Strange Brouhaha

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

100 Years, 100 Movie Quotes

We probably talked about this earlier, when the ballots were sent out, but last night the American Film Institute released its list of the top 100 movie quotes. When we turned the program on, they had just started the top 40.

At that point, I said to Savannah, "If 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn' isn't at number one, something is wrong with the universe." Fortunately (not to spoil the fun) all is right with the universe. I was going to complain about the inclusion of some of the quotes, but from the standpoint of the criteria outlined at the bottom of the list, they're all reasonably good.

Humorous anecdote: when Jean Firstenberg came on and said that Casablanca had six quotes on the list, we tried to figure out what they were. We came up with five; when they came to the quote at number 5, I wanted to put a knife through my head, because that was the one we couldn't think of. You know, only the most famous line from the movie, the stuff that a thousand bad Humphrey Bogart impressions are made of. (Heh heh.) (Well, actually, it's the most famous line from the movie that's actually IN the movie.) (Speaking of bad impressions, the Garbo line that launched a thousand bad Garbo impressions had no "v" in "vant" whatsoever.) (Had enough parentheses?)

Ooh, I actually do have a complaint. What would an entry from me be without a complaint? (I'm not sure I want to know the answer.) "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers" shouldn't count as a movie quote. It's a great theater quote, one that you use to identify "Streetcar" to legions of theater-goers. Feel free to correct me, but that quote entered the American consciousness via the stage, not the screen--which is why I'm not saying the same thing about "You can't handle the truth" (assuming that that line is in the original play, of course).

And a complaint about the show: they showed the secret of Rosebud, the end of Citizen Kane! Now, you could argue that if you don't KNOW about Rosebud by this point then something's wrong, and your case would probably be pretty convincing. I mean, who would be watching this that hasn't seen Citizen Kane, right? But shouldn't blow one of the greatest reveals in movie history.

It was fun to watch the show, because among other things I was trying to figure out the famous quote before they actually played it. Didn't do that well :/


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