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#1
Old 10-15-2001, 06:20 AM
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Where did this phrase come from? I know there's a Clash song about it, and I've seen shirts with Manson's face on the front and this phrase on the back, and I've also seen Apocalypse now shirts with this saying on them (Charlie meaning the VC in this case I guess.) Where did it come from? What does it mean?
#2
Old 10-15-2001, 06:41 AM
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It comes from Apocalypse Now. Don't read any further, ignore everything else that follows and just watch the movie.


Ok...

Without giving the story away, the movie is a retelling of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, where the Charlie Sheen character is sent upriver to find a colonel (Marlon Brando) who was the Army's best leader, but has gone too far. For Sheen's first leg of the journey, he gets a ride courtesy of a colonel who is a good commander and is liked by his troops despite being a complete nut for surfing. (Again, without giving much away), in response to a question asked of him about an the Viet Cong, he replies "Because Charlie don't surf!!!"
#3
Old 10-15-2001, 07:01 AM
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It comes from Apocalypse Now. Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore says it during an attack on a village. I could try to explain the whole thing but it would probably be easier if you go out and rent the movie and watch the entire thing.

/Andreas
#4
Old 10-15-2001, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cornflakes
...where the Charlie Sheen character...
Martin Sheen, actually.
#5
Old 10-15-2001, 08:24 AM
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Robert Duval, a surf affecionado, want's a famous surfer in his command to surf on a beach under attack from the Viet Cong. When the surfer asks why Duval thinks he might even be safe, Duval replies because "Charlie don't surf."
#6
Old 10-15-2001, 08:49 AM
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SPOILERS.....

















Actually, the thing is, they have to take out a VC military installation to get the only good waves for miles around. The problem is, the point is impossible to take by conventional means, its really dangerous, and you can't hold the ground for very long. One of his officers tells Duval, "We can't surf there! That's Charlie's point!" To which Duval responds with the line in question.

--John
#7
Old 10-15-2001, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yue Han
SPOILERS.....

Actually, the thing is, they have to take out a VC military installation to get the only good waves for miles around. The problem is, the point is impossible to take by conventional means, its really dangerous, and you can't hold the ground for very long. One of his officers tells Duval, "We can't surf there! That's Charlie's point!" To which Duval responds with the line in question.

--John
This is the closest so far - I just want to add that the primary reason they were there was to drop Willard's/Chief's boat at the mouth of the river. The surfing was a 'bonus'.
#8
Old 10-15-2001, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robot Arm
Quote:
Originally posted by cornflakes
...where the Charlie Sheen character...
Martin Sheen, actually.
Remind me to never talk movies here. I was lucky to get the name of the movie right!
#9
Old 10-15-2001, 05:13 PM
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Does anyone know how this phrase became associated with Charles Manson, as in the tee-shirt mentioned in the OP? I mean sure, there ain't much surfing in prison, but I can't think of any reason to link Manson to the Viet Cong/Apocalypse Now.

This question has bothered me for years, BTW.
#10
Old 10-15-2001, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Does anyone know how this phrase became associated with Charles Manson
Maybe whoever made the shirt didn't know who "Charlie" was, and just assumed "Charlie" was Charlie Manson?
#11
Old 10-15-2001, 07:17 PM
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Call it "cross-cultural" irony: taking a familiar phrase and applying it to a different person. Manson's in prison, so we know he can't hang ten.

For the same reason, we know we can't apply the line Charlie Brown. We know he surfs
#12
Old 10-15-2001, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lamia
Does anyone know how this phrase became associated with Charles Manson, as in the tee-shirt mentioned in the OP? I mean sure, there ain't much surfing in prison, but I can't think of any reason to link Manson to the Viet Cong/Apocalypse Now.
IIRC, Manson-wear (eg warhol-like printed t-shirts of his face) became popular among California surfers, and from there the phrase was juxtaposed with his image to poke fun of that. My source for this is a dimly-recalled talk by Jello Biafra.
#13
Old 10-15-2001, 11:12 PM
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"What do you know about surfing, Major? You're from goddamned New Jersey!"
#14
Old 10-16-2001, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cornflakes
Quote:
Originally posted by Robot Arm
Quote:
Originally posted by cornflakes
...where the Charlie Sheen character...
Martin Sheen, actually.
Remind me to never talk movies here. I was lucky to get the name of the movie right!
...and I thought it was just a subtle reference to Hot Shots part deux.
#15
Old 05-30-2010, 01:37 PM
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origins of charlie dont surf the sd

Afghanistan, that's charlie's point and he don't surf, all that sand & no beach

"Charlie Don't Surf" is a line from, Apocalypse Now, this classic movie is a retelling of the short story/novella?
"Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, set in the Viet Nam War.

(Marlon Brando) who was the Army's best leader, but has gone too far. into Cambodia, and over the edge of sanity. Martin Sheen's character is sent to find him and stop him. whatever that takes. Sheen's first leg of the journey, he gets a ride courtesy of, Robert Duvall, a colonel, who is a good commander and is liked by his troops, despite being a complete nut for surfing---he was a pro surfer back stateside,----Duvall orders an attack on the beach, to get a chance to surf an awesome point break, and a soldier says to him something like,
"Why????????????? That's Charlie's, ( the VC) Point!", how will you be safe??!"

He replies "Because Charlie Don't Surf!!!"
it is also a Clash song.

and a Once truly shocking tee shirt with an image of Charles Manson. the juxtaposition of the pop culture icons struck many as an awesome combo. it was kind of a punk rock thing. tho they have parody ones with like Charlie the tuna. I'd love to have a red vintage CDS tee shirt where Manson's face is silk screened like an Andy Warhol version of Che Guervo (sp?), which is the one I remember. that is whole 'nother load of pop culture clashes, which I will skip here.

If you are young and have not seen this movie, Go Get It! Now! esp since Dennis Hopper, RIP, has died.
and wait till you see the documentary which tells the true story of how the making of the movie echoed the script and fiction story!

I remember I taught myself this story, since i guess I was hung over that day in college, I was very impressed. it was ironic that in the story the only people who kept their word, were the cannibals. they just went" hungry! bow bow bow"
#16
Old 05-30-2010, 01:55 PM
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watch the original version too if you can. the later extended version lasted too long and ruined a lot of the feeling that made it an intense film.

great music and credits at the end, play it loud and watch it big screen.

'never get out of the boat'
#17
Old 05-30-2010, 02:00 PM
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The script for the movie was written much earlier than the movie's debut, by John Milius. He was a surfer from California way back when.

Here's an interview with him last year. The reason I have this is that the question about "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" authorship came up recently on my American Dialect Society mailing list. Milius wrote the line. He's a pretty conservative guy.

I know this doesn't answer the question about the connection with Manson/t-shirts

Last edited by samclem; 05-30-2010 at 02:01 PM.
#18
Old 05-30-2010, 02:00 PM
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If you don't want to watch the whole movie and don't care about spoilers, here's the 10 minutes of Col. Kilgore, including the "Charlie don't surf!" quote and a few other famous ones to boot..
#19
Old 05-30-2010, 02:24 PM
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Wow. The op was from nine years ago.

Apocalypse Now Redux, with the extra 49 minutes, is the best version of the film. See it if you haven't already.
#20
Old 05-30-2010, 02:27 PM
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"Why do all you guys sit on your helmets?"
#21
Old 05-30-2010, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan astikov View Post
"Why do all you guys sit on your helmets?"
Yes it is by far.
#22
Old 05-30-2010, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofs View Post
Wow. The op was from nine years ago.

Apocalypse Now Redux, with the extra 49 minutes, is the best version of the film. See it if you haven't already.
I've never much liked the Redux version. Interesting to see, but the movie really just flows better without all that extra stuff. Back on the topic of the OP, though, it does explain why you see one of Kilgore's surfboards on the PBR later in the movie.
#23
Old 05-30-2010, 04:55 PM
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i love this movie so much, full metal jacket is a good book/movie too i have soldiers on the brain memorial day weekend and all. i've been you tubing viet nam all day
#24
Old 05-30-2010, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofs View Post
Wow. The op was from nine years ago.

Apocalypse Now Redux, with the extra 49 minutes, is the best version of the film. See it if you haven't already.
i think the whole french plantation info would have educated young ppl more.
i duuno i lve AN, period
#25
Old 05-30-2010, 05:10 PM
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original

[QUOTE=waterj2;12515306]I've never much liked the Redux version.
off topic too i love original Bladerunner waYYY YYY better than director's cut. film noir type films must have a narrator, even in color. also WWII in europe always seems black and white, and WWII Pacific seems color. do you think it is the movies i watched as a kid? I have to start a new thread i think
#26
Old 05-31-2010, 08:27 AM
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Instead of calling it Apocalypse Now Redux I think they should have called it Apocalypse, Now With Boobies!
#27
Old 05-31-2010, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
The script for the movie was written much earlier than the movie's debut, by John Milius. He was a surfer from California way back when.

Here's an interview with him last year. The reason I have this is that the question about "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" authorship came up recently on my American Dialect Society mailing list. Milius wrote the line. He's a pretty conservative guy.

I know this doesn't answer the question about the connection with Manson/t-shirts
Interesting fact about John Milius: The character of Walter Sobchack in The Big Lebowski was based very closely on him. According to Milius, when he watches the movie with his kids they'll laugh and point at Walter and say things like "That's totally you dad, that's totally something you would say!" Milius doesn't mind and is a fan of the movie.

This is according to the book I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski.
#28
Old 06-04-2010, 04:22 PM
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Hate to continue a zombie thread but ...

I just realized yesterday that in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation there is a character named "Charlie" who is in fact a surfer. I hope she put that in on purpose.

The guy playing Charlie is not a professional actor and is just a friend of Coppola's. LiT is his only credit.
#29
Old 06-04-2010, 06:08 PM
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The line has popped up in comics too.

I have an issue of Doom 2099 with a mutant wearing a t-shirt bearing an image of professor X (whose first name is Charles) with the slogan "Charlie don't surf".
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#30
Old 06-16-2010, 11:35 AM
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OH Iwant it I want it! so cool
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
The line has popped up in comics too.

I have an issue of Doom 2099 with a mutant wearing a t-shirt bearing an image of professor X (whose first name is Charles) with the slogan "Charlie don't surf".
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