Thursday, June 23, 2005


You can quote me on that

On Tuesday, the American Film Institute came out with their list of the top 100 movie quotes of all time. I read through them, and while there were a few smiles and nods and “Yah, I loved that movie” warm fuzzies, for the most part their choices left me kind of flat.

Where are the Monty Python quotes? (“Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”) Not a single John Hughes film? I think I could fill a top 50 list with just The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (“The world’s an imperfect place, sir. Screws fall out all the time.” Or, “It's a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school.”)

And nothing from A Christmas Story? I could go on for days on that one! (“Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian.” Or, “My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master.” Or, “He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny.”)

And while AFI did give the nod to Field of Dreams’s “If you build it, they will come”, they completely ignored the best baseball movie of all time: Bull Durham. Just a sampling:

“Yeah? From what I hear, you couldn't hit water if you fell out of a fucking boat.”
“Don't think; it can only hurt the ball club.”
“Well, he fucks like he pitches - sorta all over the place.”
“Man that ball got outta here in a hurry. I mean anything travels that far oughta have a damn stewardess on it, don't you think?”
and of course:

“Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fibre, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.”

And what of The Princess Bride, truly one of the most quotable films ever? Don't remember the dialogue? It's time to watch this classic again! At least check out the quotes page on IMDB.

I could go on for a while here. I think the problem is that what AFI calls a memorable quote I simply see as a tag line that everybody and his brother mimics and paraphrases. Anyone can get lucky and crank out a tag line - it takes talent to write a movie that people memorize verbatim.

Ever erudite and often ahead of the curve, Troy of Lowly Scribe came out with a great list of movie quotes a couple of days ago. He wondered what insights into a person's psychological makeup you could glean from their list of favourite movie quotes. Frankly, I like his list better than AFI's.

What say ye, citizens of blogdom? What's your favourite movie quote? What makes it memorable?