Jun 25, 2014

Misremembered Movie Quotes

I read in some movie trivia recently that the Julie Roberts’ movie “Mirror, Mirror!” was so titled to take advantage of the common misconception that the original Snow White movie contained the line, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” The correct quotation is, “Magic Mirror on the wall...”

I was taken aback by this assertion because surely most of use grew up reading the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale of Snow White and we were quoting the story we’d heard as children rather than the Disney movie? In my brief research, the nearest I could find to the original story collected by the brothers was the translation by Margaret Taylor (1884), and in this version the queen says, “Looking-glass, looking glass...”, so I’m fairly confident that in later versions this would have been updated to “Mirror, Mirror...” and it’s the original Disney movie that misquoted the queen.


Am I odd because I had to research this trivial fact? Well, I admit it. I am odd.

I admit, too, that I was wrong about many of the movie lines I thought could quote correctly. For example, I thought the whispering voice in Field of Dreams was saying, “If you build it, they will come,” but apparently it’s: “If you build it, he will come.”

Clint Eastwood doesn’t say, "Do you feel lucky, punk?" in Dirty Harry, but: “...you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" I would have got that one wrong.

"Elementary, my dear Watson!" Sherlock Holmes didn’t say this in any of the books or subsequent movies. This one surprised me.

When Darth Vader reveals his true identity to Luke, he doesn’t say, “Luke, I am your father.” He actually says “No, I am your father.” I could have sworn...

And then there’s: "Play it again Sam" from Casablanca, but no one ever said it in the movie. Ingrid Bergman says, "Play it once Sam, for old times’ sake." Then she says, "Play it Sam, play As Time Goes By."

Would you have been wrong about these lines too?

Are there any movie lines that you’ve insisted you could quote accurately, only to discover that you had them wrong all along?

13 comments:

  1. Hi Claire, isn't it fascinating the way we think we hear something but don't? The point I suppose is though, that these scenes are so powerful and memorable that the jist of them remains even if the words don't stay with us exactly. I've discovered a few times that the words I remember aren't the right ones, so yes, I knew about a few of these, including Casablanca and Field of Dreams.

    The fairy tale research is fascinating. I wonder when some of these war first written down. I know there's a very old version of Snow White in German which I always assumed was the original but then I've never researched it.

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    1. Hm, typing this early in the day - 'were' not 'war'! Though I rather like 'war' - it looks like Old English or something.

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    2. It does. Old English or German. Very appropriate.

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  2. Fascinating stuff…I knew about Casablanca, but not about the others…in fact, in our house 'Luke, I am your father' is a regularly quoted line (2 teenage boys, what can I say?)… now I can add to the conversation! LOL! I agree with Annie, though, we remember the gist of it all and the sentiment behind the words, if not the actual words themselves.
    Not sure I can name any other movies where I've got the quotes wrong, but I've definitely got plenty of lyrics in songs wrong over the years.

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    1. Oh, song lyrics, yes. I'm sure I've got plenty of them wrong too!

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  3. Well, I'd have gotten both the Star Wars and Casablanca quotes wrong. :-) Apparently at the end of Casablanca it's not "Louie, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship" either, but "…this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Huh, who'd have known?

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  4. Claire

    That was so interesting and I didn't know any of it LOL

    I am not a big movie watcher these days and my memory is not as good as it used to be LOL so there are lots of things that I probably get wrong :)

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Same on both counts, Helen. I have to really want to see a movie before I can justify spending the time, and as for my memory...oh boy. I think we've reached the point where our memories are overloaded so something has to give. :)

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  5. Claire, I'd have bombed on those, too! Do you think it's just that we must make them comfortable for ourselves? And there's a quote from Life of Brian that I've discovered I get wrong too - "He's not the messiah, he's just a naughty boy!". That actual quote is "He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy."

    I"m even WORSE at song lyrics! I always do really badly on the pink questions in Trivial Pursuit!

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    1. Bet you do well really well on the purple ones! :)

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  6. Sharon, that line from Life of Brian is repeated in our house all the time - the 'very' is important! ;)

    Claire, I love your list. I can't think of any that I mis-remember, but that's probably because I haven't realised them yet!

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