Thursday, September 4, 2008

Workout Dialogue

I like working out quite a bit, almost daily, and naturally I like playing music, typically of the energetic, "heavy" variety when doing so.

Yet I've recently been thinking... What film has such impressively cutting, vicious and hard-as-nails dialogue that you could possibly play the film and listen to the lines while bench-pressing?

The one that comes to mind instantly is Sweet Smell of Success. You can understand why one of the characters in Barry Levinson's Diner is so obsessed with the 1957 noir drama that they endlessly quote lines of dialogue from it.

The lips of Burt Lancaster's J.J. Hunsecker are such a fountain of mercilessly biting, ferociously, rapaciously vile lines that will stick with you forever.

"You're dead, son. Get yourself buried."

"Everybody knows Manny Davis--except Manny Davis."

"See, I don't relish shooting a mosquito with an elephant gun, so why don't you just shuffle along?"

"Sidney, this syrup you're giving out... you pour over waffles, not J.J. Hunsecker."

"I'd hate to take a bite out of you. You're a cookie full of arsenic."

"The cat's in the bag. The bag's in the river."

It goes on and on...

"It's a dirty job but I pay clean money for it!"

So which film or films have such powerful, rhythmically intense dialogue that you could envision yourself working out to it/them?


Evan Derrick said...

One word: Mamet.

Alexander Coleman said...


How right you are.

Alison Flynn said...

Ah, this movie is absolutely fantastic. I watched it over the summer and started a discussion about it on one of the LiC Watercoolers.

As Evan Derrick points out: Mamet is definitely an heir to the art of "workout dialogue". :)

Alexander Coleman said...

It certainly is a fantastic film, Alison. :)

Possibly the best performances of either Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in one film.

Cassius said...

Pretty helpful info, lots of thanks for this article.
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