Grand Canyon (1991)
Davis: The point is there's a gulf in this country; an ever-widening abyss between the people who have stuff, and the people who don't have shit. It's like this big hole in the ground, as big as the fucking Grand Canyon, and what's come pouring out is an eruption of rage, and the rage creates violence, and the violence is real, Mack. Nothing's gonna make it go away, until someone changes something, which is not going to happen. And you may not like it, even I may not like it, but I can't pretend it isn't there because that it is a lie, and when art lies, it becomes worthless. So I gotta keep telling the truth, even if it scares the shit out of me, like it scares the shit out of you. Even if it means some motherfucker can blow a big hole in my leg for a watch, and I'm gonna walk with a fucking limp for the rest of my life and call myself lucky.
Davis: Mack, you ever seen a movie called "Sullivan's Travels"?
Davis: That's part of your problem, you know, you haven't seen enough movies. All of life's riddles are answered in the movies. It's a story about a man who loses his way. He's a filmmaker, like me, and he forgets for a moment just what he was set on earth to do. Fortunately he finds his way back. That can happen, Mack. Check it out.
Mack: [while Mack waits for his car to be serviced at a local gas station, he and tow truck driver Simon sit in the parking lot discussing his family and the Grand Canyon]
Simon: [chuckles] Man, get yourself to the Grand Canyon.
Mack: Beautiful, huh?
Simon: Eh, it's pretty, all right, but that's not the thing of it. You can sit right on the edge of it, you know? I-I did that. I did everything: I went down in it, I stayed overnight there. But the thing that got me was sitting on the edge of that big old thing. Those rocks. Yeah, those cliffs and rocks is so old. Took so long for that thing to get to look like that... and it ain't done either, you know? It happens right while you're sitting there watching it. It's happening right now while we're sitting here in this ugly town.
[Simon finishes his soda and throws the can into the dumpster across the parking lot]
Simon: [sighs] When you sit on the edge of that thing, you just realize what a joke we people are. What big heads we got thinking that what we do is gonna matter all that much. Thinking our time here means diddly to those rocks. It's a split second we been here, the whole lot of us. And one of us? That's a piece of time too small to give a name.
Mack: You trying to cheer me up?
Simon: Yeah, those rocks are laughing at me, I could tell. Me and my worries, it's real humorous to that Grand Canyon. Hey, you know what I felt like? I felt like a gnat that lands on the ass of a cow that's chewing its cud next to the road that you ride by on at 70 miles an hour.
Mack: [laughs] That's small.
Simon: Yeah, it's small.
Mack: My name is Mack.
Davis: While we got a moment here, maybe you can explain something to me I never understood. What is the theory on this handkerchief thing? I mean, after you blow your nose in it, you put it back in your pocket and then you see someone in distress and you like give them this gift from your pocket and they are suppose to be grateful as they wipe it all over their face.
Claire: Look, Mack, I don't even know what I'm gonna say from one second to the next. The world doesn't make any sense to me any more. What's going on? There are babies lying around in the streets. There are people living in boxes. There are people ready to shoot you if you look at them. And we're getting used to it. The world is so nuts, it makes me wonder about all the choices that we've made.
Simon: I've gotta ask you for a favor. Let me go my way here. This truck's my responsibility, and now that the car's hooked up to it, it's my responsibility too.
Rocstar: Do you think I'm stupid? Just answer that question first.
Simon: Look, I don't know nothing about you; you don't know nothing about me. I don't know if you're stupid, or some kind of genius. All I know is that I need to get out of here, and you got the gun. So I'm asking you, for the second time, let me go my way here.
Rocstar: I'm gonna grant you that favor, and I'm gonna expect you to remember it if we ever meet again. But tell me this, are you asking me as a sign of respect, or are you asking because I've got the gun?
Simon: Man, the world ain't supposed to work like this. I mean, maybe you don't know that yet. I'm supposed to be able to do my job without having to ask you if I can. That dude is supposed to be able to wait with his car without you ripping him off. Everything is supposed to be different than it is.
Rocstar: So what's your answer?
Simon: You ain't got the gun, we ain't having this conversation.
Rocstar: That's what I thought: no gun, no respect. That's why I always got the gun.
Mack: This is difficult stuff. Making a left turn in L.A. is one of the harder things you'll learn in life.
[as Mack and Simon and their wives and families look at the Grand Canyon]
Simon: So what do you think?
Mack: I think it's not all bad.
Davis: You know what your problem is? You're always talking about X. But you're thinking about Y. You gotta learn to talk about Y. Forget about X. X is gonna take care of itself.
Mack: What are you talking about?
Davis: I'm just asking you to hear yourself. Listen to what you're really saying and under what you really saying: control, control, control. When are you gonna realise nothing can be controlled? We live in chaos. It's the central issue in everyone's life. Mack, look around you. Everyone in this parking lot is struggling for control. And you know what it is they're trying to control, each and every one of 'em? Fear. They're trying to control their fear.
Davis: You think anyone can do what I do? You think anyone can make the crap I make?
Dee: Jane, do you ever feel like you are just this far from being completely hysterical twenty four hours a day?
Jane: Half the people I know feel that way. The lucky ones feel that way. The rest of the people ARE hysterical twenty four hours a day.
Mack: When a person thinks they're about to die, nothing looks like it was worth their time.
Mack: One morning, about three years ago, I was on my way to a meeting at the Mutual Benefit building on Wilshire, in the Miracle Mile. I love that name - the Miracle Mile. It's the building across the street from the county art museum, I was thinking about the meeting I was going to, I was worried about it, actually, I started to step off the curb, A stranger grabbed me and yanked me back as a city bus went flying by my nose, I mean, it just fiilled up the world six inches from my nose, I would have been like a wet bug stain on the bus, I wouldn't have even felt it, it would have been over so fast, I thanked this stranger, this woman in a baseball cap, but I was pretty much in a daze, When I thanked her, she said ''My pleasure,'' I didn't notice till the last moment that the cap was from the Pittsburgh Pirates, my favourite team since I was a kid. I never got over the idea that I should have thanked that woman more, talked to her a while, something. She reached out and yanked me back from the edge, literally. Changed everything for me, and for my wife and my son, and then she just wandered off down the Miracle Mile. How come she was wearing a Pirates cap? I just wondered, later on, was she for real, you know? Was that a real person or was that something else, you know, sent from somewhere else, to grab me back from that curb? I didn't wanna just let you Simon drift away like she did and never talk to you. It just didn't seem right to let it happen twice. So that's why I'm bothering you.
Dee: You've denied me in every way you can. Everything I've wanted, you've denied me.
Mack: I've been honest all along. Even that night.
Dee: Who gives a shit? Don't you see what you do? Even now, you wanna deny me what's rightfully mine.
Mack: Which is?
Dee: To resent the hell outta you. To feel totally rejected and hated. To hate you for doing it to me. There are good men out there who are gonna treat me like I'm the very thing they want. And then you do that thing with Jane.
Dee: You know, with that guy, that tow-truck guy.
Mack: What about it? What's that got to do with anything?
Dee: You don't even know, do you? You don't even know why that hurts me so much. Jane's in love. She thinks this could be the one.
Mack: Is that bad? I thought she was your friend.
Dee: She is my friend. I'm very happy for her, but it makes me feel like shit... that you're out there finding her the love of her life and I'm here like what? I'm here like shit. How do you think that's gonna make me feel?
Mack: Dee, I understand you're angry with me, but why would...?
Dee: Forget it. It doesn't have to make sense.
Davis: There's so much rage going around we're damn lucky we have the movies to help us vent it.
Davis: We're talking about a religious experience here. I might say "doth" or "thou" or a lot of things.
Mack: He's kinda lonely, but he seems peaceful about it.
Jane: That would be nice.
Dee: Ya know, it would be great if you could sort of be down about things, but still be alright with it. Like, finally accept that fact that you're gonna feel bad most of the time and not fight it.
Mack: Of course, it would also be nice not to feel bad most of the time.
Dee: Yeah, but that's how you get yourself in trouble. By thinking how nice it'd be to be happy more.
Mack: [about a possible trip to the Grand Canyon] We were planning to take my boy.
Simon: How old is he?
Simon: 15? Probably won't wanna go with you now. Probably go with his friends and his chick now. You've missed that boat.
Davis: MY GOD, am I the only one around here who cares about the "writing"?
Mack: [singing Warren Zevon's song] Desperate man, Send lawyers, guns and money, Fuck, the shit has hit the fan...
Mack: I'm getting a headache.
Claire: No, you're not.
Mack: I'm not?
Claire: No and I'll tell you why I reject your headache Mac, because it's inappropriate. If I am right and these events are truly miracles, then it's an innapropriate response to get a headache in the presence of a miracle.
Claire: Mack, you think that I want that baby because l've got some hole in my life or I think I'm gonna have some hole in my life, but that's not it. Or if it is it, it's just a part of it. That baby needs someone to love it and take care of it. Something has happened. You can't go back and have it not happen. Some kind of connection has been made. lt has to be played out... What if these are miracles, Mack? Maybe we don't have any experience with miracles, so we're slow to recognise them.
Mack: You saved my ass.
Simon: We both got lucky. It could have gone different.
Mack: What's goin' on in the world?
Simon: This neighbourhood has gone to shit.
Mack: This country has gone to shit.
Otis: They smoked me. See a nigga running around here, they smoke ya, ask questions later. Well I ain't staying here, I'll tell you that, I ain't FUCKING STAYING HERE!
Dee: You know what your problem is? You never want to be the bad guy. You want everything you do to be right, but it isn't. If you really didn't want me to go, you shouldn't have fucked me.
Mack: Vanessa, why is it that when someone's successful in one field, they think they know about everything?
Mack: [when he sees the gang coming on his direction] Mayday, Mayday, we're going down!
Davis: At the end of this long, torturous night, my head pounding in syncopation to my throbbing wound, there came a glorious, delicate dawn. And I knew... I knew I can't make those movies any more. I can't make another piece of art that glorifies violence and bloodshed and brutality. I can't contribute another stone to this landslide of dehumanising rage that has swept across this country like a pestilence.
Dee: I'm very happy for her, but it makes me feel like shit that you're out there finding her the love of her life and I'm here like what? I'm here like shit.
Rocstar: Is that right, you dissin' me?
Simon: No, I'm not. Nothin' like it. I'm doin' a job here, fella. This is how I make my living. I just ride out there and do the job. I want it to go as smooth as it can be. I don't like it to be any harder than it already is.
Mack: Who's up?
Dee: Mrs. Flores and her 3 sons.
Mack: Hmm. Then what?
Dee: At 4:30, Mr. Duk.
Mack: Mr. Duck?
Dee: Mr. Duk.
Mack: Mr. Daffy Duk?
Dee: You're awful. That's why I can't stand you.
Simon: My father died last year - 81 years old. It's a long time for a black man to live in this town. He outlived everyone he ever knew. He saw two wives die and three of his children. He had a great ugly old face that looked like a suitcase gone a million miles - all beat up and dented and scuffed and stained. Man, he looked like he walked 80 years on that face. When I used to look at that face and see all - the pain there, all the things he'd lost, all the hurt he had, I wondered why he wanted to go on, why he just didn't lay down and give it up.
Mack: Did you figure it out?
Simon: No. Never figured out much about that guy. I asked him, though.
Mack: What'd he say?
Dee: One of the things I think is so great about him is how devoted he is to his wife and kid.
Jane: You are so full of shit, you know that? You may not even know, but you really are. You're sayin' what they *all* say at first. I've seen it many times, honey. If he is so devoted to his wife, what's he doin' messin' around with you?
Dee: We must be going about this whole thing wrong or something.
Jane: What thing?
Dee: The love thing. The touch thing. Where there's somebody to touch you, real nice and gentle.
Jane: It doesn't have to be that gentle.
Roberto: All right, you got 15 seconds to tell me all the mother stuff one more time.
Claire: Sunscreen, hat, allergy pills, summer reading, floss. Watch out for poison oak, Lyme ticks, bears, dragons, pestilence. Just be careful, okay? Write if you need anything.
Roberto: Mom, I'm going to camp, not the army.
Simon: You can go swimmin' in the ocean every day and be perfectly cool, you know. Then one day, just one particular day, you bump into the big shark. Now, the big shark don't hate you. He's got no feelin' for you at all. You look like food to him. Hey, you don't hate a hamburger, do you? Yeah. Those boys back there, they got nothin' to lose. If you just happen to be swimmin' along and bump into 'em, well- It might not be worth worryin' about. It's like bein' in a plane crash.
Mack: Well, that's comforting. I'm glad you brought that up. There just seems to be so many ways to buy it. Particularly in this city. I'm amazed at the end of each day that anybody's alive. Then other days I think maybe people aren't so fragile. Things have always been kind of brutal, and people just keep on going.
Simon: You ever been to the Grand Canyon?
Claire: I haven't taken leave of my senses. I just wanted you to see her, so I waited till you got home, that's all. She's so beautiful. I just wanted *you* to see her.
Morning Nurse: Well, look who's up and at 'em. Somebody leave your curtains open last night?
Davis: I asked them to. I wanted to see this.
Morning Nurse: City of the angels.
Davis: I have seen the light.
Morning Nurse: Mazel tov.
Simon: You got a right to try to figure out what confuses you; but, seems like you're making more of this than it is. The world's a hard place, but sometimes you just get lucky.
Mack: I believe in luck.
Simon: And, of course, sometimes you don't. One thing is for sure is that if you're alive, some terrible shit's gonna happen to you, and maybe some good things too, but you can always count on the terrible. If it doesn't kill you, you're gonna be around to see it come down some other way.
Simon: I think it's hard maybe even dangerous, reaching in and mucking around with other people's lives. Sometimes there's a reason they're doin' what they're doin'.
Mack: That's a tough one. You don't wanna fuck with things you shouldn't, but you don't always wanna turn away, either.
Simon: Hey, you wanna be gangbanging when you're 25?
Otis: Shit. I'll never live to be 25. I gotta roll.
Simon: Is that what you thought it was?
Mack: Yeah, that and - you know - the white guy.
Simon: You white?
Deborah: You tryin' to sell me life-insurance policies on my kids?
Insurance Salesman: Ma'am, they're the ones on the front line. They're the ones in danger.
Deborah: You get the fuck off my porch! I said go on! Get away from my house, dammit!
Davis: I don't give a shit about money. I made more money this year than my father made in his entire life. At the rate I'm going, I'm not gonna run out of money for - well, 18 months, anyway.
Davis: To try and understand just what exactly had been delivered unto me at the cost of flesh and bone and precious blood. What message was being delivered to me in a .38-calibre envelope for me to open and read and understand. And this problem, this difficulty, I was having in understanding, it grew on me like a fever. It buzzed around my brain till I could no longer sleep or eat or think about anything else. It was as painful and real as the physical wound I could see in my thigh.
Davis: I'm done, kaput, fini. No more exploding bodies, exploding buildings, exploding anything. No more shit.
Simon: Mack must have had some reason to think this would work. I guess you've known him a while, huh?
Jane: I don't know him at all.
Simon: Really? Wow. I don't know him much, either. That's funny. Maybe we're the only two black people he ever met.
Davis: This is life, pal. That's what I'm trying to get that through your thick, sanctimonious skull. There's always been violence. There will always be violence. Violence and evil and men with big guns. My movies reflect what's going on. They don't make what's going on. And if I happen to make 'em better than anyone, then I've got a bigger responsibility than anyone to serve it up.