My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighborhood; this is my street; this is my life. I am 42 years old; in less than a year I will be dead. Of course I don’t know that yet, and in a way, I am dead already. –Lester Burnham in the opening scene of the movie in short explaining that the movie will show his life in his perspective.
Both my wife and daughter think I’m this gigantic loser and they’re right, I have lost something. I’m not exactly sure what it is but I know I didn’t always feel this… sedated. But you know what? It’s never too late to get it back. – –Lester Burnham expressing his opinion about what his family thinks of him.
I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn’t a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time. For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout Camp, watching falling stars. And yellow leaves, from the maple trees that lined our street. Or my grandmother’s hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper. And the first time I saw my cousin Tony’s brand new Firebird. And Janie… and Janie. And… Carolyn. I guess I could be really pissed off about what happened to me, but it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain. And I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday. — Lester Burnham when he is dead…
“Look around you, there’s two councilmen, a union official, a couple of off-duty cops and a DA. I wouldn’t have a second’s hesitation blowing your head off right now in front of them. Now that’s power you can’t buy. That’s the power of fear.” – the villain scaring helpless Bruce (Batman later)
Bridge on the River Kwai
I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands. Thanks to the Japanese, we now command a rabble. There’s no order, no discipline. Our task is to rebuild the battalion. It isn’t going to be easy, but fortunately, we have the means at hand, the bridge…We can teach these barbarians a lesson in Western methods and efficiency that will put them to shame. We’ll show them what the British soldier is capable of doing…It’s going to be a proper bridge. Now here again, I know the men. It’s essential that they should take a pride in their job. -Col . Nicholson (A war prisoner of Japanese, Japanese wanted Col. and his soldiers to build a bridge across the river)
Here lies Corporal Herbert Thompson, serial number 01234567, valiant member of the King’s own, and Queen’s own, or something, who died of beriberi in the year of our Lord 1943. For the greater glory of…[pause] what did he die for?…I don’t mock the grave or the man. May he rest in peace. He found little enough of it while he was alive.- Capt. Sheers while burying a british soldier in Japanese War prisonor’s camp
- Shears: Oh, I’d say the odds against a successful escape are about 100 to 1…But may I add another word, Colonel…The odds against survival in this camp are even worse. You’ve seen the graveyard. There you realize. You give up hope of escape. To even stop thinking about it is like accepting a death sentence.
- Nicholson: Why haven’t you tried to escape, Commander?
- Shears: Oh, I’ve been biding my time, waiting for the right moment, the right company.
- Nicholson: I understand how you feel. Of course, it’s normally the duty of a captured soldier to attempt escape. But my men and I are involved in a curious legal point of which you are unaware. In Singapore, we were ordered to surrender by Command Headquarters, ordered, mind you. Therefore, in our case, escape might well be an infraction of military law. Interesting?
- Dr. Clipton: Yes, interesting point.
- Shears: I’m sorry sir. I didn’t quite follow you. You mean you intend to uphold the letter of the law, no matter what it costs.
- Nicholson: Without law, Commander, there is no civilization.
- Shears: Well see, that’s my point. Here, there is no civilization.
- Nicholson: Then, we have the opportunity to introduce it. I suggest that we drop the subject of escape.
Good, the Bad and the Ugly
[To his brother Pablo] You think you’re better than I am? Where we came from, if one did not want to die of poverty, one became a priest or a bandit! You chose your way, I chose mine. Mine was harder. You talk of our mother and father. You remember when you left to become a priest? I stayed behind! I must have been ten, twelve. I don’t remember which, but I stayed. I tried, but it was no good. Now I am going to tell you something. You became a priest because you were… too much of a coward to do what I do! – Tuco (the ugly bandit 🙂 )
A Few Good Man
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Santiago, I was William’s company commander. I knew your son vaguely, which is to say I knew his name. In a matter of time, the trial of the two men charged with your son’s death will be concluded, and seven men and two women whom you’ve never met will try to offer you an explanation as to why William is dead. For my part, I’ve done as much as I can to bring the truth to light. And the truth is this: Your son is dead for only one reason. I wasn’t strong enough to stop it. Always, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Andrew Markinson, United States Marine Corps. (After writing letter, Markinson pulls a pistol from his uniform, places the barrel into his mouth and fires)
There is nothing on this earth sexier, believe me, gentlemen, than a woman you have to salute in the morning. Promote ’em all, I say, because this is true – if you haven’t gotten a blow-job from a superior officer, well, you’re just letting the best in life pass you by. ‘Course, my problem is, I’m a colonel, so I guess I’ll just have to keep taking cold showers until one of you gals is elected president. – Col. Jessop (the bad man in the movie, responsible for the death of william)
And how can I forget this movie …
Bonasera: I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom, but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a boyfriend; not an Italian. She went to the movies with him; she stayed out late. I didn’t protest. Two months ago, he took her for a drive, with another boyfriend. They made her drink whiskey. And then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her, like an animal. When I went to the hospital, her nose was a’broken. Her jaw was a’shattered, held together by wire. She couldn’t even weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life, a beautiful girl. Now she will never be beautiful again. I went to the police, like a good American. These two boys were brought to trial. The judge sentenced them to three years in prison – suspended sentence. Suspended sentence! They went free that very day! I stood in the courtroom like a fool. And those two bastards, they smiled at me. Then I said to my wife, for justice, we must go to Don Corleone.
- Don Corleone: Why did you go to the police? Why didn’t you come to me first?
- Bonasera: What do you want of me? Tell me anything, but do what I beg you to do.
- Don Corleone: What is that? [Bonasera whispers his request in the Don’s ear] That I cannot do.
- Bonasera: I will give you anything you ask.
- Don Corleone: We’ve known each other many years, but this is the first time you ever came to me for counsel or for help. I can’t remember the last time that you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let’s be frank here. You never wanted my friendship. And uh, you were afraid to be in my debt.
- Bonasera: I didn’t want to get into trouble.
- Don Corleone: I understand. You found paradise in America, you had a good trade, you made a good living. The police protected you and there were courts of law. And you didn’t need a friend like me. But uh, now you come to me and you say – ‘Don Corleone, give me justice.’ But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me Godfather. Instead, you come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married, and you ask me to do murder for money.
- Bonasera: I ask for justice.
- Don Corleone: That is not justice. Your daughter is still alive.
- Bonasera: Let them suffer then, as she suffers. How much shall I pay you?
- Don Corleone: Bonasera, Bonasera. What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you’d come to me in friendship, then this scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.
- Bonasera: Be my friend – – Godfather. [The Don shrugs. Bonasera bows toward the Don and kisses the Don’s hand]
- Don Corleone: Good. Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day – accept this justice as a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.
- Bonasera: Grazie, Godfather.
- Don Corleone: Prego.