"You kill a few people, they call you a murderer. You kill a million and you’re a conqueror. Go figure.”
Description - John Lithgow as mercenary Eric Qualen offering his personal philosophy in the motion picture Cliffhanger (1993).
Qualen pulled off a robbery on a plane while in flight, but during the air-to-air transfer the suitcases filled with money ($100,000,000 worth of uncirculated $1000 bills) fell from the transport into the the snowy rifts of a mountain range.
Determined to retrieve his ill-gotten gain, he lures Hal Tucker (Michael Rooker), a veteran mountain climber to assist in the retrieval, but Qualen's plans were thwarted by Gabe Walker, (Sylvester Stallone), Rooker's friend and fellow mountan climber who comes to his aide.
When one of Qualen's hired thugs gets on Hal's nerves, he tells him point blank, "Delmar, from me to you, you're an asshole." Delmar replies, "Yeah? And you're a loud-mouth punk slag, who's about to die." Hal counters, "Maybe. But in a minute I'll be dead, and you, will always be an asshole."
At the film’s climax, Qualen is killed when his helicopter slides off the face of a cliff and explodes in the rocks below. Before the chopper crashes, Walker throws Qualen into the chopper cockpit and says, “Remember, shit head! Keep your arms and legs in the vehicle at all times.”
When the FBI talk to Hal Tucker, he says " If your looking for Qualen, try about 4,000 feet south of here. He'll be the one wearing the helicopter."
Note: In the film Masculin, féminin (1966) Jean-Pierre Léaud as Paul says, “Kill a man and you’re a murderer. Kill thousands and you’re a conqueror. Kill everyone and you’re a god.”
In the film Monsieur Verdoux (1947) Charlie Chaplin as convicted woman killer Henri Verdoux says, “Wars, conflict—it’s all business. One murder makes a villain; millions, a hero. Numbers sanctify!”