The 50 greatest movie quotations

Published 9:09 am Thursday, June 7, 2012

Column: Thanks for Listening

The other day on Facebook I asked my friends what they thought was their favorite movie quote? The response was so overwhelming that I had the idea to share my own top 50 movie quotes. It is amazing how a movie line can make you remember the time and place you watched the movie, and in some cases, that line stays with you for years and years. See if any of mine match your favorites.

My 50 all-time favorite movie quotes:

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• “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

Wicked Witch of the West: “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”

• “Dirty Dancing” (1987)

Johnny Castle: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

• “Dead Poets Society” (1989)

John Keating: “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

• “Top Gun” (1986)

Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell: “I feel the need …”

Lt. Nick “Goose” Bradshaw: “… the need for speed!”

• “Caddyshack” (1980)

Carl Spackler: “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac … It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!”

• “Rocky” (1976)

Rocky Balboa: “Yo, Adrian!”

• “Airplane!” (1980)

Ted Striker: “Surely you can’t be serious.”

Dr. Rumack Striker: “I am serious … and don’t call me Shirley.”

• “The Shining” (1980)

Jack Torrance: “Here’s Johnny!”

• “Casablanca” (1942)

Rick Blaine: “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

• “Scarface” (1983)

Tony Montana: “Say ‘hello’ to my little friend!”

• “Gone with the Wind” (1939)

Scarlett O’Hara: “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

• “A League of Their Own” (1992)

Jimmy Dugan: “There’s no crying in baseball!”

• “Dirty Harry” (1971)

Harry Callahan: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

• “Apollo 13” (1995)

Jim Lovell: “Houston, we have a problem.”

• “The Sixth Sense” (1999)

Cole Sear: “I see dead people.”

• “Forrest Gump” (1994)

Forrest Gump: “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

• “Field of Dreams” (1989)

Shoeless Joe Jackson: “If you build it, he will come.”

• “The Pride of the Yankees” (1942)

Lou Gehrig: “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

• “The Terminator” (1984)

The Terminator: “I’ll be back.”

• “Jaws” (1975)

Martin Brody: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

• “A Few Good Men” (1992)

Col. Nathan Jessup: “You can’t handle the truth!”

• “Jerry Maguire” (1996)

Rod Tidwell: “Show me the money!”

• “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

Dorothy Gale: “There’s no place like home.”

• “In the Heat of the Night” (1967)

Virgil Tibbs: “They call me Mister Tibbs!”

• “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)

E.T.: “E.T. phone home.”

• “Apocalypse Now” (1979)

Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

• “Cool Hand Luke” (1967)

Captain: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

• “Sudden Impact” (1983)

Harry Callahan: “Go ahead, make my day.”

• “Casablanca” (1942)

Rick Blaine: “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

• “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

Dorothy Gale: “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

• “On the Waterfront” (1954)

Terry Malloy: “You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”

• “The Godfather” (1972)

Don Vito Corleone: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

• “Gone with the Wind” (1939)

Rhett Butler: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

• “Meet the Parents” (2000)

Jack Byrnes: “I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?”

• “Caddyshack” (1980)

Carl Spackler: “So we finish 18, and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, ‘Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.’ And he says, ‘Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.”

• “The Usual Suspects” (1995)

Verbal Kint: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

• “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962)

Maxwell Scott: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

• “As Good As It Gets” (1997)

Carol Connely: “When I first saw you, I thought you were handsome. Then, of course, you spoke.”

• “Gladiator” (2000)

Maximus Meridius: “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the armies of the North, General of the Felix legions, loyal servant to the true Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

• “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978)

Dean Wormer: “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

• “Fight Club” (1999)

Tyler Durden: “Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: You DO NOT talk about Fight Club!”

• “GoodFellas” (1990)

Tommy DeVito: “But I’m funny how? I mean, funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you?”

• “The Princess Bride” (1987)

Inigo Montoya: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

• “Anchorman” (2004)

Ron Burgundy: “I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly”

• “Anchorman” (2004)

Ron Burgundy “I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.”

• “Anchorman” (2004)

“Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.”

• “Anchorman” (2004)

Brick Tamland: “I love Lamp.”

• “The Shootist” (1979)

John Bernard Books: “I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.”

• “In Harm’s Way” (1965)

Capt. Rockwell Torrey:
“All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be some place else.”

And, of course, my favorite John Wayne quote is:

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

This quote is printed on his gravestone.

I hope these quotes made you think of your favorite movie quote or quotes.


Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.