Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Quotation Compulsion

Thanks to Lorna for this accurate portrait!

What is the etiquette when it comes to film quoting? I ask in all/relative seriousness because film quotes are always popping up in my head and peppering my conversations, so I wonder if those around me actually enjoy playing along, or just indulge their nutty friend.
I say playing along, because - in my family at least - film quoting requires the (hapless) person/group to do one of the following:

- name the film/actor/character
- pick up the quote quickly enough to finish it off alongside the quoter
- say the next line (extra points)

This is by no means an easy task and I imagine it can be fairly intimidating for the uninitiated. A seconds delay or (shock horror) a mental block can lead to disappointed head shaking and perhaps a muttered "tsk tsk". That said, there is often a stockpile of well/over used film quotes that become a quasi-shorthand amongst some groups of friends or family.
The following spring to mind from my family catalogue (perhaps this is betraying too much!):

"There's something out there waiting for us...and it ain't no man...We're all going to die."
- Predator

"He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!"
- Life of Brian (plus countless other favourite Monty Python quotes)

"I'm your Huckleberry"
- Tombstone

"Ludicrous speed....GO!" - Spaceballs

"When will then be now?" "...Soon." - Spaceballs

"Where do you come from?" "Outside!" - The Rescuers Down Under

"Hey man you just fucked up your Ferrari."
"It's not mine" - The Rock

"Number 5 is alive" - Short Circuit

"Just how obscene an amount of cash are we talking about here? Profane or reaaally offensive?"
"Reaaally offensive"
"I like him so much" - Pretty Woman

"The United States government has just asked us to save the world. Anyone wanna say no?" - Armageddon

....And speaking of the United States government, certain family members (you know who you are!) can quote ridiculously large chucks of The West Wing. It's like a really geeky party-trick.

So what are the rules for film quoting in public? What are your favourite film quotes?

...And when is it ok to greet someone with a sotto voiced Mr. Anderson?

9 comments:

Kate said...

As an outsider who had to learn your code, I bear witness to the fact that you are all a little nutty. But good, endearing nutty!

I would add the Pretty Woman, "Big mistake. Huge." quote, and hundreds of low-brow sci-fi films I haven't seen. (And also, a lot I have seen in order to learn how to communicate with you all!)

James said...

Dad would constantly misquote Empire:
"Impressive... but you are not a jedi yet."

You're a fucking psycho! - Grosse Point Blank

We want... a shrubbery! - Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Thinking of more is proving quite difficult - its a context thing.

Alice said...

I can't believe I haven't included Star Wars! That is an absolute staple. As is Grosse Point Blank - pure gold.

Kate you're spot on with Pretty Woman. I tend to quote, "Big mistake. Big. Huge! I have to go shopping now."

James is right about the issue of context. I guess that's what I mean about quotes becoming a shorthand of sorts. They're certainly context dependent, and yet there seems to be a quote for every occasion!

Surely it's not just our nutty family though...surely?!

Patch said...

"No time for love, Dr. Jones!"

"...No, Mister Bond - I expect you to die."

"And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger - those who attempt to destroy my brothers..."

"...Great Scott!"

"Donny, you're out of your element."

"That rug really tied the room together."

[Actually, the whole of Lebowski is entirely quotable.]

"...I'm not even supposed to be here today!"

"Do or do not. There is no 'try'."

I could go on; I won't for the sake of my already tattered reputation.

Jet Jackson said...

NO..........
I'd say "Impressive...VERY impressive...BUT you're not a Jedi YET !"
Please get the misquote RIGHT !
It's just better than the original !
D.

Monkey Mind said...

I am often calling myself a mog (my own best friend) from Spaceballs. Spaceballs is where it's at.

But actually, my new favourite movie to use in conversation is Withnail and I. Please watch it tonight if you haven't seen it.

Two of my favourite lines are:

"We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now."

And

"I have a heart condition. If you hit me, it's murder."

I'm often telling people (as I speed off on my bike) that I am "making time".

A massive fan...

Oh, and I don't mind a bit of the old 'these aren't the droids you are looking for...move along' when someone is pestering me.

Alice said...

The Big Lebowski and Withnail and I are two ridiculously quotable films. Monkey Mind it's been too long since I last saw Withnail, I'll pull out the dvd this weekend.

And I'm totally going to use the droids quote in that context, love it!

Brilliant, people, keep 'em coming!!

Kate said...

What about the old, "I know kung fu" Keanu-style?

(And then the visual Matrix quote of doing that hand-beckon thing...)

I also tend to quote comedians or unfunny-to-other-people-but-funny-to-me moments of films, which aren't the famous "I'll be back" or "Stelllaaaaaah" film quotes... Again, context is making it hard to remember.

I should add, an old West Wing favourite is CJ's "You're stupid, but you're not that stupid. Hunting season on me is over..."

Ohh!

Alice said...

Funny you should mention the Matrix, Kate. When I was asked to help out at the Kung-Fu Panda premiere, my response was (quite unoriginally) "I know kung-fu." Fortunately I was amongst sleep-deprived film fans who chuckled obligingly!

I think I'll do a volume 2 of this post, because so many more quotes have popped into my head. And that doesn't even include West Wing lovelies! Ahhh CJ...

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