Diner (1982) Written and directed by Barry Levinson
Ellen Barkin as Beth Screiber and Daniel Stern as Laurence ‘Shrevie’ Schreiber

Shrevie: I found my James Brown record filed under the J’s instead of the B’s. I don’t know who taught you to alphabetize, but to top it off, he’s in the rock and roll section instead of the R&B section. How can you do that?
Beth: It’s too complicated, Shrevie. See, every time I put on a record, there’s this whole procedure I have to go through. I just want to hear the music, that’s all.
Shrevie: Is it too complicated to just keep my records in a category, ok? Just put the rock and roll in with the rock and roll. Put the R&B in with the R&B. I mean, you’re not gonna put Charlie Parker in with the rock and roll, would you? Would you?
Beth: I don’t know. Who is Charlie Parker?
Shrevie: JAZZ! JAZZ! He was the greatest Jazz saxophone player that ever lived!
Beth: What are you getting so crazy about? It’s just music. It’s not that big a deal.
Shrevie: It is! Don’t you understand? This, this is important to me!
Beth: Shrevie, why do you yell at me? I mean, uh, I never hear you yell at any of your friends.
Shrevie: Look… pick a record, OK?
Beth: What?
Shrevie: Just pick any record. Any record… Ok, what’s the hit side?
Beth: “Good Golly Miss Molly.”
Shrevie: Ok, now ask me what’s on the flip side.
Beth: Why?
Shrevie: Just, just ask me what’s on the flip side, OK?
Beth: What is on the flip side?
Shrevie: “Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey.” 1958. Specialty Records. See? You don’t ask me things like that, do you? No! You never ask me what’s on the flip side.
Beth: No, because I don’t give a shit! Shrevie, who cares about what’s on the flip side of a record?
Shrevie: I DO! Every one of my records means something! The label, the producer, the year it was made. Who was copying whose styles, who’s expanding on that. Don’t you understand? When I listen to my records they take me back to certain points in my life, OK? Just don’t touch my records. Ever! The first time I met you? Modell sisters’ high school graduation party, right? 1955. And “Ain’t That a Shame” was playing when I walked in the door!

2 Responses to “Diner (1982)”

  1. Ha, terrific intercahnge here, from a an early film that still holds up to this day as Levinson’s best. I’ll take this one easily instead of the overrated RAIN MAN and BUGSY.

  2. Much better than Rain Main. I still like Bugsy. This one holds up really well though. What works for me in this scene is that his sympathies are mostly with Stern’s character, but not entirely. Barkin gets her say too.

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