All the King's Men script
Synopsis: All the King's Men is a 2006 film adaptation of the 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. It was directed by Steven Zaillian, who also produced and scripted. The story is about the life of Willie Stark (played by Sean Penn), a fictional character resembling Louisiana governor Huey Long, in office 1928 through 1932. He was elected as a US Senator and assassinated in 1935. The film co-stars Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson and Jackie Earle Haley. All the King's Men had previously been adapted into a Best Picture-winning film by writer-director Robert Rossen in 1949.

Jack Burden's Desk, The Chronicle, Day

Jack Burden is looking over the morning edition of "The

Chronicle." He reads the society page. A man enters and leans

across his desk.


Burden! Jack Burden! The boss wants

to see you.

He folds his paper, rises, and walks by the presses into

Madison's office.

Madison's Office, Day

Madison, the city editor, is correcting copy at his desk.


Hey, Jack, ever hear of a fellow

called Willie Stark?


No. Who'd he shoot?


Oh, county... uh... treasurer, or

something like that.


What's so special about him?


They say he's an honest man. What I

want you to do is to hop into your



Why, you promised me a vacation.


Well, that can wait.


Yeah... but there's a... a girl I


He opens his newspaper to the society page and shows Madison

a photograph of Anne Stanton.


Oh... Well, she can wait too.

Jack takes the paper back and looks at it.


The question is... can I?


The answer is... get up there.



(starts to go)

Oh... uh... what did you say his

name was?




The fellow's name.


Oh, the... uh... Stark... Willie


Madison goes on with his work.


(as he leaves)

Willie Stark...


Kanoma City, Day

As Jack Burden's jalopy pulls up before the Kanoma County

Courthouse of this back-country, one-street small town.


(voice over)

I found him in Kanoma City. A typical,

hot, dusty, backwoods county seat.

He gets out of the car, and notices a crowd of people gathered

around a platform in the town square. As he walks over the

begins to hear the words that Willie Stark is speaking.

WILLIE: lie to them in order to line

their own dirty pockets with the

taxpayers' money. When have the

citizens of Kanoma County ever

witnessed a campaign like this? Why

is the opposition so anxious to defeat

me? Why have they used every dirty

method known to make sure I'm not

elected county treasurer? Well, I'll

tell you why...

A man in shirt sleeves and suspenders, Tiny Duffy, comes out

of the local poolroom, listens for a moment to Willie's

speech, and signals to two uniformed men to go over and break

up the gathering.

Jack Burden stands close to the platform, next to Willie's

son, Tom, who waits patiently to distribute handbills.


...Because they're afraid of the

truth... and the truth is this.

They're trying to steal your money.

Yeah, I said steal. The county

commissioners rejected the bid on

the schoolhouse. Why? Well, they'll

tell you their reason is the job

will be done better. The county

commissioners would have you believe

that they're interested in public

welfare. They're interested in

welfare, sure. But it's their own.

Let's look at the reason in the light

of the facts and the figures. That

brick factory is owned by one of the

commissioners. That same brick factory

uses convict labor.

The sheriff and his deputy push through the crowd.


Sorry, Willie, you'll have to move





City Ordinance Number One-Oh-Five:

more than five people congregating

is disturbing the peace.


(ignores him)

If you folks'll be so kind as to

read these handbills, my boy will

pass them out among you.


There's an ordinance against that



(his face grim)

Pass 'em out, Tom.

The sheriff pushes Tom back, grabbing the handbills out of

his hand. Willie jumps down off the platform.


Let him alone!

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Steven Zaillian

Steven Ernest Bernard Zaillian (born January 30, 1953) is an American screenwriter, director, film editor, producer, and founder of Film Rites, a film production company. He won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award for his screenplay Schindler's List (1993) and he has been nominated for Awakenings , Gangs of New York and Moneyball. He was also presented with the Distinguished Screenwriter Award at the 2009 Austin Film Festival and the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement from the Writers Guild of America in 2011. more…

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