Classic movie quotes that have broken into our daily vocabulary
Quoting the best lines from movies can be irresistible to fans. But some lines are so profound, so famous, so unbelievably perfect that reciting them goes beyond entertainment. From catchphrases and one-liners to poignant dramatic statements, the greatest sentences ever spoken on the big screen have woven their way into the daily American lexicon.
The best movie quotes transcend the films they were in, the writers who wrote them, and the actors who spoke them. Today, these gems of dialogue are now instantly recognizable parts of America's culture and vernacular. But do you know what these lines are when you hear them —and which films gave them their genesis? Here's a look at the movie quotes that are so universally appealing that they’ve taken on new lives outside of their origins.
'I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse.'
In the 1972 mafia classic "The Godfather," Marlon Brando's title character assures his Hollywood star godson Johnny Fontane that he will be able to convince a reluctant studio boss to give Fontane a part in a movie that he desperately wants. The quote implies extortion—that the studio boss will relent or he'll pay a hefty price—and he does, in the form of waking up in bed with a horse's head. Today, the line is a favorite among corporate CEOs and other power brokers who refuse to be denied during a negotiation.
'There's no place like home.'
In 1939's iconic "The Wizard of Oz," Dorothy, played by Judy Garland, utters this sentimental favorite when she finally returns from her adventure in Oz. Despite the fact that she's experienced the most magical place imaginable, none of it compares to rediscovering the simple pleasures of her room, her family, and her humble Kansas homestead. The line is now a favorite proclamation for any world-weary traveler who longs for the familiar.
'Go ahead. Make my day.'
This macho quote is now tough-guy boilerplate. The line, famously spoken by Clint Eastwood's "Dirty" Harry Callahan character in 1983's "Sudden Impact," is now part of the American vernacular. Its use lets someone know they'd be doing you a favor by giving you a reason to pummel them.
'I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.'
Another quote from Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" stands the test of time. She utters the phrase to her loyal dog, Toto, when she realizes the tornado has blown her not just far away from her Midwestern farm, but into a magical land of unfamiliar beauty and danger. It's the perfect quote if you ever end up in a situation that has taken a turn for the surreal.
'May the Force be with you.'
The original "Star Wars" debuted in 1977; the movie, and its many sequels and prequels, deal with the nature of good and evil. The invisible, but powerful Force governs the entire Universe, and it can be harnessed by both good and bad people—for both good and bad reasons. Many characters utter the phrase "may the Force be with you" throughout the series as they bid farewell to a friend embarking on a difficult mission or journey. It's now become synonymous with saying "good luck."
'You talking to me?'
In the 1976 classic "Taxi Driver," Robert De Niro's lead character, Travis Bickle, entered this phrase into American culture while rehearsing a hypothetical confrontation in front of a mirror. De Niro ad-libbed the line, which is now standard fare for anyone who's eager to escalate an argument into a fight.
'You can't handle the truth.'
The famous courtroom scene in 1992's "A Few Good Men" culminates with an intense cross-examination by Tom Cruise's character, a young lawyer named Lt. Kaffey who is tasked with cracking the iron-willed Col. Jessup (Jack Nicholson). When Kaffey demands the truth, Jessup yells out this now-famous line—which implies that the world needs hard men like the colonel to conduct difficult but necessary work, from which lesser men benefit, but are too weak to acknowledge.
'You had me at hello.'
In 1996, the world met "Jerry Maguire," the movie whose title character was played by Tom Cruise. When Maguire is groveling to love interest Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger), his long, rambling take-me-back speech is cut off by this line. Now it can be used by anyone listening to a plea that doesn't need to be made because the recipient is already convinced.
'Hasta la vista, baby.'
Few people have ever said goodbye with more authority than Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"—and fans of the film have been copycatting the line ever since. After young John Connor (Edward Furlong) gives the now-benevolent Terminator a brief tutorial in Spanish, the cyborg hero remembers the lesson when it's time to bid farewell to the evil T-1000, whom Schwarzenegger’s character then dispatches with a shotgun blast.
'I'm the king of the world.'
The lucky-yet-unlucky drifter Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in 1997's "Titanic," uttered this famous line on history's most famous ship after the character won a ticket for the boat's doomed maiden voyage. The line works for dramatic effect when something goes extraordinarily well—more commonly, it’s a campy way for someone to express oneself should they end up on a deck of a boat’s bow.2018 All rights reserved.