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The Thin Red Line (1998) Poster

Quotes

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Private Edward P. Train: [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?

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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. 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.

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Private Witt: Do you ever feel lonely?

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Only around people.

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

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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?

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

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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.

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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.

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[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.

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

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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.

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[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?

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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.

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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.

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

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

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First Sgt. Edward Welsh: We're living in a world that's blowing itself to hell as fast as everybody can arrange it. In a situation like that aII a man can do is shut his eyes and let nothing touch him. Look out for himself.

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

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

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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.

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Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: It's not necessary for you to ever tell me that you think I'm *right*. Ever. We'll assume it.

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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?

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

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

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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. How do we get to those other shores? To those blue hills.

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

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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.

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Private Witt: [voice over] Maybe all men got one big soul everybody's a part of, all faces are the same man. One big self.

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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.

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

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

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First Sgt. Edward Welsh: What difference do you think you can make? One single man in aII this madness. If you die, it's gonna be for nothing.

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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.

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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.

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

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Private Witt: Kids around here never fight.

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

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Private Witt: [narration] Who are you to live in all these many forms? Your death that captures all. You, too, are the source of all that's gonna be born. Your glory. Mercy. Peace. Truth. You give calm a spirit, understanding, courage. The contented heart.

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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.

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

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

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

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First Sgt. Edward Welsh: [Voiceover] If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack. A glance from your eyes, and my life will be yours.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Japanese soldier: We know you out there, Yank!

Sergeant Keck: Tojo eats shit!

Japanese soldier: No, Roosevelt eats-a shit!

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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.

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Sergeant Keck: Oh, Jesus! I blew my butt off. I blew my butt off!

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

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

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

Sergeant Keck: Tojo eats shit!

Japanese Soldier: No, Roosevelt eats shit!

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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?

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Corporal Fife: They're coming! Fall back!

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

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

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

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

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Private Edward P. Train: One man looks at a dying bird and thinks there's nothing but unanswered pain. But death's got the final word. It's laughing at him. Another man sees that same bird, feels the glory. Feels something smiling through him.

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Private Edward P. Train: The only things that are permanent is, is dyin' and the Lord. That's it. That's aII you gotta worry about. This war ain't - this war ain't gonna be the end of me and it ain't gonna be the end of you neither.

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Private Edward P. Train: HeII... we're gonna be landin' soon and there's gonna be air raids. We're probably gonna die before we get off the beach. This place is - it's like a big floatin' graveyard.

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Imprisoned AWOL Soldier: He hates you worse than poison.

Private Witt: I never felt he hated me, cause I don't hate him.

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Private Witt: I Iove Charlie Company. They're my people.

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Sergeant Keck: It's for the best. I'm aII messed up down there. I can't fuck no more. Whoa... Where am I? Where am I?

Private Witt: You're gonna be aII right. Even if you die, you didn't Iet your brothers down. If you hadn't thrown yourself against that embankment, we'd aII have been kiIIed.

Sergeant Keck: I'm cold. I'm cold. I'm - freezing...

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First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Captain, you say one more word to thank me, I'II knock you right in the teeth. You mention me in your fuckin' orders and I'II resign so fast and Ieave you here to run this busted-up outfit by yourself. You understand?

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First Sgt. Edward Welsh: This army's gonna kiII you. If you were smart, you'd take care of yourself. There's nothing you can do for anybody else. You're just running into a burning house where nobody can be saved.

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Marty Bell: Come out. Come out where I am.

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Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: From their knob up there, those goddamn little brown brothers can cover the whole of the ground in front of this position for 1,000 yards. They've Ieft this Iedge unguarded. Now, goddamn it, that's a mistake. That's a heII of a mistake! We need to take advantage of it before they see their error. AII right, aII right, I know you're aII pretty exhausted, and we've had a heII of a time getting water up here. For that I'm sorry. I apologize to you aII. But if we can reduce this bunker tomorrow, I think we can take this ridge. So, I'm asking for volunteers. Go back up there and knock it out!

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Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: Get that blouse on, soldier. It's not a goddamn bathing beach!

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Private Edward P. Train: Hours like months. Days like years. Walked into the golden age. Stood on the shores of the New World.

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Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: You don't know what it feels Iike to be passed over. I mean, you're young. You're just out of the Academy. You're, you know, you've got your war! This 15 years, this is my first war! John, some day you'II understand.

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Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: We attack in one hour! We'II throw everything we got at 'em. We're going aII the way! Nothing's stoppin' us. It's high ground by nightfaII!

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First Sgt. Edward Welsh: I don't have that feeling yet. That numbness. Not Iike the rest of you guys. Maybe cause I knew what to expect. Maybe I was just frozen up already.

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Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: Staros, I'm relieving you of your command. Lieutenant Band wiII take over for you. I already told him. It's a hard thing to do. Difficult decision to make. I don't think you're tough enough here. You're too soft. You're just too softhearted. You're not tough-fibered enough. Anyways, it's my decision to make. I've already made it.

Capt. James 'Bugger' Staros: I don't Iike to see my men get kiIIed, sir. Have you ever had anyone die in your arms, sir? Have you?

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Pvt. Jack Bell: I haven't touched another woman since I was caIIed up. Or talked to one. I don't wanna - I don't wanna feel the desire.

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Private Edward P. Train: I'm determined now. I've been through the thick and thin of it. You know, I may be young, but I've Iived plenty of Iife. I'm ready to start Iiving it good. You know, my daddy always told me it's gonna get a Iot worse before it gets better. You know, cos Iife ain't supposed to be that hard when you're young. WeII, I figure after this the worst is gonna be gone. It's time for things to get better. That's what I want. That's what's gonna happen. I'm getting older now. By no means old, but older.

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Capt. Bosche: I prefer to think of myself as a family man, and that's what we aII are here, whether we Iike it or not. We are a family. I'm the father. Guess that makes Sergeant WeIsh here the mother... That makes you aII the children in this family. Now, a family can have only one head, and that is the father. Father's the head, mother runs it. That's the way it's gonna work here.

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Private Jack Bell: You see that hill?

Second Lieutenant Whyte: Yeah.

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Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: Guadalcanal may be the turning point in the war. It'II cost lives, Staros. Is that what's troubling you?

Capt. James 'Bugger' Staros: No, sir.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: I explained to you the importance of this objective. How many men do you think it's worth? How many lives?

Capt. James 'Bugger' Staros: I can't say, sir.

Lt. Col. Gordon Tall: Are you prepared to sacrifice the Iives of any of your men in this campaign? How many? One? Two? Twenty? Lives wiII be Iost in your company, Captain. And if you don't have the stomach for it, now is the time to let me know.

Capt. James 'Bugger' Staros: No, sir. You're right - about everything you said.

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