Conspiracy Theory (film)

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Conspiracy Theory is a 1997 film. A Justice Department attorney who has befriended a conspiracy-buff cab driver finds herself drawn into his paranoid world when one of his conspiracy theories seems to have come to life.

Directed by Richard Donner. Screenplay by Brian Helgeland.
Jerry Fletcher sees conspiracies everywhere. One has turned out to be true. taglines

Jerry Fletcher[edit]

  • You know what they put in the water, don't you? Fluoride. Yeah, fluoride — on the pretext that it strengthens your teeth! That's ridiculous. You know what that stuff does to you? It weakens your will, destroys your capacity for free and creative thought, and makes you a slave to the state!
  • You ever wonder about these militia groups? Survivalist-type kooks on the right wing side? They say they're defending the country from U.N. troops. These guys are yelling so loud, my theory is that this is a conspiracy, pal — they ARE the U.N. troops, and they're in place. The infrastructure's ready, it's a fait accompli. When the time comes, they'll just take over and we'll all be toast.
  • Oswald. Yeah, Oswald, that's what I said, Oswald. I mean, he said, "I'm just a patsy." And that means he didn't do it, right?
  • Websites, newsletters, uh, self-published manifestos... they think we're kooks!
  • I am an American citizen, and I demand to see Alice Sutton.
  • George Bush knew what he was doing when he said, "New World Order". Remember those three little words, "New World Order"? Well, he was a thirty-third degree Mason, you know, and as ex-head of the C.I.A., he knew saying that would send conspiratologists everywhere spinning, spinning their wheels. And then, then, th-they destroy their own credibility!
  • Hey, don't get me wrong, Sister, I'm sure your heart's in the right place, okay? But somebody's gotta lift the scab, the festering scab, that is the Vatican. (to a nun riding in his cab)
  • Is that one of those new hundreds? You know, where they changed the picture of Ben Franklin? Look at him, yeah. He looks like the love child of-of, uh, Fred Mertz and Rosie O'Donnell! Yeah, that's him, yeah. Get rid of it as soon as you can, lady. Look at it up in the light. You see that metal strip? That's a tracking device!
  • Black helicopters, right? You've heard about them, black helicopters? Yeah, they're on, they're on whisper mode, so you can't hear 'em till they've already gone! You know?
  • Why is this thing safe for me and not for my keys?
  • I'm only paranoid because they want me dead.
  • They, they start when you're young, you know, in school. They Baden-Powell all the boys and-and they Betty Crocker all the girls!
  • You're after a man with no nose, not me! Not me!
  • A good conspiracy is unprovable. I mean, if you can prove it, it means they screwed up somewhere along the line.
  • Alice? I... I'm sorry you're dead.
  • It's on the tip of my brain.

Alice Sutton[edit]

  • That guy is a restraining order waiting to happen. It's like he has a problem with the world.
  • Do you know what it's like, Mister Willion, to think you know what happened, but to never be sure?
  • Is that supposed to protect you from aliens or something?
  • I'm turning into a Jerry.
  • I believe you. He made great coffee.

Dr. Jonas[edit]

  • We've been looking for you for a long time, Jerry.
  • Have you ever been in a place from which hope is gone? Where the only thing left... is patience?
  • I know I must share some of the blame for this. I wish it didn't have to be this way.
  • In one hour, I want to know what she eats, where she sleeps, the name of her kindergarten teacher, everything.
  • This will put my words in your mouth. [while drugging Jerry]
  • Jerry, you continually surprise me. Alice… I always seem to come between you and the men in your life.


  • If the intelligence world was a family, we'd be the uncle no one ever talks about.
    • Agent Lowry


[Jerry's latest passenger sighs contendedly as they pull away from the curb.]
Jerry Fletcher: The sound of love.
Passenger: Excuse me?
Jerry: That, what you just did. [imitates sigh] That's love.
Passenger: Love's just a pretty way of saying, "I want to sleep with you."
Jerry: Admit it. I saw you kiss her. This is the street where love lives.
Passenger: Love is bullshit.
Jerry: Love give you wings. It makes you fly. I don't even call it love. I call it "Geronimo".
Passenger: Geronimo?
Jerry: Yeah, Geronimo. See, when you're in love, you'll jump off the Empire State and you won't care. Screaming, "Geronimo" all the way down. It's great.
Passenger: Yeah, but then you'll die. You'll squash yourself. So what's the point?
Jerry: Hey, aren't you listening? I'm telling you, man — love gives you wings!
Passenger: [laughs] She must be some girl.

[The street is flooded when Jerry stops to pick up his daily stack of newspapers.]
Flip [news vendor]: Water main broke all the way up on 40th Street and 7th Avenue. They say the subway's a damn river.
Jerry: Strange.
Flip: What's up, Jerry? What you thinking?
Jerry: Well... water mains don't usually break unless it's wintertime. The, uh, pipes burst open because it's cold. And.. it's only the First of October.
Flip: Reminds me of life in the Delta.
Jerry: Yeah. Mississippi, all right.
Flip: Mekong, my friend. Mekong.
Jerry: Hey, Flip... did I ever tell you that the whole Vietnam War was fought over a bet that Howard Hughes lost to Aristotle Onassis?

[Jerry is struggling with security guards, demanding to see Alice Sutton.]
Jerry Fletcher: I am an American citizen! I have a right to be here!
Alice Sutton: Officers! Officers, please! I'm Alice Sutton. I'll take it from here.
Jerry: [suddenly calm] Hi, Alice.
Alice: You need to start making appointments.
Jerry: Uh... can I make one now? Say, in a couple of minutes? I can wait if you're busy.
Alice: Come around.
Alice: I don't see the connection.
Jerry: You don't see the connection? Come on. Six major earthquakes in the last three-and-a-half years, and the space shuttle up in orbit for every single one of 'em. Don't you think that's a little strange?
Alice: Testing some top-secret seismic weapon?
Jerry: No, not testing. Using. Nukes are passé. We're talking weapon of the future.
Alice: Okay, but I still don't see what it has to do with the president.
Jerry: The president is in Europe at the moment, and tomorrow he'll be, uh, in Turkey. Right here, along this fault line. And they sent up a space shuttle yesterday.
Alice: Motive?
Jerry: Motive? How about fifty billion dollars, how's that for a motive? The president's cutting funding for NASA, the milk-cow of the aerospace industry. And that's a lot of milk.
Alice: Um, so... you're telling me that NASA is going to kill the president of the United States with an earthquake
Jerry: It's not the kind of thing a Secret Service agent can, like, just throw himself on top of, is it?
Alice: Now, I have to go. My boss is looking to yell at me.
Jerry: Oh. Do you want me to talk to him? You know, smooth things out for you?
Alice: No, Jerry. I want you to go home, or wherever it is that you go. And I want you to make an appointment next time. Please? You can't just keep bursting in here.
Jerry: That's... it's just what they'd be expecting me to do. If I make an appointment —
Alice: Jerry. I have a serious job here. I have a boss I must answer to. Do you understand that?
Jerry: I'm sorry. You're right.
Alice: Use your common sense.
Jerry: Okay. Okay, deal. So, are you gonna warn him?
Alice: Who?
Jerry: [exasperated sigh] The president.
Alice: I'm not gonna promise you anything, okay?

[Jerry's silent captors are strapping him down in a wheelchair.]
Jerry: So, you guys must be spooks, right? Spooks? C.I.A.? Come on, say something. Please?
[The spooks start duct-taping his limbs in place]
Jerry: I was right! I was right! Uh... what was I right about?
[A blindingly bright light is shined in his face]
Jerry: I wasn't right about anything. I was wrong. I was wrong!
Dr. Jonas: To whom have you been talking, Jerry?
Jerry: Talking? I talk to all kinds of people. I mean, I drive a cab. I talk to people all day long.
Dr. Jonas: Who else knows what we know?
Jerry: What we... what do we know?
Dr. Jonas: [sternly] Who else knows what we know, Jerry?
Jerry: What? Tell me what. What do we know? What do we know? If I know what we know, then I could tell you what we know, and if someone else knows. Okay? I mean, it's... you gotta be more specific.
[Dr. Jonas holds up a syringe full of an unknown chemical.]
Jerry: Wh-what is that?
Dr. Jonas: Gravy for the brain.
Jerry: No... not gravy!

[Dr. Jonas catches Alice looking at his bandaged nose.]
Dr. Jonas: A dog bit it.
Alice Sutton: Pardon me?
Dr. Jonas: You were going to ask about my nose. A dog bit it. Poor animal is slated to be destroyed today.
Alice: And you feel sorry for it?
Dr. Jonas: It was my dog.
Alice Sutton: He said a dog bit his nose.
Jerry Fletcher: Arf.

Alice Sutton: Do you have any proof of this?
Jerry Fletcher: No. Absolutely not. I mean, a good conspiracy is an unproveable one.

[At his apartment, Jerry balances an empty bottle on the doorknob.]
Alice: Is that supposed to protect you from aliens or something?
Jerry: No, no. It's just a beer bottle.

[Agent Lowry appears to be unconscious after a blow to the head.]
Jerry: Are… are you pretending?
[Lowry stays limp; Jerry chambers a round.]
Lowry: [sitting up] Yes. Yes, okay.
Jerry: [hitting him again] Sorry.

Jerry: David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy, Richard Speck…
Alice: What about them?
Jerry: Serial killers. Serial killers only have two names, you ever notice that? But lone-gunman assassins, they always have three names. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mark David Chapman…
Alice: John Hinckley. He shot Reagan. He only has two names.
Jerry: Yeah, but he only just shot Reagan. Reagan didn't die. If Reagan had died, I'm pretty sure… we probably would all know what John Hinckley's middle name was.

Jerry Fletcher: I love you.
Alice: Jerry, no, no, you don't love me.
Jerry Fletcher: Sure I do.
Alice: No, no.
Jerry Fletcher: I don't?

[A captive aboard a helicopter, Jerry watches Alice flee for her life from Dr. Jonas' henchmen.]
Jerry Fletcher: Alice...
Dr. Jonas: You shouldn't watch, Jerry. This is a moment without hope.
Jerry: You've never seen her run.


  • Jerry Fletcher sees conspiracies everywhere. One has turned out to be true.


External links[edit]

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