The Great Line (1978)
( Theme music playing )
So you think you can chug-a-lug, huh?
Okay, come on.
And he says, "If I could do it in my living room, I wouldn't have to do it in the back of your cab."
( laughter )
Hey, Tony, this guy wants to chug-a-lug against you.
Oh, yeah? What's the bet?
( Murmuring )
Hey, we'll all chip in.
Come on, ante up, you guys. Ten each?
A pitcher of beer and two mugs!
Okay, here's my ten.
How do you feel, Tony?
I'm in for ten. That's good enough for me.
All right. Here we go.
Okay, we got our bet.
There's my 50.
Excuse me, Alex.
So, they say after divorce your life is empty and here I am watching a chug-a-lug contest.
One... two... three... start.
Any time, gentlemen.
Let's get out of here.
I don't want to be around when he belches.
Oh, come on, let's forget it... I'm buying.
Same ol' rounds. Okay.
What'll you have, John?
What is it?
It's that girl.
ELAINE: Which one?
You don't have to ask, do you?
No, I guess not.
ELAINE: The one with the white blouse?
ELAINE: Oh, the other one.
See? You picked her out.
It's just that I've never felt this way before.
I mean, this is the first time a girl sitting across from me in a bar has gotten me all excited.
What do you think, Alex?
I don't think you have to announce everything that's happening in your body.
You like her, go over and talk to her.
Just like that?
What would I say if I did?
No, I couldn't say that.
I mean I never know what to say to girls.
I don't know, I just can't seem to get started.
Ah, just forget it.
Okay, I'm going to do you a big favor and I hope you appreciate it.
What's the favor?
I'm going to give you the perfect line.
Works every time, instantly and with devastating results.
Here's what you do.
You walk up to her, tap her on the shoulder, and when she turns around, you say: "Why waste time?
Let's get married."
I think that should do it.
It's witty, it's entertaining, and it's got "married" in it.
( All chuckling )
The line has everything.
Hey, you know, I got a better one.
You go up and you say:
"Let's cut the preliminaries...
You want to get married?"
Hey, you know, that is better.
We just improved on the wheel, man.
A good line really helps a lot.
John, there's a time when you either do it or you forget it.
You're absolutely right, Alex.
Let's forget it.
I can't forget it.
BOBBY: Just do it.
ELAINE: Just be sweet.
Get it right.
Just smooth. Smooth.
Let's cut the preliminaries.
You want to get married?
I was sitting over there and I wanted to talk to you, and...
I think there's a couple of places at the bar.
Do you want to take them?
I thought we were getting married.
Oh, sure, but not right away.
I mean marriage is important.
It can't just be jumped into.
Oh, I agree; yes.
So, we'll get married in an hour.
Can I buy you that drink now?
Preliminaries... that's the word.
He said, "If I didn't have to do it..."
"If I could do it in my living room, I wouldn't have to do it in the backseat of your cab."
( Both laughing )
WOMAN: I liked that, too.
( laughter continues )
Is it ever going to happen for me... or am I just going to spend the rest of my life alone?
Alone... alone... alone...
How did I get into this? All I said was, "I'm going for a beer. Does anyone want to come?"
When I came over, did you get the feeling something special was gonna happen?
Yeah. Me, too.
Wait... before or after you saw me?
Both, but more after.
Oh, me, too! Me, too.
That's so amazing.
Ah, Suzanne, is this the best time you've ever had?
You're not just saying that, are you?
Or have you really had a lousy life?
No, I've had a great life.
And this is your best time?
Yeah. Wow! Me, too.
Okay, I want you to take your time with this next one, 'cause it's real important to me.
How do you stand on bowling?
Feet together, knees slightly bent.
I use a four... She bowls.
So what do you want to do first, get married, or go bowling?
That way, if the marriage doesn't work, it won't screw up my game.
Well, so long, you guys.
We're going to go get married now.
Oh, that's nice.
Oh... after bowling. Good night.
Okay. Yeah, yeah, good luck.
We're going bowling?
No, we're not going bowling.
Would you mind if I joined you and had a drink?
No. Sit down.
Thank you. Good night.
LOUIE: Hey, Wheeler!
Hey, Wheeler, come over here.
Do I have to?
We got a complaint... that one of our drivers got fresh with a passenger.
Was it you?
Of course not. I don't do that kind of stuff.
I wanted to find out who it was so I can give him some tips from the old expert.
You mean you used to get fresh with the passengers when you were a driver?
Only the women.
I used to pull over, turn around, and ask them if they'd like to come to my place for drinks and sex.
Oh, yeah, the subtle approach.
Did it work?
I don't believe you, Louie.
Well, not every time.
Exactly how many times?
Once in 2,312 times.
Oh, hi, John.
Hey, John! Look who's here.
What have you been doing the past few days, John?
As if we didn't know.
Hey, stop it! Come on!
You shouldn't be doing this.
Why not? 'Cause I could pulverize you.
I'm just kind of sensitive about what happened.
BOBBY: Well, what happened?
Remember that girl I met in the bar?
BOBBY: Yeah? I married her.
You what? Oh, my...! What?!
How could you do that?
How could you do something like that?
John, that was just a line.
You weren't supposed to do it.
John, what's the matter with you?
How could you do a thing like that?
I don't know.
There we were, bowling and joking about whoever lost paid for the marriage license.
The next thing I knew, we were eloping to Maryland in her best friend's Volvo.
John, how... John, did you think?
Did you say to yourself, "What am I doing?
This has to stop!"
Yeah. Unfortunately, I didn't say it to her.
It was like some game of chicken.
Each one of us thinking the other would call it off.
I kept thinking she'd brake any minute as we drove through New York, then through Lincoln Tunnel, then to New Jersey... John, do me a favor.
Don't say every landmark from here to Maryland, okay?
It's all so weird!
It was so terrific being with her that we were in Maryland before we knew it.
Yeah, them Volvos are great.
Anyhow, this morning, we applied for the license and... even bought a couple of rings.
You know, still treating the whole thing like a joke, you know... and then we had dinner at this really neat Maryland McDonalds.
The food's the same but it's served by people from Maryland.
Then we checked into this really nice six-dollar motel...
Hey, John, I hate to be indelicate, but, uh... did you?
Oh, no, no.
We were too excited for that.
Anyhow, this morning, we picked up the license, and found the Justice of the Peace...
Even then, I still felt we'd never go through with it.
When the Justice of the Peace said, "Do you take this man to be your husband?"
I was sure that we'd both laugh like crazy, or she'd say no, but she didn't.
She said, "I will if he will."
The Justice of the Peace asked me if I'd take her as my wife.
I said no!
But somehow it came out yes!
And just like that, we were married.
I mean, married.
I mean, right away, we both knew it was the biggest mistake of our lives.
All the way back, we only said three words.
She said, "Need gas?"
I said, "Yes."
When we got back to town, I let her off at my apart... Our apartment... and there she sits, the woman Maryland considers my wife.
I really am!
Alex, what am I going to do?
I'm half crazy.
A conservative estimate.
I know it looks very bad right now, but somehow we're going to figure out a way...
Oh, Burns... you decided to grace us with your presence.
Well, listen here...
The next time you don't show up for work for two days, you're fired.
Hey, hey, Louie, the kid just got married.
Don't yell at him.
Oh, I'm sorry.
( Sweetly ): The next time you don't show up for work for two days, you're fired.
John, you got to go home sometime.
I can't. She's there.
I don't want to be married, Alex.
I don't know...
It sounds crazy, but in my mind, it's all connected.
You get married, you have kids, you grow old, and then you die.
Somehow, to me, if you didn't get married, you wouldn't die.
Hey, Fitz, how you doing?
Hey, how you doin'?
Hey, Champ, how's it going?
You want to risk your title against me?
Let's see here... How about 20 bucks?
Two beers, Rudy.
( Panting )
You still owe me money on your tab.
Oh, yeah, yeah, all right.
Well, come by the garage this week and I'll give you a tire.
All right, now...
I'll say, "one-two-three, go."
One... two... three.
Hey, Rudy, did they find the rest of that rat that died in the beer keg?
The new champeen.
Better luck next time, Champ.
Is this the wedding party?
Louie, I never thought I'd say this, but would you join us?
No, thank you.
John, the little woman came by the garage tonight.
She left a letter for you.
Well, let's have it.
For a buck.
Hey, the post office only charges 15 cents.
Yeah, and they're going broke.
Not bad... I've been here two minutes, had a beer, and won $21.
Oh, by the way, should I change your W-2 now, or do you want to see if you have kids by tonight?
We didn't order drinks.
It's on the house.
You know, I got a "Dear John" once.
Oh, that isn't what this is.
You want me to read the letter?
"Dear John, "I'm leaving you this letter because I'm ashamed to face you.
"I hate to think of what you think of a girl
"who runs off and marries a total stranger.
"I don't know why "I do crazy things
"but I do know you're too nice a guy
"to be stuck with an immature nut like me.
Naturally, we'll have the marriage annulled..."
"Looking back, it seems like some bizarre dream.
"Any minute, "I kept expecting you would wake me up
"but you didn't and I didn't.
"So we did.
"We sure did.
"Right away, I knew it was a terrible mistake
"and I sensed you did, too.
"I've decided to move back with my folks for awhile, "try and get my head together.
"I hope what happened wasn't too hard on you.
"I'm sure someday
"you'll meet someone you really want to marry
"and whoever she is, I envy her.
"Anyway, thanks for a special weekend.
"I'll never forget it.
And it's signed, "Your future ex-wife, Suzanne."
It's a nice letter.
I read it nicely.
And now, it looks like your problems are solved, kid.
You know, Alex, that's the classiest letter I ever heard.
Open, honest, sensitive.
Just like she is.
I got to get her back.
Help me get her back.
I never wanted anybody back so bad in my life.
Why do I come here so often?
I almost never have a good time.
( Buzzer sounds )
We're the ones who phoned you.
On the phone.
I've been wondering what that was all about.
Um, can we come in?
I guess so.
I think you'll have to open the door a little more than that.
I'm sorry, but how do I know I can trust you?
Look at him.
Now, what's this all about?
Mr. Caruthers, my name is John Burns and this is my friend, Alex Rieger.
Alex will take over from here.
Oh, Mr. Caruthers, um, has your daughter told you?
Told me about what?
I guess she hasn't told you.
If you tell me what it is you want to know whether or not she has told me then I'll tell you whether or not she has told me.
I can tell she hasn't told you.
WOMAN: Oh, Mark, I...
Oh, Lillian, this is Mr. Burns. Rieger.
And this is Mr. Rieger. Burns.
This is my wife, Mrs... Caruthers.
How are you?
LILLIAN: Won't you sit down? Thank you.
They're friends of Suzanne.
Oh, yes, well, Suzanne's in her room.
Oh, could you tell her that I'm here and maybe I love her?
First, I want to know what's going on.
Mr. Caruthers, do you like to hear things with the lily gilded, or straight between the eyes?
You see, we've always tried to instill in our daughter the good grace to conceal virtually everything from us.
She hasn't told you anything?
Not since 1971.
Well, Mr. and Mrs. Caruthers, I think you better brace yourself, because what I have to tell you...
Someone come in?
I heard the... Oh, John.
This man is about to tell us something.
Well, go on, sir. We're listening.
Oh, uh, yes, um...
You sure you don't want it straight?
Okay, now, let's see, um...
( clears throat )
Well, how's this: do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe the notion of love at first sight is a debasement of every moral, spiritual, and ethical value that I and my family hold dear.
This is no snap.
Well, I have to give it to you straight then.
This is what happened:
Three nights ago, John met your daughter in a bar, they fell in love, and after looking at each other countless times, drove to Maryland and got married.
You were in a bar?
Mark, don't you understand?
Our daughter is married.
And this man is our son.
But they're going to get divorced.
But John wants to stay married. Oh.
But your daughter wants to get an annulment.
Is this fun for you?
Well, once you get into it.
No, listen... look, now that we all know, why don't we all just leave them alone together, so they could, uh...
Or we could stay and stare at each other.
That's not such a bad idea.
I think I've spent too much time ducking things like this.
Maybe the time has come to forget my fears and pay attention to my daughter.
Yes, this is it.
The time has come to stay with her and face this thing head-on.
Suzanne, when we were in that motel room in Maryland...
Hup, that's it!
Let's go, Lillian.
Take your time, John. Don't worry about me.
I'll be having fun standing in the kitchenette with Mr. and Mrs. Caruthers.
You want to stay married?
I figured you'd never want to see me again.
Oh... Look, Suzanne, what happened was just as much my fault as it was yours.
You know, I think that's what brought us both together.
We're both crazy.
I just think that, for some reason, we had the instinct to be with each other.
Now, I know it doesn't make sense, 'cause we hardly know each other, but right now, I'd rather follow my instinct and not make sense.
Suzanne, will you not get annulled with me?
Oh, that's terrific.
No! Wait a minute!
No, I won't get annulled.
I can't believe it.
She said, "no."
Oh, boy, you better be as nice as you seem.
Hey, let's call your folks.
Oh, Dad, Mom!
Mr. and Mrs. Caruthers, I'd like your permission to marry my wife.
Hey, man, you got rid of her.
No, we're staying married.
Congratulations, she's a wonderful girl.
( Theme music playing )
WOMAN: Night, Mr. Walters.
( Grunts )