Knife Fight

Synopsis: If a political candidate is personally flawed, but stands to make a positive difference in millions of lives, would you help him win? That question looms over the life of "true believer" Paul Turner (Rob Lowe), a savvy strategist sharply maneuvering politicians out of scandal and into public office. With the help of a bright young assistant (Jamie Chung) and a seedy operative (Richard Schiff), Turner spins every news cycle and a shrewd reporter (Julie Bowen) on behalf of his clients: a philandering Kentucky governor (Eric McCormick), a blackmailed California senator (David Harbour), and an idealistic doctor turned gubernatorial candidate (Carrie-Anne Moss). When the ugly side of Turner's work begins to haunt him, he learns that even in the bloodiest of battles, sometimes you have to fight clean.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Bill Guttentag
Production: IFC Films
Rotten Tomatoes:
100 min

[Projector whirring]

[Bright rock and roll music]

# You can get it

if you really want #

# You can get it

if you really want #

# You can get it

if you really want #

# But you must try #

# Try and try #

# Try and try #

# You'll succeed at last #

# Listen #

# Persecution,

you must bear #

# Win or lose,

you've got to get your share #

# Got your mind

set on a dream #

# You can get it,

though hard it may seem now #

# You can get it

if you really want #

# You can get it

if you really want #

# You can get it

if you really want #

# But you must try #

# Try and try #

# Try and try #

# You'll succeed at last #

# And I know it #

# Listen #

# Rome was not built in a day #

# Opposition

will come your way #

# But the harder the battle,

you see #

# Is the sweeter the victory,

yeah #

# You can get it

if you really want #

# You can get it

if you really want #

# You can get it

if you really want #

# But you must try #

# Try and try #

# Try and try #

# You'll succeed at last #

[intense instrumental music]

Governor, we are not, not, not

going to be explaining.

When we're explaining,

we're losing.

[Cell phone ringing]

Now, we'll protect you

from this bullshit.

We will attack, attack,

and attack again.

This is Paul Turner,

former presidential aide

and the guy

for politicians in trouble.

He's called

"the master of disaster."

But I need Sophia

by your side.

I've got the, uh,

Vermont gov calling in.

And this is me,

Kerstin Rhee, his assistant.

I learned more

in my first week with Paul

on how it all really works

than in four years

of college.

All right.


I'll call you later.

You... don't worry.

Just... just don't.

Thank you.

Hey, listen.

I didn't have much.

Absent father,

mother with two low-paying jobs,

and my sister Mary,

my big sister,

who always dreamed

of becoming a doctor.

But, as hard

as my mother worked,

she couldn't keep up

the payments

on our little house.

And one day, the bank came

and foreclosed on us.

Larry Becker

was born to run for office.

He's taken on

the Wall Street banks,

who, in return, have declared

jihad against him.

And he's in a bare-knuckled

reelection campaign

against a crazy

ex-baseball player.

First we moved

into a homeless shelter,

but that wasn't safe.

Eventually we found

a tiny one-bedroom apartment...

three of us.

The press will most likely

have questions about

Afghan troop levels,

the Travis base closing,

levies, the budget debates.

Just blow through

those questions

and pivot to our message

of the day.

All right, great.

Got it.

Thank you, guys.


All right.


Stephen Green

is the real deal:

War hero, cares,

actually knows the facts.

And he's cruising

for reelection

against Duff Campbell,

who has none

of those things,

but Duff does have good hair

and unlimited money,

which is the mother's milk

of all politics.

My mama struggled

day and night,

but it wasn't enough.

Eventually, my sister Mary,

she had to quit high school,

get a job as a waitress.

Both of them working

just to provide me

with some food, clothing,

roof over my head.

What do you say

to Campbell's charge

that you're afraid

to debate him?

What is the air force

gonna do about the Travis Base?

As a former Navy SEAL,

what do you think about the way

they handled it?

Gas prices

are at a record high.

Companies are making

enormous profits.

What's your response?

Okay, guys,

these are great questions.

I'm gonna get to all these,

But my primary purpose

here today is to talk

about our most precious

Rate this script:(4.00 / 1 vote)

Bill Guttentag

Bill Guttentag is a double Oscar-winning dramatic and documentary film writer-producer-director. His films have premiered at the Sundance, Cannes, Telluride and Tribeca film festivals. more…

All Bill Guttentag scripts | Bill Guttentag Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Knife Fight" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Jan. 2021. <>.

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