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Greatest Movie Quotes – Making Your Messages Memorable

By February 17, 2021March 28th, 2021No Comments
screen capture from Bond movie, Dr. No, where 007 says, "Bond, James Bond," which is #22 on the top 100 movie quotes

Did you know that Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond books, intentionally named 007 something dull and plain? I didn’t. Of course, the irony in all of this for Fleming is “Bond, James Bond,” is ranked 22 out of the top 100 greatest movie quotes of all time. In Elements of Eloquence, author Mark Forsyth shares a quote from Fleming describing his goal in naming 007:

I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, James Bond was much better than something more interesting, like “Peregrine Carruthers.” Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure—an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department.

How did I stumble on this? I was doing research on language and figures of speech on repetition in Forsyth’s book. I then looked up the iconic phrase and came across the American Film Institute’s (AFI) 100 Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time (link).

“Bond, James Bond” is an example of Diacope, a repetition figure of speech. With Diacope, you repeat a word or words with some intervening words in between. In this case, you have “James” sandwiched with “Bond.”

I have written multiple blog posts on using figures of speech to improve (dramatically) your communication impact as well as have a variety of workplace stories with memorable messages and figures of speech.

Interested in improving (dramatically) the impact of your stories and messages? In creating memorable messages like, “Bond, James Bond.” Contact me and I’d be happy to talk about your goals.

As I looked at the AFI list, I thought to myself, “Ahhhhh, the nostalgia of this list.” The memories. The feelings. The longing to watch them all, again! Just looking at the list flooded my heart and mind with memories. Indeed, after discovering AFI’s page, I did watch a few of these movies and eagerly awaited each movie quote. After the video links, you can read about AFI’s methodology.

To add a little business to your viewing enjoyment. Think about what makes these movie quotes the most memorable in the world. What makes them memorable to you? Is it the specific character you became invested in? Is it the story line? Is it the words themselves? In most cases, it is these and more.

Whatever “it” is to you, think deliberately about how you develop and deliver your narrative and stories in your marketing and outreach, sales, training, all-hands meetings, public speaking, etc. Eugene Finerman in the Toastmaster magazine said it beautifully, “Every word has a story…one word can tell an epoch of history, define the attitude of an era, or reflect an ancestral sense of humor.”

“Every word has a story…one word can tell an epoch of history, define the attitude of an era, or reflect an ancestral sense of humor.”
– Eugene Finerman, Toastmaster

MY TOP 10 FAVORITE MOVIE QUOTES

Here are my top 10 favorites followed by video clips where the characters are saying these famous movies quotes. What are your top 10 movie quotes?

2. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” – Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) in The Godfather, 1972

4. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” – Dorothy (Judy Garland) in The Wizard of Oz, 1939

6. “Go ahead, make my day” – Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in Sudden Impact, 1983

8. “May the Force be with you” – Obi Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guiness) in Star Wars, 1977

15. “E.T. phone home” – Elliott ( ) in E.T.:  The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982

20. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” – Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) in Casablanca, 1942

22. “Bond. James Bond” – James Bond (Sean Connery) in Dr. No, 1963

25. “Show me the money” – Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) in Jerry Maguire, 1996

29. “You can’t handle the truth!” – Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) in A Few Good Men, 1992

37. “I’ll be back” – Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in The Terminator, 1984

2. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” – Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) in The Godfather, 1972

4. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” – Dorothy (Judy Garland) in The Wizard of Oz, 1939

6. “Go ahead, make my day” – Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in Sudden Impact, 1983

8. “May the Force be with you” – Obi-Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness) in Star Wars, 1977

15. “E.T. phone home” – Elliott (Henry Thomas, Jr.) in E.T.:  The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982

20. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” – Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) in Casablanca, 1942

22. “Bond. James Bond” – James Bond (Sean Connery) in Dr. No, 1963

25. “Show me the money” – Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) in Jerry Maguire, 1996

29. “You can’t handle the truth!” – Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) in A Few Good Men, 1992

37. “I’ll be back” – Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in The Terminator, 1984

From AFI’s website about the voting:

“AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes is a list of the 100 top film quotes of all time, chosen by a jury of over 1,500 leaders from the creative community, including film artists, critics and historians. Selection criteria included choosing quotes from American films which circulate through popular culture, become part of the national lexicon and evoke the memory of a treasured film, thus ensuring and enlivening its historical legacy.

The television special AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes originally aired on CBS on June 21, 2005.”

View the entire list of 400 nominated movie quotes here.

Photography Source:  Screen capture from Dr. No  /  Design © Copyright 2021, The Chief Storyteller®, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Ira Koretsky

About Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after storytelling coach, global speaker, trainer, consultant, communication coach, and public speaking coach.