There's a line spoken by Steve Martin in the 1991 film "Grand Canyon" that has always amused me: "All of life's riddles are answered in the movies."
Well, I don't know about that. But there is occasional wisdom offered by movies that goes beyond the simplistic "Star Wars" and "Spider-Man" musings you know, Yoda's "Do or do not; there is no try" and Uncle Ben's "With great power comes great responsibility."
So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving (yes, it's next week, folks), when we traditionally become a bit more thoughtful as well as thankful, here are some of my favorite words of wisdom from the movies ... some of which are remarkably applicable to current world conditions.
"Never do nothing you wouldn't want printed on the front page of The New York Times." Judy Holliday, "Born Yesterday" (1950)
"Everything our parents said was good is bad: sun, milk, red meat, college." Woody Allen, "Annie Hall" (1977)
"She's television generation. ... The only reality she knows comes to her over the TV set." William Holden, "Network" (1976)
"There's nothing tragic about being 50. Not unless you're trying to be 25." Holden, "Sunset Blvd." (1950)
"You pile up enough tomorrows and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays." Robert Preston, "The Music Man" (1962)
"I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking, how did he know to put the 'pursuit' part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it." Will Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness" (2006)
"Most people nowadays are run by fear fear of what they eat, fear of what they drink, fear of their jobs, their future, fear of their health. They're scared to save money and scared to spend it." Jean Arthur, "You Can't Take It With You" (1938)
"Money's just paper if you don't spend it." Virginia Mayo, "White Heat" (1949)
"Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking." Ray Bolger, "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)
"You think not getting caught in a lie is the same as telling the truth?" Robert Redford, "Three Days of the Condor" (1975)
"Time wounds all heels." Groucho Marx, "Go West" (1940)
"This is the essence of discrimination formulating opinions about others not based on their individual merits but rather on their membership in a group with assumed characteristics." Denzel Washington, "Philadelphia" (1993)
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. ... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." Gregory Peck, "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962)16 comments on this story
"I think once you quit hearing 'sir' and 'ma'am,' the rest is soon to foller." Tommy Lee Jones, "No Country for Old Men" (2007)
"I wouldn't give you two cents for all your fancy rules if behind them they didn't have a little bit of plain ordinary everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fellow, too." James Stewart, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939)
"Instead of telling our young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised." Steve Carell, "Dan in Real Life" (2007)