In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind... Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. ~ President Whitmore
Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day! ~ President Whitmore
Independence Day is a 1996 film about a worldwide alien attack and the subsequent rallying of humankind to fight back on July 4th.
[after punching an alien] Welcome to Earth! [puts a cigar in his mouth] Now that's what I call a close encounter.
[to the unconscious alien] Y'know, this was supposed to be my weekend off. But no! You got me out here, draggin' your heavy ass, through the burnin' desert, with your dreadlocks stickin' out the back of my parachute. You gotta come down here with an attitude, actin' all big and bad. And what the hell is that smell?! [screams and kicks the alien] I could've been at a barbecue! But I ain't mad.
[to the pilots at Area 51 before the mass sortie] Good morning. [turns on mic] Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. [pauses] Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
Marty: David! David, what the hell's the point of having a beeper if you aren't even gonna turn it on?!?!
David: What is turned on? I was ignoring you. Hello, what's the uh... what's the big emergency?
Marty: It started this morning, every station's making like it's the 1950s... we got static, we got snow, all kinds of distortions!
David: Wait! Marty-
Marty: Nobody even knows-
David: .....What the hell are you doin'? There's a reason we have... bins labeled recycle! What the hell's goin' on?! My god in heaven!
Marty: So sue me, DAVID! We have a problem!
[at the White House roof, President Whitmore and White House Communications Director Constance Spano stare in awe at the alien ship flying overhead]
Constance: Now what do we do?
President Whitmore: Address the nation. There's gonna be a lot of frightened people out there.
Constance: Yeah. [in Whitmore's ear] I'm one of 'em. [Whitmore looks back at her then to the ship]
[David finds Marty on the phone with his mother concerning the aliens]
Marty: I know, Ma. Just try and stay calm!
David: Tell her to pack up and leave town.
Marty: Why?! What happened?!
David: Just do it!
Marty: [to the phone] Ma! Ma, listen! Uh, get your stuff together, and head for Aunt Esther's. Don't argue with me! Just go! [hangs up] David, why'd I just send my mother to Atlanta? David?! David, talk to me!
David: Did you hear me tell you that the signal in the satellite feed is slowly recycling down to extinction?
Marty: Not really.
David: It's a countdown.
Marty: A countdown? Wait, a countdown to what, David?!
David: Uh, it's like in chess. First you strategically position your pieces. Then, when the timing's right, you strike. [turns Marty's attention to the monitor] See? They're positioning themselves all over the world usin' this one signal to synchronize their efforts. In approximately six hours, the signal's gonna disappear, and the countdown's gonna be over.
Marty: And then what?
Marty: [gasps] Oh, my God! Oh, my God! I gotta call my brother. I better call my housekeeper. I gotta call my lawyer. Aw, forget my lawyer.
[the Black Knights squadron is briefed on attacking the alien ship over Los Angeles]
Jimmy: You scared, man?
Steven: No. You?
Jimmy: Nope. [pauses; leans head on Steven's shoulder] Hold me.
Steven: Hey, pay attention.
Colonel: Something you wanna add to this briefing, Captain Hiller?
Steven: No, sir. I'm just a little anxious to get up there and whup E.T.'s ass. That's all.
[everyone else laughs in agreement]
Colonel: And you'll get your chance. You'll all get your chance. Good hunting. Dismissed!
Jimmy: [as the pilots prepare to suit up] Let's kick the tires and light the fires, big daddy!
[Inside Air Force One, David, Connie, General Grey, and Nimzicki are all talking at once, after David objects to them using nuclear weapons]
SECDEF Walter Nimzicki: Shut up! Captain, get him out of here!
Julius: Hey, don't tell him to shut up! [lets it sink in] You'd all be dead now if it wasn't for my David! None of you did anything to prevent this!
General Grey: There was nothing we could do! We were totally unprepared for this!
Julius: Bah! Don't give me "unprepared"!
Constance: Come on, Julius, come on.... [tries to take Julius back]
Julius: It was, what? In the 19-- what, 50s? Whatever; when you had that spaceship.
Julius: Yeah, that thing you found in New Mexico! Where was that?
David: Dad, no, not the spaceship, no.
Julius: Roswell. Roswell, New Mexico, yeah! No, you had the spaceship and you had the bodies! They were locked up in a, in a bunker. Where was that? David?
Constance: I don't know.
Julius: In Area 51, right? Area 51?! You knew then! [hissing] And you did nothing!
President Whitmore: Sir, regardless of what you may have read in the tabloids, there has never been any spacecraft recovered by our government. Take my word for it. There's no Area 51. There's no recovered spaceship.
Nimzicki: Uh, excuse me, Mr. President? That's not entirely accurate.
[uncomfortable silence amongst all on board]
David: What, which part?
[Dr Brakish Okun tours the president's party over Area 51's workspace]
President Whitmore: I don't understand, where does all this come from? How do you get funding for something like this?
Julius: You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?
[having arrived at Area 51 with his alien and a fleet of refugees, Steven talks to General Grey]
Steven: Sir, I'm really anxious to get back to El Toro.
General Grey: [calmly] Hasn't anyone told you? El Toro has been completely destroyed.
[the president scramble into an operating room's viewing deck after an alien revives itself and attacks the surgical crew]
Dr. Okun: Release me...
Major Mitchell: Open the door, get him out of there.
General Grey: Wait!
[they notice the tentacle wrapped around Okun's neck; the alien comes into view, speaking telepathically through Okun]
Dr. Okun/Alien: Release me! Now! NOW!
President Whitmore: I know there is much we can learn from each other, if we can negotiate a truce. We can find a way to co-exist. Can there be a peace between us?
All of this feeds into a sliding scale of villain power. Culminating with the aliens of Independence Day. Notice, in that case, that you no longer need incompetence or corruption of our institutions. Jeopardy takes care of itself. The invaders are so badass that even the United States government and military are allowed to simultaneously be both capable and good! In order to provide spear-carrier support for the two or three point-of-view heroes.
At one point the news comes that New York, Washington and Los Angeles have been destroyed, and is there grief? Despair? Anguish? Speculation about what that will mean for professional sports? Not a bit – the characters nod and hurry on to the next scene.
I felt guilty about making my work look so good. I started thinking maybe I did my job too well, and it might have been the nucleus of an idea for someone to say: ‘Hey, let’s crash a plane into the White House.’