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Empire of the Sun (1987) Poster

Quotes

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Jim: [during an American airstrike] P-51! Cadillac of the sky!

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Jim: Would you like a Hershey bar?

Nina: Oh yes, please

Jim: So would I kid, have you got one?

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Basie: Jim, didn't I teach you anything?

Jim: Yes! You taught me that people will do anything... for a potato.

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Jim: I can't remember what my parents look like.

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Maxton: I heard you resigned from the Scouts.

Jim: I've become an atheist.

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Basie: Don't let me down kid you're an American now.

Jim: [in a Brooklyn accent] Hey how'ya doin' Frank?

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Jim: If the Americans land, the Japanese will fight.

Dr. Rawlins: You admire the Japanese?

Jim: Well, they're brave, aren't they?

Dr. Rawlins: That's important, is it, Jim?

Jim: It's a good thing if you want to win a war.

Dr. Rawlins: But we don't want them to win, do we. Remember, we're British.

Jim: Yes. I've never been there.

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Jim: I was dreaming about God.

Mother: What did he say?

Jim: Nothing.

[smiles]

Jim: He was playing tennis.

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Jim: Learned a new word today. "Atom bomb." It was like the God taking a photograph.

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[after Basie's friend killed Jim's Japanese friend]

Jim: Bastard! He gave me a mango!

Basie: I'll give you a whole goddamn fruit salad. There are Frigidaires falling from the sky. It's kingdom come!

Jim: He was my friend!

Basie: He was a Jap!

Jim: The war's over!

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Jim: Amatus sum, amatus es, amatus est.

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Jim: I was dreaming about God.

Mary Graham: What did he say?

Jim: Nothing. He was playing tennis. Perhaps that's where God is all the time and that's why you can't see Him when you're awake, do you think?

Mary Graham: I don't know. I don't know about God.

Jim: Perhaps He's our dream... and we're His.

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Basie: Oh, buying and selling, Frank. You know. Life.

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Sgt. Nagata: [to Jim] Boy. Difficult boy.

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Chinese Youth: No mama. No papa. No whiskey sodas.

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Jamie: Help me, I'm British.

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[Tossing a pair of sunglasses to Jim as the Japanese army begin to beat him]

Basie: I want these back when they're done.

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[Frank and Basie are about to leave Jim in the street]

Jim: [desperately] Basie, first I could show you some rich pickings. Hundreds of houses left empty. I could show you some of the houses I lived in before Frank found me. They were luxuriant!

Basie: Luxuriant? You had good sense being born there, Jim. I'm sure there was good living.

Jim: There certainly was good living, Basie. There - there was opulence!

Basie: Heh heh. Opulence. Frank, we'll go and take a look at some of these houses. Let's go, Frank. Opulence.

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Jim: We'll have to leave the camp?

Basie: That's the idea, Jim. First one side feeds you and the other side tries to get you killed, then it's turned around; it's all timing.

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[Jim grabs wildly at Chinese soldiers after hearing about the atomic bomb]

Jim: I saw it! I saw it! It was like a white light in the sky.

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[Jim's hassling the truck driver on the way to Soochow]

Jim: Do you know where we are? We're here, see? And now we have to turn left. Do you hear me? When I say turn left, you turn left! When I say turn right, turn right! You have to do what I say otherwise we'll never get to Soochow then you'll be shot!

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[approching a group of Japanese soldiers in Shanghai]

Jamie: Excuse me everyone...

[throws arms up]

Jamie: I surrender.

Japanese Soldiers: [laughing and mocking Jamie] I surrender! I surrender. Banzai! Banzai!

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Jim: Are you with the American Fleet?

Frank: American Fleet! Looks like you lost your shirt kid.

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Basie: What did you say your name was boy?

Jamie: Jamie and I'm building a man-flying kite and writing a book called Contract Bridge.

Basie: *Jim.* A new name for a new life.

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[last lines]

Mary Graham: [upon finding her barely recognizable son] Jamie?... Jamie?... Jamie?

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[first lines]

Narrator: [title card] In 1941 China and Japan had been in a state of undeclared war for four years. A Japanese army of occupation was in control of much of the countryside and many towns and cities. In Shanghai thousands of Westerners, protected by the diplomatic security of the International Settlement, continued to live as they had lived since the British came here in the 19th century and built in the image of their own country... built banking houses, hotels, offices, churches and homes that might have been uprooted from Liverpool or Surrey. Now their time was running out. Outside Shanghai the Japanese dug in and waited... for Pearl Harbor.

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Dainty: What else you betting with Baise?

Basie: My LIFE.

[shows a copy of LIFE magazine]

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Jim: [about the Japanese troops camped nearby] It almost looks as if they're waiting for something to happen...

John Graham, Jim's father: Yes.

Jim: They didn't look angry or anything...

Maxton: It's not their anger; it's their patience.

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[Nurses attempt to wake a sickly man]

Jim: Can I have his shoes when he's dead?

Dr. Rawlins: God you're a pragmatist, Jim.

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Basie: Jesus, those Coney Island pilots!

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Jim: I can bring everyone back. I can bring everyone back. Everyone. I can bring everyone back. Everyone. I can bring everyone back. Everyone. I can bring everyone back. Everyone. I can bring everyone back. Everyone. I can bring everyone back. Everyone! I can bring everyone back! I can bring everyone back! Everyone! Everyone! Everyone! Everyone! Everyone! Everyone! Everyone!

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Basie: It's at the beginning and end of war that we have to watch out. In between, it's like a country club.

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Jim: Dr. Rawlin, do you remember how we had helped build the runway? If we die like the others, our bones would be IN the runway. In a way, it's OUR runway...

Dr. Rawlins: No it's THEIR runway, Jim! Try not to think so much! Try not to THINK so much!

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Jim: I touched it! I touched it! I felt the heat! I can taste it in my mouth, oil and cordite!

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Frank: [Frank and Basie see Japanese men dancing in the house] Damn it Basie, they're Japs

Basie: I can see that Frank, back out of here.

Frank: I can't back out, there's no reverse

Basie: Just go foward

Frank: Come on.

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Jim: Which side will win the war?

John Graham, Jim's father: Ours, of course.

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Dr. Rawlins: What about your English prep? Just think of it as - the antidote.

Jim: [rapidly] We-are-never-sure-of-sorrow, And-joy-was-never-sure, To-day-will-die-to-morrow, Time-stoops-to-no-man's-lure, With-love-grown-faint-and-fretful, With lips but...

Dr. Rawlins: No, no, no, no, no. Try to learn it as a poem. It's not just a string of words, you know.

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Jim: Mrs. Victor, why did the Japanese close the school?

Mrs. Victor: Because they wanted to punish the grownups.

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Jim: We should eat the weevils, Mrs. Victor.

Mrs. Victor: Oh, yes, I know, Jim. Dr. Rawlins told you.

Jim: He said we need the protein.

Mrs. Victor: Yes, well, Dr. Rawlins is right. We should *all* eat the weevils.

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Mrs. Victor: I wonder how you'll take to school in England when the war's over.

Jim: It might be a bit strange. All the same, Mrs. Victor, the best teacher is the University of Life.

Mr. Victor: Oh, for heaven's...!

Mrs. Victor: Could we finish our meal, please? We've heard your views on the University of Life.

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Dr. Rawlins: It's a good thing you're friends with Basie. He's a survivor.

Jim: That's because he only drinks boiled water.

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Jim: Basie, where do you live?

Basie: Here.

Jim: No, I mean after the war.

Basie: Somewhere else.

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Basie: This war is definitely winding down.

Jim: And after that?

Basie: After that - I retire in luxury, start a barber college.

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Basie: The plan is we're going to get a sampan. Take it up the Yangtze estuary. Rendezvous with some Hakka friends.

Jim: Are they proper pirates, do you mean?

Basie: Well, let's just call them gentlemen of fortune, shall we?

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British Party Guest: Lockwood's invited a Chink.

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See also

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

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