Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



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E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

In Steven Spielberg's classic about an alien creature:

  • the opening scene of extraterrestrials surprised by a crew of botanists in a California forest
  • young Elliott's (Henry Thomas) discovery of E.T. - a wise creature from outer space 3 million light years away and stranded on Earth
  • impish Gertie's (Drew Barrymore) startling first look at E.T.
  • E.T.'s amusing experiences with suburban living
  • the famous lines of dialogue: "ET phone home" and "Ouch"
  • the magical, transcendent soaring bicycle scene as the kids escape on bicycles from ominous adults and E.T. lifts them off the street and over a police barricade to fly - photographed and silhouetted against a giant silvery moon in the night sky - with Elliott's scream of delight at the view
  • the overwrought scene of E.T.'s near-fatal death (when his heart flatlines) alongside Elliott - and his resurrection
  • E.T.'s farewell to his friends before returning home in a spaceship (his advice to young Gertie: "Be Good", followed by her good-bye kiss on E.T.'s forehead, and his glowing finger as he touched Elliott's forehead: "I'll be right here")



East of Eden (1955)

In Elia Kazan's 'Cain and Abel'-like drama adapted from John Steinbeck's novel about California lettuce growers in the early 20th century:

  • the opening scene of Cal Trask (James Dean) following a dark-shrouded figure - his mother Kate (Jo Van Fleet) in 1917 Monterey
  • his learning the truth from Sam (Burl Ives) about his "no-good" mother - a whorehouse madam
  • Cal's first entry into his mother's bordello
  • the lettuce field and Ferris wheel-carnival scenes when vulnerable and troubled Cal struggles to express his longing for his sensible twin brother Aron's (Richard Davalos) girlfriend-fiancee Abra (Julie Harris) as she confesses her conflicted-in-love feelings for him - but after a kiss pulls back ("I love Aron, I do, really I do")
  • the spurned birthday gift scene with stern, Bible-reading, lettuce-growing father Adam (Raymond Massey) rejecting Cal's present of earnings from an investment in bean futures to help relieve his father's dour financial state - and Cal's subsequent breakdown
  • the scene under a willow tree outside the house when Abra comforts Cal but is rebuked by Aron
  • the scene of Cal bringing Aron to his mother ("Mother, this is your other son Aron")
  • the emotional finale following Adam's stroke - including Abra's words about not loving her son Cal to Adam's bed-ridden figure: ("It's awful not to be loved")
  • Cal's ultimate reconciliation with his father




Easy Rider (1969)

In actor/director Dennis Hopper's independent classic road film:

  • the scenes of two doped-up hippies Billy (Dennis Hopper) and Wyatt/Captain America (Peter Fonda) riding high-handled motorcycles cross-country (eastward) to the sounds of 60s acid-rock 'n' roll accompanied by the Byrds' song: "I Wasn't Born to Follow"
  • the scene of the visit to the commune followed by skinny-dipping
  • their arrest for parading without a permit, their jailing, and their meeting up with civil rights lawyer George Hanson (Jack Nicholson)
  • the priceless image of George riding on the back of a motorcycle with a football helmet (to the tune of "If You Want to Be A Bird")
  • George's frequent exclamation of "Nik-nik-nik-f-f-f-Indians!" accompanied by his elbow flapping on his side like a chicken when toasting and taking a drink
  • the scene of George's first sampling of marijuana and his 'stoned' theories at the campfire about UFO's, alien Venutians on Earth and freedom
  • the scene at the local cafe/diner where they witness "country witticisms" from good ol' boys
  • the hallucinatory-LSD scene in a New Orleans cemetery during Mardi Gras
  • the final campire scene when Wyatt tells Billy: "We blew it"
  • the unexpected brutal ending at the hands of rednecks in a pickup truck for both riders - instigated by Billy's rebellious middle-finger gesture toward the Southerners - with the pull-back shot of the camera rising high into the sky to view the wreckage




Ecstasy (1933, Czech.) (aka Extase)

In this censored Czechoslovakian film:

  • the scandalous scenes of a naked Eva (Hedy Lamarr (real-name Hedwig Kiesler)), allegedly the first nude appearance in cinematic history
  • her prancing about, riding a horse, swimming, and running through the woods
  • closeups of Eva's convincing face during the lovemaking scenes



Edward Scissorhands (1990)

In Tim Burton's enchanting 'Beauty and the Beast' fantasy:

  • the image of the high-on-the-hill castle/mansion (with topiary gardens) overlooking the pastel-colored suburban neighborhood
  • the dinner meal scene at the house of Bill and Avon lady Peg Boggs (Alan Arkin and Dianne Wiest), with white-faced hedge sculptor/guest Frankenstein-like Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp) attempting to eat with his unique scissor-hands
  • the scene in which Edward - created by his reclusive inventor 'father' (Vincent Price in his last film role), carves beautiful ice sculptures to woo blonde teen cheerleader/daughter Kim Boggs (Winona Ryder) as she joyously dances under the wintry rain of chipped, frozen snow flakes accompanied by Danny Elfman's score
  • the heart-breaking scene in which The Inventor died before he could install real hands on Edward
  • the tearjerking farewell scene between Edward and Kim after the death of her scheming, jealous and insensitive boyfriend Jim (Anthony Michael Hall)
  • the explanation by an older Kim at the film's conclusion (the film's entire story was told in flashback) at the bedside of her grand-daughter (Gina Gallagher) about where snow comes from and how she knew that Edward was still alive creating ice sculptures and causing snow showers: ("I don't know. Not for sure. But I believe he is. You see, before he came down here, it never snowed. And afterwards, it did. If he weren't up there now, I don't think it would be snowing. Sometimes... you can still catch me dancing in it")
  • the film's final flashback of a younger Kim dancing in the snowflakes









Ed Wood (1994)

In Tim Burton's biopic of the reportedly 'worst director' of all time during the late 1950s:

  • the perceptive look at schlock film-making through the eyes of optimistic, determined, passionate and ever-enthusiastic film director Edward D. Wood, Jr. (Johnny Depp), in the making of three Z-grade films:
    - Glen or Glenda? (about his own secret cross-dressing transvestism and his fetish for angora sweaters and lacy undergarments, as he told the Screen Classics' producer Georgie Weiss (Mike Starr) about his 'special qualifications' to direct: "I like to dress in women's clothing... I love women. Wearing their clothes makes me feel closer to them")
    - Bride of the Monster (with a recital of Lugosi's famous speech: "Home? I have no home. Hunted, despised, living like an animal! The jungle is my home. But I will show the world that I can be its master! I will perfect my own race of people. A race of atomic supermen which will conquer the world!")
    - Plan 9 From Outer Space ("This is the one I'll be remembered for")
  • the scene of Wood's revelation to his first girlfriend Dolores Fuller (Sarah Jessica Parker) that he was a transvestite and her violent reaction: ("How long have you been doing this?...Jesus Christ, and you never told me?...What kind of sick mind operates like that?...This is our life! It's so embarrassing!")
  • the portrayal of morphine-addicted ("with a demoral chaser"), outcast Universal horror star Bela Lugosi (Oscar-winning Martin Landau) - his exclamation about Vampira appearing on TV ("I think she's a honey. Look at those jugs!")
  • the night scene when the aging star thrashed around in two feet of water in a pretend fight with an unmotorized, inanimate giant octopus to please his director
  • the entire assortment of misfit freaks in Wood's traveling group of eccentric actors including horror-film TV hostess Vampira (Lisa Marie), charlatan psychic Criswell (Jeffrey Jones), massive Swedish wrestler-turned-actor Tor Johnson (George "The Animal" Steele), and aspiring transsexual Bunny Breckinridge (Bill Murray)
  • the pool baptism scene in which all of them were immersed to secure film funding from a Beverly Hills Baptist church
  • the tender scene in which Wood confessed his love of wearing women's clothing to new girlfriend and future wife Kathy O'Hara (Patricia Arquette) while stuck inside a stalled carnival Spook House ride: ("I like to wear women's clothes. Panties, brassieres, sweaters, pumps. It's just something I do. And I can't believe I'm telling you this, but I really like you, and I don't want it getting in the way down the road")
  • the scene of Wood's short 'fictional' conversation at Musso & Frank Grill with his auteur-hero Orson Welles (played by Vincent D'Onofrio, with Welles' trademark voice dubbed by Maurice LaMarche) about how a director must stick to his vision ("Ed... Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else's dreams?", and his subsequent words to his backers: "We are gonna finish this picture just the way I want it because you cannot compromise an artist's vision")






The Elephant Man (1980)

In David Lynch's dark and affecting biopic:

  • the character of sensitive and cultivated, but hideously-deformed, child-like John Merrick (John Hurt)
  • Merrick's stirring cry to an angry mob: "I AM NOT AN ANIMAL! I...AM...A HUMAN BEING! I AM A MAN"
  • the amazing scene in which London surgeon - Dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) listens to Merrick movingly recite a psalm and the camera pans slowly toward a closeup of his tear-filled eye
  • the scene of Merrick showing the doctor a picture of his pretty mother ("with the face of an angel") - and Merrick's poignant comment: "I'm sure I must have been a great disappointment to her...I've tried so hard to be good"
  • the scene in which famous stage actress Madge Kendal (Anne Bancroft) visits the disfigured Merrick and they perform a Shakespearean scene together
  • Merrick's last night of his life when he is taken to a magical, pantomime performance in the theatre
  • Merrick's demise on a bed after gazing at his mother's picture on his bedside table as a slight breeze softly billows the lacy window curtains - he stretches out for peaceful, suicidal death in sleep (his normal position for sleeping was sitting up - lying down would suffocate him and prove fatal), followed by a montage of his spirit passing out the window into eternity while he is consoled by words from his mother, accompanied by Samuel Barber's haunting Adagio for Strings



Elmer Gantry (1960)

In director Richard Brooks' religious drama:

  • the opening speech by charmer Elmer Gantry (Oscar-winning Burt Lancaster) in a bar ("...Jesus had love in both fists! And what is love? Love is the mornin' and the evenin' star")
  • his charismatic hell-fire and brimstone performances in Bible-Belt revivalist scenes - including his dramatic slide up to the stage during a tent meeting
  • his sweaty preaching ("Sin. Sin, Sin. You're all sinners. You're all doomed to perdition. You're all goin' to the painful, stinkin', scaldin', everlastin' tortures of a fiery hell, created by God for sinners, unless, unless, unless you repent")
  • his memorable sermon against booze ("As long as I got a foot, I'll kick booze. And, as long as I got a fist, I'll punch it. And, as long as I got a tooth, I'll bite it. And, when I'm old and gray and toothless and bootless, I'll gum it till I go to heaven and booze goes to hell")
  • Sister Falconer's (Jean Simmons) naive but admirable faith
  • the scenes of Gantry's growing love and attraction for Sister Falconer
  • the vengeful scene in which one of his old girlfriends - minister's daughter-turned-prostitute Lulu Bains (Shirley Jones) sets him up and frames him with photographs taken in a compromising situation to ruin his reputation
  • the climactic blazing tent fire tragedy that takes the life of Sister Falconer





Elvira Madigan (1967, Sw.)

In director Bo Widerberg's romantic melodrama:

  • the lovely and sensuous scenes in the tragic, 19th century, idyllic Swedish elopement-romance between two star-crossed lovers:
    - 16 year old circus-tightrope walker Hedvig 'Elvira' Madigan (Pia Degermark)
    - Army lieutenant officer Sixten Sparre (Thommy Berggren) who deserted his post
  • the memorable soundtrack of Mozart's Piano Concerto
  • the final picnic scene in which Elvira tells Sixten that they must commit suicide together, although he is unable to pull the trigger on her at point-blank range
  • the film's ending with the freeze-frame image of Elvira grasping a butterfly - with a shot heard off-screen as her lover shot her to death, and then a second shot when he commits suicide to join her


Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

In director Irwin Kershner's superior entry in the six-film epic series:

  • the opening's surprise attack and battle on the ice fields of the planet Hoth between AT-ATs (giant mechanized Imperial-Walkers) and small Rebel Alliance Snow Speeders
  • the subsequent scene of the Millennium Falcon's outmaneuvering of pursuing Imperial Star Tie Fighters/Destroyers in a thrilling near-suicidal flight through a dense asteroid field
  • the scene of Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) difficult training to learn to be a Jedi knight on Dagobah at the hands of the wise and dimunitive Jedi Master Yoda (voice of Frank Oz), including his failed test in which he "battles" Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice of James Earl Jones) in a cave and his own face is revealed in Vader's severed helmet
  • the scene of the Falcon almost being ingested in the gullet of a giant space worm and snapped at as it escaped from its cavernous innards
  • the panoramic floating, gas-mining colony of Cloud City ruled by Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams)
  • the exciting light-saber duel/showdown between Darth Vader and Luke when he loses his hand, followed by the equally-startling and stunning moment of revelation when Darth Vader emotionessly admits a surprise relationship: "No, I am your father" (with Luke's horrified reaction: "No! No! That's not true. That's impossible")
  • Vader's urging to Luke to join him: "Join me and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son"
  • Han Solo's (Harrison Ford) test frozen encasement in carbonite preceded by his romantic goodbye to Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher): (Leia: "I love you." Han: "I know")
  • the final, evocative shot of Luke, Leia, C-3PO (voice of Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (voice of Kenny Baker) at a wide viewport on a Rebel ship watching Lando Calrissian departing with Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) in the Falcon in their quest to rescue Han




The Endless Summer (1966)

In Bruce Brown's ultimate documentary:

  • the incredible surfing footage around the world (Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii and California) while searching for "the perfect wave" (finally found at Cape St. Francis in S. Africa)
  • the scenes of surfing in Australia with sharks

The English Patient (1996)

In Anthony Minghella's Best Picture-winning WWII epic:

  • the caring ministrations of nurse Hana (Juliette Binoche) to the disfigured 'English patient' after a plane crash - cartographer Count Laszlo Almasy (Ralph Fiennes) in a bombed-out Tuscan monastery
  • the Count's many fragmented flashbacks about his life and romance with adulterous married lover Katharine Clifton (Kristin Scott Thomas)
  • the Count's loving bath scene (in which she shampooed his hair and then joined him) and love-making sequence
  • the scene of Almasy caring for his severely-wounded love in a cave/shelter after a plane crash and his promise to her: (Katherine: "Promise me you'll come back for me" Almasy: "I promise - I'll come back for you. I promise - I'll never leave you")
  • later, his return to the cave after she has tragically died - when he carries her body out of the cave
  • the romantic scenes between Hana and Sikh British Army officer/bomb expert Kip (Naveen Andrews)





Enter the Dragon (1973)

In Robert Clouse's kung-fu masterpiece:

  • the battle between right-hand man Oharra (Bob Wall) and undercover agent Lee (the inimitable Bruce Lee in his last film before his death) who displays acrobatic fight skills, flip kicks and lightning fast punches
  • the climactic confrontational kung-fu fight in a hall of mirrors (some in slo-mo) between martial arts master Lee and Asian crime and drug-lord Han (Shieh Kien) who wears serrated knife blades in place of his detachable clawed iron hand, ending in the defeat of Han

Eraserhead (1977)

In director David Lynch's feature debut film - a surrealistic, expressionistic, nightmarish 'midnight movie' cult and comic-horror film:

  • the characters of the desirous "Beautiful Girl Across the Hall" (Judith Anna Roberts) and the pockmarked "Man in the Planet" (Jack Fisk) manipulating mechanical levers
  • the dinner scene of factory worker Henry Spencer's (Jack Nance) visit to girlfriend Mary X (Charlotte Stewart) with her unusual parents (Allen Joseph and Jeanne Bates) and grandmother (Jean Lange)
  • the stark views of the couple's deformed, bleating and whining lamb-like mutant baby in their one-room industrial-type apartment tenement
  • the dream scene of Henry's head being severed, rolling on the ground and then turning into a pencil-top eraser
  • the Lady in Henry's bedroom radiator (Laurel Near) with deformed cheeks singing on a stage: "In heaven everything is fine"
  • the final scene of Henry stabbing the hideous baby and then entering Dream-land (in bright white light) to embrace the pure and innocent puffy-cheeked Lady in the Radiator



Escape to Victory (1981) (aka Victory)

In director John Huston's jingoistic soccer film:

  • the scene of the overhead kick and goal by Corporal Luis Fernandez (real-life soccer star Pelé) for the wearied and bruised Allied POW soccer team battling against the favored and biased Germans - ending up in a draw of 4-4

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

In Michel Gondry's innovative romantic comedy (based upon Charlie Kaufman's script):

  • the opening prologue of meek Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) again meeting uninhibited, multi-colored-hair ex-girlfriend Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) to start their relationship afresh after both of them had selectively erased memories of their 2-year romance
  • the reverse-order flashback of the process of Joel erasing his relationship's memories while inept technicians from the erasure firm Lacuna, Stan and Patrick (Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood) and office assistant Mary (Kirsten Dunst) acted irresponsibly (drinking, having sex) during the erasure process
  • the imaginative recollections of Joel that were recessed deeply in his brain (including those of his childhood where he went to hide with Clementine after he pleaded: "Please let me keep this memory")




Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

In Woody Allen's first musical:

  • divorced couple Joe (Woody Allen) and Steffi's (Goldie Hawn) graceful, gravity-defying (in the air), romantic dance on a starry Parisian night next to the Seine (with homage to Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron in An American in Paris (1951)) after she wistfully sings I'm Thru With Love

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972)

In Woody Allen's sex comedy:

  • seven witty comedy segments based on Dr. Reuben's notorious, best-selling sex manual:
    - the "Do Aphrodisiacs Work?" episode, with Woody Allen as a court jester seducing a Queen (Lynn Redgrave) with a love potion - although he is obstructed by her chastity belt
    - the love-making sketch ("What is Sodomy?") with Dr. Doug Ross (Gene Wilder) interested in a sheep named Daisy - a Casanova '70 (1965) spoof in which an upper-class Italian newlywed Gina (Louise Lasser) can only orgasm with her husband Fabrizio (Woody Allen) in public places
    - the horror/monster movie spoof ("Are the Findings of Doctors and Clinics Who Do Sexual Research and Experiments Accurate?") in which a mad, unorthodox sex scientist Dr. Bernardo (John Carradine) lets loose a giant killer breast that must be captured by an enormous bra
    - and the last vignette ("What Happens During Ejaculation?") in which a white-clad, neurotic sperm (Woody Allen) is in a panic with fears that he will be ejaculated - actually parachuted - into enemy territory from Sidney's body during a hot petting session with a date in a parked car ("I'm not going out there! I'm not going to get shot out of that thing! What if he's masturbating?"); the last line uttered by The Operator (Tony Randall) in the brain control-room was about a new attempt: "We're going for seconds! Attention, gonads, we're going for a record!"



Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)

In Sam Raimi's gruesomely funny horror film sequel:

  • Ash Williams' (Bruce Campbell) fight against his own possessed hand
  • the chainsawing off of his own evil hand while hysterically exclaiming to his disembodied body part: "Who's laughing now? Who's laughing now?" (notice that the top-most book Ash places on the bucket when covering up his decapitated hand is A Farewell to Arms), but the severed hand re-attacks

The Exorcist (1973)

In William Friedkin's blockbuster horror film about demonic possession:

  • the scene at ancient temple ruins in Northern Iraq when elderly Jesuit priest Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) confronts the demonic statue of Pazuzu
  • the film's intense special effects and violent horrors of devil possession, including twelve year-old Regan MacNeill's (Linda Blair) monstrous appearance
  • her urination during a Georgetown party
  • the self-abusive masturbation (or stabbing) of her crotch with a bloody crucifix
  • the levitation
  • spewing of pea-soup throw-up
  • the 360-degree spinning head
  • her demonic tortured and vulgar voice (supplied by veteran character actress Mercedes McCambridge) - (i.e., "Your mother sucks cocks in Hell, Karras, you faithless slime")
  • the silhouetted image of the arrival of the elderly Jesuit priest on a dark and foggy night under a lamp-post outside the Georgetown house of the MacNeill's
  • the terrifying visit to a hospital where Regan is subjected to a controversial and lengthy excruciatingly-torturous medical examination sequence (and blood-letting) with markedly sexual overtones
  • the bedside exorcism ceremony and demise of Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) when he dares the devil to enter his body ("Take me. Come into me. God damn you. Take me. Take me") - and he throws himself through Regan's bedroom window to his death in the street below





Eyes Wide Shut (1999, UK)

In Stanley Kubrick's final film about marriage and sexual jealousy:

  • the opening full length shot of the backside of a woman (Nicole Kidman) in high heels who slides off her black dress and reveals her slender nude body
  • the highly sensationalized love-making scene before a mirror between Dr. William Harford (Tom Cruise) and his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman)
  • the confessional-disclosure scene between the couple about Alice's recurrent imagined lustful fantasies of infidelity with a naval officer
  • the superbly-choreographed and directed orgy scene with male members wearing black cloaks and extravagant masks and females nothing but high heels, black thongs, and masks (with the eerie organ score "Masked Ball" by Jocelyn Pook) - although various images were digitally-edited/obscured in some versions




100's of the GREATEST SCENES AND MOMENTS
(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
M4
| 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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