1941 (film)

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1941 is a 1979 period comedy film about a panic in the Los Angeles area after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.
Paranoia meets pandemonium.taglines

Motor Sgt. Frank Tree

  • [Repeated line] If there's one thing I can't stand seeing, it's Americans fighting Americans.

Ward Douglas

  • [To Betty, before she leaves for the USO.] I don't know what they've told you down at the USO, but you're going to be meeting a lot of strange men. Men in uniform. Boys a long way from home, lonely, desperate. They really have one thing on their minds. Show them a good time.
  • [To Gen. Stillwell] Sir, I'd like to say something. We've been through a lot, all of us. We faced the enemy for the first time last night, right in our own backyards. We came together, put all our differences aside and carried on the true spirit of America. I think no matter what happens, what sacrifices we have to face, we can carry forward, like Americans. While we're doing our repairs here, I'm going to hang this wreath on my front door - this symbol of Christmas, this symbol of peace. I just want to remind us all that we're not going to let a bunch of treacherous enemy killjoys ruin our Christmas. [Hangs wreath on door. House falls off cliff]

Capt. Loomis Birkhead

  • [to Donna] It's big. The biggest one here. You know what else? It's got a lot of range. You know what I mean by range, don't you? I mean, it can stay up for a long time. A very long time. And it's built firm and solid. Because it has to be. Because of its tremendous forward thrust. And when this baby delivers its payload... devastating.
  • This isn't the state of California, it's a state of insanity.
  • Bombs! I don't hear any bombs! Now they're up there. They came all the way from Asia. Don't you think they'd bring a few bombs along? You can't have an air raid without bombs!
  • [arriving at a movie theater] Ah, Dumbo. Sure be good to get my mind off things for a while.
  • [referring to "Wild Bill" Kelso] That is the craziest son of a bitch I've ever seen.

Col. "Madman" Maddox

  • To Hollywood... and glory!

Hollis P. "Holly" Wood

  • You sneaky little bastards aren't getting doodly shit from me. Except maybe my name, rank, and Social Security number: Wood, Hollis P., Lumberjack, Social Security 106-43-2185.
  • You ain't gettin' shit out of me. I've been constipated all week and there ain't a damn thing you can do about it!
  • [after seeing Captain von Kleinschmidt enter] Jesus Palomino, a Nazi! I knew it, you're all in cahoots! Well, let me tell you something, Mr. Heinie Kraut, I fought your kind in the Great War, and we kicked the living shit out of you!

Raoul Lipschitz

  • [reporting over the radio on a riot at the USO] Ladies and gentlemen, every where I look... soldiers are fighting sailors, sailors are fighting Marines! Directly in front of me, I see a flying blond floozy! Everywhere I look... everywhere, pure pandemonium... pandemonium!


  • PFC Foley: I'll tell you what we're gonna do: we're gonna go home, we're gonna paint the scratches on this tank, we're gonna put the sarge to bed and we're gonna forget this night ever happened!
  • Japanese soldier: [trying to squeeze a large radio into the sub] We've got to figure out how to make these things smaller!


Col. "Madman" Maddox: That's it, let me hear your guns!
Capt. "Wild" Bill Kelso: My guns?
Col. "Madman" Maddox: I wanna hear what they sound like, let me hear em! Yang yang yang yang yang yang!
Capt. "Wild" Bill Kelso: [fires his airplane's guns] AHHHH!

Capt. "Wild" Bill Kelso: Kid, you got to get that sub.
Wally: What sub?
Capt. "Wild" Bill Kelso: The Jap sub.
Wally: Where?
Capt. "Wild" Bill Kelso: The ocean, lame-o.

PFC Foley: Now, Sarge. What is the loading and firing procedure for the 75-millimeter cannon?
Sgt. Frank Tree: [delirious] There are five basic components...
PFC Foley: This is it, pay attention.
Sgt. Frank Tree: ...to the new General Electric refrigerator: 1. The freon compressor, 2. The freon tube...

Capt. Loomis Birkhead: [kneeling down as he spots Donna from a distance] Is that the general's new secretary?
Pvt. DuBois: Yeah, she just came in from HQ. Not bad, huh?
Capt. Loomis Birkhead: Not bad? She's a goddess, DuBois, a goddamn goddess! That is Donna Stratton! I knew her back in Washington. She has got this thing for planes.
Pvt. DuBois: One of those real high flying types, huh?
Capt. Loomis Birkhead: I've never seen anything like it... she's got planes on the brain!
Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell: [annoyed] Where's Birkhead? He's supposed to have my lunch.
Donna Stratton: [whistling, dreamy] B-17. Mmm...
[heads for the B-17 with a dreamy smile on her face]
Capt. Loomis Birkhead: No man has ever gotten to first base with her on the ground. But get her up in a plane, she'll bat your balls right out of the park.

Sgt. Frank Tree: You shouldn't touch the ordnance at all. But more specifically, you should never pull this hand-operating lever to the rear.
Ward Douglas: Never.
Sgt. Frank Tree: Do not push a clip of ammunition down into the feed rollers here.
Ward Douglas: No, sir, never.
Sgt. Frank Tree: You never restore this lever to firing position. Do not make sure that this cover is completely closed.
Ward Douglas: No, sir.
Sgt. Frank Tree: Never depress operator's foot triggers here, here and at the rear here.

Col. Akiro Mitamura: Where Hollywood?
Hollis P. Wood: Right here.
Col. Akiro Mitamura: What?
Hollis P. Wood: You're looking at him.
Col. Akiro Mitamura: Who?
Hollis P. Wood: Hollis Wood.
Col. Akiro Mitamura: Where?
Hollis P. Wood: I'm right here! Shoot, can't ya understand plain English?
Col. Akiro Mitamura: Hollywood?
Hollis P. Wood: Huh?
Col. Akiro Mitamura: Where?
Hollis P. Wood: Here!
[Mitamura opens up a map and shows it to Hollis]
Col. Akiro Mitamura: Look. Where Hollywood? North? South?
Hollis P. Wood: Oh! You want me to tell you where Hollywood is! Well, shoot, that's easy. Hollywood is... [suddenly, he realizes] Oh, no, you don't. You thought you was gonna get me to show you where Hollywood was, didn't ya? Tried to sneak up on us, like ya did at Pearl Harbor! Bet you're gonna bomb John Wayne's house, ain't ya?

Capt. Loomis Birkhead: Sir, you don't have any bombers here, do you, sir?
Col. "Madman" Maddox: Bombers? Son, if I had bombers I'd be bombin' the hell out of them right now!
[Maddox and his men start laughing madly]
Donna Stratton: [looking around; whispers to herself] No planes?
Capt. Loomis Birkhead: [to himself] Boy, am I in trouble now...
Col. "Madman" Maddox: [signals for the laughing to stop] Hell, son, the only plane I've got around here is that old shit on a shingle trainer sittin' right over there.
[soldiers pull down tarp to reveal an older plane; Donna's face lights up at the sight of it, as Loomis looks over to her for approval]
Donna Stratton: [nodding] It's fine, it's fine. Let's go!

[last lines.]
Sgt. Frank Tree: You know, this year wasn't the big year of the war, '41. I think the really big year is going to be 1942.
Gen. Joseph Stillwell: [sighs] It's going to be a long war.


  • Paranoia meets pandemonium.
  • As They Roared Into Battle, Only One Thing Was Missing...The Enemy!
  • A Comedy Spectacular!



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