Last modified on 5 June 2014, at 18:58

A Time to Kill (film)

A Time to Kill is a 1996 film about a young lawyer in Mississippi who defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter.

Directed by Joel Schumacher. Written by Akiva Goldsman, based on John Grisham's 1989 book A Time to Kill.
A lawyer and his assistant fighting to save a father on trial for murder. A time to question what they believe. A time to doubt what they trust. And no time for mistakes.


Jake Tyler BriganceEdit

  • What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts?
  • I had a great summation all worked out, full of some sharp lawyering, but I'm not going to read it. I'm here to apologize. I am young, and I am inexperienced. But you cannot hold Carl Lee Hailey responsible for my shortcomings. Do you see, in all this legal maneuvering, something has gotten lost. That something is the truth. Now, it is incumbent upon us lawyers not to just talk about the truth but to actually seek it, to find it, to live it. My teacher taught me that. Let's take Dr. Bass, for example. Now obviously, I would have never knowingly put a convicted felon on the stand. I hope you can believe that. But what is the truth? That, that he's a disgraced liar? What if I told you that the woman he was accused of raping was 17, he was 23, that she later became his wife, bore his child and is still married to the man today? Does that make his testimony more or less true? What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds, or is it our hearts?

    I set out to prove a black man could receive a fair trial in the South, that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. That's not the truth 'cause the eyes of the law are humanized, yours and mine, and until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be even-handed. It will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices. So until that day, we have a duty under God to seek the truth - not with our eyes, and not with our minds where fear and hate turn commonality into prejudice, but with our hearts - but we don't know better.

    I want to tell you a story. I'm going to ask you all to close your eyes while I tell you the story. I want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to yourselves. Go ahead. Close your eyes, please. This is a story about a little girl walking home from the grocery store one sunny afternoon. I want you to picture this little girl. Suddenly a truck races up. Two men jump out and grab her. They drag her into a nearby field and they tie her up and they rip her clothes from her body. Now they climb on. First one, then the other, raping her, shattering everything innocent and pure with a vicious thrust in a fog of drunken breath and sweat. And when they're done, after they've killed her tiny womb, murdered any chance for her to bear children, to have life beyond her own, they decided to use her for target practice. They start throwin' full beer cans at her. They throw them so hard that it tears the flesh all the way to her bones. Then they urinate on her. Now comes the hanging. They have a rope. They tie a noose. Imagine the noose going tight around her neck and with a sudden blinding jerk, she's pulled into the air and her feet and legs go kicking. They don't find the ground. The hanging branch isn't strong enough. It snaps and she falls back to the earth. So they pick her up, throw her in the back of the truck and drive out to Foggy Creek Bridge. Pitch her over the edge. And she drops some thirty feet down to the creek bottom below. Can you see her? Her raped, beaten, broken body soaked in their urine, soaked in their semen, soaked in her blood, left to die. Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl.

    Now imagine she's white.

DialogueEdit

D.A. Rufus Buckley: Mr. Haley, before you stepped outside of yourself and watched yourself shoot Mr. Willard and Mr. Cobb, were you aware that if convicted, they could be free in ten years?
Carl Lee Hailey: Yes sir. I've heard some people say that. Yes sir.
D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think men who kidnap a child should be free in 10 years?
Carl Lee Hailey: No, sir.
D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think two men who rape a child should be free in 10 years?
Carl Lee Hailey: No, sir.
D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think two men who hang a child should be free in 10 years?
Carl Lee Hailey: No.
D.A. Rufus Buckley: Well, what do you think should happen? What would be a fair sentence?
Jake Tyler Brigance: Objection!
D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think they should deserve to die?
Jake Tyler Brigance: Don't answer that, Carl Lee!
D.A. Rufus Buckley: Do you think they should deserve to die?
Carl Lee Hailey: Yes, they deserved to die and I hope they burn in hell!

Lucien Wilbanks: You wanted this case, well you've got it. It isn't easy saving the world even one case at a time, but you stick with it. You just might have a knack for it. Don't do what I did. Don't quit.
Jake Tyler Brigance: What are you talking about, quit. You're a hero Lucien.
Lucien Wilbanks: Hero my ass. Do you think the world needed me beating cops heads on that picket line. I was needed here. In that courtroom. And I let them push me, I gave them an excuse to kick me out and now I can never plead a case in there again. But you can. You're an attorney. Be proud. You job is to find justice no matter how well she may hide herself from you. So you go on in there and you do your job.

Jake Tyler Brigance: We're going to lose this case, Carl Lee. There are no more points of law to argue here. I want to cop a plea, maybe Buckley will cop us a second degree murder and we can get you just life in prison.
Carl Lee Hailey: Jake, I can't do no life in prison. You got to get me off. Now if it was you on trial...
Jake Tyler Brigance: It's not me; we're not the same, Carl Lee. The jury has to identify with the defendant. They see you, they see a yardworker; they see me, they see an attorney. I live in town, you live in the hill.
Carl Lee Hailey: Well, you are white and I'm black. See Jake, you think just like them. That's why I picked you; you are one of them , don't you see? Oh, you think you ain't because you eat in Claude's and you are out there trying to get me off on TV talking about black and white, but the fact is you are just like all the rest of them. When you look at me, you don't see a man, you see a black man.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Carl Lee, I'm your friend.
Carl Lee Hailey: We ain't no friends, Jake. We are on different sides of the line, I ain't never seen you in my part of town. I bet you don't even know where I live. Our daughters, Jake; they ain't never gonna play together.
Jake Tyler Brigance: What are you talking about?
Carl Lee Hailey: America is a wall and you are on the other side. How's a black man ever going to get a fair trial with the enemy on the bench and in the jury box?. My life in white hands? You Jake, that's how. You are my secret weapon because you are one of the bad guys. You don't mean to be but you are. It's how you was raised. Nigger, negro, black, African-American, no matter how you see me, you see me different, you see me like that jury sees me, you are them. Now throw out your points of law Jake. If you was on that jury, what would it take to convince you to set me free? That's how you save my ass. That's how you save us both.

Ellen Roark: Ever seen a man executed?
Jake Tyler Brigance: No.
Ellen Roark: What I suggest is you go to an execution, and see a man be killed. You watch him die, and you watch him beg!

Tim Nunley: Sure am sorry about your brother, Freddie. Ol' Willard too... good boys both.
Freddie Lee Cobb: Ten years ago, that nigger'd be hanging by the end of a rope with his balls in his mouth. Now you tell me what's wrong with this country.
Winston: Klan would know what to do.
Freddie Lee Cobb: My granddaddy, he was Klan.
Tim Nunley: Ain't been no Klan around here for years.
Winston: Ah they's still some boys around.
Tim Nunley: What you mean them skinheads that want to blow up the government?
Winston: No sir, good god-fearing Klan... I got a friend, used to be active, could give him a call.
Freddie Lee Cobb: You do that Winston. You tell them boys we need some Klan down here in Canton. And I mean right quick.

Carl Lee Hailey: What that Memphis doctor say about her?
Gwen Hailey: She's doing good. Her jaw is healing. She can't run and jump yet, but it won't be long.
Carl Lee Hailey: How about the other?
Gwen Hailey: There was too much damage. She ain't never gonna have kids.
Carl Lee Hailey: You know, I think about them too boys. Dead, buried, probably starting to rot. And I remember them walking into court... one proud, the other scared. I remember how they fell. One on top of the other, screaming and squirming and not going nowhere. God help me Gwen, but that's the only thought that give me comfort.

Freddie Lee Cobb: You can't blame a nigger for being a nigger, no more than you can blame a dog for being a dog. But a whore like you, co-mingling with mongrels, betraying your own. That makes you worse than a nigger. I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll leave you tied up here naked. First, it'll just be bugs eating at ya. One day, maybe two. That sun's gonna be cooking you. And animals... they're gonna pick on your stink. They'll come looking for something to eat.
Ellen Roark: Carl Lee Hailey should've shot you too.

Carl Lee Hailey: Ask if he thinks I should go to jail.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Carl Lee, they amputated his leg because you shot him. He's the prosecution's witness.
Carl Lee Hailey: You're my lawyer ain't ya? Ask him.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Your Honor, one question.
Judge Omar Noose: Make up your mind, Mr. Brigance.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Deputy Looney, do you think Carl Lee shooting you was intentional?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: No sir. It was an accident.
Carl Lee Hailey: Ask him!
Jake Tyler Brigance: Do you think he should be punished for shooting you?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: No, sir. I hold no ill will toward the man. He did what I would have done.
Jake Tyler Brigance: What do you mean by that?
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: I mean, I don't blame him for what he did. Those boys raped his little girl.
D.A. Rufus Buckley: Objection, your Honor! The witness's opinion on this matter is irrelevant.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Your Honor, I believe Deputy Looney has earned the right to speak here today.
Judge Omar Noose: Overruled. Continue.
Jake Tyler Brigance: Go ahead, Dwayne.
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: I got a little girl. Somebody rapes her, he's a dead dog. I'll blow him away just like Carl Lee did.
D.A. Rufus Buckley: Objection your Honor!
Jake Tyler Brigance: Do you think the jury should convict Carl Lee Hailey?
Judge Omar Noose: Don't answer that question.
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: He's a hero. You turn him loose.
Judge Omar Noose: The jury will disregard...
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: Turn him loose!
D.A. Rufus Buckley: Your honor, you silenced that witness!
Deputy Dwayne Powell Looney: You turn him loose!

CastEdit

External linksEdit

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