Joe Orton
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Quotes for
Joe Orton (Character)
from Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

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Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
Joe Orton: I always wanted to be an orphan. I could have, if it wasn't for my parents.

Kenneth Halliwell: Can you spell?
Joe Orton: Yes, but not accurately.

Kenneth Halliwell: Do you want the sardines with the rice pudding or separate?
Joe Orton: With.

[Halliwell puts his hand on Orton's leg. Orton brushes it off]
Joe Orton: No. Have a wank.
Kenneth Halliwell: Have a wank? Have a wank? I can't just have a wank. I need three days' notice to have a wank. You can just stand there and do it. Me, it's like organizing D-Day. Forces have to be assembled, magazines bought, the past dredged for some suitably unsavoury episode, the dog-eared thought of which can still produce a faint flicker of desire! Have a wank, it'd be easier to raise the Titanic.

Kenneth Halliwell: I just want to go to the awards! I could! Look, "Joe Orton and guest." I'd behave. I wouldn't say a word, I promise.
Joe Orton: No.
Kenneth Halliwell: Why?
Joe Orton: Because it's for me. I wrote it.
Kenneth Halliwell: I gave you the title.
Joe Orton: Okay, so when they have awards for titles, you can go to that.

Kenneth Halliwell: At least you can say you've sat in the same chair as T.S. Eliot.
Joe Orton: Yes, I'm never going to wipe my bum again.

Joe Orton: Some of these people are, well, having sexual intercourse.
Kenneth Halliwell: Fucking, you mean? Well, what do you expect? Many of them are from Australia.

Kenneth Halliwell: Writing, John, is one tenth inspiration, nine tenths...
Joe Orton: Masturbation!

Joe Orton: [Ken and Joe are cruising a strange man] He's built like a brick shithouse!
Kenneth Halliwell: He's probably a policeman.
Joe Orton: I know, isn't it wonderful?

Joe Orton: Have you been reading my diary?
Kenneth Halliwell: No.
Joe Orton: Why not? I would.

Joe Orton: [accepting a drama award] My plays are about getting away with it, and the ones who get away with it are the guilty ones. It's the innocents who get it in the neck. But that all seems pretty true to life to me. Not a fantasy at all. I've got away with it *so far*
[hoisting trophy]
Joe Orton: and I'm going to go on.

Joe Orton: I think I'll retire. Lick my wounds. Or have them licked for me.

[Orton is having his portrait painted, naked]
Joe Orton: When I die I want people to say, 'He was the most perfectly developed playwright of his day.'

[Paul McCartney is going to visit and Joe and Kenneth are tidying frantically]
Kenneth Halliwell: This is what it must be like when one meets the Queen!
Joe Orton: Except when one meets the Queen one *generally* hasn't threatened to shove one's typewriter up her arse.

Joe Orton: I take it they
[the Beatles]
Joe Orton: all sleep together...
Brian Epstein: They do NOT.
Joe Orton: But they're all very pretty. I imagined they just had a good time... sang, smoked, fucked everything in sight including each other. I thought that was what success meant.

Joe Orton: [Accepting the Evening Standard award] My plays are about getting away with it and the ones who get away with it are the guilty, it's the innocents who get it in the neck. That all seems pretty true to life to me, not a fantasy at all. I've, got away with it so far, and I'm going to go on. Thank You.

Brian Epstein: I take it they
[the Beatles]
Brian Epstein: all sleep together...
Brian Epstein: They do NOT.
Joe Orton: But they're all very pretty. I imagined they just had a good time... sang, smoked, fucked everything in sight including each other. I thought that was what success meant.