Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Movie Quotes: "Gettysburg"

One thing that keeps me from subscribing to NetFlix is the fact that there are quite a few DVD's in the Library's collection that I haven't seen yet, and they can be checked out for free. One title I put a hold on last week came in this morning. It's called "The Lathe of Heaven" and was made for PBS back in 1980. It's considered a Sci-Fi classic and I plan on watching it soon and posting a review, so stay tuned for that.

One other reason I rented it was that it stars an actor named Kevin Conway. Conway only pops up now and then in big Hollywood productions like "Thirteen Days" and "Mystic River", but I remember him most as Sgt. Buster Kilrain in the Civil War epic "Gettysburg". Aside from playing the role extremely well, he also recites one of my favorite film monologues. If you haven't ever seen the film, then you should definitely make the effort. In the meantime, here's the dialogue between Kilrain and Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels):
Chamberlain: "Buster, What do you think of the Negroes?"

Kilrain: "Well, if you mean the race, I don't rightly know. This is not a thing to be ashamed of. The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men ... one at a time."

Chamberlain: "To me there was never any difference."

Kilrain: "None at all?"

Chamberlain: "None. Of course, I didn't know that many. But those I knew ... well, you looked in the eye and there was a man. There was a divine spark, as my mother used to say. (quoting Hamlet) 'What a piece of work is man, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god.'"

Kilrain: "Well, if he's an angel, alright then. But he damn well must be a killer angel. Colonel, you're a lovely man. I see a great difference between us, yet I admire you. You're an idealist, praise be. The truth is Colonel, there is no 'divine spark'. There's many a man alive no more of value than a dead dog. Believe me. When you've seen them hang each other the way I have back in the Old Country. Equality? What I'm fighting for is the right to prove I'm a better man. Where have you seen this 'divine spark' in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? No two things on earth are equal or have an equal chance. Not a leaf, not a tree. There's many a man worse than me and some better, but I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters Colonel ... is justice. Which is why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve. Not as my father deserved. I'm Kilrain, and I damn all gentlemen. There's only one aristocracy and that's (taps head) right here. And that's why we've got to win this war."

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