Preston Tucker's outburst of emotion in giving his closing argument for his case almost took away his chance of being heard by the jury in the biographical film about one of the biggest names in the car industry, Tucker: The Man and His Dream.
TUCKER: The prosecution claims that I never had any intention of building any cars, that all I wanted was to take the money and run. If you decide that they're right, well, I'm guilty. But according to the law, if I tried to make the cars, even if they weren't any good, even if I didn't make any, but if you believe that I tried, well, then, I'm not guilty. Because it is not against teh law, thank God, to be wrong or stupid which I was, building that prototype. But what nobody has said is that after the prototype, I built the car that I said I would and there are 50 of them, right now, parked down there on Adam Street. All the judge have to do is to let you walk down there and take a ride in one of them and that's it, the trial's over. OK, your honor?
OPPOSITION: Objection. Miss opposing statement. Evidence is no longer admissible.
TUCKER: would you allow the jury, please, just look out the window.
TUCKER: You can see them from here, your honor.
JUDGE: Will the defendant refrain from making...
TUCKER: this whole thing's about whether I intendedto build the cars or not
OPPOSITION: Will the defendant abstain from this flagrant...
JUDGE: Mr. Tucker! Bailiffs, restrain the defendant.
TUCKER: Wha... why did I...
JURY MEMBER: Let the man speak! Let's hear the rest of it!
JUDGE: If this behavior continues, I may have no choice but to declare this a mistrial. I will not tolerate one more outburst of any kind from anybody in this courtroom!
TUCKER: I'm sorry.
JUDGE: You have one minute, Mr. Tucker.
TUCKER: Thank you, Your Honor.
When I was a boy, I used to read all about Edison and the Wright brothers, Mr. Ford. They were my heroes. "Rags to Riches" - that's not just the name of a book, that's what this country was all about. We invented the "free enterprise" system, where anybody, no matter who he was, where he came from, what class he belonged to - if he came up with a better idea about anything, there's no limit to how far he could go.
I grew up a generation too late, I guess, because now the way the system works the loner, the dreamer, the crackpot who comes up with some crazy idea that everybody laughs at, that later turns out to revolutionize the world - he's squashed from above before he even gets his head out of the water because the bureaucrats, they'd rather kill a new idea than let it rock the boat!! If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he'd be thrown in jail for sailing a kite without a license!
It's true. We're all puffed up with ourselves now 'cause we invented the bomb - dropped the - beat the daylights out of the Japanese, the Nazis. But if big business closes the door on the little guy with a new idea, we're not only closing the door on progress, but we're sabotaging everything that we fought for! Everything that the country stands for!!
And one day we're going to find ourselves at the bottom of the heap instead of king of the hill, having no idea of how we got there, buying our radios and our cars from our former enemies.
I don't believe that's going to happen. I can't believe it because if I ever stop believing in the plain 'ol common horse sense of the American people, 'be no way I could get out of bed in the morning.