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Best and Worst Lines


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Though there's probably an old thread buried deep within these message boards related to this topic, I was just wondering if you have any lines that stand out in your cinema memory?

 

Here's a couple of nominees to get us started--and a small tip of the chapeau to Sinclair Lewis, Sidney Howard, Murray Burnett, Joan Alison, Julius & Philip Epstein, Howard Koch, and, of course, numerous unseen hands for writing these immortal phrases!:

 

Best line:

"Love's got to stop somewhere short of suicide!"

-"Dodsworth", as spoken by Walter Huston to Ruth Chatterton. Sooo liberating.

 

Worst line:

"...from now on, you'll have to do the thinking for both of us"

-"Casablanca", Ingrid Bergman to Humphrey Bogart, in mid-embrace. A favorite movie, of course, but that line always makes me cringe.

 

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Best Lines:

 

"As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!" & "After all ... tomorrow is another day." I have loved these lines since I was a kid and to this day say them often (filling in the word "hungry" in the first line with word of choice).

-G.W.T.W. Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh)

 

Worst line:

 

"That's very wise of you, Margaret. What most wives fail to realize is that their husband's philandering has nothing whatever to do with them."

-"The Philadelphia Story", as spoken by Mr.Lord (John Halliday) to his wife Margaret (Mary Nash) on how he feels his daughter Tracy (Katharine Hepburn) has no heart or ability to understand his present major weakness: mild philandering with a pretty young dancer. That whole scene just sets my teeth on edge!! When he's trying to explain how a young girl gives a man the illusion that youth is still his I just want to smack him!!

 

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Best: From "Hud": "The look of the country is changed by the kind of men we choose to admire." Delivered by Melvin Douglas after his grandson Lon has just told him that he thinks Grandad was to hard on Hud after HUd says: "OK then what turned yuh sour on me not that I give a damn!" "That's just it. You don't give a damn...you live only for yourself and that makes yuh not fit to live WITH." Worst: At the end "The Killing Fields" after we have been exposed to 2 hrs of utter ruthlessness and brutality by the Khmer Rouge, Sam Waterston as NY Times writter Sidney Shanberg answers a reporter's question about the insanity in CAmbodia by statting something to the effect of: "How much insanity was caused by 20'000 tons of American bombs?" What a cop-out!!! By this reasoning, Hitler's Germany which received infinately MORE bomb tonnage, was justified in IT'S murderous insanity in killing 12 million people (6 million Jews) in death camps. Why try to justify mass- murder by blaming it on previous wrongs? TERRIBLE rationalization!!! But a good insight into how the "Blame America First" crowd operates

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MURDER BY DEATH

Twain: NO! Dont look at each other! Look at me! ME! I'm number one!

Diamond: You look more like number two... if you know what i mean

Charleston(Dora): What does he mean Miss Skeffington?

Tess: I'll tell you later, its disgusting!

 

hahaha! That line always made me laugh! That and the one where Peter Falk says "If you need me, just whistle... you do know how to whistle, dont you?" and Eileen Brennan says "Of course, i know how to whistle what kind of question is..." and Peter says "Never mind... you ruined it!"

 

hahaha

 

CLUE

Peacock: OH THAT GUY DOESNT MATTER! LET HIM STAY, LOCKED UP FOR ANOTHER HALF AN HOUR! THE POLICE WILL BE HEAR BY THEN AND THERE ARE TWO DEAD BODIES IN THE STUDY!!!

 

But worst... i dont know......

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Best line--any that are easy to vocalize as the character.

Such as:

"I never drink...wine."

"Ain't a fit night out for man nor beast."

"...stuff that dreams are made of."

"...no stinking badges."

"I'll be back."

 

Runner-up. Any dialogue with the 1930's exclamatory "say".

 

Worst. This example--the stupidest. MILDRED PIERCE. Veda Pierce (Ann Blyth) to Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford): "...you have never told me...where you come from...who are your people." Whaat?! I have the same reaction after watching this movie (five or six times) and the TCM 'clip' (many times)--am I missing something? I don't remember Mildred's reply--but something like, "Sleeping during biology class? MY people are YOUR people."

 

Runner-up. CLASH BY NIGHT. Earl Pfeiffer (Robert Ryan) explains his thoughts about women. Something like: "take six of 'em...throw 'em up and whoever sticks (to the ceiling) is my woman." Now THAT is a philosophy a misogynist can embrace.

 

Rusty

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jarhfive: That is so funny (I laughed out loud) that you brought up the "Say..." lines. Many years ago my wife and I were watching some old movie and a bit actor said on first meeting the main actor, "Say, I don't like you."

We just cracked up. Ever since then we chuckle every time we here a line that starts out "Say..." We even use it around the house. "Say, who left the light on" etc.

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  • 8 months later...

When I read it was Joan Cusack's B-day I thought of one of her lines which is hilarious from In & Out she is in her wedding dress and stopping traffic saying(after she got some startling news from the groom) Stop! I'm having a heterosexual 911! I also like the narration from that movie when Kline is trying to see if he is In & Out and he plays a record and tries not to dance so he is suppressing the urge verbally but his body has other ideas and he's off dancing so funny.

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Sometimes it's not the line that's said but how it's said. One that I always laugh at is from Weekend At Bernie's.

 

Jonathan Silverman (deadpan while doing his paperwork, when asked by his friend if he wants to go swimming): "We can go float around in the hospital waste... or there's always Coney Island... we can watch the fish disintegrate in front of our eyes."

 

That's one of many. But you can never think of the best ones when someone is actually asking though. If I think of more I'll add 'em.

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Apologies in advance for mistakes in my quotations, but here are a few that I think deserve nomination:

 

Dr. Stranglove (OHILTSWALTB) is full of them, but I guess the best is Sellers' "You can't fight here... this is the WAR ROOM!"

 

Much more subtle, but I love the line, Zhivago/Sharif to Lara/Christie, "I think we should go mad if we think about such things."

 

And finally, yes, it's best known as a funny line, but it's a great line too, and thank heaven for the brief period of pre-code talkies: "Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" Mae West of course.

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Yes, ike358 you mentioning Dr. Zhivago made me think of a line I can't recall the correct line but it is the mood the setting that makes it an ironic line. Tanya suggests to Zhivago he go to the city where unknown to her Lara is the look on Sharif's/Zhivago face and his reaction is classic. I like the line from Dr. Strangelove also about not fighting in the war room.

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My favorite line is from The Odd Couple.

 

Oscar is exasperated with Felix and he yells at him,

 

"This morning you left a note pinned to my pillow that said, 'We're out of Cornflakes, FU.' It took me till lunchtime to realize FU are your initials!!!

 

I also love this one from Mr. Roberts,

"It is I, Ensign Pulver, and I just threw your stinkin palm tree overboard!"

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I saw one of my absolute favorites yesterday during the TCM showing of Ziegfeld Girl. Jimmy Stewart is the truck driver in love with soon to be showgirl Lana Turner and after another argument about her career says sarcastically, "Dames is just like traffic. Sometimes you gotta stop. Sometimes you gotta go." I first saw that clip in That's Entertainment and have loved it ever since.

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  • 1 year later...

Stella,

 

I have a few; one is in B.C. & The Sundance Kid; they're on the cliff, looking over

Sundance, w/ the posse closing in: "I can't swim" & Butch replies: " Hell. the fall will kill ya !"

 

And I can't be sure, verbatim, here, but Katherine(Merle) in Wuthering Heights: " I shall think it a dream tomorrow..."

 

I recall too many bad to list them all !

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From post by stellabluegirl:

Worst line:

 

"That's very wise of you, Margaret. What most wives fail to realize is that their husband's philandering has nothing whatever to do with them."

-"The Philadelphia Story", as spoken by Mr.Lord (John Halliday) to his wife Margaret (Mary Nash) on how he feels his daughter Tracy (Katharine Hepburn) has no heart or ability to understand his present major weakness: mild philandering with a pretty young dancer. That whole scene just sets my teeth on edge!! When he's trying to explain how a young girl gives a man the illusion that youth is still his I just want to smack him!!

 

Me too! I love that movie, but that scene makes me squirm everytime I watch it. I mean, good god. What wife could ever live with a man like that? It also makes me sick the way Hepburn has to let herself be talked into believeing this drivel, too.

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romaaubo,

 

I am sure you are long gone (October, 2004!), but your "FU" line is the funniest thing I've read in a while.

 

I know, nobody would ever say that line in real life. Does not make your 'punch line' any less funny.

 

Rusty

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Worst line ever (which wasn't spoken, thank god):

 

"No longer like a toad in this foul cellar shall I secrete the venom of hatred, for you shall bring me love!" -- Erik (Lon Chaney) in "Phantom of the Opera."

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It may not be the greatest line of all time,although Nick Clooney from AMC likes it also,but it was the first line that ever caused me to rewind the VCR for just a line;

J.Farrell McDonald after being asked if he had ever been in love from My Darling

Clementine,"No,I been a bartender all me life."

Worst line:All the dialog from the 'Conqueror' as uttered by the Duke.

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  • 2 weeks later...

> From post by stellabluegirl:

> Worst line:

>

> "That's very wise of you, Margaret. What most wives

> fail to realize is that their husband's philandering

> has nothing whatever to do with them."

> -"The Philadelphia Story", as spoken by Mr.Lord (John

> Halliday) to his wife Margaret (Mary Nash) on how he

> feels his daughter Tracy (Katharine Hepburn) has no

> heart or ability to understand his present major

> weakness: mild philandering with a pretty young

> dancer. That whole scene just sets my teeth on edge!!

> When he's trying to explain how a young girl gives a

> man the illusion that youth is still his I just want

> to smack him!!

>

> Me too! I love that movie, but that scene makes me

> squirm everytime I watch it. I mean, good god. What

> wife could ever live with a man like that? It also

> makes me sick the way Hepburn has to let herself be

> talked into believeing this drivel, too.

 

I love the Philadelphia Story, but that whole scene just makes me want to hurl. Can you imagine it's your daughters fault your fooling around? Talk about trying to blame everyone else. Katherine should have decked him.

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One of my favorite lines is from The Great Race. When they are on the melting ice berg and Tony Curtis tells Jack Lemmon to keep it himself how fast they are melting. "I'll keep it to myself until the water reaches my lower lip, and then I'm going to mention it somebody"

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