The American Film Institute (AFI) accumulates several “best of” lists, one of which is the 100 Best Movie Quotes. Compilation of such a list is a natural given the propensity of movie screenwriters to secure their immortality by delivering a devastating or memorable line in a script, especially when uttered by a Hollywood icon. Checking out the current list, I have no complaints. These are truly great lines – most are well-known by movie aficionados and lightweights alike. Like most lists, they tend to be a multiple of ten, often a collection of 100. Given the enormous body of work from the emergence of talkies to the present, it seems an injustice to cap the list at 100. To that end, I’ve added 50 more (not in order – that’s too hard to do).
When you’re slapped you’ll take it and like it. (“The Maltese Falcon”):
When the foppish Joel Cairo gets under the skin of hard-boiled private eye Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) in this film-noir classic, Spade bitch-slaps him down into the sofa. Cairo’s ineffective attempts to thwart the blows elicits this great line which establishes the relationship the two will have for the rest of the movie.
Look mister, we serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast. (“It’s a Wonderful Life”):
After George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) gets his wish and enters an alternate universe into which he had not been born, he encounters bartender Martini’s evil twin who snarls this stinging retort to Clarence the Angel who had just ordered a glass of milk. This is the kind of line that you would never hear spoken in real life which is what makes it so nice to hear.
When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall. (“Get Him to the Greek”):
Taken out of context, this sentence makes no sense, but watching Sean “P. Diddy” Combs soporifically stroke an actual furry wall after smoking a powerful joint, the line resonates. It comes to light that the powerful joint – a combo of opiates and psychotropic drugs – is dubbed “Jeffrey” so as to make it seem less threatening.
It takes brass balls to sell real estate. (“Glengarry Glen Ross”):
Screenwriter David Mamet is known for his fast-paced, barbed dialog heavily sprinkled with profanity. Probably his best effort was “Glengarry Glen Ross” about a handful of slightly dishonest real estate salesmen. With quota in jeopardy, the owners bring in Mr. Blake (Alec Baldwin) to give a pep talk – which is actually a thorough dressing down. After challenging their manhood, Blake takes from his briefcase a pair of brass balls tethered together by string, dangles them in front of his trousers and utters this pithy observation.
Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon! (“Blue Velvet”):
In a major revival of his career, Dennis Hopper plays the sadistic Frank in David Lynch’s study of the pitfalls of walking on the wild side. In a fashion demonstrated throughout the movie, Frank forcefully exposits his opinion on beer to the snoopy, white-bread teenager Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle McLaughlin).
Who’s Dick Hertz? (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”):
Ridgemont High School teacher Mr. Hand (Ray Walston – aka My Favorite Martian) calls out for Richard Hertz and receives no response. He repeats, “Richard Hertz?” A student tells him that the kid goes by Dick, leading to the classic juvenile inquiry played so well by Bart Simpson on Moe the bartender.
I ain’t got time to bleed. (“Predator”):
Starring two future governors, “Predator” is a clever twist on the otherwise stale genre of muscle-bound special forces running around the jungle with enough armaments to overthrow Guatemala. Told that his massive bicep has taken a flesh wound, Jesse Ventura utters this over-the-top line which he reused as the title of his book about politics.
Where should I stick this? (“It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”):
In this star-studded comedy of a slapdash crowd of people competing to be the first to dig up stolen treasure, Ethel Merman plays the loudmouth mother-in-law Mrs. Marcus to milquetoast J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle.) When Ethel picks up a potted cactus and unassumingly asks “where should I stick this,” the look on Berle’s face is priceless.
Stingo, you look… you look very nice, you’re wearing your cocksucker. (“Sophie’s Choice”):
Meryl Streep plays the Eastern European title character with tremendous aplomb, and for her efforts won the Academy Award for Best Actress. In a heavy Polish accent, Sophie compliments Stingo (Peter MacNicol) on his seersucker suit, subbing in a funny, unexpected synonym.
No Ace – just you. (“Stand By Me”):
Kiefer Sutherland plays tough teen rebel Ace in this adaptation of Steven King’s short story “The Body” directed by Rob Reiner. Ace and his friends meet up with adolescent Gordie Lachance (Wil Weaton) and his buddies at the site where lies the dead body of a boy hit by a train. Looking down the barrel of a pistol that Gordie is holding tightly with both hands, Ace tries intimidation. “What are you gonna do – shoot all of us?” Gordie’s confident reply serves notice that the meeting is over.
I want you to hold it between your knees. (“Five Easy Pieces”):
I can’t believe that lines from the classic diner scene in “Five Easy Pieces” are not on the AFI top 100 list. After making no headway on placing an order of toast with the snippy waitress, Jack Nicholson tells her to hold the chicken on a chicken salad sandwich. When he clarifies exactly how he’d like her to hold it, she responds with indignation. With one arm, Jack swiftly clears the table.
I’d buy that for a dollar. (“Robocop”):
Funny satire “Robocop” takes place in dystopian Detroit where crime is out of control, yet everyone on TV seems oblivious to the social decay. At the end of every skit, a goof-ball TV personality sums up by saying “I’d buy that for a dollar” which became a double entendre used for a time in conversation after the movie left the Cineplex.
These go to eleven. (“Spinal Tap”):
Another great line that should contend for top 100 status. Clearly confused about the volume settings on his guitar amp, Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) tries to explain that his equipment is louder because the top number is 11 instead of the standard 10. When questioned about the meaninglessness of it, all the fumbling Nigel can say is “These go to eleven.”
Check out the big brain on Brett! (“Pulp Fiction”):
Samuel Jackson plays Jules, a gangster in the employ of Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames), a man whose briefcase containing something quite rare (his soul?) has been stolen. After busting in on the thieves who look more like frat boys than big time criminals, Jules interrogates one of them (Brett, played by Frank Whaley) as to why the French refer to a Quarter Pounder as a Royale with Cheese. Brett’s supposition that the metric system has something to do with it prompts an outburst of sweet sarcasm.
Lunch is for wimps. (“Wall Street”):
Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) sums up the mentality of the 1980s Street nicely.
Help me! Help me! (“The Fly”):
After scientist Andre Delambre (David Hedison) muffs his experiment by entering a transporter accompanied by an unseen house fly, he pops out the other side sporting the fly’s head and other body parts. Although trailers for the 1958 movie present the reveal to his wife of his hairy fly-head as the audience shocker, I personally found the scene where the fly with the scientist’s white head entangled in a spider web to be more creepy. As well as the high-pitch squeal “help me, help me” which has since found its way into popular culture.
Everything that guy just said is bullshit. (“My Cousin Vinny”):
Although completely implausible, “My Cousin Vinny” works in large part due to the stellar performances of Joe Pecci and Marisa Tomei, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Pecci plays bumbling quasi-lawyer Vinny Gambini hired to defend two guys indicted for murder and facing capital punishment (yeah, right.) But who couldn’t love Vinny’s single sentence opening argument in response to the DA’s carefully laid out preamble.
Run that baby. (“All the President’s Men”):
Washington Post investigative reporters Woodward (Robert Redford) and Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) have just nailed a late-night Q&A with Nixon Attorney General John Mitchell in which the AG reveals some potential knowledge of Watergate nefariousness. Editor in Chief Ben Bradlee (Jason Robards) mulls over the consequences of publishing the hot-potato story, and concludes that it should run in the next day’s edition. The glee with which Bradlee green-lights the publication captures the sense of the rising role newspapers would play at the time in reining in rogue government.
Coffee is for closers. (“Glengarry Glen Ross”):
Once again, Mamet delivers. Mr. Blake (Alec Baldwin) lays out the severity of life for those salesmen who can’t cut the mustard. The look of incredulity on Shelly Levene’s (Jack Lemmon) face as he pours himself a cup of Java is executed perfectly. Shelly soon learns that second prize in the sales contest is a set of steak knives – and third place is “you’re fired.”
Money is something you need in case you don’t die tomorrow. (“Wall Street”):
Sage advice from airline machinist and union boss Carl Fox (Martin Sheen) to his avaricious bond-trader son Bud (Charlie Sheen). So true when you think about it.
God damn you to hell! (“Planet of the Apes”):
Hack actor Charleton Heston on his knees pounding the sand in anger at the discovery that Earth is finished is something to behold. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear he’s reading the lines off a teleprompter. I saw this movie at a drive-in theater when it first came out and unlike clueless Charleton who thinks he’s landed on a planet in a galaxy far, far away, I knew right away that he was wandering about an Earth overrun by primates. So obvious.
Have you ever tried to pick up your teeth with broken fingers? (“The Crying Game”):
Great line. Defending the honor of his transsexual “girlfriend” Dil (Jaye Davidson), Fergus (Stephen Rea) spouts this challenging query to his cheeky boss. Needless to say, boss-man backs off.
Me so horny. (“Full Metal Jacket”):
Spoken like a true Americanized prostitute. Not grammatically correct, but in some ways more provocative than the King’s English.
Fred, what’s with your fuckin’ hair? (“Mr. Saturday Night”):
BuddyYoung, Jr. (Billy Crystal) is an over-the-hill Borsht Belt comedian with a life-time’s worth of one-liners that no one under 65 finds funny anymore. With the help of a female talent agent half his age (Helen Hunt), Buddy gets a job warming up the audience before the start of a game show. Fred, the host of the game show, sports a mullet-like hairdo, which gives Buddy some nasty ideas.
The cat’s in the bag and the bag’s in the river. (“The Sweet Smell of Success”):
How this Billy Wilder line is not on AFI’s top 100 is beyond me. Does anyone think it’s inferior to “Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.” (“Dracula” – #83), or “I feel the need – the need for speed!” (“Top Gun” – #94) or even top 20 entry “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” (“White Heat” – #18)? Spoken by small-time press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) to big-time gossip columnist J. J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) to indicate the former’s success in solving a problem for the latter, the line is pure noir, like Wilder’s shimmering B&W masterpiece.
It’s Showtime! (“All That Jazz”)
Dexedrine-addicted Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider in his best role as a thinly-veiled Bob Fosse) likes to burn the candle at both ends. Simultaneously editing a film he directed, choreographing a Broadway musical, relentlessly chasing long-legged women, and smoking and drinking to excess while tempting a heart-attack, Joe starts each day with a gentle reminder to himself why he gets up each morning. The show must go on, and so must Joe Gideon.
I am not an animal! I am a human being! (“The Elephant Man”)
This beautiful black and white telling of the life and times of John Merrick (aka. The Elephant Man for his grotesque deformities) produced by Mel Brooks of all people and directed by David Lynch is a masterpiece examination of degradation, humiliation, exploitation (low-brow and high) and finally dignity in death. After Merrick’s dogging tormentors pull off the shroud hiding his misshapen head, the Elephant Man calls out this memorable line, and you want to cry.
What knockers! (“Young Frankenstein”)
Silly, but the way Mel Brooks constructs the scene in which Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) hoists Inga (Teri Garr at the peak of hotness) from the horse-drawn carriage, her ample bosom inches from Gene’s face, just as Igor (wall-eyed nut-ball Marty Feldman) bangs on the castle doors is priceless.
The last one I wrote was about cattle rustlers. Before they were through with it, the whole thing played on a torpedo boat. (“Sunset Boulevard”)
William Holden plays Joe Gillis, a disillusioned screenwriter in 1950s Hollywood taken under the wing of over-the-hill actress Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). Explaining his disdain for the so-called creative process in Tinseltown, Joe sums up what happened to one of his scripts after the studio got through with it. No doubt a process that continues to this day judging by some of the trash that makes it to the Cineplex these days.
Nobody’s perfect. (“Some Like it Hot”)
Also the title of the definitive Wilder biography, “Nobody’s perfect” was the reaction from a smitten bachelor of a certain age (Joe E. Brown) to his love interest, a homely guy in drag (Jack Lemmon) upon learning she/he is actually a man. Before this movie-ending send-off, Lemmon and Tony Curtis have struggled to avoid execution by mobsters by dressing up as women and hanging around ditsy-blonde Marilyn Monroe who plays ukulele in an all-girl traveling band. The possibilities with such a set up are endless, and Billy Wilder’s script packs in as much wackiness that will fit in 90 minutes.
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. (“The Usual Suspects”)
“The Usual Suspects” is a complicated film. Dim-bulb Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey) is in police custody pending release on bail, and in the interim receives a bit of interrogation about a drug-bust-gone-bad-on-a-boat by hard-boiled cop Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri). In the course of his investigation, Kujan learns of a mysterious outlaw named Keyser Soze – a criminal of such depraved indifference to life that he could be the Devil himself. Verbal tells Kujan about the Devil’s greatest trick, and then goes on to prove it. Little known fact: it was 19th Century French poet Charles Beaudelaire who originally wrote this pithy assertion.
He’d strangle on his own spit if I weren’t here to swab out his throat for him. (“From Here to Eternity”)
Sgt. Milton Warden (Burt Lancaster) essentially runs Company “G” at Schofield Barracks while his superior officer Captain Dana Holmes (Philip Ober) goes AWOL chasing skirt and getting wasted (after all – this takes place on placid Oahu before the War). In what is one of his top two or three performances across a monumental career, Lancaster plays the kind of hands-on zoo-keeper who, recognizing the incompetence which surrounds him, could properly deliver such a great line. The movie also starred Frank Sinatra, who as Maggio won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, just like Johnny Fontaine in “The Godfather.”
There goes a thousand dollars. – Your shoes cost a thousand dollars? – That one did. (“The Game”)
What better way to capture the essence of a man’s obscene wealth than this clever bit of banter. As Nicholas (Michael Douglas) and Christine (Deborah Unger) scramble up a fire-escape ladder to evade fast-gaining dogs, Nicholas drops a shoe which is promptly shredded by a Doberman. The ennui with which Douglas delivers the lines is sardonic.
The Durango ’95 purred away a real horrowshow – a nice, warm vibraty feeling all through your guttiwuts. (“A Clockwork Orange”)
“A Clockwork Orange,” based on Anthony Burgess’s seminal dystopian novel, must be watched several times, if for no other reason than to hone one’s understanding of the dialog of Alex and his Droogs spoken in what Burgess dubbed “Nadsat,” a combo of Russian, Cockney and English slang. This line, done as voice-over by Alex (Malcolm McDowell), comes as he and his Droogs race down country lanes in pitch midnight darkness – a shot done with an obvious phony background of receding pavement and trees, and the occasional car run off the road. I wish there was such a vehicle as the Durango ’95 so I too could get a vibraty feeling in my guttiwats.
I smell spare ribs. Somebody’s been eatin’ spare ribs. How come I ain’t got none? (“The Grapes of Wrath”)
A powerful tale of one Okie family’s fraught emigration from the mid-west dust bowl after eviction from their homestead to California, “The Grapes of Wrath” presents a broad set of deeply developed characters, including fiery Tom Joad (Henry Fonda), loquacious ex-preacher Jim Casy (John Carradine), and strong-willed Ma Joad (Jane Darwell who won Best Supporting Actress). One of my favorite lesser players is Grandpa Joad played by Charley Grapewin who does a marvelous job of capturing the old man’s mental decline into senility hastened by the family’s traumatic upheaval. Camped out in a squalid transient park, Grandpa rants like a child when he catches a whiff of elusive spare ribs – it captures his character’s arc perfectly.
Find one in every car. You’ll see. (“Repo Man”)
“Repo Man” is chock-full of eccentrics, none more so than Miller (Tracey Walter) who comes off as a menial labor simpleton, but who also spouts a cryptic line once in awhile that might just contain mystic wisdom. In this case, the thing you’ll find in every car is one of those smelly pine-tree shaped “air fresheners” that hang from the rear-view mirror. Is it a metaphor for the orderliness of the universe? Unlikely. I suspect that after repossessing a million cars the man has simply spotted a trend.
Say, that’s a nice bike. (“Terminator 2”)
When the liquid-metal T1000 robot of the future pays this fey compliment to a motorcycle cop, the audience tallies another soon-to-be casualty of sharp knives and “stabbing weapons,” as Arnold Schwarzenegger calls them. No blood & guts required – in fact, the line elicits chuckles for its aplomb.
Release the Kraken! (“Clash of the Titans”)
Actually, this non-descript, trailer-made line (delivered with uber-serious conviction by Liam Neeson as Zeus) will be better when someone in the future has his hero scream it out in the midst of grunting out a stubborn bowel movement.
She doesn’t quite chop his head off. She makes a Pez dispenser out of him. (“Sin City”)
The movie version of Frank Miller’s graphic novels is to my way of thinking the best adaptation of a comic book. More visually thrilling than the “Superman” oeuvre, grittier than “Spiderman,” darker than “Batman” (with the possible exception of Tim Burton’s efforts.) “Sin City,” a sadistic black-and-white film shot mostly in front of a green-screen is remarkable for its faithful depiction of Miller’s revenge-obsessed “The Hard Goodbye.” After a heavily made-up Benicio del Toro (playing corrupt detective Jackie Boy Rafferty) gets a bit fresh with some feisty prostitutes, one of them takes a Samurai sword to his throat, leaving Benny the Bull hanging. His decapitated head (can a head be decapitated, or just a body?) continues to carry on conversation, though – it is a comic book, after all.
Leave the gun. Take the cannoli. (“The Godfather”)
Strangely, “The Godfather” franchise boasts but two quotes on AFI’s list. Given that nearly nine hours of action and dialog comprise the trilogy, you might think a couple other lines would appear among the top 100. Most every casual movie-goer is familiar with this juicy line from the first “Godfather” in which fat Clemenza gives instructions following the whacking of a Corleone family turncoat. I’ve seen several cheeky versions of this line posted in more than one Italian bakery. It didn’t make AFI’s list, but I it should have.
What are you thinking? – Of all the people who have been born… and have died… while the trees went on living. (“Vertigo”)
Every ten years, Sight & Sound compiles a list of the best 100 films of all time after polling several hundred film experts, and in 2012 Alfred Hitchcock’s dream-like “Vertigo” pushed aside perennial favorite “Citizen Kane” from the top perch. I don’t agree that “Vertigo” is number one, but I do love the film for its complex character construction, experimental visual techniques, twisty plot and lovely mid-Century San Francisco locations. My favorite exchange comes when Scotty (Jimmy Stewart) and Madeleine (Kim Novak in one of two roles) stroll Muir Woods – a forest of towering Sequoias – in eerie silence. Madeleine’s response to a casual question captures so well her despondency over the seeming insignificance of life, and presages the strange relationship that develops between the two.
Attica! Attica! Attica! (“Dog Day Afternoon”)
Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino) starts off as a bumbling bank robber, becomes a working-class hero (and an irritant to clueless law enforcement), and winds up captured by the FBI just steps away from a Boeing jumbo-jet ride out of the country. As you might expect the middle section of the movie is the most compelling. That’s where during his “fifteen minutes of fame” Sonny commands the attention of the rapt denizens of counter-culture cheering him on from behind the blue NYPD barriers. When Sonny struts about the sidewalk outside the bank yelling “Attica! Attica! Attica!” to conflate the police activity facing him to the notorious riots in an upstate prison, you can’t help but to connect with his charisma. Just like the hostages inside the bank. But you know he’s going down in the end.
Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it. (“Unforgiven”)
As a revenge-filled Western with no heroes, no stock characters that traverse through the mandatory “story arc,” “Unforgiven” would seem to have virtually no chance of getting a Hollywood green-light had not Clint Eastwood (10 time Academy Award nominee, 4 wins including for “Unforgiven”), Gene Hackman (5 and 2 including for “Unforgiven”), Morgan Freeman (a win for “Million Dollar Baby”), and Richard Harris (2 time nominee) been attached. And thank God. Who knows how many potentially great films like “Unforgiven” get the stamp of rejection because they refuse to adhere to the formula and have no talent attached? Anyway, this line sneered by William Munny (Eastwood) as he points a 12-gauge into the face of a defeated, supine Bill Daggett (Hackman) sums up the ethos of the movie quite nicely.
Well, ma’am, if I see him, I’ll sure give him the message. (“Blood Simple”)
Director Joel Coen’s first movie, “Blood Simple” is an under-seen gem of modern noir (his brother Ethan was producer). It’s a twisty tale of lies, deceit, revenge, and mistaken identity – just my cup of tea. A hired hit-man named Visser (Emmet Walsh) does some double-crossing and winds up shot through a wall by a woman who mistakenly thinks she just popped her vindictive husband Marty. Unable to see her victim, she calls out “I’m not afraid of you, Marty,” to which the bleeding hit-man Visser chuckles this funny line before buying the farm.
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. (“Cool Hand Luke”)
“Cool Hand Luke” opens with a scene in which an inebriated Luke Jackson (Paul Newman) severs parking meters from their steel posts – nothing more than rank vandalism – and ends with his death following a daring escape from a prison in the sultry deep South where he once served his sentence on a chain-gang cutting down weeds with a scythe and shoveling gravel onto hot, fresh tar. Once acquainted with the other miscreants in prison, you begin to feel that Luke really doesn’t belong there. And neither does Luke, for he makes a couple escape attempts which cost him penalty time in “the box” – a tiny dog-house enclosure brought to hellish conditions in the sweltering, mid-day sun. In one of the many scenes inside the prison barracks, after Luke has bluffed a fellow prisoner out of a big poker pot with nothing but shit cards, he makes this pithy observation. And he takes on the nickname for which the movie got its title.
A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti (“Silence of the Lambs”)
How do you respond to that? You’re carefully interviewing a dangerous, sociopathic disbarred psychiatrist inside a dank prison, and this is what he lays on you? Hannibal Lechter (Anthony Hopkins) delivers the line with delicious intensity, following up with a sinister flutter of the tongue that is seriously creepy – so over the top that it has been immortalized in numerous parodies, including “Dumb and Dumber.”
Hey, careful, man, there’s a beverage here! (“The Big Lebowski”)
The Dude (Jeff Bridges) becomes a tad indignant when a couple guys strong-arm him into a waiting vehicle for some benign interrogation – not so much because of the denial of his civil rights and the whole due-process thing, but because he’s holding a freshly-mixed, vulnerable White Russian, his signature drink, and under no circumstances is it cool to spill the beverage of The Dude.
I got brown sandwiches and green sandwiches. – What’s the green? – It’s either very new cheese or very old meat. (“The Odd Couple”)
At a poker game with his middle-aged divorced friends, and those on the cusp of divorce, slovenly Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) offers his guests some hastily arranged sandwiches, some brown and some green. Just to describe the sandwiches that way says something about the manner in which Oscar lives as an aging, single sports-writer in New York. It’s humorous to watch the decades-old movie now and compare the main characters to the Metrosexuals of Manhattan today. You just know Oscar and his buddies don’t do Pilates, or have their backs waxed, or eat vegan, or subscribe to Esquire. They’re just regular guys who sometimes throw spaghetti against the wall.
A man’s got to know his limitations. (“Magnum Force”)
Sound advice offered often by Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) to just about everybody he encounters in this film about vigilante cops hunted to extinction by the patron saint of vigilante cops, none other than Harry Callahan. The final utterance of this instructional line is delivered to Lt. Briggs (Hal Holbrook) posthumously after the corrupt police official is blown to smithereens by a bomb surreptitiously dropped into the back seat of the lieutenant’s squad car – by the Dirt-man himself. Fade to whatever resembles the color of burning flesh and smoldering mid-70′s automotive upholstery.
I am married to an American agent. (“Notorious”)
Bad news for Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains) who is a member of a cabal of post-WW II Nazi fanatics seeking a path back to glory by cornering the market for enriched uranium. Things are moving along well until Claude screws up and falls for fake female adoration heaped upon him by Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman), a Teutonic beauty half his age. She’s also an operative of a U.S. spy agency under the supervision of Mr. Devlin (Cary Grant). When Claude figures out the ruse, and utters these words of resigned doom, his deliciously devious mother (Leopoldine Konstantin) conjures up the slow demise of Alicia the gold-digger – or should I say, uranium-digger?
OK – One more makes 51
Mother, they’re still not sure it is a baby! (“Eraserhead”)
A strange line that more than piques the curiosity of the audience, and one that sets everyone in the theater on edge. By now, anyone who watches “Earserhead” has either seen it 100 times, or is a newbie who’s heard all about the cult classic and is waiting nervously for the visual assault. For the latter group – yes, the baby is shocking, and disgusting, and sometimes risible, but contrary to various claims bears no resemblance to E.T.