I confess: while I generally hate the culture of Hollywood and the values of the vast majority of people who live that life and inhabit those values, I LOVE movies. Well, that is to say, I love great movies. And one thing I have come to understand is that the best movies are not just filled with well directed scenes and great performances. No, the BEST movies have fantastic scripts. And those scripts produce lines that stay with you forever and tend to crop up in every day life and it's varied situations.
For example--the great scene in You've Got Mail , as written by the late Nora Ephron, and as said by the charcter played by Tom Hanks,is that there everything in life can find an appropriate line from the Godfather. "The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom" he says when he tells her to "go to the mattresses." My husband and I laughed ourselves silly when we heard that. We have three boys. We had been saying that for years. That and "It's not personal; it's strictly busines." And there are countless others from The Godfather, as well as Godfather, Part II. Our favorite from that movie is,"I'm going in to take a nap. When I wake, if the money's on the table, I'll know I have a partner. If not, I know I don't." I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out the life situation we apply it to.
And there are lots of lines from Ephron in "When Harry Met Sally." She was the master of wonderful dialogue.
Lines emerge often for life, if you love movies that you enjoy watching over and over again. There are great lines from Goodfellas. Like when Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, tells Tommy, "Tommy you're a funny guy." You can see that bit here.
"I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown? Do I amuse you?"
There are several others from Goodfellas, as well. Like the last part when Henry has a busy day and the hellicopters are following him around when he is selling guns,and he almost crashes when he picks up his brother, and he goes home to make meatbals and sauce, and gets the cut drugs from the girlfriend, and the gal whgo is supposed to fly won't leave without her lucky hat.... Well there were time when I was running around like a chicken without a head and my life felt like that day in the life of Henry Hill.
Of ourse, there is one of my faves, The Graduate. Especially when Benjamin tells his parents he is going to marry Elaine Robinson. "Ben, this idea sounds half baked."
"No, it's completely baked," Ben replies. Well, we use that one a lot, too.
Others? Well Moonstruck, for one. That script is rich with quotables. "Cosmo, I just want you to know no matter that you do you're gonna die."
It almost seems as though movies inhabit the collective consciousness in more ways than anyone ever imagined. And, of course, it's been that way, I am sure, for as long as there have been talkies.
This is on my mind tonight because there are some movies , like the ones above, that I never tire of watching because of the scripts. Like Pulp Fiction, for example. Samuel Jackson owns that movie for his lines. Did he shine in it? "Correctomundo!" He was gypped of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
So, the next time you watch a movie, listen to the words spoken. REALLY LISTEN. Great scripts make for great movies. What are some of your favorites? What are some of the lines you find yourself using all the time?
BTW, this is one movie I almost forgot about. "29th Street." I haven't see it for years. I think It desrves another look. The sceenplay? Superb!