Lee Daniels' The Butler Quotes: Clunky but Earnest

(Total Quotes: 103)

Directed by: Lee Daniels
Written by:
Danny Strong
Wil Haygood (article: “A Butler Well Served by This Election”)
Forest Whitaker – Cecil Gaines
Oprah Winfrey – Gloria Gaines
David Oyelowo as Louis Gaines
Elijah Kelley – Charlie Gaines
David Banner – Earl Gaines
Mariah Carey – Hattie Pearl
Terrence Howard – Howard
Adriane Lenox – Gina
Yaya DaCosta – Carol Hammie
Alex Pettyfer – Thomas Westfall
Vanessa Redgrave – Annabeth Westfall
Clarence Williams III – Maynard
Robin Williams – Dwight D. Eisenhower
James DuMont – Sherman Adams
Robert Aberdeen – Herbert Brownell, Jr.
James Marsden – John F. Kennedy
Minka Kelly – First Lady Jackie Kennedy
Liev Schreiber – Lyndon B. Johnson
John Cusack – Richard Nixon
Alex Manette – H. R. Haldeman
Colin Walker – John Ehrlichman
Alan Rickman – Ronald Reagan
Jane Fonda – First Lady Nancy Reagan


Lee Daniels’ The Butler quotes are an ambitious undertaking that has merged facts with fiction to provide an earnest but clunky journey through important historical events. The story is based on the life of late Eugene Allen, an African-American who was employed as a butler in the White House for over thirty years and traces the dramatic changes that American society went through, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected Allen’s life and family.

In the movie, Cecil Gaines is the character that is inspired by Allen’s life and it shows him starting from humble beginnings to becoming a butler at the White House and how the demands of his job take their toll on his wife and put him at odds with his oldest son. The movie is shot in a straight narrative style with no place for subtlety and the script highlights important moments, giving them just enough focus, but because there is so much material to cover and not enough time it means some subplots have been truncated and don’t fit in with the general story giving the movie an uneven feel.

What really saves this movie from being a total failure are the strong performances from the ensemble cast, especially Whitaker, Winfrey and Oyelowo, whose performances elevate the movie. However, the actors that play the U.S. presidents and their wives only have a few minutes in the movie, so it’s difficult to relate to them as real people and not just caricatures. They are all good in the little screen time they get, with the weakest links being Robin Williams as Dwight D. Eisenhower and John Cusack as Richard Nixon.

Verdict: As a whole it’s clear that this movie was produced with good intentions with its heart in the right place, but it just misses being truly graceful and satisfying.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler Quotes Page  1   2   USER REVIEWS


[an elderly Cecil Gaines is sitting in the White House, waiting patiently, he has a brief flashback of a moment when he saw two African Americans hung together; a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. appears stating “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.”]


[first lines; as Cecil continues to wait he has flashback to his past in 1926, Macon, Georgia where Cecil grew up on a cotton farm]
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] The only thing I ever knew was cotton. It was hard work.
[young Cecil is with his father, Earl, who is teaching him about cotton picking]
Earl Gaines: Now you know the cotton is ready when the bud splits and the bowl is star shaped, like a big old star in the sky. Like your big ol’ head.
[Earl throws some cotton onto young Cecil’s head playfully and they both laugh]butler-2
Earl Gaines: Would you like some cotton?
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] But I didn’t mind cause I got to spend all day working with my daddy.
[Cecil is with his mother, Hattie and Earl are in the middle of the cotton field; Earl turns to Abraham, a young boy with a camera]
Earl Gaines: Do you want to take his picture?
Abraham: I’ll take a picture of you all. Why don’t everybody smile?
[Earl, Hattie and Cecil attempt to smile and Abraham takes a picture of them]


[Thomas Westfall, the owner of the plantation, is walking in the cotton field when he comes up to Hattie as she’s working in the field with Earl]
Thomas Westfall: Hattie, come on. I need your help in the shed.
[Hattie hesitates]
Thomas Westfall: Come on.
[she reluctantly follows him and he takes her hand; Earl and Cecil watch as Thomas takes Hattie away]
Cecil Gaines (8): Pa, where is he taking Ma?
Earl Gaines: Get back to work.
[Cecil starts running after Hattie and Thomas]
Earl Gaines: Cecil, come back here, boy!
[Earl runs after Cecil and grabs hold of him; Cecil watches as Thomas takes Hattie into the shed]
Cecil Gaines (8): Mama!
Earl Gaines: Come here. Look at me, boy! Don’t you lose your temper with that man. This his world, we’re just living in it. You hear me? Now get on back to work.
[Earl pushes Cecil back, he turns and looks at the shed Thomas has taken Hattie in and they hear her screams]


[Cecil watches as Thomas walks out of the shed]
Cecil Gaines (8): Pa, what you gonna do?
[Earl calls out to Thomas as he’s walking away]
Earl Gaines: Hey.
[Thomas turns and faces Earl, he takes out his gun and points it at Earl and as he shoots Cecil screams out]
Cecil Gaines (8): Daaad!
[Thomas shoots Earl in the head, killing him instantly, the whole field is silent as they watch in horror, Thomas turns to look at Cecil for a moment, Cecil runs to his father’s body weeping and Thomas’ mother, Annabeth rushes to the field]
Thomas Westfall: What are you looking at? Huh? Who wants to go next? You get back to work.
[Thomas walks away, Annabeth looks at Earl’s body]
Annabeth Westfall: Hey, you. Get some of the hands to help dig a hole for his Pa. Hurry up!
[Annabeth kneels in front of a weeping Cecil]
Annabeth Westfall: Stop crying. I’m gonna have you in the house now. I’m gonna teach you how to be a house nigger.


[we see Cecil now serving in the house]
House Cook: He’s coming.
Cecil Gaines (8): Yessum.
Annabeth Westfall: And quite when you’re serving. I don’t even want to hear you breath.
Cecil Gaines (8): Yes, ma’am.
Annabeth Westfall: The room should feel empty when you’re in it.
[later in the dining room, Cecil helps serve food at the table]
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] It was much nicer working in the house than in the field.
Annabeth Westfall: Crazy nigger than the last.
[Cecil stops serving the food and starts to walks away from the table when suddenly Thomas grabs Cecil and stops him]
Thomas Westfall: Give me more.
[we see young Cecil serving around the house until he turns 15]
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] When I got older I knew I had to go before he killed me too. Part of me was scared to leave, it was the only world that I knew.
[Cecil says visits Earl’s grave then goes to say goodbye to Hattie]
Cecil Gaines (15): Ma, I took Pa’s watch.
[Hattie is sat on the porch looking ahead and unresponsive, he sits next to her]
Cecil Gaines (15): Ma. Ma, I’m leaving.
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] My mama never spoke much after that. I knew she’s miss me, but I also knew she wanted me to leave that place.
[Cecil then goes to say goodbye to Annabeth, she places a book inside his shirt]
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] And even though Miss Annabeth never said it, I knew she’d miss me too.
[Cecil starts walking away from the plantation and the cotton field]
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] I don’t think God meant for people to not have a family.


Cecil Gaines: [voice over] Outside the cotton field was even worse than I thought it would be. No one would give me a job, or food, or a place to sleep.
[we see Cecil wandering the streets]
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] Any white man could kill any of us at any time and not be punished for it. The law wasn’t on our side. The law was against us.
[we see Cecil coming across two African Americans that have been hung together, the same scene we’d seen at the beginning of the film; Cecil then comes across a pastry shop]
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] I was hungry all the time.
[Cecil looks with longing at the cakes inside the shop, suddenly he smashes the window and enters the shop; Maynard, the shop worker, is woken from the noise and comes down to find Cecil eating the cakes]
Maynard: You know what could happen to you, son?
[Cecil just looks at Maynard]
Maynard: Get up.
[Cecil doesn’t move]
Maynard: I said get up.


[Maynard starts bandaging up Cecil’s wounds from breaking the window]
Maynard: I’m gonna have to lie to the boss man about that window. Good Lord say, you ain’t supposed to lie.
Cecil Gaines (15): Sorry, sir.
Maynard: Where’s your Ma and your Pa?
Cecil Gaines (15): Ma crazy in the head and my Pa got killed.
Maynard: I’ll make you some ham sandwiches, send you on your way. The boss will be here in a minute. Sundays are our busiest morning.
Cecil Gaines (15): You looking for some help? I know how to serve.
Maynard: You done broke our window, you done stole our food, and now you’re asking for a job?
Cecil Gaines (15): Back in Macon I’m a house nigger, a good one.
[suddenly Maynard slaps Cecil in the face]
Maynard: Don’t you ever use that word, son. That’s a white man’s word, it’s filled with hate. Didn’t your father ever teach you any better?


[Maynard starts teaching Cecil how to serve at the establishment]
Maynard: Slow down.
Cecil Gaines (15): Yes, sir.
[Maynard shows Cecil how to serve at the bar]
Maynard: Better to look through their eyes, see what it is they want.
[more montage of Maynard teaching Cecil how to clean and serve around the hotel]
Maynard: See what it is they need. Anticipate. When they smile, to look past their eyes.


[Maynard and Cecil are taking a break out by the porch; to one of the workers]
Maynard: Don’t forget to save me them chitterlings.butler-3
Cecil Gaines (15): Why do you like chitterlings so much?
Maynard: Cause they taste good eating. The manager of Excelsior in DC, he came by yesterday. He offered me a job as a butler.
Cecil Gaines (15): Must be paying you top dollar, huh, boss?
[Cecil helps Maynard sit next to him on the porch]
Maynard: Yeah, I was thinking about taking it, but I don’t know. I’m too old to be leading that kind of life, I’m just fine right here. I told him to hire you.
Cecil Gaines (15): I’m just now finding my way around this hotel. Ain’t ready for all them high falutin white people and their fancy world.
Maynard: Listen, we got two faces. Us and the ones that we gotta show the white folks. Now to get up in the world, you have to make them feel non threatened. Use them fancy words that I done taught you. White folks up North, they like some uppity coloreds. Yeah.


[1957 – Washington DC]
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] I took that job in Washington. It was the most beautiful hotel I’d ever seen.
[we see an adult Cecil standing inside the lobby of the hotel holding a tray of drinks when a white couple walk up to him]
Cecil Gaines: I hope it wasn’t too presumptuous of me to have prepared a few spirits after your long journey here from Buffalo.
[the couple look pleased and take their drinks; Cecil then walks into the bar to serve some white men talking about African Americans being integrated into white schools]
Male Guest: Best decision that court ever made was to slow this whole mess down. Niggers in school with white girls, who ever heard of such a thing? Next thing you know they’ll be fornicating.
Mr. Jenkins: Yeah, but this here is different. We could start another Civil War.
[he turns to Cecil as he’s pouring them drinks]
Mr. Jenkins: Cecil, what do you think about niggers going to school with white children?
Cecil Gaines: To be honest with you, Mr. Jenkins, I tend to not be too concerned with American or European politics.
Mr. Jenkins: Nor should you, Cecil. They’re all criminals. Earl Warren should be shot and hanged. That dumb son of a bitch judge is trying to integrate our schools.
Cecil Gaines: I think Judge Warren is gonna find that quite challenging.
Mr. Jenkins: Damn right, Cecil. Damn right.
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] Never in my life did I dream that I’d work in a place as fancy as this. I never dreamed my life would be so good.


[we see Gloria at home, sitting at the kitchen table with a drink and smoking, as Charlie is doing his homework]
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] Gloria and I met working at the Excelsior, she was a maid at the hotel. But now her only job was raising out two boys. I made sure that they never laid eyes on a cotton field.
[Cecil arrives home from finishing his night shift at the hotel, he hears Charlie in the kitchen]
Charlie Gaines (10): I gotta pee.
Gloria Gaines: You’re not your Daddy, don’t try that. Finish that homework.
[Cecil walks into the kitchen]
Cecil Gaines: Where’s Louis at?
Gloria Gaines: He’s taking the trash out.
Charlie Gaines (10): Working late again, huh? How was your shift?
Cecil Gaines: It beats working for a living.
Gloria Gaines: I miss you at night, honey.
[Cecil looks at Gloria for a moment and then looks at Charlie]
Cecil Gaines: Didn’t you say you gotta pee? Go on then. Wash your hands when you come out of that bathroom, boy.
[Charlie rises and walks out of the kitchen]


[after Charlie leaves the kitchen Gloria smiles at Cecil]
Gloria Gaines: Good morning.
Cecil Gaines: Good morning.
[Cecil bends to kiss Gloria]
Gloria Gaines: Morning, sir.
[as they are kissing Louise walks into the kitchen]
Louis Gaines: Hey, Dad.
Cecil Gaines: Hey, Louise. You alright?
Louis Gaines: Yeah, I’m fine.
Cecil Gaines: Good.
Gloria Gaines: There’s a woman whose son got killed, she’s around doing speeches now. What’s her name, honey?
Cecil and Louise: Mamie Till.
[Gloria gets up to get Louise and Cecil some breakfast]
Gloria Gaines: Mamie Till. Hm, I remember that story just like it was yesterday even though it was three years ago. It was a damn disgrace what they did to that boy, just for looking at a white woman. Beat him up, threw his body in the river, killed him. He wasn’t no older than Louise, he was fourteen at the time.
Cecil Gaines: Crazy white folks down South.
[Gloria places two plates of breakfast in front of Cecil and Gloria]
Louis Gaines: Thanks, Ma.
Gloria Gaines: At least we got it a little better in DC, huh?
Cecil Gaines: Still treating us bad too.
Gloria Gaines: Get on down here, Charlie. Wash your hands.


Charlie Gaines (10): Louis said we should stop taking the white man’s shit.
[Louis hits Charlie on his arm]
Cecil Gaines: Hey!
Louis Gaines: Shut up.
Cecil Gaines: Watch your mouth,
Gloria Gaines: Watch your mouth.
[at that moment the phone rings and Charlie picks up the phone]
Charlie Gaines (10): Hello, Gaines residence.
[he listens for a moment]
Charlie Gaines (10): Uh…yeah. Hold on, Mr. Jenkins.
[to Cecil]
Charlie Gaines (10): It’s boss man, Dad.
Gloria Gaines: What’s he calling up for?
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] When the white man call, I always assume the worst.
[Cecil takes the phone]
Cecil Gaines: Yes, sir.
Cecil Gaines: [voice over] I would have put money on it. Guys gettin’ laid off somethin’ that day.


[we see Cecil driving up to the White House; then later he sits and waits in the White House when a white usher walks up to Cecil]
White Usher: Will you follow me please?
Cecil Gaines: Yes, sir.
[Cecil rises and follows the usher and he’s taken to see the maître d’, Freddie Fallows]
Cecil Gaines: I’m Cecil Gaines. It’s a pleasure to meet you.
[Fallows extends his hand and they shake hands]
Freddie Fallows: You as well. Have a seat.
[they both sit and Fallows looks at the file on his desk for a moment and then looks at Cecil]
Freddie Fallows: Are you political, Mr. Gaines.
Cecil Gaines: No, sir.
Freddie Fallows: Good. We have no tolerance for politics at the White House.
[Cecil smiles as he looks at Fallows]
Cecil Gaines: How’d you find me?
Freddie Fallows: I didn’t. You served R.D. Warner at the Excelsior Hotel. he oversees operations for the entire White House, you made quite an impression.
Cecil Gaines: I don’t recall.
Freddie Fallows: Mr. Warner and myself make note of potential staff around town. Butler positions rarely open as most stay on for thirty years or more.
Cecil Gaines: I know, I was quite surprised that I got the call.
[Cecil laughs, Fallows watches him for a moment]
Freddie Fallows: It was a surprise for me as well. As the White House maître d’, I normally hire the butlers.
[Fallows rises from his seat and turns his back to Cecil]
Cecil Gaines: Forgive me for saying this, Mr. Fallows. I certainly wouldn’t want to be hired under circumstances that would make you feel uncomfortable.
Freddie Fallows: Oh, really?
Cecil Gaines: You need butlers that you’ve handpicked. A man to your liking that will fill your vision of a proper White House staff.
Freddie Fallows: Hm.
[Fallows looks at Cecil for a moment as he takes his seat behind his desk again]


[Cecil notices the crystal decanters on Fallows desk]
Cecil Gaines: Is that Louis Trois? These decanters are replicas of metal flasks that were found on the battlefield in Jarnac, correct? The Italians, they know their wines and the Irish they sure know how to make a great whiskey, but I believe the French have a distinct advantage when it comes to Cognac. C’est vrai?
[Fallows gives Cecil a serious look before smiling and replying]
Freddie Fallows: Oh, yeah. You’ll make a good house nigger.
[this wipes the smile from Cecil’s face and Fallows rises from his seat]
Freddie Fallows: Would you care for a demitasse?


[one evening the Gaines family celebrates Cecil’s new job by inviting their closest friends and neighbors, Gloria sings along to the music]
Gloria Gaines: Sometimes they’re just be and Faye up in here. Me, Faye and a little scotch.
[Gloria continues to enjoy the music]
Gloria Gaines: Sing it, Faye!
Gina: What did you do to this potato salad?butler-5
Gloria Gaines: Well, I tell you what I did. I put some dill in it because I read in Woman’s Day where pickles drown out the flavor and dill bring up the flavor. That’s what you’re tasting right there.
Gina: Oh, okay.
[Gina eats another bite of the potato salad]
Gina: Yeah, I like it.
Gloria Gaines: It make a difference, don’t it?
Gina: It really does. You must be so proud of Cecil.
Gloria Gaines: You know he got that job himself. the White House called him, he didn’t call the White House.
Gina: He’s a good man, you got a good man.
[just then Gina’s husband, Howard, comes up and sits next to Gina after dancing with another one of the female guests]
Howard: She’s fine. Not like this one right here, old sour puss. You still mad at me?
Gina: I got reason.
Howard: No, you don’t. I told you I went down to the numbers spot, played my little number, got me some barbecue and then I went down and didn’t even get nothin’ to drink.
Gina: I am so…I’m so sick of these number spots stories, Howard. How do you expect me to believe you was down at the number spot…
Howard: Cause whether you believe it or not, don’t make it no truer.
Gloria Gaines: Oh, come on. Come on, stop this now.
[to Gina]
Howard: You want to do this right now?
Gloria Gaines: Come on y’all. Come on, come on, come on.
[to Gina]
Howard: You don’t believe it? You don’t have to believe it.
Gloria Gaines: Hey, hey, hey.
[to Gina]
Howard: You really want to this right now?


[to Howard and Gina as they continue to bicker]
Gloria Gaines: Stop this right now, we are here to celebrate. So y’all could be nice, just one time. Come on.
Howard: You heard the lady, come on. Get over here.
[Howard playfully picks up Gina and puts her on his lap]
Gina: What are you…? Oh!
Gloria Gaines: We’re celebrating.
[to Gina, as he holds her on his lap]
Howard: That’s what I was doing, trying to make you happy.
[just then Cecil walks into the living room]
Cecil Gaines: You all need to get a room
[Howard laughs]
Gloria Gaines: Ain’t that the truth. Or somethin’.
Gina: He drive me crazy. He just arrgghh…
[Cecil notice Louis sitting at the dining table quietly]
Cecil Gaines: Louis, you wanna come to the room?
Louis Gaines: No.
Howard: Hey, where the boys at?
Cecil Gaines: Perhaps they’re in the back room.
Gloria Gaines: Boys, get on down here. I need to see your face now! What you all doing up here?


Gloria Gaines: Honey, when are you gonna take me to the White House?
Cecil Gaines: You wanna go to the White House, baby?
Gloria Gaines: You know I want to go to the White House.
Cecil Gaines: When do you wanna go?
Gloria Gaines: Don’t play with me now, you know I want to go to the White House.
[Cecil smiles playfully]
Cecil Gaines: When do you wanna go?
Howard: The White House, now that’s a big step up.
Cecil Gaines: It is a sight.
Gina: Ooh! Girl, get up in that house. I wanna hear all the stories.
Gloria Gaines: I don’t know how many stories you’re gonna hear, cause they done swear him to some kind of secret code and he can’t tell me nothing.
Gina: Oh, no, no, no. Girl, you ain’t giving’ it to him right.
Gloria Gaines: Mm-hmm.
[to Gloria]
Cecil Gaines: That’s the key right there. You listening? Do you hear?
[to Gina]
Howard: Girl, who’ve you been giving it to?
Gina: Well, if you had gotten home, I could be giving it to you.
Gloria Gaines: I don’t know what you’re talking about.


[Elroy, Howard and Gina’s on, and Charlie run down the steps to the living room]
Gloria Gaines: Boys, stop running through this house. You know better than that.
Howard: Elroy, get…get over here. Come here.
[Elroy leans over the couch toward Howard]
Howard: Give me some money.
[Elroy smiles which makes Howard laugh]
Howard: Tell them what you’re gonna be when you grow up.
Elroy: I wanna work at the White House, just like Mr. Gaines.
Gina: Ah, that’s my boy.
Cecil Gaines: Right there.
Howard: Louis, What you gonna be when you grow up? Gonna work at the White House like your Daddy?
[Louis is still sitting quietly at the dining table, Gloria watches him]
Louis Gaines: I don’t know.
Howard: I tell you one thing, I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I was thirteen.
Gina: Yeah, a number runner.
[Howard and Gina laugh]


[Cecil arrives at the White House for his first day at work, he smiles at the security guard]
Cecil Gaines: I’m Cecil Gaines. I’m the new butler. Yes, sir.
[Cecil is shown around the White House by Fallows]
Freddie Fallows: There’s sixteen full time maids. We have six butlers, four carpenters, two painters, seven electricians, three dishwashers, three doormen, a full kitchen staff including a pastry chef and three full time calligraphers.
[they walk down the hall]butler-4
Freddie Fallows: Two painters, seven electricians, nine engineers. Here comes Warner.
[Fallows stops as Warner walks towards them]
Cecil Gaines: Uh…Mr. Warner, I wanted to uh…thank you for the opportunity of working in the White House.
[Warner ignore Cecil and carries on walking past them down the hall, Cecil turns and looks at Fallows who chuckles and shrugs his shoulders]
Freddie Fallows: Come on. Here we go.
[as Cecil follows Fallows he notices a maid cleaning one of the bathroom floors]
Cecil Gaines: Ma’am, I’m Cecil Gaines. I’ll be working with you here.
Freddie Fallows: Mr. Gaines, please don’t do that. Come on.
Cecil Gaines: Yes, sir.
[Fallows shows Gaines the ways of being a butler at the White House]
Freddie Fallows: When lifting a plate, never scrape the bottom. Never listen or react to conversation. The room should feel as if…
Cecil Gaines: Empty…when I’m in it.


[later Cecil enters the staff area and comes across two other butler]
Carter Wilson: Hey, there he is! Heard you were coming. What’s your name, my brother?
[Carter shakes hands with Cecil]
Cecil Gaines: Cecil. Cecil Gaines.
Carter Wilson: Cecil Gaines. Well, I’m Carter Wilson, the head butler. Don’t worry about big Mo behind you, that brother will steal your wallet before you even know it.
[pointing to James, who’s brushing his teeth in the bathroom]
Carter Wilson: This brother in the mirror over hear, his name’s James Holloway. He’s my second in command.
Cecil Gaines: James.
[Cecil walks up to James]
James Holloway: Jackie Robinson or Willie Mays?
Carter Wilson: Why don’t you shake the man’s hand first before you start asking him difficult questions like that?
James Holloway: Just want to know where the man’s coming from.
[as he continues to brush his teeth, James turns and shakes Cecil’s hand]
Cecil Gaines: Looks like the jury still out on that one.
James Holloway: Welcome. Fancy Freddie give you the tour yet?
Cecil Gaines: He did. Is the Dodgers still…still losing?
James Holloway: I might be able to answer that question if Carter over here stop running his nasty mouth.
Carter Wilson: Cut the shit and let’s get to work.


[in the kitchen Carter, James and one of the maids watch as Cecil prepares the coffee tray for the President]
Cecil Gaines: Ready.
Carter Wilson: Lord help us.
[Cecil puts on his white gloves then holds out the milk jug to one of the chefs and he pours some milk into it]
Lorraine: Don’t be nervous, man. Just go in and get to it.
[Cecil nods, then lifts the tray, as he goes to walk out of the kitchen Fallows stands in front of him]
Freddie Fallows: You hear nothing, you see nothing, you only serve.


[1957 – The Eisenhower Administration; Cecil enters the President’s office with the coffee tray, Eisenhower is having a meeting with his Chief of Staff Sherman Adams and Attorney General Herbert Brownell]
Sherman Adams: Send federal troops to the South.
[Cecil places the tray in the corner of the room and starts pouring the coffee into the cups]
Herbert Brownell: It if comes to it, yes.butler-6
Dwight D. Eisenhower: I can’t see any situation where I’d send federal troops to the South, ever. It could cause another Civil War.
Herbert Brownell: Sir, if the federal government doesn’t enforce Brown then who will? The South must comply with the law.
Dwight D. Eisenhower: It’s just gonna take some time to adjust, that’s all.
Herbert Brownell: I understand, Mr. President. But if Faubus continues to block the Negro children, then what do we do? We must enforce the constitution.
[Cecil serves Eisenhower for the first time and places his coffee cup on his desk, Cecil then goes and stands in the corner of the room, looking nervous and breathing a sigh of relief]
Sherman Adams: Give Faubus more time, with a little persuading he’ll back down. We just want to move slowly.


[after serving Eisenhower in his office, Cecil returns to the kitchen with a tray]
Carter Wilson: How did it go?
Cecil Gaines: I almost shit myself.
[Cecil walks off]
Carter Wilson: I dated a girl once, every time I hit on her she shit herself.
[Lorraine throws her dish towel at Carter]
Carter Wilson: What?
Lorraine: You got no sense.
Carter Wilson: Shut up.
Lorraine: You shut up.
Carter Wilson: I put a towel down.


[Charlie and Elroy are watching a scary movie on TV when Louis comes up behind them and scares them, Elroy throws some popcorn at Louis]
Charlie Gaines (10): You dropped the popcorn all over the sofa.
Elroy: You’re Dad’s gonna kill…
[just then Cecil comes home from finishing his day at work at the White House]
Charlie Gaines (10): Hey, Dad.
Cecil Gaines: Hey.
Elroy: Hi, Mr. Gaines.
Louis Gaines: Hey, Dad.
Cecil Gaines: Hey, Elroy. Louis, I told you about letting those kids watch that show. It’s too scary, they’re too young for it. Turn it off.
[Cecil walks into the kitchen]
Cecil Gaines: Where’s your Mom at?
Elroy: Miss Gloria tried staying up, but she went to sleep.
[Cecil walks back into the living room]
Cecil Gaines: Elroy, nobody asked you nothin’. Take your butt home before your Mama come up in here lookin’ for you.
Louis Gaines: Come on, Dad.
Cecil Gaines: No, turn it off.
[Elroy reluctantly rises from the couch and leaves]
Elroy: Bye.
[Louis turns off the TV and Charlie, looking annoyed, rises from the couch and starts stomping up the stairs]
Cecil Gaines: Don’t go stomping up the stair and wake your Mama up.


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Total Quotes: 103



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