We’ve all been there.  A famous movie line is tossed around in casual conversation and next thing you know, someone has to  ruin the moment by acting out the scene.

Well, this is my homage to those screenwriters  who work in solitary confinement to create those famous lines that do so much more.  Words that can bail us out or redeem us.  Words that make us laugh.  Make us smile.  Make us cry.  Most importantly…make us feel.

Some of you may blurt out the obvious….the cast, characters, the movies, the Director.  But it’s a true cinephile that knows the answer for the screenwriter.

Now for the no brainers….

You can’t handle the truth”

Jack Nicholson as Melvin Udall – As Good As It Gets.  Screenwriters – James L. Brooks & Mark Andrus

Oh Aunty ‘Em” 

Judy Garland as Dorothy – The Wizard of Oz.   Writers – L. Frank Baum (novel) &  Noel Langley (adaptation)

“You had me at hello”

Rene Zellwegger as Dorothy Boyd  – Jerry Maguire.  Screenwriter – Cameron Crowe


Cinephile Quiz.  Grab a pen and paper, take your best guess.   Absolutely NO PEEKING.  I mean it.  

  1. “Insanity runs in my family.  It practically gallops.”
  2. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
  3. “I coulda been a contender, I coulda been somebody.”
  4. “Mama, face it.  I was a slut all of the time.”
  5. “Why do they call him Uno?”
  6. “She’s my sister. She’s my daughter.”
  7. “I do wish we could chat longer.  But I’m having an old friend for  dinner.”
  8. “Rosebud.”
  9. “The darkest corners of my mind may be the highlight of your day.”
  10. ”I only like two kinds of men:  domestic and imported.”
  11. “One drink’s too many.  A hundred’s not enough.”
  12. “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. “
  13. “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
  14. “I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me.”
  15. ”Shut up and deal.”
  16. “She’s not a commodity. She’s your daughter.”
  17. “You changed your name TO Latrine?”
  18. “She’s a fake.  But she’s a real fake.”
  19. “Plastics.”
  20. “It only hurts when I make love.
  21. “It ties the whole room together.”

 1. ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, Warner Bros., 1944

ACTOR Cary Grant as Mortime. SCREENWRITERS Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein. DIRECTOR Frank Capra

2. APOCALYPSE NOW, United Artists, 1979  

ACTOR Robert Duvall  as Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore.  SCREENWRITERS Francis Ford Coppola, John Milius. DIRECTOR Francis Ford Coppola

3. ON THE WATERFRONT, Columbia, 1954

ACTOR Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy.  SCREENWRITER Budd Schulberg  (articles suggested by Malcolm Johnson).



ACTOR Elizabeth Taylor as Gloria Wandrous. SCREENWRITERS John Michael Hayes, Charles Schnee. DIRECTOR Daniel Mann

5.WINNING AT ALL COSTS  screenplay 

SCREENWRITER Maggie Franks.  See Portfolio

6.CHINATOWN, Paramount, 1974

ACTOR Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Mulwray.  SCREENWRITER Robert Towne.  DIRECTOR Roman Polanski

7. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, Orion, 1991

ACTOR Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lechter. SCREENWRITER Ted Tally.  DIRECTOR Jonathan Demme


ACTOR Orson Welles as Kane. SCREENWRITERS Herman J. Mankiewicz, Orson Welles. DIRECTOR Orson Welles

9. THE EXCHANGE screenplay

SCREENWRITERS Mary Dobon & Maggie Franks. See Portfolio

10. I’M NO ANGELParamount, 1933

ACTOR Mae West as Tira. SCREENWRITER Mae West. DIRECTOR Wesley Ruggles

11. THE LOST WEEKEND, Paramount, 1945

ACTOR Howard Da Silva as Nat.  SCREENWRITERS Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder. DIRECTOR Billy Wilder

12. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Universal, 1962

ACTOR Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.  SCREENWRITER Horton Foote (screenplay); Harper Lee (novel). DIRECTOR Robert Mulligan

13.THE USUAL SUSPECTS, Columbia, 1995

ACTOR Kevin Spacey as Roger ‘Verbal Kint.  SCREENWRITER Christopher McQuarrie.  DIRECTOR Bryan Singer

14. IN A LONELY PLACE, Columbia, 1950

ACTOR Humphrey Bogart as Dixon Steele.  SCREENWRITERS Edmund H. North, Andrew Solt. DIRECTOR Nicholas Ray

15. THE APARTMENT, United Artists, 1960

ACTOR Shirley MacLaine as Fran. SCREENWRITERS Billy Wilder,  and I. A. L. Diamond. DIRECTOR Billy Wilder

16. STAGEMOM, screenplay

SCREENWRITER Maggie Franks.  See Portfolio


ACTOR Richard Lewis as Prince John.  SCREENWRITERS Mel Brooks, J.D. Shapiro, Evan Chandler.                   DIRECTOR Mel Brooks

18. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, Paramount, 1961

ACTOR Martin Balsam as O.J. Berman.  SCREENWRITER George Axelrod. DIRECTOR Blake Edwards

19. THE GRADUATE, Embassy Pictures, 1967

ACTOR Walter Brooke as Mr. McGuire. SCREENWRITERS Buck Henry, Calder Willingham. DIRECTOR Mike Nichols

20. RANDY R   

SCREENWRITER Maggie Franks.  See Portfolio

21. THE BIG LEBOWSKI, Working Title Films, 1998

ACTOR Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey Lebowski – The Dude.  SCREENWRITER Ethan Coen. DIRECTOR Joel Coen

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