Platoon (1986) quotes

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Excuses are like assholes, Taylor, everybody got one.
Sgt. O’Neill

Somebody once wrote, “Hell is the impossibility of reason.” That’s what this place feels like. Hell.
– Chris Taylor

What happened today was just the beginning. We’re gonna lose this war.
– Sgt. Elias
Come on. You really think so? Us?
– Chris Taylor
We been kicking other peoples asses for so long, I figured it’s time we got ours kicked.
– Sgt. Elias

[last lines]
[voiceover] I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days as I’m sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called possession of my soul. There are times since, I’ve felt like the child born of those two fathers. But, be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what’s left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.
– Chris Taylor

Talking about killing? Y’all experts? Y’all know about killing? I’d like to hear about it, potheads.
– Sgt. Barnes
[takes pipe and inhales drag]
Why do you smoke this shit? So as to escape from reality? Me, I don’t need this shit. I am reality. There’s the way it ought to be. And there’s the way it is. Elias was full of shit. Elias was a crusader. Now, I got no fight with any man who does what he’s told, but when he don’t, the machine breaks down. And when the machine breaks down, we break down. And I ain’t gonna allow that in any of you. Not one.
– Sgt. Barnes
[hands pipe back and spits]
Y’all love Elias. Oh, you wanna kick ass. Yeah. Well, here I am, all by my lonesome, and ain’t nobody gonna know. Six of you boys against me. Kill me. Huh. I shit on all of you.
– Sgt. Barnes

[King is writing a letter to his girlfriend]
It ain’t D-E-R-E, it’s D-E-A-R. And “Sarah” ain’t got no two R’s, King. Damn, you dumb!
– Francis
It don’t make no difference. She know what I mean. She don’t read too good nohow.
– King

Bob, I got a bad feeling on this one, all right? I mean, I got a bad feeling. I don’t think I’m gonna make it out of here. You understand what I’m saying to you?
– Sgt. O’Neill
Everybody got to die sometime, Red.
– Sgt. Barnes

Elias didn’t ask you to fight his battles for him. And if there’s a heaven, and, God, I hope there is, I know he’s sitting up there drunk as a fucking monkey and smoking shit, ’cause he done left his pains down here.
– Rhah

I love this place at night, the stars. There’s no right or wrong in them. They’re just there.
– Sgt. Elias

Day by day, I struggle to maintain not only my strength but my sanity. It’s all a blur. I have no energy to write. I don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong anymore. The morale of the men is low. A civil war in the platoon. Half the men with Elias, half with Barnes. There’s a lot of suspicion and hate. I can’t believe we’re fighting each other when we should be fighting them.
– Chris Taylor

I don’t know brothers, but I’m hurting real bad inside.
– Big Harold

Shut up! Shut up and take the pain! Take the pain!
– Sgt. Barnes

Death? What do you all know about death?
– Sgt. Barnes

The village, which had stood for maybe 1,000 years, didn’t know we were coming that day. If they had, they would have run. Barnes was at the eye of our rage. And through him, our Captain Ahab. He would set things right again. That day, we loved him.
– Chris Taylor

[to Rhah] You’re weird, man.
– Pvt. Gator Lerner