Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Independence Day (1996)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Independence Day (1996)

In Roland Emmerich's epic sci-fi blockbuster disaster film about an alien invasion - with great special effects:

  • the ominous words: "Time's up!", issued by MIT-educated computer expert David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum), on an evacuating Air Force One with the US President, that a coordinated attack by alien ships would commence shortly, with widespread panic, chaos, and destruction in US metropolitan areas
  • the unleashing of global destruction - with the incredible image of huge spaceships and alien vessels zapping and destroying major cities (i.e., New York and LA) with their firepower across the globe - causing the instantaneous elimination of skyscrapers, the tossing of vehicles, and great loss of life and property
  • an alien ship's destruction of the White House in DC
Global Destruction
White House
  • the scene of hot-shot Marine pilot Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) parachuting to the ground in Arizona near the Grand Canyon after successfully downing an alien spacecraft; as he approached the crash-landed ship, he taunted: ("That's what you'll get! Ha-ha! Look at you! Ship all banged up! Who's the man?! Huh? Who's the man?! Wait till I get another plane! I'm linin' all your friends up, right beside you! Where you at? Huh? Where you at?"); then he opened up the hatch and swiftly punched out the tentacled, monstrous injured alien pilot with the retort: ("Welcome to Earth!"); then he offered a one-liner as he began to smoke a congratulatory cigar for himself: "Now that's what I call a close encounter"
  • the sequence of President Thomas J. Whitmore's (Bill Pullman) psychic communication with the injured alien in Area 51 ("I know there is much we can learn from each other if we can negotiate a truce. We can find a way to coexist. Can there be a peace between us?") - and its dismaying message (conveyed telepathically through the vocal cords of Dr. Brackish Okun (Brent Spiner), one of the scientists: ("No peace...Die! Die!"); after blasting the alien with gunfire, Whitmore described the painful vision that he had - and his solution to the threat: ("I saw his thoughts. I saw what they're planning to do. They're like locusts. They're moving from planet to planet. Their whole civilization. After they've consumed every natural resource, they move on. And we're next -- Nuke 'em! Let's nuke the bastards!")
  • the President's rousing speech to US fighter pilot crews before the final attack on the aliens: ("Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. Mankind - that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: 'We will not go quietly into the night!' 'We will not vanish without a fight!' 'We're going to live on!' 'We're going to survive!' Today we celebrate our Independence Day!" (Cheers))
  • the sequence of the self-sacrifice of fighter pilot Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) who gave his life to defeat the alien threat: ("I told you I wouldn't let you down! Just keep those guys off me for a few more seconds, will ya?"); when his missile malfunctioned, he decided the only way remaining was to fly his nuclear bomb and virus-laden jet plane directly into the weapon port of the alien mothership; he told the command center before detonation: ("Do me a favor. Tell my children I love them very much. All right, you alien assholes! In the words of my generation, up yours!...(to the aliens) Hello boys! I'm back!") - the ultimate successful strategy used to save humankind

David Levinson's Warning: "Time's up!"

Capt. Hiller At Crash Site of Alien Ship

The Monstrous Alien Pilot ("Welcome to Earth")

President Whitmore's Psychic Communication

Alien's Threatening Return Message

President's Speech to US Fighter Pilots: ("Today we Celebrate our Independence Day!")

Self-Sacrificing Pilot Russell Casse ("Hello boys! I'm back!")


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