Given that you are literally quoting the title of your movie within the movie a title drop in a film is a difficult thing to get right. You need the title of your film to fit into the dialogue in a natural enough way, which isn’t always as easy as you’d think. But the really great ones elevate this, and make that line with the title drop iconic for some reason. Whether it’s part of a great speech, or down to the performance of a great actor, a good title drop deserves to be celebrated. I’ve picked 15 of the best, or at least my favourites, to shine a spotlight on. I won’t be counting any film where the title is just the name of a character, because that’s too easy, so sorry E.T. you don’t make the cut.
15) The Rock – “Welcome to the Rock”
The Rock is the weakest of the trilogy of Nic Cage’s action films from 1996 and 1997 after he won an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, but alongside Cage one of the two good spots is Sean Connery’s performance. And it is Connery, with all his presence and charisma who gives us our first title drop. It’s such a simple line, and might even have been said verbatim earlier in the film by another character, but Connery is the one who makes it stand out.
14) Back to the Future – “Next Saturday night, we’re sending you back to the future!”
The phrase “Back to the future” gets uttered a few times throughout the trilogy. I initially thought about going for its use in the final scene, where Doc shows up to tell Marty and Jennifer they need to go back to the future. However, I’ve gone for the moment 1955 Doc comes up with a plan to send Marty home. The over the top performance from Christopher Lloyd, completely with turn and point to camera, is too good not to make the list. The best of a whole bunch of great title drops in the franchise.
13) The Breakfast Club – “Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”
The Breakfast Club is a film about 5 student’s who come from such different backgrounds and belong to different cliques who come together and realise that they shouldn’t be defined by these things, they are more than just the stereotypes they are viewed as, particularly by the Assistant Principal of Sherman High School. That is perfectly summed up in that final essay the five come up with and beautifully signed off with that great title drop.
12) Independence Day – “Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”
As speeches go they don’t get much better than President Whitmore from Independence Day. Bill Pullman delivers a classic movie moment, and one that concludes with the big title drop. It probably deserves to be a little higher on the list to be honest, but I’m slightly discounting it for being just one part of a great overall speech. Still this is probably the moment that everyone remembers from Independence Day and it was something that the sequel just could not live up to in any way.
11) Good Morning, Vietnam – “Goooooooood morning Vietnam!”
Robin Williams was truly one of a kind. There weren’t many people out there who could match his energy, intensity, and brilliant gift for improvisation. In Good Morning Vietnam he gets to put all of that to the test as he plays armed forces radio DJ Adrian Cronauer. His introductory “Goooooooood morning Vietnam” is not only eminently quotable, but also one of the most enduring moments of Williams’ esteemed and acclaimed career.
10) Con Air – “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I have the only gun on board. Welcome to Con Air.”
We return to the very specific genre of Nic Cage insane action films for the mid-90s now, and Con Air. This title drop comes from John Malkovich playing the principal villain of the film, Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom, who masterminds the criminal takeover of the plane transferring the prisoners to a new prison. Malkovic is another actor who can elevate a line, and not only does he turn this into a great title drop, but a fantastic villain moment as well.
9) Chinatown – “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”
The only title drop on this list to make it into AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes (although Soylent Green only just missed out) that is the kind of pedigree we’re dealing with when it comes to Chinatown. This is a quote that really gets to the whole heart of the movie in such a concise and impactful way. The bleak ending of the film and Gittes’ helplessness to stop it is summed up so succinctly in him being told to forget, that’s just the way of the city.
8) Full Metal Jacket – “Seven-six-two millimeter. Full metal jacket.”
Probably the most harrowing title drop of all time. The first half of Full Metal Jacket is Stanley Kubrick’s look at an army recruit who is driven to suicide by the treatment he recieves in Boot Camp. Vincent D’Onofrio plays the man in question, Private Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence and the title drop comes as he is discovered having finally broken, armed with his loaded weapon. D’Onofrio’s performance is harrowing, and his delivery of the film’s title is one that will absolutely stay with you, especially when considered in the context of the whole scene.
7) Fight Club – “Gentlemen, welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!”
It’s the slogan that adorns thousands and thousands of bedroom walls as one of the most iconic posters that university and college students have used to decorate their rooms since Fight Club first debuted in 1999. Does the message of the film get lost, sure, but that’s because Brad Pitt is so effortlessly cool as Tyler Durdan. His laying out of the rules of Fight Club has become one of the most famous pieces of pop culture out there, and definitely warrants a place on this list for a great title drop.
6) Snakes on a Plane – “I have had it with these mother****ing snakes on this mother****ing plane!”
This quote has become iconic for how hilariously terrible it is, but in its defence, it perfectly sums up the tone of the film. That tone was set by Samuel L. Jackson, who insisted on the Snakes on a Plane title when someone wanted to call it Pacific Air Flight 121. Ultimately Jackson knew exactly what the film was, and how to make it memorable, and the title drop was a big part of that. It has also spawned some brilliant PG edits to take out the swearing, such as “I have had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday through Friday plane!”.
5) Suicide Squad – “What, we some kinda… Suicide Squad?”
Ok if Snakes on a Plane was terrible in a way that completely fits with the movie, then Suicide Squad’s title drop is just terrible, but so terrible it has quickly become iconic. I actually think Will Smith’s performance as Deadshot in the film is pretty great, as he’s clearly having a great time, but this line is not. It goes down with the “this is Katana” one as comically bad lines, and we all love a quote that’s so bad it’s brilliant.
4) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – “”Nine companions. So be it. You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring.”
Ok this one is technically a subtitle drop, but I think that’s what we’ve got to go with when it comes to franchise movies. And Elrond’s declaration at the end of the big council of Rivendell scene is spectacular, with Hugo Weaving owning that moment with a performance that has such presence. It is such a pivotal moment with the nine main character’s coming together for the first time, and one that always gives me the chills. However the way it is also completely undercut by Pippin immediately after with the line “Right, where are we going” honestly makes it even better.
3) Layer Cake – “Welcome to the layer cake son.”
Michael Gambon’s full expletive laden speech about the hard realities of the world and its power structure is a must watch. The title drop right at the end is the perfect punch at this moment when it seems like our protagonist, Daniel Craig’s XXXX, has lost. I’ve talked a lot about actor’s with presence delivering the title drop, and Gambon has as much as anyone, he is Dumbledore after all. If you were to ask people what the most memorable moment of Layer Cake is I’m sure almost everyone would say this speech.
2) Face/Off – “I’d Like to take his face…..off”
Where is the line between something being good or bad? Well Face/Off is a film that walks right on the boundary of that line for its entire run time. Part of what keeps it just the right side is Nic Cage’s unhinged performance as both Castor Troy and Sean Archer pretending to be Castor Troy, and it is Cage who finally gets to deliver the title drop. After Connery and Malkovich took that job in The Rock and Con Air Cage goes full Cage as he declares his intention to remove Travolta’s face. His delivery is so bizarre and intense that I can’t help but quote it despite having never been in a situation it’s useful.
1) Jurassic Park – “Dr. Grant, my dear Dr. Sattler, welcome… to Jurassic Park.”
This title drop has it all. Not only has it become one of the iconic lines from a movie jam packed full of iconic lines, but the moment as a whole is so epic. This is the first time in the film that we really get to see a dinosaur in all its wonder, and the first time that John Williams’ classic score hits us. Richard Attenborough’s performance is fantastic as well, he brings such warmth, passion, and pride to the line, which elevates it even further. This is a title drop that is pure perfection, and will likely never be beat.