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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

January 21, 2010 at 2:10 PM

A year of P & P — and, some favorite movie quotes

Somehow I got busy yesterday and missed the fact that Wednesday marked the first anniversary of Popcorn & Prejudice, which kicked off January 20, 2009 — the day the Oscar nominations were announced last year. (They’ll be announced February 2 this year, delayed so that the Oscar ceremony can take place after the Olympics are concluded.) So this, which I believe is entry #357, is a milestone for a project that I thought, well, I could just stop doing it after a few weeks because nobody would read it. Many thanks to all P & P readers — I really do appreciate that you take the time to stop by — and to Jane Austen for not rolling over in her grave (at least, I hope she didn’t) when I borrowed the title from her. Actually, I think Austen would be a pretty terrific blogger, were she here today. As would Oscar Wilde, but I digress.
The other day I was reading in the New York Times a column about famous movie quotations — and how we so often get them wrong. I remember, when I first saw “Casablanca,” being surprised that Ingrid Bergman doesn’t really say “Play it again, Sam.”

The most famous example of a film line improved by the popular mind is, of course, Ingrid Bergman’s request to the pianist in “Casablanca”: “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’ ” It didn’t take long for the line to begin to shift. Nigel Rees, the British author and quote maven, has noted that Jack Benny included “Sam, Sam, play that song for me again, will you?” in a radio parody of the movie a year later. At some point along the way, it became the memorable “Play it again, Sam,” which Woody Allen helped to cement by using the paraphrase as the title of a 1969 play and a 1972 motion picture.

But it got me thinking about movie quotes, and how some of them make their way into our daily lives. I personally have a fondness for many of the lines in “The Thin Man” and quote them regularly. (For the record, I’ve never actually said, “Bring me six martinis; line them up right here.” But the day’s still young.) Over the holidays, I sent a friend an email that began with some lines from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” because it just seemed right. And, re-watching “Moonstruck” the other day, I remembered how much fun it was to yell “Snap out of it!”
Has a movie quote entered your life? Do share.

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