The Life of David Gale

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The Life of David Gale is a 2003 film about a man who opposes capital punishment who is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Directed by Alan Parker and written by Charles Randolph.
The crime is clear. The truth is not.


David Gale

  • [Giving a lecture to his college students] Fantasies have to be unrealistic. Because the minute- the second- that you get what you want, you don't- you can't- want it anymore.
  • [Giving a lecture to his college students] Living by your wants will never make you happy; what it means to be fully human is to strive to live by ideas and ideals and not to measure your life by what you ever attain in terms of your desires but those small moments of integrity, compassion, rationality, even self-sacrifice.
  • This is what Pascal means when he says that we are only truly happy when daydreaming about future happiness.
  • [while drunk] Socrates was ugly, Plato was fat, and, um, and Aristotle was a prissy dresser!
  • I fell off the wagon and hurt myself.
  • They wanted me to die knowing the key to my freedom was out there somewhere!
  • Death is a gift.
  • We spend our whole lives trying to stop death. Eating, inventing, loving, praying, fighting, killing. But what do we really know about death? Just that nobody comes back. But there comes a point in life - a moment - when your mind outlives its desires, its obsessions, when your habits survive your dreams, and when your losses... Maybe death is a gift. You wonder. All I can tell you is that by this time tomorrow I'll be dead. I know when. I just can't say why. You have 24 hours to find out.

Bitsy Bloom

  • Of course he sympathizes with murderers... he is one!
  • Hate's no fun if you keep it to yourself.

Others

  • Braxton Belyeu: I'm no more afraid of the Grim Reaper than I am of a Presbyterian on Mother's Day.
  • Constance Harraway: You work so hard not to be seen as a sex object. Before long, you're not seen at all.
  • Zack: 73% of all serial killers vote Republican

Dialogue

Governor Hardin: Alan, let me say something I always say and I'm gonna keep on saying. And that is that I HATE killin'. That's why my administration is willing to kill to stop it.
David Gale: So, you don't subscribe to the idea that 'a good state is the one that protects its most despised members?'
Governor Hardin: It's a nice liberal idea. But, like most nice liberal ideas, naive.
David Gale: It's a quote from you, Governor. From your first state attorney campaign
Governor Hardin: [flustered] You've got me, Professor. But let me, in my defense, offer YOU a quote. Winston Churchill: 'If you're not a liberal at twenty, you have no heart, if you're still a liberal at thirty, you've got no brain.'
[studio audience laughs]
David Gale: So, basically, you feel, to choose another quote, 'a healthy society must stop at nothing to cleanse itself of evil.'
Governor Hardin: Well, yes. I'd have to agree. [laughs] Did I say that too?
David Gale: No sir, that was Hitler.

Constance Harraway: The TA just finished transcribing all the governor's radio and TV comments. Listen to this gem: Journalist - "Governor, don't you think three executions in one week is a little excessive?" Governor - "I say let's bring them in, strap them down, and rock and roll."
David Gale: Oh, it's good to know our governor is in touch with his inner frat boy.

Berlin: Sorry about being late. There was, you know, a thing.
David Gale: Yeah, there usually is, Berlin.
Berlin: Look, I know I'm not doing too well, and, to torture a cliché, I will do anything to pass.
David Gale: Anything, huh?
Berlin: Any. Thing.
David Gale: Ok, Berlin.
[leans in close]
David Gale: I will give you a good grade, I will give you a very, very good grade if you just [whispers into her ear] study.

Berlin: Did I tell you that when you were circumcised they threw away the wrong part?
David Gale: Yes, I believe you mentioned it. It's called schmuck.
Berlin: What?
David Gale: Part of the foreskin they throw away after circumcision, I believe it is called schmuck.
Berlin: Aren't we so fucking clever.

Constance Harraway: You wanna tell me what's up?
David Gale: Nothing. Everything. Something profoundly stupid happened last night.
Constance Harraway: I hope you used a condom.
[David looks at Constance]
Constance Harraway: Oh Jesus Christ, David. Was she one of yours?
David Gale: It was Berlin.
Constance Harraway: Oh great! Oh, that's great. I can hear the grapevine now. "They had to suspend her so that Gale could dick her with a conscience." A power differential equals coercion. That is great. You're so weak!
David Gale: You know, you're not my wife, Constance. Thank God!
Constance Harraway: Oh, well, don't worry. It's not a position I aspire to, so fuck you.

David Gale: How do we start?
Bitsey Bloom: We start with... you telling me what I'm doing here.
David Gale: No one who looks through that glass sees a person. They see a crime. I'm not David Gale. I'm a murderer and a rapist... four days shy of his execution.

Bitsey Bloom: You know you are in the bible belt when there are more churches than Starbucks.
Zack: When there are more prisons than Starbucks.

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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