Jewish World Review Oct. 17, 2002 / 11 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Something has happened to our American language - and I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. You'll probably recognize the second part of that statement as a rip-off from the film The Wizard of Oz. Being transported out of Kansas is one of a passel of expressions from movies that have launched a thousand lips.
The very first Awards ceremony took place during a banquet held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The attendance was 250 and tickets cost $10. When the first Academy Awards were handed out on May 16, 1929, movies had just begun to talk.
I would love to have been a time traveler rushing into the Blossom Room to announce the luminous future of the Academy Awards ceremony: "Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You ain't heard nothing yet!" That's what Al Jolson said in The Jazz Singer (1927) - the mother of all talking films. Ever since, lines from the movies have shaped our hopes and dreams and aspirations and have teemed our tongues.
Richard Lederer here - and today I'm making you an offer you can't refuse, which is a version of the line in the Mario Puzo novel, The Godfather, published in 1961, and embedded in the 1972 film of the same name.
So what's up, doc? That is, of course, from Bugs Bunny's characteristic question to Elmer Fudd, who was a doctor.
What's up is that I hope never to hear from my readers, "What we have here is a failure to communicate" or "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" The first statement is the best known line from Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman, and the second is Peter Finch's agonized complaint in Network.
May you never sneer at me, "Frankly, my dear verbivore. I don't give a damn" - spoken Rhett-orically as the closing line in Gone with the Wind. But that's OK because tomorrow is another day.
Indeed, I think this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, a line delivered by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. That film also gave us "Round up the usual suspects" and "Here's looking at you, kid."
Read my words about words, and you'll go ahead, make my day - the signature statement of the Clint Eastwood character Dirty Harry in the 1983 film, Sudden Impact, a line made even more famous by President Ronald Reagan. You'll make my day because love is never having to say you're sorry, an enduring sentiment from Love Story.
Who you gonna call? - Conan the Grammarian! That's a rip-off from Ghostbusters, and, of course, it should be "whom are you going to call?" "Conan the Grammarian" is itself an allusion to Arnold Schwarzenegger's Conan the Barbarian.
Now identify the films whence came the following expressions that now inhabit our everyday conversations:
That's all, folks! And Hasta la vista, baby! I'm outta here - and you know where those two lines got their start Merry Melodies and Terminator T2: Judgment Day.
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