Friday 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.