Go Ahead, Make My Day

Go Ahead, Make My Day

One of the most quoted lines in current culture is “Go ahead, make my day.” Spoken in the 1983 Dirty Harry movie, Sudden Impact, the line gained instant fame. The main character, Harry Callahan played by Clint Eastwood, is having his morning cup of coffee at a diner when he discovers a robbery in progress. After Callahan disposes of all robbers but one, the remaining culprit holds a gun to the waitress’ head, threatening to shoot her. Callahan points his revolver at the man’s face, daring him to shoot and says, “Go ahead, make my day.” This famous sequence was filmed at a Burger Island restaurant in San Francisco, California. Today it is a McDonald’s.

Video of “Go ahead, make my day” scene.

ORIGIN

The line, written by independent filmmaker Charles B. Pierce for Sudden Impact, originated from Pierce’s father. Story goes, his father threatened his son, “Just let me come home one more day, without you mowing that lawn, son just go ahead…make my day.”

Although almost academic since Clint Eastwood became synonymous with the line, a very similar line was used in the 1982 movie, Vice Squad. “Go ahead scumbag, make my day.”

SOCIAL IMPACT

  • The phrase was voted in a 2005 poll by the American Film Institute as the number 6 most memorable line in cinema history.
  • “Stand-your-ground” legal statutes referring to rights of self-defense are sometimes called “make my day” statutes.
  • President Ronald Reagan quoted the line when speaking out against taxes.

Video of Reagan Speech


SO WHAT ARE THE FIVE VOTED AHEAD OF “…MAKE MY DAY” BY THE AFI?

  • “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a dam.” – Gone with the Wind 1939
  • “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – The Godfather 1972
  • “You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.” – On the Waterfront 1954
  • “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” – The Wizard of Oz 1939
  • “Here’s looking at you, kid.” – Casablanca 1942

OTHER CLINT EASTWOOD “DIRTY HARRY” MEMORABLE LINES

  • “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?’ “
  • “Smith & Wesson – and me.”
  • “You forgot your fortune cookie. It says, ‘You’re shit out of luck.’ “
  • “It’s a question of methods. Everybody wants results, but nobody wants to do what they have to do to get them done.”
  • “What did you want me to do, yell ‘Trick or treat’ at ’em?”

 

Note: Post topic origin in “The Field Trip

The major chomped on his short, cold cigar, pushed the .45 closer to Ross’ forehead, and said, “Go ahead, make my day.”

“Aaaaa…kind of a worn cliché, isn’t it Major?”

“Yeah, but I’ve been wanting to say it for years. Where’s your girlfriend?”

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