Movies can be an escape from reality or an inspiration. We often relate to the characters, situations they’re presented with, or words they speak. And many famous quotes have originated from movies. Whether you’re a film buff or enjoy watching the occasional movie on Netflix, memorable movie phrases have likely made their way into your everyday vocabulary, presentations, or water cooler moments. Check out the movie quotes below and test your memory to see how many you know.
1: “Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!” The Jazz Singer (1927)
On October 6, 1927, when actor Al Jolson, portraying Jack Robinson in The Jazz Singer, spoke those words on the silver screen of Warner Bros’ flagship theatre in New York’s Times Square, the audience became hysterical. It was the first feature – length movie with synchronised dialogue. It marked the ascendancy of the talkies and the end of the silent-film era.
2: “Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?” Little Caesar (1930)
The legendary Edward G. Robinson plays Caesar Enrico “Rico” Bandello, a small time crook that rises to the top of the big city underworld. He quickly comes to realise that nothing lasts forever. Shot and dying, he finishes with those immortal last words.
3: “I want to be alone.” Grand Hotel (1932)
Grand Hotel is the film in which Greta Garbo actually utters the immortal words and the hustle and bustle of the jostling storylines are bookended by the famous line, “People come, people go … nothing ever happens.”
4: “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.” Gone With the Wind (1939)
Vivien Leigh’s Scarlett O’Hara lurches into a decimated field at her beloved plantation, Tara, and pulls what looks like a carrot out of the earth. She tries to eat it, retches, and then rises with fist upheld to swear – to proclaim her determination to survive at any cost, even if it means lying, stealing or killing.
5: “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Wicked Witch of the West’s introductory scene is captivating, not least because she enters and leaves in a ball of fire while threatening Dorothy and her dog Toto.
6: “The stuff that dreams are made of.” The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) says it of the infamous Maltese Falcon statuette, which everybody in the film has been after. Sam is also referring to a romance that’s just not going to work out.
7: “Oh, Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars.” Now, Voyager (1942)
This line is spoken by Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) depressed and miserable, but after a stay in a sanitarium she recovered. Charlotte even finds a little love along the way… but with a married man.
8: “You’re tearing me apart!” Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Jim’s (James Dean) often-bickering and love-smothering parents arrive to pick him up from a police station: the alienated Jim expressed his frustrated rage and agony when he screams at them: “You’re tearing me apart!…You say one thing, he says another, and everybody changes back again.”
9: “A boy’s best friend is his mother.” Psycho (1960)
Marion (Janet Leigh) sits down for a bite to eat with the gentle innkeeper, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). He’s a good boy, managing the motel for his mother. Sure, mother seems bit overbearing, but Norman loves her. When Marion asks Norman if he ever goes out with friends, he says, “A boy’s best friend is his mother.”
Spoiler Alert! What Marion doesn’t know is that Norman’s mother is dead.
10: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Luke Jackson (Paul Newman), may be working on a chain gang, but he doesn’t let the shackles stop him from being sarcastic and rebellious every step of the way. The captain of the prison has to make Luke respect his authority by screaming at him, hitting him, and pushing him to the ground. As Luke lies in the dust, the captain says, “What we’ve got here…is failure to communicate.”
11: “Plastics.” The Graduate (1967)
When Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) is at a cocktail party his parents have thrown for his graduation from college, a friend of Ben’s parents takes him aside and says he has one word of advice for his future – and the word is “plastics.”
12: “We rob banks.” Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Clyde is teaching Bonnie how to be a pistol packin’ moll. When the former property owner interrupts them, Clyde says, “This here’s Miss Bonnie Parker. I’m Clyde Barrow. We rob banks.”
13: “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) is on a mission in space that’s going horribly wrong. The other members of his crew are dead. He tells the ship’s computer – HAL 9000 – to open up the doors to their space pod so he can bring a body back inside the ship. HAL is having a breakdown – he’s the one that killed the other crew members because he knows what they were up to. They were trying to shut him down. HAL can’t have that, so he decides to let Dave die, too.
14: “I’m walkin’ here! I’M WALKIN’ HERE!” Midnight Cowboy (1969)
In the scene where “Ratso” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) and Joe Buck (Jon Voight) are walking down the street, a real cab screeches to a halt just as the characters cross an intersection. Ratso famously screams, “I’m walkin’ here! I’M WALKIN’ HERE!”.
15: “Soylent Green is people!” Soylent Green (1973)
In the future the world is overcrowded. New York City alone houses 40 million people and most are homeless and starving. The population survive on a miraculous product of food called Soylent Green. But it’s not what it seems.
16: “Is it safe?” Marathon Man (1976)
Dr. Christian Szell (Laurence Olivier) is the Nazi-turned-dentist looking for a stash of glimmering diamonds. He thinks Babe (Dustin Hoffman) knows where they are, so he decides to use his evil dental implements to torture the information out of him.
17: “No wire hangers, ever!” Mommie Dearest (1981)
Mommie Dearest is the (allegedly) true story of film star Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway). One night Crawford flips out at finding wire hangers in her daughter’s closet instead of nice padded ones, so she screams at her daughter and…beats her with them.
18: “Say hello to my little friend!” Scarface (1983)
When rival drug kingpin Alejandro Sosa decides to take revenge on Tony Montana (Al Pacino), Montana is ready to fight back. As Sosa’s men gather outside the door, Montana tells them to “say hello to his little friend.” He means a not-so-little grenade launcher.
19: “I feel the need – the need for speed!” Top Gun (1986)
Tom Cruise made his career by being a hot shot, and his fighter pilot persona in Top Gun is no exception. Maverick doesn’t just want to go fast…he needs to go fast. Part of being a hot shot means you don’t follow the rules; you break them. Along with the sound barrier.
20: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Dirty Dancing (1987)
Baby (Jennifer Grey) hasn’t yet had the time of her life at the end of Dirty Dancing, and it’s not looking like she’s going to, either. Her parents have reprimanded her and have her seated far away from the stage. But Johnny (Patrick Swayze) knows she deserves better. He marches into the room, grabs her hand, and tells her, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” And then it’s time to dance.
21: “If you build it, he will come.” Field of Dreams (1989)
Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is a farmer with father issues. While making his way through his cornfield at twilight, hears a ghostly Voice (Ray Liotta) whisper this prophecy in his ear. The Voice keeps repeating the line and eventually shows Ray a vision of his cornfield turned into a baseball diamond.
22: “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” Dead Poets Society (1989)
Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) wants his students to know that even though they’re young, healthy high-schoolers right now – eventually, they’ll end up as worm food. He shows them pictures of Welton alumni on the wall: boys who have long since died. He tells them that these former students have a message for them if they listen closely: “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
23: “You can’t handle the truth!” A Few Good Men (1992)
A soldier has been killed, and Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) thinks Col. Jessup (Jack Nicholson) has something to do with it. In a heated courtroom interrogation, Kaffee says he wants the truth, to which Jessup barks, “You can’t handle the truth!”
24: “They call it a Royale with cheese.” Pulp Fiction (1994)
Hit men Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) are in the car on the way to a job, and Vincent is telling Jules about his world travels. In France, he says, they call a Quarter Pounder a “Royale with Cheese” because, they use the metric system.
25: “Show me the money!” Jerry Maguire (1996)
Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) isn’t thrilled with Jerry’s (Tom Cruise) performance as his agent, and he wants Jerry to persuade him to stay on as a client. He has a simple way for Jerry to persuade him to stay: “Show me the money.”
Desperate to keep his client, Jerry, too, screams out “Show me the money…show me the money!”
26: “Wilson!” Cast Away (2000)
Wilson the volleyball serves as Chuck’s (Tom Hanks) personified friend and only companion during the four years that Noland spends alone on a deserted island.
27: “I wish I knew how to quit you” Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis (Heath Ledger) are both cowboys living in the repressive world of the midcentury American west. The odds of their happiness are pretty dang low. They both realise it would be easier if they didn’t have the feelings for each other that they do, which is why Jack turns his back and mutters those agonising words.
28: “I am Iron Man.” Iron Man (2008)
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) isn’t a superhero who likes to play by the rules. He is an attractive, charming billionaire CEO with a high-tech super suit. So ignoring the advice of…well, basically everyone in his life, and tells the entire world that he is Iron Man at the end of the first movie.
29: “Well, I don’t want to survive. I want to live.” 12 Years a Slave (2013)
The film opens with Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the free man kidnapped and sold into slavery, whittling a stick into a makeshift pen and attempting to write a plea for freedom in self-made ink. This powerful image prefaces the story of a man who endures unspeakable hardship and brutality, just barely managing to hold on to the faith that his own words put down on paper, and the words inscribed in the American constitution, can free him.
30: “My hands are registered as lethal weapons.” Once upon a Time…in Hollywood (2020)
Bruce Lee faces off with Brad Pitt’s fictional stuntman Cliff Booth in a scene that some say makes fun of the martial arts icon. In the cameo, Bruce Lee (Mike Moh), challenges Booth to spar outside the set of Lee’s TV series The Green Hornet. Lee is introduced holding court for everyone who will listen, bragging that he could beat boxing champ Cassius Clay, a.k.a. Muhammad Ali, in a fight.
Image: Bonnie and Clyde film poster starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty
Source: afi.com shmoop.com, en.wikipedia.org oscars.org