Intolerable Cruelty

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Intolerable Cruelty is a 2003 romantic-comedy film about a powerful divorce attorney who falls in love with the ex-wife of one of his clients.

Directed by Joel Coen. Written by Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone, and John Romano, and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.
Engage the enemy. tagline

Miles Massey

  • You fascinate me.
  • Sorry. I'm not omniscient.
  • Ham sandwich on stale rye bread. Lots of mayo, easy on the ham.
  • Let the record show that the Baron has identified Rex Rexroth as the silly man!

Marylin Rexroth

  • I've invested five good years in my marriage to Rex and I've nailed his ass fair and square. Now I'm going to have it stuffed, mounted, and have my lady friends come over and throw darts at it.

Gus Petch

  • You want tact, call a tactician. You want an ass nailed, you call Gus Petch.
  • [repeated line] I'm gonna nail your ass!
  • You didnt tell me they had a hard-on for anus africanus!


  • Who needs a home when you have a colostomy bag
  • [Wheezy Joe has just accidentally shot himself] Told him it was no go...
  • Rex, sit!
  • Why kill the only woman you've ever loved when she's the richer party.

Donovan Donaly

  • Explain this away, darling!

Herb Myerson

  • I'm going to talk to you about the law. We serve the law. We honor the law. And sometimes, we obey the law. But this is not one of those times.

Bonnie Donaly

  • You should have seen this coming you Australian piece of shit!

The Baron

  • Has any one got some bones?
  • I am a baron you silly man!
  • [Pointing to Rex Rexroth] I introduced her to that silly man.


Rex: My wife has me between a rock and a hard place.
Miles Massey: That's her job. You should respect that.

Freddy Bender: Objection, Your Honor: strangling the witness!
Judge Marva Munson: I'm going to allow it.

Miles Massey: So you propose, that in spite demonstrable infidelity on your part, your unoffending wife should be tossed out on her rear.
Rex: Is it possible?
Miles Massey: It's a challenge.

Gus Petch: You want tact, call a tactician! You want ass nailed, you call Gus Petch. Christ, you seem to be taking this pretty good. I have seen them come in here weeping like Baptists at a funeral, like they hired me to prove their husbands weren't fooling around.
Marylin Rexroth: Don't get me wrong Mr.....
Gus Petch: Petch. Gus Petch.
Marylin Rexroth: Whilst I don't find this terribly entertaining, I'm delighted you found this material. This will be my passport to wealth, independence and freedom.
Gus Petch:[Amused] Sounds like to me, you gonna nail his ass.

Miles Massey: I guess, something inside of me died, when I realized that you'd hired a goon to kill me.
Marylin Rexroth: Wait a minute. You hired him to kill me.
Freddy Bender: No. Both of you wait a minute. Nobody hired anyone to kill anyone.
Wrigley: Hear, hear.
Freddy Bender: Apparently, from what I can gather, a burglar broke into your house-
Wrigley: Miles' house.
Freddy Bender: Whatever. A burglar broke in intending to loot the place, uh, repented, became despondent over his lifestyle and shot himself.

Miles Massey: "Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your flattery, for where a heart is hard, they make no battery..." Mrs. Rexroth, do you know those lines?
Freddy Bender: Objection, your honor.
Judge Marva Munson: Grounds?
Freddy Bender: Uh... poetry recitation.

Mrs. Gutman: Sometimes there would be a gizmo.
Mrs. Gutman's Lawyer: A gizmo?
Mrs. Gutman: He had a device he called the Intruder. It was something he had the engineers at the factory design. And then he had a prototype built out of the parts from our vacuum cleaner.
Mrs. Gutman's Lawyer: I see.
Mrs. Gutman: So the vacuum cleaner wasn't available to me for several months.
Mrs. Gutman's Lawyer: Several months without the appliance.
Mrs. Gutman: Yes.

Wrigley: Uh, I'll just have a, um, salad, please. Um, baby field greens.
Nero's Waitress: What did you call me?
Wrigley: Uh, no, I-I... I-I didn't call you anything.
Nero's Waitress: You want a salad?
Wrigley: Yeah. Do you... Do you have a, uh, green salad?
Nero's Waitress: What the fuck color would it be?
Wrigley: Why are we eating here?
Nero's Waitress: What's his problem?
Miles Massey: Just bring him an iceberg lettuce and a mealy tomato wedge smothered with French Dressing.
Nero's Waitress: And for you?
Miles Massey: Ham sandwich on stale rye bread. Lots of mayo, easy on the ham.
Nero's Waitress: Slaw Cup?
Miles Massey: What the hell.

Rex Rexroth: Have you sat before her before?
Miles Massey: No. No, the judge sits first. Then we sit.
Rex Rexroth: Well, have you sat after her before?
Wrigley: Sat after her before? You mean, have we argued before her before?
Miles Massey: The judge sits in judgment. The counsel argues before the judge.
Rex Rexroth: So, have you argued before her before?
Wrigley: Before her before, or before she sat before?
Rex Rexroth: Before her before. I said, before her before.
Wrigley: No, you said before she sat before.
Rex Rexroth: I did at first, but...
Miles Massey: Look, don't argue.
Rex Rexroth: I'm not. I'm...
Wrigley: No, you don't argue. We argue.
Miles Massey: Counsel argues.
Wrigley: You appear.
Miles Massey: The judge sits.
Wrigley: Then you sit.
Miles Massey: Or you stand in contempt.
Wrigley: And then we argue.
Miles Massey: The counsel argues.
Rex Rexroth: Which you've done before.
Miles Massey: Which we've done before.
Rex Rexroth: Ah.
Wrigley: But not before her.
[Judge Munson slams her gavel and everyone excepts Rex's sits down]
Wrigley: Rex, sit!

[The tape is being shown in court of Gus busting Rex cheating on Marylin. Watching it, she cries on cue and is comforted by Bender. However, Miles isn't fooled by this.]
Marylin Rexroth: I'm devastated. Completely devastated.
Freddy Bender: No further questions.

Marylin Rexroth: They bought Massey's argument. If I lied or cheated and was with Rex only for his money, then he shouldn't have to give me any.
Sarah Sorkin: Well, that makes no sense. Why else would you put in all those years?

[Marylin's poodle bites Miles Massey on his hand]
Marylin Rexroth: Ow. Howard.
Miles Massey: Howard. You named him after your ex.
Marylin Rexroth: I'm sentimental.

Wrigley: What do you think?
Miles Massey: What are they, ladles?
Wrigley: Berry spoons.
Miles Massey: Spoons?
Wrigley: Berry spoons. Everybody has spoons.
Miles Massey: And nobody *needs* berry spoons.
Wrigley: Everybody eats berries.
Miles Massey: Who are you, Pollyanna? Where'd you see 'em at? A Martha Stewart catalog right next to the silver napkin rings? Stadium seat ass-warmers?

Freddy Bender: If you have a proposal to make, let's hear it.
Miles Massey: Well, at this point, my client is still prepared to consider reconciliation.
Freddy Bender: My client's ruled that out.
Miles Massey: My client is prepared to entertain an amicable dissolution to the marriage without prejudice.
Freddy Bender: That's a fart in a stiff wind.
Miles Massey: My client proposes a 30-day cooling-off period.
Freddy Bender: My client feels sufficiently dispassionate.
Miles Massey: My client asks that you not initiate proceedings pending his setting certain affairs in order.

Miles Massey: All right, so much for the ice-breakers. What are you after, Freddy? [takes a drink of water]
Freddy Bender: My client is prepared to settle for 50 percent of the marital assets. [Miles spits out some water]
Miles Massey: Why only 50, Freddy? Why not a hundred? While we're dreaming, why not 150? Are you familiar with Kershner?
Freddy Bender: Kershner does not apply.
Miles Massey: Bring this to trial, we'll see if Kershner applies.
Rex: What's Kershner?
Miles Massey: Please, let me handle this.
Freddy Bender: Kershner was in Kentucky.
Miles Massey: Kershner was in Kentucky?
Freddy Bender: Kershner was in Kentucky.
Miles Massey: All right, Freddy, forget Kershner. What's your bottom line?
Freddy Bender: Primary residence, 30 percent of remaining assets.
Miles Massey: What, are you nuts? Have you forgotten Kershner?

Miles Massey: Attila the Hun. Ivan the Terrible. Henry the Eighth. What do they have in common?
Wrigley: [thinks] Middle name?

Miles Massey: [of Rex's wife] Has she retained counsel?
Rex: I don't know... She has Rottweilers.
Miles Massey: Not a good sign.

Miles Massey: [after ordering food for both of them] I assume you're a carnivore.
Marylin Rexroth: [laughing] Oh, Mr. Massey. You have *no* *idea*.

[last lines]
Gus Petch: We gonna make you laugh, we gonna make you cry, but most of all, we gonna
[with audience]
Gus Petch: nail your ass!
Audience: [chanting] Nail your ass! Nail your ass! Nail your ass!

Gus Petch: ...and those Rottweilers were a menace, man!
Miles Massey: I told you she had dogs.
Gus Petch: You didn't tell me they had a hard on for Anus Africanus!


  • Engage the enemy.
  • A romantic comedy with bite.



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