The Movie Quote

Recently, Philadelphia City Paper listed American Film Institute’s (AFI) 100 best movie quotes on its Critical Mass Blog.  Still, what makes a good movie quote, the kind that transcends the movie where it came from to become a part of everyday language?  There are load of theories and here is what I think:

As in the soul of wit, to quote Shakespeare. The movie quotes in this list are, for the most part, no longer than 10 words. Those that go over 10 words are no more than 20 words. There are no unnecessary words in these quotes. They make their point succinctly and that’s that.

Simplicity of Language
“The stuff that dreams are made of.”
“May the Force be with you.”

There are no SAT words in the above or other quotes in the list.  These quotes show that the most memorable of statements consist of the most simplest of language.

“I’ll have what she’s having” in and of itself isn’t very memorable. Yet, in the film When Harry Met Sally, this line came right after Sally faked a reaction in a deli to prove a point to her friend, Harry.  Good movie lines come at just the right time and they have you thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

I’d go on, but that would be adding unnecessary words.  After all, if you over examine a movie quote, it takes away from its charm.  So, check out the list and if you have any additions, subtractions or complaints, please take it up with the AFI.  I’m just a lowly blogger.


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