April 12, 2007

The 100 greatest movie lines.

According to Premiere. Only #51-100 available now. You have to click through them one by one, but there are pictures. Of course, it's a matter of taste. Guess the age of the folks who came up with these dubious gems:
86. "Can I borrow your underpants for ten minutes?"...

67. "Go, get the butter."


Richard Fagin said...

"I told you to stay away from that radio! If that batt'ry's dead, it'll have company!" James Cagney in "White Heat"

bill said...

"I like to watch."

But I'm not clicking through 50 pages.

Roger said...

compilers of this list have not seen very many great movies. Average age of panel must be 35

american in europe said...

I would nominate every single line from "the Philadelphia Story". Here's one of my favorite bits, where Tracy is calling off her wedding to George Kittredge.

George: If it hadn't been for that drink last night, all this might not have happened.
Tracy: Apparently nothing did. What made you think it had?
George: Well, it didn't take much imagination!
Tracy: Not much, perhaps, but just of a certain kind.
George: It seems you didn't think anything too well of yourself.
Tracy: That's the odd thing, George. Somehow I would have hoped that you'd think better of me than I did.

hdhouse said...

Christmas? Christmas means dinner, dinner means death! Death means carnage; Christmas means carnage!

Oh, do forgive me for scratching you, dear. I got a bit carried away. It's a cat thing.

(crying) I want my mom!

Baa-ram-ewe, baa-ram-ewe. To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true. Sheep be true. Baa-ram-ewe.

Sloanasaurus said...

I would have put "Ill be back" in the top 10.

Wade_Garrett said...

I can't guess their ages, but those lines are no worse than some of the non-classics from any other generation. "No wire hangers?" Really? "Yippie Kay-Yay motherfucker?" Really?

To me, "let's create a catchphrase" lines like "I've had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane" shouldn't make the list; they're too desperate for attention.

Jeff said...

Baby Boomers (the Ungreatest Generation) foist their tastes on an unwilling America once again.

P. Froward said...

"Leave the microfilm in, baby."

Ruth Anne Adams said...

P. Froward: No one puts Baby in the corner.

Joe said...

"Hey, hey, hey. Don't be mean. We don't have to be mean because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are."

"Laugh while you can, monkey boy."

Synova said...

The 100 greatest movie lines are all in the Princess Bride.

Er... the 95 greatest movie lines are all in the Princess Bride.

The other 5 are in Serenity.


Jennifer said...

Well, they're my age, because I loved those movies. :P

Palladian said...

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver, with some fava beans and a nice key-anti."

Palladian said...

"Wendy, I think you hurt my head real bad."

Palladian said...

and "Tina! Bring me the axe!" is a way better line than "No wire hangers!"

kyle said...

"This aggression will not stand."
The Dude

"My name is Diego Montoya...you killed my brother...prepare to die."

Wade_Garrett said...

"Pain don't hurt," from Roadhouse.

Peter Palladas said...

67. Maybe it's a culinery thing, but I've always wanted to know if it was salted or unsalted.

Poor Tarantino must be gutted. He wrote 'Pulp Fiction' with the sole intention of getting every piece of dialogue into this list.

And that's the missing link. One-off lines are never the best.

"How about you, Lash LaRue? Can you keep your spurs from jingling and jangling?"

I love that, but only because of what comes before and after.

If 'Rosebud is number one, someone will suffer.

It has to be "Don't move, you are surrounded by armed bastards", but that's not film sadly just British television.

'Life On Mars' - and if you are very, very good people you may get to see it.

Anyway, back to the butter......

Hoosier Daddy said...

The other 5 are in Serenity.

Wash: This landing is going to get pretty interesting.

Mal: Define interesting.

Wash: Oh God Oh God we're all gonna die?

Wash: Tell us again about the part where Jayne gets beat up by a 90lb girl cause that's never going to get old.

Yep, good lines in that one, more than 5 I think.

blake said...

Wade has named himself after a character in Road House so there may be some bias there.

If you're going to throw around the word "great", you probably should measure on the basis of cultural impact. (Ooh...look at all the big words....)

In which case, The Wizard of Oz wins, with various rememberings of "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore," "Lions and tigers and bears, oh, my!" and on and on.

Casablanca's "Play it again, Sam" (not actually in the movie) would have to be in there. Also "Of all the gin joints (etc.)".

These are things that permeate our society. Princess Bride probably comes closest to doing the same, with "Mostly dead" and--somewhat inexplicably--"My name is Inigo Montoya (etc.)". People just seem to like to say that.

What others? I often hear "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

The Coen brothers provide their fans with many wonderful quotes: "Her insides were a barren field where my seed could find no purchase." But like Buckaroo Banzai, they're popular mostly among a small group.

There are actually some good lines in "Die Hard" but "Yippie-kay-yay" isn't one of them. "We're gonna needs some more FBI guys" is.

Jacob said...

I think at least half of them should be from Casablanca.

I think these are more in-context lines, so it's more top 100 line of dialogue. I mean, "Precious" is a terrible line by any standards just said. It's on the list because of Gollum saying it. Same with "Yippie Kay-Yay, motherfucker!" that was a pretty cool moment(s). (personally I think Die Hard is the perfect action film, but that's me).

bill said...

Jacob, you're not the only one. Read this Appreciation: Die Hard.

But while the film's showstoppers still dazzle, Die Hard isn’t a great film simply because it delivers bang for your buck; it’s great because its action is built atop a foundation of wit and emotion.

bill said...

another from Serenity: I am a leaf on the wind, watch me soar.

bill said...

How about great quotes from awful movies. Anyone remember Crossroads, a wretched movie starring Ralph Macchio as a righteous blues guitarist set to battle the devil? Can't forget Jami Gertz as the underage prostitute with a heart of gold. For all it's faults it has two great lines voiced by actor Joe Seneca (Willie Brown):

1. The blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad.
2. Boy, don't you know? Muddy Waters invented electricity.

The Drill SGT said...

To me a great line is less about the context in the movie than how the line makes it into popular culture.


"we're not in Kansas anymore" at 62 or

"Make my day" which I assume is in the top 50 is much more significant than

"We Belong Dead" @ 63

Synova said...

I think that usually the lines aren't nearly so great as the moment. We love the line because it reminds us of the moment.

I was trying to think of some but if someone hadn't seen the movie the lines are just... flat.

I can never remember them exactly, but take _Oh, Brother Where Art Thou_ and "She runned oft. R-u-n-n-O-f-t." Okay, I know that's not exactly right but it was a fabulous line. Or, "We thought you was a toad." My dad could hardly repeat that line without tearing up with the effort not to crack up before getting to "toad." But there is absolutely nothing great about the line "We thought you was a toad."

Serenity and Firefly are full of fabulous lines. "I can kill you with my brain." How does it get better than that? And almost anything uttered by Jayne. I used to have a book with the script in it... ah, google,...

"I'll kill a man in a fair fight... or if I think he's gonna start a fair fight... or if he bothers me, or if there's a woman... or if I'm getting paid. Mostly only when I'm getting paid.

These Reavers, the last years... they show up like the boogeyman from stories.

Eating people alive? Where does that get fun?"

Even with the longer bit it just doesn't show the childlike confusion expressed by this killer named Jayne.

Synova said...

Oh, I goofed that up. The transcript I found didn't have names for who said what on most of it.

Jayne's dialog goes straight from "Mostly only when I'm getting paid." to "Eating people alive? Where does that get fun?"

Bender said...

You have to click through them one by one

No I don't. If they don't want to list them, they don't want me to read them.

Christy said...

Jayne: Shiny! Let's be bad guys!

Can't stop the signal.

Shephard responding to Mal's "someday you'll have to tell me...." with "No, I don't."

But my favorite might be Zoe in Firefly saying "Big damn heroes, sir"

All in context, alas.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

"How tall are you without your horse? Six foot, seven inches! Never mind the six feet. Let's talk about the seven inches!" Mae West in Myra Breckinridge

michael a litscher said...

"I was born a poor black child." - Navin R. Johnson (Steve Martin) The Jerk

"So I got that goin' for me, which is nice." Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) Caddyshack

joe said...

Leave the gun. Take the cannolis.

Palladian said...


David53 said...

"I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."

Kevin L. Connors said...

Serenity?!?!?! Give me a break. Obviously, there are a lot of people on this blog under 35.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Firefly/Serenity. And, like everything Whedon does, it's an extremely well-scripted film. But none of those actors can match the delivery of say, Lauren Bacall - "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together - and blow." [from To Have and Have Not (1945)].

Besides, the movie didn't make it's production cost on it's domestic box office. That excludes it from any lists which don't contain either 'flop' or 'cult' in their titles.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Glennis Yeager, To Husband Chuck:

You know, I always hated flying.

When I met you,

You were
Already a pilot,

So I never had
A complaint coming.

When you went up
In those planes,

Me and the kids...

We never
Had any insurance

Except a couple
Months' pay

In case anything
Ever happened.

I always hated
All that talk
About insurance.

The government
Spends all kinds
Of time and money

Teaching you pilots
To be fearless, but...

They don't spend
A god damn penny

Teaching you how
To be the fearless wife
Of a test pilot.

But I guess
I liked it.

I guess I liked
The kind of man

Who could
Push the outside
Of the envelope.


But I never could
Stand a man

Who was one of those
"remember whens."

Those bitter guys
That just sit around

About old times.

If I ever see
That happening...

I'm going right out
The front door...

And you'll
Never catch me.

Chuck Yeager:

You know,
I'm a fearless man,

But I’m scared
To death of you.

Glennis Yaeger:

Oh, no, you're not...

But you ought to be.

From The Right Stuff. Glennis’ last line is my favorite line from any and all movies.

bluethedog said...

"Take your stinking paws off me..."

Kevin L. Connors said...

Oh, and again, a lot of you don't get it. The list is greatest movie lines, not dialogues.

Synova said...

Don't get it?

Thing is, none of the *lines* are really any good. Really. What do you think is an exceptionally potent one-line bit of dialog?

Even, Frankly Scarlett, I don't give a d*mn, is only a good line because of the timing.

joewxman said...

i was glad to see thelma ritter made the list from all about eve (#52 i belleve)...no one could deliver a line like she could.

Kevin L. Connors said...

Obviously Synova, you missed my former post, which both explained that a great movie line depends not only upon a great script, but also great delivery (and, to a lesser extend, all the other elements of a "great", or at least memorable film), and provides an example of a truely great line.

Incedentally, I never cared much for GwtW. Selznick succeeded in turning a truely great piece of historical fiction into little more than a long, corny melodrama. But it's hard to argue with success.

Kevin L. Connors said...

Oh, and it's actually "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

YAMB said...

The best line from "All About Eve" ought to be, "Fasten your seatbelts, we're in for a bumpy ride!"

Synova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blake said...

Nonsense. There are great lines even if most need a context. The ones that are great (like not-in-Kansas or bumpy-night) just have contexts you can generalize.

"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum."

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."


Kevin L. Connors said...

Incidentially, the movie with what just might be the #1 greatest movie line of all time (tied, in my mind, with Boggy's farewell to Ingrid Bergman, in Casablanca) is on TCM, tonight at midnight (EDT).

What movie is it? Guess...

Howard Beale: I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad.
Howard Beale: [shouting] You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, [shouting] 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: [screaming at the top of his lungs] "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"

Man, that's powerful cinema. Olivier's Hamlet (1946) pails in comparison.

Kevin L. Connors said...

Well, I finally took the time to click through the list. And I can go for about half of them. Although my order would be different. For instance, my To Have and Have Not line comes in at #77, and Network at #79.

But my biggest beef is that they present only snippets of the lines, without proper depth or context. The most egregious of these is Michael Douglas, as Gordon Gekko: "Greed... is good," from Wall Street (1987) (#70). Of course, the line is properly, "greed, for lack of a better word, is good."

And I would argue that, without Gekko's full Teldar Shareholder's speech, which is right out of Adam Smith, it's really lost.

But Stone turns Smith on his ear (and, I would posit, reveals his own true feeling), with Gekko's other pronouncements to the effect that the capital markets are nothing more than a zero-sum game.