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Quotes for
Grandpa Martin Vanderhof (Character)
from You Can't Take It with You (1938)

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You Can't Take It with You (1938)
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Maybe it'd stop you trying to be so desperate about making more money than you can ever use? You can't take it with you, Mr. Kirby. So what good is it? As near as I can see, the only thing you can take with you is the love of your friends.

[last lines]
Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: [offering grace] Quiet, please, quiet! Well, sir, here we are again. We've had quite a time of it lately, but it seems that the worst of it is over. Course, the fireworks all blew up, but we can't very well blame that on you. Anyway, everything's turned out fine, as it usually does. Alice is going to marry Tony; Mr. Kirby, who's turned out to be a very good egg, sold us back our house - he'll probably forget all about big deals for a while. Nobody on our block has to move; and, with the right handling, I think we can even thaw out Mrs. Kirby here. We've all got our health; as far as anything else is concerned, we still leave that up to you. Thank you. Bring it on, Reba!

Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Lincoln said, "With malice toward none, with charity to all." Nowadays they say, "Think the way I do or I'll bomb the daylights outta you."

Poppins: The die is cast. I'm a lily!
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Have some popcorn.

Essie Carmichael: I'll get in my dancing clothes and be right down.
Boris Kolenkhov: Aw, my pavlova, you are like a beautiful swan.
[Essie exits]
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Is she making any progress, Kolenkhov?
Boris Kolenkhov: Confidentially, she stinks.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: As long as she's having fun.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: How would you like to come over to our house and work on your gadgets?
Poppins: Your house? Well I don't know, thank you.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Oh go on, you'll love it. Everybody at over at our place does just what he wants to do.
Poppins: Really?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Mmm-hmmmm.
Poppins: That must be wonderful. But how would I live?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: The same way we do.
Poppins: The same way? Well who takes care of you?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: The same One that takes care of the lilies of the field, Mr. Poppins, except that we toil a little, spin a little, have a barrel of fun. If you want to, come on over and become a lily too.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: If it's illegal to manufacture fireworks without a permit, then I guess we're guilty of that too, because we've been doing it a long time.
Penny Sycamore: I don't feel guilty, do you, Essie?
Essie Carmichael: No.

Bill Hughes: What happened? You were allright last time I saw you.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: One of my granddaughters dared me to slide down the banister.
John Blakely: Too bad, is it serious?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: No, just a sprain or something. The thing I like most about it is the crutches, I've been wanting to walk on them ever since I was a kid. Haven't you?

Penny Sycamore: Were you ever in a monestery, Mr. Poppins?
Poppins: In a monastery?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: What's the matter, Penny, stuck?
Penny Sycamore: Yes, I've sort of got myself in the monastery and I can't get out.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: It'll come to you, remember how you got out of that jail.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Penny, why don't you write a play about Ism-Mania?
Penny Sycamore: Ism-Mania?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Yeah, sure, you know, Communism, Fascism, Voodooism, everybody's got an -ism these days.
Penny Sycamore: Oh
[laughs]
Penny Sycamore: I thought it was an itch or something.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Well, it's just as catching. When things go a little bad nowadays, you go out, get yourself an -ism and you're in business.

Neighbor: Did you hear about it, Grandpa? We maybe all have to move.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Who said so?
Maggie O'Neill: Well everybody's talking about it, somebody's buying up everything.
Neighbor: I hear they're buying it up for a big factory or something.
Schmidt: My landlord told me he wouldn't have sold only they offered him so much money.
Neighbor: Nobody wants to move, Grandpa, you know that.
Neighbor: We just put up some shelves, cost $60.
Neighbor: I've been here for 20 years.
Mrs. Schmidt: I think we should see somebody.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Now wait just a minute, don't get excited. We've all been neighbors for a long time, I know that. But if they're buying this property up for a factory, they'll need every foot of ground, won't they?
Neighbor: I guess so.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Well now suppose I won't sell them my place, what're they going to do?
Neighbor: That's right, you own your place.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Sure I do.
Neighbor: And they're going to need it too, won't they?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: You bet they will, and it'll take more than money to make me sell my property. Now go on back to work, stop cluttering up the street, we'll all be arrested.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Do you have any Russian stamps for me?
Boris Kolenkhov: No, nobody writes to me anymore. They are all dead.

Alice Sycamore: It's for you.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Why bless my soul, a new harmonica.
Alice Sycamore: I got it for you for your birthday.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: How do you know when my birthday is? Even I don't know.
Alice Sycamore: Anytime I get an impulse to get you something, that's your birthday.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Right up to the very last, she couldn't walk into a room without my heart going thump, thump, thump.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: You're an idiot, Mr. Kirby.
Anthony P. Kirby: What?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: A stupid idiot.
Anthony P. Kirby: You can't talk to me like that.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Oh, yes I can. Scum, are we? What makes you think you're such a superior human being? Your money? If you do, you're a dull-witted fool, Mr. Kirby. And a poor one at that. You're poorer than any of these people you call scum, because I'll guarantee at least they've got some friends. While you with your jungle and your long claws, as you call 'em, you'll wind up your miserable existence without anything you can call friend. You may be a high mogul to yourself, Mr. Kirby, but to me you're a failure - failure as a man, failure as a human being, even a failure as a father. When your time comes, I doubt if a single tear will be shed over you. The world will probably cry, "Good riddance." That's a nice prospect, Mr. Kirby. I hope you'll enjoy it. I hope you'll get some comfort out of all this coin you've been sweating over then!

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: [offering grace] Well, Sir, here we are again. We've been getting along pretty good for quite a while now - we're certainly much obliged. Remember all we ask is just to go along the way we are, keep our health; as far as anything else is concerned, we leave that up to you. Thank you.

Anthony P. Kirby: Mr. Vanderhoff, you once told me I was a failure as a father.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Oh, I didn't mean that.
Anthony P. Kirby: I know, but I am.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Do you like this?
Poppins: Like it?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: This work that you're doing?
Poppins: Oh, no, my goodness, no. Land sakes, what am I saying.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Then, why do you do it?

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Well, I better be going or I'll be late. Look out for that twitch, Mr. Blakely.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Americanism. Let 'em know something about Americans. John Paul Jones. Patrick Henry. Samuel Adams. Washington. Jefferson. Monroe. Lincoln. Grant. Lee. Edison. Mark Twain. When things got tough for those boys, they didn't run around looking for -isms.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Incidentally, what's his name?
Alice Sycamore: Eh, Tony Kirby.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Not the son of - the Kirby?
Alice Sycamore: Yes.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: [whistles] Pretty snooty outfit aren't they?

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Now, Mr. Vanderhoff, that's a very serious thing, not filing an income tax return.
Wilbur G. Henderson, IRS Agent: Now, suppose I do pay you this money; mind you, I don't say that I'm going to, but, just for the sake of argument; what's the government going to do with it?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: What do you mean?
Wilbur G. Henderson, IRS Agent: Well, what do I get for my money? For instance, if I go into a department store and buy something, why, there it is! I can see it. Well, what are they gonna give me?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Why the government gives you everything! It protects you!
Wilbur G. Henderson, IRS Agent: From what?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Well, invasion! How do you think the government's gonna keep up the army and navy with all those battleships?
Wilbur G. Henderson, IRS Agent: Battleships? The last time we used battleships was in the Spanish-American War. And what did we get out of that? Cuba - and we gave that back. Why, I wouldn't mind paying for something sensible.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Something sensible? What about Congress and the Supreme Court and the President? We gotta pay them, don't we?
Wilbur G. Henderson, IRS Agent: Not with my money! No, sir.

Wilbur G. Henderson, IRS Agent: Who's gonna pay for all those buildings down in Washington? And interstate commerce? And the Constitution?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: The Constitution's been paid for years ago. And as for interstate commerce, what is interstate commerce anyway?
Wilbur G. Henderson, IRS Agent: There are 48 states. See. And if it weren't for interstate commerce nothing could go from one state to another. See?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Well, why not, have they got fences?

Boris Kolenkhov: Grandpa, I'm in time for dinner, no?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: You're in time for dinner, yes!

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: [offering grace] Quiet, please, quiet! Well, sir, here we are again. We've been getting on pretty good for quite awhile now. We're certainly much obliged. Looks like Alice is going to be married and I think she'll be very happy. We just met the boy you sent her and he looks fine. Remember, all we ask is just to go along the way we are and keep our health; as far as anything else is concerned, we leave that up to you. Thank you.

Boris Kolenkhov: What is that?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: That's a picture of Mr. DiPinna. Penny painted it.
Boris Kolenkhov: It stinks!

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Don't pay any attention to Mr. Kolenkhov. He's Russian and the Russians are inclined to look on the dark side.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: This seems very high handed. What's it all about?
Chief Detective: Police Department.
Penny Sycamore: Oh, a J-man!
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: G-men, Penny.

Donald: [Walking into a crowded jail cell] Home again!
Boris Kolenkhov: A lot like Siberia, only it stinks!
DePinna: It was fun being fingerprinted, wasn't it?
Ed Carmichael: Mr. Kirby didn't think so. It took three men to hold him down.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Never a dull moment, that's what I say. Never a dull moment.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: What if all your deals fall through? It might be a good thing for you.
Anthony P. Kirby: Man, you're crazy.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Well, maybe I am. I used to be just like you. Then, one morning when I was going up the elevator, it struck me I wasn't having any fun. So, I came right down and never went back. Yes sir. That was 35 years ago.
Anthony P. Kirby: Admirable. You haven't done a thing since, huh?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Oh, yes, yes, yes. Just the things I wanted to do. I collected stamps. Went to the zoo when I got the notion. Took up the harmonica. And even found time to notice when Spring came around.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: If you'll excuse me, Mr. Kirby, I don't believe anyone has the right to interfere with young people in love.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: There's an unwritten law in our family against snitching!

Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: The trouble with young squirts nowadays is they have no imagination.

Anthony P. Kirby: Look, you know about these things, I don't. I need your advice. I'd give a fortune...
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Ah-ah-ah-now, there you are, you've got to stop thinking in terms of fortune. You know what I do when I run smack into a crisis? Just take out my harmonica and I play on it until that crisis just fades away.


"Great Performances: You Can't Take It with You (#13.4)" (1984)
Anthony P. Kirby: I'm not accustomed to going out to dinner and spending the night in jail.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Well you have to remember you came on the wrong night. Now tonight I'll bet you nothing will happen... maybe.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Alice, you're in love with this boy and you're not marrying him because we are the way we are.
Alice Sycamore: Oh Grandpa.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: I know, you think it wouldn't work out, you think the two families wouldn't get along, well maybe they wouldn't, but whose to say they're right and we're wrong?

Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Well sir, you should've been there, that's all I can say, you should've been there.

Penny Sycamore: Don't the graduates get to say anything, Grandpa?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Oh no, they just sit there in their cap and nightgown, have a diploma handed to them and along 40 years from now suddenly say 'where am I?'

Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Have you been acting long?
Gay Wellington: All my life, I've played everything. Ever see 'Peg O' My Heart'?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Yes!
Gay Wellington: I saw it too, good show.

Penny Sycamore: [Gay Wellington is passed out drunk] Do you think she'll be alright, Grandpa?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Yes but I wouldn't cast her in the religious play.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Penny, if I were you, the next time I met an actress on the top of a bus, I think I'd MAIL them the play instead of bringing them home to read it.

Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: [to Mr. Kirby] Oh, that's just the Grand Duchess Olga Katrina. She's cooking the dinner.

Grand Duchess Olga Katrina: [to Grandpa] Before I make the blintzes, how many will there be for dinner?
Grandpa Martin Vanderhof: Well, I'd make quite a stack, your Highness, you can never tell.
Grand Duchess Olga Katrina: [smiles] Good! The Czar, he always said to me, "Olga... do not be stingy with the blintzes!"