Reel American HistoryHistory on trial Main Page

AboutFilmsFor StudentsFor TeachersBibliographyResources

Films >> Charlie Wilson's War (2007) >>

0:02:39 Charlie’s Legacy
Award Presenter: Without Charlie, history would be hugely, and sadly, different.
0:07:25 The Wilson Name
Charlie Wilson: First off, I'd appreciate it if you didn't throw my name around quite so much, because from time to time I use it myself and I need it in good condition.
0:08:37 Ethics
Charlie Wilson: Well, Jesus, everyone in town knows I'm on the other side of that issue.
Aid: Ethics?
Charlie: Yeah!
0:09:20 Today’s News Today
Charlie: I got a few minutes, let's see what's on the wires.
Bonnie: Why can't you wait for newspapers like everybody else?
Charlie: Because I think it's productive to know today's news today and that makes me one day smarter than you, which I know as well.
Bonnie: I know you do.
0:09:44 Afghanistan
Charlie: Hold on. AP story out of Kabul.
Bonnie: Uzbekistan?
Charlie: Afghanistan (pointing to an imaginary map) Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Egypt. (pause) Jim Van Wagenen is our point-man on black ops for the Defense Subcommittee?
Bonnie: Yeah
Charlie: Have him come to my office as soon as possible.
0:11:15 Drinking early
Charlie: Larry, can we get you a drink.
Larry: It's 10:00 in the morning.
Charlie: Well, fair enough, I guess. (Charlie slyly motions to one of his aides to pour him a little glass)
0:12:44 Good Laws
Charlie Wilson: I cannot just call up a judge and tell him what to do.
Larry Liddle: Why?
Charlie: Well, because it's against a shitload of really good laws.
0:13:13 Double it
Charlie: Jim
Jim: Congressman
Charlie: You see Lederer's AP story out of Kabul?
Jim: Yeah. We're reading this story every day now.
Charlie: You see Dan Rather last night?
Jim: Yeah. I did.
Charlie: Tell me something. What is the Defense Subcommittee's budget for covert ops against the Communists in Afghanistan?
Jim: All in?
Charlie: All in.
Jim: It's 5 million.
Charlie: Well, they can't shoot down helicopters for $5 million, Jim. Though they're trying to. Which is more than I can say for us. Get everybody together for me would you? And double it.
Jim: What, wait I'm sorry sir?
Charlie: The covert ops budget, double it.
0:19:47 A Good Spy
Gust Avrakotos: For twenty-four years people have been trying to kill me. People who know how. Now do you think that's because my father was a Greek soda pop maker or because I'm an American spy? Go fuck yourself. You fucking child.
0:23:06 I’m a liberal
Charlie: (dismissing Bonnie as he gets acquainted with Joanne) why don't you give us a few minutes?
Bonnie: Yes sir.
Joanne: Oh, Bobbie, if you could ask someone for a Bombay martini up, very dry.
Bonnie: Oh, I'm not a slave girl, actually. I am the congressman's administrative assistant.
Joanne: Isn't that wonderful for you.
Bonnie: yes
Joanne: Two olives, please. Tell them it's for me, they'll know.
Bonnie: Certainly
Joanne: (to Charlie after Bonnie leaves) She doesn't like me.
Charlie: Everybody likes you.
Joanne: She's a liberal.
Charlie: Well, I'm a liberal.
Joanne: (grabs Charlie's butt, perhaps signifying an advance and also a reference for where a man keeps his wallet) Not where it counts.
0:25:25 Congress
Joanne Herring: Why is Congress saying one thing and doing nothing?
Charlie Wilson: Tradition, mostly.
0:42:21 Falling in love with America
Charlie Wilson: Mr. Hazard ground up a glass bottle, and put it in a bowl of dog food and fed it to him.
Bonnie Bach: What did you do?
Charlie: Well I got some gasoline and burned down his flowerbed, but that wasn't satisfying enough. And then I remembered Mr. Hazard was an elected official, he was head of the town council. His re-election every two years was a foregone conclusion. So come election day, I drove over to the black section of town. Now these people hadn't voted in any of these elections. So I was only thirteen, but I had a farmer's license. I filled up my car with black voters and drove them to the polling place and waited and drove them on home. But before they got out of the car to vote I said, I don't mean to influence you, but I think you should know Mr. Charles Hazard intentionally killed my dog. About 400 ballots were cast in that election. I drove 96 of them to the polls. Hazard lost by 16 votes. And that's the day I fell in love with America.
0:48:11 The Afghan Desk
Charlie Wilson: What is U.S. strategy?
Gust Avrakotos: Strictly speaking we don't have one, but we're working hard on that.
Charlie: Who's we?
Gust: Me and three other guys.
0:52:16 Calling it Even
Charlie Wilson: How'd a guy like you get into the agency?
Gust Avrakotos: You mean a street guy?
Charlie: You ain't James Bond.
Gust: And you ain't Thomas Jefferson, so let's call it even.
0:52:38 What do they need
Charlie: And I say for the fourth time, I can raise the money.
Gus: Yeah, how?
Charlie: Is the Oerlikon the gun I should be recommending?
Gus: I'm not sure.
Charlie: Who is sure?
Gus: A weapons guy named Mike Vickers, I'll call him.
Charlie: Yeah, lets call him right now.
0:53:02 Nerdy Kid
Gus: You see the nerdy-looking kid in the white shirt playing chess against four people at once?
Charlie: Yeah?
Gus: Which one of the guys do you think is a strategic weapons expert with the CIA?
Charlie: Huh? (sighs)
Gus: That was a trick question, Charlie. It's the nerdy-looking kid in the white shirt. No reason this can't be fun you know. Mike!
Mike: Yeah, just a second.
Gus: Need you now, Mike.
Charlie: This is the CIA's weapons expert?
Gus: One of them.
Charlie: But he's the most senior.
Gus: Look . . .
Chess Opponent #4: Mike!
Mike: Yeah, bishop to queen's knight 7.
Gus: See? He's playing without even looking at the board.
Charlie: That's a useful skill. If Afghanistan is ever invaded by Boris Spassky. Did my office not make it clear to Langley that I'm in no mood be fucked around with?
Gus: Charlie . . .
Charlie: You answer to me or you answer to Jim Baker. Which do you want?
Gus: All right, the guy is a fucking Green Beret, Charlie. He trained with the SEALs. No one is trying to fuck with you.
0:56:08 The Only one who can Help
Gust Avrakotos: You know until the phone rang this morning, I don't know, Charlie I never heard of you.
Charlie Wilson: Well ask around.
Gust: I did.
Charlie: And what'd you find out?
Gust: That your greatest legislative achievement in six terms is being reelected five times.
Charlie: Anything else?
Gust: That you have more I.O.U.s than anyone in the House of Representatives.
Charlie: How about that. I represent the only district in America that doesn't want anything. They want their guns, and they want low taxes, that's it. I can do favors. I get to vote yes a lot.
0:59:41 Sex and Drugs
Gust Avrakotos: I'm just explaining to him that as long as the press sees sex and drugs behind the left end you can park a battle carrier down the right end, no one's gonna fucking notice.
1:05:38 No More Houstonian Ballrooms
Joanne Herring: You disappeared.
Charlie Wilson: Well, they weren't selling alcohol in there.
Joanne: It's a traditional Pakistani gathering.
Charlie: You think they might be a lot happier over there if they could just get women and booze in the same room at the same time?
Joanne: I think they'd be a whole lot happier over there if the Communists got out. What do you need to talk to me about?
Charlie: Joanne, darlin', dial down the religion.
Joanne: What?
Charlie: It may alienate people whose support we need.
Joanne: It's luncheons like this that are raising the money we need.
Charlie: This thing is not gonna get done by ballrooms in the Houstonian Hotel. It's gonna get done by the CIA, Israel, Egypt, and Pakistan and it's gonna get done quietly
1:12:52 The CIA Meets the 6th Wealthiest Woman in Texas
Joanne Herring: Where are you from?
Gust Avrakotos: What do you care?
Joanne: Are you a Catholic?
Gust: Greek Orthodox, Mrs. Herring.
Joanne: That's still Christian.
Gust: Imagine my relief.
Joanne: What's your problem with me?
Gust: You know, I've found in my business that when people with time on their hands get involved in politics, I start forgetting who I'm supposed to be shooting at.
1:16:05 Show her What you Can Do
Doc Long: My son served in Vietnam, he was injured fighting against the Soviets. So you see, I'm no stranger to the horror and atrocities of the Communists. And God is my witness today, these Russian gunships, every last one of them, are gonna be blown right outta the sky. We're gonna see that you have guns, we're gonna see that you have training. This is good against evil, and I want you to know that America is always going to be on the side of the good. And God will always punish the wicked.
1:26:00 No Comparison
Joanne Herring: What does this rank compared to other covert wars?
Charlie Wilson: There's never been anything like it.
Joanne: Since when?
Charlie: Ever.
1:28:51 We’ll See
Gust Avrakotos: Listen, not for nothing, but do you know the story of the Zen master and the little boy?
Charlie Wilson: Oh, is this something from…
Gust: Yeah. There's a little boy and on his fourteenth birthday he gets a horse, and everybody in the village says how wonderful the boy got a horse. The Zen master says "We'll see." Two years later the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everybody in the village says how terrible, and the Zen master says, "We'll see." Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight, except the boy can't because his leg's all messed up, and everybody in the village says how wonderful.
Charlie: And the Zen master says, "We'll see."
Gust: Great, so you get it.
Charlie: No, cause I'm stupid.
Gust: You're not stupid you're just in Congress.
1:31:29 The Ball
Charlie Wilson: This is what we always do. We go in there with our ideals and we change the world, and then we leave. We always leave. That ball, though, keeps on bouncing.
1:33:32 The End Game
Charlie Wilson: These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world… And then we fucked up the end game.