William 'Boss' Tweed
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Quotes for
William 'Boss' Tweed (Character)
from Gangs of New York (2002)

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Gangs of New York (2002)
Boss Tweed: The appearance of law must be upheld, especially while it's being broken.

Boss Tweed: You killed an elected official?
Bill: Who elected him?
Boss Tweed: You don't know what you've done to yourself.
Bill: [taps his glass eye with a knife] I know your works. You are neither cold nor hot. So because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth. You can build your filthy world without me. I took the father. Now I'll take the son. You tell young Vallon I'm gonna paint Paradise Square with his blood. Two coats. I'll festoon my bedchamber with his guts. As for you, Mr. Tammany-fucking-Hall, you come down to the Points again, and you'll be dispatched by my own hand. Get back to your celebration and let me eat in peace.

[after someone speaks to him in Irish Gaelic]
Boss Tweed: They don't speak English in New York any more?

Boss Tweed: We're burying a lot of votes tonight.

Boss Tweed: You know why he wears short sleeves? So they can see he's got nothing stashed. I hope that never becomes the fashion.

Boss Tweed: Remember the first rule of politics. The ballots don't make the results, the counters make the results. The counters. Keep counting.

Boss Tweed: You may or may not know, Bill, that everyday I go down to the waterfront with hot soup for the Irish as they come ashore. Its part of building a political base.
Bill: I've noticed you there, you may have noticed me.
Boss Tweed: Indeed I have. Throwing torrents of abuse to every single person who steps off those boats.
Bill: [gleefully] If only I had the guns, Mr. Tweed, I'd shoot each and every one of them before they set foot on American soil.

[as an anti-draft riot takes place]
Boss Tweed: Sweet Jesus, war does terrible things to people.

Amsterdam Vallon: Suppose you back an Irish candidate, of my choosin', and I'll deliver all the Irish vote?
Boss Tweed: That will only happen in the reign of Queen Dick.

[as Monk McGinn runs for Sheriff]
Boss Tweed: That man was right born for this.
Amsterdam Vallon: He's killed 44 men, and laid low a couple hundred more.
Boss Tweed: Is that right? We should have run him for mayor.

Killoran: Monk's already won by three thousand more votes than there are voters.
Boss Tweed: Only three? Make it twenty, thirty. We don't need a victory. We need a Roman triumph.

Boss Tweed: Bill, I can't get a days work done for all the good citizens coming in here to harass me about crime in the Points. Some even go so far as to accuse Tammany of connivance in this so-called rampant criminality. What am I to do? I can't have this. Something has to be done.
Bill: What do you have in mind?
Boss Tweed: I don't know. I think maybe we should hang someone.
Bill: Who?
Boss Tweed: No one important, necessarily. Average men will do. Back alley amusers with no affiliations.
Bill: How many?
Boss Tweed: Three or four.
Bill: Which?
Boss Tweed: Four.

Boss Tweed: That's the building of our country right there, Mr. Cutting. Americans aborning.
Bill: I don't see no Americans. I see trespassers, Irish harps. Do a job for a nickel what a nigger does for a dime and a white man used to get a quarter for. What have they done? Name one thing they've contributed.
Boss Tweed: Votes.
Bill: Votes, you say? They vote how the archbishop tells them, and who tells the archbishop? Their king in the pointy hat what sits on his throne in Rome.

Boss Tweed: You're a good one for the fighting, Bill. But you can't fight forever.
Bill: I can go down doing it.
Boss Tweed: And you will!
Bill: What did you say?
Boss Tweed: I said, you're turning your back on the future.
Bill: Not our future.