AFI 100 Greatest Movie Quotes (Part I)
It’s no secret. I love my movies. If I want to go out and have the money for dinner or a movie, but not both … I’m taking the movie and I’ll eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at home before I go. Combine that love with my quote obsession and it stands to reason that I feel it necessary to sound off about the AFI (American Film Institute) list of the 100 Greatest Movie Quotes. (Little known fact: I also have a serious list/countdown addiction so I really had no choice.) The list has been out for quite some time (since 2005) and can be found here in its entirety.
I shall present my comments regarding said list in a four part series (that is twenty-five quotes in each segment for those of you dumber at math than I am) beginning with number one-hundred and working my way down. Of course, we have three additional years of movies we could add to this list. When will they (the list makers) learn and begin titling things of this nature like, “AFI 100 Greatest Movie Quotes Thus Far” or “To Date” or something along those lines? Ten years after the original “AFI 100 Greatest Movies” list they had to alter it and reorganize to possibly include movies released in that decade … at which point they made a new list and aired a new program. Really. Do they intend to do this every ten years? But, I digress. Moving on.
#100 – “I’m the king of the world!” ~Jack Dawson, Titanic (1997)
Personally, I think everyone on the planet that gets on a ship and thinks they are being original by running to the bow and throwing open their arms and screaming this line … needs to get a life. I don’t know. If including a quote from ‘Titanic’ was compulsory because of the number of naked gold statues (Oscars, people – jeesh) that James Cameron took home that night then they could have picked something more interesting like, “That’s the one good thing about Paris: there’s plenty of girls willing to take their clothes off.”
Random thought: Why is it the most memorable movies quotes are often the most asinine lines of the film?
#99 – “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” ~The Wicked Witch of the West, The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Here is where I will now receive the ire of just about everyone on the planet (and this is only the second entry): I hate this movie. There it is. I expect the angry emails to being any moment now. Still, this is a pretty great quote. Dorothy should take comfort in the fact that someone, at least, finds her attractive … even if it is a witch calling her “pretty.”
#98 – “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” ~Johnny Castle, Dirty Dancing (1987)
I saw this movie at the age of thirteen. My best friend and I convinced her father to drop us off at the theater in Nairobi without telling him what we (the good little missionary children) were going to see. I still love the film. Is it award worthy? No. Still, even at the age of thirteen I knew this line sucked. My personal favorite? “I carried a watermelon.” C’mon!!!! Every girl has said something just about that stupid to some boy she liked at some point in her life. Brilliant! Definitely better than the quote that made the list.
#97 – “(Ladies and Gentleman), My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you.” ~George M. Cohan, Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
… and my dog thanks you and my horse thanks you and my little pinky finger thanks you. I admit. This is one I’ve never managed to watch. It isn’t as though I was around in 1942 and I just haven’t added it to my Netflix queue yet. Still, I know the speech which is a testament to why it earns itself a place on this list.
#96 – “Snap out of it!” ~Loretta Castorini, Moonstruck (1987)
Do you know what makes this line great and memorable? The slap that accompanies it, that’s what – and the fact that women around the world wished they had the gumption to do the same thing.
#95 – “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” ~John Keating, Dead Poets Society (1989)
This, in my humble and completely addicted to literature word nerd opinion, is one of the great movies. It would probably land on my top 100 list. You can’t argue with a movie that brought “Carpe diem” to the masses although I believe it should be the “Oh captain, my captain” moment to take the proverbial quote cake.
#94 – “I feel the need … the need for speed!” ~Maverick & Goose, Top Gun (1986)
You know you have said it. You know you have. It may have been 20 years ago, but you have said it.
#93 – “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” ~Mame Dennis, Auntie Mame (1958)
I had never heard nor read this line until this list was published. Maybe it is because I just can’t get myself to watch a movie titled ‘Auntie Mame’ and that is probably my own stupid fault. Regardless, it is a poignant line bearing much truth so I can not condemn it.
#92 – “Cinderalla 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!” ~Carl Spackler, Caddyshack (1980)
I don’t know about the rest of it … but “It’s in the hole!” is quite memorable and quotable for a number of different reasons and that is as far as I am going to elaborate on that.
#91 – “Who’s on first?” ~Dexter, The Naughty Nines (1945)
Hee hee! Yeah – that’s all I have to say. Hee hee!
#90 – “A martini. Shaken, not stirred.” ~James Bond, Goldfinger
Yes, please. I’ll take one too. In fact, I’ll take the drink and the man – thank you very much.
#89 – “Tell ‘em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper.” ~Knute Rockne, Knute Rockne All American (1940)
Do you know why I remember this quote? Well, I vowed to forever and always refer to former president Ronald Reagan (rest his soul) as ‘the Gipper’ after finally seeing this film. No biggie. People remember it. Sports movies are great. Why not have it in the list?
#88 – “Listen to me, mister. You’re my knight in shining armor. Don’t you forget it. You’re going to get back on that horse, and I’m going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we’re going to go, go, go!” ~Ethel Thayer, On Golden Pond (1981)
Everyone say it with me now, “Awwwwww!”
#87 – “Sawyer, you’re going out a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star!” ~Julian Marsh, 42nd Street (1933)
Honestly – we don’t care if you grow up or not or learn anything along the way as long you make yourself famous in the process … and don’t come back until you do. Whatever!
#86 – “Attica! Attica!” ~Sonny Wortzik, Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Could they? Did they? Yes! They did! They misquoted. Honest. It goes like this: "Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica! (pause) Attica! Attica! Remember, Attica!" That may not be exact either, but it is closer than just, "Attica! Attica!" Whew!
#85 – “My precious.” ~Gollum, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Tours (2002)
Fellow Tolkien fans … I know as well as you do that a lot was riding on the character of Gollum in both speech and appearance. You can’t tell me that the way Andy Serkis uttered those infamous words didn’t make you shudder the first time you heard it. Sheer perfection!
#84 – “Oh, no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.” ~Carl Denham, King Kong (1933)
Are you sure? ‘Cause, from where I was sittin’, it sure didn’t seem that way. What? Give me a break … I get the quote, but it’s just so damn silly.
#83 – “Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.” ~Bela Lugosi, Count Dracula (1931)
#82 – “Toga! Toga!” ~John ‘Bluto’ Blutarsky, Animal House (1978)
Seriously folks – what would your college experience have been like without this movie? You know making an appearance in at least one toga party at some point of your higher education is mandatory, right? Well, mandatory since 1978 that is.
#81 – “Hello, gorgeous.” ~Fanny Brice, Funny Girl (1968)
Hi yourself! I will not echo the 'gorgeous' sentiment.
#80 – “Yo! Adrian!” ~Rocky Balboa, Rocky (1976)
I guess it wouldn’t have had the same ring to it if the first word had been “Hey!” or “Oi!” would it? Still, they only have one syllable each. They could have worked.
#79 – “Surely you can’t be serious?” “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” ~Ted Striker & Dr. Rumack, Airplane (1980)
This … in all its slapstick glory … is one hell of a quotable movie and this would be the most memorable line.
#78 – “Open the pod bay doors, (please) HAL.” ~Dave Bowman, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Tagline: Let the awe and mystery of a journey unlike any other begin. Cool.
#77 – “Soylent Green is people!” ~Det. Robert Thorn, Soylent Green (1973)
Thirty-five years later and that is still … just … plain ... NASTY!
#76 – “Hasta la vista, baby.” ~The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Oh … don’t get your panties in a twist … the other ‘Terminator’ quote is in here too.
There you go ... the first twenty-five. What do you think? Do you agree with the list so far? You really don't need to answer, but feel free if you want to. Join me next time for more of my useless thoughts on the AFI 100 Greatest Movie Quotes (Part II).