Original Dialogue Behind Famous Improvised Movie Lines

Hello to all you film buff’s out there! Have I got some trivia for you! You may know that Roy Scheider’s famous line in Jaws, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”, was ad-libbed. But, did you know the original line was, “if that shark was smaller, this boat would be the perfect size.”

From script to screen, a lot can change. Some of the most memorable movie moments have been created on set in the spur of the moment. Here are some iconic movie lines that were completely improvised and original lines that were cut.



Improvised: “Here’s looking at you, kid.” – Humphry Bogart

Original: “Here’s looking at you, Ilsa.”

Ilsa was the name of the character he was speaking to. However, Bogart remembered mid-shoot that it was the 1940’s and women had a long way to go before being properly addressed. He also wanted to acknowledge that there was a 16 year age difference between him and his love interest proving that even at age 43 he could still get it.



Improvised: “I’m king of the world!” – Leonardo DiCaprio

Original: “We’re going to need a smaller boat.”

This was a nod to director James Cameron’s favorite movie Jaws. It was also a reference to when the Titanic, as we all know, famously sank due to boatbuilders in 1912 getting a little ahead of themselves. DiCaprio, however, knew it was too early in his career to be making jabs at blue collar workers, which led him to put director James Cameron into a choke hold until he agreed to change the line.


The Empire Strikes Back

Improvised: “I know.” – Harrison Ford

Original: “You think you cute with your little braids and laser gun? Okaaaaay I see you, boo!” Han Solo was a lot sassier in early versions of the script. He was meant to be more of a gay best friend type than a lover, but Ford said he was tired of always getting cast in those roles. He decided to show the world his manlier side and the rest is history.


Silence of the Lambs

Improvised: “Thff thff thff thff thff thff.” – Anthony Hopkins

Original: “Thff Thff.”

In a stroke of genius, Hopkins improvised four more thff’s than the script called for. Another fun fact is that Hopkins also improvised Hannibal Lector being a cannibal.


Dazed and Confused

Improvised: “Alright, alright, alright.” – Matthew McConaughey

Original:  “Okay-dokey, arti-chokey.”

When the script for Dazed and Confused initially went around, this line took Hollywood by storm. T-shirts were already being made with the unique catch phrase. Unfortunately, the writer sold the script with one (contractual) request: only Uncle Joey from Full House would be permitted to say this line. Only Dave Coulier was worthy. Luckily, Coulier was busy, allowing McConaughey to step in and create his own movie magic.



The Shining

Improvised: “Here’s Johnny!” – Jack Nicholson

Original: “Here’s the thing about Johnny. I’m here, right? Here’s Johnny! But who is Johnny. A guy who loves breaking down doors? Or a guy who is a little more complicated than that? Because if you think I like getting splinters in my face I don’t. I don’t even sort of like it. And yet here I am.”

Jack Nicholson was atrocious at memorizing lines