Friday, February 03, 2006

Some Words Last

In keeping with the light-hearted subject matter of this week I decided to scour my memory of memorable movie lines which impressed me through the years. Some occurred in conversations which provide context and make the line more meaningful, but I restricted my list to only the memorable line. I used no particular criteria except whatever came off the top of my head and then I checked the line for accuracy via Google & imdb searches. I came up with thirty particularly tittilating ones, at least to me, and here they are in chronological order.

NOTE: I know I omitted the line corresponding to the picture ("We'll always have Paris." Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca (1942), but that would have made 31. Anyway, I love the picture and besides now it is included.

01. "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." Oliver Hardy, Sons Of The Desert (1933)

02. "Oh, no! It wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast." Robert Armstrong, King Kong (1933)

03. "But what in the world do they want a trumpet for?" Maidel Turner, It Happened One Night (1934)

04. "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." Clark Gable, Gone With The Wind (1939)

05. "I'll think about it tomorrow." Vivien Leigh, Gone With The Wind (1939)

06. "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." Judy Garland, The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

07. "Rock, sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper." Ronald Reagan, Knute Rockne: All-American (1940)

08. "Maybe that makes us tough. Rich fellas come up an' they die, an' their kids ain't no good, an' they die out. But we keep a-comin'. We're the people that live. Can't nobody wipe us out. Can't nobody lick us. We'll go on forever, Pa. We're the people." Jane Darwell, The Grapes Of Wrath (1940)

09. "The, uh, the stuff that dreams are made of." Humphrey Bogart, The Maltese Falcon (1941)

10. "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges!" Alfonso Bedoya, Treasure Of Sierra Madre (1948)

11. "In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." Orson Welles, The Third Man (1949)

12. "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night." Bette Davis, All About Eve (1950)

13. "Alright Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup." Gloria Swanson, Sunset Boulevard (1950)

14. "He'll regret this to his dying day, if ever he lives that long." Victor McLaglen, The Quiet Man (1950)

15. " Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." James Stewart, Harvey (1950)

16. "Gort! Klaatu barada nikto." Michael Rennie & Patricia Neal, The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

17. "You don't understand! I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. Let's face it......It was you, Charley." Marlon Brando, On The Waterfront (1954)

18. "Don't he never sleep?" Billy Chapin, Night Of The Hunter (1955)

19. "Don't ask me again...don't ever ask me again." John Wayne, The Searchers (1956)

20. "It's a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done. It's a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known." Dirk Bogarde, A Tale Of Two Cities (1958)

21. "Gentlemen! You can't fight in here, this is the war room." Peter Sellers, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964)

22. "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?" Dustin Hoffman, The Graduate (1967)

23. "Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it." Hal (disembodied computer voice), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

24. "Afghanistan Bananastan" Robert Redford, The Hot Rock (1972)

25. "Bleucher! Bleucher!" Marty Feldman, Young Frankenstein (1974)

26. "You're gonna need a bigger boat." Roy Scheider, Jaws (1975)

27. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning, you know one time we had a hill bomb, 12 hours. When it was all over I walked up, we didn't find one of them, not one stinking dink body. Smell, that gasoline smell, smells like.....Victory." Robert Duvall, Apocolypse Now (1979)

28. "They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God." Dan Akroyd, The Blues Brothers (1980)

29. "If you build it, he will come." Disembodied Voice (God?), Field Of Dreams (1989)

30. "Houston, we have a problem." Tom Hanks, Apollo 13 (1995)

I'm stopping at thirty only because I'm tired of searching and you're tired of reading (if you've even gotten this far). This list could easily extend to a thousand and more because there are so many lines which just knock your socks off, but because they are surrounded by action or other distractions they don't have the impact they might otherwise have had. They become throw-away lines and get lost in the shuffle. I'm sure I left off some of your favorite lines, especially since my list is predominantly pre-1980. Feel free to hate my list, produce your own, or ignore it altogether. Whatever your choice though, enjoy it.

By the way, maybe someone could come up with a list of forgettable lines. That might be even more fun.


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