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15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

“All I see are dead people."

Probably not the Bruce Willis film you’re thinking of – that being 1999’s The Sixth Sense, which coincidentally also had a central character by the name of Cole - but cast your mind back some, yes, right back to 1995, that’s it, and you may well recall this line from 12 Monkeys.

Uttered by Willis’s time traveller James Cole, his world-weary view and rightful tick tock paranoia make him one of science fiction’s most fascinating characters - and it's far from the only speech worth remembering from Terry Gilliam's warped masterpiece.

So without further ado, here are 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

Quite what you choose to do with them is up to you.

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    James Cole: "I am insane. And you are my insanity."

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 1

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    Jeffrey Goines: "All the doors are locked too. They're protecting the people on the outside from us. But the people on the outside are as crazy as us."

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 2

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    Dr. Kathryn Railly: "Cassandra in Greek legend, you recall, was condemned to know the future but to be disbelieved when she foretold it. Hence the agony of foreknowledge combined with the impotence to do anything about it."

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 3

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    L.J. Washington: "I don't really come from outer space… It's a condition of mental divergence."

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 4

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    Jeffrey Goines: "There's no right, there's no wrong, there's only popular opinion."

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 5

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

     James Cole: "[holding some bloody teeth] This is how they find us, by our teeth."

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 6

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    Scientists: "For a man in your position, an opportunity not to volunteer would be a mistake... Definitely a mistake."

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 7

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    Jeffrey Goines: "Telephone call? Telephone call? That's communication with the outside world. Doctor's discretion. Nuh-uh. Look, hey - all of these nuts could just make phone calls, they could spread insanity, oozing through telephone cables, oozing into the ears of all these poor sane people, infecting them. Wackos everywhere, plague of madness."

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 8

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    Jeffrey Goines: "There's the television. It's all right there - all right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray. Commercials! We're not productive anymore. We don't make things anymore. It's all automated. What are we for then? We're consumers, Jim. Yeah. Okay, okay. Buy a lot of stuff, you're a good citizen. But if you don't buy a lot of stuff, if you don't, what are you then, I ask you? What? Mentally ill. Fact, Jim, fact - if you don't buy things - toilet paper, new cars, computerized yo-yos, electrically-operated sexual devices, stereo systems with brain-implanted headphones, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar devices, voice-activated computers..."

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 9

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    Tagline: The future is history

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 10

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    Dr. Kathryn Railly: "And what we say is the truth is what everybody accepts. Right, Owen? I mean, psychiatry - it's the latest religion. We decide what's right and wrong. We decide who's crazy or not."

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 11

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    Jeffrey Goines: "You know what crazy is? Crazy is majority rules. Take germs, for example...Uh-huh. Eighteenth century: no such thing, nada, nothing. No one ever imagined such a thing. No sane person. Along comes this doctor, uh, Semmelweis, Semmelweis. Semmelweis comes along. He's trying to convince people, other doctors mainly, that's there's these teeny tiny invisible bad things called germs that get into your body and make you sick. He's trying to get doctors to wash their hands. What is this guy? Crazy? Teeny, tiny, invisible? What do they call it? Uh-uh, germs? Huh? What? Now, up to the 20th century ― last week, as a matter of fact, before I got dragged into this hellhole ― I go in to order a burger at this fast-food joint, and the guy drops it on the floor. James, he picks it up, he wipes it off, he hands it to me like it's all OK. "What about the germs?" I say. He says "I don't believe in germs. Germs is a plot made up so they could sell disinfectants and soaps." Now he's crazy, right? See? Ah! Ah! There's no right, there's no wrong, there's only popular opinion. You... you... you believe in germs, right?"

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 12

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    James Cole: "I was supposed to be in 1996."

    Louie: "Science ain't an exact science with these clowns but, they're getting better. You're lucky you didn't end up in ancient Egypt!"

     

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 13

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    Jeffrey Goines: "Games, they vegetize ya! If you play the games you’re voluntarily taking a tranquilliser.”

  • 15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys 14

    15 pieces of wisdom from 12 Monkeys

    James Cole: "I want to be here. In this time. With you. I want to become...become a whole person. I want this to be the present. I want the future to be unknown."