TV & Entertainment

My 10 Favorite Movie Quotes

Sometimes our memories of films can be tied to great movie quotes. So I decided to make a list of my 10 favorites.

Nearly everyone has a list of favorite movie quotes.

Who, for example, doesn’t recall the final line from Gone With the Wind or what Chief Brody says in the movie Jaws as soon as he sees the size of the monster shark they’re pursuing?

Here are the 10 movie quotes I’d consider my favorite.

1. ‘A boy’s best friend is his mother.’

‘Psycho’ (1960)
This line, spoken by killer Norman Bates to potential victim Marian Crane, is both sweet and tragic: It’s Bates’ obsession with his long-lost mother that makes him keep her alive in his own mind with deadly consequences.

2. ‘Our suspects are albinos and chain-smokers?’

‘Foul Play’ (1978)
Chevy Chase plays San Francisco detective Tony Ferguson whose job is to protect librarian Gloria Mundy (played by Goldie Hawn). This movie, a spoof on classic Hitchcock films, mixes a bizarre collection of characters in a romantic suspense comedy.

3. ‘Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.’

‘Gone With the Wind’ (1939)
By the time this line, from Clark Gable’s Rhett Butler to Vivian Leigh’s Scarlett O’Hara, you’re simultaneously hoping they’ll reconcile and celebrating that he finally told her off once and for all.

4. ‘You’re going to need a bigger boat.’

‘Jaws’ (1975)
Here’s the aforementioned quote from Roy Scheider’s Brody in the classic shark movie.

What makes the quote even better is its backstory, which involves a production barge used to shoot the action but that was often said to be too small for that job.

5. ‘Damn it Grady, this is the President.’

‘Fail-Safe’ (1964)
Henry Fonda played a president nearly everyone would want in the Oval Office. In this Cold War classic, the president faces a horrible crisis: a computer glitch has signaled American fighters that World War III is underway and they are to attack Moscow with a nuclear bomb. Grady is the leader of the squadron on its erroneous mission.

6. “I hated her sooo much…flames…flames…flames…on the side of my face…’

‘Clue’ (1985)
As the story goes, this line was a complete ad lib on the part of Madeline Khan:

It was also, reportedly, the only improvised moment in the entire movie.

7. ‘You were a very apt pupil, weren’t you? You were a very apt pupil.’

‘Vertigo’ (1957)
Our hero, Scottie Ferguson, begins putting together the nightmare that shattered his life and nearly allowed a husband to get away with murder.

8. ‘That can only mean one thing. And I don’t know what it is.’

‘Murder By Death’ (1976)
Neil Simon wrote this comedic spoof on classic whodunits and the large ensemble cast was a perfect fit for his script. This particular line, delivered by Peter Falk as Sam Diamond, a takeoff on Humphrey Bogart’s character in The Maltese Falcon was one of many gems in this script.

9. ‘I’ve been kidnapped by Kmart!’

‘Ruthless People’ (1986)
Bette Midler plays an heiress whose husband, played by Danny DeVito, was planning to kill her. Luckily for him, kidnappers decide to hold her for a ransom. But DeVito, who doesn’t want her back anyway and now hopes the kidnappers will do away with her for him, continually refuses to pay the ransom amounts, which the kidnappers keep dropping. When Midler’s character learns she’s been discounted, she tearfully delivers the line.

10. ‘Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!

‘Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’ (1964)
Peter Sellers, as the president, attempts to break up a fight in the room whose name suggests it might be the perfect place to have one.

Released the same year as Fail-Safe, this movie is every bit as funny as Fail-Safe is suspenseful.

That’s my list…what’s your favorite movie quote?

1 Comment

  1. Oh, my… I couldn’t come up with ten film quotes on my best day! The thing – the *one* thing – that truly ties me to films is the music. So, here is the deal: I’ll give you the two film quotes I love the most (plus any more that might come to mind), and make up the balance of the list by music. I have seen most of the films you have listed, but I would ask that you listen to each piece I list. Film music is as classical music, but with a modern symphony or orchestra, and if you feel half of what I do when I listen to it, you will feel a lot!

    Be warned, the two quotes I know are long…and everyone in our age bracket will know the first:

    No. 2: The Breakfast Club:
    “We accept that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was you think we had done wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay to tell you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us; in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?”

    No. 1: The Adjustment Bureau
    Thompson: “We actually tried Free Will before. After taking you from hunting and gathering to the height of the Roman Empire we stepped back to see how you’d do on your own. You gave us the Dark Ages for five centuries… until finally we decided we should come back in. The Chairman thought maybe we just needed to do a better job of teaching you how to ride a bike before taking the training wheels off again. So we gave you the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution. For six hundred years we taught you to control your impulses with reason, then in 1910 we stepped back. Within fifty years, you’d brought us World War I, the Depression, Fascism, the Holocaust and capped it off by bringing the entire planet to the brink of destruction in the Cuban Missile Crisis. At that point a decision was taken to step back in again before you did something that even we couldn’t fix. You don’t have free will, David. You have the appearance of free will.”

    No. 8: “The Business Card” by Alexandre Desplat
    This is music for the scene in Argo where Tony and the six missing Americans are leaving under cover aliases via the Tehran Airport in Iran in 1980.

    No. 7: “Forbidden Friendship” by John Powell
    This piece is from the scene in How to Train You Dragon, in which Hiccup slowly makes friends with Toothless, the dragon he shot down. It’s a charming scene.

    No. 6: “Music for Airports” by Marcus Beltrami & Buck Sanders
    This is the opening music to Warm Bodies, a film I enjoy very much, with an unusual view of zombies.

    No. 5: “Night on Bald Mountain” by Modest Mussorgsky
    This actually is originally classical music, but most people will recognise it from the final piece in the original Fantasia film, made in 1940.

    No 4: “Secretariat” by Nick Glennie-Smith
    I cannot for the life of me find this 12-minute track of music, the closing titles to the wonderful film Secretariat, although it is easily found online. But I want it for my iTunes collection in the worst way!

    No. 3: “Driving with the Top Down” by Ramin Djawadi
    This is one of the middle scenes in Iron Man, where Tony Stark is zipping around in his new suit and receives a call from Roadie.

    No. 2: “Elise” by Thomas Newman
    A gorgeous piece about the lead woman in this mysterious but beautiful film about fate.

    No. 1: “Cloud Atlas Sextetfor Orchestra/Cloud Atlas End Titles by Tom Twyker, Jonny Klimek, Reinhold Heil & Gene Pritsker
    Two pieces on the album, the next to last and final pieces, without a doubt the most beautiful pieces ever written for a film. Cloud Atlas is quite a long film, well over two hours and (for me) confusing the first few times. I’m a little too dyslexic to follow a film that jumps about in time as this one does. But once I got it and realised what it all meant at the end, I was thrilled! I love it. A story about six lives and who they were in each of those lives can bring about faith and love or destruction and death. I very much recommend it and its magical music.

    That’s the current list as it stands, and is ever-changing and growing, although Cloud Atlas has, admittedly, held the top position since its release in 2012.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.