These famous quotes about life from movies demonstrate that films are not just an excuse to eat a box of bad-for-you popcorn. Movies sometimes drop some wisdom between the car explosions and the happily-ever-after kiss that can apply beyond the plot onscreen to the life you’re living.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda in “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) George Lucas famously used mythologist Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” to give his science fiction some heft. Here, old Yoda passes on some of the most basic of Eastern wisdom, basically actions speak louder than words, and saying “trying” is about the same as not doing anything at all.
“Losers are people who are so afraid of not winning they don’t even try.” In “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006), Grandpa Edwin Hoover (Alan Arkin) has much life guidance for Olive (Abigail Breslin). His beauty pageant musical choices, “Superfreak,” may be questionable, but this quote about life provides the perfect antidote to her father’s crazy, perky, positive thinking.
“If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962) Atticus, still one of the most ideal fathers ever depicted onscreen, had many famous quotes about life, but this one should be remembered in the era of internet trolling.
“There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” Michael Corleone (Al Pacino)in “The Godfather, Part II” (1974) was not only speaking to every potential Mafioso, he was unknowingly giving advice to every reality TV contestant in this quote about life or “Survivor.”
"Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."John Keating (Robin Williams) had many lessons for his students in “Dead Poets Society” (1989). This often cited quote about life distills his teaching into one easy to remember catch-phrase.
”Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.” Clarence the Angel to George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) in “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) reminds us that even an economic meltdown can’t make someone a failure if you pay attention to the important things in life. Bernie Madoff, are you listening?
“You know, the worst ain't so bad when it finally happens. Not half as bad as you figure it'll be before it's happened.” Bob Curtin (Tim Holt) in “The Treasure of Sierra Madre” (1948) loses his friend, his money, and his dreams by the end of the film, but he’s also laughing. This life quote reminds us that even in the darkest hour a chuckle and a willingness to go forward is all that’s really needed.
"If you build it, he will come." Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) may be giving Ray (Kevin Costner) an excuse for a nervous breakdown in “Field of Dreams” (1989) but this movie quote also gives him the impetus to change his life for the better. Sometimes a little crazy is just what the doctor, or in this case, baseball, ordered.
"Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." As “Forrest Gump” (Tom Hanks) gamely makes his way through daunting circumstances, it is this quote about life that fuels his perseverance in the 1994 film.
“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) in “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994) survives 20 years of injustice, beatings and rape in prison, and somehow maintains hope. Reason enough to remember this famous quote about life, when you're just having a bad day at work.