Twenty Five Great Quotes from the Films of Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson, as I’m sure you know, is a fantastic director who has made a continuous string of brilliant, extraordinary movies. He’s probably the best American director working in cinema today, and we’re eagerly awaiting more news about the creation of his newest film, The Master. When I heard that he was working on this film, I got so excited I decided to rewatch all his other films in preparation. You can never see a P.T. Anderson movie too many times.

Here are 25 great quotes I picked up from his five movies. Enjoy.

Sydney (1996)

1: “If you stay here, you don’t wanna get caught, okay? We’re talking about kidnapping, extortion, other things, I dunno what. But not good things.”

2: “I know three kinds of karate: jujitsu, aikido, and regular karate.”

3: “I have the money to give you right now, in this moment. I will give you all that I have. Maybe before you were gonna kill me. Maybe. I don’t know. I know John, and I love him like he was my own child. But I can tell you this: I don’t want to die. I killed his father. I can tell you what it was. This is not an excuse. I’m not begging for clemency. All that matters, I do not wish to sacrifice my life for John’s well-being. But I will sacrifice this money for mine because you have asked me. Because after this, I will have done all I can for John and for myself. I’m going to ask you with all the heart and sincerety that I have, please do not put a bullet in me. And, please, don’t tell John what I’ve done. I trust that once I gave you this money, you and I will take separate paths and that this negotiation will settle everything. That is my hope. I don’t wanna die.”

4: “I know some things about Atlantic city…”

5: “This is a very fucked up situation.”

Boogie Nights (1997)

6: “I got a feeling that behind those jeans is something wonderful just waiting to get out.”

7: “I’m ready to shoot right now!”

8: “If it looks like shit, and it sounds like shit, it must be shit!”

9: “I’m gonna keep trying if you guys keep trying. Let’s keep rocking and rolling.”

10: “I’m a star. I’m a star, I’m a star, I’m a star. I’m a big, bright shining star. That’s right.”

Magnolia (1999)

11: “These strange things happen all the time.”

12: “And the book says, ‘we may be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.'”

13: “I’m quietly judging you.”

14: “The biggest regret of my life… I let my love go.”

15: “Don’t go away, you fucking asshole, don’t go away, you fucking asshole, don’t go away….”

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

16: “I don’t like myself sometimes.”

17: “I didn’t do anything. I’m a nice man. I mind my own business. So you tell me ‘that’s that’ before I beat the hell from you. I have so much strength in me you have no idea. I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine. I would say ‘that’s that’, Mattress Man.”

18: “I’m lookin’ at your face and I just wanna smash it. I just wanna fuckin’ smash it with a sledgehammer and squeeze it. You’re so pretty.”

19: “Healthy Choice and American Airlines got together and put this promotion: If you buy any 10 Healthy Choice products, they will reward you with 500 frequent flier miles; with this special coupon, they’ll up it to 1,000 miles. So, I think they are trying to push their teriyaki chicken which is $1.79, but I went to the supermarket and I looked around and I saw that they had pudding… for 25¢ a cup… comes in packages of four. But insanely… the barcodes… are on the individual cups! So, quarter a cup, say you bought $2.50 worth. That’s worth 500… with the coupon it’s 1,000 miles. It’s a marketing mistake but I’m taking advantage of it. If you were to spend $3,000, that would get you a million frequent flier miles. You would never have to pay for a ticket the rest of your life.”

20: “Yes-that-would-be-great-but-I’m-not-exactly-sure-I-have-so-much-going-on-here-a-lot-depends-on-this-thing-if-it-happens-I-won’t-be-able-to-go-but-if-it-doesn’t-happen-I-might-be-able-to… I probably won’t though.”

There Will Be Blood (2007)

21: “There are times when I look at people and see nothing worth liking.”

22: “One night, I’m going to come to you, inside your house, wherever you’re sleeping, and I’m going to cut your throat.”

23: “DRAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIINNNNAAAGGGEEEE!!!!”

24: “I told you I would eat you!”

25: “I’m finished.”

There are so many more I could list than the above 25, especially from Magnolia and There Will Be Blood (in fact, the whole final scene of the latter film could be easily and appropriately quotable), but I’ll leave that up to you.

Leave a comment with what you thought of my selections, and list some quotes of your own. What directors do you find easily quotable? What do you think of Paul Thomas Anderson’s films? Let me know.

Thanks for reading.

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About Tyler

Patient observer of all things film and music, from Béla Tarr to Boards of Canada. Foul mouthed and clinging to the edge of sanity.

Posted on May 20, 2011, in Filmmakers, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I liked your choices but I think that Magnolia should include “I will dropkick those f***ing dogs if they come near me”!!! Best quote.

  2. Had to share this with a buddy of mine, he ALWAYS gets the quotes right, I’m guessing there a few here that he knows and loves too.

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