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What would win the Oscar for the best *line* in a film?

Here are some suggestions - what are yours?

What would win the Oscar for the best *line* in a film?
Tom Victor
13 February 2018

It’s Oscar season, which means we’re just a few short weeks away from arguing which Best Picture nominee deserves the honour of ‘most-robbed’ when they’re inevitably snubbed for the dullest film on the list.

But what of those films which might have won top honours in a theoretical category that doesn’t even exist? Something like… oh, I don’t know… the best line of dialogue from a film.

The people of Reddit have come to the rescue here, giving their suggestions for a theoretical winner of the Best Line Oscar.

Of course, with no such Oscar having been awarded in the past, we can think of it as a lifetime achievement award.

That means no restrictions by year, with people making their suggestions for the best line of all time. Some might come from films already recognised by the Academy in other categories, but some are anything but that.

Delivery and language both play a part, and we’re limiting those we include to one per film, but could this be the first Oscar awarded to an Adam Sandler film? If it existed, then maybe.

  • 'Gone With the Wind' (1939)

    “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”

  • 'Dr Strangelove' (1964)

    “Gentlemen. You can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!”

  • 'The Godfather' (1972)

    “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

  • 'Airplane' (1980)

    “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley”

  • 'Blade Runner' (1982)

    “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

  • 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' (1986)

    “Yep. I said it before and I’ll say it again - life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

  • 'The Princess Bride' (1987)

    “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die.”

  • 'They Live' (1988)

    “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

  • 'When Harry Met Sally' (1989)

    “I’ll have what she’s having.”

  • 'The Silence of the Lambs' (1991)

    “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

  • 'The Shawshank Redemption' (1994)

    “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

  • Billy Madison (1995)

    “Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

  • 'Independence Day' (1996)

    “Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. ‘Mankind’. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

  • 'Gladiator' (2000)

    “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, general of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

  • 'The Room' (2003)

    “Oh hi Mark.”