Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction

Top 10: Best Movie Dialogue of All-Time

We haven’t had a CineFix list in a while; my favorite place for YouTube movie lists.  As a “word person” myself, I firmly believe the best films begin with the best scripts.  Most of the best scripts rest on the back of great dialogue.  CineFix has put together their 10 Best Dialogue Movies of All-Time.  The thing that makes CineFix’s lists so intriguing is that they’re not straight top 10 lists.  Each rung on their ladder represents a specific aspect of the topic they’re tackling, and unlike some sites, they have a long memory for film and do a great job of comparing classic cinema with recent releases.  For example the ten spots in the Best Dialogue of All-Time represent: evoking a place or time, wordplay, subtext, verbal conflict, storytelling, realism, hyper stylized, Non-American English dialogue, banter, and Shakespearean.  As usual, I probably would have picked one of their honorable mentions for several spots, and instead of highlighting Kenneth Lonergan as the “up and coming” voice in screenwriting, I’d have highlighted Taylor Sheridan (Wind River, Hell or High Water).  It’s still interesting and educational, as always.

Kenneth Branagh in Hamlet

10 thoughts on “Top 10: Best Movie Dialogue of All-Time”

  1. THANK YOU FOR THIS! This just put me in such a great mood. And it came very close to hitting all the right notes.

    I’m so thrilled Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead was in there, I’ve seen the movie a million times and it never gets old. The play is better, but reading Tom Stoppard is not the same (and there is usually not a convenient acting troupe performing it nearby). The speech in the play, about being dead in a box, is my favorite comic monologue of all time.

    Duck Soup! Out of all the old comic partnerships, the Marx Brothers were always the best. No one else brought together the physical and the verbal in quite the same way. Did you ever see A Day at the Races? Groucho takes out his stopwatch, measures the woman’s pulse, and says, “Either you’re dead, or my watch is stopped.”

    Branagh’s Hamlet is not his best Shakespeare film, or the best version of Hamlet. But the thing that always amazes me about Shakespeare is that he really was THAT good. No one else even touches him. He’s not just a writer propped up by academics, his writing really was miraculous, and holds up today, and is marvelously fascinating and entertaining, and ambiguous in the very best possible way.

    I only wish that my beloved SW franchise was not such a laughingstock. All they had to do was show a brief clip of that scene between Anakin and Padme, sans dialogue, to convey what not to do when writing for the screen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The brilliance about Branagh’s Hamlet, aside from that it got an adapted Oscar screenplay nomination for not changing a single word from the play, is that it is JUST as it was written and it’s brilliant. One of the best things they ever did in my freshman lit class was play this with a copy of the play in front of us and it made it come alive for so many of us.

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      1. Branagh. Hamlet. Whaddaya need, a road map?

        I don’t mean to denigrate the film, and what a fantastic teaching tool! I’m partial to Olivier’s dreamlike take, but Branagh is to be commended for making such a gripping version, sticking to his guns and including every word, and using his amazing cast so well. The constant stars popping up are only a distraction the first time you watch. After that, it’s amazing that every little part, it seems, is played by a consummate guy. Also I do not understand why Branagh chose the setting he did.

        But i’m sure he goes down in history as one of the great interpreters of the bard. I wish he would do it more, but the last time he got torn apart as I remember. I hear he’s working on Artemis Fowl.

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      2. Sorry, that sounded more negative towards Branagh and his Hamlet than I feel. He has always had my affection and respect, i’m overjoyed at the prospect of more Poirot, and his Hamlet stands as a thing of beauty. Sadly I think his style is too old fashioned, and that is why he was never a superstar, but if he had only made Henry V, Dead Again, and Much Ado he would have a place in my heart.

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      3. It will take special effort to ruin Artemis Fowl. It’s rooted in police procedurals and heist films, and wrapped up in a world of fairies and trolls. This is the kind of thing that makes money fall from the skies, or should. Of course, Hollywood can ruin anything, so it’s good a seasoned pro is on the side on Eoin. I don’t feel the apprehension I usually feel when something I like is on the slate. I only wish that for once, Hollywood would just tell the story of one book in a series, instead of conflating several.

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  2. Well bugger!!! … and, Grrrr … and other assorted cussin. Blocked from viewing. What do they have against Canadians?
    (I even tried viewing it via less, ahem, salubrious, ways-and-means. No joy)
    Sad Widdershins is sad. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well it can’t be that you’re overly polite……dash it all, I simply have no idea. Type in “cinefix” on youtube and search their lists for this one – it’s fairly recent. That’s my best recommendation.

      Liked by 1 person

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