Dark City

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Hey, do you know the way to Shell Beach?

Dark City is a 1998 science fiction film set in a city of perpetual night, whose inhabitants are repeatedly given new, artificial memories by mysterious beings called the Strangers.

Directed by Alex Proyas. Written by Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs, and David S. Goyer.
A world where the night never ends. Where man has no past. And humanity has no future. taglines
First there was darkness. Then came the Strangers.

Dr. Daniel Schreber[edit]

The only place home exists is in your head.
You have their power. You can make things happen by will alone. They call it "Tuning."
Together We can stop them, we can take the city back.
  • First there was darkness. Then came the Strangers. They were a race as old as time itself. They had mastered the ultimate technology. The ability to alter physical reality by will alone. They called this ability "Tuning". But they were dying. Their civilization was in decline, and so they abandoned their world seeking a cure for their own mortality. Their endless journey brought them to a small, blue world in the farthest corner of the galaxy. Our world. Here they thought they had finally found what they had been searching for.
  • You are probably wondering why I keep appearing in your memories, John. It is because I have inserted myself into them.
  • The only place home exists is in your head.
  • I call them the Strangers. They abducted us and brought us here. This city, everyone in it... is their experiment. They mix and match our memories as they see fit, trying to divine what makes us unique. One day, a man might be an inspector. The next, someone entirely different. When they want to study a murderer, for instance, they simply imprint one of their citizens with a new personality. Arrange a family for him, friends, an entire history... even a lost wallet. Then they observe the results. Will a man, given the history of a killer, continue in that vein? Or are we, in fact, more than the sum of our memories?
  • When they first brought us here, they extracted what was in us and stored the information, remixed it like so much paint, and gave us back new memories of their choosing. But they still needed an artist to help them. I understood the human mind better than they ever could, so they allowed me to keep my skills as a scientist... because they needed them. They made me delete everything else. Can you imagine what it's like to erase your own past?
  • Listen to me, John. You have their power. You can make things happen by will alone. They call it "Tuning." That is how they make the buildings change. Just now you acted out of self-defense, a reflex. But I can teach you to control your power consciously. Let me help you, John. Together We can stop them, we can take the city back.
  • [While being hung upside-down by Mr. Book] Maybe you have finally found what you are looking for and it's going to bite you on your —
  • This one is still warm. What is it? The recollections of a great lover? A cataloge of conquests? We will soon find out. [A Stranger gives him two vials] You wouldn't appreciate that, would you, Mr. Whatever-your-name-is?

John Murdoch[edit]

I love you John, you can't fake something like that.
  • I know this is gonna sound crazy, but what if we never knew each other before now? What if the first time we ever met was last night in our apartment. And everything you remember, and everything I’m supposed to remember never really happened. Someone just wants us to think it did.

Mr. Hand[edit]

  • I have become the monster you were intended to be.
    • To John Murdoch
  • Instincts are irrational, Mr. Wall. We must follow where they lead, yes?
  • There used to be a ferry when I was a boy, biggest thing you ever saw, lit up like a floating birthday cake.

Strangers[edit]

  • It seems you have discovered your unpleasant nature.

Detective Walenski[edit]

  • I've been trying to remember things, clearly remember things, from my past, but the more I try to think back, the more it all starts to unravel. None of it seems real. It's like I've just been dreaming this life, and when I finally wake up, I'll be somebody else. Somebody totally different!

Dialogue[edit]

[At a murder scene]
Inspector Frank Bumstead: What's that make so far, Husselbeck? Six hookers in all?
Husselbeck: I believe so, sir.
Inspector Frank Bumstead: Give the man an "A" for effort.

Inspector Frank Bumstead: You saw something, didn't you, Eddie? Something to do with the case.
Walenski: There is no case! There never was! It's all just a big joke! It's a joke!

John Murdoch: I was just thinking, what you do seems kind of dangerous right now. I mean, how do you know I'm not the killer?
May: I don't. Why — you feeling any urges I should know about?

Mr. Wall: Do not fret, Anna. I will give you some more pretty things soon.
Emma Murdoch: I'm not Anna.
Mr. Wall: You will be soon, yes.

John Murdoch: When was the last time you remember doing something during the day?
Inspector Frank Bumstead: What do you mean?
John Murdoch: I just mean during the day. Daylight. When was the last time you remember seeing it? And I'm not talking about some distant, half-forgotten childhood memory, I mean like yesterday. Last week. Can you come up with a single memory? You can't, can you? You know something? I don't think the sun even... exists... in this place. 'Cause I've been up for hours, and hours, and hours, and the night never ends here.

John Murdoch: Hey, do you know the way to Shell Beach?
Taxi Driver: You're kidding! Me and the Mrs. spent our honeymoon there. All you gotta do is take Main Street West to... or is it the Cross... You know, that's funny, I can't remember if it's Main Street West or the Crosstown.

John Murdoch: Excuse me. How do I get to the end of the line?
Train Passenger: You want the Express.
[Few moments later after train passes through without stopping]
John Murdoch: Hey, how come that train didn't stop?
Station Master: That's the Express.

John Murdoch: I know this is gonna sound crazy, but what if we never knew each other before now... and everything you remember, and everything that I'm supposed to remember, never really happened, someone just wants us to think it did?
Emma Murdoch: But how can that be true? I so vividly remember meeting you. I remember falling in love with you. I remember losing you. [pause] I love you John, you can't fake something like that.
John Murdoch: No, you can't.

Husselbeck: Everything Detective Walenski committed to paper should be here.
Inspector Frank Bumstead: The only thing that should be committed is Walenski.

Mr. Book: He's becoming like us.
Mr. Wall: So we must become like him.

[Mr. Hand has been imprinted with Murdoch's memories]
Mr. Book: Is it done?
Mr. Hand: Oh, yes, Mr. Book. I have John Murdoch in mind.

Mr. Wall: No more Mr. Quick. Mr. Quick, dead, yes.
Stranger: Poor, poor Mr. Quick.

Taglines[edit]

  • They built the city to see what makes us tick. Last night one of us went off.
  • Forget the Sun. Forget Time. Forget Your Memories.
  • A world where the night never ends. Where man has no past. And humanity has no future.
  • You are not who you think you are.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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