, moychan, tarem, tare, tore... [realizes he's about to land on himself again] Chicolini: That's a-no good too! Oh, I got it! Rrrringspot, BUCK! [points to Pinky] Chicolini: Good luck!
Rufus T. Firefly: Now, what is it that has four pairs of pants, lives in Philadelphia, and it never rains but it pours? Chicolini: Atsa good one. I give you three guesses. Rufus T. Firefly: Now let me see. Has four pair of pants, lives in Philadelphia... Is it male or female? Chicolini: No, I no think so. Rufus T. Firefly: Is he dead? Chicolini: Who? Rufus T. Firefly: I don't know. I give up. Chicolini: I give up, too.
[answering the phone in Firefly's office] Chicolini: Hello? No, not yet. All right, I tell him. Good-a-bye. [He hangs up] Chicolini: That was for you again. Rufus T. Firefly: I wonder whatever became of me? I should have been back here a long time ago.
Rufus T. Firefly: Chicolini, I need you badly right now. What'll ya' take to come back and work for me again? Chicolini: I'll take a vacation. Rufus T. Firefly: Good. You're hired!... Now, go out on that battlefield and lead those men to victory. Go on, they're waiting for you! Chicolini: I wouldn't go out there unless I was in one of those big iron things, go up and down like this... What do you call-a those things? Rufus T. Firefly: Tanks. Chicolini: You're welcome!
Ambassador Trentino: Now will you tell me what happened on Saturday? Chicolini: I'm glad you ask me. We follow this man down to a roadhouse, and at this roadhouse he meet a married lady. Ambassador Trentino: A married lady? Chicolini: Yeah, I think it was his wife. Ambassador Trentino: Firefly has no wife! Chicolini: No? Ambassador Trentino: No! Chicolini: Then you know what I think, boss? Ambassador Trentino: What? Chicolini: I think-a we follow the wrong man.
Rufus T. Firefly: His Excellency's car!
A Palace Guard: His Excellency's car!
Rufus T. Firefly: Send a messages out to all wires. The enemy has captured Hill 27 and 28 throwing 13 hillbillies out of work. Last night two snipers crept into our machine gun nest and laid an egg. Send reinforcements immediately. Send it on collect.
Rufus T. Firefly: There goes my gun. Run out and get that like a good girl.
Bob Roland: This letter's the work of Trentino. The man is trying to undermine you. Now what are you going to do about it? Rufus T. Firefly: I've got a good mind to ring his doorbell and run.
Rufus T. Firefly: Dig trenches, with our men being killed off like flies? There isn't time to dig trenches. We'll have to buy them ready made. Here, run out and get some trenches. Wait a minute, get 'em this high... [gestures to his chin] Rufus T. Firefly: and our soldiers won't need any pants. Wait a minute, get 'em this high... [gestures over his head] Rufus T. Firefly: and we won't need any soldiers!
Prosecutor: Chicolini, you are charged with high treason, and if found guilty, you will be shot. Chicolini: I object. Prosecutor: You object? On what grounds? Chicolini: I couldn't think of anything else to say. Rufus T. Firefly: Objection sustained. Prosecutor: Your majesty, you sustain the objection? Rufus T. Firefly: Sure, I couldn't think of anything else to say either. Why don't you object?
Rufus T. Firefly: [singing] If any form of pleasure is exhibited, report to me and it will be prohibited! I'll put my foot down, so shall it be... this is the land of the free! The last man nearly ruined this place he didn't know what to do with it. If you think this country's bad off now, just wait till I get through with it! The country's taxes must be fixed, and I know what to do with it. If you think you're paying too much now, just wait till I get through with it!
Rufus T. Firefly: Look at Chicolini. He sits there alone, an abject figure... Chicolini: [immediately] I abject!
Chicolini: Here, have a cigar. [it's only a stub] Chicolini: That's a good quarter cigar. I smoke the other 3/4 myself.
Vera Marcal: If you're found, you're lost! Chicolini: Oh, you crazy. How can I be lost if I'm found?
Rufus T. Firefly: I danced before Napoleon. No, Napoleon danced before me. As a matter of fact, he danced 200 years before me.
Mrs. Teasdale: Your excellency, the ambassador's here on a friendly visit. He's had a change of heart. Rufus T. Firefly: A lot of good that'll do him: he's still got the same face. Ambassador Trentino: I'm sorry we lost our tempers; I'm willing to forgot if you are. Rufus T. Firefly: Forget? You ask me to forget? A Firefly never forgets. Why, my ancestors would rise from their graves, and I'd only have to bury them again. Nothing doing. I'm going back and clean the crackers out of my bed; I'm expecting company.
Ambassador Trentino: Have we met each other before, sir? Rufus T. Firefly: I don't think so. In fact, I'm not sure I'm seeing you now; it must be something I ate.
Rufus T. Firefly: I'll see you at the opera tonight. I'll hold your seat till you get there. After you get there you're on your own.
Rufus T. Firefly: I'd be unworthy of the high trust that's been placed in me if I didn't do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia in peace with the world. I'd be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino, and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn't. A fine thing that'll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That'll add a lot to my prestige, won't it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a foreign ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it - I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept. Why, the cheap four-flushing swine, he'll never get away with it I tell you, he'll never get away with it. [Trentino enters] Rufus T. Firefly: So, you refuse to shake hands with me, eh? [slaps Trentino with his glove]