||Movie Title/Year and Scene
In director Stuart Rosenberg's popular prison chain-gang
drama with numerous Christ references and images:
- the imprisonment of rebel prisoner Luke (Paul Newman) for maliciously destroying municipal property (cutting
the heads off of parking meters)
- the 'rules' of the
house delivered to the prisoners 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 refused to give up by staying
down on the ground - and thereby received a beating
- the entertaining, one-hour long, hard-boiled egg-eating
contest that Luke won by consuming 50 eggs
- the image of the guard's impenetrable sunglasses
- the prison visit of Luke's sick mother Arletta (Jo
Van Fleet) who talked to him from the back of a pickup truck
- the scene of Luke strumming a guitar singing the
"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
- the escape attempt in the concluding sequence with
the final Christ-figure imagery and the smile on Luke's face as he
sassed back: ("What we've got here is a failure to communicate")
and was killed (and his epitaph: "he's a natural-born world-shaker")
In co-directors Melvin Frank's and Norman Panama's
classic musical comedy set in medieval England that spoofed
- the infamous rhyming wordplay and convoluted dialogue
- the discussion between impersonating medieval
valet/court jester Hubert Hawkins/Giacomo (Danny Kaye) and ambitious
court witch Griselda (Mildred Natwick) about a riddle, with instructions
on how to avoid a poisoned drink - specifically, about his having
to remember the cup location for a pre-joust toast with a drink that
was poisoned, but then -- much confusion with a change in the directions,
with hilarious results:
- "I've got it! I've got it! The pellet with the poison's in
the vessel with the pestle. The chalice from the palace has the brew
that is true! Right?"
- "Right. But there's been a change. They broke the chalice
from the palace!"
- "They broke the chalice from the palace?"
- "And replaced it with a flagon."
- "A flagon...?"
- "With the figure of a dragon."
- "Flagon with a dragon."
- "But did you put the pellet with the poison in the vessel
with the pestle?"
- "No! The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon!
The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true!"
- "The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon;
the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true."
- "Just remember that..."
- a second wordplay scene between King Roderick (Cecil
Parker) and Hubert Hawkins:
- The Duke. What did the Duke do?
- Uh, the Duke do?
- Yes. And what about the Doge?
- Oh, the Doge!
- Uh. Well what did the Doge do?
- The Doge do?
- Yes, the Doge do.
- Well, uh, the Doge did what the Doge does. Uh, when the Doge does
his duty to the Duke, that is.
- What? What's that?
- Oh, it's very simple, sire. When the Doge did his duty and the Duke
didn't, that's when the Duchess did the dirt to the Duke with the Doge.
- Who did what to what?
- Oh, they all did, sire. There they were in the dark; the Duke with
his dagger, the Doge with his dart, and the Duchess with her dirk.
- Duchess with her dirk?
- Yes! The Duchess dove at the Duke just when the Duke dove at the
Doge. Now the Duke ducked, the Doge dodged, and the Duchess didn't.
So the Duke got the Duchess, the Duchess got the Doge, and the Doge
got the Duke!
- the spell cast on the jester by Griselda that could
hilariously be undone - and reinstated - by just a snap of the fingers,
employed in the scene in which he was hypnotized (to believe he was
a dashing lover) and he snuck into Princess Gwendolyn's (Angela Lansbury)
chambers to woo her: ("What manner of man is Giacomo? Ha ha!
I shall tell you what manner of man is he. He lives for a sigh, he
dies for a kiss, he lusts for the laugh, ha! He never walks when
he can leap! He never flees when he can fight (thud), Oop! He swoons
at the beauty of a rose. And I offer myself to you, all of me. My
heart. My lips. My legs. My calves. Do what you will - my love endures.
Beat me. Kick me. (kiss, kiss) I am yours")
The Covered Wagon (1923)
In director James Cruze's early epic western, often
considered the first great western:
- the first authentic-looking outdoor views of the
pioneering Western frontier, including the rugged trail, Conestoga
wagons, plains, ranges, and buttes (of Utah and Nevada), and even
- the 1848 "westward ho" trek of "the mightiest caravan
that was ever to crawl across the valley of the Platte" - and the
many adversities that the pioneers faced, including ferrying wagons
across rivers, evidence of a deadly Pawnee Indian attack, quicksand,
severe weather, etc.
- with many of the stereotypical scenes included in
early westerns, such as Indian attacks and shoot outs,
river crossings and braving snow storms, and a buffalo hunt.
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
- in the last of the five horror anthology tales: "They're
Creeping Up on You" - the creepy, sickening
scene of the swarm-attack of ugly and gigantic cockroaches that
emerged during a blackout in the germproof, sparkling-white, sterile,
vacuum-sealed penthouse apartment of roach-phobic, obsessively-clean,
racist, miserly, eccentric and cruel millionaire Professor Upson
Pratt (E. G. Marshall). Swarms of the insects emerged from inside
his corpse - from his chest and mouth
Crime Wave (1954)
In director Andre De Toth's low-budget, hard-boiled
gangster-crime drama, shot on location in 1950s Los Angeles:
- the tale of an ex-convict and reformed San Quentin
parolee Steve Lacey (Gene Nelson) trying to go straight as an airplane
mechanic, with loving wife Ellen (Phyllis Kirk)
- the opening scene (shot from the POV of the thieves
in their car) - the robbery of a gas station by 'Doc' Penny's (Ted
de Corsia) gang of three, resulting in the killing of a motorcycle
cop, and the wounding of gang member Gat Morgan (Ned Young)
- the victimization of Steve, who became trapped
and haunted by his former life when his former cellmate Gat,
the wounded fugitive gang member (all gang members were escapees
from San Quentin), demanded to be harbored
in Steve's apartment; when his wife Ellen was threatened, Steve
was pressured into joining the gang in a complex, daylight bank
heist in Glendale (functioning as the getaway car driver and airplane
pilot to fly them to Mexico afterwards)
- the failed Saturday robbery when Steve's written
tip alerted police, and the bank was staffed by policemen disguised
as bank personnel and customers
- throughout the film, Steve's pursuit as
a suspect by a relentless, toothpick-chewing,
sadistic homicide Detective Lieutenant Sims (Sterling Hayden)
(who believed: "Once a crook, always a crook") - and Steve's
own fear of being marked as a criminal: ("Once
you do a stretch, you're never clean again! You're never free!
They've always got a string on you, and they tug, tug, tug!
Before you know it, you're back again!")
- in the end,
although Steve was handcuffed and arrested by Sims, in the
final moments, it was all a pretense - Steve was let go and
allowed to resume his life
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 faked her orgasms
- Bobby's intense, obsessive, erotic relationship with
a moonlighting, kinky LA prostitute named China Blue (Kathleen Turner)
- who wore a platinum wig and by day worked as a prim but workaholic
fashion designer named Joanna Crane
- during their first intense sexual encounter (for $50)
that she fantasy role-played 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 sucked
on his bare toe and then had 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)
was handcuffed to a bed and then sodomized with his own nightstick
- also notable were the scenes with deranged, stalking
psychotic reverend believing he was 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 was revealed from his doctor's
bag of sex toys
- the twist ending in which China Blue was 'saved'
by the threatening Reverend involving a role-reversal (and costume-reversal);
the character wearing China Blue's dress (presumably Joanna) was
stabbed in the back by the razor-tipped dildo/vibrator. However,
the Reverend was wearing the China Blue dress and a wig, while she
was wearing the Reverend's outfit - a costume twist. She stabbed
him as he threatened to assault Grady (who had arrived to save Joanna)
with a pair of scissors
- the Reverend's death
(his parting words were: "Goodbye, China Blue")
"Crocodile" Dundee (1986)
In the surprise sleeper hit and romantic comedy from
- the scene in which Australian Outback ranger Michael
(Mick) J. 'Crocodile' Dundee (Paul Hogan, co-nominated for Best
Original Screenplay) rescued 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 a croc lunged out of the water, grabbed
her necklace, and threatened to pull her in); he twisted a knife
into the crocodile's head, and when she asked: "Is it dead?" he
replied: "Well, if it isn't, I'm goin' to have a hell of a job
skinnin' the bastard"; afterwards, he roasted it like a giant shish
- 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 attempted to mug Dundee - the unflappable
and chuckling 'Crocodile' man responded as he pulled out his large
bushwhacker Bowie knife -- "THAT's a knife!", and then
slashed the tough's jacket; after the gang fled, he said amiably
to Sue: "Just kids having fun!"
- the final scene set in a crowded subway station in
which messages were relayed from Sue to Mick from bystander to
bystander: (Sue: "Tell him not to leave. I'm not going to marry
Richard...Tell him I love him"), and then Mick climbed up to
the girders to gain height and walked to Sue on the heads and raised
hands of the onlookers: ("I'll tell her meself. I'm coming through")
- to tell her of his love and to kiss her - before a freeze-frame
and the ending credits
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000,
US/HK/China/Taiwan) (aka Wo Hu Cang Long)
In Ang Lee's Best Picture-nominated martial arts/romantic
film, with spectacular cinematography and martial arts action sequences,
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 known as "Green Destiny"
- the first appearance of Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi), the
18 year-old district governor's daughter, and the revelation that
she was a disciple - secretly apprenticing under the harsh
tutelage of bitter, heartless, evil and treacherous arch-criminal
Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei)
- the scene of the theft of the Green Destiny sword
by impetuous and headstrong masked thief
Jen Yu, and the exciting scene of security officer
and female warrior Yu Shu Lien's (Michelle Yeoh) gravity-defying
pursuit of masked thief Jen up walls, across buildings and over rooftops,
and their martial-arts styled fighting
- the poignant, secret and unfulfilled romance between
Yu Shu Lien and heroic spiritual master and martial arts fighter
Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) who was about to retire, when they shared
their love for each other over a cup of tea: (Li Mu Bai: "Shu
Lien - There's no eternity to the things we can touch. My master
would say, 'There's nothing we can hold onto in this world. Only
by letting go can we truly possess what is real.'" Shu Lien: "Even
to an old Taoist like you, not everything is an illusion. When you
were holding my hand just now, wasn't that real?" Li Mu Bai: "Your
hand is cold and callused from practicing machetes. All these years,
and I've never had the courage to touch it. Crouching tigers and
hidden dragons are in the underworld, but so are human feelings.
Swords and knives harbor unknown perils, but so do human relationships")
- Li Mu Bai's fatherly and
scholarly interest in the petulant Jen, casually imparting advice
during one sword fight and teaching her: ("Real
sharpness comes without effort. No growth, without assistance. No
action, without reaction..."), and their the
visually-stunning sword fight on the top
of a green bamboo forest
- the "faithful heart makes wishes come true" speech
by Jen's kind lover - a barbarian bandit named Lo "Dark Cloud" (Chang
Chen) - about a mystical legend of a man who jumped from a mountain
cliff to make his wish come true - and was saved from death
because his heart was faithful and pure: ("We have a legend. Anyone
who dares to jump from the mountain, God will grant his wish. Long
ago, a young man's parents were ill, so he jumped. He didn't die.
He wasn't even hurt. He floated away, far away, never to return.
He knew his wish had come true. If you believe, it will happen. The
elders say, 'A faithful heart makes wishes come true.'")
- the climactic, artistic duel (with multiple weapons)
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 last words after being executed
by Li Mu Bai: "You know what poison is? An 8 year-old girl full
of deceit. That's poison!...Jen...my only family...my only enemy..."
- the tearjerking death of Li Mu Bai, poisoned by Jade
Fox with Purple Yin poison ("with no antidote"), and his
final, long overdue declaration of his undying, concealed love for
Yu Shu Lien with his last dying breaths: ("I've already wasted
my whole life. I want to tell you with my remaining strength that
I love you. I always have. (They kissed) I'll drift next to you every
day as a ghost just to be with you. Even if I was banished to the
darkest place, my love will keep me from being a lonely spirit")
- the transcendent ending in which Jen jumped off Wudan
Mountain, and floated softly downward to disappear into the mist
In King Vidor's urban melodrama:
- the staircase scene when a young boy climbed claustrophobic,
steep stairs and near the top learned that his father had 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
- 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 restored his faith in himself
- and the final sequence of the reconciled couple enjoying
a comical vaudeville show as the camera pulled back and they became
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
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 dropped to the floor
as the camera panned 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 accused 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
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,
In director Jean-Paul Rappeneau's romance drama:
- the balcony scene of long-nosed, bulky swordsman
Cyrano de Bergerac's (Oscar-nominated Gerard Depardieu) recitation
of poetry to his love Roxane (Anne Brochet) who was above on her
balcony - while coaching gallant but inarticulate soldier Christian
de Neuvillette (Vincent Perez); during Cyrano's words, she became
suspicious: ("But why are your words so hesitant? Why?");
Cyrano took over the dialogue: ("It's dark...They grope
in the darkness looking for your ear...My heart is large whereas
your ear is small. Besides, your words slip down speedily along
the wall. Mine are heavy like fruit on a bough"); then when
she realized that his responses were more rapid, Cyrano
told her: ("They're
now used to the exercise...One harsh word from so high could make
my heart die"); Cyrano kept up the charade, and told her he
was using his "true voice" that sounded altered to her:
us stay near but talk without seeing each other...It's quite wonderful
in darkness. You see a cloak of blackness. I see a dress of summer
white. I'm but a shadow. You are a light. I'm using my true voice...
In this dark night which protects me, I can be myself"); and
then Cyrano realized how he regretted deceptively pantomiming
his true love: ("It's a crime, in love, to play
this pantomime. There always has to come a moment. And I pity those
who know it not. When we a noble love attain but each pretty word
causes pain....All those, all those, all those which come. Everything,
I throw away. I'm stifling! I love you. This is no game! My heart
cries your name! I've loved you every passing day. Last year, on
the twelfth of May, you changed the style of your hair. I was dazzled
by its bright flare. Do you understand? Do you realize? Do you
feel my soul rise to the skies? Everything tonight is so wonderful,
so sweet. I speak, you listen. Me, at your feet! Even in my sweetest
dreams, I never planned on this. Now I must die.")