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The Thin Red Line (1998) Poster

Quotes

Pfc. Doll: [narration] This great evil, where's it come from? How'd it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from? Who's doing this? Who's killing us, robbing us of life and light, mocking us with the sight of what we might've known? Does our ruin benefit the earth, does it help the grass to grow, the sun to shine? Is this darkness in you, too? Have you passed through this night?

Japanese Soldier: Are you righteous? Kind? Does your confidence lie in this? Are you loved by all? Know that I was, too. Do you imagine your suffering will be any less because you loved goodness and truth?

Private Witt: Do you ever feel lonely?

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Only around people.

[last lines]

Private Edward P. Train: [voice over] Where is it that we were together? Who were you that I lived with? The brother. The friend. Darkness, light. Strife and love. Are they the workings of one mind? The features of the same face? Oh, my soul. Let me be in you now. Look out through my eyes. Look out at the things you made. All things shining.

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Everything a lie. Everything you hear, everything you see. So much to spew out. They just keep coming, one after another. You're in a box. A moving box. They want you dead, or in their lie... There's only one thing a man can do - find something that's his, and make an island for himself. If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack; a glance from your eyes, and my life will be yours.

Pvt. Jack Bell: Love. Where does it come from? Who lit this flame in us? No war can put it out, conquer it. I was a prisoner. You set me free.

Private Witt: I remember my mother when she was dyin', looked all shrunk up and gray. I asked her if she was afraid. She just shook her head. I was afraid to touch the death I seen in her. I couldn't find nothin' beautiful or uplifting about her goin' back to God. I heard of people talk about immortality, but I ain't seen it.

Private Witt: I wondered how it'd be like when I died, what it'd be like to know this breath now was the last one you was ever gonna draw. I just hope I can meet it the same way she did, with the same... calm. 'Cause that's where it's hidden - the immortality I hadn't seen.

Private Witt: [narrating] War don't ennoble men. It turns them into dogs... poisons the soul.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: It's never necessary to tell me that you think I'm right. We'll just... assume it.

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: In this world, a man, himself, is nothing. And there ain't no world but this one.

Private Witt: [voice over] Everyone lookin' for salvation by himself. Each like a coal thrown from the fire.

Private Witt: I seen another world. Sometimes I think it was just my imagination.

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Property. The whole fucking thing's about property.

Brigadier General Quintard: [pre-landing pep talk] You have a son Colonel?

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: Yes sir, I do.

Brigadier General Quintard: Good. 'Cause we don't want our sons or our grandsons fight this war 30 years from now, do we?

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: No sir, we sure don't.

Brigadier General Quintard: You crush 'em without mercy. You dig them out of the hills and protect that airfield.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: Yes sir.

Brigadier General Quintard: You wonder why. Why do the Japs want an airfield there of all places? I guess we don't know the bigger picture, do we? If there is such a thing, what do you think?

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: Well sir, I never asked myself that question.

Brigadier General Quintard: You're a humble man. Nobody wants that either. But you, how much do you want it?

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: As much as I have to, sir.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: [narration] All they sacrificed for me. Poured out like water on the ground. All I might have given for love's sake. Too late. Dying. Slow as a tree.

Brigadier General Quintard: [all is quiet] You feel it?

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: Yes sir.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: [narration] The closer you are to Caesar, the greater the fear.

Capt. James 'Bugger' Staros: You are my sons, my dear sons. You live inside me now. I'll carry you wherever I go.

Capt. James 'Bugger' Staros: I've lived with these men, sir, for two and a half years and I will not order them all to their deaths.

Sergeant Storm: I look at that boy dyin', I don't feel nothin'. I don't care about nothin' anymore.

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Sounds like bliss.

Pvt. Jack Bell: [voice over] We. We together. One being. Flow together like water. Till I can't tell you from me. I drink you. Now. Now.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: [voice over] Shut up in a tomb. Can't lift the lid. Playing a role I never concieved.

Private Witt: Maybe all men got one big soul everybody's a part of, all faces are the same man.

Private Witt: I can take anything you dish out. I am twice the man you are.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: The only time you should start worrying about a soldier is when they stop bitchin'.

Private Edward P. Train: [narrating] Oh, my soul, let me be in you now. Look out through my eyes, look out at the things you've made. All things shining.

Private Jack Bell: My dear wife, you get something twisted out of your insides by all this blood, filth, and noise. I want to stay changeless for you. I want to come back to you the man I was before.

Private Jack Bell: [Narrating] Why should I be afraid to die? I belong to you. If I go first, I'll wait for you there, on the other side of the dark waters. Be with me now.

Private Ash: I would have had you Witt if you were a Jap, long ago.

Private Witt: They leave you here?

Private Ash: Yeah, I was holding them up.

Private Witt: You got one good huh?

Private Ash: Right in the knee. Yeah, I'm out of this war for good Witt. The Doc fixed me up pretty good, plenty of ammo. What are you doing up here?

Private Witt: I took a walk away from the village. You can come with me if you want, I can help you along.

Private Ash: No, its peaceful up here you know? I'll only slow you up. Someone will be along. You give the boys my best, huh?

Private Witt: I will.

Private Ash: Ok.

Private Witt: How did we loose all the good that was given us?. Let it slip away. Scattered careless.

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: We're living in a world that's blowing itself to hell as fast as everybody can arrange it.

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: There's not some other world out there where everything's gonna be okay. There's just this one, just this rock.

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: I might be your best friend, and you don't even know it.

Private Witt: [voice over] We were a family. How'd it break up and come apart, so that now we're turned against each other? Each standing in the other's light. How'd we lose that good that was given us? Let it slip away. Scattered it, careless. What's keepin' us from reaching out, touching the glory?

Capt. James 'Bugger' Staros: [praying] You're my light. My guide.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: You're Greek, aren't you, Captain? Did you ever read Homer? We read Homer at the Point. In Greek.

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: What difference do you think you can make, one man in all this madness?

Colonel Gordon Tall: How many men is it worth? How many lives? One? Two? Twenty? Lives will be lost in your company, Captain. If you don't have the stomach for it, now is the time to let me know.

Colonel Gordon Tall: John, I'm convinced that the Japanese position can be broken right now. All we have to do is keep going and we'll have this hill. We'll have this hill by sundown! You see the spirit in these men? Do you see the new spirit? Well, I want to take advantage of that before something happens to sap their strength. To have this battalion relieved in a defeat, or even to have it reinforced by troops from a reserve regiment, if we were stalled before reaching the top, well, Jesus Christ, that's just a hell of a lot more than I could stand! I've waited all my life for this. I've worked, slaved, eaten untold buckets of shit to have this opportunity and I don't intend to give it up now.

Colonel Gordon Tall: Look at this jungle. Look at those vines, the way they twine around, swallowing everything. Nature's cruel, Staros.

Sergeant Storm: It makes no difference who you are, no matter how much training you got and the tougher guy you might be. When you're at the wrong spot at the wrong time, you gonna get it.

Pvt. Charlie Dale: Maybe they wanna get into eh... Nirvana.

Pvt. Charlie Dale: See them birds up there... they gonna eat you raw. You're dyin'.

Pvt. Charlie Dale: What are you to me? Nothin'.

Japanese soldier: We know you out there, Yank!

Sergeant Keck: Tojo eats shit!

Japanese soldier: No, Roosevelt eats-a shit!

Japanese Soldier: We know you're there, Yankee!

Sergeant Keck: Tojo eats shit!

Japanese Soldier: No, Roosevelt eats shit!

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Where's your spark now?

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: This is very important decision you're makin', Staros.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: Come on, men, let's go! You're gonna see plenty more of these where we're goin'! Are we going up this hill or aren't we?

Corporal Fife: They're coming! Fall back!

Brigadier General Quintard: The Marines had their chance now we have ours.

Private First Class Edward Beade: [as he is dying] Fife... Fife...

Sergeant Keck: I blew my butt off!

Capt. James 'Bugger' Staros: The tough part is, uh... Not knowing if you're doing any good. That's the hard part.

[first lines]

Private Edward P. Train: What's this war in the heart of nature? Why does nature vie with itself? The land contend with the sea? Is there an avenging power in nature? Not one power, but two?

Private Witt: Kids around here never fight.

Melanesian Woman with Child: Sometimes. Sometimes when they see the planes, they always fighting.

Private Witt: [narration] You're death that captures all. You too are the source of all that's going to be born.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: You feel like a son to me, John. You know what my son does? He's a bait salesman.

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Hey Witt, who you making trouble for today?

Private Witt: What do you mean?

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Well, isn't that what you like to do? Turn left when they say go right. Why are you such a trouble maker Witt?

Private Witt: You care about me? Don't ya Sergeant? I always felt like you did. One day I come up and talk to ya. Then the next day it's like we never even met. Lonely house now, you ever get lonely?

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Only around people.

Private Witt: Only around people.

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: You still believin in the beautiful light are ya? How do you do that? You're a magician to me.

Private Witt: I still see a spark in you.

Private Jack Bell: You see that hill?

Second Lieutenant Whyte: Yeah.

Private Ash: I'm outta this war for good, Witt.

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