Watching “Aliens” tonight on the SiFi channel, I am again internally debating the world’s most quotable movies. To be honest, I’ve had this conversation with my friends, Chris Hanel (of “The Formula” and Daily Blink fame), (Dave Atwater, Brian Bodensteiner, and Todd Gutknecht) of the improv troupe, “Comics In Action,” and Angie Toomsen (a woman who really loves movies).
What I’ve figured out, is there are a few determining factors that make a movie ultimately “quotable.” So, Dennis, what makes a movie “quotable?” Is it the genre, the characters, the dialogue, the timeliness of the film? It’s really difficult to say, but I think I have come up with a comprehensive itinerary of what it ultimately takes to be “quotable.”
How do we classify “Quotable”?
- Epic Movies: Of course… why NOT? I’m thinking epic movies, such as: Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Matrix, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” or Star Wars. We’re talking about larger-than-life films that enveloped you into a world of their own. Yeah, these are definitely “quotable.”
- Director Films: These movies are ALL about the director… such as: “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Pulp Fiction, A Clockwork Orange, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, “Run, Lola Run”, The Watchmen, Apocalypse Now or Lost in Translation.
- Character Driven: Movies that rely upon the Actors to drive the film: The Royal Tanenbaums, Burn Before Reading, Shaun of the Dead, Stranger than Fiction or Sideways…
I will admit that this is not “all encompassing”, but hopefully this will give you an insight as to what I’m talking about.
Real Genius (1985):
Definitely, one of the most quotable movies of All Time! Oh, this is tough one, as both #1 and #2 are easily interchangeable. 🙁
- Chris Knight: Do you mind if I name my first child after you? “Dipshit Knight” has a nice ring to it.
- Chris Knight: Moles and trolls, moles and trolls, work, work, work, work, work. We never see the light of day. We plan this thing for weeks and all they want to do is study. I’m disgusted. I’m sorry but it’s not like me, I’m depressed. There was what, no one at the mutant hamster races, we only had one entry into the Madame Curie look-alike contest and he was disqualified later. Why do I bother?
- Jordan: I never sleep, I don’t know why. I had a roommate and I drove her nuts, I mean really nuts, they had to take her away in an ambulance and everything. But she’s okay now, but she had to transfer to an easier school, but I don’t know if that had anything to do with being my fault. But listen, if you ever need to talk or you need help studying just let me know, ’cause I’m just a couple doors down from you guys and I never sleep, okay?
- Professor Hathaway: Mitch, there’s something you need to know. Compared to you, most people have the IQ of a carrot.
- Bodie: Well, I guess it goes from God, to Jerry, to you… to the cleaners. Right, Kent?
- Mitch: You have to get even with Jerry Hathaway. “It’s a moral imperative.”
The Princess Bride (1987):
Definitely switchable with #1 on the list… well, because the dialogue is SO delightful 🙂 Again, easily interchangeable with “Real Genius”. 🙂
- Inigo Montoya: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
- Miracle Max: You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.
- Vizzini: Oh, the sot has spoken. What happens to her is not truly your concern. I will kill her. And remember this, never forget this: when I found you, you were so slobbering drunk, you couldn’t buy Brandy!… And YOU: friendless, brainless, helpless, hopeless! Do you want me to send you back to where you were? Unemployed, in Greenland?
- Vizzini: HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
- Westley: Why won’t my arms move?
Fezzik: You’ve been mostly-dead all day.
- Buttercup: You mock my pain.
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
- Miracle Max: Have fun stormin’ da castle.
Valerie: Think it’ll work?
Miracle Max: It would take a miracle.
Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975):
Well, this Monty Python tirade is most Certainly on the list. 🙂
- Sir Bedevere: What makes you think she’s a witch?
Peasant: Well she turned me into a newt!!
Sir Bedevere: A newt?
Peasant: ………I got better.
- The Knights who Say Ni!: “We are the knights who saaaaaaay….Ni!!!”
- God: Every time I try to talk to someone it’s “sorry this” and “forgive me that” and “I’m not worthy”…Well, knock it off!!!
- French Soldier: You don’t frighten us, English pig dogs. Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called “Arthur King,” you and all your silly English K-nig-hts.
- King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I’m 37. I’m not old.
King Arthur: Well I can’t just call you “man”.
Dennis: Well you could say “Dennis”.
King Arthur: I didn’t know you were called Dennis.
Dennis: Well you didn’t bother to find out did you?
- Sir Bedevere: …and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped.
King Arthur: This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere. Explain again how sheep’s bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.
A Christmas Story (1983):
You can’t have “Christmas” without this film… 🙂
- Ralphie: Oooh fuuuuuudddddgggge!
- Mr. Parker: Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian.
- Narrator: Getting ready to go to school was like getting ready for extended deep-sea diving.
- Randy: I can’t put my arms down!
Mother: Well… put your arms down when you get to school.
- Narrator: I have since heard of people under extreme duress speaking in strange tongues. I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed.
- Ralphie as Adult: Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap. My personal preference was for Lux, but I found Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor – heady, but with just a touch of mellow smoothness. Life Buoy, on the other hand…
A steadfast Classic. 🙂
- Gozer: Are you a God?
Dr Ray Stantz: No.
Gozer: Then… DIE!
Winston Zeddemore: Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say “YES”!
- Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
Mayor: All right, all right! I get the point!
- Dr. Peter Venkman: We’re exterminators. Someone saw a cockroach up on twelve.
Man at Elevator: That’s gotta be some cockroach.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Bite your head off, man.
Dr Ray Stantz: [Entering elevator] Going up?
Man at Elevator: I’ll take the next one.
- Dr Ray Stantz: Well, no sense in worrying about it now.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.
- Dr. Egon Spengler: I feel like the floor of a taxi cab.
- Dr. Peter Venkman: We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!
- Dana Barrett: [reading from the printout] “Zuul was the minion of Gozer.” What’s Gozer?
Dr. Peter Venkman: Gozer was very big in Sumeria.
Dana Barrett: Well, what’s he doing in my ice box?
Dr. Peter Venkman: I’m working on that.
- Dr. Peter Venkman: You’re right, no human being would stack books like this.
Die Hard (1988):
Bruce Willis at his finest!
- Harry Ellis: Hey babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast. I think I can handle this Eurotrash.
Joseph Takagi: You want money? What kind of terrorists are you?
Hans Gruber: Who said we were terrorists?
- John McClane: [stealing Tony’s shoes] Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.
- Hans Gruber: [Reading what McClane wrote on the dead terrorist’s shirt] “Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.”
- Hans Gruber: [silences Karl him with a gesture] That’s very kind of you. I assume you are our mysterious party crasher. You are most troublesome, for a security guard.
John McClane: Eeeh! Sorry Hans, wrong guess. Would you like to go for Double Jeopardy where the scores can really change?
- Hans Gruber: Do you really think you have a chance against us, Mr. Cowboy?
John McClane: Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.
It was a 50/50 flip-of-the-coin between this and “Tropic Thunder”. 🙂
- Derek: Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.
- Mugatu: Todd, are you not aware that I get farty and bloated with a foamy latte?
- Maury Ballstein: I’ve got a prostate the size of a honeydew and a head full of bad memories.
- Matilda: I became…
Derek: You can read minds?
- Derek Zoolander: I don’t wanna hear your excuses! The building has to be at least… three times bigger than this!
- Derek Zoolander: [high-pitched cough] … I think I’m getting the Black Lung, Pop. It’s not very well ventilated down there.
Larry Zoolander: For Christ’s sake, Derek, you’ve been down there one day. Talk to me in thirty years.
They REALLY don’t come any better than this. 🙂
- Al Czervik: Last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.
- Ty Webb: Sure thing. Shoot, Timmy.
Danny Noonan: Danny.
Ty Webb: Danny.
- Al Czervik: Hey, doll. Could you scare up another round for our table over here? And tell the cook this is low grade dog food. I’ve had better food at the ballgame, you know? This steak still has marks from where the jockey was hitting it.
- Carl Spackler: IT’S IN THE HOLE.
- Ty Webb: I was born to love you / I was born to lick your face / I was born to rub you / but you were born to rub me first /… What do you say we take this out on the patio?
- Carl Spackler: So, I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald… striking. So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one – big hitter, the Lama – long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-lagunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.
Blazing Saddles (1974):
Now, there is SO much to be said about Mel Brooks’s “Blazing Saddles”. Outside of “Young Frankenstein”… this is probably the penultimate “Mel Brooks” film. It’s just that good. 🙂
- Bart: Ooh, baby, you are so talented! [looks into the camera] And they are so *dumb*!
- Lili Von Shtupp: Hello, handsome, is that a ten-gallon hat or are you just enjoying the show?
- Jim: I must have killed more men than Cecil B. DeMille.
- Bart: A man drink like that and he don’t eat, he is going to DIE.
Jim: [eagerly] When?
- Bart: I better go check out this Mongo character. [Bart reaches for his gun]
Jim: Oh no, don’t do that, don’t do that. If you shoot him, you’ll just make him mad.
- Mongo: Mongo only pawn… in game of life.
Star Wars: New Hope (1977):
You BET that is is entirely quotable. 🙂
- Admiral Motti: Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you enough clairvoyance to find the rebels’ hidden fortress… [Vader makes a pinching motion and Motti starts choking]
Darth Vader: I find your lack of faith disturbing.
- Obi-Wan: I haven’t gone by the name of Obi-Wan since… oh, before you were born.
- Han Solo: Sorry about the mess.
- Obi-Wan: That’s no moon. It’s a space station.
- Han Solo: Well, you can forget your troubles with those Imperial slugs. I told you I’d outrun ’em. [nobody is listening] Don’t everyone thank me at once.
- Princess Leia: Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you’re my only hope.
- Princess Leia: Someone has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, fly boy.
- Han Solo: Who’s “Scruffy Looking?” Ooops… my Bad… That’s from “Empire Strikes Back”. 🙂
Yet… isn’t this the issue? What movies are the MOST quotable? I really cannot say that I’ve the drop-down beat on the MOST quotable films… FAR from it. I just know what I like… So, if you have any additions, then leave a comment below… please let me know. I’ll take them into DEEP consideration. OK? Sweet!