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The Shipping News (2001) Poster

Quotes

Billy: It's finding the center of your story, the beating heart of it, that's what makes a reporter. You have to start by making up some headlines. You know: short, punchy, dramatic headlines. Now, have a look, what do you see?

[Points at dark clouds at the horizon]

Billy: Tell me the headline.

Quoyle: Horizon Fills With Dark Clouds?

Billy: Imminent Storm Threatens Village.

Quoyle: But what if no storm comes?

Billy: Village Spared From Deadly Storm.

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[last lines]

Quoyle: [voice-over] There's still so many things I don't know. If a piece of knotted string can unleash the wind, and if a drowned man can awaken, then I believe a broken man can heal. Headline: Deadly storm takes house, leaves excellent view.

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Quoyle: What are we doing here?

Agnis: Makin' a future!

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Billy: It's women that's shaped like leaves, and men fall.

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[Tert is ordered to buy Quoyle a new computer]

Quoyle: IBM please.

Tert Card: Go back to your work Quoyle!

Quoyle: I!... B!... M!

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Petal Bear: It's 8:05. I think I'm gonna fuck you by 10:00.

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Quoyle: [reading the newspaper] This is from the "News of you Neighbors" column. "The pole on the corner of Main and West Streets has a sign on it that says it's illegal to place anything on that pole. We see the postman has landed in the clink for throwing the mail in Killick-Claw Harbor. He said he had too much to deliver and the folks could just take a dip and help themselves. Guess it helps if you can swim." This is professional stuff. How am I supposed to write this?

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Jack Buggit: I need a reporter. And you'll do local car wrecks. Take the picture, write the story. We run a front-page photo of a car wreck every week whether or not we actually have a car wreck. Now, there's a knack for taking photos that make you feel something. If there's a dark patch on the ground it reads blood whether it's motor oil or Diet Coke.

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Billy: [delivering a eulogy at Jack's wake] Jack is... Jack is all right now. You all know... we are only passing by. We walk over these stones a few times. Our boats... sail for a little while on the waves and then they have to sink. Jack knew that, better than anyone. Right, Jack?

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Jack Buggit: You don't have the sense God gave a doughnut, do you?

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[first lines]

Quoyle: [father teaching him literally to sink or swim]

[voice-over]

Quoyle: I used to imagine that I'd been given to the wrong family at birth, and that somewhere in the world my real people longed for me. From where my father stood, my failure to dog-paddle was only the first of many failures. Failure to speak clearly, failure to sit up straight, failure to make friends every time we moved to another dreary upstate town. In me, my father recognized a failed life. His own.

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Petal Bear: Look, it's no good. Find yourself a girlfriend.

Quoyle: I don't want a girlfriend, I want you.

Petal Bear: [shrugs] Your funeral.

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Agnis: We face up to things we're afraid of because we can't go 'round 'em.

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Silver Melville: Tell him who let our insurance lapse. Wham! Oh, it took six very expensive lawyers to weasel us out of it. An inch from bankruptcy. The moral of the story: when you marry a tour guide, confine his authority to mixing the drinks.

[stumbles away]

Quoyle: Did I come at a bad time?

Bayonet Melville: Yeah, ten years ago would have been better.

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Agnis: [looking out at the North Sea] Maybe one day we'll build a summerhouse out here.

Quoyle: Summer...

Bunny Quoyle: Do they have summer here?

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Agnis: Takes a year, nephew - full turn of the calendar to get over losin' someone. That's a true saying. The move will help, you'll see. No place on earth could be better than the place your people came from. Smell that clean northern sea?

Quoyle: I'm not a water person.

Agnis: At least the girl is.

Quoyle: I hope we're doing the right thing, Agnis.

Agnis: Thought I'd never come back here. But the older you get - there's an ache, a pull. Something you gotta figure out. Like you're piece in a puzzle.

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Agnis: I always thought if anyone knew, I'd be turned to stone. Shit!

Quoyle: [hands her a cup] Here. Tea's a good drink. It'll keep you going.

[pause]

Quoyle: When someone hurts you that much... how do you...? Is it possible? Does it ever go away?

Agnis: [hesitates, then takes out an old photo] Her name was Irene. The love of my life.

Quoyle: You look happy.

Agnis: So, yeah. It is possible.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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