Some movies stick with you. Their strength may not lie in their plot, it may not lie in the setting or the story or even the characters. What endures is the dialogue – the lines themselves burrow their way into your mind. You find opportunities to use those same lines again and again, and before long these quotes become a part of your phrasebook, forever ingrained into you. This is a list of what I consider to be the Top Five Most Quotable Films. As usual, it’s subjective, so I may have very well missed your favorite (or considered it, then decided to leave it out – I have a feeling The Dude doesn’t abide). Anyway, let’s get started, shall we? 5 – Let’s Go to Prison “Okay. Now we’re even. I have done you wrong, and twice you have stabbed me with forks.” The number five slot was hard to fill. I had a pretty easy time with the top four, but this one was kinda up in the air for me. The Big Lebowski was slated to fill this (and I’m sure many of you would rather I had left it that way) but I found that I really didn’t quote that movie particularly often (besides the occasional “You’re outta your element, Donny!”). I wanted to really go with films that were constantly quoted not only by me, but by people I generally know. While Let’s Go to Prison isn’t as popular as the other films on this list, I find myself quoting it constantly. The dialogue in this has a combination of grounded humor (“We’re doin’ it, man. This is it. We’re right in the thick of the action.”) and almost surreal airheadedness (“Oh, so it’s like that, is it? …I don’t condone that, my friend.”), but the lines themselves carry little weight without the voices that go with them, not to mention the context that only comes with having seen the movie. This, however, has a strength of its own, quote-wise. More than a few of the film’s lines can actually be slipped seamlessly into general conversation. Someone questions how you know something? “I’m on a lotta weird mailing lists.” Someone starts pissing you off? “Don’t make me go get no shoebox, now.” Pouring wine for guests? “Would you like some merlot? I make it in the toilet.” Someone has your fork for absolutely whatever reason? “Give me my eating utensil back.” I admit that this last one may have been grasping at straws a little bit. “You know how someone might describe a situation that’s unpleasant or confining as ‘like a prison’? This is what they were referring to.” 4 – O Brother, Where Art Thou? “We’re in a tight spot!” Hey, at least I did put a Coen Brothers film on here, right? Once again, it was the delivery that made a lot of these lines spectacular, whether it was Everett’s swaggering verve or Delmar’s puppy-like void of higher thought. Even very simple lines, like the one at the top of this entry, suddenly become memorable and fun. This also ranges to the nonsensical, such as “We found a whole… gopher village….” or “Your hair treatment?!” O Brother, Where Art Thou‘s quotes do tend to lack a bit of the utility of other quotes (besides, perhaps, “It’s all about the money, boys!” or “I seen ’em first!”) but it does have plenty of bizarre ones that can be blurted out at a moment’s notice and be just as relevant to those who have seen the movie (“Well I’ll only be eighty-two!”). The more I dwell on this, the more quotes keep popping into my head. I’m struggling to find excuses to fit them all into the article but sometimes there just isn’t a common denominator for lines like “Weee thooought yooou waaas aaa tooooooooad,” or “Well ain’t this just a geographical oddity! Two weeks from everywhere!” Ah well, I tried. “I like the smell of my hair treatment, the pleasin’ odor’s half the point!” 3 – Big Trouble in Little China “S’all in the reflexes.” Big Trouble in Little China brought us one of the greatest characters ever, portrayed by Kurt Russell channeling John Wayne – Jack Burton. A simple truck driver who “just wants his truck back,” Jack speaks in a combination of one-liners and something somewhat akin to spoken word poetry. No matter what kooky circumstances fall upon Jack (and there are plenty of them) he always has something to say, whether it’s a quip or just something outright awesome (“’May the wings of liberty never lose a feather.”). The majority of his lines are of the one-liner or quip variety, and his bravado turns even the simplest of lines (“Relax.”) into something quotable. It’s actually challenging to select a reasonable number of lines from this to point out, since nearly every single one of Jack’s lines (not to mention a good few of Lo Pan’s) are absolutely golden. These aren’t okay lines with great delivery – they’re great lines with great delivery. “Okay, you people sit tight, hold the fort and keep the home fires burning. And if we’re not back by dawn… call the president.” This entry has something somewhat unique about it, and that thing is the fact that a few of its quotes are longer lines. While anyone can memorize a quick one-liner, it takes a film like this to get you to memorize lines like “When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: ‘Have you paid your dues, Jack?’ ‘Yessir, the check is in the mail.’” So just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol’ storm right square in the eye and he says “Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it.” 2 – Army of Darkness “Hail to the king, baby.” And if anyone can top Jack Burton in the art of the one-liner, it’s Ashley J. Williams. Ash doesn’t waste time with normal lines, not even fancy normal lines. If it isn’t a one-liner, it isn’t good enough to say. Maybe it’s a badass threat in the vein of “Come get some,” or “You. You want a little?” Maybe he’s being a ladykiller with heart-winning lines such as “First ya wanna kill me, now ya wanna kiss me. Blow.” or “Baby, you got real ugly.” Maybe he’s being incredibly genre savvy and offering valid warnings such as “It’s a trick. Get an axe.” Maybe he’s sick of being your garbage boy, maybe he forgot to say every single little syllable, or maybe he’s just being an absolute jackass for no real reason. But whatever comes out of Ash’s mouth, you can guarantee that it’s gonna be memorable, and you can guarantee that you’ll be quoting it after the movie’s over. There’s a reason that Ash is widely considered to be the most popular and beloved horror protagonist of all time. “Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! Y’see this? This… is my boomstick! It’s a 12-gauge double-barreled Remington, S-Mart’s top-of-the-line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That’s right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about $109.95, it’s got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That’s right, shop smart – shop S-Mart. Ya got that?!” 1 – The Princess Bride “This is true love. You think this happens every day?” What, don’t tell me you didn’t think this would be on the list? Surely you were just waiting patiently for it to inevitably rear its majestic head. Well, that’s with good reason – The Princess Bride is the most quotable film of all time. It’s not because of one specific snarky character. It’s not filled with corny one-liners or a special theme. It’s just a freakin’ amazing movie. Every single line from every single character can be quoted. Entire scenes can be quoted. Whole characters can be committed to memory. I can’t even start quoting from this film because it’d take too long, but I don’t really think I have to. Everyone knows Inigo Montoya’s famous line. Everyone loves the Battle of Wits. Everyone knows what “to the pain” means already. And everyone knows that “Inconceivable!” may not mean what Vizzini thinks it means (marking one of the only movies that contains a quote within a quote – Quoteception!). Even the out-of-world scenes with the little boy and his grandfather have memorable lines (“Yes, yes, you’re very smart, now shut up.”). Every character becomes a part of us and their lines become forever ingrained into our memories. Cast members openly cried when they saw the film’s premiere. It’s The Princess Bride. It damn near transcends quotable. “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.