Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments




The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

In Steve Kloves' directorial debut film:

  • the New Year's Eve show scene in which high-heeled, sensuous ex-hooker/escort Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer), wearing a high-slit, slinky red dress, sings "Makin' Whoopee"
  • she slinks and slithers atop a slippery piano top (similar to Jessica Rabbit's sexy performance of "Why Don't You Do Right?" in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)) as piano lounge singer Jack Baker (Jeff Bridges) accompanies her and the camera executes a 360-degree pan

A Face in the Crowd (1957)

In Elia Kazan's powerful political film:

  • the early scenes in which radio reporter/producer Marcia Jeffries (Patricia Neal) discovers and promotes the musical talent of smiling, cornpone-spouting Arkansas hobo Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes (Andy Griffith in his film debut) from down-and-out drunkenness and obscurity to fame
  • Rhodes' infatuation with a teenaged baton twirler Betty Lou Fleckum (Lee Remick in her screen debut)
  • the shocking scene in which the fraudulent megalomaniac and demagogue celebrity concludes his national TV show, thinking that his microphone is off, by expressing his utter contempt for his mass audience (called "morons" - "I can make 'em eat dog food and they'll think it's steak. Sure, I got 'em like this! You know what the public's like - a cage full of guinea pigs. Good night, you stupid idiots...")
  • Marcia's scream of desperate hurt on the telephone at Rhodes: "Jump! Get out of my life! Get out of everybody's life—jump!"

Faces (1968)

In writer/director John Cassavetes' stark and grainy looking, amateurish, ragged film (made with a hand-held camera in 16mm) about infidelity - a highly-influential, low-budget independent cinema verite film:

  • the plot told as an improvisational character study and "film within a film" with a highly individualistic style (including unscripted and often inaudible dialogue)
  • Gena Rowlands (Cassavetes' wife) cast as one of the lead characters - high-class prostitute Jeannie Rapp engaged in an affair with married, middle-aged and drunken Richard "Dickie" Forst (John Marley), with all of its resultant, tragic repercussions

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)

In Michael Moore's scathing documentary to indict President George W. Bush's failure to take immediate action, his inept handling of the terrorist crisis and his agenda to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq:

  • memorable images include Bush's continued reading of the children's book My Pet Goat in a Florida elementary school after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center (filmmaker Michael Moore narrates: "When informed of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center, where terrorists had struck just eight years prior, Mr. Bush decided to go ahead with his photo opportunity...")
  • the many self-incriminating Bush clips (such as when he demonstrates his golf swing - "Now watch this drive!" - immediately after calling on nations to stop terrorist killers, his stumbling through speeches and delivering such damning lines as: "What an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base")
  • the documentarian's questioning of Democratic and Republican politicians about enrolling their sons for military duty
  • the mall scenes in which Marine recruiters targeted minority teenagers for enrollment

Fantasia (1940)

In Disney's experimental film with many animated sequences beautifully integrating classical music and abstract images:

  • Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite including the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" and six red-topped mushrooms in "Chinese Dance"
  • Paul Dukas' classical The Sorcerer's Apprentice with apprentice Mickey Mouse in his master's wizard hat and the march of the relentless brooms carrying endless buckets of water - and his conducting of the stars in the sky
  • Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring depicting the beginnings of the cosmos, solar system, and the planet Earth and then life itself - with the Age of the Dinosaurs
  • Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony with its censored nymphs
  • Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours with hippos in tutus
  • Moussorgsky's dramatic Night on Bald Mountain - a celebration of evil during the night of the Witches' Sabbath
  • the final dawn of light segment of Schubert's Ave Maria

Fantastic Voyage (1966)

In Richard Fleischer's classic science-fiction adventure film (the most expensive of its time):

  • the sequence of the miniatured team of specialists (four males and a female) on a microscopic mission in the micro-sized nuclear-powered submarine USS Proteus inside nearly-dead defecting Communist scientist Dr. Jan Benes' (Jean Del Val) body - to prevent a blood clot in his brain from killing him
  • the memorable scene of antibodies or giant white corpuscles attacking technical assistant Cora Peterson (Raquel Welch) ("They're tightening - I can't breathe")

A Farewell to Arms (1932)

In director Frank Borzage's romantic war melodrama:

  • the doomed romance of World War I officer and ambulance driver Lt. Frederic Henry (Gary Cooper) and British nurse Catherine Barkley (Helen Hayes), who fell in love and produced a love child (while he was wounded and under her care in Milan) - with an impressive subjective camera close-up shot of her kissing him when he first arrived in the hospital
  • later, correspondence to the front (the news of the child) was circumvented by Henry's jealous friend Major Rinaldi (Adolphe Menjou) - leading to the film's dramatic conclusion in which Catherine died in her hospital bed in a maternity ward in Switzerland after her baby died -- with Frederic by her side
  • her tearjerking death occurred in his arms as he professed his undying love and she told him she wasn't afraid - the moment of her passing coincided with the declaration of the Armistice
  • after her death, he carried her in his arms to the window and affirmed: "Peace, peace" - as white doves flew into the air and the screen faded to black

Far From Heaven (2002)

In Todd Haynes' emotional romantic melodrama with stunning cinematography - filmed in homage to Douglas Sirk's 50's melodramas (i.e., All That Heaven Allows):

  • the scene of late 50s 'perfect world' Connecticut suburban, unhappily married housewife Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore), and her socially-taboo consolation found with her handsome, well-educated black gardener Raymond Deagan (Dennis Haysbert) - especially their very awkward and uncomfortable drink-lunch/dance date at a 'colored' diner/restaurant when he toasts: "Here's to being the only one"
  • inevitably, the scene of Cathy's awkward admission and farewell to Raymond that their relationship and clandestine love affair - even as friends - isn't workable or 'plausible': "It isn't plausible for me to be friends with you." Her last touching words are: "You're so beautiful"
  • Cathy's subsequent discovery that her ad exec husband Frank (Dennis Quaid) is in a homosexual relationship when he breaks down and admits the affair to her - and her reply: "I, um, assume then, you'll be wanting a divorce"
  • now-single Cathy's meeting again with Raymond, after learning that he's moving from Hartford to Baltimore due to violence against himself and his family ("Things are pretty well finished for me here") - and her suggestion that maybe they can start a life together in the future in a new place: "Perhaps sometime in the future after you’re settled, I could, perhaps I could come for a visit, see Baltimore. You see, I, well, it seems as if I'm to be single again." And the scene of Raymond's polite response and rejection of the invitation: "I'm just not sure that would be a wise idea after well, everything that's....I've learned my lesson about mixing in other worlds. I've seen the sparks fly, all kinds. Have a proud life, a splendid life, will you do that? (He kisses her hand) Goodbye, Cathy."
  • the very poignant final scene, in which Cathy is able to give a heartfelt but silent goodbye wave to Raymond a few weeks later, departing from the platform of the train station on a southbound train

Fargo (1996)

In the Coen Brothers' masterpiece:

  • the opening credits sequence with images (beautifully filmed by Roger Deakins) of a frozen, snow-blanketed North Dakota and a car (with another car in tow) emerging in the white-out conditions and making its way along the deserted highway
  • the scene in which pregnant, Minnesota police chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) bends over with "morning sickness" and almost barfs at the scene of a roadside triple murder
  • Marge's interrogation of two dim-witted hookers to learn about one "funny looking" uncircumcised suspect and her questioning of smarmy car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) in his autosales office
  • the violent money-drop scene when Carl is shot in the cheek by a dying Wade Gustafson (Harve Presnell)
  • the infamous wood chipper scene in which Marge slowly edges her way around a lakeside cabin to discover a mad Grimsrud (Peter Stormare) supplying his wood chipper with the leg of his kidnapping accomplice Carl (Steve Buscemi)
  • Marge's chastisement to the captured criminal: ("There's more to life than a little money, ya know...And it's a beautiful day")
  • the satisfying epilogue between Marge and her loving husband Norm (John Carroll Lynch) anticipating a hopeful future ("We're doing pretty good...Two more months...")

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

In Amy Heckerling's cult teen comedy, her directorial debut feature film (from a script by Cameron Crowe) - the quintessential teen comedy of the 80s:

  • the scene of 'worldly' high-school sexpot Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates) 'tutoring' sexually-inexperienced but curious friend Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in oral sex with a carrot in the school cafeteria
  • the classroom scenes involving perpetually-stoned, bleached-blonde California surfer dude Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) and American history teacher Mr. Hand (Ray Walston) - and the ordering of a pizza to be delivered in school during a class lecture
  • the two uncomfortable, awkward and devastating scenes of Stacy's sexual initiation - first, in a night scene in a baseball dugout with older stereo salesman Ron Johnson (D.W. Brown) - as Stacy (from her POV) looked up at the graffiti on the walls above her, and second, her painful and quick impregnation by lecherous Mike Damone (Robert Romanus) in a poolhouse changing room
  • Jeff's surfing interview while surrounded by two bikinied babes, and his line: "Hey, Bud, let's party!"
  • the slow-motion sequence of the emergence of red-bikinied Linda from an outdoor swimming pool and the slow opening and shedding of her bathing suit top from the middle (a fantasy mental disrobing by self-pleasuring Brad (Judge Reinhold)) - often rated the best nudity scene in any film

Fatal Attraction (1987)

In Adrian Lyne's cautionary thriller about sexual carelessness:

  • the wild passionate sex scenes (in her kitchen, elevator and bedroom) over two days between mistress Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), a predatory book editor, and happily-married yet philandering lawyer/husband Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas)
  • the nightmarish vindictiveness of the pathological, obsessive, and scorned woman through discussions ("I'm not gonna be ignored") and a taped message labeled "Play me" that Dan listens to: ("So you're scared of me, aren't ya?...Why you gutless, heartless, spineless f--king son of a bitch, I hate you. You deserve everything you get")
  • wife Beth's (Anne Archer) discovery of the family's pet bunny boiling in a pot on the kitchen stove
  • the final, knife-wielding vengeance scene in the bathroom and Alex' jolting resurrection from the bathtub, followed by her death from Beth's gunshot

Father Goose (1964)

In director Ralph Nelson's romantic adventure comedy (Cary Grant's second-to-last film):

  • the character (against-type) of scruffy, unshaven sailor Walter Eckland (Cary Grant - in the only film in which he was unshaven throughout the entire story) on an isolated South Pacific island during WWII
  • Walter was beset by French teacher Catherine Freneau (Leslie Caron) and seven female schoolgirls, and served as a 'volunteer' to be a coast watcher and plane spotter (code-named "Father Goose") for the Royal Navy and Commander Houghton (aka "Big Bad Wolf") (Trevor Howard)

Father of the Bride (1950)

In director Vincente Minnelli's domestic comedy:

  • a harrassed father Stanley Banks (Oscar-nominated Spencer Tracy) facing daughter Kay's (Elizabeth Taylor) marriage and overbearing caterers
  • his nightmare of a disastrous wedding ceremony (in which he appeared late to the wedding in taters, and couldn't make his way down the aisle)
  • his midnight snack kitchen scene with his daughter
  • the tearjerking scene of Kay's post-wedding phone call to lovingly say 'thank you' to her father

Fearless (1993)

In Peter Weir's emotionally provocative film:

  • the eerie opening scene in a seemingly-serene cornfield, and then the vivid recreation of the remnants of an airliner crash (from the point of view inside the plane) - and the grisly aftermath with a burned body still strapped to a seat, and rescue crews helping screaming victims
  • its tale of two survivors on a flight from San Francisco to Houston: serene architect Max Klein (Jeff Bridges) who mystically transcends and invincibly survives and young guilt-stricken, Roman Catholic mother Carla Rodrigo (Rosie Perez) who still believes ("You know you hurt me. You hurt me forever. But I still believe in Him")

The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) (aka Dance of the Vampires or Pardon Me...But Your Teeth Are in My Neck)

In director Roman Polanski's vampire horror spoof:

  • the opening in which the MGM lion roars and then turns into a green vampire/ghoul face with fangs and blood dripping from its mouth
  • the humorous scene of a Jewish vampire attacking a young girl who vainly tries to protect herself with a cross
  • the scenes of Sarah Shagal (Sharon Tate) bathing - including her vampire biting by Count Von Krolock (Ferdy Mayne) who descends through the ceiling
  • the great midnight ball scene in which the vampirish guests dance a minuet and only the interloping humans (including Sarah) are reflected in a mirror

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

In John Hughes' cult comedy hit:

  • the scene of malingering rich-kid student Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) describing (with graphics) how to fool parents and skip a day of school ("The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It's a good non-specific symptom; I'm a big believer in it...")
  • the scene of Dean of Students' secretary Grace (Edie McClurg) explaining how popular Ferris is: ("Oh, he's very popular, Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude")
  • the scene of Dean of Students Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) receiving what he believes is a crank phone call from Ferris but it's from Ferris' girlfriend's 'father' (actually Alan Ruck) asking for her to be excused - and his sarcastic and insulting tone: ("Tell you what, dipshit, you don't like my policies you can just come on down and smooch my big ol' white butt! Pucker up, buttercup!") until another phone call is received and announced by Grace: "Ferris Bueller's on line two..."
  • the scene of Economics teacher (Ben Stein) calling roll repeatedly: "Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?" with Ferris' empty chair and fellow student Simone's (Kristy Swanson) confused excuse about how he's sick
  • Ferris' infatuated sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) saying goodbye to drugged-up Garth (Charlie Sheen) at the police station
  • Ferris' day off from high school in downtown Chicago with his friends Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck) (driving his father's 1961 red Ferrari 250 GT convertible) and with cute girlfriend Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara)
  • Ferris' unexpected announcement from the top of a Von Steuben parade float ("Ladies and gentlemen, you're such a wonderful crowd, we'd like to play a little tune for you. It's one of my personal favorites and I'd like to dedicate it to a young man who doesn't think he's seen anything good today - Cameron Frye, this one's for you")
  • after the lip-synching of Danke Shein, Ferris segues into the playing and lip-synching of The Beatles' Twist and Shout
  • the scene of Rooney trying to catch Ferris at home and being confronted by the slobbering family Rotweiler
  • the curtain-closing post-credits appearance of Ferris from the bathroom telling the audience (fourth wall) to leave: "You're still here? It's over! Go home. Go!"

(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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