Steven Spielberg‘s newest film, The Fabelmans, is set to arrive in theaters this November. The movie will explore largely explore the power of cinema and how it can transform lives. Many of Spielberg’s own films have changed the lives of his fans over the last few decades, no matter the genre.
Something that’s interesting about Spielberg is that he always seems to fit a creative insult or two into his movies, no matter when or where the films take place. Spielberg seems to understand that sick burns are a timeless method of communicating.
“I’m Not Going To Waste My Time Arguing With A Man Who’s Lining Up To Be A Hot Lunch.”
Hooper In Jaws (1975)
If Mayor Vaughn had listened to reason in the movie Jaws, there would actually be no movie, as the beach would be closed down in order to keep people safe. The end of conflict means the end of story. Luckily for film fans (and unluckily for swimmers at Amity Island), the beach remains open for much longer than it should have.
Matt Hooper partners with Martin Brody in trying to convince the mayor to close the beach, but when their request is denied Hooper gets fed up. He’s about ready to storm off in frustration when he describes Mayor Vaughn this way, unable to look at him because he’s so upset. Brody didn’t want to give up, but Hooper had had enough of the mayor’s foolishness.
“Try The Local Sewer.”
Indiana Jones In Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
When Indiana is brought to Belloq in Cairo, it makes for a very dangerous situation. Belloq, Indiana’s rival in archeology, has the upper hand for the moment and isn’t afraid to resort to violence to ensure he gets his way.
Despite the danger he is in, Indiana displays his bravery by slipping in a cutting remark towards Belloq. When Belloq claims to be disappointed that their rivalry is at an end, he asks Indy where he could find another adversary that’s up to his own standards. Indy responds with a less than amiable statement.
“It Was Nothing Like That, Penis-Breath!”
Children don’t often have the capability to deliver insults that cut deep while making a lot of sense, but they sure have a level of creativity in their language. It’s hard to imagine Elliot would have ever heard the phrase that he shouted at Michael when he didn’t believe the story about E.T., so he must have come up with it on his own.
As far as playground insults go, Elliot’s outburst is one of the more unique and hilarious. Even his mother couldn’t help but laugh before remembering to scold him. Michael didn’t seem to be affected by it, but it’s almost certain to have remained in his mind for many years, just as it has for fans of Spielberg’s great coming-of-age film.
“…Your Scientists Were So Preoccupied With Whether Or Not They Could, They Didn’t Stop To Think If They Should.”
Dr. Ian Malcolm In Jurassic Park (1993)
The best insults aren’t just funny or brutal, but also have an element of cleverness to them. Dr. Ian Malcolm’s critique of John Hammond’s methods was absolutely on point, making an important statement at the same time that he was putting him in his place.
The excitement of bringing dinosaurs back into existence clearer went to the heads of Hammond and his colleagues, preventing them from thinking clearly. It obviously was not a wise decision to reintroduce the dangerous creatures of the past into the present, but obviously, that thought process never made it into the minds of Hammond’s team.
“No, You’re Making All New Ones.”
Dr. Ian Malcolm In The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
Ian Malcolm has many great quotes, and this one comes in The Lost World. Apparently, the disasters that occurred in the first Jurassic Park weren’t enough to convince Hammond not to meddle in the business of dinosaurs. Problems are still problems, even if they aren’t the same ones.
When Dr. Ian Malcolm becomes concerned that Hammond is acting like a fool again, Hammond assures Dr. Malcolm that is not making the same mistakes he did the first time. Dr. Malcolm then correctly points out that he’s still making mistakes, just new ones, which turns out to be no better.
“Picture A Girl Who Just Took A Nosedive From The Ugly Tree And Hit Every Branch Coming Down.”
Private Ryan In Saving Private Ryan (1998)
After a difficult journey through many trials, Captain Miller and his men finally find Private James Ryan in Ramelle. James is informed that all of his brothers have died, so he is to return home and be with his family. Saddened by the news of his brothers’ deaths, Private Ryan thinks back on his youth with them.
Sitting with Captain Miller in the war-torn town, Private Ryan tells a story about the last time he was together with all of his brothers. It was at the farm, where his oldest brother Dan was trying to hook up with a girl who wasn’t, in their opinion, gifted with good looks. James’ description of her is undeniably harsh, but also quite funny. Even in the tense situation – moments before one of the best climaxes in any Spielberg movie – Private Ryan couldn’t contain his laughter, and even Captain Miller had to chuckle.
“Buddy, I Think You Been Spending Too Much Time Inhaling Them Cleaning Products.”
Joe Mulroy In The Terminal (2004)
Gupta, one of the janitors at the JFK International Airport, is extremely suspicious of Viktor Navorski after first seeing him around the airport a few times. He is paranoid and believes Viktor’s a CIA operative sent to spy on the staff at JFK.
When he tells his buddies who work with him at the airport, they dismiss Gupta’s fears as ridiculous ramblings. Joe Mulroy makes a point of stating just how disconnected from reality Gupta is, joking that the chemicals he’s around have clouded his judgment.
“She Takes After Her Father.”
Daphna In Munich (2005)
When Avner sees his and Daphna’s newborn daughter, he comments that she is frightfully ugly. It’s not all that uncommon for babies to be less than pleasant to look at, but Daphna decided to make the most of the opportunity.
Daphna’s jest to her husband was surely meant to make him smile, but it’s possible it might have also hurt a bit. It was quite a clever comeback, and she said it much quicker than would be expected. But it was all in good fun, and a little dose of humility never killed anyone.
“You Are More Reptile Than Man, George.”
Thaddeus Stevens In Lincoln (2012)
If Comedy Central existed during President Lincoln’s time and held roasts, Thaddeus Stevens would own them. He’s got plenty of savage lines in Lincoln, many of which made men squirm. Being on the receiving end had to hurt.
The most brutal of insults comes when Stevens is defending the idea of everyone being equal under the law. He says to George Pendleton that even he, who Stevens considers worthless, should still be treated equally before the law. Stevens makes a great point while also executing a vicious attack on a political enemy.
“…Don’t Tell Me There’s No Rule Book, And Don’t Nod At Me Like That You Son Of A Bi**h.”
James Donovan In Bridge Of Spies (2015)
As James Donovan continues to legally represent Rudolf Abel, the U.S. government grows impatient in its desire to know what Abel is telling Donovan. Finally, an agent known as Hoffman meets with Donovan, demanding to know what the two discuss alone. Donovan refuses, citing attorney-client privilege.
When Hoffman says America’s interests are more important than that, Donovan reminds him that what makes them Americans is their commitment to the Constitution and the rules agreed upon therein. Hoffman remains cynical and condescending, so Donovan puts him in his place.
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