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Outbreak is a 1995 film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and written by Laurence Dworet and Robert Roy Pool. The film focuses on an outbreak of a fictional Ebola-like virus called Motaba. The film is set in the fictional town of Cedar Creek, California and shows how far the USAMRIID and the CDC might go to contain the spread.


Sam Daniels: What're you gonna be doing at CDC?
Robby Keough: Working BL-4. Same as you.
Sam Daniels: My job.
Robby Keough: Well, I like to think of it as my job.

Sam Daniels: What have I ever done to make your life miserable, sir?
Gen. Billy Ford: You got up this morning, didn't you?

[Sam and Casey caution eager new team member Major Salt.]
Sam Daniels: It's just one of those panics that puts us all in danger.
Casey Schuler: And he's under direct orders not to die out there. And that's one set of orders he's actually planning on following.

[Sam looks over Casey's shoulder as he dictates the Motaba Valley outbreak report.]
Sam Daniels: "Alarmingly high fatality. All localized within a three-mile radius… incubation period short… appears contained." Alarming! Casey, you didn't put "alarming".
Casey Schuler: It's an adverb, Sam. It's a lazy tool of a weak mind.

Sam Daniels: You know, fear gets a bad rap, Salt. I don't want anybody working with me who isn't scared. Okay?
Maj. Salt: Well then I'm you're man, sir.

Casey Schuler: I think a state-sanctioned divorce signed by both parties is strong evidence that something is off.

Casey Schuler: I hate this bug.
Sam Daniels: Come on, Casey. You have to love its simplicity. It's one-billionth our size and it's beating us.
Casey Schuler: So, what do you wanna do — take it to dinner?
Sam Daniels: No.
Casey Schuler: What, then?
Sam Daniels: Kill it.

[Sam tries unsuccessfully to get Robby to issue a CDC alert.]
Sam Daniels: Once in your life, take a chance!
Robby Keough: You know what, Sam? I did. I married you.

Sam Daniels: Nobody gets sick within 24 hours, we're in the clear!
Robby Keough: This doesn't sound like you.
Sam Daniels: What?
Robby Keough: Imagining the best-case scenario.
Sam Daniels: Why not? I still think there's hope for us.

[Gen. Ford refuses to send Col. Daniels to Cedar Creek.]
Billy Ford: Now, I'm your boss; I have my boss. Is that clear to you?!
Sam Daniels: Yeah. Get your boss on the phone! Call up McClintock! Tell him to put me on a plane before the two of you kill a lot of people!
Billy Ford: Colonel, I'm gonna suggest that you shut up now before you say something else you're gonna be sorry for. And don't forget who you're talking to!
Sam Daniels: Well, tell me who I'm talking to, 'cause I don't know who I'm talking to anymore, Billy. Am I talking to USAMRIID? The Pentagon? The CIA? Fucking McClintock? Dugway?

[Airport dispatch Sergeant Wolf tries to call General Ford to confirm Daniels' change to Cedar Creek.]
Sam Daniels: You call the tower right now, and you tell 'em to change my flight plans. Put your finger on the phone! Put your finger on the phone.
Sgt. Wolf: This could mean my stripes, sir.
Sam Daniels: It'll mean your ass if you don't put your finger on the phone. Finger the phone. Finger it.

Sam Daniels: I know what I told you, but now I'm telling you, we're facing a new strain.
Billy Ford: What?
Sam Daniels: It spreads like flu.
Billy Ford: Impossible.
Sam Daniels: Fine! Go to the hospital, check it out yourself. Go without a mask, you'll see more clearly.

Robby Keough: What happened, Casey?
Casey Schuler: Oh, nothing — I just got a sudden case of the willies. […] I hate them willies. They ought to call 'em the "Sams", don't you think?

Chief of Staff: Now, as I understand it, you want to firebomb the town of Cedar Creek, California, population 2600, with something called a "fuel-air bomb", the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in our arsenal. The way it works, it explodes, sucks in all available oxygen to the core, vaporizes everything within a mile of ground zero — men, women, children, and one airborne virus. Destruction complete, case closed, crisis over.
[He pulls out a small booklet from his back pocket.]
Chief of Staff: This… Constitution of the United States… I've read it cover to cover. I don't find anything in it about vaporizing 2600 American citizens, but it does sayseveral times — that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process.
Chief of Staff: So, a couple of things before "Cleansweep" is even considered: One, unanimous, unwavering support for the president on this one and I mean public. You're gonna stand there shoulder to shoulder with him - he goes down, you go down. Second, I want an army of experts citing hundreds of thousands of lab experiments, telling any idiot with a camera, that there was no other way! You got that? Hmm? No person of this government is going to go sneaking off to the Washington post telling how "they were the sold voice of opposition". If there is a voice of opposition out there, I want him in here now!
[Throws a wad of photos on the table.]
Chief of Staff: Those are the citizens of Cedar Creek, go ahead take a look at them - these are not statistics ladies and gentlemen - they're flesh and blood! I want you to burn those images into your memories, because they should haunt you until the day you die!

Gen. Billy Ford: Donny… these people are Americans.
Gen. Donald McClintock: 2600 dead or dying Americans. If that bug gets out of there, Billy, 260 million Americans'll be dead or dying. Those people are casualties of war, Billy. I would give 'em all a medal if I could, but they are casualties of war.

[Sam rouses Casey out of his viral delirium.]
Casey Schuler: How many brain cells did I kill?
Sam Daniels: How many? 'Bout a billion.
Casey Schuler: Ooh… now I'm only as smart as you.
Sam Daniels: Heh-heh. What can we give him to kill his sense of humor?

Col. Sam Daniels: You could have stopped this outbreak before it mutated, but you didn't.
Gen. Billy Ford: We couldn't.
Col. Sam Daniels: We?
Gen. Billy Ford: We.
Col. Sam Daniels: We?
Gen. Billy Ford: We! That's all you need to know.
. . .
Col. Sam Daniels: Robby's infected.
Gen. Billy Ford: Sorry.
Col. Sam Daniels: Is "we" sorry, too?
. . .
Gen. Billy Ford: Who is "we"? "We" includes you, Sam. Unless you resigned from the Army in the last week. You don't just do research and it ends there, Sam. We have to defend ourselves against the other maniacs who are developing biological weapons.

Sgt. Meyer: Sir, my pilot's… taking a leak.
Sam Daniels: A leak? No shit!

[Daniels and Salt barge through a crowded line at a Federal export clearance office.]
Sam Daniels: Colonel Daniels, from USAMRIID. I'm sorry.
George: Yes, and I'm George from Sioux City, Iowa. Back of the line, Colonel.
Sam Daniels: We got a terrible epidemic. We're from Cedar Creek, George. [to the crowd] We're from Cedar Creek, California!
[Everyone backs away. George looks worried.]
Sam Daniels: George, you heard about this virus — need we say more? Okay, we need all the bills of lading from ships arriving from Africa [clasps George's hands] in the last three months. George!
George: [nervously] Uh-huh… huh?
Sam Daniels: Shall I cough on you, George?
. . .
Maj. Salt: The Tae Kuk has set out to sea already, sir.
Sam Daniels: So what?
Maj. Salt: How're we gonna locate it?
Mrs. Pananides: I got a friend in the Coast Guard. I can make a call, easy.
Sam Daniels: How close a friend?
Mrs. Pananides: Closer than his wife would like.

Maj. Salt: You want me to fly you out to sea… drop you onto a freighter? Sir, with all due respect, that is idiotic.
Sam Daniels: Idiotic? Lemme ask you a question. Are we fugitives from the law?
Maj. Salt: Right.
Sam Daniels: Idiocy is our only option.
. . .
Sam Daniels: Just don't get negative on me.
Maj. Salt: Affirmative.
. . .
Sam Daniels: That's it! Thank you, Mrs.— what's her name?
Maj. Salt: Pananides!
Sam Daniels: Thank you, ma'am.

[Colonel Briggs hands General McClintock an address.]
Col. Briggs: They're headed right there, and I got two teams on standby.
Gen. Donald McClintock: Good, Briggs — a potential screw-up you managed to avoid among many others you have not. Who do you think should handle this now?
Col. Briggs: You, sir?
Gen. Donald McClintock: You kiss ass with the best of them, Briggs. You hope to make General one day?
Col. Briggs: Yes, sir.
Gen. Donald McClintock: Well, you won't.

Gen. Donald McClintock: With all due respect, Col. Daniels, if you do not follow us to Travis Air Force Base, I will blow you out of the sky!
Sam Daniels: General, with all due respect, fuck you, sir.

[Daniels tries to stop the oncoming bomber plane.]
Sam Daniels: Ohh, Christ, guys, if you think I'm lying, drop the bomb. If you think I'm crazy, drop the bomb. But don't drop the bomb just because you're following orders!

Gen. Donald McClintock: Nobody puts me under arrest. Nobody.
[Col. Briggs stops him, drawing his pistol.]
Gen. Donald McClintock: Colonel Briggs. What a wonderful moment this must be for you.
[Briggs grins.]

[Sam and Robby talk as she's recovering from the disease.]
Robby Keough: It's a pretty unique experience.
Sam Daniels: Sorta like living with me.
Robby Keough: Mm-hmm.
Sam Daniels: Would you go through it again?
Robby Keough: Maybe. Now that I have the antibodies.


  • This animal carries a deadly virus… and the greatest medical crisis in the world is about to happen.
  • Try to remain calm.


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