More than four years ago, seems like only yesterday for some of us, my local ally Pop Culture Nerd linked her readers, and her L.A. Times Festival of Books friends, to a Jacket Copy blog interview of T. Jefferson Parker. A favorite author for some time now. Carolyn Kellogg’s final question to the SoCal native worked well for those up the street at the TCM Film Festival, which landed the same weekend of the book fest:
“Do you have a favorite book or movie about Los Angeles?”
“”True Confessions” by John Gregory Dunne would be my favorite L.A. book, with many close seconds. Movies? Man…well “Chinatown” still tops the list for me.” ~ T. Jefferson Park
Can’t go wrong with any of his picks. As a someone born and raised in this city, who equally enjoys both of these popular arts, and spoke to some of L.A.’s films a couple of years back, might as well add my own.
My Favorite Movies of L.A.
“He knew the risks, he didn’t have to be there. It rains… you get wet.”
“Don’t start tryin’ to do the right thing, boy-o. You haven’t the practice.”
“This is the girl.”
“Masters is your friend. I don’t blame you, I would never hang up a friend. Anybody who would is a piece of shit. Thing is, your friend tried to have you iced.”
“What is it? You need some chap stick or lip gloss or something? Because your lips keep getting stuck on your teeth. Or is that your idea of a smile?”
“AK-47. The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitutes.”
“You never stop moving! You never go anywhere!”
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”
“This is ridiculous. Big shot, huh? You got a gun. Now what? Shithead, you. Huh? Maniac. Let me ask you something. Maybe you can help me. What’s wrong with my life? Why is my wife sleeping with someone else? Why can’t I sleep?”
“The government has a word for survival. It’s called fraud.”
“Mrs. Peters, in a half-an-hour there’s going to be a full-on nuclear attack. The missiles are on their way now. L.A.’s going to be a desert again very soon.”
“I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can’t remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world’s still there. Do I believe the world’s still there? Is it still out there?… Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I’m no different.”
“Did you join Amnesty International, Oxfam, Save the Whales, Greenpeace, or something? No. I off one fat Angeleno and you throw a hissy fit.”
“I wanted this to be professional, efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way… so he won’t be joining us for the rest of his life.”
“Yeah, yeah. You’re new. That’s a mistake. And you talk too much… that’s a mistake. That’s the first thing you can learn. When you’re talking, you’re not thinking. Never talk… unless you have to.”
“If I drive for you, you get your money. You tell me where we start, where we’re going, where we’re going afterwards. I give you five minutes when we get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours. No matter what. Anything a minute on either side of that and you’re on your own. I don’t sit in while you’re running it down. I don’t carry a gun. I drive.”
“Yeah. Check the probate. Why, my Uncle Thumper had a problem with HIS probate, and he had to take these big pills, and drink lots of water.”
“The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd.”
“Nobody came… nobody cares. It’s still not about anything.”
“I tell you what we’re gonna do, Marlboro. You’re gonna take that goddamn J.C. Penney tie off and we’re gonna have an old fashioned man to man drinking party.”
“Rough business, this movie business. I’m gonna have to go back to loan-sharking just to take a rest.”
“Any man who gives up his gun to some punk is a coward. Any man who does can kiss his badge goodbye, if I can help it. You’re policemen. Put your trust in God.”
“Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not “Mr. Lebowski”. You’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”
“Wow, I feel sore. I mean physically, not like a guy who’s angry in a movie in the 1950’s.”
“The likelihood of one individual being right increases in direct proportion to the intensity with which others are trying to prove him wrong.”
“A man once told me that you step out of your door in the morning, and you are already in trouble. The only question is are you on top of that trouble or not?”
“The BEST reason I can think of is that you scare the hell out of me. I have seen women like you before, baby. You’re double-tough and you are sharp as a razor, and you get what you want or else; but you don’t make it work forever. Sooner or later the lightning hits, and I’m not gonna be around when it hits you.”
“Bide your time and everything becomes clear, and you can act accordingly.”
“Fairfax isn’t going to give you anything. He’s finished. Fairfax is dead. He just doesn’t know it yet.”
“Kiss me, Mike. I want you to kiss me. Kiss me. The liar’s kiss that says I love you, and means something else.”
“You know the old song? If you were the only girl in the world, and I was the only boy, well, okay, but until then, don’t bother me? Well, I guess I’m the only boy…”
“Oh, a pinch of this, a dash of that. Sometimes referred to in the trade as a Sleeping Beauty Boilermaker. Take no notice if he begins to levitate. It’s a common side effect.”
“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”
“She was the greatest of them all. You wouldn’t know, you’re too young. In one week she received 17,000 fan letters. Men bribed her hairdresser to get a lock of her hair. There was a maharajah who came all the way from India to beg one of her silk stockings. Later he strangled himself with it!”
“One thing the old man never missed was a wake. Good booze and plenty of it!”
“My, my, my! Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains! You know, you’re the second guy I’ve met today that seems to think a gat in the hand means the world by the tail.”
“It’s just like the first time I came here, isn’t it? We were talking about automobile insurance, only you were thinking about murder. And I was thinking about that anklet.”
“You may think you know what you’re dealing with, but, believe me, you don’t.”
13 Responses to “Reprise » Favorite Movies of L.A.”
And here I thought Chicago was the location where most films had been filmed. You can add ‘Inherent Vice’, Paul Thomas Anderson’s December film to the list. 🙂
I’ve heard and am looking forward to ‘Inherent Vice’, Cindy. Thank you very much for your great comments and loyal readership 🙂
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AROMORED CAR ROBBERY has some great shots of 1950’s L.A. Have you seen the film? It’s a tight low budget film noir with Charles McGraw.
I’ve heard of that movie, but haven’t screened it. It’s now in my Netflix queue, based on your recommendation, John. Thanks so much 🙂
It looks like you covered them all, Michael!
Though really an on set and back lot film. I like ‘He Walked By Night’ for its B&W, pre “Dragnet” procedural look and feel. Also Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Strange Days’ for its grimy, not so futuristic neon Noir look, feel and attitude. Vincent D’Onfrio and Tom Sizemore surprise in many frightening, intriguing ways!
Great catches on ‘To Live And Die in L.A.”, ‘Hickey & Boggs’ and ‘True Confessions’ for showing parts of The City and beyond rarely seen in film.
Good point, Kevin. Many of these have shown areas of the city not normally seen. Great pick for Bigelow’ ‘Strange Days’. I need to watch it again, for sure. Thanks so much, my friend. 🙂
Thank you so much, Fernando 🙂
Wow! Awesome post and very extensive. Fantastic work here, Mike! I am very impressed. Some great titles in this list. When I got to “They Live” I had a grin from ear to ear, man!
Yeah, there’s a lot films that have used L.A. as a distinct character in their stories. Great to hear you’re into John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE, too. Such a fun flick that carried some keen political commentary for the 80s. Many thanks, Vic 😀
What is Hickey and Boggs and why have I never heard if it?!
H&B was a neo-noir, written by Walter Hill and directed by actor/writer Robert Culp, and released in 1972. It bombed and sank by the wayside, but has gained followers in the decades since. I’ve promoted it some since I saw it first-run and have been a long time fan. Here, too. It’s worth checking out, if you can. Many thanks for the read and comment. 🙂