The Preacher’s Dialogue from “Cowboys and Aliens”

This was not the best movie ever.  It wasn’t the epic I was hoping for, given the casting.  But it wasn’t the worst movie ever, either.  I’ll be putting a review up on Digest Movies soon. Here is my formal review.

In the meantime, here is some of the dialogue, mostly centered around the Preacher.  (The credits say his name was Meacham,but I don’t remember anyone in the film actually calling him that).   I went back and saw the first half a second time in order to catch what he said, because on first viewing I wasn’t sure how theologically accurate he was.  Knowing the lines more clearly now, I think I would mostly agree with him, that humans have free will to choose their destiny, and that God is willing to wipe away your past and let you become “a new creation”, (2 Corinthians 5:17), but the Preacher fails to ever mention that this is only possible “in Christ.”  Oh, and he’s either forgotten about or never read Psalm 139 when he tells Doc that he has to “earn” God’s presence.  Maybe he thinks it’s more comforting this way, to say no, it isn’t that God doesn’t like you, it’s just that he’s not paying any attention! rather than, yeah, he’s everywhere, but he let this happen anyway.  I guess I don’t know what would have been a better answer to Doc’s dejected outburst, but I think ministers have a responsibility to be Biblicaly accurate.

Scene where Jake Lonergan (JL)  creeps into an empty room and washes up, then discovers a gun to the back of his head, (it’s the Preacher, P):

P: Palms ta heaven, friend.

JL: Easy now.

P: Alright, turn around nice and slow.

JL: I been shot.

P: Only two kinds a’ men get shot, criminals and victims.  Well, which are ya?

JL: I don’t know.

P: You got a name, friend?

JL: I don’t know.

P: Well, what do ya know?

JL: …English.

a little bit later in the same scene, the Preacher is stitching up his wound:

P: Well, I can’t rightly absolve you of your sins if you can’t remember ’em.  But I’ve seen good men do bad things, bad men do good things.  Whether you’re gonna end up in heaven or hell, it’s not God’s plan, it’s your own.  You just gotta remember what it was.

When the aliens are raiding the town, sheriff’s son Emmet (E) wonders what they are:

E: Is it demons?

P: Demons? Can’t rightly say, I mean, it does fit the descriptions, but, uh…

Doc: Are you sayin’ it’s demons, demons took my wife?!

P: I ain’t saying nothin’!  Now you just need to calm down…

When they are riding out to track the “demon”:

Ella: If it’s all the same, I’d like to ride along too.

P: Yes ma’am.  (muttering) We’ve got a kid and a dog, why not?

When Doc is trying to learn how to shoot, to save his wife, and sucks at it, and is frustrated and doesn’t think there is a God:

Doc: What am I doin’? It’s my fault she got took.

P: You just gotta have faith.

Doc: Faith, yeah, God’s been real good to me lately.  Now either he ain’t up there, or he don’t like me.

P: Certainly you don’t expect the Lord to do everything for you, right?  You gotta earn his presence, and then you gotta learn to recognize it, and then you gotta act on it.

To Lonergan, when he (P) is dying:

P: You go get our people back.  God don’t care  who you were, son, only who you are.

After they have buried the Preacher, and Dolarhyde (D) wants to ride out, and Doc thinks they should stay and say a few words:

D: Only one that knows what to say is in the ground.  Ain’t it enough that we took the time to put him there?

Doc: No, no it’s not enough.

Everyone except Doc and Lonergan ride out.  The two men take off their hats and look at the mound over Preacher’s body respectfully, then sort of look at each other hoping the other will talk. Finally:

Doc: Uh, Lord, uh, if there is such a thing as a soul, please protect this man’s he had a good one.  Made me feel better, world was a better place for havin’ him, dust to dust amen.  How’s that?

JL: Good words.

They put their hats back on and rejoin the group.



Filed under movies

4 responses to “The Preacher’s Dialogue from “Cowboys and Aliens”

  1. Pingback: Cowboys and Aliens | Digest Movies

  2. hunter

    Pagelady, this wasn’t a Billy Graham movie. I’m just grateful that Hollywood didn’t tell us for the upteenth time that we were foolish for believing in religion. Do we ‘earn’ salvation? No. Did the preacher have sinister intent by using the word God over Christ? No. But we will we begin to go ‘higher up and higher in’ (CS Lewis) if we ‘concentrate’ on development, said Chambers, who noted as well to ‘receive, recognize, and rely on the Holy Spirit’ as primary. That’s a close parallel.

  3. hunter

    Also – if you read the graphic novel on which the movie was based, you’ll be grateful for the story upgrade.

  4. Cindy Davis

    In response to “Earning God’s Presence”. I think he was talking in terms of spending time with God in prayer, quite reflection. Showing God reverence and acknowledgement by spending time in His Presence.

    When I went to see this movie this line of dialogue spoke to me. Once I spend time with God consistently I should be able to discern/recognize God guidance and be ready to “Act” on it.

    Ultimately that is the relationship I am to develop. Jesus went away to spend time with The Father. That is what Jesus taught us, how to have a relationship with The Father, not worship him.

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