Top 10 Movie Quotes
Posted November 29, 2012
Top 10 Movie Quotes
Film is a diverse medium that reaches millions upon millions of people every year. Since its invention
over a hundred years ago, film has gone through several major revolutions; from no-sound transitioning
to "talkies," to black-and-white transitioning to color. Each revolution brought more viewers to the
medium of film, and it is now an accepted and international method of telling a story.
Some of the most prevalent and repeated quotes have been from movies, and movies continue to be
culturally influential. Below you'll find some of the best movie quotes of all time.
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!"
- Gone With The Wind
Many consider "Gone With the Wind" to be one of the greatest films of all time. The character
Rhett speaks this to his wife Scarlett, after the death of their daughter, in response to Scarlett's
questioning, "Where shall I go? What shall I do?" The line is spoken at the end of the film, after Rhett
has made repeated efforts to prove his love to Scarlett. The death of their daughter finally convinces
Rhett he does not care for her anymore, and they are his character's final words as he leaves Scarlett.
The quote is also notable because of the 1930 ban on the use of the words "hell" and "damn" in cinema.
Before the ban, the words were able to be used. An amendment was introduced a month before the
film's released that allowed the use of the words in "historical context...or a quotation from a literary
"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."
- The Godfather
Voted the 2nd best movie of all time behind "Citizen Kane" by the American Film institute. It is spoken
by mob boss Vito Corleone (played by Marlon Brando). The movie is extremely influential, especially in
its genre of gang drama.
Corleone is explaining to his godson, a famous singer, that he will secure him a part in the movie despite
the executive of the film studio refusing to give the godson the part previously. The studio executive
wakes shortly thereafter to find the severed head of a horse in his bed. The godson is given the part
thanks to this overt threat of violence.
"Go ahead, make my day."
- Sudden Impact
Clint Eastwood plays Harry Callahan with his characteristic gravely gruffness. Callahan stumbles upon a
diner being robbed. He dispatches all the robbers but one, who takes a waitress hostage. The robber
expects Callahan to back off, but he instead points his weapon and speaks the above line.
The writer of the line said it came from his father. As a child he was supposed to mow the lawn, and
his father said, "Just let me come home one more day, without you mowing that lawn, son just go
ahead.....make my day."
The line continues to be used today to indicate not backing down in the face of a threat.
"Soylent Green is people!"
- Soylent Green
Charlton Heston plays Detective Robert Thorn in this movie. Soylent green is advertised as a plankton
designed to feed an overpopulated world. Through the plot, Thorn discovers that it's actually made
from the very people it's trying to feed.
The line has come to represent the discovery of an unpleasant truth perpetrated by a government or a
corporation. It continues to be used culturally, as investigative journalists the world over wonder, "Am I
going to find out that soylent green is people?"
"You had me at 'hello.'"
- Jerry Maguire
In the movie that launched Renee Zellweger's career, her character, Dorothy Boyd responds to title
character Jerry Maguire's speech with the above line. Maguire (played by Tom Cruise) gives a heartfelt
speech, which he begins with "Hello." He ends the speech with "you complete me," to which Boyd
responds, "You had me at 'hello.'"
The line represents love not needing an explanation or an elaborate reasoning. The love they felt for
each other was built by their interaction in the film and not by extravagant gestures.
"Round up the usual suspects."
The character that speaks this line, in what many consider the greatest movie of all time, does so in an
almost casual manner. One of the main antagonists has been shot, and Captain Renault, the morally
gray character of the film, stands at a crossroads. He can tell his underlings what he witnessed, and
arrest Rick (played by Humphrey Bogart), or lie, as he does. The Captain's character makes a choice to
rebel against the Nazis in his own way and start a "beautiful friendship" with Rick.
The line becomes a standby of those in law enforcement needing to find the people they commonly
expect of crimes, and later became the title of its own movie, "The Usual Suspects," in which a gang of
criminals are rounded up to accuse them all of a crime.
"I am your father."
- The Empire Strikes Back
In the epic space opera "Star Wars," the villain we have come to identify with a mechanical breathing
and a fearsome black mask, reveals to our main character Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamil) that
he, Darth Vader, is Luke's father. This flies directly in the face with what Luke has been told by his now-
dead mentor, Obi-wan Kenobi, slain at the hand of Vader himself.
Their exchange, during a lightsaber fight, is one of the most memorable movie moments of all time, as
Luke is surprise and rages against the truth. The actor himself did not know that the villain was playing
his character's father until the day of the shoot, so that his reaction to the news would be even more
convincing. His response "No! That's impossible!" is equally powerful.
"You can't handle the truth!"
- A Few Good Men
Jack Nicholson's character, Colonel Nathan Jessup, speaks these lines while being questioned by Tom
Cruise's character, Lieutenant Kaffee. Jessup explains that his defense of the country is executed with
a certain ideology; an ideology that contains absolutes and, Jessup argues, shouldn't be subject to the
moral pandering and scrutiny that Kaffee displays.
The line is significant because it displays the superiority those in power sometimes feel; that their
unique positions of power give them an advantage in seeing the value of socially accepted mores in a
"Give them nothing...but take from them everything!"
Spoken by Leonidas (played by Gerard Butler), general and king of his 300 Spartans. The movie was only
loosely based on history. Instead the movie was based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, which in turn
was based on the historical events that took place at Thermopylae.
The line is uttered after repeated defiance on the part of the Spartans in the face of a force that may
have numbered around a million. Leonidas urges his troops to stand firm and defeat the enemy in the
stirring line above.
"Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?"
- Good Will Hunting
The title character Will (played by Matt Damon), is a savant autodidact who gets into a rivalry with some
locals at a bar. The rivalry is a sideplot in the movie, but his youthful exuberance at having "gotten" the
girl that was partially the cause of the personality clash is telling; his character is still a human being with
immature desires and a need for bluster despite his natural understanding of mathematics.