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"Now go home and get your fuckin' shinebox."
Billy Batts

"For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster. To me that was better than being president of the United States."
—Henry, opening narration

Paulie may have moved slow, but it was only because Paulie didn't have to move for anybody.

Jimmy: "I'm not mad, I'm proud of you. You took your first pinch like a man and you learn two great things in your life. Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut."

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Henry (after Tommy tells a crazy story): You're really funny!
Tommy: What do you mean I'm funny?
Henry: It's funny, you know. It's a good story, it's funny, you're a funny guy!
Tommy (serious): What do you mean? You mean the way I talk? What?
(Everyone becomes quiet)
Henry: It's just, you know, you're just funny. It's funny, the way you tell the story and everything.
Tommy: Funny how? I mean, what's funny about it?
Anthony: Tommy, no, you got it all wrong...
Tommy (waves him off): Oh, oh, Anthony. He's a big boy, he knows what he said. (glares at Henry) What did ya say? Funny how?
Anthony: You're right.
Henry: Just...
Tommy: What?
Henry: Just, ya know, you're funny.
Tommy: You mean, let me understand this, 'cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how? I mean funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fucking amuse you? What do you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny?
Henry: Just... you know, how you tell the story... what?
Tommy: No, no, I don't know. You said it! How do I know? You said I'm funny. How the fuck am I funny? What the fuck is so funny about me?! Tell me, tell me what's funny!
(Long painful pause)
Henry (grins): Get the fuck out of here, Tommy!
(Everyone laughs)
Tommy (grinning back): Ya motherfucker! I almost had him, I almost had him! You stuttering prick, you! Frankie, was he shaking? I wonder about you sometimes, Henry. You may fold under questioning.

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"At the end, he regrets that he's no longer a wiseguy, but there's no hypocrisy about being sorry for his life, it's just, 'Gee, no more fun'. Now you can take that any way you want. I think the audience should get angry at him and I would hope they do — and maybe with the system which allows this."
Martin Scorsese, Scorsese on Scorsese, page 160.


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