From: White Heat
Who said it?: Arthur “Cody” Jarrett
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the film noir, White Heat. White Heat focuses on Arthur “Cody” Jarrett, a deranged gang leader who loves killing people while staging robberies. The film is considered a classic and has been inducted into the National Film Registry for being culturally and artistically significant.
The quote comes from the closing moments of the film. Cody (played by James Cagney) has been surrounded by the police and climbs to the top of a chemical plant. The police do shoot at Cody but, although he has been shot several times, the criminal refuses to go do. Cody, realizing there is no escape, shoots a tanker full of gas and, just before it explodes, he delivers the quote
Geek wisdom: We all want to be the best. However, we also have to consider the path we take to be the greatest. If it leads to your self destruction, then that path, even if it’s the easiest one, isn’t worth it.