Quotes II: This Time It’s Personal

My better half Sarit has marveled at my ability to instantly recite any number of movie quotes. OK, maybe she hasn’t marveled exactly. It’s closer to bemoaned, but that might be partly because I can remember a line from a 50-year-old film but not what Sarit told me this morning. Somehow that’s a problem. In my defense I grew up with quotes, although they were mostly from TV. My mom, brother and I could find a quote from “M*A*S*H” to fit almost any occasion. To this day, I can’t see a sparsely filled auditorium or stadium without asking Hawkeye’s immortal question “Who invited all the empty chairs?”

Quotes are a common language for me, you and anyone else who has seen that film. They can also be a way of expressing a thought or sentiment a much more witty or clever way than we could if left to our own devices.

A few years ago, the American Film Institute named its top 100 movie quotes of all time. Not to be outdone, I followed with my own list. While I throughly enjoyed creating that list, I also had a nagging feeling that I was leaving some good ones out. That feeling resurfaced recently, and I challenged myself to come up with a new list. As with my last one, I limited myself to one quote a film. Otherwise the entire list could be from ten movies. I’m not kidding – Sarit just bought me a book filled entirely with quotes from The Godfather. But there are some key differences this time around. Last time I picked noteworthy quotes that I thought the AFI missed. This time it’s more of a mixture. Some of my picks are well-known, but some are just my own favorites. Also, I didn’t see a point to ranking them this time. Finally, I broke the quotes down into four groups. The first set are flat-out funny. The second are vintage rants, otherwise known as the Al Pacino section. Then we have lines that I feel have some sort of truth or prescient commentary on life. I conclude with quotes that perfectly capture a particular scene, or, in some cases, an entire film.

And now, as the Joker might say, here . . . we . . . go:

“The moose says you’re closed. I say you’re open.” – Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), National Lampoon’s Vacation

“I did nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be.” – Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) – Office Space

“Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot. I implore you, send him back to his father and brothers, who are waiting for him with open arms in the penitentiary. I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth.” – Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx), Duck Soup

“Well I guess it all started the first time I went through the second grade. I caught my reflection in a spoon while I was eating my cereal, and I remember thinking ‘Wow, you're ridiculously good looking, maybe you could do that for a career ... be professionally good looking.’” – Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), Zoolander

“Did you drink and dial?” – Jack (Thomas Haden Church), Sideways

“If he'd just pay me what he's spending to make me stop robbing him, I'd stop robbing him.” – Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

“We're very lucky in the band in that we have two visionaries, David and Nigel, they're like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They're two distinct types of visionaries, it's like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.” – Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer), This is Spinal Tap

“Have you ever seen a grown man naked?” – Captain Clarence Oveur (Peter Graves), Airplane!

“The gloves are off, I'm playing hardball. It's fourth and fifteen, and you're looking at a full court press.” – Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen), The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” – Rob Gordon (John Cusack), High Fidelity

“It's K-K-K-Ken c-c-c-coming to k-k-k-kill me” – Otto (Kevin Kline), A Fish Called Wanda

“The twins keep us on Centaurian time, standard thirty-seven hour day. Give it a few months. You'll get used to it... or you'll have a psychotic episode.” – Chief Zed (Rip Torn), Men in Black

“Oh my God! Oh my God! My twin brother has been shot! I think it was an Asian gang or something ... There was this guy, he looked Asian... and he was speaking another language, I'm pretty sure it was . . . Asian.” – Sam Sweet (Ben Stiller), The Cable Guy

“I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream - and I hope you don't find this too crazy - is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, ‘Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!’ That would be bad.” – C.D. “Charlie” Bales (Steve Martin), Roxanne

“Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made. Spaceballs-the T-shirt, Spaceballs-the Coloring Book, Spaceballs-the Lunch box, Spaceballs-the Breakfast Cereal, Spaceballs-the Flame Thrower ... The kids love this one.” – Yogurt (Mel Brooks), Spaceballs

“It's been a wonderful ceremony here on behalf of our own Fred ... ‘The Dorf’ Dorfman! Fred was darn near death recently. He wasn't ashamed to admit to me that he had syphilis. Thank God he stopped it in its tracks. It takes a lot for a man ... to admit where he got it from and how he got it. Look at him today. Fred, you look just wonderful. The nose looks normal again. The face has come back into shape. It's not drooling anymore. And hats off to Marge, his wife, because that whole experience ... the three weeks that she stayed at Trembling Hills has paid off. No more alcohol or sedatives in her life.” – Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher (Chevy Chase), Fletch

“I look out there on all you wonderful guys and I say to myself, ‘What I wouldn't give to be 20 years younger... and a woman.’ You know, I've personally flown over 194 missions and I was shot down on every one. Come to think of it, I've never landed a plane in my life.” – Admiral Thomas “Tug” Benson (Lloyd Bridges), Hot Shots!

“No, my parents never got divorced, although I begged them to.” – Allan (Woody Allen), Play It Again Sam

“I apologize for the intelligence of my remarks, Sir Thomas, I'd forgotten that you were a member of Parliament.” – Lord Henry Wotton (George Sanders), The Picture of Dorian Gray

“Let me see that ... 9 dollars and 40 cents? This is an outrage. If I were you I wouldn't pay it.” – Otis P. Driftwood (Groucho Marx), A Night at the Opera

“This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.” – Phil Connors (Bill Murray), Groundhog Day

“Anything happens to my daughter, I got a .45 and a shovel, I doubt anybody would miss you.” – Mel Horowitz (Dan Hedaya), Clueless

“I packed your angry eyes.” – Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris), Toy Story 2

“We find the defendants incredibly guilty.” – Jury Foreman (Bill Macy), The Producers

“After fifteen minutes I wanted to marry her, and after half an hour I completely gave up the idea of stealing her purse.” – Virgil Starkwell (Woody Allen), Take the Money and Run

“I'm not wearing any pants. Film at eleven.” – Newscaster (Neil Thompson), The Kentucky Fried Movie

“No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for ... for ten minutes!” – Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), The Incredibles

“You know how they say we only use 10 percent of our brains? I think we only use 10 percent of our hearts.” – John Beckwith (Owen Wilson), The Wedding Crashers

“I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly...” Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

“So, she's a dog ...” Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ghostbusters

“Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.” – Kitty Farmer (Beth Grant), Donnie Darko

“Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not ‘Mr. Lebowski.’ You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.” – “The Dude” (Jeff Bridges), The Big Lebowski

“What did you expect? ‘Welcome, sonny’? ‘Make yourself at home?’ ‘Marry my daughter’? You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know ... morons.” – Jim “The Waco Kid” (Gene Wilder), Blazing Saddles

“I find the key is to think of a day as units of time, each unit consisting of no more than thirty minutes. Full hours can be a little bit intimidating and most activities take about half an hour. Taking a bath: one unit, watching ‘Countdown:’ one unit, web-based research: two units, exercising: three units, having my hair carefully disheveled: four units. It's amazing how the day fills up, and I often wonder, to be absolutely honest, if I'd ever have time for a job; how do people cram them in?” – Will (Hugh Grant), About a Boy

“Uh, Raquel, just a second, I just had a thought. This show is being seen all over the world. I was thinking, if we could all just send good thoughts, transmit them through these cameras here, to the elected leader of China, Wing Wa Woo Tong, so that they might finally be nice. Thank you ... Uh Raquel, so many go to bed hungry in this nation, yet cat food is full of tuna! I can't help but think each time I go to the zoo and see those porpoises, crammed into those tiny tanks, what a waste that is. Butcher half of them now! That's hundreds of pounds of dolphin meat that can be fed to our cats, freeing up that tuna for our nation's hungry ... Uh, so many are cold, shivering in the night, so I say, butcher those cats, skin them! Use their fur to keep hundreds warm! – Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen), The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult

“I married your mother because I wanted children. Imagine my disappointment when you arrived.” – Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho Marx), Horse Feathers

“What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place 'cause it was bogus; so if we don't get some cool rules ourselves - pronto - we'll just be bogus too! Get it? – Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) – Fast Times at Ridgemont High

“Oh ... one other thing. If you guys ever have kids and one of them when he's eight years old accidentally sets fire to the living room rug ... go easy on him.” – Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), Back to the Future

“Ballsy. Stupid, but ballsy.” – Albert “Gib” Gibson (Tom Arnold), True Lies

“We’re on a mission from God.” – Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd), The Blues Brothers

“And to think that in some countries these dogs are eaten.” – Buck Laughlin (Fred Willard), Best in Show

“Value this time in your life kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you're a teenager you think you can do anything, and you do. Your twenties are a blur. Your thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money and you think to yourself, ‘What happened to my twenties?’ Your forties, you grow a little pot belly, you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother. Your fifties you have a minor surgery. You'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery. Your sixties you have a major surgery, the music is still loud but it doesn't matter because you can't hear it anyway. Seventies, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale, you start eating dinner at two, lunch around ten, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering ‘how come the kids don't call?’ By your eighties, you've had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can't stand but who you call mama. Any questions?” – Mitch Robbins (Billy Crystal), City Slickers

“Hi, I'm Martin Blank, you remember me? I'm not married, I don't have any kids, but I'd blow your head off if someone paid me enough” – Martin Blank (John Cusack), Grosse Pointe Blank

“That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” – David Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey), Dazed and Confused

“A sporting event greater than the World Cup, World Series and World War II combined.” – Cotton McKnight (Gary Cole), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

“You know everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate. You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing or interesting. You're a miracle! Your stories have NONE of that. They're not even amusing ACCIDENTALLY! ‘Honey, I'd like you to meet Del Griffith, he's got some amusing anecdotes for you. Oh and here's a gun so you can blow your brains out. You'll thank me for it.’ I could tolerate any insurance seminar. For days I could sit there and listen to them go on and on with a big smile on my face. They'd say, ‘How can you stand it?’ I'd say, 'Cause I've been with Del Griffith. I can take ANYTHING.’ You know what they'd say? They'd say, ‘I know what you mean. The shower curtain ring guy. Woah.’ It's like going on a date with a Chatty Cathy doll. I expect you have a little string on your chest, you know, that I pull out and have to snap back. Except I wouldn't pull it out and snap it back - you would ... And by the way, you know, when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea - have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!” – Neal Page (Steve Martin), Planes, Trains & Automobiles

“You pay me to go get guys like Wigand, to draw him out. To get him to trust us, to get him to go on television. I do. I deliver him. He sits. He talks. He violates his own f-cking confidentiality agreement. And he's only the key witness in the biggest public health reform issue, maybe the biggest, most-expensive corporate-malfeasance case in U.S. history. And Jeffrey Wigand, who's out on a limb, does he go on television and tell the truth? Yes. Is it newsworthy? Yes. Are we gonna air it? Of course not. Why? Because he's not telling the truth? No. Because he is telling the truth. That's why we're not going to air it. And the more truth he tells, the worse it gets!” – Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), The Insider

“There was this kid I grew up with; he was younger than me. Sorta looked up to me, you know. We did our first work together, worked our way out of the street. Things were good, we made the most of it. During Prohibition, we ran molasses into Canada ... made a fortune, your father, too. As much as anyone, I loved him and trusted him. Later on he had an idea to build a city out of a desert stop-over for GI's on the way to the West Coast. That kid's name was Moe Greene, and the city he invented was Las Vegas. This was a great man, a man of vision and guts. And there isn't even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him in that town! Someone put a bullet through his eye. No one knows who gave the order. When I heard it, I wasn't angry; I knew Moe, I knew he was head-strong, talking loud, saying stupid things. So when he turned up dead, I let it go. And I said to myself, this is the business we've chosen; I didn't ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with business!” – Hyman Roth (Lee Strasberg), The Godfather, Part II

“You find out life's this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game - life or football - the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that's gonna make the f-cking difference between winning and losing!” – Coach Tony D’Amato (Al Pacino), Any Given Sunday

“Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll take a shot. Say I'm working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with, get killed. Now the politicians are sayin', "Oh, send in the Marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a sh-t. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number got called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks.” – Will Hunting (Matt Damon), Good Will Hunting

“Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha. And while you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughin' his sick, f-ckin' ass off! He's a tight-ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!” – John Milton (Al Pacino) The Devil’s Advocate

“Ah, little lad, you're staring at my fingers. Would you like me to tell you the little story of right-hand/left-hand? The story of good and evil? H-A-T-E! It was with this left hand that old brother Cain struck the blow that laid his brother low. L-O-V-E! You see these fingers, dear hearts? These fingers has veins that run straight to the soul of man. The right hand, friends, the hand of love. Now watch, and I'll show you the story of life. Those fingers, dear hearts, is always a-warring and a-tugging, one agin t'other. Now watch 'em! Old brother left hand, left hand he's a fighting, and it looks like love's a goner. But wait a minute! Hot dog, love's a winning! Yessirree! It's love that's won, and old left hand hate is down for the count!” – Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum), The Night of the Hunter

“Sometimes nothing can be a really cool hand.” – Luke (Paul Newman), Cool Hand Luke

“Who's the more foolish: The fool, or the fool who follows him?” – Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), Star Wars

“Constant talking is not communicating” – Joel Barish (Jim Carrey), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

“Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can't buy backbone. Don't let them forget it.” – Herman Blume (Bill Murray), Rushmore

“Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.” – Rose Sayer (Katharine Hepburn), The African Queen

“Do what is right because it is right.” – General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe), Letters From Iwo Jima

“Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda (Frank Oz), The Empire Strikes Back

“A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl.” – Mr. Bernstein (Everett Sloane), Citizen Kane

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.” – Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones), Field of Dreams

“It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.” – Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), Raiders of the Lost Ark

“You know, more than 100 years ago, Upton Sinclair wrote this, that ‘It's difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it.’” – Al Gore (Himself), An Inconvenient Truth

“Deserves got nothing to do with it.” – Will Munny (Clint Eastwood), Unforgiven

“You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement: make sure when your shift is over you go home alive. Here endeth the lesson.” – Jim Malone (Sean Connery) – The Untouchables

“Nothing is written.” – T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole), Lawrence of Arabia

“There is no fate but what we make.” – Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), The Terminator

“How do you explain school to higher intelligence?” – Elliott (Henry Thomas), E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

“The one thing my honorable mother taught me long ago was never to get into a car with a strange girl. But you, I'm afraid, will get into anything with any girl.” – Tiger Tanaka (Tetsurô Tanba), You Only Live Twice

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we're uncool.” – Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Almost Famous

“Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.” – Harvey Pekar (Paul Giamatti), American Splendor

“You know, so much of the time we're just lost. We say, ‘Please, God, tell us what is right; tell us what is true.’ And there is no justice: the rich win, the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time, we become dead ... a little dead. We think of ourselves as victims ... and we become victims. We become ... we become weak. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law. But today you are the law. You are the law. Not some book ... not the lawyers ... not the, a marble statue ... or the trappings of the court. See those are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are ... they are, in fact, a prayer: a fervent and a frightened prayer. In my religion, they say, ‘Act as if ye had faith... and faith will be given to you.’ If ... if we are to have faith in justice, we need only to believe in ourselves. And act with justice. See, I believe there is justice in our hearts.” – Frank Galvin (Paul Newman), The Verdict

“There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.” – Narrator (Mark Hellinger), The Naked City

“How can I remember to forget you?” – Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), Memento

“Shortly after making that statement, Royal realized it was true.” – Narrator (Alec Baldwin), The Royal Tenenbaums

“You see that fella in the red sweater over there? His name's Donnie McCoy. Works a few of the protection rackets for Cunnaro when he's waiting for something better to happen. Donnie and I have known each other since we were six. Take a good look at that face, Floyd. Because if he ever finds out I can be beat by one lousy grifter, I'll have to kill him and every other hood who wants to muscle in on my Chicago operation.” – Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw), The Sting

“I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me.” – Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart), In a Lonely Place

“Well, your best better get a hell of a lot f-cking better, or you are gonna feel a hell of a lot f-cking worse.” – Seth Gecko (George Clooney), From Dusk Tull Dawn

“When you join my command, you take on debit. A debit you owe me personally. Each and every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps. And I want my scalps.” – Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), Inglourious Basterds

“I have been and always shall be your friend. Live long and prosper.” – Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

“I am Addison DeWitt. I am nobody's fool, least of all yours.” – Addison DeWitt (George Sanders), All About Eve

“I’m still here.” – Frank Sullivan (Dennis Quaid), Frequency

“I've often speculated why you don't return to America. Did you abscond with the church funds? Run off with a senator's wife? I like to think you killed a man. It's the romantic in me.” – Captain Renault (Claude Rains), Casabalnca

“I just found out, that a girl got killed here last week, and you knew it! You knew there was a shark out there! You knew it was dangerous! But you let people go swimming anyway? You knew all those things! But still my boy is dead now. And there's nothing you can do about it. My boy is dead. I wanted you to know that.” – Mrs. Kintner (Lee Fierro), Jaws

“Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.” – Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), Taxi Driver

“You asked for miracles, Theo, I give you the FBI.” – Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), Die Hard

“You're overwrought, madam. I've opened a window for you. A little air will do you good. Why don't you go? Why don't you leave Manderley? He doesn't need you ... he's got his memories. He doesn't love you, he wants to be alone again with her. You've nothing to stay for. You've nothing to live for really, have you? Look down there. It's easy, isn't it? Why don't you? Why don't you? Go on. Go on. Don't be afraid ... ” – Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), Rebecca

“Indiana . . . let it go.” – Professor Henry Jones (Sean Connery), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

“The word is no. I am therefore going anyway.” – Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

“I hope they don't hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. Yes, angel, I'm gonna send you over. The chances are you'll get off with life. That means if you're a good girl, you'll be out in 20 years. I'll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I'll always remember you.” – Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart), The Maltese Falcon

“Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn't have messed with? That's me.” – Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood), Gran Torino

“Look how they massacred my boy.” – Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), The Godfather

“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.” – Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Return of the Jedi

“Boy, you better, you tell your boys they better kill me, Bert. They better go all the way with me, 'cause if they just bust me up, I'll put all those pieces back together again, then so help me ... So help me God, Bert, I'm gonna come back here and I'm gonna kill you.” – Fast Eddie Felson (Paul Newman), The Hustler

“I don't get tough with anyone, Mr. Gittes. My lawyer does.” – Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway), Chinatown

“This was the story of Howard Beale: The first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings.” – Narrator (Lee Richardson), Network

“I flipped through catalogs and wondered: What kind of dining set defines me as a person?” – The Narrator (Edward Norton), Fight Club

“Game over, man, game over!” – Private Hudson (Bill Paxton), Aliens

“Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save money nowadays.” – Harry Lime (Orson Welles), The Third Man

“Keaton always said, ‘I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him.’ Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze.” – Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), The Usual Suspects

“I've decided to become a ‘mensch.’ You know what that means? A human being.” – C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), The Apartment

“I always thought it would be better, to be a fake somebody ... than a real nobody.” Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), The Talented Mr. Ripley

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.” – Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson), Pulp Fiction

“A guy told me one time, ‘Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.’ Now, if you're on me and you gotta move when I move, how do you expect to keep a ... a marriage?” – Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), Heat

“If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.” – Bohdi (Patrick Swayze), Point Break

“Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city. I bet twenty, thirty grand over a weekend and then I'd either blow the winnings in a week or go to the sharks to pay back the bookies. Didn't matter. It didn't mean anything. When I was broke, I'd go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking. And now it's all over. And that's the hardest part. Today everything is different; there's no action ... have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food - right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody ... get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.” – Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), Goodfellas

“Your future's all used up.” – Tanya (Marlene Dietrich), Touch of Evil

Adam Spector
August 1, 2010

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