Henry Drummond
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Quotes for
Henry Drummond (Character)
from Inherit the Wind (1960)

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Inherit the Wind (1960)
[challenged to say if he considers anything holy]
Henry Drummond: Yes. The individual human mind. In a child's power to master the multiplication table, there is more sanctity than in all your shouted "amens" and "holy holies" and "hosannas." An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man's knowledge is a greater miracle than all the sticks turned to snakes or the parting of the waters.

Henry Drummond: Suppose God whispered into a Bertram Cates' ear that an un-Brady thought could still be holy? Must men go to jail because they find themselves at odds with a self-appointed prophet?

Matthew Harrison Brady: We must not abandon faith! Faith is the most important thing!
Henry Drummond: Then why did God plague us with the capacity to think? Mr. Brady, why do you deny the one faculty of man that raises him above the other creatures of the earth? The power of his brain to reason. What other merit have we? The elephant is larger; the horse is swifter and stronger; the butterfly is far more beautiful; the mosquito is more prolific. Even the simple sponge is more durable. But does a sponge think?
Matthew Harrison Brady: I don't know. I'm a man, not a sponge!
Henry Drummond: But do you think a sponge thinks?
Matthew Harrison Brady: If the Lord wishes a sponge to think, it thinks!
Henry Drummond: Do you think a man should have the same privilege as a sponge?
Matthew Harrison Brady: Of course!
Henry Drummond: [Gesturing towards the defendant, Bertram Cates] Then this man wishes to have the same privilege of a sponge, he wishes to think!

Henry Drummond: Hornbeck, I'm getting tired of you. You never push a noun against a verb without trying to blow up something.

Henry Drummond: I don't swear just for the hell of it. Language is a poor enough means of communication. I think we should all the words we've got. Besides, there are damn few words that anybody understands.

Matthew Harrison Brady: But your client is wrong. He is deluded. He has lost his way.
Henry Drummond: It's a shame we don't all possess your positive knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, Mr. Brady.

Matthew Harrison Brady: I do not think about things I do not think about.
Henry Drummond: Do you ever think about things that you do think about?

Judge: [after Drummond asks the judge for permission to withdraw form the case] Colonel Drummond, what reasons can you possibly have?
Henry Drummond: [Indicates the crowd] Well, there are two hundred of them.
[Crowd reacts angrily]
Henry Drummond: And if that's not enough there's one more. I think my client has already been found guilty.
Matthew Harrison Brady: [Rises] Is Mr. Drummond saying that this expression of an honest emotion will in any way influence the court's impartial administration of the law?
Henry Drummond: I say that you cannot administer a wicked law impartially. You can only destroy, you can only punish. And I warn you, that a wicked law, like cholera, destroys every one it touches. Its upholders as well as its defiers.
Judge: Colonel Drummond...
Henry Drummond: Can't you understand? That if you take a law like evolution and you make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools? And tomorrow you may make it a crime to read about it. And soon you may ban books and newspapers. And then you may turn Catholic against Protestant, and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the mind of man. If you can do one, you can do the other. Because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we'll be marching backward, BACKWARD, through the glorious ages of that Sixteenth Century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind!
Judge: I hope counsel does not mean to imply that this court is bigoted.
Henry Drummond: Well, your honor has the right to hope.
Judge: I have the right to do more than that.
Henry Drummond: You have the power to do more than that.
[the Judge holds Drummond in contempt of court]

Henry Drummond: For I intend to show this court that what Bertram Cates spoke quietly one spring morning in the Hillsboro High School is not crime. It is incontrovertible as geometry to any enlightened community of minds.
Prosecutor Tom Davenport: In this community, Colonel Drummond, and in this sovereign state, exactly the opposite is the case. The language of the law is clear, your Honor. We do not need experts to question the validity of a law that is already on the books.
Henry Drummond: Well, what do you need? A gallows to hang him from?
Prosecutor Tom Davenport: That remark is an insult to this entire community.
Henry Drummond: And this community is an insult to the world.

Henry Drummond: The Bible is a book. It's a good book, but it is not the only book.

Henry Drummond: But all you have to do is knock on any door and say, "If you let me in, I'll live the way you want me to live, and I'll think the way you want me to think," and all the blinds'll go up and all the windows will open, and you'll never be lonely, ever again. If that's the case, I'll change the plea - that is, if you know the law's right and you're wrong.

Henry Drummond: Ever been in love Hornbeck?
E. K. Hornbeck: Only with the sound of my own words, thank God.

E. K. Hornbeck: Aw, Henry! Why don't you wake up? Darwin was wrong. Man's still an ape. His creed's still a totem pole. When he first achieved the upright position, he took a look at the stars - thought they were something to eat. When he couldn't reach them, he decided they were groceries belonging to a bigger creature; that's how Jehovah was born.
Henry Drummond: I wish I had your worm's-eye view of history. It would certainly make things a lot easier.
E. K. Hornbeck: Oh ho, no! Not for you. No, you'd still be spending your time trying to make sense out of what is laughingly referred to as the "human race." Why don't you take your blinders off? Don't you know the future's already obsolete? You think man still has a noble destiny. Well I tell you he's already started on his backward march to the salt and stupecy from which he came.
Henry Drummond: What about men like Bert Cates?
E. K. Hornbeck: Cates? A monkey who tried to fly. Cates climbed to the top of the totem pole, but then he jumped. And there was nobody there to catch him. Not even you.

[last lines]
Henry Drummond: You poor slob! You're all alone. When you go to your grave, there won't be anybody to pull the grass up over your head. Nobody to mourn you. Nobody to give a damn. You're all alone.
E. K. Hornbeck: You're wrong, Henry. You'll be there. You're the type. Who else would defend my right to be lonely?

Henry Drummond: Is that the way of things? God tells Brady what is good; to be against Brady is to be against God!
Matthew Harrison Brady: No! Every man is a free agent!
Henry Drummond: Then what is Bertram Cates doing in the Hillsboro jail?

[Drummond contemplates a radio microphone in the courtroom]
Henry Drummond: Radio! God, this is going to break down a lot of walls.
Radio Announcer: You're not supposed to say "God" on the radio!
Henry Drummond: Why the hell not?
Radio Announcer: You're not supposed to say "Hell", either.
Henry Drummond: This is going to be a barren source of amusement!

Henry Drummond: As long as the prerequisite for that shining paradise is ignorance, bigotry and hate, I say the hell with it.

E. K. Hornbeck: Evolution is a tricky question, which is hungrier, my stomach or my soul? Hot dog.
Bible salesman: Are you an evolutionist? An infidel? A sinner?
E. K. Hornbeck: The worst kind, I write for a newspaper.
[to Henry]
E. K. Hornbeck: Want a hot dog?
Henry Drummond: No.
Bible salesman: Oh then you sir, you must be a man of God.
Henry Drummond: No no no, ulcers.

E. K. Hornbeck: You look like you need a drink.
Henry Drummond: What I need is a miracle.
E. K. Hornbeck: Miracle, eh? Here's a whole bag of them,
[tosses a Bible at Henry Drummond]
E. K. Hornbeck: Courtesy of Matthew Harrison Brady.

E. K. Hornbeck: There's only one man in the whole town who thinks, and he's in jail.
Henry Drummond: That's why I'm here

Henry Drummond: Do you know that at the top of the world, the twilight lasts for six months?
Rachel Brown: Bert and I don't live on the top of the world, we live in Hillsboro.

Henry Drummond: Progress has never been a bargain. You have to pay for it.
Henry Drummond: Sometimes I think there's a man who sits behind a counter and says, "All right, you can have a telephone but you lose privacy and the charm of distance.
Henry Drummond: Madam, you may vote but at a price. You lose the right to retreat behind the powder puff or your petticoat.
Henry Drummond: Mister, you may conquer the air but the birds will lose their wonder and the clouds will smell of gasoline."

Matthew Harrison Brady: Why is it, my old friend, that you've moved so far away from me?
Henry Drummond: All motion is relative, Matt. Maybe it's you who've moved away by standing still.

Bertram T. Cates: Where do I finish? Dead with a paper medal on my chest? 'Bert Cates, World's Chump, he Died Fighting.' Well, let's face it - to him I'm a headline, to you I'm a cause?
Henry Drummond: And to yourself? All right, let's face it. Now you chose to get into this by yourself. You didn't get into it because of his headline or because of my cause or maybe even because of their kids! You got into it because of yourself, because of something you believed in, for yourself.
Bertram T. Cates: I didn't believe it would happen this way.
E. K. Hornbeck: It can get worse, those people are in a lean and hungry mood.
E. K. Hornbeck: They look at me as if I was a murderer.
Henry Drummond: In a way you are. You killed one of their fairy tale notions.

Henry Drummond: You know, Hornbeck, I'm getting damn sick of you.
E. K. Hornbeck: Why?
Henry Drummond: You never pushed a noun against a verb except to blow up something.
E. K. Hornbeck: You know, that's a typical lawyer's trick - accusing the accuser.
Henry Drummond: What am I accused of?
E. K. Hornbeck: Contempt of conscience, sentimentality in the first degree.

Henry Drummond: The Gospel according to Brady! God speaks to Brady, and Brady tells the world! Brady, Brady, Brady, Almighty!
Matthew Harrison Brady: All of you know what I stand for - what I believe! I believe in the truth of the Book of Genesis! Exodus! Leviticus! Numbers! Deuteronomy! Joshua! Judges! Ruth! First Samuel! Second Samuel! First Kings! Second Kings! Isaiah! Jeremiah! Lamentations! Ezekiel!...

Rachel Brown: Don't you see what's happening, Bert? They're using you as a weapon against your own people. What you think or believe isn't the point any more. You're helping something bad.
Henry Drummond: Go on now, young lady, it's not as simple as all that, good or bad, black or white, day or night. Do you know that at the top of the world, the twilight is six months long?
Rachel Brown: Bert and I don't live on the top of the world, we live in Hillsboro. And when the sun goes down, it's dark. And why do you have to come here to make it different?
Henry Drummond: I didn't come here to make Hillsboro different. I came here to defend his right to be different. And that's the point. How 'bout it boy?

Matthew Harrison Brady: Is the counsel for the defense showing us the latest fashion in the great metropolitan city of Chicago?
Henry Drummond: Glad you asked me that. I brought these along special. Just so happens I bought these suspenders at Peabody's General Store in your home town Mr. Brady. Weeping Water, Nebraska.

Matthew Harrison Brady: Drummond and I have worked side by side in many battles for the common folk. Twice he campaigned for me when I ran for president.
Henry Drummond: That's right.
Matthew Harrison Brady: After all these years we find ourselves on the opposite side of an issue.
Henry Drummond: Well, that's evolution for you.


Inherit the Wind (1988) (TV)
Matthew Harrison Brady: Objection! This court can surely see through this subterfuge. Mr. Drummond, by his action, hopes to eliminate BOTH closing arguments. Surely this court will not even consider such a deception.
Judge: Mr. Drummond?
Henry Drummond: We claim the defendant not guilty. But since the court has excluded all testimony of scientific experts, we wish for a verdict from this jury now so that we can carry the matter to a higher court.
Matthew Harrison Brady: I thought I knew every scheming lawyer's trick in the book. But this. From you.
[Brady stops Drummond from filing papers into his briefcase]
Matthew Harrison Brady: Look at me! Henry, the magnitude of this offense demands that we move and muster every ounce of eloquence and conviction in our closing and then let the jury decide.
Henry Drummond: [quietly] The jury's already decided everything, Matt.

Henry Drummond: You smart alleck! You have no *right* to spit on another man's religion any more than you have a *right* to spit on my religion, or my lack of it!

E.K. Hornbeck: Oh, come on, Henry! I know I'm rancid butter to you, but I'm on your side of the bread.
[He winks knowingly]
Henry Drummond: I doubt very much if you're on anybody's side.
E.K. Hornbeck: [Smiles] You may have something there, Henry. I'm admired for my detestability.
[Flipping an apple in the air and catching it]
E.K. Hornbeck: would you, uh, like a bite from the tree of knowledge?
[Taking a bite]
E.K. Hornbeck: Awful good! Well, devil, welcome to Hell!
[He leaves]

Henry Drummond: I'm here to defend a young man holding a candle. I don't want him to get burned.