A great film is usually accompanied with lines that have become so popular, even someone who has yet to see them has already heard of it one way or another. Have a look at this week’s Top Five List!
It’s common for actors to improvise with their lines the way they see fit from time to time. In fact, many view this as a mark of a good actor since this simple act shows dedication to their work. These are just a few of these instances.
- Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance in “The Shining”
You might have heard of the story which suggests that Jack Nicholson was inspired by the line used to introduce Johnny Carson on his talk show. The actor has yet to confirm or deny this, although he had related in an interview for Rolling Stone magazine: “I remember Stanley wanted a funny line there. It was the most horrific scene in the movie, and he wanted to break it up. So I came up with that line. It holds a lot of essence of what we were trying to do."
- James Caan’s Sonny Corleone in “The Godfather
While “Bada-bing!” wasn’t coined by James Caan, it was he who made the phrase widely popular through the classic film “The Godfather.” Apparently, he first heard it from an acquaintance: Carmine Persico, a real-life mob boss in Colombo.
“You talkin’ to me?”
- Robert De Niro’s Travis Bickle on “Taxi Driver”
Another improvised line that became widely popular was this one from “Taxi Driver.” It turned out that the part of the script for that particular scene merely stated, “Travis speaks to himself in the mirror.” When he asked what he was supposed to say, screenwriter Paul Schrader merely told him, “Well, he’s a little kid playing with guns and acting tough.” Guess what the actor did?
“So De Niro used this rap that an underground New York comedian had been using at the same time as the basis for his lines,” Schrader related in an interview with Sabotage Times.
“Here’s looking at you, kid.”
- Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine in “Casablanca”
It’s one of the most popular lines not only from “Casablanca” but in movie history itself. According to stories, the line was actually uttered by Humphrey Bogart in an earlier film, “Midnight.” There’s also this unverified story that went: “…during breaks, Ingrid Bergman would play poker with other cast members. Since she was still learning English, Bogart would occasionally watch the game, and he added “Here’s looking at you” to her poker repertoire.”
“All right, all right, all right.”
- Matthew McConaughey’s David Wooderson in “Dazed and Confused”
Would you be surprised if we told you that Doors frontman Jim Morrison apparently played a huge part in the conception of his very first line onscreen? In an interview on “George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight” back in 2011, Matthew McConaughey related how he had made connections between what his character was all about (“his car, gettin’ high, rock & roll and pickin’ up chicks”), Morrison’s well-remembered “alright, all right, all right, all right”, and that particular scene (“I’m in my car; I’m high as a kite; I’m listening to rock & roll. ‘Action!’ And there’s the chick – ‘All right, all right, all right!’ Three out of four!”). Turns out that a lot of thought was put into a simple yet now-famous line!
Like this article? Check out our Top Five List series in the Lomography magazine!