In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart.

Ruby: Every piece of this is man's bullshit. They call this war "a cloud over the land" but they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say "Shit, it's rainin'!"
Ada: What we have lost will never be returned to us. The land will not heal - too much blood. All we can do is learn from the past and make peace with it.
[Ruby has just walked in on Inman and Ada talking by the campfire]
Ruby: Number one - shut this door, it's freezing. Number two - shut that door, it's freezing. I'm laying on my back, with my fingers poked in my ears trying to shut out who's got a bag of diamonds and who's carrying a tray. If you want to get three feet up a bull's ass, listen to what sweethearts whisper to each other. Now, if you're going to wimble wimble all night, I'm going to sleep in with him.
[she stomps into her father's hut]
Ada: I can talk about farming in Latin. I can read French. I can lace up a corset, God knows. I can name the principal rivers in Europe, just don't ask me to name one stream in this county! I can embroider but I can't darn! I can arrange cut flowers but I can't grow them! If a thing has a function, if I might *do* something with it, then it wasn't considered suitable!
Ruby: ...Why?
Ada: Ruby, you can ask 'why' about pretty much everything to do with me! This fence is about the first thing that I've ever done that might produce an actual result.
Ada: If you are fighting, stop fighting. If you are marching, stop marching. Come back to me. Come back to me is my request.
Inman: [to Ada] If you could see my inside, or whatever you want to name it; my spirit, that's what I fear. I think I'm ruined. They kept trying to put me in the ground but I wasn't ready. But if I had... if I had goodness, I lost it. If I had anything tender in me, I shot it dead! How could I write to you after what I'd done? What I'd seen?
Ruby: [On discussing the war's origin] Every piece of this is man's bullshit. They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shit, it's raining!'
Inman: Ada, I wanna marry you. If you'll have me.
Ada: Isn't there some religion where you just say I marry you, three times, and then you're man and wife?
Inman: I marry you, I marry you, I marry you.
[Ada laughs]
Inman: Why is that funny?
Ada: No, I think it's I divorce you three times and then you're not married anymore.
[Ada laughs]
Inman: I can wait for ya.
Ada: Oh, Inman, I marry you, I marry you, I marry you, I marry you, I marry you.
[Ada and Inman kiss]
Ada: I have so... I have so many buttons, is that alright? Will you turn your back?
[Inman turns his back but then he turns back around]
Inman: Nope. No, I will not.
Inman: You are all that keeps me from sliding into some dark place.
Ada: But how did I keep you? We barely knew each other. A few moments.
Inman: A thousand moments. They're like a bag of tiny diamonds glittering in a black heart. Don't matter if they're real or things I made up. The shape of your neck, that's real. You were always carrying a tray.
Ada: You wouldn't come inside.
Inman: I wouldn't come inside.
Ada: I had to carry a tray to come out and see you.
Inman: The way you felt when I pulled you to me. That kiss- which I kissed again everyday of my walking.
Ada: Everyday of my waiting...
[last lines]
Ada: [voiceover] I looked once more down Sally's well, and this time there was nothin' there to haunt me. Just clouds. Clouds, and then... sun.
Ada: All this while I've been packing ice around my heart. How do I make it melt?
Ruby: We got something for you.
Ada: For all your kindness. Coffee and pie.
Ruby: That's real coffee. It ain't chicory and dirt.
Sally: Thank you both. Ruby, I look forward to this. We all do. Esco and me.
Ruby: [grinning at Ada] She made it.
Ada: I made it.
Sally: Good God in Heaven.
Ruby: I'm still alive!
Ruby: If I cry one tear for my daddy I stole it off a crocodile.
Ada: I brought you this book... and this photo. I'm not smiling in it. I don't know how to do that... hold a smile.
Inman: I came back for you.
Rev. Monroe: I lost your mother after twenty-two months of marriage. It was enough for a lifetime.
Ada: Hello, I'm Ada Monroe.
Inman: I'm Inman.
Ada: Inman?
Inman: W.P. Inman.
Ada: [repeats it] W.P. Inman.
Inman: Repeating a thing doesn't improve it.
Ruby: I despise a floggin' rooster.
Inman: She's the place I'm heading. But I hardly know her. I just can't seem to get back to her.
Ruby: Ain't no man better than me. On account of there's no man around here that ain't old, or full o' mischief.
Blind Man: Gettin' better, soldier?
Inman: Seems that way.
Blind Man: I wouldn't hurry. The war's almost done.Don't need your help to lose it.
Inman: Been meanin' to ask you, where'd you take your wound?
Blind Man: Oh, before I was born. Never set eyes on a thing in this world. Not a tree, a gun, or a woman. Put my hand on all three, though.
[Georgia appears with a small, frozen deer]
Georgia: What d'you reckon? Think we could eat this?
Stobrod: You cook something long enough you can eat anything.
Pangle: It's frozen. How long it been there for?
Stobrod: You hungry?
Pangle: Yeah.
Stobrod: Not very long.
Ruby: My daddy - he'd walk forty miles for liquor but not forty inches for kindness.
Ruby: This world won't stand long. God won't let it stand this way long.
Ada: Are you alive? I pray to God you are.
Veasey: Oh God of my God! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Junior: What's up?
Veasey: The Israelites! The tribes of Israel are about to flee from the banks of Egypt! Hallelujah!
Inman: He's got a shit coming on. It's overdue.
[first lines]
Ada: [voiceover] Dear Mr. Inman, I began by counting the days, then the months. I don't count on anything anymore except the hope that you will return, and the silent fear that in the years since we saw each other, this war, this awful war, will have changed us both beyond all reckoning.
Ruby: Have you been shot?
Inman: Not lately.
Inman: But I'm a deserter. If they find me here things could get bad for you.
Maddy: What are they gonna do? Cut short me young life?
Inman: I imagine God is weary of being called down on both sides of an argument.
Ada: [to Inman] But then who will be waiting for you?
Ruby: Unbelieveable. Stobrod Thewes!
Stobrod: Ruby?
[Ruby runs up to him and kicks him, then turns to Ada]
Ruby: That's my daddy!
[storms off]
Ada: When this war is over, there will be a reckoning.
Inman: I ain't getting shot again for some cause I don't believe in.
Maddy: See, I think there's a plan. There's a design for each and every one of us. You look at nature. Bird flies somewhere, picks up a seed, shits the seed out, plant grows. Bird's got a job, shit's got a job, seed's got a job. And you've got a job.
Ada: I will not leave Cold Mountain. My last thread of courage is to wait... for you.
Ada: My love where are you? With no hope of reaching you I write to you... as I have always done.
Sara: I'm alone here, as you can see, with my baby. I need to believe you mean no harm.
[Inman takes out his gun]
Inman: No, I mean to give it to you.
Sara: I don't want it. If I had my way they'd take metal altogether out of this world. Every blade, every gun.
Ruby: [to her father] Just so you know - you're not eating inside. Number one: they hang people round here for taking in deserters. Number two: even if they gave out prizes you'd still eat outside.
Ruby: [when Ada comes back with Inman] Congratulations. I'll send you out with a shot gun a lot more.
Ruby: [to Ada] So, you have never wrapped your legs around this Inman?
[Ada hits her]
Ruby: [about her father] Oh, he's so full of manure, that man! We could lay him in the dirt and grow another one just like him.
Veasey: Used to be as regular as morning prayers. Matter of fact I could set my watch by my bowels. That beeswax you fed me, day before yesterday, it stops a man up. Open my gut now they'd find turds stacked up like little black twigs.
Ada: [to Inman] Well, you have your war.
Ada: I have to eat something.
Ruby: Then you have to wake up earlier. What's that?
Ada: A novel.
Ruby: You want to carry a book, carry one you can write in.
Ada: If you saw us this Easter... you would know that every step of your journey is worth it.
Young men outside the church: Whooey! We got our war... it's about time!
Ruby: [to Ada] Am I hard to hear? 'Cause you keep repeatin' everything.
Inman: I've had to put myself in the way of people's kindness.
Sally: [to Ada] You're skinny as a whippet, girl!
Maddy: [while petting one of her goats] I've learned a person can pretty much survive off of a goat. A goat gives you company, and milk, and cheese... and when you need it, good meat.
[slaughters the goat]
Ada: I would have followed you anywhere... to Mongolia.
Bosie: By order of Zebulon Vance, Governor of this great state of North Carolina: any soldier turned deserter is guilty of treason and shall be hunted down like a dog. Any man takes in a deserter is likewise guilty of treason.
Ruby: The sign says "Shoot me"
Inman: Come out of there.
Bosie: No, sir. Here's fine.
Inman: I'll just have to shoot the horse from under you.
Bosie: Shoot her. She's not mine. You riding Mr. Teague's animal?
Inman: I am.
Bosie: He dead?
Inman: I hope so. Look, how old are you? Give me your gun and ride home, I'm done fighting. I'm sick of it.
Bosie: I give you my gun and you'll shoot me dead.
Inman: I will not shoot you, but nor am I walking down that mountain looking over my shoulder for you.
Bosie: That's what you call a conundrum. I tell you what I've got on my side.
Inman: What have you got on your side?
Bosie: The confidence of youth.
Ada: I thought I was seeing you fall, but instead I was seeing you come back to me!
Bosie: King of Kings!
Inman: Move away from the baby!
Bardolph: Don't shoot.
Inman: Take off your boots. Take off your pants and your shirt.
[Bardolph takes off his boots, pants, and shirt]
Bardolph: Don't shoot me, please. We're starving. We haven't eaten.
Inman: You'd better get running before you catch your death of cold.
Bardolph: Thanks, thank you. I will.
[Bardolph starts to run, and then Sara shoots him]
Inman: I'm wetter than a fish.
[Swanger's sons are joining the Confederate Army]
Esco Swanger: What exactly do you think you're going to be fighting for?
Acton Swanger: The South!
Esco Swanger: Last I checked, "the South" was a direction.
Ruby: Let's put him in a pot.
Ada: [to her father] Daddy, come inside before you drown!
Inman: [in bed with Sara] Thing is, I love someone. I love someone very much.
Ruby: What kind of name's Georgia?
Ada: It's where he's from, it's not his name.
Ruby: I know that's meant to be the ugliest state under the heavens.
Ada: What do you care what his name is?
Ruby: I hope that Georgia boy's been seeing to the animals.
Ada: I thought you were thinking on him!
Ruby: I was not. I was thinking on swollen udders- and before you say same difference.
Ada: I'm not saying nothing!
Ruby: Miss lovey-dovey!
Ada: Ruby, this fence may be the first thing I ever did that might produce an actual result.
Ruby: Old lady Swanger says you need help. Here I am.
Ada: Did you get a picture made?
Inman: Say again?
Ada: A tintype, with your gun and courage on display.
Inman: You're laughing at me.
Ada: I don't know you.
Inman: You're always carrying a tray.
Stobrod: I wrote several tunes with you in mind - Ruby this, Ruby that, Ruby with the eyes that sparkle.
Ruby: Hey, let's agree. You beat me, you abandoned me, you ignored me, and yet you beat me some more. And all that's better than Ruby with eyes that sparkle.
Veasey: Thank you. I was going to do a grievous wrong.
Ada: Yesterday I saw you walking back to me.
Ada: I count the number of words that have passed between us, Inman and me - not very many. But I think about it.
Ferrygirl: [to Inman and Veasey] Thirty more dollars, we can go to the cabin. I'll pull this dress over my head.
Veasey: [to Inman] Have we got thirty dollars?
[from trailer]
Ada: Come back to me. Come back to Cold Mountain.
Inman: This doesn't come out right. If it were enough to stand, without the words.
Ada: It is, it is.
Inman: Look at the sky now. What color is it? Or the way a hawk flies. Or you wake up and your ribs are bruised thinking so hard on somebody. What do you call that?
Ada: Inman. It is three years and I remember your name.
Rourke: [to Oakley] Don't worry, son. Those Yankee boys keep store hours. They ain't open yet.
Inman: [to Veasey] I should have shot you when I had the chance.
Veasey: Please yourself. I'm just being a Christian.
Teague: He ain't coming back. You must know that in your heart. Look at me. I'm not nothing.
Ruby: [to Ada] We got our own story. Called Black Cove Farm: a catastrophe. I can spell it, too. Learned it the same place you did, in the school room. One of the first words they taught me. "Ruby Thewes, you are a c-a-t-a-s-t-r-o-p-h-e!"
Maddy: Is she waiting for you?
[Stobrod and Pangle finish playing a song]
Bosie: [sarcastically] Broke my young heart.
Rev.Monroe: My congregation is still disputing the size of the windows.
Teague: A reckoning is for your world, not mine.
[Veasey finds a saw]
Veasey: Hey! Look at this! This is a good saw.
Inman: It's not yours. You take it, you make us another enemy. You are a Christian- don't you know your commandments?
Veasey: You'll find the good Lord very flexible on the subject of property. We could do a lot with this saw...
Ruby: [yelling] Ada? Ada? You up?
Ada: Yes. It's still dark.
Ruby: Tell that to the cows. It's late!
Oakley: Play me something sweet... like a girl's waiting for me.

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