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In czarist Russia, a neurotic soldier and his distant cousin formulate a plot to assassinate Napoleon.
Sonja: To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down.
[last lines] Boris: The question is: have I learned anything about life? Only that... only that human beings are divided into mind and body. The mind embraces all the nobler aspirations, like poetry and philosophy, but the body has all the fun. The important thing, I think, is not to be bitter. You know, if it turns out that there IS a God, I don't think that He's evil. I think that the worst you can say about Him is that, basically, He's an underachiever. After all, you know, there are worse things in life than death. I mean, if you've ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman, you know exactly what I mean. The key here, I think, is to... to not think of death as an end, but think of it more as a very effective way of cutting down on your expenses. Regarding love, heh, you know, what can you say? It's not the quantity of your sexual relations that count. It's the quality. On the other hand, if the quantity drops below once every eight months, I would definitely look into it. Well, that's about it for me folks. Goodbye.
Countess Alexandrovna: You are the greatest lover I've ever had. Boris: Well, I practice a lot when I'm alone.
Sonja: You were my one great love. Boris: Oh, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm dead. Sonja: What's it like? Boris: What's it like? You know the chicken at Tresky's Restaurant? It's worse.
Mother: He'll go and he'll fight, and I hope they will put him in the front lines. Boris: Thanks a lot, Mom. My mother, folks.
Death: You're an interesting young man. We'll meet again. Young Boris: Don't bother. Death: It's no bother.
Boris: Nothingness... non-existence... black emptiness... Sonja: What did you say? Boris: Oh, I was just planning my future.
Boris: Sonja, are you scared of dying? Sonja: Scared is the wrong word. I'm frightened of it. Boris: That's an interesting distinction.
[Boris is standing, looking at Napoleon, who's lying unconcious on the floor] Boris: If I don't kill him he'll make war all through Europe. But murder... the most foul of all crimes. What would Socrates say? All those Greeks were homosexuals. Boy, they must have had some wild parties. I bet they all took a house together in Crete for the summer. A: Socrates is a man. B: All men are mortal. C: All men are Socrates. That means all men are homosexuals. Heh... I'm not a homosexual. Once, some cossacks whistled at me. I happen to have the kind of body that excites both persuasions. You know, some men are heterosexual and some men are bisexual and some men don't think about sex at all, you know... they become lawyers.
Boris: There's been a mistake! I know, I made it!
Sonja: Judgment of any system, or a priori relationship or phenomenon exists in an irrational, or metaphysical, or at least epistemological contradiction to an abstract empirical concept such as being, or to be, or to occur in the thing itself, or of the thing itself. Boris: Yes, I've said that many times.
Napoleon: This is an honor for me. Boris: No, it's a greater honor for me. Napoleon: No, a greater honor for me. Boris: No, it's a greater honor for me. Napoleon: No, a greater honor for ME. Boris: Well, perhaps you're right. Perhaps it IS a greater honor for you. Napoleon: And you must be Don Francisco's sister. Sonja: No, you must be Don Francisco's sister. Napoleon: No, you must be Don Francisco's sister. Sonja: No, you must be Don Francisco's sister. Boris: No, it's a greater honor for me. Napoleon: I see our Spanish guests have a sense of humor. Boris: She's a great kidder. Sonja: No, you're a great kidder. Boris: No, you're Don Francisco's sister.
Sonja: Oh don't, Boris, please. Sex without love is an empty experience. Boris: Yes, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best.
Sonja: Boris, you're a coward! Boris: Yes, but I'm a militant coward.
Drill Sergeant: One, two. One, two. One, two. Boris: Three is next, if you're having any trouble.
Boris: Isn't all mankind ultimately executed for a crime it never committed? The difference is that all men go eventually, but I go six o'clock tomorrow morning. I was supposed to go at five o'clock, but I have a smart lawyer. Got leniency.
Soldier: The idea is not to panic and run... then they shoot you in the back. Soldier: I don't want to be trampled by a horse. What about you, Boris? Boris: [sarcastically] Yeah, I want to be trampled by a horse. I don't even want to fight.
Drill Sergeant: From now on you'll clean the mess hall and the latrine! Boris: Yes, sir! How will I tell the difference?
Sonja: I truly think this is the best of all possible worlds. Boris: It's certainly the most expensive.
Soldier: Oh, God is testing us. Boris: If He's gonna test us, why doesn't He give us a written?
Inbedkov: [preparing for duel] We'll do it now... and to the death. Boris: Oh no, I can't do anything to the death. Doctor's orders. You see, I have this ulcer condition, and death is the worst thing for it.
[Boris and his father speak in Dostoevsky references] Father: Remember that nice boy next door, Raskolnikov? Boris: Yeah. Father: He killed two ladies. Boris: What a nasty story. Father: Bobak told it to me. He heard it from one of the Karamazov brothers. Boris: He must have been possessed. Father: Well, he was a raw youth. Boris: Raw youth, he was an idiot! Father: He acted assaulted and injured. Boris: I heard he was a gambler. Father: You know, he could be your double! Boris: Really, how novel.
Russian gentleman: So who is to say what is moral? Sonja: Morality is subjective. Russian gentleman: Subjectivity is objective. Sonja: Moral notions imply attributes to substances which exist only in relational duality. Russian gentleman: Not as an essential extension of ontological existence. Sonja: Can we not talk about sex so much?
Napoleon: If this pastry is to bear my name, it must be richer. More cream.
Sonja: Boris, you can't be serious, you're talking about Mother Russia. Boris: She's not my mother. My mother's standing right here, and she's not gonna let her youngest baby get shrapnel in his gums.
Sergeant: If they kill more Russians, they win. If we kill more Frenchmen, we win. Boris Grushenko: What do we win?
Gen. Lecoq: Now men, because you are all getting a three-day furlough before going into battle, we would like to show you this little hygiene play. [the actors step forward and the play begins] Woman hygiene class: Goodbye. I hope you had a good time. Soldier: I did. I had a good time. Oh, what's this sore on my lip? I better see the doctor. [He steps to his right and another actor stands up] Soldier: Doc, I have this sore on my lip. Doctor: You have a social disease my friend. Soldier: Oh my God! Doctor: If you do not treat it, you will go blind... Or insane! [Applause] Gen. Lecoq: Well men, that is the end of the play. Have a good time on your furlough and take care of yourselves. Soldier: Well, what did you think of the play? Boris: Oh, it was weak. I was never interested. Although the part of the doctor was played with gusto and verve and the girl had a delightful cameo role. A puckish satire of contemporary mores. A droll spoof aimed more at the heart than the head. Soldier: As for me I'm planning to spend the next three days in a brothel. Care to come with me? Boris: No, I went to a brothel once in my life. I got hiccups you know, it was over like that.
Boris: In addition to our summer and winter estate, he owned a valuable piece of land. True, it was a small piece, but he carried it with him wherever he went.
Sonja: Violence is justified in the service of mankind. Boris: Who said that? Sonja: Attila the Hun. Boris: You're quoting a Hun to me?
Countess Alexandrovna: You're disgusting, but I love you. Boris: Well, my disgustingness is my best feature.
Boris: [Critiquing the Hygiene Play] I was never interested, though the soldier delivered his lines with gusto, and the woman had a delightful Cameo Role. A drole satire of contemporary morays! A puckish spoof aimed more at the heart than the head!
Countess Alexandrovna: Would you like some wine? Something to put you in the mood? Boris: I've been in the mood since the late 1700's.
Boris: I can't shower with other men.
Anton: Grushenko? Isn't he the young coward all St. Petersburg is talking about? Boris: I'm not so young. I'm thirty-five.
[first lines] Boris: How I got into this predicament I'll never know. Absolutely incredible. To be executed for a crime I never committed. Of course, isn't all mankind in the same boat? Isn't all mankind ultimately executed for a crime it never committed? The difference is that all men go eventually, but I go six o'clock tomorrow morning. I was supposed to go at five o'clock but I have a smart lawyer. Got leniency.
Boris: I have no fear of the gallows. Father: No? Boris: No. Why should I? They're going to shoot me.
[Struck by lightning, Old Nehamkin is a pile of ashes] Mother: What is it, Old Nehamkin? You are not looking well.
Boris: Hey, what is this, Slap Boris Day?
Sergeant: And now we're going to see a little hygiene play. Woman hygiene class: Goodbye. I hope you had a good time! Soldier: Oh yes, I had a good time. Oh, what's this sore on my lip. I'd better get that checked. Doctor, I have this sore on my lip. Doctor: You have a social disease! If you don't treat it you'll go blind! Or insane! [Thunderous applause] Sergeant: Have a good furlough everyone, and look after yourselves!
Soldier: He was from my village. He was the village idiot. Boris: Yeah, what did you do, place?
Sonja: And I want three children. Boris: Yes. Yes. One of each.
Anton: If you so much as come near the Countess, I'll see that you never see the light of day again. Boris: If a man said that to me, I'd break his neck. Anton: *I* am a man. Boris: Well, I mean a much shorter man.
Sonja: What are you suggesting, passive resistance? Boris: No, I'm suggesting active fleeing.
Sonja: There are many different kinds of love, Boris. There's love between a man and a woman; between a mother and son... Boris: Two women. Let's not forget my favorite.
Boris: [composing poetry] "I should have been a pair of ragged claws, scuttling across the floors of silent seas... " Too sentimental! [crumples up paper and throws it in the fire]
Gen. Leveque: They call me mad, but one day when the history of France is written, they will mark my name well... Sidney Applebaum!
Napoleon: I heard you speaking to someone. Sonja: Oh, I was praying. Napoleon: But I heard TWO voices. Sonja: Well, I do both parts.
Sonja: He kissed me. Boris: Any place I should know about? Sonja: He warmed the cockles of my heart. Boris: That's just great. Nothing like hot cockles.
Mikhail: Our brother has a yellow streak down his back. Boris: No, it's not down, it runs across.
Napoleon: I wonder if you would be more difficult to conquer than Russia? Sonja: Well, I weigh less.
Sonja: Boris is trying to commit suicide - last week he contemplated inhaling next to an Armenian.
Boris: Oh, if only God would give me some sign. If He would just speak to me once. Anything. One sentence. Two words. If He would just cough. Sonja: Of course there's a God! We're made in His image! Boris: You think I was made in God's image? Take a look at me. You think He wears glasses? Sonja: Not with those frames.
Anton Inbedkov: Shall we say pistols at dawn? Boris Grushenko: Well, we can say it. I don't know what it means, but we can say it.
Natasha: I never want to marry, I just want to get divorced.
Boris: I was walking through the woods, thinking about Christ. If He was a carpenter, I wondered what He charged for bookshelves.
[comforting her husband on his deathbed] Sonja: I know I could have been a better wife to you... kinder. I could have made love with you more often... or once, even. Leon Voskovec: Once would have been nice.
Gen. Leveque: Then, I'll sail to Austria, and form an alliance with the crown. Not the king, just the crown.
Sonja: Oh, Boris, I'm so unhappy. Boris: Ohh, I wish you weren't. Sonja: Voskovec and I quarrel frequently. I've become a scandal. Boris: Poor Sonja. Sonja: For the past weeks, I've visited Seretski in his room Boris: Why? What's in his room? Oh... Sonja: And before Seretski, Aleksei, and before Aleksei, Alegorian, and before Alegorian, Asimov, and... Boris: Okay! Sonja: Wait, I'm still on the A's. Boris: How many lovers do you have? Sonja: In the mid-town area?
[Boris must fight a duel in the morning] Sonja: Uh... this Anton Inbedkov, he is a good shot isn't he? Boris: I'm afraid so. Sonja: Well, since this may be your last night on Earth, let's go back to my room and make love. Boris: Oh... nice idea! I'll bring the soy sauce.
Drill Sergeant: You want a dishonorable discharge? Boris: Yes sir, either that or a furlough.
Russian gentleman: I must have you. Sonja: No, no. Not here, not on the piano. It's a rented piano.
Napoleon: Do you find me attractive as a man? Sonja: Yes, I think that's your best bet.
Second: [to both Boris and Count Inbedkov] Starting back to back, on my signal you will walk ten paces, turn and fire. Is that clear? Inbedkov: Of course. Boris: Of course. Second: Good luck. And God be with you both. Boris: [to God] You listening?
Boris: Wheat... lots of wheat... fields of wheat... a tremendous amount of wheat...
Boris: And so I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Actually, make that "I run through the valley of the shadow of death" - in order to get OUT of the valley of the shadow of death more quickly, you see.
Boris: You're a tyrant, and a dictator, and you start wars! Napoleon: Why is he reciting my credits?
Napoleon: Forgive my haste, I have heard that Spanish Blood is the hottest in Europe. Sonja: I had mine cooled for the Summer.
Boris: If, by some mistake, I'm not killed tomorrow, would you marry me? Sonja: What do you think the odds are?
Russian gentleman: What would you think if I told you you were one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen? Sonja: I'd think what a mad fool he is. Russian gentleman: And what would you think if I suddenly put my arms around you? Sonja: I'd think what a mad impetuous fool he is. Russian gentleman: And what would you think if I kissed you? Sonja: I'd think what a mad, impetuous, wonderful fool he is.
Boris: And you, Sonja, you look more beautiful standing here than you do in person.
Russian gentleman: Your skin, it is so beautiful! Sonja: Yes, I know. It covers my whole body.
Boris: Of course there was Old Greggor and his son Young Greggor. Oddly enough, Young Greggor's son was older than Old Greggor. Nobody could figure out how that happened.
Napoleon: I'll go to your room. Sonja: Good, I'll go to yours.
Sergeant: Imagine your loved ones conquered by Napoleon and forced to live under French rule. Do you want them to eat that rich food and those heavy sauces? Soldiers: No...! Sergeant: Do you want them to have soufflé every meal and croissant?
Boris: [sleeve bloodied after being grazed by bullet] Does this come out, from dry cleaning, or is it like gravy?
Boris: Granted, I have a few eccentricities. I won't eat any food that begins with the letter F. Like chicken, for instance.
[Sonja meets Ivan's widow in church] Anna: You're praying for Ivan? Sonja: Yes. Your husband, I loved him, as you know. Anna: I wanted you to have some of his possessions. Sonja: How kind. Anna: I kept his sword and gold watch... but here, I'm giving you his mustache. Sonja: I'll cherish it. Anna: Also some string. Ivan saved string. Sonja: I know. It was one of the reasons why I loved him. Anna: I understand that. I loved him for his string, too. Sonja: Anything else for me? Anna: I thought we should divide his letters. Do you want the vowels or the consonants?
[Boris is bothered by thoughts of suicide] Boris: Something's missing. Doctor: What? Boris: I don't know, I feel a void at the center of my being. Doctor: What kind of void? Boris: Well... an empty void. Doctor: An empty void? Boris: Yes. I felt a full void about a month ago but it was just something I ate.
Boris: We have to take our possessions and flee. I'm very good at that. I was the men's freestyle fleeing champion two years in a row.
Sonja: Don Francisco? Don Francisco: Pardon me? Sonja: I'm having trouble adjusting my belt. Do you think you could come over here and hold my bosom for a while?
Boris: If it turns out that there IS a God, I don't think that he's evil. I think that the worst you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever.
Boris: I got a perfect build for clothes. I'm a twenty-eight dwarf.
Countess Alexandrovna: My bedroom at midnight? Boris: Perfect. Will you be there too? Countess Alexandrovna: Naturally. Boris: Until midnight then. Countess Alexandrovna: [presses his hand to her bosom] Midnight. Boris: Make it a quarter to twelve. Countess Alexandrovna: Midnight. Boris: But of course.
Boris: [about their plan to murder Napoleon] ... I know, but murder, the most foul of all crimes. And not just abstract murder like shooting an unknown enemy on the battlefield, but standing in a closed room with a live human being and pulling the trigger, face to face. And a famous human being, a successful one, one who earns more than I do... My God, you figure Napoleon has gotta be good for 10,000 francs a week... That's minimum. That's without tips or extras. Nothing like that. And me, what am I? He's a great man. He thinks like the superman, and I'm just a worm, an insect... some kind of crawling, disgusting, creeping little vermin! You know, you can stop me! Sonja: I will when I disagree.
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