The Tall Target

Synopsis: The historical fact of a possible assassination attempt on the President-Elect Abraham Lincoln makes the movie very interesting. The drama comes from a fictitious New York police sergeant discovering the plot and boarding the last train to Washington, DC, to protect the new president to be. Dick Powell does a very good job using deduction and logic to find who on the train could be conspirators. He is foiled at different times but manages to succeed even when the conspirators have caught him. The movie's action takes place mostly on the train and the effects of travelling are well done. Historically, several states have already seceded from the union and that included Virginia. That's why Lincoln had to travel to Washington, DC, through Maryland, also a slave state. When he was taking his own "Inaugural Train" the plan was to kill Lincoln in Baltimore during a long stop but Lincoln's supporters did some slight of hand to sneak him on board the last train to the capital. Maybe not Oscar
Director(s): Anthony Mann
Production: Warner Bros.
78 min

Mr. Gannon.

Mr. Gannon! Running orders.

I know, Mr. Crowley.

Not these!

You never had the like of this.

16 pm, it says here.

February 22, 1861.

"Born to civil unrest.

"All trains will operate with caution

and reduced speed.

"Effective immediately."

You can thank the radical Republicans!

This boiler will never

run on time again.

A fine way to run a railroad!

A fine way to run a country!

Republicans are secessionists.

My aim is to bring the Flyer

into Washington depot at 9 am.

If the Good Lord is willing.

Good Lord may be willing.

But that order to slow down

was signed by P.J. Donovan,

division manager.

Inspector Reilly, New York police.

I am looking for a man.

What's he wanted for?

He's not. He's a friend of mine.

I'm seeing him off.

I've got his ticket and his baggage.

How long before the gates open?

- Another 15 minutes.

- Oh.

Berth 7 Car 42.

Why don't you go

keep your seat warm, inspector?

Oh, much obliged.

Tell me his name.

Nd I'll keep an eye out for him.

His name is Kennedy. John Kennedy.

How much longer?

Listen, Kennedy.

I told him you're waiting.

Tell him again.

My train leaves in an hour.

He said he'd call you. He's busy now.


So I hear.

Hey! Where are you going?

Get back here.

Now, see here, Kennedy.

I want my report back.

Your report?

Well, there's your report.

And it's hogwash!

Everyone in the department

says it's hogwash.

This report was confidential

to you, Mr. Stroud.

Except for the copy I sent

to the Secretary of War.

When you're Superintendent, you can

decide what's confidential around here.

And who are you to go direct

to the War Department?

For the last time, will you

take action, Mr. Stroud?

If you don't, there'll be

a shooting in Baltimore tomorrow

that'll blow this country apart.

- What's this?

- Hogwash!

There's still time, Mr. Stroud.

Have you seen the evening paper?

"The President-elect plans

to spend tonight in Harrisburg,

"leaving early by special train

for Baltimore.

"where he intends to make a speech

"before continuing to Washington

for his inauguration."

Will you telegraph?


Wait a minute, son.

It wouldn't be the new president who's

been picked for the shooting, would it?

It would. During his speech tomorrow.

If you're sure of that,

I'll go to Baltimore myself.

That's one speech

I wouldn't want to miss.

Are you certain

there's nothing to it, Simon?

Sgt. Kennedy was detailed

for two days to guard Abe Lincoln

when he was electioneering

in New York last fall.

He thinks he still on the assignment.

Well, I've got to be on my way.

- I've got a train to make myself.

- Good luck to you, Colonel.

Don't stand next to

Lincoln tomorrow, Caleb.

You never can tell when them

sharpshooters will miss.

Good luck to you, Sergeant!

I take to a man who stands up

for what he believes in.

Even if it is hogwash.

I'm going to Baltimore tonight.

I'll get to someone in authority.

You'll cut across channels.

And I'll bust you!

I'll save you the trouble.


Read all about the new president.

Get your paper here!

Jeff Davis sworn in.


Rail splitter splits union.

Papers! Papers!

Read all about it.

The new President.

Get your paper here.

Jeff Davis sworn in.


Rail splitter splits union!

Read all about it!

Get your paper here.

Jeff Davis sworn in!

Read all about it!



At ease!

Tickets, please. All tickets, please.

Here you are, conductor.

These toy soldiers yours?

Poughkeepsie's finest.

How about putting him in their box?

You're holding up my passengers.

Take over, sergeant.

Rate this script:(0.00 / 0 votes)

George Worthing Yates

George Worthing Yates (14 August 1901 in New York City – 6 June 1975 in Sonoma) was an American screenwriter. His early work was on serials shown in cinemas; he later progressed to feature films, primarily science fiction. He was the nephew of the head of Republic Pictures, Herbert Yates. more…

All George Worthing Yates scripts | George Worthing Yates Scripts

(0 fans)

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Tall Target" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 18 Aug. 2022. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    The Marketplace:

    Sell your Script !

    Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.