Quotes from the movie August; Osage County



Quotes from the movie August; Osage County that had me either laughing, clutching my invisible pearls, or opening my mouth in shock at the revelations.

August; Osage County (2013), Written by Tracy Letts

A movie to definitely check out, the dialogue is amazing!


  • “Life is very long” TS Eliot
  • “Rather than once more vow abstinence with my fingers crossed in the queasy hope of righting our ship, I’ve chosen to turn my life over  to a Higher Power and join the ranks of the Hiring Class.”
  • “Sorry about the heat in here. My wife is cold-blooded and not just in the metaphorical sense. She doesnot believe in air conditioning…as if it is a thing to be disbelieved.”
  • “I myself require very little attention, thrive without it, sort of a human cactus.”
  • “My wife has been diagnosed with a touch of cancer.” Johnna asks “what kind of cancer?” Beverly, “My God, I nearly neglected the punchline; mouth cancer.”
  • “My last refuge, my books; simple pleasures, like finding wild onions on the road, or requited love.”

Violet Weston

  • “All women need makeup. Don’t let anybody tell you different. The only woman who was pretty enough to go without makeup was Elizabeth Taylor and she wore a ton.”
  • “Your shoulders are slumped and your hair’s all straight and you don’t wear makeup. You look like a lesbian.”
  • Ivy to Violet, “Is your mouth burning?” Violet, “Like a son-of-a-bitch. My tongue is on fire.”
  • “All this shit’s going. I don’t plan
    to spend the rest of my days looking
    at what used to be. I want that shit
    in the office gone, I want these
    clothes I’m never going to wear gone.
    I mean look at these fucking shoes —(holds up spiked heels)
    Even if I didn’t fall on my face, can
    you imagine anything less attractive,
    my swollen ankles and varicose veins?
    And my toenails, good God: anymore
    they could dig through cement. “


  • “Women are beautiful when
    they’re young and not after. Men can
    still preserve their sex appeal into
    old age. Not those men like you see
    with shorts and those little purses
    around their waists . Some men can
    maintain a weary masculinity. Women
    just get old and fat and wrinkly. “MATTIE FAE
    “I beg your pardon?”VIOLET
    “Think about the last time you went to
    the mall and saw some sweet little gal
    and thought she’s a cute trick. What
    makes her that way? Taut skin, firm
    boobs, an ass above her knees.”MATT IE FAE
    “I’m still very sexy, thank you very
    “You’re about as sexy as a wet card-
    board box, Mattie Fae, you and me
    both. Look, wouldn’t we be better off
    if we stopped lying about these things
    and told the truth? “Women aren’t sexy
    when they’re old.” I can live with
    that. Can you live with that?.”
  • At the dinner table, violet has noticed that the men have removed their suit coats, “I see you gentlemen have stripped
    down to your shirt fronts . I thought
    we were having a funeral dinner, not
    a cockfight.” An awkward beat. The men glumly put their suit coats back on.
    “Nobody slips anything by me. I know
    what’s what. Your father thought
    he’s slipping one by me, right? No
    way. I’m sorry you two ‘re having
    trouble, maybe you can work it out.
    Bev’n I separated a few times, course
    we didn’t call it that.”BARBARA
    “Help us to benefit from an
    illustration of your storybook
    marriage .”VIOLET
    “Truth is, you can’t compete with a
    younger woman. One of those unfair
    things in life.”
    “Three days ago … I had to identify
    my father’s corpse. Now I’m supposed
    to sit here and listen to you
    viciously attack each and every member
    of this family —”Violet rises, her voice booming.VIOLET
    “Attack my family? ! You ever been
    attacked in your sweet spoiled life?!
    Tell her ’bout attacks, Mattie Fae,
    tell her what an attack looks like!”MATTIE FAE IVY
    “Vi, please — Settle down. Mom.”

    “Stop telling me to settle down, goddam
    it! I’m not a goddamn invalid! I
    don’t need to be abided, do I?! Am
    I already passed over?!”

    “(points to Mattie Fae)
    This woman came to my rescue when
    one of my dear mother ‘ s many gentlemen
    friends was attacking me, with a claw
    hammer! You think you been attacked?!
    What do you know about life on these
    Plains? What do you know about hard

    “Sweet girl, sweet Barbara, my heart
    breaks for every time you ever felt
    pain. I wish I coulda shielded you
    from it. But if you think for a
    solitary second you can fathom the
    pain that man endured in his natural
    life, you got another think coming.
    Do you know where your father lived
    from age four till about ten? Do you?”No one responds.VIOLET (CONT’D)
    “In a Pontiac Sedan. With his mother,
    his father, in a fucking car! Now
    what do you want to say about your
    rotten childhood? That’s the crux of
    the biscuit: we lived too hard, then
    rose too high. We sacrificed
    everything and we did it all for you.
    Your father and I were the first in
    our families to finish high school
    and he wound up an award-winning poet.
    You girls, given a college education,
    taken for granted no doubt, and
    where ‘d you wind up? “(jabs a finger at Karen)
    “Whadda you do? ”

    (jabs a finger at Ivy)
    “Whadda you do? ”

    (jabs a finger at Barbara)
    “Who ‘re you ? Jesus, you worked as
    hard as us, you’d all be President.
    You never had real problems so you got
    to make all your problems yourselves.”

  • Violet to Barbara, Karen and Ivy
    “I ever tell you the story of Raymond
    Quails? Not much story to it. Boy I
    had a crush on when I was thirteen or
    so. Rough-looking boy, beat-up Levis,
    messy hair. Terrible underbite. But he had these beautiful cowboy
    boots, shiny chocolate leather. He
    was so proud of those boots, you could
    tell, way he’d strut around, all arms
    and elbows, puffed up and cocksure. I
    decided I needed to get a girly pair
    of those same boots and I convinced
    myself he’d ask me to go steady. He’d
    see me in those boots and say “Now
    there ‘ s the gal for me . ”
    Found the boots in a window downtown
    and just went crazy: praying for those
    boots, rehearsing the conversation I’d
    have with Raymond when he saw me in my
    boots. Must’ve asked my momma a
    hundred times if I could get those
    boots . “What do you want for
    Christmas, Vi?” “Momma, I’ll give all
    of it up just for those boots.”
    Bargaining, you know? She started
    dropping hints about a package under
    the tree she had wrapped up, about the
    size of a boot box, nice wrapping
    paper. “Now, Vi, don’t you cheat and
    look in there before Christmas
    morning.” Little smile on her face.
    Christmas morning, I was up like a
    shot, boy, under the tree, tearing
    open that box. There was a pair of
    boots, all right… men’s work boots,
    holes in the toes, chewed up laces,
    caked in mud and dog shit. Lord, my
    momma laughed for days .”Silence.

    “Please don’t tell me that’s the end of
    the story.

    “Oh, no. That’s the end.”

    Ivy shakes her head, goes inside. She’s had enough of Violet
    to last a lifetime.

    “You never got the boots? ”

    “No , huh-uh . ”

    “Okay, well, that’s the worst story I
    ever heard. That makes me wish for a
    heartwarming claw hammer story. ”

    “My momma was a nasty-mean old lady. I
    suppose that’s where I get it from. “

sunflower-187985_960_720Matte Fae

  • “Beverly is a very complicated man.” Ivy asks Mattie Fae, “Like little Charles?” Matte Fae, “Little Charles isn’t complicated, he’s just unemployed.”
  • Charlie to Matte Fae, “So you can’t even see Ivy’s point? That Little Charles and Beverly share some kind of…complication?” Matte Fae, “you have to be smart to be complicated.”
  • Mattie Fae to Barbara,
    “Little Charles is not your cousin.
    He’s your brother. He’s your blood
    brother. He is not your cousin. He
    is your blood brother. Half-brother.
    He’s your father’s child. Which
    means that he is Ivy’s brother. Do
    you see? Little Charles and Ivy are
    brother and sister.”
  • “I wasn’t drunk, no. Maybe it’s hard
    for you to believe, looking at me,
    knowing me the way you do, all these
    years. I know to you, I’m just your
    old fat Aunt Mattie Fae. I’m more
    than that, sweetheart, there’s more to
    me than that. I don’t know why Little
    Charles is such a disappointment to
    me. Maybe he, well, I don’t know why.
    I’m disappointed for him, more than
    anything. I made a mistake, a long
    time ago. Okay? I paid for it. But
    the mistake ends here. “


  • “What we’re these people thinking…the jokers who settled this place. Who was the asshole who saw this flat hot nothing and planted his flag? I mean we fucked the Indians for this?” Bill, “Well, genocide always seems like such a good idea at the time.” Barbara, “Right, you need a little hindsight.”
  • Jean, “I’m gonna grab a smoke.” Barbara to Bill, “You’ve encouraged that.” Bill, “I haven’t encouraged anything.” Barbara, “You admire her for getting hooked at fourteen, makes her seem even more mature.”
  • Bill to Barbara, “suppose your mom’s turned on the air conditioner?” Barbara, “You kidding? Remember the parakeets?” Bill, “The parakeets?” Barbara, “I didn’t tell you about the parakeets? She(Violet) got a parakeet for some insane reason, and the little fucker croaked after two days. So she went to the pet store and raised hell and they gave her another parakeet. That one died after one day. So she went back and they gave her a third parakeet and that one died too. So the chick from the pet store came out here to see just what in the hell this serial parakeet was doing to bump of these birds.” Bill, “And?” Barbara, “The heat. It was too hot. They were dying from the heat. These are tropical birds all right? They live in the fucking tropics.”
  • “It’s so surreal. Thank God we can’t
    tell the future. We’d never get out
    of bed. “
  • Barbara to her daughter Jean, “Listen to me: die after me, all right?
    I don’t care what else you do, where
    you go, how you screw up your life,
    just… survive. Outlive me, please.”
  • Bill,” You don’t fight fair.” Barbara, “I’m
    sick of the whole notion of the
    enduring female. GROW UP! Cause
    while you’re going through your fifth
    puberty, the world is falling apart
    and your kid can’t handle it!”


  • Violet really has a way of putting
    you in attack mode, you know that?
    You feel such rage for her you
    can’t help dishing it —BARBARAPsychoanalyze me right now, I skin
    you.BILLYou may not agree with my methods ,
    but you know I ‘ m right —


  • BILLWe have enough on our hands with your
    parents right now, let’s not revisit
    this .BARBARAWhen did we visit this to begin with?
    I still don’t know what happened. Do
    I bore you, intimidate you, disgust
    you? Is this just about the pleasures
    of young flesh, teenage pussy? I
    really need to know.
  • Bill to Barbara, “You’re thoughtful, Barbara, but you’re
    not open. You’re passionate, but
    you’re hard. You’re a good, decent,
    funny, wonderful woman, and I love
    you, but you’re a pain in the ass.”


  • Jean to Johnna, “I like your necklace(a beaded pouch in the shape of a turtle).” Johnna, “Thank you.” Jean, “Did you make that?” Johnna, “My Grandma.” Jean, “Is there something in it?” Johnna, “My umbilical cord.” Jean, “Eww. Are you serious?” Johnna, “When a Cheyenne is born, their umbilical cord is dried and sewn into a pouch. We wear it for the rest of our lives. If we lose it, our souls belong nowhere and when we die our souls walk the Earth looking for where we belong.”
  • Charlie to Jean, “Jean, so I’m curious, when you say
    you don’t eat meat, you mean you
    don’t eat meat of any kind?”JEAN
    “Right .”CHARLIE
    “And is that for health reasons, or…? ”
    “When you eat meat, you ingest an
    animal’s fear. “VIOLET
    “Ingest what? It’s fur?”JEAN

    “How do you do that? You can’t eat

    “Sure you can. What happens to you,
    when you feel afraid? Doesn’t your
    body produce all sorts of chemical

    “Does it? ”

    “Your body goes through a whole
    chemical process when it
    experiences fear.”

    “Don’t you think an animal
    experiences fear?”

    “You bet it does. I used to work in
    a cattle processing plant, lot of
    fear flying around that place .”

    “So when you eat an animal, you’re
    eating all that fear it felt when
    it was slaughtered to make food.”

    “Wow. You mean I’ve been eating fear,
    what, three times a day for sixty

    “If I make a pasta dish of some kind,
    he’ll be like, “Okay, that’s good for
    an appetizer, now where ‘s the meat?”VIOLET
    “Where’s the meat?” Isn’t that some
    TV commercial, the old lady says,
    “Where’s the meat?”KAREN
    “Beef,” “Where’s the beef?”VIOLET
    ” Where’s the meat?! ” ” Where’s the
    meat? ! ” ” Where’s the meat?! “


  • Charlie to Little Charles, ” You haven’t let me down. You never
    let me down. Now listen. . .you’re
    wrong about these people, they love
    you. Some of them haven’t gotten a
    chance to see what I see: a fine man,
    very loving, with a lot to offer.
  • Charlie to Mattie Fae, “Mattie Fae, we’re gonna get in the
    car and go home and if you say one
    more mean thing to that boy I’m going
    to kick your fat Irish ass onto the
    highway. You hear me?
  • Charlie to Mattie Fae, continued
    “I don’t understand this meanness. I
    look at you and your sister and the
    way you talk to people and I don’t
    understand it. I can’t understand why
    folks can’t be respectful of one
    another. I don’t think there’s any
    excuse for it. My family didn’t treat
    each other that way.”
  • Charlie to Mattie Fae, continued, “You had better not say anything about
    my family right now. I mean it. We
    buried a man yesterday I loved very
    much. And whatever faults he may have
    had, he was a good, kind, decent
    person. And to hear you tear into
    your own son not even a day later
    dishonors Beverly’s memory. We’ve
    been married thirty-eight years . I
    wouldn’t trade them for anything. But
    if you can’t find a generous place in
    your heart for your own son, we’re not
    going to make it to thirty-nine.”


    “Mom, this is my fiance, Steve, I
    introduced you at the church. “STEVE
    “Steve Heidebrecht . “VIOLET
    “Heidebrecht .”

    “Hide-a-burrr. . .German, you’re a
    German .”

    “Well, German-Irish, really, I —”
    “That’s peculiar, Karen, to bring a
    date to your father’s funeral. I
    know the poetry was good, but I
    wouldn’t have really considered it
    date material —”

    “He’s not a date, he’s my fiance.
    We’re getting married on New Years.
    In Miami, I hope you can make it.”VIOLET
    “I don’t really see that happening, do
    you? Steve. That right? Steve?”STEVE
    “Yes, ma’am.”VIOLET
    “You ever been married before?”
    “That’s personal.”

    “I don’t mind. Yes, ma’am, I have.”

    “More’n once?”

    “Three times, actually, three times
    before this — ”

    “You should pretty much have it down
    by now, then.”

  • Karen talking about Steve, “He’s not perfect. Just like the rest
    of us, down here in the muck. I’m no
    angel myself. I’ve done some things
    I’m not proud of. Things you’ll never
    know about. I may even have to do
    some things I’m not proud of again.
    Cause sometimes life puts you in a
    corner that way. “


  • “I can’t perpetuate these myths of
    family or sisterhood anymore. We’re
    just people, some of us accidentally
    connected by genetics, a random
    selection of cells. “

Source: Full text of  “August-Osage-County

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