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Am I the only person who will suddenly get a rush of jealousy while reading a book or watching a movie because it just has so many good lines? I always find myself thinking, “Ah, that is gold, why didn’t I think of that?”

Ergo, this list. I’ve compiled the top 5 quotes that I heard and thought, “You really missed your chance on that one, Margaret”.

1. “Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be’ – she always called me Elwood – ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me. ” -Jimmy Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey

I may as well just get this out there; I adore Jimmy Stewart. I think he could’ve sat there staring at the camera and I would call it a moving theatrical experience. That proclamation aside, I have to say even without his performance the script from this movie is one of my favorites. If I had heard just this one line, I would’ve understood the character to a tee, and that, to me is a sign of perfected writing. As a side note, I’ve repeated this line so many times my family and friends probably wish it hadn’t ever been written.

2. “I used to worry.Then I did a little research and found out that ten out of ten people die.” -Tammy Blanchard as Nina in Bella

I am a worrier. I’ve heard all the tried and true cliché lines, “Worrying is like a rocking chair…” “Worry won’t change tomorrow” “Worrying gives you wrinkles”, but frankly, no matter what you tell me, worry is not an on-off switch that I can manually control. So when you tell me to simply “stop worrying”, I will not listen. I’ll get annoyed instead. All of this has come together and create a kind of anti-worrying block in my brain. So when I was watching Bella for the first time and this line came up, it caught me completely off guard. It was something I had never thought of before, and -though slightly morbid -for once in my life, an anti-worrying line actually made sense to me!

3. “She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. ‘All right,’ I said, ‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool -that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.’ You see I think everything’s terrible anyhow,” she went on in a convinced way. “Everybody thinks so -even the most advanced people. And I know.” -Daisy in The Great Gatsby

Alright, so this is a quote from the book, but I’m just so excited for the new movie that I couldn’t leave it out! I didn’t necessarily enjoy the plot of the book, but the writing and the imagery is so spot-on. There’s just something about this scene that makes me tear up a bit every time I read it. You can sense so much desperation behind her words, so much poignancy that I just want to reach out and hug her. No matter how long it’s been since I’ve read the book, one time reading that excerpt and I’m right back there.

By the way, was I the only one who pictured Tom Buchanan being much better looking than that?

4. “In that moment I understood that the cruelest words in the universe are if only.” -Lisa See, Peony in Love

Maybe you’ve noticed a trend? I don’t follow rules well, even rules that I myself have made. This is not a movie, but it’s going to be, so I suppose it fits. I love this line so much because you’d think that the cruelest words in the universe would be something vile, a curse or an unkind word at least. ‘If only’. It seems so harmless, full of promise. But when it’s ‘if only she hadn’t died’, ‘if only I hadn’t failed’, ‘if only I had one more chance’, it takes on a whole new light.

5. You see, boys forget what their country means by just reading The Land of the Free in history books. Then they get to be men, they forget even more. Liberty’s too precious a thing to be buried in books, Miss Saunders. Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: I’m free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn’t, I can, and my children will. Boys ought to grow up remembering that. ” -Jimmy Stewart as Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

That Jimmy Stewart just keeps popping up everywhere, doesn’t he? I did warn you though, right?

This quote is just perfect. I think it speaks for itself, and I wish I had written it because it’s so easy to forget that the things in history books are real. Sometimes I forget that, hundreds and hundreds of years ago there really were Vikings and Gladiators and Crusades. It’s so important to remember the past, because ‘those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’, another quote that George Santayana beat me to.

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