Study Guide

Thelma & Louise Criminality

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THELMA: I had a suggestion that we go to the police, but you didn't like that, so frankly, Louise, I'm out of ideas.

LOUISE: What's the big rush, Thelma? I mean, if we give them enough time, they'll come to us. I'm sorry, I'm just not ready to go to jail yet, okay?

Why does Louise think going to the cops is such a bad idea? Do you think she is right? Why or why not? Are there any "good" cops in the movie?

THELMA: Oh, man! You wouldn't have believed it. It was like I'd been doing it all my life. I mean, nobody would believe it.

LOUISE: Think you've found your calling?

THELMA: Maybe. Maybe. The call of the wild!

Please, how can someone fight their natural gifts? How do you think Thelma might have used her natural gifts if she had been allowed to earlier?

THELMA: Murder one! We can't even say it was self-defense?

LOUISE: Well, it wasn't. We were walking away. We got away.

THELMA: Yeah, but they don't know that. It was just you and me there. I'll say he raped me and you had to shoot him. That's almost the truth.

LOUISE: It won't work.

THELMA: Why not?

LOUISE: Because there's no physical evidence. We can't prove he did it. We can't even probably prove he touched you by now.

THELMA: God. Law is some tricky s***, isn't it?

What she said. But seriously, folks, how are women like Thelma and Louise supposed to back up their claims? Why would people be more likely to believe Harlan than to believe them? Do you think Harlan would have faced any consequences if Thelma had escaped from him and gone to the police?

LOUISE: Well, I figure if you take a state policeman, shoot up his car, take his gun and lock him in the trunk, it's best to just get on out of the state if you can.

We're gonna have to agree with that, Louise. How do you feel about the way Thelma handled the situation with the cop, anyway?

HAL: Hey! Don't let them shoot those girls. This is too much. They got guns pointing at them!

MAX: These women are armed, Hal. This is standard. Now, calm down. These boys know what they're doing.

Hal and Max have completely different perspectives on the situation in the final scene of the film. How come we don't feel comforted by the "standard" procedure? What does Hal know that Max doesn't?

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