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Every perfect life is a parable invented by God.
Simone Weil
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Gattaca is a 1997 science fiction film.

Written and directed by Andrew Niccol.
There Is No Gene For The Human Spirit.

Vincent Freeman

  • No, there's truly nothing remarkable about the progress of Jerome Morrow... except that I am not Jerome Morrow.
  • They used to say that a child conceived in love has a greater chance of happiness. They don't say that anymore.
  • I belonged to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the color of your skin. We now have discrimination down to a science.
  • There's no gene for fate.
  • My real resumé was in my cells.
  • ...the impossible happened. It was the moment that made everything else possible.
  • It's not too late to back out. This is the last day you're gonna be you and I'm gonna be me.
  • [About cleanliness] It's next to godliness; isn't that what they say?
  • Don't eat that, that's Pluto!
  • You are the authority on what is not possible, aren't you Irene? They've got you looking so hard for any flaw, that after a while that's all you see. For what it's worth, I'm here to tell you that it is possible. It is possible.
  • It's funny: you work so hard, you do everything you can to get away from a place, and when you finally get your chance to leave, you find a reason to stay.
  • Are we brothers?
  • There is more vodka in this piss than there is piss!
  • [On how he was finally able to beat Anton in their swimming contests] You want to know how I did it? This is how I did it, Anton -- I never saved anything for the swim back.
  • I was never more certain of how far away I was from my goal than when I was standing right beside it.
  • Mine's already ten thousand beats overdue.
  • Just remember that I was as good as any, and better than most. I could have gone up and back, and nobody woulda been the wiser.
  • For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I'm suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I'm not leaving... maybe I'm going home. [A reference to the opening monologue of the play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds]
  • I took my mind off the pain by reminding myself that when I eventually did stand up, I'd be exactly two inches closer to the stars.
  • There is still a few million miles left to go.
  • Is it the only way you can succeed is to see me fail?

Jerome Eugene Morrow

  • What makes you think that you can be me at all?
  • [after vomiting] Do you want some of this? I could keep it for you in case you ever need it.
  • I'm proud of you, Vincent.
  • If at first you don't succeed... try, try again.
  • You can't quit on me now - I've put too much into this.
  • I'm traveling, too.
  • I got the better end of the deal. I only lent you my body - you lent me your dream.
  • You still don't understand, do you? When they look at you, they don't see you any more, they only see me.
  • What's your number? No, no... What's your number, you fucking flatfoot?! It gets to you, doesn't it? It gets to you that I can do what you can only dream of. I'm getting off this ball of dirt... What's your number?
  • We have to get drunk immediately.

Antonio Freeman

  • Son... the only way you're going to see the inside of a spaceship is if you were cleaning it.
  • No, not Anton. Name him Vincent.

Marie Freeman

  • I know he'll do something. You'll do something.

Anton Freeman

  • Come on, you coward.
  • I bet I could be an astronaut, if I wanted.
  • You sure you want to do this? You know you're gonna lose.


  • Director Josef: No one exceeds their potential. If they did, it would mean we did not accurately gauge their potential in the first place.
  • Caesar: When you clean the glass, Vincent, don't clean it too might get ideas.
  • Caesar: Thinking of space, Vincent? Well here, you can start by cleaning that space right there.
  • German: Blood has no nationality.


[Vincent's parents are planning a second child, and are shown four candidate embryos]
Geneticist: We want to give your child the best possible start. Believe me, we have enough imperfection built in already. Your child doesn't need any more additional burdens. Keep in mind, this child is still you. Simply, the best, of you. You could conceive naturally a thousand times and never get such a result.
. . .
Vincent's mother: What will happen to the others?
Geneticist: [smiles] These are not babies, Marie. Merely human possibilities. Smaller... than grains... of sand. [sets petri dish on the table] See?

[Vincent is looking at a picture of a 12-fingered pianist]
Irene: You didn't know?
Vincent: Oh, I knew.
Irene: It's amazing, isn't it?
Vincent: Twelve fingers, it's a wonder he can play.
Irene: That piece can only be played with twelve.

[at the classroom]
Anton Freeman: Vincent. My God you have changed. What, has it been so long, you've forgotten how to hug your brother?
Vincent Freeman: Why, are we brothers? [Pause] What are you doing here?
Anton: I should be asking you that question. I have a right to be here. You don't. Hey, I can straighten things out. I can get you out of here-
Vincent: Do you have any idea what it took get IN here?!
Anton: Listen, you're in a big deal of trouble. You're coming with me now!
Vincent:There is still a few billion more miles for me to go..
Anton:It's over..
Vincent:Is it the only way you can succeed is to see me fail?
Anton: I'm telling you.....
Vincent: MY GOD, ARE YOU GOING TO TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN'T DO NOW!? In case you haven't noticed, I don't need anymore rescuing, but you did once. Well.. you got all the answers, how you explain that?
Anton: You didn't beet me that day. I beet myself.
Vincent: Who are you trying to convince?
Anton: You want me to prove it to you? OK, I'LL PROVE IT TO YOU!
Vincent: I do.

[Prior to launch, Vincent is confronted with an unexpected urine test without one of Jerome's samples]
Vincent: What's this?
Dr. Lamar: New policy. What's the matter? Flight got you nervous?
Vincent: Well, there's a problem Lamar...
Dr. Lamar: ...I still haven't told you about my son, have I? He's a big fan of yours...
Vincent: Just remember that I was as good as any, and better than most...
Dr. Lamar: ...He wants to apply here...
Vincent: ...I could've gone up and back and nobody would've been the wiser...
Dr. Lamar: ...unfortunately, my son's not all that they promised. But then again, who knows what he could do.
[test reveals Vincent as an invalid]
Dr. Lamar: [smiles] For future reference, right-handed men don't hold it with their left. It's just one of those things.
[Lamar overrides the results with Jerome's valid ID]
Dr. Lamar: You don't want to miss your flight, Vincent.


In a few short years, scientists will have completed the Human Genome Project, the mapping of all the genes that make up a human being. We have now evolved to the point where we can direct our own evolution.

Had we acquired this knowledge sooner, the following people may never have been born:

Abraham LincolnMarfan Syndrome
Emily DickinsonManic Depression
Vincent Van GoghEpilepsy
Albert EinsteinDyslexia
John F. KennedyAddison's Disease
Rita HayworthAlzheimer's Disease
Ray CharlesPrimary Glaucoma
Stephen HawkingAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Jackie Joyner-KerseeAsthma

Of course, the other birth that may never have taken place is your own...


  • Ethan Hawke - Vincent Freeman
  • Uma Thurman - Irene Cassini
  • Jude Law - Jerome Eugene Morrow
  • Gore Vidal - Director Josef
  • Xander Berkeley - Dr. Lamar
  • Jayne Brook - Marie Freeman
  • Elias Koteas - Antonio Freeman
  • Ernest Borgnine - Caesar
  • Alan Arkin - Det. Hugo
  • Loren Dean - Anton Freeman

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