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AFI Ranks Top 100 Movie Quotes

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Once again the mighty jury of AFI voters have chosen their Top 100 Movie Quotes of all time. On Yahoo, they have released the top 25, but nothing more than that. There is a 3 hour TV special on tonight hosted by Pierce Brosnan on the list.

1. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Gone with the Wind, 1939
2. “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” The Godfather, 1972
3. “You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.” On the Waterfront, 1954
4. “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” The Wizard of Oz, 1939
5. “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Casablanca, 1942
6. “Go ahead, make my day.” Sudden Impact, 1983
7. “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Sunset Boulevard., 1950
8. “May the Force be with you.” Star Wars, 1977
9. “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” All About Eve, 1950
10. “You talking to me?” Taxi Driver, 1976
11. “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Cool Hand Luke, 1967
12. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” Apocalypse Now, 1979
13. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Love Story, 1970
14. “The stuff that dreams are made of.” The Maltese Falcon, 1941
15. “E.T. phone home.” E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
16. “They call me Mister Tibbs!” In the Heat of the Night, 1967
17. “Rosebud.” Citizen Kane, 1941
18. “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” White Heat, 1949
19. “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Network, 1976
20. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Casablanca, 1942
21. “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
22. “Bond. James Bond.” Dr. No, 1962
23. “There’s no place like home.” The Wizard of Oz, 1939
24. “I am big! It’s the pictures that got small.” Sunset Boulevard, 1950
25. “Show me the money!” Jerry Maguire, 1996

Gone With The Wind has the coveted No. 1 spot and also has two more on the list. But it can’t beat Casablanca, which has the most quotes on the list with six, and I think its case for being the best screenplay ever written has better cause. Not many films have memorable lines and Casablanca sure beats the cake.

I’m off to watch the special so I can not-surprise myself. Anyone who watches these specials watch it for the clips. I sure hope De Niro’s line in Heat is there: “… if you want to be making moves on the street, have no attachments, have nothing in your life that you can’t walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner.” De Niro sure can deliver those great lines.

I wonder which actor or actress winds up with the most lines by himself or herself. My pick is De Niro.

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About Tan The Man

Tan The Man writes mostly about film and music. He has previously covered events like Noise Pop, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, South By Southwest, TBD Festival, Wizard World Comic Con and WonderCon.
  • i think the best is the one in once upon the time i the west when he say :

    I saw three jackets like this in the jackets there were three men in the men there were three bullets that one ROCKS !!!

  • kj,

  • Quickie: Steve Martin as Navin R Johnson, The Jerk:

    “I was born a poor black child.”

  • dee

    Fried green tomatoes is full of great quotes….Evelyn Couch: Hey! I was waiting for that spot!
    Girl #1: Face it lady, we’re younger and faster!
    Evelyn rear-ends the other car six times
    Girl #1: What are you DOING?
    Girl #2: Are you CRAZY?
    Evelyn Couch: Face it, I’m older and I have more insurance!

    I love that one. LOL

  • Why do we play along? Good question. I suppose it is because many of us truly love cinema.

  • withnail and I is a haven of great quotes.

    “bring us the finest wines available to humanity!”

    “the fucker will rue the day!”

    “monty, you terrible cunt!”


  • Duane — You made up the last one.

  • Duane

    OK, I’m not saying that these necessarily belong in the Top 100. Just some good stuff. I see that Natalie has already tapped Frank Booth (see below).

    W.C. Fields as Harold Bissonette in It’s a Gift.

    Big Time Oil Man: You’re drunk.
    Harold Bissonettte: Oh yeah? Well, you’re crazy. I’ll be sober in the morning and you’ll be crazy for the rest of your life!

    Russell Crowe in Gladiator.

    Maximus: At my signal, unleash Hell.

    Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest.

    Joan Crawford: No… wire… hangers.

    Dialog from Conan the Barbarian.

    Mongol General: We have won again. That is good! But what is best in life?
    Mongol Trainee: The open steppe, a fleet horse, a falcon on your wrist, and wind in your hair!
    Mongol General: Wrong! Conan, what is best in life?
    Conan: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, to hear the lamentation of the women.
    Mongol General: That is good.

    Richard Burton in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    George: Martha, in my mind you’re buried in cement right up to the neck. No, up to the nose. It’s much quieter.

    George C. Scott in Patton (albeit, taken from the historical record).

    Patton: Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.


    Patton: Rommel, you magnificent bastard. I read your book.

    Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now (excerpt from a powerful and disturbing piece of dialog).

    Kurtz: You have to have men who are moral… and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling … without passion … without judgment … without judgment. Because it’s judgment that defeats us.

    and finally, Dennis Hopper as Frank Booth in Blue Velvet.

    Frank: Fuck you, you fucking fuck.

  • “Heineken?! Fuck that shit! … PABST BLUE RIBBON!”

  • Nick Jones

    Two favorites:

    “The life of a repo man is ALWAYS intense…let’s go get a drink, kid.”
    -Bud (Harry Dean Stanton)

    “You ever hear of the neutron bomb? Destroys people – leaves buildings standing. Fits in a suitcase. It’s so small, no one knows it’s there until – BLAMMO. Eyes melt, skin explodes (sic), EVerybody dead.”
    -J.Frank Parnell (Fox Harris)

    Repo Man, 1984.

  • Victor reasonably asks:

    Should a great quote stand on its own? Should you see why it’s great, and get some valuable meaning out of it, if you never saw the movie?

    No. That’s anti-movie. Movie quotes aren’t like Bartlett quotes or literary quotes. They’re trashy, disposable; the best quotes come from a great scene that you enjoy watching, where people say things you like hearing, and maybe would like to have said yourself, if you were only so lucky — you know, something like “I may not get to the mountaintop with ya, but I want ya to know that I have a dream … I have a dream that one day every valley shall be explored, every hill and every mountain shall be fondled, I have a dream that all the rough places will be laid smooth and all the crooked places laid straight … And then I can look down on that beautiful voluptuous woman and I can say … I’ll wax that ass, I’ll wax that ass, Good Lord have mercy I’ll wax that ass…” — Jamie Foxx in Booty Call, screenplay by Takashi Bufford and J. Stanford Parker.

  • You’re right about Goodfellas…

    “You took your first pinch like a man and you learned two great things in your life. Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.” – Robert De Niro

  • Should a great quote stand on its own? Should you see why it’s great, and get some valuable meaning out of it, if you never saw the movie?

    Clearly, the AFI doesn’t think so. They promote lines that cannot even be understood, much less appreciated, unless you have seen the movie.

    Of course this serves their financial interests. Filmmakers stand to profit if the popular culture consists of catch phrases with no inherent meaning. To fit in comfortably and communicate with each other, we must all spend some time and money seeing at least a percentage of the films other have seen. So it’s no surprise at all to see this “top 100” list be the way it is.

    The real question is, why do we all play along?

  • i second Rodney’s Plan 9 nod. “Future events such as these will affect you in the future!”

  • Man, in my book, Goodfellas could take over half the Top 100 list all by itself.

    “Now I gotta turn my back on you…”

  • I didn’t think this thread could get any creepier after that long speech from Jaws.

    Boy, was I ever wrong.

  • Some better quotes than that lame AFI crap:

    Abby: If I was a guy, I think women would like, line up to go out with me. I’m smart. I have a good sense of humor. I make a great living.

    Noelle: I’d fuck you.

    Abby: Thank you, honey. I know you would.

    — Janeanne Garofalo and Uma Thurman in The Truth About Cats and Dogs

    I went to call the cops but I knew she’d be dead before they got there, and I’d be free. Bannister’s note to the D.A.’d fix it; I’d be innocent, officially, but that’s a big word, `innocent.’ Stupid’s more like it. Well, everybody is somebody’s fool. The only way to stay out of trouble is to grow old, so I guess I’ll concentrate on that. Maybe I’ll live so long that I’ll forget her. Maybe I’ll die, trying.

    –Orson Welles, mourning Rita Hayworth, in The Lady from Shanghai

    You know, the next time you get an urge and I bust my ass getting back here and getting a cab, you think you could possibly add a little more movement, you know, just to get the whole Claymation feel?

    –Ben Stiller, post-coital, to Catherine Keener in Your Friends and Neighbors.

    You see? You see? Your stupid minds…stupid! Stupid!!

    — Dudley Manlove in Plan 9 From Outer Space.

    One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on a ferry and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in — and on it, there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on – and she was carrying a white parasol – and I only saw her for one second and she didn’t see me at all – but I’ll bet a month hasn’t gone by since that I haven’t thought of that girl.

    — Everett Sloane in Citizen Kane.

    If it was a game you should have played it to the end! You should have fucked me. You’d have been a rat but that’s life.

    — Emmanuelle Beart in Un Couer En Hiver.

    Vince: I was in the jungle – the bush we called it – for approximately nine months…

    Sheldon: Nine months! That must have really been something!

    Vince: It was. I saw things… They have tsetse flies down there the size of eagles.

    — Peter Falk and Alan Arkin in The In-Laws

    The poor dope – he always wanted a pool. Well, in the end, he got himself a pool.

    — William Holden in Sunset Blvd.

    I’m gonna get the paper, get the paper …

    — Johnny Two Times in GoodFellas

  • you could try a google search, but you’d be a braver man than i…

  • Wow, who knew that Chained Heat was a franchise unto itself. Looks like my Search will have to continue… one day I’ll find that Belgian women’s prison flick with tats and rape-with-broom-handles of lore…

  • Eric, good lord. that could be any of a dizzying array of women-in-prison numbers. quite a few got pumped out by cheapie studios back in the day. Jesus Franco’s made a fair few. (including the cult classic Sadomania, but thats more of a prison camp than a “prison”)and Roger Corman produced a bunch.

    This Site has a list with brief plot synopsis an pics an stuff. warning, though, it ain’t really “office-friendly”, as they say.

  • Ah, I see, you wrote that piece a mere month or so before I arrived on the BC scene. Since you seem to be hip to the prison-exploitation flicks, I wonder if you could help me.

    When I was in the 10th grade (figure 1990 or so) I stayed up all night studying for an exam. For some reason, I had the TV on to keep me company (actually, it makes a lot of sense, considering my life-path) and around 2 am on HBO, this bizarre film about this Belgian women’s prison came on the air. All I remember is that some of the women had tattoos on their faces, and there was a lot of raping with broom handles as retribution going on and so forth.

  • Eric, it’s a shockingly awful, and highly offensive Nazi-Exploitation flick in the mould of Ilsa, She Wolf Of The SS. thankfully, i penned an incisive critique for blogcritiques back in the day, which can be found here;

    The Duke On SS Experiment Camp

  • What the hell kind of movie is SS Experiment Camp? Sounds like it has no reason for being unless it’s some kind of fetish porn or something.

  • also – special mention to SS Experiment Camp, which has more awe-inspiring lines per minute than any other flick i can think of;

    “You bastard, what have you done with my balls!?”

    and the following, which is pretty much the most stunningly moronic, ignorant, offensive line i’ve ever heard uttered in cinema. one of the concentration camp prisoners (they’re all female) is eating toast, which appears to be rather tasty. she says;

    “if they keep treating us like this they get my vote!”

    i couldn’t believe it. stunning.

  • best movie quote ever?

    “Right, Banks, you BASTARD! I’m the daddy now, next time i’ll FUCKIN KILL YA!”

    Ray Winstone (4736, Carling, Sir), Scum

  • “Shall we play a game?” 1983, War Games – ominous, sinister and meaningful.

    Great call dietdoc. Great line, great movie.

    Just the other day, I saw someone who I thought looked like Professor Falken. I had no one to tug on the shoulder to share my discovery with, which was very disappointing indeed.


    Remember folks, it was made for TV and the attention span of its viewers. Furthermore, the catchphrases are what many of these movies are known for, I daresay that more people use the catchphrase than have actually seen the movie it came from. I’ll have to read the whole list, but “Army of Darkness” better be in there somewhere.

  • I always liked Robert Shaw’s long speech in Jaws (probably too long for AFI):

    “Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into her side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We’d just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn’t know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin’ by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin’ and hollerin’ and sometimes that shark he go away… but sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn’t even seem to be livin’… ’til he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then… ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red, and despite all your poundin’ and your hollerin’ those sharks come in and… they rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don’t know how many sharks there were, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour. Thursday mornin’, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boson’s mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he’d been bitten in half below the waist. At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot, lot younger than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol’ fat PBY come down and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.”

  • Sunny writes: ““I am king of the world!” rounds out the list at number 100.

    Reply: That is sad but understandable.

    It seems that the quotes qualifying for the AFI voters were constrained to only one or two sentences. More “catch phrases” that quotes. Thanks for the information, Sunny.



  • Sunny

    Actually, “I’ll be back” was number 37. “Here’s Johnny!” was number 68.

    “I am king of the world!” rounds out the list at number 100.

  • Steve

    No Joan Crawford?! I nominate a finale speech from AUTUMN LEAVES:

    “Even when he doesn’t know what he’s doing,
    he’s a saner man than you are! He’s decent
    and proud. Can you say the same for yourselves?
    Where’s your decency? In what garbage dump, Mr. Hanson? And where’s yours, you tramp?”
    —– Millicent Wetherby (Joan Crawford)
    Autumn Leaves, 1956. Dir. Robert Aldrich

  • “Heeeeeeere’s Johnny!” – Jack Nicholson, The Shining. And one of my personal favorites. From Steven Seagal’s Marked For Death, after a Jamaican drug dealer jumps out of a tenth story window, after getting his ass kicked by Seagal, and lands on his partner’s car, he tells him “one thought he was invisible, the other thought he could fly….they were both wrong!”

  • For a list of this type I would like to see two (supposedly) computer synthesized voices added:

    “Shall we play a game?” 1983, War Games – ominous, sinister and meaningful.

    And, of course, Hal, from 2001:A Space Oddyssey (1969) – you can pick one. I loved: “Dave, what are you doing? I would like to sing a song…” slowing voice and “winding down” as he is unplugged by Keir Dullea.

    All in all, I like the choices and the rankings. I am glad none of the “punchlines” were noted (e.g. “I’ll be back,” “Stick around,” etc.). Effective in their respective movies but not memorable.

    Honorable mention: Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest:
    “The next woman that takes me on is going to light up a like a pinball machine and pay off in silver dollars!”



  • I would also like to nominate Mrs Iselin’s final talk with her son in The Manchurian Candidate:

    “I know you will never entirely comprehend this, Raymond. But you must believe I did not know it would be you. I served them. I fought for them. I’m on the point of winning for them the greatest foothold they will ever have in this country. And they paid me back by taking your soul away from you. I told them to build me an
    assassin. I wanted a killer from a
    world filled with killers and they
    chose you. Because they thought it
    would bind me closer to them.
    But now we have come almost to the end. One last step. And then, when I take power, they will be pulled down and ground into dirt for what they did to you. And what they did in so contemptuously underestimating me.”

  • Yeah, I agree with Al. This seems more like the kind of list that work for Saturday Night Live.

  • The list seems to be going for mere catchphrases rather than premium full length quotes.

    I might like to nominate Orson Welles “cuckoo clock” speech as Harry Lymes in The Third Man:

    “In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed — they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”