Dialogues form the essence of films and play a very crucial part in the successful execution of the screenplay. It is not uncommon to find people lip-syncing their favorite dialogues while watching movies, or even imitating and mimicking the dialogues that they love the most.
The audience may not remember the song and dance sequences in the film, they may not remember what the actors wore or how they were dressed, they may not remember the director of the film, but what remains etched in their memories are the whistle-inducing, standing ovation worthy dialogues that the actors render during the course of the film.
Further, the effect of dialogues is such that, if a person is to be considered a true fan of an actor or actress, he/she must be able to deliver, with the same voice intonations and feel, at least a few famous dialogues rendered by their favorite on-screen character. After all, it is the dialogues in the film that bring the script to life and help capture the attention of the audience to involve them deeper into the fabric of the film; the audience becomes spectators.
It is for these reasons that perfect dialect, appropriate intonations and voice modulations, and clear pronunciation of the words are stressed upon while training actors for their respective roles.
Here are 19 of the most power-packed dialogues and one-liners from Hollywood (arranged in the order of the date of release)
1. James Bond Movies – (1962-2015)
The name James Bond was suggested by Ian Fleming, the writer for the series, based on the most boring moniker he found on his bookshelves — a name of the author, of a bird-watching guide turned out to be classic of all time.
2. Frankenstein – (1931)
Dr. Frankenstein’s original line was censored — “It’s alive! It’s alive! In the name of God! Now I know what it’s like to be God!”
3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – (1937)
Snow White was the only major character that the then-18-year-old Adriana Caselotti lent her voice for. She even won the Disney Legend for the same in 1994.
4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – (1939)
This line does not feature in any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. It was invented just for the movies.
5. Gone With the Wind – (1939)
‘Damn’ was told to be removed by the censor board two months before the release of the movie. But it was retained after the producers came up with 22 variations of the line and nothing satisfied the persons involved.
6. Casablanca – (1942)
Casablanca has the most quotes in the top 100 best Hollywood dialogues. Many of the actors who played the Nazis were, in fact, German Jews who had escaped from Nazi Germany.
7. Planet of the Apes – (1968)
Many are not aware of this, but the secret behind Charlton Heston’s great acting and gravelly delivery were this –he had the flu through much of the direction and production.
8. The Godfather – (1972)
There is some variation of this line which appears in all three Godfather movies. Whenever oranges appear in the film, they foreshadow death or a near-death involving the Corleone family.
9. Star Wars – (1977)
Sir Alec Guinness, who played the character, got weird requests from fans to come and help them solve problems like Obi-Wan-Kenobi.
10. When Harry Met Sally – (1989)
The initial draft of the film did not have a happy ending for the two protagonists. When it was time to film the revised happy ending, Billy Crystal rendered much of his dialogue with Meg Ryan, including this beautiful and most remembered line of the film, without a script.
11. The Godfather: Part III – (1990)
Mario Puzo, an American author, and screenwriter, whose literary estate had 20 different versions of the Godfather III script written between 1978 and 1989, recently sold at auction to a private collector for $625,000.
12. Forrest Gump – (1994)
Although Forrest Gump was the reason for the popularization of this phrase, it is actually a variant of the old adage, “Handsome is as handsome does”.
13. Titanic – (1997)
While collecting the Oscar award for the Best Picture, Director James Cameron repeated this line on the stage, but later on, admitted to making a fool of himself by doing so.
14. Fight Club – (1999)
Interestingly, following the film’s release, several fight clubs were reported to have started in the United States.
15. Gladiator – (2000)
Russell Crowe, the hero disagreed on this line with the director Ridley Scott. The script was riddled as being a “shit” script which eventually went on to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 2001 Oscars and Crowe, who hated the script, would win Best Actor.
16. Spider-Man – (2002)
Was the first Marvel movie to showcase the flipping pages Marvel logo. Tobey Maguire said he had never read a Spider-Man comic book but took the role because he liked the script.
17. The Pursuit of Happiness – (2006)
Jaden Smith, who plays Chris Gardner’s son, is Will Smith’s real-life son and Christopher is Jaden’s middle name.
18. The Dark Knight – (2008)
The brilliant dialogue rendition by Heath Ledger’s ensured that this line remained in the top positions of the most powerful dialogues list for a long time to come.
19. The Avengers – (2012)
As can be seen from the above list, some of the most famous dialogues and one-liners have such a power-packed punch second to nothing else. And most of these movies are those that we love and revere, and one big reason for that is the dialogues and the screenplay. This clearly indicates the importance of dialogues for films. The relation between the two is like hand and glove.