In a response to last week’s Greatest Insults video (which I posted on 7.1), Philadelphia Inquirer critic Carrie Rickey yesterday voiced a preference for ridicule with “more polish and less profanity.” Like, for example, Burt Lancaster‘s kiss-off to Tony Curtis in Sweet Smell of Success (1957): “You’re dead, son. Go get buried.”
That is slightly incorrect. The line is actually “You’re dead, son. Go get yourself buried.” No biggie in itself, but Rickey used the quote in her headline. So I wrote her yesterday afternoon at 5:48 pm (sitting in Fanelli’s, using my iPhone) and explained her excusable error. She wrote back at 9:37 pm with a dispute. “According to imdb.com and an Ernest Lehman essay I cross-checked with, I have it right,” she said. “Of course, they could both be wrong. Next time I watch SSoS I’ll listen extra-hard.”
Yeah, do that. Because the IMDB has the quote as “You’re dead, son — go get yourself buried. Wikiquote has the quote as “You’re dead, son — go get yourself buried.” And I have it as that in my head, having watched Sweet Smell of Success something like 12 or 13 times (including three times in a theatre). Sorry, Carrie, but I got this.