Sunday, June 24, 2012
Top 10 Movie Quotes
The American Film Institute presented this year's Life Achievement Award 2012 to Shirley MacLaine. The ceremonies aired on TVLand cable Sunday night, June 24.
And in honor of that, I thought this might be a good time to present the AFI Top 10 Movie Quotes along with some insight into what actually makes a movie quote memorable…something that lives with us over the decades.
"I'm king of the world!" This Leonardo DiCaprico one-liner from 1997's TITANIC is one of the most quotable moments in movie history. But do we know why? Was it the way he said it? The scene content when the line was spoken? Well, thanks to science we seem to now have an answer.
A team of researchers at Cornell University recently conducted a study about how and why movie lines became popular and concluded it was a combination of factors. The two most important being familiar sentence structure and general statements that could apply to any situation. Other factors include: use of third-person pronouns (she, her, he, him), definite articles (the as opposed to a), and use of past tense. More syllables and fewer conjunctions (and, or, but) also help.
To figure out the formula for a memorable movie quote, researchers used thousands of scripts along with a list of famous quotes. They detected two patterns to identify the memorable choice from a script—distinctiveness and generality. Then they programmed their findings into a computer and the final results are this top 10 list.
One actor has the distinction of claiming two of the top 10 quotes from movies that were released 18 years apart.
1) GONE WITH THE WIND 1939
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
Rhett Butler (Clark Gable)
2) THE GODFATHER 1972
"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."
Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando)
3) ON THE WATERFRONT 1954
"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."
Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando)
4) THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939
"Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland)
5) CASABLANCA 1942
"Here's looking at you, kid."
Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart)
6) SUDDEN IMPACT 1983
"Go ahead, make my day."
Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood)
7) SUNSET BLVD. 1950
"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."
Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson)
8) STAR WARS 1977
"May the Force be with you."
Han Solo (Harrison Ford)
9) ALL ABOUT EVE 1950
"Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy ride."
Margo Channing (Bette Davis)
10) TAXI DRIVER 1976
"You talkin' to me?"
Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro)
There are, of course, many more memorable movie quotes that will be around for years to come.