Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Diner (1982)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Diner (1982)

In writer/director Barry Levinson's period comedy film, the classic episodic rites-of-passage film of the late 50s centered around a Baltimore, Maryland diner (Fells Point):

  • many of the scenes at the 1959 Fells Point Diner between a group of six post high-school graduate male friends - and their many fast-paced, late night, often mindless discussions (with overlapping dialogue)
  • the scene of Modell's (Paul Reiser) and Eddie's intensely passionate debate about the best make-out music (Frank Sinatra or Johnny Mathis) with the blunt answer from Eddie: "Mathis"; "Shrevie" couldn't answer: "I'm married. We don't make out"; later when "Boogie" was asked the same question by Eddie, he gave a quick reply: "Presley!"
  • the diner argument scene in which annoying, wise-cracking Modell eyed an exasperated Eddie's roast-beef sandwich: ("You gonna finish that?") but "Shrevie" was the one who grabbed half of the sandwich and ended up taking a bite out of it
  • the scene at Eddie's bachelor party when William "Billy" Howard (Tim Daly) suggested: "Are we gonna pick up the beat?!"), and took a place at the piano to increase the tempo, as Eddie joined the stripper (with a boa) on stage
  • the scene of a pre-nuptial 140 question trivia test (65 was passing) about the Baltimore Colts pro football team required by virginal momma's boy and football fanatic Edward "Eddie" Simmons (Steve Guttenberg) for his off-screen fiancee Elyse just before the wedding in a few days - friends and family members gathered around the basement to keep score where he grilled her; and when it was over, Eddie announced solemnly: "The marriage is off!"
  • Earl Mager's (Mark Margolis) attempt to eat "the whole left side of the menu"; Earl answered in the affirmative when asked if his challenge included the fried chicken dinner; Eddie and Modell were astonished: "Twenty-two deluxe sandwiches and the fried-chicken dinner! It's not human. He's not a person. He's like a building with feet. You know what I mean? It's unbelievable"; afterwards, Earl drove off in his small Nash Metropolitan
  • the set-piece joke in a movie theatre of scheming, hustling, indebted Robert "Boogie" Sheftell's (Mickey Rourke) macho movie-theatre wager with his friends that he could entice a girl on a first date to a certain level of intimacy ("Do ya wanna bet that she goes for my pecker - first thing?") - executed with the creative use of a popcorn box with blonde date Carol Heathrow (Colette Blonigan) when he stuck his privates into the bottom of the box to fool her into touching his "pecker"
Boogie's (Mickey Rourke) 'Pecker' in Popcorn Box Trick
  • Timothy "Fen" Fenwick Jr.'s (Kevin Bacon) drunk destruction and desecration of the city's Nativity scene
  • the "Don't Touch My Records" scene between a married couple - a neglected and under-appreciated Beth (Ellen Barkin in her screen debut) and exasperated music-obsessed Laurence 'Shrevie' Schreiber (Daniel Stern) when he asked: "Have you been playing my records?"; he complained about her improper filing of one of his treasured records according to category, alphabet, and year - she had placed a James Brown record filed under the J's instead of the B's for Blues ("To top it off, he's in the rock n roll section instead of the R&B section - how can you do it?"); he also went further and criticized her lack of knowledge about Charlie Parker (yelling: "Jazz, jazz! He was the greatest jazz saxophone player that ever played!"); 'Shrevie' became fanatical: "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!"; she was left with tears welling up in her eyes
Wedding Bouquet on Table in Front of Group
  • in the concluding scene at Eddie's and bride Elyse's wedding, she tossed her wedding bouquet into the air - it landed on the table in front of the Diner guys; then, during the end credits, the guys were heard talking at the diner - again

(l to r): Eddie (Steve Guttenberg) and 'Shrevie' (Daniel Stern)

(l to r): Fenwick (Kevin Bacon) and Modell (Paul Reiser)

Result of Football Trivia Quiz: "The marriage is off!"

Earl's Attempt to Eat All Items on Left Side of Menu

Eddie's Bachelor Party - Dancing with Stripper

'Shrevie' Complaining to Wife Beth About His Precious, Mixed Up and Miscategorized LP Record Collection


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