From time to time we’ll publish a post from one of our followers – as long as it’s well written, related to film and captures our imagination. Below is a new take on the ‘Best Of’ lists from our good friend JASON TANDY. If you want to be considered for a guest slot on our blog send in your article (max about 700 words) along with any links, videos and/or images needed to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll look through them, publish the best ones and publicise your blog (if you have one).
It’s not a coincidence that rather than that explosion, that stunt or that love scene from that great movie, it’s more likely to be the best on screen exchanges that seep into the public consciousness to become legendary – maybe even part of the lexicon. “A Royalle with cheese” makes you smile (and if you’re here you should know why) but only because of the context that line is taken from.
We’re not even talking about the catchphrases like “show me the money” or “you talking to me?”, we’re talking about the back and forth between great actors that brilliantly reveals character, cleverly tells the story in a few smart words or crack us up with its wit .
Sometimes it’s these exchanges that make a movie, not the throw away one-liners, and more than the director, the actors or the producers it’s the writers we have to thank for these moments of greatness – without them nobody remotely connected to film and the wider industry would even have a job! Literally.
While you ponder these unbelievably unsung heroes of the industry (of which I am one – struggling) I’ll remind you just how strong their Kung-Fu is with a list of some of the greatest exchanges in movie history. And, while the list is in no particular order, my all time favourite is the Clint Eastwood entry. Just Saying.
1. Pulp Fiction, writer, Quentin Tarantino – “Say What Again”. Still QT’s best film exactly because of moments like this. The first time around it was only after a few minutes it dawned on me that Jules (Sam Jackson) is actually just toying with the soon to be dead Brett, in the same way a cat toys with a mouse before the final coup de grace. “They speak English in What?” Classic.
2. Anchorman, writers, Will Ferrell, Adam Mckay – “Time To Musk Up”. Will Ferrell’s best film with so many choice cuts to choose from. The absurdity of this exchange is delicious, as is the knowledge that something can be ‘made with bits of real Panther’. I dare you not to giggle like a fool.
3. Goodfellas, writers, Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese – “Funny How?” There’s a strange hypnotic power to the writing in this scene, mainly due to Joe Pesci’s delivery (what happened to that guy?). I’ve seen this movie, literally, hundreds of times and every time I see this scene I still think Ray Liotta is gonna end up dead. Seriously. Every time.
4. The Outlaw Josey Wales, writers Philip Kaufman, Sonia Chernus – “Dyin’ Ain’t Much of a Living”. When it came to westerns Clint Eastwood was the greatest that ever did it. And it was precisely because of scenes like this. If you hadn’t seen the whole film this exchange would tell you everything you wanted to know about the character Josey Wales. Still sends a chill down my spine, it’s that good.
5. Airplane, writers, Jim Abrahams, The Zucker Brothers – “I Speak Jive” – Stone cold genius, baby. Nuff said.
6. Finding Forrester, writer, Mike Rich – “You Should Have Said ‘Further'” – F. Murray Abraham and Rob Brown go toe to toe in the best scene from the movie – one of the most seriously under appreciated movies around. Amazing writing.
7. Bad Santa, writers, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa – “What D’Ya Want?” – The undisputed king of inappropriate comedy movies! Scenes like this were stupefying and hilarious in equal measure. You just can’t be that way with cute kids, can you…..? The “get outta here” while the camera pans at the beginning kills me every time.
8. Taken, writers, Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen – “Good Luck.” – OK, so calling this an exchange is a stretch because it’s so one-sided but there’s a reason half of this conversation made it onto the one sheet poster for the movie. This tells you everything you need to know if you’re dumb enough to snatch Liam Neeson’s daughter.
9. Heat, writer, Michael Mann – “Buy You a Cup of Coffee?” – Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, a table and two chairs. About as much as you should ever need from your movies.
10. Grosse Point Blank, writers, Tom Jankiewicz, Steve Pink – “Me? Go G? On you? NEVER!” – Another across the table exchange with a completely different tone from another greatly underrated movie.