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Web of Stories offers you the chance to listen to some of the greatest people of our time telling their life stories.

Becoming a White House advisor (Fall 1961)

James Watson


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'Keep going, because the horse may talk'

Walter Murch - Film-maker

And I remember telling Francis a story about the... I was simultaneously watching a BBC multipart series about King Henry, Henry the VIII, starring Keith Michell, where a story was told about a prisoner who got to the king and said, 'Sire, if you let me out of prison, I will teach your horse to talk.' And the king said on a whim, 'Okay, let him out.' And the other prisoners in the cell said, 'Are you crazy? You can't do this.' And the prisoner, gathering all of his possessions said, 'Well, one of three things will happen. I may die, the king may die, or the horse may talk.'

And so that was my story, retelling it to Francis about this film The Godfather. Well, yes, at the moment, it seems like things are not so good. But if we keep going, the horse may talk. And this became, between Francis and me over the years, this was a shorthand for, in a desperate situation, you know, keep going, because the horse may talk. And when the film did come out and it was a big success, Francis would… He came up to me a said, 'The horse talked.'

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