Saturday, June 12, 2010

11 of My Favorite Film Lines

Tomorrow LiE embarks on a new project. The sort of journey that may never really end, but I imagine has the potential to be something special. Also a journey I hope many of you will aid LiE in taking. But, enough about all that, I'll leave the mystery at hand for you all (except for the couple of you who already know about it - shush!).

As for now I leave you with a bit of a warmup to it. I've talked in the past about my all time favorite speeches, but now I traverse into the single line. One line for an actor to convey as much heart, or badassery (it's a word!) as need be. A challenge for any writer to bring to life. But when executed in the context so effortlessly, a masterpiece can be born.

So, without further rambling, here are my top 10 favorite lines:

Terminator 2: Judgment Day -
The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger): "Hasta la vista, baby."

The Shawshank Redemption -
Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins): "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

Airplane! -
Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielsen): "I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."

Goldfiner -
Goldfinger (Gert Frobe): "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."

Jaws -
Brody (Roy Scheider): "You're gonna need a bigger boat."

Gone With the Wind -
Rhett Butler (Clark Gable): "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Wall Street -
Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas): "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good."

There Will Be Blood -
Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day Lewis): "I drink your milkshake."

Cool Hand Luke -
Dragline (George Kennedy): "He's a natural born world-shaker."

The Usual Suspects -
Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey): "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Harvey -
Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart): "Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it."

Alright, there you have it. Some of my favorite lines in cinema. Sure there are lots of other ones. The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, On the Waterfront, Taxi Driver, etc. You know the movies. You know the lines. And they're all as great as everyone makes them out to be. But these here represent some of my personal favorites. Little bit of classic, little bit of not. Hope you enjoy.

Be sure to list some of your favorites. Perhaps some of the lines you feel don't get as much love as they deserve?

See you tomorrow!

17 better thoughts:

SugaryCynic said...


good list, the one from Usual Suspects is a favorite and badassery is totally word. I usually end up having to make up at least five for a single post. As for my favorite quote?

"Losers always whine about their best, winners go home and f@ck the prom queen" John Mason (Sean Connery) The Rock

ok so it's better with the next line from Nic Cage

filmgeek said...

The one I use the most is "I'm ok with being unimpressive. I sleep better" from Garden State. It fits with the whole finishing uni and doing fuck all thing

Alex said...

That line from Harvey is one of my all-time favorites, too.

Also "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are" from Buckaroo Banzai, and anything Donald O'Connor quips in Singin' in the Rain.

I'd have to think about the others, I guess.

Rick "The Hat" Bman said...

Great list and that line from The Usual Suspects is great but my favorite line from that movie is "How do you shoot the Devil in the back? What if you miss?" I just love that line and Spacey's delivery is so perfect.

Univarn said...

@Sugary It's still an awesome line, even without Cage's reaction :)

@filmgeek That's definitely a good one. I love Garden State :)

@Alex Guilty admission: I haven't seen Buckaroo Banzai *ducks*. O'Connor is great in Singin' in the Rain but I didn't think to go down that road.

@Rick Yeah. That's also a favorite quote of mine. I tried to keep it to a single "line." In Harvey my favorite quote is his conversation with the doctor: My mother used to say... "In this world you can be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Oh and congrats on being runner up for best blog name! Such an awesome accomplishment.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

It's too tough to choose absolutely favourites, so two that come to mind immediately...

"I know.You know I know. I know you know I know. We know Henry knows,and Henry knows we know it. We're a knowledgeable family." The Lion in Winter

"The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore but to be in the Lake,to luxuriate in the sensation of water.You do not work the lake out.It is an experience beyond thought." Bright Star

And though the line is nothing revolutionary I used to go around saying it just like Juliette Binoche did in The English Patient..."I don't know anything."

Alex said...

It's cool, I imagine not all that many people have seen Buckaroo Banzai. I don't think it's especially popular outside of camp/sci-fi fans. Really fun movie though, if it seems like your thing.

Simon said...

Lately, I just dig that line, something like "Of course it's allowed! This is New York!" from Night on Earth.

And props for not going with the obvious Cool Hand Luke line.

Danny King said...

I think that line from "The Usual Suspects" doesn't get enough buzz. Sure, the film and the performance is consistently praised, but that great quote is rarely singled out.

I recently saw "Casablanca," so there are a handful to choose from there, all of which are pretty much infamous. Another classic I watched recently and really loved was "Sunset Blvd." Here's one of my favorite lines from that film:

"Norma, you're a woman of 50, now grow up. There's nothing tragic about being 50, not unless you try to be 25."

Dan said...

Nice mix of well known lines with a few lesser known. The milkshake one from There Will be Blood is a good example of the lesser known - that film will be remembered for its greatness in years to come.

elgringo said...

I've always wondered where that "Devil's greatest trick" line came from. I'm 90% sure it was around before Usual Suspects but I don't know...

And Whitney and I named our podcast after your #5.


MovieNut14 said...

I have a few:

"Here's looking at you, kid." ~ Casablanca

"Well, nobody's perfect." ~ Some Like It Hot

"We all go a little mad sometimes." ~ Psycho

"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me...aren't you?" ~ The Graduate

"As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster." ~ Goodfellas

Castor said...

One I would like to add to the pantheon:
" They’re eating her… and then they’re going to eat me… OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!"

Fletch said...

The one I've come to use the most over the last few years is from Idiocracy: "I like money." Has to be said in just the right way, though...

It's been a couple years, but shouldn't Red be the one attributed for that Shawshank line? I know Andy says it, but I thought Red said it first. Maybe I got it backwards.

The Mad Hatter said...

I just heard a great one the other night in a vampire/rock n' roll movie called SUCK:

"I don't need you making my decisions for me!"
"You're a drummer - YES YOU DO!!"

Then there's always ALMOST FAMOUS which points out that some people "...Don't even know what it is to be a fan. To love some silly piece of music, or some band, so much...that it hurts."

The Floating Red Couch said...

"Course, we're just in the beginning part of space, we haven't even got to outer space yet!"

Oscar (Owen Wilson) Armaggedon

Anonymous said...

That line from Harvey is a classic.

I like this one from Withnail & I:

"I don't advise a haircut, man. All hairdressers are in the employment of the government. Hairs are your aerials. They pick up signals from the cosmos, and transmit them directly into the brain. This is the reason bald-headed men are uptight".

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