Dr. Christian Szell
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Quotes for
Dr. Christian Szell (Character)
from Marathon Man (1976)

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Marathon Man (1976)
Christian Szell: Is it safe?... Is it safe?
Babe: You're talking to me?
Christian Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: Is what safe?
Christian Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: I don't know what you mean. I can't tell you something's safe or not, unless I know specifically what you're talking about.
Christian Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: Tell me what the "it" refers to.
Christian Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: Yes, it's safe, it's very safe, it's so safe you wouldn't believe it.
Christian Szell: Is it safe?
Babe: No. It's not safe, it's... very dangerous, be careful.

Christian Szell: Well, what are you going to do now, shoot me?
Babe: No, I don't think so.
Christian Szell: [referring to the diamonds] Then you're going to take these from me? If I could say a word about that...
Babe: No, you can keep them. You can keep as many as you can swallow.

Christian Szell: [to Babe] You're weak. Your father was weak in his way, your brother in his, now you in yours. You are all so predictable.

Janeway: I don't think he knows anything. And I think he knows too much.
Christian Szell: You can afford to think what you wish. I can't.

[Szell prepares to torture Babe a second time]
Christian Szell: Oh, please don't worry. I'm not going into that cavity. That nerve's already dying. A live, freshly-cut nerve is infinitely more sensitive. So I'll just drill into a healthy tooth until I reach the pulp. Unless, of course, you can tell me that it's safe.

Christian Szell: I was in a state of hysteria, you know.
[referring to the open suitcase filled with diamonds]
Christian Szell: Don't you want to take a closer look than that?
Babe: No!
Christian Szell: You see, uh, in a sense, one becomes more emotional with age. First after a lifetime of being taken by friends and enemies alike, and then just when you think you have your possessions sure, your health begins to go.
[laughs]
Christian Szell: That is, of course, the ultimate theft!

[Szell begins to torture Babe by using a dental probe and a mouth mirror to check for cavities]
Babe: [the probe hits a cavity] Ow.
Christian Szell: That hurt?
Babe: Uh-huh.
Christian Szell: I know. I should think it would. You should take better care of your teeth. You have a...
[hits the cavity again]
Christian Szell: quite a cavity here. Is it safe?
Babe: Look, I told you I can't...
[Szell stabs the probe into the nerve; screaming in pain]
Babe: AAH-HA! AAH! Aah!
[Babe's painful screams and moans continues]
Karl: You thinks he knows?
Erhard: Of course he knows! He's being very stubborn.
Babe: [Moaning in pain] Ohh, wait. Please. Please, don't. No. No.
Christian Szell: It's okay.
Babe: Huh?
[Szell then opens a small bottle of oil of cloves, in which he applies it in Babe's badly aggravated cavity to kill the pain]
Christian Szell: Isn't that remarkable? Simple oil of cloves, and how amazing the results. Life can be that simple:
[holds up the oil]
Christian Szell: Relief...
[and the probe tool]
Christian Szell: Discomfort. Now which of these I next apply? That decision is in your hands. So... take your time... and tell me... is it safe?
Babe: Please, stop. Please, stop. Please.

Christian Szell: The gun had blanks, the knife, a retractable blade. Hardly original, but effective enough. I think you'll agree. I'm told you are a graduate student. Brilliant, yes? You are an historian, and I am part of history. I should have thought you would have found me interesting. Frankly, I am disappointed in your silence.
Babe: Why do you have so little accent?
Christian Szell: I had alexia as a child. Alexia is a disease...
Babe: I know. It's where you can't understand written speech.
Christian Szell: Highest marks. At any event, my writing is childish still, but I'm a fanatic about spoken language. I envy you your school days. Enjoy them fully. It's that last time in your life no one expects anything of you.

[after Szell tortures Babe by drilling into a healthy tooth, he still gets no information about Babe's brother, frustrating Szell]
Christian Szell: [shouts] Erhardt!
[Erhardt steps into the dental room]
Christian Szell: He knew nothing. If he had known, he would have told. Get rid of him!
Janeway: I don't think you've heard the news.
[Szell steps into Janeway's office]
Christian Szell: What is that?
Janeway: You're leaving tomorrow on the 1:00 flight.
Christian Szell: You are a very confident young man.
Janeway: It's all a front. Just think of me as any other young executive on the come.
[Janeway sees Karl and Erhardt dragging a badly tortured Babe]
Janeway: You're uncontrollable. What you offer us is valuable, but it's not worth the chaos you're causing.
Christian Szell: And if I am unable to conclude my business by 1:00?
Janeway: Well, you'll just have to manage that, won't you? As far as we're concerned, Mr. Szell, you're a relic, and you're on your way.
Christian Szell: Thus far, I find you rather detestable. May I say that without hurting your feelings?
Janeway: Praise from Caesar. I'm just doing my job. I believe in my country.
Christian Szell: So did we all.

Christian Szell: Well... can I trust you?
Doc: You never could. You only had to.
Christian Szell: We're talking about my safety.
Doc: May I be candid?
Christian Szell: Yes.
Doc: I couldn't give a fuck about you...
[he gets stabbed by Szell]