© 2004 by Raymond Weschler
Paul Vitti...........................Robert De Niro
The powerful head of a New York Mafia family who starts to have serious
psychological problems, including feelings of great sadness or even depression
whenever he engages in murder or other acts of violence.
Ben Sobol............................Billy Crystal
A successful divorced psychiatrist (a psychologist who is also a medical
doctor), who suddenly finds himself treating the Mafia leader Paul Vitti,
just as he is about to get married for the second time.
Pauls loyal but stupid assistant, who protects him from other gangsters.
A Miami TV reporter who is going to marry Ben.
Primo Sindone........................Chazz Palminteri
The head of another New York Mafia family that is often fighting Pauls.
This film is the story of Paul Vitti, one of the most powerful and feared Mafia
leaders in America, who suddenly discovers that if he kills someone or engages in
any kind of violence, he gets emotional, sad and even depressed. This is obviously
not a good situation for a gangster, who will be eaten alive by his enemies if they
ever find out that he is so emotionally fragile.
Desperate to solve his problems, Paul agrees to go and see the psychiatrist Ben Sobol
(Ben had previously met Pauls assistant Jelly, after having accidentally run into
his car). Of course, its not easy for Paul to admit that he has an emotional problem,
and its especially not easy to go to a psychologist, since most gangsters would
think psychology is nonsense for the weak or crazy. Indeed, the worlds of modern
gangsters and modern psychology rarely come together, and this is perhaps what gives
this movie its charm.
At first, Paul is quite naïve about how psychological treatment works, and thus
he believes he can be "cured" in a few minutes. Eventually though, Paul realizes that
it will take time, and because he is desperate, he decides to make Ben an official
employee of his Mafia family. This is obviously something that Ben would prefer to
avoid, especially after Paul and his assistants follow him down to Miami, where they
quickly destroy his well planned wedding.
Unfortunately, Bens Mafia problems follow him back to New York, where he soon finds
himself as Pauls official "consigliere" or spokesman, in an important and rare meeting
of all the most important Mafia families. For Paul, this meeting will allow him to
decide whether Ben has done such a good job of treating him that he will now become
the most powerful gangster again, or instead, decide to leave the Mafia life entirely...
A few words about the language used in this film: Professional gangsters are not
known for having the best grammar; Be aware of typical non-standard English that
you should avoid, including the use of double negatives, misconjugated verbs
("he dont"), and the frequent use of the word "aint." Also be aware that such
people use so much vulgar language that theyre not even aware of it, and thus be
prepared to hear a lot of "fuck" and its various grammatical forms (the adjective
"fucking" being by far the most common).
Some Words and Expressions that You May not Know
Ben the psychiatrist runs into Jelly the gangster...literally.
He was running the family at the time some asshole
thought it would be a good idea to have this meeting.
In this case, "to run a family" is to be in charge of leading an organized
crime family. "Asshole" is a vulgar insult word for a jerk, bastard, etc...
Want to be a fucking rib-eye?!
Note that "fucking" is the most common adjective used in this film!
A "rib-eye" is a large piece of beef.
It turns out the local cops were watching Joe Barbara like a hawk,
and some deputy sheriff notices all the traffic and calls the feds.
"To turn out" is a critical phrasal verb meaning to finish, end up, or be a
certain way in reality, despite what others thought. "Cop" is a common
colloquial word for a policeman. "To watch a person like a hawk" is to watch
them very carefully over time, or perhaps to even spy on them (A hawk is a
big bird). A "deputy sheriff" is high level police officer just below the
rank of sheriff. "The feds" is a slangy way of referring to the FBI and
others in law enforcement who work for the U.S. government.
The feds moved in, and bingo, the bosses, they moved out.
In this case, "bingo" is a way of saying suddenly, or right after. In this
film, "bosses" are the gangsters who control the various crime families.
They hid out in the field with hay and corn, some kind of foliage.
"Hay" is a type of straw that horses eat, and
"foliage" refers to plants, branches and flowers.
So Dominic starts bullshitting the guy while my father holds out
this .44 he used to carry, and hijacked the goddamn tractor.
"To bullshit" a person is to tell them lies or nonsense. A "44" is a type
of gun, and to "hijack" a vehicle or plane is to force it to go where you
want it to. "Goddamn" is a crude filler word used to express anger or other
emotion, and a "tractor" is a type of vehicle farmers use to plant crops.
He was the boss of all bosses and that was the last
time this commission ever tried to meet until now.
In Mafia circles, "the boss of all bosses" is the most powerful gangster
among the various heads of the families. A "commission" is a group of people
who gather together to study or discuss a particular problem.
You got made guys informing for the feds, bosses are going to jail.
If a gangster is "informing for the feds," they are secretly cooperating with the
FBI in order to gather evidence that the government can use in a criminal trial.
People are getting whacked without permission.
"To whack" is to hit forcefully, although in Mafia slang and
in this film, it is an extremely common verb meaning to kill.
When your papa died, I made him a promise that Id always look out for you.
"Papa" is an old-fashioned word for father. "To look out for" a person
is to watch over them in order to make sure nobody tries to hurt them.
You watch out for him. Hes a scumbag.
"To watch out for" a person is to be careful of them because they could be
dangerous. A "scumbag" is vulgar but powerful and very insulting word to
describe someone who is disgusting or totally immoral.
I needed room to grow and find myself as a person...as an independent entity.
An "independent entity" is anything that can survive on its own.
All of this is the type of thing one would say to a psychologist.
I needed to get in touch with my uniqueness, but he could not handle that.
"To get in touch with your own uniqueness" are silly words from modern
psychology, to refer to the act of thinking about things that make you a
different or spercial person. If a person cant "handle" something about
someone else, they cant accept it, perhaps because its too disagreeable.
He said I was driving him away.
In this case, "to drive a person away" is to push then away emotionally.
He did take out a restraining order against
you...and thats usually not a good sign.
A "restraining order" is a legal document, signed by a judge,
ordering one person to stay physically away from another.
Stop whining about this pathetic loser, for Christs sake.
"To whine" is to complain in a high-pitched and annoying voice.
A "pathetic loser" is a person whose life or personality is so bad that
they are deserving of pity (Pathetic is pitiful). "For Christs sake" is
a common way of expressing emotion such as anger or frustration.
You are a tragedy queen!
A funny way of referring to a person who acts as if their life
is dominated by horrible dramas and tragedies, even though their
problems are often no worse than other peoples.
Who gives a shit?
A somewhat crude but great colloquial expression (in the form of
a question), which is a way of saying that whatever was just
said is completely unimportant.
Get a fucking life!
"Get a life!" is a fun colloquial way of telling a person that they
should not be so obsessed with just one thing, and that they should try to
be more balanced ( fucking is just crude filler which doesnt change the meaning).
You just want to get rid of me and then throw me out.
"To get rid of" a person is to force them to leave.
Shut the fuck up!
A very vulgar way of saying shut up (Note the use of fuck as a noun!).
Youre going to crack me on the head with that pipe. :: Its a rhetorical question.
In this case, "to crack" is to hit, and a "rhetorical question" is one in
which the answer is so obvious it is not expected that the listener will answer it.
You little motherfucker, who killed Dominic?
One of the most vulgar insult words in the English language
(literally, a person who has sex with their own mother).
I cant be analyzed by someone who until a few years ago still believed in Santa.
In modern psychology, "to analyze" a patient is to try and find out what are
the root childhood causes of their psychological problems. "Santa Claus" is the
mythical bearded old man in a red suit who brings Christmas presents to all the
Lets talk about something else, OK buddy?
A common slang word for friend.
This is like voodoo. She knows where I am every second.
"Voodoo" is a type of magic that allows witches and other
evil spirits to harm people even if they are physically far away.
What are you---some kind of moron?
A truly excellent insult word for a very stupid person.
Forget about it? Your rear end is all screwed up.
The "rear end" of a car is the back end (The rear end of a person is their
ass). If something is "screwed up," it is damaged, hurt or not doing well.
Lets call the police and file a report. :: Fuck the police.
In this case, a "report" is an official accident report that the police make
to determine who is at fault in an accident. Note here that "fuck" is used as
a verb to mean forget or possibly used just to show hostile disrespect.
Very vulgar, but common.
Fuckem. Especially those mounted cops who leave those big
piles all over the place and you just step in it up to your shoes.
Note that in rapid speech, "fuck them" ----> "fuckem." "Mounted cops" are
police officers that ride horseback (or literally, mounted on the horse).
A "pile" is a quantity of things placed on top of each other. Here, the speaker
is talking about piles of horse shit, or more politely, horse poop.
I talked to a shrink one time, when I got sent upstate on a fishing trip.
A "shrink" is a popular slang word for a psychologist. In this context,
to be "sent upstate" is to be sent to a prison in a distant part of the state.
Lets go, come on!
The most versatile phrasal verb in the English language,
meaning everything from hurry up (here) to shut up.
Pings and knocks, cheap gas.
"Pings and knocks" are the sounds that a car makes if not running well.
Feeling nervous and insecure, Paul turns to Ben for help.
Neurotics only! Thank god for Prozac!
If a person is "neurotic," they are constantly worried about one thing
or another. "Prozac" is a famous drug for treating emotional depression.
This is a twice-in-a-lifetime thing!
A "once-in-a-lifetime" event is super important and supposed to happen
just one time (though here Bens dad is talking about marriage, which
happens more often than once in a lifetime for many people).
I have these book singings next weekend; I cant piss off those big bookstores.
A "book signing" is an event where authors go to bookstores in order
to sell and sign copies of their books. "To piss off" a person is to
make them very angry. Colloquial and common.
Thats the word on the street. Barnes is OK but that Noble is a vindictive prick.
"The word on the street" is a slangy way of referring to what people in
general believe, or are talking about among themselves. "Barnes and Noble"
is a famous bookstore. If a person is "vindictive," they always want to
get revenge for something bad that has been done to them. A "prick" is a
very vulgar word for both a bad, immoral or horrible person, as well as a penis.
I think she should know that up front.
To know something "up front" is to know it from the very beginning.
Hows your practice? :: Excellent; I have interesting patients.
A doctors "practice" refers to their business, including all their patients.
Dad has a patient who dreams he shits trout.
"To shit" is a crude way of saying to poop or more medically, to defecate,
and a "trout" is a popular type of fish. This is a strange dream!
The Manetta family is bound to ask questions.
If a person is "bound to" do something, they are almost certainly going to do it.
They think we put the hit on Dominic.
"To put the hit" on a person is a slangy Mafia way of saying to order them killed.
If it wasnt for that I had go back for that toothpick because of the
veal stuck in my tooth, Id be lying dead with Dominic, God forbid.
"Veal" is the meat of a baby cow. "God forbid" is a way of saying one
hopes that God will never allow something so horrible to happen.
May he rest in peace.
Another common religious expression that is said after a person dies.
Primo Sedone wants to run the whole show.
A slangy way of saying to be in charge of everything.
Im a little choked up.
If a person is "choked up," they are often emotionally
upset or touched about something that just happened.
I feel like shit.
A common way to say that you feel very bad, either physically or emotionally.
You have one of those mindgraines.
Jelly is mispronouncing the word "migraine," which is a type of very painful headache.
Lets go for a ride.
Note that a "ride" is the most common way of
referring to the act of being transported in a car.
You had an anxiety attack, a panic attack.
Two common medical expressions for what happens when a person starts
to feel so panicked, anxious or worried, often for no obvious reason,
that they start to sweat, get dizzy and even have trouble breathing.
I had a heart attack. :: Not according to your EKG.
A well known machine used by doctors
to see if a person has had a heart attack.
Not a plastic surgeon. Do I have to spell everything out for you?
A "plastic surgeon" is a surgeon who operates on people to make them look
younger or more attractive. "To spell out" something for a person is to
explain it to them slowly and in great detail, so theyll understand.
This is like one of them psychic, ESPN things.
A "psychic" is a person who can predict the future (in theory!).
ESPN is a cable TV station that is devoted to sports.
I just ran into a psychiatrist. Actually, he ran into me.
Note that "run into" can mean two different things. In the first case,
it means to meet by chance, while in the second case, it means to physically
hit or bump into something while moving forward (as in an auto accident).
A "psychiatrist" is a "psychologist" who has a medical degree.
Somebody hears Ive been talking to a shrink
...it could be interpreted the wrong way.
A "shrink" is a slang word for a psychologist (or psychiatrist) and
"to interpret something the wrong way" is to misunderstand it.
Carl., Im detecting a pattern . You settle too easily for things.
"To detect" something is to notice it, and in this case, a "pattern"
refers to something that happens over and over. "To settle too easily"
for things is to always accept them, even if you shouldnt.
I think its your fear of rejection or disapproval.
A common expression that refers to peoples fears that they will not
be accepted or liked as much as they want to be (Teen boys who ask out
teen girls on dates are always fighting against this).
Be your own man. Stand your ground.
To "be your own man" is to think for yourself while being strong and independent,
while to "stand your own ground" is to forcefully defend yourself or your ideas.
You dont have to let people roll over you.
If people "roll over" you, they order you around
and take advantage of that fact that you act weekly.
Excuse me, were in session here.
If a psychologist and his patient are "in session," they are spending
time trying to understand or solve the patients psychological problems.
Get out of here, upsy-daisy. Got a coat, nutbar?
"Upsy-daisy" is a way of saying get up or rise. "Nutbar" is a never
used but funny word for a crazy person (If a person is nuts, theyre crazy).
Hes leaving. :: The hell he is! Hes not going
anywhere until hes done with his session.
A grammatically interesting, slangy and defiant or forceful way of saying "He is not!
You aint got no bugs in here, do you?
"Bug" is a common word for tiny, hidden electronic devices that are used
to spy on people, usually by recording their conversations. Note that you
should never say aint (Here, you would say "You dont have any
Dont you think we should just take this up with our own insurance companies?
"To take up" a topic with a person is to discuss it with them.
Why dont you tell me why you think you need therapy?
"Therapy" is an important word in psychology that refers to the act of
treating a persons emotional problems over time, often by exploring or
discussing problems they had in childhood.
I gotta tell you, Doc, I aint that thrilled with the level of service to this point.
Note that "have got to"---> "gotta" in rapid speech. "Doc" is a common
slang term for Doctor. If a person is "thrilled," they are excited,
or in this case, completely satisfied or pleased.
Now all of a sudden, hes like falling apart.
If a person is "falling apart" emotionally, they are so disturbed,
anxious or unstable that they are no longer able to function normally.
Panic attacks. :: What is it with you guys and all those fucking panic attacks?
"What is it with you guys?" is a colloquial way of asking a person
why they or the group theyre in keep saying the same things.
Not panic...dizzy, breathing, constricting attacks.
If a person is "dizzy," they have trouble standing because they feel like
the world is spinning or turning around them. If something is "constricting"
your air supply, it is making it narrow or drawn together, so that it
becomes difficult to breath.
Mr. Vitti, Im going to go out on a limb here.
"To go out on a limb" is to do or say something that might be
considered risky, radical or controversial (A limb is an arm or leg).
Youve got a gift!...You figured that out!
In this case, a "gift" is a very special talent or skill. "To
figure out" a problem is to solve or effectively explain it.
God bless you, you got a fucking gift.
A common way of thanking or wishing good things for a person.
If you really want to get to the root of the problem,
youre going to want to get some form of therapy.
"The root of a problem" is the underlying or fundamental cause (In modern
psychology, the root of most problems is considered painful childhood
experiences, which can be discussed in psychological therapy).
My roster of patients is full.
A "roster" is an official list.
I felt better after I got all of that off my chest.
"To get something off your chest" is to talk about it with
somebody, even though it is embarrassing or difficult to discuss.
I felt like a load is off my shoulders.
If you are able to "get a load off your shoulders," youre able to get
rid of or solve a big problem thats been bothering you (A load is a
quantity of material or things that often weighs a lot).
Can we define fag, because... :: I go fag, you die.
"To define" a word is to explain its meaning. "Fag" is a common
but vulgar and abusive word for a male homosexual.
Ben heads to Miami to marry Laura, but unfortunately,
Paul soon follows him with his own psycho-sexual issues.
We take on Manetta, what does Vitti do? Nothing!
In this case, "to take on" a person is to challenge or fight against them.
This shits really going to come down.
A very slangy way of saying something very violent or bad is going to happen.
A lot of tough guys get fed to the crabs off of Red Hook.
A "tough guy" is a person who can endure a lot of pain or punishment,
who is often strong and violent (Red Hook is a place on a beach).
Vitti; That name has been haunting me since I was a kid.
"To haunt" a person is to scare them, perhaps the way a ghost
scares the people in an old house where someone had died.
He was the smart guy, I was the dope.
A good word for a stupid person, or perhaps an idiot or moron.
My father was a nickel and dime shitheal.
A slangy and never used way to describe a poor or powerless person
(A nickel is a five cent coin, a dime is a 10 cent coin, and the
heal' of a shoe is its bottom).
Vitti blew it...because he forgot to kill Gambini before the meeting.
"To blow it" is an excellent colloquial expression meaning to do
something very poorly or in such a way that it causes big problems.
Hes some fucking tailor. You look good.
A "tailor" is a person who makes and fixes clothes.
I dont want to come back to a science fair.
A large exhibit or festival that has lots of experiments and events
that people can explore. They are often in high schools, and have many
tables or booths devoted to chemistry, physics, etc..
Im sealing up the vent in your room.
"To seal" something is to make sure it is tightly closed shut,
often with glue, tape or some other sticky material. A "vent"
is a large pipe through which air can travel.
Its so cool; Was that really Paul Vitti?
The most popular slang word in English for good, excellent, fun, etc...
I didnt ask to see his Mafia decoder ring, but it was Paul Vitti.
A device that lets people identify others as well as solve complicated
problems. This is more an item from fiction than reality.
Despite the summer heat and the popularity of more exotic Caribbean
destinations, Floridas hospitality industry reports booming business.
An "exotic" tourist area is one that is considered exciting, mysterious
and different. The "hospitality industry" is a business term for hotels,
and if business is "booming," its very busy and making lots of money.
Judging from the mob scene around the pool today,
theres nothing off about the off-season in Miami beach.
A "mob scene" is a place where there are lots and lots of people, often in
a small or confined space. Here, it is used as a play on words since "the mob"
is also a term for the Mafia or organized crime. The "off-season" refers
to those months when there are not that many tourists around.
This is my last report for WVBF.
Note that TV and radio stations are identified by three
or four letters, usually starting with either a K or a W.
Hes crazy about you.
To be "crazy about" a person is to like them a lot, often in a romantic or sexual sense.
Im going to be a step-mom to a grown kid.
Your "step-mom" is your dads new or second wife.
I am distracted. I got things on my mind.
If a person is "distracted," they have trouble concentrating because
theyre being bothered, or because theyre unable to stop thinking
about other things.
Goddam it, Shelia; Why cant you keep your mouth shut?
A common and crude way to express emotions like anger or frustration.
I got news for you, you little two-bit prick, son-of-a-bitch, rat bastard!
A colorful list of crude insult words!; "Two-bit" is an interesting adjective
meaning very unimportant or trivial. A "prick," son-of-a-bitch" and "bastard"
are vulgar terms for a mean, abusive or immoral person. A "rat" is a person who tells
the police or other authorities about the activities of gangsters or other criminals.
Whatever you did the other day, it didnt take. Im still fucked up.
In this case, "to take" means to last. If a person is "fucked up,"
they are troubled, disturbed or have big problems.
I have a serious practice and I dont have time for your bullshit.
A doctors "practice" is their business, including all their patients.
"Bullshit" is a vulgar but wonderful word for lies, and nonsense.
I couldnt get it up last night.
In a sexual context, "to get it up" is a common
way of referring to a mans ability to get an erection.
Can I get this straight?
"Let me get this straight" is a widely used way of saying you want
to completely understand something, often by listening very carefully.
You flew 1,500 miles, you dragged me out of bed in the middle of the night
just because you couldnt get an erection?! :: Dont that prove Im motivated?
"To drag" a person is to physically pull them. An "erection" is a
hard penis, or more colloquially, a hard-on. If a person is "motivated,"
they are excited, focused or determined to do something.
You start with the pills and the next thing
you know youre putting in hydraulics.
Mechanical devices or machines that are used to move water.
A hard-on should be gotten legitimately or not at all.
A "hard-on" is a slang term for an erection, and in this case, "legitimately"
means naturally (It more generally means legally or appropriately).
Has this happened to you before? :: The dead dick thing?
"Dick" is a widely used slang word for a penis.
Eight times is not catastrophic.
A powerful word meaning horribly tragic, violent or deadly.
Animals are very cunning and they sense weakness.
If a person is "cunning," they are very smart or clever at cheating, manipulating
or taking advantage of others (Paul is talking about gangsters in general).
What is my goal? To make you a happy, well-adjusted gangster?
If a person is "well-adjusted," they are happy and emotionally stable.
A "gangster" is another word for a mobster or a member of the Mafia.
If you slap a pair of tits on me, Im a woman.
"To slap on" some clothes is to put them on very fast. "Tits"
is a vulgar word for females breasts ("Boobs" is a safer word).
Are you turning me down?
"To turn down" a person is to reject them, or refuse their offer
(In this case, Pauls offer to have Ben be his psychologist).
When I got into family therapy, this was not the family I had in mind.
"Family therapy" is the practice of psychology among members of families
(parents, children, etc.) Here, its used as a play on words since Ben is
also referring to organized crime families.
You, with your schmucky little office and house; Youre turning me down?!
A "schmuck" is a Yiddish (Jewish) word for a jerk or fool (though it
literally means penis, and regardless, is rarely used, as an adjective).
So you can listen to housewives piss and moan
about how nobody fucks them right anymore?
"To piss" is to urinate, and to "moan" is to make deep sounds of pain
(or pleasure), though when combined like this, it basically means to complain.
"To fuck," of course, is an extremely vulgar verb meaning to have sex.
Youre a phony!
An important word for a fake, or a person who
is really not at all like they pretend to be.
A real doctor could never turn his back on a person whose suffering.
"To turn your back on" a person is to pretend that you dont
notice them, or perhaps more generally, to ignore their suffering.
Are you going to start moralizing with me now?
"To moralize" is to talk about what one considers moral and immoral,
or right and wrong, especially in matters of sex and peoples personal lives.
Have you been under a lot of stress lately?
A critical word for emotional pressure that causes great tension and discomfort.
Like seeing your best friend murdered? :: That would qualify.
If something "qualifies," it is considered sufficient
of good enough for a particular purpose.
Theyre underlying things.
As an adjective "underlying" means fundamental or basic.
Youre right on the money.
An interesting expressing which means exactly right or correct.
I feel the juices rushing back to my balls as we speak.
"Balls" is a common slang word for a mans testicles.
That settles it; You are my shrink!
"To settle" an argument or decision is to finally resolve it or end it.
Youre not ready to open up! Youre not a good candidate.
In psychology, to "open up" means to talk openly and honestly about
your problems and emotions. A "candidate" is a person who runs for political
office, or more generally, who hopes to qualify for some event, honor or process.
Do you want me to clear your schedule for you?
"To clear" a schedule is to get rid of everything that is filling it or taking up
space or time (In this case, Paul is referring to Bens other patients).
The pause that refreshes.
A "pause" is a brief rest before moving on, and "to refresh" a person is
to usually give them something cold to drink if they are hot and thirsty
(These are the words of a well known soft drink advertisement).
I was out of my mind!
If a person is "out of their mind," they are
totally crazy or acting in a crazy manner.
Ive covered the mob down here. I see what they do.
Another term for the Mafia, or organized crime.
Come on; Get into it!
In this case, to "get into" something is to
become interested in or excited by it.
Theres splashing of water, they eat fish. This is not a big stretch for a whale.
"To splash" water is to make it fly off in all directions after
jumping into it. "A big stretch" is the extending of arms or legs,
or more generally here, the act of accomplishing something that was a great
challenge. A "whale" is the biggest animal on earth, and lives in the ocean.
Im pretending, because, you know, we have to bond and everything.
"To bond" with a person is a popular verb from psychology
which means to become emotionally close to them.
A little snack for her might be 50 pounds of mackerel.
A "snack" is a small amount of food eaten between
meals, and "mackerel" is a type of small fish.
Youre pretending to have a good time and I dont want to spoil that.
In this case, "to spoil" a good time is to ruin or destroy it.
Do you think those whales piss in that water?
"To piss" is to urinate, or more colloquially, to take a leak.
Youre on call 24 hours a day, just like the rest of us.
If an employee is "on call," they must be ready or prepared to work
even though they might be relaxing at home or far from the job.
They threw me in the shark tank. :: They were trying to make a point.
A "shark tank" is a large container for sharks (large killer fish).
In this case, "to make a point" is a way of saying to send a message.
That youre a scary guy? Believe me, I get it.
Note that one key meaning of "to get" is to understand.
I had an episode.
An "episode" is an event or incident, and in this case, a panic attack.
I am redefining weird on an hourly basis.
"To redefine" a word is to change its meaning. "Weird" is a great adjective meaning
strange or bizarre. If something changes on "an hourly basis," it changes every hour.
I could take him out with a rifle and a scope,
but I dont have any of that shit with me.
In this context, "to take out" a person is to shoot and kill them.
The "scope" of a rifle is the part of it through which one views or aims.
No sweat. You told me to take care of him. Ill take care of him.
"No sweat" is a way of saying no problem. Here, "to take care of" a person
is to kill them (but this would only be used like this by criminals).
Maybe hes Vittis new consigliere.
An Italian word meaning counselor or assistant.
Put his picture on the wire and see what you come up with.
Here, "the wire" refers to the internet, and to "come up with" something
is to find a correct identification, or more generally, a solution.
The Miami wedding is ruined by a falling body, and Ben starts to
explore the possible psychological roots of Pauls battle with nerves.
Normally a patient wouldnt have a vat of scotch during a session.
A "vat" is a very big container for liquids, and "scotch" is a type
of strong liquor. A "session" is usually an hour of conversation
between a psychologist and their patient.
Ill have to remember it if Im ever on Jeopardy.
A famous TV quiz show, where people try to
show who knows the most useless information.
I just like saying "God rest his soul." Of course he passed away!
"God rest his soul" is a very religious way of talking about people after
they die. "To pass away" is a euphemistic or gentle way of saying to die.
I was hanging out in the neighborhood...a kid gang, hooligan shit.
"To hang out" is to pass time, doing nothing in particular. A "hooligan"
is a young teenage kid who causes lot of trouble by breaking the law and
often destroying property.
He slapped me around a couple times.
"To slap around" a person is to physically hit or strike them a few times.
Im just speculating that maybe in some way, maybe you wanted him to die.
"To speculate" is to guess, based on experience or physical evidence.
He slapped you around because you were rebelling against his authority.
"To rebel" against something is to fight back against it. A persons
"authority" is their official title, rank or more generally, their power.
There may have been some unresolved Oedipal conflict. :: English!
If a problem is "unresolved," it hasnt been solved yet. An "Oedipus complex"
is the theory, from both Ancient Greece and modern psychology, that young
boys want to unconsciously kill their fathers so that they can be with their mothers.
Its an instinctual developmental drive. A young boy wants
to replace his father so that he can totally possess his mother.
An "instinctual developmental drive" is a ridiculous term from psychology which
refers to a persons desire or wish, that they have developed over time, perhaps
from childhood experiences. In this case, "to possess" a person is to totally
control or dominate them.
Are you out of youre fucking mind?! :: Its Freud!
If a person is "out of their mind," theyre crazy. Freud is the famous
Jewish Austrian founder of modern psychology, who died in 1939.
Freud is a sick fuck and you are too for bringing it up.
"A sick fuck" is a strong insult for a sick or sexually perverted person.
"To bring up" something in a conversation is to start to discuss it.
My friends call me Captain.
A "captain" is the head of a ship (and a high level in the navy).
Id like a morphine and a soda.
"Morphine" is a drug thats often used to take away pain when people are
trying to stop using other drugs like heroin. A "soda" is another word for
a soft drink such as Coke or Pepsi.
Do I walk up to you and say youre so and so?
"So and so" is one way of referring to a person or thing in
general when you dont know or want to use their name.
A little something for the bride and groom. God bless.
A "bride" is the woman getting married, and the "groom" is the man.
I had a really weird dream last night.
A great word for strange, odd or bizarre.
Why did you interrupt my party? :: You know,
youre really very rigid about certain things.
"To interrupt" an event is to make a lot of noise or commotion so that
people are disturbed by it. If a person is rigid," they are stubborn and
refuse to change their beliefs or behavior.
I dont want to hear any more filth about my mother.
"Filth" refers to anything that is very dirty, in this case in a sexual sense.
All right, doc, Im letting it go this time.
In this context, "to let something go" is to forget
about it, or forgive a person for having done it.
Why dont you look over that way before I bust your fucking head open?
"To bust open" something is to violently force it open.
Im going to grab a bite to eat.
"To grab a bite" is to quickly get something to eat.
Now, nod your head and smile.
"To nod" your head is to move it up and down, as if youre saying yes.
I know what your game is, and you better call it quits.
This is Pauls slangy way of saying he knows what
Ben is doing, and he should stop doing it immediately.
Just guy stuff between me and the Captain.
A colloquial way of referring to the kinds of
things that men talk about between themselves.
There was an assassination attempt on Paul in the hotel.
An "assassination attempt" is the act of trying to kill
somebody well known or important, usually with a gun.
Thats it! Ive had it with you!
If you have "had it with" somebody, you can no longer accept
their behavior because it is too ridiculous or annoying.
I just saw a man fall seven stories into a platter of poached salmon.
A "platter" is a large tray of food. If food is "poached," it is
cooked in near boiling liquid. "Salmon" is a popular type of fish.
Theyre still pulling capers out of him.
"Capers" are a type of pickled flower that is often served with fish.
"Life is bullshit, I cant take it no more. Signed, the dead guy."
If a person "cant take it" anymore, they can no longer deal with or
survive a particular situation. "To sign" a letter is to write your signature.
Theyre probably on to you, right now.
If youre "on to" a person, you know what they
are doing, even if they are trying to keep it secret.
Being an accessory to a murder was not part of our understanding.
If a person is an "accessory" to a crime, they are legally
responsible for having helped the criminal commit or do it.
Of course Im upset. My wedding is ruined because you got problems.
If a person is "upset," they are emotionally angry, worried or agitated.
If something is "ruined," it has been seriously damaged or even destroyed.
Itll all work out. I promise.
If a situation "works out," the related problems are solved.
First he tries to kill me, then he whacks one of
my guys, then he fucks up your wedding.
In this film, "to whack" a person is to kill them (and not just hit
them). "To fuck up" a wedding is to seriously hurt or ruin it.
Im so fucking enraged, I dont know what to do with myself.
One way of saying extremely angry.
Because of this little homicide?
This is the official legal term for murder.
You dont have a shred of human decency. Not a shred.
A "shred" is a tiny piece or scrap of paper, or more generally, a very small
amount. "Human decency" refers to noble things like kindness, honesty and compassion.
Theres no helping you because youre a common thug.
"A thug" is a bully, gangster or anyone who acts violently
against people who are weaker or unable to defend themselves.
Im trying to get some closure on that.
"Closure" is an important word from modern psychology that refers to the
act of trying to end the emotional pain that resulted from something bad
or even tragic that happened in the past.
Ok, whatever. Im just trying to tell you about my feelings.
A widely used filler word that expresses the desire of the speaker to
move on to something else in the conversation, even if there is disagreement.
Anger is a blocked wish.
A typical observation from modern psychology.
You make one more move on me, you
motherfucker, Ill fucking cut your balls off!
In this case, to "make a move on" a person is to try and kill them.
"Motherfucker" may be the most vulgar insult word in English!
Ill put fucking ice picks in your eyes!
An "ice pick" is a sharp tool that is used to cut big blocks of ice.
It was going great until the cutting up of his balls and the shoving it up his ass.
"To shove" is to push forcefully. This is a funny line
by Ben about Pauls attempt to control his anger.
Will you unload the car please?
"To unload" a car is to take out all the things in it.
You didnt want to go ahead with the ceremony.
A "ceremony" is any type of formal ritual. In this case, a wedding.
Oh, theres the guy that plunged to his death.
"To plunge" is to fall very far very quickly.
The clergymen and any of your family members
who are done with their crisis counseling.
A "clergyman" is a church official, and "crisis counseling" is the act of
talking with a psychologist or other trained person, after something horrible
or tragic has happened, such as a death in the family.
The FBI moves in as Ben gets Paul to make an amazing
realization about his father, his career and his life.
Federal Bureau of Investigation, OCD.
This is the Organized Crime Division of the FBI (Ben mistakenly
thinks OCD stands for "obsessive-compulsive disorder," which is
a psychological disease in which patients continue to repeat the
same irrational behavior, such as taking a shower 10 times a day.
Im a psychotherapist. Paul Vitti is my patient.
A "psychotherapist" is a psychologist who treat serious
emotional problems that have roots in childhood.
I got a television set from a kleptomaniac, so its really not that big a deal.
A "kleptomaniac" is a person who feels a psychological need to steal.
If something is "a big deal," it is considered very important.
Let me cut to the chase, Dr. Sobol.
"To cut to the chase" is to speak quickly and very directly about
a particular issue or problem, rather than diplomatically or vaguely.
We think the stage is set for a major bloodbath.
If "the stage is set" for something, this means the conditions are
ready to have that occur. A "bloodbath" is a dramatic word for
a explosion of violence in which many people are killed or injured.
"Bloodbath" is something that sticks out in a conversation.
If something sticks out," it is easily noticeable and hard to ignore.
If this ever gets out on the street, were dead.
If news "gets out on the street," this means that lots of
people or even the general public becomes aware of it.
I beg to differ. If youre looking to establish
an insanity defense for later on, thats OK.
"I beg to differ" is a way of saying "I disagree." An "insanity defense"
is a legal strategy in which a person accused of a serious crime such as
murder claims they are not guilty because they were crazy or insane.
Everybody will think that youre falling apart.
If a person is "falling apart" emotionally, they become very
unstable, and perhaps even close to a nervous breakdown.
Get rid of the shrink. He knows too much.
"To get rid of" a person is to force them away,
eliminate them, or in this case, to kill them.
You look lousy, alright.
A good word for bad, of poor quality, or in this case, being in poor shape.
Its a boundary issue. :: If more people gave from the heart, wed be better off.
In psychology, a "boundary issue" refers to the emotional space or distance
that people want to keep between each other (A boundary is a border). "To give
from the heart" is to give with sincerity or honesty, and if a person is
"better off," they are happier or doing better than before.
Piece of junk. Youre getting a Rolex.
If something is "a piece of junk," it is considered lousy or of very poor
quality. A "Rolex" is a very expensive and well known brand of watch.
He was on his way to talk to a federal prosecutor. Got hit by a truck.
A "federal prosecutor" is a lawyer who prosecutes or puts on trial
accused criminals, for the federal government (And not the 50 states).
What you can say to a person whose spouse or family member just died.
Are you nuts?
"Nuts" is an excellent slang word for a person who is crazy or insane.
I dont buy that. In my dream, Im bringing the baby the black milk.
Note that in some contexts, "to buy" a story is to believe it.
What kind of work does your father do?...You paused.
"To pause" is to wait for a little while before moving forward.
A psychiatrist? Now I know why youre fucked up.
If a person is "fucked up" psychologically, they
have serious mental or emotional problems.
If you want to spend it screwing around, I cant help you.
"To screw around" is to pass time doing
things that arent serious or productive.
Have you guys ever snorkeled?
"To snorkel" is to swim under water while breathing through a tube.
Hes a lunatic.
A wonderful word for a truly crazy or insane person.
We got to nip that shit right in the bud.
"To nip something in the bud" is to stop or kill it before it has time
to grow (The bud of a flower is the center part that contains the seed).
If the first comes through, thatll fix everything.
If a person "comes through," they accomplish what they hoped to.
Scumbag, garbage pail.
A very strong insult word for a disgusting person (Scum is the dirt or
filth that is found on shower walls if not cleaned for a long time).
Jelly, I have to...:: Poop?
"To poop" is a safe and gentle way of saying to shit or defecate.
You got to get more roughage, Doc. A bran muffin in the morning could help.
"Roughage" is a part of some foods that helps people digest their
food better. A "bran muffin" is a type of popular and healthy bread.
Its all this shoot-them-up action bullshit.
"Shoot-them-up" is an adjective that refers to many
Hollywood films that are filled with violent guns fights.
They spotted that guy at Pettites restaurant.
"To spot" a person is to see them, often after trying to find them.
Lets make it his last supper. :: You got it.
A "supper" is a meal (and "The Last Supper of Jesus" is a famous story
in the Bible describing events before he was killed). "You got it" is one
way of saying. "No problem, Ill get what you want."
Just for fun, tear out his heart and bring it to me.
"To tear out" something is to forcefully pull it from where
it had been attached (This is a very violent image!).
Ill bring it back to you on a fucking platter.
A large tray for serving lots of food.
Raisin brand, that goes right through me. :: Good tip.
The first sentence is Jellys way of saying he can eat Raisin
brand breakfast cereal with no digestive or stomach problems.
A "tip" is an excellent word for a piece of advice.
Youre reaching out to me.
"To reach out to" a person is one way saying to confide in them,
or to tell them about very personal or intimate problems.
Dont kid yourself; It doesnt get more personal than this.
"Dont kid yourself" is a way of telling a person to be realistic, or to stop
lying to themselves. In this case, "personal" refers to an insult that is
directed at one person in particular that hurts their feelings.
Dont fucking bullshit me; You ratted me out. You betrayed me!
"To bullshit" a person is to tell them lies or nonsense. This is crude,
and you should be aware that the noun is much more common than the verb.
"To rat out" a criminal is to tell the police, or in this case the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI), about their criminal activities. "To betray"
a person is to turn against them, or perhaps turn them into the police or try
to physically hurt them, after once having been a friend or loyal to them.
Never, on my mothers life.
A dramatic and silly way of making a promise.
I had a wire on, but I took it off because I think I know how to help you.
In this case, a "wire" is a tiny electronic devise for spying
on, or listening to others, or more colloquially, a bug.
He was dressed like a busboy.
The person at a restaurant who helps the waiters and waitresses
set the tables and take the dirty dishes back to the kitchen.
Jesus; Poor guys falling apart.
"Jesus" is a way to express emotion such as frustration. If a person
is "falling apart" emotionally, they are becoming very unstable.
Why dont he just pop him already?
In this case, "to pop" means to kill (though this is rare and
usually refers to the act of bursting a bubble with a pin).
Hes trying to tell you...Holy shit!
A crude and funny way of expressing great fear or other emotion
(If something is holy, it is considered blessed by God, or sacred).
Pull yourself together!
One way of telling a very nervous person to calm down.
Time to channel all this nice grief into a murderous rage!
"To channel" anger it to direct it to another place (so that it can be released
more constructively). "Grief" is great sadness or sorrow, and "rage" is extreme
and even violent anger.
Time to shoot back---here we go, bang bang!
A childs words for the sound a gun makes when shooting.
Pretty fucking ironic, aint it?
An important but difficult word to define!; In general, a reference to the
difference between what one would expect and what actually happens after a
series of events (It is ironic that a person who works for years getting
the courage to fly on a plane dies in a crash on his first flight).
I was really conflicted about it. Progress right?
If a person is "conflicted" about something, they feel both good and bad or
positive and negative about it, all at the same time. "Progress" is the act
of moving forward or getting better.
I want to please him when were in bed, but
whatever I do, it seems like its never enough.
"To please" a person is to make them happy or to satisfy them.
He wants me to call him Big Boy" or hes my "Bucky Bronco"
and Im supposed to ride him hard and put him in the barn wet.
Totally ridiculous words that people associate with horseback
riding, though here it used to talk about sexual activity.
Id get on all fours and bark like a dog. Id do whatever it takes.
"To get on all fours" is to get down on the ground, on your hands
and knees, like an animal. "To bark" is to make the sound a dog makes.
Smoke some joints, drink some wine. Whatever
it is to get off each other and be happy.
A "joint" is a marijuana cigarette. "To get off a person is to
give them sexual pleasure, including an orgasm. Very slangy.
Im going to knock them dead.
In this context, "to knock them dead" is to totally impress
them with your ability to communicate or other skills.
Was providing for a family simpler back then,
or did he just make it look that way?
"To provide for a family" is to make enough money to take care of them.
Decisions are tougher now. So many ways to invest. Ask a
Merrill Lynch financial consultant, who can help with a plan.
If a decision is "tough," it is hard or difficult to make. "To invest" is to
put money into a companys stock, property, or other asset that can make money.
A "consultant" is an advisor.
We were put on this earth to find a love,
a soul-mate, someone with whom we can create joy.
A "soul-mate" is a lover or person with whom you are very
close, who often is very similar to you. "Joy" is great happiness.
We anticipate and celebrate...the years of joy
they will share together from this day on.
"To anticipate" something is to expect it in the future.
Pick it up from there.
"To pick up" a conversation after it has been interrupted for a while
is to resume or continue it from the point where it had been stopped.
Do you want to make a scene?
In this context, a "to make a scene" is to act in a loud, angry or
very noticeable way, so that others around will see and hear it.
Tic, toc. Hurry up, lets go.
The sounds that the hands of a clock make.
By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife.
"To vest" power in a person is to officially give or grant it to them,
and "to pronounce" something is to officially declare it out loud. These
are the words a priest will say when they are marrying two people.
Sorry Mrs. Sobol, duty calls.
A "duty" is a legal or moral obligation, or something that must be done.
If "duty calls" that obligation must be carried out or done immediately.
That would be a very good idea, except for one
little detail. Im a fucking moron. Im known for it.
A "detail" is a small part of something bigger, or a particular fact or
piece of information. A "moron" is an excellent word for someone who is very
stupid, or more generally, a jerk or idiot.
I am no longer on the payroll; Do you understand?
If a person is on a company payroll, theyre being paid by that company.
Weve been through this before; You cant shoot me.
"To go through" something is to experience it or survive it.
This is surveillance 6. Theyre heading East. :: Roger, that.
"Surveillance" is the act of spying on or looking over others.
"Roger" means "understood" when used by two people talking on a
twoway radio system, such as a by a pilot or police officer.
If you spill anything on it, Im going to mess you up.
"To spill" liquid is to accidentally let it fall out of its container.
Here, "to mess up" a person is to physically attack or hurt them.
If he gets nervous and fucks this up, theyll kill him for sure.
"To fuck up" something youre trying to do is to do it badly,
perhaps so that it is a complete failure. Crude but common .
This is insane.
A good alternative for crazy.
Lets go over it again. Mr. Vitti has been detained. Youre the new consigliere.
"To go over something" is to discuss it. If a person is "detained" they
are being prevented from leaving, sometimes by physical force.
A "consigliere" is an Italian word for an important assistant.
Im a psychiatrist. Believe me, I can be vague.
If a person is being "vague," they talk in very general terms,
but they refuse to use details, exact numbers or words.
Theres no way I can get away with this. :: Dont fucking whine.
"To get away with" something illegal is to do it without ever being caught
or punished. "To whine" is to complain in a high or annoying voice.
Whining is a dead giveaway.
If something is a "dead giveaway," it is a sign that what you are doing is
illegal or immoral and others will realize this (If you have a gun going into
a bank, that might be a giveaway that you plan to rob it).
Ben speaks for Paul at the great Mafia
meeting, until Paul arrives to speak for himself.
A way of telling a person to mix in with others at a party so that
they will look like they belong and theyre just like everyone else.
I didnt think anybody here was into wearing fucking name-tags.
To be "into doing" something is to enjoy doing it. A "name-tag" is a little
piece of paper with your name printed on it, that you pin on your shirt.
All I see is his man Jelly and some sawed off little prick nobody knows.
"To saw" something means to cut it with a saw or blade, moving it back
and forth, but as part of an adjective, this is never used. A "prick" is
a very vulgar term for a jerk, ass, or creep, or literally, a penis.
Who is this guy? What the fuck is he doing here?
A more vulgar version of "the hell," added to Wh
questions to show emotion such as anger or frustration.
Who am I? Who I am? You got to go in deep and pull out
like the movie where
they came out of the stomach, and ate the people on the fucking spaceship.
This is Bens ridiculous (and nervous) way of saying he is an intellectually
deep and complicated person who is hard to understand or know.
May they rest in peace.
The religious words that are used to bless people who have just died.
Benny the Groin, Sunny Schnoz, Tommy the Tuba.
Three ridiculous names for gangsters: A "groin" is the area of a man
around his sexual organs, a "schnoz" is a Yiddish (Jewish) slang word
for a nose, and a "tuba" is a very big musical instrument.
I smoked a Tibet and had a quaalude and
suddenly Im in a fishnet singing show tunes.
A "Tibet" is rarely used slang for a marijuana cigarettes. A "quaalude"
is a pill that has the effect of an illegal drug like marijuana. "Show tunes"
are songs that are popular in Broadway plays.
I am prepared to speak for Mr. Vitti on all matters.
"To speak for" a person is to officially represent them,
and in this case, "matters" refers to all topics of interest.
What if I put two bullets in the back of your fucking brain?
"Bullets" are the deadly metal pieces that guns shoot.
Do you have to get angry to be heard, to get
people to listen to you? Is that your deal?
This is a slangy way of asking "Is that the way
you behave in order to get what you want?"
You have a tendency to be angry a lot. :: How can I calm
down when this prick wont stop with the questions?
If a person has a "tendency" to do something,
they do it fairly often over a period of time.
I want out, but I will respect the oath I made.
In this case, "out" means out of the entire business or lifestyle.
An "oath" is a solemn promise, usually made in front of others.
Whatever I know about anybody elses business,
I will take to the grave. You have my word.
If you "take a secret to the grave," you die without having told anyone
else about it. If a person "has your word," they are saying that you can
trust them to do what they say they will do.
He betrayed us. He sent his own man down to Miami to try and kill me.
"To betray" a person is to turn against them, or perhaps turn them into
the police or try to physically hurt them, after once having been a friend.
Even though its my right, Im not going to take revenge.
"To take revenge" is to hurt or strike back
against a person who has hurt you in the past.
You got a problem with aggression. Maybe
you werent hugged when you were a kid.
"Aggression" is the act of acting angry, violent or hostile to others.
"To hug" a person is to hold them tightly between your arms.
Look inside the inner self and find out who you are.
This is a term from modern psychology that refers to a persons
deepest emotional feelings, that often come from childhood experiences.
I had a breakthrough. Im in a good place
mentally and Im feeling good about me.
A "breakthrough" is an excellent word for sudden and dramatic progress
or improvement. This is Paul, speaking as if her were a psychologist!
As a token of good faith between us, Ive taken the liberty of writing
down a few things and putting them in a self-deposit box in case...
"A token of good faith" is a small gesture or action that someone does
to show they are being sincere or honest. A "self-deposit box" is a small
box inside a bank, for holding small valuable possessions like gold rings.
...God forbid, something should happen to me, my friends or family.
An interesting way of hoping that something bad wont happen.
That was remarkable. Some people in therapy
never have breakthroughs like you had.
A good alternative to amazing or unbelievable.
You think this is a fucking civil service job?!
A "civil service job" is a job working for the federal
government, which usually has good job security.
Are you going to stab me in the back like
the piece of shit I always knew you were?
"To stab a person in the back" is to put a knife into their back, or more
generally, to turn on them after having been a loyal friend or partner.
Machine guns are a nice touch. A little hostile.
If something is "a nice touch," it adds a little something that makes
it look better (Its often in the context of decorating or furnishing a room).
"Hostile" means angry, resisting or aggressive.
Take a pill, Robocop.
The name of movie character that is part police officer and
part robot, which is a machine that acts like a thinking human.
I cant believe it! You took a bullet for me!
If one person "takes a bullet" for another, they bravely move between
that person and another firing a gun, in order to save the others life.
You tripped over your unconscious.
"To trip over" something is to almost fall after waking into it
without seeing it. In psychology, a persons "unconscious" are the feelings,
thoughts and emotions that they are not even aware that they have.
Mr. Vitti, you have the right to remain silent.
These are the words that every police officer in the United Sates
must say if they arrest a person for possibly having committed a crime.
You got off easy. 18 months is nothing.
In this context, "to get off easy" is to be given a light or even
gentle punishment for having committed a serious crime.
We dont say "cure." We say you had a "corrective emotional experience."
A truly silly expression from modern psychology, which seems to be
another way of saying a cure or a positive or helpful experience.
Possible Topics for ESL Class Discussion
1. Is psychotherapy practiced in your country?
Is it as popular as in the United States?
2. Is there a Mafia or other type of organized crime in your country?
How powerful is it?
3. Is it possible to be a sensitive gangster?
Do Mafia bosses ever really "get in touch with their feelings?"
4. If you were Ben, would you have treated Paul? Was it Bens job to make Paul a
"well-adjusted" gangster, or to convince him that his entire life was wrong?
5. With anti-depressant pills, is psychotherapy really needed?
6. Is Jelly a mean and ruthless thug, or just a big cuddly teddy bear?
7. Did you like this movie? Why or why not?