Hi, guys,

Sorry to bail without notice! Things have been unexpectedly busy. (No, that is not code for "paged to mass shooting.") I will probably move most of the meme questions to next month, when hopefully I will actually have time to answer them.

In the meantime, I have a question for you all. I need a MOVIE that fits the following criteria. Please read the criteria carefully.

1. Very well-known in America. Either recent and well-known, or, if older, extremely well-known and, ideally, iconic. The sort of movie where even if you've never seen it, you know roughly what it's about.

2. The protagonist's primary (archetypal) attribute is persuasiveness. Someone who is known for being quick-witted, tricksy, intelligent, fast-talking, etc. I'm NOT looking for one of the many action heroes who also do wisecracks, but someone whose primary weapon or tool is their tongue. Miles Vorkosigan would qualify if he was in a movie; Indiana Jones wouldn't. Criminals and antiheroes are fine if they're the main character rather than a wisecracking antagonist.

3. Ideally this character should be female. If female, however, make sure they're known for persuasiveness rather than sexiness. They should be talking people into other places than bed. No characters who are persuasive but only in the course of seducing someone.

4. To sum up: A) Movie. B) Extremely well-known in America. C) Main character is known for fast talking. D) Ideally, main character is female (but not a seductress.)
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cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)

From: [personal profile] cofax7


Man, I'm having a hard time thinking of any movies like that with women as leads. For male leads, think Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy or The Sting. Or Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire or Rain Man?
Edited Date: 2014-01-10 12:08 am (UTC)
laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)

From: [personal profile] laurashapiro


I go to screwball comedies for this: His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, Bringing Up Baby.
rhivolution: the Doctor, pointing at his shop name badge: The Doctor/here to help (Here to help: The Doctor)

From: [personal profile] rhivolution


I too was going to say His Girl Friday, which is renowned for all these points. Though it may be too classic depending on the situation (age/film knowledge of those involved in the discussion).
recessional: a cat peeks out of a desk (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


For men, Get Shorty and the sequel Be Cool.
musesfool: the middleman and wendy watson (let the loving come back to me)

From: [personal profile] musesfool


It Happened One Night or Bringing Up Baby. Maybe Breakfast at Tiffany's? Oh, also The Lady Eve. ANd possibly that one where the woman pretends to be dying so she can win a trip to Hollywood (or New York?). My memory is blanking on this but it's a pretty famous movie from the 30s or 40s.
Edited Date: 2014-01-10 12:48 am (UTC)
kerrypolka: Contemporary Lois Lane with cellphone (Default)

From: [personal profile] kerrypolka


Yes, I was thinking The Lady Eve! His Girl Friday is probably better-known but less persuasive, while The Lade Eve is less well-known but she's more (MUCH more) persuasive.
ducened: (Default)

From: [personal profile] ducened


I was all over the Ocean's movies (Danny Ocean, but really, anyone in the con would probably do) until point #3. But perhaps a better fit for point #1 would be The Sting? Hmm.
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)

From: [personal profile] staranise


Hm, I'm throwing pasta at the wall here. None of my examples are the talk-a-mile-a-minute bullshit-spewers the male examples I can think of, since I latched onto the "female" qualifier harder. :/

Idgie from Fried Green Tomatoes starts out telling tall tales and goes from there.

Juno: Everyone in its universe seems to fast-talk, but she's the one who makes a lot of the pivotal decisions and drags everyone with her.

Erin Brockovich has the main character becoming a lawyer. QED.

Elizabeth Swann from the Pirates of the Carribean franchise is occasionally a seductress, but also ends up talking a lot of people into doing what she wants, repeatedly.

I feel like Mary Poppins half-counts, as with other "woman saves the day" movies that are either Manic Pixie Dream Girl flicks (Sweet November, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) or Heroic Teacher stories (Freedom Writers).

Scarlett O'Hara of Gone with the Wind?
Edited Date: 2014-01-10 12:51 am (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)

From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid


Erin Brokovich was the first that came to mind.
Edited (words missing) Date: 2014-01-10 04:30 am (UTC)
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter


Han Solo, Ferris Bueller, Leonardo diCaprio's character in Catch Me If You Can, Danny Ocean (Ocean's 11),

Westley from The Princess Bride?

Not quite sure where Hannibal Lecter falls for Silence of the Lambs. I'd argue he's one of the main characters, but other people might say antagonist?

Loki in MCU, who's also on that borderline between antagonist and main character (in the Thor movies at least)

Really sad I can't think of female ones! I'm not sure if any of the Barbara Stanwyck movies work, since I haven't seen then and don't know how much seduction vs. persuasion there is.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter


Oh wait, Dory from Finding Nemo?

Also Roxie and Velma from Chicago!
Edited Date: 2014-01-10 01:12 am (UTC)

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stranger: Athene's face and head, with laurel leaves (athene)

From: [personal profile] stranger


All About Eve might be what you want. Eve is more deceptive than literally fast-talking, but she certainly does it all by talking. I also like Bringing up Baby, in a much lighter vein, for a female protag who talks her way into and out of all kinds of situations.
skygiants: Mae West (model lady)

From: [personal profile] skygiants


The Lady Eve I think alas would fall under 'persuasive in the course of seduction.' :( Seconding His Girl Friday, though!

What about Gypsy? Though I guess Mama Rose is more 'BULLDOZER' than 'fast-talker.' Also, might not be iconic enough.
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)

From: [personal profile] rivkat


I second Erin Brockovich--she just keeps talking people into doing things for her. Too bad Carrie Matheson in Homeland doesn't qualify. I think "Katherine Hepburn" in general, rather than a particular movie, also embodies these qualities.
katesnotes: static liza from cabaret (Default)

From: [personal profile] katesnotes


Either Cher from Clueless or Elle Woods from Legally blonde. Both girls are pretty and do rely on that a bit but they are mostly talkers when trying to persuade people.
legionseagle: (Default)

From: [personal profile] legionseagle


I'd go with either of those; Elle Woods in particular is so good at organising other people to do things
wendylove: Wendy: I know such lots of stories (Default)

From: [personal profile] wendylove


Mayyyybe Whoopi Goldberg/Sister Act? (Although I like a lot of these other ideas.)
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore


Yeah, Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby was about all I could think of, except that might be too niche. Erin Brockovich might be your best bet? (altho I haven't seen it)
ext_13002: (like this)

From: [identity profile] weirdquark.livejournal.com


Hm. So my thought process went as follows: Katherine Hepburn in Desk Set -- not that I remember her being known for being persuasive, but she is certainly very smart and talks fast. Also I think I am required to love Katherine Hepburn playing a librarian since I'm a librarian and we both went to the same college. But it's not well known. So then I did a bit of Googling for your requirements and found an article about "fast talking dames" (http://www.nytimes.com/books/01/06/03/reviews/010603.03gottlit.html) and how women got to be sassy in the 1930s. And it referenced Shakespeare's heroines as being some of the original fast talking dames.

So I present to you Much Ado About Nothing, which is recent, having just been done by Joss Whedon, everyone knows what it's about because it's Shakespeare, and wherein one of the main characters is known for her wit rather than being sexy.

ETA: I haven't actually seen this version, so I don't know if there was anything in the interpretation that makes Beatrice not fit other than her style of fast talking might not be quite in the direction you're looking for.
Edited Date: 2014-01-10 12:16 am (UTC)

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From: [identity profile] nestra.livejournal.com


Ocean's Eleven was the first thing that came to mind, but doesn't have your female lead.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Yeah, I think what I would ideally use is Ocean's Eleven with a female lead. Sadly, this does not appear to exist.

From: [identity profile] movingfinger.livejournal.com


What's Up, Doc? and to a lesser extent perhaps Funny Girl.

ETA: His Girl Friday in which Russell kind of nails the archetype. Mae West possibly; particularly opposite Cary Grant (who was clearly a significant factor in the evolution of the Fast-Talking Dame) in She Done Him Wrong and I'm No Angel. Myrna Loy and Carole Lombard were good, but I can't think of a role in which either of them dominates a truly well-known (now) film.

Hepburn in African Queen and her other films has elements of it, too. In Some Like It Hot Jack Nicholas and Tony Curtis play fast-talking dames, but they aren't really, so it doesn't actually count, I think; Claudette Colbert, talking people in and out of all kinds of things in Palm Beach Story, is more like it, but she doesn't do enough persuading to, IMO, dominate the film. Is Scarlett O'Hara a candidate?

Maria deBattista's book on the subject is less interesting and useful than it ought to be.
Edited Date: 2014-01-10 01:16 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com


The first one to mind was Desperately Seeking Susan--she seems to get the world to cooperate with her.

From: [identity profile] coyotegoth.livejournal.com


Barbra Streisand in What's Up, Doc? fits these criteria to a T.

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From: [identity profile] icecreamempress.livejournal.com


The Lady Eve? Paper Moon? Auntie Mame? Hello, Dolly?

From: [identity profile] fmanalyst.livejournal.com


The best example of a persuasive speaker is Thank You for Smoking, but that doesn't have a female lead. American Hustle does show Amy Adams' character as highly persuasive in terms of conning the marks.

From: [identity profile] fearlesstemp.livejournal.com


I like the suggestion of True Grit. The one that came to my mind was Erin Brockovich - I haven't seen the movie in ages and I can remember one time when she dresses revealingly to advance her aims, but I think her primary skill is the persuasiveness you mention. If I remember right, she talks her way into a job, and then into developing and winning a class-action lawsuit. She's a heroic figure whose primary skill is craftiness and persuasiveness. But again, it's probably been ten years since I saw the movie, so I could be way off!

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com


It's been a while since I've seen it, too, but I think it qualifies (assuming it's well-known enough for Rachel's purpose).

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From: [identity profile] cat-i-th-adage.livejournal.com


Would Legally Blonde and Clueless count? They both have protagonists that work at portraying themselves as Female! Attractive! and initially have Romance as the aim - but they do a lot of general people-wrangling, and the getting-in-bed part gets pushed to one side.

One thing I like about the protagonist of Clueless is that she will occasionally totally screw up and has to pick herself up and keep going. Makes for a good Guile Hero.


From: [identity profile] rushthatspeaks.livejournal.com


Bringing Up Baby. The Lady Eve. Reese Witherspoon in Election (terrible film, but does fit your criteria, I think, I see it mentioned by critics a lot).

From: [identity profile] sovay.livejournal.com


Bringing Up Baby.

Seconded. For "Swingin' Door Susie and the Leopard Gang" alone.

From: [identity profile] amberley.livejournal.com

Veronica Mars: The Movie


Is it cheating to suggest the upcoming Veronica Mars movie?

Possibly it's cheating. If so, I cheat without shame.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Re: Veronica Mars: The Movie


It's not cheating but I can't use it; it has to be a movie that's already out. Otherwise it would be a great choice. Well, depending on what the movie's actually like, I guess. The preview I saw rather dismayingly gave the impression, I hope misleadingly, that it's mostly about Veronica choosing between Logan and some dude named Piz.

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