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Throughout about 80 years of sound film, we've been blessed with some great movies. A key component of most of these movies were that they had good dialogue. sometimes great dialogue. And then there are those peak moments of dilogue perfection, dialogue you savour, that becomes stuck in your head and doesn't go away. I realize more and more every day just how special those words can be, and how hard it feels at times to procure them in my own writing process. When actors deliver the dilogue, it may seem effortless, and the words may seem so easy, but the sweat and tears that go in to those words are often never given a second thought. Consumers get caught up in the machine of hollywood, the image they create based around the star system, and usually that's right where the attention stay's, on the stars. But language isn't easy to master, and shaping it into something simply mediocre can even feel at times like a victory, nevermind creating something a person could consider art. But thats what the best films do, and the best dialogue. So here are some words that were shaped into gems that i cherish, an will cherish, for a long, long time.
The Usual Suspects: Caezer Soze to Agent kujan: "and like that.(poof), he's gone." this line is repeated twice in the film, and it's the second time has 10 times the impact.
Jaws: Brody to Quint: " You're gonna need a bigger boat." Simple, honest, full of dread, with a drop of wry humor.
The Godfather: Micheal to Kay: "No" a single word, a relief for the wife, but for us who have seen the first 2 1/2 hours of the film, and know what awaits in part 2, these words linger on in the mind and speak volumes of the overall relationship between these two.
Goodfellas: Henry Hill narrating: "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster." and so follows one of the most visceral, most well directed, most well written films of all time, and my favorite ever, period.
Goodfellas: Henry Hill narrating: "You know, we always called each other good fellas. Like you said to, uh, somebody, :You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a good fella. He's one of us.: You understand? We were good fellas. Wiseguys. But Jimmy and I could never be made because we had Irish blood. It didn't even matter that my mother was Sicilian. To become a member of a crew you've got to be one hundred per cent Italian so they can trace all your relatives back to the old country. See, it's the highest honor they can give you. It means you belong to a family and crew. It means that nobody can fuck around with you. It also means you could fuck around with anybody just as long as they aren't also a member. It's like a license to steal. It's a license to do anything. As far as Jimmy was concerned with Tommy being made, it was like we were all being made. We would now have one of our own as a member."..................................Oh the hopes, the dreams,..........
Goodfellas: A dialogue between Jimmy and Henry:
jimmy: [smashing telephone] "Fuck. Can't fuckin' believe that, can't fuckin'..."
Jimmy : [crying] "Fuck it, fuck... the fuck... "
[Henry exits diner]
Henry: "What happened?"
Jimmy :" They whacked him. They fuckin' whacked him." Henry: "Aw, fuck."
[Jimmy kicks phone booth]
Jimmy :" Motherfucker!"
[pushes over phone booth]
Jimmy Conway: [cries.............................................................................................Oh, the agony of having your hopes and dreams snatched away in one murderous instant! Oh, the simply perfect screenplay...............
a clockwork orange: a conversation between Alex and a Femal Psychiatrist
Alex: "What are we gonna do? Talk about me sex life?"
Psychiatrist: "Oh, no. I'm going to show you some slides and you're going to tell me what you think about them. Alright?"
Alex: "Jolly good. Do you know anything about dreams?"
Psychiatrist: "Something, yes."
Alex: "Do you know what they mean?"
Psychiatrist: "Perhaps. Are you concerned about something?"
Alex:" Oh, no, no... not concerned really. But I've been having this very nasty dream. Very nasty."
Psychiatrist: "Now, each of these slides needs a reply from somebody in the picture. You tell me what you think the person would say. Alright? "
Alex: "Righty-right. "
Psychaitrist: "I'm going to show you a picture, and you tell me what that person might say.?"
Female Psychaitrist: "Let's Begin "
[Changes to a slide with two people looking at a peacock]
Female Psychaitrist: "Isn't the plumage beautiful?"
Alex: "I'm supposed to say what the other person would say?"
Female Psychaitrist: "Yes, just tell me the first thing that comes to your mind."
Alex: "Cabbages, knickers, It hasn't got A BEAK!"
Female Psychaitrist:" Good. "
[Changes slides to a man climbing into a naked woman's bedroom]
Psychaitrist: "What do you want?"
Alex:" No time for the ol' in-out, love. I've just come to read the meter!"
Female Psychaitrist: [Changes slide to woman handing bird eggs to a man] "You can do whatever you like with these."
Alex: "Eggiweggs. I would like... to smash them. And pick them up, and THROW- "
[moves injured arm]
Alex: "OW! Fucking hell! So did I pass?"
Alex: Is that the end then?
Alex: I was quite enjoying that.
Psychiatrist: Good! I'm glad.
Alex: How many did I get right?
Psychiatrist: It's not that kind of a test. But you seem to be well on you're way to a complete recovery.
Alex: and when do i get out of here? Psychiatrist: Im sure it won't be long now.................................................................................................................This is, to me the most perfect satire in the film, and while much of the film is satiric, its also simultaneously shocking, so this is like some fresh air in a real shocker of a film, especially coming out of the most depressing phase of the script.
I should probebly stop now, but I may do this again, as there are so many fine quotes and pieces of dialogue out there. Tll next time, then.