IN NEW LINE’S “Snakes on a Plane,” which opens Aug. 18, Samuel Jackson fumes, “That’s it! I have had it with these motherf—ing snakes on this motherf—ing plane!”
The line may go down in movie history because it’s the first time a major-studio film has used a bit of dialogue inspired by an online fan.
Aside from the historic value, the words brilliantly sum up the movie in one sentence. That’s the Holy Grail for a screenwriter, but dialogue must serve many other key functions: illuminating characters, furthering the action, philosophizing on the human condition. And in all these regards, this summer is a treasure trove of memorable lines. Long after the dialogue from “Casablanca,” “Gone With the Wind” and “Sunset Blvd.” has faded from memory, filmgoers will be quoting the bon mots from this summer’s big movies.
You don’t believe us? Here is just a smidgen of the breathtaking work that Hollywood has provided for grateful movie fans in the last few months.
LOVE THAT TECH TALK!
“Aborting booster ignition! Boosters are non-responsive!” Astronaut, “Superman Returns”
“This is team leader Bravo One. We are green to go!” Soldier in “X-Men: The Last Stand”
“He reversed the engines! He traded suctions!” Mike Vogel in “Poseidon”
A TOUCH OF INTELLECT
“We have to get to the library — fast!” Tom Hanks, “The Da Vinci Code”
“He’s hearing the voice of God through a crossword puzzle!” Sarita Choudhury, “Lady in the Water”
“You must follow my directions carefully … You are in grave danger.” Audrey Tautou, “The Da Vinci Code”
“He’s killed before, he’ll kill again!” Pete Postlethwaite, “The Omen”
“Abandon ship! Abandon ship — or abandon hope!” Kevin McNally, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”
BET YOU NEVER HEARD THESE LINES IN AN ACTION FILM
“Mary Magdalene’s tomb! Where did she go? Did the Church finally get her?” Audrey Tautou, “The Da Vinci Code”
“I want you to reach up and grab Nelson’s foot!” Josh Lucas in “Poseidon”
“We’ve put an explosive charge in your head.” Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Mission: Impossible III”
THEY’RE GONNA EAT THOSE WORDS
“There’s nothing to be scared of. Nothing. I promise.” Liev Schreiber, “The Omen”
“The world doesn’t need a savior. And neither do I.” Kate Bosworth, “Superman Returns”
“There’s no such thing as creatures, OK?” Paul Giamatti, “Lady in the Water”
“You don’t just get the nickname Lucky Larry — ya gotta be lucky!” Kevin Dillon, “Poseidon”
SUMMING UP THE FILM IN ONE LINE
“You know, there’s nothing fair about who lives or dies.” Kurt Russell, “Poseidon”
“Finding one’s purpose is a profound thing.” Jeffrey Wright, “Lady in the Water”
“Sophie, the only thing that matters is what you believe.” Tom Hanks, “The Da Vinci Code”
YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING
“You are the last living descendant of Jesus Christ!” Tom Hanks, “The Da Vinci Code”
“A scrunt will do anything to kill a Madame Narf, even forget his fear of the Tartutic!” Cindy Cheung, “Lady in the Water”