I love quoting from my favorite movies. It’s like a secret language that only you and those who love that particular film can understand. The joy is one line can transport you back to that moment in time and creates an instant connection with fellow film lovers.
On a recent trip to visit family, watching the Michigan game and sharing stories, as usual, my cousin quipped, “the sheriff is near..” and we all broke out laughing visualizing the scene with Clevon Little from “Blazing Saddles”.
So, taking the secret language idea a little further, I decided to showcase some of my favorite monologues from some of my favorite films.
Caddyshack – Bill Murray “Cinderella Story”
Bill Murray was in rare form in this classic 1980 sports-comedy hit. Directed by Harold Ramis and written by Brian Doyle-Murray, Ramis and Douglas Kenney, it stars Michael O’Keefe, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and Bill Murray.
This was Ramis’ first feature film and was a major boost to Dangerfield’s film career; previously, he was known mostly for his stand-up comedy. Grossing nearly $40 million at the domestic box office (17th-highest of the year).
Caddyshack has garnered a large cult following and has been hailed by media outlets, such as Time and ESPN, as one of the funniest sports movies of all time. As of 2010, Caddyshack has been televised on the Golf Channel as one of its “Movies That Make the Cut.” (Wikipedia)
In 2000, Caddyshack was placed at number 71 on the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of the 100 funniest American films. In 2005, a line from the movie was chosen by AFI for their list of the top 100 movie quotes from U.S. films.
‘”Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a
…It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!”
On October 23, 2016, Bill Murray was the recipient of The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. From the stage of The John F. Kennedy Center, a star-studded lineup saluted the achievements of this brilliant comedic trailblazer.
“Young Frankenstein” (1974) Gene Wilder “Hello Handsome”
There is no doubt that Gene Wilder was a brilliant writer and one of the funniest actors of our time. His role as Victor Frankenstein is a standout. His timing is perfect and this monologue is priceless.
“Young Frankenstein” is the 1974 American horror comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The supporting cast includes Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn and Gene Hackman. The screenplay was written by Wilder and Brooks.
The film is an affectionate parody of the classic horror film genre, in particular, the various film adaptations of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein produced by Universal in the 1930s.
Brooks adapted the film into a musical of the same name which premiered in Seattle at the Paramount Theatre and ran from August 7 to September 1, 2007. The musical opened on Broadway at the Foxwoods Theatre (then the Hilton Theatre) on November 8, 2007, and closed on January 4, 2009.
It was nominated for three Tony Awards and starred Tony winner Roger Bart, two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster, Tony & Olivier winner Shuler Hensley, two-time Emmy winner Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), three-time Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald, and two-time Tony & Emmy winner Andrea Martin (Saturday Night Live veteran).
A critical favorite and box office smash, Young Frankenstein ranks No. 28 on Total Film magazine’s readers’ “List of the 50 Greatest Comedy Films of All Time”, No. 56 on Bravo TV’s list of the “100 Funniest Movies”, and No. 13 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 funniest American movies.
In 2003, it was deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the United States National Film Preservation Board, and selected for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. On its 40th anniversary, Brooks considered it by far his finest (though not his funniest) film as a writer-director.
Jaws (1975) – Quint’s story of the Indianapolis
I still find myself holding my breath listening to Quint’s (Robert Shaw) story. His vivid recount of his nightmare of the death with his shipmates is absolutely riveting! Wow, one of the most frightening scenes in the film.
Jaws is the 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley‘s 1974 novel of the same name. The film stars Roy Scheider as police chief Martin Brody, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, and Richard Dreyfuss as oceanographer Matt Hooper. (Wikipedia)
Now considered one of the greatest films ever made, Jaws was the prototypical summer blockbuster, with its release regarded as a watershed moment in motion picture history.
Jaws became the highest-grossing film of all time until the release of Star Wars (1977). It won several awards for its soundtrack and editing. In 2001, Jaws was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. (Wikipedia)
This classic won three Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score, and Best Sound (Robert Hoyt, Roger Heman, Earl Madery and John Carter). It was also nominated for Best Picture, losing to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Spielberg greatly resented the fact that he was not nominated for Best Director. Along with the Oscar, John Williams’s score won the Grammy Award, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and the Golden Globe Award. To her Academy Award, Verna Fields added the American Cinema Editors’ Eddie Award for Best Edited Feature Film.
Pulp Fiction (1994) – Samuel L. Jackson – Ezekiel 25: 17
This is the scene that not only features the memorable monologue but, introspection of just what it means. This reflection made the speech even more impactful for me. Stop and think about it.
Pulp Fiction is the 1994 American neo-noir crime black comedy film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, from a story by Tarantino and Roger Avary. Tarantino’s second feature film, it is iconic for its eclectic dialogue, ironic mix of humor and violence, nonlinear storyline, and a host of cinematic allusions and pop culture references.
The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture; Tarantino and Avary won for Best Original Screenplay. It was also awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. A major critical and commercial success, it revitalized the career of its leading man, John Travolta, who received an Academy Award nomination, as did co-stars Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman. (Wikipedia)
The music is as much a character in the movie as the actors. No film score was composed for Pulp Fiction; Quentin Tarantino instead used an eclectic assortment of surf music, rock and roll, soul, and pop songs.
Dick Dale’s rendition of “Misirlou” plays during the opening credits. Tarantino chose surf music as the basic musical style for the film, but not, he insists, because of its association with surfing culture: “To me, it sounds like rock and roll spaghetti Western music.” (Wikipedia)
The soundtrack album, Music from the Motion Picture Pulp Fiction, was released along with the film in 1994. The album peaked on the Billboard 200 chart at number 21. The single, Urge Overkill’s cover of the Neil Diamond song “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon”, reached number 59.
The film has been called a “terminally hip postmodern collage” and in 2013, selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. (Wikipedia)
These are some of my top classic movie moments. In the Comments, let me know some of yours!