An article in the newspaper recently reported that the film, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, was released twenty-five years ago. In a famous scene, a woman in a restaurant, played by director Rob Reiner’s mother, says, “I’ll have what she’s having,” and became part of our film culture.
Also this year, but fifty years ago, the film, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, based on Harper Lee’s only novel, was released and became one of the most popular films of all time. However, if there was a special, memorable line in it, I’ve forgotten.
Such movie lines become part of our shared culture, because, hearing them again, we not only remember the words and who said them, but where and when we saw the film, as well as our age and circumstances at the time. Say them, and friends smile and nod.
No. 2. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” was the last line spoken by Rhett Butler when he leaves Scarlett O'Hara at the end of 1939‘s GONE WITH THE WIND. Scarlett gets her own last tine, too: “Tomorrow is another day.”
No. 3. CASABLANCA, (1941), gave Rick (Humphrey Bogart) three great lines. Many people think he said, “Play it again, Sam,” but he actually says, “Play it, Sam. Play ’As Time Goes By.’” Later, when he and Ilsa part, he reminds her, “We’ll always have Paris,” and, at the end, as he and Claude Rains go off together, he says, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
No. 4. Bogart got another good line at the end of THE MALTESE FALCON (1942) when, speaking of the black bird, the title subject and the object everyone wanted, he says, “It’s the stuff dreams are made of.”
No. 5. Not all great film lines come at the end. Clint Eastwood made the list with two lines from DIRTY HAPPY (1971): “Do you feel lucky?” and, “Go ahead, make my day.”
No. 6. And who could ever forget Joe E. Brown saying to Jack Lemmon, who has just admitted he’s a man, “Well, nobody’s perfect,” in 1959's SOME LIKE IT HOT? A great last line.
If you remember other lines from films, please share them in the comments. And if you didn’t see any of the films I mentioned, you have a treat in store for you if you catch them on television or borrow them from Netflix.