The Fisher King
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- It's important to think. It's what separates us from lentils.
- I told you about these people. They're evil, Edwin. They must be stopped.
- Advice to a disturbed listener on his Radio program.
- You ever read any Nietzsche? Nietzsche says there's two kinds of people in the world: people who are destined for greatness like Walt Disney... and Hitler. Then there's the rest of us, he called us "the bungled and the botched." We get teased. We sometimes get close to greatness, but we never get there. We're the expendable masses. We get pushed in front of trains, take poison aspirin ... get gunned down in Dairy Queens.
- Drunk, and talking to a Pinocchio doll, reminiscing about the attack on diners in a restaurant which his words provoked.
- Some billionaire's got the Holy Grail in his library on Fifth Avenue.
- I'm hearing voices! Parry will be so pleased!
- I'm a knight on a special quest.
- There's three things in this world that you need: Respect for all kinds of life, a nice bowel movement on a regular basis, and a navy blazer.
- It begins with the king as a boy, having to spend the night alone in the forest to prove his courage so he can become king. Now while he is spending the night alone he's visited by a sacred vision. Out of the fire appears the Holy Grail, symbol of God's divine grace. And a voice said to the boy, "You shall be keeper of the grail so that it may heal the hearts of men." But the boy was blinded by greater visions of a life filled with power and glory and beauty. And in this state of radical amazement he felt for a brief moment not like a boy, but invincible, like God, so he reached into the fire to take the grail, and the grail vanished, leaving him with his hand in the fire to be terribly wounded. Now as this boy grew older, his wound grew deeper. Until one day, life for him lost its reason. He had no faith in any man, not even himself. He couldn't love or feel loved. He was sick with experience. He began to die. One day a fool wandered into the castle and found the king alone. And being a fool, he was simple minded, he didn't see a king. He only saw a man alone and in pain. And he asked the king, "What ails you friend?" The king replied, "I'm thirsty. I need some water to cool my throat". So the fool took a cup from beside his bed, filled it with water and handed it to the king. As the king began to drink, he realized his wound was healed. He looked in his hands and there was the holy grail, that which he sought all of his life. And he turned to the fool and said with amazement, "How can you find that which my brightest and bravest could not?" And the fool replied, "I don't know. I only knew that you were thirsty." It's very beautiful, isn't it?
- Jack, I may be going out on a limb here, but you don't seem like a happy camper.
- What were the crusades? The pope's publicity stunt?
- [singing] Lydia, Oh Lydia. Say have you met Lydia? Lydia that Tattooed Lady!
- See... guy goes to work every day, eight hours a day, seven days a week. Gets his nuts so tight in a vice that he starts questioning the very fabric of his existence. Then one day, 'bout quitting time, boss calls him into the office and says, "Hey Bob, whyncha come on in here and kiss my ass for me, will you?" Well, he says, "Hell with it. I don't care what happens, I just want to see the expression on his face as I jab this pair of scissors into his arm. [sighs] Then he thinks of me. He says, "Waitaminit. I got both my arms, I got both my legs. At least I'm not begging for a living. Sure enough, Bob's gonna put those scissors down and pucker right up. See, I'm what you call kind of a "moral traffic light", really. I'm like sayin', "Red! Go no further! Boooo-ee boooo-ee boooo-ee..."
- Anne Napolitano: Didn't you say that what you liked about our relationship is that we didn't have to think? We could just be there for each other.
- Jack Lucas: Suicidal paranoiacs'll say anything to get laid.
- Jack Lucas: Where would King Arthur be without Guinevere?
- Parry: Happily married, probably.
- Jack Lucas: Well, that's a bad... that's a bad example.
- Jack Lucas: I don't mean to be flippant or to enrage you or anything, but you're a psychotic man.
- Parry: I know.
- Jack Lucas: A very nice psychotic man.
- Parry: Thank you.
- Parry: What do you think of the death penalty?
- John: Death is definitely a penalty! It ain't no fuckin' gift!
- Jack Lucas: Do you still believe in God?
- Anne Napolitano: Oh! You gotta believe in God! But I don't believe that God created Man in His image. 'Cause most of the shit that happens is because of men. Naw, I think men was made in the Devil's image, and women were created outta God. 'Cause, after all, women can have babies, which is kinda like creating. And which also accounts for the fact that women are so attracted to men. 'Cause let's face it, the Devil is a helluva lot more interesting. I've slept with some saints in my day, and believe me, I know what I'm talking about. Egh-boy! So, the whole point of life, the whole point of life, I think, is for men and women to get married so that God and the Devil can get together — and work it out. Not that we have to get married or anything. God forbid.
- Lydia: I have never been through a dating period.
- Anne Napolitano: It's a disgusting process. You haven't missed a thing.
Quotes about The Fisher King
- The film's about redemption, about healing wounds and how giving and getting are really pretty much the same thing. My character really gets the ultimate gift by his giving, not by his receiving.
- In The Fisher King, Williams was … at the height of his powers. He knew how to play a man dangerously in touch with unseen forces, a holy fool, and for once he played opposite actors who were, each in their own way, worthy of him: Jeff Bridges, Mercedes Ruehl, and, most memorably, Amanda Plummer, who should have partnered with him again.
- However funny it is, however outrageous it is, is based on pain, on a tragedy, on loss.
- Terry Gilliam, as quoted in "Dreams: The Fisher King" (2006), edited by Phil Stubbs
- Parry is a man with a previous life that was so damaged that he had to create another personality. ... It's like post-traumatic stress syndrome: Some people respond to traumatic or tragic events by withdrawal; some even create other personalities. Parry is a creation — somewhat Don Quixote, somewhat Groucho Marx — but he's a creation designed to avoid a past event.
- Robin Williams, as quoted in "Dreams: The Fisher King" (2006), edited by Phil Stubbs
- A Modern Day Tale About The Search For Love, Sanity, Ethel Merman And The Holy Grail.
- A good, old-fashioned story of guilt, poverty, love, madness and free video club membership.
- Some called him a hero. Some called him the most dangerous man in America
- Jeff Bridges - Jack Lucas
- Robin Williams - Parry
- Mercedes Ruehl - Anne Napolitano
- Amanda Plummer - Lydia
- Michael Jeter - Homeless Cabaret Singer
- David Hyde Pierce - Lou Rosen
- Lara Harris - Sondra
- Harry Shearer - Ben Starr
- Kathy Najimy - Crazed Video Customer
- Tom Waits - Disabled Veteran (Uncredited)