Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



C (continued)

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

In director Stuart Rosenberg's popular prison chain-gang drama with numerous Christ references and images:

  • rebel prisoner Luke (Paul Newman) and other new convicts having the 'rules' of the house given to them by Carr (Clifton James): "Them clothes got laundry numbers on 'em. You remember your number and always wear the ones that has your number. Any man forgets his number spends the night in the box..."
  • the titillating scene of a sexy teenage girl (Joy Harmon) - the warden's daughter? - frustrating the prisoners by soaping up, pressing her sudsy breasts against the window, and hosing off herself and her car in plain sight ("drivin' us crazy and lovin' every minute of it"
  • the epic brutal boxing match with boss convict Dragline (George Kennedy) in which Luke refuses to give up by staying down on the ground - and thereby receives a beating
  • the entertaining, one-hour 50 hard-boiled egg-eating contest (50) that Luke wins
  • the image of the guard's impenetrable sunglasses
  • the prison visit of Luke's sick mother Arletta (Jo Van Fleet) who talks to him from the back of a pickup truck
  • the scene of Luke strumming a guitar singing the irreverent "plastic Jesus" song following his mother's death
  • the nasty prison boss Captain's (Strother Martin) famous line to defiant Luke: "What we got here is failure to communicate"
  • the escape attempt in the concluding sequence with the final Christ-figure imagery and the smile on Luke's face as he sasses back ("What we've got here is a failure to communicate") and is killed (and his epitaph: "he's a natural-born world-shaker")

The Court Jester (1956)

In co-directors Melvin Frank's and Norman Panama's classic musical comedy that spoofed medieval swashbucklers:

  • the amusing, convoluted dialogue between medieval valet/court jester Hubert Hawkins (Danny Kaye) and ambitious court witch Griselda (Mildred Natwick) about a riddle, with instructions on how to avoid a poisoned drink: "The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle [in the flagon with the dragon]; the chalice from the palace...has the brew that is true"
  • the spell cast on the jester by Griselda that can hilariously be undone - and reinstated - by just a snap of the fingers

The Covered Wagon (1923)

In director James Cruze's early epic western:

  • the first outdoor views of the pioneering Western frontier, including the rugged trail, Conestoga wagons, plains, ranges, and buttes (of Utah and Nevada)

Creep Show (1982)

In writer Stephen King and director George A. Romero's satirical horror anthology and tribute to EC's horror comics of the 1950's:

  • in one of the five horror anthology tales: "They're Creeping Up on You" - the scene of the swarm-attack of cockroaches on racist eccentric millionaire Upson Pratt (E. G. Marshall) in his sterile penthouse, followed by the creepy, sickening sight of cockroaches emerging from within his corpse

Crime Wave (1954)

In director Andre De Toth's low-budget crime drama:

  • the tale of an ex-convict and reformed parolee Steve Lacey (Gene Nelson) trying to go straight with wife Ellen (Phyllis Kirk)
  • Steve's fate - trapped and haunted by his former life when a wounded former cellmate kills a cop and he is pursued as a suspect and handcuffed by a relentless Detective Lieutenant Sims (Sterling Hayden) who presumes that he's guilty ("once a crook, always a crook")

Crimes of Passion (1984)

In British director Ken Russell's neon-lit, dark, 'guilty pleasure' cult tale and erotic thriller:

  • the scenes of part-time private investigator and security expert Bobby Grady's (John Laughlin) escape from a dull 12-year marriage to Amy (Annie Potts), who fakes her orgasms
  • his intense, obsessive, erotic relationship with a moonlighting, kinky LA prostitute named China Blue (Kathleen Turner) - who wears a platinum wig and by day works as a prim but workaholic fashion designer named Joanna Crane
  • during their first intense sexual encounter (for $50) that she fantasy role-plays as a flight attendant ("We're here to serve you. Please remember that although we may run out of Pan Am coffee, we'll never run out of T-W-A-Tea"), she sucks on his bare toe and then has sexual intercourse with him in multiple positions (viewed as silhouettes behind a gauzy curtain)
  • later in a dominatrix S & M scene (deleted from some versions to avoid an X-rating), a policeman (Randall Brady) is handcuffed to a bed and then sodomized with his own nightstick
  • also notable are the scenes with deranged, stalking psychotic reverend believing he's China Blue's savior - the perverse, ranting, peeping-tom, self-proclaimed Reverend Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins) with strange erotic fantasies and a razor-tipped, chrome-steel dildo (dubbed "Superman") that is revealed from his doctor's bag of sex toys
  • the twist ending in which China Blue is 'saved' by the threatening Reverend involving a role-reversal (and costume-reversal)

'Crocodile' Dundee (1986)

In the surprise sleeper hit and romantic comedy from Australia:

  • the scene in which Australian Outback ranger Michael (Mick) J. 'Crocodile' Dundee (Paul Hogan, co-nominated for Best Original Screenplay) rescues American reporter Sue Charlton (Hogan's real-life wife Linda Kozlowski) from a crocodile in the wild as she was going for a swim - and then roasted it like a giant shish kabob
  • the fish-out-of-water sequences in New York City, including the memorable scene in which the leader of a street gang with a small switch-blade knife attempts to mug Dundee - the unflappable and chuckling 'Crocodile' man responds as he pulls out his large bushwhacker Bowie knife -- "THAT's a knife!", and then slashes the tough's jacket; after the gang flees, he says amiably to Sue: "Just kids having fun!"

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, HK/US)

In Ang Lee's Best Picture-nominated martial arts/romantic film that won the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award:

  • the many exciting, kinetic action sequences revolving around the mystical, legendary 400 year-old Excalibur-like sword Green Destiny that was stolen by the 18 year-old district governor's daughter - the impetuous and headstrong masked thief Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi) while apprenticing under the harsh tutelage of bitter, heartless and treacherous arch-criminal Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei)
  • after the theft, the gravity-defying pursuit of Jen up walls, across buildings and over rooftops by security officer and female warrior Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh)
  • the poignant, secret and unfulfilled romance between Yu Shu Lien and heroic spiritual master fighter Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat), who takes a fatherly scholar's interest in the petulant Jen, casually imparting advice during one fight: ("Real sharpness comes without effort. No growth, without assistance. No action, without reaction...")
  • the visually-stunning sword fight between Jen and Mu Bai on the top of a bamboo forest
  • the "faithful heart makes wishes come true" speech by Jen's kind lover - a barbarian bandit named Lo "Dark Cloud" (Chang Chen)
  • the climactic, artistic duel between Jen and Shu Lien in an empty dueling arena - brilliantly shot with overhead cameras
  • the scene of Jen's rejection of her master teacher Jade Fox because she had outgrown her instruction, with Jade's response: "Believe me, I've a lesson or two left to teach you!"
  • Jade Fox's final words after being executed by Li Mu Bai: "You know what poison is? An 8 year-old girl full of deceit. That's poison! only only enemy..."
  • the tearjerking death of Li Mu Bai, poisoned by Jade Fox with the Purple Yin, and his final, long overdue declaration of his secret love for Yu Shu Lien with his dying breath: ("...I would rather be a ghost, drifting by your side as a condemned soul than enter heaven without you. Because of your love, I will never be a lonely spirit")
  • the transcendent ending in which Jen jumps off Wudan Mountain, and floats softly downward to disappear into the mist

The Crowd (1928)

In King Vidor's urban melodrama:

  • the staircase scene when a young boy climbs claustrophobic, steep stairs and near the top learns that his father has died
  • the marvelous visuals capturing New York City's teeming streets, and the enormous crowd shots
  • the sweeping camera sequence from outside a skyscraper up the face of the building and through a window and zeroing in on office worker John (James Murray) lost in a sea of desks
  • the romantic/courtship scenes between the two young lovers John and Mary (Eleanor Boardman) - especially in the funhouse sequence
  • the couple's reaction to the accidental death of their daughter - reflected on their horrified faces
  • the poignant scene of John with his young son on a railroad overpass when the boy restores his faith in himself
  • and the final sequence of the reconciled couple enjoying a comical vaudeville show as the camera pulls back and they become anonymous in the audience

Cruel Intentions (1999)

In an update of the French Les Liaisons Dangereuses:

  • the prolonged, wet, spit-swapping kiss scene between innocent Cecile Caldwell (Selma Blair) and manipulative Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar)

The Crying Game (1992)

In Irish writer/director Neil Jordan's jolting thriller:

  • the scene of IRA volunteer soldier Fergus (Stephen Rea) visiting gorgeous-looking London hairdresser/nightclub singer Dil (Oscar-nominated Jaye Davidson) - known as the 'wee black chick' that Jody loved, to fulfill kidnapped/dead British soldier Jody's (Forest Whitaker) dying wish
  • after kissing each other, the superbly unexpected moment of revelation when Dil's red kimono robe drops to the floor as the camera pans down to show off 'his' true gender and manhood, followed by his apology to the shocked Fergus: "You did know, didn't you?"
  • the tearful "interrogation" scene between a gun-toting Dil and Fergus, whom Dil had tied to his bed after finding out he had been complicit in the death of his ex-lover Jody, as the song "The Crying Game" played on Dil's tape deck. With a gun pointed at him, Fergus told Dil that he loved him ("I love you Dil"), would do anything for him ("I'd do anything for you, Dil") and would never leave him - with Dil responding, as he laid his head on Fergus' chest/shoulder: "I know you're lying, Jimmy, but it's nice to hear it"
  • the scene of Dil's vengeful murder of Fergus' accomplice Jude (Miranda Richardson), when he accuses her of being implicated in Jody's death: "You was there, wasn't you? You used those tits and that ass to get him, didn't you?!"

Cutter's Way (1981) (aka Cutter and Bone)

In Czech filmmaker Ivan Passer's crime thriller:

  • the amazing opening slow-motion sequence (under the credits, with music by Jack Nitzsche) of a Santa Barbara, CA main street Old Spanish Days Fiesta parade (that slowly changed from b/w to color) - with the camera following a blonde twirling in a white frilly dress
  • the sequence then wiped into a day and night-time shot of the exterior of a hotel (labeled El Encanto in neon) - to introduce one of the film's two main characters, with a side close-up of the chin-mustache of laconic yacht-salesman-beach-bum Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) while he was touching up with a woman's electric shaver following hiring out his gigolo services to a blonde (Nina Van Pallandt), the wife of a boat customer, for a one-night stand
  • afterwards, a silhouetted figure wearing sun-glasses was witnessed dumping 17 year-old sex-crime victim Vickie into a garbage can in a dark alley on a rainy night
  • the scene of embittered, self-righteous, drunken, one-eyed, one-armed, one-legged, crazed and angry Vietnam vet Alexander Cutter (John Heard) crashing into his neighbor's car while returning home with an expired license, and later becoming completely obsessed over confronting the girl's killer - believing the real suspect to be elite and menacing oil businessmen J. J. Cord (Stephen Elliott)
  • the scene of Maureen "Mo" Cutter (Lisa Eichhorn) telling her disgruntled husband that his plan to blackmail/extort Cord regarding the girl's murder was itself a dumb crime: "You're not some saint avenging the sins of the Earth, you know. Alex. And if you are, what am I doing here? Oh, I know. I'm like your leg. Your leg! Sending messages to your brain when there's nothing there anymore" - before being viciously slapped
  • the stunning concluding scene of Cutter riding heroically (and tragically) on a white stallion within Cord's guarded residential mansion during a large garden party - and lethally crashing into Cord's study window where Bone had just learned that Cord was the female's killer - inspiring the usually-uncommitted and reluctant Bone to take up the fight and shoot Cord with the weapon in Cutter's dead hand - to abruptly end the film

Cyrano de Bergerac (1990, Fr.)

In director Jean-Paul Rappeneau's romance drama:

  • the scene of long-nosed, bulky swordsman Cyrano de Bergerac's (Oscar-nominated Gerard Depardieu) recitation of poetry to his love Roxane (Anne Brochet) on a balcony through the gallant but inarticulate soldier Christian de Neuvillette (Vincent Perez)

(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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