Mob movies are a part of our movie history - and where there are great mob movies, there are great quotes. It was hard to cull the list down to 10, but I think I did it. Please don't fit me for cement shoes and make me sleep with the fishes if you disagree with what I came up with.
"I'll make him an offer he can't refuse." Don Corleone, The Godfather
If I really wanted to, I could populate this whole list solely from this movie and its sequel, but that wouldn't be fair to the other mob movies. This is the line that most people tend to quote from The Godfather. Of course, they try to do it in Marlon Brando's jowly, mumbly style.
"I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!" Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II
This is one of the most powerful scenes in the movie. Michael Corleone gives his brother Fredo the kiss of death. Yeah, we know how that one ended. It also made me leery of fishing for a while.
"You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little f----d up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?" Tommy DeVito, Goodfellas
This was the scene that made Joe Pesci famous. It's a fantastic scene that shows how fast he could go from being calm to being a raging, homical lunatic. It made you fear him.
"That black book's a joke. It's only got two names in it for the whole country. And one of them's still Al Capone." Nicky Santoro, Casino
Yes, It's another Pesci appearance. It's like a race between him and Al Pacino to see who can get the most appearances on this list. It makes me wonder though... how would a fight between Santoro and Tommy DeVito go? It'd be one with a lot of violence and swearing at each other.
"I always tell the truth. Even when I lie." Tony Montana, Scarface
Here's another movie that I could just take 10 quotes from and call it a day. Pacino makes another appearance on this list and he deserves to be there for his fiery performance as Montana. I was tempted to use "Say hello to my little friend!" but this one won out for me.
"I didn't ask for that and I don't want it. Goodbye Leo." Tom Reagan, Miller's Crossing
A highly underrated movie, this line is so defiantly spoken to bat down the offer of forgiveness. The Coen brothers made a great movie here and this scene deserves to be here.
"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part III
Yup. Another Pacino appearance. No, he's not paying me to put him in here. This was a very mediocre movie in comparison to the other two, but this was a very powerful line.
"Did he sound anything like that?" Eliot Ness, The Untouchables
Another great movie with an abundance of great lines, particularly Robert De Niro as Al Capone. This was the scene that really grabbed me though, as Kevin Costner's Eliot Ness served up some long-awaited justice. The first time that we saw it in the theater, people cheered.
"You a gangster now. You can't learn it in school...you can't have a late start." Carlito, Carlito's Way
Pacino again. What can I say? The man is good in roles that center around the mob or organized crime. This is one is a bleak statement about what people have to do to enter that lifestyle.
"What Freud said about the Irish is: We are the only people who are impervious to psychoanalysis." Colin Sullivan, The Departed
It's kind of fitting that Matt Damon's Colin Sullivan was the one who spoke this line. His character was a sociopathic dirty cop who had no moral compunction about diminishing his badge by serving a master from the underworld.
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I'll be frank (even though my name's not frank): Airplane! is the funniest movie I've ever seen.
Bold claim, sure, but every time I watch this 1980 classic, from comedic masterminds Jerry Zucker, David Zucker and Jim Abrahams, I discover something new. Another joke that slipped by when I busy cackling with ecstatic laughter. The movie's relentless delivery is inspired, firing off jokes at rapid pace and never slowing down to let the lesser ones fall flat. The method wouldn't work with every comedy, but the writing/directing trio made it click in Airplane!, which is why the movie's stood the test of time.
Airplane! hits Blu-ray this week and in honor of the release, I got a chance to talk to the star of the film, Robert Hays, the solid foundation of the movie's zany antics. While some actors interest in their most popular work wanes over time, Hays remains impassioned over Airplane!. Out of the two of us, I wasn't expecting him to be the one continually quoting the film:
How are you today?
Wonderful! I'm continually amazed bythe lasting power of Aiplane!. For something so incredibly ridiculous—but wonderful. Why do you think this film has captured people in this way?
I think it took people by surprise, and I think that it continues to surprise them. You know?
Even though they know. It’s just that—the boys created something, when they wrote it, that was so tight and insane. And then, I think because we all did it so seriously, which is what they wanted, and which was perfect, it still really holds up. I have people come up to me and say, ‘Can I have your autograph?’ and then they say, ‘And don’t call me Shirley!’ or ‘Do you still have your drinking problem?’ and things. And then they say, ‘Can I have an autograph for my son?’ And I asked this one woman, ‘Yeah! How old is he?’ [She said,] ‘He’s twelve.’ Wow. And another one came up later, and said, ‘Can I have an autograph for my son?’ And I said, ‘How old is he?’ [She said,] ‘He’s ten.’ And then I had a woman come up and say, ‘I’m introducing [my son] to comedies. And he loves the Marx Brothers, but his favorite film of all time is Airplane!.’ And I said, ‘Well, how cool is that! How old is he?’ [And she said,] ‘He’s six.’ [Laughs] Six! So, right there, we have new generations of people.
Now that’s staying power.
Yeah! So we’re gonna have more, you know, at my funeral. They’ll be saying, ‘Yo, can I have your autograph?’
Don’t call them Shirley at your funeral either.
My God, it’s a coffin! A coffin, what is it? A box with a body in the ground, but that’s not important right now.
Have you ever seen the film Zero Hour!, the 1957 disaster film from which many of the scenes in Airplane! are lifted?
I saw it, but I’ve only seen it since [filming Airplane!]. I never saw it before. I knew it was the basis, because they had it cued up and running back in the booth. They’d go in, and certain scenes, they’d have…the same angles, and the same lighting and everything. So that’s another little inside joke—for that part of it that was based on Zero Hour!. It was based on, basically, that for the framework, but then, so many other films, too.
So it wasn’t just a framework, it was an on-set guide.
They had a little booth. When we were on set, there was a little cabin, kind of a little room, that David and Jim would be in. And they’d have the monitor taped off so they could see what’s gonna be on the screen—just what is on film. You know, the cameraman sees what’s all around it, so he can see if anything’s gonna come in and mess up the shot, or whatever. But in the video feed, that’s what came on the monitor. So they taped it off so you could just see what’s actually on the shot. Jerry was out with us, on the camera, and afterwards they’d confer. And if they agreed on it, they’d say, ‘Good! Cut! Print!’
But they had a few scenes that they wanted to make sure had the same lighting. You know, in paying homage to the film, and also for the little inside…you know, all the little trivia things.
When you first landed Airplane!, where did you feel, career-wise? Was getting the movie a big deal for you?
Yeah! It was a feature film.
Was it your first?
Very first film, yeah.
What was it like transitioning to films and working with the [Zucker] Brothers in that world?
It was a low-budget film. It was about three-and-a-half million, something like that. At that time, it was really considered low-budget. Now, everything has grown so much. Just like, instead of having four or five channels on TV, we’ve got how many hundreds of channels on TV. Back then, you only had so many kinds of categories. And that was a low-budget film. Just as an example, when we went to Paramount, my publicist went to them and said, ‘Okay, we’re ready to do publicity! Bob’s ready! Maybe you could do some sideshow,’ or whatever. And finally, they said, ‘Listen. You should just be happy that we like you. Urban Cowboy is our big film this summer.’ And they were filming Urban Cowboy right on the other side of the lot, and that’s when I met John [Travolta]. And we just laughed and laughed…I kept telling him scene after scene that we were filming. Donna Pescow, who I was doing Angie with, introduced us.
So that wasn’t their big film. It was just kind of a small, low-budget film. And then it wound up breaking every box office record in every theater that it played in. And then after that, things changed a bit. It was my first feature, but it wasn’t like I was in a huge, multimillion dollar Spielberg production. It was a small unknown thing with unknown actors. So that was all actually exciting and fun. Probably a lot more fun because people weren’t paying as much attention. As we were filming it, the dailies…oftentimes people say, ‘Well, I’ve got something else I’ve got to do. Tell me how the dailies look. I’ve gotta brush my teeth,’ or something, you know.
No one cared!
Yeah. And with these, they kept having to run the dailies two, three, four times, because eventually everyone wanted to come and see them.
So it was making sense to people? That’s what I always wonder. When you first came on set or picked up the script, did it make sense? Did it seem like it was going to be funny?
I read it on a plane, with a bunch of people including Donna Pescow, who I was doing Angie with, and Howard Cosell, and a whole bunch of ABC people. ABC was flying us out to Minneapolis—St. Paul—for a big celebration of an NBC station changing to ABC. And I read [the Airplane! script] on the plane flying out there. And there was something on every single page that made me laugh out loud. It just got me. It was just funny.
Do you have a favorite joke from the movie?
There’s so many! I love Bob Stack doing his Eliot Ness, when he turns to the camera and then leans into it. I think that was after Lloyd [Bridges] had been sniffing glue and then ran screaming out a window. And they all watched him go and then he exploded. And then he turns back to camera, and then he does that Eliot Ness move into it. And Leslie [Nielsen], with the stethoscope. ‘Excuse me, are you a doctor?’ And he says, ‘Yes, yes I am.’
What was it like working with Leslie Nielsen? I mean, he’s a classically trained, Shakespearean actor.
He was this serious, wonderful guy. I remember him as Marion the Swamp Fox on Disney. I was a little kid. And this handsome leading man. And here he is with a little fart machine off camera making you laugh your butt off.
Most importantly: What was it like working with the blow-up copilot?
Oh! Otto was great. Had his own agent. Very demanding. He had to have the biggest motorhome. And he had to have…I think he wanted the brown M&Ms.
What a diva.
The biggest. But other than that he was a good guy.
Deadline reports that James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin) is in talks with Relativity Media to direct Ness/Capone, a movie that will present a "new spin" on Eliot Ness' quest to bring down Al Capone's gangster fiefdom in the 1920s. Predictably, the "new spin" involves casting Ness as the bad guy; according to Deadline, the film will cast the lawman as a adrenaline-starved publicity hound whose flashy ways draw the ire of his gangster adversaries. Capone, meanwhile, will be depicted as a law-abiding small-business owner who never contracted syphilis. Sounds fun!
McTeigue is currently putting the finishing touches on The Raven, a fictional account of author Edgar Allan Poe's last days, starring John Cusack. Click on the image below to check out our huge John Cusack gallery:
While last week we delved into the slightly esoteric by pondering on the whereabouts of director Fred Dekker, this week the name on our list is just a tad more familiar. This week we turn our searchlight from the director’s chair to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Make sure to shake, but not stir, plenty of vodka martinis because this week we’re searching for Sean Connery.
Why We Love Him
You’d have to travel a great distance to find someone who hadn’t at least heard of James Bond; somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy would possibly suffice. This is a character deeply ensconced in both international cinema and pop culture and while many actors have played the role, Connery was the very first and, in the minds of many Bond fans, the very best. He was a powerful force of manliness with razor-sharp good lucks, quick wit, and lethal coldness. He was everything Ian Fleming had created in his original James Bond novels.
While donning the mantle of James Bond, Connery starred in some of the most seminal films of the franchise. Dr. No developed the formula, From Russia with Love already sought to improve upon that formula, and Goldfinger’s doomed, gilded beauty is among the most iconic images in cinema. Connery succeeded in proving himself as both a fantastic actor and a formidable action hero. He turned what could have been a couple of popcorn genre movies about spies into one of the most successful film franchises in history. His efforts ended up commanding him record-breaking salaries; much of which the man donated to charity for crying out loud.
The incredible thing about Sean Connery is that he was every bit as powerful a screen presence in his old age as he was in his youth. The roles he would play as a distinguished actor approaching his 60s were among some of his very best. I would mark the beginning of this period with his turn in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables playing a tough, flat-footed Irish cop helping Eliot Ness take down Al Capone. His final scene in that film is still absolutely devastating even upon repeat viewings.
But Sean wasn’t finished yet. He would then turn in an instantly endearing performance as the father of one of moviedom’s greatest heroes in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The comic relief he provided as a bumbling, but still very lovable archaeologist was phenomenal and further demonstrated his amazing range. I also love that there are several jokes made throughout the film related to his retention of his sex appeal; a nod to Connery’s incredible the staying power. Top that off with sensational turns in The Hunt for Red October and The Rock and it becomes clear that ol’ Sean hadn’t lost a single step in his old age. His being voted People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 1989 at the tender age of 59 certainly serves as evidence of this.
What Happened to Him?
What happened to Sean Connery? The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen happened to Sean Connery. Now granted, this was far from the first flop of Connery’s career, but it was apparently one he felt so personally embarrassed by that he decided to retire from acting altogether. While I not at all prepared to defend The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, I am confident that, had he not retired, Connery would have easily bounced back from it. This of course begs the question as to why others in Hollywood didn’t follow this same model; I will dance for joy the day I find out that Friedberg and Seltzer, humiliated to find they have absolutely no talent, retire from filmmaking forever.
Where’s He Been?
Apparently, and unfortunately for all of us, retirement really seems to be agreeing with Sean. He’s been playing loads of golf, enjoying his knighthood, and winning a slew of lifetime achievement awards. Despite announcing his retirement, several roles have been offered to Sean in the hopes that they would entice him back to the silver screen. He has turned down roles in The Matrix sequels and even the opportunity to reprise his role as Dr. Henry Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He had said that if anything could have pulled him from retirement it would have been another Indiana Jones film, but in the end decided he was having too much fun being retired.
Perhaps with the sweet relief he must feel for turning down the enormous pile of festering waste that was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, he may have gained a slightly renewed confidence in his ability to choose roles. I’m of course grasping at straws, but it pains me to no end that Sir Sean is no longer making movies. I will tip my hat to him for somewhat reprising his role as James Bond by lending his voice to the 2005 From Russia with Love video game. It seems these days the only work he will even consider taking is voice work for animated fare like Scotland’s Sir Billi series. I cling desperately to the hope that we will get to see Connery on the big screen again, but for now it seems nothing can revoke his license to chill.
Top Story: Reloaded Breaks One-Day Record
Not surprisingly, The Matrix Reloaded has broken the one-day box office record, grossing $42.5 million on Thursday, its opening day, Reuters reports. Playing in over 3,600 theaters, the film seems well on its way to breaking the box-office record for an opening weekend, most likely beating last year's record holder Spider-Man, with took in $114.8 million in its first three days.
Berry Breaks Arm on Gothika Set
Halle Berry, who plays a criminal psychologist in the upcoming supernatural thriller Gothika, broke her arm Wednesday on the Montreal set, Reuters reports, during a physically demanding scene. Warner Bros. spokesman Joe Everett told Reuters, "It wasn't a stunt scene, it was just one of the physical scenes in a movie. Her arm didn't go the way it was supposed to." The Oscar-winning actress was treated at a local hospital for a broken ulna--the bone that extends from the elbow to the wrist--and released the same day. Gothika also stars Robert Downey Jr. and Penelope Cruz.
EU Awards Honor Sisters
The European Union gave its annual movie award to the controversial film The Magdalene Sisters, directed by Scottish director Peter Mullan, The Associated Press reports. The film concentrates on four free-spirited Irish women sentenced to an abusive Catholic convent in the 1960s. The $28,000 prize is awarded each year at the Cannes Film Festival to the European film shown in the largest number of EU countries, AP reports.
Comic Strip Asterix Gets Film Treatment
One of Europe's most popular comic strip characters, a tough little warrior named Asterix, is getting his own movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Asterix and the Vikings is being made into a $25 million feature film, one the most expensive European animated films to date, revolving around Asterix, whose village is the last outpost of resistance in Gaul to the invading Romans but whose adventures take him to other countries.
Good Old Joe
Fox has decided to bring the reality show Joe Millionaire back in the fall for another season, focusing on an average, well, Joe, who is passed off to a gaggle of women as a millionaire. AP also reports the network has picked up two new teen-oriented dramas for the fall: Tru Calling, about a young woman with the Groundhog Day-like ability to relive a day, and The O.C., in which a poor youngster is suddenly thrust into a wealthy Orange County, Calif., home.
Carey Calls Eminem's Threats "Excessive"
Mariah Carey has a few choice words for bad-boy rapper Eminem, whom she briefly dated, about rumors he may use voicemail messages she left for him in a song, LAUNCHMusic.com reports. Apparently, the messages have Carey saying graphic things in a baby voice. The pop diva told New York's Daily News, "I don't know what the hell he's doing. It's a little excessive. Doesn't it seem a little bit girly? Like we're in a catfight."
Untouchables Stack Dies
Actor Robert Stack, best known as Eliot Ness in the hit '60s show The Untouchables and as the host of Unsolved Mysteries, died of a heart attack Wednesday in his Beverly Hills home, Reuters reports. He was 84.
Country Music Icon June Carter Cash Dies
June Carter Cash, one of country music's pioneering talents and wife of 35 years to legend Johnny Cash, died from complications from heart surgery Thursday in Nashville, Tenn. She was 73.
Role Call: Cage Wants His Rights
Nicolas Cage is set to star in Dead to Rights, a film based on the popular video game. Variety reports Cage will play Jack Slate, a disgraced cop who is hell-bent on discovering who murdered his father.