Ever wondered what makes action movies — often cheesy and grandiose — timeless favourites?
Aside from the weapons and explosions, dialogue probably plays a larger role than most think. And like books, word order, vocabulary, and grammatical construction give these lines their power.
Pop Chart Lab created a poster of famous lines from the most well-known action movies ever. Depending on the part of speech and function within the sentence, each word sits on a separate line in a different colour.
For example, consider “The Godfather.”
“I,” is the subject of the sentence, as shown by grey text. The first line in a sentence diagram always represents the subject.
Next comes the verb, “will make.” Pink signifies the helping verb “will” while olive green shows the main verb, “make.”Because “will make” is an action verb, the diagram separates the verb and the direct object with a straight line. A slanted line (like in “Planet of the Apes”) would show a linking verb and its subsequent predicate adjective or nominative.
Adjectives, articles, and other modifiers appear on slanted vertical lines below the words they modify.
A more grammatical version of Don Corleone’s words would include an implied “that” — “I’ll make him an offer [that] he can’t refuse.” The word “that” often begins subordinate clauses, as shown by the dotted line connecting the two diagrams.
Below, read 26 other catchphrases from some of the greatest action films of all time.
From “Independence Day“:
From “Planet of the Apes“:
From “The Terminator“:
From “The Princess Bride“:
From “Action Jackson“:
From “Dirty Harry“:
From “They Live“:
From “Apocalypse Now“:
From “Demolition Man“:
From “Point Break“:
From “Hard To Kill“:
From “Rocky IV“:
From “The Outlaw Josey Wales“:
From “Sudden Impact“:
From “Once Upon A Time In Mexico“:
From “Total Recall“:
From “Passenger 57“:
From “Air Force One“:
From “Casino Royale” (and all the others):
You can purchase the full, 18 x 24 poster (shown below) for $US23 here.
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