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The best insult in films?


Guest Evoraman

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Guest Weaver, Jessica

What about Humphrey Bogart calling Kathrine Hepburn a "crazy, psalm-singin',skinny,old maid" after she dumps all his alchohol in the river in The African Queen? That line comes at the perfect moment in the movie.

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Guest Dan, Coffee

In NOTHING SACRED, Charles Winninger tells reporter Fredric March what he thinks of reporters: "Not even the hand of God reaching down into the mire could elevate one of them to the depths of degradation!"

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Guest Milligan, Pat

Not an oldie, or necessarily a classic, but one of my favorite insults (that I've borrowed on occasion)is from Beetlejuice during the 'Deo' dinner party scene: "You'll have to excuse her, someone just dropped a house on her sister."

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Guest Kilduff, John

I'll cast my vote for Mercedes McCambridge's horrifying utterances in "The Exorcist". Board decorum prevents me from repeating them, but there were some doozies in there. Speaking of "The Exorcist", that movie ran early this Tuesday morning. This is the only place I can ask my 2 questions since for some reason I can't post a discussion... 1.) Was "The Exorcist" uncensored (I know on TCM, they usually run movies unbleeped, and they run their R-rated stuff after midnight, but did they edit anything?) 2.) More importantly, was "Exorcist" aired in its Original Aspect Ratio?

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Guest Hreib, Carina

How about in Pat & Mike when Katherine Hepburn finishes playinga round of golf with her boyfriend and a couple who could help the university. The wife keeps yammering on about what Hepburn's charachter is doing wrong. Hpeburn finally turns to her and says to some effect Why don't you lift that needle on the long playing record in your mouth...

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One of my favorite insults actually isn't from a movie, but from a cartoon. In the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Bewitched Bunny", Bugs discovers a witch luring two children into her house. The children turn out to be Hansel and Gretel. Bugs warns them that the witch is going to eat them and they flee the house, but on the way out they stop in front of the witch, kick up their heels, and yell, "Ach! Your mother rides a vacuum cleaner!"

 

Every time I see that cartoon I just fall out at that line. I'm giggling now in fact.

 

This is the cartoon where, at the end, Bugs tosses a bomb containing magic powder at the witch, turning her into a seductive female bunny. As the two of them walk off arm in arm, Bugs smiles at the camera and says, "Ah, but aren't they really all witches?" That line has provoked complaints from viewers in the past, one of whom filed a complaint with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. The record of disposition of the complaint can be read at http://www.cbsc.ca/english/decision/980203a.htm. That's worth a chuckle itself.

 

 

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I don't remember the exact quote, but didn't Vincent Price said the following to Clifton Webb in LAURA (1944)?

 

"Why don't you get back on all fours, Waldo? It seems to be the only way to shut you up."

 

Or something like that.

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"Stage Door" is another film chock full of great insults and one-liners. Ginger Rogers gets most of them, but sometimes the simplest ones are the best. Ginger to Katharine Hepburn, when she discovers that her new roommate is a hoighty-toighty socialite who never had to do an honest day's work in her life:

 

"Yeah, I bet you could boil a terrific pan of water."

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I like the lines exchanged between Jean Harlow and the older lady{sorry I can't remember her name} the "i've been reading a book" line and robotics taking over everything line and the older ladies reactions to or responses to these lines.

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> I don't remember the exact quote, but didn't Vincent

> Price said the following to Clifton Webb in LAURA

> (1944)?

>

> "Why don't you get back on all fours, Waldo? It

> seems to be the only way to shut you up."

>

> Or something like that.

 

But that's nothing compared to...

 

"Young lady, have you been raised in some incredibly rustic community where common manners are unknown, or are you suffering from the common feminine delusion that the mere fact of your being female would exempt you from proper civilized conduct? Possibly both."

 

Gene Tierney took it very well, I must say.

 

 

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In modern movies, where cursing is routine, it's hard for an insult to be memorable. But this little line from War of the Roses (1989) I always remember, and it only has one S-word:

 

"You have sunk below the deepest layer of prehistoric frog sh** at the bottom of the New Jersey scum swamp!"

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