Lt. Emily Lake - Down Periscope Photo (36387853) - Fanpop

Lauren Holly in Down Periscope (1996)

[Lauren Holly as Lt. Emily Lake, Diving Officer aboard the diesel submarine USS Stingray, as she completes a tricky and highly dangerous manoeuvre in the 1996 comedy Down Periscope]: ‘Balls to the wall, boys!’

Twelve O'Clock High (1949) Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell, Dean Jagger Movie Review

Gregory Peck in Twelve O’clock High (1949)

[Gregory Peck as General Savage in Twelve O’clock High (1949), delivering his opening address to the 918th Bomber Group as he takes command]: ‘I’ve been sent here to take over what has come to be known as a ‘hard luck’ group. Well, I don’t believe in hard luck. So we’re going to find out what the trouble is. Maybe part of it is your flying, so we’re going back to fundamentals. But I can tell you now one reason I think you’ve been having hard luck. I saw it in your faces last night. I can see it there now. You’ve been looking at a lot of air lately…and you think you ought to have a rest. In short, you’re sorry for yourselves. I don’t have a lot of patience with this, ‘What are we fighting for?’ stuff. We’re in a war, a shooting war. We’ve got to fight. And some of us have got to die. I’m not trying to tell you not to be afraid. Fear is normal. But stop worrying about it, and about yourselves. Stop making plans. Forget about going home. Consider yourselves already dead. Once you accept that idea, it won’t be so tough. Now if any man here can’t buy that…if he rates himself as something special, with a special kind of hide to be saved…he’d better make up his mind about it right now. Because I don’t want him in this group. I’ll be in my office in five minutes. You can see me there.’

Scones and Crackers: Let's talk about: An Ideal Husband

Julianne Moore in An Ideal Husband (1999)

[Julianne Moore as Mrs. Cheveley in An Ideal Husband (1999)]: ‘Wonderful woman, Lady Markby, isn’t she? Talks more and says less than anybody I ever met.’

Eli Wallach as Calvera in The Magnificent Seven | monologuedb

Eli Wallach in The Magnificent Seven (1960)

[Eli Wallach as the bandit leader Calvera in The Magnificent Seven (1960), as he prepares to rob the villagers of all they own]: ‘If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.’

A Fish Called Wanda' turns 30: an oral history of a comedy classic | Movie News | SBS Movies

Jamie Lee Curtis in A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

[Jamie Lee Curtis as Wanda in A Fish Called Wanda (1988), speaking to her brainless brother Otto]: ‘Aristotle was not Belgian! The principle of Buddhism is not ‘every man for himself’, and the London Underground is not a political movement! Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up.’

Live from Baghdad (TV Movie 2002) - IMDb

Helena Bonham Carter & Michael Keaton in Live from Baghdad (2002)

[Hamish Linklater as Richard Roth and Michael Keaton as Robert Weiner meeting each other for the first time in Live from Baghdad (2002)]:

ROTH: ‘Hi, Richard Roth. Don’t call me ‘Dick.

WIENER: ‘Robert Weiner. Don’t call me ‘Dick’ either.’

Back To The Future': Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox reunite at charity event

Christopher Lloyd & Michael J Fox in Back to the Future (1985)

[Conversation between Christopher Lloyd as Dr Emmett Brown and Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in Back to the Future (1985)]:

DR BROWN: ‘Then tell me, future boy, who’s President of the United States in 1985?’

MCFLY: ‘Ronald Reagan.’

DR BROWN: ‘Ronald Reagan? The actor? Then who’s Vice-President? Jerry Lewis?’

19 Actors Who Ruined An Otherwise Perfectly Good Movie

Nicolas Cage in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)

[Nicolas Cage as Captain Antonio Corelli in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), reading aloud a letter from the mayor of the Greek town about to be occupied by Italian forces during World War Two]: ‘We refuse to surrender to a nation that we have defeated in Albania, and we reserve the right to surrender to a German officer of significant rank. So fuck off!’

THE GREAT ESCAPE' (1963) ⋆ Historian Alan Royle

James Donald in The Great Escape (1963)

[In The Great Escape (1963), Kommandant Von Luger (Hannes Messemer) informs Senior British Officer Ramsey (James Donald) of the outcome regarding the escape from Stalag Luft III in Poland]:

VON LUGER: ‘Eleven of your men are being returned today.’

RAMSEY: ‘Oh? Who?’

VON LUGER: ‘I do not have that information. I…I am directed by higher authority to inform you that…fifty of your officers were shot while escaping.’

RAMSEY: ‘Shot?’

VON LUGER: ‘Their…their personal effects will be returned.’

RAMSEY: ‘How many of them were wounded?’

VON LUGER: ‘Here are the names…of the dead.’

RAMSEY: ‘How many of the fifty were wounded?’

VON LUGER: ‘None. The…the higher authority only directs me to inform you that fifty men were…’

RAMSEY: ‘I see.’

Stories from the Set: Some Like It Hot - One Room With A View

Tony Curtis & Jack Lemmon admiring Marilyn as she walks by in Some Like it Hot (1959)

[Jerry/Daphne (Jack Lemmon) and Joe/Josephine (Tony Curtis), impersonating female musicians, observe Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) as she sashays by in Some like it Hot (1959)]:

JERRY/DAPHNE: ‘Will you look at that! Look how she moves! It’s like Jell-O on springs. Must have some sort of built-in motor or something. I tell you, it’s a whole different sex!’

A Few Good Men | NZ Film Freak

Kiefer Sutherland in A Few Good Men (1992)

[A brief exchange between Navy Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) and Marine 2nd Lt. Jonathan Kendrick (Kiefer Sutherland) in A Few Good Men (1992)]:

KAFFEE: ‘Lt. Kendrick…can I call you John?’

KENDRICK: ‘No, you may not.’

KAFFEE: ‘Have I done something to offend you?’

KENDRICK: ‘No, I like you Navy boys. Every time we’ve gotta go someplace to fight, you fellas always give us a ride.’


[In the same film, the response from Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) to Kaffee’s casual and disrespectful request for documents during lunch in Cuba]:

JESSUP: ‘You see, Danny, I can deal with the bullets, and the bombs, and the blood. I don’t want money, and I don’t want medals. What I do want is for you to stand there in that faggoty white uniform, and with your Harvard mouth extend me some fucking courtesy! You gotta ask me nicely.’

Peter O'Toole

Peter O’Toole & Richard Burton in Becket (1964)

[An exchange between Thomas Becket (Richard Burton) and King Henry II (Peter O’Toole) in the 1964 historical drama Becket]:

BECKET: ‘Tonight you can do me the honour of christening my forks.’

HENRY: ‘Forks?’

BECKET: ‘Yes, from Florence. New little invention. It’s for pronging meat and carrying it to the mouth. It saves you dirtying your fingers.’

HENRY: ‘But then you dirty the fork.’

BECKET: ‘Yes, but it’s washable.’

HENRY: ‘So are your fingers. I don’t see the point.’


[Becket, now the Archbishop of Canterbury, responds to Baron Morville who calls him a liar and a traitor, then draws his sword upon Becket.]:

BECKET: ‘Sheathe your sword, Morville, before you impale your soul upon it!’


BECKET: ‘England is a ship. The King is captain of the ship.’

HENRY: ‘That’s neat. I like that!’


HENRY: ‘Am I the strongest or am I not?’

BECKET: ‘You are today, but one must never drive one’s enemy to despair; it makes him strong. Gentleness is better politics; it saps virility. A good occupational force must never crush. It must corrupt.’


    • My favorite aspect of movies, Cat, has always been clever, snappy dialogue. And you find most of it in OLD movies. These days the onus is on action and special effects, unfortunately. Very boring.

  1. I watched “Twelve O’Clock High” recently on TCM. Good stuff. G.P. had a lot of speaking to do. He’s irritating for most of the movie but pulls it off (shows his humanity) in the end.
    Supporting cast is outstanding. A great war movie.

    A lot of fun dialogue, Alan. Thanks for your good selections.

    So many interesting quotes. I enjoy the rather modernized bro-talk between Henry and Becket.

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