Deep Impact

1998 film directed by Mimi Leder

Deep Impact is a 1998 disaster movie in which a comet is on a collision course with the Earth. It's up to a team of astronauts to stop the comet before it destroys all of humanity.

Cities fall. Oceans rise. Hope survives.
Directed by Mimi Leder. Written by Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin.
Heaven and Earth are about to collide. Taglines

President Tom Beck

  • Good evening. A few minutes ago, the United States ambassadors to every country in the world told the leaders of those nations what I'm about to tell you. It's a bit complicated, so we'll take some time, so I hope you'll bear with me, hear what I have to say. A little over a year ago, two American astronomers, Marcus Wolf and Leo Biederman, working on a mountaintop in Arizona, saw something in the night sky that caused them great concern. A comet. But the comet was... well, there was a remote possibility that the comet was on a path that could bring it into direct contact with the Earth. Now, we get hit all the time by rocks and meteors, some of them the size of cars, some no bigger than your hand. But the comet we discovered is the size of New York City, from the North side of Central Park to the Battery. About seven miles long. Put another way, this comet is larger than Mount Everest. It weighs 500 billion tons.
  • Secretary Rittenhouse served his country with full devotion. He resigned for personal reasons. Now, I can promise you this, Miss Lerner, all of you, everyone in this room and everyone listening to my voice, that at some point over the next ten months, all of us will entertain our worst fears and concerns. But I can also promise you this. Life will go on. We will prevail.
  • Hello, America. It is my unhappy duty to report to you that the Messiah has failed. This computer-enhanced radar image from Houston shows how the detonation succeeded, however, did not destroy the comet. There are now two pieces, one six miles wide, the other a mile and a half. Both are still on a path towards Earth. We've lost communication with the Messiah spacecraft although we continue to track it visually. We don't know how many are alive. We don't know their condition. Now we have to make some decisions together. What do we do? You have a choice. We have a choice right now. Ever since the comet was discovered, we've been hoping and working for the best, but we've also been planning for the worst. Our strategy has been twofold: First, our strategic missile command has been coordinating with the Russians a massive strike of Titan missiles to intercept the comets. If we can deflect these comets enough, they will bounce harmlessly off our atmosphere, and head on out into space. Unfortunately, the Titans cannot be launched until the comets are ony a few hours away, and while we are confident the missile attack will succeed, it is only prudent that we now take cautionary steps to ensure the continuation of our way of life, to guarantee that there will be enough of us left to rebuild a new world in the unlikely event that the comets do strike the Earth. So, in the soft limestone of Missouri, we've been preparing a network of immense caves, and they're almost finished. And we can put a million people in them. And that million people can survive there, underground, for two years, until the air clears, and the dust settles. Now the cave is more than a dormitory. It's our new Noah's Ark. We're storing seeds and seedlings, plants, animals, enough to start over. On August 10, a computer will randomly select 800,000 Americans, to join the 200,000 scientists, doctors, engineers, teachers, soldiers and artists who have already been chosen. Other countries are preparing similar caves along whatever lines they feel are best to preserve their way of life. This is ours. Beginning tonight and continuing tonight until the crisis passes, I am declaring a state of martial law. The armed forces and the National Guard are working with local law enforcement. A national curfew begins at midnight tonight. Now wherever you are, go home. Stay off the roads after sunset. Crimes against persons or property will be dealt with swiftly and harshly. News stations around the nation are being faxed copies of the lottery procedure as we speak and they'll be broadcasting the details to you in a few moments.
  • I wish... No, wishing is wrong. It's the wrong word right now. That's not what I mean. What I mean is, I believe in God. I know a lot of you don't, but I would like to offer a prayer for our survival, mine included. Because I believe that God, whomever you hold that to be, hears all prayers, even if sometimes the answer is no. So may the Lord bless you, may the Lord keep you, may the Lord lift his divine countenance upon you, and give you peace.
  • Our missiles have failed. The comets are still headed for Earth, and there's nothing we can do to stop them. So, this is it. If the world does go on, it will not go on for everyone. We have now been able to calculate the comet's final trajectories, and we have determined where they're going to strike. The smaller of the two comets, Biederman, will hit first, somewhere in the Atlantic Seaboard, probably off the waters of Cape Hatteras, in just under twelve hours, at 4:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time. The impact of the comet is going to be... well, disastrous. There will be a very large tidal wave moving quickly through the Atlantic Ocean. It'll be 100 feet high, travelling at 1,100 miles per hour. That's faster than the speed of sound. As the wave reaches shallow water, it's going to slow down, but the wave height, depending on the shelf off the coast will be anywhere from 1,000 to 3,500 feet high. Where the land is flat, the wave will wash inland, 600 to 700 miles. The wave will hit our nation's capital forty minutes after impact. New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, all will be destroyed. If you have any means of escaping the path of this wave, leave now. The impact of the larger comet will be nothing less than an extinction level event. It will strike land in Western Canada, three hours after Biederman. Within a week, the skies will be dark with dust from the impact and they will stay dark for two years. All plant life will dead within... four weeks. Animal life within... a few months. So, that's it. Good luck to us all.
  • [last line] We watched as the bombs shattered the second comet into a million pieces of ice and rocks that burned harmlessly in our atmosphere, and lit up the sky for an hour. Still, we were left with the devastation of the first. The waters reached as far inland as the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. It washed away farms and towns, forests and skyscrapers, but the water receded. The wave hit Europe and Africa, too. Millions were lost, countless more left homeless, but the waters receded. Cities fall, but they are rebuilt. And heroes die, but they are remembered. We honor them with every brick we lay, with every field we sow, with every child we comfort and then teach to rejoice in what we have been regiven. Our planet, our home. So now, let us begin.


  • Jason Thurman: Hey, Leo, now that you're famous, you'll get a lot more sex than anyone else in your class.
  • Leo Biederman: [to his parents] I have to go back for Sarah.


Jenny Lerner: We know everything.
Alan Rittenhouse: Nobody knows everything.
Jenny Lerner: Well, we know about the secret phone lines, and the whispered calls to the president, and about a secretary of the Treasury who's kept his entire department in the dark about what he's really doing, about a cover story about his resignation that just fell through. I mean, sir, you want me to go on?
Alan Rittenhouse: And you're just gonna break it?
Jenny Lerner: Well, that's what we do for a living.
Alan Rittenhouse: Well, congratulations, you now have the biggest story in history. Good luck to you. Personally, I think it's a mistake to run the story, but hey, what the hell? Why not? What difference does anything make anymore? Look, I know you're just a reporter, but you used to be a person, right? I wanted to be with my family. Can you understand that?

President Tom Beck: We always thought the deadline for public knowledge was the publication of the budget, since we've spent more money than we can hide. That won't happen for two weeks. I don't suppose I could prevail upon you to wait for two weeks in the name of national security.
Jenny Lerner: Two weeks? There's no such thing as two weeks in the news business.
President Tom Beck: And I can't appeal to your sense of what's in the nation's best interest.
Jenny Lerner: I always thought the truth was in the nation's best interest.

President Tom Beck: Give us two days, Miss Lerner, you'll get second row centre, at the White House press conference. Now, from what I know of your career, that's a promotion.
Jenny Lerner: I want exclusivity.
President Tom Beck: Now listen, young lady. This is a presidental favour. I'm letting you go because I don't want another headache. And I'm trusting you because I know what this can do for your career. Now, it might seem that we have each other over the same barrel, but it just seems that way.
Jenny Lerner: I want...
President Tom Beck: You want?
Jenny Lerner: May I... May I have the first question?
President Tom Beck: I'll see you Tuesday, Miss Lerner.

Oren Monash: Sometimes I see flashes of light. You know like colours. I fall asleep and I dream. But there's a part of me that's always awake. And I can see myself dreaming. I'm just seeing things differently, Fish.
Spurgeon Tanner: Well, that's good.
Oren Monash: Fish. Why the hell do they call you "Fish"?
Spurgeon Tanner: Spurgeon, sturgeon, fish. Took me about 15 minutes of my first day at the Naval Academy.
Oren Monash: Your kids go there?
Spurgeon Tanner: Yeah, they did. They did. And they're good men, both of them. I don't see as much of them as I used to when Mary was alive.
Oren Monash: You don't have to talk about it. It's O.K.
Spurgeon Tanner: No, it's O.K. It's O.K. You're a married man; you know what it's like. Every marriage has its good years and bad years. We ended on a great year. Well, lets get started. Moby Dick, chapter one. "Call me Ishmael. Several years, never mind how long precisely, having little or no money in my purse... grim about the mouth." "Whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul, whenever I find myself knocking people's hats off, then I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."

Spurgeon Tanner: Could I bother everyone for a minute? Let's take a look at the big one. Now the outgassing has created a vent a half a mile wide and at least two miles deep. Comet gets closer to to the sun, sun melts the ice, ice turns to steam, we get a big hole, O.K.? So, how many nukes we have left in the back?
Mikhail Tulchinsky: We have four.
Spurgeon Tanner: If we get the remaining bombs in that vent, there shouldn't be anything left in that comet bigger than a suitcase. We can't do anything about the little one, but it just might give them a chance. Without the arming codes, we're going to have to wait to set the bomb timers until we get closer to Earth to raise Houston.
Mikhail Tulchinsky: We may not have enough life support left to get back into the cargo bay for the nukes, much less go down with the comet.
Mark Simon: We sure as hell don't have enough propellant left in the Messiah to manuever with. How do we set the nukes inside the comet and get out before they blow?
Oren Monash: We don't.
Andrea Baker: Look on the bright side. We'll all have high schools named after us.

Jenny Lerner: When I was 11, I stole $32 from your wallet.
Jason Lerner: When you were a baby, I once dropped you on your head.
Jenny Lerner: When you came to the studio and brought me those pictures, I lied when I said I didn't remember. I remember everything, I remember that we were right over there, and that's when Mom got that picture of the house. It was a perfect happy day. I came down here to let you know that.
Jason Lerner: Thank you.
Jenny Lerner: I've missed you since then.
Jason Lerner: [embraces her] I missed you too.

Andrea Baker: It's a pleasure serving with you, Commander.
Spurgeon Tanner: The honor is all mine, Andy.


  • Heaven and Earth are about to collide.
  • Cities fall. Oceans rise. Hope survives.


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