"I Always Knew You Had to be Willin' to Die to Even Do This Job"
Play clip (excerpt):
Old-time Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) gave his weary observation (in voice-over) about the lack of value of human life during the opening images of the film:
I was Sheriff of this county when I was 25 years old. Hard to believe. My grandfather was a lawman, father too. Me and him was sheriffs at the same time, him up in Plano and me out here. I think he's pretty proud of that. I know I was. Some of the old time Sheriffs never even wore a gun. A lotta folks find that hard to believe. Jim Scarborough'd never carry one - that's the younger Jim. Gaston Borkins wouldn't wear one up in Comanche County.
I always liked to hear about the old-timers. Never missed a chance to do so. You can't help but compare yourself against the old-timers. Can't help but wonder how they'd have operated these times.
There was this boy I sent to the 'lectric chair at Huntsville here awhile back. My arrest and my testimony. He killt a 14 year-old girl. Papers said it was a crime of passion but he told me there wasn't any passion to it. Told me that he'd been plannin' to kill somebody for about as long as he could remember. Said that if they turned him out, he'd do it again. Said he knew he was going to hell: 'Be there in about fifteen minutes.' I don't know what to make of that. I surely don't.
The crime you see now, it's hard to even take its measure. It's not that I'm afraid of it. I always knew you had to be willin' to die to even do this job. But, I don't want to push my chips forward and go out and meet somethin' I don't understand. A man would have to put his soul at hazard. He'd have to say: 'O.K., I'll be part of this world.'
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Screenwriter(s): Steve Kloves
Challenging The Boy-Who-Lived
The resurrected Dark Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) confronted his long-time famous nemesis Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), "the boy who lived." He spoke of the legend of Harry's parents' death that occurred thirteen years earlier, when he truly lost his powers, due to the protective sacrifice of Harry's "dear sweet" mother Lily:
Harry. I'd almost forgotten you were here. Standing on the bones of my father. Yeah. I'd introduce you, but word has it you're almost as famous as me these days. The Boy-Who-Lived. How lies have fed your legend, Harry! Shall I reveal what really happened that night 13 years ago? Shall I divulge how I truly lost my powers? Yes, shall I. It was love. You see, when dear, sweet Lily Potter gave her life for her only son, she provided the ultimate protection. I could not touch him. It was old magic. Something I should have foreseen. But no matter, no matter. Things have changed. I CAN TOUCH YOU NOW!
(He placed the pad of his finger on Harry's forehead lightning bolt scar, and Harry immediately screamed out in agony)
Yeah! Astonishing what a few drops of your blood will do, eh, Harry?
Voldemort challenged Harry to a duel of wills and wands and threatened death:
Pick up your wand, Potter! I said, pick it up. Get up! Get up! You've been taught how to duel, I presume, yes? First, we bow to each other. Come on now, Harry. The niceties must be observed. Dumbledore wouldn't want you to forget your manners, would he? I said, BOW! That's better, and now: Crucio! Crucio! Attaboy, Harry! Your parents would be proud. Especially your filthy Muggle mother...I'm going to kill you, Harry Potter. I'm going to destroy you. After tonight, no one will ever again question my powers. After tonight, if they speak of you, they'll speak only of how you begged for death. And I, being a merciful Lord, obliged. Get up ! Don't you turn your back on me, Harry Potter! I want you to look at me when I kill you. I want to see the light leave your eyes.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Screenwriter(s): Douglas Adams, Karey Kirkpatrick
Sperm Whale and Bowl of Petunias Ruminations
The humorous speech by The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - known as the Book, the Narrator or The Guide (voice of Stephen Fry) regarding how the orbiting spaceshipHeart of Gold, powered by the Infinite Probability Drive, suddenly transformed two nuclear missiles into a giant sperm whale and a bowl of petunias.
As the sperm whale fell out of orbit through the Magrathean atmosphere toward the alien planet, its thought processes were described:
It is important to note that suddenly, and against all probability, a sperm whale had been called into existence, several miles above the surface of an alien planet. But since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity. This is what it thought as it fell: 'Ahhh! Whoa! What's happening? Who am I? Why am I here? What's my purpose in life? What do I mean by 'who am I'? Okay, okay, calm down, calm down, get a grip now. Ooh, this is an interesting sensation. What is it? It's a sort of a tingling in my... well, I suppose I better start finding names for things. Let's call it a... tail! Yeah! Tail! And hey, what's this roaring sound, whooshing past what I'm suddenly gonna call my head? Wind! Is that a good name? It'll do. Yeah, this is really exciting! I'm dizzy with anticipation! Or is it the wind? There's an awful lot of that now, isn't it? And what's this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like 'Ow', 'Ownge', 'Round', 'Ground'! That's it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it'll be friends with me? Hello Ground!'
The sperm whale crashed into the ground, viewed from a distance with a rising plume of ice/snow.
Curiously, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell, was: 'Oh no, not again.' Many have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that, we should know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
Love Actually (2003, UK)
"Love Actually is All Around"
Play clip (excerpt):
The British Prime Minister (Hugh Grant), in a voice-over credits prologue, spoke about how "love is everywhere," with views of the arrivals terminal at London's Heathrow Airport where people were greeting each other, hugging and kissing:
Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.
Quiz Show (1994)
Screenwriter(s): Paul Attanasio
"I Was Involved, Deeply Involved, in a Deception"
Play clip (excerpt):
Patrician TV quiz show ("Twenty-One") contestant Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes), a Columbia University instructor, as he testified on the scandal before a House committee, and finally told the truth about his role in the conspiracy:
I would give almost anything I have to reverse the course of my life in the last year. The past doesn't change for anyone. But at least I can learn from the past. I've learned a lot about life. I've learned a lot about myself and about the responsibilities any man has to his fellow man. I've learned a lot about good and evil - they're not always what they appear to be. I was involved, deeply involved, in a deception. I have deceived my friends, and I have millions of them. I lied to the American people. I lied about what I knew and then I lied about what I did not know. In a sense, I was like a child who refuses to admit a fact in the hope that it will go away. Of course, it did not go away. I was scared, scared to death. I had no solid position, no basis to stand on for my self. There was one way out and that was simply to tell the truth. It may sound trite to you, but I've found myself again after a number of years. I've been acting a role, maybe all my life, of thinking that I've done more, accomplished more, produced more than I have. I have had all the breaks. I have stood on the shoulders of life, and I've never gotten down into the dirt to build, to erect a foundation of my own. I have flown too high on borrowed wings. Everything came too easy. That is why I am here today.
Schindler's List (1993)
Screenwriter(s): Steven Zaillian
Schindler's Farewell to His Factory Workers and Nazi Guards
Play clip (excerpt):
Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) said farewell to his factory workers, announcing the unconditional surrender of Germany:
The unconditional surrender of Germany has just been announced. At midnight tonight, the war is over. Tomorrow, you'll begin the process of looking for survivors of your families. In most cases, you won't find them. After six long years of murder, victims are being mourned throughout the world. We've survived. Many of you have come up to me and thankedme. Thank yourselves. Thank your fearless Stern, and others among you who worried about you and faced death at every moment. (sighing) I'm a member of the Nazi party. I'm a munitions manufacturer. I'm a profiteer of slave labor. I am a criminal. At midnight, you'll be free and I'll be hunted. I shall remain with you until five minutes after midnight. After which time, and I hope you'll forgive me, I have to flee.
(To the Nazi guards) I know you have received orders from our Commandant, which he has received from his superiors, to dispose of the population of this camp. Now would be the time to do it. Here they are, they're all here. This is your opportunity. (murmuring) Or, you could leave, and return to your families as men instead of murderers. (The guards left) In memory of the countless victims among your people, I ask us to observe three minutes of silence.
A Few Good Men (1992)
Screenwriter(s): Aaron Sorkin
Courtroom Defense about 'Code Red'
Play clips (excerpt): (short) (long)
Col. Nathan R. Jessup's (Jack Nicholson) courtroom tirade when asked by Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) if he gave the order for 'code red':
(Kaffee: "Colonel Jessup, did you order the code red?")
(Judge Randolph: "You don't have to answer the question")
I'll answer the question. You want answers?
(Kaffee: "I think I'm entitled")
You want answers?
(Kaffee: "I want the truth!")
You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you canpossibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like 'honor,' 'code,' 'loyalty.' We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said 'thank you' and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!
(Kaffee: "Did you order the 'code red'?")
I did the job I was...
(Kaffee: "Did you order the 'code red'?")
You're god-damn right I did!
Wall Street (1987)
Screenwriter(s): Stanley Weiser, Oliver Stone
America Has Become a Second Rate Power: "Greed... is Good"
Play clips (excerpt): (short) (long)
Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) offered financial advice to the annual stockholder's meeting of Teldar Paper:
Well, I, uh, I appreciate the opportunity you're giving me, Mr. Cromwell, as the single largest shareholder in Teldar Paper, to speak. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we're not here to indulge in fantasy, but in political and economic reality.
America, America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at nightmare proportions. Now, in the days of the free market, when our country was a top industrial power, there was accountability to the stockholder. The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company! All together, these men sitting up here own less than three percent of the company. And where does Mr. Cromwell put his million-dollar salary? Not in Teldar stock. He owns less than one percent. You own the company. That's right - you, the stockholder. And you are all being royally screwed over by these, these bureaucrats, with their, their steak lunches, their hunting and fishing trips, their, their corporate jets and golden parachutes...
Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has thirty-three different Vice Presidents, each earning over two hundred thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost a hundred and ten million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these Vice Presidents.
The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book, you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pre-tax profit of 12 billion dollars. (applause) Thank you. I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them!
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed - for lack of a better word - is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms - greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind. And Greed - you mark my words - will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.