Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



F (continued)

A Few Good Men (1992)

In Rob Reiner's courtroom/military drama:

  • the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base scene in which inexperienced Navy lawyers Lt. Cmdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) and hot-shot Lt. J.G. Daniel Alistair Kaffee (Tom Cruise) encounter and earnestly demand information about an unofficial disciplinary procedure (that killed young Marine Private Santiago), termed 'Code Red', from a formidable, breakfast-eating Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson) - and his reply: "What I do want is for you to stand there in that faggoty white uniform and with your Harvard mouth extend me some f--king courtesy. You gotta ask me nicely"
  • the climactic, explosive cross-examination confrontation in the court-martial trial in which tough-talking Col. Jessup on the witness stand ("I'm gonna rip the eyes out of your head and piss in your dead skull! You f--ked with the wrong marine!") is intensely un-nerved and ferociously snarls: "You can't handle the truth!!"

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

In Norman Jewison's film adaptation of the beloved Broadway musical and based upon Sholom Aleichem's stories:

  • the entire opening/titles sequence
  • the joyous and lively song/dance "Tradition" about the conflict between traditional values and modern industrial changes
  • its tale of a poor Jewish-Russian peasant milkman in a small Ukranian village in pre-Revolutionary Russia - the life-affirming Tevye (Topol): ("Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as... as a fiddler on the roof!")

Field of Dreams (1989)

In Phil Alden Robinson's sentimental ode to baseball:

  • the whispered disembodied voice: "If you build it, he will come" to astonished Iowa corn farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) in his corn field - who responds: ("Who are you, huh? What do you want from me?")
  • the scene of Ray plowing down some of his cornfield and building a baseball diamond
  • the sight of the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) and his seven teammates - of the infamous 1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal - stepping out of the cornfield to play ball and find redemption with a second chance
  • the poignant scene of the powerful "they will come" speech by disillusioned and reclusive 60's author Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) about the enduring impact of baseball on America: ("The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come")
  • the scene in which young Archie Graham (Frank Whaley) sacrificed his youth as a ball player by transforming into his older self Doc Archibald "Moonlight" Graham (Burt Lancaster) - and then was unable to go back - to save corn farmer Ray's daughter Karin (Gaby Hoffman) from choking to death on a piece of hot dog, before disappearing back into the cornfield with the other players - and his magical speech about his wish to finally have a chance to bat
  • Ray's reconciliation-reunion scene (and game of catch) at sunset with his dead father - New York Yankees catcher John Kinsella (Dwier Brown) who had also emerged out of the cornfield and was summoned to the playing field
  • Ray's request ("Hey, Dad? Wanna have a catch?" - and the reply: "I'd like that") - with the long-shot of them playing catch under the lights
  • the final, overhead shot of a single line of cars with their headlights on streaming toward the magical baseball field carved out of an Iowa cornfield

Fight Club (1999)

In David Fincher's epic based upon Chuck Palahniuk's novel and scripted by Jim Uhls:

  • the audacious "Fear Center" opening titles sequence with a pull-back shot from the fear center of the protagonist's brain when a gun was shoved down his mouth
  • the scene in which charismatic, macho soap salesman and projectionist Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) introduces the concept of the 'Fight Club' to yuppie "Ikea Boy", insomniac white-collar worker "Jack"/Narrator (Edward Norton) by challenging him to a fight in a parking lot ("I want you to hit me as hard as you can")
  • the club's rules: "You do not talk about Fight Club" and the many bare-fisted, brutal fights in dark underground basements
  • the scene of the Narrator imagining a plane wreck to end his life
  • the scene in which a solo Narrator beats himself up in front of his astonished regional manager/boss Richard Chesler (Zach Grenier)
  • the many one-frame subliminal cameos of Tyler Durden in the film (i.e., at the office photo-copier, in the doctor's office, in the testicular cancer support group meeting, in an alley as nihilistic girlfriend Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) leaves, and on the hotel TV screen)
  • the 'twist' ending (told in flashback) divulging the fact that Tyler Durden and the Narrator are one and the same - a split personality
  • when the Narrator kills "Durden" in his mind by shooting himself in the jaw/face - he barely survives his own 'enlightenment' as he witnesses the destruction of various skyscrapers with girlfriend Marla Singer at his side as he tells her: "You met me at a very strange time in my life"

Finding Nemo (2003)

In Pixar's-Disney's (their fifth collaboration) blockbuster CGI animated film and winner of the 2003 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film:

  • the frightening pre-credits barracudas attack on clownfish parents Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) and Coral (voice of Elizabeth Perkins) by a barracuda and the devastating aftermath in which Marlin is made a widower with just a single surviving egg named Nemo (voice of Alexander Gould)
  • the plot of little Nemo's kidnap/capture by an Australian diver
  • overprotective, obsessively-worried, and neurotic Marlin's desperate and perilous quest to find Nemo by traveling through Australia's lengthy Great Barrier Reef
  • the brilliant, comedic performance by Ellen DeGeneres as Dory - a scatterbrained but well-intentioned blue tang with enormous eyes that suffers from severe short-term memory loss
  • the scene of Marlin and Dory's encounter with great white shark Bruce (voice of Barry Humphries) (an in-joke reference to Jaws (1975))
  • Nemo's adventures living in a dentist's salt-water aquarium tank in Sydney and the threat of the braces-wearing dentist's niece Darla (a "fish-killer" accompanied by the sounds of the shower scene violins from Psycho (1960))
  • the wisecracking school of fish (voice of John Ratzenberger), the "surfer dude" turtle Crush (voice of co-writer/director Andrew Stanton) and the Moorish Idol fish Gill (voice of Willem Dafoe)
  • the sequence of Marlin and Dory trapped inside a whale (reminiscent of Pinocchio (1940))
  • and during the end credits - the surprise appearance of Monster, Inc.'s (2001) one-eyed Mike Wazowski wearing scuba-diving equipment

Finding Neverland (2004)

In director Marc Forster's semi-fictionalized tale (David Magee's adaptation of Allan Knee's play The Man Who Was Peter Pan) about the creative inspiration for Barrie's "genius" masterpiece Peter Pan:

  • the playful scenes in which Scottish playwright Sir James Matthew Barrie (Johnny Depp) finds inspiration by befriending the company of the Llewelyn Davies family, consisting of four high-spirited boys and their lovely recently-widowed mother Sylvia (Kate Winslet)
  • the fanciful ways in which his play-world dreams become reality (the boys jumping on beds fly out the window, the family materializes on the deck of a pirate ship with James playing the part of Captain Hook and demanding to know their 'pirate' names, etc.)
  • the scene of the opening premiere of his new children's fantasy play Peter Pan and his invitation to 25 children from a local orphanage to take seats scattered throughout the audience - and their infectious laughter
  • James' estranged, unhappy conventional wife Mary's (Radha Mitchell) final goodbye when she congratulates him on his successful play: "Without that family, you could never have written anything like this. You need them. Goodbye" - in an earlier scene when the two enter separate bedrooms in their home, James' door opens to an imaginative sunlit field
  • the tearjerking scene of Sylvia discussing with James how she is "pretending" not to be sick with her four boys and her reluctance to accept her illness and coming death: "You brought pretending into this family, James. You showed us we can change things by simply believing them to be different...We've pretended for some time now that you're a part of this family, haven't we? You've come to mean so much to us all that now it doesn't matter if it's true. And even if it isn't true, even if that can never be... I need to go on pretending. Until the end. With you"
  • the wonderful scene in which the cast of Peter Pan privately performs the play in the parlor for the ailing Sylvia - and she 'enters' into Neverland
  • the concluding poignant scene on a park bench in which James encourages young lad Peter (Freddie Highmore) to remember his dead mother with the transformative power of imagination: "...she's on every page of your imagination. You'll always have here there, always...When I think of your mother, I will always remember how happy she looked sitting there in the parlor watching a play about her family. About her boys that never grew up. She went to Neverland. And you can visit her any time you like if you just go there yourself" with Peter's hopeful, whispered response that he believes: "I can see her"

First Blood (1982)

In director Ted Kotcheff's action thriller - the first and best of the Rambo series:

  • the scenes of ex-Green Beret Vietnam vet John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) being arrested as an unshaven vagrant, abused in jail, and his escape - amidst flashbacks as a POW
  • Rambo's incredible defense against an army of pursuers in some Northwest woods outside the small hostile town of Hope, stitching his own wound, and his threat to become a one-man army while holding a large knife to the throat of prejudiced Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy): "Don't push it. Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe"
  • Rambo's final impassioned, preachy speech to Green Beret Col. Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna), his former commander, about his hostile, unjust reception as a returning Vietnam War Vet: "Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don't turn it off! It wasn't my war! You asked me, I didn't ask you! And I did what I had to do to win! But somebody wouldn't let us win! And I come back to the world and I see all those maggots at the airport, protestin' me, spittin'. Calling me baby killer and all kinds of vile crap! Who are they to protest me, huh? Who are they? Unless they've been me and been there and know what the hell they're yelling about!...For me, civilian life is nothing! In the field, we had a code of honor: You watch my back, I watch yours. Back here, there's nothin'!...Back there, I could fly a gunship, I could drive a tank, I was in charge of million dollar equipment. Back here, I can't even hold a job parking cars!"

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

In Charles Crichton's madcap caper farce:

  • lunatic ex-CIA hitman Otto West's (Kevin Kline) repeated snarl: "Don't call me stupid!" -- and Wanda Gershwitz's (Jamie Lee Curtis) description of Otto's stupidity and continuing lack of intelligence: ("Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not 'every man for himself', and the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked 'em up")
  • Otto's dangling of conservative and stuffy British barrister Archie Leach (John Cleese) outside the window to force an apology
  • the many attempts of stammering, animal-loving hitman Ken Pile (Michael Palin) to assassinate an old lady (an eye-witness threat), cruelly killing her three cherished pet dogs instead (mauling by an attack dog, run-over by a taxi, and crushing by a falling safe)
  • the fact of seductive Wanda's complete sexual arousal when she hears foreign languages
  • Archie's painful admission of British stoicism to Wanda: ("Do you have any idea what it's like being English?...")
  • the scene of lustful Archie caught in the buff by a British family in what he thought was a perfect hideaway for an adulterous tryst with Wanda, forcing him to use a strategically-placed framed photo to modestly hide himself
  • Otto's torture of Ken by eating his pet fish in front of him
  • Otto's taunting of Ken ("It's K-k-k-ken c-c-coming to k-k-k-kill me!") just before Ken runs over him with a steamroller

The Fisher King (1991)

In Terry Gilliam's mystical fantasy fairy tale:

  • the symbolic demonic, giant apocalpytic figure of a Red Knight with a tattered cloak -- the horrid, pursuing nemesis of crazy and homeless, disheveled ex-medieval history professor Parry (Robin Williams), reminding him of the traumatic bloody-red slaughter of his wife
  • the tragic murder of the wife with a shotgun blast to the head as the result of off-handed comments made to a psychotic radio caller named Alan from caustic talk radio DJ Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges), who went on a killing rampage in a bar
  • Parry's emotionally-tender monologue to Jack in Central Park (while they lie on their backs in the grass) about the story of the Fisher King and the Quest for the Holy Grail (the cup from the Last Supper), ending with: ("...As the King began to drink, he realized that his wound was healed. He looked at his hands, and there was the Holy Grail that which he sought all of his life! And he turned to the Fool and said in amazement: 'How could you find that which what my brightest and bravest could not?' And the fool replied: 'I don't know. I only knew that you were thirsty')
  • Jack's long soliloquy to catatonic Parry in the hospital ("I don't feel responsible for you or for anybody. Everybody's got bad things that happen to them. I'm not God... I'm not responsible. I don't feel guilty...I don't feel sorry for you. It's easy being nuts. Try being me")
  • the magical, beguiling, and surreal fantasy scene in Grand Central Station that begins with Parry tracking the woman of his dreams Lydia Sinclair (Amanda Plummer) - and inexplicably, the sight of thousands of bustling, rush-hour commuters suddenly transformed into waltzing couples (oblivious to him)

A Fistful of Dollars (1964, It.)

In Sergio Leone's "spaghetti western" remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961):

  • the pancho-wearing, cigarillo-smoking Man With No Name's (Clint Eastwood) subdued anger over treatment of his mule by a gang of gunslingers
  • his request to a nearby undertaker/coffin-maker: "Get three coffins ready" - and shortly after seeking deadly revenge with his revised mordant order: "My mistake, four coffins"

Fitzcarraldo (1982, W. Ger.)

In director Werner Herzog's adventure drama:

  • the monumental manual hauling of a 320-ton steamship, christened Molly Aida, over a group of steep-inclined South American hills to another waterway - without special effects

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

In Bob Rafelson's intriguing character study and road film:

  • the early morning scene during a freeway jam when angered ex-classical pianist/S. California oil-rigger Robert Eroica Dupea (Jack Nicholson) exits his car and gives an impromptu concert performance playing on an upright piano in the back of a truck stuck ahead in the traffic
  • Robert's reunion with his sister Partita (Lois Smith) in an LA recording studio
  • his car trip to the Pacific Northwest and the giving of a lift to an aggressive, complaining lesbian couple Palm Apodaca (Helena Kallianiotes) and Terry Grouse (Toni Basil) on their way to Alaska to escape society and because it's "cleaner"
  • the celebrated roadside cafe scene of an impatient Dupea's frustrating fight with a strict, rude and surly waitress (Lorna Thayer) (who allows 'no substitutions') over his initial side order of wheat toast that quickly becomes a chicken-salad sandwich order ("You make sandwiches, don't you?") - including his challenge to "Hold the chicken" between her knees and his clearing of the table ("You see this sign?")
  • the moving camera as Robert plays Chopin for his brother's fiancee Catherine Van Oost (Susan Anspach)
  • his painful, one-sided, but conciliatory apology to his dying, unresponsive, invalid, wheel-chair bound father Nicholas (William Challee) at his home on Puget Sound
  • the long, final and bleak scene when he leaves his uneducated and dim-witted girlfriend Rayette Dipesto (Karen Black) stranded at a Gulf gas station (with his car and wallet) and catches a ride north into Canada with a logging trucker (who warns: "Where we're going, it's gonna get colder than hell")

Flashdance (1983)

In Adrian Lyne's musical romantic drama:

  • the entire film's energetic, glossy music-video style of dance sequences
  • the early iconic scene of Pittsburgh steel-mill welder/Mawby's Bar dancer Alex Owens' (Jennifer Beals) supine on a chair as water splashes down on her
  • another iconic image of her torn gray sweatshirt hanging off one shoulder (and the scene of the removal of her bra under the sweatshirt)
  • her erotic seduction scene of eating lobster while wearing only the front of a man's tuxedo
  • the scene of Alex' audition (with a black leotard and ankle warmers) before the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance to the tune of "Oh, What a Feeling!"
  • the loving and cliched romantic clinch in the freeze-framed conclusion

Flesh and the Devil (1926)

In director Clarence Brown's glossy, melodramatic, beautifully-photographed sensual silent film about a bitter and deadly love triangle (with a homosexual subtext) and a bond of friendship between two men:

  • the many extended love scenes between real-life lovers Greta Garbo and John Gilbert in their first film together -- Garbo portrayed amoral, insatiably sexual and sultry temptress-siren, Countess Felicitas von Rhaden while John Gilbert starred as Austrian soldier Leo von Harden
  • in a shadowy garden scene, he told her: "You are very beautiful" to which she responded: "You are very young" - their faces lit only by a single match flame as they shared a cigarette together, exquisitely photographed and very erotic
  • the sharing of their first steamy kiss together, in the first of the film's three extended love scenes - and reportedly, this was Hollywood's first French (open-mouthed) kiss on screen
  • their next kiss on a chaise-lounger was allegedly the first-ever horizontal-position kiss in an American film - when they were discovered by her enraged, wronged aristocratic husband Count Rhaden (Marc MacDermott) clenching his outstretched fingers at them into a fist - in silhouette
  • later after a deadly duel (seen in long-shot and in silhouette) between Rhaden and Leo, widowed Felicitas had married Leo's best childhood male friend Ulrich (Lars Hanson) during Leo's military service absence
  • when he returned, Leo was tempted to carry on a sinful adulterous affair with her after she told him: "Why do we pretend? I love you, and you love me"
  • during a communion scene in the church, after Leo drank wine from the cup, Felicitas turned the goblet back to where his lips had touched before drinking herself
  • driven emotionally mad with lust for each other, they succumbed to kissing again during Ulrich's absence, vowing love-til-death to each other, until she changed her mind (after being presented with a diamond bracelet by Ulrich upon his return) - she double-crossed Leo, and accused him of trying to choke and kill her
  • in the film's tragic conclusion, the two men prepared to duel the following morning for Felicitas' love on the Isle of Friendship (evoking childhood memories) - but reconciled and embraced - while the duplicitous femme fatale - who had been persuaded by Ulrich's virtuous, younger teenaged sister Hertha (Barbara Kent) (who always had a secret crush on Leo, pure unselfish love in contrast to Felicitas, but was ignored) to stop the duel, raced to the men but fatefully fell through thin lake ice and drowned to break her spell over the two men

(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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