Gabriel Shear
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Quotes for
Gabriel Shear (Character)
from Swordfish (2001)

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Swordfish (2001)
Stanley: It's not gonna end like this.
Gabriel: Oh, come on, Stan. Not everything ends the way you think it should. Besides, audiences love happy endings.

Gabriel: Have you ever heard of Harry Houdini? Well he wasn't like today's magicians who are only interested in television ratings. He was an artist. He could make an elephant disappear in the middle of a theater filled with people, and do you know how he did that? Misdirection.
Stanley: What the fuck are you talking about?
Gabriel: Misdirection. What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.

[first lines]
Gabriel: You know what the problem with Hollywood is? They make shit. Unbelievable, unremarkable shit. Now I'm not some grungy wannabe filmmaker that's searching for existentialism through a haze of bong smoke or something. No, it's easy to pick apart bad acting, short-sighted directing, and a purely moronic stringing together of words that many of the studios term as "prose". No, I'm talking about the lack of realism. Realism; not a pervasive element in today's modern American cinematic vision. Take Dog Day Afternoon, for example. Arguably Pacino's best work, short of Scarface and Godfather Part 1, of course. Masterpiece of directing, easily Lumet's best. The cinematography, the acting, the screenplay, all top-notch. But... they didn't push the envelope. Now what if in Dog Day, Sonny wanted to get away with it, REALLY wanted to get away with it? What if - now here's the tricky part - what if he started killing hostages right away? No mercy, no quarter. "Meet our demands or the pretty blonde in the bellbottoms gets it the back of the head." Bam, splat! What, still no bus? Come on! How many innocent victims splattered across a window would it take to have the city reverse its policy on hostage situations? And this is 1976; there's no CNN, there's no CNBC, there's no internet! Now fast forward to today, present time, same situation. How quickly would the modern media make a frenzy over this? In a matter of hours, it'd be biggest story from Boston to Budapest! Ten hostages die, twenty, thirty; bam bam, right after another, all caught in high-def, computer-enhanced, color corrected. You can practically taste the brain matter. All for what? A bus, a plane? A couple of million dollars that's federally insured? I don't think so. Just a thought. I mean, it's not within the realm of conventional cinema... but what if?

Gabriel: Well, this looks friendly.

Gabriel: Oh she's good isn't she!

Gabriel: What happened, Stan?

Gabriel: I have been told that the best crackers in the world can do this under 60 minutes but unfortunately I need someone who can do this under 60 seconds.

Stanley: War? Who are we at war with?
Gabriel: Anyone who impinges on America's freedom. Terrorist states, Stanley. Someone must bring their war to them. They bomb a church, we bomb ten. They hijack a plane, we take out an airport. They execute American tourists, we tactically nuke an entire city. Our job is to make terrorism so horrific that it becomes unthinkable to attack Americans.

Gabriel Shear: It's kinda like masturbation without the payoff.

Gabriel: Big Stan! Nice suit.
Stanley: Thanks.
Gabriel: They say it's the suit that makes the man.
Stanley: Buy it?
Gabriel: Hope not!

Gabriel: Twenty... She's dying Stanley.
Stanley: Shut the FUCK up!

Gabriel: [when Stan fails to hack the Dept. of Defense network in 60 seconds] Too Bad ! You are gonna die !

Stanley: [Stanley is going to drive Gabriel's car during a shoot-out with the police] I can't drive this thing!
Gabriel: Learn!

Stanley: How can you justify all this?
Gabriel: You're not looking at the big picture Stan. Here's a scenario. You have the power to cure all the world's diseases but the price for this is that you must kill a single innocent child, could you kill that child Stanley?
Stanley: No.
Gabriel: You disappoint me, it's the greatest good.
Stanley: Well how about 10 innocents?
Gabriel: Now you're gettin' it, how about a hundred - how about a THOUSAND? Not to save the world but to preserve our way of life.
Stanley: No man has the right to make that decision; you're no different from any other terrorist.
Gabriel: No, you're wrong Stanley. Thousands die every day for no reason at all, where's your bleeding heart for them? You give your twenty dollars to Greenpeace every year thinking you're changing the world? What countries will harbor terrorists when they realize the consequences of what I'll do? Did you know that I can buy nuclear warheads in Minsk for forty million each? Hell, I'd buy half a dozen and even get a discount!

Stanley: [Bus busts through set up barracades] Wait... where are we going?
Gabriel: Ever see the movie "Sugarland Express"?
[Stanley shakes his head]
Gabriel: Didn't like the way it ended.
[Bus is lifted into the air by a transport helicopter and becomes airborne]
Gabriel: Everybody hold on!

Gabriel: Don't confuse kindness with weakness.