Iconic film quotes that were never in the script
They’ve become classic lines in pop culture. Everyone from mobsters to intergalactic pilots have uttered standout statements that have come to define certain movies. But some of them were never planned.
Here are 5 of the most famous:
Robert De Niro is a Hollywood legend and if you were asked to recite some of his most celebrated scenes, this monologue from Taxi Driver would be top of the list. Incredibly, the actor made up every line of this speech to himself in the mirror. There was minimal instruction in the script and De Niro was told to play like a kid impersonating a cowboy. “You talkin’ to me? … Well, I’m the only one here.” The line was voted number 8 in The Hollywood Reporter’s favourite movie quotes of all time.
For a film this huge, you need an iconic quote to go with it. Much of the script to 1975’s Jaws was finalised the night before the scenes were shot in meetings between director Steven Spielberg and his writers. And Roy Scheider’s epic delivery was an on-the-spot ad-lib. New lawman Martin Brody has a big problem when he arrives in the coastal town of Amity, and it’s got massive teeth. After his first encounter with the great white shark terrorising the locals, Scheider delivered the movie’s greatest line.
… Funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you?”
Goodfellas is considered a cinematic classic charting the story of Henry Hill and his life in the Mafia underworld. Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece boasts a stellar cast including Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta but it’s Joe Pesci’s character of Tommy DeVito who reached cult status for his “Funny how?” rant. The scene is based on a real-life incident and a young Pesci’s encounter with a mobster when he worked in a restaurant. The actor relayed the story to Scorsese and while it wasn’t in the original script, it was included in the movie to glorious effect.
The mob world seems to be the inspiration for many actors to take liberties with the script but the Godfather trilogy is among the most revered in the genre. No cannolis – the Italian dessert - appear in the original script or novel on which director Francis Ford Coppola’s movie is based but actor Richard Castellano added the line.
When Han Solo is frozen in carbonite towards the end of the Star Wars sequel, Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia utters the phrase “I love you” expecting to hear Harrison Ford reply with “I love you too”. Instead Ford reworked the line with director Irvin Kershner from the original to say “I know.” The scene proved a massive hit with fans and was paid a clever tribute in the follow-up Return of the Jedi when the roles were reversed right before Leia blasts two stormtroopers. Classic Star Wars.