Mary Eunice McCarthy

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Mary Eunice McCarthy (March 4, 1899 – August 7, 1969) was an American screenwriter, playwright, journalist and author, perhaps best known today as the screenwriter of, and driving force behind, the biopic Sister Kenny (1946).


  • What they need to do is to look more closely at the fundamentals of American life, sympathetically, not with intent to "commit a message."
    • Regarding Hollywood's self-styled "intellectuals"; as quoted in "Hollywood Film Shop" by UP reporter Alexander Kahn, Oroville Mercury Register (June 29, 1939), p. 6
  • If Americans don't give up their prejudices because of false notions of religious or racial or national superiority, then, by golly, they're going to have to give them up because the other fellows are getting the guns.

Chasing Trouble (1940)[edit]

  • Jimmy "Mr. Cupid" O'Brien: Come on, step on it, Jefferson! We're an hour late for our deliveries now.
    Thomas H. Jefferson: Aw, have a heart, Mr. Cupid. Look at that speed meter.
    Jimmy: What're you worried about?
    Jefferson: About goin' to my own funeral. [Siren heard.] Mm mm. What'd I tell you? Here come the cops.
    Jimmy: Now listen! You keep quiet. I'll get out of this.
    Jefferson: You wouldn't be in it if you would go where the flowers was goin', instead of stoppin' where they ain't.
  • Jefferson: But Mr. Cupid: if you go through that book, lookin' all through them Joneses, we're gonna be late. And we gonna get another traffic ticket, and...
    Jimmy: Aren't you ashamed of yourself? Don't you want to get a boy friend for a nice girl like Susie?
    Jefferson: Yeah. And I wanna keep a job for a nice boy like Jefferson.
  • Jimmy: This is awful! It's terrible! Hey, Jefferson! [Shouting] Hey! Hey.
    Jefferson: What's the matter?
    Jimmy: I made a mistake!
    Jefferson: Which one?
    Jimmy: Well... according to this, Morgan isn't a G-man!
    Jefferson: How can you tell?
    Well, this claims he's a liar.
    Jefferson: How does that prove he ain't no G-man?
  • Jimmy: Hey, Callahan!
    Callahan: Hey, Cupid, who sent you down here?
    Jimmy: Never mind the smart cracks; something important has happened.
    Callahan: Yeah?
    Jimmy: Yeah, I... I've decided maybe I was wrong about you.
    Callahan: So what?
    Jimmy: Well... so how do you spell your name?,
    Callahan: My name? C, A, double L, A, H, A, N. Why?
    Jimmy: Mm hmm. Look... would you mind writin' it for me?
    Callahan: Writing it?
    Jimmy: Yeah.
    Callahan: [Signs.] What's the gag?
    Jimmy: Well, if this proves you're all right, you're gonna get Susie.
    Callahan: Hey, are you crazy?
    Jimmy: No, no! No, I'm a graphologist; now be quiet.

Meet Kitty (1957)[edit]

  • "I don't like the word tolerance. It sounds stuck up". It was a little old lady speaking, very little and quite old. Her name was Kitty, and she was my mother. "There ain't any respect in tolerating," she continued, the blue of her eyes grown darker with indignation. "That's just putting up with them, like with bad plumbing when you can't afford to move..." [...] She did not "tolerate" the Negro or the Asiatic, the Protestant or the Jew, despite their racial or religious difference. Instead, she respected every human being equally, because she thought Thomas Jefferson had meant every word of the Declaration. pp. 1, 3
  • In the spacious mansions of San Francisco's Nob Hill a Chinese cook was a must. The first thing the nouveau riche did as they tried to scramble up the ladder of society was to jingle gold pieces in the ears of a Lee or a Wong to lure him into their newly furnished houses. But the Chinese themselves had a social position only slightly above that of the rodents who sometimes threatened the fine mahogany wainscoting of their employers' houses. They were comonly referred to as "Chinks," with or without accompanying epithet, except by the gentler of tongue, who invariably spoke of a Chinese as "John Chinaman." pp. 5–6
  • Gaiety and God were closely connected in my mother's mind. Going to church on Sunday was not enough. Having fun was necessary, if the worship of God were to be complete. "We should enjoy ourselves, especially on Sunday, to show Him how happy we are on His day. If we can't help having a long face once in a while, then for heaven's sake let's have it on a week day." p. 103
  • Usually no one sees the city of his birth until he leaves and then returns to it with new eyes, but, ridiculously proud of my brand-new press badge, I was discovering San Francisco as though it were a strange city. I began to realize the city's many hills, as if they had been erected only last month. You go up and down those hills by cable car or auto, and a dozen times a day you catch your breath in the suddenness of beautiful vistas—water, ships, wooded hills across the bay . . . and sea gulls, no matter where the neighborhood, never once letting you forget the nearness of the ocean. They really dominated the Embarcadero, that long stretch of San Francisco's beautiful harbor. On one side were brine-encrusted piers, their pilings creaking against the sides of ships with exciting cargoes from all parts of the world. Across the way were shabby marine stores, pawnshops, tattoo parlors, bedraggled flophouses, and seedy bars. The constant calling of the sea gulls often had to compete with the sirens of police cars. pp. 112–113

Quotes about[edit]

  • Next week the Independent and Press will bring you a new column published for the first time anywhere [...] It will be titled "Mary McCarthy's Column." Anything more pretentious would offend Mary Eunice McCarthy.

External links[edit]

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