#30. Grand Hotel (1932)
- Quote: "I want to be alone."
- Character: Grusinskaya
- Actor: Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo became known for her reclusive nature, which was linked to her repeated line as the dancer in “Grand Hotel.” She gained fame for her notoriously beautiful and emotive close-ups, especially in black and white. Recently, a cache of her letters was discovered that reinforced Garbo’s reputation for loneliness and solitude.
#29. A Few Good Men (1992)
- Quote: "You can't handle the truth!"
- Character: Col. Nathan R. Jessup
- Actor: Jack Nicholson
The courtroom histrionics in this military trial drama, written by Aaron Sorkin, bristle with rage and tension. Tom Cruise plays a defense attorney bent on outwitting the colonel (played by Jack Nicholson) by tricking him into confessing on the witness stand. Nicholson delivers an unforgettable performance in a speech that begins with with “You can’t handle the truth” and continues to confront the responsibility of those who guard the nation.
#28. Casablanca (1942)
- Quote: "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.'"
- Character: Ilsa Lund
- Actor: Ingrid Bergman
This famous line is usually misquoted as “Play it again, Sam,” a line that’s not actually in the movie. Woody Allen’s film and stage play also misquote the line. Both Rick and Ilsa ask Sam to simply play the nostalgic song.
#27. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
- Quote: "I'm walkin' here! I'm walkin' here!"
- Character: Ratso Rizzo
- Actor: Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman’s character Ratso pounds the hood of a cab about to hit him as he crosses the street. The line captures the frustration of being a pedestrian ignored by cars. The line was ad-libbed when a car drove through the shot. Hoffman almost shouted, “ We’re shooting a movie here,” instead of “I’m walking here.”
#26. She Done Him Wrong (1933)
- Quote: "Why don't you come up sometime and see me?"
- Character: Lady Lou
- Actor: Mae West
Mae West spoke these lines to Cary Grant in a film filled with the usual censorship-defying double entendres. West was ahead of her time as an openly desirous woman, defying cultural norms at the time about women’s behavior. She once spent ten days in jail over the content in her play, “Sex.”
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#25. Jerry Maguire (1996)
- Quote: "Show me the money!"
- Character: Rod Tidwell
- Actor: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr. won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his vibrant performance as a football player who doesn’t get the money or recognition he wants. The famous line endures, and regularly gets gif and meme treatment as shorthand for the bottom line.
#24. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
- Quote: "I am big! It's the pictures that got small."
- Character: Norma Desmond
- Actor: Gloria Swanson
This melodrama about an aging actress is a larger reflection on Hollywood’s constant shifts, especially during the change from silent cinema to talkies. Norma Desmond’s line shows her refusal to let go of her celebrity persona.
#23. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- Quote: "There's no place like home."
- Character: Dorothy Gale
- Actor: Judy Garland
“The Wizard of Oz” is one of the most influential films of all time, still generating constant allusions in films and popular culture today. “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” a recent indie movie about longing for home, referenced this famous line. The film’s universal themes about home and exile have influenced thousands of other works.
#22. Dr. No (1962)
- Quote: "Bond. James Bond."
- Character: James Bond
- Actor: Sean Connery
All the Bond actors eventually deliver this line, but Sean Connery was the first. Dashing, slick, and a paragon of handsome masculinity, he’s just as dapper in a tuxedo lighting a cigarette as he is killing an adversary in cold blood.
#21. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
- Quote: "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."
- Character: Dr. Hannibal Lecter
- Actor: Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins, the Welsh Shakespearean actor, was cast against type as the sicko murderer in “The Silence of the Lambs.” There’s an odd allure in the clash between Dr. Hannibal Lector’s taste for refined gourmet food and also, for cannibalism. In the scene when Lector tries to intimidate the FBI agent (Jodie Foster) he’s supposed to help, he utters this line then performs a strange sucking flutter that ups the creep factor.
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