We’re living in a culture where half of what we say seems to come from television or the movies. At some points it feels like there are precious few original thoughts being delivered in every day conversation, and quoting movies promotes a sort of kinship, and an inside joke with other people who are thinking to themselves, “Yes, I, too, have seen and enjoy that movie.” It’s just a shame that when we actually quote movies, half the time we absolutely butcher the lines. This even happens with the most famous movie lines in history.
1. “Luke, I am your father.”
Hey, remember that mind-blowing scene at the end of Empire Strikes Back in which Darth Vader reveals the true fate of Anakin Skywalker, and Luke gets all upset and throws himself into a bottomless pit like any reasonable human being would do in the same situation? For years, people have been throwing out the famous quote from this scene, “Luke, I am your father.” It’s just that, well, that’s actually not what Vader says. Instead, the famous line is, “No. I am your father.” It’s close, but no cigar.
2. “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
An all-time classic movie and an all-time classic quote, we’re still going to guess that a lot of our readers have probably never seen All About Eve, so here’s a quick summary: the movie stars Bette Davis – she of having eyes in that one song fame – as an aging Broadway star whose career is being threatened by a young fan, and the movie was nominated for 14 Academy Awards. Anyway, the most enduring line, which has worked its way into our everyday lexicon despite so few people knowing where it comes from, is “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” And once again, that’s not what was actually said on screen. Instead, Davis delivers the line, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” Which doesn’t make nearly as much sense, but hey, who are we to argue?
3. “I want to suck your blood!”
Arguably the most famous literary and film villain in modern history, Count Dracula is the classic vampire, and as vampires who don’t sparkle are wont to do, he liked to suck people’s blood. He enjoyed doing this so much that, over the years, people have been quoting, in their worst possible Transylvanian accent, “I want to suck your blood!” There’s only one small problem here, and that’s the fact that in the classic 1931 version of Dracula, the titular villain never, ever said that. Which makes sense, because it’s not exactly smart murdering if you go around warning people what you’re thinking about doing to them.
4. “Do you feel lucky, punk?”
You’d be hard pressed to find a more awesome onscreen badass than Dirty Harry. He’s the classic hardnosed police detective who plays by his own rules, and doesn’t mind bending a few laws along the way if it means delivering justice. And at the end of a shootout with one particular scumbag criminal offender, we all know he says, “Do you feel lucky, punk?” Only he doesn’t say that. Instead, he launches into a badass, mini-monologue about how awesome his gun is, culminating in him saying, “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well do you, punk?” The punk, by the way, was very misguided if he was feeling lucky on that particular day.
5. “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
Everyone loves The Wizard of Oz. You love it, we love it, your parents love it, and your uncle who dresses in drag sure as hell loves it. It’s just unfortunate that the most famous line in the entire movie is one we’ve all been saying wrong for a full 75 years. When Dorothy arrives in the magical Land of Oz, she takes one look around and says to her faithful dog, Toto, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” Well first of all, no kidding, genius. What gave that away? But more importantly, that’s not her actual phrasing, despite what you have been led to believe no matter how many times you’ve seen the movie. What she actually says is, “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
6. “May the Force be with you.”
Wait, two Star Wars entries on the same list? Yep, because this one is a big one to clarify. Most people think of the line, “May the Force be with you” and immediately hear it in the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi. After all, he is the Jedi master who introduced Luke Skywalker to the ways of the Force, so it makes sense that he would be the one saying this, right? Actually, no. In point of fact, throughout the original Star Wars, Obi-Wan never utters this line, instead telling Luke – via his weird ghost voiceover powers – “The Force will be with you, always.” Now, “May the Force be with you” is, in fact, said during the movie, but the only person who ever says it is Han Solo – aka the one guy who doesn’t actually believe in the Force. It’s kind of like an Atheist blessing someone.
7. “Greed is good.”
The movie Wall Street hit the 1980’s like a sledgehammer, making stockbrokers the next coolest thing to Top Gun pilots, despite the fact that it totally doesn’t celebrate the lifestyle of people like Gordon Gekko as much as offer a criticism of how evil and corrupt they can be. But that doesn’t matter, because they lived an awesome, filthy rich lifestyle, and that’s all people seem to latch on to, because as Gekko himself says, “Greed is good.” And, you guessed it, that’s not what he actually says. Instead, he delivers the line, “The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for the lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.” So basically, the actual line sends a somehow worse message than the misquote.
8. “Play it again, Sam.”
Casablanca is arguably the greatest movie ever made, and even less of an argument is the fact that it’s the greatest movie ever written, in terms of dialogue. It features so many memorable lines it almost seems unfair, and over time has become one of the most often quoted movies in history despite the fact that fewer and fewer young people have actually watched it. First of all, if you’re one of those young people, stop reading and go watch it. But secondly, when you watch it, please get the quotes right. Specifically, don’t say, “Play it again, Sam” because Ilsa sure as hell never said that. It’s unclear where the “again” part came from, since she never once says it. The actual line is, “Play it, Sam. Play, ‘As Time Goes By.’”