Six of the most misquoted movie lines of all time

As a society, we love movies. From jaws until Star Wars, many iconic titles will be discussed long after we leave this mortal spiral. Complete with memorable storytelling, cinematography and performances, cinema has in many ways eclipsed the novel and fine arts as the primary means of getting the point across or telling a good story as it is much more versatile than the two forms mentioned above.

Cinema has produced an almost endless amount of memorable moments that have fostered the proliferation of the art form but helped to change the wider society. Many figures of speech are now so well-behaved that they are also ubiquitous in books and in the theater. People like Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick have made great strides in putting cinema on the map as a valuable form in the eyes of the mainstream. As for the actors who also made a significant impact, it’s such a comprehensive list that it deserves a separate piece.

For about a century, we’ve been patching up movies in both their silent and voice-activated iterations. They have given many moments that are now iconic in popular culture, including specific lines that help define a title and crystallize its place in history books. However, because we as consumers are not the powerful, omniscient beings we like to believe we are, mistakes are often made. Many of the most legendary lines from movies remembered in popular culture are wrong, which some attribute to the phenomenon known as the Mandela effect.

From Dirty Harry until Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfs, many of the famous lines we remember from movies are incorrect. It’s something we should all be aware of in hopes of preventing the error from happening again, but this seems unlikely.

Then join us as we list six of the most misquoted movie lines of all time.

Six of the most misquoted movie lines of all time:

jaws (1975)

Where else but to start with Steven Spielberg’s legendary 1975 film? Based on elements of Alfred Hitchcock’s style, it is one of Spielberg’s greatest forays, creating one of the scariest movie villains of all time.

jaws is a strange case because we’ve always had the name of the murderous shark that terrorizes Amity Island, in the way that it’s not called Jaws as many think and it doesn’t actually have a name.

Well, added to the wrong way we remember jaws is the scene where Roy Schieder’s chief of police, Martin Brody, says to Robert Shaw’s Quint, “We need a bigger boat.” Brody doesn’t say that at all, though. He says, “You need a bigger boat.”

Dirty Harry (1971)

Dirty Harry is another of the most memorable films of the 1970s. It was the first in what became a series starring Clint Eastwood as the titular San Francisco Inspector ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan. Based on the real-life crimes of the Zodiac killer, it set the standard for all future police movies, starring Eastwood in the role of the no-nonsense, .44 magnum-toting agent of the law.

At the beginning of the film, Harry foils a bank robbery. After shooting one of the suspects, he holds another at gunpoint, where he gives him a fearless ultimatum, eventually forcing him to surrender. People always remember the line, “Are you feeling lucky, punk?” with the image of Eastwood staring at the mugger over the course of his .44, but that’s not what he said.

It’s part of a more elaborate and slightly existential monologue, in which Harry tells the suspect, “You have to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel happy?’ Well, are you punking?’

Field of dreams (1989)

A Kevin Costner classic, Field of dreams is one of the most notable films of the 1980s, if only for its story and Costner’s career-defining achievements. It follows the fictional story of Ray Kinsella, a farmer who builds a baseball field in his cornfield that attracts the ghosts of a host of baseball legends, such as Shoeless Joe Jackson, played by the late Ray Liotta. It was also the last movie with the great Burt Lancaster as Dr. Archibald ‘Moonlight’ Graham.

Everyone remembers the line “If you build it, they will come”, but unfortunately it is a wrong quote. What is really being said is, “If you build it, it will come.”

The Silence of the Lambs (1989)

The Silence of the Lambs is one of the essential psychological thrillers. Based on Thomas Harris’ novel of the same name, the film is known for being the first time Anthony Hopkins’ version of Dr. Hannibal Lecter was introduced to the world, an ingenious departure from Brian Cox’s 1986’s man hunter.

The interactions between Lecter and his prey, Jodie Foster’s FBI intern Clarice Starling, are so chilling that the first time I watch the film, the tense atmosphere of the hospital where Lecter is being held is etched in my memory, courtesy of one rule in particular. Long believed to have said “Hello Clarice” during their first meeting, Lecter’s greeting is much less sinister. He says to Starling, “Good morning,” giving credence to the Mandela effect argument.

Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

1937’s Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfs remains one of the quintessential Disney animations and one of the most terrifying, even though it is 85 years old. Based on the 1812 story of the same name by the Brothers Grimm, it tells the story of Snow White and her struggle for freedom from her evil stepmother, the Queen.

At one point, the arrogant queen asks her magic mirror who is more beautiful in the land, with the wrong quote: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” Perhaps a little pedantic, says the vain ruler: “Magic mirror, on the wall, who is the most beautiful one of all?”

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The second part in the original by George Lucas Star Wars The trilogy is one of the most memorable in the series for many reasons, ranging from Luke Skywalker’s battle on the frozen planet Hoth to his training by the aging master Yoda and Han Solo being frozen in carbonite by Darth Vader. A true masterpiece, many believe it to be the best in the franchise.

Of all the iconic parts of the film, none is more so than the segment towards the end where Skywalker meets Darth Vader. The Sith Lord urges his son to embrace the dark side and join him, and when he refuses, the big revelation is made that he is Luke’s father. Ever since the film was released, people have generally believed that Vader says, “Luke, I’m your father,” while he says, “No, I’m your father.”

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