5 Famous Movie Lines That Were Ad-Libbed

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Jack Nicholson in The Shining
Photo from imdb.com
When someone quotes, "Here's lookin' at you, kid," it's hard not to let your heart melt at the thought of Rick letting Ilsa go, or when you hear "Heeeeere's Johnny!" creepy Jack Nicholson in The Shining often comes to mind.

But did you know that both of these famous lines weren't originally in the script?

Here are five examples of when some goofing around on set turned out to be the best decision that they could have made:

  1. In the last scene of Casablanca, on that rainy, foggy airstrip, Rick (played by Humphrey Bogart) lifts Isla's head to his and says, "Here's lookin' at you, kid." Best ending line. Ever. And Bogart threw it in during filming. Legend has it that this is something Bogart used to say to Ingrid Bergman as he taught her to play poker in between takes on set. Now where's my tissue?
  2. Quick: When Harry Met Sally ... what do you think of? Fake orgasm scene, right? Of course. While the actual scene wasn't ad-libbed, Billy Crystal improvised that at the conclusion of the orgasm, a customer should tell the waiter taking her order, "I'll have what she's having." The writer loved the line so much that he had his own mother deliver it.
  3. "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti," as said by the infamous Hannibal Lecter followed by the eerie hiss-sucking noise from Silence of the Lambs. Hollywood rumour says that this hissing was just a joke thrown in by Anthony Hopkins. He never intended it to be so frightening, not to mention appearing in the final cut (or having it appear in countless nightmares).
  4. "You talkin' to me?" is a line that has followed Robert De Niro throughout his entire career, but the famous line from Taxi Driver was actually an ad-lib.
  5. In The Shining, Jack Nicholson is genius as the crazy, murderous character Jack Torrance. After chopping through a door in order to kill his wife, he sticks his head through and says, "Heeeeere's Johnny!" The creepy ad-lib line has since become iconic, even overshadowing the origin of the reference, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Just goes to show that genius can't always be planned.

What are some of your favorite movie lines? Were they ad-libbed?


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