WALLY'S WORLD: Movies offer great lines

What goes around, comes around, and Sunday evening it’s time for the Academy Awards. Once again, American royalty will parade down the red carpet, posing for the cameras and screaming fans, to offer Hollywood’s sorry version of glamour. I say sorry because Tinseltown’s idea of chic isn’t any more elegant or sophisticated than a good Saturday night in the Ski Inn. I mean, really now, the very essence of glamour is not to pose; rather, it’s to be unaware of yourself, even while you boggle the minds of everyone around you.

Anyway, to commemorate this year’s awards, the American Film Institute has complied a list of the 50 most memorial movie quotes or zingers of all time. I wouldn’t christen any of them with greatness, but they can be fun in a nostalgic kind of way. From this list, I’ve selected some of my favorites.

1 – “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Of course, this is Clark Gable’s parting remark in “Gone With the Wind” (1939). It’s probably the most famous line in the annals of filmdom. Gee whiz, he actually swore!

2 – “There’s no place like home.” Judy Garland’s concluding remark in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). So popular, it has become a cliché of the English language.

3 – “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Marlon Brando as “The Godfather” (1972), perhaps his most celebrated role that was allegedly modeled after the head of the Bonanno crime family. Initially, many people weren’t sure what the remark meant, which nicely captures the vague, ambiguous linguistic style of Mafia kingpins.

4 – “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Ruthless lawman Strother Martin, after convict Paul Newman failed to do what he was told in “Cool Hand Luke” (1967).

5 – “You talkin’ to me?” Robert DeNiro talking to his mirror image after he’d lapse into madness in “Taxi Driver” (1976).

6 – “This is the stuff that dreams are made of.” Humphrey Bogart in “The Maltese Falcon” (1941) after he discovered the falcon was made of clay rather than gold.

7 – “I am big. It’s the movies that have gotten small.” Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard” (1950).

8 – “Here’s lookin’ at you, Kid.” Humphrey Bogart’s sentimental toast, over champagne, while gazing longingly into the eyes of Ingrid Bergman in “Casablanca” (1942).

9 – “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Tom Hanks as “Forrest Gump” (1994).

10 – “When a butterfly flutters its wings in Beijing, it can cause a hurricane in the Caribbean. I really believe that.” Robert Redford in “Havana” (1990).

11 – And finally, there’s my all-time favorite movie quote, which I’ve mentioned in a previous column but it bears repeating. It was mumbled by Marion Brando in “The Wild One” (1954), a film about an outlaw motorcycle gang. A biker gal asks Brando what he’s rebelling against. Replied Brando, after a swallow of beer, “What ya got?”


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates