Wednesday, May 29, 2013

CHARIOTS OF FIRE* (1981, GREAT BRITAIN)


* This post really has nothing to do with Chariots of Fire, I just needed a blog heading.

Whenever I don’t have a particular movie in mind for a blogpost, I have used Chariots of Fire for my heading. I’ve done it about ten times, in fact. I had never seen the movie before, so I decided it was finally time to see it and find some other heading to use for posts of this nature. I thought about using some 60’s film that I had never watched such as Russ Meyer’s Faster, Pussy Cat! Kill! Kill! Or The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Shortt, but nothing seemed quite right to take the place of Chariots of Fire. It’s like playing the Kevin Bacon game using someone other than Kevin Bacon in that you can do it, but it just isn’t quite the same. So it looks like I will continue to post Chariots of Fire as a heading when I can’t think of anything else. I guess we can all rest easy now.

Oh, yes. The point of this particular post is that I’ve now seen 500 of the movies from the big 1001 list. Logically that should be about half of 1001 (Exactly half if you work it. I’m not sure how, but I do know the ½ from Fellini’s 8 ½ is somehow involved.) But alas, updated lists have put the current total of the 1001 list at 1103 and continues to grow.

So being 45% done isn’t quite as good as being 50% done, but there you have it.
And at least this will give me more opportunities to make random Chariots of Fire posts.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

THE OULAW JOSEY WALES (1976), UNFORGIVEN (1992), HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER (1973), DIRTY HARRY (1971)



TRACTORLAND

Josey Wales pointed his pistol at the bottles on the fence in front of him.

Four shots rang out...Three bottles shattered.

He was getting good, but would it be good enough when it came time to face the Redlegs?

It was at that moment that Josey heard a distinct rumbling coming from the distance. He took his gun and hid behind the bushes. Could the moment of truth be upon him already?

As Josey saw four figures coming over the morning mist of what was once his farm, he cocked his gun in preparation.

"Josey Wales!" one of the figures shouted at him. "We come in peace. We are here to help you."

These were clearly not Redlegs. As the figures came closer, he noticed a familiar look to them. Josey came out with his weapons drawn as they approached him.

“Speak your piece and do it quick,” Wales said.

"We are here to help you," the first figure, who had the appearance
of a grizzled gunfighter, said. He had a slight growth of beard, squinted and spat. After the gunfighter spat, Wales spat immediately after him.

"My name is William Munny,” he said.

Wales tilted his head to get a better look at the gunfighter. "You look like-"

"I know." Munny said.

The second figure spoke.
"And my name is…well, I don't have a name. Some call me the High Plains Drifter."

"I don't know if I can trust a man without a name." Wales said.

"I do want you to trust me, so I've got to admit to you that my real name is...Ellen." The drifter spat.

Josey spat in response. I'm not real comfortable calling you that. Can I just call you, Hey You?"

"That works for me." Hey You said.

Wales tilted his head slightly to the left at Hey You. "You look like-"

"I know." Hey You, said.

The figure next to Hey You was wearing a dress outfit that Josey had never seen before, not even in the city.

"My name's Harry Callahan." he said with a smirk.

"That's a mighty big gun you have there, Harry." Josey said.

"It isn’t just cause I'm just glad to see you." he replied before spitting on the ground.

Wales turned his head in the direction of Harry Callahan. "You look like-"

"I know." Callahan said.

Josey looked at the fourth man. He was much smaller than the others with a short haircut, white shoes a red bow tie and an ill-fitting poncho.

The little man put out his hand and said. "HELLO! My name's Pee Wee! Pee Wee Herman! HA! HA!” Pee Wee tried to spit on the ground, but his saliva seemed to get stuck in his throat and all he could manage to do was loudly swallow it. He laughed again and looked around sheepishly.

Josey took a step back.

"He's all right, Josey." William Munny said. “Pee Wee is just the result of a computer glitch. He was programmed to be a fierce gunslinger named Blondie, but, I...I still don't rightly know what went wrong. But let me tell you, this Pee Wee's appearance may not match the rest of us, but he's proven to be a good fighter."

"A competer what?" Josey asked. "What is going on here? Aren't you fellas here to help me fight the Redlegs?

"I think we need to talk," Hey You said.

Josey motioned for the group to proceed to the burned out remnants of his farmhouse.

Pee Wee took the lead and bounced his arms vigorously and skipped as he went into the house.

The other four sauntered in and they sat down at the table.

"Josey, your enemy isn't the Redlegs, because you ain't the real Josey Wales." William Munny said.

"You're a computer generated version of Josey Wales." Harry Callahan clarified.

"That's crazy talk!" Josey said springing up in his seat.

"Sit down, Josey. Let me prove it to you. You feel grief for your wife and son, right? But do you actually have memories of them? Well, do you? Its all part of a computer program," Hey You said.

Josey sat down in the recognition that their assessment of his memory was correct.

"Expain."

"You are part of a role-playing computer game called TractorLand. Millions of people play it, I'm not sure why. It looks really boring to me. I know you don’t understand, we didn’t at first,” William Munny said

“But there are animals on this game that appear to be docile and benign
but take it from me; they aren't." Hey You added.

"I don't even know what a tractor is. Do I?” Josey asked.

"Tractors are pretty cool, Josey." Pee Wee interjected. "Of course I get all I need from my bike. Ha Ha."

"Time is running out Josey. To make a long story short, they're coming back for you.They’re coming for all of us. It took us awhile to get use to this reality but you don't have the luxury of time. I’d say we got about thirty minutes before they come back." Hey you said.

Josey buried his head. "But I don't understand!"

Harry Callahan grabbed Josey's arm. "There's not time, man.

Josey moved his head around to the others and nodded in agreement. Now they were able to plan.

Josey Wales and William Munny positioned themselves in the house with rifles ready.Harry Callahan and Hey You stationed themselves outside behind some rubble with their respective Magnum and Six Shooter drawn. Pee Wee lurked behind the building equipped with a bike and really loud black horn.

Then they came.

First, a group of pigs came at the farmhouse. These weren't any normal pigs, these were pigs flipping nun-chucks. These nunchuck pigs were vicious, but were clearly not ready for the ambush awaiting them. Harry Callhan's Magnum took the lead in wiping out the nunchuck pigs. The other gunfighters offered cover and the pigs not slaughtered made a hasty retreat.

Callahan came up to one of the pigs that was wounded but still alive. The pig’s hoof was in reach of his nunchucks as the animal eyed Callahan and his weapon. Harry raised his gun. "I know what you're thinking. Did I shoot 5 or 6? But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your snout clean off, you've got to ask yourself. Do you feel lucky, pig? Huh? Go ahead, make my day, Porky!"

The pig grabbed for his nun-chuck, but a shot rang out from Harry's weapon before the pig could reach it. "Guess I had one left." Harry said.

Next came the Samurai cows mooing as they brandished their swords.
"Shoot for the utters!" William Munny yelled out. As the bullets from the farmhouse came at the cows, the gunfire tearing into the utters caused most of the cows to explode in a milky explosion leaving nothing but their Samurai swords behind.

One of the cows tried to cut into Hey You before the gunfighter knocked it down with the butt of his six-shooter. "Looks like I'm going to have to teach you some manners," Hey You said as he pulled out a brush and began painting the cow red. The cow began a deep moo before Hey You knocked him out with a stray nunchuck he picked up off the ground. Hey You was blanketed in milk, but was otherwise unharmed.

A more coordinated attack came from a group of Gladiator chickens and Judas goats.They almost made it all the way to the farmhouse. Hey You grabbed one of the discarded Samurai Cow swords and decapitated a Gladiator chicken that was about to kill Harry Callahan with a spiked club.

From the flank, three Hellhorses with fire blazing from their nostrils came at Pee Wee's bicycle. He pushed a button on his bike that caused him to spring out of his seat, confusing the two Hellhorses converging on him enough that they slammed into each other, making them dazed, impaling the screeching animal and easy prey for his comrade's weapons. Pee Wee hopped onto the other Hellhorse and rode him into a broken fence at the edge of the Wales farm. Pee Wee giggled and gave his friends a thumbs up sign.

"Come on!” Josey motioned to William Munny. "We've got to get out there. We can't get enough of them holed up in here." William Munny and Josey went out with guns blazing.

The battle raged. Warrior kitties attacked without any outside weapons, but possessing a matching set of extremely sharp claws.

William Munny had five Warrior kitties almost upon him. "Damn it. I'm not like that anymore...I’m just not a killer, ah…what the hell." Munny blew away the felines with five shots.

Four fanged CyberBurros flew in the group’s direction. "These are one group of mules that I ain't gonna laugh at." Josey fired four shots. This time he was four for four.

A herd of counting sheep tried to come and make the others fall asleep, but the group was able to avert their eyes until they could be sheared with Pee Wee's electric razor.

After thirty minutes of intense fighting, the battle appeared to be over for the time being. The farmhouse was now obliterated. The group had injuries, but would survive. "We have done it." Josey said.

"For now." Harry added.

They heard a noise behind the shrub and they went over to investigate. A duck with large eyes and a pointed hat was shivering and looked at them with big, sleepy eyes.

"It's just a sweet little party duck that has lost its way,"Josey said.
In the second that he turned to tell the others, the party duck reared its teeth and flew at Josey.
"No!" Pee Wee said as he intercepted the path of the party duck. Harry Callahan came by and shot the duck in the head, but not before the damage was done.

They all came to Pee Wee's aid.
"My wounds are too great." Pee Wee said, putting his hand to his bloody neck where the party duck had bitten into him.

Hey You placed Pee Wee's poncho under Josey's head.
"You're a very brave man." Josey said to Pee Wee as he bent down to comfort him.

Pee Wee motioned to him and Josey bent down and Pee Wee said something in his ear, before Pee Wee closed his eyes for good.

"What did he say?" Munny asked.

"He said, ‘I know you are, but what am I?’"

Josey, William Munny, Harry Callahan and Hey You buried their friend on the eastern edge of the property.

"Why do people play this TractorLand?" Josey asked.

The other three looked at each other and shrugged.

A heavy wind began to blow on what used to the farm of Josey Wales.

"I think this place needs a new christening." Josey said.

They all looked around and agreed the need to acknowledge the war against evil they fought here and rename the area. Harry Callahan found a piece of what used to be the Wales barn and hammered it into the soil with his Magnum next to the newly dug grave of their fallen comrade. Hey You took out some of his red paint and wrote a name on the sign.

The four of them looked at it and nodded in mutual acknowledgement and walked away.

The sign read simply: East Wood.




Wednesday, May 15, 2013

THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)



The Munchkin Coroner and the Mayor of the Munchkin City are Dead (Chapter I)

The Munchkin’s jubilation began to subside the day after Dorothy from Kansas dropped a house on the Wicked Witch of the East. The threat from the Wicked Witch of the West was still very much a problem that no amount of singing Ding Dong the Witch is Dead could abate.

The three leaders of the Lollipop Guild sat on the second step above Munchkin Pond in the center of Munchkin Square as they stared out in the general direction that stretched out past the yellow brick road.

“What do we do now?” said Jerry, the loose cannon of the Lollipop Guild.

Harry, the unofficial leader of the Lollipop Guild drew a heavy sigh. “We wait.”

Paul, the third member of the Lollipop Guild patted Harry on the knee. “Well, I’m completely confident. I’ve never met anyone like this Dorothy before. That girl is simply FABULOUS!” Paul fluttered his fingers to accentuate his enthusiasm.

Jerry growled at Paul, who stuck his tongue back at Jerry before briskly walking away.

“Why do you have to antagonize him?” Harry asked.

“Ah. I don’t get Paul. He’s weird. He never wants to join us when we got tomcattin’ after the Lullaby League. I’ve never seen him even interested in any girl until this Dorothy came crashing down on us. What did he say about her again?”

He said something like “Dorothy rocks my world, I think. Look, you have to admit the girl did save us and Glinda said-”

“Glinda.” Jerry interrupted. “Glinda is a game player. I never understand her riddles. And what was that she said about the ruby slippers? I didn’t get that. And is she ever around when we need her? But…on the other hand, she is rather pleasant to look at, don’t you think? Tell me Harry, do you ever think about…big girls?” Jerry raised his eyebrows as he took a prolonged lick from his lollipop.

Before he could finish, Harry snatched it away from him. Jerry fumed in protest, but remained silent.

The Mayor of the Munchkin City waddled up to them. “Harry,” he said. “I think this is a great day for Munchkin Land. This Dorothy will save us from outside influences. We will then become an autonomous body within the Land of Oz. We will achieve statehood. Independence. We may even become a duchy. Or maybe a regency. Maybe even a province.”

Jerry could only shake his head at the Mayor’s rant.

“I’m not sure what that all means, Mayor.” Harry said. "But Jerry is right in that we are no safer now than we were before and the Witch of the West will be after us more than ever.”

“Hmmmm,” The mayor said. “Do you want me to issue a proclamation? Sign a treaty? Declare a holiday? Should the town engage in another chorus of We’re off to see the Wizard? I’ll think about it and we’ll hold a meeting. But first we must hold a meeting to determine if we should hold a meeting. Then we’ll vote on it. Then we’ll decide if the votes count.” The mayor’s voice trailed off as he walked away from them.

Harry and Jerry turned back to the yellow brick road, which seemed to stretch out even farther into to the unknown than it did just a few minutes ago.


The Munchkin Coroner and the Mayor of the Munchkin City are Dead (Chapter 2)

While making the rounds to make sure that everyone in Munchkin Land was still alive, the Munchkin Coroner was the first to witness the black smoke in the distant clouds. He whistled and the Mayor and the Lollipop Guild came to him at once.

They walked to the tip of the Yellow Brick road with Paul of the Lollipop Guild carting the only known pair of binoculars in Munchkin Land. And they were designer ones to boot!

The mayor signaled for Paul to hand the binoculars to him to read the message, but he took so much time making sure he was situated properly that Jerry grabbed the binoculars from Paul and looked into them.

“S-U-R-R-E-N-D-E-R D-O-R-O-T-H-Y” he read. Jerry brought down the glasses and glared at them all, waiting for a response.

“Liar!” Paul screamed in his high-pitched voice as he grabbed the binoculars back.

When Paul acknowledged that the message was as Jerry said, he dropped to his knees. “Oh, Dorothy. Sweet, wonderful Dorothy. How can we help you in your time of need?”

“Don’t worry, Paul,” Harry said. “That witch will pay for this. And we still really don’t know what’s happening.” Harry turned to the Mayor. “You’ve got to speak to them, mayor. You’ve got to prevent a panic.”

Beads of sweat ran down the mayor’s face. He opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out.

“When would be a good time to panic, Harry? We’ve put all our eggs in the Dorothy basket and came up snake eyes.” Paul hesitated for a moment wondering if his comment made any sense before continuing. “The Witch of the East was a pussycat compared to Witch of the West. Dorothy should never have made her mad.”

Paul pushed at Jerry. “Don’t talk about my Dorothy that way. You aren’t fit to shine her ruby slippers, let alone put on a pair.”

Jerry eyed Paul with suspicion. “I’d never want to wear a pair of ruby slippers. But I’m thinking you might.”

“What are you trying to say?” Paul said. Arms akimbo, as Jerry approached to him.

Before they could continue, Harry stepped between them. “Never mind all that you two. We’ve got a crisis on our hands.”

The mayor looked at Harry. “Flying monkeys, Flying monkeys," the mayor said with a stutter. "We need to hold a meeting.” The mayor wiped beads of sweat off his expansive forehead.

“No mayor! Don’t scare them with talk about flying monkeys. We mustn’t forget those creatures are no bigger than we are,” Harry said.

“Yeah,” piped in Jerry stepping in front of the mayor and facing the rest of Munchkin Land. "Except they have sharp teeth, they can FLY and they have direct orders from the wicked witch to KILL us! Nothing to worry about there!”

The rest of the munchkin population that had gathered began buzzing and scampering nervously around the square.

The mayor sat down and stared up at the witch’s message. “Nothing to worry about…nothing to worry about,” he repeated, trying to convince himself.

The Munchkin Coroner and the Mayor of the Munchkin City are Dead (Chapter 3)

Daylight broke early the next morning. Paul of the Lollipop Guild was on night watch, but before his shift ended he spotted a sight over the horizon. He let out a whistle, which led the mayor and other members of the Lollipop Guild to come out to where he stood.

“What in blazes is that? Jerry asked, looking up. “It’s coming our way!”

With a frightened look of recognition on his face, Harry yelled. “It’s the Wizard of Oz floating away in his Omaha State Fair balloon!”

Jerry began to panic. “He’s escaping! The Wicked Witch has won. We’re doomed.”

The munchkin people scurried around aimlessly, screaming at the top of their tiny lungs.

The mayor silently held up his arms, signaling the Munchkin people to cease their panic, but no one seemed to be paying any attention to him.

“All is well,” the mayor finally managed to get out. But as he looked around at the ensuing riot, he changed his tune. “Never mind. We’re toast.”

The mayor walked to the first step above the Munchkin Pond. He cupped his hands together and dropped face first into the Munchkin pool. As soon as he hit the water, his body remained unmoving, the flow of waves washing gently over his still body.

Paul pulled his own hair and screamed once again for Dorothy.

The Munchkin coroner toddled to the Munchkin pool with his medical bag to check on the mayor. In a blind rage, Jerry grabbed the yummy part of his lollipop and jabbed the butt of it through the coroner’s chest as he was bending down to check the condition of the mayor.

The coroner grabbed at the lollipop, but since it was so sticky, he was unable to pull it out. He looked around unbelievingly and fell to the ground.

“My gracious. Is he dead?” Paul of the Lollipop Guild asked as Munchkin Land fell silent.

“I still feel a pulse,” Harry of the Lollipop Guild said as he went to one knee and grabbed the coroner’s wrist.

The coroner managed to pull himself up and whispered to Harry, “I’m really, most sincerely…dead.” At this point, he dropped to the ground and lay still.

“Now he’s dead,” Harry said and released his grip.

Jerry slunk into a corner and started to cry. Paul went over to comfort him, but Harry pulled him aside. “Best leave him to his thoughts. Munchkicide isn’t something he’s likely to get over anytime soon.”

With the death of the mayor and the coroner, all of Munchkin Land looked at Paul and Harry.

“I guess you’re in charge now, honey. What do we do?’ Paul asked.

Harry of the Lollipop Guild put his hands on Paul of the Lollipop Guild’s shoulders. “No, Paul. You must lead them. I have another destiny. I know it pains you, but we have to assume Dorothy…is dead. We know the Wizard has left Oz. As for Glinda, she’s never really around when you need her.”

Tears welled in Paul’s eyes. “But what are you going to do?”

Harry backed away from Paul to speak to all the Munchkins. “I’m going out there my friends. I’m going to try to find the Wicked Witch of the West. I know the odds are against me, But I’ve got to try. And even if you don’t see me, remember I’ll be around. Whenever there’s a witch not letting us get apples from a talking tree, I’ll be there. Whenever there’s a flying monkey beating up one of the lullaby league, I’ll be there too. And if Munchkin Land ever comes back from this…Don’t forget to look for me…cause I’ll be there too. I bid you...farewell.”

Harry of the Lollipop Guild turned and began his journey down the yellow brick road.

The munchkins joined hands and hummed Red River Valley until he was completely out of sight.

END

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)


Sometime in 2014. Chris the ex-librarian has just had his first movie script green-lighted and it is about to be put into production. But what next?

(Hollywood, California. A prominent unnamed movie exec’s office)

Exec: Come on in kid. What have you got for me?

Chris: First I want to thank you again. I know you have limited time.

Exec: Just make sure you don’t waste it. I just wanted to repeat how much I appreciated the originality of your ninja/coal miner story, but you know what they say…

Chris: You’re only as good as your next one?

Exec: Right. I have taught you well. So I repeat…what you working on?

Chris: (standing up to add emphasis to his pitch) I’m working on a remake.

Exec: A remake, eh? A real hit or miss proposition there. What are we remaking? Nothing Victorian I hope. Nothing prestige at all. That’s not in this year. This studio needs money, not awards. And no Westerns! Wait, I forgot about True Grit. Is it a Western? Wait. That’s still to risky. I need something with boffo special effects. Our CGI department is top of the line, you know. I think it’s time for a sci-fi. Is it sci-fi? I do hope it’s something sci-fi.

Chris: You could say that.

Exec: Let me guess. Probably something from the 50’s. Forbidden Planet? No, too cerebral. That movie where five people are left on earth. What was that called?

Chris: That was called Five.

Exec: Five. That’s right. That would certainly save money on casting. One of my favorites is Them! That might work. Our F/X team could make some killer ants. How about The Day the Earth Stood Still?

Chris: They already remade that one and it stunk.

Exec: Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. Why don’t you just tell me? Stop being so shy!

Chris: Well, it’s nothing 50’s. I’m working on an update to Back to the Future.

Exec: Oh! That’s going to be a tough sell. A beloved film for our generation. My kids still watch it. I still watch it. Obviously you still watch it. What’s wrong with the original version?

Chris: Nothing. But don’t you get it? The original is from 1985 and Marty McFly goes back thirty years to 1955. This version will be set in 2015 and he goes back to 1985. Get it now?

Exec: So it’s about mathematics. Thirty is your magic number. Is thirty a prime number? I’m going to buzz my secretary and see if thirty is a prime number or not. Never mind. That’s not important. Anyway, is that all you’re bringing me? It’s going to take more than addition and subtraction for me to sell a Back to the Future remake. So where else you going with this?

Chris: Listen to this. Marty goes back to 1985 and he doesn’t know what to do to get his parents together because nobody has cell phones. Right? And he keeps looking for a computer to get on and he can’t find one and goes to a library and all they have is books! He’s got to get them together before the big Terms of Endearment dance…

Exec: I’m a little interested, but I’m hardly blown away, kid. You got any more?

Chris: Well, a few political jokes. Obviously some Reagan one-liners. Just like in the first one. The real kicker is when Marty tells him that a black man is now president of the United States. It refers to Goldie Wilson the mayor from the first movie, right?

Exec: That’s okay. But there were already two sequels. We know about the future of the series from them.

Chris: They won’t exist in this universe.

Exec: Oh, a full-franchise reboot.

Chris: Reboot. Remake. Whatever! Let’s go for it, C. B!

Exec: Hold your horses. What about the cast? Michael J. Fox’s don’t grow on trees.

Chris: Glad you asked. I was thinking about Dakota Fanning.

Exec: Maybe a good choice for Marty’s mother. That might work. But what about Marty?

Chris: I am talking about Marty. Dakota Fanning as Marty.

Exec: You want Marty to be a girl this time?

Chris: NO! I want Marty to be a boy, but played by a girl. Sort of like Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There.

Exec: That Dylan movie? Are you kidding! How many people saw that? Eight, maybe? So who you got in mind for Doc Brown? You thinking Sean Penn?

Chris: Glad you asked. Here’s the kicker. The Doc Brown character will be changed. The new professor character will be, and remember this is 1985 now….Bill Gates! In between the building of Microsoft, he’s also built a time machine! I’ve got a lot of computer jokes to go with this. You know, we’ll make fun of people not knowing what a floppy disc is. Bill could see an apple and tell Marty how apples aren’t good for him. Get it?. And the catch phrase of the movie will have bad guy Biff saying, “What the hell is DOS?”

Exec: Wait. You got a few strained computer jokes, a female Marty McFly and the founder of Microsoft with a time machine. Have you got anything else?

Chris: Well, the Libyans are now Al-Queda. The Delorean is now an electric car. The clock tower scene would now be a digital clock scene, set at a bank. That would say something about the greed decade, right? And George McFly doesn’t become an author he….wait a minute.

Exec: What is it kid?

Chris: This is all wrong. This isn’t real. I just made this up. I made you up.

Exec: Now see here. You can’t come into my office and-

Chris: Shutup! You’re fictional. I just decided to think of a Back to the Future remake because I can’t believe it’s been almost thirty years since it came out. Thirty years! This is my therapy to deal with the passage of time.

Exec: And you’re trying to find a way to turn back the clock. Well, that explains a lot about me. I was beginning to feel pretty one-dimensional, I admit. Well, since we have determined my fictionalitization, may I go now to wherever it is fictional characters go?

Chris: I don’t think fictionalitization is a word.

Exec: I guess grammar is your problem, kid. By the way, the ninja/coal miner story…it stinks!

(The Exec disappears)

Chris shrugs and pulls out a copy of Back to the Future and decides to watch it again, but without thinking about it so much this time.

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!