Friday, November 09, 2007

Same Idea, Different Lines

The most interesting thing about this list of "top 10 movie lines we use the most" (via Bill Crider) is that "Do you feel lucky, punk?" from Dirty Harry made the list.

The reason it's interesting is that when I was growing up, by far the most famous Dirty Harry line -- and, in fact, probably the most-quoted movie line of any kind -- was "Go ahead, make my day" from Sudden Impact. Of course these are just two different versions of the same idea; every Dirty Harry movie has to include a moment where he tells a punk that he, Harry, will be happy to blow said punk away if he's stupid enough to go for his gun. I guess the "punk" line has overshadowed "go ahead, make my day" because the first movie has held up better than Sudden Impact and has probably been seen by more people, meaning that the people polled by are more likely to have seen than than any of the Dirty Harry sequels.

I do think as far as Dirty Harry violence-celebrating lines go, "do you feel lucky, punk" (which isn't exactly what he says in the movie) is better than "go ahead." I'm just interested to find that the most popular movie line of my childhood is no longer as iconic as it was.

Of course this type of line goes back much further than Dirty Harry. For example, John Wayne had more or less the same line in Rio Bravo when a bad guy is about to go for his gun, and Wayne says: "You want that gun, pick it up. I wish you would."


Loren said...

I'm more surprised by #10: "Nobody puts Baby in the corner."

I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone quote that line at all. Heck, I don't even know what context it can be used in. Could this be a British thing, or am I just missing out on something?

Buzz said...

Wayne said "Touch that gun and I'll kill ya" in TALL IN THE SADDLE, about a decade before RIO BRAVO.