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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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.