Special Report

The 50 Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time

You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth! Okay, maybe you can handle the truth, which is that no movie is complete without memorable dialogue and a handful of signature quotes. Not only do these quotes bring characters to life and help drive the story, but they expand upon the film’s legacy in the cultural sphere. 

Indeed, what better way to share your favorite movie moments than by regurgitating them with your best inflection? It lends a whole new meaning to the term “word of mouth.” (The small screen provides plenty of fodder for this practice, too. Check out these Check out these classic TV quotes that are now part of everyday vocabulary).

Meanwhile, some films feature so much more than just one terrific quote. Take “Casablanca,” for example, which seems to dispense with an iconic line in nearly every other scene. Movies such as “Jerry Maguire” and “The Godfather” perform a similar feat, dropping so much memorable dialogue that the entire script practically reads like a list of cultural catchphrases. (More of a music type? Here are the 50 greatest songs from movies). 

To assemble a ranking of the 50 greatest movie quotes of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the American Film Institute’s “100 Years…100 Movie Quotes.” The AFI compiled their list by soliciting favorite movie lines from a jury of more than 1,500 film artists, critics, and historians, who were asked to nominate “quotes from American films which circulate through popular culture, become part of the national lexicon and evoke the memory of a treasured film, thus ensuring and enlivening its historical legacy.”

We’ve built the list here and you have come. Yeah, we’re talking to you. And if you disagree with the selections, well, nobody’s perfect. Can you guess which quote took the top spot? Rather than go ahead and make your day, we’ll keep you in suspense. Just remember that life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.

50. “Houston, we have a problem.”
> Said by: Kevin Bacon in Apollo 13 (1995)

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49. “It’s alive! It’s alive!”
> Said by: Colin Clive in Frankenstein (1931)

48. “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
> Said by: Joe E. Brown in Some Like It Hot (1959)

47. “Shane. Shane. Come back!”
> Said by: Brandon De Wilde in Shane (1953)

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46. “Oh, Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars.”
> Said by: Bette Davis in Now, Voyager (1942)

45. “Stella! Hey, Stella!”
> Said by: Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

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44. “I see dead people.”
> Said by: Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (1999)

43. “We’ll always have Paris.”
> Said by: Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942)

42. “Plastics.”
> Said by: Mr. McGuire in The Graduate (1967)

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41. “We rob banks.”
> Said by: Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

40. “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
> Said by: Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump (1994)

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39. “If you build it, he will come.”
> Said by: Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams (1989)

38. “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
> Said by: Gary Cooper in The Pride of the Yankees (1942)

37. “I’ll be back.”
> Said by: Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator (1984)

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36. “Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”
> Said by: Alfonso Bedoya in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

35. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
> Said by: Roy Scheider in Jaws (1975)

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34. “You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”
> Said by: Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not (1944)

33. “I’ll have what she’s having.”
> Said by: Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

32. “Round up the usual suspects.”
> Said by: Claude Rains in Casablanca (1942)

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31. “After all, tomorrow is another day!”
> Said by: Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind (1939)

30. “I want to be alone.”
> Said by: Greta Garbo in Grand Hotel (1932)

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29. “You can’t handle the truth!”
> Said by: Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men (1992)

28. “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time goes By.'”
> Said by: Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca (1942)

27. “I’m walking here! I’m walking here!”
> Said by: Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy (1969)

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26. “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?”
> Said by: Mae West in She Done Him Wrong (1933)

25. “Show me the money!”
> Said by: Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire (1996)

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24. “I am big! It’s the pictures that got small.”
> Said by: Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd. (1950)

23. “There’s no place like home.”
> Said by: Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz (1939)

22. “Bond. James Bond.”
> Said by: Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962)

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21. “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
> Said by: Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

20. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
> Said by: Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942)

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19. “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
> Said by: Howard Beale in Network (1976)

18. “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”
> Said by: James Cagney in White Heat (1949)

17. “Rosebud.”
> Said by: Orson Welles in Citizen Kane (1941)

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16. “They call me Mister Tibbs!”
> Said by: Sidney Poitier in In the Heat of the Night (1967)

15. “E.T. phone home.”
> Said by: Pat Welsh in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

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13. “The stuff that dreams are made of.”
> Said by: Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon (1941)

13. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
> Said by: Ali MacGraw in Love Story (1970)

12. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”
> Said by: Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now (1979)

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11. “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”
> Said by: Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke (1967)

10. “You talking to me?”
> Said by: Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (1976)

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9. “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”
> Said by: Bette Davis in All About Eve (1950)

8. “May the Force be with you.”
> Said by: Alec Guinness in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

7. “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
> Said by: Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard (1950)

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6. “Go ahead, make my day.”
> Said by: Clint Eastwood in Sudden Impact (1983)

5. “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
> Said by: Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942)

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4. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
> Said by: Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz (1939)

3. “You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”
> Said by: Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront (1954)

2. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
> Said by: Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972)

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1. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
> Said by: Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind (1939)

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