100 Greatest Movie Quotes From 100 Years of Film
Notable movie lines become part of the cultural lexicon, working their way into pop culture, parodies, and—in the digital age—circulating as GIFs and memes.
It's only fitting, then, that the American Film Institute (AFI) in 2005 compiled a list of the greatest movie quotes based on feedback from more than 1,500 leaders in the creative community including film artists, critics, and historians. There have, of course, been many worthy additions over the last decade and a half that warrant future consideration: Lines like “I drink your milkshake,” from There Will Be Blood, or “I wish I knew how to quit you,” from Brokeback Mountain, were delivered shortly after the cut-off date. “Look at me, I’m the captain now,” from Captain Phillips has also received full meme treatment, as has “Why so serious?” from The Dark Knight.
The quotes in AFI's list were selected from a ballot that included 400 choices from American films that have deeply circulated throughout popular culture over the years to expand their historical legacies. The earliest film quote comes from 1927’s The Jazz Singer, with “Wait a minute, wait a minute—you ain’t heard nothin’ yet,” a slick self-reference to its status as the first “talkie.” The final year represented is 2002’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with the line “My precious” delivered by Andy Serkis’ unforgettable Gollum.
1939 saw the most movie quotes on the ballot, the year that powerhouse films The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind premiered. Casablanca is the film with the most quotes in the top 100—a whopping six—whittled down from 10 quotes. Three of the lines are delivered on the foggy tarmac where Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman say goodbye with iconic panache.
Read on to see how many of the quotes from the top 100 you already know by heart.
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