Claim: In one of his films, actor Tony Curtis delivered the line, "Yondah lies da castle of my foddah."
Example: [A.V. Club, 2010]
Origins: A number of Hollywood actors have been famously associated with signature phrases repeated across many years by legions by imitators — lines that, although they may not actually have been repetitions
In the case of actor Tony Curtis, the line most famously associated with him is one which was "intended to be derisive, highlighting his working-class Bronx accent and, by extension, his limitations as an actor." That line, according to legend, stemmed from one of the many costume dramas Curtis appeared in during the earlier days of his film career, one with a medieval setting which provided the
I always thought that this line was apocryphal, [b]ut it really is a line from a movie, "The Black Shield of Falworth" (1954), a kitschy swashbuckler that
The closest match to Curtis' apocryphal signature phrase occurs in the 1952 film Son of Ali Baba, during which Tony Curtis (as Kashma Baba) informs Piper Laurie (as Princess Azura of Fez), "This is my father's palace, and yonder lies the Valley of the Sun" — with an inflection markedly less than the pronounced Bronx accent of legend:
In his 2008 memoir, American Prince, Curtis laid blame on actress Debbie Reynolds for misrepresenting his Son of Ali Baba performance (while amusingly misstating what he actually said himself):
After the film came out, Debbie Reynolds, who would later marry Eddie Fisher, went on television and said, "Did you see the new guy in the movies? They call him Tony Curtis, but that's not his real name. In his new movie he's got a hilarious line where he says, 'Yonder lies the castle of my fodda.'"
You could chalk up her ridicule up to my
Years later, Hugh Hefner came up to me at a party and said, "Yonder lies the castle of my fodda.'"
I looked at him coolly. "Hef, I never said that."
"Then don't tell anybody," he said. "It makes a great movie story."
Barra, Allen. "A Bronx Tale: Tony Curtis." The [New York] Sun. 26 August 2008 Curtis, Tony and Peter Golenbock. American Prince: A Memoir. New York: Crown Archetype, 2008. ISBN 0-307-40849-3 (pp. 135-136). Kehr, Dave. "Tony Curtis, Hollywood Leading Man, Dies at 85." The New York Times. 30 September 2010. O'Neal, Sean. "R.I.P. Tony Curtis." The A.V. Club. 30 September 2010.