Friday, September 30, 2005

60% of the time, it works all the time.

I was talking with John the other day and we must have rattled off ten Anchorman quotes in about twenty seconds. We’re THAT good. After a pause, John said it must be one of the most quoted movies ever. I called him a dirty pirate hooker and agreed.

But then I thought about Casablanca. There is no line in that movie that isn’t a cliché. What about Young Frankenstein? Hell, what about Wizard of Oz?

It isn’t a fair comparison, really. Casablanca is 63 years old. It’s like saying a movie released today is higher grossing than ET – well, duh, you’re charging nine times as much for a movie ticket. And by the way, those Reese’s Pieces shouldn’t require me to take out a mortgage to buy.

But let’s take all those variables out of the equation for today’s poll. In your opinion, what movie can claim Most Oft Quoted? Or in other words, at the end of all time, after every flick has been able to prove its longevity, what movie will be able to claim that prize? Did more people quip “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” than ask “what would Brian Boitano do”? Did more people say “follow the yellow brick road” or “follow the white rabbit”? “I’ll have what she’s having” or “I’ll be back”? “You damned dirty ape”, “fat guy in a little coat”, “shaken, not stirred”, or “this chick is TOAST!”? “I coulda been a contender” or “I flip you for real”?

“Use the Force” or “Use the Schwartz”?



goose said...

Garv, I actually saw an AFI top 100 lines from films, "Casablanca" came in 1st, "then Godfather", then I forget. As for most quoted, not too sure. I think the "Star Wars" OT has to be up there as does "Caddyshack". Recently, I find myself quoting frequently from "Old School" "Wedding Crashers" and "Anchorman" (It's got real bits of panther in it...)
That's all I can think of right now.

Scott said...

There is a distinction to be made here. Are you looking for opinions on the best lines, or what we think are the most often quoted lines?

Best lines - Comedy: Animal House,Airplane, Monty Python / Drama: Casablanca - in a class all by itself

Most Often Quoted: I despise myself for saying this, but taking all intelligence and good taste out of the equation, I'd have to say that the most often quoted movie would be The Terminator/Terminator 2. You have to give points to the Governator, who actually quotes himself from his movies.

R said...

Oh and don't forget the intellegent line of "schwing" that will go on for many generations to come...

Classy Freddie Blassy said...

The Chris Guest Trilogy is in my mind the most oft quoted trilogy, to expand on what you saying. Any man that can utter the phases, spoken in anthemic arena rock tone, "working on a sex farm....plowing through your beanfield, deserves respect. I must say as a work the simpsons are in my mind the most quotable entity of all time. Let the flying circus cronies begin to come out of the woodwork

-Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesco Banana Fana
Bobesca III

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry to disagree with all here (including garvey himself) but i'm going with syndicated tv programs as the most quoted/quotable things ever. by passing any and all movies stated above. my vote is for family guy or another animated tv show that i cant think of right now... ;)

Peter said...

In my improv show, we do a bit (which you have seen) during which we ask the audience for movie lines. In 10 years of doing improv, almost EVERY audience that we have asked has said "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." After that, I'd have to say, "I'll be back." Hardly any audience ever says, "Here's lookin' at you, kid." So draw your own conclusions. A lot of modern movies end up feeding us repetitive lines from audience to audience but it's a phase, like "This one time, at band camp," which we got for EVERY FRIGGIN show for about 2 years. Or, "Show the the money," which was ubiquitous but now we don't get.

Oh, and the other most popular line we get when you go beyond movies is, "Where's the beef?" Yep, I'm serious. Amazing. That was an advertising campaign from 20 years ago!

Greg said...

How in the world has no one mentioned Swingers until now? That gets my vote for most quotable. It may be put to bed for a few months at a time after overuse, but those lines always find their way back.

Alex said...

Two statements:

#1 - The entire scripts of certain movies become quotable when the Geek Nation likes them. This is often a temporary thing -- in a few years, "Vote for Pedro" will be all that is left of Napoleon Dynamite.

#2 - I have found that the lines in the Star Wars movies are deeply ingrained into my English. And not "use the Force, Luke" or "I am your father". I mean the simple idioms. "That'll do nicely". "From time to time". "Not likely." "Not by a long shot." "Desolate place". Etc. Watching Star Wars freaks me out a little bit because of it.

Bigmike said...

That's Hedley!