Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Next Up, Greatest Movie Hairstyles

I jest. I actually like these AFI lists, if only because it reminds me of the many great movies I have never seen. Last night's rundown of the 100 greatest movie quotes, for example, reminded me that I need to see On the Waterfront. My favorites of the honored 100 listed:

96) "Snap out of it!" -- Moonstruck -- It occurs to me that many of these, maybe even most, aren't great lines because of the writing but because of the delivery. I mean, the reason this line resonates, nearly 20 years (gulp) since the release of the film, is because of Cher's perfect delivery, exasperated and scared all at the same time.

91) "Who's on first?" -- The Naughty Nineties -- A great routine more than a line, no?

79) Striker: "Surely you can't be serious?" Rumack: "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley." -- Airplane! -- Any of dozens of lines from this film could be on this list, but this is a great one.

74) "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown." -- Chinatown -- I can't hear this line without thinking of Homer's movie-inspired diatribe in an episode of The Simpsons:

"But Marge, you don't know what it's like! I'm the one out there everyday putting his ass on the line, and I'm not out of order! YOU'RE out of order! You want the truth?!? You want the truth!?!? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!! Cuz when you put your hand down, into a pile of goo, that was your best friend's face! You'll know what to do, forget it Marge, it's Chinatown!"

54) "There's no crying in baseball!" -- A League of Their Own -- So true.

21) "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." -- The Silence of the Lambs -- It's hard to remember how creepy this was, before it became repeated and parodied into meaninglessness.

8) "May the Force be with you." -- Star Wars -- Always.

2) "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." -- The Godfather -- What makes this one great is how it becomes almost a leitmotif throughout the three films.

And the line I think they erred most in omitting?

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Until Whenever

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