A fun one for the new year. Movie dialog is usually long. We glorify great Shakespearean monologues (“To be or not to be”), and Paddy Chayefsky-inspired diatribes (“I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”).
But some movies get the job done conveying a powerful thought, a surprising thought, a pure, profound or hilarious meaning with one word.
Welcome to One Word Awesome (hashtag #1wordawesome). Submit your own to this list.
The one every remembers first is from Leon: The Professional (1994). Gary Oldman’s the evil, homicidal cop who killed Matilda’s family. She befriends Leon, who scares our villain enough to say, “Bring me everyone.”
His henchman asks, “What do you mean, everyone?”
Good to get that one out of the way. Everyone gets that one.
In the western classic, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Kid is introduced in a poker game where he’s seemingly cheating. We’ll never know for sure, but the guy across the table asks a simple question and gets a taciturn response that can only be described as awesome:
In comedy, A Fish Called Wanda involves criminals robbing the bank, and trying to double-cross each other. Wanda and Otto beat it back to their hiding place to screw over their companions. Once Otto opens the safe, Wanda will brain Otto and take the loot.
Only Otto opens the safe and it’s empty! She staggers back and sits while we await our psychotic, emotionally unstable Otto’s response. And it’s one word awesome:
And finally, 1938’s The Adventures of Robin Hood has one of the silver screen’s most charismatic actors swaggering into the Prince John’s party, dropping one of the king’d deer on the table, and taking a seat at the feast. He tells off the Prince, and while everyone else is stunned by this rogue’s brashness, Maid Marion rebukes him and Errol Flynn delivers my favorite turn of phrase:
Can you add to the list? Can you unseat Errol?
NOTE: It’s gotta be awesome. “Yarp” from Hot Fuzz is a character who says only one word. That’s different. Any number of characters screaming “Why!” or “No!” or “Yes!” or “Go!” or “Run!” don’t count because they’re, well, not awesome. Jean-Luc Picard saying, “Engage!” is a meme, but it doesn’t turn the story or scream awesome.