The Wizard of Oz (1939) Poster

Bert Lahr: 'Zeke', The Cowardly Lion



  • The Scarecrow : I've got a plan how to get in there.

    The Cowardly Lion : Fine. He's got a plan.

    The Scarecrow : And you're going to lead us.

    The Cowardly Lion : Yeah... me?

    The Scarecrow : Yes, you.

    The Cowardly Lion : I... I gotta get her out of there?

    The Tin Man : That's right.

    The Cowardly Lion : [determined]  All right. I'll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I'll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I'm going in there. There's only one thing I want you fellas to do.

    The Scarecrow , The Tin Man : What's that?

    The Cowardly Lion : Talk me out of it.

  • Dorothy : Your Majesty, if you were king, you wouldn't be afraid of anything?

    The Cowardly Lion : Not nobody! Not nohow!

    The Tin Man : Not even a rhinoceros?

    The Cowardly Lion : Imposerous!

    Dorothy : How about a hippopotamus?

    The Cowardly Lion : Why, I'd thrash him from top to bottomus!

    Dorothy : Supposing you met an elephant?

    The Cowardly Lion : I'd wrap him up in cellophant!

    The Scarecrow : What if it were a brontosaurus?

    The Cowardly Lion : I'd show him who was king of the forest!

  • The Cowardly Lion : Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?

    Dorothy , The Scarecrow , The Tin Man : Courage!

    The Cowardly Lion : You can say that again! Huh?

  • The Scarecrow : Help! Help! Help!

    [the Flying Monkeys walking away, Tin Man and the Lion comes to him] 

    The Tin Man : Well, what happened to you?

    The Scarecrow : They tore my legs off and they threw it over there! Then, they took my chest off and they threw it over there!

    The Tin Man : Well, that's you all over.

    The Cowardly Lion : They sure knocked the stuffings out of you, didn't they?

    The Scarecrow : Don't stand there talking, put me together. We've got to find Dorothy.

    [the Tin Man and the Lion trying the fix the Scarecrow] 

    The Tin Man : Now, let's see.

  • Dorothy : My goodness, what a fuss you're making! Well naturally, when you go around picking on things weaker than you are. Why, you're nothing but a great big coward!

    The Cowardly Lion : [crying]  You're right, I am a coward! I haven't any courage at all. I even scare myself.


    The Cowardly Lion : Look at the circles under my eyes. I haven't slept in weeks!

    The Tin Man : Why don't you try counting sheep?

    The Cowardly Lion : That doesn't do any good, I'm afraid of 'em.

    [sobs loud] 

    The Scarecrow : Aw, that's too bad.

  • The Cowardly Lion : I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks. I do, I do, I do, I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do, I do!

    The Wicked Witch of the West : Ah! You'll believe in more than that before I'm finished with you.

  • The Cowardly Lion : [singing]  If I were king of the fore-e-e-est / Not queen, not duke, not prince / My regal robes of the fore-e-e-est / Would be satin, not cotton, not chintz / I'd command each thing, whether fish or fowl / With a r-r-ruff and a r-r-ruff, and a royal growl - R-R-Ruff! / As I click my heels / All the trees would kneel / And the mountains bow / And the bulls kowtow / And the sparrow would take wing / If I, if I were ki-i-i-i-ng! / The rabbits would show respect to me / The chipmunks genuflect to me / Though my tail would lash / I would show compash / For every underling / If I, if I were king / Just ki-i-i-i-ing!

  • The Cowardly Lion : Put 'em up, put 'em up! Which one of you first? I'll fight you both together if you want. I'll fight you with one paw tied behind my back. I'll fight you standing on one foot. I'll fight you with my eyes closed... ohh, pullin' an axe on me, eh? Sneaking up on me, eh? Why, I'll... Ruff!

  • Dorothy : Goodbye, Tinman. Oh, don't cry! You'll rust so dreadfully. Here's your oil can.

    The Tin Man : Now I know I've got a heart, 'cause it's breaking...

    Dorothy : Goodbye, Lion. I know it isn't right, but I'm going to miss the way you used to hollar for help before you found your courage.

    The Cowardly Lion : I never would've found it if it hadn't been for you...

    Dorothy : [to Scarecrow]  I think I'm going to miss you most of all.

  • The Cowardly Lion : [singing]  I'd be brave as a blizzard...

    The Tin Man : [singing]  I'd be gentle as a lizard...

    The Scarecrow : [singing]  I'd be clever as a gizzard...

    Dorothy : [singing]  If the Wizard is a wizard who will serve.

    The Scarecrow : [singing]  Then I'm sure to get a brain...

    The Tin Man : [singing]  A heart...

    Dorothy : [singing]  A home...

    The Cowardly Lion : [singing]  The nerve!

  • The Cowardly Lion : Read what my medal says: "Courage". Ain't it the truth? Ain't it the truth?

  • 'Zeke' : [to pigs]  Get in there, before I make a dime bank out of you.

  • The Cowardly Lion : I- I- I hope my strength holds out.

    The Tin Man : [hanging by Lion's tail]  I hope your tail holds out!

  • The Cowardly Lion : I'll get you anyway, Pee-wee.

    [Chases Toto; Dorothy hits him on the nose] 

    Dorothy : Shame on you!

    The Cowardly Lion : [sobbing]  Why did you do that for? I didn't bite him.

    Dorothy : No, but you tried to. It's bad enough picking on a straw man, but picking on a little dog.

    The Cowardly Lion : Well, you didn't have to go and hit me! Is my nose bleeding?

    Dorothy : Well, of course not.

  • The Cowardly Lion : Come on, get up and fight, you shivering junkyard!

    [goes over to the Scarecrow] 

    The Cowardly Lion : And put your hands up, you lopsided bag of hay!

    The Scarecrow : Now that's getting personal, Lion.

    The Tin Man : Yes. Get up and teach him a lesson.

    The Scarecrow : Well, what's wrong with you teaching him?

    The Tin Man : Well, I hardly know him.

  • 'Zeke' : It's a twister! It's a twister!

  • The Cowardly Lion : [to Toto who is barking at him]  I'll get you anyway Pee Wee!

  • The Wizard of Oz : Can I believe my eyes? Why have you come back?

    Dorothy : Please, sir, we've done what you told us: we've brought you the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. We melted her.

    The Wizard of Oz : Ah, you liquidated her, eh? Very resourceful.

    Dorothy : Yes, sir. So we'd like you to keep your promise to us, if you please, sir.

    The Wizard of Oz : Not so fast, not so fast! I'll have to give the matter a little thought. Go away and come back tomorrow.

    Dorothy : Tomorrow? Oh, but I want to go home now!

    The Tin Man : You've had plenty of time already!

    The Cowardly Lion : Yeahhh...

    The Wizard of Oz : Do not arouse the wrath of the Great and Powerful Oz! I said, come back tomorrow!

    [Toto runs off to hide under a curtain] 

    Dorothy : If you were really great and powerful, you'd keep your promises!

    The Wizard of Oz : Do you presume to criticize the Great Oz? You ungrateful creatures! Think yourselves lucky that I'm giving you audience tomorrow instead of 20 years from now!

    [Toto pulls the curtain aside, revealing the real Wizard of Oz as a short, middle-aged man with blond hair] 

    The Wizard of Oz : Oh... The Great Oz has spoken! Oh!

    [the Wizard hides behind the curtain, even though Dorothy and her friends have seen the real Wizard] 

    The Wizard of Oz : [stammers nervously]  Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! The great and - Oz has spoken!

    Dorothy : Who are you?

    The Wizard of Oz : I am the great and powerful... Wizard of Oz.

    [his voice lowers at the end of his sentence] 

    Dorothy : You are? I don't believe you.

    The Wizard of Oz : [timidly]  I'm afraid it's true; there's no other Wizard, except me.

    The Scarecrow : You humbug!

    The Cowardly Lion : Yeahhh!

    The Wizard of Oz : [ashamedly]  Yes, that's exactly so. I'm a humbug.

    Dorothy : You're a very bad man!

    The Wizard of Oz : Oh, no, my dear, I'm a very good man; I'm just a very bad wizard.

  • The Cowardly Lion : [noticing the snow that fallen on the poppy field]  Unusual weather we're having, ain't it?

  • The Gatekeeper : Who rang that bell?

    Dorothy , The Scarecrow , The Cowardly Lion , The Tin Man : [all four together]  We did!

    The Gatekeeper : Can't you read?

    The Scarecrow : Read what?

    The Gatekeeper : The notice!

    Dorothy , The Scarecrow , The Cowardly Lion , The Tin Man : What notice?

    The Gatekeeper : It's on the door - as plain as the nose on my face! It... oh...

    [does a tsking, expression, goes inside door for a moment. He hangs the notice and goes back inside] 

    Dorothy , The Scarecrow , The Cowardly Lion , The Tin Man : [Reading notice, all together]  Bell out of order, please knock.

    [Dorothy knocks the door and he opens the window] 

    The Gatekeeper : Well, that's more like it! Now, state your business!

    Dorothy , The Scarecrow , The Cowardly Lion , The Tin Man : [all together]  We want to see the Wizard!

    The Gatekeeper : [gasps]  The Wizard? But, nobody can see the Great Oz! Nobody's ever seen the Great Oz! Even, I've never seen him!

    Dorothy : Well, then how do you know there is one?

    The Gatekeeper : Because, he... I... Oh, you're wasting my time.

    [starts to close the window] 

    Dorothy : Oh, please. Please, sir. I've got to see the Wizard. The Good Witch of the North sent me.

    The Gatekeeper : Prove it.

    The Scarecrow : She's wearing the ruby slippers, she gave her.

    The Gatekeeper : Oh, so she is! Well, bust my buttons! Why didn't you say that in the first place? That's a horse of a different color! Come on in!

  • The Scarecrow : What about the heart that you promised Tin Man? Or the courage you promised Lion?

    The Cowardly Lion , The Tin Man : And Scarecrow's brain?

  • 'Zeke' : Listen, kid. Are you gonna try and let that old Gulch heifer try and buffalo ya'? She ain't nothing to be afraid of. Have a little courage, that's all.

    Dorothy : I'm not afraid of her.

    'Zeke' : Well then, next time she squawks, walk right up to her and spit in her eye. That's what I'd do.

  • [the Cowardly Lion has just received a Courage Medal from the Wizard of Oz] 

    The Cowardly Lion : Shucks, folks, I'm speechless. Ha Ha!

  • The Tin Man : Here, here. Go away and let us alone.

    The Cowardly Lion : Oh, scared, huh? Afraid, huh? Ah, how long can you stay fresh in that can? Ha ha ha ha.

  • The Cowardly Lion : [singing]  I'm afraid there's no denyin' / I'm just a dandy-lion / A fate I don't deserve / I'm sure I could show my prowess / Be a lion, not a mouse / If I only had the nerve.

  • The Cowardly Lion : [getting a panic attack walking into the Wizard's foyer]  Wait a minute, Fellows. I was just thinking. I really don't want to see the Wizard this much. I'd better wait for you outside.

    The Scarecrow : What's the matter?

    The Tin Man : Oh, he's just a scared again.

    Dorothy : Don't you know the Wizard's going to give you some courage?

    The Cowardly Lion : I'd be too scared to ask him for it.


    Dorothy : Well then, we'll ask him for you.

    The Cowardly Lion : I'd sooner wait outside.

    Dorothy : Why? Why?

    The Cowardly Lion : Because I'm still scared.


  • Dorothy : You ought to be ashamed of yourself, frightening him like that when he came for you to help!

    The Wizard of Oz : [booming voice]  Silence, whippersnapper! The beneficent Oz has every intention of granting your requests!

    The Cowardly Lion : What's that? What'd he say?

    Dorothy : Oh, come on.

    [pulls the Lion up] 

    The Cowardly Lion : Huh, what'd he say?

    The Wizard of Oz : [booming voice]  But first, you must prove yourselves worthy by performing a very small task. Bring me the broomstick of the Witch of the West.

    The Tin Man : But if we do that, We'll have to kill her to get it.

    The Wizard of Oz : [booming voice]  Bring me her broomstick, and I'll grant your requests. Now, go!

    The Cowardly Lion : But... but, what if she kills us first?

    The Wizard of Oz : [booming voice]  I said GO!

    [the Cowardly Lion jumps with fright and running of the Wizard's throne room, jumps out of the window] 

See also

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