Your favorite film dialogue

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by garp, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    I'm a big fan of screenplays – perhaps moreso than actual films. Without a doubt, dialogue can truly make or break a movie. No, I'm not talking about well-known movie lines like "Play it again, Sam" (Casablanca, 1942), "We're gonna need a bigger boat" (Jaws, 1975) or "Son, you've got a panty on your head" (Raising Arizona, 1987) but rather dialogue that provide unique insights into a character or characters.

    Here's an example: In Saving Private Ryan (1998), Private Ryan and Captain Miller are enjoying a brief respite from the harrowing experience of battle in France during mid-June 1944, and they begin swapping memories of home.

    Private Ryan: "Tell me about your wife and those rose bushes."
    Captain Miller: "No. No, that one I save just for me."

    Do you have any favorite examples of film dialogue that really sticks with you years later?
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  2. Younger Cop: And was there anything of value in the car?

    The Dude: Oh, uh, yeah, uh... a tape deck, some Creedence tapes, and there was a, uh... uh, my briefcase.

    Younger Cop: [expectant pause] In the briefcase?

    The Dude: Uh, uh, papers, um, just papers, uh, you know, uh, my papers, business papers.

    Younger Cop: And what do you do, sir?

    The Dude: I'm unemployed.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    "Too many notes." from Amadeus (1984)
    Milos Forman
    Peter Shaffer (original stage play), Peter Shaffer (original screenplay)
    F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge


    Oscar Best Picture
    Saul Zaentz
    Best Actor in a Leading Role
    F. Murray Abraham
    Best Director
    Milos Forman
    Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
    Peter Shaffer
    Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
    Patrizia von Brandenstein
    Karel Cerný
    Best Costume Design
    Theodor Pistek
    Best Sound
    Mark Berger
    Thomas Scott
    Todd Boekelheide
    Christopher Newman
    Best Makeup
    Paul LeBlanc
    Dick Smith

    EMPEROR: Well, Herr Mozart! A good effort. Decidedly that. An excellent effort! You've shown us something quite new today.

    [Mozart bows frantically: he is over-excited.]

    MOZART: It is new, it is, isn't it, Sire?

    EMPEROR: Yes, indeed.

    MOZART: So then you like it? You really like it, Your Majesty?

    EMPEROR: Of course I do. It's very good. Of course now and then - just now and then - it gets a touch elaborate.

    MOZART: What do you mean, Sire?

    EMPEROR: Well, I mean occasionally it seems to have, how shall one say? [he stops in difficulty; turning to Orsini-Rosenberg] How shall one say, Director?

    ORSINI-ROSENBERG: Too many notes, Your Majesty?

    EMPEROR: Exactly. Very well put. Too many notes.

    MOZART: I don't understand. There are just as many notes, Majesty, as are required. Neither more nor less.

    EMPEROR: My dear fellow, there are in fact only so many notes the ear can hear in the course of an evening. I think I'm right in saying that, aren't I, Court Composer?

    SALIERI: Yes! yes! er, on the whole, yes, Majesty.

    MOZART: But this is absurd!

    EMPEROR: My dear, young man, don't take it too hard. Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that's all. Cut a few and it will be perfect.

    MOZART: Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?

    EMPEROR: Well. There it is.

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  4. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Almost all of Jimmy Fallon's dialog in Almost Famous:

    I didn't invent the rain day man, I just own the best umbrella.
  5. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, 1992

    : I want the truth!!
    Jessup: You can't handle the truth!

  6. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    The exchange between Mel Brooks and Bea Arthur in The History of the World part 1

  7. Quentin Tarantino has a few doozies.

    "Is there a sign on my front lawn saying Dead Black Man Storage?".
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  8. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Charlie Sheen in Terminal Velocity: “pack the bags, we’re going on a guilt trip”.

    Jake and Elwood Blues:

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  9. osv


    Dec 1, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    The entirety of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    Glengarry Glen Ross has some tasty dialog.

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  10. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
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  11. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I love the bit from The Hobbit when Bilbo says good morning to Gandalf.

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  12. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    • Bob Slydell: If you would, would you walk us through a typical day, for you?
    • Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
    • Bob Slydell: Great.
    • Peter Gibbons: Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door–that way Lumberg can’t see me, heh–after that I sorta space out for an hour.
    • Bob Porter: Da-uh? Space out?
    • Peter Gibbons: Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too, I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.
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  13. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    There's a wonderful moment in 2010: The Year We Make Contact where Roy Scheider and John Lithgow are hanging out while their spaceship is in orbit around the planet Jupiter, half a billion miles from Earth, and they're quietly reminiscing about home. They start talking about baseball games. And then hot dogs at baseball games. It's very sparse dialog, lots of long silent pauses:

    "Yeah, hot dogs. With mustard."

    :::long pause:::

    "Brown or yellow?"

    :::slightly shorter pause:::

    "Brown, of course."

    :::really long pause:::

    "It's important."
    JimK likes this.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Men In Black

    Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.

    Kay : A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.
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  15. I was going to go with:

    “Chicago is 106 miles away. We've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses”

    “Hit it!”

    I just wasn’t sure that exchange was all that insightful. Still, it’s a favorite. My son and I will toss it back and forth at random times to confuse people.
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  16. dwm74


    Nov 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    (From an obscure little movie about a guy who plows under his cornfield to build a baseball diamond...) ;)

    Ray, people will come, Ray.

    They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past.

    "Of course, we won't mind if you look around," you'll say. "It's only twenty dollars per person." They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it. For it is money they have and peace they lack.

    And they'll walk out to the bleachers, and sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they'd dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they'll have to brush them away from their faces.

    People will come, Ray.

    The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.
    This field, this game -- it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.

    Ohhhhhhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.
  17. TheDirtyLowDown


    Mar 8, 2014
    Myrna Loy, William Powell as Nora and Nick Charles in "The Thin Man"

    Her entrance scene here is an absolute classic.
    Welcome back to 1934... and pre-Code Hollywood!

    My favorite line:

    Nick: I'm a hero. I was shot twice in the Tribune.
    Nora: I read where you were shot five times in the tabloids.
    Nick: It's not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  18. Oh yes. The whole conversation about tipping the waitress at the beginning of Reservoir dogs is one for the ages.
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  19. A couple more that have stuck with me for a long time.

    From Saving Private Ryan:
    "What's she singing about? Why does she sound so melancholy?"
    "Her lover left her ... but she still sees his face everywhere she goes."
    "That'll do it."

    From We Were Soldiers:
    (Colonel explaining to Sergeant, who normally carries only a pistol, that they are headed for a hot landing zone)
    "You might want to get yourself an M-16."
    "If the time comes when I need it, sir, there'll be plenty of 'em lying on the ground."
  20. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Just one of my favorites among many.......

    From: The Outlaw Josey Wales

    Josey Wales:
    Seems like when I get to likin’ someone, they ain’t around long.

    Lone Watie:
    I notice when you get to dislikin’ someone they ain’t around for long neither.
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