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Unforgettable Movie Ad-Libs
Screenwriters labor over every word in a movie script, but sometimes that perfect memorable line happens by accident. The unplanned scene doesn’t hit the cutting room floor and instead becomes the film’s signature statement. Here’s a look at seven films with renowned bits of dialogue that were not in the original script.
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"Here's looking at you, kid"
Casablanca (1942) Listed as one of the greatest films in history, Casablanca is also well known for this iconic line improvised by Humphrey Bogart as he said goodbye to Ingrid Bergman: "Here's looking at you, kid."
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"You're going to need a bigger boat"
Jaws (1976) The famous movie line from Jaws was unscripted. It was actually a catchphrase the crew would use anytime something went wrong on the set. Roy Scheider weaved it into the film.
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The Shining (1980) In a 2015 Daily Beast article, director Martin Scorsese ranked The Shining as No. 1 among his top 11 scariest films — and it’s critically acclaimed as one of the greatest horror films ever made. Jack Nicholson, known for his clever ad-libs, gave the film its most memorable unscripted moment when he took an ax to a bathroom door and said, "Here's Johnny."
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"You can't handle the truth!"
A Few Good Men (1992) Who doesn’t remember the iconic line, "You can't handle the truth," from A Few Good Men? The line in the original script was, "You already have the truth." But Jack Nicholson improvised a little and made movie history.
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"You talkin' to me?"
Taxi Driver (1976) Robert De Niro delivers this most memorable line from Taxi Driver. De Niro ad-libbed this section because there was no dialogue. The script had simply called for his character Travis to talk to himself in the mirror.
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"Hey! I'm walking here!"
Midnight Cowboy (1969) Dustin Hoffman delivered this perfect line as he and Jon Voight were filming in real New York City traffic. A cabbie unexpectedly drove into the scene and nearly hit Hoffman. He responded by striking the roof of the taxi as he yelled out the now legendary line.