Rhett Butler doesn't give a damn, but he still tops film quotes

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The Independent Culture

Rhett Butler's immortal line in Gone With The Wind was considered so risqué that it breached the Hollywood Production Code. But the producer David Selznick refused to replace it with the more innocuous "Frankly, my dear, I just don't care" and was fined $5,000.

Rhett Butler's immortal line in Gone With The Wind was considered so risqué that it breached the Hollywood Production Code. But the producer David Selznick refused to replace it with the more innocuous "Frankly, my dear, I just don't care" and was fined $5,000.

Sixty-seven years on, he has once again been vindicated as an American Film Institute (AFI) poll voted "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" the most memorable film quote ever.

Clark Gable's quote - so often mistakenly said to be the last line of the film when it was Vivien Leigh with "After all... tomorrow is another day" (number 31 in the list) - is one of those film lines which have become a part of Western culture.

In the poll published yesterday it beat Marlon Brando's line from 1972's The Godfather - "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse" - into second place.

Brando also came third with his "I coulda been a contender" quote from 1954's On The Waterfront.

In the AFI poll of 1,500 people in Hollywood, Casablanca had the most entries in the top 100, with "Here's looking at you, kid", uttered by Humphrey Bogart's Rick Blaine, the highest of the seven at number five.

The Wizard of Oz had six quotes on the list with Dorothy's line, "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore", highest at number four, while the oldest line was Al Jolson's "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet", from 1927's The Jazz Singer in 71st place.

Of the actors included, Humphrey Bogart has the most mentions on the list, with 10 quotes.

Billy Wilder can claim to have written the most memorable quotes, with 13 attributable to him, including Gloria Swanson's line from 1950's Sunset Boulevard - "All right, Mr DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up".

The AFI director, Jean Picker Firstenberg, said of the quotes: "They get into our everyday language. They become a common language that we can all relate to and empathise with."

The winning lines were selected from a list of 400. Voting criteria included a nominated quote's cultural impact on the national lexicon and whether it was used to invoke the film in which it appeared.

Also featured in the top 10 were Clint Eastwood's "Go ahead, make my day" from Sudden Impact (6), "May the Force be with you" from Star Wars (8), Bette Davis's "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night" in All About Eve (9) and Robert DeNiro's "You talking to me?" from Taxi Driver (10).

Ten best

1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Gone with the Wind, 1939

2. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." The Godfather, 1972

3. "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am." On the Waterfront, 1954

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

5. "Here's looking at you, kid." Casablanca, 1942

6. "Go ahead, make my day." Sudden Impact, 1983

7. "All right, Mr DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." Sunset Boulevard, 1950

8. "May the Force be with You." Star Wars, 1977

9. "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." All About Eve, 1950

10. "You Talking to Me?" Taxi Driver, 1976

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