We’ve chosen a simple topic for this week’s Roundtable, but it should be a fun one. Let’s rattle off some of our all-time favorite pieces of movie dialogue. There’s so much to choose from!
Long-time readers of this blog may expect me to pick a quote from ‘Dune’. Indeed, I’ve seen that movie so many times that I can recite most of its dialogue from memory. However, that’s not where I’m going this time. In fact, my very favorite piece of movie dialogue is this exchange from ‘Broadcast News‘, in which Holly Hunter’s journalist character Jane is scolded by her producer Paul:
Paul: “It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you’re the smartest person in the room.”
Jane: “No. It’s awful.”
She doesn’t say this sarcastically. The weariness in her response conveys volumes about the character’s drive for perfection and the toll this has taken on her personal relationships. It’s a simple but perfect little moment, and that dialogue has stuck with me for years.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
The movie I quote more than any other is ‘Jaws‘. It doesn’t exactly hurt that I have something like half the movie completely committed to memory. For whatever reason, my favorite exchange from the entire film comes courtesy of Larry Vaughn:
“Martin, it’s all psychological. You yell ‘Barracuda!’ and everybody says ‘Huh? What?’ You yell ‘Shark!’ and we’ve got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.”
I wish I had some amazing explanation about why I love that line so much, to the point where my fake band name for years was going to be Panic on the Fourth of July, but I don’t. Sorry.
No one quite does inspiration like Tyler Durden.
“Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”
“We are all part of the same compost heap.”
“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”
“Fuck what you know. You need to forget about what you know, that’s your problem.”
“You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you, never wanted you, and in all probability, he HATES you.”
– ‘Fight Club‘
My pick also comes from ‘Fight Club’:
“Marla – the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would heal
if only you could stop tonguing it, but you can’t.”
“We’re doomed, I’m afraid. If I had an anus, I’d probably soil myself.”
– Captain Macanudo, ‘Space Truckers‘
Chris Boylan (Big Picture Big Sound)
Here are a couple that stick in my mind:
Carl Spackler: “What’s your address over there? You’re over on Briar, right?”
Ty Webb: “Yeah, Briar. Uhuh… 2.”
Carl Spackler: “You got a pool over there?”
Ty Webb: “We have a pond in the back. We have a pool, and a pond. A pond is good for you.”
And on the other end of the spectrum:
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain… Time to die.”
– Roy Batty, ‘Blade Runner‘
M. Enois Duarte
Out of so many favorite movie lines, I’m choosing the one which continues to make me laugh. It comes from Richard Kelly’s ‘Donnie Darko‘. The reason for this is mostly due to the delivery by Beth Grant. It’s simply terrific!
Principal: “So, let’s go over this again. What exactly did you say to Ms. Farmer?”
Kitty Farmer: “I’ll tell you what he said! He asked me to forcibly insert the lifeline exercise card into my anus!”
I find antisocial behavior hilarious. It’s why my favorite recurring character is a total grump. But I especially enjoy it when characters who are perceived as being saccharine sweet act like total jerks. Case in point: George Bailey could make some really biting comments, like the scene in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life‘ when he goes to see Mary Hatch just before a call with Sam “Hee-Haw” Wainwright leads to a life-changing kiss. Struggling to make conversation, the only thing George can do is utter a matter-of-fact observation about the post-Christmas smell of the Hatch home. It’s so ridiculously grouchy that I find it hilarious:
George: “Well… I see it still smells like pine needles in here.”
Mary: “Thank you.”
All great choices. (Though, if we’re talking Kitty Farmer in ‘Donnie Darko’, I think I’m most fond of: “Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!” That line and her delivery send me into convulsive fits of laughter every time.)
Now it’s your turn to tell us your favorite lines of movie dialogue. If this doesn’t turn out to be our most-commented Roundtable yet, I’m going to be sorely disappointed.