Date: 11th March 2003

Italian Job one-liner is 'cinema's greatest'


An immortal comment from Michael Caine in The Italian Job has been named the greatest one-liner in cinema.

Movie fans say the Caine's classic pay-off: "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off" is the top screen line.

Runner-up in the Orange poll was Rhett Butler's (Clark Gable) put-down from Gone With The Wind: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Cult hit Withnail And I came in third place for the line "we want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here and we want them now", delivered by Richard E Grant.

Kenneth Williams's speech "infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me" as Julius Caesar in Carry On Cleo is at number nine.

The survey was carried out to mark a series of talks at the British Library called the Orange Word Screenwriters season featuring movie writers such as Chris Columbus, Hanif Kureishi, Mike Leigh and Withnail creator Bruce Robinson.

Listeners to radio station BBC London also took part in the poll, which also identified the duffest lines on screen.

Andie MacDowell's cringeworthy "Is it raining? I hadn't noticed" from Four Weddings And A Funeral (1994) was voted the worst line.


Top 10 Film lines:

1. "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off" - Italian Job, The (1969);
2. "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" - Gone with the Wind (1939);
3. "We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here and we want them now" - Withnail And I (1987);
4. "You talkin' to me?" - Taxi Driver (1976);
5. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" - Apocalypse Now (1979);
6. "I'll have what she's having " - When Harry Met Sally... (1989);
7. "All my life I wanted to be a gangster" - Goodfellas (1990);
8. "I do wish we could chat longer. But I'm having an old friend for dinner" - Silence of the Lambs, The (1991);
9. "Infamy, Infamy, they've all got it in for me" - Carry On Cleo (1964);
10. "He's not the Messiah - he's a very naughty boy" - Life Of Brian, The (1979).

Source: Press Release