Born Yesterday (1993 film)

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Born Yesterday is a 1993 remake of the 1950 film version of the play by Garson Kanin. The film stars Melanie Griffith, John Goodman and Don Johnson. It was adapted by Douglas McGrath and directed by Luis Mandoki.

Billie Dawn[edit]

  • You know how when somebody dies, it's OK to feel sad, but then at other times, when you're supposed to be happy and you feel sad, it's worse than the times when you're allowed to be sad?
  • Oh, don't worry about him. He's too busy being a big man.
  • Did you teach me to cheat 'cause you think I can't learn?
  • You know what your problem is, Harry? You're not just rude, you're...[pulls out a pocket dictionary and looks up a word]..."flagrant" about it!
  • How come I feel like I don't fit in any more? Tell me why am I so unhappy with everything that I used to want.
  • You got money, Harry, but you got a cheap life.
  • Men are unbelievable. I give and give and give and it's like wallpaper to you. You just walk right past it. Then you make one effort and you think we're equal. It only looks like a big effort because you never made one before.

Paul Verrall[edit]

  • Being smart isn't just about books. It's about asking questions. It's about finding out why things are the way they are.
  • People always pretend to be smarter than they are.
  • The whole damn history of the world is the story of the fight between the selfish and the unselfish.

Harry Brock[edit]

  • Listen. Anybody that works in this room, tell them to do it good, do it fast, nobody gets hurt. I don't like a lot of people around all the time, and I don't like waiting for nothin'.
  • You don't save money, bud, you make it!
  • You show me a businessman believes in fate, I'll show you the first businessman who ever went broke. I started with a wagon, selling somebody's junk. And I got here in a silk suit, talking to a college know-it-all like you. If I lose it, I'll meet you right back here in this room, in a new silk suit.
  • Don't Harvard talk me. I didn't make my money by being an idiot.


Bellman: I hope Mrs. Brock is satisfied with the arrangements?
Harry: She's not Mrs Brock.
Bellman: Oh yes, that's fine.
Harry: You bet it's fine. There's only one Mrs. Brock and she's my mother. And she's dead.

Harry: Billie!
Billie: What?
Harry: Well?
Billie: What?
Harry: Not bad, huh?
Billie: Not bad.
Harry: Not bad? You know what this is costing me a night?
Billie: $6,500, you already told me.

Harry: So, what's this gonna be, pal? A plug or a pan? I like to know these things. Then I know how to talk if I know your angle.
Paul: No angle. Just the facts.
Harry: A pan. Listen, I gotta do my stairs and stuff. Are you OK with that?
Paul: Sure.

Harry: You don't look right. Want an aspirin?
Ed: No, Harry, I'm fine. Considering I've been dead for 12 years, I feel great.

Harry: Does she look OK to you?
Billie: What's the matter with how I look?
Harry: That's what I wanna know.
Billie: What do you know? You open beer cans with your teeth!
Ed: You look beautiful, Billie.
Billie: Thank you, Ed.

Harry: I got an idea.
Ed: The four most terrifying words in the English language.

Billie: I don't want some stuffy old tutor!
Harry: Be nice to him or I'll crack you one.
Billie: It's a free country.
Harry: That's what you think!

Paul: Well, Harry wants me to...
Billie: He wants you to smarten me up?
Paul: No, I'm sure you're... I think he just wants me to...
Billie: Smarten me up.
Paul: Yeah.
Billie: So, what's he paying you?
Paul: Five hundred bucks a day.
Billie: Sucker. You coulda gotten twice that. He's got a lot of it, you know.
Paul: I'd have done it for nothing.

Billie: Even if I am stupid, it hasn't hurt me none.
Paul: What do you mean?
Billie: I've got everything that I want. I got lots of jewels, big like I like. Mink coat. A TV that fits in my purse. I want something, I ask for it. If he don't give me what I want, I don't give him what he wants. If you get my drift?
Paul: And you're happy with this setup?
Billie: So long as I know how to get what I want, that's all I want to know.
Paul: Makes sense. So long as you know what it is you want.
Billie: Exactly. What?
Paul: Well, I mean, if you don't know a lot, how do you know that a mink coat is the best thing to have?
Billie: Because I used to have a rabbit coat.

Billie: I love this song. Let's dance.
Paul: Oh, I don't... I can't dance.
Billie: I can. Harry and me won a medal once.
Paul: Well, this isn't a dancing place.
Billie: It is if you're dancing. Come on.

Paul: You want to be able to talk to people in this town? In Washington, everybody says exactly the same things at every party. You just have to know the right responses. If you learn these eight sentences, you'll be a hit at every party.
Billie: You're kidding me!
Paul: Nope. Those eight sentences cover just about everything anybody talks about. It's the Washington art of sounding like you know what you're talking about when you don't know zip.

Billie: I don't understand one word of that.
Paul: No one will. There is no Verner Amendment. But the only time anyone in Washington admits they don't know something is when they're being indicted.

Paul: You were great tonight. Didn't you think you were great?
Billie: Oh, yeah. We really tricked them, didn't we?
Paul: What's the matter?
Billie: Well, if you saw a great ventriloquist, who would you compliment? The dummy?
Paul: You're not a dummy.

Billie: But I've been thinking a lot lately about something my dad used to say: "Without knowledge, you're less than everybody." And I don't want to be less. I mean, I don't want to be better than anybody neither and I don't want to go above myself. I just want- I just want to not be less.
Paul: Well, I'm afraid it's too late for that... cause you're already more than most people.

Billie: So, how are we gonna smarten me up?
Paul: Well, we aren't gonna do it. You're gonna do it. It's your battle. It's up to you.

Harry: What are you reading?
Billie: Democracy In America by... Pocahontas.
Harry: Yeah, she's good.

Billie: If I'd known art smelled this good, I would have come a long time ago! God, it's so small but it's like it's bigger than the whole room.
Paul: Van Gogh painted this near the end of his life. What a shame that he was never recognized while he was still living. Don't you think?
Billie: My mother died when I was little and... my dad raised me and my brothers. And he loved us so much, but... I never knew a world like that.

Paul: I don't hate Harry. I hate his kind of life. What he does, what he stands for. Harry doesn't know any better. He's never thought about anybody else in the world but himself.
Billie: Who does?
Paul: Oh, God, Billie, millions of people do. The whole damn history of the world is the story of the fight between the selfish and the unselfish.

Paul: Maybe we haven't gotten to our time yet.
Billie: No, we did. And you just dropped the ball.

Paul: Hi! I couldn't wait to see how it went.
Billie: So, she's stupid. Well, all I mean is, I didn't feel stupid myself. Get this, she hadn't never read the book.
Paul: You're kidding!
Billie: No.
Paul: People always pretend to be smarter than they are.
Billie: I don't.
Paul: I know, Billie. You're an honest one.

Harry: What's the matter?
Billie: Ed.
Harry: What'd he do to you?
Billie: It's what he's done to himself. Do you know, he used to be attorney general of a whole state? Do you know, he wrote a book? It was called The Roots of Freedom. I read it. It was beautiful.
Harry: Don't tie up your new brain with Ed.

Billie: You're not as big as I used to think. All through history, there's been bigger men and better.
Harry: Name somebody bigger.
Billie: My father.
Harry: Minimum wage!
Billie: So what? At least he spent time with me.

Billie: Maybe I am dumb, but I know there's a better life than this! I want to be like those Van Gogh people, where people care about each other!
Billie: You got money, Harry, but you got a cheap life.
Harry: I don't own nothin' cheap except you.
Billie: There's a little law about that. Nobody can own anybody.

Billie: Paul, I don't think that I'll see you again.
Paul: Wait a minute, wait a minute! Why? Because of this?
Billie: No, I just wonder sometimes if it's good to find out so much so quick.
Paul: Quickly.
Billie: So quickly.

Harry: You think dumb people make this much money?
Billie: I think only a dumb person would think money makes him smart.

Paul: You had no right to do what you did. But you did it. And now that you've done it, the people have a right to know.
Harry: What people?
Paul: The people.
Harry: Never heard of 'em.
Paul: You will. 12 of them are going to be deciding where you're going to live.
Harry: Who are you, the government?
Paul: As a matter of fact, I am.
Harry: Since when?
Billie: Since 1776.

Billie: Remember how you used to say we'd go away, buy a house on the beach? Why didn't we ever do that?
Harry: I couldn't do that. I had to work.
Billie: But why? You had five companies when I met you. When was it going to be enough so we could we enjoy it?

Harry: What am I supposed to do?
Billie: Maybe take a watercolour class?
Harry: Very funny.
Billie: Also, you should walk the beach.
Harry: I don't live near a beach.
Billie: I'm rich for a little bit. I'll buy you a beach and I'll pay for your watercolour class. And I'll get you a ticket to the museum, so you can see that Van Gogh painting.
Harry: Are you nuts? Why should I do all this stuff?
Billie: You have to ask why?
Harry: Yeah! Why!
Billie: That's why! So you'll know what all that stuff is for! Then maybe you'll find a little bit of what I've found. Trust me, Harry. This will make you happy.
Harry: How would you know?
Billie: Do you think I was born yesterday?


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