Wednesday, May 1, 2013

THIS IS SPINAL TAP! (1984)



1001: A FILM ODYSSEY in association with TOHO productions presents...

The Latterday Baby Boomer list of the 15 most quotable movies of all time during the years 1964-1987. (The contradictory nature of the title is intentional, though hopefully it’s better than one of those cheesy VH1 lists where they list Gary Coleman as the top child actor of all time! But I‘ll complain about that another time.

So what defines a quotable movie? Well, at least by my definition, (and yours may vary) it is a movie with a line or preferably many lines that are recognizable to one of your own kind or, even better, one that can be answered as a comeback by another of that defined kind by the next line in the movie.

In going through some of the movie lists, there are several titles with one famous quotable line. Cool Hand Luke (What we got here is... failure to communicate.), Taxi Driver (You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? ) and Soylent Green (You got to tell them! Soylent Green is people!) all had one real quotable line, but I’m looking for a movies with a slightly longer string of quotability..

Now the parameters. Since the baby boom is usually credited with ending in 1964, this is a good point to start movies for consideration for this list (Sorry Casablanca, On the Waterfront, Gone with the Wind). A good ending point would probably be about 1987 as the influence on a latterday baby boomer’s MQQ (movie quotability quotient) would most likely have peeked by this time and we really can’t accept anything new beyond this point. Besides, what quotable movies have there been since anyway? Office Space? Clerks? Are there some out there or has my MQQ just been disabled at this point in life?
Actually, Pulp Fiction would make my list, but it came out too late in the game. Sorry, Quentin.

Non-English language films aren’t included on this list either. It’s just too hard to quote Kurosawa in the original Japanese.

Here are some of the also-rans in no particular order: Dirty Harry, 1776, Blue Velvet, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Blazing Saddles, American Graffiti, Star Wars, E. T., Annie Hall, Taxi Driver, Rocky, Network, Deliverance, Saturday Night Fever, Apocalypse Now, Cool Hand Luke, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Exorcist, Raiders of the Lost Ark, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Amadeus, Rain Man, Arthur, Shaft, Billy Jack, Beverly Hills Cop, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, My Dinner With Andre, Soylent Green, Trading Places, MASH, Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Five Easy Pieces, The Godfather II, Chinatown, Jaws, Midnight Express, Heaven Can Wait, Manhattan, All That Jazz, Hannah and Her Sisters, And Justice for All, The Elephant Man, On Golden Pond, Tootsie, Aliens, Fatal Attraction, Wall Street, Moonstruck…etc.

And if I leave out one of your favorites (I’m sorry)

Or if I include one you don’t think belongs (I said I was sorry.)

Or if you don’t like my methodology (I said I was sorry already! Make your own damn list!)

Here is The Latterday Baby Boomer list of the 15 most quotable movies of all time during the years 1964-1987:

#15 The Terminator (1984) Arnold has about 10 lines in this film and about half achieve the level of quotability. That’s got to be a record of some kind.
Samples:
I’ll be back (the most famous,but pretty much anything he says works when reapeated if you say it with Arnolds’ thick Austian accent)

Are you Sarah Conner? (Go up to some girl you don’t know and say that like Arnold. They’ll love it!)

(And one non-Arnold quote that has to be included) Come With Me if you want to live.

The next choice is an important cultural movie from the end of my defined era, and after twenty-five years, I have now finally seen it!


#14 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Samples:
Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller? (must be said in Ben Steinlike monotone)

You realize if we played by the rules right now we'd be in gym?

Boy who looks like Charlie Sheen: There's someone you should talk to.
Jennie: If you say Ferris Bueller, you lose a testicle.
Boy who looks like Charlie Sheen: Oh, you know him?

I may not have done as well with the quotes for this movie as someone who is a bigger Ferris Bueller fan, hopefully I can do better with…

#13 The Shining (1980)
Samples:
Heeere's Johnny! (for maximum effect, say with a maniacal look and wield an ax if you have one)

Danny’s not here Mrs. Torrance. (must be spoken with the finger of your choice and a voice that imitates Froggy of The Little Rascals)

Redrum! Redrum! (Preferably said repeatedly in a usually futile, and I know from experience, attempt to scare someone)

The next one helps if you can say things in the sardonic style of Bill Murray…

#12
Ghost Busters (1984)
Samples:
This man has no dick. (If the person you say this to isn’t privy to the line, they may give you a funny look)

Back off man! We’re scientists (Best said when anyone is crowding you)

He slimed me! (Best said after you spill something on yourself)

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass! (Best said anytime, even randomly. Try it, it’s fun!)

So many lines from #11 The Graduate (1967)

Elaine! Elaine! (Must be said while banging on glass, though imaginary glass is acceptable.)

Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. (If you say this to a girl and it turns out they aren’t trying to seduce you just tell them The Graduate is your favorite movie and you just felt like quoting it and you didn’t mean anything though they may not believe it and the rejection may cause you to have years of therapy and heartache…not that that happened to me or anything!)

And perhaps the most famous one word quote in movie history…
PLASTICS!

And so many more lines from #10 The Godfather(1972)

I'll make him an offer he can't refuse. (Best said directly before tapping someone lightly on the cheek.

Leave the gun. Take the cannoli. (The choice of food over violence is still somehow refreshing after all these years.)

Look how they massacred my boy...(A personal favorite line, Don Corleone almost breaks down yet manages to regain his composure. However this is a hard one to fit into conversation.)

I know it was you Fredo! You broke my heart! (I know this is actually from Godfather II, but please allow me some latitude here. For maximum use of this line, go up to a strange man and kiss him harshly before saying it. and let me know later how that works out!)

I’ve already done a blog on #9 A Christmas Story (1983), but I really couldn’t leave it of the list…

Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.

Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!

And of course…

You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

#8 The Princess Bride’s(1987)inclusion comes mostly from the lisping voice of Wallace Shawn that I often dream about saying the immortal line…

INCONCEIVABLE! (Not quite as good as PLASTICS!, but a great one word quote in its own right)

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. (Which proves you can create a movie catch phrase if you just repeat it enough times in a single film.)

Have fun stormin' da castle. (A latter baby boomer might say this to their teenage offspring as they are going to a party or on a date, usually to the embarrassment of said teenage offspring)

And how could I leave out #7 Young Frankenstein (1974) since I did a previous blog made up of Young Frankenstein quotes
Samples:
My grandfather's work was DOO-DOO! (I seem to like this line more than others for some reason)

Puttin’s on the Ritz! (Best said when accompanied by a clumsy dance of some kind)

Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I've found you! (To be sung as a prelude to…ah, never mind)

#6 Animal House (1978)-A movie I probably saw 20 times the year it came out.

The most famous quote would be…

See if you can guess what I am now.
A zit. Get it? (If you don’t have something to explode in your mouth between these two lines, saying it could come across as a little awkward.)

Dean Wormer: Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. (Wormer’s an ass, but that doesn’t mean he can’t give out sage advice)

Or the other Dean Wormer quote: I hate those guys. (If you can say this when someone is veering down on you about to make your life miserable, this would be the maximum effective use of this quote.)

She’ll take this seriously (Best said before you pull out…ah, never mind.)

Animals of another kind in #5 Planet of the Apes(1968)

Take your stinkin’ paws off me you damn dirty ape! (Though if you say this when the wrong person puts their hand on you it could make a bad situation worse)

MADHOUSE! MADHOUSE! (A great line that is fun to randomly shout out for no reason in particular!)

You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell! (Maybe the greatest end line in movie history even if you know what the ending is.)

#4 Dr. Strangelove (1964), Hard to narrow it down to three quotes on this one…

Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. (If you are with your best girl and not in the mood, use this line as an excuse)

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room. (If your best girl takes offense at the above line and takes issue with you, try to calm her down with this line.)

Mein F├╝hrer! I can walk! (If neither of the above lines work with your best girl, try this one as a diversion. In another context, use this line if you’ve been sitting a long time and you try to stand up and your foot is asleep)

#3 Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) Another where its hard to narrow in down to three. It’s many quotable lines include…

It’s just a flesh wound (Say it thorough gritted teeth after a serious injury for extra points)

She turned me into a Newt!
A Newt?
I got better. (If the person you say the first line doesn’t respond by saying “A Newt?” it can fall pretty flat.)

We are the Knights who say… NI. (Of course, you must then start repeating NI NI NI and jumping around)

Some may think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail as a potential winner here for this list, but how could we forget…

#2 Airplane! (1980)
You ever seen a grown man naked? (Warning: Be very careful where you repeat this line, I’m just saying that not everyone has seen Airplane!)

Surely you can’t be serious!
I am serious and don’t call me Shirley. (Anytime anyone says surely in any context, feel free to use.)

A hospital? What is it?
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now. (Don’t miss an opportunity to say this line if anyone gives you the opening, or you will probably regret it.)

So what could possibly beat Airplane? Well, I’ve chosen one and by the title today’s blog it’s pretty anti-climactic that the
#1 The Latterday Baby Boomer list of the 15 most quotable movies of all time during the years 1964-1987 is…

THIS IS SPINAL TAP(1983).

So strange that the #1 quotable movie on this list was largely improvised…
I was going to do a top 10 list of Spinal Tap quotes, but no, this list goes up to 11.

#11
David St. Hubbins: He died in a bizarre gardening accident
Nigel Tufnel: Authorities said... best leave it... unsolved.

#10
The official explanation was he choked on vomit…It was actually someone else’s vomit.
You can’t really dust for vomit

#9
Lyrics-
Big bottoms
Big bottoms
Talk about bum cakes
My Girls Got ‘em!
Big bottom drive me out of my mind
How could I leave this behind?

#8
Record review of Spinal Tap-They’re treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.

#7
Two word record review of Spinal Tap’s album Shark Sandwich-Shit Sandwich

#6
These go to 11.

#5
It’s such a fine line between clever and stupid.

#4
Nigel: I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really. It's like a Mach piece, really. It's sort of...
Di Bergi: What do you call it?
Nigel: Lick my love pump.

#3
The problem may have been there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage in danger of being crushed by a dwarf!

#2
If I told ‘em once I told them a hundred times to put Spinal Tap first and puppet show last!

And the #1 quote from the #1 movie of The Latterday Baby Boomer list of the 15 most quotable movies of all time during the years 1964-1987 is…

SMELL THE GLOVE!





1 comment:

  1. These are some excellent quotes. With a time span that big, it would be difficult to include everyone's favorite. I liked reading this edition, brought back a lot of good memories. And reminds me of a bunch of stuff I need to see.

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