14. “I’m gonna give you a little somethin’ you can’t take off.”
– Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglourious Basterds
Context: After dispatching a Nazi regiment including the introduction of “The Bear Jew”, Sgt. Donny Donowitz (Eli Roth), Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) has the remaining soldier point out the German position on a map of the area and also provide how their artillery is positioned.
He becomes frustrated when he realizes this soldier could go back to anonymous civilian life after the war and decides to have a German swastika carved into the soldier’s forehead.
The soldier is also spared to spread word of the “Basterds” and their voracious, merciless Nazi-killing appetite.
Why is it great: The first time around, the proceeding scene reveals the soldier’s new forehead insignia to Hitler, but you don’t see the action of how it got there.
The foreshadow is played out when the action and line itself are repeated at the end when surrendering Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) acquires his own “tattoo” for similar reasons.
13. “Oooh, that’s a bingo! Is that the way you say it? “That’s a bingo?”
– Col. Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds
Context: After the plot to kill Adolf Hitler at Shoshanna’s theater is revealed, Raine and Utivich (B.J. Novak) sit captured and bound to negotiate the “end of the war” with Col. Landa.
His idea is to negotiate his own outcome making sure his own personal needs are met. He suggests this idea, then admits Raine would not have the authority to agree on his own and would need a general’s approval.
Why is it great: Waltz won the Academy Award for his portrayal of Landa and deserves it for this reaction alone. The diabolical quirkiness of the character is well established by this point, but this moment is pure evil genius.
Landa knows he is on the right track and his preferred outcome is at hand assuming all the pieces fall into place. All he has to do is continue negotiating and he may be set for life with no possibility of retribution or reprisal by anyone.
12. “D-J-A-N-G-O… The D is silent.”
– Django from Django Unchained
Context: Companions Django and Dr. King Schultz (Jamie Fox and Christoph Waltz) find themselves in the company of Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his fellow Southern scoundrels at his spacious mansion.
An arranged brawl between two of his slaves ensues in his parlor. After the brutal conclusion, Django decides to have a drink at the bar where his name is asked and questioned.
Why is it great: The line is repeated several times throughout including during the excellent gunfire sequence at the end of the film.
Django spells his name after being asked to character Amerigo Vessepi who was played by Franco Nero, the original actor who had portrayed the title “Django” in 1966. Tarantino has always made a point of paying homage to films the director enjoyed as growing up and frequently casts actors as such.
Also, Billy Crash (Walton Goggins) shouts the D-Jango name after he is mortally wounded only to receive a finishing shot quickly thereafter. Django reminds him of the correctly spelling also before finishing him off.
11. “That’s a pretty fucking good milkshake. I don’t know if it’s worth five dollars but it’s pretty fucking good.”
– Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction
Context: During the infamous “Jack Rabbit Slims” diner scene, Mrs. Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega (Uma Thurman and John Travolta) entertain themselves with conversation. The topics include milkshakes, uncomfortable silences and her failed television pilot, “Fox Force Five”.
After receiving their meals, Vega inquires as to the taste of a milkshake which indeed costs $5.00.
The ensuing dance sequence happens to be one of the most famous in film history.
Why is it great: This entire scene is completely quotable. Even selecting a line to include in this list was challenging.
One of the interesting things about these types of conversations is you never know where they are headed and what outlandish sequence of words is about to happen.
Yet another example of conversation providing exposition. The scene is so we can get to know Wallace better and set up the ensuing return to her apartment where she overdoses and receives the injection to her heart.
10. “I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.”
– Captain Koons from Pulp Fiction
Context: Butch the boxer (Bruce Willis) recalls the time Captain Koons (Christopher Walken) visited him as a child and explains to him the pains he went through preserving this particular family heirloom.
The story is quite involved and emotional with a lot of details including stories of the military, being a prisoner of war and the watch surviving multiple generations to ultimate end up in the young Butch’s possession.
Why is it great: Most of the greatness goes to Walken and his impeccable timing and delivery. The quintessential scene of his career.
The story is vital to understand Butch subsequent fury over the watch being forgotten and his need to return to his apartment to retrieve it. The entire second act of the film begins with the watch scene.
9. “FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I’M FUCKIN’ DYING HERE! I’M FUCKIN’ DYING!”
– Mr. Orange from Reservoir Dogs
Context: After being shot in the gut during the botched robbery attempt, Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) is lying on the ground of the rendezvous warehouse awaiting other members of the gang to arrive.
A kidnapped police officer is also inserted into the situation and tortured for information regarding a possible “rat” amongst the group by Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen).
Why is it great: After Orange shoots Blonde before he burns the officer to death, Orange explains he is also a police officer waiting to catch the boss at the scene before the other police officers assist.
Emotions are intense throughout the entire film and this line informs the officer quickly the situation is grim and solutions are hard to come by. Both of them are in dire straits as the officer is also bloodied and missing an ear.
8. “You know somethin’, Utivich? I think this just might be my masterpiece!”
– Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglourious Basterds
Context: After Lt. Aldo Raine informs Col. Hans Landa his plan to escape culpability for his actions will not be accepted or tolerated, Raine proceeds to repeat his swastika forehead carving from earlier in the film on Landa himself. This time we see with painful accuracy the results of his actions.
Again, the permanent forehead etching will be a forever reminder of the colonel’s actions during the war.
Why is it great: The closing line from the film wraps up the sentiments exactly the way they should be and gives the audience the satisfaction of knowing the film’s horrible Nazi commander villain gets exactly what is coming to him.