Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now quotes

79 total quotes (ID: 44)

Captain Benjamin L. Willard
Chief Phillips
Colonel Walter E. Kurtz
Jay "Chef" Hicks
Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore
Multiple Characters
Photojournalist


I went down that river once when I was a kid. There's a place in the river.. I can't remember... Must have been a gardenia plantation at one time. All wild and overgrown now, but for about five miles you'd think that heaven just fell on the earth in the form of gardenias...


I will not hurt or harm you. Just give me back the board, Lance. It was a good board – and I like it. You know how hard it is to find a board you like. (repeated over helicopter loudspeaker)

I worry that my son might not understand what I've tried to be. And if I were to be killed, Willard, I would want someone to go to my home and tell my son everything – everything I did, everything you saw – because there's nothing that I detest more than the stench of lies. And if you understand me, Willard, you will do this for me.

I'm asleep. I'm asleep and dreaming I'm on this shitty boat.

I've seen horrors ... horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that ... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face ... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us, and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember ... I ... I ... I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized ... like I was shot ... like I was shot with a diamond ... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My God ... the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters. These were men ... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love ... but they had the strength ... the strength ... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, then our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral ... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling ... without passion ... without judgment ... without judgment. Because it's judgment that defeats us.

If I say it's safe to surf this beach, Captain, then it's safe to surf this beach!

If that's how Kilgore fought the war, I began to wonder what they really had against Kurtz. It wasn't just insanity and murder, there was enough of that to go around for everyone.

It's a way we had over here with living with ourselves. We cut 'em in half with a machine gun and give 'em a Band-Aid. It was a lie. And the more I saw them, the more I hated lies.

Lance Johnson the surfer?

Late summer-autumn 1968: Kurtz's patrols in the highlands coming under frequent ambush. The camp started falling apart ... November: Kurtz orders the assassination of three Vietnamese men and one woman. Two of the men were Colonels in the South Vietnamese army. Enemy activity in his old sector dropped off to nothing. Guess he must have hit the right four people. The army tried one last time to bring him back into the fold. And if he pulled over, it all would have been forgotten. But he kept going, and he kept winning it his way, and they called me in. They lost him. He was gone. Nothing but rumors and random intelligence, mostly from captured VC. The VC knew his name by now, and they were scared of him. He and his men were playing hit and run all the way into Cambodia.

My orders say I'm not supposed to know where I'm taking this boat, so I don't. But one look at you, and I know it's gonna be hot.

Never get out of the boat!

Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were goin' all the way. Kurtz got off the boat. He split from the whole ****in' program.

No wonder Kurtz put a weed up Command's ass. The war was being run by a bunch of four star clowns who were gonna end up giving the whole circus away.

Oh man, the shit piled up so fast in Vietnam you needed wings to stay above it.