Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



D (continued)
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

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 dysfunctional Whiteman family's pool after his little beloved dog Kerouac abandoned 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 reverberated around the neighborhood (Matisse convulsed and panted, the phallic cable antenna vibrated, the sprinklers erupted, 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 soured 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) performed 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) traveled to a lecture and spoke 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 spun around
  • the scene of Jekyll rescuing promiscuous Variety Music Hall barmaid Ivy Pearson (Miriam Hopkins) from one of her brutal 'callers', when she undressed to rest in her bed, removed her stockings and garters from each leg and then reclined on her bed totally nude, covering herself with her bedspread and bedsheets - she quickly embraced and kissed him, but they were interrupted by the appearance of Jekyll's upright colleague Dr. John Lanyon (Holmes Herbert) at the door - when Jekyll exited, Ivy seductively and rhythmically swung 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 entreated and invited him to return quickly: "Come back soon, won't you?....Soon...Come back"; as he left, a superimposed overlay of her swinging leg (with her whispered words) was seen over his descent of the stairs
  • the scenes in which he taunted and brutally forced his affections ("You'll come with me," "Just as I want," and "What I want, I get!") on Ivy - telling her as she cowered from him: "I"ll show you what horror means..."
  • the final scene of his death when he changed from the forbidding Hyde back into Jekyll

Dr. No (1962, UK/US)

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 had killed one of villainous SPECTRE agent Dr. Julius No's (Joseph Wiseman) armed guards on the island by knifing him in the back: "Because I had to"
  • the death of Dr. No when his metallic, artificial hands desperately clutched at the steel supports of a descending, sinking gantry-platform and he could not get a grip - he was submerged into the bubbling, scalding-hot radioactive water of the reactor and sank into the steaming, boiling mixture

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

In Stanley Kubrick's black comedy satire, with Peter Sellers playing three marvelous and distinctive roles:

  • the opening credits sequence of a B-52 jet aircraft refueling in mid-air - looking like a sexual act (mechanical copulation)
  • the caricatures of all the major characters: the belligerent military leaders and politicians
  • delusionally-demented cigar-chomping renegade general Gen. Jack D. Ripper's (Sterling Hayden) babbling about "precious bodily fluids"
  • the egg-head ineffectual American President Merkin Muffley's (Peter Sellers also) classic, polite hot-line phone call (a monologue) to the drunken Soviet premier Dmitri Kissof to explain an erroneous bombing attack ("...It's a friendly call. Of course it's a friendly call. Listen, if it wasn't friendly, probably wouldn't have even got it. They will not reach their targets for at least another hour!")
  • 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 concluded 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
  • the sinister and peculiar wheelchair-bound ex-Nazi mad German scientist Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers) with a falsetto- and German-accent, and an uncontrollable, independently-minded mechanical-arm Nazi salute (and his wrestling with his own gloved hand)
  • Strangelove's giggling pleasure as he described his plan for survival of the elites - and his personal duty to populate the human race with women (at a ratio of 10 females to one male) in deep underground, mine-shaft caverns
  • Strangelove's ultimate exclamation: "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!"
  • gung-ho redneck cowboy commander-pilot of the radio-disabled B-52 bomber plane Major 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" as he fanned his cowboy hat
  • the finale with multiple H-bomb mushroom clouds signaling universal nuclear destruction, blossoming into 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 in Castle Dracula - Dracula's (Bela Lugosi) entrance on a long staircase below a gigantic spider-web with his lilting accent as he introduced himself (with long pauses between each word) to British real estate agent Renfield (Dwight Frye): ("I ... am... Dracula. I bid you welcome") - he was clad in formal evening clothes and adorned with a black cape
  • Dracula's later pronouncement: "I never drink - wine"
  • his response to wolves howling: "Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make"
  • the crazed slave Renfield's 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 the growing closeness between uninhibited, naturally buxom Isabelle (Eva Green) and her fellow cineastes - her own possessive, brooding twin brother Theo (Louis Garrel), and American cinema student Matthew (Michael Pitt)
  • 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 (with a spliced-in clip of the classic "One of us" scene from Freaks (1932))
  • with frequent total nudity during the trio's sexual games in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, interwoven with play-acted homages and clips to classic moments in cinema (Queen Christina, City Lights, Top Hat, Breathless, etc.)
  • the so-called "blood-on-the-face" scene, Isabelle was - surprisingly - shown to be virginal, when she stripped herself down, and was deflowered (and bled) by Matthew on the kitchen floor - in Theo's presence; after they finished having sex, Theo touched Isabelle's forehead and thigh and brought up his fingers covered in blood - and then Matthew also took some of the blood from her broken hymen/vagina and smeared it onto her face as he ardently kissed her
  • the threesome's sharing of a bathtub (with their faces reflected in three separate mirrors), and the discovery of Isabelle's menstrual blood seen on the water's surface (a symbol of sexual awakening?)
  • the twin's dare ("proof of your love") to shave Matthew's pubic hair; he strenuously objected: "You're both f--king crazy....This is what you call proof of love? Turning me into a freak?..."; when the two called it just a game, Matthew still refused: "Is this something you do to each other? You want to shave my pubic hair? You want me to be a little boy for you? A little prepubescent Theo at six, who you can play games with? You can touch peepee...I'll show you mine. You show me yours"; although he called his criticisms loving, he cruelly noted that he was through with their game-playing, and that the two twins must grow more mature: "You sleep in the same bed together, every night. You bathe together. You pee in the john together. You play these little games. I wish you could step out of yourselves and just look...I look at you, and I listen to you and I think - you're never gonna grow. You won't grow like this. You won't. Not as long as you keep clinging to each other the way that you do"; he proposed to take Isabelle on regular dates - something she had not experienced before
Isabelle's Failed Group Suicide Attempt
  • at the end of the film, they were sleeping together nakedly-intertwined in an indoor tent, and unbeknownst to them, Theo's and Isabelle's parents briefly entered the apartment and found the disturbing sight, but did not wake them; a concluding self-destructive streak was exhibited by Isabelle (in homage to Bresson's Mouchette (1967, Fr.) about an abused girl) after she realized her parents had seen them - it was an unsuccessful attempt to commit group suicide by connecting a hose to the gas outlet, and extending the hose into the bedroom

Threesome in Living Room Tent

The Shocked Parents

Dressed to Kill (1980)

In Brian De Palma's erotic Hitchcockian thriller:

  • the slow-motion opening sado-masochistic sequence in which upper-class New Yorker and frustrated, sexually-unsatisfied wife Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) pleasured herself in the soapy shower - she was suffering from a vivid erotic fantasy of being taken, while enduring unsatisfactory sex (a "wham-bang special") with her husband in their bedroom
  • the brilliant 10-minute sequence in the Metropolitan Museum of Art of Kate's cat-and-mouse flirting with a nameless stranger (Warren Lockman (Ken Baker))
  • her taxi-cab seduction en route to the man's apartment
  • the horrific murder sequence in the elevator of a high-rise apartment building when she was 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 nightmare scene ending

Drive (2011)

In Nicolas Winding Refn's crime drama about a Los Angeles getaway driver in heists:

  • the lengthy, slow-motion elevator scene (it was descending from the 'driver's' apartment to the garage basement) in which unnamed stunt Driver (Ryan Gosling) and his single-mother neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) kissed; when he noticed the third occupant of the elevator, thug Nino's (Ron Perlman) hitman (Jeff Wolfe), had a concealed weapon in his tan-colored coat, he violently confronted the assassin, threw him to the elevator floor, and beat him to death --- with fifteen vicious head stomps delivered by his heavy boots; Irene exited the elevator in horror and terror

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 walked to the supermarket and refused 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 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
  • the death of black maid Idella (Esther Rolle) watching The Edge of Night on TV (the camera viewed the peas she had been shucking from pods bouncing on the floor at her feet)
  • Daisy teaching the illiterate Hoke about the connection between letters and words
  • one of the last scenes in which a mentally-dislocated Daisy told Hoke: "'re my best, really, you are", and then took 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 about drug abuse:

  • 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 could bury the body in the woods
  • the resolution with Bob turning himself into an authorized methadone 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" - outran 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, US/UK/It./Fr.)

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, anti-government comedy film (their last film for Paramount Pictures) about the financially-ruined, politically-unstable country of Freedonia, so irreverent that it was banned in Italy by dictator Benito Mussolini:

  • the many satirical, anarchic scenes that ridiculed pomp, government, and authority
  • the many pricelessly funny lines: (Firefly: "I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth." Chicolini (Chico): "I'll tell you what I'll do: I'll take five and ten in Woolworth")
  • the opening coronation scene and Freedonian inauguration (and late arrival) of fast-talking, swindling, impertinent, and indecorous behavior of Freedonia's new cigar-chomping President Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx)
  • Firefly's familiar teasing of wide and widowed millionaire benefactress Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont)
  • the lampooning Cabinet meeting scene
  • the scenes of the two confrontations with the lemonade stand vendor (Edgar Kennedy) including a classic three-headed, hat-switching sequence, the burning of the vendor's bowler hat on the flaming hot dog cooker, and the barefooted Pinkie (Harpo) paddling around in the lemonade tank
  • the classic, inventive perfectly-timed scene of the inspired, celebrated mirror pantomime - a superlative, lyrical, artistic example of mute physical comedy (a revival of a classic vaudeville routine) with two (actually three) of the Marx 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 peeped out)
  • the parody of the Paul Revere ride
  • Groucho's retort to Ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern) about war: ("Go, and never darken my towels again!")
  • the final battle-war sequence (with Firefly walking around blindly with a flower vase on his head paint-decorated with features of his 'Groucho' face) (Firefly: "I've already paid a month's rent on the battlefield")

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 died in each other's arms ("little bob-cat!")

Dumb & 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 told him that their chances were "one in a million" - "So you're saying there's a chance?! Yeah!"
  • 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
  • Harry's compliment to Mary about her owls: "Nice set of hooters you got there!...The owls. They're beautiful!"
  • 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 - and Mary's comment to him: "I hope you're not using the toilet, it's broken...the toilet doesn't flush" - and his response: "I was just shaving"
  • the famous scene in which brain-dead Harry exclaimed: "Ooh, look, frost" to Mary as they rode on a ski-lift chair - and his tongue became fused to the frozen metal frame pole - and the hilarious scene as they pried him free while his tongue stretched elastically

Dumbo (1941)

In Disney's animated classic about a young flying elephant:

  • 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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