We are an odd little band of movie lovers, we gang of seven. We try to see as many new releases as we can but also enjoy the movies of the Golden Age of Hollywood; the classics of the 1930s and 1940s in particular. As we celebrated one of our group’s birthdays, our youngest male member (46 years old) stood to champagne-toast the guest of honour with a “Here’s looking at you, kid”. She was delighted and surprised at the Casablanca reference, only to ascertain that the youngin’ had never even seen the movie, he just knew the quote.
Discovery: many, many lines from movies appear to be simply part of our day-to-day language. I present the following examples:
It’s a Wonderful Life: “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets it wings”. It’s the saying shared between father and daughter (Jimmy Stewart and Karolyn Grimes) in this quintessential Christmas holiday film from 1946.
All About Eve: “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night”. Often misquoted, this is Bette Davis’s most famous line, said with utter distinction as the character of Margo Channing in this story of fading youth and ultimate deception.
Gone With The Wind: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” said Rhett Butler, finally fed up with the dramatics of Scarlett. This film is from 1939 but still shown in theatres today. How many times do you think you’ve used that line … Or perhaps one of these in jest:
“Fiddle-dee-dee”, “I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ babies”, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!”, or “After all, tomorrow is another day”.
Who has never repeated a Wizard of Oz (1939) line.
“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”, “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” or “There’s no place like home”.
Debate rages but, in the opinion of many, Casablanca rates as having the most repeatable quotes of any movie in history.
“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine”, “… the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world”, “We’ll always have Paris”, “Round up the usual suspects”, “Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.”, “Play it, Sam. Play As Time Goes By” (often misquoted as “Play it again Sam”), and “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”.
History was made and language changed as these now-famous lines entered our vocabulary: Paul Hogan saying “You call that a knife? THIS is a knife!” (Crocodile Dundee, 1986), or Clint Eastwood’s “Go ahead, make my day” (Sudden Impact, 2005), “May the Force be with you” (Star Wars, 1977)and “You talking to me?” (Taxi Driver, 1976).
Some passages are still stand alone classics. Test your knowledge and see if you can guess the actor or actress who uttered the following lines: