John Dortmunder
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Quotes for
John Dortmunder (Character)
from The Hot Rock (1972)

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The Hot Rock (1972)
Dortmunder: It's good, and it's bad. There's a guaranteed return, and that's good. But the guarantor is Amusa, and Amusa's a rookie, and that's bad. But it's an easily transportable object, and that's good. Only it's in a rotten position in the museum, 30 steps to the quickest exit, and that's bad. And the glass over the stone, that's bad too, because that's glass with metal mixed in it, bulletproof, shatterproof. But the locks don't look impossible, 3, maybe 5 tumblers. But there's no alarm system, and that's the worst, because that means no one's going to get lazy watching, knowing the alarm will pick up their mistakes. Which means the whole thing has got to be a diversion job, and that's good and that's bad, because if the diversion's too big, it'll draw pedestrians, and if the diversion's not big enough, it won't draw that watchman.
Kelp: Dortmunder, I don't know where the hell you are, or what the hell you're saying. Just tell me, will you plan the job?
Dortmunder: [pauses, then smiles] It's what I do.

Dortmunder: Not me. I've got no choice. I'm not superstitious. And I don't believe in jinxes, but that stone's jinxed me and it won't let go. I've been damned near bitten, shot at, peed on and robbed. And worse is gonna happen before it's done. So I'm takin' my stand. I'm going all the way. Either I get it, or it gets me.

Warden: [as he is being released from prison] No matter what institution I'm in, sooner or later I got you inside it. You couldn't, um, really go straight?
Dortmunder: [after a thoughtful pause and an exhale] My heart wouldn't be in it, Frank.

Kelp: [Inquiring about his prison term] So how was it this time?
Dortmunder: Not bad. I learned plumbing.

Abe Greenberg: I am sometime so astute, it's remarkable. There are some things people will not do.
Dortmunder: But there's things that get done that you can't do yourself. There's things that happen that you can make happen! Am I right, Chicken?

Dr. Amusa: I won't pay a penny more than $25,000 a man.
Dortmunder: I didn't ask for any more.
Dr. Amusa: It comes to a total of exactly $100,000. Four men. If you need five, you'll each take less.
Kelp: What if we can do it with three?
Dr. Amusa: That will still be $25,000. I wouldn't want to encourage greed.
Kelp: There's no greed around here, Doctor. We're all men of goodwill.
Dr. Amusa: If I weren't a man of goodwill, I might think that some of us lied about the prison records of others of us. As it is, I know it was only an oversight.

Dortmunder: I was thinking of using Saul Neisser for lock man.
Kelp: Saul's in jail now. They got him for letting a lion loose.

[Persuading Murch against thinking about double-crossing Amusa]
Kelp: Uh, one little problem is that Amusa knows who me and Dortmunder are. And since this stone is this big symbolic thing, I'm not all that anxious to have an entire African nation after my ass, if you don't mind. Blowguns and poison arrows, no thanks.
Dortmunder: I think they're a little more modern now, Andrew.
Kelp: Is that supposed to make me feel better, tommy guns and airplanes?

Mugger: Gee, that's a nice watch. I'd really like that watch.
Dortmunder: Keep goin' to church and maybe God'll reward you.

Dortmunder: Afghanistan Banana Stand.


Why Me? (1990)
Bob the Turk: I warn you, do not make me do something that I would not do, unless someone made me do it because they didn't do something someone told them to do.
Gus Cardinale: Don't worry Bob, I would never do something to make someone do something to someone, because that someone didn't do something that someone wanted them to do.
Bob the Turk: I'm glad we understand each other.
Gus Cardinale: ...Me too.

Gus Cardinale: Bruno, that's the stupidest idea I've ever heard.
Bruno: Don't worry, there's plenty of more where that came from...

[Gus Cardinale is hanging in a wire outside a skyscraper when two CIA agents appear at the roof]
Zachary: Hey, don't try anything stupid down there.
Gus Cardinale: What could be fucking stupider than this?

Gus Cardinale: [about the ring] I wonder what we could get for it.
June Daley: Oh, 20 years, killed, hunted like deer.

June Daley: [about the ring] It's in my safety deposit box.
Gus Cardinale: Good, then we'll go get it.
June Daley: The bank's closed.
Gus Cardinale: We'll get it tomorrow.
June Daley: Tomorrow's Saturday, the bank's closed tomorrow.
Gus Cardinale: Banks are OPEN on Saturdays!
June Daley: Not this one. We can get it Monday.
Gus Cardinale: Monday I'll be in jail!

Bob the Turk: Who do you think has it?
Gus Cardinale: Um, Elvis?
Turk #2: We checked, he has an alibi.

Freedly: [about Gus' real name] Rene? Augustine? Those are girls' names, aren't they?
Gus Cardinale: Not in Switzerland.

Gus Cardinale: Bruno, I'm sorry for everything mankind has ever done to you!
Bruno: That's all right... I'm sure they didn't mean it.


What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001)
Kevin Caffrey: Hold your head up, 'cause you got that double-chin thing going on.

Kevin Caffrey: Can I get a "ouch, that hurts"?

Kevin Caffrey: I am full of de facto, habeas corpus, and Emancipation Proclamation. Most important, I have a very big pro bono.

Berger: It kills me. The leave the light on trick.
Kevin Caffrey: Why don't they just put a sign saying welcome burglers no one home?

Berger: You ever read the papers?
Kevin Caffrey: I used to, but the news kept changing.


Bank Shot (1974)
[Hearing the initial plan to rob the bank]
Walter Upjohn Ballentine: I'm going to get up from this table. I'm going to walk to the nearest police station, and I'm going to turn myself in. And they will take me back to Stryker's funny farm, where at least I was safe...
[He looks around at the others]
Walter Upjohn Ballentine: ...and sane. And I pity the poor schmuck who tries... to stop me.