Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments




Cabaret (1972)

In Bob Fosse's dark, classic, award-winning musical:

  • the opening dance number "Willkommen" introduced by Berlin's seedy Kit Kat Club's androgynous, leering, white-faced emcee/Master of Ceremonies (Joel Grey)
  • the seductive and wildly reckless American dancer/singer Sally Bowles' (Liza Minnelli) performance of "Mein Herr" wearing a black derby hat and a deep V-necked costume
  • the duet of the MC and Sally singing "The Money Song"
  • the scene with Sally and bi-sexual British writer Brian Roberts (Michael York) in which she asks: "Maybe you just don't sleep with girls"
  • the threesome sexual moment with the two of them and rich German playboy-baron Maximilian von Heune (Helmut Griem), when they danced slowly together and the record stopped with a potent silence
  • the scene at an outdoor cafe in which a young, fresh-faced German blonde, blue-eyed, tenor-voiced boy sings "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" and the camera quickly reveals that he is wearing a brown uniform and his arm is wrapped with a Nazi swastika armband - and the patrons of the German beer garden join in the triumphant Nazi anthem
  • Sally's defiant, show-stopping, belt-it-out rendition of "Cabaret" ("Life is a cabaret, old chum / Only a cabaret, old chum / And I love a cabaret!")
  • her vow to continue her destructive, decadent lifestyle after an abortion, as Brian returns to England
  • the chilling final shot as the camera pans along the twisted, mirrored mylar wall and settles on two Nazi swastikas on audience members (as the cymbal crashes after a long snare drum roll)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920, Ger.)

In Robert Wiene's classic and influential silent film:

  • the expressionist cinematography and the distorted, jagged, angular sets
  • the tale (the film's entire story) told in flashback, by Francis (Friedrich Feher) - a tale of the strange sufferings and horrible events that he had experienced
  • the promotion of mad and sinister Dr. Caligari's (Werner Krauss) "spectacle" attraction at the fair with a life-sized poster - a sleeping somnambulist named Cesare (Conrad Veidt), who was revealed and awakened in a box-shaped cabinet or coffin, and prophetically told fortunes to audience members
  • the stabbing death of Francis' friend Alan (Hans Heinrich von Twardowski) by a shadowy figure
  • the abduction of Francis' 'fiancee' Jane Olsen (Lil Dagover) by Cesare, and the chase by a mob across rooftops and down alleyways
  • the shocking discovery by Francis that Dr. Caligari was the insane director of a mental institution, and that he was obsessed with imitating a 18th century mystic (of the same name) who sent out his somnambulist Cesare to commit murder
  • the twist ending -- the entire film (a framed story with a flashback) was made up from the mad ramblings and delusions of Francis, the mentally-ill narrator/story-teller of the film while he was seated in the asylum courtyard. Francis' doctor was the benevolent and respected Dr. Caligari!

Caddyshack (1980)

In Harold Ramis' much-loved golf comedy:

  • the memorable characters associated with the Bushwood Country Club, including elitist Judge Smails (Ted Knight) and his sexy young niece Lacy Underall (Cindy Morgan)
  • the lunatic groundskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) with his golf fantasies ("It's in the hole!") and his fixation with destroying a dancing gopher ("Uh, hello, Mr. Gopher. Yeah, it's me, Mr. Squirrel. Yeah, hi. Uh, just a harmless squirrel, not a plastic explosive or anything, nothing to be worried about") - to the tune of Kenny Loggins' song "I'm Alright"
  • the boorish, nouveau-riche wisecracking loudmouth Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield in his feature film debut): ("This is the worst lookin' hat I ever saw.....oh, it looks good on you though!", or "Hey, you wanna make $14 dollars the hard way?")
  • the scene of the performance of a Busby Berkeley-style water ballet by golf caddies in the pool - and the scatological moment that a floating candy bar sends swimmers screaming from the water in a Jaws-inspired panic - and the shock and fainting caused when a pool cleaner eats the brown object

Caged Heat (1974)

In director Jonathan Demme's (The Silence of the Lambs (1991)) early trashy cult women-in-prison flick produced by B-movie king Roger Corman:

  • the character of McQueen - the wheelchair-bound, repressive, and semi-lesbian prison warden (scream queen veteran Barbara Steele)
  • various attractive and empowered cell-block prisoners, including Erica Gavin, Roberta Collins and Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith, often glimpsed in shower scenes
  • with expected exploitative scenes of sadistic torture by the prison's doctor, tongue-in-cheek humor, dirty catfights, rebellion and the requisite prison escape, etc.

The Caine Mutiny (1954)

In director Edward Dmytryk's military drama:

  • the concluding scene of the by-the-book and paranoid Captain Queeg's (Humphrey Bogart) disintegration on the witness stand while manipulating steel ball bearings in his hand
  • his incoherent, crazy ramblings about disloyal officers and about the strawberry incident ("Ah, but the strawberries! That's, that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, and with, with geometric logic, that, that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox did exist") after being broken down by lawyer Lt. Barney Greenwald (Jose Ferrer), during the court-martial trial

California Split (1974)

In Robert Altman's comedy film:

  • the camaraderie of the two compulsive poker players/casino gamblers: extroverted and free-spirited Charlie Waters (Elliott Gould) and introverted magazine writer Bill Denny (George Segal)
  • their first bet together - on who could name all of the Seven Dwarfs
  • the scene in which Charlie bargains with a robber to take only half of his winnings
  • Charlie's two roommates: professional escorts/hookers Barbara and Susan (Ann Prentiss and Gwen Welles) who feed them beer and Froot Loops
  • their poker competition in Reno against Amarillo Slim

Camille (1936)

In George Cukor's superb romantic drama - one of filmdom's greatest classics with Garbo's best performance:

  • the wonderful romantic dialogue within the film and its soft-focus cinematography
  • the scene of Baron de Varville (Henry Daniell) playing the piano to torture courtesan La Dame Aux Camelias ("Lady of the Camellias") Marguerite Gautier (Greta Garbo) with his knowledge of her arranged tryst with a young Armand Duval (Robert Taylor)
  • the lovely pastoral sequence with Armand
  • Marguerite's encounter with Armand's father (Lionel Barrymore) when he asks her to stop ruining his son
  • Camille's decision to break off her relationship
  • her weeping while writing a farewell to Armand
  • the final, beautiful deathbed scene, dying in her lover's arms

The Cannonball Run (1981)

In director Hal Needham's classic cross-country car race film with an all-star cast (including Dom DeLuise as Victor/Captain Chaos):

  • the closing credits - composed of wacky out-takes

Cape Fear (1962)

In director J. Lee Thompson's suspenseful and intense late b/w film noir from James Webb's screenplay, based on John D. MacDonald's novel "The Executioners":

  • the moody music by Bernard Herrmann - under the opening credits
  • the evil, intimidating, vengeful and insolent character of cigar-smoking, Panama hat-wearing psychopath Max Cady (Robert Mitchum), first exemplified when he walks inside a Southern courtroom and as he ascends the stairs ignores a woman who dropped a book in front of him
  • the many chilling moments in which the sexually-predatory Cady pursues and stalks the female family members of lawyer Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) intent on raping them
  • his poisoning of the family dog Marilyn with strychnine (mid-barking, the dog lets out a long whine)
  • his menacing of young teenaged daughter Nancy Bowden (Lori Martin) at her school
  • his sexually threatening of both females on a houseboat on Cape Fear River
  • the deeply frightening scene in which the bare-chested ex-con threatens to force Sam's wife Peggy (Polly Bergen) to have consensual sex with him in order to save the rape of her daughter - and then after creating a diversion, goes after young Nancy
  • the climactic conclusion when Sam saves Nancy, fights bare-fisted against Cady, overpowers him, holds him at gunpoint, and decides to not kill him: "We're gonna take good care of you. We're gonna nurse you back to health. And you're strong, Cady. You're gonna live a long life - in a cage! That's where you belong. And that's where you're going. And this time, for life! Bang your head against the walls. Count the years, the months, the hours, until the day you rot!"

Cape Fear (1991)

In Martin Scorsese's remake of the original 1962 film with Robert Mitchum:

  • the portrayal of vengeful psychotic Max Cady (Robert De Niro) threatening lawyer Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) and his wife Leigh (Jessica Lange) and daughter
  • Max's confrontation on the street with Sam Bowden as he drives along in an open convertible
  • the tense and very disturbing, repellent yet fascinating scene when he poses as a drama teacher on the set of a play in the school's auditorium and then proceeds to verbally and physically seduce and kiss the rebellious, naive, sexually-curious and troubled fifteen-year old daughter Danielle (Juliette Lewis) - with her dual responses of fear and excitement
  • the climactic houseboat confrontation on Cape Fear River when Cady is handcuffed to their houseboat and drowns while speaking madly in tongues when the boat sinks

Captain Blood (1935)

In Michael Curtiz' tremendous swashbuckler adventure film:

  • the romance between Capt. Peter Blood (Errol Flynn in a star-making role) and the lovely Arabella Bishop (Olivia de Havilland) - the stars' first romantic teaming
  • the exciting naval battle sequences and bombardments
  • the trademark sword duel to the death between Capt. Blood and French pirate Levasseur (Basil Rathbone) on the beach

Captains Courageous (1937)

In Victor Fleming's adventure/drama:

  • Portuguese fisherman Manuel's (Spencer Tracy) playing and singing (a song to a fish: "don't cry") with a hurdy-gurdy on the deck of his ship
  • his rescue, care and education of a spoiled rich kid Harvey (Freddie Bartholomew) (his "leetle feesh")
  • the sequences of the schooner race
  • Manuel's tragic death scene as he drowns in the waves
  • the poignant memorial service scene with Harvey's father (Melvyn Douglas) comforting his son in the final shot - silently, arm in arm, the two watch wreaths float away together in the outgoing tide

Carlito's Way (1993)

In director Brian de Palma's gangster film told in flashback:

  • the ending scene of the cat-and-mouse chase through the subway and Grand Central Station for Puerto Rican drug-dealing criminal Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino), when he is shot by Bronx punk Benny Blanco (John Leguizamo) in the stomach and is dying in ballet dancer/stripper Gail's (Penelope Ann Miller) arms on the train platform
  • his come-to-life dream of "Escape to Paradise" (a billboard with a Caribbean beach and a woman dancing before a sunset) before and during the end-credits while on a stretcher bound for the hospital
  • the voice-over ("...Hope she uses the money to get out. No room in this city for big hearts like hers... Sorry baby, I tried the best I could, honest... Can't come with me on this trip, Loaf. Getting the shakes now, last call for drinks, bars closing down... Sun's out, where are we going for breakfast? Don't wanna go far. Rough night, tired baby... Tired...")

Carnal Knowledge (1971)

In director Mike Nichols' dramatic and controversial film:

  • the sexual fumblings of the threesome courtship of young 1940s Amherst College roommates: the predatory Jonathan Fuerst (Jack Nicholson) and naive Sandy (Art Garfunkel) with coed sweetheart Susan (Candice Bergen), and how their lives approached middle-age
  • the bedroom-shower sequence revealing the vulnerability of Jonathan's unhappy and unfulfilled voluptuous actress-mistress-wife Bobbie (Ann-Margret) ("I wanna get married" and "the reason I sleep all day is 'cause I can't stand my life...I need a life")
  • his verbal demolishing of her and her uselessness ("You want a job? I got a job for ya. Fix up this pigsty!")
  • Jonathan's slide-show lecture of his sexual conquests and the women in his life (titled "Ballbusters on Parade!")
  • his dysfunctional solace found in the final scene with prostitute Louise (Rita Moreno) as he was sexually massaged ("It's rising, it's rising...more virile, domineering. More irresistible. It's up, it's in the air!")

Carrie (1976)

In Brian De Palma's classic horror film adapted from a Stephen King novel:

  • the scene of a terrified Carrie's (Sissy Spacek) first menstruation in a high school locker-shower room
  • the scene of Carrie's religiously-fanatical mother Margaret White (Piper Laurie) warning Carrie about boys and prohibiting her from going to her prom ("Boys. Yes, boys come next. After the blood, the boys come. Like sniffing dogs...grinning and slobbering, trying to find out where the smell comes from, where the smell is. That smell!")
  • the much-celebrated, exhilarating prom sequence in which the camera circles counterclockwise around Carrie and dream date Tommy (William Katt) as they move in the opposite direction
  • Carrie's bloody high school prom experience as she is crowned prom queen and then cruelly doused by pig's blood
  • her murderous, fiery, violent telekinetic revenge (shown in split-screen)
  • her mother's ecstatic crucifixion-death scene
  • the recurring nightmare - shock second ending in which the dead girl's arm bursts out of the ground from beyond the grave toward classmate Sue Snell (Amy Irving)

(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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