Some of the Best American Screenplays Ever
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Walsh: Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.
Don Ciccio: I see you took the name of the town. What was your father's name?
Vito Corleone: Antonio Andolini.
Don Ciccio: You'll have to speak up. I can't hear you
Vito Corleone: My father's name was Antonio Andolini... and this is for you.
Charles Foster Kane: Rosebud...
Rick: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you're getting on that plane with Victor where you belong.
Ilsa: But, Richard, no, I... I...
Rick: Now, you've got to listen to me! You have any idea what you'd have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we'd both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn't that true, Louie?
Captain Renault: I'm afraid Major Strasser would insist.
Ilsa: You're saying this only to make me go.
Rick: I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Ilsa: But what about us?
Rick: We'll always have Paris. We didn't have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you.
Rick: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that.
[Ilsa lowers her head and begins to cry]
Rick: Now, now...
[Rick gently places his hand under her chin and raises it so their eyes meet]
Rick: Here's looking at you kid.
Quinlan: Come on, read my future for me.
Tanya: You haven't got any.
Quinlan: Hmm? What do you mean?
Tanya: Your future's all used up.
Norma Desmond: [to newsreel camera] And I promise you I'll never desert you again because after 'Salome' we'll make another picture and another picture. You see, this is my life! It always will be! Nothing else! Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark!... All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.
Alvy Singer: [addressing the camera] There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly. The... the other important joke, for me, is one that's usually attributed to Groucho Marx; but, I think it appears originally in Freud's "Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious," and it goes like this - I'm paraphrasing - um, "I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member." That's the key joke of my adult life, in terms of my relationships with women.
Dr. Strangelove: Sir! I have a plan!
[standing up from his wheelchair]
Dr. Strangelove: Mein Führer! I can walk!
Charlie Kaufman: [voiceover] Do I have an original thought in my head? My bald head. Maybe if I were happier, my hair wouldn't be falling out. Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I'm a walking cliché. I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked. There's something wrong. A bump. The dentist called again. I'm way overdue. If I stop putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn't fat I would be happier. I wouldn't have to wear these shirts with the tails out all the time. Like that's fooling anyone. Fat ass. I should start jogging again. Five miles a day. Really do it this time. Maybe rock climbing. I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more, improve myself. What if I learned Russian or something? Or took up an instrument? I could speak Chinese. I'd be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese and plays the oboe. That would be cool. I should get my hair cut short. Stop trying to fool myself and everyone else into thinking I have a full head of hair. How pathetic is that? Just be real. Confident. Isn't that what women are attracted to? Men don't have to be attractive. But that's not true. Especially these days. Almost as much pressure on men as there is on women these days. Why should I be made to feel I have to apologize for my existence? Maybe it's my brain chemistry. Maybe that's what's wrong with me. Bad chemistry. All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I'll still be ugly though. Nothing's gonna change that.
Jules: Hey kids! How you boys doin'?
[to man laying on the couch]
Jules: Hey, keep chillin'. You know who we are? We're associates of your business partner Marsellus Wallace. You do remember your business partner don't you? Let me take a wild guess here. You're Brett, right?
Jules: I thought so. You remember your business partner Marsellus Wallace, don't you, Brett?
Brett: Yeah, yeah, I remember him.
Jules: Good. Looks like me an Vincent caught you boys at breakfast. Sorry about that. Whatcha havin'?
Jules: Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast. What kind of hamburgers?
Jules: No, no no, where'd you get 'em? McDonalds? Wendy's? Jack in the Box? Where?
Brett: Big Kahuna Burger.
Jules: Big Kahuna Burger. That's that Hawaiian burger joint. I hear they got some tasty burgers. I ain't never had one myself. How are they?
Brett: They're good.
Jules: Mind if I try one of yours? This is yours here, right?
[Picks up burger and takes a bite]
Jules: Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger. Vincent, ever have a Big Kahuna Burger?
[Vincent shakes his head]
Jules: Wanna bite? They're real tasty.
Vincent: Ain't hungry.
Jules: Well, if you like burgers give 'em a try sometime. I can't usually get 'em myself because my girlfriend's a vegitarian which pretty much makes me a vegitarian. But I do love the taste of a good burger. Mm-mm-mm. You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France?
Jules: Tell 'em, Vincent.
Vincent: A Royale with cheese.
Jules: A Royale with cheese! You know why they call it that?
Brett: Because of the metric system?
Jules: Check out the big brain on Brett! You're a smart motherfucker. That's right. The metric system. What's in this?
Jules: Sprite, good. You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?
Brett: Go right ahead.
Jules: Ah, hit the spot.
Juror #9: Hey... what's your name?
Juror #8: Davis.
Juror #9: My name's McCardle.
Juror #9: Well, so long.
Juror #8: So long.
Dan: I just wanted to come here.
Herb: To Winkie's?
Dan: This Winkie's.
Herb: Okay, why this Winkie's?
Dan: It's kind of embarrassing.
Herb: Go ahead.
Dan: I had a dream about this place.
Herb: Oh, boy.
Dan: See what I mean?
Herb: Okay, so you had a dream about this place. Tell me.
Dan: Well, it's the second one I've had, but they're both the same. They start out that I'm in here, but it's not day or night. It's kind of half-night, you know? But it looks just like this, except for the light. And
[shaking his head]
Dan: I'm scared like I can't tell you. Of all people, you're standing right over there, by that counter. You're in both dreams and you're scared. I get even more frightened when I see how afraid you are and then I realize what it is. There's a man... in back of this place. He's the one who's doing it. I can see him through the wall. I can see his face. I hope that I never see that face, ever, outside of a dream.
[He looks down and shakes his head again, clearly terrified of the memory, and sniffs, as though close to tears]
Dan: [Herb cocks his head, waiting for more. The music becomes increasingly ominous]
Dan: That's it.
Herb: So, you came to see if he's out there.
Dan: [leans in] To get rid of this god-awful feeling.
Herb: [nodding] Right, then.
[Herb rises and goes to pay the bill at the counter. Dan turns and looks, and his terror increases as he sees Herb standing in the same location as in his nightmare. Dan turns back to his uneaten breakfast, then turns again to see Herb say silently, "C'mon." They exit to investigate the back of the Winkie's restaurant]
Frank T.J. Mackey: In this big game that we play, life, it's not what you hope for, it's not what you deserve, it's what you take. I'm Frank T.J. Mackey, a master of the muffin and author of the Seduce and Destroy system now available to you on video and audio cassette. Seduce and Destroy will teach you the techniques to have any hardbody blonde just dripping to wet your dock. Bottom line? Language. The magical key to unlocking the female analytical mindset. Tap directly into her hopes, her wants, her fears, her desires, and her sweet little panties. Learn how to make that lady "friend" your sex-starved servant. I don't care how you look. I don't care what car you drive. I don't care what your last bank statement says. Seduce and Destroy produces an instant money-back guarantee trance-like state that will get you this - naughty sauce you want fast. Hey - how many more times do you need to hear the all-too-famous line of 'I just don't feel that way about you?'
Benjamin: Oh my God!
Mrs. Robinson: Pardon?
Benjamin: Oh no, Mrs. Robinson. Oh no.
Mrs. Robinson: What's wrong?
Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you didn't... I mean, you didn't expect...
Mrs. Robinson: What?
Benjamin: I mean, you didn't really think I'd do something like that.
Mrs. Robinson: Like what?
Benjamin: What do you think?
Mrs. Robinson: Well, I don't know.
Benjamin: For god's sake, Mrs. Robinson. Here we are. You got me into your house. You give me a drink. You... put on music. Now you start opening up your personal life to me and tell me your husband won't be home for hours.
Mrs. Robinson: So?
Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me.
Mrs. Robinson: [laughs] Huh?
Benjamin: Aren't you?
Narrator: This story is about Howard Beale, who was the news anchorman on UBS TV. In his time, Howard Beale had been a mandarin of television, the grand old man of news, with a HUT rating of 16 and a 28 audience share. In 1969, however, his fortunes began to decline. He fell to a 22 share. The following year, his wife died, and he was left a childless widower with an 8 rating and a 12 share. He became morose and isolated, began to drink heavily, and on September 22, 1975, he was fired, effective in two weeks. The news was broken to him by Max Schumacher, who was the president of the news division at UBS. The two old friends got properly pissed.
Howard Beale: [on the street] I was at CBS with Ed Murrow in 1951.
Max Schumacher: Must've been 1950 then.
Max Schumacher: I was at NBC, uh, associate producer. Morning News. I was just a kid. 26 years old.
[Not interested, Beale wanders off, until Schumacher stops him]
Max Schumacher: Anyway... anyway... they're building the lower level of the George Washington Bridge.
[Interested, Beale listens]
Max Schumacher: We were doing a remote from there.
Howard Beale, Max Schumacher: [start to laugh and snicker in unison]
Max Schumacher: And nobody told me!
[Beale keeps laughing, very interested]
Max Schumacher: Ten after seven in the morning, I get a call, "Where the hell are YOU? You're supposed to be on the George Washington Bridge!"
[Beale and Schumacher exchange laughs]
Max Schumacher: I jump out of bed, throw my raincoat over my pajamas. I run downstairs and out into the street...
[Schumacher runs into the street]
Max Schumacher: ...hail a cab, and I say to the cabbie, "TAKE ME TO THE MIDDLE OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE!"
Max Schumacher: And the cabbie turns around and he says...
Max Schumacher: ...he says "Don't do it, buddy! You're a young man! You got your whole life ahead of you!"
Howard Beale, Max Schumacher: [shriek in hysterics, as Beale gives Schumacher a hug]
Max Schumacher: Didn't I ever tell you that one before?
Jerry Lundegaard: I'm, uh, Jerry Lundegaard.
Carl Showalter: You're Jerry Lundegaard?
Jerry Lundegaard: Ya. Shep Proudfoot said...
Carl Showalter: Shep said you'd be here at 7:30. What gives, man?
Jerry Lundegaard: Shep said 8:30.
Carl Showalter: We've been sitting here an hour. He's
[motioning to Gaer]
Carl Showalter: peed three times already.
Jerry Lundegaard: I'm sure sorry. Shep told me 8:30. It was a mix-up, I guess.
Roger Thornhill: How do we know it's not a fake? It looks like a fake.
Bidder: Well, one thing we know. You're no fake. You are a genuine idiot.
Michael: Fredo, who are the girls?
Fredo: That's for you to find out.
Michael: Get rid of them, Fredo.
Fredo: Hey, Mike, uh...
Michael: I'm here on business I leave tomorrow now get rid of them. Come on, I'm tired. Get rid of the band, too.
[Fredo chases everyone out of the room]
Michael: What happened to Moe Greene?
Fredo: He had business. He said give him a call. Once the party started.
Michael: Well, give him a call. Hello, Johnny.
Johnny Fontane: Mike, it's nice to see you again.
Michael: We're all proud of you. Sit down, Johnny, I want to talk to you. The Don's proud of you, too.
Johnny Fontane: Well, I owe it all to him.
Michael: He knows how grateful you are. That's why he'd like to ask a favor.
Johnny Fontane: Mike, what can I do?
Michael: The Corleone family is thinking of giving up all of its interest in the olive oil business, settling out here. Now Moe Greene will sell us his share of the hotel and the casino so that it can be completely owned by the family. Tom.
[Hagen hands Michael some papers]
Fredo: Hey, Mike, are you sure about that? I mean, Moe, loves the business. He never said anything to me about sellin'.
Michael: I'll make him an offer he can't refuse. You see, Johnny, we feel that entertainment is going to be a big factor in drawing gamblers into the casinos. We're hoping that you'll sign a contract agreeing to appear 5 times a year. Perhaps convince some of your friends in the movies to do the same. We're counting on you, Johnny.
Johnny Fontane: Sure, Mike, I'll do anything for my Godfather. You know that.
Moe Greene: Hey, Mike! Everybody's here. There's Tom. Freddie. Good to see you, Mike.
Michael: How are you, Moe?
Moe Greene: You got everything you need? The chef cooked for you special, the dancers will kick your tongue out and your credit is good. Draw chips for everyone in the room so they can play on the house.
[the inmates are playing cards and betting with cigarettes]
Martini: [rips a cigarette in half] I bet a nickel.
McMurphy: Dime's the limit, Martini.
Martini: I bet a dime.
[Puts the two halves onto the table]
McMurphy: This is not a dime, Martini. This is a dime.
[shows a whole cigarette]
McMurphy: If you break it in half, you don't get two nickels, you get shit. Try and smoke it. You understand?
McMurphy: You don't understand.
Eve Harrington: I'll never forget this night as long as I live, and I'll never forget you for making it possible.
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