Loosely based on a true story, in 1972 a disturbed salesman (Sean Penn) plots to kill the then US President Richard Nixon by hijacking a plane and attacking the White House.
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This film contains some strong language.
MAN'S VOICE: Just tell them that.
Tell them my reasons.
Tell them why.
End of tape four.
February 22nd, 1974.
TAPE SPOOL RATTLES
Testing. One, two, three.
Mr Maestro, Leonard Bernstein, take number one.
I have the utmost respect for you.
Your music is both pure
And that is why I have chosen you
to present the truth about me to the world.
My name is Sam Bicke.
And I consider myself a grain of sand.
On this beach called America,
there are 211 million grains of sand,
three billion on the beach we call Earth.
If I am lucky,
if I am lucky,
the action that I am about to take
will show the powerful...
grain of sand
has in him...
..the power to destroy them.
These come in brown?
We do, we have that in a brown...
in a brown. And there's a harvest gold. And an avocado.
Give me three of the brown and an avocado.
Er...are you interested in that chair?
This is, um, this is a Naugahyde, very good for avoiding stains.
I look like that big a slob?
-I mean, can't sit on this plastic stuff. I get sweaty and stick to it.
This doesn't come in leather, huh?
Er, not this chair...
Bill, what our new associate's trying to explain, I think,
is that this IS leather with a Naugahyde coating.
The comfort of leather.
Just a little easier to clean.
No extra cost.
-How does it feel?
-It IS comfy.
-You know what you look like sitting in that chair?
You look like the boss.
-Are you the boss?
-I got my own place.
Hah! What did I tell you? Did you write the gentleman up, Sam?
No, he didn't, er...
Write the gentleman up.
My card. Now, can we deliver this for you Monday, or is Tuesday better?
Well, Tuesday's probably better...
Mr Bernstein, sir, there are times that I have felt alone on this planet.
And that's how they want us, isn't it?
-To our new closer.
-Do you smell something?
I smell success.
Ha-ha, and you've got the odour.
All right, Sam!
Why do I say that to you, Sam?
-Well, I certainly am trying, I really...
-It's got nothing to do with trying.
When you believe in what you're selling,
Because then you're not selling. You see what I'm saying?
You're talking from somewhere here.
You've got to believe. It's a gift. I've got it.
Marty's got it. You may have it.
I can believe in anything.
-Isn't that right, Marty?
You want to know who the greatest salesman in the world is? That man, right there. Right there.
He sold the whole country, 200 million people, on himself, twice.
-And what was Nixon's sales pitch in '68?
-Well, in '68, it was, um...
He said he would end the war.
He would get us out of Vietnam. And what did he do?
He sent another 100,000 troops in, and then he bombed the living shit out of them. That's what he did.
Now, what did Nixon run on last year?
Ending the war in Vietnam.
And he won. By a landslide.
That is a salesman.
He made a promise. He didn't deliver.
And then he sold us on the exact same promise, all over again.
That's believing in yourself.
These are for you.
These, you listen to.
While you're driving. While you're shaving.
While you're taking a shit in the morning.
You gotta believe, Sam.
This book right here will teach you to believe in yourself.
This book right here...
will really teach you techniques.
These will make you a salesman.
I guarantee it.
-The salesman who believes is the salesman who receives.
Remember, power is a state of mind.
You have as much as you think you have.
If you don't think you have any, you don't.
Talk about yourself as you see yourself.
And some day that will be yourself.
The salesman must see himself as a winner.
The salesman who believes is the salesman who receives.
-For crying out loud.
-Did you see your brother?
He just walked out, just now!
Ach... So, how's it going? What're you up to?
I really just came by to give this.
This is what I owe him.
And if you could just get that to him for me, I'd appreciate it.
Come on, Sam. Julius felt bad how things turned out.
Why don't you stick around till he gets back?
-Um, he didn't go home?
-No. He just ran out to the bank.
He'll be right back. Sit down.
I really... I got to go, Mel.
-I can't sit down, Mel, but it's very good to see you.
Well, don't be a stranger.
HE TAPS AT THE WINDOW
Look at you, man.
-Look at that.
-"Sam Bicke, Salesman." Damn.
You can keep that. They made a thousand of them.
-Man, they got big plans for you.
You look good, Sam.
I feel good.
-Amen, brother. You've got to believe.
Sam Bicke, salesman!
I was just thinking that I would go see Marie.
That I would surprise her because I have a little something extra for her this month.
All right, then.
You don't think it's a good idea.
You've got to know what's right, Sam.
Nobody thinks that Sam Bicke is going to make it.
Hey, I didn't say that.
You just wait and see.
MUSIC PLAYS ON RADIO
-How are my princesses?
I got an A in Social Studies.
-Go wash up, you two.
-You can keep that.
They made a thousand of them.
-It's good to see you.
-You know you're supposed to call first.
-I know. I...
I'm on a roll.
Oh wow. That's great.
-Maybe I can get the roof fixed.
It's done. Paid for.
-Job's working out, huh?
..I really think that this is gonna change things for us.
Sam, job sounds good.
Look, I've got dinner on the stove.
I just...I just wanted to have a little talk.
-Mommy, Julie's standing on the chair.
-Julie, come on, down.
I gotta get inside.
I'm sorry. Just...
call first. All right?
I don't know. Try...Sunday.
-After ten, though, all right?
I'll call you Sunday after ten.
You look good.
Back to work.
-Julie, come on.
Ellen, go get your brother, please.
You look nice, Marie.
Do you miss Daddy? Mm?
-1971. Volume on the New York Stock Exchange...
'What happened, Mr Bernstein,
'to the land of plenty...
'when there's plenty for the few,
'and nothing for the plenty?
'Is that the American dream?'
Now remember, the customer's weapon is money.
That's what he'll want to talk about.
Your weapon is quality. That's what you'll insist on talking about.
Don't get caught in the price game.
When he asks how much it is, you tell him how great it is.
This is a very high quality desk.
This one is 38 inches...
How much is it?
This, um, 529.
I-I really believe in this desk. I want to show you something.
-It's all right. I know pretty much what to look for...
in a desk. Well, Sam. It's Sam, right?
I'm gonna be buying a lot of stuff and I'm just wondering, what's your best price?
HE CLEARS HIS THROAT
-I'll see what I can do for you.
All right... Give it your best shot.
I'll do that.
Um, what I can do is I can give you 10% off that desk, which is 476.
Jesus, Sam, that's your best price?
It's our selection of the month.
Can I see you in my office for a minute please, Sam?
Yes, I'll be right...
I'll be right with you.
What are you doing?
Are you out of your fucking mind?
-Offering 10%? Are you trying to give the stuff away?
It's already been marked down.
For Christ's sake, that is less than we paid for the damn thing.
-You know, I think there's been a misunderstanding.
-I'm not interested in what you think.
I'm interested in what you're gonna do about it.
-Um, I-I guess I could tell him...
-You can't tell him shit.
You've made the offer.
Go out and hope he doesn't take it.
All right, Mr Jones.
Sir, can I show you some of our other...
There's some very nice... Oh.
All right, then. Yep. Yep.
You looked like you were gonna shit your pants!
-You're on the board.
-You looked like you were gonna crap your pants!
-You see him write that cheque?
-He did it to me, we do it to you.
50-50 all right with you?
-Good job, Sam.
Hey, don't tell me you knew what was going on? Bullshit! Bullshit! Hey!
TOOL CRASHES DOWN It's not lying. It's business.
But it's not right. I should have said something on the spot.
No, you shouldn't have.
What are you saying? That I should swallow something like that?
It makes me sad that you would accept something, of all people.
Sam, I'm just saying it's not that big a deal.
It is a big deal.
Bonny, if we're going to be partners, we have to get this kind of thing straight.
Sam, I get it. OK?
I've been there.
But this guy's your boss.
If he wants to be an asshole, that's something you just might have to let him do.
-There's no "but", Sam.
-What about my rights?
You've got a right to be mad, sure.
-Exactly. That's what I'm saying, partner. That's all I'm saying...
-Sam, Sam, it's a job.
See, this is what I mean. A man doesn't give up his rights at a job.
A man doesn't give up his rights anywhere.
-You of all people should know that.
-What should I know?
Cos I'm black, I should mouth off to my boss?
All this rights shit.
Rights this, rights that.
Rights, my ass. It's a job.
You got a right to pay your bills, pay for your kids.
I'm just saying, you know,
you can't keep quitting jobs.
We all gotta work somehow.
Come on, bud. You're a salesman, right?
Just do it good like you do.
'Explain this to me, Mr Bernstein.
'All I want is a little piece of the American Dream.
'Like my father and his father.
'Is that too much to expect?'
PHONE RINGS OUT
Hey, Tuffer. Hey, boy.
You miss me, don't you? Of course you miss me.
'This is a good country, Maestro.
'Filled with good people.
'But what good is good
'in times like these?'
-I've been trying to call.
-Double Scotch, Scotch and soda, double bourbon.
-It's not a good time, Sam.
-Oh, no. I know. I just came to say hi.
-You want to see a menu?
-Here you go.
-I'll be right back.
..Great changes, at the same time.
One change is defence spending is on the way down now.
-For the first time in years, the Federal government is spending more.
-That's too much salt.
I know. Sorry.
How is it?
It is good.
Remember Sam Junior used to call these "mashapotos"?
Is everything OK at work?
Top of the charts.
Top of the sales board.
I'm doing very well.
Maybe I'll be driving a Cadillac soon.
He was a friend of yours?
With the Cadillac. I drove by last night...
-Jesus, are you spying on me?
What you doing lurking around the house for?
-I wasn't lurking, Marie. I just...
You told me to call. I called and nobody answered, so...
I said, try me, OK? You know what?
I don't want to talk about this.
I respect that.
I just want you to know I'm not seeing anyone.
OK, that's your business.
It's important to me that you know that.
Now I know.
Table four wants their cheque.
OK? I'm sorry, I didn't mean...
You know, I just...
Can I... Can I call you later?
Look, if I get off at a decent hour, I'll call you...
'Mr Bernstein, sir, there are people who sit and wait their lives away
'on the promise of a dream that will not come.
'They are the sheep.'
We have a great deal to be thankful for as Americans tonight.
You've chosen El Dorado, with front-wheel drive. It's our most...
'But there are also many, many more like us, Maestro...
'who will not be pushed around.
The time has come when the masses have been pushed to the wall.
When they cannot any longer address their grievances
through legal, political machinery.
We're not the decision-makers, the masses are.
If they think it's time to overthrow the system, there's nothing you or the President or anyone else can do.
Hi. I'm Sam Bicke.
-How are you?
Yeah. Are you with the police?
No, I'm not police. I'm Sam Bicke.
Yeah, I got that.
What can I do for you, Sam?
Well, as a matter of fact, um, I've seen you on television.
I mean, the Panthers on television,
and I am in complete agreement with your stand.
-Except that I'm white.
-We've all got to be born something.
Yes, well, do you know what that means?
It means you're not getting to your whole audience.
I mean, I'm white,
but I'm in the same boat.
-You own the boat.
-No, I don't own the boat.
I'm not the man in the Cadillac.
That's not me. Um...
-Well, Harold, I feel like I can talk to you. I sort of knew it would be like that.
I know what it's like
to not be respected, be lied to and be treated like a great big nothing,
and I want to do something.
You want to do something?
Like the Black Panthers, I want to do something.
The system is, um, not right.
I have to...I have to go, but I want to throw an idea at you.
-See, they're black and they're white.
The Black Panthers become the Zebras, and membership will double.
I don't want you to answer me right now.
Just think about it.
This is 107.
I just...I wanted to feel like I was starting to do something.
It's a great place to start, Sam.
-It's a great start.
Take a look.
You see what I see?
You're familiar with Carnegie, right?
I gave it to you.
Dale Carnegie. How To Win Friends And Influence People.
Oh, yes. I know the book.
No, you don't.
You've seen the book.
Maybe browsed through it, but you don't know the book.
If you knew the book,
you'd know what I mean when I say, "Always give a dog a good name."
Always give a dog a name.
A good name. Damn it. You've really got to listen better.
You're right. I'm sorry.
It's a Carnegie technique for dealing with people.
When somebody's performance isn't good, you don't criticise them.
You don't say, "Your work's shit."
Instead you say, "Your work used to be great, now it's not so great."
you ask them a question like,
"Everything OK at home?"
Are you asking me?
I'm teaching you. You just learned a management technique.
You don't mind me teaching you, do you?
Just one more little thing.
But, Marie, he wants me to cut it.
It's a job, Sam. Shave it off. You'll forget you ever had a moustache.
I won't forget. I'll never forget.
Marie, don't you remember?
-Daddy, do you like my picture?
Yes, honey, it's very nice.
-I grew it for you.
Oh, Sam, please.
You've got to see these people, they just lie to make money.
And then, I'm the sleazy one of these so-called businessmen.
-God damn it.
-I mean, they...
they don't, they don't have any right
to say half of the things that they say to us.
I mean, look at the way they make you dress.
I dress like this so I can support my family.
Marie... Can't you see...
..what they're doing to us?
You're going to lose this job, aren't you?
Marie, I'm not going to lose my job.
Just tell me now, because I can do it on my own.
I'm doing...I'm doing great.
I'm doing great!
I'm so tired of this.
I don't want you stopping by like this any more.
I really mean it.
I think it looks good, and it makes me look a little older and trustworthy.
You would trust me.
That's not really the point, though,
-is what I'm saying...
-I'm surprised you would say that, Bonny.
I really am, because I would think that you would have more feeling.
Joey, let's get some of these dishes cleared and get you to bed.
No, no, no. You sit.
That's a good kid.
That's a real good kid.
-Yeah, his mother taught him well.
-I bet she did. I bet she did.
No offence, but I wouldn't be surprised if his father had something to do with that.
He probably got something from me.
What do you think, Joey? If your father went away, would that make you sad?
He's not gonna go away.
Of course he's not. If he did?
If your mommy wanted him to go.
-She wouldn't say that.
-You know, sweetheart, why don't you just leave those there,
it's past your bedtime. Give your father a kiss.
-Good night, Daddy.
-Good night, baby.
Things will work out, Sam.
-Good night, Mommy.
-Good night, baby.
Say good night to your Uncle Sam.
Good night, Uncle Sam.
Good night, son.
Good night, son.
I know it was important to you, Sam.
I want to thank you for the sacrifice.
I think it was a good decision.
Now you can smile.
You look like a family man instead of some schmuck with a pussy on his face.
Get up to the spic's place and get me an egg salad, and whatever else you want.
'Is independence too much to ask, Mr Bernstein?
'I mean, you're your own boss, right?
'You don't have any idea what it's like to work for somebody else, like some kind of a slave.
'But I'm telling you, slavery never really ended in this country.
'They just gave it another name - employee.'
-Remember, power is a state of mind.
You have as much as you think you have.
If you don't think you have any, you don't.
Talk about yourself as you see yourself, and someday that will be yourself.
The salesman must see himself as a winner.
-Say it along with me.
I'm not sure I understand this business about the school bus.
That's just it. The bus is the business.
It's a movable store.
A movable tyre store?
Exactly. Exactly. You see, we take out all of the seats, just gut the whole bus,
and put the tyres, fill it up with the tyres.
Then you bring the tyres to the customer, at his convenience.
You're a delivery service?
Well, that's just the beginning of it, because I would bring the tyre, change the tyre,
I'll put the tyre on your car while you're mowing the lawn.
Or anything else that that you want to do.
And we'd paint the bus a bright red because that would give the company
its own individual identity and make it memorable. A sort of trademark.
And you have the bus already?
My friend, my partner, Bonny, has the bus and he has the tools, and I bring the management experience.
And that you have as well?
That I do, sir. Yes, I do.
All right, it says here you're currently employed as an office furniture salesman?
Mm-hm, that's correct, but I'm ready to move on.
And prior to office sales, you were a tyre salesman with your father?
-Julius Bicke, that was, that's my, that is my brother.
OK, and why did you leave his employment?
Well, he, um, he expected me to lie.
I don't believe that someone should have to lie to make a living.
-Over and over he would tell me that, um,
15% is rock bottom.
Sell below that, we lose money. That's a lie.
In the retail tyre business, the mark-up is always at least 30%.
So, 30 is rock bottom.
What one should tell the customer...
Let me show you.
Well, good morning, Mr Ford.
I think I understand, Mr Bicke.
Let-Let me just show you.
Good morning. Sam Bicke.
You're here to buy tyres?
Well, let's get down to brass tacks. This is the deal.
The mark-up on all of my tyres is 30%.
I will show you the company invoice to prove that to you.
I'll do that for you, Mr Ford. I'll make you my best offer.
I'll split the difference with you.
I'll take half the mark-up as my profit and you'll take half the mark-up as your savings.
Even Steven. Fair deal.
What do you think?
-Yes. No, I'm back to normal now.
But it's the same thing, what your brother offered.
No, no. No, no, no, no, no. My brother, my brother will go to 15%,
but he wants you to hold at list. 5% if you have to,
10% if you're gonna lose the customer out the door,
but the salesman who offers 15%, he's a failure.
He's a man who doesn't know how to hold his ground.
And who do you think,
at the end of the month, gets the promotion, gets the bonus?
The one with the biggest profit margin?
The biggest liar.
I'm sorry. I just want you to know that I would run an honest business.
That I would not ask my salesmen to lie or make them feel
like a failure or some kind of a piece of garbage.
Well, that's, um... I admire that.
Well, that's it.
Mr Ford, I want to thank you, sir, because this loan isn't just for me.
I think it can change the way we think about American business.
Mr Bicke, I'm, I'm very sorry, I'm really very sorry.
That's it for now.
I have to send your application on to Washington, and they will review it.
It's a whole process.
Oh... Well, of course. Of course!
Mr Ford at the SBA. Bonny, I gotta tell you, he was very impressed.
Did you tell him the bus don't run?
-Sam, Sam! Did you tell him your partner was black?
-I did, yes. I checked the "Negro" box.
-That was stupid, Sam.
The government is looking for black businessmen.
BONNY LAUGHS I've been here 16 years, and they haven't found me yet.
Ellen, sit next to Julie. Sam.
Come on, son. Ellen, can you just sit.
That's great, Julie.
OK, Ellen, sit next to your sister.
Come on, Sam Junior.
Ellen... Ellen, honey, sit next to Julie.
-Come on, you guys. Dinner's ready.
-Daddy's taking a picture.
That's all right, honey, I got it.
-See you next Sunday, Sam.
-Yeah, I'll see you next Sunday.
No, Tuffer, Tuffer...
MUSIC ON TV
No, 125 is your total. I let the tax slide.
You remind me of my ex-wife.
She has got the dimples also, when she smiles. They're nice.
Mm... Compliments and a good deal. I should shop here more often.
You should, miss, or is it missus?
Is this the current phone?
Would you like me...would you like me to deliver it?
No. That's all right. I'll have someone from the office stop by.
It wouldn't be a problem.
I'll be just fine.
You already are.
I don't want you to deliver it. I'll have it picked up.
No, I didn't mean that I, personally...
-We have people... I don't, I don't deliver.
I think there's been a misunderstanding.
I love my wife... I love her very much.
We are all married men. Family men.
Because...what's odd about your aborted flirtation with that woman today,
according to Marty's recollection, correct me if I'm wrong, is that
you referred to her dimples as being like those of your EX-wife's.
I don't think I did that.
-He sure did.
-I think there's been a misunderstanding.
As I told you
when I took you on, I only hire married men.
A single salesman is distracted.
A divorced salesman fails at selling, the same as marriage.
It's all right for a guy to, um,
lie to some broad about not being married when he is.
That's fine. That's to be expected.
But you wouldn't expect that guy to lie to his boss, would you?
I guess I...
I guess I did try to pick up on that woman. I just...
I didn't want you to think that I was being dishonest to my wife.
You did try to pick her up then?
-My son was correct in his estimation of your character?
Yes. Yes, yes. Yes.
And if I were to ask you and your wife to join me and Marty and our wives
for dinner in, say, a week or two, that would be OK with you?
Yes, I think that, um...
..she'd like that very much.
'When I was little I was taught not to be rude, Mr Bernstein, but...
'what am I supposed to do about the people who won't respect me?'
What I wanted to do is just check on the status of my application.
Sorry, Mr Bicke. Mr Ford should have told you, but processing takes eight to ten weeks.
No, he did not tell me that.
Perhaps you could check back, say, 1st September.
I do understand your position.
I'm sure that you...
I'm sure that you deal with a lot of incompetence.
But I am a businessman,
and a businessman can't wait.
If you gonna have a future, you gotta make it.
So I would really appreciate it if I could see Mr Ford.
-What was your first name?
I will talk to Mr Ford,
and if he has time for a meeting, we'll call you next week.
-Since I'm here, maybe I could just see him.
-If he has time,
we'll call you next week. Deal?
Least you could do is discourage him.
Double bourbon, vodka martini up.
It would help if you wore your wedding ring.
For God's sake, Sam, aren't we done yet?
Would you consider going to the dinner?
-You could drive your own car.
-No! I'm not gonna put on some charade.
If you're their top salesman, what do they care if you're married, divorced or queer?
Sir, you should be ashamed of yourself. That woman is my wife.
-They make her wear that. They MAKE her!
-For God's sake, Sam.
Really, it's all right.
-I'll just wait here. I'm fine here.
-Mr Bicke, please...
He'll understand. He'll be leaving at some point and he'll be going to his car.
He'll leave at some point and I'll just walk him down...
It's good to see you, sir.
Look, why don't we step outside and get a cup of coffee?
In the cafeteria.
Actually, there's a machine in the lobby.
The lobby's fine. That's fine.
Have a seat.
Now, how exactly can I help you, Mr Bicke?
Yes, well, sir... Funnily enough, my situation is that I-I-I really...
It's very urgent that I get this thing rolling, if you know what I mean.
No, I don't.
The bus thing. The tyre thing.
Yes, I remember your application and I sent it along.
There's nothing more I can do.
You can't tell me anything else?
No, I can't.
I told you in our meeting, and I believe you were told again,
the process will take eight to ten weeks.
You'll be notified by mail.
You can't... expedite that in some..?
It will take eight to ten weeks, and you'll be notified by mail.
Now, I have to get back.
-You know, is there some way that this could be speeded up?
No, there isn't.
And if you come back again, I will have to add that to your file.
Impatience is not a virtue, Mr Bicke.
OK. Good luck.
In the mail, then?
'A nation, like a person, has to have a certain inner drive in order to succeed.
'In economic affairs, that inner drive is called a competitive spirit.
'Whether this nation stays number one in the world's economy...
'..whether we, as a people...'
'Over 40 rounds from the hotel's rooftop.
'The sniper, former Navy seaman Mark Jimmy Essex, had testified in his court martial...'
'For his part, Allende vowed he would not give in.
'He would not, he said, "Betray the working classes." '
Who are these men?
Who are these men, maestro, who keep us waiting at their feet?
The meek shall not inherit the Earth.
The Earth belongs to the bullies who do not care how they get to the top...as long as they arrive.
I am an honest man, and if that is to be my undoing, then so be it.
But I will not go quietly.
You've just got to have a little more patience, that's all.
It's all about money.
It's all about money.
It ain't ALL about money.
-You got a problem?
-Yeah, I got a problem.
-I paid you to fix the leak.
-You've still got one?
I've got half a fucking dozen of 'em. What kind of rip-off joint you running here, anyhow?
-You sound like you're having a bad day.
-Yeah, I'm having a bad day with this fucking car.
Look at this shit. Look at this hose.
When you change water hoses, you drive 'em round a couple of days
-and then come back.
-You should've told me that then!
Look at this hose. It's leaking over here, too.
-You have a nice day now.
What is the matter with you? This thing is loaded!
Nobody should talk to another person like that.
-So you swing this fucking thing around?! Are you out of your mind?
-He didn't respect you.
-You think I'm losing sleep over that bullshit?
-But how can you take that racist crap?
Just because I didn't cuss his ass out doesn't mean I took shit off of him!
All I took off of him was the money that he owed me.
I sure as shit ain't some kind of Uncle Tom, if that's what you're trying to say.
Are we clear on that?
Yes, we're clear.
I didn't mean that you were a Tom.
I didn't mean that.
I'm so sorry, Bonny.
Are we still friends?
Yeah, we're friends.
'Last night, near the site of that massacre, some 200 Indians took control
'of two buildings on the Pine Ridge Sioux reservation.
'The Indians attacked at midnight, fully aware of the cliche that Indians don't fight at night.
'We have bet our lives that we can make change for the American Indian,
'whether we live or die.
'And I'm prepared to die. I would rather die than submit to slavery.'
'..Internal Security Division of the Justice Department of the FBI...'
And I apologise, Ma.
Well that's right, she's your daughter, but she's my wife and you have to tell me where Marie is, Ma.
OK, Mrs Andersen, where is Marie?
Well, then, I'll just have to keep calling.
I'll have to keep calling.
9-0-8-2. Thank you.
Marie Bicke, please.
Yes, I know exactly what time it is.
It's 3.27 in the morning, and I demand to speak to my wife.
Yes, that's right, this is Sam, Sam Bicke. And who is this?
Who is this, sir? Who is this, sir?
No, you hold on, Marie.
I got a divorce decree today, and we're supposed to be separated.
We're supposed to be working on this!
It's only been one year.
It has certainly not been two years!
No, it has not been almost two!
I... I have a life.
Why would you say that?
Why would you say THAT, Marie?
When you're... Marie?
God damn it! God damn it!
'I could stand before this audience and make all kinds of excuses...'
I appreciate all the time you've taken.
Yeah, well, I have spent a lot of time, but it's OK because I know you're gonna be happy.
I need to measure the space.
So we can deliver it this afternoon, or is Saturday better?
As I said before, I have to still measure the space.
I'll have the boys come over. They can measure the space.
You're not gonna let me down, are you, Stan?
This doesn't have to be done today because we'll be here in the morning.
I just wanna be sure.
SOUND LEVELS INCREASE
Turn that down.
God damn it!
Bicke... What did you just do?
You out of your fucking mind?!
Actually, I have some bad news, because I'm not going to...
This is my last day.
Actually, I'm not going to be able to finish today
because I have a very important letter that's coming.
I'm starting my own business, and I have an enormous amount of plans that I have to make.
-Have your desk cleared in ten minutes.
'Cos people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.
'Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got.
'I sold all my stocks for 200,000.
'I sold my apartment in New York...'
It's about money, Dick.
It's about money, Dick!
It's about money! It's about money, Dick!
It's about money, Dick!
'And the pieces of testimony you gave us last week...
'was that you had dispersed some 69,000
'in what you might call a sabotage programme,
'and that you also perjured yourself at the trial.
'Would you explain to the committee how you dispersed of 69,000?
'I don't think that was gone into in much detail...'
Roger Zeffler, please. Sam Bicke, Bicke Tyres.
'Speaking to Haldeman and Ehrlichman, I said, "The boil had to be pricked." '
' "You have to prick the boil and take the heat." '
You're the prick.
YOU'RE the prick.
No, I wasn't saying that to... This is Sam Bicke.
Yes, that's right, Julius's brother.
As a matter of fact, I'm back with Julius now.
I'm handling shipping and receiving for him.
I have a purchase order that we sent in a couple of days ago.
It's number 37-65.
Well, it is a lot of tyres. As a matter of fact, we're opening an outlet in the Hill district.
Well, black people have to have tyres, too, Roger.
Yes, that's the correct address. If you could just drop-ship those, that would be fine.
-'The operation was the burglary of the Watergate.
-That's correct, sir.
'Mr Magruder, just one very brief question.
'Did John Dean prepare you for your grand jury?'
'..By making their lives better at home, for themselves and their children, deserves...'
'That key is in your hands.
'Every action I have taken tonight
'is designed to help us snap out of this self-doubt,
'this self-disparagement that saps our energy.'
'She declared it was all part of the national plan to bring an end to the Black Panther party.'
'I want the American people, I want you,
'to know beyond the shadow of a doubt
'that during my term as president,
'justice will be pursued fairly, fully...'
Please let them know, maestro...
-HE CLICKS SWITCH
-..let them know I was nervous...
..that, unlike the powerful, I was not so arrogant...
as to be sure that my actions were righteous.
Certainty is the disease of kings, Maestro.
And Sam Bicke was many things...
but not a king.
He just wanted to make a change.
To stop the lies.
And he aimed high.
The landlord was kind enough to allow me in.
He stopped by. I see you received his note.
We have some things to discuss, don't you think?
-Good seeing you, of course.
-Cut the crap. Sit down.
You're a very strange man, Samuel.
I've always known this.
I've always tried to help.
So why would you steal from me, your brother?
-I didn't... I didn't steal...
I had to bail your friend Bonny out of jail this evening.
-For receiving stolen goods.
Did you think Roger Zeffler wouldn't become suspicious of your friend?
That somehow this delivery was kosher? That 550 tyres belonged to that address?
Roger Zeffler is a racist.
Perhaps that's so. Shame on Roger Zeffler.
But you, you're are a crook.
So, you tell me, Sam.
Which shame is greater?
-I am not...
-Look at me. Look at me.
This is your brother.
Do I deserve this now, for you to lie to me?
-No, no, no.
No "please, Julius". No, no. No!
I have been to the police,
begging forgiveness for a mistake that was not a mistake.
Because I took responsibility, Samuel,
responsibility, so that no-one would go to jail.
So that this man, Bonny, your friend, would not go to jail.
And my family caused this.
So you must tell me, Sam, please,
which is the greater shame?
I'm sorry, Julius.
What is your name?
I had... I had...an idea.
For a tyre business.
-And I just...
I wanted to get a head start until my loan came in,
and my loan was denied,
because they're racists.
All of them!
I didn't get the money because my partner is black.
I was gonna pay you back.
I'm just trying to keep my family together.
And the little guy can't do it any more.
He just can't do it any more.
Because there's a cancer in the system.
The whole system has a cancer, and I'm being punished because I resist.
But somebody has to resist, just somebody has to resist.
You're my brother. You're my brother.
As of this moment, Samuel...
..I wash my hands of you.
No more. That's it. Nothing.
And if you steal from me again, brother or no brother,
I will send you to jail.
DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
CAR DRIVES OFF
'You can pick the only luxury convertible made in America.
'But no matter which of nine Cadillac models you are to select,
'they're all part of the Cadillac tradition.
'Tonight, February 17th. Good evening.
'Secret Service officials are still puzzling over the landing of an Army helicopter today
'on the south lawn of the White House.
'It all started shortly after midnight last night
'when Army Private First Class, Robert Preston stole an unarmed helicopter from Fort Mead, Maryland.
'The joy-riding pilot was identified as 20-year-old PFC Robert Preston,
'a helicopter mechanic, who was reportedly unhappy over flunking out of flight school.
'He was charged with unlawful entry into the White House grounds.
'I sincerely believe that if his attitude was to crash into the White House,
'he could have accomplished it without any problem.
-'Do you think his attitude was to crash into the White House?
-I do. I really do.'
It wasn't like a light bulb, really.
It was more like an old candle, you know,
just a plain, simple idea.
But in that moment I knew, Mr Bernstein...
I knew the die was cast.
Mr Bernstein, oh, I have the utmost respect for you.
Your music is both pure and honest.
And that is why I have chosen you
to present the truth about me to the world.
120, 40, 60, 80, 200.
One, two, three, four, and 33 cents. There you are, Mr Bicke. All cashed out.
It's a shame innocent lives are going to have to be lost, Maestro.
And I will do my best to prevent as many deaths as I possibly can.
But that won't be easy.
If history teaches us anything,
it's that you have got to get the seat of government.
The whole goddamned chair, you just kick it out.
Let the system dangle, you know, till it doesn't breathe.
If you destroy the seat of government, THEN you've made a change. A real change.
And I am going to do it.
Beep, beep, beep!
No, this is...
I'm sure it's just...
I have an injury.
It's OK. Thank you.
And, um, then I come down.
Good morning, gentlemen. My name is Sam Bicke.
If you do what I say, no-one will be hurt.
I want you to fly this plane... and I want you to fly it low.
I want you to fly it very low.
I have to take control here.
It's a shame there aren't more people like Bonny.
What a beautiful man.
I hope that he will forgive me for stealing his gun.
They let you in looking like that?
I wanted to talk to you.
I'm sorry things didn't work out.
No hard feelings.
Um...I wanted to thank you for teaching me...
..that to be...a salesman
you don't have to be a good man.
You got a fever, Bicke?
You're sweating like a pig.
Wipe your forehead, for Christ's sake.
I'm trying to eat a meal.
You all right, son?
HE INHALES DEEPLY
You love me. Don't you, boy?
I would never leave you.
AIRCRAFT ENGINES WHIRR
INDISTINCT TANNOY ANNOUNCEMENTS
Sir! Sir? Excuse me.
You left your case.
MUSIC: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5
-TWA skycap with wheelchair, please come to TWA ticket counter.
TWA skycap with wheelchair, please come to TWA ticket counter.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to begin boarding Flight 543 with service to Atlanta.
In accordance with our security measures,
we do ask that you begin to form a line in front of the metal detector.
Please have your tickets and any carry-on baggage with you at this time.
This is the general boarding call for Flight 543 to Atlanta.
TEARS TAPE ON LEG
Nobody move. Nobody move! I'll kill you. I'll kill you!
I've got a bomb, I'll kill you.
You, come here. Come here, come here. Close that door. Close it.
-Sir, please just calm down.
Calm down. We're gonna to be able to take care of anything you need.
Write down that my name is Sam Bicke.
If you...if you don't move, then no-one will get hurt.
If you don't move, then no-one will get hurt.
You understand? OK.
I want you to fly this plane. I want you to fly it low.
I want you to fly it very low.
I hear you, Sam.
So, here's what I need to do. I just need to call the tower. OK?
I'm gonna call the tower. I'm gonna reach over here and get my headset.
I'll put it on and then call the tower...
SPEECH FADES INTO DISTANCE
You have to help him to fly the plane.
OK? She's gonna help you fly the plane.
You have to move him.
Sam, I can fly the plane myself. Just let her go.
Please let me go.
Please... Let me go. I don't want to die.
'Look at me, maestro.
'Am I smiling?
'Tell them why I did this, maestro.
'History needs to be clear on this.
'They can rebuild the White House, but they will never forget me.
'I was here, I was here, maestro. I did this.
'And a man is only remembered for his work.
'Just tell them that.'
'The first hijack attempt in the United States in more than a year was made today in Baltimore. It failed.
'There had not been another hijacking attempt in this country until today.
'It happened at the same airport, but with far worse consequences.
'44-year-old Samuel Bicke walked to the departure gate
'carrying an attache case which contained gasoline and a detonator.
'He was running and acting like he was crazy, out of his mind.
'Bicke ran through the enclosed boarding bridge yelling for passengers to get out of his way.
'A policeman ran after him, but Bicke was inside and had forced the stewardesses to close the door.
'The policeman fired and killed the would-be hijacker.
'His motive may never be known, but authorities say that there's no question that the would-be hijacker
'intended to destroy himself and everyone else aboard Delta Flight 543.
'Neil Strauser, CBS News, at the Baltimore Washington International Airport.'
TINKLING JEWELLERY BOX MUSIC
MUSIC: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
This story of a disturbed furniture salesman who plotted in 1972 to kill the then US President Richard Nixon is based loosely on real life events. Blaming the failings of his life on the corrupt Nixon, he planned to hijack an aircraft and attack the White House in an eerie foreshadowing of the 9/11 attacks.