Sometimes, an unforgettable line in a film would brighten the whole work and stick in moviegoers’ minds for all the right reasons. However, some classic lines never appeared in the script but instead come from somewhere else.
“I’m the king of the world!” is the most famous line from the movie Titanic. But it wasn’t even in the script. Director James Cameron revealed that they “made it up on the spot” when no other lines seemed to fit. Accidentally, this sentence became an instant hit.
Star Wars fans must remember the moment when Princess Leia finally admits her love for Han Solo. According to the script, Han should have responded: “Just remember that, ’cause I’ll be back.” However, the actor Harrison Ford wasn’t satisfied with this sentence and came up with a new line: “I know,” which sounds even more romantic than the original version.
According to a new study, the “Here’s Johnny” scene from The Shining is officially the scariest movie moment of all time. But it’s impossible to hear the sentence without picturing Jack Nicholson’s maniacal face as Jack Torrance, since there is no such line in the original novel.
With master ad-libber Will Ferrell at its helm, there is no surprise that the movie Anchorman was full of improvised lines. One of the best sentences is, “I’m in a glass case of emotion!” Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) screamed it from inside a phone box. It is a fairly accurate description of the contraption and mental state he’s in.
When Robin Williams made the film Good Will Hunting in Boston, he unexpectedly improvised a memorable line on one of his last days of shooting. It was a scene where Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) puts Will’s farewell note back in the letterbox. On one take, Williams suddenly said, “Son of a b**** stole my line.” And then he never repeated that line again in other takes.
“You can’t handle the truth!” is another memorable line from Jack Nicholson in the 1992 military courtroom drama A Few Good Men. The original version was, “You already have the truth.” Nicholson made it iconic, and people always quote it when they don’t even know what they’re quoting.
“Here’s looking at you, kid” is one of the most classic movie lines in history. But it actually wasn’t in the original script for the 1942 film Casablanca. The actor Humphrey Bogart changed the original version “Here’s good luck to you, kid” and came up with the new idea from a poker hand when he played poker with co-star Ingrid Bergman offscreen.
Rutger Hauer’s iconic monologue in the 1982 sci-fi movie Blade Runner is considered one of the great death speeches in film history. Noteworthily, it’s entirely unscripted. Without telling anyone on set, Hauer changed the soliloquy delivered as the synthetic Replicant Roy Batty. He later revealed that “like tears in rain” represented that Roy felt “one bit of the DNA of life.”
The reviews of the movie The Devil Wears Prada (2006) are mixed. Some people dislike the arrogant roles of characters such as the assistant Emily Charlton, played by Emily Blunt. “I’m hearing this, and I want to hear this” is her famous line, which was actually derived from what a mother said to her daughter at a shop.
When Harry Met Sally is a movie that’s jam-packed with quotable lines, mostly thanks to Billy Crystal and his penchant for improvisation. “I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie” was a famous ad-lib. But Crystal didn’t tell co-star Meg in advance. Hence, when it happened, she subconsciously looked at the director for clarification.
Spoiler alert! During the filming of Avengers: Infinity War, director Joe Russo let Tom Holland improvise Peter Parker’s moving death scene. Russo asked Holland to act as if he wasn’t ready to die. Finally, Holland’s “Mr. Stark, I don’t feel good” and “I don’t want to go” had audiences in tears.
The movie Wonder Woman had a fair amount of improvisation, especially in the scenes between Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). For instance, when Trevor is trying to explain his identity to Prince, he said: “Where I come from, I’m not considered average.” The line was an ad-lib, but it had a better effect than the scripted line.
1972’s The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the best films of all time. Mafia henchman Mafia Clemenza, played by Richard Castellano, has one of the most memorable dialogues with Rocco and Paulie. In the script, the line was simply, “Leave the gun.” Castellano decided to add, “Take the cannoli.” And the rest is history.
Alright, it’s actually not a line, but Matthew McConaughey’s “lunch humming” in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) deserves mention. Initially, McConaughey had been humming between scenes to relax himself. Then, Leonardo had a lightbulb moment and suggested bringing it into the scene.
In Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 satire Dr. Strangelove, the character that Peter Sellers played should have sat in a wheelchair and tried to hide his Nazi-sympathizing tendencies. However, during the filming process, Sellers accidentally got up from his wheelchair but stayed in character. Agilely, he took a few short steps forward while exclaiming, “Mein Führer! I can walk!”
Joe Pesci ad-libbed his way through a classic scene from Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas. His idea was based on something that had happened to him in real life when, as a young waiter, he told a mobster that he was funny, a compliment that didn’t go down too well. But Scorsese didn’t reveal the plan to the rest of the cast, as he wanted to capture their genuine reactions.
As the standout star of the hit 2011 comedy Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy had free rein to improvise. One of her best ad-libbing was during a scene when she’s making dirty comments to an air marshal, who happens to be her husband, Ben Falcone, in real life. Falcone said he ruined millions of takes by laughing when his wife said, “Uh-oh. Somebody found a souvenir.”
In Mel Brooks’ horror film Young Frankenstein, Marty Feldman reportedly moved his character Igor’s signature hump from one shoulder to the other on set. In one unscripted moment, when Dr. Frankenstein says, “I don’t mean to embarrass you, but I’m a rather brilliant surgeon. Perhaps I could help you with that hump,” Igor smartly responds, “What hump?”
Clearly, Jaws is one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. But the most famous line “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” wasn’t in the original script. It was actually an on-set catchphrase anytime anything went wrong, from lunch delays to camera issues. Actor Roy Scheider tried out the line in a few different scenes during filming until it finally stuck.
During the filming of the brutal home invasion scene of A Clockwork Orange, director Stanley Kubrick asked Malcolm McDowell (Alex) to do something outrageous. Then McDowell started singing the Gene Kelly classic “Singin’ in the Rain.” He later explained that the song is Hollywood’s gift to the world of euphoria, and it reflects well how the character is feeling at the time.