He’s a tough guy, we all can see that.
And it’s not just because he glares, carries a gun and is played by Charles (“Death Wish”) Bronson. No, the improbably named Bernardo O’Reilly shows his toughness by being unafraid to show vulnerability.
Which is exactly what occurs when he chastises a group of young Mexican boys who have just called their farmer fathers cowards.
“You think I am brave because I carry a gun,” O’Reilly says. “Well, your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility, for you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there’s nobody says they have to do this. They do it because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage. Running a farm, working like a mule every day with no guarantee anything will ever come of it. This is bravery.”
William Roberts and Walter Bernstein included this scene in their screenplay for the 1960 Western “The Magnificent Seven.” An adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film “The Seven Samurai,” “The Magnificent Seven” uses memorable characters, a classic setting and traditional themes to tell its tale.
But as with most great films, it’s the quotes that we remember. In last week’s column, I invited readers to send in their favorite movie quotes. And I received several intriguing responses, including this one from Christa Hazel of Coeur d’Alene:
“Kid – the next time I say, ‘Let’s go someplace like Bolivia,’ let’s go someplace like Bolivia.”
That is, of course, Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy in 1969’s “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” griping to his train-robbing partner (played by Robert Redford) after barely escaping another of the intrepid posses sent out by E.H. Herriman of the Union Pacific Railroad.
The Oscar-winning screenwriter: William Goldman.
Meanwhile, Steven Heaps of Greenacres recalls one of screenwriter Nora Ephron’s classic lines from 1989’s “When Harry Met Sally.” It comes after Sally (Meg Ryan) has demonstrated, to Harry (Billy Crystal) loudly in a crowded deli, how easy it would be to fake an orgasm.
A woman sitting nearby tells her waitress, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Moss Levenson, an online reader from New York, recalls the moment in “Casablanca” – the 1942 film that was written by Howard Koch and Julius G. and Philip G. Epstein – when Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt) asks a question of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart).
“What’s your nationality?” Major Strasser asks.
“I’m a drunkard,” Rick replies.
Avid movie fan Holly Hope of Spokane suggested two quotes delivered by screen icons of the 1970s. The first is from the 1977 football comedy “Semi-Tough,” written by Walter Bernstein and Ring Lardner Jr. (from Dan Jenkins’ novel). As Hope remembers it, Barbara Jane Bookman (Jill Clayburgh) has just asked something of our protagonist, Billy Clyde Puckett (Burt Reynolds).
To which Billy Clyde replies, “In the immortal words of Gene Autry, ‘Yup.’ “
The second is from Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning 1992 neo-Western “Unforgiven,” written by David Webb Peoples. With a gun held by Will Munny (Eastwood) stuck in his face, sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman) says, “I don’t deserve this … to die like this. I was building a house.”
To which Munny replies, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”
Actually, another of my favorites comes also from “Unforgiven.” Munny and the Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett) are discussing the unfortunate cowpoke that the Kid has just shot to death.
“Hell of a thing, killin’ a man,” Munny says. “Take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.”
“Yeah, well,” replies the Kid. “I guess he had it comin’.”
And then, perfectly delivered by Eastwood, Munny says, “We all got it comin’, kid.”
That we do. Even the toughest among us.
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