This video is really blowing up! (Pun intended? But it really is going viral. It appeared on The Daily What, Laughing Squid, and Neatorama almost simultaneously.)
You know that famous line in Apocalypse Now, right, kids? “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” that’s how the movie’s most memorable sentence goes.
Kilgore’s quote “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” (written by Milius) was number 12 on the AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes list and was also voted the fourth greatest movie speech of all time in a 2004 poll.
…In a 2004 poll of UK film fans, Blockbuster listed Kilgore’s eulogy to napalm as the best movie speech. The helicopter attack scene with the Ride of the Valkyries soundtrack was chosen as the most memorable film scene ever by Empire magazine (although the same track was used earlier in 1915 to similar effect in The Birth of a Nation).
Indeed, something about Robert Duvall’s speech—and that one line in particular—must have plucked a chord in the popular consciousness, because variations on that sentiment have shown up again and again. The line crops up in everything from kids’ cartoons to crime procedurals.
But at this point, it isn’t even a great punchline; it isn’t clever. The reference is just lazy writing, a type of Mad-Lib from the guys in a sitcom’s writing room.
Still, it’s fascinating, isn’t it? That so many fictional people would seize on that line to reiterate unto perpetuity? Hmm. I’ll be waiting for the “You complete me” supercut next.