Friday, March 18, 2005

Movie Quotes: "Fargo"

I always preferred Buster Keaton to Charlie Chaplin. Granted, I haven't seen much of either of their work, but from what I have seen, I like Keaton better. Keaton was known as "The Great Stone Face", because he was always implacable in his films, and that's what made him so funny. When it comes to comedy, I often go for that more subtle edge. Not always, but often.

When it comes to Jim Carrey, whom I have said before tends to overdo it, his funniest line in all the films I've seen him in is a straight one: "What on EARTH are you talking about? Who are you talking to?!". The delivery and context of that line, given seriously by Carrey as Truman Burbank in "The Truman Show", gets me laughing every time I watch it.

Such is the case with the straight faced delivery of the dialogue by two very minor characters in "Fargo". I distinctly remember seeing this in the theater when it first came out and laughing harder at that scene, particularly those last few lines, than I've rarely laughed before or since (For those who haven't seen it, this scene takes place outside in the snow, which is a constant and overwhelming presence in this film).

Mr. Mohra: So, I'm tendin' bar there at Ecklund & Swedlin's last Tuesday and this little guy's drinkin' and he says, 'So where can a guy find some action - I'm goin' crazy down there at the lake.' And I says, 'What kinda action?' and he says, 'Woman action, what do I look like,' And I says 'Well, what do I look like, I don't arrange that kinda thing,' and he says, 'I'm goin' crazy out there at the lake' and I says, 'Well, this ain't that kinda place.'

Officer Olson: Uh-huh.

Mr. Mohra: So he says, 'So I get it, so you think I'm some kinda jerk for askin',' only he doesn't use the word jerk.

Officer Olson: I unnerstand.

Mr. Mohra: And then he calls me a jerk and says the last guy who thought he was a jerk was dead now. So I don't say nothin' and he says, 'What do ya think about that?' So I says, 'Well, that don't sound like too good a deal for him then.'

Officer Olson: Ya got that right.

Mr. Mohra: And he says, 'Yah, that guy's dead and I don't mean a old age.' And then he says, 'Geez, I'm goin' crazy out there at the lake.'

Officer Olson: White Bear Lake?

Mr. Mohra: Well, Ecklund & Swedlin's, that's closer ta Moose Lake, so I made that assumption.

Officer Olson: Oh sure.

Mr. Mohra: So, ya know, he's drinkin', so I don't think a whole great deal of it, but Mrs. Mohra heard about the homicides out here and she thought I should call it in, so I called it in. End a story.

Officer Olson: What'd this guy look like anyways?

Mr. Mohra: Oh, he was a little guy, kinda funny-lookin'.

Officer Olson: Uh-huh. In what way?

Mr. Mohra: Just a general way.

Officer Olson: Okay, well, thanks a bunch, Mr. Mohra. You're right, it's probably nothin', but thanks for callin' her in.

Mr. Mohra: Oh sure. They say she's gonna turn cold tomorrow.

Officer Olson: Yah, got a front movin' in.

Mr. Mohra: Ya got that right.

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