Let’s be honest for a second. Some films that are held in high regard today might not be if not for some of the awesome one liners that they have. Otherwise terrible films like Bad Boys would be complete write offs. But “Sh*t just got real” lives on to be an awesome line of badassness that I can now yell drunk to my friends one night when the Lakers win. So in that spirit, I give you RDR’s top ten one liners.
- “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the armies of the North, General of the Felix legions, loyal servant to the true Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”
Russel Crowe, Gladiator
Actor Crowe once infamously said regarding the script for Gladiator that “It was sh*t… but I’m the greatest actor in the world and I can make even sh*t sound good.” Skidmark or no, this one gives tingles every time. Finally coming face to face with the monster who killed his family and close friends, Gladiator Maximus delivers this stunning slap in the face to baby Emperor Commodus. You could argue that an Emperor would never give a simple gladiator the time of day or that there is next to no historical accuracy in the film at all, but you can’t deny that chills run up the spine while Maximus gives his death stare. One for the ages.
- “It was beauty that killed the beast.”
Carl Denham, King Kong
Kong has a lot of unique firsts but my personal favorite is that it brought humanity to a villain (as much as you can to an ape at any rate, but more on that later.). While we see the giant monster terrorize New York, we also see him care for his ward Ann Darrow. He protects her when the military comes after him and becomes enraged when she appears in danger. For the first time in motion picture, a villain was created that could be sympathized with.
- “Say hello to my little friend!”
Al Pacino, Scarface
Badass for badassness’ sake, Tony Montana yells this screw you to a mix of authorities and rival cartel intruders who back him into a corner in his own home. Faced with the impossible choice of either letting them kill him or going out to face the music he does what any sane person would do; he takes a giant snort from a mountain of cocaine on his desk and strides out toting a grenade launcher. At least he can say there are worse ways to go.
- “Gentlemen, you can’t fight here, this is the War Room!”
Peter Sellers/ Dr. Strangelove
My favorite thing about Dr. Strangelove is the cooky light air it takes with issues that were downright terrifying back in the day. In today’s world we have more or less accepted the constant presence of WMDs but thankfully our world leaders have decided not to blow us all up. So you could say that we all learned to “stop worrying and love the bomb” (If you don’t get it, watch the film). Just to put a cherry on top of all the irony, while discussing the already assumed future of a nuclear apocalypse, a couple of generals start to get snippy over how best to survive in a superior fashion to their foreign neighbors. Such unprofessional behavior for a room discussing how to kill people, tisk tisk.
- “How do you like them apples?”
Matt Damon/ Good Will Hunting
Who says smarts have to come with class? Matt Damon’s Will Hunting sticks it to the man with his uncouth behavior, taking a rich Ivy League kid down a peg. He may not get the schooling but he gets the girl and that’s enough for him. It’s a refreshing take on a person’s priorities; seeing their own personal interests as more important than what society tells him he needs. Sure, he may be more focused on being laid than being successful but hey, who are we to say otherwise?
- “Why so serious?”
Heath Ledger/ The Dark Knight
Thanks to the late Heath Ledger, super hero movies became viewed in a way they had never experienced before—seriously. The first utterance of the trademark line in this stellar comic movie brought chills whenever it reappeared further down the line. It was a groundbreaking performance that left enormous huge shoes to fill for anyone who tried to perform as the Joker. Sooo best of luck Jared Leto.
- “I’ll be back.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger/ Terminator
Though the Terminator series has fallen into laughable obscurity, the original two had too much awesome for their own good. Though Terminator 2 gave life to a machine, Terminator gave the ultimate fear of one. Props to the director for making use of Schwarzenegger’s emotionless face to make billions.
- “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.”
Marlon Brando/ On the Waterfront
It’s never easy not reaching your full potential. It’s even harder when you come to realize you made the choices responsible for your own downfall. So shows the heartbreaking line uttered by the late great Marlon Brando, lamenting on how he took a deliberate fall in a boxing match to appease his crazy union boss. It’s a depressing reflection on how far we will go or money or to appease our higher ups and at this moment in the film, Brando sees how far he let himself fall.
- “Yippe-ki-yi-yay, Motherf***er”
Bruce Willis/Die Hard
There is no one liner more kick-ass than John McClaine’s ode to the glory of the American Western taking down the evil German bank robbers. You have to love Die Hard for its stereotypical “’Murica, f**k yeah,” even if you’re not American. It’s incredibly stereotypical in all of the right ways. John Wayne would be proud.
- “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom.”
Mel Gibson/ Braveheart
What betrayal is this? No “Life’s a box of chocolates”? No “Get busy livin or get busy dying”? Fair point dear reader, but nay, I must finish us with one of the greatest lines from one of the greatest classics of all time. Braveheart is the hero’s journey to a T. There’s little not to love about the true(ish) story of William Wallace winning his countrymen’s freedom from their unjust oppressors. Except for maybe Mel Gibson himself, but that’s a conversation for another time.
So there you go! RDR’s top ten movie one liners of all time. Do you agree or think we are crazy? Let us know in the comments. Stay tuned early February for our best top ten list yet!