The Man Without a Face (1993)
[first line, voiceover]
Chuck Norstadt: It was a good dream, my best one. Everything was perfect. My mother was proud of her son's wings. My half-sister, Meg, lost her braces. My other half-sister, Gloria, had realized my intellectual superiority and was quietly respectful to me. My stepfathers were slaves, captured in battle. And there was a WAC by my side, not too bright, not too loud, hugely attractive. It's a good dream: a "John Wayne meets Hugh Hefner" philosophy of life... if you consider Hef a philosopher... or John Wayne. But whatever the dream, there's always a face that I can't see, that I keep missing, out there beyond the edge of the crowd.
Chuck Norstadt: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I betrayed you. I stabbed you in the back, and I don't even know why.
Justin McLeod: Oh, come on, we're not doing Julius Caesar now.
Chuck Norstadt: What?
Justin McLeod: "Et tu, Chuckus"? It's all right, I'll live with it.
Chuck Norstadt: You mean, you don't hate my guts?
Justin McLeod: No, I don't hate your guts.
Justin McLeod: Is it this? Is this what you see? I assure you it is human. But if that's all you see, then you don't see me. You can't see me.
Chuck Norstadt: Is it true that you write pornography?
[McLeod seems a little shocked, then embarassed, holding his head in both hands. Chuck feels bad, thinking he angered McLeod]
McLeod: [starts laughing hysterically] Is that the latest rumour?
Mr. William McDowell: Why didn't you just go to the mother and make sure that Charles had told her about the tutoring?
McLeod: If I... you've never taught, have you, Mr. McDowell?
Mr. William McDowell: Taught? No.
McLeod: You can't teach a thing without giving away your trust.
Mr. William McDowell: I don't think I follow.
McLeod: Let's say I was teaching you, as a lawyer, to be honest. I couldn't trust you to tell the truth and then run around to the courtroom to see whether or not you were lying, could I? Not unless I was absolutely sure that you were lying.
McLeod: You gave me what I never expected to find again. A gift of your trust and love. And nothing can take that grace away. The best is yet to be, Norstadt. So do it well...
Chuck at age 17: But there's always a face before me now, somewhere out beyond the edge of the crowd.
McLeod: Think Norstad, reason. Have I ever abused you? Did I ever lay a hand on you of anything but friendship on you? Could I? Could you imagine me ever doing so? And what about the past?
Chuck Norstadt: Just tell me you didn't do it, I'll believe you.
McLeod: No, no sir! I didn't spend all summer so you could cheat on this question.
Catherine: I want you to meet Professor Hartley, of Yale. This is my son, Charles.
Carl: Just call me Carl. I don't need any of that imperialistic, post-Hegelian, authoritarian crap for my ego. Hmm?
Justin McLeod: Now, I'd like you to write an essay. Any topic you'd like.
Chuck Norstadt: Why? It's not on the exam.
Justin McLeod: Why did you come here? Quickly, don't think, just answer. Why?
Chuck Norstadt: For s-some help, you know.
Justin McLeod: No, I don't know. Do you want help or not?
Chuck Norstadt: Yeah, I guess so, if you're really a teacher.
Justin McLeod: "Yeah, I guess so", SIR.
Chuck Norstadt: Yes, I guess so, sir.
Justin McLeod: Good. This is the way it works. Aut disce aut discede - learn or leave. Because it's of no consequence to me, one way or the other. Understood?
[Going over Chuck's essay]
Justin McLeod: What would you change about the government?
Chuck Norstadt: Me? Um, lots of things.
Justin McLeod: Such as?
Chuck Norstadt: Su-such as...
Justin McLeod: Such as how the word is spelled, for example.
Chuck Norstadt: What?
Justin McLeod: Judging by your essay, looks as if you hope to change the spelling of the word "government," "democracy," and, uh, "Richard Miltown Nixon."
Chuck Norstadt: So I'm not too good at spelling.
Justin McLeod: If you're going to plagiarize, you could at least show the courtesy of copying...
Chuck Norstadt: What are you talking about?
Justin McLeod: Don't! Who wrote this? Who?
Chuck Norstadt: Bill Garfield.
Justin McLeod: Never heard of him.
Chuck Norstadt: He's at Columbia.
Justin McLeod: Ah! I see you're a high-class cheat.
Chuck Norstadt: I'm not a cheat, listen...
Justin McLeod: Yes you are.
Chuck Norstadt: I hate writing.
Justin McLeod: Aut disce aut discede!
Justin McLeod: I like privacy.
Chuck Norstadt: Yeah, well, um, what about living alone? Do you like that?
Justin McLeod: It likes me.
Chuck Norstadt: What do you mean?
Justin McLeod: I've become a proper fairy-tale troll here, Norstadt. Tourist board ought to pay me.
Justin McLeod: People spend too much time thinking of the past. Whatever else it is, it's gone.
McLeod: "Why the System Should Be Changed" - exclamation point - "by Charles E. Norstadt" I had no idea you pondered such weighty matters, Charles E.
McLeod: The problem is one of water.
Chuck Norstadt: Water?
McLeod: Water. Women have, on average, about 5% more of it than do men, making them subject to different forces of gravity. Oh don't take my word for it, you can look it up in Newton. It's there.
Chuck Norstadt: Couldn't they be drained?
Chuck Norstadt: I'm serious!
McLeod: Well, I believe they're waiting for us to drink more fluids.
Meg: The freak's a teacher? Come on!
Chuck Norstadt: I think he is actually.
Meg: Well what does he teach?
Chuck Norstadt: He makes me dig holes.
Chuck Norstadt: Hey Mickey, you crazy son of a bitch, if I had a dog like you I'd put a bag over it's head, yes I would, yes I would.
Chuck Norstadt: Actually, I can't think of anything I'd like to do more, than drop napalm for a living.