Con Air

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Con Air is a 1997 American action film about a U.S. Marshals Service plane transporting prisoners to a new "Super Max" prison is taken over by the inmates, trapping a paroled former Army Ranger on board.

Directed by Simon West. Written by Scott Rosenberg
Starring Nicholas Cage, John Malkovich, and John Cusack.
They were deadly on the ground. Now they have wings.

Cameron Poe

  • They somehow managed to get every freak and creep in the universe on this one plane, and then somehow managed to let them take it over, and then they somehow managed to stick us right smack in the middle.
  • Put the bunny back in the box.

U.S. Marshal Vince Larkin

  • [on Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom] This one's done it all. Kidnapping, robbery, murder, extortion. His name is Cyrus Grissom, AKA "Cyrus the Virus." Thirty-nine years old, 25 of them spent in our institutions. But he's bettered himself inside. Earned two degrees, including his juris doctorate. He's also killed 11 fellow inmates, incited three riots, and escaped twice. Likes to brag that he's killed more men than cancer. Cyrus is a poster child for the criminally insane. He's a true product of the system.

Garland Greene

  • [His first spoken words in the movie; regarding Billy Bedlam] He's a font of misplaced rage. Name your cliche: Mother held him too much or not enough, last picked at kickball, late night sneaky uncle, whatever. Now, he gets so angry, moments of levity actually cause him pain, gives him headaches. Happiness, for that gentleman, hurts.
  • [as the convicts dance to "Sweet Home Alabama"] Define irony: a bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.


Guard Falzon: Well, welcome aboard. My, my; as I look around I see a lot of celebrities among us. I see eleven Current Affairs, two Hard Copies and a genuine Geraldo interviewee, [gestures at Diamond Dog] but I gotta tell you gentlemen, none of this impresses me. Because we have rules on this aircraft and they're going to be enforced. It's a lot like kindergarten. You'll keep your hands to yourself, keep the decibel level down and, if any of you should feel the need to scream, spit, or bite, you get the treatment.
Inmate: [spits at Falzon's feet] Fuck you, pig.
Guard Falzon: [to another guard] Gag and bag this Nazi muffin. [strikes inmate before guards gag him and place a mesh bag over his head] You see, this kind of thing puts me in a foul mood. These rules will be enforced because I can't have trouble. If any of you so much as pass gas in my general direction, upsetting my delicate nasal passages, your testicles will become my personal property. That's pretty clear. Good.

Cyrus the Virus: [holding the pilot at gunpoint] Say there was a disturbance, but you've got it under control. Say it, or I will kill you.
Pilot: Without me, you got nobody to fly the plane.
Cyrus: I never think that far ahead.

Johnny "Johnny 23" Baca: Shit, that's Garland Greene, man.
Cameron Poe: The Marietta Mangler.
Mike "Baby O" O'Dell: That skinny little man butchered thirty-some people up and down the eastern seaboard. They say the way he killed those people makes the Manson Family look like The Partridge Family!
Poe: Well...he's on the right flight.

Cyrus: Good, now here are the rules, I'm going to ask a question and then you will ask a question.
Larkin: Okay... What's your question?
Cyrus: In Carson City, your boys were onto us; how?
Malloy: One of the guards- [Larkin cuts him off]
Larkin: One of the guards faked a heart attack and we had to remove his restraints, okay?
Cyrus: Alright, now what's your question?
Larkin: Where are you going with my plane, Cyrus?
Cyrus: We're going to Disneyland.
Larkin: You're lying, Cyrus.
Cyrus: So are you, Vince. [mocks him by singsong] Ohh... nothing makes me sadder than the agent lost his bladder in the... aaaiirrrplane. [Larkin throws the headset he's using]

[Garland Greene sees Poe come up after he kills Billy Bedlam in the cargo hold]
Garland Greene: Two went down. One came up.
Poe: Wasn't my fault.
Garland: Well, you don't have to tell me. Most murders are crimes of necessity rather than desire. But the great ones... Dahmer, Gacy, Bundy... they did it because it excited them.
Poe: Don't you... I got nothing in common with them — with you! Don't you talk to me! They were insane!
Garland: Now you're talking semantics. What if I told you insane was working a 50-hour week for 50 years, at the end of which they tell you to piss off. Ending up in some retirement village, hoping to die rather than suffering the indignity of trying to make it to the toilet on time. Wouldn't you consider that to be insane?
Poe: Murdering 30 people, semantics or not, is insane.
Garland: [smiles] One girl, I drove through three states wearing her head as a hat.
Poe: It's my daughter's birthday, so please feel free not to share everything with me.

[the cons start digging out the Jailbird]
Cyrus the Virus: Thanks, Poe. You've proven to be a most useful mammal.
Cameron Poe: "Many hands make light work." My daddy taught me that.
Cyrus: You know what my daddy taught me?
Poe: What's that?
Cyrus: Nothin'.
Poe: Self-educated man.

[Cyrus has made a map in the dirt using various bits of junk to represent buildings at Lerner Airfield]
Cyrus: Considering my audience, I'm gonna make this very quick and very simple. [points with a stick] This is the boneyard. This is the hangar. This is our plane.
Viking: What's that? [points at a rock]
Cyrus: That's a rock.
Viking: [looks embarrassed] Okay.
Cyrus: The convoy will enter the boneyard here. Initially, we take out the first car [flicks off forward Coke can], then we take out the [hits can] last, creating a trap... an air-tight cage filled with lots and lots of dead people. Nathan, get everybody in position, yeah? [cons mobilize] And bring me those propane tanks!


  • One wrong flight can ruin your whole day.
  • Get Ready to Fly.
  • Buckle Up!
  • They were deadly on the ground. Now they have wings.
  • Welcome to Con Air.


Nicholas Cage - Cameron Poe
John Malkovich - Cyrus "Cyrus the Virus" Grissom
Ving Rhames - Nathan "Diamond Dog" Jones
Steve Buscemi - Garland "The Marietta Mangler" Greene
John Cusack - Vince Larkin
Mykelti Williamson - Mike "Baby O" O'Dell
Dave Chappelle - Joe "Pinball" Parker
Colm Meaney - Duncan Malloy
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