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Memorable Lines

Robert Newton always got all the good lines. Or at least they sounded that way when he delivered them! (Warning: I've tried not to give too much away, but there may be a few minor plot spoilers here for astute readers.) Click on underlined quotes for a RealPlayer sound clip.

Treasure Island (screenplay by Lawrence Edward Watkin, from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson):

  • " 'Awr-kins. 'Tis a proper seafarin' name too."
  • "Ah-hahahahah ... Lord love me, lad. Don't you know that them that sailed with Admiral 'Awrke 'ad no speakin' acquaintance with pirates ... 'less'n they boarded us! Ah-hahahahah. Ar, Jim, you're the spit 'n' image o' me when I was your age. 'Ead full o' pirates. But ye'll find, same as I, that the biggest satisfaction a man gets is doin' 'is duty."
  • "Sit ee down at table to starboard if ye kindly will, aaaaaarrrrrrrrr." (BM)
  • (To his parrot, Captain Flint:)"Ain't you the pretty one, swearin' blue fire in front of a gentleman."
  • "Well, blow me down for an old sea carf."
  • "You're a smart one, Jim, smart as paint you are."
  • "If you clamps your deadlights on that there Black Dog again, repel boarders."
  • "That's my meanin', matey. You've got the word of Long John Silver. Shipmates."
    [Click here for an .MP3 sound clip (609K) of the scene that includes the previous two lines (submitted by Paul Anderson)]
  • Captain Smollett: "Unto Almighty God, we commend the soul of our brother departed and commit his body to the deep."
    Silver, gravely: "Ar-men."
  • "There'll be no killin' till I gives the word."
  • "You thick-headed swab."
  • "You'll get plenty o' cut an' rip when the time comes. But until I gives the signal, lay to."
  • "When the thirst is on 'e, hahahahah, bite into a pippin real savage. Hahahahah. It staves off the desire."
  • "Merry, you blunderin' squid."
  • "That's very civil spoke, Israel 'Ands. An' now we'll put 'n t' George if I'm t' take any more of 'is saurce."
  • " 'Try reasonin' first,' says I. I never was one to see poor seamen shot down needlesslike."
  • "You're a good man, Doctor. I never seen a better. And I'd 'ate t' see the likes o' you skewered on the end of a pike."
  • "So be it! But afore an hour's out, ye'll be beggin' 'elp from me. Them that die'll be the lucky ones."
  • "Truce be over! Cutlasses, you swabs! Slash 'em down!"
  • "After them, after them; board them, you scurvy swabs!" (BM)
  • "Come back 'ere, you lubberly turks. Oh, for ten toes!"
  • "Avast! ... Shove me off or, by the powers, you'll get what I gave George Merry!
  • "I thinks gold dust o' this 'ere boy. I took to 'im like pitch."
  • "You couldn't say more, not if you was my mother!"
  • "Poor rovin' seamen the likes o' you needs every scrap o' scripture 'e can get."
  • "March now, you little sprits'l!"
  • Merry: " 'E were a seaman all right. Leastways this be good sea cloth."
    Silver: "Like enough—you wouldn't look t' find a bishop 'ere."
  • "Could 'e spare a minute afore 'e go topside again?"
  • "An' t' think, sir, that I 'ad some small 'and in savin' young Master 'Awrkins when 'e was within 'alf a plank o' death."
  • "Arrr ..."

Long John Silver (screenplay by Martin Rackin):

The Adventures of Long John Silver (TV series--screenplay by Martin Rackin et al.):

  • "If sailor tales to sailor tunes,
        Storm and adventure, heat and cold,
    If schooners, islands, and maroons,
        And buccaneers, and buried gold,
    And all the old romance, retold
        Exactly in the ancient way,
    Can please, as me they pleased of old,
        The wiser youngsters of today,
    So be it—ha-har!—and fall on!"* (RP)
  • "Them that live'll have a tale to tell."
  • "Why you double-dealin' swab!"
  • [Re: the ship's cargo of goats and other livestock] "Get these four-legged swabs off my quarterdeck. I be cap'n 'ere!"
  • "Stow that gab."
  • "Get up, you weak-kneed sniveller!"
  • "Why you— You slimy squid!"
  • "Now, now, stow that firearm. This be peaceful tradin'."
  • [On being told he looks ill:] " 'Tis naurght but a touch of land-bound fever."
  • "You'll obey orders from your cap'n or you'll walk the plank. You mutinous maggot!"
  • Patch: "All ready for action, Cap'n."
    Silver: "A-harr, fortune has smiled on us at last."
    Patch: "Ah. Providin' she ain't a man-o'-war."
    Silver: "Why, you white-livered swab! We'll take 'er if she's cap'ned by the devil 'imself."
  • "Avast! I be cap'n 'ere! Not a man jack o' you moves till I gives the order."
  • "Out grapplin' 'ooks! Prepare t' board. We'll sweep them Spanish scum into the sea!"
  • Patch: "A ship o' the dead. No one aboard."
    Silver: "Maybe yer one eye can see through the plankin' o' the deck."
  • "Roust out any swab 'oo be still alive. An' if there be any treasure aboard, 'tis fer dividin' equal."
  • "The way this ship be settlin', she'll soon be headin' for Davy Jones."
  • "Pirates don't leave a prize ship afloat after they've sacked 'er."
  • "I've a feelin' in my toes, Patch, that fortune may still lend a hand in this here venture."
  • [Tenderly, to Purity:] "Ah-har, my little woman. Come to my arms. Arr, 'tis better to wear your noose than the executioner's. 'And Sligo over to the lawr, and you an' I'll be spliced. ... Well, speak woman, or forever hold yer peace."
  • From the episode "Devil's Stew." [to his old friend "Devil" Dixon, who has supposedly reformed his dastardly ways and become wealthy:] "The last time I heard of you, they was fixin' for you to dance at the end of a rope in Tortugar." (MC)
  • From "Tale of a Tooth": "I'm sufferin' the tortures o' the devil, Jim. ... Oh! The hammerin's beatin' so hard, I-I can feel the pain in the toes of the leg I ain't got." (SM)
  • From "The Eviction:" Jim [at his studies]: "How do you spell 'excellent,' Long John?"
    LJS: "Er now, let's see, um, E-uh-X-S-L-uh-uh . . .
    Jim: "Isn't there a 'C' in it? E-X-C-E-L . . .?"
    LJS: "No, no. I know there's an 'S' there somewhere. Why don't ee rub it out an' use the word 'good'?"
    Jim: "You don't understand. You see, 'excellent' is better than 'good.' "
    LJS: "Well, I've never seen 'weather excellent' entered in a ship's log. 'Tis a word that just ain't used."
    [In true pirate democratic form, Captain Silver calls a ship's council to determine the "correct" spelling.] (SM)
  • "Arrr ..."

Blackbeard the Pirate (screenplay by DeVallon Scott and Alan Le May):

  • "Arrr ..."
  • (To "Dr." Maynard:) " 'ere, 'ow many men 'ave you made 'ash of with all them sawrs and reamers?" (TM)
  • Maynard (removing a bullet from Blackbeard's neck): "How long has this been in here?"
    Blackbeard: "Since about daybreak. ..."
    Maynard: "... You've carried this all day and stayed on your feet?"
    Blackbeard: "Why not? A bullet don't weigh nothin'." (Kristine)
  • Blackbeard: "Here. Be you a friend of 'Arry Morgan?"
    Maynard: "Maybe."
    Blackbeard: "Dr. Maynyard, I be-n't one what likes 'maybe' for an answer." (TM)
  • Blackbeard [appraisingly]: "What be your name, gal?"
    Edwina [suddenly recognizing him]: "Blackbeard!"
    Blackbeard: "No. I be Blackbeard." (RR)
  • Blackbeard (appraising Edwina, after uncloaking her fiery red dress): "Ha-harrrr ... Little Robin Red-Breast. I be a great lover o' nature. However, we'll go into that later."
    Edwina: "If I had a pistol, I'd shoot out your gizzard pin!"
    Blackbeard: "Arr, a fiery wench, eh? [Turning to inspect Alvina (Irene Ryan), Edwina's 'lady in waiting':] And what might this be? A plucked chicken?" (SG)
  • Blackbeard (to Edwina): "What, you ain't seen 'im? I left 'im 'angin' around 'ere someplace."
    Maynard: "I saw a man hanging from the yardarm."
    Blackbeard: "Arrr! There's a man what seen 'im!"(TM)
  • [Finding a locket in Edwina's trunk:] "Arr, 'tis a picture o' Cap'n Bellamy, made t' hang down 'er neck. Heh heh. He looked better hangin' up by 'is own, didn't 'e?"
  • Alvina: "Poor Edwina. She does the most awful things!"
    Blackbeard: "Like what? ..."
    Alvina: "Well, she's very fond of bathing."
    Blackbeard: "Bathing? In water?"
    Alvina: "She swims in it."
    Blackbeard: "You mean she gets wet all over? On purpose?" (DL, SG)
  • [Noisily devouring a leg of unidentified meat with one hand while washing it down with copious amounts of rum with the other:] "Maynyard!" [belches while continuing to gorge himself] "Maynyard!" [goes off to find the "sawrbones," still gnawing on the carcass and belching] "Maynyard! Maynyard! I got a pain in my innards!" [takes several more mouthfuls before finally putting two and two together and grumpily flinging the leg in a corner] "Maynyard! ..."
  • Blackbeard: "Harr, my glistenin' darlin's. Heh-heh. Here, lock 'em up."
    Maynard: "A little private larceny, huh?"
    Blackbeard: "Ar, 'tis my trade: sinkin's, burnin's, kidnaps, murther—for fun or profit, heh-heh, but larceny above all."
  • Blackbeard, to Noll, the black-bearded, "poodle-headed beachcomber vot tinks he's you" (in the words of the "Dutchman"), dressing him up and convincing him to pose as himself: "Ar. You're gonna kill Morgan yourself."
    Noll [eagerly]: "Kill Morgan."
    Blackbeard: "Ah-har. You'll charge his men, and then you'll drive 'em all into the sea ... and they'll run like pigs, thinking you were me. Heh-heh-heh-heh. Ar. Can you 'oller? ... All right then. Keep 'ollerin'. 'Gather around, gather around Ned Teach.'"
    Noll: "Gather to you?"
    Blackbeard: "No, no, no, no, you're me!"
    Noll: "Gather to me!"
    Blackbeard: "Ha-har, that's right!"
    Noll: "Gather to me! Gather to me!"
    Blackbeard: "Ha-har. You'll 'ave a gay time out there, you will, when they 'ears that, heh-heh-heh ..."
    Noll: "Gather to me! ..."
  • Worley: "What about Blackbeard?"
    Disgruntled, scheming crew member: "The devil with Black—"
    Blackbeard, suddenly emerging from the hatch: "Ar, the devil'll see you first; I myself'll arrange that."
  • [Singing to himself]:
    "There was a jolly miller,
    Lived on the River Dee.
    He looked beneath his piller,
    And there he found a flea.
    Ho ho ho ho hee hee, he cried with glee."
  • "Arrr ... Ha-harrr!"

Jamaica Inn (screenplay by Joan Harrison, based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier):

  • [To the wreckers, after making short work of the first one sent in to recapture him and Mary from the cave where they are hiding]: "Any more? We're fond of company."
  • Jem [attempting to escape as the wreckers invade the cave from above]: "Can you swim?"
    Mary: "A little."
    Jem: "Take off that dress."
    Mary: "What?"
    Jem: "And your shoes, quick."
    Mary: "But I can't do that."
    Jem: "Take it off."
    Mary: "I can't."
    Jem: "All right, then I will."
    Mary: "No, you won't. I will." (SM)

The Beachcomber (screenplay by Sydney Box from the story by Somerset Maugham)

  • "I wouldn't touch her with a barge pole!"
  • "What?! Me and that sanctimonious, psalm-singing little prig? Oh, it's too much!"
  • "Sorry, I'm not feeling very human today."
  • "And don't expect me to send a wreath to your funeral. Because you won't get one."
  • "Anyone who drinks water deserves all they get."

Soldiers Three (screenplay by Malcolm Stuart Boylan, Tom Reed, and Marguerite Roberts, very, very loosely based on a story by Rudyard Kipling):

  • "Arr, I wouldn't part with that no more than my mother if I had one."
  • Captain Pindenny (David Niven): "Can you moo like a cow, Sykes?"
    Sykes (Newton): "I'm bad out of practice, sir. ... [awkwardly:] Moo! Mooo!"
  • "Arrrrr, then--mmmmmooooooooooooooo!"
  • Ackroyd: "Moooooo."
    Sykes: "Archibald!"
    Ackroyd: "Ah, you knew it was me, eh?"
    Malloy: "Well, as one cow to another, we did, yes."
    Sykes: "Arr, but 'twas a pitiful moo."
  • "I never understood the invention of water--it ain't fit to touch and it ain't fit to drink neither."
  • Malloy: "You know, it strikes me, with us lads sittin' here on this powder, we mightn't be havin' any tombstones at all, might we?"
    Sykes: "An' nothin' to put under 'em if we had 'em.
  • "Arrrr ..."

    [Visit the Soldiers Three fan page for more sound clips from the movie]

Fire Over England (screenplay by Clemence Dane and Sergei Nolbandov from the novel by A.E.W. Mason):

  • [as Don Pedro, one of the villainous Spaniards, speaking tenderly to his beloved] "You see, Elena, the whole trouble comes from treating your enemies like human beings. Don't you see, my dear, that if you do that, they cease to be enemies? Think what that leads to—the end of patriotism, the end of war ...  It's the end of everything."

This Happy Breed (by Noël Coward):

  • Sylvia: "There's not so much to do since Mrs. Flint passed on."
    Frank (RN): "Now don't talk so soft, see. Mother died, see? First of all she got flu, and that turned to pneumonia; a strain o' that affected her 'eart, which was none too strong at the best o' times, and she died. It's nothin' to do with passin' on at all."
    Sylvia: "'Ow do you know?"
    Frank: "I know it's only your new way of talkin', but it gets me down. See?"
    Ethel: "What are you shoutin' about?"
    Frank (annoyed): "We're not shoutin' about nothin' at all. I'm merely explainin' to Sylvia that Mother died. She didn't 'pass on,' 'pass over,' or 'pass out.' She died."
  • Frank: "Wish you'd get someone else in place of Edie."
    Ethel: "I don't need anyone now there's only the three of us."
    Frank: "Heh. What anyone ever wanted to marry her for beats me."
    Ethel: "No reason why they shouldn't; she was a good girl and a good worker."
    Frank: "Exactly the reason I married you: 'She may not be much to look at,' I said to myself, 'but there's a worker if ever I saw one.'"

Les Miserables (from the novel by Victor Hugo):

  • Valjean (protesting): "Surely the law..."
    Javert: "The law allows you nothing."
    Valjean: "This is common humanity!"
    Javert: "I am an officer of the law doing his duty. It makes no difference what I think or feel or want. It has nothing to do with me. Nothing!"

They Flew Alone (screenplay by Miles Mollison, story by Lord Castlerosse):

  • Jim Mollison (serving dinner to his date, Amy Johnson): "D'you like an olive?"
    Amy (demurely): "Thank you."
    Jim: "And do you like sardines?"
    Amy: "Please."
    Jim: "And do you like Russian salad?"
    Amy: "Thanks."
    Jim: "D'you like me?"
    Amy (taken aback): "I don't know ..."
    Jim: "Well, why don't you marry me and find out?"

Oliver Twist (screenplay by Stanley Haynes and David Lean from the novel by Charles Dickens):

  • "What's it all about, Fagin?"
  • "None o' your misterin'; you know my name."
  • [To his dog:] "Come in, ye sneakin' cur. What're ye 'anging about there for?"
  • "Fair or not fair, give it 'ere, you avaricious old skeleton."
  • "[The cold] must be a piercer t'find its way through your 'eart."

Major Barbara (screenplay by Anatole de Grunwald and George Bernard Shaw, from Shaw's play):

  • "You go and forgive me again and I'll go and forgive you one on the jaw that'll stop you prayin' for a week!"
  • "What good are you, you old palsied maggot?"
  • "I don't want none o' your clatt'rin' jaw, see. I s'pose you think I came 'ere to beg from yer like this damaged lot 'ere. Not me. I don't want none o' your bread and scrape. And I don't believe in your Gawd neither—no more than you do yourself. I'm goin' to the Tower Bridge to get out o' the reach o' your tongue."
  • "What—goin' to marry 'im? ... 'Eaven 'elp 'im, 'eaven 'elp 'im. ... I've only 'ad to stand it for an afternoon—'e'll 'ave to stand it for a lifetime."
  • "Can't you never keep your mouth shut?"
  • Walker (Newton): "You want t'know where the dirt come from, don't yer? ... Well, it came off the ground at Tower Bridge, see. It got rubbed off by my shoulders."
    Major Barbara: "It's a pity it wasn't rubbed off by your knees—that would've done you a lot of good."
    Walker: "I was savin' another man's knees at the time ... Kneelin' on me 'ead 'e was—14 stone 5. Prayin' comfortable, wi' me as a carpet."
  • "Never mind my dear 'eart, 'ow 'bout my ribs?" (ED)
  • "I can't stand out against music-hall wrestlers and artful-tongued women."
  • "What price salvation now?"

Androcles and the Lion (screenplay by Ken Englund and Chester Erskine, adapted from George Bernard Shaw's play):

  • "I have not always been faithful. The first man who struck me, as you have just struck me, was a stronger man than you. He hit me harder than I expected. I was tempted and fell. It was then that I first tasted bitter shame. I never had a happy moment after that until I'd knelt and asked his forgiveness by his bedside in the hospital."
  • "Oh, do not harden your heart, young man. Come try for yourself whether our way is not better than yours. I will now strike you, and you will turn the other cheek and learn how much better you'll feel by not giving way to the promptings of anger. ... Come, friend, courage. I may hurt your body for a moment, but your soul will rejoice in the victory of the soul over the flesh."
  • "... I saved his soul; what matters a broken jaw? ... [Our religion] commands me to strike him. How could he turn the other cheek if he is not first struck on one cheek?"

Many thanks to the following contributors, whose initials follow their contributions: Paul Anderson (PA), Mary Condon (MC), Eva Danø (ED), Susan Gantz (SG), David Lee (DL), Roy Parker (RP), Kristine, Todd Malone (TM), Bob Miller (BM), Spev Moon (SM), Roland Rod (RR)

Do you have a favorite Robert Newton line that's not included here and should be? Please click here to e-mail me.

Imitations >>

* From "To the Hesitating Purchaser," Robert Louis Stevenson's dedication to the book Treasure Island.
Indicates recently added lines.

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