Classic movie quotes can have lots of definitions but on this site these are quotes taken from movies released pre-1970’s. Why? Well, simply because these excellent movies deserve their own category where they can be properly paid homage.
Have no fear as this list will be updated regularly with more classic quotes, so if you like what you see, keep coming back!
A – Z Classic Quotes
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
HAL: I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.
12 Angry Men (1957)
Juror #8: It’s always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth.
The African Queen (1951)
Charlie Allnut: A man takes a drop too much once in a while, it’s only human nature.
Rose Sayer: Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.
Alfie: What I loved once and what I love now are two different things.
All About Eve (1950)
Margo Channing: Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!
The Apartment (1960)
C.C. Baxter: The mirror, it’s broken.
Fran Kubelik: Yes, I know. I like it that way. Makes me look the way I feel.
Quintus Arrius: [to Judah Ben-Hur] Your eyes are full of hate, forty-one. That’s good. Hate keeps a man alive. It gives him strength.
The Big Sleep (1946)
Vivian: So you’re a private detective. I didn’t know they existed, except in books, or else they were greasy little men snooping around hotel corridors. My, you’re a mess, aren’t you?
Philip Marlowe: I’m not very tall either. Next time I’ll come on stilts wear a white tie and carry a tennis racket.
Vivian: I doubt if even that will help.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Paul Varjak: Holly, I’m in love with you.
Holly Golightly: So what?
Paul Varjak: So what? So plenty! I love you. You belong to me.
Holly Golightly: No. People don’t belong to people.
Paul Varjak: Of course they do.
Holly Golightly: I’m not going to let anyone put me in a cage.
Paul Varjak: I don’t want to put you in a cage. I want to love you.
Holly Golightly: It’s the same thing.
Paul Varjak: No it’s not. Holly…
Holly Golightly: I’m not Holly. I’m not Lula Mae, either. I don’t know who I am! I’m like cat here, a couple of no-name slobs. We belong to nobody and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Colonel Nicholson: One day the war will be over. And I hope that the people that use this bridge in years to come will remember how it was built and who built it. Not a gang of slaves, but soldiers, British soldiers, Clipton, even in captivity.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Butch Cassidy: Kid, there’s something I ought to tell you. I never shot anybody before.
Sundance Kid: One hell of a time to tell me!
Rick: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
Citizen Kane (1941)
Charles Foster Kane: I don’t think there’s one word that can describe a mans life.
Cool Hand Look (1967)
Captain, Road Prison 36: What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate.
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!
Double Indemnity (1944)
Walter Neff: Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money and a woman, and I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman. Pretty, isn’t it?
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
Monco: Tell me, isn’t sheriff supposed to be courageous, loyal and, above all, honest?
Sherrif of White Rocks: Yeah, that he is.
[Monco takes badge off of the sheriff’s vest and gives it to some town folks]
Monco: Think you people need a new sheriff.
Pussy Galore: My name is Pussy Galore.
James Bond: I must be dreaming.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Blondie: You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend, those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.
The Graduate (1967)
Benjamin: For God’s sake, Mrs. Robinson! Here we are. You got me into your house. You give me a drink. You put on music. Now you start opening up your personal life to me and tell me your husband won’t be home for hours.
Mrs. Robinson: So?
Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.
Mrs. Robinson: [laughs] Huh?
Benjamin: Aren’t you?
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Tom Joad: Takes no nerve to do something, ain’t nothing else you can do.
The Great Dictator (1940)
A Jewish Barber: I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others happiness, not by each others misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.
The Great Escape (1963)
Hilts: Wait a minute. You aren’t seriously suggesting that if I get through the wire, and case everything out there, and don’t get picked up, to turn myself in and get thrown back in the cooler for a couple of months so you can get the information you need?
The Hustler (1961)
Fast Eddie: I’m the best you ever seen, Fats. I’m the best there is. And even if you beat me, I’m still the best.
Bert Gordon: Stay with this kid, he’s a loser!
The Italian Job (1969)
[after Arthur blows up the truck]
Charlie Croker: You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
George Bailey: Dear Father in heaven, I’m not a praying man, but if you’re up there and you can hear me, show me the way, show me the way.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Sherif Ali: What is your name?
T.E. Lawrence: My name is for my friends. None of my friends is a murderer!
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Joel Cairo: You always have a very smooth explanation…
Sam Spade: What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?
My Man Godfrey (1936)
Alexander Bullock: All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Fred Gailey: Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. Don’t you see? It’s not just Kris that’s on trial, it’s everything he stands for. It’s kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.
North by Northwest (1959)
[Thornhill is wearing sunglasses to hide his identity]
Ticket Seller: Something wrong with your eyes?
Roger Thornhill: Yes, they’re sensitive to questions.
Alicia: Well, did you hear that? I’m practically on the wagon, that’s quite a change.
Devlin: It’s a phase.
Alicia: You don’t think a woman can change?
Devlin: Sure, change is fun, for awhile.
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
[staring at Harmonica from her window]
Jill: Cheyenne. What’s he waiting for out there? What’s he doing?
Cheyenne: He’s whittling on a piece of wood. I got a feeling that when he stops whittling, something’s going to happen.
On the Waterfront (1954)
Terry: Hey, you want to hear my philosophy of life? Do it to him before he does it to you.
Norman Bates: A boy’s best friend is his mother.
Rear Window (1954)
Lisa: What’s he doing? Cleaning house?
Jeff: He’s washing and scrubbing down the bathroom walls.
Stella: Must’ve splattered a lot.
[Jeff and Lisa look at Stella with disgust]
Stella: Come on, that’s what were all thinking. He killed her in there, now he has to clean up those stains before he leaves.
Lisa: Stella, choice of words!
Stella: Nobody ever invented a polite word for a killing yet.
[after he has asked her to marry him]
Maxim de Winter: My suggestion doesn’t seem to have gone at all well, I’m sorry.
The Second Mrs. de Winter: Oh, but you don’t understand! It’s just that I, well, I’m not the person men marry.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Jim Stark: You’re tearing me apart!
Roman Holiday (1953)
Princess Ann: This is very unusual. I’ve never been alone with a man before, even with my dress on. With my dress off, it’s most unusual.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Alfred Kralik: You know, people seldom go to the trouble of scratching the surface of things to find the inner truth.
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Don Lockwood: Cosmo, call me a cab.
Cosmo Brown: Okay, you’re a cab.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Jerry: Osgood, I’m going to level with you. We can’t get married at all.
Osgood Fielding III: Why not?
Jerry: Well, in the first place, I’m not a natural blond.
Osgood Fielding III: Doesn’t matter.
Jerry: I smoke! I smoke all the time!
Osgood Fielding III: I don’t care.
Jerry: Well, I have a terrible past. For three years now, I’ve been living with a saxophone player.
Osgood Fielding III: I forgive you.
Jerry: I can never have children!
Osgood Fielding III: We can adopt some.
Jerry: But you don’t understand, Osgood! Ohh…
[Jerry finally gives up and pulls off his wig]
Jerry: I’m a man!
Osgood: Well, nobody’s perfect.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Bruno: My theory is that everyone is a potential murderer.
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Joe Gillis: You’re Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big.
Norma Desmond: I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.
The Third Man (1949)
Harry Lime: Nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don’t. Why should we? They talk about the people and the proletariat, I talk about the suckers and the mugs, it’s the same thing. They have their five-year plans, so have I.
Martins: You used to believe in God.
Harry Lime: Oh, I still do believe in God, old man. I believe in God and Mercy and all that. But the dead are happier dead. They don’t miss much here, poor devils.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Atticus Finch: If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.
Touch of Evil (1958)
Quinlan: I don’t speak Mexican. Let’s keep it in English, Vargas.
Vargas: That’s all right with me. I’m sure he’s just as unpleasant in any language.
Sanchez: Unpleasant? Strange. I’ve been told I have a very winning personality. The very best shoe clerk the store ever had.
Madeleine: Oh, Scottie. I’m not mad. I’m not mad. I don’t want to die. There’s someone within me and she says I must die. Oh, Scottie, don’t let me go.
Scottie: I’m here. I’ve got you.
Madeleine: I’m so afraid.
Madeleine: Don’t leave me. Stay with me.
Scottie: All the time.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Martha: I swear, if you existed, I’d divorce you.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Wizard of Oz: A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.