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'Houston, we have a problem' is actually a misquote and it changes everything you know

Callum Jones

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'Houston, we have a problem' is actually a misquote and it changes everything you know

'Houston, we have a problem' from space flick Apollo 13 is arguably one of the most famous film quotes of all time.

Tom Hanks uttered the famous line in the 1995 film, but did you know it's actually a misquote from the day when a spacecraft was crippled by an explosion in 1970?

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The famous quote comes from the radio communications between the Apollo 13 astronauts Jack Swigert, Jim Lovell and the NASA Mission Control Center (Houston).

However, fans who have been reciting the famous line for decades now have been saying it incorrectly.

The correct quote from the real-life astronaut is actually "Ah, Houston, we've had a problem".

It seems we are not alone in not knowing the real quote, as less than half of 2,000 adults polled realised the quote in the film was incorrect.

The study done by Clipology, a new board game that streams real content clips, revealed the top ten most misquoted film lines of all time.

'Houston, we have a problem' is actually a misquote. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
'Houston, we have a problem' is actually a misquote. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

The infamous Apollo 13 quote was number one, with 'if you build it, he will come', from the 1989 drama Field of Dreams, taking second place.

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs is the highest Disney film on the list in third place, with "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all" often said instead of the actual quote: "Magic mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all".

Elsewhere in the top ten, the final line from King Kong often repeated as "Twas Beauty killed the beast" instead of the correct "Oh, no, it wasn’t the airplanes, it was Beauty killed the beast", took sixth place.

The study by Clipology also revealed how discussions about famous film lines can often result in arguments, with 29 percent of people asked saying they have arguments over misheard quotes.

37 percent admitted they would head online to check what the actual quote was for the classic film.

TV and film expert Boyd Hilton said: "When there are so many brilliant movie quotes to remember, it’s understandable for people to get some muddled up, even some of the classics from the golden era of world cinema.

Tom Hanks played the astronaut Jim Lovell in Apollo 13. Credit: Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo
Tom Hanks played the astronaut Jim Lovell in Apollo 13. Credit: Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo

"Even when a line has only been slightly altered, it can change the context of the whole movie. For example, 'Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes, it was Beauty killed the beast' is the final line from the King Kong film."

"You need to remember the whole sentence to get the full effect. There are many ways to remember the classic movie quotes of all time – whether that’s through games such as Clipology, online, or simply watching them on television."

Below are the top ten movie lines which are often misquoted:

1. Ah Houston, we’ve had a problem – Apollo 13, from Universal Pictures

2. If you build it, he will come – Field of Dreams, from Universal Pictures

3. Magic mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, from Walt Disney Productions

4. Play it Sam, play “As Time Goes By” – Casablanca, from Warner Bros Pictures

5. You’re going to need a bigger boat – JAWS, from Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

6. Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes, it was Beauty killed the Beast – King Kong (1933), from RKO Radio Pictures

7. No, I am your father – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, from Lucas Film Ltd.

8. “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya punk? – Dirty Harry, from Warner Bros Pictures

9. Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night – All About Eve, from 20th Century Fox

10. Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape – Planet of the Apes, from 20th Century Fox

Featured Image Credit: AJ Pics/Alamy

Topics: News, Tom Hanks, TV and Film

Callum Jones
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