Monday, December 1, 2014

Memorable Movie Dialogue

Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca
"Play it, Sam..."
"The stuff that dreams are made of." Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, 1941

Dream weaving, illusion and great stories make wonderful motion pictures. But what makes a line of movie dialogue, or even just a single word, timeless and unforgettable? What makes it so memorable that it's often quoted in real life, other movies, television and even kids' cartoons?

Perhaps it's spoken during a suspenseful situation, or in a scene where love has gone wrong. Maybe it's exclaimed in the thick of danger, or during the thrill of excitement, or in the midst of a conflict about to
Lauren Bacall as Slim Browning in To Have and Have Not
explode. It could be line akin to a sigh of relief, spoken at the very end, when all problems are resolved.

With a skilled screenwriter and an awesome story, all of these elements can create exciting dialogue and at least one immortal line that leaves the audience saying, "I loved it when he said...", "Remember when she said...", or "I can't believe that's what______ meant!"

Here are 10 of my favorites, in chronological order.

1. "Wait a minute, wait a minute! You ain't heard nothin' yet!" Al Jolson as Jackie Rabinowitz in The Jazz Singer, 1927
2. Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, 1939
3. "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, 1939
4. "Rosebud." Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane, 1941
5. "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By,'" Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca, 1942
6. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow." Lauren Bacall as Marie "Slim" Browning in To Have and Have Not, 1944
7. "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!" Alfonso Bedoya as "Gold Hat" in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948
8. "Stella! Hey, Stella!" Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in On the Waterfront, 1951
9. "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." Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, 1954
10. "Say 'hello' to my little friend!" Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface, 1983

What are some of your favorite movie lines? And in your opinion, what makes them so memorable?

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

5 comments:

William Kendall said...

That reminds me, I should do a review for Casablanca.

In terms of classics, films like North By Northwest, Casablanca, Maltese Falcon, To Catch A Thief, Bringing Up Baby, or The Philadelphia Story really have such a wealth of great lines.

Maria McKenzie said...

William, I agree! Each of those movies has great lines:). And, I eagerly await your review of Casablanca!

shelly said...

Mae West always had some great lines. It's a Wonderful Life had great ones too.

Great post!

Hugs and chocolate!

Norma Beishir said...

I'd have to think about this one.

I read an article recently about some of the greatest moments in films that WEREN'T in the scripts. It's the little things that stick with me, seemingly insignificant stuff--like a scene in Thor: The Dark World. He enters Jane Foster's London flat and hangs his hammer, the mythical Mjolnir, on the coat rack. It's Peter Quill's triumphant shout in Guardians of the Galaxy: "They got my dick message!"

Maria McKenzie said...

@Shelly: OMGosh! Mae West was quite a live wire, and "Goodness had nothin' to do with it."

@Norma: Uh-oh! I love it when they show out takes at the end of some movies. There really are some great moments there!