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CUE CARD MISCUES
(6/16/95-6/30/95)

This contest is now closed. But enjoy!

(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a dame."

Isn't that what Clark Gable said before the director shouted "Cut!" and the scene was retaken with a more legible cue card? It's a good thing they got the scene right the second time, or Gone With the Wind would have had some very peculiar dialog in it.

In this contest, we ask you to suppose that the speaker of a very famous line from a play or movie has misread the cue card, getting a key word wrong. This key word should be a misprint of *ONE LETTER* from the original word. So Laurence Olivier, when playing the battlefield scene of Richard III, might have been fooled into thinking his character needed a real estate agent when he shouted,

"My kingdom for a house!"

And the writers of "E.T. the Extraterrestrial" might have been anticipating the script of "Northern Exposure" when their alien mistakenly pronounced,

"E.T. phone Nome."

Got the idea? To enter this Cue Card Miscues contest, create a misprint of one letter in a famous line and e-mail it to CoxRathvon. Please identify the movie or play involved (it's not like we're walking Encyclopedias of the Cinema, you know) and add any comment or quip you think will heighten the humor. For the three entries that give us the biggest laughs, we'll award prizes of 5 Free AOL Hours each. This contest will run through Friday, June 30. Results will be posted on Friday, July 7.

Okay, take two!

--EC and HR



CUE CARD MISCUES Contest Results

(All names without @ symbols are AOL screen names.)

"There's no plate like home."


Perhaps it was a ballfield of dreams that caused Judy Garland to misread her cue card in "The Wizard of Oz"--or so contestants Alamano, SUEBOY, JebMar, POLFLAMUS, and Robbabe variously noted. That classic film was rife with other cue-card bungles, such as:


"There's no place like Rome." (CATLETTERS, Gardenia, Purrrrty)

"There's no peace like home." (Dreamlife)

"There's no place like some." (Milsean)

"We're off to see the lizard." (What Dorothy said when searching for Godzilla) (EnigmaGB)

"Follow the yellow brick toad." (PAPERWORX)

"Follow the yellow Buick road." (Milsean)

"If I only had a train!" (Alamano, Susan 03)

"If I only had a braid!" (MJSpence)

"Liens and tigers and bears--oh my!" (which was WRIT on Dorothy's cue card...) (SavWmson)

"Tito, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." (A tornado carries Dorothy to the former Yugoslavia) (Rickwins)

"Moto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." (After too many Chinese detective movie reruns) (RevMJK)

...and the Special Effects crew would have had a much different task if the Wicked Witch had shrieked: "I'm molting!" (Susan 03)


The other feature film to suffer multiple miscues was "Casablanca." Here's a sampling of the madness:


"We'll always hate Paris." (Bogie cursing the day his and Bergman's characters ever met and got into that mess) (Robbabe)

"We'll always have Maris." (Bogart reassuring Bergman about the bad trades made by their favorite ballclub) (Tlbenton)

"We'll always have parts." (After their car breaks down) (Rickwins; also JebMar)

"Here's looning at you, kid." (Bogie breaks into the yodeling cry of a wild bird) (Tlbenton)

"Herd's looking at you, kid." (And nothing embarrasses a young goat more) (JebMar)

"Here's looking at you, Sid." (After Bergman and Greenstreet exchange roles) (G8ly)

"Of all the gin joints, in all the gowns in all the world, she walks into mine." (Rick's problems with Ilsa result from cross-dressing) (Dfbisbee)

"Plan it again, Sam." (Bogie reschedules his day) (Alamano; also Hotznplotz, Raviac)

"Play it again, Sap." (JebMar)

"Play it again, Sal." (Bogie appears at Michael Corleone's wedding) (Alamano)

"Slay it again, Sam." (Bogie's dinner isn't dead yet) (Alamano; also BDPnApril)

"Play it, Pam." (Rick has a transsexual pianist) (RevMJK)

"The problems of two little people don't matter a hill of jeans in this world." (Rick catches a glimpse of a Levis factory) (Dfbisbee)

... and finally, at the end of the film, Claude Rains accidentally turns the movie into the first pre-"Rambo" violence fest by saying at the most suspenseful moment: "The Major's been shot." [pause] "Pound up the usual suspects." (Tlbenton)


Another target of cue-card mayhem was Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose line in "The Terminator" went from "I'll be back" to:


"I'll be Jack." (BSchedneck, EnigmaGB, JebMar)

"I'll be bank." (Sharonina, JebMar)

"I'll be bark." (Raviac)

"I'll be Buck." (JebMar)

"I'll be Beck." (IQ 140, EricZuerch)

"I'll Be hack." (Hep2, JebMar)

"I'll be Bach." (Robbabe, Dreamlife)



Similarly, Clint Eastwood's line in "Dirty Harry" went from "Make my day" to:


"Make my pay." (JebMar, Hep2)

"Make my dad." (Alamano, Mokaplpi)

"Make my hay." (from a BALEFUL Clint) (SavWmson)

"Bake my day." (Susan 03)

"Take my day. . . ." (said to Henny Youngman) (SASadler)


There were *lots* of other duplications of clever ideas, as you'll see from the entries below. But for our three contest winners, sheer originality was the decisive hallmark. We congratulate StefSpad, Purrrrty, and Alamano (whose entry features three consecutive mis-takes of the same scene). Each winner will receive 5 free AOL hours plus a book or his or her choice from the Atlantic's online bookstore. Roll 'em!



***The Winners***


The Macbeths have their patio redecorated as the three witches look on and comment: "Something wicker this way comes."
(StefSpad)


"I have not yet begun to light." (Robert Stack as John Paul Jones becomes defensive when he takes out a pack of cigarettes in the no-smoking section of the *Bon Homme Richard* and the crew gives him a disapproving look!)
(Purrrrty)


"Gums or knives, Butch?" (Butch Cassidy wonders if he is challenged to fight or bite)

"Buns or knives, Butch?" (He chooses knives)

"Nuns or knives, Butch?" (no comment)

(Alamano)



***And More Cue-Card Craziness***


"If you don't mind my mentioning it, Father, I think you have a wind like a swamp." (Dianna Lynn in "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek," either misreading "mind" or saying what she really meant) (WFleet)


Exhausted by a lifetime of linguistic rigour, Professor Higgins shouts: "Where the devil are my flippers, Eliza?" (In the "Beach Blanket" version of "My Fair Lady"?) (WFleet)


"You can burn my body but never my soup: that is in the keeping of the people of France!" (Vive la France! Vive gastronomie! George Arliss misreads "soul" in Adolfi's "Voltaire") (WFleet)


Instead of a guilt-ridden Mrs. Macbeth wringing her hands in a lather, we find her down on her knees cleaning the carpet after an accident caused by little MacPuppy and saying: "Out damp spot, out I say!" (Ravensegg)


Sidney Poitier, maybe a little too influenced by those "Lilies of the Field" nuns while making "In The Heat of the Night":

"They call me Sister Tibbs!" (Robbabe; also Milsean)


Obviously John Wayne was confused about the dress code in the shootout at the OK Corral when he said: "This gown ain't big enough for the both of us." (BrookLynn1)


"When a man's partner is kilted, he's supposed to do something about it." (Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon") (Arglbargl)


"Twas Beauty that kilted the beast." (Scottish lass insists pet ape wear traditional gear) (JebMar)


"It was Beatty that killed the beast." (Milsean)


William Shatner of "Star Trek," unfortunately suggested some strange proclivities for Captain Kirk: "Beat me up, Scotty." (MJSpence)


Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi, perhaps anticipating the melodramatic turns the "Star Wars" saga would be taking:
"May the farce be with you." (Robbabe; also Dfbisbee, Tombrite)


As Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader personified the battle between good and evil in the film "The Empire Strikes Back," Darth Vader dropped this bombshell on the unsuspecting hero:

"Luke, I am your father."

But suppose Vader had heralded from the San Fernando Valley or the beaches of Southern California. He might have read the cue card this way:

"Like, I am your father."

(The word Dude is implied.) (MitchJones)


"Comb back, Shane!" (Brandon deWilde gives grooming advice) (Rickwins)

"Come back! Shave!" (Boy suggests cowboy attend to grooming) (JebMar)


The makers of Spaghetti Westerns try a new genre: noodle-crafted landscapes .... "Pasta la vista, baby!" (Susan 03)


"We don't need no stinking badger!" (In "Treasure of the Sierra Madre," bandits refuse offer of small game) (Rickwins; also AtheyM, JebMar)


"We don't need no stinkin' barges!" (Rejecting the garbage scow that then lay off the coast of New Jersey) (Arglbargl)


"I could have been a cob tender." (In "On the Waterfront," a longshoreman dreams of life on the farm) (JebMar)


Lauren Bacall in "To Have And Have Not," confused as to what kind of lip service she was offering Humphrey Bogart:

"You know how to whistle, don't you? Just put your lips together and blot." (Robbabe; also Hotznplotz)


"You know how to whittle, don't you, Steve?" (Milsean, Raviac, JebMar)


"Why don't you come up and set me sometime?" (Mae West seduces her barber) (Alamano)


"Why don't you come up and sew me sometime?" (And her doctor or tailor) (Alamano)


"Why don't you come up and sue me sometime?" (She propositions her lawyer) (MSwarz2; also Rickwins)


"I've got one word to say to you: Elastics!" (In "The Graduate," Dustin Hoffman thinks he is being urged to get into the rubber band business) (G8ly; also Milsean)


"Plasmics." (Because if Mr. Robinson finds out what you've been up to, you may need transfusions!) (JebMar)


"Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to reduce me?" (JebMar, Milsean, PJordan 321, Robbabe, BDPnApril)


The two young lovers in "West Side Story" got hungry for a buffet, looked at each other and sang, "There's a plate for us, somewhere a plate for us." (BDPnApril)


"We need a bigger goat." (from "Jaws") (Milsean)


In the movie "Candyman," when anyone says the words "Candyman, Candyman, Candyman" into a mirror, they summon up an evil entity... ooooohh!

But for some reason, they misread the cue card. So, when they said "Handyman, Handyman, Handyman" they summoned up Tim Allen of "Home Improvement"! (Gardenia)


"Rose, bid!" (Kane dies while impatiently waiting for his bridge partner to speak) (JebMar)

"Rosebug." (His dying wish: Get rid of those aphids) (Rickwins)

"Nosebud." (Orson Welles had an allergy during the filming of "Citizen Kane." But what does it mean?) (AJGRAY)


John Merrick (unmasked, cowering before a frenzied mob at the train station, and evidently having trouble making up his mind in all the confusion): "I am not an animal! I am now an animal!" (RevMJK; also JebMar)


"Make him an offer he can't defuse." (Brando would've BOMBED with that line in "The Godfather") (SavWmson; also JebMar, Robbabe)


In "Love Story" O'Neal and McGraw make a few bucks on the side by making a commercial for an anti-flatulence medication. By using the product you can: "Love beans never having to say you're sorry." (G8ly)


Unlikely as it may seem, Madonna was in the cast of "Henry V" where Branagh found it appropriate to say, "Once more into the bleach, dear friends." (G8ly)


Michael Keaton's reply to a criminal he had just thrown out of the establishment for which he works: "I'm barman!" (EnigmaGB)


Shirley Valentine certainly would have been clairvoyant if she'd rewritten the script to read: "Gone to Greece. Sack in two weeks." (JHFrancis)


"I've always depended on the kindness of stringers." (Blanche DuBois has a passion for fisherman in "A Streetcar Named Desire") (Tombrite)


"Why didn't you take off all your clothes? You could have stopped forty wars." (Clark Gable thought Claudette Colbert would be wonderful for peacekeeping in "It Happened One Night," misreading "cars.") (BDPnApril)


"With a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pooh!" (Prof. Harold Hill selling stuffed animals in "The Music Man") (Alamano)


"Pooh, right here in River City!" (MJSpence)


"With a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Poop!" (Prof. Hill selling fertilizer) (Alamano)


Ophelia may have had second thoughts about suicide if Hamlet had said "Get thee to a punnery." Then again... (JHFrancis)


Mel Gibson as Hamlet had to be thinking of Ray Kroc's reaction upon the first hanging of the sign "Over 1 Million Sold," when he exclaimed, "What a piece of work is a Mac!" (MJSpence)


From Arthur Miller's adaptation of Hamlet: "Frailty thy name is Loman!" (StefSpad)


"Friends, Romans, countrymen, led me your cars..." (ALums48454)


"Parking is such sweet sorrow..." (ALums48454)


"Beware the ices of March!" (It can get pretty cold around the 15th...) (StefSpad; also GlemWard)


"The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stats, but in ourselves." (Hotznplotz)


"I come to burp Caesar, not to praise him." (Arglbargl)


"Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a burpy night." (Spoken by Bette Davis in "All About Eve") (Zonkerette)


"Me Tarzan, you jade!" (Milsean)


"Tis a far far wetter thing I do now than I have ever done before." (Said by Ronald Coleman portraying poet Francoise Villon as he prepared to sacrifice his life for his fellow Frenchmen.) (Azure5)


Colin Clive (In "Frankenstein," frenzied to the point of mistaking his just reanimated creation for someone else):

"It's Alice!" or,

"It's Olive!" or even,

"It's Clive!" (RevMJK)


"Mama always said Fife is like a box of chocolates." (Mrs. Gump thought Don Knotts was sweet) (Alamano; also AJGray)

"My momma always said...'.life is like a lox of chocolates....'" (Wagsalot)


In "Death of a Salesman," Willy Loman's wife says "Attention must be pain". (Comment of a desperately sleepy soldier on sentry duty from 2am to 6am?) (ShedPot)


"That's all, forks!" (from Forky Pig, "Looney Tines") (Tombrite; also JebMar)


The anonymous actor playing the disembodied voice in "Field of Dreams," alerting the filmmakers that it'll have to be a union shoot:

"If you guild it, they will come." (Robbabe)

"If you build it, whey will come." (Wlwjr)


"I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to tape it anymore!" (Peter Finch as the suicidal newscaster in "Network," letting everyone know he's done enough broadcasting for the day) (Robbabe)

"I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to bake it anymore." (Zonkerette)

"I'm mad as Nell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" (Tombrite)


Anthony Perkins in "Psycho," explaining away his quirks as merely the fashion of the day: "We all go a little mod sometimes." (Robbabe)


Danny Torrance (in a clairvoyant trance in "The Shining" and in the wrong hotel, apparently): "Redruf!" (RevMJK)


Folks on the set of Gone With the Wind wondered if Clark Gable was exhibiting disdain for the Forest Service when he said: "Frankly, my bear, I don't give a damn!" (September)


"By George, I think she's not it!" (Originally in "My Fair Lady" as "By George, I think she's got it!" when Eliza finally gets that "rain in Spain" pronunciation. Seems to me the story would have taken an entirely different turn if...) (QuipRosen)


"Keep watching the skits!" (from "The Thing From Outer Space") (Milsean)


Copyright © 1995 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.