The best movie quotes: AFI's list versus Homer Simpson
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 at 10:58 PM Central
by Tim Briscoe
Last night the AFI introduced their 100 top movie quotes of all-time. How well did they do? Let's review.
First, the concept of honoring movie dialogue snippets is long overdue. Quotes are the souvenirs we each take from a movie and share in conversation with one another in our average, mundane lives. Citing a line from Caddyshack or Office Space also helps maintain our cool factor with our co-workers and buddies.
So how does AFI's list measure up? Well, quoting a line from Gone With the Wind will show off your movie knowledge but it won't endear you to your friends. For the ultimate list of movie quotes, you need not look any further than Homer Simpson.
In an episode of "The Simpsons" from season five, Homer argues with Marge in what is one long, run-on sampling of cinema's best movie quotes. It goes a little something like this:
"You don't know what it's like -- I'm the one out there every day putting his ass on the line. And I'm not out of order! You're out of order! The whole freaking system is out of order! You want the truth? You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! 'Cause when you reach over and put your hand into a pile of goo that used to be your best friend's face, you'll know what to do! Forget it Marge, it's Chinatown!"
The lines are from ...And Justice For All, A Few Good Men, Patton, and Chinatown respectively. The Simpsons line -- a great quotable quote in itself -- exemplifies how we all use dialogue from films. And in my book, any list of great movie quotes must include these quotes. On this Homer litmus test the AFI scores a two out of four. Not bad, but not great either.
Any decent list of movie quotes must include the following unforgettable lines -- and you don't need Donna Karan, Dennis Miller or Leslie Uggams(!) telling you how cool they are. (Trivia buffs: click on each quote to reveal its source.)
"Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time."
"Everywhere I travel, tiny life. Single-serving sugar, single-serving cream, single pat of butter. The microwave Cordon Bleu hobby kit. Shampoo-conditioner combos, sample-packaged mouthwash, tiny bars of soap. The people I meet on each flight? They're single-serving friends."
"This young man has had a very trying rookie season, with the litigation, the notoriety, his subsequent deportation to Canada and that country's refusal to accept him, I guess that's more than most 21-year-olds can handle. Number six, Ogie Oglethorpe."