The following is a compilation of the shortest (max 8 words) epic movie dialogues which are an equal combination of the actor making the words famous or the words taking the actor from obscurity to fame. For the sake of avoiding complexity they are listed here in order of the natural passage of time.
- “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
Rhett Butler/Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind (1939)
Gable’s future may have been bleak after “Gone with the Wind” as is the case when the character becomes so strongly identified with the actor but he fared better than his co-star Vivien O’Leigh who is and will forever be remembered as “Miss Scarlett” only.
- “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Dorothy/Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz (1939)
A thrilling experience for the cinema goers of the time as Dorothy discovers the world of colors in Oz. A less well-known fact is that the role was earlier intended for the much younger Shirley Temple.
- “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
Rick Blaine/Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942)
It was a very close call between this and the “of all the gin joints….” quote. The battle was won by brevity which is the qualifying factor for being a part of this post.
- “A boy’s best friend is his mother.”
Norman Bates/Anthony Perkins in Psycho (1960)
Bates has gone on to become the role model for psychopaths the world over. This dialog represents an over-exaggerated (mind numbingly horrific) view of “blame the parents” game.
- “Bond. James Bond.”
Sean Connery in Dr No (1962)
Honestly, this is here because there can’t be an epic movie list of any kind without Bond! Also, no one since has said it better than Connery.
- “May the Force be with you.”
Hans Solo/Harrison Ford in Star Wars (1977)
These 6 words have made their way from the annals of science fiction history to the modern day boardroom as one of the most popular alternates to “Good luck”.
- “I’ll be back.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator (1984)
A bit of a hard sell for some people but considering the lack of speech from Schwarzenegger in the first part of the trilogy it’s amazing that these 3 little words survived!
- “You had me at hello.”
Dorothy Boyd/Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire (1996)
No movie list can be complete without a cheesy line and Jerry Maguire was a whole script full of cheesy one liners!
- “I see dead people.”
Cole Sear/Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (1999)
Delivered with the dead pan honesty of a child this is by far the most famously spooky dialog from a horror/thriller movie.
- “Why so serious?”
The Joker/Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)
These words will be remembered for the movie that brought Super Hero films to a whole new level and the actor who played a role so brilliantly that he was unrecognizable.