Reader Friday: Zingers Posted on April 6, 2018 by James Scott Bell Ugarte: You despise me, don’t you? Rick: If I gave you any thought I probably would. Share one of your favorite lines from book or movie.
Boss: Sorry, Luke. I’m just doing my job. You gotta appreciate that.
Luke: Nah – calling it your job don’t make it right, Boss.
(Cool Hand Luke)
I’ve always liked the oft repeated Rhett Butler line:
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
From Mad Men, and was probably a nod to Casablanca:
Michael Ginsberg: I feel bad for you.
Don Draper: I don’t think about you at all.
“I’d rather kiss a Wookie.”
Star Trek IV
Spock: (Brushing off McCoy, listening to communications from his earpiece) “Forgive me doctor, I’m receiving some distress signals.”
McCoy: “I bet you are.”
(McCoy trying unsuccessfully have some quality time with his friend Spock after the Vulcan refusion.)
Ah, it warms my heart when people refer to Casablanca. Since that movie has been referenced, I guess I’ll choose another favorite of mine:
I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Maybe more of a satiric sledgehammer than a zinger, but . . .
From Dr. Strangelove (1964):
General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war?
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No, I don’t think I do, sir, no.
General Jack D. Ripper: He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
Strangelove really holds up, doesn’t it? Of course Sellers is brilliant, as is Scott, but Hayden was also pitch perfect.
“Rock and Roll’s been going downhill ever since Buddy Holly died.”
American Graffiti (1973)
For all the geeks and nerds out there: the moment in STAR TREK when Gandalph says, “Use the Force, Harry.”*
*I stole this, but I don’t remember from whom.
When’s the last time you saw Ned Pepper?
I don’t remember any Ned Pepper.
Short feisty fella, nervous and quick, got a messed-up lower lip.
That don’t bring nobody to mind. A funny lip?
Wasn’t always like that, I shot him in it.
In the lower lip? What was you aiming at?
His upper lip.
Ned Pepper: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.
Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hands you…
(And it wasn’t an AI John Wayne, either.)
Thanks for noticing.
From Annie Hall;
Christopher Walken as Annie’s brother: Sometimes when I’m driving on the road at night, I see headlights coming toward me quickly and I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion, the sounds of shattering glass, the flames rising out of the gasoline…
Woody Allen: (Clears throat) Right. I have to go now, Duane, because I’m due back on the planet earth.
My favorite line from Annie Hall –
Don’t worry. We can walk to the curb from here.
Just saw a character in Rankin’s _Set in Darkness_ use this line. A good line is hard to keep down.
Description of Doris Mann in _Postcards form the Edge_. A long build-up, but the zinger zings.
A woman is running down the hallway, wailing, everything flying — purse, wig askew, blouse untucked, false eyelashes removed. Clearly this woman was caught mid-something for the apparent emergency. She is DORIS MANN, about 60, formerly beautiful and more than somewhat currently. She was an enormous star in the ’50s and ’60s and bears that mark. She is currently very upset, theatrically so. Cutting a wide swath as she makes her way down the hall — things dropping out of her purse, mostly makeup, a pack of cigarettes. People watch her as she moves by moving aside to avoid impact. Doris Mann is very upset. Perhaps she has lost a shoe. (http://www.vulture.com/2018/04/how-50-female-characters-were-described-in-their-screenplays.html)
from Body Hurt:
Maddie to the William Hurt character: You’re not that smart are you Ned? I like that in a man
That’s one of my favorites as well. Very character and motivation revealing!
Hannibal Lector to Clarise Starling. “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
And then at the end, as he hangs up Clarice: I’m having an old friend for dinner…
Lord Beckett To Jack Sparrow: You’re mad.
Jack: Thank goodness for that cause if I wasn’t this would probably never work.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At world’s end
May I share a zinger from a TV program instead of a book or movie? (The following may not be exactly as it happens in the program, but the zinger is pretty accurate.)
Tony DiNozzo, prepares to go out on a case because he has asked the NCIS dispatcher to call Gibbs instead of him. McGee and Ziva see him getting ready. McGee asks him if he’s going out and why.
DiNozzo: “What’s my motto probie?”
McGee: “Uh, never date a woman who eats more than you do?”
Wyatt Earp: How we feelin’ today, Doc?
Doc Holliday: I’m dying. How are you?
“I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.” — Gloria Swanson, SUNSET BOULEVARD
“If they move, kill ’em.” — William Holden, THE WILD BUNCH
“Made it, Ma. Top o’ the world!” … AND … “If that radio dies, it’ll have company.”
— James Cagney, WHITE HEAT
From Disney’s The Princess and the Frog –
There’s no way I’m kissin’ a frog and eatin’ a bug on the same day.
“What’s your name?”
“F*** you! That’s my name!”
—‘Glengarry Glen Ross’
Rose Castorini in Moonstruck:
“What you don’t know about women is a lot.”
From Community episode ‘Accounting for Lawyers’:
Jeff is ditching his new friends in the study group for an old friend from his former law practice.
Jeff: I used to run full-speed for the boundless wilderness and now I’m in the zoo where the horizon is wallpaper, the air is stale and nothing is ever at stake.
Britta: In other words, we’re not cool.
Jeff: I never say that. You may have heard it. I may have thought it. And it may be true. But I never said that.
From The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Gunslinger’s code: I do not aim with my hand. He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my hand. He who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun. He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart.
“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” Auntie Mame
In “My Favorite Year,” lady exiting a stall in the ladies bathroom sees the drunken protagonist with his back turned urinating into a sink.
Lady, astonished: “Sir! This is for ladies only!”
Protagonist, glancing over his shoulder: “So is this, Madam, but occasionally I have to run a little water through it.”
“If there’s one thing I know, it’s women and covert ops.”
“That’s two things.”
“No, Grasshopper, it isn’t.”
Jack Nicholson’s character, Melvin, in “As Good As It Gets” –
You make me want to be a better man.
Since that movie I’ve heard that line in variations quite a bit, but Jack’s character and his delivery was well done. But then Jack could say, “pass the bread”, and it would be memorable. hard to detach the line from the actor.