Movies

The Best Political Movie Quotes

With the release of George Clooney's political drama "The Ides of March," "Extra" collected a list of 20 great quotes for some stellar movies about matters of state.

20 Political Movie Quotes

'The Candidate' (1972)

Bill McKay (Robert Redford): [after winning the election] "What do we do now?"

'Syriana' (2005)

Danny Dalton (Tim Blake Nelson): "Corruption? Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. That's Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize. We have laws against it precisely so we can get away with it. Corruption is our protection. Corruption keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why you and I are prancing around in here instead of fighting over scraps of meat out in the streets. Corruption is why we win."

'The Queen' (2006)

Tony Blair (Michael Sheen): "You know, when you get it wrong, you really get it wrong! That woman has given her whole life in service to her people. Fifty years doing a job SHE never wanted! A job she watched kill her father. She's executed it with honor, dignity, and, as far as I can tell, without a single blemish, and now we're all baying for her blood! All because she's struggling to lead the world in mourning for someone who... who threw everything she offered back in her face. And who, for the last few years, seemed committed 24/7 to destroying everything she holds most dear!"

'Frost/Nixon' (2008)

David Frost (Michael Sheen): "Are you really saying the President can do something illegal?" Richard Nixon (Frank Langella): "I'm saying that when the President does it, it's not illegal!"David Frost: "...I'm sorry?"

'Too Big to Fail' (2011)

Michele Davis (Cynthia Nixon): "They almost bring down the U.S. economy as we know but we can't put restrictions on how they spend the $125 billion we're giving them because... they might not take it?"

'All the President's Men' (1976)

Bob Woodward (Robert Redford): "Well, who is Charles Colson?" Harry Rosenfeld (Jack Warden): "The most powerful man in the United States is President Nixon. You've heard of him? Charles Colson is special counsel to the President. There's a cartoon on his wall. The caption reads, 'When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.'"

'The Manchurian Candidate' (2004)

Eleanor Shaw: "Make no mistake. The American people are terrified. They know something's coming. They can feel it. And we can either shovel them the same old sh*t and call it sugar or we can arm them. We can arm them with a young, vibrant Vice President. We can give them heat, energy! Give them a war hero with heart, forged by enemy fire in the desert in the dark when American lives hung on the balance!"

'Recount' (2008)

Ron Klain (Kevin Spacey): "How hard is it to punch a paper ballot?" Michael Whouley (Denis Leary): "It's pretty g*damn hard when you're 80-something years old, you're arthritic, and you're blind as a f**king bat. Unfortunately for us, blind f**king bats tend to vote Democratic.

'Reds' (1981)

John Reed (Warren Beatty): "Look, what does a capitalist do? Let me ask you that, Mike. Huh? Tell me. I mean, what does he make, besides money? I don't know what he makes. The workers do all the work, don't they? Well, what if they got organized?"

'Wag the Dog' (1997)

Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman): "The President will be a hero. He brought peace." Conrad "Connie" Brean (Robert De Niro): "But there was never a war." Stanley Motss: "All the greater accomplishment."

'Bulworth' (1998)

Angry black woman: "Are you sayin' the Democratic Party don't care about the African-American community?" Bullworth (Warren Beatty): "Isn't that obvious? You got half your kids are out of work and the other half are in jail. Do you see any Democrat doing anything about it? Certainly not me! So what're you gonna do, vote Republican? Come on! Come on, you're not gonna vote Republican! Let's call a spade a spade! ...You're NEVER gonna get rid of somebody like me!"

'Election' (1999)

Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon): "You might think it upset me that Paul Metzler had decided to run against me but nothing could be further from the truth. He was no competition for me; it was like apples and oranges. I had to work a little harder, that's all, see I believe in the voters; they understand that elections aren't just popularity contests, they know this country was built by people just like me who work very hard and don't have everything handed to them on a silver spoon."

'True Colors' (1991)

Peter Burton (John Cusack): "They say great men are embraced by thousands of strangers. I wanna be great."

'Dave' (1993)

Dave (Kevin Kline): "If you've ever seen the look on somebody's face the day they finally get a job, I've had some experience with this, they look like they could fly. And its not about the paycheck, it's about respect, it's about looking in the mirror and knowing that you've done something valuable with your day. And if one person could start to feel this way, and then another person, and then another person, soon all these other problems may not seem so impossible. You don't really know how much you can do until you, stand up and decide to try."

'All the King's Men' (1949)

Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford): "Now, shut up! Shut up, all of you! Now listen to me, you hicks. Yeah, you're hicks too, and they fooled you a thousand times like they fooled me. But this time, I'm going to fool somebody. I'm going to stay in this race. I'm on my own and I'm out for blood."

'Primary Colors' (1998)

Gov. Jack Stanton (John Travolta): "I'm going to tell you something really outrageous. I'm going to tell you the truth."

'Swing Vote' (2008)

Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner): "America needs someone who's bigger than their speeches."

'State of the Union' (1948)

Mary Matthews (Katharine Hepburn): "Oh, that's silly. No woman could ever run for President. She'd have to admit she's over 35."

'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' (1939)

Jefferson Smith (James Stewart): "I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr. Paine. All you people don't know about lost causes. Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for. And he fought for them once, for the only reason any man ever fights for them; because of just one plain simple rule: 'Love thy neighbor.'... And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any other. Yes, you even die for them."

'The Contender' (2000)

Laine Hanson (Joan Allen): [closing remarks at Congressional confirmation hearing] "... And, Mr. Chairman, I stand for the separation of Church and State, and the reason that I stand for that is the same reason that I believe our forefathers did. It is not there to protect religion from the grasp of government but to protect our government from the grasp of religious fanaticism. "Now, I may be an atheist, but that does not mean I do not go to church. I do go to church. The church I go to is the one that emancipated the slaves, that gave women the right to vote, that gave us every freedom that we hold dear. My church is this very Chapel of Democracy that we sit in together, and I do not need God to tell me what are my moral absolutes. I need my heart, my brain, and this church."

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