CAROLYN: You know, you could have some really fun backyard get-togethers out here.
WOMAN #1: The ad said this pool was “lagoon-like.” There’s nothing “lagoon-like” about it. Except for maybe the bugs.
WOMAN #2: There’s not even any plants out here.
CAROLYN: (re: shrub) What do you call this? Is this not a plant? If you have a problem with the plants, I can always call my landscape architect. Solved.
WOMAN #2: I mean, I think “lagoon,” I think waterfall, I think tropical. This is a cement hole.
CAROLYN: I have some tiki torches in the garage.
– American Beauty (1999), written by Alan Ball
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Sales Pitch. Today’s suggestion by Illimani.
Trivia: The shot where Annette Bening screams after her failure to sell the house was done in one take.
Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary provided by Illimani: “The way how Carolyn tries to lure her customers with cheap lies about the house is a reflection of her incapacity to perceive how her own life is a hoax.”
Could use some suggestions for this week: Sales Pitch!
Stansfield Turner: Aliens and robots?
Tony Mendez: Yes sir.
Stansfield Turner: You’re telling me there’s a movie company in Hollywood right now that’s funded by the CIA?
Tony Mendez: Yes sir.
Cyrus Vance: What’s wrong with the bikes again?
Jack O’Donnell: We tried to get the message upstairs–
Stansfield Turner: You think this is more plausible than teachers–
Jack O’Donnell: Yes, we do. One, there are no more foreign teachers in Iran.
Tony Mendez: And we think everyone knows Hollywood people. And everyone knows they’d shoot in Stalingrad with Pol Pot directing if it would sell tickets. There are only bad options. It’s about finding the best one.
Stansfield Turner: You don’t have a better bad idea than this?
Jack O’Donnell: This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far.
– Argo (2012), screenplay by Chris Terrio, based on a book by Tony Mendez and an article by Joshuah Bearman
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Sales Pitch. Today’s suggestion by Michael Corcoran.
Trivia: According to Tony Mendez, the fake production office known as Studio Six was so convincing in the real-life Argo plan that even several weeks after it folded and the Iranian rescue was complete, “we had received twenty-six scripts. One was from Steven Spielberg.”
Dialogue On Dialogue: There’s the sales pitch when you know you have a winning hand. Then there are those where you’ve basically got nothing. Here in Argo, Tony and Jack are working from a position of next to nothing. In this case, the only thing they have for them, other than a crazy scheme, is brutal honesty.
CHRIS: So my associate tells me you’re interested in one of our stocks.
DR. JACOBS: Yes, MSC sounds like it might be interesting.
CHRIS: Might be? Might be doesn’t sell stock at the rate MSC is going, Dr. Jacobs. We’re talking about very high volume here.
DR. JACOBS: Well, I still have to run it by my people.
CHRIS: That’s great, Doc. If you want to miss yet another opportunity here and go watch your colleagues get rich doing clinical trials, then don’t buy a share and hang up the phone.
DR. JACOBS: Well, hold on a second. I didn’t say that. I just wanted to talk more about it.
CHRIS: Honestly Doc, I don’t have the time. This stock is blowing up right now. The whole firm is going nuts. Let me open the door to my office.
Chris holds the phone up to the 100 brokers standing there silently. They begin talking loudly and screaming “Buy, Sell”. Chris makes a hand motion and they stop.
CHRIS: You hear that? That’s my trading floor, Doc. Now I have a million calls to make to other doctors who are already in the know. I can’t walk you through this right now. I’m sorry.
Huge pause. Everyone looks on waiting to hear what he’ll do. Chris doesn’t even look mildly concerned. Then…
DR. JACOBS: Okay, okay. Let’s do this.
– Boiler Room (2000), written by Ben Younger
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Sales Pitch.
Trivia: A different ending, in which Seth’s main victim, Harry goes to the Boiler Room armed with guns and ostensibly seeking bloody revenge, was scrapped in favor of the FBI bust ending. This alternate ending is found on the DVD.
Dialogue On Dialogue: There are three parts to a sale: Qualify the customer. Pitch the customer. Close the customer. The part of the scene spotlighted above is the close.
There are a lot of great sides of dialogue in this movie, many of which convey the aggressive attitudes of the salesmen. Here is one: “I know you’re not standing on your front porch with a bag of money waiting for me to call you. But I’m not some 18-year-old selling a cure for AIDS. I’m 46 years old, I have 22 years market experience, I know this business. So pick up your skirt, grab your balls, and lets go make some money.”
“My predecessor in this job left a man named Charles Grady as the Winter caretaker. And he came up here with his wife and two little girls, I think were eight and ten. And he had a good employment record, good references, and from what I’ve been told he seemed like a completely normal individual. But at some point during the winter, he must have suffered some kind of a complete mental breakdown. He ran a muck and killed his family with an axe. Stacked them neatly in one of the rooms in the West wing and then he, he put both barrels of a shot gun in his mouth.”
– The Shining (1980), screenplay by Stanley Kubrick & Diane Johnson, novel by Stephen King
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Job Interview, suggested by blueneumann who also suggested The Shining.
Trivia: During filming, Stanley Kubrick made the cast watch Eraserhead (1977), Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973) to put them in the right frame of mind.
Dialogue On Dialogue: This is a spin on the job interview scene, instead of the focus being on the interviewee, here it’s all about providing some exposition about the hotel. Takeaway: If you’re going to lay down some backstory, might as well make it about a patricidal murder-suicice.