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Favorite Movie Quotes

March 17, 2010

I am smack dab in the middle of my reader request week! Tons of email requests and this one’s from Adrian – a reader and active commenter on my office supply blog Does This Pen Write?. Adrian and I have been corresponding for several months and she is part patron, part pushy showbiz mom and my personal Auntie Mame. Here’s a snippet of the email:

You make the best use of both obscure and popular movie quotes and I would love to see a list of your favorites. I don’t always know every reference, yet still find their inclusion in your writing delightful.

This is NOTHING! Stanley Motss in Wag the Dog

So what are your favorite movie quotes. I love hearing what lines other people dig on and use in their lives.

As usual, these are in no particular order.

1. “Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.” – Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) – Men in Black

It’s the way he says, “Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.” The wonder way there is a slip of his Texan accent. It gets me every time. The delivery style is intimate yet dismissive.

2. “Fuck the world. Try a ten a.m. script meeting, coked to the gills, no sleep and you haven’t even read the treatment. “ – Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman) – Wag the Dog

Hoffman has so many delicious lines in this film, but this is my favorite. It’s the perfect embodiment of his character and a cheeky send up to Robert Evans. And it’s hilarious.

3. “The ringer cannot look empty.” Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) – The Big Lebowski

In a film that is infinitely quotable this line tends to be overlooked, but it is just as hilarious as “This is bowling, not ‘Nam, there are rules.” and probably used a whole lot less. Also, I kind of feel like Walter sometimes, though I’d like to believe I’m possess more self awareness, despite probably being as abrasive.

4. “All combat takes place at night, in the rain, and at the junction of four map segments. “ AND “Stan, get with it. I read the first draft of the Warren Report and it says Kennedy was killed by a drunk driver.” – Connie Brean (Robert DeNiro) – Wag the Dog

The first quote makes me laugh so hard despite not knowing what the hell he’s talking about. And the later is all about the delivery. DeNiro gets all squinty eyed and smirky, like he’s trying NOT to laugh. It’s a great scene.

5. “Oh I really fascinated with aviation. I never knew they did it all with rubber bands!” – Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell) Auntie Mame

I love this line because it’s so random, as many of her lines are. But they are totally delivered with a zing and zip and playful disregard. Rosalind Russell was so wonderful in this movie. I don’t actually say this much, but I do find myself using it as a signature or status update from time to time.

Deputy Marshall Sam Gerard

6. “Well, think me up a cup of coffee and a chocolate doughnut with some of those little sprinkles on top, while you’re thinking.” – Dept. Marshall Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) – The Fugitive

I’m fairly convinced this is the line that won him the Oscar. Again, it’s all about his delivery and I love tossing this one out whenever someone is “thinking”.

7. “Mr. Takagi, I could talk about industrialization and men’s fashion all day, but I’m afraid work must intrude, and my associate, Theo, has some questions for you. Sort of fill in the blanks questions, actually.” – Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) – Die Hard

Alan Rickman. Best villain of all time. End of story. Best line in the movie.

8. “Karen: You’ll never get this many people to come to my funeral. Michael: Ohh, Karen, I’ll come. And, you know… I’ll bring a date.” – Karen (Jo Beth Williams) and Michael (Jeff Goldblum) – The Big Chill

Jeff Goldblum gets all the inappropriately hilarious one-liners in this movie.

9. “Hey, he pulls the wagon; I make the deals. You wanna ride?” – Coachman (Danny Stone) – Ghostbusters

Another one of those funny lines that gets lost in avalanche of funny bits of dialog. It’s up there with, “Yes, have some.” in terms of utility in my own life. Which is to say I use it quite a bit.

10. “This is war, Peacock. Casualties are inevitable. You can not make an omelet without breaking eggs, every cook will tell you that.” – Col. Mustard (Martin Mull) – Clue

I love how he growls “war”, yet makes the worst motivating “war” speech ever.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2010 12:06 am

    Oh gosh, sometimes I think my brain is literally a sponge and it just leaks out stuff at random. I find myself using quotes from random movies and books and songs I’ve heard/seen and often for no damn reason. I think my biggest offenders right now would be from the Ten Commandments (“Do you hear laughter?” “This is not that day, Joshua!”), Gladiator (“Are you not entertained?!”). Strangely I can’t think of anymore off the top of my head right now to make me look even more like a dork…

  2. hsofia permalink
    March 18, 2010 1:03 am

    Wow, these really are obscure. I have seen most of the movies, but don’t remember any of these lines (except the one from Die Hard). I really need to see The Big Lebowski. I feel like the only 30-50 year old left in America who hasn’t seen it.

    Movie quotes I use (either in conversation or thought) often … well, these won’t be as original as yours, I already know.

    “I’ll have her, but I’ll not keep her long.” – Al Pacino as Richard III in Looking for Richard. I just love the look in his eye when he says this.

    “Yes, yes, yes.” “No, no, no.” “Yes, yes, yes.” “No, no, nooooooooo.” – from Singing in the Rain, the hilarious bit where Gene Kelly and Jean Hagen attempt their first talkie and it’s just a total disaster. In fact, my tyke is practicing her “yes” and “no” ASL signs right now, and those are the lines I use to help her. I do the voices, too. Also from Singing in the Rain: “People!? I ain’t people!” (also Jean Hagen)

    “I’ll flip ya!” This is from The Usual Suspects. I say this at least once a week. I can’t even remember what situations prompt it, but there’s always some good reason. The way it works is, I say, “I’ll flip ya!” and then my husband chimes in, “What are you saying?” And I repeat, “I said, I’ll flip ya!” and then he deadpans, “English, please.” This is just my interpretation of Fenster’s gobbledygook, but whatever.

    “Did not know who he was fuckin with.” – Obviously, Pitch Black. This one mostly shows up in my brain because I don’t usually cuss. Okay, that’s not true. I have a total potty mouth, which I am desperately trying to curb for the sake of my child.

    “You’re so sour!” -from The Secret Garden, A. Holland version. I just love this movie to pieces and watch it every Winter and Spring.

    “People who can’t accept a gift have nothing to give themselves.” -from Karakter, one of the most perfect movies I’ve ever seen. I say this to myself often almost as a mantra; it’s what helped me learn to simply say “thank you,” when someone pays me a compliment.

    “Just like a dream experience …” – from Kundun.

    “I’ll give you a dollar if you eat this collie.” – from Badlands. When I think or say this it means it’s really about time to get up and do something.

  3. March 18, 2010 1:25 am

    TRXands and HSofia –

    Ha. You guys are awesome. I loved reading your comments and looking up your quotes. Thanks.

    Definitely loving the mention of Badlands.

  4. March 18, 2010 9:21 am

    I love this post! I’ve got a bit of echolalia so I tend to pepper a lot of my conversation with movie quotes. Here are a few of my favorites:

    “You can’t handle the truth!” – Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson) in A Few Good Men (a movie I’ve never actually seen)

    “‘I’d say you’d had enough” – Taggart (Slim Pickens) in Blazing Saddles (the famous beans scene)

    “I got nowhere else to go!” – Zack Mayo(nnaise) (Richard Gere) in An Officer and a Gentleman

    “It’s showtime, folks” – Joe Gideon (Bob Fosse) in All That Jazz

    “This is a perfect time to panic” – Woody (Tom Hanks) in Toy Story

  5. March 18, 2010 11:42 am

    @redlami –


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