Starring: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse, Gwendoline Christie, Benedict Wong, Aneurin Barnard, Daisy May Cooper, Morfydd Clark, Anthony Welsh, Rosalind Eleazar
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Comedy drama directed and co-written by Armando Iannucci. The story follows David (Dev Patel), a burgeoning young writer, from orphaned infancy to adulthood as he befriends a collection of eccentric characters on a journey of love, acceptance, and self-discovery in Victorian England.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'You need to love those that help you out, and help out the ones you love.' - Peggotty (The Personal History of David Copperfield) Click To Tweet 'Don't worry. You'll make it through. And you'll have quite the ride on the way.' - David Copperfield (The Personal History of David Copperfield) Click To Tweet
[as he begins narrating his life story]
David Copperfield: Whether I turn out to be the hero of my own story, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these moments must show.
[as Clara is about to give birth to David]
Peggotty: Just try to pretend it doesn’t hurt.
Clara Copperfield: It does!
[as he’s narrating his life from birth]
David Copperfield: I remember Peggotty’s rough fingers, like a pocket nutmeg grater.
David Copperfield: I can easily recall people of strong character and weave their memory into the life I was about to lead.
Emily: Is your mother really a lady?
Young David: Uh, yes, I think so.
Emily: Does she attend to her correspondence and receive callers in the drawing room?
Young David: I don’t know. A gentleman with big hands calls to admire our geranium.
Emily: I should like to become a lady.
Young David: He has two eyebrows. I say eyebrows rather than eyes because they’re much more important in his face.
[after David’s mother, Clara, marries Murdstone; referring to his sister, Jane]
Peggotty: She looks like she’s made of wax.
Young David: Or Dutch cheese.
[as Murdstone is cruelly disciplining young David]
Murdstone: Now, whenever I have an obstinate dog or horse, I beat him, hmm? I conquer him, even if it costs him every last drop of blood he has.
Young David: I’m trying to learn, sir, but I can’t when you and Miss Murdstone are watching me!
Murdstone: Oh, can’t you indeed?
[young David bites Murdstone’s hand]
[after young David is sent away to lodge with Mr. Micawber]
Mr. Micawber: London is full of more wonders and wickedness than all the cities of the earth.
Young David: [mimics Micawber] Cities.
Mr. Micawber: And it’s ours, David, to go wherever we choose.
[young David starts walking ahead]
Mr. Micawber: No, not down there. Creditors make that road impassable. Two tailors, and a most unreasonable muffin man.
[as they keep walking ahead]
Mr. Micawber: More creditors. A knife grinder, a dairyman, and an unhinged florist. You find us fallen back financially, but something shall turn up.
Young David: But won’t we run out of roads?
[as his creditors spot him]
Mr. Micawber: I think we already have. Run!
[as the bailiffs are taking away their possessions]
Mr. Micawber: That is not your chicken. You’re stealing an honest man’s chicken!
David Copperfield: At least let him finish his meal, you malicious apes.
Creakle: Your stepfather informs me…
Creakle: That your mama is ill.
David Copperfield: How ill is she?
Jane Murdstone: Tell him.
David Copperfield: Tell me, please.
Creakle: I won’t deceive you. Very ill.
Tungay: Very ill.
David Copperfield: Very ill?
Tungay: Very ill?
Creakle: Dangerously ill.
Tungay: She’s dead.
Murdstone: We’re very sorry.
[as David breaks a bottle after he’s been told his mother has already been buried]
Creakle: Copperfield, I will allow you that. You are upset. But do not…
Tungay: Do not!
[David angrily breaks another bottle]
Creakle: Right! That’s it! Half a day’s pay!
David Copperfield: Half of nothing is nothing!
Jane Murdstone: Given the manner of your overreaction, it is a good thing you were not at the funeral.
David Copperfield: You can’t take from someone who has nothing!
David Copperfield: I deserve more than this. Far more!
[to Murdstone and Jane]
David Copperfield: You two are ghosts. You’ve always been dead.
David Copperfield: Excuse me. Do you know where Miss Trotwood lives?
Street Sweeper: About a mile up that way. Good luck. She’s fierce like a birthing badger.
[to the woman on the donkey in her garden]
Betsey Trotwood: Get off my lawn! I’ll box your ears! Off you go! This is a donkey-free zone!
[she shoves the woman off the donkey]
Betsey Trotwood: Move it! Cheek of it.
Mr. Dick: Somebody, please! King Charles I. Are we certain that he’s dead?
Betsey Trotwood: When last seen in public, his head was not attached to his body.
Mr. Dick: Good. Thank you. Much obliged.
David Copperfield: I’m your nephew! I’m David Copperfield. From The Rookery.
Betsey Trotwood: Mr Dick!
David Copperfield: I’ve been ill-used and put to work not fit for me. And you’re the only family I have.
[as Betsey brings David into her house and he faints]
Betsey Trotwood: Hello? Can you wake up?
[she pours liquid into his mouth and David becomes conscious]
David Copperfield: What are you doing?
Betsey Trotwood: Medicine. Reviving you.
David Copperfield: This is salad dressing.
Betsey Trotwood: Is it? I thought it was Armagnac. Don’t have my spectacles on.
David Copperfield: Do you have a lettuce somewhere covered in ointment?
Mr. Dick: His head is entirely removed from his body? We’re sure?
Betsey Trotwood: Let’s leave Charles’s head on one side for the moment, Mr Dick.
Mr. Dick: Pick it up later. Understood.
[referring to David]
Betsey Trotwood: What shall we do with him?
David Copperfield: One thing you could do is…
Mr. Dick: If I were you, I’d wash him.
[as she sees another donkey in her garden]
Betsey Trotwood: There must be fifty of them. It’s an infestation!
[she leaves and Mr. Dick hands the plate of cakes to David]
David Copperfield: Thank you.
[they watch as Betsey goes to deal with the donkey rider on her lawn]
David Copperfield: Is my aunt really going to…?
Mr. Dick: To visit violence upon the boy? Yes. She’s a remarkable woman. Very kind.
Mr. Dick: [to David] Your aunt gave me that kite to encourage me out of the house from time to time while she drinks coffee and is quiet. I’m still in the house.
David Copperfield: I see you’re writing stories about Charles I.
Mr. Dick: Why? What makes you say that?
David Copperfield: There seems to be the occasional reference to him. Everywhere.
David Copperfield: Aunt, Mr. Dick, is he at all…?
Betsey Trotwood: Did he mention Charles I?
David Copperfield: Quite a lot.
Betsey Trotwood: He connects his, um, particular situation with great disturbance and agitation. But his mind’s sharp as a surgeon’s lancet, make no mistake.
David Copperfield: I think I may be able to help him.
Betsey Trotwood: Well, on you go back up, Trotwood.
David Copperfield: Trotwood?
Betsey Trotwood: Yes, I thought I might call you Trotwood. If I’m to financially support my nephew, I want to like his name.
David Copperfield: Trotwood, that’s me. Yes.
[as he sees a donkey rider on the lawn]
David Copperfield: Donkeys! Shoo! Shoo! Come on! On your way. I’ll tan your hide and put you in a stew! I’m a huge maniac!
[after meeting Wickfield and his daughter, Agnes]
Agnes: A bow. I’m so rarely bowed to.
David Copperfield: I hope I’ve started a new fashion. Unless you deem it inappropriate.
Agnes: No, not at all, Trotwood. I shall demand it at our every meeting from now on, as if I’m an empress. Or mad.
Mr. Wickfield: Is it too early for sherry?
Betsey, Agnes: A little early.
Mr. Wickfield: Port, then. It’s seven in the evening in Singapore. I imagine.
Agnes: Father, it’s too early to drink.
David Copperfield: I have a thirst for education that sadly has never been quenched.
Agnes: Really? You give the impression of a very well-watered intellect.
Mr. Wickfield: All this talk of thirst is making me thirsty.
Mr. Dick: Can you just confirm something? My head…
Mr. Dick: Am I right? My head is connected to my body?
Agnes: Well, let me have a look. Yes. I can confirm without any doubt that it is.
Mr. Dick: Well, that’s good to hear.
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