Ten Greatest Dialogues

The BBC conducted a poll of cinema-lovers on the best dialogue in the history of film.  Here’s their Top 10:

  1. Robert Duvall, Apocalypse Now (1979):

    You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like… victory. Someday this war’s gonna end…

  2. Jack Nicholson, A Few Good Men (1992):

    You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know – that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

  3. Marlon Brando, On The Waterfront (1954):

    Remember that night in the Garden? You came down to my dressing room and you said ‘kid, this ain’t your night. We’re going for the price on Wilson’… You was my brother, Charlie. You shoulda looked out for me a little bit so I wouldn’t have to take them dives for the short-end money. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum. Which is what I am. Let’s face it.

  4. Samuel L Jackson, Pulp Fiction (1994):

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.

  5. Michael Douglas, Wall Street (1987):

    The point is, ladies and gentleman, is that greed – for lack of a better word – is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms – greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind. And Greed – you mark my words – will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.

  6. Peter Finch, Network (1976):

    I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter; punks are running wild in the streets, and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it.

  7. Ewan McGregor,Trainspotting (1996):

    Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family, Choose a big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends… Choose your future. Choose life.

  8. Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry (1971):

    I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?

  9. Richard E Grant,Withnail and I (1987):

    What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a God! The beauty of the world, paragon of animals; and yet to me, what is this quintessence of dusk. Man delights not me, no, nor women neither, nor women neither.

  10. Mel Gibson,Braveheart (1995):

    You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight? Aye, fight and you may die, run and you’ll live. At least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!

There’s the top 10.  I haven’t been able to find it on the ‘net, but I’m sure it’s probably real.  However, there’s a couple there that do not belong IMO.  Now, I’m no cinema buff by any stretch of the imagination, but I can think of two that should have been there that were not:

Although not a dialogue in the purest sense of the word, the accompanying dialogue is so intangible it may as well be a dialogue ( accompanying dialogue omitted ):

  • Sterling Hayden, Dr. Strangelove ( 1964 ):

    Mandrake?  Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water? Vodka, that’s what they drink, isn’t it? Never water? On no account will a Commie ever drink water, and not without good reason.  Water, that’s what I’m getting at, water. Mandrake, water is the source of all life. Seven-tenths of this earth’s surface is water. Why, do you realize that seventy percent of you is water? And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water to replenish our precious bodily fluids. Are you beginning to understand? Mandrake. Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure-grain alcohol? Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation. Fluoridation of water? Well, do you know what it is? Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

And, once again, another of MY Top 10 Dialogues with just enough supporting dialogue to keep it going omitted:

Listen — strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.  Well you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!  I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they’d put me away!  Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system. Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!  HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!  Oh, what a give away. Did you hear that, did you hear that, eh? That’s what I’m on about — did you see him repressing me, you saw it didn’t you?

I’m just going to give up here.  How those two dialogues can not be greater than Braveheart, Wall Street, or Network just  tells me I’m not on the same wavelength as the people in this poll.  That’s not unusual tho.


Remember all those things I complemented The Martian about?  Interstellar is everything that is wrong that I listed.  Matthew McConaughey delivers a sometimes over-the-top performance. There’s lots of drama.  Lots.  There are two serious WTF moments.  The second one takes the movie in a direction no movie has ever gone before.  I still don’t understand it.  The movie defies several well known laws of physics.  And, it takes liberties with pretty well documented natural phenomena that makes it real, real, difficult for a science buff to sit comfortably through, especially at two and a half hours.

All that being said, if you go into this just wanting to watch a good story, with SOME good acting, and have the ability to ignore the numerous plot holes.  This is a good one to watch.

I can’t do that tho.  Going to give it one thumb for entertainment value based purely on the incredible WTF moments, and that’s it.

The Martian

One of my favorite movies of 2015 by far was The Martian.

Just a very well done movie.  Easy to watch for anyone of any age.  Language is a little dicey for real young kids, but that’s the worst of it.

Now, I’m a science-fiction buff.  I like space movies.  I like it most when they at least pay some homage to reality.  It’s possible to have a good plot without freakish glaring holes.  This is one of those movies.  Science buffs like myself can enjoy the movie.  We’ll notice some sticking points, but not enough to wreck the movie.  Matt Damon tosses in just the right amount of humor and emotion.  Good movie.  All thumbs up.


We rented Battleship yesterday. It kept the boy occupied for probably and hour and a half or so. For that, it was worth it’s money.

But, this is an awful, awful, movie. One spoiler and that is all. During a critical moment in the movie, they have revived the mothballed USS Missouri. They are using it to attack an alien warcraft that has destroyed modern battleships with no real effort. It has destroyed missiles, jets, everything thrown at it. So, about all that’s left is this 70 year old ship. The critical moment of the movie involves the USS Missouri, a very large, very steel, very heavy, and very slow ship to head right at the alien ship, make a hard left, drop anchor, which, being in the middle of the deepest ocean on Earth, causes this 100 ton ship to stop on a dime thus evading the game pegs from hitting it. Everyone is standing intact ready to fire the heavy guns.

Everything else about this movie is standard cliche stuff.  Bad aliens, love interests, family drama, yuck.  I had to keep telling myself this movie was just made for entertainment purposes only.

No thumbs for this one.


The family went to see Hugo last night.  From watching the previews I figured it was a kid’s movie and since me and the boy needed some downtime, this would be a good way to do it.  Boy, was I ever right.  This movie is sedentary as you can get.  It’s a very, very, very easy movie to watch.  It’s kinda loonie in a whimsical way.  And, it’s pretty much so far out there it’s pretty impossible to believe.  But, during the movie, one scene kept bugging me all the way through the movie.

I’ve been a sci-fi junkie all my life and recognized that picture immediately.  It’s from the very first “official” sci-fi movie ever made, A Trip to the Moon.  However, in Hugo they attributed it to some whacky film director named Georges Méliès who went bankrupt due to World War I.

Did a little reading today.  There actually WAS a Georges Méliès who actually DID produce A Trip to the Moon.  What’s even weirder is this is what Georges Méliès looked like:

And this is Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of him:

Spot on!

The true story of Georges Méliès is almost as fantastical as it’s portrayed in Hugo.  He did make fantastic movies YEARS before anyone else.  He did make COLOR movies by painting each frame years before anyone else.  Most of his movies were destroyed to make shoes.  The primary object of his focus in the movies was indeed his wife.  There’s one very different fact tho.  Georges Méliès did go bankrupt as the movie portrays.  But, it was not because of World War I.  It was because Hollywood outmarketed and flat out stole a lot of his movies.  It was a rather ruthless destruction of an incredible talent.  One of the people that would have been instrumental in that would have been a fellow named Lewis Selznick.  The movie is based on a book called The Invention of Hugo Cabret, written by Lewis’s great-grandnephew, Brian Selznick.  He even has an uncredited part in the movie.

A really stupid flick called New Year’s Eve got the biggest numbers over the weekend.  But, I’m telling you THIS is the release of the week to watch.  It will keep small kids occupied because of the fantastic imagery of the movie.  BUT, the story is unforgettable.  It’s a movie where you really don’t see what’s coming, but moves around and finishes in a very satisfactory way.  The movie is not at all what it seems.  It’s very complicated, very historically enjoyable to watch, and the acting, especially by Sascha Baron Cohen, is fantastic.  It’s all thumbs up.  It’s not at all what I expected, it’s LOTS better.  GO SEE THIS MOVIE!  Am I clear enough?

In the meantime, here’s the original A Trip to the Moon in it’s entirety:


This weekend we went to see Apollo 18.  It was a really bad scared-in-space movie.  I felt cheated.

So, I looked up an old movie I hadn’t seen since probably 1969 or so that did it right.

Marooned was a an amazing movie considering what it had to work with.  CGI didn’t exist.  It has the usual sci-fi errata, but not so much to totally distract from the movie.  It has an 1968 all-star line-up.  It even has the approval from NASA to use their trademarks.  It is very well acted and features a lot of the technology of the time.  You get to see Atlas rockets, Saturn V’s, a Russian Soyuz, weather satellites, etc.  The concept of the movie affected some space flights ( notably Skylab ), and eerily preceded the events of Apollo 13 by a year.  It was a damn good sci-fi flick.

Just a subtle reminder, all thumbs up, WATCH THIS MOVIE!

Apollo 18

I waited a long time to see Apollo 18.  I’m a sci-fi junkie with precious little content lately to sate my appetite.  This looked like something to sink my teeth into.  It became obvious very early this wasn’t it.

A few years ago I did a list of Top Sci-Fi films of all-time.  This won’t be on it.  It might be on one of the worst lists.

OK, spoiler alert.  Skip it from here if you plan on watching it any time soon.

My main gripe with most sci-fi movies of late is they usually feature super-intelligent bugs.  These mindless creatures fly all over the universe in search of food or whatever.  Folks, that is just stupid plot design.  This movie takes that to a whole new level.

Would you believe the culprits that have mysteriously inhabited a crater in the Moon for an unknown period of time are rock-bugs?  Yup.  These tiny rock-bugs possibly block out communications, tip over lunar rovers, rip up the lander, creep inside space suits, and just make a bunch of astronauts lives a living hell, ultimately defeating their human visitors for no logical reason other than I suppose that’s what rock-bugs living on a dead rock in space with absolutely nothing to live on would do.

Other things got on my nerves as well.  The fake 8mm film was logical enough, but using modern drunk-camera work was too much.  People didn’t do that then, really.  Knowing some tricks of NASA didn’t help with the experience either.  They didn’t waste a lot of battery juice broadcasting video 24/7.  Most of what happened in the lander would not have been broadcast.  They just didn’t have the juice to spare back then.  The only way most of what was recorded would have ever been seen would be if they had gotten it on a later trip.  But, it was destroyed at the end of the movie.  And, why didn’t they just turn off the transmitters that were supposedly causing the problem?  They could have plugged them back in if they weren’t the problem.

Bad movie, really, really, bad. No thumbs.


Up was a sleeper for me. Not to a lot of folks tho. But, watching the trailer for months, I figured I had it all figured out before I even saw the movie. I was totally wrong. This isn’t one of those movies where you see all the best parts in the trailer. You see some of the chuckles, but the best part is totally omitted. The character development in this movie is possibly the best I have ever seen. You really understand what’s going on. It really gets under your skin pretty much right off the bat. The events of the movie itself almost seem irrelevant to me. You just want him to get to the silly waterfall.

Bottom line, all thumbs up. I liked it, the young boy liked it, and the wife loved it. That doesn’t happen too often. Definite must-see for any family with young kids, I would imagine older folks who are feeling the same things as the main character, and people who appreciate a great movie that doesn’t rely on pratfalls, car chases, or excessive violence. It’s a cerebral tug out your heart kind of movie along the lines of Wall-E. A movie buff friend of mine claims it’s one of the all-time greatest movies ever made. He’s seen thousands. That’s a pretty lofty claim. Not sure I would disagree with him now that a little time has passed and I can think back about it.