1. “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” That's the first one that made me want to type it out. That's # 91. Hmmm… I’m seeing a theme. Life affirmingness. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” “Carpe diem.” “I’m the King of the World.” It’s all so damned positive… so far.
2. I singled out a few quotes in my post on the original 400 nominees, and coming it at #84 is one of my favorites: "Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast."
3. File under: movies no one feels any compunction about spoiling. "Soylent Green is people." (#77) Ray Romano: "Not a day went by when someone didn't yell that out in the school cafeteria."
4. "What a dump." (#62) The line everyone knows without seeing the movie. The movie is "Beyond the Forest," which I'm not going to recommend to you because I don't want to hear your bellyaching when you discover it's not a good movie. But I love this movie! I love when Bette Davis finally gets out of her damn little town and makes it to Chicago -- Chicago! of all places -- and she goes to a bar and, because she's a woman alone, she's perceived as a prostitute, and they kick her out. And then there's the part where she's pregnant, but she doesn't want the baby, so she just hurls herself down a hill. And all those great scenes where she stands by the window and looks at the smoking factory right outside and just burns with unexploded sexual passion. That is a movie! Oh, they scarcely tell us anything about this film, they just segue quickly to "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," with Elizabeth Taylor saying the same line. The line doesn't get counted a second time. The point seems to be it was such a line that it got quoted in the movies, quoted by a big, big movie star. But "Beyond the Forest," that's on my personal list.
5. We're getting into doubles for the same movie. A second quote from "Streetcar Named Desire." ("Stella" beat "kindness of strangers.") A second quote from "Casablanca." ("We'll always have Paris" beat "Of all the gin joints..." I'm predicting at least one more from "Casablanca.") A second quote from "The Graduate." ("Plastics" beat "You're trying to seduce me.")
6. Okay, enough baseball already! We're at the fourth or fifth baseball quote, including the mushy-headed "If you build it, he will come." (#39) "Luckiest man on the face of the earth" follows at #38.
7. Yes, another "Casablanca" quote: "Round up the usual suspects." (That must get extra credit for providing the title for another film.) Ah, now they tell us the total for "Casablanca" is going to be six. So three more to go. "Here's looking at you, kid" -- I assume. And "Play it, Sam." And, maybe the "hill of beans" quote. Or the final "this is the beginning" quote? Not sure what the third one left is.
8. "That movie is about so much. I think that it is so much about God...." So says Jennifer Grey about -- what else? -- "The Wizard of Oz." The quote at #23 is the dopey "There's no place like home." Aren't there 23 better lines in that film alone?
9. Another "Casablanca" at #20. Oh, it's "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
10. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." Now, that's a catchphrase. Remember when Peter Finch went on "The Tonight Show" to promote that movie -- "Network" -- and for some reason got to talking about how some of the people watching the show that night would be dead next week, and then he proceeded to die within the next week? Am I getting that right?
11. "Love means never having to say you're sorry." That's #13. Ugh! Pure crapola!
12. "Napalm in the morning" ... "Failure to communicate" ... "You talkin' to me?" ... "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night."
13. "May the force be with you." George Lucas tells us he meant that to sum up and represent all religions and save us from the difficulty of scrutinizing the details that make them different.
14. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup." #7. I approve!
15. The final "Casablanca" quote is "Here's looking at you kid." #5. (Doesn't Ingrid Bergman have the most beautiful lips?)
16. At #4: "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." Only line on the list addressed to a dog.
17. Three left, and we're told one actor said two of them. Clearly, it's Marlon Brando, and as we see the first one is "I coulda been a contender," we know that "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse" is either number 1 or number 2.
18. Second place goes to Brando, for "offer ... refuse." Why am I not thinking of the top quote? It should be obvious, right?
19. Oh, it's "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Somehow, I had the feeling we'd already hit that one. So, sure. I would have put that first... in the world of American movie catchphrases.
20. Okay, that was three hours of slogging through the quotes. Three hours well spent? Who knows!
21. During the show, they pointed us to the AFI website to read a quote from "Mrs. Miniver" that wasn't on the list, but that, we were told, FDR had printed up and dropped from planes on Nazi-occupied Europe.
This is the people's war! It is our war! We are the fighters! Fight it, then! Fight it with all that is in us, and may God defend the right.
Of course, the war quote that made the list was the cynicism-promoting "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."
22. In the first entry to this post, I noted that the quotes seem to have been selected for their life-affirmingness. But toward the top of the list, things got darker. The top quotes are all pretty sad or cynical or nutty or negative. They stowed all that sunny stuff at the bottom of the list.
23. Adam at Throwing Things has some observations including the count of lines spoken by nonwhite actors: 3. All by men, I note. Two of the three make the speaker look bad ("Show me the money" and "stinking badges"), Adam notes. I note that the other one -- "They call me Mr. Tibbs" -- is too pretty. Why not one of Samuel Jackson's lines from "Pulp Fiction"? Adam asks. Which reminds me: how about Quentin Tarantino? Not a single line from him. Well, most of the lines they had drew attention to the actors that delivered them, not the person who happened to write them. This was not a celebration of screenwriters.
24. Here's the whole list. I took the trouble to figure out the percentage of quotes spoken by women: 25%.