- Rhett Butler's (Clark Gable) scandalous, swear-word
farewell to Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) did not include Scarlett's name. It was NOT: "Frankly, Scarlett,
I don't give a damn", but: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give
a damn" in Gone With the Wind (1939). [The misquote was heard in Clue (1985).]
Play 1939 clip: (23 KB) (short version)
Play 1939 clip: (71 KB) (long version)
Contrary to popular opinion, this 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).
- "Judy...Judy...Judy" - was falsely attributed to Cary Grant. In Only Angels Have
Wings (1939), 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.
Play 1939 clip: (9 KB)
- 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,
I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." 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." [The second misquote was heard in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989).]
Play 1939 clip: (73 KB)
- 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." 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.
Play 1940 clip: (170 KB)
- 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." 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").
Play 1941 clip: (45 KB)
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). Variations on the line were spoken,
however, by both leads: Bergman (as Ilsa Lund) requested:
"Play it once, Sam, for old time's sake...Play it, Sam. Play
'As Time Goes By'." The
closest 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 1942 clip (Ingrid Bergman): (123
Play 1942 clip (Humphrey Bogart): (80
[The misquote was also heard
in A Night in Casablanca (1946), Moonraker
(1979), Cut Off (2006), and I Want Candy
(2007).] 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.
- The last line of Casablanca
(1942) is also often misquoted (and the name Louis mis-spelled
as Louie) - the correct line is: "Louis, I think this is the beginning
of a beautiful friendship." It is often stated as: "This could
be the beginning of a beautiful friendship" or "I think this
is the start of a beautiful friendship."
Play 1942 clip (Humphrey Bogart):
- One of the most oft-quoted lines in cinema history
has often been misquoted or paraphrased, notably in director Mel Brooks'
Blazing Saddles (1974) as "Badges?
We don't need no stinkin' badges!" It was also misquoted in The Ninth Configuration (1980), in Gotcha! (1985),
in "Weird Al" Yankovic's UHF (1989) as: "Badgers???
We don't need no steenkin' badgers!", and in Troop Beverly Hills (1989) regarding the patches of the Wilderness Girls Troop as: "Patches? We don't need no stinkin' patches."
In its original form in director
John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(1948), it was actually: "Badges? We ain't got no badges.
We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!"
[The 1935 novel by B. Traven consisted of the following similar dialogue: "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 shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you."]
Play 1948 clip:
(61 KB) (short) (118 KB) (long)
Play clip from Blazing Saddles: (49 KB)
- James Cagney's triumphant shout atop a oil tank before
blasting himself into oblivion has often been erroneously quoted. The
line is not: "Top of the world, Ma!", but "Made it, Ma.
Top of the world!"
Play 1948 clip:
- Bette Davis' most famous film line as aging stage actress
Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950)
was: "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night."
The line has often been misquoted, substituting the word "ride"
for "night" - "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride".
Play 1950 clip:
- "I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. De Mille"
has often been presented as Norma Desmond's (Gloria Swanson) line, but
it's actually a misquote of her original closing: "All right, Mr.
De Mille, I'm ready for my closeup" - in Sunset
Play 1950 clip:
- The phrase: "What a dump!" was originally uttered by Bette Davis (as Rose Moline) in 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 1949 clip: (13 KB)
- 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." (clip 1). However, 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." (clip 2) In You Only Live Twice (1967), the drink instructions were reversed: "Oh, that's, uh, stirred, not shaken. That was right, wasn't it?" (clip 3) - with Bond politely agreeing with his host Henderson (Charles Gray) and accepting the altered drink: "Perfect!"
Play 1964 clip 1: (41 KB)
Play 1962 clip 2: (42 KB)
Play 1967 clip 3: (48 KB)
- In the UK film Alfie (1966), Michael Caine never said: "(And) not a lot of people know that." In fact, he said: "Not many people know this."
- 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",
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 1967 clip:
(57 KB) (Captain's line)
Play 1967 clip: (87 KB) (Luke's line)
- In The Graduate (1967),
Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) made a statement and then asked a question of the Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) character:
"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?" 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?" At one point,
however, Mrs. Robinson asked Benjamin: "Would you like me to seduce
you?...Is that what you're trying to tell me?" [The misquote was heard in The Ladies Man (2000).]
Play 1967 clip: (50 KB) (short version, quote from Benjamin)
Play 1967 clip: (144 KB) (long version, quote from Benjamin)
Play 1967 clip: (36 KB) (Mrs. Robinson's question)
- In Planet of the Apes (1968), captured astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) did NOT say: "Get your stinkin' paws off me, you damn dirty ape," but he did say: "Take your stinkin' paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"
Play 1968 clip: (15 KB)
- Vigilante SF cop 'Dirty' Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood)
never said: "Do you feel lucky, punk?" while holding
his giant-sized .44 Magnum at a downed bank robber in the opening of
Dirty Harry (1971). He did say, however: "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?"
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?"
[The misquote was heard in Short Circuit 2 (1988), Scary Movie 2 (2001), and Showtime (2002).]
Play 1971 clip (excerpt):
(178 KB) (beginning of film)
Play 1971 clip (excerpt): (445 KB) (end of film)