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100 greatest movie quotes from 100 years of film

  • #80. Rocky (1976)

    - Quote: "Yo, Adrian!"
    - Character: Rocky Balboa
    - Actor: Sylvester Stallone

    After the brutal fight, and the even crueler loss to Apollo Creed, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) tries to make his way through the throng to Adrian. “Rocky” was a small film, and an early major role for Stallone, but the underdog story took the country by storm and became a titan franchise.

  • #79. Airplane! (1980)

    - Quote: "I am serious…and don't call me Shirley."
    - Character: Dr. Rumack
    - Actor: Leslie Nielsen

    Leslie Nielsen’s deadpan delivery comes after the perfect set-up, “Surely you can’t be serious.” “Airplane’s” slapstick silliness reveled in wordplay and sight gags, but popular culture fell in love with this line as the ideal rejoinder to use upon hearing “surely.”

  • #78. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

    - Quote: "Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
    - Character: Dave Bowman
    - Actor: Keir Dullea

    The sentient HAL computer in Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi epic speaks with a calm and chilling voice. When Keir Dullea (as astronaut Dave) implores the computer to open the doors, the simple red eye and disembodied voice of HAL offers an eerie counterpart to the outwitted human.

  • #77. Soylent Green (1973)

    - Quote: "Soylent Green is people!"
    - Character: Det. Robert Thorn
    - Actor: Charlton Heston

    In this sci-fi thriller about environmental disaster, set in 2022, the apocalypse has caused a shortage of food and humans subsist on a mysterious substance called, you guessed it, soylent. This famous line, which admittedly gives away the movie’s ending, is performed by Charlton Heston with characteristic hysteria.

  • #76. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

    - Quote: "Hasta la vista, baby."
    - Character: The Terminator
    - Actor: Arnold Schwarzenegger

    There’s something about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s line deliveries—he performs in a way that’s both stiff and also infused with sincerity. Since he plays a robot in the “Terminator” franchise, his dialogue is rife with humor. The script co-writer revealed that he and director James Cameron used to say this catchphrase to one another, but Schwarzenegger made it one of his trademarks.

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  • #75. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

    - Quote: "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."
    - Character: Blanche DuBois
    - Actor: Vivien Leigh

    Vivien Leigh captures the vulnerability of Blanch DuBois that’s epitomized in this line—it also contains an irony that strangers aren’t kind. The world is harsh and women like her won’t survive, despite her optimistic facade that hides a traumatized woman just beneath.

  • #74. Chinatown (1974)

    - Quote: "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown."
    - Character: Lawrence Walsh
    - Actor: Joe Mantell

    In 1974, “Chinatown” shocked audiences with its distressing, tragic ending. The chilling effect of one of its final lines relays the dark notion that no one can be saved, and even the most twisted corruptors get away with their crimes.

  • #73. Little Caesar (1931)

    - Quote: "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?"
    - Character: Rico Bandello
    - Actor: Edward G. Robinson

    “Little Caesar” was one of the first gangster films, brimming with corruption, violence, and indecency before the film industry’s organized censorship. The famous last line, gangster Rico’s dying words were toned down from “Mother of God,” in order to avoid offending the religious.

  • #72. Mommie Dearest (1981)

    - Quote: "No wire hangers, ever!"
    - Character: Joan Crawford
    - Actor: Faye Dunaway

    Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford doubled the appeal of glamourous rage-filled melodrama in “Mommie Dearest.” She delivers the line wearing a layer of face cream and smeared red lipstick in the middle of the night, as her hysteria is revealed.

  • #71. The Jazz Singer (1927)

    - Quote: "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!"
    - Character: Jakie Rabinowitz/Jack Robin
    - Actor: Al Jolson

    This famous line inaugurates the moment in film history when “talkies” took over. It was the first film with a synchronized soundtrack that included both dialogue and singing. “The Jazz Singer” is just as famous for sequences with Al Jolson donning blackface, which complicates the film’s history and legacy.

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