Correcting someone on a misremembered line from a film is the behaviour of a true pub bore. As they didn’t say in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: when the misquote becomes the line, use the misquote.
Still, in a bid to protect you from the pedants, Telegraph Men selects the top film phrases we all get wrong…
The misquote: Play it again, Sam
The quote: Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By’
Fact: more people have now said “Did you know they never actually say ‘Play it again, Sam?’” than have said “Play it again, Sam”. This is the misquoter’s misquote, its place in cinema history cemented when compulsive reference dropper Woody Allen used it as the title of his 1972 film.
2. Dirty Harry
The misquote: Do you feel lucky, punk?
The quote: Being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?
It’s easy to see how this one became truncated – the misquote gets across Clint Eastwood’s sentiment perfectly while taking a fifth of the time of the original.
3. The Silence of the Lambs
The misquote: Hello, Clarice…
The quote: Good evening, Clarice…
Unfortunately nobody seems to be called Clarice nowadays so this one is hard to roll out in a social setting. The important thing is that you say it while wearing a muzzle.
4. The Empire Strikes Back
The misquote: Luke, I am your father
The quote: No, I am your father
Out by a single word, this one topped LoveFilm’s list of memorable misquotes. Luke’s reaction to the revelation – an extended, screamed “No!” – is also eminently quotable and has provided the basis for many youtube re-edits.