Saturday, July 12, 2008
In 2005 as a part of the celebration of their 100th anniversary, the American Film Institute released the top 100 movie quotes of all-time. The most quoted actor was Humphrey Bogart, who edged out Marlon Brandon by 4-3. Bogart's highest-rated was the #5 ranking of "Here's looking at you, kid" from 'Casablanca.' Brando had two of the top five with both "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse" (#2) from 'The Godfather' and "I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am" (#3) from 'On the Riverfront'. The top-ranked quote of all-time? It was the classic Rhett Butler line from 'Gone With the Wind' as uttered by Clark Gable: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." The all-time top film, 'Gone With the Wind' had two more entries in the top 100, both Scarlett O'hara lines as uttered by Vivian Leigh: "...tomorrow is another day" (#31) and "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again" (#59). It wasn't just oldies either, as many modern films were well represented with top lines. A pair of Arnold Schwarzenegger classics make the list: "I'll be back" from 'Terminator' (#37) and "Hasta la vista, baby" from 'Terminator 2" (#76). The highest rated quotes from the last 25 years have been: "Go ahead, make my day" (#6) by Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry Callahan in 1983's 'Sudden Impact', "I ate his liver with some fava beans, and a nice Chianti" (#21) eerily delivered by Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in 1991's 'The Silence of the Lambs', "Show me the money" (#25) as delivered by both Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr in 1996's 'Jerry Maguire', and "You can't handle the truth" (#29) as shouted by Jack Nicholson's Colonel Nathan Jessup in 1992's 'A Few Good Men'. Maguire's Renee Zellweger also made it with her character Dorothy Boyd's classic heart breaker at #52: "You had me at hello." The only quote to make the list from the new 21st century was at #85, the "My precious" as Andy Serkis' character Gollum whispered in 2002's 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers'. Perhaps the most unlikely actor to make the list was actress Estelle Reiner, whose one-liner from 1989's 'When Harry Met Sally' was delivered with unparalleled timing and attitude in response to the classic public simulated-orgasm of Meg Ryan: "I'll have what she's having" came in at #33. So many great films, so many great one-liners. It may be the single most important skill of a screen writer in coming up with that signature. But it usually takes impeccable timing by a great actor or actress in a memorable film for a quote to truly become a part of our everyday lexicon. Click into the title of this entry to see the full list of 100 top quotes.