Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



B (continued)

Broadcast News (1987)

In James L. Brooks' romantic comedy/satire of TV news:

  • the ironic prologue illustrating the formative childhoods of the Oscar-nominated trio of future broadcast news professionals:
    - the good-looking, airhead news anchor Tom Grunick (William Hurt) ("What can you do with yourself when all you can do is look good")
    - the insecure, serious, intelligent news reporter Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks) who graduated high school at 15,
    - the fussy, driven, and strident network news producer Jane Craig (Holly Hunter) with a wordy argumentative discussion with her father over the word 'obsessive'
  • the classic scene in which wacky news assistant director Blair Litton (Joan Cusack) painfully rushes to get a finished tape to the control booth in time for broadcast - running into a garbage can and a file cart, slipping on papers under an opened file drawer, jumping over a toddler and her mother, and slamming into a hallway water fountain
  • the scene of quick-thinking Jane cleverly feeding Tom information via his earpiece during a special live news report on a Libyan attack on US bases in Sicily, and Tom's gleeful reaction of thanks to Jane afterwards at her desk: ("You're an amazing woman. What a feeling having you inside my head... It's like indescribable -- you knew just when to feed me the next line, you knew the second before I needed it. There was like a rhythm we got into... it was like great sex!")
  • the scene of Jennifer Mack (Lois Chiles) playfully asking nude Tom about his prominent penis shadow in silhouette after sleeping with him: "Do you do bunny rabbits?" - after he told her about her open clothes closet: "You can see everything you have"
  • the famous scene of uncharismatic, nervous Aaron's debut attempt at anchoring the weekend news when he sweats profusely ("flop sweat") while a producer comments: "This is more than Nixon ever sweated" - and Aaron's aside as the news went to a commercial after he reports: " least 22 people dead" - "I wish I were one of them"
  • the scene of Tom and Jane's passionate outdoor kiss when he suggests sex to her in obvious terms: "I've been wondering what it'd be like to be inside all that energy"
  • the scene of Aaron's desperate attempt to dissuade Jane from a relationship with media-friendly Tom by comparing him to the devil: "Tom, while being a very nice guy, is the devil...I'm semi-serious here...He will be attractive, he'll be nice and helpful...He'll never do an evil thing. He'll never deliberately hurt a living thing. He'll just bit by little bit lower our standards where they're important. Just a tiny little bit. Just coax along. Flash over substance...And he'll get all the great women" - when Jane accuses Aaron of being the devil, he counters that her assertion is impossible: "You know I'm not...Because I think we have the kind of friendship where if I were the Devil, you'd be the only one I would tell...He personifies everything you've been fighting against - And I'm in love with you. How do ya like that? I buried the lead"
  • shortly later as they part, the scene of Aaron's bitter, sour-grapes prediction of Jane's future when she asks what would happen to their relationship as friends: "Anyway, I'll be walking along with my wife and my two lovely children and we'll bump into you. And my youngest son will say something, and I will tell him it's not nice to make fun of single, fat ladies"
  • the anguish and anger Jane feels when she realizes Tom unethically faked tears in a cutaway shot for an interview - "It made me...ILL...You can get fired for things like that...(Tom's retort: "I've gotten promoted for things like that!") You totally crossed the line"
  • Jane's confrontation with Tom at the airport, telling him that they are so mismatched that she will not join him for a vacation during her time-off
  • the poignant epilogue in which Jane, Tom and Aaron -- both men happily married with others (and Jane in a relationship) -- catch up about things seven years later
  • the pull-back shot of Jane and Aaron in the rain under a gazebo

Broadway Melody (1929)

In director Harry Beaumont's Best Picture-winning backstage dance/musical:

  • the various musical numbers, including: "You Were Meant For Me," the title tune: "Broadway Melody," and "The Wedding of the Painted Doll"

Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937)

In director Roy Del Ruth's backstage dance/musical from MGM:

  • the memorable star-making scene, in one of the film's many subplots, of 15-year-old Betty Clayton (Judy Garland in her MGM feature film debut) in bobby socks singing "Dear Mr. Gable" to the "King of Hollywood" Clark Gable's photograph in the bedroom of her mother Alice's (Sophie Tucker) boarding house
  • she writes him a love letter (sung to the tune of "You Made Me Love You") - "Dear Mr. Gable, I am writing this to you, and I hope that you will read it so you’ll know…"

Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)

In director Norman Taurog's MGM musical:

  • one of the last extravagant B/W musical production numbers - the flawless tap dance sequence of Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire (their only teaming) to Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" - filmed almost entirely with one crane shot

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

In Best Director-winning Ang Lee's landmark love story and favored 2005 Best Picture nominee:

  • the poignant love story between two married bi-sexual Wyoming cowboys Ennis Del Mar (Best Actor-nominated Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Best Supporting Actor-nominated Jake Gyllenhaal)
  • their first meeting as an innocently exuberant skinny-dip into a pond
  • their initial confusion about their attraction over a campfire
  • Jack's awkward declaration of his true love for Ennis ("Tell you what. The truth is... sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it")
  • Ennis' chilling story about the cruel murder of a suspected gay cowboy
  • their eventually strained marriages -- Ennis to fragile, waifish Alma (Best Supporting Actress-nominated Michelle Williams) and Jack to tomboyish rodeo queen Lureen Newsome (Anne Hathaway)
  • Jack's final frustrated ultimatum speech to Jack ("Tell you what, we coulda had a good life together! F--kin' real good life! Had us a place of our own. But you didn't want it, Ennis! So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain!......I wish I knew how to quit you!")
  • much later in the film during their reunion four years later, the two hug each other tightly -- Ennis, nervously looking around, then forcefully grabs Jack and pushes him into a secluded spot by stairs where they kiss hungrily - while Ennis' wife Alma accidentally spies on their embracing passion from above and turns away
  • the emotional, tear-jerking finale decades later in which Ennis finds two old shirts (belonging to him and the now-deceased Jack) hanging together in the back of a closet, and Ennis' tearful: "Jack, I swear..."

Broken Blossoms (1919)

In this silent film melodramatic classic from D.W. Griffith:

  • the sensitive and frail teenage Cockney waif Lucy Burrows (Lillian Gish) in one of cinema's greatest melodramatic performances
  • the scenes of her forced smile by pushing up the ends of her mouth with her fingers
  • the unforgettable death scene as her brutal and bigoted father Battling Burrows (Donald Crisp) savagely breaks down the door as she cowers in a closet twisting to avoid him and later receives the fatal blows

The Brood (1979)

In writer/director David Cronenberg's horror classic:

  • the therapeutic treatment termed psychoplasmics in the Somafree Institute of controversial Dr. Raglan (Oliver Reed)
  • the gory scene of the vengeful mutant dwarfs (the brood) - offspring of psychotic mother and institute patient Nola Carveth (Samantha Eggar) - bursting out from doors and cupboards and their murder of young Candice Carveth's (Cindy Hinds) teacher Ruth Mayer (Susan Hogan)
  • Frank's (Art Hindle) final deadly confrontation with his ex-wife Nola as she is giving birth to another hideous demon-creature-child

The Browning Version (1951, UK)

In director Anthony Asquith's drama - an adaptation of Terrence Rattigan's one-act play:

  • the scene of an unexpected gift received from a student named Taplow (Brian Smith) - a second-hand book of Robert Browning's translation of Agamemnon (hence the film's title) - to under-appreciated, chilly, veteran Greek classics schoolmaster Andrew "Crock" Crocker-Harris (Michael Redgrave) - his favorite play
  • his cheating and embittered wife Millie's (Jean Kent) attempt to downplay the goodwill gift as bribery
  • the scene of Crock's apologetic farewell epiphany speech to a British boarding school audience - a confessional ultimately speaking from his anguished heart

Bugsy (1991)

In Barry Levinson's complex gangster biopic:

  • the scene in which psychopathic, larger-than-life, East Coast 40s Jewish gangster Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel (Oscar-nominated Warren Beatty) first meets sassy, slinky, and leggy B-movie starlet Virginia "Flamingo" Hill (Annette Bening, who engaged in an off-screen romance with Beatty, leading to their real-life marriage in 1992)
  • their meeting is before an artificial backdrop on the set of a Hollywood film when he lights her cigarette and they verbally joust together: (Virginia: "The way you were staring at me, I thought you were gonna ask me for something a little more exciting" Bugsy: "Like what?" Virginia: "Use your imagination" Bugsy: "I'm using it" Virginia: "Let me know when you're finished") -- when she turns away to leave, she urges him: "Why don't you run outside and jerk yourself a soda?"
  • the scene in which they first kiss - silhouetted in the light behind the screen of his projected screen-acting test when she tells him: "Do you always talk this much before you do it?"
  • the brutal scene during a dinner date with Virginia in which Siegel humiliates cheating crime associate Jack Dragna (Richard Sarafian) for skimming funds ("Did you think you could steal from ME?"), and sadistically makes him crawl on the floor and bark like a dog ("Now bark like the dog that you wish that you were decent enough to be") and then squeal like a pig ("Now let me hear you oink like the treacherous, devious pig that you are")
  • Siegel's gluttonous food binge at the dinner table - and loving attention and passionate kisses all over his face by his sexually-charged moll
  • the scene of the visionary and grandiose Bugsy having a "religious epiphany" in the desert about building a casino ("the single best idea I ever had")
  • the memorable scene in which adulterous family man Bugsy (in a ridiculous chef's hat) is in his East Coast home hosting three different groups: his wife Esta (Wendy Phillips) and two children celebrating daughter Millicent's (Stefanie Mason) birthday, his trusted foul-mouthed associate Mickey Cohen (Harvey Keitel) on the phone as he jealously seeks to know mistress Virginia's whereabouts in California, and with his New York gangster associates being convinced to provide $1 million in funding for his flamboyant dream to build a casino in the Nevada desert
  • the striking scene in a restaurant's women's room of Bugsy avoiding admitting that he wants a divorce from his stunned wife Esta ("You want a divorce, don't you?")
  • the final scene of his multiple-gunshot murder by a sniper/hitman outside of his Beverly Hills home while he is reading an LA Times newspaper

Bull Durham (1988)

In writer/director Ron Shelton's feature debut, a popular sports/baseball film:

  • the opening line delivered by sexy sports groupie Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon): "I believe in the church of baseball" regarding her beloved team - the Durham Bulls of North Carolina
  • the classic, philosophical speech of veteran journeyman baseball catcher Crash Davis' (Kevin Costner) beliefs to Annie when he is in her living room with fellow dating prospect and moronic ballplayer Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) and she proposes to "hook up with one guy a season":
    "Well, I believe in the soul, the c--k, the p---y, the small of a woman's back, the hangin' curveball, high fiber, good Scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there oughtta be a constitutional amendment outlawing AstroTurf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. Good-night"
  • her breathless reply: "Oh my!"

Bullitt (1968)

In this classic car-chase/cop film by director Peter Yates:

  • the spectacular, ten-minute car chase sequence filmed with hand-held cameras over streets and hills of San Francisco between police lieutenant Bullitt's (Steve McQueen) '68 Ford Mustang GT and the hit men's '68 Dodge Charger

Bus Stop (1956)

In Joshua Logan's romantic comedy:

  • would-be saloon singer Cherie's (pronounced Cherry) (Marilyn Monroe) singing of an off-key, inept, but innocently sensual rendition of "That Old Black Magic" in the Blue Dragon - a run-down honky-tonk night-club in Phoenix
  • her conversation with fellow bus traveler Elma (Hope Lange) about her beliefs concerning love and the kind of man she's looking for ("Maybe I don't know what love is...I want a guy I can look up to, and admire. But I don't want him to browbeat me. I want a guy who'll be sweet with me, but I don't want him to baby me either...")

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

In George Roy Hill's comedy-western:

  • the amusing banter throughout the film between two western legendary, train-robbing anti-hero outlaws Butch (Paul Newman) and Sundance (Robert Redford)
  • Butch's swift crotch kick at brutish Bowie-knife-wielding gang member Harvey Logan (Ted Cassidy) (who has been distracted and exclaims: "Rules - in a knife fight? No rules!")
  • the gang's many train and bank robberies together including one with too much dynamite detonated ("...Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?") and another with clever ventriloquism to trick Woodcock (George Furth) into opening the train door
  • the sexy and surprising scene of Sundance's visit to schoolmarm Etta's (Katharine Ross) farmhouse bedroom when he orders her to unbutton her blouse and undress in front of him at gunpoint
  • the lyrical musical interlude sequence of Butch riding a bicycle with Etta and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head"
  • the long, relentless pursuit sequence by a mysterious posse and Butch's repeated question: "Who are those guys?"
  • when cornered on a dead-end cliff, Sundance's admission: "I can't swim" (with Butch's guffawing retort: "Why, you crazy, the fall'll probably kill ya") and their big jump off a steep canyon ledge into a fast-moving river below while yelling a long and drawn out: "AWWWWW S-----T"
  • the final sequence in which the wounded and doomed heroes joke and daydream ("For a moment there, I thought we were in trouble") and then are caught at the point of death as Yanqui banditos in a freeze-framed (turning from color to sepia-toned) shootout in Bolivia

Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

In director George Sidney's adaptation of the Broadway musical hit:

  • the opening, star-making credits sequence - erotic, nubile, vibrant 16 year-old high-schooler Kim McAfee's (22 year-old Ann-Margret) blue-screen performance when she sings the title song in a wind tunnel
  • the split-screen gossipy musical telephone sequence (with live action and animation) titled "The Telephone Hour"
  • the appearance of Elvis Presley-styled pop star Conrad Birdie (Jesse Pearson), a beer-drinking hillbilly who caused swooning chaos among teens upon his arrival in the midwestern town of Sweet Apple, Ohio
  • press agent and songwriter Albert Peterson's (Dick Van Dyke) singing performance to his secretary-fiancee Rosie DeLeon (Janet Leigh) of "Put on a Happy Face" in the McAfee's backyard
  • Kim's father Harry McAfee (Paul Lynde) and his singing of "Kids" in the family kitchen with the familiar lyric: "What's the matter with kids today?"
  • in the conclusion, Rosie schemed with Albert to slip an amphetamine into the milk glass of a Russian ballet conductor (to speed up his next-to-last performance on The Ed Sullivan TV show), to allow time for their Birdie finale on the show. Kim's jealous boyfriend Hugo Peabody (singing idol Bobby Rydell) wrecked the broadcast scene by punching Birdie in the face, before the singer was able to plant "one last kiss" on Kim and sing Albert's composed song
  • the denouement tied up all loose ends: Hugo won back Kim's love, and recently-married Mae (to bartender-widower Mr. Maude (Milton Frome)) gave her blessing for Albert and Rosie to finally marry

(alphabetical by film title)

Intro | Quiz | A1 | A2 | A3 | A4 | B1 | B2 | B3 | B4 | B5 | B6 | B7 | C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5 | D1 | D2 | D3 | D4 | E
F1 | F2 | F3 | F4 | G1 | G2 | G3 | G4 | H1 | H2 | H3 | I1 | I2 | I3 | J | K | L1 | L2 | L3 | L4 | M1 | M2 | M3
| M5 | M6 | N1 | N2 | N3 | O1 | O2 | P1 | P2 | P3 | P4 | P5Q | R1 | R2 | R3 | R4
S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | S5 | S6 | S7 | S8 | S9 | T1 | T2 | T3 | T4 | T5 | U | V | W1 | W2 | W3 | W4 | YZ

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