Brick Pollitt
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Quotes for
Brick Pollitt (Character)
from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Brick Pollitt: [Offering Big Daddy morphine] It'll kill the pain, that's all.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: [Wincing with pain] It'll kill the senses too! You... you got pain - at least you know you're alive.
[groans]
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: - It's easin' somewhat now. When you got pain, it's better to judge yourself of a lot of things. I'm not gonna stupify myself with that stuff. I wanna think clear. I want to see everything, and I want to feel everything. Then I won't mind goin'. I've got the guts to die. What I want to know - do you have the guts to live?
Brick Pollitt: I don't know.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: We can start by helping each other up this stairs.

Brick Pollitt: What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: Just staying on it I guess, long as she can.

Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: You know what I feel like? I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof.
Brick Pollitt: Then jump off the roof, Maggie. Jump off it. Cats jump off roofs and land uninjured. Do it. Jump.
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: Jump where? Into what?

Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: You've got to.
Brick Pollitt: I don't have to do anything I don't want to! Now, you keep forgetting the conditions on which I agreed to stay on living with you.
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: I'm not living with you! We occupy the same cage, that's all.

Brick Pollitt: Don't make a fool of yourself, Maggie.
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: I don't mind making a fool of myself over you.
Brick Pollitt: Well, I mind. I feel embarrassed for you.
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: Feel embarrassed? Well, I can't live on this way.
Brick Pollitt: You agreed to accept that condition.
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: I know I did. But I can't! I can't!

Brick Pollitt: But, how in hell on earth can you imagine you're gonna have a child with a man who cannot stand you.

Brick Pollitt: I'm ashamed, Big Daddy. That's why I'm a drunk. When I'm drunk, I can stand myself.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: But it's always there in the mornin', ain't it? The truth and it's here right now!
[They run outside into the rain]
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: You're just feeling sorry for yourself; that's all it is! Self-pity!
[Inside the carport]
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: You didn't kill Skipper. He killed himself. You and Skipper and millions like you are living in a kids' world. Playing games, touchdowns, no worries, no responsibilities. Life ain't no damn football game. Life ain't just a buncha high spots.
[He grabs Brick]
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: You're a thirty-year-old kid. Soon you'll be a fifty-year-old kid. Pretendin' you're hearin' cheers when there ain't any. Dreamin' and drinkin' your life away. Heroes in the real world live twenty-four hours a day, not just two hours in a game. Mendacity! You won't...
[winces in obvious pain]
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: You won't live with mendacity? Well, you're an expert at it! The truth is pain and sweat and payin' bills and makin' love to a woman that you don't love any more. Truth is dreams that don't come true, and nobody prints your name in the paper 'til you die.

Brick Pollitt: Careful Maggie, your claws are showing.

Dixie Pollitt: Why is Uncle Brick on the floor?
Brick Pollitt: Because I tried to kill your Aunt Maggie. But I failed. And I fell.

Brick Pollitt: People like doing what they used to do, after they've stopped being able to do it.

Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: We've still got one thing on our side. No, two things. Are my seams straight? Big Daddy dotes on you, Brick. He can't stand Brother Man and Brother Man's wife. That fertility monster, she's downright odious to him, I can tell. That's the second thing we've got on our side. He likes me. The way he looks me up and down and over, he's still got an eye for girls.
Brick Pollitt: That kind of talk is disgusting.
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: Did anybody ever tell you you're a back-aching Puritan, Brick? I think it's a fine thing that a man on the doorstep of death can still look at a woman like me with what I call deserved appreciation.

Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: Grown-ups don't hang up on their friends! And they don't hang up on their wives and they don't hang up on life! That's the truth and that's what you can't face!
Brick Pollitt: Can you face the truth?
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: Try me.
Brick Pollitt: Sure, somebody else's truth.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: So you're running again?
Brick Pollitt: Yeah, I am! Running from lies like birthday congratulations and many happy returns when there won't be any!
[pause]
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: What did you say?
Brick Pollitt: Forget it.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: Won't be any happy returns?
Brick Pollitt: Please just let me go home. Leave the place to Goober and Mae.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: Leave the place? Who said I was gonna leave the place? I'll outlive you! I'll bury you!

Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: So you bought me a birthday present, huh?
Brick Pollitt: No sir, Maggie bought it.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: She's got good taste, that girl.
Brick Pollitt: In some things, yes, but not in men.

Brick Pollitt: Why'd you let Mama buy all this stuff?
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: The human animal is a beast that must die. If he's got money, he buys and buys and buys everything he can, in the crazy hope one of those things will be life-everlasting, which it can never be. I've suddenly noticed you don't call me Big Daddy anymore. If you needed a big daddy, why didn't you come to me? If you needed someone to lean on, why Skipper? Why not me? I'm your father! Why didn't you come to your kinfolk, the people that love you?
Brick Pollitt: You don't know what love means! To you, it's just another four-letter word.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: You've got a mighty short memory! What was there you ever wanted that I didn't buy?
Brick Pollitt: You can't buy love!
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: Who do you think I bought it for? It's yours! The place, the money, everything's yours!
Brick Pollitt: I don't want things!

Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: This was what my father left me, this lousy old suitcase! And on the inside was nothing, nothing but his uniform from the Spanish-American war. That was his legacy to me! Nothing at all! And I built this place from nothing.
Brick Pollitt: That was all he left you?
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: He was a hobo, the best-known tramp on the boxcar circuit. He'd worked once in awhile as a field hand, and I'd tag along. Sat on my bare bottom in the dirt, waiting for him. Outside of hunger, the first thing I remember is shame. I was ashamed of that miserable old tramp. I was riding boxcars with him when I was nine, something you never had to do. You'll never have to bury me the way I buried him. I buried him in a meadow alongside a railroad track. He was running to catch a freight and his heart give out. You know something? That old tramp died laughing.
Brick Pollitt: Laughing at what?
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: Himself, I guess. Old hobo tramp, not a nickel to his name, no future, no past.
Brick Pollitt: Maybe he was laughing because he was happy. Happy at having you with him. He took you everywhere. He kept you with him.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: I don't want to talk about that.
[pause]
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: Yeah, I loved him. I reckon I never loved anything as much as that lousy old tramp.
Brick Pollitt: And you say he left you nothing but a suitcase with a uniform in it?
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: And some memories.
Brick Pollitt: And love.

Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: Look, Mama, he's wearing Brick's birthday present. I haven't given you my present yet, but I will now. I have an announcement to make.
Mae Pollitt: What kind of an announcement?
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: An announcement of life beginning. A child is coming, sired by Brick out of Maggie the cat. I have Brick's child in my body, and that is my present to you.
Mae Pollitt: Did you ever in all your born days hear such a bold-faced lie?
Gooper Pollitt: Shut up.
Ida 'Big Momma' Pollitt: [kissing Maggie] Thank you. Thank you very much.
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: Yes indeed, this girl has life in her body. And that's no lie. Gooper, I want to talk to my lawyer in the morning. Brick?
Brick Pollitt: Yes, Big Daddy?
Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: I'm going to go out and look this place over before I give it up. The place and the people on it.

Brick Pollitt: A family crisis brings out the best and the worst in every member of the family.
Gooper Pollitt: That's the truth.
Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: Amen.
Mae Pollitt: You want to talk about the truth? You're not pregnant!
Gooper Pollitt: Keep still, Mae.
Mae Pollitt: She's making it up!
Gooper Pollitt: I said shut up.
Mae Pollitt: Don't you try to kid us, Maggie!
Brick Pollitt: Mae, she's not kidding you.
Mae Pollitt: How can she be pregnant by you when you won't even...
Gooper Pollitt: Mae, will you be quiet!
Mae Pollitt: We occupy the next room and the walls between aren't soundproof. We hear the nightly pleadings and the nightly refusals!
Brick Pollitt: Not everybody makes as much noise about love as you do.
Mae Pollitt: Brick, I never thought you would stoop to her level!
Brick Pollitt: You heard what Big Daddy said. That girl's got life in her body.
Mae Pollitt: That's a lie!

Margaret "Maggie" Pollitt: Thank you for keeping still, for backing me up in my lie.
Brick Pollitt: Maggie, we're through with lies and liars in this house. Lock the door.

Brick Pollitt: Big Daddy, Big Daddy. Now, what makes him so big? His big heart, his big belly, or his big money?