Sunday, October 1, 2017

Top Movie Quotes, continued


It's a long weekend in Oz because Monday is Labour Day, one of those public holidays like the Queen's Birthday that may have meant something in the past but today is JAH, Just Another Holiday.

It puts me in mind of Phil having had enough in Groundhog Day:
This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype. Groundhog Day used to mean something in this town. They used to pull the hog out, and they used to eat it. You're hypocrites, all of you!
Which is a good segue into today's Bytes item: a continuation of the top movie quotes.

(Brett: your list of October events tomorrow).

Continuing the countdown of the American Film Institute’s top 100 movie lines (a 2005 list, we'll do an update at the end), 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. Most of the movie trivia is from the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB).

One of the interesting things about posting Bytes' items is that in preparation, they often lead into interesting digressions and collateral information.  So it is with the first item below.

51. "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

50. "Houston, we have a problem."

51. You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?

- Spoken by Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971)

Some trivia:
  • Serial killer Scorpio was loosely based on the Zodiac killer, who used to taunt police and media with notes about his crimes, in one of which he threatened to hijack a school bus full of children. The role of Harry Callahan was loosely based on real life detective David Toschi who was the chief investigator in the Zodiac case.
  • As part of the film storyline, Scorpio hijacks a school bus and makes ransom demands. 
  • In 1972, a copycat crime took place in the state of Victoria, Australia, one of the perpetrators being named Eastwood.
  • The Faraday School kidnapping occurred on 6 October 1972 at a one-teacher school in the rural town of Faraday in Victoria, where two plasterers, Edwin John Eastwood and Robert Clyde Boland, kidnapped six female pupils and their teacher for a $1,000,000 ransom. The note included the words “We are not going to waste anyone’s time by making idle threats, so we will cut it short by saying that any attempt to trace us or apprehend us will result in the annihilation of every hostage.” The government claimed it would pay the ransom. The victims escaped and the criminals were captured, tried and convicted.
  • Eastwood later escaped and kidnapped a teacher and nine pupils. He was again captured, convicted and sentenced. While in prison Eastwood strangled convicted rapist Glen Davies in what was ruled self-defence. He was eventually released after having served his sentence.
  • Eastwood embraced the Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1981 and was baptised in jail in 1985. Released in 1993, he changed his name by deed poll to David Jones and wrote a book about the Faraday kidnapping, Focus on Faraday and Beyond: Australia’s Crime of the Century — The Inside Story.
Victorian education minister Lindsay Thompson (far right) with the six kidnapped children and teacher Mary Gibb who were taken from the Faraday School in 1972

Edwin John Eastwood

Teacher Mary Gibbs

 . . . and in 2008

Wooreen Primary School teacher Robert Hunter and his nine pupils kidnapped in 1977.

Eastwood with his book on the Faraday kidnapping in 1994.
  • On July 15, 1976, kidnappers abducted 26 children, ages 5 to 14, and their school bus driver in Chowchilla, California. The kidnappers eventually transported their victims from Chowchilla to a quarry in Livermore, California, and loaded them into a buried moving box truck. After about 16 hours, the driver and children were able to dig themselves out and escape unharmed. Police soon arrested the quarry owner's son, Fred Woods, and his accomplices, brothers Rick and Jim Schoenfeld.
  • The Chowchilla kidnappers each received life sentences. Fred Woods is still in prison, but the Schoenfeld brothers have been paroled.  In 2016 the driver and children, now adults, filed a lawsuit against Woods and the Schoenfelds for "false imprisonment, intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress, assault and  battery." California law allows the victims to sue up to 10 years after the kidnappers are paroled.

James Schoenfeld (left), Fred Woods (centre) and Richard Schoenfeld

Back to the film . . .
  • The movie's most famous line is often misquoted. A lot of people mistakenly quote the line as "Do you feel lucky, punk?", while the actual line is "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
  • When Clint Eastwood approached Don Siegel to offer him the directing job, Eastwood gave Siegel four drafts of the script, one of which was written by Terrence Malick. In Malick's script, he had altered Scorpio from being a mindless psychopath killing only because he likes it, to being a vigilante who killed wealthy criminals who had escaped justice. Siegel didn't like Malick's script, but Eastwood did, and Malick's ideas formed the basis for the sequel, Magnum Force (1973).
  • A police department in the Philippines ordered a print of the movie for use as a training film.
  • People who were offered the role of Dirty Harry Callahan and turned it down:
Frank Sinatra: had broken his wrist earlier and found the large handgun too unwieldy, also his father had recently passed away and he wanted to do some lighter material. 
Steve McQueen: didn't want to do another cop movie after Bullitt (1968). 
Paul Newman: felt the film was too right-wing. Newman however suggested Clint Eastwood as a possible star. 
Robert Mitchum: in turning it down he said this was "a film I would not do for any amount". 
Burt Lancaster: disagreed with the violence of the story and with what he perceived to be its "right-wing" morals. 
George C. Scott: turned down the role because of the script's violent nature. 
Lee Marvin: reason not known.
  • Oprah Winfrey interviewed Eastwood and his family in 1997. When she asked Clint’s mother Ruth Wood, (then 88 at the time), what her favourite of her son's movies was, she replied, "Dirty Harry."
  • Doris Day said in an interview in 1993 on Vicky Lawrence daytime talk show, that took place in Ms. Day's home of Carmel, California, that Clint Eastwood was one of her neighbours. When asked what her favourite Clint Eastwood movie was, she replied "Dirty Harry."

50. “Houston, we have a problem.”

- Spoken by Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell in Apollo 13 (1995)

Some trivia:
  • The famous understatement was actually made twice by two astronauts. Jack Swigert said, "OK Houston, we've had a problem here." Mission Control said, "This is Houston. Say again, please." Then Jim Lovell said, "Ahh, Houston, we've had a problem." On the recording, Swigert is garbled at the beginning, while Lovell is clear, so the recording of Lovell is often heard, leading to the impression he said it, even though Swigert said it first. It's commonly misquoted as, "Houston, we've got a problem," or "Houston, we have a problem." Because "we've had" implies the problem has passed, Ron Howard chose to use "we have".
  • The line that Jim Lovell asked his crewmates, "Gentlemesn, what are your intentions? Mine are to go home." needs some context. While Lovell actually said this, it seems slightly forced and out of place. This is because when he said it on the mission, they were just coming out of from the far side of the moon and had a critical engine burn coming up. Since it was Jack Swigert and Fred Haise's first mission, they were taking pictures instead of preparing for the burn. That's why Lovell said the line, adding, "If we don't get home, you won't be able to have your pictures developed."
  • Jim Lovell's line "I vonder vere Guenter vent" was made popular by the crew of Apollo 7. Guenter Wendt was NASA's "pad leader" during the Apollo program and was the last man seen by crews before liftoff. After Wendt closed Apollo 7's hatch and his face disappeared from the window, CSM pilot Donn Eisele said, "I wonder where Guenter went." Commander Wally Schirra claims to have stolen the line and made it famous among astronaut crews.
  • This is the second time that John Travolta was offered a role as the main character, turned it down, then Tom Hanks was given the role. The first was Forrest Gump (1994).
  • After the premiere of the film, director Ron Howard asked the audience members to write reviews of the film. While most of the reviews were positive, one review stated that there was no way the crew would have survived the mission and that the ending was typically hokey Hollywood. Apparently, the person who wrote it did not know the film was based on a true story.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post. I am researching the Faraday school kidnappings and have never come across two of the pictures you've used. I'm wondering if you might remember where you sourced the image of Mary Gibbs in 2008, and the one of Eastwood holding his book. Any help would be fantastic. You can email me at


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