The Parallax View Quotes


"After nearly four months of investigation, followed by nine weeks of hearings, it is the conclusion of this committee that Senator Carroll was assassinated by Thomas Richard Linden. It is our further conclusion that he acted entirely alone, motivated by a sense of patriotism and a psychotic desire for public recognition."

Carroll Commission Spokesperson

The Carroll Commission is the film’s equivalent of the Warren Commission. And the finding that a lone gunman was responsible is the equivalent of the Warren Commission’s finding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. And there is where the similarity ends. The audiences knows that a conspiracy was at work in the killing of Sen. Carroll whereas every conspiratorial explanation for the JFK assassination ultimately falls apart when it gets to the point of explaining why Jack Ruby was allowed to live for three years.

"Excuse me, but my parrot is loose your back porch."

Joe Frady

On the surface level this quote is merely a means for a man being pursued by the police to get away. Beneath that surface level are multiple levels: Frady is lying, but the lie sounds reasonable, even though it seems pretty unreasonable that a parrot from a man they never met before would be on their porch. The natural order is being upset here in this early scene that does much to establish what type of reporter Frady is as well as the world he lives in while foreshadowing the bizarre yet realistic world he is about to unwittingly enter.

"Have you ever laughed at a comedian when he pretended to stutter? There's nothing funny about a man who stutters, but people laugh. They're amused. But they're not happy about it."

Bill Rintels

The scientific concept underlining the parallax view one in which location is dependent upon the perspective from which it is viewed. Rintels is making an observation here that seems utterly offhand remark, but it adds to the thematic layer which suggests that things are dependent upon perspective. In fact, the quote has a double layer because the comedian isn’t really even stuttering, he’s merely pretending. Even from that perspective, people know they shouldn’t laugh; even when they know something isn’t real, they bring the same emotional perspective as if it were real.

"We’re in the business of reporting the news, not creating it."

Bill Rintels

Ironic foreshadowing. Rintels won’t live quite long enough to learn that those who are in the business of creating news are actually the ones who report it. Those in the business of reporting the news have no idea what is going on.

"They say a martini is like a woman's breast: one ain't enough and three is too many."


It is an odd analogy. For one thing, how many women have three breasts? For another…how many women have three breasts? The whole point of a quote like this is to create a sense of dislocation. It seems logical enough since the term “three martini lunch” refers to a lunch attended by people powerful enough that they don’t need to worry about losing their jobs if they come back to the office hammered. So two martinis probably would be just enough to get a proper buzz without being so much as to get you drunk. When you start applying that to the sexual innuendo, however, it all starts to fall apart like finding out Jack Ruby has been sitting there alive and well in jail for three years.

"Can I buy you a drink, miss? You know there for a moment, I thought you were a man. But you aren't are you?"

Deputy Red

The Deputy is addressing our hero, Joe Frady. The address which misidentifies Joe as a woman further underlines that this story takes place in a world in which things are not what they seem an in this case the location of identity is based upon shifts in perspective. The film is peppered with little bits of dialogue and business that serve to undermine the firm ground of expectations that draw into question the very essence of reality.

“After careful deliberation, it is concluded that George Hammond was assassinated by Joseph Frady. An overwhelming body of evidence has revealed that Frady was obsessed with the Carroll assassination, and in his confused and distorted state of mind seems to have imagined that Hammond was responsible for the senator's death. He was equally convinced that Hammond was somehow plotting to kill him. And it is for those reasons that Frady assassinated him. Although I'm certain that this will do nothing to discourage the conspiracy peddlers: there is no evidence of a conspiracy in the assassination of George Hammond.”

Hammond Commission Spokesperson

The film ends as it begins with a Warren Commission-type inquiry into the assassination of a political figure. In this case the lone gunman was identified as Joe Frady, the movie’s protagonist whom the audiences knows was set up. If only real life conspiracy theories were as easy to prove.

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