Wednesday, 22 December 2004

But it was the way they said it…

Everyone knows a few of the classic lines from films – “Frankly, my dear…”, “Infamy! Infamy!..”, “Fasten your seatbelts…”, and most of the things Groucho said. There are certain rich veins: things said to Bogart (as well as by him), Alastair Sim's horrified yelps (e.g. "..and boys! Remember Nicky, the nark!") and, curiously, Brief Encounter which, besides the one below, has "Can I help? I'm a doctor" and the husband's remark as Celia Johnson comes out of her reverie: "I don't know where you've been, my dear, but thank you for coming back to me".

Here are a few that I treasure; some are in the popular collections of movie quotes, but most are not.

  • Alastair Sim to Trevor Howard, who had called him a flat-footed copper: “The police force does not have a monopoly of fallen arches, Doctor Barnes” (Green for Danger)
  • Lionel Barrymore to Greta Garbo when she had agreed to give up her relationship with his son: “Gawd bless yew, Marguerite Goad-i-ay!” (Camille)
  • Katherine Hepburn to Humphrey Bogart: “Human nature is what we are put on this earth to rise above, Mr Allnutt” (The African Queen)
  • Alfonso Bedoya to Humphrey Bogart, after being accused of not being a real policeman: “Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges!” (Treasure of the Sierra Madre)
  • Joyce Cary as the woman in charge of the refreshment room, bridling at a flirtatious remark: “I don’t know to what you’re referrin’, I'm sure…” (Brief Encounter)
  • Orson Welles to Joseph Cotton: “Sure, we’re speaking, Jed. You’re fired.” (Citizen Kane)
  • Marlene Dietrich to Orson Welles: “He was some kind of a man. What does it matter what you say about people?” (A Touch of Evil)
  • Fortunio Bonanova as the music master trying to teach Kane’s wife to sing: “Impossible! Impossible!” (Citizen Kane, again)
  • Robert Newton calling his dog to be drowned: “Gammeeryeaough!”, possibly meaning “Come ‘ere you!” (Oliver Twist)
  • Moore Marriott, after a train runs over his watch: “It’s stopped!” (Oh Mr Porter)
  • Fred MacMurray, confessing on tape: "Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money and for a woman. I didn't get the money and I didn't get the woman. Pretty, isn't it?" (Double Indemnity)
  • One soldier to another: “You essence of stench!(subtitle in a Kurosawa film)
  • French soldier to King Arthur’s knights: “Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of silly persons!” (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
  • Jean Gabin to Michèle Morgan, as he lies dying in the street: “Embrasse-moi! Vite, on est pressé!” (Quai des Brumes)


PerfectlyVocal said...

All fabulous quotes. I just had to mention that Green For Danger would be very high in my list of top 50 films. I've seen it so many times, yet every time I enjoy it more.

Gervase said...

Bravo, Cal! I wholeheartedly agree. In what other film in my list of fifty did the actor who played the murdered postman star?
And in which film also in my fifty did Conrad Veidt kiss Miles Malleson?
And... but that's enough for now.

Tony said...

Sorry, Cal, the previous comment was from me, not Gervase. There was a technical mix-up.

George Corrigan said...

Badges, we don't need no stinkin' badges was also used in Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles", and while I haven't seen The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, I dare to say that Saddles is probably funnier. It certainly had this line in it.
Bart: Well, can't you see that's the last act of a desperate man?
Howard Johnson: We don't care if it's the first act of Henry V, we're leaving!

Tony said...

Interesting that Mel Brooks quoted that line. Certainly, there were very few laughs in TOTSM; Bogart had a splendid time as the cowardly ruffian Dobbs: "Nobody puts one over on Fred C. Dobbs!"