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Films’ ‘Fab Four’: brief, memorable movie lines

You’ll be able to identify many of the movies from these four memorable words of dialogue. At least a couple qualify as “spoiler alerts,” but most of these classics have been around so long, you probably already know the ending.

For those of you keeping track, we’ve already offered samplers of some of the most memorable one-, two- and three-word movie lines, setting the stage for — ta-da! — this week’s list of four-word film classics.

In the best of cases, you’ll be able to identify the movie from these four words of dialogue alone. And an early warning: At least a couple of them qualify as “spoiler alerts,” but most of these films have been around so long, you’ve had plenty of chances to see ’em or hear about the ending, so you’re on your own.

As always, this list is only meant as a sampler, running the gamut from Westerns to sci-fi to sports to romantic dramas, as well as a few films that are harder to categorize. I encourage you to add some other memorable four-word gems in the Comment section below.

We’ll start with the classic four-word detective line:

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“Elementary, my dear Watson”  — “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” and “Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon.” This line never shows up word for word in any of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories but has become the duo’s tag line, used in at least two of the many Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce movies.

“Shane. Shane. Come back.” “Shane.” A memorable film fadeout.

“Show me the money.”  — “Jerry Maguire.” The anthem, unfortunately, of too many professional sports figures.

“Wax on, wax off.”  — “The Karate Kid.”   A misunderstood message that pays off handsomely in the end.

“I see dead people”   — “The Sixth Sense”

“Hasta la vista, baby.”   — “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” One of several signature Schwarzenegger lines.

“Soylent Green is people.”  — “Soylent Green.” Charlton Heston in another dicey situation.

“I am your father.”  — “The Empire Strikes Back.”   Shock and awe on a personal level.

“You talkin’ to me?” — “Taxi Driver.” Demented De Niro.

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“I want the truth.” — “A Few Good Men.” Tom Cruise offers a set-up line for one of the great courtroom speeches of all time.

Between the cracks
A couple of films that are hard to categorize:

“I like to watch.”“Being There”

“No wire hangers … ever!”   — “Mommie Dearest”  Apt motherly housekeeping advice.

I’ve saved the best for last, wrapping up with arguably the heart-tugging-est scene of all. First, three memorable lines from romantic films to get you in the mood:

“Snap out of it.” “Moonstruck”

“I carried a watermelon.” — “Dirty Dancing”

“Shut up and deal.” “The Apartment”

And the clincher film speech — and ending — of all time:

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“We’ll always have Paris.”   — “Casablanca” The short version of the scene is below; for the long version, follow the quote link.