Movie Lovers: 13 Famous Ad Lib Movie Lines
I hope that you love movies as much as I do.
This was a lot of fun to put together. It’s an incomplete list of 13 famous movie lines that were not actually written into the script, but were ad-libbed by actors and so great that they made their way into the movie.
Not only did these lines make it into the movie … they have become some of the most famous lines in movie history.
In no particular order, here we go.
1. A FEW GOOD MEN - JACK NICHOLSON “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.”
Colonel Nathan Jessup (Nicholson) upon questioning by Daniel Kaffe (Tom Cruise), was supposed to say “I want the truth!”
Instead, he said, “you can’t handle the truth!“
The rest is history.
2. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY - OLYMPIA DUKAKIS - “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Meg Ryan is at a diner with Billy Crystal, while at the table, she performed a fake orgasm scene.
Dukakis follows with a perfectly timed, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
It’s one of the most memorable lines in movie history and it was not in the script.
3. JAWS - ROY SCHEIDER - “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”
Some argue that this is the most memorable line in movie history. That’s always subjective of course.
Scheider utters this unscripted line after getting a close look at the massive great white shark in Jaws.
4. GOODFELLAS - JOE PESCI - “Funny how? I amuse you?”
Outside of The Godfather, Goodfellas might be the greatest mob movie of all time.
Pesci and Ray Liotta have this memorable exchange together.
5. TAXI DRIVER - ROBERT DE NIRO - “You Talkin’ to me?”
De Niro looked into the mirror and was supposed to say “Bickle speaks to himself in the mirror.”
It wasn’t in the script … Di Niro came up with “You talkin’ to me?” all on his own.
It has become one of the most famous lines of all time.
6. THE GODFATHER - RICHARD CASTELLANO - “Take the Cannolis”
One of The greatest lines of all time and it was another ad-lib. Richard Castellano (Clemenza) was simply supposed to say “Leave the gun.”
In a magnificent AC lib, instead, he said: “Leave the gun, take the cannolis.”
7. CASABLANCA - HUMPHREY BOGART - “Here’s lookin’ at you kid.”
Bogart improvised this line while saying goodbye to Ingrid Bergman. Incredible chemistry between these two and a truly iconic line was coined for the ages.
8. TITANIC - LEONARDO DI CAPRIO - “I’m King of the World!”
One of the most famous lines of this movie and of all time was not in the script at all. DiCaprio ad libbed it and it turned out to be one of the most memorable lines in this Academy Award winning film.
9. ANIMAL HOUSE - JOHN BELUSHI - “I’m a zit. Get it?”
Right after the famous Faber University cafeteria line scene, when Belushi was eating (like an animal) at the table, he said, “See if you can guess what I am now?”
Belushi places a bowl of cottage cheese in his mouth and proceeds to punch both cheeks and lets it fly.
Afterward, he says: “ I’m a zit. Get it?” It was disgusting, but, remember, the movie is Animal House.
10. CADDYSHACK - BILL MURRAY - “The Cinderella Story is about to become The Masters Champion.”
It's a wonderful movie. All the script said is that “Carl (the groundskeeper) is outside of the clubhouse practicing his golf swing, cutting the tops of the flowers off with a grass whip.”
Murray ad-libbed this classic and memorable line.
11. DAZED AND CONFUSED - Matthew McConaughey - “Alright, Alright, Alright.”
Yep, another total ad-lib. Every person it was ever done in Matthew McConaughey impersonation, says all right, all right, all right.”
McConaughey has said that he was inspired to do this by Jim Morrison’s schtick on a live Doors album.
12. DIRTY DANCING - PATRICK SWAYZE - “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”
A total ad-lib by Swayze. It is one of the most famous and imitated lines in movie history by people who do it all the time some 34 years later.
BONUS LUCKY # 13
It’s not an actual movie line. It’s a sound.
13. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS - SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS - Hannibal Lecter’s hissing sound.
The masterful line, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
Hopkins pauses and then makes the unforgettable hissing sound. It wasn’t in the script and Hopkins never rehearsed it.
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