This week it was Robert De Niro’s 71st birthday, and as I was scrawling through Tumblr GIFs and YouTube clips of his most memorable quotes I was reminded of the astounding number of them, all encapsulating iconic characters and films created by the little genius. In this blog post I attempt to whittle these cinematic gems into a top 5, I know you will probably disagree with me, but hey, you think you could do better wise guy?
5. Raging Bull (1980) “Bodder me abott a steak? Huh?”
I remember when I first watched Raging Bull, I was struck by the gritty realness of the arguments (of which there are many!) which is something I hadn’t experienced much growing up watching the latest Tom Cruise Hollywood blockbusters. The scene where Irma under cooks the steak sticks in my mind, you can feel the adrenaline, anger and fear as if you were in the room with them.
4. Meet the Parents (2000) “I have nipples, Greg, could you milk me?”
After watching a masterpiece such as Raging Bull you would never in a million years have imagined he would be asking Ben Stiller if he could milk him like a cat. This is why I love this quote so much, it epitomises his diversity and ability to switch to comedy without a flicker of doubt or insecurity as many other ‘proper’ actors might do.
3. Mean Streets (1973) “You too good for this ten dollars? It's a good ten dollars.”
This was the first collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese and it was a career changing performance which paved the way for roles in Godfather II and Taxi Driver. He plays Johnny Boy, an unpredictable troublemaker obsessed with money – and he doesn’t mind blagging to get it! His elaborate and whimsical tales of why he can’t pay back a loan shark comes to a head in this brilliant scene between Johnny Boy and said loan shark Michael.
2. Taxi Driver "You Talkin' To Me?"
I don’t trust anyone who claims they haven’t said this to themselves in the mirror, everybody has! This has to be the most iconic film & quote of De Niro’s, and it is executed perfectly. If you want proof of how well he acts this scene you only have to look at Mr 50 Cents attempt in Get Rich or Die Trying and compare.
1. Goodfellas (1990) “Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.”
Yes, I am biased as this is probably one of my favourite films and characters of all time, but Jimmy Conway’s quotes are delivered sharper than Joe Pesci’s machete in the opening scene. Watch it here
Well there it is, my favourite De Niro quotes from his extensive repertoire so far, let's hope he will treat us to many more golden cinematic moments - i have my fingers crossed for Hands of Stone where De Niro plays the legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel.
Please share your favourite De Niro quotes below