Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Top Twelve List of Last Lines

Lizzi and I have been pretty busy the last few weeks, so the end of Actors Month got away from us. But we are both more than happy to discuss actors at any time, so if you wanted to discuss those posts more, keep the comments coming!

And now on to other joys. As I tried to fall asleep the other night, all I could think of was the last line from King Kong: "It was beauty killed the beast" and how absolutely perfect it was to end the movie with that. Thinking about that, of course, led to remembering other great last lines, which woke me up and kept me from sleeping for several hours. So, thanks to my midnight thoughts, I present to you my Top Twelve List of Last Lines:

(note: I acknowledge that a couple of these quotes are followed by another character saying a person's name. But a name is not a line, so these are still the last LINES of the movie. We can argue about that if you wish, but I'd rather get to the list)

12. "A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo."
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (turned into a movie several times, so it counts)

11. All right, Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my close-up." Sunset Boulevard (1950)

10."Now, where was I?" Memento (2000)

9. "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown." Chinatown (1974) (That's the last line in the script. I don't know what was up with the cop then saying something about clearing the streets. One would think Polanski would have corrected that in editing).

8."The horror. The horror." Apocalypse Now (1979)

7. (voice-over) "I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope." The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

6. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday.  American Beauty (1999)

5. "I do wish we could chat longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner. Bye." The Silence of the Lambs (1991)  

4."Ernest Hemingway once wrote: 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part." Se7en (1995)

3. "This place makes me wonder... Which would be worse, to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?"  Shutter Island (2010)

2. "...it was beauty killed the beast." King Kong (1933)

1. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And like that - he's gone.  The Usual Suspects (1995)

(Another note: Yes, I do realize I left out Casablanca. I'm not as big a fan of that line as most people are).

Your turn! What are some of your favorites?


  1. VERY well done list, Janni!!! Excellent choices all! One important addition occurs to me: "I don't have to see it, Dottie. I LIVED it!" Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)

  2. This is a terrific list. I haven't seen all of these but I like the ones I know.

  3. You know what's funny? When I actually first read through this I was sad you didn't mention The Usual Suspects...this shows how quickly I read through it with my lack of time.

    LOVE American Beauty, The Usual Suspects, and Chinatown. There are a lot of others on the list that I love, but those are the three that I like independently. While you may not like the final line of Casablanca, the movie has some of the greatest lines in film. I already talked about it when I wrote on that movie, so I won't bother mentioning it again, but it's great.

    I also like the, "What happened?" line from Kids because it shows how messed up it is that they live the way they do. And, not totally sure, but I think the final line from Almost Famous is, "Two tickets to Morocco" and I just like how we know where she's finally going. Also, while it isn't an actual line, I love the ending of Revolutionary Road (both book and film), with the man turning his hearing aid down.