Great Lines From Southern Movies You've Forgotten About
Movies often fail to get the South right. How many cringe-worthy moments have we endured, thanks to bad accents and stereotypes and just overall "huh?" moments.
On the other hand, when Tinsel Town nails it, we're the first to applaud. Take a little walk down memory lane as we revisit our favorite movie quotes and one-liners from a handful of Southern films that are truly "bona fide," as the Wharvey gals would say.
Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
Doo, Loretta, Patsy, Sissy—need we say more? Some of us have never forgotten this movie because we watch it every chance we get. It's worth it just to hear Loretta tell Doo that all his growling makes him sound like an old "bar."
"Anything we can't buy, we'll make. Anything we can't make, we'll steal!"
—Patsy Cline to Loretta Lynn
"Now what we got to do next is sit down and plan real careful . . . what we gon' do next."
—"Doo" Lynn after Loretta performs at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time and gets invited back
"Doo, if you born in the mountains, you got three choices: coal mine, moonshine, or move it on down the line."
—Moonshiner Lee Dollarhide, trying to persuade Doo to work for him
Miss Firecracker (1989)
Carnelle Scott, played by the amazing Holly Hunter, has bad hair and a bad reputation, but she's hoping to remedy both by winning the Miss Firecracker beauty pageant/talent show in her hometown. Mary Steenburgen and Tim Robbins play her eccentric cousins, Elain and Delmount. It's offbeat, to say the least, but if you're a Raising Arizona fan, you'll be all over it.
"I go to church now. . . . People aren't calling me Miss Hot Tamale any more!"
—Carnelle Scott, trying to convince her beauty-queen cousin that she has changed
"Well, you know, they say we all gonna be dyin' some day. I believe it, too."
—Carnelle's thoughts on life
Daddy's Dyin' . . . Who's Got the Will? (1990)
Written by Texas native Del Shores, this dark comedy stars a treasure trove of talent portraying the four Turnover siblings, who have gathered to see their dying father, bicker with each other, and try to find Daddy's will. Actors Beverly D'Angelo, Tess Harper, Amy Wright, and Beau Bridges are clearly having a high old time playing Evalita, Sara Ann, Lurlene, and Orville—the dysfunctional Turnover sibs. And the brilliant Molly McClure plays their grandmother, Mama Wheelis, as a classic Southern Memaw.
"If I'm performin' I'm wearin' my stage clothes."
—R-rated Evalita Turnover, explaining why she's wearing a low-rent, low-cut cowgirl outfit to sing at her Daddy's funeral
"This is the Baptist church, not the Grand Ole Opry."
—Evalita's sister Lurlene, a preacher's wife.
"Heaven's to Betsy! That hippie's playin' ‘I'll Fly Away.'"
—Mama Wheelis, stunned when Evalita's long-haired boyfriend starts playing an old gospel standard on her upright piano.
O, Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
This Depression-era tale is based on Homer's The Odyssey. George Clooney's fast-talking Everett McGill promises fellow prisoners Pete and Delmar—who are chained to him—hidden treasure if they'll escape with him. The truth is, he's trying to stop his ex-wife from remarrying. Mayhem ensues—backed by one great soundtrack feauring the likes of Ralph Stanley and Alison Krauss.
"Say, any o' you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts . . ."
—Everett McGill to hobos aboard the train he's trying to jump—while chained to two fellow prison escapees
"Mama says you was hit by a train. Blooey! Nothing left. Just a grease spot on the
—The Wharvey gals, telling their prison-escapee father the story of his own death
"Lots of respectable people been hit by trains. Judge Hobby over in Cookville was hit by a train."
—Penny Wharvey telling ex-husband Everett why she's lying to their children
It's based on the true story of a beloved assistant funeral home director in Carthage, Texas, who befriended and later murdered the meanest woman in town—so mean that nobody wanted to see him punished for it. Stars Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and Matthew McConaughey are fantastic as Bernie Tiede, Marjorie Nugent, and prosecutor Danny Buck Davidson. The movie is shot documentary-style, with commentary by townspeople—some real East Texas locals and some actors.
"He was great with the DLOL's—that's what we all call the dear little old ladies."
—Local man on Bernie's way with the (old) ladies
"There are people in town, honey, that would've shot her for five dollars, you know?
—Local woman explaining why it wasn't such a bad thing for Bernie to shoot Marjorie
"She didn't like that pastor. He wore Bermuda shorts on his day off."
—Local woman on why Marjorie wouldn't allow her money to be given to the church
Now that we've covered the movies, how about a little Southern TV?
Andy, Barney, and the Mayberry gang—we'll never get tired of them. Wish we were ar Floyd's barbershop right now catching up on all the latest.