Memorable Movie Love Quotes

The following is my Valentine post back in 2008 and an update after Downton. Re-posting here today for reminiscence. For several years, this post held the highest view records on my blog. I’d received 60+ comments suggesting more quotes. I regret I don’t have the plugin to copy them all here. But I’m sure we can start anew and update with fresh ones.  You’re welcome to add your fave movie love quote in a comment.
 
                                                                                    
                                                       ****   
 
 
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’ve compiled a list of memorable quotes from movies, all on the theme of love. All come from movies I’ve seen, some I’ve reviewed on this Blog (click on title to my review). They represent dialogues that have stirred some ripples in one small heart. And love…being a many splendid thing, embraces all kinds of human relationships, and transcends cultures and boundaries.
.

Here’s Arti’s Collection of Memorable Movie Love Quotes:

  • Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. — Dead Poets Society
  • The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return. — Moulin Rouge
  • The things that people in love do to each other they remember, and if they stay together it’s not because they forget, it’s because they forgive. — Indecent Proposal
  • I like you very much. Just as you are. — Bridget Jones’s Diary
Bridget Jones' Diary
.
  • When the planes hit the twin towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge — they were all messages of love. — Love Actually
  • Maybe it is our imperfections which make us so perfect for one another. — Emma
  • And now, I’m back…and I’ve lost her all over again. I’m so sad that I don’t have Kelly. But I’m so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring? —Castaway
  • I don’t believe in quantum physics when it comes to matter of the heart. — Bull Durham
.
.
  • Shoot me. There’s no greater glory than to die for love. — Love in the Time of Cholera
  • I need to feel strongly, to love and to admire, just as desperately as I need to breathe. — The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  • For you, a thousand times over. — The Kite Runner
  • Come back…Come back to me. — Atonement
  • Natalie:  Do you believe in love at first sight?
    John:  Yes I do. Saves a lot of time. — The Stickup

While a few are lucky enough to save time and escape the torments of love by creating a lasting flame from the first spark, some have to go through tumultuous pining, even the arduous and humbling experience of transforming oneself to gain requited love. And who, other than the following, epitomizes such kind of yearning:

Love Quotes From Downton Abbey:

“I love you Mr. Bates. I know it’s not ladylike to say it, but I’m not a lady and I don’t pretend to be.”  — Anna, S1E5

“I’m not a romantic… But even I concede that the heart does not exist solely for the purpose of pumping blood.” Violet Crawley, S2E2

“I’d rather have the right man, than the right wedding.” — Anna, S2E5

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You all are welcome to contribute to this list. Just submit your favorite movie love quotes in the comment box below…and have a memorable Valentine’s Day!

 ***

Here’s the link to my original post where you can read all the comments.

A Thought for Valentine’s

Beginning this year, I started subscribing to a daily piece of meditation from The Henri Nouwen Society. Here’s the one for Saturday, January 19. As Valentine’s Day draws near, I feel this is most apt:

Creating Space to Dance Together

When we feel lonely we keep looking for a person or persons who can take our loneliness away. Our lonely hearts cry out, “Please hold me, touch me, speak to me, pay attention to me.” But soon we discover that the person we expect to take our loneliness away cannot give us what we ask for. Often that person feels oppressed by our demands and runs away, leaving us in despair. As long as we approach another person from our loneliness, no mature human relationship can develop. Clinging to one another in loneliness is suffocating and eventually becomes destructive. For love to be possible we need the courage to create space between us and to trust that this space allows us to dance together.

                                                                                   — Henri Nouwen

Solitary 1

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Photo: Bow Valley Ranch, Fish Creek Provincial Park, Alberta. Taken by Arti of Ripple Effects, November, 2012.

Upcoming Post:

Feb. 15, Bonhoeffer Read-along Part 1, Ch. 1-18 (Or any part of it)

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The End of the Affair: Book and Movie

It’s a bit ironic to post this on Valentine’s Day. It’s a story of an extramarital affair, and it doesn’t end well. But then again, maybe this is the best time to talk about it.

This is my second instalment to meet the Graham Greene Challenge hosted by Carrie of Books and Movies. Spoiler Alert here. But since it’s a classic, I’m sure many of you have read it or seen the movie.

The End of the Affair

The book opens with a meeting between novelist Maurice Bendrix and civil servant Henry Miles on a cold, rainy night in 1946 London. Miles’ wife Sarah had ended an affair with Bendrix 18 months earlier. Bendrix has not seen them since. In this chance meeting on the street, Bendrix observes that Miles is heavy-laden, suspecting Sarah has ‘secrets’. Volunteering to hire a detective to tail the wife for the husband, Bendrix is in fact acting out of jealousy, for he too wants to find out who Sarah is seeing now. “Anyone who loves is jealous.”

Again, in just 160 pages, Greene has intricately explored the depth and complexity of the human psyche, love and hate, trust and insecurity, faith and lameness. Yes, the lameness in Bendrix’s leg can well be a metaphor for his numbness of unbelief. Isn’t there such an argument: “If God does not exist, everything is permitted?”

Love with all its smothering, blinding passion, its persistent, burning desire, its all-consuming emotions that distill into pure jealousy and hate… Graham Greene is a master of such incisive descriptions. But here’s the rub, they’re all found in an adulterous affair.

Isn’t that a pity that such intensity of love is often depicted outside of a marriage. Why, we see them all the time in literature and movies. And, don’t we tend to cheer for the romantic heroes and heroines? Guinevere and Lancelot, for example, to whom Bendrix in the book alludes when he talks to the detective Parkis, who has named his son Lance. Readily come to mind are some others: Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, and in the epic cinematic versions like The English Patient, in a more restrained way Out of Africa, and the near success in The Bridges of Madison County…  didn’t you wish Meryl Streep would have gone with Clint Eastwood? I’m just thinking, if Ralph Fiennes were the one beckoning her, she’d probably had jumped out of her husband’s truck.

O the fantasy of romance vs. the mundane reality of a marriage. The forbidden fruit seems sweeter, for it arouses excitement, it entices with adventure. Bendrix accuses the oblivious and dull husband Henry Miles as an accomplice in Sarah’s affairs, calling him ‘an eternal pimp’:

“You pimped with your ignorance. You pimped by never learning how to make love with her, so she had to look elsewhere. You pimped by giving opportunities… You pimped by being a bore and a fool…”

There might be some truths in his rants. But then again, are these reasons enough to drive one to discard the marriage vow and seek other allurements? Alas, it seems like boredom is the major impediment to fulfilling that commitment… “If I could love a leper’s sores, couldn’t I love the boringness of Henry?” Sarah tries to reason with herself.

But of course, here, the key is the End of the affair between Bendrix and Sarah. What causes the end is none other than God Himself according to Sarah. A bomb drops near Bendrix’s home while they are both there, striking him dead. Sarah, in her horror and desperation, prays to a God she doesn’t believe to exist, but pleads for the life of her lover just the same. She makes the promise that if God gives Bendrix back his life, she would stop seeing him. As she’s still kneeling by her bed praying, Bendrix walks into the room, injured but very much alive. Thus begins the agony of keeping a promise to a God whose existence now has become an inconvenient truth.

We learn at the end, Sarah has attempted to shift her love from Bendrix to God, albeit with much searing pain. She has gone to a priest and converted to Catholicism. In the crucifix she knows that God Himself is a suffering God too. If only she can see the scale of the pain in the nail-pierced hands in a greater cosmic proportion compared to her own…

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The marvellous cinematography, the diffused lighting of many scenes, all work to cast a romantic veil over an adulterous affair. Two Oscar noms in 2000 included one in cinematography and one for Julianne Moore as Sarah Miles. Ralph Fiennes plays Bendrix, a suitable choice. He is in his element. Since The English Patient (1996), Fiennes seems to have mastered the persona of the romantic tragic hero and obsessed lover.

While the screenwriter is understandably free to invent more scenes for the visual storytelling and change some plot points, one alteration I feel  is definitely unacceptable and that’s the character Richard Smythe. In the book, Smythe is an atheist whom Sarah visits several times to discuss views about atheism. Ironically it is Smythe’s atheistic stance that drives Sarah into believing God. She then confides in Father Crompton her wish to convert to Catholicism. But in the film, Smythe is the priest, and what more, he is implied to be another of Sarah’s lovers. I think here is where integrity to the source material should have given priority over dramatic effects.

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And what does Colin Firth have to do with The End of the Affair? Well, for all you Colin fans, he is among some A-list stars to have signed with the UK audiobook provider Audible to record their reading of their favorite classic novel.

Audible’s founder, Donald Katz, told the Observer: “Colin Firth could read me the back of a Marmite jar and I would listen.” Well, Colin has chosen, not Marmite or Cornflakes, but for more flavour, Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. CLICK HERE to read the announcement and see what other stars are reading for Audible’s recordings.

Now we have another portal to appreciate Colin, and, another channel to enjoy a Graham Greene book.

Update May 7, 2012: The Audiobook The End of the Affair narrated by Colin Firth is released today.

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Remembering John Barry this Valentine’s Day

To me, John Barry (Nov. 3, 1933 – Jan. 30, 2011) would always be the romantic of screen music.

As a youngster, I was thrilled by the iconic theme and melodies from all the James Bond movies, unaware of the name John Barry, the composer. I had seen them all, beginning with “Dr. No”, “From Russia With Love”, “Goldfinger”, “Thunderball”, “You Only Live Twice”…  knowing only one name: Sean Connery.  I did not care to find out more about the creator behind the music which had invigorated a youngster’s fantasy, that of the urbane spy hero, gadget-savvy, resourceful, adroit and indomitable, the romance of a childhood.

And then there was the wild world of nature, and the romance against its backdrop to run free and uninhibited. Again, John Barry’s screen score and Don Black’s lyrics had enriched a young heart with the ideal of freedom and beauty, and instilled the notion that “life is worth living, but only worth living ’cause you’re born free”.  I was oblivious to John Barry’s winning two Oscars with his music for “Born Free” (1966).  To me, what was important was to see the lion Elsa being set free into the wild to go back to her real home.

Years later, as the child grew up to become the ever steadfast romantic, I was again mesmerized by John Barry’s melodies set to some most memorable cinematic renderings, utterly enthralled by the simple melodic lines from “Somewhere In Time” (1980). Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour brought out the most heart-wrenching scenario of unrequited love. CLICK HERE to listen and watch on YouTube.

Again a few years later, there emerged the deep yearning and expansive orchestral score from “Out Of Africa” (1985). Another pair of star-crossed lovers entered the romantic landscape. Robert Redford and Meryl Streep poignantly portrayed the auto-biographical sketch of Danish writer Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen). John Barry won another Oscar.  CLICK HERE to watch and listen on YouTube.

Fast forward some more, the sweeping orchestration of “Dances With Wolves” (1990) with Kevin Costner’s epic cinematic depiction of the Sioux nation presented another frame of romantic offering: a people striving to defend their raison d’être, and a man clinging to his own ideals.  John Barry’s musical creation had done it again, capturing another Oscar.  CLICK HERE to watch and listen on YouTube.

There are many more works by Barry, who at the end of a career that spanned almost 50 years, had garnered 5 Oscars and many other accolades.  Some other acclaimed film scores include Best Music Oscar for “The Lion In Winter” (1968), Best Music Oscar nomination for “Chaplin” (1992) and “Mary Queen of Scots” (1971). Still others include “Zulu” (1964), “Midnight Cowboy” (1969), “Walkabout” (1971), “King Kong” (1976), “Body Heat” (1981), “Jagged Edge” (1985)…

This Valentine, I remember John Barry as a romantic. I lament the passing of another figure among a generation of artists who worked with genuine talents and old-school creativity without massive hi-tech glamour. This Valentine, I remember also Sydney Pollack (1934-2008) and Anthony Minghella (1954-2008).

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Gran Torino (2008)

gran-torino

Still planning for this Valentine’s weekend?  How about a date movie?  Wait, guys, don’t run away.  This one’s for you.

I hate to read movie reviews with the tag line “Bring tissues”.   Half of our demographics would clearly stay away.  But what with a movie entitled “Gran Torino” starring Clint Eastwood?  Will it scare away the other half?  I’m here to ensure you all girlfriends, wives and future wives, it’s safe.  You won’t be bombarded with ear-piercing explosions and car crashes, or gratuitous adrenalin pumping violence, but there are engrossing moments that both of you will find meaningful.

Clint Eastwood is Walt Kowalski, a hardened and critical old man who has just lost his wife.   Walt Kowalski is Dirty Harry in his 70’s.  He hasn’t lost any of his macho madness.  Adding oil to the fire, he is one growling racist, and he makes his feelings known to all who cross his path, specifically, his new neighbors, a Hmong family originally from Laos.

The 1972 Gran Torino Walt owns and treats with great care is what the teenager next door has to steal under coercion as an act of gang initiation.  That night begins the series of events  that change the lives of these two households.

What’s interesting to watch is how Walt Kowalski’s antagonistic fervor is diverted into a protective mode, when the teenagers next door are bullied by gangs.  Here the spirit of Dirty Harry rises to the occasion.  Taking the teenage boy Thao (Bee Vang) under his wings, he begins to connect and even come to treasure a bond that he subtly strives to build up.

Contributing to the otherwise simple storyline is the  internal exploration of Walt’s tormented inner world.  He encounters his nemesis in the young Catholic priest Father Janovich (Christopher Carley), who has promised Walt’s wife that he would come check on him after she’s gone.  The movie efficiently makes the best use of these two character foils.  The innocent and naive versus the disgruntled skeptic.  It’s gratifying to see how both of them change over the course of events.  And it’s utterly moving to watch the slow process of one man’s ultimate search for redemption in the context of a beleaguered society riddled with hatred and racism.

Eastwood is by far the most experienced actor here.  In contrast, the young ones pale in their performance.  However, this is in a way realistic, for who wouldn’t be intimidated by such a formidable neighbor.  And yet, the movie excels in its delivery of a message, or two, so poignantly, it catches you off guard.

The multi-talented Eastwood here directs, acts, and composes the music.  He has crafted a powerful and moving piece of entertainment.  If you’re not too critical about the language, or a few simplistic stereotyping, this is one movie that can certainly make your day.

~ ~ ~ Ripples


Memorable Movie Love Quotes

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’ve compiled a list of memorable quotes from movies, all on the theme of love. All come from movies I’ve seen, some I’ve reviewed on this Blog (click on title to my review). They represent dialogues that have stirred some ripples in one small heart. And love…being a many splendid thing, embraces all kinds of human relationships, and transcends cultures and boundaries.
.

Here’s Arti’s Collection of Memorable Movie Love Quotes:

  • Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. — Dead Poets Society
  • The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return. — Moulin Rouge
  • The things that people in love do to each other they remember, and if they stay together it’s not because they forget, it’s because they forgive. — Indecent Proposal
  • I like you very much. Just as you are. — Bridget Jones’s Diary
Bridget Jones' Diary
.
  • When the planes hit the twin towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge — they were all messages of love. — Love Actually
  • Maybe it is our imperfections which make us so perfect for one another. — Emma
  • And now, I’m back…and I’ve lost her all over again. I’m so sad that I don’t have Kelly. But I’m so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring? —Castaway
  • I don’t believe in quantum physics when it comes to matter of the heart. — Bull Durham
Kevin Costner in Bull Durham
.
.
  • Shoot me. There’s no greater glory than to die for love. — Love in the time of Cholera
  • I need to feel strongly, to love and to admire, just as desperately as I need to breathe. — The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  • For you, a thousand times over. — The Kite Runner
  • Come back…Come back to me. — Atonement
  • Natalie:  Do you believe in love at first sight?
    John:  Yes I do. Saves a lot of time. — The Stickup
    .

.

While a few are lucky enough to save time and escape the torments of love by creating a lasting flame from the first spark, some have to go through tumultuous pining, even the arduous and humbling experience of transforming oneself to gain requited love. And who, other than the following, epitomizes such kind of yearning:

Love Quotes From Downton Abbey:

“I love you Mr. Bates. I know it’s not ladylike to say it, but I’m not a lady and I don’t pretend to be.”  — Anna, S1E5

“I’m not a romantic… But even I concede that the heart does not exist solely for the purpose of pumping blood.” Violet Crawley, S2E2

“I’d rather have the right man, than the right wedding.” — Anna, S2E5

***

You all are welcome to contribute to this list. Just submit your favorite movie love quotes in the comment box below…and have a memorable Valentine’s Day!