The Aviator and Million Dollar Baby

Running thoughts on movies and their makings.
Dec. 17 2004 8:07 PM

Wings of Desire

Martin Scorsese joins the mile-high club in The Aviator.

(Continued from Page 3)

URIAH (Sal Mineo, hobbling on a crutch and trying to keep up with Jesus, Max von Sydow, striding forcefully toward his destiny in Jerusalem): Master! Master! What is your name?

JESUS: People call me Jesus ….

I recall Dwight MacDonald having fun with the same movie and quoting a line that went something like, "I've heard many things about you, Baptist—all bad."

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Lane Buckman offers this question, posed to Joan of Arc by a character called "The Conscience" (Dustin Hoffman) in the awful The Messenger: "When did this become painful for you?" Andrew Dardine remembers the title character's dying line in The Great Ziegfeld: "More stairs! More stairs!" And let's not forget this gem, sent by John Persinos, from the Genghis Khan biopic The Conqueror, uttered by John Wayne's Mongol leader as he contemplates Susan Hayward: "There are moments for action, then I listen to my blood. I feel this Tatar woman is for me. My blood says take her!"

Finally, via winner Arthur Tiersky and also Perry Seibert, comes a line from Max, the risible portrait of the young Hitler as a second-rate artist. It's so bizarre that it must be a joke, but even as a joke it's … words fail me.

"Come on, Hitler, I'll buy you a glass of lemonade." ... 9:30 a.m.

David Edelstein is Slate's film critic. You can read his reviews in "Reel Time" and in "Movies." He can be contacted at slatemovies@slate.com.

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