American History X (1998) quotes

Director
Tony Kaye.

Cast
Edward Norton.
Edward Furlong.
Beverly D’Angelo.

A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

There was a moment, when I used to blame everything and everyone for all the pain and suffering and vile things that happened to me, that I saw happen to my people. Used to blame everybody. Blamed White people, blamed society, blamed God. I didn’t get no answers ’cause I was asking the wrong questions. You have to ask the right questions.
Bob Sweeney
Like what?
Derek Vinyard
Has anything you’ve done made your life better?
Bob Sweeney

[Narrating his essay] So I guess this is where I tell you what I learned – my conclusion, right? Well, my conclusion is: Hate is baggage. Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time. It’s just not worth it. Derek says it’s always good to end a paper with a quote. He says someone else has already said it best. So if you can’t top it, steal from them and go out strong. So I picked a guy I thought you’d like. ‘We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.’
– Danny Vinyard

[to Derek] Don’t fuck with me ’cause I’m the most dangerous man in this prison. You know why? ‘Cause I control the underwear.
Lamont
[They walk down to the underwear station] All right, pick ’em up over here and you sort ’em over there. I hope you can work out all right because the last guy they sent me didn’t wear no drawers, couldn’t read the sizes in the drawers, and he used to sniff the drawers. All right, we got two sizes, medium and large, all right? All you got to do is put the mediums with the mediums and the large with the large. All right, I know it’s a borin’ job, but it’s better than that last shit they had me doin’. I spent two years in the kitchen…
Lamont
… scrubbin’ hot ass pots and pans that you don’t want to do, al right?
Lamont

This is stupid. Go cool off, get laid, do something, come back when you’re ready to talk.
Cameron
Yeah, but it really doesn’t matter if I do, does it? Because you got a whole crop already lined up, you fuckin’ chicken hawk!
Derek Vinyard
Excuse me?
Cameron
You prey on people Cam. I lost three years of my life for your fuckin’ phony cause, but I’m onto you now, you fuckin’ snake.
Derek Vinyard
Hey, watch it Derek, be careful. Remember where you are. This isn’t some fuckin’ country club where you can waltz in and outta here!
Cameron
Shut up! Shut the fuck up! I came here for one reason, to tell you that I’m out. Out! And Danny’s out, too. And if you come near my family again, I’m gonna fucking kill you.
Derek Vinyard
Well excuse me, but fuck you Derek. You can’t come in here barking threats at me. Look, you can do whatever you want, but Danny’s a good kid. He’s not some whiny pussy like you. He needs my help and I’m gonna give it to him.
Cameron
If you come near Danny again, I will feed you your fucking heart, Cameron.
Derek Vinyard
I won’t have to. He’ll come to me. I’m more important to him now than you’ll ever be.
Cameron

‘Sup, man? You getting outta here? Well, c’mon man! What the fuck you waiting on?
Lamont
Yeah, you know, I got this funny feeling.
Derek Vinyard
Oh yeah? What’s that?
Lamont
I’m thinking the only reason I’m getting outta here in one piece is you.
Derek Vinyard
C’mon man! Get the fuck outta here, man! You think I’m gonna put my neck on the line for some crazy-ass peckerwood?
Lamont
Yeah, right. Stupid.
Derek Vinyard
That’s what I thought. I owe you, man.
Derek Vinyard
Man, you owe me shit, a’ight?
Lamont
Yes, I do.
Derek Vinyard
You’ll be outta here in no time.
Derek Vinyard
C’mon man, it’s a piece of cake, a’ight? You just take it easy on the brothers, a’ight? The *brothers*!
Lamont

I’m sorry, Derek. I’m sorry that happened to you.
Danny Vinyard
I’m not. I’m lucky. I feel lucky because it’s wrong, Danny. It’s wrong and it was eating me up, it was going to kill me. And I kept asking myself all the time, how did I buy into this shit? It was because I was pissed off, and nothing I ever did ever took that feeling away. I killed two guys, Danny, I killed them. And it didn’t make me feel any different. It just got me more lost and I’m tired of being pissed off, Danny. I’m just tired of it.
Derek Vinyard

[Yelling to Derek through small holes in the Plexiglas, during visiting hours at the prison] You think you’re the only one doin’ time, Derek? You think you’re here all alone? You think I’m not in here with you?
– Doris Vinyard

See this?
Derek Vinyard
That means “Not welcome”.
Derek Vinyard