Quotes that resonate after credits

Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in The Princess Bride. Picture: Supplied
Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in The Princess Bride. Picture: Supplied

What is it that makes a memorable movie quote? Some are funny in themselves, or in context, some are poignant, some are surreal, some evoke a happy memory of watching a particular movie, a moment in it, or the time when it was watched. Here are a few that have appealed to me - some well known, some less so.

The Princess Bride (1987): William Goldman's screenplay, based on his spoof fairytale novel, contains many gems, including: "As you wish"; "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die"; "Inconceivable!".

The Elephant Man (1980): The tragic story of severely deformed Joseph (called John in the movie) Merrick had a big impact on me when I was a kid. The best-known line from the screenplay by Christopher De Vore, Eric Bergren and director David Lynch: "I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!"

Psycho (1960): Forget the misbegotten remake, stick with the original Hitchcock movie adapted by Joseph Stefano from Robert Bloch's novel: "Well, a boy's best friend is his mother"; "We all go a little bad sometimes. Haven't you?"; "They'll see, and they'll know, and they'll say, 'Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly'."

Ace in the Hole (1951): Director Billy Wilder co-wrote this cynical excoriation of journalism and human nature with Lesser Samuels and Walter Newman: "I've met some hard-boiled eggs in my life but you - you're 20 minutes"; "I don't go to church. Kneeling bags my nylons."

Duck Soup (1933): One of the best of the Marx Brothers comedies, written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin. It has many funny lines, exchanges and visual gags. One of my favourites: "Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honour, which is probably more than she ever did."

Citizen Kane(1941): The Oscar-winning script by Herman Mankiewicz and director Orson Welles begins with "Rosebud", of course, but a couple of lines from the character Bernstein resonate: ''Old age. It's the only disease, Mr Thompson, that you don't look forward to being cured of"; "Well, it's no trick to make a lot of money ... if all you want is to make a lot of money."

North by Northwest(1959): Another Alfred Hitchcock-directed thriller with lovely dialogue by Ernest Lehman including: "You gentlemen aren't REALLY trying to kill my son, are you?"

Casablanca (1942): The Epstein twins and Howard Koch (and others) filled this film with memorable lines, including Humphrey Bogart's reaction to the revelations of a Nazi dossier: "Are my eyes really brown?"

This story Quotes that resonate after credits first appeared on The Canberra Times.