Top 10 Misquoted Movie Lines
How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse” or “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” These are lines from movies. People may not even know they are repeating movie quotes. They have simply heard these movie lines so often in casual conversation that the movie quotes become part of everyday speech.
But movie quotes are frequently misquoted.
An example is, “We don’t need no stinking badges!” A lot of people quote that line but they may have no idea that it’s from the 1948 movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” When a group of Mexican bandits who say they are “federales” corner Humphrey Bogart behind some rocks, Bogey asks to see their badges to prove they really are “federales.” That’s when the leader of the bandits says the famous line. But he doesn’t say, “We don’t need no stinking badges!” What he actually says is, “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”
To further embed this misquote into the public consciousness, Mel Brooks brilliantly spoofs it in his 1975 movie “Blazing Saddles.” Corrupt politician Hedley Lamarr rounds up all kinds of ruffians to attack the town of Rock Ridge. Included are some Mexican bandits. When Hedley signs them up, he wants to give them badges, and they say, “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!” Since that movie used the “misquoted” quote, it is technically not a misquote, but it is if you go back to the original movie.
Another example of a misquoted movie line is, “We have ways of making you talk.” This quote pops up in everyday conversation, but the actual line from the 1935 movie “The Lives of a Bengal Lancer” is, “We have ways to make men talk.”
So why do movie quotes get twisted into a misquote that is then thought to be the actual quote? That’s the mystery. Perhaps the altered, often shorter version of the original movie quote just has a better ring to it!
So here are my Top 10 Misquoted Movie Lines, in no particular order.
“Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!”
REAL QUOTE: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!” Alfonso Bedoya as “Gold Hat”
MOVIE: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
“Play it again, Sam.”
REAL QUOTE: “If she can stand it, I can. Play it!” Humphrey Bogart as “Rick Blaine”
MOVIE: Casablanca (1942)
“Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?”
REAL QUOTE: “Why don’t you come up sometime ‘n see me.” Mae West as “Lady Lou”
MOVIE: She Done Him Wrong (1933)
“Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.”
REAL QUOTE: “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.” Oliver Hardy as “Oliver”
MOVIE: Another Fine Mess (1930)
“Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?”
REAL QUOTE: “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?” Dustin Hoffman as “Benjamin Braddock”
MOVIE: The Graduate (1967)
“Me Tarzan, you Jane.”
REAL QUOTE: “Jane. Tarzan. Jane. Tarzan.” Johnny Weissmuller as “Tarzan”
MOVIE: Tarzan The Ape Man (1932)
“Smile when you call me that!”
REAL QUOTE: “If you want to call me that, smile.” Gary Cooper as “The Virginian”
MOVIE: The Virginian (1929)
“We have ways of making you talk.”
REAL QUOTE: “We have ways to make men talk.” Douglas Dumbrille as “Mohammed Khan”
MOVIE: The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)
“Luke, I am your father.”
REAL QUOTE: “No, I am your father.” James Earl Jones voicing “Darth Vader”
MOVIE: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille”
REAL QUOTE: “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Gloria Swanson as “Norma Desmond”
MOVIE: Sunset Boulevard (1950)