That’s a line from one of my favorite sci-fi movies, Blade Runner, as said by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer). The words resonate with me as do many lines from a movie or a book. You may not remember the entire story, but that one line can stick with you forever, like a song stuck in your head.
That’s the great thing about movie quotes. You may not read a book over and over again, but a movie you’ll watch time-and-time again. It’s what drives them into our psyche. Everyone remembers the obvious ones like “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” from Gone with the Wind or “There’s no place like home” from The Wizard of Oz.
But I like those obscure movie quotes. The ones with life lessons packed into a single sentence. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“The dead know only one thing, it is better to be alive.” — Full Metal Jacket (1987)
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it, always.” — Gandhi (1982)
“Never apologize, mister, it’s a sign of weakness.” — She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
“A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” — The Godfather (1972)
“There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me, ‘keep your friends close, but your enemies closer’.” — The Godfather, Part II (1974)
“Anything can be great. I don’t care, bricklaying can be great, if a guy knows — if he knows what he’s doing and why, and he can make it come off.” — The Hustler (1961)
“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)
“You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you, you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.” — The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
“Power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don’t.” — Schindler’s List (1993)
“Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.” — V for Vendetta (2005)
“ou must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free except the grace of God.” — True Grit (1969)
“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” — Dead Poet’s Society (1989)
There is something about movies that inspire us. Now, I’m not saying that one line can make or break a movie or novel. It’s not just one line or some scene, but the combination of writing, acting, and directing that makes it memorable. When I think about Blade Runner, I think about the striking visuals of the future, the gritty performances by Rutger Hauer and Harrison Ford, the haunting music by Vangelis and the incredible story written by author Philip K. Dick.
If you can find that one line and put it into your next book or film, who knows … It may make someone’s favorite list in the future. For now, I’ll toss mine out there for your consideration.
“Love has a magic all unto itself. The connection between you and your husband is undeniable and unbreakable. Not even Death could sunder the ties that bind you and the Gil-Gamesh.” — Lady Lyllodoria, Forever Avalon