When TV writers go on strike, the studios can pull out a few years’ worth of reruns. But what can the movie studios do when their scripts dry up? They’ve stored up so many classic lines—the American Film Institute, in fact, issued its Top 100 Movie Quotes a couple years ago. Why not recycle them for a do-it-yourself script?It’d be kind of a “service-oriented architecture” for assemblers of film scripts that allows them to borrow proven, effective lines from the best-in-class of the past.

Thanks to the AFI list, we might end up with something like “Terminator on the Golden Waterfront”:

HER: “Hello, gorgeous.”

HIM: “You talking to me?”

HER: “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?”

HIM: “You had me at hello.”

HER: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’”

HIM: “I coulda been a contender, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”

HER: “Listen to me, mister.  You’re my knight in shining armor. Don’t you forget it.”

HIM: “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

HER: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

HIM: “They call me Mister Tibbs.”

HER: “Rosebud. I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

HER: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

HER: “La-dee-da, la-dee-da.”

HIM: “I’m walking here! I’m walking here!”

HER: “Go ahead, make my day.”

HIM: ““Hasta la vista, baby.”

HER: “Tomorrow is another day.”

On second thought, perhaps what we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Writing, like doughnuts, really must be fresh to be palatable. It gets stale pretty quickly so, the next time you pass that harried writer in the back cubicle, say hello (and thanks) to your little friend.

— Steve Friedman

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