Film Mis-Quotes

Part 2

Greatest Film Mis-Quotes
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Greatest Movie Misquotes
(Part 2)

Greatest Movie Mis-Quotes: Some of the most classic film lines or scenes are really only legendary and/or apocryphal, or they are merely movie misquotes, but after many years of repetition and being misquoted in subsequent films, they have become part of the filmgoing public's consciousness. Many of these examples are film quotes that were either commonly attributed wrongly, or in fact were never actually spoken.

The top 10 most misquoted film lines are marked with an icon #1

#7 Rhett Butler's (Clark Gable) scandalous, swear-word farewell to Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) in Gone With the Wind (1939) did not include Scarlett's name. It was:

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
Play clip from Gone With the Wind (1939): Gone With the Wind - 1939 (short version)
Play clip from Gone With the Wind (1939): Gone With the Wind - 1939 (long version)

It was NOT: "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn."

The misquote was heard in Clue (1985), when Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren) begged Wadsworth (Tim Curry) to forgive her for trying to shoot him:

Scarlet: "Wadsworth. Don't hate me for trying to shoot you."
Wadsworth: "Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn."
Play clip from Clue (1985): Clue

And in The Mask (1994), the Mask/Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) spoofed the line (along with other semi-familiar lines) after being shot:

- "Tell Scarlett I do give a damn."
Play clip from The Mask (1994): The Mask - 1994

The other lines were referential:

- "Hold me closer, Ed."
Flo (Esther Muir): "I want to be near you. I want you to hold me. Hold me closer! Closer! Closer!"
Dr. Hackenbush (Groucho Marx): "If I hold you any closer, I'll be in back of ya!"

Play clip from A Day at the Races (1937): A Day at the Races
- "It's getting dark."
- "Tell Auntie Em to let Old Yeller out."
Referencing both The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Old Yeller (1957).
- "Tell Tiny Tim I won't be comin' home this Christmas."
Referencing A Christmas Carol.
- "Thank you, You love me, you really love me."

This line misquoted the end of Sally Field's Oscar acceptance speech in 1985 for her performance in Places in the Heart (1984): "...The first time, I didn't feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now. You like me!"
Play end of Sally Field's speech: Sally Field Oscar Acceptance Speech

Contrary to popular opinion, Gone With the Wind (1939) was not the first use of the word 'damn' in a film. It reportedly was said a few times in Glorifying the American Girl (1929) and in Pygmalion (1938, UK). Also, the phrase "March and sweat the whole damned day" appeared on a dialogue card in the silent epic war film The Big Parade (1925).

In Only Angels Have Wings (1939), Cary Grant said the name 'Judy' numerous times to costar Rita Hayworth (playing a character named Judith McPherson), such as: "Hello, Judy" - but never repeated her name in rapid succession.

"Helly, Judy."
Play clip from Only Angels Have Wings (1939): Only Angels Have Wings - 1939

"Judy...Judy...Judy" - was falsely attributed to Cary Grant.

Cary Grant vaguely recalled that at a party he attended, someone introduced Judy Garland by saying, "Judy, Judy, Judy" and the phrase was attributed to him. A 1960 New Yorker ad for several Judy Garland albums ("Judy! Judy! Judy!") reinforced the incorrect quote.

#9 The most beloved family film, The Wizard of Oz (1939) has had problems with one of its most famous lines spoken by Judy Garland (as Dorothy Gale) to her dog Toto:

"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
Play clip from The Wizard of Oz (1939): The Wizard of Oz - 1939

It's generally misquoted as: "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" or "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto."

A misquote was heard in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), when the two Szalinski siblings, Amy (Amy O'Neill) and Nick (Robert Oliveri) realized that they had been miniaturized and trapped in a plastic garbage bag in their backyard:

Amy Szalinski: "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto."
Nick Szalinski: "I don't think we're in the food chain anymore, Dorothy."
Play clip from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989): Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Quite often, an actual quote has been adapted or abbreviated. This original lengthy line was from Knute Rockne: All-American (1940), spoken by team coach Knute Rockne (Pat O'Brien) as a pep-talk to his losing team during half-time:

"And the last thing he said to me, 'Rock,' he said, 'sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper."
Play clip from Knute Rockne: All-American (1940): Knute Rockne: All American - 1940

He was recalling what his most famous player, George Gipp (portrayed by Ronald Reagan), had said earlier in the film: "Ask 'em to go in there with all they've got, win just one for the Gipper." It has often been stated simply as: "Win one for the Gipper," or "Win this one for the Gipper." George Gipp was a real-life football star who died young of pneumonia and provided an inspiring anecdote to his coach.

The last line of the film noirish detective story The Maltese Falcon (1941) was a two-line conversation between Police Sergeant Tom Polhaus (Ward Bond) and Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart):

- "It's heavy. What is it?"
- "The uh, stuff that dreams are made of."
- "Huh?"
Play clip from The Maltese Falcon (1941): The Maltese Falcon

The actual final word of the film was the sergeant's puzzled response, "Huh?"

The unusual reference paraphrased Prospero's speech in Act IV of Shakespeare's The Tempest, although it was a misquote of: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on" (NOT "made of").

#4 "Play it again, Sam" - was a line never spoken by either Ingrid Bergman or Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942) to Sam (Dooley Wilson), the nightclub pianist and reluctant performer of the sentimental song 'As Time Goes By' (written by Herman Hupfeld).

When "Play It Again Sam" became the title of a Woody Allen comedy Play It Again, Sam (1972) that, in part, spoofed the classic 1942 film, the misquote was further reinforced.

Variations on the line were spoken, however, by both leads in the 1942 film:

  • Ingrid Bergman (as Ilsa Lund) requested:

    "Play it once, Sam, for old time's sake...Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By'."

    Play clip from Casablanca (1942): Casablanca - 1942

  • The closest Humphrey Bogart (as Rick Blaine) came to the phrase was this:

    "You played it for her, you can play it for me...If she can stand it, I can. Play it!"

    Play clip from Casablanca (1942): Casablanca - 1942

The misquote, "Play it again, Sam" was also heard in at least three other films. However, contrary to popular belief, the Marx Brothers' spoof A Night in Casablanca (1946) didn't contain the line.

  • Moonraker (1979) - In a well-choreographed fight sequence, as Bond threw a would-be Kendo assassin Chang through a gigantic ornate glass clock face and into a piano on the piazza below, he quipped:
    "Play it again, Sam."

    Play clip from Moonraker (1979): Moonraker
  • Cut Off (2006)
  • I Want Candy (2007)
    - "Well, play it again, Sam."
    - "OK. I will...That was a misquote from Casablanca, by the way. I don't know if I can look at you."
    Play clip from I Want Candy (2007): I Want Candy (excerpt)

In Casablanca (1942), Humphrey Bogart never said: "Drop the gun, Louis." However, he did gave the following warning:

"Not so fast, Louis. Nobody is gonna be arrested. Not for a while yet."
Play clip from Casablanca (1942): Casablanca - 1942

The last line of Casablanca (1942) is also often misquoted (and the name Louis, pronounced 'Louie' (in French), is often mis-spelled as Louie) - the correct line, spoken by Humphrey Bogart, is:

"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
Play clip from Casablanca (1942): Casablanca - 1942

It is often mis-stated as: "This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship," or "I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship."

One of the most oft-quoted lines in cinema history was in director John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948):

"Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!"
Play clip from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948): The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - 1948 (short) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - 1948 (long)

It has often been misquoted or paraphrased, notably in director Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (1974) , spoken by a Mexican bandit (Rick Garcia) as:

"Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!"
Play clip from Blazing Saddles (1974): Blazing Saddles

It was also misquoted in:

  • The Ninth Configuration (1980)
    - "Famous lines from famous movies."
    - "Oh, Frankie, your mother forgives me!"
    - "Victor McLaglen in The Informer."
    - "We don't need no stinkin' badges."
    - "The Treasure of Sierra Madre."
    Play clip from The Ninth Configuration (1980): The Ninth Configuration
  • Gotcha! (1985)
    Manolo (Nick Corri): "Don't show me your badges, we don't know nothing about no stinking badges."
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's UHF (1989):
    Animal Deliveryman (Cliff Stephens): "Well, let's see. I got one aardvark, one flamingo, four porcupines, two armadillos, three badgers..."
    Raul Hernandez (Trinidad Silva): "Badgers??? Badgers??? We don't need no steenkin' badgers!"
    Play clip from UHF (1989): UHF
  • Troop Beverly Hills (1989): (regarding the patches of the Wilderness Girls Troop)
    Rosa the Maid (Shelley Morrison): "Patches? We don't need no stinkin' patches."

The 1935 novel by B. Traven consisted of the following similar dialogue, with some Spanish obscenities thrown in:

"All right, "Curtain shouted back. "If you are the police, where are your badges? Let's see them."
"Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don't need badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching' tu madre! Come out there from that s--t-hole of yours. I have to speak to you."

The following popular catchphrase has multiple origins, and probably goes way back. It was first heard in the movies in Otto Preminger's film-noir Fallen Angel (1945), and then was famously uttered by Bette Davis (as Rose Moline) in Beyond the Forest (1949).

Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews): "What a dump!"
June Mills (Alice Faye): "It isn't so bad."
Play clip from Fallen Angel (1945): Fallen Angel - 1945

Rose Moline (Bette Davis): "What a dump!"
Play clip from Beyond the Forest (1949): Beyond the Forest - 1949

It was not popularized until heard in the opening scene of the 1961 Edward Albee play, upon which the highly-acclaimed film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) was based.

In the film, the exact same line was uttered by actress Elizabeth Taylor (as 52 year-old wife Martha) who then berated her professor-husband Richard Burton (as George) for not remembering the film the line was from:

"...What's it from, for Christ's sake?...some damn Bette Davis picture, some god-damned Warner Bros epic."
Play clip from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966): Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - 1966

Actor John Derek (Bo Derek's future husband) in his first major film role (as young Italian hoodlum Nick Romano in the Chicago slums, who was accused of murdering a cop) stated the following line in the classic Humphrey Bogart film noir Knock on Any Door (1949), directed by Nicholas Ray. He told his girlfriend Emma (Allene Roberts) that his motto or credo in life remained as:

"What I used to say still goes. Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse!"
Play clip from Knock on Any Door (1949): Knock on Any Door - 1949

This saying, although wrongly modified as “Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse!” has often been wrongly attributed to actor James Dean - a quintessential symbol of disenfranchised youth.

The last part of the phrase is fairly original (derived from the text of the 1947 novel written by the African-American novelist Willard Motley), while the phrase "live fast and die young" dates back to the early 1900s.

In the classic gangster film White Heat (1949), James Cagney's triumphant shout atop a oil tank before blasting himself into oblivion has often been erroneously quoted. The actual line was:

"Made it, Ma. Top of the world!"
Play clip from White Heat (1949): White Heat - 1949

The line was not: "Top of the world, Ma!"

Bette Davis' most famous film line as aging, jealous stage actress Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950) was delivered after she took another stiff drink during a birthday party. She walked over to the staircase, turned, and told everyone to buckle up their airplane seatbelts (cars didn't have seatbelts in the 1950s!):

"Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night."
Play clip from All About Eve (1950): All About Eve - 1950

The line has often been misquoted, substituting the word "ride" for "night."

"Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride."

"I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille" has often been presented as Norma Desmond's (Gloria Swanson) line, but it's actually a misquote of her original closing in Sunset Boulevard (1950):

"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup."
Play clip from Sunset Boulevard (1950): Sunset Boulevard - 1950

The line was misquoted in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) by Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Doubtfire (Robin Williams), while speaking to Frank (Harvey Fierstein) as he/she was made up:

- "I feel like Gloria Swanson."
- "You look like her mother."
- "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille."
Play clip from Mrs. Doubtfire (1993): Mrs. Doubtfire - 1993

In Disney's animated classic Alice in Wonderland (1951), the Cheshire Cat (voice of Sterling Holloway) has often been thought to say, "We're all mad here." The actual lines in the film were:

- "Of course, he's mad too."
- "But I don't want to go among mad people."
- "Oh, you can't help that. Most everyone's mad here. You may have noticed that I'm not all there myself."

Play clip from Alice in Wonderland (1951): Alice in Wonderland - 1951

In Lewis Carroll's original novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland published in 1865 however, the extended quote was:

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

One of the more interesting misquotes was attributed to actor Tony Curtis. In many tributes and obituaries when he died in the year 2010, he was quoted as having said the following line with a heavy New York accent:

"Yonder lies the castle of my father."
"Yonda (or yonda) lies da castle of my fodder (faddah, fodda, or fadda)."

Although many sources claim that Curtis said the line in The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951) and/or The Black Shield of Falworth (1954), Curtis didn't utter the above quote in either film. However, a variation on the line was spoken by Curtis in Son of Ali Baba (1952):

"This is my father’s palace. And yonder lies the Valley of the Sun."
Play clip from Son of Ali Baba (1952): Son of Ali Baba - 1952

Director Vincente Minnelli's melodramatic Tea and Sympathy (1956) began as playwright Robert Anderson's stage play, debuting in NYC in 1953.

The controversial film was about bullying and social prejudice against an "unmanly" prep school student named Tom Lee (John Kerr), who was shown understanding and friendship by Laura Reynolds (Deborah Kerr) - the lonely, frustrated wife of Bill (Leif Erickson), the school's coach. The film's title came from his description of his wife's role at the school, when she completed his sentence:

- "All you're supposed to do is once in a while give the boys a little tea..."
- "...tea and sympathy."
Play clip from Tea and Sympathy (1956): Tea and Sympathy

The Rolling Stones 1969 song Let It Bleed, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (and performed by Mick Jagger) modified the line in one of the verses:

She said, "My breasts, they will always be open
Baby, you can rest your weary head right on me
And there will always be a space in my parking lot
When you need a little coke and sympathy."
Play clip of Let It Bleed (1969): Let It Bleed

The film, bowdlerized with a tacked-on ending, should have ended with Laura's advice to Tom:

"Years from now, when you talk about this, and you will, be kind."
Play clip from Tea and Sympathy (1956): Tea and Sympathy

There were a few variations on the famous James Bond 007 drink preference quote: "...shaken, not stirred," first heard uttered by the Bond character (Sean Connery) himself in Goldfinger (1964):

"...Just a drink. A martini, shaken, not stirred."
Play clip from Goldfinger (1964): Goldfinger

Villain Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman) offered the familiar drink to Bond in the earlier first Bond film Dr. No (1962) - with the words:

"A medium dry martini, lemon peel. Shaken, not stirred."
Play clip from Dr. No (1962): Dr. No

In You Only Live Twice (1967), the drink instructions were reversed, with Bond politely agreeing with his host Henderson (Charles Gray) and accepting the altered drink: "Perfect!"

"Oh, that's, uh, stirred, not shaken. That was right, wasn't it?"
Play clip from You Only Live Twice (1967): You Only Live Twice

In the UK film Alfie (1966), Michael Caine (as the title character) said:

"Not many people know this."

One of his many trivia books was titled, "Not Many People Know That." In the film, he never said: "(And) not a lot of people know that."

The tagline from Cool Hand Luke (1967) has often been modified from its original. In its most famous utterance, the Captain (Strother Martin) said to recalcitrant chain gang prisoner Luke (Paul Newman):

"What we've got here is (pause) failure to communicate."
Play clip from Cool Hand Luke (1967): Cool Hand Luke - 1967 (Captain's line)

It was NOT: "What we have here is a failure to communicate" (although the line with the word 'a' was later sarcastically repeated by character Luke to the prison warden before he was shot) -- as:

"What we got here is a failure to communicate."
Play clip from Cool Hand Luke (1967): Cool Hand Luke - 1967 (Luke's line)

#10 In The Graduate (1967), Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) made a statement and then asked a question of the Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) character. As he naively asked his question, the camera shot under her upraised leg, framing Ben underneath:

- "For God's sake, Mrs. Robinson, here we are, you've got me into your house. You give me a drink. You put on music, now you start opening up your personal life to me and tell me your husband won't be home for hours... Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?"
Play clip from The Graduate (1967): The Graduate - 1967 (short version) The Graduate - 1967 (long version)

He did NOT ask either of these two questions: "Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?" or "Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson?"

Shortly later upstairs in her home, Mrs. Robinson went further and asked Benjamin:

"Would you like me to seduce you?...Is that what you're trying to tell me?"
Play clip from The Graduate (1967): The Graduate - 1967

The misquote (in a number of variations) was heard in, for example, The Ladies Man (2000), Van Wilder (2002), and A Walk to Remember (2002).

  • "Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?" (The Ladies Man (2000))
  • Ms. Doris Haver (Cynthia Fancher): "Mr. Wilder, are you trying to seduce me?"
    Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds): "Who, me? No! Hey, hey..." (Van Wilder (2002))
    Play clip from Van Wilder (2002): Van Wilder
  • Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore): "Are you trying to seduce me?"
    Landon Carter (Shane West): "Why? Are you seducible?" (A Walk to Remember (2002))
    Play clip from A Walk to Remember (2002): A Walk to Remember

In Planet of the Apes (1968), captured astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) screamed:

"Take your stinkin' paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"
Play clip from Planet of the Apes (1968): Planet of the Apes - 1968

He did NOT say: "Get your stinkin' paws off me, you damn dirty ape."

In the original British caper film The Italian Job (1969) about a gang stealing gold bullion from a bank vault in Turin, this famous quote was heard from Cockney gangster Charlie Croker (Michael Caine) as the film ended:

"Hang on a minute, lads, I’ve got a great idea."
Play clip from The Italian Job (1969): The Italian Job - 1969

He did not say: "I've got an idea," or "Hang on, lads. I've got a great idea."

"You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"
Play clip from The Italian Job (1969): The Italian Job - 1969

The above line by actor Michael Caine was voted the favorite film one-liner in a 2003 poll of 1,000 British film fans, reported in The Telegraph. It demoted the previous most favorite line down to the # 2 spot - Rhett Butler's (Clark Gable) retort to Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh): "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!"

#3 Vigilante SF cop 'Dirty' Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), while holding his giant-sized .44 Magnum at a downed bank robber in the opening of Dirty Harry (1971), said:

"I know what you're thinkin'. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?"
Play clip from Dirty Harry (1971): Dirty Harry - 1971 (beginning of film)

He never said: "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

The same full quotation is ritualistically repeated again almost verbatim at the film's conclusion, when Callahan confronted the killer Scorpio:

"I know what you're thinkin', punk. You're thinkin': 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' And to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement. But bein' this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and will blow your head clean off, you could ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
Play clip from Dirty Harry (1971): Dirty Harry - 1971 (end of film)

Misquotes were heard in a number of films, including:

  • Short Circuit 2 (1988) - Robot Johnny Five imitates both Sylvester Stallone and Clint Eastwood in one line -
    Johnny Five: "Yo, come on, you bug-eyed geek! Do you feel lucky, punk?"
    Play clip from Short Circuit 2 (1988): Short Circuit 2 - 1988
  • Scary Movie 2 (2001) - Dwight Hartman confronting the Hell House Ghost
    Dwight (David Cross): "I know what you're thinkin'. Did I fire three shots or a hundred and seventeen? Well, do you feel lucky, (pause) punk? Do you (pause) feel lucky? Do you feel lucky, punk?"
    Hell House Ghost (Richard Moll): "Shoot me, motherf--ker."
    Play clip from Scary Movie 2 (2001): Scary Movie 2 - 2001
  • Showtime (2002) - "Confessional" Camera Scene
    Detective Mitch Preston (Robert DeNiro): "Do you feel lucky, punk? Who said that?"

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