Quotes from the Movie Apocalypse Now

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.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

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

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

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.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

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.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

The machinist, the one they called Chef, was from New Orleans. He was wrapped too tight for Vietnam, probably wrapped too tight for New Orleans. Lance on the forward 50's was a famous surfer from the beaches south of L.A. You look at him and you wouldn't believe he ever fired a weapon in his whole life. Clean, Mr. Clean, was from some South Bronx shithole. The light and space of Vietnam really put the zap on his head. Then there was Phillips, the Chief. It might have been my mission, but it sure as shit was the Chief's boat.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice mission, and when it was over, I'd never want another.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

Someday this war's gonna end. That'd be just fine with the boys on the boat. They weren't looking for anything more than a way home. Trouble is, I'd been back there, and I knew that it just didn't exist anymore.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

Charlie didn't get much USO. He was dug in too deep, or movin' too fast. His idea of R&R was cold rice and a little rat meat. He had only two ways home: death or victory.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

Late summer-autumn 1968: Kurtz's patrols in the highlands coming under frequent ambush. The camp started falling apart Ö 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.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

On the river, I thought that the minute I looked at him, I'd know what to do, but it didn't happen. I was in there with him for days, not under guard, I was free, but he knew I wasn't going anywhere. He knew more about what I was going to do than I did. If the Generals back in Nha Trang could see what I saw, would they still want me to kill him? More than ever, probably. And what would his people back home want if they ever learned just how far from them he'd really gone? He broke from them, and then he broke from himself. I'd never seen a man so broken up and ripped apart.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

Everybody wanted me to do it, him most of all. I felt like he was up there, waiting for me to take the pain away. He just wanted to go out like a soldier, standing up, not like some poor, wasted, rag-assed renegade. Even the jungle wanted him dead, and that's who he really took his orders from anyway.

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

"Dear son, I'm afraid that both you and your mother would have been worried for not hearing from me these past weeks. But my situation here has become a difficult one. I've been officially accused of murder by the Army. The alleged victims were four Vietnamese double agents. We spent months uncovering and accumulating evidence. When absolute proof was completed, we acted, we acted like soldiers. The charges are unjustified. They are in fact, under the circumstances of this conflict, quite completely insane. In a war there are many moments for compassion and tender action. There are many moments for ruthless action, for what is often called ruthless, what may in many circumstances be only clarity; seeing clearly what there is to be done and doing it directly, quickly, aware Ö looking at it. I would trust you to tell your mother what you choose about this letter. As for the charges, I'm unconcerned. I'm beyond their timid, lying morality. And so I'm beyond caring. You have all my faith. Your loving father."

Captain Benjamin L. Willard

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

Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore

You either surf or you fight.

Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore

What the hell do you know about surfing, Major? You're from goddamned New Jersey.

Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore

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