Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Getting fired!

February 25th, 2012 by

As we wind up our week with American presidents [thanks, Phil, for the suggestion], starting Monday it’s a week’s worth of Daily Dialogue posts focusing on getting fired, suggested by lizswan.

Oh, I can think of several cinematic severance moments. How about you? The usual drill:

* Copy/paste dialogue from IMDB Quotes or some other transcript source.

* Copy/paste the URL of an accompanying video from MovieClips or YouTube.

Time to get out your pink slip, people! Let’s get fired up for a week of getting fired Daily Dialogues!

11 thoughts on “Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Getting fired!

  1. Yes, another suggestion from this film. There’s lots to learn from Terrence Malick.

    Badlands (1973)


    BOSS: Heard the news, Kit?

    KIT: No.

    BOSS: Been in all the headlines.

    KIT: What’s that?

    BOSS: You’ve been fired. Ain’t that a hell of a note?

    KIT: Yeah, how about that. Oh, I won’t be needing my keys anymore. I’ll just leave ’em where they’ll be nice and handy.

    Side note: this scene is not in any of the scripts I found online. I made the transcript from the clip. This scene must have been added late in the production. In the versions of the script I found, Kit goes directly to the unemployment office after meeting Holly and we get this exchange that is also in the movie:


    Kit is talking with a CLERK inside an employment agency.

    CLERK (o.c.): You ever held another job before?

    KIT: I used to throw trash for the City.

    CLERK: You lost that one?

    KIT: Wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t.

    It was a good choice to actually show Kit getting fired instead of just hearing about it. However, as it is in the script (not showing him getting fired) could be interpreted as Kit choosing to get another job since Holly made him feel bad about being a garbage man, and Kit deciding to do something about it. In my opinion, I’m glad this scene was added, because it underscores the kind of character Kit is.

    In the first scene of the film, we meet Holly where she is in her room petting her dog. There’s a brief voice-over where we learn that her mother died some years earlier and that her father never recovered from the loss and moved the family to a new town.

    Then we meet Kit at work as a garbage man. He finds a dead dog next to some garbage cans and says to his co-worker “I’ll give you a dollar to eat this Collie.” To which the co-worker replies “I ain’t gonna eat him for a dollar.” Sure, it could be just two guys joking around, but I’m curious to know if there’s any significance to the fact that Malick has dogs in both introductions of the two main characters and shows how differently they are treated. Later in the film, Holly’s dad shoots her dog as punishment for seeing Kit behind his back.

    Kit tries to bum a cigarette of another co-worker but doesn’t get it. He tries to sell a pair of boots that he found in the trash. It doesn’t work. Basically, no one is buying his antics. He skips work early because he’s “thrown enough trash for today”. He just leaves.

    Even after he gets off work Kit looks through garbage cans. He’s wandering the streets searching. It’s like he has no real purpose, just someone looking for something. Then he spots Holly on her front lawn practicing her baton twirling. He looks around and then approaches her. He has found something.

    Then we get the meet-up scene that was featured in the Daily Dialogue here last week.

    Then this scene as he gets fired.

    Taken out of context this firing scene may seem like a throw-away, but seen in context in the series of scenes leading up to it and what comes after, it serves a purpose to help us understand the characters and the story better.

    Show don’t tell is the lesson here. And when it comes to getting to know and understand a character, it really helps showing what the people around him are doing and what choices they make. Holly’s father is shown working in almost all his scenes. He’s the opposite of this misfit and one of the reasons Holly falls for Kit. He’s the dangerous alternative to a strict upbringing with homework and clarinet lessons.

    Malick gave Kit the unglamorous job of a garbage man. Kit’s pretty far down the food chain as far as work goes, and he can’t even keep that job. The purpose of that is to show character, both Kit himself and the people around him and how they view him. His co-workers may not be thrilled with their lot in life either, but they accept it. Kit never did. He wanted something else. And he decided to go get that something, no matter what the consequences would be.

    Sorry, I’m jumping the gun with the analysis here. I just couldn’t help myself.

  2. Lloyd Morgan says:

    S.W.A.T. (2003)

    Couldn’t find clip


    Brian Gamble: That woman is alive because of what we did.

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: Yeah, alive and sueing the city for millions. The Chief said that this preceinct is gonna pay for this one, too and it sure as hell it isn’t gonna be me.

    Brian Gamble: C’mon Fuller we get…

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: [Interrupting] Captain Fuller.

    Brian Gamble: C’mon Captain fuller, we get 3 seconds to make a decision, and you get 3 months to go and tear it apart.

    Velasquez: SWAT means special weapons *and* tatics. Where were your tatics out there?

    Street: Saving that woman from being shot, that’s where are tactics were.

    Brian Gamble: Yeah, every cop in this department knows that we did the right thing.

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: Sometimes, doing the right thing isn’t doing the right thing.

    Sgt. Howard: What the hell does that mean.

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: Sargent.

    [to Street and Gamble]

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: You disobeyed a direct order, end of story, you’re both off SWAT.

    Velasquez: Captain. They’re 2 of our best officers.

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: No, I’m not about to stick them back into the field after a stunt like that.

    Brian Gamble: [Becoming angry] Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t know that saving lives was goddamn stunt.

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: Hey, you gotta big mouth, and apparently you’re quick on the trigger, and *that* is why you’re ass is in a sling.

    Velasquez: Captain Fuller, if you’re really gonna pull them off SWAT at least keep them in the division. Give’em a shot at getting back.

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: [pause] Fine, stick’em in the gun cage, get’em out of my sight.

    Brian Gamble: [Mumbling under his breath to Street] This is total bullshit.

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: What?

    Brian Gamble: [Raising his voice to Fuller] I said this is bullshit.

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: Really.

    Brian Gamble: Yeah, really.

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: You should consider yourself lucky Lieutenant Velazquez is standing up for you.

    Brian Gamble: [Looks back at Velazquez and walks towards Fuller] No. I’m lucky I don’t have to work for an asshole like you.

    [Shoves a few things off of Fuller’s desk and pushes him back]

    Capt. Thomas Fuller: [shouting over Gamble] That’s it, you’re outta here, Gamble, you’re gone, Gamble, you’re gone!

    [Gamble is pushed out of the office]

  3. From Repo Man (1984):


    Otto and Kevin, in the supermarket, facing cans of generic yellow
    cling sliced peaches.

    Do Do Do De Do De Do De Do De Do Feeling
    Do De Da Do De Do De Do Feeling seven-up.
    I’m feeling seven-up. Feeling seven
    up. I’m feeling seven up. It’s a crisp
    refreshing feeling crystal clear and
    light. America’s drinking seven-up and
    it sure feels right. Feeling lucky seven.

    Otto puts price sticker on Kevin’s glasses.

    Kevin stop singing man.

    Feeling seven eleven.

    Hum. I wasn’t singing guy.

    I’m standing right next to you and you’re
    fucking (flippin) singing. Cut it out.

    Jeeze. Why so tense guy?


    Mister Humphries!

    You were late again this morning. Now
    normally I’d let it go but it’s been
    brought to my attention that you’re
    not paying attention to the way you
    space the cans. Many young men of your
    age in these uncertain times-

    Otto! Are you paying attention to me?

    Hey! He’s talking to you!

    Kevin chuckles

    Otto grabs Kevin by the front of his shirt, steps around him,
    and pushes him into the stack of cans (this has been described
    as a goof but it’s clearly just a case of awkward staging used
    to make the shot work).

    Louie pulls his gun.


    You gotta love getting fired from your
    job in a big way, Otto.

    What are you laughing at? Louie, throw
    him out too.

    Come on you worm. Get out of here.

    Louie shoves Kevin down aisle where Otto is walking out. Otto
    takes off his clip-on bow tie and tosses it back towards Louie.
    Louie twirls his gun and puts it away. Note that the store aisle
    is lined with nothing but generic products, plain black lettering
    on white background. All products in movie from now on will have
    this appearance.

  4. summertime says:

    From American Beauty- Alan Ball



    Brad is seated behind his desk, reading a document. Lester sits across from him, smiling.



    “…my job consists of basically masking my contempt for the assholes in charge, and, at least once a day, retiring to the men’s room so I can jerk off, while I fantasize about a life that doesn’t so closely resemble hell.”

    (looks up at Lester)

    Well, you obviously have no interest in saving yourself.



    Brad, for fourteen years I’ve been a whore for the advertising industry. The only way I could save myself now is if I start firebombing.


    Whatever. Management wants you gone by the end of the day.


    Well, just what sort of severance package is “management” prepared to offer me? Considering the information I have about our editorial director buying pussy with company money.

    A beat.

    LESTER (cont’d)

    Which I’m sure would interest the I.R.S., since it technically constitutes fraud. And I’m sure that some of our advertisers and rival publications might like to know about it as well. Not to mention, Craig’s wife.

    Brad sighs.


    What do you want?


    One year’s salary, with benefits.


    That’s not going to happen.


    Well, what do you say I throw in a little sexual harassment charge to boot?

    Brad LAUGHS.


    Against who?


    Against you.

    Brad stops laughing.

    LESTER (cont’d)

    Can you prove you didn’t offer to save my job if I’d let you blow me?

    Brad leans back in his chair, studying Lester.


    Man. You are one twisted fuck.



    Nope. I’m just an ordinary guy with nothing to lose.

  5. Robocop

    The Old Man: [held at gunpoint by Jones] Dick, you’re *fired*!

    [Directive 4 limitation against Jones is cancelled]

    RoboCop: Thank you.

    [shoots Jones]


  6. Lois Bernard says:

    Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
    by Mike Figgis.
    Based on the novel by John O’Brian.


    Ben is sitting opposite his boss, Mr. Simpson, who is very
    upset. He hands Ben an envelope. Ben opens it and pulls out a
    check. He looks at the amount.

    (genuinely moved)
    This is to generous Peter.

    (close to tears)
    Well… we liked having you
    around, Ben, but you know how
    it is.

    Sure thing… and I’m sorry.

    Ben takes a swig from his coffee cup.

    (trying to cheer things along)
    Well… what are you going to
    do now?

    I thought I might move out to
    Las Vegas.

    Simpson looks puzzled.

    The bars never close.
    (couldn’t find clip of that scene) http://youtu.be/ul20aZvU7IU

  7. lizswan says:

    Jerry Mcguire.

    I could only find the script on daily scripts.


    Crowded outdoor restaurant in the business district. Jerry sits down opposite Bob Sugar, still making a few notes.


    Gimme a second here… Tidwell…Arizona contract… new glass cabinet…

    SUGAR You okay?


    (looking up)

    I’m fine. What’s up?


    I came here to let you go.


    Pardon me?


    Came here to fire you, Jerry.

    For a long moment there is only silence. They study each other. These are two smart boys, each one anticipating the other’s next three or four moves.



    It’s real, Jerry. You… you should say something.

    Suddenly he’s flushed, a little embarrassed.


    Aw shit…the crowded restaurant… so there’s no scene…


    I know. It sucks. I suck.

    In a back room, the waiters are singing the restaurant’s “Birthday Song” to someone else. Jerry is dying.




    (razor sharp)

    You did this to yourself. You said “fewer clients.” You put it all on paper. Scully was very upset. Heart attacks make some
    people sweeter, but not him. You did this to yourself —

    Jerry’s mouth opens to finish his sentence, but before he can speak, Sugar continues.



    — although I do gotta hand it to you. For about five minutes you had everyone applauding smaller revenues.

    Quietly, Maguire finishes the sentence he started earlier.


    You… ungrateful… unctuous…


    (unctuous)… dick?



    Maguire reaches for water. The sound of the ice cubes jangling is suddenly very loud to him. He is drowning.


    Give me a little credit for doing this face-to-face! What I went through knowing I was going to do this to my mentor! Can you get
    past yourself for a second?


    You’ll lose.


    (musically) You wanted smaller.


    I’m over it. Now I want all my clients and yours too.


    Jerry —


    — and I’ll get ’em.



    You’ll always be my hero, Jerry. Always always always. We’re bringing other elements in, we’re focusing on endorsements — it’s
    not about handholding anymore. We’re no longer babysitters —

    Jerry fights the desire to use his fists. Hangs onto the table. He’s starting to freak out now. Trying to calm down. Sugar’s mouth keeps moving, but we hear the music in Jerry’s mind. Rising percussive music.

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