To John Floyd’s dismay, his computer broke, busted, died, demised, kicked the bucket, shuffled off this mortal coil… He thus asked me, as if I'm a miracle worker, to resurrect an article from seven years ago. He then mentioned a bottle of Southern Comfort, so herein, John combines what John loves best… movies and lists. Say an incantation for John’s machine and enjoy a Hollywood golden oldie…
by John M. Floyd
I’ve decided to make you an offer you can’t refuse. Awhile back I mentioned that I suspect most fiction readers enjoy movies too, and that fiction writers can sometimes learn almost as much from movie dialogue as from the written word. Surely that’s true — and don’t call me Shirley.
On that basis — and because I don’t need no steenking badges — I’ve put together a quiz of fifty movie quotes. They range from easy to hard, unless you’re a fellow victim of severe moviemania, in which case you’ll probably answer them all and then feel guilty as a result. To get in the mood, ask yourself these questions: Do I feel lucky? Can I handle the truth? Is it safe? Can I swim, or will the fall kill me? Do I need a bigger boat?
Anyway, I figured if I built it you would come, so I’ve rounded up the usual suspects. Many of these are crime/suspense because those are my favorite movies, but frankly, my dear, others are not, and what I’ve done on some might be a failure to communicate. Asterisks indicate final lines, and you get extra credit if you remember who said what, and to whom. So hasta la vista, baby — I wish we could chat longer, but I’m having an old friend for dinner. Open the pod bay doors, Hal, and may the Force be with you …
- I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
- Where’s that Joe Buck?
- Be careful, out there among them English.*
- In the end you wind up dying all alone on some dusty street. And for what? A tin star?
- Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passing.
- You design TOY airplanes?
- Fat man, you shoot a great game of pool.
- I’m George, George McFly. I am your density. I mean … your destiny.
- He did it! He missed the barn!
- Remember me? I came in here yesterday and you wouldn’t wait on me. Big mistake.
- We in the FBI don’t have a sense of humor that I’m aware of.
- I saw it. It was a run-by fruiting.
- Any man don’t wanna get killed, better clear on out the back.
- Throw me the idol, I throw you the whip.
- That’s a negative, Ghostrider, the pattern is full.
- You can’t fight in here — this is the War Room.
- I’ve got the motive, which is money, and the body, which is dead.
- They say they’re going to repeal Prohibition. What will you do then? / I think I’ll have a drink.*
- All these things I can do, all these powers … and I couldn’t even save him.
- The next time I see Blue Duck, I’ll kill him for you.
- He can’t go down with three barrels on him. Not with three, he can’t.
- A wed wose. How womantic.
- How will you die, Joan Wilder? Slow, like a snail? Or fast, like a shooting star?
- Oh, my. I hope that wasn’t a hostage.
- I’ll take these Huggies and whatever you got in the register.
- He saved my life, and yours, and Arliss’s. You can’t just kill him, like he was nothin’!
- Stay on or get off? STAY ON OR GET OFF?
- Snake Plissken? I heard you were dead.
- And for a brief moment, Gordo Cooper became the finest pilot anyone had ever seen.*
- He kissed you? What happened next? / Then he had to go invade Libya.
- Nobody ever won a war by dying for his country. You win a war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
- I wish they wouldn’t land those things here while we’re playing golf.
- Oh Captain, my Captain.
- I don’t reckon I got no reason to kill nobody.
- Goodnight, you princes of Maine, you knights of New England.
- Sometimes nothin’ can be a mighty cool hand.
- Today I saw a slave become more powerful than the Emperor of Rome.
- Talk to her, Dad. She’s a doctor. / Of what? Her first name could be Doctor.
- Come on, Hobbs, knock the cover off the ball.
- Way to go, Paula! Way to go.*
- I see you’ve been missing a lot of work. / Well, I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it.
- I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.
- Docta Jones, Docta Jones! No more parachutes!
- Now you run on home to your mother, and tell her everything’s all right. And there aren’t any more guns in the valley.
- I’m thinking your head would make a real good toilet brush.
- Left early. Please come with the money … or you keep the car. Love, Tommy.*
- Active is pinging back something really big.
- And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.
- I need a ride in your el trucko to the next towno.
- This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off.
HAL, close the pod door. Close the pod door. HAL…