It’s tough to think about a great movie without some pretty amazing lines of dialogue or narrative coming to mind. The movie quotes we consider great are often reflections of our personality. They come from the movies that we believe to be among the best ever made. With that said, compiling a list of the 10 Best Movie Quotes Ever will always be in the eye of the beholder, colored by time, experience, and preference. Which do you consider the best?
“Somebody’s got to go back into town and get a s***load of dimes.”
This classic came from one of the villains in the legendary western satire-comedy directed by Mel Brooks. It exemplifies the film itself, which lampoons the stupidity of racism. The villains are riding across the open prairie looking to pillage the small, all-white town of clueless Rock Ridge. Rock Ridge’s black sheriff (played by Cleavon Little) has set up a narrow toll system in the middle of the prairie. And even though the bad guys aren’t above roughing up an old lady for no good reason at all — as if there ever is a good reason — violating a toll booth would be a violation of their collective moral code.
“Ah come on, Adrian, it’s true. I was nobody. But that don’t matter either, you know? ‘Cause I was thinkin’, it really don’t matter if I lose this fight. It really don’t matter if this guy opens my head, either. ‘Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody’s ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I’m still standin’, I’m gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren’t just another bum from the neighborhood.”
Spoiler alert: Rocky doesn’t win in the first movie. But he doesn’t have to. This exchange between Rocky and Adrian (Talia Shire) the night before club fighter Balboa meets the unbeaten heavyweight champ in the ring is what gives the finale its power. As good as the five sequels are, they’re never able to equal the power of the original, and the whole film hinges on this moment.
“You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”
One of the greatest Hollywood couples to ever grace the silver screen (or the real world) got their start in this 1944 film. The tension between Bogey and Bacall was thick enough to cut with a chainsaw, and Slim’s exchange with “Steve” (Bogart) in this scene is sexy, suggestive, and way ahead of its time, without crossing over any lines.
“May the Force be with you.”
The Force gets frequent mention in the six Star Wars films — well three films and three terrible prequels — but it’s when Han Solo, a non-believer, says it before Luke Skywalker flies into almost certain death at the end of the 1977 classic that it resonates with the most emotional impact. It’s the moment when Han reveals there is more to his character than meets the eye.
“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
Red is an “institutional” man, who doesn’t think he can make it outside prison walls. Andy is a wide-eyed dreamer, whose luck has taken a turn for the worst. But no matter what, nothing can destroy Andy’s hope, a lesson he tries to teach Red throughout the film. If you don’t know the rest, then buy this movie at once.
“I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”
Callahan gives this speech twice in the film — the first time, toying with a crook he’s acting like he’s about to shoot; the second time at the end of the film to the Scorpio Killer. Both times he knows exactly how many bullets he has in the gun, but the last time, none of the playfulness is there. Only hate. And it’s awesome.
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Selfish. Manipulative. Drama queen. The world revolved around Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) until it didn’t. It took Rhett Butler to clarify in one of the most controversial (at the time) lines uttered on film. Today the word “damn” isn’t that big of a deal, but back then, it kind of was. No $#!T!
“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
Marlon Brando completely lost himself in the role and became The Godfather. Since then, the line has been repeated, parodied, and immortalized. But before it became a pop culture milestone, it was the perfect example of the main character’s menace and civility that somehow coexisted in one very brutal, very classy film.
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
The Usual Suspects is a classic plot-twister that we’d hate to give away in case you haven’t seen it, but we’ll just say the line is very cool on its own, and when you put it in the context of the film, it’s even more awesome.
“I regret trifling with married women. I’m thoroughly ashamed at cheating at cards. I deplore my occasional departures from the truth. Forgive me for taking your name in vain, my Saturday drunkenness, my Sunday sloth. Above all, forgive me for the men I’ve killed in anger. And for those I am about to.”
This line comes from the incredible John Wayne western The Cowboys, but it’s not the Duke who says it, which makes it even more memorable in a way, given the many great lines he delivered throughout his career up to, including, and after this film. If you’ve seen the movie, you know the circumstances add to the effect. If you haven’t, then brace yourself. It’s a moving and exciting experience.
So those are the great movie lines that we can’t forget. The Best Movie Quotes ever, if you will. Agree or disagree — share your thoughts below.