Do you recite popular movie quotes during casual conversation? Ready-made dialogue is there for the taking, providing a legion of material for any situation. That’s likely one reason so many famous movie quotes are included on today’s sitcoms and used by guests on talk shows. Here is a list of the most popular movie quotes of all time, along with a description of the movie scenes that inspired these quotes. Did any of your favorites make the list? Read on to find out!
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” – Gone With the Wind
This line, number one on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Movie Quotes, represents Rhett Butler’s final words to the selfish Scarlett O’Hara. They were married and had a daughter, but the death of the child made Rhett realize that their troubled relationship was beyond salvage. He packed to leave and Scarlett begged him to stay, asking, “Where will I go? What will I do?” Rhett then delivers the immortal line, making it clear to both himself and the audience that the relationship is irrevocably severed.
“Play it again, Sam.” – Casablanca
This is quite possibly one of the most famous movie misquotes of all time. In fact, this line never actually appears in the movie. The actual quote by character Ilsa Lund is, “Play it, Sam, for old time’s sake, play as time goes by.” Later, Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine says, “You played it for her, you can play it for me. If she can stand it, I can! Play it!” Ilsa’s correct line is listed on the American Film Institute’s 2005 list of Top 100 Movie Quotes.
“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” – Dirty Dancing
This 1987 film follows the adventures of Frances “Baby” Houseman as she comes of age at a Catskills resort during the summer of 1963.
In the film’s climactic ending scene, Baby’s dance partner and lover, Johnny, who was fired due to their relationship, returns to the resort to perform the last dance of the season. He approaches Baby, seated at a corner table with her family in front. Johnny then delivers the famous line and brings Baby onstage to dance with him.
“If you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? ---- Carpe -- hear it? – Carpe, Carpe Diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” – Dead Poets Society
This Academy Award winning film, set at a conservative boys’ school in 1959, inspires us to dare to follow our dreams. Robin Williams plays English teacher John Keating, who bucks the school’s imposed conformity in an attempt to help his students to follow their hearts. The quote is taken from the boys’ first day of class, when Keating takes them outside the classroom on a trip of self-exploration. The group pauses beside a trophy case that contains pictures of former students. The ending line of this passage becomes the motto of the class and the theme of the film.
“I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I’m going to take a stand. I’m going to defend it. Right or wrong, I’m going to defend it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This 1986 film follows the adventures of Ferris Bueller, his girlfriend Sloane Peterson and his best friend Cameron Frye as they skip school to spend the day exploring Chicago. Repressed Cameron is terrified of his strict father, but Ferris talks him into “borrowing” his father’s Ferrari for the day. Throughout the course of the film, Cameron gradually loosens up. He begins to realize how much repressed anger he has toward his father and he kicks the car’s bumper in frustration, causing a dent. This line is delivered when Cameron surveys the damage and realizes that he will finally have to stand up to his father.
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” – Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump won six Academy Awards for its portrayal of a mentally challenged man and his heroic impact on world events. Forrest takes the role of narrator, telling of his adventures to an ever-changing cast of characters who occupy the seat next to him at a bus stop. As he speaks of his next adventure, it unfolds onscreen. Throughout the film, Forrest quotes sayings that his mother taught him. One of the best loved of several memorable movie quotes in the film is this line.
“It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything.” – Fight Club
Fight Club explores the thoughts and feelings of a nameless Everyman narrator as he comes to realize that his life as an accident investigator and recall specialist is ultimately pointless. When his condo burns down, he goes to live with the mysterious Tyler Durden, whom he met at a fight. Together, the two form an underground fight club as a reaction to the helplessness they feel. In a shocking twist, it is eventually revealed that the narrator and Tyler are the same person. The quoted line is a call to react with hope rather than despair.
“That morning I was not yet a vampire, and I saw my last sunrise. I remember it completely, and yet I can’t recall any sunrise before it. I watched its whole magnificence for the last time as if it were the first. And then I said farewell to sunlight, and set out to become what I became.” – Interview with the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire is the film adaptation of Anne Rice’s successful first novel. In the film, Louis is in a deep depression following the death of his wife and daughter. He seeks death, which draws the vampire, Lestat, to him. Lestat offers to make Louis a vampire, promising him eternal life and most of all the happiness he craves. This quote is delivered as Louis is recounting the story of his vampiric creation to an interviewer, describing his last day as a human being.
“I love waking up in the morning not knowing where I’m gonna go or who I’m gonna meet. Just the other night, I was sleeping under a bridge, and now here I am, on the grandest ship in the world, having champagne with you fine people.” – Titanic
In the blockbuster film Titanic, Jack Dawson is a near-penniless artist who won a third class ticket on the ship in a card game. He saves first-class socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater from suicide and the two begin a relationship. Rose’s first-class family and friends accept Jack due to his saving her life. Their romance is kept a secret, however, as she is engaged to a man that will ensure her family’s continued place in society. Jack speaks these words at the first event he attends with Rose’s family, demonstrating the free and easy life to which Rose is drawn.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.” – Star Wars Episode I
Episode I was released as the first of a three-part prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy. The films follow the path of Anakin Skywalker, originally selected in childhood to be the Jedi that could bring balance back to the Force. Anakin eventually turns to the dark side, becoming the infamous Darth Vader. This quote is drawn from the scene when the young Anakin is initially presented to the Jedi council. The wise master, Yoda, speaks the words that foreshadow Anakin’s eventual path.
Gone but Not Forgotten
The above-mentioned quotes are some of the best out there, but what about lesser-known quotes that have worked their way into everyday conversations? While many people know the quote, the person who said it and the context may be forgotten. Here are some of the best everyday movie quotes, thanks to MovieQuotes.com:
* “Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!” Screen legend Bette Davis uttered this famous line when she played Margo Channing in All About Eve. The classic 1950 film told the story of life in and around the theater. Davis plays an aging star who takes in an aspiring actress and fan.
* “Houston, we have a problem.” Tom Hanks plays real-life astronaut Jim Lovell in this 1995 film based on the dramatic story of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission.
* “Failure is not an option.” Ed Harris plays real-life NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz in the above-mentioned film, Apollo 13.
* “Find a truly original idea. It is the only way I will ever distinguish myself. It is the only way I will ever matter.” Russell Crowe said this famous line in the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind, that tells the story of mathematician genius (and Nobel Prize winner) John Nash.
* “You tell the men there are four ways of doing things on this ship: The right way, the wrong way, the Navy way, and my way. They do things my way, and we'll get along just fine.” Screen legend Humphrey Bogart said this famous line in his role as Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg in the 1954 film Caine Mutiny.
* Orson Welles said one word in Citizen Cane: “Rosebud.” The meaning of the word in the movie has been debated for years.
* “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've kinda 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?” When the 1972 film Dirty Harry was released, many moviegoers quoted all or part of this quote by Clint Eastwood’s character Harry Callahan.
“Look at Roosevelt, look at Churchill, look at old fella what's his name in The African Queen.” Of course, the joke in the 1953 movie How To Marry A Millionaire was that Lauren Bacall’s character, Schatze Page, was referring to Bacall’s real-life husband Humphrey Bogart.
“In the world of advertising, there's no such thing as a lie. There's only expedient exaggeration.” In the Alfred Hitchcock classic North by Northwest, Cary Grant’s character, Roger Thornhill, had no problem describing his work.
“Loneliness has followed me my whole life, everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man.” Robert DeNiro’s character Travis Bickle reflected on life in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver.
“Lunch is for wimps” said Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gekko, in the 1987 movie Wall Street. Gordon had one main focus: business.
Now that you have the exact wording of some of the most famous movie quotes, go out there and start using them! Who knows, maybe you will find some new ideas of your own.