One of America’s favorite pastimes is enjoying a good movie. Millions of people every year see cinematic features that thrill, entertain, nudge a few tears or provide a good scare. Popping off lines from films is a fun way to connect with fellow movie-goers, but in fact, there are many movie quotes everyone gets wrong. Impress your friends by learning the correct versions.
Tough Guy/Gal Movie Misquotes
1. An often misquoted line from “The Godfather,” “I wanna make him an offer he can’t refuse,” was actually, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” That’s an offer you’d better avoid!
2. In “Dirty Harry”, Clint Eastwood is thought to have said, “Do ya feel lucky, punk?” But he really had a whole conversation: “Being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?” No wonder this elongated statement is one of the movie quotes everyone gets wrong!
3. The phrase, “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges,” from “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” was really, “We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!” but the shortened version is far more popular.
4. As a femme-fatale in “All about Eve,” Bette Davis is quoted as saying “Fasten your seat belts — it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” She really proclaims, “Fasten your seat belts — it’s going to be a bumpy night.”
5. Jack Nicholson makes you believe what he says, but if you are quoting, “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” you believe the misled masses, as Nicholson spoke only the second half of that quote in “A Few Good Men.”
6. “Top of the world, Ma!” was not was Jimmy Cagney shouted to his angel mother in “White Heat.” It was in fact, “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”
Adapted Movie Quotes Everyone Gets Wrong
7. In “Apollo 13,” a misquote of Tom Hanks quoting Jim Lovell’s real-life statement is, “Houston we have a problem.” In reality the quote was, “Uh, Houston, we’ve had a problem.”
8. Anthony Hopkins is popularly quoted as saying “Hello, Clarice.” In fact, ever the gentleman cannibal, he actually said “Good evening, Clarice” in the adaptation of “The Silence of the Lambs.”
9. Among movie quotes everyone gets wrong, “Elementary, my dear Watson” is a common one. It was never spoken by Sherlock Holmes in either books or films, but by critics of the movies themselves. Holmes once said “Excellent!” followed by Watson shouting, “Elementary!” but that is as close as they get.
Romance and Adventure Film Misfires
10. Humphrey Bogart did not say, “Play it again, Sam.” He said, “Play it, Sam. You played it for her, you can play it for me. If she can stand it,
I can. Play it!”
11. Roy Scheider does not say, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” but adlibs (frequently throughout the “Jaws” film series), “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” It doesn’t sound like he wants to get in it himself, does it!
12. A popular misquote from “Forrest Gump,” “Life is like a box of chocolates,” was really, “My momma always said ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’ “
Misquotes for Science Fiction Nerds
13. Another of the movie quotes everyone gets wrong — Dr. Frankenstein says of his creature as it draws breath, “It’s alive!” not “He’s alive,” as commonly thought.
14. William Shatner may have changed the world in “Star Trek,” but he never said “Beam me up, Scotty.” He was always with at least one other person and famously said “Beam us up, Scotty.”
15. The supremely quotable, “Luke, I am your father,” is wrong. Prove your nerdiness by quoting it correctly as, “No, I am your father.” Not as fun, but isn’t it nice to be right?
16. Speaking of wrong movie quotes, Obi-Wan Kenobi did not say “May the Force be with you,” in the original “Star Wars” film but, “Remember, the Force will always be with you.” The more popular version was spoken by Han Solo in a sequel.
Classic Movie Quotes Everyone Gets Wrong
17. In “Gone With the Wind,” Rhett is often quoted as saying “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.” What he actually said was, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Ouch!
18. Refusing to believe she is way past her prime, Gloria Swanson does not say “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille” but, “All right, Mr. DeMille. I’m ready for my close-up.”
19. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” isn’t so fair after all. The actual wording used by the vain queen was “Magic mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”
Next time you are gathered with friends and a battle of the movie quotes breaks out, you can best them all with movie quotes everyone gets wrong. They may challenge you, but put to the test, you’ll come out on “top of the world!”