Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘God, J.R., How Low Can You Get?’

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Red File Part 2

Why, he never!

In “The Red File, Part 2,” a second-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. (Larry Hagman) is seated on the edge of his office desk, talking on the phone, when Bobby (Patrick Duffy) enters carrying Julie’s attaché case.

J.R.: Yeah, no fooling Dave. I think we got Cliff Barnes out of our hair permanently. Yeah, that’s right. [Chuckles]

Bobby snatches the phone out of J.R.’s hand and slams it onto the receiver.

J.R.: [Angry, to Bobby] Now what the hell was that all about?

BOBBY: You’ll have plenty of time for that when I’m through – if you’re still president of Ewing Oil.

J.R.: You know, I think one of the biggest mistakes I ever made in my life was letting Daddy talk me into taking you off the road and putting you into an office next to mine.

BOBBY: No, J.R., that was your second biggest mistake! [Tosses materials off J.R.’s desk, slams down the attaché case] That’s your first!

J.R.: What is that?

BOBBY: [Opens it] Julie was gonna set you up. She Xeroxed all your confidential files and she was gonna turn them over to Cliff Barnes.

J.R.: Where’d you get ahold of this? [Starts rifling through the case]

BOBBY: Oh, it’s all there, J.R. Everything. [J.R. studies a document and sits in his chair] Records of payoffs to senators, congressmen, photographs of judges. It’s all there.

J.R.: Why, that cheating little tramp.

BOBBY: That’s your red file, isn’t it J.R.? I mean, that’s everything that you didn’t think I was ready to see.

J.R.: Well, you are my baby brother. Some of this stuff’s pretty gamey. I suppose you’re ready to face the realities of life.

BOBBY: Yeah. [Reaches into his suit jacket, unfolds a document and shows it to J.R.] Well, I wasn’t ready for that.

J.R.: It’s a copy of Daddy’s will. Now what is she doing with that? You know, sometimes I can never figure out what makes a woman’s mind work. I –

BOBBY: [Disgusted] Yeah, J.R., it puzzled me, too. I mean, it wouldn’t have meant a whole lot to Cliff Barnes, would it? Just part of the package. I think the one that would’ve found this most interesting is Daddy.

J.R.: Now, what are you talking about?

BOBBY: I’ll refresh your memory. [Begins reading] “This codicil amends paragraph 37. In the event of my death, I hereby grant to my son, John Ewing Jr., full drilling rights to all oil found in Section 40 of Southfork Ranch, as described in said paragraph.”

J.R.: Bobby, I can explain that!

BOBBY: To who? To Daddy? To Mama?

J.R.: Well let’s not bring them into this!

BOBBY: J.R., this is a forgery!

J.R.: It was a business maneuver!

BOBBY: A bu – it brought an oil crew to Southfork. Ray was damn near killed on account of it! And to make matters worse, you were trying to con your own mother and father. God, J.R., how low can you get? [Turns away from J.R.]

J.R.: [Rises from his seat] I was trying to make Ewing Oil into the most powerful independent in Texas! I needed the muscle!

BOBBY: [Faces J.R., looks stricken] Do you mean that somebody else in the cartel knew about this? J.R., you’re the one who knew that Julie was going to give these, these papers to Cliff Barnes!

J.R.: I didn’t know about that!

BOBBY: [Slams the attaché case shut] Don’t lie to me!

J.R.: Bobby, I never killed anybody in my life. I’m not a murderer. I didn’t kill anybody, not even during the war. Now, if you don’t believe me, you talk to Dan Marsh. He had a tap on Barnes’ phone. He brought me those tapes the next morning, after Julie was dead.

BOBBY: The next morning?

J.R.: That’s right.

BOBBY: Well, then I guess I’d better talk to Dan Marsh.

J.R.: You’re not gonna say anything to Daddy about this, are you?

Bobby walks to the door, pauses and then slams it behind him.


  1. […] but because he needs to find out for himself how far J.R. is willing to sink. In the scene where Bobby confronts J.R. with the phony codicil to Jock’s will, Duffy makes Bobby’s indignation palpable. The […]

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