Have you ever been talking to someone or writing something and all of a sudden a movie quote enters your brain? Much like the title of this blog. Yes, I agree it was a weak attempt at the famous quote from Marlon Brando in the Godfather, but frankly readers I don’t give a damn. Ouch I just doubled down with the number one quote of all time from the 1939 movie Gone with The Wind. According to the AFI (American Film Institute) those are the top two movie quotes of all time. They also happen to be two of the greatest movies of all time. With Gone with the Wind at number one and The Godfather at number two, this blog will take a look at the rest of the top 10 from the AFI.
Marlon Brando has the distinction of being the only actor to have uttered two of the top 10 movie quotes and not surprising both films earned him two Academy Awards. Number three from AFI comes from his brilliant performance in On the Waterfront as he laments to his brother “you don’t understand! I coulda had class. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.” Not just a brilliant quote from the movie, but really a great summary of the story.
Number four on the list comes from arguably the best film ever made and spoken by Judy Garland to her dog “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” The movie was the great Wizard of Oz and the line wasn’t just fitting, but it really was one of the greatest uses of black and white and color in the same film. The line managed to split the film in half. If you haven’t seen the movie in a while, the recent release of the Oscar winner is now even more brilliant on blu-ray and 4k. Do yourself a favor and pick it up and it will likely transport you in the way color transports Dorothy to another time and place.
When it comes to brilliant black and white movies the number five spot goes to Casablanca. “Here’s looking at you, kid” a line spoken by Humphrey Bogart to Ingrid Bergman. It’s one of those lines if you just read it and haven’t seen the movie it’s hard to imagine it being so memorable. Over the years I’ve heard at least a hundred people attempt to utter the same line, but it just doesn’t have the same impact from 1942 and Humphrey Bogart.
In a recent podcast we reviewed the new movie from Clint Eastwood Cry Macho. Unlike just about every movie Clint has ever done it did not have a memorable line. If he isn’t the most quotable actor of all time I’m not sure who would take that spot? He earned the number six quote from his ubiquitous Dirty Harry character in Sudden Impact “Go ahead, make my day.” He says this to a bad guy holding a hostage with a drawn gun, although Clint also has his Smith and Wesson at the ready as well. One of the few times a punk in a Dirty Harry movie made the right choice and put his gun down.
The next movie quote comes from Sunset Boulevard by Gloria Swanson playing the one time movie star Norma Desmond struggling with reality “All right, Mr. Demille, I’m ready for my close-up.” The quote came from an actress, but it’s important to remember in most cases the words come from writers and in this case the great Billy Wilder who penned the famous quote. The other thing I love about this quote is it’s actually delivered to Cecil B. DeMille in the film.
At number eight, we get a quote from the Star Wars universe. The quote comes from Han Solo played by Harrison Ford in Star Wars: A New Hope “may the force be with you.” Hard to believe AFI picked this particular quote from all nine of the movies they had to choose from, but could they have left it out? At number nine is Bette Davis in All About Eve as Margo Channing “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” Not sure this would be in my top ten? They redeem themselves with the number 10 movie quote of all time delivered by Robert Dinero in Taxi Driver “You talkin’ to me?” Seems like they shortened that one for the list. They could have at least added “I’m the only one here.”
That’s the American Film Institute’s list of top 10 movie quotes. Do you agree with these? What are your favorite film quotes? If you listen to the Oh Brother podcast, you know we occasionally can’t help but sneak in a movie quote here and there. Check out one of our previous blogs and see if you can catch us slipping in some quotes from Planes, Trains and Automobiles.