For over two years now, as a blogger for the New York Public Library, I’ve written about books: as entertainment, as the foundations of personal identity, as reflections of the past, as physical artifacts, even as dust-collectors in an overcrowded apartment. Today, however, I would like to celebrate another aspect of the library’s universe: its circulating DVD collection, which any avid cinephile would have to regard as one of the city’s great free resources.
As well as being a long-term employee of the library, I am also an eager and enthusiastic user of the library. My library card is out of my wallet more often than my debit card. I always have several borrowed books on hand (in case I finish one and am stuck without another), but I am also an avid DVD borrower and movie watcher. A book generally takes several sessions to get through, but a movie is over in about two hours—hence, more of them are needed.
What I propose today is a quiz to test your movie mettle. I will give the quote; you will tell me what movie it comes from. To earn an additional high-five, tell me the character’s name and/or the actor portraying the character. For example, for the first quote, look again at the title of this post. Any guesses? *
Okay, that was an obvious one, and I’ll give it to you. As for the rest, all I’ll say is that they are mostly American films (only two are British). Although the library’s DVD collection contains a multitude of world cinema titles, having movie quotations in other languages was not strictly viable for our purposes today.
The quotations and answers are separated by cinematic images from the NYPL digital gallery. If you don’t recognize more than two or three of the quotations, you should promptly click on the titles--which will link you to the catalog records--and put a hold on these movies before someone else does.
If you get at least half of the quotations right without peeking, you have a pretty solid background in movie history and will be applauded by me—if no one else.
If you answer all twenty-five of them correctly, however, you should probably consider getting outdoors more often.
* Sheriff Brody--Roy Scheider: Jaws (1975)
imdb.com was the source of many of these quotes
1. One day the war will be over. And I hope that the people that use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built and who built it. Not a gang of slaves, but soldiers, British soldiers, Clipton, even in captivity.
2. Nobody puts Baby in a corner.
3. I should be sincerely sorry to see my neighbor's children devoured by wolves.
4. Oh Moses, Moses, you stubborn, splendid, adorable fool!
5. I will not be threatened by a walking meat loaf!
6. That's it. Out you two pixies go - through the door, or out the window.
7. When a woman's got a husband, and you've got none, why should she take advice from you? Even if you can quote Balzac and Shakespeare and all them other high-falutin' Greeks.
8. Oh, we have 12 vacancies. 12 cabins, 12 vacancies.
9. When it gets hot like this, you know what I do? I keep my undies in the icebox!
10. You're willing to pay him a thousand dollars a night just for singing? Why, you can get a phonograph record of Minnie the Moocher for 75 cents. And for a buck and a quarter, you can get Minnie.
11. I thought all writers drank to excess and beat their wives. You know at one time I secretly wanted to be a writer.
12. The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a Manhattan you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time.
13. Rich fellas come up an' they die, an' their kids ain't no good an' they die out. But we keep a'comin'. We're the people that live. They can't wipe us out; they can't lick us. We'll go on forever, Pa, 'cause we're the people.
14. You're right. I did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in... 60 years.
15. Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare?
16. In just a moment I'll show you the only really haunted house in the world. Since it was built a century ago, seven people including my brother have been murdered in it. Since then, I've owned the house. I only spent one night then and when they found me in the morning, I... I was almost dead.
17. You make it with some of these chicks, they think you gotta dance with them.
18. Sleep! The most beautiful experience in life. Except drink.
19. It seems it always happens. Whenever we get too high-hat and too sophisticated for flag-waving, some thug nation decides we're a push-over all ready to be blackjacked. And it isn't long before we're looking up, mighty anxiously, to be sure the flag's still waving over us.
20. It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.
21. No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.
22. I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue.
23. Don't be alarmed, ladies and gentlemen. Those chains are made of chrome steel.
24. Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Rico?
25. I always look well when I'm near death.
1. Colonel Nicholson—Alec Guinness: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
2. Johnny Castle--Patrick Swayze: Dirty Dancing (1987)
3. Waldo Lydecker--Clifton Webb: Laura (1944)
4. Nefretiri--Anne Baxter: Ten Commandments (1956)
5. David Kessler--David Naugthon: An American Werewolf in London (1981)
6. Nick the bartender--Sheldon Leonard: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
7. Mrs. Paroo--Pert Kelton: The Music Man (1962)
8. Norman Bates—Anthony Perkins: Psycho (1960)
9. The Girl Upstairs--Marilyn Monroe: The Seven-Year Itch (1955)
10. Otis B. Driftwood--Groucho Marx: A Night at the Opera (1935)
11. C. K. Dexter Haven--Cary Grant: The Philadelphia Story (1940)
12. Nick Charles--William Powell: The Thin Man (1934)
13. Ma Joad--Jane Darwell: The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
14. Charles Foster Kane--Orson Wells: Citizen Kane (1941)
15. Harry Lime--Orson Wells: The Third Man (1947)
16. Watson Pritchard--Elisha Cook: House on Haunted Hill (1959)
17. Tony Manero--John Travolta: Saturday Night Fever (1979)
18. Cuthbert J. Twillie--W. C. Fields: My Little Chickadee (1940)
19. George M. Cohan--James Cagney: Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
20. Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb--Ted Levine: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
21. Rhett Butler--Clark Gable: Gone With the Wind (1939)
22. Rick Blaine--Humphrey Bogart: Casablanca (1942)
23. Carl Denham--Robert Armstrong: King Kong (1933)
24. Caesar Enrico Bandello--Edward G. Robinson: Little Caesar (1931)
25. Marguerite--Greta Garbo: Camille (1936)