Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is a 2002 surreal biographical film depicting the life of popular game show host/producer Chuck Barris, who claimed to have also been an assassin for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Directed by George Clooney. Written by Charlie Kaufman, based on the memoir by Chuck Barris.
Some things are better left top secret.taglines

Chuck Barris[edit]

  • When you are young, your potential is infinite. You might do anything, really. You might be Einstein. You might be DiMaggio. Then you get to an age where what you might be gives way to what you have been. You weren't Einstein. You weren't anything. That's a bad moment.
  • When you're in a relationship it means you are obligated to give a shit.
  • I don't know what was worse - that I was duped by that fat fucking bachelor, or that it took seven of us to replace him.
  • Go back to Scotland! Get yourself some Guinness, some Lucky Charms.
  • Life was sweet... For a minute.
  • I'm not killing people... my future's in television.
  • My name is Charles Prescott Barris. I have written pop songs, I have been a television producer. I am responsible for polluting the airwaves with mindnumbing, puerile entertainment. In addition, I have murdered 33 human beings. [types on a typewriter: I am damned to hell]
  • I came up with a new game-show idea recently. It's called The Old Game. You got three old guys with loaded guns onstage. They look back at their lives, see who they were, what they accomplished, how close they came to realizing their dreams. The winner is the one who doesn't blow his brains out. He gets a refrigerator.

Patricia Watson[edit]

  • Insane asylums are filled with people who think they're Jesus or Satan. Very few have delusions of being a guy down the block who works for an insurance company.
  • Very good Chuck. I am pleasantly surprised, you're not like the other murderers.
  • You're kind of cute... in a homely sort of way.
  • Nietzsche says whoever despises oneself... still respects oneself as one who despises.

Jim Byrd[edit]

  • You're 32 years old, and you've achieved nothing. Jesus Christ was dead and alive again by 33. You better get crackin'.
  • Think of it as a hobby. Something you do to relax. You're an "assassination enthusiast."


  • Killing my first man was like making love to my first woman.

Instructor Jenks[edit]

  • There are several efficient methods for killing a man were you to find yourself without a weapon. The edge of your hand, against your adversary's Adam's apple. This will crush his windpipe, causing strangulation and death. [demonstrates on a volunteer, then realizes what he's done] Shit! I need another volunteer!


Chuck Barris: Hi, folks. Before we begin taping today, I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Peter Jenks of the Federal Communications Commission. Okay?
Peter Jenks: I don't know if any of you are aware of this, but it's a federal offense to make lascivious remarks on a television network broadcast. The penalty for this disgusting, un-American behavior is one year in prison, or a ten thousand dollar fine. Or both! Anyone making a sick or subversive remark tonight will be arrested immediately. I then will personally escort the offender to federal prison for booking under edict number 364 of the Broadcasting Act of 1963. And it's a long drive to that prison, baby, just you and me. No witnesses.
Chuck Barris: OK, have fun, everybody... all right...

Chuck Barris: [after Byrd tells Chuck to kill the unknown "mole"] Hey, I got an idea. If you aren't so bad... why don't you do it? Why don't you kill the mole? You got a problem with killing, Jim?
Jim Byrd: I just don't fit the profile.
Chuck Barris: What fucking profile? There is no fucking profile.
Jim Byrd: Okay, there's no profile.
Chuck Barris: There's no profile.
Jim Byrd: Okay. Let's see. Well, you had a twin sister, stillborn, strangled by your umbilical cord. Your first hit, Chuck. Your mother always wanted a daughter. She blamed you for your sister's death. And, so, until your sister Phoebe was born, she raised you as a girl. Oh, and your father the dentist? Not really your father. Your biological father was a man named Edmund James Windsor. A serial killer. A fact your mother didn't know when she had an affair with him in 1930. If you want to look him up, he was also known as the Tarrytown Troll, because he had been described by witnesses as short and ugly. Windsor died in the electrical chair at Ossining in 1939. We believed your self-loathing tendencies coupled with that extra Y chromosome and whatever else you inherited from your father would serve us well. I'm trying to think what more I can tell you, but you have me at a disadvantage here, Barris. I don't have your files in front of me.

Penny: What are you?
Chuck Barris: Jew.
Penny Pacino: Oh, I had one of those once. But he was separatist. He was Ashka Nazi.
Chuck Barris: Ashkenazi.
Penny Pacino: Right, Ashka Nazi. I haven't had one of those yet.
Chuck Barris: You're a romantic.

Simon Oliver: You are a bloody amateur.
Chuck Barris: You're a faggot.
Jim Byrd: Chuck.
Simon Oliver: Tell me, Mr. Barris, are you in possession of my microfilm?
Chuck Barris: Yeah, I got it.
Simon Oliver: Let's have it, then.
Chuck Barris: It's up my ass, Oliver, why don't you reach on up there and get it?

Jim Byrd: He's a bad guy. He's one of the bad guys.
Chuck Barris: Bad for the US, right, Jim? Not bad in the absolute sense. Just bad for the US.
Jim Byrd: Don't fuckin' dance with me. Renda's bad for the Tea & Biscuit Company. He's bad for me personally. You work for me. Renda's bad for me... You're now officially a patriotic citizen of the United States of Jim Byrd. There's no backing out now. We let you in on everything. You don't play. You don't leave. You understand that? You don't play... You don't leave.

Penny Pacino: Do you want me around or not? Do you even like me?
Chuck Barris: Of course I like you! Penny...
Penny Pacino: How much?
Chuck Barris: What?
Penny Pacino: I need to know how much you like me.
Chuck Barris: I know what that means! How much? How could I read a person in that way?
Penny Pacino: You could if you felt it. If you felt it, it would be easy. You would [sighs dreamingly] ...just spread your arms as wide as they would go and say: "This much, Penny."
Chuck Barris: Everything... everything is complicated. Nothing is black and white like that.
Penny Pacino: [cries] Do you want me around or not? 'Cause if you don't it's okay, just tell me.
Chuck Barris: Hey, hey... [kisses her] I love you, Penny. In my way. Maybe not that crazy head-over-heels-thing, but what is that anyway? Romantic love, isn't that just an illusion?
Penny Pacino: [stops crying] You just said you love me, right?

Chuck Barris: [getting the idea for "The Gong Show"] We've been going about this all wrong. Rather than killing ourselves trying to find good acts... we just put on bad ones and kill them!
Casting Executive Man: Chuck, honestly, this... and I know you like them... this is torture.
Chuck Barris: No, no, no. We kill them before they're through. As soon as it gets unbearable... we kill 'em... dead!

Chuck Barris: I've got important things to think about here. I don't have time to fuck around with you.
Jim Byrd: Okay, I'll help you out with your little show. Tit for tat. That's the kinda guy I am. I've seen this "Dating Game" of yours, Chuck. And I have a thought.
Chuck Barris: What, now you're a television producer?
Jim Byrd: Hey, I'm John Q. Public when it comes to TV and that should make my opinion of interest to you.
Chuck Barris: [nods] Let's hear it then.
Jim Byrd: Well, what do you have now? The couple gets sent to some stupid second-rate Hollywood shitcan restaurant, right? Sets you back fifty bucks? That's not too exciting a prize to us vicarious living boobs out in TV-land.
Chuck Barris: Yeah, what's your point?
Jim Byrd: Up the stakes, Chuckles. Send 'em to some exotic locale. Europe, Southeast Asia, for example.
Chuck Barris: The network's not going to let me send two unmarried kids on vacation together.
Jim Byrd: Send 'em with a chaperone.
Chuck Barris: [beat] You know... that's not half bad.
Jim Byrd: I'm telling ya. And sometimes you can be the chaperone, Chuckie. Let's say we have a job for you in Austria. You, a successful TV producer, above suspicion, chaperones the young couple, and while you're there, you take care of some Company business. It's the perfect cover. TV producer by day, CIA operative by night.
Chuck Barris: I told you, I don't have to kill people for money anymore.
Jim Byrd: Chuck, when I said you fit our profile, very little of that had to do with you needing the money. Some of it, but very little. You liked it with Renda, Chuck. I saw it in your eyes. You liked it but you botched it. Don't you want to get really good at something, Chuck?

Pretty Woman: Hi.
Chuck Barris: Hi.
Pretty Woman: I thought it was you.
Chuck Barris: [smiles and bows] It's me.
Pretty Woman: I'm glad to meet you because I wanted to tell you that I've seen "The Gong Show" and I think you are the most insidious and despicable force in entertainment today.
Chuck Barris: Well...
Pretty Woman: How dare you subject the rest of the world to your loathsome view of humanity.
Chuck Barris: I don't think it's that loathsome.
Pretty Woman: What is it then? To mock some poor, lonely people who just crave a little attention in their lives. To destroy them. So everybody's not brilliantly talented. They're still people. They deserve respect and compassion. I mean, who the hell are you? What the fuck have you ever done that elevates you above the pathetic masses? Oh, I forgot, you created "The Dating Game". Wow, right up there with the Sistine Chapel.


  • Some things are better left top secret.
  • His future was uncertain. His every move was being watched.
  • When you lead two different lives, it's easy to forget what side you're on.


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