Film Mis-Quotes

Part 3

Greatest Film Mis-Quotes
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Greatest Movie Misquotes
(Part 3)
  • There are a number of variations on the famous quote from The Godfather (1972): (Don Corleone: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" (clip 1) - although it sounds like "I wanna make him..."), such as: (Michael: "My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse" and "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse.")

    Play 1972 clip 1 (excerpt):
    The Godfather - 1972

  • Steven Spielberg's Jaws (1975) has often been misquoted, when Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) exclaimed to his crewmate Quint (Robert Shaw): "You're gonna need a bigger boat." He has been attributed as saying: "We're gonna need a bigger boat".

    Play 1975 clip: Jaws (14 KB)

  • In Star Wars (1977), Obi Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness) NEVER said verbatim: "May the Force be with you," but he did say at least a few other variants: "The Force will be with you...always" (clip 1), "Luke, the Force will be with you" (clip 2), "Use the Force, Luke. Let go, Luke. Luke, trust me" (clip 3), and "Remember, the Force will be with you always" (clip 4). [However, General Dodonna said: "Then man your ships. And may the Force be with you" (clip 5), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) also said "Hey, Luke, may the Force be with you" (clip 6) to Luke Skywalker and other fliers just before the big Death Star trench battle.]

    Play 1977 (clip 1): Star Wars - 1977 (21 KB)
    Play 1977 (clip 2): Star Wars - 1977 (31 KB)
    Play 1977 (clip 3): Star Wars - 1977 (82 KB)
    Play 1977 (clip 4): Star Wars - 1977 (47 KB)
    Play 1977 (clip 5): Star Wars - 1977 (37 KB)
    Play 1977 (clip 6): Star Wars - 1977 (51 KB)

  • The oft-quoted line by Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore (Robert Duvall) - a hawkish, lunatic, flamboyant commander, who wears a black horse soldier's Stetson cavalry hat with a cavalry sword emblem, sunglasses, and a yellow dickey, in Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) is often inaccurately abbreviated. It is often stated simply without its full ending, as: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning...Smells (or smelled) like... victory".

    Play 1979 clip: Star Wars - 1977 (129 KB)

    The full quotation is: "You smell that? Do you smell that?...Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know, that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smells (or smelled) like - victory. [A bomb explodes behind him.] Some day, this war's gonna end."

  • In the courtroom drama ...And Justice For All (1979), defense lawyer Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino) did not yell out to Judge Rayford: "I'm out of order? You're out of order! This whole court's out of order!", but he did shout: "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!"

  • #1 The startling revelation of fatherhood by Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice of James Earl Jones) to young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) was not: "Luke, I am your father", but: "No. I am your father." [However, the trilogy's most famous line was never actually delivered by Vader - on the set, he really said: "Obi-Wan killed your father," but the line was secretly re-dubbed later.] Luke responds in horror: "No! No! That's not true. That's impossible."
    [The misquoted line, as "Luke, Luke, I am your father" was heard in Tommy Boy (1995), by the title character Tommy (Chris Farley) as he goofed off in front of an electric fan. It was also spoofed in Toy Story 2 (1999) by Buzz Lightyear (voice of Tim Allen) who was confronted in an elevator shaft and told by arch-enemy nemesis Emperor Zurg (voice of Andrew Stanton): "I am your father," followed by Buzz's anguished scream: "Nooooo!"]

    Play 1980 clip: The Empire Strikes Back - 1980 (41 KB)

  • In Mommie Dearest (1981), Faye Dunaway (as Joan Crawford) screamed out: "No wire hangers! No wire hangers ever!" She never said: "No more wire hangers, ever!"

    Play 1981 clip: Mommie Dearest (26 KB)

  • #6 The multi-part sci-fi Star Trek TV and film series (first telecast as a one-hour TV show in 1966 and lasting until 1969 before syndication, and inspiring numerous feature films, beginning with Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)), popularized the common phrase, "Beam me up, Scotty." Contrary to popular belief, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) never uttered the line: “Beam me up, Scotty”. The actual command, "Kirk to Enterprise. Beam us up, Scotty" was voiced by Captain Kirk (voice of William Shatner) in Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek animated TV series from 1973-75. The closest Kirk ever got to saying the exact line was "Scotty, beam me up!" in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), as he was transported onto the stolen Klingon Bird of Prey vessel parked in the late 20th century in Golden Gate Park (San Francisco). [The misquote was heard in Night of the Comet (1984), For Queen & Country (1988), and in Armageddon (1998) - when Rockhound (Steve Buscemi) said: "While I don't share his enthusiasm, you know me, beam me up Scotty."]

    Play 1986 clip: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) (4 KB)

    Throughout the years, however, there have been a number of variants, such as "Gentlemen, Beam me aboard," or "Picard to Farragut, two to beam up." The "beam" quote was a reference to the ship's teleportation device and the affectionately-regarded ship's chief engineer and second officer, Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott (James Doohan). "Beam me up, Scotty" was spoken by Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) in one of the episodes of the TV series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. And in the animated Fox-TV series Family Guy, in a 1999 episode (Season 1, Episode 2) titled "I Never Met the Dead Man," William Shatner showed up at the Griffin family's house and said, "Beam me up, God!"

  • Detective Joe Friday (Jack Webb) in the 50s NBC-TV classic police series Dragnet never said, "Just the facts, ma'am", although there were variations, such as: "All we want (or know) are the facts, ma'am." However, the inaccurate line was reinforced in the collective memory when Milton Berle parodied the show in a classic spoof, and when Dan Aykroyd uttered the line in the updated Dragnet (1987):

    Play 1987 clip: Dragnet - 1987 (10 KB)

  • References to the "Greed is Good" speech truncate the actual words of the lengthy quote, spoken by Oscar-winning Michael Douglas (as ruthless stockbroker Gordon Gekko) in Wall Street (1987). The actual line was: "The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit..."

    Play 1987 clip (excerpt): Wall Street - 1987 (50 KB)

  • #8 "If you build it, they will come" was NOT what the voice said in Field of Dreams (1989). Instead, it was: "If you build it, he will come." [The misquote was heard in How High (2001), My First Mister (2001), Eight Legged Freaks (2002), and other films.]

    Play 1989 clip: Field of Dreams - 1989 (38 KB)

  • A "misquote" of sorts - relating to a wrongly-attributed photograph for Home Alone (1990) that was used to prominently advertise the film. It's often assumed that Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) has his hands up to his face and is screaming at the realization that he's been left "home alone" or abandoned. In fact, he's screaming because he has just applied too much after-shave to his cheeks.

  • #5 Serial killer Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), in Best Picture-winning The Silence of the Lambs (1991) has often been misquoted as saying "Hello, Clarice" to young FBI agent trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) when she encountered him in a massive, temporary iron cage during one of her later meetings with him in the middle of the Historical Society Room on the fifth floor. However, his real words were: "Good evening, Clarice." (clip 1) [The misquote was heard in Dr. Doolittle 2 (2001). Hannibal (2001) repeated both the original quote "Good evening, Clarice" (clip 2) - and the misquote in a phone conversation ("Is this Clarice?, Well, hello Clarice...").]

    Play 1991 clip 1 The Silence of the Lambs (13 KB)
    Play 2001 clip 2 Hannibal (28 KB)

  • A minor misquote has often plagued the title character's (Tom Hanks) most famous line of dialogue in Forrest Gump (1994) about what his mother told him, spoken in the past tense, not present tense: It should be: "My mama always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get'" instead of "My mama always said, 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get'." The line wasn't in the novel by Winston Groom -- the closest it came was the novel's first line with reversed meaning: "Let me say this. Bein' an idiot ain't no box of chocolates."

    Play 1994 clip: Forrest Gump (87 KB)

  • In the film Apollo 13 (1995), astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) told Mission Control: "Houston, we have a problem." (clip 1) The actual message from Apollo 13 was first delivered by astronaut Jack Swigert who said: "OK, Houston, we've had a problem here." Astronaut Lovell then repeated: "...Ah, Houston, we've had a problem." (clip 2) The line has often been misquoted as: "Houston, we've got a problem." Some of the film's posters emphasized and reinforced the misquote, since they were printed with: "Houston, we have a problem."

    Play 1995 clip 1: Apollo 13 - 1995 (14 KB)
    Play 1995 clip 2: Apollo 13 - 1995 (82 KB)

  • Another of the most mis-quoted lines was from James Cameron's blockbuster Titanic (1997). The line spoken by Leonardo DiCaprio's character was: "I'm the king of the world" - NOT "I'm king of the world."

    Play 1997 clip: Titanic - 1997 (39 KB)

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