Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Good Will Hunting (1997)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Good Will Hunting (1997)

In director Gus Van Sant's coming-of-age drama about an angry, misguided, paranoid, and delusional 20 year-old who was provided direction in his life by a therapist, his friends and girlfriend:

  • the scene at a bar near Harvard University where 20 year-old, troubled but gifted genius and MIT janitor Will Hunting (Matt Damon) showed off his own intellect with debate words in order to humiliate a pretentious student named Clark (Scott William Winters), who bragged about his recent learnings: "...Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter? Or do you - is that your thing? You come into a bar. You read some obscure passage and then pretend - you pawn it off as your own, as your own idea just to impress some girls and embarrass my friend? See, the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years, you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One: don't do that. And two: you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f--kin' education you coulda got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library..."
  • the scene of the second meeting between South Boston psychologist and community college teacher Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) and Will Hunting at Boston Common on a park bench overlooking swan boats on the pond, when Maguire counseled Will about experiencing life more than rationalizing about it - he provided advice about really living life instead of using intellectual defense mechanisms:: ("You're just a kid. You don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about...You don't know about real loss, 'cause that only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. I look at you. I don't see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared s--tless kid. But you're a genius, Will. No one denies that")
At the Bostom Common Park
  • Will's on-off romantic relationship with a graduating Harvard senior from Britain named Skylar (Minnie Driver), with plans to attend Stanford Medical School in the fall - she asked Will to join her in California but the non-committal Will was reluctant and turned angry when she questioned his willingness to break up their relationship: Skylar: "I just want you to come to California with me...Why not?...If you don't love me, you should just tell me...Why won't you come? What are you so scared of?...You live in this safe little world where no one challenges you and you're scared s--tless to do anything else." Will: "You just want to have your little fling with like, the guy from the other side of town. Then you're gonna go off to Stanford. You're gonna marry some rich prick who your parents will approve of and just sit around with the other trust fund babies and talk about how you went slummin', too, once.."; she responded by confronting him with the truth: "Why are you saying this?...So don't put your s--t on me when you're the one that's afraid....You're afraid of me. You're afraid that I won't love you back. You know what? I'm afraid, too. But f--k it, I want to give it a shot. And at least I'm honest with you"; during their emotional outburst, she professed her love for him no matter the circumstances of his abused upbringing: ("I love you. I want to hear you say that you don't love me. Because if you say that, then I won't call you and I won't be in your life") - they broke up after he coldly stated: "I don't love you"
  • the sequence of Will offered a lucrative and promising job with the government intelligency agency, the NSA - he refused it with a scathing tirade against the organization - acting against his own self-interest: "Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll take a shot....So what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure, f--k it, while I'm at it, why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president"
  • the sequence of construction worker and friend Chuckie Sullivan (Ben Affleck) challenging Will to do something with his life: "In 20 years if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll f--kin' kill ya. That's not a threat. That's a fact. I'll f--kin' kill ya...Look, you got somethin' none of us have....You don't owe it to yourself. You owe it to me, 'cause tomorrow I'm gonna wake up and I'll be 50, and I'll still be doin' this shit. That's all right. That's fine. I mean, you're sittin' on a winnin' lottery ticket. You're too much of a pussy to cash it in, and that's bullshit. 'Cause I'd do f--kin' anything to have what you got. So would any of these f--kin' guys. Be an insult to us if you're still here in 20 years. Hangin' around here is a f--kin' waste of your time"; he then added that he hoped that Will would move on with his talents: "Let me tell you what I do know. Every day I come by your house, and I pick you up. We go out and we have a few drinks and a few laughs, and it's great. You know what the best part of my day is? It's for about ten seconds from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door. 'Cause I think maybe I'll get up there and I'll knock on the door and you won't be there. No 'Good-bye,' no 'See ya later.' No nothin'. You just left. I don't know much, but I know that"
  • the "It's not your fault" scene in which both Sean and Will discussed how they were victims of child abuse, and how the trauma continued to affect Will - with Sean's assurances that it wasn't his fault: (- "It's not your fault." - "Yeah, I know that." - "Look at me, son. It's not your fault." - "I know." - "No. It's not your fault." - "I know." - "No, no, you don't. It's not your fault. Hmm?" - "I know." - "It's not your fault." - "Alright." - "It's not your fault. It's not your fault." - "Don't f--k with me." - "It's not your fault." - "Don't f--k with me, alright? Don't f--k with me, Sean, not you!" - "It's not your fault. It's not your fault." - "Oh, God, Oh God, I'm so sorry")
"It's Not Your Fault"

Bar Scene

Discussing Future with Girlfriend Skylar

Disastrous Interview to Work at NSA

Advice From Chuckie: "You're sittin on a winnin' lottery ticket"


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