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AFI puts in good words for ‘Quotes’

CBS special counting down 100 greatest pic lines

Movie quotes, quips, comebacks and catchphrases will be the focus of the American Film Institute’s next installment of its annual “100 Years” TV spesh.

Three-hour program, to air on CBS in June,”AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movie Quotes.”the org’s eighth annual salutation of a century of American cinema, will count down the 100 greatest lines ever-uttered on screen.

AFI has distribbed a ballot with 400 movie quotes to a jury of film connoisseurs — comprising more than 1,500 directors, screenwriters, actors, editors, cinematographers, critics and historians. Jurors are allowed to write in votes for up to five quotes that may not appear on the ballot.

Likely to rank will be pics ranging from “Casablanca,” (“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”) and “Gone With the Wind” (“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”) to “Star Wars” (“May the Force be with you”) and “A Few Good Men” (“You can’t handle the truth”).

In all, “Casablanca” has seven quotes on the ballot, the most of any picture; “The Wizard of Oz” has six.

“Great movie quotes become part of our cultural vocabulary,” said AFI director and CEO Jean Picker Firstenberg. “When you consider that any phrase from American film is eligible, you realize this is our most subjective topic to date. We expect nothing less than a war of words as we reignite interest in classic American movies.”

Show will be executive produced and directed by Gary Smith, executive produced for AFI by former board chair Frederick S. Pierce, and produced by Dann Netter and Bob Gazzale.

Previous programs within AFI’s “100” repertoire, which hit a ratings high in 2004 — drawing more than 12 million viewers and helping CBS take the night in several ratings categories — include “100 Movies” (1998), “100 Stars” (1999), “100 Laughs” (2000), “100 Thrills” (2001), “100 Passions “(2002), “Heroes & Villains” (2003) and “Songs” (2004).

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