Gangs of New York

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Gangs of New York is a 2002 film about Amsterdam Vallon, who returns to New York to seek revenge against Bill "the Butcher" for his father's death.

Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian, and Kenneth Lonergan.

Amsterdam Vallon[edit]

  • It's a funny feeling being taken under the wing of a dragon. It's warmer than you'd think.
  • When you kill a king, you don't stab him in the dark. You kill him where the entire court can watch him die.
  • You know there's more of us coming off those boats everyday? Some say 15,000 Irish a week! Get all of us together and we ain't got a gang, we got an army!
  • In the end, they put candles on the bodies so's their friends, if they had any, could know them in the dark. The city did this free of charge. Shang, Jimmy Spoils, Hell-cat, McGloin, and more. Friend or foe, didn't make no difference now. It was four days and nights before the worst of the mob was finally put down. We never knew how many New Yorkers died that week before the city was finally delivered. My father told me we was all born of blood and tribulation, and so then too was our great city. But for those of us what lived and died in them furious days, it was like everything we knew was mildly swept away. And no matter what they did to build this city up again... for the rest of time... it would be like no one even knew we was ever here.

William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting[edit]

  • Everything you see belongs to me, to one degree or another. The beggars and newsboys and quick thieves here in Paradise, the sailor dives and gin mills and blind tigers on the waterfront, the anglers and amusers, the she-hes and the Chinks. Everybody owes, everybody pays. Because that's how you stand up against the rising of the tide.
  • [to Boss Tweed] Mulberry Street... and Worth... Cross and Orange... and Little Water. Each of the Five Points is a finger. When I close my hand it becomes a fist. And, anytime that I wish, I can turn it against you.
  • My father gave his life, making this country what it is. Murdered by the British with all of his men on the twenty-fifth of July, anno domini, 1814. Do you think I'm going to help you befoul his legacy, by giving this country over to them what's had no hand in the fighting for it? Why, because they come off a boat crawling with lice and begging you for soup?
  • Ears and noses will be the trophies of the day.
  • On the Seventh Day the Lord rested, but befores that he did, he took a squat over the side of England and what came out of him... was Ireland. [To Amsterdam] No offense.
  • You see this knife? I'm gonna teach you to speak English with this fucking knife!

Boss Tweed[edit]

  • The appearance of law must be upheld, especially while it's being broken.
  • Remember the first rule of politics. The ballots don't make the results, the counters make the results. The counters. Keep counting.


Bill: Is this it, Priest? The Pope's new army? A few crusty bitches and a handful of rag tags?
Priest Vallon: Now, now, swore this was a battle between warriors, not a bunch of Miss Nancies. So warriors is what I brought.
Bill: At my challenge, by the ancient laws of combat, we are met at this chosen ground, to settle for good and all who holds sway over the Five Points: us Natives, born RIGHT-WISE to this fine land, or the foreign hordes defiling it!
Crowd: Yeah!!!
Priest Vallon: By the ancient laws of combat, I accept the challenge of the so-called "Natives". You plague our people at every turn but from this day out, you shall plague us no more! For let it be known, that the hand that tries to strike us from this land shall be swiftly cut down!
Crowd: YEAH!!!

Boss Tweed: You may or may not know, Bill, that everyday I go down to the waterfront with hot soup for the Irish as they come ashore. Its part of building a political base.
Bill: I've noticed you there, you may have noticed me.
Boss Tweed: Indeed I have. Throwing torrents of hatred and withering abuse on every single person who steps off those boats.
Bill: [gleefully] If only I had the guns, Mr. Tweed, I'd shoot each and every one of them before they set foot on American soil.

Boss Tweed: That's the building of our country right there, Mr. Cutting. Americans aborning.
Bill: I don't see no Americans. I see trespassers, Irish harps. Do a job for a nickel what a nigger does for a dime and a white man used to get a quarter for. What have they done? Name one thing they've contributed.
Boss Tweed: Votes.
Bill: Votes, you say? They vote how the archbishop tells them, and who tells the archbishop? Their king in the pointy hat what sits on his throne in Rome.

Bill: You. Whatever your name is... what is your name?
Amsterdam: Amsterdam, sir.
Bill: Amsterdam? I'm New York. Don't you never come in here empty handed again. You gotta pay for the pleasure of my company.

Bill: No, I don't never sleep too much. I have to sleep with one eye open, and I only got one eye, right? How old are you, Amsterdam?
Amsterdam: I'm not sure, sir. I never did quite figure it.
Bill: I'm forty-seven. Forty-seven years old. You know how come I stayed alive this long? Fear. A spectacle of fearsome acts. A man steals from me, I cut off his hands. If he offends me, I cut out his tongue. He rises up against me, I cut off his head, stick it on a pike. Raise it up high so all on the streets can see. That's what preserves the order of things. Fear. That one tonight, who was he? A nobody. A coward. What an ignominious end that would have been. I killed the last honorable man fifteen years ago. Since then, it's... You seen his portrait downstairs? [pause] Is your mouth all glued up with cunny juice? I asked you a question... Oh, you got a murderous rage in you, and I like it. It's life, boiling up inside of you. It's good. The Priest and me, we lived by the same principles. It was only faith divided us. He gave me this, you know. That was the finest beating I ever took. My face was pulp, my guts was pierced, and my ribs was all mashed up. And when he came to finish me, I couldn't look him in the eye. He spared me because he wanted me to live in shame. This was a great man. A great man. So I cut out the eye that looked away. Sent it to him wrapped in blue paper. I would have cut 'em both out if I could have fought him blind. Then I rose back up again with a full heart and buried him in his own blood... He was the only man I ever killed worth remembering. I never had a son. Civilization is crumbling.

Boss Tweed: You're a good one for the fighting, Bill. But you can't fight forever.
Bill: I can go down doing it.
Boss Tweed: And you will!
Bill: What did you say?
Boss Tweed: I said, you're turning your back on the future.
Bill: Not our future.

Boss Tweed: You killed an elected official?
Bill: Who elected him?
Boss Tweed: You don't know what you've done to yourself.
Bill: [taps his glass eye with a knife] I know your works. You are neither cold nor hot. So because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth. You can build your filthy world without me. I took the father. Now I'll take the son. You tell young Vallon I'm gonna paint Paradise Square with his blood. Two coats! I'll festoon my bedchamber with his guts! As for you, Mr. Tammany-fucking-Hall, you come down to the Points again, and you'll be dispatched by mine own hand. Get back to your celebration and let me eat in peace.

Amsterdam: Challenge.
Bill: Challenge Accepted.


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