Claire Trevor and Edward G. Robinson in Key Largo (1948)
Back in 2005, the American Film Institute presented a television special based on the greatest movie quotes of all time; the 100 best selected for that program were chosen from a list of 400 finalists. It is a fun list with the usual famous movie lines we’ve all heard at one time or another; lines such as, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” (Gone with the Wind); “Rosebud” (Citizen Kane); “Go ahead, make my day” (Sudden Impact) and “Here’s looking at you, kid” (Casablanca) among those that headlined this selection.
They’re all great quotes (as are the other 300 that didn’t make the final cut), but we all know how many terrific lines have been spoken by so many of our favorite characters through the years. So in this post I’ll present 10 of my favorite movie quotes (in chronological order) that didn’t make the AFI’s roster. It’s by no means a Top Ten list, as I’m constantly discovering some great new zingers from older films as well as new releases. So from time to time, I’ll add to the list until evenutally I have my top 100.
“What’s wrong with you?” – Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart)
“Nothing you can’t fix.” – Vivian Sternwood Rutledge (Lauren Bacall) – The Big Sleep (1946)
“If I’d have known you was going to act this way, I wouldn’t have come here.” – Gaye Dawn (Claire Trevor)
“If I’d have known what you were like, you wouldn’t have been asked.” – Johhny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) – Key Largo (1948)
“Now listen, this is a cross-examination in a murder case, it’s not a high school debate. What are you and Dancer trying to do? Railroad this soldier into the clink?” –Paul Biegler (Jimmy Stewart) to District Attorney Mitch Lodwick (Brooks West) – Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
“People say I’m just nervous.” – Roslyn Taber (Marilyn Monroe)
“If it weren’t for the nervous people in the world, we’d all still be eating each other.” – Guido (Eli Wallach) – The Misfits (1961)
“Son, this is a Washington, D.C., kind of lie. It’s when the other person knows you’re lying and also knows you know he knows.” – Robert Lefingwell (Henry Fonda) – Advise and Consent (1962)
“You know Ben, it’s a terrible thing to hate your mother.” – Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey to Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) – The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
“Don’t be too proud, Henry. Never be too proud to go on your knees before God.” – Richard Nixon (Anthony Hopkins) to Henry Kissinger (Paul Sorvino) – Nixon (1985)
“Well sir, you are a cowardly son of a bitch. You just shot an unarmed man” – Little Bill (Gene Hackman)
“Well he should have armed himself, if he’s gonna decorate his saloon with my friend.”- William Munny (Clint Eastwood) – Unforgiven (1992)
“I’m an attorney, you’re a barber. You don’t know anything.” – Freddy Riedenschneider (Tony Shalhoub) to Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton) – The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)
“I have never thought of myself as a correspondent, just a reporter. I offer no point of view, I take no action. I don’t get involved. I just report what I see.” – Thomas Fowler (Michael Caine) – The Quiet American (2002)
Do you have some favorite quotes? I'd love to "hear" them!