City Hall [1996]

This complex 1996 drama directed by Harold Becker (Sea of Love) attempts to explore big-city corruption and the flexibility of what's right and wrong in the political arena. John Cusack (Say Anything) plays the senior aide to mayor John Pappas (Al Pacino), a popular and seasoned politician whose administration is threatened when what seems to be an accidental shooting of a child reveals a nest of corruption and lifelong personal debts that tests Cusack's loyalty to the man he thought he knew. Pacino turns in a finely textured performance as a man who has his own lofty ideals, but whose pragmatism sets in motion a series of events with tragic results. Cusack admirably captures the essence of someone polished and savvy at his job who must cope with fundamental disillusionment. This political thriller suffers at times from a lack of focus, but still offers an insightful and poignant treatise on the quagmire of politics in the modern age and the human toll it sometimes exacts. --Robert Lane

Buy this movie now

Mayor John Pappas:
I was warned not to come here. I was warned. They warned me, "Don't stand behind that coffin." But why should I heed such a warning, when a heartbeat is silent and a child lies dead? "Don't stand behind" this coffin. That boy was as pure and as innocent as the driven snow. But I must stand here, because I have not given you what you should have. Until we can walk abroad and recreate ourselves; until we can stroll along the streets like boulevards; congregate in parks free from fear, our families mingling, our children laughing, our hearts joined - until that day we have no city. You can label me a failure until that day. The first and perhaps only great mayor was Greek. He was Pericles of Athens, and he lived some 2500 years ago, and he said, "All things good on this Earth flow into the City, because of the City's greatness." Well, we were great once. Can we not be great again? Now, I put that question to James Bone, and there's only silence. Yet could not something pass from this sweet youth to me? Could he not empower me to find in myself the strength to have the knowledge to summon up the courage to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task of making a city livable? Just livable. There was a palace that was a city. It was a PALACE! It was a PALACE and it CAN BE A PALACE AGAIN! A PALACE, in which there is no king or queen, or dukes or earls or princes, but subjects all: subjects beholden to each other, to make a better place to live. Is that too much to ask?

Mayor John Pappas:
Are we asking too much for this?

Mayor John Pappas:
Is it beyond our reach?

Mayor John Pappas:
Because if it is, then we are nothing but sheep being herded to the final SLAUGHTERHOUSE! I will not go down, THAT WAY!

Mayor John Pappas:
I choose to FIGHT BACK! I choose to RISE, not fall! I choose to LIVE, not die! And I know, I know that what's within me is also WITHIN YOU.

Mayor John Pappas:
That's why I ask you now to join me. Join me, RISE UP with me, RISE UP on the wings of this slain angel.

Mayor John Pappas:
We'll rebuild on the soul of this little warrior. We will pick up his standard and RAISE it high! Carry it forward until THIS CITY - YOUR CITY - OUR CITY - HIS CITY - IS A PALACE OF GOD! IS A PALACE OF GOD! I am with you, little James. I am you.

Share your thoughts on City Hall's quotes with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this movie page to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"City Hall Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 21 Oct. 2014. <http://www.quotes.net/movies/City Hall>.

Know another quote from City Hall?

Don't let people miss on a great quote from the "City Hall" movie - add it here!


The Web's Largest Resource for

Famous Quotes & Sayings


A Member Of The STANDS4 Network