Margo: Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!
Margo: Bill's thirty-two. He looks thirty-two. He looked it five years ago, he'll look it twenty years from now. I hate men.
Margo: Funny business, a woman's career - the things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you'll need them again when you get back to being a woman. That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted. And in the last analysis, nothing's any good unless you can look up just before dinner or turn around in bed, and there he is. Without that, you're not a woman. You're something with a French provincial office or a book full of clippings, but you're not a woman. Slow curtain, the end.
Margo: So many people know me. I wish I did. I wish someone would tell me about me.
Karen: You're Margo, just Margo.
Margo: And what is that, besides something spelled out in light bulbs, I mean - besides something called a temperament, which consists mostly of swooping about on a broomstick and screaming at the top of my voice? Infants behave the way I do, you know. They carry on and misbehave - they'd get drunk if they knew how - when they can't have what they want, when they feel unwanted or insecure or unloved.
[a butler passes by]
Miss Casswell: Oh, waiter!
Addison DeWitt: That is not a waiter, my dear, that is a butler.
Miss Casswell: Well, I can't yell "Oh butler!" can I? Maybe somebody's name is Butler.
Addison DeWitt: You have a point. An idiotic one, but a point.
Miss Casswell: I don't want to make trouble. All I want is a drink.
Max Fabian: Leave it to me. I'll get you one.
Miss Casswell: Thank you, Mr. Fabian.
Addison DeWitt: Well done! I can see your career rise in the east like the sun.
Margo: Nice speech, Eve. But I wouldn't worry too much about your heart. You can always put that award where your heart ought to be.
Addison DeWitt: That I should want you at all, suddenly strikes me as the height of improbability. But that, in itself, is probably the reason. You're an improbable person, Eve, and so am I. We have that in common. Also, our contempt for humanity and inability to love, and be loved, insatiable ambition, and talent. We deserve each other.
Lloyd Richards: I shall never understand the weird process by which a body with a voice suddenly fancies itself as a mind. Just when exactly does an actress decide they're HER words she's speaking and HER thoughts she's expressing?
Margo: Usually at the point where she has to rewrite and rethink them, to keep the audience from leaving the theatre!
Margo: Lloyd, honey, be a playwright with guts. Write me one about a nice normal woman who just shoots her husband.
Birdie: What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end.
Addison DeWitt: [voiceover] Margo Channing is a star of the theater. She made her first stage appearance at the age of four in Midsummer Night's Dream. She played a fairy and entered, quite unexpectedly, stark naked. She has been a star ever since. Margo is a great star, a true star. She never was or will be anything less or anything else.
Addison DeWitt: And what's your name?
Addison DeWitt: Phoebe?
Phoebe: I call myself Phoebe.
Addison DeWitt: And why not? Tell me, Phoebe, do you want someday to have an award like that of your own?
Phoebe: More than anything else in the world.
Addison DeWitt: Then you must ask Miss Harrington how to get one. Miss Harrington knows all about it.
Margo: I'll admit I may have seen better days, but I'm still not to be had for the price of a cocktail, like a salted peanut.
Birdie: The bed looks like a dead animal act.
Addison DeWitt: [voiceover intro] Those of you who do not read, attend the theater, listen to unsponsored radio programs, or know anything of the world in which you live, it is perhaps necessary to introduce myself. My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it, I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theater.
Addison DeWitt: You're maudlin and full of self-pity. You're magnificent!
Bill Sampson: This is my cue to take you in my arms and reassure you. But I'm not going to - I'm too mad.
Bill Sampson: Mad! Darling, there are certain characteristics for which you are famous, on stage and off. I love you for some of them, in spite of others. I haven't let those become too important. They're part of your equipment for getting along in what is laughingly called our environment. You have to keep your teeth sharp - all right - but I will not have you sharpen them on me, or on Eve!
Margo: What about her teeth? What about her fangs?
Bill Sampson: She hasn't cut them yet, and you know it! So when you start judging an idealistic, dreamy-eyed kid by the barroom Benzedrine standards of this megalomaniac society, I won't have it! Eve Harrington has never, by word, look, thought, or suggestion indicated anything to me but her adoration for you and her happiness at our being in love. And to intimate anything else doesn't spell jealousy to me - it spells a paranoiac insecurity that you should be ashamed of!
Margo: Cut! Print it! What happens in the next reel? Do I get dragged off screaming to the snake pits?
Margo: I detest cheap sentiment.
Bill Sampson: The Theatuh, the Theatuh - what book of rules says the Theater exists only within some ugly buildings crowded into one square mile of New York City? Or London, Paris or Vienna? Listen, junior. And learn. Want to know what the Theater is? A flea circus. Also opera. Also rodeos, carnivals, ballets, Indian tribal dances, Punch and Judy, a one-man band - all Theater. Wherever there's magic and make-believe and an audience - there's Theater. Donald Duck, Ibsen, and The Lone Ranger, Sarah Bernhardt, Poodles Hanneford, Lunt and Fontanne, Betty Grable, Rex and Wild, and Eleanora Duse. You don't understand them all, you don't like them all, why should you? The Theater's for everybody - you included, but not exclusively - so don't approve or disapprove. It may not be your Theater, but it's Theater of somebody, somewhere.
Addison DeWitt: There never was, and there never will be, another like you.
Bill Sampson: Wherever there's magic and make-believe and an audience, there's theatre.
Addison DeWitt: We all come into this world with our little egos equipped with individual horns. If we don't blow them, who else will?
Addison DeWitt: Too bad, we're gonna miss the third act. They're gonna play it offstage.
Addison DeWitt: Why not read my column to pass the time? The minutes will fly like hours.
Margo: Heaven help me. I love a psychotic!
Addison DeWitt: We all have abnormalities in common. We're a breed apart from the rest of humanity, we theatre folk. We are the original displaced personalities.
Margo: You're not much of a bargain, you know. You're conceited and thoughtless and messy.
Addison DeWitt: [voiceover] The minor awards, as you can see, have already been presented. Minor awards are for such as the writer and director, since their function is merely to construct a tower so that the world can applaud a light which flashes on top of it. And no brighter light has ever dazzled the eye than Eve Harrington.
Bill Sampson: [to Eve] "Don't let it worry you", said the camera man, "Even De Mille couldn't see anything looking through the wrong end!" So that was the first and last...
Margo: [entering] Don't let me kill the point. Or isn't it a story for grownups?
Bill Sampson: You've heard it - about the time I looked into the wrong end of the camera finder.
Margo: Remind me to tell you about the time I looked into the heart of an artichoke.
Eve: I'd like to hear it.
Margo: Some snowy night, in front of the fire.
Margo: Margo Channing is ageless - spoken like a press agent.
Lloyd Richards: I know what I'm talking about. After all, they're my plays.
Margo: Spoken like an author. Lloyd, I'm not twenty-ish, I'm not thirty-ish. Three months ago I was forty years old. Forty. Four O. That slipped out. I hadn't quite made up my mind to admit it. Now I suddenly feel as if I've taken all my clothes off.
Margo: I'll admit I may have seen better days, but I'm still not to be had for the price of a cocktail like a salted peanut.
Margo: Where is Princess... fire and music?
Addison DeWitt: Well, Max has gone to a great deal of trouble. This is going to be an elaborate party, and it's for you.
Eve: No it isn't.
[raises the award statuette]
Eve: It's for this.
Addison DeWitt: It's the same thing, isn't it?
Eve: Exactly. Here, take it to the party instead of me.
[hands it to him]
Eve: If nothing else, there's applause... like waves of love pouring over the footlights.
[on theatrical producers]
Miss Casswell: Why do they always look like unhappy rabbits?
Bill Sampson: Don't cry. Just score it as an incomplete forward pass.
Lloyd Richards: The atmosphere is very MacBeth-ish... what has, or is about to, happen?
Lloyd Richards: There are very few moments in life as good as this. Let's remember it. To each of us and all of us, never have we been more close, may we never be farther apart.
Margo: [to Bill] You be the host. It's your party. Happy birthday, welcome home, and we who are about to die salute you.
[Margo is getting drunk at the party]
Bill Sampson: Many of your guests have been wondering when they may be permitted to view the body. Where has it been laid out?
Margo: It hasn't been laid out, we haven't finished with the embalming. As a matter of fact, you're looking at it - the remains of Margo Channing, sitting up. It is my last wish to be buried sitting up.
Max Fabian: Let the rest of the world beat their brains out for a buck. It's friends that count. And I got friends.
Margo: Peace and quiet is for libraries!
Margo: She thinks only of me, doesn't she?
Birdie: Well, let's say she thinks only about you, anyway.
Margo: How do you mean that?
Birdie: I'll tell you how: like... like she's studying you, like you was a play or a book or a set of blueprints - how you walk, talk, eat, think, sleep...
Margo: I'm sure that's very flattering, Birdie. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with it.
Bill Sampson: Looks like I'm going to have a very fancy party...
Margo: I thought you were going to be late.
Bill Sampson: When I'm guest of honor?
Margo: I had no idea you were even here.
Bill Sampson: I ran into Eve on my way upstairs; she told me you were dressing.
Margo: That never stopped you before.
Bill Sampson: Well, we started talking, she wanted to know all about Hollywood, she seemed so interested...
Margo: She's a girl of so many interests.
Bill Sampson: It's a pretty rare quality these days.
Margo: She's a girl of so many rare qualities.
Bill Sampson: So she seems.
Margo: So you've pointed out, so often. So many qualities, so often. Her loyalty, efficiency, devotion, warmth, affection - and so young. So young and so fair...
Karen: This beats all records for running, standing or jumping gall.
Birdie: We now got everything a dressing room needs except a basketball hoop.
Margo: Please don't play governess, Karen. I haven't your unyielding good taste. I wish *I* could have gone to Radcliffe, too, but Father wouldn't hear of it... He needed help behind the notions counter
Margo: [continues] I'm being rude now, aren't I? Or should I say "ain't I"?
Addison DeWitt: You're maudlin and full of self-pity. You're magnificent.
Karen: [Eve walks in, carrying the fur coat of a new arrival to Margo's party] Who'd show up at this hour? It's time people went home. Hold that coat up.
Karen: [Eve holds up a luxurious full-length fur coat, Karen lets out a whistle] Whose is it?
Eve: Some Hollywood movie star's. Her plane got in late.
Karen: Discouraging, isn't it? Women with furs like that where it never even gets cold.
[tosses the fur coat on the bed]
Karen: [narrating] Newton, they say, thought of gravity by getting hit on the head by an apple. And the man who invented the steam-engine, he was watching a teakettle. But not me. My big idea came to me just sitting on a couch. That boot in the rear to Margo. Heaven knows, she had one coming. From me, from Lloyd, from Eve, Bill, Max and so on. We'd all felt those size fives of hers often enough. But how? The answer was buzzing around me like a fly. I had it. But I let it go. Screaming and calling names is one thing, but this could mean...
Karen: [continues] Why not? "Why," I said to myself, "not?" It would all seem perfectly legitimate. And only two people in the world would know. Also, the boot would land where it would do the most good for all concerned. After all, it was no more than a harmless joke which Margo herself would be the first to enjoy. And no reason why she shouldn't be told about it... in time.
Karen: [on the phone, calling Eve to let her in on her little "joke"] Hello. Will you please call Miss Eve Harrington to the phone?
Eve: I will regard this great honor not so much as an award for what I have achieved, but a standard to hold against what I have yet to accomplish.
Margo: I'm a junkyard.
Karen: Where were we going that night, Lloyd and I? Funny, the things you remember and the things you don't.
Karen: Nothing is forever in the Theatre. Whatever it is, it's here, it flares up, burns hot and then its gone.
Eve: I'll never forget this night as long as I live, and I'll never forget you for making it possible.
Eve: When you're a secretary in a brewery, it's pretty hard to make-believe you're anything else. Everything is beer.
Bill Sampson: Real diamonds in a wig, the world we live in.
Margo: Bill's welcome home birthday party might go down in history. Even before the party started, I could smell disaster in the air. I knew it, I sensed it, even as I finished dressing for the blasted party.
Aged Actor: Surely, no actor is older than I. I've earned my place out of the sun.
Bill Sampson: I can't believe you're making this up. It sounds like something out of an old Clyde Fitch play!
Margo: Clyde Fitch, though you may not think so, was well before my time.
Bill Sampson: I've always denied the legend that you were in "Our American Cousin" the night Lincoln was shot.
Margo: I *don't* think that's funny!
Addison DeWitt: What do you take me for?
Eve: I don't know that I'd take you for anything.
Addison DeWitt: Is it possible, even conceivable, that you've confused me with that gang of backward children you play tricks on, that you have the same contempt for me as you have for them?
Eve: I'm sure you mean something by that, Addison, but I don't know what?
Addison DeWitt: Look closely, Eve. It's time you did. I am Addison DeWitt. I am nobody's fool, least of all yours.
Eve: I never intended you to be.
Addison DeWitt: Yes you did, and you still do.
Eve: I still don't know what you're getting at, but right now I want to take my nap. It's important...
Addison DeWitt: It's important right now that we talk, killer to killer.
Eve: Champion to champion.
Addison DeWitt: Not with me, you're no champion. You're stepping way up in class.
Eve: Addison, will you please say what you have to say, plainly and distinctly, and then get out, so I can take my nap?
Addison DeWitt: Very well - plainly and distinctly - though I consider it unnecessary because you know as well as I do what I'm going to say: Lloyd may leave Karen, but he will not leave Karen for you.
Eve: What do you mean by that?
Addison DeWitt: More plainly and more distinctly: I have not come to New Haven to see the play, discuss your dreams, or pull the ivy from the walls of Yale. I have come here to tell you that you will not marry Lloyd, or anyone else for that matter, because I will not permit it.
Eve: What have you got to do with it?
Addison DeWitt: Everything, because after tonight, you will belong to me.
Eve: Belong? To you? I can't believe my ears!
Addison DeWitt: What a dull cliché.
Eve: Belong to you - why, that sounds medieval, something out of an old melodrama!
Addison DeWitt: So does the history of the world for the past twenty years. I don't enjoy putting it as bluntly as this. Frankly, I'd hoped that somehow you would have known, that you would have taken it for granted that you and I...
Eve: Taken it for granted that you and I...
Addison DeWitt: [slaps her] Now, remember, as long as you live, never to laugh at me - at anything or anyone else, but never at me.
Eve: [walks to the door and opens it] Get out!
Addison DeWitt: You're too short for that gesture. Besides, it went out with Mrs. Fiske.
Margo: I distinctly remember, Addison, crossing you off of my guest list. What are you doing here?
Addison DeWitt: Dear Margo, you were an unforgettable Peter Pan. You must play it again, soon. You remember Miss Casswell.
Margo: I do not. How do you do?
Miss Casswell: We've never met. Maybe that's why?
Addison DeWitt: Miss Casswell is an actress, a graduate of the Copacabana school of the dramatic arts.
Addison DeWitt: Ah, Eve.
Eve: Good evening, Mr. DeWitt.
Margo: I'd no idea you two knew each other.
Addison DeWitt: This must be at long last our formal introduction. Until now, we've only met in passing.
Miss Casswell: That's how you met me... in passing.
Margo: Eve, this is an old friend of Mr. DeWitt's mother. Miss Casswell, Miss Harrington.
Eve: Miss Casswell.
Miss Casswell: How do you do?
Margo: Addison, I've been waiting for you to meet Eve for the longest time.
Addison DeWitt: It could only have been your natural timidity that kept you from mentioning it.
Margo: You've heard of her great interest in the theater.
Addison DeWitt: We have that in common.
Margo: Then you two must have a long talk.
Eve: I'm afraid Mr. DeWitt would find me boring.
Miss Casswell: You won't bore him long, you won't get a chance to talk.
Addison DeWitt: Claudia, come here.
[takes her aside]
Addison DeWitt: You see that man, that's Max Fabian, the producer. Now, go do yourself some good.
Miss Casswell: Why do they always look like unhappy rabbits?
Addison DeWitt: Because that's what they are.
[taking her coat]
Addison DeWitt: Now, go and make him happy.
[goes back to Margo and drapes the coat over her arm]
Addison DeWitt: Now, don't worry about your little charge, she'll be in safe hands.
[walks off with Eve]
Margo: [watches them go, then lifts her martini] Ah-men.