Verbals

Some kind of Kabalistic entity barfs up half an intertitle in THE GOLEM.

Of course, Fiona and I quote movies a good deal, around the house. As we’ve been together awhile, we’ve kind of built up our own language of references that other people might not always get. I don’t mean stuff like Robert Stephens in THE ASPHYX crying “Was the smudge trying to warn Clive of danger?” I mean, everybody uses that one. Here’s a brief phrasebook of common sayings used around the Shadowplayhouse, some of which you might want to adopt for your own use. Please volunteer your own favourite samples.

“…because fun that’s got that way never did nobody no good.” Wallace Ford in FREAKS (suck that gut in, Wallace).

“…he’s got a genuine taste for it.” Jodie Foster in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.

“At’s-a-n0-good.” Chico Marx in anything.

“‘At’s-a-matta-for-you?” Chico Marx in anything.

“Who the hell are you?” Used alongside or separately from the following line, ” One bastard goes in, another comes out.” From THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY, in a scene where Eli Wallach is ranting off-camera, and I’m positive he just improvised along with the image while dubbing his role.

“Attractive brute!” Female onlooker in THE RED SHOES.

“What an attractive man.” I think this was Mystery Science Theater originally. Always used ironically, and particularly to welcome Timothy Carey into a scene. From the same show’s take-down of GORGO, we find “Will you die?” quite handy sometimes, and “He died gargling,” works whenever there’s a corpse or skeleton with gaping jaws. “We’re closed,” works whenever an animal roars at the camera.

“She is elderly, and she uses her wrist a lot.” ZELIG. You’d be surprised how often this one can fit neatly into a conversation.* I also use the latter part of this vox pop from the same film. Crazy old man: “I wish I was Leonard Zelig, the human chameleon, and who knows, maybe some day my dream will come true.”

“Heat! Sudden intense heat!” This is a misquote of an intertitle in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

“He ain’t pretty no more.” RAGING BULL, natch. Also, from the same movie: “Quit eatin’, ya fat bastard.” I swear we don’t just use this to abuse chunky characters, it has a far more specific use…

“Indie, why does the floor move?” RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Useful after a few drinks.

“He is in the belly of that steel beast!” INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. Not really useful at all, except when somebody asks you where somebody else is, and you don’t know.

“Stupid stupid stupid!” PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, a very quotable movie.

“People. All of them going somewhere.” GLEN OR GLENDA. Often used as commentary on boring montage scenes. Also, inevitably: “Pull the string!” although that one’s more ED WOOD.

“Send in that floating fat man, the Baron.” DUNE.

“What about me?” Last line of FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE, now sadly deleted. Always cracked me up.

“He said the title!” declared whenever a character in a film includes the title in a line. This comes from an interview from Empire magazine, I think, when Nick Cassavetes describes his reaction to Nic Cage slipping the title of FACE/OFF into an improv. “He said the title! I’m gonna say the title!”

“I don’t like it when you and mommy fight.” Whiny Sean Stone (director’s son) in tiresome family scene in JFK. The whiniest line reading since Mark Hammill’s first bit in STAR WARS.

“Some bath essence. A new spear.” Zero Mostel in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. This one is really unexplainable, but comes in handy when listing possible gifts at Christmastime.

“It’s almost hot.” Deborah Kerr in THE INNOCENTS. This is a kind of funny way of describing the weather. Once you zero in on it, it’s the funniest line in the film.

“My, it’s a big one, isn’t it?” Andy Robinson admires Clint’s Magnum in DIRTY HARRY. Many uses.

“Macabre, isn’t it?” and “…no strangers to confusion.” SHOCK TREATMENT, the inferior sequel to THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.

“Can’t you guess?” Carl Boehm in PEEPING TOM.

“That seems to surprise you…” THE TRIAL. The most dreamlike line reading of all time.

“What time is it, Eccles?” From radio’s The Goon Show.

“Who-hell-he?” Fiona likes this one from TV’s Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out.. 

“Some kind of dog.” Michael Hordern in the 60s TV version of Whistle and I’ll Come to You. Very handy during RW Paul movies.

“Don’t point that beard at me, it might go off.” Groucho to Sig Rumann in A DAY AT THE RACES, said whenever Sig or anybody with a pointy beard shows up in a film. Said with a special air of triumph when Sig shows up WITH a pointy beard.

“Mogambo khush hua,” is said a lot by Amrish Puri in Bollywood spectacular MR INDIA (by the future director of ELIZABETH). Works for smug villains. Don’t know what it means.

“This is terrible.” Dudley Moore, made up as a Thunderbirds puppet, in Not Only, But Also.

“Look at that: scarcely human.” Peter Sellers, in THE WRONG BOX.

“I thought she was a sandwich, until she went spare on me hand.” Ringo in HELP! Very useful given our Siamese cat Tasha’s aggressive tendencies, and close resemblance to a sandwich. While on the subject of bread ~

“Whyncha eat yer bun?” from Arnold Moss in REIGN OF TERROR has become a recent hit, as is Robespierre’s “Don’t call me Max!” which I know Some Came Running‘s Glenn Kenny enjoys too.

Richard Lester’s films are such favourites I can quote whole screeds from memory, and don’t need any excuse to do so. THE KNACK is one of the most quotable, even if a lot is sheer gibberish: “Kip, milk and biscuits: is it any wonder they’re screaming out for roughage?” “At every turn: how?” “She’ll regret she didn’t wear a safety device.” “A lilt of Irish laughter.” HOW I WON THE WAR has amazing monologues from Michael Hordern: “India is a hot, strange country, full of wily Pathans and up to wily things, which is why I always wear spurs, even in warm weather. When in India, my advice to you, is to always keep your rifle strapped to a suitable portion of your anatomy, a leg is good. Otherwise, your wily Pathan will strip himself naked, oil himself up, slippery as an eel, and make off with your rifle, which is a crime.” Was surprised to find that this vintage Charles Wood nonsense was actually lifted verbatim from the source novel by Patrick Ryan.

“He wants to do it on his own!” from YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, an absurdly quotable picture.

“Who on earth could that be?” Patrick Magee (twice) in CLOCKWORK ORANGE.

“A passport to Hell is not issued on generalities.” Laird Cregar in HEAVEN CAN WAIT, a line I’ve actually elevated to the status of an artistic principle.

Preston Sturges provides enough ammunition in his wondrously verbose screenplays to allow any couple to communicate freely for a lifetime without having to come up with a single original line of their own. From UNFAITHFULLY YOURS, this bit of Rudy Vallee will have to stand in for the rest: “If it’s not one part of her that’s ailing it’s another, and she seems to have so many parts — for a woman her age, I mean.” Even though Rudy’s character is a nitwit, his motto, “If you want anything done, always ask the busy man, the others never have time,” strikes me as a good one. I always take the view that the more work I take on, the more I’ll accomplish, and perhaps fortunately I’ve never been popular enough with employers to test this hypothesis to destruction.

“You’re not thinking about atomic energy. You’re thinking about a brick wall.” VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. Don’t ask me how, but I work this one into the conversation fairly often. I don’t always “do the voices” when I quote a film, but to pull this one of you do need to take a stab at little Martin Stephens’ plummy, flutey tones.

Needless to say, since Fiona and I have been together seventeen years, there are many more… Do you, dear Shadowplayers, have some favourite domestic quotes of your own?

*Answer: never.

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83 Responses to “Verbals”

  1. Chico must get a lot of play – in our house the line is usually “Ats’a good-a one, Boss.”

  2. La Faustin Says:

    ALL ABOUT EVE, obviously, but I don’t think the obvious lines:

    “Well I can’t say ‘Oh butler,’ somebody’s name might be Butler.” (Miss Caswell explaining why she summoned Jeeves with “Oh waiter”)

    “And why not?” (Addison De Witt’s indulgent response to “I call myself Phoebe”).

  3. “And why not?” is also the catchphrase of Scots comedian Arnold Brown, so that’s a good one, boss.

  4. “Multi-pass!” – from THE FIFTH ELEMENT, whenever Laura and I drive through an EZPass lane on the highway….. well not EVERY time, maybe once per outing

    I also look for opportunities to employ the jovial “You are FIRED!” from the same.

    Read somewhere that whenever Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg see a film together, they stand and applaud when a character says the title.

    I’m sure I have more. Wonderful idea for a blog post!

  5. David Boxwell Says:

    “I’ll give you a basketful of hugs.” Said either cooingly and cloyingly, like the well-behaved Rhoda, or menacingly, like the bad Rhoda. Depends on the situation.

    Also variations on: “You wouldn’t be able to do these awful things to me if I weren’t still in this chair.” WHTBJ? is the urtext of this domestic arrangement, in fact . . .

  6. Beautiful! More!

    Cheering when the title is spoken is fine most of the tim, but could get tiresome during Barton Fink. I like the boring redundancy of “He said the title!” Another good one: “He said the title… of a different film!”

  7. Sturges is indeed a Goldmine.

    “I’ve been English before” — The Lady Eve

    “There’s nothing like a deep-dish movie to drive you out into the open.” — Sullivan’s Travels

    “Alone? Well the gentleman she was with only tipped me a dime. She’s alone but she don’t know it!”– The Palm Beach Story

    But my fave is from a Japanese hooror movie whose title escapes em at the moment:

    “I just can’t get that monster out of my mind.”

  8. I’ve recently used “I’m not smart anymore” from Out Of The Past, and Groucho’s “I withdraw the question. It isn’t safe to ask this guy a serious question”. Oh, and, “wouldn’t that frost your grandmother’s cake” from Girl Missing. My problem is even if they’re favorites, i tend to use quotes like paper towels, once. Since most of my friends aren’t film people, the lines I use are generally simpler and slipped into banal conversations. Only once have I ever been asked “where’d you get that?”

  9. Anohter favorite exchange. This one form The Quiller Memorandum (Harold Pinter)

    George Segal: And then they told me they were going to kill me.

    Alec Guiness: Oh. And did they succeed?

  10. Presently I am helping out on the set of Dan Sallitt’s newest film, and as we are both Hawksians….

    “I have no memory of ever being bit by any kind of bee.”

    “Just enough to fill a hen’s ear.”

    “And I don’t like you, Burdette, because you set it up.”

    “Stumpy, you’re a treasure.”

    “What are you trying to do, guess her weight?”

    And, in honor of James Arness’s recent passing:

    “An intellectual carrot! The mind boggles.”

  11. May favorite Groucho line (from Monkey Buiness I think) to Thelma Todd: “Come –we’ll lodge with my fleas in the hills!”

  12. Fiona W Says:

    You’ve forgotten, “Why you do this to me Dimmy?” (The Exorcist) whenever one of us does something to annoy/upset the other.

  13. Fiona W Says:

    Oh, and “I don’ mind!” from The Man With Two Brains as a standard reply to a question.

  14. I thought of using the Groucho’s “pardon me while I have a Strange Interlude” when I excuse myself at a gathering. Haven’t yet.

  15. Fiona W Says:

    We like that one too. You should try it and see how many people get it.

  16. La Faustin Says:

    If Ernest Thesiger originated it, can it count as a movie phrase? Around my house we seem to have more and more use for: “My dear the noise. And the people!”

  17. Okay, I’ll use it, but I so wanted to become agoraphobic. (Yes, I used that at a really bad party, and no, I don’t think it’s from a film).

  18. Anything from Thesiger counts, cf his remarks on getting stuck in the doors of a public omnibus: “Stop, stop, you are killing a genius!”

    An un-PC Hawks line I always like is Cary Grant’s line about it being necessary to have “at least one face around here a man can look at without shuddering!”

  19. Its almost hot should be printed on tshirts and handed out to the entire scottish populace – v useful phrase

    I’m just going up to get a cookoo clock from the attic?

    and my friend Becky is always using ‘Run run like the wind’ where does that come from?

  20. “I dance like the wind” is from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

  21. THE great Thesiger line is “Gin. It’s my only weakness.”

  22. Fiona W Says:

    I often use “Violence! Violence!” whilst clapping my hands like Sandy Dennis in WAOVW whenever something agressive happens onscreen.

  23. Just to point out the obvious… and ubiquitous; “What a dump” and “It’s going to be a bumpy night”. Most people say”bumpy ride”.

    My signif other uses “pull the string” quite commonly, but coming from the Ed Wood film. Another one from that, that we’d like to put to use is Bill Murray’s line as he’s getting baptized “Sure”, but its a line that’s all in the delivery.

  24. Back to THE PALM BEACH STORY, I often rely on “Grittinks!” as a standard salutation.

  25. judydean Says:

    We, too, use the Dudley Moore line “This is Terrible”. I hope you always make the appropriate puppet arm movements as we do.

    From The Goon Show: “Slow down, Henry! We’re doing 5mph” when following an irritatingly slow driver.

    From Mean Streets “I hate that feast with a passion!” (useful at Xmas)

    From Young Frankenstein “Yes, He was my BOYFRIEND!”

    My partner’s an archaeologist and Eddie Izzard provides us with “And this is where Tutankhamun played the banjo”. Also “We have uncovered a series of small walls” comes in handy quite often.

    From Paul Temple (ancient radio serial) “Look out, Steve! He’s got a gun.”

    “And so, El Cid rode out of the gates of history and into legend.” Useful when other half gets his bike out.

    And, predictably, I am often addressed as “Judy, Judy, Judy” even though CG never said it.

  26. Jenny Eardley Says:

    “YOUR FACE…is just dandy” James Mason in A Star is Born.

    My brother and I do a lot from Romancing the Stone, particularly “Get away from that door!” (an unfortunate man trying to protect Joan Wilder’s flat) and “El tenedor del diablo. The Devil’s Fork” (with lots of emphasis on the last three words.)

    “I like people who do things” Robert Walker in Strangers on a train.

    My brother comes out with a lot of strange noises from Star Wars films but I mainly use “My hands are dirty” if they are.

  27. Christopher Says:

    “rest your head on the one cool thing in this blasted inferno”..Ralph Richardson putting the gun to his head after no food and intense heat begins to get the better of him in The Four Feathers-’39
    “work!Finish!…THEN sleep!-Karloff in Bride of Frankenstein..and also..”MUST DO IT!..rrRRrrrrRrrgrumble grumble”
    “hu uuuh,not me brother!..I don’t wants no wild mans nibblin’ on me”-Stymie in Kid From Borneo(little rascals)

  28. Oh, excellent!

    Karloff’s monster is the ultimate critic. I should just review movies in his inimitable fashion, I might get hired by a tabloid.

    I find the most useful line in Mean Streets is “Fucking politician.”

  29. Bedazzled is full of good stuff. “A night on the town with Alfred Hitchcock” cracks me up.

  30. Val Lewton?

    “I’m Mimi. I’m dying.”

  31. If I had my druthers, I’d commit to memory every lovely, bizarre SONG in Lewton’s films (usually one per) and sing them around the house.

    My favorite is the calypso street singer/strummer who menaces James Ellison and Frances Dee with his cheerful tune and sloooooow approach to their table, in I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE.

  32. Someone just mentioned a gem from De Palma’s SCARFACE, otherwise a dire film: “I gotta get organized!” Spoken by Pacino after mashing his face into a mountain of cocaine.

  33. Incredible! Only yesterday I was explaining to my wife why I was saying “And why not.” to her.

    We also use:

    “Mostly…” in a kiddie Texan accent from “they mostly come out at night. Mostly” in Aliens.

    “You would not BELIEVE…” and many many others from Vic Reeves (although I get very puzzled looks using the “They’re not your mangoes, Les, they’re the Lord Mayor’s!”)

    “It rubs the lotion…”, “Yes she was a big girl, Sir.” and “I’ll help you catch him, Clarice.” from Silence of the Lambs

    “Mm, good.” for approval of something and a generic “Nnnn” with hand waving to indicate displeasure. From Karloff’s monster
    And a Colin Clive “It’s ALIVE!”

    a misquoted “I’m going to kiss you with every lip on my face” Steve Martin Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid

    “GET IN THE BACK OF THE VAN!” copper in Withnail & I

    “Stop bustin’ my balls, huh” from every Scorsese/Pesci film

    Danny Baker would applaud in the cinema whenever the film title was said by an actor with extra applause when it was isolated by a pause either side of the dialogue. I particularly liked James Cromwell”s “..on some kind of Star. Trek.” from First Contact.

    Our private secret language is Buffy quotes (“beer bad”). There I’ve said it.

  34. I can’t use films later than the ’60s, otherwise it makes me seem like I was trying to be hip and failing when I have. I have used Brewster McCloud’s “I forgot the opening line”. I thought it was obscure enough.

  35. Christopher Says:

    “excuse me sir,theres breathing in my barn”-farmer in The Invisible Man 1933.
    “Leave that alooone and GET OUT of here!”Claude Rains The Invisible Man..
    Don’t look now,but I’m still here-roz russell,I think…
    “you sure look better than you did when you were at the bottom of that grave”-gary busey to willie nelson in Barbarosa…something I say to myself when I get to pulling myself together after an allnighter.

  36. “Because I’m all the baby he wants!” — Joan Crawford in The Women

  37. “… if you can call that living.”

  38. “Get out of here and take this cake with you.” (we tend to replace “cake” with “ape”, but anyway…)

  39. “Maybe it’s better not to know.” Peggy (and then Dana) at the end of NIGHT OF THE DEMON.

  40. “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.” SORCERER and RAGING BULL.

  41. I remember lines when the kids were young. “Colonel Green says there’s always one more thing to do” from Kwai was a way of reminding kids to take out the trash. “Puurfect, Ginko, Purrrfect!” from Diabolik was self congratulatory praise. Whenever I’d say, deeply, “Shut up mouse” from Explorers, the kids would squeak back, “Go to Hell”. Nothing overly brilliant, but unforgettable — and a code language still understood now that they’re adults.

  42. A woman that I knew, whose marriage was going down the tubes, would watch her soon to be ex husband shave; and she would say, “It puts the lotion on its face”. A slight adaptation of the line, but I’m sure it got the idea across.

  43. Randy Cook Says:

    “Oh, and I thought things were going SO nicely”
    —Ann Darrow in KING KONG, suitable for too many occasions to mention.

  44. I put on RIO BRAVO on Netflix Instant as a lark – I must’ve seen it 6-7 times by now – and I have to say, there’s a quotable line just about every 10 seconds, at the very least. And by “quotable” I mean this thread’s raison d’etre: lines from movies we can use around the homestead.

    “Is that the way you want it, Mr. Wheeler?”

    I’d go on but I’d be here all night. What a film.

  45. Wayne’s “Aw I ain’t gonna hurt him!” cracks me up.

    Kate Bush used “It’s in the trees! It’s coming!” from Night of the Demon in her Hounds of Love, which always makes it stand out (although she couldn’t get a clean sample of it so she recreated it with another actor, depriving Maurice Denham of his chance at chart success).

    “It’s a bright, guilty world!” from Lady from Shanghai (stage Oirish accent a must) is another good one for a sunny day.

  46. Carol O'Sullivan Says:

    Apart from the usual bromide (Buffy, and ‘It’s alive!’), my brother and I mostly mine the eighties for catchphrases. ‘It’s not that I can’t help these people – I just don’t want to’, ‘Oh yes – Thailand’ (or indeed anywhere else) and ‘So what was time again?’ from Tom Hanks in Volunteers. In class I have sometimes, in moments of absent-mindedness, found myself intoning ‘Bueller…. anyone?…. Bueller?’

  47. I have a deep fondness for Mad Love, the Peter Lorre Guignol horror. And so, in my best Peter Lorre accent: “I, a poor peasant, have conquered science! Why can’t I conquer love?!”

    Also: “More practise! That’s what I need: more practise!” But that line’s only funny because of Colin Clive’s impeccably neurotic delivery.

  48. Alex Cox likes Mad Lopve too — in the making-of doc on Sid and Nancy, he intones, “I, a humble cardboard scouser from the Wirral, have conquered cinema — why can’t I conquer love?”

    Ferris Bueller is very quotable. I just heard Ferris’s intro to his parade song used by the Kleptones as part of one of their audio mash-ups (mixing Queen and the Beastie Boys).

  49. Christopher Says:

    “Danny!..thank heaven you’ve arrived!..lets go seek safety in battle..”
    is one of my faves from michael cain in The Man Who Would Be King

  50. “They mostly come out at night. Mostly” from Aliens was memorably parodied in South Park.

    I watch too many movies and have too bad a memory for quotes to last very long. Usually latch on to whatever we heard in a trailer lately. This month it’s been “Father. Mother. Always you wrestle inside me.” from The Tree of Life. When I can’t decide where to eat, for instance, “Taco joint. Thai place. Always you wrestle inside me.” Whispered, of course.

  51. I would love to know the source of “Well hello there little fella!”
    In the meantime – for some reason – there’s “ERE I AM JH” from Brazil.
    “Oh, that’s where that goes!” from The Jerk.
    “Andre Gregory! But How?!” from MSN3K’s Secret Agent Super Dragon. (Also, a recurrent MSN3K phrase: “… won’t you?”)
    “Let the boy try!” from Excalibur.
    “Pearls are white!” from Bullets Over Broadway.
    “It would get a terrific laugh” from To Be or Not To Be.
    Most recently “Am I a request?” which is a wrongly autocorrected version of the line from Thirst: “Am I a pervert?”
    And, since we’re doing telly, finding totally inappropriate uses for “I’m a big fan of your work, especially the early, funny stuff” from Gilbert’s Fridge.
    Oh and I remember that Nick Cassavetes interview being in Neon. An oddly memorable magazine.

  52. I think the Gilbert’s Fridge line must be nicked from Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5V9_EVd67Q (3.30)

    Those are all really good ones. This thread should run and run.

    The problem with the Tree of Life trailer is it’s all epic shots and portentious soundbites — in other words, it makes it look like every other studio film. I imagine the film itself plays at least a bit differently.

  53. And there’s more….

    “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dave” – Hal 9000 of course, in response to any request I’d rather not do.

    “Cleaning Woman?!” – Steve Martin, DMDWP

    “Your Pyjamas, Sir” (to my 7 year old at bedtime) also from DMDWP

    “Scrubbers!” – Withnail & I, from the car to any friends we see passing

    “Careful, man there’s a beverage here” (usually when my 7 year old rushes past)- the Dude

    “It certainly is, Ollie” and “Boiled eggs and nuts. Hmm Mmm.” Laurel & Hardy, again to the boy. He’s used to a world where Dad says strange things.

    and finally, “You maniacs. God damn you all to hell.” (in many moments from everyday life) Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes

  54. Jenny Eardley Says:

    How could I forget: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” from Network. Every single day.

  55. Ah, I also use “Your pyj-yamas” from DMDWP.
    The trick with Gilbert’s appropriation is to use it about anything other than Woody Allen. It may well be my favourite joke.
    And I’m guessing “Well hello there, little fella!” is from a Disney. Maybe even Mickey Mouse.
    While I’m here, I cannot shake “I’d rather eat one than be one!” from an eighties Frosties commercial.

  56. We use “We’ve gone on holiday by mistake” from Withnail & I whenever something goes wrong on a trip (missed train, sunburn, etc.), and there is amazing number of things you can refer to as a “Camberwell Carrot.”

    My brothers and I still use the line “Tonight. While you sleep. Pal.” from The Wonder Years whenever one of us causes grief for the other. We also use the line “Chips don’t bounce” from the Roddy Doyle-scripted series “Family.” That’s an amazingly versatile one, often best deployed as a non sequitur.

  57. Of the more traditional ones, Brando’s “The horror!” is of course very useful. And Michael Gothard’s “Repent! Repent! You have only a moment to live!” in The Devils is a good way to win an argument.

  58. Jenny J Says:

    Mine and Ruby’s current favourite is “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” from the Wizard of Oz, used in times of excitement. It’s funny hearing a three year old say it.

  59. @ David As for “Just can’t get that monster …” Didion quotes that in SLOUCHING TOWARD BETHLEHEM, and I *believe* she attributes it to COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK.

    > “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” The funny thing is that I *do* use this one, only I attribute it to Barbara Bel Geddes in VERTIGO. Namely, the scene where she throws her paint brush at her reflection in the window

  60. From a Richard Lester film: “Oo-la-lah, lucky you!” (clueless passerby to Julie Christie in PETULIA).

  61. “The power of Christ compells you!” from The Exorcist is always a good one, especially if there’s a group of you trying to convince someone to do something…

  62. “You’re gonna see some serious shit” from Back to the Future gets used a lot as a kind of verbal drumroll. Usually for the unveiling of things considerably less exciting than a DeLorean time machine.

    And of the very traditional ones, “we’re gonna need a bigger [fill in blank]” is most useful, especially since I have a history of underestimating things when I cook.

  63. Just remembered:

    “… mort… mort… mort… mort… mort…” – Malkovich in TIME REGAINED (starts at 1:37:05).

  64. “You a mess honey”.

    “You need to lay off the candy bars”.

    “I wish I was getting fat off your chili”.

  65. Lately I’ve been making great use of a Peter O’Toole line from the 2006 movie Venus. O’Toole’s character has been cutting the toenails of his equally aged friend, and one flies across the carpet and disappears, much to the consternation of his friend. Crawling across the carpet, O’Toole discovers the wayward paring and cries, exultantly, “There’s the little fucker now!”

    Like so many of the ones other people have contributed, it’s surprising how often this line can be of use.

  66. Jenny: excellent taste! Get ’em while they’re young.

    Levi: always fun hearing grand old men of the theatre swear.

    Guy: also “Your future’s all used up.”

    Chris and David E: ironic if David has been quoting Mala Powers without realizing it!

    My next favourite Exorcist line isn’t so easy to work into conversations…

  67. “Your mother sucks cocks in hell”? That was one of my favourites while in college.

    These days it runs more to “Don’t you ever leave off?” from the same wonderful scene in Bedazzled that David E quoted above.

    Occasionally I find the desire to quote James Finlayson’s epochal “So help me Bob!” or the heartrending Stan line “Poor li’l Laughing Gravy…” from the eponymous two-reeler.

    From Sturges, it’s often fun when faced with your other half in an unfamiliar get-up to narrow your eyes and rasp “Definitely the same dame!”

  68. I was thinking more “You know what she did, your cunting daughter?”

    My Stan Laurel line of choice is from Oliver the Eighth: “Well, I was dreamin’ I was awake, and then all of a sudden I woke up and found meself asleep…”

    POSITIVELY the same dame!

  69. “Get your ass to Mars!”

  70. Ah, Total Recall, most quotable of Arnie flicks. While others make do with Terminator II, I relish “Dis is de best mind-fock yet.”

    Verhoeven also gave us “I’ll buy that for a dollar,” “Stay out of trouble,” and “Nice shootin’, son! What’s your name?”

  71. “Go away or I’ll kill you” thrown away, as per Never Give a Sucker An Even Break.

  72. Jenny Eardley Says:

    I know Richard Herring is very fond of Arnie’s line reading of: “Ha ha ha, you think this is the real Quaid…?
    …it is!”

  73. I can just hear him saying that… actually, that brief bit where he plays the real Quaid as an arrogant arse is unusually convincing for the man I can’t believe we’re not already calling The Sperminator.

  74. “POSITIVELY”? That’ll teach me to try to do two things at once, both of them badly…

  75. “Positively” is such a great old American usage, as in the character in The Crowd who ignores any prohibitory sign that doesn’t say “Positively”.

  76. Weird, I have “ERE I AM, JH” from Brazil popping into my head all the time, followed of course by “the ghost in the machine”. As I work on computer software, it comes to mind when I track down a problem of some sort – though I don’t say it out loud, because I talk to myself enough already.

    Favorite Sturges is from Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, when overwhelmed… “THE SPOTS!!”

  77. Other good computer lines:
    “My mind is going.” HAL 9000, who is eminently quotable.
    “Confirmed.” ZEN from Blake’s 7.

  78. Another one comes to mind, and it’s used regularly, at least by me. “How do we make it walk?!” from The League Of Gentlemen tv show, applied to any question regarding the workings of a device. (Provenance – Tubbs encountering a motor vehicle and not knowing how to drive it)

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