Movie quotes and the chills

During lunch a few weeks ago, I was reading the previous week’s Entertainment Weekly. It featured an article on readers’ favorite movie lines (that’s not the article, it’s just part of the list. It’s the best I could find). Mike and I quote movie lines all the time, so I was interested to see what the readers chose. When I was reading the article, it struck me as interesting that I have slept through Gladiator more times than I have actually seen it, and yet it still gives me chills to read this:

“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.”

Most of the quotes that my friends and I toss back and forth are funny lines (“The veil is not attacking you!” “She said they were Satan’s panties!”) but I started thinking about lines that really move me. The ones that bring tears to my eyes or give me chills. The night before I was reading the article, Mike and I watched Miracle (which I quoted yesterday). So I guess I was in the mood to be inspired.

Gamling: Too few have come. We cannot defeat the armies of Mordor.
Theoden: No, we cannot. But we will meet them in battle nonetheless.

I mean, I love Aragorn, but there is something really compelling about Theoden’s character. In The Two Towers, he acts brave for the sake of his men, but by the time of the Battle of Pellenor Fields in The Return of the King, he’s given up on that.

Mike suggested that I include some quotes from Braveheart, of course, but since I haven’t seen Braveheart, I don’t know what the best quotes are. The only one I know is, “They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our freeeedoooomm!” hehe. He also suggested several Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) lines from Apollo 13:

Chris Kraft: This could be the worst disaster NASA’s ever faced.
Gene Kranz: With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.

Gene Kranz: We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.

I had trouble thinking of more, to be honest. Here’s a couple favorites I came up with after perusing the users’ top 250 movies at IMDB.

From The Shawshank Redemption:

“Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”

From To Kill a Mockingbird:

“Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passing.”

And, one last quote, because I am a sucker for inspirational sports movies and the Olympics are a perfect time for them. And what better inspirational sports movie is there than Rudy? (Don’t argue with me here.) Sure, the “Five foot nothin’, a hundred and nothin’,” line is great, but where I really start to cry is when the captain of the team brings in his jersey, telling the coach they want Rudy to play instead of them.

“You’re an All-American and the team captain, act like it.”

“I believe I am.”

I read a review of Seabiscuit (which I have not seen) in which Roger Ebert says that his theory is that people “more readily cry at movies not because of sadness, but because of goodness and courage.” Looking at the ones I thought of (and I am sure there are dozens more that I couldn’t remember), I think he’s right.

We all throw around humorous movie quotes, but what are some of your favorite chill-inducing quotes?

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17 Comments

  1. Back in the days of men like Kraft and Kranz, that attitude was highly prevalent.

    Many of NASA’s present-day ills can be traced to a willingness to settle for “close enough for government work”.

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  2. Do you like Apollo 13, Geof? It’s one of my favorites.

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  3. i agree with geof. πŸ™

    seabiscuit made me cry, then again i was watching it at 3:30 am when the emotional scene came on so i was not in full control of my emotions.

    “i feel the need…the need for speed!” — top gun. πŸ˜‰

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  4. Scott, Top Gun is NOT exactly what I had in mind. hehe.

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  5. ” Cause the house always wins. Play long enough, you never change the stakes. The house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big, then you take the house. ” I’ve always loved that quote from Ocean’s Eleven…even back when I had no clue what it meant.

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  6. I’m hoping that Scott’s sad face is in sad agreement with my commentary, not that he’s sad to be agreeing with me for a change. πŸ˜‰

    As for Apollo 13: I like it fairly well. Pieces of it were too Hollywood for me, and I’m one of those people who can’t handle gross technical faults/violations of physics, but as a friend once stated, “That’s one of the very few movies that ever made heroes out of engineers.” So yeah, I like it pretty well, being an engineer.

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  7. Goodness and courage ALWAYS make me cry moreso than sadness. I didn’t cry during Titanic (despite a mild HS obsession with Leonardo DiCaprio), but I sobbed openly at the movie “Dancer in the Dark,” where Bjork’s character literally sacrifices herself for her son’s health…

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  8. I’ve never cried during a movie. :fact:

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  9. Really. I think the first time I really cried during a movie was the second time I watched Little Women (with Winona). I wasn’t really moved by it the first time, but I did cry the second time.

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  10. I SO use “The veil is not attacking you!Ò€

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  11. Shelby

    I cry all the time at movies, its one of life’s many joys. But please don’t ever forget that…”NO one puts baby in the corner.”

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  12. _steve

    This line makes me cry EVERY TIME I hear it. From Braveheart:
    “In the year of our Lord 1314, patriots of Scotland, starving and outnumbered, charged the fields at Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Scotsmen. And won their freedom.”

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  13. Kari

    Oh, Shelby. How right you are.

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  14. “Doctor! Leo! Marvin!!!!! DR. MARVIN!!! oh, thank you God! Dr. Marvin! Oh yes! ohhh…the fam!”

    I”m inspired by Bob Wiley

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  15. “I may not be able to carry the ring, Mr. Frodo, but I can carry you!” – Samwise Gamgee

    And then President Shepherd’s speech from American President.

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  16. geof, i was sadly agreeing with your commentary. i see that attitude almost everyday at work. it makes me sad.

    kari, top gun is so inspiring. who can forget lines like:

    “that’s right! ice…man, i am dangerous”

    πŸ˜†

    but seriously, how about from almost famous

    during the scene on the bus where tiny dancer is playing..

    william: i have to go home
    penny lane: you ARE home

    Posted 8/17/2004 at | Permalink
  17. Mike

    From Seabiscuit:

    “You know everyone thinks we found this broken down racehorse
    and fixed him……but we didn’t……….he fixed US”

    Posted 3/3/2006 at | Permalink

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