Eight Amazing Lines in Movies that Were Unscripted

Casablanca – “Here’s Looking at You Kid”

I had no idea about this one.   Probably the most famous line in movie history and it wasn’t even written for the film.  Wow.

The Shining – “Here’s Johnny!”

I could so see Nicholson doing this on his own.  And of course he did.   Definitely the most popular line in the film.

Taxi Driver – “You Talking to Me?”

This was the first of a string of times when Robert Da Niro would repeat the same line over and over again.  His other most memorable time doing this was in Goodfellas when he says “what did I tell you?”

Silence of the Lambs – “Shhhhhhhhh”

Remember that whole fava beans speech given by Lecter?  That scary little shooshing sound he makes?   Hopkins felt an impulse to make it.  Nicely done.

*Not one line but almost the entire dialogue of the drill sargeant in Full Metal Jacket was apparently improvised.  I find that unbelievable.

  • Gil

    R. Lee Ermey was an actual drill instructor in the marine corps for some time. When given the role of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman he looked over his part and told the director that drill instructors don’t talk like that. So they told him to have at it. I also think he assisted as a military reference on a few movies before FMJ.

    • Nattyb

      He was the man in that film.

  • Good list

    I think the “I could have been a contender” from On The Waterfront was also improvised by Marlon Brando

  • ORA

    R. Lee Ermey was the man in Full metal that whole sequence was his and his alone one of the few actors that Kubrick allowed to have that much freedom in a scene.

  • I’d like to nominate just about anything from Will Ferrell in Anchorman, specifically the things he said while ‘on air’. Step Brothers featured a lot of improv from Ferrell and Reilly as well, specifically the nonsense they spew during their fights.

    The “Singing in the Rain” lines from A Clockwork orange is also pretty awesome

  • gill

    Not trying to be annoying but, I think you meant

    “I guess he was pretty cocky”, not “I guess we has pretty cocky.”

  • Drester

    Probably the most famous line in movie history and I don’t even know what it means.

  • Steve

    Please, somebody make a cheezeburger cat image that says “we has pretty cocky”.

  • HarshReality

    Yeah, like the comments say. R.Lee improved his entire dialouge

  • Jim Lahey


    Beat me to it. Nice explanation.

  • Atticus

    In “Midnight Cowboy”, the famous “I’m walkin’ here” line was entirely improvised.

  • Henry

    “SHE HAS A B—GREAT ASS!!!!!!!!!”

  • Beanie-Boy

    Not a “spoken line” improvise but the scene in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark where Harrison Ford pulls out his gun and shoots the swordsman after showing off his sword skills, originally Ford was suppossed to have a long drawn out fight with the swordsman but he and the rest of the cast got food poisoning the day shooting began, so he just pulled out his gun and shot the swordsman (not literally) as a joke because he felt so sick and the director thought it was great and left it in the film

  • Vincent

    “I guess we has pretty cocky.”

    Lysdexic much? 😛

  • MetFanMac

    Hopkins wasn’t making a “shooshing sound”, he was mimicking SLURPING UP THE OTHER GUY’S LIVER.

  • Evan

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that Ermey improvised his lines in Full Metal Jacket. He actually was a drill instructor in the Marine Corps. before becoming an actor.

  • Edgarska

    I just want to say that the drill sergeant scene in Full Metal Jacket is the single most amazing scene in cinema history.
    Not only unscripted scenes, but scripted as well.

  • Joe

    Taking the concept from another article and doing outside research and expanding on it in new and interesting ways can be powerful. Summarizing another article and calling it a new article is lazy. Your high school teachers would be dissapointed.