Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



D (continued)

Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)

In writer/director Paul Mazursky's R-rated comedy (Disney's first, for its new Touchstone division) -- a comedic remake of Jean Renoir's classic Boudu Sauvé des Eaux (1932), aka Boudu Saved From Drowning:

  • during the opening credits, the brilliant use of The Talking Heads' Once in a Lifetime ("And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful Wife / And you may ask yourself / Well, how did I get here?") which intercut scenes of real-life Los Angeles homeless with charismatic, iconoclastic, charming but disheveled vagrant Jerry Baskin (Nick Nolte)
  • the scene of Jerry attempting suicide by drowning in the Whiteman family's pool after his little beloved dog Kerouac abandons him
  • his subsequent rescue ("Call 911!") and insinuation into the Whiteman's Beverly Hills household by "giving them everything they wanted"
  • the many scene-stealing scenes of neurotic family dog Matisse (black-and-white border collie Mike the Dog)
  • Jerry's seduction of sexually-repressed, spaced-out Barbara Whiteman (Bette Midler), whose ecstatic screaming reverberates around the neighborhood (Matisse convulses and pants, the phallic cable antenna vibrates, the sprinklers erupt, etc.) and Barbara's post-coital singing of You Belong to Me
  • millionaire coat-hanger manufacturer Dave Whiteman's (Richard Dreyfuss) initial bonding with Jerry that sours because of Jerry's -
    (1) seduction of Mexican maid Carmen (Elizabeth Peña) whom Dave was also having an affair with
    (2) encouragement of androgynous, sexually-confused and obsessive son Max (Evan Richards) to come out to him, and
    (3) sexual relations with anorexic college student Jenny Whiteman (Tracy Nelson)
  • the wild, climactic New Year's Eve party as next door neighbor and record producer Orvis Goodnight (Little Richard) performs Tutti Frutti on the piano
  • Jerry's decision to leave (Dave: "You lied" Jerry: "What did you want to hear, Dave? REAL heartbreak? REAL sorrow?") and the family inviting him to stay
  • the haunting final shot of an unsure Dave joining the rest of his family back to the house to the book-ended strains of Once in a Lifetime

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

In Rouben Mamoulian's spine-tingling horror film:

  • the long, subjective opening sequence in which Dr. Henry Jekyll (Fredric March) travels to a lecture and speaks about separating the two natures of man and releasing the good evil in a man's soul
  • the first transformation scene of Dr. Jekyll drinking a potion in his laboratory and his amazing change into the frightening Mr. Hyde - a bullying, jagged-toothed, sexually libidinous, bedeviled creature
  • his grotesque exclamation in front of a mirror: "Free - free at last" as the camera spins around
  • the scene of Jekyll rescuing promiscuous Variety Music Hall barmaid Ivy Pearson (Miriam Hopkins) from one of her brutal 'callers', when she undresses to rest in her bed, removes her stockings and garters from each leg and then reclines on her bed totally nude, covering herself with her bedspread and bedsheets - she quickly embraces and kisses him, but they are interrupted by the appearance of Jekyll's upright colleague Dr. John Lanyon (Holmes Herbert) at the door - when Jekyll exits, Ivy seductively and rhythmically swings her leg back and forth next to the bed (with her garter and bare leg seen in closeup) -- to further entice Dr. Jekyll, as she entreats and invites him to return quickly: "Come back soon, won't you?....Soon...Come back"; as he leaves, a superimposed overlay of her swinging leg (with her whispered words) is seen over his descent of the stairs
  • the scenes in which he taunts and brutally forces his affections ("You'll come with me," "Just as I want," and "What I want, I get!") on Ivy - telling her as she cowers from him: "I"ll show you what horror means..."
  • the final scene of his death when his changes from the forbidding Hyde back into Jekyll

Dr. No (1962)

In Terence Young's first Bond film about British agent 007:

  • the trademark introduction of agent 007 James Bond's (Sean Connery) name across a casino's gaming room table to beautiful, defeated chemin de fer gambler Sylvia Trench (Eunice Gayson): "Bond, James Bond"
  • John Barry's distinctive theme music
  • Bond's typical conversation with his flirtatious boss' secretary Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell): (Bond: "What gives?" Moneypenny: "Me - given an ounce of encouragement")
  • the scene of a giant hairy, venomous tarantula crawling up Bond's arm
  • the great entrance scene of a sexy, white bikini-clad conch-hunter Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) with a thigh-high knife emerging from the warm Jamaican water singing the calypso song "Underneath the Mango Tree" and shaking herself dry
  • Bond's response to a horrified Ryder after he has killed one of villainous Dr. No's (Joseph Wiseman) armed guards on the island by knifing him in the back: "Because I had to"

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

In Stanley Kubrick's black comedy satire:

  • the opening sequence of a jet aircraft refueling in mid-air - looking like a sexual act
  • Gen. Jack Ripper's (Sterling Hayden) babbling about "precious bodily fluids"
  • the American President Merkin Muffley's (Peter Sellers) hot-line phone call (a monologue) to the Soviet premier to explain the erroneous bombing attack
  • the priceless dialogue in the War Room
  • militarist Gen. "Buck" Turgidson's (George C. Scott) dalliance with his Playmate 'secretary' and his cold calculations about nuclear destruction and the lone bomber's chances against Soviet defenses
  • "Buck's" scuffle in the War Room with the Soviet Ambassador de Sadesky (Peter Bull) that concludes with Muffley's line: "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room"
  • the scene of the British RAF attache Capt. Lionel Mandrake (Peter Sellers) not having enough spare change to telephone the White House to save the world and Col. "Bat" Guano's (Keenan Wynn) refusal to shoot at a Coca Cola machine for fear of retribution by the company
  • sinister and mad German scientist Dr. Strangelove's (Peter Sellers) uncontrollable mechanical-arm Nazi salute (and his wrestling with his own gloved hand)
  • Strangelove's giggling pleasure as he describes his duty to populate the human race with women (at a ratio of 10 females to one male) in deep underground, mine-shaft caverns, and his ultimate exclamation: "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!"
  • Peter Sellers playing three marvelous and distinctive roles
  • Commander T. J. "King" Kong's (Slim Pickens) patriotic speech ("I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions an' personal citations when this thing's over with")
  • the image of Kong rodeo-riding the nuclear bomb like a bucking bronco toward its target and crying "Yaahooo"
  • the finale with multiple H-bomb mushroom clouds blossoming to Vera Lynn's rendition of "We'll Meet Again" ("We'll meet again / Don't know where, don't know when / But I know we'll meet again / Some sunny day")

Dracula (1931)

In the original horror film from Tod Browning:

  • an atmospheric Transylvania opening - Dracula's (Bela Lugosi) entrance on a long staircase below a gigantic web and his lilting accent ("I am...Dracula", and "I never drink - wine")
  • his response to wolves howling: "Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make"
  • the crazed slave Renfield (Dwight Frye) giggling like an idiot among the coffins in the hold of the ship

The Dreamers (2003, Fr/It/UK)

In director Bernardo Bertolucci's NC-17 rated film of sexually-explicit discovery and intimacy set in the summer in Paris in 1968:

  • the scenes of many semi-incestuous couplings between uninhibited, naturally buxom Isabelle (Eva Green) and her fellow cineastes - an American cinema student Matthew (Michael Pitt) and her possessive, brooding twin brother Theo (Louis Garrel)
  • with frequent total nudity during the trio's sexual games in the bedroom and bathroom, interwoven with play-acted homages and clips to classic moments in cinema (Queen Christina, Blonde Venus, Scarface, Top Hat, etc.)
  • the memorable scene of the trio's 9:28 minute dash through the Louvre (in homage to a similar scene in Godard's Band of Outsiders (1964) (aka Bande à Part) with Anna Karina and her two suitors) - beating the film's time of 9:45, followed by Matthew's acceptance (and a clip of the "One of us" scene from Freaks (1932))
  • the threesome's sharing of a bathtub (with their faces reflected in three separate mirrors) and sleeping nakedly-intertwined in an indoor tent
  • the concluding self-destructive streak exhibited by Isabelle (in homage to Bresson's Mouchette (1967) about an abused girl)

Dressed to Kill (1980)

In Brian De Palma's erotic Hitchcockian thriller:

  • the slow-motion opening sado-masochistic sexual fantasy sequence in which upper-class New Yorker and frustrated wife Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) pleasures herself in the soapy shower
  • the brilliant 10-minute sequence in the Metropolitan Museum of Art of Kate's cat-and-mouse flirting with a nameless stranger and her taxi-cab seduction en route to his apartment
  • the horrific murder sequence in the elevator of a high-rise apartment building when she is brutally assaulted by a black-coated woman (her transsexual psychologist Dr. Robert Elliott (Michael Caine)) in a blonde wig and dark glasses wielding a sharp straight-edged razor
  • the remarkably tense finale and plot-twist shower scene ending

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

In director Bruce Beresford's Best Picture-winning drama:

  • the scene of dedicated black ex-chauffeur Hoke Colburn (Oscar-nominated Morgan Freeman) trailing (for six days) stubborn Jewish ex-schoolteacher Daisy Werthan (Oscar-winning Jessica Tandy) in the car as she walks to the supermarket and refuses to ride (Daisy: "What are you doing?" Hoke: "I'm tryin' to drive you to the store!") -- "...the same time it took the Lord to make the world"
  • the death of black maid Idella (Esther Rolle) watching The Edge of Night on TV (the camera views the peas she had been shucking from pods bouncing on the floor at her feet)
  • the discussion between Daisy and Hoke about his having to stop the car to go to the bathroom ("make water") during one of their trips - despite her objections
  • Daisy teaching the illiterate Hoke about the connection between letters and words
  • one of the last scenes in which a mentally-dislocated Daisy tells Hoke: "'re my best, really, you are", and then takes his hand in hers
  • the final Thanksgiving scene in a nursing home in which an enfeebled 97 year-old Daisy was spoon-fed her Thanksgiving pumpkin pie by Hoke

Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

In director Gus Van Sant's realistic cult film:

  • the plot told as a long flashback (Bob: "I was once a shameless full-time dope fiend"), beginning and ending in an ambulance, narrated by young and smart junkie leader Bob Hughes (Matt Dillon)
  • his description of life with three other drug-addicted, doped-up teen junkies (considered a "family") who criminally robbed pharmacies of prescription drugs in the early 70s mostly in the area around Portland, Oregon to supply their ever-increasing habits of dope usage and addiction
  • the group of losers: Bob, his girlfriend/wife Dianne (Kelly Lynch), their sweet-natured friend Rick (James LeGros), and his teenaged blonde, runaway/drifter-girlfriend Nadine (Heather Graham) ("She was a piece of work. She had no record, just a smile")
  • with memorable lines of dialogue about how they were turned on more by drugs than sex: (Dianne: "You never f--k me, and I always have to drive," and Bob: "Most people don't know how they are going to feel from one moment to the next, but a dope fiend has a pretty good idea. All you've got to do is look at the labels on the little bottles")
  • the scene of Bob's hallucinatory experience after shooting up his arm in the back seat of a getaway car, with his voice-over and floating, rotating snowflake-images of a cow, a tree, a house, a dog, and a plane on the window glass: "Upon entering my vein, the drug would start a warm itch that would surge along until the brain consumed it in a gentle explosion. It began in the back of the neck and rose rapidly until I felt such pleasure that the whole world sympathized and took on a soft, lofty appeal"
  • his conversation about how the two younger members of the "family," Rick and Nadine, were brought up as amoral "TV babies": ("All these kids, they're all TV babies. Watching people killing and f--king each other on the boob tube for so long, it's all they know. Hell, they think it's legal. They think it's the right thing to do") and their belief in 30-day hex-superstitions/curses about No Dogs and Never Put a Hat on a Bed
  • the tragic scene of Dianne and Bob visiting his heartbroken, scolding mother (Grace Zabriskie) when she lowered the blinds and locked doors when he came to get some clothes ("He is a thief and a dope fiend, and that is more important to him than I am")
  • the scene of Bob and Dianne struggling to smuggle Nadine's drug-overdosed, stiffened corpse in a blue garment bag out of their motel room and into the trunk of their car - during a deputy sheriff's convention - so Bob can bury the body in the woods
  • the resolution with Bob turning himself into an authorized methodone treatment program to go straight - and breaking up the family - although he was eventually shot by a drug-demanding kid-pusher wearing a mask in the final scene and taken away on a stretcher and placed in an ambulance, as he mused, in voice-over: "I was still alive. I hope they can keep me alive," while there were homemade Super-8 shots of Bob and his friends from earlier, happier times in the credits

Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

In John Ford's historical adventure film:

  • the scene of Mrs. Sarah McKlennar (Edna May Oliver) refusing to leave her bed during an Indian attack
  • the lengthy scene in the action-filled ending in which Gil Martin (Henry Fonda) - after having been given permission to go by his beautiful wife Lana (Claudette Colbert): "I'm not afraid, I want you to go" - outrunning three Indians in hot pursuit while racing for help (with just a hand axe) to save the besieged fort
  • his reunion with his exhausted but relieved wife Lana

The Duchess (2008)

In director Saul Dibb's exquisitely sad costume drama of 18th century life adapted from Amanda Foreman's biography "Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire":

  • the many lavish but tragic scenes of witty and attractive aristocrat Georgiana Spencer (Keira Knightley), who was set up and then trapped in an arranged marriage at age 17 with emotionally-distant and callous but regal and powerful Duke of Devonshire William Cavendish (Ralph Fiennes) by her calculating mother (Charlotte Rampling) to become the Duchess of Devonshire in 1774
  • her telling, gasping question she asked when told she was engaged: "He loves me?...I have only met him twice"
  • the long tracking shot back from her face as she proceeded into her marriage (and the title screen)
  • the scene of her conjugal loss of virginity to her loathsome husband (with his sole contractual intention to produce a male heir) when he took a scissors to her complicated bodice
  • the scene of her seductive Sapphic experimental initiation to pleasurable love-making by her personal friend and her husband's live-in mistress/divorcee Lady Bess Foster (Hayley Atwell)
  • the scene of her passionate kiss with rising politician and childhood sweetheart Charles Grey (Dominic Cooper), admitting: "I feel I've done some things in life too late and others too early"
  • her proposal of a "deal" with her husband when she asked permission to take her own lover to make her happy, followed by the Duke's forcible and angry conjugal rape of Georgiana - the one act of sexual intercourse that produced a boy between them
  • the latter scenes of a secret love affair with Charles
  • after giving birth to their love-child - the tear-jerking scene of having to give up her infant daughter (Eliza) to the Grey family
  • the final caption that with Georgiana's blessing, Bess went on to marry the Duke and become the next Duchess of Devonshire

Duck Soup (1933)

In this classic Marx Brothers anti-war comedy film:

  • the many satirical, anarchic scenes that ridicule pomp, government, and authority
  • the opening coronation scene and Freedonian inauguration of President Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) with his own late arrival
  • Firefly's familiar teasing of millionaire widow Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont)
  • the lampooning Cabinet meeting scene
  • the two lemonade stand scenes including a classic hat-switching sequence with the sidewalk vendor and Pinkie (Harpo) barefooted and paddling in the lemonade tank
  • the inventive, celebrated reflected mirror-image (pantomime) scene with all three brothers identically dressed in nightshirt and cap and duplicating each other's movements
  • Pinkie's sight-gags and the revelation of his tattoos (especially the one of a doghouse on his stomach - complete with the head of a real live, barking dog that peeps out)
  • the parody of the Paul Revere ride
  • Groucho's retort to Ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhen) about war ("Go, and never darken my towels again!")
  • the final battle sequence (with Firefly walking around blindly with a flower vase on his head paint-decorated with features of his 'Groucho' face)

Duel in the Sun (1946)

In King Vidor's over-the-top epic Technicolored western:

  • the gathering of ranchers at the cattle baron's ranch to resist the railroads
  • the memorable death scene when dying wife Laura Belle (Lillian Gish) was told of her husband Senator McCanles' (Lionel Barrymore) past indiscretion
  • all of the scenes of the sexy, sultry half-breed Pearl Chavez (Jennifer Jones, producer David O. Selznick's wife) with dangerous brother Lewt McCanles (Gregory Peck)
  • Pearl's prayer session with the hellfire preacher Sin Killer (Walter Huston)
  • the infamous, bloody "lust in the dust" and "duel in the sun" final shootout scene between Pearl and Lewt as they die in each other's arms ("You double-crossin' bob-cat!")

Dumb and Dumber (1994)

In this gross-out comedy film from Peter Farrelly about two 'dumb' cross-country adventuring friends:

  • the scene of Lloyd Christmas' (Jim Carrey) run out of an airport's jetway and flip onto the tarmac
  • the imbecilic Lloyd's sentimentally-happy response after pursuing married dream girl Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly) from Providence to Aspen in a customized sheep-dog van after she tells him that their chances are "one in a million" - "So you're saying there's a chance?!"
  • the sight of Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd in bright orange and powder blue tuxedos
  • idiotic Lloyd's wild chopsocky fantasy in a restaurant, defending the honor of his dream date and culminating in ripping the heart out of a chef's chest
  • the excruciatingly-funny yet gross scene of Harry's extreme agony on the toilet while suffering a reaction to a large dose of a laxative put in his drink by Lloyd
  • the famous scene in which brain-dead Harry exclaims: "Ooh, look, frost" to Mary as they ride on a ski-lift chair - and his tongue becomes fused to the frozen metal frame pole - and the hilarious scene as they pry him free while his tongue stretches elastically

Dumbo (1941)

In Disney's animated classic:

  • the scenes of Dumbo's loving relation with his mother Mrs. Jumbo after his delivery by a stork
  • their traumatic separation when his mother was caged and shackled and labeled as a 'mad elephant' when she had attacked a bratty boy who was tormenting him by pulling his large ears
  • the touching scene of lonely Dumbo's brief visit with his confined mother and her comforting of the distressed young elephant by stroking him with her trunk extended from her large cage (and swinging him back and forth) during the song "Baby Mine"
  • the surrealistic "Pink Elephants on Parade" animation dance sequence
  • the sassy crows' song: "When I See An Elephant Fly"

(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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