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Awesome / Amistad

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  • When the British captain defuses the DA's argument by saying "And to what poundage do you imagine the entry may refer to, sir? A mast and sails, perhaps?"
  • John Quincy Adams' argument to the Supreme Court, where he single-handedly convinces seven southern slave owners that the defendants are human beings with equal rights, who deserve freedom and had the right to use force to secure it.
    • Anthony Hopkins did that speech in one take. It awed Steven Spielberg so much that he has never called Hopkins "Tony" since, but only "Sir Anthony."
    • To elaborate: That wasn't a brief minute and half speech. The Supreme Court scene lasts a good ten minutes and Hopkins doesn't miss a beat.
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  • "Give us, us free! GIVE US, US FREE!"
  • The destruction of the slave fortress and Captain Fitzgerald's rather dry response: "Fire. Fire. Fire. Fire. Fire. Take a letter, Ensign. To His Honor, the United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Forsyth. My dear Mr. Forsyth, it is my great pleasure to inform you that you are, in fact, correct. The slave fortress in Sierra Leone does not exist."
  • The slave traders going to jail, and Cinque's utter joy.
    • Really, that entire scene deserves quotation, for the building crescendo of the judge's decision to everyone's reaction.

    Judge Coglin: Were they born in Africa?...I believe they were.
    The courtroom goes absolutely silent in shock.
    Judge Coglin: Thus, Her Catholic Majesty of Spain's claim of ownership has no merit.
    The envoy to the Queen storms out of the courtroom in a huff.
    Judge Coglin: Neither do the claims of Lieutenants Gedney and Meade of salvage.
    The court begins to stir, and the US lieutenants are clearly disappointed.
    Judge Coglin: I hereby order the immediate arrest and detention of Senors Montez and Ruiz-
    The court erupts, with the slave traders roaring in anger as they are restrained by law enforcement officers.
    Judge Coglin: By federal marsh-by federal marshals-BY FEDERAL MARSHALS, ON THE CHARGE OF SLAVE TRADING!
    Lewis Tappan and Theodore Joadson are jubilant.
    Judge Coglin: I also order the immediate release of the Africans, and a ship of safe passage to return them to their homes, wherever that may be.
    The courtroom is in hysterics, with Roger Baldwin letting out a monstrous Big "YES!". Cinque and the Amistad slaves begin chanting and cheering in their native tongue.''

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