Famous Movie Misquotations

'Play it again, Sam' and 'Greed is good' aren't quite right
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2010 4:11 PM CST
Famous Movie Misquotations
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman (1915 - 1982) in 'Casablanca.' Original Publication: Picture Post, 1943   (Getty Images)

Fred Shapiro rounds up famous quotations from movies that for one reason or another—compression, clarity, cadence, to name a few—are altered in our collective memory. A sampling from the On Language column in the New York Times Sunday magazine:

  • "Greed is good." (Wall Street). Orginal: "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”
  • "Do you feel lucky, punk?" (Dirty Harry). Condensed from: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”
  • "Play it again, Sam." (Casablanca). Original: “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’ ”

  • "If you build it, they will come." (Field of Dreams). Original: "If you build it, he will come."
  • "Judy, Judy, Judy." Cary Grant never said this in a movie. Ditto Mae West on "Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"
  • "Me Tarzan, You Jane." (Tarzan the Apeman). Johnny Weissmuller alternately tapped himself and Jane, repeating, "Jane ... Tarzan."
  • "You dirty rat." James Cagney never quite said it, but he came close: "You dirty, yellow-bellied rat” and “dirty, double-crossing rat.”
Read the full list here.
(More movies stories.)

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