Quotes from war films
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Paul Baumer: You still think it's beautiful to die for your country. The first bombardment taught us better. When it comes to dying for country, it's better not to die at all.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
[While flying in a helicopter with Air Cavalry soldiers]
Chef: Why do all you guys sit on your helmets?
Soldier: So we don't get our balls blown off.
Captain Benjamin L. Willard: How many people had I already killed? There was those six that I know about for sure. Close enough to blow their last breath in my face. But this time it was an American and an officer. That wasn't supposed to make any difference to me, but it did. Shit...charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets in the Indy 500. I took the mission. What the hell else was I gonna do?
Lieutenant David Kilgour: You smell that? Do you smell that? ...Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. Someday this war's gonna end...
[Walks off unhappily]
Das Boot (1981)
Captain: Our patrol planes! Where are they? Answer that one, Herr Goring! The British have plenty of them! Talking big is all he's good for, that fat slob.
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Ron Kovic: People say that if you don't love America, then get the hell out. Well, I love America.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Colonel Nicholson: One day the war will be over. And I hope that the people that use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built and who built it. Not a gang of slaves, but soldiers, British soldiers, Clipton, even in captivity.
The Dam Busters (1954)
Ministry official: You say you need a Wellington Bomber for test drops. They're worth their weight in gold. Do you really think the authorities will lend you one? What possible argument could I put forward to get you a Wellington?
Barnes Wallace: Well, if you told them I designed it, do you think that might help?
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
Samson Posey: I reckon the folks'd be a sight happier if I died like a soldier. Can't say I would.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964)
Major T.J. "King" Kong: Well, boys, I reckon this is it -- nuclear combat toe to toe with the Roosskies. Now look, boys, I ain't much of a hand at makin' speeches, but I got a pretty fair idea that something doggone important is goin' on back there. And I got a fair idea the kinda personal emotions that some of you fellas may be thinkin'. Heck, I reckon you wouldn't even be human bein's if you didn't have some pretty strong personal feelin's about nuclear combat. I want you to remember one thing, the folks back home is a-countin' on you and by golly, we ain't about to let 'em down. I tell you something else, if this thing turns out to be half as important as I figure it just might be, I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions and personal citations when this thing's over with. That goes for ever' last one of you regardless of your race, color or your creed. Now let's get this thing on the hump -- we got some flyin' to do.
General Jack D. Ripper: Your Commie has no regard for human life. Not even his own.
General "Buck" Turgidson: If the pilot's good, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that thing in so low, oh it's a sight to see. You wouldn't expect it with a big ol' plane like a '52, but varrrooom! The jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Private Joker: The dead know only one thing: it's better to be alive.
Gunnery Seargent Hartman, Drill Instructor: Today you people are no longer maggots. Today you are Marines. You're part of a brotherhood.
Hamburger Hill (1987)
Galvan: We're Airborne. We don't start fights, we *finish* 'em!
[Refering to Vietnam.]
Chris: Somebody once wrote: "Hell is the impossibility of reason." That's what this place feels like. Hell.
Gen. George S. Patton Jr.: Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country
Gen. George S. Patton Jr.: Thirty years from now, when you're sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks you, "What did you do in the great World War II," you won't have to say, "Well... I shoveled shit in Louisiana."
Red Dawn (1984)
[At an execution.]
Jed Eckert: Do you want blindfolds?
Russian soldier: You are in violation of the Geneva convention!
Jed Eckert: I never heard of it!
Russian soldier: Dogface! I show you how Soviet dies.
Jed Eckert: I have seen it before.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Private Jackson: What I mean, sir, is if you was to put me with this here sniper rifle anywhere up to and including one mile from Adolf Hitler... with a clean line of sight... well, pack your bags, boys. War's over.
Gen. George C. Marshall: I have here a very old letter, written to a Mrs. Bixby in Boston. "Dear Madam: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours very sincerely and respectfully, Abraham Lincoln."
[Arguing about whether or not to attack the radio nest]
Private Reiben: I'm just saying, this seems like an unnecessary risk considering our objective, sir.
Captain John Miller: Our objective is to win the war.
Thin Red Line (1988)
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 batallion 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.
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
[After the attack on Pearl Harbor is mistimed]
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto: I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.
War Games (1983)
Stephen Falken: Now, children, come on over here. I'm going to tell you a bedtime story. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. Once upon a time, there lived a magnificent race of animals that dominated the world through age after age. They ran, they swam, and they fought and they flew, until suddenly, quite recently, they disappeared. Nature just gave up and started again. We weren't even apes then. We were just these smart little rodents hiding in the rocks. And when we go, nature will start over. With the bees, probably. Nature knows when to give up, David.