Universities were once distinguished red-bricked beacons of British tradition envied the world over, moulding and nurturing the malleable minds of the plummier classes into intellects acute and palpable enough to glow bright and proud above all their peers. Institutions of thought, discovery, discussion, art, all that greats like Darwin, Keats, Newton, Hawking, Tolkien, Fry and countless others needed to grow and flourish into the greats they eventually became.
The upper classes were all but guaranteed places, due to the financial freedoms they enjoyed, and they too graduated and dutifully reproduced, without ever having the general wherewithall to disregard members of their extended families with whom to do so, which kept the higher education system in a state of centrifugal equilibrium for many happy centuries.
In recent years, however, the higher educational system has atrophied and rotted to such an extent a working class simpleton like me was even able to get a place in one.
I didn’t do a lot of thinking, discussing or researching, but when once idly contemplating infinity, I did discover something, thus: if you put an infinite number of idiot students in a room for an infinite amount of time, they will eventually succeed in coming up with a number of increasingly creative ways to generally dick about, and one of the most chucklesome methods of wasting time while busy missing lectures was to utilise the winning combination of a) a prank phone call to an unsuspecting buffoon, b) beer, and c) the Arnold Scwarzenegger Internet soundboard, which contains not only some of the greatest cinematic one-liners of all time, but perhaps many of the greatest sentences ever uttered by any human being in history.
What this lengthy preamble is trying to convey is the genesis of my ‘second coming’ of Scwarzenegger appreciation, after an initial idolisation of him as a much younger man.
In the salad days of yore he had been a monolith of movie heroism, unshakable in principle and invincible in physique. Now he is also a shining beacon of the movie one-liner, bettered by few, imitated by many.
You just have to admire the man’s commitment, timing and delivery, coupled with scriptwriters who used irony with all the subtlety of a thrown half-brick liberally coated in burnt hair.
So, while some of the high points below are an affectionate ribbing of the great man’s unique oratory interpretations, others are here simply because they are classic cinematic moments.
The man, the legend, The Governator. Here are some of what I consider to be his finest…
Ladies take note: Arnold has an unconventional approach to divorce
While those imbeciles in movieland twiddle their stupid thumbs and whitter endlessly on about going forward with a totally pointless remake of Total Recall, the rest of us continue to guffaw and clap in childish delight at the overblown original’s ultraviolent take of Philip K. Dick’s mind-fisting adventure.
An iconic film full of iconic scenes, for sure, but Arnie steals the show. Not only has he just killed his gorgeous, yet admittedly despotic wife, he clearly so enjoys his quick-witted follow-up, he wishes he could do it all over again. So do we, Big Guy. So do we.
Let off some steam
Not only do we enjoy a gurgled demise at the business end of some hastily improvised weaponry, we also get a beauty of a one-liner from The Schwarz. A cynic may argue that the line came first and the circumstance of use was cobbled together later in order to fit, but to this cynic I say, “Shut up.”
Predator is brilliant, and anyone who disagrees deserves neither your time or attention. Gore galore, a great monster, that ensemble cast, plus plenty of classic Oak one-liners. “Get to the chopper!”, “You’re one ugly motherflipper,” (obviously edited for f-bombs), and “Knock Knock!” all stand tall, but for classic post-murder flippancy it has to go to his immediate reaction to brutally skewering a hapless sneak. Never try and catch Arnold unawares, folks. That way lies Old Brother Pain.
Break your goddamn sviiine!
Three words: This. Is. Awesome.
You should not drink….and bake
This classic line from Raw Deal, seemingly defying chronology to be snatched straight from the mouth of McBane, finds the great man having a bit of a tiff with the other half. He is, after all, only human. Not his finest acting, sure, but you look me in the eye and tell me this isn’t some sound advice.
Fuck you, asshole
So good he used it twice. It was first given an airing in The Terminator as, by far, the best choice from a menu of appropriate repostes to a slithering motel owner, and it was used to admirable effect, indeed.
In Commando, however, it was the comeback king, A ‘touche’ moment extraordinaire.
As a sidenote, it does appear that Arnie’s punch misses Bill Duke by at least a yard, but presumably the air wake created by that mighty fist hurtling through the air was more than enough to cause its target’s face to splat unrecognisably all over the back of his cranium.
Anyone else think End Of Days is really good? Anyone? No? No one? Ah, whatever. I love it, and here Arnie learns that to ultimately defeat the Devil he must first renew his faith in God. But before any of that tosh happens, he shoots him right in the fizog with some huge guns, minces him under a subway train and swears at him an awful, awful lot.
Take that, sinful deity! Calling the Devil a choirboy, of all things, is a ballsy move, but Arnold manages to pull it off with bells on. Kudos.
What’s best in life
What’s important to you? Go on, make a list of three things. Done it? Good, what did you come up with? Family, eh? Wrong. What else? A career?! Don’t be naïve, you’re embarrassing yourself. What was the other one? Love? Money? Fame? Your legacy? Fool!
These are inconsequential trinkets, barely even distractions, and you have brought shame upon your family crest and should hang your head. Learn from Conan, and live as Crom would wish it. Here endeth the sermon.
Great men also tell the odd porkie
Yet more Commando brilliance, as that trench rat Sully gets the karmic remunerations he has long deserved. Note the venom in the eyes of the big man. Still, play with fire and you will get burned.
Or, more accurately, kidnap Mr Universe’s daughter and expect a venomous double crossing swiftly followed by a fatal dose of terra firma right upside the face.
I think he means ‘please be quiet, children’…
What else but those tiny scurrying elves of Beelzebub could send the Gov into such a tizz that he produces some of his worst/best/most entertaining acting (delete according to preference) to date?
Even Hercules’ patience has limits, and those little cretins don’t know how lucky they are that they weren’t folded in half like ungrateful little crisp packets.
Dr Dolittle he ain’t
Arnold even lends his post-mortem wit to those unfortunate beings on Earth without the requisite higher brain functions to actually understand his words, but with an animal’s rudimentary grasp of body language, I’m sure, in the last image burned into its fading eyes, it got the gist, and died mildly amused.
And anyway, “You’re luggage” is definitely a snappier choice of phrase than, say, “You’re just a post-Jurassic Park CG bandwagon model from a time without adequate animation or texture mapping techniques to convincingly convey movement, skin, blood or water.'”
Yep. His was better.
Let’s face it, we really could be here all day (there are five or six classics in Commando alone) but these are just a few great moments from the Gov, if not all his most famous.
Leave your own favourites in the comments section below, thanks for reading and have this one for the road…