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Scent of a Woman

1992 American film directed and produced by Martin Brest

Scent of a Woman is a 1992 film which tells the story of a preparatory school student who takes a job as an assistant to an irascible, blind, medically-retired Army officer. The story takes us on journey where the colonel plans to spend the last days of his life doing things which he always wanted to do. Once he is done with his list, he loses hope; the hope is revived by the young intern, who persuades him to go on with life. In the end, the colonel helps the intern in getting over his dilemma: should he save his career or his classmates?


Lieutenant Colonel Frank SladeEdit

  • Women! What could you say? Who made 'em? God must have been a fuckin' genius. The hair... they say the hair is everything, you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls... just wanted to go to sleep forever? Or lips... and when they touched, yours were like... that first swallow of wine... after you just crossed the desert. Tits. Hoo-ah! Big ones, little ones, nipples staring right out at ya, like secret searchlights. Mmm. Legs. I don't care if they're Greek columns... or secondhand Steinways. What's between 'em... passport to heaven. I need a drink. Yes, Mr Simms, there's only two syllables in this whole wide world worth hearing: pussy. Hah! Are you listenin' to me, son? I'm givin' ya pearls here.

Mr. TraskEdit

  • I called an open meeting of this institution this morning because the incident that occurred this Tuesday last describes an issue that concerns all of us. Not an isolated case of vandalism, what happened is a symptom of a sickness in this society. A sickness which runs counter to the principles this school was founded on. A school among whose graduates, two have sat behind the desk in the Oval Office, in the White House. Baird men have run state departments, investment houses. Founded department stores, coached football teams. Our alumni receive their bulletins in ashrams in India and in palaces in Jordan: we are, in fact, known around the world as the cradle of this country's leadership. A beacon to the nations. But today, we are bleeding from disrespect. Blatant disrespect. Disrespect for our values, and disrespect for our standards. A disrespect for the Baird tradition. And, as the custodians of that tradition, we are here today to protect each other from those who threaten it.


Harry Havemayer: We got a deal going, kid- 20% off for my friends; my father set it up. Christmas in Switzerland?
Trent Potter: Staad.
Harry Havemayer: Gstaad; dropping the 'G' is phony.
Trent: But you just said everybody says Staad!
Harry: Not if you've been there. Easter in Burmuda? Think a Kentucky Derby week- we could fit you in, kid.
Charlie Simms: Uh, how much are these, white-bosomed slopes of Vermont?
Harry: Twelve-hundred. Includes a nine-course, champagne Thanksgiving dinner.
Charlie: Twelve hundred dollars is a little rich for my blood, Harry.
Harry: How short are you?
Charlie: Short, Harry? So short it wouldn't be worth the trouble for you and George to measure. But, uh, thanks for asking, all right? [Leaves]
Harry: If you change your mind...
George Willis Jr.: What'd you do that for? You know he's on aid.
Harry: On major holidays, Willis, it's customary for the lord of the manor to offer drippings to the poor.
George: You're so full of shit.

Mr. Trask: One of the few perks of this office is that I am empowered to handle certain matters as I see fit. Do you understand?
Charlie Simms: Yes, sir.
Mr. Trask: Good. The Dean of Admissions at Harvard and I have an arrangement. Along with the usual sheaf of applicants submitted, of which virtually two-thirds are guaranteed admittance, I add one name. Somebody who's a standout. And yet, underprivileged. A student who cannot afford to pay the board and tuition in Cambridge. Do you know on whose behalf I drafted a memo this year?
Charlie: No, sir.
Mr. Trask: You. You, Mr. Simms. Now, can you tell me who did it?
[Charlie hesitates, visibly conflicted, then shakes his head.]
Charlie: No, sir, I can't.
Mr. Trask: You take the weekend to think about it, Mr. Simms. Good afternoon.

Freddie Bisco: Yeah, this is a valid Oregon driver's license. And we let appropriate customers test-drive the Testarossa. But you're seventeen years old and you're riding with a blind companion. That we don't do. This is a $190,000 piece of machinery; I'm not letting it out this door.
Charlie: Well, how about this one over here?
Freddie: That's a Cabriolet t; the same deal! You think I'm gonna let an unaccompanied kid get behind the wheel of a $110,000 car?
Col. Slade: He will not be unaccompanied. I'll be with him. I'm his father.
Freddie Bisco: You're his father?
Col. Slade: Yeah.
Freddie Bisco: I have an idea. Why don't I take your father for a test drive?
Col. Slade: What's your quota, Freddie?
Freddie Bisco: Don't worry about my quota, I do very well.
Col. Slade: How many Ferraris you sold this month?
Freddie Bisco: That's not relevant to this discussion.
Col. Slade: Freddie, the Eighties are over. You tryin' to tell me these things are just walkin' outta the store?
Freddie Bisco: This is a Ferrari, sir. This is the finest piece of machinery made in the automobile industry.
Col. Slade: Well, if you like it so much, why don't you sleep with it? Why are you selling it?
Freddie Bisco: I'd love to accommodate you, but-
Col. Slade: If this car performs the way I expect it to, you will get a certified check of $101,000 and change when you come in here tomorrow morning.
Freddie Bisco: That's $109,000 plus $950, plus tax.
Col. Slade: Freddie, for you- one-oh-seven, all in. Plus a case of champagne. Go with your leftover turkey. Whaddya say? Don't worry about the boy. He drives so smooth, you can boil an egg on the engine. When we bring the car back, I'll peel the egg for you.
Freddie Bisco: Listen, you've made me laugh, but I can't let the car go out.
Col. Slade: Want a deposit?
Freddie Bisco: This is not an installment item, sir.
Col. Slade: [Takes Bisco aside] Freddie. You're no spring chicken, are you?
Freddie Bisco: Well, you know what they call me at the home office. "The Gray Ghost." You know why they still keep me around? There's no kid here who can move a Ferrari like I can. I'm known from coast to coast like butter and toast. Ask anybody about Freddie Bisco. When I get a Ferrari- [Snaps his fingers] -out the door.
Col. Slade: Ha! You just made me laugh, Freddie. [Holds up a folded set of bills] $2,000. Unless you take it you're gonna make me cry. [Bisco hesitates, then takes the money.] I'm a Gray Ghost, too.

Officer Gore: License and registration. [Charlie hands over some papers.] What, are you test driving this baby?
Col. Slade: Don't she purr, though?
Officer Gore: At 70 miles an hour?
Col. Slade: You should hear it at 125. Ha!
Officer Gore: Where's your license?
Col. Slade: At the dealer's. They give it back to you when you return the car.
Officer Gore: You got ID?
Col. Slade: You bet. Indeed. [Hands over his ID]
Officer Gore: [Looking at the card] "Lieutenant Colonel Slade."
Col. Slade: And you, soldier?
Officer Gore: The name is Police Officer Gore.
Col. Slade: You're doin' a hell of a job, Gore!
Officer Gore: Oh, and so are you, Colonel. Who's the kid?
Col. Slade: My boy Charlie. He kept tellin' me to "let her out, let her out"; what was I gonna do, disappoint him?
Officer Gore: Yes. [Pauses] Tell you what I'm gonna do, Colonel. I'm gonna let you go. On one condition.
Col. Slade: What's that?
Officer Gore: That you take this rig straight back to the dealer.
Charlie: Y-you got it.
Col. Slade: Shut up.
Officer Gore: [Holds out the papers] You want this?
Col. Slade: Sure. [Reaches out and takes the papers] Gore, your face and your voice are familiar. You ever in the Officers Club at Danang?
Officer Gore: No.
Col. Slade: Ever in the Army?
Officer Gore: No, Coast Guard.
Col. Slade: Good Lord. Ha ha!
Officer Gore: [Laughs] Your dad's looking good, Charlie. He's got a heavy foot, though. Tell him to take it light, all right?

Col. Slade: You break my heart, son. All my life I stood up to everyone and everything because it made me feel important. You do it... because you mean it. You got integrity, Charlie. I don't know whether to shoot you, or adopt you.
Charlie: Not much of a choice, is it, sir?
Col. Slade: Oh, don't get cute, son.
Charlie: Colonel, could you please put the gun away?
Col. Slade: I asked you a question. Do you want me to adopt you, or don't you?
Charlie: Please, I mean... you're just in a slump right now.
Col. Slade: Slump? No slump, Charlie. I'm bad. I'm not bad, no; I'm rotten.
Charlie: You're not bad. You're just in pain.
Col. Slade: What do you know about pain? You little snail dart from the Pacific Northwest? Fuck you know about pain?
Charlie: Lemme have the gun, Colonel.
[Charlie steps forward; Slade cocks the M1911.]
Col. Slade: No time to grow a dick, son.
Charlie: Just-just gimme the gun, all right, Colonel?
Col. Slade: I'm talkin' a parade ground. Ten-hut! [Charlie moves forward again.] Soldier, that was a direct order.
Charlie: The gun.
Col. Slade: You can stay or you can leave.
Charlie: I'm staying.
Col. Slade: Either way, I'm gonna do this thing. Now why don't you leave, and spare yourself?
'Charlie: Let me have the gun, Colonel.
Col. Slade: I'm gonna give myself a count. You need a count for balance. Five... four... three... two... one... Fuck it. [As Slade raises the M1911 to his temple, Charlie charges him, and the two struggle over the pistol. Slade quickly overpowers Charlie and pins him against a wall.] GET OUTTA HERE!
Charlie: I'm staying right here!
Charlie: I'm staying right here!
Col. Slade: I'm gonna blow your fuckin' head off!
Charlie: Then do it! You wanna do it, do it! Let's go!
Col. Slade: Get outta here!
Charlie: So you fucked up, alright? So what?! Everybody does! Get on with your life, would you?!
Col. Slade: WHAT LIFE?! I GOT NO LIFE! I'm in the dark here, understand?! I'm in the dark!
Charlie: Then give up. You wanna give up? Give up. 'Cause I'm givin' up, too. You said I'm through; you're right, I am through. We're both through, it's all over. So get on with it. Let's fuckin' do it! Let's fuckin'- pull the trigger, you miserable, blind motherfucker!
Col. Slade: Here we go, Charlie.
Charlie: I'm ready.
Col. Slade: You don't wanna die.
Charlie: Neither do you.
Col. Slade: Give me one reason not to.
Charlie: I'll give you two. You can dance the tango and drive a Ferrari better than anyone I've ever seen.
Col. Slade: [Lowers the pistol] You haven't seen anyone do either.

Trask: I'm going to recommend to the Disciplinary Committee... that you be expelled, Mr. Simms. You are a coverup artist and you are a liar.
Col. Slade: But not a snitch!
Trask: Excuse me?
Col. Slade: No, I don't think I will.
Trask: Mr. Slade...
Col. Slade: This is such a crock of shit!
Trask: Please watch your language, Mr. Slade. You are in the Baird School, not a barracks. Mr. Simms, I will give you one final opportunity to speak up-
Col. Slade: Mr. Simms doesn't want it. He doesn't need to be labeled, "still worthy of being a 'Baird Man.'" What the hell is that? What is your motto here? "Boys, inform on your classmates, save your hide. Anything short of that, we're gonna burn you at the stake."? Well, gentlemen! When the shit hits the fan, some guys run and some guys stay. Here's Charlie, facing the fire, and there's George, hiding in Big Daddy's pocket. And what are you doing? You're gonna reward George, and destroy Charlie.
Trask: Are you finished, Mr. Slade?
Col. Slade: No, I'm just gettin' warmed up. I don't know who went to this place, William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan, William Tell, whoever. Their spirit is dead; if they ever had one, it's gone. You're building a rat ship here, a vessel for sea-going snitches. And if you think you're preparing these minnows for manhood, you better think again. Because I say you are killing the very spirit this institution proclaims it instills! What a sham! What kind of show are you guys puttin' on here today? I mean, the only class in this act is sittin' next to me. And I'm here to tell you, this boy's soul is intact. It's non-negotiable. You know how I know? Someone here — and I'm not gonna say who — offered to buy it. Only Charlie here wasn't selling.
Mr.Trask: Sir, you're out of order! [Bangs his gavel]
Col. Slade: Out of order? I'll show you out of order! You don't know what out of order is, Mr. Trask. I'd show you, but I'm too old, I'm too tired, I'm too fuckin' blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a FLAMETHROWER to this place! Out of order?! Who the hell you think you're talking to?! I've been around, you know? There was a time I could see! And I have seen- boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off! But there is nothin like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is... no prosthetic for that. You think you're merely sending this splendid foot-soldier back home to Oregon with his tail between his legs, but I say you are executing his soul! And why? Because he's not a "Baird man". Baird men. You hurt this boy, you're going to be Baird bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are out there- fuck you, too!
Mr. Trask: [Bangs his gavel repeatedly] Stand down, Mr. Slade!
Col. Slade: I'm not finished! As I came in here, I heard those words, "cradle of leadership". Well, when the bow breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here, it has fallen! Makers of men, creators of leaders- be careful what kind of leaders you're producing here. I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong; I'm not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this: he won't sell anybody out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity. That's called courage. Now that's the stuff leaders should be made of. [pause] Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was; without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too...damn... hard. Now here's Charlie, he's come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle, that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey. You hold this boy's future in your hands, Committee! It's a valuable future. Believe me! Don't destroy it! Protect it. Embrace it. It's gonna make you proud one day, I promise you. [sits down, round of applause from audience] How's that for cornball?

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