Sunday, January 25, 2015

Top Movie Quotes: 75-71


Continuing the countdown of the American Film Institute’s top 100 movie lines (2005), on their own at first to enable you to see if you can identify the film and the actor speaking the line, then followed by an identification and some trivia.

The next 5 in the countdown:

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75. "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

74. "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown." 

73. "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?"

72. "No wire hangers, ever!"

71. "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!"

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75. "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."


Spoken by Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Vivien Leigh, who suffered from bipolar disorder in real life, later had difficulties in distinguishing her real life from that of Blanche DuBois.

Jessica Tandy was originally slated to play Blanche, after creating the role on Broadway. The role was given to Vivien Leigh (after Olivia de Havilland refused it) because she had more box-office appeal. De Havilland turned down the role because her-then husband Marcus Goodrich advised against her playing it.

Fitted t-shirts could not be bought at the time so Marlon Brando's apparel had to be washed several times and then the back stitched up to appear tightly over the actor's chest.


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74. "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown."


Spoken by Lawrence Walsh as Joe Mantell in Chinatown (1974)

After several takes that never looked quite right, Faye Dunaway told Jack Nicholson to actually slap her. He did, and the scene made it into the movie.

Faye Dunaway's distinctive look was inspired by Roman Polanski's memories of his mother, who in the pre-WWII era would fashionably wear penciled-on eyebrows, and have her lipstick shaped in the form of a Cupid's bow.

The Van der Lip Dam disaster is a reference to the collapse of the St Francis Dam in 1928, 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles, which had been designed by self-educated engineer William Mulholland. The consequent flooding killed at least 450 people, a loss of life that remains second only to that from the San Francisco earthquake and fire in California's history.

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73. "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?"


Spoken by Edward G Robinson as Cesare Enrico "Rico" Bandello in Little Caesar (1930)

There were two versions of Rico's final words filmed, "Mother of God, is this the end of Rico?" and "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?" Although "Mother of God" was taken directly from W.R. Burnett's novel, it was decided the line was potentially blasphemous coming from a murderous gangster and "Mother of mercy" was used instead.

One interpretation of the film's title character is that he may be a repressed or closeted gay man, with the evidence thereof cited as including Otero's fawning admiration of Rico, Rico's great affinity for Joe, and Rico's complete lack of interest in romantic relationships with women, as well as his utter contempt for Joe's interest in women. When the film was released, Burnett apparently drew this same conclusion about the screen version of the character. Having written Rico as explicitly heterosexual in his novel, Burnett wrote a letter of complaint to the film's producers about the conversion of the character to gay in the screen adaptation

The character of Cesare Enrico Bandello is not, as widely believed, based on Al Capone. Instead, he is based on Salvatore "Sam" Cardinella, a violent Chicago gangster who operated in the early years of Prohibition.

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72. "No wire hangers, ever!"


Spoken by Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest (1981)

The film is based on a book by Christina Crawford about her alcoholic, abusive step mother, Joan Crawford.

The wire hangers refers to an infamous scene in Christina Crawford’s book and in the film in which Joan Crawford launches into a vicious tirade after discovering Christina's dresses hung on wire clothes hangers. 'No wire hangers!' entered the vernacular as shorthand for neurotic maternal instability. 

Faye Dunaway truly felt she would win an Oscar for her performance as Joan Crawford. When the film was released to poor reviews and Paramount's promotion of the film as a camp classic, Dunaway was furious. To this day she refuses to talk about the film. In fact, when she is interviewed she submits a list of topics that are off-limits to the interviewer, one of which is Mommie Dearest (1981). She has been known to stop interviews if asked about the film. It has been stated by Christina Crawford that Dunaway claimed to have been haunted by the ghost of Joan Crawford and this has provided an explanation as to why Dunaway does not like to talk about the film.

Writer of the film's source book, Christina Crawford, once said of this movie after she had seen it: "My mother didn't deserve that. Miss Dunaway's performance was ludicrous. I didn't see any care for factual information. Now I've seen it I'm sorry I did. Faye says she is being haunted by mother's ghost. After her performance, I can understand why."

Little love was lost between costume designer Irene Sharaff and Faye Dunaway. "Yes, you may enter Miss Dunaway's dressing room," Sharaff once said, "but first you must throw a raw steak in - to divert her attention."

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71. "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!"


Spoken by Al Jolson as Jakie Rabinowitz/Jack Robin in The Jazz Singer (1927)

The first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of the "talkies" and the decline of the silent film era. 

Al Jolson's famous line (as Jack Robin) "You ain't heard nothin' yet." was an ad-lib. The intention was that the film should only have synchronized music, not speech, but Jolson dropped in the line, which he used in his stage act. The director wisely left it in.

See and hear the line and the song which follows, “Toot, Toot Tootsie” at:




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