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Shell Shocked: Famous movie lines

By Staff | Oct 29, 2014

Great movies often contain memorable lines that are remembered long after those movies are. Everyone knows where the great line, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” comes from. It came, of course, from “Gone with the Wind.” It’s in the very final scene where a frustrated and disillusioned Clark Gable bids farewell to his wife played by Vivien Leigh.

But does anyone remember where this next great movie line came from? The line is: “Beyond those trees lurks an evil that even evil fears.”

That line is from the movie “Abbott and Costello Meet Rocky.” If you recall, the line is uttered during the movie’s climactic boxing scene where Lou Costello beats Sylvester Stallone to a pulp but is disqualified because his boxing gloves contain several grams of Vitalis. A little dab did it.

And what about the line from “Gidget Goes to the Bronx?” As played by the ever youthful Sandra Dee, who in real life was once Bobby Darin’s wife, Gidget says to one of her high school suitors, “Is that a comb in your hair or are you just glad to dye me?” A truly memorable line.

Here are some other memorable movie lines you’ll surely remember: “The stuff dreams are made of” from “The Maltese Falcon;” “Here’s looking at you, kid” from “Casablanca” and “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” from “Apocalypse Now.”

But in the 1990 blockbuster “Hotel Shortage,” the Burt Lancaster character says to Shirley Maclaine, “Okay, sister, hand it over.” That movie line has met the test of time and is currently uttered in every geometry class in the country during the first session of the third week. High school teachers start their classes by uttering that line before even calling the roll. Common usage of that line has changed during the past twenty plus years and is now used to invite students to drop their mobile devices in a special bin before entering the classroom.

In “Saving Sergeant Goldberg,” the Steven Spielberg war classic, the lead character, played by Tom Hanks, utters the following line when seeing his troops attack the Normandy beaches: “Do you know what the Ohio State score was yesterday?” Clearly, this line is meant to reflect the courage and resolve of U.S. fighting forces. The fact that Ohio State won had nothing to do with the eventual outcome of the invasion.

Other famous movie lines were: “What we have here is a failure to communicate” from “Cool Hand Luke”; Oh, no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was “Beauty killed the beast,” from “King Kong,” and “Show me the money” from “Jerry Maguire.”

But, again, there are famous movie lines that may have been forgotten with the passage of years. For example, “Who’s going to leave the tip?” from “The Stranger Who Knew Me.” And “Nerve, verve, who’s going to serve?” from the sports classic “Wimbledon Uncovered.”

And “You call this rice pudding?” from the cult favorite the “Vanilla Horror Picture Show.” There are so many famous movie lines that it’s hard to remember all of them. But think “White Heat” and you have “Top of the world, ma”; “Casablanca” and “round up the usual suspects”; and “I see dead people” from “The Sixth Sense.”

Then there are those least remembered movie lines that predated similar but more memorable lines in later movies, like “I could have been a barber, I could have been a somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am,” from “On the Diving Board.”

Or “I have always depended on the kindness of morons,” from the silent film classic “A Bus Named Repulsive.”

My own personal movie line favorite is the Greta Garbo line from “Grand Hotel,” a line that has become immortal and forever linked to this mysterious Swedish beauty: “I want to be with freaks.”

And as Sylvester Stallone said in “Rocky” “yo, Adrian.” With movie lines like this who needs Lord Byron?

Art Stevens is a long-time columnist for The Islander. His tongue-in-cheek humor is always offered with a smile.