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Three Days of the Condor

Three Days of the Condor quotes

33 total quotes

Kathy Hale
Mr. Wabash


Mr. Wabash: Why aren't you further along, Mr. Higgins?
Higgins: With the Company, you mean?
Mr. Wabash: You seem perfect for it.
Higgins: Thank you, sir.
Mr. Wabash: Are you perfect for it, Mr. Higgins?
Higgins: I try to be.
Mr. Wabash: Were you recruited out of school?
Higgins: No, sir. The Company interviewed a few of us in Korea. You were with Mr. Donovan's OSS, weren't you sir?
Mr. Wabash: I sailed the Adriatic with a movie star at the helm! It doesn't seem like much of a war now. But it was. I go even further back than that. Ten years after The Great War, as we used to call it. Before we knew enough to number them.
Higgins: You miss that kind of action, sir?
Mr. Wabash: Nope. I miss that kind of clarity.


Turner: Are you sure about this ideogram?
Janice: Look at this face. Could I be wrong about an ideogram?
[Turner laughs.]
Turner: It's a great face. But it's never been to China.

Turner: Do we have plans to invade the Middle East?
Higgins: Are you crazy?
Turner: Am I?
Higgins: Look, Turner…
Turner: Do we have plans?
Higgins: No. Absolutely not. We have games. That's all. We play games. What if? How many men? What would it take? Is there a cheaper way to destabilize a regime? That's what we're paid to do.
Turner: So Atwood just took the games too seriously. He was really going to do it, wasn't he?
Higgins: A renegade operation. Atwood knew 54/12 would never authorize it, not with the heat on the company.
Turner: What if there hadn't been any heat? Suppose I hadn't stumbled on their plan?
Higgins: Different ballgame. Fact is, there was nothing wrong with the plan. Oh, the plan was all right, the plan would've worked.
Turner: Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?
Higgins: No. It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In ten or fifteen years, food. Plutonium. And maybe even sooner. Now, what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?
Turner: Ask them.
Higgins: Not now — then! Ask 'em when they're running out. Ask 'em when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask 'em when their engines stop. Ask 'em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won't want us to ask 'em. They'll just want us to get it for 'em!
Turner: Boy, have you found a home. There were seven people killed, Higgins.
Higgins: The company didn't order it.
Turner: Atwood did. Atwood did. And who the hell is Atwood? He's you. He's all you guys. Seven people killed, and you play ****ing games!
Higgins: Right. And the other side does, too. That's why we can't let you stay outside.

Turner: I'd like to go back to New York.
Joubert: You have not much future there. It will happen this way. You may be walking. Maybe the first sunny day of the spring. And a car will slow beside you, and a door will open, and someone you know, maybe even trust, will get out of the car. And he will smile, a becoming smile. But he will leave open the door of the car and offer to give you a lift.
Turner: You seem to understand it all so well. What would you suggest?
Joubert: Personally, I prefer Europe.
Turner: Europe?
Joubert: Yes. Well, the fact is, what I do is not a bad occupation. Someone is always willing to pay.
Turner: I would find it… tiring.
Joubert: Oh, no — it's quite restful. It's… almost peaceful. No need to believe in either side, or any side. There is no cause. There's only yourself. The belief is in your own precision.
Turner: I was born in the United States, Joubert. I miss it when I'm away too long.
Joubert: A pity.
Turner: I don't think so.
...
[Joubert pauses, then holds out a gun to Turner]
Joubert: For that day.

Turner: Kathy, I need time.
Kathy: Hmm?
Turner: Eight hours or so, that's all. Till noon, to do what I have to do. Do you understand what I'm saying? Are you going right to Vermont?
Kathy: Yes.
Turner: What I mean is don't call anyone. Don't stop, please. Don't tell anyone about--
Kathy: [crying] Of course!
Turner: Jesus. Jesus. I-- I didn't--
Conductor: All aboard!
Turner: Hey. You take care of yourself.
Kathy: I'll do my best.
Turner: Do your best.

Turner: Listen, I'll be going in the morning.
Kathy: Where? Was it all right?
Turner: All right?
Kathy: Outside-- Was it safe? Wherever you went.
Turner: Oh. I'm not sure.
Kathy: Oh, God. I wish I knew more. About you, yesterday, today…
Turner: I don't remember yesterday. Today it rained.

Turner: This is no goddamned book! Somebody or something is rotten in the Company!
Higgins: You never complained 'til yesterday.
Turner: You didn't start killing my friends 'til yesterday!

Turner: What does Operations care about a bunch of goddamn books? A book in Dutch. A book out of Venezuela. Mystery stories in Arabic.
Atwood: Wait!
Turner: What the hell is so important about…
[He stops as he sees the connection.]
Turner: Oil fields. Oil. That's it, isn't it? This whole damn thing was about oil! Wasn't it? Wasn't it?
Atwood: Yes, it was.
Joubert: Don't turn for a moment. Put your thumb in front of the hammer. Release it slowly. Set down the gun on the desk. And don't move. Back up. You were quite good, Condor, until this. This move was predictable.
[Joubert shoots Atwood]

Turner: Why?
Joubert: I don't interest myself in "why". I think more often in terms of "when", sometimes "where"… always "how much". I suspect he was about to become an embarrassment. As you are.
Turner: So you're not finished.
Joubert: Pardon? Oh, no. I have no arrangement with the company concerning you. They didn't know you'd be here. I knew you'd be here.
Turner: But didn't you send the mailman?
Joubert: That was a business arrangement with Atwood, but you see.

Turner: You wouldn't also happen to be acquainted with a tall gentleman, 6'4", blond hair, strong like a farmer. He's not American, has an accent. Country, toward Germany, maybe Alsace-Lorraine.
Higgins: I want to see that report, Turner.
Turner: No, no..Higgins. C'Mon! ..Do you know him?
Higgins: Professionally, yes.
Turner: Professionally, he kills people.
Higgins: Yes! Yes.
Turner: He works for the company?
Higgins: He did once. He's a contract agent.
Turner: Contract agent.
Higgins: Freelance. Where did you see him?
Turner: Uh-uh.
Higgins: It would help if I knew.
Turner: Who would it help? Who'd hire him now?
Higgins: Anybody.
Turner: Terrific answer.
Higgins: I wouldn't accept it, either.
Turner: What's his name?
Higgins: When I knew him, Joubert.
Turner: Come on, Higgins. Who'd hire him? You don't look up Joubert in the yellow pages.
Higgins: That's right. It'd have to be somebody in the community.
Turner: Community?
Higgins: Intelligence field.
Turner: Community! Jesus, you guys are kind to yourselves. Community.
Higgins: I want to see that report, Turner.
Turner: That report was sent to headquarters and disappeared.
Higgins: Who read it?
Turner: You mean besides Wicks? You tell me. I pick up traces of what I think's an intelligence network the company doesn't know about, and I report it. Now, why is that going to make anybody mad? Unless it was the company's network and you didn't want it blown, even to your own guys. Unless somebody is lying, Higgins. Come on. Why is everybody so shy?
Higgins: I'm not shy. I don't know. That's what worries me. I don't know.
Turner: Ask Wicks.
Higgins: Wicks died. Someone yanked him off the life support system at Guvenor Hospital.
Turner: Get me in, Higgins.
Higgins: What good would that do if you're right, and they are inside? What good would it do to bring you in?
Turner: What am I supposed to do?
Higgins: I'm sorry.
Turner: You're sorry? You're sorry. Oh, I get it. I get it. You expect me to draw fire, like one of those penny arcade bears that parades back and forth, waiting for somebody, somebody good, to take another shot. You'll pick him up before he does it, or just after?

Turner: You're funny. You take pictures of empty streets and trees with no leaves on them.
Kathy: It's winter.
Turner: Not quite winter. They look like November. Not autumn, not winter. In-between. I like them.
Kathy: Thanks.

[Turner and Higgins stop in front of The New York Times.]
Turner: They've got all of it.
Higgins: What? What did you do?
Turner: I told them a story. I told 'em a story. You play games; I told 'em a story.
Higgins: Oh, you… you poor, dumb son of a bitch. You've done more damage than you know.
Turner: I hope so.
Higgins: You're about to be a very lonely man. It didn't have to end this way.
Turner: Of course it did.
Higgins: Hey Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk… but how far if they don't print it?
Turner: They'll print it.
Higgins: How do you know?

[Turner and Kathy say their goodbyes at a train station.]
Kathy: You… you have a lot of very fine qualities. But…
Turner: What fine qualities?
Kathy: You have good eyes. Not kind, but… they don't lie, and they don't look away much, and they don't miss anything. I could use eyes like that.
Turner: But you're overdue in Vermont. [pauses] Is he a tough guy?
Kathy: He's pretty tough.
Turner: What will he do?
Kathy: Understand, probably.
Turner: Boy. That is tough.

[Turner is repairing some computer equipment.]
Dr. Lappe: We have people to service these machines.
Turner: These things are really pretty simple — they just look complicated.
Dr. Lappe: Mr. Turner, I wonder if you're… entirely happy here.
Turner: Within obvious limits, yes sir.
Dr. Lappe: Obvious limits?
Turner: It bothers me that I can't tell people what I do.
Dr. Lappe: Why is it taking you so long to accept that?
Turner: Well, I actually trust a few people. That's a problem.

[Turner stops at a deli to pick up lunch for the office.]
Jimmy: Hey, Shakespeare! How's it going?
Turner: Terrific. I'm building up a great collection of rejection slips.
Jimmy: Yeah, I know the feeling. I always wanted to be Escoffier.
Turner: Well, maybe it's not too late. You know, Van Gogh was thirty before he started to paint.
Jimmy: No kiddin'?
Turner: There's no mayonnaise on Dr. Lappe's. On the other hand, Mozart was three when he started to play the piano, and he was composing at six.
Jimmy: Fast starter. 'S probably better.
Turner: Well, I don't know. Van Gogh never sold a painting in a whole lifetime. Mozart died a pauper.
Customer: Where am I, the public library?
Jimmy: That's a very bright man.
Customer: It's educational. That's why I come in here.
Turner: You come in here to get sick like everybody else.
Jimmy: Come on.
Turner: No butter on Ray's sandwich. He gets panicky about butter.