The Magnificent Ambersons

The Magnificent Ambersons quotes

54 total quotes (ID: 1111)

Eugene
Fanny
George
Narrator
Others
Townsfolk
Uncle Jack


George: Well it struck me that Mr. Morgan was looking pretty absent-minded most of the time. And he certainly is dressing better than he used to.
Uncle Jack: Oh, he isn't dressing better, he's dressing up. Fanny, you ought to be a little encouraging when a prized bachelor begins to show by his haberdashery what he wants you to think about him.
George: Well, Jack tells me the fact he's been doing quite well.
Uncle Jack: Quite well.
George: Listen Aunt Fanny. I shouldn't be a bit surprised to have him request an interview and declare that his intentions are honorable.
[Fanny cries and leaves the room]
George: It's getting so that you can't joke with her about anything anymore. With all the gambling, we found out that father's estate was all washed up and he didn't leave anything. I thought she'd feel better when he turned over his insurance to her.
Uncle Jack: I think we've been teasing her about the wrong things. Fanny hasn't got much in her life. You know George, just being an Aunt isn't really the great career it sometimes seemed to be. Really don't know of anything much Fanny has got, except her feeling about Eugene.


Isabel: [about Wilbur] It seems to me he looks so badly...He's been worried about some investments he made last year. I think the worry's affected his health.
George: What investments? He isn't going into Morgan's automobile concern, is he?

Isabel: Georgie dear, what did you mean?
George: Just what I said.
Isabel: He was hurt.
George: I don't see why he should be. I didn't say anything about him. He didn't seem to me to be hurt. He seemed perfectly cheerful. What makes you think he was hurt?
Isabel: I know him.
Uncle Jack: Well, it's a new style of courting a pretty girl, I must say, for a young fellow to go deliberately out of his way to try to make an enemy of her father by attacking his business. By jove, that's a new way of winning a woman.

Isabel: It's changed. It's so changed.
Uncle Jack: You mean, you mean the town? You mean the old place has changed, don't you dear?
Isabel: Yes.
Uncle Jack: It will change to a happier place, old dear, now that you're back. You're going to get well here.

Isabel: Lucy's on a visit, Father. She's spending a week with a school friend.
Eugene: She'll be back Monday.
Fanny: George, how does it happen you didn't tell us before? He never said a word to us about Lucy going away!
Major Amberson: Probably afraid to. Didn't know that he might break down and cry if we tried to speak of it, isn't that so, Georgie? [He laughs at George]
Fanny: [to George] Or didn't Lucy tell you that she was going?
George: She told me!
Major Amberson: At any rate, Georgie didn't approve. I suppose you two aren't speaking again. Ha, ha, ha, ha.

Isabel: You must promise me never to use those bad words again.
George: I promise not to... [pause] unless I get mad at somebody.

Lucy: Do you think George is terribly arrogant and domineering?
Eugene: Oh, he's still only a boy. Plenty of fine stuff in him. Can't help but be. He's Isabel Amberson's son.
Lucy: You liked her pretty well once, I guess, Papa.
Eugene: Yep. Do still.

Lucy: Ever hear the Indian name for that little grove of beech trees?
Eugene: No, and you never did either. Well?
Lucy: The name was Loma-Nashah. It means: 'They-couldn't-help-it.'
Eugene: Doesn't sound like it.
Lucy: Indian names don't. There was a bad Indian chief, the worst Indian that ever lived, and his name was...it was Vendonah. Means: 'Rides-Down-Everything.'
Eugene: What?
Lucy: His name was Vendonah, same thing as: 'Rides-Down-Everything.'
Eugene: I see. [She laughs] Go on.
Lucy: Vendonah was unspeakable. He was so proud he wore iron shoes and walked over people's faces. So at last, the tribe decided that it wasn't a good enough excuse for him that he was young and inexperienced. He'd have to go. So they took him down to the river, put him in a canoe, and pushed him out from shore. The current carried him on down to the ocean. And he never got back. They didn't want him back, of course. They hated Vendonah, but they weren't able to discover any other warrior they wanted to make chief in his place. They couldn't help feeling that way.
Eugene: I see. So that's why they named the place: 'They-couldn't help-it.'
Lucy: Must have been.
Eugene: So you're going to stay in your garden. You think it's better just to keep walking about among your flower beds and get old like a pensive garden lady in a Victorian engraving? Huh?
Lucy: I suppose I'm like that tribe that lived here, Papa. I had too much unpleasant excitement. I don't want any more. In fact, I don't want anything but you.
Eugene: You don't? What was the name of that grove?
Lucy: 'They-could...'
Eugene: No, the Indian name, I mean.
Lucy: Oh. Mola-Haha. [They laugh together]
Eugene: Mola-Haha. That wasn't the name you said.
Lucy: Oh, I've forgotten.
Eugene: So you have. Perhaps you remember the chief's name better?
Lucy: I don't.
Eugene: I hope some day you can forget it.

Lucy: I know when you make him (the horse) walk, it's so you can give all your attention to proposing to me again...
George: Lucy, if you aren't the prettiest thing in this world. When are you going to say we're really engaged?
Lucy: Not for years, so there's the answer.
George: Lucy dear, what's the matter? You look as if you're gonna cry. You always do that whenever I can get you to talk about marrying me.
Lucy: I know it.
George: Well why do you?
Lucy: One reason is because I have a feeling it's never gonna be.
George: You haven't any reason?
Lucy: It's just a feeling. I don't know. Everything's so unsettled.
George: ...What's unsettled?
Lucy: Well for one thing, George, you haven't decided on anything to do yet. Or at least if you have, you've never spoken of it.
George: Lucy, haven't you perfectly well understood that I don't intend to go into a business or adopt a profession?
Lucy: Then, what are you going to do George?
George: Why, I expect to lead an honorable life. I expect to contribute my share to charities, and take part in, well, in movements.
Lucy: What kind?
George: Whatever appeals to me. Isn't it your father's idea that I have to go into a business, and you oughtn't to be engaged to me until I do? Do you think I'd be very much of a man if I let another man dictate to me my own way of life?...I don't believe in the whole world scrubbing dishes, selling potatoes, or trying law cases. No, I dare say I don't care any more for your father's ideals than he does for mine.

Lucy: What are you studying at school?
George: College.
Lucy: College.
George: Oh, lots of useless guff.
Lucy: Why don't you study some useful guff?
George: What do you mean, useful?
Lucy: Something you'd use later in your business or profession.
George: I don't intend to go into any business or profession.
Lucy: No?
George: No.
Lucy: Why not?
George: Well, just look at them. That's a fine career for a man, isn't it? Lawyers, bankers, politicians. What do they ever get out of life, I'd like to know. What do they know about real things? What do they ever get?
Lucy: What do you want to be?
George: A yachtsman!

Mrs. Foster: What she minds is his (Eugene) makin' a clown of himself in her own front yard. Made her think he didn't care much about her. She's probably mistaken but it's too late for her to think anything else now. The wedding will be a big Amberson-style thing. Raw oysters floating in scooped-out blocks of ice. The band from out of town. And then Wilbur will take Isabel on the carefulest little wedding trip he can manage. And she'll be a good wife to him. But they'll have the worst-spoiled lot of children this town will ever see...She couldn't love Wilbur, could she? Well, it'll all go to her children, and she'll ruin them.
Narrator: The prophetess proved to be mistaken in a single detail merely...Wilbur and Isabel did not have children; they had only one.
Mrs. Foster: Only one! But I'd like to know if he isn't spoiled enough for a whole carload.
Narrator: Again, she found none to challenge her. George Amberson Minafer, the Major's one grandchild, was a princely terror.

Narrator: There were people, grown people they were, who expressed themselves longingly. They did hope to live to see the day, they said, when that boy would get his come-uppance.
Wife: His what?
Husband: His come-uppance! Something's bound to take him down someday. I only want to be there.

Uncle Jack: Eighteen years have passed, but have they?...By gosh, old times certainly are starting all over again.
Eugene: Old times. Not a bit. There aren't any old times. When times are gone, they're not old, they're dead. There aren't any times but new times.

Uncle Jack: I told her I thought she ought to make Georgie let her come home, but she doesn't urge it. George seems to like the life there in his grand, gloomy and peculiar way.
Eugene: And you say he won't let her come home.
Uncle Jack: I don't think he uses force. He's very gentle with her. I doubt that the subject is mentioned between them yet - knowing my interesting nephew as you do, wouldn't you think 'that' was about the way to put it?
Eugene: Knowing him as I do, yes.

Uncle Jack: Your grandson. Last night, he seemed inclined to melancholy.
Major Amberson: What about? Not getting remorseful about all the money he spent at college, is he? I wonder what he thinks I'm made of.
Uncle Jack: Gold, and he's right about that part of you, father.
Major Amberson: What part?
Uncle Jack: Heart.
Major Amberson: I suppose that may account for how heavy it feels nowadays, sometimes. This town seems to be rolling right over that old heart you mentioned just now, Jack. Rolling over us and burying us under.