Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior, Russ Fega, Jorja Fox, Stephen Tobolowsky, Harriet Sansom Harris, Thomas Lennon, Callum Keith Rennie, Kimberly Campbell, Marianne Muellerleile, Larry Holden

OUR RATING: ★★★★★

Story:

Psychological thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The story follows ex-insurance investigator Leonard (Guy Pearce), who is tracking down the man who raped and murdered his wife. However, as he suffers from a rare, untreatable form of memory loss, he is not able to find his wife’s killer. Although he can recall details of life before his accident, Leonard cannot remember what happened fifteen minutes ago, where he’s going, or why. As one story line moves forward in time, another tells the story backwards revealing more each time.

 

Our Favorite Quotes:

‘Memory can change the shape of a room, it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record. And they're irrelevant if you have the facts.’ - Leonard Shelby (Memento) Click To Tweet ‘So you lie to yourself to be happy. There's nothing wrong with that. We all do it.’ – Teddy (Memento) Click To Tweet ‘We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I'm no different.’ - Leonard Shelby (Memento) Click To Tweet

 

Best Quotes   (Total Quotes: 60)


 

[first lines]
Leonard Shelby: [voice over] So where are you? You’re in some motel room. You just wake up and you’re in a motel room. There’s the key. It feels like maybe it’s just the first time you’ve been here, but perhaps you’ve been there for a week, three months. It’s kind of hard to say. I don’t know. It’s just an anonymous room.


 

Teddy: Lenny!
Leonard Shelby: It’s Leonard. Like I told you before.
Teddy: Did you? I must have forgot.
Leonard Shelby: I guess I’ve already told you about my condition.
Teddy: Oh, well, only every time I see ya!


 

[walking through the Discount Inn parking lot, Teddy stops at his dilapidated Chevrolet]
Leonard Shelby: My car.
Teddy: [laughing] This is your car.
[Leonard holds up a picture of the Jaguar with the caption ‘My Car’]
Leonard Shelby: Oh, you’re in a playful mood. It’s not good for you to make fun of somebody’s handicap.
Teddy: Just trying to have a little fun.


 

[Leonard stops the car next to a pickup truck parked outside a derelict building]
Leonard Shelby: Looks like somebody’s home.
Teddy: Ah, that thing’s been here for years.
Leonard Shelby: What are you talking about? These tracks are only a few days old.
Teddy: Tracks? What are you, Pocahontas?


 

[inside the derelict building Leonard hits Teddy over the head with the back of his gun]
Leonard Shelby: You’re going to pay for what you did. Beg forgiveness and then you pay.
Teddy: You don’t have a clue, you freak!
Leonard Shelby: Beg my wife’s forgiveness before I blow your brains out.


 

[Leonard’s holding Teddy down with a gun held to his face]
Teddy: Leonard, you don’t know what’s going on. You don’t even know my name.
Leonard Shelby: Teddy.
Teddy: That’s cause you read it off a fucking picture. You don’t know who you are.
Leonard Shelby: I’m Leonard Shelby. I’m from San Francisco.
Teddy: That’s who you were. That’s not what you’ve become.
Leonard Shelby: Shut your mouth.
Teddy: You want to know, Lenny? Come on. Come on, let’s go down to the basement. Let’s go down, you and me together. Then you’ll know who you really are.
[Leonard glances fearfully at the door, then looks at Teddy holding his gun up to shoot]
Teddy: No!
[he shoots Teddy in the back of the head]


 

[we see Leonard lying on a bed]
Leonard Shelby: It’s just an anonymous room. There’s nothing in the drawers. But you look anyway. Nothing except the Gideon bible, which I, of course, read religiously.


 

Leonard Shelby: Burt. I’m not sure, I think I may have asked you to hold my calls.
Burt: You don’t know?
Leonard Shelby: Well, I think I may have. I’m not too good on the phone.
Burt: Right, you said you like to look people in the eye when you talk to them.
Leonard Shelby: Yeah, yeah.
Burt: You don’t remember saying that.
Leonard Shelby: Well, that’s the thing. I have this condition.
Burt: A condition?
Leonard Shelby: It’s my memory.
Burt: Amnesia?
Leonard Shelby: No, no, no, no, it’s different from that. I have no short-term memory. I know who I am, I know all about myself. I just, since my injury I can’t make new memories. Everything fades. If we talk for too long I’ll forget how we started and next time I see you I’m not going to remember this conversation. I don’t even know if I’ve met you before. So if I seem a little strange or rude, or something, uh…
[he notices Burt is staring at him strangely]
Leonard Shelby: I’ve told you this before, haven’t I?
Burt: Yeah, I don’t mean to mess with you but it’s so weird. You don’t remember me at all?
Leonard Shelby: No.
Burt: We’ve talked a bunch of times.
Leonard Shelby: I’m sure we have.


 

Burt: What’s it like?
Leonard Shelby: It’s like waking. It’s like you just woke up.
Burt: That must suck. It’s all backwards. Like, maybe you got an idea about what you want to do next but you don’t remember what you just did.


 

[to himself whilst looking at his body tattoos, copy of license certificate and a Polaroid picture of Teddy]
Leonard Shelby: White male. First name, John. Last name G for Gammell. Drugs. License plate. SG13 7IU. It’s him. I found you, you fuck.


 

[talking on the phone]
Leonard Shelby: You said we talked before. I don’t remember that. Yeah, but it’s not amnesia. I remember everything up until my injury, I just can’t make new memories.


 

[talking on the phone in his motel room]
Leonard Shelby: I guess I tell people about Sammy to help them understand. Sammy’s story helps me understand my own situation. Sammy wrote himself endless amounts of notes. But he got mixed up. I have a more graceful solution to the memory problem. I’m disciplined and organized. I use habit and routine to make my life possible. Sammy had no drive, no reason to make it work. Me? Yeah, I got a reason.


 

Leonard Shelby: So, you have information for me?
Natalie: Is that what your little note says?
Leonard Shelby: Yeah.
Natalie: Must be tough living your life according to a couple of scraps of paper. You mix your laundry list with your grocery list and you’ll end up eating your underwear for breakfast. I guess that’s why you have those freaky tattoos.


 

Natalie: You gave me a license-plate number. Had my friend at DMV trace it. Guess what name came up? John Edward Gammell. John G.
Leonard Shelby: Do you know him?
Natalie: No. But his face on his driver’s license looked really familiar. I think he, I think he’s been in the bar, maybe. Here’s a copy of his license, his registration, photo and all. Are you sure you want this?
Leonard Shelby: Have I told you what this man did?
Natalie: Yeah.
Leonard Shelby: Well, then you shouldn’t have to ask.
Natalie: But even if you get revenge, you’re not going to remember it. You’re not even going to know that it happened.
Leonard Shelby: My wife deserves vengeance. It doesn’t make any difference whether I know about it. Just because there are things I don’t remember doesn’t make my actions meaningless. The world doesn’t just disappear when you close your eyes, does it. Anyway, maybe I’ll take a photograph to remind myself. Get another freaky tattoo.


 

[remembering his wife]
Leonard Shelby: You can just feel the details. The bits and pieces you never bothered to put into words. And you can feel these extreme moments. Even if you don’t want to. You put these together and you get the feel of a person. Enough to know how much you miss them. And how much you hate the person who took them away.


 

[Leonard notices the message ‘Remember Sammy Jankis’ written on the back of his hand in his motel room him talking on the phone]
Leonard Shelby: I met Sammy through work. Insurance. I was an investigator. I’d investigate the claims to see which ones were phony. I had to see through people’s bullshit. It was useful experience, because now it’s my life. When I meet someone, I don’t know if I’ve met them before. I have to just look in their eyes and try and figure them out. My job taught me the best way to find out what someone knew was just let them talk and watch the eyes and the body language. If someone scratches their nose while they’re talking, experts will tell you it means they’re lying. It really means they’re nervous. People get nervous for all sorts of reasons. It’s all about context. Yeah, I was good. Sammy was my first real challenge.


 

Leonard Shelby: Memory’s unreliable.
Teddy: Oh, please.
Leonard Shelby: No, no, no, no really. Memory’s not perfect, it’s not even that good. Ask the police. Eyewitness testimony is unreliable. The cops don’t catch a killer by sitting around remembering stuff. They collect facts.
Teddy: That’s not what I’m…
Leonard Shelby: They make notes and they draw conclusions. Facts, not memories. That’s how you investigate. I know, it’s what I used to do. Look, memory can change the shape of a room, it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They’re just an interpretation, they’re not a record. And they’re irrelevant if you have the facts.


 

Teddy: You really want to get this guy, don’t you?
Leonard Shelby: He killed my wife. He took away my fucking memory. He destroyed my ability to live.
[Teddy touches Leonard’s neck to feel his pulse]
Teddy: You’re living.
Leonard Shelby: Only for revenge.


 

Burt: Oh shit! It’s the wrong room. You’re in 304 now. I’m sorry. I fucked up.
Leonard Shelby: This is not my room?
Burt: No, come on, let’s go.
[Leonard picks up a piece of paper from his bed]
Leonard Shelby: Then why is this my handwriting?
Burt: This was your room, but now you’re in 304.
Leonard Shelby: When was I in here?
Burt: Last week. But then I rented you another room on top of it.
Leonard Shelby: Why?
Burt: Business is slow. I mean, I told my boss about the, your condition and stuff, and he said try and rent him another room.
Leonard Shelby: So how many rooms am I checked into in this shit-hole?
Burt: Just two, so far.
Leonard Shelby: Well, at least you’re being honest about ripping me off.
Burt: Well, you’re not going to remember anyway.
Leonard Shelby: You don’t have to be that honest, Burt.
Burt: Leonard, always get a receipt.
Leonard Shelby: Oh yeah. I’ll write that down.


 

[in his motel room talking on the phone telling his story of Sammy Jankis]
Leonard Shelby: I’d just become an investigator when I came across Sammy. Mr. Samuel R Jankis, strangest case ever. Yeah, the guy’s a fifty eight year old, semiretired accountant. He and his wife had been in this car accident, nothing serious. But he’s acting funny, he can’t get a handle on what’s going on. The doctors find some possible damage to the hippocampus, nothing conclusive. Sammy can’t remember anything for more than a couple of minutes. Can’t work, can’t do shit. The medical bills pile up, his wife calls the insurance company and I get sent in. Now, this is my first big claims investigation so I really check into it. Sammy can think just fine but he can’t make new memories. He can only remember things for a couple of minutes. He’d watch TV but anything longer than a couple of minutes was too confusing, he couldn’t remember how it began. He liked commercials. They were short.


 

[we see Sammy give his wife her insulin shot]
Leonard Shelby: [voice over] The crazy part was that this guy who couldn’t follow the plot of Green Acres anymore could do the most complicated things, as long as he learned them before the accident, and as long as he kept his mind on what he was doing. Now the doctors assure me that there’s a real condition called anterial-grade memory loss, or short-term memory loss. It’s rare but legit. But every time I see him I catch this look this slight look of recognition. But he says he can’t remember me at all. Now, I can read people and I’m thinking “bad actor”. So now I’m suspicious and I order more tests.


 

[in his motel room talking on the phone continuing his story of Sammy Jankis]
Leonard Shelby: Sammy couldn’t pick up any new skills at all. But I find something in my research. Conditioning. Sammy should still be able to learn through repetition. It’s how you learn stuff like riding a bike. You just get better through practice. It’s a completely different part of the brain from the short-term memory. So I had the doctors test Sammy’s response to conditioning.
[we see Sammy being told to pick up some objects]
Leonard Shelby: [voice over] Some of the objects were electrified. They’d give him a small shock. They kept repeating the test, always with the same objects electrified. The point was to see if Sammy could learn to avoid the electrified objects, not by memory, but by instinct.


 

Leonard Shelby: Natalie, right?
[holds up photo of a bloody face, labeled “Dodd”]
Leonard Shelby: Who the fuck is Dodd?
Natalie: Guess I don’t have to worry about him anymore.
Leonard Shelby: What the fuck have you got me into?
Natalie: Shh. Come inside.


 

Leonard Shelby: There are things you know for sure.
Natalie: Such as?
Leonard Shelby: I know what that’s going to to sound like when I knock on it.
[knocks on coffee table]
Leonard Shelby: I know what that’s going to feel like when I pick it up.
[picks up an object made of glass]
Leonard Shelby: See? Certainties. It’s the kind of memory you take for granted. You know, I can remember so much. The feel of the world, and her. She’s gone. And the present is trivia, which I scribble down as fucking notes.


 

[reading from the backward written tattoos on Leonard chest in the mirror]
Natalie: When you find this guy, this John G., what are you going to do?
Leonard Shelby: I’m going to kill him.
Natalie: Maybe I can help you find him.


 

[lying in bed with Natalie in her bedroom, she has her eyes closed]
Leonard Shelby: I don’t even know how long she’s been gone. It’s like I’ve woken up in bed and she’s not here, because she’s gone to the bathroom or something. But somehow I just, I just know she’s never going to come back to bed. If I could just reach over and touch her side of the bed, I would know that it was cold. But I can’t. I know I can’t have her back. But I don’t want to wake up in the morning thinking she’s still here. I lie here not knowing how long I’ve been alone. So how can I heal? How am I supposed to heal if I can’t feel time?


 

[in his motel room talking on the phone continuing his story of Sammy Jankis]
Leonard Shelby: They kept testing Sammy for months. Always with the same objects carrying the electrical charge.
[we see Sammy picking up objects and getting electrocuted]
Leonard Shelby: Even with total short-term memory loss Sammy should have learned to instinctively stop picking up the wrong objects. All the previous cases responded to conditioning, Sammy didn’t respond at all. It was enough to suggest that his condition was psychological not physical. We turned down his claim on the grounds that he wasn’t covered for mental illness. His wife got stuck with the bills and I got a big promotion. Conditioning didn’t work for Sammy, so he became helpless. But it works for me. I live the way Sammy couldn’t. Habit and routine make my life possible. Conditioning. Acting on instinct.


 

[Teddy shows up at Leonard’s motel knocking at his door]
Leonard Shelby: Hi Teddy.
Teddy: Finished playing with yourself, Lenny?


 

Leonard Shelby: What are you doing here?
Teddy: You called me. You said you needed my help. You know, I’ve had more rewarding friendships than this one. Although I do get to keep telling the same jokes.


 

[after finding a beaten man in the closet]
Leonard Shelby: What’s your name? Your name?
Dodd: Dodd.
Leonard Shelby: And who did this to you?
Dodd: What?
Leonard Shelby: Who did this to you?
Dodd: You did.


 

[after finding Dodd beaten and gagged in the closet]
Teddy: A gun. Why would I have a gun?
Leonard Shelby: It must be his. I don’t think they’d let someone like me carry a gun.
Teddy: Fucking hope not.


 

[in his motel room talking on the phone continuing his story of Sammy Jankis]
Leonard Shelby: Sammy’s wife was crippled by the cost of supporting him. And fighting the company’s decision. But it wasn’t the money that got to her. I never said that Sammy was faking. Just that his problem was mental, not physical. And she couldn’t understand. And she looks into his eyes and sees the same person, and if it’s not a physical problem, he should snap out of it.
[we see Sammy’s wife trying to talk to Sammy and getting angry at him because he did something wrong but he can’t remember what it was]
Leonard Shelby: So, good old Leonard Shelby from the insurance company gives her the seed of doubt. Just like he gave it to the doctors. But I never said that he was faking. I never said that.


 

[Leonard sits on the toilet, notices he’s grasping a near empty bottle of alcohol]
Leonard Shelby: Hmmm. I don’t feel drunk.


 

[in his motel room talking on the phone continuing talking about Sammy Jankis]
Leonard Shelby: Well, what Mrs. Jankis didn’t understand was that you can’t bully someone into remembering. The more pressure you’re under, the harder it gets.


 

[Leonard’s running]
Leonard Shelby: Okay, so what am I doing?
[sees Dodd also running]
Leonard Shelby: Oh, I’m chasing this guy.
[Dodd holds his gun up to shoot at Leonard]
Leonard Shelby: No, he’s chasing me.


 

[Leonard’s Wife is in bed, reading a well-worn paperback]
Leonard Shelby: How can you read that again?
Leonard’s Wife: It’s good.
Leonard Shelby: You’ve read it, like, a thousand times.
Leonard’s Wife: I enjoy it.
Leonard Shelby: I always thought the pleasure of a book was in wanting to know what happens next.


 

[burning his wife’s stuff]
Leonard Shelby: [voice over] Probably tried this before. Probably burned truckloads of your stuff. Can’t remember to forget you.


 

[in his motel room talking on the phone continuing his story of Sammy Jankis]
Leonard Shelby: I can’t blame the cops for not taking me seriously. This is a difficult condition to understand. Look at Sammy Jankis. His own wife couldn’t deal with it. I told you how she tried to get him to snap out of it. Then she came to see me at the office. I found out all kinds of shit. She told me about life with Sammy. How she treated him. You know it got to the point where she’d get Sammy to hide food all around the house and then she’d stop feeding him just to see if his hunger would make him remember where he’d hidden the food. She wasn’t a cruel person. She just wanted her old Sammy back.


 

[Leonard’s flashback of him talking to Mrs. Jankis about Sammy]
Leonard Shelby: What do you want from me?
Mrs. Jankis: I want you to forget the company you work for thirty seconds and tell me if you really believe that Sammy’s faking his condition. I need to know what you honestly believe.
Leonard Shelby: I believe that Sammy should be physically capable of making new memories.
Mrs. Jankis: [relieved] Thank you.
Leonard Shelby: [voice over] I thought I’d helped her. I thought she just needed some kind of answer. I didn’t think it was important what the answer was. Just that she had one to believe.


 

[talking about Natalie to Leonard]
Teddy: She doesn’t know anything about your investigation. Okay, Einstein? So write this down. When she offers to help, it’ll be for her own reasons. I’m not lying. Take my pen, write this down. Do not trust her.


 

Teddy: You don’t have a clue, do you? You don’t even know who you are.
Leonard Shelby: Yes, I do. I don’t have amnesia. I remember everything right up until the incident. I am Leonard Shelby, I am from San Francisco…
Teddy: That’s who you were. You do not know who you are. What you’ve become since the incident. You wander around playing detective. You don’t even know how long ago it was. Let me put it this way. Were you wearing designer suits when you sold insurance?
Leonard Shelby: I didn’t sell insurance, I investigated it.
Teddy: Right, right. You’re an investigator. Well, maybe you should start investigating yourself.
Leonard Shelby: Oh, thank you for the advice.


 

Natalie: You don’t have a fucking clue, do you? You’re just blissfully ignorant, aren’t you?
Leonard Shelby: Look, I have this condition.
Natalie: Yeah, I know all about your fucking condition Leonard! I probably know more about it than you do, you don’t have a fucking clue about anything else.


 

Natalie: Get rid of Dodd for me.
Leonard Shelby: What?
Natalie: Kill him. I’ll pay you.
Leonard Shelby: What do you think I am? I’m not going to kill someone for money.
Natalie: What, then? Love? What would you kill for? You’d kill for your wife, wouldn’t you?
Leonard Shelby: That’s different.
Natalie: Not to me, I wasn’t fucking married to her!
Leonard Shelby: Hey, don’t talk about my wife.
Natalie: I can talk about whoever the fuck I want! I can say whatever I want and you won’t remember! I can call your wife a fucking whore and we can still be friends.


 

Natalie: You pathetic piece of shit! I can say whatever the fuck I want and you won’t have a fucking clue, you fucking retard!
Leonard Shelby: Shut your mouth.
Natalie: You know what, I’m going to use you. I’m telling you now because I’m going to enjoy it so much more if I know that you could stop me if you weren’t such a fucking freak. Did you lose your pen? That’s too bad, freak. Otherwise you could write yourself a little note about how much Natalie hates your retarded guts and that I called your wife a fucking whore!
Leonard Shelby: Hey, don’t say another fucking word!
Natalie: About your whore of a wife?
[Leonard grabs her mouth hard and lets go making her lip bleed]
Natalie: I read about your condition, Leonard. You know what one of the causes of short-term memory loss is? Venereal disease. Maybe your cunt of a fucking wife sucked one too many diseased cocks and turned you into a fucking retard! You sad, sad freak. I can say whatever the fuck I want and you won’t remember. We’ll still be best friends. Or maybe even lovers.
[Leonard punches her hard in the face]


 

Natalie: Can I ask you something? If you have all that information, then why haven’t the police found him for you?
Leonard Shelby: They’re not looking for him.
Natalie: Why not?
Leonard Shelby: They don’t think he exists. You see, I told them what I remembered. I was asleep. Something woke me up. Her side of the bed was cold. She’d obviously been out of bed for a while.
[we see Leonard’s flashback memory of what happened on the night his wife was killed]
Leonard Shelby: There had to be a second man. Somebody hit me from behind. I remember. It’s about the last thing I do remember. Look, the police did not believe me. If we check the police…
Natalie: How did they explain what you do remember? The gun and stuff?
Leonard Shelby: John G. was clever. He was clever. See, he took the dead man’s gun and replaced it with the sap that he hit me with. He left my gun and he left the getaway car. He gave the police a complete package. They found the sap with my blood on it in the dead man’s hand. And they only found my gun. They didn’t need to look for anybody else. I was the only guy who disagreed with the facts and I had brain damage. You see the cops are not going to believe someone in my condition.


 

[Leonard takes a sip of the beer Natalie just served him]
Natalie: My, you really do have a problem. Just like that cop said.
Leonard Shelby: hmm?
Natalie: Your condition.
Leonard Shelby: Well, nobody’s perfect.
Natalie: What’s the last thing that you do remember?
Leonard Shelby: My wife…
Natalie: That’s sweet.
Leonard Shelby: …dying. I remember my wife dying.


 

Natalie: You don’t remember anything? You don’t remember where you’ve been or what you’ve just done?
Leonard Shelby: No, I can’t make new memories. Everything just fades.
Natalie: Then why did you come here?
Leonard Shelby: I found this in my pocket.
[shows her a beer mat with her name written on it]
Natalie: Your pocket?


 

[talking on the phone in his motel room]
Leonard Shelby: It’s completely fucked because nobody believes you. It’s amazing what a little brain damage will do for your credibility. I guess it’s some kind of poetic justice for not believing Sammy. You know the truth about my condition, officer? You don’t know anything. You feel angry, you don’t know why. You feel guilty, you have no idea why. You could do anything and not have the faintest idea ten minutes later.


 

[talking on the phone in his motel room]
Leonard Shelby: I didn’t tell you? What happened to Sammy and his wife? She came to see me at my office. I thought she was just trying to catch me off guard so I didn’t tell her what I really thought but I never said that he was faking. Just that his condition was mental, not physical. I found out later that she went home and gave Sammy his final exam.
[we see Mrs. Jankis getting Sammy to give her the insulin shot, she repeats this process several times and Sammy is blissfully unaware that’s he’s already given her the shot]
Leonard Shelby: [voice over] She really thought she’d call his bluff. Or she just didn’t want to live with the things she’d put him through.
[we see Mrs. Jankis finally passing out]
Leonard Shelby: She went into a coma and never recovered. Sammy couldn’t understand or explain what happened. He’s been in a home ever since. He doesn’t even know that his wife’s dead. I was wrong about Sammy and I was wrong about his wife. She wasn’t interested in the money. She just needed to understand his problem. His brain didn’t respond to conditioning, but he wasn’t a con man. And when she looked into his eyes, she thought he could be the same person. When I looked into his eyes, I thought I saw recognition. Now I know you fake it. If you think you’re supposed to recognize somebody, you just pretend to. You bluff it to get a pat on the head from the doctors. You bluff it to seem less of a freak.


 

[after getting Jimmy to strip his clothes off]
Jimmy Grantz: Just take the money and walk away.
Leonard Shelby: I don’t want your fucking money.
Jimmy Grantz: Then, what? What do you want from me?
Leonard Shelby: I want my fucking life back!
[Leonard strangles Jimmy to death. He takes a Polaroid picture of Jimmy and wears his clothes]


 

[Leonard hits Teddy in the back of his head with his camera]
Teddy: Ow! Lenny! That shit kills!
Leonard Shelby: So you remember me now, huh? You are a fucking cop!
Teddy: Yeah! And I’m the guy that helped you find him.
Leonard Shelby: Get up! Get up!
Teddy: Lenny, you got the wrong idea!
[referring to Jimmy’s dead body]
Leonard Shelby: Who is that? He knew me.
Teddy: Of course he did, he raped your wife, he fucked up your brain.
Leonard Shelby: Bullshit! He’s not the guy.
Teddy: His name is James F. Grants. John G. Check your tattoos.


 

Leonard Shelby: He knew about Sammy, why would I tell him about fucking Sammy?!
Teddy: You tell everybody about Sammy! Everybody who’ll listen! “Remember Sammy Jankis?” “Remember Sammy Jankis?” Great story. Gets better every time you tell it. So you lie to yourself to be happy. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all do it. Who cares if there’s a few little details you’d rather not remember?
Leonard Shelby: What the fuck are you talking about?
Teddy: I don’t know. Your wife surviving the assault. Her not believing your condition. The torment and pain and anguish tearing her up inside. The insulin.
Leonard Shelby: That’s Sammy, not me. I told you about Sammy.
Teddy: Yeah, right. Like you tell yourself over and over again. Conditioning yourself to remember, learning through repetition.
Leonard Shelby: Sammy let his wife kill herself. Sammy ended up in an institution.
Teddy: Sammy was a con man. A faker.
Leonard Shelby: I never said that Sammy was faking.
Teddy: You exposed him for what he was. A fraud.


 

Teddy: Sammy didn’t have a wife. It was your wife who had diabetes.
[Leonard starts to get flashbacks of himself injecting his wife with insulin]
Leonard Shelby: My wife wasn’t diabetic.
Teddy: You sure?
Leonard Shelby: She wasn’t diabetic. You think I don’t know my own wife? What the fuck is wrong with you?
Teddy: Well, I guess I can only make you remember the things you want to be true. Like old Jimmy down there.
Leonard Shelby: He’s not the right guy.
Teddy: He was to you. Come on, you got your revenge. Enjoy it while you still remember. What difference does it make whether he was your guy or not?
Leonard Shelby: It makes all the difference.
Teddy: Why? You’re never going to know.


 

Leonard Shelby: When it’s done, I will know. It’ll be different.
Teddy: Well, I thought so, too. In fact I was sure of it, but you didn’t! That’s right. The real John G. I helped you find him over a year ago. He’s already dead.
Leonard Shelby: Don’t lie to me anymore.
Teddy: Look, Lenny, I was the cop assigned to your wife’s case, I believed you. I thought you deserved a chance for revenge. I’m the one that helped you find the other guy in your bathroom that night. The guy that cracked your skull and fucked your wife. We found him, you killed him. But you didn’t remember. So I helped you start looking again, looking for the guy you already killed.


 

Teddy: No reason, Lenny, no conspiracy, just bad fucking luck. Couple of junkies too strung out to realize your wife didn’t live alone. But when you killed him I was so convinced that you’d remember. But it didn’t stick. Like nothing ever sticks, like this won’t stick.


 

Teddy: I gave you a reason to live and you were more than happy to help. You don’t want the truth. You make up your own truth, like your police file. It was complete when I gave it to you. Who took out the twelve pages?
Leonard Shelby: You, probably.
Teddy: No, it wasn’t me, see, it was you.
Leonard Shelby: Why would I do that?
Teddy: To create a puzzle you could never solve. Do you know how many, how many towns, how many John G.’s or James G.’s? I mean, shit, Lenny, I’m a fucking John G.
Leonard Shelby: Your name’s Teddy.
Teddy: My mother calls me Teddy. My name’s John Edward Gammell. Cheer up. There’s plenty of John G.’s for us to find. All you do is moan! I’m the one that has to live with what you’ve done.
Leonard Shelby: I’m the one that put it all together.
Teddy: You, you wander around, you’re playing detective. You’re living a dream, kid. A dead wife to pine for, a sense of purpose to your life a romantic quest that you wouldn’t end even if I wasn’t in the picture.


 

Leonard Shelby: I should kill you.
[holds his gun up as if to shoot Teddy]
Teddy: Quit it! Lenny, come on. You’re not a killer. That’s why you’re so good at it. Come on, what are you doing? You know what time it is? It’s beer o’clock, I’m buying.


 

[after Teddy’s told him the truth about what happened to his wife]
Leonard Shelby: [voice over] I’m not a killer. I’m just someone who wanted to make things right. Can I just let myself forget what you’ve told me?
[he writes on the back of Teddy’s Polaroid picture ‘Don’t believe his lies’ and burns the pictures of Jimmy’s dead body and of himself when he’d killed the real John G.]
Leonard Shelby: [voice over] Can I just let myself forget what you made me do? You think I just want another puzzle to solve? Another John G. to look for? You’re a John G. So you can be my John G. Do I lie to myself to be happy? In your case, Teddy, yes, I will.
[writes down Teddy’s license plate no. SG13 7IU]


 

Teddy: Hey! Hey, that’s not your car!
[takes a picture Jimmy’s Jaguar]
Leonard Shelby: It is now.
Teddy: Jesus Chri…you can’t take it!
Leonard Shelby: Why not?
Teddy: Because the guy you just killed owns it, somebody will recognize it!
Leonard Shelby: You know, I think I’d rather be mistaken for a dead guy than a killer.


 

[last lines]
Leonard Shelby: [voice over] I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can’t remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world’s still here. Do I believe the world’s still here? Is it still out there? Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I’m no different.
[suddenly breaks his car in front of a tattoo parlor]
Leonard Shelby: [voice over] Now, where was I?


Total Quotes: 60

 




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