Top Movie Quotes
I’m a fan of movies… well a certain type of movie. And I tend to quote them a lot. Which gets me some strange looks sometimes because I quote movies that few people have seen and fewer people appreciate. For example:
I’ve run out of ammunition. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before.
You have to be a real, hard-core, serious street-cred geek to get that reference. (Two internets to who can tell me what movie that is from.)
I have some bones to pick with this list. Honestly, I can see the number 1 spot. It is truly a classic and even people (like me) who have never seen the movie can instantly recognize who said it, in what movie, and what it means. It’s been used in thousands of contexts and copied and mangled in everything from cartoons to news broadcasts.
Number 3 is too much of the quote. I think most people would recognize “I coulda been a contender.”, but not the rest of it. I’m really impressed that they went with Sudden Impact in the top ten as well.
But after that is where we start having problems. “May the force be with you.” is a great line from the Star Wars franchise. But I think that “Luke, I am your father” is the more interesting and memorable quote.
The top of the world quote from White Heat is number 18 and the king of the world quote from Titanic is number 100. I think that Cameron basically stole the quote from White Heat, so we should skip it.
Both Terminator movies have their quotes… and don’t kid me, there were only two Terminator movies. Anyone who says otherwise is an “old man and a fool.”
I also think that they pull the single word quote from The Graduate. It may be a great quote. But if you just throw it into a conversation, no one is going to get it. Unlike “May the Force be With You”.
And while I appreciate the Airplane quote. It should be a quote from one character. Just use “I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley”. That’s a great line by itself, although I would argue that “Do you like movies about gladiators.” is almost as good.
There’s two quotes that, arguably, shouldn’t be on this list. The first is from Apollo 13, “Houston, we have a problem.” I’m pretty sure that quote was in the culture of the American people well before the movie came out. My dad said it all the time. The other is “My precious.” from The Lord of the Rings. Which was present in geek culture long before it was made into a movie.
While it’s true these were in movies, the quotes are not famous because of the movie.
I have a real problem with the 2001 entry. I love 2001 and the sequel. As different as they are from the books (because Kubric couldn’t find a model of Saturn that he thought looked good on film), these are two fine movies.
But the chosen quote from 2001 is “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” That’s a stupid line. It’s not a quote that has imprinted itself into the American culture. On the other hand, one quote from that movie, IMO, has imprinted itself in our culture and that quote is
I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.
I’ve used that many times and my geek friends have used it many, many times. I’ve heard that quote in other TV shows and movies. It’s also much easier to throw out in casual conversation than “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”. I don’t know anyone with a pod bay.
Finally, and this one really chaps my hide. The single greatest line from any movie ever made is not even on this list. I am willing to argue that in terms of cultural use, recognition, and overall coolness, it should be in the top five, possibly even number 2.
My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.