Learn English with Movie Quotes

You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk? If you recognize this famous movie quote from Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, this is a blog post for you.

Watching films can be a great way to practice learning a new language. You can develop your listening skills, your reading skills (if you are watching with subtitles), and it can also improve your vocabulary.

When films are dubbed (when the dialogue is re-recorded in a different language), you can miss out on great movie quotes. We’ve put together a list of some of the most famous lines in film and given them an educational twist. How many do you recognize, and have you seen the films?

"Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore." The Wizard of Oz, 1939.

The famous line is spoken by Dorothy in this classic film. The phrase has even become a part of our vocabulary. If you find yourself in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation, you can say “we’re not in Kansas anymore”.

"I’ll be back." The Terminator, 1984. (And many other films.)

The Terminator helped make Arnold Schwarzenegger into a film star, but he had trouble pronouncing I’ll, so they almost changed the line to ‘I will be back’. (Learn more about contractions.) He eventually managed to get it right and became one of the Hollywood’s biggest stars – an inspiration to anyone learning to speak English!


"You’re gonna need a bigger boat." Jaws, 1975.

This famous quip was said by Roy Scheider when they first realize the size of the shark they are hunting. Did you know that the actor ad-libbed the line? Ad-libbing means improvising or making something up.

"You talkin’ to me?" Taxi Driver, 1976.

Robert De Niro played Travis Bickle in Martin Scorsese’s film about a taxi driver. The quote comes when Travis is talking to himself in a mirror, but did you know that De Niro actually stole the line? He got the idea from a Bruce Springsteen concert, where the singer would address the audience on stage by saying the same thing. It is a rhetorical question, which is a question asked to make a point rather than to expect an answer.

Robert De Niro and Bruce Springsteen
You talkin' to me? De Niro and Springsteen are greeted by President Obama.

"ET phone home." E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 1982.

It’s impossible to think of ‘ET phone home’ without imagining it in ET’s iconic voice. Sadly, ET didn’t have the best grasp of English. If he was talking in the present tense, he should have said ‘ET phones home’, or ‘ET phoned home’ if was speaking in the past tense. However, he’s an alien so we’ll forgive him.

Casablanca Play it Sam
Play it, Sam. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.

Misheard Movie Quotes

Sometimes film quotes are misheard, mistranslated and misquoted. Here are some famous quotes that people often get wrong.

"Play it again, Sam." Casablanca, 1942.

The actual line is: ‘Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By’.

"Luke, I am your father." Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, 1980.

Everyone likes to quote this line, but what Darth Vader actually says is: ‘No, I am your father.

"Beam me up, Scotty." Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).

You will often hear this famous quote, but it isn’t quite right. The actual line is: “Scotty, beam us up.

What's your favorite movie quote? Are there any that helped improve your English knowledge? Let us know in the comments below.

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