Max Landsberger Quotes in Head Office (1985)
Max Landsberger Quotes:
Max Landsberger: Lesson No.1: beware of the furniture movers. When the axe falls, they're usually the first to know. People see them coming and they shit.
[Jack was to start with Stedman, but Stedman just been fired for insider trading]
Max Landsberger: Listen, I got you set up in PR with Howard Gross. Gross is the kind of guy who really knows how to handle the pressure.
Howard Gross: [rapidly into a phone] This is Howard Gross, talking! I'm 35 years old! I'm the head of this division! I'm not the head of this division because I'm a moron! I got the head of this division because IIII-IIIII'm *not* a moron! Listen, my neck is on the line here you guys! I'm the one who's gonna have to determine if this is brilliant or not brilliant and I'm telling you it's crap! Look, I'm not- Listen to me for a second! I'm not trying to sell pantyhose! It's on my head! I've gotta convince them that killing 100,000 jobs, and closing down a plant, and moving it into Latin America is not unpatriotic! You understand what that means? I've got to sell this being as patriotic as a goddamned apple pie! If anybody up there sees this, I'm gonna die. They're gonna kill me.
[the intercom buzzes]
Howard Gross: I got- I got, ah, I've got, ah, I got, I got- The phone is going here! I gotta hold. I-I gotta put you on hold! I got 35 lines going here! I got- I only have three lines coming in, I have three people working for me. I have 35 lines, I've got 35 people looking at me! Hang on for a second!
Max Landsberger: Lesson No.4: the secret to survival here is never make a decision.
Jack Issel: Never?
Max Landsberger: Never. The minute you do, you're screwed.
Jack Issel: Exactly what is our side of the Allenville story?
Max Landsberger: Were losing money hand over fist.
Jack Issel: That's not true.
Max Landsberger: No, but it's our side of the story. Lesson No.55: there are no truths, only stories.
Max Landsberger: Since the 1984 oil discovery in New Guinea, we have sold the Bu!kais hill tribesmen 20 of our S-24 fighters. At $21 million per unit, that's $252 million. This has started a local arms race between the Bu!kais, and their local neighbors the Kla!klalas. Now the Kla!klalas also happen to be sitting an a large amount of oil. And now the Kla!klalas want to buy 20 of our new X-24/X-Ray Ultra Pursuit fighters for a total of $480 million.
Pete Helmes: What are the chances of war between them?
Bob Nixon: Very good sir. Our spare parts replacement contracts could be very lucrative.
Pete Helmes: Who trains their flight personnel?
Max Landsberger: Well, as near as we can assess it... well... they don't actually fly the planes. They sort of roll them down hills... crashing them into each other.
Scott Dantley: Personally, I think that it's a shameful waste of incredible kill power.
Pete Helmes: Make the deal.
Bob Nixon, Scott Dantley: Absolutely.
Jack Issel: Don't you think it's strange, Max? They keep promoting me. I don't do anything!
Max Landsberger: Hey, did you know that the Japanese are working on some kind of micro orgasm. Soon, you'll be able to have group sex on a silicon chip no bigger than my fingernail.
Jack Issel: Max! You're not taking me seriously! This place is totally bananas! Any normal person would have quit a long time ago.
Max Landsberger: Relax, what are you worried about? Helmes has his eye on you. You're in line for another big promotion.
Jack Issel: Yeah, as soon as somebody drops dead, or jumps, or maybe I'm supposed to pull the trigger myself. There're really doing it up there, Max. They're rigging things up. For what?
Max Landsberger: For money and power Jack. It's the American way. Lesson No.79: when the tough get going, the weak get screwed.
Jack Issel: I can't play it like that.
Max Landsberger: It's the only way to play it Jack.
Jack Issel: What about you? You're not like the rest of them. How do you survive it?
Max Landsberger: I just go with the flow. I flipped out years ago. I only look sane, but I'm not. The secret is you have to be crazy to maintain your sanity up here. But you're sane, Jack. That's why you're going crazy.
[at a bar]
Jack Issel: Max, I came as soon as you called. What happened?
Max Landsberger: [refering to Rabinovich] They fired him this morning.
Mark Rabinovich: [drunk] I'll kill myself! My whole life, my career, my future was at INC. I know, I'll shoot my brains out. Make it easier. No problem for anybody just... bang!
Max Landsberger: Apparently, a letter with his card enclosed was dropped off yesterday afternoon at the office of a major Saudi oil company that we do a lot of business with. It said that INC wouldn't boycott the Israelis and that the Saudis could go screw themselves.
Jack Issel: What?
Max Landsberger: Well, the shiek freaked out and Dantley had to kiss a whole lot of Saudi ass to cool him off and they insisted that Rabinovich be fired.
Jack Issel: Who the hell would have put Rabinovich's card...
Max Landsberger: That's no longer an issue, Jack. Don't get involved with something that doesn't concern you if you want to survive here at INC.
[Jack and Max's limo is surrounded by hundreds of angry protesters]
Max Landsberger: This is death! Let's get the hell out of here.
[Jack opens the limo door and gets out]
Max Landsberger: Jack, what are you doing?
Jack Issel: Max, this is a great opportunity for us! There's TV news cameras out there.
Max Landsberger: Jack, get back in the car. Get back in the car!
[Jack walks off into the crowd]
Max Landsberger: [to Sal] Sal, I'm going out there. Keep the motor running.
Sal: I'm not going to do that, sir. The motor could heat up or...
Max Landsberger: [interrupting] Sal, do me a favor.
Sal: What's that, sir?
Max Landsberger: Don't call me "sir". These people are gonna think I'm in charge here. Call me Max.
Sal: Max. Sure, no problem... Max.
Jack Issel: [after seeing Steadman commit suicide] Two in one morning.
Max Landsberger: Welcome to the world of big business, Jack.
Max Landsberger: [on Jack Issel's answering machine] Jack, hi, this is Max Landsberger, I'm in charge of new recuits at INC. I'll be showing you around for the first few days. Now, you'll be starting with Frank Stedman on the 41st floor. I'll meet you at his office at nine. Oh, and congratulations, Jack. You really scored getting Stedman. He's goin' right to the top.
Frank Stedman: [into a phone in his car] Sid! It's Frank Steadman! I'm dead!
Sid: [over the phone] Frank...
Frank Stedman: Finished!
Sid: ...just relax!
Frank Stedman: Helmes swore he wouldn't announce this move until Christmas! It's the goddamn headline in the Journal!
Sid: Hey, no problem, Frank.
Frank Stedman: The SEC's gonna want to know why...
Sid: Hey, we can take care of everything...
Frank Stedman: ...I sold 50,000 Allenville shares...
Sid: ...just relax!
Frank Stedman: ...the day before we torpeded the plant!
Sid: Frank, Frank, can you hold on just a second there?
Frank Stedman: I could go to jail!
Sid: Can you hold?
Frank Stedman: No, I can't hold! What do you- huh? Sid, Sid! Crap!
Frank Stedman: Will you get this thing movin'?
Sal: [calmly] We're stuck in a traffic jam, sir; I'm not the great Houdini.
Frank Stedman: Well, blow your horn like everybody else!
Sal: Only a fool blows his horn in a traffic jam, sir.
[Steadman, still holding the phone in his left hand, gets up, comes forward, leans over the front seats, and begins pressing on the steering wheel horn with his right]
Frank Stedman: [seconds later, into phone] Please, please, please, just pick up, please! Come on, come on, God, please, Sid-
Frank Stedman: Sid!
[Steadman arrives, running, at his office to find furniture movers moving out all his furniture]
Frank Stedman: What the hell are you doing?
[Frank leaps up onto the couch carried by two movers]
Frank Stedman, Mover: We are not the source...
Frank Stedman: [beating on the couch] Pit it back! Put it all back! Down! Down, down, down, down, down, down.
Mover: [indicating his clipboard] All I know is what's on the work order.
Frank Stedman: Why are you doin' this? Who told you to do this to me?
Mover: Someone said the guy who was in here died.
Frank Stedman: Died? *Died*? Do I look dead, huh? What the hell do you mean, "died"?
[Frank grabs Jack standing nearby]
Frank Stedman: Do I?
Jack Issel: Uh... not to me, sir.
Stedman's Secretary: This is Jack Issel, sir.
Frank Stedman: [pushes between] Out of my frickin' way!
Max Landsberger: [smiling] Good morning, Frank.
[Frank shoves Max hard on the shoulder knocking him against the wall as he storms past]
Max Landsberger: Do you think you have what it takes up here?
Jack Issel: You mean can I play hardball?
Max Landsberger: No, I mean can you kiss ass?
[Jack and Max enter Gross' office unaware that he is dead]
Max Landsberger: Gross screams a lot. He's a little nuts, but you'll get used to him.
Jack Issel: Right.
Max Landsberger: Don't worry. You can live with him as long as you lift your end of the load.
Jack Issel: Right.
Max Landsberger: [after a pause] I said lift.
[the image pulls back to show Max and Jack lifting Howard Gross' body off his desk]
Jack Issel: Uh... right.
Max Landsberger: Howard Gross here is one of the best PR men we have in the business. Been doing a hell of a job for us for a lot of years. A real pressure player.
[looks at the dead Gross' face under his jacket]
Max Landsberger: Geez... son-of-a-bitch! He looks pretty bad!
Jack Issel: He's dead, sir!
Max Landsberger: It's all right. You can call me Max.
Jack Issel: He's dead, Max!
Jack Issel: [drunk] I can't believe I said that on national TV.
Sal: [also drunk] That limo cost seventy-five THOUSAND dollars.
Max Landsberger: Damn it, Jack! We went out there to tell them OUR side of the story. We didn't go out there to tell them the truth!
Sal: And the limo company's gonna have my ass for this.
Max Landsberger: Lesson No. 2: Never volunteer, never confront, never talk to anyone you can possibly avoid.
Bob Nixon: [suddenly face-to-face] Hello, Max.
Max Landsberger: Morning, Bob. Lousy thing about Stedman.
Bob Nixon: [chuckles] We're doing everything in our power to save his neck.
Max Landsberger: [to Jack] Let me show you where your office is, Jack.
Bob Nixon: [to Bob] Excuse me.
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