"Out of order? I’ll show YOU out of order!"
Description: The defiant cry of Al Pacino as blind veteran Lt. Colonel Frank Slade who defends prep school student Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell) during a disciplinary hearing in the motion picture Scent of a Woman (1992).
Charlie Simms is a student at Baird Prep School. To make extra money for a trip home for Christmas, he takes a job over Thanksgiving weekend as a babysitter/escort for Frank Slade, an irascible US Army Lt. Colonel who has retired from the military because he is blind.
"Frank Slade has a very special plan for the weekend. It involves travel, women, good food, fine wine, the tango, chauffeured limousines and a loaded forty-five. And he's bringing Charlie along for the ride." - Movie Tag line
During the course of his assignment, Frank contemplates suicide and Charlie intervenes. Later when Charlie is unfairly pressured to reveal the names of students involved in a prank (that splattered white paint on Mr. Trask's Jaguar automobile), Lt. Colonel Slade supports his friend by attending a hearing that will affect Charlie's future.
|Mr. Trask:||I am left with no real witness. Mr. Willis's testimony is not only vague, it is unsubstantiated. The substance I was looking for, Mr. Simms, was to come from you.|
|Charlie Simms:||I'm sorry.|
|Mr. Trask:||I'm sorry too, Mr. Simms, because you know what I am going to do. In as much as I can't punish Mr. Havemeyer, Mr. Potter, or Mr. Jameson, and I won't punish Mr. Willis. He's the only party to this incident who is still worthy of calling himself a Baird man. I'm going to recommend to the disciplinary committee that you be expelled. Mr. Simms, you are a cover-up artist and you are a liar.|
|Lt. Col. Slade:||But not a snitch.|
|Mr. Trask:||Excuse me?|
|Lt. Col. Slade:||No, I don't think I will.|
|Mr. Trask:||Mr. Slade...|
|Lt. Col. Slade:||This is such a crock of SHIT.|
|Mr. Trask:||Please watch your language, Mr. Slade. You are in the Baird School, not a barracks. Mr Simms, I will give you one last opportunity to speak up.|
|Lt. Col. Slade:||Mr. Simms doesn't want it. He doesn't need to labeled, "Still worthy of being a Baird man". What the hell is that? What is your motto here? "Boys, inform on your classmates, save your hide. Anything short of that, we're gonna burn you at the stake?" Well, gentlemen, when the shit hits the fan, some guys run and some guys stay. Here's Charlie facing the fire and there's George hiding in Big Daddy's pocket. And what are you doing? You're gonna reward George and destroy Charlie.|
|Mr. Trask:||Are you finished, Mr. Slade?|
|Lt. Col. Slade:||No, I'm just gettin' warmed up. I don't know who went to this place, William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan, William Tell, whoever. Their spirit is dead, if they ever had one. It's gone. You're building a rat ship here. A vessel for seagoing snitches, and if you think you're preparing these minnows for manhood, you better think again, because I say you are killing the very spirit this institution proclaims it instills. What a sham. What kind of a show you guys are putting on here today? I mean, the only class in this act is sitting next to me, and I'm here to tell ya this boy's soul is intact. It's non-negotiable. You know how I know? Someone here, and I'm not gonna say who, offered to buy it. Only Charlie here wasn't selling.|
|Mr. Trask:||Sir, you're out of order.[hits gavel]|
|Lt. Col. Slade:||Out of order. I'll show YOU "out of order"! You don't know what "out of order" is, Mr. Trask. I'd show you, but I'm too old, I'm too tired, I'm too fucking blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a...[slams his cane on the desk, screaming] FLAMETHROWER to this place! Out of order? Who the hell do ya think you're talking to? I've been around, ya know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these. Their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nothing like the sight of an amputated spirit. There's no prosthetic for that. You think you're merely sending this splendid foot solder back home to Oregon with tail between his legs, but I say you are executing his SOUL! And why? Because he's not a Baird man. Baird men. You hurt this boy, you're gonna be Baird bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are, fuck you too!|
|Mr. Trask:||[hits gavel three times] Stand down, Mr. Slade!|
|Lt. Col. Slade:||I'm not finished! As I came in here, I heard those words, "Cradle of Leadership". Well, when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here. It has fallen. Makers of men, Creators of leaders. Be careful what kind of leaders you're producing here. I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong. I'm not a judge or jury, but I can tell you this: He won't sell anybody out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity. That's called courage. Now that's the stuff leaders should be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie. He's come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey. You hold this boy's future in your hands, committee. It's a valuable future. Believe me. Don't destroy it. Protect it. Embrace it. It's gonna make you proud one day, I promise you.|
Note: Al Pacino had previously used the phrase "Out of Order" to express his disgust when he played outraged lawyer Arthur Kirkland in the motion picture And Justice for All(1979).
When a corrupt judge (Jack Warden) is charged with rape, Arthur Kirkland must defend him. Unfortunately, Kirkland and the judge have an adversarial history. When Kirkland was told he was out of order Arthur shouts,
“YOU’RE out of order! YOU’RE out of order! THE WHOLE TRIAL is out of order! THEY’RE out of order! That man, that sick, crazy, depraved man, raped and beat that woman there, and he’d like to do it again! It’s just a show! It’s a show! It’s “Let’s Make A Deal”! “Let’s Make A Deal”! Hey Frank, you wanna “Make A Deal”? I got an insane judge who likes to beat the shit out of women! Whaddya wanna gimme Frank, 3 weeks probation?”
In his opening statement Arthur screams, “You, you son of a bitch, you! You're supposed to stand for somethin'! You're supposed to protect people! But instead you rape and murder them! [dragged off by court bailiffs] You killed McCullough! (a former client) You killed him! Hold it! Hold it! I just completed my opening statement!”