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Prick Up Your Ears (1987) Poster

Quotes

Joe Orton: I always wanted to be an orphan. I could have, if it wasn't for my parents.

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Kenneth Halliwell: I can't remember when you last touched my cock. Well, I can actually. It was about two years ago. Only I can't remember the actual date. Pity. I could have put it in my diary. "The last time Joe touched my cock. Grouse shooting begins"

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Kenneth Halliwell: The whole point about irrational behavior is that it IS irrational!

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Kenneth Halliwell: Can you spell?

Joe Orton: Yes, but not accurately.

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Leonie Orton: [Mingling Joe's and Ken's ashes] I think I'm putting in more of Joe than I am of Kenneth.

Peggy Ramsay: It's a gesture dear, not a recipe.

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Kenneth Halliwell: Do you want the sardines with the rice pudding or separate?

Joe Orton: With.

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Kenneth Halliwell: [preparing to dictate an offensive letter] Seat yourself at our trusty Remington, John, and we shall piss on this person from a great height.

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[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.

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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.

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Peggy Ramsay: Prison gives a writer credentials.

John Lahr: Everyone else, it takes them away.

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Kenneth Halliwell: Cheap clothes suit you. It's because you're from the gutter.

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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.

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Mrs. Sugden: Do you notice I'm limping? Spilled a hot drink down my dress. My vagina came up like a football.

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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.

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Kenneth Halliwell: Writing, John, is one tenth inspiration, nine tenths...

Joe Orton: Masturbation!

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Peggy Ramsay: Ken was the first wife. He did all the work and the waiting and then...

John Lahr: Well, first wives don't usually beat their husbands' heads in.

Peggy Ramsay: No. Though why I can't think.

John Lahr: So what does that make you? The second wife?

Peggy Ramsay: Better than that, dear. The widow.

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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?

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Joe Orton: Have you been reading my diary?

Kenneth Halliwell: No.

Joe Orton: Why not? I would.

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Peggy Ramsay: At moments of triumph, men can do without their wives... But sharing is what wives want.

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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.

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

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[Orton is having his portrait painted, naked]

Joe Orton: I want everyone to know I was the best developed playwright of my generation.

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[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.

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Counsil: [at Joe and Kenneth's trial] This is the novel "Clouds of Witness" by the noted authoress Dorothy L. Sayers. Could you read what the accused have written on the flap of the jacket?

Policeman: "When little Betty McDree says that she has been interfered with, her mother at first laughs. It is only something the kiddy has picked up off the television. But when, on sorting through the laundry, Mrs McDree discovers that a new pair of Betty's knickers are missing, she thinks again. Her mother takes little Betty to the police station and, to everyone's surprise, the little girl identifies PC Brenda Coolidge as her attacker. A search is made of the Women's Police Barracks. What is found there is a seven-inch phallus and a pair of knickers of the kind used by Betty. All looks black for kindly PC Coolidge. What can she do? This is one of the most enthralling stories ever written by Miss Sayers. Read this behind closed doors..."

[He pauses, embarrassed]

Policeman: "... And have a good shit while you are reading."

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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.

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Anthea's Mother: [Translating the shorthand from Joe's diary] Then went into mum's bedroom and arranged the dressing table mirrors and had a lovely long slow, wink.

Anthea Lahr: Wink? Are you sure that's an 'I'?

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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.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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