Movies - Quotes postsFriday October 26, 2012
My Most-Quoted Movie Lines: 'She's a drag, a well-known drag...'
A few years ago I wrote a piece, in five parts, on the movie lines I quote the most. These were not the institutionalized, AFI-approved movie lines everyone knows: “Here's looking at you, kid”; “May the Force be with you”; “Plastics.” Those lines have no real cache in conversation. Everyone knows if you quote “Star Wars” you go with one of the lesser-known lines appropriate to a particular situation. Say you're overruled as to evening plans: “But I was going into Tosche Station ...” You're arguing with your wife: “Look, your worshipfulness...” A good movie quote is like a password to a club. It's a search for the like-minded.
The original plan was to write a follow-up piece, with five new lines I quote, but then I realized: Wait, I have a blog. I can just make it a regular deal.
So here it is. A regular deal.
The first line, for no reason other than I used it the other day, is from George Harrison in “A Hard Day's Night.”
She's a drag, a well-known drag. We turn the sound down on her and say rude things.
You really lay on the Liverpudlian when you say it, too, in the manner of Paul Rudd and Jason Schwartzmann and Justin Long in “Walk Hard.” (About Jack Black's Liverpudlian, the less said the better.)
I guess I say this a lot because I often say things are a drag and the rest just follows. When I was younger, the notion of something being a well-known drag cracked me up. Now I know the world is mostly made up of well-known drags.
Here's the scene. George says the line at 3:15:
(Damn, that secretary is hot. I'd forgotten that.)
The whole scene is full of quotable lines:
- “You don't see many of these nowadays, do you?”
- “Oh, by all means, I'd be quite prepared for that eventuality.”
- “Well, I'll have a bash.”
- “And who's this Susan when she's at home?”
It's a brilliant scene. Watching it again, I suddenly flashed back to the first time I saw it, in the 1970s at the Uptown Theater in Minneapolis. I remember being incensed that this guy 1) had no idea who George was; 2) thought his TV personality, Susan, that posh bird, was hipper than one of the Beatles; and 3) thought he and his crowd could manipulate us in the manner talked about. I thought my interests, my buying patterns, my loves and fears, all sprang up organically. I didn't see the manipulation. Now I see nothing but. I know. It's a drag, a well-known drag.
My Top 10 Movie Lines of 2011
I like collecting quotes. I guess I've been doing it since I began to care about serious reading and writing, which was probably in college. I used to write favorites on the inside cover of whatever sad journal I was keeping at the time. The usual undergraduate stuff:
“Everyone is broken by life ... afterward some are stronger in the broken places.”
“The God I believe in isn't short of cash, mister!”
Here are a few of the movie lines from 2011 that stuck with me. Some are short, some are long. Some I can quote; some I just love. There's life advice and contextual stuff that I imagine myself repeating down the road. The Malick quote is already part of my life. It's changed, or at least articulated, some way that I see the world.
No back-and-forth exchanges. That's a whole other beast. So you won't get anything like this from “Moneyball”:
Peter Brand: It's a metaphor.
Billy Beane: I know it's a metaphor.
Or this from “Young Adult”:
Matt: What're you doing back in Mercury? You moving back?
Mavis: Course not. Gross.
Feel free to add your own in the comments field below.
10. “I didn’t know that was your diary; I thought it was a very sad, handwritten book.”
--Brynn (Rebel Wilson), the Brit roommate from hell, to Annie (Kristen Wiig), in “Bridemaids.” Original screenplay by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. One of many I could've chosen from this movie. I think I've probably quoted the “Daily Show” line more than any, but this one relates so well to the sad journals I used to keep.
9. “Because you’re his girlfriend he’s got cancer you cheated on him you fucking lunatic!”
-- Kyle (Seth Rogen) to Rachael, the girlfriend from hell, when asked why he doesn't like her, in “50/50.” Original screenplay by Will Reiser. It's less the insult than the exasperrated run-on quality of it. I included no punctuation because Rogen doesn't imply any. It's Joycean in its stream-of-consciousness.
8. “If you're first out the door, that's not called panicking.”
-- John Tuld (Jeremy Irons) to Sam Rogers (Kevin Spacey) in “Margin Call.” Original screenplay by J.C. Chandor. What I love is the unmentioned follow-up: So what DO you call it? You call it survival, I suppose, or dickishness or reptilian. You call it capitalism. You call it (see no. 1) the way of nature.
7. “When you’re dealing with a kid or an adult or a horse, treat them the way you’d like them to be, not how they are now.“
-- Buck Brannaman in the documentary ”Buck.“
6. ”You are about a hundred miles from smart.“
-- Matt King (George Clooney) to Sid (Nick Krause) in ”The Descendants.“ Original screenplay by Alexander Payne. A second later, the kid demonstrates that he's closer to smart. Or at least closer to pain—and smart enough, or kind enough, not to bring it up during the pain of others.
5. ”That’s how I know he can be beaten. Because he’s a fanatic. And the fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt.“
--George Smiley (Gary Oldman) in ”Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.“ Adapted screenplay by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, from the novel by John LeCarre. Although aren't we all concealing secret doubts? Although I guess for some our doubts aren't so secret. For the fanatic they would have to be.
4. ”If the sun were to explode you wouldn't even know about it for eight minutes because that's how long it takes for light to travel to us. For eight minutes the world would still be bright and it would still feel warm.“
--Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn), in voiceover, in ”Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.“ Adapted screenplay by Eric Roth, from the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.
3. ”Fuck you, you fucking fuck.“
-- T-shirt worn by Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) in ”The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.“ In case anyone's thinking belated birthday or early Valentine's Day gift: I'm a medium.
2. ”My death, of course, will quickly vindicate those who call me naïve or idealistic, but I will be freed of a burning curiosity and, God willing, will immerse my gaze in the Father's and contemplate with him his children of Islam as he sees them. This thank you which encompasses my entire life includes you, of course, friends of yesterday and today, and you, too, friend of the last minute, who knew not what you were doing. Yes, to you as well I address this thank you and this farewell, which you envisaged. May we meet again, happy thieves in Paradise, if it pleases God, the Father of us both. Amen. Insha'Allah.“
-- Christian (Lambert Wilson) in ”Of Gods and Men.“ Xavier Beauvois (adaptation et dialogue), Etienne Comar (scenario).
1. “The nuns taught us there were two ways through life: the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow. ... Grace doesn't try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. Nature only wants to please itself. Gets others to please it, too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.”
-- Mrs. O'Brien (Jessica Chastain) in voiceover in “The Tree of Life.” Original screenplay by Terrence Malick.
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