CAUTION: MANY F-BOMBS AHEAD. THIS IS THE LAST TIME WE’RE USING F–K INSTEAD OF THE REAL THING. YOU’VE BEEN F–KING WARNED.
Fuck is the most widely applicable word in the English language. It always works. And a good “fuck you” is the most satisfying expression of that word. When used properly, it isn’t just the best thing to say, it also makes the person saying it feel infinitely better about things. It’s verbal therapy, really. But so much depends on the delivery. If you meekly utter a silent “fuck you” behind someone’s back, yeah, it feels good, but it could feel a whole lot better. The following famous takes on the phrase are not of the meek variety. These are the ones you learn from to make you’re “fuck you”-ing all the more impactful. They’re the most poignantly, exhuberantly and triumphantly expressed “fuck yous” in all of film. And if you don’t like it, fuck you and your fucking comments.
When Martin Landau played the immortal Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood,” he did so well that he won the Oscar. A lot of industry folks applauded the veteran thespian’s exceptional acting talent, but everyone knows that Landau locked up the award because of the delivery of this line. While the inflection is indeed Sirius Satellite Radio worthy — having been used by Howard Stern on numerous occasions — it’s the visual, particularly the menacing, Dracula eyebrow cock, that really sells it. And, of course, the follow-up line. If you really want to deliver an effective “fuck you,” the follow-up line is almost as important. And there can be no better follow-up then telling whoever you’re mad at that they aren’t qualified to smell your shit. Also, dress up like Dracula to really get the full effect.
“Glengarry Glen Ross”
Even though he’s a man of many fine words, in “Glengarry Glen Ross,” playwright/screenwriter David Mamet seems to have forgotten most of them in favor of just one: fuck. This is a film so full of noteworthy swears that it’s been dubbed “the greatest F-bomb movie in history” by some guy on YouTube whose one contribution to the site is a supercut of every “fuck” in the movie; a stirring compilation that’s more than 6-minutes long. Many of those well-delivered “fucks” are followed by a “you.” It’s a goddamn “fuck you” tour-de-force. Pacino, one of cinema’s all-time greatest swearers, conveys a heartfelt “fuck you” in a quibble with Kevin Spacey over 6K. And Hyundai-driving Ed Harris leaves the office on a high note with his rebellious “fuck you.” Even nice guy Jack Lemmon serves up some sharp tongued zingers. But I gotta go with closer Alec Baldwin as the champ here, considering when asked his name, Baldwin’s character has the audacity to introduce himself as “Fuck You, that’s my name.” Now that’s how you introduce yourself. Then you make fun of your adversary’s car.
Speaking of Pacino, could we really leave off Tony Montana’s mellifluous “fuck you”-ing? Throughout the film, he gives us some juicy ones, but the one above is the one that really puts weight behind the rest of them. Because when he tells F. Murray Abraham’s character Omar Suarez “fuck you,” it’s when we realize that Montana’s f-you instincts are what’s going to get him ahead in this whole kingpin business. When Tony tells Omar off, it doesn’t take long for Omar to take a neck swing from a helicopter. That’s a weighty “fuck you,” indeed. Also, bonus points for this “fuck you” exchange between Omar and Tony taking up three full lines of dialogue.
I’m not going to claim this movie stands up to most on this list, but when you can learn an important life lesson from a “fuck you” movie moment, you include that “fuck you” on your list. And John Goodman is dropping philosophical “fuck you” science in this scene. The position of “fuck you” is the secret to success. Step 1: Get yourself up $2.5 million. Step 2: Fuck you. I feel like I’ve really got Step 2 down, but unfortunately, I keep messing up Step 1. Still, knowing that “a wise man’s life is based around ‘fuck you’; the United States of America is based on ‘fuck you'” is motivational. It makes me want to go out and get that money, unless I have to go get an office job like in “Glengarry Glen Ross.”
“Coming to America”
Further proof that America is based on “fuck you” — in Zamunda, you can be hung by your dick for saying “fuck you” to someone, but in America, Prince Akeem can revel in his right to live “real life,” a thing his people have been denied for far too long. And how does he celebrate his newfound freedom? With a spirited “Yes! Yes! Fuck you, too!” America is the greatest country in the world, because we are not just free to say “fuck you,” we are patriotic for doing so. Yes! Yes! Let “fuck you” ring!
Has there ever been such beautiful “fuck you” timing? It’s almost like a song, with a cadence all its own. And Tim Roth makes every syllable seem as though there are 50 more words contained within. Throw some spittle on it, and you’ve got one of the best of all time. His words ring with the kind of gumption it takes to die for a cause; to see something through. Not like pansy-ass Officer Marvin Nash and his witty bitty deformed ear. Mr. Orange isn’t just saying “fuck you” to Marvin, he’s saying it to death. He’s saying it to this absurd life where every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners are saints. And most of all, he’s saying “fuck you” like a fucking professional.
“Observe and Report”
This is an epic “fuck you” battle with two comedic heavyweights going “fuck you” for “fuck you,” but I have to give the win to Saddam Hussein of Iraq, because he’s defending Chick-fil-A. He’s right; it is delicious, and anyone who would put words into your mouth saying otherwise is a man who could motivate you to really spit vitriol into a “fuck you” battle. Plus, this gets points for being the longest exchange of “fuck yous” around.
Just when you thought borrowing money from the mob was going to be fun, Ray Liotta tells you how it really is. If you’re saying “fuck you” to someone, and you follow it up immediately with “pay me,” then your “fuck you” just took on a whole lot more severity. You suddenly sound ruthless, especially if you give it that Liotta snarl. It’s a great trick. Also, shoot that person you’re talking to in the foot. Then the phrase really holds water. The whole clip is really the best usage of the word “fuck” in the entire “fuck”-heavy film. This isn’t just any ordinary “fuck” film, this is another film so laden with the word that it has merited a supercut “fuck version.” God bless the Internet.
Tom Cruise makes a good case for movie industry folks taking over foreign diplomacy for the U.S., especially ones who have played Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchel. The best part of his speech is that at the end, after IMAG Corp’s Les Grossman goes nuclear on the kid terrorist, the Big Swinging Dick player asks his assistant to find out who he just said “fuck your own face” and “I will fuck you up” to. Which is a great lesson: “fuck you” now, ask questions later. Technically, neither of those are true “fuck yous,” but they do spell out to such. Plus, Simple Jack.
“Terrance & Phillip: Asses of Fire”
What a tragedy that “Uncle Fucker” didn’t win an Oscar for Best Original Song, right? Or an even better question: how does a song without fart solos beat one with them? Mysteries which may never be solved, but we can do our own little part, each and every one of us, by continuing to carry the torch. And so I’m putting this “fuck you” on the list, even though it’s not necessarily the most memorable part of the song. However, it is the final button — the crescendo of the song. And though I was trying to reserve at least one spot on this list for a woman’s inclusion here, in the name of the greater good, I have to choose pig and kin fornicating instead. Besides, there’s just not enough meaty “fuck you” roles out there for women. Don’t blame me, blame Canada.