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[Listening to the Message.]
Dr. Ellie Arroway: Wait a minute, those are numbers. That was a three, the one before it was two. Base it on numbers, just count it, see how far it goes.
Fisher: That's a five! Seven!
Dr. Ellie Arroway: Those are primes! 2, 3, 5, 7, those are all prime numbers! No way this is a natural phenomenon!

[Kent is blind.]
Kent Clark: Nice to smell you again, Mr. Kitz.
Michael Kitz: You too.

David Drumlin: I know you must think this is all very unfair. Maybe that's an understatement. What you don't know is I agree. I wish the world was a place where fair was the bottom line, where the kind of idealism you showed at the hearing was rewarded, not taken advantage of. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world.
Dr. Ellie Arroway: Funny, I've always believed that the world is what we make of it.

Dr. Ellie Arroway: Occam's razor. You ever heard of it?
Palmer Joss: Hack-em's Razor. Sounds like some slasher movie.

Executive: We must confess that your proposal seems less like science and more like science fiction.
Dr. Ellie Arroway: Science fiction. You're right, it's crazy. In fact, it's even worse than that, it's nuts. You wanna hear something really nutty? I heard of a couple guys who wanna build something called an airplane, you know you get people to go in, and fly around like birds, it's ridiculous, right? And what about breaking the sound barrier, or rockets to the moon? Atomic energy, or a mission to Mars? Science fiction, right? Look, all I'm asking is for you to just have the tiniest bit of vision. You know, to just sit back for one minute and look at the big picture. To take a chance on something that just might end up being the most profoundly impactful moment for humanity, for the history... of history.

Michael Kitz: Your having sent this announcement all over the world may well constitute a breach of national security.
Dr. Ellie Arroway: This isn't a person-to-person call. You can't possibly think that a civilization sending this kind of message would intend it just for Americans.
Michael Kitz: I'm saying you might have consulted us; obviously, the contents of this message could be extremely sensitive.
Dr. Ellie Arroway: You want to classify prime numbers?

Palmer Joss: What are you studying up there?
Dr. Ellie Arroway: Oh, the usual. Nebulae, quasars, pulsars, stuff like that. What are you writing?
Palmer Joss: The usual. Nouns, adverbs, adjective here and there.

[Dr. Ellie Arroway challenges Palmer to prove the existence of God]
Palmer Joss: Did you love your father?
Dr. Ellie Arroway: What?
Palmer Joss: Your dad. Did you love him?
Dr. Ellie Arroway: Yes, very much.
Palmer Joss: Prove it.

Ellie Arroway: Dad, do you think there's people on other planets?
Ted Arroway: I don't know, Sparks. But I guess I'd say if it is just us... seems like an awful waste of space.

Palmer Joss: The reason I gave for not voting for you was a good one, but it wasn't the real one. I didn't vote for you because I didn't want to lose you.

Palmer Joss: By doing this, you're willing to give your life, you're willing to die for it. Why?
Dr. Ellie Arroway: For as long as I can remember, I've been searching for something, some reason why we're here. What are we doing here? Who are we? If this is a chance to find out even just a little part of that answer... I don't know, I think it's worth a human life. Don't you?

Palmer Joss: I'm not against technology, doctor. I'm against the men who deify it at the expense of human truth.

S.R. Hadden: First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price?

Dr. Ellie Arroway: Mathematics is the only true universal language.

Ted Arroway: Small moves, Ellie, small moves.

Kent Clark: Dr. Arroway will be spending her precious telescope time listening for... uh... listening for...
Dr. Ellie Arroway: Little green men.

David Drumlin: Ellie, still waiting for E.T. to call?

Palmer Joss: You could call me a man of the cloth, without the cloth.

Palmer Joss: We shop at home, we surf the Web, at the same time we're emptier.

Jay Leno: So there's life on other planets. That's sure going to change the Miss Universe contest!

[Witnessing a celestial light show up close.]
Dr. Ellie Arroway: Some celestial event. No-- no words. No words to describe it. Poetry! They should've sent a poet. So beautiful. So beautiful... I had no idea.


Related flicks:
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Arrival

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