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Genius Movie Quotes

Updated November 6, 2017 304 votes 135 voters 7.4k views

Genius movie quotes tell the story of when writer Thomas Wolfe was given his shot at success by book editor Maxwell Perkins. The biographical drama was directed by Michael Grandage using a screenplay John Logan adapted from the book Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg. Genius opened in theaters on June 10, 2016.

In Genius, writer Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law) arrives in the New York office of book editor Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth), who had previously worked with Ernest Hemingway (Dominic West) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Guy Pearce), expecting Perkins to reject his book, Look Homeward, Angel. But to Wolfe's surprise, Perkins wanted to inform Wolfe that the book would be published.

What follows is perhaps a bromance between Wolfe and Perkins as the two spent more time with each other, including trying to edit a 5,000-page take on America that Wolfe had written, than they spend with their significant others (Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney), something that impacts all of them in ways they never expected.

Genius opened in theaters with other great summer 2016 films including Now You See Me 2, Me Before You, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
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  • 5

    I'm a Writer Too

    I'm a Writer Too is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Genius Movie Quotes
    Video: YouTube

    Louise Sanders: You know I'm a writer too.
    Thomas Wolfe: Is that so?
    Louise Sanders: Max didn't tell you? I've been working on a play for quite some time now. It's about Pauline, Napoleon's sister.
    Thomas Wolfe: Not a historical pageant, is it?
    Louise Sanders: Well, it's attempting to be more modern.
    Thomas Wolfe: I wrote a play once. I have the experience, I can tell you that. I found it an anemic form, lacking the multi-colored cloak of prose. So I dumped the forum and returned to my novels.

    When Louise informs Thomas that she too is a writer, he doesn't exactly take her seriously. This only intensifies when she mentions she writes plays, a forum Thomas dumped, in his opinion, to return to something more important in the literary world.
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  • 6

    The High Life

    The High Life is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Genius Movie Quotes
    Photo: Summit Entertainment

    Thomas Wolfe: Max, this is Mrs. Bernstein
    Aline Bernstein: Mr. Perkins
    Thomas Wolfe: She's the first person who told me my writing was worth anything.
    ...
    Maxwell Perkins: They're calling you a genius. God help you.
    Thomas Wolfe: Now that I'm Scribner's best seller, I deserve a little of the high life.

    A little bit of success, via having his book published, seems to be going to Thomas Wolfe's head. While it seems Thomas values Aline Bernstein, let's hope this newfound high life won't negatively impact that relationship.
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  • 7

    What We Editors Lose Sleep Over

    What We Editors Lose Sleep Ove is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Genius Movie Quotes
    Photo: Summit Entertainment

    Thomas Wolfe: Max thinks he created me. He crippled me! He deformed my work!
    F. Scott Fitzgerald: He made all your dreams come true. He gave you a career.
    ...
    Maxwell Perkins: That's what we editors lose sleep over, you know. Are you really making books better or just making them different?

    Wolfe, Fitzgerald and Perkins all have different views on the role of an editor. Wolfe feels the editor has crippled him, Fitzgerald gives the editor credit for Wolfe's career and Perkins wonders if he's really helping or hurting the work.
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  • 8

    What it Means to Be Alive

    What it Means to Be Alive is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Genius Movie Quotes
    Photo: Summit Entertainment

    Thomas Wolfe: You of all people, just so damn scared to live!
    Maxwell Perkins: There are other ways to live! God help anyone who loves you, Tom, cause for all your millions of beautiful words, you haven't the slightest idea of what it means to be alive.

    An argument between Thomas and Maxwell gets heated when the two trade jabs with one another. Neither feels the other knows how to live but it's Maxwell's comments that dig deep for Thomas.
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