Losing The Sopranos’ James Galdolfini to a sudden heart attack brought back many memories from my last “favorite series.” I watched every episode. It was the last time I’ve been a regular follower of any series. I loved it. The Sopranos broke a lot of casting, writing, and storytelling rules. But mostly I loved the words, the dialogue. Words have always been my thing. Powerful, soothing, funny, backbiting, nerve-racking, loving, or hateful, words are the essence of great story telling. In memory of The Sopranos and James Galdofini here are some of my favorite lines from some of my favorite television and film programs over the years.
Uncle Junior and Tony Soprano are lurking in the basement for a private chat outside the hearing distance of the nosy eavesdropping devices planted by the FBI. Uncle Junior confides to Tony his fear of the FBI being on his tail.
“I’ve got the Feds so far up my ass, I can taste Brylcreem.”
Lonesome Dove (best TV miniseries ever)
Captain Coll (Tommy Lee Jones) tries to convince Capt. Gus McCray (Robert Duvall) to drive a herd of cattle to Montana and relocate.
“Let’s do it Gus. Let’s go to Montana before the lawyers and bankers get it.”
Later, Gus delivers the eulogy for a young trail hand who dies enroute to Montana.
“Life is short. Shorter for some than others. Now let’s go on to Montana.”
Gus comments on a cap that Deats, (Danny Glover) had been wearing for the last fifteen years.
“Deats ain’t the kind of fella give up on a garment cause it gets a little wear on it.”
The wonderful Amy Adams is a hoot as the pregnant Ashley in the very funny film, Junebug. She tells her abusive and repressed husband, “God loves you just the way you are but he loves you too much to let you stay that way.”
Dog Day Afternoon
Al Pacino and John Cazale attempt to pull off the funniest bank robbery ever. With hostages inside the bank, TV cameras, cops, a crowd of supporters, and both Pacino’s male and female wives begging him to release the hostages and give up, Pacino orders a jet that will whisk him, his partner, and several of the hostages to a foreign country. Pacino consults with his partner, the slow-witted Cazale as to what foreign country he wants to go to. Cazale thinks on his choices and answers, “Wyoming.”
In the western Unforgiven with Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman, Will (Eastwood) and Ned (Freeman) are riding into town.
Knowing Will’s wife died a few years back, Ned asks, “Will, you ever go to town?”
Will answers, “Sometimes, to sell a pig or something.”
Ned gives him the look and says, “No, I mean go to town.”
Will returns the look and says, “No. Out of respect for my wife, I don’t do that anymore.”
They ride for a few seconds and Ned finishes his thought with,
“So what do you do, use your hand?”
(If you watch closely, you can see Clint Eastwood almost laugh.)
“Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving.”
The Godfather (Marlon Brando)
“I’m going to make him a deal he can’t refuse.”
The Godfather Part II
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone, “This is the life we have chosen.”
On the Waterfront
Lee J. Cobb to one of his henchmen admonishing him to get rid of all guns because the cops are hot on his tail.
“They’re dusting off the hot seat for me.”
These are some of my favorites. What are yours?