Top 100 Movie Quotes
100 of the best, most famous movie quotes in American cinema
To celebrate their hundredth anniversary, the American Film Institute ran a series of programs starting in 2005, discussing and honoring 100 years of American cinema. As part of the commemoration, the members they surveyed produced an all-star list of famous quotes from westerns, to crime thrillers, war movies, and more. We've reproduced the list below, as well as adding some trivia and fun facts about the selections.
Think you're a movie buff? Think you know these quotes (and their movies) inside and out? Try your hand at our Top 100 Movie Quotes Quiz. Fair warning, though--this quiz isn't easy.
The Top 100 Best Movie Quotes
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." - Gone With the Wind, 1939
At the end of the film, Clark Gable's character Rhett Butler is leaving his wife, Scarlett. Scarlett asks what she'll do with herself after he leaves--his response is this famously harsh goodbye as he walks off into the night.
"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." - The Godfather, 1972
Don Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando, is assuring his godson Johnny that he'll get him the movie role he's after. When Johnny asks how he'll persuade the director, Vito offers this as an explanation.
Fun fact: According to IMDB, this scene has been referenced up to 150 times in other media. Fittingly, Brando won an Oscar for this performance (although he declined it).
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"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." - On the Waterfront, 1954
Marlon Brando plays a dockworker who lost out on a career as a prize fighter after his brother convinced him to throw a fight. This little sorrowful snippet describes the spiral his life has been in since.
"Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." - The Wizard of Oz, 1939
This movie quote is delivered by heroine Dorothy after she finds herself whisked away to the fantastical land of Oz.
Fun fact: This movie quote is maybe misquoted more often than it is quoted correctly. Most people drop the "I've got a feeling" from the line.
"Here's looking at you, kid." - Casablanca, 1942
Humphrey Bogart says this famous quote four times over the course of the film.
Fun fact: this line wasn't in the original screenplay, but was added due to a conversation between Bogart and co-star Ingrid Bergman.
"Go ahead, make my day." - Sudden Impact, 1983
This line, delivered by Clint Eastwood at the start of the film, encapsulates the machismo of Dirty Harry. Harry is taunting a robber with a hostage, hoping the robber will give him a justification for Harry to shoot him.
"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." - Sunset Boulevard, 1950
This line is delivered by Gloria Swanson at the end of the movie, as her character hallucinates and mistakes crime scene reporters for the film crew of a movie.
"May the Force be with you." - Star Wars, 1977
This catchphrase has become a pop culture staple, after many different characters say it to wish one another good fortune.
"Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." - All About Eve, 1950
Bette Davis offers this promise of an eventful evening in a party scene that features a then-unknown Marilyn Monroe.
"You talking to me?" - Taxi Driver, 1976
In this scene Robert De Niro's Travis Bickle imagines an altercation that would give him an excuse to draw his gun, delivered with trademark panache.
Fun fact: De Niro improvised this line. The script only said "Travis speaks to himself in the mirror" so De Niro took some liberties and was ultimately successful.
"What we've got here is failure to communicate." - Cool Hand Luke, 1967
This line is spoken twice in the movie, the first time by Strother Martin as a cruel warden, and the second as a mocking echo by lead Paul Newman.
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning." - Apocalypse Now, 1979
This line is delivered by Robert Duvall as Colonel Kilgore, shortly after he has a beach bombed to clear out the Viet Cong (in part so he can go surfing).
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"Love means never having to say you're sorry." - Love Story, 1970
Jennifer Cavalleri's character delivers this line after an altercation between her and the male lead.
Fun fact: Two years later Ryan O'Neal will hear this line again in the film What's Up Doc when Barbara Streisand says it to his character and respond, "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard."
"The stuff that dreams are made of." - The Maltese Falcon, 1941
Humphrey Bogart delivers this memorable line drawn from Shakespeare, describing the eponymous treasure they chase through the film.
"E.T. phone home." - E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
The context on this one is pretty clear. The character E.T. is attempting to contact his home planet for a rescue.
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"They call me Mister Tibbs!" - In the Heat of the Night, 1967
Sidney Poitier's character, skilled detective Virgil Tibbs, delivers this line in rebuke to a racist question about what they call Virgil in his home in Philadelphia.
"Rosebud." - Citizen Kane, 1941
This mysterious line by Orson Welles is the final word of the title character, and the movie is dedicated to finding out what it means.
"Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" - White Heat, 1949
James Cagney delivers this line a bit more literally than you might think; it's said atop a large globe-shaped gas tank.
"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" - Network, 1976
Peter Finch delivers this line as Howard Beale, a deranged and raving network news anchor railing about the state of the world.
"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." - Casablanca, 1942
Humphrey Bogart again, delivering this as Rick Blaine as he wanders off to join the French Resistance.
"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." - The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
Anthony Hopkins delivers this line as the cannibal Hannibal Lecter, a psychologist and serial killer intimidating a police detective.
"Bond. James Bond." - Dr. No, 1962
Sean Connery delivers this famous line to introduce himself during a high stakes game at a London club.
"There's no place like home." - The Wizard of Oz, 1939
In the film, these are the magic words supposed to return Dorothy to Kansas.
"I am big! It's the pictures that got small." - Sunset Blvd., 1950
Gloria Swanson's Norma offers this explanation for her faded glory as an actress.
"Show me the money!" - Jerry Maguire, 1996
This line, exclaimed back and forth by Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise, punctuates their relationship as an athlete and his agent.
"Why don't you come up sometime and see me?" - She Done Him Wrong, 1933
Mae West offers this suggestive line as Lady Lou, a saloon singer, trying to trick Cary Grant's character into her room to catch a criminal.
"I'm walking here! I'm walking here!" - Midnight Cowboy, 1969
Dustin Hoffman's Ratso says this when telling of a cab driver.
Fun fact: This scene was improvised. Midnight Cowboy filmed in New York City so the taxi in the shot is an actual New York taxi. Remaining in character Hoffman yells at the driver and the scene made the cut in the film.
"Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.'" - Casablanca, 1942
Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa urges the pianist to play this song at a club owned by her old flame Rick, played by Humphrey Bogart.
"You can't handle the truth!" - A Few Good Men, 1992
Jack Nicholson bellows this line to kick off a self aggrandizing courtroom rant as Colonel Nathan Jessup.
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"I want to be alone." - Grand Hotel, 1932
"After all, tomorrow is another day!" - Gone With the Wind, 1939
"Round up the usual suspects." - Casablanca, 1942
"I'll have what she's having." - When Harry Met Sally, 1989
"You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow." - To Have and Have Not, 1944
"You're gonna need a bigger boat." - Jaws, 1975
"Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!" - The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948
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"I'll be back." - The Terminator, 1984
"Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." - The Pride of the Yankees, 1942
"If you build it, he will come." - Field of Dreams, 1989
"Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - Forrest Gump, 1994
"We rob banks." - Bonnie and Clyde, 1967
"Plastics." - The Graduate, 1967
"We'll always have Paris." - Casablanca, 1942
"I see dead people." - The Sixth Sense, 1999
Fun fact: When Haley Joel Osmet says this line the camera goes to Bruce Willis's face. This is a cinematic clue that Bruce Willis's character is dead.
"Stella! Hey, Stella!" - A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951
"Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars." - Now, Voyager, 1942
"Shane. Shane. Come back!" - Shane, 1953
"Well, nobody's perfect." - Some Like It Hot, 1959
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"It's alive! It's alive!" - Frankenstein, 1931
Fun fact: The original line was "It's alive! It's alive! In the name of God! Now I know what it's like to be God!" Censors cut Dr. Frankenstein's full line because it was considered sacrilege.
"Houston, we have a problem." - Apollo 13, 1995
"You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?" - Dirty Harry, 1971
"You had me at ?hello.?" - Jerry Maguire, 1996
"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know." - Animal Crackers, 1930
"There's no crying in baseball!" - A League of Their Own, 1992
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"La-dee-da, la-dee-da." - Annie Hall, 1977
"A boy's best friend is his mother." - Psycho, 1960
"Greed, for lack of a better word, is good." - Wall Street, 1987
"Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." - The Godfather Part II, 1974
"As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again." - Gone With the Wind, 1939
"Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!" - Sons of the Desert, 1933
"Say "hello" to my little friend!" - Scarface, 1983
"What a dump." - Beyond the Forest, 1949
"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?" - The Graduate, 1967
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!" - Dr. Strangelove, 1964
"Elementary, my dear Watson." - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1929
Fun fact: Sherlock Holmes never says this iconic quote in any of the books the character is based off of.
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"Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape." - Planet of the Apes, 1968
"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." - Casablanca, 1942
"Here's Johnny!" - The Shining, 1980
Fun fact: This line was completely improvised. Jack Nicholson was only prompted to break down the door, but he decided to improvise this line and it made the final cut of the movie.
"They're here!" - Poltergeist, 1982
"Is it safe?" - Marathon Man, 1976
"Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!" - The Jazz Singer, 1927
"No wire hangers, ever!" - Mommie Dearest, 1981
"Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?" - Little Caesar, 1930
"Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown." - Chinatown, 1974
"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." - A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951
"Hasta la vista, baby." - Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991?????
"Soylent Green is people!" - Soylent Green, 1973
"Open the pod bay doors, HAL." - 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968
Striker: Surely you can't be serious.
Rumack: I am serious?and don't call me Shirley. - Airplane!, 1980
"Yo, Adrian!" - Rocky II, 1979
"Hello, gorgeous." - Funny Girl, 1968
"Toga! Toga!" - National Lampoon's Animal House, 1978
"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make." - Dracula, 1931
"Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast." - King Kong, 1933
Fun Fact: The King Kong roar was a combination of a lion and tiger's roar combined and played backward very slowly.
"My precious." - The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, 2002
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"Attica! Attica!" - Dog Day Afternoon, 1975
"Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" - 42nd Street, 1933
"Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!" - On Golden Pond, 1981
"Tell 'em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper." - Knute Rockne All American, 1940
"A martini. Shaken, not stirred." - Goldfinger, 1964
?Fun fact: This iconic scene has been parodied over and over again. In Casino Royale, 42 years later, Daniel Craig's James Bond will be asked, "Shaken or stirred" and Bond responds "Do I look like I give a damn?"
"Who's on first." - The Naughty Nineties, 1945
"Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac...It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!" - Caddyshack, 1980
"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame, 1958
"I feel the need - the need for speed!" - Top Gun, 1986
"Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." - Dead Poets Society, 1989.
"Snap out of it!" - Moonstruck, 1987
"My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you." - Yankee Doodle Dandy, 1942
"Nobody puts Baby in a corner." - Dirty Dancing, 1987
"I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" - The Wizard of Oz, 1939
"I'm king of the world!" - Titanic, 1997
Source: American Film Institute, 2005, IMDb, and Hollywood Reporter.
Top Movie Quotes of the 21st Century
The original list doesn't include any quotes from after 2002. Obviously, there have been plenty of great quotes since. Here are some of the contenders that come up in lists made since:
- "Are you not entertained?" - Gladiator, 2000
Russell Crowe, as the gladiator Maximus, challenges the crowd for their response to his actions in the arena.
- "Just keep swimming" - Finding Nemo, 2003
Voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, the fish Dory chants this plucky refrain throughout this Disney-Pixar classic.
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- "I wish I knew how to quit you" - Brokeback Mountain, 2005
This line encapsulates the undeniable magnetism between Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal's characters, who are pressured by society to abandon their relationship.
- "What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss?" - No Country for Old Men, 2007
Javier Bardem delivers this menacing line to a gas station owner, with the unspoken threat that the man's life may be decided on a coin toss
- "I drink your milkshake" - There Will Be Blood, 2007
Daniel Day Lewis, playing a crazed and relentless oil tycoon, is taunting one of his longtime enemies. He explains how he has extracted all of the oil under their land with this pithy metaphor.
- "Why so serious?" - The Dark Knight, 2008
Heath Ledger, in his role as the Batman villain the Joker, ironically questions the gravity with which others treat his violent crimes.
"A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion dollars." - The Social Network, 2010
Justin Timberlake delivers this quote as Napster founder Sean Parker, encapsulating the rampant ambition of Silicon Valley in a few neat sentences.
"Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?" - The VVitch, 2015
In this climactic moment of the film, a satanic goat delivers this line to tempt the film's heroine into witchcraft. The goat was a real goat, dubbed over by Daniel Malik.
Some of Our Favorites
The staff at the Infoplease office felt we had to give a nod to a couple more of our favorite film quotes. In no particular order:
- "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die." - Blade Runner, 1982
This monologue, delivered by Rutger Hauer at the climax of the film, is the final soliloquy of the movie's robotic villain.
- "Why should I kill myself worrying when I'll end up just as dead?" - The Bicycle Thieves, 1948
Lamberto Maggiorani delivers this sardonic line as Antonio Ricci, a poor jobless man in post-war Rome.
- "You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. No plan at all. You know why? Because life cannot be planned." - Parasite, 2019
Kang-ho Song, in the role of father Ki-taek, delivers this fatalistic line after his family's home is ruined in a disastrous flood.
There are 100 quotes, but not nearly as many actors on the list. A few quotable superstars hold a big share of the top quotes. Here are the top contenders: