Whiplash (2014 film)

2014 film directed by Damien Chazelle

Whiplash is a 2014 film about a student drummer enrolling at a cut-throat music conservatory where he dreams of greatness are mentored by an abusive instructor.

Directed and written by Damien Chazelle.
The road to greatness can take you to the edge.

Terence Fletcher

  • We've got a squeaker today, people. Neiman. 19 years old. Isn't he cute?
  • Parker, that is not your boyfriend's dick. Do not come early.
  • It's all good, no worries, here we go.
  • [playing an audio clip of a trumpet solo for the band] Six years ago, I came across a kid in a practice room working on his scales. He was early second year and he'd started at Shaffer with a lot of hope. Like all you guys. But the truth was, he barely squeaked in to begin with, and, uh... he was really struggling. The faculty were all telling him, "Maybe this isn't for you." But they didn't see what I saw. This scared, skinny kid, cursing himself because he couldn't get his scales right. I saw a drive in him. And I put him in Studio Band. And when he graduated, Marsalis made him third trumpet at Lincoln Center. A year later, he was first. And that's who you're listening to now. His name was Sean Casey. I found out this morning that... Sean... died yesterday... in a car accident. And, uh, I just... I wanted you guys to know he was a beautiful player. I just thought you should know.
  • And here comes Mister Gay Pride of the Upper West Side himself. Unfortunately, this is not a Bette Midler concert, we will not be serving Cosmopolitans and Baked Alaska, so just play faster than you give fucking hand jobs, will you please? One, two, one, two. [Carl starts drumming, Fletcher stops him] Not even fucking close. [to Ryan] Let's go, with the Irish Mick-fucking-Paddy cracker now. You know, you actually do look quite a bit like a leprechaun. I think I'm gonna start calling you Flannery.
  • [after Andrew stops drumming] Is that really the fastest you can play, you worthless Hymie fuck? No wonder mommy ran out on you. Get off the fucking kit.
  • Were you rushing or were you dragging?
  • If you deliberately sabotage my band, I will fuck you like a pig.
  • Oh, my dear God. Are you one of those single tear people?
  • You are a worthless, friendless, faggot-lipped little piece of shit whose mommy left daddy when she figured out he wasn't Eugene O'Neill, who is now weeping and slobbering all over my drum set like a fucking nine-year-old girl!
  • Either you're deliberately out of tune and sabotaging my band, or you don't know you're out of tune, which, I'm afraid, is even worse.
  • For the record, Metz wasn't out of tune. You were, Erickson, but he didn't know and that's bad enough.
  • Neiman, you earned the part. Alternates, will you clean the blood off my drum set?
  • [Repeated line] Not quite my tempo.
  • The folder is your fucking responsibility, Tanner. Why would you give it to Neiman? Right? You give a calculator to a fucking retard he's gonna try to turn on a TV with it. Now get your sticks and get your ass on stage.
  • Listen up, cocksuckers! Hurry the fuck up. Get your music. "Irene" only. Set one. Rhythm section out first. Tanner, the kit is a tonal fucking catastrophe. Get it in tune, all right? Rhythm and soloists, bar 45. We're gonna pick up the tempo there, all right? Bar 106, brass, do not forget we sharp that ninth. Everybody remember, Lincoln Center and its ilk use these competitions to decide who they are interested in and who they are not. And I am not gonna have my reputation in that department tarnished by a bunch of fucking limp-dick, sour-note, flatter-than-their-girlfriends, flexible-tempo dipshits. Got it? One more thing. Eugene, give me that. [Eugene hands Fletcher his music folder] If I ever see another one of these lying around, I swear to fucking God, I will stop being so polite. [to a stagehand who just walked in] Get the fuck out of my sight before I demolish you. [to band] Stage right, in order, now. [to stagehand] I can still fucking see you, Mini-Me!
  • You think I'm fucking stupid? I know it was you.
  • Now, are you a rusher, or are you a dragger, or are you gonna be ON MY FUCKING TIME?!
  • Sorry guys, hate to put you through this...If you need to fucking take a dump, or get a coffee, whatever - now might be a good time, because we're gonna stay here until I find a drummer who can fucking play in time. I apologize to the musicians...Seriously, take ten, twenty, a fucking hour. [to drummers] You hear me, cocksuckers? You better start shitting me perfect four-hundreds. Connolly, get your fucking ass back on the kit!


Fletcher: Tell me it's not you, Elmer Fudd. [walks over to Metz] It's okay. Play.
[Metz plays a couple of notes; Fletcher stops him]
Fletcher: Do you think you're out of tune?
[Metz only stares at the floor]
Fletcher: What are you... there's no f***ing Mars Bar down there, what are you looking at? Look up here, look at me. Do you think you were out of tune?
Metz: [after a long, hesitant pause] Yes.
Fletcher: [yelling] THEN WHY THE F**K DIDN'T YOU SAY SO?! [calmer tone] I've carried your fat ass for too long, Metz. I'm not gonna have you cost us a competition because your mind's on a fucking Happy Meal instead of on pitch. Jackson, congratulations. You're fourth chair. Metz, why are you still sitting there? Get the f**k out!
[Metz gets up and walks out out of the room]
Fletcher: [to the band] For the record, Metz wasn't out of tune. You were, Erickson, but he didn't know and that's bad enough. Alright take 10, when we get back the squeaker's on.

Fletcher: Your parents musicians?
Andrew: No.
Fletcher: What do they do?
Andrew: My, uh, dad's a writer.
Fletcher: Oh, what's he written?
Andrew: Uh, I guess he's more of a teacher, really.
Fletcher: Oh. College?
Andrew: Pennington High School.
Fletcher: What about your mother, what does she do?
Andrew: I don't know, she left when I was a baby.
Fletcher: So no musicians in the family. [Andrew shakes his head] Well, you've just got to listen to the greats then. Buddy Rich, Jo Jones. You know, Charlie Parker became Bird because Jones threw a cymbal at his head. See what I'm saying?
Andrew: Mm-hm.
Fletcher: Listen, the key is to just relax. Don't worry about the numbers, don't worry about what the other guys are thinking. You're here for a reason. You believe that, right?
Andrew: Yeah.
Fletcher: Say it.
Andrew: I'm here for a reason.
Fletcher: Cool. All right, man. Have fun.

Fletcher: Why do you suppose I just hurled a chair at your head, Neiman?
Andrew: I... I don't know.
Fletcher: Sure you do.
Andrew: The tempo.
Fletcher: Were you rushing or were you dragging?
Andrew: I don't know.
[Fletcher rushes to the kit and stares Andrew in the face]
Fletcher: Start counting.
Andrew: Five, six--
Fletcher: In four, damn it! Look at me.
Andrew: One, two, three, four-- [Fletcher slaps him] ...One, two, three, four-- [slap] ...One, two, three...
Fletcher: Now, was I rushing or was I dragging?
Andrew: I don't know.
Fletcher: Count again.
Andrew: One, two, three, four-- [slap] ...One, two, three, four-- [slap] ...One, two, three...
Fletcher: Rushing or dragging?
Andrew: Rushing.
Fletcher: So you do know the difference! If you deliberately sabotage my band, I will fuck you like a pig. Now are you a rusher, or are you a dragger, or are you gonna be ON MY FUCKING TIME?!
Andrew: I'm gonna be on your time.
Fletcher: [points to sheet music] What does that say?
Andrew: Quarter note equals 215.
Fletcher: Count me a 215.
Andrew: One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four...
Fletcher: Jesus fucking Christ! I didn't know they allowed retards into Shaffer! Am I to understand that you cannot read tempo? Can you even fucking read music?! What is that?
Andrew: Eighth note.
Fletcher: Yes, what is that?
Andrew: Dotted sixteenth note.
Fletcher: Sight-read measure 101.
Andrew: Bop-bop-ba-bop-ba--
Fletcher: What, are you in a fucking a cappella group? Play the goddamn kit! [Andrew drums the measure] Stop. Now answer my question: were you rushing, or were you dragging? [Andrew doesn't respond] ANSWER!!!
Andrew: Rushing.
Fletcher: [sees Andrew shed a tear] Oh, my dear God. Are you one of those single tear people? Do I look like a double fucking rainbow to you? You must be upset. Are you upset?
Andrew: No.
Fletcher: No? So you just don't give a shit about any of this?
Andrew: I do give a shit about this.
Fletcher: So, are you upset? Yes or fucking no? [Andrew nods yes] Yes, you are upset.
Andrew: Yeah.
Fletcher: Say it.
Andrew: I'm upset.
Fletcher: Say it so the whole band can hear you.
Andrew: I'm upset!
Fletcher: Louder!
Andrew: [loud] I'm upset!
Fletcher: LOUDER!
Andrew: [louder] I'M UPSET!
Fletcher: You are a worthless, friendless, faggot-lipped little piece of shit whose mommy left daddy when she figured out he wasn't Eugene O'Neill, and who is now weeping and slobbering all over my drum set like a fucking nine-year old girl! So for the final, FATHER-FUCKING TIME, SAY IT LOUDER!!!
Andrew: [high pitched] I'M UPSET!!!
Fletcher: Carl. [Carl takes Andrew's place at the drums as Fletcher goes back to compose the band] Start practicing harder, Neiman.

Carl: I need to look at the music.
Andrew: Oh yeah, it's right here. [He turns around to realize the folder is not where he left it]
Carl: Why isn't it on you?
Andrew: [Confused] Where's the folder?
Carl: You're joking, right?
Andrew: I- no- no, I literal- no, I s- I swear I just had it here two seconds ago-
Carl: I don't know-
Andrew: It's gotta be around here somewhere. Did you see-
Carl: [Angry] How could you be so fucking stupid?
Andrew: I don't know, maybe a janitor came by or something-
Andrew: I'm sorry-

[Fletcher calls Tanner from off the scene. Both drummers turn around when they hear him.]

Fletcher: Jesus fucking Christ, where have you been?
Carl: We have an issue.
Fletcher: Okay, now is not the time.
Carl: I gave Neiman the folder and Neiman lost it.
Fletcher: Neiman lost it?
Carl: Yes.
Fletcher: The folder is your fucking responsibility, Tanner. Why would you give it to Neiman? Right? You give a calculator to a fucking retard he's gonna try to turn on a TV with it. Now get your sticks and get your ass on stage.
Carl: I-- I can't.
Fletcher: You can't?
Carl: I-- I can't go onstage. I don't know the charts by heart.
Fletcher: Are you fucking kidding me?
Carl: I-- [stammers] You know this. I need the music. It's my memory, I need visual cues.
Fletcher: Visual cues?
Carl: Yes, it's a medical condition--
Fletcher: A medical condition? What are you, fucking Sanjay Gupta? Play the goddamn music.
Carl: I can't.
Andrew: I can.
Fletcher: You know "Whiplash" by heart?
Andrew: Yes, sir. Every measure.
Fletcher: All right. Well, you better fucking hope your memory doesn't fail you. And I hope you play it a whole lot better than you did last month in rehearsal, because I do not intend to start losing now. Get your sticks and get your fucking ass onstage. [to band] Onstage!

Uncle Frank: You got any friends, Andy?
Andrew: No.
Uncle Frank: Oh, why's that?
Andrew: I don't know, I just never really saw the use.
Uncle Frank: Well, who are you going to play with otherwise? Lennon and McCartney, they were school buddies, am I right?
Andrew: Charlie Parker didn't know anybody 'til Jo Jones threw a cymbal at his head.
Uncle Frank: So that's your idea of success, huh?
Andrew: I think being the greatest musician of the 20th century is anybody's idea of success.
Jim: Dying broke and drunk and full of heroin at the age of 34 is not exactly my idea of success.
Andrew: I'd rather die drunk, broke at 34 and have people at a dinner table talk about me than live to be rich and sober at 90 and nobody remembered who I was.
Uncle Frank: Ah, but your friends will remember you, that's the point.
Andrew: None of us were friends with Charlie Parker. That's the point.
Uncle Frank: Travis and Dustin? They have plenty of friends and plenty of purpose.
Andrew: I'm sure they'll make great school board presidents someday.
Dustin: Oh, that's what this is all about? You think you're better than us?
Andrew: You catch on quick. Are you in Model UN?
Travis: I got a reply for you, Andrew. You think Carleton football's a joke? Come play with us.
Andrew: Four words you will never hear from the NFL.
Aunt Emma: Who wants dessert?
Jim: Hear from Lincoln Center?

Andrew: I'm just gonna lay it out there. This is why I don't think we should be together. And I've thought about it a lot and this is what's gonna happen. I'm gonna keep pursuing what I'm pursuing. And because I'm doing that, it's gonna take up more and more of my time. And I'm not gonna be able to spend as much time with you. And when I do spend time with you, I'm gonna be thinking about drumming. And I'm gonna be thinking about jazz music, my charts, all that. And because of that, you're gonna start to resent me. And you're gonna tell me to ease up on the drumming, spend more time with you because you're not feeling important. And I'm not gonna be able to do that. And really, I'm gonna start to resent you for even asking me to stop drumming. And we're just gonna start to hate each other. And it's gonna get very... It's gonna be ugly. And so for those reasons, I'd rather just, you know, break it off clean... because I wanna be great.
Nicole: And you're not?
Andrew: I wanna be one of the greats.
Nicole: And I would stop you from doing that?
Andrew: Yeah.
Nicole: You know I would stop you from doing that. You know, for a fact?
Andrew: Yes.
Nicole: And I'd barely see you anyway?
Andrew: Yeah.
Nicole: And when I do see you, you'd treat me like shit because I'm just some girl who doesn't know what she wants. And you have a path, and you're gonna be great, and I'm going to be forgotten, and therefore you won't be able to give me the time of day because you have bigger things to pursue?
Andrew: That's exactly my point.
Nicole: What the fuck is wrong with you? You're right, we should not be dating.

Andrew: Hey. Hey, sorry I'm late.
Fletcher: Well, glad you could fit us into your busy schedule, darling.
Andrew: I know. Look, I'm sorry I'm late, but I'm here. I'm ready to go.
Fletcher: Connolly's playing the part.
Andrew: Yeah, like fucking hell he's playing my part.
Fletcher: What the fuck did you just say to me?
Andrew: It's my part.
Fletcher: It's my part and I decide who to lend it to. Usually it's somebody that has fucking sticks.
[Andrew realizes he left his drumsticks behind]
Andrew: I left them in the car, I'll be right back. Take me five minutes.
Fletcher: I'm warming up the band now.
Andrew: Look, I can use Ryan's sticks.
Fletcher: Neiman, you lost the fucking part.
Andrew: No, I didn't! Look, you can't fucking do this to me!
Fletcher: 'CAN'T'?!
Andrew: Yeah!
Fletcher: When did you become a fucking expert on what I can or cannot do, you fucking weepy willow shitsack?
Andrew: I earned that part.
Fletcher: You never earned anything. God, you are a self-righteous prick. The only reason you are a core is because you misplaced a folder. The only reason you're in Studio Band to begin with is because I told you exactly what I'd be asking for in Nassau! Am I wrong?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. I'm in studio band because I'm the best player...
Ryan: [interrupts] Hey, why don't you just back off, bro?
Andrew: Hey, you know, fuck off, Johnny Utah! Turn my pages, bitch!
Fletcher: Hey, I can cut you any fucking time I want.
Andrew: You would've cut me by now.
Fletcher: Try me, you fucking weasel! At 5:30, that's in exactly eleven minutes, my band is onstage. If your ass is not on that stool with your own fucking sticks in hand or you make ONE FUCKING MISTAKE, ONE, I will drum your ass back to Nassau where you can turn pages until you graduate or fucking drop out! By the time you're done at Shaffer, you're gonna make Daddy look like a fucking success story! Got it? Or, we can let Johnny Utah play the part. You choose.
Andrew: It's my part, I'll be on your stage. [to Connelly] Fuck you. [runs to get his sticks]
Fletcher: You got ten minutes you fucking pathetic pansy-ass fruit-fuck!

Lawyer: Does the name Sean Casey mean anything to you? You know of his death? Last month, he hanged himself in his apartment.
Andrew: What does that have to do with me?
Lawyer: Sean suffered from anxiety and depression. His mother claims this started during his time as Fletcher's student. Now, the Casey's aren't wealthy, they don't want to file suit.
Andrew: So, what do they want?
Lawyer: To make sure that Terence Fletcher is never allowed to do this to another student.
Andrew: He didn't do anything.
Jim: What is wrong with you? It's over, okay? He's out of your life. Why would you let him get away with what he did to you?
Lawyer: Would you characterize his conduct as extreme, Andrew? Did he ever intentionally inflict emotional distress? This would not be a public hearing, you know. Fletcher would never know it was you who spoke up.
Andrew: Why would you do this to me?
Jim: Do you think that I would let him put my son through hell, and then just walk away scot-free? Don't you know I would never let that happen? That there is nothing in the world more important to me than you? Don't you know that?
Lawyer: [long pause] Andrew?
Andrew: Just tell me what to say.

Fletcher: I don't know if you heard. I'm not at Shaffer anymore.
Andrew: Yeah, I did hear that. Did you quit?
Fletcher: Not exactly. Some parents got a kid from Sean Casey's year, I think, to say some things about me. Although why anybody would have anything other than peaches and cream to say anything about me is a mystery. [Andrew chuckles] That's a good laugh, right?
Andrew: I'm sorry.
Fletcher: No, listen-- I get it. I know I made enemies. I'm conducting a little, though. They brought back the JVC Fest this year. They got me opening in a couple weeks with a pro band.
Andrew: That's great.
Fletcher: Yeah. It's all right. Truth is, I don't think people understood what it was I was doing at Shaffer. I wasn't there to conduct. Any fucking moron can wave his arms and keep people in tempo. I was there to push people beyond what's expected of them. I believe that is... an absolute necessity. Otherwise, we're depriving the world of the next Louis Armstrong. The next Charlie Parker. I told you that story about how Charlie Parker became Charlie Parker, right?
Andrew: Jo Jones threw a cymbal at his head.
Fletcher: Exactly. Parker's a young kid, pretty good on the sax. Gets up to play at a cutting session, and he fucks it up. And Jones nearly decapitates him for it. And he's laughed off-stage. Cries himself to sleep that night, but the next morning, what does he do? He practices. And he practices and he practices with one goal in mind: never to be laughed at again. And a year later, he goes back to the Reno and he steps up on that stage, and plays the best motherfucking solo the world has ever heard. So imagine if Jones had just said, "Well, that's okay, Charlie. That was all right. Good job." And then Charlie thinks to himself, "Well, shit, I did do a pretty good job." End of story. No Bird. That, to me, is an absolute tragedy. But that's just what the world wants now. People wonder why jazz is dying. I tell you, man, and every Starbucks "jazz" album just proves my point, really - there are no two words in the English language more harmful than "good job".
Andrew: [pause] But is there a line? You know, maybe you go too far, and you discourage the next Charlie Parker from ever becoming Charlie Parker?
Fletcher: No, man, no. Because the next Charlie Parker would never be discouraged.
Andrew: Yeah.
Fletcher: The truth is, Andrew, I never really had a Charlie Parker. But I tried. I actually fucking tried, and that's more than most people ever do. And I will never apologize for how I tried.


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